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Monday, May 20, 2019

New York Knicks 96 – Phoenix Suns 107 – Game Recap

Midway through the fourth quarter of this game, I started feeling really sad. Was it because of the score? Nah. Losing to the Suns, in the grand scheme of things, is great. Watching the game less so, but whatever. I watched worse things (like, I don’t know, pineapple pizza). Was it because I had to set the alarm at 6:30 am to watch the game (March is by far the worst month in my job. I’ll probably pick up something like 320 hours of work at the end of this month)? Nah. I suffer from insomnia, it’s not that hard. Was it because I’m on a prolonged diet and have started developing some serious cravings at weird times? Yeah, a bit, but that’s a story for another day.

No, you see, I started feeling sad because I realized that what we’re hoping for about this particular iteration of the Knicks might not come into fruition and we only have 17 games more. They’ll be terrible, but they’ll feature (less than they should, damn you Fiz) Mitch Rob. They’ll feature augmented Iso Zo. They might even feature that lovable abomination of an NBA team employee, Frank Ntilikina. Come July, they might not be on the team anymore if we shoot for the moon (or our own feet). As soon as Mitch was called back to the bench with 5:30 left in the game, never to return the game, I felt like I should start to count the days. It’s a strange feeling. It’s the same you have when your highschool sweetheart tells you she/he’s going to leave town to go to a far away college. You love her/him. You will live every precious minutes you have together still unfazed in your love. But you count the minutes. The seconds. The sheer breaths. You know it’s not going to end well, and nothing lasts forever, even great November starting lineups (damn you Fiz).

So, even if the games are awful, and the coaching decisions are dumbfounding (I mean, why bother signing Jenkins and Ellenson just to trot out Lance Thomas as your backup PF and a strange lineup with DSJ, Mudiay and Trier all on the court together?), let’s keep on watching, guys. Let’s cherish the moments. We don’t know when the hope for our next superstar will be snuffed out like the last candle when everybody has left the New Year’s Eve party and you’re home alone, thinking back at when you were young and free. We know we have Mitch now, let’s make it count while we can.

Just a few quick notes about the game:

– DeAndre was back. He started. He posted a double double. He was useless.

– Mitch didn’t start and was blocked twice because he brings the ball too low. He also had 8 points, 8 boards, 4 blocks and 3 steals in 22 minutes. WHY IN THE HELL ARE WE NOT GIVING THIS GUY 30 MINUTES NO MATTER WHAT

– Mudiay had a terrible, terrible game. Apart from the numbers (2/1/1, 5 turnovers in 17 minutes) I can’t understand how ne never learned to pass the ball to a guy in the paint after a penetration or in the pick and roll. Mudiay is where sound basketball goes to die to get reborn as Fizdale magic. No more Mudiay! I beg of everything Knicks related, bring back Kadeem.

– DSJ numbers look much better than Mud’s, but he just padded his stats long after the game was effectively over. Very dull performance, nothing was working for any ballhandling Knick last night.

– Good numbers from Dot (15/9/5), but he disappeared from the game when he was needed too. His defense on Booker was badly unfocused.

– Good offensive game from Vonleh (15 points on 10 shots, caused Mikal Bridges foul troubles all night, was no match for Bender), but only 2 rebounds? WTF?

– Iso Zo got 12 points on 9 shots, still good efficiency but bad game for him too.

– 21 turnovers are really a lot. Especially compared to 17 assists, of which at least a quarter came in the last 4 minutes, when the game was completely over. Damn you Fiz.

– Pass on Knox. I won’t shoot at the Red Cross.

– Devin Booker had a monster offensive game (41 points on 23 shots), but I can’t bring myself to liking him. I think he’s no superstar and benefits from some strange media crush.

– There was a time, at the beginning of the third quarter, when Clyde seemed to have fallen asleep. Breen had to ask him three times the same question and, getting no answer, shouted WELL, CLYDE on air. Clyde got back on track quickly. I think this season is wearing on him a lot.

And that’s all. One of the most deflated game I’ve ever seen brings us closer to the Dolan’s Razor preferred ending: a surefire fifth pick. I’ll start saving money to buy a Cam Reddish shirt!

 

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132 comments on “New York Knicks 96 – Phoenix Suns 107 – Game Recap

  1. Brian Cronin

    I’m beginning to come around on the “Deandre Jordan will be back” side of things. I think they really will end up trading, say, Frank and Knox for cap space and then use that to re-sign Jordan. Otherwise, their devotion to Jordan doesn’t make any sense, right?

  2. Ntilakilla

    I think they really will end up trading, say, Frank and Knox for cap space and then use that to re-sign Jordan.

    What would they get for both? A half-eaten ham sandwich?

  3. Farfa Post author

    I think they really will end up trading, say, Frank and Knox for cap space and then use that to re-sign Jordan.

    Theoretically it wouldn’t even be such a bad scenario (far from optimal, but, Dolan’s Razor…), if we could pick up some more picks here and there. Frank’s value has to be at an all-time low, but someone might bite on Knox.

  4. Frontportch123

    I struggle with insomnia too. I’ve found that melatonin, L-theanine and meditation are helpful, along with limiting screen time and snacks before bed. I’m really trying to eliminate food intake for at least two or three hours before bed as I’ve read that this helps with sleep. However I haven’t quite solidified this habit. No doubt I’ll sleep better too when Kadeem returns. Mudiay, why!?!

  5. Brian Cronin

    What would they get for both? A half-eaten ham sandwich?

    I think just literally cap space. You know, like a protected future second rounder that won’t convey or something like that (as you have to technically trade something other than just cap space). But also, it is possible that Knox still has some sheen to him, so combining him with Frank might get them a real future second or something like that.

    Trading Knox and Frank into another team’s cap space would open up roughly $12 million to spend on Jordan, which sounds about right for him at this point in his career (maybe even a little high, in which case they might be able to spend $10 million on him, $2 million on someone else (to beat the vet minimum) and then the room on Vonleh).

  6. Early Bird

    Irving/Dotson/KD/Vonleh/DJ
    DSJr/Trier/Rookie/Mitch

    That’s a solid team even if the bench is a little weak.

  7. Farfa Post author

    That’s a solid team even if the bench is a little weak.

    Not sure about that. You’d still have Mitch (!), Zo and DSJ, someone like, I don’t know, Jarrett Culver or Vonleh (who would go to the bench if we drafted Zion, Morant or RJ), plus Kornet at the min plus a couple of vet mins. It’d an instant top-4 team in the East.

  8. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, top four in the first year and then you’d be able to add another MLE free agent in year two plus you have to figure that the top five draft pick will improve in year two, right? Or how about Mitch in year three?

  9. thenoblefacehumper

    Trading Knox and Frank into another team’s cap space would open up roughly $12 million to spend on Jordan, which sounds about right for him at this point in his career (maybe even a little high, in which case they might be able to spend $10 million on him, $2 million on someone else (to beat the vet minimum) and then the room on Vonleh).

    Doesn’t this all depend on what draft pick cap hold they have? With the #1 overall everything is a little tight and it’s possible we might need to trade one or both of Frank/Knox just to get the second max slot. Of course, this all depends on just how important “not a penny less” is to both Durant and Kyrie, and whatever we decide to do with Trier (Shams has suggested they could decline his option and then re-sign him with the room exception, which would actually give him a raise).

    If we assume getting the full max is important to both guys, the best case scenario looks something like this to me:
    1) Get the #1 overall pick and draft Zion
    2) Renounce every FA except Kornet
    3) Decline Trier’s option with the wink-wink agreement in place that he’ll get the room exception when we’re done with everything else
    4) Trade Knox and Frank for a second round pick that doesn’t convey until climate change has rendered the NBA obsolete
    5) Sign Durant and Irving to their respective maxes
    6) Sign DeAndre with the remaining cap space (if my calculations are right this is only around $6.6M, which is what makes this a bit of a stretch)
    7) Sign Trier with the room exception
    8) Sign Kornet to whatever with his EB Rights

    The team before minimum signings, 2nd rounders, etc. would be:
    Kyrie/DSJ
    Dotson/Trier
    Durant
    Zion
    Mitch/DAJ/Kornet

    Depth on the wing would be an issue…but I sure as hell wouldn’t care.

  10. kevin5318

    I struggle with insomnia too. I’ve found that melatonin, L-theanine and meditation are helpful, along with limiting screen time and snacks before bed.

    Putting blue light filters on all my devices helped my sleep habits tremendously. And yeah Melatonin is a life saver.

  11. Ntilakilla

    MitchRob is so supreme. He has played more minutes (910) as a twenty year old rookie than Embiid did (786) as a twenty-two year old rookie. Here is how they stack in terms of the advanced metrics.

    WS/48
    MitchRob: .213
    Embiid: .117

    PER
    MitchRob: 22.1
    Embiid: 24.1

    BPM
    MitchRob: 6.5
    Embiid: 3.1

  12. Brian Cronin

    Doesn’t this all depend on what draft pick cap hold they have?

    I’ll be perfectly honest, the odds are so low that I haven’t taken them picking #1 as a possibility. You’re right that the math changes a lot if they pick #1. However, I think it is also fair to say that if they do pick #1 that the odds improve dramatically that KD/Irving would agree to shave a little bit off of their maxes to play together with Zion, ya know? I agree that it is unrealistic to expect them to take anything less than the max otherwise.

  13. Farfa Post author

    This year’s lottery is such a crapshoot that I’m almost rooting for them to fall at #5 only to trade down and pick two rookies, one of them being Brandon Clarke.

  14. DRed

    If you’re an executive looking Knicks current roster and plan to have anyone not named Mitchell Robinson as the starting center for next year you should be fired immediately. So then I would move to ‘should the Knicks pay 12 million dollars for a back up center’ and the answer to that is obviously no.

  15. thenoblefacehumper

    I’ll be perfectly honest, the odds are so low that I haven’t taken them picking #1 as a possibility. You’re right that the math changes a lot if they pick #1.

    Oh, yeah, same. I just use that hold when trying to outline dream scenarios since it represents the “worst case scenario” (it’s so ridiculous to even say that) for the cap. I agree that if we win the lottery everything else will fall into place regardless of the cap minutia.

    Have we officially picked up Frank’s 2019-2020 option? Kinda seems like declining that might be a better idea than hoping we can salary dump him. I could see us getting mildly extorted out of a second in that deal.

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

    Honestly, I am not that thrilled at giving a contract to DeAndre Jordan. It’s not that I think he’s a horrible player; he does clearly have basketball skills. But two teams have traded him away in quick succession, and reading comments like Farfa’s “He started. He posted a double double. He was useless.” makes me worry he will just get stats without helping the team much.

  17. Brian Cronin

    If you’re an executive looking Knicks current roster and plan to have anyone not named Mitchell Robinson as the starting center for next year you should be fired immediately. So then I would move to ‘should the Knicks pay 12 million dollars for a back up center’ and the answer to that is obviously no.

    I agree with that. I mention the Jordan situation more in terms of it looks like it will be happening (why else would they be so committed to Jordan if they were not looking to keep him? There’s so much proverbial smoke about them wanting to keep him that I think there probably is a proverbial fire there) and so I was just figuring out how it could happen rather than whether it’s what I would do or not.

  18. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    I had the strangest feeling last night, thinking about these Knicks, thinking about the possible future. It took me a minute, and then I realized what it was: hope.

    They could still screw it up; they could trade for or sign more Mudiays. KD may not want to come here; they may trade the farm (including Mitch) for The Brow. We could feel the cut of Dolan’s Razor and pick 5th (or win a few games at the end of the year and pick 6th!).

    But…Perry hasn’t done anything like trade a first for Bargnani. He hasn’t signed a decrepit veteran for one too many years. He didn’t sign “win now” vets to augment a weak team. His contracts have contained team options, not player options. And the trade he made to clear cap space is still a good trade if no big player signs, if only because of the risk in paying the max to a perpetually injured/tired potential-but-not-yet star.

    We live in a world of possibility. Sure it could all turn to shit, but when was the last time that was true? 2010?

  19. Hubert

    I like Jordan and the idea of him and Mitch being our centers next year. But if we’re going the Kyrie/Durant route, I think Jordan’s just too expensive. $12mm on a guy to pair with Mitch is a lot when you can get someone like O’Quinn for $4mm and spend $8mm on a potential starter.

  20. Farfa Post author

    I think DeAndre has some trouble playing consistently with fire on a mediocre/bad team.

    I also fear DeAndre might be the 2019-friendly version of Enes Kanter.

  21. Brian Cronin

    Sure it could all turn to shit, but when was the last time that was true? 2010?

    Yep, the end of the 2009-10 season, with there still being a little bit of hope mid-way through the 2010-11 season. Things were never more hopeful in the Dolan era (not even now) as they were at the end of the 2009-10 season.

  22. thenoblefacehumper

    If you’re an executive looking Knicks current roster and plan to have anyone not named Mitchell Robinson as the starting center for next year you should be fired immediately. So then I would move to ‘should the Knicks pay 12 million dollars for a back up center’ and the answer to that is obviously no.

    I think we all agree with this but DeAndre might be a part of Durant’s plan. If it makes any difference at all with regards to your chances of signing Durant, you sign DeAndre. There are worse things to have than an overpaid but quality backup behind 21 year old Mitch.

  23. Farfa Post author

    But…Perry hasn’t done anything like trade a first for Bargnani. He hasn’t signed a decrepit veteran for one too many years. He didn’t sign “win now” vets to augment a weak team. His contracts have contained team options, not player options. And the trade he made to clear cap space is still a good trade if no big player signs, if only because of the risk in paying the max to a perpetually injured/tired potential-but-not-yet star.

    Even if it’s too soon to say, I’d say the only “major” blunder made by Perry is the Knox pick.

    Hez and Mud count as very minor blunders.

    Pretty much everything else has been at least average. I still can’t trust him, but his track record until now is good for a Knicks GM.

  24. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    I’m down with trading Knox if one of KD & Kawhi is a target likely to be a Knick. But I think we should give Ntilikina a season with a better PG to fix his jumper. I’m just too infatuated with his defensive ceiling to let him go. This team is going to need a swiss army knife type if we end up signing 2 star FA’s. And I’m also very down with re-signing DJ next season. I’d like to see what Knox develops into as a Knick, but you gotta move him if you have a great chance at KD or Kawhi and get something for him while youth, length, and athleticism is still on his side

  25. Brian Cronin

    The issue is that to get the room to sign Jordan, you’d have to pair either DSJ or Frank with Knox to clear the space and it sure doesn’t seem like Frank is a better bet to be an average rotation player at this point than DSJ, right? Even if Frank’s skill set, in theory, matches up better as a back-up to stars than DSJ’s does.

  26. Farfa Post author

    I’m firmly in the camp of “trade Knox in the summer” only because I think that will be the zenith of his trade value.

  27. Brian Cronin

    By the way, as I noted in a piece recently, this is precisely the reason I didn’t even really take DSJ’s future into consideration when the Knicks acquired him, because if the Knicks do get two max guys this summer, I just sort of assumed that Knox, Frank and DSJ would be moved for veterans as a matter of course. DSJ has played well enough, though, that I could see him changing their mind on dumping him for a vet like Knox and Frank.

  28. DRed

    I’d love to leave the NBA champion to come play for your garbage franchise. . .but only if DeAndre Jordan is also on the team

    it would be pretty funny if this is actually the sort of thing KD is thinking

  29. thenoblefacehumper

    The current front office pretty clearly understands some very basic things about the NBA; you don’t try to turn your garbage team into more of a compost team with free agents. You should fill out your garbage team with the most intriguing UDFAs and G-League players. You should get team options on contracts when possible.

    It’s damning with faint praise, but we haven’t had a front office that simply understood the way the NBA works since…I dunno, Grunwald possibly?

    The Knox pick really dampens my optimism about this group. It was a terrible pick at the time, and somehow looks even worse in hindsight. I truly have no clue what they were thinking unless it really was the 3-on-3 workout. If we had Bridges/SGA instead I’d say it was possible we have a top 5-10 front office, but if my aunt had balls etc etc etc.

  30. Brian Cronin

    I’d love to leave the NBA champion to come play for your garbage franchise. . .but only if DeAndre Jordan is also on the team

    Is the Jordan part of that really any weirder than the initial clause in the sentence? Nothing about KD coming here makes any logical sense.

    EDITED TO ADD: Your edit makes my point make less sense. ;)

  31. swiftandabundant

    Maybe we should stop thinking that a guy worth over a hundred million dollars, who has multiple NBA championships and is a Hall of Fame player is going to use logic with every decision in his life, especially at this point in his career.

    KD has achieved everything he is supposed to achieve in his career. Now he’s possibly looking for something else. Once you actually realize this is the case, him coming to the Knicks doesn’t seem that out of the question. And its a similar, though not the same, situation with Irving, who never wanted to go to Boston in the first place.

  32. JK47

    All the KD/Kyrie/Zion talk is fun, but I wonder what the contingency plan is if the team whiffs on all of that. I hope these guys understand that you can do other things with cap space besides sign whoever the top available PPG guy happens to be.

    If they end up with a Jarrett Culver type guy in the draft and whiff on the true max players, they need to keep the tank rolling for at least another year and use that cap space to pick up draft picks and/or promising players on rookie contracts. You start getting into real trouble when salary cap space is burning a hole in your pocket. No blunders! No contracts that are instantly albatrosses the moment they’re signed. Just avoid massive catastrophic mistakes and stay patient. Grow the young core organically.

  33. Brian Cronin

    All the KD/Kyrie/Zion talk is fun, but I wonder what the contingency plan is if the team whiffs on all of that. I hope these guys understand that you can do other things with cap space besides sign whoever the top available PPG guy happens to be.

    If they end up with a Jarrett Culver type guy in the draft and whiff on the true max players, they need to keep the tank rolling for at least another year and use that cap space to pick up draft picks and/or promising players on rookie contracts. You start getting into real trouble when salary cap space is burning a hole in your pocket. No blunders! No contracts that are instantly albatrosses the moment they’re signed. Just avoid massive catastrophic mistakes and stay patient. Grow the young core organically.

    Oh, absolutely, that should be the plan. I doubt it is, but it should be the plan.

    But hey, Kemba Walker and Boogie Cousins would at least probably bring this team to 39 wins or so, right?

    (I initially had Vucevic as the second joke max guy, but even as a joke I couldn’t bring myself to think that the Knicks would actually max out Vucevic with Mitch on the team).

  34. Hubert

    It’s funny how the general perception has flipped since the trade. We’ve gone from assuming Kemba and Boogie is our most likely scenario to trying to figure out the best combination of players to put with Durant and Kyrie. Maybe we’re just bored, but I think Perry deserves a bit of credit for going after Dolan’s razor.

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

    I’m still not thrilled with keeping DAJ, but if we don’t sign two expensive players, and then signed him to a one year deal, that would essentially be rolling over cap space. That would be OK.

  36. Bruno Almeida

    Well, the Kemba + Cousins scenario also doesn’t merit much discussion because the simple answer to what would happen in that case is a disaster.

    At least if we discuss signing KD and Kyrie we have fun stuff to speculate about.

  37. thenoblefacehumper

    All the KD/Kyrie/Zion talk is fun, but I wonder what the contingency plan is if the team whiffs on all of that. I hope these guys understand that you can do other things with cap space besides sign whoever the top available PPG guy happens to be.

    This will/would be the biggest test of the group’s mettle.

    One of the reasons I liked the Porzingis trade is because not only did it put us in a better position to sign elite free agents, it also put us in a better position if we whiff on those free agents.

    With Porzingis signed to a max, we wouldn’t have been able to go into asset accumulation mode in any meaningful sense. If we whiffed on Durant, we’d hastily be trying to surround Mr. November with enough talent to get us to the level of the Charlotte Hornets.

    Without Porzingis, the path forward if we whiff is actually very simple and even somewhat desirable. Just…don’t do anything stupid and you’ll be fine! We have the surplus picks from Dallas (boy, they better hope Porzingis comes back like gangbusters and they can get some free agents because even with Luka being incredible they are baaaaad), we can get more surplus assets using cap space, and DSJ/Trier/Mitch/2019 pick isn’t an awful start.

    Of course, the more likely scenario is we totally panic and run back the MSG I’m Coming Home commercial but this time for Kemba Walker.

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

    If the Knicks move on from Frank and Knox to build a team of over 30+ year old veterans to play with Durant, himself very likely to begin a slow decline a year or two from now, I won’t be able to stop laughing (and then crying) for at least a week.

    As far as I’m concerned, getting a ham sandwich for Knox would be stealing based on his current play.

    It’s not so much that I’ve given up on him. I haven’t, at least not totally. He’s way too young to know what he can become 6-7 years from now. It’s that I’ve been saying all along that the team we were building was 6-7 years away from being really good (even when we still had our most advanced player in KP).

    When you are drafting teenagers, they aren’t going to peak for 6-7 years. So if you draft a series of them and assume a few disappointments along the way, by the time the latest of them is starting to at least be productive it’s going to be 6-7 years.

    If you are willing to bite the bullet for a 6-8 year rebuild via draft, then at least hold your nose long enough to find out who can actually play in 3-4 years until they are 22-23. You should also just let the bad contracts expire on their own instead of stretching them and don’t use good assets to get rid of them to free up cap space.

    You aren’t going to be good for years anyway. So why give anything away? Get back as many assets as possible!

    For example, I’d love to know the most attractive offer we got for KP that did not involve Lee or Hardaway and how it would have helped long term for rebuild via youth.

    If you are going to rebuild via draft, trade, free agency and even sprinkle in 30 year olds, then just do that and stop pretending you think the draft is the “way, light, and truth”, that you have the stomach for it, and that everyone has to be under 25.

    I’m more flexible about rebuilding than anyone here, but if our core is Durant, Jordan, and some other 30ish free agent veterans, it will be too much for me.

  39. Brian Cronin

    It’s funny how the general perception has flipped since the trade. We’ve gone from assuming Kemba and Boogie is our most likely scenario to trying to figure out the best combination of players to put with Durant and Kyrie. Maybe we’re just bored, but I think Perry deserves a bit of credit for going after Dolan’s razor.

    Before the trade, I didn’t even think they’d be able to get Kemba to agree to come here (less money to play for a slightly worse team than Charlotte? Where’s the appeal?). The reason the trade has been perceived so well around the league is that everyone thought it was a pretty clear indication that the Knicks had a strong sense that they were getting Durant to come here along with a second max free agent (most likely Kyrie).

  40. Ntilakilla

    KD is coming, this has been in the works for over year, and everyone in the actual know has been clued in as to his intentions the same way everyone in the know understood Lebron was angling a move to Los Angeles well before his contract with the Cavaliers expired. The logic for why KD is leaving Golden State is the same logic for why Lebron left a championship caliber squad in Cleveland to play for a woeful Lakers team – simply put, his interests evolved in the aftermath of a post-championship phase in his career.

    In order to understand the underlying motivation for this shift in interest one has to understand how KD found his greatest level of personal fulfillment during his one legendary 66 point game in Rucker Park back in August 1st 2011. That night evoked a level of euphoria he never forgot. After dominating KD claimed:

    “Young kids wanted to jump on me. Twenty adults. [laughs] I’m seeing the whole crowd run on the floor. That much love at one time was a lot. It was like a quick burst of…joy I haven’t felt on the basketball court before. It was amazing.”

    Here is the footage of his insane 4th quarter scoring barrage. Look at the hypnotic trance he’s in after the crowd empties onto the court. He’s in another world.

    And now is his chance to relive that moment on a nightly basis in the same city on a larger stage in Madison Square Garden with the opportunity to experience the greater euphoria of being the legend who brought championship basketball back to the Mecca of Basketball.

  41. Hubert

    KD is coming, this has been in the works for over year, and everyone in the actual know has been clued in as to his intentions the same way everyone in the know understood Lebron was angling a move to Los Angeles well before his contract with the Cavaliers expired

    No one’s pushed this more than me, but even I don’t think it’s done. That dude changes his mind about everything. There’s a nonzero chance that he could be set on coming to NY and then he bumps into Blake Griffin at Gurney’s on 4th of July weekend and next thing you know he’s a Piston.

    Golden State is still the favorite, even though he seems done with them now.

  42. Brian Cronin

    I just had a funny thought about the differences between front offices. Namely, “Shit, we better trade Harrison Barnes so that we can avoid him opting in for next season” versus “Shit, I hope Harrison Barnes opts in for next season now that we’ve traded for him.”

  43. thenoblefacehumper

    Post 38 is one of the most incoherent screeds I’ve ever seen on this website. Strat, since I can’t tell based on your post, what would your preferred method of building this team look like? Build a team suited to maximize Frank Ntilikina’s latent power?

  44. Bruno Almeida

    @43

    Just build a great team, man.

    But it can’t involve teenagers as they take too long to develop, it also can’t be around Kevin Durant cause he’s too old, and it also can’t depend on drafted players as the draft is a complete crapshoot. But since we already have teenagers on the team, the strategy should also be keeping them on the team until they’re good, but also incrementally get better by somehow signing better players and winning trades, but never giving up assets for it.

    I’ve given up halfway through.

  45. JK47

    @43

    You wouldn’t understand it. It involves winning trades, horse racing and market rate contracts for free agents. It’s complicated stuff.

  46. Ntilakilla

    @41

    I don’t agree with this at all. The entire leadup to his leaving Golden State has been deliberately planned as if a destination has already been chosen. It’s why Draymond was so upset with KD during their locker room spat over signs of an imminent departure. It’s how Enes Kanter, his ex-Thunder teammate, knew enough to practically gave away the secret in an interview this past late January when he was still in the Knicks organization. If KD was being noncommittal or flaky the signs would not be there. I think the die was already cast, it just wasn’t made public due to tampering regulations.

  47. TheOakmanCometh

    Unless DeAndre’s presence is a requirement for Durant to sign here, Perry should not give him anything close to $12m. DeAndre is a bottom-third starting center at this point, who is already declining rapidly. Centers of his ilk are a dime a dozen in free agency. The minor dropoff in talent from DeAndre to someone like McGee or RoLo or Ed Davis or Dedmon or KOQ or Pau is not worth the difference between $12m and a minimum contract, which some of those guys are going to end up signing for.

    Not to mention the fact that the best player on our roster is a 20-year old center who should be playing 25-30 mpg next season.

  48. Farfa Post author

    I have to say the average level of this blog has gone up quite a bit if the poster who gets the most derisive answers is Stratomatic.

  49. TheOakmanCometh

    I’m firmly in the camp of “trade Knox in the summer” only because I think that will be the zenith of his trade value.

    Absolutely. He needs a 98th-percentile outcome to become a star. He needs a 75th-percentile outcome to become an effective role player, and the type of role player he would be is exactly the type we would NOT need on a team with Durant and Kyrie.

    Ship him out now while he still has a little of the new car smell on him. I still think he could fetch a late first. Don’t let him become a Chriss or Bender or Monk, who became untradeable after their second year of ineptitude.

  50. Hubert

    don’t agree with this at all. The entire leadup to his leaving Golden State has been deliberately planned as if a destination has already been chosen. It’s why Draymond was so upset with KD during their locker room spat over signs of an imminent departure. It’s how Enes Kanter, his ex-Thunder teammate, knew enough to practically gave away the secret in an interview this past late January when he was still in the Knicks organization. If KD was being noncommittal or flaky the signs would not be there. I think the die was already cast, it just wasn’t made public due to tampering regulations.

    I hear everything you’re saying. I was saying it when everyone thought it was crazy.

    One caveat, though: I think even if Durant 100% wants to leave right now, he’s very liable to change his mind in July. And any one thing can do it. Something can bring the team together on their title run. The Knicks can screw up their pitch like they did with LeBron. Golden State could trade Green and let Klay go and rebuild around him and Steph. His accountant could convince him that it’s actually really hard to replace the extra $50mm that only Golden State can give him in year 5.

    I’m confident. I’m just not certain.

  51. TheOakmanCometh

    I have to say the average level of this blog has gone up quite a bit if the poster who gets the most derisive answers is Stratomatic.

    The team cheerleaders have all surrendered. Flat earthers find more supporting evidence than Knick optimists.

  52. bobneptune

    In order to understand the underlying motivation for this shift in interest one has to understand how KD found his greatest level of personal fulfillment during his one legendary 66 point game in Rucker Park back in August 1st 2011. That night evoked a level of euphoria he never forgot. After dominating KD claimed:

    “Young kids wanted to jump on me. Twenty adults. [laughs] I’m seeing the whole crowd run on the floor. That much love at one time was a lot. It was like a quick burst of…joy I haven’t felt on the basketball court before. It was amazing.”

    Here is the footage of his insane 4th quarter scoring barrage. Look at the hypnotic trance he’s in after the crowd empties onto the court. He’s in another world.

    I never saw this clip but the look on his face is reminiscent of the last scene from Speilberg’s classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the ET disembarks from his ship slowly walking the ramp and is embraced by 50 humans…..

  53. ClashFan

    @52

    Flat earthers find more supporting evidence than Knick optimists.

    Is it optimistic to believe that alleged Flat Earther Kyrie Irving might sign with the Knicks?
    :-)

  54. geo

    @43

    You wouldn’t understand it. It involves winning trades, horse racing and market rate contracts for free agents. It’s complicated stuff.

    I love this post…reminds me of being a kid and sitting around the dinner table with my mom and sister…

    we’d just go around the table taking turns picking on another…first my sister’s struggle with teenage acne, then my mom’s constant battle with putting on a few extra pounds, and, finally my way too frizzy and out of control hair…

    reminds me of our home…

    whatever you might have been sipping on last night strat had you fired up…it was out of nowhere and pretty funny…

  55. Frontportch123

    @51 Wow that article on Knox was no joke. I knew he was really bad, but apparently that’s an understatement. I found those graphs amusing, just from the perspective that Knox and Mitch stick out so conspicuously, just on opposite ends of the extremes.

  56. swiftandabundant

    I could care less if Kyrie is a flat-earther. I mean, its dumb but he’s a basketball player and its not like he’s a person who beats his wife or gets DUIs, like Jason Kidd, who no one seemed to really have a problem with being on our team.

    If Kyrie can ball and plays well for us and isn’t going crazy, he could believe in flat earth or thetons or in the crazy idea that Jesus is the son of God and I could care less.

  57. geo

    If Kyrie can ball and plays well for us and isn’t going crazy, he could believe in flat earth or thetons or in the crazy idea that Jesus is the son of God and I could care less.

    I think the main concern with kyrie, other than his health and game availability, is the fact that he wants to be “the” leader, assumes (because of skill and salary) that he is the/a team leader, but, doesn’t really have the skill or personality for leading…

    which can lead to bad locker room and court chemistry when he tries to impose his will on others…

  58. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, Knox has literally been everything we expected and somehow actually worse. Robinson is the rookie who didn’t play organized basketball last season, yet Knox is the one who seems to have no clue how to play basketball.

    I honestly hope they trade him for whatever is available, give him the MCW treatment. The Sixers got a future first rounder from him, it should theoretically be possible to fleece another team for a similar type of asset.

  59. Frontportch123

    And do any of us really know, like first hand knowledge that the Earth isn’t flat? The idea that the Earth is round is probably a conspiracy by the Cruise ship industry. If people knew the truth nobody would go on a cruise anymore. Cruises have to be perceived as “safe” and if they knew that their ship could fall over the edge of the Earth, the industry would tank. There’s a lot of jobs at stake. Also sales of globes would nose dive and that’s would effect plastic and metals. Bad for the economy..so there’s a lot of big vested interests involved. Open your eyes people!! /s

  60. Hubert

    Apropos to nothing:

    Dallas is one win away from 37% chance of keeping their pick. If they acquire Luka and Porzingis without sacrificing their pick this year, that’s a coup for the ages.

  61. Brian Cronin

    Dallas is one win away from 37% chance of keeping their pick. If they acquire Luka and Porzingis without sacrificing their pick this year, that’s a coup for the ages.

    They already have a 30% shot, right?

  62. Brian Cronin

    What has clicked for Detroit, by the way? Why are they playing so well? Is the Wayne Ellington effect that great?

  63. Ben R

    I don’t think we can read anything into Jordan’s minutes. Mudiay is still getting lots of playing time and there is almost a zero percent chance he is returning. Robinson is the only center we have signed next year, Vonleh, Kornet and Jordan are all expiring, so someone not signed has to play and I think for some reason Fizdale doesn’t want Mitch starting.

    My question is if we were willing to sign both Ellenson and Jenkins to options next year why not Allen? He showed more than both of them.

  64. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think we can read anything into Jordan’s minutes.

    Not so much the minutes and more the fact that he’s still here period. If they sign him to a 1-year/$10 million deal, they’ll have his full bird rights for next season. They wouldn’t have that ability if they waived him. That (and yes, starting him and playing him a lot of minutes) suggests they are considering bringing him back.

    My question is if we were willing to sign both Ellenson and Jenkins to options next year why not Allen? He showed more than both of them.

    Great question. No idea. Maybe Allen doesn’t want to? Perhaps he thinks he’s shown enough to get guaranteed money from someone for next season? Seems unlikely, but I dunno otherwise.

  65. Nick C.

    Isn’t Wayne Ellington a player the Knicks signed and cut several years ago for reasons that I no longer recall.

  66. Hubert

    As terrible as Knox has been, I still think he’ll have very good trade value this summer. Teams will love the points and his upside. He’s not as high as Bill Simmons had him ranked, but he’ll have value.

    I wonder if we could make a godfather offer for Hield. The Kings will have no reason to want to trade him so we’d have to give up a lot. Like, say we had the #2 pick, and we offered Barrett and Knox (possibly with a pick, if necessary). It’s a high price, but we’d have an elite 26 year old 2 guard on $4.6mm. Would be a lot easier to make a Kyrie Durant pairing work.

  67. Brian Cronin

    Isn’t Wayne Ellington a player the Knicks signed and cut several years ago for reasons that I no longer recall.

    No, they just flipped him along with Jeremy Tyler for Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw and then traded away a second-round pick to get rid of Outlaw so that they could keep Travis Wear on the roster and not have to pay out the…let me check this to make sure I’m right…ah, yes, remaining $3 million of Outlaw’s contract.

    Yes, all of those were actual things that really happened.

    That second round pick? Set to be the first pick of the second round this year. Thanks, Phil!

  68. Bruno Almeida

    Blake has been playing very well, but Detroit has had a pretty soft schedule since February. Not to take much away from them, they did beat Denver, Indiana and Toronto in this stretch, but they’ve won games against the Knicks twice, Cavs, Wolves, Wizards, Hawks and Heat, all teams they should be beating.

  69. Hubert

    Speaking of EC teams exceeding expectations, how long can Indiana hold on to the 3 seed? I thought they’d have sunk after Oladipo went down but they keep chugging along.

    I’m really pulling for the Philadelphia-Boston bloodbath in round 1. One will lose in round 1, the other will get brushed aside by Giannis in round 2, and both will end the season as massive disappointments.

  70. JK47

    The Pacers are paying Sabonis and Myles Turner a COMBINED $6M. That’s a pretty nice head start on a winning team.

  71. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, if you find Sabonis and Turner available for this price, let us know, we’ll be glad to discuss the prospects of bringing them to the Knicks.

    They also kinda have to re-sign their entire roster for next season outside of Oladipo, Turner (who was already extended) and Sabonis, so let’s see how that works out. Bogdanovic specially has been insane for them while Oladipo has been out, and he’s surely going to get paid, he’s already 29. The same goes for 30 year old Thaddeus Young. It looks kinda nice now, but if they simply re-sign everyone they have, they’re stuck with this team capped out for the foreseeable future with no chance of contention.

    If getting the 4th seed in the east and losing every year is what you’re looking for, by all means let’s follow the Pacers model.

  72. d-mar

    If getting the 4th seed in the east and losing every year is what you’re looking for, by all means let’s follow the Pacers model.

    The NBA is just so brutal. You can do everything right – drafting Myles Turner, trading Paul George for Oladiopo and Sabonis, , signing Bogdanovic, hiring a coach who is a strong candidate for coach of the year – and you’re still miles away from a title or even an Eastern Conference championship.

  73. Farfa Post author

    The NBA has always been a superstars’ league. Until you have at least one top-10 guy, there’s no reason at all handing midlevel contracts to win. This year the contenders have: 3 top-10 players (GSW), 1 trascendent top-5 player (MIL, TOR), 2 top-10 guys (HOU, PHI). Fringe contenders have 1 superstar (OKC, DEN, BOS) and that’s it.

    If KD and Kyrie don’t come here, we shouldn’t want to sign long-term midlevel contracts at all, while we wait for Mitch and/or next year’s rookie to become a top-10 talent.

  74. Brian Cronin

    The NBA has always been a superstars’ league. Until you have at least one top-10 guy, there’s no reason at all handing midlevel contracts to win. This year the contenders have: 3 top-10 players (GSW), 1 trascendent top-5 player (MIL, TOR), 2 top-10 guys (HOU, PHI). Fringe contenders have 1 superstar (OKC, DEN, BOS) and that’s it.

    If KD and Kyrie don’t come here, we shouldn’t want to sign long-term midlevel contracts at all, while we wait for Mitch and/or next year’s rookie to become a top-10 talent.

    Yep, that’s precisely where I’m at, as well (except for GS having three top-10 guys, that is. ;) )

    That said, I can understand why Indiana would feel like they “had” to essentially go to mid-level contracts when Oladipo and Turner began playing so well that it was clear that they could maintain a middle of the pack future for the next few years. Basically the Joe Johnson Hawks or the John Wall Wizards (until this year). Things break just right and you could find yourself in the Conference Finals (like the Wall Wizards did once and the Pacers took the eventual Eastern Conference champions about as far as you possibly could take them). That’s hard to pass up when it happens.

  75. Nick C.

    @ 75 but in general, do you think it is a superstars league mainly because it’s 5 on 5 so one player can have a far greater impact than in football or baseball there there are more players per team or because once there is a “superstar” there is the benefit of “superstar calls” which puts opponents into foul trouble and your team in the bonus? I would think it is 70/30.

  76. thenamestsam

    While I agree with the general premise I always think it’s important to throw in the caveat that this current Golden State dynasty is an all-time historically strong team. In “normal” years the bar to championship contention is frequently quite a bit lower than it has been over the last few years, and if Durant really does leave Golden State the bar could drop significantly again. They could lose Durant and Cousins and have basically just the mid-level to add players. I’m not sure who the favorite coming into next year would be in that instance. Probably whichever team wins the East this year?

  77. Bruno Almeida

    Yes, for a team like the Pacers there’s not much else they can do. They had George, they got great value for him when he asked out, and then with Oladipo performing well you have to try to build around him, specially with Turner and Sabonis already on the roster in cheap contracts.

    But I completely agree, basketball is simply a game of superstar players. There’s no way around it. You either develop your own or acquire them. Indiana is never going to be a destination for superstars, so the only way they can do it is by developing them somehow.

    And even when you do get one superstar, building a team around him is just so hard. That’s why I still think going for multiple stars is the way to go, if the guys you get are actual superstars. To build a team like the Pacers you can’t have blunders, they hit on pretty much all their important moves and are still probably as far away from a title as the Knicks are this season.

  78. Hubert

    If getting the 4th seed in the east and losing every year is what you’re looking for, by all means let’s follow the Pacers model

    1. We’re calling it the pacers model now?? What about the Bucks, the Raptors, and the Nuggets? 4 of the 5 best teams in the league are all doing it the same way: one superstar, one really good player, and a deep roster of nonmax players on value contracts. But you guys want to stick with the idea that this is “the worst way to build a team” and “Robert Covington is literally the only nonmax player on a value contract.”

    2. Isn’t 4 seed what we agreed the two max model would be?

  79. Hubert

    The NBA is definitely a superstar driven league. But it’s not a multi-superstar league. If you look at all the recent history in the playoffs, you’ll find that it’s more important to not have a weak link than it is to have a second superstar. The most famous example is Dallas over Miami, but it was evident last year in Philly/Bos, NO/Port, even the Warriors went from in control to almost out once Iggy went down and they had a weak link. When each team has at least one star, the team with the biggest weakness in the top 5 is a better predictor of who will win than which team has more superstars.

    Philly has two stars in Joel & Simmons, two studs in butler and Harris, and no one thinks they’re a top 2 team in the east bc that 5th spot in their lineup is gonna get blown the fuck up by the first good team they play.

  80. Brian Cronin

    2. Isn’t 4 seed what we agreed the two max model would be?

    To start, yes. That’s the big difference. The two max model would be starting where the Pacers are already peaking.

  81. Hubert

    was evident last year in Philly/Bos, NO/Port, even the Warriors

    Forgot OKC/Utah.

    The teams built the way I’m talking about are probably have a huge history of beating the teams built the way you’re talking about in recent playoff history. See every series that the Paul/Jordan/Blake/no one Clippers played, too.

  82. Brian Cronin

    Recent playoff history had the Heat and Cavs make eight straight NBA Finals with the stars and scrubs method and the Warriors winning the last two titles with two mega-stars teaming up. In fact, before the Heat, the Eastern Conference was also the Celtics, another stars and scrubs model. The Western Conference was different, although I’d say that the Kobe/Pau Lakers were also of the stars and scrubs model.

  83. swiftandabundant

    Peak Andrew Bynum and peak Lamar Odom were not scrubs.

    People are really trying to oversimplify this to justify their preferred model. Either approach can work. There is no “right” way to build a championship team.

    You build a good team that can sustain being good for at least a 3 year window and you leave yourself enough young players, draft picks and cap space to improve the team if they come up short. You develop the players on your team to improve their weaknesses and if they can’t, you replace them with an upgrade. If you are literally on the cusp (got to the conference finals and took it to 6 or 7 games or got to the finals) then you push the chips in and overpay or make a trade for that missing piece.

  84. Mike Honcho

    @83 JJ Redick is hardly ‘no one’. I also think it’s fair to say Kyrie/KD/Jordan/Mitch in the Eastern Conference would have a likely better outcome than the Paul/Blake/DJ Clippers had in the West.

  85. Brian Cronin

    Peak Andrew Bynum and peak Lamar Odom were not scrubs.

    “Stars and scrubs” is an informal reference to devoting the majority of your resources to stars and then filling in with whatever you can. Kobe and Pau pretty much doubled the VORP of the rest of the Lakers’ starters in their first title and they literally doubled the VORP of the rest of the starters in the second title. It was a top-heavy model, just like a theoretical Durant/Irving team would be. It does not mean that Alonzo Trier is a “scrub.”

    When players “dish” during a game, they are also not literally throwing plates at each other, in case the terminology was throwing you off.

    If you can get two Hall of Famers in their prime, you go that route. You do not choose to replace one of them with mid-level free agents.

  86. swiftandabundant

    Then why call it stars and scrubs?

    Lamar Odom was a great player. Bynum was really good as well. Artest had been an all star in houston before coming to the lakers and taking a smaller role to help win. If anything, Kobe was overrated as a star at that point. Did you watch game 7 of the finals against Boston? He was horrific. Artest won that game for them, not Kobe.

  87. Hubert

    Recent playoff history had the Heat and Cavs make eight straight NBA Finals with the stars and scrubs

    Dude, come on. The Heat “scrubs” were Ray Allen, Mike Miller, Shane Battier, and Mario Chalmers. Those guys all had good BPM and VORP every year.

    Besides, I did not say you can’t win that way. What I said was that in the specific cases where a top heavy team with a glaring hole in their top 5 plays a team with one superstar but has no glaring holes, the teams built the second way win every time. The fact that the cavs made 4 finals doesn’t refute that at all. Tristan Thompson wasn’t a scrub. JR Smith is a fucking nutcase but he wasn’t a scrub.

  88. JK47

    If you already have superstar players in place, and a few other surplus value pieces (like productive players on rookie contracts) then it makes sense to bring in some vets on market value contracts. You patch holes you may have had, you avoid “black hole” situations. If you’ve played your cards right and have no Joakim Noahs on your roster pointlessly devouring salary cap space, this works.

    If you’re looking to get MOST of your surplus value from this type of player, you’re going to get your ass kicked. A bunch of market value players is a recipe for a .500 team. It is very hard to get plus value from this type of player. Most often you are buying their decline phase.

  89. Hubert

    I’ll tell you what, you guys tell me the team that made the NBA finals, or even the conference finals, with players approaching the statistical output of Allonzo Trier or Dennis Smith in their top 5. You put guys that bad in your starting lineup, you’re not going far, I don’t care how many superstars you have.

  90. Brian Cronin

    The Warriors started Kevon Looney just last year. The 2018 version of JR Smith started for the Cavs and less than a year later he was being paid to not play.

    2018 Jeff Green played 36 minutes in Game 1 of the NBA Finals!

  91. Owen

    The ringer had a piece on the Pistons. Andre Drummond decided to get back in his lane and stick to rebounding and dunking and has been en fuego.

    If we ended up being the Pacers I’d be ok with that. It’s not my preferred outcome but you can’t blame them for doing what they have done.

    I also think some interesting and welcome parity may emerge next year if KD leaves GS.

  92. Bruno Almeida

    I called Indiana because Indiana doesn’t have a superstar, Oladipo is good but he isn’t at that level.

    We’ve argued this endlessly already, find me a GM who can build the depth the Bucks and Raptors have built and I’m fine with it.

    The Heat are precisely the type of guys the Knicks could go after, veterans at the end of their careers or a young player they drafted in Chalmers. All those four together combined for about 16 million in salary, and the veteran minimum for next season is projected to be around 2.4 million. These are not the contracts you’re advocating the Knicks should work on, these are the veterans you get for the exceptions and minimum deals after you have a team in place.

  93. Frontportch123

    Mitch’s block on Josh Jackson last night was impressive. When you watch it in slow motion you can see that Jackson was pretty much eye level with the rim. It looks like the top of JJ’s head was almost 2 feet higher than the top of Mitch’s head and yet somehow, using his tremendous reach and great timing Mitch blocked JJ, foiling the poster attempt. He made it look easy and effortless. Mitch seems to do something amazing just about every night. https://youtu.be/Z0gbTD062Pw?t=62

  94. Frontportch123

    One thing that I’ve never heard mentioned about Ja Morant is his age. He’s young for a sophomore, just a few weeks older than freshman Cam Reddish, almost 2 years younger than sophomore DeAndre Hunter and almost a year younger than Trae Young. Arguably Ja Morant’s sophomore year is comparable to Trae Young’s freshman year, if somebody wanted to compare players of comparable age.

  95. thenoblefacehumper

    We’re calling it the pacers model now?? What about the Bucks, the Raptors, and the Nuggets? 4 of the 5 best teams in the league are all doing it the same way: one superstar, one really good player, and a deep roster of nonmax players on value contracts. But you guys want to stick with the idea that this is “the worst way to build a team” and “Robert Covington is literally the only nonmax player on a value contract.”

    The Bucks, Raptors, and Nuggets are fueled almost entirely by max players and players they drafted (or in Giannis and Jokic’s case, both). How exactly is this supposed to be instructive for the Knicks?

  96. djphan

    morant isn’t exactly young for his class… he’s about average since he’s born in aug… he’s young in the sense that players tend to get held back early by their parents to get ‘redshirted’ so they can standout more athletically…. and it’s been happening more and more since about 2000… this is what happened to reddish and actually young also.. but barrett and zion are ‘true’ freshmen and so is most of the rest of the class….

    you shouldn’t anchor what morant is doing to young’s freshmen year… young’s freshmen year was actually more of a sophomore year for him… morant is actually a true soph…

  97. Frontportch123

    djphan, I think Morant turned 18 shortly before his Freshman year in College. I think just a few weeks before the Semester began. Statistically this is very much on the young side for a freshman…I recognize your point regarding athletes being held back and you are certainly correct…Having said that, yeah I guess you are right Morant is a true soph, while young’s freshman year was more of a soph year.

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

    If the story that Frank is on his way out and the Knicks are exploring ways to keep Mudiay in free agency are true there are only 2 possibilities.

    1. Our management has the basketball IQ of a special needs child.
    2. Our management did so many drugs in college they are brain damaged.

    There are loads of reasons to be very disappointed in Frank’s season, but he’s still on a path to potentially become an elite defender that can switch 3 and eventually 4 positions and make plays. He won’t have to add much in the way of offense over the next 3-4 years to be a plus complimentary player.

    Mudiay does nothing well enough for him to be considered a plus at it, is older, and is way more exprienced.

    These pinheads have been making a career giving clear cut two way lottery washouts a 2nd chance. They just drafted a player that is literally a multiple of bad as any of those guyss, but they aren’t going to be patient with a kid that was one of the best pick and roll defenders in the NBA as a rookie?

    I take it back. It’s not either or.

    To stick with Mudiay over Frank at this stage you have to have a specials needs IQ burnt out on drugs.

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

    The teams that are competitive without so called “superstars” do it on the DEFENSIVE side. Their players are actually VERY good. They just aren’t boxscore very good. They do things of value that are tangible, but that value is off box score. The Pacers for example are 1st in defense.

    We have been accumulating players that are the exact opposite of that. We’ve been accumulating players that are BAD on defense and aren’t actually even productive on offense despite athleticism and skills because they can’t score efficiently and don’t make their teammates better with ball movement, player movement, making the correct pass, and generally good team play. They are low IQ bad defenders.

  100. Owen

    The teams that are competitive without so called “superstars” do it on the DEFENSIVE side.

    M

    That’s a good point.

  101. JK47

    To stick with Mudiay over Frank at this stage you have to have a specials needs IQ burnt out on drugs.

    I’m kind of half with you on this one. Mudiay is really terrible. There’s no path to him being less terrible. He added 60 points to his eFG% and he’s still terrible. He shouldn’t be part of any long-term plan, he’s a back of roster scrub. It doesn’t say great things about the FO if they’re scheming ways to try to keep that bum.

    There are loads of reasons to be very disappointed in Frank’s season, but he’s still on a path to potentially become an elite defender that can switch 3 and eventually 4 positions and make plays. He won’t have to add much in the way of offense over the next 3-4 years to be a plus complimentary player.

    You kind of lose me here. Frank is a zero on the offensive end, he is truly pitiful. He does nothing well on that end of the floor. It is going to take a miracle for Frank to make it as a passable NBA player because his offense is so wretched. One-way defensive specialists have pretty much gone the way of the dodo bird in this league. Well-rounded players who can do everything are what teams are looking for. Frank ain’t that. He’s a one-way player, and it’s the wrong way. You can survive as an offense-only player in this league, but there are really no such things as defense-only players anymore.

  102. Bruno Almeida

    Wow, so the Lakers are actually shutting down Lebron… won’t play in back to backs anymore and will have a minutes restriction. I never thought that it would actually happen. We all know the Lakers are a bad team but I never expected to see this actually happening with Lebron of all people.

  103. Farfa Post author

    And it’s even more strange when you think that nowadays record chasing is the main reason of Bronning… which is why I’m not sure he’s fully on board with the decision.

  104. Bruno Almeida

    Well, Lebron is 1300 points away from passing Kobe, so that’s not going to happen this season, but will surely happen next season. He’s about 6000 behind Kareem, which probably means he would have to keep his averages for the next 3 seasons, until the end of his Lakers contract, to make it, which seems very possible but not necessarily an easy feat. I think he’s just confident he’ll be able to do it anyway and he understands at the current scenario the best thing for the Lakers would be to get a good draft pick, there’s a good chance they drop under the Pelicans, Hornets, Heat and Magic, which would give them the 9th worst record in the league. That pick would also become a lot more valuable in a Anthony Davis trade if it ends up being decently high.

  105. alsep73

    Berman, aka Steve Mills’ mouthpiece, suggests Frank will be on the trading block on draft night:

    According to a source, Knicks brass will explore their options on draft night with Ntilikina. Obviously, Ntilikina is available in any Anthony Davis package, but if the Knicks can acquire an extra first-round pick for him, they would consider it.

  106. Frank

    I’ve always been a Ntilikina optimist but we do have to look at this realistically. Of the guards who theoretically could be on this team next year, would Frank actually get minutes unless he takes a gigantic step forward on offense? I mean look at this list:

    DSJ
    Kyrie Irving
    Dotson
    Trier
    Kadeem Allen
    … then Frank?

    I mean seriously, Kadeem Allen is MUCH better than Frank right now. He doesn’t have as much defensive versatility but he’s a good on-ball defender, is quite active on that end, and is like 100x better on offense right now. It boggles the mind that he’s in westchester right now while Mudiay gets to play with the big club despite almost certainly not being on the team next year unless he wants a minimum contract.

    I guess if there’s a big trade for Anthony Davis then that depth chart might look different, but Frank’s salary would probably need to be part of that trade.

    I wonder whether the point of the article isn’t that Frank’s on the block, but to broadcast that the asking price is still a 1st round pick.

    Weirdest part of the article is Frank standing 15 yards from one of the greatest PGs in NBA history and not being part of that conversation. That’s no one’s fault but Frank’s IMHO. It seems pretty unlikely that anyone prevented him from going.

  107. Frank

    Re: Mitch – really interesting article by Rob Mahoney yesterday. The takeaway for me:

    What makes the modern game so untenable for centers is the way a perimeter-dominated style mitigates what they do best. Pull a lumbering big out of the paint and not only might he drown in open space, but he’ll be less likely to grab a rebound and won’t work as a deterrent for a secondary attack. Robinson posits a counter theory: What if a seven-footer didn’t just hold his own at the three-point line, but actually added defensive value? What if the same player who protects the rim could also protect from the quick pull-up three?

    Not sure why he chose Troy Daniels as the example of him blocking a step-back 3. What about his block on Luka, or his block on Harden?

  108. Frank

    Sorry one more post. We’ve all seen that block he had on Deandre Ayton in the post — that is a perfect example of how incredible his progress has been this year. I mean, remember him getting absolutely worked down low by Thomas Bryant of all people in the preseason?

  109. Ntilakilla

    The most disturbing part of that Berman piece is the insinuation that we’re trading for Anthony Davis. Not only does that mean we’re trading Frank but it also implies he will be included in some package which will most surely include MitchRob and/or a pick for the Pelicans big man. Not thrilled about this at all. I hope Mills and especially Perry recognize what they have their 20 year rook and don’t give up him along with all of our other assets for another max contract guy.

  110. Farfa Post author

    but if the Knicks can acquire an extra first-round pick for him, they would consider it.

    HAHAHAHAH Frank for a first round pick HAHAHAHAH

    This is funnier than the classic “we can trade Courtney Lee for a first pick whenever we want to”.

  111. thenoblefacehumper

    If Ariana Grande wants to date me, I’ll have no choice but to consider it. I don’t think we could get an unprotected second for Frank.

    We can get rid of both Mudiay and Frank! It doesn’t have to be either/or. We’d probably immediately get better just via losing two god awful players.

  112. thenoblefacehumper

    He won’t have to add much in the way of offense over the next 3-4 years to be a plus complimentary player.

    Right now he’s probably the single worst offensive player the NBA, so yeah, a few tune ups here and there and he’ll be a world beater.

  113. Z-man

    If you think Frank is bad, reading this might serve as a diversion.

    As to Mitch, he’s great and all, but if somehow we end up with AD, KD and KI/KW and still have all of our a first rounder every year and some good young assets (e.g. DSJ, Trier, Dotson) and “filler” guys like DAJ, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. The scary thing for me is doing a trade that leaves us with AD and not much else.

  114. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, it’s Anthony Davis we’re talking about in the end. I agree with Z-Man, Davis should be pursued if they can also get the other superstars to pair with him. It would still hurt to trade Robinson, but Davis + Durant + Kyrie is an unbelievable big 3, it seriously has a chance to be the best big 3 in the recent history of the league.

  115. Ntilakilla

    @117

    Yeah, it’s definitely a great problem to have moving forward. Certainly beats the question of wondering whether Noah, Melo and D-Rose would gel together. But the thing that worries me about pulling the trigger on AD besides the point about trading too much is: 1.) Our cap flexibility goes to the shitter with what is a very top heavy, injury prone core supported by some middling to below average players and 2.) that core of three all-stars are high usage players who won’t necessarily mesh so well together in Fizdale’s unstructured offensive system. Keeping MitchRob is preferable because he’s so dirt cheap, allows cap flexibility forward, and plays a very efficient style that won’t require a high usage to be productive for the team. Plus, potentially having him with Zion will give us as good a young duo to build around as Embiid/Simmons.

  116. Z-man

    It’s not ideal. But if it happened, holy shit we’d be monsters on paper. Then it would be a matter of filling in with low-cost high-value assets, like Miami and Boston did after assembling their Big 3 cores. And getting the right coach if it’s not Fiz (i’m not sold.)

  117. Brian Cronin

    Fiz would almost certainly be Mark Jackson-ed and Doug Collins-ed if the Knicks put together that team. It might not happen in year one, but it would eventually happen.

  118. Z-man

    The problem is, we’ll have lots of competition for AD, most notably LAL and BOS. We won’t be able to low-ball the Pels. I’m hoping it doesn’t happen because it’s almost a given that we’d be overpaying, even as great as he is.

  119. Hubert

    Reading about how Fiz set up a meeting with Kidd for Smith and Mudiay but excluded Frank really annoyed me. I know Frank is shit, but I do believe that being young and knowing your boss doesn’t believe in you can greatly impact your performance. I was there myself early in my career. I spent years trying to get out from under my own Fizdale, and when I finally did I blew him away. I’m not saying he’ll get better on another team, but if he does want to get better he probably needs to find a coach that values what he can do.

    I know Frank isn’t good but Knox isn’t good and Fiz loves that kid. Really makes you wonder how much deep-seeded bias Fiz has against Euro players. There’s not much evidence other than his famous run in with Gasol and the second hand quotes from him disparaging euro style. But Gasol hated him, Porzingis didn’t seem to take to him, and he’s been awful to Frank. He gave Hezonja a fair shot, though. So I’m not saying it’s clear he dislikes euros. It just makes you wonder. Like, with all the terrible young kids on the team, what is it about Frank that makes Fiz be willing to throw him aside while giving tender love to the others?

  120. TheOakmanCometh

    If you could sign for KD, Kyrie, and AD right now, I don’t see how you could refuse. Mitch looks promising but, sorry, adios. That’s an instant championship contender.

  121. Brian Cronin

    You never know, BC, no one expected Spoelstra to last.

    True, but I think that was a unique situation in that the “Phil Jackson/Steve Kerr/Pat Riley” in that situation would have been Pat Riley himself, ya know? And Riley made it very clear that Spoelstra was his hand-picked successor (who had just had two very good seasons with the iffy Miami team that preceded the Big Three getting there) and he was not going to replace him. But you’re absolutely right that people did still think Lebron would somehow get Spoelstra fired like he later did with Blatt (and likely will with Walton).

  122. Bruno Almeida

    @125

    Yeah, it’s a big 3 comparable to Lebron + Wade + Bosh, it would be an insane team right away and with a few veterans here and there it is the favorite for the eastern conference day one.

    The question on any AD deal including Robinson is properly valuing Robinson. If he’s going to be a part of any trade, it has to be as a very productive player with superstar ceiling on a super cheap contract. He’s the center piece of the deal, not a throw in, as honestly Id rather have him than any of the Lakers and Celtics available pieces.

  123. Owen

    The Ringer had a pretty amazing piece on how awful Andrew Wiggins is. He’s like if you paid Knox the max.

  124. Brian Cronin

    He’s the center piece of the deal, not a throw in, as honestly Id rather have him than any of the Lakers and Celtics available pieces.

    The problem with that, of course, is one of perception, as Tatum is clearly perceived around the league as much more valuable of a piece than Robinson. So what do you do if the league perception so greatly differs from the “truth”? I have no idea.

  125. Hubert

    How much more valuable is Mitch than Robert Williams, though? The Celtics will value their own Mitch as a throw in while we want ours to be valued ours as a centerpiece.

  126. Hubert

    Fiz would almost certainly be Mark Jackson-ed and Doug Collins-ed if the Knicks put together that team. It might not happen in year one, but it would eventually happen.

    He should be. But given how loyal the Knicks are, I think he’s more likely to be Scott Brooksed.

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