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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.11.14)

  • [NYDN] One Knicks stat makes David Fizdale ‘want to yack’ as coach contemplates lineup changes
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 2:25:00 PM)

    Just before his team left for its longest road trip of the season to date, David Fizdale was contemplating another lineup change with the following vomit-inducing statistic in mind: the Knicks are dead last in the NBA in assists.

    And it’s not really that close.

    “It makes me want to yack, to be…

  • [RotoWire]
    Russell Westbrook: Ruled out vs. Knicks

    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:06:00 PM)

    Russell Westbrook: Westbrook (ankle) won’t be available for Wednesday’s game against New York, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.

    Visit RotoWire.com for more analysis on this update.

  • [FOXsports] Thunder host Knicks team in transition
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:41:44 AM)

    Thunder host Knicks team in transition

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ Kevin Knox could land in starting five Wednesday night
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 10:51:33 PM)

    It could be Kevin Knox’ time to shine for the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] WATCH: Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis goes toe-to-toe with Ivan Drago
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:59:42 PM)

    The Unicorn and The Siberian Express met at a party in New York on Monday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] WATCH: Kristaps Porzingis shoots 3-pointers at Knicks practice
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 8:42:58 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis was back with the Knicks and shooting some jumpers a week after some drama about his recovery status.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson wants to be in dunk contest, where Fizdale guarantees he would be finalist
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 11:34:45 AM)

    Knicks rookie Mitchell Robinson has a bunch of highlight reel dunks to his credit so far this season, including the ridiculous reverse alley-oop he pulled off on Nov. 2.

  • [NYPost] David Fizdale trying to figure out best fit for Mario Hezonja
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:51:01 PM)

    Mario Hezonja criticized his defense. He ripped his free-throw and 3-point shooting. He admitted his playmaking needs improvement. The Knicks’ newcomer, however, insisted he hasn’t lost confidence. “It will come,” he said following Tuesday’s practice. “Trust me.” An intriguing offseason addition, the 6-foot-8 Croat is off to a slow start, averaging fewer minutes (19.6) than…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis talking like he’s closing in on Knicks return
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 7:26:35 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis is talking like someone planning on a return. In fact, the Knicks’ star forward is making it sound as if he’s nearing the end of his rehabilitation road. “Now that it’s getting closer, I can taste it,” the 7-foot-3 Latvian told GQ in his first public comments since the opening of Knicks training…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ Trey Burke relieved it wasn’t worse for Caris LeVert
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 5:50:48 PM)

    The news was as positive as it could be, but it still didn’t diminish Trey Burke’s disappointment for close friend and former college teammate Caris LeVert. “It’s sad,” the Knicks point guard said on Tuesday, shortly after the Nets announced their rising star had suffered only a dislocated right foot that won’t require surgery after…

  • [NYPost] Tracy McGrady: It’s time for Carmelo Anthony to retire
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 4:30:08 PM)

    Seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady thinks Carmelo Anthony’s next landing spot should be his couch. “You know what? I honestly think Melo should retire, I really do,’’ McGrady, who retired in 2012, said of the former Knick and soon-to-be officially former Houston Rocket. Speaking on Tuesday’s edition of ESPN’s “The Jump” with Rachel Nichols, McGrady…

  • [NYPost] Kevin Knox’s breakout game could be enough for promotion
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:36:28 AM)

    The Knicks’ terrible assist numbers aren’t just making the team’s coach feel queasy. It may lead to lineup changes, too. David Fizdale said Tuesday he’s considering tweaking his starting five again after the Knicks absorbed back-to-back blowout losses over the weekend, and he revealed prized rookie Kevin Knox could be inserted back into the lineup….

  • [NYTimes] Warriors Suspend Draymond Green One Game for Spat With Kevin Durant
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 2:35:48 AM)

    The volatile forward didn’t pass to Durant in the closing seconds of regulation in Monday’s loss. The ensuing argument was deemed “conduct detrimental to the team.”

  • [NYTimes] Good News for Nets: Caris LeVert’s Injury Not as Bad as It Looked
    (Tuesday, November 13, 2018 8:17:49 PM)

    The Brooklyn guard suffered what looked to be a gruesome leg injury, but tests showed no fractures and only moderate ligament damage. He should return to the Nets’ lineup this season.

  • [NYTimes] Allonzo Trier Was the Basketball Kid on the Cover. Some Fraught Chapters Followed.
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:58:37 AM)

    Trier, an undrafted rookie for the Knicks, has quickly become a fan favorite. Before that, he was a prodigy on a winding journey through elite youth basketball.

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    94 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.11.14)

    1. Z-man

      Bruh he has been one of the top players in usage and efficiency since he left Seattle

      He’s not underrated, he’s a perennial MVP candidate since about 2012

      I think he’s underrated because despite what is said above, he won’t likely be considered a top-10 player of all time, even if he gets to 5 rings.

    2. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, it is kind of crazy that he’s the only back-to-back NBA Finals MVP that you could still say, “It’s still not really his team.”

    3. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Kevin Durant, for my money, is one of the five best players all time. I’d only take LeBron, Jordan, and Kareem over him for sure.

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

      If Ntilikina is replaced by Knox, don’t They need another change to have someone at point guard?

    5. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke are the only logical replacements for Ntilikina, and I think Mudiay is next to get a crack at the starting point guard job. Knox would have to replace Dotson or Vonleh because we know TH2 is cemented into the starting 5 (hopefully as trade bait).

      I’d guess the starting line up tonight would be Mudiay, Dotson, TH2, Knox, and Robinson.

    6. Brian Cronin

      If Ntilikina is replaced by Knox, don’t They need another change to have someone at point guard?

      That’s why I think Vonleh for Knox is more likely.

      I do agree, though, that if they make another move in the starting five, it will be Mudiay in for Frank.

    7. Zanzibar

      Lineup changes are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic if we don’t play spread PnR. Even then, it would be still be the Lusitania but we’d be playing the offense that should be our future. Speaking of the non-present, our best hope is Boston struggles on offense and drops to 3rd or 4th best team in EC after inevitable Markelle/Chandler–Kevin/Korver trade on Jan 23rd. That situation plus an aging Horford may impel Kyrie to bolt. Our pitch to him would be strong:

      (1) The Kyrie/Mitch spread PnR would be unstoppable since going under the pick wouldn’t work. We’d have a high octane D’Antoni style offense.
      (2) And when KP plays center, Kyrie/KP PnPop wouldn’t be too shabby either.
      (3) Frank would guard the opposing 1 and Kyrie takes the SG. He’d have KP and Mitch there as rim protectors. That’s the perfect set-up for him.
      (4) We’d have a deep rotation. Kyrie/KP/Mitch are the big 3 and then young group of Timmy/Frank/Dot/Trier/Knox/high 2019 pick/room exception make 10-man rotation.
      (5) No terrible defenders on the team.
      (6) Kyrie would be “the man”. Knicks would catapult to relevancy, endorsement offers would pour in mitigating loss of 5th year had he stayed a Celtic.

    8. Zanzibar

      If Wiz struggle gotta think they might consider trading Wall at the deadline. He’s tradable this year at 19m but then jumps to 37m next year. Enes + some youth—Wall swap would net Wiz a huge savings (30m+). It gets even more interesting given we also have expiring contracts of Hez/Baker/Mudiay. There could be a deal where we net Wall and Porter but would have to give up something like Frank/Knox/Trier/2020 pick. Don’t know if FO would do that but they’d be “intrigued”.

    9. DRed

      I’m not sure Durant is even the best player on his own team. It’s close enough that it’s probably impossible to say.

    10. MSA

      We should stay away from Wall.

      After a very good 16-17 season he seems to be regressing really hard.

      And 37 million? wow…

    11. Zanzibar

      It would depend on the Wall price. If it’s Enes/Frank/2020 pick, I think FO might pull the trigger. Kemba will probably remain a Hornet and be the face of the franchise. If they don’t think Kyrie is an option, there’s not much hope for finding a quality 1 guard.

      If still young Otto Porter is part of deal, gotta believe a starting lineup of Wall/Timmy/Porter/KP/Mitch plus 10m MLE would have some appeal to the FO.

    12. Brian Cronin

      THJr has a surprisingly high assist%. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for Fiz to make him the 1.

      It’s below Frank (and way below Burke), so I don’t think THJ’s assist rate would merit a move. After all, if you look to assist rate to decide who should be the 1, then you’d just stick with Frank, since his is higher than THJ’s.

    13. Bruno Almeida

      I am not looking forward to paying John Wall 37 million through 2023. He’s a decent player, he can be good sometimes, but there’s way too many injury issues, shot selection issues etc for me to even consider the possibility. It’s an imminent disaster.

    14. thenoblefacehumper

      If we get Wall, he better come with two first rounders attached as sweetener in a deal where we only give up Enes Kanter. I…am still not positive I would do it.

    15. ProjectKnicks

      Fizdale changes lineup, but won’t put a system in place. A matter of time before everyone realizes he is just a bad coach.

    16. ProjectKnicks

      Why on earth would any rational person think John Wall, at this point in his career, at 37m, would be of any benefit to the Knicks?

    17. Hubert

      After a very good 16-17 season he seems to be regressing really hard.

      And 37 million? wow…

      The most remarkable thing about that contract is they gave it to him two years before free agency. What was the rush? That extension is legitimately twice as indefensible as the Melo Mega Max.

      Speaking of which, it’s worth noting that he’s still technically on that contract and can’t find a job.

    18. Hubert

      If we get Wall, he better come with two first rounders attached as sweetener in a deal where we only give up Enes Kanter. I…am still not positive I would do it.

      I would need 4 unprotected 1sts to consider taking on Wall’s contract.

    19. Brian Cronin

      There are certain moves that are just so Knicksy that I think that the Knicks actually go out of their way to avoid them because they know that they are just way too Knicksy for them to do and trading for John Wall strikes me as one such move.

    20. english_knick

      John Wall is dramatically overpaid on the basis of past production, is known to party too much and has already lost a step off his once-elite pace.

      Seems like a standard Knick trade target to me… #Dolansrazor

    21. Zanzibar

      Is there any Wall/Otto Porter deal anyone would do? Porter’s just 25yo and a quality SF/PF putting up WS/48 of .173 and .161 and a BPM of 3.9 and 3.4 the last two years. What if trade offer were Wall/Porter for Frank/Knox/expirings? Our starters would be Wall/Timmy/Porter/KP/Mitch and a bench of Burke/Trier/Courtney/Dot/2019 pick/MLE.

    22. thenoblefacehumper

      Our starters would be Wall/Timmy/Porter/KP/Mitch and a bench of Burke/Trier/Courtney/Dot/2019 pick/MLE.

      And we’d be locked into this mediocre team forever.

    23. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I never thought I’d say this but I’d rather max Kemba than have John Wall anywhere near this team, even if OPJr. is included in the deal.

    24. Bruno Almeida

      I wouldn’t want Wall if he came for free, so I guess no. The Wizards have had 3+ years with this core and they only have regressed, he’s a good player in a vacuum but he’s getting paid as a mega superstar that guarantees 50 wins in a season when he’s not anywhere near that level. We would be fully capped out for 4 seasons with an aging Wall, Porzingis and Porter, which might not be better than what Washington already has and it’s not working.

    25. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

      I wouldn’t add anyone significant long term other than Durant or Irving. Other than that, I might add a secondary piece or two if the price was attractive and I knew I could move that player later if a legit star player was available via trade. Other than that, I’d sign short term deals (1 year or 2 years with a team option) and try to roll over whatever cap space we have to the future when the team is better and a legit star might want to join us.

      We are in the same situation we’ve been in. It’s good to have cap space because it’s an asset just like a player or pick, but it’s only an attractive asset if someone good is available and wants to join your team. If you are not good enough or something else makes you unattractive short term, you should punt and try to save the space for another day.

      I don’t want John Wall, Kemba Walker will be too expensive, and I think we are too far away for someone like Butler who might decline earlier than someone like Durant.

    26. english_knick

      If we took Wall and maxed KP, next year those two would be on the books for 62m out of a cap of 108m, with three more years to come. There’s pretty much no path to contention with that cap sheet, short of drafting the next LeBron.

      So no – no deals I would do for Wall.

    27. Zanzibar

      Yeah I think Wall’s game hinges on his speed. He doesn’t look as fast as he did a couple of years ago and it’s just gonna get worse. Wall/Porter would make us a lot better for a couple of years but then Wall would go south like Melo.

      Looking like Kyrie or bust this summer so root hard against Celtics and cheer hard for Frank to improve.
      > Butler wants that 5th year so he’ll be on his best behavior on 76ers.
      > Kawhi will be a Raptor, Clipper or Laker.
      > We don’t have enough talent for KD to want to play here.
      > MJ would have traded Kemba if he didn’t plan on re-signing him.
      > We could probably net one of Rozier or Wright by making a Timmy-type RFA offer but neither of those guys is the type of 1 guard we need.

    28. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

      Kawhi

      I forgot about Kawhi. I would also add him if he was available and wanted to come to NY.

    29. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The Wall scenario is one I think Washington is stuck with unless Phoenix is desperate enough for a point guard. If we were able to land KD and Kawhi leaves Toronto for LA, I would look to acquire Kyle Lowry’s final year from Ujiri in a trade. Even if it cost Mitchell Robinson to do it, teaming up Lowry, KD, Reddish/Barrett/Zion, and KP would be the best Knicks team I ever got to see.

    30. Frank

      lol hard pass on John Wall. He’s a good player right now but that contract is monstrous (and disastrous in the later years), he has an injury history, and he doesn’t try at all unless he has the ball in his hands.

      I am not 100% sure that Fizdale needs to change the starting lineup. I know it sucked ass against Orlando but in general it’s been very good — to the tune of a +6.1 net rating over ~400 possessions with an elite 99.5 DRtg (97th percentile) according to cleaningtheglass. (to be clear this is the Frank/THJ/Dotson/Vonleh/MitchRob lineup)

      The problem really is Enes Kanter. He remains the Tank Commander. Anytime he’s on the court we have a 9th percentile defense (116.5 DRtg).

    31. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      After Durant and Draymond Green got into an argument during and following Golden State’s 121-116 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, a Warriors player told The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II that Durant is as good as gone: “With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back. The only hope is that they can say this summer, ‘See, KD. We’ve got your back. We protected you from Draymond.'”

      https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2805990-warriors-player-no-way-kevin-durant-re-signs-after-draymond-green-altercation

      I really don’t care about a win curve if Kevin Durant decides he wants to be a Knick in July. I know where people believe we stand on that curve, and I’m with you, but if you could add Durant, Porzingis, and one of the 3DF to this current team that argument is abolished.

      The issue of course would be who plays point guard, but all of Ntilikina, Robinson, Knox, the 2020 1RP, and Tim Hardaway Jr would be more than enough to land a player at point guard. You could get a guy like Jeff Teague for cheap in that scenario.

    32. TheOakmanCometh

      Yeah but you guys the Knicks are just one $40m negative-7 net rating point guard away from contention.

      #1PlayerAwaySince2002

    33. JK47

      John Wall: 28 years old
      WS48 below .100 three of past four seasons
      Malcontent
      Contract after this year is 4/169, almost certainly the worst contract in NBA
      Contract covers age 29-32, AKA decline phase

      Welcome to the Knicks, John Wall!

    34. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

      The issue of course would be who plays point guard,

      If you get Durant, he plays point forward and you get secondary playmaking from someone like Frank.

    35. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The size of Wall’s deal (along with the 15% trade kicker) in a year where we need $40M in space to grab KD makes sure we won’t land him. The overrated guard we’re more likely to trade for is CJ McCollum.

    36. Hubert

      I like CJ McCollum. He’s overpaid, though.

      ^ Edited from “love” after I double checked his advanced stats. I guess I love his shooting but didn’t realize how little else he contributes.

    37. Hubert

      If we got Zion I might actually pass on Durant. I’d be pretty happy rolling out a starting 5 of Frank, Tim, Zion, KP, Mitchell (with Dotson, Knox, and Trier off the bench) and just being patient.

    38. alsep73

      Mudiay, Hardaway Jr., Knox, Vonleh, Robinson to start tonight. Like others, I’d have left Dotson in the starting lineup and benched Vonleh. Not happy about Mudiay, and about what this move may do to Frank’s already fragile confidence. But this may be one of those things where Fizdale has to try Mudiay with the starters to see for sure how little his game actually translates into winning basketball.

    39. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      If Durant is in NYC that means we’d likely be in the trade market for an upgrade in our starting five. We’d have to sell on Knox and TH2 in that case, and that would make me pretty happy, so I definitely want to sign KD.

    40. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I’m happy Vonleh is still starting. That guy should be the starting power forward for the next five years here.

    41. alsep73

      This is at least somewhat reassuring:

      @StevePopper
      This is the first lineup that Fizdale hasn’t said has a five-game window. Said wants to see it but could be changes in a game or two.

    42. Bruno Almeida

      I still don’t get why they’re trying so hard with Mudiay, this is a Hornacek move, and what the hell has Knox done to merit starting over Dotson? If you’re benching Frank for Mudiay with the argument that Mudiay is more productive now and it should be a meritocracy, why the hell is Knox, the least productive player on this team, starting? The guy with a -8.3 BPM, who has a trb% below Trey Burke and has an almost completely unbelievable 2.6% ast% with 26% usage?

      So much for sending a message that production gets you playing time!

    43. TheOakmanCometh

      It’s safe to assume that none of these lineup changes will spark a win streak. We’re just going to find different ways to lose because none of these players is very good. I’m curious if Fizdale will keep experimenting throughout the season or if he’ll settle on some metric that isn’t “playing well” and stick with that.

      Not sure which is the better answer, just curious which he’ll pick.

    44. Z-man

      Passing on Durant at this point in his career (late prime) would be about as exasperating of a move as a GM could make. He’s a top-10 of all time player who immediately makes every other player on a well-coached team better. Even at 80% of what he is right now, he will continue to be a top-5 player in the NBA. This is what I mean when I say that he’s underrated. He should be in the conversation of the greatest offensive players of all time, behind only Jordan, Wilt and Kareem. And he’s no slouch on D or as a passer. He’s also a very intellegent player who knows how to pace himself and save himself for big moments.

      Getting or not getting Zion should not have any impact on that decision. If you can get Durant at this point without gutting your team, you get him, case closed.

    45. Z-man

      What’s the big deal about who starts anyway? Frank started last game and played 5 minutes. If Mudiay and Knox suck, they’ll get pulled. I’m all for tinkering because it reaffirms that winning is not important right now.

    46. Hubert

      but at least Frank has been struggling. Dotson has been playing well.

      I’m not against benching Frank but Trey is the only passable PG on the roster. The idea that we think of these three equally irks me. Trey is a stopgap veteran/possible future backup. Frank is a struggling developmental project who needs reps (either here or, as has been suggested, the G League). Mudiay is just a zero. Even if, against all odds, he comes good, another team will likely benefit from it.

    47. MSA

      I’m actually OK with starting Knox and playing him 30 min every night.

      What’s the worst thing that could happen?

    48. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

      We have so many crappy one way players, the coach is having trouble deciding which pile of crap fits better with the other piles of crap.

    49. mase

      sure does seem like fiz has lost the team. I wouldnt want to be him right now. another blowout tonite is not good.

    50. Bruno Almeida

      I have no issue with him tinkering with the lineup, and I want this team to tank anyway, so starting Knox and Mudiay is probably ideal, but all the talk about Frank playing only 5 minutes was that he sucked and deserved less minutes. Then voila, Knox is suddenly starting.

      I’m not even complaining about what he’s doing too much as a few games should be largely inconsequential, but I appreciate consistency in the reasoning behind decisions and I’m not seeing much of it. Either commit to “let’s give multiple chances and ensure minutes to the young guys”, or commit to “whoever is more productive gets to play more”.

    51. JK47

      There’s no “team” to lose. This is a transitional collection of long-term prospects and guys hanging around the fringes of the NBA hoping to make the most of their last chances.

      Which is all totally fine! Fiz is doing just fine in my book. He’s throwing some shit against the wall and seeing what sticks. No reason not to throw a lot of different looks out there.

    52. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

      Any lineup with Mudiay and Knox in it is a formidable tank machine

      If we could add Kanter to that we’d have the Panzer VIII.

    53. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I like that Vonleh is still starting because he’s probably been the best player on the team so far, and his mobility/rebounding/spot shooting is exactly what we need in a power forward next to KP. I’m not sure about benching Dotson, but I’m not about to overreact to a starting five when I haven’t seen a rotation yet.

    54. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

      He’s throwing some shit against the wall and seeing what sticks.

      For the Italians in the audience, he meant spaghetti. :-)

    55. Bruno Almeida

      “With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back,” one player said. “The only hope is that they can say this summer, ‘See, KD. We’ve got your back. We protected you from Draymond.”

      In the athletic piece about the fight… yeah, this is starting to get very interesting. I still don’t see why Durant would choose the Knicks over the other possibilities but watching the Warriors lose him next year would already be good enough.

    56. JK47

      Vonleh’s good play seems sustainable, as he has really changed his game a lot by eliminating long jumpers. He’s shooting a lot more from 0-3 feet and has cut way down on the 16+ foot 2PA that were absolutely killing his game. He’s getting way more dunks than he normally does too.

      For the most part, he has stopped doing the stupid shit that has been killing his career. He’s a talented player, and I think he’ll stick as a rotation player in the league.

    57. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Worth noting is that Vonleh was drafted 9th overall at the age of 18 and played his rookie season as a 19 year old. Now he’s in his 5 year at age 23, doesn’t do stupid things, and seems to be a real contributor. I’m not sure today’s Noah Vonleh is what you want out of your lottery picks, but it goes to show that young guys really do take years to develop. Others are hopeless, like Hezonja, but some just need time.

    58. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

      For the record, if Frank goes for 15 and is 2/5 from 3 tonight, I’m back on the bandwagon! :-)

      If we start out poorly again tonight, I don’t see why Baker can’t get some run. He can’t score a lick, but he can defend, create TOs, and his high energy play can be contagious. I’d play him with Frank and try to totally lock down the opposing guards. I’d put Hardaway at the 3 and Knox at the 4 for some scoring, and use Robinson or Vonhleh at C. It probably won’t work, but nothing is going to work until KP is back and we have another two player.

    59. DRed

      Sitting Dotson for Knox is bonkers.

      If you’re trying to win, sure. But if you’re trying to win than playing Knox at all is bonkers. He’s been atrocious.

    60. abk

      “If you get Durant, he plays point forward and you get secondary playmaking from someone like Frank.”

      This. If Durant comes here, he wants to be the guy. He is the PG, making someone like Frank a good candidate to guard 1s, pass well, play with intelligence, and space the floor if he can learn to shoot.

      “Passing on Durant at this point in his career (late prime) would be about as exasperating of a move as a GM could make. He’s a top-10 of all time player who immediately makes every other player on a well-coached team better. Even at 80% of what he is right now, he will continue to be a top-5 player in the NBA. This is what I mean when I say that he’s underrated. He should be in the conversation of the greatest offensive players of all time, behind only Jordan, Wilt and Kareem. And he’s no slouch on D or as a passer. He’s also a very intellegent player who knows how to pace himself and save himself for big moments.”

      Agreed. If Durant wants to come here it’s a slam dunk decision and you sign the contract while tears of joy stream down your face. This is so, so much different from trading tons of assets for a border-line All-Start (at the time) in Melo. Fortunately, there is a 0% chance the Knicks don’t offer a healthy, interested Durant a max contract. Heck, there’s probably a 0% chance we don’t offer Kemba a max deal if Durant signs elsewhere.

    61. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

      If you’re trying to win, sure. But if you’re trying to win than playing Knox at all is bonkers. He’s been atrocious.

      I’m most concerned about his lack of a conscience when it comes to shot selection (he basically shoots every time he gets the ball) and his defense. I haven’t seen enough to make a judgement, but nothing “good” is standing out on the defensive side.

    62. swiftandabundant

      Its so bonkers to play our rookie first round draft pick in a development year.

      I think some are taking this meritocracy thing too far and are forgetting that basketball is, indeed, a team sport. Its not always about Dotson’s stats are better than blank’s stats. We shook up the starting 5 a few weeks ago and had some initial (modest) success with it. Now teams are figuring out the weaknesses of that starting 5, so Fiz is trying a new line up. All of our potential starting 5’s are gonna have serious flaws to them cause we’re a young team.

      And honestly I’m a big Frank supporter but this whole “gotta be careful about his fragile ego” idea needs to go out the door. He needs consistent minutes every game but on the bench or starting…it really doesn’t matter to me. If he can’t take a demotion to the bench along with the other starters who are being switched out for a few games then we’ve got bigger problems with him than we think.

    63. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      @74

      I feel like Knox heard from pre-draft analyses that he “lacks motor” and so resolved to “fix” that by shooting every time he got the ball and wildly driving the rim with no contingency plan. I hope he grows out of it and learns to play within himself, but he’s never been a willing passer, so I’m doubtful.

    64. abk

      I think Frank, Knox, Trier, Robinson, and Dotson should play 20-30 minutes every game, no questions asked. They are hopefully the future. But, I don’t think who starts matters that much. Just keep playing them, and don’t sit them the whole game if they make mistakes. Losing is not a bad thing right now.

    65. Hubert

      Agreed. If Durant wants to come here it’s a slam dunk decision and you sign the contract while tears of joy stream down your face. This is so, so much different from trading tons of assets for a border-line All-Start (at the time) in Melo. Fortunately, there is a 0% chance the Knicks don’t offer a healthy, interested Durant a max contract. Heck, there’s probably a 0% chance we don’t offer Kemba a max deal if Durant signs elsewhere.

      I only said I’d “consider” passing on Durant if we landed Zion. If we do land Zion, it’s not a total no-brainer to sign Durant because you would have two conflicting timelines and we’d likely make moves to win during Durant’s that would detract from Zion’s. It would be like if Cleveland signed Shaq the same year they drafted LeBron.

      There are instances when going all in on a short window is better than having a more sustainable long window (like Masai trading for Kawhi). Given how great Zion projects to be, I don’t know if this is one of them.

      I certainly wouldn’t be mad if we had Zion and Durant. I just might go all in on Zion and be patient.

    66. Hubert

      Regarding all the explanations for Fiz’s lineup changes, I don’t think there’s anything more to it than an old school “that effort sucked so I’m making changes”. They don’t seem thoughtful or likely to spark improvement. Just better effort.

      And frankly that’s fine. Developmental year or not, the 1Q v Orlando was unacceptable.

    67. TheOakmanCometh

      It’s got to be tough for a coach to keep running out bad young players while preaching accountability. It may be the right thing for the franchise but it has to lower a coach’s credibility among his players. Lance Thomas has a right to be pissed about losing playing time to Knox, even though Knox should unquestionably be playing more than him.

    68. Bruno Almeida

      @77

      Well, he has taken 61 shots so far and has 2 assists in 120 minutes, so yeah, I have a feeling he’s not a willing passer.

      I’m really trying to not fall into my preconceived ideas of Knox because it’s 120 minutes, it’s nothing literally, but it’s been a scary 120 minutes.

    69. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Kevin Knox is trade bait for a 3rd star next summer. He should be viewed as nothing more than that.

    70. Zanzibar

      After Durant and Draymond Green got into an argument during and following Golden State’s 121-116 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, a Warriors player told The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II that Durant is as good as gone: “With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back.

      Bad take by GSW player. Dray’s pulling a Butler. Jimmy was upset because Wolves wouldn’t commit to maxing him. Dray’s worried that after KD and Klay are maxed this summer, the FO will ask him to take less money a la Spurs to lessen the staggering luxury tax. If mgmt has to choose between KD and Dray, they”ll choose KD and perennial hothead Dray will be traded this summer if not sooner. Green’s health and productivity are already deteriorating.

    71. abk

      I only said I’d “consider” passing on Durant if we landed Zion. If we do land Zion, it’s not a total no-brainer to sign Durant because you would have two conflicting timelines and we’d likely make moves to win during Durant’s that would detract from Zion’s. It would be like if Cleveland signed Shaq the same year they drafted LeBron.

      There are instances when going all in on a short window is better than having a more sustainable long window (like Masai trading for Kawhi). Given how great Zion projects to be, I don’t know if this is one of them.

      I certainly wouldn’t be mad if we had Zion and Durant. I just might go all in on Zion and be patient.

      For me it doesn’t matter when talking about a generational player like Durant. A max contract is so far below Durant’s (or Lebron’s or Curry’s) true value I sign them whenever I can. If Zion is a generational talent himself you have at least 10-12 years of him providing massive value. Getting a superstar under contract for a discount is not going to hurt him.

      I’m of the “win sustainably” mindset though; I would never make some of the win-now trades that teams do trading future assets for players. I think the Rockets 4 1st round picks trade idea for Butler was horrible. I can see how you’d be concerned if you expect the Knicks are going to trade all their young assets for grizzled vets once Durant is on the team. They wouldn’t have to though.

      But that’s exactly why I disagree that signing Durant is “going all-in”. Signing him to an undervalued free agent deal (which is what a max is for Durant) is not “going all-in” at all. If the team isn’t good enough Durant could be flipped for a bunch of picks after 1-2 years to accelerate a rebuild most likely. I see signing him as part of the “win sustainably” model.

    72. Sir Robin

      Personally i think to focus on timelines misses the point of player acquisition. look at all the times teams took a player at the end of his career and paired him with a budding superstar. Kareem and Magic. Kareem and Oscar. Robinson and Duncan. Yes, even Wade and Lebron. (Wade was already on the downside when Lebron joined him.) Dr. J and the rest of the Sixers team.
      You add a great player like Durant when you can, especially at no cost other than cap space.

    73. Hubert

      A max contract is so far below Durant’s (or Lebron’s or Curry’s) true value I sign them whenever I can

      Durant’s AAV is going to be over $40mm. I don’t think there’s a ton of excess value there.

      I get it, we’re not going to say no to Durant. Just saying that building around Zion wouldn’t be so bad and that I’d be cool with Frank-Tim-Zion-KP-Mitch plus Trier & Knox off the bench.

      This is one I’m happy to table until when we land the #1 pick.

    74. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Durant or no Durant, Zion or no Zion, I hope we trade TH2 and Knox this summer. They don’t provide enough on the defensive side of the ball to make up for their poor defense, but they’re both young enough that some team could view them as a part of a quick turnaround.

    75. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      @89 LeBron hasn’t recruited a free agent to play with him since Ray Allen. Nobody wants to team up with him and his shadow. The Knicks are way more likely to land KD than the Lakers.

    76. Brian Cronin

      Durant and Lebron on the Lakers-that is more likely to happen than KD to NYKs.

      He’d get more shit for that than he got for joining the Warriors. If he really cares about his rep more than winning, then going to a team like the Knicks sadly would be a good fit for him, rep-wise. Let’s hope he really is dumb like that.

    77. alsep73

      Clippers might make more sense than us. That’s a very solid roster they’ve built since Doc stopped being GM, and it would allow Durant to be in LA without having to either play with LeBron or eat more shit for being a bandwagoneer. Bringing a championship to the Clippers probably wouldn’t be quite as iconic as if he could somehow do it for the Knicks, but I could see the city and that lineup exciting him, for sure.

    78. kevin5318

      Yeah now way would KD leave the Warriors just to be Lebrons sidekick. If he really wanted to win then he would just stay with GSW and him/Draymond would be BFF’s again.

      New York and the Clippers really seems like the only other viable teams for his “legacy”. I’m sure he would seriously consider us if we get Zion or the other 2 Duke guys.

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