Knicks Morning News (2018.12.01)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Notes: Knox, Ntilikina, Porzingis, Robinson, Lee
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 6:36:19 PM)

    The Knicks’ lottery picks over the last two years, point guard Frank Ntilikina and wing Kevin Knox, have been called soft by rival scouts and other league personnel interviewed by the New York Post’s Marc Berman. Knox was also labelled as selfish offensively, settling for long-range jumpers and refusing to move the ball. Ntilikina was […]

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks, Allonzo Trier Discussing New Contract
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 2:02:17 PM)

    The Knicks and two-way player Allonzo Trier have had ongoing discussions about a new contract that would promote Trier to the team’s 15-man roster, league sources tell Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Trier figures to hit his 45-day NBA limit at some point in mid-December, at which point he’d have to spend the rest of […]

  • [Newsday] Knicks Notes: Knox, Ntilikina, Porzingis, Robinson, Lee
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 6:36:19 PM)

    The Knicks’ lottery picks over the last two years, point guard Frank Ntilikina and wing Kevin Knox, have been called soft by rival scouts and other league personnel interviewed by the New York Post’s Marc Berman. Knox was also labelled as selfish offensively, settling for long-range jumpers and refusing to move the ball. Ntilikina was […]

  • [Newsday] Knicks, Allonzo Trier Discussing New Contract
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 2:02:17 PM)

    The Knicks and two-way player Allonzo Trier have had ongoing discussions about a new contract that would promote Trier to the team’s 15-man roster, league sources tell Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Trier figures to hit his 45-day NBA limit at some point in mid-December, at which point he’d have to spend the rest of […]

  • [FOXsports] Knicks need defense to step up against high-scoring Bucks
    (Saturday, December 01, 2018 2:12:10 AM)

    Knicks need defense to step up against high-scoring Bucks

  • [TheRinger] Knicks need defense to step up against high-scoring Bucks
    (Saturday, December 01, 2018 2:12:10 AM)

    Knicks need defense to step up against high-scoring Bucks

  • [NYTimes] Grizzlies 131, Nets 125 | 2 OTS: Nets Squander Late Lead to Lose Their 5th Straight Game
    (Saturday, December 01, 2018 4:41:13 AM)

    Mike Conley scored 19 of Memphis’s 20 points in the second overtime period.

  • [NYTimes] Unwanted in L.A., Brook Lopez Became Milwaukee’s ‘Splash Mountain’
    (Saturday, December 01, 2018 5:21:54 AM)

    A decade into his career, Lopez has expanded his range, opening the lane for Giannis Antetokounmpo and allowing the Milwaukee Bucks to thrive.

  • [NYPost] David Fizdale fires back at critics of Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina
    (Saturday, December 01, 2018 12:30:56 AM)

    This wasn’t a soft response — from the Knicks coach or from their most recent first-round pick. Responding to criticism in Friday’s Post from anonymous rival scouts, NBA personnel and coaches regarding Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina’s struggles, David Fizdale fired back, reminding reporters the two players are 19 and 20 years old, and deserve…

  • [NYPost] David Fizdale thinks Courtney Lee is ready to go
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 11:46:09 PM)

    Courtney Lee could make his Knicks season debut Saturday afternoon against the Bucks. Coach David Fizdale said the veteran guard will be “probable” after missing the first 23 games with a nagging neck injury. He returned to practice last Saturday and has been working out the kinks. “One thing I know is we definitely don’t…

  • [NYPost] Former Knick Joakim Noah returning to NBA
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 6:33:13 PM)

    Joakim Noah is someone else’s problem now. The former Knicks forward is headed back to the NBA after agreeing to a one-year veteran’s minimum deal with the Grizzlies, according to The Athletic. He is expect to be in Memphis on Sunday to sign the deal. The New York Times reported a week ago that the…

  • [SNY Knicks] Young Knicks Knox, Ntilikina drawing mixed reviews from NBA scouts
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 7:12:38 PM)

    If the Knicks’ last two lottery picks were stocks, they’d be plummeting.

  • [SNY Knicks] Far too early for Knicks to give up on Frank Ntilikina
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 12:00:23 PM)

    Players don’t always develop and improve in a linear fashion in the best of circumstances, and the Knicks’ roster situation has been anything but.

  • [SNY Knicks] Former Knick Joakim Noah agrees to one-year deal with Grizzlies: Report
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 11:45:24 AM)

    The center agrees to the veteran’s minimum but will still be cashing checks from the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] Suns, Grizzlies among teams that contacted Knicks about Frank Ntilikina: Report, Grizz
    (Friday, November 30, 2018 10:35:24 AM)

    The Suns are reportedly intrigued with the idea of pairing Frank Ntilikina with Devin Booker.

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    Mike Kurylo

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

    29 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2018.12.01)”

    1. Ben R said:

      A one year contract doesn’t help us and gives him the best of both worlds, a chunk of money now and a chance to get paid this summer. You have to make him choose between guaranteed money now or a payday in 7 months.

      I agree with this but I’m not as optimistic about him taking a two year deal. It’s true that that first payday is life altering, and a practical person would accept it, but young dudes can be impractical, and from his agent’s perspective, the “insurance” of locking in $4-$6m is irrelevant. The average case outcome is what matters, and bottom line is Trier will get something like $10m per year this summer if he stays healthy, so I’d expect his agent to encourage the risk.

      I believe players too can buy insurance against career ending injuries. Trier could buy that to protect himself against disaster scenarios.

    2. RIP guy. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, maybe it’s time for Fox News to tell their marks what Michael Cohen told us last night.

    3. Trading Frank would most likely be a big mistake (unless of course we found someone dumber than the Knicks). It’s unlikely we’d get anything of value back other than a mid or late 1st round pick.

      What are we going to do with that pick?

      Are we going to draft another 18 year that doesn’t shave yet and when he’s a project on both sides of the ball for a few years bitch every day and then trade him for a 2nd rounder the following year because he’s not developing fast enough?

      Frank is fine on defense and is a project on offense. We knew that coming in. Now let’s work to develop him.

    4. Glad to see Fiz make a spirited defense of Frank and Knox. I hope behind the scenes he talks to these guys regularly about their sporadic minutes and has a plan to try to develop both.

      There are genuine causes for concern with both guys, esp. Knox, but this flurry of reports of scouts ripping them sounds a bit like other teams leaking crap to the media to try to buy low on one of them, probably Frank at this time.

      A question about Trier. If contract talks don’t go well with him and the Knicks fear that he wants to go elsewhere, can they trade him? And even if so, could they get anything for him? Makes me wonder about the usefulness of the two-way contract if a player who performs well early like Trier can pretty much just walk so soon.

    5. The right thing to do with Trier is partially dependent on our chances of landing a whale in the off season. That’s true of a few of our players. If you think you can’t land a legit whale, then you should probably use some cap space to start locking down players you already know you would like to go forward with because you will eventually need good players and assets anyway to make trades and moves.

      That’s what we’ve been trying to figure out so far this year.

      We want to know which players have the potential to stay long term and which don’t.

      Trier already looks like a keeper.

      Unless you feel “really” good about Durant, Irving, or Leonard coming to NY (I don’t), you sit down with Trier and get that done even if it eats into some space. If later we find out that Durant wants to come, then we could always attach a pick to a bad contract to move it if we absolutely have to to make sure we get him.

      I don’t think we should sit back and go all in on Durant and then if we come up empty get tempted to bring in this year’s version of Amare.

    6. I’m not for trading Frank, but objectively, if he could be traded for a 2020 lottery-protected pick that has a high probability of being #25-30, is it more likely that we’d find a Kyle Kuzma-type value pick (or Mitch or Trier or Bell or Hart or Looney or Murray ) or that Frank will develop into that level of player? Would that pick have more value as an asset than Frank does right now? For me, it’s a tough call.

    7. re: Trier, he’s not going anywhere. There is zero chance he doesn’t re-sign with Knicks, or that he is traded. Zero.

    8. Man, SA is a total mess right now. Is it time to ratchet down the Pop-Buford worship based on their moves over the last 3-4 years? I mean, what is the future of this team for the next 5 years? I see very little upside and am starting to suspect a stealth tank is in the works.

    9. Well, the Spurs still keep making the moves that got them all of the praise, finding guys like Bryn Forbes, Dante Cunningham, even Rudy Gay and turning them into solid contributors. It’s just that it’s still the NBA and you can’t possibly win without real talent, and the Kawhi debacle wrecked them on that end. If they still had a healthy Kawhi in place of DeRozan this team would be playoff bound and we would be saying once again how the Spurs never miss the playoffs and all that. Dejounte Murray’s injury left a gigantic hole at PG too.

      You can’t win if your superstars are LaMarcus Aldridge shooting a .489 ts% and DeRozan doing DeRozan things, and they’re stuck with them until 2021. I understand why they gave Aldridge this contract, which was to pair him with Kawhi, and we don’t really know the type of offers they had instead of DeRozan, but I’m willing to say it was a misguided trade to try to stay competitive, but I don’t think we can really blame Pop or Buford too much for Aldridge going from all-star to the Power Forward version of Dion Waiters.

    10. I think it’s fair to say that the Spurs won for twenty years by being smarter than virtually all other teams. They got lucky with Duncan, but everything else was calculation. Their roster was so deep for so long that it’s hard to attribute their success to a good draw. I think the 2018 comparison is Toronto, who have so many excellent players that it’s hard to look at them as a lucky team construction, outside of having Kawhi just sitting there for the price of an overrated, overpaid mid-range chucker.

      The thing about competition in the NBA is that you don’t need the whole rest of the league to catch up to lose your edge. Every team that jumps on the moneyball train reduces your access to those players. It could just be Toronto, Golden State and, I don’t know, Denver, and you’d see the Spurs potentially getting only a quarter of those players that they seemed to identify and acquire with ease. Of course cap situation and draft position will affect the distribution of talent, but I think the most realistic case is that the Spurs just can’t get the guys they prefer, so they settle for third-tier talent that’s coachable and willing to buy into their system. That’s a lot different from Manu or Kawhi or Timmy being coachable and buying into the system.

      I’m puzzled by a lot of their moves, but I’m not going to sit and excoriate an organization that put together 20 consecutive 50-win season or whatever, and five titles during the eras of LeBron and Shaq/Kobe. I just think their edge is gone, and that’s part of the game.

    11. Also, Duke is playing the Stetson Hatters today in what should be the first broadcast of snuff porn in cable history.

      Can I get a prediction thread for the following O/Us:

      point margin 43.5
      Duke points scored 90.5
      Zion points scored 30.5
      Barrett TS% .500
      Zion breakaway dunks 3.5

    12. See, I thought the original LMA signing was stupid and the resigning even stupider. He is an old 33 and has 2 years left on a shitty deal, and he has a history of making bad plays in playoff crunch time. And sure, Pop’s coaching can bring out the best in guys like him and DeRozan and Gay, but at the end of the day, you were never going to be a serious contender with LMA as your #2 go-to guy.

      I also don’t get the praise for Murray. He’s basically a better rebounding Ntilikina. Sure, he makes them much better on the defensive side of the ball, but is he a starting PG on a contender that doesn’t have a big 3?

      Sure, if they had Kawhi, they’d still be in the playoff mix, but I doubt that they’d win 50 games and would get past the second round. And what about the year after that?

    13. Trading Frank at the nadir of his value in order to hoard assets to trade for a “superstar” would be so unbelievably Knicksy. He’s a calamity on offense right now – whether from the shoulder problems and/or his various mental blocks – but he’s still a plus defender and someone who should be getting tlc from Fiz in the same way Mudiay has – especially given their respective contract situations. To answer Z-Man’s question, I’d rather gamble on Frank figuring out enough on offense than waiting for a late first rounder two or three years from now.

    14. Don’t underestimate the importance of luck to the Spurs. Leave everything else the same but replace Duncan with Antoine Walker and how many titles does San Antonio win? And no, literally no one in the Spurs organization really thought Ginobili was going to turn into a Hall of Famer when they got him.

      Which doesn’t change the fact the Spurs have been smarter than most of the rest of the league, but smart and unlucky goes 34-48 too many times and gets fired.

      Mike

    15. Don’t look now, but Jaren Jackson, Jr. might be the best player from the 2018 draft, and it’s actually not close at this point. Last night, 36 points on 22 shots, TS over .60.

      So we win 7 more games than the Grizz, they get JJ, Jr. and we get Kevin Knox, who looks like he’s just learning how to play the game of basketball.

      FML

    16. Just to be clear, the issue with trier is not the 2-way player rules. He can’t ‘just walk’ – if he takes a one-year deal he can get offers and we can match them, but only using cap space. The issue is that we’re supposedly hoarding that space.

      Given the fact that of our projects, trier and Vonleh seem like possible keepers, if we still want to hold a max cap spot it makes it even more imperative to move Lee for space. If we do that we can probably keep Dot, sign Vonleh and Trier to meaningful deals and still make a max offer. In the meantime, personally I’m in favour of not pissing around and making him a proper offer for two years. For a rebuilding team, having assets like Trier is what it’s all about. Signing him to a sensible deal is a move completely in line with where we are. Not doing so in case we get Durant is not.

    17. @14

      I agree that Aldridge was not the guy, but the Spurs didn’t manage to surround Kawhi with stars like they did with Duncan coming from the late picks in the draft like Manu and Parker, and that made a huge difference, so I don’t hate the initial move for Aldridge. The Spurs still won 47 games last season with the same roster they have this year plus Kyle Anderson, washed up Tony Parker and Danny Green. I’m pretty sure they win more than 50 with Kawhi last season and 50 this year too.

      I do agree with Jowles that it got harder to outsmart many teams, but ultimately the whole Kawhi situation is what buried them. Now we don’t know how much of that is Buford / Pop’s fault or if any, so there’s that, maybe they botched the situation and Leonard is right to feel slighted by the org.

      In the end, so much of what brought them success was about Duncan, and there was a chance to go straight from that to a Leonard centric situation, but it really didn’t work out. So I really don’t know what they could have done differently, because if they don’t sign Aldridge who else could they have gotten to come play in San Antonio?

    18. @19 It seems that your premise is that going from a Duncan-centric team to a Kawhi-centric team is something of a wash, when Kawhi had his own teammates souring on him while Duncan was a Bill Russell-level leader. Even if I stipulate that the Spurs win 50 this year had they kept Kawhi, it would be a smoke-and-mirrors accomplishment. Aldridge is not a winning player, never has been. Neither is Gay. And the Kawhi fiasco did not have to happen, they could have held out for a better deal than tie up so much cap room in another non-winning player like DeRozan and his untradeable contract.

      I guess what I’m saying is that the Spurs used to prioritize high-IQ players and seemed to have moved away from that into more of a rich man’s Isiah Thomas “I can coach them up” philosophy. It wouldn’t surprise me if Pop retires after this year, unless they hit the draft lottery. There’s very little success in the future for this team.

    19. Not totally sure what to think about these Ntilikina rumors.
      I actually buy that the team has soured somewhat on him, and remember also that he is not a Mills/Perry guy but Phil draft pick.

      And trading him is not just getting a pick back, but also moving his contract. For example we could trade him to PHX for that Milwaukee pick plus Troy Daniels who expires this summer. Move his 4.8MM number plus Courtney Lee somehow and we would have full max room +.

      I’m a Frank optimist but even I am starting get disheartened a bit. It is amazing how little statistical impact he has on the game. And even his on/off defensive numbers are not special anymore.

    20. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, maybe it’s time for Fox News to tell their marks what Michael Cohen told us last night.

      You’re being naive. Trump followers know exactly who Trump is. They just think they are getting a good return on their moral investment. That’s all.

      Trump has exposed a simple truth that few will publicly admit: most people are willing to gloss shit over when they feel some reward is in store for them. And Trump is a typical snake oil salesman, who knows this truth better than anyone.

      I would be shocked if he has anything other than disdain and contempt for his followers.

    21. Not totally sure what to think about these Ntilikina rumors.

      Odds are they are totally fake. People see what we see: a meaningless player.

    22. I agree that it’s not a simple transition, Z-Man, but we’re not really sure if it would be just smoke and mirrors, they would have a top 5 player in his prime re-signed with a west that could be opened if Durant leaves next season. I agree that now that they botched the Kawhi situation and got DeRozan, they’re completely done, but there was a moment where it was realistic to think a Kawhi led core could contend, before the injury, and the Spurs jumped on the opportunity and it backfired hard.

    23. The Spurs won 67 games in 2016 with LMA as the #2 minutes player on the team, then 61 the following year. Why would anyone point to the Kawhi era as a sign that the Spurs model had then failed? They lost a guy who put up 13.6 and 13.7 win shares the previous two seasons and still won 47 last year.

      Again, the Spurs dynasty is essentially over now (like it would have been had Duncan gone to the Magic in 2000), but the argument that LMA was a limiting factor is simply ridiculous when you’ve got the league’s #1 defense for like three straight years and setting a franchise SRS record by a country mile with him playing that much. He’s 33, so the decline phase is in full effect. I wouldn’t criticize them for having him back in the late Duncan years, though.

    24. “Trump has exposed a simple truth that few will publicly admit: most people are willing to gloss shit over when they feel some reward is in store for them.”

      That’s only half the truth. Trump is a big middle finger from people who feel, correctly for the most part, the game is rigged and they’re not important. Whether it’s Romney calling 47% of Americans worthless parasites or Hillary calling millions of Americans “irredeemable,” people have figured out how the elite truly feel about them and they’re responding in kind.

      Mike

    25. In ’15-’16, LMA was 7th on the team in BPM; in the pl;ayoffs, and 9th in the playoffs. The next year, he was 10th and 14th, respectively. Last year he was 3rd and 2nd respectively. Notice the pattern?

      He’s one of the most overrated players in the league. So long as he’s surrounded by smart, efficient players, you can mask his weaknesses, but last year it became apparent that he would lead the Spurs into decline.

    26. That’s only half the truth. Trump is a big middle finger from people who feel, correctly for the most part, the game is rigged and they’re not important.

      I don’t think Trump is a middle finger – his followers (being overwhelmingly dishonest, nasty and ignorant) truly think that he will mold the country according to their wishes. They side with him because they still expect him to deliver on his promise of a USA that will never exist. If they were not as ignorant and obtuse as they are, they would realize he won’t deliver. But they are not, so they still wait for the magical moment…

      In the end, focusing on Trump (or any other president) is politically naive and ignores the fact that the real problem lies with our absolutely corrupt Congress. That’s where change needs to happen. Then, social infections like Trump would never develop into the plague he is.

    27. @27

      I agree that he’s overrated and he’s definitely not suited to being the star of a team, but I think it’s fair to say that Aldridge isn’t the problem per se like Jowles was arguing, the problem was not being able to replace the guys ahead of him in BPM, which were Duncan, Ginobili, Boban, David West and Danny Green. Duncan and Ginobili are obviously irreplaceable, and Boban is not so relevant as he only played 500 minutes in the entire season. West was easily replaced by Pau Gasol in a similar role, but he’s been injured this entire season almost; and Green declined heavily last season and is only now regaining his form.

      I generally agree with what you’re saying, I just think what they had to do was extremely hard and was bound to fail. How exactly do you replace guys like Duncan or Manu? When you’re forced to part with Kawhi, you either tank or go for a replacement, they went with the replacement offer and it has clearly backfired, which in my opinion was the pivotal mistake. Extending Aldridge was a lesser mistake in that sense and somewhat justifiable because it was done in a situation where they expected Kawhi to stay.

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