Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mocking the Knicks’ Draft Pick

With a week until the NBA draft, I thought I’d go through the mock drafts on the web and see which players the Knicks are thought to take. Additionally I took each of these players & found were other mock drafts thought they would be selected.

NBADraft.net
Anthony Randolph, F

DraftExpress
Eric Gordon, SG

MyNBADraft
Russell Westbrook, PG

HoopsHype
OJ Mayo, PG

RotoExperts
Eric Gordon, SG

Chad Ford Mock 5.0
Russell Westbrook, PG

SBNation
Russell Westbrook, PG

InsideHoops
Danilo Gallinari, SF

NBC Sports
O.J. Mayo, SG

CollegeHoops
Eric Gordon, SG

Associated Content
Danilo Gallinari, SF

HoopsWorld
DJ Augustin, PG

FauxSports
Anthony Randolph, SF

MOCK Anthony Randolph, F Eric Gordon, SG O.J. Mayo, SG Danilo Gallinari, SF Russell Westbrook, PG DJ Augustin, PG
NBADraft.Net 6 7 3 10 11 12
Draft Express 12 6 3 10 7 11
MyNBADraft 10 7 3 8 6 11
HoopsHype 9 7 6 8 11 12
RotoExperts 10 6 2 7 11 8
Chad Ford 12 7 3 10 6 11
SBNation 8 4 3 15 6 11
InsideHoops 8 7 3 6 12 11
NBC Sports 7 3 6 12 10 13
College Hoops 8 6 3 12 10 11
Associated Content 8 7 2 6 11 12
HoopsWorld 10 8 3 13 7 6
FoxSports 6 7 3 10 11 12
AVG 8.8 6.3 3.3 9.8 9.2 10.8

Some thoughts:
Most people think OJ Mayo will be gone before the Knicks draft, but no one had him going past the Knicks. I found it ironic that these mockers would have both Memphis and Seattle passing the Mayo. The Grizzlies do have Mike Miller, but they could easily move him if they wanted. And besides do they see the 28 year old as a cog in their next playoff caliber team? As for the Sonics – I know they have Kevin Durant at SG, which kinda makes sense for the rail thin teenager. But like the folks that created the show Webster – you should really be thinking about what you’re going to do when the kid grows up. He’s going to be a forward sooner or later. You could even consider taking Mayo and trying him at point until everyone grows up. It seems shortsighted to pass on a talented player now, because your franchise player hasn’t filled out yet.

The next lowest player by average is Gordon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Knicks are most likely to take him. In the sampling above, the Knicks are just as likely to take Gordon as they are Westbrook. It’s just that a few mocks have Gordon going as high as 3 (Wolves), but not later than 8. While no one has Westbrook taken prior to the Knicks’ selection, but he falls as far as 12 (Kings).

It seems that Anthony Randolph and Gallinari have slipped on most boards. That report about coach D’Antoni being unimpressed with Gallinari’s video must have been noted by just about every draft expert. These two players are seemingly opposites: one has the athleticism (Randolph), the other the skill (Gallinari). GMs taking either of these will be gambling that their player can gain the opposite.

Oh and on a final note, when researching these I noticed that rotoexperts had team needs listed to each team. For the Knicks the author wrote: “Team Needs: PG, SF, PF”. I’d be curious how KB readers would rate the team’s needs by position, but if I were asked, PF would probably be last on my list. Needless to say if you’re running a fantasy team in my league this year, feel free to follow the advice of rotoexperts.

122 comments on “Mocking the Knicks’ Draft Pick

  1. justin o

    i think we should trade down and pick up an extra pick such as the 6 to nj for the 10 and the 21, or to indi for the 14th and a future first rounder this way we could pick up a point gurd such as augustine

  2. Alec

    I agree Justin. We should see if we can package the pick and a bad contract. If not, I like Westbrook cause because of his defense. I hope he can learn the point and become the new and improved Charlie Ward that can score.

  3. Thomas B.

    RE: Knicks’ team needs.

    When you can’t win 30 games, you need everything. But the pressing needs are a shot blocking, rebounding, defensive center, and a solid PG. I do not think we need a PF-we need to get rid of the starting PF and replace him with the backup.

    Mike K. I think the team needs question is an invitation for you to do another player by player team evaluation. Maybe even a position evaluation. Here, I’ll get you started.

    Centers: Curry, James, Morris
    Grade: D-

    By far the center position is the Knicks’ weakest. Even before the injury, Curry had statically the worst season of his pro career. His production dropped in every major category and he looked lost playing next to Randolph. James had tremendous per 40 minute numbers, 32 ppg, and 24 rebounds. Of course, he played a total of 5 minutes in 2 games. That’s only $1,160,000 per minute. Randolph Morris played sparingly even with Curry and James out. Morris showed little more than former Knick Jackie Butler showed as a reserve center. Morris was far from the “Thoroughbred” Mark Aguirre described in the preseason.

    The only reason this group does not get an F is because Curry’s injury kept his ineffective butt on the bench and that is worth something.

    Power Forwards: Randolph, Lee, Rose
    Grade: C

    Sadly, the power forward position was the Knicks’ most productive. Randolph’s debut season resulted in what most people would call solid stats. 17 ppg, 10 rebounds. But any Knicks fan who watched the games could tell you that Randolph 17 and 10 do not make up for what he lacks. Randolph is an indifferent defender. I recall a game against the Pacers in which he simply walked away from Troy Hudson-who was behind the 3 point line-to wait for a rebound. Hudson promptly drained the triple. This wait for the rebound crap may play at a YMCA pick up game, but it is inexcusable at the pro level. Randolph holds the ball and takes a number of bad shots. Of greatest concern is his reliance on the perimeter shot, including the 3, as the season went on.

    Lee turned in a solid season, even if his numbers were down slightly from his sophomore campaign-understandable considering the minutes Randolph logged in front of him. Lee showed some offensive improvements while retaining the rebounding and hustle he showed last year.

    Rose gave you what he could. But at his age, he can’t o much but provide an example of how to work hard and remain ready to play.

    Anybody want to pick up with the SFs, SGs, or Pgs?

  4. Brendan

    With a team like the Knicks, I almost wouldn’t even look at them in terms of positional need. It’s like you said in regards to Memphis- the first question to be asked for a team in this category of bad is, how many, if any, of the guys on the current roster are likely to be part of the next meaningful team you assemble?

    With the Knicks, the number is, if you squint at it, maybe 3 (Balkman, Lee, maybe Nate), and two of those three are probably either backups or medium-minutes rotation players on a contender. With that as my understanding, I’d say the team is due for 3 or 4 years of pure best player available drafting, at minimum.

    I’m torn on trading this year’s pick as part of a salary cap dump for that reason, since I think this team needs foundational help more than a few positional upgrades. To make it worthwhile you’d have to be fairly certain that you could turn the space into a player better than you could get with this pick, and for that I’d assume you’d have to have an ear to the ground for the rumors and whisperings of agents and so forth. Fans pretty much have to trust the GM in that area….

  5. daaarn

    I’d be okay with Westbrook but Gordon is a no-no. He’s simply an undersized SG and that’s simply not going to cut it.

  6. Ted Nelson

    What’s up with everyone talking about team needs? Would you really pass on a SG because the great Jamal Crawford is holding down the spot?

    I wouldn’t even shy away from taking a PF, although I agree it’s the strongest position for the Knicks. I like David Lee a lot, but he’s not Tim Duncan. Then again, forget that, even if he was Tim Duncan, do you pass on Kevin Garnett in the draft if you have TD, or do you play them together and win multiple championships? Say the Knicks had the #6 pick in the 2002 draft, do they pass on PFs like Nene, Wilcox, and Amare and Caron Butler at SF because they want a PG? If so, do they take Dejuan Wagner (sort of the Eric Gordon of that draft with character issues to boot) or go for the “best PG available”: Juan Dixon? Frank Williams? Dan Dickau? If it were 2006, do they pass on Brandon Roy for the draft’s great defensive inforcers: Saer Sene and Hilton Armstrong…

    Jerry West said something like: you don’t fill needs in the draft, you add talent. You fill needs in trades.

  7. ess-dog

    How about this trade?

    Knicks send #6 and Randolph and Balkman to NJ for #10, #21 and Richard Jefferson and throw in some extra contract…
    NJ can draft Gallinari @6. Knicks can draft Jordan @10 and Chalmers @21.

    Then we have Chalmers, Crawford, Jefferson, Lee, and Jordan to grow as a unit. Sit or ship the rest.

    Or…

    Knicks #6 and Randolph to Denver for Melo, #20 and Kenyon Martin. Then we have Chalmers, Crawford, Melo, Lee and um, Curry for now.

    Or…

    #6, Nate and Randolph to Sacto for #12, Artest, Moore and Udrih.

  8. Loki1963

    This only proves no one has any idea who the Knicks are taking. Even if Mayo fell to the Knicks I’m not sure they’d take him. They already have under size shooting guards why would they want another?

    The best options as mention by others are to trade the pick and get a couple of picks, or move down and use the pick to get rid of some of the ridiculous contracts (Randolph, Curry, James, Jefferies, Q etc..).

  9. Dan Panorama

    I agree on the need to go for best player available on this draft in the Knicks’ case, though not in all cases. Championship contenders like Detroit or San Antonio can go for team needs almost every year, as they are trying to get that one little tweak or role player to improve the team at the margins.

    When it comes to the cellar teams where every starter’s future is in question, you have to grab whatever will have the highest value down the road. D’antoni may need an engine, but he also needs a machine that it can power and right now he’s got jack squat that will be on a future playoff team. If Westbrook is truly the best player at 6 (which is possible) then go for it, but don’t hesitate to go for Joe Alexander or Anthony Randolph say just because we have some half-decent players at those spots.

  10. Z

    Thanks for the assemblage of mocks, KB–

    It’s interesting how Westbrook, Randolph, Augustin, and Gallinari are projected 6-12, 6-12, 6-13, and 6-15 respectively, and Mayo is projected 3-6.

    Seems like 6 is the cut-off spot, and your matrix illustrates how much sense it makes to trade down, especially if Mayo is no longer on the board at 6.

    Even if Zach Randolph isn’t included in a trade with the Sixers, perhaps a trade can be worked out where they get #6 this year and we get their #16 this year and one of their 2009 first rounders (they have two, courtesy of the Kyle Korver trade, whereas the Knicks have none courtesy of Stephon– the gift that keeps on giving…)

    p.s.– wasn’t Webster already grown?

  11. aceofspades

    Are there any “name” (ie- good) players/recruits that could be in next year’s draft? I’m getting the feeling that next year’s draft will be a weak one, and because it will most likely be another lame duck year for the Knicks, I’m thinking they will get another early pick.

  12. Thomas B.

    Ted Nelson,

    I somewhat agree with what you said because I am a big supporter of drafting the player not the position. But I dont think there is a PF available at 6 that is worth the 6th spot. Of the positions available at 6, I think PG is the strongest. So i advocate taking a point, even if it is a small reach.

  13. Thomas B.

    Z,

    The Knicks do have a 2009 pick. The pick is top 22 protected. I don’t see any way the Knicks will have a top 8 record next year, so we can pretty much count on having that pick available to us. But we have no pick protection in 2010, so kiss the 2010 pick goodbye. That said, I wouldnt mind securing a second first rounder in 2009 to brace ourselves against the 2010 pick leaving.

    Watching Chicago win the draft with a 1.9% chance makes me worry about how bad it would be to give a lottery pick to Utan and have that pick go #1. It could happen.

  14. W.C.

    The biggest problem the Knicks have is balance.

    To be a winning team you need a balance of inside scoring, outside shooting, passing rebounding, defense (shot blocking, steals, man to man, help), speed, leadership etc…

    It’s incredibly difficult to floor a Knick team that is balanced with the players they have now because every one of them has a big hole in their game.

    It would be possible to build a championship team with a few of these players, but you’d have to bring in complimentary players to fill the gaps. I think the Knicks FIRTST need to identify which players they are probably going to keep in order to identify the skill sets they would like to bring in among new players (trade and draft).

    I don’t think the Knicks are going to draft a PG unless it’s one of the team’s first or second choices (perhaps 3rd if it’s really close). We need a PG with specific skills. If there’s no one available, Marbury is going to be the man at the start of the year. Then we will continue looking to trade for one or sign one next year. It’s an urgent need longer term, but not this year because we aren’t going anywhere anyway.

    Assuming we don’t get a PG, I think Gallinari is the man. I haven’t even seen the kid play, but his stats are pretty good. That means a lot because the one thing I am certain of is that the Italian League is SUPERIOR to the NCAA. So if he is putting up good numbers in the Italian League at 19 or so, he can definitely play in the NBA. It’s just a matter of how good he will get.

  15. Thomas B.

    Lots of GM make poor trades. Take a look at this gem Riley worked out in the Ricky Davis trade.

    “Minnesota receives Miami’s 2009 first round pick (lottery protected in 2008, top 10 in 2009, top 6 in 2010, beyond: unprotected. )(Ricky Davis trade 102407).”

    Miami likely wont be much better in 2009 or 2010, so Minny could secure a lottery pick in one of the next two years. They get that for moving Ricky Davis. Is that much worse-money aside-than the Marbury deal?

  16. ess-dog

    Ford today on Westbrook:

    “We have, it appears, our first known promise of the draft. Multiple sources say that UCLA’s Westbrook has shut down all workouts and has a promise in the mid-lottery range.

    Apparently the promise isn’t coming from the Knicks. They like Westbrook at No. 6, but they’re also looking at Mayo, Bayless, Alexander and Eric Gordon.

    The promise isn’t coming from the Bucks or Pacers; neither team was able to get him in for a workout.

    That leaves the Clippers at No. 7 and the Bobcats at No. 9. As noted above, the Clippers are trying to move up to get Mayo, so I doubt it’s them. That leaves the Bobcats as the most likely to have made a promise to Westbrook”

  17. o_boogie

    “This only proves no one has any idea who the Knicks are taking. Even if Mayo fell to the Knicks I’m not sure they’d take him. They already have under size shooting guards why would they want another?”

    This isn’t even a point of discussion. If Mayo falls to 6, every team would take him.

    “Knicks send #6 and Randolph and Balkman to NJ for #10, #21 and Richard Jefferson and throw in some extra contract…NJ can draft Gallinari @6. Knicks can draft Jordan @10 and Chalmers @21.”

    Not a bad thought. I think we could do better than Jordan at 10. Maybe Augustin or Alexander or Lopez will still be available. I would prefer to shed Z-bo for a contract that does not run past 2010, but if this is the best we could potentially do, so be it.

    I think the best thing possible is to acquire as many 1st rounders as possible. A while ago someone posted a link where it showed Walsh’s draft picks as GM of the pacers. Almost all of his picks were in the league for 10 years or more, which is a good sign. This draft class is pretty deep and if we give Walsh the chance to work his magic I trust he will find some serviceable players or maybe even a gem in the rough.

  18. TDM

    As I posted yesterday, I read that the Clips are very interested in Westbrook. I think No. 7 isn’t necessarily too high for Westbrook considering the alternatives. Brook Lopez is dropping like a bag of dirt, Gallinari isn’t impressive that high, etc. The question is whether the Clips would give up anything to move up to 6 if they thought the Knicks were going to take Westbrook.

    Also, the Nets wouldn’t trade up to 6 to get Gallinari because he’ll most likely be there at 10. Rumor has it that the Nets have given him a promise that if he is there at 10, they will select him.

  19. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    From this post:

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/index.php/2008/03/25/if-true-walsh-move-a-step-forward/

    “During Walsh’s tenure, the Pacers rarely went for the big move. The early ’90s Pacers were built primarily through the draft. Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Antonio Davis, and Dale Davis were taken in successive years.”

    And Brian Cronin’s remarks:

    “Walsh’s draft picks from 1987-1991 were basically amazing (excluding the gimme choice of Rik Smits at #2 in 1988, Walsh made four picks in those years, and while 1989’s pick of George McCloud at #7 was bad, the other three were Reggie Miller at #11, Antonio Davis at #18 and Dale Davis at #13 – yes, that’s right, he used three double-digit picks to make up the nucleus of the great mid-90s Pacers teams), Walsh’s draft record is still pretty good.

    Note that since 1992, he’s been picking only in the double digits (except the HORRIBLE HORRIBLE trade he made when he sent Antonio Davis to Toronto for Jonathan Bender at #5 – YEUCH), so here is what he ended up with in the first round:

    Malik Sealy at #14 – Decent pick
    Scott Haskin at #14 – Terrible pick
    Eric Piatkowski at #15 – Decent pick
    Travis Best at #23 – Very good pick
    Erick Dampier at #10 – Good pick
    Austin Croshere at #12 – Decent pick
    Al Harrington at #25 – Very good pick
    Vonteego Cummings at #26 which became Jeff Foster at #21 – Good pick
    Primoz Brezec at #27 – Good pick
    Jamison Brewer at #13 – Terrible pick
    Fred Jones at #14 – Okay pick
    James Jones at #20 – Decent pick
    David Harrison at #29 – Decent pick
    Danny Granger at #17 – Great pick
    Shawne Williams at #17 – Bad pick

    That seems like a very solid draft record for a guy who was only picking in the double digits every year. Lots of guys who stayed in the league for a long time.”

  20. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    “Miami likely wont be much better in 2009 or 2010″

    Yeah, Dwayne Wade, Shawn Marion, Mayo/Beasley, Udonis Haslem, Cook, may resign Zo and Dorrell Wright… they’re really going to suck.

    re: the draft

    I’m pretty confident that the best player(s) (long-term) of a group that will include 7 of the following 10 is going to be an important piece of a very good team: OJ Mayo, Anthony Randolph, Russell Westbrook, Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Love, Jarryd Bayless, Brook Lopez, Eric Gordon, and Joe Alexander. I have some opinions, but I wouldn’t be upset with any of those 10 (at least not right away). I’m hoping Donnie Walsh makes the right call, whatever that is.

    Like I said, I’ll trust Donnie Walsh (I also trusted Isiah, by the way), but here’s my opinion anyway:

    First, I wouldn’t trade down unless I knew the guy I wanted was available. Adding a very good player is way more important at this point, in my mind, than shedding contracts. Trading down to 16, for example, is a completely different part of the draft. Maybe the best player available at 6 is still on the board, but I’ll bet you the guys who’ve historically gone, say, 16-20 are not as good as those who’ve gone 6-10. (Donnie Walsh has taken Jonathan Bender 5 and Danny Granger 16, so maybe it’s not a bad idea.)

    I personally wouldn’t take Augustin almost over any of those 10, maybe Gordon or Danilo or even Bayless if I thought Augustin was going to work out.

    I think they can’t pass on Mayo. To me he has the highest floor of the 10 and probably as high a ceiling as anyone, too. He can shoot, finish at the basket, and defend: even if he doesn’t live up to his middle school hype, he should be a good NBA player as long as he doesn’t have a Francis/Marbury attitude. He also seems like a leader, someone who can set the tone for a team and isn’t going to follow the Knicks’ lesser influences.

    After Mayo I don’t have a clear favorite. At the moment I’d say either Love or Anthony Randolph. I guess I’m in the minority these days, but I have to question whether Love is anything more than a great passing bigman, good rebounder, and adaquate scorer at the NBA level. Maybe his skills transfer, but it seems he’s off the board at 6 anyway and I’m warming to Randolph. He can do a bunch of things: possibly defend inside and out providing shot blocking and rebounding, run the break, finish in traffic, and score a bit. I think he could be a solid 2nd or 3rd best player, while Lee can be a solid 3rd or 4th best player on a contender. The Knicks are, of course, missing #1 and maybe #2…

    I’m also intrigued by Alexander, although I haven’t seen much of him and think his hype is so high right now he has to dissapoint to some extent.

    Westbrook I’ve commented on at length: I think he can be a good NBA player, but might struggle off the bat in too large a role.

    Lopez definitely has some bust potential and doesn’t look like he’s going to dominate the paint defensively, but he seems like a pretty solid pick. I think he’s a bit underrated at this point.

    I’m not a huge fan of small score first guards, but Bayless and Gordon both seem to light it up. If they can score efficiently in the NBA they should be good players.

    Gallinari might have the IQ, shooting ability, and passing ability to have a good NBA career despite his lack of athleticism.

  21. Thomas B.

    Knicks send draft rights to 6th pick, Curry and Lee to Charlotte for Okafor (sign and trade) and 9th pick?

  22. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    You know looking at this draft, it’s clear that after the top 2, there’s a lot of debate on who is going to make a good NBA player. As Jon Abbey said yesterday who isn’t a risk after the top 2? With that kind of depth my first instinct is to hope the Knicks trade down, since you might get as good a player at #10 as you would at #6.

    But actually I think the opposite is true. Let’s assume that players 3-13 in the draft all have a 20% risk of being busts. Wouldn’t you rather select a guy higher up rather than selecting one that the 8 guys in front of you rejected?

  23. Owen

    “But actually I think the opposite is true. Let’s assume that players 3-13 in the draft all have a 20% risk of being busts. Wouldn’t you rather select a guy higher up rather than selecting one that the 8 guys in front of you rejected?”

    Well, if they all have an equal 20% chance of being busts you should probably be indifferent to where you pick 3-13.

    The most important factor would seem to be what we can get for trading down.

  24. TDM

    How about trading Big Snacks and the 6 to New Jersey for Marcus Williams, KVH and the 10? Buy out KVH, pick one of the bigs at 10, and get Williams ready to take over for Marbs in 09.

  25. Thomas B.

    Ted Nelson,

    I cant tell if you are being sarcastic. If not, then thanks!

    If you are, let me just say…..
    Wade may not be healthy. Marion did not make things much better for them when he came over. Marion is not a good half court offense player. Haslem is a role player. ZO will be playing on a bad leg, a borrowed kidney, and a body well past its prime. Dequan Cook is marginal at best. You have no clue what Beasely/Mayo will do. They have a rookie coach, no post scoring, and no PG. They lack outside shooting and outside of ZO-who may not be able to play-they dont have a shot blocker. Yes, that team WILL suck.

    They won 15 games last season. Even if they double the win total, they are still a lottery team. They would need to win about 38 games to make the playoffs.

    Wade is nice but he cant do it alone, especially if he isnt healthy. Oh and Dorrell Wright? Who the hell is that?

  26. W.C.

    >But actually I think the opposite is true. Let’s assume that players 3-13 in the draft all have a 20% risk of being busts. Wouldn’t you rather select a guy higher up rather than selecting one that the 8 guys in front of you rejected?<

    That depends on how much weight you put on the opinions of the other teams.

    I think without question you are better off selecting sooner because even if you rate 3-13 as equal prospects (for arguments sake), you will still have postional/need preferences to use to seperate them.

    I think it makes sense to categorize the players like “A+”, A, A-, B+ etc…. When you select, you always select the highest rated player. If there are multiple players in the same category left, then you choose by team need.

    I don’t think it makes much sense to trade down unless you can stay within the same rating category and still fill a need or land a player that will help you via the trade. I’m not even sure 2 players of a lower category are as valuable 1 player at a higher category. I guess it depends on the gap between the players.

  27. Thomas B.

    “How about trading Big Snacks and the 6 to New Jersey for Marcus Williams, KVH and the 10? Buy out KVH, pick one of the bigs at 10, and get Williams ready to take over for Marbs in 09.”

    How about getting Doc brown to fire up the Delorian and go back to the 2006 draft. Take Marcus Williams at 20, then get Balkman at 29.

    While we are there, we take Mardy Collins back to Willmington, NC circa 1977. We make Mardy Collins the offensive instructor for a 13 year old player named Mike Jordan. MJ never learns to score, never plays for the Bulls and hence does not beat the Knicks in the 1993 playoffs.

    Yay!

  28. Frank O.

    Whatever the Knicks can get at six likely won’t fill a core need. They need a true point guard, not another shooting guard. They need a shot blocking, physical center. They need to get rid of Zach and that ridiculous contract, and they can with Lee there as a low-cost, capable option.

    To me this is a no-brainer. Take the six, package it with Zach and try to land a point guard, and get a few inexpensive pieces in return.

    Anyone they get at six will have a great, big question mark next to them. The Knicks have plenty of those already.

    What they know is they need a point and a center, and they need to shed contracts.
    Pie in the sky hasn’t world at MSG for some time now. I hope the new powers understand that.

  29. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Well, if they all have an equal 20% chance of being busts you should probably be indifferent to where you pick 3-13.”

    Not if you’re better at someone at detecting whether or not said player is going to be a bust. Consider you have a 75% chance of predicting a bust – you’d rather select first because the guys that you think are going to be solid NBA players may be taken by the other team. The other way around you’re betting on someone else’s incompetence.

  30. Frank O.

    Whatever the Knicks can get at six likely won’t fill a core need. They need a true point guard, not another shooting guard. They need a shot blocking, physical center. They need to get rid of Zach and that ridiculous contract, and they can with Lee there as a low-cost, capable option.

    To me this is a no-brainer. Take the six, package it with Zach and try to land a point guard, and get a few inexpensive pieces in return.

    Anyone they get at six will have a great, big question mark next to them. The Knicks have plenty of those already.

    What they know is they need a point and a center, and they need to shed contracts.
    Pie in the sky hasn’t worked at MSG for some time now. I hope the new powers understand that.

  31. ess-dog

    Here’s an idea:
    Draft Alexander at #6. If Brandon Rush is still around at #13 trade Alexander to Portland for Fernandez and Rush. I think those 2 would make a wicked backcourt of the future. And I hear Portland is drooling over Alexander, and he wants to go there.

    and Thomas, after that Curry to Charlotte trade, I just pictured Larry Brown waking up at 3 am in a cold sweat and saying… “Tell me it’s just a dream!”

  32. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Anyone they get at six will have a great, big question mark next to them. The Knicks have plenty of those already.”

    Yeah but those aren’t the good kind of question marks. For instance – our backup center is Jerome James???

    I think the opposite is true. We know what we have with a majority of our roster: Marbury, Curry, Crawford, Jeffries, Richardson, Randolph, etc. We only have a few question marks: Balkman, Chandler, Morris, and to a lesser extent Nate & Lee.

    To tell you the truth I like the question marks better.

  33. Frank O.

    Yeah, but Mike, we’re stuck with Curry, Crawford, Jeffries, Richardson, and Marbury. No one will take those guys in a trade.
    Randolph has some value in the league, as does the pick.
    The question marks to me are Lee, Balkman, and Robinson, who I think should play a bigger role this year. I think also Marbury is a question mark to a degree because in a contract year he might actually be really good…or not.

    I’m only suggesting, my humble opinion, that the Knicks control their fate more by shedding contracts and picking up a NBA-level guard with experience.

  34. Frank O.

    ess-dog:
    This franchise has given me every reason to feel half empty. I remember the hope on this board last year around this time as they Knicks prepared for the draft. I remember the hope after they got Zach.

    The fact that I still care at all indicates there still is hope for me, but I reserve the right to feel a little down on this franchise right now…

  35. Thomas B.

    and Thomas, after that Curry to Charlotte trade, I just pictured Larry Brown waking up at 3 am in a cold sweat and saying… “Tell me it’s just a dream!”

    LOL! I forgot Larry went the Charlotte. Well, we can forget about that trade. That was funny.
    ————-
    Mike K.

    You dont see Miami having a top ten pick; I agree. But that does not mean they will be much better than last year. I dont see them in the playoffs either, which gives Minny a good shot at a lottery pick-which is just what I said they were likely to get.

  36. ess-dog

    Oh that was you, Thomas… I think Miami could have a lottery pick in ’09. New coach, hurt star etc.

  37. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Yeah, but Mike, we’re stuck with Curry, Crawford, Jeffries, Richardson, and Marbury. No one will take those guys in a trade.”

    I’m not convinced of this. First off we don’t want to trade Marbury, since his contract is going to expire soon. Second I think a team would trade for Crawford. And Jeffries. And maybe even a Curry.

    Finally, I wouldn’t think it to be so bad to trade down in this draft if we had all our picks. We’re going to lose our first round pick in 2010. So we have this year & the next to get two good young players. I’d rather grab the best player available at #6, take my lumps next year to get another high pick & grab another young player in 2009.

    Hey even if a year from now if the Knicks still have a big contract, they can package that pick to get rid of one. Additionally those players will be worth more since their contract will be one year shorter.

  38. Frank O.

    Boy, you are half full right now.
    Someone will take Curry? Jeffries?
    Maybe you’re more confident that there are idiot GMs out there who might take them.
    The problem with that is there are idiot GMs out there who are risk averse as hell.

    You might have a chance moving Crawford, however. Except that his style of play may fit the new coach.

    It’s my long-held believe that the Knicks need to do as much as they can as soon as they can to get cap-healthy.

    You could move later to package a contract with a pick later on, but what if you’re in a better position or a better draft in the future? There’s not much that impresses people after 5.

  39. W.C.

    One thing I keep repeating (but it is essential to do so) is that we don’t have to worry about next year. Everyone in management already knows that “AT BEST” we are an 7th/8th seed next year and will be blown out in the first round.

    There is no need to rush to get rid of specific bad contracts or fill specific roles. This is more like a 3-4 year plan.

    Year one is going to be the transition year.

    If a deal comes along where we can move a bad contract and get good overall value back, we should do it. But we don’t “have to” move anyone yet. We have time and gets easier as the contract durations shorten up.

    IMO, we should draft the best player available.

    If the choice is between 2 players of equal quality and one is a PG that can run an offense, then take the PG.

    The rest is a matter of exploring options and being exceptionally patient.

  40. T-Mart

    I don’t know if anyone picked up on this in the news today, I was unware of these proceedings, but the NHL is apparently threatening to “get rid of the NY Rangers owners.” And we all know who that refers to. MSG filed an anti-trust suit against the NHL for micro-managing apparrel sales on the rangers website at an excessive level, supposedly even taking over the website at one point. The NHL is responding by a threat to eliminate the Rangers owners on account of a breach of their contract with the NHL. Im not sure how they plan on accomplishing that exactly, the article doesn’t give enough information, possibly a suit in equity for the breach, who knows. Regardless, if that did somehow occur, that could have some interesting implications carrying over to the Knicks. I know that might seem like a stretch with such little information, but Im allowed to day dream. Maybe it will be possible to get rid of the Dolans once and for all.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,369287,00.html

  41. Thomas B.

    Frank O…. “glass is half empty”

    Mike K…. “glass is half full”

    jon abbey. “The glass is half full but there is a huge crack in the bottom.”

    Thomas B. “The glass is half empty so lets trade it.”

    TDM. “The glass is half full so lets trade it now before it’s empty.”

    ess-dog. “Glass, what glass?”

  42. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Boy, you are half full right now. Someone will take Curry? Jeffries? Maybe you’re more confident that there are idiot GMs out there who might take them.”

    I think Jeffries can be moved – but probably not until next summer. Right now he has 3 years left at about $6.5M/yr. Next year it’ll only be a much more palatable 2 year deal.

    As for Curry, he’s got 3 years left with about $10.5/yr. So I’m hoping for a team with an idiot GM. But seriously a team out there might be desperate for scoring and grab him.

  43. W.C.

    I think any team that needs some inside scoring and that already has a rebounding, defense oriented, shock blocking PF would be very interested in Curry.

    There is nothing wrong with Curry that a complimentary player at PF and a good coach couldn’t cure.

    People hate him so much because he came with a lot of hype, the Knicks gave up too much for him, and he’s lazy. But he’s not that bad. Last year was bogus and everyone in the NBA knows that.

  44. ess-dog

    Here’s my new Top 13 (Chad Ford, eat your heart out.) As you can see, I have Love as the #6 best talent, which means we should definitely trade up or down…

    1. Rose
    2. Beasley
    3. Mayo
    4. Bayless
    5. Gordon
    6. Love
    7. Alexander
    8. Westbrook
    9. Augustin
    10. Rush
    11. Greene
    12. Randolph
    13. Jordan

  45. Frank O.

    Curry has been soft as a Knick and there is the pesky heart issue and no insurance. I would doubt they can move him, though I would applaud if they did.

    Man, this board is falling into that hopeful mode just like last year. Some even wrote that a best case scenario for the Knicks would be a 7th or 8th seed!!! Which is what a lot of guys, even me, said last year…

    Dantoni is a good coach – I’m glad we got him – but he’ll be lucky to get 40 wins.
    As of right now, there is no substantive difference between last year’s team and this year’s team. And draft picks rarely have significant impact in their first year, unless you have a 1 or 2, and not much even then.
    And remember, they have a coach whose offense depends on ball movement, smart decisions and speed of foot.
    I’ll remind everyone that our big men are slow and sloppy on D, and don’t pass well. Our guards are not great sharing guards, and are more prone to shoot. And our young players, talented as they might be, did not show significant improvement last year v. the year before, and even regressed.

    I’m not getting sucked in until the Knicks show a winning record after the first 25 games. Otherwise, I’m setting up for a let down…

  46. ess-dog

    Oops I forgot Gallinari. He sneaks in at #12 bumping out Jordan.

    1. Rose
    2. Beasley
    3. Mayo
    4. Bayless
    5. Gordon
    6. Love
    7. Alexander
    8. Westbrook
    9. Augustin
    10. Rush
    11. Greene
    12. Gallinari
    13. Randolph

  47. ess-dog

    I think there’s a shelf at 5 or 6 and another and 9 or 10. I would maybe even replace Randolph with Speights at this point and then Koufos and B. Lopez after that. I’m starting to think Augustin is underrated and could be a good pick-up for us if we can trade down to 9 or 10. Or trade up to 3 or 4 to get OJ or Bayless.

  48. jon abbey

    “How about getting Doc brown to fire up the Delorian and go back to the 2006 draft. Take Marcus Williams at 20, then get Balkman at 29.”

    as long as we’re doing that, can we please take Rondo this time?

  49. W.C.

    >>Some even wrote that a best case scenario for the Knicks would be a 7th or 8th seed!!! <<

    I wrote that.

    There is a huge difference between the best case scenario and the most likely result.

    The most likely result is some improvement because we had more than our share of injuries last year, we’ve upgraded the coach sharply, there shouldn’t be any distractions like the sexual harrassment case on the coaching staff or players, if Marbury even belches in the wrong direction he’ll be out the door before he poisons the locker room, we have a #6 pick which should upgrade the team etc…

    How much that’s all worth is anyone’s guess because teams like Miami and Chicago will also be a LOT better etc…

  50. W.C.

    I think it’s almost 100% that Gallinari winds up in either NY or NJ. He doesn’t want to go anywhere else, he has very lucrative options to stay in Milan, but he’s acting like he’s staying in the US. To me that strongly suggests he has a guarantee from one or both teams “depending”.

    In other words, if Mayo, Bayless, and perhaps the Knicks 3rd choice for PG are gone, they guarantee him they will select him. If they can get one of their preferred guards, they pass on him, but the Nets guarantee him they will take him. That’s what it smells like to me.

  51. George from Scottsdale

    Thomas B. ,your post of earlier today said it all,shotblocking and inside defensive presence and rebounding.Trade down for a low teens, mid 20’s and take Robin Lopez and a pick next year. Trade Crawford and either Zach or Curry, preferably EC for expiring contracts.Send Chandler and Collins to the Vegas league and see if that’s the starting backcourt.Starting team-Lopez,who will cover for Lee’s and Zach’s less than stellar D and Chandler and Collins.Balkman, Jeffries, N8 off the bench. Still like Butler from OSU in FA market,recently MVP of Portsmouth league, haven’t seen him on any boards. Next issue, is Steph, he has to go!!!but that’s tomorrows issue!!

  52. daaarn

    at our draft position, i feel that whoever we pick will be good, but not great. that being said, as long as we dont take guys like Lopez, i think i’ll be “okay” with the pick. i don’t think we’ll get a star at #6, but i want someone that’s here for the long run (and not just as a contract we cant get rid of)

  53. jon abbey

    just to confuse things, the new SI mock draft has Westbrook going 4th and Bayless dropping to us.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/ian_thomsen/06/19/mock.draft/index.html?eref=T1

    we haven’t talked too much about Bayless, I don’t think, because it’s seemed unlikely he’ll still be around at 6. but if he is, what do people think? from what I’ve seen, I think I’d prefer Westbrook, Bayless seems in the mold of Jamal Crawford/Ben Gordon, not sure we need someone else like that.

  54. T-Mart

    The one thing everyone on this board agrees on is that the Dolan’s are the worst thing to ever happen to the Knicks and are our biggest problem, they might be getting the boot from the NHL, this doesn’t resonate with one single person?

  55. TDM

    If he’s there at 6, I’d take Bayless over Westbrook. He may not be as good on defense, but his offense and ability to distribute the ball look promising at the next level. Although I am a bit gun-shy given our last Arizona prospect…

  56. jon abbey

    “The one thing everyone on this board agrees on is that the Dolan’s are the worst thing to ever happen to the Knicks and are our biggest problem, they might be getting the boot from the NHL, this doesn’t resonate with one single person?”

    hell, that would be really exciting, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  57. George from Scottsdale

    T-Mart, just read that piece, got Stern’s phone number??

    daaarn, not Brook Lopez, Robin, tougher and more of a shotblocker, rebounder at a much lower pick, let’s go D first!!

  58. daaarn

    @George: i was talking about Brook. it just so happened that you posted b4 i did so it looked like i was replying to your message; i don’t mind Robin, i think he’d be good for a late first rounder. i just have reservation about Brook

  59. TDM

    The whole NHL debacle sounds pretty fascist to me. Like Abbey, I can’t see the league forcing the sale, even if their collective agreement provides for such drastic measures.

    Not to mention, Dolan spends enough time meddling with the Knicks. If he didn’t have the Rangers to keep him somewhat occupied, the end result could mean more Dolan — err, Jade Salmon.

  60. Italian Stallion

    @W.C.

    Gallinari won’t be going to the Knicks because they will either draft a PG or trade their pick plus something else for one (perhaps Ford or Mo Williams?).

    Gallinari will probably wind up in NJ.

    The only way the Knicks draft Gallinari is if they work something out for PG without using the pick.

  61. Duff Soviet Union

    Jon, Bayless is a really interesting player. His scoring numbers are truly outstanding for a freshman guard, but his defensive numbers (rebounds, steals) are somewhere between “really bad” and “abysmal”. There are also legit questions as to where he will play. He’s too short and defensively weak to play shooting guard, but he might not be a good enough passer to play the point. I’d say the best case is to pair him with a big point guard and have him play shooting guard on offense and point guard on defense. FWIW, his college statistics and pre draft hype are remarkably similar to…Stephon Marbury. Marbury was a better passer in the pros than he was in college and I’d say Bayless’ best bet of success is following that example and improving his passing to the point where he can competently run a team. Marbury without the attitude is a pretty valuable player.

  62. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Send Chandler and Collins to the Vegas league and see if that’s the starting backcourt.”

    Vegas? I don’t think at this point, Collins could start for Reno’s D-League team. And I don’t think at 6-8 220lbs Chandler is fit for SG.

  63. Ray

    Mike , you always find interesting good reads. I like that Anthony Randolph review and i think it was the most accurate and spot on take on him ive read yet. Everything is so uncertain in this draft. Perhaps, some of the teams below us will make a surprise pick we dont expect which you enable someone we want to pick to fall into our laps? Mayo, Bayless. I dont even think Lopez will go top 6 anymore. Hopefully that will make him work hard. Id love to get Bayless, Id jump for joy if we got Mayo, Id be pleased with Westbrook, and ok with Gallinari.Joe Alexander would be another interesting selection seeing as he blew everyone away with his intensity in his workouts. I think hes the real deal. Wouldnt be too happy with Gordon but would be interested to see what happens. Im just hoping Donny does the right thing. D’Antoni knows what he wants so im sure hes looking at all these players carefully. He talking with Donnie and they are going through different scenarios on how to work things with the pieces we have. Its going to be an interesting season. The thing I would hate to see is us getting rid of our pick for the sake of taking a gamble on Lebron or whoever is a FA at the time. Its so much fun seeing talent develop within the team and thats why i love the draft so much. This thursday im hoping that these guys mae the right choice. If we did trade back I hope we could land someone like CDR or Kareem Rush who can bring offense and defense.

  64. Ted Nelson

    “With that kind of depth my first instinct is to hope the Knicks trade down, since you might get as good a player at #10 as you would at #6. But actually I think the opposite is true. Let’s assume that players 3-13 in the draft all have a 20% risk of being busts. Wouldn’t you rather select a guy higher up rather than selecting one that the 8 guys in front of you rejected?”

    As a fan I could agree with either sentiment, but if you’re a NBA executive I think you have to have more of feel for the prospects. Maybe in the end the draft is a crap shoot and you just have to play the odds, but I like to think that certain front offices do better in the draft year after year not because they’re lucky but because they know what they’re doing. If you’re getting paid millions to make the decision I don’t think you can just reduce it to “they all have 20% odds of working out, so we’ll just make the pick by throwing a dart at the board or filling an immediate need…”

    Thomas B. re: Miami,

    They definitely might suck, but Wade is healthy enough to play in the Olympics. A top 3 of Wade, Marion, and Beasley/Mayo is up there with any in the league (Beasley/Mayo probably isn’t exactly All-NBA as a rook, but playing behind Wade and Marion he doesn’t have to be). Haslem IS a role player, as in the type of player you surround a core of Wade, Marion, and Beasley/Mayo with. Zo is also a role player who can still provide some D and leadership when healthy. Wright and Cook are not all that proven but as a third guard Cook can provide some instant offense and as a back-up forward Wright’s athleticism could help. Through in a couple free-agents looking to play for Pat Riley in South Beach with the MLE, million dollar exception, and veteran’s minumum. That team has got to contend for, if not make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. They might end up giving Minni a lottery pick, but I doubt it’s a high one.

    They won 15 games last year with Chris Quinn and Ricky Davis… come on it’s not going to be the same team at all.

    Shawn Marion is a bad half-court player????????? I’ll just ignore that.

  65. Ted Nelson

    “Whatever the Knicks can get at six likely won’t fill a core need.”

    Don’t the Knicks NEED a very good player more than anything??? To me, the only “core need” the Knicks have is to add a “core player.” If Donnie Walsh is confident that someone available at 6 is that kind of player, does it matter if they’re not an interior defensive presence or a “pass-first” PG??? Would you really pass on the chance to draft Brandon Roy because of Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson? Shane Battier or Shawn Marion because of Balkman and Chandler? Amare or Dirk because of Zach and Curry?

    “Yeah, but Mike, we’re stuck with Curry, Crawford, Jeffries, Richardson, and Marbury. No one will take those guys in a trade.
    Randolph has some value in the league, as does the pick.”

    Randolph has value and Curry, Crawford, and Marbury are untradable????

    Crawford is a solid player with a pretty reasonable contract and Marbury represents $20 million worth of cap space… Curry is a tougher call if his contract is still uninsured, but one of the best low-post scorers in the NBA at $10 mill per? Teams won’t be offering All-Stars, but maybe a shorter contract and a prospect/pick or a similarly one dimensional defensive center. I would keep Marbury for cap space and because he’s the Knicks’ best (also only) PG. I might keep Curry if wasn’t very comfortable with any of the offers because I think he’ll be able to put some points on the board for Mike D if he doesn’t have a heart attack running up and down the court in a high paced attack. Crawford I would love to see gone, a high volume low efficiency shooter who doesn’t bring any other exceptional skill to the table isn’t effective in any system.

    Teams trade for guys like Mark Blount and give up lottery picks for washed-up Glenn Robinsons, I have a hard time saying half the Knicks’ roster is thoroughly untradable. The question is really what other teams are willing to give back. Isiah thought all these guys were valuable pieces and clearly had no use for cap space, so he wasn’t willing to give them up for scraps and shorter contracts (instead he just kept adding more). For example, no one’s going to give you much for Jared Jeffries, but he’s a guy who’s proven to be an above average NBA defender with an above average basketball IQ. If you’re willing to take make a similar level player or maybe a character risk (which I wouldn’t in the Knicks’ case) you can move him. You can’t trade your shit for gold, but you can trade your shit for someone elses shit and maybe get a shorter contract and/or fill a need in the process.

    “Pie in the sky hasn’t worked at MSG for some time now.”

    Hoping to land a franchise player in free agency and adding completementary pieces to this sorry core is less “pie in the sky” than patience and building through the draft????????????

    “I think it makes sense to categorize the players like “A+”, A, A-, B+ etc…. When you select, you always select the highest rated player. If there are multiple players in the same category left, then you choose by team need.”

    This is the tier system that a lot of teams use in the draft. I mostly agree, although I feel like after you’ve spent months getting to know these players inside and out you have to have a prefence even within the same tier. Especially as high as #6, I mean only 5 guys can possibly be off the board.

    “Fernandez and Rush. I think those 2 would make a wicked backcourt of the future.”

    I live in Spain and can assure you that Rudy Fernandez is a SG through and through. Reminds me a lot of an efficient shooting Jamal Crawford (so actually very little of Crawford). I’m not high enough on Rush to take him 13 anyway, but he and Rudy would have a hard time fitting together in a starting backcourt.

    “We’re going to lose our first round pick in 2010. So we have this year & the next to get two good young players. I’d rather grab the best player available at #6, take my lumps next year to get another high pick & grab another young player in 2009.”

    +

    “Everyone in management already knows that “AT BEST” we are an 7th/8th seed next year and will be blown out in the first round. There is no need to rush to get rid of specific bad contracts or fill specific roles. This is more like a 3-4 year plan.”

    This is a plan I like.

    “Dantoni is a good coach – I’m glad we got him – but he’ll be lucky to get 40 wins.”

    And what does 40 wins get you in the Eastern Conference…drum roll please…the 7th seed in the East. 40 wins and half the roster becomes more tradable, 25 wins and the Knicks get another high pick… The worst case seems like 30 something wins and a later pick, but it’s not the end of the world if you make the most of your opportunities.

    “Bayless seems in the mold of Jamal Crawford/Ben Gordon”

    I wouldn’t consider Crawford and Gordon to be from the same mold. Crawford is a better playmaker with the ball in his hand, but a less efficient shooter especially from distance. Defensively I wouldn’t call either Gary Payton, but Gordon has managed to play major minutes on some very good defensive teams while Crawford has played major minutes on bad/indifferent Ds. Even if those teams were good Ds in spite of Gordon, he’s probably at least picked up something.

    Bayless seems to me more comparable to Leandinho to be as far as being able to score efficiently inside and out, although as I remember Leandrinho has a great wingspan while Bayless’ is apparently tiny. If Bayless is the real deal, he could be comparable to AI or Gilbert Arenas as well.

  66. Ted Nelson

    If anyone’s actually still reading my comments at this point…

    “The only way the Knicks draft Gallinari is if they work something out for PG without using the pick.”

    Like that 31 year old two time All-NBA 3rd teamer they’re paying $20 million to play PG? I have no idea if they’ll take Gallinari, but I also have no idea why they HAVE TO get a PG…

    “FWIW, his college statistics and pre draft hype are remarkably similar to…Stephon Marbury”

    His numbers are pretty similar to Marbury’s but he looks to be a better outside shooter.

    “daaarn, not Brook Lopez, Robin, tougher and more of a shotblocker, rebounder at a much lower pick, let’s go D first!!”

    Robin is a better shot blocker, but was actually a worse rebounder than Brook at Stanford (8.4 reb/36 vs. 9.6 reb/36).

  67. Alec

    Assuming Rose, Beasley, Mayo, and Bayless all go before us, I don’t mind Westbrook or Lopez. I like Love because he reminds me of Sabonis, but 6 is too early. Love is a glue guy.

    Lopez might not have the upside of others, but in 4 years I think he can give us the same numbers as Randolph. Moreover, his defensive issues can be corrected. He relied on his brother to do the dirty work, but I think/hope he can adjust. I like the fire he shows on the court. He has a little attitude that the Knicks could use. I know a C isn’t our biggest concern, but I like him.

    Westbrook, as I said is my new Charlie Ward that can shoot.

    I hate Gordon because he is an undersized 2 with zero prospects of becoming a PG. Westbrook will be able to convert.

    Glass a quarter full.

    Someone said that the Knicks should draft on skill. Whoever said that convinced me. Let’s take the best and build around him, because we aren’t playing for today.

  68. Thomas B.

    George from Scotsdale,
    “Thomas B. ,your post of earlier today said it all,shotblocking and inside defensive presence and rebounding.Trade down for a low teens, mid 20’s and take Robin Lopez and a pick next year.”

    I like that in theory. I guess I am a bit worried that there isnt a big man in the draft that can do what we need. I think the PG have better potential to develop into contributor than the current crop of bigs.
    —————-

    Ted Nelson,

    RE: Wade in the Olympics.

    Over the majority of his career, Wade’s issue has not been getting healthy, but staying healthy. He has missed significant time over the past two years with shoulder and knee problems. I think the summer play will wear him out even quicker. I dont think he has proven that he is a durable player. I hope i’m wrong as I dont want one of the game’s best to sit out.

    Over Unders are always fun:

    Miami win total (not fair to do b4 training camp but here it goes) 38.

    Dwayne Wade games played 65

    Games back of conference leader 12

  69. tdm

    I can’t see anyone taking a Lopez before Love. Love had both of them for lunch on several occasions this past season. I continue to see BLopez as a Channing Frye-type player. I’m all for trading down to grab RLopez and a pg like Augustine or Chalmers. From watching several of their games, RLopez seems like the grittier of the two. He’s at home doing the dirty work – something we desparately need.

  70. caleb

    Miami win total (not fair to do b4 training camp but here it goes) 38. — I WILL TAKE THE OVER

    Dwayne Wade games played 65 — OVER

    Games back of conference leader 12 — OVER

    Miami is hard to peg, because of legit questions on Wade’s health, not to mention we don’t even know if Marion is coming back or will be traded… or if they’re keeping the pick, or trading it for vets.

    If they trade Marion and/or Wade isn’t healthy, they could be terrible again. But especially since they don’t own next year’s pick, and since Riley is so impatient — I see them making an immediate push.

    If Wade is healthy and Marion is there… they could easily turn the #2 pick into a very good 3rd wheel (like a Boozer or Brand), and probably add a draft pick anyway.

    Healthy Wade/Marion/TBD would be just as good as Garnett/Pierce/Allen.

    True, they don’t have Rondo — but the pathetic Miami bench would be quickly fleshed out with solid vets a la Posey, if they had a Big 3 nucleus. Which isn’t farfetched.

    Anyway, if Wade is healthy, I won’t be the least bit surprised to see them win 50+. (obviously, pending some roster moves)

  71. Dallas

    back to the gallinari topic, i think it would be better if they got Galinari than someone like Russell Westbrook. Someone said that russell is charlie ward that can shoot. Do the Knicks really need a Charile Ward or do they need someone who can be the face of this franchise. I think Gallinari is clearly the way to go here if bayless and Mayo dont drop to us.

  72. caleb

    “Westbrook, as I said is my new Charlie Ward that can shoot.”

    I don’t understand… what COULD Charlie Ward do, besides shoot?

    “I hate Gordon because he is an undersized 2 with zero prospects of becoming a PG.”

    This is true, but it’s not as bad as it sounds… Gordon looks like a very good version of this type of player — better than Ben Gordon or Barbosa, for example. he was almost the quickest player at the combine (better than Bayless or Mayo) and is very strong for his size. At Indy, He scored almost 25 points per 40, and got to the line more than 10 times a game, despite being injured and having his coach fired halfway through the year after a long distracting scandal.

    Gordon’s 3-point numbers weren’t great, but maybe his injury affected him — coming into Indiana he was supposed to be a great shooter.

    Except for Randolph, he’s younger than any major prospect in the draft, by several months… so probably has more upside than people give credit for.

    Anyway, Ben Gordon at 3 was a stretch, but at 7 or 8 he’d look like a decent pick. If Eric Gordon is better (and I think he is), #6 ain’t unreasonable.

    I’m not totally sold on any of these guys, though… even OJ Mayo. I really don’t see what makes him stand out from the 3-12 crowd. Could be an okay pick, but no way do you trade away assets — like Lee, in one ridiculous Chad Ford rumor — to move up and grab him.

    Joe Alexander — scouts had a few years to actually watch him play, and no one thought he was a top-6 pick. Don’t be swayed by a few weeks of workouts. (though if you can trade down and grab him, sure)

    Gallinari looks good.

    I was a big Randolph fan, and still might be, but he’s so incredibly skinny, it’s scary. I’d try and meet his brothers and sisters and parents — seriously. If they look like Manute Bol’s family, forget it. If they look normal, then Randolph will fill out eventually and if he ever does, I think he’ll be terrific — probably the 3rd best player in the draft – 6’10 shotblocker with a handle, good passer.

    There are lots of good not great prospects in the mix (even guys like Speights and Koufos a bit further down). Not surefire stars, though. Given all the question marks, it definitely makes sense to try and trade down, to get multiple picks, or an extra asset. It doesn’t have to be Jersey — we can take a next year’s pick, or a 2010 pick… this is a long-range plan.

    IMO stockpiling multiple picks is much more important than dumping contracts — we have two years to clear cap space, and I’d rather focus on collecting players we DO want.

  73. caleb

    p.s. A little perspective — if you say — very conservatively — that the average career of a high lottery pick lasts 10 years, there are at least 60 top-six picks in the league. So you can’t really count on a superstar — guys like Love and Gordon, solid players with relatively limited upside, are not unreasonable to take.

    THat said… I’d rather roll the dice on someone who might be great…

  74. TDM

    Interesting article from The Oregonian re Trailblazer workouts:

    “Joe Alexander was impressive on Tuesday in displaying exceptional athleticism, leaping ability and raw potential. Russell Westbrook made a strong case to become a Blazer last week when he showed better-than expected shooting ability, versatility and athleticism. But I’ve been to every one of the Blazers’ nine workouts thus far and no prospect has revealed a more polished, NBA-ready game than D.J. Augustin did today.”

    http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindblazersbeat/2008/06/augustin_dazzles_in_predraft_w.html

  75. Ted Nelson

    Just read through the (anti)Randolph piece. It’s hard to take someone who professes to know “nothing” about the NBA and isn’t an “expert” on college basketball either seriously… But I think the article raises some good points.

    First, I saw LSU play ZERO times last season, and a lack of competitive drive is a serious concern. However, I don’t think it’s fair to compare LSU to KSU or him to Beasley (seems a bit like an pissed off LSU fan). Beasley had a late first/early second talent as a teammate in Bill Walker. Anyway, it’s not exactly breaking news that Beasley is way more polished and better period than Randolph. Lamar Odom (who Randolph is compared to) has a similarly indifferent seeming attitude, and I don’t remember him lifting Rhode Island to great heights.

    Also, between a lack of a strength and a lack of an outside shot he definitely might struggle upon arriving in the NBA. Guys like Tayshaun Prince and Shawn Marion (also comparisons I’ve heard for Randolph) improved their three point shooting in the NBA, but didn’t start off as bad as Randolph. At LSU he made only 2 of 19 3PA (.105) while Marion hit 20 of 67 his only year at UNLV (.299) and Prince 29 of 101 3pa as a freshman (.287, he shot .329 on 3s over his 4 year career at Kentucky). (Even Lamar Odom, a career .314 3p shooter in the NBA, hit 33 of 100 his year at Rhode Island.)

    He’s a reach and probably too much of a risk at #6, but I think the article goes way too far suggesting he should be picked in the 20s. After watching a bunch of highlights I was pretty mesmorized by how fluid the guy is at 6-10 (really amazing how he starts the break), but getting back to the stats he is really raw. Way, way, rawer than any of the favorable comparisons that come to mind (Odom, Prince, Marion, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams).

    I guess he’s off my list of top guys to get at #6, although I still think he could be a very good complementary player… kind of a better offense/ slightly worse defense Renaldo Balkman or a Lamar Odom maybe. Another guy that comes to mind is Jonathan Bender.

  76. T-PLan

    RotoExperts has two mocks on the site, and they already updated the one linked above.

    There’s no way OJ Mayo falls to the Knicks. He is ranked as the #2 Guard in the whole draft. With all those bigs, teams will be scrapping for help at PG early. Probably even trading up. Gordon is a good possibility, but Westbrook will be gone. It’s possible Augustin falls that far (far-fetched) because of his lack of size.

  77. ess-dog

    Assuming OJ’s not available, my top choices for the Knicks are as follows:

    1. Bayless
    3. Gordon, Augustin (tie)
    4. Gallinari

    It could be fun to take Gallinari this year with the idea of trying to get Rubio to play point next year. I also think Gordon is going to be for real and probably has the best outside shot of all the guards. He’s not a leader like OJ, but we can draft another leader-type next year. And Augustin really distributes well and can nail the 3. Watching his clips have made me like him better than Westbrook. He could be a Nash type player.

  78. T-PLan

    Also, On the Randolph comment above… I’m an LSU fan. They’re suffering from lack of depth, not lack of talent. Randolph has a ton of upside and single-handedly kept them in a bunch of games all season. They lost most of their games in the last 10 minutes when the team tired out.

  79. Ted Nelson

    Owen,

    Been meaning to ask you, what is it that you don’t like about Westbrook’s numbers?

    Caleb,

    “Not surefire stars, though.”

    I don’t think many guys available at #6 ever are.

    A solid pick, like Battier, at #6 is great and all I’m really expecting, but the only thing I worry about is that “safe” or later in the 1st “good backup” is often draft code for “his game will not transfer to the NBA.” AKA Mateen Cleaves, JJ Reddick, Adam Morrison, Shelden Williams, Raymond Felton and Sean May to some extent, Kirk Haston, Melvin Ely… Then again I can also think of guys who were obvious picks based on their college production, slipped in the draft, and have done great: Roy (slipped a little compared to where mock drafts had him leading up to the draft process), Granger, Prince, Josh Howard… Having never studied it much, I would assume the secret is partially in their college stats.

    As far as this year’s Battier/Childress/Roy… I think Westbrook is as good a candidate as anyone, although I’m interested to see what Owen says about his stats. Brook Lopez seems like a decent candidate too: he produced at the college level but is getting hammered in the workout process. A couple of huge differences between Lopez and Frye are strength/build, low-post moves, and rebounding. I seriously doubt the Knicks take a slow 5 to ring in the Mike D era though, but if he slides to #9 or lower I see him as a very solid pick (would be intesting to compare a prospect’s average mock draft position after the NCAA season and after the workout season and see what happens to the guys who fall/rise most due to workouts in their NBA careers).

    Agree 100% about Alexander and his workouts. He’s a good prospect and his athletic ability + work ethic make you think he’ll at least be a decent defender and finisher, but the games have got to be worth a lot more than workouts. (One way I can see the workouts as useful is if one guy shows up in a suit and is polite …Bayless… while another guy shows up with shorts hanging off his … and is rude, or a guy is completely out of shape. I don’t think in shape is so impressive because if he couldn’t stay in shape during the season he’s probably going to revert to his ways in the NBA …Kevin Love… but if a guy is out of shape right now I doubt he’ll ever, ever be in shape.)

    Ess-dog,

    I hate to be a size whore, but Nash is 5 inches taller than Augustin. I think I underrate Augustin and he’ll probably end up as a solid NBA PG, but he’s just not my first choice at #6. Maybe a Battier/Childress/Roy type no brain college production type, but maybe a Sean May, Adam Morrison, JJ Reddick type college production won’t transfer type…

    T-Plan,

    So your predicted top 5 is Rose, Beasley, Mayo, Westbrook, and Augustin???

  80. Tom Lorenzo

    I wrote the article for RotoExperts and listed the Knicks need at PF because I find it hard to believe that the Knicks are content with the likes of Zach Randolph starting for them this year. I also took into account the fact that in D’Antoni’s system David Lee might be better suited playing the 5.

    At this point, as noted by Thomas B. above, the Knicks need all the help they can get. If they were to draft a power forward like Anthony Randolph and move Lee to the 5 I think you would be more than happy with the result under D’Antoni’s system. My assessment was based on the system they are going to run – which is not a Zach Randolph/Eddy Curry friendly one.

    Yes, a more pressing need is at point and then probably at the small forward position, but I do think an athletic big is going to be vital in the new system. See the Suns with Amare..

    Which is why you’re going to love the new Mock I put up! Alexander?? ;)

    tom
    http://rotoexperts.com/content/view/166/79/

  81. ess-dog

    Wow, Nash is 6′ 4″? Who knew? You’d think he could play better D. I agree Ted, the size worries me a bit, but for D’Antoni’s offense I think it matters less than in a half-court offense. Of course, we’d have to trade nate if we got him. I’m starting to think Gordon could be a steal at #6. I like Westbrook’s game, but Gordon could be in a whole other league. So he’s a little short, it’s not like he’s A.I. short. And he’s not slight like Crawford or Ben Gordon. 6′ 5″ is average for a s.g. and he’s really 6’3″ or 4″. Not a huge deal considering his shooting, strength, speed, and leaping ability. He’s probably the most complete player in the draft after the top 3. I know we “need” a point and a shot-blocking center, but we really should take the best player available

  82. Dallas

    anyone know anything about ricky rubio. I read that he is a franchise point guard desitnied for stardom in the NBa. Could the knicks possibly stick with Marbury this year so they could make a run at this guy next year.

  83. courtside

    Knickerblogger (love the handle btw) I have a idea…

    Why not publish the same grid showing which one of the mocks were the most accurate. Trades and surprises will surely through it out of whack, but it would be cool to see if any of them were even close after the first pick or two.

    I saw someone do that for the NFL draft, and it was funny how some of the “top” sites were so wrong and some of the blogs much better in predicting the eventual outcome

    my .02

  84. Ray

    Ricky Rubio…lol…all we know is that hes a top the mock drafts for 09′ and he was a pretty interesting highlight vid on youtube…the way things are his stock might slip so forget about him until June 0f 09!! Its funny how so many opinions sway on who we should pick….Yesterday, it was a lot of Russell Westbrook. Today its Eric Gordon day with a pinch of Joe Alexander. I guess they will pick based on what they want to do. Will we be running and gunning?? Then lets get a kid who can run that floor and shoot the ball. According to Coach we will be shooting in 7 seconds or less or at least trying to execute our plays in that much. So in that case we’ll need a kid who can come in here and know how to execute. So who do we get….i think it will all depend on who is available at the time we pick. Its going to hurt if someone picks Mayo ahead of us b/c i know he could do great things in NYC. HOpefully someone will pick a surprise pick ahead of us and a quality prospect will fall in our lap. I think they are going to go for the best player available and that might be Gordon. Hell if i know at this point but hes no slouch.

  85. TDM

    I can’t imagine Minnesota passing on Mayo at #3, however, their biggest need is a C. It is conceivable that they go with a guy like Lopez. They have worked him out on 2 occassions now.

    With regard to the Sonics and Griz, I think Gallinari, Westbrook, Bayless and Love (unless Mayo drops) are the only potential picks. The Griz need another big, however, they did just sign Pau’s younger brother, Marc, to a 3 yr $9 million deal today. Marc’s not as athletic as Pau, but he’s bigger and more defense oriented. I can’t see Memphis going with another guard given their current roster. I think they will take either Gallinari or Love.

    Regarding the Sonics, their needs in order (IMO) are C, PF, PG. If they go with need, it is probable that Bayless will drop to us at #6. IF that happens, regardless that he currently seems more suited for SG than PG, I’d go with him.

  86. Thomas B.

    uh oh.

    Caleb took the OVER on 38 wins. My friend, I am going to remind you of that next April.

    I am I that out of touch to think that a team with a rookie coach, no center, no point, no bench, and a rookie starter can be close to .500? I know the East is weak, but damn. A 23 win turnaround is alot to expect when you dont add a Garnett and Allen.

  87. Ken

    how about Jamal Crawford to the Cavs for Wally Sczerbiak, Boobie Gibson, and the #19 pick? Then they could draft Courtney Lee. A backcourt of Lee and Westbrook would run, jump, and defend, wouldn’t it? Plus, Crawford needs to go. %41 percent shooters don’t fit with D’Antoni, no matter how slick they are.

  88. caleb

    Thomas,
    You forget that wade when healthy had a better season and a half than kobe has ever had… And marion is a 7- or 8-time all star, still just 30.

    And if you’re holding the #2 pick – it ain’t hard to trade for a better player than ray allen.

    Not that they’ll win 66 but if the main 2 are there and healthy (pretty big if, true)… No way they’re sub-.500.

  89. TDM

    Anyone else notice that the Sonics have 6 draft picks this year (2 first, 4 second), plus 9 players under contract for next year. This could get interesting. Obviously they are not going to trade down to obtain more picks, but anyone think they could move up to grab Mayo or Beasley?

  90. caleb

    Why would cleveland make that deal?

    I don’t think they’d trade gibson for crawford straight-up, if the salaries matched.

  91. caleb

    re: Miami & Seattle trading down…

    I think Riles will push hard to get a 3rd veteran All-Star, like Elton Brand. If he can’t find a deal like that, I think he’ll look hard at trading Marion for a younger prospect.

    As long as the pick is for sale, I could see some three-ways… like nabbing Carlos Boozer (Utah’s afraid he’ll opt out, and walk — he only makes $11 million). But neither Rose or Beasley is a perfect fit in Utah, so they’d need to find a 3rd team — like sending the #2 to Seattle for Wilcox and #4, and maybe an extra pick. Or to Portland for Aldridge & Outlaw or Przybilla or the #13 or some combo of those guys.

    Of course Riles could do a Portland deal straight up, but I think he’d rather have Boozer than Aldridge & change.

  92. caleb

    Portland is definitely looking o deal — without a trade, by the end of next year’s draft I think they have 22 players either drafted or under contract… obviously they’ll try to combine some of those for a star or high pick. Draftniks all saying they love Alexander or Westbrook, but when the buzz is that unanimous, I get the feeling it’s a smokescreen for whatever player they really like.

  93. Z

    “You forget that wade when healthy had a better season and a half than kobe has ever had… And marion is a 7- or 8-time all star, still just 30.”

    Miami’s situation reminds me of S.A. when they hit the lottery for Duncan. They had their franchise player and were accustomed to winning with him. They had injuries and a bad season which was a well timed anomaly.

    Come next week the Heat will have 2 studs on their roster and a very bright future, both short and long term…

  94. George from Scottsdale

    Please stop the talk about a point guard, let’s assume a pick of Bayless, Gordon, Mayo or Westbrook, who does this make better, no one, take the best shotblocker, defender available wherever they select and build from there!!Hollinger’s piece on Randolph is devastating-ouch!!

  95. TDM

    “Portland is definitely looking o deal — without a trade, by the end of next year’s draft I think they have 22 players either drafted or under contract”

    Caleb, did you mean Portand or Seattle? Actually, now that I look at it, both teams are in a numbers crunch.

  96. jon abbey

    “Please stop the talk about a point guard, let’s assume a pick of Bayless, Gordon, Mayo or Westbrook, who does this make better, no one, take the best shotblocker, defender available wherever they select”

    I think Westbrook is the best defender, not to mention the best talent available (depending on how things shake out), assuming he’s still available. if you just mean big man defenders, any of those would be a huge reach at 6.

    if I’m Donnie Walsh, this would be my order, I’d take the top player that’s left:

    1) Rose
    2) Mayo
    3) Beasley
    4) Westbrook
    5) Alexander
    6) Augustin

    I’m not a fan of Bayless or Gordon (not the kind of players NY needs), and I love Love, but I don’t see how he and Lee could play together. I feel like people are underrating Brook Lopez a bit, but I don’t think NY can afford to take that chance.

  97. Italian Stallion

    Ranking of the guards based on my own analysis.

    1. Bayless
    2. Mayo
    3. Gorden
    4. Rose
    5. Westbrook

    Yep, Rose is 4th.

  98. tdm

    Italian Stallion,

    Based on your guard rankings it appears that you put a premium on scoring and not so much on distributing or defense. Is this a list ranking prospects for a SG position? I like Bayless, but his game is more one-dimensional compared to Rose, Mayo or even Westbrook.

  99. Italian Stallion

    I put a lot of weight on scoring, assists, outside shot, and defensive. I measure defense visually.

    My feeling is that there really isn’t a legitimate top PG in the group other than perhaps DJ Augustine and Rose. The only reason I have DJ ranked below the others is that I consider his size a negative defensively. Perhaps I am overrating that issue though.

    I’ve looked at Rose a lot and I just don’t see what everyone else sees. He’s a very good prospect, but I don’t see how or why he stands out over the top combo guards. I think he’s wildly overrated as the #1 pick.

  100. Owen

    “Owen,

    Been meaning to ask you, what is it that you don’t like about Westbrook’s numbers?”

    They are decidedly average from a Win Score perspective. I like what Erich posted.

    Thomas B – What thread was the over/under on 38 wins? Did I take the over?

  101. Ray

    I get that feeling about Rose two…there seems to be a bit too much hype around him. When the season starts he not going to have much of an impact from the start. Beasley on the other hand will contribute big numbers right away. He can score and rebound. Take you inside and outside. He needs to be selected first.

  102. Dave

    Rose’s rookie transition is going to be interesting to watch because he’s still very much trying to figure out the most effective way to play and how to run his team. It’ll be interesting to see how quick/slow his development is but the talent is definitely there. He’s a potential franchise altering point guard, very special player. His ability to the run the break means 10-15 easy points a game right off the bat (replacing some of those contested jump shots Chicago have been forced into).

  103. jon abbey

    yeah, one thing about Rose is that he came into an already loaded program, pretty easy for egos to get bruised in a situation like that. so I think he held back in ways for parts of the season, Memphis were so loaded and played such a mostly weak schedule that they didn’t need him to do too much for most of the year.

    but the way that he stepped up when the level of play did in the NCAAs, he controlled the games from the point like few players can. he made Augustin look like a little kid, he dominated Collison. at least one draftnik has compared the top two players to Glenn Robinson and Jason Kidd, and that’s what it seems like to me. Beasley puts up numbers (albeit huge ones), Rose helps you win games.

    it would be cool if Chicago passed on him, Wade/Rose/Marion would be a crazy trio to watch, but I’ll be pretty surprised if they do.

  104. Ted Nelson

    Dallas,

    “anyone know anything about ricky rubio.”

    He’s very quick and a has great court vision at 6-3. He’s been playing on one of Spain’s best teams since he was 16 (same team as the Blazer’s Rudy Fernandez). Really quick hands kind of like Manu’s, but turns the ball over as often as he steals it at this point (plays on sort of the Suns of the ACB, and they turn it over quite a bit as a team). He was 3rd on his team in PPG (10.5, behind Rudy and American guard Desmond Mallet), but he’s not much of a shooter. He’s improved his 3-point shooting a bit hitting roughly the same % this season (29%) as last (28%) on almost twice the attempts (101 vs. 57). (The European 3-point line is closer in than the NBA’s.) His FT shooting improved dramatically from last season (66% to 81%). Also a decent rebounder for a PG. Kind of a rich man’s Sergio Rodriguez or Nash without the J… We’ll see if he steps it up once Rudy’s gone as Tiago Splitter did to some extent with Luis Scola playing on the Rockets.

    “Marc’s not as athletic as Pau, but he’s bigger and more defense oriented”

    Continuing with Spanish prospects, Marc’s not much of a defender… Not that it’s easy to be an interior defensive presence in the Spanish league. Less athletic and bigger than Pau? Definitely. Actually sort of reminds me of the way everyone’s talking about Brook Lopez (maybe even less athletic than Lopez): lumbering but a very skilled offensive center. He’s also a good rebounder and a very good passer for a bigman (finsihed second on his team in APG). He led the Spanish league in RPG last season and was 4th in PPG (Rudy Fernandez led the league in PPG). I think he’ll be a solid NBA center in the Divac/Sabonis mold.

    Thomas,

    “A 23 win turnaround is alot to expect when you dont add a Garnett and Allen.”

    They’re adding Wade (51 games last season), Shawn Marion (16 games on the Heat), and a top 2 pick… They might not get to .500, but definitely could.

    Italian Stallion,

    “Yep, Rose is 4th.”

    Bold prediction, we’ll have to see. Hard to watch Rose play and not see a very special prospect…

  105. Caleb

    One thing Ted left out is that Rubio is just 17 years old.

    Here’s one highlight reel:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvnKmfAe-Bg&feature=related

    And here’s another — you want learn much about Rubio’s game, but it’s well worth watching:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0KODEz58BU&feature=related

    re: Miami, if they trade the pick, I could see them making a run at the conference title, assuming a healthy cast. They’d have a million options, but let’s say they trade Beasley to Portland for Aldridge, Webster, Jack and the #13 pick. Throw in a couple of salaries to match. Then Miami is running out a lineup of Jack, Wade, Marion, Aldridge and Center X… with Webster, Haslem and the #13 pick coming off the bench. Add the inevitable free agent signings – wouldn’t DeSagana Diop look good there? – and that is a formidable team.

  106. BBopandbeyond

    With the sixth overall pick, nobody really stands out enough to make a direct impact. While there is talent out there, you never really know, after the “can’t miss” of numbers 1 thru 3.
    Sooooooo….here’s the deal-io Knick Fans….draft Joe Alexander from West Virginia, good size-mental toughness-some physical toughness to be worked out….BUT….a true baller, smart, talented, well rounded. Best of all, can go inside-with good passing or finishing skillz, but more importantly….can stick the three ball consistently….CONSISTENTLY.
    To futher modify the roster, Chicago is sure to take Derrick Rose with the first pick. Offer to send back to the Bulls, Eddie Curry and Jamal Crawford for Ben Gordon, who has contract issues with Chicago, that New York can satisfy and honor, once Curry and Crawford’s dollars are factored out of the payroll.
    This, of course, leaves the Knicks, needing that one big man, to rely on in the post, where “down and dirty” is the catch phrase. The Knicks do not need that superstar center in this position, as long as they obtain Alexander and Gordon, who will undoubtedly make someone better inside, with their abilities to honestly and consistently fill it up with threes from beyond the arc. I say, go “European”, with the need to fill the center spot, with a solid, internationally sound, big man from overseas, who can spell REBOUND in at least two different languages (as long as ENGLISH is one of them) !
    Failing these moves, just draft Eric Gordon from Indiana, and figure the rest out on the fly, something The Knicks have tormented the fans with, for the past 5-7 years.

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