Knicks Morning News (2019.05.30)

  • [NYDN] NBA draft profile: Knicks target Cam Reddish of Duke
    (Wednesday, May 29, 2019 10:38:00 AM)

    With the top two picks in the 2019 NBA draft seemingly set in stone, a dozen or so players are vying to be selected in the remaining eight spots of the top 10.

    Cam Reddish, a freshman forward from Duke, is projected as a lock for that group. Reddish was part of one of the finest recruiting classes…

  • [SNY Knicks] Jeremy Lin praises New York as Knicks wait for Kevin Durant’s decision
    (Thursday, May 30, 2019 12:54:26 AM)

    Kevin Durant is headed to the NBA Finals once again, and though he may not be on the court, he’s still one of the NBA’s biggest stories as he will likely head to free agency after this series.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks trade target Anthony Davis: Talks continue but AD’s stance still the same
    (Wednesday, May 29, 2019 6:33:01 PM)

    Pelicans star Anthony Davis has requested a trade, informing the team he has no interest in re-signing. With news of Davis wanting out came reports that the Knicks have strong interest in trading for him. Here are the latest rumors…

  • [SNY Knicks] Sources: Knicks plan to visit in person with prospect Cam Reddish
    (Wednesday, May 29, 2019 11:37:47 AM)

    The Knicks have an in-person visit with Duke prospect Cam Reddish scheduled ahead of the NBA Draft, SNY has learned.

  • [SNY Knicks] Rockets’ openness to trade nearly everyone could impact Knicks’ pursuit of Anthony Davis
    (Wednesday, May 29, 2019 12:03:41 PM)

    The Rockets are open for business.

  • [SNY Knicks] What Knicks can learn from previous NBA Draft mistakes
    (Wednesday, May 29, 2019 10:00:00 AM)

    The Knicks have not always made the best choices when it comes to the NBA Draft.

  • [NYPost] Jeremy Lin sells New York to Kevin Durant as Knicks now wait
    (Wednesday, May 29, 2019 4:02:27 PM)

    TORONTO — Jeremy Lin is back in the spotlight — in the NBA Finals — though his Raptors playoff role has been more of an out-of-the-rotation cheerleader than the star of “Linsanity.” But nobody knows better than Lin what New York feels like and what the Garden sounds like to a basketball star of the…

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

    56 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.05.30)”

    1. If Barrett has so many flaws in his game/personality, why is he the consensus number 3 pick in this draft?

      I don’t believe he’s really the consensus number 3. That seems like a media narrative that gained a lot of steam for whatever reason. The Stepien has Culver as their 2nd overall prospect in their composite ranking, and Culver is ahead of RJ in 3 of the 6 individual rankings posted for example.

      There are a lot of draftniks I follow on Twitter who also have Culver over RJ as the #1 wing in the draft. I don’t think this consensus is a real thing, and if it is, I think a smart GM would try to rip some team off that was thirsting for RJ super hard in a trade down scenario. I like RJ fine, but he’s not some can’t miss, generational prospect.

    2. I was thinking about Doc Rivers’ comparison of Kawhi to Jordan. I know it’s general heresy to compare anyone to the GOAT, but there are a lot of similarities:

      – Superb mid-range game
      – Excellent finisher around the rim
      – Ferocious defender
      – Solid 3 point shooter

      Their career TS% – Jordan .569 Kawhi .599

      Jordan obviously has all those rings and a longer resume, but I still think it’s a pretty valid comp

    3. Do we buy Ric Bucher’s report that Kyrie has narrowed his choices down to the Nets and Lakers? If so, how do we feel about it relative to both Kyrie and our chances at Durant? The early reporting suggested they were a package deal.

    4. Wow, the Nate Duncan podcast really scared me off Barrett. They broke down each aspect of his game, and it’s not going to be a pretty transition for him to the NBA. One comp they threw out that felt relevant was OJ Mayo, who was also heralded out of high school but was mostly just a big guard that could pass pretty well but was average at everything else.

      I certainly hope we trade the pick and the rest of our busts for Davis, but that doesn’t seem super likely. I’m not super high on Culver either, although he can come in and defend well from day 1, at least. Maybe they roll the dice on Garland or maybe they do pull off a trade down? I’d rather target a guy like Clarke or even Hunter and pick up a 2nd pick.

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

      I have one issue with Culver. His performance in the NCAA tournament was not confidence inspiring. I realize there are issues with using such a small sample. It’s hard to tell how much of that was him just being “off” in a random way and how much was that he was being stopped. But those games are more indicative of what a player can do when facing better competition that is specifically geared towards stopping him than the overall weaker competition during the season. He looked more like a future high level role player than potential star to me over those games. That doesn’t mean he’s still not a better option than Barrett, but we passed on Mikal Bridges last year hunting for a player with more potential on offense (most likely a mistake). I wonder what the thinking will be this year.

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

      @3

      To be honest, I suspect most of what we are hearing is “fake news”. It’s speculation based on whether players are perceived to be happy or not, who has space and assets, and where they would be a good fit. I don’t think Durant or Irving have any idea where they are going yet. They have a list of cities (teams) they would consider and it all depends on the pitches.

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

      I’d rather target a guy like Clarke or even Hunter and pick up a 2nd pick.

      I think Hunter should be under consideration also if we don’t think there’s a potential star available at 3.

    8. More Knicks like Cam Reddish rumors, or just recycling the old ones? These make trading back a bit scary…

    9. Wow, the Nate Duncan podcast really scared me off Barrett. They broke down each aspect of his game, and it’s not going to be a pretty transition for him to the NBA. One comp they threw out that felt relevant was OJ Mayo, who was also heralded out of high school but was mostly just a big guard that could pass pretty well but was average at everything else.

      The guys who argued that Dennis Smith Jr was a better prospect than Mitchell Robinson? OJ Mayo was a very good 3 point shooter in college and much worse than RJ inside the arc. RJ was also a much better rebounder and much better playmaker. I don’t know if he’ll be better or worse than OJ Mayo but he’s also nothing like OJ Mayo.

    10. Culver’s TS% was only .524 in conference play and he stunk in the tournament- is he going to be able to score at all against quality opposition? And Barrett seems more physically ready for the NBA at 18 than Culver does at 20 strength-wise. I’m not really a fan of either guy and would rather trade down or package the pick for a veteran.

    11. Mayo was more an example of a primary ball handler that couldn’t force his way to the hoop in the NBA the way he did in college. There’s no perfect comp for RJ. They mentioned Evan Turner, but Turner is better defensively. Maybe the fact that there’s no good comp exposes the problem with RJ? Which is that he doesn’t come to the table with one really high-end skill. His best features are good rebounding for a guard and pretty good passing. He also led the NCAA in charges, which is worrying. It’s not as simple as “he just needs to learn to shoot.”

    12. Culver’s TS% was only .524 in conference play and he stunk in the tournament- is he going to be able to score at all against quality opposition? And Barrett seems more physically ready for the NBA at 18 than Culver does at 20 strength-wise. I’m not really a fan of either guy and would rather trade down or package the pick for a veteran.

      I don’t think Culver is a number 1 option in the NBA. However, he does a bit of everything and I think he can transition to scoring off the ball. Culver is valuable for his passing, rebounding, and defense. He does a bit of everything and I see him as a plus defender. He was forced into the role of a number 1 scorer. I see him as better than Barrett because I don’t see RJ being as good of a defender or being able to score. People will definitely disagree with me on RJ’s ability to score. I think that’s what most of the debate is about in regards to RJ’s value. He does have great floor vision and can rebound. Those skills should translate eventually.

    13. RJ is an interesting guy-his usage is really absurd. His high end skills are playmaking and creating shots-like yeah, he definitely takes too many stupid shots, but he was also good at creating a lot of good shots. I’d really like to see him go to a smart team and see what they can make out of him. He’s more like a Dwyane Wade who can’t play defense than an OJ Mayo.

    14. an example of a primary ball handler that couldn’t force his way to the hoop in the NBA the way he did in college.

      This is my exact problem with RJ. He looks like he gets cut off from the hoop too often and bullies his way through defenders due to his strength ALA Melo. However, NBA defenders are stronger, longer, and quicker. I don’t think RJ will be able to push through them easily–not before the help gets there.

    15. I think everyone is underestimating Barrett’s ability to score. He is the 4th freshman ever to score 800 points while playing in a power conference. He did this while maintaining a 2pt fg% of over 50% all as a young freshman.

      If this was easy more people would do it. The other three players that scored over 800 points as a freshman were Durant, Anthony Davis and Michael Beasley. That’s pretty esteemed company.

      Add to that great assist numbers a passable 3pt shot and good rebound numbers and you are looking st a really good prospect.

      His biggest red flag to me are his steal numbers but that could be explained by playing next to three ballhawks that averaged over 2 steals each per 40. Or maybe it’s a real concern but as far as I see it it is his only major red flag.

    16. What concerns me most about the Knicks’ approach to drafting and free agency is the arrogance.
      The Mecca of basketball, the Knicks!
      Fucking whatever.
      This franchise has absolutely no reason to puff up about anything. They should approach every transaction as the underdog. This attitude that Durant is a lock, that Kyrie wanted to be a Knick, it’s all bogus.
      In the past 15 years, the only thing the Knicks were was a foil. Not a championship since 1973. I was nine.
      It is a sad sack organization that happens to be right in the middle of Manhattan.
      If I were Kyrie, I’d look long and hard at Brooklyn. Good young talent, new court, and Brooklyn would be a major city unto itself if it weren’t a borough.

      As it stands now, I have no confidence this franchise will make a smart move on or before draft day.

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

      The comparisons between Melo and Barrett actually make some sense to me, although I think Barrett may be the better passer/playmaker. It all hinges on his ability to make FTs and shoot three pointers.

      If you told me I could have a Melo-like player that hits close to 40% of his 3s and is a better passer/playmaker I’d sign up.

    18. @15
      I’m with you on Barrett. The concern over him being able to score at the rim is unfounded. There are plenty of other reasons to be concerned about his game, like outside shooting and defense. Yes, he was able to overpower guys in college, but he was a 18 year old freshman doing that, to think he has reached his physical peak and will flop in the NBA is not logical. Watch some highlights, he is able to finish well with both hands around the rim. He’ll be fine.

    19. I agree re: free agents — nothing’s a sure thing. That, and the fact that we bombed our last 2 first-round picks, is what makes this pick pretty important. Barrett running the offense is likely an upgrade from DSJ (although DSJ can beat his man off the dribble unlike JR), but I don’t think it will be a big upgrade. I truly do hope Barrett becomes great, especially if he becomes a Knick, since he seems like a great kid — but it doesn’t look terribly likely.

    20. I don’t think Culver is a number 1 option in the NBA. However, he does a bit of everything and I think he can transition to scoring off the ball. Culver is valuable for his passing, rebounding, and defense. He does a bit of everything and I see him as a plus defender.

      Sounds a lot like Frank. Seriously, in the tournament I thought he looked like Frank with a better handle. Of course, if Frank could shoot he’d be a solid player and just because he hasn’t improved his shot that doesn’t mean Culver won’t.

    21. Every shooting concern you have with RJ Barrett you have to have with Jarrett Culver. I understand the defensive concerns with Barrett, but if a kid has the athletic ability and basketball IQ to be a good defender, then you can’t count it out. Lonzo was a terrible defender in college (I know, he had better stl/block rates than Barrett) and now he’s a better defensive player than offensive player. James Harden was probably the worst defender in the league but now he plays good team defense. The defense will come for RJ if he gets a chance to play between Irving and Durant. This isn’t Kevin Knox, who legitimately is not a plus athlete. Barrett is a good athlete by NBA standards, so I believe in his ability to play good team defense when he settles in as a pro.

    22. Culver shot .382 from 3PT as a freshman, and it wasn’t in a teeny sample size, he actually shot a fairly high volume of 3’s. He was 55 for 144 as a freshman. 3-point shooting in the NCAA is real noisy, so I dunno what to make of that.

      As a soph his 3-point shooting rate and percentage both went way down, and his free throw rate went way up, so clearly he was playing a different kind of game as a sophomore.

    23. Seriously, in the tournament I thought he looked like Frank with a better handle

      Except that Culver can rebound, so you can play him at the 3 in certain matchups. Frank’s allergy to rebounding is problematic. He’s a bad rebounder for a PG, let alone a SF.

    24. I think Barrett could become an average shooter and defender, and his passing is surely a great asset, but not being able to turn the corner on his man — much less get up against a team’s rim protector — spells trouble since his best shooting in college was at the rim.

      I don’t know if we have his measurables, but his length seems average and his hops look a bit below average. Yes, he’s kind of crafty around the rim, but that might not be enough to be more than an Evan Turner on offense.

    25. yeah I am souring on Barrett as well.
      You wonder if he’s sort of like a better version of Christian Hackenberg — a guy who has the look but has also had every advantage along the way (meaning having a pro basketball player as a dad, being part of the national team forever etc) – compare to someone like Culver who was not heavily recruited and likely did not have all the resources as Barrett did.

      Kinda feel like trading down is the way to go.

    26. i think at this point I’d draft Culver if they stay at 3, otherwise would try and trade down.

    27. @25
      Look at the numbers I posted, he got to the rim for a shot 238 times last season as the team’s primary ballhandler. If he couldn’t get by his man, how the hell did he get like 8 shots a game at the rim? He scored on over 65% of those shots, too, so why would you say he can’t get up against a rim protector? He was efficient at the rim on a ton of attempts in college. It’s the least of the worries of his game.

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

      If the Knicks draft Culver, even I might be in favor of trading Frank. I still think Frank is massively underrated here and is going to turn out to be a productive player for someone in the right circumstances (kind of like alongside a couple of high volume scorers like Durant and Kyrie/Kemba). But if we draft Culver we are probably drafting a better version of Frank or at least a version of him with a more developed offensive game at this stage. Of course I’m assuming his reputation as a switchable plus defender is legitimate. I haven’t seen enough of him and none of us has seen him defend against NBA caliber scorers.

    29. I will believe Simmons is trolling us until all the FA contracts are signed, but…

      Bill Simmons on WFAN on what he is hearing:
      -KD will be a Knick with the wild card of him deciding to return (No other options make sense)
      -Thinks KD and Kemba are the two maxes (Doesn’t think Kyrie is a good fit and KD would be great with KW)
      -Knicks are a top spot to get AD

    30. KD will be a Knick with the wild card of him deciding to return (No other options make sense)

      Simmons is so silly. KD to the Knicks makes no sense at all!

    31. I would be really fine with KD + Kemba. Kemba is not as good as Kyrie but he’s a good player, he’s been consistently healthy for years now, barely misses games, and he’s productive. If the plan is to go all in on Davis, he’s a good 3rd option who would fit well with them as a secondary creator and shooter. I don’t really think he’s worthy of a max but there’s a lot of worse possible scenarios than having Kemba Walker as your PG on a very good team.

    32. Do we buy Ric Bucher’s report that Kyrie has narrowed his choices down to the Nets and Lakers? If so, how do we feel about it relative to both Kyrie and our chances at Durant? The early reporting suggested they were a package deal.

      I’ve been worried about Brooklyn all year. If I’m not mistaken, they could trade for AD (with a package built around Russell, Allen, and picks) and still sign Kyrie. Or pull the Kyrie-Durant double.

    33. For the record, I think they will take RJ… I just hope it works out. And he’s probably better trade bait than Culver.
      Plus, there’s no rule that he has to be a primary ball handler at the next level. He could very well improve his outside shot and just become a nice all-around off guard. I think that could be a better path than trying to turn him into Kobe 2.0.

    34. I think the Pelicans are going to convince Davis to give them until the trade deadline to try out Zion. If Zion comes out and dominates like we all expect him to — I mean, shit, do you see this guy shooting worse than .600 TS% and 18 PPG or so? — and you’re AD, do you demand a trade when the Pels can offer $235M and you have a bona-fide superstar who will be starting his prime at the end of your own?

      From what I can tell, the 4-year sums are around these:

      Pelicans DPVE $178M + $52M guaranteed 5th year

      Bird Rights max after trade $152M + $45M 5th year

      Free agency $146M

      If he plays half a season with Zion and it’s basically the Boogie-level letdown all over again, I can see him forcing a sign-and-trade. I find it more plausible that he signs the $230-240M deal than hitting free agency. $32M is a stupid amount of money to leave on the table when you have your SF/PF superstar possibly right there under contract for four years.

    35. If Davis stays the Pelicans could be a pretty formidable team, all they would have to do is find wing depth (which they have failed to do in the last 4 or 5 years, but should be possible) and the team is well positioned.

      But I still think Davis will want out. It’s been reported that he’s not happy with their owners and he burned every possible bridge with the fanbase, so he might not be comfortable changing his mind. And there’s also Rich Paul and all that mess happening (and Zion signed with CAA instead of with him).

    36. If I’m not mistaken, they could trade for AD (with a package built around Russell, Allen, and picks) and still sign Kyrie.

      Jeez, you really think the Pels are gonna take that shitty package? They can do way better.

    37. I’m not sure which potential offer is that much better than Russell, Allen and multiple 1sts and 2nd. Russell is about to be overpaid (assuming no leap to superstardom, which is certainly possible) and Allen is underrated as hell. Russell, Holiday, Zion, Randle and Allen would be a monster team on both ends of the floor, far better than what they had this year.

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

      #35

      That’s what I said the night they won the lottery.

      AD is still young. He has a long window. AD and Zion is quite a long term tandem. Throw in Jrue Holiday (who is very underrated) and they already have a good team. AD and Holiday were very good the prior year without Zion and after Cousins went down with an injury. Last year is a total toss because of all the distractions. I don’t see why he’d want to leave unless it’s for business reasons. They have Griffin over there now to help build the team. I’d stay and test the waters further unless there’s something going on we don’t know about.

    39. Is that a shitty package? Russell might be bad value on his second contract but he’s very good. We’re trying to build a trade around Barrett and Knox, Boston’s trying to build one around Tatum and Brown, and LA around Ball & Kuzma. Russell’s better than all of them. It’s not all about value for the dollar, sometimes you want the best player.

      And Jarrett Allen’s awesome on a great contract.

    40. I’d prefer Kyrie, but Kemba is a more than adequate back-up plan. He’s a fine player.

    41. When and what kind of food do you like?

      Edit : I’m dumb

      What kind of food do you like?

    42. Yeah, I’d 100% take that Brooklyn offer over anything the Celtics and Lakers are throwing at the Pels. I’m not a big fan of Russell, but he made a a good leap this season and he’s around the age and timeline where guards tend to get better, and he’s already more productive than the main pieces from the other offers (Tatum, Brown, Ball, Ingram etc) while not being much older, and I really like Allen. Russell also happens to fit very well with Holiday, who is better as a secondary ball handler anyway and who can defend more than well whoever is Russell’s matchup.

    43. Delicious food. Somewhat of a foody. Eat pretty much everything in terms of style.

      Starting out at The Fields?

    44. The Fields is stereotypical sports bar. If you’re over there, try Olympia Provision NW for lunch or brunch tomorrow and maybe try St. Jack on NW 23rd tonight. Not sure if Lucky Lab on Quimby has TVs but that should be going hard on a day like today. Andina if you have a partner and want to do Peruvian tapas. You should be able to get great wine anywhere, and definitely drink our Dundee Hills or Willamette Valley pinot while you’re here.

      If you have a car and someone to go with, go to Ponzi Vineyards this weekend for their tasting and views. Their reserve Chardonnay was unbelievable. I lack the palate to spend more than $25 on a bottle of white wine, but if I had to, I’d go with a bottle of that stuff.

    45. It’s an in and out kinda deal. Love this neighborhood tho. If you have recos for food in the Pearl for a small group. Mostly dudes. LMK.

    46. I know Tatum tailed off this year, but I’m sure the Pelicans would find him way more appealing in a trade package than D’Angelo Russell.

    47. Iggy vs. Kawhi is gonna be an absolute joy to watch huh

    48. Mitch, Barrett/Culver, Dallas pick(s) is the best package. As much as I love Mitch, how do you not pull the trigger on that? KD plus AD and maybe Beverley works for me.

      But yeah, I think they’ll keep AD around for half a season and it will go well. Maybe they can get Ty Jerome in the 2nd round and sign some vet swingmen… they could have a nice team.

    49. Cook, Livingston, Thompson, Jerebko and Boogie was one of the weirdest Finals lineups I’ve seen in my lifetime

    50. Obviously Siakam is not going to keep playing like prime MJ, but winning without a supernova Kawhi game and with a subpar game scoring wise from Lowry (though I liked his defense and play making) is a pretty big deal. If the Raptors’ role players keep it up they can really do the damn thing.

      And yes, the narrative about Durant has always been dumb. People inferred way too much from a series in which they beat Portland, a team who had a below average defense in the regular season and then had to play Enes Kanter instead of their best defender. I understand preferring them from an aesthetic standpoint without Durant, but actually trying to argue they’re in any way better without him is as dumb as it sounds.

    51. Toronto hit a lot of crazy, low-percentage shots there down the stretch. They weren’t getting really great looks. I don’t know how sustainable that is. It’s true though that Kawhi played a relatively pedestrian game.

      Interesting series.

    52. Kawhi looked awful moving.

      Then again Iggy looked like he pulled a hamstring towards the end

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