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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Knicks Sign Roberson

The Post is reporting that the Knicks have agreed in principle on a two-year deal with Anthony Roberson. (I always want to call him El Roberson, after the former Kansas State quarterback. Note: Anthony has nothing to do with El as far as I know.) What remains unclear is whether the second year of the league minimum deal will be a team option year. Since the signing puts the team one guaranteed contract over the limit other deals will be forthcoming, and this may spell the end for Marbury in NY. Certainly, one possible reading of Marbury’s interview on yesterday’s replay of the Knicks/Cavs game strongly suggests that he thinks he will be moved. “I just want to play, no matter where it is…” “It’s a business. I understand that…” Of course, even if Marbury thinks he’ll be moved that doesn’t mean he will be. The Knicks could clear a roster spot in any number of other ways. Donnie Walsh allegedly already passed up an offer from the Clippers; Zach Randolph for a second round pick in a straight salary dump. Presumably, he’s holding out for a bigger deal. (Interestingly, the Clips actually made that deal–only for Marcus Camby instead of Zeebo.) The Knicks are also widely thought to be entertaining buyouts for Jerome James (or perhaps an injury settlement) and potentially Mardy Collins (who incidentally looks a lot better–quicker–at the lighter weight). Malik Rose’s expiring contract could also potentially be a part of a pre-season deal. So, although this move does not absolutely spell the end of Marbury’s return to NY he may want to stop by the Post Office and pick up one of those “So, You’re Moving?” packets. They’re chock full of useful information, sometimes even coupons.

As for Roberson, it appears the Knicks see him as an end-of-the-bench shooter in the mold of an Eddie House. In that sense I have no specific issue with the signing on its own merits. As pointed out in a previous post, Roberson’s a shoot first (second and third) guard. His low assist rate (8%) and high usage rate (21.4%) make it a stretch to refer to him as a combo guard as the Post does (and as the MSG crew did during the telecast). Recalling his play at the University of Florida (on the same team as David Lee) I am reminded of the old Nike Basketball ad with Gary Payton and Jason Kidd where the pair show up at a boy’s house to confiscate his basketball because he refuses to share it. After dusting the ball for prints and finding only the boy’s, Payton says, “You ain’t even lettin’ the ground touch the ball!” That’s Roberson’s game–pure gunner. Fortunately, in his brief stints for Golden State and Memphis he has shot the ball reasonably well.

263 comments on “Knicks Sign Roberson

  1. JoMo

    In a D’Antoni system, it seems like the more shooters we have the better off we’ll be. As long as duhon (presumed started) or nate can push it and throw it to the corners, the offense seems like it will run itself. Am I too far off base when I say that as long as our guys can run, shoot, and on occasion, catch and pass, the team will succeed on many fronts? Plus, the Lee/Roberson relationship certainly won’t be hurting anything.

    I’m curious to see what happens to Randolph and Curry, assuming they’re unfortunate returns, in a system where they have to run up and down the court at breakneck speed at all times. If they can blatantly see that their lack of conditioning is just a huge, HUGE detriment to the team, doesn’t anyone think that’ll ring some bells in their heads and maybe force them to reevaluate their entirely unspectacular careers? RIGHT?

    In all, I think the Roberson / Eddie House comparison is valid and welcomed. It’s nice to see a visible direction in which the team is going, and i legitimately maintain that our personnel (outside of randolph and McCurry) are really really well suited for a D’Antoni system.

  2. caleb

    If we’re buying someone out, it would make a lot more sense to make it Jerome James, than Marbury. Marbury may or may not be worth something, but James is a total and complete write-off.

  3. TDM

    I think the Knicks are trying to convince Jerome James to take a medical retirement. The article announcing the Roberson signing mentions that Big Snacks is still having knee pain, so it may be a possibility. That would be the best scenario of course, because if I’m not mistaken, his salary would not count against the cap (not positive, so if any cap-guru can clarify, much appreciated).

    I like the Roberson signing only because it hopefully means that David Lee had some pull in bringing him in, and will be staying around himself. There are other pure outside shooters the Knicks could have grabbed that may have been better. I still think Redick could find a role in the league, and Orlando is probably going to cut him.

    On the Camby trade (if you can call it that – I would call it a jack), turns out aside from the trade exception, the only thing the Clips gave up was an option to trade 2nd round picks in 2010. If the Clippers fair better than Denver in 2009, the Clips basically gave up nothing for Camby. Camby’s agent had some choice words:

    “They told me it was a salary dump. It was shocking. They got nothing in return. . . . They’re going to get crushed in public relations. . . . This is one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history.”

  4. cavjam

    First, I want to thank Mike K. for his wrap-up of the first summer league game; most welcome, eminently readable. Second, those who noted that the Knicks have enough me-shoot-now-forever players: yes, but it’s nice to have one whose shot actually goes in the hole. Third, the Randolph-for-second-rounder seemed a woefully lop-sided trade. Much as I don’t care for Randolph’s game, he does work hard for boards, can score from myriad spots, and is susceptible to conditioned response/Pavlovian training – you don’t play right, you don’t play much.

    I assume the decision re brown dwarf Starbury (to belay accusations of racism: a brown dwarf is a substellar object without enough mass to be a star) is gonna be made independent of the Roberson signing. This signing doesn’t, however, bode well for N8, who will always be a liability on defense and, unless he undergoes a miracle-bordering transformation, a poor decision-maker. I always thought Seattle would be a gr8 place for N8; too bad he didn’t play college ball in OK.

    Jerome James, of course, has got to go. He seems the sure bet to be displaced by Roberson. Assuming there’s no possibility of a trade, maybe for a frayed gym towel, perhaps an appeal to the NBA could be made that James is in a persistent vegetative state.

    Malik has some value as intelligent vet, that just might be outweighed by his inability to jump, run or shoot.

    Though it was just one game, Collins may be much more than he showed last year. It’s not unheard of for a player to greatly improve in the off-season once he sees what it takes to play in the NBA. I’ll take the guy with dedication and intelligence over the one with flash and delusions of self-importance every time.

  5. justin o

    this trade makes no sense at all, even if it is a salary dump they arent even under the cap without camby, plus his contract isnt even that horrible, 2 yaears and 15 mil remaining.
    its ridiculous from the denver standpoint because they gave away theyre most productive big man for absolutley nothing, they couldnt even make the playoffs last year they will not come close unless they pull another move out of their ass.
    perhaps theyre looking at zach?

  6. Count Zero

    Agree with the consensus — the Camby trade may be one of the dumbest ever. People are now chastising Donnie for missing out on the opportunity to dump Z-Bo — but there is a big difference between him and Camby in terms of production. I’m betting Donnie does better with Z-Bo sometime before the trade deadline…

  7. Caleb

    CountZero – do you think the trade was dumb for Denver, or LAC? IMO it looks terrific for the Clips, ok for Denver.

  8. Caleb

    cavjam — love brown dwarf. Perfect.

    Malik Rose is actually a pretty good trade piece — $7 million expiring contract has a lot of value.

    Nate is due an extension that might cost about $5 million a year, so trading him for a draft pick might be a good move, That’s what my head says. My heart says — I love watching Nate and I’m dying to see what he could do under D’Antoni, playing the role of Leandro Barbosa.

    Maybe I’m overreading the tea leaves, but it does seem the Roberson deal is a (modest) signal that they want to keep Lee… yeah, I’m overreading it.

  9. cavjam

    cavjam — love brown dwarf. Perfect.
    Malik Rose is actually a pretty good trade piece — $7 million expiring contract has a lot of value.
    Nate is due an extension that might cost about $5 million a year, so trading him for a draft pick might be a good move, That’s what my head says. My heart says — I love watching Nate and I’m dying to see what he could do under D’Antoni, playing the role of Leandro Barbosa.
    Maybe I’m overreading the tea leaves, but it does seem the Roberson deal is a (modest) signal that they want to keep Lee… yeah, I’m overreading it.

    a) Thanks. You’re obviously a person of distinction and distinguished taste.
    b) Can’t disagree re Malik.
    c) re Nate – head over heart, babe, head over heart. Barbosa can actually reach the top shelf at the supermarket w/o leaving his feet.
    d) I don’t think that’s much of an over-read. Surely being a Lee teammate didn’t hurt; it might have been Lee who suggested a look in the first place.

  10. kilolo

    With thesigning of Roberson the picture is getting clearer…

    1. Zach Randolph- when other Knicks ran away from taking ordinary shots Zach would take and make them. Is he ideal for this system-maybe or maybe not, but if I had to choose who to shoot a 20 footer from last year it would be Zach. The guy demanded a double team and was effective. Dont be blinded by the hype-he isnt Antoine Walker there is hope for this guy. Donnie realizes they need more than the streakiness of Crawford, Curry’s sensitivity and the potential of Chandler. Whether we like it or not Zach was our most consistant scorer. Of course he didnt pass the ball, everyone else was scared to shoot it. Everyone loves Balkman (and Lee) but you cant win off of put backs or when you cant even make a free throw. Giving Zach away was ridiculuos. They still want to atleast make the playoffs. Now trading for Camby might work, I cant see the Clips going with twin towers.

    2. Roberson signing does not bode well for 2 out of our 3 guards- Marbury,N8 or Collins. It looks like Marbury will definitely be gone and due to Nates contract and value he might be gone also. Collins I believe will stay because of his friendly contract, size and defense.

    3. Zach wont be traded to increase his value so Lee is as good as gone. Sell high. he will be a nice piece for a championship contending team coming off the bench.

    4. Jerome James-medical retirement

    5. Expect atleast one more trade involving the individuals I have included in the soon to be exiled list. I predict back up center or defense minded PF with a contract expiring before 2010.

    Looks just about right…

  11. Count Zero

    CountZero – do you think the trade was dumb for Denver, or LAC? IMO it looks terrific for the Clips, ok for Denver.

    Great for the Clips – dumb for Denver. They get absolutely nothing but cap relief, it’s very minor cap relief and it makes no real difference to them, and they get the possibility of improving their draft pick slightly. Camby wasn’t making that much money for the next two years…

    Unless they see that $7MM+ making a big difference to their cap position in the ’09 offseason, I can’t fathom why they would do this.

  12. Caleb

    Depending what they do with JR Smith, next summer the Nuggets are about $6-9 million under the cap, after the Camby deal. Not enough to sign a “star,” but if they can move Steven Hunter ($4 million) or Nene ($10 million) they’ve got more options.

    I agree – Nuggets could have done better — but it’s a business. Team wasn’t getting out of the first round WITH Camby; they wanted to save $$.

  13. retropkid

    any way Clips move Camby to Knicks now? Wonder if there is still some dialogue between the clubs that may still move Zach outta here…obviously you’d have to match up a bunch of other pieces to get the dollars right.

    Camby is relatively low cost, popular player here…and boards and blocks are what D’Antoni needs now down low…He isn’t a long-term fix, but in the near term I like energy, character, and passion….one more guy who would make the Knicks fun to watch again until 2010 sweepstakes…

  14. Caleb

    A straight up Camby for Randolph trade works (maybe the Clips have to clear a few hundred grand, like Josh Powell) — or the Knicks could agree to take back Mobley or Thomas.

    If I was the Clips, I’d much rather have Camby — better, shorter deal – but if they actually prefer Randolph, MD & Walsh can always revisit things. The Clips gave up nothing to the Nugs, so they can make exactly the same offers as before. If that trade really came to pass, I’d rather flip Camby for a long-term asset like a draft pick or young player; he’s not in the plans after 2010 and in the meantime would just hurt our draft position.

  15. Dan Panorama

    Trades like this make me question if the whole salary system is broken. When reigning DPOYs in good health with extremely reasonable contracts are given away for conditional 2nd round picks, something is seriously awry.

  16. TDM

    “A straight up Camby for Randolph trade works (maybe the Clips have to clear a few hundred grand, like Josh Powell) — or the Knicks could agree to take back Mobley or Thomas.”

    The clips are still $3 million under the salary cap, so a straight trade of Camby for Z-bo would work without any other players being exchanged. One good thing about the clips getting Camby is that NJ did not. They were persuing Camby with a trade of Marcus Williams and Josh Boone, or Krstic in a sign-and-trade.

  17. Caleb

    I’ve seen conflicting numbers on what Camby makes, but if it’s $8 million (the low estimate) then the Clips would need to include salary. (Randolph makes $14 million-plus this year.

    Mobley or Thomas works… so does Steven Hunter, who D’Antoni used to coach in Phoenix — he makes just under $4 million and expires in 2010.

  18. Hooped Up

    Change for the sake of change is always a bad idea. The Knicks need to keep Marbury and let the contract fall off or trade him mid season for value.

    If Marbury plays the first half of the season well his value will only increase.

  19. Brian Cronin

    Anyone know it Lee and Roberson are friendly?

    One of the saddest things about last year’s team is that Lee literally had no friends – it was so bad that he was even willing to admit it (players don’t exactly like to say “yeah, no one wants to be my friend”), so it’d be great if they could get someone for him to hang out with – I doubt it affects the on-the-court stuff, but still, it’d be nice to not alienate your best player any more than you already have by not starting him for years.

  20. TDM

    Caleb, you may be right. I was going by the espn trade machine which indicates that Camby is earning $10 mill.

  21. Caleb

    ShamSports & ESPN have him making $10 million — HoopsHype has him at $8 million. No idea which is right…

  22. Caleb

    ClipperBlog is just as confused:

    “UPDATE: There’s some confusion as to Camby’s salary. Stein reports it as $10M each of the next two seasons. The reliable Hoops Hype grid shows it as $8M next season and $7.65M in 2009-2010. It’s possible both are correct insofar as Camby earns $20M, but only the $8M/$7.65M count against the cap. We’ll try to learn more.”

  23. John NY

    Who do the knicks have offensively that can score? That’s right, Marbury and Zbo. If the Knicks are truly in rebuild mode, they’ll get rid of both of them. Our starters are now (assuming they get camby for Zbo):

    Duhon/Roberson
    Crawford/N8
    Chandler/Q
    Lee/Gallinari
    Snacks/Camby

    There’s no offense here. But defense will be much improved and we’ll have James/Marbury/Zbo and possibly Rose off the books between this year and next year.

  24. Brendan

    I was under the impression the Camby deal had a bunch of incentives clauses, which are screwy to figure under the cap.

  25. Z

    I don’t think whether Camby makes $8 mil or $10 mil next season matters to us. I don’t think they got him to flip for Zach Randolph.

    I mean maybe Walsh said “look, we’re not trading Randolph for a $10 mil trade exception and a pick, but if you could some how throw in an old beat up center and a few of your lame contracts instead, then we’ll talk…”

    It sounds far fetched. I think the Clippers are either keeping Camby or using him to pry a restricted FA. If they were open to dealing, why did they sign DeAndre Jordan yesterday too? He was a trade asset for them. No more.

  26. Caleb

    I dunno Z… you know I would prefer Camby to Randolph, if I were the Clips. BUT let’s say Randolph was their first choice. He IS 8 years younger with a lot more offensive game – so it’s not totally farfetched. If he was their first choice, Camby is a much better trade chip than a 2nd-round pick. (I assume Walsh would flip MC for a pick, or younger player).

  27. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    An interesting tidbit from that article:

    D’Antoni feels Nate Robinson has perfect skills to excel in his running offense. “That guy [Robinson] is like a rocket out there,” D’Antoni said. “If we can open the court up for him, it will make him that more dangerous.”

    I’m glad that D’Antoni thinks positively about Nate. Although he’ll probably never be that special player he was in college, I think he can be a very productive NBA player. I wouldn’t mind seeing him crack 30 mpg next year.

  28. TDM

    John NY:

    “Who do the knicks have offensively that can score? That’s right, Marbury and Zbo. If the Knicks are truly in rebuild mode, they’ll get rid of both of them. Our starters are now (assuming they get camby for Zbo):

    Duhon/Roberson
    Crawford/N8
    Chandler/Q
    Lee/Gallinari
    Snacks/Camby”

    Roberson is a pure shooter, so he won’t be getting minutes backing up Duhon at pg, but at sg. Also, if by Snacks you mean Curry (Big Snacks was always saved for the other useless behemoth — JJ), he is all offense and no D.

    We would lose some offense by getting rid of Zbo and Marbs, but we would be a much more balanced team. Duhon, Chandler and Lee each provide more D than Zbo and Marbs combined.

  29. Caleb

    He was having lower back problems the other day, and they said he was questionable for the next game…

  30. ess-dog

    Not to bemoan our awful Zach situation, but here’s three consecutive posts to the Clipperblog at our expense:

    “tw wrote:
    This was by far the best EB replacement option discussed for the Clips..glad to see they didn’t knee-jerk into something stupid like Z-Bo
    07/15/08 19:48:45
    Mike wrote:
    Great move. Denver is not thinking straight. They could have received more than a second rounder. The guy’s salary is reasonable by NBA standards. He is a value, he comes off in two years and he fills an immediate hole. Best move possible, imo. I’m sooooooo glad the panicked Clips didn’t take on Randolph.

    WHAT WERE THE KNICKS THINKING?

    Bring back Isiah, even he would have dumped the garbage on the fool Clips. So the Clips go from near idiot to brilliant by pure happenstance and incompetence of others. Gotta love the NBA, where amazing happens.
    07/15/08 19:51:35
    JM wrote:
    I would not have found it plausible. I figured they’d try ridding themselves of Martin/Nene before dumping Camby for a measley second rounder. Scary to think how close we came to Randolph. Catastrophe averted.
    07/15/08 19:54:27″

  31. JK47

    I would have moved Randolph for the second-rounder, and here’s why: he’s never going to be part of a truly good team, and his contract is not expiring anytime soon. It’s possibly the worst, most untradeable contract in the NBA. The opportunity cost of keeping Randolph around is enormous. Then if he blows out his knee or otherwise gets injured, he’s REALLY untradeable.

    Only the Clippers (and Isiah Thomas) would be dumb enough to take on this horrible contract. They’re completely committed to mediocrity, so Z-Bo is a perfect fit for them. This was a missed opportunity.

  32. Owen

    Watching them interview Q, love his wry look when they mention Eddy Curry’s mobility…

    Summer league is like AAU, hard to watch…

    And Balkman sprained his ankle contesting a shot….

  33. Maverick

    Re: Zbo and Camby
    Warriors are under the cap maybe Walsh is talking to Mullin?
    Do they need a PF bad enough to trade a first for Zbo?

  34. Caleb

    Balkman looks great on both ends. But I’m still watching the Q interview, so I guess he’s about to get hurt….

  35. Caleb

    Yup, there it is. Shit, he looks like he’s in real pain.

    On the replay it didn’t look like the worst injury ever… guess he’s done for summer league. Damn, I hope he doesn’t have to miss training camp like last year.

    Why does God hate us?

  36. Brian Cronin

    The Hornets just picked up Posey.

    Nice move by them (and it hurts the Celts, too, which is good for them, I guess).

  37. Caleb

    It was a tie game when he left and since then the “Knicks” have been outscored 32-12. That’s Balk.

  38. TDM

    Re: Zbo and CambyWarriors are under the cap maybe Walsh is talking to Mullin?Do they need a PF bad enough to trade a first for Zbo?

    Well, the Pistons are trying to get Biedrins in exchange for Billups, so you never know…

  39. Captain Merlin

    I think the reason god hates us is because the team no longer has any player who wears one of those “WWJD” like Ward did back in the 90′s.

    Rather than hoping that the roberson signing means a release, I hope it alludes to some far fetched world saving two for one deal that nets us someone who isn’t totally horrible and will be off the books quickly while pawning off one of our big troubles and maybe one of our lesser ones too. “Dare to dream”

  40. Captain Merlin

    This Roberson signing also means that now the roster has two players from those Florida pre-championship teams. Sign Matt Walsh and two other guys from those teams and we could throw 5 on the floor who’d have the chemistry of a roving pack of wild Mongol children.

  41. ess-dog

    Is there any chance of a Z-bo trade to the Pacers for Tinsley? I have no idea what Tinsley’s contract is, but it seems like if it’s shorter, it could be a good trade for both teams. The Pacers need a pf and Zach is from Indiana…

  42. Italion Stallion

    I don’t want to burst any bubbles, but there is a reason that Balkman is playing in these summer league games. The Knicks are trying to figure out if there’s a spot on the team for him over the long term. I don’t want to see anyone get injured, but this is not a major development. An obvious “has been” like QRich is not even playing in these games because he’s more secure than Balkman. The SF spot is going to be shared by Chandler, Gallinari, and Qrich. Gallinari will eventually move to PF, but not yet. Ultimately (if not by the start of the season), Chandler will be the starter. A player like Balkman is not going to get a lot of time. Players without any outside game that also can’t hit free throws when they get hacked on the inside just don’t fit in the new scheme. D’Antoni doesn’t play offense 4 against 5 unless the 3 of the 4 are offensive giants. Isn’t it obvious that he’s looking for scorers, shooters, and passers.

  43. jon abbey

    “An obvious “has been” like QRich is not even playing in these games because he’s more secure than Balkman. ”

    no, guys who have been in the league as long as Q never play summer league.

  44. Caleb

    I don’t know how Walsh and D’Antoni see it, but Balkman is probably the best player – by far – of that group. It’s true he has no jumper and is such a bad free throw shooter that he might need to be pulled in the last few minutes of the half… but for the other 40+ minutes he is a big impact guy.

    Can you point to another SF under age 25, who is a better defender OR a better rebounder?

    Even with a BIG rebounding dropoff this season, his rebound rate was second best in the league for the position, barely behind Jamario Moon. And on defense… I can think of a few potential rivals, but no one obviously better.

    On offense, he handles the ball well and plays pretty efficiently, even if he can’t shoot.

  45. Caleb

    I also don’t think you can draw many conclusions about D’Antoni’s “type” of player, based on Phoenix. Even in that rotation, there were as many poor jump shooters (Diaw, Marion, Brian Skinner, Steven Hunter) as good ones. I’d say the one thing he likes is guys who can run and play fast. I don’t know what he would have done with a Balkman, because he never had one on the roster. There aren’t many similar players in the league, really.

  46. Italian Stallion

    I think Walsh and D’Antoni have a higher opinion of Randolph than the typical NY Knick fan or advanced stat man does right now. That’s partly why they want something in return. They disagree with all.

    My impression is that they realize that Zach’s really not a 20-10 guy. He gets his 20 by taking more outside shots that the typical PF should be taking, including some poor ones (that occasionally go in).

    On the Knicks last year (and on Portland’s bad teams) some of that might have made sense because the offensive alternatives were even worse. However, once the Knicks are retooled, there are going to be better shots and better shooters taking those better shots. The trick will be reducing Zach’s shots per game and elevating the quality of them to match his talents relative to the rest of the players on the court. That’s how they will optimize the ouput. If the are successful, they will probably turn him into a much more efficient 15-10 guy with enough of an outside game to keep defenses honest.

    All that said, since he’s paid like an elite PF (which he is not), he’s still a bad value. That’s why they are willing to trade him. But IMO they recognize he’s a very good PF that has been used badly.

  47. Italian Stallion

    Caleb,

    I realize you like aspects of Balkman’s game, but he’s not getting much, if any, playing time with Chandler, Gallinari, and QRich ahead of him unless Qrich gets traded (which would be a good but probably impossible thing).

  48. Caleb

    If Zach is still here, I would like to see him get a lot of time at center (or next to Lee and call Lee the center)… like you say, the biggest problem with Zach is the contract. He isn’t an awful player — certainly better than Curry. It would be a small lineup but would rebound well (especially with Balkman at the 3).

  49. Caleb

    I don’t know what WILL happen with Balkman, but he’s our best SF as of now, and a good long-term prospect. We have smart basketball people running the team, so they might see that. He does seem injury prone and has a rep for flaky behavior….

    Still, even in his “bad” 2nd year, among NBA small forwards he was 2nd in rebound rate, 3rd in blocks/minute, 12th in steals/minute and a good on-ball defender — even though he fouls waaaaay too much. He’s a good passer. On a team desperate for defense, with plenty of ball hogs, he’s one of a kind.

    In the short term, someone will get screwed on minutes because the best prospects are all forwards (Lee, Balkman, Chandler, Gallinari — not in any order) — and then you need to give Randolph at least 20-30 minutes to prop up his trade value, but in the long run, you can find trades to meet the pressing needs (like a center who plays defense, or a real PG).

    D’Antoni has a good track record of actually playing his best players. If Q returns to his 2006-2007 form, he’ll play. If he plays like he did last year — forget it.

  50. Z

    “the biggest problem with Zach is the contract.”

    His contract would be fine if he played D, shared the ball, played with heart, took good shots, meshed well with teammates, and wasn’t an accused rapist/murderer.

  51. Caleb

    if he made Reggie Evans money, no one would think he’s overpaid. They’d say he’s a sieve on defense but a great rebounder, gets buckets, etc.

  52. Caleb

    I don’t know what the point of this debate is… my highest praise of Zach is that he’s “not awful” and I’d rather see him playing center than Curry, while we wait for a trade.

  53. Z

    The point is that I hate Zach Randolph.

    It’s not a very nuanced stance. It has no end-game. It has no statistical basis.

    I suppose I hate Zach Randolph as much as Owen loves David Lee. At least he can measure his love in eFG%, TS%, Wow, PER, and all that other stuff I don’t get. I can only measure my hate in terms of how much I want to root for the Knicks but can’t as long as he is on the team…

    Don’t mind me. I’m just wishing he was a Clipper right now.

  54. ben bow

    i like the signing but i disagree with the analysis. eddie house is personally a really good player. he shoots the lights out, and was really helpful to the boston championship team. he can catch fire and has proven himself, completely unlike roberson. also house is awesome, roberson isn’t.

  55. Caleb

    Roberson’s awesome/minute rating is 22.4…. House is a little better, but then he’s older so Roberson’s awesomeness is still on the upside.

  56. jon abbey

    “The point is that I hate Zach Randolph.

    It’s not a very nuanced stance. It has no end-game. It has no statistical basis.

    I suppose I hate Zach Randolph as much as Owen loves David Lee. At least he can measure his love in eFG%, TS%, Wow, PER, and all that other stuff I don’t get. I can only measure my hate in terms of how much I want to root for the Knicks but can’t as long as he is on the team…”

    this is a totally rational position for a Knicks fan, and is a major reason why it was such a catastrophic error for Walsh to not send him to LA. it really makes me sick to think about it.

  57. Captain Merlin

    Yeah, thinking retrospectively about that muffed opportunity to be rid of the Poisonous Pudding Plopper leaves me with a taste in my mouth not unlike that which accompanies the dregs of the vomit you’re coughing up at the end of a very eventful, inebriated three day bender. It just doesn’t go well.

  58. Matthew

    “if he made Reggie Evans money, no one would think he’s overpaid. They’d say he’s a sieve on defense but a great rebounder, gets buckets, etc.”

    No one would say that he’s overpaid because he wouldn’t be overpaid. He’d be underpaid if he was only making Evans money. Randolph should make “solid roleplayer” money, like James Posey just got.

  59. Matthew

    “I don’t know what WILL happen with Balkman, but he’s our best SF as of now, and a good long-term prospect. We have smart basketball people running the team, so they might see that. He does seem injury prone and has a rep for flaky behavior….

    Still, even in his “bad” 2nd year, among NBA small forwards he was 2nd in rebound rate, 3rd in blocks/minute, 12th in steals/minute and a good on-ball defender — even though he fouls waaaaay too much. He’s a good passer. On a team desperate for defense, with plenty of ball hogs, he’s one of a kind. ”

    I don’t know if I’d say he’s a “good” long-term prospect. I’d say he’s an ok long term prospect. Right now I can see him being a rich man’s Trenton Hassell but not much beyond that unless he dramatically fixes his offense. He needs to fix his offense as much as Curry needs to fix his defense.

  60. Z

    Speaking of that Clipper’s Blog that Caleb and Ess-dog referenced earlier, I was lurking over there during the past week to get a gauge on the Randolph likelyhood. It’s funny how these fan forums are alike. They have a similar cast of characters as we do here (equally frustrated too, being Clipper fans).

    They even have an Owen character, only his man-crush is Quintin Ross!

    The things I took from the conversations were:

    They hate Elton Brand as we hate(d) Pat Riley

    They wisely want nothing to do with Zach Randolph

  61. caleb

    I like the idea of characters, like an “Owen character.”

    Who is their “Z?”

    And was any of you guys -93Clips — the mole who tried to sell them on Randolph? He was very persuasive…

  62. Ray

    Without Gallo in summer league im not watching. For what? To watch Mardy Collins? Dont worry about Balk…he’ll be okay by November.

  63. Z

    The other things I learned at Clipper Blog:

    1) Al Thorton is the next Tracy McGrady
    2) Eric Gordon is the next Dwayne Wade
    3) DeAndre Jordan is the next Dwight Howard

    No joke.

    There was one strange moment. At 2:40 pm yesterday somebody named “insider” posted that the Camby trade was a done deal and would be announced at 6 pm. It wasn’t until 4:15 pm that any published rumors surfaced and then, sure enough, at 6 pm the trade was announced.

    KB– maybe you could get “insider” to tip us off here early next time a trade is in the works?

  64. Brian Cronin

    From Marc Berman yesterday in the Post:

    Lee, the team’s most popular player and among the league’s best rebounders, admitted yesterday he is bracing for the worst. Lee, who arrived in Vegas Friday to work out with the summer league team, had lunch with Mike D’Antoni and the Knicks coach explained to him why his name has come up in trade talks.

    The Knicks are shopping Zach Randolph’s contract in their bid to get under the 2010 salary cap and may have to hook Lee in to entice teams. The under-the-cap Clippers and the Knicks have discussed a Randolph trade, reportedly with L.A. offering a second-round pick. Donnie Walsh prefers getting at least some talent back.

    It’s good to know that while the Knicks are willing to trade Lee to entice teams to take Randolph, they won’t trade Randolph when given the opportunity to trade him just for cap room.

    Explain to me how trading Randolph with Lee to maybe net a first rounder is somehow easier than trading Randolph for cap room and then, if you insist on doing it, trading Lee for a first rounder?

  65. Italian Stallion

    I don’t know what WILL happen with Balkman, but he’s our best SF as of now, and a good long-term prospect. We have smart basketball people running the team, so they might see that. He does seem injury prone and has a rep for flaky behavior….
    Still, even in his “bad” 2nd year, among NBA small forwards he was 2nd in rebound rate, 3rd in blocks/minute, 12th in steals/minute and a good on-ball defender — even though he fouls waaaaay too much. He’s a good passer. On a team desperate for defense, with plenty of ball hogs, he’s one of a kind.

    I agree that Balkman has a lot of defensive and other skills, but IMO you CANNOT win in the NBA with a player as limited as he is from the outside and free throw line unless you have some great offensive weapons on the court with him. IMO, the Knicks are not in that position. That is especially true because we also expect Lee and Duhon to get lots of minutes. There won’t be enough outside shooting on the court.

    The downsides of being able to leave him defensively when he’s on the outside to double other players or hack him anytime he gets the ball inside without worrying about free throws are not easily measured because they don’t show up in his stats (other than his horrid free throw %).

    He belongs on the court with a team of high powered shooters that need some help on the boards, defensively, with steals, energy etc…

    He should have spent the entire summer taking 1000 free throws a day.

  66. ess-dog

    Hey I would take Quentin Ross at this point. I don’t know if it’s been stated yet amidst all of the trade and summer league talk but one thing is for sure with this Knicks team: they really suck.
    Anthony Roberson? Really? That’s what it’s come to? In my crystal ball, I see all too clearly that this team will finish dead last in the east. New Jersey will give them a run for their money, and Charlotte won’t be all that good, but if you take an objective view, our club has less to be excited about than any team in the league. Sacramento is close, but what do we have? Danilo’s so far from being a productive player in the league. Chandler is starting to look like a generic scoring forward in the Pippen mold but at the base level, and Lee is a solid but unspectacular lunch-pail player that could be a solid starter if given a chance. Oh and Nate shows pure scoring ability 1 out of every 10 games. That’s it. I mean Zach Randolph probably is our best starter at this point in terms of pure scoring ability (who else will?) and Marbury’s a close second and they are both our least likable players! What a freakshow of a team! Calgon take me away…

  67. Ted Nelson

    Roberson’s a pretty low-risk signing and can shoot the 3, so I have no complaints. If there are too many guys on the roster at the end of camp you could just as easily cut Roberson if he doesn’t impress from here on in.

    Did I really read comments saying the Knicks’ offense would suffer without Zach Randolph??????????????????

    IS

    “An obvious “has been” like QRich is not even playing in these games because he’s more secure than Balkman.”

    As Jon Abbey said, if he played in “these games” Q-Rich might be the only 8 year NBA vet whose logged almost 15,000 NBA regular season minutes and is garaunteed $18 mill over the next two seasons (assuming he picks up his option) EVER to play in the summer league.

    “D’Antoni doesn’t play offense 4 against 5 unless the 3 of the 4 are offensive giants.”

    What do you base this on? Have many conversations with Mike D’Antoni about his coaching philosophy lately?

    What he does do is play 3 or 4 wings simultaneously. I have little doubt that Chandler, Balkman, Jeffries, and even Danilo would provide more help defense inside than Curry or Randolph, and could see them all finding a spot in the rotation.

    Not sure if you noticed Balkman make a few nice passes and start the break off a rebound in the first game of the summer league, openning your eyes and ears a little might go a long way for you.

    “But IMO they recognize he’s a very good PF that has been used badly.”

    His career TS% is .518. The only thing he does well is rebound. He’s played badly, not been used badly. I doubt any coach has told him, “your role is to take a lot of bad, ill-advised shots and not try on defense.”

    Caleb,

    “certainly better than Curry”

    It’s a close call. I would rather just not have either on my team, of course.
    Either one disrupts the flow of an offense, but you give Curry the ball in the right situation on offense and you’re going to get efficient points. You give Randolph the ball and you’re going to get more shots at a lower efficiency.
    Defensively neither is great, or even good, but Zandolph has never played more than 1500 minutes on a top 20 defense and only played 2000 minutes on a top 25 defense once, while Curry played 1800 minutes on the 2nd best defense in the entire NBA. Is that circumstancial? Possibly.

    Basically, I think you could find a role for Curry in a very good offense simply by getting him in shape and training him to get off quicker shots. With Randolph you’d have to do those two things, completely change his mindset, and then completely change his game. Plus he makes a lot more, of course.

    “if he made Reggie Evans money, no one would think he’s overpaid. They’d say he’s a sieve on defense but a great rebounder, gets buckets, etc.”

    I’d criticize any NBA player who took 17 shots/36 minutes at a .513 TS%, but especially if they were a bigman.

    Matthew,

    “Right now I can see him being a rich man’s Trenton Hassell but not much beyond that unless he dramatically fixes his offense. He needs to fix his offense as much as Curry needs to fix his defense.”

    Hassel is a 6-5 guard while Balkman is 6-8 and can play either forward spot. It’s not particularly comparable in my mind. A more perimeter oriented Jerome Williams seems like a better comparison to me. JYD was a good role player and a 6th man candidate. He was a slightly better rebounder and managed to shoot .645 from the line compared to Balkman’s .497 mark to date, but otherwise pretty comparable players.

    “Explain to me how trading Randolph with Lee to maybe net a first rounder is somehow easier than trading Randolph for cap room and then, if you insist on doing it, trading Lee for a first rounder?”

    Good point. I don’t know the context within the article, but that paragraph about including Lee to move Randolph sounded more like the author’s speculation.

  68. David Crockett

    Brian,

    consider the source when dealing with Berman. I don’t trust much of anything he says. (His decision to be a Marbury apologist makes me question his judgment as a human being.) He writing tends to have a National Enquirer character, where he makes a bigger deal than is warranted out of everything (even for the Post).

    It’s obvious that Walsh wants more than just cap relief for Zeebo. I’m not willing to call him insane for passing on that just yet. The market for PFs has dried up quickly. Josh Smith is still in Atlanta’s purgatory and could remain there. Sheed is still potentially available in trade. But, Zeebo could be a real option for a team that needs what he brings. A better deal might become available at the Feb. deadline.

    Walsh is clearly dangling Lee. He’d be stupid not to. Faced with the choice of extending him for big money next off-season, even if Walsh were committed to that it would be smart to see what his market value is. Somebody might bowl him over.

    None of this necessarily means or implies that Walsh is trying to package the two. That’s possible, but it seems far more likely that the two would be moved separately since they play the same position.

  69. caleb

    The Knicks were actually better offensively with Balkman on the court, his rookie year. Last year they were worse, but not by much. They were about nine points better defensively (per 100 posessions) both years. So whatever negative effect he’s having on his teammates doesn’t seem to be very big.

    My love of Balkman’s game is partly emphasizing his strengths, and minimizing his weaknesses. Like I said yesterday, he might soon be the best defender AND rebounder at his position, in the entire league. Per-minute, he’s about there right now — although he’s only played 2,000 minutes in two years, so I can’t say he’s solidly established himself at that level. But the numbers go along with my subjective opinion, which is that he makes a big impact when he’s in the game. If you have a guy who is that good on defense and the boards — they’re a good player, no matter how bad their offense his. Ben Wallace certainly didn’t hurt the Pistons.

    But is Balkman really a terrible offensive player? I don’t think so. It’s true — he has no hope of hitting a jump shot, has zero post moves and his free throw shooting is beyond embarrassing. No debate. But that stuff is overrated. He doesn’t score much, but he doesn’t turn it over or take many bad shots, either. His TS% was actually above average his rookie year, and even last year, when it fell, his TS was higher than Chandler and several points higher than Q or Jared Jeffries (ok, faint praise, but still…)

    Besides that, Balkman has a good handle and is extremely quick — he can score in transition or off the dribble– did you see that move yesterday? He’s also a terrific offensive rebounder and a good passer. Even though the rest of his game fell off last year, his assists were up without increasing turnovers. He might not score, but he doesn’t s screw up the offense. Sure, you’d like to surround him with great offensive players — but just because you can’t put five centers on the floor at once, doesn’t mean you don’t need a center.

    Balkman is also a perfect fit for a fast-paced, running team — his flaws are magnified and strengths minimized in an offense where four guys stand around the perimeter, throwing the ball in to Curry. As long as they run downcourt and shoot in Seven Seconds or Less, he’ll be fine.

  70. Ted Nelson

    IS

    “The downsides of being able to leave him defensively when he’s on the outside to double other players or hack him anytime he gets the ball inside without worrying about free throws are not easily measured because they don’t show up in his stats (other than his horrid free throw %).”

    Again, you might want to actually learn something about stats before making definitive statements. They do show up in the team’s stats. If the team is worse offensively with Balkman on the court it will show up over time. This is why +/- can be useful. Intersetingly enough, he made the offense worse as a rookie by 1.7 pts/100 possessions, but made it 0.6 pts/100 possessions better last season. There are tons of factors that can affect this, one that I can think of is that he might have been playing while Randolph was off the court last season.

    Roland Breech at 82games.com has combined +/- with a player’s PER and the PER of the opponent’s player at the same position when he’s on the court. It’s not a perfect metric, but I found a team’s average Roland Rating weighted by minutes played to more accurately predict its win total than even David Berri’s WoW stats which were made more or less for that purpose.

    On his career, Balkman scores about as many point per possession used as Zach Randolph, and his rookie year was well above Zach’s career average.

    Finally, if he were playing in a good, fluid offense (say the Suns or Spurs) and you left him defensively, he’d often cut to the basket (which along with passing, ball-handling, and offensive rebounding are offensive skills you seem to ignore). If someone a bigman stepped up he’d be leaving someone else. Basketball is not a game of 5 indepedent parts, it’s a fluid game where you can help your team score without being the one to score or even pick up the assist.

    “That is especially true because we also expect Lee and Duhon to get lots of minutes. There won’t be enough outside shooting on the court.”

    Yeah, because Duhon is a better outside shooter than Crawford and Lee is a better outside shooter than Randolph. Sure, makes sense.

    “He belongs on the court with a team of high powered shooters that need some help on the boards, defensively, with steals, energy etc…”

    If Danilo has a strong rookie year the Knicks have quite a few decent scorers. Yeah, Balkman would look better in SA, Phoenix, Boston, etc. but who wouldn’t.

    “He should have spent the entire summer taking 1000 free throws a day.”

    This I can agree with.

  71. Italian Stallion

    >>>“D’Antoni doesn’t play offense 4 against 5 unless the 3 of the 4 are offensive giants.”>>>

    “What do you base this on? Have many conversations with Mike D’Antoni about his coaching philosophy lately? ”

    I base this on the fact that teams don’t win NBA championships with extremely limited offensive players on the court unless they are accompanied by 2-3 extremely talented offensive players (the Knicks have none so far). Then they are on the court as role players to fill the gaps in an attempt to create a more balanced team. I am assuming D’Antoni is smart enough to know the obvious.

  72. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    if I had to choose who to shoot a 20 footer from last year it would be Zach.

    So would I since he takes so many of them. Is there any worse shot you can take in basketball than the 20 footer? If your team came down to needing a 20 footer, you’ve done a shitty job with your offense.

    I agree that Balkman has a lot of defensive and other skills, but IMO you CANNOT win in the NBA with a player as limited as he is from the outside and free throw line unless you have some great offensive weapons on the court with him. IMO, the Knicks are not in that position. That is especially true because we also expect Lee and Duhon to get lots of minutes. There won’t be enough outside shooting on the court.

    I’m not crazy about these kinds of generalizations. Ben Wallace who was similar to Balkman in terms of shooting was the third top minute getter on the 2000 Magic. The #2 guy was Bo Outlaw, who couldn’t shoot either (51% ft% that year). So essentially you have two of the worst free throw shooters in NBA history (Wallace is #1, Outlaw is #5 for players with 1000 attempts) playing lots of minutes and the Magic managed to win half their games that year (41-41). And they didn’t have any great offensive players. Darrell Armstrong, John Amaechi, Chucky Atkins, Monty Williams, and Pat Garrity are the other top minute getters.

    So you COULD have a winning team with a player that can’t hit jumpshots or free throws without surrounding him with a team of All Star scorers.

    He should have spent the entire summer taking 1000 free throws a day.

    I agree 100%. That’s he only hit half of his free throws this year probably means he hasn’t improved at all. Watching the game I imagined myself as the Knicks coach. I thought I would have Balkman shoot 10 free throws before each game. If he doesn’t hit 6 of them, I would tell him he’s ineligible for that game. And then I thought about what Isiah said last year when they asked him why Balkman wasn’t playing and Zeke responded “go ask him”. Maybe Isiah was doing this?

  73. caleb

    “teams don’t win NBA championships with extremely limited offensive players on the court unless they are accompanied by 2-3 extremely talented offensive player.”

    You don’t win championships unless you have several extremely talented players of any kind. Easier said than done!

  74. Ted Nelson

    IS,

    Have to agree with Mike K and Caleb here. The Knicks aren’t really at the point of worrying about winning titles. They’re at the point of worrying about putting a half-way decent team on the court. If they can put together a team that competes for a title I could care less if Balkman were on it… he COULD be on it though, in my opinion.

  75. Italian Stallion

    >>Again, you might want to actually learn something about stats before making definitive statements. They do show up in the team’s stats. If the team is worse offensively with Balkman on the court it will show up over time. This is why +/- can be useful.<<

    I know plenty about stats. I’ve been making them for another sport for over 30 years and have demonstrated their value by winning money gambling based on them. No easy task. I know the strengths and weaknesses of stats well.

    It is often difficult to pin down and isolate the cause of a teams’s decline or improvement based on any single player’s strengths or deficiencies based on high level stats. The number of minutes, number of combinations of players, number of opponents, and other factors etc.. is too large to isolate some factors well.

    You have to watch games to understand some of the details better.

    If Balkman is on the court with some players, his defender will be able to leave him alone when he’s on the outside to help out on other players trying to get to the hoop.

    When that player misses because he got double teamed and intimidated by Balkman’s man, it counts against the player’s stats, when the fault is actually Balkman’s inability to keep his defender honest. The problem screams at you if you see it enough. The high/low level stats won’t. Trying to isolate very low level circumstances and details like that from very high level stats is just plain silly.

    Balkman may contribute very positively to a team’s +/- if he’s on the court with players that lack some of the skills he brings to the table but are not hurt by those he lacks. That does not mean he still doesn’t lack them. What it means is that very successful teams have balanced attacks that contain sufficient amounts of outside shooting, inside scoring, rebounding, passing, defense, shot blocking, play and shot creativity etc…

    To make the point in a silly and extreme way, the 5 best centers, guards, or forwards of all time would have a tough time winning the championship because of the lack of a balanced skill set despite their individual extreme greatness at their position.

    Since we are clear about what Balkman both brings to the table and lacks, it is also clear he must be accompanied by players that maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses if we are trying to mazimize the output of the team. IMO, that means he should be on the court with excellent outside shooters that are also very creative. The Knicks still lack that. That’s all I am saying about him.

  76. Italian Stallion

    “teams don’t win NBA championships with extremely limited offensive players on the court unless they are accompanied by 2-3 extremely talented offensive player.”
    You don’t win championships unless you have several extremely talented players of any kind. Easier said than done!

    Caleb,

    I agree. I was making a point in an extreme way.

    We were discussing Balkman’s skill set and the probability he would or should get lots of minutes on this team. I don’t think he will or should given the makeup of the rest of the team and I think D’Antoni will recognize that also. On another team, he could be very valuable. After the Knicks retool he may be valuable here. Right now, there isn’t enough outside fire power at the other positions to play Balkman a lot.

  77. Italian Stalion

    OK guys, I have to leave this alone for awhile. Time to get back to my real work.

    I have these same types of conversations in my other area of sports interest. I find that that there is rarely a meeting of minds between visual and numbers oriented people even though both sides have much of value to say. I like to try to bridge the gap a little and typcially find myself on the opposite side of whoever dominates the discussion board. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. Let’s go Knicks!

  78. caleb

    IS, always fun to debate — I guess we should all get back to work. My last word for this workday…

    Duhon changes the equation some, but aside from Lee every other rotation Knick is a high-usage player offering little value unless they have the ball — this particular team desperately needs players like Balkman, more than any team I can think of (maybe Denver).

    And you’re overrating the importance of outside shooting… especially since a D’Antoni team is less reliant on outside shooting, not more. They’re getting their baskets in transition, or at least attacking before the defense is set.

    “His defender will be able to leave him alone when he’s on the outside to help out on other players trying to get to the hoop…”

    It doesn’t happen that often — at least, not on a team with decent coaching. It’s a serious problem if you have a static offense, where everyone (including Balkman) is standing still, while his defender dares him to shoot. But (good) basketball is a game of movement — if there’s good spacing, in the situation you describe, Balkman can drive and dish (he’s good at both). Or he can pass and cut to the basket.

    But it’s also true, the story is in the numbers and it’s hard (impossible?) to find a large negative effect from Balkman on O. Plus/minus is messy, but even with so many factors involved, don’t you think a large negative effect would be visible? Or compare 2-man pairs at 82games… other players don’t shoot worse when Balkman is in the game. I know there are plays when his defender sags off for a double-team… but that’s compensated by other, good things he does (e.g. offensive rebounds, not holding the ball, quick passes, good movement)

    I know that’s a “numbers” analysis but you can see it just by watching the game — like the early win over Denver last year. Or take yesterday — of course it was just summer league, but not a bad example. Balkman had a modest boxscore line, but the game was tied with him playing and the Knicks lost by 15 after he went down in the 3rd.

  79. Ted Nelson

    I think a lot of people on this board also “bridge the gap” between stats and visual observation.
    ————————————
    Anyway, as Caleb said you might be overrating it anyway, but I just don’t see where you’re coming from about the Knicks having no outside shooters. They’ve added Danilo, Duhon, and now Roberson to Nate, Steph, and, yes, even Q, Jamal Crawford, and Wilson Chandler. You look at these guys high seasons since 05-06 (last 3 seasons) in terms 3p% and they’re all respectable:

    Duhon: 36%
    Roberson: 40% career 3p shooter on 65 career attempts
    Nate: 39.7% as a rookie, 39% as a soph
    Steph: 37.8% on 74 3PA last season and 35.7 the season before
    Q: 37.6%
    Jamal: 35.6%

    If Wilson Chandler and Danilo can build on their previous seasons plus the summer league and D’Antoni can get the best out of a few of those other players then the Knicks have plenty of outside shooters to go with a couple of very, very efficient inside shooters (Curry and Lee) and a terribly inefficient/high volume scorer (Randolph).

    Again, Balkman would be better off in Phoenix or San Antonio or Boston… probably, but what Knick wouldn’t?

    I also made a similar response to the double team issue to Caleb’s, but it might have gotten lost in my long-winded posts. This is mostly a “visual”/observation type of thing. It’s one thing to say that Mardy Collins’ man leaves him and he sits at the perimeter and does nothing, Balkman is 6-8: he doesn’t have to sit on the perimeter. Balkman strikes me very much as a bigman if D’Antoni’s planning to implement anything resembling his Suns’ attack.

    Finally, as far as hurting the offense, you always have to look at both the offense and the defense. If a player hurts the offense by 3 points but helps the defense by more than 3 points he’s helped the team. It’s better to have players that help out on both sides, but even if I agreed Balkman is a worthless offensive player I could still say he should be playing.

  80. Ted Nelson

    “Balkman strikes me very much as a bigman if D’Antoni’s planning to implement anything resembling his Suns’ attack.”

    Or if you want to put him on the perimeter for his defense out there then guys like Wilson Chandler and maybe Danilo might play inside defensively and on the perimeter offensively (ala Marion/Diaw) creating space for Balkman to cut to the basket and grab offensive boards.

  81. Captain Merlin

    Putting Balkman down low certainly would have its benefits given D’Antoni’s style and Balkman’s non existent shooting touch from beyond 6 inches. Doing this would hide that flaw fairly well, and likely not much affect the offense as D’antoni’s system doesn’t rely require traditional post players. however, I fear that by doing this some of Balkman’s defensive aptitude may become lost in transition between playing offense as a big and coming back to guard a wing. I know it doesn’t sound like the biggest of tasks, but I can just see him getting confused after a missed shot, coming back to guard the wrong guy and giving up easy hoops. Paranoia strikes deep.

  82. Jose B

    The talk of D’Antoni not having any use for Balkman in his system is complete ludicrous. D’Antoni has all the space in the world for athletic rebounders that can run the floor. It is the 350-lb lugs/centers that he does not have much use for, and guess what: neither do most NBA champions of late either. The Lakers and the Celtics both built their successful teams this year based on speed and excelling on one side of the game, offense and defense respectively. Even Shaq played well with D’Antoni, looking the best he has looked in about 2.5 years. Balkman is a new type of power forward that you need in the NBA, look at all the Carl Landrys, Brandon Basses, Paul Millsaps, etc that are flourishing on playoff contenders. You do not build a team around them, but for 20-25 minutes on the floor they give you rebounds, defense, and high-percentage shots. Balkman may never be a starter on a contender, but put him next to a Chris Bosh or a Pau Gasol type, and he will be not only an excellent complement, but also a highly efficient contributor and will form half of an playoff-caliber frontcourt tandem. He can EASILY be a 6th man/first big man off the bench on a TITLE CONTENDER, given that the pieces are in place, and fill that role more than adequately.

  83. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    OK guys, I have to leave this alone for awhile. Time to get back to my real work.

    I have these same types of conversations in my other area of sports interest. I find that that there is rarely a meeting of minds between visual and numbers oriented people even though both sides have much of value to say. I like to try to bridge the gap a little and typcially find myself on the opposite side of whoever dominates the discussion board. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. Let’s go Knicks!

    Thanks IS for bringing the view of the “observer” to this board. Most of the people here suffer from seizures when they watch an NBA game. Hence why we only rely on stats. The other day I was changing the channel and caught LeBron James commercial. Although he was in a courtroom when he threw that pass to the defendant with the neck brace I blacked out. Needless to say the next 10 minutes were a complete blur. It’s obvious you’re the only one that sees the true balance between numerical and observational data.

    On a non-related note, I passed someone on the subway today who told me their religion was the only way to eternal salvation. Their beliefs contradicted mine, but they assured me that their religion was the only true one. It’s amazing how convinced they were the only ones that knew how the universe worked.

    So amazing that in the upcoming months I will change my name to Mother Shabooboo and this site will undergo a slow transformation from an NBA blog to strictly covering my new beliefs. I’m guessing the change will be so gradual that most of you won’t even notice it.

  84. Captain Merlin

    Sure, it’s fine offensively it’s fine for Balkman to be playing as a big, but that’s attributable to the system, because he’s what 6’4, 6’5? Defensively he’ll have to guard a perimeter player, not only because of his height, but also because he is quite probably our best perimeter defender. However, there is no one on the team capable of both playing on the wing on offense and switching with Balk on D. Potentially Gallo, maybe Chandler. Certainly there is room for Balk, that is not the question, but rather WHERE is the room. Also, if you’re a title contender and your first man off the bench is Renaldo Balkman, then it’s very likely that the title is for your rec league team. He’s just not THAT good, YET.

  85. Captain Merlin

    As long as your beliefs involving worshiping the Green Arrow, going on a pilgrimage to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and holding Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT to be a divine prophet, then I have no qualms.

  86. Caleb

    Balkman’s listed at 6’8, 208 — though he looks thicker than that, IMO.
    I think he could easily play the 2,3 or 4 depending on the situation.

  87. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I apologize for the extreme snarkiness of the last comment. I just got on a roll and couldn’t stop.

    In any case nothing gets my goat more than people assuming or implying that I don’t watch games. I watch a ton of them. Reasonable people can disagree. I’m sure “observational” people disagree on what they’re seeing. I’d bet there’s someone people that only see flowers in Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings.

  88. Brian Cronin

    Wait, if they’re not flowers, then that means they’re….what the hell, O’Keefe?!!?

  89. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    As long as your beliefs involving worshiping the Green Arrow, going on a pilgrimage to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and holding Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT to be a divine prophet, then I have no qualms.

    This reminds me of one day on RealGM where I spent the day arguing that Jews, Christians, and Muslims worshiped a different god. Reason #7618 why I started this blog.

    And yes we all float down here.

  90. Captain Merlin

    Really 6’8? I’d never have guessed it. I never actually bothered looking up the numbers, but was just guessing based on how big he looked when I wound up catching a few South Carolina practices a couple years back. In that case, yeah he could hold the 4 down.

  91. Owen

    I don’t think Balkman is 6’8, even if he is listed at that. I feel like someone posted a draft day review of him that said he was actually less than 6’7, but had a seven foot wingspan.

    Either way he is a very effective player, jump shot or no. How many times have we had the “doesn’t have a jumpshot” argument….

  92. Z

    The Clippers appear to be moving on without us…

    They seem to have signed restricted FA Kelenna Azubuike to an offer sheet, blowing the rest of their cap space.

  93. Thomas B.

    RE: Balkman’s hieght

    Balkman’s measurements from the pre draft combine can be found here. These are the official, unbiased, independent numbers. make of them what you will.

    Height w/o Shoes 6′ 5.25″
    Height w/shoes 6′ 6.5″
    Weight 206
    Wingspan 7’1”
    Standing Reach 8′ 8.5”
    Body Fat 4.9%
    No Step Vert 30.5”
    Max Vert 35.0”
    Bench Press 9
    Lane Agility 11.58
    3/4 Court Sprint 3.22

    http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/measurements.php?year=2006&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&sort=1

  94. danvt

    On Balkman:
    Shooting is a big part of the game, but taking the right shot is a big part of shooting. So, I think Balkman contributes on offense. I’m, also, not as down on his shot as others. I think with some confidence and with an expanded role he can improve and even make an FT in a big spot.

    On statistics
    One of the things that bothers me about the statistical analysis on this sight is that it makes everything seem like a forgone conclusion. In other words, Zach and Jamal almost certainly will be ineffecient scorers next year. There’s very little cause for optimism statistically, often. What I would be interested in would be statistical anomalies in addition to statistical norms. In other words, what statistical leopards changed their statistical spots in past years? Is there a Jamal out there who’s TS% jumped from one year to the next? What leaps like that have occurred in the past enabling teams to win at a higher rate? As basketball players Zach and Jamal seem good to the naked eye. We know, however, that they haven’t helped our basketball team win. Is there any evidence statistically that this could change with them or with other players on our roster?

  95. Owen

    “One of the things that bothers me about the statistical analysis on this sight is that it makes everything seem like a forgone conclusion. In other words, Zach and Jamal almost certainly will be ineffecient scorers next year. There’s very little cause for optimism statistically, often. What I would be interested in would be statistical anomalies in addition to statistical norms.”

    Damon Jones posted a 62.5% ts% in his last year in Miami.

    Other than that, there have been no anomalies in the history of the NBA.

    Just kidding….

    Anomalies happen, but I wouldn’t bank on them helping the Knicks. I definitely wouldn’t bank on Zebo turning into a high efficiency scorer.

    Basketball players are extremely consistent from year to year, at least compared to baseball or football players. Taking injuries out of the equation, generally you know what you are going to get, at least after the first 2-3 years of a player’s career….

  96. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    As basketball players Zach and Jamal seem good to the naked eye.

    Does youtube count as the naked eye (I did see this live on television).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lvYf08X6tc

    [Anytime you see someone making fun of Zach Randolph and there's a youtube clip involved, you know exactly which one it is.]

    On statistics
    One of the things that bothers me about the statistical analysis on this sight is that it makes everything seem like a forgone conclusion. In other words, Zach and Jamal almost certainly will be ineffecient scorers next year. There’s very little cause for optimism statistically, often. What I would be interested in would be statistical anomalies in addition to statistical norms. In other words, what statistical leopards changed their statistical spots in past years? Is there a Jamal out there who’s TS% jumped from one year to the next? What leaps like that have occurred in the past enabling teams to win at a higher rate?

    Point taken. But with statistics everyone’s more likely to deviate to the norm, as opposed to being an outlier. Most players are the same year to year from a per-minute perspective. You expect young players to improve, and older players to decline. But other than the very young, most players don’t improve very much. For every Boris Diaw, there are a hundred (thousand?) Zach Randolphs.

    But if you want an example of a player like Jamal Crawford becoming an efficient player, I would say look at Jamal Crawford. In 2006 he had his most efficient scoring season playing for Larry Brown. I would definitely put in him the category for “likely to improve under D’Antoni”. I have a few others in mind, but I’m saving that for a later post. :-)

  97. Thomas B.

    “to the naked eye”

    What the heck does that even mean?

    So what, cats who wear glasses see something the 20/20 vision people don’t. I watch Randolph with my naked eye, I read the boxscore with my naked eye, I explore his advanced stats with my naked eye (thanks Mike) and everything tells me that I do not like what I have seen while in a Knicks uni.

  98. jon abbey

    One other thing on statistics being “pessimistic” – it’s not like the Knicks have had a lot of reasons to be optimistic. Well at least until they hired Walsh & D’Antoni.

    when have we hit the end of Walsh’s grace period? when I think about the breakdown of minutes for NY this year and it still includes fat lazy Z-Bo, I get disgusted all over again.

  99. Ess-dog

    Let’s try a crazy glass-is-half-full approach for a second.
    1. Now maybe we can all agree that certain high-priced players (specifically Z-bo, Steph, and Q) have their value at an all time low.
    2. Then look at our young players: Rooster’s still way too young to do anything but give maybe 12 minutes a game, tops. Lee’s a solid player already, but I think it’s agreed that Balkman, Chandler, and even Nate (despite their talents) all need work in multiple areas of their game before they could be considered “starter” material.
    And 3. I also think it’s agreed that our cap situation is in the toilet: there are no free agents coming to save us at least until LeBron/Bosh/Wade time.
    If you’re Walsh, when you factor these 3 thing in, what do you conclude? The obvious, and only, path before you is to play your high priced players until their value is raised. Otherwise, you are dealing from a position of weakness.
    Every player is a potential asset due to their play or contract. If you tick more time of Z-bo’s contract, for instance, he suddenly becomes more valuable. If you start Marbury and his assists jump from 5 p/g to 6.5 p/g, he becomes that much more valuable.
    I think Walsh is saying “F___, it can’t get any worse up in here, let’s do what we can to get leverage while teaching the young’ns.” All the while, trying to keep players like Lee happy any way you can.
    Therefore: If I’m D’Antoni, maybe what I do is start a lineup of Duhon, Steph, Q, Lee, and Randolph. Run the hell out of them. Steph gets 20 a game, Randolph gets 20 a game, Jamal gets his minutes as a valuable sixth man, Q finds his range again from deep and plays stellar D…
    Then, right before the trade deadline, or hell, even at the end of the year, don’t you think we’re in a better position to make a deal with one of these guys? With their contract that much shorter and their play hopefully better?
    I know what you’re saying: “what if they get injured? Then they have no value.” But that’s a risk for all player, one that’s worth taking with these guys.
    The real losers obviously, are the fans, because we’ll have to endure a year of watching these guys again, knowing all the while that an 8th seed and out would be the absolute best these overpriced bums can do. It’s always more fun to ride the hope of rebuilding like the Grizzlies or the T-wolves… “they’re in last, but it’s ok, they’re rebuilding” we’d love to say. Well patience, my friends, patience…

  100. Brian Cronin

    The best the Trailblazers could get for Randolph was Channing Frye and the right to pay Steve Francis $30 million to not play for them.

    Randolph followed that up with probably the worst season of his career.

    So how can the Knicks possibly get his value up to getting something better than a second round pick and cap room? That’s actually a really nice offer!!

    What’s he holding out for? Cat Mobley and Tim Thomas? Al Harrington?

  101. Ray

    We need to get the Marbury situation sorted out quickly. Also, there must be other takers for Zach out there. I just dont know who they are. As the season moves on they will reveal themselves. I just wish we could move him by then.

  102. Captain Merlin

    There are a few different forms of misery, some of them more tolerable than others. I, for one, will not be able to tolerate the sort of misery that would accompany watching Zbo, Marbury, and Q play prominent roles and big time minutes. So, there’s a slight possibility that their trade value could rise from the pits of hell to a slightly less humid, fiery locale–great. No matter how greatly they could possibly boost their trade values, it simply would not be worth it. I can bear suffering through a 30 win season, so long as it comes without those shlubs and some slight sliver of hope that would accompany the young blood. Trying the former strategy, would be like trying to talk someone out of suicide by saying “It’ll be the same shit, different day for a long while, but there’s a small chance it could be fantastic in the end.” I’m on the verge of sports team suicide and my finger’s on the trigger…but it won’t really matter, we all know it never ends.

    On a side note, at the end of May/start of June I was at the high society Sparks steakhouse and at the next table over was none other than Mike D’Antoni, only I mistook him for someone I went out of touch with. Not a good way to ring in the new tenure. Not totally sure why I never threw that out earlier.

  103. danvt

    “One other thing on statistics being “pessimistic” – it’s not like the Knicks have had a lot of reasons to be optimistic. Well at least until they hired Walsh & D’Antoni.”

    I wasn’t saying that statistics are by nature pessimistic. I agree they don’t paint a pretty picture here. I was trying to find analysis’ of them that might be cause for optimism.

    “Most players are the same year to year from a per-minute perspective.”

    Yes, but won’t there always be many examples of deviations from the norm if you look at it across categories. For example, this many players doubled their per minute rebounding averages, these guys got a higher percentage of assists, etc. In other words I don’t think anomalies are anomalous. So, maybe, three players on the Knicks have career years in certain aspects of their game. Maybe that’s enough to put us in the playoffs. I guess that’s what we hope for, from the statistical perspective, and look to coaches to try to influence.

  104. jaredrutledge

    i understand the frustration, guys, but i think a little more patience is needed – we’re not even out of the summer league yet. wait and see what the opening day roster is before we judge walsh and d’antoni too harshly

  105. d

    I disagree that the cap situation is in the toilet until 2010-

    Walsh could have attempted to move curry and crawford if he made the randolph trade. it was a big mistake to pass on that. even if he only got a second round pick for him, it would be worth getting out of his contract. If he moves all three of those players, they have room to sign 2 near max contracts one in 2009, one in 2010.

    About starbury… right now he has a value- a 20 mil expiring contract. If dolan is willing to spend the money (and he usually is) the knicks could trade him for another bad contract that expires next year and take a draft pick. i wouldnt release him, i just wouldnt let him in the locker room. for example ben walace and eric snow and a first round pick for marbury saves cleveland 14 million. obviously this would make it so you have no cap room in 2009 but its another option.

    The guy they should buy out jerome james to make room for roberson. he is not contributing anything and his contract is for 2 more years (if you count the option)

    Another trade walsh should be trying right now is rose for kenny thomas and a 1st round pick. on hoopshype they keep saying they want to get rid of thomas and the move would save the kings 8 mill next year.

  106. jon abbey

    “i understand the frustration, guys, but i think a little more patience is needed – we’re not even out of the summer league yet. wait and see what the opening day roster is before we judge walsh and d’antoni too harshly”

    sure, fair enough, but it’s second guessing if you wait until then to voice your opinion.

  107. d

    another trade walsh should be working on is rose for brian cardinal and the timberwolves 1st rounder saving them about 7 mil next year

  108. Ess-dog

    I know a perspective of patience is not a popular one, but if you look at it from management’s perspective, it makes more sense. For instance, for someone willing to spend the money to get a high scoring, rebounding power-forward, would it make sense to give say, Maresse Speights and a useless player with a big contract that you’ve been trying to move for a couple years? Maybe your organization’s biggest mistake? So a mid-first round pick equivalent and a bad contract player seems like more than a fair trade. Oh, and as far as trading Curry, that seems like mission impossible, with the heart condition, the flab and the deer-in-the-headlights defense. I’d rather we just resign ourselves to sitting him for 3 years.

  109. Z

    “what statistical leopards changed their statistical spots in past years?”

    I guess I’m an “observer” and not a “stat guy”, so I could be wrong, but it seems like Lee’s development between his 1st and 2nd year would be an outlier (ie: cause for optimism). Maybe he was as good statistically his rookie year, which he looked pretty good in “to the naked eye”, but I didn’t expect him have such an impact his sophomore year.

    I know it’s different for young players and that there is much less hope for vets. I suppose a veteran that changed his spots could be Q. He was god-awful in his first year with us (’05-’06), then he had a solid ’06-’07. I’d guess his stats reflect that change.

    Unfortunately, he went back to being god-awful last year, and since he’s chronically injured, probably won’t continue the every-other-year-good trend…

    Again, I’m just an observer, using nothing but my own two eyes to measure success on a basketball court– no calculator, no Excel, no algorithms, no abacus. just good old eyeball to the action. I could be wrong. (I’ll leave that to the photophobic “stat guy” to decide).

  110. Owen

    “but it seems like Lee’s development between his 1st and 2nd year would be an outlier (ie: cause for optimism).”

    Lee was good his rookie year, great his second year, and extremely good last year. The jump he made before his sophomore year is pretty standard, not anomalous at all.

    I agree statistics are not by nature pessimistic, but in this case they don’t give you much reason for hope.

    Re Player consistency, it’s an interesting question, but the answer is extremely clearcut actually. Player performance varies far far less on a per minute basis than player perception, which is highly influenced by minutes played, points scored, and team success.

  111. Ted Nelson

    Captain Merlin,

    To put this in context, I was originally arguing that Balkman (who plays bigger than his height because of his length, vertical leap, and athleticism) doesn’t have to sit on the perimeter, pass up jumpers, and let his man double-team someone else. This would be true in any offensive system, but especially the one D’Antoni ran in Phoenix.

    Offensively, he can cut to the basket and move inside to pick up offensive rebounds and easy buckets, especially if D’Antoni is playing a Danilo and/or Chandler with him. If Balkman’s man leaves him, the Knicks’ offense can make the defense pay. He can also start the break and be one of the Knicks’ most effective finishers in transition.
    A perimeter defender’s on him: he moves inside and maybe has an advantage over a smaller player while Danilo/Chandler has an advantage over a slower bigman on the perimeter. A bigman’s on him: he has a quickness advantage and Danilo/Chandler can take their smaller defender in the post or shoot over him. Zone, etc. and things get more complicated, anyway, my point is that if Balkman builds on his rookie year, starts hitting FTs, and stops fouling he definitely could fit into the offense.

    Defensively, I really don’t think Balkman’s going to get confused about his assignment. Plenty of guys don’t guard the guy who is guarding them.
    I do think Danilo and, more so, Chandler have the size, athleticism, and strength to guard 4s defensively, at least better than Randolph did last season. The Knicks aren’t likely to make their money on the defensive end next season, but if Balkman, Chandler, and Duhon play well enough to make the rotation they could crack the NBA’s top 20.

    Danvt,

    Players stay fairly constant, but there is of course some season to season variation. And, I believe, putting players in roles better fit to their abilities and in a better system overall will help the team whether or not it shows in their individual stats. (The Knicks seem like an extreme example of this to me, but we’ll have to see.)

    Still, if there’s a 90% chance that someone’s going to be bad next season, do you really hold onto that 10% of hope if you have the option to dump him and replace him with a guy with, well, anything more than a 10% chance of being good? Of course, basketball players aren’t robots, you have to look at every case individually, and 90% is sort of an unrealistic exaggeration. In this case I don’t have a problem with giving everyone a clean slate and seeing what they do in training camp/preseason, but reportedly passing on the chance to trade Randolph is looking really bad right now. Have to hope Walsh has a good feel for his market value (while I would never take him, I don’t think a 20 / 10 guy is untradable).

    Jamal and Randolph both have talent in certain areas, but even in their best seasons they haven’t been great all-around players. For both players a big part of their problem has to do with attitude, so if D’Antoni can “get to them” and teach them the game and/or convince them to actually use their knowledge of the game (don’t know which it is) maybe they can be solid NBA players. My problem with the two is that they both insist on taking A LOT of shots, even though they’re terribly inefficient scorers. I don’t know if this is selfishness or a lack of intelligence, but the opportunity cost of a Randolph/ Crawford jumper strikes me as higher than the cost to the offense of Balkman not being able to hit a jumper.

    I’m still not completely sold on him after his rookie year, but Wilson Chandler’s someone I’m hoping for big improvement out of: young and raw, strong finish to his rookie year, looking good this summer, and somewhat reminiscent of Shawn Marion. If he can hit 33% of his 3s and either not shoot every time he touches the ball or only touch the ball when he should shoot, he can be a great fit at PF for D’Antoni. (About the only area of Marion’s game that isn’t strong is his playmaking ability. He catches and shoots, so I worry less about Chandler’s refusal to pass the basketball. Otherwise he and Chandler are similarly mediocre outside shooters, strong finishers, and good defenders capable of defending inside or out at a high level.)
    I’m also hoping for improvement out of Duhon, which may be unrealistic since he’s been in the NBA four seasons and will be 26 next season. I don’t expect he’ll be an All-Star, but maybe make a slight improvement on his career highs in shooting efficiency and assists.
    I hope for Lee and Nate to make improvements in per game terms, and bounce back toward their sophomore seasons in terms of production.
    Balkman is someone I really have my finger’s crossed about, but if he’s playing like last season Jared Jeffries gives you some of the same things without the mental lapses and abysmal FT%.

  112. Ted Nelson

    “Jared Jeffries gives you some of the same things without the mental lapses and abysmal FT%.”

    Check that, Jeffries is a .571 career FT shooter. I figured he’d be at more like a 70%.

  113. Ted Nelson

    Ess-Dog,

    “Rooster’s still way too young to do anything but give maybe 12 minutes a game, tops”

    As a 19 year old rookie he’s unlikely to light the league on fire, but the guy was arguably the best player in arguably the third or fourth best national league in the world (Italy) and a good player in the second best pro league in the world (Euroleague).

    “The obvious, and only, path before you is to play your high priced players until their value is raised.”

    I don’t think that’s obvious, and it’s definitely not the only thing you can do.

    “I know what you’re saying: “what if they get injured? Then they have no value.””

    What I’m saying is:
    “What if they continue to play as poorly as they ALWAYS have and the Knicks continue to be as bad as they have always been playing these same players?”
    For a few years we’ve mostly been in agreement that the K´s best and hardest working players have been their young ones, it’s finally time to turn the team over to them.

    “It’s always more fun to ride the hope of rebuilding like the Grizzlies or the T-wolves… “they’re in last, but it’s ok, they’re rebuilding” we’d love to say. Well patience, my friends, patience…”

    The Knicks ARE IN LAST… There’s not much room to fall after a 23 win season. I’m not planning on playing the young guys and losing, I’m planning on playing the young guys and being average. (Duhon, Crawford, Balkman, Chandler, Curry/Randolph, Nate, Danilo, and/or maybe Q, Marbury, Randolph/Curry, Jared Jeffries, Roberson, whoever earns minutes, that’s not a terrible rotation if they all play more or less to their abilities in a well structured system on both sides of the ball. I see it as no worse than Marbury, Crawford, Q, Randolph, and Curry, but we’ll see.)

  114. Danisrob

    Id love to see us play

    Duhon
    Crawford
    Balkman
    Lee
    Curry

    With Nate, Chandler, Danillo, Rose and Q Rich off the bench. Not a great team b any stretch, but a step in the right direction

  115. Z-man

    Balkman is a fun guy to root for because of his freakishness and energy. He’s just not that good of a basketball player. He is undersized at PF and too unskilled for heavy minutes at SF or SG. In addition, he does not seem to have a great basketball IQ. That defensive lapse against San Antonio last year underscores this.

    Because the Knicks have been so bad for so long, there is a tendency to get overly optimistic about project players. The bottom line is that whatever Balkman gives us is easily replaceable. Maybe not stat for stat, but in terms of overall impact on the outcome of games.

    I truly believe that the Knicks of last year were one of the dumbest teams (basketball-wise)ever assembled, from the owner all the way down. Maybe if Balkman played on a team with a leader who knew how to make other players better, or a collection of smart, savvy players, his game would improve.

  116. caleb

    “Balkman is someone I really have my finger’s crossed about, but if he’s playing like last season Jared Jeffries gives you some of the same things without the mental lapses and abysmal FT%.”

    This is like saying that Brendan Haywood gives you some of the same things as Tim Duncan. I guess it’s technically true but just because two guys are the same “type” of player — broadly speaking, more D than O — doesn’t mean they’re alike, or offering anything close to the same value.

    btw – who started the meme that Balkman suffers a lot of mental lapses? I know the San Antonio thing was awful but I don’t notice him as a regular offender. I guess you could say the FT thing is a lack of concentration, but it’s so bad I’d guess there’s something else going on — a real mental block, like a Chuck Knoblauch or Rick Ankiel. Even if he shoots 40% FTs he’s a good player, but of course he’d be a lot better if he shot 70%.

  117. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Balkman is a fun guy to root for because of his freakishness and energy. He’s just not that good of a basketball player. He is undersized at PF and too unskilled for heavy minutes at SF or SG. In addition, he does not seem to have a great basketball IQ. That defensive lapse against San Antonio last year underscores this.

    About Balkman’s IQ, he’s like a rocket scientist that wears his pants too high. Really intelligent in some areas (starting the fast break after a rebound, cutting off the passing lane) but bone headed in others.

    The reason why I think he would be a good complementary player to the Knicks is because the rest of the team are a bunch of jocks in terms of on the court IQ. They know enough not to wear their pants up to their belly (creating shots), but they can’t figure out what tip to leave on a $100 check (play defense).

  118. bernardking

    “the biggest problem with Zach is the contract.”
    His contract would be fine if he played D, shared the ball, played with heart, took good shots, meshed well with teammates, and wasn’t an accused rapist/murderer.

    if he made Reggie Evans money, no one would think he’s overpaid. They’d say he’s a sieve on defense but a great rebounder, gets buckets, etc.

    Yes, and that would make him a totally different player. But he isnt any of those things. He is a selfish 2 dimensional player.

    Really guys, I dont understand criticizing Walsh for not giving away Z-Bo. He has turned down getting nothing for a guy with some value. He obviously feels he can do better in the next two years than give the guy away. I know we all would like to see some expediency here, but its quite possible that ZBo actually has a good season under the new regime and manages to have a bit of value next year. If Lee indeed is going to be traded, we dont really have anyone else at the 4 spot so keeping ZBo for this year, showcasing him on offense and trading after the season is a perfectly good plan. His value now is probably at its low point. This is a rebuilding year and as painful as it is watching ZBo (and I am NO fan of his at all, in fact I cant stand players like that) he might do okay this year.

    Id like to see him gone as much as the next guy, but Id also like to think that we have a new front office that doesnt make moves just for the sake of making moves (like someone else we used to know). Im sure they have a plan and we need to be patient and let it unfold.

  119. jon abbey

    Wilson Chandler’s someone I’m hoping for big improvement out of: young and raw, strong finish to his rookie year, looking good this summer, and somewhat reminiscent of Shawn Marion.

    I’m all for optimism, but maybe you don’t understand just how special an athlete Marion is. Chandler seems like a much more conventional player to me, which doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any upside.

  120. jon abbey

    Id also like to think that we have a new front office that doesnt make moves just for the sake of making moves (like someone else we used to know). Im sure they have a plan and we need to be patient and let it unfold.

    Isiah didn’t make moves just for the sake of them, he was trying to improve the team, he was just awful at it. the point of slamming the Z-Bo non-move is that it would have been addition by subtraction (sorry Caleb) and it’s almost definitely a unique opportunity that won’t come by again. we could have immediately been back in the LeBron sweepstakes, but now we’re back to crossing our fingers and hoping we can move some of these bozos in the next couple of years.

  121. Caleb

    “now we’re back to crossing our fingers and hoping we can move some of these bozos in the next couple of years.”

    Yeah — the best thing about the Randolph-Clippers trade is that it would have released a lot of pressure — we’d have been 2/3 of the way towards cap flexibility, with the hardest part done. In hindsight, I would have done the trade – but I don’t blame Walsh for holding out for a better deal; it was worth a try IMO. For the reasons mentioned yesterday, I’m pretty sure it won’t be our last chance to move him…

    In the meantime, as y’all know, I don’t think Randolph hurts the team by sticking around. (Sure it’s bad if he takes minutes from Lee. But I’m cautiously optimistic that D’Antoni will either trim Randolph’s minutes, give him Curry’s minutes or find some other solution.And if Randolph needs a bit of extra time the next few months, to prop up his trade value — so be it.)

  122. Z

    “I dont understand criticizing Walsh for not giving away Z-Bo. He has turned down getting nothing for a guy with some value. He obviously feels he can do better in the next two years than give the guy away.”

    I know we’ve been through this on many threads now, and I’ve made my feelings painfully clear, but I simply can’t help myself but respond when I read someone defend keeping Zach Randolph on this team for one more second.

    It is true I hate him, and have wanted to see the Zach Randolph era at MSG end for exactly 1 year and 3 weeks now. My emotions probably do cloud my judgement. But here is my most rational argument for dumping Zach Randolph, for nothing, right now:

    If we raise his value by playing him a lot, and he puts up big numbers, we probably won’t want to trade him anymore. If he scores 24 pts and grabs 11 rebounds this year his value will increase a lot. The most desperate team will want him.

    Unfortunately, we are the most desperate team.

    Historically (in my lifetime) the Knicks have had no patience for rebuilding. They buy high and sell low. They have been desperate for a franchise player, and unfortunately those players are guys that average 24 and 11. The more points he scores, the more #50 jerseys get sold, the more his face is put up on posters, the larger cost it becomes to the franchise to unload him. Since he is signed through 2011, perhaps management decides to pair him with the FA they target in 2010. Perhaps they even resign him, since they have his Bird rights!

    Or maybe not. Maybe his value gets boosted with a decent season this year and they trade him next summer. No harm no foul. That is Walsh’s job to have that plan and to make those choices.

    My job is simply to be a fan, and to root for the team when they play. Sadly, this past season I found myself rooting against the Knicks, and it wasn’t JUST for draft position. I didn’t just want the Knicks to lose. I wanted them to be embarrassed and booed off the court. To bottom out, clean house, and start the long climb back up to respectability.

    Who knows, maybe Randolph is so good next year the Knicks keep him and he leads us to a championship. Maybe.

    But I won’t be there cheering them on…

  123. jon abbey

    “maybe Randolph is so good next year the Knicks keep him and he leads us to a championship. ”

    this is about as likely as me beating out Obama and McCain in November.

  124. Frank

    I may just be a hopeless optimist but I’m thinking that without Larry Brown’s mind games and Isiah’s complete incompetence, all of our players may not just look better this coming year but actually BE better. Offensively, Zach may not be nearly as dynamic as Amare but he may be serviceable playing pick and roll or pick and pop with Duhon. Hopefully there will be more actual plays run to get him good looks rather than “throw ball to Zach and watch him make a move into double coverage or jack up an 18 footer” (otherwise known as plays 1A, 1B, and 1C in the knicks playbook last year, either with Zach or Jamal). With actual plays hopefully his efficiency will increase. I know he has never been very efficient but I think in many ways that might be an indictment on the offensive systems and not on the player.

    For example — let’s take the poster child of efficiency at PG, Steve Nash.

    Year/Team, using EFG% rather than TS% to take out non-system associated free throw shooting–

    2002 DAL, EFG 51%
    2003 DAL, EFG 53%
    2004 PHX, EFG 56%
    2005 PHX, EFG 58%
    2006 PHX, EFG 61%
    2007 PHX, EFG 60%

    Did Nash suddenly become a physically much better player? I think he’s pretty much the same player but in D’Antoni’s system, became the most lethal PG in the league, going from average efficiency to ridiculous efficiency.

    The other long-time holdover from pre-D’Antoni days in Phoenix was Shawn Marion, the fantasy basketball king, the guy who doesn’t need the ball to be devastatingly effective.

    2003 pre-D’Antoni offense: EFG 48%
    2004 EFG 52% – 1st year of D’Antoni offense
    2005 EFG 56%
    2006 EFG 56%
    2007 EFG 58% (while in Phoenix)

    So — given that I think we can agree that Zach is a talented offensive player, here’s my question. If he does average 24 and 11 and plays within the offense, and on top of that isn’t a complete sieve on defense, then who’s to say we shouldn’t keep him? Or at least wait until the inevitable trend up in his offensive #s takes place under D’Antoni before we trade him? I know that’s a lot of ifs, but I am very hopeful that D’Antoni’s system can put a lot of lipstick on our lineup’s pigs.

  125. Owen

    “So — given that I think we can agree that Zach is a talented offensive player”

    Bold assumption.

    Re Nash – Average efficiency to ridiculous efficiency?

    Steve Nash posted a ts% over 60% in his 4th, 5th, and 6th years in the league. Then 57.6 and 59% before coming to Phoenix in 04-05. In Dallas, he was also the starting point guard on the best offense of all time. Let me repeat that. The best offense of all time.

    By any statistical measure he was extremely good in Dallas, although I will concede he has been even better in Phoenix.

    Shawn Marion’s ts% skyrocketed with the arrival of D’Antoni. Of course, Nash arrived the same year. Who deserves the credit for that development is an open question.

  126. brian quinnett's left nipple

    whenever someone says that we would have traded randolph for nothing, that’s inherently wrong. we would have gotten cap space, which is worth a helluva lot of something. it’s for a player to be named later.

    and, due to the cleared out cap space, if that player to be named later turns into lebron or d-wade or bosh, then is anyone complaining?

    i think walsh gambled and lost – and he gambled at something he should have jumped at.

    we’re not winning this year. i don’t think anyone has any delusions of grandeur that we will. so every move we make should be made with an eye on building a team that will win.

    moving randolph to clear out cap space was perfect, and we blew it.

  127. Caleb

    The differences aren’t huge — the players are always more important than the coach – but D’Antoni has pretty uniformly improved the performance of his players. It’s a great record. Even with Nash: his numbers are only slightly better in Phoenix, but the improvement came after 30, an age when almost every other player is in decline. So, I would argue it is a more significant improvement than appears at first glance.

    It’s not magic and it’s not teaching players new skills. (well, maybe a tiny bit). It’s putting them in a position to succeed, in a system that fits their skills and alongside players who match up well — or as well as possible; Shaq was a mismatch but Mike D. got as more out of him than they did in Miami, more than anyone had a right to expect.

    Besides this kind of real improvement that stat-guys can appreciate — I expect he’ll play a faster pace which will pump up the raw numbers, impressing the many sucker-GMs around the league.

  128. Caleb

    whenever someone says that we would have traded randolph for nothing, that’s inherently wrong. we would have gotten cap space, which is worth a helluva lot of something. it’s for a player to be named later.

    and, due to the cleared out cap space, if that player to be named later turns into lebron or d-wade or bosh, then is anyone complaining?”

    If he turns down that deal in February 2010, we’ll put him in tar and feathers and throw him off a pier. He gambled and lost, but the stakes aren’t too high yet — we can still trade him for cap space in a year or two (it’ll get easier, as his contract gets shorter) and hopefully bring back an extra asset, too. Even if it’s just a late first-rounder or even a second-rounder.

  129. TDM

    From espn.com re top 10 trade prospects:

    “Zach Randolph, New York Knicks
    It’s hard to fathom how a 6-9, 270-pound guy with quick feet and a velvet shooting touch can make so many people squirm, but that’s what Zach Randolph does. Z-Bo is a likable guy who gets on the basketball floor and works hard. Heck, he’s even averaged 19.7 points and 9.7 rebounds over the past five seasons, putting him in All-NBA company. Except he doesn’t win and he’s a knucklehead as soon as he leaves the floor. The Clippers are very interested and the Cavaliers should be. In the right environment (whatever that is), he’s an All-Star.”

    Would the Cleveland LeBrons really want Zbo? I guess they do need another scorer alongside LBJ. Anyone think that a Zbo for Szczerbiak or Ben Wallace straight up would be tempting to the Cavs? Not quite sure how that would be any different than what the Clips were offering. In fact, I’d prefer just getting a 2nd round pick instead of Wally’s or Big Ben’s expiring deals.

  130. TDM

    In fact, I’d prefer just getting a 2nd round pick instead of Wally’s or Big Ben’s expiring deals.

    Caveat – Ben’s got 2 years left on his deal, but still shorter than Zbo.

  131. Caleb

    If you want to nurture your hatred of Marko Jaric:
    http://www.shamsports.com/content/pages/index.jsp

    It’s not inconceivable for the Cavs to want a Wallace for Randolph trade. The money is almost even the next two years, and while they’d have to pay Randolph a third year it’s probably irrelevant to their cap flexibility — the only other player under contract for 2010-2011 is Dan Gibson at $5 million, aside from LeBron’s player option. And I can honestly say that Randolph might offer more on the court than Wallace — he certainly will in 2009-2010. It’s not likely anyone else takes Wallace off their hands, so don’t fold the cards just yet — hell, demand a draft pick or two in the bargain.

    I’d actually say there’s a good chance Cleveland would bite… EXCEPT… they may resist doing anything that helps a rival clear cap space for LeBron. Hopefully they would decide that so many other teams will have cap room, whether or not New York has it is a moot point.

    The main obstacle is probably that Cleveland won’t want to do anything that helps its rivals clear space to make LeBron an offer

  132. Owen

    Well, if Ms. Lima is to be believed, then the appropriate attitude towards Mr. Jaric has to be unadulterated compassion and sympathy.

    I can definitely relate to him as a Knicks fan, wanting something so badly, and having to wait, as the frustration mounts and mounts….

  133. foliveri

    Not dumping Zach and his salary to the Clips for a second rounder is yet another in a long line of boneheaded mistakes by Knicks’ management.
    It is a rare instance where one can dump so much salary for nothing, nothing at all. It was a classic adding by subtracting scenario at an unprecedented level, as far as I’m concerned.

    For those who say the Knicks would have gotten nothing, just look at the numbers. If the goal is to clear cap space, clearing Zach without taking back salary is a huge benefit.
    It also clears space at the overcrowded power forward position, and removes a black hole from the court.
    Walsh choked on this one. It is not a surprise because he has been a hit or miss guy his entire career.

    But in a moment when he should have been bold, he was cautious.
    Imagine, now he’s faced with the prospect of simply letting go players like Marbury and James and eating their salaries. It’s stupid.

    I hope he learns from this and doesn’t let the next honey deal pass him by.

    Like abbey, the clips missed opportunity left me with a profound sense of foreboding.

  134. foliveri

    Pardon the poorly structured last sentence:

    Like abbey, I am left with a profound sense of foreboding…

  135. jon abbey

    yeah, well said, foliveri. there’s something to be said for not jumping at any tiny potential upgrade, that’s what Isiah tried to do and you can’t do that in the NBA.

    but the reverse is true also, you need to pull the trigger when you have a chance to make a major impact. when New Orleans was giving away Baron Davis, GS jumped on it. when GS was giving away Latrell Sprewell, NY jumped on it. the Clippers were suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and Walsh should have been all over that.

  136. ben bow

    i say if the knicks play uptempo like d’antoni has been with the suns we will be fine.
    1.nate
    2.jamal
    3.balkman
    4.danillo
    5.lee

    its a good 3point shooting team w/ nate jamal and danillo.

    on the bench coming in
    1.duhon
    2.nate at some points
    3.wilson chandler
    4.wilson chandler and balkman at some points
    5.danillo

    it would only be a 7 person rotation, but thats what d’antoni has been doing in phoenix forever. we would have strong shooting, good defense, our only problem could be size, and we would be fine if we ran alot. i think it’d be an awesome team that i’d watch alot more.

  137. foliveri

    ben bow:
    In what world does Nate start over Duhon?
    Without Duhon there is not one reliable ball-handler on the court.
    Last year I would have said give Nate a shot, but with a true distributor on the squad like Duhon, there is no reason to take that risk.
    I agree, however, that Curry and Zach will need to fight for their minutes on an up-tempo team.

    Also with Nate and Jamal on the court together, you basically have two matadors on the perimeter. That can’t work.
    I suspect we will again be seeing Q a lot to start.

  138. DS

    “I have learned that the Clippers’ offer to the Knicks for Zach Randolph last week was much more audacious than first suspected…”

    That sounds to be more accurate. The original article said “sources said New York wanted more than simple cap relief.” I had to believe Walsh was smarter than to reject that and that the Clips were not crazy enough to take Randolph w/o an additional perk.

    I am as much in favor of getting rid of Z-Bo as anyone but I actually think Walsh made the right holding off on surrendering a #1 pick.

  139. daaarn

    Sorry if this has previously been noted, but, rescued from an Ian Thomsen column at SI:
    “I have learned that the Clippers’ offer to the Knicks for Zach Randolph last week was much more audacious than first suspected. In addition to Randolph, they wanted the Knicks to send them a first-round pick and $3 million in exchange for Brevin Knight. The Knicks said no.”
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/ian_thomsen/07/18/weekly.countdown/1.html

    If that is in fact the case, then I think Walsh did the right thing at the time.

  140. jon abbey

    that’s interesting if true, although the delayed timing makes it seem possibly like spin control from Walsh’s end after he fucked up.

  141. jon abbey

    i say if the knicks play uptempo like d’antoni has been with the suns we will be fine.
    1.nate
    2.jamal
    3.balkman
    4.danillo
    5.lee
    its a good 3point shooting team w/ nate jamal and danillo.
    on the bench coming in
    1.duhon
    2.nate at some points
    3.wilson chandler
    4.wilson chandler and balkman at some points
    5.danillo
    it would only be a 7 person rotation, but thats what d’antoni has been doing in phoenix forever. we would have strong shooting, good defense, our only problem could be size, and we would be fine if we ran alot. i think it’d be an awesome team that i’d watch alot more.

    sure, me too, but sadly Curry, Randolph, Marbury and Q are still here to get in the way of this.

  142. TDM

    The Knicks probably leaked that report because they were getting killed in the court of public opinion. If true, that totally changes the analysis of the deal. While I wouldn’t mind have Brevin Knight as a backup pg (he led the league in assists/game not so long ago), he surely isn’t worth giving up a 1st rounder to get.

  143. d

    “I have learned that the Clippers’ offer to the Knicks for Zach Randolph last week was much more audacious than first suspected…”

    If this is true, then that changes my thoughts on Walsh. Thats much too high a price to pay to move him.

    Its also scarry to think how low his value could be if thats the sort of offer we get from a desperate team with a huge hole in that position and who just had a media relations disaster losing the face of their franchise.

    -btw, any chance we play a lot of Q (even though i cant stand to watch him) and he actually does so well returning to dantoni’s system that he creates a trade value for himself or thinks he can get a better deal by not taking his player option?

  144. Captain Merlin

    While I agree that if this new revelation were to have been true, we were right to have declined it, I’m afraid I see it the same way as Tdm/Grundy–probably a leak. The last few years have made me quite a cynical mistrusting person when it comes this sort of thing. Also–really, a first round pick–likely top 10 or 5– just to clear up cap space and net a now backup quality guard past his prime? Tactless Clippers not realizing Zeke walked out.

  145. DS

    “The Knicks probably leaked that report because they were getting killed in the court of public opinion.”

    So… we have:

    Scenario 1: The Clippers wanted an additional perk for taking on Randolph’s bloated contract.

    OR

    Scenario 2: Clippers wanted Zach Randolph (!!!) to replace Brand. Donnie Walsh a lawyer and respected GM foolishly rejects the offer to rid himself of Z-Bo with no strings attached and then leaks a fictitious story to the media to be viewed more favorably by the public.

    Which seems more likely?

  146. jon abbey

    the best part about that query is pointing out that he’s a lawyer, because we all know a lawyer would never lie while doing his job.

  147. Ess-dog

    This is what I mean guys. you can’t abandon the team because of one half-baked rumor that comes out of nowhere. And when I suggested giving minutes to Zbo, Q and Marbs, it’s not because i like there game or anything. I just want us to showcase them as best possible and run some tick of the contracts, and hopefully get some future draft picks. We’re already in a much better position by the all-star break, much less, the end of next season, than we are in now. The new Clips rumor just proves that Zbo’s value is VERY low and even though turning it around sounds tough to do, at least there’s a chance. And our youngs aren’t going anywhere in a year (if we assure them they are the future of the club.) Speaking of the future of the club, maybe the Smiling Weasel was a pretty good scout after all:

    “Someone at press row wearing a Suns.com shirt just asked me if Chandler deserves MVP consideration? That is an indication of how well he has played today. He has used his mid-range shooting and drives to the basket to torch everyone in a Phoenix uniform. After a slow third quarter, he has erupted for 14 points in the fourth to run his total up to 31. Throw in the fact he has 12 rebounds and this was easily one of the top performances by anyone at summer league.”

  148. Ess-dog

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound preachy. I just want to have a little faith in Walsh, that’s all.

  149. jon abbey

    no one’s abandoning anyone, we’re all still here. but no James Dolan employee has earned any benefit of the doubt whatsoever from us, or from me anyway.

    and yes, Chandler had a good game against a Phoenix team with no real NBA players on it, WOWEE ZOWEE!

  150. Captain Merlin

    Ess-Dog, going back to your desire to showcase the fearsome threesome to increase their trade value…I just don’t see it panning out, at least not showcasing ALL of the three. There simply are not enough balls on the court to bad all three’s stats. If there were no feasible deals available for all three, I would consider trying showcasing one of them, but anything beyond that would be just looking for on and off court nightmares. Who says it would work anyway…not to mention the fact that we would be forced to see their lovely poetry in motion for an even further extended amount of time.

  151. TDM

    the best part about that query is pointing out that he’s a lawyer, because we all know a lawyer would never lie while doing his job.

    Solomon Grundy crush jon crabby for making joke on all attorneys!

  152. Thomas B.

    the best part about that query is pointing out that he’s a lawyer, because we all know a lawyer would never lie while doing his job.

    As a lawyer, I must tell you that this is without a doubt the most honest statements you will read on this site. We lawyers are held to the highest ethical standards.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shine my hooves, file down my horns, and finish drinking this virgin’s blood.

  153. Thomas B.

    The Knicks probably leaked that report because they were getting killed in the court of public opinion. If true, that totally changes the analysis of the deal. While I wouldn’t mind have Brevin Knight as a backup pg (he led the league in assists/game not so long ago), he surely isn’t worth giving up a 1st rounder to get.

    I like Knight too, but I’m thinking that claim that the Clips were asking for a future first rounder was BS. Here is why. The Suns hold the rights to either the Knicks’ 2009 or 2010 draft pick. The Knicks cant trade either of those picks until the Suns resolve which pick they will get. Now, combine that with the rule that a team cannot create a situation in which they could go consecutive years with making a first round pick, then it you see that the 2011 pick cant be traded now either. Let me explain howvthis claim falls apart.

    The Knicks cant trade the 2009 or 2010 pick due to the Suns’ claim. The Knicks also cannot trade the 2011 pick until the Suns claim is resolved because if the Knicks traded the 2011 pick the the Clips, and the Suns ended up with the 2010 pick, then the trade would violate league rules because the Knicks potentially would have no pick for two consecutive years.

    There are only two ways that the Knicks could trade the 2011 pick to the Clips today. 1. The Suns would have to already own the 2009 pick and the Knicks would have to own the 2010 (this situation allows a trade without breaking league rules). Or 2. The knicks somehow get a second first round pick in 2010 (this would allow the Knicks to make a pick in 2010 even though the Suns had the original Knick pick.

    Trading the 2011 pick to the Clips would not be allowed by NBA rules. So the earliest pick that the Knicks could trade at this moment is the 2012 pick. I just think that pick is too far out to put in play. For one, the Knicks could be the best team in the NBA by then (ha) giving the Clips the 30th pick (or 31 if Stern expands to put a team back in Seattle)-clearly the Clips dont want that. Also, the Knicks could be a lottery team that ends up with the top pick. Having the 1st pick in the 2012 draft go to the Clips from NY would give jon abbey a heart attack, so I guess its not all bad news (just kidding jon).

    Trading a pick that far into the future is never a good plan. Thats how the Suns ended up with the rights to our 2009 or 2010 pick due to a tade Thomas pulled in 2004. Thanks IT.

  154. jon abbey

    Utah actually has the rights to that pick now, not Phoenix, but the rest of that is true.

    of course, that doesn’t necessarily make the rumor false, as the Clippers are stupid enough that they might not have understood that.

  155. caleb

    Considering it’s just a throw-in to the deal, I don’t see why the Clippers wouldn’t want a 2011 or 2012 first-round pick, in a deal where they’re not giving up anything at all.

    But the point is moot!

    Who the hell knows what version of the story is true, or if there was ever a firm offer at all, from either team?

  156. Thomas B.

    Utah actually has the rights to that pick now, not Phoenix, but the rest of that is true.
    of course, that doesn’t necessarily make the rumor false, as the Clippers are stupid enough that they might not have understood that.

    Thanks for the correction. See what happens when I dont drink all of my virgin blood.

  157. Thomas B.

    Considering it’s just a throw-in to the deal, I don’t see why the Clippers wouldn’t want a 2011 or 2012 first-round pick, in a deal where they’re not giving up anything at all.
    But the point is moot!
    Who the hell knows what version of the story is true, or if there was ever a firm offer at all, from either team?

    The point is Walsh knows better than the move a potentially valuable pick for Brevin Knight. I think such an obviously BS claim is worthy of discussion. If someone is going to make up a story, at least try to make the story plausible. I just dont see Walsh trading a pick five years out for Brevin Knight. It does not make sense.

  158. jon abbey

    “If someone is going to make up a story, at least try to make the story plausible.”

    exactly, just say they insisted on David Lee being thrown in also. and don’t wait until a few days after someone else jumps on a similar deal to leak the “real” one.

  159. TDM

    As a lawyer, I must tell you that this is without a doubt the most honest statements you will read on this site. We lawyers are held to the highest ethical standards.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shine my hooves, file down my horns, and finish drinking this virgin’s blood.

    I knew I like Thomas B for a reason — misery loves company.

  160. Ess-dog

    “I knew I like Thomas B for a reason — misery loves company.”

    Thomas B., TDM, let’s be real for a second:
    Are you guys billing me every time I directly converse with you?

  161. Z

    For a guy like Sterling, I would think that the prospect of dumping Mobley and Fugazi would be more appetizing than a future draft pick. I am still shocked that that was never brought up.

    I think jon said it well earlier today when he posted: “the Clippers were suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and Walsh should have been all over that.”

    I fear that trading Randolph required a perfect storm of events (a team with poor management and tons of money acting emotionally on bitterness and desperation to fill a gaping 20-10 hole at power forward). The fact that this actually happened, and discussions were had, I am dismayed that the Clips ended up with Camby and not ZR.

    I feel that the storm was so perfect Walsh could have dumped Randolph AND either Jeffries or Crawford in one swoop, took back some benign garbage and called it a long-term victory.

    The time to do housecleaning moves like that is early in one’s tenure, during the honeymoon period, before anyone catches on that you’re long-term plan may in fact suck.

    Now people distrust Walsh AND he’s stuck with crap contracts.

  162. justin

    i hate when people talk about trying to dump crawford..he gets paid max 8 mil til 2011 and is the best player on the knicks and is looking to get even better with d’antoni as coach…especially if your looking to snag lebron..a crawford and lebron tandum is devastating

  163. Thomas B.

    “I knew I like Thomas B for a reason — misery loves company.”
    Thomas B., TDM, let’s be real for a second:Are you guys billing me every time I directly converse with you?

    Again, I must remind you of our high ethical standards. No attorney may feed upon your soul…er I mean bill you, until you establish an attorney-client relationship. Its like with vampires, we must first be invited into your home.

  164. Thomas B.

    “If someone is going to make up a story, at least try to make the story plausible.”
    exactly, just say they insisted on David Lee being thrown in also. and don’t wait until a few days after someone else jumps on a similar deal to leak the “real” one.

    Exactly.

    That first round pick story, if true, is an example of the Clips asking for so much that you know the offer will be rejected. Its like when you play Monoploy and you want to sell Baltic and the Electric Company to the guy who holds Mediteranian and the Water works. If you ask for something crazy like Park Place (you have Boardwalk) and $2000 in exchange for the two most pitiful monopolies in the game, you have to know that the deal will be rejected. Unless you are playing with Isiah.

  165. foliveri

    My goodness…
    Every so often someone comes onto the blog and declares their eternal belief in Jamal Crawford…which for me is so jarring.
    It’s like being on an alternative universe.
    It makes me want to run out his stats on the season…can’t…resist…

    41 percent from the field
    35 percent from 3 pt
    2.6 rebounds per game
    5 assists
    1 steal
    .2 blocks
    2.4 TOs
    20.6 ppg

    And arguably the next greatest matador in Spain. Send him to the bullfights. May he receive a cogida…but not a bad on…:)

    On a good team, his kind of shooting percentage has you on the bench, maybe as a sixth man.

    And spare me the “he can create his own shot” crap because at 41 percent and scoring 20 per game, he’s not creating the kinds of shots a team wants.
    The only thing I can stand in his stats is the assist v. turnover ration.

    If the Knicks could trade him, I’d be a happy dude, primarily because it would be a sign that we finally have better players and have rid ourselves of a classic “best player on a bad team” guy.

  166. Owen

    “And arguably the next greatest matador in Spain.”

    I don’t know about the “next.” Jamal was actually awarded two ears and a tail at the festival of San Isidro recently for his performance in the ring with 676 kilo Miura, and was the first NBA shooting guard to be carried out through the gates.

  167. cavjam

    The only thing I can stand in his stats is the assist v. turnover ration.

    And there’s one of the problems with stats; lobbing the ball three feet to the center counts the same as threading the needle with a bounce pass at that one nanosecond a guy is open on a pick and roll. Crawford’s not a great assist guy. He is, however, a great free throw shooter. He’s also decent behind the arc and not particularly prone to gagging, but he gets abused by stronger guards, seems lost on D at times, and is a poor decision-maker. I think he stays, he can play up-tempo, but wouldn’t be terribly disappointed to see him go.

  168. Thomas B.

    Yeah but Crawford’s high FT% is offset by his lack of desire to drive the lane and initiate contact. If Crawford had ever been coached properly, he could have had his game molded to be a match of Rip Hamilton. Crawford has the same speed and FT shooting skills. Rip has the better mid range game, but to Crawford’c credit, he does not play off screens. Crawford just using his ballhandling and moves to create space to take a shot which is often an ill advised off balance jumper.

  169. Ess-dog

    yeah that game was putrid. Aside from Chandler, noone there deserves playing time.
    Is it time for us to inquire about Josh Smith? It sounds like he wants out. I think they would do a trade involving D. Lee b/c of the Horford/Fla. connection. Of course, then we’re still stuck w/ z-bo, who would have to play center or something. Maybe Curry and Lee for Smith? I also wonder what it would take to get Bellinelli away from Nellie? If they are going to play Magette and S. Jackson, there won’t be many minutes for Bellinelli. He’s the kind of shooter we need.

  170. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    I don’t think comparing Jeffries to Balkman is at all like comparing Brendan Haywood to Tim Duncan. Duncan is the best player of his generation… he does EVERYTHING you could ask a PF OR a C to do. Maybe you could say comparing Haywood to Tyson Chandler, and if Tyson Chandler was screwing around the way he did in Chicago for years I’d say play Haywood over him too.

    I like Balkman as much as anyone, but I’m not sure about you insistence that he’s definitely the Knicks’ best SF. There’s a lot of talent at that spot if Chandler takes a step forward, Danilo has a strong rookie year, Q bounces back to 06-07 form, and I may be alone here but I don’t mind Jeffries. (Several of those can probably be in D’Antoni’s rotation ala Marion, Diaw, Hill, Bell last season).
    If Balkman returns to rookie form, or hopefully builds on that year, he HAS to be in the rotation, but if he plays the way he did last season I don’t think he HAS to be in the rotation given the Knicks’ depth (if he is it likely means Summer league wasn’t a sign of things to come for Danilo and Chandler). Even if he plays to the average of his first two years he’s going to be a good NBA player (I’d compare him to Jerome Williams with better, maybe much better, perimeter D).

    If Balkman is going to continue fouling at a high rate and hitting 43% of his free throws I think the Knicks MIGHT be better off giving the defender who helps the offense in subtle ways role to Jared Jeffries.

    The combination of rasta beliefs, fouls galore, and 43% FT shooting gives a certain impression…

    Jon,

    “I’m all for optimism, but maybe you don’t understand just how special an athlete Marion is. Chandler seems like a much more conventional player to me, which doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any upside.”

    Maybe you don’t understand the meaning of somewhat reminiscent… To play off my last comment, I think you could say Brook Lopez is somewhat reminiscent of Tim Duncan. Doesn’t mean he’s nearly as good, but if you look at Chandler’s strengths and weaknesses I don’t see how you can’t be reminded of a poorman’s Marion. Marion is one of the best players in the NBA, and I don’t expect to ever say that about Chandler, but he may be able to do some of the same things Marion did for Phoenix on both sides of the ball (not as well…).
    During his rookie year I was as down on Chandler as anyone, but it looks from the summer league as though he has the talent to play in the NBA if he can become more consistant, play within a system, and generally improve.

  171. Ted Nelson

    -Crawford isn’t very good, but he’s definitely not someone who has to be given away. He scored 20 ppg last season, so teams are going to be interested. Plus he seems to have a very positive attitude and has been a favorite of EVERY coach he’s played for in NY.

    -Josh Smith? Do you really want to pay a mix of Balkman and Chandler $12 + mill per year? The Knicks already have those two on rookie contracts.

  172. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    On the other hand, even if Balkman plays the way he did last season he should play ahead of 07-08 Q, 07-08 Chandler, Jeffries as a Knick to date, and Danilo if he struggles to adapt to the NBA. I’d like to be optimistic that Balkman does return to rookie form, Chandler does take a step forward, Danilo does have a great rookie season and all 3 are part of a strong Knicks’ rotation, but we’ll have to see.

  173. caleb

    re: Haywood:Duncan = Jeffries:Balkman — My point is that just because players do similar things on the court, it doesn’t mean they do them anywhere near as well. Jeffries may be a pretty good on-ball defender and rebounder for a SF, but Balkman is much better, not to mention racking up a lot more blocks and steals. And while Balkman is not a great offensive player, his TS% last year was more than 5 points better than Jeffries (in similar usage), and the year before it was 10 points better.

    The four Knicks with the most long-term potential all play forward. I agree that Gallinari and Chandler have great upside (even if the Chandler-love on the board is premature, IMO) – but at age 19 and 21, respectively, neither will be even an average NBA player this year. Balkman, meanwhile, is pretty good already — and still just 24. Yeah, he has dramatic holes in his game, but some extreme strengths, too — as I said the other day, even in his soph season, per-minute he was 2nd in rebounding, 3rd in blocks and 12th in steals among all NBA small forwards. As a rookie he was 1st, I think, in rebounds and blocks, and behind only Artest and Gerald Wallace in steals. He’s versatile enough to play the 2, 3 or 4…as long as Balkman is here, there’s no reason to let Jeffries play a single minute, except to show potential trade partners that he’s still breathing.

    re: Josh Smith — there are pros and cons. On the pro side, Smith is probably about the same value as Lee, maybe a bit more since he’s only 22. A Lee/Curry deal would trim about $5-7 million off our 2010-2011 cap number (depending what Smith and Lee sign deals for), and Smith would instantly be our first shot-blocking presence since Patrick Ewing. Eventually he could be a first-rate defender, a Kirilenko type. A Smith-Balkman combo would be awesome. Smith can also play the 3, so long-term he could fit alongside Gallinari.

    On the con side — anyone who complains about Jamal Crawford’s shot selection will collapse foaming at the mouth when they see Smith. He’s a low-efficiency scorer (52.0 TS%) who took more than 100 threes last year, while hitting just 25%. (In fairness, his TS% was a career high, mainly because he cut his 3-point attempts almost in half). He’s also just a so-so rebounder — 9.3 per 40. While the proposed deal saves us a nice chunk, at $12 million a year, Smith is not a bargain.

    Atlanta might consider it. Smith has burned some bridges and they consider him a flake. Lee is valuable, and they actually had interest in Curry before he came to the Knicks (though that might have been Billy Knight, who’s gone). On the other hand –the deal costs Atlanta money, and they’re tightwads. Also, Horford and Marvin Williams are both natural power forwards, even if they’ve played the 5 & 3, respectively. Lee just adds to the body crunch, unless they bring in a 3rd team to swing a top-flight point guard, or high draft choice.

    Not sure where I come down on the whole idea…

  174. Caleb

    btw – Crawford isn’t terrible — he’s just not worth anything like $10 million, so he screws up our options for signing someone better. He’s an above average offensive player. The FG% isn’t as bad as it looks – it’s low because he takes so many threes; his TS% is only a little bit below average and that’s in high volume. And for a shooting guard, 5 assists per game with a better than 2:1 A/TO ratio is pretty good. Unfortunately, he gives it all back and more on defense. So I’d call him a below-average NBA starter.

    Still… that’s not someone you give away. We should be able to get a first-rounder for Craw.

  175. Ben R

    I agree that Crawford has value. I think Crawford is one of just a couple real trading assets we have. I agree that despite his slightly below average efficiency he is still a slightly above average offensive player. Also if you look at his season under Brown he is capable of being a good offensive player. With that said his defensive problems and the fact he is not that young anymore, 28 this year, means that he should not be a part of our long term plans.

    I would love to swing him to another team to get one of the undervalued free agents (JR Smith, Josh Childress) that seem to be languishing as more hyped players get all the attention. Either one of those players would be a perfect SG solution moving forward for a long time.

  176. Caleb

    Ben,

    Those are ok targets, but you need to compare whoever you’re giving $10 million, to the options you’ll have in 2010 if we ever get under the cap. I’m not sure that either Childress or Smith is a good value at $10 million per.

    In terms of logistics — I doubt Denver wants any part of a guy with $30 million left on his contract. Atlanta — if you could sign Childress to a $7 million deal, and swap Crawford and Nate Robinson or Mardy Collins for Childress and Speedy Claxton (expiring 2010) or Zaza Pachulia (expiring this year) — that would be a pretty sweet move.

    I’d be just as happy to send him off for an expiring contract and a first-round pick.

  177. jon abbey

    “Maybe you don’t understand the meaning of somewhat reminiscent… To play off my last comment, I think you could say Brook Lopez is somewhat reminiscent of Tim Duncan. Doesn’t mean he’s nearly as good, but if you look at Chandler’s strengths and weaknesses I don’t see how you can’t be reminded of a poorman’s Marion. Marion is one of the best players in the NBA, and I don’t expect to ever say that about Chandler, but he may be able to do some of the same things Marion did for Phoenix on both sides of the ball (not as well…).”

    yeah, I don’t see that. I think Chandler definitely has some potential, but Marion is a unique player. his best asset is probably his rebounding and his quick second jump, he’s like a pogo stick. Chandler is a much more conventional style small forward, whether he ends up panning out or not. the Brook Lopez/Tim Duncan thing makes more sense to me, although just on offense.

  178. Z

    “Crawford isn’t very good, but he’s definitely not someone who has to be given away…” -Ted

    “Crawford isn’t terrible… not someone you give away. We should be able to get a first-rounder for Craw.” -Caleb

    Rewind one week. If the following trade had been put on the table, would you accept it if you were the Knicks?

    Randolph + Crawford for Mobley, Thomas, Jordan, future pick.

  179. Caleb

    Randolph for Mobley, Thomas & Jordan
    Crawford for a pick.

    If the future pick is a first, sure I’d do it.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but I don’t think that was our last chance to make those two deals – maybe not the Clippers, but somewhere.

  180. Z-man

    My problem with Renaldo is that he does not seem to play smart basketball, especially on D where he is supposed so be so great. Whatever he add in rebounds, steals and blocks, he subtracts in being out of position, biting on fakes, commiting fouls, missing free throws,etc. He is also a bit of a tweener. He is not offensively skilled enough to merit major minutes at either the 2 or 3 and is too small to play 4 against better players. Even his short summer league stint revealed virtually no improvement.

    To me, he has definitely produced well for an unheralded (much criticized) low draft pick, but I would not be upset to see him go in even a low-level trade, but preferably as part of a package to get some help in the middle (straight up for a DeAndre Jordan-type?). Chandler and Jeffries make him redundant.

  181. Ess-dog

    Well, if you can’t see Josh Smith as an upgrade over Chandler/Balkman then… watch some Hawk games. While I like both Chandler and Balkman for various reasons, neither have the game-changing abilities of Smith. I think he’s worth anyone on our current roster. I choose Lee as a trade piece because it’s the best we can offer realistically. And in D’Antoni’s running system I think Smith would become a better player than Marion (yes I said it.) It would be beautiful. Unfortunately, I think they would try to get a point guard in any Smith trade. But if I had to choose, I think I’d take almost any Randolph trade over anything else. Or a Curry trade. I would do the Ben Wallace deal. He would be a good center in the D’Antoni system. Maybe we can try the Bucks again. For Mo Williams and junk. Maybe we throw in Nate to sweeten the deal. C’mon Walsh! Do it already! I’m gettin’ antsy over here!

  182. jon abbey

    “I would do the Ben Wallace deal. He would be a good center in the D’Antoni system.”

    he’s really a walking corpse at this point, there’s a reason Chicago was thrilled to dump him.

  183. Caleb

    I would do Zach for Has-Ben Wallace, just to move the contract, and you would, too. I won’t be surprised to see it happen, either — Cleveland is pushing for a title right now and over the next two years Zach would offer more than Wallace. They can be less worried about 2010-2011 because they can use the Bird exception to re-sign LeBron if he wants to stay.

    Milwaukee is another realistic destination — Randolph for Gadzuric and Bobby Simmons might represent an actual upgrade, and it barely matters to their cap — in 2011 they already have $40 million committedjust to Bogut, Redd & Mo Williams.

  184. Caleb

    And I know you were talking to Ted but I see plenty of Josh Smith — he’s a good player and an upgrade over Balkman or Chandler, but the hype is out of control — for $12 million, it’s not a no-brainer.

    Of course if we’re clearing out Curry with Lee, even at $12 million we save a good chunk of cap space.

  185. Ess-dog

    I’m not sure Cleveland does that trade 1. because they don’t want to help the Knicks clear cap room (even though I don’t believe that Lebron will go anywhere) and 2. They might want the cap room in 2010 to go for Bosh and 3. I think they still feel that Wallace can get the job done.
    Milwaukee makes more sense to me because they have the clock ticking on a window for a Mo/Redd/Jefferson/Bogut team and Zach actually fits perfectly into that team. And all they would have to give in return is useless contract players they could care less about. I actually think I would do it if I were the Bucks. You could make a playoff run with that team.

  186. jon abbey

    “I would do Zach for Has-Ben Wallace, just to move the contract, and you would, too.”

    I would, too, but not with any expectations of getting anything out of Wallace.

  187. Ess-dog

    This is from a very recent post of Bucksblog. I can’t understand why this trade isn’t happening right now:

    “We just went through a season in which I pissed and moaned that the Bucks starting power forward was really a small forward. We traded him (Yi), but then we drafted a guy to replace him at power forward who seems to be a PURE small forward. Terrific.

    For the second straight game, Bucks rookie Joe Alexander didn’t rebound at all. He shows none of the instinctual qualities of a power forward. Yet there just going to jam him in there, call him one, and hope that it is so. It won’t be so.

    What do the Bucks have against rugged, traditional power forwards? Why won’t they employ guys who live to rebound and love the smell of paint? Those type guys have great value, and that value is especially pronounced when your team is built around a finesse center like Andrew Bogut. I and others have long argued that Bogut’s maximum potential won’t be reached until he is paired with an enforcer at the 4. But the Bucks just won’t get him one.

    Right now, Alexander is looking like a bust. I know its WAY early, but he appears to be a man without a country. He isn’t properly skilled to play a standout 3, and he doesn’t rebound or get inside enough to play a manly 4.

    Lets hope I’m wrong, but my horse sense tells me Hammond flamed out on his first draft pick. But I’ll keep an open mind.”

  188. Caleb

    “I would, too, but not with any expectations of getting anything out of Wallace.”

    Agree. Worth asking for a second-round pick or two, though.

    Ess-Dog,
    The Cavs deal is no slam dunk, for the reasons you mention and also because I’m sure they’d try and dig up a better offer — and probably want to see what their team looks like this season, first. But they have more salary flexibility than most — the only players on their cap for 2010-2011 are Daniel Gibson for $4 million, and LeBron — and only him if he exercises his option. Even with Zach they would have some room to maneuver.

  189. Latke

    Caleb–
    Bobby Simmons is a Net now. Herb Kohl has already sort stated that he has no interest in a troublemaker like randolph anyway. I don’t see Randolph ever going to milwaukee.

  190. Ess-dog

    Good point Caleb, and I do think the Cavs are going to see how Hickson works at the pf spot before they make any moves.
    What I like about the Bucks as a possible trading partner, is that they have very little to offer a normal team. The only assets they could potentially part with are Mo Williams, Charlie V., and Alexander, and I don’t think that will get a deal done for Josh Smith or Okafor (better power forwards.)

  191. Caleb

    Oh yeah, forgot Simmons was part of that Jersey trade. They could still send a combo of Gadzuric and Desmond Mason for $5 mil apiece, Charlie Bell & Jake Voskuhl at $3 mil, Williams at $7.5 if they’re going with Sessions… that team is loaded with stupid contracts.

    I wouldn’t pay attention to 2nd or 3rd hand reports about what Kohl supposedly said.

  192. Z

    “that team is loaded with stupid contracts.”

    Stupid contracts that run through 2010. Mo Williams and Dan Gadzuric for Randolph? At least we’d be rid of Randolph, which would be good, but it would hurt our salary more than help it.

    I’d rather have gotten nothing from the Clips and lost a pick and payed $3 mil than take back those guys, but beggers can’t be choosers…

  193. Thomas B.

    Hey Ted Nelson,

    “The combination of rasta beliefs, fouls galore, and 43% FT shooting gives a certain impression…”

    What is that? A weed joke. Very cute. Josh Howard aint Rasta. Ditto Raweed Wallace. How do explain Collins’ and JJ’s FT struggles?

    Here, learn something…

    “For Rastas, smoking cannabis, usually known as ganja or herb, is a spiritual act, often accompanied by Bible study; they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah. …. While there is a clear belief in the beneficial qualities of cannabis, it is not compulsory to use it, and there are Rastas who do not.” -wikipedia

  194. Caleb

    “Stupid contracts that run through 2010. Mo Williams and Dan Gadzuric for Randolph? At least we’d be rid of Randolph, which would be good, but it would hurt our salary more than help it.”

    I know you mean 2012 — I wouldn’t take on both those guys, but I’d take one of ‘em, along with some shorter deals. There’s a whole genre of trades with contracts running through 2012 — guys like Kirk Hinrich & Boris Diaw. You don’t clear all $17 million of Zach’s 2010-2011 salary (unless you make a second trade) but even clearing half that space is an accomplishment.

    How about Zach straight up for Erik Dampier and Antoine Wright? HoopsHype has Dampier deal running through 2011, but ShamSports says the last year is a team option — if that’s true, I like it for us. Dallas might like it either way.

    Or how about this blockbuster:
    Curry & Marbury for Shaq, Barbosa & a first-round pick.

    Phoenix, a team that cares a lot about money, saves about $12 million total, and puts themselves $10-15 million under next summer’s cap — more if they can unload Raja Bell.

    We’d get the pick and about $4 million towards cap room in 2010. We could keep Barbosa as a minor upgrade to Crawford, or trade him for cap space if we really can’t move Randolph. He only makes about $6 million so there would be plenty of takers.

    You can devise a similar deal replacing Barbosa with Diaw, and Curry with Randolph.

  195. Z

    There are a few plausible trades out there. Maybe Hinrich + Hughes for Randolph + Rose; Maybe Tinsley + Murphy for Randolph; Maybe Nene + Martin for Randolph + Rose; Maybe Battie + Cook + Reddick for Randolph; Maybe Darko + Marko for Randolph; etc…

    All these trades make sense logistically for both teams, but then there is the whole problem with Randolph being so poisonous to a team that GMs think “hell, I’d rather have the Serbian juggling act of Marko & Darko on the payroll than the unlovable loser Zach Randolph.”

    In the end I’d rather just have lost a draft pick to the Clippers and taken a trade exception…

    Couldn’t we have then traded the trade exception for Antoine Walker and Kyle Lowry? Or for Ben Wallace + a pick, or any of these other Randolph trades we could have otherwise done if not for the fact that Zach Randolph is involved?

    The Clippers were desperate. They had invested $65 million in a PG only to see their 20-10 PF leave them for nothing. They were committed to filling the void and money was no object. They have poor basketball judgement. If they didn’t take Randolph, who the hell will???

  196. Ted Nelson

    Hey Thomas B.,

    What’s your point? If you smoke weed for religious purposes and it effects your on court play it’s different from smoking weed for recreational purposes and having it effect your play???

    I am actually for “legalization” and couldn’t care less what people want to do in their free time, but if it starts to effect your work your employer should be concerned. Especially if they’re paying you a million bucks a year. If Josh Howard (and probably 80-90% of the NBA and well over 50% of the USA) smokes and still plays well I don’t see why the Mavs should care. When Zach Randolph can’t even open his eyes at a photo shoot and clearly doesn’t play up to his potential on the court is when you have to be concerned.

    When a guy who I believe (if I remember correctly) has publically said he won’t cut his dreads because of his rasta beliefs appears disinterested and takes a HUGE step backwards in play, it doesn’t seem at all ridiculous to me to question whether his religious practices are effecting his on court performance. It seems pretty logical to me to at least question whether this is the case.

  197. Ted Nelson

    “While I like both Chandler and Balkman for various reasons, neither have the game-changing abilities of Smith.”

    He’s simply not a good offensive player and you’d be paying him $12 mill per for the next 5, 6 years. He’d be an upgrade over Randolph, sure, but barely.

    Defensively he’s got great potential, but Balkman and Chandler also have a lot of defensive potential at a small fraction of the price.

    Atlanta was the 16th offense and 18th defense in the NBA last season, so he didn’t change the game that much for them on either end.

  198. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    My point has to do less with the holes in Balkman’s game and more with his below average play last season. His PER was 11.5 and his Roland Rating (the most accurate single metric I’ve seen) was -3.3 (couldn’t find his Wins Produced per 48 on Berri’s website but he wasn’t on any of the underrated player lists).
    I just don’t think he was a very good player last season, you can find a strong perimeter defender who overwise hurts the team in the D-League. I do think he was a good player his rookie season, and hope he can refind that. I’m not sure why Danilo and Chandler are incapable of being good NBA players at 19, 20, but Balkman will definitely bounce back. I agree there’s a better probability of him bouncing back than of either of them playing very well, but I just wouldn’t say it’s certain.
    As far as the best prospects being forwards, I don’t see that as a huge problem: D’Antoni played Amare, Marion, Diaw, Hill, Bell last season and played forward heavy rotations in previous seasons as well. If Lee, Balkman, Chandler, and Danilo all deserve minutes I think they’ll get them.

  199. Ted Nelson

    re: trade options

    -Milwaukee’s new GM, John Hammond, was Joe D’s assitant in Detroit. Doesn’t mean he would never trade for Zach, but having Redd and Randolph as your two max $ players is about as far from Joe D as you can get.

    -I think Phoenix still envisions winning a title with Shaq and Nash…

    “Randolph + Crawford for Mobley, Thomas, Jordan, future pick.”

    I wouldn’t make that deal if I could just move Randolph straight up. I really think Crawford is generally seen as a good guard around the NBA and, therefore, could bring back more on his own. Apparently Donnie Walsh even thinks Zach Randolph can bring back more on his own.

  200. Ray

    On the very bottom of the summer league stat sheet for the game against the Bobcats it says Nathaniel Robinson had a technical foul.

  201. Italian Stallion

    IMO, the Knicks only have two more goals before the season starts.

    They want to get rid of Marbury and Randolph.

    The problem is that both are wildly overpaid AND seen as disruptive players around the league. To begin with, when a player is very overpaid, about the only thing you get back is another overpaid player (at best perhaps with a shorter contract or one that fits better). Add the personality issues on top and you are in a difficult trading position.

    I’m sure a lot of teams would take a shot on Marbury, but they aren’t going to take on his contract unless they give us back something worse. I think Walsh would like to get something back for him because he’s obviously a talented player and probably still the Knicks’ best PG. In the end though, I think the choice is between keeping him for awhile and then trying to trade him before the trading deadline or buying him out. IMO, that’s not such an easy choice. Statistically etc… it’s obvious they should just keep him, but I believe Walsh and D’Antoni would really like a fresh start without all the disruptive and distracting personalities even if it makes the team a little worse.

    IMO, Randolph is an underrated player around the league right now even if everyone realizes he’s not as good as his 20-10 stats indicate. He has been used very poorly in the past and the relentless trashing he gets in the NY media has further damaged him even though it’s only partially deserved. The major problem for him in NY is that he can’t play along side Eddy Curry and it looks like Curry is staying.

    1. They are both slow and the team becomes too limited defensively when they are on the court together.

    2. Using Randolph properly means using him more on the inside and less on the outside. That’s what will make him a more efficient scorer and player. That won’t work because it takes away from Curry whose only real contribution is efficient scoring on the inside and IMO the Knicks still don’t have enough high quality outside shooting.

    I have already resigned myself to the Knicks being the worst team in the East. If we get rid of Zach and Marbury, Chandler and Gallinari shows sign of development as the season progresses and seem to have the potential to be solid starters, and Lee develops a little more of a mid range game, I’ll consider this season a success. I think this team could actually be “relatively” worse than last year’s team even if we are actually better. So many of the teams in the bottom tier in the East have improved more than the Knicks. I just can’t see how this team can be competitive unless both Chandler and Gallinari blossom very quickly and Curry is somehow in very good shape and rejuvinated.

  202. TDM

    Another possible destination for Zbo: Atlanta

    Josh Smith has already stated that he doesn’t want to play for Woodson. Childress is likely going to play in Greece on a 3yr deal. And their main target to replace Childress, Bostjan Nachbar, is going to play in Russia on a 3 yr deal.

    Zbo would allow the Hawks to move Marvin Williams to the SF position full time, and give them a starting 5 of:

    Horford
    Randolph
    Williams
    Johnson
    Bibby

    That would be a solid group. I think the need is there, but I’m not quite sure how possible it would be to get the deal done. ESPN trade machine indicates that their payroll is $13 mill over the cap, but the salaries they list don’t add up to that.

  203. caleb

    “I think Phoenix still envisions winning a title with Shaq and Nash…”

    I think you are right, but I don’t think they’ll even make the playoffs*. Reality will sink in by February and they’ll look at at other options.

    “The team becomes too limited defensively when they are on the court together.”

    Understatement of the year!

    “Using Randolph properly means using him more on the inside and less on the outside.”

    I totally agree. I’d let him and Curry split the minutes at the center position, give Zach a few extra minutes at PF and almost never have them on the floor at the same time.

    “I’m not sure why Danilo and Chandler are incapable of being good NBA players at 19, 20″

    You’d be hard-pressed to find half a dozen players who were actually above average at age 19. Garnett, LeBron… um… um…. Even superstar talents have a hard time matching up when they’re that young.

    “His PER was 11.5 and his Roland Rating (the most accurate single metric I’ve seen) was -3.3 (couldn’t find his Wins Produced per 48 on Berri’s website but he wasn’t on any of the underrated player lists).”

    Balkman was above average this year in Berri’s WP/48 metric, at .150 (.100 is average).
    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/a-eulogy-for-the-knicks-of-isiah-thomas/

    His PER is poor, as you point out, but it largely ignores defense.

    The Roland Rating is as much a total production measure as a “rate” system — if you barely play, your Roland Rating will be low.

    *Lakers, Hornets, Rockets, Jazz, Spurs, Blazers obviously better… Mavs, Nuggets probably better… Clips, Warriors maybe better.

  204. Caleb

    re: the Hawks — that Childress item is really interesting. I think he’d be by far the best player to go overseas, before their twilight years. He’s a smart guy, very savvy — IMO he’s dead serious.

    With the cap holds for Smith and Childress, it looks like the Hawks are right at the cap $58 million, and still need to sign a couple of players to get to the mininimum roster size (13). If they renounced both guys (not happening), they’d be at $51 million.

  205. Owen

    My understanding is the Roland Ratings incorporate PER with +/-. Is that not correct?

    Josh Smith is young, but highly overrated in my book. Lots of turnovers, and not an efficient scorer, and not a great rebounder as a power forward. I don’t think you win a championship paying him 12 mil.

    I can’t believe Childress is going to Greece. Scary commentary on the value of the dollar I guess.

  206. Caleb

    http://www.82games.com/ROLRTG8.HTM

    “The main components of the ‘Roland Ratings’ are a production measure (a variant of John Hollinger’s PER rating) for a player’s own stats versus the counterpart player on the other team while he is on the court, as well as a simple on court/off court plus minus. This rating is actually more of a placeholder until the more sophisticated analysis we produce is made public, but still offers a good fast read on player performance.”

    I was pretty sure they now incorporate total production but now I can’t find the link. Try and dig it up later…

  207. Caleb

    “Josh Smith is young, but highly overrated in my book. Lots of turnovers, and not an efficient scorer, and not a great rebounder as a power forward.”

    I’ll buy overrated but not “highly.” Offensively the most similar players seem to be LaMarcus Aldridge and Rasheed Wallace. Aldridge is almost identical in TS% and usage rate. Wallace has same TS% with lower usage. Smith is smack in the middle of power forwards for rebound rate — slightly better than Aldridge or Wallace. It looks better if you think of him as a small forward. His assists and turnovers are both higher than average; he plays on the wing a lot and handles the ball more than most PFs.

    He’s already a great shot-blocker and pretty good overall defensive player; I’m pretty high on him in general. Of course for $12 million you better be good!

  208. Z

    This quote from Walsh yesterday:

    “I don’t know why everyone’s talking about [trades] right now. There’s a certain pecking order how you do things. You get a coach, the draft, then summer league, then trading periods.”

    I don’t think the Clippers or Nuggets got the memo on that one Donnie…

  209. Owen

    Caleb – So…

    Only an average rebounder for a power forward.
    Scores more than the average PF
    Scores much less efficiently than average for his position.
    Turns the ball over much more than average,
    which negates his assists advantage

    Sounds like a very average power forward in my book statistically.

    Now obviously, he is an excellent defender. The Hawks were 7 points worse defensively with him off the court. So you have to give him a big bump for that.

    However i don’t think you can give him that bump, and also give him a credit for being more like a small forward. Smith isn’t out there blocking Rashard Lewis’ perimeter shots. He is an excellent interior defender, but an offensive wing who can’t shoot effectively from the outside. Honestly, he is an offensive disaster, that’s a pretty toxic combination of fga, turnovers, and ts%.

    Basically, I don’t see him as a 12 million dollar player. He only gets that because he scores a lot and because he may improve, although I don’t think this leopard will change his spots….

  210. Thomas B.

    Hey Thomas B.,
    What’s your point? If you smoke weed for religious purposes and it effects your on court play it’s different from smoking weed for recreational purposes and having it effect your play???
    … When a guy who I believe (if I remember correctly) has publically said he won’t cut his dreads because of his rasta beliefs appears disinterested and takes a HUGE step backwards in play, it doesn’t seem at all ridiculous to me to question whether his religious practices are effecting his on court performance. It seems pretty logical to me to at least question whether this is the case.

    My point is that smoking gunja is not compulsory for one to adhere to Rasta. So maybe Balkman’s struggles are unrelated to his belief system. I also think that if the Knick front office belived that Balkman was using Mary Jane they might initiate testing or counseling. The Knick front office would be in a much beter position to evaluate that because they, unlike us, see Balkman up close damn near every day.

    From my research on Balkman, he has always been sort of sleepy looking, he has always had a high foul rate, and he always was a poor FT shooter. Hey maybe he was always smoking weed.

  211. caleb

    “he is an offensive disaster, that’s a pretty toxic combination of fga, turnovers, and ts%.”

    I don’t think you can simultaneously be average and a toxic disaster.

    League average on TS% is .533; for power forwards it’s .537; Smith is at .520. The league average usage rate is 17.9 and he’s at 23.6. I think it’s a good bet that if he played a smaller role in the offense his efficiency would be above average.

    “i don’t think you can give him that bump, and also give him a credit for being more like a small forward.”

    He already plays a lot of small forward (even 2-guard). If he was a full time PF, I suspect his rebound and block numbers would be higher.

    $12 million might be pushing it, but I do think he’s well above average overall, and likely to improve, given his age.

    You give a nod to the value of defense (“big bump”) but the rest of the comment sounds like you lean towards the idea that “defense isn’t a skill; you can find defenders in the D-league; Jeffries D = Balkman D, etc.” Am I being unfair?

  212. Thomas B.

    Okay, okay my turn to throw out a trade proposal…

    Crawford and Rose for Allen Iverson. It fixes Denver’s hole at the two and Crawford is much cheaper than extending Allen. Then they could sign and trade JR Smith to get the help at point they need. Maybe a Mo Williams.

    Knicks get an additional 22 million dollar expiring contract. And they save 10 million for the summer of LBJ. They still wont have enough cap room to run at James, but maybe they could move Randolph by the 2010 trade dealine (feb of 2010). That might be easier to do sine Zbo would have only one year of salary left. A team in need of a low post scorer might make the move for a playoff run. If we can get an expiring contract and maybe a pick, we should have enough cap room by then to run at James or Bosh.

  213. caleb

    I see some problems with the Denver idea.

    For Denver — why bother? It doesn’t save money, since Iverson is off the cap this summer anyway. Do they really want to commit $10 million per to Jamal Crawford, when they already have JR Smith?

    For us — Crawford can probably bring back a first-rounder. Rose might, too, for a team that wants to dump a 2009-2010 contract. Instead of getting a couple of draft picks, we get a guy we’re going to let walk.

    I suppose we might line up a taker for Iverson, for a 3-way trade… in order to get those draft picks. But we’ve seen with Marbury it’s tough to move those $22 million deals…

  214. Thomas B.

    Okay that was just a warm up…

    How about Randolph to the Kings for Miller and Shelden Williams? Yeah, now tell me what’s wrong with that deal, I dare ya.

  215. Z

    “Another possible destination for Zbo: Atlanta…”

    Okay, since we are living in a fantasy world in which we think people would trade for Randolph, I suppose this could work logistically:

    Hawks get: Randolph, Marbury, Nate,

    Cavs get: Josh Smith @ $12 million, Bibby, Pachulia, Jeffries, Collins

    Knicks get: Wallace, Sccyrbiak, Snow, Claxton

    Flesh it out with picks and cash as necessary…

  216. caleb

    The Kings are as likely a trade partner as any. Randolph, Curry, Jeffries, Crawford… even a Marbury deal, where they send us a pick. Washington is another team with a hopeless cap situation, a “win-now” mentality and worthless vets to trade — Thomas, Daniels, etc.

    I don’t see Atlanta moving Smith & Claxton for Randolph. Maybe if the Cavs threw in Hickson. Even then. On the other hand, the Hawks are about to let Childress walk for nothing, so maybe they are the new suckers.

  217. Anthony

    Just heard some disturbing news, not sure if its true– Danillo may miss a large part of the season, because he physically is not ready to play in the NBA. I know the Knicks asked him not to play for Italy, but anyone have concrete news on this?

  218. Owen

    “but the rest of the comment sounds like you lean towards the idea that “defense isn’t a skill”

    I definitely didn’t say that. I read that, totally ridiculous statement, was going to shoot it down when someone posted it but didn’t think it was worth the effort…

    Re Smith .

    “I don’t think you can simultaneously be average and a toxic disaster.”

    I said he was an offensive disaster, especially with respect to his combo of fga, ts%, and turnovers, which is in fact pretty toxic. He was ninth in the league in turnovers, which is pretty unacceptable from someone who is below average in scoring efficiency, who takes a lot of shots, and who doesn’t “stretch the floor” with his 25% three point shooting. (granted another thing I don’t believe in too much.)

    He definitely hurt them offensively this year, but made up a great deal of ground with great block, steal and assist numbers, and solid rebounding on both ends. The Hawks were 3 points worse offensively with him on the floor.

    And certainly, how you view Smith’s statistics depends a great deal on what position you consider him to be playing. There is a huge drop-off from PF to SF in production. at least using this…

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

    Using that, he is either a great rebounding small forward, or a below average PF. And his passing is above average for a small forward, or stellar for a PF.

    Is he a SF? I have him playing 70% of his minutes at PF and C from 82games. When I look at the top units, I don’t see him out there very often with two bigger players, like Horford or Pachulia. Usually he is out there with just one of them.

    At the end of the day, it’s difficult to be a great player when you are committing a turnover more per 36 than the average non PG NBA player, while shooting often and inefficiently.

    Also, re “the bump”, a lot of his contribution on the defensive end is baked in with steals, rebounds, and blocks. So given everything, it’s hard for me to think of him as even a second tier NBA star.

    And you see that I think in the Hawks efficiency differential. With a pythag of 36 wins, I don’t see much greatness on the roster outside of Horford, who not only got them ten extra wins, but was better as a rookie than Smith has been at any point in his career. Horford and Childress are the pieces they should be building around, along with Chris Paul, oh wait, oops….

  219. Owen

    One more point…

    “I think it’s a good bet that if he played a smaller role in the offense his efficiency would be above average.”

    It’s an even better bet that if his usage were average no one would be offering him a 12 million contract.

  220. Z

    How ’bout this–

    Magic get: Randolph

    Lakers get: Artest, Crawford

    Kings get: Marbury, Nate, Mardy

    Knicks get: Vlad Rad, Kenny Thomas, SAR, Lamar Odom, Tony Battie, JJ Redick, Cook, picks

    Kings would save +$10 million, have Marbury’s expiring contract to trade in Feb., and get the exciting Nate Robinson to wow the fans at Arco!

    Lakers have been talking about an Artest for Odom trade. Many here in LA feel Odom’s softness cost the Lakers a title. I think they’ve had interest in Crawford recently, too.

    Orlando gets much needed PF help at a relatively low cost (once they’ve dumped their crap contracts on us)

    Knicks: get rid of their lousy players, taking back only Vlad Rad’s $6 mil past 2010. They can trade Odom in Feb if they want. They can give JJ a try and waive everybody else. Knicks would actually save about $22 million over the next three years.

  221. Italian Stallion

    Just heard some disturbing news, not sure if its true– Danillo may miss a large part of the season, because he physically is not ready to play in the NBA. I know the Knicks asked him not to play for Italy, but anyone have concrete news on this?

    This is a crock of crap. He could have played more summer league if they weren’t meaningless games. He’s fine. Mike, the Mad Dog and Berman are all retarded or something.

  222. Caleb

    Z — well played!

    Of course it hinges on the Magic wanting Randolph, and I don’t think they would. Maybe. They’ll be way capped out, with or without him. And in this deal they don’t give up anything to get him.

    Since the Kings have been holding out for Lamar Odom, they might not sign on, either. But they’re probably just bluffing; Artest’s value goes down by the day. This ain’t a bad deal for them.

    IMHO, Odom for Artest is a bad deal for the Lakers, but they seem gung-ho about it — and getting Crawford at the same time, while dumping Vlad, probably makes it a winner.

    The Knicks have to eat Rad Vlad’s contract but still save $10 million, I think, against the 2010-2011 cap. Odom is too old for our rebuilding project, but he’s a terrific player and would be a valuable trade piece.

    “It’s an even better bet that if his usage were average no one would be offering him a 12 million contract.”

    Ah, the classic Berri analysis. I 75 percent agree, but I don’t think the “Josh Smith” brand is all about scoring — the sell is that he’s a thrilling, high-flying dunker & shot-blocker — a subtle difference :)

    You’re a Berri purist, but I’m not — I do see some value in shot creation. Smith taking a lot of shots only hurts the offense to the extent that they’re not taken by Horford, Childress or Johnson. To the extent they come from AC Law – not so much. And TS% for Horford and Childress would drop, if they were shooting more.

    Anyway, it’s easy to see the route for Smith to improve — shoot less and more selectively. He took a step in that direction this year, cutting his 3-point attempts from more than 2 per game, to 1.2. TS% went up 2 points. Long way to go, of course. A better coach would help.

  223. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    My “insider” sources (i have the same ones as Vescey, Berman, et al [ aka my imagination]) tell me that Donnie Walsh is in a secret bunker in the basement of MSG and he has literally tied himself to his desk with 20 cartons of Pall Malls, 10 fifths of Wild Turkey, a dozen grapefruits and boxes of coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts that Zeke delivers every 24 hrs. He hasn’t slept since the SL started and the phone has been taped to his ear while he tries every trade imaginable on the ESPN Trade Machine. One rumor has it that he’s taken to calling up Larry Bird in the middle of the night, screaming “We will march to glory on a road of bones! Danilo Gallinari has become death! The destroyer of worlds!!” Take Eddy Curry for Jeff Foster or I will send Eddy to French Lick to imbibe the essences of every hoosier there! He can detach his jaw like an anaconda and he needs their lifeforce to sustain him!!!

  224. Italian Stallion

    Z — well played!
    You’re a Berri purist, but I’m not — I do see some value in shot creation. Smith taking a lot of shots only hurts the offense to the extent that they’re not taken by Horford, Childress or Johnson. To the extent they come from AC Law – not so much. And TS% for Horford and Childress would drop, if they were shooting more.

    I think this is the essence of the debate about shot creation and creativity.

    Every time a team comes down the court on offense, hopefully it’s going to get a decent shot. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes even after a few passes etc… nothing good is available.

    The stats should not penalize the players that are a team’s best offensive option when they take a low percentage shot if the ALTERNATIVES on that offensive stand were even WORSE.

    The thing about these high flying althetic creative types, is that without them, the percentage of time the team would wind up taking a HORRIBLE shot or the 24 second clock would expire would be higher. So the fact that they sometimes are forced to take mediocre shots is actually a net gain for the team even though those mediocre shots impact their personal efficiency negatively.

    The idea is to observe and define the fine line between where the super creative offensive player is getting carried away and taking mediocre shots when better alternatives were available and when his creativity is turning a HORRIBLE situation into a mediocre one for a net plus (even though he’s hurting heis own FG%, efficiency etc..)

  225. Z

    Z — well played!
    Of course it hinges on the Magic wanting Randolph, and I don’t think they would. Maybe. They’ll be way capped out, with or without him. And in this deal they don’t give up anything to get him.
    Since the Kings have been holding out for Lamar Odom, they might not sign on, either. But they’re probably just bluffing; Artest’s value goes down by the day. This ain’t a bad deal for them.
    IMHO, Odom for Artest is a bad deal for the Lakers, but they seem gung-ho about it — and getting Crawford at the same time, while dumping Vlad, probably makes it a winner.
    The Knicks have to eat Rad Vlad’s contract but still save $10 million, I think, against the 2010-2011 cap. Odom is too old for our rebuilding project, but he’s a terrific player and would be a valuable trade piece.

    It actually would save the Knicks $20 million toward the 2010 cap. (Randolph + Crawford = $27.3 million in 2010-2011, Vlad Rad = $6.9 million).

    Also, I think SAC’s minimum standard is unloading Kenny Thomas with Artest, not so much bringing Odom back (in straight up deal with the Lakers Odom is the only contract that matches up). If they can unload SAR too, they may not balk.

    Of course, every trade hangs on whether any other team is desperate/stupid enough to take on Zach Randolph…

  226. Caleb

    Wow, nice trade.

    Works for L.A.

    Works for Sacramento, once they think about it.

    Works for the Knicks: Assuming we trade Odom for a 2010 contract and a first round pick, we’re a) giving away Robinson, in order to move Randolph. b) trading Crawford for a 1st-round pick; c) saving about $11-15 million depending on the Odom trade; d) clearing our 2010 cap space in one fell swoop — we’d have about $15 million in cap space, even with Curry, Jeffries and Lee signed to an extension.

    Orlando would give up nothing, basketball-wise. Three guys who don’t play, for Randolph. It’s a good move. Two problems: the price is steep, about $23 million, even if we kick in some cash. And, even if it’s a good move, there might be better moves — other players with bad contracts who are better fits than Randolph. Say, Steve Nash or Chauncey Billups, if those teams start looking for cap space. Of course, those teams might insist on getting talent or draft picks in return.

  227. Z

    It might also be worth monitoring the Clipper situation this week. They signed Azuibuke to an offer sheet and GS has a few days still to match. GS has a lot of swing men now, and have little use for Azuibuke, but at the same time the offer is only $3 million/year for 3 years and could match just to deal him later. If they do match, the Clippers could be interested in Jamal, who would help them much more than Azuibuke would, but would also cost them considerably more.

    Eric Gordon is tradable next week. Perhaps Jamal for Gordon and Tim Thomas? (Gordon projects out as a Jamal Crawford type. I think the Clips would rather have Jamal Crawford now rather than Jamal Crawford later. For us, Gordon would be a nice asset– cheap and tradable, even if he is a low efficiency, high usage player (did I use those terms correctly?)) If they threw in Mobley, we could throw in Malik Rose, just to save Sterling a few bucks in the long run…

  228. Caleb

    I like the idea of a Crawford for Gordon trade. With Davis (29 and knee issues), Kaman (27) and Camby (34) they could use a veteran a lot more than an 18-year-old rook.

    I’m not nearly as down on Gordon as most people here. He IS a Crawford “type” whose main (only) value is scoring, but he’s good at it. His efficiency isn’t bad, mainly because he got to the line more than 10 times a game at Indiana (And 23 times in two summer league games). He was the fastest player at the combine. He’s also just 18. IMO he’s as good a prospect as Bayless or even Mayo, who’s two years older. Not that he’ll be a star, but good value compared to a late lottery pick.

  229. ess-dog

    It looks like things are getting uglier in Chicago with the Deng contract talks. Maybe we could give the Bulls Randolph and Chandler for Deng and Gooden?

  230. Z

    Boy, they’d have to get a better offer than Randolph, right? I mean, they say “no” to Kobe Bryant for Deng but “yes” to Zach Randolph for him?? That would be a PR disaster…

  231. Thomas B.

    Z,

    I’m hating on you now because Caleb liked your trade and dissed mine and I’m totally jealous. Don’t take it personally…

    That trade would never happen. It is damn near impossible to get a three way trade worked out and you propose a four way deal? Can you even find a four way deal that went down in the last 10 years? There is a total of 14 players changing teams plus picks. That has to be some kind of record. The Knicks have seven players coming in with five going out, we already have 16 contracts before the trade, your deal brings us to 18 contracts. That means three players have to go. Who are you going to toss? Do your calculations allow us to keep Lee when he becomes a restricted free agent? Or do you plan to package him with Odom in Feb for Joe Johnson?

    That aside, great trade. :-)

  232. Z

    “Can you even find a four way deal that went down in the last 10 years?”

    Yes, Thomas, there is one four way trade that went down in the past 10 years that is still horribly fresh in my mind. It involved the Sonics, the Lakers, the Suns, and a team called the New York Knicks. The Knicks got Luc Longley in that trade…

  233. Z

    Miami, Boston, Utah, Memphis, and New Orleans did a five team deal (Antoine Walker, Jason Williams, James Posey, Eddie Jones, etc…)

    Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Sacramento did a four team trade not long ago (Earl Watson, Reggie Evans, Byron Russell, Voshon Leonard, etc…)

    Three team trades are not uncommon. They happen every year.

    Basically multiple team trades happen because of salary complications. In theory they involve two sellers and two buyers and make salary matches possible (or in the Patrick Ewing case three dumpers and one eater. I think there was a 5 team trade originally agreed to involving Detroit and Vin Baker in the Ewing saga but the league rejected it because Detroit was simply dumping all their crap on us and Stern felt it unreasonable. Layden was able to recover from the league’s denial and still make the trade happen with pretty much the same amount of junk but the not-yet-horrible Vin Baker out of it.)

    I suppose it’s hard to make everyone happy, but it does happen, and the last four team trade won’t be the last.

  234. jon abbey

    someone needs to start a new thread, even if there’s no content, this one’s too long.

    how about a poll, we each pick the one guy we’d most like to see off the roster? I predict a very tight contest between Marbury, Randolph, and James.

  235. Latke

    Oh yeah, forgot Simmons was part of that Jersey trade. They could still send a combo of Gadzuric and Desmond Mason for $5 mil apiece, Charlie Bell & Jake Voskuhl at $3 mil, Williams at $7.5 if they’re going with Sessions… that team is loaded with stupid contracts.
    I wouldn’t pay attention to 2nd or 3rd hand reports about what Kohl supposedly said.

    It wasn’t 2nd or 3rd hand. He said it in the press conference where he let Larry Harris go. See this link: http://www.brewhoop.com/story/2008/3/20/101946/351

    I’m not saying that we can’t find a team to trade Randolph to. I’m just saying it’s very unlikely that the bucks would take him. And for all those saying we could get more for Randolph, consider this: Essentially, Portland paid us 20 million dollars to take randolph. Sure, they got Frye, but I think most people already sensed taht Frye was not going to be much of a player.

    Add to that that Randolph averaged 24 and 10 the previous season and was a year younger, while here he only averaged 17.5 and 10, and joined a team that had been mediocre the previous year, being pretty much the only personnel change, and ended up making them outright terrible.

    I’m not saying he’s untradeable, or taht the deal with LAC was the best possible, I”m just saying it was pretty darn good, and given the fact taht Zach and Eddy are terrible side by side, it would have been really great to have him gone.

  236. Captain Merlin

    I concur wholeheartedly…maybe one about the benefits to be had from the team playing with their faces to look like Maori warriors and doing a haka at midcourt before the tip. Also, an argument over who would run the point better–Mr. Mxyzptlk or the Mad Hatter, Jervis Tetch–could be featured. It’s the middle of the offseason…

  237. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    Agree that PER isn’t the best way to measure Balkman’s production, while WoW likely overrates him as a high rebound guy for his position. I would still say he was average at best last season and obviously took a big step backwards: looking at those same metrics from his rookie year he put up a PER of 16, a Roland Rating of +2.9, and a WP48 of .262. Again, I also expect him to play better than last season, but who knows.

    “The Roland Rating is as much a total production measure as a “rate” system — if you barely play, your Roland Rating will be low.”

    Guess who led the Knicks in Roland Rating? Jerome James. The sample size was really small and I’m not suggesting he’s the Knicks’ best player, but there are plenty of other examples out there of guys who played limited minutes and had good Roland Ratings. I don’t know the math, but it basically combines +/- and PER/opponent’s PER. I don’t know if that’s the best way to evaluate individuals, but for teams I found the average Roland Rating (weighted by minutes played) to be more predictive of wins than either PER (by a long shot)or WP48.

    “You’d be hard-pressed to find half a dozen players who were actually above average at age 19. Garnett, LeBron… um… um….”

    I don’t know what we’re defining as above average, but I’ll start with PER of 15 because it’s the most easily accessible data.

    I’ll start with players who played 25 mpg + on teams that won 30 games or more to elimiate the Kevin Durants and anyone who was a 10 mpg player on a 50 win team.

    Besides LeBron and KG

    Player………….age…wins..MPG…..PER

    Stephon Marbury….19….40….34.7….16.1
    Amare…………..20….44….31.3….16.2
    Melo……………19….43….36.5….17.6
    Kobe……………19….61….26……18.5
    Chris Bosh………19….33….33.5….15.1
    Chris Paul………20….38….36……22.1
    Dwight Howard……19….36….32.6….17.2
    Chris Webber…….20….50….32.1….21.7
    AK……………..20….44….26……18.8

    Missed cut

    Thaddeus Young…..19….40….21……16.5
    Darius Miles…….19….31….26.3….14.7
    Mike Miller……..20….43….29.1….13.2
    Tim Thomas………20….31….23.1….14.9
    Tyrus Thomas…….20….49….13.4….14.8
    Al Jefferson…….20….45….14.8….16.6

    Under 15 PER but 25 MPG on good team

    Luol Deng……….19….47….27.3….14.2
    Tony Parker……..19….58….29.4….11.7
    Joe Johnson……..20….42.5..24.9….11.8 (average Boston and Phoenix)

    Bad team, solid PER

    Josh Smith………19….13….27.7….15.4
    Nene……………20….17….28.1….15.5
    Durant………….19….20….34.6….15.8
    Elton Brand……..20….17….37……20.6
    Lamar Odom………20….15….36.4….16.8
    Ron Artest………20….17….31.1….13.4
    Mike Bibby………20….8-42..35.2….14.8
    SAR…………….20….14….35……17.4
    Toine…………..20….15….36.2….15.5
    Rajon Rondo……..20….24….23.5….13.1

    Euro rookies

    AK……………..20….44….26……18.8
    Peja……………21….27-23.21……13.5 (strike season)
    Manu……………25….60….20.7….14.7
    Pau…………….21….23….36.7….19.5
    Hedo……………21….55….16.8….11.7
    Tony Parker……..19….58….29.4….11.7
    Radmanovic………21….45….20.2….12.7
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas.22….47….29……19.7
    Dirk……………20….19….20.4….12.8

    I included 20 year olds, but the only non-rookie was a 19 year old Kobe

    If Danilo’s going to be a very good player some day, I think he can be an average player even at 19. If he’s going to be an average or slightly above average player on his career, then probably not.

    Not sure any of this applies much to Chandler as he already has one below average year in the NBA. Although some of these guys had similar seasons at 20 and went on to be pretty good.

  238. caleb

    The record is better than I would have guessed, but doesn’t really change my thinking.

    Partly because the list may be overgenerous, being based on PER. IMO, defense in young players usually lags behind offense and this doesn’t factor that in enough. But forget that – aside from a few wildcards (Darius Miles, Antoine Walker, Tim Thomas, SAR!)… the list of 20-year-olds who were above average is basically a list of superstars. Even excellent players like Dirk and Joe Johnson were well below average. So unless you think Gallinari is superstar or near-superstar material, I wouldn’t expect him to be good in the short run.

    It doesn’t mean I don’t like him, or that he’ll be a disappointment. In the last 12 years there have been 72 players taken top-six of the draft (duh). That’s 72 players… 150 NBA starters… so a reasonable expectation for a #6 pick is only to get a somewhat above average starter, a few years from now. Even if there have been 12-15 “good” 20-year-olds, you can figure the odds on the rookie season.

    The good news is, players get better fast when they’re that young!

    An interesting caveat: Gallinari’s skill mix seems pretty close to Thomas, SAR and Antoine Walker. Hopefully he’ll turn out better — but maybe there is something about that type of player which makes for quick adaptation to the NBA.

  239. Ted Nelson

    PER’s not a perfect measure, just used it out of conventience. However, since it seems that Danilo’s calling card will be offense and D’Antoni has always focused on offense, it might be a good way to judge his performance.
    ————

    Thomas, SAR, and Toine (and also Darius Miles) were very “NBA
    ready” because of athleticism, size, and/or a tremendous skill set.
    Thomas and moreso Miles fell more into the athleticism and size
    categories and never developed upon impressive skill sets (for
    such young players). Toine was obviously very skilled and has sort of
    an unconventional athleticism (he worked on the size in a horizontal
    manner over the years).

    Danilo should be a better outside shooter than any of the above. He can also score off the dribble or in the post (sort of the best case scenario for TT or Toine, but again probably a better shooter than either).
    He also seems very determined, something Miles, TT, and Toine obviously lack to varying degrees.
    ——————————-

    Comparing him to European prospects seems most useful at the moment (since there is a statistical comparison to be made for other Euroleague players).

    Unfortunately, not many (any?) established 20 year old wings have made the jump. Guys like Jiri Welsch and Victor Kryapa were drafted on their potential, potential both have failed to live up to even in Europe (Welsch is a solid rotation player, Kryapa doesn’t see the floor for Europe’s best team, CSKA Moskow). Zoran Planinic has gone on to a solid career in Europe, but not spectacular and he just doesn’t do anything at an NBA level.

    Kirilenko’s game is very different from what I expect Danilo to develop into, but his adjusting quickly to the NBA game is still a positive sign. I don’t think AK ever played in the Euroleague.

    Pau also has a different game from Danilo’s, but also hit the NBA running. Like Danilo, Pau had already established himself as a good player in Europe before coming to the NBA at an early age. I’ll have to look for his Euroleague stats. In the ACB (Spanish League) he took a HUGE step forward from his first full season to his second: paying almost twice as many minutes, scoring over three times the points, better 3p%, etc.
    MPG: 15 to 24
    PPG: 4.2 to 11.4
    RPG: 2.6 to 5.2
    3p%: 30 to 35
    2p%: 58 to 59
    FT&: 52 to 59
    He was already a skilled post player (2p%), but not that developed overall. He did play very well in the playoffs his 20 year old season (2nd full season, 00-01) scoring 15.6 ppg and shooting 75% from the free throw line. He took another big step as an NBA rookie, though.

    Manu’s another guy I’ll take a look at.

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