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Monday, December 22, 2014

Knicks Sign Rautins

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

New York, NY (Sports Network) – The New York Knicks have signed guard Andy Rautins, the 38th overall selection in the 2010 NBA draft.

The 6-foot-4 Rautins averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 35 games for Syracuse during his senior season in 2009-10.

He shot 40.7 percent from three-point territory last year and finished second on the school’s all-time list with 282 three-pointers made.

The offseason has officially begun.

173 comments on “Knicks Sign Rautins

  1. Jafa

    This is weird. News about a Syracuse guard signing with a New York team from the Seattle Post Intelligencer? They must really miss having an NBA team.

  2. massive

    Andy Rautins should become a valuable player off the bench for us when he’s ready. I look forward to seeing him in garbage minutes (hopefully we won’t be on the wrong end of those games anymore).

  3. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Does this mean that Landry Fields is still unsigned? Did they even watch Summer League?

  4. DS

    @3 I Yes. But A) I would guess Fields is right behind him (as in days). B) I wouldn’t read into the chronology of the two events too much.

  5. supernova

    I was never a fan of picking Rautins, and have serious doubts as to whether he will make the team. Athletically, from what I have heard he just doesn’t seem to be NBA material and he did not shoot well at all in the Summer League.

    With that said he has evidently performed well in the FIBA exhibition games as a representative of the Canadian National Team.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nba/story/?id=330437

  6. Count Zero

    I seriously doubt Rautins’ ability to stick in the NBA. This is one of those long-shot, low-risk moves based on his potential to shoot the three — as such, I’m OK with it but doubt it will matter in the long run.

  7. danvt

    This is my last post EVER on Isiah (hopefully!). Praise be to GOD!

    http://www.nj.com/knicks/index.ssf/2010/08/mike_dantoni_and_mike_krzyzews.html

    I like what D’Antoni had to say. Seems like the whole thing was no problem for him and Walsh and that Walsh is fully in charge. Whether this happened (which we can all be so glad it didn’t) or not, it seemed like the issue was whether Dolan was splitting his allegiances or in some way trying to challenge Donnie’s handling of the the team, or, at very worst, trying to force out the guy who got us out of the quagmire. Looks like the answer is none of the above. It still worries me that he’s an idiot, but in this case, it looks like there’s not much cause for concern after all.

    Thanks again, ESPN.

  8. ess-dog

    Well I guess it’s a good thing we passed on ‘Born Ready’…

    http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/68702/20100815/stephenson_charged_with_pushing_girlfriend_down_flight_of_stairs/

    I think they went with Rautins b/c of his olympic experience. He will get a lot of p.t. against great players this summer and maybe be ahead of the curve come training camp. The only other player they passed up for him that could be good is Character, and he wouldn’t have made the rotation anyway. I guess Rautins was worth the shot.

  9. Ted Nelson

    “The only other player they passed up for him that could be good is Character, and he wouldn’t have made the rotation anyway.”

    Really? Can you say that before any player they passed to get Rautins has played an NBA game, let alone a few seasons?

  10. ess-dog

    Not technically. Just an opinion. Maybe 1 or 2 guys could break through and become solid rotation players, but hindsight is afterall, 2020. Maybe I should’ve said no player BASED ON WHAT WE’VE SEEN THUS FAR IN SUMMER LEAGUE would’ve definitively been a better pick… Maybe you can put Tiny Gallon there too? Luke Harnagbooty? But they clearly wanted a “shooter” with the non-Fields pick.

  11. Ted Nelson

    I can see saying that about Fields, but Rautins didn’t do much in Summer League: 8.8 pts/36, 42.6 TS%, 2.1 ast/36, 1.8 TO/36, 2.7 reb/36, 1.2 stl/36, 0 FTAs… In 5 games against D-League level competition he was decidedly terrible.

    I’m not saying Rautins can’t be good someday (mostly his shot needs to fall and that was a small sample of his shot… was hoping to see some PG skills, but Douglas had that role locked-up). I just don’t know how you can say that players who played significantly better than him in the Summer League have less chance to be good. Stephenson, Rolle, Ebanks, Lawal, Harangody, Jeremy Lin, Varnado, Alabi, Stanley Robinson, Samardo Samuels, Scottie Reynolds all played better than Rautins, in some cases by an enormous margin. Willie Warren played a bit better. Undrafted Gs Thomas Heurtel, Matt Bouldin, and Richard Roby played about as well as Rautins (i.e. not well at all).

    As far as wanting a shooter… by the mid-2nd round there are only a few guys who will have NBA careers… you can’t pick and choose based on need. I’m also not sure that taking a shooter is conclusive evidence that Walshtoni “clearly wanted a “shooter” with the non-Fields pick.”

  12. Ted Nelson

    Based on Summer League production alone, Jaycee Carroll should have easily beaten Rautins out for his roster spot… If not, Marcus Landry should have. We’re talking about a 6th guard, though, so I can see wanting a young guy with more upside. Would have at least liked to see more of Carroll given how well he played in both Orlando and Las Vegas.
    http://www.nba.com/summerleague2010/teams/knicks/

    I’m still not saying Rautins has no chance, I’m just saying that his signing is based on Walshtoni liking his long-term potential and having invested a pick in him. If I had to play a game tomorrow I’d take Carroll, Landry and a lot of guys the Knicks passed up in the draft over Rautins. Hopefully that won’t still be the case in 3 years or so.

    I would personally say the best thing to do with him would have been let him play a year in Europe to develop against pro-talent without wasting a roster spot. Or for the NBA to have a legitimate minor league…

  13. SeeWhyDee77

    I do think that Rautins is super expendable especially with Mason Jr on board. But I will say this about the kid, he is more athletic and versatile than JJ Redick. I don’t know if he has Redick’s work ethic, but if he has half of it he will be useful. “Experts” were saying some of the same things about Redick his rookie year. But the fact remains that he will not get any PT and is problee trade fodder. Rautins is not a bum, he just had a horrible Summer League. Maybe it was nerves, I don’t know. But with Fields’ showing and Mason Jr, Walker, Azu, and Chandler all on the roster (not 2 mention Douglas and Felton), Rautins has to basically climb Pandora’s Temple that is strapped to Cronos’ back (lol..GOW reference) to get any PT. I really just think he will be a filler for a future trade.

  14. Z-man

    I am hoping that the world games will afford a better opportunity to assess Rautins and Mozgov vs. higher level comp.

    Re: vegas, lots of people were down on TD after last year’s summer league due to poor shooting, but he reverted back to form once he got PT in the NBA. A five-game sample on a roster with a million guys who are all trying to impress their way onto NBA rosters is hardly a good forum to judge guys, particularly shooters. My guess is that he will be an NBA caliber 3pt shooter, and will eventually be in the league somewhere in some role. Whether he develops quickly or takes a few years to crack a rotation, if ever, is the question. It helps that he have a good pedigree, smarts, and a strong work ethic too, not to mention some basic PG skills. Hell, if Matt Carroll can make it for more than a cup of coffee, why not Rautins?

    Wouldn’t be surprised if we see Wittman in the NBA down the road as well.

  15. slovene knick

    A month ago a guy(was it DS?) here asked if anyone has information on Mozgov…saw him in live action(three WC :) preparation games in my hometown) – lost against Slovenia, Serbia, won against New Zeland):

    Didn’t start in any of those games, looks and moves good for a seven footer, played limited time due to his terrible defending; in every game he made a ton of stupid fouls(Three games, three minutes, three/four fouls).
    In offense: has a McHaleish pump fake in embryonic phase(draw a lot of fouls), his shot looks good, is not afraid to get physical, didn’t see him play with his back to the rim, always with his face to the rim, he is good for one bounce dribble( two are not there jet), earns& makes a lot of free throws.
    In limited time : 14&?( i’d say five) against Serbeia, 9&6 against us, played only five minutes against New Zeland….

    Judging by those three games his ceiling is a solid backup C….will see more of him in Turkey.

  16. danvt

    Ted Nelson: Based on Summer League production alone, Jaycee Carroll should have easily beaten Rautins out for his roster spot… If not, Marcus Landry should have.

    Don’t you think that these decisions are more about what happens in closed door practices than anything? I mean, he’s not making the team at FIU based on his summer league performance. Maybe, they feel he’s got one legitimate NBA skill, shooting, as opposed to Fields who is more of an all around player, but not necessarily as outstanding at any one thing.

  17. Ted Nelson

    Z-man,

    I agree that the Summer League is not the end-all-be-all. However, the specific point that I was addressing was that based on the Summer League the only guy that has a shot at being better than Rautins is Caracter. I disagree with that point.

    At the end of the day, Rautins is a mid-2nd rounder whose college stats are thoroughly unimpressive. Odds are he doesn’t make it in the NBA.

    Matt Carroll had 3 college seasons where he averaged more PPG than Rautins as a senior, and his college 3P% was equal to Rautins’ college FG% (39.5)… Still, the guy is only still in the league because Charlotte gave him a ridiculous contract.

    Rautins best shot in the NBA, in my opinion, is to become a PG. I was hoping to see more PG skills in Vegas, which is why his performance there was more disappointing to me than merely the shooting.

  18. Ted Nelson

    danvt,

    I don’t think signing (or drafting) Rautins before Fields says anything about who the Knicks like more. Fields has more leverage after a strong Summer League (the consensus seemed to be that he was one of the top 10 rookies in Vegas) and may be (should be) negotiating for a better contract than what Rautins got.

    As I said to Z-man, I was addressing a specific comment made by ess-dog that based on Summer League the only guy drafted after Rautins with any chance to be better than him was Derrick Caracter. My comments were made in that context.

  19. DS

    @15 I don’t think it was me, but I do appreciate your report! I’m sure Mosgov is far more likely to peak a bench player than as a starter/star but I would like to hear that his “ceiling” (best case scenario) is much higher than a backup considering his age, size, and skill set. Keep the info. coming!

    * Bucher (who, along w/ the rest of the media that covers the NBA, lost almost all credibility during the LeBron FA) thinks Carmelo won’t start the season as a Nugget. I think I know have a good grasp of what the regular commenters on this site would be willing to give up for ‘Melo. I wonder what Donnie would be willing to give up at this point if anything (seeing as the Knicks w/ or w/o ‘Melo are not going to become East Conf. elite this season and they will have the cap room). I doubt the Nuggets OR Knicks feel much urgency to get this done now; the Knicks probably feel good about their chances to sign ‘Melo this summer and the Nuggets are prob. not jonesing for Wilson Chandler, Toney Douglas and Curry’s expiring.

  20. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    After Jamal, Steph, Zach, et al., why do the commenters on this site want Carmelo? Average efficiency, average rebounding, average turnovers. There’s no denying the numbers: he’s an average player whose “skillset” permits him to jack up more shots than the average SF. Is that really worth $19M a year?

  21. Z-man

    Ted,
    Agree on Rautins; his possibilities as a backup PG a la Redick are perhaps more intriguing than if he was merely being seen as a pure shooter. I do think the worlds will help it terms of figuring out his potential. So far, he’s had some pretty good warm-up games.

  22. DS

    @21 I’m not in favor of spending top dollar on ‘Melo. But I have to accept that the Knicks will probably go for it if they have the chance.

    Also, you have to consider that ‘Melo has played on some very good teams whereas Jamal, Steph, and Zach had played on pretty much none. Zach was a bench player on some decent Portland teams and MAYBE Steph made the playoffs w/ Minnesota and once w/ Phoenix?? People (whether right or wrong) are always going to conclude that a super high scorer on one of the league’s best teams is worth having no matter what stats say.

  23. Garson

    If we had a choice , i would rather be stuck in to Paul Okafor Stat and Gallo then Melo Stat and eithe Gallo or AR.

    Either way, I dont understand all the negativity regarding the possible Melo aquisition. Its very easy to say i dont want him, however what is the alternative. What other players do you think we can get , who can take us to the next level?

  24. JoMo

    THCJ – While I would admit that 19M a year is a tough pill to swallow for anyone not considered the elite of the elite in the league, I would certainly take a “flyer” on Melo.

    I was attending ‘Cuse when he came in and did his thing, so I might be a bit biased. He was also a prized pickup in my fantasy league, so I watched his stats with inordinate scrutiny. You can look at his numbers and grumble at his oft-inefficiency, but when you watch him play you see his value as an absolute beast. His offensive repertoire is absolutely tremendous, moreso than any other SF in the game, I think – with his ability to mix it up in the post and bang down-low. We were all screaming at our televisions and the garden last season (ok, maybe just me), for Gallo to mix it up with the glimpses of potential he’d show when he slashed to the hoop – praying for him to lose his absolute reliance on his outside shot. Melo offers that kind of versatility at the 3 which would really stretch the offense.

    Maybe the Gallo comparison is a really poor one considering the growth he has shown, plus his superior defense. Also considering his showing against Melo in particular at the garden. Also considering he’s on his rookie contract.

    Damn it. I think I just nullified my own opinion.

  25. Z

    OT:

    Can y’all believe LeBron James, after the most hyped and public free agent campaign in sports history, is only the 22nd highest paid player in the NBA? He’s going to make $10 million less than Kobe this year. (and 6 million less than Rashard Lewis!) (and a lot of the other names in front of him aren’t in his class, now or ever as well– Redd, Kirilenko, Yao, Zach Randolph, K-Mart, Arenas, Vince Carter, Brand, Stojakovic…)

    Only in the NBA.

  26. Ted Nelson

    THCJ,

    I agree with your sentiment that Melo is overrated (great insider article from Tom Haberstroh on the subject http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/news/story?id=5439653), but I disagree that he’s “average.”

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=anthoca01&y1=2010&p2=johnsjo02&y2=2010&p3=gayru01&y3=2010&p4=chandwi01&y4=2010

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=anthoca01&y1=2010&p2=johnsjo02&y2=2010&p3=gayru01&y3=2010&p4=chandwi01&y4=2010

    I don’t know if investing $19 mill per in Melo is a good or bad idea; however, I would call it a substantially better investment than investing similar money in Joe Johnson or Rudy Gay. I don’t think it’s the worst thing you could do and I would not mention him in the same sentence as Stephon Marbury, Zach Randolph, or Jamal Crawford: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=crawfja01&y1=2010&p2=marbust01&y2=2009&p3=randoza01&y3=2010&p4=anthoca01&y4=2010

    How can you compare them on scoring efficiency when Melo is substantially more efficient than those three on a much higher volume?

  27. gbaked

    I read somewhere that most coaches consider a guy like Andy, who will be one of the very last players off the bench, to be a better practice guy then anything else. The kind of person that even though they are not getting any burn, will push the starters in practice and not just think about getting theirs.

    AR seems like a very smart player. Son of a coach, played with a fantastic College coach. A team leader.

    The amount of depth we now have is something none of us are used to. Fields may get some burn, but we are really 12ish deep of quality players. And we have a coach that normally doesnt play a huge rotation. So picking and signing Andy seems to be one of those “team” kinda moves. If he happens to develop into a great shooter… then thats awesome. If he ends up just playing hard and only lasting a few years as a bench player…. then thats what it is.

  28. ess-dog

    Rautins: “Look, I’m just saying based on relatively unimpressive play be most other 2nd rounders (besides Fields) combined with Rautins strong play against France, I just don’t see the pick as much as a reach as I did during the draft (mostly) because I think the 2nd round will be worse than advertised this year.”

    This is what I was going to write, but then I looked at his stats and damn, Rautins was really unimpressive in college. His senior year he was an adequate player with good 3 point shooting, but the rest of his time there was abysmal. Again, his senior year was good – TS and eFG over .600. Maybe he’s a late bloomer, but with a father coach, I doubt that’s the case. I also doubt he sees any court time except during blowouts.

    There weren’t a ton of great options left if you’re going for upside. I mentioned Gallon. I thought Stephenson was worth the risk at the time – maybe I was wrong. A lot of people liked Varnado – where does he play? They could’ve just taken Jordan with that pick and called it a day…

    Melo: If we trade for Melo, we have to give one of Randolph or Gallo. Who do you give up? I’m excited to see them both. I think it’s to Donnie’s advantage to wait, try and up the value of Randolph and Gallo. The closer we get to next summer, the more leverage we have on the situation. I don’t love Melo, though I’m not against him, especially if he brings Paul on board. I just think guard is where we need an immediate upgrade but there aren’t a lot of options out there.

  29. Conor

    I watched just about every game Andy ever played for Syracuse. I wouldn’t say prior to last year he was abysmal, but obviously I have a soft spot in my heart for Andy since he went to the same school I did and played a role in some memomrable moments.

    That being said, there was never really any time during his years at school that I ever thought he’d be an NBA player, and I haven’t changed my mind on that.

    He’s a guy who was considered a lights out shooter, but didn’t realyl even come close to that until his senior year. He is a heady player; he was very good playing the 2-3 zone and was able to get a ton of steals thanks to his long arms, and he did have a decent assist rate; but he tried for a ton of high risk passes and had a fair amount of TO as a result.

    Someone upthread mentioned they were hoping he might be able to play some PG; no chance in my mind.

  30. Caleb

    Guys, the Knicks can’t run around signing other people’s 2nd round picks. It’s not Rautins or Stephenson for the roster spot, it’s Rautins or no one – go sign an undrafted FA like PE Jr. I’m guessing it’s a minimum salary deal. They liked him when they drafted him, they’re not going to NOT sign him because of whatever happened in summer league.

    But I know it’s August, and there’s nothing else to talk about, basketball wise.

  31. ess-dog

    Caleb, if you’re referring to me, I just meant “at the time of the draft” I would’ve considered Stephenson over Rautins with that pick.
    And maybe ‘abysmal’ was a bit strong. I’ll just change that to ‘not impressive’.

  32. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: I think it’s to Donnie’s advantage to wait, try and up the value of Randolph and Gallo. The closer we get to next summer, the more leverage we have on the situation.

    Agreed.

    I think the 2010 2nd round looks at least average. Chances are the Knicks only passed on a couple of decent NBA players and I don’t mind the Rautins pick. It’s still going to hurt to see an impact rotation player passed on if Rautins is a bust or be sweet if Rautins was the best available player and the Knicks got him.

  33. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,
    As ess-dog said I think everyone is referring to the actual draft pick of Rautins. Once he was drafted it was pretty much a forgone conclusion for me that he’d be on the roster. Would like to have seen him spend a season in Europe (which the World Championships are sort of like), but short of that I knew they would sign him.

    Talk of Summer League production is merely early returns on how the picks look against pro competition.

    ess-dog,
    In the context of NBA prospects I don’t think abysmal was that bad. In the context of college basketball players, sure. Agree that “not impressive” is probably the best wording, though.

  34. Ted Nelson

    One last point on Rautins:
    I don’t know which way the causation goes, but historically the best run and most successful franchises do seem to have guys throughout their roster (stars and benchwarmers a like) that will go on to coaching and front office roles in the league or at least NCAA. Undoubtedly has something to do with their success and connections to successful coaches and execs gets them jobs later in life, but there may be something to having smart, passionate basketball players throughout your roster (something along the lines of gbaked’s comment in #28).

  35. Nick C.

    ess-dog: Caleb, if you’re referring to me, I just meant “at the time of the draft” I would’ve considered Stephenson over Rautins with that pick.And maybe ‘abysmal’ was a bit strong. I’ll just change that to ‘not impressive’.  (Quote)

    I guess its a good thing they didn’t take Stephenson since he may be doing some time in the near future if not for his recent girlfriend beating than sometime in the future as there was an alleged rape in a stairwell in HS as well.

  36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    How can you compare them on scoring efficiency when Melo is substantially more efficient than those three on a much higher volume?

    I wouldn’t call .016 a substantial disparity. Kevin Durant’s leap in TS% over the last two seasons is substantial. And I’m keen on the effect of volume scoring on shooting percentage, so Carmelo in a system with two high efficiency scorers (Paul and Stoutemire) would be fantastic, as his usage rate could fall a bit. Perhaps not: Denver also had some great scorers in Nene, Billups.

    The difference between a chucker like Steph and a chucker like Melo is that one lands you the #8 spot in the playoffs and one leaves you on the outside looking in. He’s not LeBron, nor Paul. He’s not a player that takes you from the lottery to the Finals. Part of me hopes we sell the farm for him so everyone can see advanced stats in action. Y’all can talk about repertoire all you want, but at the end of the game, if the shots haven’t fallen, you lose the game. Doesn’t matter what they looked like.

  37. adrenaline98

    Was also seen on Sportscenter this morning, with Stein and Bucher reporting he probably will be gone by the trade deadline, if not sooner.

  38. Ted Nelson

    THCJ,

    Marbury’s problems were not so much on the court…

    The difference of 20 basis points between Crawford/Randolph and Melo is equivalent to the difference between Melo and Wade and more than the difference between Melo and LeBron… so, I guess the difference between Melo and those two as scorers is negligible and he should be mentioned in the same breath… truly an all-time great: Carmelo Anthony. Clearly this is not the case and 20 basis points in TS% is a substantial difference.

    Is Nene really comparable to Amare as a scorer? I don’t know that I want Melo on a max deal and I don’t want to give up a lot to get him, but I wouldn’t compare Nene’s scoring with Amare’s. Nene’s volume is well below average, while Amare’s is well above it.

    The difference between basketball and whatever you are referring to is that basketball is a team game… The idea is not to march Melo out there for one-on-ones. The idea would be for him to be part of a team. A team that will hopefully make the playoffs this season without him. Depending on how the Knicks–particularly Danilo and Randolph–play, Melo may or may not be a desirable upgrade.
    You can see advanced stats in action every day. Melo is not LeBron, but he’s also not an average NBA player. Look at the advanced stats and you’ll see that. Compare his stats to the rest of the league and you’ll see that. The people who overhype Melo as an incredible player are wrong, but it’s just as wrong to say he’s not a good NBA player.

    The difference between Marbury and Melo is that Melo seems mentally stable.

  39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Melo is not LeBron, but he’s also not an average NBA player. Look at the advanced stats and you’ll see that. Compare his stats to the rest of the league and you’ll see that.

    I don’t get a chance to say this often, Ted: you’re wrong.

    http://www.wagesofwins.com/DurantMelo03030910.html

    Forget PAWS48. His per48 numbers look an awful lot like an average NBA SF to me. Anyone care to disagree?

  40. Ted Nelson

    THCJ,

    David Berri also considers Chris Andersen to be one of the best players in the entire NBA. Chris Duhon, according to WOW, was almost as good as Melo last season and the 2nd best Knick. Shelden Williams is also better than Melo according to Berri… So, yes, I will disagree.

  41. Thomas B.

    I agree with THCJ. Melo is a slightly above average SF, who scores in bunches with high usage and not so great shooting numbers. He does not rebound much or play much defense and his passing isnt all that great either.

    People think of Melo as a bit (much) better than he is because he provides the thing most casual observers (and GMs) consider to be the hallmark of a star player, that being raw scoring numbers. The truth is that Melo’s win scores plus the defensive +/- numbers show he doesnt do all that much to help his team win.

    I’m not saying Melo is a bad player, but why would we pay such a high price to get a one trick pony? Go down a list of players but WS/48, I’m willing to bet you can find a much less expensive SF with a higher WS.

  42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Forget about Wages of Wins. I chose that comparison because it shows stats whose value we can agree on (turnovers, rebounds, points-per-shot). Relative to the average NBA small forward, Melo is not an outstanding player. Certainly not worth max money.

    Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that he’s going to get a max deal and start playing like one. With the Johnsons and Gays getting max deals, that’s the only explanation I can muster.

  43. Thomas B.

    At 9 million you have Corey Magette with a WS/48 of .145.
    At 17 million you have Carmelo Anthony with a WS/48 of .145

    What is wrong with that picture? If we just want a high usage, scoring SF that can get to the line, and does not do the things to secure possessions (steal, rebounds, low turnovers, ect) then why not trade for Magette. You could get him and still keep Gallo and Randolph. AND save about 9 million dollars a year that the team could use to get additional quality players.

  44. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    I think it’s a matter of degree. Is Melo great (comparable to a LeBron or Durant)? No. Do I agree that a team should think very seriously before paying him what he’ll command? Yes. However, I also don’t think you can act as if he’s an average NBA player or we can look at one metric to gage a player’s exact value.

    All I’m asking for is a fair assessment. His passing “isn’t all that great,” but his career ast% is 15.7 with a career high of 19.2. That’s not fair. He’s well above average for a SF as a passer. His TO% is also pretty low. His defensive +/- numbers show him to be an average defender. His rebounding is above average for a SF. Yet, you say he “does not rebound much or play much defense.”

    “Go down a list of players but WS/48, I’m willing to bet you can find a much less expensive SF with a higher WS.”
    WS/48 is not a particularly fair stat to use as the sole judgement of player value, more so than other stats even since team success is a big factor (6 players on the Magic had a higher WS/48 than Melo, for example, and not one on most lottery teams). However, there were 9 SFs in the NBA with a higher WS/48 than Melo. 4 are on max(ish) deals: LeBron, Paul Pierce, VC, and Kirilenko. 2 are on rookie deals: Durant and Batum. Ilyasova is basically on a rookie deal. So the two SFs not on rookie deals who are cheaper are Gerald Wallace and John Salmons. Corey Maggette tied Melo’s WS/48 last season and is also cheaper.

    I’m not arguing that Melo is worth $20 mill per season. I am arguing that he is not an average NBA player.

  45. Frank

    Thomas B.: At 9 million you have Corey Magette with a WS/48 of .145.
    At 17 million you have Carmelo Anthony with a WS/48 of .145What is wrong with that picture?If we just want a high usage, scoring SF that can get to the line, and does not do the things to secure possessions (steal, rebounds, low turnovers, ect) then why not trade for Magette.You could get him and still keep Gallo and Randolph. AND save about 9 million dollars a year that the team could use to get additional quality players.  

    So why even bother playing games if we can just use career WS/48?

  46. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    @44,

    Again, Berri’s player rankings cannot be taken seriously. I don’t know what the relevant law is in philosophy or ethics or something, but once you prove that there are a substantial number of exceptions to the rule… it’s not a rule anymore. When you look at some of Berri’s laughable rankings, you can’t take the rest seriously. I’m not saying he does a worse job than any other stat-head with a single metric claiming to be able to conquer the entire universe, I’m saying that there is no one single metric that can conquer the universe at this point.

    “Its about cost relative to production. I dont see him as a good value. Do you disagree with that?”

    I never said that and that is not what I’m discussing. What I am discussing is whether or not Carmelo Anthony is an “average” NBA SF. I have repeatedly gone out of my way to say that I am not discussing the merits of paying Melo $20 mill.

    @47
    “At 9 million you have Corey Magette with a WS/48 of .145.
    At 17 million you have Carmelo Anthony with a WS/48 of .145″

    See point 48. There are 3 SFs in the entire NBA not on rookie deals who were as good or better than Carmelo Anthony according to WS/48 (which is not a Berri metric, by the way) and paid substantially less: Maggette, Salmons, and Gerald Wallace. That doesn’t exactly scream out: “it’s really easy to find a better SF than Melo for a much lower price.” If anything Melo is paid in-line with his market value. The Knicks can largely forget about rookie deals the way they waste draft assets.

    “why not trade for Magette”

    There’s only one of him and the Bucks just traded for him, so he’s not likely to be available right now. I mean, why not trade for LeBron James or maybe Julius Erving if you want a SF?

    If you have the choice between Melo and LeBron or CP3 or Dwight Howard or Durant or Michael Jordan or Oscar Robertson or Jesus Shuttlesworth or … don’t pay him. When you’re looking more at paying him, pocketing the money (waiting for someone else to pay), or paying a Tony Parker type instead… it gets a whole lot more complicated. The Knicks will have to consider how their young wings play. They’ll have to consider their chances of getting CP3 in 2012 and his health. I’m not saying that signing or certainly trading for Melo is a good idea for the Knicks. I’m just saying not to rule it out just because David Berri says it’s a bad idea.

  47. BigBlueAL

    Dave Berri must have a spell or something on his devoted followers. Its almost like a cult or something. lol

    I am an admittedly newcomer when it comes to advanced stats in basketball, heck I just go to basketballreference.com and look at the advanced stats there. There is no one defining perfect stat to judge players I dont believe but from the little research/reading Ive done I do believe Berri’s stats are a bit out of whack to say the least yet his ardent followers treat it like the bible.

    Carmelo and Amar’e are not max players because they are obviously not as good as the real max players like Lebron, Wade, Dwight Howard etc. However they are far from being average, one-trick ponies.

  48. Ted Nelson

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Forget about Wages of Wins. I chose that comparison because it shows stats whose value we can agree on (turnovers, rebounds, points-per-shot). Relative to the average NBA small forward, Melo is not an outstanding player. Certainly not worth max money.
    Let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that he’s going to get a max deal and start playing like one. With the Johnsons and Gays getting max deals, that’s the only explanation I can muster.  

    Berri shows that Carmelo Anthony scores a ridiculous number more points than the average SF (about double), but disregards that completely because he gives absolutely no weight to scoring volume. I think most people overrate volume, but I don’t think it’s completely meaningless in considering player value. He disregards FTs as a component of scoring efficiency. He doesn’t look at TOs in the context of usage. The PAWS48 of 1.6 still puts Melo substantially above the average of 1.0.

    No reasonable person would say that Melo is as good as Durant or LeBron. LeBron is easily worth 3 or 4 times the max contract, though. I would be very hesitant to give Melo a $20 mill per deal, but I wouldn’t rule it out, either. If he’s willing to take a Miami Big 3-esque pay cut to more like $15+ mill per… he starts to look a lot more attractive. And once you exceed the cap long-term, it’s easier to justify spending if you’ve got no luxury tax concerns.

    I agree that Melo’s not an elite player and is overrated, I just also think it’s going too far to say he’s an average Joe SF. I hope Danilo and Anthony Randolph make his acquisition totally unnecessary. If Danilo plays like he did last season, though, I’d at least consider Anthony. Talent wins games, and the Knicks haven’t had many players as talented and consistent as Melo is a while… (David Lee……. and……….. who else since Ewing?). Disclaimer: I’m not about title or bust, I’ll take a nice playoff run over a lottery season (with no pick to show for it in the Knicks case the next two seasons… longer-term maybe) any day.

  49. Frank

    I really don’t see the rush in trading for Melo. Our leverage only goes up as the season progresses and Melo gets closer to free agency when we can sign him outright and NOT give up any of our young pieces. I guess the only risk is that he gets traded to a team and then likes it there – but he’s a New York guy and sort of feel like all the other big markets or desirable weather locations (MIA, LA, SF) either are a bad fit or don’t have the parts to make it happen. I guess Golden State has some assets like Curry and Lee, but I can’t see them trading either of those guys. I don’t think the Nets are any sort of competitor, only because I think it’s totally a stretch to think Melo might extend there to be a second-class citizen to the Knicks. So let’s sit tight, let the kids’ trade value go up, and readdress this at the trading deadline or net summer.

  50. knickterp

    If the NBA were refereed by robots, those advanced stats comps would be persuasive, if not conclusive. But if there’s 10 seconds left, tie game, and Maggette and Melo are in a block/charge situation, Melo’s getting the call. (Similarly, see Amare vs. Lee.) How many millions is such a call worth? In a big enough moment, a lot.

    Also, there’s one person who understands Danilo’s potential more than anyone–including health concerns, etc.–and that’s Mike D’Antoni. If he and Walsh see Danilo as a major star in the making, they don’t consider such a trade. After a few years with Danilo, and hundreds of practices and games, I’ll trust their judgment on this one. We’ll see what happens.

  51. BigBlueAL

    I too would like to just play this season with the current team and keep the flexibility into next off-season BUT if Melo is going to be traded before this season starts the Knicks I think have to make a strong move for him. If they really want him you cant risk Melo being traded to a good team and liking it there enough to sign an extension and not becoming a FA after the season.

    My question is what trade offer would you guys be willing to make for Melo?? I draw the line at including both Gallo and Randolph. Michael Kay for some reason is reporting his sources saying Knicks are offering Curry (obviously will have to be in any offer), Gallo and a future #1 pick. As much as I love Gallo how can you not make that trade if the Nuggets are actually willing to make that trade?? Granted I would rather not trade Gallo or Randolph but from what I have read it looks like Denver would absolutely want Gallo in any trade with the Knicks.

    This off-season will just never end!! lol

  52. massive

    “I’m not about title or bust, I’ll take a nice playoff run over a lottery season anyday.”

    So would I, but the reason Melo, Paul, D-Will, and maybe D12 soon (no cap space anytime soon, and no good, young trade chips outside of Ryan Anderson) would consider leaving their respective teams for an oppurtunity elsewhere is because they are players in their prime who believe it’s now “title or bust.” I do agree with you that Melo isn’t worth $20 mil in a capped league, and I also agree that calling him average is unfair. But when you make a decision to give a player a contract like the one Joe Johnson got, or the one Melo wants, its because you (should) feel that the player will get you over the top and into title contention. That being said, I would be happy with or without Melo, but I think the correct move now is to go get a C and PG.

  53. Ben R

    Ted – Berri does more than disregard scoring volume and usage he actually punishes it. Since, as you said, he looks at turnovers per 48 rather than turnover%, as a player shoots more and raises his usage his turnovers go up. This causes his WP/48 to actually go down even if his turnover% is average or even better than average.

    Ted, I completely agree with what you are trying to say. People act as though Carmelo is worse than average when it comes to efficiency and that is not at all the case. The average wing player in the NBA had a TS% of 54.1%. Carmelo has only been below that number once in the last five years. Also his best year shooting the ball was when he was playing next to another high volume scorer in Iverson. So maybe putting him next to Amare will have a similar effect.

    Carmelo is a very good basketball player. Superstar? No. But a solid borderline all-star type player. If he is your second or third best player you are in very good shape.

    When you break him down he is clearly a good player: TS% – slightly above average, rebounds – above average, assists – above average, turnovers – average, scoring volume – exceptional, defense – from all reports average.

    He is only great at one thing, scoring alot, but he is average or better at everything else.

    I do not think he is worth a max contract but if it was him or a bunch of mediocre signings then I would sign Carmelo. My only concern is that we will give up real assets like Gallo or Randolph in our pursuit of Carmelo. If we sign or trade for him we not only need to make sure we keep Gallo and Randolph but also keep enough cap room availiable to sign both of them to their qualifing offers and still go after Paul.

    I understand attacking Carmelo because he is overhyped but we need to give him his due, he is still an asset.

  54. ess-dog

    My question is, don’t you think the Nuggets could get a better offer that included a more “ready to compete” player than Gallo? For instance, maybe some sort of swap to Atlanta for Josh Smith and maybe a loose part? They lose scoring, but gain rebounding and defense. Do the Nuggets really want to rebuild? Maybe they can get a nice package from Orlando? I know there’s the threat of Melo leaving after the year, but if the get a good offer from the Magic, would Melo really want to leave a situation with Dwight Howard? I know he likes the idea on NY with his buddies, but I think this will be more wide open than we are being led to believe. Would the Bulls trade Noah and parts for him? Imagine Boozer, Rose and Melo? Our best bet is probably hoping he lasts until free agency…

  55. Ted Nelson

    “I really don’t see the rush in trading for Melo. Our leverage only goes up as the season progresses and Melo gets closer to free agency when we can sign him outright and NOT give up any of our young pieces.”

    Agreed.

    “BUT if Melo is going to be traded before this season starts the Knicks I think have to make a strong move for him. If they really want him you cant risk Melo being traded to a good team and liking it there enough to sign an extension and not becoming a FA after the season.”

    He’s already on a good team in Denver… I’m not that worried. Unless Denver wants to give him away I think the Knicks have to be very careful trading for him.
    Gallo alone (basically) is a pretty decent deal… Gallo is already a more efficient scorer, but for all the talk about Melo being one dimensional… Gallo is 100X more so. Who knows, but I don’t think Gallo’s realistic ceiling is to be much better than Melo. So, I’d really have to consider that deal on a “bird in the hand” basis.

    massive,

    The Knicks might think Melo will get them a title and the Hawks might think Joe Johnson will get them one (though I doubt it), but it’s not going to happen. Sure, these players all want to win titles. Only one team can win every season, though, and it would be pretty unprecedented for a team with players the caliber of Amare and Melo as its core to win a title. Add a CP3 and Randolph and… and maybe.

    The point I was making is just that I’d rather not wait around for an eternity in the lottery until the true star comes around: title or else who cares where you finish. I’d rather make the 2nd round with Amare and Melo. It gets a lot more complicated when you consider that both Howard AND Paul can be free agents in 2012… Because that’s a core that really could contend year-in and year-out (Knicks may have already blown that fantasy with the Amare signing…). There’s no right answer.

  56. BigBlueAL

    The thing about it ess-dog is are teams willing to give up alot for Melo if they arent guaranteed of keeping him after this season?? It could be a situation where teams are only willing to give up alot for him only if he agrees to sign an extension with them as soon as they trade for him so in that sense Melo could hold alot of leverage in terms of what team he gets traded to perhaps.

  57. BigBlueAL

    Ted I agree totally about being careful trading for Melo in terms of giving up too much. Ive stated in no way would I trade both Gallo and Randolph for Melo but if a deal is as simple as just Curry and Gallo for Melo as much as I LOVE Gallo I cant see how you dont make that trade.

  58. Thomas B.

    Frank:

    So why even bother playing games if we can just use career WS/48?  

    (Quote)

    Because you need games to give you the numbers that become WS. What a silly question. :-)

  59. Ted Nelson

    Ben R,

    Thanks, that’s what I’m saying.

    ess-dog,

    -Orlando is apparently on Melo’s list with the Knicks. What do they have to offer, though?
    -Atlanta might be financially strapped to pay JJ, Melo, and extend Horford. Smith and Horford might combine to cost what Melo probably will… I’d stick with those two over Melo almost definitely. Melo and Joe Johnson also might produce diminishing returns. Especially with Marvin Williams and if they lose Horford.
    -I don’t know if Chicago would do that (would require other contracts as well), but do the Nuggets need Noah? They’ve got Nene and Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin.

    I think Gallo is a pretty solid piece for them. As a Knicks fan, I’m not sure if I’d trade him or not.

    BBA,

    I agree. It depends what you think of Gallo’s potential, but I’d probably have to do it… Would be nice to be able to wait.

  60. Thomas B.

    Cult? No, it’s just and organization of like minded people. You are free to go at anytime. Just say the following first.

    Dave Berri is good
    Dave Berri is great
    We surrender of will
    as of this date.

    Or if that doesnt work:

    Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-Berri
    Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-Berri
    Berri, Berri, Batman..I mean Berri.

    Seriously, I don’t mind a different opinion on Berri. But I have to ask; am i talking to people who read Stumbling on Wins and just hated it, or am i speaking with people that just don’t like Berri’s finding because those findings don’t fit in with the perception of the average viewer?

    Mike did the sim scores on Carmelo Anthony already. Was that not proof enough that he is not worth 18-20 million a year? Carmelo does one thing very well that being score in bunches. Thats his only excellent skill. Everything else is either below average, at average, or just slightly above average. That is not worth 18-20 million for an above average (happy Ted?) small forward.

  61. yehudi3000

    The best way for the knicks is to wait 1 year, sign melo for free, then we will have a good trade value for paul(gallo,randolph,felton sound like a fair deal). maybe N.O will even agree for a lesser deal.

    Its kinda stupid to give up for gallo for a 1 of melo.

    Melo’s TS% is realy confusing, but i still think that any team involed with melo/stats/paul is a great team (paul can be the 2nd best thing after lebron in my opinion.)

  62. Ted Nelson

    “am i speaking with people that just don’t like Berri’s finding because those findings don’t fit in with the perception of the average viewer?”

    People have made very specific criticisms of Berri’s metrics above.

    Also, when you watch a season of Knicks games and then Berri tells you Duhon is just below average… Hard to take seriously.

    “Was that not proof enough that he is not worth 18-20 million a year?”

    I’m also not big on paying him that much, but when you look at the guys in the league who make over 17, or 15, over 14 mill per… how many of them would you rather have long-term than Melo? There really aren’t that many. http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm If Melo is your second or third best player and you’ve got a balanced team, you have a good chance to be a very good team.

    In a perfect world Gallo and Randolph develop/prove themselves and we laugh about paying Melo. In reality… who knows.

    Ben R does a good job of summing things up in 57, I think.

  63. d-mar

    I totally get everyone’s hesitation to give Melo a max deal, and having to part with Gallo would sadden me. But to call Anthony a borderline All Star is WAY underselling him. Here’s a list that was on ESPN of players in their first seven years who totalled 12,000 pts., 3000 reb. and 1500 assists:

    Melo
    LeBron
    Pierce
    D. Robinson
    Malone
    Barkley
    Jordan

    I know you can do anything with stats, but that’s pretty impressive company. I think the guy would thrive in NY along side Amare and with Felton running the point, let’s get him!

  64. adrenaline98

    Some of you are out of your mind. Melo = Slightly above average small forward? There is a REASON he gets that much usage. It’s not some fictional implementation by George Karl to fool us all.

    His high usage may not translate well due to many factors, including the system he’s playing in, his complementary pieces, a floor leader to get him the ball, his need to shoot long range shots. All of that can change with a different system and different complementary pieces. Who says he HAS to shoot that much with a team full of shooters, an inside presence like Amar’e, and a floor general like Paul? If you watch his game, individually, you’ll see a team that wins 50+ games (Knicks’ equivalent of 2 seasons of wins). You look at his statistics, high usage, and fast pace Denver game, then very few people will stack up to Bron and Wade. Who else are you going to give a max to??? Answer this question before thinking he’s not worth it. 3 years at the max is perfectly fine. I would hope they trade and extend Melo.

    I agree, Melo is no Bron, Wade, or Paul. But he certainly isn’t Chris frickin Duhon. Giving Melo a max deal is totally worth it. It’s unrealistic to think there are 10 other more talented players in the 400 NBA players than Melo. You pay for what you can get. We miss out on Bron and Wade. Who else are you going to give the max to? Perhaps have a whole team of role players like Daryl Morey of the Rockets? Where has that gotten them?

    Seriously, as much as I love reading advanced statistics and seeing how our young players develop, as much as I want to quantify everything that is on the floor, I recognize the need to temper that with a few things, such as the actual GAME and wins. Melo contributes only so many wins to Denver and you’re not satisfied it? Really? Give Denver Chandler and see how well they do. That team without Melo is a 25 win team. That team with a Chandler is a 25 win team. That team stinks with Melo. You’re not going to convince me through advanced statistics that Denver is a western conference playoff team without Melo. Hell, swap LeBron and put him on the Nuggets and I still don’t think they could have gotten past the Lakeshow.

  65. Z-man

    Melo’s teams have made the playoffs in the very tough Western conference in each of his seven years, with him having the highest usage rate on his team every single year, in most cases by far. Can that be said for Crawford, Zach, Steph, or Maggette?

    Melo is a surefire HOFer when all is said and done. Some may not like his game (just like many people did not like Dominique’s game, or McGrady’s game, or even Kobe’s game) but he is far from an average SF. He definitely needs a coach and a PG that will control his usage, but he can be a dominant offensive player and probably can improve in other areas. I am absolutely not worried about him being the next Vince Carter, and he is not a lousy PG in disguise like T-Mac. I would hate to give up Gallo for him, but there is a real chance that Gallo tops out at Peja, and I think Melo is already better than Peja ever was. Any way it plays out, I can live with, but I honestly feel that Melo vs. LeBron or Wade is an intriguing matchup, while Gallo vs. LeBron or Wade scares the daylights out of me.

  66. Thomas B.

    Well sure Berri is flawed. Way more flawed than raw numbers and lists of “Hey who got the most glory stats?”

    Why don’t we just use Mike’s info he posted it here.
    http://knickerblogger.net/2010/08/should-knick-fans-hope-for-carmelo/#comment-294966

    Some give Berri low marks for under selling volume scoring, but I say some of you are over selling scoring numbers. Anthony came up with Dominique Wilkins several times. Wikins was not known for anything other than dunks, scoring in bunches, and playing no defense. What title team did he contribute to? I don’t think there was one.

    Scoring numbers don’t mean squat if they do not translate into wins. Zach Randolph scored 23.6 ppg and 10.1 rbs, with a PER of 22.8 before coming to NYC. Sounds like a star forward right? But his Win Score per 48 was just .112 (slightly above average). For Randolph’s so called talents, teams played better without him (Portland up, Knicks down). He does not contribute to wins. Anthony does not do enough to contribute to wins to make him worth the price to get him.

    Man all this typing has made me thirsty. I think I’ll make some Kool-Aid. Let’s see here Lemon, Grape, ah here it is Berri!! My favorite flavor.

  67. SeeWhyDee77

    OK..imma take 1 last stab at this whole Melo thing. I’ve been comparin him to Stat lately, saying that he’s a high volume scorer. And I think everybody agrees that it’s true. I’ve also said that those 2 are not a good fit together becuz they essentially bring the same thing to the table. I do think they are both overpaid, but considering the market-I guess there’s not much argument to that. So the question in my mind is…which one would u rather have? Me? I’m old school..I still believe that if u have the ability to play inside out then that is the way to go. If u have a great big man, then the game becomes infinitely easier. Unless of course you have MJ, Kobe or LBJ on the perimeter. Melo’s awesome, but if I had to pick-I would pick Stat because of his inside presence. Both those guys are devastating scorers, but Melo’s skill set doesn’t really allow him to be a better playmaker that I think wings should be becuz they handle the ball on the perimeter ALOT. But on THIS team, Stat doesn’t necessarily have to be a playmaker. The fact that he kills teams inside more often than not is enough. If u have a dominant big, teams start packin in on D, leaving shooters and ballhandlers with plenty of space. Melo’s about as good a passer as Stat, maybe even slightly better..but I don’t think he’s a good enough playmaker to make teams pay for doubling him on the perimeter. Whereas Stat at 6’10”, just needs to make a basic pass to an open shooter that he should be able to see more often than not at his height. If we didn’t already have Stat, then hell yea I’d take Melo. But if Rooster is the cost with Stat still on the roster, then Melo can stay in Denver. The way this team is built does not accommodate both Stat and Melo.

  68. Z-man

    Thomas B,
    I watched tons of B-ball in ‘Nique’s era, and can tell you that the guy was absolutely a max player. In 15 years, he played in the playoffs 10 times, and generally was eliminated by the Bird Celts, the Isiah Pistons, a very good Bucks team, or the Jordan Bulls. Yet he, like Ewing, never played with a perennial all-star type in his prime. If Melo is as good ad ‘Nique, I would not hesitate.

  69. ess-dog

    Ok, Thomas. I’ll roll with the ‘Nique comparison since I was a Hawks fan in the 80’s. That team, at it’s peak, was the Denver or Phoenix of it’s day. Great playoff team, but not a title contender. They were mainly comprised of Wilkins, Doc Rivers, and Kevin Willis. In his best years, ‘Nique topped out at some of Amare’s good years and better than Melo’s career so far – he had a low TS but was no slouch. And yes, mainly showed up to score. Doc was more than serviceable – he had three stellar years. Similar to Gary Payton but with better assists and less scoring. Willis was actually average but came on later – in the early 90’s – averaging around 16 PER before having a few good years. And of course Randy Wittman and Jon Koncak were below average to terrible. Spud Webb wasn’t much better off the bench.
    I would say, barring injury, the Knicks are about at this level right now, maybe a tad higher (depending of what Gallo and Randolph do to improve.) Bringing in Anthony would definitely put us above that level (conference final candidate), while Paul would put us at title contender.
    One problem is, Gallo and Randolph’s inclining years won’t match up with Amare’s declining years, so trading for a prime-years player like Anthony might make sense.
    But really, the holes are at the guard spots, unless Felton dramatically improves. I would like to see us address this, even though the Melo situation is enticing.

  70. BigBlueAL

    I think the problem with some of these advanced stats and criticism of volume scorers is the assumption that basically every player in the NBA if they were allowed to shoot all the time can easily score 20 points per game. Its almost like players get criticized for actually trying to score if it isnt a wide-open layup or 3pt shot. Sorry but in the NBA if you dont have some players who can actually get a shot on their own you are screwed.

  71. Spree8nyk8

    Personally I think you guys smoke crack. Carmello is a superstar. We should not even consider hesitating. The only chance we’ll have of ever competing with the superfriends in miami is to build our own juggernaut. Carmello and Stat are the start of that, hopefully Anthony can become a special player, we’ll see. If there were anyway to keep Gallo I think that we’d have a contender right there but I don’t see that happening.

    I don’t see how a guy scoring close to 30 a game is being dissed. Superstats or not.

  72. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Spree,

    Unless someone else turns the ball over, those possessions that a team has (100 or so over the course of a whole game) do not go away. That means you want to make efficient use of those possessions. The numbers show that Carmelo is not an efficient scorer. That means that, again, barring a turnover, someone else will shoot the ball if Carmelo doesn’t. If you replace Carmelo with someone with similar stats except for a higher scoring efficiency, the team will most likely have a better chance to win. We can’t quantify everything in basketball, and that’s what makes speculation and conjecture and arguing so much fun. But what we do know is that a person who scores 1.0 points per shot is more valuable, at least in the realm of shooting, than a person who scores 0.5 points per shot.

    You can talk about Carmelo’s “skillset,” his “post scoring ability,” his “trigger finger,” and his “mean streak,” but in sum, he does not make exceptionally efficient use of the possessions at the end of which he is allowed to put up a shot. Considering that his number one attribute (the only thing he is really known for), signing him to a max deal will likely be disappointing to us devout Knick fans. LeBron and Wade will eat his babies alive in the playoffs. (I want his heart, I want his children, praise be to…, etc.)

    It all comes back to the Moneyball argument. Do you believe your eyes? Or do you believe the facts?

    tl;dr

    Carmelo uses more possessions than a player like LeBron does to score the same number of points. This, in basketball, is bad for a team’s ability to win games.

    tl;dr, part deux

    A player can score 30 points a game and be counterproductive.

  73. JK47

    “Carmelo uses more possessions than a player like LeBron does to score the same number of points.”

    So does pretty much every player in the NBA.

  74. Ben R

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: A player can score 30 points a game and be counterproductive. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    That is true but Carmelo is not one of those players. You talk about Carmelo like he is inefficient. He is not. Over the last five years his TS% has been 55.4%, the league average for wing players about 54%. To put it in perspective over that same five year span:

    LeBron – 57.6%
    Wade – 57.0%
    Kobe – 56.5%
    Roy – 55.6%
    Carmelo – 55.4%
    Duncan – 55.1%
    Johnson – 54.0%
    Randolph – 52.3%

    Another interesting stat; only Carmelo and Lebron have averaged over 21 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per 36 over that same span.

    Carmelo is a second tier player in this league, just like Amare. They are not quite in the class of LeBron, Wade, Howard, etc. But they are the next best thing. Like I said before if Carmelo is your second or third best player you are in great shape.

  75. Spree8nyk8

    He puts up the stats that he does in an offense where he’s not just the first option but probably the second option as well. Putting him with Stat not only will make him better (and probably more efficient) but will also do the same for Stat. You guys are just a little bit too involved with excessive stats. There are plenty of guys that have a higher TS% than Carmello but not all of them can score 28-29ppg. If they had to shoot as much as Carmello I’m sure their %’s go down also. I think he would be a great fit in D’Antoni’s offense.

  76. yehudi3000

    Btw, paul’s TS last year was crazy (61%!), with 10.7 assists, 2.13 steals, 4.2 reb, so does he have a beter effect then lebron?
    NO. put paul in clevlend and they will never get to east finals.

  77. Z-man

    “That means that, again, barring a turnover, someone else will shoot the ball if Carmelo doesn’t. If you replace Carmelo with someone with similar stats except for a higher scoring efficiency, the team will most likely have a better chance to win.”

    Trevor Ariza is an example of a guy who was an efficient low-volume shooter, but became inefficient as his volume went up in Houston.

    If your 30-pt is at a TS% of 55% and there are other more efficient scorers on your team for the other 70-80 points (STAT, Paul), you have a monster team. For now, the real question is how efficient will Felton, Randolph, and the others be?

  78. Thomas B.

    P>Another interesting stat; only Carmelo and Lebron have averaged over 21 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per 36 over that same span.

    (Quote)

    That is not interesting at all. Particularly when you consider than James numbers are WAAAAAAY better than 21, 6 and 3. Raw number suck btw. Secondly, you are only looking at the so called glory stats. In addition to the 21, 6, and 3 (I choke a bit each time a type that), James gives you much better production in the “help” stats and “possession” stats.

    You guys put so much value in Carmelo’s scoring without considering that he takes more FGA per game than James or Durant while his adjusted FG% is far lower than James or Durant. In fact with the exception of FT%, all of Anthony’s shooting numbers are below the average SF. WHy not target a player that can score with great efficiency rathen than Anthony who is a bigger Allen Iverson? Okay that was mean. Anthony is that bad a shooter.

    Anyway I don’t think scoring was the issue with this team last year as much as it was defense and rebounding. The team did very well on offensive numbers last year, they need better defense and rebounding. How exactly does Anthony help you in those areas?

    I’m not saying anybody can just put up 28 per game. The sentece “get the ball to Duhon/Collins, he’s your go-to scorer” will never escape my lips. But I do think that if you find an efficient scorer and give him more attempts, he will remain efficient.

    Actually, I would argue that Gerald Wallace is a better fit for this team than Carmelo Anthony. I think Gerald Wallace is a better asset than Carmelo Anthony. I’d love to read the counter arguments.

  79. Ted Nelson

    re: scoring volume

    As with most subjects, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Scoring volume is not nearly as important as a lot of mainstream thinkers make it out to be; however, at a decent efficiency it is also not insignificant or punishable as some outside the box thinkers make it out to be.

    Ben R once against makes a great point in #79. Instead of just hurling out “Melo is the best” or “Melo is the worst,” let’s quantify things. Look at Ben’s list. For those who think Melo is some kind of scoring god, he’s not on the LeBron, Wade, Durant, or even Kobe level. For those who think he is Allen Iverson or Tracy McGrady or Crawford or Zach Randolph (and realize it’s a bad thing), he’s not. He’s one of the best wing scorers in the league entering his prime, and those who choose to compare him with inefficient scorers are missing the mark.

    re: individuals vs. teams

    I can’t get on board with using team success to support an individual. Several Melo supporters have made arguments along the lines of “Denver wins a lot; therefore, Carmelo is good.” Denver is a team, Carmelo is a player. It’s apples and oranges. His individual stats speak to how good or bad he is and how he helps the Nuggets win.

  80. Ted Nelson

    Thomas re: 83,

    You’re missing the point. You’re nitpicking one sentence of an excellent point and then you’re comparing Melo to the 2 best wing players in the league who no one has made an argument he’s as good as. If there were a choice between Melo and LeBron or Melo and Durant, I don’t think there would be any disagreement on the board. Unfortunately, that is not a choice the Knicks have.

    “WHy not target a player that can score with great efficiency rathen than Anthony who is a bigger Allen Iverson? Okay that was mean.”

    It wasn’t mean, it was ignorant and ridiculous.

    FTs, first of all, are part of scoring efficiency, part of basketball. Who cares how you score without FTs?

    Allen Iverson’s career TS% was .518. He surpassed .550 for a season only once and was under .500 3 times. Ben R quantifies where Melo ranks against some of the higher profile wing scorers in the league over the past 5 seasons. Please see #79.

    “Anyway I don’t think scoring was the issue with this team last year as much as it was defense and rebounding.”

    This is a totally different roster from last season. There are only a few holdovers, some of whom joined the team mid-season. Anyway, you can win with a top notch offense and below average defense. Finally, their offensive numbers were mediocre last season (17th in offensive efficiency)… so an upgrade was certainly needed. If the defense isn’t significantly improved this season, I would be very surprised.

    “Actually, I would argue that Gerald Wallace is a better fit for this team than Carmelo Anthony. I think Gerald Wallace is a better asset than Carmelo Anthony.”

    And I think LeBron would have been a better guy to get and is a better asset. No one is even talking about Gerald Wallace. He’s not available now, nor is he likely to be next offseason. No one (rational) on this entire thread has said Melo is THE GUY they want to get. People have just said that he’s a good player who may be worth acquiring and help the Knicks improve as a team should he be acquired. There’s no point in talking past people with points like “he’s a bigger Allen Iverson” or “I’d rather have a better player than Melo.”

  81. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Ted,

    Okay. Yes. I agree with you. But his slightly-above-average-scoring-efficiency-at-a-high-usage doesn’t change his other stats, which are decidedly average. I do realize that his TS% would skyrocket if he didn’t jack up so many 3s (not likely to change in D’antoni’s system; this is one reason I wish Phil Jackson was our coach: he tells bad 3-pt shooters to stop shooting). With a big-time scorer in the paint, his usage should go down and TS% should go up. Still, that’s not worth a max contract, especially with Dwight Howard potentially a FA in 2012. And since we all know he’s not going to take the $9M/yr he deserves, I’ll pass on the kool-aid.

    Paul
    Gallinari
    Randolph
    Stoutemire
    Howard

    I’d rather dream for two seasons than lock up a guy I know doesn’t project as a major contributor to wins.

  82. MSA

    I think there is no point in comparing Melo with Lebron or Durant or any other elite player right now.
    Does Bosh has the same value of Lebron and Wade? Hell no! Still to have him on board the golden girls had to split their salary cap in three.
    There is a market out there and when you want an all star in his prime you WILL HAVE to pay him a max contract or very close to this. Someone in the league will do that if you don’t. So Melo IS a max player. Whatever we a like it or not.
    The point is he going to help the knick in any way to a win a championship (or at least win games)?
    When a guy is a key player on a team that have been fairly good for the last 6-7 years is hard to argue that he have his values on it.
    The other point is what other options we have next year besides Melo? Noah and Horford are not elite players and will not come cheap. And Paul is not a sure thing at all in 2012.
    Are we going to wait year after year expecting the “perfect player” with the “fair contract” to save this team?

    Sorry for my english. it’s not my native language =)

  83. marxster

    I’m a bit surprised at the huge amount of love Gallo is getting on this forum. I too have watched him all year long and remember stretches where he disappeared completely. Yes, he played better towards the end of the season, but I don’t think he’s nearly as good as people think he is.

    Certainly not good enough to throw a monkey wrench in a Melo deal.

    As far as the huge deal Melo commands…it’s not like we’re spending huge sums on the likes of Jerome James and big snacks. We’ll get production out of our investment.

    I also just want to say that I’ve read in several articles that Amare is at the top of his game at the moment. If that’s true, then wasting time waiting for a “star-player-that-costs-nothing” will keep us from getting the most out of Amare.

    What do you think our chances are of landing CP3 if Melo ends up on another team that’s instantly better than us? Don’t you think we’d have a better chance if CP3 looks at our team with Melo and Amare on it?

  84. Thomas B.

    @ Ted,

    With all due respect, I cannot miss a point when a point has not been made. Furthermore, I compare Anthony to Durant and James because they are the class of the position in the NBA. They are the players whose production most deserve max compensation. If we get Anthony and extend his contract, it will most likely be a max deal. My point is that a player that takes a ton of shots, makes a lot of them, but does little else to contribute to wins is not worth a max deal.

    I am beyond “Carmelo-is-a-star-no-he’s-just-average-no-he’s-a-bit-above-average” back and forth going on here. I only really care about two things:
    1. Is Carmelo Anthony worth a max deal/extension?
    2. Does Carmelo Anthony address/fix the holes on this team?

    I think the answer is “No” on each count.

    It is not ignorant or ridiculous to notice that Anthony, like Iverson takes a ton of shots and is not very efficient. Sure Anthony is much more efficient than Iverson–a point I thought my attempt at humor made clear–but for those of you who take the world far to seriously: Ahem, “I Thomas B. do hereby declare that there is a statistically significant difference in the shooting efficiency of Carmelo Anthony when compared to Allen Iverson.” However, Anthony like Iverson is below the average for his position in terms of adjusted FG percentages. As such, the comparison is not ignorant. It is a matter of perspective.

    “This is a totally different roster from last season. There are only a few holdovers, some of whom joined the team mid-season. Anyway, you can win with a top notch offense and below average defense.”

    Yes the roster is not the same. Here, have a cookie. So how many strong defensive players did we add? How many strong rebounders. High assist, low turnover guards? How many shot blocking bigs? How many forced turnover guys? Well if we can look at the roster and see that we did not add many players that can fix the issues from last year, why is it crazy of me to pressume that tose things will still be a problem?

    Sure the roster turned over, but much of the offensive talent is still here. STAT, Gallo, Douglas can replace the offense lost when Lee, Harrington, and Duhon (snicker) left. The shooting numbers back that up. Carmelo just scores and is par to sub par everywhere else, that does not help the team.

    “People have just said that he’s a good player who may be worth acquiring and help the Knicks improve as a team should he be acquired.”

    He wont help the team, not in any way that matters.

    “And I think LeBron would have been a better guy to get and is a better asset.”
    Well Duh, EVERYONE would prefer LBJ.

    I have to say that I have a great deal of respect for you Ted. I don’t know anyone who can type that well with his head up his butt. :-)

  85. Frank

    So just for all the Melo-haters out there — no one thinks he is as good as Lebron, Durant, or Wade. No one thinks he is Michael Jordan. He’s obviously not Dwight Howard. He plays a completely different position than Chris Paul so that is impossible to compare. But here is an interesting comparison between one Kobe Bryant and Melo:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=bryanko01&y1=2004&p2=anthoca01&y2=2010

    I’d have to say that comparison is a wash. Kobe’s a better defender but Melo has made inroads in that area. I know people on this board are not necessarily Kobe fans, but I can’t imagine anyone would complain about getting a 25 year old Kobe Bryant on this team.

    Meanwhile, essentially every NBA champion (minus that one Pistons team) the last 20 years has had either an all-time dominant big man (Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem, DRob) or a dominant scoring wing (Wade, Kobe, Jordan etc.). Most of them have had both. The ones that haven’t had Michael Jordan. We’re not getting Dwight Howard, who really is the only super-dominant big man left, but we do have Amare, who is a next tier guy. Who’s our dominant scoring wing?

  86. Ted Nelson

    THCJ,

    It’s a tough call. You will get no argument here that Melo is better than either Howard or Paul. However, what are the realistic chances of getting one of those guys, let alone both?

    I am not strongly advocating acquiring Melo. I’m just strongly advocating him being a good-to-very-good NBA player depending on how you define “good” and “very good.” If Walshtoni feel they have a legitimate shot at acquiring both Paul and Howard, which is tough with Amare on the payroll, then I’d be on board. If they pass on one of the best wings in the league in process, though, that’s a higher opportunity cost than they had in clearing house for 2010. If Melo comes on board via free agency, chances are the Knicks can convince him to take a slight pay-cut in the name of signing Chris Paul in 2012 (whether that ends up happening or not).

    $9 mill per… really? After the Knicks just gave Raymond Felton, one of the worst starting PGs in the NBA, $7 mill and Amare $20 mill Melo is worth only three times what Timo is? If you hold out for rock bottom prices you’re going to miss out on every free agent and lose your own guys when they hit free agency. The Knicks are not operating on a $60 mill budget, they have gone up to around $200 mill when you consider the luxury tax. Melo’s market value is just not $9 mill.

    “his other stats, which are decidedly average.”

    I would say above average. 15% ast% is good for a wing… solid for a SG even. 9.6% reb% is likewise good for a wing. His defense is average. You’ll find few wings who are good across all categories. A lot of guys will be above average here, but then below average there. So, being above average in every category with one exceptional skill is something. One thing no anti-Melo campaigner has done is to list the wings (especially under 30 or so years old) who they think are better than Melo.

    Having one guy who can shoulder an enormous scoring load with above average efficiency also allows you both to have non-scorers who bring other things on the court and for other players to retrench their scoring efforts and take more high % shots (take the Chris Andersen’s and Nene’s on the Nuggets). As a result the rest of the team’s scoring efficiency goes up, and you can play that shut-down defender with no offensive game or that shot blocking/rebounding C with no J or that pass-only PG. If you pay Melo $17 mill and a Bruce Bowen/Raja Bell $3 mill, you have just paid $20 mill for a wing combo that provides, say, 45-50% of the points when on the court (usage… or roughly 32-37 pts/36) at an average (Bowen) or above average (Bell) clip. You have strong wing defense between a lock-down guy and an average guy. Good rebounding on the wing. A good playmaker on the wing in Melo. Low TOs on the wing.
    Maybe you can get the same thing from 2 $10 mill wings for the same $20 mill total. Most $10 mill wings have big holes in their games, though, so that’s questionable.
    When you have a guy(s) on your roster (Randolph and/or Gallo) on rookie deals and no fear of the luxury tax, then you can make an argument for spending the cap space while you have it. In waiting till 2012, the Knicks face the downside of missing their targets and having to re-up Danilo and AR which will bring them to the cap with limited chances to improve their roster going forward. They’d also have to fill out their rotation with guys on 1-year deals in the 2011-12 season. If they spend in 2011 or before, they can go over the cap to keep AR and Gallo.

    “I’d rather dream for two seasons than lock up a guy I know doesn’t project as a major contributor to wins.”

    We still disagree about how much Melo contributes.

    Dwight Howard is a southerner (Orlando being in the south) and seems like a very loyal guy, so I can’t imagine there’s a very good chance he leaves the Magic to take less money with the Knicks. Certainly there’s a chance if the Knicks can sign he and CP3, but it just seems like a long-shot to me.

  87. adrenaline98

    The problem with these types of intelligent discussions is that too often you start second guessing your purchases.

    Imagine if you have to start purchasing products in your real life based on value for the dollar, instead of value for the perceived dollar. Then, imagine having those purchases be of products in limited (only 1) quantities per tier of item. There is only one LeBron. But if you can’t get him, you settle for the next best item. There’s only maybe 3-5 Carmelo Anthony type of players. There’s Amar’e, Boozer, Bosh, Anthony, and seriously, who else, in this and next FA class?

    Not getting Melo means what, waiting till 2014 for “The Decision 2″?

    While Carmelo isn’t as good as distributing/rebounding as James is, he’s a prolific scorer. On nights, he will be the BEST scorer on the floor, regardless of who else is on it, including James, Wade, and Kobe. Those are times that Carmelo can win you a game, maybe a series if he gets hot at the right time. You can’t make that case for too many people in the league. If you’re getting value to dollar, Carmelo deserves the max. Truth is, LeBron is probably worth about 30+ mil a year.

  88. Ted Nelson

    “With all due respect, I cannot miss a point when a point has not been made.”

    The point was that Melo’s scoring efficiency is not bad at all, and you missed it by comparing him to Allen Iverson.

    ” I compare Anthony to Durant and James because they are the class of the position in the NBA. They are the players whose production most deserve max compensation.”

    No, they are players who deserve way more than the max. In a free market LeBron could probably be making upwards of $50 mill per, maybe upwards of $100 mill (Dolan was willing to pay $200 mill for a roster that won 20-30 games a year… why not just give 1/2 to LeBron and be good?). Juwan Howard got $20 mill per in a free market… Jordan made $33 mill way back in 97-98.
    The NBA distorts the market in a way that hurts the best players.

    “However, Anthony like Iverson is below the average for his position in terms of adjusted FG percentages.”

    I do not even know what adjusted FG % is. Any measure of scoring efficiency that does not incorporate FTs is incomplete. It’s about as relevant as me saying that Chris Paul and Allen Iverson are both short for NBA players, so they are comparable. That is not ignorant because it is true. However, it is ignorant because it is irrelevant.

    “So how many strong defensive players did we add? How many strong rebounders. High assist, low turnover guards? How many shot blocking bigs? How many forced turnover guys?”

    This is actually exactly what they did add…
    Defense–Randolph, Felton, Turiaf, Azu, and Roger Mason are all good defenders. Timo might be. Amare is average, and a big improvement over Lee. They join Chandler and Douglas who are strong defenders and Danilo who is average-ish or a bit below.
    Rebounding–Randolph is a strong rebounder. Amare is a very solid rebounder. Rebounding should be one of Timo’s strengths (maybe his only one). Felton and Azu are both strong rebounders for their positions.
    Passing–On offense the only thing Felton brings is passing. He’s a horrendous scorer. I don’t like Felton, but an ast% over 30 to a TO% of 15 is plenty adequate.
    Shot blockers–Randolph, Turiaf, and Timo are all good shot blockers. Azu is a good shot blocker on the wing. Felton is even a good shot blocker for a PG.
    TOs–Again, they upgraded their defense considerably.
    Offense-Randolph, Felton, and Turiaf are all offensive liabilities to some extent. Azu is limited offensively. Chandler is limited without a J, Danilo is limited to almost nothing but a J. So, yes, the Knicks might find themselves in a position where offensive punch is exactly what they need. Thanks for being a condescending prick about it, though.

    “He wont help the team, not in any way that matters.”

    Right, terrible player. I forgot. Guys who score a lot of points efficiently do not help their teams win. I have to try to keep that in mind.

    “1. Is Carmelo Anthony worth a max deal/extension?
    2. Does Carmelo Anthony address/fix the holes on this team?”

    I am not 100% sold on acquiring Melo by any means. However, I think the answer might be yes on both counts.
    -Certainly given the NBA free agent market Melo’s market value IS the max. I can throw out 50 comparisons to prove that. He wouldn’t be a huge bargain, but he’s going to get paid.
    -I don’t feel like we know what the holes on the team are until the new roster actually plays. How much will AR and Gallo and TD and WC and BW develop? How do Azu and Turiaf fit? How does Amare play without Nash? Who is Timofey Mozgov? How are the rookies (especially Fields)? Is Felton still one of the worst offensive PGs in the NBA? Can Roger Mason contribute? At the end of the day, I do think Melo might be one of the best ways for the Knicks to upgrade their talent level and become a better team.

    “Carmelo just scores and is par to sub par everywhere else, that does not help the team.”

    This is not true. Par or above par. And as I try to explain in #91, there is value to that, especially when combined with exceptional scoring.

  89. adrenaline98

    Stop beating around the bush Ted. We all know you want Melo. We all know all of us wants Melo. Really? We want Chandler instead? Carmelo is a CLEAR upgrade. A 3 year extension brings Melo to the Decision 2 in 2014 when the Miami trio can all opt out.

    He is CLEARLY an upgrade with no other players in sight. You absolutely, 100%, make this move. You’re way overthinking this if you don’t make this move. Most Knicks fans are so gun-shy after Isiah, where any, and every move, was made. Carmelo is not Jamal Crawford, Jerome James, Jared Jeffries, Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, or Zach Randolph.

    How is this even debated?

  90. Ted Nelson

    MSA,

    Good analysis in #87.

    marxster,

    I agree that Gallo is overrated on the board. However, it’s more about how good he might be, say, the next decade than how good he is now. I agree with your main point in that I don’t think Danilo has much chance to better than Melo. I guess the question is also how much cheaper he’ll be than Melo.

    “Don’t you think we’d have a better chance if CP3 looks at our team with Melo and Amare on it?”

    Possible, however, Amare already eats $20 mill in cap space. If Melo also wants $20 mill… CP3 has to take a pay-cut to play with two guys who are worse than him but paid way more. When you consider that small players usually don’t play far into their 30s… CP3 only has so long to get paid.

    Frank,

    The interesting thing is that Thomas B. is the biggest Kobe fan on the board and was adamant all last season that Kobe was the MVP. Kobe is MVP, Melo is a total bum…
    I don’t know that Melo is actually as good as Kobe (better passer as well as defender), but you make a good point: Melo is not that much worse than Kobe.

    adrenaline98,

    I agree with a lot of your points, but I would point out that both Howard and Paul can be free agents in 2012.

  91. adrenaline98

    Ted, let’s not forget how close LeBron (according to that blog article) was with signing with the Knicks and umm..yea, you know what happened.

    There has never been a rumbling about Howard. There isn’t even a peep. There’s absolutely zero reason to believe he’s leaving Orlando. There’s not even half baked ESPN rumors about it. If anything, everyone believes he’s recruiting for Orlando, a la Wade.

    Paul and D-Will are the interesting pieces. You’d have to gut your team after 2011 to get him. Amar’e, Melo, and Paul can all be on the Knicks assuming current CBA rules/caps still somewhat applies. The Knicks have the cap flexibility currently to make that happen unless Gallo/Randolph (whichever stays after Melo, hopefully at least one) plays out of their mind and deserves a major extension.

    You still do this move for Melo regardless of the above scenarios.

  92. Z

    Thomas B.: I compare Anthony to Durant and James because they are the class of the position in the NBA.They are the players whose production most deserve max compensation.If we get Anthony and extend his contract, it will most likely be a max deal.My point is that a player that takes a ton of shots, makes a lot of them, but does little else to contribute to wins is not worth a max deal…I only really care about two things:
    1. Is Carmelo Anthony worth a max deal/extension?
    2. Does Carmelo Anthony address/fix the holes on this team?I think the answer is “No” on each count.   

    I agree with everything Ted has said on this thread, including his answer to these questions. I’ll only add that there are not 2 or 3 players in the league worth the max. There are 30. It is the way that the cap is structured– every team is theoretically supposed to have one max player. That means the top 30 players in the league are the players that get to fill the max salary spot.

    Obviously, there is a dramatic fall-off between the top player and the 30th best player in the league. But in deciding who is a max player and who isn’t, I think it is silly to say only the top players in the league are worth the max. It is simply not true– not in the marketplace, and not on the basketball court.

    No one should make more money than LeBron. But 22 players do. It doesn’t make those 22 contracts necessarily bad. The system just is what it is, and until there is a merit based salary system (new CBA??), it is useless to argue whether guys are “max-players” or not. Carmelo IS a max player. He has been for years, and he will be in his next contract too, so only question #2 is really even worth asking.

  93. DS

    For the Anti-Carmelo Camp,

    Personally, I hope Carmelo sits tight until next summer so we can hang onto Gallo and Randolph AND wait for the CP3 picture to further develop.

    But, as we know, sometimes you have to “strike while the iron is hot” and “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and maybe the Knicks’ only options are to get ‘Melo now or to let him go.

    So, I will comment that on this site, posters and commenters used to talk about the “sniff test” or “laughability test” in which after making a statistical assessment, esp. one using Win Shares, a person will stop to say “could these numbers be missing a specific factor that I’ve obtained through knowledge/observation?”

    I think if you used this test, to evaluate a ‘Melo for Gallo swap you might give some more thought to what a playoff series vs. Miami, or Boston, or Orlando might look like with Gallo in the lineup vs. having Carmelo in the lineup OR how we could market to future players OR whether ‘Melo would disrupt or would thrive in Seven Seconds or Less.

  94. Frank

    To follow up on DS’s comment in #98 — we need to also consider the effect of landing Melo on future recruitment of non-max players. We’ve already seen many times throughout the league (most recently with Miami) that if there are a couple superstars on a team, vets who want a chance to win a title will come and play for well under market value. There is no doubt that Melo has serious rep in the league, and a team with Melo and Amare (+ hopefully Gallo, Randolph, etc.) might really be able to bring those players in. Someone like Corey Maggette might be a similar player to Melo, but you don’t hear anyone comparing guarding him to “wrestling a bear” like how Kobe described guarding Melo. I can’t imagine people taking less money to play on the same team with Maggette, or Gerald Wallace, or whoever else has a win score similar to Melo.

    The most frustrating thing about the whole Lebron thing is that not only is Miami getting a great deal on his contract, they are also getting the fringe benefit of having essentially their entire roster signed to below-market contracts purely because Lebron/Wade/Bosh are there. The idea that we might be the beneficiaries of a similar phenomenon definitely needs to be taken into account when we’re having the (fairly ridiculous) discussion about whether Melo is worth the max.

  95. DS

    @97

    I think max salaries for superstars should DEF. be raised!!

    #1 Someone like LeBron is WAYYYYY underpaid in terms of the value he brings to his franchise.

    #2 So many teams are in financial distress is because they pay stupidly high contracts to mediocre players. I think the league should find a way to shift Darko and Amir Johnson’s incomes over to LeBron and Carmelo. The Clippers were the most profitable team in the league before the Elton Brand years and they had to SUCK to pull that off.

    #3 Better balance in the league. It’s not fair that LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Kobe, Gasol, Artest, Bynum, Odom, Pierce, KG, Allen, Rondo, (plus Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal) are on 3 teams while Toronto, Memphis, Sacramento, Detroit, the Clippers are pretty much in the cold. If LeBron and Wade could each make 40% of their team’s cap space then basketball would not have been ruined for the next decade.

  96. Frank

    Really great write-up on the whole Carmelo thing on Denver’s truehoop affiliate:

    http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/2010/05/18/how-good-is-carmelo-anthony/

    What I took away from the article is that while Melo has more talent than anyone not named Lebron, Wade, or Kobe, he doesn’t bring his full A-game all the time — he raises it for the playoffs or when he is personally guarding (or being guarded by) another top tier player. That seems like a pretty apt observation. Thankfully his B-game is still pretty great.

  97. PC

    A lot of people here have picked apart Melo’s game via stats. A lot of these statistical analyses are based in legit theory and for sure can make someone second guess giving up a young stud like Gallo for someone who shoots a lot to score a lot.

    However, I think we are all missing something basic in this analysis. During the playoffs and especially during the last 5 minutes of the fourth quarter – the NBA game is completely different. The game slows down significantly and all teams MUST have a player who can create his own and shoot AND has the courage to want to take the big shot. The Knicks don’t have that and to be honest only a few teams in the league have that. Melo earns his max contract because of just that – his willingness to put himself and his team on the line with a jump shot or an aggressive move to the hoop when the game has slowed down to a crawl.

    Melo also gets to the free throw line which makes late game scoring so much easier. The Knicks are deemed as a horrible team that never wins. But, when you look at their games and watch them all (as we all do), the Knicks lose a lot of close games due to poor possessions at the end of the game. Melo will fix that. Get him at all costs.

    Oh, and he is the key to Chris Paul def wanting to come here.

  98. Caleb

    I generally agree with Ben & Ted. I also think there’s a decent chance that Anthony Randolph, or possibly even Gallo, is just as good – or nearly as good – in a couple of years. So there are probably better ways to spend the money, than a max deal for Carmelo. I’d agree with calling him a top-30 player, maybe even top-15 or top-20 value over the next few years. But it’s not THAT hard to find those guys, if you have cap room.

    I go back and forth on Carmelo, but a few things make think he might have real upside.

    1. He has performed better in the playoffs, at least over the past four years. Scoring, TS%, rebounding, all better than in the regular season. He’s actually had a rebound percentage over 11 in three of those years — that’s great, for a SF. I can’t think of any player besides Jordan and possibly LeBron whose #s actually improved in the post-season; they almost always decline, because the competition is so much better.

    2. He was a go-to guy on the Olympic team.

    3. His scoring numbers basically plateaued a few years ago, at age 21 or 22. You could read that a few ways, but if you’re optimistic, you could say his situation hasn’t maximized his talents.

    None of this guarantees anything, but taken together it suggests that Carmelo could be even better than he’s shown so far – in the right situation, with the right coach. If his usage rate were down 20 percent, to Al Harrington territory, it wouldn’t surprise me to see his efficiency shoot up – say, a TS% of 57 or 58. If he kept up the same level of rebounding, passing and defense – or ramped up to his playoff level – he would be a true max player, a deserving perennial All-Star.

  99. ess-dog

    So what is everyone’s stance on including Gallo AND Randolph in a trade for Melo? Yes? No? I think both Houston and NJ can offer better packages than the Gallo/Curry package… would the trade be worth it then? I mean if this becomes a sale to the highest bidder before the season starts, then it’s something you have to consider – assuming he is extended.

  100. Thomas B.

    @97

    Et tu Z? Oh well.

    This conversation is beyond boring. This team spent several years in salary cap hell paying one dimensional scorers tons of money without making the team even a playoff contender much less a title contender. Now people seem on board with the notion that overpaying another player, one who has proven over his career that he cannot generate wins, is the path to a title? It is maddening. I thought we were smarter than this. Wow, I’m just shocked. We complain about it but then we want to go right back into the fray.

    After all this time, I am still reading the tired old “go to scorer” and “five minutes left” arguments. For all Anthony’s skill in the arena, it has not translated into a conference finals game, or an NBA title game. I wont even rehash the is Anthony better than average. Look I’ll give you that. Carmelo Anthony is a borderline star player and well above average fro his position. Now, that still doesnt mean that he helps a team win.

    His overall contribution to Denver’s wins was no better than Corey Maggette’s was in GS last year. It doesnt matter what palyer is better. What matters is whether you can put 5 players on the court who can each make a significant contribution to wins. I’d rather have a SF who can do more of help stats and possession stats and if you are a shrwed GM you can find that player without creating an salary cap situation that leaves with little to no ability to make chances once you see that it isnt working out.

    Sure CP3 and LBJ should be making way more than Anthony. But the cap rules/compensation rules are what they are. But that is no excuse to say, “Oh well those are the rules we have to give Anthony a max deal.” No, you don’t. You can say, “I pass. I’ll find a better value for the money. I’ll keep my team flexible. I dont have to give star money to a guy that isnt a star.” Let some other team make that mistake, like ATL did this summer with Joe Johnson. Man did this team dodge a bullet on that.

    Let’s just agree to disagree. We can revist this if he is traded here. You still should read Stumbling on Wins, it’s like taking the red pill.

  101. Thomas B.

    ess-dog:

    So what is everyone’s stance on including Gallo AND Randolph in a trade for Melo? Yes? No? I think both Houston and NJ can offer better packages than the Gallo/Curry package… would the trade be worth it then? I mean if this becomes a sale to the highest bidder before the season starts, then it’s something you have to consider – assuming he is extended.  

    (Quote)

    Hell naw to Gallo and Randolph for Anthony without 2-3 draft picks and a good cheap youngin in return.

  102. Thomas B.

    “Someone like Corey Maggette might be a similar player to Melo, but you don’t hear anyone comparing guarding him to “wrestling a bear” like how Kobe described guarding Melo.”

    True, and how might Kobe describe Carmelo’s defense? “a broomstick wearing sneakers.”

  103. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    What are Houston and NJ offering? Off-hand I really don’t think they have someone with nearly as much potential as Gallo that they would actually offer.

    It’s a really tough call to me and I really don’t know if I offer Gallo or Randolph. I hope Denver holds off on trading him, but even then you risk Gallo and/or Randolph playing terribly, getting injured, getting in D’Antoni’s doghouse and losing trade value before Denver is potentially ready at the deadline. Really I hope Denver lets him go to free agency, but that’s not in the Knicks control so you can argue they have to seize the moment while they can.

    Caleb,

    Great analysis. I think AR has a good chance to be as good or better with a completely difference skill set. Gallo I’m not sure… I still like his potential, but it’s tough to project a guy who just stood around and shot last season (I know… once a game he went to the basket… I know) to be more than that. For the talk about Melo doing nothing but score, Gallo’s non-scoring stats are worse basically across the board. Several of these categories are the ones least likely to improve (his passing should improve a bit, but Toni Kukoc looks like a pipe dream). In a few years we might be talking about passing on Melo to keep a more consistent, higher paid Kyle Korver… (I know people will hate that one…)

    Those kind of players aren’t that easy to find even with cap room. I think 2010 has made us lose sight of the NBA’s blatant bias towards stars staying put. Once teams get a top 20-30 player, they prefer not to let go. You can wait around for a divorce, but this is exactly that and might be the Knicks opportunity.

    More importantly, the Knicks are looking at potentially re-signing both Gallo and AR in 2012. Maybe they renounce them if CP3 wants to sign, but otherwise it would fit nicely to spend cap space before that time to then go over the cap re-signing Gallo, AR, and/or Douglas. At the end of the day I guess I would lean towards waiting out the Nuggets to hold onto the assets and then decide on Melo next offseason. Knicks have a good amount of leverage as long as the info out there is that Knicks and Magic are Melo’s list and the Knicks preserve 2011 cap space.

    I agree that Melo could get better. People seem to forget that he’ll be 26 next season.

  104. cgreene

    Thomas B, you are getting worked by Ted Nelson. He has effectively refuted every argument you have made. And Ted is usually the one who is irrationally exuberant in defense of his own position. So let these conclusions be concurred upon.

    1) Carmelo is a top scorer in the NBA when combining efficiency and usage.
    2) Carmelo and Amare would increase one another’s efficiencies in tandem because of the strain that guarding both players would put on opposing defenses.
    3) The Knicks have actually improved their defense most significantly this off season with the additions of Felton, Randolph, Turiaf and actually need more scoring punch that Melo could bring.
    4) The NBA salary cap as currently constructed undervalues the league’s best players and properly values the 2nd tier and overvalues 3rd tier players and below. If we are agreed that Melo is a 2nd tier player then he would be properly valued at the max.
    5) Waiting to see what happens with Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard etc in 2012 is just plainly not a good strategy. With the chance to add talent now why wait for the slight chance to add better talent later
    6) Star talent attracts star talent and Carmelo is considered a star by his piers.

    Ergo, adding Carmelo is the right move for the Knicks if it possible without decimating the all cost effective pieces on the team.

    ps: one point that we have failed to mention in depth is that the extension for Carmelo is only 3 years which is a nice length for a player of his caliber.

  105. Frank

    Hey Thomas B — when you wrote: “Now people seem on board with the notion that overpaying another player, one who has proven over his career that he cannot generate wins, is the path to a title? ” — here is my reply:

    In what way has Carmelo shown that he cannot produce wins? Despite Berri and WOW and WS/48 etc., actual WINS happen on the court, not in convoluted manipulations of a stat sheet. If you read the article from that link I posted above, you would have seen that seen this paragraph:

    “Carmelo Anthony brought instant legitimacy, star power and more importantly wins to Denver ever since he first stepped foot in the Pepsi Center. In the 14 seasons that preceded Carmelo’s arrival Denver never won more than 42 games. In the seven seasons since Denver has never won less than 43. The Nuggets have made the playoffs every season with Carmelo Anthony on the team and have won three division titles.”

    The Nuggets actually won more game in Carmelo’s first two months than they did in the entire previous season, when they had the WORST record in the NBA. Now certainly other players were involved in that turnaround– that was Camby’s first full season with Denver etc… but to say that Carmelo had nothing to do with the best stretch in decades for the Nuggets — that is just not true.

    Now just to compare this with a stat-wonder guy that I know you love — what would we say about David Lee’s 4 seasons with the Knicks? I don’t want to hear about how the supporting cast had poor WS/48 or WOW scores — the fact is, actual WINS did not occur.

    Regardless of win shares blah blah blah, when you are the first or second best player on a team that wins a lot of games, you are in large part responsible for the generation of those wins. Any statistical model that doesn’t largely hold true to that statement is just not a good model. These are MODELS, not truths. If you don’t believe that, I have a bunch of mortgage-backed securities from 2006 to sell you.

  106. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.:
    Hell naw to Gallo and Randolph for Anthony without 2-3 draft picks and a good cheap youngin in return.  

    Based on what? First Kobe was the MVP, now Melo is awful. Next Anthony Randolph was never going to be any good because of his scoring efficiency, now you wouldn’t trade him for a top 15-30 player unless you got “2-3 draft picks and a good cheap youngin in return?”

    “True, and how might Kobe describe Carmelo’s defense? “a broomstick wearing sneakers.” ”

    By all accounts he’s an average defender. Basketball is also a team game, so you’d have Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph, Azu, etc. to guard Kobe while your top perimeter scorer took the other team’s second best perimeter scorer. That’s how it usually works and even MJ and Kobe have followed this model.

    “one who has proven over his career that he cannot generate wins, is the path to a title?”

    Based on what? David Berri’s say-so? Basketball is a team game, but he’s been the top scoring option of several 50 win teams and a Western Conference finalist and a Gold Medal winning Olympic team. Clearly you can win games, playoff series, and Olympic Medals with him.
    You’re out on an island by yourself on this issue, but yet you insist that everyone else is being totally ridiculous… No one here is saying Melo is incredible, just trying to look at things objectively instead of saying patently false things like he’s a terrible defender and his passing below average.

    “After all this time, I am still reading the tired old “go to scorer” and “five minutes left” arguments.”

    A couple of people have said that, but I have not. Caleb did not. Ben R did not.

    “It doesnt matter what palyer is better. What matters is whether you can put 5 players on the court who can each make a significant contribution to wins.”

    And yet you have ignored the team dynamic throughout this entire discussion. If Melo picks up more than his share of the scoring slack, other guys can be put in place to pick up more than their share of other responsibilities… that’s how a team works.

    ” This team spent several years in salary cap hell paying one dimensional scorers tons of money without making the team even a playoff contender much less a title contender.”

    Here is the biggest problem. Melo is NOT one dimensional. He is average or above average across the board, with one stand out skill. Crawford was below average across the board, with passing being his only above average skill (his scoring volume came at a well below average clip). Randolph’s only skill was rebounding (again, far less efficient than Melo). Marbury did get the Knicks into the playoffs, but he was bat-shit nuts. Curry is truly one-dimensional (if that) and below average across all other categories. One-dimensional is the wrong way to describe Melo.

    “You can say, “I pass. I’ll find a better value for the money. I’ll keep my team flexible. I dont have to give star money to a guy that isnt a star.””

    You can. It might be the right call if you “stumble on” a better player. Since the consensus here is that Melo is a top 15-30 guy in the league, though, there aren’t that many better players. At some point you have to use that “flexibility” to actually play basketball. A 26 year old elite wing scorer isn’t the worst way to spend it.

    “Let some other team make that mistake, like ATL did this summer with Joe Johnson. Man did this team dodge a bullet on that.”

    You are killing your credibility and larger point with comments like that. Melo’s stats are clearly better than Joe Johnson’s. He’s 5 years younger. There’s just very little comparison.

    “You still should read Stumbling on Wins, it’s like taking the red pill.”

    People here are in fact familiar with Berri, and they still disagree with his methods. Again, Berri was FAR from the first person to think of basketball in terms of possessions. John Wooden is famous for thinking of the game that way decades ago. Dean Oliver published “Basketball on Paper” before I had ever heard of Berri. You can value possessions without thinking that Berri’s metrics are the best stats around. You yourself often refer to the WS/48 metric on B-R.com, which is not a Berri metric at all.

  107. yehudi3000

    there is 3 way that melo, paul will be a knick.
    1) trade him now for gallo, sign him for a 15 mil contract, then wait for 2012.
    2) sign him for free next year , and paul in 2012. they’ll both have to take somthing like 15 a year.
    3) sign melo next year for any price, trade for paul ( i wont care if we’ll trade our whole team for him and ofakor)
    NO way to get paul if trade him for gallo and give him 20 mil contract

    I think the third option is the best way to get paul!

  108. BigBlueAL

    “For all Anthony’s skill in the arena, it has not translated into a conference finals game, or an NBA title game.”

    The Nuggets lost to the Lakers in 6 games in the 2009 Conference Finals. In the 16 playoff games Melo played in that season he averaged 27 pts/g with a TS% of 56% and .201 WS/48.

  109. PC

    Knick fans do this all the time. We get attached to players based on hype (Randolph) or hometown guys that we adore and create hype for (Gallo). I could care less about Anthony Randolph. If anybody thinks we would be a better team with AR and Gallo than with Melo and minus them, you are certfied nuts. AR has yet to do anything in the league besides generate hype due to his age and his potential. Two things that disappear rather quickly.

    Gallo is decent, at best. He hasn’t made “the leap” and there is nothing indicating he will.

    Again – Melo is a huge piece that really helps the Knicks become the frontrunner for Chris Paul. That is a very important piece of this.

    This league is run by stars and you need to accumulate as many of them as possible. Shaw and Wade, Shaq and Kobe, Kbe and Gasol Duncan Ginobili Parker, Boston’s big three, detroits prince, billups, hamilton and wallace. Does this sound like the next champion: Gallinari, Felton, Stoudemire or does this sound a little more like it: Carmelo, Paul, Stoudemire?

  110. Thomas B.

    cgreene says:
    “Thomas B, you are getting worked by Ted Nelson. He has effectively refuted every argument you have made.”

    No, he just disagreed and you were silly enough to follow him. Good for you.

    “star talent attracts star talent”

    You got that from Fox News right? Only something that odd and baseless could come from Fox News. Not only is it not true, but it has zero basis. Money attracts star players. How can you write something like that, then say I am getting worked? Yikes. I was worried until I read that. Thanks I feel better now.

    Frank says:

    “Despite Berri and WOW and WS/48 etc., actual WINS happen on the court, not in convoluted manipulations of a stat sheet.”

    Three blind mice, three blind mice, look how they run. But stats happen on the court too Frank. They arent just made up or pulled out of the air. And for all the flaws and yes Berri has flaws reviewing a stat sheet is far superior to the naked eye assumptions and raw data that most folks use for their conclusions. You need some standard to normalize all the data.

    And yes i did read the thing you posted. I hesitate to call that an article; it’s more like journalistic fellatio at its start. But did you read this part?

    For a player of Carmelo’s talents who has been blessed with quality teammates throughout his career to have only won two playoff series in seven seasons is baffling.

    All the awards and accolades have amounted to approximately nothing.

    The goal of every professional sports team should be to win a championship. The Denver Rockets/Nuggets never have.

    So yeah.

    Frank goes on to whine:
    “what would we say about David Lee’s 4 seasons with the Knicks? I don’t want to hear about how the supporting cast had poor WS/48 or WOW scores — the fact is, actual WINS did not occur.”

    I’d say David Lee does many things well but defense is not one of them. I’d say David Lee had a higher WS/48 than Anthony over the last 4 years. Lee did more to contribute to the meager winnings of the Knicks than Anthony did to contribute to the substanstial winnings of the Nuggets. That tells me that overall, Denver put together a more productive five man unit than did the Knicks. I can hardly have any discussion about total wins, which I assume you realize differs from contributions to wins, without some discussion about the rest of the team. I mean I cant say that Bill Cartwright was an great player in 1992 just because he was on the Bulls team that won 67 games can I? But he must be, that team won games. What was his contribution to those games? A WS/48 of 0.082. But he was on a winning team so he must have been awesome right?

    And now on to Ted. Well it seems Ted said nothing of concern. So I’ll just pass.

  111. massive

    Ted Nelson made a point about most of our new guys (Felton, Azu, Randolph, Turiaf) being limitted or even liabilities on the offensive side of the ball. There’s no question that all of those guys can defend, but it worries me that D’Antoni might misuse these guys. I read a Warriors blog one day and a poster said that at times, Azu was the best Warrior on the floor. Felton isn’t good on offense, Turiaf isn’t an offensive player, and Randolph is a mystery. I’m starting to think we don’t have much of a scoring punch this season outside of Stoudemire. Last year, our scoring punch was Harrington and Lee. Can we really count on Gallo to step it up to be the #1 perimeter threat? I’m not sure of what to expect going into the season, but I do know somebody needs to embrace that role on the perimeter.

  112. Thomas B.

    BigBlueAL:

    “For all Anthony’s skill in the arena, it has not translated into a conference finals game, or an NBA title game.”

    The Nuggets lost to the Lakers in 6 games in the 2009 Conference Finals. In the 16 playoff games Melo played in that season he averaged 27 pts/g with a TS% of 56% and .201 WS/48.  

    (Quote)

    My bad. Anthony did get to a confernce finals. The only playoff year that he put up a WS/48 at the star level of .201. My mistake. Of course he was 24 and according to Berri, thats when a player peaks. So clearly its all down hill from here. Part of the reason that team did so well was that it finished the season ranked 8th over all in defensive efficiency. One might credit that to the fact Anthony only appeared in 66 games. I kid, I kid. No seriously, Anthony can play very well when in the middle of a very good defensive team. But for all the additions, I’m not sure the Knicks are a top 10 defensive team for the next season. I’m sure i’ll be proven wrong. I always am, which is why i find the need to remind me of that so interesting.

  113. adrenaline98

    People comparing salary cap hell of Melo comparing to Crawford are really out there. How can you compare giving 15-20 mil to Melo vs giving 10 mil to Crawford?

    Second, really? You wouldn’t give up AR and Gallo for Melo? I too agree that Gallo and Randolph both have WORLD CLASS potential. One is super athletic, another has perhaps the best stroke in basketball. But none of them are proven to be anything more until they prove it.

    Randolph was given up on pretty damn easily. You can say Nelson didn’t play him enough, or Nelson is a screw up. But the front office traded Randolph. And two other solid role players. For Lee.

    Do I think Randolph has a bright future? Yes. Do I think it will ever be as bright as Carmelo? I’ll take under on 95%.

    Do I think Gallo has All-Star potential? Yes. Do I think he can be the best 3pt shooter in the league? Yes. Do I think he can complete the package, be more aggressive rebounding, develop a post move, and learn how to put the ball effectively on the floor? Compared to that of Melo? Will he even be 50% as good as Melo at posting and driving?

    Melo is not salary cap hell. Salary cap hell is constantly adding mid-level exceptions that are role players when you don’t have a solid core. Crawford, Marbury, and Curry is not a solid core. Therefore, adding Jeffries and Jerome James (bench warmer) puts you in salary cap hell. Let’s be realistic, Crawford and Curry weren’t bad choices by Isiah. Their PROCESS of acquiring them is what went wrong. Giving up that many picks for Marbury and Crawford is what went wrong. Now if Crawford, Curry, Steph could get you 39 wins…You mean to tell me replacing them with Amar’e, Carmelo, and Felton couldn’t net you 50+? With Paul, we can’t compete deep into the playoffs without Gallo and AR?

    Give me a break. You take Melo even if you have to give up Randolph and AR, but you better not be throwing those draft picks in there. Or give them your draft pick and keep one of the two.

  114. Thomas B.

    on second thought, I will address one thing Ted wrote.

    People here are in fact familiar with Berri, and they still disagree with his methods. Again, Berri was FAR from the first person to think of basketball in terms of possessions. John Wooden is famous for thinking of the game that way decades ago. Dean Oliver published “Basketball on Paper” before I had ever heard of Berri. You can value possessions without thinking that Berri’s metrics are the best stats around. You yourself often refer to the WS/48 metric on B-R.com, which is not a Berri metric at all.

    True it is not a Berri metric, but it is one he spoke of favorably in his book. I like Berri because he is not just a stat nerd, he is an economist and thus a super nerd. He tries to get folks thinking about the value of a player relative to the production. Yes, I said Anthony is one dimensional or slightly above average. That probably is not a fair assesment of his talent. But I stand by my conclusion that Anthony is not worth getting based on the cost relative to production of wins.

    There is in the NBA a very limited number of star players, and a few more near stars. GM’s end up overpaying to get one so they dont get left out. I do not want that to be the Knicks. I dont know if you pay any attention to what i write here, but i was all for CP3. Would have sent everything to get him. I think he is worth it. He is other wordly good. Anthony while very nice, just does not do it for me. His numbers dont justify the investment of players (trade) or money (FA signing). Chris Paul does justify that IMHO.

    And all the attacks on me or Berri or whatever else wont change my mind about whether I think Anthony is worth a max deal or all our young prospects. He isnt. At best he contributes to us being Denver East, except we will have an older version of the player who may have already peaked.

    Seriously, I’m done with this now.

  115. adrenaline98

    Yes Thomas B, except the basketball world doesn’t work that way. Which free agent this year wanted to be S&T’ed to the Rockets? A well managed team full of roleplayers measured by metrics.

    Just because you say “get this guy over Carmelo” or “get Paul instead of Carmelo” doesn’t mean it just, poof happens. In the current basketball world, friends want to play with friends. If you have a core of Paul, Amar’e, and Melo, you have a championship caliber core. With NY market, and veterans willing to take a paycut playing for you, you have a shot. No Melo, no Paul.

    You get Melo, and you give up what you have to, and pay him what you have to. Because as the Golden Girls of Miami have shown, you take paycuts to play with those players.

  116. ess-dog

    I would maybe do that deal if I’m Denver. Not sure they can get better than Curry + AR + Gallo. Then all the have to do is trade Billups to say Memphis for Xavier Henry, Conley and a draft pick. Then you’ve got Lawson, Henry, Gallo, AR, and Nene with JR, Birdman, Thabeet and Conley off the bench, plus draft picks, plus whatever you can get for Curry’s expiring. That’s an exciting young team.

  117. ess-dog

    Oops not Thabeet. That’s just one hypothetical anyway if Denver does want to blow things up. I do think it’s in their best interest to blow it up now though rather than later if they’re going to do that.

  118. adrenaline98

    The only thing I wouldn’t do if I have to give up AR and Gallo is take back a bad contract of some kind. If the Knicks give up the young route to get Melo, then their plan better be to play for Paul. That’s another KEY FACTOR that people don’t/can’t discuss in the realm of metrics.

  119. Caleb

    Why in the world would the Knicks give up AR & Gallo, when they can sign Anthony outright next summer, and give up nothing?

    (I know, their best 4-5 players would be forwards, but in that case they’d trade Gallo/Randolph/Chandler for someone else, hint hint)

  120. ess-dog

    Caleb: Why in the world would the Knicks give up AR & Gallo, when they can sign Anthony outright next summer, and give up nothing?

    Because Denver will trade him to someone else before that (if they’re smart)

  121. Robert Silverman

    Caleb: Why in the world would the Knicks give up AR & Gallo, when they can sign Anthony outright next summer, and give up nothing?
    (I know, their best 4-5 players would be forwards, but in that case they’d trade Gallo/Randolph/Chandler for someone else, hint hint)  

    Because (and this is just me speculating, no info/rumors/tweets to back it up) any team that trades for ‘Melo now is going to do so in conjunction w/Anthony agreeing to the 3 yr. extension that he turned down from Denver. First, b/c no one’s trading a grab bag of picks/young talent/expiring deals for a one-year rental. Second, it’s seriously in Carmelo’s best interest to take the 60 million now, since no one knows what contract structures are going to look like next year under the new CBA. But odds are, whatever the new rules end up being, they’re going to lead to shorter/less profitable deals for the players.

    So, if the Nix just gotta have Carmelo Anthony, unless Denver decides to hold on to him thru the deadline & try to convince him to re-sign (and I can’t imagine they’d risk losing him for nothing, like Cle did w/SheShmron Shrames), it’s going to be via trade.

  122. Caleb

    ess-dog:
    Because Denver will trade him to someone else before that (if they’re smart)  

    So what? We get him next summer, if he wants to sign in NY.

    He either signs an extension now, or picks where he wants to play next summer. I’m sure there are other bidders but he can control the process – plus he has a vested interest in his target team giving up as little as possible. Let’s say he wants to play next to Chris Paul – he’ll want to make sure the Knicks (or Magic, or wherever he wants to play) have enough to trade for CP3.

  123. Ben R

    I would not give both AR & Gallo for Carmelo either. I would trade Gallo, simply because position is redundant, but I would not trade both. I agree with Caleb, lets just wait till summer. If Denver insists on trading Carmelo sooner offer Gallo, Curry and someone else like Chandler or Walker. If thats not enough then let Denver try and find a better package from a team Carmelo will extend with. I don’t see it happening.

    As for Carmelo getting better under D’Antoni I think thats highly possible. If you look at his stats over the last 4 years he has seen a decline in his TS% over the last two seasons compared to the previous two.:

    2007 – 55.2%
    2008 – 56.8%
    2009 – 53.2%
    2010 – 54.9%

    I tried to figue out why he saw a decline like that. His shot selection did not change, his three point shooting did not go dow (2009 was actually at a career high from the three.

  124. Thomas B.

    adrenaline98:

    Yes Thomas B, except the basketball world doesn’t work that way. Which free agent this year wanted to be S&T’ed to the Rockets? A well managed team full of roleplayers measured by metrics.

    Just because you say “get this guy over Carmelo” or “get Paul instead of Carmelo” doesn’t mean it just, poof happens. In the current basketball world, friends want to play with friends. If you have a core of Paul, Amar’e, and Melo, you have a championship caliber core. With NY market, and veterans willing to take a paycut playing for you, you have a shot. No Melo, no Paul.

    You get Melo, and you give up what you have to, and pay him what you have to. Because as the Golden Girls of Miami have shown, you take paycuts to play with those players.  

    (Quote)

    Speculation. All of it. Where did Paul say, he will sign with NYC if and only if they get Anthony? I’d love to read that. I am aware that the NBA is not a magic show but is my thinking any less magical or plausible than “get melo to get Paul?” Two free agents sign a deal to play with Wade and now that is the norm for the NBA? I don’t think so. Of trades, drafts, and free agency I’d say FA has the least impact on building a team. The most likely way to get talent is to trade for it or draft it and cultivate it. Those options only work when done wisely. A trade for Anthony that loses Gallo and Randolph is not wise at least not to me.

  125. Ben R

    Continuing my post I mistyped and it posted.

    I looked at why he has had a decline the last two years. It is because he is getting assisted on alot less on his shots. In 2007 and 2008 he was assisted on nearly 60% of his makes over the last two years less than 50%.

    Since D’Antoni runs an offense that is pass heavy I see Carmelo getting assisted on more shots than in Denver’s system so a return to his shooting form in 2007 and 2008 seems likely.

  126. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    I also find Berri’s approach interesting. I appreciate that he’s an economist and tries to take a rational approach to quantifying basketball performance. I don’t feel he’s any less credible than, say, John Hollinger.

    However, I do not agree that WP/48 is the absolute way to value players. It does point out some undervalued players by more traditional “analyst.” I think Berri overvalues rebounding, though. I think he undervalues scoring. I think there are enough examples of where he mis-values players that you can’t rationally take his rankings seriously.

    No one is attacking you or Berri. People are trying to discuss the issue. It’s your opinion that Melo is not worth a max contract. That may also be David Berri’s opinion. However, I’m not sure why you’re not more open to at least considering other people’s opinions and rational arguments on why he may in fact be a max player or how much exactly he is worth. I’ve been very careful not to commit to saying the Knicks should give Melo a max contact (especially in the $20 mill range). I’m honestly not sure. There are a lot of factors to consider… At the end of the day I just want the Knicks to win the most possible games. I think Melo might be a way to do that. They’re going to get to the cap in the next few years, and after that it’s going to be harder to add talent. Even at the max, Melo is young, productive, and well regarded… he’s not going to be untradable unless he gets injured.

    One thing about value for your dollar that I would say is that as a fan I only care so much. Certainly I don’t want to see them throwing money around or killing their flexibility on a bad or mediocre team. However, for a fan the most important part of “the cost relative to production of wins” is the wins part of it. Once the Knicks hit the cap–given that Dolan doesn’t hesitate to spend–it’s ideal for them to have the best team possible. It’s also nice to have more valuable players since only 5 guys can be on the court at a time and playoff rotations are usually 7 guys max.

    After the 2010 offseason it’s hard to say that the only thing that attracts star players is money…

    It’s hard to consider someone who is 26 over the hill and old. His 24 year old “peak season” was the worst regular season he’s had in the past 5 seasons. There may be a trend of player production by age, however, even Berri can’t predict an individual player’s exact career path.

  127. Ted Nelson

    Agree with Caleb and Ben R on the reasoning of a Melo trade.

    “Of trades, drafts, and free agency I’d say FA has the least impact on building a team. The most likely way to get talent is to trade for it or draft it and cultivate it.”

    Tell that to Miami fans…

    That may be true generally… but if the Knicks can get a huge free agent, who cares what the general rule is? Melo is lined up for free agency next year. CP3 and Dwight Howard can both become free agents in 2012. If one of those guys wants to sign with the Knicks should they say: no thanks, free agency is the worst way to acquire talent? Should they ask Chicago, Utah, and Houston for all their draft picks this decade back?

    At some point you start missing the forest for the trees. If the Knicks can win 50 games per season the next 5 years and make nice playoff runs, who cares if some of their players are overpaid? Sure we’ll bitch about it here, but they’re winning 50 games and making nice playoff runs.

  128. Ted Nelson

    Ben re: 130

    Interesting stuff. I was thinking maybe it was losing an excellent passer in Andre Miller, but he left well before that decline… Maybe he was effectively replaced by AI and Anthony Carter playing a lot of minutes in the back-court together? As good as Billups is, he’s not a very good passer. Marcus Camby left 1/2 way through last season, so maybe that has something to do with it?

    Unfortunately the Knicks don’t have many good playmakers at this point…

  129. ess-dog

    As much as I like Gallo and AR, they are both works in progress. If in fact, players do peak at 24, these guys still have a ways to go and you could argue that Amare will be close to finished by the time they reach their peak. Now I’m not saying that the young can’t play with the old, but the current make-up of the team is not ideal, especially since our three best players – Gallo, AR and Stat – are all power forwards, in a nebulous sort of way.
    I think signing a real 5 like Noah (who loves NYC btw) would be a good start next year, that is if AR can’t play the 5. Melo, Stat and Noah would be a championship frontcourt. Of course, the backcourt is still a huge problem. Maybe between Walker, Chandler, Azu, Fields, Larry, Moe and Curly, someone will become an above average 2 guard.
    As for the point guard, I don’t really see the Paul thing happening now, but you never know. Felton could surprise, but I doubt it. Here he is ranked 23rd in the league right behind Sessions! Who won’t even be starting! http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Ranking-the-point-guards-30-through-21?urn=nba-263026
    I can’t believe we still don’t have a young point guard prospect after all these years… I’m sorry, but in case you can’t tell, this signing still worries me quite a bit.

  130. rama

    Thomas B – I’m with you on Melo not being worth a deal that prevents us from signing CP3, and on Melo not being worth trading both AR and Gallo, but you’re definitely wrong about it being only money that attracts talent. As Ted says, look no further than Miami. And from many sources, Melo and Amare and CP3 were talking about joining up, inspired by the Golden Girls. And if getting CP3 takes getting Melo, then we should get Melo.

    The question is, at what price?

    As said, do not trade both Gallo and AR for him. One, but not both. And though I previously argued with Ted about Gallo having more value if we acquire CP3 than AR (and I still feel that way), if we acquire Melo, then AR has more value; he’s a better complementary part. Thing is, if we trade both for Melo, we have a weaker supporting cast, and we also lose the opportunity to trade for CP3 – the truly valuable piece. What if we trade both, and then CP3 does in fact hit the market and we’ve got no way to get him? Sure, we could wait until his contract expires, but there’s never a guarantee a guy doesn’t just resign with whatever team he was traded to…like Orlando, for instance. Besides, I think AR and Gallo together add up to more than Melo (except in the magical world of the NBA, where you can’t sign CP3 without him).

    Then again, if AR and Gallo BOTH play well this year, I don’t see not having Melo as a big problem in attracting CP3. He seems more interested in winning than in just playing with a friend.

    So, Melo is above average, and currently a better player than either Gallo or AR, but he isn’t good enough to warrant gutting the team for him – unless it guarantees us getting CP3, which on the other hand gutting the team to get him may prevent!

  131. BigBlueAL

    Interesting that the 2 Rockets PG’s are also ranked in the 21-30 range considering their GM is supposedly the Billy Beane aka Mr. Moneyball of the NBA.

  132. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    Noah is a restricted free agent… Bulls probably aren’t in a rush to let him walk. Even if he decides to sign with the Knicks… the Bulls can match it.

    I’m just not sure why you want to outbid every other team in the NBA for Melo. Let’s just say that he is worth Gallo and AR… what other team is making an offer close to that? If the Nuggets will trade you Melo for Gallo, why would you throw in AR?

  133. ess-dog

    And don’t forget Tony Parker! I’m not sure if this is possible, but could we somehow get Parker AND Noah next year if we cleared all of our remaining cap space? Maybe at around 14 mil each starting? Doesn’t seem likely right? Parker, Gallo, AR, Stat, Noah would be pretty sweet.

  134. BigBlueAL

    Noah is not coming to NY. He is not an unrestricted FA for what another 3 years I believe plus I highly doubt the Bulls are not gonna pay him.

  135. Spree8nyk8

    Man, this board absolutely trips me out.

    1) you know we root for the Knicks right?

    2) you know the knicks haven’t been to the playoffs in like 10 years right?

    3) you know the knicks haven’t really had a star player since idk, Ewing probably.

    So after the last few seasons, if you would have told me that your going into this offseason and ur not going to get lebron, but you will come out with Carmelo and Stat, me personally I would have been like SHIT YEAH!!!!! We might come out of this with Melo, Stat, and a gang of young studs. And you guys are talking about it like we should pass on it.

    Once again I stick to my fundamental belief that you guys are on crack….

    I didn’t go through the last ten fucking years to hear someone say we should pass on Carmelo Anthony because some ridiculous stat says he’s not that great. HE SCORES 28 POINTS A GAME. And we root for a team that I would refer you back to items 1,2, and 3…..

  136. Spree8nyk8

    Oh, theres one more reason that this bullshit should be put to rest and honestly, I think it’s the most important reason.

    The most important reason the Knicks should go out and get Carmelo is this:

    HE WANTS TO BE HERE!

    It’s that simple. He’s doesn’t wanna come here for money, he doesn’t hate where he is, doesn’t have problems that are forcing him to leave. He simply WANTS to play for the Knicks.

    We spent the last two years destroying the team to suck up to an asshole that embarrassed us from the back yard. And you want to seriously think about saying NO to someone who actually WANTS to be here?

    Remember watching Patrick? How about Starks? Those guys LOVED being a KNICK. They didn’t wanna be anything else. They bled blue… Remember? Didn’t you love them for it? Melo can be that guy… He WANTS TO BE HERE!!!

  137. Z

    I know it runs counter to advanced statistical analysis, but I actually really agree with Spree in #141. I don’t know much about Carmelo the person, just as I don’t know much about Amar’e the person. But I really like that Amar’e came to NY without a guarantee to be paired with a second star. The fact that he chose to come to NY, while everyone else got scared away makes me excited to root for him. Carmelo also seems like a pretty cool cat. And he’s also the closest thing LeBron has to a rival. I think it would be fun to have them go against each other in the playoffs for the next five years. More fun than Cory Magette or Gerald Wallace losing to the Heat at half Carmelo’s price tag.

  138. Frank

    So anyway — my point was not to get into a pissing contest with Thomas B — it was, as usual, to get someone who really and truly believes that “reviewing a stat sheet is far superior to the naked eye assumptions and raw data that most folks use for their conclusions” that if the assumptions of your statistical model are not necessarily valid, then your conclusions based on that model are also not necessarily valid.

    My major problem with these “statistical” models like Berri, Hollinger etc. is that while they ATTEMPT to normalize things between teams, there just is no way to actually do it when there are 5 players on the court at a time, different coaches, systems, etc.

    Example:
    Small Forward A averages 5 defensive rebounds per 36.
    Small Forward B average 7 defensive rebounds per 36.

    Possible reasons for why player A averages less than B:
    – Player A’s team plays horrible defense so there are fewer defensive rebound opportunities
    – Player A’s team forces a much slower pace so there are fewer defensive rebound opportunities
    – Player A’s teammate is Dwight Howard so there are fewer rebound opportunities overall.
    – Player A’s coach says I would rather you run out on the break than stay around for the rebound.
    – Player A’s coach wants him to guard the other team’s point guard, so he ends up being farther away from the basket when the ball goes up on many possessions.
    – Player A’s coach often wants him to guard the other team’s center or PF, so he is overmatched when trying to rebound.
    – Player A is an excellent shotblocker and so is often out of position for rebounds when he contests shots
    – Player A is a worse rebounder than player B.

    These are reasons I just came up with off the top of my head in 5 seconds, and all are reasons that are plausible and real. These models may account for pace, or give extra points for being a shotblocker but there are probably 20-30 reasons why someone is a better rebounder by stats than another that have little to do with actual rebounding prowess. There is no way any current model comes close to controlling for all those confounders. And that’s just one stat out of I don’t know, 20 that go into each PER or WOW or WS. Take steals – maybe a coach doesn’t want players to gamble or play in passing lanes. So fewer steals.

    So while I think all these win scores and PERs and etc. are useful, they’re just guides and interesting conversation pieces. So when you tell me that I’m one of “three blind mice” because I don’t believe in them blindly even when my eyes tell me that Melo is a great player, then I frankly don’t think you understand how imperfect any individual statistic (other than free throws) in a team game is. Package 20 imperfect statistics together and you get a score that tells you some interestingly useful things like “David Lee is really good” or some horribly un-useful things like Chris Duhon is just below average or that Nick Fazekas and Michael Sweetney are the next sleeper stars.

  139. AY

    Agree completely with Spree. Randolph really isn’t proven. Gallo’s got a troublesome back. Neither of those guys is good enough to be the alpha on a winning team. Melo has done it for years. Give up whatever it takes and figure it out after. Melo, Amare, and even Felton are a strong playoff team.

    I’m just concerned that New Jersey or Houston outbids us for Melo given that they have better assets. Then we’d watch the Nets make the playoffs while Randolph averages 12 and 8 and misses 30 games. Great.

    The dream team of Amare, Melo, and CP3 starts with Amare and Melo. Do whatever you can to make it happen and hope that some players gain value and CP3/Tony Parker see Melo and Amare in the playoffs under Dantoni and thinks “I’ve got to get my butt there.”.

  140. slovene knick

    I finished reading the posts yesterday at about nr.:70 and it was a yaw dropping experience in negative sense …and then Spree asked if people here are smoking something…I found it a bit rude but it expressed the way I felt about it…. Spree thank you for altering the course of history / I was afraid that Donnie or ,please forbid, Carmelo could be reading posts before nr.: 75 :))
    l’art pour l’art istic, dogmatic, statpourlstat thinking over common sense – correct me if I’m wrong , but the stats are here to help us see better and not to make us completely blind.

    Yes,there is a pretty decent number of comments on Andy Rautins Melodama.

  141. Ted Nelson

    “I really like that Amar’e came to NY without a guarantee to be paired with a second star.”

    Don’t forget that Amare was negotiating with the Suns first, and then when they didn’t want to pay him $20 mill a year he came to NY. Maybe Chicago was also willing to pay him, but I don’t know. New York might have just been the highest bidder. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it makes the 2nd star angle irrelevant.

    Frank,

    I agree with your point about a model having little value if your assumptions are faulty and also don’t put complete faith in any one metric at this point in time.

    However, you can’t take it too far in the other direction, either. The problem I see with your arguments is that player stats stay largely the same across teams, coaches, and systems (they fluctuate, but in most cases overall performance is fairly consistent).

    A model that ultimately rewards players who create more points per possession on offense and fewer for the other team on defense makes the factors you are talking about irrelevant. Does what the player is doing help his team on offense? Does it help them on defense? Then the player will be credited. (For example, good defense will be rewarded regardless of steals.) We’re not at that point yet and I agree with your criticisms of current metrics, but that’s what a lot of people–certainly Berri–are trying to do. I feel like using stats and subjective analysis our brains are capable of doing a decent job of this already… though certainly there’s a large margin of error.

  142. Ted Nelson

    I’m not sure why so many people want to trade the whole team for Melo when we don’t even know what other offers the Nuggets have or will receive(d)… Man would I love to negotiate with you guys: that costs $5… oh, no, please I will pay you $10 for it.

  143. Z-man

    I would absolutely NOT trade both Randolph and Gallo for Melo at this point. I am a big fan of getting Melo and think he is worth every penny of the max. However, one thing I will say about both Melo and Amar’e is that they don’t make their teammates better in the same way that, say, Magic, Bird, or Jordan did.

    I would not be too quick to put a ceiling on either Gallo or AR. Both are freakishly long 6’10” players. Gallo is one of the best 3-pt shooters in the league, and given his height and quick release, he is likely to only improve. He also has a high B-ball IQ, is a good passer, etc. In his first 2 years at age 19-20, AR has stats that are at least comparable to Kevin Garnett, Lamar Odom, Jermaine O’Neal, Josh Smith and (an older) Marcus Camby. He has allegedly put on 25 pounds of muscle.

    IMHO, that’s just too much to give up without even looking at them in preseason. One of the 2, OK, but not both. And if I had to choose one, it would be Gallo, only because of his back issues.

    One way to spin things is that if Gallo and Randolph both turn out to be very good, say, the equivalent of Peja and Camby (which in my rose-colored glasses world are conservative projections) then we are an all-star guard away from serious contention. What PG wouldn’t drool over playing on a team with that front line, a young strong bench, plus cap flexibility and trade assets?

    Given that we will have a below average backcourt next year no matter what (unless we land CP3):
    Ama’re+Melo+Gallo/Randolph? Sign me up! Amar’e+Melo+Chandler/Fields? Not so much.

    I have faith that Walsh will not lurch at this deal

  144. Frank

    Ted – I totally agree with you. I think advanced stats are great, or else I wouldn’t be such a fan of this site. I love TS% as a stat, I love the idea of WS, WoW, and PER as general guides. It’s just the “his WS/48 is 0.143 so he’s not an elite player blah blah blah i’m not listening to any other viewpoints or criticisms” mindset that just kills me. Again. And again.

    The problem for me is that roles matter. Coaching matters. Systems matter. The interplay between the 9 other players on the court matters. I just don’t believe there are any models out there that are remotely able to take those confounders into account to any extent that would make me relatively blindly believe any of them. All I need to see is Shawn Marion, who went from an awesome player to a completely average player in the same season, all due to change in system, role, and different teammates. He’s the poster child for this, but I am sure that there are other players who both benefit or are hurt by the same phenomenon to a smaller extent.

  145. Frank

    And just to be clear – I have no interest in trading Gallo and Randolph for Melo regardless of how great I think Melo is. I could be convinced to trade one (preferably Randolph) depending what else is in the package. I still think/hope we can get him for nothing but salary at the end of this year.

  146. slovene knick

    @ 148
    Ted….Nuggets are now in the corner…they will have to get a team(that’s not NYK) that believes/ that they are not loosing Carmelo when he is free agent next year / and now that everybody believes that he wants to go to the Knicks gives Donnie a lot of laverage to prevent “us noegotiating 10 over 5″ from happening.
    And Donnie is not Thomas.

  147. Z-man

    Paul Pierce (who I think is very comparable to Melo) and Ray Allen both had ws/48 bumps late in their careers when Garnett came aboard. Lamar Odom had his average WS/48 increase dramatically after joining the Heat and even more with the Lakers. Steve Nash’s WS\48 of .206 in 2002-2003 looked like a fluke (never above .170 before that and back to .160 the next year) then he goes to the Suns late in his career and runs off 2 MVP years and ws/48 scores of .203, .212, and .225.

  148. Garson

    When givin the choice of who to trade for Melo , I think its clear.

    Gallo and Melo play the same position. AR can be used more as a PF/C then gallo.

    Felton azabuike Melo AR Stat is a complete linup which lacks only in 3 point shooting. Felton Aza and AR are above avg defenders, while Melo and Stat are around par.

    They are very long , athletic, and passionate group who would be extremely fun to root for. They can get us into the top 3 seed of the east with promise for next season as well.

  149. Ted Nelson

    Z-Man,

    Win Shares are dependent on the number of games your team wins.

    slovene knick,

    I agree, which is why I’m not sure why several people are so quick to say “trade the farm…”

    Frank,

    The issue I have is that by and large system and coach don’t matter too much. Shawn Marion seems to me (admittedly not based on a scientific study, but just thousands of hours of looking at stats on B-R) like the exception and not the rule. Tons of players change teams, coaches, systems every single season, yet their production remains pretty similar.

    Why do you say trade Randolph over Gallo?

  150. ess-dog

    Ted Nelson: I’m not sure why so many people want to trade the whole team for Melo when we don’t even know what other offers the Nuggets have or will receive(d)… Man would I love to negotiate with you guys: that costs $5… oh, no, please I will pay you $10 for it.  

    This is a pretty bratty comment, Ted. I wasn’t “changing my bid” or anything like that. Simply taking the temperature of the board to see what Melo’s ultimate value might be to other posters. I’ve been as big a critic as anyone on Melo, even though I ultimately see the value of bringing him here.
    But I do think it’s time to lower the rose-colored glasses just a bit. I know for a fact many of you were around, watching Knick games last season. Lest we forget a “Gallo/Curry” trade was suggested by some in the media as the only way to get cap space? As a mere salary dump? And now, that same package is supposed to get us Melo? I understand that Curry is expiring now but, c’mon…
    And I’m as high on the moves Donnie made as anyone else here but let’s just try to look at things from a neutral perspective for a bit.
    Gallo: bad back his first year, with “flashes” of brilliance here and there, mostly in terms of 3 point shooting. 2nd year, not quite as great, but a big fan favorite, he’s adorable. Meanwhile, kid from the same draft Beasley, is being crucified on a daily basis. Gallo and Beasley have the exact same PER. Gallo has nice abilities and *could one day be* very good or he could be as Ted mentioned, a taller Kyle Korver.
    Randolph: How many games did he play last year? 33? Hasn’t he only played on teams that have been even worse than the Knicks have been? One unspectacular year in college. Great highlight reel, but can he do it consistently?
    Azubuike: How many games did he play last year? 9? Started out in the D-league?
    Turiaf: Not a starter. Only started last year at all because Beidrins completely imploded. Oh and as mentioned, Golden State is terrible.
    Chandler: Actually one of the more consistent players we have. Got hurt two years in a row. Maybe can’t handle the demands of being a starter. Decent 5th or 6th man at best.
    Felton: Also consistent, yet average. Supposedly excellent on the defensive end, which is something I guess.
    Shall I go on? These are our most tradable players. Meanwhile, despite his less than ideal high-volume scoring, I think Melo’s record speaks for itself.
    Yes, the Nuggets are in somewhat of a pickle, but don’t you think they will get other offers for Melo? Do you really think Melo is thinking NYC or bust? You don’t think he could possibly envision a bright future in say Houston, Dallas, Sacramento, LA, Orlando, or any other destination? Unnamed sources through Yahoo!Sports is not the Bible. For all we know, some guy in Melo’s entourage who has a girlfriend who works at ‘Scores’ and really wants to live in the city is this ‘source’. Try to remember all the crap we heard about Lebron.
    Ultimately, I would like to see what Gallo/Randolph can do this year, but remember – they are both young. When Melo was 19 he averaged over 20 points and had a 17.5 PER. We have not seen that kind of “potential” yet from Gallo. You could make the argument that we have from Randolph via defense/rebounding, but he’s turning 21. Maybe a package centering around Randolph would be more realistic, although that leaves us with very little rebounding…

  151. ess-dog

    That being said, pretty much all of this depends on the owners meetings and what kind of agreement the players settle on. That will determine whether Melo feels like he should sign an extension this year, or if it’s fine to test the Free Agent market next year. That will determine Denver’s bargaining power to some degree. It’s all about the $$$ first, then the ability to get a championship.

  152. Z-man

    “Win Shares are dependent on the number of games your team wins.”

    Doesn’t seem like a very useful metric then… unless you control for wins.

  153. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    I wasn’t at all referring to you specifically in that comment, but thanks for the kind reply. If you read the comments you will see that there are at least 3-5 posters who specifically say that the Knicks should be falling over themselves to trade both Randolph and Gallo for Melo ASAP.

    “Lest we forget a “Gallo/Curry” trade was suggested by some in the media as the only way to get cap space? As a mere salary dump?”

    The key part of that is “some in the media.” The Knicks never traded Gallo and I never heard a credible rumor that they were looking to.

    “And now, that same package is supposed to get us Melo?”

    The one thing I have specifically asked you, ess-dog, a couple of times is what other realistic offers are teams likely to make for Melo? You said that the Nets and Rockets can blow a Gallo offer out of the water, but haven’t elaborated on how they’re going to do that. It depends completely on how Denver values specific players and also on what their strategy is going forward (rebuild, contend, etc.), but Gallo is a pretty attractive offer for a guy that they stand to lose via free agency in one year. That’s the problem: Denver has almost no leverage. All they can do is leverage one bidder against others… To most outside observers Melo is gone via free agency next offseason…

    Teams CAN beat a Gallo/Curry offer, but will they? Is Denver going to do back-flips when Orlando offers them Jameer Nelson to back-up Billups and Lawson and Gortat to back-up Nene? Is Jordan Hill going to pique their interest more than Gallo? What is Dallas even going to offer? Shawn Marion? Caron Butler? What are the Lakers going to offer? Ron Artest? Lamar Odom? Is Sacto going to offer part of its young nucleus?

    Would you expect better offers for Pau Gasol than an unproven Marc Gasol and a gun-totting Javaris Crittenton and Kwame Brown? I would. That’s what he was traded for, though.

    “let’s just try to look at things from a neutral perspective for a bit.”

    I think you’re being unrealistically low on Gallo and especially Randolph’s realistic potential… or maybe too high on Melo. It might take more than Gallo, but Gallo + Randolph?
    No one is calling Azubuike the next MJ, but it’s irrelevant that he started out in the D-League. Draft position is irrelevant once you start playing NBA games.

    Beasley is criticized because he plays games high and doesn’t give full effort… Hard to reach your potential when you’re stoned out of your mind, ask Balkman.

  154. ess-dog

    “Beasley is criticized because he plays games high and doesn’t give full effort… Hard to reach your potential when you’re stoned out of your mind, ask Balkman.”

    I’m going to assume this is a joke.

    Let’s also remember, an expiring this year doesn’t have the same value as an expiring last year with far less big name free agents and dog-owners selling their teams… so the “Curry expiring” value is less than before in my opinion.

    And yes, I intentionally was a bit hard on Gallo and the gang (but not that hard) just to prove that value can be perceived as differently. Existing numbers are the only hard evidence we have and those say that Gallo + Curry (a.k.a. nothing) doesn’t equal Melo. Randolph comes closer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think a Gallo/Randolph deal is a win for Denver and always have but I was just curious what others thought.

    Anything can happen though. Gallo could play like crap, Randolph could get hurt again… then at the trade deadline Denver swings a deal with Chicago for Deng and parts. Nightmare scenario right? I don’t think it’s too early/late to consider everything and anything.

  155. PC

    Everyone is forgetting about the ultimate goal. Winning championships.

    You can put together a bunch of our “likely scenarios” right now and only one of them look like a championship team.

    Melo, Chandler, Stat, Randolph, the other GS Warriors, Felton

    Melo, Chandler, Stat, Felton,

    Stat, Chandler, Gallo, Felton, the other GS Warriors

    Chris Paul, Stat, Melo, Felton, Azuibuke

    Which core group seems worthy enough of challening Orlando, Boston, and Miami? I really think it’s only one group – the one with Chris Paul. Why would Paul want to come here and play with Stoudemire? If Nash and Amare couldn’t do it – why would they do it? Melo makes the difference. And yes – Chris Paul has indicated that Melo matters – it was actually said in his speech at Melo’s NY wedding.

    People are forgetting how good the top of the eastern conference has got – no less the beasts that wait out West for us. It’s not about playing efficiently or making some magical run deep in the playoffs. It’s about whipping teams asses consistently and winning championships. Forget TS% and shit … I want to win a championship.

    D’Antoni’s style throws efficiency out the window. We’re never going to have that type of team. To win nowadays you have to have studs who can light it up from all over the court. Did you watch the star power on the court in the Lakers Celtics finals? Those two teams were so much better than all the other teams come playoffs time.

  156. rama

    Why is everyone so down on Gallo? Last year was really like his rookie season, and he was coming off a summer when he had major back surgery. He wasn’t sure he could go the whole year – and he definitely didn’t have time to prepare himself physically for it. I for one expect a very big improvement this year; all the interviews with him are about his working on core strength and building his legs…which would mean being able to go inside more, something he reportedly did lots of in Italy. And yeah, he’s 21 and 6’10” – a long way from his ceiling.

    That said, I would trade him with Curry for Melo.

  157. Frank

    Ted Nelson:
    Why do you say trade Randolph over Gallo?  

    It’s a tough choice, but it comes down to what you think their ceilings are. I’d say Randolph has a fair chance of being something between Odom and Josh Smith, which is not bad at all, with a ceiling that looks a little more like Garnett. I’d say Gallo has a fair chance of being Peja, which is not bad at all, with a ceiling that looks like Dirk. It’s close. I’ll hedge by saying I hope we sign Melo as a FA and keep everyone.

  158. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    “I’m going to assume this is a joke.”

    David Kahn was fined for saying Beasley “abused” pot in Miami and that’s why he underachieved there earlier this summer. He said that he heard it directly from Beasley, but that Beasley promised to change his ways.
    Balkman is Rastafarian… they believe marijuana brings you closer to god… He refuses to ever cut his hair again in his life due to religious conviction, so I’m pretty sure he doesn’t take a pass on one of the tenants of the religion. Would also explain why D’Antoni decided to dump him at first glance.

    “so the “Curry expiring” value is less than before in my opinion.”

    Expiring contracts were valuable before 2010. I’m not saying Denver will or won’t go for Curry/Gallo, I’m just saying that the Knicks have no reason to substantially outbid any other offer. What other team is offering 2 blue-chip prospects over 6-10?

    “Existing numbers are the only hard evidence we have and those say that Gallo + Curry (a.k.a. nothing) doesn’t equal Melo.”

    Only so many NBA trades are equal on paper. Furthermore, you can’t realistically assume zero development from Gallo. He’s a 22 year old who has already proven to be an excellent NBA scorer. You can’t just assume he’s going to reach his absolute potential, but the Nuggets are going to have a hard time trading Melo in a good trade if they refuse to acknowledge the player development arc.

    “I don’t think it’s too early/late to consider everything and anything.”

    I don’t either, but you can’t just make trades out of fear that your team’s most pessimistic case scenario is going to be realized. It’s like me saying that there’s a chance Danilo is Dirk and AR is KG so they should in no way be traded for Melo. Neither the best or the worst is what we realistically expect to happen. Realistically, they should both improve a bit on their 09-10 numbers. If we want to talk worst case, maybe Amare’s knee gives out and Melo breaks his neck…

  159. Ted Nelson

    rama,

    Gallo certainly has potential, but not many players improve their athleticism. He played in 28 games the season before and spent the entire season with the team, so I don’t really buy the rookie thing 100%. It holds some weight, but he didn’t play any better in 09-10 than 08-09 so it’s hard to give him a mulligan on 08-09.

    Frank,

    I agree that it’s a tough choice. It doesn’t just come down to ceilings, but realistic expectations. Anthony Randolph has played better to date. I would love to see it, but would put the chances of Danilo developing into a Dirk type of bigman at about 1%.

    It also comes down to what the Knicks would look like. Danilo would complement Melo with his outside shooting, but otherwise they are really similar. AR is not much of a scorer, but playing next to Melo he’s bring defense and rebounding. I don’t know which is better. Depends on how you value scoring vs. the rest of the game.

  160. Z-man

    Because of their length and youth, I don’t think that there is much danger of Gallo and AR becoming less valuable as trade-bait over the next few months, except in that there would be less available for which to trade one or both. In fact, I think there is a reasonable likelihood that they will actually gain trade value as they improve, even if only marginally. If they improve more than that, and/or if the team is neck-and-neck with Boston in December and the anti-Heat, then we might not even want to trade them, and the team would be that much more attractive to FA’s. It is not a no-brainer to trade even one, and IMO just dumb to trade both.

  161. Frank

    Z-man: Off topic, interesting (and somewhat troubling) take on Felton by Gian at P&T:http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2010/8/19/1630688/predicting-raymond-feltons#storyjump  

    I loved this article — finally someone talking about changing teams and roles and how that might affect advanced stats, rather than just assuming that because someone’s rebound rate was 12% in one place means that it will be the same in another place and role. We need more studies like this.

  162. Z

    Ted Nelson:
    Beasley is criticized because he plays games high and doesn’t give full effort… Hard to reach your potential when you’re stoned out of your mind, ask Balkman.  

    Uh oh, Ted– you’re making assumptions that aren’t backed up by stats! Has anyone seen Balkman or Beasley play sober? They may be even worse. There is a way to tell for sure. Some people can’t even get out of bed in the morning without a little stimulation, let alone play ball at a high level. Khan’s non-medical personal opinions aside, there’s no published study on the subject that the medical team at High Times doesn’t dispute.

    There is one way to statistically analyze the effects of marijuana on performance: check Allen Iverson’s 1st half stats vs. his second half stats. Everyone knows he used to puff the magic dragon at halftime in the parking lot of the 1st Union Center…

  163. rama

    Ted –

    Of course Gallo should have a “mulligan” on 08-09 – that’s when he hurt his back! In preseason, down low against Tractor Traylor. He may have played 28 games during the season, but he was seriously limited, told to stay out of the paint, and eventually was shut down. And again, before 09-10 he had surgery on his spine. SURGERY ON HIS SPINE. That’s extremely serious stuff, to where there was a question whether he’d come back at all. So while I wouldn’t say athleticism can improve, I’d say recovery from a major injury/surgery can take time. He couldn’t work on his body after the surgery, so he came to camp not physically at his best. This off-season, he’s had the OPPORTUNITY to work on his body, fully rebuild it after needing months off, and do the basic work to create an NBA body he was never, ever able to do.

    I expect much, much more from him this year.

    Of course, it’s possible he hasn’t taken advantage of his opportunity, and will be substantially the same player we saw. but in this one case, I really doubt it. Everything he’s said has pointed toward a dedicated player who “gets it” and should show up ready.

  164. ASyrett19

    I keep picturing poor Andy Rautins stumbling on this site, getting excited about how many comments there are and then being incredibly disappointed after seeing most of them have nothing to do with him signing. Sorry Andy :(

    I’m pretty interested in seeing the team as it is now play, but would love to add Carmelo. It’s crazy to see all these posts arguing about whether or not Carmelo would be a good addition to the team considering the Knicks’ situation not long ago.

  165. Ted Nelson

    rama,

    He didn’t play much better in 09-10 than 08-09. His peripherals only improved slightly (blocks most noticeably… which certainly could be from a healthier/healthy back). If he came out and was way more active/productive in 09-10–more rebounds, more playmaking, more getting to the hoop–than I would give him a mulligan for 08-09. However, he was with the team most or all of the season, played in 28 games (not abnormal for a rookie at all), and played pretty much the same way he did in 09-10. Based on the lack of improvement from his “mulligan” season 08-09 to 09-10… it’s hard to project him to make the rebounding and playmaking and inside scoring improvements necessary to reach his absolute potential. Which is not to say he can’t be a valuable player as a jump shooting wing with a great jumper and solid defense.

    We’ll have to see how much he improves this season. It’s certainly a possibility that his back was holding him back (and might for his entire career), but I don’t know why you take it as a given that he underachieved because of the back and will be healthier this season. Most professional players are pretty healthy their whole careers and are still not even NBA players, let alone good ones (not saying Danilo’s not good, just that health doesn’t necessarily mean improvement at the NBA level). There wasn’t much indication that Danilo wasn’t in NBA shape last season. At his age I certainly expect Danilo to continue improving, I just don’t personally expect a radical reformation into an All-NBA first team caliber player. Unless it’s as a Reggie Miller or Peja level jump-shooter.

    “Of course, it’s possible he hasn’t taken advantage of his opportunity, and will be substantially the same player we saw. but in this one case, I really doubt it. Everything he’s said has pointed toward a dedicated player who “gets it” and should show up ready.”

    Work ethic is definitely extremely important; however, it’s not everything. Natural skill/talent also plays a role. I just don’t see Danilo as having the natural talent to be a stand-out athlete at the NBA level, but we’ll have to see. He’s already a useful player and should improve across the board from his 21 year old season, I just don’t know that the back is an excuse anymore. Wilson Chandler has been in the NBA 3 full seasons and people are still making excuses that he’s way better than he has played but didn’t have enough time to improve in the offseasons. Plenty of players have offseason surgeries and still play at a high level. Someone like Chris Paul will suffer when seriously injured, but still play 2x better than Danilo or especially Wilson Chandler. I guess a study on the subject would be needed to say anything conclusively.

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