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Monday, January 27, 2020

Knicks Morning News (2019.07.21)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Signing Kenny Wooten To Exhibit 10 Contract
    (Saturday, July 20, 2019 5:41:02 PM)

    Kenny Wooten, a shot-blocking power forward out of Oregon, will join the Knicks for training camp on an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Wooten made an impression with New York’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, even though he saw minimal playing time. He averaged just 1.8 […]

  • [Hoops Rumors] Spurs, Knicks At Odds Over Morris, Porzingis
    (Saturday, July 20, 2019 12:59:52 PM)

    Animosity has developed between the Spurs and Knicks organizations over the Marcus Morris free agency odyssey and alleged tampering involving Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Isola of The Athletic and Ian Begley of SNY TV report. Morris backed out of a verbal agreement to sign a two-year, $19MM contract with San Antonio and inked a one-year, $15MM […]

  • [TheRinger] Knicks Signing Kenny Wooten To Exhibit 10 Contract
    (Saturday, July 20, 2019 5:41:02 PM)

    Kenny Wooten, a shot-blocking power forward out of Oregon, will join the Knicks for training camp on an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Wooten made an impression with New York’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, even though he saw minimal playing time. He averaged just 1.8 […]

  • [TheRinger] Spurs, Knicks At Odds Over Morris, Porzingis
    (Saturday, July 20, 2019 12:59:52 PM)

    Animosity has developed between the Spurs and Knicks organizations over the Marcus Morris free agency odyssey and alleged tampering involving Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Isola of The Athletic and Ian Begley of SNY TV report. Morris backed out of a verbal agreement to sign a two-year, $19MM contract with San Antonio and inked a one-year, $15MM […]

  • [YahooSports] Report: Knicks unhappy with Spurs, felt they ‘crossed lines’ with Kristaps Porzingis
    (Sunday, July 21, 2019 1:17:33 AM)

    The bad blood that reportedly developed between the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs over free agent Marcus Morris spurning San Antonio for the Big Apple stems all the way back to the Kristaps Porzingis trade, according to Ian Begley of SNY. On Friday, The Athletic’s Frank Isola reported that the Spurs were “pissed” that Morris reneged on a handshake agreement with San Antonio to instead take a one-year, $15 million deal in New York. According to Begley, the Knicks have some beef with the Spurs as well.

  • [NYPost] Kenny Wooten getting another big Knicks chance
    (Saturday, July 20, 2019 12:37:47 PM)

    Center Mitchell Robinson may have someone to compete with for most blocks in training camp. Oregon power forward Kenneth Wooten, the 6-foot-9 leaper who impressed during the Las Vegas Summer League, has agreed to terms on an Exhibit 10 contract to attend Knicks training camp and fight for a roster spot, The Post has learned….

  • [SNY Knicks] Kenny Wooten will participate in Knicks’ training camp on Exhibit 10 contract: report
    (Saturday, July 20, 2019 6:10:56 PM)

    Kenny Wooten was one of the real positive surprises for the Knicks during their Summer League schedule.

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    58 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.07.21)

    1. Z-man

      Am I the only one who thinks there’s a good chance that the Celtics underperform this year? Their bench is pretty thin and their starters are not all that scary. And I think the loss of Horford can’t be overestimated. Maybe wishful thinking on my part, but I can see us matching up very well with them.

    2. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Going from Horford and Irving to Kanter and Kemba? That’s a good way get worse.

    3. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      I also think the Sixers aren’t gonna be as good as last season. But..Milwaukee, Indiana, and Boston all look like the cream of the East on paper. Boston will have to hide Kanter on D somehow though. They need a defensive starting PF. Faried would be perfect there if they could get him. I’m still unsure about Brooklyn, so for now I’d say they’re a notch below the 3 I mentioned

    4. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The Sixers will win the East if Horford stays healthy. If Zhaire Smith develops a three, that lineup will roast every five-man lineup imaginable. Butler is overrated — not a superstar anymore. Obviously you’d rather have him than a scrub, but it won’t be a huge loss.

      If Smith plays starting SG, he will be the shortest Sixer on the floor at 6’5”… by three inches.

    5. mase

      I actually think Boston got better adding Kemba and losing kyrie. The Horford loss will hurt but this is a chance for Gordon and Tatum to take a big step.
      Probably a top 3 team. Sizers are far and away the best in the east.

    6. JK47

      Kanter is still a butcher on defense, that doesn’t change just because he puts on the green uniform. He’s a very large downgrade from Horford.

    7. KnickfaninNJ

      Boston is kind of a wild card to me. They had bad chemistry issues last season. If the new players fit better that should be a boost even though they lost good players. Also, There’s the possibility that Hayward gets a lot better. So I can imagine them being good, even though it is not a sure thing at all that they do get better

    8. Z-man

      I like the Sixers and Bucks for the conference finals, with Indiana as a dark horse. I feel strongly that Boston and Toronto will disappoint.

      As to the Knicks, the range of possibilities is so freakin’ huge. I could see them winning anywhere from 22-42 games, with 32 a reasonable mean probability. They have a bunch of young players who can make a huge difference if a few of them develop. Mitch could be a top-3 C in the East, ant Trier, Knox, Randle, Portis, DSjr, Payton, Frank and Dotson can all develop further. I generally don’t expect much out of rookies but RJ and Iggy are both interesting. They could be overachievers somewhat like the Celts were without Kyrie and Hayward…not quite as good, but scrappy enough to beat anyone on any given night.

    9. Z-man

      I actually think Boston got better adding Kemba and losing kyrie

      There is nothing on paper to support this. Kyrie was better in nearly every statistical category last year. He took the rap for the Celts, but he really wasn’t the problem during the regular season. Kemba is quite overrated, and the Celts will regret that signing in a couple of years.

    10. Z-man

      yeah, he quit to the tune of a .197 WS48, a 6.4 BPM and a 4.7 VORP on a .592 TS%. You know how many times Kemba posted any of those numbers? Zero.

      But yeah, he’s an upgrade!

    11. mase

      When you re neg on your statement from opening nite that you’re re signing with the team and spend the entire season looking at the front door counting down till the season ends, You quit on your team. I don’t care how good our number are if no one wants to play with you.

    12. DRed

      Kyrie quit on the team during the Bucks series is arguably true, but he still was better than Kemba Walker during the regular season. Kemba is more durable, but he’s older and worse defensively. The celtics still have a lot of talented young guys on the team who might get better next year and makeup for the talent they lost, but I think they’re going to definitely take a step back on defense. They lost 2700 minutes of good defense from Baynes & Horford and they’re going to replace it with Robert Williams (who might be quite good) and Enes Kanter (who is not). If Hayward gets better or one of their younger wings takes a leap they might be better on offense.

    13. english_knick

      No way is our expected outcome 32 wins. If you’re offering that as the over-under, I’m buying under please!

    14. TheOakmanCometh

      If we’re just trying to win now, our best lineup is:

      Mitch
      Randle
      Morris
      Ellington?
      Elfrid

      The Pels featured a similar group last year, with AD as a big upgrade over Mitch and Jrue as a massive upgrade over Ellington. They won 33. So I don’t get how we’re going to win 35+ with this group. Not to mention Knox and RJ being big minuses for us.

    15. JK47

      32 wins is an absolute ceiling for this group and that is probably stretching it.

      I think we’re probably doing the accidentitank this season.

    16. Mike Honcho

      We’re also probably going to lose 14 or 15 of our 16 division games, which should naturally deflate our win count. I’m predicting 23-29 wins, with 26 being my official prediction. We’re not a 17 win team anymore, but we’re certainly not a playoff team.

    17. Z-man

      Well, we’re in the East, which has gotten weaker with the departure of Kawhi and more top-heavy with the move of Horford to the Sixers. The Pels were in the West and had a serious cloud with AD hanging over their season.

      The Hawks won 29 games in a stronger east last year…are we worse than they were?

      Charlotte won 39 games last year with a lineup of Walker, Batum, Lamb, Zeller, Bridges, Biyombo, Monk, MKG and some assorted scrubs. Are we 9 games worse than them?

      So 32 games may be a bit rosy, but the more important point is that the range of outcomes is pretty broad.

    18. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three.

      Am I the only one who thinks there’s a good chance that the Celtics underperform this year? Their bench is pretty thin and their starters are not all that scary. And I think the loss of Horford can’t be overestimated. Maybe wishful thinking on my part, but I can see us matching up very well with them.

      I don’t think they are going to lose much if anything due to the switch from Irving to Walker, but the loss of Horford is going to be brutal given they are going from a very high level defender to a very weak one like Kanter. Kyrie’s on court impact is simply not as positive as his reputation and this will be the first time Kemba plays on a real team. Kemba is a good player.

      I don’t think they are done making moves. Ainge is too smart to think he can win a title with Kanter starting. He’s going to make another move for a defensive C. It’s just a matter of when. Could be at the trade deadline, could be earlier.

      The team I think is likely to disappoint is the Nets.

      They allowed some very good role players in addition to DLO to leave to make room for Kyrie and Durant. Without Durant, they are not that good.

    19. Z-man

      We’re also probably going to lose 14 or 15 of our 16 division games

      I couldn’t disagree more with this. We are going to beat Toronto, Boston and the Nets 1-2 times each. The Nets may have gotten marginally better with Kyrie but they’re still not that good. Boston is WAY worse and Toronto lost their best player by a mile and one of their best shooters in Danny Green. Marc Gasol is 35. Kyle Lowry is 32. They are very vulnerable.

      I would say 5-11 is a conservative prediction.

      32 wins is an absolute ceiling for this group and that is probably stretching it.

      I think we’re probably doing the accidentitank this season.

      I think you are assuming that none of the young guys develop (including Mitch) and that none of the new guys improve (especially Randle, Portis and Payton).

      If Robinson is as good as most of us think he is, and Randle and Morris play like they did last year, that right there is a massive upgrade from last year. Remember, no Mudiay, no Hezonja, No TH2 and probably no Frank (at least last year’s version). That’s like 6000 less minutes of suck right there. Then Knox will probably play less and somewhat better. DSjr will either improve or get benched. Kanter’s putrid defense is gone. It looks like there will be some accountability this year. It doesn’t matter that much whether RJ or Iggy contribute.

      This team is not accidentanking.

    20. JK47

      Every year this blog projects this team to win more games than it actually wins, with the Team Realist rump dissenting, and Team Realist ultimately being correct.

      It’s a time-honored tradition at this point.

    21. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three.

      I’m glad it appears the Knicks are trying to keep Wooten in the organization. I’d rather see him with a roster spot than a couple of the other players we signed, but a G league stint could help him and if we move on from someone else later, he can join the team then.

    22. Early Bird

      I like Wooten’s game. I have to think he’s the option to replace Kadeem Allen on a 2-way. He’s younger and Kadeem didn’t show much in SL.

      Could play it out between the 2-way guys, Wooten, & Frank in training camp. Frank seems gone unless he really steps up for France. Would rather have Wooten & Wilkes over Frank & Allen. I like Allen’s game from last year. Maybe he gets play if DSJr or Payton get hurt???

    23. mase

      If I had to predict the season in three acts.

      The first would be the Mitch starting experiment with the vets.
      If he can stay in the court for 30 mins plus we have a chance to gain chemistry quickly and enter the second-third of the season with a .500 record.
      The 2/3 part of the season gets tricky because I think we rely heavily on the development of the young core hoping they got some
      Experience with vets and an improved Mitch. Meaning that if we hit the ground running we have a shot at .500 by all star break.

      After that it’s anyones guess, I do think we have a shot at the 8 slot but a lot has to break right.
      35 wins.

    24. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      it’s like Knicks optimist bingo

      chemistry

      development of the young core

      Experience with vets

      BINGO

    25. Bruno Almeida

      Kemba is at most even with Kyrie, if you believe the leadership stuff so much. Kyrie is simply more productive and more efficient, and Kemba is at an age where he’s very unlikely to improve more. The Celtics might be good still because of everything else, but the Kyrie Kemba swap is not the reason.

    26. Z-man

      Every year this blog projects this team to win more games than it actually wins, with the Team Realist rump dissenting, and Team Realist ultimately being correct.

      It’s a time-honored tradition at this point.

      If this is directed at me, it’s an uncharacteristically thoughtless statement from you. I’ve predicted on the lower side in most of the last several years, lower than you if I recall correctly. I have the distinction of being pessimistic about Frank before virtually anyone else, and somewhat less about Knox. So rather than make knee-jerk statements, maybe tell me why you think we are so much worse than the 39-win Hornets of last year….or do you actually think that Kemba is a superstar that is vastly underrated by our go-to stats?

    27. JK47

      Not directed at you Z-Man, there are lots of people here predicting near-.500 records or 32 wins as a median outcome.

      I don’t really see it, but we’ll see. I still see lots and lots of minutes going to some guys who are not very good.

    28. Z-man

      Additionally, I don’t really care that much if we actually do tank, accidentally or on purpose. All I want at this point is to find out whether the young players are any good and to avoid the albatross long-term contracts. So it’s kind of a win-win for me at this point. I just think that as I said in @25 when you subtract worse players and add better ones from your rotation, you get better. I also think that when you play to win rather than tank on purpose, you probably win more games.

    29. KnickfaninNJ

      As I posted before, our offense should be better and our defense probably not worse. That led to an estimate of about thirty wins next season.

    30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Your the official fun police

      I guess I just don’t find it fun to be perennially optimistic, and therefore wrong, about this franchise

    31. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three.

      Kemba is Kemba.

      He’s an excellent #2 option miscast in the #1 role on a team without a legit #2 or #3 or any real semblance of a coherent basketball strategy for his entire career. I’m expecting him to do LESS for the Celtics and for guys like Tatum, Brown, and Hayward (if he’s not traded) to get bigger roles. The Celtics and Brad Stevens are going to play a better brand of basketball like they did before they had Kyrie dominating the ball more. There’s going to be more ball movement, more distributed playmaking, and better shot selection. The offense will be fine.

      The problem is going to be defense. You can’t lose Horford & Baynes, stick Kanter in there, and expect anything other than a debacle on defense.

    32. Z-man

      If the Knicks play win at all costs, and if they are well-coached, they will win more than if they try to do some hybrid thing of developing players and playing 1-year and out vets. Of the current young guys, only Mitch, Trier and Dotson should be guaranteed playing time based on past performance. Everyone else should have to earn it. Unfortunately, I doubt that they play to win at all costs, and guys like Barrett, Knox and Smith Jr. will play significant amounts unless they are horrific. So I’m not being dismissive of 25 or less wins.

      I just like what I’ve seen from Knox and Robinson in summer league and I expect Trier to be improved as most second-year players improve. I think Payton is a pretty good young player (a major upgrade over Mudiay, DSjr and Frank at PG) and Mitch, Randle, and Morris are a handful up front vs. many teams and Portis and Knox (if he improves and has his minutes and role cut down) can be decent backup forwards. Mitch is going to make up for a lot of sins from the backcourt/wing contingent if he is used correctly.

      Put another way, I think Brad Stevens could get a lot of wins out of this team. Fiz? Jury’s out but leaning heavily towards conviction.

    33. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three.

      I’m going to refrain on making a guess about how many wins the Knicks are going to get until I see how bad our lineup and minute distribution is going to be under Fizdale this year.

      Last year we could have easily won more games just by sharply limiting Knox. He was horrible on both sides playing a lot of minutes. We have to see if he’s gotten any better and what his role is going to be. Same with RJ and others. Are they developing, trying to win, or a little of both?

      Also, if Fizdale would have continued using the “defense first” lineup he used very early in the season for a few games (and then bailed on) we would have even more games. Those defensive lineups were easily some of our best lineups, but you know, Mudiay, Knox, and other “no D” scorers got the nod. If he doesn’t value defense enough (like management), we are going to lose more games than we should.

    34. kevin5318

      Regarding division matchups I would love a split with BKN so the media will freak out and sweeping the Celtics for obvious reasons. We could lose every other game for all I care.

    35. DRed

      Knicks who had a WS/48 > .80 last season:

      Mitch
      Taj
      Ellington
      Randle

      That’s it. There are some young guys who have been half decent who can certainly improve, but this team still has a lot of guys who will probably get real minutes who are not likely to be very productive

    36. Z-man

      DRed, you forgot Marcus Morris, who like Mitch, Randle and Ellington will be major parts of the rotation. Not sure about Taj, but he should play some. If he does, that’s half of the rotation.

      Look, even if the team wins 32 games they’re still for sure a bottom-10 team. Last year only 5 teams won less than 32 games. It’s really not that hard to do. If coached properly, this team should be better than CLE, CHI, CHO, WAS, and MEM for sure, and might be as good or better than ATL, MIN and SAC.

      ORL and DET aren’t that good. Neither is MIA.

      One thing we don’t have is a go-to guy at the end of tight games. Randle is probably our best high-usage offensive player and he’s not really suited to that role. It will be interesting to see whether someone emerges to fill that role. Maybe Trier? I’m skeptical about DSjr or Elfrid. And it’s not going to be Knox or RJ.

    37. Z-man

      The other thing is that you can win a game on any given night when 2 or 3 guys go off, or in some cases, even 1 guy. Scorers like Portis, Payton, Trier, Ellington, Morris and even Dotson, Knox, DSjr are all going to have those nights where they go off. Remember the Beasley game vs. Boston? We have more Beasley-types than we had last year.

    38. JK47

      We’re below average at almost every position, with some positions verging on black hole status. Our point guard situation is bad, our shooting guard situation is bad, Marcus Morris is the only decent SF on the roster and he’s not amazing and we have one rim protector on the entire roster. There is some depth at PF in that we have Julius Randle and a somewhat competent backup in Taj Gibson but Bobby Portis sucks.

      Maybe some scraptastic x’s and o’s genius of a coach might be able to drag this team to 35 wins but I’m not sure Fizzy is the guy. It’s hard to survive bad guard/wing play in the NBA and our guards/wings are pretty lame.

    39. alsep73

      Hey, sometimes even Berman can get wonky. I have no idea if this will work, but this is an impressively detailed look at how Keith Smart is trying to fix DSJ’s shot.

    40. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, scoring will still be a major issue and it’s not a good defensive team in the first place. Randle will score, but everybody else is limited on offense and relying on Elfrid Payton to organize an offense hasn’t exactly worked out very well so far in terms of running a good offense.

      I still think this team will probably win around 25-28 games, with 30 being a possibility only if one of the young guys truly improves a lot and the rotations are set towards playing the veterans the most. There’s a lot of potential variance with this roster because it’s so full of players who could all get minutes or not, and we truly have no idea how Fizdale will work it out and what the priorities are going to be for the entire year. Since I think they won’t settle for development of the young guys, I think the win total will be somewhat inflated, but not more than 30 as the veterans simply aren’t very good too.

    41. Z-man

      I’m not sure Fizzy is the guy.

      I’m in full agreement with this.

      And I agree that it’s hard to win without excellent guard/wing play. But it’s also tough to win without rim protection, rebounding, 3-pt shooting and size, and we have those things. And there’s no way we can be anywhere near as bad at the guard/wing positions as we were last year.

      I think Payton is one of the most important players when it comes to winning. He seemed to play well when healthy last year. After the all-star break he averaged 12-7-10 per 36 in 32MPG with a great ast/tov ratio and a few triple-doubles. I don’t expect the shooting to improve all that much, but he’s a lot closer to being a decent starting PG than anything we had last year.

    42. Bruno Almeida

      @52

      I do like Payton more than most and I think he’s s positive impact, it’s just hard for me to see a guy like him impacting too much a team that still has few weapons. We have 2 reliable outside shooters but one is already injured, and the other one is expected to play 18-20 minutes at most at the 2, with Knox possibly being a 3rd one if he progresses from 3 (and Morris too if he keeps it up). Randle is pretty good scoring but he’s not necessarily good for spacing, specially considering he should be playing alongside Mitch… so the way I see it, what Payton brings to the table is hampered by the fact that the shooting is so unreliable outside of Randle, and his defense isn’t good. I can see a world in which the team overachieves, but even if it does the ceiling doesn’t seem to be too high.

    43. Z-man

      @53 Trier (39%), Dotson (37%) , Ellington (38%) , Portis (39%) and Morris (38%) were all respectable 3-pt shooters last year. Knox and Randle showed potential from 3 last year. If Bullock returns, he’s a career 39% shooter. The average team shot 35.5% from 3 last year; we shot 34% and were 27th. We should be pretty middling this year.

    44. JK47

      The average team shot 35.5% from 3 last year; we shot 34% and were 27th. We should be pretty middling this year.

      eFG% is the number the team really needs to improve on though, and some of the guys we acquired have decent 3pt percentages but not great eFG%. Like Bobby Portis, for instance. Shot .393 from 3pt but still had a well below average eFG%. Marcus Morris is another guy, shot well from 3pt last year and had a career-high eFG%, but that looks like an outlier season, it was 30 points above his career average. Trier is another one– great 3pt%, low eFG%.

      Payton, DSJ, Barrett, Trier, Morris, Knox, Ntilikina, Portis… those guys are all low eFG% players.

      Randle, Ellington, Bullock, Robinson, Gibson are high eFG% guys but only Randle brings lots of volume. Team is probably going to have a low eFG% with lots of shots taken by the guys in that first group.

    45. JK47

      true but they should rebound very well on the offensive end, meaning more PPP.

      Yeah that is one thing about this team, it should be a very strong rebounding team. The four frontcourt mainstays can all rebound: Mitch, Randle, Portis and Gibson all rack up lots of boards. Marcus Morris also had a big year rebounding last year, RJ is of course a big plus rebounder and Elfrid Payton is a plus rebounder for a PG. You could put out a totally plausible Payton-Barrett-Morris-Randle-Robinson lineup and do very well on the glass.

      The 2018-2019 Pistons followed this model, they were a crummy eFG% team (26th overall) that got lots of offensive rebounds (4th overall) and were league average in the other two of the Four Factors, and the end result was that they were the #21 offense. That seems like kind of a ceiling for what the Knicks offense could be. It’s going to be a similar bad eFG%/good offensive rebounding type of offense.

    46. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three.

      We should rebound fine, but with several very good rebounders on the court at the same time in some lineups, it would not shock me if their individual numbers are not up to their peak levels. There’s only so many potential rebounds.

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