New York Knicks 105 – Denver Nuggets 111 – Miller’s first five games Recap

It’s cool seeing that the guys still have some fight in them, even if they don’t end up with a win. After a winning effort in Sacramento, they followed up with another great second half, especially in the third quarter, that was nullified thanks to a completely ice-cold stretch in the last 6 minutes of the game.

Mike Miller is apparently doing a decent job, even while making some puzzling decisions (Mitch keeps on playing just around 25 minutes per game and RJ stays out there a bit too much for a guy who’s hitting that rookie wall very early and very hard). The offense is something else entirely: you see people actually moving and kinda cutting. We didn’t transform overnight into the 2013-14 Spurs, not at all, but at least the vomit-inducing isos are way down and we’re seeing a bit more variety in terms of playcalling. Talent is what it is, but Miller doesn’t look in over his head. That’s a vast improvement from the Fizdale’s days.

Some of Fiz’s stans, if such a thing exists, might argue that the Knicks are playing much better because Payton is finally back. I mean, there’s no denying that having a semi-competent point guard helps, but it’s worth repeating that said point guard was benched for the first game of the season to start… Allonzo Trier. It’s not like Fizdale really knew what he was doing.

But we’re past that; now it’s time to look at what the players are doing under Miller’s reign (2-3) and compare that to their season averages, to try and understand if something changed or not (my wild guess before starting this experiment: the youngsters got worse. Not such a good look, but let’s see if I’m right).

– Marcus Morris

Last five games: 20.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, .461 FG%, .389 3P%, .905 FT%. 31.2 MPG
Season averages: 18.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, .427 FG%, .473 3P%, .852 FT%. 32.5 MPG

It’s pretty much the same Morris, but with much more sustainable shooting average and a slight uptick in his passing ways. Nothing to watch here, this iteration of Marcus Morris would probably be asked to score 20 on any given night for our team, even if prime Popovich was here.

– Julius Randle

Last five games: 20.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.4 APG, .457 FG%, .348 3P%, .704 FT%. 32.8 MPG
Season averages: 17.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, .445 FG%, .265 3P%, .669 FT%. 32.1 MPG

Randle is tangibly better under Miller, and I think there’s enough evidence that he’s being used a bit better (another stat: his TOs for the season are 3.1 per game, in this stretch they’re just 2.0). He’s also shooting a bit better, but it’s not like he’s unable to maintain these percentages: if anything, he should be able to shoot around .500 from the field. I think Miller has been fixing Randle some.

– RJ Barrett

Last five games: 10.8 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.8 APG, .323 FG%, .238 3P%, .643 FT%. 33.2 MPG
Season averages: 13.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, .383 FG%, .292 3P%, .546 FT%. 32.3 MPG

Ok, Barrett’s a rookie and wild swings should be expected; that said, if there’s anything about Miller that I’m disappointed in is the fact that Barrett’s looking even more lost than before since the other Mike’s at the helm. Shooting averages are atrocious, he almost stopped distributing the ball and he’s still playing too many minutes. It will take a major cataclysm to make me doubt that RJ’s gonna have a bright future in the NBA, but early returns – especially with a coach that looks like he can put together something passable – are a bit discouraging. Some of that, though, might be that in an effort to win as many games as possibile (#lolknicks) Miller’s trying to maximize known quantities such as Randle and Morris and he’s kinda overlooking the long goal. I can’t blame him, honestly, but it’s not good for the Knicks in the long game. If that’s the case, it’s the umpteenth damage Pills are inflicting to this moribund franchise. Also, if you want to win, why you’re keeping RJ in when Frank’s playing much better (if only for a night)?. This is very perplexing.

– Frank Ntilikina

Last five games: 4.2 PPG, 2 RPG, 2 APG, .333 FG%, .167 3P%, 1.000 FT%. 18.4 MPG
Season averages: 6.1 PPG, 2 RPG, 3.1 APG, .382 FG%, .328 3P%, .800 FT%. 24.6 MPG

Frank’s been a smoldering pile of manure under Miller until last night, but I wouldn’t read too much into that if we’re evaluating Miller’s performance. Frank just suffered some sort of mental breakdown that also coincided with the re-emergence of Elfrid Payton (and that could have worsened Frank’s already brittle confidence). Anyway last night Frank played great, even dunking on a fastbreak and emoting plenty after that. He’s still kind of a bust, but I can’t, I can’t, I won’t stop rooting for him. It’s like a doomed crush. You know you need to stay away from that, but you can’t. That’s how I feel about Frank. I know I’ll be let down, but I’ll revel in every spark of passion from now until my heart bursts in a firework of thorns.

– Mitch Robinson

Last five games: 11.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 0.4 APG, .684 FG%, .000 3P%, .636 FT%. 26.0 MPG
Season averages: 9.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, .685 FG%, .000 3P%, .618 FT%. 22.2 MPG

And here we have the real test for Miller. The numbers are clear: Mitch’s playing better (and more) under Miller’s tenure, which is a pleasant indication. While I’d like Mitch’s minutes to rise up to 30 per game, I’ll keep short of complaining for now. It looks like Miller’s already been able to talk Mitch out of trying to defend people fouling them while trying to block things below the shoulders. He’s blocking less shots (1.6 BPG in the last five games, 1.8 for the season), but he’s also turning the ball over less (0.6 to 0.8) and most importantly his fouls are way down (2.6 to 3.3). Eye test also says the PnR is seeing a quiet resurgence in the Knicks’ playbook. Now, if only Miller understood that Mitch should try to shot when he’s totally open from 15 feet out as to keep defenses on their toes we’d be way closer to Mitch becoming a real useful player. For now he’s still just a majestic shadow that gets projected unto our collective Plato’s cave.

– Damyean Dotson

Last five games: 5.8 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, .379 FG%, .318 3P%, .000 FT%. 15.0 MPG
Season averages: 5.9 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, .408 FG%, .316 3P%, .714 FT%. 15.7 MPG

Still the same Dame. He was instrumental in Sacto’s game, but honestly he’s been playing just badly. He should be a shooter, but his 3P% suggests otherwise. Miller’s system did nothing for the guy and I’d be curious to see his minutes go to Trier.

– Bobby Portis

Last five games: 9.6 PPG, 5 RPG, 1.4 APG, .514 FG%, .273 3P%, .778 FT%. 18.4 MPG
Season averages: 9.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, .417 FG%, .351 3P%, .735 FT%. 21.4 MPG

Me likes this. Less minutes, more efficiency for Bobby. If he plays 18 MPG as a back-up four it’s not that bad. Still a waste of 15 million dollars, but heh, are they mine? Sadly, they’re not. I’d probably be way more interested if seeing Knox as a full time PF at 18 MPG, but alas, these are the way of Pills and it’s highly unlikely things are gonna change soon.

***

TL; DR: Miller’s doing a quite fine job of playing to the strenghts of his best players (Mitch included, surprisingly), while simultaneously not changing that much in the rotation. Grade until now: C+.

Let’s see what happens against Atlanta, I will make the ballsy (?) prediction of a 15+ points win.

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Farfa

Just an Italian basketball fan with an insane passion for all things Knicks (and yes, linguine Alfredo is not a real Italian dish).

187 thoughts to “New York Knicks 105 – Denver Nuggets 111 – Miller’s first five games Recap”

  1. What’s “TL; DR:”?

    Anyway, I’d actually give Miller a B. His average margin of victory is minus six, mostly because of the Portland blowout. That’s better than under Fizdale most of the time. Besides improving the offense, there seem to be more periods where they shut the other team down. It’s not a lot of games with Miller as coach so far. Let’s see how the team does over the next five games or so.

  2. TL; DR

    Too long; didn’t read :)

    It’s a way to say: if you get bored by what I write, this is a very succinct summary.

  3. Thanks for the article, Farfa! I’ve only been looking at box scores lately so it’s great to hear some commentary about what’s actually different. Players cut now? That’s awesome!

    I’m disappointed Miller hasn’t dropped the three big lineup. This bothers me more than Mitch not playing more. That’s at least understandable since Randle is theoretically important. Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis are not, though, and they should be dropped for an extra guard ASAP.

  4. Did the play where Randle is getting the ball 30ft from the basket and then creates a turnover for himself and the team got canceled? If so I may watch a game again.

    Oh, and thanks for the 5 game recap, my eyes lit up when I saw it and the food prepared with the cooking recipes is delicious.

  5. Crazy stat: if the season ended today, the 2020 Lakers would have the 2nd-best SRS in franchise history, only behind the 1972 championship team’s. LeBron is an alien.

  6. Better to be sure, but still too much Fizball with Randle and down the stretch generally. Rowan having to settle for Randle’s backwash really isn’t going to work.

    Last night’s game was such a sublime example of Payton playing competently but not *really* efficiently filling in the “gaps” in Frank’s PG play that one might think the cosmos themselves spent the weekend curled up with a smooth fire, a nice bottle of cab, and a running loop of Knickerblogger.

  7. Did the play where Randle is getting the ball 30ft from the basket and then creates a turnover for himself and the team got canceled? If so I may watch a game again.

    Amazingly, it has been quite canceled. There are still a few instances but (to my eyes) they happen when everything else breaks down. It’s still something. Keep in mind that Miller’s running a fairly simple system (a mix of Triangle – !!! – and basic PnRs with a few hammer sets) so it’s not like we’ll ever surprise other teams from a strategic standpoint.

  8. To pick up on the question from the gamethread, I would say that I’m in general opposed to paying a hefty draft pick compensation price for a coach or GM. My logic is that it’s so hard to suss out exactly how good those guys are because there are so many confounding factors. Because it’s so hard to tell how much value they’re adding giving up a lot of tangible assets to get one of them usually isn’t worth it relative to just hiring the best person who is freely available in my estimation.

    That said, I think the Knicks/Masai situation is unique for a couple reasons. For one thing Masai having so much success in two different places already makes me much more confident that he’s adding real value and it’s not just luck/circumstance/unknowable factors making him look good. But second, for the Knicks it’s not just important to hire a good GM. It’s arguably more important for them to hire someone who Dolan will perceive and respect as a good GM. Getting a good GM won’t be enough if it’s someone who Dolan won’t let run the show however they want and with a significant leash for the team to continue patiently rebuilding if that’s the best course. That makes the prospect of hiring some young, up-and-coming assistant GM from San Antonio or Toronto a lot less appealing. So if Masai is the guy that Dolan wants and will listen to then I think I would fork over even a couple of first rounders for him although I wouldn’t feel great about it.

  9. @8

    And it’s also a testament to how people kinda forgot about how insanely good Davis is after the whole trade request saga. He might be the absolute best defender in the entire NBA and a guaranteed 25/10 with great efficiency. I thought the Clippers were the favorites for the title in the west, but right now it’s definitely the Lakers.

  10. Randle had one egregious instance of that last night where he dribbled too much on the perimeter, lost the ball, recovered it, tried to lose it again, before eventually giving it to a teammate. It was quite maddening.

    I was happy Frank rose from the dead. Looked great last night. My Barrett Panic Meter is at 9 however.

    Thanks for the cap Farfa, hope the car situation resolved itself….

  11. Thanks for the cap Farfa, hope the car situation resolved itself….

    Pretty much! I’m waiting for the delivery. I’m having waaaay more trouble at work (not in terms of actual trouble; I just got an unforeseeable spike in the actual amount of work needed to complete things before Christmas). I hope to get back on track after Christmas.

  12. Rowan having to settle for Randle’s backwash really isn’t going to work.

    here’s the gradient descent for unexplained quirky posting flare

    level 1: mere unpopular aesthetic preference
    -asterisks for word emphasis, nonexistent spacing, excessive !?ing

    level 2: covert personality signaling
    -aggressive lowercasing, rabid ellipses, radical brevity

    local minimum: passive aggressive substitute teacher style trolling
    -insistently calling a player who prefers otherwise by his given name

  13. posted in the wrong thread…

    i wouldn’t raise the alarm on rj yet… rj hasn’t been getting calls but that’s kind of what happens when you’re a rookie… his ftr is still pretty good tho…. and eventually he’ll get more calls as long as he’s aggressive without forcing things….

    he hasn’t been good this season but this is what happens when you play 19 yo rookies… what’s important is that he’s shown signs of viability and as long as that’s the case then he should see the floor to work out whatever he’s struggling on…

    some important markers are trending in the wrong direction tho and he and the coaching staff are going to need to adjust… right now his game is exclusively driving to the basket off a pick and he’s getting less and less efficient at it since he’s getting more and more attention…. you just don’t get free reign to get to the hoop whenever you want in the nba and rj is facing more and more resistance… and he’s responded by putting more floaters up and challenging length which hasn’t gone all that well lately…

    if he continues to struggle against high resistance then he should see less floor time until he does… but given what he showed earlier in the season he should be given opportunities to work through his struggles… especially since his development is way more important than our record…. he’s also shown ability to adjust.. he’s already tweaked his free throw motion with some better results lately…. so i would be more patient with him….

  14. I have so much Knicks tunnel vision that I didn’t even know Milwaukee has won 18 straight.

    All things Porzingis are within my tunnel, though. Can’t wait to see what happens to him without Luka.

  15. My Barrett Panic Meter is at 9 however.

    I also am starting to worry more about RJ. The thing that I’m noticing standing out in his stats is that his efficiency is being absolutely murdered by the fact that he just can’t finish when he gets inside. 22% of his shots are in that 3-10 foot floater range and he’s shooting an absolutely disgusting 24% from there. And then when he does get all the way to the rim, 54% shooting from 0-3 ft is also really bad. Combine that with the free throw shooting and his forays to the paint which are in theory his bread and butter just aren’t efficient at all. Obviously he will get better and he’ll add more tricks to his bag but both the struggle to get all the way to the rim and the poor finishing in the lane reenforces for me that he lacks the top level athleticism of most dominating wing scorers.

    I’m starting to lean more towards the idea that he’s going to need the shot to become a legit strength to be at all valuable on offense whereas my initial thought was that he could be good even if the shot was only ever okay.

  16. The reason we’d have to bite the bullet and give up the two picks for Masai is simple. If we fail to get Masai the logical, smart thing to do would be to pluck his second-in-command, or some other smart but unknown front office person, for little-to-no compensation. You could even argue it’d be better to do that than to pay the hefty price for Masai. Don’t know where I’d fall on that but it’s reasonable.

    We all know James Dolan is not going to do that. It’s going to be a binary choice between Masai and more of the same. That might be Mills or Houston or some other company man, but those are our choices.

    So while in theory the argument that we should just raid some smart team’s front office instead has some merit, it’s entirely irrelevant. It’s going to be a big name or it’s going to be a yes man.

  17. I have so much Knicks tunnel vision that I didn’t even know Milwaukee has won 18 straight.

    I think because they were so good last year in the regular season and then flamed out in that Toronto series people aren’t taking them that seriously but they’re currently having one of the greatest regular seasons in NBA history. On pace for 70 wins and based on a quick perusal I’m pretty sure their current 12.3 SRS would be the best all-time. THCJ pointed out up thread that the current Lakers are one of the best regular season teams in that storied franchise’s history and the Bucks average margin of victory is more than 4 points higher than the Lakers! They’re absolutely insane right now.

  18. rj’s forays to the rim mirror what westbrook was doing early on also….. westbrook was older and less successful…. nevertheless rj has been shooting a very high percentage of his shots at the rim (40%)… not even guys like harden or lebron or even anthony davis shoot that much near the basket… that’s unsustainable…. and while it may continue the rest of this year like westbrook did early on his career …. he is going to need to diversify his game eventually…

    i wouldn’t panic just yet tho… getting to the rim and finishing even as mediocre as rj has right now is quite difficult…. and it’s much much easier to build an offensive game from the inside out than the opposite….

  19. I’m certainly not arguing this, but think of the best first round pick in the last few years- Zion, let’s say. Would you rather have Zion (best case scenario out of the two 1st rders), or Masai? It would make a ton of sense to vote for Masai, since (a) Zion may leave due to incompetence, (b) be traded for Afflalo, or (c) Zion wouldn’t even be surrounded by talent, but probably other PF’s, (d) you will likely end up a net (+) on picks with future trades with Masai, (e) a competent front office can be so much more important than a competent player.

    Also I can’t imagine the Knicks being run by a competent GM, much less one of the best ever.

    Since it isn’t very likely to be Zion for Masai, I’d do it, hands down, no questions askjed

  20. Bucks put some egg on my face and lost me a $20 Finals bet. Fucking Kawhi.

    Here’s how dominant the Bucks have been. Losses have been -5, -11, -3. They have not failed to score 100 in any game.

    During this streak, they have close wins of +2 (OKC) and +4 (UTA). Everything else has been a minimum of +8, including a +41 (CHO), +28 (LAC), +24 (DET), and of course, their best win at +44 (LOL).

    I know I said this last year, but I don’t see a challenger in the East right now. A full-strength, playoff-rotation Lakers or Clippers team could take them in 7, but I have a hard time seeing anyone in the East slow them down.

  21. Amazingly, it has been quite canceled. There are still a few instances but (to my eyes) they happen when everything else breaks down. It’s still something. Keep in mind that Miller’s running a fairly simple system (a mix of Triangle – !!! – and basic PnRs with a few hammer sets) so it’s not like we’ll ever surprise other teams from a strategic standpoint.

    Thanks. Lol, we are the New York Knicks, if you want surprises get out on the town, at MSG we provide stability.

    level 2: covert personality signaling
    -aggressive lowercasing, rabid ellipses, radical brevity

    local minimum: passive aggressive substitute teacher style trolling
    -insistently calling a player who prefers otherwise by his given name

    Chapeau.

  22. Is this a theoretical argument we’re having or did I miss a story where it’s been reported that the Raptors want pick compensation for Masai?

    Either way, for the reasons outlined by thenamestan and tnfh, I would be open to giving up the picks. We don’t just need someone good. We need someone good who Dolan will leave alone. Not a lot of executives meet the bill, and most wouldn’t come here. It’s this or more of the same.

    Plus it makes me happy to think we traded Porzingis for Masai.

  23. Although I would make sure to offer them the lesser of our pick or Dallas’. For everyone who thinks those Mavs picks are guaranteed to be in the 20s, let’s watch the next two week when max player KP has to be their #1 option.

    They’re always a luka injury away from being a bottom 5 team.

  24. Is this a theoretical argument we’re having or did I miss a story where it’s been reported that the Raptors want pick compensation for Masai?

    Begley reported that two first rounders was the recent asking price for an exec “a tier below” Masai and that league scuttlebutt is that’s where discussions on Masai would start. Still seems like mostly idle chatter but it’s out there: Link

  25. [Begley] If the Knicks are looking to pry Masai Ujiri from Toronto, sources say the offer would start at 2 first-round picks

    That’s it, that’s all we got here. We’re used to a 24hr knicks news cycle run on lol fumes by the lol press who then lol fans for believing in the lol knicks after leading them on lol.

  26. it would be really paranoid to worry that we give three firsts and three seconds for masai and he immediately dips through a trap door slipped into a contract proofread only by dolan, IT, johnathandaly and the person in charge of polishing the little table and immediately reverts to the raptors. it would right?

  27. I would make sure to offer them the lesser of our pick or Dallas’

    Good point. Still, Presti’s contract ends this season. And if the rumors are coming from Toronto, then maybe they know he’s gone after his contract is up. So it’s 2 firsts for 1 year. The Knicks’ roster construction makes Bangladeshi factories look good, but Perry didn’t sacrifice the future so.. I dunno.

    If the rumors are coming from MSG then it’s just Dolan testing for backlash and 2 firsts for Ujiri will turn into two firsts and a swap for [checks internet], um, Tommy Sheppard?

  28. Kinda glad we lost.
    Had we won, KB would have broken the internet for sure with the Knicks on a 3 game win streak lmao

  29. Yeah, I’m getting real worried about RJB, too. He absolutely needs to start hitting some outside shots.

    If Elfrank Paykina can becoming a Thing, the Knicks might be reasonably competitive the rest of the season. Really, though, last night seemed mostly about the team getting red hot in the 3rd only to cool off considerably late.

  30. I keep trying to watch. Then I see what has become normal for them:
    Ball on the perimeter, a bit too much dribbling to no where, a weak and desperate pass, a ball being lost, regained and lost and then a fast break the other way.
    There are so many times Knicks dribble into trouble, lack the skills to break out and toss a desperate pass leading to a potential turnover or a desperate outside shot that usually misses.
    Then they posted how the Knicks were 30th in like five offensive categories and I decided getting extra sleep was more important than watching a shit show.

  31. I read the link. A tier below Ujiri seems to mean an exec who is still a top exec, but not as well respected as Ujiri. It doesn’t mean someone who reports to such an exec.

    Somehow we found Perry and only paid a second round pick for him. Given the trades he’s negotiated, such as trading Melo and signing Robinson to a great contract, he’s probably saved us at least the equivalent of that pick by getting good deals. I’m actually quite curious what it would be like to have him as GM, but no Mills. If we don’t do that, getting another good assistant GM and promoting him would be better than spending two first round picks.

    I would also add that those two picks were reported as an asking price. Nobody actually paid that price. To get a market price someone has to actually buy. I hope it’s not the Knicks paying that price.

  32. Its definitely unique and among the most interesting shows I’ve seen. Very different take on Watchmen and only tangentially related to original graphic novel. I loved watching Jeremy Irons in it.

    I found it pretty gripping the whole way through

  33. I have only watched the first episode and it was absolutely fantastic but quite intense. Haven’t found the headspace to watch the rest of them.

    Also, trading a high lottery pick for Ujiri would be too much. I am not trading Wiseman for Ujiri.

  34. If the Knicks traded Marcus Morris to the Clippers for their 2020 1RP (not even sure they can trade that pick), would you rather:

    A) Trade the Clippers’ 2020, the Dallas 2021 and Dallas 2023 picks to Toronto for Masai Ujiri

    OR

    B) Sign Sam Presti outright and let him go forward with the NYK 2020, LAC 2020, NYK 2021, DAL 2021, NYK 2022, NYK 2023, and DAL 2023 1RPs?

    Assume both POBOs will be given full autonomy to build as they see fit and that no MSG nemeses are left in the building. Personally, it is hard for me to put anybody in the same category of POBO as Masai Ujiri. Of course his legacy is forever tied to Kevin Durant’s achilles and I’m sure somebody will write an article about it. However, I think the evidence is clear that with an even playing field, Masai Ujiri can identify player talent, coaching talent, and has built an organization where both coaches and players are put in position to reach their zenith.

    I do think the way we should look at this is “would you rather have Ujiri and a shortage/regular amount of picks OR another high level executive with a surplus of picks?” Presti and 7 1RPs in the next 4 years would be hard to beat, but I still don’t think it beats Ujiri and 4 1RPs in 4 years. We already have Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, and a ton of cap space.

  35. I don’t think we’re talking UNPROTECTED first round picks right? Assumed we were talking something like, two Dallas picks. I don’t think a top-10 pick was ever traded for a non-player

  36. Yeah I would really not want to trade 2 first round picks for Ujiri, but if we traded Morris for one and the 2 picks were lower first round picks, then I guess I would be cool with it? That would still leave us with 5 first round picks over the next 4 years, one or two of which will probably be lottery picks. I think that plus the fact that there are no long term contracts on the books would give Ujiri enough to work with.

    But trading more than 2, lottery picks, etc…would make it harder for Ujiri to work his magic.

  37. This is a league where a 25 year old LeBron James was not enough to overpower incompetent management and drafting. Kevin Durant was with Sam Presti and still couldn’t get it done. Masai Ujiri is absolutely worth a high lottery pick. Most years you’re hoping for a Paul George level player, most times you end up with a Jason Tatum because you weren’t smart enough to take Jonathan Isaac, and I’d trade both for Masai Ujiri without thinking.

  38. I mean, I can see the argument that Perry is going to blow our lottery pick this year anyway, and it’s better to have Ujiri in place for a year than have a lame duck season or have Perry and Mills do some kamikaze stuff to save their jobs.

    But I still think a high lottery pick to a division rival is a very heavy price.

  39. If two first round picks is the starting point, it probably won’t be the cost. It’s probably leverage to get more money.

  40. We were busy triangulating away while Philly landed Embiid and Simmons. Nobody is picking them to come out of the East except for Stephen A Smith, and that’s because he made a name for himself covering Allen Iverson for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Danny Ainge stole everything from Brooklyn and ended up with a bowl of nothing soup and has to commit to $200M+ in salary so Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum can pretend to be superstars. The only time trading a lottery pick to a division rival has come back to bite anybody is when we gave Masai Ujiri a 2016 1RP that he later used to trade for Kawhi Leonard.

    Lottery picks have way more theoretical value than actual value in this league, and so long as you’re not hamstringing yourself by going full Isiah Thomas, there is value in trading them. Masai Ujiri might not be Luka Doncic or Giannis Antetokounmpo, but those guys don’t get to pick their teammates or coach, and if they did they’d probably play with their shitty friends and choose a coach like Jason Kidd, watch it crash and burn and go sign with Masai Ujiri’s Knicks. Give me Masai Ujiri all day.

  41. I’d hold my nose and give up the 2021 Dallas pick, lottery protected, and no more. Yeah, Mills is dreadful and awful, but it’s possible to both know that, and at the same time still not subscribe to the Cult of the GM that has grown up in sports in the Moneyball era. A lottery pick for a GM is insane and no fanbase other than the Knicks would ever talk themselves into such a thing, and we’re only going through the motions of talking ourselves into such a thing because we’re rightly worried that Dolan won’t give anyone other than an apple of his eye actual autonomy.

    And the only reason Toronto is leaking their “price” is because they know they have a sucker on the other end who might be stupid enough to pay it.

    If it’s more than a lottery protected 1, I’ll take Presti and take my risk of Dolan meddling. (Presti obviously wants the job.) He’s probably going to meddle with Ujiri anyway. Meddling with someone highly competent still way beats meddling with someone highly incompetent.

  42. now that the watchmen season is over is it worth watching?

    I have yet to watch the finale, but on purely aestethic reasons I’d say it’s a must watch. Anyway it’s way better than the Zack Snyder helmed movie, with compelling actorial performances and a few smart takes on the Watchmen universe. The social commentary is a little too ham fisted but I didn’t expect a Lindelof product to be so tight wrapped, plot wise.

  43. I’m not trading picks for a GM unless he shoots 50% from 3pt range.
    I’m not trading Morris for late 1st round picks either.

    As for Watchmen, I paused the final episode about 15 minutes in because it was late and I was nodding out. I’ll see it tonight. However, based on everything I saw up until now, it’s a definite for the right audience.

  44. To me, there is no market price for a guy who gets Pascal Siakim with the 26th pick, finds Fred VanVleet in UDFA, pulls Nick Nurse out of the G League, and turns Demar DeRozan into Kawhi Leonard. Masai Ujiri is the guy who turns James Dolan into George Steinbrenner, and we won’t remember who the picks we traded turned out being. Hell, I don’t even remember who the picks we traded for T-Mac turned out being (gun to my head, I’d say Royce White, Jeremy Lamb, and Doug McDermott).

  45. Also, nobody is considering what having Masai Ujiri in the house for 2020-2021 would mean. It means he would have a whole year and a bunch of cap space to put together a team that could attract Giannis away from the Bucks. Nobody is signing up for a rebuild; these guys want to join teams that will contend as soon as the ink dries on their $170M contract. Getting Ujiri this Spring means you’re giving him two drafts, a free agency period, and a trade deadline to put together the best possible team to lure a guy like Giannis (who doesn’t really seem like the type of guy who needs cap room to bring in a max salary friend).

  46. I’m having waaaay more trouble at work (not in terms of actual trouble; I just got an unforeseeable spike in the actual amount of work needed to complete things before Christmas).

    thoughts and prayers are with you farfa…be confident in your abilities, and, try to know – this period will pass…sounds like you have both love and good sense in your life…you’ll come out of this situation for the better…

    when things get bad – just remember – there’s always chocolate…

  47. That’s it, that’s all we got here. We’re used to a 24hr knicks news cycle run on lol fumes by the lol press who then lol fans for believing in the lol knicks after leading them on lol.

    on point, on target…and, with that – i’ll gloss over the ujiri chatter…just like i should have done with all the KD talk…

  48. @53

    Getting Ujiri this Spring means you’re giving him two drafts, a free agency period, and a trade deadline to put together the best possible team to lure a guy like Giannis (who doesn’t really seem like the type of guy who needs cap room to bring in a max salary friend).

    He’d also get to select the next head coach and staff. I’d definitely deal two first round picks for him, though three would give some pause. Maybe. I like the idea of trading both of Dallas’s picks, as someone earlier said. Basically, KP for MU.

    Probably not, but would they be interested in a player and a pick, or two picks and a player? No to RJB or Mitch, but might Knox still have some value around the league? I’m guessing DSJ or Frank would not interest them.

  49. here’s the gradient descent for unexplained quirky posting flare

    level 1: mere unpopular aesthetic preference
    -asterisks for word emphasis, nonexistent spacing, excessive !?ing

    level 2: covert personality signaling
    -aggressive lowercasing, rabid ellipses, radical brevity

    local minimum: passive aggressive substitute teacher style trolling
    -insistently calling a player who prefers otherwise by his given name

    maybe we could just straight trade ujiri to the knicks and milo to whatever boring raptor blog is in existence…

    that seems more than fair…

  50. if masai gets full autonomy for at least 4-5 years then 2 lotto protected picks will be well worth it…. there are comparable guys out there…. his underling bobby webster is one…. tim connolly in denver… presti i think is a tier below them… but one thing you have to keep in mind is that there are probably not many guys dolan will trust and let him walk away…. a lesser name will probably have dolan meddle at the first sign of trouble…. even someone like presti outside the confines of oklahoma city is a bit shakey ….

    masai will probably only realistically get 3 years to turn it around… like phil did… but i think that’s enough for him to reshape the franchise from the ground up…. those picks are only good with a good talent evaluator anyway and it’s highly likely it gets negotiated down to 1 pick…. it’s a no-brainer at that point…. if there’s someone out there that can transform an organization AND can keep dolan at bay then there’s no room for half measures… you go and do what’s necessary to turn it around….

  51. damnit you amateurs with your forty pound alloyed pizza pockets and your beauty filtered ethnic chicken foodgrams look what you have wrought:

    As a result of the underperformance and increased competition at Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine, the Company has recorded an impairment charge of $2,857,000 for the year ended September 28, 2019 related to this property.

  52. One thing to consider. Two of Masai’s biggest coups were the Melo deal in 2011 and the Bargs deal 3 years later.

    Would Masai be as good of a GM if he can’t dupe the Knicks into trading with him?

  53. Ujiri is already a millionaire and a legendary god in Canada. Has job security for at least another decade and a 50+ win team with a rising star locked up. Has anyone even bothered to ask why would Ujiri, want to run the WORST organization in the association and work for a MISERABLY INEPT and spoiled Brat of an owner? Ujiri pipe dream is worse than 2010 LBJ. Not happening. No sense of discussing the price and haggle when its not even for sale.

    We need be looking at the the smartest #2 or #3 in the league. Someone who will oblige Dolan with his media and house rules but at the same time be real with both players and fans. A young person with little kids, mortgage and trucks payments and a chip on their shoulder. Front and center every day with a work ethic so extreme that it rubs off on everyone else in the organization. Someone who wears their emotions on their sleeves, who is so passionate that its evident to everyone that they’re only goal is to put together a contender. Someone with balls to take chances on players who have proven to have these same exact principles. Get us a few G-league super athletes with chips on their shoulders and fixable holes of their game. Pat Riley seems to always find them. We need a few Ph.Ds. (Poor, Hungry and Determined) who are not drafted. I’m not buying that there are no PG left in the world that can beat their man off the dribble, (with no hand-checking rules) get in the paint to dish or finish strong at the rim. Guys that crash and sleep on a couch.

  54. Masai has generally been a good GM who has assembled very competitive teams lacking a top end superstar, which is I guess what you’d want NYC to handle. He and Morey are an interesting pair.

  55. Looks to me like a lot of Randle, Portis, and Mitch’s improved efficiency is due to Elfrid Payton being able to run the point. Randle and Mitch are excellent diving to the basket (minus the last 5 minutes) and Payton can actually run a semi-decent pick and roll. The comeback in the 3rd period last night was run by Payton and the offense looked better during that stretch than I remember all season.

  56. i think i found the culprit for the 3 million lost at clydes’s:

    Bacon $6.00

    that is a gross undervaluation of bacon…

  57. Masai for the Dallas picks with some protections doesn’t seem terrible since Doncic will stop those from being too valuable.

    If I recall correctly, the 2 firsts for a GM was balked at by the team looking to steal him. I don’t think it serves as a reliable precedent so much as an F you statement. The price might be fair for Masai with protections or some swap rights instead of straight-up offering them.

    Honestly, I still would love to give Hinkie a crack at it. He’s free, can tank for 2 years (or decide otherwise) and our team can load up on assets for Masai to use starting in 2021.

  58. Ujiri at this time might not be quite as effective as he has been. Say he’s the NYK GM and calls the Wiz offering them RJ and a 1st round pick for Beal. Would you do that if you were the Wiz GM? You might if Perry offered but if it’s Ujiri on the line? Ujiri would be a victim of his success. Still Knicks should go after him because signing free agents, drafting, selecting a coach, building an organization would not be affected.

    I’m missing something here. Before telling Toronto he wants to go to the Knicks, Ujiri would have had to have spoken to Dolan to discuss money, autonomy etc. Even if there were a NBA restriction, I presume Raptors owner would permit Ujiri to have that discussion. If Ujiri decides he wants to be Knicks POBO/GM and he’s willing to wait until ’21, NYK have the leverage. Would Toronto want a lame duck GM? Would they risk getting nothing in return? I think the two Charlotte picks plus swap rights on the Mavs picks (protected 1-5) would be sufficient.

  59. If you’re starting with year 3 Mitchell Robinson, year 2 RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, two top 40 draft picks, and $50M+ in cap space, you should realistically be able to build a playoff team with that. The question is can you build a 2020 playoff team while preserving enough cap space to grab Giannis in 2021, but that’s what you pay a guy like Ujiri 8 figures a year to figure out.

  60. I dig Begley and he’s been doing an amazing job in his first season at SNY.com, but wow, that was a weird article. A whole lot of supposition sort of tossed together as if it was an actual news article.

  61. Also, quick notes: Denver was on the second game of a back to back last night. So despite making the score close, it’s not as good a game as first glance would suggest.

  62. The question is can you build a 2020 playoff team while preserving enough cap space to grab Giannis in 2021

    c’mon man…this is the new york knickerbockers we are talking about, dream big man…the questions is – how do we fit giannis’ salary on to the roster while we’re already paying anthony davis big dollars…

  63. thank goodness for that fine scheduling insight…i was just about to go all in with my savings on the knicks’ 10k to 1 championship odds…

    i really thought we had turned the corner there last night…

  64. I dig Begley and he’s been doing an amazing job in his first season at SNY.com

    Me too. I’m a huge fan of truth tellers, even when they are inconvenient truth tellers that tend to upset people. Actually, “especially” when they are inconvenient truth tellers.

  65. Looks to me like a lot of Randle, Portis, and Mitch’s improved efficiency is due to Elfrid Payton being able to run the point. Randle and Mitch are excellent diving to the basket (minus the last 5 minutes) and Payton can actually run a semi-decent pick and roll. The comeback in the 3rd period last night was run by Payton and the offense looked better during that stretch than I remember all season.

    He’s certainly helping, but I wouldn’t be too quick to give him all the credit. The efficiency of shots coming off good passes is certainly higher than if you try to create something on you own off an iso. Our team level assists are up and Payton is part of that. But IMO we also have a new coach that’s doing a way better job of keeping the these players active and moving, well spaced, playing hard, and running decent plays.

  66. I’m not too worried about giving up picks for Massi for one simple reason. If Dolan is dumb enough to offer too much, that will be incentive for Massi to say “no” because it will harder to rebuild. He’s too smart a man to put himself into a bad spot and become another “failed executive in NY”. If a deal for “x” picks is offered and Massi says “yes”, then I have confidence he thinks he can make something good happen from that point forward.

  67. Yeah Anthony Davis is definitely leaving the best team in the NBA co-led by the best player of the last twenty years for the worst franchise of the last twenty years

  68. I think what you’d be hoping is that Masai’s Knicks would draft/develop players well and that would allow the Knicks to finally lure legitimately good free agents, not that he would come here and start bamboozling teams into bad trades

  69. I’m morbidly curious to see what Perry could do if freed from Mills. If nothing else I want Mills gone before any trades happen.

  70. Early Bird…this is just my personal opinion, but I think the second game of a back to back is a bit overblown. Like yeah, a team can be a bit more tired but I don’t think its an automatic thing that a team or individual player is going to be tired every time they have a back to back.

    There are far less back to backs then they’re used to be even a few years ago. A younger team isn’t going to be affected by a back to back as much. And if they won the game the night before easier or its at home, its going to matter even less. And Denver has a bigger home court advantage than most teams because of the altitude.

    This isn’t to say that Denver maybe wasn’t a bit more tired. Maybe they were. But I think its something that people use to explain a certain team’s performance and I think its maybe a bit overblown.

  71. I think what you’d be hoping is that Masai’s Knicks would draft/develop players well and that would allow the Knicks to finally lure legitimately good free agents, not that he would come here and start bamboozling teams into bad trades

    This. I’m more interested in Masai Ujiri because of Nick Nurse, Norman Powell, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakim, Chris Boucher, Terrence Davis, OG Anunoby, and plus he turned Jonas Valanciunas and DeMar DeRozan into Marc Gasol and Kawhi Leonard. The man is an organization builder, not a snake oil salesman.

  72. Selling snake oil is a big part of what we do here. We’re not gonna just kick snake oil to the curb.

  73. that is a gross undervaluation of bacon…

    Actual lol. Owning this thread, geo!

  74. After 1 quarter, Porzingis is 4-9 for 11 points.

    I predict his final line will be 8-22, 23 points.

    A max player for sure.

  75. Those stats are actually very Melo like, but now he’s up to 26 points on 18 shots to go with 11 rebounds. Dallas is leading Milwaukee by fourteen. Sounds like a Max to me.

  76. Are the Mavs better without Luka dominating the ball? Should we wait for him to maybe win a playoff game before crowning him?

  77. Ja with another sweet game

    Ja, Frank, Bridges, KP, Mitch would have been an interesting young starting lineup.

  78. Dallas beat the Bucks in Milwaukee tonight without Doncic. That’s back to back games they played really well without Luka (though they lost the previous one). I’m sure they won’t sustain it, but it helps verify what I’ve been saying. IMO Doncic has been stat stuffing a bit and his impact has been overrated. Dallas has been so good partially because the bench has been so strong and not exclusively because of Doncic. Maybe Doncic will learn something from this. He should take fewer bad shots, stop forcing tough plays that lead to TOs, and defend. Sometimes less is more.

  79. Luka Doncic is a beast but he’s not a good defender yet and he plays a ton of iso ball. I definitely cannot wait for the Mavs to draw the Clippers in the 1st round so Marcus Morris, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George can take turns picking on him while Montrezl Harrell has KP in a headlock.

  80. If the Knicks had picked one slot higher in each of the last 3 drafts, we’d have Ja, Sexton, and Markannen. I’d feel a lot better about our young core than I do with RJ, Frank, and Knox.

    But hey, at least we got those extra couple wins to build our great team culture.

  81. Man, you cannot keep Lilliard out of the paint. At all.
    His and-1 wins it for Portland after Oubre’s 4-pt play gave the Suns a 2-pt lead.

  82. I mean, we all knew that as soon as Dallas won anything without Doncic strat would come out, it’s not surprising. The fact that they would have like 5 wins without Doncic and this would have been a major upset is just an afterthought.

  83. In other superstar related news, CP3 still got it. What a fantastic game by him. It’s such a damn shame he never stayed healthy through an entire playoff run with the Rockets and we probably won’t see him playing meaningful games in the playoffs anymore because of his contract.

  84. Yah the guy with the .620 TS% on sky high usage who also averages 10 assists and rebounds definitely hurts you with his “stat stuffing” but the big stiff who misses hella shots and gets an assist only if it’s an accident is an underrated gem of a team player.

    I give that post a score of 72 out of 250

  85. Good for Phoenix that their shitty Ariza trade ended up working out after all, as Oubre has been surprisingly decent this season. I didn’t see that coming. He had some promise in the past, but he looked lost last year both for Washington and for Phoenix. Impressive to see him turn it around so well. He’s still not some great player or anything, but he’s playing pretty well overall.

  86. Strat won’t go to the Mavs’ BBRef page to check where they rank in ORtg. Stats are fake.

  87. KP with Steph’s little brother beating Milwaukee on the road…this is the trade that we may forever regret…it’s getting to about that time for Mills & Perry to go too. Let Houston be the interim PBO for a little while…

  88. It will be interesting to see KP play Boston…they have those big butt low gravity *smart*defenders that make him go 1/15 shooting with three rebounds every game. He looked more aggressive last pair of games tho.

    And just a thought of Dolan on his own negotiating for Massai is so interesting on so many levels…he has to have some secret meeting with Massai before it all starts so it can end well.

  89. Still early to judge KP; have to wait till playoffs or even next year….but he’d be the best player in our team & he’s proven to be a smart man by not buying into Fiz and his bull shit

  90. This is not the first time I’ve called upon SRS to predict MIL’s future and was promptly rebuked in the short-term.

  91. The Morris to Clips and Randall rumors seem to have Woj’s stamp of approval so there must be some credibility. Maybe Randall is unhappy in NY and that’s an agent plant?

    Either way the issue is not trading those guys it is who will be executing those trades for the Knicks… :(

  92. LA is so good it makes sense the clippers want to improve, and Morris would really help them. It makes sense they would ask about them. That said, I don’t know if there is a doable deal out there.

  93. Trading Randle as a straight salary dump would be fine. He doesn’t fit in here because he doesn’t pair well with Mitch, and he’s the only one of the FA signings that can’t be cut loose this offseason. If he brings only a nominal asset it will be like backing into the “rent cap space for asset” thing.

    Morris is a perfectly fine NBA player and should bring back a legit asset. Do eeeeet

  94. That said, I don’t know if there is a doable deal out there.

    A first, Harkless and Patterson sound good to me. Of course we’re only interested in the first and maybe we could try to reroute those guys for second rounders (more Harkless than Patterson, whose addiction to this roster would be frankly hilarious).

  95. I’d be in no rush to make that deal. It’s looking like a shitty draft and Morris will be desirable as the deadline approaches. But if they pull the trigger, no biggie.

  96. I’d be in no rush to make that deal.

    Eh, you should gauge the market before doing anything. But I wouldn’t be opposed to that deal at all.

  97. harkless’s destiny is to be on the knicks… if that clipper deal is for real it should be a no brainer but it would probably seal the fate of the FO… if they want any shot at keeping their jobs they have to show some sort of winning streak and sell that at least…

    dealing randle at this point is just not that smart…. there’s zero reason to trade him now at his low point value wise…. he’s young enough to see if he’s worth including in your core…. and he’s at worst an expiring contract next year…. whatever trade is available for him now will be there in a year…. i don’t get the urgency in trading him at all ….

  98. Uhhh… to be fair, you can probably re-trade Harkless but only for another player in a 1-for-1 swap. Otherwise you’d have to wait for 60 days (which is after the deadline). So, there go my second round pick dreams.

  99. I’d grab the 1st tinders as quick as you can before someone else does it. We always find ways to screw ourselves over. Strike while the iron is hot.

  100. Morris is a perfectly fine NBA player and should bring back a legit asset. Do eeeeet

    price should be landry shamet and a pick…

  101. I’d grab the 1st tinders as quick as you can before someone else does it. We always find ways to screw ourselves over. Strike while the iron is hot.

    Like we did with KP? Or Tyson Chandler?

    Mills is the master of a) bidding against himself and b) underestimating the market value of his assets.

  102. Randle is a 4 who doesn’t protect the rim or stretch the floor, and who doesn’t fit well next to our best young piece.

  103. If Randle can learn to dribble from 30ft out and create a quality shot for his teammates he’d have a much higher value. I’d bring back Fiz as assistant to work on it with him and shoot to trade him next year for two firsts and a young all star.

    How’s that for some GM’ing?

  104. i don’t get the urgency in trading him at all…

    and, he’s finally starting to play better…

    not sure why, but, been a fan since he’s been in the league…

    it’ll be interesting to see his game tonight in the garden…something about him playing at msg seems to make him a little anxious…

  105. randle can play better in a better situation, but i don’t think there’s any situation where he’s worth $18-$20m if his decent 3pt shooting is the mirage it always seemed likely to be. he’s too bad of a help defender and his assists are a bug not a feature bc they come with too many turnovers when he is playmaking. even with a TS in the high 500s, i would rather not have his contract, including the $4m dead money in 21-22 if his third year isn’t guaranteed. randle has 3 fewer blocks this year than jj redick and 7 fewer than ish smith.

    the dream i guess would be to get double value from minnesota by taking dieng’s 20-21 year while also getting paid for randle. doesn’t really make sense for them tho bc their defense is already a problem.

  106. all this bemoaning of randle is based on 20 some odd games… like i get it… ther’es a lot of folks who probably didnt like the signing but he was most definitely one of the best 25 and under free agents out there….

    what’s the alternative? a late first rd pick? you think even lamelo ball is even worth more than what randle is? i’m curious to see what ppl think is more value than randle…. because i don’t think these scenarios have been fully thought through….

  107. I think having $21 million in cap space next year could be more valuable than what Randle will give the Knicks in the next 2.5 seasons. It gives the team more possibilities for improvement whether by signing a player better than Randle or taking on salary for more draft picks.

    I don’t really see any benefit to having Julius Randle on the Knicks for the duration of his deal. He’s not a difference maker and we can’t expect any meaningful improvement from him at this stage.

    They should trade him for whatever they can get while only taking back expirings.

  108. ok so what does 21 million more in cap space net you next summer? keeping in mind that we could already free up more than 20 million from ellington.. morris… portis…

    we have 40+ mm then next year.. now what?

  109. Randle has been a disappointment, but there’s no rush to trade him unless it’s a great offer. With both him and Morris, you don’t need to do a deal just to do it. It’s not like we’re signing Giannis or something and need the cap space.

    That said, we should definitely get 1st rounders if we can (we just shouldn’t let our current FO make picks with those 1st rounders!) And I’d love to move Knox and DSJ, but who would want them/what could we possibly get in return?

  110. The same kind of deals they should have made this past offseason. Teams are always going to be looking to dump salary. Be the place where teams can go to dump salary. Lots of it. Then sign lots of undrafted guys/fliers and try to find the next VanVleet or Covington.

    Hopefully have Masai here being the guy who is picking out those fliers.

  111. I’m really not expecting much out of trades this next two months. No one is going to give us interesting young players or quality draft picks for what we have to offer. Not many teams want to trade for cap space since the free agent market is weak next summer. The Clippers first round pick is certainly going to be towards the end of the first round so it’s not that appealing to me. I would trade Portis, but the only way I can see that happening is if we took on a long term contract someone didn’t want. I don’t see Knick management wanting to do that.

  112. Why are we dumping Randle? He’s not on an albatross like Portis. He’s demonstrated he can play better for 2 other teams. Let’s see what he can do with an actual pg and some floor spacing. If you get offered a great deal, fine, but selling low has never been a smart move.

    I’m not sure there’s anyone worth pursuing this offseason. People have been mentioning Ingram, but we can clear enough space without selling Randle. Randle’s numbers prior to the Knicks are better than the FAs available this offseason.

  113. No clue what that $21mil could net the Knicks next year in FA. As of now, there aren’t any FA’s I’d offer $20mil a year (outside of AD). But I’d rather have a guy like Harrell over Randle if Harrell could be had for less than $15 mil a year. More productive, better defender, way less TO’s. I’d much rather have a guy that can shoot 3’s, but that’s one example of the Knicks possibly getting better w/ the Randle cap space.

    Or, my favorite option, rent out all that cap space next year and really get this rebuilt started. Knicks should still be in asset accumulation mode. Randle is not an asset w/ his current contract.

  114. On second thought, I came up with a possible trade. We give Portis to Miami for Waiters and fill and a pick of two. For fill an example is Haslem and Jones. We then waive Waiters and Haslem. This gives us a draft pick or picks on exchange for one year of Waiters on the books. Since Miami is getting a useful player ( and getting rid of Waiters, which is important to them) and we are taking on $12M in unwanted salary, we should get a first round pick out of such a trade.

  115. Be the place where teams can go to dump salary. Lots of it. Then sign lots of undrafted guys/fliers and try to find the next VanVleet or Covington.

    This. The benefit of the de facto 1yr deals is the flexibility to keep players or trade them for salary dumps. The signings were dumb, but the contract structure is less dumb. Alternatively, some team may actually value some of our vets. Hold onto Morris, Ellington, etc. until the trade deadline for injuries to crop up and offer playoff teams a replacement.

  116. yes you take the pick. you take the pick and the low but real odds of hitting on a rookie scale adebayo or allen or siakam or brogdon or clarke or collins or mitchrob. your odds are shitty. but they are exactly shitty amount better than zero, and zero is what you get when you take $19m of cap space on a bad team an fill it with an okay but brittle (in terms of contexts where he can work well on a good team) player like randle. no benefit, and less alienable than the picks themselves should an interesting trade opportunity arrive.

    it’s always hard to tell if the argument is about a specific player or about team building and win curves. in this case i guess it’s maybe both. but if i liked randle a bit more, signing him makes much more sense bc he becomes more fungible. but even that only works if you actually fung him. is there a reasonable world in which julius randle is generating more than $20 million of value to a knick team with a high use for marginal wins next year or in 21-22? seems like a bigger long shot than a late first.

  117. Also, Randle is making $18 million. Where did the $21 mill number come from? When a max deal is for $30 mill/yr, $18 mill isn’t that much for a .600TS% with a high usage. The contract isn’t bad, his play has been bad. His play has been bad because having Frank as our PG forces Randle to initiate the offense 30ft from the basket.

  118. I just divided Randle’s overall $63 mil deal by 3, which was incorrect.

    His deal breakdown:

    2019-2020: $18mil
    2020-2021: $18.9mil
    2021-2022: $19.8mil

    There’s also a $4mil dead cap charge in that last year. Unsure how that works re: picking up or declining the option.

  119. By the way, if my options really were Ingram at $28 million or Randle at $19, I’d probably roll the dice with Ingram.

    So if they wanted to just spend the money on guys, you could do a whole lot worse than signing Ingram and VanVleet long term. Those are guys who probably are actually tradeable later on.

  120. the odds most certainly are not zero… there are plenty of examples of guys who fit randle’s profile… for the exact deficiencies that ptmilo have stated… that have been on good teams…. and while randle is probably closer to someone like randolph than griffin or love… that doesn’t mean he’s worth zero… he’s worth something…. and unless you hit on someone like siakam or vanvleet or brogdon… you’re likely getting a much more flawed prospect….

    like is jarrett allen worth more than randle on this team with mitch? is bam adebayo? brandon clarke? are we really saying that these flawed guys are worth MORE than randle and they have a BETTER chance to play with mitch? that’s the argument we’re making? these are the best case scenarios?

    so setting aside that silly argument…. and also setting aside that you probably can’t get a first rd pick seeing as how the lakers couldn’t get one when randle was younger cheaper and better…. like what value are you actually getting in return?

    i’ve always been in the camp of getting as many picks as possible…. i love the draft more than most here and fully believe in that process… but i also don’t let perfect get in the way of good… and randle is certainly not perfect…. but he represented and still represents a decent gamble … and he’s a decent young piece because there is maybe 1 guy in the next 2 or 3 years that may actually hit the open market… and that’s vanvleet…. and your banking on your cap space to lure him … of which you already have the space to sign him if you wish…. or that new orleans magically forgets to match offers on ingram……

    that’s what it’s gonna take to outperform the randle signing….. it wasn’t a good signing because randle is super duper talented…. neither was d’angelo…. it was a decent gamble because of the alternative options out there… and it’s not great!

  121. What’s the upside of Julius Randle playing out his contract here? You get a year and a half of sweet Julius Randle memories? I mean, okay fine, but the genius plan hatched by the FO of putting together a fake-it-till-you-make-it faux contender didn’t really pan out so it’s back to square one and Randle doesn’t seem like a guy you build around. I liked him as a FA signing and that contract isn’t too onerous but I don’t see the point of keeping him around. He’s the current iteration of Arron Afflalo: a reasonably decent player but ultimately pointless.

  122. I don’t know about all the enthusiasm to trade Randle. He had a bad start to the season but has been playing better lately. I don’t think we will get value for him. This is a lost season anyway. The time to make trades is next summer when we set up our team for next year. Of course, if we get a great offer, that’s different; but we shouldn’t be pushing him away.

  123. We’re 29th in SRS. We have one really good prospect and one other prospect who has some skills but is very bad at throwing the ball into the basket. The rest of our young players are D-level prospects. We have our own picks plus surplus 2021 and 2023 picks that figure to be late first rounders.

    We need the next two seasons of Julius Randle for what exactly? For like respectability or something? We’re MILES away. Give me another pick any day.

  124. I don’t know that I see the point of trading Randle as a salary dump, but also I don’t think Randle’s bad start has ruined whatever value he has around the league.

  125. Randle I would probably hang on to but if he can be traded for a first round pick I would do that too. But since Elf came back he’s been better. Plus we have a team option on year 3 too. So why the rush to trade him now? Let him play out the season and first half of the next season and maybe we move him in a year.

    I’d definitely trade Morris, as much as I like him. He can definitely bring back something. I’d also look to move Portis and Ellington too. I’d keep Taj and Elf and possibly Randle for next season.

    Moving Portis, Ellington and Morris could get us a late first and a couple of second rounders. But I do think there is some value to keeping a few of the vets around, especially Payton.

  126. I don’t know about all the enthusiasm to trade Randle. He had a bad start to the season but has been playing better lately. I don’t think we will get value for him.

    Yeah, this. Randle’s a decent player on about the contract you would expect a guy like that to get, were he playing at the level his historic numbers suggest he can. We’re not going to get much more than a bucket of slop trading him now. Makes more sense to me to see if he can settle it down. We’d get a better return if he does, and if he doesn’t we can still get a bucket of the same slop this summer or next year. There’s no reason to be impatient, we’ll still suck next year too.

  127. If you can get a first rounder for anyone not named Mitch or RJB, don’t you do it? Randle? Yes. Morris. Yes. Anyone else? Hell yes! (though that’s not happening).

  128. I don’t know that I see the point of trading Randle as a salary dump, but also I don’t think Randle’s bad start has ruined whatever value he has around the league.

    If the last half of this is true and we get a good offer, then by all means take it.

    Same for Morris, take a good offer but don’t be thirsty. There’s a long two months until the deadline, you might be able to get something better than the Clip’s 2020 1st. Of course you might not as well, there’s always that.

  129. and while randle is probably closer to someone like randolph than griffin or love… that doesn’t mean he’s worth zero… he’s worth something….

    randolph was likewise completely worthless to the knick team he joined. he wasn’t a useless player and memphis was a good spot for him because it was the rare team with a center who was defensively elite but didn’t need to play at the rim on offense. they also had maybe the best wing defender in history. guys like randolph and randle need those just so situations to be productive on a good team, and even then they are only so valuable. taking a shitty team with mitch and slapping on randle at $18-$20m is like putting a giant hot tub in your mobile home.

    like is jarrett allen worth more than randle on this team with mitch? is bam adebayo? brandon clarke? are we really saying that these flawed guys are worth MORE than randle and they have a BETTER chance to play with mitch? that’s the argument we’re making? these are the best case scenarios?

    so setting aside that silly argument….

    nice try, but i’ve seen the leftovers finale and i know you to be a skeptical mfer so i simply do not believe you think this argument is silly. if you were dred’s assistant and he called to say he was offered any one of these guys on their current contracts for julius randle on his deal (and we could use the rest of the space to get whatever assets we could from renting it), you would tell your boss to instacall. we could also redeal any of those guys for a lot more than julius randle at $19m could get us. as my 3 year old would say – no, you silly.

  130. so let’s think about jarrett allen for randle…. are you planning to play allen and mitch together? or is the plan for allen to be mitch’s backup or for him to start over mitch? which one of these scenarios do you think work out better than the current randle/mitch pairing?

    and what deals are out there to rent out our cap space? ppl keep saying this like it’s some freely available thing…. there were what 3 cap saving deals this summer? one of which included taking on 4 years of tj warren… is that one of the things we’re advocating for? what deals are out there now that can’t be done by dealing portis or like the 5 other options you have to dump salary for cap space?

  131. There are salary dumps basically every year. There are a limit to how many there will be in any given year, but they’re always there. 2018 was also not some amazing free agency season and there were still salary dumps then. There’s always going to be some team that will need cap space to sign a guy. Who it is is often a mystery (who would have thought that Phoenix would have done a salary dump this past offseason, for instance), but they’re always there.

  132. Jrue Holiday available in a deal and the Knicks are reportedly interested (although I imagine Miami will ultimately get him. He’d fit perfectly there). What would you be willing to trade for Jrue Holiday? Would you be willing to trade for him?

  133. ok so what were they in the last offseason?

    i’m not contending that we shouldn’t have explored any of our cap space for any cap renting deal…. my contention is that it’s basically impossible to rent out all of it in the last offseason….

    and assuming that they are freely available every year is not a great assumption… even the ones already executed signals that there would be competition for those kind of deals and we would be getting a lesser return unless we had something better to offer… and in almost all those situations we didn’t….

  134. I mean, it’s a crazy hypothetical but Jarrett Allen is worth so much more than Julius Randle you don’t even think about it. Having Allen and Mitch is the problem everyone would love to have.

    Jrue Holiday seems pointless. Someone will tell me it’s not but I don’t get it. This team is going nowhere. So is next years team.

  135. I’m not very interested in Jrue. He’s a decent player at a position of need, but he’s 29 and I can’t shake the feeling that the Pelicans think he starting to downhill with age and so want to trade him now before he gets less valuable.

  136. On Jrue… A) I’m not trading for anyone north of like 25 who isn’t in the running for MVP, B) I do think Jrue is an interesting player who’s probably underrated by all-in-ones given his defensive rep

    You’d have to bribe me though to take Jrue Holiday as Knicks GM. For a team like the KNicks, you’re essentially trading down in the draft to pick up a player who if you’re lucky will be playing on a team that’s relevant after he turns 30, when his near max contract will almost definitely be an overpay. If I was running a team that was aiming for a title run this season, sure I’d trade for him, but I wouldn’t give up more than a lotto protected first rounder

  137. Randle will have more value next year when his contract is shorter. That last year with the voidable dollars has some value. I’d like to hold on to him.

    That Clippers trade is fascinating because the end result for us is almost a mulligan for not doing the Harkless deal in the first place. Of course, we could have done the Harkless trade and signed Morris….

  138. The fact that no one here is interested in Jrue probably means the Knicks will do it. Jobs are on the line, after all.

  139. The other thing to consider is that Bullock is coming back.

    for some reason I keep thinking he’s a small forward and not a 2 guard…

    hopefully morris moves this month…just looking at the clips upcoming picks, man, they really emptied the cupboard to get paul george…

    we need shamet, looks like their 2nd round 2021 pick (from detroit) is all they really got though til a 2023 second set rounder (from detroit) pick wise…

    I’d be giddy as a young school girl if we could pry that dude away…

  140. I mean, it’s a crazy hypothetical but Jarrett Allen is worth so much more than Julius Randle you don’t even think about it.

    No you should think about it…. it’s not obvious… it goes beyond box score stuff because:

    a)there’s no precedent pairing two jarrett allen types .. or two mitch robinson types if you prefer…. ever working out… that literally has never been tried to any success…. and from a basketball perspective it makes perfect sense…. you’re gimping two guys who literally only operate 0-3 ft from the basket and have 80% assisted fg rates….
    b)if you’re dealing him to have him be a backup… or push mitch to be a backup…. what value does that add?

    in a vacuum… that deal is probably worth it if you don’t have mitch…. but you already have…. and many teams have guys like allen or bam or clarke or whiteside or ed davis or jordan or favors or valanciunus or capela or the lopez brothers or gasol or steven adams or turner or drummond … and if they don’t have those guys they have towns or embiid or anthony davs or gobert….

    what residual value do you have in cloning a slightly worse version of mitch? you gonna trade him to a team that’s gonna spend a whole first round pick to have allen be a backup or want to flip coins on him being better than their current guy?

    seriously… that’s not some slam dunk thing that you should just auto accept…

  141. jrue holiday? He’s one of those guys who was underrated for a while and is now wildly overrated by the ‘smart’ nba media. He’s a fine player but he’d be pointless on this team. Like if the Pellies wanted to give us jrue just for some of our short term trash in a salary dump I guess I wouldn’t be upset. He’d be our best point guard, certainly, but it’s not like we’d be a good team with him anytime soon so I wouldn’t give up future assets for him.

  142. Harkless and Iguodala are the two off the top of my head. Knicks could’ve promised to waive Iggy right after the trade. Would’ve been a win-win for both sides.

    The contract-absorbing trades don’t even have to be for picks! Not in love with the guy, but the Wiz were able to get Bertans for essentially nothing by just helping to facilitate a trade between the spurs and nets. Getting a 43% 3pt shooting PF in his mid-20’s was a nice gamble. And it cost the Wiz very little (just some cap space).

    The opportunities are always out there.

  143. mitch is already a backup. allen and mitch could literally play their mpg this year and never overlap. or you could play them both 26 mpg and they’d overlap for 4 minutes total. or you could trade allen to the celtics for multiple young assets and they wouldn’t even need to clear cap room. he’d be great for the clips and he might even be able to play with jokic. if you think teams don’t want $3m allen wait until you see the market for $19m julius.

  144. seriously… that’s not some slam dunk thing that you should just auto accept…

    if you think teams don’t want $3m allen wait until you see the market for $19m julius.

    What PTmilo said.

    I mean, every team has a tall guy. But a lot of them aren’t actually good at the tall guy stuff. Jarrett Allen is. I’d way rather have him on the books as a trade chip than Randle.

  145. even if the knicks were able to land both of those deals…. they still had room to sign randle…. and i’m not disagreeing that they should’ve been involved in them… but it’s also unrealistic to think that they would’ve nabbed all those opportunities and that they are so plentiful that you can fill 50+mm in cap space for parking space…

    they just don’t grow on trees anymore… and not even the smarter front offices nab every one of those opportunities… like the grizzlies only were able to land iguodala themselves for a far future pick…. even if you give the knicks that one…. that’s still 40+mm of space you need to do something with…. what else is there? you want to take 4 yrs of tj warren?

  146. ok so what were they in the last offseason?

    2018 was the last offseason. The Nets got a first and a second in a Faried salary dump. There might have been others, but that’s one that came off the top of my head. There’s always someone who needs to clear salary.

  147. and so what’s the upside? if you’re looking for a late 1st rd pick for randle… that’s all your getting for allen trading him to denver… the celtics or the clips… and what’s the upside? what else are you getting? gimping either of their values turning your prized possession into a backup or demoting the guy you traded for into a backup?

    what value do you get trading a guy who u think can’t work with your best prospect when the guy your trading for has even worse issues…. why do i need to trade randle when i can go sign ed davis or favors or the million other bigs that get 80% of allen’s value to play the exact role you’re trading for?

  148. I’m not seeing the point of Holiday. Randle would have to be moved for the idea to even get into the realm of discussion. If that happens, then, yeah, maybe worth talking about.

  149. Spot on. Salary dumps are an important rebuilding element. This why I don’t get why these two shmucks stretched Noah and signed Portis. We’re back to tanking but this time its not because our best player is out injured but its because we actually stink.

    1) Trade everyone not named Mitch or RJ for 1st and 2nd round picks.
    2) Send out news around the league that we have officially decided to become a dumpster so hurry up and dump your garbage before it fills up. (K. Love for two protected 1st round picks works for me)
    3) Sign super athletic Ph.D. guys with fixable holes in their game on non-guaranteed contracts.
    4) When your own draft pick makes the all-star team you immediately max him. (ex. see Giannis. that 4yr $100M contract was far from a sure thing).

    All you need is one draft pick and one Ph.D. guy to work out and still be under the cap to sign a max player or have a decent young group and two or three extra draft picks to sign and trade for one.

  150. Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Celtics, Minnesota, Lakers, Clips, Houston, Golden State, Portland, etc…have all went all in during next two-three years to win a chip. That’s ~10 teams and only one of them will win while others will fall apart. Put ourselves in a position to pick those valuable pieces for young guys and draft picks when they’re looking to rebuild.

    Trading for Holiday is pointless but very Knicksy…

  151. Jrue Holiday available in a deal and the Knicks are reportedly interested (although I imagine Miami will ultimately get him. He’d fit perfectly there). What would you be willing to trade for Jrue Holiday? Would you be willing to trade for him?

    I love Holiday, but he may be a tad old given that Mills and Perry have put us almost back to square one in the rebuild.

  152. The problem with Julius Randle is only partly Julius Randle’s skill set. He’s a good player that’s currently on the wrong team. He’s not a good fit without spacing and with a future C that plays mostly inside. That’s why before the season even started I was saying we better pray he stretches his game out to the 3 point line at an efficient enough level for it to make him a real threat. Of course there’s always a chance Mitch stretches his game, but we should never have been in this position to begin except we have incompetents in charge. Randle is good player and he as available. So they signed him. They never even considered the fit on a team with no shooters in the starting lineup. So now it’s struggle to try to create lineups and come up with plays to get the best out of him.

  153. hey never even considered the fit on a team with no shooters in the starting lineup

    Spot on. This is exactly why Denver shut us down late in the 4th with the lineup of:

    Mitch,
    Randle
    Morris
    RJ
    Payton

    Where is the shooting going to come from? This why Mitch and Payton don’t start. Why are these two shmucks still employed again? Also, Miller has to recognize he needs a pressure release valve and play Dotson.

  154. yes you take the pick. you take the pick and the low but real odds of hitting on a rookie scale adebayo or allen or siakam or brogdon or clarke or collins or mitchrob. your odds are shitty. but they are exactly shitty amount better than zero, and zero is what you get when you take $19m of cap space on a bad team an fill it with an okay but brittle (in terms of contexts where he can work well on a good team) player like randle. no benefit, and less alienable than the picks themselves should an interesting trade opportunity arrive.

    Of course the flip side is that the reason we didn’t get Durant and Irving (and an endless list of other prime targets over the years) is because the team always sucks so badly no one in their right might that’s any good would ever come to this dumpster fire.

    To me, if you have a chance to sign a legitimately good young player that fits your young pieces and moves you forward you do it (Randle was not that).

    If you take on a bad contract to get an asset (also a good option), I’d “personally” way prefer to do that with the intention of trading the pick (or possibly combining it with other picks) for a young player that moves me forward.

    As far as I’m concerned, there may be a few teams that are better at recognizing value in the draft, but sometimes what appears to be talent like that is also just random noise. They got lucky a few times. The draft is mostly a relatively efficient crap shoot that takes many years (or very good luck) to be successful at unless you are in the “no brainer” zone at the top where there is obvious talent. So if you accumulate picks, IMO you should use them to move up or land a real NBA talent.

  155. So if you accumulate picks, IMO you should use them to move up or land a real NBA talent.

    Spot on. That’s exactly the point. You keep the top five ones for yourself and use other 1st to trade up or land a free agent. Perry is no Isaiah Thomas when it comes to drafting and should never pick 9th. Dumbo does not know that his odds of success at #9 are the same as his odds of finding a used winning lottery ticket.

  156. The draft is mostly a relatively efficient crap shoot that takes many years (or very good luck) to be successful at unless you are in the “no brainer” zone at the top where there is obvious talent. So if you accumulate picks, IMO you should use them to move up or land a real NBA talent.

    Or you could pick players who demonstrated success at the previous level. Perhaps players who were not reliant on hype, a la Reddish or Garland, but instead with a body of work that can be assessed rather than fantasized about.

    I still don’t hear about these young, talented players that are available on the market for future protected swaps and picks. I know that Paul George, an elite two-way player, was traded for a shitton of picks and one of the more exciting, albeit flawed, players in the 2018 Draft.

    Gone are the days when you can pry guys like Chris Webber and Elton Brand away from teams with a smattering of picks. Teams generally overvalue their roster assets to begin with, so you can imagine that when they identify a future stud like Siakam, they are unequivocal that he would never be given up for even a superstar trade.

    Hell, the Lakers made Kuzma untouchable in the trade that brought them their superstar. They gave up a lot of other stuff, but do we really think that Kuzma, with a -5.0 BPM 461 minutes, should have held up that trade for even a split second?

  157. You keep the top five ones for yourself and use other 1st to trade up or land a free agent.

    I literally advocated to trade the #3 for something like what the Hawks gave up for the #4, namely the #8, #17 and #35. As excited as everyone is to see if R.J. Barrett ever learns how to shoot the basketball, do we really think we’d be worse off with, say, Jaxson Hayes, Brandon Clarke and some 22-year-old rookie at #35?

    There is no doubt that Hayes and Clarke have been worlds better than Barrett so far. But here we are, arguing about how top-5 picks are the only ones that really matter for long-term growth.

  158. Also, Knicks apparently view Ujiri as the chosen one….

    Who are “Knicks” here though? This just means Dolan, right?

    Also encouraged that RC Buford is on their short list, but I don’t think it actually means anything.

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