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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.02.19)

  • [NYDN] Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s All-Star game conversation is giving Knicks fans false hope
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 5:40:00 PM)

    It would take a professional lip-reader to truly find out, but Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were definitely cooking up some kind of scheme at the All-Star game Sunday night.

    Whether they were actually talking about the Knicks is up for fans to believe…or pray for.

    A video surfaced on Monday…

  • [NYDN] MSG slams rumors of James Dolan ‘courting offers’ to sell Knicks
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 11:10:00 AM)

    Rumors that the unapologetic James Dolan is selling the Knicks are like his basketball team winning games.

    Both don’t happen everyday. But when they do, mass hysteria ensues.

    Sports personality Bill Simmons gave Knicks fans a glimmer of hope — one that doesn’t include Kevin Durant or Zion Williamson…

  • [Hoops Rumors] Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Marks, Tatum, Irving
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 8:01:22 PM)

    The Knicks need to keep on tanking to assure themselves a top five pick in the draft, Steve Popper of Newsday argues. The team with the worst record can’t fall any lower than the fifth pick under the new draft lottery rules, Popper notes, and the Suns currently hold that distinction after New York ended […]

  • [Hoops Rumors] MSG Denies Report Dolan Is ‘Courting Offers’ For Knicks
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 2:02:06 PM)

    1:02pm: As was the case in December, MSG Co. has issued a statement refuting the idea that there are plans to sell the Knicks (Twitter link via Stefan Bondy). “The story is 100% false,” the statement reads. “There has been nothing. No discussions. No plans to have discussions — nothing.” 12:13pm: After Knicks owner James […]

  • [Sports Illustrated] Knicks Deny Report Suggesting James Dolan Is ‘Courting Offers’ to Sell
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 2:22:24 PM)

    On Monday, it was reported that Knicks owner James Dolan was “courting offers” to sell the team.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: For Curry, a Return Home Shows He Is Where He Belongs
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 7:13:53 PM)

    An All-Star weekend in his hometown, Charlotte, N.C., affirmed the growth, and greatness, of the Golden State Warriors guard.

  • [ESPN] MSG denies Dolan courting offers to sell Knicks
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 2:45:55 PM)

    The Madison Square Garden Company said Monday that chairman and Knicks owner James Dolan hasn’t been courting offers to sell the team.

  • [NYPost] Knicks can target cheaper free-agent All-Star to pair with Durant
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 6:14:13 PM)

    As the Knicks attempt to best use their $74 million in cap space, they could do worse than unsung Bucks swingman and free-agent-to-be Khris Middleton, who is coming off a breakout All-Star Game on Sunday in Charlotte. While the 27-year-old is not regarded in most circles as a max-contract player, he is coming close. In…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ All-Star break report card: Weight on future means no failures
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 1:47:10 PM)

    If I could give one grade to the Knicks, it would be a “T” for Tank. It’s been a season of auditions with no regard for the win-loss record. As the All-Star break concludes Wednesday with the Knicks’ return to practice, David Fizdale’s 11-47 tank machine will have to go 6-18 in its final 24…

  • [NYPost] Rumors about James Dolan selling Knicks are back: ‘It’s happening’
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 8:19:31 AM)

    The 11-47 Knicks will not be interesting before this summer’s free agency, but they may have some higher-up-the-ladder intrigue. The James Dolan rumors are back, with The Ringer’s Bill Simmons reporting on his podcast Sunday night the Knicks owner is listening to offers to sell the team — which the Garden immediately denied. On “The…

  • [SNY Knicks] How David Fizdale has done thus far in first season with Knicks
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 12:00:00 PM)

    Despite a roster built to tank, David Fizdale has had a significant impact in his first season as Knicks head coach.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks owner James Dolan reportedly ‘courting offers’ to sell team
    (Monday, February 18, 2019 2:15:25 PM)

    James Dolan has left the door open to selling the Knicks before but now it appears to be becoming more realistic.

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    94 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.02.19)

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

      The news media ma be blowing these rumors of a Knicks sale out of proportion. They started when Dolan gave a long interview a while back and was asked if he would sell the Knicks. He said something like if he got a great offer he would have to consider it. The thing is, he is basically required by law to say this because there are minority shareholders whose interests he represents and so he has to take offers seriously because he is legally responsible to take their interests into account. So his statement says nothing about his actual intentions.

      Of course, there are probably many people who would like to own the Knicks (like myself, for example) so maybe he actually is getting offers; but I won’t hold my breath until they are sold.

    2. Z-man

      I’m really looking forward to the next game, as Frank and Mudiay will be back and the KP trade got rid of Hardaway, Burke and Lee. It will be interesting to see the guard rotations. Those guys have got to be feeling the heat from Smith Jr. and Allen, and to a degree, vice versa. I am also hoping that they release Jordan soon so that Mitch and Kornet get the best look possible. Maybe that’s why they picked up Ellenson…if they keep Jordan for the rest of the season, it makes less sense.

    3. alsep73

      Shams:

      The New York Knicks and guard John Jenkins have agreed to a two-year deal, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

      Dude can shoot. Also makes it easier to use Dotson in a trade, or to simply decline Trier’s option if he turns back into a pumpkin.

    4. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      As bad as we need more shooting, I fear signing Jenkins may be at the expense of Allen. I don’t see him taking minutes from Trier, Dotson, Ntilikina, or Mudiay. As good as he’s been playing, Allen is probably the most expendable. That sucks because I like the pairing of Trier and Allen, though neither has real PG skills.

    5. thenoblefacehumper

      The second year is non-guaranteed so it’s basically an audition contract. I guess I could see him being useful on a team with multiple max players.

    6. Bruno Almeida

      Well, if they like him, a deal structured like that is pretty smart. I don’t see much but he could be a bench shooter like the Miami Lebron teams always had.

    7. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      I’d like to see a DSJ, Frank, Dotson, Vonleh, and either Jorden or Robinson lineup fr a few minutes.

      It might be fun to be at MSG yelling “D E F E N S E D E F E N S E D E F E N S E ” and not feel like an idiot.

    8. Z-man

      I’m actually thinking (hoping!) that the Allen and Jenkins signings make Mudiay with his shitty play and his cap hold expendable.

    9. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      Right now it seems likely Mudiay is out at the end of the season. He’s done enough to earn himself a backup roll somewhere in the NBA, but I don’t think it will be in NY.

    10. Early Bird

      I’d like to see a DSJ, Frank, Dotson, Vonleh, and either Jorden or Robinson lineup fr a few minutes.

      Same. I just wish Dotson and Vonleh were shooting a bit better at the moment.

      Realistically our starting 5 will replace Dot with Knox. Definitely will be DJ over Mitch too.

      Excited to see DSJr kickouts to Frank in the corner, it’s the ideal scenario for him. He can just shoot and pass, occasionally drive by an over aggressive closeout.

    11. Bruno Almeida

      @9

      Yeah, keeping Frank past the deadline and giving chances to both Allen and Jenkins must mean they’re not considering re-signing Mudiay. I think they’re all in on DSJ as the starter (unless Kyrie is a real possibility) and Mudiay is gone because of the cap hold.

      I still think if there’s some hope for Frank as a NBA player, it’s playing next to a guard of DSJ’s profile. He still has to shoot 3s much, much better to be playable on offense, but it’s the best theoretical fit as DSJ is at least a willing passer, which is more than we can say about Mudiay and Burke.

    12. Z-man

      @12 yeah, and Allen seems like he is a pretty good penetrate-kick PG as well. I believe that Frank’s only future in the NBA is as an opportunistic 3-and-D wing. He can initiate from time to time but that can’t be his primary role. He should totally abandon shooting anything but 3’s in practice until he’s hitting in the high 30’s in game action; same with his off-season. Reps, reps, reps. As I’ve said from day 1, he will not stick in this league unless he can hit the 3 consistently. I think he can do it. His shot isn’t broken, but it seems that he still thinks of himself as something he’s not. (I’ve said the same about KP, who wants to be Kevin Durant/Anthony Davis when he’s more Dirk/Duncan.)

      More generally, most NBA players are only good within a very tightly-defined role. It was colossally dumb to draft Frank as a PG, and his development is now running on fumes. He has a very short window to show something in the more suitable role of a 3nD wing before he follows Vonleh, Mudiay, Hezonja, etc. onto the draft bust merry-go-round.

      OTOH, Frank’s $5 mill cap hold makes it less certain that he’ll stick around, even if he improves to, say, Kadeem Allen’s level.

    13. ClashFan

      @12
      Agree, though Frank also needs to stay healthy. It seems like he’s missed a lot of time over his 2 years with various minor injuries. Hopefully he’s moved to the wing full-time, where he belongs.

      The one good thing about all of the recent moves is that it sure does look like Mudiay won’t be retained after the season.

    14. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      More generally, most NBA players are only good within a very tightly-defined role. It was colossally dumb to draft Frank as a PG, and his development is now running on fumes.

      I agree on the first point.

      I agree on the 2nd point given that Fizdale/Perry seem set on running an offense through a dominant PG that penetrates, scores and kicks.

      They wasted a lot of time trying to make Frank something he’s not (certainly not at this stage). I agree that he should be focusing on defense and shooting 3s for now and try to add other skills on offense over time.

      For his personal career (as opposed to what I am rooting for because I like him), he’d be better off in San Antonio, Golden State, Boston or another team that runs its offense through multiple players making plays and trying to lock down on defense. I’m not sure he fits well here right now the way we seem to want to play.

    15. d-mar

      It’s kind of annoying that for a guy who rarely gets fouled or initiates contact, Frank always seems to be injured.

    16. alsep73

      The Ringer’s draft big board has Culver at 2, and Barrett at 5 (though they acknowledge Barrett will probably shoot back up to 2 before all is said and done). The Culver scouting report is odd, in that it’s predicated on the idea of him being much taller than reported.

    17. Bruno Almeida

      The disheartening thing for me with Frank is that I had his floor as being a Tony Allen kind of player, he couldn’t really do anything on offense, but he was smart enough to make a cut to the rim and there and he played with such a great intensity and motor that he made himself somewhat useful.

      Frank’s mentality just doesn’t seem to be there, it’s almost the end of year 2 and he seems just as tentative and hesitant as he did when he arrived in the league. Allen, Smart, Beverley, those guys carry themselves with crazy irrational confidence and they’re extremely active in what they do. I can firmly believe they add more value than their box scores suggests because of this endless aggression, but with Frank it’s simply just not there, he seems like a good kid but that’s not really a good thing if your only positive on the court is being a plus defender.

    18. djphan

      so culver almost def grew from his freshmen year… there was an article on the stepien about it.. i dont normally like them but it was a great observation…

      that led to some stark improvements to his offensive game… hes much better getting to and finishing around the rim… and it finshed out an already diverse skillset… his shooting form needs some tightening but its not broken…

      i had him #2 on my top10 i posted a little while ago because of that… growth spurts this late followed by big improvements have been one of the surest paths to success… hes one of my favorites this year…

      and that ringer board is really bad.. half of that list is late first type of players… esp deandre hunter and reddish..

    19. TheOakmanCometh

      Frank’s 3pt% is comparable with Allen and Smart, so it’s tempting to think he could be a similar defensive specialist wing who can’t hit from deep. The problem is that Frank is worse than those guys at almost every other facet of basketball. In particular, he is terrible from 2pt range. Allen shot 49% from 2, which is impressive for a guy who was no threat from outside. Smart is at 43% career, which is bad, but not as bad as Frank’s 38%. Those guys also got to the line, which Frank never ever does.

      Frank also has a much worse STL%, REB%, and TOV%. About the only area he is decent at is AST%, which we know he only does well in because he’s often the first ballhandler, so when he passes laterally to THJ who hits a jumper, Frank gets the assist. He doesn’t actually create assists.

      In short, Allen and Smart look like Frank’s best-case outcome, not his worst. He will need to improve across the board if he wants to become as good as those two role players.

    20. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Lol. Yeah, the Warriors elevated Klay, not the other way around. Sure.

      Guys like Klay expose the folly of a slavish devotion to numbers based on pre-2004 basketball. It’s a pity he couldn’t have grabbed two more offensive rebounds a game instead of being one of the key components of a historically great defense.

      This is disingenuous and you know it. Look at his numbers in 2014-15 and in 2018-19 — he is not the same player he was during his peak, even on offense. There is an enormous value gulf between a .440 3PT shot and a .396 3PT shot, even if the latter is still good. And while he’s a guy who, according to consensus, plays strong positional defense, he simply does nothing to generate turnovers, which is still a big part of a winning defense, especially in the era of transition basketball. Even better for the Warriors, one of the best transition offenses in league history.

      My point was that without Steph Curry, no one’s talking about Klay being a $190M man. And yeah, we point to his big games as evidence that he’s a star. Game 6 in 2016 single-handedly put the Warriors in a position to win. The multiple times that he’s set records for most 3PM in a game. Scoring 50 points on 2 dribbles or something ridiculous like that. (More evidence that he’s, in part, a product of his ideal scoring environment.) But what about Games 1, 3 and 7 in the Finals? Do we remember those games as well as we do his highlights? Everyone loses their mind about his high points but conveniently ignore the fact that a player able to score that efficiently at his peak must have some real duds to bring his shooting percentage “down” to .590.

      CARMELO has him at a five-year value of $88.5M, which is an “average starter.” And as I’ve already said, the Warriors need to overpay for him because they won’t have any certainty that they’ll be able to find replacement value for the cap space they’ll get by declining him.

    21. Z-man

      Allen and Smart are physicalbump and grind defenders who dislodge offensive players from their preferred scoring spots on the court, swat hard at the ball and get some hand and arm, etc.. Frank is more of a wingspan footwork defender like Dejounte Murray or Andre Roberson. He gets hurt because he tries to be physical going around screens but his shoulders and lower body don’t hold up to the bounding. He’s got to get stronger and tougher to play that way and not get hurt.

    22. kevin5318

      I’m still hopeful that Frank will become at least league average from 3. He doesn’t have a wonky jump shot like Allen, Smart or Roberson.

      Also please remove Mudiay from this team.

    23. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      The most interesting thing about Franks 3p% this year is how horrible he’s been from the corner. He’s hitting 7.7% of his 3s from the corner this year compared to 37.5% last year. There’s a lot of noise in that data somewhere. I’m going to guess “more” of it is this year even if last year contained some positive noise. If he was hitting corner 3s at a respectable rate compared to the rest of his 3s his overall 3p% would be more encouraging.

    24. thenoblefacehumper

      The original sin when it comes to Frank’s development is that he was drafted as a point guard, but he was drafted by a guy who thinks the role of a point guard is to get the ball into the pinch post and then run in a triangle.

      Now that the team is run by people who view the role of the point guard more similarly to the 29 other teams, Frank’s NBA role is pretty unclear. If he’s a point guard, he needs to learn to dribble. If he’s a shooting guard, he needs to learn to, well, shoot, but also needs to improve his TRB%. You can go all the way down the list of positions–right now there’s not one you can see Frank playing at an NBA level even if you’re squinting.

      My honest opinion on Frank is that the overwhelming majority of human beings do not have the combination of hand-eye coordination, athleticism, and motivation necessary to be NBA players and he falls into that very large category. However, if I were advising him on how to maximize his chances of sticking, I’d tell him to emphasize the following:

      1) 3PT shooting–This one is very simple. If Frank doesn’t become an above average shooter (efficiency and volume) within a season, maybe two if he’s lucky, he’s going to be in Europe and not on one of the better teams. It’s too important for non-frontcourt players in today’s game, and Frank will never be good
      enough at anything else to justify playing him without a 3PT shot on a team that isn’t horrible.

      2) Crash the damn boards–Frank is 6’5″ and has very similar rebounding numbers to Muggsy Bogues. I’m not sure how that’s possible but if it continues it only exacerbates the problem of him not really having a position because he’s not good at anything

      3) Become a more impactful defender–I think Frank is a good defender, but by not generating turnovers, and not ending possessions with DRBs, he severely limits the difference that makes. Prime Beverly-level dedication to every defensive possession would help. He doesn’t…

    25. thenoblefacehumper

      …exactly need to conserve energy for offense, is how that post ended.

      Make the Character Counter Great Again.

    26. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      And as I’ve already said, the Warriors need to overpay for him because they won’t have any certainty that they’ll be able to find replacement value for the cap space they’ll get by declining him.

      That’s the bottom line for many teams.

      You typically need 2 superstars or 1 superstar and 2 all stars to contend. The problem is there are only a handful of those elite superstars in the league that generate significant value above a max contract. So even the best teams have a couple of players getting the max (or close) that don’t deliver as much value as some of the very best players in the league. That’s Ok though as long as they deliver enough value to put the team in a position to contend for a championship given their role. If you lose a great shooter that can defend or a great defender that can score, that’s not so easy to replace. You might as well pay him because you won’t be able to win it all without him (or replace his production easily or more cheaply).

    27. ClashFan

      @26
      I agree with pretty much all of this. The thing about Phil only applies until he was fired. Mills and co. could have immediately moved Frank to the wing, esp. since they traded for Mudiay last year, but of course THJ had been signed, so so much for that. But now THJ is gone, so…

      It’s not likely, but just maybe DSJ is good for Frank, if Fiz plays them together a lot. DSJ handles the ball, guards the ones, and Frank can do what he does best, guard wings and switch nicely on D. And, he can work on that shooting by just focusing on that on O. If he continues to suck the rest of this year, well, that’s good for the tank. I do worry about his general health and endurance, though, no matter what.

      If he flops here, he probably will get a second chance with another NBA team.

    28. thenoblefacehumper

      Mills and co. could have immediately moved Frank to the wing, esp. since they traded for Mudiay last year, but of course THJ had been signed, so so much for that. But now THJ is gone, so…

      I’m sympathetic to this choice though, because right now the wing might be even worse than point guard for Frank. Playmaking is the only skill he’s demonstrated at a level that’s merely a little below average, as opposed to god awful. There’s no such thing as a “wing” that can’t shoot a lick and rebounds like Muggsy Bogues.

    29. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      Frank is a very likable guy, but again, imo they should trade him to the Spurs, Warriors or Celtics for his own good. Those organizations will develop him and use him correctly within their more flexible team oriented offensive systems. He might wind up being a key cog on a top team in 4-5 years that way. In NY he’ll never be a PG and his potential value will never be released with someone like DSJ running the point in the kind of offensive system we seem to want to run. Maybe if we land Durant and hand KD the keys to running the offense as a point forward things could change. Then having other players on the court that are part of a more ball movement oriented system would be better for him while he tries to add a 3 and other scoring skills.

    30. kevin5318

      As much as I dislike Mudiay he would actually get Frank involved in the offense unlike Burke. DSJr looks like he could be a better version of Mudiay so hopefully him and Frank can compliment each other in that regard.

    31. Early Bird

      Strat,

      Everyone runs a pg dominant offense because the pick and roll is run by pgs and the pick and roll is the best play in basketball.

      If NY doesn’t run the offense through anyone else it’s because no one else can do that. Frank definitely cannot.

      Frank cannot dribble, he can’t shoot, he can’t cut. How are the Knicks supposed to use him in their offense? He’s going to stand in the corner and shoot 3’s, what modern NBA wings do. If he can’t do that he doesn’t belong in the NBA.

      If you think he would fit on only 1 or 2 teams after taking 5 years to develop, then that says pretty loudly that he doesn’t belong in the NBA. Frank has played basketball most his life, why would he suddenly learn to dribble or shoot now?

    32. JK47

      There’s no such thing as a “wing” that can’t shoot a lick and rebounds like Muggsy Bogues.

      Yeah, see, this is the problem with using Frank on the wing. You really want to live with that 3.4 REB/36 out of your two-guard, or even worse your small forward? He has a staggeringly bad 4.9 TRB%. That is, indeed, in Muggsy Bogues territory.

      Can’t dribble or handle enough to be a point guard, can’t rebound well enough to play any other position. And shoots like ass wherever you put him, and draws 1.3 FTA per 36 minutes. There’s not really any position you can have him play where his skillset adds up to anything useful.

      He needs to get better at just about every phase of basketball to have any hope of being even a decent fringe player.

    33. djphan

      franks problem is that he was never actually that good… ppl make assumptions of what they can become based purely on height and age or looking like an nba player in flashes…

      the nba out of all the sports is def not about that… you have almost 100 possessions in most of these college and international games … and having real talent means you are making regular continuous impact which… the grand majority of the time …. shows up in the box score in some fashion….

      if youre only showing flashes in lower levels… youre not gonna all of a sudden make quantum leaps when the comp gets dialed up… it can and has happened but very rarely…

      the nba is the cream of the crop… ray felton was highly touted in hs… broke state records… mcdonalds all american… stellar college career.. and a hum drum of a pro career…

      point is that dominating lower levels doesnt even guarantee success in the pros… its almost a prerequisite…

      the best way to judge prospects is to judge who they are right now… not fall in love .. or out of love for that matter… with what could be…. talent is talent which is why alot of times the number 1 pick is very obvious… when a pick isnt obvious is where most teams and ppl make a lot of inferences they shouldnt be making…

    34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      You might as well pay him because you won’t be able to win it all without him (or replace his production easily or more cheaply).

      I agree with much of your post in principle, but there aren’t many teams who might as well pay someone like him. If you’re not a shoo-in for a Conference Finals appearance, you’re not at the right spot on the win curve to overpay role players.

      Houston should have paid Ariza and Mbah a Moute. Contrast that with the Kings (32-50), Nets (20-62) and Wizards (49-33) fighting in 2017 over who gets to sign Otto Porter, a very good but not superstar-level player, to a $100M deal.

    35. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      Everyone runs a pg dominant offense because the pick and roll is run by pgs and the pick and roll is the best play in basketball.

      The Spurs, Warriors and to a lesser extent Celtics run offensive systems with a lot of player and ball movement because imo it’s a better brand of basketball than having a system where one guy is the quarterback and everything revolves around him. I think Frank would fit better in that more team oriented approach because that’s his mindset. He’s not thinking about creating for himself and he lacks the skills to do so effectively right now anyway. But he will defend and make the right pass.

    36. thenoblefacehumper

      Frank is a very likable guy, but again, imo they should trade him to the Spurs, Warriors or Celtics for his own good. Those organizations will develop him and use him correctly within their more flexible team oriented offensive systems. He might wind up being a key cog on a top team in 4-5 years that way.

      Good point. These generally intelligent teams have likely caught on to the fact that players who aren’t good at anything are the new market inefficiency. Don’t be surprised if the Warriors trot out 5 guys from the stands within the next few years.

    37. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      I agree with much of your post in principle, but there aren’t many teams who might as well pay someone like him. If you’re not a shoo-in for a Conference Finals appearance, you’re not at the right spot on the win curve to overpay role players.

      I think it depends more on HIS age than where you are now.

      The Bulls just added Porter even though they have (had) one of the worst teams in the NBA and probably hurt their tank. I’m not so sure that’s a bad move. Porter is a very good player and they have a lot of good young pieces. They are a much better team now even though they are overpaying Porter.

      You need 3 significant pieces. They went from having none to having 1 and have several prospects to become 2 and/or 3 in coming years. Whether it turns out to be a good move or not depends on whether some of their younger players develop and whether having a much better team next year helps them attract the next significant piece in free agency or in a trade using some of the young talent.

    38. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      continued

      At some point you have to commit to getting better and getting those 2-4 players that can contend one way or the other. The Bulls have been drafting and trading for young pieces and have now added a more mature ready to go player.

    39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The Spurs, Warriors and to a lesser extent Celtics run offensive systems with a lot of player and ball movement because imo it’s a better brand of basketball than having a system where one guy is the quarterback and everything revolves around him.

      The Rockets have the worst AST% on 3PT shots in the league by a huge margin, 60.7% compared to the 29th-ranked Blazers’ 77.4%. (Incredibly, the Sixers assist a ridiculous 95.3% of their 3PT shots.) They’re also near the bottom in 2PT AST% (48.6, 23rd), which places them at 29th in overall assists per possession. And still they have the 2nd-best offensive in the league.

      In your opinion, it’s a better brand of basketball, but in the NBA, it goes like this:

      having a superior offensive talent with ball movement >
      having a superior offensive talent with no ball movement >
      ball movement with no superior offensive talent >
      no ball movement and no superior offensive talent >
      whatever the Knicks are playing

    40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I think it depends more on HIS age than where you are now.

      This is probably how the Padres decided to add the richest contract in North American sports to a 66-96 team. Spoiler: it ain’t gonna work out for them, and they’re not even fighting a salary cap.

      The Bulls just added Porter even though they have (had) one of the worst teams in the NBA and probably hurt their tank. I’m not so sure that’s a bad move. Porter is a very good player and they have a lot of good young pieces. They are a much better team now even though they are overpaying Porter.

      So let me get this straight. They have one of the worst teams, but they have “good young pieces,” which I translate to “bad players who look like they might be good someday, but are currently bad,” and Porter turns them from a 15-win team to a 20-win team. I don’t see how that’s good in any way if the goal is to become a playoff team. I won’t argue that a 20-win team is, uh, an objectively better basketball team than a 15-win team, though. Like, if that’s what you’re going for, great job!

      You need 3 significant pieces. They went from having none to having 1 and have several prospects to become 2 and/or 3 in coming years. Whether it turns out to be a good move or not depends on whether some of their younger players develop and whether having a much better team next year helps them attract the next significant piece in free agency or in a trade using some of the young talent.

      This is what my chess-playing brethren call “hope chess,” wherein you knowingly make sub-optimal moves in the hopes that your opponents (or in this case, free agents) make bad moves that you can capitalize on. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that they’re paying Zach LaVine $19.5M a year until 2022.

    41. JK47

      Part of the reason the Bulls stink is that they’re stuck in that “bad but not bad enough” purgatory so they rarely get a good lottery pick. They’ve been winning 40-something games per year until the last couple of years, which is not a good place to be.

      This is why they have a bunch of also-ran type prospects on their roster and just about zero true blue chip guys. I like Wendell Carter okay, but they got him once they started to really suck.

      You know what that team needs to do? That team needs to embrace the tank. Instead they’re acquiring guys to get them back to that 40-win level. Let’s see how that goink.

    42. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      @40

      I agree.

      I thought it was so obvious that “talent” trumps playing style that it wasn’t necessary to include that. Player and ball movement will generally increase the efficiency of the team relative to the talent it has.

      But you bring up an interesting point about the Rockets. With Capela out, Gordon in and out, and CP3’s production way down due to age and/or injuries, they are saying if we simply give the ball to Harden and he plays a shit brand of basketball his talent will result in greater efficiency than if we try to move it. My guess is that once they are all 100% healthy their style changes a bit. If it doesn’t, I agree with the consensus that playoff level defenses will shut Harden down enough to cause a relatively early exit for Houston.

    43. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I thought it was so obvious that “talent” trumps playing style that it wasn’t necessary to include that.

      You were around for ruruland, right?

    44. Early Bird

      Teams who have multiple players that show they can create or run the pick and roll are allowed to do so–de facto point guards in the modern NBA. Since Frank cannot do that, the question is moot.

      The Warriors don’t have 5 random players out there moving the ball around, they have 5 all-stars/future hall of famers. The Celtics run multiple players that can create or pass. The Spurs run multiple players who have been the focal point of an entire offense: LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, and Rudy Gay.

      You’re putting the cart before the horse. Ntilikina needs to show he can play–or do anything remotely well–then you trust him to feature in the offense.

    45. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      @41

      There is optimal long term strategy and there is strategy that considers time of payoff a factor.

      It’s not optimal to pay Porter more than he’s worth, but he’s young, it’s not an outrageous overpay, he can be a key piece on a championship contender, they have 2-3 young players that could become key pieces or generate interest in a trade in short order, and could manage to add something good in cap space.

      I could see that team getting very good quickly.

      Conversely, they could have continued the tank this year, been totally unattractive as a trade or free agency destination for a couple of more years at best, and kept hoping to strike gold.

      To use a chess analogy (maybe a bad one but you’ll get my point), if you are under time pressure would you rather make a sub optimal move on lose on time?

      Owners, coaches, fans and worst of all players don’t want to sit around for 10 years tanking and only making Knickerblogger approved perfect moves. They will bail. You have to try to get better doing mostly smart or acceptable things and without doing truly dumb things.

    46. Owen

      THCJ – Are we equating signing Machado and trading for Porter? The Bulls will suck for a long time, I grant you that, but the Padres have by far the best farm system in the minors. Have a hard time seeing the comparison.

    47. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      You’re putting the cart before the horse. Ntilikina needs to show he can play–or do anything remotely well–then you trust him to feature in the offense.

      I wasn’t implying that Frank was going to go to the Spurs or Warriors and immediately become star because of the style change. I was suggesting that since those teams stress ball and player movement and look for team oriented players, he would fit better in that kind of environment and have a better chance to reach his full potential.

      The Knicks seem more interested in guys like Trier than Frank.

    48. Early Bird

      I strongly agree with Strat on the sub-optimal moves argument. Knickerblogger’s routinely fail to consider the many constraints on optimality. Too many teams vie for too small of a talent pool, not everyone can hold onto that talent. The number of teams grabbing those players is even smaller due to the recent trend of players foregoing money to create super-teams.

      What is a team who isn’t within those select few supposed to do? If every team follows Knickerblogger optimality, you have 7-8 title contenders and 22-23 teams seeking to tank. As it is, there’s a large number of teams seeking to tank and the incentive to tank isn’t nearly as high as it used to be anyway. Furthermore, if the Knicks draft Zion he’s capable of taking the Knicks out of the lottery by himself. Again, the Knicks strand themselves in the dreaded no man’s land of borderline playoff contention, a la the Pelicans with AD.

      The 76ers managed to circumvent the no man’s land through the accident of being able to string together multiple draft-injured, #1 talent picks over the course of several seasons. They collected again through the luck that those once injured players have had few subsequent injuries once they did make it onto the court.

    49. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      THCJ – Are we equating signing Machado and trading for Porter? The Bulls will suck for a long time, I grant you that, but the Padres have by far the best farm system in the minors. Have a hard time seeing the comparison.

      I’m not an expert on baseball farm systems, so maybe my analogy was weak, but it’s about the hope that “young talent” will emerge to produce while spending a lot of money on a good player currently in his prime. The Padres suck today, and Machado is real good today, so if the prospects don’t pan out, they’re paying $150M over five years to a guy who can’t alone carry them to contention. I feel the same way about Porter: a good player on a shitty team. Future production from the rest of the franchise is not guaranteed.

      And yeah, the Bulls are in a much shittier situation than the Padres. Baseball farm systems win championships these days, and the G-League hasn’t shown to be capable of sustaining a contending roster.

    50. Hubert

      This is disingenuous and you know it.

      It was a bit over the top, I admit. Reading it again today, I can see the impact of me being overserved at dinner. I was amused at the prospect of someone watching a Warriors game thinking “they sure are elevating this Klay scrub”, but you’re right, I unfairly extrapolated that from your position.

      There’s one area I’m never going to agree with the consensus here on, though: the value of elite two-way shooting guards in the modern NBA. Whether it’s Klay or even a guy like Beal that gets mocked here constantly, I think the contribution these guys make on perimeter D is immense and undervalued. The ability to switch effectively, close out quickly, and prevent quality three point attempts should be built in to all these valuation systems we use, but the box score struggles to quantify these contributions. And the metrics always punish them for not rebounding.

      If we were to look at the Four Factors now, after SSOL, I think switch-ability and enabling your team to guard the three point line effectively throughout the game probably would be given more weight and it would probably come at the expense of possession. It’s so difficult to quantify, though, that we sometimes have to rely on our eyes, and that’s never going to go over well here. I’ve seen articles refer to proprietary statistics about how good some of these guards are at guarding the three point line, but they’re few and far between.

    51. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      Furthermore, if the Knicks draft Zion he’s capable of taking the Knicks out of the lottery by himself. Again, the Knicks strand themselves in the dreaded no man’s land of borderline playoff contention, a la the Pelicans with AD.

      The 76ers managed to circumvent the no man’s land through the accident of being able to string together multiple draft-injured, #1 talent picks over the course of several seasons. They collected again through the luck that those once injured players have had few subsequent injuries once they did make it onto the court.

      I obviously agree.

      Aside from the randomness of lottery balls, the difficulty of identifying the best player in the draft in your slot, and having to extend players before they’ve proven their worth, even the rare team that hits a homerun quickly will immediately be better, fall out of the top of the lottery, and make it more difficult to add other stars via draft easily.

      The system is set up to be fairly efficient. You either need especially good luck, especially good scouting, or a couple of injuries to short circuit the system. There are times it makes perfect sense, but it’s not like this is a desirable position to be in.

    52. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      @51

      I agree.

      The boxscore also does not capture the value that Klay contributes because he can’t be left alone for a second on offense. That extra space makes everyone else a little better than they would be with a more average shooter on the perimeter. Granted, it’s hard to quantify or measure. But it’s a plus. Call it the “space assist”.

    53. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The system is set up to be fairly efficient. You either need especially good luck, especially good scouting, or a couple of injuries to short circuit the system. There are times it makes perfect sense, but it’s not like this is a desirable position to be in.

      I’m not sure what system you’re specifically referring to, but the existence of guaranteed rookie deals on unproven teenagers, as well as guaranteed and maximum contracts will always ensure significant inefficiency in roster-building. If anything, I’d say it’s a remarkably inefficient system that all but ensures that a few bad concurrent commitments (e.g. MIN, WAS, CHI, MIA, MEM, NOP, PHX) can hamstring a team for years on end.

    54. Bruno Almeida

      @49

      You are really, really wrong on that assumption.

      I can only speak for myself obviously, but I’m an advocate for bad teams to tank precisely because most teams that should be tanking aren’t. I’m advocating for tanking because every year there will be the Detroit’s and Orlando’s and Charlotte’s and so on that will build mediocre teams in search for the 8th spot, playoff revenue etc. in this type of league, where there’s a clear top 7-10 teams fighting for something meaningful, then at least 10 more teams that are either content to get a playoff spot or fight for a low seed, tanking becomes a viable strategy as you are more likely to find real superstar talent that way then through trades or free agent signings in general.

      I guarantee you that if every non-contender tried to tank, me and most on this board that are on the “tanking group” would think of different strategies, as it would become obvious that tanking is not a viable strategy anymore. But as long as tanking pretty much guarantees you a top 5 pick, as it pretty much still does, it’s a viable strategy.

      Tanking is supposed to find you one, maximum two, real superstar prospects. Then you build around it. Strat has been throwing this garbage around about people wanting a Hinkie tank which won’t work because of injuries bla bla bla, but no one advocates for that.

      I don’t give a crap if Zion takes us out of the lottery by himself,because if he does that he’s a true superstar and we have something to really build around. I care if Michael Beasley takes us out of the top spots or if Tim Hardaway shoots us out of the top 5, because they’re not pieces that you can build around.

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

      It’s not optimal to pay Porter more than he’s worth, but he’s young, it’s not an outrageous overpay, he can be a key piece on a championship contender, they have 2-3 young players that could become key pieces or generate interest in a trade in short order, and could manage to add something good in cap space.

      I agree, and I also think that after this summer his salary may not look like as much of an overpay. There will be a lot teams with money to spend, and this should make salaries rise for good players.

    56. JK47

      The Bulls spent almost an entire decade hovering between 42 and 50 wins. I mean I guess that’s sort of entertaining, but it’s kind of pointless. They didn’t legitimately contend for anything over the course of that decade. When you’re at the end of that cycle and your perennial 42-win team peters out, it’s hard to rebuild from that because you tend to have a lot of mediocre prospects.

      I suppose it’s not the worst thing in the world for them to add Otto Porter, because maybe you can flip him later in the contract. He’s a solid player. But really it doesn’t make a ton of win curve sense. The Bulls will probably get solid play from Porter next year and mild improvements from their mediocre prospects, and then what? They win like 32 games? Uh, great?

    57. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The existence of talents like Robinson (36), Jordan Bell (38), John Collins (19), Jarrett Allen (22), Siakam (27), DeJounte Murray (29), Brogdon (36), Harrell (32), Looney (30), Nance (27), Wright (20), Jokic (41), Kyle Anderson (30), Capela (25), Dwight Powell (45), Gobert (27), Giannis (15), KOQ (49) and Draymond (35) should be enough evidence to see that the problem with NBA roster management is the near-total inability for franchises to identify talent in the draft.

      By my count, I see two MVP candidates (Jokic, Giannis), two DPOYs (Green, Gobert), with a handful of All-NBA and -Defensive teams ahead of them (Capela, Brogdon, Siakam, hopefully Mitch) and then a shitload of excellent starters and bench players on contenders on that list.

      We don’t need a false dichotomy between (1) overpaying players just to retain them on a 35-win core and (2) losing 65 games a year for multiple seasons to acquire superstars at the very top of the draft. The problem is that the Knicks have historically (1) overpaid bad players (2) have not tanked effectively, i.e. lost enough games to get to the very top of the draft while the odds were favorable (3) been unable to turn those middling lottery picks and late draft picks into viable NBA talent and (4) retained draft picks to try to find more talent, given the uncertainty of pre-NBA metrics.

      As I and others have argued on this site for years, the Knicks would be in a much better situation if they dumbed their process down to exclusively draft players with excellent college statistics, rather than rolling the dice on younger, mediocre NCAA players or Europeans based on obviously-questionable subjective scouting methods. I am beating the drum for Brandon Clarke — he is too old for a high-lottery pick, and too much a “tweener role player” to be a likely superstar in the NBA. But he will almost certainly be a good NBA player, and one that will fall to the mid-teens, or worse, to a savvy contender at the end of the…

    58. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      …1st round.

      Also, I am not saying that Porter is a bad player by any means. He’s shown he can be a very good player. He’s just not what the Bulls need right now. They need cap flexibility, productive young players and a ton of draft picks/undrafted FA tryouts. They have none of those things.

      At least we have Mitch. Barring injury, it looks like we won’t need to be hunting for the next franchise center. He’s really that good.

    59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Also, I want to say that the inability to identify talent also goes for veterans for a lot of franchises. They start with a flop in the draft and then do things like sign Wiggins or LaVine or Booker to enormous contracts.

      One example of a team making a smart move in not overpaying veterans: I was sort of confused when the Spurs let Kyle Anderson walk, but now I think they made a wise choice. This as a guy who wanted him to be a Knick back in 2014. They also refused to throw any cash at Tony Parker, who has been simply terrible this year according to PIPM and BPM, and not getting any younger.

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

      Only the Miami Heat got better by adding more than one star at a time. Everyone else has gotten better one good player at a time. So I can’t fault Chicago for actually signing a good player.

    61. Brian Cronin

      The Bulls spent almost an entire decade hovering between 42 and 50 wins. I mean I guess that’s sort of entertaining, but it’s kind of pointless. They didn’t legitimately contend for anything over the course of that decade. When you’re at the end of that cycle and your perennial 42-win team peters out, it’s hard to rebuild from that because you tend to have a lot of mediocre prospects.

      I differ on this only because you’re discounting the 62-win team right before that. That’s got to count as part of their 45-50 win era, right? And that season I think makes the other seasons worth living with until, of course, the team was clearly not going to contend and I agree, they should have tanked a year or so earlier than they actually did.

    62. Jack Bauer

      “This is probably how the Padres decided to add the richest contract in North American sports to a 66-96 team. Spoiler: it ain’t gonna work out for them, and they’re not even fighting a salary cap.”

      But of course if the Yankees, Dodgers, or Red Sox added him it would have been lauded as a great move. We’ll see how it works out. The Padres payroll is still below average so it’s not like they broke their budget even if they had to overpay for a very good player.

    63. Donnie Walsh

      The existence of talents like Robinson (36), Jordan Bell (38), John Collins (19), Jarrett Allen (22), Siakam (27), DeJounte Murray (29), Brogdon (36), Harrell (32), Looney (30), Nance (27), Wright (20), Jokic (41), Kyle Anderson (30), Capela (25), Dwight Powell (45), Gobert (27), Giannis (15), KOQ (49) and Draymond (35) should be enough evidence to see that the problem with NBA roster management is the near-total inability for franchises to identify talent in the draft.

      It’s interesting how the draft has expanded into the 2nd round as a place to find franchise players. For 23 years (from 1989 , when the draft become two rounds to 2012), the best 2nd round picks were Manu followed by a few overpaid quasi-stars like Boozer, Redd, Arenas, Rashard Lewis, Van Exel, Cliff Robinson, and Cedric Ceballos, and then pretty much exclusively role players.

      Nobody was finding true franchise building talent like Draymond and Jokic. But I guess they exist as the market inefficiency: one was an under-sized 4 year senior and the other was a giant, slow polish dude nobody’d pegged as a point guard yet.

      The current market values athletic teenagers, which I think is going to change soon cause it’s a silly thing to value, given the structure of the rookie contract beingninconsistent with the growth curve of your average American teen-aged idiot.

    64. DRed

      Jokic was an intriguing 19 year old who had played 25 games in the Adriatic league-why would you have drafted him in the first round, much less in the high lottery? He obviously showed some promise, but he wasn’t a particularly good rebounder, he shot 22% from 3, wasn’t a good free throw shooter etc. He wasn’t a guy who was super productive who got passed over because of anti-Euro bias or because he wasn’t athletic.

    65. DRed

      Where do the draft people think this kid Clarke from Gonzaga is going to go? He’s old, but he’s having an absolutely monster season.

    66. Bruno Almeida

      @61

      The Boston Celtics won a title and became a contender for some good years with the same strategy, and those two are pretty much the only example we’ve had in the last 10 years in the NBA where a team added two superstars in the same offseason, three if you count the Cavs adding Lebron and Love in the same season. So in the last 11 seasons, teams that have added two superstars in the offseason have won 3 titles and reached 6 finals. If we count the Cavs, it’s 4 titles and 10 finals.

      Of course the numbers are skewed because Lebron accounts for a lot of 3 titles and 8 finals appearances, but in the very small sample size of 3 teams and Lebron James, it’s the best possible strategy it seems.

      I’m not saying the Knicks will instantly reach the finals by adding Durant plus Kyrie, as the Celtics, Heat and Cavs had stars on their roster before they got the other 2. But implying that the strategy doesn’t work when the only examples we have seen really worked out wonderfully is a bit too much.

    67. geo

      I can see the impact of me being overserved at dinner.

      preach hubert…man, that’s just how I feel sometimes…just a little too much at dinner, lunch, breakfast or brunch…

    68. Z-man

      @69 it’s a very simplistic way of looking at the “add 2 stars” strategy. There’s no difference whether you “add” them of “have” them or a combination. There are so many factors to consider aside from the concept…who are the stars, what is the competition at the time, what does the rest of the team look like, injury luck, etc. LeBron truly skews the picture. So beyond “make sure that one of the stars is a Mt. Rushmore level talent” the strategy doesn’t really stand out as anything more than a possible road to contending.

    69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Jokic was an intriguing 19 year old who had played 25 games in the Adriatic league-why would you have drafted him in the first round, much less in the high lottery? He obviously showed some promise, but he wasn’t a particularly good rebounder, he shot 22% from 3, wasn’t a good free throw shooter etc. He wasn’t a guy who was super productive who got passed over because of anti-Euro bias or because he wasn’t athletic.

      I wouldn’t have drafted Jokic. Had no idea who he was. I’m saying that whatever franchises are using to evaluate talent, it’s bad. Giannis, too. He was all athleticism — I wonder how many people pegged him as a legitimate MVP candidate and a guy who looks like he’ll be that way for years.

    70. geo

      the padres had the 3rd worst era in the national league…out of their top 6 prospects only one of them is a pitcher, not sure what level he’s at…

      they need pitching…good for them though to sign machado – sooooooo glad cashman “seems” to have learned his lesson with ellsbury (at the time felt like a totally reactionary signing)…

      wasn’t so crazy about picking up giancarlo – but, he’s a pretty easy guy to root for…hopefully he can still swing a bat for another 100 years/length of his contract…

      definitely preferred stanton to the idea of going after harper…

    71. DRed

      Yeah he’s out for the game with a knee injury. If he’s smart he’ll never play college basketball again.

    72. llcoolbp

      I’ve blown out my left knee twice (acl). That did not look good. He’s a big strong kid, with lots of muscle. That’s why he walked off. Hopefully it’s not blown out.

    73. Bruno Almeida

      @73

      It is, but we have no data whatsoever to determine whether that’s a valid and replicable strategy because it happened so few times, and 2/3 of the times it happened it included LeBron.

      That was more of the point of my post, if you simply look at “teams adding more than one star at a time” lately, like the original post referred to, the record is a resounding success, and there’s only been one instance of it happening without LeBron and it had great success. So it’s obviously not enough to determine the strategy works definitely with other stars, but also clearly not an indication that it doesn’t work, you know.

    74. Early Bird

      Tanking is supposed to find you one, maximum two, real superstar prospects. Then you build around it. Strat has been throwing this garbage around about people wanting a Hinkie tank which won’t work because of injuries bla bla bla, but no one advocates for that.

      Currently there are currently 5 teams tanking. After that, there’s a number of teams that are really bad but aren’t quite tanking. Of those 5 teams, the most likely draft position of the worst one is fifth. The lottery chances get worse from there. The Knicks have nearly a 50% chance to draft 5th or 6th. It is not easy to get a true, franchise-changing player at 5th or 6th. There are no Zion, Durant, or LeBron surefire picks at that point.

      Instead picking near, but not quite at the top of the draft is more likely to get you KP. Is KP going to change your franchise? Not yet clear, probably not. The only way we put together a viable tank is KP’s injury. Otherwise, Tim Hardaway and KP play mediocre enough to put us in that bad, but not quite bad enough territory. It doesn’t take Zion to be out of the tank race, it takes not playing three of the worst players in the NBA significant amounts of minutes.

      So, if KP doesn’t get injured do we play him and get a mediocre draft pick? Do we mulligan him away for Dennis Smith? Do we sign him to a max contract?

      What about Tim Hardaway if we didn’t trade him away? Should we have resigned him in that scenario? Do we mulligan him away? How many mulligans does it take to tank long enough to get a franchise player? Players who, almost definitionaly, come around only once in awhile. It’s not clear that works well.

      The 76ers had to tank in how many consecutive years before they secured their franchise players? Embiid would not have been there at 3 if he didn’t get hurt. Even then, he took 2 years of injuries before returning. He still has not played a full season. Oh, and he just got hurt again.

      They picked up Markelle Fultz,…

    75. dtrickey

      Luke Maye putting on a nice show for scouts (albeit the ones in Europe). Could do worse than spend a mid-second on him though.

    76. Z-man

      @73 Oh, agreed, I misunderstood. There really isn’t a foolproof model for building a contender that doesn’t involve either an all-time great in his prime or a perfect storm of some kind. Even the Big-3 Celts benefitted from a one-sided Garnett trade and went through some pretty mediocre EC teams to get to the finals.

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

      Bruno,

      I didn’t suggest that adding more than one star at a time doesn’t work. It clearly works. It is just so difficult to do that most teams that get good, for example the Raptors, the Warriors, the Bucks, the current Celtics and so on get their great players one at a time.

    78. Ntilakilla

      My thoughts and prayers go out to Zion Williamson, the tremendous superstar basketball player from Duke. His injury isn't surprising though once you realize Obama was at the game. Everywhere Obama goes nothing but disappointment and pain follows!!!! Sad!!!!— DonaId J. Trump (@SportsTalkBarry) February 21, 2019

    79. geo

      son of a gun, I had recorded the unc-duke game to watch later…might just skip it now…that sucks…

      his shoe blew out?!?

    80. Frontportch123

      @66 Regarding Brandon Clarke, he’s definitely one of the most talented two way players <=6'8" in the last few years and IMO has the potential to be a Draymond type player on the defensive end. He has great hops, timing and impressive lateral quickness. His PER seems to be going up each game and I believe it's now second only to Zion @ 37.3.

      There's obviously a bias towards youth in the draft, and I think in a few years a lot of teams will be kicking themselves for passing on Brandon Clarke. I think he's one of the safer 1st round or even lottery picks in the draft given his two way potential.

    81. Bruno Almeida

      @89

      I agree that they did, but the current Knicks situation is also very unique. When Danny Ainge had the opportunity to go for a big 3 around Pierce, he went for it. The Raptors and Bucks never had the cap space to do moves like that, and they aren’t destinations for big free agents generally in the first place. I think most good teams build their pieces gradually because that’s how they’re able to do it, so in that sense I agree with you that it’s difficult to pick up multiple stars at once, but more so because most teams won’t ever have the combination of assets + cap space + guys actually being available at the time they’re making the moves. The only teams who actually fit that criteria are the Heat, via cap space, and the Celtics Big 3 via assets (and the obviously lopsided KG trade).

      @86
      I never said tanking was easy, it’s just relatively easier than the other alternatives when you’re a terrible ran franchise who’s not able to either draft well enough for position to not matter / make smart incremental trades / attract top free agents.

      Philly took 4 seasons before they became good, but people conveniently forget that they were an example of absolute mediocrity in the league since damn, Iverson left. They won 56 games on the year they went to the finals, 01-02, and then it took them literally until 17-18 with Embiid and Simmons for them to break 50 wins again. They were stuck in this mediocrity loop since the Iverson team fell apart and kept trying to build teams around him and Iguodala later with no success at all.

      Would you really rather be the Sixers from 02-03 until 13-14, winning 35 to 40 games every season and never having a chance at anything?

    82. geo

      just saw the replay…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shoe fall apart before in a sports event…

      I’m sure this reaction is a bit emotional on my part – whoever said earlier he should not step foot on the court again until summer league (maybe pre-season) is a 100% correct…

      bosa made the exact right call last year when he suffered his injury with ohio state…

      doesn’t seem in his nature to do it on his own, hopefully there are enough wise people around him to steer him in the right direction…

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