Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.12.03)

  • [FOXsports] Knicks, Wizards look to build on wins
    (Sunday, December 02, 2018 9:57:00 PM)

    Knicks, Wizards look to build on wins

  • [TheRinger] Knicks, Wizards look to build on wins
    (Sunday, December 02, 2018 9:57:00 PM)

    Knicks, Wizards look to build on wins

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Notes: Ntilikina, Knox, Robinson, Vonleh
    (Sunday, December 02, 2018 10:04:28 AM)

    Frank Ntilikina is the latest victim of coach David Fizdale’s changing rotation, never leaving the bench in Saturday night’s win over the Bucks, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. The Knicks were down a guard after Trey Burke sprained his right knee in the first minute of the game, but Fizdale never turned to Ntilikina, making […]

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ Frank Ntilikina on how he feels after benching: ‘It’s not frustration’
    (Sunday, December 02, 2018 2:00:01 PM)

    A day after getting bashed (along with Kevin Knox) by unnamed Knicks officials, Frank Ntilikina was benched during Saturday night’s win against the Bucks at Madison Square Garden.

  • [SNY Knicks] Five trade packages that make sense for Knicks G Tim Hardaway Jr.
    (Sunday, December 02, 2018 9:30:10 AM)

    The Knicks could be inclined to listen to offers for Tim Hardaway Jr. Here are a few directions they could go in if they decide to trade their stud shooting guard.

  • [NYPost] Why the Knicks and their coach love Noah Vonleh
    (Sunday, December 02, 2018 8:20:45 PM)

    David Fizdale’s assessment of the most complete player on the Knicks’ roster right now might be surprising to some. Noah Vonleh was a top-10 pick by Charlotte in 2014, but the Knicks already are his fourth team in five NBA seasons. But the 6-foot-10 power forward out of Indiana looks as if he’s possibly finding…

  • [NYPost] David Fizdale wants Frank Ntilikina ready at any time
    (Sunday, December 02, 2018 7:46:07 PM)

    David Fizdale likes to say that none of his players ever should feel as if they are in the “dungeon” or the “doghouse,” and he did that again Sunday in reference to Frank Ntilikina’s benching for the entirety of the Knicks’ overtime win over Milwaukee one night earlier. Fizdale cited another second-year guard, Damyean Dotson,…

  • [NYPost] Kevin Knox is ready for the highs and lows he knows are coming
    (Sunday, December 02, 2018 5:48:20 PM)

    The day after what he called the “best moment” of his NBA career, Knicks rookie Kevin Knox still was trying to keep everything in perspective. Playing in New York means being criticized when he struggles, as he is ready to admit he did during a recent seven-game stretch in which the first-round draft pick made…

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    137 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.12.03)

    1. alsep73

      It doesn’t work straight up though, but if we traded Baker and Frank together for Fultz, it works in the trade machine and it would actually improve Philly’s salary picture since Baker is on the books for only one year and they could waive Baker as soon as they get him.

      I thought Baker was untradeable due to Bird rights? Or was that only true last season?

    2. thenoblefacehumper

      I think to get in the Fultz conversation we’ll need more than any one player on our team. What could work is Dotson + Lee + Baker (for salary purposes) for Fultz and Chandler.

      If Lee is healthy and his normal mediocre self that would give Philly two rotation players, plus an excellent cheerleader.

      Should we do it? I lean towards yes, but it’s close. Dotston is emerging as a pretty solid player. At the end of the day we need upside plays if we’re ever going to turn this thing around though, and at 24 Dotson likely is what he is.

    3. thenoblefacehumper

      I thought Baker was untradeable due to Bird rights? Or was that only true last season?

      Only true last season due to the player option for this season.

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

      Alsep, there could be some reason Baker can’t be traded, but I doubt it. I did the trade in the ESPN trade machine and it worked, and the machine usually takes note of trade restrictions.

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

      I don’t want to add Dotson. He is useful and getting better. Fultz is a gamble and Ntilikina basically is too. Trading the Ntilikina gamble for the Fultz one is okay with me. Giving up two young players for him is not, given how risky Fultz is.

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

      Then I wouldn’t trade with them

    7. Farfa

      Damyean Dotson is a hell of a sweetener (.094 WS/48 at 1.5 million/year until 2020); it makes no sense in using it to get Fultz.

      If it can be used to get something better for THJ, ok. Don’t use him as a sweetener in a salary dump (I would have been partially favorable if it was the Joakim Noah dump; any other case is irrelevant).

    8. Z-man

      Agree w Farfa. Dot is exactly the kind of contract u don’t trade in a salary dump at this time of year.

    9. Jack Bauer

      Agree I would keep Dotson, he’s cheap and he’s played reasonably well on both sides of the ball when given minutes.

      So far Frank looks like a deer in the headlights on offense and overall has not lived up to being a top ten pick. That being said I think trading him now given his age and depressed market value would be epically stupid.

      This franchise has been known to make epically stupid moves.

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

      I think we will probably have a hard time making good deals because our record is bad, and therefore many assume all our players aren’t worth much. But I think we’ve gotten better and are probably now better than our record, but our improvement has been masked by a tough schedule (and, to be fair, there is limited data). If we wait a bit, the value of our trade chips could go up.

    11. Ingmarrrr

      For me last year’s draft was Fultz or bust as far as franchise talent go, with maybe Ball in the picture. So I’m not ready to give up on him yet.

      His rebounding and assists numbers are very good, not for a rookie but for any guard in the league. His other intangibles (blk, stl, tov) aren’t bad either. Unless you know something that the public doesn’t, I wouldn’t hesitate to give them any or all of Dotson, Lee, and Burke.

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

      I don’t know what an EWP is, but I assume it has to do with expected wins. We could be improving and still have an expected wins that matches point differential or whatever EWP is based on, because both the data and the expectation are based on the whole season’s results.

    13. Farfa

      @15

      Yup! It’s the final result of pythagorean calculations. I agree on us improving (or better yet, having a chance at improving; right now I don’t see any improvements save for Mudiay and Vonleh – but contract year anyone?), I was just referring to “we’re probably better than our record”.

    14. Farfa

      Sadly I really think Fultz has the yips and there’s no way his shot comes back. I would be ok though trading Lee for him.

    15. thenoblefacehumper

      It sure is annoying that Phil and Mills tied up all of our cap space with garbage. If Lee, Noah, and THJ weren’t on the books we’d be in the exact same position we’re in now but with enough cap space to talk extensions with Vonleh and Trier while maintaining plenty after they got done.

    16. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      @11

      That’s partially why, when push came to shove at draft time, I went with SGA. The argument was that Mikal is a solid player who will contribute in his first year – which turned out to be true. But also that he doesn’t have much upside – which is too early to know. But it was also that Dot had enough promise of turning into that player that Mikal’s skills might already be in the team.

    17. Z-man

      Yeah, but maybe it’s a blessing in disguise, keeping us from throwing a megamax contract at the likes of Kemba. If we could retain Vonleh, Trier and yes, even possibly Mudiay on team-friendly deals while signing a value FA to a reasonable deal, that would be fine by me.

    18. Farfa

      @21

      It might be a mix of resignation and delusion seeping in, but I find myself starting to agree with that sentiment. I don’t think we’re in position to attract major FAs. Signing Vonleh for 16/3, letting the market determine the price of Mudiay (being an RFA – but I wouldn’t match anything higher than 21/3, and only if Mudiay hits at least .100 WS/48 or whatever is average in your preferred advanced stat) and giving Trier the biannual could be fine; that’s also on the result of lottery night. With a top-4 selection that path is much more palatable.

    19. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Markelle Fultz’s situation reminds me of the Kawhi Leonard situation. SAS was sure Kawhi was healthy and made that known to the public, but Kawhi held out because he didn’t feel right. Philly is sure there is nothing wrong with Fultz’s body, but he doesn’t feel right. I would trade for him and let him sit out the season to get his shoulder together. If we can take a chance on Mudiay, Vonleh, and Hezonja, we can take a chance on Fultz. A healthy Markelle Fultz would be a game changer.

    20. Hubert

      Noblefacehumper’s line over the weekend about us just running the same team out next year but with less cap space is pretty much where we seem headed. It’s astonishing, but we seem to have tanked the developmental year around the Orlando game and have shifted to using rentals to try to eke out 30 wins. Or maybe we’re trying to stay afloat long enough to rush Porzingis back so we can compete for the 8 seed. Either way, any optimism I had based on Mills and Perry claiming we were actually going to take the long term view this year is gone.

      I don’t think there’s enough awareness for what we’ve accomplished in the last few weeks. We have already made it extremely improbable that we will finish this year in the bottom 4. There is a moment in every Knicks’ management’s tenure when you realize you’re doomed for its duration. The way Mills/Perry/Fiz collectively gave up on its developmental season 14 games in is mine.

    21. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Chicago just fired Hoiberg and they’re getting Markannen back. They might be able to pass us in wins.

    22. Farfa

      There is a moment in every Knicks’ management’s tenure when you realize you’re doomed for its duration. The way Mills/Perry/Fiz collectively gave up on its developmental season 14 games in is mine.

      I’m trying to resist it but I’m having trouble in keeping faith.

    23. Hubert

      I have to withhold final judgment until the trade deadline. If Perry ends up getting useful long-term assets back for Mudiay, Kanter, and Vonleh, then our dedication to building up their value might have been worth diminishing our chances of being in the top 4.

      But I think we all know we’re going to keep those guys here and see how this team looks with Porzingis. And spoiler alert: it will look only marginally better than how it currently looks. We will most likely be, once again, the worst team in basketball that isn’t trying to be the worst team in basketball.

    24. thenoblefacehumper

      We’ve had spirited discussions about whether or not it would be a good idea to go all in with this team + a draft pick + Kevin freakin’ Durant, so it’s difficult to fathom that people are talking themselves into going all in with this team + a draft pick…without the whole Kevin Durant part.

      I mean guys, this team is really bad. If we cap ourselves out with this team + KP + a draft pick in what’s looking like a weak draft, what do you think the ceiling is for that team?

    25. danvt

      Not positive management has tanked the tank. It’s just that the results are going to be what they are. There was no better roster for avoiding wins going into this season. Mudiay and Hardaway being poster children for lack of efficiency and Kanter being a sieve on defense. But games aren’t played on paper and Fiz “unfortunately” has done a really good job. Not that 8-16 is good, but for this roster it is, and 4-2 in our last six is actually good.

      Also, and I had this sinking feeling on opening night when we beat ATL, no matter how bad we are, some asshole squad is gonna figure out how to be better at that than we are as well.

      So, yeah, no Zion…fuk. But I don’t know how much blame there is to throw around for that…

    26. Z-man

      Well, by definition we can’t possibly be the same team next year that we are right now. We don’t have KP right now and we don’t have a likely 2019 lottery pick right now. We likely won’t have Kanter, we’ll have some young guys (Mitch, Trier, Dotson, Frank) with a year more of experience under their belts, and we’ll have TH2 with a year of experience as a go-to guy under his belt. If we choose to, we’ll have Vonleh and Mudiay back with a year of experience as starters under their belts.

      Sure, there’s lots of reasons for concern, but if several of the young guys take the next step and we draft a decent player at #8 or #9, then it might not be so bad.

    27. Farfa

      I mean guys, this team is really bad. If we cap ourselves out with this team + KP + a draft pick in what’s looking like a weak draft, what do you think the ceiling is for that team?

      Very low. But at some point you have to call a spade a spade.

      Ideal scenario: our young guns develop and we get rid of dead weight (everyone but Vonleh, assuming we have already signed Trier for 2 years), we suck, draft high and sign one of Butler/KD/Kawhi.
      Scenario likeliness: 0.1% (it was at 20% until the Orlando game).

      Most likely scenario: Perry is all about saving face and resigns at least Mudiay (maybe even Mario) while ditching some of Gaines’ guys; who cares about development. In that case, give me at least three more years of Vonleh.

    28. JK47

      This is going to be a long, slow and tedious rebuild. Which is fine I guess. There was a golden opportunity to do a true rebuild when the Melo/Stat team collapsed, but instead Phil Jackson thought he could compete for titles by the sheer godlike force of the triangle offense. So here we are. We’re bad, will continue to be bad, and there’s not really a great way out of the mess.

    29. Z-man

      My feeling is that all the KD talk is wasted breath. He’s not coming here, period. If folks want to get excited about the infinitesimally small chance of him having a mini-stroke and thinking it’s a good idea to come here, whatever. A much more realistic possibility is for us to sign a guy like Kemba at $30-$40 million for 4 years. Personally, I’d rather live in the real world and in that world, I’d rather choose plan B (no max FA signing.)

    30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      My feeling is that all the KD talk is wasted breath. He’s not coming here, period.

      Agreed. If it happens, it’ll be for reasons unknown, not because he wants to play next to Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina.

      Look, if this team can play its youth and beat the Bucks, meaning that it can’t acciden-tank, then play the games out and cross your fingers for a top 3 pick for Zion, Bol or Little. I’m fine with that if Mudiay, Vonleh and co. somehow finally step up and meet pre-draft expectations. But trying to position for Durant is pretty silly. I believe there are 8-10 teams with max slots next year. The idea that NYK has any real advantage over the rest is laughable to me.

    31. Bruno Almeida

      @33

      I also agree that getting a real true superstar is very unlikely, but in that case, wouldn’t it be even more important to get a very high lottery pick and a chance at Zion? That’s what I hate about the “steady the course” discourse, at some point a team that wants to become a playoff contender needs to have a spike in talent or productivity.

      This can come from a free agent signing, a draft pick developing or a big trade. The Knicks are in a situation where the free agents we really want aren’t coming; the draft pick we want is not coming and they have no assets to make a big trade.

      Not having KP for this year made the plan super clear: tank while your best player is injured. If we waste this opportunity than yes, it’ll be a slow and painful belated attempt at a rebuild that once again, probably won’t work.

    32. Farfa

      Sometimes I try to wrap my mind around the idea that if the Knicks were led by our collective effort would be so much better than they are with all of those Dolan cronies.

      It’s amazing how much damage can do a rich moron.

    33. wetbandit

      1. Durant ain’t coming, unless he has very non-basketball related reasons. I mean, look at our starters.

      2. We’ve been starting guys named Mudiay, Kanter, Hardaway, Hezonja, and rookies named Knox, Robinson, and Trier. And we’re not bottom of the barrel. I mean, what else do you want the front office to do? Their only ways of tanking us are by having worse players, and by minutes-allocation. I don’t see a way to fix either.

      3. All this negative talk about Fizdale is too much. If we beat the f-ing Bucks, with the shitty-ass players we have, then, umm, isn’t that a positive in the coaching category?

      4. Again, players don’t play to lose, and coaches either. The front office’s only ways to tank are by personnel decisions- who you start out with, and who you take out. That’s it. They started the year off with shitty, shitty players. And unless you want them to dictate to Fizdale rotations, there’s not much they can do.

      5. Hezonja- we act like Hezonja’s playing at the expense of Frank or Mitch. He is playing at the expense of Knox (who right now is a very bad rookie with one good game so far), and Lance Thomas. You may make an argument about taking him out, putting Hardaway in at SF, and playing Vonleh at the 4. Fine.

      6. Frank- Sometimes the cure to burnout, confidence issues, or getting out of your head is some time off. Fine.

    34. Hubert

      Not positive management has tanked the tank.

      We have twice as many wins as the teams who are tanking and it’s Dec 3. The odds of making up that ground are *extremely* low. Especially when we’re still obviously working very hard to increase that difference.

    35. JK47

      Yeah really, how much shittier personnel can we possibly run out there? I mean it’s kind of Knicksy that Emmanuel Mudiay and Noah Vonleh are leading the Knicks to pointless wins, but at least it’s a different flavor of Knicksy.

    36. Farfa

      3. All this negative talk about Fizdale is too much. If we beat the f-ing Bucks, with the shitty-ass players we have, then, umm, isn’t that a positive in the coaching category?

      Is shooting 58.8% from three on 34 attempts a coaching feat?

      5. Hezonja- we act like Hezonja’s playing at the expense of Frank or Mitch. He is playing at the expense of Knox (who right now is a very bad rookie with one good game so far), and Lance Thomas. You may make an argument about taking him out, putting Hardaway in at SF, and playing Vonleh at the 4. Fine.

      Actually, until last game Frank came in to sub exactly Mario.

    37. Hubert

      We’re still the second most likely place Kevin Durant will play, according to almost everything (NBA writers, Vegas oddsmakers, NBA executives, etc). Per current odds, Kevin Durant is more likely to be a Knicks than Zion Williamson.

      Unfortunately, the odds still favor us going all in with this current core whose ceiling is 8 seed.

    38. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      By the way, a few days ago I said we had our own (sort of) Mikal Bridges in-house with Dot.

      I said the same thing at draft time.

      I called him “a poor man’s version of Mikal Bridges”. He could be a better fit skill wise even if he’s not as good player as Mikal long term. Dotson is pretty good on the boards. He’s probably a better rebounder than Mikal. That’s a pretty good attribute to have in small lineups if we use KP at C and Knox at PF.

    39. kevin5318

      If we really wanted Durant then putting us in a better position to get Zion would make us more attractive to a guy of his caliber.

      Of course he was always gonna be a long shot but we could possibly be looking at the 10th pick at the rate that we’re going.

    40. Z-man

      @35, I agree and always have, but at some point it’s beating your head against a wall expecting that what should happen actually might happen, given the stark reality that it has no chance of happening. I think it can be safely stipulated that we are all annoyed that the FO and coach are resistant to maximizing our draft position, benching vets on bad contracts, etc. But given that, I find it more intellectually satisfying to discuss realistic possibilities that take into account the management and team we have in place than to either constantly vent about what could have been or what should be now or to present hypothetical playing time/trade scenarios that have almost no chance of transpiring.

    41. Hubert

      We’ve been starting guys named Mudiay, Kanter, Hardaway, Hezonja, and rookies named Knox, Robinson, and Trier. And we’re not bottom of the barrel. I mean, what else do you want the front office to do?

      This is the single most disingenuous argument currently making the rounds on Knickerblogger.

      We have constantly revamped our rotation since the beginning of the year in search of wins. We are only near the bottom of the barrel because of the lineups that we *stopped* using.

      What else do I want them to do? It’s pretty basic.

      STEP 1: trade or release every player who is an impending free agent: Kanter, Mudiay, and Vonleh.

      STEP 2: play all the shitty young players we were playing in the beginning of the year. Frank is our best tank driver, so stop benching him. If Robinson gets into foul trouble, turn to Hicks instead of Kanter. Etc. Etc. Etc.

      It’s not that difficult.

    42. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Guys, it’s December 3, 2018 and we have the 5th worst record in the NBA. We are currently led by Mudiay, TH2, Noah Vonleh, and Enes Kanter. The doom and gloom about this team’s future is hilarious to me.

      As far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t mind having Noah Vonleh and Damyean Dotson as our long term starters at the 2 and 4. They’re good rebounders, they play defense, they can shoot the three, and they can handle the ball well enough for low usage role players. If you add KP and a top 5 pick, let’s say that guy is Cam Reddish or Nassir Little (the draft will fall Zion, RJ, Bol, and then Little/Reddish will go 4 and 5), then you have a pretty solid group of starter quality guys plus Knox, Trier, Ntilikina, Robinson, and TH2’s expiring contract. You’d have to go into the cap space we’ve been hoarding to lock up Trier and Vonleh past this season, but that probably wouldn’t cost more than $12M AAV combined. If Mudiay really did turn a corner and is now a 6’5” Raymond Felton, he’d probably cost us another $7-9M AAV, and as your 5th best starter you can live with that in a rebuilding effort.

      I wouldn’t hate it if our starting five next year was Mudiay, Dotson, Reddish/Little, Vonleh, and Porzingis.

    43. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      I’ve argued that “cap space is an asset” as much as anyone, but so are players like Vonleh and Trier if they play well and you put them into your cap space on fair deals.

      If we can’t sign a player like Durant, Irving, or Leonard because they find other teams more attractive, so be it. That does not mean we can’t trade for a better player at a later date IF we have some good assets. IMO, the idea is to accumulate attractive assets. It doesn’t matter whether those assets are cap space, picks, or attractive tradeable players.

      If Mudiay keeps playing well and progressing, he’s an ASSET. You don’t just discard him unless there’s something you can do with that cap space that’s better.

      Vonleh is young and can really play. We should be thrilled about picking him up. I am!

    44. wetbandit

      Nothing dishonest about what I said, you are free to disagree.

      There’s a difference between what you are saying we should do (play the shittiest players we have, at the expense of everything else, including development of the young players, as well as “culture,” building habits, etc), and what I’m saying is happening (building a roster of potential hopefuls who would likely lose many games, but somehow eked out a few wins, against odds).

      I agree with almost everything else you say: yes, we have no place for Kanter, there are no positives to him being here. Yes, Vonleh and Mudiay are impending free agents, so stop developing them for bigger contracts elsewhere. Although I do think they will likely retain those two, so this only ends in them paying them more next year than we would have if they were smart.

    45. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I don’t understand the reasoning behind trading Vonleh. He’s a 23 year old on a minimum salary that’s giving us what drafting Jarren Jackson Jr would have given us minus the rim protection. The point of signing bargain bin guys is so that when you find them on the scrap heap, you keep them and thank your lucky stars you didn’t have to give up anything but cap space for them. The guy is averaging a double double per 36, is shooting 45% from 3 and has a .612/.569 TS/eFG%. You could spend $24M over 3 seasons a lot worse than on his age 24-26 seasons, and he’s the exact player we need to keep KP at the 5 long term. I get the arguments for Mud and Kanter (who should be bought out immediately), but Vonleh is the one guy we should be looking to lock up long term.

    46. Hubert

      Guys, it’s December 3, 2018 and we have the 5th worst record in the NBA. We are currently led by Mudiay, TH2, Noah Vonleh, and Enes Kanter. The doom and gloom about this team’s future is hilarious to me.

      I know it’s hard to believe but Emmanuel Mudiay is good now. It is very disingenuous to act like playing him is a good tanking strategy. And Enes Kanter may be a sieve on defense but he’s also way too good to play on a tanking team. A Mudiay-Hardway-Vonleh-Kanter core right now is a ~30 win team. Teams that win 30 games are the teams with the worst futures in the NBA. We consistently win that many games. The doom and gloom makes perfect sense.

    47. ptmilo

      If Mudiay keeps playing well and progressing, he’s an ASSET. You don’t just discard him unless there’s something you can do with that cap space that’s better.

      saying he’s an asset at a “fair price” is saying nothing at all. If you had to sign Mudiay to a 3 year deal right now or lose him for nothing, what is the most you would pay?

    48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Mudiay is going to get something like 3/$21M, and if it’s the Knicks giving him that, I’m going to be pissed.

    49. Hubert

      I don’t understand the reasoning behind trading Vonleh.

      1. He’s helping us win games now, and winning games now is bad.

      2. We should be able to get something for him because he’s playing well and is on a minimum salary.

      3. We don’t hold his bird rights so trading him this year has absolutely no impact on our ability to make part of the Knicks next year.

    50. Farfa

      aying he’s an asset at a “fair price” is saying nothing at all. If you had to sign Mudiay to a 3 year deal right now or lose him for nothing, what is the most you would pay?

      21/3 with team option in third year.

      Edit: I didn’t see the “right now” part. Right now to me the most is 6/2, second year unguaranteed.

    51. Farfa

      Mudiay is going to get something like 3/$21M, and if it’s the Knicks giving him that, I’m going to be pissed.

      Oh, me too, unless Mudiay plays consistently well. Right now I wouldn’t resign him. Gimme three months of .100+ WS/48 play and why not (see comment 56).

    52. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      @51

      100% agree.

      We have tankitis here. It’s a disease characterized by the desire to be perpetually horrible by getting rid of anyone that is playing well and might screw up this year’s tank and everyone that is old enough to have pubic hairs and shave.

      If you are going to rebuild from zero, the idea is to get rid of OLDER players that don’t fit your time line. But once you do that, you should start ACCUMULATING good young players on fair or bargain contracts and slowly get BETTER!

      Vonleh is someone you should NOT be trying to trade. He’s someone you should be thanking your lucky stars you were smart or lucky enough to bring in. You should keep him unless Durant comes calling.

      Even Kanter would be fine at his age. The only problem is that we are unlikely to be able to retain him on a contract that makes sense to play off the bench.

    53. bobneptune

      http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yby8r5y6

      I think this makes a ton of sense for both teams:

      Assuming Philly wants to dump Fultz…. they get players that can help today…. the current Mudiay can play meaningful back up minutes (and maybe allow Simmons to play his 6’10” ass a few minutes up front in a smaller faster line-up) and THjr can play minutes as a Reddick/Butler back up and if Reddick pulls his 34 year old hammy, Philly is toast. They need to be prepared for that likelihood/contingency.

      Good for the Knicks because they can take a flyer for cheap on Fultz (I’d stick his wrist in a cast and his shoulder in a sling for 6 weeks and have him shoot 500 free throws a day lefty). Golfers putt left handed and use crossover grips when they have the yips, let him heal (his shoulder and/or brain) and hope you hit an oil well. The guy was the best player in the draft next year.

      If he sucks, you walk away from him next year (don’t pick up his option), Have opened up 9 million more in cap space for next year ( for a full UFA contract? , or sign Trier/Vonleh without losing cap space, dump the non market value contract of THjr and open up minutes for Dotson, Trier, Frank, Knox and Burke and embellish the tank!

      It also allows management to save face with Hardaway’s contract (Geez… we traded him for the best player in last year’s draft!)

      Why not…. well…. I guess it depends if Philly wants to dump Fultz badly enough.

      There is no possible scenario where they take Lee… the man hasn’t played an NBA game since April and the first elbow in the mush he takes he’s back on the DL. This wasn’t some minor muscle spasm he had.

      By the way… after watching Giannis lay brick after brick last night does Fultz shoot that much worse than him today?

    54. Hubert

      If Mudiay keeps playing well and progressing, he’s an ASSET. You don’t just discard him unless there’s something you can do with that cap space that’s better.

      He’s a depreciating asset. He has value between now and the trade deadline. He’s not going to be an asset on his next contract.

      Again, all these guys are doing is winning just enough games to be better than the teams that are trying to lose on purpose. We are still literally the worst team that isn’t actively trying to be the worst team. That is not something that should generate excitement and make you want to bring the gang back.

    55. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      Mudiay is going to get something like 3/$21M, and if it’s the Knicks giving him that, I’m going to be pissed.

      IMO, it’s too soon to make any firm judgement on Mudiay.

      He’s still very young and has been slowly improving all along. The problem is that it was from such a low base it seemed extremely unlikely he could ever become a solid starter. Right now he’s playing much better. The question is did he suddenly make a huge sustainable leap or is this just an aberrational upside that’s to be followed by a regression and more slow improvement from a low base.

      Expressed on a scale of 1 to 10.

      1
      1.5
      2
      5

      Is the next more a drop back to 2.5 or is it another move up to 5.5 or 6?

      I know which way I’d bet at even money, but I don’t know how anyone can know.

    56. Hubert

      Vonleh is someone you should NOT be trying to trade. He’s someone you should be thanking your lucky stars you were smart or lucky enough to bring in. You should keep him unless Durant comes calling.

      If I have tankitis, what do you have that makes you think holding onto him now does anything to increase our chances of keeping him this summer? You think he’s going to give us a discount because we didn’t trade him? If there was a team option, a two year contract, bird rights, literally ANYTHING that made it favorable for us to retain Vonleh, I’d agree with you. But once again, we signed him to a contract that only had upside for the player. We gain literally nothing for Vonleh playing well this year. In fact, we lose. Only he wins.

    57. bobneptune

      Guys on this board where sure Burke was going to continue shooting eleventy billion percent from mid range, too….

    58. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      He’s a depreciating asset. He has value between now and the trade deadline. He’s not going to be an asset on his next contract.

      I guess you know how well he’s going to play for the rest of the season, what his market value is going to be at the end of the year, and that he won’t want to stay in NY for a little less because we may have saved his career?

      I can’t even answer the first part of that.

      He was brought here to try to win the job long term. As remote a possibility as we all thought that was a few months ago, he’s exceeding expectations for now. If he keeps getting better (not that I think it’s very likely), he’s our PG of the future. I’d be shocked beyond belief if that happens, but I have no problem watching it play out. The whole point of bringing in young reclamation players is hoping that 1 out of the 3-4 you bring in breaks out and you can keep him.

    59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      IMO, it’s too soon to make any firm judgement on Mudiay.

      I can think of no better example of a “firm judgment” than awarding a player a three-year, guaranteed contract.

    60. MSA

      Trading everyone over 25 and/or with an expiring contract it’s not going to happen.

      It doesn’t matter if you are pro-tank or not.

      It’s too easy for us to call them stupid, but in the real world, there are a lot of people in the Knicks organization (players, agents, management) with different interests. It’s too much risk for their careers and reputations to just lose on purpose. Apparently, everything Hinkie envisioned is working pretty well for the sixers… and he’s now on a job which is clearly a downgrade from what he used to have.

      People risking their ass will take the safest path. And for us it’s going to be rolling the rest of the season with what we have. Maybe a lateral trade to acquire some asset or get rid of Lee.

      Maybe, and it’s a big maybe, they could tank if everything goes terribly until after the ASB. But even this scenario, we will have KP back and you gotta wonder if the FO wouldn’t want to take a look how the team it’s going to be with him on the floor before imploding everything.

      So chill guys.

    61. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      @63

      We have cap space.

      1. Plan A is filling it with a star player like Durant, Irving or Leonard
      2. If Plan A fails, plan B would be to rent out cap space for a pick or fill it out with good young improving players on fair or attractive long term contracts. Which one to do depends on opportunity.
      3. If Plan B fails, Plan C would be to sign a few 1 year deals with players we have no intention of keeping so we can roll over some of the cap space to the following year.

      Guys like Vonleh are part of Plan B. In fact, if they figure out how to do it, he could even be part of Plan A if they move a less desirable piece to make room for him and a star.

    62. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      I can think of no better example of a “firm judgment” than awarding a player a three-year, guaranteed contract.

      Given the information we have now, neither of us would make that move. But we have several more months of information we’ll be able to evaluate before having to make that decision. Given the last few weeks , I’d like to see what happens before tearing up the contract. I’m shocked how he is playing now. Maybe we’ll be even more shocked towards the end of the season.

    63. ptmilo

      The question is did he suddenly make a huge sustainable leap or is this just an aberrational upside that’s to be followed by a regression and more slow improvement from a low base.

      dear eliza,

      when we correspond my heart is full but my mind stubbornly warns I may yet be hapless catfish fodder unknowingly allowing the latest DeepMind convolutional network to pass the Turing test. I ask for a specific time and place to meet to once and for all back up your grandiose claims of true love for my assets and instead of a valid postal identifier I receive a prosiac if eloquent reminder that time space are observer-dependent. I am starting toseriously wonder: might you be avoiding me?

      -Emmanuel

    64. Hubert

      The whole point of bringing in young reclamation players is hoping that 1 out of the 3-4 you bring in breaks out and you can keep him.

      The whole point should be that you can keep them at a favorable rate. We acquired Vonleh without Bird rights or a team option, so that possibility was out the door from day 1. Mudiay’s cap hold is well above good value, so that possibility is out the door, too.

      What we’re left with is a choice of

      a) holding onto players while they build up value on their next contracts, letting them diminish our future in the process by ruining our chances at a high draft pick, refusing to take anything of value for them now because we think that by saving their career and not trading them when their value was high they will be so grateful as to sacrifice millions of dollars to come back and play here.

      b) getting something of value for them now, going back to playing the young players who were helping us tank, re-signing them in the summer if we want them so bad.

      Choosing A is indefensible.

    65. Z-man

      dear eliza,

      when we correspond my heart is full but my mind stubbornly warns I may yet be hapless catfish fodder unknowingly allowing the latest DeepMind convolutional network to pass the Turing test. I ask for a specific time and place to meet to once and for all back up your grandiose claims of true love for my assets and instead of a valid postal identifier I receive a prosiac if eloquent reminder that time space are observer-dependent. I am starting toseriously wonder: might you be avoiding me?

      -Emmanuel

      This is your brain on drugs…

    66. Hubert

      Guys like Vonleh are part of Plan B. In fact, if they figure out how to do it, he could even be part of Plan A if they move a less desirable piece to make room for him and a star.

      I’m sorry, Strato, but he’s not. I get that he’s young and he’s improving and it makes sense that he’s a long term piece, but your whole argument relies on the assumption that he’s going to sign with us at favorable rate just because he’s so grateful that “we” saved his career. Guys like Vonleh are part of Plan D: let players and agents use and abuse you at the cost of your team’s future. You have to lock in that rate when you take the chance on them. You don’t get it after they’ve made good.

      I’m sorry to say, but Trier probably is part of Plan D, too.

      Trey Burke is the only guy part of plan B. We got him on a two year deal and now he has a cap hold of $2.3 million.

    67. The Infamous Cdiggy

      @69 I agree. I know the fear of #DolansRazor aka Knicks PTSD is embedded in all of us. But it’s just too early for some of the woe-flavored whole-season projections that are being made.
      I’m glad Mudiay is playing well. I hope this is evidence of him turning a corner for good – some of us still hold out hope that Frank is our future PG, but what if – and just humor me for a sec – it’s ultimately Mudiay? Weirder things have happened.

      That said, I also think it’s fair to wonder if the improvement is development or “contract-year” hustle. Let’s see him keep it until, say, the end of January at least.

    68. Hubert

      If you were of the opinion that the most important thing the Knicks needed to do this year was put themselves in position for a top 4 pick, none of this is too early. In the last two weeks we took a 4 game lead on teams that have taken the entire season to win 4 games. It’s probably over already and we’re relying on the flattened odds to save us, even though they’re still stacked against us.

    69. The Infamous Cdiggy

      I’ll also say this about Mudiay: I posted last year when I went to Staples Center to watch the Knicks play the Clippers. I believe I said something along the lines of Mudiay looking like he’s able to move and penetrate like an ideal lead/point but had no clue what to do once he got to the paint. And his J was garbage. He was an NBA body with no head.

      But now… ?

    70. JK47

      One thing’s for sure, NYK needs to stop giving out these one-and-done deals that have no long-term upside for the team. They’ve been doing this since Chris Copeland. If you bring in guys for a flyer, make sure they sign at the very least a contract that contains a cap-friendly team option for that second year. Otherwise you’re just letting these guys audition for their next contracts.

      The Copeland situation was particularly galling. He was kind of ahead of his time as a small-ball, 3-point shooting big, and was really valuable, but the FO signed him to a deal with no team option, he played well enough to earn a contract somewhere else, and the solution was to replace him with Andrea Bargnani. All these years later, the Knicks are still making the same fundamental mistake with these players they bring in on flyer-type contracts.

    71. chrisk06811

      i would dare any of you to walk the streets of north philly and convince someone that the best they can do if they get rid of Fultz is some combo of frank and/or dotson.

    72. The Infamous Cdiggy

      @75
      Ok, so not exactly where we’d like to be right now. But still a little early for outright fear given we still have more than 2/3rds of the season to play.

      The schedule gets decidedly tougher starting Christmas – home and home with the Bucks, then a west coast trip against playoff caliber teams including the Warriors.

    73. Hubert

      @77 that’s precisely what I’m saying. I don’t know why people think players are going to be so grateful that they’ll sign with us for anything less than they’d get elsewhere. Copeland didn’t. Lance Thomas didn’t. Steve Novak didn’t. Even Jeremy Lin fucked us.

      And all of them should have! Because for most of them, it was their last contract. It might be the same for Vonleh and Mudiay.

      Trade ’em all.

    74. The Infamous Cdiggy

      @78
      One of my dudes from college is Mr Philadelphia through and through. Has a sports talk show online. I’ll ask him.

    75. Grocer

      If your two options were trading Mudiay for Fultz or giving Mudiay 3/21 for cap space purposes you’d be better off signing Mudiay.* Fultz is on a 3/25 deal.

      *not an endorsement, way too soon to tell if he’s legit improved, ect.

    76. Z-man

      Last I checked, the undrafted 29yo Copeland that you say was really valuable we missed out on signed a 2 year deal with IND @ $3 mill per, played 6 mpg in 41 games, then absolutely sucked in a larger role the following season, then sucked even worse for the Bucks, and was out of the league after 1200 total minutes of garbage in 3 seasons ($7.2 million) post-Knicks. To argue that his 1-year deal had anything to do with the Bargnani fiasco is pretty specious.

      I don’t see how that situation can be compared at all to Vonleh or Mudiay, who are still young and have upside. We don’t even know whether they would have accepted a 2-year deal with a team option (if I were their agent I would have balked) so it’s possible that the options were what we did or not signing them at all. It’s not like the FO wasn’t aware of the possibility I suppose you could argue for either position on its merits. Not a single poster here was concerned that they would mess up the tank, based on their past statistical profiles.

    77. english_knick

      I’m totally with those who think that failing to tank properly in the season or potential franchise player is injured is really dumb. Yes, players and coaches play and coach to win. But this year was a unique opportunity to just develop young pieces – if they won, so be it – and since the Orlando game we seem to have given up on that.

      All of that said, no ‘process’ is immaculately implemented. Look at Philly with Noel and Okafor (and the Fultz trade). Some good can still come of this.

      We probably aren’t getting a premium FA this year (we probably never were). But if Mudiay and Vonleh continue to play well, we could elect to resign them. We’ll have to pay a market rate but at least they will have a year under the system. Mudiay’s hold lapses if we sign him to a lower deal. Trier is restricted and there’s still a good chance we lock him up for at least one more year at a decent team friendly salary.

      We haven’t started well in the lottery but we have picked up other good assets in the second round (dot and Mitch) and undfrafted (trier) and those are all real, cost controlled assets.

      It also isn’t true that bringing back the same team next year is just the same team with less space. Firstly, we add a lotto pick. Secondly, as it stands we have nearly 75m in space in 2020 if Timmy opts out and we don’t make long term commitments to bad FAs this year. If we were to spend, say, 15m locking up Vonleh, Mudiay and Trier, and add 10m for lottery picks in 19 and 20, we’re still on track to have a core of KP, Mitch, Trier, Frank and Knox, plus our 2019 and 2020 picks and around 50m in space. Only Dot and maybe Trier would need to be resigned and both should have low holds.

      Don’t get me wrong, we could be playing this a LOT better but it’s not a total lost cause.

      Of course when we resign Kanter for 15m per, and then resign TH for another 20m per, this all becomes irrelevant and I eat my words. Just saying right now it’s still redeemable…

    78. Grocer

      toseriously

      I thought “I’m gonna have to look that one up.” I’m an idiot.

      That was nicely turned out, well done.

    79. JK47

      Last I checked, the undrafted 29yo Copeland that you say was really valuable we missed out on signed a 2 year deal with IND @ $3 mill per, played 6 mpg in 41 games, then absolutely sucked in a larger role the following season, then sucked even worse for the Bucks, and was out of the league after 1200 total minutes of garbage in 3 seasons ($7.2 million) post-Knicks. To argue that his 1-year deal had anything to do with the Bargnani fiasco is pretty specious.

      Your memory must be short. The capped-out Knicks feared they were going to lose their floor-spacing big Copeland, and would not be able to give both Copeland and Pablo Prigioni the mini-MLE. So instead they packaged Camby, Novak, Quentin Richardson and draft picks for Bargnani to play that floor-stretching big role. The idea was to pull Roy Hibbert out of the paint, because Roy Hibbert single-handedly destroying the Knicks was a thing that used to happen.

      Of course Copeland turned out to be a flash in the pan, but that doesn’t change the fact that they should have just given him a team option in case he turned out to be valuable, which he was for a short time.

    80. geo

      so, it’s monday morning here in the golden state…at the desk, figuring our what needs to get taken care of…a little documentation, few transactions, an email here and there…decide to check in on this site…

      see the normal monday morning basketball blues – woe are the knickerbockers…right on time – few other posters exclaim – no need for jumping off any bridges, things are going okay…

      and then i come across this:

      dear eliza,

      when we correspond my heart is full but my mind stubbornly warns I may yet be hapless catfish fodder unknowingly allowing the latest DeepMind convolutional network to pass the Turing test. I ask for a specific time and place to meet to once and for all back up your grandiose claims of true love for my assets and instead of a valid postal identifier I receive a prosiac if eloquent reminder that time space are observer-dependent. I am starting to seriously wonder: might you be avoiding me?

      -Emmanuel

      oh man, that shit is gonna push me towards a fugue state all day…

      i suddenly can’t remember anything i was working on, before coming across this insidious prose…you should post some kind of warning before laying that kind of heavy stuff down…curse you milo :)

    81. Bruno Almeida

      I came into this season so full of hope for the young team, and now we’re discussing if Emmanuel Mudiay will receive a 3 year deal from the Knicks.

      The lesson, as always, is never be hopeful.

    82. Hubert

      Ok, so not exactly where we’d like to be right now. But still a little early for outright fear given we still have more than 2/3rds of the season to play.

      It’s the process more than the results, Cdiggy. It’s already clear that we’re committed to the impending free agents and squeezing as many wins out of this roster as possible. Sure, there’s a lot of season left to play. But given the thought process that is evident, I only expect the distance from us and where we need to be to grow.

    83. Z-man

      @88, I’m not disputing that the FO was terribly short-sighted then. But it was not as simple as “OMG we can’t re-sign Copeland because we stupidly didn’t insist on a second year with a team option, let’s make the Bargnani deal!

    84. geo

      whew…just cuz i know how concerned everyone is for my well being and state of mind…turns out a few minutes of listening to some yacht rock on sirius has righted the world for me once again…

      how can the world not be right when you listen to an endless loop of baby come back and the pina colida song…

      Edit; fuck it…i’m leaving it as colida…

    85. bobneptune

      t’s too easy for us to call them stupid, but in the real world, there are a lot of people in the Knicks organization (players, agents, management) with different interests. It’s too much risk for their careers and reputations to just lose on purpose.

      Let me tell you a little story about what happens when you do what you think is right even though you are placing your balls in a vise.

      There was a Harvard drop out in the 70’s who was a little geeky and used to write some programs and played around with a few friends and their home made computers. One day this guy with his little start up software company heard IBM had a strange idea…. a personal computer that people could put in their homes or businesses to make their life easier.He got himself a meeting with IBM.

      He told them this is a neat little idea you have…. but what are you going to do for an operating system. They didn’t have one. Neither did the geek…. but he told them he did and contracted to supply every IMB PC with an OS.

      He then flew out to his native Seatle and went through the boutiques there that wrote software for operating systems and bought DOS for $50,000 !!! That’s correct….. Bill Gates bought the operating syetem that ran every PC in the world for a decade for $50,000 and Microsoft was born.

      Fortune favors the bold.

    86. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I really wouldn’t mind watching these 27 win Knicks + Porzingis, a top five pick, all of our draft picks going forward, and cap flexibility. If our starting five next year is Porzingis, Vonleh, Reddish, Dotson, and Mudiay (with Mudiay being a 6’5” Ray Felton), I’d be okay watching them compete. Just don’t sign any immovable contracts and we’ll be fine.

    87. Brian Cronin

      Fortune favors the bold.

      I’m with you, Bob, but the head of the Knicks’ basketball operations is a guy whose greatest skill as a basketball executive is keeping Dolan happy and thus keeping a job. Mills has outlasted everyone. Dude literally brought in Browne-Sanders because they were friends and then sold her out when Isiah was harassing her. He is all about protecting his job. He even technically lost his job after the Browne-Sanders disaster (an $11.5 million judgement against MSG and Dolan) and just got a different one from Dolan that ultimately led to him becoming the head of the Knicks basketball team (after previously being the head of MSG). Think about that, he got fired from the MSG gig only to get a better job from the same guy (well, a more prestigious job, at least)! That is not a guy who is going to rock the boat in any dramatic way. Right now, I assure you he’s pushing “This is all Phil’s fault” 100% and likely plans to blame Perry next if things don’t work out.

    88. MSA

      Let me tell you a little story about what happens when you do what you think is right even though you are placing your balls in a vise.

      There was a Harvard drop out in the 70’s who was a little geeky and used to write some programs and played around with a few friends and their home made computers. One day this guy with his little start up software company heard IBM had a strange idea…. a personal computer that people could put in their homes or businesses to make their life easier.He got himself a meeting with IBM.

      He told them this is a neat little idea you have…. but what are you going to do for an operating system. They didn’t have one. Neither did the geek…. but he told them he did and contracted to supply every IMB PC with an OS.

      He then flew out to his native Seatle and went through the boutiques there that wrote software for operating systems and bought DOS for $50,000 !!! That’s correct….. Bill Gates bought the operating syetem that ran every PC in the world for a decade for $50,000 and Microsoft was born.

      Fortune favors the bold.

      Cute story.

      This could work very well for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or James Dolan, but that’s not how employed people act on their daily jobs.

      You shouldn’t ask someone who has a LOT to lose to take such risks.

      I don’t blame Perry, Mills or Fitz for riding this season to our usual mediocrity. Tanking or not tanking is entirely a decision that should be made by Dolan.

    89. Z-man

      Right now, I assure you he’s pushing “This is all Phil’s fault” 100% and likely plans to blame Perry next if things don’t work out.

      Really? And you have evidence (beyond his longevity) to back that up, right?

    90. Brian Cronin

      Really? And you have evidence (beyond his longevity) to back that up, right?

      The Phil stuff already happened. Remember, Mills spent the last year or so (closer to two years) of Phil’s time here badmouthing Phil. The Perry stuff is more speculative, sure, but, well, come on, this is Steve Mills here, he’s going to suddenly say it was his fault? Not very likely.

    91. Brian Cronin

      Of course Copeland turned out to be a flash in the pan, but that doesn’t change the fact that they should have just given him a team option in case he turned out to be valuable, which he was for a short time.

      Like I mentioned the other day, not getting a team option on Lance Thomas back in 2015-16 was just beyond insane. He barely deserved a roster spot, but if you are so confident in the guy, why in the world would you not get a team option on him? How was Lance Thomas going to say no headed into 2015-16? Same with Copeland. That’s different, though, than Noah Vonleh, who the Knicks did not have any leverage with – he could have easily gotten the same contract he got from the Knicks from another team. There was actually some market for Vonleh (at this contract level, that is, which is a vet minimum deal), as opposed to Copeland and Thomas.

    92. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, I really don’t think Mills will give up what has been his modus operandi for more than a decade. He’s always been a hack and I have absolutely zero trust in him to make the right decisions.

      People act like this front office is new and deserves a fresh start when Mills rotten hands have been in so many of our worst years in the past decades.

    93. Hubert

      I really wouldn’t mind watching these 27 win Knicks + Porzingis, a top five pick, all of our draft picks going forward, and cap flexibility. If our starting five next year is Porzingis, Vonleh, Reddish, Dotson, and Mudiay (with Mudiay being a 6’5” Ray Felton), I’d be okay watching them compete. Just don’t sign any immovable contracts and we’ll be fine.

      What about the 27 win Knicks + Porzingis on a mega max contract + the 8th pick in the draft + A Vonleh who suddenly looks less interested after we gave him a 4 year deal + a Mudiay who only resembles Felton because he got so fat after we signed him to a 3 year/$30mm contract? That’s what you’re signing up for.

      I mean, come on guys. How many times do you need to see it? Remember when you talked yourselves into the Lance Thomas deal because he was really good for a few months, too?

    94. Frank O.

      After the last six game losing streak, the Knicks have won four of six, beating Boston, New Orleans, Memphis and Milwaukee.
      All those squads are at or above .500, and some are going to place high in their conferences.
      So,
      1. This isn’t a team that will be tanking as many hoped. They’re better than that.
      2. It also appears this team is learning how to play late in the 4th. They are learning how to win.
      3. Fizzy has them playing hard, all the time.
      4. Compared to recent years, they play pretty solid defense.
      5. Their athleticism seems to bother certain teams.
      6. They don’t have great players, but they have players that show grit. Mudiay, Vonleh, Robinson, Canter, Trier, and Dotson all show surprising toughness.
      7. They are fun to watch. No game seems completely out of reach. It’s a bit like they’re a bit to young and dumb to realize they are supposed to be losing to good teams. They are supposed to be in awe of the Greek Freak…and yet they’re not.
      8. They seem to like each other. I really believe this is an important dynamic, particularly with teams lacking a bonafide star.
      9. On past Knicks’ teams, a critic would argue, there were aberrant wins, but those wins felt at the time like pure luck. And critics can look at the 3-pt shooting v. the Bucks and suggest that was aberrant. But overall, I see progress. I see switches, and people fighting over picks. I see players playing smarter, and clutch FTs made.

      Before we start trading our unknowns for more unknowns, why not see what kind of dynamic these guys create?

      Durant is highly likely not coming to NY to play. Somehow mortgaging the present for an uncertain future seems foolhardy. There was something contagious about the excitement that rocked MSG the other night. That kind of excitement has been hard to find. I’d let this hand ride for a bit.

    95. JK47

      4. Compared to recent years, they play pretty solid defense.

      I’m not really seeing this. They’re 26th in the league in defensive rating, which is a lot like a typical Knicks team. They don’t do anything well on defense Four Factors-wise. They don’t defend the three-point line well, they don’t get defensive rebounds, they foul a lot…

      This is still a shitty defensive team.

    96. Frank O.

      JK47.

      I don’t know how to do this, but is there a way to see if they have improved of late?
      I mean the Bucks are one of the top scoring teams in the NBA, so I kind of throw that game out. But I would like to know if they have show improvement. After all these guys barely knew each other at the start of the year.

    97. Frank O.

      Actually I just found it. Over the last six games the Knicks have posted the 5th best defense in the NBA, tied with several other teams. But when you consider the opponents over the last six, that’s pretty good.
      Over the last nine games, they’re ranked 16th, still a radical improvement over earlier in the year. and over 12 games they’re 23rd.

      That fits into my comment that I have seen improved defensive play

    98. Hubert

      So,
      1. This isn’t a team that will be tanking as many hoped. They’re better than that.
      2. It also appears this team is learning how to play late in the 4th. They are learning how to win.
      3. Fizzy has them playing hard, all the time.
      4. Compared to recent years, they play pretty solid defense.
      5. Their athleticism seems to bother certain teams.
      6. They don’t have great players, but they have players that show grit. Mudiay, Vonleh, Robinson, Canter, Trier, and Dotson all show surprising toughness.
      7. They are fun to watch. No game seems completely out of reach. It’s a bit like they’re a bit to young and dumb to realize they are supposed to be losing to good teams. They are supposed to be in awe of the Greek Freak…and yet they’re not.
      8. They seem to like each other. I really believe this is an important dynamic, particularly with teams lacking a bonafide star.
      9. On past Knicks’ teams, a critic would argue, there were aberrant wins, but those wins felt at the time like pure luck. And critics can look at the 3-pt shooting v. the Bucks and suggest that was aberrant. But overall, I see progress. I see switches, and people fighting over picks. I see players playing smarter, and clutch FTs made.

      Before we start trading our unknowns for more unknowns, why not see what kind of dynamic these guys create?

      ^ this is your key to ptmilo’s post, wetbandit.

    99. Farfa

      I read ptmilo’s post as a David Lynch take on the catfish/nigerian prince scam subject, applied to the ephemeral appreciation of Mudiay’s real nature as a basketball player.

    100. Frank O.

      I’m not suggesting this team is a world beater, or even .500 or perhaps even .400. I’m suggesting there is value in watching a team develop, and giving it time to develop. When you don’t have much to trade you often make desperate, stupid moves.
      There are few assets we have others want, so what is the harm in seeing how this team plays without tinkering and undermining this team’s confidence?
      BTW, Mudiay is only 22?

    101. Brian Cronin

      There was something contagious about the excitement that rocked MSG the other night. That kind of excitement has been hard to find. I’d let this hand ride for a bit.

      Go back to last year when the Knicks beat the Celtics at MSG to move to 17-14 and you’ll see plenty of posters think that that team was something special and that the excitement of that team was hard to find and that people wanted to let that team ride. Awesome wins are a helluva drug. :)

    102. Frank O.

      ptmilo’s post to me was a warning.

      Hubert,
      I think you overstate the value and benefit to tanking. And if Mills et al are as incompetent as so many here claim, what makes you think they will make the correct pick or even that we get lucky enough to actually win the lottery for the top pick?
      So, you would doom us to basketball no one wants to see, based on the hope of a lottery, in which we’re not even that confident the powers that be will make the right choice.

      Frankly, I enjoy watching this team. If the Knicks commit to a fire sale in order to throw the season, I turn off the TV. And frankly, we’ve had enough bad basketball, I may never turn it on again. And if I feel that way, I suspect there are others as well.
      FWIW

    103. Frank O.

      Brian,
      Sure. I get it. But if the alternative is a fire sale tank, I’m out. This team has been betting on foolhardy things for a long time. The birds in the hand have always, been dropped for the unknowns in the bush.
      It is a franchise built on Hail Marys…
      I’m sick of it

    104. alsep73

      Also, as Jared Dubin pointed on Twitter this morning, winning close games against good teams is basically random luck of the draw, whereas our record in games decided by 10+ points (a more accurate predictor of genuine team quality) is only 3-9.

    105. Frank O.

      alsep73,

      All of this is small sampling from a team that started the season with virtually no one on the team being familiar with anyone else on the team.
      AS I pointed out to JK47, the Knicks have actually shown significant defensive improvement over the past 12 games or so.

      And all of this is small sampling on a team we knew less than nothing about because they are so incredibly young and so unfamiliar with each other and Fizzy’s system.

      It’s too early to be tinkering, too early to draw hard conclusions, and probably too early to be overly optimistic either.

    106. Hubert

      Go back to last year when the Knicks beat the Celtics at MSG to move to 17-14 and you’ll see plenty of posters think that that team was something special and that the excitement of that team was hard to find and that people wanted to let that team ride. Awesome wins are a helluva drug. :)

      I remember the “I hope we can lock Afflalo and Derrick Williams down” era after it had a nice stretch, too.

    107. Bruno Almeida

      Honestly, if 18 years of abhorrent basketball with 2 good years in the middle wasn’t enough for you to turn off the TV, is trading away Mudiay or Kanter really the dealbreaker? Whoever would turn off the TV has already done it, I suspect, or never really will.

      Like I said before, I totally understand thinking that tanking is not the best way to build a team, but i can’t possibly understand actively rooting for this team to win 32 games and preferring that over a 22 win season ending with a top 3 pick. Never understood, never will.

      I would endure about 5 seasons of 20 wins if that meant we would have a consistent 50+ win team after that. What I can’t endure is a franchise that won between 23 and 39 games a whooping 14 times since 2002, with three decent years sandwiched between the periods of absolute mediocrity.

      When the Knicks won 17 games in 2014-15 they beat the LeBron Irving Love Cavs in the second game of the season, beat the Spurs down the stretch with a starting lineup of Galloway, Bargnani, Amundson, the immortal Alexey Shved and Lance. We can still have fun wins with a team that wins 20 games and gets a top pick. It’s the stupid wins against the damn Nets or Hawks that are completely meaningless and only serve to screw our draft position.

    108. bobneptune

      Brian,
      Sure. I get it. But if the alternative is a fire sale tank, I’m out. This team has been betting on foolhardy things for a long time. The birds in the hand have always, been dropped for the unknowns in the bush.
      It is a franchise built on Hail Marys…
      I’m sick of it

      The choices aren’t binary. If I had my druthers, I’ d roll the dice with Fultz, signing Vonleh for 4X 24M, having a lotto spot with 5 positions higher in ping pong balls and 65 more minutes for Trier, Frank, Dotson, Knox et al.

      I think Fultz has more upside than Mudiay if he is a career 30% from 3…. he can actually do other things. And Hardaway’s contributions/production can be replaced by Dotson at 1/10th the price.

    109. Hubert

      This team has been betting on foolhardy things for a long time. The birds in the hand have always, been dropped for the unknowns in the bush.

      When did this team ever drop a bird in its hand for the potential of something greater down the line?

      The Knicks I know a) don’t have birds in hand, they have a pile of shit all the time, and b) they hold on to that shit with every fiber they have.

    110. Frank O.

      Bruno,

      What are the chances of getting a top 3 pick? Even with the worst record, at best you have a one in four shot of winning the top pick.
      And of those No. 1 picks, the number of guys that actually become elite is disturbing few.
      For Anthony Davis there is a Greg Oden. For Blake Griffin there is an Andrew Wiggins.
      For Lebron there is Andrea Bargnani.

      Tanking is ridiculous long shot.

    111. ptmilo

      Can someone explain ptmilo’s post for us idiots?

      imagine you were secretly atttracted to strato in a 1970s softcore skinemax film slash text-based psychological robot kind of way or at least hoped to convey that sort of creepy but friendly ambience amid an otherwise critical rebuke, but also sometimes irritated he/she occasionally evaded reality and crossed the basketball analysis line from benign delphic pendantry to outright magic-eight-ball-wizard-of-oz-level-automated-sophistry when pressed for rubber and road, and also that you would not like to think that a person would tell someone he had a Mudiay, and then find out that that person has no idea what it means to have a Mudiay, and perhaps maybe took in an extra cup of the ole keurig on a hectic monday morning on which google’s AI bot managed to get the same program that defeated the world Go champion to do origami

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuelle
      https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/science/2018/dec/02/google-deepminds-ai-program-alphafold-predicts-3d-shapes-of-proteins

    112. bobneptune

      What are the chances of getting a top 3 pick? Even with the worst record, at best you have a one in four shot of winning the top pick.
      And of those No. 1 picks, the number of guys that actually become elite is disturbing few.
      For Anthony Davis there is a Greg Oden. For Blake Griffin there is an Andrew Wiggins.
      For Lebron there is Andrea Bargnani.

      Tanking is ridiculous long shot.

      This isn’t the year where Andrew Wiggins or Bargs was at the top of the draft board. LeBron lite is on the board…..

    113. Frank O.

      Hubert,

      I’m sure you disagree, but in 2009-2010, maybe 2010-2011 when the knicks had Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Nate Robinson, and Mozgov, among others, they had a decent nucleus of young players that together with a high end draft pick or two or a better elite free agent in a few years would have been a nice team to watch.

      They got traded and we will never know how they might have ultimately turned out. None of them were stars, but all became solid NBA rotation players. We’ll never know what they might have become as a matured unit.

    114. nicos

      If I’m not mistaken we can renounce Mudiay to clear his cap hold and still resign him- we just can’t go over the cap in that case. We did that with Baker no? And the only way we’ll be going over the cap is if a max guy is coming so he’s probably going to be re-signable if we want him. I’d be surprised if he and his agent didn’t give the Knicks the chance to match an offer from another team before signing an offer sheet if the Knicks did renounce him. Just don’t do anything crazy like we did with Baker unless he plays like he did against Milwaukee every night from here on out.

    115. Brian Cronin

      Even the Milwaukee game, dude was hitting some shots while shooting, like, freakin’ side-armed. It was like Dan Quisenberry shooting a three!

    116. geo

      you are having waaaaay too much fun milo…

      i’m not sure if i’m more jealous of your abstruse use of the english language – or – your unpublished secret stash of statistics…

      neither of which, i really get…i just the like the pretty colors…

    117. Bruno Almeida

      @122

      Frank, that only matters if you think the chance of getting a really good player on the draft is lesser than the chance that Mudiay Vonleh et al. are going to be that good player.

      If you really believe they are, well, I respect it but I 100% disagree. I’d take my chances at the top of the lottery, even with flattened odds, every single time instead of hoping reclamation projects like Mudiay playing well on a contract year suddenly are the real deal.

    118. Brian Cronin

      I’m sure you disagree, but in 2009-2010, maybe 2010-2011 when the knicks had Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Nate Robinson, and Mozgov, among others, they had a decent nucleus of young players that together with a high end draft pick or two or a better elite free agent in a few years would have been a nice team to watch.

      The big difference is that those guys were all signed to rookie contracts (other than Nate, who was off the team by that point). So them developing did help the team overall, as you could add free agents to that core. Here, the guys would have to be free agents added themselves. It’s not the same thing.

    119. alsep73

      And as we’ve seen from this most recent draft, there is a clear line below which you do not want to be picking if you can avoid it. We can argue Doncic vs Jackson vs Ayton for a while as their stats rise and fall, but we ended up with Kevin Knox. Even an extremely optimistic projection of that guy will not be as good as Luka Doncic. We have a long history of, when a draft is X potential All-Star players deep, of landing pick X+1 or X+2. Karma is not on our side in a lottery draw, not with our history and not with our owner. Even if we don’t get Zion, getting Reddish or Little or whomever is still a much more promising outcome than winding up with the 2019 equivalent of Jordan Hill, Michael Sweetney, et al.

    120. JK47

      As of right now, if the season ended today, NYK would have a 40% chance of a top 4 pick. They’re tied for the 5th worst record in the league. If they start winning more games and moving up in the standings, the odds start to shrink pretty rapidly. Next slot down is 30%, then 25%, then 20%, so yeah, it’s really not ideal for the Knicks to be winning very many games. A top 4 pick in this draft would be pretty nice.

    121. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, where they are right now is fine, but they’re clearly not going to stay here. They’re already locked out of the very bottom. They’re quite close to the #8-9 level.

    122. Frank O.

      As always, I respect all your views.
      I am hoping you’re wrong.
      I’d like to see these young’ins defy you all.
      Mudiay is 22. Something seems intrinsically wrong to just write him off.
      We all agree it as it 25 they are what they are. 22 is not.
      And I love watching our young guys work their asses off and surprise us all.
      I do hope they all prove you wrong.
      ;)

    123. Owen

      We aren’t going to kick hoping we are wrong about the Knicks to the curb, don’t worry.

      PtMilo – you are operating above my pay grade but I love it

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