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Monday, June 24, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.04.09)

  • [NYPost] One Knick gives potential pick Ja Morant his stamp of approval
    (Monday, April 08, 2019 11:24:33 PM)

    CHICAGO — It hurt Henry Ellenson to watch Ja Morant in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but the Knicks forward wouldn’t mind the Murray State point guard as a future teammate. With the college basketball season ending Monday night, Ellenson told The Post the 6-foot-3 crafty point guard is worthy of a top-three…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ point guard mystique now more complicated than ever
    (Monday, April 08, 2019 3:11:21 PM)

    CHICAGO — During this rubble of a season, the Knicks auditioned a million point guards — or so it seemed. Yet the position still is a gloppy mess entering the offseason. Knicks coach David Fizdale used six different starters at the position. Of all people, Mario Hezonja will finish it off when the Knicks’ season…

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks target Kyrie Irving: Lakers reportedly will be granted interview
    (Monday, April 08, 2019 7:38:20 PM)

    Kyrie Irving can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kevin Durant on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam. Here are the latest rumors…

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on pending free agent Kevin Durant: KD and Kyrie Irving ‘debating’ who will sign with Knicks first
    (Monday, April 08, 2019 2:28:26 PM)

    Warriors star Kevin Durant can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kyrie Irving on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors…

  • [SNY Knicks] Mario Hezonja wants to stay with Knicks: ‘I’m ready to talk to Dolan’
    (Monday, April 08, 2019 2:17:50 PM)

    Mario Hezonja is trying to show he is worth keeping around next year as season comes to close.

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    74 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.04.09)

    1. Frank

      The whole “tanking” argument is, sorry to say, really fucking dumb.

      If you suck, you should be looking to ACQUIRE ASSETS. You should not be looking to add pointless MARGINAL WINS. Trying to go from a 17-win team to a 29-win team by signing the Kentavious Caldwell-Popes and Courtney Lees of the world is LITERALLY THE DUMBEST STRATEGY you can pursue.

      This is absolutely correct, and also what is broken.
      Players, coaches, and FOs should be incentivized to win. Winning should not be broken down into “marginal wins” vs. “meaningful wins”. Going from a literally unwatchable 17 win team to a most-days-competitive 29 win team should be a feature, not a bug. Teams should not be rewarded for being more successful at being terrible than the next team. Fans should not be expected to root for their teams to lose. It’s freaking ridiculous.

      You want to kill the most egregious tanking? Install my lottery system to disincentivize tanking at the end of the season, then disallow teams from picking in the top 3 in consecutive years to disincentivize the years-long tanking strategies and to punish persistently awful teams.

    2. Frank

      That’s not to say that you should acquire expensive average vets to win 2 more games in a non-playoff year – those guys are still often negative assets, and you should still try and get some time on-court for your young players. But this whole idea of sitting your best players at the end of the year to make sure you don’t win? that’s terrible. If I were a season ticket holder I’d be furious. I’m not paying top dollar to watch Billy Garrett or Antonio Blakeney or whoever play. If that were the case I’d just get tickets at Westchester County Center for $15 and pay $1/hr for parking.

      Well-run franchises will do whatever the incentives lead them to do. If you incentivize losing then people will try to lose. You have to change the incentives, and you will get a change in behavior.

    3. Farfa

      I watched the NCAA championship game. I came away very unimpressed by Culver. I know that a single game can’t be the be all end all in terms of prospects evaluation, but maybe RJ really is better than him. If so, I’m amenable to trade down even from #3.

    4. thenoblefacehumper

      Current management inherited 20 million of cap space, KP, Frank, and picks when Phil was fired.

      “inherited 20 million of cap space” is one of my favorite Strat pieces of nonsense, because it’s a very convoluted way of saying “~83% of the cap was already spent on a team that was supposed to be lead by Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee.”

      I agree that Phil made mistakes. Many of my views were detailed at the time they happened. They just can’t get past the fact that I defended him on some aspects of what he was trying to accomplish even if I disagreed with the execution. It’s all because he didn’t follow their alternate 10 year rebuilding plan that is a different demonstrably bad idea.

      Sorry KnickFanInNJ, but the idea that Strat is merely saying Phil wasn’t as bad as he’s made out to be (which would also be wrong) is belied by…Strat’s own words on the subject.

    5. thenoblefacehumper

      1. They blew the 2om on horrible contracts
      2. Blew 6 million on Hezonja
      3. Let a productive player like O’Quinn walk for nothing
      4. Made a suspect trade for Willy
      5. Drafted Knox
      6. Are stifling Frank’s development
      7. Made no other productive trades or FA signings
      8. Produced such a terrible team KP wanted out and we had to use him in part to move the terrible contract in part 1.

      I mean, if you’re actually curious as to why people get frustrated with Strat just look at the disingenuousness of almost all of this.

      1. Yep, that was bad and everyone agreed it was bad. Sadly, because of Phil Jackson, THJ might not have been one of the worst three contracts on the books.
      2. This one is really rich coming from someone who adamantly defends giving out a total of $13M, with player options galore, to Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams. There were likely better ways to spend the money (though Hezonja wasn’t a bad target), but this is such a non-event.
      3. Every time he says this, I post the link of KOQ himself saying the Knicks matched the offer but he wanted to play for a playoff team. Then he stops responding, but waits a few days to just post the same debunked nonsense. You really don’t see why this is annoying?
      4. I didn’t like this at the time, but honestly it seems like I was wrong. I highly doubt Charlotte could recoup two seconds for Willy right now, and he was replaced with a clearly superior player.
      5. Definitely bad, but…
      6. So Knox’s horrible numbers indicate he’s an irredeemable bust, but precious Frankie has simply been failed. Hmm, what ever could be the source of this inconsistency?
      7. Lol. The literal best player on this team was brought in because Phil Jackson’s most disastrous contract was miraculously moved.
      8. Zach Lowe and Ian Begley have said this was primarily the fault of Phil Jackson, but no one should even care because the trade was good.

    6. thenoblefacehumper

      Yeah, I’m wrong. They took a team that won 31 games, had 20 million of cap space, all it’s picks, in 3 years turned it into a 16 win team that doesn’t have the best young player they started with, and will use the very free agency vets that everyone hates to try to fix it. Good job.

      Poor Strat. He makes nothing but good faith, evidence based arguments like this one and just gets criticized all the time :(

    7. danvt

      Let’s call it a draw. Alfalo and Williams were fliers on a couple of guys who we thought we were getting on an upswing. If our stars had played like stars those guys might have blended in. The mid tier FA has value in the right mix. SAS plays really well and Rudy Gay gets tons of run. Our big failure was building our team around Amar’e, Melo, KP. KP may still become a player worthy of that, not that I necessarily think so, but his injury never gave us a chance to truly find out. Sometimes marginally bad players become marginally good ones. GM’s buy low and sell high. Even a gamble like THJ made sense at the time. If KP keeps up his November last year and Timmy had continued a positive growth curve we may have had success. Not saying it turned out to be a great strategy, just that at the time you could see the logic.

      Now we have some underwhelming 1st rounders, some overachieving 2nd rounders and some young inexpensive pieces (DSJ). If Zion comes over and is the second coming of Shaq, we can afford to make some marginally bad decisions and not sit here ruing our sad fate.

    8. Frank

      Some of Phil’s individual moves might look ok if you squint at them the right way, but he had a really bad master plan — which was to force everyone to pay a system they didn’t want to play (or coach), and then trust that his knowledge of how players understand and fit that system would override concerns such as age and contracts. I mean how else can you defend trading Tyson Chandler for a package centered around Jose Calderon? Or bidding against yourself for 47 year old constantly injured Joakim Noah?

      I’m quite impressed with what Perry has done since coming here. He traded Melo away and got something/anything that didn’t involve us taking on an even worse contract or buying him out – and even turned that 2nd rounder into Mitchell Robinson. He has thrown a bunch of stuff at the wall to see what sticks in terms of “second draft” guys, and even though none of them has really worked out in any significant way, it’s a reasonable thing to do. He hasn’t signed any bad contracts, and in fact has signed some really good contracts. He made the KP trade, which value for value I think was a pretty good trade. And he clearly has changed the reputation of the Knicks around the league. We have 7 1st rounders in the next 5 years and a full complement of 2nd rounders (even if some of those aren’t ours). We have the most cap space in the league next year and a number of promising young players (Mitch, Knox, Trier, DSJ, and even Frank although that was someone’s else’s pick). What’s not to like?

    9. Grocer

      Well-run franchises will do whatever the incentives lead them to do. If you incentivize losing then people will try to lose. You have to change the incentives, and you will get a change in behavior.

      Rookie scale contracts mean that teams hitting the reset button are incentivized to sell off players for contracts anyway. Developing a bevy of rookies is indistinguishable from tanking. Being a bad team is indistinguishable from tanking. Your plan makes it harder for bad teams to get better without solving the issue.

    10. Hubert

      it would be nice if people would stick to what I actually say instead of attacking what I am not saying to make a point.

      Strat is right. Some of y’all need to come to grips with the fact that you do this. Over the weekend, for instance, JK47, you were one of three people to add an extra lottery pick to my Hield trade proposal in order to mock it. Plenty of other people managed to convince me it was an overpay without re-imagining my position.

      You’re doing it right now, too. To wit, here is strat saying what Phil did failed:

      If you were in that bottoming out position 3 years ago, made a #4 pick, #8 pick, a #9 pick, and had 20 million of cap space on top of it, but you are still in that position now, you screwed up badly.

      And everyone is reacting by saying Phil screwed up… which is exactly what strat said!! He didn’t turn this into another referendum on Phil, you guys did.

      All he’s doing is pointing out the risks of going about things using the old “presti method” (remember that term?). We got the #4, #5, and #8 pick, and we had cap space, and we have very little to show for it. I get that it’s bc Phil sucked. He gets that it’s bc Phil sucks. I’m sure he gets that it would have been better if we had the #1, #4, and #5 pick. He’s just saying the reality is that more teams who tank end up like us, like Phoenix, like Orlando, like Minnesota. In the lottery year after year, not getting the types of players you need because drafting is hard.

      FWIW, I don’t agree with him. I like to tank. I would do it year after year until you get a zion. But I comprehend his position and don’t make it into something it isn’t.

    11. JK47

      Strat is pushing a fiction that we’ve been in “rebuild” mode for many years, that we’ve been “tanking”’ for many years. I don’t know how else to say it, but that is a flat-out lie.

      We were in “win now” mode for pretty much Phil’s entire tenure, save for the second half of his first season when he realized that the 5-35 “win now” team he built around Jose Calderon and Sam Dalembert probably wasn’t going to be “winning now.” He had numerous opportunities to tear the team down and start from scratch.

      For instance, after that 17-win season, did he try to sign-and-trade Carmelo Anthony? Nope! Gave him a mega-max contract. That’s not what you do if you’re rebuilding, it’s not what you do if you’re “tanking.” It’s what you do if you’re trying to “win now.” After the second year, he spent the off-season signing Joakim Noah and trading for Derrick Rose. Those were (very bad) “win now” moves.

      So either Strat can stop pretending that we’re in year five of a rebuild, or he can continue to be called out as full of shit. This is year ONE of the rebuild. The guys in charge of it might and probably will fuck that up. But let’s stop pretending we have been rebuilding all this time. We wasted several years on Phil Jackson’s ill-advised “win now” strategy. It failed. It blew up in his face. We should be thankful we’re at least trying to do something different.

    12. thenoblefacehumper

      You just did a whole post about how people need to stop putting words in other people’s mouths, and then proceeded to say that Strat has been clear about the fact that Phil Jackson was god awful. He has never, ever said that. He has said that Phil Jackson made “mistakes,” which is a very generous way of saying “franchise crippling moves that made no sense from any point of view the second they were made.”

      If Strat thinks Phil Jackson was the terrible executive that he very obviously was, then Strat can say so himself.

    13. thenoblefacehumper

      Not to mention the fact that Strat regularly says that everyone here wants a “10 year rebuild,” but somehow that’s not the very kind of willful misinterpretation you’re talking about? I’m sorry someone made a small error when looking over the details of your fantasy trade, but Strat is the most egregious offender in the bad-faith interpretation department.

    14. Hubert

      You just did a whole post about how people need to stop putting words in other people’s mouths, and then proceeded to say that Strat has been clear about the fact that Phil Jackson was god awful.

      No, I didn’t say that. Come on, let’s break through this together.

      I said:

      I get that it’s bc Phil sucked. He gets that it’s bc Phil sucks.

      Here is strat saying Phil sucked:

      I agree that Phil made mistakes.

      Here he is again:

      We just know he made mistakes.

      Here he is AGAIN:

      If you were in that bottoming out position 3 years ago, made a #4 pick, #8 pick, a #9 pick, and had 20 million of cap space on top of it, but you are still in that position now, you screwed up badly.

      How many more times does he have to say it?

    15. JK47

      Is there anybody out there who doesn’t think this team would be better off if it tore down the Melo/Amar’e/Chandler team and sold off all those pieces for draft picks/assets instead of investing in the tomorrow of Jose Calderon, Arron Afflalo, Mega Max Melo, Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose? Just imagine if we really HAD been tanking/rebuilding all that time. We’d probably be in a pretty good spot by now.

      Instead all we have are our memories of some 29-win seasons, Noah having a punch-up with the coach and that time Derrick Rose disappeared and everybody thought maybe he was dead. Misty water colored memories.

    16. Hubert

      Strat has two points that get lost in translation:

      1. He thinks Phil had the bones of the right philosophy, he just executed it terribly.

      2. He invokes the intentional fallacy. It doesn’t matter that Phil wanted to win, in the end he tanked.

      The embodiment of Strat’s idea working well is in LA, with Jerry West. The difference is West picks up Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams, Phil picked up Joakim Noah and Derrick Williams. Also West understands asset valuation and when to sell, something Phil could not comprehend because his head is in the clouds. EDIT: or just up his ass.

    17. Hubert

      Is there anybody out there who doesn’t think this team would be better off if it tore down the Melo/Amar’e/Chandler team and sold off all those pieces for draft picks/assets instead of investing in the tomorrow of Jose Calderon, Arron Afflalo, Mega Max Melo, Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose? Just imagine if we really HAD been tanking/rebuilding all that time. We’d probably be in a pretty good spot by now.

      You’re right, JK47, but this isn’t the point.

      The point is that there is more than one way to skin a cat. There’s an in between route, one that was employed by Morey in Houston, West in LA, and Marks in Brooklyn, where you acquire assets *without tanking*. That’s the route Strat espouses.

    18. JK47

      He invokes the intentional fallacy. It doesn’t matter that Phil wanted to win, in the end he tanked.

      We’re not agreeing on what the word “tank” means. To me it’s the same as “rebuild.” It’s not just losing games, it’s— repeat it with me now— ACQUIRING ASSETS AND GETTING YOUNGER. Signing Joakim Noah to a 4/72 deal is NOT THAT.

      Sure, he lost a bunch of games, but with no upside to it. No investment in younger players, no collection of assets, no high lottery picks scored because the team was mediocre rather than flat-out bad.

      Did anybody enjoy watching that Derrick Rose Knick team? I hated that team. It was a miserable, godawful season. Our reward for that bullshit go-nowhere season was drafting Frank Ntilikina. Great. That worked out awesome. Geez, that was so much better than running young players out there and trying to acquire some draft picks.

    19. thenoblefacehumper

      Did anybody enjoy watching that Derrick Rose Knick team? I hated that team. It was a miserable, godawful season.

      That was the single least enjoyable Knicks team I’ve ever watched, and think about just how much that says…

    20. Hubert

      We’re not agreeing on what the word “tank” means. To me it’s the same as “rebuild.” It’s not just losing games, it’s— repeat it with me now— ACQUIRING ASSETS AND GETTING YOUNGER. Signing Joakim Noah to a 4/72 deal is NOT THAT.

      Ok, I get it.

      But there is another way to rebuild. In this second way, age doesn’t matter. You just look for as many undervalued assets as possible. Some of them will be draft picks, some of them will be veterans.

      Danilo Gallinari is 30, Marcin Gortat is 34, Lou Williams is 32. But they were all acquired for less than what they were worth.

      You guys are saying, and I’m going to quote you here so nothing is lost in translation:

      You should not be looking to add pointless MARGINAL WINS. Trying to go from a 17-win team to a 29-win team by signing the Kentavious Caldwell-Popes and Courtney Lees of the world is LITERALLY THE DUMBEST STRATEGY you can pursue.

      When Phil does it, it looks dumb. But does it look dumb when Jerry West does it? Jerry West does it and gets a better player at 13 than teams that drafted 8 and 9. And he’s got a team that isn’t a laughing stock and can make a more compelling argument to a max free agent than we can.

      The idea was not stupid, the execution of it was horrible.

    21. DS

      I’m a week late on the Brandon Clarke conversation, but is anyone else excited by his advanced stats?!

      I know you can’t rely on advanced stats within D1 the way you do with the NBA because of level of competition etc. But for a consensus top pick to be a leader in D1 in the following [takes a deep breath]: #1 in WS, WS/40; #1 Off. and Def. Rating; #2 in DBPM and BPM; #5 in TS%; #2 in EFG%; AND #2 in PER says SOMETHING, doesn’t it?

    22. thenoblefacehumper

      Tanking, rebuilding, whatever you want to call it, the basic principles of it are extremely simple:

      1. Don’t take on long-term money that hasn’t been made well-worth it to you with draft pick sweetener, or isn’t coming in the form of a franchise altering elite player (even in this case, analyze the fit with your win curve before proceeding)

      2. Prioritize whatever intriguing young players you might have when it comes to minute distribution (it’s fine to alter this one a bit in the odd game here and there if the tank race is close)

      3. Use your cap space to get as many future assets as possible

      4. Give any extra roster spots to young players who have some intrigue (2RPs, UDFAs, G-League standouts, etc.)

      There’s no world in which Phil Jackson followed basically any of these principles. In fact, he pretty much did the polar opposite of all of them. He took on devastating long-term money, didn’t emphasize youth whatsoever, traded more important draft picks than he brought back, and gave out extra roster spots to retreads. So no, no “rebuild” was occurring during his tenure.

      The longest you could argue we’ve been “rebuilding” is two seasons, though it was pretty tough to do much of anything during the first season with all of Phil’s garbage still on the books, having Kanter as a product of the Melo deal, having KP and Frank to show for years of terribleness, etc. This is the first season in which it’s been entirely possible to follow the above principles, and much to my surprise the guys in charge have mostly done so.

    23. Hubert

      Did anybody enjoy watching that Derrick Rose Knick team? I hated that team. It was a miserable, godawful season.

      That was the single least enjoyable Knicks team I’ve ever watched, and think about just how much that says…

      You guys mean to tell me that if we had executed that plan with better older players, you’d still hate it?

      If we had this years Clippers team, with all those stupid, pointless veterans making the playoffs for no reason, that would be TERRIBLE to you guys? You’d HATE that team? You’d rather watch Frank and Mudiay and Knox because they’re young? Really?

    24. thenoblefacehumper

      When Phil does it, it looks dumb. But does it look dumb when Jerry West does it? Jerry West does it and gets a better player at 13 than teams that drafted 8 and 9. And he’s got a team that isn’t a laughing stock and can make a more compelling argument to a max free agent than we can.

      Third time now: the Clippers have traded away multiple prime-age, productive players because they analyzed their win curve and determined the wins those players would add would be of the marginal variety. They’ve since won more games than most people (themselves included) expected, but the strategy has been pretty much exactly what I outlined above.

    25. Bruno Almeida

      @16

      Except that Lou Williams arrived on the Clippers in the Chris Paul trade as one of the many assets they received for coherently trading away a superstar that didn’t fit their future plans and that didn’t want to be there, which is exactly what Phil did. And Gallinari came on a trade too.

      The Clippers plan has NOTHING to do with what Phil did, can we please stop this narrative? And by the way, let me remind you guys that the Clippers are getting destroyed in the first round most likely, and they have about as big of a chance of becoming contenders as the Knicks do (which totally depends on superstars deciding to play here or there).

      What Phil tried to do is closer to what the Bucks or Raptors have done, which is to identify a star player (Giannis, Lowry) and attempt to build around him by putting together as many good pieces as possible, which is what Phil attempted to do around Melo. I don’t have to get into the specifics of why that was a bad idea or why his signings didn’t work, but if you’re trying to i don’t know why protect Phil fucking Jackson from scorn, at least make comparisons that make sense.

    26. Hubert

      There’s no world in which Phil Jackson followed basically any of these principles.

      Absolute, 100%, Straw man argument. No one is saying Phil followed those principles.

      You’re broadening the conversation to talk about rebuilding the Hinkie way. Strat is talking specifically and only about the idea that you should never add a veteran player if it will negatively impact your draft position.

      Your response is to point how horrible it worked out for us, but that’s because Phil constantly chose the wrong players and paid them too much money. The same strategy could have worked with better execution.

    27. Bruno Almeida

      @24

      Hate it? No. But I’d be very worried that the only chance my team has of getting better than the 7th seed in the west and going further than the 1st round depends exactly on what the Knicks are relying on, attracting max free agents. I’d be more confident because Jerry West, but are we really going to use the Clippers as some huge measure of success just because they’re better than what people expected them to be?

    28. Hubert

      The Clippers plan has NOTHING to do with what Phil did, can we please stop this narrative?

      IT’S NOT A NARRATIVE!!!!

      YOU ARE THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP BRINGING IT BACK TO PHIL!!!

      PLEASE.

      STOP.

      BRINGING.

      UP.

      PHIL!

    29. Hubert

      The conversation right now was about this and only this:

      You should not be looking to add pointless MARGINAL WINS. Trying to go from a 17-win team to a 29-win team by signing the Kentavious Caldwell-Popes and Courtney Lees of the world is LITERALLY THE DUMBEST STRATEGY you can pursue.

      The evidence you use to support this is how terrible it worked when Phil did. Fuck Phil. Let’s expand our universe and talk about other GMs who have employed this strategy.

      The position I am putting forth is that when a smart person does it, it is not “literally the dumbest strategy.” Phil’s long litany of mistakes is not germane to that point, so please omit them from your response.

      Tell me why Jerry West made a terrible mistake this year by pursuing marginal wins with veteran players. Tell me why we’re in a better position than the Clippers because we focused on young players.

      But please, for the love of god, do it without mentioning Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson is not the only GM who has employed this strategy. Neither is Jerry West. Daryl Morey did it, too. For a long time, before Harden got there, he was criticized for not doing it “the Presti way.” Let’s discuss things in that context, because even though the thinks he is, Phil Jackson is not the center of the basketball universe.

    30. JK47

      When a certain poster says “We’re in year five of a rebuild and it’s going nowhere hurr durr what do you guys want, a ten year rebuild or what” it’s kind of hard to ignore the elephant in the room, which is that Wavy Gravy tried repeatedly to build “win now” teams, to the great detriment of the team’s long-term future.

      In fact, that has been the hallmark of Knick basketball for many moons now, the “win now” team that doesn’t actually win anything and then cripples the possibility of winning in the future.

      Just do a fucking rebuild for once, the right way! Good for Jerry West that he built an interesting team in another way, I don’t foresee Jerry West or any other GOAT-level GM walking through the door to work for Guitar Jimmy any time real soon, so it’s kind of moot what Jerry West was able to do.

    31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I know you can’t rely on advanced stats within D1 the way you do with the NBA because of level of competition etc. But for a consensus top pick to be a leader in D1 in the following [takes a deep breath]: #1 in WS, WS/40; #1 Off. and Def. Rating; #2 in DBPM and BPM; #5 in TS%; #2 in EFG%; AND #2 in PER says SOMETHING, doesn’t it

      You can go back a week or two to find lots of words on this. I happen to be the kind of guy who doesn’t care if an elite PF prospect is 22 and 6’8” but I might be wrong. I think you have to be 6’10 and 19 to be a good prospect these days.

    32. DS

      You can go back a week or two to find lots of words on this. I happen to be the kind of guy who doesn’t care if an elite PF prospect is 22 and 6’8” but I might be wrong. I think you have to be 6’10 and 19 to be good at basketball these days.

      Thanks, I found some more posts. I’m with you: I don’t care about the downsides (actually, the 27% from 3 really isn’t good) and I am aware that I could be very wrong… anyway, I’m just trying to convince myself that falling to number five in the lotto wouldn’t be so miserable.

    33. thenoblefacehumper

      Absolute, 100%, Straw man argument. No one is saying Phil followed those principles.

      The problem you’re having is you’re trying to defend Strat without knowing his position. What he’s been saying for a while is the fact that the Knicks have been “rebuilding” since 2015 and still aren’t good proves that rebuilding/tanking is a deeply flawed strategy.

      The natural rejoinder to this ridiculous argument is to point out that Phil Jackson’s 2014-2015 implosion was not the beginning of a “rebuild,” it was simply him conceding that that individual season was lost (5-35 tends to have that effect). He promptly went right back to trying to win as many games as possible (Lopez/Afflalo/Williams/Melo and then Noah/Lee/Rose), thus totally abandoning any idea of a rebuild.

      The reason Phil Jackson keeps coming up is because the idea that he started a “rebuild” in 2015 is central to Strat’s point, so a review of his record that naturally reveals he had no interest in any kind of rebuild is how you go about countering it.

    34. Hubert

      Third time now

      Yes, it is the third time you have brought it back to a different argument!

      The actual argument, please explain why West should have avoided all those players, or benched them, or dumped them for draft picks and younger players, because “looking to add pointless marginal wins” is “literally the dumbest strategy you can pursue.”

    35. Hubert

      The problem you’re having is you’re trying to defend Strat without knowing his position.

      I’m only going on what he’s said in this conversation. I think that’s part of the problem. People react to things that were said a while ago instead of reading what they’re saying.

      What he’s been saying for a while is the fact that the Knicks have been “rebuilding” since 2015 and still aren’t good proves that rebuilding/tanking is a deeply flawed strategy.

      I understand your method of rebuilding. I advocate for it, as well. But you have to admit it isn’t fool proof or easy to execute. When I read strat’s position, I see him advocating Morey’s way before Harden, although he fails to do it eloquently. That way worked out, too, and didn’t involve any of your principles.

    36. bidiong

      TNFH has the right strategy.
      This summer should go 1 of 2 ways. Sign two top tier free agents and go all in this summer. Durant, Kyrie, Kawhi…

      If that doesn’t happen the next step is use the cap space to facilitate trades in return for picks. I think Perry is capable of doing that without crippling our situation long term.

    37. abk

      You can go back a week or two to find lots of words on this. I happen to be the kind of guy who doesn’t care if an elite PF prospect is 22 and 6’8” but I might be wrong. I think you have to be 6’10 and 19 to be a good prospect these days.

      Tongue in cheek I assume?

    38. ess-dog

      The main issue with Clarke isn’t his talent, it’s that he’s not optimal next to Robinson, who is a phenom in his own right. He would be ideal next to a Brook Lopez-type center. But then again, maybe he can learn to shoot threes? I can’t really comment on his shooting form, and I suppose he played center more often than not because Hachimura had to play power forward.

      I think he’ll have physical limitations if he tries to play center against Gobert types, but he would still be a terror at pf, especially on a team with Kyrie and KD taking/making the bulk of the team’s 3-pointers. If Clarke has Rodman-level energy/decision-making abilities, you have to consider him.

    39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I share that concern about Robinson. I think shooting can be improved, but I have no faith that teams have the requisite information to know who will be a Siakam (with his meteoric rise in 3P%) or a Lonzo Ball. I’m encouraged by the complete redesign of Clarke’s jumper form, but I wouldn’t bet on him becoming a 40% shooter at the next level. I’d focus more on the likelihood that he’s a Faried-like player with a Draymond-like presence on defense. I consider him a safe pick at #5 even if he doesn’t take a leap on the outside shooting.

      He may never be a superstar, but I don’t think he’ll be a bust. And that’s good enough for me at 5.

    40. MBunge

      You should not be looking to add pointless MARGINAL WINS.

      So…unless they can get the equivalent of LeBron or Zion Williamson, teams shouldn’t bother making any moves? I mean, according to this logic, there’s only about six or eight teams in the entire league who should be making any moves to add veteran talent while the other 22 or 24 teams are all trying to unload veteran talent for picks/unproven young players. How exactly is that market supposed to work?

      Mike

    41. JK47

      It’s amusing to me that we’ve been on a treadmill of adding mediocre veterans to shitty teams since the days of Scott Layden and Shandon Anderson but people still think it’s a good idea.

      Fuggit, if we don’t get Durant let’s max Boogie and Middleton and make a run at that 8th seed. I’m sure from there we’ll be able to make sweet additions with our 10th overall picks and limited cap space. It’s worked well for us before, the last 20 years have been glorious.

    42. Brian Cronin

      I really hope that the Pistons win their last two games. I hate when the #8 seed is under .500.

      It’s also hilarious that the Hornets have a legit chance of making the playoffs still.

    43. ptmilo

      you would rather the 8th seed finish over .500 than have us end the season knocking the pistons out with mitch outplaying drummond?

    44. Hubert

      That’s. Exactly. What. He. Did.

      Yeah? Jerry West traded Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams? Again you are re-imagining another person’s position.

      He traded Tobias Harris. Maybe you’re imagining I was talking about him. I wasn’t. I specifically said Gallinari and Williams. It’s up there in post 16. Two “pointless veterans” that “added marginal value”, which is “literally the dumbest strategy possible.”

      Harris is 26 years old, not exactly a pointless veteran. West got a monster return for a pending free agent who he doesn’t intend to resign. That’s smart asset management. THAT is what Strat means when he talks about a non-tanking rebuild. It’s not me who doesn’t understand his position.

      He thinks if you win trades you can rebuild without tanking, and you guys take him to task for not having examples of his “winning trades” argument. That’s why West is relevant to this discussion. Trading Blake Griffin for Tobias Harris and 1st round pick, and then trading Tobias Harris for Landry Shamet and two first round picks, is what he’s talking about. West turned one asset (Griffen) into FOUR cost controlled assets, and he did it without tanking. That’s strat’s position.

      Now they have a shit ton of assets, cap space, and (thanks to all those pointless veterans) a team that people in their right mind would want to join. What they don’t have, and haven’t had in ages, is a top 10 draft pick. Strat’s point, over and over, is that you can rebuild without top picks.

      That’s his position. It’s always been his position. You guys just always get sidetracked in Phil Jackson arguments and a misunderstanding of each other’s posts.

    45. Brian Cronin

      Hmmm…that does sound tempting. How about the Knicks outplay the Pistons with Mitch destroying Drummond, but the Pistons just hit a bunch of crazy threes to win?

    46. Brian Cronin

      ESPN did an award forecast panel and it is annoying that Isiah fucking Briscoe got a DPOTY vote but not Mitch.

    47. geo

      time to engage in some sweet knickerblogger onanistic delight:

      I assume (not trying to make an ass out of u and me – one of my very favorite odd couple moments :) we’ll be hanging on to:
      kevin
      mitch
      zo
      DSJ
      kornet (I don’t know his first name, maybe it’s kornet)
      dotson
      frank (barring some trade)

      okay, so if we were going to keep one of the following:
      DAJ
      Mud
      Lance
      Mario
      Jenkins
      Allen
      Ellenson

      whom would you choose?

      initially I would have said kadeem allen all day…I don’t know – mario is kind of growing on me now though…despite what had been implied from orlando – he seems like a pretty good teammate…

    48. thenoblefacehumper

      m only going on what he’s said in this conversation. I think that’s part of the problem. People react to things that were said a while ago instead of reading what they’re saying.

      Here is Strat’s comment from yesterday that ignited the discussion:

      If you were in that bottoming out position 3 years ago, made a #4 pick, #8 pick, a #9 pick, and had 20 million of cap space on top of it, but you are still in that position now, you screwed up badly.

      The draft picks, free agents, and other moves you made over that 3 years should have you well into the turnaround by now.

      He referenced “bottoming out” 3 years ago, which is nonsense. You don’t sign hoards of mediocre-to-bad veterans to multiyear, expensive deals when you’re bottoming out/rebuilding/tanking. The actual bottoming out process occurred during this past offseason, making this year 1 of a rebuild.

    49. Brian Cronin

      okay, so if we were going to keep one of the following:

      Ignoring the salary cap, I guess I keep Jordan from that list.

    50. thenoblefacehumper

      So…unless they can get the equivalent of LeBron or Zion Williamson, teams shouldn’t bother making any moves? I mean, according to this logic, there’s only about six or eight teams in the entire league who should be making any moves to add veteran talent while the other 22 or 24 teams are all trying to unload veteran talent for picks/unproven young players. How exactly is that market supposed to work?

      Yeah, if NBA GMs were operating under the assumption that the goal was legitimate contention as soon as possible, this is what the league landscape would look like. It’s the reason I’m in favor of drastically altering the existing incentive structure.

    51. Hubert

      It’s amusing to me that we’ve been on a treadmill of adding mediocre veterans to shitty teams since the days of Scott Layden and Shandon Anderson but people still think it’s a good idea.

      It’s even more amusing that you still can’t restate the position you’re arguing against.

      You use the dumbest people who employ a strategy as representatives for the entire strategy, as if they’re aren’t any examples of smart people employing the same strategy well.

    52. thenoblefacehumper

      Yeah? Jerry West traded Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams? Again you are re-imagining another person’s position.

      He traded Tobias Harris. Maybe you’re imagining I was talking about him. I wasn’t. I specifically said Gallinari and Williams. It’s up there in post 16. Two “pointless veterans” that “added marginal value”, which is “literally the dumbest strategy possible.”

      Are you forgetting how West acquired Lou Williams? It was in a trade in which he sent out Chris freakin’ Paul, before sending out Blake Griffin a few months later. The same trade also brought back Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, and a 2018 1st round draft pick. Harrell and the pick were the most important assets in the trade. Everything else, Lou Will and his .557 TS%/.126 WS48/0.6 BPM included, was essentially filler.

      The Gallinari example is odd, because the Clippers will almost certainly be trading him this offseason in order to accomplish their actual goal of bringing in elite players. It’s been awesome to see him play so well, but I’m not sure what you think his deal has actually accomplished for the Clippers other than help them squeak out an 8th seed playoff appearance. If you think that’s a goal worth striving for, then sure, that kind of contract can help you get there (assuming you’re not in a place on the win curve where a player like Gallo could actually put you over the top).

    53. Hubert

      He referenced “bottoming out” 3 years ago, which is nonsense. You don’t sign hoards of mediocre-to-bad veterans to multiyear, expensive deals when you’re bottoming out/rebuilding/tanking. The actual bottoming out process occurred during this past offseason, making this year 1 of a rebuild.

      Ok, I hear you. Let’s untangle this a bit.

      You’re saying (and you’re right), that the Knicks never embarked on a true rebuild in 2015. I’m 1000% with you.

      Strat’s point is that, intentional or not, they got the same reward in the draft that they would have received if they had gone full Hinkie.

      Now, you and JK are right, there are other benefits that we would have gotten if we’d gone full Hinkie. So he’s wrong to hold this up as evidence that tanking is bad. I disagree with him on that. It’s a bad support point for his argument. But it’s not the argument.

      The whole argument is that you can rebuild without tanking into top 10 picks and that adding the right veteran players isn’t pointless and dumb. It’s fine, as long as their contracts aren’t long term, they’re good value, and (most importantly) the players don’t suck.

    54. Hubert

      Are you forgetting how West acquired Lou Williams? It was in a trade in which he sent out Chris freakin’ Paul, before sending out Blake Griffin a few months later.

      No, I’m not.

      Are you forgetting that, at the next trade deadline, Lou Williams was highly sought after and West extended him instead of trading him for picks?

      He extended a 31 year old player while he was in rebuilding mode instead of trading him for draft picks. You would never advocate for that in your position, right?

      But Strat’s position is to forget about age and not overvalue draft picks. If you can get good value, take it. So signing a 31 year old 2 guard when you’re in rebuilding mode makes sense in his philosophy. And it’s proven to be a fairly good move, wouldn’t you say?

    55. Hubert

      The Gallinari example is odd, because the Clippers will almost certainly be trading him this offseason in order to accomplish their actual goal of bringing in elite players. It’s been awesome to see him play so well, but I’m not sure what you think his deal has actually accomplished for the Clippers other than help them squeak out an 8th seed playoff appearance. If you think that’s a goal worth striving for, then sure, that kind of contract can help you get there

      Normally I would not say the 8 seed is something worth striving for. But big market teams like us (and the Clippers) are always going to be attractive destinations, if you’re not a laughing stock.

      The point of these pointless veterans is to provide credibility. The Knicks’ problem is that they sign the wrong guys so we don’t even get that. Also, we overpay for them.

      When you get Gallinari on a tradable deal, it looks alright. When you get Noah on an albatross of a contract, not so much. It’s same idea, executed better.

    56. JK47

      Adding marginal wins to a 42 win team is different from adding marginal wins to a 17 win team. The Clippers had been a decent to good team for quite a while, they weren’t starting with a bare cupboard and a shitload of dead Joakim Noah/Carmelo Anthony/Courtney Lee money. They had some things to work with. It’s not a comparable situation.

    57. thenoblefacehumper

      I’m really not sure why we’re going gaga over the Clippers because they won 47 games and got the eighth seed largely by default. I’ve definitely been impressed by some of their recent moves, but their impressive moves have all been the ones they’ve made in pursuit of fetching extra assets in recognition of their win curve positioning (CP3 trade, Blake Griffin trade, Tobias Harris trade). Everything else gets a big TBA–just like us, they’ll look good if they’re able to land two worthy max players and much less so if they’re not.

      Strat’s point is that, intentional or not, they got the same reward in the draft that they would have received if they had gone full Hinkie.

      Really? The 4th, 8th, and 9th picks? No extra picks to speak of? Picks traded to dump Travis Outlaw? On what planet is this true?

      He extended a 31 year old player while he was in rebuilding mode instead of trading him for draft picks. You would never advocate for that in your position, right?

      But Strat’s position is to forget about age and not overvalue draft picks. If you can get good value, take it. So signing a 31 year old 2 guard when you’re in rebuilding mode makes sense in his philosophy. And it’s proven to be a fairly good move, wouldn’t you say?

      The Clippers’ plan is to lure two max players this offseason, which they can do with Lou Will’s meager salary on the books if they trade Gallo. So like I said, if they’re successful in doing so the move will look perfectly good. If not, it’ll seem pretty neutral. Heoznja-esque, if you will.

    58. Hubert

      I’m really not sure why we’re going gaga over the Clippers because they won 47 games and got the eighth seed largely by default.

      For me, it’s because I think they’re a lock to add Kawhi Leonard, and maybe more. Leonard was presumed to be a Laker before the year started, but West put a better team together than Magic and now that presumption has been flipped. That’s why I think it matters.

      Really? The 4th, 8th, and 9th picks? No extra picks to speak of? Picks traded to dump Travis Outlaw? On what planet is this true?

      Come on, dude. You’re misstating my position AGAIN. I said that in 2015 they got the same reward “in the draft” that they would have gotten if they had taken a full Hinkie approach. I even stressed “in the draft”, because that was the only area in which they got the reward. Then I said “you’re right”, there are “other benefits we would have gotten” if we had really
      gone full hinkie. It’s all right there in the post and it wasn’t in any crazy code.

    59. Hubert

      To restate without a shred of ambiguity:

      we won 17 games in 2015, that’s as hinkie a win total as you can reasonably expect. And it still didn’t get us the franchise player we needed.

      But we didn’t do any of the other things Hinkie would have done, so it’s not reasonable for strat to use it as evidence that tanking doesn’t work.

      That’s what I said. I guess maybe it was confusing because I was seeing both sides of the argument ;)

    60. DS

      I’d focus more on the likelihood that he’s a Faried-like player with a Draymond-like presence on defense. I consider him a safe pick at #5 even if he doesn’t take a leap on the outside shooting.

      He may never be a superstar, but
      I don’t think he’ll be a bust. And that’s good enough for me at 5.

      Uh, yeah! You would jump all over that at #5. He seems like the type of player that the Nets are full of whereas our roster is full of players who have or once had a 5% chance of becoming sensational but more likely will be out of the league before retirement (the Anthony Randolph types).

    61. chrisconley

      Yeah the tanking as a strategy vs. Phil as a GM debates need to stop. Way too boring.

      @50 Kadeem

      What we should be debating now is our draft ranking of 2 thru 5 (with emphasis on 4 & 5, where the Knicks feel like a lock to end up).

      As of this moment with last night’s game fresh in my brain I’m thinking:

      2. Morant
      3. Hunter
      4/5. Barrett/Clarke

      Culver is out of my top 5. If KD then Clarke @4, if no KD, Barrett.

    62. ptmilo

      the way it works with us is we get the 4th. this maximizes the pain to pleasure ratio as we sit tensely through the entire lottery, stop breathing altogether just before the crucial coin flip 5th card is turned, then dare to breathe a wisp of relief and sneak in half a swallow before we even notice they’ve called our name and pushed us off our briefly elevated perch. a few hearty souls post consoling bright sides and silver linings but they are too blurry for the rest of us to make out.

    63. thenoblefacehumper

      Come on, dude. You’re misstating my position AGAIN. I said that in 2015 they got the same reward “in the draft” that they would have gotten if they had taken a full Hinkie approach.

      If you’re only talking about 2015, you’re not doing anything to defend Strat’s point at all. The point he made that started the discussion is the one I just posted, in which he says that after three seasons of a “rebuild” in which the Knicks had the 4th, 8th, and 9th picks, the fact that they’re still bad shows that rebuilding is flawed. So he’s talking about all three seasons (i.e. not just 2015).

      The reason he’s hilariously wrong is because Phil Jackson did the opposite of trying to maximize the expected return on those picks. He tried to make those picks as bad as possible. The only reason they were somewhat high was because he was god awful at trying to determine which players help teams win basketball games in the present.

    64. geo

      that’s sooooo weird…I don’t know if it’s just some element at play which makes us all prisoners to some strange forum group think thing going on – yeah I don’t generally gamble, but – if I did, I’d be all in on betting we get the 4th pick…

      I have a very strong feeling that about 90% of the folks whom post here, think the same relatively deflating thing…

      17 wins and all I got was this cam reddish t-shirt

    65. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      So…unless they can get the equivalent of LeBron or Zion Williamson, teams shouldn’t bother making any moves? I mean, according to this logic…

      As already mentioned in this thread, the incentive structure in this market is totally fucked. The agreement on bilateral price controls (i.e. the NBA and NBPA’s co-endorsement of max contracts, vet’s minimums, MLE, rookie-scale contracts) create inequity in virtually every area that affects wins and losses. It is damn near a requirement that a Finals team gets surplus value from multiple max/rookie-scale players (Curry and Durant; LeBron and Kyrie; LeBron and Wade; Shaq and Wade; Kawhi and Duncan; Duncan and Manu/Parker; et al.) to be successful. To be successful in the playoffs, your team needs to be capable of winning 55+ games with a high SRS. This isn’t the MLB, where playoff win expectancy depends on whoever’s pitching that night, nor the NFL, where the 60-minute sample size leads to high win variability. In the NBA, the better regular-season team most often wins the series.

      It’s not that you shouldn’t “make moves.” It’s just that you shouldn’t make moves that take on “project” players who are being paid handsomely but have yet to show that they can reach the leaderboards for our dreaded all-in-one stats that are pretty good at approximating value.

      Instead, you should be looking for the diamond in the rough via keeping roster slots open for tryouts and the draft picks plentiful, and then pouncing with a team-friendly contract before the player’s reputation catches up with his actual production.

      It seems that there’s a strawman at play here: that simply because you shouldn’t make big-money moves (until you have your high-yield stars) means that you should make no moves at all. This is silly and disingenuous. It’s overwhelmingly obvious that flexibility and prospecting should be the priorities of any team stuck in the lottery.

    66. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      yeah I don’t generally gamble, but – if I did, I’d be all in on betting we get the 4th pick…

      The odds are real, real certain that the #5 pick is what you should place your money on.

    67. chrisconley

      @66 An additional reason getting the 4 is the most brutal outcome: it’s the least likely outcome! If we dodge the 5 spot coin flip, our most likely outcome is 1 then 2 then 3. 4 feels inevitable.

    68. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      17 wins and all I got was this cam reddish t-shirt

      His Knicks jersey will be a collector’s item by 2022, when he’s a reserve SF for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

    69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Tonight might be the most exciting pre-game I’ve had all year. The Knicks are playing a fellow scrub team but have no reason to lose. I expect big things from the squad tonight.

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