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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Knicks Sign Amar’e

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the New York Knicks have signed Amar’e Stoudemire to a 5 year $100M contract. For New York this is the first step in Donnie Walsh’s rebuilding plan which began in the summer of 2008. The Knicks seemed to be an obvious fit for Stoudemire, given Mike D’Antoni’s 4 and a half seasons in Phoenix. Although the Knicks haven’t ruled out a Lee-Amar’e pairing, it’s likely that Stoudemire will replace him as the team’s power forward/center. Last year STAT attempted free throws and blocked shots at more than double the rate, and provided more scoring at a higher efficiency. However he is an inferior rebounder, isn’t as good passing the ball, and comes with a greater price tag (unless Lee is lucky enough to find a taker for a max deal). Much like Lee he isn’t known for his defense.

The other big knock on Stoudemire is his knees, which is thought to be a liability. Amar’e missed almost all of 2006 due to microfracture surgery. But in 3 of the last 4 seasons he has played 79 games or more, and in the other one it wasn’t his knees that caused him to miss time. He suffered from a partially detached retina in 2009. Much like Fred Taylor, the injury label has stuck to Amar’e despite his recent good health. Injuries are rarely brought up with fellow free agent Chris Bosh, even though Bosh has missed more games than Stoudemire over the last 4 years (45 to 32).

Of the free agent power forwards on the market (excluding Dirk, who wasn’t truly available) none match Amar’e’s team’s success. In 7 seasons, Bosh’s Raptors have managed to be above .500 once. The most Boozer’s Jazz teams ever won in a season was 54 games, something that the Sun’s have matched or beaten 5 times. How much of the Suns’ success rested on Stoudemire’s production will be tested as they look to replace him with Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye.

All that is not to say that Stoudemire is undoubtedly the cream of the crop of the big men free agents. Bosh is 2 years younger, and has advantages with regards to rebounding and passing. And it’s arguable that dollar for dollar Amar’e is not an upgrade from David Lee.

But often perception trumps reality. For the Knicks this day isn’t necessarily about this signing, but the next one. And if grabbing Stoudemire, a 5 time All Star, nets New York another big free agent then the extra cost is undoubtedly worth it.

283 comments on “Knicks Sign Amar’e

  1. GAx

    I’m so hot and cold on this deal. Someone convince me this was a good move. Please.

  2. Z

    “Someone convince me this was a good move.”

    I’d rather hear someone convince me this was a bad move. (I love how Ted Nelson writes 20,000 words a day comparing euros and undrafteds but is silent for days when there is actual franchise changing news (WWTND?))

    Honestly, we all knew the Knicks weren’t clearing cap space to play money-ball with David Lee and a bunch of under-the-radar guys. Amar’e was going to get max offers from someone (don’t believe the “NY was the only team willing to give the max” BS!).

    If anything, NY used its competitive $ advantage to not have to fully insure the contract, but that effects Dolan and Dolan alone. It has no bearing on the cap, financial flexibility going forward, or ticket prices. Phoenix probably can’t afford to forgo insurance. New York can.

    Fact is, LeBron, and other potential impact players weren’t clamoring to play with David Lee. That stinks for fans, but the Walsh brain trust acknowledged that fact and, as Mike says above, perception trumps reality.

    And like Amar’e says: “the Knicks are back!”

  3. TheShipBeSinking

    I like this signing, and the more I think it over the more I like it. The health worries are mitigated by the age range of the contract (27-32) which means he’s less likely to fall off of a cliff in the life of this deal, the what-is-he-without-Nash worries are mitigated by his playing for a coach who knows his game and how to use him, and as noted above he does represent a statement that the Knicks are back to being a destination for top level players. In that sense, he’s a credibility boost.

    I don’t think he’s a #1 guy on a title team, but the ways the Knicks are set up signing him doesn’t impact the flexibility to find that guy if we’re not going the draft route, and it probably makes recruitment a LOT easier. I’m in favor of this.

  4. GAx

    I really, REALLY hope his defense and rebounding improve here…magically somehow I guess. With Lee all but gone, the team will have to pick up the rebounding slack. David won’t be a big loss on the defensive end but, you know, that’s still half the game and I hope we can at least stay league average like Dantoni’s Phoenix teams. The bright spot there is the new makeup of the team has players who actually care about defense as opposed to the last decade, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of team we end up with by week’s end and finally by November.

  5. BigBlueAL

    Amar’e is the best scoring big man in the NBA. As one writer said “I am constantly stunned at how underrated Stoudemire is. The defensive questions are legit. So are the offensive answers.”

  6. DS

    “don’t believe the ‘NY was the only team willing to give the max’ BS!”

    The reason the Heat and Bulls wouldn’t give him the max is that they wouldn’t be able to offer LeBron the max anymore. The Suns are trying to save money (Kerr being ousted, signing Warrick instead). The Heat better do SOMETHING they have two players under contract. Why doesn’t ESPN find THAT worrisome?

  7. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Eight years too late. This is a frightening signing if it doesn’t snare LeBron. If it does, and Chris Paul feels up to it by next year’s trade deadline, we could see a new Knicks dynasty. Still– wetting my pants in fright here.

  8. BigBlueAL

    Whats so frightening about it???? That he is so injury prone (which he really is not) and he will blow his knee out and the Knicks are stuck with him???? Please.

    Look I know we have been through crap the past decade and expect every move the Knicks make to backfire but for now lets just enjoy the fact the Knicks have just signed a 27 yo 5-time All-Star, coming off a season where he played in all 82 games btw, and for his career averages 21 points per game with a career TS% of slightly over 60%.

    Lets stop looking at the negatives and lets look at the positives for once….

  9. BigBlueAL

    Another interesting article I just found comparing Amar’e to Bosh defensively.

  10. Loathing

    Absolutely BBA. What I love about this above all else is his versatility. This means we can still get ANYONE who wants to come aboard, whether it’s LeBron, Wade, even Bosh, Booze or Lee, it doesn’t matter…and if we get another big, Lord have mercy on the opposing bigs.

  11. Loathing

    THCJ – I like JJord too, but he’s largely unproven and this is NOT the offseason of the unprovens…if this was last year, I’d agree with you totally.

  12. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If it were last year, we’d have hopes that D’antoni might actually play those rookies who looked promising, and be quickly rebuffed. Odds are that he’ll bench Fields and Jordan until their contracts are about to run out, perhaps include them in a trade without determining their value on the court. That’s why I’m looking forward to the Summer League, because it’s probably the only time we’ll see them play.

  13. steveoh

    ESPN just reported that their reporters have no idea what to report. So completely dismiss much of what they’re saying. They’re being played and they’re not bright enough to realize it.

    As for Amar’e, he’s just the start. Whomever comes here next isn’t arriving to a barren roster. We just landed an enticing piece, whether that lands us LeBron, Wade, Parker, Melo, CP3 or whomever.

    And if Dolan’s putting his money on the line for insurance, then big thanks, dude. I’ll shut up about your dipshittedness for a couple of days.

  14. Z

    Jowles– you may want to find a D-League team to follow. Not saying your basketball interests are misguided. Just that you aren’t going to find what you are looking for in the NBA. Especially not with a big-market team like the Knicks.

  15. GAx

    BBA that left me feeling much better about his defense than I ever expected to.

    Now magic up some numbers to make me content with his rebounding numbers, Synergy.

  16. BigBlueAL

    If Fields and Jordan get serious playing time this season, the Knicks are screwed.

  17. BigBlueAL

    I would link Hollinger’s article to the Amar’e signing but it is Insider. But in general he actually is positive about it!!! lol

  18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It’s frustrating, Z, because we know that baseball was behind the times in regard to player valuation for a long time. I’m seeing the trend start to shift, but damn, does it feel like a slow transition. I mean, Rudy Gay? Rudy ____ing Gay? He of the 0.065 WS/48?

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=douglto01&y1=2010&p2=gayru01&y2=2010

    One of these players just received a near-max contract, and the other was a rookie who rode the pine for most of the season. That’s f’ing ridiculous, Z. Just ridiculous.

  19. jon abbey

    rebounding is the issue, combined with the fact that D’Antoni doesn’t like playing actual centers. if Amare is going to be the 5 and presumably Lee won’t be back alongside him, rebounding is going to be a huge problem.

    my favorite part of the Hollinger piece:

    “Keeping Lee is an option, but he’d make a terrible frontcourt partner for Stoudemire — both thrive as the dive man in pick-and-rolls, and neither plays much defense (although Stoudemire will look like Bill Russell compared to Lee). “

  20. Kikuchiyo

    I watched many or most of the Suns games in the second half of the season, when they were pushing up from 6th or 7th seed to 3rd. In a lot of those games, Amar’e seemed to decide to move as soon as he caught the ball, exploding right and left and sometimes dunking in ways (and from distances) that didn’t seem possible. Although he has some difficulties with double teams and much larger players, no PF or C in the league gets to the rim like Amar’e. He is truly on par with prime time Shawn Kemp.

    AND he makes opens 17 footers.
    AND he makes his free throws.

    If he can keep his head on right (he does seem to disappear and sulk at times), and if this team can rise into a playoff-level team, Amar’e will be BELOVED in NYC. (Please, basketball gods, bring us a first-class distributor.)

  21. BigBlueAL

    Jowles I understand where you are coming from, but one thing about baseball is you have to be careful about SSS (small sample size) and thats one thing where I think it is unfair to compare TD to Gay and say he is just as good because his minutes and games played were nowhere near what Gay played.

    Basketball advanced stats makes ALOT of bench players look so good because their numbers get translated to 36 minutes or 48 minutes per game when they are only playing 15-20. That is one of the problems I have with those stats. It deals with too many assumptions, well look how good he is coming off the bench playing only 15 minutes per game, imagine if he started and got 36 minutes per game!! I think that is a treacherous way too look at it. Just look at Francisco Cervelli this season, so many morons saying look how good he is hitting he should catch everyday forget Posada and his horrible D. Well Cervelli’s offensive numbers have come plummeting down with the increased playing time which happens to alot of players who get exposed over increased at-bats.

    Im not saying that would happen to all players in the NBA but isnt there a fear that some of these players would get exposed with increased playing time???? BTW this is NOT a knock on TD since you used him in comparison with Rudy Gay because I like TD alot just saying bench players in general who have great looking advanced stats with not much playing time.

  22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I think studies have shown that players’ efficiencies don’t diminish as playing time increases. Numbers stay fairly constant whether it’s 1000 minutes (Douglas) or 3000 (Gay).

  23. Z-man

    That said, there are reasons why players play the numbers they do. When you force a 24mpg role player to be a 36mpg starter, you get Trevor Ariza.

  24. DS

    Mike – Thanks for shedding some positive light on the Amare vs. Bosh comparison.

    It’s also prob. worth noting that although Stoudemire has more miles on the odometer than Bosh (prob. from all those playoff runs – SNAP!) he is less than 16 month older than Bosh.

    Also, Jordan missed his entire second season (save for 7 games). Sportswriters seem to think it’s a given that Stoudemire is the next Bernard King or McDyess because he missed his fourth season.

  25. cwod

    Ahem, Morey is a genius.

    Actually, I’m pretty sure no stats geek would have said, “Sure, increase Ariza’s usage by almost 30%. His efficiency numbers will remain constant.”

    We shouldn’t conflate minutes with usage. I guess?

  26. BigBlueAL

    No danvt because Lee’s cap hold still counts on the cap. Knicks have 17+ million or whatever it is if they dont re-sign Lee but if they keep his cap hold and sign & trade him it will count against the cap so technically if they do re-sign or sign & trade him they will only have a few million in cap space.

    Only way I understand it for the Knicks to spend whatever money they will have left after signing Amar’e is to renounce Lee’s and all the other FA’s rights. So lets say they sign and trade Lee for Tony Parker (I wish) Parker will count basically as the other big FA signing with Amar’e. At least again I believe thats how it works.

  27. Brian Cronin

    You are mostly correct, Al, except to note that they can order their signings, so that they use up the other $6.5 million before signing Lee, so they can then re-sign him (or sign and trade him) and go over the cap.

    The only thing I am unsure about is if the Knicks’ do re-sign Lee (or sign and trade him) and therefore go over the cap, would that count as being “over the cap” so that the mid-level was available to them.

  28. BigBlueAL

    True cwod but if he plays 36 minutes with the same usage rate as when he played 24 minutes then whats the point of playing him the extra minutes if he cant keep his efficiency with increased usage???? Thats why someone like Amar’e who is incredibly efficient AND has a pretty high usage rate is incredibly valuable. Put it this way for all the David Lee lovers who try to say look Lee is almost as good as Amar’e for their career Lee’s usage rate is 8% points lower than Amar’e, thats a pretty significant difference IMO.

  29. massive

    Do you guys think Greg Oden can be had? I think that, if healthy, Stoudemire and Oden together would be the most dominant front court in the game. With Pritchard gone, I would suspect he could be had.

  30. Brian Cronin

    You’re over-exagerrating the effect usage has on players, Al. Lee’s usage has already shot up 8% the last two years and his TS% dropped 2% in that span (and that’s with him taking about a gazillion more jumpers than he used to).

  31. SeeWhyDee77

    I’m beginning to warm over to the Stat signing. Still a little 2 much cake for my taste..but the fact of the matter is that if he’s healthy…he’s deadly. No he doesn’t pass much or well..no he doesn’t play great D. Which is why I devised an insane plan for Walsh to follow. OK..we got ourselves a near unstoppable scorer. Good..he can be our go to guy. Now tp put enough balance around him to make him actually worth those dollars. I propose no more “big name” FA’s this offseason. Walsh should go hard after Haywood and a reasonable backcourt. At point, I think Walsh should go after Parker now. If I am not mistaken, Roger Mason is a FA as well(somebody correct me if I’m wrong). A S&T trade with Lee for Parker seems fair at this point. If Walsh replaced Parker with Monta Ellis, it wouldn’t be a bad deal-if he added Mason. Mason has played both backcourt positions in his career and is a good shooter. However, I prefer Parker b/c he’s older, been in the league longer, and I believe that Douglas may be our future at the point. Also, he should bring back Barron, and look to grab a guy like Admunson to round out the roster. As long as the prices are reasonable, that leaves us with a rotation of Haywood, Stat, Rooster, Mason, Parker/Ellis, Douglas, Barron, Admunson & Chandler. No..not world beaters, but worlds better than last season’s roster and enough to get us anywhere from the 5-8 seed-provided everybody stays healthy. Also it gives us the flexibility to make a deal with Curry’s expiring at the deadline if need be, or just simply let his deal expire and use that 11 mil next offseason. However, if Wade or LBJ says yes….then things get brighter in a hurry.

  32. BigBlueAL

    I only used Lee as an example because some people try to make it out like he is as good as Amar’e when he is not. Lee has done a great job keeping his efficiency up while increasing his usage which is why he will get big money now but I have to believe he is an exception and not the norm. Look at Ariza who z-man brought up as an example.

    Actually I wish there was a chart or something showing correlation with stuff like this. Again Im just getting into advanced stats in the NBA and trying to get a grasp on this but to me this issue is one that is the most curious to me.

  33. Brian Cronin

    Okay, I have found the rule – Hollinger actually explained it perfectly.

    It all matters on what order the Knicks do stuff. What the Knicks do is that they use their cap holds for Harrington, Duhon, Lee, etc. to make themselves over the cap. They then use the mid-level exception (for whoever). Then they renounce Duhon, Harrington, etc. and sign Amar’e and and someone else (either a small someone or renounce Lee and get a big name) then they sign Lee (or sign and trade him).

    Anyone understand what I’m saying? If so, do you think it makes sense?

  34. BigBlueAL

    I guess I correlate it to something like pitchers in baseball. Its why a starting pitcher who throws 200 league average innings is ALOT more valuable than a dominant closer like Mariano Rivera for an example just based on their innings pitched.

    So if someone argues that a player who plays 18 minutes per game is better than someone who is slightly less efficient in 36 minutes per game is that fair????

  35. Brian Cronin

    Ariza’s problem wasn’t usage, it was shot selection. He was taking waaaaaaaaay too many long two-pointers and he is not good at that. He’s never been good at that, but I guess once Houston got him he felt he needed to be T-Mac or whatever. Once they got Kevin Martin, however, he cut down on his outside twos and his TS% got a lot better (granted, it was sooo bad early on that it still ended up bad for the year).

  36. cwod

    @ 45

    That’s true. His increase in usage represented his being assigned a weird offensive role to which he was unsuited.

    An increase in usage doesn’t necessarily imply such a drastic decrease in efficiency, although I suppose it’s probably fair to say there’s a better correlation between usage and efficiency than between minutes played and efficiency?

  37. BigBlueAL

    No I know cwod but again I go back to jowles comparing Gay and TD (again not picking on this just using it as an example). You can use the stats to say Gay is overrated and doesnt deserve his money BUT is it fair to say that TD is basically just as good as Gay when he plays half his minutes and doesnt take anywhere near the amount of shots?? What Im saying is until TD plays 36 minutes per game and keeps his efficiency up while taking more shots than you cant tell me he is as good as Rudy Gay.

    Im sorry to be beating a dead horse, I will stop now :-) I just really do find this type of stuff interesting and it makes for pretty good stuff to debate about.

  38. Count Zero

    @43 That’s so confusing my brain melted…I hope it’s actually true.

    Good start…now let’s see what happens next. We have to get a distributor — whether it’s LBJ, Parker or some other PG, we just have to get a guy who can draw D and then dish.

  39. BigBlueAL

    Damn shot selection is a great point I didnt think about, see Wilson Chandler this past season. Gotta love all this stuff!!!!

  40. Brian Cronin

    Brian Windhorst made an error in his latest tweet.

    Based on several people who have talked to LeBron in last 72 hours, he is giving impression he’s undecided after last week’s meetings.

    That is patently false – Yahoo! told me that Lebron rejected the Knicks days ago. He can’t still be undecided. What’s that, you say? No one knows for sure what Lebron is thinking but Lebron? But…but…that can’t be true, can it!??

  41. Brian Cronin

    I’ve determined that the mid-level can’t be in play, or else some Knick beat writer would have mentioned it by now, right? At least Coon, who knows everything about the salary cap.

  42. Z-man

    @45
    Or, that there is not a role for a 36-minute low usage SF on too many teams. To say that he was assigned to a weird offensive role to which he was unsuited (by Rick Adelman, a pretty good coach) implies that he is more of a role player than a starter and not worthy of 36 mpg. This is the issue I have with the “stats stay the same regardless of minutes played” hypothesis. It puts the cart before the horse. Players get increased minutes when coaches feel their play justifies increased minutes, or when there are no better alternatives. If a coach extends a player’s minutes and does not get the results he expected, he will diminish the minutes after a few games. The impact on per minute stats for a whole season will be minimal. So the “staying the sameness” is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    This is not to refute the hypothesis, only to say that it not the sole basis upon which a player’s value or playing time should be made.

  43. Z

    Brian– I still don’t follow.

    If the Knicks quickly signed an MLE player, then renounced guys like McGrady and Harrington, they’d have $5.5 million less to spend on an Amar’e running mate. In the end, I don’t think it matters whether they use their MLE or the cap space they get from renouncing it (except that the MLE can’t exceed $5.5 and the capspace can).

    And even if it was beneficial to use the MLE, I’m not convinced it is a realistic possibility. It would take collusion on the part of Amar’e and anybody else the Knicks plan on signing this week. How long is Amar’e verbal agreement good for? Can a verbal agreement last the week? The month? the summer? the season?

  44. BigBlueAL

    Well, Joe Johnson’s agent did say he will try to lure big-name FA’s to Atlanta…..

  45. rohank

    Mike – I know you’re probably really busy with the signing today, but any chance we could get a *quick* similarity score analysis on Amare?

  46. Z

    “Mike – I know you’re probably really busy with the signing today, but any chance we could get a *quick* similarity score analysis on Amare?”

    Yeah, that would be cool. Also, wondering if you have an advanced statistical study on players who recovered from microfracture knee surgery. The best I could find in the archives was Brian’s piece on Greg Oden going down, which compares his injury to Amar’e’s…

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/586/trying-to-avoid-sam-bowie.html

    …wondering what, if anything, has changed in the past three years, or if more empirical evidence is available.

  47. Z-man

    Don’t have empirical evidence but my impression is that it either works or it doesn’t, either you come back full-strength or you are forced to re-invent yourself or retire.

    I have not yet heard of a big-name player that had the surgery, successfully recovered for a period of years, and re-injured the same knee in an incident that would not have injured a healthy knee. May have happened, but I haven’t heard of it.

    Knee injuries can happen to any player at any time (see Bernard King.) I don’t think the injury risk for Amar’e is any greater than it is for Bosh, LeBron, or any other player, based on his having played around 100 games in 3 of last 4 seasons.

  48. Ben R

    The reason you cannot say if Douglas is as good as Gay I think has nothing to do with the minutes per game or the usage. (Their Usage was actually pretty similar and Gay only averaged 1.9 pts per 36 more than Douglas last season)

    The thing you have to worry about more than minutes per game is sample size. Gay played three times as many minutes as Douglas last season and was in his fourth year while Douglas was a rookie.. In a sample as small as Douglas’s things like a hot shooting month or a cold one can have so much effect on the overall numbers that that the standard deviation on numbers as small as his are too high to make any definitive statements about him as a player.

    With that said from all the research I have read increased minutes usually result in better numbers not worse ones. When a player tries to play outside his skillset like Ariza last year the results can be terrible but that was because he tried to increase his usage by taking worse shots rather than just an increase in minutes.

  49. BigBlueAL

    Good stuff Ben R. SSS is very relevant in baseball stats so it should be no different in basketball too. Thanks for the feedback.

  50. Z-man

    “When a player tries to play outside his skillset like Ariza last year the results can be terrible but that was because he tried to increase his usage by taking worse shots rather than just an increase in minutes.”

    Sorry, I don’t buy this. Again, if his skillset doesn’t allow him to adapt to the needs of the team, he’s a role player and doesn’t command starter’s minutes except in tailor-made situations.

  51. rama

    Kudos to Walsh/D’An/Dolan for getting it done. I’m sure Dolan is on the hook without insurance, so it’s an advantage that he stepped up without worrying about the potential loss. Meanwhile, I’m hoping the rumor that LBJ would rather play with Amare than Bosh is true…

    …but if it isn’t, and if LBJ doesn’t move, and Wade goes to Miami or Chicago, and we don’t sign a semi-redundant player in Lee, Boozer, or Bosh, would people agree that the next player who should be signed is Haywood? A defensive 5 to play alongside Amare? We are pretty good 2-3-4, but have no real 5 and no real 1. We could sign a good 5 now, and none looks likely to be available next year; we can’t sign a very good 1 now, and maybe a couple are available next year. Which is why about the only trade I’ve heard rumors of that would make sense with a Lee sign-and-trade (which would eliminate our cap space next year) would be Parker. We can’t give away that space for freaking Monta Ellis.

  52. rama

    Z-man – whether you buy it or not, all the studies indicate an extremely strong correlation with a player’s numbers despite the usage. Which is why everyone on here was singing DLee’s praises three years ago – the numbers said he was great, and that didn’t change much when he got playing time. Ariza is an outlier, and that’s probably because his ROLE changed. If Toney Douglas plays the same role – which is primarily a shooter and defender – his numbers are not likely to change with increased minutes.

    Of course, none of us here think Gay is all that, so it’s not saying much that he’s not far from Gay, just in terms of raw numbers. On the other hand, for a late second round pick and as a complementary player, we should expect him to be pretty damn good. Too bad he’s not a real 1, though.

  53. massive

    @53,

    If Atlanta was really looking to deal Josh Smith, I could see why. They need a legit post-scorer, they’re more likely to find one at the PF position than at the C. I guess they are really trying to build a winner around Joe. I’ll gladly take Josh Smith if they want David Lee.

  54. Brian Cronin

    If Toney Douglas plays the same role – which is primarily a shooter and defender – his numbers are not likely to change with increased minutes.

    I disagree, rama. The Knicks will need shot-blocking next season, and if Toney Douglas’ skillset doesn’t allow him to adapt to the needs of the team, he’s a role player and doesn’t command starter’s minutes except in tailor-made situations.

  55. Brian Cronin

    Frank Isola is reporting that the Knicks will approach/have approached Kurt Thomas. I like it!

    PG Douglas
    SG Mike Miller/Walker
    SF Chandler
    PF Gallo
    C Amare

    with Thomas there to spell Amare at the C (allowing Gallo to play the 3 and Amare the 4)

    That lineup might get you to the playoffs in the East, and that’s not even counting what you can get with David Lee’s cap hold (either David Lee himself or hopefully someone good.

    And that’s all provided that the Knicks don’t get Lebron, of course.

  56. kaine

    We don’t have Nash. But we have, at least, Gallo, that has the ball handling and the quick thinking to be a wonderful pick and roll player.

    also, forget the money.

    In Free Agency, the rule is “get the fucking player” , and not “cut out the best deal”

  57. Frank

    Re: all the talk about per-min stats and “the studies” showing that they stay constant despite more minutes/usage, and why I think they are NOT useful for everyday use–

    First — please take a look at these pages provided by Mike in the advanced stats for laymen page:
    http://sonicscentral.com/apbrmetrics/viewtopic.php?p=832#832
    http://ballhype.com/story/love_and_mathematics_pt_2_the_paul_millsap_quandary/

    (Mike- the third link is still broken).

    Second — please re-read the bottom of the sonicscentral post. I will quote:

    “So how do we settle The Quandary? By admitting it is highly contextual and case-based at this level. The data does not say whether Millsap’s per-minute production would suffer, improve or be maintained given more playing time. The data is inconclusive — even if it were more conclusive, such as the previously highlighted notes — we cannot ascertain motive from these relationships. As the adage goes, correlation does not mean causation. Or in terms I prefer: We don’t know.”

    Third — in the ballhype study, 70% of players with an increase in playing time had their PER go up with an average increase of 1-2 points. Great! But that means 30% had their PER go DOWN.

    So the lesson I learned from that is that while you might expect an improvement in PER with more minutes, you wouldn’t be surprised if it worsened with more minutes. The whole “studies have shown that per-min stats stay the same even with more minutes played” idea is JUST NOT TRUE.

    In another context — let’s say there was a pill you could take that “studies showed” would prolong your life 70% of the time but 30% of the time would kill you. Would any of you take that pill?

    So at the end of the day, all the studies only tell you what would happen with a large sample, NOT what would happen in a small single sample. I’m happy that Lee’s PER seemed to improve with more minutes. But I wouldn’t at all have been surprised if it went down. So no surprise that Ariza’s went down.

    I’m not done yet.

    The other thing about statistics is that it essentially is the science of predicting outcomes based on previous history. But what if your present situation is not the same as your previous history? For instance, Steve Nash had been remarkably consistent, posting 20.5+ PERs from 2001-2008. Suddenly, in 08-09, his PER dropped to 19.5, the worst mark of his entire career as a regular starter. Did he suddenly start to stink? was it the beginning of the end? No– it was Terry Porter and his slow-it-down pound it inside to Shaq offense. Then Gentry came along and, lo and behold, his PER was 21.6 again in 09-10. Yes– the so-called D’Antoni system effect.

    So again, no surprise at all that Ariza went from being left all alone to shoot 3’s in Kobe/Phil’s triangle offense to a completely different system in Houston.

    Stats are useful when you have large samples within a closed and controlled system. Free throw percentage is probably the most reliable stat. It’s just the player, the ball, 15 feet, and a hoop. TS% is great. But using it to extrapolate what a player will do when being traded to another team and doubling their minutes in a different role in a different system? no thank you.

  58. Brian Cronin

    Holy shit! The Magic just gave Duhon a four-year/$15 million contract!!!

    Amar’e is practically paying the Knicks in comparison to how bad that deal is!

    And yet the owners are going to cry poverty next year.

  59. Brian Cronin

    That’s barely less than the Magic were willing to pay Duhon per year two years ago! I mean, don’t get me wrong, Duhon makes some sense for Orlando (although why then didn’t they just give the Knicks a second round pick last season if they thought Duhon would help them?), but at nearly $4 million a year that’s absurd.

  60. Caleb

    Brian, I don’t think you can use cap holds to “pretend” you’re over the cap… which would take the mid-level off the table (next year, too).. but I’m not 100% on that.

    re: Amare I will be sad to see DL go.. really.. but from a basketball perspective I think the move makes sense, especially considering that Walsh made an all-in bet this past February.

    If we could snag Lee for $10-11 million per, then sure – it’s a tough decision. But in this market, I don’t think the cost will be that different.

    Amare is a much better offensive player – Lee is excellent, Amare even better – but Lee makes up for a lot of that by being a much, much better rebounder. I think of him as being a better passer, but they both seem pretty good. Which leaves D… some interesting links in this thread.. I guess you would say that Amare is better on that end.

    Of course the trump card in this is – will Amare help recruit LeBron or Wade or another big name? And it seems the answer is “yes.” Enough? Maybe. But that gamble is obviously part of it.

    In general I think we are seeing Walsh’s strength this offseason. He is not the best talent evaluator in the league, but no one outmaneuvers him. He was dealt a weak hand, but he moves fast, he’s decisive and now it looks like he has Miami, Cleveland and Chicago on defense.

    I know Ted will say we could have just let our contracts sunset – we’d still have cap space AND our draft picks… but without the Jeffries move, we’d be faced with the challenge of convincing LeBron to play with David Lee and Jordan Hill, AND convincing Lee to sign for $12 million. I like the odds right now a lot better.

  61. TheRant

    With the signing of Duhon by Orlando, I am today officially declaring myself for the 2011 NBA Draft. Granted I’m only 5’10” and not quite in NBA shape. But I have basketball intelligence.

  62. Brian Cronin

    Heavy buzz on the interwebs towards Bosh and Wade signing/re-signing with Miami. That would be good news for the Knicks regarding Lebron, right?

  63. Brian Cronin

    Simmons recent tweet:

    Dumb panic money flying around as the 3 smartest GM’s (Morey, Presti, Buford) sit there waiting to pounce on bargains. I love the NBA.

    Generally agreed (except if he’s calling Amar’e a panic move, which seems silly), except that with all the teams out there needing to fill their rosters up, I sincerely doubt that there will be any true “bargains” out there, at least not among the vet minimum guys (which is all Buford and Morey can afford to get, right?).

  64. iserp

    It’s not the same minutes than usage. At least i understand that high usage, you take more % of the shot attempts by your team while you’re on the court. So higher usage, your shot selection will go a bit off.

    That’s the nice part of inefficient players like Allen Iverson. Many other players with the same usage would be more inefficent; some would be unable to achieve that usage; and some would rise their TOs a lot. Let’s say that an inefficient guy like Iverson would allow you to have a more inefficient offensive player in your team (think Jared Jeffries) but that is good on D; or bad offensive player that are good offensive rebounders. It also lowers the usage of their teammates… then their teammates would be able to put a better shot selection and perhaps, the overall efficiency of your team improves (although it is very arguable that Iverson manage to improve his team efficiency)

    Well, Stoudemire not only achieves a high usage, he does it with great efficiency. Of course, his usage/efficiency might depend on PG/3-pt shooters around him. But i am overall optimistic, and i feel he is a clear upgrade over David Lee.

  65. Garson

    First team douchbag Brussard reported today on ESPN Radio that Cavs are going after Bosh via sign and trade. However he didnt explain how they would make it work. The only young cheap asset they have at this point is Hickson (whom i personally cannot see what other gms see in him)

    Why would Toronto take back expiring contracts from Cavs when they can take Hill and our two first round picks? Or even Beasley? Lee perhaps?

    That being said, bosh going to Cavs is hands down the worst thing that could happen as lebron would clearly resign.

    FUCK BRUSSARD

  66. d-mar

    @77 – absolutely, it would make LBJ’s decision to stay in Cleveland much more problematic. There would now be 2 teams in Fla. that will be hard to get by in the playoffs. As an alternative, he can join Amare in NY and also have the opportunity to upgrade the roster next year. Or join the Bulls (with Boozer maybe) which wouldn’t be as appealing as NY, IMO.

    I think we should give major props to Donnie for making the first move in the FA sweepstakes. It’s already panning out to be a very shrewd decision, and has created a panic situation with the other GM’s. Even if Wade and LBJ stay put, there’s no doubt it was the right move at the right time.

  67. Z

    Journalists use twitter even more irresponsibly than GM’s use their boss’s money…

    It’s easy to be patient and wait for scraps when you’re over the cap, or if no one wants to play for you.

  68. Caleb

    If Bosh/Wade go to Miami there is still the grim possibility of LeBron signing there, too… (I’m sure Riles can find someone to give Mike Beasley to, for nothing – like OKC – now there’s one of your bargains).

    …but you just don’t hear that buzz. Usually there’s SOME kind of whisper that LeBron likes Miami, or whatever.

    But it does seem like good news to Knicks fans. We’d be a better basketball situation than Cleveland, IMO. Just as good as the Bulls.

    Right now if I were Chicago I’d be throwing up.

    Not to mention, does anyone think Noah wouldn’t rather play in NY? He’s a FA next summer. I’m guessing Chicago would match offers, but a) if there’s a hard cap in the next CBA, they wouldn’t have the option; and b) they are spending a lot of money right now, and – as someone noted on one of the ESPN blogs – Reinsdorf has NEVER paid luxury tax.

  69. Brian Cronin

    Did anyone see Windhorst make the assertion that Rose voiced displeasure at Lebron joining the Bulls? Not that he didn’t like Lebron, but that he felt that Joe Johnson was a better fit.

  70. Brian Cronin

    Hey Mike, I forgot to mention it last night, but you did a really nice job last night on ESPN.com! Congrats!

  71. Frank O.

    This from Alan Hahn a few minutes ago…

    “With rumors alive as we wait, I’ll say it again: we in the media are being played. Some more than others. Pawns in a detailed strategy.”

    I think we all realize this is obvious, but it’s nice to see that not all the New York media is delusional. I get so tired reading all these breathless stories only to find out 99 percent of them are wrong. These guys are terribly easily manipulated.

    It’s one thing to report on ongoing negotiations and talks…One should understand that things change, but you rarely see a well-placed caveat warning that what may be the situation now could easily change at a moments notice.

  72. Brian Cronin

    What seems apparent is that Bosh does not want to be the man in the middle (hence why he doesn’t want to go to New York and would prefer not to go to Cleveland). In Chicago he would have Noah – in New Jersey he’d have Lopez – in Miami…okay, that one I don’t get. I suppose Haywood could be signed?

  73. Ted Nelson

    I don’t really know what to say. On the positive side: Amare with a bunch of shooters around him and lots of cap room to spare is a good situation offensively. On the negative side: Amare isn’t a clear upgrade over Lee and at this point you have to question what it would have taken to sign Lee last offseason. If a Millsap deal would have gotten it done, well, Millsap is going to make $6.2 mill next season (thanks to the large signing bonus that increased the total deal while decreasing the cap number every season besides the first). That would have been an extra $10 mill in cap space. It could prove to be the right strategy at the time (go for LeBron) and the wrong move in the long-term. Walsh obviously knew that when he made the call, though.

    Overall I think it’s a solid move. Could be a very good move if coupled with other good moves (OBVIOUSLY LeBron, but other lower-key moves too)… If it’s coupled with $12 mill per for 5 years to Mike Miller or overpaying a Ridnour/Felton (both of whom I feel will be major disappointments as they had their only good professional seasons last year… talk about Jerome James signings)… we’re going to be stuck in the same hell we’ve been in for years, though internal improvements from all the youth on the roster and savvy moves going forward could pull us out of that hell.

    Stoudamire can be the leading scorer in a top 10, top 5, even the top offense in the NBA… no doubt about that. With Amare, a bunch of shooters, slashers in WC and Douglas and maybe Fields… the Knicks are on their way to being a top offense. They really only need some superior passers. Obviously LeBron and they’re a top 5 offense. Otherwise I’m very skeptical that Felton or Ridnour, given their one-year wonder resumes, are the answer. Tony Parker would be nice, but Knicks have few assets besides cap space to give up there. Maybe a serviceable PG + a good wing passer in Miller or RJ is enough. Felton and Ridnour have NOT BEEN serviceable NBA PGs a lot more seasons than they have been, however, and they’ll likely be paid like superior PGs. At least maybe Ridnour only gets a short deal. Both have a HUGE hole in their games, though, (Ridnour = defense, Felton = shooting) and are mediocre playmakers for PGs.

    @4
    The problem with an uninsured contract is also that it’s VERY hard to move. Pro-Amare commentors have been hailing him at the max as “very movable.” A. If he doesn’t work out and the Knicks want to move him it means something has gone wrong… he can’t be moved and B. If something has gone wrong, the Knicks want to move him, and he’s uninsured… forget trading him for four years.

    @78
    They’ve got MLEs unless they’re already agreed with someone. There are always bargains in hindsight. It’s a lot harder to find something that’s an obvious bargain at the time.

    @84
    Reinsdorf hasn’t paid the luxury tax for mediocre teams since it’s been instituted, but he did play MJ over $30 mill per season before payrolls had inflated to the level they’re at now. I think he’ll pay for a winner, because it makes financial sense to pay for a winner.
    And, anyway, if they don’t land a big fish in 2010 free agency their only commitment going forward is Deng… they’re nowhere near the cap, let alone luxury tax. If they strike out in free agency and are concerned about the luxury tax going forward they’ll probably operate with Rose and Noah in mind and sign/trade for short-term deals or just preserve space.

  74. Ted Nelson

    Amare seems like a better defender at the 5 than Lee to me for sure, and than Bosh too. Not exactly Hakeem or Bill Russell, but of the 3 options he may very well be the best for the Knicks defensively. Though he’s known as a finisher, his jumper is as good as Bosh’s or Lee’s. He’s a mediocre rebounder and if you want to run your offense through any of the three I’d call him the worst. If you dump the ball to Lee/Bosh you can expect them to make a good decision (whether it’s score or pass). That’s less clear with Amare, who since being good has always been paired with Nash and at least two other good creators (Barbosa, Johnson/Diaw/Hill). He’s always been the finisher in that regard and not the facilitator. His presence may help create some space for shooter/draw doubles, but the Knicks could use a passer or two. Miller and RJ, off the top of my head, seem to be the most above average FAs at their positions (Lee aside, since I assume Knicks don’t pair two bigs together). A stretch 4 could also be important for this offense if Danilo is not that guy (Dave Berri’s credibility may be tested by a Amare/Danilo frontcourt in terms of the importance of rebounding).

    I don’t think the Suns are screwed, by the way. You hear from the media: when they made the Conference Finals without Amare they had Marion and Diaw. Richardson is pretty much as good as Marion and Warrick is a better scorer than Diaw (inferior in other areas… but they’re looking to replace Amare’s interior scoring). They’ve got Robin Lopez and Channing Frye at the 5. Nash is still Nash. Hill is Hill. Barbosa is due for a bounce-back season. I wouldn’t have bet on them making the Conference Finals again even with Amare: Lakers I’d bet on and then there are a bunch of teams even up with the Suns. I think they can remain a solid playoff team if Nash doesn’t decline and they don’t have terrible luck with injury/career-worst seasons.

  75. Z

    “The problem with an uninsured contract is also that it’s VERY hard to move…if something has gone wrong, the Knicks want to move him, and he’s uninsured forget trading him for four years.”

    But if something has gone that wrong (ie he blows out his knee and ends his career) the Knicks would still get salary cap relief through a medical retirement. (At least under the current CBA). They’d still have to pay him, but again, it only really effects Dolan.

  76. NateRobinson

    I still dont see what others see when it comes to Amare’s O. He’s head and shoulders above Lee when it comes to creating his own. He’s always tops in the league in points in the paint. His first step is faster than any forward not named Melo on the block. Down low he is much more of a threat than Lee. And for the most part he works off of Iso’s so its not like hes a cripple with the ball down low. And when he gets on he explodes, hes like a black lightning I say.

  77. NateRobinson

    Any news on our supposedly new uni’s? I know its minor details but other than that I have not seen anything regarding that.

  78. cwod

    I’m in the Chad Ford chat, and he keeps insisting that Lee could have been had for half the price of Amare.

    What???

  79. JK47

    @97: Chad Ford is an idiot. When Lee signs, it’s not gonna be for half of what Amar’e signed for. No way, no chance.

    The Bosh S&T rumors are freaking me out.

  80. Loathing

    Enh, so we get both of them…Lee at the 4, Gallo at the 3 Chandler at the 2, and Douglas…big, fast team that can score from anywhere, rebound, pass…and maybe play defense once or twice.

  81. Ted Nelson

    @94

    My original point wasn’t very well thought-out/explained. I agree that if something goes wrong in the career ending sense, the insurance is fairly irrelevant to everyone except Dolan (and maybe stockholders and maybe ticket buyers). The insurance is even fairly irrelevant in the Elton Brand/Gilbert Arenas productivity loss sense, since those guys are tough to move. (Insurance might help a bit in that case, but somewhat marginally… probably in a terrible-contract-for-terrible-contract swap where the other team doesn’t want to take back an uninsured contract.)

    The case I was really referring to is where something goes wrong, but not terrible wrong. For example, without Nash (and really without many good passers at all in all likelihood) Amare’s scoring returns to his pre-Nash form of around .530 TS% (which happened to Marion). Now Amare is effectively Al Jefferson with a more impressive resume. He’s tough to move no matter what, but I’m not sure all GMs even know what TS% is and there’s a chance some GM sees an opportunity to buy low on Amare and revive him to Phoenix form on a winning team. However, maybe that GM’s owner won’t take back an uninsured contract.

    The thing that goes wrong might not even be with Amare. One argument that’s been made for Amare is that he’ll be productive and if the Knicks want to rebuild again on the fly they can trade him for an equivalent return. So, in this case Amare is still Amare, but maybe the Knicks young players don’t develop and whoever else they sign doesn’t work. Maybe the only youth that develops plays the same position as/hate Amare, so he’s the odd man out. They want to move Amare for whatever strategical reason (youth, cap space, better fit), but other teams want a discount to take back an uninsured contract. Here no insurance hurts.

    It’s pretty discomforting to see Walsh following very closely in Isiah’s tracks strategy wise: overpaying for big names (T-Mac now Amare), gift-wrapping unprotected picks, ignoring defense, going with unconventional draft picks over more established prospects… Hopefully his execution (in terms of talent evaluation) beats Isiah’s, but the strategy is very close to the same.

  82. Ted Nelson

    @97
    I don’t really like Ford and haven’t seen the chat at all, but he could mean last season depending on the context: Lee probably could have been signed in 2009 for 1/2 what Amare got.

  83. JK47

    That would leave Cleveland with LeBron, Bosh, Jamison, Mo Williams and roster filler. Hard to see how that’s a serious contending team, but whatever.

  84. Loathing

    Hey Ted: Gallo was exactly where everyone thought he’d land when they grabbed him. We still got Jordan and the more I read about Fields the more I like him…Walshie may have gotten a diamond in the rough there.

    I don’t think they’re overpaying Amar’e. A guy who’s top 10 scoring and can play the 5 is an auto max in this age.

    As far as the picks go, yeah it’s a shame, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, especially when cleaning up Isiah’s financial mess, which is the big difference between the two. Walsh is no dummy, he’s built contenders before…let him do what he needs to do…he won’t overpay for ANYONE.

    Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if they grab Lee at his Bird value and then grab TWO mid levels with the remaining 8 mil.

  85. Garson

    BIG QUESTION .

    If Bosh goes to Cavs with Lebron. Does that leave Wade to decide between Bulls and Knicks?

    Would boozer be enough of a pull for him to go back to miami? I THINK NOT.

  86. Z

    “That would leave Cleveland with LeBron, Bosh, Jamison, Mo Williams and roster filler.”

    It’s no worse than what he’d play with in NY year 1 certainly.

    But is Chad Ford the only guy reporting this?

    And if it does happen, does Wade bail on Miami and play with Boozer in Chicago? Or come to NY with Amar’e?

  87. Loathing

    Agreed Garson…we seem to be in a good position here…LeBron, Wade or Lee.

    We’re getting two, no matter what. If the big two take their sweet time, expect Walsh to say ‘Eff-em’ and grab Lee before someone else does.

  88. steveoh

    Anyone who reports Chris Bosh going to Cleveland has truly never spoken to Chris Bosh. It ain’t happening.

  89. cwod

    @ 102

    Yeah, Walsh loves his unconventional picks — guys like Reggie Miller.

    But seriously, if you think about the three picks we’ve actually seen in real NBA action, the least impressive one (Jordan Hill) was also the “safest” guy. He was high on almost all the mainstream draft boards.

  90. TDM

    Varejao ($6.3M/6 yrs) is a nice player, but can’t Toronto do better than this for Bosh? I think I’d rather take a chance with Beasley turning it around and living up to his potential.

  91. Garson

    @12

    Why would Bosh not go to Cavs with that team. He gets 2 of the 3 things he set out for.
    1 being the max deal
    2. Chance to win multiple titles with Lebron

    The catch is he needs to live in Cleveland.

  92. TDM

    @112 – “Anyone who reports Chris Bosh going to Cleveland has truly never spoken to Chris Bosh. It ain’t happening.”

    Wouldn’t that be a statement? Even with LeBron, the Cavs can’t get players to come to Cleveland.

  93. Ted Nelson

    @107
    There are significant parallels between Isiah’s Knicks strategy and Walsh’s. That’s all I’m saying. Some of the biggest mistakes Isiah made were:
    1. Giving away unprotected picks to get big name guys who turned out to be overhyped.
    2. Ignoring huge holes in peoples games.
    and 3. Passing up consensus picks (Bynum, Rondo, etc.) in favor of his guys.
    If Isiah avoids those three mistakes his team is totally different and maybe he builds a winner.
    It’s discomforting to see Walsh making a lot of moves with the same downsides. At least he has a common thread as a team-builder: D’Antoni’s offense. Maybe that’s enough of a difference with Isiah’s chaos led approach.

    Gallo was only linked to the Knicks in every mock draft because of the D’Antoni connection (you don’t think it was a little odd that EVERY mock draft had him #6?). He was a lottery prospect and I liked/still like the pick, but the Knicks passed on some great talent to get him. And that’s one pick… a larger picture has emerged. So far Donnie has been right on pretty much every pick, so I’m not complaining. Just noting there are a lot of parallels with what Isiah was trying to do. What you take that observation to mean is up to you. I’m not really sure yet, since we haven’t seen how most of Donnie’s moves have turned out yet.

    I’ve been as much a Walsh backer as anyone, so you don’t have to tell me about his resume.

    He’s already overpaid for cap space and T-Mac/Sergio and possibly for Amare. So, you can’t say he won’t overpay anyone. I believe he also gave JO his deal that just expired at over $20 mill per. So, he does overpay at times.

    I would be very surprised if the Knicks sign Lee. Maybe sign-and-trade him, but is D’Antoni really going to play Amare and Lee together?

  94. steveoh

    @116 That’s the point. Chris Bosh is not going to spend six years living in Cleveland.

  95. rama

    Mike @ 76 – thanks. Saved me a lot of working doing a far worse job! Not that Frank will believe you – there’s always Ariza to point to….

    Ted – you can’t be serious comparing Zeke as a GM to Donnie. You just can’t. Amare vs. Steph? Please. Don’t make me recount his decisions year by year, because neither of us have a strong enough stomach for it.

    Also, show us how DLee could have been had for half of what Amare got. Please. You’ve made this totally baseless assertion several times without successfully proving it – because we were all here a year ago when Lee’s agent was holding out for $12m per!!!! AT NO TIME PUBLICLY WAS LEE SIGNABLE FOR LESS THAN $12m. Could it have been less privately? Maybe – agents do take positions and then compromise if they have to. But Lee and his agent didn’t have to compromise, and they were smart not to, because again, NO WAY LEE GETS LESS THAN $12m per. Even if the contract starts lower, it will be long term and there will be escalators. So stop being irresponsible with your assertions that somehow magically Walsh could have had Lee at $8m and blew it. NEVER.

  96. rama

    Also, Ted, it’s irresponsible to say that Walsh gave away too much for T-Mac by saying he was overhyped etc. Reality check:

    LeBron James would not have come to the Knicks as the only max free agent signee.

    That’s indisputably true – which we are all feeling because we don’t even know if he’ll come WITH another FA max signee. So Walsh was effectively trading for a bag of beans: it made little difference whether T-Mac could play or not, because Walsh was trading for cap space to give the Knicks a shot at LBJ, period.

    So was giving away Jordan Hill and a few picks worth it if we end up with Amare and LBJ? If you say it is, then you’ve got to acknowledge a deal-making core truth: you make the deal you need to make to get the player who changes everything for the team. You pay Sabathia more. You give an uninsured contract to Amare because it brings LBJ closer. You trade picks for cap space. You do what you need to do…knowing that you might in the end fail.

  97. Ted Nelson

    Also, Loathing, Isiah inherited Layden’s financial mess which was just as bad or worse than what Walsh walked into. I’m not standing up for Isiah or bashing Walsh, just trying to look at things objectively. It doesn’t help anyone to revise history.

    rama,

    Can you really disagree with those three observations? Walsh has given away picks that were barely protected. That’s a fact. He has made draft picks that few other GMs were likely to make at the same point in the same draft. He does seem to have overpaid for big names in the cases of T-Mac and now Amare.
    I’m not comparing Walsh to Isiah or saying his rebuild will have the same results. Just noting a similarity. Other people are the ones jumping t conclusions and getting defensive about what those similarities mean.

    Steph came with the job. All media reports were that the last straw of Layden’s firing was his unwillingness to give up the package (including picks) that Isiah gave up immediately after coming to the Knicks. Steph was also one of the top young PGs in the league when he came to NYK at 26 years old. It’s baseless to act as if Marbury was never any good.

    Calm down. You think Lee would have gotten $12 mill last offseason? The same offseason Millsap got $7 or so mill? And 1/2 of Amare’s contract is $10 mill per season. You really think if Lee had a 5 year $50 million offer or a 6 year $60 million offer on his desk last offseason he would have said: let’s wait till next offseason???? Really? He got no other offers last offseason. With a huge signing bonus that could have been $8 or $9 mill next season, which would have been a huge discount on Amare.
    Most of the things we say on this site are conjecture… so don’t act like I’m the only guy throwing around my opinion.

  98. rama

    Ted: the problem with your throwing around your opinion on Lee is that the facts contradict it. You can put out whatever opinion you want on Amare being overpaid (I disagree), and we can go to numbers and intangibles (LBJ wants to play with him) and debate. But you are taking a position CONTRARY TO REPORTED REALITY: DLee’s agent publicly said, NOTHING LESS THAN $12m per.

    I never said DlLee would have gotten $12m last offseason – the point is that he didn’t, but that he didn’t sign for anything less, either, because that was his stated position. So yeah, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Verifiably wrong. And that does bug me, because it isn’t conjecture.

  99. Z

    Agree with Ted that locking up Lee last year to a long term deal, in hindsight, probably would have served the Knicks best. He could have been more of an asset (been traded during the season (like for Amar’e!)) instead of just being a dead-man walking. (5 years $50 mil was what Lee was asking for: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4351763)

    But Rama is right– Walsh is not following Isiah’s footprints. Isiah added salary irresponsibly, assembling mediocre to piss-poor talent with complete disregard for cap flexibility. Walsh has done everything he has with flexibility as his one singular goal.

    Sure, when the dust settles, we may wish we had Hill and our picks instead of what we bag with the cap space. But the plan was set, and he’s kept to it with spectacular tunnel-vision. Isiah’s plan was to fondle his subordinates, pimp out his interns, and fight with a dying Larry Brown.

  100. Count Zero

    This bears repeating: “…you’ve got to acknowledge a deal-making core truth: you make the deal you need to make to get the player who changes everything for the team. ”

    One player — for any of a number of reasons — is often the tipping point for a franchise. Sabathia was for the ’09 Yanks. Schilling was for the ’04 Sox. Is it overpaying for talent if you spot the tipping point and pay more than the metrics suggest you should? I agree with rama — no.

    In the end, that’s what makes a sports GM highly successful. Most decisions are made in the context of metrics by a team of people who figure out exactly what those metrics mean in terms of a contract. The key is that rare case when you go all in against the metrics for a very specific, tangible payoff which is greater than the sum of the parts — either you’re right and look like a hero, or you’re wrong and end up the goat. Either way, you will have to pick and choose those key decision points, because otherwise a computer could do your job for you — better than you could probably.

    Amare is going to be the crucial decision for the Knicks through 2015. You may not like the call, but I think Donnie had to pull the trigger on STAT — he had to lock up the one big name he could lock up and hope it could drive the rest of the story. If not, there’s a good chance the Knicks end up with nothing of value this summer.

  101. JK47

    Today is the first time in several days that I’m feeling pessimistic about us getting LeBron. I’m getting the queasy feeling that Toronto will accept that S&T and that LeBron will re-up with Cleveland.

    On the plus side, that’s a far better scenario (for us) than the dreaded LBJ/Bosh/Wade trio joining forces in Miami or Chicago. Cleveland with LBJ/Bosh would still be a good team, but not one that I’d fear much more than the current Cavs team. They would have to gut their roster and they wouldn’t be able to improve upon that core any time soon. They’d still be giving major burn to the mediocre Jamison and their defense would actually probably be a little worse. They’d be a better offensive team, but trading all of those pieces for Bosh seems like a lateral move to me.

    If we strike out on LeBron and Wade, we still have options. Our young guys (Gallo, Douglas, Walker, Chandler) are solid, and we’d still
    have loads of cap room and Curry’s expiring
    contract to work with.

  102. Ted Nelson

    @123
    LeBron James still may not come to the Knicks. I understand WHY Walsh did what he did, but I also understood WHY Isiah did what he did.

    Other teams have gotten cap relief without giving up as much as the Knicks did. He overpaid in terms of the market price of cap space. He may have given up 3 top 10 picks.

    You cannot say it made no difference to Walsh whether T-Mac could play or not, nor can I. There is reason to believe it didn’t, but there’s as much or more reason to believe it did. Walsh and D’Antoni both went on record talking publicly about how T-Mac might revive his career and attract LeBron. Was that a smoke screen/PR/ego boost for T-Mac or were they serious? Who knows… But they did pay a premium to get that space. Jeffries was unattractive enough to elicit a premium for dumping him, but a downside of 3 top 10 picks is huge.
    No one would have bitched about the top 10 picks if Curry were a stud, and they probably wouldn’t have even been top 10 picks if he was. Same goes for Walsh. We don’t know how his rebuild will work, so I don’t see the point in pretending it will work out.

    “You do what you need to do…knowing that you might in the end fail.”

    The Cashman stuff is total crap in the NBA. There is no cap in MLB, so the Yankees’ payroll is way higher than anyone else’s. Yet they can still spend even more if they wish. I am a Yankees’ fan, but they win by outspending (as well as out-thinking) the competition. The Knicks cannot do that.

    A “core truth” or dealmaking is that every deal has an upside and a downside. Walsh had to weigh the upside of LeBron vs. the downside of stinking, giving away 3 top picks. He made his decision, which doesn’t make it the right one. If a poker player goes all in because they like their odds on a risky hand, doesn’t mean they’ll win… they might also lose. I respect what Walsh has done, but it doesn’t mean he’ll be remembered favorably for it. If his back-up plan involves $10 mill plus per season to Ridnour or Felton I have little faith he’ll be remembered favorably as a Knicks’ executive. If the Knicks stink with no picks to show for it the next 5 years, people won’t say “oh, but good effort by Walsh to go all in for LeBron.” They’ll say fuck Walsh, the guy blew it. And rightly so.

  103. Ted Nelson

    “I never said DlLee would have gotten $12m last offseason – the point is that he didn’t, but that he didn’t sign for anything less, either, because that was his stated position. So yeah, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Verifiably wrong. And that does bug me, because it isn’t conjecture.”

    Players posture on deals all the time. His agent’s job is to take a tough line. I am not verifiably wrong. Amare will sign for $20 mill per season. 1/2 that is $10 mill per season. If Lee took a $10 mill per deal with a fat signing bonus up front, he may well have financially made up for the difference between that deal and the $12 million per in 2010 due to the time-value of money and the difference between the $7 mill he did make this season and the $13 mill plus he could have made in a larger Millsap style deal.

    So, don’t be an asshole, I am not verifiably wrong… Lee might have been financially better off taking a front-loaded deal totally 5 years $50 mill in 2009 instead of 5 years $60 mill in 2010 due to the time value of money and the ability to get an extension/hit free agency a year earlier AND the decreased in risk of getting hurt during the 2009-10 season.

  104. JK47

    If Bosh goes to Miami with Wade, I think LeBron will come here. It appears the idea of having a “sidekick” trumps everything else.

  105. TDM

    The Suns offered Barbosa to the Cavs for Moon and West. If Bosh okays the deal to the Cavs, that would give them Z, Bosh, LBJ, Jamison, Mo and Barbosa. That’s starting to look pretty good from where I’m standing. I really hope Bosh wants to play in a big market.

  106. Z

    “If Bosh goes to Miami with Wade, I think LeBron will come here. It appears the idea of having a “sidekick” trumps everything else.”

    Rose, Noah, and Boozer could be sidekicks too…

    Worst scenario for the Knicks: LBJ goes to Chicago to play along side David Lee… ;(

  107. Ted Nelson

    rama,

    Tough to take Lee/his agent’s word at 1000000000% face value re: contract negotiations, and take Walsh/D’Antoni’s word as completely un-credible when it came to T-Mac’s value to the team. You may be 100% right, but you may also be 100% wrong. That’s why all this behind the scenes stuff is so speculative. If you’re going to take 1 public statement at face value then you can’t rationally bash someone else for taking another set of public statements at face value.

  108. Caleb

    It’s impossible to say for sure but seems pretty clear that Walsh could have saved a lot of money signing Lee last summer – he probably would have taken somewhere between $40-60 mil.

    But that would have taken the Knicks out of the running for a double-max signing this summer. Which, it seems, would have taken us out of the running for LeBron.

    Walsh has been pretty transparent about the strategy. He’s willing to take a gamble.

  109. Jafa

    I highly doubt that Chris Bosh will go to Cleveland – I don’t think he likes LBJ that much. Spending the next 6 years of his life in Cleveland when he could spend it in warm Miami with Wade and Haywood (a really good team), or in Houston (which is home) with Yao and other top flight complimentary players (another really good team)?

    Nobody willingly signs with Cleveland. They all get traded there.

  110. Z

    “I really hope Bosh wants to play in a big market.”

    TDM– Bosh did say this a few months ago:

    “If you win games, you get the spotlight. Just because you are in New York, it doesn’t really mean much at all. It doesn’t matter where you play; if you win basketball games, your wildest dreams come true.”

  111. chrisk06811

    ESPN reports Chris Duhon signing w/ Orlando, 4 years, $15M. I’m not making anywhere near that and I hit the same number of open threes last year.

  112. Frank

    While Donnie HAS given up barely protected picks, the big difference between he and Isiah is that he actually appears to have a plan to build a team. He knows that in summer 2010 there are probably 4-5 alpha dogs that will be on the market. He knows that if he lands 1-2 of them the Knicks will be much better than they have been in the last decade. So what does he do? He gets pieces in Gallinari and Douglas that are PERFECT complementary pieces for those alphas. Toney Douglas = Derek Fisher — tenacious defender, good shooter, doesn’t need the ball to be effective. Not that I would keep him over Derrick Rose, but clearly Rose loses a lot of his effectiveness if he isn’t dominating the ball. Gallinari is a great shooter, high basketball IQ, also doesn’t need the ball to be effective. What did Isiah do? He put together a fantasy basketball team of chumps without really thinking how anyone could actually play together. Francis + Marbury? What? Z-Bo + Curry. What?

    The other thing I like is that Walsh aggressively went after Amare, making the first splash in FA. When the whole media were discounting the Knicks as poorly run with no chance at anything, he went ahead and forcibly put us back on the map. Meanwhile, hip-hop Russian billionaire team are still twiddling their thumbs. Pat Riley and Michael Beasley, still no dance partners. Chicago and their total lack of a coherent front office – nothing. It’s a like hand of poker — the guy making the first bet puts pressure on the rest and makes them doubt their own hand. We may not win this hand but you can’t argue with how he’s playing it.

    Re: Amare and his salary, I’m not sure what else you would want in a max player. He’s 27, is durable despite all rumors to the contrary, and is probably the best finisher in the game, only possibly behind Lebron. Is he Lebron or Wade? No. Is he Durant? No. Dwight Howard? No. But at this stage, who else is better? Carmelo certainly has weaknesses. Kobe is nearly 50 in basketball years. Duncan is 80. One could easily argue that he’s a top 8 player in the league, and if looking for the most durable, youngest, and potentially available star out there, is probably #2 behind Lebron.

  113. SeeWhyDee77

    wow..rumors abound, huh? lol..if there is any truth to this recent string of rumors, then for me a perfect scenario would be Varejao, Hickson, and West to Toronto for Bosh in a Sign & Trade. Sensing that Wade doesn’t wanna play with Lee, Boozer or Beasley-Donnie then pounces on Wade while he’s vulnerable and in a state of WTF’ness. After that, if possible..i’m not teached up properly on cap figures and such…if Minny wants Lee so bad then we try to rope Charlotte in a 3 way which lands Chandler in NY and Jefferson in Charlotte. We need shotblocking, Charlotte needs low post scoring, Hahn loves Lee. It sounds good. After that, we fill in the blanks with the remaining cap room..hopefully it would be enough to convince Ridenhour to come to NY on a 1 year test drive, as well as Admunson and Barron. That’s problee bein a little too greedy, but if it’s at all possible why shouldn’t Walsh shoot for it? BTW I got a ridiculous email and text from the so called “knicks insider” at knicks.com that read “Welcome to STAT city…”..now thas a wtf 4 ya lol

  114. Jafa

    So glad Duhon will not be back next year. If anything, now Mike D has to give someone else a chance at the PG position. Maybe Douglas. Maybe one of the FA PGs (if we sign one). Either way, we will see something new (and hopefully better) when November rolls around.

    @ 140,
    If Bosh really does not care about a big market, the most ideal place for him may be San Antonio via S&T. Pair up with Duncan, Popovich and that great organization, and he may be fitting himself for rings faster than LBJ or Wade.

  115. Ted Nelson

    I have no idea where he will or won’t sign, but how much of the year would Bosh really spend in Cleveland? 1/2 the games are road games and you get 3-5 months of the year off. Plus you don’t have a ton of time for distractions during the season. Plus you make enough money to basically do what you want. I can definitely see why he wouldn’t want to live in Cleveland vs. other spots, but I could also see him sucking it up if he thought that was his best basketball opportunity.

  116. ess-dog

    I also doubt that Bosh goes to Cleveland. I think he would much prefer to play in Miami, but does Miami have what it takes to get a sign and trade done with Toronto? Doubtful, but Beasley isn’t much worse than the Cleveland package. You would think he would like to go to Houston. His hometown, warm, no taxes, never will have to play center w/ Yao there, good supporting cast and he’s the #1 scoring option. Seems like everything he was saying he wanted. And you’d think the package that Houston has for Toronto would be as good as the Cleveland package… maybe it does come down to who will take Turkoglu off their hands? NJ could also be a possibility.

    @138,
    You could also say the flip side of that which is that Walshtoni upped Lee’s value this year which benefits us in a s&t. Remember the offers we were getting last year for Lee? I think something like Outlaw and Blake. Now we get names like Ellis and Jefferson. Maybe still not good enough for us, but that’s a huge jump in value. And you know Lee will want a s&t…

    Do you take a 20% paycut to go work at a new office because you think it’s a better company? Would you take a 20% paycut so you could work with one of the greatest leaders in your business? Of course not. You get the most money you can. That’s why the 2 max slots is important. Cause these guys might want to move, but not without the $$$. Mark my words. That’s why I think Chicago could be out until they have that 2 max space.
    But also that’s where Dolan comes in handy. He will pay the max slots. He will pay the giant signing bonus if we don’t want to do a s&t. He will give a player a tv show on MSG or hire all their friends. So we still have a lot going for us. Maybe we’re looking more at Wade now than at Lebron – after all Wade/Amare and Lebron/Bosh match up best in age. Of course, Lebron or Bosh could just go to Chicago alone. That is what would instantly screw Miami and NJ… heh heh, this is starting to get good!

  117. ess-dog

    Oh and we also have the 2011 chip (Curry’s contract) something other teams don’t have. Probably the smartest way to build a team around LBJ.

  118. DS

    If I were the Raptors, I’d hang Hedo and his contract on the Heat plus grab a trade exception for Bosh rather than take that garbage the Cavs are purportedly offering. The Heat would do it, Bosh wouldn’t love the idea of playing center but Bosh-Beasley-Hedo-Wade-Chalmers is prob. a contender. The Raps could go under the cap and go shopping for bargains to build around Bargnani.

    I’m not just saying this because it helps the Knicks get LeBron, either :)

  119. Frank

    speaking of trade exceptions could we work out a deal with PHX where they sign him to the same contract we would have and they trade him to us + a 1st round pick for a $17M trade exception? Not sure I fully understand how that stuff works.

  120. Ted Nelson

    @138 Caleb
    I agree completely. I’m just saying that his gamble may not pay off–just as few of Isiah’s gambles paid off–and then you wake up with the hang-over. He’s taken some huge risks including barely protected picks and a HUGE contract to Amare that in the worst case could look as dumb as Layden or Isiah’s gaffes.

    In the best (LeBron) or best non-LeBron case where the team is winning games no one would care. If Marbury were more mentally stable, Houston’s health held up, Curry blossomed into a franchise center, Crawford had an 09-10 season every year, Balkman’s religious beliefs didn’t involve smoking enormous quantities of marijuana, Jared Jeffries could play basketball, Jerome James wanted to play basketball… we’d all be saying Isiah is a genius. Almost all his gambles failed. A whole lot of that is on Isiah, a bit of it is on chance/luck. In 5 years we may be hailing Walsh, despise him, or anywhere in between.

    I just find it interesting that some of his strategy closely resembles Isiah’s when you get down to the core of it.

    @142 Frank

    I mostly agree. Certainly Walsh seems a LOT more competent a team-builder and team runner than Isiah. If he goes down as a failure I highly doubt it will involve multiple sexual harassment suits and a general circus atmosphere (though of course you never know). His moves generally have more thought/reason/sense behind them than Isiah’s. I just find it interesting that the same things we might be talking about in 2-3 years if things go wrong (i.e. 1. we could have drafted x, y, and z with those Houston picks or instead of Hill/Gallo/Rautins/etc. 2. Amare and Ridnour/Felton/etc. are overpaid and unmovable, Amare is even uninsured. 3. His strategy of going big back fired and left us with an overpaid, underachieving team with no heart) are largely the same things we said/are saying about Isiah.
    Of course that’s the worst case. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. As a Knicks fan, however, I realize that it might come to that.

    re: Amare. What I want from a max player is one of the top 5 players in the entire league. What I want is a guy who is more than a 1 trick pony. In the best case Amare will not be overpaid at $20 mill per (all he has to do is attract LeBron for that to be true, but playing out his next 5 years at the productivity he’s had on his career would also make that pretty close to true). However, there are few players in the league who justify a $20 mill paycheck every season, so giving anyone that much money comes with considerable downside. Giving a pretty one dimensional guy with big holes in his game that much money is a huge risk. Think of all the guys who have made that much money in a season and how many justified it. I’ll bet you find more Jermaine O’Neal’s than Shaq O’Neal’s… And Amare’s upside is not nearly as high as Shaq in his prime.
    You can argue anything, but I argue that this is a risky move and not an obvious home run. I have no idea what the actual returns will be.

  121. Frank

    @151 – I see what you are saying about the overpaying, but the market is the market. When Rudy Gay and Joe Johnson are getting maxed out, then there is no way you will get a player even of Amare’s ability for anything less than the max. We can speculate about what Lee would have signed for after 2009 and argue for days about Lee vs. Amare, but fact is, Lee probably will end up getting the max or close to the max from one of NJ, MIA, or CHI anyway. Seriously, there are guys like Lebron who probably deserve $30M+/year but with this stupid max salary slot a lot of players of varying abilities will always end up making it.

    Re: one trick ponies — he’s not a BAD rebounder. he’s not an awful defender. Certainly no worse than Lee. He blocks more than 1 shot per game. And that one trick — scoring the basketball at a ridiculously high efficiency and usage — is a pretty good trick to have. And – he can finish in traffic against the best athletes– one thing that Lee was always lacking.

    Re: Lee and his situation last year — I think it is relatively unlikely that he would have signed for a contract averaging $10M per — especially with the $7M one year contract on the table. That $7M basically takes any financial stress off him for the rest of his life, and any agent worth his salt knew that there would be hundreds of millions of cap space available and that Lee might make 70-80% more than that if he waited for this year. All speculation though. he could’ve gone the Rondo way I guess. (how smart does Ainge look with that deal?!!)

  122. Brian Cronin

    I like the excuse of “He’s home trying to figure out how Twitter works.”

    twitter.com/KingJames people – this has got to be where he’s making his announcement. You don’t just open up a Twitter account that you’ve had since early last year for no reason.

  123. DS

    Thanks, Brian. Now I’m going to stay on that screen for three days hitting “refresh” every 30 seconds.

  124. Frank O.

    Lebron is just catching up to Bosh’s and Wade’s multimedia effort during this FA season.

  125. cwod

    ESPN’s rumors page said NYK would prefer to offer Ridnour or Felton a one-year deal.

  126. Frank

    If we strike out on Bosh/Lebron then I wouldn’t mind a 1 year Ridnour rental and a longer- term Mike Miller. If we still have $17M cap right now, figure Mike Miller costs about 8 – give Ridnour $6M one year deal, still have $3M more to round out the roster. Then when Eddy and Ridnour come off the cap next year, we could have $17M+ again?

  127. StevenU

    Welcome to NYC Amare!
    I am fine with this signing-he is SO explosive (even post surgery), I believe he can be successful without Nash.
    Just PLEASE tell me the Knicks are NOT going to acquire Tony Parker. I know I’ll get slammed for it but I’d have rather kept Sergio Rodriguez for 1.8 mil than overpay Tony Parker (and presumably give up DLee in a s&t). Yes, when healthy, he has played well on a very good very disciplined very well coached Spur team for several years. Still, I do not by any stretch of the imagination consider him a great playmaker. He is a good slasher- ala Devin Harris. He is most certainly NOT a true point guard. He is also NOT a great outside shooter. He is NOT a good defender. He has performed at a decent level playing off two great players and taking what the defense gave him-which was a lot.
    Given the tempo the Knicks want to play at, I think a Collison would be a much better fit. I think Ridnaur could be okay. If there is any way to find a way to pry CPaul from NO, THAT would be worth a lot, in terms of personnel and money but Tony Parker is an average player, who has done well in the perfect situation. Given 5 more minutes I could easily name 5 more PGs I’d rather have who might become available. Heinrich is another off the top of my head. George Hill would be a better fit. Felton, for sure. Hell, I can not stand Gilbert Arenas, but if I had to choose between him and Parker I’d be thrilled to have the gun toting fool-at least he can make 3s.
    ARGHHHHHHH-I know I do not have the most positive attitude but being a Knick fan ain’t easy and I can just smell them about to totally f*ck this up.

  128. Loathing

    If Bosh really didn’t care about playing in a small market, why doesn’t he just re-up with Toronto?

    Boshie’s going to Miami with Wade.

  129. Loathing

    Hey StevenU, I got two words for ya: MONTA ELLIS!!!

    Sorry man, I had to…but in your defense, I think I just made about 100 people reading this crap themselves…sorry guys.

  130. StevenU

    @Loathing. You know what? He hates to pass and is essentially a faster Jamal Crawford. But he’d be better thank Tony Parker, too. And younger. Ok, I’ll take it.

  131. Frank

    don’t get too worked up rohank — this is the old boston vs. new york thing where boston fans think boston is as good a city as new york. i don’t mind boston as a city although i can’t stand the red sox, patriots, and celtics — it’s probably more live-able for middle-class people than manhattan is — but if you’ve got money, there is just no comparison in terms of size, scope, culture, restaurants, etc etc etc. boston is a crusty little new england town that has very little cosmopolitan appeal to the young multi-millionaire flyboys. so don’t worry about shaugnessy – he’s just a boston guy still trying to live that down.

  132. rohank

    Oh I didn’t realize shaugnessy was a bostonian. Thanks Frank.

    Agreed – Boston as a city is “nice”, but Boston sports fans are the most obnoxious in the country. (Followed closely by Philly – I mean seriously, who boos Santa Claus and intentionally vomits on a 3 yr old girl?)

  133. BigBlueAL

    Kevin Pelton doesnt think signing Felton or Ridnour would be that bad a move, granted he does state like everyone here has that they are coming off career seasons heading into free agency. But he does note how young Felton still is and wonders if playing in a more uptempo system he might be a good signing.

  134. Ted Nelson

    @154

    1. It’s an interesting issue. Do you conform to the market, or try to take some sort of what could be described as a “moneyball” approach. In the Knicks situation–i.e. no definite draft picks, a pretty weak roster with good but not amazing potential, and tons of cap space–I guess spending the money is more attractive. Your options are basically free agents, salary dumps, bargain guys, and/or standing pat and rebuilding very slowly (less attractive without control of your picks). Amare is most likely better than any salary dump player (plus you have to give up assets and/or take on other salary in a trade, and there may be a team that outbids you in a trade). So, in that sense, unless it hurt their chances at LeBron, it was probably the best move they could make.
    Another another set of circumstances and things might be different. My main point is just that if Lee could have been signed significantly cheaper last offseason, in 20/20 hindsight that was a missed opportunity. We can all empathize with Donnie and understand his approach, but at the end he’s paid a LOT of money to get results. At the end of the day that’s what it’s about for Walsh… build a winner and you did a good job, build a loser and you’re out. No matter how you get there. We’ll see what results he gets.

    2. If Amare can continue to put up the same numbers in NY he did in Phoenix, I don’t think he’ll be overpaid. The big question to me is if he can do what he does without Nash. Maybe he absolutely can. He’s got good moves and had a lower % of his FGs assisted last season than Lee. However, there is evidence that would lead you to believe he’ll suffer without Nash. 1. His TS% jumped from 2 seasons in the .530s to the .600s as soon as Nash got there. It’s also as soon as D’Antoni got there AND he was a young player who might have been improving. 2. Marion’s TS% fell off a cliff after leaving Phoenix. Different player, different role.. still it’s something. 3. They won 54 games and made the Conference Finals without Amare in 05-06. I’m glad he left Phoenix to see what he does without Nash.

    3. We’ll have to see how much Lee actually gets this offseason. My point re: $12 mill per is this: in that case you’re likely starting at under $12 mill per and getting annual increases. So you get relatively more later and less now. If the Knicks offered him a deal with a large signing bonus, like the Millsap deal, that would mean more money now. (Last season really.) He could have invested or spent that money sooner. You have to consider how much he’d spend and the rate of return on his investment, but the different might end up being minimal enough to forgo the risk of waiting another year and possibly getting injured.

  135. steveoh

    @168 Considering how accurate Adrian Wojarnowski has been, I’m assuming we sign LeBron by Thursday.

  136. Ted Nelson

    @169 BBA,

    I admit 100% that I may be wrong, but I want nothing to do with either of those guys–Felton and Ridnour–over the mid-level for more than one season. Even at the mid-level I’d be pissed if that was my best move. It’s easy to be impatient and say, “well we need a PG and those are our options…” But if you sign one of these guys up to a $5 year $50+ million dollar deal you would have had plenty of time to find a better, cheaper PG. Tony Parker is better and a FA in 2011. They are both incremental improvements over Duhon, IMO.
    As you say… they were bad every season, suddenly they had one good season in a contract year. Whether it’s chance or effort, I want no part in that risk. Both are looking for big deals. Felton definitely, he turned down $8 mill per last offseason and apparently has $10 mill per on the table from the Bobs.

    @160 StevenU

    Parker is one of the quickest guards in the league and has a career ast% that is higher than Felton or Ridnour. He’s a much better scorer than either. He has consistently played on good defensive teams and made a positive defensive impact while on the court. He also has a 1 year contract. The big knocks against him are no jumper, age, and needing to be traded for. Felton also has no jumper. Felton turned down something like $8 mill last season and had a career year, rumor was Charlotte is willing to pay him $10 mill per long-term. I think Parker is as good an option as any a. depending on what SA wants and b. in 2011.

  137. BigBlueAL

    Id definitely would LOVE to have Parker instead but I guess I still remember seeing Felton in college and foolishly think he might thrive under D’Antoni. Hey rumors have it that Pat Riley is interested in signing Felton too so if Riles thinks he is good he must be!!!! lol

  138. Ted Nelson

    @146 ess-dog,

    I’ll take Outlaw and Blake over Al Jefferson (terrible defender, as in worse than Lee, and inefficient scorer with a terrible contract) and probably Monta Ellis (cancer with no jumper and no position… he literally would not pass the ball to Curry last season because he was that pissed they drafted him… also with terrible contract). Blake and Outlaw were serviceable players with expiring contracts at least.
    The problem with such a large s&t to a capped out team is taking back all that salary…

  139. Ted Nelson

    @174 BBA

    Felton is a very good defensive PG, and is not worthless offensively. He’s a solid NBA PG. My aversion to him is that he turned down $8 mill per or something last offseason and there was a rumor he has a $10 mill per offer from the Bobs on the table. He’s also got the former top 5 pick thing, which inflates his perceived value even though few if any other teams would have taken him #5 besides Charlotte. Just as being the “best PG left on the board” got him picked #5, he’ll get overpaid by a team desperate for a PG this offseason. Felton @ $6 mill per and Felton @ $12 mill per are totally different animals.

    I guess a lot of it comes down to whether you think he can maintain his 09-10 pace shooting the ball. I doubt it, personally. Even if he can he’d be overpaid @ $12 mill per.

  140. Z

    An uncredible source (talk radio) told me that Phoenix and NY could work out a s&t for Lee/Amar’e which would add a 6th year to Amar’e’s contract, but bring down the annual payments (from say $17 mil starting point to $13 mil) giving them a little more flexibility this year and next.

    Anyone think that would be a good use of Lee?

    (I know I do, if for no other reason to get Lee to the west, as far away from Chicago and NJ as possible…)

  141. Caleb

    “If Marbury were more mentally stable, Houston’s health held up, Curry blossomed into a franchise center, Crawford had an 09-10 season every year, Balkman’s religious beliefs didn’t involve smoking enormous quantities of marijuana, Jared Jeffries could play basketball, Jerome James wanted to play basketball… we’d all be saying Isiah is a genius. Almost all his gambles failed.”

    Most of these are hard to describe as gambles – they’re just stupid moves, and looked stupid from Day 1.

    I would keep the “max” salary in context – the CBA basically flattens salaries, so the best players are really worth much more than the max. On one level it seems silly to think that Stoudemire is getting paid as much as LeBron James, but the absurdity is that James is getting $16 million and not $30 million like MJ. Stoudemire might only be worth half as much, but he’s not necessarily overpaid at $16 million.

    IMO he IS overpaid, a little, but nothing like the awful deals you mentioned. If he stays healthy I think he can earn the contract – it allows for another 2-3 big salary players, and a team with Stoudemire as #2 or #3 could definitely win a title. (You could say the same about David Lee, but that’s almost beside the point). The bigger risk is injury, but I guess I’m willing to roll the dice.

    I’m a big fan of Parker, on D as well as O, but he’s still a backup plan – he would take up all our 2010-2011 cap space. Of course we could re-sign him next summer, but if we get him via a Lee sign and trade you have to think we can do better – get a draft pick for Lee, and sign Parker next summer if we still want.

    Felton’s ok but he’s going to get a big-ish deal and in the long-term I don’t think that’s a good way to spend $30-40 million.

  142. StevenU

    Ted I respect you as much as anyone here-in fact more than a lot of the “real” writers, but I do not see why you seem to love Parker. Do you not agree he benefited tremendously from the Spur team coach and system? I am not half the stat geek you are (re :ast %) but I play and have watched hoops for over 35 years-and to me-he is no better than Devin Harris. He is quick-that’s about it. he is certainly not a great playmaker. Do you disagree? I could easily name 20 point guards I’d rather have-and will if you like-including about 5-10 that may actually be possible-I bet you can, too. I shudder when i think of Tony Parker being our next big addition PLEASE NOOOOOOOO

  143. BigBlueAL

    I totally understand Ted and do agree with you although I obviously wont be as against the signing as you would be. Not sure he will sign with the Knicks anyway because there does seem to be alot of interest in him from alot of teams.

  144. Ted Nelson

    Z,

    I don’t think Amare would take a 6 year $100 million deal instead of a 5 year $100 million deal if he’s got even one marble rolling around in his brain.

    I also don’t think Phoenix is going to pay Lee his market value after refusing to pay Amare his. Lee has to sign-off on any s&t, obviously, and I assume he’ll get better offers elsewhere than from Phoenix.

  145. taggart4800

    http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/67905/20100706/cavs_dont_expect_to_acquire_bosh_but_still_feel_lebron_will_re_sign/

    How????
    How are they going to upgrade the roster sufficiently?

    They are basically saying that they have given up on Bosh. If they were really serious about keeping LeBron they would have at least hinted that they were trying other FA’s or targets. Perhaps they think he is gone and there is no point waasting time and money on fruitless attempts to keep him.

    In other news, Drought hit Farmer tells Bank Manager he is ‘ confident crop levels will be sustained and in fact business may even increase’ …

  146. Ted Nelson

    @179 Caleb

    A few were just dumb and certainly the collective strategy was chaotic, but taken individually most weren’t 100% crazy moves.
    -Jerome James was a pretty bat-shit crazy signing, that I’ll grant you. He had underperformed a smaller contract, so Isiah gave him a bigger one…
    -Marbury wasn’t all that crazy a risk. The guy could play basketball. He was 26 years old, theoretically might have been entering his prime. He was a known cancer with a huge contract and limitations on the court, but the Knicks gave up, what, expiring McDyess, Eisley’s crap contract, Ward’s body, Lampe, Vujanic (who never played in the NBA), and 2 protected firsts (Kirk Snyder and one that was protected until this season…). Not that crazy to think he might mature… Bryan Colangelo took the same risk when he traded Kidd for him and Colangelo is one of the best execs out there.
    -As a jump shooter you’d expect Houston to age well.
    -Crawford finally showed us in 09-10 that he could put it all together.
    -A lot of us loved Balkman as a player, but he just hasn’t improved at all since getting into the league.
    -Coming from Washington Jeffries looked like a reasonable defensive stopper for a team that could put 4 scorers around him. It was still an overpay, but at the time some were hyping Jeffries as the defensive answer to the stretch PF…
    -Curry was a stupid move stupid and Isiah outbid himself, but the scoring ability was evident and he was big… a lot of GMs make similar mistakes on big men or players who can score.

    My point on Amare’s salary is to think off all the $20 mill deals or max deals out there… How many turned out to be bad moves? I’d say over 50% off the top of my head: Juwan Howard, JO, Marbury, Houston, Larry Hughes, Randolph till this season, Ben Wallace, Webber at the end, Shaq’s extension with Miami, Redd, Arenas, Brand, McGrady, Grant Hill, Stevie Franchise, Jalen Rose, Bibby, Marion, Allen Iverson, Shareef Abdul-Rahim, Toine, KVH, Eddie Jones, Brian Grant, Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis… All those guys were overpaid at some point, most of them for the majority of at least one contract. You have the Rashard Lewis/Ray Allen cases where even if they were overpaid they at least helped the team win. Most were burdens on their teams and traded for bags of balls at some point in their careers. Giving players so much money is just risky business. Odds are you’re overpaying.

    $30-40 mill for Felton? Didn’t he turn down $40 mill over 5 years last offseason? Those are the numbers I remember, but I have no verification. Rumors this offseason had Charlotte’s offer at $10 mill per for 5 years…

  147. Ted Nelson

    @180 StevenU

    I don’t LOVE Parker, but he’s a very good PG. To me he is a much better player than Felton or Ridnour.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=ridnolu01&y1=2010&p2=feltora01&y2=2010&p3=parketo01&y3=2010&p4=duhonch01&y4=2010
    For scoring volume look at the PTS Per 36 Min category or the USG%. Look at the TS% and eFG% categories for scoring efficiency. Look at AST% and TOV% for playmaking. Aggregate player evaluations can be found under PER and WS/48. Parker leads every single one of those categories. To me he is clearly heads above Ridnour or Felton, both of whom are more comparable to Duhon than Parker.

    Devin Harris was one of the best PGs in the league in 08-09 and good on his career. He was injured last season.

    Again, look at AST%. If Parker is not a great playmaker, which he hasn’t been, than neither are Ridnour, Felton, Ellis, Arenas… I don’t see how you can say that Monta Ellis and Gilbert Arenas are “true PGs” and Tony Parker and Devin Harris are not…
    Parker may very well be held back as a playmaker by Pop’s 2-guard system and ball-movement 1/2 court set. Someone like Nash has the ball in his hands more and has more chances to make plays. *Maybe* Parker’s ast% of 40 in 08-09 was a sign of what he’s capable of as a playmaker.

    I’m not dying to bring in Tony Parker and I don’t know that SA is dying to give him away. However, as far as potential PGs go I don’t think the Knicks have many better options they can realistically acquire in the next two seasons. Maybe they can get more bang for their buck. The names you mention, though, Ridnour, Felton, Ellis, Arenas are mostly expensive. Paul is a pipedream until at least next offseason, and if he’s back close to 100% next season the Knicks will be one of many bidders. NO is unlikely to give away Collison and if they do they were reportedly offered the #10 pick for him… there will be bidders. Sergio will be paid $1.8 million AFTER TAXES in Spain. His housing and car will be paid for by the team. Knicks would have had to give up on LeBron James and sign Sergio to probably more like a $4 million per deal to compete with that.

  148. Frank

    Re the above question about $100M contracts– tough to put amare in the same category. In amare’s last 4 healthy seasons he has been all-NBA first team once and all-NBA 3 times. Not sure anyone on that list outside of mcgrady even comes close to that resume, and I think mcgrady was not necessarily overpaid but unlucky because of injury. And amare’s only 27….

  149. ess-dog

    I think it’s possible we could get Calderon with a Toney Douglas package, but I don’t think they’d want Curry, probably the instant cap space and maybe Lee if he doesn’t go to Phoenix. Otherwise, a one-year deal to Ridnour sounds fine. Maybe even a trade for Sessions if it doesn’t hurt our cap too much. His stock is lower and we could probably get him for a 2nd rounder. Maybe Udrih would be a good fit? I would even consider Farmar at the right price.

  150. d-mar

    @188 so now it comes down to us, Chicago and Cleveland for LBJ (I’m assuming the threesome in Miami thing is a pipe dream)

    Cleveland – same team as last year
    Chicag0 – Rose, Noah, Deng, etc.
    Knicks – Amare, Gallo, Chandler, etc.

    I think we’re looking pretty good right now, and we’re the only team of those three with cap flexibility in 2011-2012.

    Hold your breath, fellas!

  151. cwod

    RealGM just posted a bogus story about a Bosh/Calderon S&T to Miami. People need to learn how to read tweets correctly.

  152. cwod

    @ 188, 189

    That story was based on some hypothetical situation Bucher posted on his Twitter page. It’s not an actual trade [yet].

  153. marxster

    I guess it was bogus, it’s been taken off their site. @190 I wasn’t reading that in a tweet.

    Coincidentally, Bosh posted a tweet that read: “Today is a Great day”

  154. BigBlueAL

    Bucher just tweeted that trade is not done at all, it was just an example of what could happen.

  155. Robert Silverman

    Twitter really is like the girl’s bathroom in high school. Someone whispers some scurrilous gossip, it gets repeated ad nauseum, everyone freaks, and then 10 minutes later it’s forgotten & replaced by new gossip.

    And Alan Hahn keeps calling everyone fat

  156. Robert Silverman

    Thanks Z. It’s a new media frontier I’ve been vaguely creeped out by, buy yaneverknow…

    Meanwhile, in Nix News, I’m keen on the idea of Kurt Thomas, the sequel. Especially if it’s a vet minimum-type deal

  157. Z

    Presumably Bosh WAS s&t’d somewhere today.

    What is the best case/worst case for it?

    Is this a tragic love-triangle where LeBron wants Bosh, but Bosh wants Wade?

    And who do we want Bosh to want?

    Whoever it is, he appears to be happy…

  158. Brian Cronin

    To be fair, while I understood what Bucher meant, he sure did make it easy for people to misunderstand. Twitter usually isn’t that bad.

    Here’s the tweet in question:

    Not sure where the idea Tor won’t S&T w/Mia came from, but it’s not true. Calderon/Bosh for Chalmers, 2 future 1sts + trade exception: done.

  159. Brian Cronin

    I’d say best case scenario would be for Bosh to be traded to the Heat. Wade/Bosh and some good secondary players (Haywood?) is not even necessarily a great team.

  160. Frank

    Sorry- asked this above but got no reply so I’ll try again– is it possible or a good idea to have the suns sign and trade amare to us for a 17M trade exception (like Toronto wants from Miami for bosh)? We can ask for a first round pick or something like that. Seems a good deal for everyone– that huge trade exception is worth way more than a first rounder and we essentially get a first rounder for free (say in 2012 when Houston has our pick and we are no longer in the FA signing mode). Seems like a win-win for both sides.

  161. Robert Silverman

    A Bosh/Wade/Haywood (using Bucher’s idea/fake tweet as a template) and Calderon pairing would be very similar to the ’06 team Wade/O’Neal & solid bit parts — Posey, White Chocolate, Haslem, Mourning, Walker, etc.

    That wasn’t a great team but the competition in the East was pretty scarce. A fading Pistons team, the LeBrons, NJ w/Vince, before getting a series of calls that led to beating Dallas in the finals.

    The East this year’s gonna be a LOT tougher, no matter where all the chips end up falling.

  162. TDM

    @179 – Caleb: “On one level it seems silly to think that Stoudemire is getting paid as much as LeBron James, but the absurdity is that James is getting $16 million and not $30 million like MJ.”

    That’s a good point especially when you look at other deals around the NBA – Vince Carter (16M); Rashard Lewis (18M); Kenyon Martin (16M); Elton Brand (18M); Arenas (16M). I’d much rather have LeBron or Amare than any of these guys. That said, we may be comparing apples to oranges since the cap and economy were quite different when these guys were signed.

  163. tastycakes

    Today, NBA sources suggest that LeBron James is, indeed, “coming to New York.”

    Being a sportswriter is easy!

  164. Z

    Theoretically, the top 30 players should make the max.

    The cap is slotted so that every team has one max player, several $8-$10 mil players, several MLE players, several rookie scale players, and a few minimum guys rounding out the practice squads.

    Of course, not all teams have a max player. But that is kind of the way the cap is designed. Amar’e is a top 30 player. (Whether he is still a top 30 player four years from now, TBD…)

  165. Kikuchiyo

    I never thought I’d find myself reading player twitter feeds and analyzing them like the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Here’s Bosh’s latest (2 hours ago): Today is a GREAT day!

    Does this mean he’s playing with LeBron? With Wade? Is he just happy with the weather? Maybe he’s a fan of the Dutch?

  166. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    This is, of course, conjecture, but all this negativity seems to stem from LeBron’s lukewarm reaction to Walsh and Co. mortgaging this and the next several draft-years to facilitate his success on-the-court being lined up next to another top FA.

    If he doesn’t come here and Donny acts a fool by signing Felton to anything higher than the vet’s minimum, here’s to hoping that he finds that the road to the Finals blocked by not one, but two East powerhouses stacked with max free agents and all-stars.

    Another 24 hours of this twit circus and I’m going to start calling for the Knicks to re-sign David Lee and let LeBron figure things out when he’s good and ready (well after the rest of the FA pieces have fallen in place).

  167. Brian Cronin

    Man, Pritchard would be a great pick-up for them.

    That said, if he is tired of meddling owners, why come to New Jersey? Especially when Avery Johnson already scared off Jeff Bower, and Jeff Bower isn’t nearly as alpha-male-ish as Pritchard.

  168. danvt

    “@116 That’s the point. Chris Bosh is not going to spend six years living in Cleveland.”

    No. Lebron will convince Bosh to come. Heck! Darn!

  169. massive

    You think we can send David Lee and Douglas to Denver for Nene and Ty Lawson? Gets us a one and 5 that could compliment our core going forward (Chandler/Gallo/Stat), and we’ll still have money left over for Childress, Jefferson, Bell, or Miller.

  170. TDM

    Trading for Nene, and having to give up Lee and Toney to do so, would be the ultimate kick in the ass. Too many McDyess memories.

  171. danvt

    and they’re just gonna kill us in the playoffs too.

    I’m gonna have to go back on prescription meds.

    Come on Dwade! (No, he’s in Chi with his family or back in Mia).

    CrudCrudCrud

    Anyway, ergo, I say Lee and then go all in on a REALLY GOOD PG, but maybe at the trade deadline and not this summer. Lee can be traded then too (he’s eminently movable even at these somewhat inflated prices), if it doesn’t work out as a pairing with STAT. We got Fat Eddy’s Fat 11+ at that time too. So you get a Nash, Parker, (CP3 please god! I’ll be good I promise) rather than a Felton, Ridenour (I can’t even effing spell that name and I don’t care).

    No Lee and Brendan Haywood would be a catastrophe in my estimation.

  172. danvt

    I think Lee complements Stat just fine. Great rebounder, good shooter, good passer, doesn’t mind if someone else gets the two points. Undersized for a center is his defensive weakness. We certainly need a big backup C that is a good shot blocker. Weird, and I know there’s love for this guy on this board, but if he had been with someone else everybody would be frothing at the mouth to get him here.

  173. Brian Cronin

    I disagree, Dan. I think Lee gets a lot of crap from other teams’ fans, as well – mostly on the “he can’t defend!” or “he’s just a role player!” so I don’t know if fans would be super pumped about the idea of signing Lee.

    I do agree that Lee is the next best option after Lebron and Wade (Mike mentioned this recently, too) – at the very least, see if the pairing of three mobile big men liek Gallo, Lee and Amar’e could cause some mismatches and if it doesn’t work out, deal Lee.

  174. Kikuchiyo

    Lee adds another dimension too. He’s extremely stable, smart, and hard working. With no Nash or Grant Hill around, I think Amar’e could really use Lee on the team. Who else on the current roster could really influence STAT’s behavior for the better?

    Who knows, Lee might even show Amar’e how to find the ball once it hits the rim. (Amar’e, in turn, might show Lee how to jump when an opponent shoots.)

    D’Antoni can be hard to read. I’m not sure he loves Lee as much as most of us do. But if he does, I have to think his crazy offensive mind is thinking about a double power forward combo. Unless we get LBJ or DW or a damn good point guard, I vote for Lee. (This is subject to a vote, isn’t it?)

  175. BigBlueAL

    If LeBron is making this big a deal about his announcement he better be leaving. If not, what a waste of time and he will hopefully plunge into full irrelevancy.

    Cant possibly imagine that the info on where he is going will stay under wraps till then.

  176. BigBlueAL

    “Who knows, Lee might even show Amar’e how to find the ball once it hits the rim.”

    Amar’e averages 8.9 rebs/game for his career, he isnt exactly Eddy Curry when it comes to rebounding. Per 36 minutes its 9.4 so again its not like he is horrible at rebounding. He is no David Lee when it comes to rebounding though obviously.

  177. massive

    Okay, so scratch Nene and Lawson. What about Lee to Golden State for Biedrins and their pick next year? That’s a pick that could turn into Brandon Knight, Kyrie Irving, etc. Or how about Lee to Minnesota for Sessions/Flynn, Kevin Love, and their pick (if we can’t get Rubio’s rights)?

  178. Kikuchiyo

    @BigBlueAl

    Well, in 16 playoff games this season, Amar’e reached that 8.9 number only 3 times. He averaged just over 2 defensive boards per game in the 6-game Portland series. I’m a big fan of this move, but Amar’e does need to grab boards more consistently.

  179. Frank O.

    I’m beginning to feel as if Lebron may be coming here. Him not getting Bosh to come to Cleveland felt like a desperate effort to see if someone might want to play there. But he wants to pair up with another big name, and I can’t see him doing it with Wade, who already has a ring.
    Wade is the one guy that has a comparable-to-better resume than him and he’s not going to go be an equal.
    No, he’s going to be intrigued by Amare’ and I suspect the Knicks will line up a guard that will be acceptable through a sign and trade. Plus the Knicks can offer a sixth year equivalent because of the market.

    Note also that the Knicks put off felton tonight. Ellis may be the guy. That should make jon abbey happy, I think. Didn’t jon once argue for monta?

    Lebron and Amare in NYC and Wade and Bosh in Miami…
    Man, those would be some games…

  180. BigBlueAL

    His career rebs/g in the playoffs is 9.2 with the 05 and 07 playoffs in which he played in 15 and 10 games those years he averaged 10.7 and 12.1. This past season was his lowest rebs/g during the playoffs.

    Agreed he should be a 10 rebs/g player dont get me wrong I totally agree with you there but again its not like he doesnt rebound at all.

  181. BigBlueAL

    Frank O it would be even greater than the 97-00 Knicks-Heat rivalry with hopefully the same results if they meet in the playoffs (not to mention alot easier on the eyes)!! Of course Orlando and Boston will still have something to say about it too.

  182. Kikuchiyo

    I think LeBron’s decision to take one hour of ESPN time to announce his choice is FAVRE-ULOUS.

  183. Mulligan

    Ah, this is making me nuts. That Hoops World article, in particular, has really done it. Interesting to see if there will be any more info on Maverick Carter coming to NYC on wednesday. It blows my mind that Lebron and Co. are all 25 years old and orchestrating all of this.

  184. Loathing

    Nope. If no LeBron or Wade, then just keep Lee and grab Mike Miller. That’ll do us just fine.

  185. BigBlueAL

    Best part is even Broussard is now saying Knicks have a real good shotat landing LeBron but Adrian Asshole, I mean Wojnarowski, just writes an article saying Cavs, Bulls and Nets are LeBron’s Top 3. I guess seeing DW in a wheelchair really has spooked him, oh wait a minute thats right that part in Wojnarowski’s article over the weekend magically disappeared w/o an apology or public recant about that mention. Of all the writers Ive unfortunately been reading stuff by this past week this guy is by far and Broussard are by far the worst of all of them although at least Broussard is backtracking from his super strong stance from last week that Knicks had no chance at LeBron or any top FA.

  186. BigBlueAL

    Watching Broussard saying dont be surprised if its the Knicks you can tell it was killing him to say that since he and everyone else in the national media have been dismissing them the entire time.

  187. BigBlueAL

    Wow now Broussard just tweeted this:

    Knicks gaining major ground in LeBron Sweepstakes. Bosh snub hurts Cavs, though they’re still in hunt.

    For him to say this something must really be up because nobody was more adamant about the Knicks having no chance in hell of signing LeBron than Broussard.

  188. cgreene

    That Broussard spot is a MAJOR departure from everything he has said for the past 2 weeks. He must have heard something pretty serious to make the Knicks actually sound like favorites to the point where I felt as if he looked uncomfortable while saying it.

    Anyone agree?

  189. BigBlueAL

    Of course this could all just be a ploy by ESPN and their writers to make sure us idiot Knicks fans and basically all of NY watch the special to pump of their ratings…..

  190. cgreene

    BBA – let’s be honest. Like we weren’t going to watch it anyway at this point.

  191. BigBlueAL

    Thats what Im hoping cgreene, although what i just said in #240 is being thrown around as a reason for his change of stance but I obviously really hope not.

  192. BigBlueAL

    Some people on Twitter naturally. Damn right Im watching unless the news leaks early and it aint the Knicks screw that then!!! lol

  193. Frank

    This whole hour long special is so narcissistic it’s not even funny, actually turning me off quite a bit. That didn’t stop me from getting tickets today though– man they were going like hotcakes.

    Even if we get him, it looks like lebron and company will be a serious handful for the organization. I’m glad we have an old steady hand like Donnie during this time. His eventual successor better be too.

  194. rohank

    Man – I’m not in NY most of the time, but I sure hope I can find tickets to individual games when I go home… I remember how hard tickets were to find in the late 90s.

  195. Robert Silverman

    The “LeBratchelor” special is fairly weird. I can only assume there’ll be 15 mins of the ESPN “analysts” opining. Followed by a ten-minute conference followed by 30 mins of post-mortem.

    Ick. I’m going to watch the whole damn thing aren’t I? Yep. Crap.

    And I can’t even begin to play Sybil the Soothsayer on what this me-fest by LeBron means w/r/t where he’s gonna sing.

  196. Brian Cronin

    One thing that sort of irritates me about Adrian Wojnarowski is that he keeps bringing up the Nets as serious candidates for all the big free agents. Has anyone else been discussing them?

    I mean, I’m sure it’s just what sources are telling him, but maybe he shouldn’t lean so heavily on the Nets for sources, ya know?

  197. Brian Cronin

    Do we know where this is taking place?

    Apparently he’s keeping it secret for now, especially since if it is in Ohio, that sort of gives it away. Bristol probably makes the most sense.

  198. steveoh

    Breaking News – Sources: Brian Scalabrine will announce decision on his free agency Thursday at 9pm EST on Nickelodeon.

  199. Robert Silverman

    Rumors say Akron. Rumors also say “not in the city he’s signing with.”

    I know he plans to use the ad space for charity, but why not just say, hold a fracking press conference and then write a check to the Boys & Girls Club. It’s just tacky, say I

  200. Robert Silverman

    LBJ’s doing the show from Dick Cheney’s bunker – the one that doesn’t show up on Google.

  201. danvt

    “I guess seeing DW in a wheelchair really has spooked him, oh wait a minute thats right that part in Wojnarowski’s article over the weekend magically disappeared w/o an apology or public recant about that mention.”

    #237
    Thanks for mentioning that. What an offensive horrible lie.

  202. Robert Silverman

    Here’s an odd thought…if LBJ signs elsewhere, what about a sign and trade that sends Lee to Phoenix w/Curry’s expiring for Nash plus either JRich or Barbosa/Hill?

    Phoenix gets cap room. Nix get Nash to run SSoL

  203. Brian Cronin

    Thanks for mentioning that. What an offensive horrible lie.

    We don’t know for a fact that it is a lie. For all we know, maybe Lebron is prejudiced against handicapped people. The offense as I see it is Wojnarowski attributing said prejudices to Lebron like it was no big thing and then pulling it back without acknowledging the screw-up. Like, “Wait, you’re not supposed to make fun of people in wheelchairs? For serious?!?!”

  204. TDM

    @255 -“Breaking News – Sources: Brian Scalabrine will announce decision on his free agency Thursday at 9pm EST on Nickelodeon.”

    THAT is some funny shite right there. Ha.

  205. jon abbey

    “Note also that the Knicks put off felton tonight. Ellis may be the guy. That should make jon abbey happy, I think. Didn’t jon once argue for monta?”

    not as part of a title-contending team, but he is one of the most entertaining players in the league.

  206. Mulligan

    Why aren’t people writing things at 7:45 in the morning? How come every time I refresh twitter, etc. I don’t see some new crazy rumor? WHY?!?!?

  207. Frank O.

    Broussard:

    says Bosh will join Wade in Miami, then hints that James could go too.

    I need to back away from the weirdness.

  208. supernova

    # 266

    Yes, Broussard’s rumour of the day. Well that could probably work out for us well. Basically, Lebron would figure that he would need his own max player to match up with and the only place to find that max player would now be NY. I think at this point it is probably down to NY and Cleveland in the Lebron sweepstakes.

  209. SeeWhyDee77

    @ 251 & 255….laffing…my…ass…off
    I guess if u got that kinda juice, then use it to ur advantage…although I think the primetime special thing is loaded with vanity on steroids. But on the other hand, I hear LBJ is selling marketing spots so he can donate to the boys and girls club, so I guess it’s ok. Now since Bosh appears to be headed for Miami..hopefully LeBron wants to play with Amare as opposed to Jamison. I can’t see him joining Wade and Bosh in Miami. Sure, he’ll probably win some..but I don’t think he can maximize his brand as well as win in Miami. He’ll definitely have to sacrifice his shine becuz that is, and will be until he retires, truly Wade county.

  210. d-mar

    I still don’t get why LeBron would go to Miami and not be “the man”. I know Jordan, Kobe, etc. had their number 2’s, but they weren’t in Wade’s league and it’s still Wade’s town. Plus, I thought Bosh refused to take less money?

    Anyway, I like our chances, and even if we don’t get LBJ, we’re still in good shape cap-wise to make creative trades, signings, etc. Although the press will treat it as armageddon for NY of course.

  211. Mulligan

    How much space does Miami have after signing Wade and bosh? I don’t get the appeal of that team. They have less depth than the knicks or bulls (chalmers and beasley??) and Wade and Bosh are exactly iron
    men… If one of them goes down for any period of time, they become really lousy pretty fast.

  212. Mulligan

    How much space does Miami have after signing Wade and bosh? I don’t get the appeal of that team. They have less depth than the knicks or bulls (chalmers and beasley??) and Wade and Bosh aren’t exactly iron men… If one of them goes down for any period of time, they become really lousy pretty fast.

  213. Ted Nelson

    @186

    “Re the above question about $100M contracts– tough to put amare in the same category. In amare’s last 4 healthy seasons he has been all-NBA first team once and all-NBA 3 times. Not sure anyone on that list outside of mcgrady even comes close to that resume, and I think mcgrady was not necessarily overpaid but unlucky because of injury. And amare’s only 27….”

    I don’t think it’s that tough. Some of those guys were obvious reaches, but a lot were All-NBA types too. And All-NBA is a subjective award. You score a lot of points on a good team and you’re right there. Notice that Amare didn’t make All-NBA in 08-09 when the Suns missed the playoffs.
    In terms of big contract busts: Grant Hill had made 5 straight All-NBA appearances and was 27. Ben Wallace was 32, but a 4 time DPOY and 5 time All-NBA. Francis was a 2 time All-Star and 26. Jermaine O’Neal was 24 and coming off back-to-back All-NBA seasons. Arenas was 26 and 3 time All-NBA.
    You also have to consider that Amare derives all of his All-NBA credibility from one skill: scoring, and more specifically explosive points in the paint. Between that and not playing with Steve Nash (last time he didn’t play with Nash his TS% was .536…) and an injury history that might apparently be bad enough to make his contract uninsurable… Amare has always been 2nd banana on the Suns, and was 3rd banana when an ancient Shaq was in town.

    I like the Amare signing just fine, all I’m saying is that giving a guy who is not clearly a franchise player that much money is a huge risk. If LeBron doesn’t sign I think there’s as much chance the Knicks regret it as there is they’re happy, if not more.

  214. Ted Nelson

    “I still don’t get why LeBron would go to Miami and not be “the man”. I know Jordan, Kobe, etc. had their number 2’s, but they weren’t in Wade’s league and it’s still Wade’s town.”

    Shaq wasn’t in Wade’s league? Pippen wasn’t? I doubt LeBron goes to Miami, but when you look at guys like Kobe (Shaq’s wingman), Pippen, Paul Pierce, Kareem (Magic)… you’re looking at HOF caliber wingmen. Even Gasol is not far behind Wade, especially Gasol + Bynum.

  215. d-mar

    @273 Ted, I was talking about the current version of the Lakers. I’m sorry, Gasol is nowhere near Wade’s caliber, could he lead a team to the playoffs by himself? And yes, Pippen is HOF, but not a guy who could carry a team on his own either.

  216. tastycakes

    Yeah, the “Prokhorov” idea that going to Miami would somehow “tarnish” LeBron’s legacy is sort of silly.

    I mean, he will never be more famous than if he moves to New York and wins a championship there with Amar’e. But it’s not like he somehow *wouldn’t* be the best player on that Miami team. What a bizarre team that would be, three superstars and a bunch of filler.

    They still would need to move the Bease to have any shot at LBJ though, right? If that’s still true, this *is* good news for LeBron. I mean, the Knicks. The only available outside-CLE choices would be us with Amar’e, CHI with Rose (I’d love to believe the rumours he doesn’t want James; that would make him such a punk!), or NJ with Brook Lopez and Devin Harris. Hahaha.

    I’m giddy for primetime tomorrow!

  217. Ted Nelson

    @204 “is it possible or a good idea to have the suns sign and trade amare to us for a 17M trade exception (like Toronto wants from Miami for bosh)?”

    A first rounder would be nice. The problems I see are 1. suddenly Amare isn’t a 5 year $20 mill per gamble, but a 6 year $20 mill per gamble… that’s not worth a 1st rounder to me and 2. do the Suns really value the trade exception that much? They’re cheap enough that they might not.
    If the Knicks could still only give Amare 5 years and the Suns actually wanted the trade exception… could be a good idea.

    @205 “A Bosh/Wade/Haywood (using Bucher’s idea/fake tweet as a template) and Calderon pairing”

    I don’t think the Heat have cap space for all 4, but only 3 of the 4. Calderon would, I believe, mean no Haywood. Not that I think Haywood is leaving Dallas anyway.

    @210 “The cap is slotted so that every team has one max player, several $8-$10 mil players, several MLE players, several rookie scale players, and a few minimum guys rounding out the practice squads.”

    Most of the time teams have just given their best player a max deal even though he’s not a legit max-level player using logic similar to this it’s failed pretty miserably. If you don’t have a top 5-10 player I think you’re theoretically better off spreading spreading your pot around to several good players. The difference between the best player and 5th best player in the league may be a lot greater than between the 10th best and 50th best player, if you follow me.

  218. Ted Nelson

    “@273 Ted, I was talking about the current version of the Lakers. I’m sorry, Gasol is nowhere near Wade’s caliber, could he lead a team to the playoffs by himself? And yes, Pippen is HOF, but not a guy who could carry a team on his own either.”

    d-mar, when a guy has carried a team to the playoffs it’s very hard to say that he couldn’t do so.

    The one year in his prime where Pippen played without Jordan he led the Bulls and they swept the 1st round before getting to a Game 7 in the 2nd round against eventual EC Champ Knicks.

    Gasol was the leader of a Memphis team that won 50 games a couple of times…

    But, no way, those guys couldn’t lead teams to the playoffs…

    Anyway, that’s a ridiculously subjective and largely irrelevant criteria as basketball is a team game and none of these guys, even Wade, has led a team to the playoffs BY THEMSELVES.

    My point, I believe, stands. HOF caliber players have been wingmen or been paired together. Pippen was the best wing defender in the league, a great passer, and a good scorer. By all accounts also the vocal leader on the Bulls. Shaq/Kobe, Magic/Kareem……….

  219. d-mar

    Ted, maybe “by themselves” is a little strong, but when all is said and done, I do think Wade will rank significantly higher than either Gasol and Pippen on the “greatest players ever” list. Plus, who was Wade’s supporting cast when he won it all in 2006? He carried the team on his back, which I still don’t think Gasol or Pippen is capable of.

    PS Let’s keep it civil here, and stop with the condescending, snarky comments please.

  220. Frank

    @272 Ted —

    pretty subjective reasoning on your part — Grant Hill was INJURED, not a bad player. Can’t blame a team for signing a guy and then having him get injured. That’s not a bust, that’s bad luck. Ben Wallace was a great player, but was obviously a bad sign because he was already showing signs of slipping and was 32. Jermaine O’Neal was really not in the same class as Amare — 2 NBA 3rd teams and 1 NBA 2nd team, but he also was brought down by injuries. Arenas was also an injury guy.

    Re: his TS being 53.6 without Nash – that was his second season – he hasn’t been below 61.5 since.

    Re: him not making All-NBA in 08-09- he missed 27 games with an eye injury. Maybe that’s why they didn’t make the playoffs. And he was made to play 3rd banana to Shaq and Nash.

    Look- there’s no doubt that anytime you hand $100M to a player with a history of injuries, there’s a risk of further injury. But find me one player other than Lebron who is in the prime of his career, is as dynamic as Amare is, and is remotely obtainable (ie. not Durant or Howard) who doesn’t have a worse injury history. Hint- there isn’t one. By your reasoning, only Lebron, Durant, and Howard should be max players, which is just not realistic in this world.

  221. cwod

    I’m pretty sure Gasol *did* lead the Grizzlies to the playoffs by himself more or less. Until Zach this year, Gasol had the team’s sole ASG apperance, which was in 2006, the last year Memphis made the postseason. Granted, the Grizzlies have never won in the playoffs (0-12), which is a completely different point. And anyway, Lebron has never led the Cavs to a single win against a Western Conference opponent, either (0-4).

  222. Ted Nelson

    Frank,

    My point is that huge contracts don’t work out as often as they do, if not more often… I never said because the player didn’t deserve the contract. If a guy gets injured and doesn’t retire because of it, he’s still sitting on your books. (Amare, in particular, may be an injury risk to the point where his contract is uninsurable.)

    JO was a much better defender than Amare. Not the scorer Amare is, but probably just as good overall. Again, All-NBA is based on subjective votes. If you’re a big scorer on a top team you’re on there.

    Amare had two seasons in the .530s and has been above .600 only since Nash got there. It’s not like he improved a lot from rookie season to season two and then got even better once Nash got there… his improvement coincided exactly with Nash’s arrival. I’m not saying he CAN’T do it without Nash, I’m just saying that because he HASN’T it’s tough to say for sure that he CAN. (And I do believe 100% he can do it with LeBron, by the way… which is still the Knicks’ #1 priority.)

    The other guys don’t seem to have a problem getting insured.

    I wouldn’t say those are the only guys who deserve a max contract. If you have a 50/50 chance that your max guy craps the bed on you, though, I would be very careful giving out that kind of money.

  223. Ted Nelson

    d-mar,

    You’re making statements that fly in the face of reality (i.e. Gasol and Pippen have led teams to the playoffs, Kobe was Shaq’s sidekick, Wade played with a little guy called Shaq when they won), so excuse me for being “snarky.” I’m not sure how to respond. I just find it completely baseless to say that two players cannot play together because they’re both too good… I doubt they end up together, but I think they’d be ok if they did… as indynasty ok if paired with a couple shooters and a good frontcourt.

    Pippen is easily one of the top 50 of all-time. There’s not that much higher Wade can climb. Other wingmen include Kobe (to Shaq), Kareem (to Magic)… top players.

    Wade’s supporting cast???? How about Shaq? You know, that large guy with all the rings on his fingers… Antoine Walker, 3 time All-Star who had the ability to do even more when motivated. James Posey, who shot .614 TS% in the playoffs. Udonis Haslem. Jason Williams. Zo and Gary Payton on the bench, just a couple of HOFers at the end of the bench. But, no, Miami didn’t have a very strong rotation… 2 HOFers up top, an All-Star caliber player, a sharp-shooter/defender, a work-man PF, a PG with a great handle and good passing ability, 2 HOF veterans on the bench… Doesn’t sound like every other championship rotation at all………… How can I not be “snarky” about that.

  224. d-mar

    OK Ted, if you’re gonna start throwing Gary Payton and Jason Williams out there as evidence of a strong supporting cast, then I give up.

    2006 NBA Finals

    Name Team Year PPG RPG APG FG% PER

    Dwyane Wade Mia 2006 34.7 7.8 3.8 46.8 33.8

    If Pippen did or Gasol ever does put up numbers like this, then I guess I’m wrong. Wade is better than both, hands down. You can have the last word, I’m done on this topic.

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