LeBron James Chooses The Miami Heat

And so life goes on. LeBron James did not choose New York. For Knick fans it shouldn’t come as a surprise. There was only a slim chance that LeBron was coming to New York anyway. It would have been great for Knick fans to instantly bring back the excitement of the 70s and 90s. James would have been hailed as a hero. Would have been one of us. Would have been the biggest sports star in the biggest metropolis. Would have been the King of New York. But that didn’t appeal to LeBron, and hence made his decision to go elsewhere.

In the past I was down on the move Donnie Walsh made to trade Jeffries at the cost of Hill & some draft picks. Maybe he had the option of moving Jeffries earlier (as was rumored to Sacramento), and maybe he could have still made the deal with the Rockets without mortgaging so much. But in the end, he did what most fans wish their GMs would do more often: take a chance at greatness. A few hours ago I mocked Orlando for playing it safe and signing Chris Duhon. Without putting everything in the middle and rolling the dice, Walsh and the Knicks didn’t stand a chance. Freeing up that extra space and bringing Amar’e to New York was his one slim window to land James. It didn’t work, but it was a medium cost – high reward risk. And I have to hand it to Walsh for having the guts to try it.

As for LeBron, by leaving Cleveland and toying with New York and Chicago, he’s broken a lot of hearts along the way. He’ll team up with Wade and Bosh, in a quest for that elusive title. Had a championship not been so elusive, perhaps LeBron’s thirst would not have been so great. But now the bar is set higher for James. Unlike Walsh’s moves, this is a low reward move for James. For LeBron’s to be considered among the greats, how many titles must he win in the next 5 years? In an absurd way, if he only manages one, that could be viewed as failure. Even if he succeeds in multiple championships, people will question if he has the leadership abilities to do it on his own? He’s likely to have a handful of jewelry, but these rings may come at the cost of his legacy.

Quick Thoughts (11pm EDT, Crockett): At the risk of diluting Mike’s excellent post, but wanting to keep the post-decision comments in one place, I’ll keep this short. I’m ambivalent, but I won’t kill LeBron for making this decision. As Mike says above, LeBron was always a gamble. Still, I agree with Jeff Van Gundy who spoke on ESPN just before 11pm EDT. These three making a “pact” to play together messes with my sense of fair play and competition. Suffice it to say that on playground courts across America folks might frown on the three clear-cut best guys leaving their respective teams to play together. But, whatever. Walsh would have done it himself if he could have.

As for the Knicks moving forward, this is a classic framing problem. Do you look at what NY has or what it does not? Missing out on LeBron was going to be a bitter pill no matter what. Nevertheless, I think it’s safe to say that even though the Knicks may not be championship contenders–hardly guaranteed a playoff berth–they are officially out of the wilderness. Amar’e is an excellent player in his prime. The David Lee S&T haul includes a promising young forward in Anthony Randolph. And, the Knicks have the flexibility to improve markedly without having to do anything dumb. For the first time in a long time NY can go out, compete, and let the chips fall where they may. Hallelujah.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

305 thoughts to “LeBron James Chooses The Miami Heat”

  1. Wow. Well, that Jeffries trade looks pretty awful now, doesn’t it?

  2. This is where Donnie Walsh makes his money. Let’s see what we put out on the floor next season.

  3. PG: Douglas
    SG: The Rooster
    SF: Fields
    PF: Lee
    C: Amar’e

    That team can make the playoffs. Even if they don’t, that’s a team I’m going to be proud to call myself of a fan of.

  4. How bout:

    PG: Douglas
    SG: Mike Miller
    SF: Gallo
    PF: Lee
    C: Amar’e

    that sounds like a 4/5th seed

  5. In terms of Miami rounding out their roster, is any GM in his right mind going to make a deal to make the Heat better?

  6. chadfordinsider

    David Lee has now agreed to a 6 year, $80 mil deal with the Warriors via a sign-and-trade with the Knicks. Link is coming …

  7. It is 20 million less than what Knicks gave Amar’e, but is the 6th year make both deals pretty similar or do you guys feel Amar’e is still too overpaid compared to Lee????

  8. We’d better have gotten some quality players for Lee. I am going to miss him.

  9. I’d rather have Lee at $13M a year than Amar’e at $20M. Without question. But for an up-tempo offense, having Amar’e at the C won’t hurt.

  10. Gonna love watching GS with Lee and Curry. Too bad they weren’t both Knicks last year.

  11. “do you guys feel Amar’e is still too overpaid compared to Lee????”

    you have to combine this with the two S&T moves, not sure even Owen would argue Lee over Amare/Randolph, plus a #2.

  12. Jokes aside, believe it or not since many here think I hate David Lee I grew to love David Lee and wish him all the best.

  13. Wow, Anthony Randolph’s Basketball Reference page is beautiful. Look at those BLK/36 numbers! That ORB%! The PER! 2010 doesn’t look so bad after all…

  14. The heart aches…

    That Lee deal is as starnge as the LeBron decision. Why would GS give up so much for the honor of paying Lee that much? They were trying to shed payroll for their new owners, not add to it. Lee and Beidrins? Is Nelson retiring?

  15. It’s a very solid trade. Not to go all Stephen A., but it’s one I suggested when the Monta Ellis rumors started popping up.

  16. @15 Agree about Lee, you’ve gotta love a guy who worked and worked and made himself into a better player every year. And he had a great attitude as well. All the best to him BUT I LOVE the deal, and wonder why GS gave up so much?

  17. Reading some rando Golden State fan page; they are livid that GS is trading for Lee.

    They’ll come around.

  18. While I think doing the special and picking Heat was weird (sets him apart from Wade/Bosh, which is I guess what he wants but makes him look like an a-hole follower rather than leader and teammate)… I do respect that we went on TV and spoke about his decision rather than hiding or something.

  19. You know, I was expecting LeBron to charm his way out of this. But he seemed robotic, selfish, and downright mean.

    I mentioned it in the other thread. They’re burning his jersey in effigy in Cleveland. Lebron answered in the third effing person, “I can’t get involved in that. I have to do what’s best for LeBron.”

    What. A. Douche.

  20. so what’s the cap space number after that Lee deal? do we go after Felton now, or hold the cap space for a premium perimeter guy, once one somehow becomes available?

  21. Hold the cap space. Wait for bargains at the end of the process.

    As in, no Mike Miller for 8 million

  22. “I can’t get involved in that. I have to do what’s best for LeBron.”

    That’s common usage… If he said LeBron can’t get involved… LeBron has to do what’s best for LeBron.” That’s where you get into crazy selfish athlete territory.

  23. “do we go after Felton now”

    NOOOOOOOOOOO. Felton is looking for like $10 mill plus… I’d rather shoot myself.

  24. While I think his decision to go to Miami was pussy-esque and my level of respect for the guy has plummeted, I don’t think Cleveland fans have a right to be outraged that he’s leaving town. He gave them 7 years of thrills, one NBA finals and put the town back on the NBA map. I know it’s hard for them to take today, but they really didn’t have much of a shot to win a title any time soon so his decision was inevitable.

  25. Carmelo still hasn’t extended.

    Let’s make LeBron sweat it in South Beach… sign his biggest rival to run with Amar’e.

  26. not arguing about Felton, but this team is so desperate for a real PG (I know you’re not a fan).

    well, at least we have Ty Lawson…

  27. “Even if he succeeds in multiple championships, people will question if he has the leadership abilities to do it on his own? He’s likely to have a handful of jewelry, but these rings may come at the cost of his legacy.”

    Agreed with everything you said up to this, Mike. His legacy will be the greatest physical talent ever to play the game, and in the conversation with the greatest players ever. Barring disaster, he will win 2-3 titles before all is said and done. He’s not gonna catch Russell and probably not Jordan either, so whether he wins 2 titles or more, he will still be who his game says he is. And in 5 years, if he wants to take on another challenge, he will still be as young as Kobe is now when the contract is over. If anything, the other choices were a much bigger risk to his legacy.

    I agree, though, that everything Walsh did was worth the gamble. We are still a much, much better team than we were when he took over. Yeah, we missed/will miss a couple of draft opportunities and suffered through 3 disappointing seasons, but barring injury, there’s not a guy on the roster who is overpaid, we have young root-able talent and loads of cap room. Bring on the MF’in’ Heat!

  28. It’s more the, “I can’t get involved in that” part. Even a fake Clintonian “I feel your pain,” would have been less crappy

  29. I’d be a lot happier tonight if I thought this meant the Knicks were actually going to try to build from the ground up in future like a for-real-serious big-boy team, instead of going in for another crazy get rich quick scheme the way they have been for the last decade or so. But I can’t shake the sense that inside of 2 months we’re going to be hearing about a Gilbert Arenas trade. Here’s hoping.

  30. I have to add one thing to an earlier post about Cavs fans: they do have a right to be pissed about his Game 5 no-show. In hindsight, he knew he was out of there and mailed it in.

  31. Guys, I have read numerous articles recently saying Walsh has no interest in paying Felton what he wants and it is more likely they will try to sign Ridnour since he will presumably be alot cheaper.

  32. I think this is when Donnie should approach Melo and Chris Paul build a “Super Team” of our own, and kick “LePussy’s” ass.

  33. Matthew Modine on MSG makes a meta-full metal jacket “Jelly donut” reference about Eddy Curry getting in shape.

    That was the weirdest moment of the last 8 days.


  34. Not much, hes not gonna pay taxes. Hes making more with a FA max than he would make in NYC with a team max. Plus he makes more off endorsements anyways.

    I disagree with some people that he was arrogant, I thought he locked incredibly nervous and that the pressure had actually made this very hard on him.

  35. If Melo doesnt sign an ext… where else can he possibly go? Arent we the only option? Only team im thinking of is bulls.

  36. @37,

    I think (really hope) both D-Will and CP3 will presumably want out of their teams next year. I say we get D-Will and Melo, and Orlando gets CP3 so we can really make it hard for South Beach!

  37. The hometown “extra 30M” is misleading, because LBJ is basically guaranteed to get another max deal when this one is up. Well, I suppose anything could happen, but it’s not THAT crazy, especially for a guy who is worth in the 100s of Millions with endorsements etc.

    Also, the tax benefit is something like half a mill per year. Real money to us mortals, but not so huge to THE KING OF FLORIDA.

  38. LeBron took less than the max to play in Miami. How much more we’ll find out… like when they sign Mike Miller to join them.

    No FLA income tax is enough to turn North East liberals into raving Tea Baggers….

  39. massive, I said a couple of days ago look out for Derron Williams next off-season because I have read several articles recently mentioning him as someone who could soon demand a trade and not sign an extension with his team.

    Still, next off-season we know for sure barring they sign extensions that Melo and Tony Parker will be FA’s so Im pretty sure the Knicks will let Curry’s deal expire plus find a way to save a few million more for next off-season.

  40. BTW, there is a component to this decision that does suggest that LeBron *really does* want to win rings more than “create his own legacy” or some nonsense like that. And if he does win in MIA, he will be loved by many. And regarded as one of the all-time greats.

    Cleveland will never forgive though. (Probably neither will New York; it’s our endearing sense of entitlement!)

    I also think he and Wade and Bosh are tight bros and he wants to hang with his bros on the beach and hook up with sexy Latina girls at the club. Or something.

    New York is so much cooler than Miami, it’s stupid.

  41. So much for that… I have no problems with LBJ’s decision- he’s going to the place that gives him the best chance to win- can’t see it as too much of a cop out.

    As for the Knicks- Turiaf and Randolph should help our interior D (though I’m sure Turiaf will come off of the bench) and Azubuike gives us a solid wing defender who can also hit the three. This is still an absolutely terrible passing team- Their best passer- TD- would need to nearly double his assist % to even be average at his position. Can he double it? Maybe, but we’d need Gallo, Randolph, Amar’e and Chandler to double theirs as well or we’d still be a pretty bad passing team. Felton or Ridnour would help (though both are pretty average playmakers themselves) but probably aren’t worth what they will cost in the long run- better to keep cap space and/or get a couple more high risk/high reward prospects who you might be able to package in a trade for a real playmaking point guard. Mike Miller (or RJ) would help too but maybe the Knicks should look more for a combo 1/2 guard- maybe Kyle Lowry?- rather than a 2/3 type like Miller or RJ.

  42. Just fully realized this means D.Lee is gone [I knew beforehand, but it didn’t fully hit me till I read the ESPN article]. *sigh* I’m gonna miss him and wish him the best. At least we’ll be getting a couple young up n’ comers in Randolph and Azubuike. Hopefully, Walsh doesn’t make any impulse moves and signs another high-priced FA. I rather he use the remaining cap space judiciously on some solid role players and save the bulk of it for next year when we’ll potentially have the ability to make a run at Melo or even CP3 or D.Will.

  43. T. Douglas
    A. Rautins
    B. Walker
    L. Fields
    K. Azubuike
    W. Chandler
    D. Gallinari
    A. Randolph
    A. Stoudemire
    E. Curry
    J. Jordan
    (insert Ridnour here)
    (Insert Big men here)

    Not a bad roster, but nothing that guarantees 40+ wins.

  44. Oh, and what makes Pat Riley such a good GM? Nothing he did impressed me. So what if he got LeBron and Bosh to join D-WADE in SOUTH BEACH? It was the easiest sell of every single team, he had a leg up the whole time. I’m sure if Isiah Thomas was the GM, he could have pulled off the same thing.

  45. All I got 2 say is I hope Chris Childs comes back an punches Lebron in tha jaw lmao. In all seriousness, I am disappointed but I like the trade with GS. It will look even better if we don’t hafta participate in a S&T with Phoenix and give up a huge trade exception. If we can get Randolph to add some size without sacrificing too much quickness, I think Stat_Randolph-Rooster will make a nice frontline. And we also add Turiaf and Azibuike who I’ve always liked as defensive energy types who won’t necessarily handicap u on offense. Randolph is obviously the big chip..NY has wanted him for a bit so that works out fine for me becuz dude can ball…and he plays decent defense too..he’s just a little skinny. Gonna be an interestin season. Goodnite KB..I got a early mornin conference call at the job-no doubt with Lebron barbs tossed in it somewhere..lol

  46. BBA, I sort of felt that D-Will was unhappy in Utah since they traded his close friend Ronnie Brewer. Factor in Jerry Sloan closing in on retirement, losing Boozer, AK-47 and Okur being in the final year of their deals (I think), D-Will would be a fool to stay in Salt Lake for his prime years. Let’s get him in New York!

  47. For those saying it is admirable that LeBron is going to the Heat just to win and not worry anymore about his brand/legacy you are missing one thing, he is supposed to be King James!!!! He himself is the one who has said in the past about being a billionaire and stuff. Wade is a superstar who does commercials and stuff but has never been close to being as hyped or hyping himself as much as LeBron and his people have.

    LeBron is only 25 freaking years old who apparently idolizes Jordan. So all that garbage he has spewed in the past was all a total lie. Plain and simple.

  48. Getting these young assets was VERY smart by Donnie. You like the prospect of having them all on the floor together, but how do we stand on the trade market now. A deal like Randolph, Gallo, Turiaf, and Azubuike to Utah or Denver for their respective stars looks a LOT better than just Gallo, Chandler, and Douglas.

  49. Broussard taking one last dig at New York.

    “I don’t wanna dis any city, but when Gray asked him what went into his decision and LeBron said it was about winning I knew it wasn’t New York.”


  50. “do you guys feel Amar’e is still too overpaid compared to Lee????”

    “you have to combine this with the two S&T moves, not sure even Owen would argue Lee over Amare/Randolph, plus a #2.”

    Lee is going to be fully paid at 13 million if that’s the number. If the Knicks had been listening to me they would have locked up Lee on a long term contract three years ago for something like 7-8 million. At a little above the MLE, he would have been one of the pieces that might have brought Lebron to New York.

    I still think Lee getting paid 13 million is much better value than Amare. Maybe Amare is the better player right now, after the second half he had it’s pretty hard to argue against that (you really have to value Lee’s rebounding.)

    But the bottom line is that we are never going to win a title with Amare Stoudemire on a max contract. We aren’t getting out of the conference. It’s a simple as that. It’s been hard to be a Knicks fan for the past five years. I am not sure signing STAT made it all that much easier. I hate to be a killjoy but you can’t beat that Miami team with Amare as your centerpiece on a max contract. We would have to add Chris Paul and I don’t know who the hell else to even think about it.

    It’s crazy what went down with Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. I hope it blows up, that’s all I can say…

  51. Whoa, I just thought…Allen Iverson and Shaq could both take minimum level deals…

    PG: Iverson
    SG: Wade
    SF: LeBron
    PF: Bosh
    C: O’Neal

    NOT good for us.

  52. King no more, The Chosen One no more, The Happy one it is. Now he makes Kobe that much better if he doesnt win 3 titles.

  53. All I can say is, I’m going to be at the GS game cheering my ass off for DLee, and I’m going to be at the Heat games booing as long as my lungs hold out for…well, all of them.

    At least I can say, thank God I’m not a Nets fan. (Though who is?)

  54. Owen,
    Hindsight is 20-20. Walsh took gambles he had to take. Mike’s characterization of the gambles as medium risk-high reward are accurate. We are by no means a dead franchise. We have a max-contract stud (Lee is not nearly as good as Amar’e, case closed) and lots of flexibility. We are in great position to improve each year for the next 5 years. It all depends on what we do from here on out.

  55. LeBron winning a title in Cleveland:LeBron winning a championship in Miami = Playing Nintentdo:Playing Nintendo with Game Genie. He’ll see what it’s like to win it all but with no sense that he earned it.

  56. I hope Alonzo comes out of retirement and takes the minimum.

    Our old enemies. Never forget: after the Charlie Ward nonsense in ’97, we beat this punk franchise in ’98, ’99, and ’00.

    I’m bringing out the Pat Riley voodoo doll and getting ready for the season.

  57. On the plus side, I see Amar’e throwing down some absolutely nasty dunks on both Bosh and LBJ next year. Of course, we’ll probably lose the game 120-96 or something like that but still…

  58. Jeff Van Gundy basically just ripped the Knicks for sending Isiah to try to talk to LeBron last night. You know that is a direct shot at Dolan who JVG knows all too well.

  59. Also, interesting to note that Randolph was scheduled to participate in the Vegas summer league for the Warriors so hopefully that’ll mean he’ll be on the Knick’s roster- be nice for he and TD to get some run together before training camp.

  60. “Jeff Van Gundy basically just ripped the Knicks for sending Isiah to try to talk to LeBron last night. You know that is a direct shot at Dolan who JVG knows all too well.”

    I think we know Dolan all too well by this point — as an incompetent, utterly-blind executive who ran a once-proud franchise into the ground by hiring what is likely the worst pair of consecutive GMs in American sports history, one of which helped bring his company under the scrutiny of a multi-million dollar sexual harassment lawsuit.

    So yeah, I mean — probably a direct shot.

  61. Frank – Turiaf, Randolph, Azebuike

    “Hindsight is 20-20. Walsh took gambles he had to take. Mike’s characterization of the gambles as medium risk-high reward are accurate. We are by no means a dead franchise. We have a max-contract stud (Lee is not nearly as good as Amar’e, case closed) and lots of flexibility. We are in great position to improve each year for the next 5 years. It all depends on what we do from here on out.”

    It’s not hindsight. Lee was a good rookie and he was amazing as a sophomore. A more intelligent franchise would have locked him up then, or after his third year. And maybe drafted Rondo. And done a few other things. But the other things I won’t be crying about tomorrw morning all over my waffles…

    Amare is a nice player but he is not a stud. . He just isn’t. There is a tier of players that includes James, Wade, Paul, Howard, Kobe (natch) Gasol, Durant, and maybe the remains of Tim Duncan, maybe Rondo, I don’t know. And there is a second tier, Carmelo, Bosh, Joe J, Amare, etc. Those guys don’t win championships.

  62. Owen, is Gasol really better than Amar’e? I love Pau, but he didn’t get have a ton of success as the alpha dog in Memphis, and I doubt it’d be very different now.

    I agree that Amar’e is on the second tier, and it’s extremely rare to win a ring with a second tier guy as your alpha dog, but I think we’re in a better position today than we were at any point over the last decade.

    We may need a top-tier guy to put alongside Amar’e, and those guys aren’t on the open market very often, which is why today stings so much. But it’s not impossible to think it could happen over the next few years.

  63. Does anybody think we can make a trade at the deadline for D-Will, CP3, or Melo? I think we have enough assets (a big expiring along with young, high-upside players) to get one of those guys if they’re disgruntle and want out (see: Stephen Jackson).

  64. anybody watch knicks night live on msg? clyde only got a few words in, but had some great comments about how he was shocked that lebron was taking the easy way out. he said he never would have wanted to go to the celtics when he was drafted because they were the dominant team at the time. interesting viewpoint from a former champion about building a team towards a championship versus essentially being an opportunist. sour grapes.

  65. Nicos – Not with the D help we got…

    I think we’ll get 40 and squeak into the playoffs, only to be obliterated by Orlando.

  66. Here’s how I rationalize. First, it’s better that Wade and LePippen are on the same team because it keeps Chicago/Cleveland/New Jersey weaker than they otherwise might be. Second, any team is only one injury away from falling apart. Third, I’m not sure the two will play that well together. Not every night at least. Fourth, LePippen is starting to seem a little fragile psychologically, after this year’s playoffs and this move to Wade County. Fifth (and most obviously), the Knicks are not yet competitive for a playoff run. We can all watch the South Beach Circus while we work on getting better. (I mean, how long will the frickin’ introductions be with all the strutting Miami will be doing?)

  67. OK,
    I’ve calmed down. A couple of thoughts are keeping me off a ledge right now.

    One is that, though Miami is now the clear favorite for the next five years (I don’t know what Jon Barry was talking about), Toronto and Cleveland are going to be worse than us, arguably, over that time period. Chicago did not get that much better either, so, other eastern conference teams scare me a lot less, now.

    We are now in a position to remake our roster the right way. So, Walsh’s strategy can work even without LeBron. You have to admit, NYK fans, that we’ve been too bad for too long to really have a legitimate shot at luring a guy like James this year. But we got closer than most people thought and maybe by next year we have some legitimacy and can get Carmelo.

    How can you blame anyone for choosing to play with Bosh and Dwade? If it was you in a pickup game would you say, “No, give me Rose and Joachim Noah”? LBJ’s legacy will be fine. Jordan did not do it by himself and our beloved Pat Ewing? NYK never put anywhere close to equal talent around him and he played his whole hall of fame career without a championship AND HE GOT THE BLAME. Cleveland never put anything around LeBron close to what he’s going to. He really did want to stay, I think, but he wanted to play with great players more, and he took less to do it, which really is unprecedented.

    So, what the heck, hope springs eternal. We have Azabuke (when he played with Bellinelli it made for a funny take off on Faniculi Fanicula). The Honorable Cock Jowles brought up the 2007 Giants. Not a bad role model for us right now.

  68. “We are now in a position to remake our roster the right way.”

    we need a franchise perimeter player, not many of those around. two of them just said no to us, and presumably Paul will now join Miami as soon as he can.

  69. I feel for Dan Gilbert, sort of, but…that may not have been the wisest move of all time. Yikes.

    Anyway, I’m already OK with this. The way he handled his “Decision” was so gross that I had reached a point of not being excited by the prospect of him choosing the Knicks. I can’t fault his choice – it’s admirable, in its way, since it speaks to putting winning over money — but the self-regard was just an unbelievable turn-off. I do think A-Rod and Jeter are good analogies: in a million years Jeter never would have handled a situation like that, and A-Rod kind of has, several times. So Jeter is beloved and A-Rod tolerated. Doesn’t mean A-Rod is a bad person and Jeter is a good person – I have no clue – but one seems to have the perspective on how to handle things and one doesn’t. LeBron may be a really good guy, but he totally mishandled this whole thing.

    Meanwhile, we should all be able to walk by open windows without concern. It’ll be hard to wait another year or two until our team is great, but we are well-positioned, with some decent talent and room to finish the journey next off-season. I’m looking forward to seeing Gallo develop. I’m looking forward to Amare posterizing RuPaul. I’m looking forward to seeing Azebuike, whose game I like. I’m looking forward to seeing if Anthony Randolph might be something. I’m looking forward to seeing a real defensive effort from time to time. I’m looking forward to seeing which of the rooks surprises us and shows he’s the real deal.

    And I’m looking forward to being the team that, two years from now, knocks Miami out of the playoffs!

  70. Kahn does it again, takes Beasley off of the Heat’s hands for a future 2nd round draft pick. Wow.

  71. “presumably Paul will now join Miami as soon as he can.”

    Well, that’s the precedent that’s been set. No self respecting athlete used to leave money on the table, ever. Now that James has done it we should see it more, and there will be more of these type of “gangs” in the NBA. I just hope we can get a critical mass of that type of energy moving in our direction by making good decisions for a change.

  72. “It’s not hindsight. Lee was a good rookie and he was amazing as a sophomore. A more intelligent franchise would have locked him up then, or after his third year. And maybe drafted Rondo. And done a few other things.”

    If you think locking up Lee and drafting Rondo would have changed our fortunes much, we will have to agree to disagree. In my view, the jury is still out until we see how good Gallo and TD turn out to be. Let’s keep in mind that LBJ signed with Bosh and Wade. To think that Rondo and Lee would have made a difference is a joke, especially since Rondo would have been a pretty good player (but unproven in terms of playoffs, you don’t really think Rondo would have gotten us into the playoffs, do you?) on a lousy team rather than a key player on a championship team.

    Lee and Amar’e are close in age and Lee has yet to make an all-star team outright (he was a stand-in last year) while Amar’e has been a premier player on a 60-win team and a five-time all-star despite two serious injuries. And we didn’t exactly get nothing for Lee, we have a promising young talent in Randolph plus some decent roster fillers.

  73. @88

    Can’t wait till Kahn gets canned. But before he does, I hope he trades us Rubio for next-to-nothing.

  74. Best part was Sheridan was the one guy saying from a basketball sense the Knicks were best fit for LeBron because of guys like Amar’e, Gallo, TD etc but now he rips them. Hilarious.

  75. Z-man – pinot noir or not, agreed! What a stupid, stupid column. Another half-decade of irrelevance? Is he unaware of the cap space, that Curry comes off as well? That the DLee trade was to get several low-risk, high-reward expiring contracts? How was that Ewing for Rice and Longley??? Not anywhere close!!! And saying it would be like the 2009-2010 Nets, is he serious? What a total tool. Everyone at ESPN can suck it.

  76. @88 My favorite part of the Michael Beasley trade is that David Kahn negotiated the right to swap draft picks. And when the hell will the Heat have a higher pick than the Wolves?

    The man is a mental midget.

  77. I don’t get it. Kahn drafts a SF at #4. Already has Corey Brewer. He’s got Love/Jefferson/Milicic taking up space at PF/C. What the hell does he need/want Beasley for?

    Even if you weren’t enabling the Heat to gobble up Mike Miller, why do that?

  78. Please Donnie – call the man up and offer him Wilson Chandler for Rubio

  79. Thoughts on Matt Barnes? we haven’t talked about him much here but he’d be solid. We already know he’s a top defender, and he’s a great spot up shooter too.

  80. @78 – love Gilbert’s letter, but perhaps the Cavs could invest in an editor to make sure Dan knows that two negatives makes a positive:

    “your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you”

    Nor Never? Really?

    Damn. I really thought he was going to come to NY. This is going to be a tough night. Where’s the Cuervo and my Bea Arthur look-a-like dominatrix tape?

  81. I basically support the Lee trade, but I’ll miss the guy.

    I don’t know why Sheridan equates it with the Ewing trade.

  82. Sheridan sounds like a pissed-off fan, which is kind of understandable.

    But he’s dead wrong. The Nix have cap space moving forward and got a potentially great piece in Randolph.

    I think we’ll look back on this trade and compare it to the Oakley for Camby deal. A beloved and very productive vet for an unproven, skinny but talented kid. Not saying AR’s a future DPOY, but the parallels are there. FAR more than the Ewing/Rice trade

  83. I can’t believe that’s really Gilbert’s letter- who would choose comic sans as a typeface for a poison pen letter? On top of that, ripping players (esp. a player whose play made you $$$$$) is really bad business for an owner- especially in a city that’s a pretty hard sell for free agents to begin with. And, while it might play to the Cleveland fans tonight but it ain’t going to get them to the arena when their team is 10 games below .500 in February.

  84. And yes. The Miami Thrice name sux. They’re the Golden Girls. ‘Nuff said.

  85. Just to spite LeBron, I hope the Knicks sign Delonte West and he keeps nailing LBJ’s mom.

  86. How come Foye and Gomes didn’t get an hour each to announce they were signing with the Clippers?

  87. I would think Beasley for a second round pick would be a pretty good deal if you’re the Wolves.

  88. Wow, that Sheridan column is ridiculous, he must really be smarting from touting the Knicks as LBJ’s choice. The Lee trade as comparable to the Ewing trade? We get 3 rotation players, two much needed defensive minded players and a very young player with more potential than our last (and lost) first round pick? Lee is no Ewing and Amare provides many of Lee’s skills. We will miss the rebounding, but we got actual NBA players, and aren’t overpaying any of them (which we would have been with Lee). Plus we still have cap space. I agree the Jeffries trade seems bad in hindsight, but until the Heat sold off their whole roster, they weren’t even in the running for all 3 players. Bottom line is, we might actually start winning in trades for a change, and personally I think it started already.

  89. I really like the Lee trade as far as it goes- Randolph is a great young prospect who should team well up front with Stoudemire, as their skills complement each other with Amare as the offensive threat and Randolph as a shotblocker/rebounder. If you’re trying to rebuild the right way, this was an excellent move given Randolph’s upside. And I want to be encouraged, but then I read this:


    And I can’t get past the idea that the owners of this team are just always going to find a way to sabotage things. They just cannot be trusted, ever.

  90. “so what’s the cap space number after that Lee deal?”

    We don’t know the specifics of Amar’e’s payment plan, but it should look kind of like this:

    Amar’e = $17+
    Curry = 11.28*
    Turiaf = 4
    Azubuike = 3.36*
    Gallo = 3.3**
    Chandler = 2.1*
    Randolph = 2**
    Douglas = 1**
    Walker = .85**
    Rautins = .45
    Fields = .45
    Jordan = .45
    Total = $46.24
    Cap Space = $12 million +/-

    * expiring in 2011
    ** team option for 2011

  91. Hey guys – make certain you set your tivos for Friday, July 16th. I’ll have a 1 hour special announcing my move to NY. And please don’t fret, Miami wasn’t an option.

  92. I like Sheridan a good deal, but yeah, boy, he did not take this well. Very much like a spoiled fan. Windhorst, on the other hand, has been brilliant throughout all of this, and you know Windhorst is hurting from this, but he’s not letting it affect his reporting. My hat is off to Windhorst.

  93. Then again, just as a professional writer, I suppose he knows that the fans probably love to hate to read stuff like that, so it will get him page views.

  94. I think you are spot on, Z. Wow, $12 million might very well be enough to get both Ridnour and Miller!

    PG Ridnour/Douglas/Rautins
    SG Miller/Chandler/Walker
    SF Gallo/Azubuike/Fields
    PF Amar’e/Randolph
    C Turiaf/Jordan/Curry

    Come on, that’s a playoff team right there! It’s a marked improvement over last year’s team, as well, all while preserving a large chunk of cap room for next year!

  95. I like the fact that you had Turiaf at C and Amar’e at PF. I think that should be how they start. I have a feeling Chandler is going to be traded eventually freeing up his salary for next season and leaving them with close to 16 million in cap room coming off hopefully a playoff season.

    Now that could actually equate to a real nice looking future…

  96. Now a report on ESPN.com saying Mike Miller’s dad said he is going to the Heat. Lovely.

  97. My only real fear is that it seems hopefully the Knicks are not panicking about missing out on LeBron and have a smart, sensible plan in place instead BUT James Dolan might not realize it and make some rash decisions after this season if not even during it.

  98. Best way to beat the Heat is with a defensive juggernaut. Probably not going to happen while Mr. SSOL is the coach. Sigh.

  99. Are Turiaf and Azubuike still rotation players?

    Turiaf played in 42 games last year (season ending knee and ankle injuries), Randolph 33 (season ending torn ligaments in his ankle), and Azubuike only 9 (season ending torn patella tendon).

  100. Turiaf, unfortunately, has been injury prone since leaving the Zags. Used to see him beat up on the Pepperdine Waves twice a year. My personal opinion is that it is hard to find a decent player that has been discarded by the Lakers. Marc Gasol is about the only exception to that rule, but I don’t think he even made it off the practice squad before being traded for his brother. Von Wafer, Javaris Crittendon, Sun Yue, Cheik Samb, . . .

  101. Let me clarify that – a decent player that was drafted by the Lakers and then discarded.

  102. “5 yr-30 million for Miller??? How the hell Heat afford that???”

    B/c they dumped Beasley’s carcass on the Wolves for a 2nd rounder.

    I’d save the cap room and let DWTDD do his thang than go for Ridnour

  103. So the Heat’s salary structure looks like this:

    LeBron = 16
    Wade = 16
    Bosh = 16
    Miller = 5.5
    Chalmers = .85
    7 roster spots 3.5
    = $58 million

    I tip my hat to Pat the Rat.

  104. My guess is that Lebron and Wade each take a little bit less than $16 million to free up even more money for another free agent.

    Honestly, good for Miller. I would have loved to have seen him on the Knicks, but he obviously is a pal of Lebron’s and he’s the type of player who no one can really complain about just going for the team that has the best chance for a title. So good for him.

    Now for the Knicks….hmmm…maybe RJ now that Miller is off the market? Oh wait, I forgot, Josh Childress has also got to be available, right? How could the Hawks match any offer for Childress?

  105. And the Lakers didn’t really discard Turiaf, the Warriors just overpaid him so the Lakers let him leave. Turiaf for a year at $4 million is fine. Turiaf for four years/$17 million – not so fine.

  106. Vecsey said the other day that the Spurs have a handshake deal with Jefferson for a longer deal to save them cap room and make him more money overall, so thankfully he’s probably off the market too.

  107. How many years does Turiaf have left on his contract?

    This year plus a player option for $4 million and change.

    If he is decent at all, you figure he would turn down the option. Of course, the fear is it that he either sucks or is hurt.

  108. It’s funny, this is only the second proposed Lee trade that I was actually on board with, and I looked back at the last one, and that one would have worked out pretty well, as well (I was okay with Lee for Mike Conley and the #5 pick, with the intention of drafting Kevin Love).

    While Conley has been crap, Kevin Love would be nice to have, but honestly, getting Randolph in his place (while also getting two decent rotation players) is likely just as good.

  109. By the way, a Beasley/Love forward combination is actually pretty interesting. Well done by Minnesota – giving Beasley a chance to play the 3.

  110. I am disappointed in the way we have traded Lee. Good for GSW. I guess Donnie wants flexibility in 2011; i hope we get some kind of draft pick in the trade.

  111. I just read a news article that said a man claiming to be Lebron’s father is now suing him….damn…is Delonte West really THAT mad at LBJ leavin Cleveland? MUUUUUAAAHHHAHAHHHAAAAA!!! (my evil laugh)

  112. From the few articles Ive read about this trade its really weird because it looks like the Knicks were the ones making the smart move by giving up the player with the big contract for younger players with good contracts and one player whose potential could be through the roof. Its like the Twilight Zone or something. lol

  113. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with the Warriors. Biedrins seems almost the prototypical guy to pair Lee with (other than Dwight Howard). It’s a young team and their offense will be super efficient. I suspect that their front office thinks that Brandan Wright might be a better player than Anthony Randolph, especially on a team with two great rebounders like Biedrins and Lee. And Reggie Williams was pretty good at the end of last, good enough to make losing Azebuike, (who I think is quietly a very good player) more palatable.

    Not sure I see the Knicks being better than Golden Sate this year, barring injuries to the always injury prone Warriors. Call me crazy but I would much rather be paying Biedrins and Lee 23 million than Amare 20….

  114. Bummed to know that Lebron dropped his crown and chose to convert as a queen and be a part of Miami’s Golden Girls…

    Glad on the back-up plan that Walsh made with the Warriors and kinda relieved from the anguish that the Warriors now had to go through.. at least they now know how it feels to have have an Isiah like GM (or maybe it was really him all this while). I can sleep soundly and have a smile in my face now since misery always tend to love company. Maybe we now have a better change of bagging Melo, Paul or Rubio next year. After all, a Knick fan can’t be a lifetime pessimistic, right?

  115. 1. I admit that I was wrong: signing with Miami HAS tarnished LeBron James’ reputation/brand.

    I don’t have a problem with his signing with the Heat: LeBron, Wade, and Bosh all grew up in a generation during which we bemoaned athletes for putting money over winning, and they stepped up to the plate to do what they were taught was the right thing to do. I have a problem with the way he went about it. Specifically, I buy Gilbert’s tirade about LeBron phoning it in to a large extent–his body language and production didn’t do much to dispel it–and LeBron’s waiting till after Bosh and Wade made their announcement to make his. The right move, in my opinion, was to announce it as a threesome… as a team. LeBron now appears to be a follower and/or a spotlight hog. Not a leader or a team player.

    The bottom line is that I woke up today and realized that I have lost a lot of respect for LeBron in the past several months. So, good call to those who said this would tarnish his brand, reputation, and legacy. I wonder how people will remember all this in 5, 10, 20, 50 years…

    2. Chris Sheridan absolutely laid into the Knicks in this article: http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5365731

    He says the Knicks have a better chance of competing with the 09-10 Nets than becoming relevant. I hope we all remember this when the Knicks make the playoffs this year and write ESPN/Sheridan asking that he be fired/resign…

  116. The annoying thing about it is — Miami will get amazing ratings if only because people want to see them fail. Every game will be sold out.

    I’d love to see Orlando vs Miami 1st game of the season. Start off the new Miami era with a nice 0-1 start.

    My thought on Lebron is this — for a guy who has called himself King James from the beginning, wanting to be a global icon and a transcendent figure — it’s just such a letdown. He obviously is entitled to go anywhere he wants. I don’t necessarily think he owes Cleveland anything but respect. It’s just so…disappointing to have such a heroic figure choose such a non-heroic path. I would’ve been fine with it if he went to Cleveland. I would have vomited in mouth but would have respected him if he went to Chicago to follow in Jordan’s footsteps. It really is like A-Rod except so much worse because A-Rod was already unlikeable before he came to the Yankees and he didn’t really crush any expectations by joining Jeter’s team.

    I think his chance of becoming a billionaire is truly about 0% now. Will be interesting to see what his endorsements do going forward.

  117. I’m just nervous about Anthony Randolphs health. He only played 33 games last year? Is he healed? Someone said he was playing summer league?

  118. “Call me crazy but I would much rather be paying Biedrins and Lee 23 million than Amare 20….”

    I don’t think that’s crazy, but the Knicks didn’t necessarily have a chance at Biedrins (unless maybe they did, but went with Randolph + Turiaf instead… and even then they didn’t have a chance at Biedrins and Lee). For the Knicks it’s more like: would you rather have Lee + Amare at $33 mill per or Amare + Randolph at $22 mill per? (Plus a second rounder, Turiaf, and Azubuike AND cap flexibility going forward.)


    Turiaf, by the way, played 78 and 79 games the two seasons before last season. He’s a very solid 3rd or 4th bigman. As good a passer as Lee. Efficient, low-volume scorer. Not a good rebounder. Solid defender, though not spectacular by any means. My one concern is that he already takes too many jump shots and that’s unlikely to change under D’Antoni. If he traded some jump shots for inside shots he could be a .600 TS% guy.

    I don’t consider Turiaf and Azubuike to be defensive specialists, by the way, both has as much or more value on offense as defense. They’re also each going to make the same amount, roughly, as Duhon next season.

    I’m excited about this roster! Amare is a legit #1 scorer. Defense can’t be much worse than last season. Gallo and Randolph lead a group of young players with plenty of upside. There is enough quality depth on the wing that a few guys almost have to step up. Cap flexibility (besides Amare) going forward. They have the leading scorer in Spain last season on their Summer League team. And the Lee s&t brings in three rotation players for the same cap space (or less than) it would have taken to sign a below average PG.

    I am definitely interested to see how they proceed at PG.

  119. Agree with Ted & Frank ..

    In my delirious desire for the King to save New York (a multi-year affair, mind you) I stopped caring about how exactly he went about this process.

    I absolutely still believe that, as a man, he is perfectly entitled to make a decision for himself.

    But to drag it out? And look like a follower in the process? How could he not *know* who he wanted to play for within 3 days of free agency starting? He doesn’t look like he knows how to lead. He seems weak and small and indecisive.

    Calling it “a knife in the back” for Cleveland understates the issue, because this was slow and painful torture for a Cavs fan.

    Says a lot that I probably wouldn’t mention any of these things if he was ours.

  120. Hopefully this bodes well for next year:

    Entire Knicks team 2009-2010 = 2.8 blocks/36

    Amare, Azubuike, Randolph, Turiaf 09-10 combined= 7.1 blocks/36

    I’m cautiously optimistic — would be very happy with a 6 or 7 seed next year in the playoffs, then make a big push for Carmelo.

    Not sure who’s going to be our primary ballhandler. TD? If we sign anyone to a multiyear contract, we may not have room to go hard after Carmelo. Maybe Ridnour would come for $9M one year deal?

    Regardless – a lineup like

    C – Turiaf
    PF- Amare
    SF – Gallo
    SG – Chandler
    PG – Douglas
    with Randolph, Azubuike, Walker, Jordan, Rautins, Fields fighting for the other 3-4 guys in the rotation isn’t bad.

    Also – how ridiculous does that Nets billboard across from the Garden look now? Prokhorov must be regretting his purchase by now.

  121. BTW, best Jimmy Dolan quote there will ever be:

    “It takes courage to play where the lights shine the brightest”

  122. “It really is like A-Rod except so much worse because A-Rod was already unlikeable before he came to the Yankees and he didn’t really crush any expectations by joining Jeter’s team.”

    A-Rod was also traded and didn’t come to the Yankees as a free agent… he went to the Rangers. The Red Sox almost had him in a trade before the Yankees, but balked.

    “I think his chance of becoming a billionaire is truly about 0% now.”

    He’s 25 and has earned over $150 million. At the age of 30 he’ll have earned over a quarter billion dollars in basketball-related income alone… to say nothing of investments/business ventures. Chris Paul just joined his marketing firm. If he *doesn’t* become a billionaire he’s an idiot.

  123. I must say, I am fully on board with what we got out of the David Lee trade. Young talent, shot-blocking, efficiency, depth? Yes please!

    The Chris Sheridan article suggesting we’d be like the 09-10 Nets was so bizarre, and utterly wrong. I believe the Knicks may surprise!

    And we’re not done yet.

  124. Sounds like Kelenna and Turiaf are both solid locker room guys too.

    Just bring in somebody to pass the ball! Livingston?

  125. Knicks will be ok. Biggest worry is that Walsh keels over and Dolan picks a shmuck to replace him.

    Sheridan, what can you say? Him, Chad Ford – great reporters, not so great as GM material. It’s funny, until about two weeks ago Sheridan seemed to think David Lee was a 6th man at best. Now it’s like losing Shaq.

    “@88 My favorite part of the Michael Beasley trade is that David Kahn negotiated the right to swap draft picks. And when the hell will the Heat have a higher pick than the Wolves?”

    Now that’s funny.

    Don’t know how you knock Kahn for the Beasley trade, though. You don’t want Beaz because you have Corey brewer? Not like Minny was going to spend $5 million better in free agency.

    I hope Carmelo re-ups with Denver right now so we don’t end up throwing $22 million a year at him. His value is a lot closer to Stoudemire, than LeBron. A team can take one questionable max contract – two, and you’re done.

    I vote that by tomorrow we shift our not-living-in-the-moment fantasies to Chris Paul and 2012.

    I’m sure Chris Paul WANTS to play in Miami but unless he’s taking the mid-level it ain’t gonna happen (I guess they could always trade Chris Bosh, though… now that would be fun to see).

  126. What nags me about Miami isn’t Riley, or buying the championship – it’s what BBA said, actual “Heat fans” are probably rarer than the Florida panther. New York, Chicago, Cleveland and about 25 other cities in the league would appreciate great basketball a lot more than the white-shirted morons cheering on the Heat next year.

    One thing I’ll say – fans here are gonna love Turiaf.

    he is a really, really weird player, though. How can you be the best shot-blocker in the league (per-minute, which he was one year) and rebound like Eddy Curry?

    On top of that, two years ago he suddenly doubled his assist rate and now hands out dimes at the rate of a point guard. While racking up fouls among the league leaders.

    He is a pretty efficient offensive player, TS% over 55 but nothing spectacular. I’m guessing Amare splits his minutes between the 4 & 5, with Turiaf and Randolph picking up the rest of the time guarding bigs. Danilo, Chandler, Walker and spellcheck breaker split the wing minutes. PG is the obvious hole to fill.

    Not many bargains left, once Walsh fills the PG spot (Ridnour?) I’m guessing he leaves the Knicks a few million under the cap, so when Curry walks we have enough to offer a max deal next summer. (or to take Chris Paul at the trade deadline – we can give them Amare!)

  127. Ted – I know we couldn’t get Biedrins. I just was trying to say that I think 23 million for Lee and Biedrins is a much more intelligent use of cap space than 20 million for Amare and anything else. I know Randolph has great potential but I am not a believer yet.

    Caleb – I was about to write that anyone who is rooting for Carmelo to come here is crazy. Melo is going to hold down the small forward spot on the All-Overrated team for the next 10 years. Signing him to playing Amare would be a repeat of all the mistakes we made in the Isiah era, i.e. the more scorers the better.

    As you say, it’s basically Chris Paul or bust. Even then it would be tough.

  128. How about using a chunk of the remaining cap space to overpay Mahinmi on a 1-year deal? No idea how much that would take: maybe $1-2 mill or maybe $7… I really have no idea if there’s a market for him and what it is. There are safer moves and bigger needs, but I’m not sure if there’s a FA left with more long-term upside… Of course between Amare and Randolph he’s somewhat redundant.

    If their best option at PG is to overpay a one-year wonder (painful cough… Ridnour) on a one-year deal I can respect that. I’m high on Douglas, but counting on both Douglas and Rautins is very risky. Or if they find a good trade that uses some or all of the cap space. Otherwise I’d like to see a relative bargain PG and doubling down with Mahinmi (along with Randolph… double your odds one works out, plus have the chance to have something special should a significant number of Gallo, TD, Randolph, Fields, Rautins, Jordan, Walker, AND Mahinmi all work out…).

  129. To avoid short-term catastrophe i.e. <25 wins in 2010-2011 the Knicks need another PG – even TD is as good as we’ve been hoping, he’s a combo guard, not running the point on a good team. Not a lot of options besides Ridnour, or maybe a trade.

    “it’s basically Chris Paul or bust.”

    I wouldn’t go thaat far… Walsh built NBA finalistswhere the best players were Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Jermaine O’Neal and Ron Artest. No NBA 1st-teamers. Was there even a 2nd-teamer? Maybe Reggie, once or twice.
    If you don’t pee away your cap space, you can build a team like that. Hope a few guys blow up. Gallo, maybe. I’m definitely on team Randolph. (My research assistant will have to find my post from Jan ’08!) Who knows, maybe even Bill Walker.

    We’re handicapped by the lack of draft picks, but I don’t think the 2011 pick will be top-10 so it probably wasn’t going to be a savior, anyway.

    Root for Houston to collapse..

    Not sure why, as I’m a Morey admirer and huge fan of Rick Adelman, and I always pick Houston to overachieve… but this year, with expectations a lot higher – I have this weird feeling they will disappoint. Yao will never be healthy. I am not a Kevin Martin fan. Battier is aging. They could win 55, they could miss the playoffs. Maybe someone – the Nets? – can steal away Scola this summer.

  130. Owen,

    How does Randolph fair in WoW?
    I’m not necessarily a believer he’ll reach his ultimate and theoretical *potential* as an All-NBA type… I sort of doubt it. He’s already a solid producer, though, *when healthy*. If D’Antoni can pull a Shawn Marion on his scoring efficiency I think Randolph has a very good chance at being a Marion/Josh Smith/Lamar Odom type All-Star-ish forward who is a good 3rd best player on a good-to-very-good team.
    As far as PFs D’Antoni will actually play at the 4, I also think he’s one of the better options because he rebounds and can become a plus defender.

    My point re: Biedrins was really just Lee/Amare @ 33 mill seems worse than Amare/Randolph @ 22 mill and I might take that second combo over Biedrins/Lee too. While, in hindsight, Walsh may have been smart to lock Lee up last offseason… I think he was definitely smart to leverage Lee into a good package.

    Owen and Caleb,

    I’m not a Carmelo cheerleader and I know he has plenty of limitations and a slim chance of ending up in NY… However, with good health an Amare/Melo nucleus provides you with very strong scoring. With defenders/shooters/passers around them (Gallo, Randolph, Douglas, Chandler, Walker, Rautins, Fields, Jordan, Turiaf, Azubuike all fitting at least one of those descriptions…) could be the base for a very strong playoff team. They’d be well overpaid (big risk if ineffective, hurt, or supporting cast disappoints), but at this point a team that competes for homecourt every year would be a dream for me.

    Yeah, I’d rather have Chris Paul, if he’s healthy long-term.

  131. “I think Randolph has a very good chance at being a Marion/Josh Smith/Lamar Odom type All-Star-ish forward who is a good 3rd best player on a good-to-very-good team.”

    I think that is the most likely outcome in about 2 years… he could be a superman version of that (he rebounds a lot better than Josh Smith, and has a better handle than Smith or Marion)… or he could flatten out at the level he is now. But it’s not a stretch at all to say he can be a #3 on a great team.

    Randolph’s WP/48 was .167 this year (through 74 games). .100 is average. His We’ll have to see where that ranks among 21-and-unders!
    The obvious place for improvement is scoring. His TS is only 52%, but he has hope as a shooter – he’s been over 80% on FTs the past two seasons.

    Azubuike’s WP/48 was .248 but probably a bit of an outlier, with the hot-hand 3-point shooting. Last year it was .083.

    Turiaf is at .066. With WoW you can guarantee that if someone rebounds poorly their WP will be low, and vice-versa.


  132. I’m kinda relieved LeBron chose Miami. I can’t deny his abilities, but for whatever reason (mainly he refusal to be a post up monster) I never associated him with winning or with a winner’s mentality.

    The tough part is that I love Wade, especially as someone who I think truly loves basketball and does whatever it takes to win. So … go Wade, I guess.

    As for the Knicks, there’s still reason to be excited and have hope. So maybe they won’t be an easy championship caliber team immediately, I’ll take it. NY don’t do things the easy way, but still can get it done. At least that’s what I want to believe.

  133. I am wrong in saying that Randolph will be the top obtainable trading asset packaged with curry this season ?

    Hes 21
    In Danotni offense can easily put up 18 10 and 2 blocks with high %.
    Is very cheap with team option next season

    This is all pending him staying healthy of course but how can Hornets or Nuggets not take Curry Randolph and Chandler in exchange for Paul or Melo?

  134. “I would rather have Randolph than Carmelo Anthony. There, I said it.”

    Now, what I mean is that I would much rather have Randolph + $20 million to spend on a real max player.

    That said, Randolph for Chris Paul could look good in February, depending what happens between now and the trade deadline and how ugly things get in New Orleans.

  135. “I think Randolph has a very good chance at being a Marion/Josh Smith/Lamar Odom type All-Star-ish forward…//…I think that is the most likely outcome in about 2 years.”

    Not saying you guys are wrong, but why is GS giving him up so quickly. Two years in, and they never gave him a chance. If he’s perfect for D’Antoni’s system, wasn’t he perfect for Nellie’s system too?

  136. Ted – The WOW liked him well enough two years ago as a rookie when he got the most minutes. He was solidly above average at .137 which is impressive considering his age at the time and NBA inexperience. 09-10 wasn’t good because of injuries.

    I suppose I have seen enough to sort of believe the hype. He is definitely the kind of player I often want us to pick up (young, improving) and the kind of risk I think we should take. It’s a pretty decent gamble and we have two years to see if it works out. There is at least the hope of a big surplus of wins with Randolph. As for why they are willing to part with him, it’s because Lee is a great player and because they have Brandan Wright and Udoh waiting in the wings. Wright posted a ts% of 57% in limited minutes before getting hurt and brings similar athleticism to the table as Randolph, though not quite as much. There wasn’t going to be room for both of them on the floor and Wright might be great value for them this year and going forward, offering a lot of Randolph’s production without all the hype.

    With Amare there is no surplus, just a huge or big deficit depending on which metric you use. You have 58 million to spend in the NBA to try to build a 60 win team which is a pretty decent minimum threshold for a championship team. Obviously there are a lot of ways to build a 60 win roster but the easiest is to have a max contract guy capable of putting up at least 15-20 wins. Lebron put up 27 and 24 the last two years. Chris Paul put up 28 two years ago. Wade was probably worth 20 and 17. Gasol and Bryant probably worth 15 each.

    Amare is worth no more than 10 wins and it’s going to be really hard to work around the 2 million per win we are paying him for the next 5 years. it’s possible but difficult…

  137. Remember, Z, the Warriors had to dump Chris Webber, as well, because Nelson suddenly soured on him. The guy just seems to randomly sour on guys. It doesn’t mean that those guys are bad (it doesn’t mean that they are good, either), it just means that once Nelson sours on you, you’re pretty much dead to him.

    By the way, I totally forgot about Jaycee Carroll and Shaun Livingston. The former, the Knicks will already have a crack at, and the latter would be nice to see them take a crack at for a modest investment. Although, hell, if I’m Shaun Livingston, I might take a vet minimum contract to go play in Miami for a year.

  138. Walsh retiring??? I hope his health is alright, but this could be great timing if it allows the Knicks to bring in Pritchard (free agent, so to speak) or Colangelo (employed by Raps… but just lost Bosh, has been rumored to NJN, and has D’Antoni ties) to replace him. Otherwise it’s sort of bittersweet to see the Knicks with the most potential they’ve had in a while and the guy who got them there stepping down and possibly being replaced by some hack… (which most NBA GMs seem to be… something I can agree with Bill Simmons on)

    re: Trade chips

    Yeah, Knicks now *can* offer more than Portland or most other teams.


    You raise a valid concern, but teams do make mistakes. Why did the Grizz give up on Pau? Why did Portland take Bowie over MJ? Why did Portland give up on JO without giving him a chance? Why did Atlanta take Marvin Williams over Chris Paul and Shelden Williams over Brandon Roy? Why does Nellie seem to begrudge playing anyone over 6-7? How is Jason Richardson doing since GS gave up on him?
    Nellie was very high on Randolph and said he’ll be a star in this league during his rookie year. He’s also never played Brandan Wright. Plus GS has had one of the more dysfunctional front offices in the NBA recently (new ownership taking over, not sure if they’ve taken over yet… but they were rumored to want to ax Nellie save for all the money he’s due next season).
    Don’t get me wrong, Randolph is far from perfect… which is why I doubt he’ll reach his ultimate potential and see him as a 3rd or 4th guy (Knicks already have Amare ahead of him and maybe Gallo steps up). He did produce in GS, though, he was very young/raw coming into the league, and GS has had a lot of depth. Guys like Marion, Odom, and Josh Smith who I find him comparable to all have personality/attitude issues and all have had good careers.

  139. Hard to take the minutes played on a Nellie team seriously. He’s not known for an entirely rational approach to coaching. Can’t believe he’s still in there, as frustrated as GS fans have been on this very issue.


    1) How will the big 3 gel in Miami?
    2) How will the new Knicks fit in???
    3) What’s the Knicks’ cap situation after the trade?
    – What are our remaining options?

  141. Ted – I hope it’s Pritchard and not Colangelo. The latter’s signing of Turkoglu and Bargnani might be the worst decisions in recent memory.

  142. GM’s – I thought Mullin was next in line?

    DS – 1) Not well, too many egos.
    2) Just fine, and will actually add some defense to the roster.
    3) Read what Z posted at #120.

  143. Actually, I did some digging last night and found out the REAL reason LeBron signed with Miami…

    Only team with enough roster space for his ego.

  144. @ 186 & 188

    Kill me now.

    If Walsh does step down, I’d prefer Pritchard. That guy is a stud.

  145. Hopefully only as a scout…at least he could spot talent, even if everything DID backfire in his face…after all, he DID draft Lee, Frye and Nate.

  146. Yeah. The trade is exciting, which is why, being a Knicks fan, I feel there must be some dark cloud hanging over it these days.

    Feels kind of like the Oakley for Camby trade. (I remember Randolph’s you tube draft video showing a guy who looked like Camby, but could shoot, dribble, and pass. Toronto was pretty silly to give him up for an over-the-hill Oak. Hopefully GS was equally dumb.

    “Why did the Grizz give up on Pau”

    They didn’t want to pay him his giant contract. Randolph make less than $2 mil this year, and again next year.

    “Why did Portland give up on JO without giving him a chance?”

    Portland was in “win now” mode. GS is in “shed salary for the new owner while we figure out what the hell we’re doing here” mode.

    “once Nelson sours on you, you’re pretty much dead to him.”

    Why doesn’t anyone sour on Nelson? I can’t believe he’s still there.

  147. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CDefTdwIx0

    after watching that… i am sold.

    Looks like he has TONS of hustle in him… on a couple of plays he loses the ball but runs back and blocks the shit out of the thief.

    I dont like the big men dribbling alot ( You can thank Balkman for that) But it looked like he has some handle and speed.

    Question is, can we play Gallo at the 3 Randolph at the 4 and amare at the 5?

  148. Loathing – Thanks! So the cap situation is fairly healthy. I was look for a little more analysis; i.e. “LeBron will run the point, Wade will turn into more of a spot up shooter, etc.” but I guess the Knicks’ and Heat’s rosters have to fill out a lot before anyone can make those kind of predictions.

  149. Good points, Brian.

    Caleb, “I would much rather have Randolph + $20 million to spend on a real max player.” I pretty much agree, but I don’t know if the Knicks will have a shot at a better player than Melo anytime soon. Only *foreseeable* chances to me are a healthy Chris Paul or the Knicks being so bad/lucky that they get a stud draft pick sometime soon… which would give them Bird Rights and make it irrelevant since they could sign him barring Dolan suddenly becoming cheap or someone incompetent taking over for Walsh.
    So, I would hesitate to trade Randolph for Melo… though the certainty of Melo would probably win out. I would also say the $20 mill is maybe more theoretically valuable for non-max guys… i.e. you might get a guy just about as good as Melo at a significant discount.

    Owen, “You have 58 million to spend in the NBA.” Dolan has shown a willingness to spend $150 million in past seasons. That’s the beauty of Gallo and Randolph to me… Knicks can spend their cap space now and then if those guys work out they can go way over the cap to re-sign those guys (and Douglas and any other of the youngsters who work out). They can use the MLE in the future. They can make trades. The downside of this strategy is personified in the form of Isiah Thomas, but there’s plenty of upside.

    I don’t really buy the individual players being worth x wins philosophy. Along with his insane love for rebounding, that’s why I can’t get into Berri. My philosophy is not nearly as well thought out as Berri’s, but basically I see Amare as *potentially* one of the best ways to get 25 pts/36 at a TS% above .600. And he’ll draw some defensive attention… I mean a lot of times I think that’s overrated, but Amare has legitimately been one of the top scorers in the NBA for years (with Nash feeding him the rock…). I think there are better ways to spend $20 million, of course, but if he’s healthy and stays as productive w/out Nash… I think it’s a solid deal.

  150. Note to Donnie Walsh – please don’t sign Raymond Felton for $8M. If you must sign Luke Ridnour, please try and make it a 1 year deal and preserve some flexibility for next year. He is definitely NOT a long-term solution.

    What I’d really like is a front-loaded 2-3 year deal for Shaun Livingston — he made 2.2M last year — probably should be able to get him for 3 years 10 million-ish with as much frontloaded as possible? His stats from Washington last year were just great – TS 56.3, Assist rate of 31.5, although TOs were high. Would be another high-upside low risk move…

  151. Can someone explain something about WoW for me?

    Is it seriously just extrapolated from the amount of wins that team gets? Basically, if you have the same season for a shitty team that you did for a good team, are you going to get more win shares for the good team?

    I only ask because I was looking at Derek Fisher’s win shares, and they seemed to fluctuate based on how good the team around him was – but Fisher just could be a guy whose numbers went up and down legitimately. Anyone know the answer to this one?

  152. As much as AW from Yahoo embarrassed himself during this whole charade, he had a great line in his column today (which is a pretty good read BTW):

    “Now, Clevelanders truly see it for themselves: He was a fan of the Cowboys, the Yankees – never the Browns and Indians. He was a frontrunner, and he just made the most frontrunner move in the history of the NBA.”


    THough now that we’ve seen how this whole thing has played out — is it possible that thing he wrote about Donnie in a wheelchair was true?

  153. Did you hear that whistle? I think they refs are already calling fouls and sending Wade and LeBron to the line.

  154. “I hope it’s Pritchard and not Colangelo. The latter’s signing of Turkoglu and Bargnani might be the worst decisions in recent memory.”

    Yeah, pretty weird/worrisome. Otherwise his record has been pretty good, though. I’d like to excuse the recent moves as a desperate effort to try to keep Bosh in Toronto. The philosophy he established before D’Antoni took over in Phoenix and since he’s been in Toronto is perfectly aligned with D’Antoni and the Knicks current roster… whereas Pritchard seemed to largely disregard McMillan’s style when making decisions in Portland. That could be a very good thing (get the best talent, view the coach as expendable, and a counterweight to D’Antoni’s fanatical views), but it could lead to a big power clash (with Dolan as mediator…) and it could lead to an incoherent approach to building/maintaining a team.

    I’d be happy with either. Dumars was also rumored to the Nets… Similar recent history to Colangelo, but similar track record also. Any of those three should be better than letting D’Antoni make personnel decisions or bringing in the average NBA GM. Mullin or Thomas????????? I’m with cwod in 189, “kill me now.” After Walsh let Bird take over in Indiana… who knows.


    “GS is in “shed salary for the new owner while we figure out what the hell we’re doing here” mode.”

    Come on… They just signed an All-Star PF to a 6 year $80 million deal… clearly they are not in that mode. It’s not like they dumped Randolph for a 2nd round pick… they got an All-Star PF who averaged 20-10 last season. They got the best FA left on the market and potentially one of the better bargains of the non-Miami top 2010 FAs.
    You can nitpick about the examples, but my point is just that teams make stupid decisions all the time. Portland might have won more games with JO, and Memphis ditched Pau to pay a worse player (ZBo) the same amount (netting Marc Gasol in the process). Those were bad calls.

    re: Don Nelson… He’s got a fat guaranteed contract and there have been rumors they want to ax him, but will wait till his contract expires after this coming season.

  155. Actually, both Portland AND Memphis ironically used the money they could have been paying JO or Pau on ZBo…

  156. “Actually, both Portland AND Memphis ironically used the money they could have been paying JO or Pau on ZBo…”


    And we’re using the money we could have been paying Zbo on Anthony Randolph!

  157. Also, Owen, Pritchard signed Hedo to the same deal before he reneged and went to Toronto instead… so that one’s a draw. And Pritchard’s Aldridge deal is pretty comparable to Colangelo’s Bargnani deal… close to a draw again.
    I’m not lobbying for Colangelo over Pritchard, just discussing. Like I;ve said, I’ll take either.

  158. anyone think we should hire mike brown as an assistant coach? he has a great rep as a defensive mind. if anyone knows weaknesses in lebron’s game it should be him… and you can bet no one would be more motivated to help the knicks win.

    can’t tell how the PR angle on that would be though. good because we hired a guy who was wronged by the whole lebron fiasco? or bad because he’s a castoff?

  159. Ted,

    I don’t think it’s absurd to quantify the impact offensive rebounds has on win probability. The fact is that a higher rate of ORB% means more possessions for your own team, and that means more opportunities to score. It’s actually a very simple way of looking at the value of that basketball event, and its simplicity is why I like WoW so much. Turnovers are bad. Offensive rebounds are good. Scoring efficiently is good. Drawing fouls is good. Shooting free throws is good. Not so hard to support.

    @ 204

    There’s a weakness in LeBron’s game? I mean, if being a bad 3PT shooter is a weakness, then that’s one that is shared by Michael Jordan (except for those few years when he must have needed to prove to himself that he could have a league-high 3PT%).

  160. Lee was closer to 20-12 (11.7 reb) than 20-10, although if you discount for pace…

    Brian – The WOW takes a team’s efficiency differential (not wins) and assigns credit for the expected wins to players based on the box score stats they posted. The values for each stat are derived from a regression analysis. On the defensive end it divides up the credit on the basis of minutes played, so the better defenders on good defensive teams do get less credit than they should, and the worse defenders more. Generally this is a relatively small difference though. If there were a reliable defensive metric you could use to assign credit more efficiently among players you could easily put that into the equation. Defensive +/- is pretty crazy year over year though.

    To answer your question, ex defense, yes you will get as many wins for a bad team as you will for a good team. Generally, there are a lot of really bad players who are worth negative wins on really bad teams. They effectively destroy the wins that other players create (i.e. Eddy Curry and David Lee).

    I think it’s fair to assign players Wins Produced, Win Shares, Ewins, or whatever the metric is. The stat guys don’t do it as well in b-ball as they do in baseball, yet, but they are getting there. And basketball players, especially the established ones, are models of consistency for the most part. If you look at player movement it’s rare to see incongruous results. What isn’t rare is to see players who received a lot of credit for success generated by their teammates disappointing when they move to new teams. The Hedo effect. (and that is interesting about Pritchard and Turkoglu. He did get lucky not to sign him.)

    Re Lee – We only won 29 games this year and a lot of people take that as a sign Lee isn’t that great of a player. How good could he be if we didn’t sniff 500%. I think the right way to look at it though is that without Lee the Knicks would have been like the Nets last year, maybe a 15 win team depending on who replaced him in the lineup. To a fan, the difference between 15 and 30 wins is nothing. The guy who does that never gets the credit he deserves. Like KG (who made a 20 win team into a 40 win team for many years). Like Gerald Wallace. Like Chris Paul two years ago who could easily have been the MVP. In the NBA it’s the guy who takes a team from 45 wins to 60 who gets the accolades, which sometimes is just the luck of the draw.

    Anyway, rambling…

  161. Also, does anyone remember when people speculated that LeBron’s desire to hold sit-downs on neutral territory instead of in posh NYC penthouses was a way to make him look less like a pampered, me-first, coddled rockstar?

    Pretty funny now, huh.

  162. Hey guys.

    What kind of defensive team does the Heat figure to have? We all know LeBron is all-world on the defensive end, but Bosh is no great shakes and Wade is kind of average. Seems like a lack of interior defense could be an Achilles heel for that team, no? If they were to fail to win a ring for some reason that would make this whole thing totally worth it.

    Let’s sandbag them and trade all of our best players to Orlando.

  163. Wade is an excellent defender actually, one of the best at his position in the NBA. So is Lebron. I think they will be league average at a minimum on the defensive end, probably around 10 depending on who they dig up.

  164. The more I check out Anthony Randolph videos, the more excited I get. I just read that he is fully recovered from his ankle injury and has put on 25 lbs of muscle. He is exactly what this team needs as a replacement for DLee, a guy that can block shots, rebound, and play effectively off the ball. He also seems to have quite an array of skills and a nice stroke. His arms are freakishly long. With Amar’e, Gallo and Randolph, we definitely have a front line with some serious swagger. Moreover, this is gonna be a fun team to root for. Having Randolph and Turiaf also takes the pressure off of Jerome Jordan so that he has some time to develop.

    Gotta get a PG. Right now, the key to the playoffs is in TD’s hands. I want to have faith in the guy because he is a natural leader and a high b-ball IQ guy with speed and toughness. Just don’t see him as a 36+ minute guy at the PG yet.

  165. “Is it seriously just extrapolated from the amount of wins that team gets? Basically, if you have the same season for a shitty team that you did for a good team, are you going to get more win shares for the good team? ”

    Team success has almost nothing to do with WoW (although there is a small part about team defense, and a player’s share in the D’s success or lack thereof). Basically, Berri draws a straight statistical correlation between various stats (on a team basis) and the team’s wins. He then applies this to individual statistics, adjusting for position (think: Cosmological Constant!).

    One criticism would be that the translation from team to individual stats, might end up misleading – that the position adjustment does not do enough to account for each player’s “share” of the team’s success.

    One thing I DO like about WoW, is the internal consistency. If the team wins 40 games, those wins are distributed among the players. (after all the math it’s not exactly the same, but very close). You can argue that his formula doesn’t distribute the credit accurately, but you don’t end up analyzing a bad team with 5 “above-average players” (say, Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and OJ mayo). By assigning a value in wins, it also creates a system that can make predictions – as in, add this player and it will lead to X wins. As time goes on, you (or more likely, Dave Berri) can improve the formula.

    it’s also a good way to understand diminishing returns – why if LeBron James creates 25 wins and Dwyane Wade creates 23 wins, you don’t create 48 wins by putting them together — you get less. (why the Heat won’t win 113 games next year).

  166. I am thinking more and more that D’Antoni might not be the best coach for this team going forward. If he keeps his rotation short, he could harm the development of our younger guys. Hopefully he adapts to the new reality well.

  167. @ 212

    Many of the discrepancies between WoW and actual wins can be explained by foul-and-pray endgame strategies and buzzer beaters.

  168. Pretty funny how everyone is so optimistic on this sign-and-trade and in large part because all three guys are being labeled quality defenders by most. Randolph’s shot-blocking will be welcomed but come on now.

    I don’t blame the Knicks here. They did what they had to. Amare is definitely overpaid and I would’ve preferred to keep Lee for less…as Owen said we should’ve already had him locked up…the Knicks had to make a run at Lebron though and that was the only move to make.

    Personally, sign me up as one of those hoping for the “All-Overrated” Carmelo Anthony. I think merely looking at his stats is short-sighted when considering the team he played for. Here is a guy who won a NCAA Championship as a freshman. People crown Wall and he couldn’t do it in an incredibly weak NCAA season with a team of first-rounders. It is fairly irrelevant in the NBA, but Melo is a bonafide stud. Is he on the tier below Lebron and such? Yes. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be capable of taking them out with some support in a given year. You can build a championship team on a roster with Melo, no question in my mind. Amare is going to have to improve his rebounding and some other developments/acquisitions will need to go along with it.

    Of course I would rather Chris Paul. I wonder if the Amare contract ruins what maybe would’ve been possible in joining Paul, Melo and some other high profile player (or Amare at a shorter price)? A healthy Paul is probably a top-6 player in the league, it’s no offense to Melo.

    If we do end up with Parker, Melo and Amare, it will make for interesting Eastern Conference Playoffs. It will probably be the Bulls glory years all over for us Knicks fans, in with a chance and watching interesting series each year, but ultimately falling short…but hell, who isn’t begging for those years back at this point?

    Really not sure what to make of this Knicks roster at this point though. Presumably we will be trying to sign Randolph long-term, which means we better be right about him, because 2011 looks to be another loaded FA class.

  169. @206 THCJ

    I don’t recall saying that it’s bad to value offensive rebounding. And it’s not that he values rebounding, he values it to an extreme degree. If you take the WVU approach of just throwing the ball at the basket and hitting the o-glass you might win a lot of games, but I think there are also other ways to win games.

    What I disagree with, not to repeat myself because I already stated this, is that you can isolate the number of games a player wins. Teams win games, players do not win games. Certain players in certain combinations might be greater than the sum of the parts (so to speak, maybe that’s not accurate but they play off each other and allow each other to be more productive), others might be worse than the sum of the parts.

    “Turnovers are bad. Offensive rebounds are good. Scoring efficiently is good. Drawing fouls is good. Shooting free throws is good. Not so hard to support.”

    Again, no one is disputing any of these claims. 4 Factors is a commonly accepted representation of what you’re saying.

    It’s a matter of taking all of these factors and applying them in certain ratios to assess individual player value that is extremely complicated and where you’ll find a lot of disagreement. You can agree with the 4 Factors and disagree with Berri.

    I’m not saying Berri is worthless or I don’t find his insight interesting. I agree with him on a lot of points and a lot of players. He himself admits that his stats are a big oversimplification based only on box score stats.

  170. “Presumably we will be trying to sign Randolph long-term, which means we better be right about him, because 2011 looks to be another loaded FA class.”

    Randolph is on a rookie deal until the summer of 2012. Have to wait until the next CBA to know what happens then, but if anything will hold down salaries and make it easier for teams to hold onto their own players (not necessarily good for the league, but good for teams that are under the cap now).

  171. OK so we currently have a few million to blow…do we roll the dice on one or two guys or pay Gallo?

  172. “Seems like a lack of interior defense could be an Achilles heel for that team, no?”

    Very possible. They could overcome it in other ways (offensive basically along with wing defense) and make it irrelevant. Varnado and Pittman have a chance to solve the problem. Maybe Bosh steps up with less offensive responsibility. And maybe they get a defensive presence with the MLE down the road. But that does look like a weakness that maybe the Lakers, especially or a team with a frontline like them, can exploit.
    Wade is regarded as being as good a defender as LeBron, and besides giving up a few inches I’d consider that pretty accurate. Spoelstra is also known more for his defensive coaching, I believe.

  173. “OK so we currently have a few million to blow…do we roll the dice on one or two guys or pay Gallo?”

    Like Randolph, Gallo is on a rookie deal for two more years and presumably restricted after that (like David lee last summer). Don’t worry about paying him.

  174. I’m not sure why people are so excited about Anthony Randolph. I don’t think he is a bad player but does anyone think his eFG% of 44.5 and his TS% of 52.1 seem a tad on the low side? His PER was 18.6 okay I guess. I do like his rebounding and blocks per 36 minutes numbers. He has a very nice rebounding rate as well at 16. So if we are thinking cheap, young, lanky, defensive reserve then yeah I’m okay with it. But lets not go overboard onthe guy just yet. Let’s see what he can do on the cheap for the next two years.

    I’m not buying in based on the youtube highlight reels that can make anyone look like a player.

  175. “Gotta get a PG.”

    Agree Z-Man. The question becomes how patient/impatient do you get, though. I vote for more patience than anything.

    “I am thinking more and more that D’Antoni might not be the best coach for this team going forward. If he keeps his rotation short, he could harm the development of our younger guys.”

    While I’m not a big D’Antoni fan, I think he’s the guy. This team is built for him. Amare, Randolph, Gallo… all very much D’Antoni guys and as of today that’s got to be considered the core. Style wise he’s probably about as good as anyone the Knicks can hope to get.

    As much as I hope the Knicks hit on all their young guys, there’s almost no chance. If they get one NBA player from the three 2010 2nd rounders, that’s a good draft (odds have to be under 33% chance of getting a good player in the 2nd… even include Walker for a 25% chance that has to be above what you expect… even Douglas for a 20% chance and they’ve done well enough). I’m not that crazy about a 7 man rotation necessarily, but if D’Antoni identifies the *right* 7 guys I have no problem. If he benches on of his best players I probably have a problem.

  176. Thomas – people aren’t “so excited” about Randolph; they’re just happy that we made a trade that

    1) brings us a potentially very good player in Randolph
    2) brings us good rotation guys in Turiaf and Azebuike
    3) brings us overall a better defensive team
    4) does it all without hurting our chance to sign a max player next year.

    All in all, that’s pretty fantastic return for a guy you weren’t going to sign anyway. And it’s the kind of management we expected out of Donnie – he wasn’t necessarily going to hit it out of the park (though he gave it a good shot), but he wasn’t going to screw up the future either. I really, really hope his health is OK. If Isaiah comes back, I really am out of here.

  177. I have to give credit to Walsh. Yes, he took a risk on Lebron and lost, but ultimately I believe it was a good gamble, and one worth taking when the prize was landing a talent like Lebron. More importantly, he took a dysfunctional roster, that lacked chemistry with bloated, long term contracts in the Spring of 2008 and now gives us a team for the upcoming season that provides us with a real chance to make the playoffs.

    Back at the end of 2008 we had this:

    Balkman, Renaldo
    Chandler, Wilson
    Collins, Mardy
    Crawford, Jamal
    Curry, Eddy
    James, Jerome
    Jeffries, Jared
    Jones, Fred
    Lee, David
    Marbury, Stephon
    Morris, Randolph
    Randolph, Zach
    Richardson, Quentin
    Robinson, Nate
    Rose, Malik

    As of the Lee S&T we now have:

    T. Douglas
    A. Rautins
    B. Walker
    L. Fields
    K. Azubuike
    W. Chandler
    D. Gallinari
    A. Randolph
    A. Stoudemire
    E. Curry
    J. Jordan
    R. Turiaf

    We now have a youthful roster, few head cases (except maybe Curry), what seems like better team chemistry and real cap flexibility for years to come. Certainly a great job by Walsh.

    Yes, it sucks that we lost out on Lebron, but I feel great about our chances now of ending our playoff drought. Now we just need a serviceable point guard (anything is better than Duhon) and we should be good to go in 2010-2011. Kudos to Walsh!

  178. Thomas B, thank you. I have not been on this board in forever, but I was stunned at the excitement of this deal. I realize that signing Amare meant Lee was gone and I suppose it’s nice to get some young players for him….but this is far from a slam dunk. I don’t think people have seen enough Golden State games. Classic case of overreacting to stats and highlights (two great things) in this case I fear.

    Why would we want to waste money because we have a few million to play with? This team is not winning this year. We actually have our first rounder next year (right?????????) and we now have a slew of young players. Save the cap space, play the young guys, see what you have in particular with Douglas, Gallo and Randolph…and tell Amare to start texting Parker, Paul and Melo 25 times a day about how much fun he is having in NY.

    If we can sign Ridnour for backup PG money I would not be opposed, but really it almost seems a waste of cap space. No reason to believe Douglas can’t be a nice backup PG to hopefully Paul…or Parker.

  179. “I was stunned at the excitement of this deal…”

    Lee was gone either way, and the package Walsh got for him was better than any of us realistically expected. Either he was going to Chicago (no!) or N.J. (yikes!) for nothing in return, or he was rumored to be traded for franchise killing contracts like Al Jefferson or Monta Ellis. THAT is why we are happy with this trade.

  180. Any chance San Antonio takes Wilson Chandler and a $12 million TE for Tony Parker?”

    Maybe. Especially if they think he’s gone next summer, anyway. But I doubt they consider it until they see how the team looks, first. (And if Wilson’s knee is ok)

    I like Farmar as a low-ish cost option but he’s not signing a one-year deal and will probably get bid up to a point where it’s not worth it (like, a Steve Blake deal)

  181. We should 100% be competing for a playoff spot this year.

    Teams ahead of us:
    1. Miami
    2. Magic
    3. Bulls
    4. Celtics
    5. Hawks
    6. Bucks
    7. Bobcats
    8. ??

    i would say we are competing against the pistons, pacers and i guess the nets for that 8th seed. Although getting swept by the heat in the first round would be ugly… Its important that we show 2011 FA’s that we are no longer one of the bottomfeeders.

  182. We basically got 3+ players for nuffin’. You have to realize that there was a real chance Lee might have signed with NJ outright. Yet we got 3 good assets that fill a need. Randolph is 21 years old, younger than any other Knick player on our roster.

    Of course we have reason to be excited. If we arent, we would have to come to the realization that next season might be yet another lottery bound year without a draft pick. (Houston swaps if our pick is better)

  183. So according to espn.com’s rumor page apparently LeBron was AFRAID to play in NY. Wuss.

  184. I think it will be an 8 man rot. And Randolph is being brought in to start, not journeyman Turiaf. We’ll probably see Amar’e at the 5 (more of a scoring, shooting center – will probably bring his shot out a bit farther in ny and maybe a few more post moves depending on the pg), Randolph at the 4 (at worst a Ty Thomas defensive 4 with long arms and good hops but at best learns to develop his offense and can become a kind of slashing 4, a guy who can start and finish on the break, rebound/put back kind of guy, and also some good basic low post moves like a baby hook), and Gallo at the 3 (long range shooter who can use smarts to penetrate in situations and force the ball in or else dish to a cutter and whose great size will help him smother other 3’s on D). Amare and Gallo will also be counted on to get to the line a lot. Sounds like an ideal D’Antoni frontcourt, spelled by Turiaf for energy, defense and toughness.
    Now the guard situation gets really hazy, as has been the case since the great Starbury years. I love DWTDD but can we really afford to start 3 youngsters? And can he run the team properly? If not, we need a traditional pg or a two that can handle the pg duties while DWTDD acts as more of a scoring guard w/ great D. I’m thinking of a guy in the Joe Johnson mold. It’s why they were targeting Fernandez. Not sure who else fits the bill. Going after a Tony Parker and just leaving Wil at the two might make more sense. Whatever happens, I’m sure the Knicks aren’t done yet this summer.

  185. re: predicting 2010-2011:

    Amare replacing Lee is probably a small upgrade, say about 2 extra wins.

    Randolph replacing Harrington is obviously a plus, but a wild-card in the short-term. I’ll call it a wash. Feel free to argue.

    The bad minutes played by Duhon and McGrady are replaced by Walker, Douglas and spellcheck killer. I’m gonna say an extra 3 wins. If they all play like they did in limited minutes last year, it’ll be a lot better.

    No one else significant is gone, unless we lose Jonathan Bender!

    I think the interior defense will be better, with Turiaf (and Randolph), but I’ll be neutral on that.

    I will factor in some natural improvement for Gallo & Chandler, 2/3 of our 21-year-old forward combo. Say, 3 games.

    Barring any other signings, I see the Knicks as – conservatively – about eight games better than last year.

    It’s a young team, with a lot of new parts, so I could be way off – but a playoff spot isn’t out of the question at all. Last two spots are totally up for grabs.

  186. “We actually have our first rounder next year (right?????????)”

    Not right. It is protected either in the top 5 or #1 overall (don’t remember which year is which), but otherwise Houston has the right to swap 2011 1sts.

    Randolph is basically like a lottery pick, anyway. Say he spends 3 seasons at LSU dominating the SEC… Probably a 2010 top 5 pick, definitely lottery. Speculation, but I feel pretty confident he would have outperformed guys like Udoh and Ed Davis. He’s about the same age as a lot of the guys in the lottery and has an actual history of NBA production.

  187. It is Randolph’s youth that excites me most. At age 20, he has loads of time to fill out and improve, and odds are he will since he is a solid NBA player already. He’s pretty good already and 7 years younger than Lee. His rebounding and blocked shot stats are better than Camby’s were at age 22/23 and he is way better than Jermaine O’Neal was at that age and comparable to Garnett and T-Mac.

    I put in a comparison with T-Mac and KG at age 20 and with Camby after his first 2 years (age 23). He stacks up well in most areas despite playing far less minutes.


  188. I think this years pick is lottery (meaning if we dont make the playoffs we dont swap it with Houston) protected and next year we keep it if its in the top 5. If not we give it to Houston.

  189. “spelled by Turiaf for energy, defense and toughness.”

    Turiaf is an excellent passer as well.

    “It’s a young team, with a lot of new parts, so I could be way off – but a playoff spot isn’t out of the question at all. Last two spots are totally up for grabs.”

    Agree. Lots of variability and we think we have a shot at the playoffs every year, but does seem like it this season…

  190. “Randolph is basically like a lottery pick, anyway. Say he spends 3 seasons at LSU dominating the SEC… Probably a 2010 top 5 pick, definitely lottery. Speculation, but I feel pretty confident he would have outperformed guys like Udoh and Ed Davis. He’s about the same age as a lot of the guys in the lottery and has an actual history of NBA production”

    I was about to say much the same thing, Ted. I would put him 7 or 8 in this draft, and with potential to be the 3rd or 4th best player. Was a pretty weak draft, though.

  191. People comparing lee to amare are missing an important point —

    yes, we paid a lot of money for Amare, but we didn’t give up any players for him. With lee we would have given up randolph, azabuike, and Turiaf. You sign lee, you can’t sign and trade him, and G.S. wasn’t going to give us those players for free.

    The real question is would you rather have Lee at 13 million or Amare, Randolph, Azabuike, and Turiaf at $26 million?

    If we’d kept Lee, you have to hope that we could get FA to fill that extra 13 million, and in this market you are going to overpay for FAs — there’s just too much money out there. I’d rather overpay Amare to get some dudes on decent contracts than give lee a fair price and then overpay a bunch of other players.

  192. @245 – Great point latke. I’ve been thinking that while reading these comments all day. glad someone pointed it out (i’ve been too lazy to actually log in till now).

  193. [241] Vomit. I’m not up on my Knicks history, but who and or what was responsible for that? I assume it’s Tracy McGrady related?

  194. @247 Yes – that was the McGrady deal. Which was really the Jared Jeffries deal. Walsh paid a high price to dump Jeffries’ contract, but did it because moving JJ was the only way to clear space for two max contracts this summer.

    It definitely has the potential to be a trade that leaves fans pulling their hair out for a decade.

    BUT if the Knicks are ok this year, and can add a FA to be a good team in 2011-2012, it will end up as more of a bee sting than a deadly box jellyfish sting.

    Question: if a lockout wipes out the whole 2011-2012 season, how will the 2012 draft slots be determined?

  195. How about we forget signing a point guard this year. Lets try Randolph at point-forward, and get another serviceable shooter off the bench. We would have a scrappy defensive physical back-court with TD and KA, and wildly exciting front-court of Gallo, STAT and Randolph. We would get beat up by big teams, but boy we would run circles around them on offense.

  196. Hey don’t we have a 13 mil trade exemption now from D. Lee? If we make a lopsided trade (not that we’d want to) are exemptions also regulated by the cap? Meaning if we trade out an exemption, can we go over the cap with the return player at all? We technically could do something like flip Randolph or whoever is cheap w/ that exemption to S.A. for Parker if we want. Not that I would necessarily…

  197. @250 we don’t have a big trade exemption because we took back the other players – we did send out more salary than we took in; if my math is right we have a trade exemption in the $2.5 million range.

  198. @251 – I don’t think it’s a trade exemption. We just have more cap room than we would’ve had if we’d signed and kept Lee.

  199. @250

    No $13 mill exception because GS sent back just about equal salaries (they had to being at the cap).

    The Knicks do still have a lot of cap space to use in lopsided trades, I believe.

    I am unclear as to whether exceptions count against the cap. Without an exception a team that is under the cap cannot make a deal that takes them over the cap (I suppose if it falls into the 25% + $1 mill or whatever it is rule they could).

    Knicks have room to take Parker back if they send out a Chandler or Randolph I think (could pretty easily make it work if not, with a Bill Walker or something). I would be pretty hesitant to trade Randolph for Parker. Parker will be a FA next offseason anyway and right now the Knicks are in a position to keep plenty of room clear if they really want to throw a lot of money at Parker.

  200. “moving JJ was the only way to clear space for two max contracts this summer…It definitely has the potential to be a trade that leaves fans pulling their hair out for a decade.”

    Getting Randolph does take away the sting of dumping Hill.

  201. “The Knicks do still have a lot of cap space to use in lopsided trades, I believe.”

    Am I right there? How much cap space do the Knicks have right now?

    @251 Caleb, can a team under the cap have cap exceptions? I got the impression from something in Coon’s FAQ that cap exceptions count against the cap, but I have no idea.

  202. @251 you’re right, you don’t get trade exemptions if you’re under the cap. But if we end up using all our cap space on Raymond Felton, I THINK we could still use a $2.5 million exception, from the Lee trade, to go above the cap. But I’m not at all sure. Research!

    I wouldn’t trade much for Parker, since we can get him next summer for nothing. I probably would give up Chandler, since he comes off the rookie deal next summer, and is semi-extraneous after Gallo and now Azubuike & Walker. He still has good potential, so I wouldn’t give him away, but Tony Parker would be worth it, IMO.

  203. @251 & 255
    Looks like I am wrong. From the FAQ:
    “If a team is below the cap, then their Disabled Player, Bi-Annual, Mid-Level and/or Traded Player exceptions are added to their team salary, and the league treats the team as though they are over the cap. This is to prevent a loophole, in a manner similar to free agent amounts (see question numbers 30, 31, 32, 33). A team can’t act like they’re under the cap and sign free agents using cap room, and then use their Disabled Player, Bi-Annual, Mid-Level and/or Traded Player exceptions.”

  204. @253
    but would you do Randolph, Chandler, Douglas and Curry for CP3 and Okafor?

  205. I’m just sayin’ that our new cheap ‘high upside’ players give us a much better chance at Paul if NO decides to clear cap space and rebuild…

  206. Paul

    It’s not Miami Thrice™, but it’s pretty good.

  207. Hey Mike, how about a poll to see who everyone would prefer at point:
    DWill, CP3, Mr. Longoria, or someone else with comments for the someone else.

  208. @58

    Yeah– but the TE is good for a full year. So if the Knicks are at the salary cap after this summer, can’t they use a trade exception in February?

  209. Not sure if it was posted here, but I love this Joakim Noah quote about Lebron: “To me personally, I think it’s perfect … I think everybody’s going to be talking about that team down there and it’s going to be real Hollywood down there. But at the end of the day, you got to go out there and you got to play.”

    Man, that guy would be so perfect for the Knicks. That was one of our picks that got him, wasn’t it?

  210. ess-dog,

    On the one hand you pretty much have to trade for Chris Paul (and I agree NYK can now pretty much pass Portland and offer a great package… maybe NO loves Oden or something but Knicks should be able to compete with anyone if they really want to go all in Randolph + Gallo style). I think it was Jon Abbey who said Chris Paul has no cartilage in his knees, though, which sounds like a pretty serious thing to me. I believe that’s forced players (Terrell Brandon?) to retire at young ages and for whatever reason Paul was a lot less productive last season (though still very good). Luckily the Knicks will probably get a chance to see Paul play for a while (1/2 or whole or 1.5 season[s]) before they have to decide on a trade for him.


    My understanding is that they cannot have the TE right now unless they want to count it against the cap… So either they count it and don’t go up to the cap or they go up to the cap and don’t have a TE… but that’s just my understanding.

  211. Does anyone know if the Knicks have added Randolph to their summer league roster? He was scheduled to play in Vegas for GS.

  212. @265 I would love to see us make a run at Noah next summer. Under current CBA rules, Bulls would have the right to match, but would they really match a big offer? Probably, but with Boozer at the max and Rose about to get a max extension, they’d at least have to think about it.

    Noah is a NY guy, I think spent time her as a kid, played summers at Rucker while in college – I think he’d love being at the Garden.

  213. I think the keys to us being a solid playoff team vs. being on the 8-9 seed bubble are:

    1) Gallo – will he take it to the next level?
    2) Randolph – what do we get out of him? Does he stay healthy and if so, do we see the “potential” manifest itself?
    3) PG – I think we all agree it can’t be Douglas, so is it Ridnour, Livingston, Felton?

    If all 3 come out positive, I think we could be a solid 5 or 6 seed.

  214. @269 #3, I would think about Kyle Lowry, too. Not sure what it would take to get the Rockets not to match.

  215. Re: Randolph

    Well we will find out how good he can be, unless he runs afoul of the D’Antoni rules. But the poor shooting is still a concern that few here have addressed. This guy takes 9.3 shots from the field per game. He takes the same number of shots at the rim (3.7) as he does from 16-23 feet (3.1). He finishes at the rim (57%), from 16-23 (33%). Less than a third of his shots are from 2-15 feet and he hits those at 40%. His shot distribution tells me that he takes far too many outside shots that he cant hit. I know he is young, but shouldn’t he either learn to take a deep jumper or stop taking them?

    As I recall, Hollinger really said some unflattering things about Randolph’s prospects in his draft rater. But then again Hollinger gave rave reviews to Joe Alexander.

    Okay I’m done on this subject.

    Is anyone writing a farewell article for David Lee? He was the only consistent bright spot on the team for the last five years. Weird to see him go even though we knew it was coming.

  216. “Weird to see him go even though we knew it was coming.”

    And I don’t think anyone saw him going to the Warriors. If Ellis learns to play smart ball and/or they trade him for something good, GS could have a real interesting team. I don’t love Biedrins, but he’s a good 5th option. They probably get Morrow back, he can split time w/ Reggie Williams. They’ve got a lot of options, but they probably need to bring in another ‘seasoned’ guy for that lineup.

  217. For those asking about Randolph and Summer League, Hahn said he will be in Vegas to practice with Knicks but not play for them.

  218. Briefly, I LOVE getting Randolph. I think he can be Marcus Camby 2.0 if all goes well. I already miss Lee, but he’s gonna look sweet in the new GS unis. And best of all, I am FREE AT LAST from the tyranny of checking Twitter every few seconds for constant MeBron updates.

  219. Ooh you gots to ™ that RS:

    The Adventures of MeBron, Me-Wade and Lap-dog.

    Thursday nights on ESPN.

  220. Thomas,

    Scoring efficiently is definitely a concern for Randolph… a weakness. Certainly reaching his upside, or anything close, is highly contingent on improving his scoring (playmaking and defense too… the guy has been and is probably still raw, but also young).

    With Amare, Gallo, Douglas, Walker, and/or Azubuike (maybe Jordan, Rautins, Fields, Chandler, and/or Turiaf too) Knicks should have some pretty efficient scoring going on, though. If Gallo develops Randolph is their 3rd option at best. Randolph is good in other areas where the Knicks need help. So even if his scoring efficiency never improves he could be useful. If it does improve he could be very useful. He came into the league so young/raw that there’s a decent chance his shot will improve (provided he does the work). He already made good progress on scoring efficiency from rookie to year 2: .506 TS% (horrible) to .521 (bad). If he repeats that jump this season he’s solidly mediocre. He gets to the line a good amount and is a heck of a finisher.

    Someone like Lamar Odom (.536 career TS%) or Josh Smith (.518) can have a lot of value even if he’s not an efficient scorer. Especially with efficient scorers around him.
    Also remember that Marion’s TS% looked very similar to Randolph’s before and after playing with D’Antoni, but was around .600 when playing for D’Antoni… Have to assume Randolph is Matrix 2.0 in D’Antoni’s mind.

  221. LOL I assume many hear are not thrilled about the Felton rumors. Im surprised only because I had read recently the Knicks were not willing to overpay for him. Im not as down on him as a player as most here are but will be curious to see what contract he gets from the Knicks if they do indeed sign him.

  222. One, I think we’ve learned enough not to take rumors at face value.

    Two, the Knicks have about 6 million in cap space left after the Lee deal, so a 6 million/per for Felton could be a very reasonable deal (taken in the context of ty Thomas getting 8 million/per, Outlaw getting 7, Milicic, etc, etc.)

  223. So does this mean everyone will forget the good trade from last night and go crazy over signing Felton??

    Still will be interesting to see how he does in Dantoni’s system and will be another young piece at least.

  224. re: Felton – could be totally unfounded. If real – whether it’s bad, depends mostly on the cost. I know people have been throwing around the idea that he’s due a $10 million a year, 5-year contract – but who is handing that out? Not many teams with big cap space left. If Felton signs in the $5-6 million range, it’s ok value, and we could always move him later if someone like Tony Parker comes on the radar.

    If nothing else, Felton is solid at the point and a good defender.

  225. Thomas is a younger, better player than Felton. If we do get him and pay more than 7 mil per, it will be annoying. Regardless, he’s 25 already and has only had one good year – last year – and it wasn’t even that good! And we don’t even know how he will fit into our system with the players we have. At least with Ridnour, you know that he can run the pick and roll pretty well and is a good open court passer…

  226. Someone get Larry Coon on the blower.

    By my rudimentary math, the Nix had 35 million in cap going into the offseason. Then the cap went up by two mil. That’s 37. 16 went to STAT, leaving 21. 10 went to GS…ok. You’re right. It’s about 10 million.

  227. Look, the first moments when this stuff about lebron going to miami came down I was the biggest of the doom gloom guys. But honestly, the future is bright.

    The Lee trade was superb. We got 3 young guys, all with very good contracts, we have oodles of cap space, Amare. We have a good nucleus of guys now that honestly, we don’t know how good they can be yet. These guys could struggle, or they could really go off. We just don’t know yet. But also now, we from this moment on be building up instead of tearing down. We gutted ourselves for 2 years to get to this point. And while we didn’t hit a homerun in the offseason. I think we did get a double. If we turn this into Melo or Paul it definitely becomes a home run. If we get either of those guys (depending on how much we give up in the process) then I think we could really compete with the heat. I mean honestly the great thing is, that if any of our guys (other than Amare) become a bust, at least it’s not a “stuck with curry’s” contract sort of thing.

    If Randolph is a bust, fuck it, it’s 2mil. Same thing with any of those guys. It’s not that bad.

  228. Ahhh crap, I typed all that out and forgot to send and by the time I sent it the Felton stuff started to come through.

    THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!!!!!!

  229. “I know people have been throwing around the idea that he’s due a $10 million a year, 5-year contract – but who is handing that out? Not many teams with big cap space left. If Felton signs in the $5-6 million range, it’s ok value, ”

    He turned down $8 mill per last offseason if I remember correctly.

  230. Felton is not Chris Duhon, he is WAY more athletic. He apparently did get absolutely torched by Jameer Nelson in the playoffs, though. I agree with Ted, at $6 mil per, he might not be a terrible gamble, considering what is left out there. Ridnour? Come on.

  231. Great. Btw, Korver’s a Bull. They look pretty even with Atlanta now for that 4th seed…

  232. Now I’m checking effing Twitter again for Felton updates. Crap. Now I’m addicted to that too. Anyone know a good TA-type support group?

    Aside from, you know, getting a life and actually doing work at my job

  233. #205
    Thanks for that link. It seems like Randolph had a similar love affair with the GS fans as Lee did in his first years with NYK. Different due to injuries, but similar in terms of inconsistent role on the team, minutes played. They were both everyone’s little secret. I’m psyched to get him, especially for what we’re paying him.

    I’m afraid Lee’s gonna get his lunch money taken out west if he has to play the 5. He really needs to be a 4. Lee could get better if played consistently at the 4. That’s kinda scary.

  234. He is not playing the 5, Biedrins is, which is why this move makes a lot of sense. Their rebounding differential is going to turn around in a big way.

    Randolph isn’t that much of a secret. If you play fantasy you know his game intimately. Might have been the most hyped boom player last year.

    As for the possible Felton pickup be, completely uninspiring, sort of unbelievable I haven’t given up on being a Knicks fan…

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