Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nate Threepeats

Nate Robinson won his third straight slam dunk championship tonight. Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan made the contest interesting with a perfect dunk in the first round, but failed to build on that momentum. In their face to face match-up, Robinson sealed the deal by catching the ball off the backboard for a reverse two handed slam.

Earlier in the night Robinson’s teammate Danilo Gallinari failed to make it out of the first round of the three point contest. Paul Pierce eventually took the crown, over Stephen Curry and Chauncey Billups.

129 comments on “Nate Threepeats

  1. Brian Cronin

    Boy, that was one half-assed dunk contest.

    I think, in the end, Nate won by virtue of being more famous than DeRozan (not that DeRozan really did much of a good job either).

    Now, speaking of the Dallas-Washington deal – do you think that makes the Rockets more willing to make a deal with the Knicks?

  2. daaarn

    I agree, that wasn’t the most exciting of dunk contests. I kinda feel that Nate didn’t really win it, so much as the other guys lost it. The dunks just weren’t as exciting [or at least the crowd reaction wasn't as exhilarating] as in recent years. Still, gotta give it up for Nate. Hopefully this’ll be the end of his Slam Dunk Competition career b/c I honestly don’t think he has anything left in his bag of tricks worth pulling out at this point.

  3. daaarn

    Strangely enough, I haven’t been keeping up with the Knicks trade rumors this season, but what’re the most popular theories about who’d be included in a McGrady trade?

    I assume Harrington would have to be in the picture, but who else? I don’t really see the Rockets taking either Curry or JJ [but then again, I haven't been paying much attention to the Rockets either], so I don’t really see what we’d gain from this trade as I just don’t think McGrady would help that much this late in the season [especially after such a long layoff].

  4. TDM

    Nate received 51% of the vote. That sounds about right. Wilkins was sitting at the judges table asking himself why he didn’t have any score cards lower than 7.

    BC: “Now, speaking of the Dallas-Washington deal – do you think that makes the Rockets more willing to make a deal with the Knicks?”

    My guess is no. It makes it more likely that Houston will work with either Chicago or Philly to get a trade done.

    Chicago can offer Salmons, Miller and Tyrus.
    Philly is offering Dalembert and Iguodala.

    Either one of those is better than Harrington and Jeffries.

    The only thing that would get Houston to look NY’s way is if the Knicks were offering up Chandler, Gallo or maybe Lee.

  5. David Crockett

    I was logging on to put this in a post, but it’s probably just as well done as a comment.

    Rant to ensue in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

    This whining about the dunk contest really needs to stop.

    You know what’s wrong with the dunk contest?

    We are what’s wrong with the contest.

    Maybe it’s just that my own semi-bratty teenager is driving me crazy at the moment, but good grief NBA fans can be a bunch of spoiled brats. If I were LeBron, Kobe, or even Dwight Howard I wouldn’t take one step towards the dunk contest. It’s not worth it.

    The expectations have officially become unattainable. I’ll be the first to say that last night was not vintage. But, by definition every year it cannot be. It was obvious how tight all the contestants were. Ever since they were announced all I have heard is “Oh. They’re not LeBron. They’re not Vince. They’re not Jordan, and on and on.” Those guys were just in a no win situation.

    As Charles and Reggie droned on and on like bratty teenagers (Kenny was the only one to bring any semblance of balance), I was reminded of the scene from the Simpsons–Poochy episode (iirc). Bart tells off Comic Book Guy about saying that Itchy and Scratchy owed him something. “What could they possibly owe you? They’ve given you thousands of hours of entertainment absolutely free. If anything, YOU owe them.”

    I think the dunk contest lacks purpose. Because of that it’s difficult for people to stay engaged. If the *purpose* of the dunk contest itself is to engage the fans rather than simply entertain them their perspective on the same old dunks might change.

    1. Allow fans to vote on 1) a charitable cause to dedicate the contest to, and 2) the slate of participants (provided by the league).

    2. In the final round allow the fans to choose the winner based on pledges to a charity (or multiple charities) related to the cause.

  6. ess-dog

    Look, it’s just not the golden age of the contest any more. But I think DeRozan should’ve won just for that one dunk that was basically perfect and flat out sweet. Nate had 2 pretty good dunks I guess. Does this up his trade value?

  7. Dan Panorama

    I was asking myself as well whether the dunk contest itself had lost pizazz and after going back and watching the highlight reels for the last three years the answer is….no way. I forgot that even the forgettable dunkers — Rudy Fernandez for example — had some awesome rounds and the level of showmanship and excitement was really amazing for the entire stretch. Dwight Howard, Gerald Green, and Nate made the contest the most fun its been since Vince changed the game. The problem this year was that the new participants were boring, unambitious, Nate’s run out of new dunks, and they apparently weren’t supposed to have props (which were incredibly fun when everyone else used them, remember the cupcake? Dwight’s sticker?)

    Better dunkers, better personalities, and the contest will be fun again. But we really were spoiled the last 3 years — those guys were awesome.

  8. SeeWhyDee77

    I agree in the sense that this year’s dunk contest wasn’t as “exciting” as it was in years past. But my theory is the problem is Vince Carter. He spoiled us so much to the point that no dunk is exciting anymore lol. Last nite’s competition didn’t have the bells and whistles, but overall the dunks weren’t horrible. Nate’s 5 foot nothing yal, and while his dunks weren’t all time greats-they were pretty incredible. Especially that last one where he was almost looking into the hoop. Dunks weren’t massively creative, as I was trying to allude to las nite, but they will do. I’ve already posted an idea in the David Lee thread from a few nights ago, but for those who haven’t read it-here’s my all star weekend fix. Basically the fan’s vote shares value with the coaches vote to make the starters more reasonable. Then the fans choose the dunk competitors, 3 pt competitors, and skills competitors. Now some may agree that the stars should not participate-but thas what the all star comp is for. We should get to see the dunkers, shooters, and other players that we want to see for that weekend. For instance, I know Shannon Brown can jump, but that doesn’t make him a great dunker-so I wouldn’t have chosen him. When we watch games and highlights, it is easy to see who the great dunkers in the league are. And for those players who don’t get much playing time and who happen to be great dunkers-those guys can submit videos or something. We also know who the great shooters, ball handlers and passers are. There’s no way Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups shoulda been in the 3pt contest, Frye too. Frye’s havin a great season shooting 3′s, but is he better shooter than Andrea Bargniani? Frye’s just beginning to shoot well from outside, whereas Bargniani has always been considered a good shooting big. I only used Bargniani b/c he stands 6’10″ or taller. Anyway, my point is Saturday nights of All Star Weekend should be more of a popularity night than Sunday. I love AI, but there’s no way he shoulda even been an All Star reserve this season while guys like David Lee put up 20 and 12 and only get voted in b/c AI was injured.

  9. Brian Cronin

    ESPN is reporting Cleveland is close to acquiring Amare for Hickson and Ilgauskus.

    As over-rated as Amare is (and he’s quite over-rated), that trade:

    A. Would pretty much end any chance of Lebron leaving Cleveland. Not that that trade would really make the Cavs that much better, but there’s no way that they make that deal if they’re not getting a clear commitment from Lebron first. “If we do this for you, will you stay?”

    B. Is on par with the Pau Gasol deal for travesties of the current NBA salary cap (where players are traded for contracts not for talent).

  10. daaarn

    “The problem this year was that the new participants were boring, unambitious, Nate’s run out of new dunks, and they apparently weren’t supposed to have props (which were incredibly fun when everyone else used them, remember the cupcake? Dwight’s sticker?)”

    Wow, so they were banned from having props this year? It was definitely more exciting when guys were pulling out the props in recent years. Well, I guess you can’t expect the Slam Dunk Contest to be consistently exciting year-after-year. I remember in the late 90s when everyone was clamoring for it to be removed [and I think it was for a year or 2].

    Also, I gotta agree about the boring/unambitious part. I understand G. Wallace was going to play in the All-Star game the next night, but it really didn’t look like he cared about the Slam Dunk Contest. And the crowd noise [at least on TV] seemed practically non-existent for his dunks. Makes me wonder how the NBA chooses the participants, and whether they should put the Contest on hiatus again to see if they can generate some more interest from guys who are more enthusiastic about it.

    Finally, has anyone seen any pics of D.Lee in his All-Star jersey yet? In previous years, I remember they used to do those promo photoshoots of all the All-Stars in their jerseys and it seems strange that I haven’t seen much buzz for it this year [granted, D.Lee was a late addition, but I really haven't seen the overt merchandising they've done in previous years].

  11. d-mar

    “ESPN is reporting Cleveland is close to acquiring Amare for Hickson and Ilgauskus. ”

    Yeah, looks like Donnie should start looking more seriously at Plan B. I agree that Amare is way over-rated, but the report says the Cavs will sign him to a long term deal, which they would not do if they weren’t sure LeBron was staying put.

    I think the most likely scenario is shaping up to be Joe Johnson and another 2nd tier FA. Or saving cap space for 2011.

  12. Brian Cronin

    You know, if the Knicks can’t dump Jeffries, I think I’d like to see a Harrington/Tyrus Thomas deal.

    Thomas is a restricted free agent, and I find it hard to believe he’ll get any remarkable offers this offseason, so the Knicks should be able to hold on to him for at least one more year for a reasonable price. It’d be nice to have a real defensive player on the team, ya know?

    Heck, if the Knicks did hold on to him, then next year they could easily have

    PG – Someone anyone but Duhon
    SG – Johnson
    SF – Gallo/Chandler
    PF – Thomas/Gallo
    C – Lee

    Not a terrible team at all, with a lot of money coming off of the cap in 2011.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think they’ll likely try something more aggressive if it becomes clear that Lebron and Wade are not coming to NY, but that lineup is not awful, quite possibly a playoff team.

  13. rrude

    Not sure if you’re Cleveland why this trade seems needed.

    You have the best record and are playing the best ball right now.

    You have a young PF coming on and fulfilling his role on the team (Hickson).

    You are going to trade him for a player whose rep is questionable: doesn’t always give effort, spotty D, wants to play away from the basket too much.

    One reason is supposedly to match up better with the Lakers, but since when has Amare been a good matchup for the Lakers frontcourt?

    Didn’t Shaq and Amare have issues co-existing in PHX ( I could be remembering this wrong, or maybe it was just a product of Shaq not fitting the system there in general).

    Not sure it ensures LBJ stays. It seems like a huge gamble. You break up a team with good chemistry. If performance declines or you flame out in the playoffs, it seems like you panicked and blew it. Why does Lebron want to stay to play with an older Shaq and Amare who turned out not to be the missing piece?

    Admittedly, I am not into Amare’s game at all. I think he’s soft and is more style than substance. So that probably explains why I have the same feeling about the proposed trade.

  14. SeeWhyDee77

    I like that idea BC..I mean I really like that idea. All along I been wishing for the opportunity to grab CP3 or ‘Melo in ’11-and with the kinda plan B u suggest, it would allow us to do so if those guys were available. And it would still keep us competitive in the interim.

  15. daaarn

    A quick look-through of 2011 free agents isn’t very comforting. There really aren’t many big names, and the ones that are, either have an option year or are restricted FAs. Throw in the expiration of the CBA and the league’s push towards cutting salaries [and maybe instituting a hard cap], and it’s hazy at best to see whether the Knicks would benefit or be harmed by waiting a year. Still, cap space is always useful, so unless we can get LeBron, I think I’d prefer to just re-sign D.Lee and add in some more 1-year rentals until all this CBA/Salary stuff is settled [what's 1 more year of on top of a whole decade of mediocrity and frustration?].

  16. Brian Cronin

    The Knicks could also decide to use their 2011 expiring contracts this offseason to acquire players.

    I agree that Plans A and B possibly being off the table is not a good thing, but the cap flexibility (combined with two good young players in Gallo and Chandler) should help the Knicks be a good team the next couple of years, for the first time since Van Gundy was the coach.

  17. Brian Cronin

    Not sure if you’re Cleveland why this trade seems needed.

    You have the best record and are playing the best ball right now.

    You have a young PF coming on and fulfilling his role on the team (Hickson).

    You are going to trade him for a player whose rep is questionable: doesn’t always give effort, spotty D, wants to play away from the basket too much.

    One reason is supposedly to match up better with the Lakers, but since when has Amare been a good matchup for the Lakers frontcourt?

    Didn’t Shaq and Amare have issues co-existing in PHX ( I could be remembering this wrong, or maybe it was just a product of Shaq not fitting the system there in general).

    Not sure it ensures LBJ stays. It seems like a huge gamble. You break up a team with good chemistry. If performance declines or you flame out in the playoffs, it seems like you panicked and blew it. Why does Lebron want to stay to play with an older Shaq and Amare who turned out not to be the missing piece?

    Admittedly, I am not into Amare’s game at all. I think he’s soft and is more style than substance. So that probably explains why I have the same feeling about the proposed trade.

    I agree that the trade might not even be a good idea, strictly personnel-wise, but I don’t think there’s any way that Cleveland makes this trade without first getting a commitment from Lebron that he’ll sign if they get him Amare to be his sidekick for the next five years.

  18. latke

    Let’s say that this trade goes through and the Cavs lose in the second round to Boston. A one-legged Kevin Garnett abuses Stoudemire’s lackluster defense. Stoudemire has already signed an extension, so Cleveland has no prospect of having serious cap-room for the next three years. Pundits begin to argue that LeBron is better off abandoning a team that has taken a risk and lost. Amare, after all, is already in his eighth year and has had two knee surgeries. His impact is not going to go anywhere but down. Would LeBron risk becoming the next Kevin Garnett? A player stuck on a 2nd tier team until he is past his prime? What young players will Cleveland have that they can use to retool again or that LeBron can look forward to becoming more relevant players? None. They will have traded the only one.

    Lebron is 26 now. When this next contract expires he will be 31 or 32. I’m not saying that this scenario is likely, but I do think it is possible.

  19. SeeWhyDee77

    That is a very valid and perceptive point, latke. Me personally, I can’t argue with that possibility-i’ve never looked at it that way b4. But on the other side of that, Shaq is off the books this season so maybe this supposed move is for the future. While I agree that Amare is a lil overrated, he will be LBJ’s 1st real all star sidekick. I like Mo Williams, but I think he’s only an all star becuz of the lack of talent and/or health at that position in the East. We all know Shaq and Amare didn’t work in Phoenix, but that does not mean that LBJ and Amare won’t when The Big Witness Protection is gone. Amare’s deficiencies aside, he would still make a hell of a 2nd option for LBJ in Cleveland. Add that to the returning players and possible role players that they will sign to fill the roster-and you still have a top 3 seed in the East and problee a top 5 NBA team. Suppose Boston does beat out Cleveland this year..they sure as hell won’t do it next season with their Big 3 gettin even longer in the tooth. I think that acquiring Amare is a great move if they wanna keep LBJ b/c if nothing else, it gives him a player he can rely on nightly. Even with Shaq, Cleveland still has nobody who is willing to do anything other than witness. So I agree that Walsh should start planning on other moves becuz if Cleveland lands Amare, there’s no way LBJ bolts for NY.

  20. daaarn

    “I agree that the trade might not even be a good idea, strictly personnel-wise, but I don’t think there’s any way that Cleveland makes this trade without first getting a commitment from Lebron that he’ll sign if they get him Amare to be his sidekick for the next five years.”

    Would Cleveland really need LeBron’s commitment now in order to trade for Stoudemire? What I mean is, if the Cavs don’t make this trade and LeBron leaves as a FA, the Cavs are left with nothing for a year, but they’ll likely get a high draft pick and salary cap space out of it for 2012. But if they do make this trade and LeBron still eventually leaves, they could still possibly re-sign Amare, or just let him go for the aforementioned scenario. Certainly a step down, but not that bad, considering that I don’t know if they’d really get any further with just LeBron alone anyway.

  21. latke

    Maybe we could trade Harrington for Tyrus Thomas AND Joakim Noah! Then we’d have Eddy Curry and the two picks we traded for him. Who’s laughing last now?

  22. Loathing

    Won’t work. Money doesn’t match. But here’s what I thought of:

    Bulls get Harrington and Jeffries
    Knicks get Thomas and Brad Miller.

  23. Robert Silverman

    The Stoudamire to Cleveland rumors seem fishy to me. I actually think Antawn Jamison would be a better fit.

  24. iserp

    It is a reasonable move from Cleveland. Amare is better for them than Jamison, just because if the season ends and Lebron sees and aging Jamison, and aging Ilgauskas and an aging Shaq, he will flee for sure. Even if he won the ring with that team, he might not want be stuck there. Mo Williams, West and Varejao doesn’t make the cut

    Amare is quite young (although injury-prone) and Lebron can see a future in Cleveland with him. The only way to lure him out from Cleveland is if you can pair Lebron with someone better than Amare in a young team, so clearing space for Wade/Bosh would be essential.

    About the dunk contest, it was quite lame. It needs more participants, and it needs some star power, just so people care (and i don’t mean only fans, Gerald Wallace didn’t give a shit, if he was playing against Lebron, he might have been more motivated). I don’t expect too much originality, but i want the players caring, cheering the crowd, with some swagger and all that.

  25. greatscott

    ESPN is also reporting Amare to Cavs is not a done deal by any means as other teams are upping their offers and what the Cavs have to offer is not the Suns #1 choice.

  26. ess-dog

    Not sure if an Amare trade affects Lebron in 2010 either way. We’ll see I guess. In the meantime, I hope Walsh can get some watchable players at the deadline. I would love if Walsh could do Ridnour for Duhon, cash and a 2nd and Camby and Telfair for Jeffries, Nate and Hill. We could test out Ridnour and Camby as cheap players to bring back, and after the deadline we can start:

    pg Ridnour
    sg Chandler
    sf Gallo
    pf Camby
    c Lee

    This is a group that would compete and not make me throw up. And it gives us a realistic fall back to re-sign if we get no one else.

  27. daaarn

    @ess-dog:
    I know this is just splitting hairs seeing as how it’s a hypothetical situation, but would we really need to keep Lee at center if we got Camby back? In general, would it be better for Lee to stay as a center or be moved back to PF? Then again, I guess it doesn’t really matter in D’antoni’s system.

  28. SeeWhyDee77

    No ess-dog. Yes, we do need some watchable players-but don’t u think Nate and Hill is way too much to give away in order to move JJ’s deal? Now, if it were Curry instead of JJ-then i’d consider moving Nate and Hill for cap space. But u know what? The more I think about it, I think Al has to go. Sure he scores alot..but he stops the ball on offense. On top of that he’s allegedly pissed that Walsh is considering trading him. So-he impedes ball movement AND gets sensitive when other teams STILL want him? Yea-he’s got to go lol. I’d rather have a lesser player as long he passes some. I will, at this point in the season, gladly take Tyrus Thomas and his shotblocking & potential and Big Snacks for Harrington. I think Nate can handle the instant offense off the bench. In my opinion, Nate is proving himself too valuable to move so I think we keep him-unless there is massive cap room to be had in that potential trade. Along with moving Harrington for Thomas, I think DW should push for Hughes & Darko for TMac. If there is a deal out there for JJ, then we take it as long as we don’t give up 2 much to move his deal. With the way he’s been playing, I don’t think it will be hard to move JJ…at least not as hard as we all thought it might be before the season started. I would look to move him and Duhon to the Lakers for Farmar and whatever makes the numbers work without adversely affecting our cap. I tried that on espn’s trade machine and the best scenario I came up with was JJ & Duhon for Farmar, Morrison & Vujacic. That’s only about a 2m saving, so I would wait to see if Amare gets shipped to Cleveland b4 making that deal. It would still give us servicable players and alotta money comin off the books for 2011 and still allow us to pick up a Joe Johnson as BC said earler.

  29. TDM

    Personally I think the Cavs trading for Amare would backfire. As constituted now, the Cavs are the best on the east and will give the lakers a run for their money. Pairing Amare with Shaq again, an experiment that already failed, seems like a good thing for NY. Plus, although he plays limited minutes, Z is a better defensive presence than Amare.

    I hope this trade goes thru.

  30. BigBlueAL

    Have to admit, it was kinda cool seeing a Knick player finally announced during the pre-game intros in the All-Star Game.

    Used to take it for granted that we would always have at least 1 All-Star thanks to Patrick Ewing.

  31. Kikuchiyo

    I like Amar’e. Yeah, he’s soft and pouty, and he’s lost the wow in his game from back when he destroyed Duncan in the play-offs. But when he’s healthy he does make that jumper, and he can finish in a flash. With Amar’e in Cleveland, LeBron will grab a couple of rebounds Amar’e should have had, and he’ll get more assists with a scoring big man who can actually move. Triple doubles every night!

    And if anyone can replace Nash as Amar’e's nurse, mother, and benefactor, it’s LeBron. Expect more from post-Nash Stoudemire than the truly awful post-Nash Marion.

  32. Z

    ESPN is reporting Cleveland is close to acquiring Amare for Hickson and Ilgauskus…there’s no way that [Cleveland] make[s] that deal if they’re not getting a clear commitment from Lebron first.”

    If Lebron wants to play with Amar’e so badly, why don’t the Knicks just offer Phoenix Hughes and Hill for him. Isn’t that as good a package as Ilgauskus and Hickson?

  33. Brian Cronin

    If Lebron wants to play with Amar’e so badly, why don’t the Knicks just offer Phoenix Hughes and Hill for him. Isn’t that as good a package as Ilgauskus and Hickson?

    I’d much rather have Hickson than Hill.

    Throw in Chandler, and yeah, the Knicks’ offer would be better, but I don’t know if the Knicks would be willing to do that (heck, I don’t know if they should be willing to do that), as forgetting the talent side of the deal for a moment, adding Amare would take up a lot of cap space – it works for Cleveland because they could go over the cap to re-sign Lebron (or Ilgauskus if they want him back), but the Knicks are not in the same boat if they wanted to sign Lebron.

  34. Frank O.

    I feel as tho the Knicks aren’t dealing from a strong position in spite of all the expiring contracts they’ve got.

    I’ve said this a million times, but I think they’re better off letting these contracts just sunset.

    I’m sure this has been said, but Lee looked very nervous last night. His first three possessions were troubling. I’m glad he settled down a bit. I was a bit tired late in the game watching him on the bench biting his nails…

  35. Caleb

    I’d agree that Stoudemire to Cleveland would make it more likely LeBron stays – IMO, superstars are notoriously star-struck in evaluating their peers. But not by much. I don’t see any chance LeBron would guarantee anything to Cleveland – why would he? He’ll see how it goes this summer.

    That said, Knicks will have a lot of serious competition – on the surface, Miami would have a much stronger pitch. Chicago, too. Also Jersey and the Clips (though it’s hard to picture LeBron picking any city’s B-squad — he’s a Yankee fan, for gosh sakes). And a few other teams that could probably find a way to swing a max offer.

    But hey – the Knicks can offer the max, a player’s dream coach, solid management and finances, and an unmatched stage. Knicks are in the game.

    Anyway, we’re back where we started – Knicks not in position to take on any salary until they know what’s on tap with LeBron, Wade & Bosh. Hoping for the cap to hit $53-$54 million so they can afford LeBron AND Lee.

    I am sort of a Tyrus Thomas fan and would love to see him replace Harrington, but I don’t know if the Bulls could do anything to make the dollars match. Doubt it happens – Bulls will probably have offers from teams willing to throw in young talent instead of just an expiring deal. Knicks can’t do that, bc they can’t have Thomas tying up cap room. Knicks could always try to sign him this summer, if they whiff on the big names (and if they make room in the frontcourt with a Chandler + Jeffries trade, maybe).

  36. Caleb

    p.s. It’s a great deal for Cleveland – I like seeing a good team try to get better, instead of the Lakers wussing out on Hinrich because they don’t want to spend the money.

    p.p.s. I do NOT want the Knicks in the Stoudemire sweepstakes because I don’t think he’s worth more than $8-9 million, and it will probably take a lot more to sign him long-term. But I have an uneasy feeling – he seemed to be a D’Antoni fave.

  37. Loathing

    It’s been reported that Amar’e would rather go to Miami, where he lives in the offseason, but the Heat don’t have anything the Suns want. I say we help them out huh?

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ykvbbrw

    Remember, each team has the right to waive one player involved in a trade after it’s completed (I think. If I’m wrong, and I sometimes am, please correct me.) so Miami and Phoenix should both be able to save some scratch quickly. I know it’s a lot for the Knicks to give up, but it just might be worth it (Who knows, it might help for a playoff push too, but I doubt it.)

  38. rrude

    “I have an uneasy feeling – he seemed to be a D’Antoni fave.”

    I did read in one of the many articles about the Amare situation the past two weeks a reference to the Knicks coaching staff (paraphrasing) “not being in a hurry to reunite” with Amare. And I seem to remember a fair amount of back and forth between them while D’Antoni was in PHX regarding Amare’s lack of effort and his desire to be a #1 guy. Some of which I’m sure is just that Amare has always thought more of his game than he has shown on the court…much like a few malcontents on the Knicks roster I’m sure the staff wouldn’t mind parting ways with.

  39. Z

    Loathing, you have exactly 3 more days left to fantasize about trading Curry. Then reality will set in, and you can go back to your normal life.

    (And no, you cannot waive players just because you don’t want to pay them. In fact, teams would have to pay Jeffries and Curry MORE if they acquire them in a trade because of trade kickers).

  40. Loathing

    Thanks Z…did not know that…yep, we’re screwed. In that case, just re-sign Lee now so we have no chance of losing him (and showing LeBron, etc. that the Knicks are serious about building a team) and do a sign-and-trade with the next year’s expiring contracts in the offseason (heard Joe Johnson wants to play in NY, any truth to that?).

    But yeah, if Amar’e goes to Cleveland, goodbye LeBron.

    Side note: Anyone watch the ASG pre-game? There was talk among the guys that Bosh only wants to go where he’s the main attraction…does that mean he stays in Toronto??

  41. greatscott

    They were saying on ESPN if the Cavs get Amare and they still do not win, Lebron would have no reason to stay.

    Last night’s game established nothing.

  42. Z

    “It’s been reported that Amar’e would rather go to Miami, where he lives in the offseason, but the Heat don’t have anything the Suns want. I say we help them out huh?”

    If Miami wants Amar’e badly enough, they can offer Q Rich and Beasley, which would be a much better trade for both Phoenix AND Miami than anything that includes Jeffries.

    If Miami included Beasley with expirings for Amar’e, they would be able to extend Amar’e and STILL have the cap space to give LeBron a Max offer. (Yes, that means Wade, LeBron, and Amar’e could feasibly all be on the Heat next year).

  43. ess-dog

    Unsettling new tweet from Hahn:

    “Just talked to someone who says Mike D’Antoni is really pushing the McGrady situation. Walsh trying to make it work. TMac preparing for NY.”

  44. Garson

    Was wondering the starting linup with TMac on the team.

    PG Duhon
    SG Mcgrady
    SF Gallinari
    PF Jeffries
    C Lee

    Obvioiusly dont know whos going to be traded but def not any of the above. Will Chandler go to bench or gallinari ?

  45. Caleb

    “I seem to remember a fair amount of back and forth between them while D’Antoni was in PHX regarding Amare’s lack of effort and his desire to be a #1 guy.”

    Just reading the gossip it sounded like the friction came from players who thought D’Antoni let Stoudemire get away with murder, not making defensive rotations, etc. That he was the teacher’s pet. But I have no inside info… Marion seemed to rub some people the wrong way, too.

    Miami seems scarily in the best position this off-season. If they don’t make a Stoudemire deal, they have enough room for Wade, LeBron and Bosh (not to mention Beasley). On the other hand, they still have to just hope that LeBron wants to be in Miami as opposed to Cleveland or New York or anywhere. (Not to mention, he COULD exercise his option and go on the market in 2011… I know the next CBA is likely to be less favorable to players but if there’s one player least likely to suffer, it’s him).

  46. nicos

    On Tyrus Thomas- I live in Chicago so I’ve seen plenty of Bulls games and I have to say TT has a really low basketball I.Q. All to often He’ll make one or two jaw-dropping plays in a game just on sheer athleticism and spend the rest of the time drifting around the court in a fog. That said, he’s one of the most athletic guys in the league- one of the few (unlike Hill) who really does compare to a pre-injury Stoudimire. But if the Knicks really are interested in him they might be better off leaving him in Chicago where his playing time is going to limited by the fact that Del Negro can’t stand him and sign him to a cheap deal in the summer rather than risk having him come here and playing his way into a bigger contract.

    I still might so the deal for the following reason- I do think one of the things the Knicks really need to get a feel for before the season ends is just how much playing center has impacted/inflated D. Lee’s stats- while Thomas isn’t a true center any more than Lee is, if the two were playing along side one another, I think Lee would be guarded by 4′s more often than not as he spends much more time out on the perimeter. I also think Hill & Thomas would make for a really interesting (and probably very often infuriating) combo- two very athletic guys who’d create real havoc on the offensive glass and block some shots but who’d make a ton of defensive mistakes.

  47. Ted Nelson

    “instead of the Lakers wussing out on Hinrich because they don’t want to spend the money.”

    They may have wussed out, but Hinrich is having a Duhon like season and moving him would make Chicago a cap-space juggernaut this offseason: they should be paying teams to take him off their hands. Lakers can win a title without Hinrich, it’s not clear he’d even be a positive addition given how he’s playing this season, and they might create a new serious contender in the East by opening up that space for Chicago.

  48. chris.afroman

    Okay, so somebody definitely said Chauncey Billups doesn’t deserve to be in the 3-point contest. Please tell me that’s a joke.

  49. Ted Nelson

    “OMG latest report says Jeffries will be part of T-Mac deal!!!!!!!!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ys-knicksrocketstrade021510&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    Knicks would effectively be giving up their 2009, 2011, and 2012 1st round picks AND 2010 2nd just to move Jeffries? If there’s any truth to this there must literally be NO other team in the NBA who will even discuss Jeffries. If the Knicks strike out this offseason there would be no reasonable back-up plan with 2011 AND 2012 picks gone. Those picks had better be very well protected. But why do the Rockets want the rights to swap picks for a pick that’s well protected? If this deal happens it means the Knicks are going to spend a lot of money this offseason whether it’s on good players or bad ones… should be an interesting summer.

    On the bright side Walsh would have to be very high on his chances of hitting it big this offseason to do something like that.

    “One of the hang-ups in the deal, sources said, could be the Knicks’ inclusion of either Harrington or Hughes.”

    Knicks are giving up a solid prospect and possible top 5 picks in 2011 and 2012 and a 2nd and far more talent up front (Harrington/Hughes, Jeffries, Hill… I would probably take any of them over McGrady right now) and the only hang-up is Harrington or Hughes? The Rockets should be relieving the Knicks of Curry too since they are effectively ending their 2010 FA hopes. Clearly the Knicks are overvaluing T-Mac. Even if he has his best 30 game stretch ever when he arrives (very unlikely), he’s a one year (30 game, really) rental. 3.5 picks to move Jeffries, you don’t do that unless you think you’re getting something decent back.

  50. Brian Cronin

    Wow, we all doubted Morey would ever take Jeffries because he’s so smart, and now we know why he’s so smart – he’s absolutely bilking the Knicks, and all because he knows that they’re desperate to dump Jeffries.

    I still like the proposed deal, but wowsa, it’s a lot to give up.

  51. BigBlueAL

    It says the Rockets will have the option of exchanging 1st round picks in 2011 so the Knicks will still have their 1st round pick and to be honest Im hoping that the Rockets 1st round pick in 2011 will be better than the Knicks. The 2012 pick Im sure in Walsh’s eyes/hopes is going to be a pick in the 20′s.

    You seriously believe the Knicks are potentially giving up Top 5 picks in the next 2 picks?? Really?? Im sorry I do this trade in a freakin second since it is clearing up almost 10 million in the cap (Jeffries and Hill add up to around 9.5 million of cap relief) and not worry about the 2012 pick. I know Isiah did the same thing with the Curry trade but still this is a way totally different scenario.

  52. tastycakes

    Ted, I don’t really agree that the proposed deal would be “giving up 3.5 picks.” Hill has already been picked, and seems to fall in the “somewhere between outright bust and serviceable journeyman” category. The 2011 pick situation is a swap, and unless the Knicks get completely shut out in the offseason, it’s not likely to be any better than this year’s pick (which, we all know, isn’t ours). Losing 5-10 spots from the mid-lottery isn’t a huge deal. Clearly the Knick brass expects to be a playoff team next year behind whatever set of talent they can assemble with the available cap space.

    The proposed deal suggests the 2012 pick going to Houston. So .. that’s 1 pick actually going the other way.

    That said, I don’t like giving up *any* future 1st round picks on principle. Getting shut out this off-season — not getting LBJ or Wade or even Bosh or Joe Johnson — wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, provided we don’t overreact and spend our cap space on the wrong dudes. So you really want that back-up plan in the form of draft picks. You need to have the steady flow of young talent at all times, or .. well .. look at the Knicks today!

    It’s a tough call. Ditching Jeffries allows us to make 2 max contract plays, potentially, which I think increases our chances of getting a top player. (You’re not going to play for the Isiah Knicks, you’re going to play for the new D’Antoni Knicks alongside all-star X). I really want to move Jeffries. But that’s an awful lot of sweetener in the pot.

  53. tastycakes

    BigBlueAL, good point on ditching Hill’s salary.

    Clearly this is not the same thing as the Curry deal. We’re giving up less picks to get cap space. In the Curry deal, we gave up multiple picks to sign Eddy “Cheeseburger” Curry to a long-term deal, crippling our team along multiple axes. This is a gamble — we’re not rebuilding through the lottery, it’s through free agency. Let’s just hope we don’t sign the next Eddy Curry. (But will there EVER be another???)

    Also, getting T-Mac (without considering any other deal points) is a win-win. If he’s any good, we have the inside track on signing him to a fair-market deal to play on a good Knicks team next year (though he may still think he’s a star, he won’t deserve a star’s salary). If he’s terrible, that’s 22 million *off the books*.

    I can’t say I love the deal yet, but I can at least see the logic.

  54. SJK

    I’m on board with this trade. Seems like a good idea. We already knew we were all in for clearing cap space. If we are able to get some big signings this off-season, then the picks really don’t matter as much. Also, on the .0001% chance that T-Mac comes back in All-Star form… then we’ve gotten a steal and we could make a late playoff push. Walsh has to do everything possible to clear cap space for this off season as he made clear that was his main goal since he took the job. We have to make some move before the deadline and this seems like a good deal to me.

  55. daaarn

    I’m sorta torn about losing more draft picks in a deal for T-Mac. The possible benefit [LeBron/Wade/Bosh] would be too good to pass up, but it just sucks that we’d basically be giving up 1.5 picks just to get rid of Jeffries. Then again, except for Gallo, it’s not like the Knicks have done the best job drafting in the lottery for the past 2 decades.

  56. BigBlueAL

    Look Im not that naive in terms of I understand giving away draft picks is not the smartest thing I mean shit looks what has happened to us and is happening to us now because of this.

    BUT again I mean the Knicks at worst should sneak into the playoffs next season and to be honest the Rockets wont make the playoffs this year and are probably less of a bet to make the playoffs next season than the Knicks are. So if you are worried about the pick in 2012 then you really must have no faith whatsoever in Walsh and D’Antoni.

    Remember teams cant go 2 years in a row w/o a 1st round pick so again no matter what they will have a 1st round pick next year and again Im willing to bet they wont even exchange it because the Rockets will have a better pick than the Knicks. Of course Ive been wrong before many times……

  57. tastycakes

    BTW, what exactly is Houston thinking here? They’re taking a pretty big risk on the Knicks continuing to suck in 2011 and then raping us for our pick. Is it possible the Knicks strike out and don’t get out of the lottery? Certainly, but I wouldn’t bet on it. So the 2012 pick is more of a big deal to them, since it’s a sure thing (or who knows, maybe it’s lottery protected for a few years, in which case they can’t even rely on it in 2012). But the odds of the Knicks being better still in 2012 are pretty good.

    I guess if you are highly confident in your drafting ability, and highly confident that Donnie Walsh doesn’t know what he’s doing, then the trade sort of makes sense. But still..

    I mean, Jeffries and Harrington won’t make the Rockets contenders (obviously). The Rockets are giving up on the 2010 sweepstakes, showing a lack of confidence to compete there. (And why? Couldn’t they conceivably sign hometown Bosh? Or Wade?). They’ll get some picks out of it. Take a flier on Hill.

    But overall, it’s not a game-winning strategy. It’s a “stay competitive” strategy. The Moneyball comparisons might be appropriate: The Rockets could turn into the Oakland A’s .. perennial star-less “overachievers” not good enough to win it all.

  58. cgreene

    How about we just ask for lottery protection on the 2012 pick? I would do the 2011 swap plus 2012 protected plus Hill to get rid of Jeffries at this point. The pitch becomes much less complicated to the stars. There is no waiting to become a title contender. If the cap comes in around $55M you can keep Lee too if the guys agree to take a little less to create the best team.

  59. SeeWhyDee77

    I would LOVE to clear some more cap room…BUT thas a bit much to give up to dump JJ’s salary mainly b/c JJ has been a very useful player this season. The jury is still out on Hill, but giving him away IS like giving up a pick b/c his rookie season isn’t over yet and we still don’t know what we have due to the forwards ahead of him on the depth chart. Swapping picks AND giving up a 2012 1st rounder along with Hill for a package that includes Cook and Dorsey? Dorsey has the potential to be a gritty, Reggie Evans/Charles Oakley type of player, but he and Cook combined is not half the player Hill is-cmon! This deal gets Houston younger and better, but doesn’t really improve the Knicks. If we land LBJ and Bosh, then I have no issue with this deal. But there’s got 2 be another team who values JJ. If we swapped Hill for Douglas, then that deal is OK. This is a rundown of what Houston would be getting: 1) A 6’10″ frontcourt player who was a lottery pick and has potential-who by the way has shown major flashes of ability.
    2) An additional 1st rounder in 2012, which they will need due to Yao’s uncertainty.
    3) Another great team defense player to play with Ariza & Battier in JJ.
    4) A better pick next year assuming Yao comes back healthy and Cleveland pulls off the trade for Stoudemire.
    5) Potentially a 20ppg scorer in the frontcourt in Harrington and potentially a 2nd rounder this year.

    Here’s what we get: 1) A most likely washed up TMac. Definitely not a superstar level player anymore even if he is relatively healthy.
    2) Extra cap room that means almost nothing if Cleveland gets Stoudemire. This move, if made, will be strictly to throw money at LBJ and another all star.
    3) It does give us a better shot at retaining Lee while adding LBJ and another all star, but the scenario above is more likely.

    Doesn’t sound anywhere close to fair does it? I’m with BC, re-sign Lee, go after Joe Johnson, let the other guys contracts die after next season, then get aggressive with trades and free agency. Now, if Cleveland doesn’t land Stoudemire, then it’s back to plan A-LBJ or bust. And yes chris.afroman-I did say Billups shouldn’t have been in the shootout-I don’t consider him a shooter. He never has been, maybe u should re-consider your definition of a shooter. Sure, he’s havin a great season behind the arc. But shooting wise, he is not in the H20-Reggie Miller-Stojakovic-Gallinari-Ray Allen-Craig Hodges-Larry Bird-Nowitzki-Korver-Kapono-Eddie House-u get the point- class. Those guys are shooters. Not shot makers, and there is a difference between the 2. ‘Melo, Kobe, AI, Wade and Roy-those guys are shot makers but not necessarily shooters.

  60. tastycakes

    SeeWhyDee (CYD?), you are making a couple of pretty wild assumptions ..

    1. What are the odds of Jordan Hill becoming a star-level player in this league? Guys who do not show star-level capabilities are disposable and easily replaced. Sorry to say it, but I’ve seen nothing in Jordan Hill that makes me think he’s going to turn into a top dog. Just because he’s our guy doesn’t mean he’s more valuable than the space he would give us.

    2. Assuming that Cleveland getting Stoudemire means that James will stay put? Why? Cleveland can make a move or not, they’re still going to be a contender this year, and they may or may not win a championship.

    Finally, you have an issue giving up JJ because he’s been useful this season? A useful role player in a season where we’ll be lucky to win 30 games? Who cares!

    The goal is to win rings. The play is to get LBJ + Wade or Bosh. Some teams are hoping to win the lottery and score John Wall. We’re playing a different kind of lottery. If the numbers don’t come up, you go back to the drawing board and adjust your future plans. (And this is the only reason I have beef with giving away future picks .. because it hurts our ability to adjust on the fly).

    No matter what, we make this deal and we have a lot of money to play with next year. If we don’t get the best guys, we can build a team that is built in a fiscally sane way, where, if we suck, we don’t end up sucking perpetually.

  61. d-mar

    Tastycakes, totally agree with your take. Everything Walsh has been doing since he got here is about 2010. He has to go all in, even it means giving up picks and HIll. And as far as Jeffries goes, no one is beating down our door to get this guy,mostly because of his contract, and if you can find a team to take him, make it happen. Morey will get his pound of flesh, he’s no dummy, but it’s all about July 2010, nothing else.

  62. Frank O.

    Even if the Knicks can’t buy Lebron or Wade, if they make this deal and shed Jeffries salary and also TMac, they are in a very strong position to acquire some young, excellent talent upon which to build.
    There is a good chance they could pick up three very good players. Picking up established, young talent, is as good, IMHO, as having a first round draft pick.
    I did not know the TMac deal could include Jeffries.

    I was prepared to lose Chandler or Gallo to lose Jeffries and Curry.
    If we can shed Jeffries, pick up a guy who can run the offense, and have that guy be an expiring contract, I’m all for it.
    By the way, I would be shocked if the Knicks still have Nate by midnight Thursday. He’s a commodity.

  63. BigBlueAL

    New rumor is Walsh is holding out for a 1st round pick in this year’s draft in the trade but no way Rockets give up their pick since it will most likely be a lottery pick (granted it will be around 14th pick or so). Things are getting interesting.

  64. Ted Nelson

    One of the biggest things I learned from the Isiah era was that you protect your picks to at least some extent. No doing so is a huge risk. Maybe it’s come to that point where Walsh has to go all in… I don’t know… but I would like to see the pick protected at least a little. Negotiate with Morey about how much. Don’t get screwed the way Isiah did by Paxson.

    BBA,

    Yes, if the Knicks don’t sign a big FA they might have a top 5, or at least top 10 pick. If they sign one a he gets hurt… same. We’d all like the Knicks pick to be lower than the Rockets in 2011, but we also didn’t expect to give the Bulls a #2 and #9 (for #23). The Rockets will bring back Yao, and they might sign a Mike Miller type MLE FA to take shooting pressure off Ariza so he can play more to his strengths (or maybe Budinger develops). I fully expect them to be over .500 and maybe a 50-60 win team going forward.
    It’s an all-or-nothing strategy for the Knicks. I’m not saying it’s wrong, just that it commits the Knicks to spending in 2010. It puts a lot of chips in the LeBron pile and/or overvalues T-Mac. LeBron’s is a great pile to have your chips in, I’m just trying to analyze the potential trade.

    “I know Isiah did the same thing with the Curry trade but still this is a way totally different scenario.”
    In some ways it’s different (he knew the crap player/team he was waging the picks on and mistakenly did it, Walshtoni have the chance to either build a winner or screw up… either way with *somewhat* unknown players at this time), but if the picks are unprotected there is a serious risk that the outcome will be similar.

    ” I mean the Knicks at worst should sneak into the playoffs next season”
    BASED ON WHAT??? At worst? We have no idea who will be on their team next season. At worst none of the top FAs leave home (or the one(s) who do go to Miami, Chicago, NJ, etc.) and the Knicks pay Lee $14 mill per and Gay the max (or even worse let Lee walk to sign for $8 mill per somewhere else and max out Amare). They re-sign Duhon. Gay is no better than Chandler, so the Knicks would still stink at worst. Gallo’s back goes out. Chandler’s TS% is .490, but they re-sign him to $10 mill per. They would be bad and have almost no prospects of getting better. Sound familiar? That’s the worst realistic, foreseeable case. That’s also the reality we’ve had for a while. I’m not saying they shouldn’t make the deal. I’m saying we have to understand the downsides.

    “the Rockets wont make the playoffs this year and are probably less of a bet to make the playoffs next season than the Knicks are.”
    They’re made the playoffs every year recently and their BEST PLAYER is coming back next season (presumably). They’ve got a good amount of young talent you should expect to get better. Objectively the Rockets have a better chance, even in the West.

    tastycakes,

    Hill was a top 10 pick a few months ago. He’s big, somewhat athletic, a good rebounder, and has a sweet stroke. It is WAY too early to call him a bust or worthless journeyman. Raw? Yes. But he’s shown some things and has a lot of room to grow. 6-9 guys who can defend inside, shoot, and rebound are a valuable commodity in this league and Hill can get there if he works. Of course, I’m all for cutting your losses and admitting your mistakes if Walshtoni feel he’ll be a bust.

    “The 2011 pick situation is a swap, and unless the Knicks get completely shut out in the offseason, it’s not likely to be any better than this year’s pick (which, we all know, isn’t ours). Losing 5-10 spots from the mid-lottery isn’t a huge deal.”
    Even say in the best case the Knicks sign LeBron, but… then he tears his ACL and is out for 2010-2011. The Knicks end up with the top pick and a chance to add another superstar next to LeBron… but, guess what? Houston has the pick and the Knicks end up picking 20th and complementing LeBron with a Kyle Lowry type solid pick…
    Or the Knicks miss on LeBron, overpay Amare because he’s the only one who will sign. Overpay Rudy Gay, who is very similar to Wilson Chandler. Knicks have a top 10 pick they have to swap for a late teens/early 20s pick.
    It definitely could be a huge deal; although, it also might not be. It’s a risk.

    “Clearly the Knick brass expects to be a playoff team next year behind whatever set of talent they can assemble with the available cap space.”
    Clearly Isiah expected a playoff team too… Again, what did we learn from Isiah?

    “Also, getting T-Mac (without considering any other deal points) is a win-win.”
    90% chance he’s terrible. He was overrated to begin with and has been terrible for 3 or more years now.

    “BTW, what exactly is Houston thinking here?”
    First, they must not think they can do much in free agency. Second, they are getting a good deal even without the 2011 swap. They definitely get 2009′s 8th pick. They’ve got plenty of depth at PF right now, but Scola is a RFA in 2010 (and will have big Euro offers on the table, along with NBA) and Landry and Hayes are up in 2011. All 3 deserve significant raises. Hill has the potential to be better than all 3 in a few years (I would call that a long-shot), and at worst provides insurance in case one or more walks or is too expensive to keep. They definitely get a 2nd this year, and they’ve done extremely well in the 2nd (Landry, Budinger…). They definitely get a 2012 first. They get a decent/versatile defender and smart player who is overpaid (for only one year) but not totally unvaluable. And they get a shot at a swapping for a great 2011 pick on top of all that???

    “The Rockets are giving up on the 2010 sweepstakes, showing a lack of confidence to compete there. (And why?”

    I don’t think they have the money to make even 1 max offer. They could create it, but the only non-core player signed through next year is Andersen. I suppose Morey has weighed the odds and feels that it’s a better bet to stick with his solid playoff team (once Yao returns) than to take a huge risk in free agency. Re-signing Scola and Lowry (or finding replacements) might be an offseason priority.
    Morey is an MIT guy who is probably better at weighing the odds and modeling situations than any other GM in basketball, so I have a feeling he thought it through if he makes this deal.

    cgreene,

    Yeah, I’m just asking for some protection if they do this. It’s a risky move, but this might be the time for Walsh to make his play.

  65. BigBlueAL

    So Walsh has to go forward worried whoever he signs in the off-season will blow their knee out and the Knicks better keep their pick in 2012 just in case?? Obviously if Jeffries were a decent player it wouldnt be necessary to have to include Hill or future picks but unfortunately for all the charges he draws everyone around the NBA knows he sucks.

    I just think there is no way if you are Walsh you believe that your 2012 pick could be a Top 5 pick and value it as such.

  66. Frank

    Ted – I see where you’re coming from but I still am all in on this deal. The name of the game here is winning championships — not being competitive, not being a 1st or 2nd round playoff team several years in a row, but being a legit championship contender. Maybe I don’t speak for most of the fans here, but I have no interest in being the Jazz — good enough to have a good seed but clearly not good enough to win the whole thing. FOr better or for worse, Donnie’s plan has ALWAYS been to get far enough under the cap to get TWO max FAs this summer, and to sell Bosh/Wade/Lebron on:

    1. playing with 1 of the other 2, for:
    2. Mike D’Antoni, who they all love, in:
    3. NYC, the biggest stage in the NBA, at least other than LA.

    As I calculate it — if we make this deal then we have about $17.8M committed. If we can hope the cap is $55M, then that means the max contract is ~16.5M and we would have $37M of cap space assuming we renounce Lee and Nate. That leaves room for 2 max FA + more. That could be Lebron + Wade, Lebron + Bosh, or Lebron + Lee + maybe Joe Johnson if they all take 1-2M less to play together.

    Now Morey is smart and will gouge us for all he’s worth — but that’s the price of digging ourselves out of this thing.

    Hopefully we can dump Hughes on Houston instead of Harrington, then flip Harrington to Chicago for Tyrus Thomas — and see if we can pull some of that potential out…

  67. Ted Nelson

    SeeWhyDee77,

    I don’t think this is a home run, in fact, it’s quite a risk… but come on. Getting Stoudamire by no means guarantees LeBron stays in Cleveland. How many titles has Amare won? How many did he and Shaq win together? He can be a FA after the season himself… Also, LeBron is not the only free agent out there. Wade may be the least likely to leave, but Wade and Lee/Bosh/Johnson (plus Gallo, etc.) could be the core of a contender. Bosh and Johnson and Camby could head a top 3-5 offense and make the Knicks a solid EC playoff team.
    Also, to nitpick… Oakley was an All-Star. If Dorsey still had any reasonable shot at being that good (having scored 13 NBA points at age 26…), this would be a different trade. I like Dorsey going into the draft, but Oakley he is not. Even Reggie Evans would be a small miracle.

    There is a difference between shot makers and shooters???????? If you take shots you are a shooter… if you make those shots you are a shot maker… isn’t that what you want? You have to be a spot-up shooter who does nothing else to be a good shooter and qualify for the 3-pt contest? Shouldn’t we let the % decide?

    tastycakes,

    ” Guys who do not show star-level capabilities are disposable and easily replaced.”
    Are you serious? First, what’s your definition of a star? Are we talking all 20 point scorers are stars or only a few guys at the top of the league. Either way, it’s ridiculous to say all other guys are easily replaceable.

    “Just because he’s our guy doesn’t mean he’s more valuable than the space he would give us.”
    Absolutely. But… just because he’s not a “star” as a rookie doesn’t mean that space is more valuable. It’s also not just Hill… it’s Hill plus 2.5 picks, plus two players who have been A LOT better this season than T-Mac.

    “The goal is to win rings.”
    That’s the ultimate goal, but winning 50 games and making deep playoff runs every year is also really nice. A lot better than being a lottery team perpetually. Only one team wins it all every season, to say it doesn’t matter which other team you are a fan of because all of the rest are losers??? I completely disagree.

    “If the numbers don’t come up, you go back to the drawing board and adjust your future plans. (And this is the only reason I have beef with giving away future picks .. because it hurts our ability to adjust on the fly).”
    DUH…. That’s the reason people are pointing out the downsides………. no one is saying they’d rather have Jordan Hill and 2.5 draft picks than LeBron James……….

    “If we don’t get the best guys, we can build a team that is built in a fiscally sane way, where, if we suck, we don’t end up sucking perpetually.”
    This is a contradiction. Jeffries expires next season anyway. So, if you don’t spend all your cap space in 2010 (or more than you have right now without trading Jeffries, at least) this trade puts you in the same position in 2011… except you have given up 2.5 draft picks. If you sign no one big in 2010 you can bet the 2011 pick will be very high.
    I’ll trust Walsh with whatever move he makes, but to pretend this is a sure thing home run is crazy. Even if it all works out beautifully, we have to acknowledge that Walsh took a real risk here (much, much, much more so if he fails to protect the picks or at least get back a 2010 1st… which he won’t).

    Frank O.,

    “they are in a very strong position to acquire some young, excellent talent upon which to build.”
    “Picking up established, young talent, is as good, IMHO, as having a first round draft pick.”
    I don’t necessarily disagree, but let’s throw out some names… I mean are you talking Rudy Gay and Tyrus Thomas? I don’t see too many FAs of the type you’re talking (guys who are both young and established are not usually easy to come by) and most of them are restricted. In free agency I don’t see it, most of the bargains I see are risky young guys (not established and far from sure things) and vets. Maybe they could use their cap space to save cheap teams some money and pick up a Julian Wright or whoever who breaks out… so I think it’s definitely possible, but I think it’s just as likely that they overpay some stinkers like Gay and Thomas.

    “pick up a guy who can run the offense”
    McGrady has shot as poorly as Duhon is shooting for years and has never run an offense full time as a PG… it’s a possibility, but I really don’t think you can say “a guy who CAN run the offense…” MIGHT BE ABLE TO is more appropriate…

  68. BigBlueAL

    My whole point is the plan is 2010, has been now for 2 years. We are this close to realizing that plan and giving us a shot at getting 2 max and still have potentially a few million extra to boot and we shouldnt do it because of a draft pick that is 2 years away????

    Of course its a risk but to me it is a risk worth taking a million times.

  69. Ted Nelson

    BBA,

    “So Walsh has to go forward worried whoever he signs in the off-season will blow their knee out and the Knicks better keep their pick in 2012 just in case?? ”
    Obviously this was not my point. I was pointing out that EVEN IF the Knicks have a DREAM summer you still protect the picks a little. The larger point is that giving up unprotected picks with no idea who you will sign is a big risk. I’m not saying it’s a bad risk, but it is a risk.

    “I just think there is no way if you are Walsh you believe that your 2012 pick could be a Top 5 pick and value it as such.”
    And Isiah didn’t believe it… And the Grizzlies didn’t believe it when they got the great Otis Thorpe and because of it missed the chance to draft Wade, Melo, or Bosh… and they even protected their picks for years. Hawks also protected their picks in the Johnson sign-and-trade and avoided giving the Suns the Al Horford pick (which Kerr probably would have blown on Brewer or Greg Oden’s twin brother or something anyway…) as a result (to site one of many, many guys teams were able to take because they protected their picks).

  70. BigBlueAL

    Hahn just had a note in his blog stating that he talked to someone in the NBA who said if Walsh pulls of this trade he should be Executive of the Year. I wouldnt go that far but it looks like Hahn and Berman are definitely on board with this trade (I hate Berman and could care less about his opinion).

  71. BigBlueAL

    Hey Ted again I agree that it sucks giving up the picks and what not but my whole thing is Walsh is this close to at least putting his plan in place that has taken 2 years and a bunch of frustration to put in place and there is no way to me he should let a pick 2 years from now stand in the way.

  72. BigBlueAL

    Chris Mannix from SI just tweeted the same thing that if Walsh does this trade he should be Executive of the Year. I guess Knick fans are the only ones freaking out about this trade.

  73. Ted Nelson

    BBA,

    “Of course its a risk but to me it is a risk worth taking a million times.”
    I’m willing to watch Walsh take the risk, too. I’m just pointing out the downsides and saying to protect the picks a little. If you’re that sure it’s not going to be a top 5 pick, then protecting it from the top 5 doesn’t matter. So, you do it unless you subscribe to the Isiah Thomas school of running an NBA franchise.

    Frank,
    “The name of the game here is winning championships — not being competitive, not being a 1st or 2nd round playoff team several years in a row, but being a legit championship contender.”
    You can exit in the 2nd round and be the 5th best team in the NBA… or even the 3rd if your conference is that much better… or even the 2nd if you draw the best team in the second round and another team sneaks into the conference finals against a weak 2nd round opponent… So, you can be a legit contender and exit in the 2nd round.
    To me the name of the game is building a good team. I agree that this trade might be a step in doing so, but to ignore the fact that it might not be is ridiculous. Walsh is putting his job and tenure as Knicks President on the line if he gives up his 2009 #8 pick, unprotected 2011 (swap rights), and unprotected 2012. I respect that, but I just really hope that he’s weighed the probabilities and isn’t just bullheadedly going after LeBron and using Amare and Gay and Ty Thomas as a back-up plan should be strike out on the Big 4 and not go for Manu.

    “That could be Lebron + Wade, Lebron + Bosh, or Lebron + Lee + maybe Joe Johnson if they all take 1-2M less to play together.”
    You don’t have to tell me that. I’m just pointing out that 2 unprotected picks is a huge amount to give up in any trade. If it’s not LeBron or Wade or at least Bosh&Johnson…. those 2 picks could really hurt. I trust Walsh to work with the cap space a lot more than I trusted Isiah to do anything (at least after a couple of years of him). Unprotected draft picks can end up being an infinitely high price to pay. Conceivably–unlikely, I know–the Knicks could end up giving Houston the chance to draft a player better than LeBron in this deal–ok, let’s say as good as or maybe two players who are almost as good as.
    Again, I’m for any deal to get a chance at 2 max guys, but there is consideration downside.

    “then flip Harrington to Chicago for Tyrus Thomas — and see if we can pull some of that potential out…”
    That’s a losing proposition. Would I be willing to trade Harrington to audition Thomas? Sure. Would I put any real hope in him, though… no. You have to renounce him this offseason, anyway. And even if he beasts in NY for 30 game you’re taking a big risk hoping he can keep that up and doesn’t just revert to his old ways.

  74. SeeWhyDee77

    OK lemme defend myself..i am takin a beating lol. First of all, as far as the trade for TMac goes-all I am saying is that is a whole lot to give up to move JJ’s deal considering that Stoudemire makes it more likely for LBJ to stay in Cleveland. True, it’s not a given that he would stay-but Amare would be his 1st true all star sidekick. Think MJ woulda stayed in Chicago if they didn’t have Pippen? Granted Amare’s no Pippen, but he can take quite an offensive load off of Lebron. I am in no way insinuating that Hill’s a star. But I am insinuating that it’s too early to give up on us becuz HE hasn’t hurt us..yet. Sure he was the wrong player to draft at 8-thas not his fault. Quality big men are hard to find and it’s possible he can develop into a quality big. I said quality, not All-NBA. The bottom line of my whole rant on the trade was Walsh shouldn’t make that deal unless Amare doesn’t go to Cleveland, or LBJ doesn’t get a quality sidekick. Secondly, maybe the shot makers and shooters comparison wasn’t the way to go. I was tryin to come up with a way to describe guys like Billups w/o calling them scorers. Guys like Billups make shots when they count but they r not pure shooters. Besides Ted, u knew what I was trying to say all along lol. Just becuz u shoot the ball, it does not make u a shooter. If Dwight Howard took a buncha 3′s, and makes less than 30% (which he obviously would)-would he be labeled a shooter? When guys in the NBA are described as shooters, it is not becuz they shoot the ball. It’s becuz they consistently shoot the ball well. And I don’t believe we should just let the shooting percentage decide. Fans know who the best shooters are, and in retrospect-maybe I would let Billups into the contest although he has a shot that hinders his chances at winning. He has a very slow release, fairly accurate, but slow. The 3 point contest is supposed to be a showcase for the leagues best shooters and I jus don’t consider Billups one of them. And it doesn’t matter whether ur a set shooter or not. It matters whether u consistently shoot well from distance. Bird wasn’t a stand still set shooter, nor was H20..nor is Nowitzki. So I am not gonna say put JJ Redick in it jus becuz he has a good jumper, I’m not that crazy.

  75. nicos

    Man, this is a risky move. To me T-Mac is irrelevant- if he shows he has anything left he’ll want more money than the Knicks should ever want to commit to a player at his age and with his health issues. Even if you bring in LeBron and give him the chance to win a championship, you’re asking a 30 year old guy looking at his last chance at another big payday to take a big discount (which ain’t happening). Again, like I said about Tyrus Thomas earlier- If the Knicks really want him, obviously no one else is willing to trade for him now so let him stay on Houston where he won’t play at all and he’ll have real trouble generating any interest in the summer and can be signed at a reasonable price.

    Also, there’s real potential for things to get seriously shaken up with a new CBA in 2011- we’re looking at a possible hard cap or even a work stoppage situation so there’s a good chance there’s going to be some serious activity at the trade deadline next year and perhaps Hill and a similar package of picks could yield you something just as good as a high-priced free agent this summer. As Ted Nelson has said, that worse case scenario is pretty bad.

  76. Thomas B.

    I’m not freaking out over this trade. Most knicks fans are gun shy about future picks since getting burned on the I.T. era trades. Aldridge, then Noah–but getting Chandler is looking to be a nice safety net. We still dont know the damage from the 2010 draft. So I understand being gun shy about trading future picks. But keep a few things in mind.

    1. This deal gives you enough room to sign at least one top guy and keep Lee. I think Lee is worth giving up Hill and a second pick in order to create the space to keep him while adding a top FA. (If the trade goes down I’ll post a revised salary cap and we can discuss the outcomes.)

    2. Donnie is putting all his eggs in one basket and good for him. Stern basically threw down the gauntlet with the Players’ Association that a new not-so-players’-salary-friendly CBA is coming. Top guys will want to get max deals done before the new CBA restricts the max salary structure following the 2010-2011 season. Walsh is clearing this space in hopes to attract players to NYC before that new CBA. Yes Eddy and JJ would come of at the end of that season but with top guys looking to sign the year before, we would be too late the get the best talent.

    3. Finally, a player WILL come to NYC. It may not be LBJ or Wade but we can get some decent second teir talent to put along side Lee, Gallo, Chandler, and possibly McGrady. If all the top guys stay put then the presing need is to get a shot blocking center and a point not named Duhon. Add Camby, and Joe Johnson (whom I dont love but eh) to Lee, Gallo, Chandler with even a Steve Blake and you have a team that should make a run at a playoff spot in the East.

  77. SeeWhyDee77

    1 more thing about the trade..why would Walsh be desperate enuf to trade a lottery pick he just drafted and essentially give up 2 more draft picks to move JJ and not Curry? It makes no sense to me. Morey, being the smart businessman he is, is playing on Walsh’s desperation to sign 2 max FA’s this offseason and I can’t blame him for it. But I think that trade is good enuf without giving up a 2012 first rounder. I would swap picks in ’11 and even give him our second rounder this year to move JJ. But give up a lottery pick without getting a pick back in return? Ri-gotdamn-diculous. Even for cap room, becuz there is no guarantee that LBJ will leave Cleveland. We hafta protect ourselves somehow.

  78. Ted Nelson

    “Hey Ted again I agree that it sucks giving up the picks and what not but my whole thing is Walsh is this close to at least putting his plan in place that has taken 2 years and a bunch of frustration to put in place and there is no way to me he should let a pick 2 years from now stand in the way.”

    All I’m saying is that in two years Walsh might wish he had let the pickSSSSSS stand in the way. I’m not saying he shouldn’t do it, I’m just saying that this could end up being one of the worst possible deals I could imagine. Iin giving up a Wilson Chandler, for example, you’re giving up a known quantity. That implies both an advantage and disadvantage, though. You know he’s not bad, but you also know he’s not great. You have no idea where you will be picking in 2011 or 12, let alone who you might pick and how good they might be. So is it better to give up a Chandler or a future 1st and a future 1st swap? There’s no right answer. Time will tell to a large extent, but even that might involve a lot of luck and some occurrences that would have happened differently if a different path was followed. Back to reality… I’m just saying that I would try my hardest to protect the picks and that I would be really interested to see if any other deals involving Jeffries are on the table.

    I suppose it’s on Walsh to make sure that the pick isn’t too high, or high at all. If I were Walsh I’d feel comfortable with that responsibility, but as a fan with no control over what Walsh does (max out Gay and give Ty Thomas $9 mill per, for example) it scares me a little.

  79. Thomas B.

    @ 94 CYD
    JJ’s value is higher than Curry’s to the tune of about 5 million dollars. Nobody wants Curry. Hell the Smurfs are 15 million under the cap and they really need a big man but Papa Smurf still wouldnt take Curry. Walsh offered 2 first rounders and would take back Brainy Smurf–the one PG worse than Duhon. To qoute Papa Smurf “Smurf no, do we want Curry that smurfy mother smurfer.”

  80. Z

    “if the Knicks don’t sign a big FA [in 2010] they might have a top 5, or at least top 10 pick”

    Not having draft picks are sunk costs that teams can deal with. We don’t have our lottery pick this year because of a stupid trade from 8 years ago for an insane guy the franchise detested. I’d rather not lottery protect any picks and get the damage over with while I can still remember what I’m paying for. In this case I’ll remember it was to get out of one of the worst contracts the Knicks have ever given a player. So be it.

    And that said, I think the Knicks will definitely, for better or for worse, spend the money they have on free agents this summer. I think that will make them better in the short term, being a form of “lottery protection” in itself.

    “I know Isiah did the same thing with the Curry trade but still this is a way totally different scenario.”

    We have learned that Walsh is not Isiah. He has decades of experience, is conservative to a fault, and seems to be completely devoid of ego. If he doesn’t protect the picks it won’t be because he forgot, or he didn’t think it mattered. It will be because that is the price he has to pay to clean up Isiah’s mess.

    “I do NOT want the Knicks in the Stoudemire sweepstakes because I don’t think he’s worth more than $8-9 million, and it will probably take a lot more to sign him long-term.”

    Isn’t he worth twice that if LeBron truly wants to play with him?

  81. Thomas B.

    Ted, I doubt Ty Thomas will get 9 million per deal. Walsh is not IT. He played cool hand Luke with Lee and nate last summer, he wont do something dumb this summer. Trust me a number of players will take less money this summer for fear that there wont be much money to take after next summer. walsh will use that to sign players at the right price.

    Its funny how Walsh is the anti-Thomas. Walsh cant draft but he knows how to clear space and offers the right contracts–so far.

  82. BigBlueAL

    They are not an authority on anything but if they all agree its a must trade for the Knicks than I dunno but why would all their opinions matter less than ours?? I just put it out there since Im sure many here would be curious what the reactions from the local and national media are.

    Plus hell if they agree with my take on it then of course I have to post it!!! LOL

  83. tastycakes

    Hey there Teddy Bear, what’s with all the hostility?

    “Are you serious? First, what’s your definition of a star? Are we talking all 20 point scorers are stars or only a few guys at the top of the league. Either way, it’s ridiculous to say all other guys are easily replaceable.”

    Come on now, I was engaging in a bit of hyperbole. I’m suggesting that there are only a few real difference makers in the league, and you have to have one of those guys to be a contender. I don’t care if we have Wilson Chandler or Rudy Gay, since they’re both mediocre (though I certainly care what they are getting paid). I’m talking about the *stars*, the All-NBA level players.

    ““Just because he’s our guy doesn’t mean he’s more valuable than the space he would give us.”
    Absolutely. But… just because he’s not a “star” as a rookie doesn’t mean that space is more valuable. It’s also not just Hill… it’s Hill plus 2.5 picks, plus two players who have been A LOT better this season than T-Mac.”

    There’s that 2.5 picks thing again. What is a “half” pick anyway? A second rounder? You can buy one of those from Steve Kerr for a used Cadillac. The other (in the proposed-probably-not-real-deal) was a swap. That’s 1 first rounder surrendered.

    *Totally* in agreement about the need to protect the pick.

    To be perfectly clear, I’m at my wafflin’ best here, I don’t honestly have a good feeling for which way is best, I’m just saying the logic behind doing the deal is reasonable, all downsides considered. And there are certainly some downsides.

    ““The goal is to win rings.”
    That’s the ultimate goal, but winning 50 games and making deep playoff runs every year is also really nice. A lot better than being a lottery team perpetually. Only one team wins it all every season, to say it doesn’t matter which other team you are a fan of because all of the rest are losers??? I completely disagree.”

    Get out of here, you can’t disagree with my statement :) “The *goal* is to win rings.” How is that controversial? The goal is not to become the Atlanta Hawks or the Utah Jazz, it’s to become the Cavs or Magic or Celtics or Lakers. A legit contender. Obviously because you are built to contend doesn’t mean you will win. I’ll definitely be a MUCH happier Knick fan if the Knicks turn into the Nuggets, but a bunch of ECF exits aren’t really what I’d be aiming for as a GM. But hey, if we want to be the Hawks, we could try to sign Joe Johnson with the available space this year, take our shots in the late lottery next year, use the Currfries cap space to sign somebody next year .. and then we might be pretty good, but we also might not be great.

    “If the numbers don’t come up, you go back to the drawing board and adjust your future plans. (And this is the only reason I have beef with giving away future picks .. because it hurts our ability to adjust on the fly).”
    DUH…. That’s the reason people are pointing out the downsides………. no one is saying they’d rather have Jordan Hill and 2.5 draft picks than LeBron James……….

    Yes, DUH.

    ““If we don’t get the best guys, we can build a team that is built in a fiscally sane way, where, if we suck, we don’t end up sucking perpetually.”
    This is a contradiction. Jeffries expires next season anyway. So, if you don’t spend all your cap space in 2010 (or more than you have right now without trading Jeffries, at least) this trade puts you in the same position in 2011… except you have given up 2.5 draft picks. If you sign no one big in 2010 you can bet the 2011 pick will be very high.”

    Not sure I see a contradiction here, but you do have a good point. We can stay the course, try to sign one top guy this year, get better, then sign another top guy in 2011, or use those expirings to make a deal for a top guy. It’s a valid strategy. Of course, in 2011 you don’t have the same guys available. I want LeBron. I want him bad.

    I still think there is an argument to be made that there is extra value in having all that space to play with. If you can offer 2 max deals, your recruiting process changes, and I do think that’s significant. I know it’s all totally speculative, but I think going to LeBron and saying “pick your running mate” is better than saying, “Hey, come to our 30-win team and we’ll try our best to re-sign David Lee.”

    Anyway, it’d be a bold stroke and I am excited.

    Word (on the ESPN “street”) is that Miami is pushing hard for Amare and wants to unload the humongoid Jermaine O’Neal contract. But they need a third. Why don’t we get in on that action, dump Eddycakes into the mix. (I know nobody will take him, just humor me). If Miami is saying “screw it” to the 2010 race and going all in for Amare, then maybe they no longer care about taking on a 2-year deal they don’t want. If there was a way to dump Jeffries without losing picks ..

  84. SeeWhyDee77

    LMAO..good 1 Thomas B..
    I know no one wants Curry..i’m just sayin why be that desperate to move JJ as opposed to Curry. Throughout these trade talks, we never hear “Walsh offers Hill and 2 picks to move Curry”. That is entirely too much to move JJ’s deal. I understand he has a trade kicker, but realistically-who is Houston gonna go after this offseason with Yao coming back? Even with JJ they still have enuf to offer a helluva deal to someone like Joe Johnson or CB4 to add to Yao. So picking up JJ doesn’t hurt them as much as Morey would like Walsh to believe. Besides, Curry still has value. Not to Houston or NY for obvious reasons..but he still is a low post scorer. He hasn’t been healthy this season, but he is in shape. And I doubt that teams who value low post scoring won’t be able to find a use for him. When he was out of shape he was puttin up near-Stoudemire numbers. Maybe i’m over-valuing Curry a little, but Curry at 10 mil has a helluva lot more value than JJ at 8 mil or whatever the trade kicker puts his salary at.

  85. tastycakes

    “BTW, when I say “give up a lottery pick…” i’m talkin about Hill.”

    CYD, the thing that bothers me about this type of argument is that it’s ultimately irrelevant. If he were picked #25, he’d still be riding the pine, struggling to get minutes with D’Antoni. Maybe the fact that he was a lottery pick has some impact on his perceived value elsewhere in the league, but so does the fact that he isn’t finding minutes on a bad team. At the end of the day, that draft is over, and all you are left with is the player as an asset.

    It’s like when you don’t want to move a guy in Fantasy sports because you drafted him in the 1st round. Sometimes you make bad decisions.

  86. Z

    “Word (on the ESPN “street”) is that Miami is pushing hard for Amare and wants to unload the humongoid Jermaine O’Neal contract. But they need a third. Why don’t we get in on that action, dump Eddycakes into the mix. (I know nobody will take him, just humor me). If Miami is saying “screw it” to the 2010 race and going all in for Amare, then maybe they no longer care about taking on a 2-year deal they don’t want. If there was a way to dump Jeffries without losing picks …”

    Tasty– see comments 45-54 on this thread.

  87. SeeWhyDee77

    I think we’re all in agreement here that givin up that much to move JJ is a VERY risky proposition. So it’s kinda like a catch 22. Do u not make the trade and give up hope on LBJ, or do u make the trade and pray LBJ says yes. I’m aware that taking risks is essential to success, but i’m jus sayin don’t rush to make this trade until Cleveland makes their move. And if that is too late, i’m happy with a Lee-Rooster-Chandler-Joe Johnson core as a plan C (if necessary) until 2011. I haven’t completely ruled out Wade, but their cap looks just as good as ours and although NY is a great spot..Miami stays warm and already has a star-somethin to think about.

  88. tastycakes

    Also .. (sorry CYD, I don’t mean to pick on you, I’m just all worked up!) .. you aren’t overvaluing Eddy Curry a little, you’re *wildly* overvaluing him. Honestly, I will be surprised if he ever logs regular minutes in the NBA again. He was a one-dimensional player who was decent-at-best at one thing and pretty much hurt you in all other areas. He has a heart condition that scared everybody five years ago. He likes cheeseburgers a little bit too much. His contract is so big, and he is so unlikely to play next year, that you’d only really trade for him to cut costs, and in order to do that, you’d have to be moving a serious asset.

    I also think Jeffries is awful at basketball, but at least he plays, and his contract is a lot less onerous.

    I’m writing too much. G’night gents :)

  89. SeeWhyDee77

    Ur problee right tastycakes lol. But Curry, as one dimensional as he is. can still get u 20 a night easy if used properly. At least I think he can. But he’ll never be a star though. Unless he gets out of NY, he may never play again. Then again, the game is getting smaller and quicker so yea-his career may be over.

  90. Ted Nelson

    “Since when were sports writers and journalists an authority on anything?”

    I should say “ALL sports writers and journalists” or “sports writers and journalists IN GENERAL.”

    SeeWhyDee77,

    I just don’t agree that Amare means LeBron doesn’t leave. Amare himself is a free agent and Hoopshype has a rumor up that he doesn’t want to play in Cleveland. If they DO get him and they DO win a championship… sure. I don’t think either is leaving. If they fall short, though, why does LeBron stay there if he can play with a better player in NY or two better players in Miami? The reason would be loyalty and if that’s the case he’s not going anywhere anyway. Even if they do win it all he’s probably better off long-term with Wade and/or Bosh anyway (depending on who else rounds out the roster vs. who Cleveland can round out their roster with going forward).

    Billups is a career 39% 3-pt shooter and has been above 40% 5 of the past 6 years (if you include this season to date). 3 of those seasons are above 42%. He is not one of the league’s best shooters from deep? If he doesn’t deserve it, I don’t know who does. If you hit a high % of your 3s consistently you are a good 3-pt shooter, regardless of what fans think of you.

    nicos,

    Agreed that it’s a risky move. That’s been my main point all along.

    On Ty Thomas… the reason you get him now is because there are questions about his attitude/character/b-ball IQ/work ethic/etc….. Big questions. Before you make any kind of an investment in a guy like that wouldn’t it be nice to give your coaching staff a first hand look?

    Thomas,

    “I think Lee is worth giving up Hill and a second pick in order to create the space to keep him while adding a top FA.”

    It’s not Hill and a second… It’s Hill, a second, a 2012 1st, and the right to swap 2011 firsts.

    The Isiah era still burns, but undervaluing draft picks is never a good strategy for any team. Some of the few teams that have rebuild really successfully lately have done so in part by stock-pilling draft picks: Portland and OKC are the ones I’m thinking of. Another big-time recent rebuilding story, Atlanta, can be credited largely to protecting a pick that was given away–allowing them to get Horford… maybe their best player.

    I don’t think the 2011 CBA is very relevant. Sure, those guys want to sign guaranteed deals. But it’s a granted that 2010 is the greatest FA class ever (or at least this era) and Walsh has good reason to go for it now. The question is not whether these guys want max deals or not, it’s whether they’ll come to NY.

    “3. Finally, a player WILL come to NYC.”
    There’s a good chance, but I am not taking that as a given. Even Lee is not a given. If the LeBron and co take their sweet time and someone comes after Lee hard the Knicks might have to let him go. So, including him in your core is presumptuous. David Lee is an UFA this offseason, not a Knick.
    Joe Johnson is also presumptuous. He’s considered a top 4 FA this offseason, and would be the top FA a lot of years. Atlanta finally has a winner… so I assume they want to keep Johnson. A few other teams probably take a run at Johnson for the max (even sign-and-trade, signing with Atlanta max) too, and if there’s no LBJ or Wade in NY those other teams might have more to offer Johnson (depending on what he values). Past the top 4 free agents, what do you have? Lee, who the Knicks already have and stink with, so signing him doesn’t make them any better. Amare… great. Rudy Gay… a more hyped WC. Dirk, is he leaving Dallas? Will the Knicks outbid SA for Manu? Should they given his age and declining production?
    I have no doubt that with all that cap room the Knicks can find players to pay… I just think that if they miss on the big names they may overpay bigtime and/or regret giving Houston those 2 first round picks.

  91. SeeWhyDee77

    Ted,
    Thanx for the Billups stat..I didn’t know that. So yea, I guess he is worthy of bein considered a shooter. My bad Chauncey!!! LOL, can I pick on the winner bein picked for the competition then? And Frye?

  92. Ted Nelson

    Z,

    “Not having draft picks are sunk costs that teams can deal with.”

    They are not sunk costs until you actually pay them. When you still have the pick it is not a sunk cost… It is a valuable asset. It only becomes a sunk cost when you’ve lost it. Then you cannot get it back (without giving up something the other team perceives to have equal value) and it is a sunk cost.
    Generally I do not think it’s a good thing to just go around doing crazy stuff and then turn around and say hey I already did it so who cares!!!!!! Let’s keep doing the same crazy stuff over again!!!!!

    “It will be because that is the price he has to pay to clean up Isiah’s mess.”

    No, it will be because that’s the risk he’s willing to take. He only has to wait one more season for Isiah’s mess to clean itself up. Then the 2010 pick will be in Utah and all Isiah additions–even Wilson Chander–can be gone if Donnie doesn’t bring them back. I’m not saying he shouldn’t take the risk, I’m just saying don’t use Isiah as a scapegoat.

    “Isn’t he worth twice that if LeBron truly wants to play with him?”

    Not if you can pay Wade, Bosh, or Johnson the same amount. Not if you can use that same money more wisely on better players. At some point, if LeBron wants to doom himself by being his own GM you’re actually better off without him. It’s REALLY hard to imagine it would get to that point, because I don’t think LeBron wants to play with Amare particularly badly. At least not past this season.

  93. Loathing

    However, if Harrington goes, making this deal with Hughes gets messy and unlikely, unless we throw Chandler in the mix.

  94. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    I don’t think he’ll give Ty Thomas $9 mill, I was exaggerating. I’m just saying that while this is a ridiculously good FA class, it’s not bottom-less. You get past the top players and there are a lot of question mark guys who might be good in certain situations and/or might be washed up or have a few years and/or might break-out or not.

    There is A LOT of money out there this off-season. By the time the market shakes down to the guys Walsh will have leverage with… you’re talking about guys no one else wanted.

    I like Walsh a lot, but it just takes one or two mistakes. Especially when you are so heavily leveraged: giving up 2 first round picks is so risky because you have no fall-back plan. When you suck, the good thing in American sports is that you have a high draft pick.

    Walsh can’t draft????? Since when? His draft record is very impressive. If you consider what the guys Walsh has drafted have done for the team that drafted them vs. what Isiah’s guys have done for the team that drafted them… Walsh wins by a mile.

  95. daaarn

    It won’t be easy moving Nate. Apparently he has veto power on trades, so I don’t see him agreeing to go somewhere like Milwaukee.

  96. TDM

    I’m a little diappointed to see Donnie giving up the picks. My understanding is that Houston is in a difficult spot – Philly apparently isn’t willing to give up Dalembert and Iggy for TMac, and Washington already traded the players Houston coveted. Chicago could come up with an offer centered around Tyrus, but nothing has solidified. Giving up the picks seems to have a hint of desperation. My only hope is that they are lottery protected.

    That said, is anyone intrigued by Joey Dorsey as part of the rumored deal? The guy came out with big promise as a defensive specialist ala Ben Wallace, but haven’t heard about him since before the draft. Houston traded Batum to get Dorsey (and Greene from Syracuse).

  97. Ted Nelson

    tastycakes,

    Sorry, getting really into this.

    “I’m talking about the *stars*, the All-NBA level players.”

    I want those guys, too. There are only so many, though. What I’m pointing out is that if the Knicks strike-out on the 2.5 such players available in free agency–LeBron, Wade, and I count Bosh as .5 since he was 2nd team in 06-07 and certainly could be again–they could use some decent players around even if they aren’t All-NBA, or draft picks. They are shooting themselves in the foot from getting one of those All-NBA guys by giving away draft picks merely to create a little more cap space. Again, I am all for laying it on the line to get LeBron AND Wade or “just” LeBron. I am just pointing out that there is a huge downside risk with this deal.

    “What is a “half” pick anyway?”

    If you fall from top 5 or 10 to #20, 25, 28… that’s 1/2 a pick. There’s a chance the later pick will be better, but it’s not as good as the chance that the earlier guy will be better. Plus, you can be the 14th worse team in the NBA and still get the #1-3 picks…
    Those picks are also sold every year (see the Tony Douglas trade, Rudy Fernandez, Leandro Barbosa, etc., etc.).

    “To be perfectly clear, I’m at my wafflin’ best here, I don’t honestly have a good feeling for which way is best, I’m just saying the logic behind doing the deal is reasonable, all downsides considered. And there are certainly some downsides.”

    Same here.

    “The goal is not to become the Atlanta Hawks or the Utah Jazz”

    Those teams are often one move away from moving up, though. While It’s pretty rare to just take a huge step into really serious contention in one year. The Knicks have that shot this offseason, but all their chips for that to happen are on 2 guys. If they miss on both, their best 4th option (1= LBJ+Wade, 2= LBJ, 3= Wade) is Johnson and Bosh… aka being a Hawks type team.

    “We can stay the course, try to sign one top guy this year, get better, then sign another top guy in 2011, or use those expirings to make a deal for a top guy. It’s a valid strategy. Of course, in 2011 you don’t have the same guys available. I want LeBron. I want him bad.”

    You have to use all the cap space this offseason for the Jeffries deal to be validadated. You could sign LeBron this offseason, but you can do that without the Jeffries trade. You have to sign 2 guys, or 3, or 5… spend the currently available space + plus some of Jeffries salary… for the Jeffries deal to makes sense.

    “I still think there is an argument to be made that there is extra value in having all that space to play with. If you can offer 2 max deals, your recruiting process changes, and I do think that’s significant. I know it’s all totally speculative, but I think going to LeBron and saying “pick your running mate” is better than saying, “Hey, come to our 30-win team and we’ll try our best to re-sign David Lee.””

    I agree completely. Just pointing out the potential downsides of the deal.

    Amare can opt out this offseason and Miami may have the space to sign another max FA even if he doesn’t, so Miami might not being saying screw 2010.

  98. Reebok1303

    Just for the record I hate this trade for the Knicks, but what will be will be…. However I am angrier than ever about the NON trade with the kings last summer that would have gotten rid of BOTH Jeffries AND Nate for expiring contracts….. If passing on that trade ends up costing us Hill and 2-3 more draft picks I’m going to be absolutely crushed.

    BTW, it looks like Houston fans like the trade from their side too…. not a good sign.

    http://www.thedreamshake.com/2010/2/15/1312084/quick-thoughts-on-this-mcgrady-to

  99. Ted Nelson

    tastycakes,

    re: 104, I mostly agree with your point, except that what Hill having been a #8 pick so recently impacts is his upside potential. A lot of guys struggle as rookies and pull it together to have good or great NBA careers. Some guys (Frye comes to mind), blow their wads as rookies and never improve. On average, though, the #8 pick is going to have more value than the #25 pick.
    As far as insight gained through 1/2 his rookie season… Maybe Walshtoni have already written Hill off as a bust because he doesn’t work hard, is an asshole, is stupid, and just isn’t as talented or athletic as they thought–totally hypothetical here–and even in that case they might be wrong. More likely, though, they might regret picking him a little and be a bit bearish on him, but see a lot of the same flashes we see: sweet J, good rebounding, and the shot-blocking/athleticism to become a good NBA defender if he works hard.
    NBA production is more important now, but as a rookie ceiling and likelihood of reaching it is still an important thing. As a 6-9 interior player Hill’s at least a top 15 kind of value still.

    Curry was never as talented as the hype in the first place, but I also think a lot of it is mental. As an 18 year old kid he had the ability to be a good, valuable NBA player. How valuable, I don’t know. So, I don’t think the reason he won’t log minutes again is because he’s one dimensional, but because he doesn’t have the mental make-up to play in the NBA. If he were really tough mentally he’d find work in the NBA once this huge contract expires. He’ll probably end up joining Marbury in China, though.

  100. BigBlueAL

    From everything Ive read that rumored trade with the Kings last year was pure bogus.

    For the people complaining about not wanting to be a team who just makes the ECF every year and loses, all I have to say is huh???? The NBA has the least amount of parity of any sport by a mile. Hell 2 teams have combined to win almost HALF of every championship in the history of the league. Its hard to even give yourself a shot at reaching the Finals is this league so if you can put together a team that can make the 2nd round of the NBA for 9 years in a row like the 90′s Knicks you will be able to breakthrough once or twice to the Finals like they did and hopefully win 1 which unfortunately they were 1 win short of doing in 1994.

    If these moves allow us to put together a team that at the minimum will be a consistent 50 win team and a Final 4 team in the East for the next 5 years or so then Im totally happy with that because hopefully 1 or 2 years in that stretch they will be able to get to the Finals and God knows maybe win one.

  101. Loathing

    Tasty, as far as winning championships uber alles, I got two words:

    Baby steps.

    Yes, I’d love to see the Knicks sign LeBron and Wade then re-sign Lee and then steamroll everyone to a title. But we all know that’s not gonna happen. If we actually sneak in the playoffs next year I think most of us will be happy. Improvement is key here. Very rarely does a team go from pathetic to powerhouse in one offseason. Yeah, Atlanta did it, but they still did that mainly through the draft.

  102. Ted Nelson

    BBA,

    Agree 100% on the 90′s Knicks thing. (You’d be surprised how many people don’t, though.)

    I would say that this prospective trade represents more of the “Championship or bust” attitude, though. The Knicks can add one max guy + a good guy (maybe Lee) or maybe 3 good guys (maybe including keeping Lee) without making this trade. They would then have their young guys already on board, their picks after 2010, and 2011 cap space to continue building that strong team.
    This trade would mostly be about LeBron James (and rightly so). About recruiting him through the ability to add a top notch (All-NBA) sidekick, and with that sidekick plus the Knicks’ leftovers (Gallo, WC, Douglas) and some cheap signings (2nd rounder left over, vets and young guys on minimum deals) become an almost instant contender.

    Loathing,
    “Yes, I’d love to see the Knicks sign LeBron and Wade then re-sign Lee and then steamroll everyone to a title. But we all know that’s not gonna happen.”

    Hmmm??? If Donnie Walsh actually makes this deal it’s precisely because he thinks that can happen. Maybe not signing both plus Lee and maybe not steamrolling everyone, but sign two max players.

    Teams CAN go from pathetic to powerhouse in one offseason. It’s hardly frequent, but teams that do things like sign the best player on the planet certainly can do it. The Knicks are hoping to do that.
    The Celtics are the best recent example, by the way. Atlanta isn’t really a powerhouse yet, and they got where they are through a long process.

  103. BigBlueAL

    I believe thats where the whole potential lockout in 2011 thing comes into play. Walsh might be looking at it as there is no point in having some cap space in 2011 as well because of the potential lockout/new CBA. Walsh has mentioned in the past that even if they keep Jeffries and Curry they could potentially have cap space in 2011 as well if they hold on to them til then so he is obviously aware of this.

    Walsh has obviously decided that they really have to be in with full steam ahead this off-season and not worry that much about 2011 and beyond. Obviously its a risk but its a risk that I and obviously Walsh and D’Antoni are willing to take.

  104. Ted Nelson

    They’re still probably going to have some 2011 cap space, unless they re-sign Chandler to a fat deal before he hits free agency. Almost 1/2 as much as if they keep Jeffries, of course. I also think the labor thing is overblown… guys who are free agents before 2011 are free agents (opting out when you can get more money for more years is common practice) and guys who hit free agency in 2011 or later will mostly be doing the same. Guys like Dirk and Amare are floating the idea of not opting out in 2010, so I suppose they’re not that worried about the impending negotiations.

    I think the main reason to maximize 2010 cap space is because it’s the biggest FA class ever. 2 of the top players in the world–maybe the top 2–hitting free agency simultaneously before their primes with another All-NBA guy, a few other likely max guys around their primes, some aging studs, and really nice depth… Plus some of the top guys have incentive to get to bigger media markets. Plus lots of teams have space to throw around. 2011 is not nearly as impressive. Duncan and Parker are candidates to stay put. So is Melo. RFAs will sign deals with their old clubs, maybe more than usual with the labor issues but it always happens (only Lee, Gay, and Nate come to mind as bigtime free agents from their class).

    “Walsh has obviously decided that they really have to be in with full steam ahead this off-season and not worry that much about 2011 and beyond. Obviously its a risk but its a risk that I and obviously Walsh and D’Antoni are willing to take.”

    Until the deal goes through it’s not obvious. All I’m saying is that the rumored deal is a whole lot to give up. I understand why he might go all in this offseason, but you can’t just say screw everything after this offseason. If he strikes out with the top few FAs this offseason, this will most likely have been a miscalculation and possibly a costly one.

  105. TheRant

    I rarely post here as there is already such good info. Most of what I would say has already been said.

    I’ll make one new note which I haven’t yet seen posted, on New York’s strength as a media capital.

    I’m still lukewarm on T-Mac (we’ve seen so many “late career comebacks” go bust — think Grant Hill, Alan Houston, and on and on). Like many here, though, I’d do the deal if we can dump Jeffries and not give up too much in future drafts.

    (Actually, I’d love to hear if anyone on this list can name any late career comebacks that have worked out. There must be at least one?)

    But I will note that T-Mac makes the case (that LeBron cannot) of the media power of New York City. People always babble about how LeBron *has* to come to New York so he can win his championship “on the biggest stage.” But as many have noted, endorsers will certainly find LeBron wherever he lives.

    Not so for T-Mac. I’ll admit I hadn’t even realized he was injured, healthy, whatever. Who the hell is watching Rockets games these days?!? Nobody.

    In NYC, he can attempt a comeback under the brightest lights. Not that everyone would want to do so. But if he can help to lead the Knicks out of the water, it will certainly be noticed. And his endorsement value will rebound anew.

  106. Thomas B.

    @ Ted 109

    Thomas,

    “I think Lee is worth giving up Hill and a second pick in order to create the space to keep him while adding a top FA.”

    It’s not Hill and a second… It’s Hill, a second, a 2012 1st, and the right to swap 2011 firsts.

    the second pick I spoke of is the 2012, all you give up in 2011 is potentially a few draft spots, so you dont lose a pick there. I don’t even count the second round pick as it has the value of a box of M&Ms. It is too far down the road to worry about. We dont know what spot the pick will be or who will at the spot. It could be Dejuan Blair or it could be Lester Hudson. Why even worry about something so uncertain?

  107. Ted Nelson

    “all you give up in 2011 is potentially a few draft spots, so you dont lose a pick there”

    You POTENTIALLY give up 29 draft spots. You do potentially give up one pick, you just potentially get another. No one can say the number of picks you’ll give up, or even if Houston will be able to exercise the swap. It’s as ridiculous to pretend it’s only a few spots as it is to pretend it’s 20 spots, though.

    The 2nd round pick is not far down the road… it’s this year. Why even worry about anything? Why not just give away all your picks and smoke your money and throw your poo at each other?

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