Knicks Morning News (2018.07.24)

  • [SNY Knicks] Former Knick Carmelo Anthony signs with Rockets
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 11:11:50 AM)

    Carmelo was signed by the Houston Rockets for the veteran minimum after clearing waivers.

  • [NYTimes] Dirk Nowitzki Signs One-Year Deal With the Dallas Mavericks
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 9:33:29 PM)

    The new deal will enable Nowitzki to pass Kobe Bryant for the longest unbroken tenure with one team in N.B.A. history.

  • [NYTimes] Carmelo Anthony Is Set to Sign With the Rockets
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 9:10:13 PM)

    Once he is waived by the Hawks, Anthony is expected to sign for the league’s veteran minimum salary of $2.4 million.

  • [NYTimes] Michael Rapaport Won’t Shut Up
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 6:59:03 AM)

    The boisterous actor has brought his sometimes vulgar brand of disses and diatribes to sports podcasting.

  • [NYTimes] Clipper Darrell Won’t Bow to King James. But He Wants To.
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 5:14:36 PM)

    Since LeBron James signed, Lakers fans have unleashed a fresh strain of venom — and jokes — on Darrell Bailey, the Los Angeles Clippers superfan known for his red and blue suits.

  • [NYDN] Judge to rule on bid for Charlottesville anniversary rally
    (Tuesday, July 24, 2018 2:20:00 AM)

    The organizer of last summer’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. is seeking a court order to stage an event marking its deadly anniversary.

    U.S. District Judge Norman Moon scheduled a hearing Tuesday on Jason Kessler’s request for a preliminary injunction that would compel the city…

  • [NYDN] Where justice goes to die: How the Kings County DA’s office wronged Gregory Ellis, as it did many others
    (Tuesday, July 24, 2018 2:00:00 AM)

    Every one of the 600 attorneys who work for the Kings County District Attorney should demand an explanation from their bosses about the case of Gregory Ellis, a man who has served 24 years in state prison for a murder he almost certainly did not commit.

    As in so many of dozens of wrongful convictions…

  • [NYDN] Bill’s big brick: How de Blasio failed to fix a Bloomberg NYCHA problem he identified
    (Tuesday, July 24, 2018 1:05:00 AM)

    As the city’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio shrewdly spotted a fraud perpetrated at the city’s Housing Authority: tens of thousands of apartment repair jobs completed, snap snap, in just two weeks.

    Calling the results “highly implausible,” he understated the severity of the scam, as now revealed…

  • [NYDN] Pay, still checked: Pay isn’t rising like it should after Trump’s tax cut
    (Tuesday, July 24, 2018 1:00:00 AM)

    President Trump and congressional Republicans vowed that last year’s huge tax cut, massively skewed to corporations and the wealthy, would slice, dice and increase long-stagnant worker wages.

    While job creation continues its healthy Obama-era trend, wages are another matter. While some federal…

  • [NYDN] Death toll in Greek forest fires now at 49
    (Tuesday, July 24, 2018 12:40:00 AM)

    ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s fire department says 49 people are confirmed to have died in forest fires that have swept through popular seaside holiday areas near the Greek capital.

    Fire department spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri added that 156 adults and 16 children have been hospitalized with injuries….

  • [NYDN] Readers sound off on Russia, Tiger Woods and recovery
    (Tuesday, July 24, 2018 12:00:00 AM)

    There was no collusion with Russia

    Glen Head, L.I.: It’s great to be a progressive, anti-Trump liberal! That way, you never have to worry about facts getting in the way of your protests, raves, rants and letters to the Voice of the People! In the recent indictments of 12 Russian nationals, Deputy…

  • [NYDN] Former Attorney General Eric Holder tells Stephen Colbert he’s ‘thinking about’ running for President in 2020
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 9:15:00 PM)

    Eric Holder may be looking for his own administration.

    The former Attorney General under President Obama visited “The Late Show” Monday and opened up about the possibility of running for President.

    “I was looking to see potential contributors…and cabinet members,” Holder, 67 joked to host Stephen…

  • [NYDN] Man, 21, charged in fatal shooting in Bronx park
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 8:41:00 PM)

    The suspect in the cold-blooded killing of a man in a Bronx park last month was busted Monday, cops said.

    Zaire Hebron, 21, was arrested and charged in the June 24 murder of Jose Cruz, 25, in Rainey Park, near Beck St. and Intervale Ave.

    Police found Cruz shot twice in the head on a paved path…

  • [NYDN] Cops seek perv who groped Bronx teen as she waited for elevator
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 8:30:00 PM)

    A handsy creep groped an 18-year-old woman as she was waiting for the elevator in her apartment building, police said Monday.

    The suspect approached his teenage victim from behind at about 8 a.m. Thursday in a building near Walton Ave. and E. 172nd St. in Mt. Eden, police said.

    He squeezed her…

  • [NYDN] Cardinals rookie Daniel Poncedeleon throws seven no-hit innings in major-league debut after coming back from severe head injury in 2017
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 8:10:00 PM)

    The Cardinals have found their Fountain of Youth.

    Rookie Daniel Poncedeleon, making his major league debut for St. Louis, threw seven no-hit innings Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds.

    The 26-year-old was taken out of the game in the eighth inning after throwing 116 pitches, 75 for strikes….

  • [NYDN] Dan Harmon, ‘Community,’ ‘Rick and Morty’ creator, deletes Twitter after fake rape video resurfaces online
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 7:15:00 PM)

    Dan Harmon deleted his Twitter Monday after a disturbing video from 2009 resurfaced online.

    In a 2009 video from a comedy pilot called “Daryl,” Harmon’s character climbs through a window and rubs his genitals against a baby doll, simulating rape.

    “Originally made with Showtime, Dan Harmon presents…

  • [NYDN] Why 20 years wasn’t enough time for NYC to upgrade this Staten Island storm sewer
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 5:35:00 PM)

    You’ve probably never seen a sewer backup quite like this.

    The planned fix for a flood-prone Staten Island strip has dragged on more than two decades now, and the much-needed project still isn’t even remotely close to completion.

    The proposal to install a storm sewer under a stretch of Willow Ave….

  • [NYDN] Field of Dreams winner, 13, gearing up for another legendary Yankees experience
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 5:30:00 PM)

    Incredible Yankees experiences are nothing new to this Field of Dreams contest winner.

    David Falzone, 13, wrote in his essay on Yankees tradition how he was there in 2009 when Derek Jeter broke the team’s all-time hit record. It was David’s first time ever at Yankee Stadium.

    “I remember that day…

  • [NYDN] Odell Beckham Jr. will report on time to training camp, and now it’s on Giants to hammer out a deal
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 5:25:00 PM)

    Odell Beckham Jr., or someone representing him, doubled down Monday that he intends to attend the start of Giants training camp on Wednesday and not hold out for the long-term contract extension he desires.

    This was another good faith gesture from Beckham toward the organization to prove he’s past…

  • [NYDN] EXCLUSIVE: Bronx robbery victim furious her assailant won $3.9 million from city over Rikers Island beatdown
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 5:10:00 PM)

    Two wrongs aren’t right for a Bronx crime victim whose assailant was convicted of robbing her — yet ended up winning $3.9 million from the city after he was a victim of a savage beatdown by Rikers Island correction officers.

    “For him to go to jail for what he did to me — and now he’s the victim…

  • [NYDN] The other Trump derangement syndrome
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 5:00:00 PM)

    The results of the Helsinki summit are in. President Trump couldn’t handle statecraft or, for that matter, double negatives, but he came out of the meeting undefeated and invincible. Like the Charlottesville hatefest or the “Access Hollywood” tape, it was just another day at the office for Trump….

  • [NYDN] Nixon takes her campaign to the subway to rip repair plan one year after it’s launched
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 5:00:00 PM)

    Cynthia Nixon insisted she was getting a boost from transit workers — even as union members picketed the gubernatorial hopeful’s Monday news conference inside a Manhattan subway station.

    The suffering subway system has provided a flash point in the governor’s race, as challenger Nixon rips Gov….

  • [NYDN] ‘Wicked Tuna’ star Nicholas ‘Duffy’ Fudge dead at 28
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 4:50:00 PM)

    Nicholas “Duffy” Fudge, one of the stars of National Geographic’s “Wicked Tuna,” died last week.

    He was 28.

    Duffy, who was first mate on Capt. Tyler McLaughlin’s fishing boat, Pinwheel, joined the cast in 2013.

    “Wicked Tuna” follows a group of fishermen on the sea in search of bluefin tuna, which…

  • [NYDN] Suspect in brazen bike-to-bike murder of President Bush’s cardiologist was wearing ‘fully loaded’ backpack, cops say
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 4:40:00 PM)

    The cyclist suspected of gunning down former President George H.W. Bush’s cardiologist while the doctor biked to work in Houston Friday was wearing a burdensome backpack, new video released Monday revealed.

    The surveillance video, shot from a Metro Lift bus that passed Dr. Mark Hausknecht first…

  • [NYDN] NHL sues maker of plastic Stanley Cup beer stein
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 4:30:00 PM)

    The NHL wants to put a $30 Stanley Cup beer stein on ice.

    A beer mug that resembles the famed trophy infringes on National Hockey League trademarks, the league said Monday in a lawsuit.

    “Now THIS is a hockey fan’s way to drink beer!” reads an ad for the beer stein on Amazon.com.

    “We’ve all dreamed…

  • [NYDN] State correction officers sentenced to more than 7 years for nearly beating inmate to death
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 4:30:00 PM)

    Two former correction officers at Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill will spend over seven years in prison for nearly beating an inmate to death at the Dutchess County prison.

    Kathy Scott and George Santiago Jr. were sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in White Plains for the barbaric…

  • [NYDN] Ackert: Clearly ‘conservative treatment’ is not curing Yoenis Cespedes’ heels, so Mets need a new strategy to keep slugger on the field
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 4:25:00 PM)

    Friday night was a reminder. With a single swing in the top of the third inning, Yoenis Cespedes reminded the Mets exactly what he can do. The slugger can change a game and alter the way opposing teams approach their lineup. In his return from the disabled list, Cespedes homered at Yankee Stadium…

  • [NYDN] Toronto officials ID suspect, won’t rule out terror in jarring street shooting that left 2 dead, 13 wounded
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 4:25:00 PM)

    TORONTO — Authorities on Monday named the man believed to have fired a handgun into restaurants and cafes in a lively Toronto neighborhood, killing a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman and wounding 13 others in an attack that has shaken the confidence of many in the normally safe city.

    Authorities…

  • [NYDN] Abby Huntsman reportedly in talks to leave ‘Fox & Friends Weekend,’ join ‘The View’
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 3:05:00 PM)

    Another Fox News anchor may be on her way out.

    Abby Huntsman, who currently co-hosts “Fox & Friends Weekend,” is in talks to join “The View,” Huffington Post reported Monday.

    Huntsman, who began at Fox News in 2015 as a general assignment reporter after working at MSNBC and ABC News, would be the…

  • [NYDN] CAN YOU HEAR US? ANSWERING TRUMP ON IRAN, IN A LANGUAGE HE CAN UNDERSTAND
    (Monday, July 23, 2018 2:50:00 PM)

    To President Donald Trump: TWEETING IN ALL-CAPS AT IRANIAN PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI TO TELL HIM “YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE” IF HE DARE “THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN” IS FURTHER EVIDENCE OF YOUR INSTABILITY.

    And a sign that…

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    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    112 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2018.07.24)”

    1. Thinking back to yesterday, I think that the fact that we are even having a discussion about tanking is absurd. The only solutions are to either eliminate the incentive for tanking altogether (e.g. the wheel) or to actually “incentivise” winning (e.g. start with equal lottery odds for non-playoff teams and then give extra ping pong balls for each win during last 24 games of the season).

    2. People like to jump on the bandwagon of whatever worked recently.

      The 76ers took tanking to never before seen extreme and “lucked” into a series of injuries that kept them worse than their accumulated assets so they could continue to short circuit the system and get better picks than they deserved. That’s going to be somewhere between a difficult and impossible model to duplicate (especially if you want to keep your job).

      One of the disincentives for tanking will reveal itself in coming years. Now that everyone is tanking, it will be easier to see the tanking efforts that lead to a series of mediocre draft picks that make the team incapable of competing at a high level for 5 or more years and also eventually force them to make early difficult decisions on extending young players with big contracts even though can’t tell whether the player is worth it yet. I believe there are going to be some young capped out mediocre teams and some teams that let some of those players walk and remain buried in lottery hell for 10 years.

      Once people see the risk and reward in a more balanced light, there will still be tanking when it make sense, but more teams will opt to try to build with a combination value oriented trades, FA signings, and draft picks (both drafting and trading picks) as opportunities present themselves given their unique position.

    3. i was thinking about yesterday……the only thing you guys seem to have in common is your love for this mismanaged and jinxed basketball team, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Then I saw your scotch connection, and that made me feel better. The scotch will make it OK

    4. Tanking has always been part of the game; only difference is now there is no shame and fans have embraced it; Philly changed the game by overdoing it and still selling tickets and being profitable; Like dumping the rookie of the year while on rookie contract because they were not ready to win 30 games yet. Always been a copy cat league so I’m not surprised;

      Draft picks value is now in bubble territory while veteran guys like Lee & KOQ are severely undervalued; if you coming off injury then bargain basement prices. (IT, Boogie etc).

      Middle of the pack young lottery players in their early to mid 20’s are no longer desirable and could be had for cap space and a 2nd round pick. We got Burke for free. This is where my G spot is and I think Perry knows it.

      We should sell protected picks at these bubble levels of value and buying an immediate franchise player who hits the ground running in year one, i.e. Leonard.

    5. I’m not sure all of Phily embraced it. They took a big dip in attendance, which just spiked back up last year. Everyone loves it now, that they are good, but they were 1 more embied or simmons injury away from a mutiny

    6. One of the disincentives for tanking will reveal itself in coming years. Now that everyone is tanking, it will be easier to see the tanking efforts that lead to a series of mediocre draft picks that make the team incapable of competing at a high level for 5 or more years and also eventually force them to make early difficult decisions on extending young players with big contracts even though can’t tell whether the player is worth it yet. I believe there are going to be some young capped out mediocre teams and some teams that let some of those players walk and remain buried in lottery hell for 10 years.

      This actually demonstrates perhaps the primary benefit of tanking, which is that as long as you stick to the system (or Trust The Process, if you will) it’s virtually guaranteed to work eventually.

      If your high lottery picks aren’t productive, you continue to not sign mediocre free agents, you continue to take on salary for assets, and you don’t do anything stupid with your high lottery busts (i.e. re-sign them to poor value deals instead of just living with the sunk cost and letting them walk, or trading them), your team will continue to be bad. So you’ll keep picking in the high lottery, and eventually you’ll get some hits.

      Obviously this is a rather extreme approach that takes loads of patience, owner buy-in, etc. but as the Sixers demonstrated people will generally stick around if they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    7. or to actually “incentivise” winning

      Aha, but with the extra revenue generated from playoff games, there is incentive to win. Even if it means simply being the 8th seed and pocketing the multimillions of dollars that comes with two home games.

      The Knicks in their “mismanagement” have parlayed their way to being the most valuable franchise in the league. That’s what having the worst record record in the league over 17 years gets you, if you lose the games the right way instead of the wrong way, I guess.

    8. IMO, here’s where the catch 22 lies:
      You can “tank” for a better pick (I like rebuild strategy better), and that’s perfectly fine if you are in a teardown. Every team in every sport NEEDS to do this eventually. Even the Spurs. But at the same time, premium picks don’t always yield premium players. Remembering the Olowakandis, the Bennetts, the Johnny Flynns, and players of the like- the onus really is on your scouting and talent evaluation- as was stated in yesterday’s thread. The problem in building a roster probably lies more with fiscal sense than drafting.

      Shit..even with Lebron being as otherworldly as he is, can you imagine how his career might have ended up if his teams consistently spent money on players like Jerome James, Eddy Curry, Howard Eisley- and bid against themselves for past-his-prime-and-broken-down Noah and knee-less STAT?

      In using Knicks players as examples, I guess I’m trying to point out that the Knicks haven’t drafted poorly- just managed money poorly. There are a few teams who have drafted poorly, but it really hasn’t handicapped them as much as one might imagine because they spent money better than they drafted.

      So..in a long roundabout way..”rebuild strategy” is perfectly fine. If you lose games saying “we can get the top pick and all will be well”, then that’s kind of a shithead way of building. Never fail on purpose

    9. How in the fuck is Cleveland extending Kevin Love?!

      We know the how. We’d like to know the why! lol.

      Love has been absolutely mediocre (by his salary/reputation standards) in Cleveland.

    10. Now is the time to offer them Courtney Lee, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Lance Thomas for George Hill’s expiring contract.

    11. Now is the time to offer them Courtney Lee, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Lance Thomas for George Hill’s expiring contract.

      Right?

    12. Speaking of tanking, this is trade deadline season in baseball. The shitty teams are in the Process of trading their high priced (or soon to be high priced), older players to contenders for young, cost controlled talent and other assets like International pool $.

      I take it that some think this is morally wrong and these teams should be ashamed of themselves? – that the Orioles would be better off keeping Machado and winning 3 more games this year to maintain their integrity?

    13. I guess Cleveland thinks that if they just get close to .500 this year, they can convince a big free agent to join them next year.

      I just wanted to see how that sounded when another team is that crazy. It sounds pretty darn stupid.

    14. Speaking of tanking, this is trade deadline season in baseball. The shitty teams are in the Process of trading their high priced (or soon to be high priced), older players to contenders for young, cost controlled talent and other assets like International pool $.

      I take it that some think this is morally wrong and these teams should be ashamed of themselves? – that the Orioles would be better off keeping Machado and winning 3 more games this year to maintain their integrity?

      Oddly enough, the Orioles are one of the few teams who actually do actively hurt themselves out of integrity, as their owner believes that international signings are exploitative and won’t go along with it, so the Orioles never get international free agents.

    15. Good point 15. Cleveland apparently is trying to win (make the playoffs) this year, so let’s get on the phone and offer them Timmy and tell them if Timmy shoots 40% from 3 with a .600 TS% he’ll be a steal for them.

    16. This actually demonstrates perhaps the primary benefit of tanking, which is that as long as you stick to the system (or Trust The Process, if you will) it’s virtually guaranteed to work eventually.

      Not necessarily.

      You will most likely draft some duds. Even if you eventually draft a star player he may leave unless you build around him quickly enough that he thinks he has a chance to win in your city. And even if you do that, it could eventually be close to a 10 year process before you actually have a serious team.

      Let’s use the Knicks and Porzingis as an example.

      The Knicks have done WELL in the draft. But by the time Knox, Frank, Robinson and next year’s pick are peaking it’s going to be another 5-6 years. The Knicks will be almost 10 years into a rebuild by draft and there’s no guarantee Porzingis’s body holds up or any of those other guys actually pans out into real stars.

      It’s not automatic and it can take forever. You need some luck drafting and developing players when they are coming out at 18-19. Obviously it can work, but imo it’s monstrously overvalued now.

    17. @9 I get that, and that the Knicks have bungled things every which way possible. But we’re talking specifically about tanking. Re: the Knicks, how do you keep fans like us from being pissed when scrubs like Ndour, Holiday and Hardaway Jr. 1.0 make great plays to win games down the stretch of a non-playoff season? Teams should be rewarded for winning those games, not punished. Or when teams run stupid plays/strategies to purposely lose games down the stretch (I specifically recall being livid while a team pissed away a lead in a game we needed them to lose, just can’t remember the specific team, was it Chicago?) they shouldn’t be rewarded. That’s why looking at W-L record for the last 24 games, or only maybe vs. other lottery teams, might work. In order to benefit, a team would have to play poorly enough to miss the playoffs on purpose but well enough to positively affect draft order.

      here’s another couple of twists:
      1. For non-playoff teams, make it so that ping pong balls determine ALL lottery spots, not just 1-3.
      2. Give each of the two 8th place playoff seeds (or #15 and 16 if seeding based conference standing is eliminated as I think it should) the first pick in the second round. This would minimize the incentive to tank out of the playoffs. If that’s not enough, give the 7th seed an early 2nd rounder as well.

    18. The only solutions are to either eliminate the incentive for tanking altogether (e.g. the wheel) or to actually “incentivise” winning (e.g. start with equal lottery odds for non-playoff teams and then give extra ping pong balls for each win during last 24 games of the season).

      This presupposes that we can’t eliminate the draft altogether. I’m not sure why such a ridiculous method of distributing talent has become so ingrained in our sports culture that we can’t imagine alternatives.

      Why not an auction each year with available cap space? Luka Doncic is on the board. Team A has $10mm in cap space, offers him a $9mm starting salary, etc.

      Even if you keep the draft, I have no idea why we can’t use the rolling three year wins average to determine draft order. It’s much more difficult to manipulate. And if you wanted to actually play socialist basketball and reward the teams who perform badly, it would yield a more honest result. The Spurs were a WC Finalist, had one lousy year, got Duncan. The Cavs had 7 years of LeBron, lost him, got Kyrie straight away. The Hawks had a 60 win team that they chose to disassemble, three years later they can pull a top 3 pick. Then you have teams like us, with the worst record in basketball over 18 years, consistently getting fucked because we can’t tank hard enough.

      There are endless possibilities once you divorce yourself from the idea that we must have a draft and it must be based the previous year’s standings. Frankly, the wheel is probably one of the dumbest alternatives outside that box.

    19. I didn’t know that about the Orioles. No wonder they’re so bereft of talent as an organization. You have to use the international market these days, with American kids mostly playing soccer and tiddly winks now.

    20. Just out of curiosity, l wonder if we have any season ticket holders here. I would love to hear their opinion on which way the franchise should go from here.

    21. I agree that all of the suggestions you guys are making are better than the current draft system. I think the cause of the current mess is that everyone got pissed when Orlando landed back to back #1s and drafted Shaq and Webber/Penny (or however that played out)

    22. @24 I have also thought about eliminating the draft as you suggested. But this would discourage teams from paying veterans, which the union wouldn’t like, not to mention veterans. It might also cap out teams on young, unproven players that don’t pan out. Imagine if a guy like Okafor signed on a bad team for $15 mill per year for 4 years. I mean, vets can screw up the cap too, but at least you have a reasonable history upon which to base the investment. Also, if two teams have relatively equal cap space, the team from the more desirable market would have an unfair advantage.

    23. Aha, but with the extra revenue generated from playoff games, there is incentive to win. Even if it means simply being the 8th seed and pocketing the multimillions of dollars that comes with two home games.

      But you have to share that revenue with 29 other NBA teams, so not really.

    24. Let’s use the Knicks and Porzingis as an example.

      The Knicks have done WELL in the draft.

      If you’re using the Knicks as an example, they would have Karl Towns instead of Porzingis if they’d decided to tank, and they wouldn’t have all these relatively useless vets on big salaries

    25. Honestly, a single game elimination playoff tournament of the non playoff teams for draft placing would be a super fun thing! I think people would be into it. They could even do it after the regular season, before the playoffs. That way the playoff teams have an extra week to heal up and practice before the real playoffs begin. Maybe its just for the top 4 spots and then after that its based on worst record so the worst the worst team could do would be 5th. And a really bad team could in theory beat a barely missed the playoffs team in one game. So I think there would be enough chaos where it wouldn’t be just the best of the worst teams getting the top pick all the time but they would be more likely to get it since they would be a better team. Then that team would be more likely to then be a playoff team the next year.

      It would be fun! It would encourage teams to not be horrible and lose games at the end of the year. It would mean just a little less time off in the summer during these dog days when there’s nothing going on.

    26. @24 I have also thought about eliminating the draft as you suggested. But this would discourage teams from paying veterans, which the union wouldn’t like, not to mention veterans. It might also cap out teams on young, unproven players that don’t pan out. Imagine if a guy like Okafor signed on a bad team for $15 mill per year for 4 years. I mean, vets can screw up the cap too, but at least you have a reasonable history upon which to base the investment. Also, if two teams have relatively equal cap space, the team from the more desirable market would have an unfair advantage.

      These are fair points, but you can easily work around them.

      For instance, MLB gives teams designated money each year for international signings. This money is outside team salary that counts towards the luxury tax. And it can be traded.

      So something similar could work. Again, I would use three year rolling averages to determine who the worst team in the league is. Each year that team would be allotted x amount of dollars, the second worst team would be allotted x minus y amount of dollars, third team x minus z (with z > y) etc, all the way down. This money would exist outside the salary cap, so it wouldn’t impact veterans (like teams now can sign their rookies regardless of cap room).

      Teams could choose to spend all their money on one prospect, save money for multiple value picks, trade an established player to a team for extra auction money to outbid another team, etc.

    27. If you’re using the Knicks as an example, they would have Karl Towns instead of Porzingis if they’d decided to tank, and they wouldn’t have all these relatively useless vets on big salaries

      Don’t get me wrong- I really like both players. But I don’t believe there’s as much of a gap between the two that most people say there is. KP’s ceiling is higher and he’s already a better defender, so I probably would pick KP 8 times out of 10. Maybe 7.

    28. Also, if two teams have relatively equal cap space, the team from the more desirable market would have an unfair advantage.

      I’d like to see an auction-based system where teams receive “cap space” to sign rookies, roughly equal the current draftee payscale. If a team didn’t want to use their whole allotment, they could apply any portion of it to their luxury tax bill. Maybe there would be a scale to offset the difference in value between, say, a $1M rookie and a $5M tax bill (you could argue that some rookies, like Jokic and Jordan Bell, were worth far more than their contracts). I’m not sure what it would be, but it could potentially be $1M in renounced draftee salary for $2.5M in cap hit or $10M in luxury tax.

      This would put much more power in the hands of the rookies, which the teams wouldn’t like, but it could also create a more competitive market if teams like GSW or OKC passed on signing a rookie to reduce their tax burden.

      Ideally, the luxury tax-paying teams should be in contender mode and perhaps have less use for young players, so it would allow the weaker teams to compete among themselves, with superior cap space, for the premier rookies.

      The incentives seem strong:

      1) Taxpayers, ideally playoff contenders, give up rookie contracts for better cash-flow.
      2) Rookies have more freedom to go to the best available team, as opposed to the well-compensated indentured servitude of the current draft.
      3) Despite weighted odds, the lottery injects randomness into a system that should be merit-based. (This is America, god dammit! Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, Sacto!)
      4) All teams are incentivized to produce a “winning culture,” or at least a good reputation, so as to attract young talent. If they don’t, they can expect to pay more for the same free agent rookies.

      Not saying it would ever happen, but it looks like it solves some problems. Tanking would still be a thing, though.

    29. I think the cause of the current mess is that everyone got pissed when Orlando landed back to back #1s and drafted Shaq and Webber/Penny (or however that played out)

      Everyone fights the last war. After Orlando won the lottery that year with something like the 13th worst record in the league, there was a demand to change the odds so that the bad teams would have a greater chance of winning.

      That made tanking so much more favorable, so now we’re leveling out the odds and returning to the same broke system that we wanted to fix 20 years ago.

    30. Everyone fights the last war. After Orlando won the lottery that year with something like the 13th worst record in the league, there was a demand to change the odds so that the bad teams would have a greater chance of winning.

      That made tanking so much more favorable, so now we’re leveling out the odds and returning to the same broke system that we wanted to fix 20 years ago.

      Right. With the flattened odds there will inevitably be a few years where a 38-win team gets a very high pick while a 19-win team drops. People are going to scream about the unfairness of it and propose a new system.

    31. When you draft a guy like Colin Sexton, you don’t need to rebuild

    32. At this point I think contraction could really help the league, even though it will never happen.

      Cut 4 franchises and suddenly there’s a lot more talent looking for big paydays and opportunities for even the small market teams to get some of those guys. Of course it won’t save some franchises from their own stupidity and there’s the risk of stars taking Cousins-like deals to further strengthen the top contenders, but I really think there’s just too many teams that are unattractive for the best players in the league.

      I’m pretty sure we’ll get expansion before contraction is even considered an option as the NBA has many financial reasons to do so, but I’d say about 26 teams would be much better than 30 and would make for a much more balanced league.

    33. 24 teams with a 12-team playoff would be wonderful. Make the bottom 8 fight for slots with the top 4 getting byes.

      Oh, and a 12-team single-elim. tourney for lottery position AND cash prizes for the players.

    34. From the 538 article on their 2018-2019 projections:

      (If you can sign a guy who’s only slightly below average for the minimum salary, you shouldn’t pay that much of a premium to grab a merely average player instead.)

      Someone paint this on the wall of the Knicks offices

    35. You will most likely draft some duds. Even if you eventually draft a star player he may leave unless you build around him quickly enough that he thinks he has a chance to win in your city. And even if you do that, it could eventually be close to a 10 year process before you actually have a serious team.

      Let’s use the Knicks and Porzingis as an example.

      The Knicks have done WELL in the draft. But by the time Knox, Frank, Robinson and next year’s pick are peaking it’s going to be another 5-6 years. The Knicks will be almost 10 years into a rebuild by draft and there’s no guarantee Porzingis’s body holds up or any of those other guys actually pans out into real stars.

      Respectfully, what are you talking about?

      First of all, the risk of drafted stars leaving teams early via the qualifying offer is virtually nonexistent. Making any decisions based on that particular threat would be deeply misguided.

      Second of all…you essentially laid out the point I was making, which is that tanking (or whatever you want to call it) will work out for any team that actually sticks to it until they draft multiple highly productive players. The reason the Knicks’ rebuild hasn’t taken off yet is quite simple–they haven’t done that. Porzingis has been more intrigue than production, the same goes for Frank, the same will almost certainly be true of Knox this season, we’ll see what happens with Mitch Rob but expecting much from him this season is probably unwise, and we traded away the one genuinely productive player we drafted for two second rounders.

      Ironically enough, the amount of time it has taken to rebuild has actually been lengthened because of the Knicks’ steadfast refusal to tank. We have KP instead of KAT, Frank instead of Lonzo/Tatum/Isaac (I suspect Fultz will outproduce Frank this upcoming season too), and Knox instead of Luka fucking Doncic.

    36. A good rebuild doesn’t involve just sucking real bad and then hoping to draft good players. That’s one part of it. A successful rebuild involves COLLECTING ASSETS. You’re probably going to miss on a fair number of your draft picks, that’s why you want a lot of them. The Knicks skipped this part. So now they’re trying to rebuild, but it’s a slow as hell, excruciatingly slow, Sisyphean rebuild.

      They prolllly could have converted Tyson Chandler into something other than Jose Calderon and Sam Dalembert and they prolllly could have done a Nik Stauskas-style cap rental instead of signing Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams and so on. But Phil Jackson sucked and tried to go into “win now” mode, and it flopped spectacularly, and now we’re doing this half-assed rebuild all these years later. Which will last until we collect enough assets to trade for whatever faux “star” is available a couple years from now.

    37. A good rebuild doesn’t involve just sucking real bad and then hoping to draft good players. That’s one part of it. A successful rebuild involves COLLECTING ASSETS. You’re probably going to miss on a fair number of your draft picks, that’s why you want a lot of them.

      Agree 100%. To me that is an integral part of “tanking” or whatever term one wants to use. “Cheating,” if you will.
      :-)

    38. First of all, the risk of drafted stars leaving teams early via the qualifying offer is virtually nonexistent.

      There’s a reason every team in the NBA has their eyes on Anthony Davis and a reason why his team is so desperate to surround him with good players now. Star players that are not happy ask for trades. (even young ones).

      Second of all…you essentially laid out the point I was making, which is that tanking (or whatever you want to call it) will work out for any team that actually sticks to it until they draft multiple highly productive players. The reason the Knicks’ rebuild hasn’t taken off yet is quite simple–they haven’t done that. Porzingis has been more intrigue than production, the same goes for Frank, the same will almost certainly be true of Knox this season, we’ll see what happens with Mitch Rob but expecting much from him this season is probably unwise, and we traded away the one genuinely productive player we drafted for two second rounders.

      You are making my point (though I don’t agree with what you are saying about the Knicks players).

      If 10 teams choose to tank, most of them are going to draft quite a few duds. There aren’t that many stars around.

      Let’s be generous and say your team has a 50% strike rate finding really good players in the draft. You are probably going to have to draft 6 times to find 3 really solid players and the last guys in that process will take another 4-5 years to reach their prime. So if everything goes according to plan it’s a 10 year process. If things don’t go according to plan and you miss more than 50% or a key player gets hurt or some young star player gets frustrated and asks for a trade you are buried in draft hell for an unacceptable eternity. That’s the inevitable result for some of these tankers. Once people see that, fewer teams will tank. That’s not saying tanking is always wrong. It’s just not always right either. It depends on circumstances.

    39. Let’s be generous and say your team has a 50% strike rate finding really good players in the draft. You are probably going to have to draft 6 times to find 3 really solid players and the last guys in that process will take another 4-5 years to reach their prime. So if everything goes according to plan it’s a 10 year process.

      Not if you COLLECT ASSETS and have more than your piddly little one draft pick every year.

    40. I can’t wait until Anthony Davis says he wants to team up with Kyrie Irving in New York.

    41. A good rebuild doesn’t involve just sucking real bad and then hoping to draft good players. That’s one part of it. A successful rebuild involves COLLECTING ASSETS.

      I agree, but even that process takes forever.

      Look at the Nets. They have been doing exactly what most people here would have recommended when you start from scratch. They have been renting cap space, adding picks etc.. The Nets could very well be better than the Knicks this year given some of the moves we made, but they are several years into their rebuild and still a hundred million miles away from being any good. imo they have less than us in terms really good prospects. They started their rebuild without some 1st round picks and were at a huge disadvantage. But the Knicks started theirs without two 1st round picks also or they would be way further along than they are now despite apparently drafting well. Either way, the “peak” is many years away.

      The point being, rebuilding from the ground up via tanking can take up to a decade even if you do it well. Again, I’m not arguing that it’s a bad idea. I’m just arguing it’s just being way overvalued right now. IMO we are going to see a LOT of huge failures among teams that are tanking now and even some of the successes are many years away.

    42. Not if you COLLECT ASSETS and have more than your piddly little one draft pick every year.

      Strat doesn’t view anything Phil Jackson wouldn’t do as legitimate

    43. Yeah strato, but what about the vast amount of failures from the teams trying to rebuild without tanking?

      The Knicks, Hornets, Pistons, have all tried to build without tanking for years and they have terrible rosters with bad contracts all over. The Magic and Kings have also never really intentionally tanked to Philly’s level and they have been atrocious.

      Tanking might lead to big failures but every other strategy might too.

      The way you say it makes it sound like tanking is riskier than slowly rebuilding like you advocate but I really don’t think it is, specially because you forget that rookie scale contracts are a thing and thus resetting from a bad tanking outcome is 100% easier, since you can just let the busts go without long term cost, than resetting from failed big trades that cost assets or big expensive veteran contracts.

      If the Knicks had the equivalent of Jahlil Okafor and DeAngelo Russell instead of Noah and THJ we would probably be just as terrible, but have 30 million less tied up to those players. It’s not only about the success rate but also about the associated risks.

    44. Did we really sign Noah Vonleh???

      Nice, now we have regular Mudiay and tall Mudiay on the roster!

    45. Look at the Nets. They have been doing exactly what most people here would have recommended when you start from scratch.

      They didn’t start from scratch. That’s the problem, and it’s a point you’re underselling in service of this agnostic, skeptical attitude about tanking. (Of course some teams are going to fail at rebuilding. There’s only so much talent to go around, and again, many front offices are populated by old-boys-club idiots.)

      Year, draft picks, wins

      2018 29 40 45 (28 wins)
      2017 22 27 57 (20 wins)
      2016 55 (21 wins)
      2015 29 41 (38 wins)
      2014 no selections (44 wins)
      2013 22 (49 wins)
      2012 57 (22 wins)
      2011 27 36 (24 wins)

      That’s right — the Nets haven’t picked better than 22nd since Derrick Favors (#3) in 2010, and he was promptly traded to Utah for Deron “Is He Better Than CP3?” Williams.

      Categorically, they’re not tanking since they swapped all of their picks for nearly a decade. No part of this follows a “rebuilding” blueprint. It’s disingenuous to argue otherwise. Ignorant to the facts at best.

      They started their rebuild without some 1st round picks and were at a huge disadvantage.

      Even saying “huge” doesn’t accurately capture just how fucked the Nets were after their “blockbuster” trades. It’s franchise-crippling, like the Ricky Williams or Eddy Curry trade. We saw how the Curry/Carmelo/Bargnani trades went down. The Nets did the same thing, only more recently.

    46. Just out of curiosity, l wonder if we have any season ticket holders here. I would love to hear their opinion on which way the franchise should go from here.

      …raises hand sheepishly….

      Season ticket holder since 1985 (yes 33 years). Lived through the really good times (most of the 90’s) and the really bad times (most years since 2000). I sell off most of my tickets every year, last year not a great one for resale value, but the year before I did great because idiot fans thought that going to see Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah made it worth overpaying for tickets.

      This year will be a rough one, but I’m totally willing to embrace the rebuild, even thought it’ll be a personal financial hit. I have a 26 year old son who’s as rabid a fan as I am, and my fondest wish is for us to experience a championship together. Unfortunately, the way it’s going I may have to cryogenically freeze myself and have someone defrost me 50 or 60 years from now when the Knicks raise the championship banner in their upstate NY arena (New York City will be underwater by then)

    47. Also, I think you can build a contender by picking in the 20-30 range consistently. Perhaps not as fast as adding Anthony Davis or LeBron, but it can be done.

      It cannot be done if you’re the Brooklyn Nets and you don’t know your ass from your elbow when it comes to scouting. So not only did they have a capped out mess of a roster at the end of the KG/Pierce/Williams years, but they had no high draft picks AND couldn’t select good players because they don’t know what that looks like.

      That’s a trifecta of sucky franchise management. You can overcome bad luck (Blazers, Sixers) by being consistently smart. You can overcome a lack of high draft picks (Spurs, Warriors) by knowing what good players look like. You can deal with a capped-out mess of a roster (Thunder, Cavaliers) by actually having good players under contract, or getting good players in trades. You can’t fail to accomplish any of the three and expect to survive.

    48. I think it’s really underrated how awful that Nets trade was. People should talk about it more.

    49. I think it’s really underrated how awful that Nets trade was. People should talk about it more.

      I still wonder about how much of that trade was Billy King and how much Prokhorov. The latter was so desperate to make a splash in NYC (remember the dumb billboard outside MSG?) that it wouldn’t surprise me if he called the shots on that one. Maybe someday Billy King will spill the beans.

    50. Noah Vonleh???

      Maybe it’s psychological warfare to pound Joakim into submission. Two or three times a game, Fizdale yells out, “Hey Noah, get in there!” and when Joakim gets up, Fiz goes, “No, the other one…”

    51. Well, some of you guys wanted a rebounder to play the four next to KP at the five…
      :-)

    52. Well, we are thin at the 3/4, and Vonleh is only 22….and has improved a tiny amount over the last few years….so it isn’t totally pointless.

    53. Well, we are thin at the 3/4, and Vonleh is only 22….and has improved a tiny amount over the last few years….so it isn’t totally pointless.

      Agreed, it’s better than signing some past his prime, washed-up has-been, like Bill Russell.

    54. I think it’s really underrated how awful that Nets trade was. People should talk about it more.

      I’ll never forget Bill Simmons whining about it on air, too. It was an obvious heist from the first second. It took the media about 18 months to figure it out, though.

    55. I’ll never forget Bill Simmons whining about it on air, too.

      Did he actually think the Celtics were being fleeced? Of course he did…

    56. I have a friend who is a diehard Celtics fan, and she had a very emotional attachment to Garnett, Pierce, Allen, Rondo and all of those guys, and she was CRESTFALLEN when that trade happened. Like she was never going to watch basketball again. I remember telling her, you have no idea how badly you just ripped off the Nets, and that this trade will set you up for the next decade.

      She thinks I’m some sort of genius savant now.

    57. I remember telling her, you have no idea how badly you just ripped off the Nets, and that this trade will set you up for the next decade.

      She thinks I’m some sort of genius savant now.

      If she were a Knickerblogger poster, she would have been like, “Well you got it right this time, but your premises were faulty! The Nets could have turned those pieces into something good with the right spacing and system!”

    58. So Danny Green played most of last season with a groin muscle tear that was undetected by the Spurs medical staff. He doesn’t seem mad at the Spurs, but He is quoted as saying it was reasonable for Kawhi to get a second opinion.

    59. Also, Vonleh’s stats look like quintessential replacement level player, but he is only 23 (as of August) and could improve, so he’s probably worth the money the Knicks paid. I have no idea how the Knicks will sort out their roster for who’s in the rotation though.

    60. Thanks for the input d-mar. I live in Charlotte now, but if I were still in New York, I don’t think I would pay to see a tanking team.

    61. Vonleh can rebound. If he just never shoots he could be useful as a 4. Not like he’s going to be taking minutes from Tim Duncan. Do we need to cut someone?

    62. Do the Spurs and Mets share medical staffs? Wait, the Mets owners and front office probably just ignore what the team’s medical people say…

    63. Vonleh had good college stats and I liked him as a draft prospect on that basis. He has stunk pretty consistently as a pro, but he’s not devoid of talent.

    64. This is what I’m talking about.

      Noah Vonleah is another example of a former lottery pick in the early twenties whose severely undervalued in today’s market.

      Perry is going to hit it out of the park with one of these cheap bets.

    65. Noah Vonleh is exactly the type of signing the Knicks should have been making all along. I’m convinced Steve Mills is POBO in name only and Scott Perry is the guy who is actually calling the shots.

    66. I just saw the signing.
      With the caveat that I have not looked at the numbers, I like it. He passed the dreaded eye test for me when I saw him play. I recall one game where he manhandled poor KP so bad I felt sorry for him.

    67. Just checked out what fans are saying on fearthesword.com (aka Cavblogger). Of the close to 500 comments, at least 90% thought the Love extension was at least a good move (some thought it was a great move) and virtually none thought it was a terrible move. The prevailing thought seems to be that he can be the centerpiece of a rebuild and, at worst, the fact that he’s locked up for five years makes him a valuable trade asset. Is that what you guys were calling the endowment effect the other day?

    68. I think that as POBO, Mills has to deal with a lot of business issues, such as getting advertising, selling tickets, marketing the team, TV negotiations and so on. If so, it’s reasonable to let Perry make Basketball player related decisions. It doesn’t mean Mills is a figurehead

    69. Love is a good player who has a good chance of having better counting stats now that LeBron is gone. Depending on the price it might be reasonable to extend him. Stretch fours like him could get much more expensive next year. I don’t think it makes him a trade chip though.

    70. “I’ll never forget Bill Simmons whining about it on air, too”

      Screw Bill Simmons. He was all for the melo trade with his “You always trade 3 quarters for a dollar” theory.

      In reality it was 5 quarters for a 50 cent piece.

    71. Does anyone have the $$$ and years on the Vonleh signing? Can’t seem to see anything about that.

      Pending the above, I don’t mind the signing. He has been pretty meh since being drafted, but (pending contract particulars) is a pretty uncontroversial move. Young player we get to take a look at that provides a bit of front court insurance while KP is out. If he sucks then no biggie, that is great for the tank.

    72. “Depending on the price”
      The price is $30 million/yr with the last year being his age 34 season.

    73. Love is going to be 30 and hasn’t had a great season since he was in Minnesota. Massive overpay by the Cavs. They are going to be a truly dreadful team, but I don’t know their draft pick situation off the top of my head. Really terrible timing to have to re-sign their “star” player. If it were anything like the summer of 2016, they could have pulled off a S&T heist with his star power.

      Love is an NBA champion and will have made $225M+ over the course of his career. He’ll be paid an incredible $28M when he’s ready to turn 35. Good for him. Very bad for the Cavs.

      (FiveThirtyEight has him at $87.5M over the next five years, with a median 0.7 WARP in 2022-23. Woof.)

    74. Love is getting $30M AAV up until he’s 35. I wouldn’t have done that if I were a GM. The model for small market success is OKC before the Harden trade, and that was built exclusively through the draft. Take your medicine, stockpile assets, and then draft like your job depended on it (because it absolutely does). Signing Kevin Love was a poor idea unless they think Sexton, Love, and Osman is a team that goes to the playoffs.

    75. The Cavs are in a tough spot so I’m not gonna kill them. There is a minimum cap and nobody wants to play there, so what are they supposed to do?

    76. @Jowles, ATL owns their top 10 protected 2019 or 2020 pick (and if not conveyed by 2020 it becomes 2 2nds in ’21 and ’22) because of the Korver trade and then they should have all of their picks going forward if I’m not mistaken. They owe a bunch of 2nd round picks but their lottery picks are theirs so long as they fall in the top 10.

    77. Man I was really excited about the prospect of adding Anthony Davis to the Knicks and then I saw Boston has Sacramento and Memphis’ unprotected 1st round picks to go along with their own pick. There’s no way we’re going to outbid the Celtics’ godfather offer of Brown, Robert Williams and all three 2019 1st round picks. They’re going to let Kyrie Irving walk and go with Rozier, Hayward, Tatum, Yabusele, and Davis, and all we’re going to hear about is how smart Danny Ainge is when all he did was fuck over Billy King and the Kings.

    78. “Depending on the price”
      The price is $30 million/yr with the last year being his age 34 season.

      I didn’t know the price. That is quite expensive. In two years it might seem, shall we say, “Carmeloesque”?

    79. Signing Kevin Love was a poor idea unless they think Sexton, Love, and Osman is a team that goes to the playoffs.

      Honestly, with how weak the East is they almost could. We are going to see a lot of lower playoff seed and fringe playoff teams in the East massively overrate their roster on the back of how bad the East is and make terrible moves to get them to the “next level”. Let’s just pray it isn’t the Knicks this time around.

    80. Did he actually think the Celtics were being fleeced? Of course he did…

      I think he thought his ex-Celtics were going to make the Nets contenders and the picks weren’t going to be great.

    81. But you have to share that revenue with 29 other NBA teams, so not really.

      I don’t think that’s how revenue sharing works.

      Revenue sharing helps keep small market teams competitive, which is good for the league. The biggest contributors to the revenue sharing pool were the Lakers, Knicks, and Bulls, none of whom made the playoffs. (And the largest beneficiary of revenue sharing since it was adopted has been the Memphis Grizzlies, who have been a very well run and competitive franchise during that time.)

      The revenue created by hosting home games in the playoffs isn’t just turned over to the league. It doesn’t disincentivize winning. It’s in everybody’s best interests for teams to try to win.

      In fact, the owners petitioned Silver to intervene in Philadelphia because the Sixers were hurting the business of the league. That’s why Hinkie was fired. (And that’s why Donald Sterling didn’t have any support amongst his fellow owners when he was forced out).

      The incentives for NBA teams are there. (That’s why the Knicks don’t “rebuild”).

    82. Honestly, with how weak the East is they almost could. We are going to see a lot of lower playoff seed and fringe playoff teams in the East massively overrate their roster on the back of how bad the East is and make terrible moves to get them to the “next level”. Let’s just pray it isn’t the Knicks this time around.

      The Cavs outperformed their pythag by 7 (!) wins. I’m not going to give them all to LBJ, but damned if he wasn’t a contributor to them.

      This could be a 30-win team next year, with aging curves. Nance is their only hope for surplus value, and he is going to be, at best, a very good role player, not a franchise savior. I don’t see them making the playoffs unless the East totally shits the bed.

      Philly, Boston and Toronto are going to be contenders for deep playoff runs, all easily 50-win teams (barring injury or a failure to return to form for any of Kawhi, Fultz and Haywood/Irving) and perhaps 2 of the 3 could be gunning for 60 wins if everything falls right for them. Boston was stacked without their two max players. Toronto swapped out DeRozan for a much better version of that same player and look forward to Anunoby . Philly has two future MVP candidate and, as others have pointed out, are essentially adding a #1 overall pick to a 52-win core which underperformed its pythag by a win (proving that that win streak was no fluke). They lost no one important in the offseason.

      The East will be shit from 4-15, but I see those three teams beating up on the weak and vying for the right to end the Warriors’ dynasty.

    83. The East will be shit from 4-15, but I see those three teams beating up on the weak and vying for the right to end the Warriors’ dynasty.

      Absolutely no doubt. Anything outside of Boston, Toronto and maybe Indiana is probably going to be a shit show. The Bucks might show something, but they aren’t a lock to be in contention for home court advantage yet. 100% can see lower seed playoff teams overrating the “achievement” of making the East playoffs. Next season has shades of years in the East where a losing record still got you a low seed in the playoffs. Lets just cut to the chase and get to the conference semis with the above teams and forego going through the motions of an 82 game season.

    84. Yeah, 40 wins was the cutoff for the East last year. Pretty damn bad.

    85. Milwaukee might surprise. The have the MVP of the conference, Budz should be worth a couple of wins and I think DiVincenzo is more NBA-ready than lots of the 1-and-done players drafted ahead of him and a sneaky-good fit for that team. If they gel, they might be a handful in the WCFs.

    86. The Cavs probably figure Love is a better trade asset signed long-term than as a rental. If he puts up his Minnesota numbers or something close to them they can likely trade him anytime during that contract.

      Of course, they probably signed him with the intention of being “competitive” which is stupid as hell.

    87. Philly, Boston and Toronto are going to be contenders for deep playoff runs

      Jowles, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the jury is still out on Philly…

    88. In all fairness……
      Simmons did say Ainge got $.35 on the dollar. but they he told a story about his dad, talked about Lost and played some Pearl Jam. so it’s all good

    89. I think Washington and Milwaukee have a chance to be better than Philly but that’s really because we don’t know how healthy that team will stay all year. Washington got a lot better by adding Howard, and if Oubre can take a step forward they’d look pretty good with Wall, Beal, Oubre, Porter, and Howard. Milwaukee has the best player in the conference to go along with Bledsoe and Middleton so they should contend for a top five position in the conference too. Indiana added two good vets in Evans (who replaces Lance’s 1800 minutes) and O’Quinn, and Sabonis is due to take another step forward along with Myles Turner. I think the Eastern Conference from 3-6 should be really competitive with Miami 7th and maybe Detroit sneaking in with the 8th seed.

    90. On paper, the Knicks probably go 2-18 against the top-10 teams out West. Then let’s say 2-16 against the top 4 teams in the East. Then let’s say 14-30 vs. the rest of the league. That’s a floor of about 20 wins. Sound about right? I can’t see them tanking much lower than that, not with Fiz coaching.

    91. When I look at the Knicks roster it’s hard to find 25 wins. We lost KP and O’Quinn so we’re a very good bet to be the worst defense in the NBA. Knox is going to score points but I don’t see him being better than Andrew Wiggins was as a rookie. Our best 3 point shooter, Courtney Lee, will hopefully be a goner by training camp so that gives us little hope offensively.

      I think this is a 17-65 team with a 21 win ceiling.

    92. I’d say there are seven teams we have a chance of being better than: Orlando, Cleveland, Charlotte, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Dallas, and Sacto.

      I’m guessing 18 wins and a #5 pick.

    93. As to a ceiling, it’s really hard to call at this point. You’d have to assume that they were going to try to win with the younger players, so removing Lee, Noah, and Lance from the equation, I think that we have an outside shot of winning 30-35 games. For that to happen, Kanter and Burke would have to pick up where they left off, Timmy would need to play near his contract, Knox and Mitchell would have to play like precocious neophytes, and 2 of Hezonja, Frank, Dotson and Baker would need to get to the next level. If some of those things happen and they can go something like 10-20 before KP comes back, and he comes back stronger than he left, maybe they go 22-30 the rest of the way.

      Naah.

    94. Screw Bill Simmons. He was all for the melo trade with his “You always trade 3 quarters for a dollar” theory.

      That was one of the most intellectually dishonest pieces that he ever wrote, because the Knicks gave up so much in that deal, but he kept on coming up with reasons why the pieces were only three quarters total. “Yeah, I just said an unprotected first round pick is a quarter, but, well, if it is a quarter than the numbers don’t work, so let’s call it a dime now.” So dumb.

    95. I’m trying to imagine what it would look like if the Knicks tried to optimize the minutes allocation to win as many games as possible and I still can’t do much better than a win total in the low 20’s.

    96. Knicks trying to win:
      Burke, Lee, Hezonja, Knox, Robinson play together for 20 mins.
      Burke, Frank, Timmy, Vonleh, Kanter = 20 mins
      Frank, Timmy, Hezonja, Knox, Kanter = 8 mins

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