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Monday, April 21, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Thursday, Jul 12 2012)

  • [New York Daily News] In Like Lin: Knicks’ Woodson says Jeremy starts (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 03:17:16 GMT)
    Knicks coach Mike Woodson confirmed on Wednesday that Jeremy Lin, who has just 25 career starts under his belt, will start ahead of Jason Kidd, the future Hall of Fame point guard.

  • [New York Daily News] Lawrence: Superman trade grounded, Knicks saved (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 02:04:57 GMT)
    On the first day NBA teams could sign free agents, the Knicks had a terrific opener, maybe second to none. All because the Nets couldn’t swing a mega-deal for Dwight Howard.

  • [New York Post] Woodson: Knicks will match Lin’s offer, and he’ll open training camp as starter (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 04:31:18 -0500)
    LAS VEGAS â?? Not only are the Knicks matching Jeremy Lin’s offer sheet, but they are starting him next season, too.
    Coach Mike Woodson boldly stated Wednesday night Lin begins training camp as first string point guard over newcomer Jason Kidd.
    “I won’t do that,” Woodson said of benching…

  • [New York Post] Woody loves golden oldies (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 00:34:00 -0500)
    LAS VEGAS â?? Mike Woodson says the older the better.
    The Knicks have added a lot of pieces â?? and years â?? during July’s free agency, drawing some criticism about the geriatric state of their roster.
    But Woodson loves it. The Knicks will formerly introduce 38-year-old Marcus Camby and 39-year-old Jason Kidd…

  • [New York Post] Another veteran PG heading to Garden (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 00:32:54 -0500)
    Jeremy Lin has another veteran point-guard mentor â?? Spanish-style.The 35-year-old Spanish League veteran Pablo Prigioni has signed with the Knicks for a one-year, $473,000 minimum contract, his agent George Bass told The Post.Prigioni, who visited the Knicks three weeks ago, is being brought in as Lin insurance and…

  • [New York Times] A New Arrival Explores New York Through Pickup Basketball (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:56:35 GMT)
    The city’s basketball courts are one way to get a feel for New York, if you don’t mind waiting your turn.

  • [New York Times] Nets Balancing Lopez Future With Pursuit of Howard (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 05:37:19 GMT)
    Nets officials worked furiously to land Dwight Howard, but they never could provide Orlando with a satisfactory package of players, draft picks and payroll relief.

  • [New York Times] Knicks’ Woodson Says Lin Will Stay, and Start (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 05:24:06 GMT)
    At the Knicks’ first summer league practice, Mike Woodson talked as if the team had already matched the four-year, $28.8 million offer sheet Jeremy Lin agreed to sign with Houston.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: First-Rate Second Option For Nets’ Offense (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 02:57:11 GMT)
    Acquired in a trade with the Hawks in which the Nets did not have to surrender any of the team’s key players, Joe Johnson is an underrated star who may finally have found the right home.

  • [New York Times] Steve Nash Surprised to Find Himself With Lakers (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 03:19:51 GMT)
    Steve Nash knew the scene was more than a bit surreal when he stood in the Los Angeles Lakers’ training complex, grinning and holding up a gold No. 10 jersey with his name on the back.

  • [New York Times] Heat Get 2 New Shooters; No Deal for Magic Center (Thu, 12 Jul 2012 03:53:02 GMT)
    The Miami Heat got two more shooters. The Orlando Magic, at least for now, are keeping their center.

  • 192 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Thursday, Jul 12 2012)

    1. yehudi3000

      Why should Houston make this offer to Lin now?
      They know the knicks will match, and it won’t help their chance with Howard because they need cap space.

      The whole thing dont make any sense, im afraid that our buddy Lin will have to get another offer because we cant offer him this contract.

    2. Frank

      yehudi3000:
      Why should Houston make this offer to Lin now?
      They know the knicks will match, and it won’t help their chance with Howard because they need cap space.

      The whole thing dont make any sense, im afraid that our buddy Lin will have to get another offer because we cant offer him this contract.

      Just like in the Toronto case, and in any business, you’re only as good as your word. Morey told Lin they would offer him, and if he doesn’t, then no free agent will ever agree to talk to Morey again during the moratorium period, and won’t agree to anything until a contract is physically presented. He’ll offer it – likely is some timing thing related to either the Asik offer sheet or attempt to get Dwight.

    3. yehudi3000

      Frank: Just like in the Toronto case, and in any business, you’re only as good as your word. Morey told Lin they would offer him, and if he doesn’t, then no free agent will ever agree to talk to Morey again during the moratorium period, and won’t agree to anything until a contract is physically presented. He’ll offer it – likely is some timing thing related to either the Asik offer sheet or attempt to get Dwight.

      Any chance they are gooing to improve the offer since the knicks maid it clear that they’r gooing to match?

    4. iserp

      Lin (34) / Prigioni (14)
      Kidd (18) / JR Smith (30)
      Melo (36) / Novak (12)
      STAT (32) / Novak (6) / Jeffries (10)
      Chandler (30) / Camby (18)

      Not bad to start the season. Hope Shumpert comes back healthy.

    5. mr.JayP

      Knicks look good. But with Prigioni they gotten a tad bit old. I would have liked to see a rookie in their instead. So if it does work out, our future looks even brighter with having a tradeable asset/future player.

      Where does white and copeland fit into this mix?

    6. The Raging Platypus

      yehudi3000: Any chance they are gooing to improve the offer since the knicks maid it clear that they’r gooing to match?

      What would be the point? Just out of spite? It’s not going to happen.

    7. JC Knickfan

      We have 4 spot left (I presume JJ resigns) so not like Knicks can’t younger. I would keep a few spot open and let the summer league commence before deciding which remaining FA to make an offer.

      Experience SG would be nice and founding some more shooters.

    8. mr.JayP

      JC Knickfan:
      We have 4 spot left (I presume JJ resigns) so not like Knicks can’t younger. I would keep a few spot open and let the summer league commence before deciding which remaining FA to make an offer.

      Experience SG would be nice and founding some more shooters.

      i would love to see Grun bring in some unsigned FA. That would def. help us in the future and possibly now to have high energy players. With Vets like melo Ty n Kidd. They can def. help some youngins out.

      With white and copeland. Our front court seems about right.

      Tyson/Camby
      Stat/Copeland
      Melo/Novak/white

      It’s gonna be interesting to see how Woodson manages this line up.

    9. Z-man

      I can’t seem to view the comments on the last thread (salary cap), looks like a technical glitch…

    10. thenamestsam

      yehudi3000: Any chance they are gooing to improve the offer since the knicks maid it clear that they’r gooing to match?

      I’ve been wondering this too. The Rockets reached the agreement with two objectives presumably. 1. A very small chance that the Knicks wouldn’t match and 2. If they did match stick them with a larger tax payment (of which the Rockets grab a piece). Now that the Knicks have made it 100% clear that they’ll match, it makes a ton of sense to increase their offer. They know the Knicks will match even a higher offer so objective 1 is off the table. Now it’s only objective 2. So why not go back to Lin and say “Oh we changed our minds, here’s the max offer”.

      But then again I didn’t understand why they didn’t offer him the max in the first place. The more I think about it the more I wonder if the theory brought up yesterday by someone that the Rockets made him this offer as a favor to us to be repaid at a later time (the Camby deal?) makes sense. If so that would presumably be highly illegal, correct?

    11. Z-man

      At the beginning of last season, after enduring the lockout and then making the Chandler and Baron Davis acquisitions, I was super-optimistic (ans so were many others) that we would have a 40+ win season and a deep playoff run. Some of this optimism was based on hope. I hoped that:

      TD would be a good stop-gap PG and Baron Davis would be a solid PG, at least Felton-like (didn’t happen)

      STAT would be fully recovered and 15 lbs of muscle would make him more effective on the block (didn’t happen)

      Fields would improve and add something to his game (didn’t happen)

      Melo would have a great season and prove his doubters wrong (didn’t happen)

      Shump would prove to everybody that he could play reasonably at the point and could consistently shoot and finish (didn’t happen)

      The team would stay relatively healthy (didn’t happen)

      Everything else I expected pretty much happened. There were also some very pleasant surprises…Linsanity, Novakaine, JR. Looking back, the season hinged on avoiding the Heat, Celts and Bulls in the first round, and because that didn’t happen, the season was an overall disappointment.

      This off-season is very different. A lot of my optimism is still hope-based, but there is a much clearer image of what the team will be and won’t be than there was last year. Reasonable expectations: Lin is a top-15 PG, Kidd is a servicable back-up, Amare plays like he did when he came back from the epidural, Melo marginally improves his all-around game and plays like a top-5-10 player, Chandler plays like a DPOY, Camby is a solid back-up to Chandler, Novak shoots 40% from 3, JR plays to his career numbers, Prigioni and White are end-of-rotation contributers, JJ is re-signed and provides 10 minutes of solid back-up defense, Shump gets back to 90% before season’s end, the injury bug doesn’t bite multiple key players at the same time. If these things happen, we should definitely have home court in the first round of the playoffs and win…

    12. ephus

      Z-man: This off-season is very different. A lot of my optimism is still hope-based, but there is a much clearer image of what the team will be and won’t be than there was last year. Reasonable expectations: Lin is a top-15 PG, Kidd is a servicable back-up, Amare plays like he did when he came back from the epidural, Melo marginally improves his all-around game and plays like a top-5-10 player, Chandler plays like a DPOY, Camby is a solid back-up to Chandler, Novak shoots 40% from 3, JR plays to his career numbers, Prigioni and White are end-of-rotation contributers, JJ is re-signed and provides 10 minutes of solid back-up defense, Shump gets back to 90% before season’s end, the injury bug doesn’t bite multiple key players at the same time. If these things happen, we should definitely have home court in the first round of the playoffs and win

      This! Z-Man has perfectly encapsulated why I set par for this season at the Knicks winning their first round playoff series.

    13. Z-man

      I also think that Woodson adds stability to the picture, and will put his players in the best position to succeed without regard to accomodating a system. He won’t baby guys like D’Antoni used to, and if guys don’t commit to defense, they won’t play. I really think that Kidd is going to make a huge difference on the offensive end and his presence will more than make up for Woodson’s shortcomings as an offensive coach.

      Barring major injuries to multiple players, this team looks like at worst a 55 win team, meaning we should win 2 out of every 3 games. We should be very entertaining to watch, winning in multiple ways. I’m very fired up!

    14. jon abbey

      Z-man:

      Barring major injuries to multiple players, this team looks like at worst a 55 win team, meaning we should win 2 out of every 3 games.

      come on now. I’d say 55 wins is more like a best case ceiling, let’s try to be realistic.

    15. Z

      thenamestsam: I’ve been wondering this too. The Rockets reached the agreement with two objectives presumably. 1. A very small chance that the Knicks wouldn’t match and 2. If they did match stick them with a larger tax payment (of which the Rockets grab a piece). Now that the Knicks have made it 100% clear that they’ll match, it makes a ton of sense to increase their offer. They know the Knicks will match even a higher offer so objective 1 is off the table. Now it’s only objective 2. So why not go back to Lin and say “Oh we changed our minds, here’s the max offer”.

      But then again I didn’t understand why they didn’t offer him the max in the first place. The more I think about it the more I wonder if the theory brought up yesterday by someone that the Rockets made him this offer as a favor to us to be repaid at a later time (the Camby deal?) makes sense. If so that would presumably be highly illegal, correct?

      Lin wasn’t bound to the Rockets. He could have signed a sheet with anybody. He took the Rockets offer because it was the best one his agent could get him. Hard to a) be mad at the Knicks or it, or b) think the Rockets conspired against him. Makes no sense, the stuff they print in so-called “newspapers”.

    16. thenamestsam

      jon abbey:
      only 4-5 teams each year have 55+ wins usually.

      Yeah, I mean the Heat, the favorites, won 58 games 2 years ago, and were on a just over 58 per 82 pace last year. My point being that no team’s floor is 55 games. I’d set the over/under at about 50 with a hope that we can get to the high 50s and grab a #2 or even #1 seed.

    17. thenamestsam

      Z: Lin wasn’t bound to the Rockets. He could have signed a sheet with anybody. He took the Rockets offer because it was the best one his agent could get him. Hard to a) be mad at the Knicks or it, or b) think the Rockets conspired against him. Makes no sense, the stuff they print in so-called “newspapers”.

      Did he meet with any teams other than the Rockets? Maybe you’re right that it was the best offer his agent could get, but then we have to ask why that was. Give me a logical reason that the Rockets, knowing that the Knicks would match, wouldn’t max him. One reason.

    18. Frank

      thenamestsam: I’ve been wondering this too. The Rockets reached the agreement with two objectives presumably. 1. A very small chance that the Knicks wouldn’t match and 2. If they did match stick them with a larger tax payment (of which the Rockets grab a piece). Now that the Knicks have made it 100% clear that they’ll match, it makes a ton of sense to increase their offer. They know the Knicks will match even a higher offer so objective 1 is off the table. Now it’s only objective 2. So why not go back to Lin and say “Oh we changed our minds, here’s the max offer”.

      But then again I didn’t understand why they didn’t offer him the max in the first place. The more I think about it the more I wonder if the theory brought up yesterday by someone that the Rockets made him this offer as a favor to us to be repaid at a later time (the Camby deal?) makes sense. If so that would presumably be highly illegal, correct?

      2 things:

      #1 – if the Rockets can change their mind, then the Knicks can too, right? So if Morey increases his offer to 4 years $36M, then he could very well be stuck with that. Not worth negative publicity, not to mention no team would ever deal with him again for blatantly just screwing over another team for no good reason.

      #2 – I’m pretty sure there will be no smoking gun re: the Camby thing being a “favor”. Conspiracy theories will come and go but there’ll be no way to prove this.

    19. Z-man

      jon abbey: only 4-5 teams each year have 55+ wins usually.

      So who is clearly better than us on paper? Miami, OKC, Lakers

      We are in the mix with the Celts, Spurs, Bulls, and Clips. If you split the difference, we are the #6 team in the league, so while 55 wins is optimistic, it is not far-fetched.

    20. ephus

      Since it has been widely reported that Goran Dragic received essentially the same offer as Lin, I do not see a lot of evidence of a Knicks-Rockets conspiracy.

      I do not think that the Rockets put forth a really compelling offer, like they did for Asik. If they can get Lin for 3 years @ $6.3 million/year with a team option for $9.3 in year 4, the Rockets would be thrilled.

    21. JC Knickfan

      GM GG is making effect to scour the other leagues for Vet min. Include JJ I’m counting 12 players on the roster, but realistically we not going to have more 10 man rotation. If Knicks find some Diamond in rough, it’s still good trade chips. I’m very excited to watch the preseason.

      Best case scenario Knicks found replacement for Amare. I still see Amare defense bring this team down, but at trade deadline his contract only has 2 year left. Gets a little more desirable.

    22. Z

      thenamestsam: Give me a logical reason that the Rockets, knowing that the Knicks would match, wouldn’t max him. One reason.

      This isn’t the cold war. There’s no Realpolitik at play.

      The league is very incestuous, and GMs, wisely, know that their jobs are unstable and that they could soon depend on another front office for their next job. It is in no ones interest to screw with other team’s plans unless you are in direct competition at hat moment (like Toronto re:Fields– and that was a risk tat could really turn out to hurt Toronto).

      In truth, there is NO logical reason for the Rockets to max Lin. They’d stand nothing to gain except an overpaid PG (that would hurt their flexibility re:Howard) and everything to lose (Morey is already on somewhat shaky ground in Houston).

    23. jon abbey

      heh, Z-Man, first you said “Barring major injuries to multiple players, this team looks like at worst a 55 win team”.

      which is what I took issue with. then you responded with:

      “So who is clearly better than us on paper? Miami, OKC, Lakers

      We are in the mix with the Celts, Spurs, Bulls, and Clips. If you split the difference, we are the #6 team in the league, so while 55 wins is optimistic, it is not far-fetched.”

      this I think is much more reasonable and accurate, although maybe still a touch optimistic before we see how our pieces gel, etc.

    24. Z-man

      Yeah, jon, I got a bit carried away. I am still amazed at how well our cap has been managed (thanks, GG!) in the face of the pessimism here by the stats-cap guys after the Amare and Melo signings. Some luck involved (Lin, Bird rights case) but lots of skill too.

      One key difference between us and the Celts and Spurs is that our “old” guys are not expected to play starter’s minutes. That makes for more optimism. On the other hand, STAT and Chandler do have wear and tear issues despite their relative youth.

    25. TelegraphedPass

      jon abbey: heh, Z-Man, first you said “Barring major injuries to multiple players, this team looks like at worst a 55 win team”.which is what I took issue with. then you responded with:“So who is clearly better than us on paper? Miami, OKC, LakersWe are in the mix with the Celts, Spurs, Bulls, and Clips. If you split the difference, we are the #6 team in the league, so while 55 wins is optimistic, it is not far-fetched.”this I think is much more reasonable and accurate, although maybe still a touch optimistic before we see how our pieces gel, etc.

      Yeah, I mean the big issue to me is that these predictions are all made assuming positive things all happen to the Knicks and none of these other teams.

      What if Kyrie improves? What if Dion Waiters is real? The Cavs were a fringe playoff team before Varejao went down. That team could be really good.

      The Raps have KLOE and Val is coming over from Europe to play with Bargs (who low-key had a very good season before he got injured last year). They can also replace the awful DeMar DeRozan with Terrance Ross, who looks to be a solid player early. That’s a scary team too.

      Sullinger could be really productive very quickly. I wouldn’t be shocked if he locked down a starting job by midway through the next season. Bradley will be back, so there is no reason to think the Celtics won’t have another top-3 defense next year.

      And that’s just the Eastern Conference. I understand the optimism, but we have no idea what effect our roster changes will have on the team.

    26. jon abbey

      Hollinger thinks we’ll match on Fields (Insider):

      “Count me in among those who think the Knicks will match Toronto’s ridiculous offer sheet for Landry Fields. New York doesn’t care about salary. The Knicks have proven this, and they have just a three-year window with the Anthony-Stoudemire-Chandler group before they’ll need to blow it up anyway. Fields’ deal fits perfectly on that timeline, as do the arrangements for Kidd and Marcus Camby.

      Besides, New York needs somebody to start at the 2 this season while it waits for Iman Shumpert to return from his late-April ACL injury. If the Knicks don’t keep Fields, they need to either use Kidd or some minimum contract guy as their starting shooting guard. It will be bloody expensive, but New York has shown time and again that cost isn’t going to stop them from getting a player.”

    27. ephus

      I do not know what the Knicks are thinking, but the tax burden of matching on Landry Fields and keeping him to the end of that contract would be enormous.

      JR Smith can be the stopgap starter at the SG until Shumpert returns. A guard rotation of Lin/JR/Kidd with Prigioni getting spot minutes would seem to suffice until January.

      If Dolan approves bringing back Fields, they would almost certainly have to trade/waive him before the 2014-15 season, or face an additional tax burden of $20 – $32 million, depending on how the rest of the salary cap lined up. Even if Fields recovers his shooting stroke, it is hard to see how he could be traded at $8.3 million without taking back at least that much in salary. Waiving Fields would allow the Knicks to stretch his salary over 3 years, which would alleviate the tax burden since the Knicks may not be taxpayers starting in 2015-16 when the ‘Melo/Stat/TC contracts expire.

    28. yellowboy90

      There are some vet mins you could play a role until Shump returns. Ronnie Brewer, C.J. miles, and Terrence Williams are guys who might be available. Then again they might be just out of the Knicks range. Ia m not a big fan of him but Stevenson is another guy and Raja Bell too.

    29. johnlocke

      I don’t think they’re going to match. There are still players out there like a Jodi Meeks, who are knock-down shooting, space shooters that would be a much better fit in our offense. We don’t need more slashers / paint hoggers. Belinelli if he’s available could be another stop-gap filler until Shump gets back. Pretty sure Landry is going to be signing the Canadian anthem for a few years–would be shocked if the Knicks match.

      ephus:
      I do not know what the Knicks are thinking, but the tax burden of matching on Landry Fields and keeping him to the end of that contract would be enormous.

      JR Smith can be the stopgap starter at the SG until Shumpert returns.A guard rotation of Lin/JR/Kidd with Prigioni getting spot minutes would seem to suffice until January.

      If Dolan approves bringing back Fields, they would almost certainly have to trade/waive him before the 2014-15 season, or face an additional tax burden of $20 – $32 million, depending on how the rest of the salary cap lined up.Even if Fields recovers his shooting stroke, it is hard to see how he could be traded at $8.3 million without taking back at least that much in salary.Waiving Fields would allow the Knicks to stretch his salary over 3 years, which would alleviate the tax burden since the Knicks may not be taxpayers starting in 2015-16 when the ‘Melo/Stat/TC contracts expire.

    30. Z-man

      ephus: Even if Fields recovers his shooting stroke, it is hard to see how he could be traded at $8.3 million without taking back at least that much in salary. Waiving Fields would allow the Knicks to stretch his salary over 3 years, which would alleviate the tax burden since the Knicks may not be taxpayers starting in 2015-16 when the ‘Melo/Stat/TC contracts expire.

      If Fields recovers his shooting stroke, he is a solid MLE+ player…durable, athletic, smart, versatile. That is an IF of colossal proportions, though. His shot looked broken beyond repair last year. If he put up a 58%TS next year with an improved, sustainable stroke, matching could turn out be a smart move. I’m just not feeling it, though. Best case scenario is a Shane Battier clone, worst case is, well, more of what we saw since the last 20 games of his rookie year. That is a huge range and consequently a huge gamble. I can’t imagine that we can’t find someone with next year’s MLE or first round pick that is not close to as good as Fields for way less money.

    31. ephus

      While Donnie Walsh was with the Knicks, you could get a read on what they were going to do by reading Pete Vecsey. I’m not sure that there is anyone who is tied to Grunwald in the way that Vecsey/Walsh were linked.

      Alan Hahn (who works for MSG) writes that he does not expect the Knicks to match, and I am inclined to believe he has the best sources. But all will be revealed in the next two days.

      If the Knicks do match on Fields, I do not want to hear his salary and tax obligations cited as a reason why the Knicks abstain from making acquisitions in 2014-15. As a fan, all I care about is whether the Knicks take full advantage of the window over the next three years.

    32. Z-man

      TelegraphedPass: Yeah, I mean the big issue to me is that these predictions are all made assuming positive things all happen to the Knicks and none of these other teams. What if Kyrie improves? What if Dion Waiters is real? The Cavs were a fringe playoff team before Varejao went down. That team could be really good.The Raps have KLOE and Val is coming over from Europe to play with Bargs (who low-key had a very good season before he got injured last year). They can also replace the awful DeMar DeRozan with Terrance Ross, who looks to be a solid player early. That’s a scary team too.Sullinger could be really productive very quickly. I wouldn’t be shocked if he locked down a starting job by midway through the next season. Bradley will be back, so there is no reason to think the Celtics won’t have another top-3 defense next year. And that’s just the Eastern Conference. I understand the optimism, but we have no idea what effect our roster changes will have on the team.

      If we have to worry about competing with the Cavs and Raptors with the current depth and stability on our team, we might as well shoot ourselves right now. I don’t think that any of my propositions defy logic. I’m not suggesting that Melo has an MVP year, that Amare plays like he did in Phx, that Lin is the second coming of Steve Nash, etc. Keep in mind that we were 36-30 with all but Linsanity and Novakaine going against us. Nobody else on the team exceeded expectations and most failed to meet them. There was a coaching change and the team proceeded to go 18-6 against a very representative schedule in spite of injuries to Lin and Amare; they were one loss vs. Cleveland from playing Indiana in the first round instead of the eventual champs.

      I also think that Atlanta, Indiana, Philly and Orlando got weaker, which should help pad our record a bit.

    33. Ben R

      A couple of thoughts about Fields. I would say true market value for him is about the mini-mle which is about a 10 million over three years offer, so he is getting overpaid by about 3 million a year. If his shooting stroke comes back then he will be mostly worth it, he will still be overpaid but 3 years 18 million is 6 million a year, less than Childress, Garcia, Thornton, Butler, Harrington, Walton, etc. There are quite a few overpaid wings in this league and Fields’s contract is no more out of line than any of them.

      He is not worth $6 million a year but it’s a low risk move since it has almost zero impact on our cap or flexibility and can we please stop talking about the luxury tax, none of us are paying it and Dolan will still be making tons of money off the Knicks so its not like it even hurts him much. I am willing to bet that the Knicks even with a $50 million tax hit are still more profitable than most of the teams in the NBA.

      In fact with the way Dolan raises ticket prices and is an ass in general I’m happy he has to pay lots of luxury tax, I’d rather see it go to the NBA than Dolan’s wallet.

    34. TelegraphedPass

      Z-man: If we have to worry about competing with the Cavs and Raptors with the current depth and stability on our team, we might as well shoot ourselves right now.

      You are severely underrating Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and Kyle Lowry. That Raps team in particular is very different than it was last year. KLOE was a legit MVP candidate pre-injury. He’s a fantastic player and we still don’t know what Terrence Ross will be like. Andrea Bargnani was phenomenal as well, on both ends of the floor. He was still a trash rebounder, but there are ways to help with that. I don’t expect it, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Raptors made the playoffs this year.

    35. Z-man

      So your logic is that since there are other grossly overpaid wings in the league, we shoud sign Fields? That makes absolutely no sense to me. One could argue that letting Toronto have Fields for that ridiculous sum hurts their cap scenario going forward, and therefore helps us, but that makes just as little sense. Also, if Amare or Chandler become tradable in year 2-3, but won’t lead to cap flexibility because of Landry’s untradable $10mill, isn’t that a real consideration? I’m not totally sure how the cap works, but that jumps out at me.

      $40+ million in luxury tax is not worth keeping a marginal rotation player around, whether it’s Dolan or anyone else. Fields is not the difference between winning a championship or not. Even as a diehard fan, I am not that desperate for an edge to hope or expect that Dolan should do something so blatantly stupid. Who the fuck is Landry Fields to merit that level of management stupidity?

      If he decides to do it, fine, I go back to rooting hard for Fields to revert to his first 50 games as a rookie form, probably in vain, just like I rooted for Steph, Eddy, and all the other players brought in by bad management decisions. But I sincerely hope we let Fields go to a place where his flat-ass bricks won’t matter.

    36. Frank

      TelegraphedPass: You are severely underrating Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and Kyle Lowry. That Raps team in particular is very different than it was last year. KLOE was a legit MVP candidate pre-injury. He’s a fantastic player and we still don’t know what Terrence Ross will be like. Andrea Bargnani was phenomenal as well, on both ends of the floor. He was still a trash rebounder, but there are ways to help with that. I don’t expect it, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Raptors made the playoffs this year.

      Fair enough, but considering we will have some continuity, added superior depth at our previous positions of greatest need, and finished 18-6 under Woody, I still agree with Z-man’s assessment- if we are fighting with the Cavs and Raptors, this whole board will collectively shoot ourselves. The Cavs and Raptors will be respectable, but I think are probably 2 players away, each.

    37. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      TelegraphedPass: You are severely underrating Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and Kyle Lowry. That Raps team in particular is very different than it was last year. KLOE was a legit MVP candidate pre-injury. He’s a fantastic player and we still don’t know what Terrence Ross will be like. Andrea Bargnani was phenomenal as well, on both ends of the floor. He was still a trash rebounder, but there are ways to help with that. I don’t expect it, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Raptors made the playoffs this year.

      Bargnani has the lowest ORB/36 of any 7′ player in the history of the league. He averaged 6 TRB/36 last year. He’s seven feet tall. Also, he’s not a good shooter. Average, yes, but not good.

    38. Frank

      Annnnndddd…. James “Flight” White is going to play on the summer league team. I guess I’ll watch, just to see him and Copeland play.

    39. johnlocke

      Discussions about Field’s market value is and whether Dolan should pay, side-step the most important point, which is that he’s not the best cog for this team at the SG position. We need a dependendable/non-streaky 3 point shooter at that position, so that players don’t cheat off that player to hedge / double Melo and Amare in the mid/low post. Fields is not that player and I wouldn’t take a $20M bet, hoping he learns how to shoot above 60% from the line again and above 20% from three, when you can get a specialist who fits our needs at the vet minimum or slightly more like a Meeks or Belinelli or even a Foye (though don’t think we can afford him). Fields doesn’t make sense from a basketball standpoint, whether Dolan should/should not pay luxury tax is a different point entirely.

      Ben R:
      A couple of thoughts about Fields. I would say true market value for him is about the mini-mle which is about a 10 million over three years offer, so he is getting overpaid by about 3 million a year. If his shooting stroke comes back then he will be mostly worth it, he will still be overpaid but 3 years 18 million is 6 million a year, less than Childress, Garcia, Thornton, Butler, Harrington, Walton, etc. There are quite a few overpaid wings in this league and Fields’s contract is no more out of line than any of them.

      He is not worth $6 million a year but it’s a low risk move since it has almost zero impact on our cap or flexibility and can we please stop talking about the luxury tax, none of us are paying it and Dolan will still be making tons of money off the Knicks so its not like it even hurts him much. I am willing to bet that the Knicks even with a $50 million tax hit are still more profitable than most of the teams in the NBA.

    40. TelegraphedPass

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Bargnani has the lowest ORB/36 of any 7? player in the history of the league. He averaged 6 TRB/36 last year. He’s seven feet tall. Also, he’s not a good shooter. Average, yes, but not good.

      He still put up an overall PPP of .98 and a allowed less than .8 points per defensive possession. I noted that he was a poor rebounder haha. I also think he’s a better shooter than you’re giving him credit for. His 3PT% last season looks pretty anomolous, and he shot well at the charity stripe.

      We are both of course aware of how he’s viewed by Wins Produced, but Bargs looked very good to me last year, minus his truly awful rebounding.

    41. TelegraphedPass

      johnlocke: Fields doesn’t make sense from a basketball standpoint, whether Dolan should/should not pay luxury tax is a different point entirely.

      Inaccurate. This is based on the assumption that a 3 point shooter is the area of greatest need for this team, except we already have a reliable wing shooter. Why pay somebody else to do the exact same job JR Smith does, and probably worse? Landry is also a swingman, and his skillset fits well with Kidd and Melo’s.

    42. StatsTeacher

      Likin’ that video of Prigioni, thanks Z-man.

      If the Knicks match Fields that would really solidify the “now or never” sentiment. Since Shump is hurt, I actually think they should. Fix a 5 month problem with a 3 year piece of shit !?! contract.

      How did GS just acquire Jarret Jack for nothing? Hate to say it, I think he is better than Kidd, and I love Kidd (Norcal dude). Seems like we need Fields or better, Courtney Lee or better still, Brandon Rush, but GS cleared cap room (they are allergic to the cap BIG TIME) to sign Rush by giving away Dorell Wright. One piece to go, who will it be?

    43. mr.JayP

      I would still put ind. Philly and ATL above the raps. And cavs. They might have improved. But not that much IMO. Great young talent that will be a threat in the coming years.

      And with what the other guy was saying about 50+ wins. That should def. be the goal for the reg. season 50+ wins. Considering the way this team is constructed, they have proven they can win a multiple of ways. Now is the time to show case that with a lot more consistency.

    44. thenamestsam

      Frank:
      yowza – Blake Griffin hurt his knee today and is headed back to LA.

      Jeez. For the good of the league I really hope it’s not the ACL again. Dude has an amazing skillset but people have been saying for a while that if he didn’t learn how to play in control he was going to have injury problems. Looks like he could be headed that way.

      As far as team USA it almost makes me more excited to see how they’re going to play. They’re just stupidly undersized at this point. The backup 5 is presumably either Anthony Davis or KLove. They’re going to struggle guarding the bigger teams, but they will be just as unguardable at the other end if they go super small. Could be a very aesthetically pleasing style.

    45. johnlocke

      Are you serious? We were like 21st in the NBA in 3 pt shooting last season and about 1st or 2nd in number of attempts – don’t feel like looking this up again, but that’s about right. JR is a hot and cold shooter, at least he was with us last season. He’ll go 7-10 or 1-8 behind the line. You’re also arguing that Fields and Melo’s skill-sets fit well together? Field’s stats fell off a click starting last season. My assumption is that the most important weakness for this team is space-creating, reliable shooting that preferably comes from a player that can shoot off the catch or off the dribble and isn’t just a spot-up shooter like Novak, who can be nullified with athleticism.

      TelegraphedPass: Inaccurate. This is based on the assumption that a 3 point shooter is the area of greatest need for this team, except we already have a reliable wing shooter. Why pay somebody else to do the exact same job JR Smith does, and probably worse? Landry is also a swingman, and his skillset fits well with Kidd and Melo’s.

    46. The Infamous Cdiggy

      Ben R:
      A couple of thoughts about Fields. I would say true market value for him is about the mini-mle which is about a 10 million over three years offer, so he is getting overpaid by about 3 million a year. If his shooting stroke comes back then he will be mostly worth it, he will still be overpaid but 3 years 18 million is 6 million a year, less than Childress, Garcia, Thornton, Butler, Harrington, Walton, etc. There are quite a few overpaid wings in this league and Fields’s contract is no more out of line than any of them.

      He is not worth $6 million a year but it’s a low risk move since it has almost zero impact on our cap or flexibility and can we please stop talking about the luxury tax, none of us are paying it and Dolan will still be making tons of money off the Knicks so its not like it even hurts him much. I am willing to bet that the Knicks even with a $50 million tax hit are still more profitable than most of the teams in the NBA…

      I normally don’t agree with many of your posts or points but I see what you’re saying here. And you make a good point that there are a bunch of overpaid wings at that cost. However, I still have a really, really hard time with Fields getting $6 mill per after his performance last season, especially when the level of competition rose on the court. I’d rather see the team try to find a backup 2 (as opposed to asking a backup 3 to continue playing the starting 2) that can do at least some of the things this team needs a 2 to do, like spread the floor via decent outside shooting.

      Despite my feelings, it’s not an easy choice. We don’t want to start the season with a gaping hole at one starting position like last season, but is it worth overpaying for someone who isn’t worth what’s being offered to him?

    47. TelegraphedPass

      johnlocke: Are you serious? We were like 21st in the NBA in 3 pt shooting last season and about 1st or 2nd in number of attempts – don’t feel like looking this up again, but that’s about right. JR is a hot and cold shooter, at least he was with us last season. He’ll go 7-10 or 1-8 behind the line. You’re also arguing that Fields and Melo’s skill-sets fit well together? Field’s stats fell off a click starting last season. My assumption is that the most important weakness for this team is space-creating, reliable shooting that preferably comes from a player that can shoot off the catch or off the dribble and isn’t just a spot-up shooter like Novak, who can be nullified with athleticism.

      I’m aware the Knicks were a poor three point shooting team. I imagine it had less to do with JR Smith (35%) than starting guard Landry Fields (26%), starting guard Jeremy Lin (32%), starting guard Baron Davis (31%), Iman Shumpert (31%), Toney Douglas (23%), Bill Walker (32%), and Mike Bibby (32%).

      I’m not sure where you’re getting inconsistent from when he shot nearly 40% on spot-up threes. So he went stretches shooting 60% and stretches shooting 20%? Or is it possible you’re projecting an image upon him based on what you want to believe?

      Also, you haven’t successfully argued why Melo and Fields don’t play well together. Our best unit last year played Melo and Fields together.

    48. johnlocke

      Telegraphed Pass –
      You should look at attempts, not just the %s. JR shot 6 threes a game. Also 35% 3pt shooting is nothing to get excited about …15 teams shot that average last season. Regarding Melo and Fields, this was pretty obvious and has already been discussed time and time again on this board. Melo posts-up and draws double-teams, the ball swings around the perimeter, once it gets to Fields he’s taking a shot that has an 80% chance of missing or worse, he’s passing up an open shot, stagnating the offense and forcing a teammate of his to jack up a contested shot, late in the shot clock.

      Regarding JR, the stats speak for themselves, you can look yourself, he was either white hot, or going 0-5, or 1-6 or 1-11 and the like. http://espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/2444/jr-smith

      Not dissing JR, just pointing out we need better and more consistent shooting and that Fields hurts our offense, if Melo post-ups and ball movement are going to be at the center of that offense. Feel free to disagree, just expressing my POV. What do you think the Knicks main weakness is right now?

    49. Kikuchiyo

      The new acquisitions are clearly about experience and stability. One might joke that this team needs a Medicare expert to go along with its capologist. But the knucklehead factor from this past season should be mitigated by the vets.

      And who on the team, other than the new old guys, won’t be even better next year? I don’t buy that Amar’e is declining, and J.R.’s year (and judgment) had to have been affected by scoring 34+ PPG in China. There’s some question about the 2 until Shumpert is fully back, but I am glad that this team gets a chance to put it all together. I don’t expect a championship, but in almost every way this team should be as good and probably better than its best moments from this year.

      Still, I vote “No” on Landry Fields.

    50. gjknick

      Regardless of how Fields and Melo played together or if JR is inconsistent or deadly from 3, we need anther 2 guard to play with JR till Shump comes back. I know jon abbey believes Shump’s superhuman abilities and athleticism will lead to his quick recovery, but if I’m GM, I have got to hedge my bets. I want another 2 guard who can defend and hit the 3.

      Folks are going to know the Knicks are hoping Shump comes back quick and strong and that will impact the minutes of whomever signs with us. We also know that we can’t sign anyone over 2 mil – that’s with a Gadzook sign and trade. I’m just not sure who is out there that’s a better bet than Landry that is willing to sign for the min or awfully close to the min. If your GM, do you wait out the market and see who falls in your lap or do you go to your boss Jimmy D and tell him Landry is worth over $50 million – including tax payments – for 3 years. At this point, I would be waiting it out. We’ve had a couple of undervalued assets fall our way lately – Lin, Novak, JR

    51. TelegraphedPass

      @53

      He took a lot of threes, but he isn’t the reason the Knicks were a poor 3 point shooting team last year. He was one of the best shooters in a crop of bad guards.

      And yeah, JR had many cold games. He’s still shot 35% overall on a down year, and is among the very best spot-up and transition 3 point shooters in the NBA. You really think Anthony Morrow didn’t have cold streaks as well? Look at any other volume 3PT shooter’s gamelog. Everyone does it. There aren’t really any magical shooters who guarantee you a 3 of 5 every game; everyone has inconsistencies.

    52. TelegraphedPass

      I think the Knicks’ main weakness is the complete and utter lack of a cogent offensive system. Melo and STAT’s talents have yet to be synergized. Landry’s role was uncertain. JR was asked to do far too much and played the 1-3 last year, when he’s a pure 2.

      I don’t think Landry solves those issues; I just don’t see how he hurts. You want a good spot-up 3PT shooter to wait on the wings and punish teams for helping on STAT and Melo, so you want to sign another wing to do what JR can do perfectly fine? That’s my confusion. JR shot even higher than his 40% last year in previous seasons. I can pretty much guarantee that nobody available makes more sense than JR Smith if that’s the use you have for them.

      And Landry brings variety and the ability to slide to the 3, which is more valuable than replicating JR’s shooting because he’s too much of a “knucklehead” (and I won’t even begin to parse the cultural implications of that statement).

    53. JK47

      We should be a much better 3-point shooting team simply because we won’t be getting a repeat performance of the 58-238 (.243) 3PT shooting performance of our opening day backcourt last year, Toney Douglas and Landry Fields. Take out the horrendous shooting of those two and the team shot .353 from 3PT, which would have been good for 13th in the league.

    54. ephus

      TelegraphedPass: And Landry brings variety and the ability to slide to the 3, which is more valuable than replicating JR’s shooting because he’s too much of a “knucklehead” (and I won’t even begin to parse the cultural implications of that statement).

      C’mon. It is not exactly going out on a limb to say that JR Smith has made poor on-court and off-court decisions thus far in his career. It was those poor decisions that brought him to the Knicks at a cheap price, and his reputation for poor decision-making that kept him bargain-priced for this year. I do not want to recite the litany of JR Smith’s past transgressions, but they are real.

      TelegraphedPass: I don’t think Landry solves those issues; I just don’t see how he hurts

      So Landry Fields = Chicken Soup

      I would not get too excited either way about bring back Landry Fields, so long as his presence (and the tax) does not inhibit the Knicks from making moves in the future. Someone has to play 24 minutes per game at SG until Shumpert returns. I do not think Landry Fields is the best fit, but we are talking about thirty games. Even if he were horrible, the difference between Fields and his replacement is probably two or three games over the course of those thirty games. But, once Shumpert returns, Fields cannot eat into Shumpert’s minutes, which he will need to re-hab and develop.

    55. 2FOR18

      Whether we overpay for Fields or not is irrelevant as to whether we can sign a shooter like Foye, Meeks, Bellinelli, Nasty Nate, Redd, Delfino, Azubuike, ??? for the vet min., so the whole point is moot.

    56. KnickfaninNJ

      Ephus, am I correct that your analysis of the cost of Fields assumes the salary cap stays the same for the next three years? It did stay the same this year (I admit, contrary to my prediction); but that was an artificial hold mandated by the new CBA because the lack of a full season last year would have given an unrelistic cap this year. So if the cap increases say 3% a year will that save the Knicks significant penalty money incurred by signing Fields?

    57. ruruland

      thenamestsam: Yeah, I mean the Heat, the favorites, won 58 games 2 years ago, and were on a just over 58 per 82 pace last year. My point being that no team’s floor is 55 games. I’d set the over/under at about 50 with a hope that we can get to the high 50s and grab a #2 or even #1 seed.

      Once again, according to last year’s pythag, the Knicks should have won 51 games last season if it was 82 games long.

      50 games is not a big deal for a really good team. It’s definitely underachieving.

      Are the Knicks more talented than the Bulls who won 62 games or the Spurs who won 61 games in ’11? Yes

      Are they more talented than the Mavericks, who won 57 games that year? Yes.

      So, again, a number in the high 50s low 60s can happen, but most things have to go right. It means that the Knicks have to stay in the top 5-6 in defensive efficiency, and make a substantial jump in offensive efficiency.

      I think if they stay healthy, the offensive jump is going to happen.

    58. Brian Cronin

      Ephus, am I correct that your analysis of the cost of Fields assumes the salary cap stays the same for the next three years? It did stay the same this year (I admit, contrary to my prediction); but that was an artificial hold mandated by the new CBA because the lack of a full season last year would have given an unrelistic cap this year. So if the cap increases say 3% a year will that save the Knicks significant penalty money incurred by signing Fields?

      You are correct. Good point, by the way. Is the cap seriously going to go up, though? I didn’t know they added that much more new revenue.

    59. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Telegraphed Pass –
      You should look at attempts, not just the %s. JR shot 6 threes a game. Also 35% 3pt shooting is nothing to get excited about …15 teams shot that average last season.Regarding Melo and Fields, this was pretty obvious and has already been discussed time and time again on this board. Melo posts-up and draws double-teams, the ball swings around the perimeter, once it gets to Fields he’s taking a shot that has an 80% chance of missing or worse, he’s passing up an open shot, stagnating the offense and forcing a teammate of his to jack up a contested shot, late in the shot clock.

      Regarding JR, the stats speak for themselves, you can look yourself, he was either white hot, or going 0-5, or 1-6 or 1-11 and the like. http://espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/2444/jr-smith

      Not dissing JR, just pointing out we need better and more consistent shooting and that Fields hurts our offense, if Melo post-ups and ball movement are going to be at the center of that offense.Feel free to disagree, just expressing my POV.What do you think the Knicks main weakness is right now?

      JR, the last 5-6 years, is one of the most lethal spot-up weapons in the game of basketball.

      Even in a down year by his standards, he was the 56th best spot-up player in the NBA.

      When we look at his overall 3pt percentage, we must take into consideration that unlike most great spot-up shooters, JR is also capable of taking a high volume of off-dribble 3s because of his talent, which really hurts his percentage.

      In a situation with both a good passing point guard, or two, and multiple ways of creating offense already on the floor, JR can go back to simply doing what he does best— spot-up 3′s, transition, driving against rotation and occasional pick and roll…

    60. KnickfaninNJ

      You mean other than higher Knicks ticket prices ;-)

      Seriously, the biggest source of possible new revenue might be more international revenue from broadcasts abroad (maybe driven by Lin?). But I have no idea if that would significantly affect the cap.

    61. ruruland

      TelegraphedPass:
      I think the Knicks’ main weakness is the complete and utter lack of a cogent offensive system. Melo and STAT’s talents have yet to be synergized. Landry’s role was uncertain. JR was asked to do far too much and played the 1-3 last year, when he’s a pure 2.

      I don’t think Landry solves those issues; I just don’t see how he hurts. You want a good spot-up 3PT shooter to wait on the wings and punish teams for helping on STAT and Melo, so you want to sign another wing to do what JR can do perfectly fine? That’s my confusion. JR shot even higher than his 40% last year in previous seasons. I can pretty much guarantee that nobody available makes more sense than JR Smith if that’s the use you have for them.

      And Landry brings variety and the ability to slide to the 3, which is more valuable than replicating JR’s shooting because he’s too much of a “knucklehead” (and I won’t even begin to parse the cultural implications of that statement).

      I like Fields and his side pick and roll and nice upside but not at the price and not without giving him a real chance to develop…..

      SO, I ‘m with the others in wanting a solid spot-up shooter who can defend some and doesn’t need minutes.

      JR Smith is going to start and it’s my personal belief that he won’t be giving up the starting job. There’s an outside chance Kidd starts as well, but I really think Woody is going to give JR a chance.

      The last time JR was giving the long-term starting role, he was amazing — .617TS over 25 games in Denver before the fight at the Garden.

    62. ephus

      KnickfaninNJ:
      Ephus,am I correct that your analysis of the cost of Fields assumes the salary cap stays the same for the next three years?It did stay the same this year (I admit, contrary to my prediction); but that was an artificial hold mandated by the new CBA because the lack of a full season last year would have given an unrelistic cap this year.So if the cap increases say 3% a year will that save the Knicks significant penalty money incurred by signing Fields?

      My analysis was based upon a supposition that the Knicks would remain roughly $10 million over the tax threshold absent Fields. The salary paid to the Knicks players already under contract will go up over the next few years, because most of the players already have raises built into their contracts. The salary cap will also go up as league revenues increase. The CBA already includes projections that revenues and the salary cap will increase by approxmately 4% per year. Currently, the players will get 50% of revenues, but if revenues grow more than expected, that number can move up to 51%, and if revenues grow less than expected, that number can move down to 49%.

      So, in order for the Fields’ tax liability to decrease significantly from the numbers I have estimated, NBA revenues would have to grow significantly more than 4%/year.

    63. Brian Cronin

      In the past, we have had years where the cap grew at a much higher than 4% rate. I just have no idea if we’re at that point now. We’ve seen 10% increases in the past. But I doubt we’d see that in the near future, but I dunno, it depends on how well they’re doing, I guess.

    64. Brian Cronin

      I like Fields and his side pick and roll and nice upside but not at the price and not without giving him a real chance to develop…..

      Yeah, the “chance” thing is definitely a weird aspect of the situation. With this team (and especially with this coach), how much of a chance is he really going to get once Shump returns? Then again, when you’re making $7 million a year, I suppose you can’t complain about chances.

    65. ruruland

      Brian Cronin: Yeah, the “chance” thing is definitely a weird aspect of the situation. With this team (and especially with this coach), how much of a chance is he really going to get once Shump returns? Then again, when you’re making $7 million a year, I suppose you can’t complain about chances.

      It’s as much about how this affects Fields as it is about what kind of player you’re going to get in a limited role.

      A veteran that’s past the development and trying to prove himself stage is not going to care if plays 25-30 minutes every game. That guy is not going to lose his focus if he doesn’t play a few games.

      And focus is critical in a 10-15 minute role.

      We don’t need all that Fields could bring to that role, we just need solid defense and the ability to hit an open jump shot.

      I would be shocked if the Knicks match, anyhow.

    66. KnickfaninNJ

      Sorry, according to the iPhone Spell checker, ephus is actually Elvis. Who knew?

    67. Frank

      The good thing about Fields is, like Ruru said, his ability to create on the PNR, but also that he moves very well without the ball. We don’t have a lot of that on this team right now. Our projected starting lineup has 3.5 guys (Lin, JR, Amare, Melo) that like to create with the ball in their hands and 1.5 guys (Amare and Tyson) that are used to finishing off someone else’s action. To be honest, if Fields could somehow find the shooting form he had in year 1, he would be quite perfect for this offense – occasional creation, basket cuts, O-rebs, and open 3′s.

      I sort of get the feeling that Fields will get it together again, which is why I’m sad that he got this ridiculous offer sheet. He HAS to accept it, and I’d be really surprised to see the Knicks match it. At the end of the day, I think there’s probably a 40/60 chance that he justifies a $6M/year contract, which is certainly more than one can say for guys like Brook Lopez and his $15M/year contract.

    68. thenamestsam

      ruruland:

      Are the Knicks more talented than the Bulls who won 62 games or the Spurs who won 61 games in ’11? Yes

      Are they more talented than the Mavericks, who won 57 games that year? Yes.

      I think this is plain crazy talk, but I’m also pretty sure nothing I could say would make you agree with me. You’re an incurable optimist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What would you set the over/under at for next year?

    69. Frank

      I think we ARE more talented than the Bulls without Rose – that I feel very comfortable saying. Not so sure about the Spurs, as their big 3 are not only better than our big 3 but are far more synergistic. Spurs also have quality depth, much as we do.

      But the Bulls have Thibodeau, who probably is the best defensive coach in the NBA. And Spurs have Pop, who is probably the best overall coach in the NBA. We have Woodson, who at best is probably above average.

      What I’d love to see now that Kidd and Tyson are both on board is for the coaching staff to pick their brains on how the Mavs played such great defense in 10-11 with basically sub-par defenders other than Marion and TC. Various analysts have talked about it and suggested they were almost like a Rex Ryan defense with different looks, deception, coming in and out of zone/man concepts.

    70. Brian Cronin

      I sort of get the feeling that Fields will get it together again, which is why I’m sad that he got this ridiculous offer sheet. He HAS to accept it, and I’d be really surprised to see the Knicks match it. At the end of the day, I think there’s probably a 40/60 chance that he justifies a $6M/year contract, which is certainly more than one can say for guys like Brook Lopez and his $15M/year contract.

      Yeah, exactly. It was a killer offer. You know he wants to be in New York, but guaranteed starter minutes and $7 million a year?!?! How could anyone turn that down? And yeah, the fact that “all” he needs to do is return to his first year shooting numbers to be worth roughly $7 million is just brutal. It means he has all that tantalizing upside (which is why Toronto was willing to overpay even if Nash didn’t come there) but upside is likely not enough to justify spending all of that money, especially with a roster as packed as the Knicks’ current one (and, of course, with a coach who is not exactly Fields’ biggest fan).

    71. thenamestsam

      Frank:
      I think we ARE more talented than the Bulls without Rose – that I feel very comfortable saying.Not so sure about the Spurs, as their big 3 are not only better than our big 3 but are far more synergistic. Spurs also have quality depth, much as we do.

      Well he was saying 2011 Bulls who had MVP level Rose (even if he wasn’t quite worthy). We’re certainly more talented than Bulls sans Rose, but with him, I really can’t understand that viewpoint. To me, saying we’re more talented than that team is goofy and probably based on essentially ignoring their ridiculous depth of defensive talent. But that’s Ruru in a nutshell. He believes very deeply in this Knicks team, and I find it heartening for the most part.

    72. ruruland

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGfLSQM2oVs

      I’ve been watching the Mavericks games from last year via Synergy, just to see what Kidd brings at this stage. I’m even more excited than I was when he first signed.

      The Mavericks certainly had less offensive talent last year than the Knicks will next year, which is a critical point to me.

      At times, the lack of talent diminished Kidd’s value on the floor.

      The one thing is he is not, and I think we all know this — great penetrator in the half-court.

      However, he more than makes up for that in a lot of ways.

      First, his speed hasn’t totally disappeared.

      He is still fast enough to start from behind the defense and lead the fast break.

      Far more importantly, however, his floor awareness is absolutely off the charts good. This is both in transition and in the half-court.

      He sees things before they happen and uses his elite passing skills to get it there before the defense is set.

      In transition, if he’s not leading the break, his outlet passes are among the best in the NBA. With the many athletes and runners on the roster, and with guys like JR, Melo and Lin, and even Amar’e capable of converting for dunks and layups with the ball once past the half-court line, this is huge.

      Kidd is likely to increase the Knicks transition efficiency substantially.

      In the half-court, Kidd is a genius. He still is a very good pick and roll passer, not Steve Nash but better than anyone on the roster last year… Great timing and he’ll work with guys who like to slip picks…

      When he’s not involved in a play, however, he never holds the ball for than a second… He likes to hang around the 3-pt line and read the interaction between offense and defense so he can anticipate which side of the floor he should pass to.

      He makes a lot of quick, touch passes when the defense converges on him, and will often make multiple passes in the same possession to create an easy shot.

      He’s like a west…

    73. ruruland

      coast quarterback.

      He’s also a great rebounder as many of us know, but there’s a lot more value with his rebounding abilities..

      Kidd finds loose balls and starts transition/semi-transition offense.

      When Kidd is on the court, he will be running the offense. And when he’s playing, there won’t be any confusion about who is getting the ball where. It’s not just that all of his teammates will respect him, it’s the efficacy of the offense he leads — guys get easy shots when he’s on the floor.

      Like I said, he’s a genius, both on offense and defense. He’s completely and totally dedicated to finding the best shot for his team on offense, which is EXACTLY what the Knicks needed at times last year.

    74. Brian Cronin

      Speaking of nice offers to free agents (or, in the alternative, “speaking of strained segues”), I’m going to be doing my Sports Legends Revealed column for ESPN.com!

    75. ruruland

      thenamestsam: Well he was saying 2011 Bulls who had MVP level Rose (even if he wasn’t quite worthy). We’re certainly more talented than Bulls sans Rose, but with him, I really can’t understand that viewpoint. To me, saying we’re more talented than that team is goofy and probably based on essentially ignoring their ridiculous depth of defensive talent. But that’s Ruru in a nutshell. He believes very deeply in this Knicks team, and I find it heartening for the most part.

      Talent is not the same as effort. The Knicks have more total talent than the Bulls of two years ago, but the Bulls maximized the talent they had.

      Deng, Noah, Gibson, — all good players who maximize their talent.

      As a team, the Bulls were as cohesive and max effort on defense as any team in the league.

      But what happens in the playoffs when teams match their effort? They basically lose in talent. They have one true shot creator on their roster. That isn’t going to get it done.

    76. ruruland

      thenamestsam: I think this is plain crazy talk, but I’m also pretty sure nothing I could say would make you agree with me. You’re an incurable optimist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What would you set the over/under at for next year?

      Like I said, floor is low 50s, ceiling is low 60s.

      There is little doubt they are more talented than those teams, but there is significant doubt all the pieces will work together like those teams.

    77. DRed

      My two cents on Fields is that his contract isn’t that ridiculous. If he returns to shooting something near his rookie % from 3 than he’ll probably outperform the contract. And the thought of James Dolan paying shitloads of luxury tax money doesn’t phase me in the slightest. I’m not convinced that Fields can play with Melo, because I think he works best in a motion offense, but it’s not unreasonable for us to match Toronto’s offer.

    78. ruruland

      Frank:
      I think we ARE more talented than the Bulls without Rose – that I feel very comfortable saying.Not so sure about the Spurs, as their big 3 are not only better than our big 3 but are far more synergistic. Spurs also have quality depth, much as we do.

      Duncan is going to be 36, Manu 35 and chronically injured. They’re a highly synergistic team with a nice mix around the core, but they’re lack of athleticism shows on the defensive end.

      The Knicks were much better than them defensively last year.

    79. ruruland

      Brian Cronin:
      Speaking of nice offers to free agents (or, in the alternative, “speaking of strained segues”), I’m going to be doing my Sports Legends Revealed column for ESPN.com!

      I don’t know what that is.

    80. RicanKnick

      I’m no genius or anything…but last time I checked Landry Fields was a starting SG with no jumpshot and played horrendous defense against the Heat. In that regular season game vs Miami that he played with Lin, both looked like turkeys running without heads. He’s a good player, but he doesn’t deserve all that money. That been said, I REALLY hope the Knicks don’t match Raptors offer. I think we can cover the SG position with a FA till Shump gets healthy…IMHO.

    81. ruruland

      thenamestsam: Well he was saying 2011 Bulls who had MVP level Rose (even if he wasn’t quite worthy). We’re certainly more talented than Bulls sans Rose, but with him, I really can’t understand that viewpoint. To me, saying we’re more talented than that team is goofy and probably based on essentially ignoring their ridiculous depth of defensive talent. But that’s Ruru in a nutshell. He believes very deeply in this Knicks team, and I find it heartening for the most part.

      Let’s go through the depth of defensive “talent” — Korver, Boozer, Kurt THomas, Ronnie Brewer— you’re confusing cohesion and max effort with “defensive talent.”

    82. Frank

      Brian Cronin:
      Speaking of nice offers to free agents (or, in the alternative, “speaking of strained segues”), I’m going to be doing my Sports Legends Revealed column for ESPN.com!

      congrats Brian! with Jim/Mike et al writing for the NYT and you going to the Mothership, Knickerblogger is really going high-class now!

    83. ruruland

      Frank: congrats Brian! with Jim/Mike et al writing for the NYT and you going to the Mothership, Knickerblogger is really going high-class now!

      Nice, Brian. Post it when it’s up. I’ve done a few pieces for ESPN.com Recruiting Nation.

    84. Brian Cronin

      congrats Brian! with Jim/Mike et al writing for the NYT and you going to the Mothership, Knickerblogger is really going high-class now!

      Gracias! Yes, Knickerblogger will soon control all the world’s media.

    85. DRed

      RicanKnick:
      I’m no genius or anything…but last time I checked Landry Fields was a starting SG with no jumpshot and played horrendous defense against the Heat. In that regular season game vs Miami that he played with Lin, both looked like turkeys running without heads. He’s a good player, but he doesn’t deserve all that money. That been said, I REALLY hope the Knicks don’t match Raptors offer. I think we can cover the SG position with a FA till Shump gets healthy…IMHO.

      Who didn’t play like shit against the Heat? The average NBA player makes a bit over 5 million a year. If Fields can shoot close to the way he did as a rookie he’s an above average player.

    86. Frank

      ruruland: Let’s go through the depth of defensive “talent” — Korver, Boozer, Kurt THomas, Ronnie Brewer— you’re confusing cohesion and max effort with “defensive talent.”

      They really do have excellent defensive talent. Noah, Gibson, Asik are all superior defenders. Kurt Thomas is still solid. Ronnie Brewer is a great defender, and I really liked what I saw out of their rookie Butler last year. And Deng was all-NBA defense wasn’t he?

      They play really hard, are coached well, and have great defensive talent. That’s why they’re #1 the last 2 years in D. But the offense is terrible – totally agree with that. With no Rose, they’re not going anywhere. Even WITH Rose their ceiling might be 2nd round considering how much stronger the eastern conference has gotten.

    87. PaulStreetBoy

      with a decent camp before the season, i think Fields can figure out a proper role for himself either as a starter or backup in this team. although it will never justify the money he will get paid, but if we don’t match him, we don’t have much money to spend for an FA anyway. and none of the FAs who is going to take the veteran’s minimum will be better than him. so why care about Dolan-dollars? just do it!

    88. Frank

      The thing about Fields is that you get the feeling his shooting woes are mental, not physical. It’s not like he started missing like Toney Douglas – just a little off all the time. He was missing 3′s by FEET. Shots never even got above the rim. He looked like the basketball version of Steve Sax or Knoblauch out there, where throws weren’t just a little off – they were 5 feet short or in the stands.

      With a full offseason to work on his body and his brain, I think there’s a good chance he pulls out of this.

      Funny thing is – if you look at his Stanford stats, they look very similar to his average CAREER pro stats (averaging his good first and awful 2nd year together). Maybe he’ll just be a 65% FT shooter and 34% 3 point shooter.

    89. Caleb

      ruruland: Let’s go through the depth of defensive “talent” — Korver, Boozer, Kurt THomas, Ronnie Brewer— you’re confusing cohesion and max effort with “defensive talent.”

      This is a weird way of looking at talent. How do you win 60 games without a ton of talent? ipso facto.

    90. PaulStreetBoy

      btw, i hate Alan Hahn poking JR to piss him off if Landry gets signed. i don’t think JRs was loyalty only. most possibly he did not think he can commend a better salary elsewhere and that’s why he stayed. it is not that he left millions of dollars on the table elsewhere. ok, we may be supporters but we are not clueless about the realities of the world. i am sure Hahn himself will switch to covering to Nyets if Prokhorov offers him double his salary!

    91. ruruland

      Frank: They really do have excellent defensive talent. Noah, Gibson, Asik are all superior defenders. Kurt Thomas is still solid. Ronnie Brewer is a great defender, and I really liked what I saw out of their rookie Butler last year. And Deng was all-NBA defense wasn’t he?They play really hard, are coached well, and have great defensive talent. That’s why they’re #1 the last 2 years in D. But the offense is terrible – totally agree with that. With no Rose, they’re not going anywhere. Even WITH Rose their ceiling might be 2nd round considering how much stronger the eastern conference has gotten.

      Deng is an example of defensive talent — long, great lateral movement.

      Brewer is not a great defensive talent by any stretch — but he plays extremely hard. The Bulls do have some fantastic defensive talent– Deng, Noah, Asik, Gibson–but many of their defensve players are specialists.

      They also lack offensive talent, and instead rely greatly on energy plays at the rim- second shots.

      They are not that talented overall. The Knicks current roster is more talented.

    92. thenamestsam

      ruruland: Like I said, floor is low 50s, ceiling is low 60s.

      There is little doubt they are more talented than those teams, but there is significant doubt all the pieces will work together like those teams.

      Eh, agree to disagree. Ability to be cohesive and to give max effort are “skills” much more than people like to believe in my opinion. Some players give more effort than others, and some players are better at fitting with their teammates, so dismissing that as not an aspect of “talent” seems pointless to me.

      Anyway, getting back to the genesis of the argument I posted saying that I didn’t believe any team’s floor outcome was 55 wins. You responded basically saying you disagreed with me, but now say that this team’s floor is low 50s. Not sure why you bothered to disagree in that case, but anyway I think your numbers make it pretty obvious we’re talking about pretty different things when we say floor and ceiling. When I say floor I mean basically an absolute worst case scenario: i.e. a win total that I think there’s a 95% chance we do better than. It seems to me that’s not what you mean, if you only have a 10 win gap between the floor and the ceiling. Either that or you believe this Knicks team has a very tight band of possible outcomes, which seems inconceivable to me. What’s your definition of floor?

    93. Caleb

      I dunno, to me if you win more basketball games than anyone else you are more talented at basketball.

    94. ephus

      For everyone who questioned Lin’s decision not to participate in the Select Team because he did not have a deal in place, I direct you to Blake Griffn’s knee.

      If the Rockets hold up much longer on presenting Lin’s offer sheet, I hope the Knicks offer him a 3 year MLE, with the last year at player’s option. $5.3/5.7/6.1 (player’s option) would give Lin $17.1 million guaranteed dollars vs. $19.3 million guaranteed dollars under the Rockets’ offer sheet, but allow Lin to become an unrestricted free agent two years earlier. The last, non-guaranteed year under the Rockets’ offer sheet (@$9.3 million) is very team friendly.

    95. Brian Cronin

      with a decent camp before the season, i think Fields can figure out a proper role for himself either as a starter or backup in this team. although it will never justify the money he will get paid, but if we don’t match him, we don’t have much money to spend for an FA anyway. and none of the FAs who is going to take the veteran’s minimum will be better than him. so why care about Dolan-dollars? just do it!

      When you put it that way, I guess it is all kinda relative. Like, for instance, Amar’e is way overpaid, as well, but he is useful, so we don’t worry about it too much. And that’s a matter where he is probably making $5 million more than he would get on the traditional open market right now (perhaps even more. What do you think Amar’e would get on the open market? $13 million? $14 million? I’m going with $15 million but I could be overestimating). So if Dolan is willing to pay, does it really matter if Fields becomes another Jerome James? It won’t affect the Knicks’ ability to add anyone. And his contract will run out the same time everyone else’s does.

    96. ruruland

      Caleb: This is a weird way of looking at talent. How do you win 60 games without a ton of talent? ipso facto.

      It’s really not weird at all, it’s actually a very conventional way of looking at teams at all levels.

      Let me ask you this. Do you think there is ever a discrepancy between talent and results?

      If so, is it not unreasonable for a lesser talented team to get the most out of their talent and outperform a more talented?

      I’m not saying the Bulls aren’t and weren’t talented, I’m saying that they’ve maximized their talent, when other, more talented teams around the league have not, therefore winning less games.

    97. Caleb

      If Lin and Chandler are basically healthy all year, I’ll be pretty surprised for this team not to crack 50 wins. The predictions here are pretty reasonable.

      But they are definitely vulnerable on those two spots. No Chandler and they’ll suddenly have a below average defense. And they’re in better shape behind Lin than they were last year, but I sure wouldn’t want to count on a Kidd/Prigioni combo.

      This is no dis on Melo, but the Knicks could survive a 2- or 3- month absence of his, a lot better.

    98. ruruland

      Caleb: I dunno, to me if you win more basketball games than anyone else you are more talented at basketball.

      Talent is much more easily defined as a single or set of attributes than that of one player’s “winning ability.”

      Winning is dependent on the collective. Talent is independent of it.

    99. Brian Cronin

      with a decent camp before the season, i think Fields can figure out a proper role for himself either as a starter or backup in this team. although it will never justify the money he will get paid, but if we don’t match him, we don’t have much money to spend for an FA anyway. and none of the FAs who is going to take the veteran’s minimum will be better than him. so why care about Dolan-dollars? just do it!

      Yeah, yikes, that “loyalty” shot at Fields by Hahn was unfair. What the fuck was Fields supposed to do? It wasn’t like the Knicks were even going to offer him the full MLE and then Toronto offers him $7 million a year for three years. What an asinine comment to make.

    100. Brian Cronin

      Nice, Brian. Post it when it’s up. I’ve done a few pieces for ESPN.com Recruiting Nation.

      Thanks! Do you have a link for the Recruiting Nation stuff? I’d like to read it.

    101. Brian Cronin

      For everyone who questioned Lin’s decision not to participate in the Select Team because he did not have a deal in place, I direct you to Blake Griffn’s knee.

      To be fair, I really don’t think anyone here really questioned it. It was more of a mainstream Knick fan complaint.

      If the Rockets hold up much longer on presenting Lin’s offer sheet, I hope the Knicks offer him a 3 year MLE, with the last year at player’s option. $5.3/5.7/6.1 (player’s option) would give Lin $17.1 million guaranteed dollars vs. $19.3 million guaranteed dollars under the Rockets’ offer sheet, but allow Lin to become an unrestricted free agent two years earlier. The last, non-guaranteed year under the Rockets’ offer sheet (@$9.3 million) is very team friendly.

      The hold up on Houston’s end is mystifying.

    102. Caleb

      ruruland: It’s really not weird at all, it’s actually a very conventional way of looking at teams at all levels.

      Let me ask you this. Do you think there is ever a discrepancy between talent and results?

      If so, is it not unreasonable for a lesser talented team to get the most out of their talent and outperform a more talented?

      I’m not saying the Bulls aren’t and weren’t talented, I’m saying that they’ve maximized their talent, when other, more talented teams around the league have not, therefore winning less games.

      Well, there’s a few things here. one is how you define talent.. that’s kind of a tangent. By some definitions, the #1 high school player in America might have more talent than any NBA player (or almost any NBA player) but he wouldn’t even be an average NBA player right now.

      I’m just saying that “talent” is kind of a useless word to throw around. it’s a lot more valuable to say “good at basketball.” Your last point, about the Bulls coming closer than most to maximizing their potential, is a fair point (although I’ll say that winning 60+ two years in a row means you’re good enough to win a title, as-is. That’s maxing out at a really high level).

      On a side note, when we talk about talents there’s also the issue of individual vs. team “talent.” Depending on the mix of skills, a team can be less talented than the sum of its parts. e.g. Bron & Wade. IMO this is still a potential issue for the Knicks.

    103. ruruland

      thenamestsam: Eh, agree to disagree. Ability to be cohesive and to give max effort are “skills” much more than people like to believe in my opinion. Some players give more effort than others, and some players are better at fitting with their teammates, so dismissing that as not an aspect of “talent” seems pointless to me. Anyway, getting back to the genesis of the argument I posted saying that I didn’t believe any team’s floor outcome was 55 wins. You responded basically saying you disagreed with me, but now say that this team’s floor is low 50s. Not sure why you bothered to disagree in that case, but anyway I think your numbers make it pretty obvious we’re talking about pretty different things when we say floor and ceiling. When I say floor I mean basically an absolute worst case scenario: i.e. a win total that I think there’s a 95% chance we do better than. P>

      Floor meaning reasonable health and players playing somewhat close to career norms (though obviously below their averages)

      Of course, the Knicks’ charter could crash somewhere and maybe you’d be right about absolute “floor.”

      If most things go wrong, and the Knicks suffer high amount of injuries, I could see .500ish.

      When I say floor and cieling, I’m talking about the space between scenarios most likely to occur. A lot went wrong last year and they were on pace for 51 wins in an 82 game season.

      I agree to an extent that cohesion and ability to adapt to the group areindividual skills, but they fluctuate a lot more than purely physical talent.

      In other words, there are players who can fit in and exter max effort in one group, but a player is not going to be able to change his wingspan.

    104. Caleb

      ruruland: Talent is much more easily defined as a single or set of attributes than that of one player’s “winning ability.”

      Winning is dependent on the collective. Talent is independent of it.

      This sounds like jargon to me… but I would make the point: you (meaning, anyone) needs the check of reality when evaluating “talent.” Winning could hardly be less independent of talent. When a team or player you think is “talented” falls on their face, the most likely reason is they weren’t as talented as you thought in the first place. And vice-versa, when someone seems to overachieve.

      One aspect of this is people weren’t valuing the right things – the right “talents.” Which gets us back to definitions. Is running really fast a “talent?” Shooting a basketball? Having court vision? Having endurance and durability?

      Sportswriters do this all the team, twisting themselves in knots to avoid the obvious conclusion that they misjudged “talent.” Compare descriptions of Stephon Marbury and David Lee over the course of their careers.

    105. 2FOR18

      ruruland: Let’s go through the depth of defensive “talent” — Korver, Boozer, Kurt THomas, Ronnie Brewer— you’re confusing cohesion and max effort with “defensive talent.”

      Playing with “max effort” and playing intelligently are skills and “talent” in and of themselves. Our 2 superstars are questionable in both respects, plus we have JR the knucklehead. You’re too reliant on physical talent in your predictions about the Knicks and their comp. Thus, I think you’re nuts to say that the Knicks are more “talented” than the Spurs or a healthy-Rose Bulls team.

    106. ruruland

      Caleb: Well, there’s a few things here. one is how you define talent.. that’s kind of a tangent. By some definitions, the #1 high school player in America might have more talent than any NBA player (or almost any NBA player) but he wouldn’t even be an average NBA player right now. I’m just saying that “talent” is kind of a useless word to throw around. it’s a lot more valuable to say “good at basketball.” Your last point, about the Bulls coming closer than most to maximizing their potential, is a fair point (although I’ll say that winning 60+ two years in a row means you’re good enough to win a title, as-is. That’s maxing out at a really high level). On a side note, when we talk about talents there’s also the issue of individual vs. team “talent.” Depending on the mix of skills, a team can be less talented than the sum of its parts. e.g. Bron & Wade. IMO this is still a potential issue for the Knicks.

      We’re talking about and comparing talent at the NBA level. It’s rather easy to see that one player is more talented than another player — quicker, faster, higher leaper, etc

      It’s much more difficult to understand how one player can contribute more to a team than a more talented player.

      Talent isn’t arbitrary or ambiguous. Neither is work ethic. They are all different, however.

    107. jon abbey

      Caleb, if we were talking about an individual sport like tennis I’d agree with you, but I disagree in a collective sense.

      and 2FOR18, playing with max effort and intelligently are great in the regular season, but talent is necessary in the postseason, one major reason Chicago and San Antonio haven’t lived up to their regular season records in the last two postseasons (injuries also, but lack of individual talent is also an issue).

    108. ruruland

      Caleb: This sounds like jargon to me… but I would make the point: you (meaning, anyone) needs the check of reality when evaluating “talent.” Winning could hardly be less independent of talent. When a team or player you think is “talented” falls on their face, the most likely reason is they weren’t as talented as you thought in the first place. And vice-versa, when someone seems to overachieve. One aspect of this is people weren’t valuing the right things – the right “talents.” Which gets us back to definitions. Is running really fast a “talent?” Shooting a basketball? Having court vision? Having endurance and durability? Sportswriters do this all the team, twisting themselves in knots to avoid the obvious conclusion that they misjudged “talent.” Compare descriptions of Stephon Marbury and David Lee over the course of their careers.

      Sometimes certain skills are underappreciated. I would absolutely agree with it. In other words, David Lee’s ability to read and understand body position is a skill that is very hard to evaluate outside of a team context.

      There are certain skills players ahve or can acquire within the team concept that should not and cannot be evaluated in the same way as individual talent.

      So, I don’t necessarily disagree.

    109. jon abbey

      yehudi3000: Yesm Brewer is just as bad from 3 and FT %

      since we’re talking about a guy to play with the Chandler/Amare/Melo/Lin unit, to me defense is more important than offense.

    110. ruruland

      2FOR18: Playing with “max effort” and playing intelligently are skills and “talent” in and of themselves. Our 2 superstars are questionable in both respects, plus we have JR the knucklehead. You’re too reliant on physical talent in your predictions about the Knicks and their comp. Thus, I think you’re nuts to say that the Knicks are more “talented” than the Spurs or a healthy-Rose Bulls team.

      Here’s the thing though.

      Effort and sometimes intilligence can be manifest or latent depending on external circumstances, including small group dynamics.

      Individual talent is always there, but is either utilized or not utilized often based on external circumstances that are not dependent on the individual.

    111. The Infamous Cdiggy

      Brian Cronin: When you put it that way, I guess it is all kinda relative. Like, for instance, Amar’e is way overpaid, as well, but he is useful, so we don’t worry about it too much. And that’s a matter where he is probably making $5 million more than he would get on the traditional open market right now (perhaps even more. What do you think Amar’e would get on the open market? $13 million? $14 million? I’m going with $15 million but I could be overestimating). So if Dolan is willing to pay, does it really matter if Fields becomes another Jerome James? It won’t affect the Knicks’ ability to add anyone. And his contract will run out the same time everyone else’s does.

      I rather not risk three more years of what we saw last year at $6 mil per. I mean, all NBA contracts have been proven to be trade-able sooner or later, but still.

      And you’re right: Amar’e is way overpaid – but was he the first half of 2010-’11? Will Fields’ play ever justify, even for a month or three, $6 to $7 mil per?

      I just can’t see it.

    112. ruruland

      2FOR18: Playing with “max effort” and playing intelligently are skills and “talent” in and of themselves. Our 2 superstars are questionable in both respects, plus we have JR the knucklehead. You’re too reliant on physical talent in your predictions about the Knicks and their comp. Thus, I think you’re nuts to say that the Knicks are more “talented” than the Spurs or a healthy-Rose Bulls team.

      If playing hard was a talent, why is that many players can choose on a whim when to play hard and when not to?

      Can Jeffries choose when to jump like Lebron James?

    113. ruruland

      jon abbey: since we’re talking about a guy to play with the Chandler/Amare/Melo/Lin unit, to me defense is more important than offense.

      I’m a Brewer fan because he is a max effort guy almost all of the time ;)

    114. 2FOR18

      jon abbey:
      Caleb, if we were talking about an individual sport like tennis I’d agree with you, but I disagree in a collective sense.

      and 2FOR18, playing with max effort and intelligently are great in the regular season, but talent is necessary in the postseason, one major reason Chicago and San Antonio haven’t lived up to their regular season records in the last two postseasons (injuries also, but lack of individual talent is also an issue).

      Well if we’re gonna go anywhere we need the max effort and intelligent / synergistic play all season in order to get a high enough seed to avoid Miami until the ECF. I could care less how physically talented someone is if they don’t play hard and smart 100% of the time.

    115. jon abbey

      interesting to note that CHI and SA have both been the #1 seeds two years running now, and both lost in the first round once and in the conference finals the other year, giving them a collective 4-4 record in series over the two years.

    116. jon abbey

      2FOR18: I could care less how physically talented someone is if they don’t play hard and smart 100% of the time.

      no one plays hard and smart 100% of the time in the NBA, it’s a marathon.

    117. 2FOR18

      jon abbey: no one plays hard and smart 100% of the time in the NBA, it’s a marathon.

      Let me ask you this.
      Everyone would say that this team is more “talented” than the Ewing/Oakley/Mason/Starks/Harper Knicks.

      Which team would you rather have, and which do you think would go farther in the playoffs right now?

    118. jon abbey

      2FOR18: Let me ask you this.
      Everyone would say that this team is more “talented” than the Ewing/Oakley/Mason/Starks/Harper Knicks.

      Which team would you rather have, and which do you think would go farther in the playoffs right now?

      apples and oranges, different eras. that team would have been severely hampered under the current defensive rules, as they were very physical.

      but I’m not arguing that talent is everything, just the opposite.

    119. thenamestsam

      Scola is a shocker. I have to figure that means they’ve essentially reached an agreement with Orlando, right? No way they’re amnestying him until they know for sure that gives them the space to bring in Howard. I can’t decide whether I like what Morey is doing here.

      On the one hand getting Dwight finally lands him the big fish he covets, and if he can keep him I have a lot of faith in his ability to bring in decent pieces to surround him, he has shown himself to be excellent at tinkering with the edges of his roster.

      On the other hand, it’s really a titanic gamble, since they’re not going to be any better than Orlando I don’t think. Once they take Orlando’s junk contracts and give up a bunch of young assets, I can’t see how they’re good immediately. He’s basically counting on the extra money being enough to keep Dwight in house, even if they stink next year. I can see it going either way.

    120. thenamestsam

      Oh also reverberations for the Knicks. Have to think Scola getting amnestied raises the possibility of either he or Brand sneaking through waivers. Either one of those guys would be an awesome addition as a scoring big off the bench, but they could also potentially really help other teams as well. Both are good players who could have big time ramifications if they join contenders.

    121. Z

      thenamestsam:
      Oh also reverberations for the Knicks. Have to think Scola getting amnestied raises the possibility of either he or Brand sneaking through waivers. Either one of those guys would be an awesome addition as a scoring big off the bench, but they could also potentially really help other teams as well. Both are good players who could have big time ramifications if they join contenders.

      It’s all so complicated and hard to follow. I don’t if anybody can answer this, but which teams have the requisite cap space at the moment to make a waiver claim? (and do any of those teams contnders that need size? Between Haywood, Brand, Darko, and Scola, there is a lot of it suddenly on the market.)

    122. Brian Cronin

      Have to think Scola getting amnestied raises the possibility of either he or Brand sneaking through waivers.

      A “possibility,” I guess, but not really.

    123. Brian Cronin

      It’s all so complicated and hard to follow. I don’t if anybody can answer this, but which teams have the requisite cap space at the moment to make a waiver claim? (and do any of those teams contnders that need size? Between Haywood, Brand, Darko, and Scola, there is a lot of it suddenly on the market.)

      As of right now, the following teams have cap room:

      Dallas
      Houston
      Charlotte
      New Orleans (Not positive if they still do if they match Gordon’s offer sheet)
      Phoenix (if New Orleans matches)
      Atlanta
      Cleveland
      Denver (but not if they bring back McGee)
      Washington (just barely)
      Toronto (I believe even with Fields)
      Sacramento
      Portland (depending on Batum)
      Philadelphia
      Minnesota (depending on Batum)

    124. ephus

      According to Eric Pincus @ Hoopworld, the preliminary NBA estimate for next year is that the salary cap will go from $58 million to $60 million, and the luxury tax level will increase $3 million from $70 million to $73 million. If this proves accurate, the Knicks will be even further above the tax threshold next year, because TC/Stat/Melo alone will rise by $5 million.

    125. Frank

      Z-man:
      I would be flabbergasted if either guy made it through waivers.

      never going to happen. both are still highly productive, good team guys. All a team has to do is bid the vet’s minimum. Dallas may end up with both.

      Re: Ronnie Brewer – I’m a big fan. Not only is he an amazingly nice guy (I got to meet him for an hour or so once), he’s perfect for this team (other than that shooting the ball thing). But great team guy, excellent defender, good off-ball player. One thing I’ll look at on Synergy re: how well someone plays away from the ball is to add up the % of their possessions used that have to be created “for” them:

      Cuts, O-Reb, Transition, Spot-ups – I like looking at these rather than %assisted because a lot of %assisted are still shots that were the result of plays called for them. There are some crossovers, especially in spot-ups, but still interesting.

      For instance, Landry uses ~72% of his possessions in these ways. Courtney Lee, another guy I love but we’ll never be able to afford, gets about 60% of his possessions this way. Melo, on the other hand only ~29%. Amare, only 44%.

      Ronnie Brewer is very close to Landry Fields – ~68%. These are the guys we should be looking for now that we have all these ball-dominant guys. And he’s a great defender.

    126. Z-man

      Houston is doing some crazy shit. Do they seriously think they can land Howard? Or is this part of a 3-way Howard to Lakers/Nets deal?

    127. ruruland

      Frank: never going to happen. both are still highly productive, good team guys. All a team has to do is bid the vet’s minimum. Dallas may end up with both.Re: Ronnie Brewer – I’m a big fan. Not only is he an amazingly nice guy (I got to meet him for an hour or so once), he’s perfect for this team (other than that shooting the ball thing). But great team guy, excellent defender, good off-ball player. One thing I’ll look at on Synergy re: how well someone plays away from the ball is to add up the % of their possessions used that have to be created “for” them:Cuts, O-Reb, Transition, Spot-ups – I like looking at these rather than %assisted because a lot of %assisted are still shots that were the result of plays called for them. There are some crossovers, especially in spot-ups, but still interesting.For instance, Landry uses ~72% of his possessions in these ways. Courtney Lee, another guy I love but we’ll never be able to afford, gets about 60% of his possessions this way. Melo, on the other hand only ~29%. Amare, only 44%.Ronnie Brewer is very close to Landry Fields – ~68%. These are the guys we should be looking for now that we have all these ball-dominant guys. And he’s a great defender.

      Remember, that’s what I did with the Melo/Lin analysis a few weeks ago.

      Remember, when you look at 82games it’s just percentage of makes that are assisted, not percentage of assisted attempts.

      Off-screen/hand-offs are typically very low even for most wings, with the exception of a few guys who are great at them– Ray Allen and Rip.

      So, while 29% of Melo’s makes were assisted, the assisted percentage is smaller because assisted % field goal % is always higher.

      Brewer is Fields minus some passing but a much better defender.

    128. ephus

      If Houston never makes the Jeremy Lin offer, there is one totally off-the-wall possibility: Lin takes the Knicks’ qualifying offer and becomes a RFA again next year, but this time the Knicks would have Full Bird rights. It would be a HUGE risk on Lin’s part, but if he performs at Linsanity levels, he would get to a max deal next off-season.

    129. Z

      Brian Cronin: As of right now, the following teams have cap room:

      Dallas
      Houston
      Charlotte
      New Orleans (Not positive if they still do if they match Gordon’s offer sheet)
      Phoenix (if New Orleans matches)
      Atlanta
      Cleveland
      Denver (but not if they bring back McGee)
      Washington (just barely)
      Toronto (I believe even with Fields)
      Sacramento
      Portland (depending on Batum)
      Philadelphia
      Minnesota (depending on Batum)

      Wow, thanks Brian. So, yeah, the chance of the amnestied players that can actually play basketball getting past all those teams is slim– especially with good teams like Dallas and Philadelphia in the mix, along with a bunch of teams that can’t woo FA but can hold amnestied players captive:)

      It would be wild if Phily effectively trades Brand for Scola while clearing away $18 million in cap space in the process. That would be an exec-of-the-year type move.

    130. Z

      Brian Cronin: As of right now, the following teams have cap room:

      Dallas
      Houston
      Charlotte
      New Orleans (Not positive if they still do if they match Gordon’s offer sheet)
      Phoenix (if New Orleans matches)
      Atlanta
      Cleveland
      Denver (but not if they bring back McGee)
      Washington (just barely)
      Toronto (I believe even with Fields)
      Sacramento
      Portland (depending on Batum)
      Philadelphia
      Minnesota (depending on Batum)

      So wait, I have more questions: Can any of these teams make a competitive waiver claim? Or can the teams that are further under the cap make higher bids? (and what is the going rate for claims? What did the Clippers bid for Billups? (is he the oly one that got claimed so far?)

    131. Brian Cronin

      They all make blind bids for the amenestied players. So yeah, if a team wanted to cap out Scola, they could guarantee that they’d get him. It’ll now be fascinating to see how much a player like Scola gets in a blind bid.

      Billups got signed to a small contract, under $3 million, I believe. Davis made it through. But those were both the type of player you don’t really try to sign if you’re a young team. Scola, though, is, so he could be looking at something resembling his actual contract.

      What I don’t know (and I don’t know if anyone has said one way or the other) is how do you compare stuff like, a one-year $8 million contract versus a two-year $12 million contract? Or can these players only be signed to a one-year deal? I honestly do not know. ephus, any idea?

    132. Z-man

      Brewer seems like an “innings eater” kind of player, who can help keep the key guys fresh for the playoffs. For the minimum, why not?

    133. Z

      Brian Cronin:

      What I don’t know (and I don’t know if anyone has said one way or the other) is how do you compare stuff like, a one-year $8 million contract versus a two-year $12 million contract? Or can these players only be signed to a one-year deal? I honestly do not know. ephus, any idea?

      Hmmm– I just read this, buried in Zach Lowes most recent piece:

      “The rules for minimum bids on amnesty players are complex. But the minimum bid on Milicic would appear to be $3.915 million, the amount of non-guaranteed money in the last season of his current deal (2013-14). The “winning” team would spread that money over two seasons because his contract has two years left.”

      That addresses the issue, I think, but it still leaves a lot of gray area as to what teams can offer for people that they’d actually want (ie, not Darko Milicic:)

    134. ephus

      Brian Cronin: What I don’t know (and I don’t know if anyone has said one way or the other) is how do you compare stuff like, a one-year $8 million contract versus a two-year $12 million contract? Or can these players only be signed to a one-year deal? I honestly do not know. ephus, any idea?

      Teams make a lump sum offer. It gets divided equally over the remaining years of the contract. The minimum bid is the player’s veteran’s minimum salary for all remaining years, plus any non-guaranteed salary. So, the Brand minimum bid is the veteran’s minimum for 10+ veterans ($1.35 million) and the Scola minimum bid is around $3.2 million (5th year minimum (900k), 6th year minimum (1.1MM) and 7th year minimum (1.2 MM)). The highest aggregate bid for a player gets him.

    135. Robtachi

      ephus:
      If Houston never makes the Jeremy Lin offer, there is one totally off-the-wall possibility:Lin takes the Knicks’ qualifying offer and becomes a RFA again next year, but this time the Knicks would have Full Bird rights.It would be a HUGE risk on Lin’s part, but if he performs at Linsanity levels, he would get to a max deal next off-season.

      Hm… would that be good or bad for the Knicks? Let’s say best-case scenario he improves to a borderline All-Star level and could potentially get a max deal, I assume he’d get a TON of interest from other teams, but the Knicks would still be allowed to exceed the cap to match and re-sign him, right? I guess a one-year contract is always the more team-friendly option when the jury is somewhat out on a player, especially if you have the right to re-sign him to any deal he gets an offer for.

    136. Frank

      Another thing from Zach Lowe’s piece that caught my eye: who is going to give Greg Oden a flyer?

      Since we are looking at unconventional players now (Europe, 35 year old rookies, etc.) why not give Oden a vet’s minimum contract 2 years in length with the second year a team option? If we REALLY need the roster spot during the year we could probably get a disabled player exception.

    137. ephus

      Given Oden’s admitted off-the-court issues and need for a great training staff, I am not certain New York is the best location for him to come back. Wherever he goes, I doubt he would agree to a team option (or non-guaranteed) second year. In fact, I think he should be able to get a player option for year 2 at the veteran’s minimum.

    138. Z-man

      I would sign Oden for the minimum in a heartbeat, so long as I could cut him if I needed a roster spot..which is always the case, no?

    139. Unreason

      I think Brewer is more like Shump than Fields. He’d be very nice insurance for those (inevitable?) Nights when JR decides to just wants to outshootthe high-scoring two he’s facing rather than trying his hardest to shut him down.

    140. Z

      ephus: Teams make a lump sum offer.It gets divided equally over the remaining years of the contract.The minimum bid is the player’s veteran’s minimum salary for all remaining years, plus any non-guaranteed salary.So, the Brand minimum bid is the veteran’s minimum for 10+ veterans ($1.35 million) and the Scola minimum bid is around $3.2 million (5th year minimum (900k), 6th year minimum (1.1MM) and 7th year minimum (1.2 MM)).The highest aggregate bid for a player gets him.

      So why is Milicic’s minimum bid $3,915,000? Is it because of the years remaining on his amnestied contract?

    141. ephus

      Z: So why is Milicic’s minimum bid $3,915,000? Is it because of the years remaining on his amnestied contract?

      No, it is because he had a huge non-guaranteed portion left on his salary.

    142. Ben R

      ruruland: If playing hard was a talent, why is that many players can choose on a whim when to play hard and when not to?

      Can Jeffries choose when to jump like Lebron James?

      A lot of players cannot choose on a whim to play hard at least not on a consistent basis. Anyone can for a spurt try really hard and have max effort but it takes discipline to push through fatigue and frustration and still play hard every play. It is most definitely a talent.

      Are you saying that Melo, for example, is simply lazy and decides to hurt his team when he phones it in on defense or settles for a fade away jumper or more likely is it that he lacks the self discipline and hustle talent to give Battier/Chandler effort every single game.

      If it was that easy to work as hard as “hustle” players why wouldn’t more NBA players do it, there are millions of dollars at stake.

    143. jon abbey

      Ben R: A lot of players cannot choose on a whim to play hard at least not on a consistent basis. Anyone can for a spurt try really hard and have max effort but it takes discipline to push through fatigue and frustration and still play hard every play. It is most definitely a talent.

      Are you saying that Melo, for example, is simply lazy and decides to hurt his team when he phones it in on defense or settles for a fade away jumper or more likely is it that he lacks the self discipline and hustle talent to give Battier/Chandler effort every single game.

      If it was that easy to work as hard as “hustle” players why wouldn’t more NBA players do it, there are millions of dollars at stake.

      it’s not that it’s easy, the point is that in the playoffs, everyone tries harder, so maximum effort teams like Chicago and San Antonio lose a good bit of their edge.

    144. Brian Cronin

      I like the nod to Melo’s veteran status by having him start over Durant.

      Also, I love the people writing about how Scola’s contract would be prohibitive so he would clear waivers. Who the fuck wouldn’t spend $10 million for three years of Luis Scola?!?! No way that dude clears waivers.

    145. diehardknickerbocker

      ruruland: Deng is an example of defensive talent — long, great lateral movement.

      Brewer is not a great defensive talent by any stretch — but he plays extremely hard. The Bulls do have some fantastic defensive talent– Deng, Noah, Asik, Gibson–but many of their defensve players are specialists.

      They also lack offensive talent, and instead rely greatly on energy plays at the rim- second shots.

      They are not that talented overall. The Knicks current roster is more talented.

      ronnie brewer is not a defensive player?? put the crack pipe down a couple of hours before u start typing buddy. ill tell u this rather have him on lebron,kobe,durant,dwade n joe johnson. all who chewed laundry funky shooting timid defense ass up. I hope we lock ronnie up for 3mil for 3yrs.

    146. nicos

      ruruland: Deng is an example of defensive talent — long, great lateral movement.

      Brewer is not a great defensive talent by any stretch — but he plays extremely hard.

      Brewer’s probably a better athlete than Deng- not as strong but certainly quicker and jumps better. He has quick hands and moves his feet really well- both traits that qualify as defensive talent in my book. He also has great wingspan for a two- just an inch less than Deng’s. I’d say he’s a top 10 wing defender and it’s not just because he plays hard. He’d be great insurance for Shumpert- would be perfect for a second unit that already has some shooting in Novak and Kidd. I think playing with a point like Kidd who can hit cutters a bit better than Rose might help him get his offensive numbers back near where they were in Utah. I’m guessing he’ll get some offers above minimum so I’m not sure the Knicks have a real shot at him but he’d be a nice pick-up.

    147. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, nicos described my take on Ronnie Brewer. I like him, I just find it hard to believe he’ll be available for the vet minimum (and I don’t see Chicago willing to do a sign and trade for Gazuric’s unguaranteed deal).

    148. Brian Cronin

      As an aside, looking at this year’s Olympic team, it still baffles me that Larry Brown had Lebron fucking James on his roster in 2004 and just chose not to use him. Same with Melo and Wade, who were also on that team.

    149. StatsTeacher

      Larry Brown trashed Lin a few days ago too. Guess his idea of a good player is Iverson running around like an idiot shooting 37%. He also said that with Anthony Davis Charlotte (who didn’t get him) would win 50 —-FIFTY—- games next year.

      No.

      Brian Cronin:
      As an aside, looking at this year’s Olympic team, it still baffles me that Larry Brown had Lebron fucking James on his roster in 2004 and just chose not to use him. Same with Melo and Wade, who were also on that team.

    150. jon abbey

      Z-man:
      What’s the holdup on the Lin situation, is Houston stalling or is Lin?

      they’re supposedly submitting the offer sheet tomorrow.

    151. jon abbey

      Brian Cronin:
      As an aside, looking at this year’s Olympic team, it still baffles me that Larry Brown had Lebron fucking James on his roster in 2004 and just chose not to use him. Same with Melo and Wade, who were also on that team.

      we’re talking about a guy who spent a season here changing his starting lineup from game to game based on who was playing near their hometown, the most unprofessional NBA coaching stint in my memory.

    152. ruruland

      nicos: Brewer’s probably a better athlete than Deng- not as strong but certainly quicker and jumps better.He has quick hands and moves his feet really well- both traits that qualify as defensive talent in my book.He also has great wingspan for a two- just an inch less than Deng’s.I’d say he’s a top 10 wing defender and it’s not just because he plays hard.He’d be great insurance for Shumpert- would be perfect for a second unit that already has some shooting in Novak and Kidd.I think playing with a point like Kidd who can hit cutters a bit better than Rose might help him get his offensive numbers back near where they were in Utah.I’m guessing he’ll get some offers above minimum so I’m not sure the Knicks have a real shot at him but he’d be a nice pick-up.

      Always knew Brewer was a jumper, having watched a lot of him with Utah, but I’ve never been impressed with his lateral quickness.

      I’m quite surprised to learn that he has a similar ‘span to Deng. Deng, to me, is a much more talented defender.

      Don’t get me wrong, Brewer would be a perfect fit.
      Look at their Synergy defensive numbers

      ’12 Brewer: overall .8 ppp (108th) .74 vs ISo (115), .76 pnr ballhandler (81), off-screen .87 (79) post-up .52 (3rd) spot-up .94 (189)

      ’12 Deng: overall .8 (108th), .7 isolation (84th), .89 pnr ballhandler (177), .92 spot-up (173), .75 off screen (31st)

      ’11 Brewer: overall .79 (42nd) top 50 in iso, pnr ballhnadler, post up and hand off

      ’11 Deng: overall .81 (58th) struggled in isolation (156), top 85 in every other category

      ’10 Brewer: overall .89 (188th),

      ’10 Deng: .94 (320th)

      So, yeah, I was totally wrong. Both measurable and stats prove Brewer is a top notch defender. No, he’s not always defending the opponents best wing like Deng, and yes he benefits from great team defense, but still.

    153. SeeWhyDee77

      I’ll take Brewer..he kinda reminds me of Sefalosha. I think he can flourish if he takes on a Bruce Bowen role. Adding him will be better than matchin on Fields..we got plenty of offense. Between Lin, Earl, Stat, Melo, and Novak..and with Kidd gettin the ball to them in the best possible spots when he’s in..I think we average 110 ppg..especially if Lin learns from Kidd. So yea..Brewer will complete the roster..and bring Jeffries back too..as extra insurance for our bigs. Ah man..I can’t wait for the season to start..I hope Chandler stays healthy and doesn’t wear himself down durin the summer games. U know what? I think Prigioni and Kidd r gonna put some serious heat on Lin. Maybe with Earl starting early, Lin should be our 6th but play starters minutes. Or, if we land Brewer..maybe he starts with Lin in the backcourt to keep the continuity and defense that Shump normally provides

    154. ruruland

      SeeWhyDee77:
      I’ll take Brewer..he kinda reminds me of Sefalosha. I think he can flourish if he takes on a Bruce Bowen role. Adding him will be better than matchin on Fields..we got plenty of offense. Between Lin, Earl, Stat, Melo, and Novak..and with Kidd gettin the ball to them in the best possible spots when he’s in..I think we average 110 ppg..especially if Lin learns from Kidd. So yea..Brewer will complete the roster..and bring Jeffries back too..as extra insurance for our bigs. Ah man..I can’t wait for the season to start..I hope Chandler stays healthy and doesn’t wear himself down durin the summer games. U know what? I think Prigioni and Kidd r gonna put some serious heat on Lin. Maybe with Earl starting early, Lin should be our 6th but play starters minutes. Or, if we land Brewer..maybe he starts with Lin in the backcourt to keep the continuity and defense that Shump normally provides

      The more I watch Dallas from last year the more obvious it becomes that Kidd is going to be playing a lot. He’s just so good at orchestrating the offense and getting players into easy scoring position, and with all the scoring weapons it’s going to be really hard to take him off the floor…

      I suggest anyone with a Synergy account to watch Dallas’ offensive possessions with him on the floor. Maybe only Nash hits guys in stride with enough space to create like Kidd does.. Melo and Amar’e will be eating…

      Also, let’s remember that while Brewer is a poor 3pt shooter, he’s a great finisher –.549 career TS/ ,512 efg/ Some of that is flex aided but he’s an excellent slasher who plays well off pgs — like Fields but better.

    155. Brian Cronin

      I just don’t see Brewer taking the vet minimum. I agree, he’d be great to add, but he made over $4 million last year and is still a valuable player. So he’s going to sign for the vet minimum to be the third-string shooting guard when Shump returns? Maybe for the Gadzuric money (the $2 million they can offer via a sign and trade for Gadzuric) but would the Bulls really be interested in helping the Knicks like that?

    156. yellowboy90

      They are pretty strap for cash and need money to add Lee or Mayo.

      Brian Cronin:
      I just don’t see Brewer taking the vet minimum. I agree, he’d be great to add, but he made over $4 million last year and is still a valuable player. So he’s going to sign for the vet minimum to be the third-string shooting guard when Shump returns?Maybe for the Gadzuric money (the $2 million they can offer via a sign and trade for Gadzuric) but would the Bulls really be interested in helping the Knicks like that?

    157. Brian Cronin

      Yes, the Bulls don’t want to go too far over the luxury tax level, but signing Brewer and then trading him to the Knicks for Gadzuric’s unguaranteed contract (which they would then release) does not actually save them any money. They would only save money if Brewer was already counting towards their salary cap. He is not. So they would have to do it just to help Brewer and/or the Knicks out.

      Teams that would be willing to trade the Knicks a player for Gadzuric’s expiring contract is teams that have a player already under contract and want to make more room under the cap. Like if the Mavericks had a guy on their squad that they wanted to move so that they could make up more cap room for an offer to Scola. Or the Rockets if they wanted to make up more cap room to take on more salary in a Dwight Howard trade. Stuff like that.

    158. Brian Cronin

      Oh, by the way, as an aside, if Howard is traded to either the Rockets or the Lakers, that opens up a spot for Tyson Chandler on the starting lineup for the 2013 All-Star Game! Woohoo! Unless the Heat are actually serious about making Bosh a real center and not just a playoff center.

    159. nicos

      Brian Cronin:
      Shit, apparently Noah actually beat Chandler last year. Crappity.

      Well, Chandler’s Q score is about to go through the roof as every single Olympic telecast is going to mention that he’s the team’s only true center at least 10 times a game- that should get him a few more votes. But will it be enough to push him past Noah’s topknot??? I’d say if Chandler plays well in the Olympics and Howard does get traded Tyson will have the inside track.

    160. Brian Cronin

      Ooooh, good point. So then you’re saying that there is a very good chance of three Knicks starting the 2013 All-Star Game, right?

      How freaking cool is that?!!?

      Lin, Wade, Lebron, Melo and Chandler.

      That’d be awesome.

    161. Brian Cronin

      By the way, I find Houston’s efforts to get Dwight Howard absolutely fascinating. They are now in a position where they basically have to hope that Chicago does not match Asik, as they’d like to have his salary so that they can take back a fourth Magic bad contract.

      Their plan is to basically say to Orlando, “We’ll take Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Hedu off of your hands if you give us Dwight.” They would then trade their three drafted players from this draft, the two second rounders they got from the Knicks, a future first I’m sure, the future first they got from Toronto (which is a brilliantly enticing pick as it is almost guaranteed lottery pick), plus Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris and Chandler Parsons. On top of the already amnestied Scola. Plus they’d have to cut Shaun Livingston, Courtney Fortson, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, Jon Leuer, Diamon Simpson and Greg Smith to make cap room (all of them have unguaranteed contracts).

      So the Rockets’ roster would be…what, exactly? As far as I can figure, it’d be:

      Toney Douglas/Chris Duhon/Marchado?
      Jason Richardson/Gary Forbes
      Hedu
      Big Baby/Donatas Motiejunas
      Dwight Howard

      Talk about a team that would instantly be in the market for vet minimum guys! I suppose they’d then have the mini-MLE to spend, right?

      I just don’t see how that team, even if they get all of the best vet minimum guys, would be able to compete well enough to convince Howard to stay. So weird.

    162. Robtachi

      Brian Cronin:
      By the way, I find Houston’s efforts to get Dwight Howard absolutely fascinating. They are now in a position where they basically have to hope that Chicago does not match Asik, as they’d like to have his salary so that they can take back a fourth Magic bad contract.

      Their plan is to basically say to Orlando, “We’ll take Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Hedu off of your hands if you give us Dwight.” They would then trade their three drafted players from this draft, the two second rounders they got from the Knicks, a future first I’m sure, the future first they got from Toronto (which is a brilliantly enticing pick as it is almost guaranteed lottery pick), plus Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris and Chandler Parsons. On top of the already amnestied Scola. Plus they’d have to cut Shaun Livingston, Courtney Fortson, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, Jon Leuer, Diamon Simpson and Greg Smith to make cap room (all of them have unguaranteed contracts).

      So the Rockets’ roster would be…what, exactly? As far as I can figure, it’d be:

      Toney Douglas/Chris Duhon/Marchado?
      Jason Richardson/Gary Forbes
      Hedu
      Big Baby/Donatas Motiejunas
      Dwight Howard

      Talk about a team that would instantly be in the market for vet minimum guys! I suppose they’d then have the mini-MLE to spend, right?

      I just don’t see how that team, even if they get all of the best vet minimum guys, would be able to compete well enough to convince Howard to stay. So weird.

      If this happens, can we re-acquire Jorts and JJ2? Or are we not allowed to do that for a certain amount of time because we traded them and they were waived by the acquiring team?

    163. Brian Cronin

      If this happens, can we re-acquire Jorts and JJ2? Or are we not allowed to do that for a certain amount of time because we traded them and they were waived by the acquiring team?

      The latter, I’m afraid. Which is too bad.

    164. nicos

      Brian Cronin:
      By the way, I find Houston’s efforts to get Dwight Howard absolutely fascinating. They are now in a position where they basically have to hope that Chicago does not match Asik, as they’d like to have his salary so that they can take back a fourth Magic bad contract.

      Their plan is to basically say to Orlando, “We’ll take Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Hedu off of your hands if you give us Dwight.” They would then trade their three drafted players from this draft, the two second rounders they got from the Knicks, a future first I’m sure, the future first they got from Toronto (which is a brilliantly enticing pick as it is almost guaranteed lottery pick), plus Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris and Chandler Parsons. On top of the already amnestied Scola. Plus they’d have to cut Shaun Livingston, Courtney Fortson, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, Jon Leuer, Diamon Simpson and Greg Smith to make cap room (all of them have unguaranteed contracts).

      So the Rockets’ roster would be…what, exactly? As far as I can figure, it’d be:

      Toney Douglas/Chris Duhon/Marchado?
      Jason Richardson/Gary Forbes
      Hedu
      Big Baby/Donatas Motiejunas
      Dwight Howard

      Talk about a team that would instantly be in the market for vet minimum guys! I suppose they’d then have the mini-MLE to spend, right?

      I just don’t see how that team, even if they get all of the best vet minimum guys, would be able to compete well enough to convince Howard to stay. So weird.

      Basically, Houston would be last year’s Magic without their second and third best players (Anderson & Nelson) playing in a tougher conference and with a worse coach. And you’re giving up cap flexibility, draft picks, AND using your amnesty to do it? And Howard is coming off of back surgery and has already said he’s not going to resign anyway? This has to be ownership, not Morey. It’s just crazy.

    165. Brian Cronin

      Oh, I agree. What fascinates me, though, is how Morey is going about it. It is ridiculous, but if you’re given the task of getting Dwight Howard no matter what and you have nothing that Orlando actually wants, well, this would be the way to do it.

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