Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, July 22, 2019

New York Knicks 109 – Philadelphia 76ers 131 – Game Recap

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to root for a structurally sound winning team. I mean, not just a team that might end up with 42+ wins this season; a team that’s pretty much guaranteed a stable course of 45+ wins in the next three years, with a hopeful peak of 55+ and a Conference Finals appearance at worst. I’m an NBA fan since 1994, and a Knicks fan since 2008 (but was rooting for them here and there, nost notably in the 1999 finals – I’m a sucker for underdogs). In that span, I saw many contenders come and go. Real contenders, not 8th seeds that vault up to the Finals in a shortened season or a bottle-in-the-lightning 54 win team that sees his magic just vanish the year after (maybe Bargs was really a magician, then). It’s hard to keep watching a team that’s bad, that’s used to be bad, that’s almost supposed to be bad just because they are the Knicks.

I’ll tell you a little story. As you might know, I’m from Bologna. For a few decades, it was called “Basket city” in Italy because it’s probably the place where people breathed basketball the most, in a country where soccer gets the lion’s share of hooligans and casual fans alike. We had two teams in the top Italian league for a long time. Their battles were ferocious, and every year at least one of them was seriously in the mix to win it all. Sometimes, they were both in the mix. In 1998 and 2001 they played each other in the Italian finals. I grew up rooting for one of them, Virtus Bologna. In my lifetime, Virtus has won 6 Italian titles (1998 and 2001 included), 2 European titles, a bunch of other unimportant stuff and was a talent factory for players both Italian and foreign. We had a lot of talented players donning the black and white jerseys: Manu Ginobili is the most famous one, but others were Predrag Danilovic (briefly in the NBA with Dallas and Miami), Radoslav Nesterovic (winner of a ring with the Spurs in 2005), Marko Jaric (a mediocre NBA career punctuated by the fact that he dated and later married and fathered two sons with supermodel Adriana Lima), Marco Belinelli (you know him – another ring with the black and white Spurs… hmmm), Michael Ray Richardson and so on.

Point is, I know what it’s like to root for a winning team. I just don’t know what it’s like in the NBA (nor do I now in the Italian league, where Virtus is a terrible team that reshuffles its roster every summer and finishes regularly in the bottom half on the standings). And since I know what it’s like to root for a winning team, I also know that Philly fans must be elated with their team, even after botching at least 2 top-3 picks. That’s what a winning team looks like. That’s what we could have if we just stopped giving stupid contracts to mediocre players. And that, in the end, is why this season matters, and this offseason matters even more: we need not to do any stupid thing to slowly get where we need to be. Aside from an inevitable KP-max (and I would argue that a smart management wouldn’t see that max as inevitable, but who are we kidding here?), every other move has to make sense. And our roster needs to be thoroughly examinated to know who should we be building around and in what role should they be featured.

We want to feel like Philly fans. I don’t know if we deserve it. I know that’s what makes us fans, though. The hope for improvement. The desire to see this mess pan out. And the primal need to jettison THJ out of here.

The good:

– This is getting harder every new game. I might have to ditch this gimmick soon if things don’t turn around a bit (but yay for the tank! Praised be the big ping-pong ball/frozen envelope in the sky). Anyway, Damyean Dotson (14 pts, 1 reb, 54.5 FG%) takes away the half-eaten, stale cake here. The guy missed a few games with an injury to his shooting shoulder and came back without missing a beat. If I had to make a list of things that I liked in the first 33 games of the season, it would go like this (in descending order): Mitch; Trier; the steadiness of Dotson; Vonleh’s all-around play; those games where Kanter wasn’t a starter; a few Knox highlights. That’s all. I wish he would rebound a bit more, as we know he’s capable of. His DReb% this season is a full 4 percentage points worse than last season, and it’s not like he’s always sharing the court with other noted bound-chasers. He seems a bit less interested in grabbing the ball after it bounces off the rim, I don’t know why. Also, not a real class act for dunking the ball on the last possession. I don’t mind it, because I never understood why you’re not supposed to shoot the ball in the last possession of an already decided game, but a layup would have been better.

The bad:

– It’s pretty hard to tell who was really bad tonight, as a mantle of mediocrity engulfed the whole team. I guess I’ll go with Frank Ntililkina (3 pts, 2 rebs, 2 ast, -9 +/-) here, simply because you can’t shoot 1-7 from the field while failing to generate any kind of offense and expect not to be scolded. You’re being given opportunities again, Frank. Maybe they’re not the best opportunities ever, but they are chances nonetheless. If you want to stick in this league, you have to make them count. We’re getting past the point where he should be cuddled because he can give you so much on the defensive end: if this is what he gives you on offense, it’s hard to play him at all. This season he should see every minute he can muster, but at some point he has to show something with some consistency, or else this is not going to be his home for long. It’s sad to think about that, because you can see the brilliance in defending. At the very end of the first quarter, Frank was the first Knick to be able to put a body in front of Embiid. Embiid has 9 inches and probably a full 60 pounds on Frank, but Frank was unfazed (of course the possession ended with Knox fouling Korkmaz for three – generating a four-point play opportunity). I’m the first one to say that not playing Frank would be a waste of defensive prowess, but Frank has to earn it, and he’s not doing that.

Yawn-sized bits:

– Kevin Knox is something else in December. There were better players selected after him, but he’s exceeding my Mariannes Trench-low expectations. His 17/6/1.5 average are quite good for a teenage forward who’s still learning to use his body appropriately. The THJ-to-Kevin alley-oop to end the first half was very sweet. He’s also chucking better shots and looks a bit more under control driving to the rim. We still don’t know what to make of him, but the picture is a little bit better.

– Enes Kanter just grabbed 6 boards and missed a couple of reversed layups he usually makes in his sleep. His best contribution to the night may have been the time when Wally said “Without Kanter, there’s no one able to guard Embiid on the court!”. That almost made me spill my coffee. A full 45 minutes after I drank it. Wally is the rare case of old-school player turned color commentator where not even the eye test works. If Wally is the one who’ll replace Clyde after the Hall of fame PG calls it a day, he’ll be the worst color commentator in the league by a wide margin, taking the scepter from Austin Carr. Embiid abused of everyone tonight, as he’s wont to do, but especially Enes.

– THJ scored 27 in 29 minutes thanks to a perfect 10-for-10 from the line. I still don’t get why one should be on a terrible team while going through the acute pain brought by plantar fasciitis, but I felt a little more alive when he barked in Kanter’s face for a full 30 seconds (even while dribbling the ball) after Enes completely missed a rotation. Timmy might be a decent leader in his commitment. It’s just a shame he mostly sucks at basketball.

– If vampires were real, they would have gone crazy over Kornet tonight. He lost blood in almost three separate occasions.

– Vonleh keeps on being a mini-Draymond: 6/10/5 and 2 blocks. A little bounceback game for him.

– Mudiay is a goodish player when the defense is lazy or short. Tonight he was the Mudiay of yore, 11 points on 12 shots. Mud’s bad games are useful because they might act as a reminder for our front office not to break the bank for him. I hope.

– Mario makes me feel sad even when he enters the game with just 3 minutes to play. It’s painfully clear that he doesn’t care about basketball. Like, at all.

– Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas are the most tank-happy veterans you’ll ever see: they play scarcely, they suck and they don’t complain. Beautiful human beings. Sadly, they’re costing us 19 million dollars.

Who wants to lose against the Hawks? I do! But play better guys, I beg of you.

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117 comments on “New York Knicks 109 – Philadelphia 76ers 131 – Game Recap

  1. thenoblefacehumper

    As a young-to-mid 20s Knicks fan, this hit very close to home…

    That 2012-2013 team was the best Knicks team I have ever rooted for and it’s not even close!

  2. Brian Cronin

    The 1990s Knicks just showed the value of having a Hall of Fame player on your team. So long as Ewing was in his prime (and even when he was on the downside of his prime), the Knicks were always able to theoretically put a contender together around him. It was what made the difference between Ewing and Melo so stark. Melo played really well at times, but he was never a guy where it was, “Okay, if you have him in place, you’re probably at least going to make the playoffs” (and what’s funny is that Melo actually did make the playoffs in each of his first ten seasons, but it was soon obvious that that really was a noisy stat).

  3. Farfa Post author

    OT: If anyone needed further proof that it’s time to stick a fork in Bill Simmons’ ability to understand basketball, I suggest you browse his trade value column today on The Ringer.

  4. Brian Cronin

    Ha! I guess I’ll carry over my comment from the last thread then. :)

    Anyone see Simmons’ trade value primer on the ringer? He’s amusingly high on Knox. Meaningless, of course, but still interesting.

    His trade value column used to be so well-thought out. He stopped doing it for a long time and decided to bring it back in the most half-assed way possible. I love how he has Anthony Davis listed in “Will never be traded,” except, well, you know…

    But yes, it was still nice to see Knox get a little love! Porzingis was in the top 20, which is a good thing, too, I guess? At the very least, Simmons’ views sometimes do reflect what the general NBA narrative is on some players (notably that Porzingis is still regarded as someone with a good deal of trade value).

  5. Brian Cronin

    I was looking at the Pelicans’ roster and is it just me or is this actually a faintly believable trade?

    Courtney Lee could start for New Orleans, couldn’t he? He’s probably better than Solomon Hill, at the very least. Lee is shorter than Hill, but I can still see Lee as a 3 on a good team.

  6. thenoblefacehumper

    The first thing I did when I opened the Simmons column was ctrl + f “Jaylen” because I knew his placement would be amusing. Sure enough, Jaylen Brown of the .484 TS% who will be an RFA after next year has more trade value than Siakam!

  7. thenoblefacehumper

    Miller gets rotation minutes for them though and mostly does what’s expected of him (38% from 3, .580 TS%). I doubt they’d want to take on The Great Courtney Lee Contract when Lee himself wouldn’t even be an obvious upgrade.

  8. Brian Cronin

    As an aside, it was good to see Berman finally get on the “Mudiay has a $12.8 million cap hold” train in his most recent column. He had been one of the few guys who were making things confusing by incorrectly reporting a lower cap hold for Mudiay.

  9. Brian Cronin

    Miller gets rotation minutes for them though and mostly does what’s expected of him (38% from 3, .580 TS%). I doubt they’d want to take on The Great Courtney Lee Contract when Lee himself wouldn’t even be an obvious upgrade.

    I think that they’ll try pretty much every other team in the league first, but the teams who have 3s to spare don’t seem to be those that need expirings, which is really what Ellington and Miller are most valuable for (Miller, though, at least does come with full Bird Rights and his cap hold is just $3 million), so I think they could possibly settle on Lee if they strike out everywhere else. The Pellies seem to be one of the more desperate organizations out there, ya know?

  10. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Bill Simmons’ great contribution to basketball ideas is that teams get better when they lose their star player because… psychology.

    Not because you failed to identify a “star” as overrated/aging/in decline, Bill, but because psychology.

  11. Frank

    Something I saw on twitter last night but now can’t find for whatever reason — was Windhorst saying that the range of outcomes for the Knicks this season goes from winning the lottery, trading the pick in some deal for Anthony Davis and then signing Durant, to getting the #9 pick and striking out in FA.

    As a Knicks fan I know that the 2nd scenario is what will actually happen, but the first scenario is super interesting. Usually I would say trading a pick that will be Zion for any sort of veteran would be the Knicksiest move ever, but only in Zion’s super-ceiling-best-outcome-world would he be as valuable as AD who is still somehow only 25 years old…

  12. Brian Cronin

    Something I saw on twitter last night but now can’t find for whatever reason — was Windhorst saying that the range of outcomes for the Knicks this season goes from winning the lottery, trading the pick in some deal for Anthony Davis and then signing Durant, to getting the #9 pick and striking out in FA.

    As a Knicks fan I know that the 2nd scenario is what will actually happen, but the first scenario is super interesting. Usually I would say trading a pick that will be Zion for any sort of veteran would be the Knicksiest move ever, but only in Zion’s super-ceiling-best-outcome-world would he be as valuable as AD who is still somehow only 25 years old…

    If it was as part of a deal where they also get KD, then sure, I’d do that trade. But otherwise, I’d just as soon keep Zion.

  13. Brian Cronin

    Wow, Ron Baker is a Wizard. Good for him, I guess.

    As Knick fan not in NJ correctly pointed out last night, they’re definitely trying to improve their defense (first Ariza and now Ron).

  14. Farfa Post author

    It’s unbelievable and absurdly endearing how Knicks fans can always up the ante for unrealistic scenarios.

  15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank, did you mean that the most likely outcome is striking out and having the #9 pick? Even for an optimist like you, it’d be crazy to think that Durant and Davis will be in NYC next year.

  16. Brian Cronin

    Frank, did you mean that the most likely outcome is striking out and having the #9 pick? Even for an optimist like you, it’d be crazy to think that Durant and Davis will be in NYC next year.

    “Striking out and having the #9 pick” was the 2nd scenario, and he said, “As a Knicks fan I know that the 2nd scenario is what will actually happen.” So, yes. :)

  17. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I don’t think Lee is viewed as a 3 around the league. He’s too small.

  18. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    I think Zion is in the same “once every ten years” tier of talent as AD and Luka were (LeBron is in his own tier, ofc.) He’s got a good shot at multiple MVPs if he learns to shoot league average from 3 as the rest of his game is going to translate seamlessly to the NBA. Idk if I’d do the AD for Zion trade, unless we knew that KD was coming AND KP comes back 100% from injury. I don’t think you win a chip with just KD and AD.

  19. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    Is Simmons “Trade Value” column supposed to be his personal assessment of the fair value of the players or what he thinks teams around the league think of those players?

    They are two different things.

    If it’s NBA values, then sure, there are some mediocre players that “should be” on the list.

  20. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I don’t think you win a chip with just KD and AD.

    I agree. But every agent and their mother will be calling MSG asking if their player can come to NY (many will be willing to do it on a bargain contract).

  21. Brian Cronin

    Is Simmons “Trade Value” column supposed to be his personal assessment of the fair value of the players or what he thinks teams around the league think of those players?

    The latter.

  22. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think Lee is viewed as a 3 around the league. He’s too small.

    He’s more of a “second 2 in a three-guard lineup,” true, but under that scenario he has played a lot of de facto three over the years (Houston, when they were doing two point guard lineups, Memphis, with Tony Allen at the 2 and Charlotte with Nic Batum as the 2, for instance).

  23. Hubert

    Congrats, Bruno! (week-long holiday bender delay)

    Brian I think Mudiay and Hardaway make a lot more sense for New Orleans than Lee (inasmuch as Mudiay and Hardaway can make sense at all). They need a PG and Mudiay is currently acting like one. They need points off the bench and Hardaway can at least do that. And they have the contracts and sweeteners to make it work without them giving up anyone from their rotation or a first round pick.

  24. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    In a perfect world (for me), the Knicks would draft in the top 3, bring back Noah Vonleh, and use the rest of the cap space to trade Knox, the 2020 1RP, and Lee to Portland for Lillard. Something like Lillard, Dotson (I’m benching TH2), Barrett, Vonleh, and Porzingis would be pretty fun to watch.

    If KD comes to the Knicks, I don’t think he’d do it to play with Anthony Davis. The only angle that makes sense for Durant and the Knicks is he wants to be the star player in a large market. I guess you can make some argument that Durant would be the primary ball handler and Davis/Porzingis would be the supporting cast, but anybody playing next to AD from here down will not be the best player on that team. Durant to NY is all narrative driven, not “best basketball decision” driven, so I don’t see how he comes to NY if AD is in town. I could definitely see Irving taking that deal, though.

  25. Brian Cronin

    Brian I think Mudiay and Hardaway make a lot more sense for New Orleans than Lee (inasmuch as Mudiay and Hardaway can make sense at all). They need a PG and Mudiay is currently acting like one. They need points off the bench and Hardaway can at least do that. And they have the contracts and sweeteners to make it work without them giving up anyone from their rotation or a first round pick.

    The problem is that Miller and Ellington are their only expiring contracts. That’s why I went with the cheaper Lee instead of THJ. I don’t think the deal would work into the cap with THJ in place of Lee.

    As for Mudiay, I think the Pellies are more worried about the 3 than the 1 because they at least do have Jrue Holiday, a career point guard before he got to New Orleans, to cover the 1 if need be. Their current 3s are just Hill and Moore. That said, sure, I’m all about trading Mudiay, too. :) I think getting rid of Lee is the bigger priority, though.

  26. Brian Cronin

    Also, regarding Lee’s height, the Pellies started the 6’4″ Moore at the 3 for 24 games this season, ya know?

  27. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    If you read Simmons, it’s got to be for his humor and writing style. He’d be the worst GM of any pudit I’ve ever read, which is saying a lot, except for some of the times when he thinks a contract is a ridiculous overpay.

  28. wetbandit

    I just want to take this opportunity to again state that Farfa’s recaps are excellent- there are always a few laugh out loud moments, which make this whole Knicks experience a lot easier to take.

    And Wally sucks. Everything he says sucks. If I have to hear him say “step up” or “shot the basketball well” when a guy goes 8-24 every night, I’ll have to watch on mute. It sucks he’s Clyde’s obvous heir. Compared to Clyde’s charisma, rhymes and “ooooh ohhhh, look at that, he traveled!” combined great feel for the game, Wally’s going to be a huge step down. I’d rather have Oakley color-comment.

  29. Hubert

    Use Solomon Hill, Brian, and find a third team who has an expiring.

    Pels get: Mudiay & Timmy

    Knicks get: Johnson & Payton from New Orleans, the expiring contract from the third team

    Third team gets: Hill and enough sweeteners from New Orleans to swallow having him on the books next year (probably two seconds)

    We’re basically giving them a starting PG and 6th man for no one who is currently in their rotation. All they need to do is pony up the price to dump Solomon Hill. Then we can save our sweeteners to dump Lee.

    I’m sure it’s too good to be true, but it’s feasible. The irony is I think Mills would be more hesitant to do that trade than Demps.

  30. ClashFan

    Given THJ’s foot woes, why would any team trade for him? I’d love for him to go, but I just can’t see that happening. Really, they should sit him for a week or two.

    I love the recaps, too. Keep them coming.

    One funny moment last night was in the 1st quarter, I think it was, where Wally was complimenting the Knicks zone and, almost immediately, the Sixers swung the ball to a wide open shooter who hit a three. Hilarious. And, was it my imagination or did he and Breen briefly argue about whether or not stepping on an opponent’s foot should be considered a foul or not?

  31. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    As the leader of the “Tim Hardaway Jr will opt out of his contract” brigade, I can firmly state that nobody is trading for that guy. Nobody. Nobody is going to trade for Courtney Lee until next summer when he’s expiring. We are stuck with our shooting guard rotation, which really sucks because the best 2 guards on the team are Trier and Dotson.

  32. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    It’s pointless for Hardaway to be playing with a foot issue that requires rest. He probably wants to show he’s a leader and warrior and will play through injuries, but his personal desires are in direct conflict with the best interests of the team and his health. We have a glut at that position and should use this period to rest him, play Dotson/Frank/Trier/Lee and pile up depressing losses. We can develop the 1st 3 further and showcase Lee some more. One of either Lee or Hardaway has to go eventually unless we are throwing in the towel on a max free agent. Even though I personally think Hardaway is the worse contract, would free more space, and brings less to the table as a veteran presence than Lee, if Lee goes Lee goes. He’s got to play.

  33. d-mar

    Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell was 5-26 last night with 6 turnovers (although the Jazz won). His TS% now stands at .506.

    Remember when Brandon Jennings dropped 55 in his rookie season and everyone was going gaga over him?

  34. Hubert

    As the leader of the “Tim Hardaway Jr will opt out of his contract” brigade, I can firmly state that nobody is trading for that guy. Nobody.

    You assume too much competence from NBA front offices.

    It only takes one.

  35. Farfa Post author

    It’s hard to see someone trading for THJ as an improvement over their roster, but it’s not impossible. Again, it depends on how much our front office wants to trade him. If you field enough calls without making absurd trade offers, someone will bite.

  36. Brian Cronin

    Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell was 5-26 last night with 6 turnovers (although the Jazz won). His TS% now stands at .506.

    That Donovan Mitchell was a decent NBA player in his first NBA season was super impressive. But people seemed to miss the part about how the reason that was so significant is that if you’re already a decent player as a rookie then that typically means that you’ll continue to improve and then become a great player. It was not, in and of itself, a sign that he was already a great player.

    Plus, of course, he’s another example of the whole “the NBA believes that taking a lot of shots is a difficult skill” idea.

  37. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    The thing is the perception around the league of the Hardaway Jr contract is a lot worse than it needs to be for a team to bite on that deal. The whole “haha they traded him away just to overpay him 2 years later” thing is a real thing, and he hasn’t done enough to prove people wrong. His production says he’d be really good off the bench, but I don’t think New Orleans, or anybody, is dumb enough to pay him his salary plus the trade kicker over the next 2 seasons. The thing about making mistakes in New York is they’re broadcast for the league to see. It’s why Jaylen Brown still has value JR Smith has interest while we can’t move Courtney Lee

  38. jk_in_the_park

    +1 on loving Farfa’s recaps.

    when Wally said “Without Kanter, there’s no one able to guard Embiid on the court!”. That almost made me spill my coffee. A full 45 minutes after I drank it.”

    — spilling my own coffee right now.

  39. Owen

    I think the opportunity for someone to write a great piece on the variability of shooting is out there. I remember the first time I thought about this, when Damon Jones posted a 43% three point percentage for the heat in 04-05. Obviously, we and all the statheads out there on the interwebs are aware of the fact that people have good shooting months and even years. Muday being the most recent example. But I don’t think anyone has really put together some really useful numbers or rules of thumb vis a vis when a change in shooting percentages stabilizes, when it’s believable, On fangraphs that’s something they talk about for baseball a lot, i.e. if someone’s walk rate or hard hit rate gaps up for like 300 at bats you can rely on it going forward. I wish there were something similar for basketball.

    Also, that was a great line Farfa.

  40. DRed

    Jaylen Brown trade value evaluation

    ’18-’19
    12-4-2 / 41-28-68% / 10.0 PER / 0.6 WS

    CEILING
    Second-team All-NBA

    lolololol

  41. english_knick

    How bad is payton’s Injury? Because I got the impression he was playing well for the pels and that they like him. Not sure they’ll view him as a thrown in…

  42. Brian Cronin

    You know what would make a good recap theme? Using Dolan’s recent interview and judging players in relation to that interview. Like, the best player of the game can be the part where he says he is willing to sell the team and the worst player can be the part where he says that the sexual harassment lawsuit was BS.

  43. Bruno Almeida

    @39

    Yeah, it’s also a cautionary tale in the sense that maybe Mitchell has an easier time adjusting to the NBA precisely because he was older as a rookie, and his ceiling is more limited by being an undersized 2 guard who’s a bad passer.

    I still think he provides some value because he’s been a good defender despite his size, but there’s also a limit on what he can do at that end against taller wings and he has Rubio and Gobert helping him.

    There’s only so much a guy who can only shoot do when he can’t hit threes at a good rate and he doesn’t get to the line.

  44. Hubert

    The thing is the perception around the league of the Hardaway Jr contract is a lot worse than it needs to be for a team to bite on that deal. The whole “haha they traded him away just to overpay him 2 years later” thing is a real thing, and he hasn’t done enough to prove people wrong. His production says he’d be really good off the bench, but I don’t think New Orleans, or anybody, is dumb enough to pay him his salary plus the trade kicker over the next 2 seasons. The thing about making mistakes in New York is they’re broadcast for the league to see. It’s why Jaylen Brown still has value JR Smith has interest while we can’t move Courtney Lee

    I’m not sure if any of this is true.

    And I proposed a trade for Hardaway in which the Pelicans were dumping a $12.5mm player who doesn’t play. That makes Hardaway, with the trade kicker, a net $7.5mm player to New Orleans for this year and next year before he exercises his option and becomes an $18mm expiring contract.

    Teams would pay $7.5mm for Tim Hardaway. And almost every team has a Solomon Hill on their books. I’m sorry, but there is no way Tim Hardaway averaging 21.2ppg is untradeable in the NBA with the current front office landscape.

    The problem, as I mentioned earlier and Farfa picked up, as well, is more likely going to come from the fact that our front office values Tim Hardaway too much, not that no other front office values him at all.

  45. Frank

    I think Zion is in the same “once every ten years” tier of talent as AD and Luka were (LeBron is in his own tier, ofc.) He’s got a good shot at multiple MVPs if he learns to shoot league average from 3 as the rest of his game is going to translate seamlessly to the NBA.

    Zion is great but I don’t know that talent evaluators think THAT much of him. Perhaps he’d be like Luka but Anthony Davis is truly in the Lebron/KD/Giannis/Kawhi category of player, a legit every year 1st -team NBA type guy. The dude is absurd on both ends of the court. Arguably there might not be a player you’d rather have on your team over the next 5 years than AD (given Lebron’s age).

    In terms of whether a KD+AD team would be a real contender especially with KP there too?

    Imagine a team trying to score inside of that combination of pterodactyls. You could play 5 out on offense with 3 7 footers on the court, all of whom can roll, dive, come off screens, post up, etc. It would be ridiculous.

  46. Frank

    of course it’ll never happen, but that’s what we knick fans do — entertain ridiculous fantasies. Next on my agenda is listing all the stuff I’ll buy when I win powerball.

  47. Hubert

    but that’s what we knick fans do — entertain ridiculous fantasies

    It’s the best part. And it’s probably why I react so strongly whenever I’m told my fantasies are impossible. If I can’t dream about unloading Tim Hardaway in a three-team deal in which Emmanuel Mudiay is the key sweetener, what’s the point of being a Knicks fan?

  48. nicos

    Mario makes me feel sad even when he enters the game with just 3 minutes to play. It’s painfully clear that he doesn’t care about basketball. Like, at all.

    I think he does care- he’s just coming to the realization that he’s not very good at it. He looks completely defeated after every miss.

  49. DRed

    Zion for AD has got me trying to think who I would absolutely trade the day after the draft for AD straight up. Lebron without any thought whatsoever, but after that I don’t know. Like Luka was a very highly touted prospect, and by all accounts is having an excellent rookie season, and he’s nowhere close to AD in terms of productivity. I’ve heard some Celtics fans in the media say they wouldn’t trade Tatum for AD and those people are out of their fucking minds. The only players younger than AD I’d consider not trading for him are Ben Simmons and Giannis.

  50. Brian Cronin

    Are you saying you would not trade Lebron for AD? So Lebron would be #1 on your own trade value list? Or would it be Giannis?

  51. Brian Cronin

    Ah, gotcha. Yeah, definitely not Lebron. Which is why it is insane (in-SANE) that the Knicks went out of their way to try to shit their way into the playoffs that season rather than rebuild and get a chance at drafting Lebron.

  52. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @51

    If KP is 100% and KD is guaranteed to come I do the trade. But it’s not at all guaranteed that he comes back his old self, and again, I don’t think KD and AD together nets you a chip. Especially against teams like Toronto and Milwaukee (assuming the former keeps Kawhi) who are 12 deep.

    That team would be fun as hell to watch with KD as point forward, KP/AD at the 4/5, with (insert MLE Journeyman PG who can pass) and Dot as the starting backcourt though.

  53. DRed

    I’m saying I would not trade 18 year old Lebron for Current Anthony Davis, but I’d probably trade any other rookie I could think of for Current AD. Lebron wasn’t particularly productive as a rookie, but from his second season on he was awesome, so the fact that he was cheaper would make me prefer him to AD. Age 20-23 Lebron was probably as productive as 26-29 AD will be.

    Zion seems like a generational sort of talent and the kind of player that’s going to be productive very early. If the Knicks got the #1 pick and the Pelicans said look we’ll trade you AD and he’s willing to resign with the Knicks for Zion & salary filler, would you do it?

  54. DRed

    Speaking of rookies, Ayton absolutely wrecked the Celtics last night. I wonder if he has any chance of catching Luka for ROY.

  55. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @63

    I wouldn’t do it unless we had another guarantee of a bona fide max guy coming (e.g. Durant) pending the AD trade, and if KP looked healthy. Those salaries would make it basically impossible to build a good bench, so you’d have to have three guys as opposed to two in order to stagger minutes and have insurance for any kind of injury.

    If we had no guarantee of a 2nd bona fide max guy coming, what would be the point of trading for AD? He’d just make us a 45 win team with no real chance at sniffing contention unless KP becomes Kareem.

  56. Grocer

    I’d probably do it. Davis is amazing.

    I went back and checked, and I was not hallucinating last night. Wiht 11:10 left in the 2nd, Frank screened Chandler under the basket freeing up Dotson for an open look at three (off of a pass by Lee). I haven’t watched every single minute of every single game but I’ve seen most and this is the first off-ball screen I’ve seen this year. It wasn’t an accident either, Frank side-stepped in front of Chandler.

  57. Frank

    If we had no guarantee of a 2nd bona fide max guy coming, what would be the point of trading for AD? He’d just make us a 45 win team with no real chance at sniffing contention unless KP becomes Kareem.

    I think FAs would definitely come to play in NY with KP and AD. Like definitely. If not KD then maybe Kawhi or Kyrie.

    Holy $%@ can you imagine teams trying to score against Kawhi/KP/AD?

  58. Frank

    Not only would FAs come, you could also easily imagine trading Knox + Frank + a pick to get that bonafide 3rd player.

  59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Rui Hachimura is such an interesting player. He looks like a basketball robot. The way he squares his shoulders and elevates on jump shots reminds me of Kawhi or Jordan. No idea if he’ll be better than a Jabari Parker or Harrison Barnes (or some other 6’8″ wing with an interesting offensive skillset), but he’s definitely worth looking at. I also think Brandon Clarke is the next Otto Porter. Would love to buy an early 2nd rounder and get him on a 3-year deal.

  60. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Holy $%@ can you imagine teams trying to score against Kawhi/KP/AD?

    Probably similar to trying to score on Iguodala, Draymond and Durant.

  61. Grocer

    Holy $%@ can you imagine teams trying to score against Kawhi/KP/AD?

    Thanks Frank. There I was happily tooling along hoping for a moderately positive outcome and now that shit is in my head and everything else will forever suck in comparison. Good job ruining basketball.

    Rui Hachimura is such an interesting player.

    The one thing that stood out to me was that his arc seemed really flat, in a way that wouldn’t fly in the NBA. I am intrigued though.

  62. ess-dog

    So we are looking into Jabari? I can’t imagine the Bulls would take on a longer contract for him. I guess I’d do it for a Mario package.

  63. d-mar

    So we are looking into Jabari? I can’t imagine the Bulls would take on a longer contract for him. I guess I’d do it for a Mario package.

    We do really need to grab Parker. That would give us 8 former lottery picks, we’d be unstoppable!

  64. Brian Cronin

    Parker would be an amazing pick-up because of his team option next season, but it sure sounds like the Bulls actually want something real for him and not just the Knicks dumping their problems on them to get Parker’s team option. So I don’t see a real trade out there that doesn’t involve the Knicks giving draft picks and, well, fuuuuuck that. Is there any chance that the Bulls would like to take a flier on Kanter to see if they want to re-sign him?

  65. Farfa Post author

    Ooooh…what if the Bulls think Mudiay is good? Mudiay and Lee for Parker would work.

    And now you jinxed it out of existence if there ever was any chance :(

  66. G

    Trading Wally for Clyde would be the worst deal I’ve heard proposed on this board in a long time. Say it ain’t so.

  67. Owen

    Owen you see the clip of Lebron giving one of his younger kids a post game pep talk?

    Lebron can coach my son’s team anytime he likes…

  68. Hubert

    I’m really enjoying fantasy day at knickerblogger.

    Holy $%@ can you imagine teams trying to score against Kawhi/KP/AD?

    Let’s keep Frank in this scenario, please. I wouldn’t want my PG to take shots from Kawhi and AD anyway.

  69. nicos

    Parker for Hardaway or Lee + Mudiay yes please. I think Lee + Frank is probably the only deal that might actually get done (I don’t think the Knicks want to trade either Hardaway or Mudiay) and I’d just as soon pass- Parker would cut into the 30 minutes a night Knox has been getting lately and while I’m probably as low on Frank as anyone not named Z-man or ProjectKnicks I still want to see him 20 minutes a night for the rest of the year (and maybe next) before giving up on him.

  70. Jack Bauer

    “A lineup of Mudiay-THJ-Mario-Jabari-Kanter would make me feel sick”

    That lineup would make me feel like we’re getting Zion Williamson

  71. thenamestsam

    Yeah Jabari fits the “former high lottery reclamation project” trend that we’ve seen clearly take shape with the current FO and the “still overvaluing scoring” trend that unfortunately also still seems to be in play. So I can see the fit and obviously if they’d take any future money in exchange for his player option we’d be in dreamland. But I have to agree that the Bulls are obviously going to expect some assets in exchange for effectively renting their future space – I don’t see any reason they’d be truly desperate to dump Jabari unless it’s just a favor to his agent type of situation.

  72. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    Yeah, it’s also a cautionary tale in the sense that maybe Mitchell has an easier time adjusting to the NBA precisely because he was older as a rookie, and his ceiling is more limited by being an undersized 2 guard who’s a bad passer.

    I agree with this.

    I thought Mitchell was terrific last year and I think he’ll turn it around this year, but he was 21 years old last year. Part of the reason he was selected 13th was that his upside was seen as a little lower than some of the younger players selected before him. That he hasn’t made a huge leap was the EXPECTATION built into where he was selected in the draft.

    I feel the same way about Trier.

    I love that we picked him up undrafted. He looks like he could become a pretty good player. But part of his success as a rookie this year is related to the fact that he’s 23 and physically ahead of the other rookies.

  73. Bruno Almeida

    I would be totally fine with Jabari for Hardaway, I would be ecstatic actually. Jabari guarantees at least 2 or 3 more losses as he’s truly terrible, and there’s no way even the Knicks would pick up his 20 million option. The problem is that the guys we want to dump are exactly at the same position Chicago already has a bad overpaid dude in LaVine, who’s younger, and Justin Holiday, who’s Courtney Lee but 5 years younger, so it makes zero sense for the Bulls.

  74. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Dick Vitale desperately needs to shut the fuck up and retire. Jesus fucking Christ.

  75. thenoblefacehumper

    Mills is scouting Zion just as much as we are apparently.

    Jarrett Culver looks like an interesting consolation prize to me.

  76. Bruno Almeida

    @87

    They can even shift LaVine to Point Guard and have them both on the floor! I think Robin Lopez might actually kill someone if he has to play with those two together every game.

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Duke had ~90 scoring opportunities (including ORB possessions) and Barrett used 29 of them to score 16 points. Woof.

  78. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Barrett is a chucker. I really don’t want any part of him or Reddish (whose shooting numbers are really just confounding at this point). Zion or Ja please (Bol would be a fine #3.)

  79. JK47

    RJ Barrett looked like utter dog shit in this game against a Texas Tech team that plays honest straight-up defense. His game really is a lot like Andrew Wiggins’ game. Lots of out of control drives punctuated with contested pull-ups that clang off the rim.

    His game is hideous.

  80. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, the Wiggins comparison is spot on, down to the “seems to not really care much about the game of basketball”.

    It will be interesting to see if teams get cautious with him, the Wiggins draft was so weak at the lottery, outside of Embiid who was such an injury risk, that it kinda made sense to gamble on Wiggins’ shoddy numbers. But this time there’s Zion and a handful of other potential stars around, so he might end up falling quite a bit. I still think teams will be enamored by “how skilled he is as a scorer” and the ppg and all of that, but it will be interesting to follow.

  81. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Rough game for RJ Barrett indeed, but that kid is the truth. You can’t look at the rough nights and forget the nights where he looks like the clear cut best player in the country. Compare him to Andrew Wiggins until you’re blue in the face, but it won’t change the fact that he’s averaging 32, 9, and 5 per 40. Wiggins averaged 20, 7, and 1 per 40 in college.

  82. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Lol Steve Nash’s godson and the son of the Vice President of Canada Basketball doesn’t care about the game. RJ Barrett is an Ontario native and he chose to go to Montverde Academy, a prep school in Central Florida, because he wanted to play a tougher national schedule. He then went on as a senior to obliterate the country en route to an undefeated season and Dick’s National Championship honors. And he beat Bol Bol in the semi finals to do it.

    Last year guys on this same site compared Marvin Bagley (the same Marvin Bagley who led the ACC in scoring, rebounding, and FG% for the first time since Tim Duncan did it) to Michael Beasley, and my reply was if Michael Beasley came from a stable home and didn’t have a drug addiction he would have been a hell of a player. Bagley looks like a pretty good prospect right now. If Barrett Jr is Wiggins with his head on straight, you draft him and don’t think about it.

    Comparing Barrett to Zion is going to make you hate him the same way comparing Bagley (and Ayton to an extent for some of you) to Doncic made you guys hate him last year. The kid can play, and not just in 3v3s.

  83. nicos

    6 months ago he was clearly the best under 18 player while playing a lot against the other top guys- I think he’s pressing a bit because all eyes are on Zion and he’s never had to play second fiddle. He’ll still go anywhere from 2-5 whether he deserves to or not. He’s a better prospect than Wiggins and my guess is he’ll be a good pro though nowhere near the LBJ jr. people we’re making him out to be before the draft.

  84. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Tatum at Duke:

    .507 eFG
    .566 TS

    Kawhi at SDSU:

    .471 eFG
    .512 TS

    Paul George at Fresno State:
    .506 eFG
    .572 TS

    Klay Thompson at Washington State:

    .525 eFG
    .574 TS

    Khris Middleton at Texas A&M:
    .455 eFG%
    .486 TS%

    Even Durant had an eFG/TS% split of .536 and .587. Those are significantly better numbers than what Barrett is putting up, but those numbers are from the greatest scorer to lace them up. But yeah, you’re spot on with the Wiggins comparison. Both players are from Canada and that’s all that matters.

  85. JK47

    Are you like offended or something that I’m picking on Canada? I could care less that either of those guys are from Canada. They’re both overrated chuckers who came into the NCAA season touted as the top incoming freshmen. Wiggins didn’t live up to his hype and so far neither has Barrett. Barrett at least gets some rebounds, so he has that going for him.

    That’s RJ Barrett so far, he’s a better rebounding version of Andrew Wiggins. Woo hoo.

  86. nicos

    Going into tonight’s game Barrett had a WS of .303 though that’s sure to drop. Wiggins wound up at .170. Barrett’s assist rate is more than double Wiggins’ and his TOV% is lower. We’re only a third of the way into the season- I’m not ready to call Barrett Wiggins 2.0 just yet. I would like to see more in the way of blocks/steals and a better free throw % though. I’d say I’m a little wary but still for now I wouldn’t cringe if the Knicks took him at 4 or 5.
    I’m also very curious to see if Bol Bol can maintain this level of production through an entire season- I worry he’ll be KP 2.0 (a lot better than Wiggins 2.0 but I’d rather have someone who’s still balling in January).

  87. Bruno Almeida

    @106

    Those rough nights against the crazy crowds at Belgrade make NBA games seem easy, I guess.

    I’m sorry if I offended you with the Wiggins comparison, but that’s what it seems to me. “Having all the talent in the world” only goes so far if your talents don’t translate to competitive games in an efficient way. He might be a fantastic player in the end, but for now I’d rather not take the chance.

  88. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Free throw percentage almost always goes up in the NBA.

    @104 my issue has nothing to do with his being Canadian. I’m just pretty sure the comparisons to Wiggins are overblown and using TS/eFG to strengthen that comparison is laughable. You can do that with literally any high profile wing that played college ball and it will tell you nothing. Barrett is going to be a fine pro even if he doesn’t turn out to be as good as Zion.

    And 9 boards/5 assists per 40 for an off guard is elite. If you wanna compare Barrett to anybody as a cautionary tale, it’s Evan Turner. Even then, an 18 year old Barrett is outperforming a 21 year old Turner, and Turner isn’t half the athlete RJ Barrett is. I’d love to have RJ Barrett on the Knicks. I don’t Barrett’s advanced efficiency numbers against him so much because he’s simply not going to shoot free throws in the mid 60s as a pro.

  89. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Doncic is incredible

    Barrett is a better prospect than Wiggins but I’m skeptical of his lead guard ability due to his sub 2.0 A/TO and his mediocre 3pt%(34%) and free throw percentage (66%). He’s number 5 on my big board. The rest of which looks like:

    1. Zion
    2. Morant
    3. Bol
    4. Culver
    5. RJ
    6. Clarke
    7. Little
    8. Hunter
    9. Reddish
    10. KP Jr.
    11. Hachimura
    12. Gafford
    13. Ponds
    14. Langford

    The worst player picked in the first round will be Quentin Grimes, holy shit is he bad.

  90. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    RJ Barrett’s FTA/40 matters more than his FT%. That is a stat that almost always improves as a player jumps from college to the NBA.

  91. nicos

    Anybody worried that in his two games against big name schools (last year against West Virginia in the NCAAs and against Alabama this year) Ja Morant has 7 assists and 13 turnovers? Still scored pretty efficiently ( .574, .584TS%) and put up 38(!) against Alabama but he did have 10(!) turnovers in that game as well. They play a very good Auburn team on Saturday but then won’t play anybody out of conference until the post-season if then.

  92. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    NCAA FTA generally has pretty low R^2 value iirc, while NCAA FT% has generally pretty high R^2 value. Of course Barrett could improve, but odds are his FT% maxes out in the low-mid 70s. That’s not terrific, especially coupled with the fact that he can’t really shoot all that well.

  93. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @113

    As far as Ja goes, I think the turnovers are something of a red herring. If you look at his stats from last year to this year, his TOV% has increased from 18.2 to 20.7, but this is more than counterbalanced by his gargantuan increase in usage and assist percentage (USG from 20.4 to 33.7 and AST from 33.1 to 59.4). Obviously he’ll have some growing pains against quality NCAA defenses, but the dude is the best drive and kick passer we’ve seen in a long time (Lonzo is probably the best passer overall in the past few years of the NCAA though) I think. An A/TO of 2:1 on 33% usage is pretty good all things considered.

  94. JK47

    Barrett’s stats are also inflated because Duke is in the non-conference portion of their schedule and RJ has racked up big stats against doormat teams. He whomped on Hartford and Stetson pretty good, but has been mediocre-to-bad against Duke’s quality opponents.

  95. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Morant is a fun player but he’s not a better point guard prospect than Young or any of the top point guards in 2017 (okay maybe he’s a better prospect than Frank was). Good leaper, great burst, good court vision, great handle, suspect defender and a suspect shooter. I wouldn’t draft him top 5 unless he destroyed a shooting workout because a guy his size needs to be an excellent shooter to survive.

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