Knicks Morning News (2022.01.24)

  • Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan will be paid at least $26.5 million per year under new MSG contract – The Athletic
    [theathletic.com] — Monday, January 24, 2022 7:04:30 AM

    Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan will be paid at least $26.5 million per year under new MSG contract  The Athletic

  • Knicks vs. Cavaliers prediction, odds, line: 2022 NBA picks, Jan. 24 best bets from model on 56-30 run – CBSSports.com
    [www.cbssports.com] — Monday, January 24, 2022 6:55:06 AM

    Knicks vs. Cavaliers prediction, odds, line: 2022 NBA picks, Jan. 24 best bets from model on 56-30 run  CBSSports.com

  • New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction & Match Preview – January 24th, 2022 | NBA Season 2021-22 – Sportskeeda
    [www.sportskeeda.com] — Monday, January 24, 2022 3:22:09 AM

    New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction & Match Preview – January 24th, 2022 | NBA Season 2021-22  Sportskeeda

  • Here’s What Mitchell Robinson Tweeted About His Injury – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Monday, January 24, 2022 12:38:40 AM

    Here’s What Mitchell Robinson Tweeted About His Injury  Sports Illustrated

  • Cam Reddish not likely to remain in Knicks’ rotation despite first cameo – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 10:15:00 PM

    Cam Reddish not likely to remain in Knicks’ rotation despite first cameo  New York Post Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau looking for opportunities to get Cam Reddish minutes  yahoo.comCam Reddish Official Status For Clippers-Knicks Game  Sports IllustratedKnicks News: Cam Reddish Recovered from Ankle Injury, Could Debut vs. Clippers  Bleacher ReportCam Reddish makes Knicks debut  Hoops HypeView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Ready or not, it’s time for RJ Barrett to carry the Knicks – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 9:38:00 PM

    Ready or not, it’s time for RJ Barrett to carry the Knicks  New York Post Here’s What Mitchell Robinson Tweeted About His Injury  Sports IllustratedKnicks takeaways from Sunday’s 110-102 win overs Clippers, including Cam Reddish’s debut  Yahoo SportsKnicks’ RJ Barrett, Julius Randle blast Clippers  New York Daily NewsKnicks 110, Clippers 102: Scenes from the total package from RJ Barrett  Posting and ToastingView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Here’s What Julius Randle Said After The Knicks Beat The Clippers – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 8:51:34 PM

    Here’s What Julius Randle Said After The Knicks Beat The Clippers  Sports IllustratedThis might be the New York Knicks most alarming issue  Daily KnicksJulius Randle, the New York Knicks and the burden of expectations  ESPNRJ Barrett, Julius Randle lead Knicks past Clippers to snap skid  New York Post This Knicks-Timberwolves Trade Features Julius Randle  NBA Analysis NetworkView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Zion Williamson: New York Knicks an attractive proposition for former NBA top pick, says Mo Mooncey – Sky Sports
    [www.skysports.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 8:06:48 PM

    Zion Williamson: New York Knicks an attractive proposition for former NBA top pick, says Mo Mooncey  Sky Sports

  • Knicks Go Sharp in Final Breeze Before Pegasus World Cup Defense – Horse Racing News – Paulick Report
    [www.paulickreport.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 4:00:00 PM

    Knicks Go Sharp in Final Breeze Before Pegasus World Cup Defense – Horse Racing News  Paulick Report

  • RJ Barrett, Julius Randle lead Knicks past Clippers to snap skid – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 3:39:00 PM

    RJ Barrett, Julius Randle lead Knicks past Clippers to snap skid  New York Post

  • N.Y. Knicks 110, L.A. Clippers 102 – The Advocate
    [www.stamfordadvocate.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 3:34:27 PM

    N.Y. Knicks 110, L.A. Clippers 102  The Advocate

  • N.Y. Knicks 110, L.A. Clippers 102 – CT Post
    [www.ctpost.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 3:31:13 PM

    N.Y. Knicks 110, L.A. Clippers 102  CT Post

  • The New York Knicks Have Waived A Player And Signed A Player – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 3:26:54 PM

    The New York Knicks Have Waived A Player And Signed A Player  Sports Illustrated

  • Knicks Go looking for one more flight in Pegasus – Wgnsradio
    [www.wgnsradio.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 3:01:45 PM

    Knicks Go looking for one more flight in Pegasus  Wgnsradio

  • Kemba Walker’s Status For Clippers-Knicks Game – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Sunday, January 23, 2022 12:59:34 PM

    Kemba Walker’s Status For Clippers-Knicks Game  Sports Illustrated

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    113 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2022.01.24)”

    1. That Atheltic piece is an interesting read. Dolan taking down 26.5 million to run the show – into the ground.

    2. Even with yesterday’s win, I think I’m ready to go full tank. But Thibs obviously is not, and I have no idea what Leon and company are thinking. This road trip is probably gonna be painful, but hopefully in a way that forces a realistic long-term assessment of this group.

    3. At minimum the FO needs to move at least a couple vets for picks or young players. There’s a logjam on the wing and in front of Deuce that needs clearing.

    4. Agreed, Early Bird. I am dubious about Reddish, but once you make that trade, you have to find out what you have in the guy. And the only ways Thibs will play him as much as he should are 1)injury to a player ahead of him in the rotation, or 2)Leon trading away a member or two of that rotation. Get a protected 1st for Burks, take your lumps with Quickley and Deuce at point guard until Rose returns, and give our newest player more than Cam-eos.

      (Thank you. I’ll be here all week!)

    5. Was doing a little research on what the lower first tier contenders did to get to where they are. Today’s teams were Utah and Denver and discovered this interesting fact. Both Rudy G and Donovan M were drafted by Denver and traded to Utah. Not sure what the moral of the story is other than neither team’s success had much to do with luck.

    6. I like this new version of Barrett, more involved as the fulcrum of the offense.
      He’ll have ups and downs but he’s going to learn, he looks more fluid and with a better BB-IQ than Randle.
      Yesterday he had a very good, well rounded game despite the shooting woes.

      I agree that the only way the FO can take to free playing time for the youngsters is to sell one or more of the veterans.
      I’m pretty sure Burks has market between the contenders and maybe he can land us a late first.
      On the other hand Noel is, when healty, kind of a safety blanket in case Mitch will sign elsewhere in the offseason…

    7. BernieEarnie:
      Was doing a little research on what the lower first tier contenders did to get to where they are.Today’s teams were Utah and Denver and discovered this interesting fact.Both Rudy G and Donovan M were drafted by Denver and traded to Utah.Not sure what the moral of the story is other than neither team’s success had much to do with luck.

      I think the moral is to be glad Walt Perrin is on our side now, and pray Leon Rose listens to him.

      I was going to bring this up anyways. If there’s any reason not to tank it should be Walt Perrin’s track record in Utah. By reputation he’s excellent at finding value in the draft. Not that we shouldn’t tank anyway, but that reassures me a little bit if we don’t.

      The franchise stars should be Walt Perrin, Brock Aller, and Kenny Payne. I don’t trust Leon Rose or Wes, but I do trust that trio.

    8. BernieEarnie: Both Rudy G and Donovan M were drafted by Denver and traded to Utah. Not sure what the moral of the story is other than neither team’s success had much to do with luck.

      Well, Denver drafted the reigning MVP and one of the 3 best players in the league with the 11th pick of the 2nd round. They got a little lucky.

    9. vincoug: Well, Denver drafted the reigning MVP and one of the 3 best players in the league with the 11th pick of the 2nd round. They got a little lucky.

      To me luck in the NBA is confined to beating your lottery odds. Everything else is in the “creating your own luck” realm. Dallas lucked into Luka when Sacramento whiffed, but still made the trade that a handful of other teams could have made. Philly lucked into a healthy Joel, but the Process allowed them to take that risk at no 3. And Denver lucked into Nicola, but had the flexibility and foresight to take a euro stash with the 41st pick.

    10. Three things Z-Man has been right about here:

      1) Frank Ntilikina was not a good point guard.
      2) Jeremy Lin was over-paid by Morey.
      3) Hubert was overserved last night.

    11. The money quote from the sky sports Zion article (on why he should come to MSG):

      “You see what the crowd does for Julius Randle, imagine what it could do for you – all you’ve got to do is get healthy.”

    12. I continue to think limiting discussion to what Leon Rose and/or Tom Thibodeau will “realistically” do is both boring and assumes a level of certainty we don’t have.

      Here’s a somewhat optimistic take: we don’t have enough data on the Rose regime to know for sure that they view an unlikely push for the 10th seed as worthwhile.

      Rose has only overseen a few developments. First, we had literally the most surprising season of all time from an O/U perspective in a year he probably intended to have a high lottery pick. He responded sensibly if sub-optimally. Then, it all went to shit. I don’t think his response to the first development tells us much about his future response to the second. So I will be holding out hope he recognizes a push for the 10th seed is the literal go-to example of a team on the treadmill of mediocrity, and responds accordingly.

    13. BernieEarnie: To me luck in the NBA is confined to beating your lottery odds.Everything else is in the “creating your own luck” realm.Dallas lucked into Luka when Sacramento whiffed, but still made the trade that a handful of other teams could have made.Philly lucked into a healthy Joel, but the Process allowed them to take that risk at no 3.And Denver lucked into Nicola, but had the flexibility and foresight to take a euro stash with the 41st pick.

      Sure, but they were still lucky. It’s not like they were the only team to take a Euro in the draft who didn’t come over right away. By my count, there were 5 other draft and stash guys taken ahead of Jokic: Saric, Bruno Caboclo, Capela, Bogdan, and Ingliss. Plus another guy taken ahead of him, DeAndre Daniels, who never played a single minute in the NBA. Every team in the league, including Denver who drafted Doug McDermott with their own 1st round pick, passed on Jokic; some multiple times. Any team could have reasonable drafted Jokic instead of Denver.

    14. Also re: our draft position not being the problem, it’s obviously true that we’ve made bad picks regardless of our position. Having said that, we’ve been picking in positions with no “can’t miss” types. We all had our preferred options to Ntilikina/Knox (though some people were actually pro-Ntilikina), but it’s not like there was some clear consensus–other teams passed on Mitchell, SGA, Bridges, etc. too.

      Yes, teams can whiff on even the highest of picks e.g. Josh Jackson and Marvin Bagley. But it’s a lot less likely and there will almost always be more “bust proof” prospects available.

      There’s plenty of luck required for a strategy that emphasizes the draft to succeed, but it’s arbitrary to point that out while ignoring the amount of luck required for different strategies to succeed. I would argue it actually takes more luck for non-draft strategies to succeed.

      At least the draft comes with certain guarantees–you get your one pick every year and it can only fall so much, and you can trade for more. “Hybrid” strategies require things like the Sixers foolishly letting Jimmy Butler walk, multiple teams passing on great players in the draft, etc. You cannot will these things into existence. You’re left completely at the mercy of other teams making mistakes even though all 30 teams spend a lot of money specifically to avoid mistakes. You have no control over any of this. It’s, by far, more of a wing and a prayer strategy than the draft.

    15. Is there a chance Randle already asked for a trade behind closed doors? If not, how can team realist and optimist justify this

      Steve Popper – “Knicks are huddled up in timeout, thibs jotting game plans. Julius was wandering around the court. Then went and talked with his family. Just a little strange.”

      and this

      d-mar:
      Not to be a downer on a pretty good day (so far) but after Obi’s dunk and RJ’s dunk, Randle was nowhere to be seen on the bench during the timeout celebration.
      I don’t know what’s going on with that dude, but it’s not good.

    16. Max: I like this new version of Barrett, more involved as the fulcrum of the offense.
      He’ll have ups and downs but he’s going to learn, he looks more fluid and with a better BB-IQ than Randle.

      I keep my stance, RJ and Randle are not compatible, we must choose one or the other. And it’s RJ we must choose, of course. This would be my first move, if i was Leon.

    17. @FredKatz
      The most updated Knicks’ injury report lists Mitchell Robinson (sprained left ankle) as QUESTIONABLE for tonight’s game in Cleveland. Kemba Walker (sore left knee) is also QUESTIONABLE.

      Nerlens Noel (sore left knee) is PROBABLE.

    18. The problem really is that I don’t think Randle has much trade value left. Trades are about perception and opportunity, and the perception of him right now is basically that he’s Tobias Harris who got hot for one season, with a big extension yet to kick in. If that’s true or not it’s another discussion altogether. I don’t think the types of packages being offered for Ben Simmons or Domantas Sabonis are getting offered for Randle right now.

      So if we do trade him right now, we might have to take a negative package for him, which is honestly fine for me as I’d rather tank and rebuild again anyway, but is very unlikely to happen. I just don’t know what could realistically be done with this team. It would be nice to have the Charlotte pick to package with Randle in a trade, but now we’ve traded that so Cam Reddish can get 5 minutes because our coach has to play Barrett Fournier and Burks a combined 100 minutes.

    19. I’ve defended Randle as far as the booing from the fans and such but will admit his demeanor and attitude all season has been bad and I really would like to know what the hell is going on with him. Those reports about the time outs, not cheering for his teammates…I mean last year this dude was all about the team and repping NYC and came into the season in amazing shape, etc. Is this really just a case of he got his and now he doesn’t care? Does he feel slighted by the team or the fans or is he threatened by RJ or Obi or someone else on the team?

      We can talk about his fit with RJ but so far, last year especially, it felt like they got along great. I don’t see them not getting along right now, but his overall attitude is garbage. What gives?

      I don’t think he is tradeable right now, at least not without us attaching assets to get rid of him. So we gotta figure it out.

    20. swiftandabundant: but will admit his demeanor and attitude all season has been bad and I really would like to know what the hell is going on with him

      No true Knicks fan would say this about his team’s star player.

    21. Usually I’m pro building through the draft (aka tanking) but 1-8 seems already out of reach this year and the Knicks are currently 12. What do you tank for, 10th? Makes no sense.

    22. Ingmarrrr:
      Usually I’m pro building through the draft (aka tanking) but 1-8 seems already out of reach this year and the Knicks are currently 12. What do you tank for, 10th? Makes no sense.

      We’re 2.5 games “behind” Portland and Portland has a 20% chance of moving into the top 4.

      Atlanta has a 14% chance of moving into the top 4. We’re 1.5 games behind Atlanta.

      We only have a 5.7% chance of moving up. By moving into 9th or 10th, we’d more than double or triple our chances of moving up.

      Numbers thanks to Tankathon as always

    23. No true Knicks fan would say this about his team’s star player.

      Nice one.

      If he is a Knick, I will root for him and I want him to play the best he can and also be the best teammate he can be as long as he is a Knick. He wasn’t this way at all last year, so I am genuinely curious what is going on with him. If it’s something team related, coach related, front office related, personal life related. It’s just odd to see someone turn so quickly with their attitude and it’s not like there were reports before he became a Knick of him being a bad teammate (that I am aware of). It seems like he has some chip on his shoulder about feeling slighted in some way and has checked out. Not a good look for him.

    24. cybersoze: I keep my stance, RJ and Randle are not compatible, we must choose one or the other. And it’s RJ we must choose, of course. This would be my first move, if i was Leon.

      This is an important question. I’d reframe it slightly to ask how do we change our strategy if RJ has a Darius Garland-esque breakout next year? Does that change who we’d want to keep this year? Can that push us into the top 6 East teams?

      I don’t think it should change our evaluations too much, but I’d give a slightly bigger edge to keeping Noel & Burks. I’d still trade Fournier who I don’t see fitting in either way.

      Randle is still a problem, but maybe you’re more apt to keep him as our best player (or 2nd best after Rose) to make a decent run of the season. More likely, you’ll want some actual value for Randle rather than a pure salary dump.

      Again, I don’t think this scenario should control your thinking. It may not change your view at all. But to me it’s a question worth posing, or at least a semi-entertaining diversion.

    25. not just overserved, Donnie. overserved and indignant bc I had placed a significant wager on a Rams Bills parlay that seemed like it was going to pay off in a huge way and then went up in smoke.

      Again, I’m sorry, Z-Man. You’ve been extra civil lately and I was out of line. But I do maintain playing Randle & Barrett 83 minutes is cray. I’m not against competing and making the playoffs. But I am against resorting to stuff like that just to get the 10th seed.

    26. d-mar:
      What’s the over/under on RJ shots blocked tonight?

      I’m going with 4

      I brought that issue up a couple of weeks ago. He has to do a better job of avoiding getting blocked. If he can just do that much, it will help his efficiency. It may take coming up with a few more clever moves around the basket, better body control, or just more self awareness about when a shot is not there, but it is a problem.

    27. the cavs have a pretty darn good defense, i’m guessing we don’t break 100 in today’s game…

      somehow or another we need to hold cleveland to around 90 points or so…tonight is gonna be a tough one…

    28. Milo and the Anonymities:
      the cavs have a pretty darn good defense, i’m guessing we don’t break 100 in today’s game…

      somehow or another we need to hold cleveland to around 90 points or so…tonight is gonna be a tough one…

      Hopefully Mitch & Noel can end their game of healthy musical chairs… or just add a 2nd chair.

    29. Early Bird: This is an important question. I’d reframe it slightly to ask how do we change our strategy if RJ has a Darius Garland-esque breakout next year? Does that change who we’d want to keep this year? Can that push us into the top 6 East teams?

      I think the dream that last season was a turning point and we were ready to compete has since then crashed to earth. So we must adjust the plan for the future, and given our roster right now we should switch to RJ as the focus and not Randle. We must operate as if RJ is going to have the Darius Garland-esque breakout and try to get the team more aligned with his timeline. And that’s why i think Randle is detrimental to RJ’s development, because Randle has to be the focal point of the offense and so RJ. And there is only one ball.

    30. This is an important question. I’d reframe it slightly to ask how do we change our strategy if RJ has a Darius Garland-esque breakout next year? Does that change who we’d want to keep this year? Can that push us into the top 6 East teams?

      This is a very good question. Even if this happens, I don’t think Burks and/or Noel are so valuable that we’d regret trading them for picks in this scenario. Maybe if the picks are super far out e.g. 2027 such that they can’t help us build around RJ anytime soon that would make a difference, but even then we could trade them for pieces that could help us do so sooner.

      Re: Randle, the question is would he willingly acquiesce to a situation in which RJ was the clear #1? I’m not so sure and probably lean no. I don’t think that’s some moral failing on his part–it’s an ethically neutral preference players have in terms of getting enjoyment out of playing basketball once they’re already assured they can get compensated handsomely to do so. So even though as far as talent is concerned Randle might be an intriguing 2nd option, I’d still want to trade him because I don’t think he’d play in a way that maximizes his value to a team led by RJ. It’s too bad, because his skillset at least theoretically lends itself well to that kind of role.

      This is a “problem” I hope we have to face!

    31. Hubert: But I do maintain playing Randle & Barrett 83 minutes is cray.

      It’s funny, that was the first game since I don’t know when that I wasn’t particularly bothered by Thibs’ rotation decisions, at least during the game. I think it was because for the first time since I don’t know when the starters were playing cohesively and relatively well with each other, not really forcing stuff or taking terrible shots.

      After the game I was pissed, of course. Because you’re right, Hubert, that’s not appropriate. But during the game there were very few “This ain’t working, Thibs, do something!” moments.

      Not at all a defense of Thibs (Where’s Deuce, dude), just an observation.

    32. IMO Thibs should almost immediately play Cam enough to find out whether he can part of the rotation now and replace Burks. He should also take a look at Cam at SF and RJ at SG to see if that can free us up to try to trade Fournier. If Cam proves himself, we can trade Burks for a pick without sacrificing wins and maybe even do something to address the PG situation.

      If he doesn’t do that much it will be his second mistake of the year (Kemba in the doghouse being the other).

    33. cybersoze: And that’s why i think Randle is detrimental to RJ’s development, because Randle has to be the focal point of the offense and so RJ. And there is only one ball.

      Just to be argumentative this morning, maybe. But yesterday was an interesting example of the Knicks having two somewhat complementary #2s. I mean, it worked, kind of. What’s unclear is if it was a momentary blip and whatever has made Randle deranged this season returns in force.

    34. I don’t think he is tradeable right now, at least not without us attaching assets to get rid of him. So we gotta figure it out.

      It’s entirely possible that this part of what is happening here. Whether it’s Thibs caring about short-term wins or Rose looking to trade Randle and actually get something back for him, the only real solution is for Julius to start playing better. Is playing the guy 40 minutes a night the solution? Damned if I know. It’s a mess.

    35. Raven: Not at all a defense of Thibs (Where’s Deuce, dude), just an observation.

      I think we all see what Deuce brings to the table defensively. He also had that one spectacular game and does well when dropped to the G league. But other than flashes, he has not shot the ball well. That’s less dangerous when a player doesn’t shoot much than it is when he has no fear like Deuce. I think he’ll get his minutes when he’s showing enough in practice to force himself in or when injuries warrant. When Grimes got a chance he showed enough and now he stuck.

    36. I’m more willing to give up Burks than Noel. To me, Noel is an elite defensive player. I’m not sure you can replace his defensive impact so easily. At the very least, keep Noel until next season as Mitch insurance (a prolonged healthy stretch would improve his trade value too).

    37. I don’t think there is anything about Randle’s skill set that means he has to be the number one option. In fact, I would argue the idea that certain players can only be the number one option bc of their skill set, is false. Its literally all about thier mindset and ability to accept the secondary role.

      Shaq and Kobe worked super well together as a 1/2 option because Shaq was clearly the number one option at first. Then they broke up because Kobe had ascended to the better player and Shaq couldn’t accept that. But then Shaq goes to Miami a little bit older and wiser and accepts the number two role to Dwade. Shaq’s skillset didn’t change (and neither did Kobe’s).

      Dwade was an alpha number one option and even in Miami’s first year with Lebron, he and Lebron were more equals. But they really succeeded once he took the secondary role to LEbron. And Bosh was a number one in Toronto but took the third option role.

      It’s all about if Randle WANTS to accept that role and that may be what is going on here. He may be unable to do so because he was clearly the number one option last year when RJ was just a sceond year player. But as RJ improves and gets better, the team may want him to assume that leader/number one option and Randle’s ego may not allow for him to step back. But it has nothing to do with skill set.

    38. Early Bird:
      I’m more willing to give up Burks than Noel. To me, Noel is an elite defensive player. I’m not sure you can replace his defensive impact so easily. At the very least, keep Noel until next season as Mitch insurance (a prolonged healthy stretch would improve his trade value too).

      We haven’t seen much of healthy Noel this year, but imo he was fairly critical to our good run last year. I like Mitch, but he’s also injury prone. I’d like to keep Noel, especially because I think Taj is finally slowing down.

    39. Hubert:
      not just overserved, Donnie. overserved and indignant bc I had placed a significant wager on a Rams Bills parlay that seemed like it was going to pay off in a huge way and then went up in smoke.

      Again, I’m sorry, Z-Man. You’ve been extra civil lately and I was out of line. But I do maintain playing Randle & Barrett 83 minutes is cray. I’m not against competing and making the playoffs. But I am against resorting to stuff like that just to get the 10th seed.

      No problem Hubert, it’s all good. Sorry about your bet, that was one crazy weekend of football, bets or no bets.

      As to the minutes, I don’t think it’s all that unusual for rugged young players like Randle and RJ to go for 40+ minutes in a hard-fought win. This is different than burning Rose or Kemba out, or going back, D’Antoni burning Amare, Chris Duhon and Jeremy “Ride him like Secretariat” Lin out. In fact, both of their minutes are down from last year. Julius is playing less MPG than LeBron and Durant, and RJ is 51st in mpg. Both guys seem very able to handle their current workload and the team needs them to play a lot and play well if they are going to make a run at a playoff spot. Let’s not forget that there is a difference in the seeding for the 7-10 spots…home court, winning one vs. two games…so clearly the goal will be to get the highest seed possible and Thibs is going to play RJ and Randle as much as he sees fit towards that end.

    40. If I were ruthlessly efficient, I’d trade Taj at the deadline or maybe even cut him to open up time for Sims. But (1) that’s never going to happen, (2) I like Taj too damn much, and (3) Thibs would refuse to play Sims out of spite anyway.

    41. Early Bird:
      If I were ruthlessly efficient, I’d trade Taj at the deadline or maybe even cut him to open up time for Sims. But (1) that’s never going to happen, (2) I like Taj too damn much, and (3) Thibs would refuse to play Sims out of spite anyway.

      I love me some Jericho but when I look around for highlights of the kid, its mostly him accomplishing some jumping feat… don’t get me wrong, I love that athleticism… but high-jumpers can jump high too… and they usually cant ball, except dunk, maybe, if they have big enough hands… Would love to see a little more bball along with all that jumping…

    42. Raven: Just to be argumentative this morning, maybe. But yesterday was an interesting example of the Knicks having two somewhat complementary #2s. I mean, it worked, kind of. What’s unclear is if it was a momentary blip and whatever has made Randle deranged this season returns in force.

      I agree. I liked how Randle played yesterday, and i said it in the game thread. If he can take a step back and let RJ be the man, then it’s on Thibs to make it work. But he must change the non playing stuff – not going to the timeout huddle, engaging with the fans, complaining to the refs – because that does nothing to winning or to fuel him to have a good game.

    43. Early Bird: If I were ruthlessly efficient, I’d trade Taj at the deadline or maybe even cut him to open up time for Sims. But (1) that’s never going to happen, (2) I like Taj too damn much, and (3) Thibs would refuse to play Sims out of spite anyway.

      Easy, just invite Taj to be an assistant coach. :)

    44. I’m guessing Obi is the one most likely to get dealt to make room for Cam. I wonder how much it would cost to get Haliburton in an Obi centered deal. Pretty much every other team has their PG needs filled so I dont think the market would be too crazy for him.

    45. I’d guess the team would be more likely to trade Burks if our PG need was filled in another trade.

    46. i’d be pretty happy with a lot less taj and more sims too…i don’t really see us breaking out and winning much more than 40 games and being around the play-in spots of 9 or 10…let’s get sims in there more…

    47. Z-man: As to the minutes, I don’t think it’s all that unusual for rugged young players like Randle and RJ to go for 40+ minutes in a hard-fought win. This is different than burning Rose or Kemba out, or going back, D’Antoni burning Amare, Chris Duhon and Jeremy “Ride him like Secretariat” Lin out. In fact, both of their minutes are down from last year.

      I should add Horny burning out KP to this list…

    48. It’s less about Sims and more about Taj. Taj is probably better than Sims right now, but Taj’s limitations are very apparent this year and he isn’t in the longterm plans, so Sims should get some burn.

    49. Considering how bad this team’s offense sucks, it sure is strange that Obi Toppin, one of the better offensive players on the team, is getting like 10 MPG. Obi has been improving and he’s one of the few efficient offensive players on the roster, and while he is not a great or even good defender, he’s not horrible either. It’s not a great look for Thibs that he can’t find more minutes for Obi.

    50. Considering how bad this team’s offense sucks, it sure is strange that Obi Toppin, one of the better offensive players on the team, is getting like 10 MPG. Obi has been improving and he’s one of the few efficient offensive players on the roster, and while he is not a great or even good defender, he’s not horrible either. It’s not a great look for Thibs that he can’t find more minutes for Obi.

      But then how would we play the guy with the .510 TS% 36 minutes every night?

    51. I want Obi to play more, absolutely. But Obi still remains a pretty limited offensive player who heavily relies on a PG to get him the ball. It’s not a coincidence that his numbers and playing time dipped the moment DRose got hurt.

      And the Kings have made clear they don’t want to trade Hali in a deal for Ben freaking Simmons. The amount we’d have to add to Obi in order to pry him loose is incredibly high. (And of course never forget that we could’ve just drafted the guy.)

    52. I’m taking it as a positive that Randle forced double teams last night. To my admittedly flawed recollection, opponents usually hedge and don’t commit. It’s been awhile since Randle has seen actual doubles, hopefully he adjusts appropriately if it continues.

    53. Early Bird: We’re 2.5 games “behind” Portland and Portland has a 20% chance of moving into the top 4.

      Atlanta has a 14% chance of moving into the top 4. We’re 1.5 games behind Atlanta.

      We only have a 5.7% chance of moving up. By moving into 9th or 10th, we’d more than double or triple our chances of moving up.

      But that’s not the whole story. These other teams have a strategy too so you have to believe Atlanta and Portland and a couple of other teams can make a similar decision and “soft tank” better than you. So the improved chances you’d forecast is lesser than 5.7 vs 20 or 14. Then you also have the personnel that you do and you know Thibs and probably RJ, and the other young players who need to prove themselves won’t cooperate and fight hard to win those games towards the end of the season when some teams rest their best players because their spot is already secured.

      So what then? Do you go harder to the bottom? Break everything? It doesn’t seem like a solid strategy.

      (just making sure it’s clear none of this is meant to say anything against playing the rookies, 2nd and 3rd year players as much as possible.)

    54. JK47:
      Considering how bad this team’s offense sucks, it sure is strange that Obi Toppin, one of the better offensive players on the team, is getting like 10 MPG. Obi has been improving and he’s one of the few efficient offensive players on the roster, and while he is not a great or even good defender, he’s not horrible either. It’s not a great look for Thibs that he can’t find more minutes for Obi.

      He’s very good and efficient at finishing and dunking. The problem is you only get so many of those opportunities per game, especially against good defensive NBA teams with good scouting trying to take away your strengths. That’s not to diminish him. There’s a role for energy guys off the bench. He could also start if we had a lot fire power in the starting lineup and a good PG, but to say he’s a good offensive player is stretching it.

    55. Ingmarrrr: But that’s not the whole story. These other teams have a strategy too so you have to believe Atlanta and Portland and a couple of other teams can make a similar decision and “soft tank” better than you. So the improved chances you’d forecast is lesser than 5.7 vs 20 or 14. Then you also have the personnel that you do and you know Thibs and probably RJ, and the other young players who need to prove themselves won’t cooperate and fight hard to win those games towards the end of the season when some teams rest their best players because their spot is already secured.

      So what then? Do you go harder to the bottom? Break everything? It doesn’t seem like a solid strategy.

      (just making sure it’s clear none of this is meant to say anything against playing the rookies, 2nd and 3rd year players as much as possible.)

      Yeah, it may not happen. But if done, I do think those increased percentages would be worth it.

      Fwiw, we have the 2nd toughest schedule remaining and ATL & POR are in the top 5 easiest schedules remaining. It may happen without us trying!!

      POR has 9 games remaining against ORL, DET, OKC & HOU. I don’t care how hard they tank, good luck losing out against those squads, lol!!!

    56. I should add Horny burning out KP to this list…

      Goddmann Horny. I totally forgot about that shit. Grrr.

    57. The 83 minutes didn’t bother me because of burnout risk. It bothered me because it’s just a cheap trick to squeeze out a win. The Clippers are ravaged with injuries and they still played 11 guys yesterday. 9 of the 11 guys played at least 15 minutes and no more than 29. And we had to go the whip on Randle and RJ to beat them. It’s just unimpressive.

    58. On the podcast, Gozlan also explores a possible Brunson trade to the New York Knicks that gets the Mavs their 2023 pick back and possibly Mitchell Robinson. His theory is that this would help the Mavs overcome the NBA’s Stepien Rule restrictions that is preventing them from trading any first-round picks before 2025. Doing this particular deal with New York could allow the Mavs to trade their 2022 and 2024 first-round picks in a bigger deal if the opportunity arrises. Brunson’s connection with the Knicks is something we’ve covered extensively at DallasBasketball.com.

      Well, let’s hope the Mavs decide to go all in this trade deadline and need the 2023 pick back. The pick and Mitch for Brunson sound fantastic to me.

    59. Looks like DallasBasketball.com doesn’t understand the Stepien rule. The Mavs didn’t have a pick in 2021 (it was owned by the Knicks as we know), so with this trade they’ll be allowed to trade 2023 and 2025. But the main point stands, to get the earliest picks they can to facilitate a deal. A lot of teams don’t want picks 4 or more years from now. And with the protections on the 2023 pick being top-10 protected in 2023, 2024 and 2025, they can’t trade a first earlier than 2027 (those guys assumed the Mavs will not be top-10 in the draft in 2023 and the pick is conveyed, but for trade purposes we can’t assume that).

    60. Interesting fact about the Stepien rule, cyber: It does not look backwards. Dallas Basketball got that right.

    61. “The Mavericks might need to trade Brunson and Finney-Smith because they’re going to be free agents, so I know, how about they trade Brunson for…an impending free agent!”

      The idea of trying to get back their 2023 pick makes sense, trading a guy you love because you’re afraid of him as a free agent and dealing him for another impending free agent doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think Gozlan thought that one through.

    62. I’m well aware of Obi’s limitations, but he was a recent lottery pick and there are some things he can do, so if the coach can’t figure out a way to deploy him unless Derrick Rose is playing… I mean that’s kind of on the coach. Come up with SOMETHING to get this talented player involved in the offense.

      If it’s really the case that Obi can only see significant floor time if he has an elite PG feeding him the ball, that seems like a pretty terrible pick, especially considering Obi’s age. I actually don’t believe that, I believe that there has to be some way to get Obi going but Thibs just can’t coach and gameplan offense.

    63. JK47:
      I’m well aware of Obi’s limitations, but he was a recent lottery pick and there are some things he can do, so if the coach can’t figure out a way to deploy him unless Derrick Rose is playing… I mean that’s kind of on the coach. Come up with SOMETHING to get this talented player involved in the offense.

      If it’s really the case that Obi can only see significant floor time if he has an elite PG feeding him the ball, that seems like a pretty terrible pick, especially considering Obi’s age. I actually don’t believe that, I believe that there has to be some way to get Obi going but Thibs just can’t coach and gameplan offense.

      Sometimes Thibs’s rotations seem (diabolically) designed to find out as little as possible about our young players.

    64. At Dayton Obi created shots for himself all the time. Only 69% (nice) of his shots at the rim and 57% of his other 2PT FGs were assisted. I don’t know of any dataset that would say exactly what these shots looked like, but my recollection is that there a lot of post ups and drives from the top of the key.

      Obviously, this does not mean he could do these things in the NBA. It would be a huge waste of the 8th pick to use it on him and then never try to find out though. Personally I think he’s got more in his “bag” than he’s shown and he’s intentionally limited himself on offense because he knows he’s on a very short leash and doesn’t want his 9 minutes of playing time to turn into 5.

    65. So if we do trade him right now, we might have to take a negative package for him, which is honestly fine for me as I’d rather tank and rebuild again anyway, but is very unlikely to happen

      This is why the Russ trade is good, you don’t even have to tank next year.

    66. At Dayton Obi created shots for himself all the time. Only 69% (nice) of his shots at the rim and 57% of his other 2PT FGs were assisted. I don’t know of any dataset that would say exactly what these shots looked like, but my recollection is that there a lot of post ups and drives from the top of the key.

      At Dayton, Obi was a man among boys in a small conference playing center most of the time. He could easily dominate on most nights with his athleticism and quickness. In the NBA, he is not a center, at least not full time.

    67. swiftandabundant: At Dayton, Obi was a man among boys in a small conference playing center most of the time. He could easily dominate on most nights with his athleticism and quickness. In the NBA, he is not a center, at least not full time.

      This is true, but I find it hard to believe he’s a complete scrub if he doesn’t have Derrick Rose feeding him the ball. If that’s true, that was a busted pick.

    68. Nice Mike Beasley interview on Hoopshype now. We should bring him back for the rest of this absurd season just for kicks. Hell, he’s definitely a better end-of-clock option than Randle, and he seems like a good guy. I hope he at least gets a chance somewhere.

    69. Obi was doing fine this year before the backup quarterback bullshit. Plus, he’s stuck on a team that plays at a constipated pace — last in the association the entire time since he’s walked in the door.

      He could easily play small ball 5 in the NBA; he’s just stuck with a primitive and uncreative coach who doesn’t like young players.

    70. Hubert: Interesting fact about the Stepien rule, cyber: It does not look backwards. Dallas Basketball got that right.

      What do you mean? Dallas didn’t pick in 2021 so they must pick in 2022. They can’t trade that pick.

    71. That’s not correct, Cyber. Once a draft ends, the Stepien rule no longer applies to it. The Mavs couldn’t trade their 2022 pick BEFORE the 2021 draft, and they can’t trade it now because they don’t own their 2023 pick. But if we give them back that pick, then they can trade some combo of 2022 through 2027 to get any player they can.

    72. Obi was doing fine this year before the backup quarterback bullshit

      This is what I don’t get. You rail against RAndle being mentally soft for not being able to take boo’s reigning down on him while he plays but are clamoring for Obi to get way more minutes when his play has been cratered (according to your theory) by one offhand comment made by the coach.

      I mean, if Obi is so good, shouldn’t he brush off that comment? That comment was not this horrible insult to Obi that you make it out to be. All Thibs was pointing out was that fans always want the guy who isn’t playing to play more because the grass is always greener in their eyes when the team is struggling.

      So either that comment isn’t to blame for Ob playing worse and it’s something way more logical, like him not playing with a PG like Rose who has been able to get the most out of him or Obi is so mentally soft that one offhanded comment has cratered his play and yet this is the guy you think should get way more minutes.

      IT doesn’t really make sense when you actually stop with your agenda.

      Also, a quick look at his stats will show you that Obi started playing poorly after Rose went down on December 16th. Thibs made his comments more than 2 weeks later. What accounts for those 2 weeks in between? I guess OBi knew thibs was about to say something mean!

    73. Dallas does need help on the wing, and they need 3pt shooting. KP, Doncic, THJr, Bullock, and Brunson have all been pretty terrible from 3.

      It’d make sense to center a package around Fournier or Burks. If you want to get really wild, trade Randle for THJr. They have the same number of years on their contracts, but THJr’s deal declines and Randle’s is about to jump. (It doesn’t help their shooting but maybe they think Randle will up their ORTG anyway).

      Fournier or Burks for Bullock & Trey Burke works in the trade machine. Burke doesn’t appear to be in the rotation and Bullock is shooting 31% from 3. Lift the protections off the 1st and add whatever you consider fair pick compensatton.

      Dallas also has a TPE they can use to absorb Burks if needed to make a deal work.

    74. Alan: That’s not correct, Cyber. Once a draft ends, the Stepien rule no longer applies to it. The Mavs couldn’t trade their 2022 pick BEFORE the 2021 draft, and they can’t trade it now because they don’t own their 2023 pick. But if we give them back that pick, then they can trade some combo of 2022 through 2027 to get any player they can.

      Ok, looks like i was wrong. But it’s common for teams to trade the picks and don’t pick in consecutive drafts?

    75. cybersoze: Ok, looks like i was wrong. But it’s common for teams to trade the picks and don’t pick in consecutive drafts?

      Yeah, contenders do it all the time.

    76. Usually a contender will have already traded every other pick as far out as they can. So sometimes you don’t see it because the pick after that season has already been traded, just like Dallas being barred from trading 2022 because they already traded 2023.

    77. I don’t think Obi at the 5 is Thib’s style. He likes rim protectors and guys that can defend the P&R at C. Defense is not one of Obi’s strengths. I don’t think he’s going to blow up the defense very often just to get Obi a few extra looks. He’s also not going to post him up very often as a PF if he has a mismatch given Mitch and Nerlens at C would cause some spacing issues. He might be better with a guy like Turner. It’s on Obi to develop more of an outside shot (especially a 3 point shot) to expand his usage. Right now he’s an energy guy off the bench. That’s a useful role while he’s trying to expand his game.

    78. Yeah, my first suspect was Morey, so with a quick search i found out the Rockets didn’t pick in the first round between 2016 and 2020. 5 consecutive drafts. Oof.

    79. Btw, at least i got right that the Mavs can’t trade picks earlier than 2027 because of the protections (our pick can be in 2023, 2024 or 2025), or did i also got that wrong?

    80. Dallas does need help on the wing, and they need 3pt shooting. KP, Doncic, THJr, Bullock, and Brunson have all been pretty terrible from 3.

      I don’t think any of that is likely to be sustained over the second half other than maybe THjr.

      I’m not saying they don’t want to make deals, but all those guys are shooting well below their long term averages. A little may be the offense they are running and I know Cuban has been complaining about the new NBA ball impacting some of his players (they track practice data also). But I can’t believe they’ll remain that bad, They are going to get rolling eventually if they stay healthy.

    81. Deeefense!!: It’s on Obi to develop more of an outside shot (especially a 3 point shot) to expand his usage.

      What’s weird is that Obi was over 40% from three his last year in Dayton. I know it’s a college 3, but somehow between college and his first year he broke it (remember those lunatic first-year moon balls?).

    82. Dallas could definitely stand to make some trades, but it isn’t going to be their starting point guard.

    83. All of the explanations for why Obi is not getting minutes are perfectly rational, but it does beg the question of why the fuck they drafted him if he’s not Thibs’ kind of player. It sure makes it seem like there is no grand strategy happening here. The guy blocking him is stinking out the joint pretty bad on a regular basis while giving off bad attitude vibes to boot.

      Man, is this team annoying. This is far from the worst Knick team we’ve seen here in recent years, but to me it’s one of the most frustrating. There are decent pieces but they just do not fit.

    84. At Dayton, Obi was a man among boys in a small conference playing center most of the time. He could easily dominate on most nights with his athleticism and quickness. In the NBA, he is not a center, at least not full time.

      Which is why I said “Obviously, this does not mean he could do these things in the NBA.” I will say I find it a bit hard to believe that in college he could be a highly skilled offensive dynamo while in the NBA he can just run and dunk, and I think he’s shown some flashes of creation ability in the NBA. I personally think he limits himself to an extent for the reasons I already mentioned, but I have no way of proving this so if you disagree that’s all well and good.

      In any event, whether Obi really is super limited or not doesn’t have much bearing on my opinion that playing Randle 36+ minutes every night during a season in which he’s been one of the worst players in the NBA is a bad idea.

    85. Brian Cronin:
      “The Mavericks might need to trade Brunson and Finney-Smith because they’re going to be free agents, so I know, how about they trade Brunson for…an impending free agent!”

      The idea of trying to get back their 2023 pick makes sense, trading a guy you love because you’re afraid of him as a free agent and dealing him for another impending free agent doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think Gozlan thought that one through.

      I’m not even sure I would like that deal given that Nerlens is having chronic knee issues this year, but how about if they are willing to extend Mitch for his market value but not willing to extend Brunson for his? There’s likely to be a pretty big dollar difference.

      If they could pull off that deal with NY and also trade for Smart they’d be solving quite a few problems. They’d have their interior defense set with Mitch at C, KP providing help D from the PF spot, and KP available to play some C. KP gives space to Mitch and a Doncic/Mitch P&R sounds pretty scary to me. Smart becomes the secondary ballhandler and playmaker and upgrades the defense further.

      NY finally gets their PG

      I’m not sure what Boston gets but if I understand it Dallas could then throw picks into the mix.

    86. I think he’s shown some flashes of creation ability in the NBA.

      I agree. His handle is better this year, but I don’t think shot creation from the outside is a weapon yet. Obviously, a lot of us wanted Hali. So this pick doesn’t exactly look all that great, but he’s at least improving and had a role now.

    87. Dallas could definitely stand to make some trades, but it isn’t going to be their starting point guard.

      Yeah, the offseason is a separate question (still think they’ll do what it takes to keep him) but there is not going to be a midseason trade in which a fringe contender trades its 2nd or 3rd best player for future assets.

      Man, is this team annoying. This is far from the worst Knick team we’ve seen here in recent years, but to me it’s one of the most frustrating. There are decent pieces but they just do not fit.

      I think in the past, everything was such a shit show all you could really do was sit back and laugh. It wasn’t really possible to have strong opinions about what the team should do besides broad things like “fire Phil Jackson” because the team was a mess from top to bottom. The situation didn’t necessarily lend itself to frustration.

      The Rose regime has given us a few tastes of competence and it makes us want more. Like c’mon, you guys did the Ed Davis trade! You must know it’s not wise to play Julius Randle 40 minutes a night, or to play Taj Gibson at all in 2022, or to incinerate picks.

    88. All of the explanations for why Obi is not getting minutes are perfectly rational, but it does beg the question of why the fuck they drafted him if he’s not Thibs’ kind of player.

      They drafted him because they didn’t expect to be a top 4 playoff seed, and did not expect Julius Randle to be on the team past that season, either as a free agent or as an expiring contract at the trade deadline. Instead, Randle was second team All-NBA, Thibs rode him like friggin’ Secretariat (tm Pringles), and Obi hasn’t gotten a lot of run.

      Honestly, if all our big men were ever healthy at the same time, I might suggest sending Obi to Westchester at least for a few games and let Taj and/or Reddish take the backup PF minutes.

    89. I’m not even sure I would like that deal given that Nerlens is having chronic knee issues this year, but how about if they are willing to extend Mitch for his market value but not willing to extend Brunson for his?

      I don’t think the difference between the two salaries is enough to get them under the luxury cap if they re-sign both Mitch and Finney-Smith and so if they want to dump THJ to get under, they’d be able to afford Brunson, too.

    90. @SBondyNYDN
      Kemba Walker is playing, according to Thibodeau. Mitchell Robinson is a game time decision.

      Well, Point Burks is bad, but Kemba turning RJ into a bystander to the offense also isn’t great.

    91. I do agree with JK about the coach/FO disconnect.

      Thibs and Rose clearly know each other very well and undoubtedly talk frequently. So why draft a supposed no-D rim runner for a coach who wants to play at the league’s slowest pace? Hali would’ve be a great fit for that, albeit at SG.

      I know the team probably thought Randle was a goner at that point AND had their hearts set on Quickley later in the draft, but it does make you wonder if they were on the same page there.

      This year, it seems like Thibs essentially made the draft picks himself, at least with Grimes/Deuce/Sims. Yet free agency felt like a real miscommunication.

      Maybe Reddish was to make up for Fournier who, until recently, has been a terrible defender? And it’s starting to seem likely that Kemba will be traded. So idk, maybe they are slowly “getting” on the same page, but it probably should’ve happened earlier.

    92. ***I find it a bit hard to believe that in college he could be a highly skilled offensive dynamo while in the NBA he can just run and dunk***

      Guys like Tyler Hansbrough, Doug McDermott, Lionel “The L Train” Simmons, are all-time college scoring leaders yet found themselves limited in the NBA (not to mention Chris Clemons, Mike Daum, Alphonso Ford, and most of the the other top-15 players who never even had one side of success at the top level).

    93. I’m not even sure I would like that deal given that Nerlens is having chronic knee issues this year, but how about if they are willing to extend Mitch for his market value but not willing to extend Brunson for his? There’s likely to be a pretty big dollar difference.

      How about this scenario?

      Mitch and a pick go to Dallas. NY gets Brunson (I’m not sure I like this). Dallas also trades for Smart.

      That leaves NY finally settled at PG, but in a precarious position at C given Nerlens has chronic knee issues.

      One way to resolve that is to also trade for Turner. That would require we empty the cupboard of some of our own 1st round picks and give up a young player.

      The starting lineup would be Turner, Randle, RJ, Fournier, and Brunson with Cam a possible wildcard to replace Fournier. Spacing is no longer an issue for Randle/RJ, PG is no longer an issue.

      The problem is the cupboard would be bare of picks, a few people here might have a stroke, and despite all the young players and upside, we may not be good enough even in a few years. :-)

    94. Btw, at least i got right that the Mavs can’t trade picks earlier than 2027 because of the protections (our pick can be in 2023, 2024 or 2025), or did i also got that wrong?

      they can trade a pick contingently as “first available” such that it becomes 2025 if 23 conveys

    95. I agree. His handle is better this year,

      barely. still a big problem for him if he want to attack close outs like john collins. of course he also has to make them want to close out in the first place.

    96. I know the team probably thought Randle was a goner at that point AND had their hearts set on Quickley later in the draft, but it does make you wonder if they were on the same page there.

      I think that may be the key.

      Going into last year they assumed that Randle was going to be traded (a lot of us did). So they were looking for a replacement at PF and a starting PG in the draft. Hali didn’t really didn’t look like a starting PG at that point. He looked more like another combo guard (albeit possibly a very good one). They also weren’t too concerned about making the playoffs last year. So if it took time for Obi to develop, no big deal. Then Randle had a breakout year, the team outperformed, and everything changed. Now they have extended Randle. That would not be too bad except Randle reverted back to his former self (possibly worse), he’s blocking Obi, and Hali seems to be more of a PG than most imagined.

    97. Guys like Tyler Hansbrough, Doug McDermott, Lionel “The L Train” Simmons, are all-time college scoring leaders yet found themselves limited in the NBA (not to mention Chris Clemons, Mike Daum, Alphonso Ford, and most of the the other top-15 players who never even had one side of success at the top level).

      The only people on this list I’ve even heard of are Hansbrough and OAKOAK Doug McDermott, but in those cases it was well-known they’d be much more limited in the NBA for a variety of reasons.

      Toppin was briefly in conversations for the number one overall pick due to how well people thought his offense would translate, and him falling to 8 was regarded as a surprise (recall that we were worried we’d trade up to 5 or so for him).

      There are always scores of NCAA guys who put up huge numbers that obviously won’t translate. I don’t think Obi is in that category.

    98. The Rose regime has given us a few tastes of competence and it makes us want more. Like c’mon, you guys did the Ed Davis trade!

      My sense is that Rose has great relationships with most front offices, so he probably gets a lot of calls. The trades that are uncharacteristicly good are probably offers from other teams that he just the good sense to accept.

      The trade with OKC, for example, when we got the 34 & 36 for the 32. That was most likely Sam Presti’s idea, and that’s why we got good value.

      When Leon is the initiator, though, we see things like him trying to package 3 picks to move up and take Obi Toppin.

    99. Thanks for that link on the Clyde story cyber – very entertaining and informative

      Love his quote on the 1970 finals game 7:

      Given the stakes, it’s one of the greatest performances in NBA history.
      “Willis provided the inspiration,” Frazier said once. “And, in a way, I provided the devastation.”

      My favorite player of all time, I had his poster hanging in bedroom as a kid growing up In Jericho on Long Island.

    100. @AmNotEvan
      No Jarrett Allen sighting yet for the #Cavs during warmups prior to tonight’s game against the Knicks.

      Allen was considered a game-time decision due to a non-COVID-related illness.

    101. That’s big. The Cavs are already missing Lauri Markkanen, so this is great for the Knicks.

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