Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some Thoughts on J.R. Smith

It’s normally not an accustomed practice for one to compare a situation from real life to a video game, but I believe it’s suitable when trying to convey my feelings about J.R. Smith.  As the artificially intelligent super-computer antagonist (see below) in the final scene of the game ‘Portal 2′ said to the protagonist:

This is a very smart computer. It does not fancy J.R. Smith.

This is a very smart computer. It does not fancy J.R. Smith.

“The best solution to a problem is usually the easiest one. And I’ll be honest – killing you – is hard.”

To be clear, I have no desire to off J.R. Smith. I would be quite pleased, however, if he chose to take his talents elsewhere. As an individual, it’s easy to see why people fall for J.R.’s charms,  2 A.M. bike rides with fans, zipping about New York City and, of course, hilariously candid use of social media. His game however, is a mind-boggling, irritating, vast sea of inconsistency. But Smith has always played like this, so we shouldn’t have expected anything different, right?

After joining the team  midway through last season, Smith, in large part due to the bond he shared with interim head coach Mike Woodson, was allowed to keep chucking during many a slump. He received ample encouragement from his coach that he was far too talented to be known as simply a streaky shooter. To some degree, it worked. Even in his darkest offensive hours, Smith was battling hard on the boards and putting forth a plus effort on defense. After resigning for a meager contract plus a player option, many fans hoped he’d improve and gain consistency in 2012-13 .

After a splendid start and equally un-splendid slump for 40-odd games, down the stretch, Smith finally took it upon himself to get to the rack as frequently as possible. In January, just under 25% of Smith’s field goal attempts were right near the rim, and he shot 36% from the field while getting to the free throw line merely 3.4 times a night. In comparison, in March, Smith sported a 44% shooting percentage and 6 trips to the stripe per game, with 33% of his field goal attempts coming close to the basket. In a related story, the Knicks’ best stretches occurred when Smith was at his peak and their worst when J.R. was ‘Bad J.R.”

Alas, all this vanished when the clock struck Playoffs, Not to put too fine a point on it, but he was downright dreadful.  Smith had more field goal attempts than points, 163 to 157 and shot just 33% from the field and his REB% dipped from a regular-season mark of 9.3% to 8.9%. Oh, and (depending how much credence you put into celebrity Instagram accounts as a valid news source), Smith apparently thought the key to escaping this spate of dreadful play could either be found at the bottom of a bottle of booze, brought directly to his table at one of the city’s/Nap Town’s finer night clubs or was located somewhere in Jason Terry’s bridgework.

Smith’s 27-years old and entering his 10th professional season. There’s little precedent that a player–even one as admittedly talented as J.R. is–is going to put it all together, such that one can say with confidence, “J.R. is going to check in tonight and do this, and this, and this for us.” Just the fact that this team is reliant on such a random entity troubles me greatly. That said, the easy and best solution is not cross digits and hope he finally fulfills his potential. I believe trying to mold J.R. Smith’s game at this point is an utter lost cause. He is what he is…Isn’t that right, artificially intelligent super-computer antagonist?

“I had a pretty good life. And then you showed up. You dangerous, mute, lunatic. So you know what? Just go. It’s been fun, don’t come back.”

Good point, AI. J.R. Smith is certainly far from mute, but can he be described as dangerous and/or a lunatic? Literally, no. Of course he isn’t. But he is a threat to whatever aspirations this team may have, championship-wise. J.R.’s hard-wired to take bad shots and he’s got a coach that only encourages some of his worst instincts. Why keep him around when it only enables Woodson to ride him on nights when he shot 7-of-22 and played extremely poor defense.

Now to the latter portion of that sentence. As much as I’d like to see J.R. ply his trade elsewhere, odds are, the Knicks will bring him back on some variation of a 4 yr/5+million dollar deal, unless Phoenix or Atlanta thrusts bucketfuls of cash J.R.’s way.  I’ll admit it’s been fun, watching Smith bury 40-footers at the buzzer and dazzle us all with remarkable flushes at the rim. At the end of the day, I like winning more than I get a bang out of the occasional ESPN-y highlight or x-rated Tweet. There a good amount of minimum or mini mid-level players I’d take over him that are available in free agency, such as:

  • Chase Budinger
  • Dorrell Wright
  • Randy Foye
  • Martell Webster

Do they have J.R.’s talent/’potential?” No, but they are far more consistent performers. And that’s what the Knicks needed versus Indiana. Right, my sentient mechanical friend?

“Goodbye my only friend. Oh, did you think I meant you? That would be funny, if it weren’t so sad.”

Indeed. Goodbye, my favorite Knickerbocker of 2013. What? Not you J.R.! I was talking to Pablo. Going to miss you Prigs.

134 comments on “Some Thoughts on J.R. Smith

  1. thenamestsam

    I don’t understand why people are so opposed to variance. It may be frustrating sometimes but in the long-run I don’t really think it’s a bad thing. Randy Foye may be a more consistent performer, but where does consistency get me? I want to win a championship and to do that we need to build a team with a high ceiling, not one with a low floor. I’ll gladly put up with bad JR because I know that good JR is a player capable of putting the Knicks over the top in a playoff series. It didn’t happen this year but I’d rather keep rolling the dice then settle for the guaranteed mediocrity of someone like Foye.

  2. nyk8806

    I’m only opposed to variance when (a) the coach refuses to adjust for cold spells, (b) the variance disappears in the playoffs and becomes consistent suckage (e.g. for the last 3 seasons), and (c) the negative variance is caused/exacerbated by illegal/immature conduct.

    We know at least two of those things are true about JR.

  3. jon abbey

    we also know that that hilarious list of players at the bottom of this piece will lead to consistent losses.

  4. thenamestsam

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have Martell Webster on the Knicks, because wings who can defend and knock down 3s always have value. It’d be a significant upgrade over a guy like Novak who can’t defend. But those guys have value on the edges of your roster once the main pieces are in place. JR, when he’s right, is a main piece which is what this team needs. Replace him with a guy like Webster and when Amare is hurt (we can say when, right?) the offense is going to grind to such a halt. Having exactly one guy on the roster who can create his own shot is not a good look. Didn’t we all just watch OKC struggle with exactly that?

  5. DRed

    i thought the article was okay. Earl isnt a particularly good player, and it gets less likely every year that the light will suddenly go on for him. i don’t feel strongly either way about resigning him. But replacing a player who is mediocre because he’s inconsistent with a player who is consistenly worse is not a recipe for improvement. jR is terrible sometimes. Randy Foye is terrible all the time.

  6. johnno

    I don’t get this article at all. Signing or not signing JR has no impact on their ability to sign someone else. If he gets a max early bird contract, the Knicks have their mini-midlevel exception to use on someone else. If he signs elsewhere, the Knicks have their mini-midlevel to use on someone else.

  7. nyk8806

    None of the dudes on that list will be worth a MLE-type deal so it’s rather facetious to compare any one of them with JR. Most sane people obviously would prefer JR in that scenario.

  8. DRed

    The problem with JR is that there are significant stretches of the season where we’d be better off without him and we have a coach who keeps playing him through those stretches. JR’s shot creation killed us in the playoffs. It might not affect our cap to resign JR, but it might negatively affect the team on the court. Its a tough call. Good JR makes the Knicks realy dangerous. But on the other hand, bad JR makes the offense grind to a halt.

  9. KnickfaninNJ

    +2,

    and sixth men are by their nature, inconsistent. They don’t play the minutes of a starter, so they take less shots and their output will have more variability (expressed as a percent of average output) just due to the natural laws of statistics. This is especially true if you take lower percentage shots, like 3 pointers. I’d like to see some evidence that JR is more inconsistent than other players with similar minutes and similar numbers of three point attempts before thinking we should get rid of him because of this.

    Some perceptions are probably colored more by recent events than older events. JR did not do well against Indiana. But no one on the Knicks did. And it’s just naturally hard to drive on Hibbert and company.

  10. nyk8806

    KnickfaninNJ: They don’t play the minutes of a starter

    JR Smith had the highest minutes played of any knick last year, at 2678 minutes, playing almost 200 minutes more than the guy with the second highest minute total, Melo.

  11. nyk8806

    He also had the 2nd highest FGAs (behind Melo), and had 50% more than #3 (Felton). On FGA/36, he was behind only Melo and Sheed (who had 12% of his minutes).

  12. KnickfaninNJ

    If you are looking at variability from game to game, what matters is how many attempts of what sort per game you make, not how many total minutes or shots you took. I don’t know of any variance or standard deviation statistics that are readily available, or I would look them up. JR didn’t have any significant injuries this year as I recall, while as Bidiong points out, Melo did. Felton missed games too, since he missed time with a broken finger.

    I would love to see some variability statistics but don’t know how to get them. I will point out that both Melo and Felton had well publicized slump periods during the season. They just were longer ago than the playoffs. So, without any data, I just don’t see that you can claim them as more consistent than JR.

  13. nyk8806

    The problem with JR is not that he’s a bad player. He’d be a dream if he truly were a sixth-man, to ignite things off the bench when he’s hot and to be benched when he’s off. Sadly, as many have pointed out, he was our only guy other than Melo (and to a lesser degree, Felton) who could consistently get his own shot. You need someone to create on the offensive end, and for better or worse, due to injuries, etc., he was our #1 option for a disproportionately high number of minutes last season. During the playoffs, Woodson just didn’t know when to say when.

    Hopefully Amare will be (relatively) healthy next year and can ease the scoring burden. If so, I think keeping JR with a early-bird deal is a net positive since Woodson will have less incentive to overplay JR on bad nights, and it doesn’t hurt GG’s ability to find us another difference-maker from the garbage heap, as he’s so adept at doing.

  14. bidiong

    Hello played in 67 games averaging 37 minutes per game. JR played 80 games at 33.5 per game. I would call 33.5 starters minutes.

  15. KnickfaninNJ

    I agree, 33.5 minutes a game is like a starter. How about shots per game, separated into two and three point attempts?

  16. Zanzibar

    bidiong:
    Hello played in…

    Melo, rather

    No you just put the “H” in the wrong place: Mehlo

    The only Smith Brothers I want to look at next year are the ones on my box of cough drops. I’ve done a 180 on JR and now am convinced that losing him will be a case of addition through subtraction. People focus on his potential upside giving insufficient weight to the downside. How does a veteran lose his man on 2 backdoor cuts and fail to box out on a FT attempt in the final minutes of the most important game of the season? He’s unable to beat better defenders off the dribble so he will always be an inefficient chucker in the playoffs. Bad enough that Melo is prone to long ISOs resulting in inefficient shots – why would we want his protege emulating him in this regard? It’s deflating to the entire team! His skill set and mental lapses are far more likely to hurt our team in the playoffs. Unload this inconsistent, undisciplined veteran knucklehead. Less is more. Signing him to a 4 year deal would be just another dumb decision in the long line of dumb ones by this franchise.

  17. bidiong

    KnickfaninNJ:
    I agree, 33.5 minutes a game is like a starter. How about shots per game, separates into two and three point attempts?

    Give me a minute.

  18. bidiong

    JR shot breakdown:
    JR took a total of 808 two point fgs for the season averaging 10.1 2point fg attempts per game. He made 376 of those attempts averaging 4.7 fgm per game for a shooting % of 46.5%. On threes he took 440 for an average of 5.5 attempts per game and made 152 of those attempts @ 34.5% in 1.9 makes per game.

  19. bidiong

    Interestingly, and I can’t dig deeper now, compared to his other seasons I’m betting this is much better than other years just by judging the other effort stats. His rebounding nearly doubled this year per game and his assist total was his second best. Maybe he can improve on this year.

  20. bidiong

    Well not doubled but a large increase of about 2 a game on rebounds. Don’t want to get my head ripped off here. Lol I’m sure somebody here can grab the fancy efficient and usage stats for us.

  21. ess-dog

    Sadly, there’s no point in not resigning JR if we can. At that price, he’s still the best deal we can find out there for that money, which we’re not allowed to spend on anyone else anyway.

    If he get’s Novak’s $$, that’s a good deal for a 6th man of the year, regardless of his playoffs.

    If we can get JR to 26-28 minutes a game, that would be ideal, but Shump needs to step up next year, which he can.

    If Prigs leaves, I’m more concerned about the Ray/Kidd pg situation, but hey I’ve been concerned about the pg position since……. well, as long as I can remember.

  22. flossy

    JR Smith at $5mil/season is still a good value. The problem is less JR Smith, who is who he is at this point in his career, than it is Woodson, who stuck by Smith even when he was absolutely killing us with poor play. I guess the reasoning was that consistent trust will pay long term dividends with consistent play, but JR wet the bed in just about every possible way come the playoffs, so that theory is out the window.

    I do think Woodson’s hand was forced a bit into over-reliance on JR. The way this roster is constructed, we’re supposed to have two elite scorers in the frontcourt who can create their own shots (and much better shots than JR), as well as a starting SG who can give us 30 mins/game of being a plus defender and hitting open 3s.

    Of course, Amar’e was injured for most of the season and only half-integrated into the offense between injuries, and Shumpert also missed nearly half the season and was a pretty bad player overall until the playoffs. So in that sense, there are only so many players on the roster you can turn to to eat up minutes and carry the scoring load, and JR was by far the best of some bad options. But the end result is that we lived and died on the basis of JR’s shooting (.448 FG% in wins, .375 FG% in losses).

    If Amar’e and Shumpert can combine to play 4,000 mins next season there will really be no reason to rely so heavily on JR’s wildly inconsistent play. Of course, the onus is then on Woodson to actually walk the walk and bench JR when he sucks.

  23. KnickfaninNJ

    bidiong:
    JR shot breakdown:
    JR took a total of 808 two point fgs for the season averaging 10.1 2point fg attempts per game. He made 376 of those attempts averaging 4.7 fgm per game for a shooting % of 46.5%. On threes he took 440 for an average of 5.5 attempts per game and made 152 of those attempts @ 34.5% in 1.9 makes per game.

    Many thanks for the stats. These stats and the ones in your following notes seem pretty good for someone who is supposedly chucking up bad shots all the time.

  24. bidiong

    Let’s pencil Amaré in for 35 games next year, figure Melo to produce at the same level he did this year, improvement from Shump, Chandler being slightly better than this year after recovering from back injuries and hoping Woodson reduces Kidds time dramatically. We need to either replace Pablo or convince him to resign, or draft a pg to take his spot in the first round. The teams scorers and heavy minutes players should all improve or at least not regress into next season. We should be alright and have a punchers chance again. That’s pretty much all you can ask for with the Heat around right now.

  25. bidiong

    The Knicks need to get hot in game one of the first round, not the last month of the regular season.

  26. Z

    I like this article because I too would rather JR Smith not be on the Knicks next year, even if it is a “bad basketball move”. After enduring the Jamal Crawford era, and the Nate Robinson era, and the Stephon Marbury era, I have no tolerance for JR Smith. He’s simply not good enough to be so unlikable. With Spree and Starks you accept their flaws, both on and off court, because they were key contributors to legit championship contenders. I know this current Knick team is “all in” and Smith is a key (even THE key, perhaps), but it’s really hard to see the either the Knicks getting better or the conference getting worse over the next few years, so like David, I’d rather see the Knicks go to war with Chase Budinger than feel like throwing up every time I sit down to watch the Knicks.

  27. Hubert

    The right move is to sign him to this deal and trade him during his hottest streak of the year.

    But it seems even if he didn’t have a no-trade clause included, he would have a no trade clause if CAA convinced Dolan that he took less money to stay. Dolan, like most idiots, values loyalty above all.

    Aside: does the NBA even allow no-trade clauses? Seems like no one has them except Kobe in his grandfathered contract.

  28. bidiong

    To get a no trade you have to play x amount of years on the same team. The Celtics offered Ray Allen one.

  29. d-mar

    I guess the consensus is that -we have to re-sign JR for lack of better options, but what really stuck in my craw in game 6 were those 2 backdoor layups he allowed Stephenson at absolutely critical moments in the 4th quarter. You can take bad shots, even miss easy shots, but those 2 plays were absolute killers and completely deflating to the team as a whole.

    I don’t know if it’s just stupidity or lack of effort, but by the end of that game I felt like I never wanted to see JR in a Knicks uniform again.

  30. Frank

    ess-dog: Sadly, there’s no point in not resigning JR if we can. At that price, he’s still the best deal we can find out there for that money, which we’re not allowed to spend on anyone else anyway.

    For his talent, it’s a no-brainer, especially since it’s not like we can spend that $ on anyone else anyway. Exceptions, vet’s minimums, and the odd draft pick are the only way we can improve this team, so we need to take advantage of all of them.

    Re: the way he’s used, his hot and cold streaks, etc. — these are all coaching things. At this point we need to accumulate talent, then hope that Woody knows how to put it together. For 82 regular season games and 9 playoff games, I had faith in him. Then game 4 and game 6 happened, and I’m not so sure.

    If we can draft a useful 2 way player (don’t care whether it’s front or backcourt), sign a backup big or 2, and resign Prigs, Cope, and JR, I’d be happy with that offseason.

  31. Zanzibar

    Garnett has a no-trade clause and ESPN reported that he would not waive it to go to the Clippers for Bledsoe/Jordan at the last trade deadline. Maybe Chandler to the Clips for Bledsoe/Jordan will be an option?

    We need to build our team with an eye to how a player will contribute in the playoffs. Here would be our 8 man playoff rotation with our current players: prigioni/felton/shumpert/melo/amare/tyson/copeland/martin. Novak is an excellent example of a regular season player who adds nothing in the playoffs. JR is an all-time bad playoff player. He ranks near the bottom in WS/48. People talk about his shooting “slump” in this past playoffs as if it were some sort of aberration. If abysmal shooting is the norm, then it’s not a slump. 5 out of 7 of JRs playoffs he’s had 4 or more games where he’s shot <=40%. Since some of those playoffs ended in 4 or 5 games, he helped shoot his team right out of contention. His playoff FG% and 3FG% are 39 and 30 respectively. He's not able to attack the rim against better playoff defenses like he can against some regular season opponents. Then you add his mental lapses on defense (missed rotations, backdoor cuts, etc.), he's not a playoff rotation guy. And therefore, he's not a value at 5m over 4 years. And if that's not enough to convince you, remember Jeremy Lin and how most (including myself) believed it's only money so why not re-sign him? Well maybe we then don't have Prigioni… I'd much prefer to take my chances on a patented GG signing – either a player out of nowhere or packaging White/QRich/Camby/Brewer's exception to acquire a player worth 5-9m (Camby's effectively expires the following season but if we give a team 3m, it wouldn't matter). Heck, Raja Bell, Delfino, Pietrus would all be better at the vet's min for our team than JR to take a 9-15 roster spot.

  32. Hubert

    d-mar:
    I guess the consensus is that -we have to re-sign JR for lack of better options, but what really stuck in my craw in game 6 were those 2 backdoor layups he allowed Stephenson at absolutely critical moments in the 4th quarter. You can take bad shots, even miss easy shots, but those 2 plays were absolute killers and completely deflating to the team as a whole.

    I don’t know if it’s just stupidity or lack of effort, but by the end of that game I felt like I never wanted to see JR in a Knicks uniform again.

    Me, too.

    That’s why I hate the “JR is the new Starks” bullshit I read all the time. John Starks never stopped trying on the defensive end when his shots weren’t falling.

    I agree with the camp that thinks not having him is addition by subtraction. But you can never afford to lose an asset for nothing.

    Sign him to this deal, and trade him when he’s shooting the lights out in January or February. He will have value.

  33. bidiong

    Hubert: Me, too.

    That’s why I hate the “JR is the new Starks” bullshit I read all the time.John Starks never stopped trying on the defensive end when his shots weren’t falling.

    I agree with the camp that thinks not having him is addition by subtraction.But you can never afford to lose an asset for nothing.

    Sign him to this deal, and trade him when he’s shooting the lights out in January or February.He will have value.

    That could be the way to go.

  34. jon abbey

    I don’t know where the people who think losing him would be ‘addition by subtraction’ expect the offense to come from besides Melo. maybe the imaginary post game of Tyson Chandler? if we had a better PG (and no, this does not mean Jeremy Lin), I could see that argument making more sense, but we don’t.

  35. Hubert

    jon abbey, I know this isn’t a good answer, but I was thinking Amar’e Stoudemire.

  36. Hubert

    Really, though, is gambling on Amar’e’s health any worse than gambling on Good JR showing up and making it through an entire playoffs?

  37. Z

    Zanzibar:
    Garnett has a no-trade clause and ESPN reported that he would not waive it to go to the Clippers for Bledsoe/Jordan at the last trade deadline. Maybe Chandler to the Clips for Bledsoe/Jordan will be an option?

    Is that a decent return? I don’t know much about Jordan or Bledsoe. Jordan started every game the past few years, but only averaged 24 minutes. Led the league in FG%, but had a FT% that makes Chris Dudley look like Mark Price. Salary is about the same as Chandler, but he’s 7 years younger. Bledsoe is a guard, and he is young, so right there that is two positives. If Clips were willing to do this trade for KG, theoretically Chandler is a better return for them, no? (assuming Paul resigns)

  38. Zanzibar

    jon abbey:
    I don’t know where the people who think losing him would be ‘addition by subtraction’ expect the offense to come from besides Melo. maybe the imaginary post game of Tyson Chandler? if we had a better PG (and no, this does not mean Jeremy Lin), I could see that argument making more sense, but we don’t.

    Melo/Shumpert/Amare/Copeland/Felton/Prigioni. And yeah, Chandler practicing 1million mid-range shots this off-season would be helpful. He did manage to significantly improve his FT% through practice. And a single low-post baby hook wouldn’t hurt. More important, Woodson needs to develop an offense which will be more sustainable in the playoffs. That means Melo more on PnRs in both roles and playing off screens in general. No more Melo and JR face-up ISOs. More of a motion offense especially when Amare is out. The key to this season will be Amare’s health and compatibility along with Shump and Cope’s development. JR at 5m would be an expensive distraction standing in the way of the team finding a winning strategy.

  39. max fisher-cohen

    Webster, budinger and probably Wright will all get more than the minimum. Foye is not only a pretty crappy player but also is too small to guard 3s, unlike JR.

    I’m sorta torn on Smith. Variance is not that big a deal, but so far in Smith’s career, he has been absolutely awful in the playoffs. And it’s not like he’s some playoff rookie. He’s played in 51 playoff games and put up a pretty awful 0.043 WS/48 and been even WORSE the last three. His overall playoff WS/48 from 2011-13 is -0.031. Yes, it’s negative. This playoff run is his BEST since 09/10, and he hasn’t had an average or better playoffs since 08/09.

    With 9 seasons under his belt, Smith isn’t likely to get any better. I don’t know. I appreciate that we don’t have much in the way of options, but it feels like to me that investing in these next two seasons is like investing in a sinking ship. This team should be looking towards 2015, so I’d be happy giving Smith a 2 year deal at the max we can offer him, but I wouldn’t go past that.

  40. massive

    JR Smith isn’t going anywhere. With Shumpert’s expected improvement, it’s likely that JR Smith has a lesser role on the team next year. What this team needs is a 2nd scoring option that is a guarantee to be on his game and in the game more often than not. Expecting Amar’e or JR Smith to be our second option on a team makes very little sense if you also expect the Knicks to compete for a title. This team’s only hope is for Iman Shumpert to make a huge jump or for Glen Grunwald to turn our stupid contracts (Kidd, Camby, Novak) into one really good player.

    I’m starting to fully expect a season with the same outcome unless everyone manages to stay healthy (which we know won’t happen because our training staff sucks).

  41. max fisher-cohen

    Deandre Jordan is bad. But I love eric bledsoe. He’s built like Steve Francis — super athletic, strong, compact — but has an Iman Shumpert type motor. The guy is a disruptive force on defense and can actually play point guard in a pinch, unlike Shumpert. I would make that trade in a heartbeat. Jordan will be worse than Chandler, but at least he expires in 2015.

    If we could somehow get the Clippers to take on Novak — maybe take back Caron Butler, that would be awesome too, giving us further cap relief in 2015.

  42. yellowboy90

    See to me I am not sure the CLippers would include Bledsoe with Jordan considering they axed a trade that would have sent them Garnett. So maybe instead of Bledsoe they include the 25th pick which will not help them this year. Jordan and the 25th pick is pretty good for Tyson but I really do not want Jordan because of his FT and it will not get the kNicks an huge upgrade in skills. However, although Tyson maybe more valuable to the CLippers than Jordan. I think Jordan has more value around the league due to his age.

    So the plan I had was to Portland because they want a defensive center and are willing to let Hickson walk for nothing. My plan was their 10th pick and Leonard for Jordan plus close to 11 million dollars in a trade exception. I think Jordan is better than any Center in this draft so why take a chance when you have a proven commodity and someone that can step in and play now along side a very good roster. Now if they do not want to trade Leonard with the 10th pick which is understandable they could always settle for a sign and trade for Hickson at around 5-6 million which eats into the exception. I think Hickson would be the perfect Amar’e insurance plan. If that not to the teams taste then ask for a second round pick and keep the huge exception.

    SO after all that the Knicks could have

    A) Bledsoe, 10th pick, Leonard, and 10 million exception

    B) 25th pick, 10th pick, Leonard, and 11 mililion exception

    C) 25th, 10th, Hickson, and 5-6 million exception

    D) 25th, 10th, 40th pick and 13 million exception.

    Each option has its advantages to pick up a couple of pieces instead of a younger Tyson. It creates an opportunity to get two pieces. Throw in the 2.5 and a salary dump of Novak or more likely Camby and you are talking the potential of getting Asik and Ryan Anderson.

    All this is a pipe dream and I am not appose to keeping Tyson but trading Tyson does create some possibilities. There was an article the oher day about Paul…

  43. KnickfaninNJ

    I am not sure why people expect JR to get a contract of close to $5M a year. His playoff performance certainly didn’t sell any GM on him and he has a worrisome rep too. If the Knicks could hire him for $3M a year, I don’t think they will find that good a deal somewhere else.

  44. thenamestsam

    Z: Is that a decent return? I don’t know much about Jordan or Bledsoe. Jordan started every game the past few years, but only averaged 24 minutes. Led the league in FG%, but had a FT% that makes Chris Dudley look like Mark Price. Salary is about the same as Chandler, but he’s 7 years younger. Bledsoe is a guard, and he is young, so right there that is two positives. If Clips were willing to do this trade for KG, theoretically Chandler is a better return for them, no? (assuming Paul resigns)

    I think Tyson is probably worse short term for the Clips than KG but better long term. A big part of the KG appeal is that him and Blake form a more natural tandem on offense than Blake and Deandre because of KG’s ability to knock down the 15 footer. That obviously isn’t the case with Tyson. Because of Tyson’s age though it might be something they’d consider if it was something Paul wanted (and there are rumors he doesn’t get along well with DeAndre).

    For the Knicks, I think it would represent a shift in focus to a more long term vision. Bledsoe + Shump would be a very exciting backcourt of the future and while Deandre is a big step down from Chandler in the immediate he’s obviously way younger and still has a lot of room for growth left.

    Personally I’d do the deal because I am not at all a believer in Tyson’s health going forward. Like a lot of those high school guys I think his age belies how much tread is on those tires. It’s easy to forget that he’s entering his 13th NBA season and has over 22,000 minutes logged already as well as numerous injury issues along the way. Plus as we were reminded in the post-season, a Tyson with diminished athleticism sees his value vanish startlingly quickly. Without a single offensive skill outside of dunking you can become a liability pretty easily if you can’t jump over people.

  45. yellowboy90

    I may have the exception numbers wrong and being under the tax apron could possibly open up the full mle.

    At worst with just the picks I think NY could pick up maybe Millsap, Favors, and some picks plus the full MLE. Their are possibilities by picking up Jordan because of his age and potential.

    If you can’t get Jordan and Bledsoe/25th pick you just don’t due the deal but I think it should be an option.

  46. massive

    The Mavericks are reportedly trying to trade the 13th pick this year’s draft to get cap space. That’s one way to get better. I would pull off that trade to get in front of Utah for Dennis Schröder.

  47. yellowboy90

    massive:
    The Mavericks are reportedly trying to trade the 13th pick this year’s draft to get cap space. That’s one way to get better. I would pull off that trade to get in front of Utah for Dennis Schröder.

    I guess they would try to get a future first in 2015 because I doubt they want to miss out on the 2014 crop.

  48. Z

    massive:
    The Mavericks are reportedly trying to trade the 13th pick this year’s draft to get cap space. That’s one way to get better.

    How about:

    Mavs get: the nonguaranteed contracts of James White, Willie Green, and Grant Hill ($4.5 mil in relief)

    Clips get: Tyson Chandler, #24 pick

    Knicks get: Jordan, Bledsoe, Vince Carter, #13 pick.

  49. MeloDrama

    I get why guys want to give Smiff the heave-ho, really, I do. He’s shown us nothing to believe we can rely on him when he’s most needed and his awful play, even more than the Tyson injury (which was a huge deal) was what ultimately killed us in that series.

    But not resigning him is probably suicide for the next two seasons.

    Smith had a very good regular season. Contrary to what a lot of people have said, IMO the combination of Smith and Melo actually largely made possible our biggest strength this season: these are two skilled guys that can always get a shot without turning it over. What we lacked in overall shooting %, we made up for by simply getting more shots than other teams and by bombarding a ton of threes into those shots, and both of those guys were elite 3-point shooters.

    If we let him go, we don’t have the cap space to replace him. Furthermore, if we let him go, we can’t even know that we’ll be ceding more of his minutes to, say, Copeland, since resigning him is a 50-50 shot (at best IMO).

  50. BigBlueAL

    The length of JR’s contract is an interesting dilemma. At between 5-6 mil per year I think its a very good deal, too good to pass up especially since there is no way to really replace him. Now do they sign him to a 4 yr deal which eats up future cap space in the summer of 2015?? My worry is if they only sign him to a 1 or 2 yr deal they are doing so with the promise of giving him an even greater deal after which really worries the crap out of me.

    So for me a 4 yr deal this off-season for JR will be fine since it protects them from the stupidity of giving him a real bad deal in the next year or 2.

  51. chrisk06811

    I would rather have Randy Foye, Dorrell Wright or even Chase Budinger than Jr Smith.

    Signed,
    Rhinanna

    PS: I also like him better when he penetrates more.

  52. bidiong

    chrisk06811:
    I would rather have Randy Foye, Dorrell Wright or even Chase Budinger than Jr Smith.

    Signed,
    Rhinanna

    PS:I also like him better when he penetrates more.

    Lol

  53. massive

    BigBlueAL:

    So for me a 4 yr deal this off-season for JR will be fine since it protects them from the stupidity of giving him a real bad deal in the next year or 2.

    JR Smith on $5 million a season is a moveable asset. If we wanted to get rid of him, I’m sure some contender will take him for that money.

  54. nyk8806

    Looks like MSG’s lease only got extended 15 years. Predictions: the 2028-29 New York Knicks will still be owned by Jimmy D and be playing in the Prudential Center. Iman Shumpert just signed a 3-year contract after being a pivotal player off the bench for the 2026-27 champion Celtics. The NBPA is in arbitration over whether his 2-foot tall hair provides unfair competitive advantage. David Berri and a handful of supporters blast off in a spaceship bound for a world where people aren’t too stupid to understand that WP/48 is the One True Metric.

  55. ephus

    max fisher-cohen:
    Anthony has a partially torn labrum — http://www.nydailynews.com/mri-shows-melo-torn-labrum-left-shoulder-article-1.1352182

    As expected. Melo gave max effort in the period after he got hurt. I’m all in on #7.

    In the Miami game, the Heat are running into the same problem with Haslem as the Knicks did with Chandler. Hibbert simply will not guard Haslem more than six feet from the basket. Gave him a four foot cushion when he caughtbat the foul line. Let’s see if Spoelstra figures out he has to go small.

  56. ruruland

    If Tyson Chandler had one game as good as Bird is having (not even as good but something close), Knicks might be playing right now.

  57. johnlocke

    That’s really funny, was thinking the same thing.

    This is a pretty good game however. Not sure who I should root for. I really can’t stand Vogel and these Pacers, but how can I root for the Heat? Dilemmas.

    ruruland:
    If Tyson Chandler had one game as good as Bird is having (not even as good but something close), Knicks might be playing right now.

  58. Brian Cronin

    How come the Pacers couldn’t blow a coverage against the Knicks like they just did against the Heat, allowing Wade to just coast to the basket for a go-ahead layup?

  59. johnlocke

    I was thinking how come Lance Stephenson couldn’t airball and brick open jumpers… but yeh…

    Brian Cronin:
    How come the Pacers couldn’t blow a coverage against the Knicks like they just did against the Heat, allowing Wade to just coast to the basket for a go-ahead layup?

  60. Brian Cronin

    “The Pacers bench were all standing up. Maybe George thought that they were in the game.”

    [sarcasm] Definitely, easy mistake to make. [sarcasm]

  61. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:
    How come the Pacers couldn’t blow a coverage against the Knicks like they just did against the Heat, allowing Wade to just coast to the basket for a go-ahead layup?

    That’s on Woodson. Spoelstra had small lineup that pulled Hibbert out of paint area.

  62. Brian Cronin

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a coach call his last timeout with his team having the ball with 11 seconds left just because he didn’t like how the play was shaping up. Now they have to go for three.

  63. Brian Cronin

    Great pass by West. Lebron had no chance on that three. Great point by Reggie Miller. Lebron should have just fouled West before he passed the ball.

  64. Brian Cronin

    Hard to fault the Heat for not getting a better look, but wow, that was a terrible look.

  65. johnlocke

    Really? You expected George to make a 30 foot double clutch three? It was decent D by Lebron, just an INSANE shot by George.

    Brian Cronin:
    Great pass by West. Lebron had no chance on that three. Great point by Reggie Miller. Lebron should have just fouled West before he passed the ball.

  66. Brian Cronin

    What has better odds of tying the game? George taking a three or West going to the foul line down 3 with 2 seconds left? It’s gotta be the first one, so that’s the one they should have tried to avoid.

  67. nyk8806

    what is going on here? How does Miami have only 22 FT and only 9 fast break points off of 19 IND TOs?

    Meanwhile, the knicks team physician is administering bloodletting on Melo’s shoulder to release the evil spirits. Hurts? JR’s pharmacist can give you something to treat chronic pain.

  68. yellowboy90

    johnlocke: That’s really funny, was thinking the same thing.

    This is a pretty good game however. Not sure who I should root for. I really can’t stand Vogel and these Pacers, but how can I root for the Heat? Dilemmas.

    ive been watching the game and smh saying why tyson?why jr?

  69. johnlocke

    Yeh until West makes the first, misses the 2nd and they get an offensive tip in (as West misses 2 FTs in a row). I agree that the probabilities are with fouling – but what if the Heat foul off the ball while the Pacers hit a three? They could then lose the game.
    Coaches just have philosophies on that. Spoelstra is not a foul at the end of the game kind of coach..

    Brian Cronin:
    What has better odds of tying the game? George taking a three or West going to the foul line down 3 with 2 seconds left? It’s gotta be the first one, so that’s the one they should have gone with.

  70. Brian Cronin

    I love the “you need definitive proof to overturn a call” replay rule, which officials never seem to actually to go by.

  71. Brian Cronin

    Now every player has to act like he was shot when they’re fouled hard on a fast break. Good anti-flopping rules, NBA!

  72. johnlocke

    I would have taken anyone of these ‘awful’ games from Lebron – for Melo. 26 pts, 7 reb, 9 assts, ~50% shooting. Haha. Guy is a beast.

    Brian Cronin:
    I love that this is an awful game for Lebron.

  73. johnlocke

    Loved the one where Lebron got grabbed on the arm, then was rolling around on the floor trying to bait a flagrant

    Brian Cronin:
    Now every player has to act like he was shot when they’re fouled hard on a fast break. Good anti-flopping rules, NBA!

  74. Z-man

    I have to say, I love the blue-collar nature of the Pacers. And what can you say about Paul George, he could play on my team anytime.

  75. max fisher-cohen

    Paul George and Lance Stephenson are both 23. If they both take strides next year, and Granger comes back healthy, the Pacers could win a title.

  76. johnlocke

    Chris Herring talked about it: Two-way players are so important (we have Shumpert)… Indy has more

    Z-man:
    I have to say, I love the blue-collar nature of the Pacers. And what can you say about Paul George, he could play on my team anytime.

  77. johnlocke

    They’re in the Conf Finals right now… haha

    max fisher-cohen:
    Paul George and Lance Stephenson are both 23. If they both take strides next year, and Granger comes back healthy, the Pacers could win a title.

  78. johnlocke

    George picked the wrong time to play bad D. That is a punch in the nuts for the Pacers.

  79. Brian Cronin

    I would have taken anyone of these ‘awful’ games from Lebron – for Melo. 26 pts, 7 reb, 9 assts, ~50% shooting. Haha. Guy is a beast.

    I guess I should have used the sarcasm font to make it clear I was being sarcastic.

  80. johnlocke

    Harsh words on Vogel from Wilbon on Twitter (for leaving Hibbert on the bench):

    “The Pacers are such suckers…to give up that play…they can’t finish anything…about the dumbest coaching move in playoffs I’ve seen”

  81. BigBlueAL

    Wouldve been nice if every time Melo drove to the rim Hibbert was sitting on the bench.

  82. johnlocke

    Point is when you’re up 1, you don’t leave your best rim protector on the bench… pretty simple point I think.

    Brian Cronin:
    I really don’t get the Hibbert thing at all. What was the point there?

  83. d-mar

    I assume you guys heard about Melo’s torn labrum (courtesy of the dirtiest player in the NBA, KG) Really makes you wonder if he could have been more effective inside against Indiana if he were healthy, it might not have effected his jumper much, but I’m sure it effected his ability to finish around the rim.

  84. Brian Cronin

    Point is when you’re up 1, you don’t leave your best rim protector on the bench… pretty simple point I think.

    Right, so what was Vogel thinking? I don’t get it.

  85. BigBlueAL

    Trying to justify leaving Hibbert on the bench because Bosh wouldve been left open for a jumpshot, there was only 2.2 secs left!! LeBron drives then kicks Bosh wouldve had to rush the hell out of his shot.

  86. Brian Cronin

    I assume you guys heard about Melo’s torn labrum (courtesy of the dirtiest player in the NBA, KG) Really makes you wonder if he could have been more effective inside against Indiana if he were healthy, it might not have effected his jumper much, but I’m sure it effected his ability to finish around the rim.

    That was just an inspired, gritty vet play by KG.

  87. johnlocke

    It was a Vogel mind fart, but I think the bigger deal was Paul George’s bad defense. You have to have LeBron shoot a jumper there. You can’t overplay against a GREAT driver. That’s how you’d play Melo maybe, but not LeBron. George played great D all game, except on the last possession

    BigBlueAL:
    Of course Barkley agrees with Hibbert being on the bench.

  88. d-mar

    So far my prediction that Lance Stephenson will never see double figures again in the playoffs is accurate – 2-10, 7 points.

    And Paul George really has to cut down on the turnovers, he had 6 more tonight.

  89. BigBlueAL

    Vogel on final play: “That’s the dilemma they represent with Bosh at the 5. We put a switching lineup in to force a challenged jumpshot”.

    If only the Knicks couldve played someone at the 5 who would represent this same dilemma.

  90. ruruland

    Vogel on final play: “That’s the dilemma they represent with Bosh at the 5…”

    Cope at the 5 probably should have been a real thing.

  91. johnlocke

    Stupid logic by Vogel. There was only 2.2 seconds left on the clock. There isn’t time for dribble, attracting help and kicking the ball. And EVERYONE knew the play was designed for Lebron. In any other possession there would have been help behind George (who was needlessly overaggressive)…Vogel just fucked up and should say as much. George also played bad D. That cost them the game. Pure and simple.

    BigBlueAL:
    Vogel on final play: “That’s the dilemma they represent with Bosh at the 5. We put a switching lineup in to force a challenged jumpshot”.

    If only the Knicks couldve played someone at the 5 who would represent this same dilemma.

  92. nicos

    I don’t think Vogel thought anyone could get to the hoop that fast- what killed them wasn’t not having Hibbert, it was allowing LBJ to catch the ball going to the hoop at full speed. And even then he got the ball off with under a second left; if they had forced him to hesitate at all it’d have been a contested jumper and nobody’s talking about Hibbert make or miss. I thought the bad play was not having Hibbert in on LBJ’s other layup.
    Also, let’s not compare Cope and Bosh. Cope can play five for one or two possessions but he’s a horrible rebounder who can’t defend the rim at all- Amar’e and Melo at the four and five is bad enough and there’s absolutely no reason to believe Cope and Melo would function any better esp. against a team as big as Indiana.

  93. ruruland

    Re Chandler trade.

    Check out his playoff series #’s vs center matchup

    Indiana series
    Chandler: 6.2 pts, 6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, .8 t/o, 4.8 pf
    Hibbert: 13.3 pts (47%), 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 blocks, 1.8 t/0, 4.2 pf

    Boston series
    Chandler: 5.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, .7 blocks, 1 turnover, 3.2 pf
    Garnett: 12.7 points (50%), 13.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1 block, 3.2 t/o, 3.8 pf

    Miami series
    Chandler: 6.2 points (44%), 9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 3 t/o, 3.6 pf
    Bosh: 15 points (51%) 7.2 rebounds, .8 blocks. 1.6 t/o, 1.6 pf.

    Why would a team like the Clippers think he’s an upgrade in any way?

  94. Will the Thrill

    Because he was nowhere near 100% for any of those series? I guess JR wouldn’t be viewed as an upgrade over anyone in the NBA using this logic (and he wasn’t even injured!). Just like Melo’s semi-poor play during this playoffs shouldn’t completely determine his ability as a player because of his injury, Chandler’s shouldn’t either.

    ruruland:
    Re Chandler trade.

    Check out his playoff series #’s vs center matchup

    Indiana series
    Chandler: 6.2 pts, 6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, .8 t/o, 4.8 pf
    Hibbert: 13.3 pts (47%), 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 blocks, 1.8 t/0, 4.2 pf

    Boston series
    Chandler: 5.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, .7 blocks, 1 turnover, 3.2 pf
    Garnett: 12.7 points (50%), 13.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1 block, 3.2 t/o, 3.8 pf

    Miami series
    Chandler: 6.2 points (44%), 9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 3 t/o, 3.6 pf
    Bosh: 15 points (51%) 7.2 rebounds, .8 blocks. 1.6 t/o, 1.6 pf.

    Why would a team like the Clippers think he’s an upgrade in any way?

  95. Will the Thrill

    Memphis series:

    Jordan: 3.7 points (46%), FT: 22%, 6.3 rbs, 1.7 blocks, 1.5 TO

    Gasol: 17.3 points (47%), 7.5 rbs, 1.7 blocks, 0.7 TO

  96. EB

    nicos: Also, let’s not compare Cope and Bosh. Cope can play five for one or two possessions but he’s a horrible rebounder who can’t defend the rim at all- Amar’e and Melo at the four and five is bad enough and there’s absolutely no reason to believe Cope and Melo would function any better esp. against a team as big as Indiana.

    Opposed to Tyson who couldn’t rebound or defend the rim at all? Lance FREAKING Stephenson and Roy “more O boards than Knicks have total boards” Hibbert would like to say hello.

  97. ruruland

    I hope it was just the flu. But how do you get the flu before the playoffs twice in a row????

  98. yellowboy90

    It’s not what the fans think about Tyson it is what the coaches, executives, and Chris Paul think about Chandler. L.A. wants to appease Chris and win now so why not bring in a “smarter player” who was just voted onto the NBA’s First Team D.

  99. yellowboy90

    One was the flu the other was strep throat. Either way Tyson if he stays needs to be quarantine two week to the end of the season

  100. ephus

    ruruland:
    I hope it was just the flu. But how do you get the flu before the playoffs twice in a row????

    I have a distinct memory of a Chandler being really virally sick before the Miami series. So, it is not a post-hoc rationalization.

  101. Frank

    I wonder whether Chandle’s weight loss was really from illness (seems like a lot of weight to lose for a professional athlete with access to best doctors and nutritionists)- or whether it was from his neck problem. Bulging discs that really impinge your spinal cord can cause significant muscle atrophy. That would make the most sense to me re: how horribly he played- he just literally lost a bunch of strength.

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