Knicks Morning News (2022.07.04)

  • Examining Leon Rose’s offseason work to improve Knicks roster – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Monday, July 4, 2022 12:05:00 AM

    Examining Leon Rose’s offseason work to improve Knicks roster  New York Post ‘Player of Significance’: Jeff Van Gundy Praises Knicks Signing Jalen Brunson  Sports IllustratedAgents – New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson agree to 4-year, $104M deal  ESPNNBA players shower praise on Jalen Brunson after Knicks free agency signing  Daily KnicksJalen Brunson To Sign Four-Year Contract With Knicks  hoopsrumors.comView Full Coverage on Google News

  • New NBA Free Agency Predictions and Landing Spots – Bleacher Report
    [bleacherreport.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 10:08:42 PM

    New NBA Free Agency Predictions and Landing Spots  Bleacher Report

  • Mavs news: Dallas decide on former lottery pick after losing Jalen Brunson – ClutchPoints
    [clutchpoints.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 8:23:32 PM

    Mavs news: Dallas decide on former lottery pick after losing Jalen Brunson  ClutchPoints

  • Adding salt to the wound, Knicks unknowingly facilitated Hawks trade for Dejounte Murray – sportstalkatl.com
    [www.sportstalkatl.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 8:22:51 PM

    Adding salt to the wound, Knicks unknowingly facilitated Hawks trade for Dejounte Murray  sportstalkatl.com

  • Carmelo Anthony’s Viral Tweet With 4 Photos – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 8:13:48 PM

    Carmelo Anthony’s Viral Tweet With 4 Photos  Sports Illustrated

  • Burna Boy Is Selling Out Madison Square Garden Faster Than The Knicks – Barstool Sports
    [www.barstoolsports.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 7:40:23 PM

    Burna Boy Is Selling Out Madison Square Garden Faster Than The Knicks  Barstool Sports

  • Los Angeles Clippers Star Signs With The New York Knicks – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 12:57:45 PM

    Los Angeles Clippers Star Signs With The New York Knicks  Sports IllustratedNew York Knicks keeping Mitchell Robinson after agreeing to four-year, $60M deal, agents say  ESPNReports: Mitchell Robinson, Knicks reach agreement on 4-year deal  NBA.comP&T Round(ball) Table: Are the Knicks a playoff team after their free agent spending spree?  Posting and Toasting3 Knicks players that will benefit from the Isaiah Hartenstein free agency signing  Daily KnicksView Full Coverage on Google News

  • The Knicks’ 2022 Summer League roster dropped – Posting and Toasting
    [www.postingandtoasting.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 12:26:52 PM

    The Knicks’ 2022 Summer League roster dropped  Posting and Toasting

  • Two historic Yankees paces, Knicks head-scratching moves and country music star duo, Maddie & Tae, join the show! – WNYT
    [wnyt.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 10:25:03 AM

    Two historic Yankees paces, Knicks head-scratching moves and country music star duo, Maddie & Tae, join the show!  WNYT

  • NBA Trade: 3-team trade lands Donovan Mitchell on New York Knicks – Hoops Habit
    [hoopshabit.com] — Sunday, July 3, 2022 8:00:00 AM

    NBA Trade: 3-team trade lands Donovan Mitchell on New York Knicks  Hoops Habit

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    99 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2022.07.04)”

    1. Happy 4th everyone!

      I know that lots of folks are happy (even ecstatic) about the Mitch signing. I’m pretty neutral (always have been) and while it’s nice to have continuity, I don’t see why the FO felt compelled to pay him more than he could have gotten anywhere else. Once DET left the market, where was Mitch going to get 4/$60? To me, the obvious answer is nowhere and it’s pretty clear that we bidded against ourselves and paid Mitch like a RFA rather than his actual market value, similar to the way Mills was prone to doing. Even if you think that Mitch is worth the money, maybe even more, it doesn’t seem like a savvy move, or a necessary one.

      I’ve consistently repeated what some analysts suggested: we could get 80% of Mitch’s production at C for 20% of the cost. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but didn’t we just prove that? I’m not sure that Hartenstein isn’t the better all-around player, but he’s certainly close by the numbers and we easily signed him for 53% of the cost of Mitch’s deal. And overpaying Mitch AFTER signing Hart seems odd.

      It also makes it less likely that Obi and Julius will ever share the floor for significant minutes.

      I don’t care all that much about it because the salary cap increases over the next 4 years suggest that his actual % of the cap will be roughly 10% over the life of the deal. And to be fair, I’m basing that on the assumption that Mitch is who he is and continues to clank FTs, only score within 3ft, is overrated as a team defender, and is somewhat injury and foul prone over the life of the deal. Even modest improvements will help to justify the premium paid for him. Personally I think he’s a finished product, but again, it’s not that big of a deal either way.

    2. Happy 4th of July! :)
      About free agency / trade season, after two busy days i guess now we’re waiting on the major dominoes (KD, Kyrie, Donovan?) to fall.

    3. Caleb martin, jaesean tate, and Isaiah Roby are all cheap names we should look into.

    4. I think Mitch could be dealt at some point if Hartenstein proves hes able to handle a more expanded role. Hart will get plenty of opportunities when Mitch has his weekly near season ending fall and Sims looks like he can be a viable backup.

      IQ getting supressed by Brunson and Rose will be frustrating but getting Obi more minutes should be our top priority. Thibs isn’t gonna play Randle 30 mins and Obi 18(even thats too little) so its up to the Front office to clear that room. Having both of them on the roster on opening night would be a failure if Randle isnt moved shortly after.

    5. It is kind of exasperating that, regardless of the things this FO has done well, we are here in year 3 still talking about how they have to save the coach from himself. There are things Thibs is really good at, but if you are a professional coach who will not play the right players the right amount of minutes unless you have all of your security blankets taken away… that is bad.

    6. A couple days ago, I asked why are the Dubs adding all these perimeter players. I think I know why- they can put a great package together for KD and not lose all of their perimeter depth. They can send Wiseman, Wiggins, Poole, and Kuminga(if they need to) and still be ok on perimeter depth and draft picks. Would they though? They could theoretically win the next couple of chips, have Dray, KD, Steph, and Klay retire afterwards and start all over again with young talent such as Moody and Kuminga(if they don’t include him in the deal).

    7. “KevinR
      July 4, 2022 at 10:12 am
      I think Mitch could be dealt at some point if Hartenstein proves hes able to handle a more expanded role.”

      Anyone could be dealt, but he would have to improve at least somewhat to be an asset on this contract. The Hartenstein signing kind of confirms that there are nearly always cheaper options for a rim-running shot-blocker.

      If Mitch could just get his FT% up in the 60’s that would be a huge plus. It’s hard to believe that he has actually gotten worse every year. That was the most irksome thing about him, it shows a complete lack of understanding of or commitment to the simple concepts of shooting mechanics and arc.

    8. “Alan
      July 4, 2022 at 10:21 am
      It is kind of exasperating that, regardless of the things this FO has done well, we are here in year 3 still talking about how they have to save the coach from himself. There are things Thibs is really good at, but if you are a professional coach who will not play the right players the right amount of minutes unless you have all of your security blankets taken away… that is bad.”

      Very true, but that’s the case with the Thibs’s and D’Antoni’s of the world. And that’s part of the learning curve for Leon. He shouldn’t defer to Thibs on anything anymore. He should tell Thibs, “He Tom, I love ya buddy, nice job in 2020-21, but you have to figure out a way to play the kids more. We’re not winning a title this year anyway, so I’m cool with losing a few extra games on the backs of Obi, IQ, Grimes, Cam, Sims and Deuce. It’s a stacked draft, so winning doesn’t matter as much. Are you good with that? If not, let me know and we’ll go in another direction. Don’t worry, we’ll help you land a better opportunity for what you’re looking for. Love ya buddy!”

    9. My guess is that the $60M isn’t all guaranteed and/or the 4th year isn’t fully guaranteed.

      Regardless, I do agree that the price is higher than I thought. Still, re-signing him over letting him walk for nothing (or nominal S&T value) was an easy call. It seems like the “you don’t need a center anymore” tide is shifting a bit, and I think a reasonably healthy Mitch remains tradable on a dime. As limited as he is, he’s genuinely elite in multiple areas even if he doesn’t improve one iota. Paying that guy $15M with a $122M cap is not going to be what does us in.

      Re: having multiple good players at every position, as Bruno mentioned Randle was not good last year. In fact he was one of the worst players in the NBA. I assume he’ll improve on that because it would be hard not to, but it’s anyone’s guess.

      Also, while obviously in an ideal world teams want multiple good players at every position, in the real world with salary caps, zero-sum minutes allocations, etc. I actually think it’s pretty inefficient to have two “good” PFs while having one of the worst wing corps in the league. Put another way, Randle’s salary would be much better spent elsewhere.

      We took Obi 8th overall in a pretty good draft, and were apparently considering trading up even higher for him. It’s past time for him to get 30 minutes a night, and it would be a huge mistake to prevent that from happening because of the presence of someone who absolutely no one thinks will be on the next contending Knicks team.

    10. If Thibs starts off the season playing Randle 38 minutes and Obi 15 minutes I’m going to be highly perturbed.

      (Although hopefully the front office takes that decision out of his hands by moving Randle)

    11. “thenoblefacehumper
      July 4, 2022 at 10:48 am
      My guess is that the $60M isn’t all guaranteed and/or the 4th year isn’t fully guaranteed.

      Regardless, I do agree that the price is higher than I thought. Still, re-signing him over letting him walk for nothing (or nominal S&T value) was an easy call.”

      Actually, the statement “letting him walk for nothing” is misleading. You would be letting him walk for a) future cap space that can be invested in other positions and b) greater opportunity for Hart, Sims and yes, Obi. By overpaying him (possibly in theory, definitely in terms of what he could have gotten elsewhere in the current market) you turned him into the dreaded “market-value vet.” You could have simply filled that role with Hartenstein and used the money you spent on Mitch for someone else down the road, especially if it were possible to execute a sign-and-trade where you got a trade exception.

      Put differently, I don’t think a single GM out there would value Mitch over Bobby Portis. In a vacuum, if we let Mitch walk and signed Portis to the deal he got, would our asset trove increase or decrease?

      “I think a reasonably healthy Mitch remains tradable on a dime.”

      Everyone is tradable, but for what return? If you need the cap space in a pinch, would you have to add a second? A first? Or would you get something of value in return?

      At the end of the day, letting him walk for nothing and signing him to a 4/$60 fully guaranteed deal is probably asset-neutral, with both upside and downside. Once Hart was acquired, it might actually have been better to just let him walk. The only value I see in the deal is continuity, which I guess is something.

    12. “First, the statement “letting him walk for nothing” is misleading.”

      By this logic, no team in the history of the NBA has ever let a player walk for nothing. For the record, after the Brunson and Hartenstein signings we were in fact capped out anyway. We re-signed Mitch using his Bird Rights.

      Also, opening up more opportunities for a career backup in Hartenstein and a 58th overall pick who has had nice moments but also profiles as a backup in Sims wouldn’t be a good thing. It would be a failure.

      As for Obi, he ain’t a center. There’s someone on the roster preventing him from getting the run he deserves but it’s not Mitch.

      “By overpaying him (possibly in theory, definitely in terms of what he could have gotten elsewhere in the current market) you turned him into the dreaded “market-value vet.””

      If you think this, you’re misunderstanding what people mean when they talk about “market value vets.”

      Has anyone here ever attached that label to someone we signed for their age 24-28 seasons?

      If we signed Mitch to a one-year deal the label would be more fitting because there’d be no upside for us in such a deal. He could leave immediately if he was successful.

      Alternatively, if we signed him for his age 30-34 seasons it would be more fitting because there’d be a small chance he was productive on the next good Knicks team.

      “You could have simply filled that role with Hartenstein”

      Hartenstein’s career high in MPG is 18.

      “Everyone is tradable, but for what return?”

      I think Mitch will be movable without having to attach an asset unless teams know we urgently need the cap space.

      I won’t go into the numerous reports we have indicating other teams were interested in him because I know you regard those all as fake news, but it stands to reason we could move one of the game’s better rim protectors making 11% of the salary cap if we needed to.

    13. Hasn’t the “we can flip this guy any time we want” justification been proven wrong enough times now? Mediocre vets on market-value contracts are not assets these days. Most teams are too smart.

      Mitch isn’t exactly a vet, since he’s still so young, but he also plays the least valuable position and hasn’t shown much skill development.

      Bringing him back at $60m isn’t devastating. But it IS an overpay. Other teams don’t just take those off your hands for free.

    14. *just to clarfy, by “letting him walk” I actually meant to RISK letting him walk by offering him a 4yr/$48-52M deal and telling him “take it or leave it.”

      There must have been some kind of agreement between the end of the season and the draft that they would guarantee a certain number if Mitch did not declare for free agency, but they wouldn’t do so until after acquiring Brunson, etc., when they could go over the cap to do so. My guess is that Rose didn’t want to reneg on that commitment, even though DET essentially killed the UFA market for him. Honoring those kinds of behind-the-scenes handshake agreements is probably really important to Leon and Wes, so I sort of get why they did it. An as I said, it’s not that big of a deal in this cap environment, and there’s a reasonable chance that Mitch improves enough to justify the current overpay.

    15. Alan: There are things Thibs is really good at, but if you are a professional coach who will not play the right players the right amount of minutes unless you have all of your security blankets taken away… that is bad.

      I think Thibs will be on the hot seat since the beginning of the season. If he can adapt to what we need to do, then he’ll be here long term. If he can’t, then by midseason he’ll be fired. Unless somehow a player plays out of his mind, like Randle in 2020-21, and the Knicks have a season above expectations.

    16. “By this logic, no team in the history of the NBA has ever let a player walk for nothing. ”

      Correct, by any logic. The only question is, was the value of what you gained by letting him walk equal to, greater than, or less than the value of what you lost? Were you upset when we let Frank Ntilikina walk for nothing rather than offer him a 4 year/$60 million extension? We had his Bird rights too!

      “Also, opening up more opportunities for a career backup in Hartenstein and a 58th overall pick who has had nice moments but also profiles as a backup in Sims wouldn’t be a good thing. It would be a failure….Hartenstein’s career high in MPG is 18.”

      Hartenstein is 24 years old and his “career” is all of 2200 minutes, more than half of which took place last year at more than double the BPM rate as Mitch, who would be a backup on more than half of the teams in the NBA and nearly every playoff team.

      As to the “failure” part, since you are so gung ho for draft positioning, why would it be a failure to lose more games on the backs of two promising young players on low salaries? Seems pretty ironic for you to say that.

      “If you think this, you’re misunderstanding what people mean when they talk about “market value vets.”

      Maybe. To me, it means a veteran player who has little chance of ourplaying his contract during the life of the contract and does little to improve the long-term prospects of the team. On his proposed deal, Mitch falls into that category to me, essentially the same as Evan Fournier. If you don’t like the term I used, pick the equally disparaging one that applies.

    17. I’m happy Mitch is back, but i also agree it’s an overpay if he doesn’t improve. He started last season really slow because of the Brolic Mitch but ended on a high note. What i hope is now that he has the money he feels the responsibility to earn it. Of course it can go the other way around, so we’ll have to wait and see.

    18. “I think Mitch will be movable without having to attach an asset unless teams know we urgently need the cap space.”

      Something like the Burks contract in other words? It’s possible, but not a clear yes by any stretch.

      “I won’t go into the numerous reports we have indicating other teams were interested in him because I know you regard those all as fake news, but it stands to reason we could move one of the game’s better rim protectors making 11% of the salary cap if we needed to.”

      Seems that you have a vested interest in trumping up these purported offers. For the record, I never said there weren’t any offers, just that they were for anything substantial in return. Until you prove otherwise, it actually is, you know, fake news to assume that those offers were more than a couple of second rounders.

    19. I am tired of reading that we should play Obi for more minutes for reasons like this:

      We took Obi 8th overall in a pretty good draft, and were apparently considering trading up even higher for him. It’s past time for him to get 30 minutes a night, and it would be a huge mistake to prevent that from happening because of the presence of someone who absolutely no one thinks will be on the next contending Knicks team

      TNFH you often make good points but where we drafted him is not a reason for playing him. You are not alone. Many posts have said things like this. Some players need some minutes for development purposes. But he’s clearly getting enough minutes for that. So the only reason he should get more minutes is because he’s better than the guy in front of him. But that is a different discussion.

    20. You could have simply filled that role with Hartenstein and used the money you spent on Mitch for someone else down the road, especially if it were possible to execute a sign-and-trade where you got a trade exception.

      That Hartenstein is a good player does not negate that Mitchell also is. Mitchell is just 23 and his average bpm in his 4 seasons has been higher than fan favorite Tyson Chandler. I am very happy to have 2 young, promising and already good centers for $23 million.

      I feel there is certain obsession in this board just to have a starting 5 and nothing else, everybody is going crazy because Hartenstein / IQ / Obi / McBride are not going to get minutes. Guys, you need lots of good players in your team, not just a starting 5.

      EDIT: Unless your plan is to tank. Then fine, trade Randle, Mitch, Rose and Fournier and tank. That is ok with me. If the plan is not to tank, you have to keep everyone capable of having a positive impact, which is about everyone but RJ, so I am optimistic about next season (I will revise my feelings at next season start)

    21. There are two reasons we need to play Obi more:

      1. He seems to be better than Randle right now, at least for this roster, and if the goal is to win games, the better players should play more minutes.

      2. We have the whole contract extension decision to make with him next summer, and we don’t have nearly enough data to make that decision because of Thibs’ rotations.

    22. despite the fact I was certain mitch was heading somewhere else this off-season – glad to have him on the roster…

      getting obvious now mitch can’t put the ball in the basket from more than 3 feet away, still, he adds so much to the defense…solid board guy…

      hopefully he works on his screen setting…

      I am excited to see what the team looks like with a real point guard and a center that can hit the three…

    23. Mitch is a genuine defensive anchor, and I’m not sure Hartenstein really fits that bill. For all his flaws Mitch does bring elite offensive rebounding and rim protection.

      Mitch plus Hartenstein gives you the ability to show some different looks at the C position, and at an overall price of $23M you don’t have to worry about the position at all. Mitch is indeed a MVFA at this point, but he’s a very safe bet to give you at least market value. This contract doesn’t cover his decline phase.

      Overall a very “Leon Rose” kind of solution, which is to say it’s safe, not a ton of upside but not a ton of downside either. If your whole roster is MVFAs your ceiling is probably not super high, but that’s what we’re doing here so the Mitch contract fits right in.

    24. KFNINJ, you think 15 mins per game is the right amount for what Obi showed last season?

    25. “That Hartenstein is a good player does not negate that Mitchell also is. Mitchell is just 23 and his average bpm in his 4 seasons has been higher than fan favorite Tyson Chandler. I am very happy to have 2 young, promising and already good centers for $23 million.”

      This kind of obfuscates the discussion. I mean, would this be true if Mitch was making $22M AAV and Hartenstein $1M? This is solely a discussion about Mitch’s contract relative to his value in the current market. No one is arguing that Mitch is not a good player. Nor is anyone arguing that they are not happy to have him per se. I’m thrilled to have Brunson on his current deal…not so much on a 4yr/$180M contract. I’d be thrilled to have RJ on a deal like Brunsons, even more so on a deal like Mitch’s, not so much on a rookie max extension.

      How he would stack up vs. Tyson Chandler in 2012 is kind of irrelevant given the current depressed market for shot-blocking rim-running, non-shooting pure 5’s. Not to mention that Tyson was the final piece of building the MTA “big 3” where an overpay is more justifiable.

    26. “JK47
      July 4, 2022 at 12:36 pm
      Mitch is a genuine defensive anchor, and I’m not sure Hartenstein really fits that bill. For all his flaws Mitch does bring elite offensive rebounding and rim protection.

      Mitch plus Hartenstein gives you the ability to show some different looks at the C position, and at an overall price of $23M you don’t have to worry about the position at all. Mitch is indeed a MVFA at this point, but he’s a very safe bet to give you at least market value. This contract doesn’t cover his decline phase.

      Overall a very “Leon Rose” kind of solution, which is to say it’s safe, not a ton of upside but not a ton of downside either. If your whole roster is MVFAs your ceiling is probably not super high, but that’s what we’re doing here so the Mitch contract fits right in.”

      There’s not much to disagree with here, although some defensive metrics suggest that Mitch is somewhat overrated a defensive anchor. If the point is that overpaying Mitch will have little bearing on the future prospects of the team Leon is trying to build, I agree. As to Hart vs. Mitch, Hart is definitely more unproven and the relevant sample is only 1200 minutes, but his numbers on both ends were better than Mitch’s and he can throw a complex pass, hit a 3 and make a FT.

      It will be interesting to see what Hart does if Mitch goes down for 3 weeks with a sprained wrist or something.

    27. Yes, if basketball is a forgone conclusion. That last years result will, more or less, be repeated. Then we’re fucked. I think the story is in the “more or less”. For me, the most impactful player on our win / loss record has been Derrick Rose. Does his impact this season tilt the balance back over .500?

      Z-Man makes a good point about Mitchell and really all the Knicks kids. Up until now, they’ve been paid on their potential. Now, Mitch is being paid like a starter who’s gonna make big plays in the 4th quarter and win us games. Can he do it?

    28. One thing I will say is definitely in favor of signing Mitch is that the East is big, man. All kidding aside, teams like MIL, BOS, CLE, ORL, maybe WAS often play two “big” bigs so having two quality bigs with somewhat different skillsets is probably a good thing.

    29. This kind of obfuscates the discussion. I mean, would this be true if Mitch was making $22M AAV and Hartenstein $1M?

      I think Mitch at $15 million is good value, and there aren’t that many players like him. Yes, maybe you get 80% of production for 20% of salary, but if you want to win, you need good players. Maybe we can wait for that 10 bpm player that finally arrives to our team, or maybe we can try to get five 2.5 bpm players while keeping our assets for an opportunistic trade.

      If this offseason is of any reference, we will be able to get rid of Mitchell’s contract for a 2nd rounder if we need the cap space in the future. And Mitchell is so young, that barring injury this will be true for all his contract. He might even improve, he might be better with a PG, there is little downside to having Mitch. A different discussion is if you feel that we have to tank this season, and therefore we are better suited not having Mitchell in our team.

    30. I do not understand the notion that Mitch is somehow done improving. He took huge strides last season, improving consistently over the course of the year. His offensive rebounding numbers were easily the best of his career and got better every month and his free throw rate and FG% were also the best of his career. He saw his Blk% increase back to numbers closer to his second season while still keeping his fouls down. Mitch, once he got back in shape was improving every month.

      I understand that 4/60 was not a bargain, but it certainly wasn’t an overpay. We asked him to wait two days for a contract so we could sign other players first, that has a cost. If we had tried to lowball him and offer 4/48 maybe he doesn’t wait around, plus at that point, you are getting really close to the MLE and many many teams could afford him then.

      We just saw Gobert, who is making $40 million a year get traded for four 1st round picks, I don’t think we would have trouble moving Mitch at $15 million a year if we ever wanted to, which I certainly hope we don’t.

    31. “ Now, Mitch is being paid like a starter who’s gonna make big plays in the 4th quarter and win us games. Can he do it?”
      I believe this needs a bit of context. What would “big plays” constitute for Mitch? Making his FTs down the stretch? Being able to set a good pick for IQ/Brunson/RJ? Snagging an offensive board or two in a 3-possession-or-less game?

    32. @cyber,

      Yeah, it’s going to be a trade deadline move. Im not sure either of them are easily tradable. Randle and Fournier have a lot of years left, so moving them at the deadline still gets them off the books.

      Mostly, I’m optimistic of the Hartenstein/Obi combo on offense.

    33. “Ben R
      July 4, 2022 at 1:08 pm
      I do not understand the notion that Mitch is somehow done improving. He took huge strides last season, improving consistently over the course of the year. His offensive rebounding numbers were easily the best of his career and got better every month and his free throw rate and FG% were also the best of his career. He saw his Blk% increase back to numbers closer to his second season while still keeping his fouls down. Mitch, once he got back in shape was improving every month.”

      I don’t think anyone is saying with any certainty that he is done improving, but this statement is a bit misleading. His FT% cratered, his USG% is at a career low, his TOV% went up, and as a result, his BPM is lower than it was in his first 2 years even with the improvements you cited.

      That said, he played without a true PG for most of the year, so adding Brunson might in and of itself unlock some things for him and others, in other words, he definitely can “improve” without even improving.

      My main objection to his deal is that from a bird’s eye view it looks like we bid against ourselves and paid him more than the price set by the evolving market. I guess there are good cap reasons for doing so, as maybe the Brunson deal gets that much harder if Mitch was extended at the start of the season or any time afterwards. And that’s why I come down on the side of “neutral” about the deal at this time, in other words, that there are valid arguments on both sides of whether it would have been worth the risk of playing hardball with a firm ceiling at the max 4/52 deal that he could have been offered all along.

    34. Z-Man, I remain agnostic to a degree on Mitch as well. But these are also human beings and not robots, and Mitch has clearly been unhappy with being stuck on a below-market deal for the last four years. And he’s a mercurial personality on top of that. If paying him $15 million per year(*) instead of $10-12 million is a way to keep him happy and focused, that is not such a terrible thing, especially since he is at worst a solid starter at the position whenever healthy.

      (*) As others have noted, we’ll have to wait until the new league year begins to see what the actual terms are. I suspect, as usual, the final numbers will be more team-friendly than what was reported over the weekend.

    35. “ If the point is that overpaying Mitch will have little bearing on the future prospects of the team Leon is trying to build, I agree.”

      Isn’t it nice that the Knicks are FINALLY in position to do this for a young player?

      BTW: I think the K’s have a bit of a tough balancing act in front of them to rehab Randle’s while finding more consistent minutes for Obi. But it’s for the best if they find a way to figure that out. I know most of us want Obi to replace Randle (which, by the way, I believe was Plan A for drafting Obi to begin with). I just think the best case scenario is for a bounce back year for Randle plus Obi pushing him. Because that gives the K’s a “better” problem of potentially trading Randle from more of a position of strength vs the liability he was last year.

    36. Agreed Cdiggy, they’ll be trying to rehabilitate Randle’s value, and then if Obi keeps progressing they’ll probably trade Randle and promote Obi to starter. I still think we should play Obi more, and at the same time i think we should lower Randle’s minutes to check if he gets energized in less minutes. Maybe he was super slow, like when he brings the ball up the court, because he knows he’s going to play heavy minutes and he has to manage the amount of energy spent in each play. A distribution of 28-30 mins to Randle and 18-20 mins to Obi seems the most logical to me, but will Thibs do it?

    37. “TNFH you often make good points but where we drafted him is not a reason for playing him. You are not alone. Many posts have said things like this. Some players need some minutes for development purposes. But he’s clearly getting enough minutes for that. So the only reason he should get more minutes is because he’s better than the guy in front of him. But that is a different discussion.”

      I’ll add something I didn’t think needed clarification: Julius Randle has stunk for 2 of his 3 years as a Knick, and Obi Toppin has looked good albeit in limited minutes.

      Re: Mitch, sure it’s not a bargain. As we saw with Brunson, signing good, young players to long-term deals isn’t cheap. It’s a better idea than putting scotch tape over gaping holes with the Alec Burks and Nerlens Noels of the world that come with zero upside, though. We can rest assured knowing that Mitch won’t become washed during the duration of his contract, and that’s worth a lot.

      When you draft a good young player, you should generally look to keep them unless you’re overwhelmed with a trade offer, and if Z-Man is to be believed that was not in the cards. I don’t know of any team that has been burned by abiding by this practice. Teams have certainly gotten in trouble by investing in young players before they could accurately characterized as “good,” but Mitch doesn’t have that problem. Even if he doesn’t improve at all (FWIW I have some optimism on this front), no one doubts he’s good at what he does.

    38. “ Now, Mitch is being paid like a starter who’s gonna make big plays in the 4th quarter and win us games. Can he do it?”
      I believe this needs a bit of context. What would “big plays” constitute for Mitch? Making his FTs down the stretch? Being able to set a good pick for IQ/Brunson/RJ? Snagging an offensive board or two in a 3-possession-or-less game?“
      Yes. Mitch things. Hack-a-Mitch would be a bummer. If he hits 75% on FT’s I’d never ask for more.

    39. I think the specter of the MLE is something to think about as well. This year it is about 4/45 so if our offer had approached that there would have been a real risk of Mitch, being fed up with us dicking him around, taking a very small discount and having his choice of teams.

      I love all three moves this summer but resigning Mitch is probably my favorite. I think he is a top ten center and I believe in the next couple of years, once Gobert starts declining, he will be the best defensive 5 in the league.

    40. “I’ll add something I didn’t think needed clarification: Julius Randle has stunk for 2 of his 3 years as a Knick, and Obi Toppin has looked good albeit in limited minutes.”

      We shouldn’t leave out that in the other year Randle was all-NBA while playing the most minutes in the league, and was signed what was thought to be a bargain long-term deal, while Obi was embarassingly bad on D for much of his limited minutes. Randle was also very solid in the two years before he got here. Taking a chance on rehabilitating Randle’s value is just as important as trying to figure out what Obi would do in extended minutes, especially while he’s totally under team control for relative peanuts.

    41. “…he will be the best defensive 5 in the league.”

      Mitchell Robinson may become a lot of things, but I would gladly take the under on him ever being the best defensive 5 in the league by any objective measure.

    42. “Z-Man, I remain agnostic to a degree on Mitch as well. But these are also human beings and not robots, and Mitch has clearly been unhappy with being stuck on a below-market deal for the last four years. And he’s a mercurial personality on top of that. If paying him $15 million per year(*) instead of $10-12 million is a way to keep him happy and focused, that is not such a terrible thing, especially since he is at worst a solid starter at the position whenever healthy.”

      I get that, and agree to an extent, although as I said, I think an offer was made prior to the draft on the basis of making it happen after free agency, and that the FO didn’t want to renege on an offer based on the decline in the market. It’s a relatively small price to pay for the perception of loyalty and a player-friendly culture, and I think it’s more about that general perception than the specific concerns about Mitch’s feelings. Either way, you’re right, it’s not such a terrible thing. But it was clearly out of whack with the market at the time of the signing, given that there was no demand for him from teams who could afford to pay him close to that much.

    43. Once Gobert declines I think it’s going to be a three-horse race between Robinson, Williams, and Turner for the best defensive center in the NBA. Right now I do not think there is a clear winner out of those three. So when I say best I guess I mean an argument will be able to be made for him being the best center. I don’t know if anyone will be clearly the best like Gobert is now.

    44. The answer to Mitch’s salary is the human element. It’s better to overpay and keep him motivated than to have him upset, demand a trade or not give effort like Randle. Any if this situations make him less tradable and a worse asset than the overpay.

      And yeah, he’s young enough to improve and be worth it. He’s still not perfect on defensive reads and that’s something that usually improves.

    45. Once Gobert declines I think it’s going to be a three-horse race between Robinson, Williams, and Turner for the best defensive center in the NBA.

      I think Evan Mobley will be the man after Gobert declines.

    46. howdy all :)

      hope everyone’s day is moving along smoothly…

      the boys went back to their mom’s for the week…so proud of them, I’ve pushed them really hard the last few months…had to make a bunch of changes around the house and in my life, they’ve adjusted and really stepped up…

      what a change in my parenting perspective this last year…understanding the legacy thing a bit better…

      it is kind of nice though to have the place back to myself for a while…

      silence, or light environmental background noise is a pretty fine tune…

      independence day here in the states…not sure it really means much to me…

    47. safe travels cdiggy…that sounds like a tough/messy situation…keep doing your best to do right by yourself and your family…

    48. We should wait to know the details of Mitch’s contract to declare it’s an overpay. This FO is good at that stuff, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the contract has 2M per year in incentives (eg, 1M to make the playoffs and 1M to be selected to NBA All-Defensive 1st or 2nd teams). If that’s the case it’d be a 4/52M guaranteed and 4/60M with incentives, but if he’d be making the incentives it wouldn’t be an overpay. Robert Williams has a 4/48M guaranteed and 4/54M with incentives. The difference would be 4M guaranteed or 6M with incentives. The cap grew 10% so this deal it’s right at Robert Williams’ money, in terms of % of the cap.

    49. I liked the contract for Mitch exactly for the same reasons I liked Brunson’s deal: paying a young player who’s already productive and still has upside is a better choice than using the cap to sign stop gap solutions that can provide the same production at the time, but with very little upside. Of course Brunson plays a more difficult position to replace, but that’s also why he earned more money.

      We’ve already established this team won’t tank, and that the front office is not directly going to build through thr draft, so we’ve got to take potential wherever we can. Hartenstein was a great signing because of this. If you don’t have blue chip prospects or a young superstar, the next best choice is to lock down good, still young players who have the potential to outplay their current contracts. We have 3 of those with the new signings, and we have Grimes, Obi, IQ and technically RJ until he signs the extension on the same situation. The focus of the franchise should be on those 7 players, and that’s why I’ve been so adamant about getting rid of Randle and Fournier possibly too if we have the chance. They would need major leaps to perform to their current contracts and I don’t have much hope that they’ll ever do it, and they’re going to be taking away valuable minutes for the rest of the “upside crew” by being veterans and getting assigned minutes by default.

    50. I wonder if the Celtics still win 14 playoff games this year if Mitch played C for them instead of Williams III?

    51. Day Two: stuck in Purgatory.

      Like a 37 win team with the 11th pick, the Midwest sucks. After Cleveland the land becomes as flat as a table and so deeply dull even an agronomist would weep with ennui.

      One fun bit is because the creature in back has Covid, we drive with the windows open. Which is probably the closest I’ll get to playoff intensity noise. Except during downpours, when we must choose between getting wet and getting sick and dying. We usually choose the latter, for the same reason picks are incinerated.

      We stayed at Norte Dame, Lady Raven’s alma mater. Oddly there have been three trips by family members in the last three years, all this year, all to Norte Dame — a reunion back when Covid seemed on the wane, a presentation invite (she has some renown in international womens rights), and this. Go figure.

    52. And no, that does not mean I am George Clooney. For one thing I’m much better looking. Also I can’t act my way out of a paper bag. Although Alan might say George can’t, either.

      Which reminds me — the sole moment of levity was an overpass sign announcing we were crossing under ‘Fangboner Road.’ Alan, thousands of people every day see this. Why has no one made the (very, very bad) movie?

      Or have they…?

    53. The big thing with the Obi/Randle discussion is what we want Randle to do is what Obi can do right now and probably better. All NBA Randle was dependant on an outlier mid range shooting season and unless you think he can replicate that he’ll probably never be that player again.

      We want Randle to be more of a rim runner but hed rather dribble the ball in the ground and take a contested mid ranger. If not that then hes passing up open 3’s to do the same thing.

      Theres obviously a drop off in rebounding and probably playmaking but I think the other stuff Obi brings is worth betting on. The worst case scenario is that Obi is not really anything more than an energy guy and Randle turns back into an All star but I wouldnt bet on that happening.

    54. “KevinR
      July 4, 2022 at 4:29 pm
      The big thing with the Obi/Randle discussion is what we want Randle to do is what Obi can do right now and probably better.”

      You mean play like the player who carried us on his back to a 4th seed? Do you really think that Obi can do that right now?

    55. Raven, enjoy your trip! I made two cross country trips, one with buddies in my ’20s and one on my honeymoon. Adventures of a lifetime.

    56. “Donnie Walsh
      July 4, 2022 at 3:55 pm
      I wonder if the Celtics still win 14 playoff games this year if Mitch played C for them instead of Williams III?”

      I don’t. The answer to me is obviously “Hell to the no!” RWIII is signigicantly better than Mitch by any objective measure, and the Celts needed every single edge they could get to make it to the finals…I mean, they were a Jimmy Butler wide-open 3 away from being eliminated.

      Of course, RWIII was dealing with knee soreness the entire playoffs so it’s an unfair question if you assume a totally healthy Mitch vs. an injured RWIII, but even so, he played well enough even with his knee problems to outshine what Mitch would have contributed.

      It’s a tough crowd of Mitchophiles here, some folks had to be overwhelmed with evidence to relutantly conclude that RWIII was even marginally better than Mitch. But my guess is that Leon would swap Mitch for RWIII in a heartbeat, while Brad would hang up the phone unless there were at least two unprotected firsts involved.

      I also thnk that for the same money, not a single GM in the league would take Mitch over RWIII unless significant additional assets were involved.

    57. It doesn’t seem like Randle’s going anywhere this year. There hasn’t been a whiff of trade rumor around him. He’s also not the kind of guy you can trade midseason because he’s such an awkward fit for most teams.

      I think we’re stuck with him for at least another season.

    58. Raven, I actually think Clooney is really good, especially when he has a director who pushes him (see Three Kings, Out of Sight). And no idea how Fangboner Road has not had its moment of cinematic glory.

    59. My biggest problems with Randle and Mitch are their lack of focus on the substance of the game.
      One’s mostly ready to whine and get angry while the other is in goofy land making rookie mistakes after yrs in the league.
      If they could manage to control their level of malakia(bullshit) we may had two keepers

    60. “You mean play like the player who carried us on his back to a 4th seed? Do you really think that Obi can do that right now?“

      Im referring to current Randle and what we want him to do. We want him rim running more and finishing instead of handling the ball. In that sense Obi is far more willing and effective in that role.

    61. Mitch ain’t exactly Iron Man and he’s played 56 more games than RWIII in four years. Williams is one of those guys who’s always hurt. I’d still take him over Mitch right now and I’m sure Boston would too but their value is closer than it might be given how often RWIII misses time.

    62. Randle is a much more complete player than Obi. That’s why he gets way more minutes. However, with Brunson added and RJ slowly improving, we are slowly getting to get to the point where a lower usage more efficient player like Obi will start adding more value to the lineup than Randle even if Obi doesn’t expand his game much. That’s when they are going to have to make a move with Randle.

      The more I look at some of the salaries getting thrown around the league for mediocre players, the more I think we should probably keep Randle, hope that he gets in better shape, is more into playing mentally, and with the addition of a real PG turns it around. If he does, his salary is going to start looking like a bargain instead of an problem and we might be able to use him in a valuable trade.

    63. The main thing I’m worried about with Mitch is that now that’s going get paid the big bucks is he going to flake out and stop trying as hard.

    64. “nicos
      July 4, 2022 at 6:05 pm
      Mitch ain’t exactly Iron Man and he’s played 56 more games than RWIII in four years. Williams is one of those guys who’s always hurt. I’d still take him over Mitch right now and I’m sure Boston would too but their value is closer than it might be given how often RWIII misses time.”

      I think injury concerns are valid for both players. Both guys have had a slew of different injuries rather than a serious career-threatening one, and it’s probably the case that both guys are similarly healthy except for RWIII’s lingering soreness after meniscus repair, which isn’t nothing but is that enough to conclude anything about who is the greater injury risk going forward? The larger point is, RWIII put up a 5.5 BPM in 1800 minutes during the regular season (pretty much the same minutes a Mitch despite the knee injury) and a 5.9 BPM in 400 minutes in the playoffs. Mitch has never come close to those BPM numbers.

    65. “Deeefense!!
      July 4, 2022 at 6:29 pm
      The main thing I’m worried about with Mitch is that now that’s going get paid the big bucks is he going to flake out and stop trying as hard.”

      Yeah, it seems kind of counterintuitive that folks are saying they were worried that if Mitch didn;t get paid enough he would sulk because he’s a mercurial personality. It’s usually after someone gets the big $$$ that you worry about tose with mercurial personalities becoming unfocused. See: Eddy Curry, Jerome James, Andrea Bargnani….

    66. “Im referring to current Randle and what we want him to do. We want him rim running more and finishing instead of handling the ball. In that sense Obi is far more willing and effective in that role.”

      I’m not sure that Leon and Thibs are in whoever makes up your definition of “we.” My guess is that Julius’ role is still undetermined, as the team makeup has changed significantly in the last few days and might still change. But Thibs admitted that he should haver played Obi and IQ more, so it will be interesting to see how things play out if they keep Julius around.

    67. I think Dallas would be crazy not to take Randle or Fournier back in a sign-and-trade. Aside from aging Dinwiddie and Wood, Luka isn’t getting much help on offense, and they can’t really waste a whole year of his rookie contract.

    68. this whole mitch argument is weird… we’re going to be capped out with or without the mitch signing so if we didn’t sign mitch it was going to be… hartenstein as a starter? that’s supposed to be better value when they impact the cap the same?

      unless you care about dolan’s money the only concern with mitch’s contract from a value perspective is whether or not he was going to fall flat… if you’re overpaying for brunson but pinching pennies for mitch.. then you’re either not trying to win or you’re trying to win very badly…

      within the context of what rose and company are trying to do.. you needed to do both or you lose your window to jam as much talent under the cap space before the RJ extension…. unless you think you can get a 23 yo center for the MLE which there isn’t going to be anyone next year and highly unlikely going forward…

      robert williams issues has always been availability…. he never played over 1000 minutes before last year due to various injuries and i’m pretty sure it has to due with the condition in his legs that were discovered during the draft process that caused him to drop… and surprise … he was dealing with knee soreness for all of last year…. he’s good when he’s able to play but he goes through a lot to get him on the court so any comparison between mitch and timelord has to account for the fact that mitch has a very good chance to play out his deal and williams… well might be a coinflip….

    69. “I wanna make sure you’re ready, brother. Here it is: Show me the money. Oh-ho-ho! SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY! A-ha-ha! Jerry, doesn’t it make you feel good just to say that! Say it with me one time, Jerry. Cause when they show me the money, it’s gonna inspire me to play even HARDER, Jerry. It’s not about security, you know that. It’s not about respect, Jerry. It’s about making Dennis Wilburn get what he’s paying me for. I love Dennis Wilburn, and will play my ass off for him, and will fix every part of my game for him, but only if he shows me the money first. It all starts there, Jerry. To unlock the next level of the Tidwell Quan, man, he’s got to show me the money. That’s how it works, Jerry. Just ask Kyrie.” -Cameron Crowe’s original rough draft.

    70. KFNINJ, you think 15 mins per game is the right amount for what Obi showed last season?

      Cybersoze, that is a fair question. The short answer is yes, I think Randolph deserved to start last season. It’s true Obi scored more efficiently, but he was worse at rebounding and much worse at assists (10% versus 25% assist usage). When you don’t have a good point guard, you need those assists. Overall this is similar to what Deeeefense said above. I would add that lead ball handler types typically have lower true shooting percentages than those playing off the ball, so Randle’s lower true shooting makes sense given his role in the offense.

      From a eye test point of view, Obi is more fun to watch. But he also played a different role than Randle did. I never saw him have to create well defended shots when the offense stalled and he rarely scored in one on one isolation. He also had less usage than Randle. I don’t know how he would do put in Randle’s role. This agrees with my thoughts above.

      This year, the team is different because Brunson should be bearing a lot of the assist load and because it’s a new season. Randle may be back to All Star Randle in his three point shooting or he may not. Obi could have taken a leap over the summer. Who knows. That’s something Thibs will start to find out in training camp. And who plays when also depends on what sort of offense Thibs chooses. If he chooses Grit and Grind, Randle would fit that. If he chooses run and gun, maybe not. Time will tell.

    71. I am not totally sure it’s a foregone conclusion that Williams is better than Mitch. I think defensively they are very similar and mostly a wash. I would have to watch more of both and see a lot of advanced stats to begin to be able to parse who is better. Both are excellent and as good as any center not named Rudy.

      Offensively Williams is a much better passer but Mitch is a better offensive rebounder plus Mitch scores more in our broken, no PG offense. I think in a good offense with plus ball movement he has more scoring potential.

      I think it’s close. The BPM difference is because that stat loves passing in its big men. It’s why Hartenstein is rated so high.

    72. We wouldn’t be putting Obi and Randles role last two year we would be putting Obi in the finisher role with Brunson and RJ dominating the ball. Considering Brunson will be our main ballhandler and operates in the same space julius does it only makes sense to have Obi whos a better fit there.

      Saying Let Thibs decide isnt a good defense since he defers to older players by default and wont use younger kids unless forced to do so. Would Grimes have gotten any minutes last year had covid not hit the team? I’d wager probably not.

    73. “Saying Let Thibs decide isnt a good defense since he defers to older players by default and wont use younger kids unless forced to do so.”

      Was Thibs forced to play 20yo RJ Barrett the second most minutes in the league in 2020-21?

    74. “I think it’s close. The BPM difference is because that stat loves passing in its big men.”

      BPM loves passing in its big men because passing in big men is really valuable. One of the big criticisms of the Knicks offense is that we don’t move the ball very well. When one guy on the floor can only make the most rudimenary passes, that has a negative effect on ball movement.

      Also, passing has nothing to do with DBPM and RWIII’s was 3.4 while Mitch’s was 1.2 That’s a huge difference. RWIII was 4th in the NBA. Mitchell Robinson was 26th, tied with our very own Al;ec Burks.

      There are definitely flaws with these stats, but when we have two players playing such similar roles, those flaws are largely negated. Outside of Knicks fans, I seriously doubt that there’s anyone who thinks Mitch is as good as RWIII.

    75. Z-man, yes, exactly, Thibs does play the young guys. He also played Sims over Gibson at the end of the year because his numbers were better.

      KevinR, don’t assume that having Brunson being the lead ball handler automatically favors Obi. Last year was a down year for Randle and he still had the same three point percentage as Obi. If he recovers at three point shooting he could work well alongside Brunson. Also, if Randle doesn’t have to do as much offensively, maybe he can focus more on defense. That would be helpful too.

    76. Just to be clear, I am neutral on the Mitch signing as a business move and positive on it as a fan. He is fun to watch and root for. I find the terrible FT shooting offputting, but whatever. My main beef is that regardless of what he’s actually worth, we were clearly bidding against ourselves at the time of the signing, resulting in what was clearly an overpay relative to the actual market. I’d like to know why that is the case. But as I said from the beginning, it’s not a big deal either way.

    77. While it is often true that players can become lazy and unmotivated after signing a fat contract, I think in Mitch’s case it could very well be the opposite situation where a slight overpay will make him feel appreciated and he’ll work harder because of it. Mitch was severely underpaid during his first contract. He signed it so ultimately it’s kind of on him and the bad agents he had at the time but I’m sure it bugged him that he was getting paid less than other draft picks who weren’t as good as he was. And I could see him being bitter about it if he felt like he got underpaid again on his first big contract. So I think it’s wise we paid him what we did. It’s not a huge overpay and he could very well still outperform it if he works hard to go to the next level. I also think for the franchise’s sake breaking the Charlie ward curse is important. It shows stability and sends a message to the other young players here that if they work hard they might stick around.

    78. swift, those are all nice things but I don’t think the overpay has anything to do with making him feel appreciated so he’ll work harder. In fact, I would say that if whether someone got paid $12M AAV vs. $15M AAV would affect one’s work ethic and commitment, it’s not someone I would want on my team in the first place.

    79. oh, i am thoroughly fixated my friend…

      please do tell, what’s the media situation like inside the vehicle – my apologies, you’ve mentioned it before, please though – who’s in the back seat?

    80. he’s good when he’s able to play but he goes through a lot to get him on the court so any comparison between mitch and timelord has to account for the fact that mitch has a very good chance to play out his deal and williams…

      that’s interesting, i wonder what he has to go through exactly…both him and marcus smart really looked hobbled at times during the playoffs…

      it would be interesting to know what the latest treatments are able to accomplish…there’s a lot of movement in basketball, at times it looked like they could barely walk after a game…

    81. I don’t think we were just bidding against ourselves with Mitch. I really do not know if we could have gotten him for $12 million a year. 4/48 is barely more than the MLE (4/45) so the idea that we could have strong-armed Mitch into signing for 4/48 when he wanted 4/60 is iffy. If we pushed too hard to get him to sign for less than he wanted it could have easily pushed him to say fuck it and sign the MLE with a better team that would appreciate him.

      I do not know how good of a passer Mitch is. We only give him the ball at the very end of plays. He could be Jokic (he isn’t) and we wouldn’t know it. I doubt he is as good as a passer as Williams but with the way Thibs has set up the offense we would never know if he was. Mitch has had 29 bad pass turnovers on 128 assists in his career and Williams has 70 bad pass turnovers on 249 assists. A similar ratio. It’s not like Mitch is a liability passing the ball he just never seems to have the opportunity. I never get the feeling he is panicking out there and just flinging the ball around.

    82. For all of Thibs’ rigidity, his rep as someone who hates young players is a little overblown. He played RJ before he had earned the minutes and gave Mitch and IQ plenty of rope. Grimes started getting lots of burn once he showed how good he was.

      The only young guy he refused to give enough playing time was Obi. Hopefully that’s changed. We’ll see.

    83. “I do not know how good of a passer Mitch is. We only give him the ball at the very end of plays. He could be Jokic (he isn’t) and we wouldn’t know it. I doubt he is as good as a passer as Williams but with the way Thibs has set up the offense we would never know if he was. Mitch has had 29 bad pass turnovers on 128 assists in his career and Williams has 70 bad pass turnovers on 249 assists. A similar ratio. It’s not like Mitch is a liability passing the ball he just never seems to have the opportunity. I never get the feeling he is panicking out there and just flinging the ball around.”

      Well Thibs basically had Joakim Noah playing point center, so forgive me if I’m not buying that Mitch’s passing abilities are being supressed by the coach.

    84. I don’t really mind if Mitch got 10,12,15 or even 20m as long as he’s in the right mindset of being the next NYK Center to be remembered.
      I m not a big fan of TysonChandler monodimensional type of Centers but if Mitch cut the shit and focus to be a pro in each play of each game instead of continuing his usual goofy to super goody game then i ll be fine

    85. I don’t know, Z-man. I don’t think it makes you weak minded or not a winner to want to get paid fairly for your services.

      I’m damn good at my job. But when my wife and I decided to move across country to start a family, I took a pay cut when I started at my current employer. It wasn’t huge and I could justify it bc the cost of living here was less. But I took a pay cut nonetheless.

      Then the pandemic happened. I was fortunate to not lose my job but it’s been over a year since we’ve been back in full swing and now 2.5 years since I started the job and got any sort of raise. We had our performance evaluations recently. I’ve been crushing it exceeding all of our sales goals by a considerable margin.

      When I had my evaluation, my immediate supervisor told me what my raise was and it was far less than what I was hoping. I told her and she told me well normally the company’s policy is to only give out a certain percentage of a raise every year and for my job title, I was actually near the top end of what the company would pay for that position anyways.

      So I made my case and told her what I wanted. She went to the President and made my case. A few days later she came back to me and basically gave me a new job title and promotion that would allow them to give me the raise that I wanted.

      You can bet your ass I’m going into work early tomorrow extra motivated to do an even better job. If they hadn’t done that for me? I mean, I’m not lazy. I would have done my job. But I would have secretly been unhappy and probably would have started to look for other opportunities. That doesn’t make me lazy or a bad employee. It’s nice to feel valued.

    86. Congratulations Swift. It is nice to hear.

      I hope Mitch feels the way (and I think he probably will). Whoever suggested above that they might have told him that if he was willing to wait until free agents were signed he could have a little more salary is probably right. That sounds win win to me.

    87. Since we had Mitch’s Bird Rights it seems a little pointless to squabble over like a $2M-$4M difference in AAV or whatever. In the big scheme of things that is really a minor problem. I don’t think Leon Rose was going to be spinning that small amount of money into something earth shaking, so let’s be glad we were spared the embarrassment of a useful young player walking and the Knicks getting nothing in return.

    88. ***You can bet your ass I’m going into work early tomorrow extra motivated to do an even better job.***

      If Horatio Alger was writing the Mitchell Robinson story, his Protestant work ethic would carry him through, and capitalism would win the O’Brien Trophy in the end. But the $60,000,000 in guaranteed money would be the end of that book, not the beginning of it.

    89. Good for you, Swifty! Would that things usually worked that way in corporate America.

    90. Swift, that’s a great story and I’m happy for you.

      My guess is that you weren’t upset because you only got a raise to $12M a year instead of $15M a year. And knowing Mitch even a little bit, I doubt that he gives much of a shit about the difference. I certainly don’t buy that he’ll be much more motivated by $60M vs. $48M over 4 years. Any aura will last like 10 seconds, after that, Mitch is gonna Mitch.

      “Since we had Mitch’s Bird Rights it seems a little pointless to squabble over like a $2M-$4M difference in AAV or whatever. In the big scheme of things that is really a minor problem. I don’t think Leon Rose was going to be spinning that small amount of money into something earth shaking, so let’s be glad we were spared the embarrassment of a useful young player walking and the Knicks getting nothing in return.”

      I agree that it’s a minor problem and have said so all along. And I obviously get the Bird rights thing. But in an environment where every cap dollar in 2023 is important and that the extra $2-4M AAV could gum up the works in a future trade or signing, it would be interesting to know why it was paid out.

      As to overpaying a useful player by 20-25% on an 8-figure deal relative to what he could have gotten elsewhere rather than letting him walk “for nothing”, my point is: where was he going to walk to? Who could have offered him anywhere near that amount?

    91. My guess is that Mitch got a descending value contract since it would be better for the Knicks to take up the most cap space this season.

    92. 12 million dollars is a huge difference especially for your first big contract. That’s basically an extra year’s worth of what you think we should have paid him. These dudes have to give ten percent to their agent, manager and publicist if they have one. They might have other people on their payroll. And don’t forget basically half of that money is gone from taxes. An extra 12 million is significant especially if you barely made a million a year for the first four years in the league, which is far less than players drafted way ahead of him make.

    93. Also this argument is always used here. Since he signed with us he must not have had any other offers. But it sounds like the Knicks were working with him way before free agency to get this thing locked up. So we have no idea what he would have gotten on the open market bc he didn’t actively go out and make himself available.

    94. Z-Man, i’m starting to think you’re one of the agents Mitch spurned. LOL
      Let the kid have 2 or 3 million more per year… it won’t make any difference to our plans, it might even help, because sometimes you need to match salaries and maybe our capologist thought it would be useful to have a good player on the 15M range. And it’s only Dolan’s money, so who cares? It’ll probably have better use in the hands of Mitch. He was making the least money in the NBA and already had a foundation to his name, to help kids from Louisiana.

    95. My concerns about Mitch at that money go beyond the extra $2-3M AAV. I think having both Mitch and Hartenstein plays to Thibs’ worst instincts on O, and especially Mitch since at least Hartenstein has tried to expand his game out to the 3pt line, with some success (see: Taj Gibson.) Fred Katz wrote:

      “It’s impossible to discuss Robinson’s return without mentioning the Knicks’ dicey shot selection last season. The team was loaded with centers who didn’t shoot 3s: Robinson, Noel, Sims and, until he turned into a corner-3 addict during the second half of the schedule, Taj Gibson. When one of those guys was on the floor, the perimeter players who should be flying to the paint stopped going there.
      It hurt the Knicks offense, which finished 25th in points per possession, and it’s something they need to figure out in 2022-23, when Robinson projects to remain in the starting lineup alongside Randle and RJ Barrett.”

      Here’s the link for the full article:
      https://theathletic.com/3396260/2022/07/01/knicks-mitchell-robinson-contract/

      Maybe Brunson helps to solve this problem, but it was in fact a part of the problem with Randle and RJ to have Mitch sharing the floor with them. Randle even said: “My role changes (depending) on who I’m playing with,” Randle said. “A traditional five, I’m spacing the floor. I’m out there on the perimeter.”

      It also strongly suggests that Obi will be an afterthought once again.

      Now if Randle is traded, all bets are off. But will that happen?

    96. That’s exactly it. We’re having a Randle problem. If he can get back to being a good player, or at least ok to good, maybe the pairing with Mitch is a problem. They’re keeping their options open, because Randle is a mistery, who can guarantee that he won’t have a disastrous season again? They’ll have Hart to check if Randle works better with a stretch-5, same for Obi (in less minutes, but i hope it’s 16+ minutes not less). And then they’ll re-evaluate who should go and who to keep. Although i wouldn’t do things the way Leon is doing it, i can see the reasoning behind his plan. Trading Fournier, otoh, is almost a must, because we need to give those minutes to our young core.

    97. If you want a center that can both shoot and defend, that’s hard to find. If you can’t get an Embiid, you have to choose what your center will be good at. Mitch will get paid about the same as Christian Wood in the coming season. Wood can score but not defend (from what I hear). He was probably available, but the Knicks didn’t go in that direction. The Knicks have clearly decided that defense comes first. And given that their coach is Thibodeau, that’s playing to his strength. I am not going to second guess that.

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