Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.10.17)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Eastern Notes: Knicks, Carroll, Bulls, Cavs, Howard
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 2:12:17 PM)

    Trey Burke will be the Knicks‘ starting point guard to open the season, but Frank Ntilikina also earned a job in the starting five, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Head coach David Fizdale, who indicated in camp that starting jobs would be based on merit, rewarded Ntilikina for his strong fall, and hopes the decision […]

  • [NYDN] Knicks coach David Fizdale explains shocking decision to start Frank Ntilikina at small forward over Kevin Knox
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:10:00 PM)

    For his first real game as Knicks coach, David Fizdale sent out a shocker. He announced Tuesday – a day before the Knicks host the Hawks in the season opener — that Kevin Knox will be removed from the starting lineup and replaced, at small forward, by Frank Ntilikina.

    The change came just four…

  • [NYDN] How does Kristaps Porzingis feel about not getting an extension yet? You’ll have to ask him, says Knicks GM
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:05:00 PM)

    With next summer and Kristaps Porzingis’ free agency looming over this upcoming season, GM Scott Perry said Tuesday that the Knicks remain driven toward making the Latvian “a part of us for the long term.”

    But Perry also was vague about where the Knicks and Porzingis stand in that discussion, leaving…

  • [NYDN] Frank Ntilikina to start at small forward in surprising move as Knicks name starting lineup
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:35:00 AM)

    As largely expected, Trey Burke will open the season Wednesday as the starting point guard, Knicks coach David Fizdale announced Tuesday.

    In a more surprising move, Frank Ntilikina will start over Kevin Knox at small forward.

    The starting lineup will consist of Burke, Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr.,…

  • [NYDN] Bondy: 5 ways to measure success for the rebuilding Knicks as new NBA season set for tip-off
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 9:25:00 AM)

    Success for the Knicks this season isn’t defined the conventional way – by wins and losses – at least according to the Knicks. Whether the product is purchased is up to the consumer, but buyer beware: they’re promoting this season as another rebuilding step, equipped with the inevitable growing…

  • [SNY Knicks] Tank or play dark horse? Here’s the pros and cons to each Knicks strategy this season
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 7:06:43 PM)

    The 2018-19 season is going to be a transitional one for the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] Did Kevin Durant like a post about Knicks’ Frank Ntilikina?
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:00:14 PM)

    It appears Kevin Durant “likes” Frank Ntilikina and the Knicks. Could this be a sign of things to come?

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks announce opening night starting lineup, and Kevin Knox isn’t in it
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 1:52:02 PM)

    The Knicks have their starting five set for Wednesday night’s season opener against the Atlanta Hawks, but 2018 first-round pick Kevin Knox didn’t make the cut.

  • [SNY Knicks] NBA expert predicts Kevin Durant will sign with Knicks
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:54:52 AM)

    The Knicks’ season outlook may be as bleak as it gets, but one NBA expert predicts a star will descend upon New York in the summer of 2019. And that player is Kevin Durant.

  • [ESPN] Knicks’ rookie Knox loses starting spot to Ntilikina
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 3:41:22 PM)

    After evaluating the preseason, Knicks coach David Fizdale said Tuesday that Kevin Knox will come off the bench in Wednesday’s opener. Frank Ntilikina will start in place of Knox.

  • [NYPost] Knicks GM: Teams wanted first-rounder for Joakim Noah
    (Wednesday, October 17, 2018 1:31:25 AM)

    Knicks general manager Scott Perry never saw Joakim Noah as a good match for this rebuilding 2018-19 Knicks team, and said trading him or releasing him via the league’s stretch provision was the only measure that made sense. Noah was finally waived Saturday after Perry had tried to trade him since late January. Teams wanted…

  • [NYPost] Knicks GM’s curious response about if Porzingis is happy with deal
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 5:42:03 PM)

    Knicks general manager Scott Perry claimed he’s in a “comfortable place” with Kristaps Porzingis after it became official Monday he’s not getting his contract extension until he becomes a restricted free agent in July. But Perry strangely demurred when asked directly if Porzingis is happy with his contract situation. “That’s a question you’d have to…

  • [NYPost] The strange reality that Knicks’ hope is already gone
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 2:10:12 PM)

    Wednesday is opening night for the Knicks, which means the regulars at Madison Square Garden will begin their 41-night routines in and around Penn Plaza, which means the City Game will officially return to the city, which means New York’s basketball fans will be renewing all of the old habits. Well, with one exception. Everyone…

  • [NYPost] Kevin Knox won’t be a Knicks starter in stunning reveal
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 9:55:09 AM)

    The Knicks open their season Wednesday against the Hawks, and their shiny new rookie lottery pick, forward Kevin Knox, will open it from the bench. In a startling turnaround, coach David Fizdale threw a curveball that places Knox as a reserve and Frank Ntilikina in the starting lineup off the ball in a three-guard alignment….

  • [NYTimes] N.B.A. Roundup: Jayson Tatum Scores 23 to Lead Celtics Past 76ers in Opener
    (Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:59:00 AM)

    The crowd in Boston saved their biggest cheers for the regular-season returns of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injuries.

  • [NYTimes] Our 2018-19 N.B.A. Predictions
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 9:38:36 PM)

    The New York Times sports staff (and friends) agree Golden State probably will win another championship. But they disagree about everything else.

  • [NYTimes] For Japan, N.B.A. 101 Is Now in Session
    (Tuesday, October 16, 2018 2:39:31 PM)

    The residents of the world’s third-largest economy know little about basketball. The league hopes to change that.

  • 65 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.10.17)

    1. GoNyGoNyGo

      I’m gonna stick with my 25 win projection. That’s a perfectly horrible number. It’s too good to be top-3 and not good enough to be considered decent. That’s us.

    2. Ntilakilla

      Conspiracy theory time. Durant liked a post where Ntilikina starts over Knox. Did Fizdale make this move not because he reviewed the video of Knox’s subpar preseason but in anticipation of the fact that Durant will eventually be the lineup?

    3. Z-man

      Yeah, based on my guess that we will likely lose somewhere between 3 out of every 4 games or 2 out of every 3 games, I am revising my prediction downwards to 23 wins, and even that may be on the high side. I just don’t see any team other than Atlanta that we are better than on paper.

    4. djphan

      I think it starts getting real difficult to project under 25 wins because the last quarter to half of the season is determined a lot by injuries and tankers…..

      our starters are bottom-5 and our bench is quite possibly the worst in the league…

    5. thenoblefacehumper

      I picked 26 because Kanter is the annoying kind of mediocre player that can win games largely on his own against other terrible teams. Would anyone be surprised if he goes for 30-20 or some shit tonight?

    6. Hubert

      From the other day…

      Our current plan already just barely makes sense if we’re able to land a truly elite player, so I really don’t think we can compromise on that at all. I personally would consider Kyrie Irving a compromise on that but there can be reasonable disagreement there. I think we can all agree that Kemba Walker is pretty far from that level though.

      I think our current plan literally only makes sense if upper mgmt has good reason to think Durant wants to come here. And by good reason, I don’t mean anything derived from public information. I mean back channel communication, which frankly would be fairly simple to accomplish.

      If they’re doing this in the hopes of luring Kyrie despite his public comments, or if they’re pulling a Donnie Walsh in 2008 and just clearing space and praying, then they’re idiots.

    7. Hubert

      Re: wins…. 24

      I love the Hawks opener at home, though. No one wants to tank the first game of the season. It’s like homecoming. And I’m excited to see Frank try to lock down Trey. Excited enough to head to the Garden, in fact. Will be in section 10 if any other posters are around.

    8. thenoblefacehumper

      I think our current plan literally only makes sense if upper mgmt has good reason to think Durant wants to come here. And by good reason, I don’t mean anything derived from public information. I mean back channel communication, which frankly would be fairly simple to accomplish.

      If they’re doing this in the hopes of luring Kyrie despite his public comments, or if they’re pulling a Donnie Walsh in 2008 and just clearing space and praying, then they’re idiots.

      I agree completely with one small caveat. Phil Jackson’s god awful management put this team in an especially tricky place on the win curve with Porzingis’ extension coming up, plenty of horribly spent money on the books for a while (a situation Mills promptly made worse, to be clear), and not much in the way of young players/future picks because of how well Arron Afflalo fit the triangle.

      To me, it’s still very clear that we should not spend a dime on players in free agency until we can win 45+ games organically. Extend the young players who deserve it, trade the ones who don’t a la Michael Carter-Williams, and take on assets with cap space.

      The problem is very few front offices are willing to be purely rational actors for a whole bunch of reasons I don’t fully understand, so I guess this plan is the next best thing as long as the Kemba Walkers of the world aren’t a consideration.

    9. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      Are we still predicting wins? Shit..I’m anxious to see Ntilikina in his new role! Tonight is a good matchup for him to get momentum, as Atlanta’s wings are closer to his size than most other teams. I really really wanna see the switches and shot contests with he and Lance out there for long stretches together. Hopefully our perimeter defense won’t be a dumpster fire this season with those 2 starting.

      And..ok ok ok..29 wins.

    10. TheOakmanCometh

      I love the Hawks opener at home, though. No one wants to tank the first game of the season.

      On the contrary, I’ll be rooting for a loss tonight. Wins in October count the same as wins in April. And the Hawks will be one of the teams we’re competing with for a top lottery seed.

      I hope Frank, Knox, and Mitch look awesome but Trae goes for 45 and beats us 131-129.

    11. Hubert

      To me, it’s still very clear that we should not spend a dime on players in free agency until we can win 45+ games organically.

      I agree except for Durant. Even at age 31.

      If we give Kemba Walker $30mm and go all in with a team built around him and Porzingis, we’re fucked.

      Here’s the problem, though. If we trade Lee, we have enough to sign Kemba and bring back Kanter. This team…

      1 Walker, Burke
      2 Ntilikina, Hardaway,
      3 Knox
      4 Porzingis
      5 Kanter, Robinson

      plus our draft pick this year

      …would be good. That’s a 46-52 win team that would make the playoffs every year and possibly win a round.

      It’s never going to win a title unless Porzingis somehow became the best player in the NBA. But he’s already treated like someone who might be, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they went all in on him.

      But back to the problem…

      That team would print money!! It’s a decent team. It changes the perception of everything around here. It gets the Knicks back on TNT. It sells out the Garden. It doubles the TV ratings for MSG. It makes Mills and Perry look really good and gets them fat raises. So yeah, they’d probably do it.

      We want the Knicks to win a championship. The people in charge only need to build a team that competes consistently in order to be considered successful at their jobs.

    12. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      From last thread: Not to be pedantic, but Vegas setting the line at 29.5 doesn’t necessarily mean they think the Knicks will win 29 or 30 games.

    13. TheOakmanCometh

      OKC’s wing rotation is brutal without Roberson, who is no great shakes himself. They started Terrance Ferguson and Patrick Patterson last night, who combined for 7 points in 46 minutes. They should be a Lee trade target.

    14. Grocer

      I just don’t see any team other than Atlanta that we are better than on paper.

      Kings look really bad.

      I think our current plan literally only makes sense if upper mgmt has good reason to think Durant wants to come here.

      Waiving Noah makes sense* if we were trying to clear up a roster space, it doesn’t make much sense in terms of a FA this coming summer. I’m sure they’ll be looking into FAs, I’m not at all sure how much that has to do with waiving Noah. I think probably not much.

      *not implying it makes good sense.

    15. Hubert

      If you were determined to spend the most amount money possible this summer no matter who takes is, it makes good sense to want the roster spot now and be done with a potential distraction.

      The stupidity is in the determination to spend.

      But like I pointed out above, they don’t need Kyrie or Durant to hit a home run this summer from their perspective.

    16. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      If they don’t get Durant or Irving, I suspect they will overpay some younger guy like they did with THCJ and hope he gets better and earns the money.

    17. DRed

      There are a few teams that should want to trade for courntey lee but none of them ever seem to actually want to.

    18. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      The decision to start Ntilikina at the three is very interesting. Fizdale must have liked what he saw when he tried Ntilikina out defending threes in preseason. I’m wondering how it will work on offense. Will the Hawks end up guarding him with a three? If so, will that help or hurt Ntilikina’s offense?

    19. Bruno Almeida

      I don’t think Frank is at a point where he can successfully explore a good matchup on offense anyway, so I doubt his role there will change too much. It’s good that Fizdale seems confident on him to guard bigger SFs because that could be his premiere role in the future, a lock down defender for anyone 1-3. I think the Hawks will be sneaky better than most people expect as I love John Collins as a player and Taurean Prince is a very intriguing player. They should still lose a lot of games but their roster is surely not a barren wasteland with no talent. I personally think the Kings are worse than the Hawks, with the caveat that both teams have such uncertainty with so many rookies and sophomores.

    20. thenoblefacehumper

      There are a few teams that should want to trade for courntey lee but none of them ever seem to actually want to.

      I was about to say this. Every season there has been a team or two who could use extra shooting, isn’t really dedicated to financial flexibility, and has the contracts to make a trade work. The fact that it hasn’t happened yet might mean that the Lee deal is viewed around the league even less favorably than it is around these parts (non-stratomatic division).

    21. Grocer

      If you were determined to spend the most amount money possible this summer no matter who takes is, it makes good sense to want the roster spot now and be done with a potential distraction.

      True, but its also possible they’re in the market but not committed necessarily to a FA this summer or next summer. They talked a lot about a five year plan. In that scenario they might think the roster spot is more valuable than the cap space. I don’t think Perry will hand out a THj scale overpay but beyond that everything they’ve said has come with caveats.

    22. chrisconley

      28 wins.
      They finish 5th from the bottom and end up with the 6th pick. Draft Doumbouya bc international, duh! Max Kemba. This is what we’ve been waiting for all these years: Kemba, Frank, Knox, KP, MitchRob. Championship?

    23. Hubert

      Commendable comments from Courtney Lee on his role:

      “It doesn’t matter at all,” he said. “Unselfishly thinking, me understanding that we have a young core and that’s the future of the New York Knicks basketball team, so my role coming in is not what’s guaranteed to me, what have I earned in the past. It’s what can I do to help this team?

      “That goes for starting, coming off the bench, playing 10 minutes, not playing at all. It’s going to be a way that I’m going to impact the game, whether it be helping these guys every day, pushing them in practice, challenging them. Like I just played Trey one-on-one, challenging them to get better, trying to coach them, being that players’ coach on the court, trying to put them in the right position, help them out as much as possible.

      “Or if it’s me going out there and playing, just trying to do everything the right way. Lead by example. And just be that vocal leader also. So it’s whatever the team needs me to do, that’s my role.”

    24. Brian Cronin

      In that scenario they might think the roster spot is more valuable than the cap space.

      If they think a back of the roster spot is worth $6.5 million a year in 2020-2021, well, that would not speak well about their thought process.

    25. Hubert

      “In that scenario”, Brian, they have given up their cap space in 2020 and possibly 2021 to go all in now. A roster spot now is more valuable than having dead money in a year when you can’t get under the cap even without the dead money.

    26. Bruno Almeida

      @28

      Ok, I guess I was right and strato was wrong all along.

      Start Lee on the bench, play the youngsters, tell him we want him as a vocal leader on the locker room and for 15-20 minutes every game and try to trade him if something comes up. It’s pretty clear by now that playing him for his trade value has not mattered one bit.

    27. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      like they did with THCJ

      I’m not aware of cashing a paycheck signed by Dolan, but you better believe that I would take his money and then spend it on an anti-JD and the Straight Shot PSA campaign. Whether I ever earned the money would be none of y’alls’s damn business. Jerome James, Allan Houston and Joakim Noah are my spirit animals.

    28. Brian Cronin

      “In that scenario”, Brian, they have given up their cap space in 2020 and possibly 2021 to go all in now. A roster spot now is more valuable than having dead money in a year when you can’t get under the cap even without the dead money.

      You even made a point to quote “in that scenario” and yet seem to not note that the scenario referred to in “in that scenario” was the Knicks not using their cap space on free agents.

    29. Hubert

      My bad, we crossed streams. I was referring to the scenario grocer was quoting (i.e. in which they are determined to spend money this summer), not the second scenario he proposed in the same thread (i.e. 5 year plan of not spending).

    30. thenamestsam

      I think the Hawks will be sneaky better than most people expect as I love John Collins as a player and Taurean Prince is a very intriguing player. They should still lose a lot of games but their roster is surely not a barren wasteland with no talent. I personally think the Kings are worse than the Hawks, with the caveat that both teams have such uncertainty with so many rookies and sophomores.

      I like a lot of their surrounding talent as well but I think Trae Young is going to be an amazing tank commander for them this year. I like his long-term potential but his shot and pass selection are extremely questionable right now and they’re basically turning a lot of the offense over to him from what I’ve seen. I think he may put up some truly epic efficiency (or lack thereof) stats this year. In preseason he has a 47.0% eFg on 27.5% usage and turning the ball over a lot. Letting a chuck-happy rookie drive your offense is a great recipe for a very bad season.

    31. Grocer

      If they think a back of the roster spot is worth $6.5 million a year in 2020-2021, well, that would not speak well about their thought process.

      Yeah, there’s no real rosy outlook on it no matter what they end up doing.

    32. chrisk06811

      Lowe also talked about trading Lee; he mentions Utah or NO as possible trade partners; playoff teams with holes. he thinks we might have to give up a 2nd rounder to do it though.

    33. alsep73

      If it can be a conditional enough 2, then sure. Phil tossed away too many of our own, but we’ve also demonstrated the ability to acquire more as needed.

    34. Brian Cronin

      My bad, we crossed streams. I was referring to the scenario grocer was quoting (i.e. in which they are determined to spend money this summer), not the second scenario he proposed in the same thread (i.e. 5 year plan of not spending).

      No worries. Yeah, the only scenario that this deal makes sense is if they already have an under the table deal with Durant. It’s possible that they do, but I tend to doubt it.

    35. Z-man

      My prediction is that the Knicks go 0-82 and end up with the 5th pick. #dolansrazo

      I’m taking the over on the record and the under on the pick

    36. Hubert

      Having gone all in on 2019 with the Noah stretch, I think it now makes sense to give up a 2nd rounder now to move Lee. We have Houston’s this year. That’s about the least valuable commodity you can own. I’d happily give that up but would want to keep the Hornet picks if possible.

    37. GoNyGoNyGo

      @43 – I agree with that logic. The idea is to collect stars, not scrubs. A 2nd to get back cap space is gold if it enables the Knicks to land a good FA. From what I’ve been reading, we still don’t have enough cap space for a max contract for KD if we wanted him. Giving up a Lee and 2nd so that we can sign KD is a victory. Toss in Dotson and a lifetime Cablevision subscription too!

    38. Brian Cronin

      By the way, if Durant is weird enough to sign here next season, would he be the best player to ever be a Knick? He’s got to be better than Cylde, no?

      And I fucking love Cylde so much, but still.

    39. thenoblefacehumper

      I mean, if we have to trade a second to trade Lee it must mean we’re getting back a first. You see, the Knicks can trade Courtney Lee for a first round pick whenever they want.

    40. Bruno Almeida

      I mean, he would probably be. If it wasn’t for the whole backlash he’s sure to receive from the Warriors move, people would be talking about Durant as a top 25 player already, with a chance to reach top 15-10 levels at the end of his career. His peak years are at a very similar level to a guy like Larry Bird. I love Clyde too but being worse than Durant is no shame to him.

      Maybe the nonsensical Hernangomez trade 2nd round picks will be useful for a Lee trade, that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Sucks to give up anything to get rid of his contract but if it could turn into more options at free agency it’s probably worth it.

    41. alsep73

      Brian, I think he’d have to be. Look at it this way, broadly:

      Durant has been at worst the second or third-best player in the NBA for most of his career, in one of the sports’ most loaded eras ever when it comes to star players. There are only two real contenders for best player to play for the Knicks: Clyde and Ewing. Ewing was never at any point in his career the best or even second-best player at his position in the league, much less close to being the best overall player, so he’s out. I don’t know late ’60s/early ’70s NBA as well as I do the last few decades, but what’s the highest Clyde would be taken, at any point in his career, in a draft to build teams from scratch using every active player? He’d probably be top 10 in some years, but top 5? Top 3?

    42. alsep73

      @46 – Huh?

      One of the longstanding disputes here is Lee’s standing trade value, with certain posters insisting the team could get a protected first-round pick for him whenever they wanted over the life of the contract, and others pointing out that if they could have, they would have by now. Now Lowe is saying we’d have to add a sweetener just to dump him. Hence, sarcasm.

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

      Ok, I guess I was right and strato was wrong all along.

      Start Lee on the bench, play the youngsters, tell him we want him as a vocal leader on the locker room and for 15-20 minutes every game and try to trade him if something comes up. It’s pretty clear by now that playing him for his trade value has not mattered one bit.

      If you are playing Lee 15-20 minutes a night and asking him to be a mentor etc.. because that’s what he deserves based on merit, you are doing exactly the correct thing.

      If you are benching him and not playing him at all even though he deserves the minutes based on merit because you want to play youngsters, that what I said would cause problem in the locker room.

      But please, don’t let your theories interfere with what I said or reality.

    44. Hubert

      From what I’ve been reading, we still don’t have enough cap space for a max contract for KD if we wanted him. Giving up a Lee and 2nd so that we can sign KD is a victory. Toss in Dotson and a lifetime Cablevision subscription too!

      We don’t have enough space now. Trading Lee is necessary to open up the space to add Durant’s first year max salary, which is $38,150,000.

      Thomas can be waived for the $1mm of his salary that is guaranteed. Dotson’s contract is not guaranteed. You’d probably want to keep Burke’s cap hold of $2.3mm because that’s good value for a backup PG. If you factor in a first round pick cap hold of $6.5mm (roughly the 4th pick), and add 3 dead roster spots that all gives you $45mm in cap space plus the $4.4mm room exception.

      tl;dr if you trade Lee you can sign Durant, spend an additional $9-11mm depending on your draft pick, and then go over the cap to re-sign Burke and Porzingis.

      Now, if Perry can do all that and trade Hardaway to Sacramento… well that would mean he could walk on water, so…

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

      Lee’s trade value changed.

      It did not change because his intrinsic value as a player changed. He did not decline. Arguably, he had a career year last year. His value changed because the NBA Cap did not grow as fast as projected when the contract was given out. So now, his contract represents a larger percentage of the cap than was expected at the time (as do many other contracts given out back then).

      The other reason his value changed is that teams started valuing picks much more highly than they did previously.

      IMO, that’s where the inefficiency is now. IMO, teams are overvaluing picks.

      If anything high picks are worth LESS now than they used to be because teams are drafting 18-19 year old players now instead of 21-22 year old players. That means you have to give the players an extension before they are actually highly productive. Before, you could get a productive player on a cheap rookie contract for several years. It’s also tougher to make an accurate assessment of a younger player.

      The smartest teams should probably be trading picks away if they can get relatively young known quality players in return. However, most will not do that because no one wants to swim against the tide. If you swim against the tide and make a mistake you get fired. If you swim with the tide and make a mistake no one notices.

    46. Hubert

      By the way, if Durant is weird enough to sign here next season, would he be the best player to ever be a Knick? He’s got to be better than Cylde, no?

      Durant is arguably the best player in the NBA now. We’ve never had the best player in the NBA, so I’d have to say yes.

    47. Hubert

      The other reason his value changed is that teams started valuing picks much more highly than they did previously.

      Lee’s tradeability has nothing to do with picks. It’s the last year of his contract that holds this up. A team has to decide if they would rather have Lee now or $12mm in cap space this summer. It’s currently difficult to find a team that wouldn’t rather have the space this summer.

    48. Jack Bauer

      @ 25 – Trust me I hope Zach Lowe is right, he certainly knows more than I do.

      Just to be clear – I would be overjoyed if Kevin Durant signed with the Knicks next summer, I just don’t see why in hell he would leave the championship winning Warriors to join the always floundering Knicks.

    49. SBB

      @48 — Cool question. I could see Clyde going 2 behind Kareem if you drafted from scratch after the 1970 season. Rick Barry was probably the best player in the ABA then, and Clyde should go above him. Clyde would have been picked before anyone in the NBA draft that year (Lanier went 1; top 5 in career win shares were Lanier, Cowens, Murphy, Tiny, Issel. Pistol was also in that draft). The 1971 draft doesn’t have anyone close.

      The wild card is Dr. J, who’d just finished his sophomore season at UMass averaging 26/20. He might have gone before Clyde. Maybe. Kareem would have, without question.

      Clyde’s 1970 NBA peer group was:

      First team all-NBA (Clyde, Cunningham, Hawkins, Willis, West)
      Second team (Kareem, Havlicek, Lou Hudson, Gus Johnson, Oscar)

      Oscar was 31 and hadn’t won anything; I’m pretty sure Clyde would have gone over him. Elvin Hayes was floating around out, too, but Clyde was better.

      Like a lot of us here, I’m completely in the tank for Clyde, but coming off the 1970 championship after that Game 7, the guy was one of the best players in the world. Still not *quite* at Durant quality for my money, but prime-to-prime, the gap isn’t *that* big.

    50. geo

      just a note to pass along: NBA League Pass Free Preview – October 16 thru October 23

      Knick schedule:
      Wed, Oct 17 at home versus Atlanta
      Fri, Oct 19 at Brooklyn
      Sat, Oct 20 at home versus Boston
      Mon, Oct 22 at Milwaukee

      there are 12 other nationally televised games on between: espn, nbatv, and, tnt…

      plus the 4 local games from the clips and lakers – woo hoo – looks like i’ll get to see at least 20 or so games this year…

      normally, i believe there will be at least one or two more nba league pass free previews during the year…

    51. alsep73

      Like a lot of us here, I’m completely in the tank for Clyde, but coming off the 1970 championship after that Game 7, the guy was one of the best players in the world. Still not *quite* at Durant quality for my money, but prime-to-prime, the gap isn’t *that* big.

      Fair. Like I said, I’m not super versed in that era, and I wasn’t thinking too much about age for guys like Hayes and Jerry West, who were past their peaks when Clyde was at his best. Still, the talent pool back then was thinner due to both age for the Hall of Famers and the existence of the ABA. Even if there was a year or two where Clyde was a top 2 or 3 player, it doesn’t compare to Durant being LeBron’s runner-up for so long in this era.

      And, like everyone else, I adore Clyde and think he’s the coolest.

    52. GoNyGoNyGo

      @52 – That’s kinda what I thought. We all know KD will want every penny he can get but he’s worth it. With KD and KP plus our kids and next year’s picks, we would be good, but we really need one of our PG’s to develop into a legit NBA starter. None are yet..

    53. thenamestsam

      Just to be clear – I would be overjoyed if Kevin Durant signed with the Knicks next summer, I just don’t see why in hell he would leave the championship winning Warriors to join the always floundering Knicks.

      I kind of get why he might want to leave the Warriors. Obviously there is no better situation if all he cares about is winning, but he knows he’ll never get full credit for those wins, and he’ll certainly never be as beloved by the fans as the guys who were already there. I actually don’t think they’d be invulernable if he leaves either (Iggy is getting old, and I’m not sure Draymond is going to have a long peak either). They’re a bit thin already and they’d basically have only the mid-level to replace him. So he may feel he’s getting shorted the credit he’s due.

      The part I don’t really understand is why we’d be anywhere near the top of his list.

    54. alsep73

      The part I don’t really understand is why we’d be anywhere near the top of his list.

      Zach and others have explained it in greater detail, but the key points:

      1)Durant is very sensitive to the perception that he’s a frontrunner. Going to a perennial joke franchise and turning them around would be the fastest way to shut that up.

      2)The one thing Durant hasn’t gotten to do on any team is to be the primary ballhandler and playmaker. With this roster, he could play point forward while Frank spots up and hounds opposing point guards on D. Assuming the rookies show some promise, we have a bunch of players who’d complement his game well.

      3)He loves Porzingis’s game (he’s the one who first called him a unicorn) and views him as someone who can help shoulder the scoring load as he ages. And KP, like Frank, would help him rest on D as needed.

      4)A key member of his management team has ties to both New York and this Knicks administration, and Durant is an East Coast kid who sees the advantages of being a star in a media capital that’s not the one LeBron is in.

      I will not believe or let myself even start to believe that he’s coming here until he’s actually said he’s doing that. It’s not healthy to root for something miraculous to happen to a team that has made decades of its own bad fortune. But there’s also a rational case to be made for him doing it.

    55. Hubert

      Let’s look at the viable alternatives who project to have cap space should he want to leave Golden State:

      Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Indiana, both LA teams, New York, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Utah

      Tell me why we shouldn’t be the first team on that list, given his goals?

      Staying in Golden State makes the most sense. But if he does, it’s going to send Klay or Draymond packing. Coming here makes the second most sense out of his options.

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

      Lee’s tradeability has nothing to do with picks. It’s the last year of his contract that holds this up. A team has to decide if they would rather have Lee now or $12mm in cap space this summer. It’s currently difficult to find a team that wouldn’t rather have the space this summer.

      I was talking about how his value changed.

      At one point the discussion was that the Knicks wanted a 1st round pick for him. Now the conversation is that they would have to give up a 2nd round pick. The change has nothing to do with Lee. It has to do with the change in the value of a pick.

      Space is always an issue. If anything it’s less of an issue now because his contract is shorter.

      Also, those that think space is very valuable next year should rethink their position. There’s already a ton of free space out there. That means there’s going to be a ton of competition for the best players. A few teams will land someone good, but the rest are probably going to being overpaying for trash.

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