Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.04.07)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Mills, Perry Cite Knicks’ Cap Space In Letter To Fans
    (Saturday, April 06, 2019 10:30:44 AM)

    Entering this summer, the Knicks are expected to be major players for some of the top free agents. Among the names the franchise is expected to pursue are Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. In a letter to season ticket holders, general manager Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills cited February’s Kristaps Porzingis trade â?? […]

  • [NYDN] Rockets stars can’t be bothered to stick around until end of Knicks rout
    (Saturday, April 06, 2019 8:40:16 AM)

    HOUSTON — The Rockets “toyed” with the Knicks and then got a head start to their Friday night plans.

    With 1:30 remaining in extended garbage time of Houston’s 120-96 laugher over New York, many of the Rockets — including James Harden and Chris Paul — darted for the locker room and left their bench…

  • [NYDN] Kevin Durant to the Knicks? The agent-client relationship that could deliver star to New York
    (Saturday, April 06, 2019 8:08:37 AM)

    HOUSTON — If Kevin Durant comes to the Knicks, Steve Mills and James Dolan should send flowers to his agent Rich Kleiman.

    Or better yet, how about a job in the organization? Maybe even stock options. After all, Kleiman has the grandest of plans for himself and Durant — to own an NBA franchise….

  • [FOXsports] Beal, Wizards set for matchup against the Knicks
    (Sunday, April 07, 2019 3:05:00 AM)

    Bradley Beal leads Washington into a matchup with New York averaging 25.9 points per game

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks great Carl Braun posthumously elected to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame: report
    (Saturday, April 06, 2019 11:45:58 AM)

    Braun, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 82, played 12 seasons with the Knicks between 1947-1961, spending two of those years in the Army.

  • [NYPost] Mitchell Robinson never heard of NBA legend praising his game
    (Saturday, April 06, 2019 10:20:26 PM)

    HOUSTON — Mitchell Robinson doesn’t know who legendary former Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon is. That’s OK. Hakeem “The Dream’’ now knows Robinson, who has set the Knicks rookie record for blocked shots in a season. Robinson also has at least two blocks in 27 straight games, second-longest streak for a rookie after David Robinson. Olajuwon,…

  • [NYPost] Nod to Knicks’ treasured past came when needed the most
    (Saturday, April 06, 2019 1:37:20 PM)

    We bonded plenty over baseball, the way most fathers and sons do, but it always went back to basketball for my old man, and always went back to the Knicks, and mostly went back to the early 1950s and some very good Knicks teams that were never quite good enough to beat the Minneapolis Lakers…

  • [NYPost] Former Knicks guard Carl Braun elected to the Hall of Fame
    (Saturday, April 06, 2019 8:07:09 AM)

    Carl Braun, who played 740 of his 788 games in professional basketball with the Knicks, has been elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame, The Post has learned. Braun averaged 14.1 points in 12 seasons for the Knicks and was a five-time All-Star. The Brooklyn native starred at Garden City High School on Long Island…

  • [NYPost] Rockets starters head to locker room before game’s end against Knicks
    (Saturday, April 06, 2019 6:50:13 AM)

    HOUSTON — Was this the final indignity to the league-worst Knicks or was it just Houston’s veterans getting a jump on treatment? In what appeared a clear sign of disrespect, all the Rockets’ starters, including James Harden and Chris Paul, left the bench for the locker room with about 1:30 to go in their 120-96…

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    124 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.04.07)

    1. Z-man

      I know it’s only 3 games, but this is the first time in forever that we can root for meaningless wins without any fucking reservations. I’m kinda disoriented.

    2. Hubert

      Hubert, in your Buddy Hield scenario you’re giving up eight cost-controlled years of two lottery picks for one cost-controlled year of Buddy Hield. That’s why it’s a dumb idea. Hield has one year left on his deal, then he’s getting paid.

      Also in my scenario, we have 2, maybe 3 if we’re lucky, years of Kevin Durant in his prime along with Kyrie Irving. If that’s not the point in the win curve when you value current production over years of cost control, I don’t know what is.

      Re: the one year left on his rookie deal, two things:

      1) that’s what potentially makes him available. I didn’t pick Hield out of all the players on rookie contracts bc I thought he was the best. Of course I would rather have John Collins to play power forward between Durant and Mitchell, but he’s cheap for two more years and Atlanta has no impetus for giving him up.

      I’m not throwing out crazy trade proposals that only favor us. You have to figure a motivation for the other team. Resetting the clock on a rookie deal is a real reason for a team to trade a currently superior player for an inferior one. That’s why I specifically targeted the draft that has one year left on it’s rookie deals.

      Unfortunately that draft was so terrible that Hield is really the only guy with one year left who is both potentially available and a good fit.

      2) getting paid next year isn’t that important to us bc we won’t have cap space during the peak Durant years anyway. He can make $30mm next year and it literally does not impact our ability to acquire talent. But his $4.8mm salary this year gives us ~$10-12mm extra to play with this summer when we actually need it.

      I get that it’s the internet and everything, and pouncing on contrary ideas is what the internet does, but I think y’all laugh a little too hard at some well-thought out positions without realizing that there’s counters to your counters you haven’t considered.

    3. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      Given our recent lottery luck, I think a more likely offseason scenario is KD/Kyrie/Culver. If we don’t land the top pick, I think it still gives us good flexibility if we land in a position to draft Morant. We could then afford to move DSJ and Ntilikina for better role players/picks. I just hope DSJ’s back isn’t a long time issue.

      All that said, I’m just as good with landing Zion and signing 2nd tier FA’s while letting DSJ/Ntilikina/ Knox/Mitch/Trier/Dotson/Vonleh/Zion grow together.

    4. Hubert

      Also, JK47, where did you get two lottery picks from? You’re giving up one this year *if* it’s a weak one (like Barrett/Culver). Next year’s pick – if we’re starting Kyrie, Hield, Durant, a vet PF, and DeAndre Jordan with Mitchell, Knox, Dotson and other vet min guys off the bench – is not a lottery pick. It’s in the 20s.

      So the effective trade you think is so dumb is adding Hield and Jordan to a Kyrie/Durant core at the cost of selecting RJ Barrett or Jarrett Culver and a late 1st next year.

    5. Z-man

      I think y’all laugh a little too hard at some well-thought out positions without realizing that there’s counters to your counters you haven’t considered.

      “well-thought out” doesn’t necessarily mean “good” or “smart.” Buddy Hield is not a very exciting player for most here. He’s 26 and doesn’t pass or get to the line or defend. Why give up anything of value for him? Personally, I’d rather roll the dice on Trier becoming a better player than Hield and on a much cheaper deal.

    6. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      All that said, I’m just as good with landing Zion and signing 2nd tier FA’s while letting DSJ/Ntilikina/ Knox/Mitch/Trier/Dotson/Vonleh/Zion grow together

      I just realized how stupid that sounded. I was thinking players who supplement those guys and can carry enough of an offensive load while those guys grow up the first year or 2. 2nd tier was a bad description- the ones available this season could be cap crippling

    7. Z-man

      “at the cost of selecting RJ Barrett or Jarrett Culver and a late 1st next year.”

      I can’t imagine that you think that this is anything close to a trivial cost, If KP gets hurt and Doncic regresses, dallas could be in the lottery. Remember the Bargnani and Eddy first rounders?

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

      In the NY post this sentence was quoted from a letter from Knicks management to season ticket holders

      We will continue to focus on the draft in an attempt to replicate the type of players we added last summer.

      Are they referring to Knox, Mudiay and Hezonja? I hope not, but I suspect they are.

    9. CaptainB

      That’s the exact same line of thinking that lead us to trade a first round pick for Andrea Bargnani.

    10. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      In the NY post this sentence was quoted from a letter from Knicks management to season ticket holders

      We will continue to focus on the draft in an attempt to replicate the type of players we added last summer.

      Are they referring to Knox, Mudiay and Hezonja? I hope not, but I suspect they are.

      Knox, Mitch and Trier.

    11. DRed

      Have you addressed the whole “Buddy Hield is a slightly above average player” problem yet?

    12. thenoblefacehumper

      The biggest difference between Hield and Trier is basically that Hield shoots way more threes. Obviously that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but Trier is basically a Hield starter kit and is 3 years younger. So why exactly should we trade two first round picks for Hield? I mean, that’s about as high a price as teams are willing to pay for an individual player these days. If we’re going to blow that load, it definitely should not be on Buddy freakin’ Hield.

    13. Farfa

      If we really want to spend those two picks plus players (sans Mitch, obviously) then we should go after AD. Kyrie-Trier-KD-AD-Mitch with a bench of Kadeem-Jenkins-?-Vonleh-Kornet-Ellenson is better than Kyrie-Hield-KD-Vonleh-DAJ with DSJ-Dotson-Knox-Ellenson/Kornet-Mitch. The first bench might be boosted by veterans chasing rings, and a starting five with three and a half superstars is hard to beat.

    14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Why is Mitch a reserve in some of these hypotheticals? He should be the starter in as many games as he plays next year. He should be allowed to foul out of every game.

      Also, has anyone commented that DAJ is about to finish the season around 77 FT% as a Knick? Smallish sample, but 70.5% on the year is a real achievement for a career 46% foul shooter. It’s almost like Brady Anderson hitting 50 home runs at age 32 after a career high of 21… almost…

    15. DRed

      My theory is now that he doesn’t try on defense he has more energy for shooting free throws and making passes

    16. Farfa

      Why is Mitch a reserve in some of these hypotheticals? He should be the starter in as many games as he plays next year. He should be allowed to foul out of every game.

      No idea, I was just riffing on Hubert’s idea. I would never advise not starting Mitch. He’s much more dominant than DAJ, warts and all.

    17. geo

      mitch must start…what a steal of a deal, I hope mitch makes boatloads of cash on endorsements and stays motivated and happy…

      I think DSJ, trier, kornet, dotson, and knox all earned a shot at staying on the roster…I wouldn’t mind seeing allen back…

      no thanks to mud, lance, DAJ, mario…

      our draft position and choice will have a big effect on who signs with us…if we hit the zion jackpot, there’s a pretty good chance the dominoes fall for kd, and, maybe kyrie…

      if we’re picking 4th or 5th, probably not…I’m not so sure kd would want to play with ja either…I think kd may want to do a james harden act with kyrie as his cp3…

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

      Given how Culver played yesterday, if we draft him I think we should immediately put him on the block while he still has value. He’s 20 years old. Time to give up! :-)

    19. JK47

      Given how Culver played yesterday, if we draft him I think we should immediately put him on the block while he still has value. He’s 20 years old. Time to give up! :-)

      Nah, you wouldn’t give up on him, because he has at least SOME track record of playing well in NCAA games. Unlike our last two 1RPs, who have never played well anywhere.

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

      @Hubert

      As I stated in a prior thread, imo, your general thinking on this trade is spot on. However, when you are tossing around multiple 1st round draft picks, you are giving up value that extends far beyond the Durant window. Our picks from the next couple of years will just be STARTING to hit stride as Durant is retiring. So to consider that move imo, you have to be certain the team is a major contender for a title now. I don’t think the lineups you are throwing out there at certain to contend for a title.

      If we get Durant we are going “all in”. That means we may have to give away some greater future value (young players and picks) to get greater present value (vets). We have to get used to that idea. But we can’t give away a bottomless pit of future value or we are going to leave ourselves almost barren once Durant retires.

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

      Nah, you wouldn’t give up on him, because he has at least SOME track record of playing well in NCAA games. Unlike our last two 1RPs, who have never played well anywhere.

      Dude is on the downside. He’s done. Get rid of him for a pick, tank again, and try again next year. :-)

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

      Nah, you wouldn’t give up on him, because he has at least SOME track record of playing well in NCAA games. Unlike our last two 1RPs, who have never played well anywhere.

      Well, I disagree about one of them.

      Culver may have some good games, but what has he done for me lately? :-)

      I say we trade him for a future 1st round pick and tank for the next 10 years if that what’s it takes until we get 5 hall of famers out of the draft. :-)

    23. Bruno Almeida

      @23

      I’ve never seen anyone who’s more incapable or unwilling to actually read and interpret other people’s arguments fairly.

      We still have a chance of beating the worst Knicks season ever record, all we need to do is go 1-2 over the next 3 games. I’m confident this team can make it.

    24. ess-dog

      Happy Sunday, it’s lovely out. But the fragility on this thread is intense. Like Elsa says: “Let it goooooo…”

      The DSJ back thing is worrying. I like the guy, but I hope we can still get value for him. He’s a big part of the KP trade.

      I am going to assume the front office likes Culver, as they really like length and athleticism, but at least he stuffs the stat sheet unlike Knox. I’d be fine with him.

    25. abk

      Hubert, I think you are overvaluing Hield and undervaluing our pick this year.

      Hield is a really good shooter, but he gives back much of that value by being a non-entity on defense. RPM has him as the 14th best shooting guard because his defense is so bad. I’m not sure he should even be starting on a championship team; typically you want great defenders/passers to go with the alphas like Durant.

      I wouldn’t trade our 2019 pick straight up for Hield. People talk about this being a weaker draft, blah blah. The typical outcome for the #4 pick is an all-star caliber player. Having them on a cost-controlled deal is a huge positive. I’d rather have Culver or Barrett than Hield. If you’re going to trade this pick you oughta get a damn good player in return.

    26. Jack Bauer

      Jared Culver played like Kevin Knox last night (at least on offense) and didn’t look much better the game before.

      If he ends up being the pick for the Knicks I hope these are just a bad couple of games.

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

      Strat, that straw man you’re thrashing is begging for mercy

      I’m not sure what you saying. I was making a joke.

      I was suggesting that despite our group being more long term oriented than the average Knicks fan (a good thing), it’s possible that at times we are too long term oriented. Yet despite that, we tend to give up and want to move on from our young players long before they are anywhere close to realizing their potential. Hence I was giving up on Culver after just a couple of bad games and asking for more tanking. Oh well. Bad joke.

    28. JK47

      The straw man you’re attacking is “hurr durr everybody wants to tank forever” which NOBODY is saying.

    29. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      Hield is a really good shooter, but he gives back much of that value by being a non-entity on defense. RPM has him as the 14th best shooting guard because his defense is so bad. I’m not sure he should even be starting on a championship team; typically you want great defenders/passers to go with the alphas like Durant.

      Exactly why Fiz & company should do whatever they can to fix Ntilikina’s jumper and off ball movement

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

      The straw man you’re attacking is “hurr durr everybody wants to tank forever” which NOBODY is saying.

      Uh, we have a slight disagreement here. Granted I may be using hyperbole, but I think over-tanking is a bit of an issue here.

      We are about the break our bad record from a couple of years back when we drafted KP. Now we just had to use KP to get rid of the main player we put into the 20m of cap space we had since then. I’m less pleased we are still in tanking mode and don’t have KP because we couldn’t put a better team around him and give him a chance to develop.

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

      You should fix Frank’s performance anxiety first

      And his general health second

      Spot on as usual.

      He still looks like an early season rookie glancing to the bench every time he either makes a good or bad play hoping for approval or to not get pulled. He still plays like he’s afraid to make a mistake. He may be very mature in some ways, but he’s very immature as a competitive athlete. That and the fact that he hasn’t been able stay healthy and this whole Mudiay thing took away minutes when he was, has slowed his development. I have no more idea how this is going to end for him than anyone else. I know he’s been terrible on offense also, but he’s a good defender and I haven’t given up. He’s a young 20.

    32. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Strat has repeatedly suggested a 6-7 year rebuild, fully dismissing the fact that high lottery picks with franchise-player hype (however deserved) will get paid max extension money and make it impossible to build a contender if the franchise misidentifies a scrub as a cornerstone and pays huge money to retain them into their 23-26 seasons (e.g. Minnesota, Orlando, Chicago, Washington).

    33. Bruno Almeida

      @33

      But you keep repeating that as if it’s true when the front office never did what we, the “serial tankers”, wanted them to do. Maybe if we had tanked properly instead of wasting money on the players you liked so much, like Courtney Lee, or even simply not given Melo the stupidest mega max NTC deal ever, we would have had assets and draft picks to actually build a team with Porzingis.

      The front office tried to get better with veterans, and they sucked ass at it, and that prompted another inevitable rebuild. This has been literally the first season since I started caring about this team where they tanked intentionally, and that was pretty much only prompted by Porzingis injury that you also seem to ignore every time as if it’s no big deal.

      If the Knicks didn’t give Lee and Hardaway those ridiculous contracts, they wouldn’t have had to use Porzingis to unload them in the first place, so if we had properly tanked for once in those garbage seasons, your golden Latvian boy could still be with us.

    34. Bruno Almeida

      The no tanking at all strategy that you support all the time was what made us draft garbage players like Knox and Ntilikina. Or do you seriously think Porzingis wants out if we had drafted De’Aaron Fox and Luka Doncic?

    35. Hubert

      Have you addressed the whole “Buddy Hield is a slightly above average player” problem yet?

      No, but I will. I don’t think 43% from 3 and a .590 TS% on high volume is anywhere near what would be considered “slightly above average.”

      Also you threw out stats like WS/48 that historically haven’t demonstrated the ability to value the floor spacing of an elite shooter bc it’s overly obsessed with possession and offensive rebounding. It’s the same faulty logic that makes you think Klay Thompson is lucky to be there instead of an integral contributor to one of the greatest teams ever.

      I think it’s reasonable to conclude that the statistic which rates Kenneth Faried as a better player than Ray Allen isn’t the right one to be judging a floor spacing 2 guard with.

    36. Hubert

      Even if you hate the Hield idea, you have to admit we’ll need two more players capable of starting on a championship team if we sign Kyrie and Durant. It’s unreasonable to expect Smith, Knox, Trier, Frank, or our draft pick if it isn’t Zion to be good enough for that, so we’ll have to get creative.

      Another possibility, if you really believe Brandon Clarke is ready to contribute at Siakim levels, is drafting him to start between Durant and Mitch and creating enough cap space to sign Danny Green by trading Frank, Smith, and Trier for picks.

      Kyrie / TBD
      Green / Dotson
      Durant / Knox
      Clark / Kornet
      Mitch / TBD

      ^ fill the TBD’s with the room and vet minimum guys

      It could work but I’m not as comfortable counting on Clark to be good enough.

    37. Hubert

      Why is Mitch a reserve in some of these hypotheticals? He should be the starter in as many games as he plays next year. He should be allowed to foul out of every game.

      That’s fair. I’m conservative about my short-term projection for him. I also really like the idea of having Jordan as the starter and letting Mitch wreak havoc off the bench. It reminds me of the formula that made the 99 Knicks so successful with Sprewell and Camby off the bench.

      It might be a luxury we can’t afford, though.

    38. Bruno Almeida

      People are just wary of trading away more than one draft pick for a guy who’s not a sure fire superstar. Hield is good, I agree, but he’s on the tier of players who are good enough to be valued highly by their own teams, and thus are very expensive to trade for, but are not good enough usually to entice another team into trading away what’s necessary to get him. Which is kinda like the exact situation Klay Thompson is in, I don’t think the Warriors would even listen to an offer of Culver plus a future first, because he’s far more valuable to the Warriors then to other teams.

      If I’m giving future assets for a 3rd max guy to put next to Kyrie and KD, I’m looking for another superstar, like Anthony Davis, specially because shooting is what Kyrie and KD already bring to the table in great volume and efficiency, and you can find veteran wings who can shoot for a much lower price than two firsts and a max deal one year from now.

    39. Hubert

      I can’t imagine that you think that this is anything close to a trivial cost, If KP gets hurt and Doncic regresses, dallas could be in the lottery. Remember the Bargnani and Eddy first rounders?

      What are you talking about, dude?

      First of all, just bc Dallas didn’t protect it doesn’t mean we can’t trade it with protection.

      Second, you’re the second person to literally imagine that I said we should include a second lottery pick.

      I said we should give up this year’s pick if it’s in the Barrett/Culver range (I’d keep Ja, or trade him for something better) and “another #1 pick from our inventory”, like our 2020, or another pick with reasonable protection. I also was willing to include Trier or Frank, but was more to create enough cap space to sign another player.

    40. Hubert

      Hubert, I think you are overvaluing Hield and undervaluing our pick this year.

      Hield is a really good shooter, but he gives back much of that value by being a non-entity on defense. RPM has him as the 14th best shooting guard because his defense is so bad. I’m not sure he should even be starting on a championship team; typically you want great defenders/passers to go with the alphas like Durant.

      I wouldn’t trade our 2019 pick straight up for Hield. People talk about this being a weaker draft, blah blah. The typical outcome for the #4 pick is an all-star caliber player. Having them on a cost-controlled deal is a huge positive. I’d rather have Culver or Barrett than Hield. If you’re going to trade this pick you oughta get a damn good player in return.

      All sounds fair.

      I was specifically looking for a player on a cheap enough contract to allow us to have enough space to bring back Jordan or a forward. Not a lot of guys fit the bill.

    41. Early Bird

      Honestly, I fully expect Hezonja to be back in a Knicks uniform next year. I also expect him to play decently. He’s shown the ability before, and he’ll be motivated if we have Kyrie and KD. He’ll be our new Tim Hardaway.

    42. JK47

      I’m less pleased we are still in tanking mode and don’t have KP because we couldn’t put a better team around him and give him a chance to develop.

      Well you can thank your buddy Phil Jackson for attempting to build a winning team around Carmelo Anthony’s decline phase and then bringing in the mummified remains of Joakim Noah to act as his wingman. How’d that goink?

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

      Jared Culver played like Kevin Knox last night (at least on offense) and didn’t look much better the game before.

      Jowles and I actually agree on one thing, Knick’s management wants more players like Knox. If Culver is playing like him, we are likely to see him in a Knicks’ uniform

    44. Owen

      Nah, you wouldn’t give up on him, because he has at least SOME track record of playing well in NCAA games. Unlike our last two 1RPs, who have never played well anywhere.

      Savage. JK47 rat tat tat…..

      I don’t think anyone disagrees with the notion of pushing our chips in if we get Durant and Kyrie. And I think a floor spacer like Hield is a good idea. I don’t think he is the guy to strip mine your asset base for either though.

      You know who could be interesting? How about JJ Redick? He lives in New York and wouldn’t be interested in signing with any team other than the Knicks, Nets or Sixers. He’d probably come reasonably cheap.

    45. Grocer

      Stripping the team for two years of Durant so we can crash out in the first round a couple times and then start this horror show all over again at zero is my recurring nightmare.

    46. bobneptune

      I am going to steal the political Knick name for the only sane republican politician former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels….. “MY MAN MITCH!!!”

    47. thenoblefacehumper

      Given how Culver played yesterday, if we draft him I think we should immediately put him on the block while he still has value. He’s 20 years old. Time to give up! :-)

      What is this even supposed to be parodying? The fact that some people think Frank Ntilikina probably won’t be a part of a the team’s future because he was bad in the Euroleague, has been god awful in the NBA, and can’t stay healthy? I mean, if you think Frank hasn’t been given a chance, what the hell constitutes a chance?

    48. Jack Bauer

      “Jowles and I actually agree on one thing, Knick’s management wants more players like Knox. If Culver is playing like him, we are likely to see him in a Knicks’ uniform”

      Bartender, I’ll order the Clorox on the rocks and make mine a double

    49. d-mar

      How crazy is it that the woman who won the national championship for Notre dame last year with a 3 pointer missed a foul shot with 3 seconds left this year and they lose by 1 to Baylor?

      Life in a nutshell

    50. Owen

      Mitch would have fit in well with the Riley Knicks. I am setting the over/under on fights he gets into in his career due to rough fouls at 7.

    51. DRed

      Who on this team do you actually look forward to seeing play next year? For me it’s Mitch and Kornet, and that’s it.

    52. Owen

      Mario played himself into another NBA deal? Probably. If not, he can go be a villain in a movie.

    53. thenoblefacehumper

      The weird thing about Hezonja is his last year in Orlando was somewhat encouraging. He was right around average at everything with room to improve. He proceeded to have an absolutely god awful year with the Knicks until the last 10 games or so. This might be my least popular opinion, but there would be worse candidates for the room exception or lower (I don’t think I’d go any higher than the room, though) if he wants to stay.

    54. Owen

      SUPER MARIO!!!

      I just hope Mitch doesn’t lose his jumping ability when gets all buff….

    55. dtrickey

      Mario would have to be the most infuriating/frustrating player in the league. Has all the tools to be a very decent player in the league, but only turns up in junk games. Where has this been all year mate!!!!

    56. chrisconley

      I’ve been watching with the sound off. Did Beal get hurt when he hit the floor earlier or is this a blatant tank job by Wiz? He’s smiling on the bench down the stretch of a tight game?

    57. abk

      Max Mario. ;)

      This is the first Knicks game I’ve watched and really rooted for the team to win this year. Life is a lot more fun when you want to win. Hopefully we’ve tanked for the last time in a long time.

    58. Frank

      April basketball is really the best. This one actually got my heart rate up at the end there lol

    59. GoNYGoNYGo Going for the tank

      I’m OK with winning today … for the first time in a long time. Now, may the ping-pong balls fall in our favor.

    60. Bruno Almeida

      Mariosanity is here!

      But really, last season he seemed to be playing a lot better towards the end of the season, i even fooled my self that he was turning a corner…

    61. Grocer

      If Mario is back next year on a cheap deal that means we didn’t get Durant, and I’m fine with that.

    62. abk

      Jowles and I actually agree on one thing, Knick’s management wants more players like Knox. If Culver is playing like him, we are likely to see him in a Knicks’ uniform

      Culver is a very good defender and smart passer. I think I’d favor taking him at #2 overall.

    63. Early Bird

      Hezonja was Doncic before Doncic, except he seemed to get really complacent at some point. He was supposed to have all the tools–rebounding, defense, passing, shooting–but a lot of them never materialized in Europe and seem to come and go in the NBA.

      In short, Hezonja could be a decent player if he just gave a shit.

    64. Z-man

      Big win by Dallas and loss by the Wiz! If Dallas winds up tied with 2 or 3 teams, their odds of getting into the top 4 are significantly reduced!

    65. DRed

      Doncic was way, way better in Europe than Hezonja. Mario showed flashes off the bench, Doncic was the best player in the league.

    66. Grocer

      Yeah, there’s no Doncic/Hezonja comparison that makes any sense beyond ‘one of these things is not like the other.’

    67. Early Bird

      I’m talking about when they were 14, Hezonja was supposed to bring all the tools that Doncic actually brought. They never materialized though.

    68. Grocer

      Oh, sure. When they were pre-teens lil Mario crushed the oppo. It’s too bad he hasn’t mentally matured.

      Honestly I like this late season version of Hezonja. I’ve no faith it’ll continue into his next contract but in the absence of Durant where we’re still trying to build I’m ambivalent. I do think, at the end of the season, with all his faults, Fizdale can bring out the best in players. Did anyone see Jordan as a distributor? Maybe he’s just developing bench guys, but if we add Zion or even Ja and can pull Davis in free agency next summer? That’d be a team with legs.

      I hate this “grab an old free agent” shit. We’ve got our Robinson, let’s hope for our Duncan and build a fucking dynasty!

    69. DS

      How does a man make it all the way to the NBA without hearing of Hakeem Olajuwon? Ten years ago, all the top players were hiring him to learn his moves.

    70. Frank

      All this maneuvering by the Mavs, Grizzlies etc to get to whatever pick they want this year makes me think even more that the flattening of the lottery odds STILL encourages teams to lose even if the reward is less certain.

      I still think you need to encourage teams to win. Sitting Luka, sitting all these players who aren’t really hurt is a pernicious stain on the game.

      The answer IMHO is still to at least theoretically incentivize wins, and make it post-season “pre-lottery” to see where the lottery balls will fall. I’ve been beating this drum for a couple years now, a quick reminder for those who don’t remember-

      With “x” games remaining in each team’s season, wins, not losses, give you more lottery balls. “X” is a value somewhere between, say, zero and 20, with X not determined until after the regular season is over.

      Example:
      Knicks go 15-67 for the season.
      “X” is determined after the season to be 14.
      With 14 games left, the Knicks were actually 9-59, then went 6-8 to end the season.
      Total lottery balls = 59 losses + 6 wins = 65 lottery balls.

      Bulls go 15-67 for the season. X still = 14
      Bulls went 15-53 over first 68 games, then 0-14.
      Total lottery balls = 53 losses + zero wins = 53 lottery balls.

      This disincentivizes teams to build teams that truly cannot win, or to sit their best players for a hangnail starting in March, since it likely will be helpful to you to win some games at the end of the year. The post-regular-season determination of “X” makes it so teams can’t game the system but timing when to sit players out or when to start losing on purpose.

      It would introduce some level of unfairness based on strength of schedule over the last 20 games, but at least teams would be trying to win, and not throwing G-league lineups out there. And fans would not be cursing THJ or Mo NDour for hitting shots at the end of the season.

    71. Frank

      Can anyone think of a reason why this version of determining lottery balls wouldn’t work (or work better than the system we have now)?

      It also doesn’t necessarily have to be 1 loss/win = 1 ball, could be whatever fraction of a point the math people think is better to still adhere to the principle of the reverse order draft where bad teams get the higher picks, although that would make it less intuitive.

    72. thenoblefacehumper

      Can anyone think of a reason why this version of determining lottery balls wouldn’t work (or work better than the system we have now)?

      It might be better than what we have now, but it seems pretty punitive to teams that have legitimate injuries or are just legitimately terrible.

      With tanking taking hold across just about every major sport, and revealing itself to be a highly optimal strategy if executed well, I hope there will be a strong push for decoupling record from draft position entirely. It’s quite simple, teams by and large have discovered the inherent inefficiency in the system–there is no incentive whatsoever to win games if you aren’t at least close to contention.

      I’m honestly surprised it took this long, but I don’t think you can put the cat back in the bag with minor reforms like flattening. Not much will change as long as the basic incentive structure remains. Whether the #1 overall pick odds for the worst team are 25% or 14% (and so on for all of the other picks), teams will do what they can to maximize them in non-competitive years.

    73. Early Bird

      It actually makes sense that more teams are tanking this year. The changes in odds make it more likely that teams not in the bottom few can move up or even win the lottery. The NBA’s solution is literally incentivizing more teams to tank.

      The 76ers opened Pandora’s box and now everyone realizes how valuable high draft picks are to a team, or at least lost the shame of pursuing them aggressively.

      Frank I think the problem with your system is that the teams most in need of talent won’t get it. Another problem is that teams will just move their tanking to earlier in the year, before that window is likely to start. Or for example, KP would miraculously make his return in time for the last quarter of the season or whenever the window is expected to open.

      The NBA could implement a tier system so that a team in a given tier is as likely to get a draft pick as everyone else in their tier. There still might be tanking, but fewer teams are going to be at the margins where tanking makes a difference.

    74. Early Bird

      What do people think about Mitch now that he’s played a few full games?

      He’s definitely been good, but also not the per minute monster he was only playing a few minutes a game. And although he’s a good defender, he hasn’t made our defense that much better.

    75. Frank

      It’s quite simple, teams by and large have discovered the inherent inefficiency in the system–there is no incentive whatsoever to win games if you aren’t at least close to contention.

      THIS is the problem.
      Teams are appropriately saying that as long as the draft rewards the worst teams, let’s just be the worst teams. But that mindset is inherently a problem in competitive sports. You have to incentivize winning, or at least incentivize not purposely putting a bad product on the floor.

      Teams that are legitimately bad don’t necessarily deserve to be bailed out by the draft system, but even under my system they would never be punished that badly — the first 62 or so games would still net them a lot in terms of draft position. But having a grossly awful team on purpose (a la Hinkie) or even the Knicks this year, where it was more than obvious we weren’t trying to win games at all — that stuff shouldn’t be incentivized. You just can’t have fans hoping their team loses. And a system that at least theoretically rewards wins at the end of the year would discourage teams from doing what the Bulls are doing now.

      Another problem is that teams will just move their tanking to earlier in the year, before that window is likely to start. Or for example, KP would miraculously make his return in time for the last quarter of the season or whenever the window is expected to open.

      The beauty of the “unknown window” is that you can’t game it, or at least not very reliably – it’s possible that “x” = zero games, so losses ARE all that matters. Or x could be 20 games, so you really needed to start winning with 1/4 of the season left. You could even make “x” not evenly distributed – ie. there’s a 30% chance of x being zero, 30% chance of x being 20, and an equal chance of it being anything else.

    76. Frank

      I guess my point is that tanking in all sports really should be considered an emergency (at least within the sports world – obviously not an emergency in the world overall). If you put a salary floor in all leagues and at least semi-incentivize winning somehow, then even what the Marlins are doing would not be particularly valuable.

    77. lavor postell

      I think the only way to eradicate tanking would require two steps:

      1) National TV money should be distributed based on finishing position, with the best record getting the largest share and the worst record getting the lowest, which is how the Premier League distributes TV revenue. Additionally money generated through playoff TV should only be rewarded to playoff teams.

      2) If you get a top-5 pick two years in a row you cannot get a third consecutive one, essentially meaning regardless of record you’d be guaranteed to pick six or worse depending on how the lottery shakes out.

    78. thenoblefacehumper

      What do people think about Mitch now that he’s played a few full games?

      He’s definitely been good, but also not the per minute monster he was only playing a few minutes a game. And although he’s a good defender, he hasn’t made our defense that much better.

      In his last 9 games he’s averaging almost exactly 30 MPG and putting up 12-11-2.8-1.2 with a .736 TS%. His individual DRtg is 108 while the team’s is 118. Respectfully, what are you talking about?

    79. thenoblefacehumper

      The beauty of the “unknown window” is that you can’t game it, or at least not very reliably – it’s possible that “x” = zero games, so losses ARE all that matters. Or x could be 20 games, so you really needed to start winning with 1/4 of the season left. You could even make “x” not evenly distributed – ie. there’s a 30% chance of x being zero, 30% chance of x being 20, and an equal chance of it being anything else.

      It just seems way too gimmicky. There are teams that could benefit from it tremendously by the dumbest luck imaginable (scheduling, basically). If anything, it might make the problem worse by incentivizing tanking earlier in the season.

      I think the lottery wheel is the only way to go. It’s not like teams could never rebuild–you could still rent out cap space for surplus picks, buy up second rounders, etc. The rebuilding process would just take more skill. Teams would have to analyze/scout every prospect heavily instead of camping out at the top-5 or so because they’re tanking.

    80. wetbandit

      Mitch is like really really good. A mitch surrounded by hezonjas and mudiays does not a good team defense make.

      I really think making all non-playoff teams equally weighted come draft time would make things better. The 7-8 seed may want to drop out of the playoff race if they think they are kidding themselves, but fans looking to the playoffs would holler. Sure, it would suck being 17-65 and losing to Mr. 42-40, but after a year or two, all teams would have to start getting competitive, and fun to watch.

    81. wetbandit

      also if there are more teams trying to win, more desirable playing venues may open up -> less superteams, more reasonably good teams -> a more reasonable contract market for low/mid/upper-tier players (barring bad assessments by bad FOs). But then again, wtf do i know

    82. Brian Cronin

      It actually makes sense that more teams are tanking this year. The changes in odds make it more likely that teams not in the bottom few can move up or even win the lottery. The NBA’s solution is literally incentivizing more teams to tank.

      It is pretty hilarious how the NBA’s anti-tanking solution was to…incentivize tanking for even more teams!

    83. Bruno Almeida

      I think all the tanking talk is very overstated. What are the Suns supposed to do exactly? They even tried getting free agents with the Ariza deal, but their team is just terrible, they have a terrible owner and no one wants to go there.

      As long as the NBA is a superstar driven league, and it’s so easy for teams to either add more superstars to their rosters or keep the ones they have, some teams are going to flat out suck. So what are the Mavericks supposed to do, play Doncic through injury in game 79 against the Memphis Grizzlies? Instead of using the games to rest their key players, save them from potential injuries and use the minutes for young players who could be a part of the roster next season?

      There will always be teams playing for nothing at the all-star break already, because the concentration of talent is just like that. And you guys want to end the one tool the NBA has that allows small market or historically bad teams to get talent they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else?

      I’m fine with getting rid of the lottery for something else, but it has to be a MUCH bigger change than just doing away with the lottery, one that actually goes towards parity. Otherwise there’s always going to be the Mavericks, Bulls, Knicks, Suns of every season, and yes, it might be less terrible if they play their best players down the stretch, but does anyone really care about a Mavericks Grizzlies game 79 of the season?

    84. Brian Cronin

      I guess here’s my issue with the “Pick a date and then change things from there” is that there really isn’t all that much dramatic movement in the lottery period typically.

      Here were the 14 lottery teams with 20 games to play…

      14 Kings
      13 Lakers
      12 Timberwolves
      11 Hornets
      10 Heat
      9 Mavericks
      8 Pelicans
      7 Wizards
      6 Grizzlies
      5 Hawks
      4 Bulls
      3 Cavaliers
      2 Knicks
      1 Suns

      Here were the 14 lottery teams with 10 games to play…

      14 Kings
      13 Magic
      12 Timberwolves
      11 Hornets
      10 Lakers
      9 Pelicans
      8 Wizards
      7 Grizzlies
      6 Mavericks
      5 Hawks
      4 Bulls
      3 Cavaliers
      2 Suns
      1 Knicks

      Here are the lottery teams right now:

      14 Kings
      12 (tie) Hornets
      12 (tie) Heat
      11 Lakers
      10 Timberwolves
      9 Pelicans
      7 (tie) Mavericks
      7 (tie) Grizzlies
      6 Wizards
      5 Hawks
      4 Bulls
      2 (tie) Suns
      2 (tie) Cavaliers
      1 Knicks

      See? It’s not like there’s some crazy thing where a team goes from #12 to #5 or whatever. If anything, just go back to the old system and stop giving the teams like the Mavericks added incentive to tank (they’d still probably tank to give themselves the best odds of landing in the top five, but that’s a unique situation based on the terms of their Atlanta deal). The worst teams almost always identify themselves very early on and tend to remain there.

      The bottom five have remained the bottom five for quite some time now.

    85. Frank

      It just seems way too gimmicky. There are teams that could benefit from it tremendously by the dumbest luck imaginable (scheduling, basically).

      As it is now, some teams benefit tremendously because they’re trying to win to make the playoffs and their schedule has them playing the Knicks and Bulls and Cavs over and over again at the end of the year. That’s even worse IMHO. Remember when Brooklyn laid down on the last day of the season a few years ago basically guaranteeing a specific other team would make the playoffs? I forget who that team was, but that was terrible.

    86. mokers

      The problem is that when you own a team, you don’t need to actually have a well run team to make money. Even if teams aren’t making money year to year, teams are gaining in value every year. Leave the lottery as it is and go with something like lavor says with league distributions going to better teams.

      If owners know it might be harder to offload a shitty team, they would be less likely to tank.

    87. ClashFan

      @100

      It is pretty hilarious how the NBA’s anti-tanking solution was to…incentivize tanking for even more teams!

      (After the lottery where the Knicks end up being slotted for the 5th pick): Thanks, Adam!
      :-)

    88. Donnie Walsh

      . The worst teams almost always identify themselves very early on and tend to remain there.

      The bottom five have remained the bottom five for quite some time now.

      Yeah, but because draft picks have protections, there is still incentive to lose around the margins, which sucks, as Frank notes, because it makes what should be the most competitive games at the end of the year into joke games. It doesn’t have to be a race to the bottom to still have a strong negative impact on the league.

    89. Hubert

      Who on this team do you actually look forward to seeing play next year? For me it’s Mitch and Kornet, and that’s it.

      I am optimistic about Knox’ sophomore season. I know all the reasons you’ll say I shouldn’t be, but I buy the age curve and think he did well for a 19 year old.

      Looks like I missed the best Knicks game of the season last night. That tweet from Knicks film school about how intense the crowd was before the Mitch block gave me some goosebumps.

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

      You can get a star player via draft, free agency, or trade (using players and picks to roll up in quality). Some cities have better free agency and trade options because players want to play there (good team, respected management and coach, great city, good weather etc..).

      The cities that almost have to rebuild via draft because of disadvantages should do so.

      Everyone else should survey the market and always try to get better by adding the best value available to them at that time. The one exception is when a team’s current window is closed because their best players are past their prime and they don’t have the cap flexibility to get better. Then they should trade current value for future value and try to accumulate picks and younger players.

      The teams that are younger and trying to get better, should fight for the playoffs because ultimately their young players are going to need that seasoning anyway. It’s part of player development.

      The teams that are young and still too bad to be competitive should develop their young players until late in the season and then possibly tank for position late down the stretch. To do it sooner, defeats the purpose of developing the key pieces you already have.

      I don’t see tanking to be a major issue. The goal of trying to create balance within the league is fine. A handful of shitty games down the stretch from the already known incompetent losers is no big deal.

      Tanking is not a badge of honor. Teams that find themselves in that position are the FAILURES! It means they either drafted poorly, didn’t develop young players well, overpaid for free agents, made bad trades, built their team poorly, had horrible injury luck etc…

      It means your management sucks and most likely you are 6-7 years away from turning it around even if you do it right. That’s not a goal to aspire to. It’s a predicament you should be trying to avoid with better management.

    91. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, but because draft picks have protections, there is still incentive to lose around the margins, which sucks, as Frank notes, because it makes what should be the most competitive games at the end of the year into joke games. It doesn’t have to be a race to the bottom to still have a strong negative impact on the league.

      Oh sure, but come on, draft pick protections are a fairly specific deal, ya know? It’s hard to plan around draft pick protections. You’d be making sweeping policy decisions based on year-to-year events.

    92. Hubert

      Meanwhile it appears the Yankees might just be ok.

      OK is what they aimed for, though. Not good enough.

      Side note: Phoenix at Dallas tonight is arguably one of the most important games of the season for the Knicks. Let’s see how many players don’t suit up for the Mavs.

    93. Brian Cronin

      I was going to make fun of the Nets moving up to the 6th seed just by going over .500, but then I figured, eh, so long as the #8 seed is at .500 or better this season, it’s hard to make fun of the bottom of the Eastern Conference that much.

    94. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The beauty of the “unknown window” is that you can’t game it, or at least not very reliably – it’s possible that “x” = zero games, so losses ARE all that matters. Or x could be 20 games, so you really needed to start winning with 1/4 of the season left. You could even make “x” not evenly distributed – ie. there’s a 30% chance of x being zero, 30% chance of x being 20, and an equal chance of it being anything else.

      The first problem is that x is totally arbitrary, and if you’re going to extend it to a franchise-shaping event like the draft, why not do the same for the playoffs? “Play as hard as you can, everyone, but we’re only going to count a randomized set of 20 games out of 82.”

      Second problem: I took a professional exam last winter that had 100 graded questions and 20 unscored pretest questions, but I and the other test-takers were not made aware which were which. I approached each question as though it would be graded, even though I could sense that some questions were of significantly greater difficulty, and therefore more likely to be a pretest question. Given that they would be in the dark about which games “counted,” why would an NBA team, already committed to a high loss count, approach any game as though a win were good for their odds, even if only 20 of 82 games counted?

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

      Tanking is not a badge of honor. Teams that find themselves in that position are the FAILURES! It means they either drafted poorly, didn’t develop young players well, overpaid for free agents, made bad trades, built their team poorly, had horrible injury luck etc…

      The reason the Knicks are still in this position is not because they are finally being smart. It’s because they have been managed poorly since the 17-65 year.

      1. Phil publicly identified KP as an injury risk that may not stick it out with NY, but did not trade him at the height of his value.

      2. No pick following year (bad prior management).

      3. Added Noah for 4 years and to a lesser extent Lee.

      4. Used 20m cap space on Hardaway and Baker.

      5. KP got injured like Phil predicted.

      6. Drafted Frank and have not developed him as hoped yet.

      7. Drafted Knox who has been one of the more disappointing rookies in the class.

      8. Got nothing for KOQ

      9. Added players like Mudiay and Hezonja (with cap space) who might be gone anyway instead of players that might contribute positively and stay.

      10. Forced to trade KP because the team sucks and he wants out. Now forced to gamble on free agents that may or may not want to come to this cesspool.

      Pretty much the only thing they’ve done that was a huge positive that’s still in place is draft Robinson. There have been a handful of other marginally good moves, some that may still pan out, but mostly we still suck because management hasn’t done much well since we went 17-65 – which is why we are 16-64 3 years later.

    96. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The reason the Knicks are still in this position is not because they are finally being smart. It’s because they have been managed poorly since the 17-65 year.

      Yes, they have been. But this year, a 19-year-old led the team in MP. After that, the ages were 24, 23, 22, 26, 23, 20, 23,26, 20 and finally Lance Thomas gets in there at 30.

      This team is well-aware that it sucks, and didn’t try to plug the holes with true veteran players. Almost every player above Thomas is on his first contract: Hardaway and Kanter were the only ones who weren’t, and they’re gone now.

      So yes, the team has been poorly-managed. But there are no signs that it attempted to shoot itself in the foot by signing a bunch of .050 WS48 veterans who would win games and minimize draft position for a bunch of meaningless, feel-good victories and an inexplicable landing around 25-57.

      I hate to sound like an optimist here, but the Knicks unloaded the Porzingis risk, maintained cap flexibility to be (IIRC) one of two teams that can sign a pair of max FAs, and have the best chance at a top-5 pick with all future firsts still in the pocket.

      This is the best position the Knicks have been in since the summer of 2010 (if not better), and they have a francise-potential player under contract for 3 more seasons.

    97. DRed

      It’s pundits talk about awards season so it’s time to hear a bunch of bullshit about why much less productive players were better than Mitchell

    98. JK47

      After the 17-65 season Phil Jackson decided the best way forward was to add Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams to the party. With Carmelo Anthony and Jose Calderon playing 2,000+ minutes, it was mostly a veteran squad, with most of the minutes going to guys age 27 and up. It was a mediocre team that won 32 games. That would have maybe been an opportunity to do some long-term rebuilding, to use that cap space to acquire assets, but Phil said “fuck that, I can triangulize this bunch of players and it’ll be awesome.”

      So after a completely pointless year of Afflalo and Williams, they came off the books and Phil went out and got… more mediocre-to-terrible veterans. Terrible contract to Joakim Noah, bad contract to Courtney Lee, terrible trade for Derrick Rose. It was a veteran team that was headed to nowhere. Other than Porzingis, all the top guys in terms of minutes were 27 or older. It was a bad and unwatchable team, and the reward for that unwatchable season was the #8 pick, who ended up being the French guy who is terrified of the basketball.

      Instead of all that Jose Calderon, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah “let’s get some veterans and teach them the triangle” bullshit, we should have gotten young players with upside. Some of them might have even still been here!

      Instead we had to start from scratch. That’s what happens when you let Wavy Gravy run your team for three seasons.

    99. DRed

      Really bad teams shouldn’t be trying to win games, whatever the draft odds, especially towards the end of the season

    100. wetbandit

      Yes, they have been. But this year, a 19-year-old led the team in MP. After that, the ages were 24, 23, 22, 26, 23, 20, 23,26, 20 and finally Lance Thomas gets in there at 30.

      This team is well-aware that it sucks, and didn’t try to plug the holes with true veteran players. I hate to sound like an optimist here, but the Knicks unloaded the Porzingis risk, maintained cap flexibility to be (IIRC) one of two teams that can sign a pair of max FAs, and have the best chance at a top-5 pick with all future firsts still in the pocket. This is the best position the Knicks have been in since the summer of 2010 (if not better), and they have a francise-potential player under contract for 3 more seasons.

      You know, they actually have had their best season, in terms of front office transactions, since early Walsh, probably even better.
      They took a superteam of Rose, Lee, Melo, KP, and Noah, to Mudiay/Lee/Hardaway/KP/Kanter, to (at the end of this season, who knows who we have next season) Dennis Smith/Dotson/Knox/Hezonja/Robinson.

      As they should have (!), they took fliers on shitty, shitty young players like Mudiay, Hezonja, and Vonleh – and ended up probably gaining a Vonleh. They tried out guys like Kadeem Allen, who I like, and John Jenkins, who I also like.

      They got rid of KP, Hardaway, Lee, Burke, Kanter, Baker and Melo. They gained Mitch, Trier, Dotson, Vonleh, Allen, Jenkins, Hezonja, Kornet AND PICKS by nothing less than good front office skill.

      They did EXCELLENTLY. Not good, great. It’s a probability game, so they may strike out in FA, draft (knox), and with young guys they bring up, but they hit more than they lost.

      IF they end up running Dennis Smith Jr, Dotson, PICK, Mitch, with Trier, Knox, Frank, Hezonja, and Allen backing them up, and add a few more pieces (good vets if adding Kyrie/Durant, prospects if not), then I can’t wait for next year.

    101. Early Bird

      Really bad teams shouldn’t be trying to win games, whatever the draft odds, especially towards the end of the season

      Actually, this is a good point. I’d much rather see Knox (as bad as he is), Ntilikina, Mitch, DSJr., etc. play instead of seeing a veteran lineup try and win a few games to help out the draft standings. Rooks>Vets for end of season play. There’s absolutely no way I’d tune in to see a group of vets try and outplay someone despite failing all season to do so.

      Also, the playoff competitive wins against the worse tanking teams are largely irrelevant since they’d likely win anyway and the teams on the borders of the playoffs are not going to lose in the first round anyway. Overall, the playoff seeding will always be partially arbitrary based on schedule.

    102. Early Bird

      In his last 9 games he’s averaging almost exactly 30 MPG and putting up 12-11-2.8-1.2 with a .736 TS%. His individual DRtg is 108 while the team’s is 118. Respectfully, what are you talking about?

      I’m mostly talking about his block numbers. 2.8 blocks per game is stellar, but still significantly lower than the insane 4.4 per 36 he’s averaging on the season. It’s still amazing, but maybe not as franchise-changing as people initially believed.

    103. Donnie Walsh

      Oh sure, but come on, draft pick protections are a fairly specific deal, ya know? It’s hard to plan around draft pick protections. You’d be making sweeping policy decisions based on year-to-year events.

      The league can get rid of protections altogether. They overly complicate things, and they are bad for the league too. (Remember when the knicks gave up the Gordon Hayward pick seven years after trading it for Marbury? There were Knick fans that didn’t even know who Marbury was when Hayward was drafted.)

    104. Frank

      I’m mostly talking about his block numbers. 2.8 blocks per game is stellar, but still significantly lower than the insane 4.4 per 36 he’s averaging on the season. It’s still amazing, but maybe not as franchise-changing as people initially believed.

      ultimately the block #s will come down because people will stop challenging him when he’s in the middle. Remember when Dwight was considered one of the best rim protectors because not only did opposing players have a low shooting percentage when he was in the paint, but also the opponents’ shot distribution also changed.

    105. thenoblefacehumper

      Here’s all you need to know about Strat’s team building philosophy: when pressed for the 1,000th time about who exactly he would target with his fail-proof “just make good trades and signings” strategy, he finally identified Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Nikola Mirotic.

      The former has signed a few big money, one-year deals (AKA the very definition of a player who would win you some games you want to lose and do nothing for you long-term). The latter has been traded for an unprotected first round pick, and then four second round picks.

    Comments are closed.