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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2018.09.25)

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks near bottom of the barrel in ESPN’s latest power rankings
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 4:34:17 PM)

    With training camps underway across the NBA, ESPN released their latest power rankings. And the Knicks are at the bottom of the heap.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ Kevin Knox has one goal in mind: ‘Winning is No. 1 on my mind right now’
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 3:01:23 PM)

    Knicks rookie Kevin Knox is aiming to be the latest Kentucky product to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ Enes Kanter: “When I think about the playoffs, my nipples get hard”
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 1:30:40 PM)

    When Enes Kanter thinks about the Knicks making the playoffs, his nipples get hard.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis has started shooting and light running
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 12:05:58 PM)

    While he’s started shooting and light running on the court while working his way back from a torn ACL, Kristaps Porzingis said Monday “there’s no timetable yet” for his return to the Knicks.

  • [NYPost] Frank Ntilikina’s improvement is a game of inches
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 8:14:47 PM)

    Frank Ntilikina, with his newly sculpted body, believes he has more versatility to guard different positions. The Knicks are officially listing Ntilikina at 6-foot-6 — up from 6-foot-5 as a rookie last season. They may want to add a position for Ntilikina, too: forward. “I’ve been working a lot this summer on my body. I…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis needs to play for Knicks this season
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 6:53:09 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis wore his white Knicks uniform Monday, sitting on a dais on media day, deflecting questions about when he will don his jersey in a game. “There is no timetable yet,’’ Porzingis said. “It won’t happen until I’m 110 percent and medically cleared.’’ Could he miss the season? “It’s really hard to say,’’ Porzingis…

  • [NYPost] It sounds like David Fizdale has already overhauled Knicks’ culture
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 5:49:54 PM)

    The buzzword of the day was “culture,” how it’s supposedly changing around this downtrodden Knicks franchise. Almost every player who spoke to reporters on media day addressed it, some unprompted. There were many topics covered, from cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis’ rehabilitation from a torn ACL to the development of the team’s young players to the belief…

  • [NYPost] Enes Kanter’s nipples and optimism steal the Knicks’ show
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 3:25:12 PM)

    Enes Kanter made his way to the podium with a large grin. He greeted the team’s beat writers and spent his time on the mic cracking jokes, praising his young teammates and new coach — and vowing to make the Knicks great again. Oh, and the jovial center offered this meme-worthy one-liner: “When I think…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ stunning hype for their other rookie: ‘skinnier’ Shaq
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 1:37:54 PM)

    Kevin Knox stole the show in Las Vegas, immediately wowing his new Knicks teammates with his shot-making prowess and athleticism in the NBA’s summer league. The team’s other rookie, raw big man Mitchell Robinson, has stood out in fall workouts, drawing through-the-roof praise from potential starting point guard Trey Burke. How impressive has Robinson been?…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ free-agent gamble has a second chance and new protégé
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 1:21:56 PM)

    Knicks newcomer Mario Hezonja has a new French protégé. As Hezonja attempts to prove he belongs with the franchise long term, the 23-year-old Croatian forward has become close with fellow lottery pick Frank Ntilikina, and will attempt to show the 20-year-old Ntilikina how to avoid the pitfalls of the NBA. Hezonja’s career has been rocky…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis is very careful discussing Knicks return
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 10:37:37 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis is encouraged by everything he’s seen in the Knicks’ new power structure and by the young players the organization is surrounding him with, but it may be some time until he’s ready to join them on the floor. The 7-foot-3 Latvian, coming off a torn ACL, declined to reveal a timetable for his…

  • [NYTimes] LeBron James Puts On a Lakers Uniform, and a Stoic Mask
    (Tuesday, September 25, 2018 1:30:57 AM)

    James, donning purple and gold, revealed little during his first news conference with the Los Angeles Lakers: “My expectation is to try to get better every single day.”

  • [NYTimes] Spencer Dinwiddie’s Jersey Says Brooklyn. For Now.
    (Monday, September 24, 2018 10:43:46 PM)

    Last year’s breakout star for the Nets spent the off-season enduring trade rumors, and just because training camp is starting doesn’t mean he’s here to stay.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Kristaps Porzingis Isn’t Saying No to Rehab
    (Tuesday, September 25, 2018 12:46:24 AM)

    The Knicks star has been out injured for months, but he vows to be patient — the key word for New York basketball as a new N.B.A. season begins.

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    67 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.09.25)

    1. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      No, it’s not likely that Zion will be a Knick. I’m going to assume he plays like the monster he’s projected as, meaning that he will not drop past #5.

      If the Knicks have the worst record, here are the odds of him being a Knick, per his draft slot:

      #1 14%
      #2 27%
      #3 40%
      #4 52%
      #5 100%

      2nd-worst record:

      #1 14%
      #2 27%
      #3 40%
      #4 52%
      #5 80%

      3rd-worst record:

      #1 14%
      #2 27%
      #3 40%
      #4 52%
      #5 66%

      4th-worst record:

      #1 13%
      #2 25%
      #3 37%
      #4 48%
      #5 55%

      5th-worst record:

      #1 11%
      #2 21%
      #3 32%
      #4 43%
      #5 45%

      6th-worst record:

      #1 9%
      #2 18%
      #3 27%
      #4 37%
      #5 37%

      7th-worst record:

      #1 8%
      #2 15%
      #3 23%
      #4 32%
      #5 32%

      So yeah, if you believe all the chips are going to fall in favor of the Knicks (maybe a 2nd-round exit for Duke on a 0-15 night from Zion, or minor injuries that prevent him from “confirming his talent”), the odds go up. But if he’s the player we expect him to be, he’s going top-3. I suspect he’s going to end the year with Michael Beasley KSU numbers, something like 22 and 12, which will appeal to the masses and get the hype train moving — which means the Knicks will be a longshot.

      Also, this assumes that the FO is smart enough to see a generational talent when it’s right in front of their nose. I could see them drafting another “upside” guy, because, haha, that’s what Knox was.

    2. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      It’s just funny that they keep pushing having patience while clearly planning to add a star next season. To the point where they stretched Noah to free up cap room to help do it! That doesn’t sound particularly patient, right?

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong or inconsistent about adding a free agent next season as long as he’s young enough to fit in with the rest of the young players.

      I’m not a fan of stretching Noah now from a purely spreadsheet point of view, but if he’s not going to play there are probably some less tangible benefits to releasing him now and allowing him to find a team where he can continue his career. We get the roster spot back and we don’t piss off his agent or the league while Noah rots in street clothes.

    3. Z-man

      I totally agree about Zion, but on another note, ponder this: imagine what Mitchell Robinson would have done in the NCAA, given that he basically broke the summer league, which is full of top-NCAA-to-non-rotation NBA talent. Read what Trey Burke just said about him. He’s not Zion, but he’s 100% ours for the next 4 years and I am totally stoked about him.

    4. swiftandabundant

      Also, this assumes that the FO is smart enough to see a generational talent when it’s right in front of their nose. I could see them drafting another “upside” guy, because, haha, that’s what Knox was.

      Who was the generational talent at #9 that the Knicks passed on in order to pick Knox?

    5. Grocer

      Eh, not really. Because two of those guys won’t play next year and three of the other guys are going to be too young to contribute to a 40 win team now

      The point I was trying and failing to make was that it is extremely unlikely that we’ll know if we have a 40-win core by the end of the season. The youth is too young to pan out one way or another and KP likely won’t have been back long enough to see if he’s either healthy or if he’s turned the corner in terms of production.

      Which brings us to this:

      It’s just funny that they keep pushing having patience while clearly planning to add a star next season. To the point where they stretched Noah to free up cap room to help do it! That doesn’t sound particularly patient, right?

      Which is all true. This wasn’t really a situation where waiting would have hurt us. Kanter, Lee, Noah, Thomas, there’s a substantial amount of money that’s going to come off the books in the next few years absent taking any drastic action. We aren’t in a situation where next season was the only season we can afford to add a max contract even if we give KP a max, is what I am saying. But waiving Noah makes that a little tougher, where it’ll be simple this summer then maybe a little more complicated after.

      I’m not even saying that picking up Kyrie is necessarily a bad idea, just that is is extremely unlikely that we’ll know if we’re adding him to a 40-win core or a 30-win core. Or whatever random number you want. Are these guys going to be patient in that scenario?

      Also, the league didn’t seem to care that Noah sat out most of last season. I don’t think they’d really care that much if it had happened again. Whatever the Knicks end up paying over how many years in order to get rid of him, just remember that’s how much it is costing us to see if we can develop Mudiay.

    6. Bruno Almeida

      The lottery change was actually very good for the Knicks as they can’t seem to ever properly tank, so we’ve got that going for us. Of course I fully expect us to have like a bottom 3 record this season and draft 7th or something.

      Jokes aside, I could see the Knicks having anywhere from the 4th worst record to the 10th, it really all depends on KP’s impact, how and when he returns and if he stays healthy when he does.

      The player I’m most hyped about is probably Robinson in the end. I really feel he could be a DeAndre Jordan type of guy, looking totally lost in the first couple of seasons but eventually becoming a monster rim to rim player. That would be a massive boost for this team as Porzingis will need a guy like this to shore up his weaknesses, specially if he can eventually guard the pick and roll and match up with stretch 4s. Capela is also a guy who had no clue how to play organized basketball when he came to the league but he had all the physical tools and figured it out eventually.

    7. GoNyGoNyGo

      Bruno,
      I just responded to a Twitter poll with an eerily similar prediction. I said the Knicks would end up with the 20th-25th best record (6-10 from the bottom). The lottery has flattened a great deal and we’ll get another top-10 player in the draft. If we’re lucky, who knows.

      Z-Man,
      A lot of us are psyched about M-Rob. This is a learning year from him and my only fear is that he’ll listen to the hype and hysteria he’s gonna create and get lackadaisical about improving his game. This year he’ll be a defensive force but he has an offensive game. He’s already showed that he can score even when plays aren’t called for him. His instinct and size cannot be taught.

    8. Hubert

      Ok, Jowles… this is what I said…

      He’s currently the 4th or 5th highest rated prospect in the land, the Knicks are projected to be the 4th worst team in the NBA, and they have a ~48% chance of landing a top 4 pick if they are.

      And according to your post, if the Knicks have the record they’re projected to have, the odds of landing him are…

      4th-worst record:

      #1 13%
      #2 25%
      #3 37%
      #4 48%
      #5 55%

      So I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with.

    9. Hubert

      But if he’s the player we expect him to be, he’s going top-3.

      This doesn’t hold. If Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Nasir Little are the players we expect them to be, then Zion is going 4th, according to current projections, which is what I said.

      Granted, current projections are virtually worthless because there is so much data ahead of us. But hey, that doesn’t stop 538 from showing win probability in the 2nd Quarter or projecting November elections in March.

      The way things stand right now, Zion is #4-5 prospect, and the Knicks are projected to have a 48-55% chance of landing him. Nothing in your post disputes that.

      Bottom line, at this moment in time, acquiring Zion Williamson is not a long shot.

    10. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      If they finish 4th, there’s a 48% chance that they will pick #4.

      That means:

      1) three teams MUST pass on him
      2) the Knicks MUST be successful in that 48%-likely bet, as the most likely single outcome is pick #6
      3) the Knicks MUST be set on drafting him

      That’s a lot of cards calling just right.

    11. GoNyGoNyGo

      Ryerson University is a college (obviously) and they came in 2nd in all of Canada. Where would they have ranked in the NCAA?

    12. Hubert

      If they finish 4th, there’s a 48% chance that they will pick #4.

      No, there’s an 11.5% chance that they will pick #4.

      48% is the odds that they will pick 1, 2, 3, or 4. And a top 4 pick is significantly more likely than the 25.7% chance they pick 6th.

    13. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      Sorry, I meant by 4, which was clearly indicated in the first post of the thread.

      Do you take issue with any of the conditions in post #11?

      Ryerson University is a college (obviously) and they came in 2nd in all of Canada. Where would they have ranked in the NCAA?

      It doesn’t really matter for the sake of this argument. They’re not high schoolers. (And if you want to talk about how good Ryerson is, look at their yearly records going back to 2011. This is a very good program for Canadian ball.)

      He’s not going to put up 30 a night on NCAA competition, but last I checked, the rims are 10′ everywhere, and that dude gets up real, real high.

    14. Hubert

      Sure, #1. The “Zion is a long shot” argument assumes he’s a top 2 pick and that it would be crazy for teams to pass on him. There’s two prospects clearly ahead of him (Barrett and Little) and he’s in the 3-5 range, which is right in our wheelhouse.

      #2 is exactly what I said, there’s a 48% chance we’re likely to have the opportunity, and 48% is a decent chance, not a long shot.

      # 3 is a fair point.

      As an aside, I have very low expectations of this team. I expect bottom 3 easy. We’re giving most of our minutes to Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Mario Hezonja, Frank, Knox, Enes Kanter, Emmanuel Mudiay, maybe even Lance Thomas. Phoenix is projected to be worse than us with Booker & Ayton surrounded by Ariza, Bridges, and Warren!?. I know the West, but jeez, that’s not even close.

    15. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      I don’t know anything about Zion, but to me it’s probably a coin toss he’s a top 3 pick let alone a monster as a pro. I’m not going to waste too much energy worrying about who we are going to pick in 275 days before seeing him play in college. I’m more worried about Frank and Knox.

    16. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      Our success this year is largely dependent on KP’s return date, how many minutes he gets when he finally returns, and how long it takes for him to shake off the rust and get his confidence back. But even after all that guesswork, with an upgrade at coach and a slew of talented young players from which to get an upside surprise, the expected win range has to be a lot wider for the Knicks than for just about any other team in the NBA. If they won 20 games I wouldn’t be shocked and if KP came back early, some flowers blossomed and they won 35-40 in the east I wouldn’t be shocked.

    17. Hubert

      I don’t know anything about Zion, but to me it’s probably a coin toss he’s a top 3 pick let alone a monster as a pro. I’m not going to waste too much energy worrying about who we are going to pick in 275 days before seeing him play in college. I’m more worried about Frank and Knox.

      Fair.

      I’m going to go ahead and forecast a top 4 pick to be determined later as part of our current core. There’s no way we’re not going to be bottom-4-of-the-league terrible this year. Even the players I like on this roster (Frank, Knox, Mitch) are going to suck.

    18. GoNyGoNyGo

      Hubert, I wouldn’t forecast a top-4 pick. Top-10 is more like it. I do think they’ll be challenged, but in the East, you never know. There are about a dozen bad teams.

      Jowles, I know. Ryerson is a top Canadian college team. That same team lost to team China. All I’m saying is don’t be like Marbury, who (if you watched the video) claims Zion is ALREADY better than LeBron. That’s what happens when you eat too much Vaseline.

    19. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      “Zion is going to destroy the whole planet,” Marbury said. “Zion is way better than LeBron, it’s not even close … He don’t have to touch a basketball and he’s better than LeBron James. I said that.”

      That settles it for me. Trade Frank, KP, Knox, and Robinson for picks. We have to tank. :-)

    20. JK47

      Haven’t we seen this absurd fandango enough times to know with almost 100% certainty that the Knicks will pick like 8th or something? Charlie Brown is not going to get to kick the football this time, bros.

    21. GianaDani

      Timmy, Frank a top five protected 2020 1st rounder, the 2nd this year and cash considerations.

      Butler, 1/2 of KP and Burke with a bunch of scrubs from west 4th street can get us in the playoffs this year.

      Give KD the LBJ type contract to play with these guys in NYC and compete in Eastern Conference while playing for Fizdale and you basically giving him an offer he can not refuse.

      In 12 months instead of looking at the draft some of you would be projecting that we will lose in the finals to any western conference team and that we should have just waited for Knox and MRob.

    22. TheOakmanCometh

      Our win total this season, and hence our lottery odds, are dependent on the date of Porzingis’ return more than any other factor. Which means the front office has some control over it. If he’s healthy by Christmas and is immediately inserted into the starting lineup, we could win 32 games and draft 10th. If they hold him out until Feb 1 we could win 28 games and draft 7th. If he has “setbacks”, real or fake, and plays only a handful of games all year, we could win 21 games and draft 2nd.

    23. TheOakmanCometh

      Tanking tiers
      Tier 1: Atlanta, Sacto
      Tier 2: Knicks, Orlando, Phoenix, Cleveland
      Tier 3: Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Memphis

      Our place in this mix all depends on when Zing returns.

    24. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      It’s just so hard for me to find more than 22 wins with the roster as currently put together. Emmanuel Mudiay is your back up point guard to Trey Burke (who plays defense but is just ineffective at it). Courtney Lee is your best two way player and it’s not close. Enes Kanter is going to guarantee we’re a bottom three defense even though he grades out well statistically.

      This team is a lot worse than last year’s rendition. We don’t have Kristaps Porzingis to erase a lot of mistakes defensively, we don’t have a Michael Beasley type microwave, Lance Thomas might start for more than half the season (I think it’s between him and Hezonja for that job), and then November KP won’t be there to boost us up in the early part of the season.

      In this game you win by getting stops or by being so good offensively it doesn’t matter. We are not tough defensively and we have no weapons on offense. 22 wins is my prediction, and that should be good enough to get us Zion.

    25. Bruno Almeida

      I think Phoenix and Cleveland are 100% not tanking and are going to be better than the Knicks. Brooklyn and Chicago are the big question marks, as their rosters are shit yet they don’t seem to want to tank too, and they’re full of young player who could go either way.

      No one thinks the Knicks are tanking, for the 74737th time, we all know they will fight tooth and nail for that honorable 10th spot in the east, but it might happen just like it happened in 2014-15. That’s the discussion. Nobody is stupid enough to think this front office of this franchise is explicitly going to do whatever they can for a top 3 pick.

    26. bidiong

      I get to spend another year hoping they look competitive while losing every game in the 4th quarter…

      I’m really starting to get concerned I’ll never see a Knicks championship in my lifetime.

    27. J Weezy

      Timmy, Frank a top five protected 2020 1st rounder, the 2nd this year and cash considerations.

      Why in the world would the Knicks give up three assets, let alone one, for a player they can sign outright this summer? Have the past 17 years of trade mistakes meant anything?

    28. lavor postell

      I’m pretty sure the Knicks are tanking this year. They’ve basically gone out and taken fliers on a bunch of lotto flameouts and the vets sucks ass. Kanter and THJr are the only vets who may, in some way, move the needle as far as wins are concerned and they’re young enough where they could theoretically still have some upside, although unlikely.

      Unless we’re talking about organized tanking where we rest half the roster, I think the Knicks are basically going to give Frank, Knox and MitchRob plenty of burn and see what happens this season. Winning isn’t a priority.

    29. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      Why in the world would the Knicks give up three assets, let alone one, for a player they can sign outright this summer? Have the past 17 years of trade mistakes meant anything?

      preach

    30. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      Since the team is finally in development mode, the back of the guard rotation intrigues me. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that Kadeem Allen out outplays Baker. But something tells me that the team will try to stash him in Westchester and hold on to Baker for the season. My question is, why? Also, I have no earthly idea why Hicks is back on a 2 way deal. I don’t see any development in him either.

    31. Jack Bauer

      “Winning isn’t a priority.”

      I hope you’re correct and they’ve finally seen the light – I’ll believe it when I see it (and when they’re picking 3rd instead of 9th for once)

    32. Bruno Almeida

      But that’s the thing, I think Mills and Perry have made it very clear that they’re not concerned about wins. They even said it directly at the last press conference, that this team will not be judged on win record but on other aspects like development. But when you look at it, it’s really only Atlanta that’s tanking 100%, they’re processing the hell out of this rebuild.

      Nobody else is, not Sacramento, not the Knicks, not Orlando / Brooklyn / Chicago / Phoenix etc. These are just teams full of youngsters that will eventually try to tank (except the Knicks) if things go terribly during the season.

      It’s very plausible that one or more of those multiple teams filled with youngsters will be better than expected and the Knicks won’t, as its also possible that the Knicks are better than most of those teams. That’s why my prediction is somewhere from 4th worst record to 10th, as I think there’s certainly 20 teams that are better than the Knicks and Atlanta, Sacramento and one of either Brooklyn, Orlando, Memphis, Phoenix or Chicago, are worse.

    33. swiftandabundant

      Let the hand wringing over wins that ruin the tank begin!

      The lottery odds are flattened. It doesn’t help as much to intentionally tank and teams will have less incentive to do so. So if we face Chicago of Dallas at the end of the year, they aren’t going to be pulling their best players to play D-Leaguers to secure losses like they did this last year. So go out and compete.

      It is impossible for a team of players to compete and play hard and get better while making sure they simultaneously lose at the end of the game. There is no magical world where we only win 15 games but all of our losses are super close double overtime losses where the youngsters learned and improved from the experience.

    34. Bruno Almeida

      Let the whining about whining about not tanking begin!

      Seriously though, people are just saying winning is not and should not be a priority. Anyone disagreeing with this is mind-blowing to me.

      This year the strategy is very clear and very easy to execute, it’s so obviously laid down I am even slightly confident that a Knicks front office will be able to execute it. If you asked on Reddit about what strategy the Knicks should follow this year, I think even there it would be a majority of people saying “develop the kids, winning is not a priority”. That’s how clear it is.

    35. swiftandabundant

      @ 40 – I get that but with the flattened odds complaining about wins will be A LOT more annoying bc it matters less. And also, complaining about wins this year when there are so many young players on the team will be annoying to read too. I mean, if it turns into the Lee, Lance and Kanter show then I will hop on board the complain train but otherwise, if we win more games than people think, it can only mean our young players are outperforming expectations and THAT IS A GOOD THING.

    36. GoNyGoNyGo

      Bruno, I’ll blow your mind then.

      I would advocate tanking but I said it earlier, there are pieces in place and I expect the Knicks, regardless of where the way that they play, to effectively add 3 major components prior to 2019-20: A free agent, Porzingis and a draft pick. The only question is ‘how high a draft pick it will be.?’

      They’re going to tank without trying but they WILL try to win games, to instill the proper winning mentality. The first hurdle that this team must overcome is the “ho-hum, it’s another loss” mentality. Fizdale said it in the town hall. They’re going to try and win games. It probably won’t happen but I’ve moved from being a proponent of an all-out-tank to one that’ll just watch to see how it all plays out but I think they’ll be just awful.

    37. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      It’s 100% certain they are NOT tanking. They are stockpiling young players with some talent and skills hoping to turn a couple of them into more well rounded productive players to go along with our draft picks. They are going to play players based on merit and try to win as many games as possible. Of course, there’s not a lot “skill” on this team even though there’s plenty of talent. So they are probably going to lose a lot of games. They know that, but it’s not the intent. The intent is to develop and win.

    38. Donnie Walsh

      It seems to be that the strategy in 2018 is non different than it was in 2009: clear as much cap space as possible while trying to win as many games as possible.

      The big difference is that in 2010 the knicks didn’t have a 1st rounder to worry about positioning for, and thanks to a different CBA and inflated cap there aren’t as many bad contracts to clear.

      (The other even bigger difference is that there is no LeBron to clear cap space for on the near horizon).

      But, yes, there is no “tanking” going on. They are playing the games to win, as silly (and futile) as that may seem.

    39. DRed

      Ideally they’re seeing if any of the young retreads hit or some of the kids are significantly better and then if not they’re telling Kristaps to sit this one out and tanking.

    40. Bruno Almeida

      @43

      But that’s not the point. Of course they’ll try to win games, this team never did anything else. My point is that if you make winning a priority, the most important priority at all costs, it’s simply bad management. It would mean a shitty situation like last year where Lance Thomas, Jarrett Jack and Michael Beasley were on the court each for 20+ minutes because they provided a slightly better chance at winning than the young guys who could develop. If they give Lance or Lee more minutes than guys like Knox, Ntilikina or Robinson, just because playing those two might bring 2 more wins in a season, it’s just a shit strategy. They already said that winning is not a priority, Fizdale was there, and they didn’t sign crap veterans like they did last year before training camp to get extra wins, so in a way they’re already doing what you’re saying they won’t do.

      Last year we spent the entire season building this amazing winning culture that lead to the coach getting fired, 29 wins and nothing else really happening. I could understand your point if the Knicks even had veterans who actually bring wins, like trying to be Detroit or Charlotte or something stupid like that. But prioritizing wins by playing crap veterans that would ideally not even be on the team is incredibly stupid when we finally have some young talent to develop and the veterans are terrible in the first place.

    41. Bruno Almeida

      By the way, I’m still waiting someone to show me how winning 5 more games in a season equals to building a winning culture and how that impacts development of young players.

      Because what I keep seeing is superstars like Durant, Westbrook, Giannis, Embiid, Curry and Kyrie Irving who played on absolute garbage teams that won around 20 games or less for the beginning of their careers and I guess they turned out ok as players.

    42. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      Developing young players and trying to win are not incompatible.

      Lee and Thomas are both going to play IF they earn the minutes over some of the younger players. Even if they start (which I don’t expect) that still leaves plenty of minutes for young players. If some of the young players don’t get minutes because they can’t beat out Lee, Thomas, and the next 2 players at those positions, then those guys are not very good.

    43. Bruno Almeida

      But developing players and losing is also not incompatible, that’s my point. I agree of course that you can develop players and win games, but why the hell would you give less opportunities to your young players to get into game situations and face good opponents in order to play Lance Thomas, a guy who’s probably a net negative anyway? Why would you willingly take away 500 minutes where a guy like Knox could be learning so much playing against the best players, getting game tape to study on how to play situations, where he could be proving he should play etc to have such a marginal improvement in production? I’m not saying to bench LeBron James to develop a youngster.

      @49

      I really don’t get why a guy would buy one of he biggest franchises in the league, on a top 10 market, and be this cheap. I get the idea of pressuring for results but come on, this just seems so tone deaf.

    44. GoNyGoNyGo

      @47

      if you make winning a priority, the most important priority at all costs…

      We’re on the same page, actually. I agree that win totals aren’t important. But that’s the point, it doesn’t matter if they win 20 or 30 games. What matters is that the kids learn and develop chemistry together and that at some point they integrate KP into this new team. My point is that the tank may not be as much of a priority as in previous years and that if we happen to lose it’s a natural feature of a rebuilding team. They don’t need to try and be bad. They don’t have to throw any games.

      Also, I think they’ll be really bad but I think there’s a chance that they’ll be sneaky good.

    45. Donnie Walsh

      Even if there was no score being kept and wins and losses meant nothing at all, there would still be reason to limit the PT of the rookies and play the vets meaningful minutes. It doesn’t have to be trial by fire. There is a savvy way to develop young players which is the Riley/Van Gundy style of giving them a front row seat to an nba game day in and day out. And this is especially true for teams that truly don’t care about winning.

    46. GoNyGoNyGo

      Donnie,
      The Knicks should be playing veterans like Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas. There are teams out there that would trade a 2nd round pick at the deadline for expiring contracts. That would be $20M off the books for 2019-20. What will $20M buy on the FA market?

    47. JK47

      I could see a contender wanting Courtney Lee. He can still shoot and he plays a reasonably decent floor game. Those are skills that age well. I think his WS48 of .082 last year captures his value pretty accurately. Lee is a terrible fit with this iteration of the Knicks. He’s a competent veteran who only takes minutes away from the team’s plethora of young shooting guards. His competent play also generates the thing we’re trying to avoid: wins. So of course he’ll probably play well over 2,000 minutes.

      Lance is just a stiff, dont’t nobody want Lance.

    48. thenoblefacehumper

      They played Lee and Thomas lots in the past and nothing came of it, same for KOQ.

      The way the Knicks handled the KOQ situation was downright bizarre and is what makes me lean towards Bruno’s line of thinking in this argument. I’ll always be okay with showcasing veterans a bit if the idea is to trade them, but there’s no point if we’re just not going to do that because of “locker room upheaval” or some other nonsense. If we didn’t trade KOQ who was young, productive, and cheap I see no reason to think we’ll move Lee or Kanter or anyone else.

      I guess what I’m saying is if Lee/Kanter/Thomas are getting big minutes in the first half, we better at least be actively seeking out trades. Otherwise there is literally no point to playing them at all.

    49. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      But developing players and losing is also not incompatible, that’s my point. I agree of course that you can develop players and win games, but why the hell would you give less opportunities to your young players to get into game situations and face good opponents in order to play Lance Thomas, a guy who’s probably a net negative anyway?

      I’m not going to get into detailed minutes for each player, but this gets into the spreadsheet vs. human being debate.

      Some things that make perfect sense on a spreadsheet or in basketball terms don’t make sense when you realize you are dealing with players, agents, careers. perceptions around the league etc…

      So for example, let’s just say Courtney Lee is the best SG on the team and you bench him to get Damyean Dotson minutes behind Frank and Hardaway. That might make some sense in terms of player development. You are benching the best player because he’s older and not part of the long term plan (same with Lance Thomas). The problem is you are basically saying that merit does not matter and we don’t care about you, your career, your family, your next contract, your agent or what other players around the league think. We only care about player development. That’s going to cause issues in the locker room and with his agent.

      Of course the counter is “just trade him”.

      I’m sure they are trying to do that given the current direction, but you don’t give away a good 2 way player for less than he’s worth because the market is a little weak right now. Selling low is not how you get better.

    50. bobneptune

      I’m sure they are trying to do that given the current direction, but you don’t give away a good 2 way player for less than he’s worth because the market is a little weak right now. Selling low is not how you get better.

      The market for sharp shooting 2 guards isn’t weak at all right now….. just the market for Lee is because he is a grossly overpaid and well below average starting nba 2 guard. Just because he wears and orange and blue uniform doesn’t enhance his value above his production over time.

    51. bobneptune

      If we didn’t trade KOQ who was young, productive, and cheap I see no reason to think we’ll move Lee or Kanter or anyone else.

      We didn’t trade KOQ likely because there wasn’t any market for him despite what some stats say.

      He was a UFA and “commanded” a whopping 4.49M one year deal. That is his perceived value by 30 GM’s around the league. There are a lot of bright GM’s that passed on him for a pittance as an UFA….

    52. thenoblefacehumper

      We didn’t trade KOQ likely because there wasn’t any market for him despite what some stats say.

      I wasn’t basing that off what “stats say.” There were multiple reports that the Warriors had interest, and it’s not like they’d be allowed to send back nothing. I also doubt they were the only team that had interest but that doesn’t matter much.

      Not sure what your point is with regards to his next contract. If you’ve been following the NBA market you already know that non-max players are getting increasingly squeezed, as are “traditional” big men. Combine those factors and you get KOQ signing for 1/$4.5m.

      It’s not like I thought we could’ve gotten back an unprotected first for the guy, but literally anything is better than keeping him for 20 more games or whatever and then letting him walk. I will never understand how people can think that this team, in its current state, has the luxury of being able to pass up assets of any size.

    53. lavor postell

      Ok, assuming Butler gets moved to MIA and the report about SAC wanting to help facilitate for an asset or two is true

      https://t.co/NKelc2SUhd

      MIA gets: Butler
      MIN gets: Olynyk, Richardson and Lee
      SAC gets: Dieng and MIA 2019 FRP
      NYK gets: Z-Bo’s expiring and MIN 2019 2nd round pick (would be willing to give this to Sac if it’s a sticking point)

      MIA gets Butler so their motivation is obvious.

      MIN adds two younger, cost controlled pieces and a vet wing who can shoot to supplement their core around KAT+Wiggins. They also shaves $1.5m off their cap bill which gives them more space from the tax threshold.

      SAC gets a 1st and maybe a 2nd for just helping facilitate by eating a contract.

      NYK dumps Lee to create more space for next summer (Thibs had interest in Lee the summer we signed him) and maybe get a 2nd or don’t.

    54. Bruno Almeida

      @58

      Well, I have no issues at all hurting Courtney Lee’s feelings. This team gave him a 4 year 48 million deal which was, at age 31, double the AAV of the second biggest contract in his career, a deal no other team would have given him, and a deal no one else wants to touch apparently. He, his agent and his family should be grateful for eternity to the Knicks and Phil Jackson for gifting him this deal. The same goes for Lance and his absurd contract.

      I’m not even saying don’t play Lee at all, he’s still a decent enough player. But I was talking much more about just not playing him 30+ minutes like last season, while you’re talking like I’m proposing Marburying him.

      The Sixers threw away every veteran they had for nothing, the Celtics traded freaking Paul Pierce to the Nets for picks, the Raptors traded DeMar DeRozan when he wanted to stay. Hell, we are stretch waiving Noah, a guy who wants to play and is supposedly healthy, and you’re telling me the Knicks will suffer substantially if Courtney Lee plays 15 minutes instead of 30? Merit should not matter over the long term future of the franchise, and if Courtney Lee, a guy who was traded 5 times and played for 7 NBA franchises gets hurt because of that, well, that’s his problem.

    55. thenoblefacehumper

      lavor that’s a good trade and also exactly the kind of trade I’m afraid the current front office just isn’t really looking to make. The Z-Bo I’m Coming Home commercial potential should be a major consideration too.

    56. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      The market for sharp shooting 2 guards isn’t weak at all right now….. just the market for Lee is because he is a grossly overpaid and well below average starting nba 2 guard. Just because he wears and orange and blue uniform doesn’t enhance his value above his production over time.

      When Lee was signed we paid what appeared to be a reasonable price given the market conditions, his productivity, and the expected growth rate in the cap. At that time teams were projecting significant growth in the cap. That got built into salaries. The cap did not grow as fast as expected. So some of those salaries are now a higher percentage of the cap than was expected at the time of the signings. That’s why it’s harder to move them. A few other players of similar productivity were moved and it wasn’t easy. Lee is a good player.

    57. lavor postell

      @64

      Yeah, I hope the FO is fine with simply dumping Lee instead of holding out for an actual asset of value. Also suspect Thibs may prefer James Johnson to Olynyk, but I don’t see Miami having much of a preference between the two so long as they land Jimmy.

    58. Donnie Walsh

      The Z-Bo I’m Coming Home commercial potential should be a major consideration too.

      “Ten years ago I was traded for a guy who would drop dead if he ever stepped foot on a basketball court…

      …And now I’m coming home!”

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