Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, December 6, 2019

NY Daily News: The Knicks’ new strategy, whatever it is, requires some explaining

Stefan Bondy actually talks about the Knicks a bit:

It’s hard to blame the Knicks for going radio silent since free agency. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid the uncomfortable questions.

But frankly, the team’s new strategy, whatever it is, requires some explaining. It certainly puts coach David Fizdale in a difficult situation.

The Knicks had a curious offseason, leaving success, or failure, hard to measure.

Are they gunning for a playoff spot?

Are they prioritizing the rebuild and a higher draft pick over winning again?

Are they tiptoeing around both and hoping for the best?

New York spent last season trying to develop its young players and it came at the expense of winning, alienating the veterans while trudging to the worst record in franchise history. Some called it tanking. The Knicks called it developing. There was no identity or consistent playing style, but Fizdale sold the plan as the first stage of a rebuild. Many of the players who the Knicks patted themselves on the back for developing — Emmanuel Mudiay, Noah Vonleh, Trey Burke and Luke Kornet — signed with other teams, leaving us to ask about New York’s 2018-19 campaign: Aside from Mitchell Robinson’s impressive emergence, what was the point of all that?

The front office also billed itself as a culture changer and appealing to great players, a description that felt dubious when they didn’t even get a meeting with a superstar.

Team president Steve Mills then signed several short-term pieces in free agency, including players accustomed to significant playing time and shot attempts. Statistics show that some will have reduced opportunities, and navigating that disappointment will require delicate ego managing from Fizdale. History suggests Fizdale’s on the clock because, when it comes to the Knicks, only Mills and James Dolan are timeless. Mike D’Antoni, who was five coaches ago, is the previous Knicks coach to last beyond his second full season. Fizdale is entering season No. 2 with a record of 17-65.

Not a whole lot of questions we haven’t already asked, but hey, it’s a new Knicks article, which has been a rarity this past week (believe me, I’ve looked!).

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340 comments on “NY Daily News: The Knicks’ new strategy, whatever it is, requires some explaining

  1. alsep73

    Get this basketball junk out of Politiblogger, Brian!

    I have mixed feelings about Bondy, like Isola before him. On the one hand, he clearly has an axe to grind against the team (as does the NYDN sports department in general). On the other, the majority of what he writes about Knicks management is completely deserved, regardless of the history between the two entities. He’s not wrong here, for instance, in saying that Mills and Perry have done Fizdale and maybe themselves no favors in hiding from the press rather than talking about their hopes and intentions for this weird roster mish-mash they’ve assembled.

  2. Ntilakilla

    I’m not sure the Knicks FO themselves know what their direction is right now because they were clearly banking on scoring big this past FA offseason.

  3. Brian Cronin Post author

    Bondy also gets in a dig when he mentions that Fizdale, at one point, explained the lack of assists on last year’s team as being due to so many players playing for their next contract….and then they bring in nine guys on one-year deals. :D

  4. DRed

    I think the lack of assists was more due to the lack of guys who could pass or score, but Fiz was not very impressive.

  5. Brian Cronin Post author

    Oh, totally, it was more a shot at the fact that their excuses rarely made any sense. The answer was typically a lot more simple – the players mostly sucked.

  6. DRed

    A beat writer should generally understand that much of what coaches say in public is bullshit-it’s not like Fitz can go out there and say ‘Well, what do you want me to do, these guys all suck”, but at the same time we never appeared to have an offense and Fiz spent the preseason running his mouth about movement and all that when he should have realized what he had to work with.

  7. Bruno Almeida

    Well, both sides are doing what they do here. Yes, the coaches and front office are just saying bs to appease the media and fans, and the media is hammering them for that bs to get clicks and reactions. As we’ve seen from our own discussions here, there simply isn’t much to talk about the Knicks in these months when we have exhausted the talks about Mitch, the new signings and the young guys, and even a lot of that is just speculative or random predictions.

  8. TheOakmanCometh

    I laughed at Bondy’s line: “Statistics show that some will have reduced opportunities.”

    It’s not clear that he knows what statistics are.

  9. Unreason

    Re the assists.
    Players sucking would account for the lack of total assists. But they were also worst in the league in the % of baskets that were assisted. I don’t see how player talent accounts for that. Isn’t that just people not trying to pass the ball enough.

    I would have preferred that he said: “That’s on me. I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen again. We should have made sure our young guys are more focused on finding the open man. There are no superstars shot creators on this team. We should have held them all accountable and ensured we were building good habits. We’ll do that this year”.

    Blaming a season’s worth of behavior on the selfishness of players whose playing time you control doesn’t seem good.

  10. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I like Bondy. Even if he’s shaded a bit towards being too critical, it’s necessary for someone like him to be around in an environment where everyone else is treating the current regime with kid gloves even when they deserve criticism (sometimes harsh).

  11. Brian Cronin Post author

    I would have preferred that he said: “That’s on me. I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen again. We should have made sure our young guys are more focused on finding the open man. There are no superstars shot creators on this team. We should have held them all accountable and ensured we were building good habits. We’ll do that this year”.

    Blaming a season’s worth of behavior on the selfishness of players whose playing time you control doesn’t seem good.

    The next time Fizdale takes the blame for something will be the first time that Fizdale takes the blame for something.

  12. ess-dog

    I think they will try to win more games this year. Whether they will do that or not is tbd.

    Morris is a smart, physical, vocal vet, so he should lead this group. The two former Pels should start and do more of what they’ve done (remember, it might be a bit easier in the East.) Mitch will do his thing, and someone who can play D and knock down open shots will start at the other guard spot.

    They’ll have to move the ball because this doesn’t look like a run-and-gun team. At least their games should resemble real basketball this year, but yeah, Fiz could get fired if he can’t show he has some halfcourt sets and real rotations.

  13. JK47

    This particular team is just very strange, it’s a roster full of placeholders who are supposed to make the product look cosmetically better but when you get right down to it, it’s sort of like when you see a Honda Civic that’s tricked out with the racing kit. I mean, nice stripes and tailfin and all but it’s still a Honda Civic.

    I don’t think winning like 31 games with a bunch of lunchpail vets moves the needle in any direction, we’re really just punting this season and hoping for better luck next time. It seems like very few of these cats are going to be a part of the next good Knicks team, whenever that happens to exist. Years from now we’ll look back on this team and be all like “Wait a minute, Reggie Bullock was a Knick? I don’t remember that.”

  14. Bruno Almeida

    This team will compete more but I don’t see how they will win much more games. It’s pretty much the same shit as the last few seasons for me, I’ll be happy if the youngsters make strides and we win games because of it, I’ll be sad if Bobby Portis or Wayne Ellington drop 30 and we win random useless games to reach 28 wins. But at this point, with the lottery being what it is, the Knicks rebuild will take some major luck anyway for it to work, so I guess it doesn’t matter much. I just feel conflicted, as I’m really in the mood to watch basketball but the Knicks will probably be the same old were used to.

  15. Brian Cronin Post author

    Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon has agreed to a four-year, $76M maximum contract extension, league sources

    Huh? How is that a “maximum contract”? Do they just mean that this is the biggest contract extension that they could give him based on his current salary? If so, then that’s a really poor choice of words to describe it.

  16. Brian Cronin Post author

    Years from now we’ll look back on this team and be all like “Wait a minute, Reggie Bullock was a Knick? I don’t remember that.”

    That’s going to be the case for, like, at least four of them, I bet. Like Taj Gibson.

  17. ess-dog

    Oh yeah, they’ll be bad… hopefully more of a team, but that’s on Fiz. I honestly don’t think he’s up for it.
    Shooting for 34 wins isn’t a good strategy, but it seems like that’s what their doing while hoping for surprises along the way:

    “Hey what if Randle becomes a star!” “What if Dennis Smith takes a big leap?” “What if Knox bulks up and learns five things and becomes great?”

    Most likely, none of these things will happen, and it will remain a team of average vets and bad young players that can’t get any stars to sign up. If we’re lucky, RJ will be decent and of course there’s Mitch. So that’s 2 real pieces that will maybe be part of the next group in 3 years.

  18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I mean, nice stripes and tailfin and all but it’s still a Honda Civic.

    yesterday I saw a guy get out of an immaculately maintained BMW M3 with a Brazzers license plate frame, still confused as to whether it was ironic or if he’s a shareholder or what

    sidebar–

    Here’s my homemade pizza update, with a few extras. I finally have figured out the toss/stretch and have begun to parbake the dough (5m in my 500F oven) and removing it to add the bufala, which cooks for another 3m. The result is that the sauce gets reduced and a little Maillard action to enter the Flavortown city limits, the cheese does not brown, and I’m able to get a little more char on the crust, which is a hurdle for great home pizza:

    https://imgur.com/a/k9A30uN

  19. geo

    if there’s ever a jowles cooking channel – sign me up…no question about it…

    glad to see the zhang weili hype wasn’t just – hype…dang that chick is a beast…

    go football…missed the army opener (they rarely play on fridays)…probably one of the most agonizing teams to root for…pretty much every game is a toss up in the 4th…to their credit though – they’ve figured a way to compete…

    current team rooting interests (all new york, thank you very much)…

    *yanks: rarely sweat whatever they’re doing…absolutely love watching the big man, hof’er aroldis, do his thing…mo’s my all time favorite, little ahead of mickey rivers – but yeah, aroldis loves to compete, and he’s good at it…

    * army football: lots of really lean years…could never understand though why air force and navy were able to find ways to success…I understand it had a little to do with the nature of the schools themselves…

    ol’ daddie donnie maybe doing grad fans a big favor by allowing seniors to forgo their commitment and go straight to the pros…

    I like that, let the young folks have the choice…many go straight to a coaching assignment anyway…there won’t be that many…maybe commit to the reserves…

    I get the principle of it though – you have up to your junior year to decide to stay, without having to pay “something” back…once a junior, the rules change…

    but (big butt) the benefit of having these schools portrayed in a favorable light (highlighting some really neat young people) will do our armed services a world of good…

    * g-men: can’t remember the last full game I watched…still follow them in the news/highlights though…

    *knicks: there’s just something about tragedy, heartbreak and disappointment which fascinates, (and sadly) attracts me…it’s why I’m here…

    sometimes I feel like one of them sad souls that used to walk around and whip themselves in the name of some greater power…mortification of the soul…yeah,…

  20. Early Bird

    FIBA started last night to a number of blowouts and 2 close games including Russia beating 82-77.

    Lot of the early rounds will probably be blowouts like yesterday’s games. Looking forward to the post-pool play.

  21. geo

    howdy early bird…hope all is well in the world for you…

    by any chance, would you happen to know which channel it’s playing on?

  22. Early Bird

    As far as I know, they’re only on Espn+. I would think USA would play on an actual channel, but I don’t know that for a fact. Either way, they’re playing in China which makes the time change difficult to watch any of them.

  23. KnickfaninNJ

    It used to be you could watch replays of ESPN stuff on WatchESPN if you had a home cable provider that gave ESPN. But now they got rid of that app and the new app seems to be watchable only with a subscription. I already pay for eSPN as part of my cable bill. Is there any way to stream it using the app without also paying a fee?

  24. JK47

    Vasyl Lomachenko, possibly the best boxer in the world, is facing a tough opponent on ESPN+ today if anybody is into that sort of thing

  25. Early Bird

    Although it’s probably folly, I have Serbia ranked ahead of the US right now.

    US is in a tier with France, Spain, and Greece (in that order).

    Lithuania is in the next tier by themselves.

    I have absolutely no basis to make such judgments other than a quick look at their rosters. I legitimately may put France ahead of the US too. I like their defense with Gobert as the anchor.

  26. Ntilakilla

    @27

    Campbell presents a height and length mismatch but Loma is too good. He’s the P4P best for my money. The Inoue be damned.

  27. JK47

    Yeah I suspect Loma picks him apart because Loma picks everybody apart. He’s an artist in there.

  28. Ntilakilla

    Yep, you have to have elite level footwork to compete with Loma at lightweight and Campbell doesn’t have it. I want to see him move up fight to Pacquiao at catchweight. That’s the matchup.

  29. swiftandabundant

    I’m pretty optimistic about this season (surprise!) Here is why.

    Not all 30 win teams are the same. After the lottery odds got flattened, being s high 20s/low 30 win team that misses the playoffs isn’t as big of a deal. He’ll we could get lucky for once and get a top pick next yea year even if we are 10 or 15 games better.

    There is enough youth on this team even with some of the guys we signed (Randle, Peyton, Portia) that we could see a significant improvement from at least one if not more of them. If 2 or 3 of the younger players take a leap, that could really change things for us.

    The free agents we signed, except for Randle who we have next year, all have player options for next season. So there is really good flexibility for the following season. We can bring back one, two, three or all of them if we wanted. Also, the team options make them all very traceable. We haven’t had traceable vets in awhile. Melo, Noah, Hardaway, Lee, etc…all had contract lengths and size that made them hard to move. None of these guys are like that. People made fun of us signing so many PFs but the reality is that some of them can play the 3 and some the 5. There will be injuries to other big men this season and we will have a plethora of them to offer in trades.

    Finally, we have all of our picks going forward and the two Dallas picks. This is another rebuilding year but I see in my mind how it’s the logical next step after last season.

    I don’t expect us to be particularly good but Peyton and RJ should mean better ball movement. We should be able to rebound well as a team and I think we have enough youth and athleticism to get out in the open court and run. And from what all the vets who have come in have said in interviews, it appears they all know they’ve been brought in as role players and are here to help the youngsters grow.

    I don’t know. I’m kind of excited about the season and can’t wait for it to start. But Fizdale is definitely on the clock and needs to…

  30. Brian Cronin Post author

    They’re all so tradeable that they all ended up signing basically one-year deals with the Knicks? Ellington was literally waived just last season! I think you’re way overestimating just how much demand there is for the players that they signed.

    Except Morris. He’s definitely tradeable. But I bet donuts to dollars that they’ll end up wanting to keep him if he plays well. The next time this front office actually flips a veteran will be the first time.

  31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    the best thing that can happen is for them to lose 65 games and be in a position for a top-5 pick

  32. JK47

    the best thing that can happen is for them to lose 65 games and be in a position for a top-5 pick

    Yeah, agreed. The accidentitank is still the best hope

  33. Owen

    “Years from now we’ll look back on this team and be all like “Wait a minute, Reggie Bullock was a Knick? I don’t remember that.”

    That’s going to be the case for, like, at least four of them, I bet. Like Taj Gibson.

    Not sure any more comments will be necessary this season….

  34. Knew Your Nicks

    Tanking before a draft without Jojos or Zions is like fishing with dynamites in an aquarium.

  35. Bruno Almeida

    I still believe in the possibility of an accidentank, but this season it would be pretty frightening as it would mean that Mitch hasn’t progressed much, or hasn’t had much impact due to injuries / foul trouble, that Knox doesn’t progress either and that Barrett really sucks (which is likely as he’s a 19 year old wing who wasn’t great in college). I don’t think there’s a way for this team to be the worst team in the league unless these guys are all terrible or injured, and both would be pretty bad for us anyway.

    Charlotte and Cleveland will be very hard to outtank, and tanking to get the 3rd worst overall record and the 6th pick like the Suns did last season would probably be a disaster.

  36. thenoblefacehumper

    I think the best case scenario for this year involves the young guys we have under contract for a bit taking steps forward, and in that scenario it’s pretty hard to see us being in the cellar.

    The actual best case scenario, weirdly enough, is probably the Mitch/Barrett/Randle/Trier/DSJ/Knox/Brazdeikis/Frank/Dotson group performing well while Payton/Portis/Morris/Gibson/Ellington/Bullock group falters. That would probably leave us in the high 20s, low 30s win range. With the flattened odds, that’d probably be a worthwhile tradeoff from a true accidentank.

    Of course, it’s a wildly implausible scenario for many reasons. You know you had a good offseason when your teams best case scenario involves most of your signings sucking!

    I should add that I’m assuming, like BC, that we’re not trading any of our newly signed dreck. It’s just not something we’ve ever really done around here and I don’t think we’ll just kick not doing it to the curb.

  37. thenoblefacehumper

    Disastrous enough that Mills could be fired?

    I mean, hasn’t the guy already survived worse?

  38. Owen

    I have always scoffed at the idea of “talent” in the NBA and in sports. You are what you produce. Watching Nick Kyrgios play tennis though is going to make a hypocrite out of me.

  39. JK47

    I guess Lomachenko is too small to ever fight Bud Crawford?

    Loma vs Bud was a dream matchup a few years ago, but Bud has since moved up two weight classes to welterweight and lightweight is already pushing it for Loma. Bud is just a naturally bigger guy.

    A good marquee matchup for Loma would have been Mikey Garcia, but Mikey got the brakes beat off him by Errol Spence at welterweight in a fight Mikey never should have taken, and you have to wonder if Mikey is ever going to be the same. Loma vs Mikey Garcia and Bud Crawford vs Errol Spence were the obvious matchups that made a lot of sense but boxing gonna boxing.

    Teofimo Lopez vs Loma is probably Loma’s next big fight. Teofimo is an electric offensive fighter, and would probably be the most dangerous opponent Loma has yet faced.

  40. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, I’m 100% sure Mills survives this year no matter what. It will be too soon to make a judgment on Barrett no matter how he plays, the same can / will be argued about Knox and I’m sure he sold this year’s plan to Dolan like “hey, Durant and Kyrie are losers but we’re setting up to attract the really good guys in two years!” I agree with chrisconley that I only see him getting canned, or actually being moved to a different position at MSG, after they whiff in the 2021 class. That’s if they don’t max DeRozan next season, which I’m scared but kinda maybe confident enough to think won’t happen because they already have Barrett and Knox.

    If anything, Perry is the one in danger, as if this team sucks Mills might pull the carpet from under him and bring a name guy who can allegedly sway the big free agents towards the Knicks.

  41. Ingmarrrr

    I have always scoffed at the idea of “talent” in the NBA and in sports. You are what you produce. Watching Nick Kyrgios play tennis though is going to make a hypocrite out of me.

    Yeah, no kidding. First exiting player I’ve seen in a while.

  42. JK47

    Loma was good yesterday and won easily but he seems beatable. I’d still pick him to beat Lopez but it seems like he might have a hard time with a big, athletic, hard hitting natural lightweight like Teofimo.

    I’d make Naoya Inoue my #1 pound for pound. Ain’t nobody beating that guy.

  43. KnickfaninNJ

    BigBlueAl, the $4.95 is not a lot. But since ESPN implemented it with no explanation in a way that made think their new app was broken, I’m not well disposed to them at the moment.

  44. Ingmarrrr

    Anyone watched France Germany today? Frank’s box score is kind of awful, 13 minutes, 8 points on 2/5, 1 stl, and his patented nothing else. Minus 16 in a 4 point win. Can the eye test confirm it, or was there anything redeeming about his game?

  45. E

    Frank fills up the box score and has a good plus-minus but his points/shots ratio is inefficient — Frank sucks.

    Frank has a very efficient points/shots ratio but the rest of the box score is a bit empty and his plus-minus isn’t so great — Frank sucks.

    Heads, Frank sucks; tails, Frank sucks.

  46. Early Bird

    When has Frank ever filled up the boxscore???

    Also, Frank is currently backing up Andrew Albicy–vaunted 29yo, 5’10” pg for BC Zenit Saint Petersburg. (The vaunted is sarcastic if you didn’t pick up on that).

    France played against Germany. Germany’s primary scorer is pg Dennis Schroeder. Frank still didn’t get the start. Think about that.

  47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Didn’t I say that Frank averaged one offensive board every 90 minutes or something like that? That’s not a stat stuffer. That’s a fucking NCAA bench player.

  48. Early Bird

    Louis Labeyrie, who the Knicks still have the draft rights for (I think), played ~8 minutes and managed to do less than Frank.

    Labyerie: 2 PF, 1 TO, 1 BLK, 1DREB, 0 PTS on 0 FGA & 0 FTA.

  49. Early Bird

    Willy Hernangomez scored 8pts on 6fga, 7reb, 5 ast in 16 min against Tunisia (in a blowout).
    Ex-Knick Rudy Fernandez 7pts on 4fga & 2fta, 2 ast in 18 min.

    Gallinari: 16pts on 6fga & 2fta in 13 min against Philippines.

    Former NYK draft pick Papanikolau: 2pts, 4fga, 18min against montenegro
    Former NYK placeholder/trade asset Georgios Printezis: 16 pts, 6 fga, 4fts, 19 min

    That’s your vaguely-NYK-relevant FIBA summary for today.

    Not pictured is NYK draft rights for Ognjen Jaramaz who is Serbian, but not on the team for whatever reason. Currently signed to a team in Liga ACB (same league as Real Madrid). He’s 24. I doubt he’ll ever get called up.

  50. Bruno Almeida

    @57

    Now all he has to do is do both at the same time for once in his career and we’ll praise him!

  51. KnickfaninNJ

    I calculated his true shooting percentage for the game and it was 0.680. It’s wierd he didn’t start. Someone here reported he was just anointed the starter, and he played a lot more music bites in warm up games.

  52. Early Bird

    Early Bird…Rudy was not on the Knicks. I think you had Sergio Rodriguez in mind…

    You’re correct. I was thinking of Sergio.

    I’m also probably leaving some other people off the list.

  53. Knew Your Nicks

    Missed Air-Ntilikina attempt in traffic is telling me: “don’t give up on me yet”.
    Needs balls to go to the hoop this way.
    (and determination/focus to put it in…)

  54. KnickfaninNJ

    Sorry, I meant “he played a lot more minutes in warm up games.”

    Some times I don’t know where spell check gets stuff.

  55. Knew Your Nicks

    And i thought my slang english were seriously outdated after seeing “the music bites” !!!

  56. slovene knick

    There is some Knick conection in every team on this plamet….from Pitino,Rautins,Shved,Randolph….
    Knicks are omnipresent…you can’t escape

  57. Early Bird

    Knicks, Greeks ….and freaks are everywhere !

    Oh duh, Thanasis also a former Knick draft pick and D-League player, got called up for awhile too if I remember correctly.

    3/4 fg, 1/2 ft’s for 8 pts, 1 ast, 1 reb, 1 blk. 4pfs, 1 to in 12 min

    He and Giannis were the only Ante… brothers to make the Greek team. Still holding out hope they eventually run out 5 Antete… brothers at the same time.

    Completely unrelated, Canada has two Scrubbs on their team which is both very appropriate and hilarious.

  58. Knew Your Nicks

    After checking the Canada roster i have to add that these 2 names are also hilarious if you’re Greek:
    Kevin Pangos = Kevin Bench
    Owen Klassen = Owen (Go) Fart

    Btw Pangos and Calathes (mean.Basket) are so greek&bball related that sound pretty surreal as names of bball players.

  59. Early Bird

    Yeah, Blatche has been playing for/carrying the Philippines basketball team for a few years now. the Fazekas thing was news to me.

    In both cases I assume some money exchanged hands to convince the players to naturalize.

  60. cgreene

    Does anyone think that maybe the big stars don’t sign with the Knicks bc Dolan is a vocal Trump supporter? I don’t know the political persuasions of other owners but Dolan is definitely a Trump guy.

  61. DRed

    Betsy DeVoss’ father in law owns the Magic. I think the Spurs owner is a big Trump guy. I think it’s more likely they know Dolan is a meddling idiot.

  62. Bruno Almeida

    @78

    I was curious, so I looked it up. Apparently Fazekas has been playing in Japan since 2012, was even MVP of their league like 3 times and scoring champion 4 times. At least he was successful somewhere!

  63. dtrickey

    There are some good careers to be had outside of the NBA. Some leagues have issues with player payments, but from all reports the lifestyle and money is pretty good if you land in a decent league. We have had a number of guys over the years come to play in Australia as imports and end up naturalising. Josh Boone who was drafted by the Nets years ago has made a real nice career for himself in the NBL the last 3 1/2 years or so after a bit of globe trotting after getting cut by the Nets back in 2010.

  64. Ingmarrrr

    Posting and Toasting has the Ntilikina highlights (in GIF form)

    Frank took off too early (for his limited athleticism) on his dunk attempt. Nice try though.

  65. Bruno Almeida

    @83

    Man, I thought Boone would have a decent career in the NBA, he was a pretty good rebounder.

    For guys like this it really isn’t that bad, I wouldn’t mind living very close to Tokyo like Fazekas, dominating a bad league and getting paid to do so.

  66. dtrickey

    Man, I thought Boone would have a decent career in the NBA, he was a pretty good rebounder.

    For guys like this it really isn’t that bad, I wouldn’t mind living very close to Tokyo like Fazekas, dominating a bad league and getting paid to do so.

    FWIW he still is a pretty good on the boards ha ha. Father time is starting to catch up to him, but he has consistently been a premier big in the league.

    For guys on the NBA fringe, if you can hook up with a team in a decent setting it can be a pretty sweet deal. That said, in leagues where you are coming in as an import you shoulder a lot of expectation. Most teams in leagues outside the NBA will pay their imports a much higher salary than local players, and if you fail to live up to those expectations you get cut pretty quick, so it can be a bit of a double edged sword at times.

  67. Hubert

    Willy Hernangomez scored 8pts on 6fga, 7reb, 5 ast in 16 min against Tunisia (in a blowout).

    That trade, which upset me at the time, looks like a bigger win for Perry every day. Charlotte’s next two 2nd round picks will likely add much more value than what willy would have provided over the last three seasons of his deal.

    And his trade value now is, what, zilch?

  68. Hubert

    Except Morris. He’s definitely tradeable. But I bet donuts to dollars that they’ll end up wanting to keep him if he plays well. The next time this front office actually flips a veteran will be the first time.

    In addition to maximizing Morris’s trade value, I would love to see us pump and dump allonzo trier. I think that’s the optimal way to extract value from him. Dude can score but I’m not into his overall game. Those are the kind of guys you can trade to a needy contender for more than they’re worth, like relievers having a great season in baseball. No one ever regrets being on the selling end of those deals.

    We’ve never seen the Knicks operate this way but maybe after getting schooled by the Nets they’ll read up on Sean Marks’ playbook and come out of this season with a bevy of picks.

  69. TheClashFan

    @81

    I can’t wait for the day that I will never have to watch Familia pitch for the Mets again.

    You’ll get there! Just a little over 2 years to go…
    :-)

    OTOH, I’ve got to wait a little over 4 more years on Cano…while Kelenic probably becomes a young star…
    :-(

  70. Z-man

    Willy Hernangomez scored 8pts on 6fga, 7reb, 5 ast in 16 min against Tunisia (in a blowout).

    That trade, which upset me at the time, looks like a bigger win for Perry every day. Charlotte’s next two 2nd round picks will likely add much more value than what willy would have provided over the last three seasons of his deal.

    And his trade value now is, what, zilch?

    Some of us said so at the time, only to get blasted by the “everything mgmt does is bad because they suck” crowd. “He’s cost-controlled, he’s cost-controlled….you can just go out and buy those picks, you should never trade assets for them!”

    As a Bargnani-level defender, Willy had the nerve to whine about not playing and asked for a trade. Charlotte got bamboozled by his rebounding and efficiency numbers. As it turns out, those 2 picks (almost certainly 31-35) are probably more valuable than the last couple of picks in the first round…no strings attached at all and in that sweet spot where guys like Mitch might be available.

    Willy is the poster boy for the glaring hole in catch-all advanced stats, especially WS and WP, but even BPM to a degree. If you’re a big who both can’t shot 3’s and can’t defend either at the rim or in space, you have a hard low ceiling in today’s NBA.

  71. thenoblefacehumper

    Grasping at straws a bit but it’s somewhat encouraging to see Barrett describe himself as a “playmaker” here. I’ve thought for a while that if he pursues the whole Maple Mamba thing, we’re fucked. His skillset seems much more suited to being a Ben Simmons type (that would obviously represent a very high percentile outcome, just saying it’s what he should be striving for).

  72. bobneptune

    Does anyone think that maybe the big stars don’t sign with the Knicks bc Dolan is a vocal Trump supporter? I don’t know the political persuasions of other owners but Dolan is definitely a Trump guy.

    Does anyone think black players shun NE because Kraft, Brady and Belichick are Trump supporters and Boston has the most racist fans in North America?

    Winning is the universal deodorant.

  73. thenoblefacehumper

    Yeah, I was probably wrong about the Willy trade. I still think he can crack a rotation eventually but if Enes Kanter, who is basically a better version of Willy, struggles to find employment every time he’s a free agent, two high seconds is probably good value for Willy.

    It sure would be nice to get a 31st overall pick after we pissed one away for Travis Wear!

  74. Donnie Walsh

    Years from now we’ll look back on this team and be all like “Wait a minute, Reggie Bullock was a Knick? I don’t remember that.”

    Like when we look back to 2009 and we’re like “Wait a minute, Larry Hughes was a Knick? I don’t remember that.”

  75. Z-man

    I wonder if Barrett’s best future is that of a big, physical PG, sort of like Orlando Penny Hardaway-type player. I worry about his lack of elite athleticism, he’s very strong but not especially quick-twitch or above-the-rim. I don’t know how good his 3-pt shot will top out, maybe he can work on it to the point that he becomes a big, methodical Chauncey Billups-type combo guard in tandem with a scoring PG like Lindsey Hunter.

  76. bobneptune

    The actual best case scenario, weirdly enough, is probably the Mitch/Barrett/Randle/Trier/DSJ/Knox/Brazdeikis/Frank/Dotson group performing well while Payton/Portis/Morris/Gibson/Ellington/Bullock group falters. That would probably leave us in the high 20s, low 30s win range. With the flattened odds, that’d probably be a worthwhile tradeoff from a true accidentank.

    The only guys on this squad that have “earned” steady big minutes in the NBA are Mitch, Randle and Morris.

    For the love of God for the first 40 or so games I’d play all 13 guys around 20 minutes apiece and let the chips fall where they may. I’d defend 94 feet of then floor all 48 minutes and find out who wants to play and who doesn’t. Rotate guys in and out constantly keeping fresh legs on the floor. Everybody gets a chance every night to show what they can do …. nobody has any beef. Play the best 5 guys that night the last 5 minutes and try to win if you can. Try running a meritocracy for once if you can. Let the players weed themselves out.

    Make decisions on players. is there any interest in Morris, Portis or any of the one year guys gauge it and act. Is Randle a keeper or a trade asset? Act on it. After the trade deadline play only players that have earned their way into the long term plan and give any of the one year guys a buy out if they want one.

    It’s not really difficult. If they win 40 games…. fine. If the win 18 games…. that’s fine too.

  77. Z-man

    Yeah, I was probably wrong about the Willy trade. I still think he can crack a rotation eventually but if Enes Kanter, who is basically a better version of Willy, struggles to find employment every time he’s a free agent, two high seconds is probably good value for Willy.

    Kanter’s problem with finding employment was that he was grossly overpaid. At $5 mill per year, he was much better value and would be in reasonably high demand going forward at that price. That said, I think Celts diehards will eventually turn on him when other teams abuse him in the PnR.

    Willy should get a good opportunity to play this year, Charlotte is god-awful and probably tanking. I can see him hanging around the league at $3-4 mill a year, but he needs to make at least some improvement on D.

  78. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    Some of us said so at the time, only to get blasted by the “everything mgmt does is bad because they suck” crowd. “He’s cost-controlled, he’s cost-controlled….you can just go out and buy those picks, you should never trade assets for them!”

    That wasn’t the argument. The argument was, OK, we had to trade Melo, and taking back Kanter and getting McDermott and a pick is a good deal. But then we should have done something with Kanter, who is unplayably bad on defense, because Wily is a similar player at 1/15th the cost. Or, we should have traded Wily when his value was at its highest, coming off a second-rookie team debut season. Instead, we buried him on the bench, which led to him publicly complaining after months, which led to a trade for much less than what he would have got months earlier. Terrible asset management…or do you disagree with any of that?

    Did I think Wily was a top-line starter? No. I thought he was a decent, young, cheap backup big on a fantastic salary on a terrible team that should have been developing its young, cheap players. Wily not turning out to be a star doesn’t mean it was anything but terrible management.

    And the bigger point at the time was, it’s tough to build a good team when you aren’t able to make value moves on the margins, because it’s those moves that position you for the big ones. Given what just happened with the Nets (a team that made value moves that positioned it for the Big Moves), I think my ire has been 100% vindicated…especially as Wily was KP’s best friend, and that had to impact his desire for a trade. It’s debatable whether keeping KP (at a presumed max) would have been smart, but not whether trading away his best friend for second round picks was when you were trying to keep KP.

  79. Z-man

    Terrible asset management…or do you disagree with any of that?

    Yes, I disagree. First, you say, “But then we should have done something with Kanter, who is unplayably bad on defense…” when there was nothing to “do” with him at his salary unless you added major sweetener to a deal. Then you say, “Or, we should have traded Wily when his value was at its highest, coming off a second-rookie team debut season.” But anyone with a scintilla of basketball knowledge could see that he was probably the worst defensive big in the league and giving up anything more than we actually got for him would be a huge risk. Your statement assumes that we could have gotten more than we did for him if we played him more, when it’s just as likely that we would have gotten less for him as teams saw how Bargnani-like he was on defense. We probably traded him at his peak value. Think about it, Orlando played him less than we did after trading assets for him and never at any point gould get back what they gave up for him.

    The Knicks FO has bungled lots of player valuation situations, but they hit a HR with Willy and never had a chance to do anything with Kanter.

  80. Hubert

    Or, we should have traded Wily when his value was at its highest, coming off a second-rookie team debut season. Instead, we buried him on the bench, which led to him publicly complaining after months, which led to a trade for much less than what he would have got months earlier. Terrible asset management…or do you disagree with any of that?

    Burying willy didn’t really hurt his value, though. Those two picks were a great return.

    I was firmly in the “we shouldn’t have traded this young, productive asset” camp, but I recongnized that at least we did well in the deal.

  81. JK47

    Any way you slice it the Knicks won the Willy H trade. That doesn’t happen super often.

    The market for guys like Willy has plummeted to zero over the last few years, so kudos to the FO for realizing that and cashing in on what was a nothing asset.

    They then turned around and gave a big contract to another non-rim protecting big named Bobby Portis, so if you want to rip on those guys for their incompetence there you go. At least it’s a short contract.

  82. bobneptune

    They then turned around and gave a big contract to another non-rim protecting big named Bobby Portis, so if you want to rip on those guys for their incompetence there you go. At least it’s a short contract.

    At least this one shot 39% from 3 last year and has a viscous right lead!

  83. Early Bird

    So I just realized a 35yo Renaldo Balkman is starting for Puerto Rico!! Only lost to Spain by 10 is actually an impressive showing

  84. Z-man

    They then turned around and gave a big contract to another non-rim protecting big named Bobby Portis, so if you want to rip on those guys for their incompetence there you go. At least it’s a short contract.

    But we gave up nothing for Portis given the current “win now but hedge towards developing young players, maintaining future cap flexibility and not squandering draft assets” strategy (we can argue that the strategy is dumb, they should be tanking again and renting cap space, yadayada…) We actually traded 2 #2 picks to acquire Willy, so it turned out to be incredibly lucky that we got back better picks than we gave up for him.

  85. Z-man

    Also, Portis doesn’t protect the rim but he does shoot 3’s and defend in space reasonably well. He’s a modern NBA big way more than WHG is. But definitely an overpay and it would be hard to move that contract at the deadline unless he improves considerably.

  86. JK47

    (we can argue that the strategy is dumb, they should be tanking again and renting cap space, yadayada…)

    Well, that’s the thing. Opportunity cost.

    We could have used that $15M to extract assets instead of having Portis be one of our 50 bigs at an inflated price. The all-in-one metrics are skewed towards bigs, and Portis still manages to rank as a well below average player despite this. It’s almost kind of difficult to manage a .060 WS48 as a big given the inherent advantages bigs have in a metric like WS48, but our boy managed it.

    If you smoothed out WS48 to take away some of the advantages that Cs get in that system, he’s probably more like a .030 player last year. He’s just kind of bad.

  87. Z-man

    Portis’s metrics are hard to figure. His rebounding is very solid, his TS is mediocre but not god-awful, he has shot well at times from all 3 levels…I guess he doesn’t pass and probably shoots too much…and he doesn’t block shots.

    I guess you can squint and see a good player emerging from those stats if he shoots from each level (2, 3, FT) at his marks in his better years, if he becomes a bit of a better passer, if he can defend in space and protect the rim a bit better. I’m very interested in seeing him play in our current situation, which seems way healthier than those he’s been involved in. Clearly he doesn’t suffer fools gladly and means business.

  88. Early Bird

    I like taking a chance on Portis. He’s young and he could put it all together still.

    The issue is overpaying the vets like Ellington and Taj. I like both those guys, but they should be the first out the door.

  89. JK47

    For a guy who is supposed to be a big tough guy “dark alley” type, Portis plays a soft game. Does not block shots (0.5 blk/36 career), doesn’t dunk the ball (23 dunks in 1300 minutes last year) and doesn’t draw contact (2.7 FTA/36).

    He’s a finesse player, other than the rebounding.

  90. Bruno Almeida

    Portis is not a bad player, he’s just not very good either. I guess if his shooting from 3 is sustainable he could be sort of a Brook Lopez type center, with more rebounding and worse overall efficiency scoring, I just don’t think this type of player is particularly useful unless you already have a pretty good team.

    I’m all for opportunity cost and he’s less terrible than signing Gibson, I just don’t think we’ll get really anything out of him. Its unlikely he progresses too much this year to have real trade value, and unlikely he progresses enough to warrant a second contract anyway.

  91. Z-man

    Yeah the dark alley stuff is dumb, but if he shoots 40% from 3 on 7-8 attempts per 36 (clearly needs to up his 3PAr) and gets 11 rebs per 36, it doesn’t matter how much he dunks.

  92. JK47

    His TS% is low though, because he doesn’t get easy buckets, and doesn’t draw FTs. So yeah, he’d have to be a much more high-volume 3PT shooter, that is what he’d have to do to get the TS% up.

    I’m not really into his game. He got overpaid because bigs who can shoot 3’s are in vogue but overall he’s not really effective.

  93. Z-man

    If he plays exactly how he played for CHI and WAS, I won’t be into his game either. But to be fair, if he had better stats, he probably wouldn’t have been available. He was signed with the expectation (hope?) that he would improve due to Fiz’s supposed genius at player development.

    I like that he understands that he will be in a back-up role behind Mitch.

    When it comes down to it, I probably give young players more of a chance to improve than you do. I hold out hope for all the guys under 25 to develop significantly, even though most will probably stay pretty much who they are. In Portis’ case, I don’t think he’s that far from becoming an effective rotation player in the correct role for him, and I don’t think becoming more than that is out of the question yet.

  94. JK47

    Sure, Portis could improve but in the big picture, is he really much better than a guy like Hernangomez? They’re both non-shot blockers (Willy blocks a few more per 36) and they both rebound well, so I guess the question is, is Willy’s terrible defense plus efficient scoring really worth that much less than Portis’ supposedly good-in-space defense and non-efficient scoring?

    I dunno, maybe?

  95. Bruno Almeida

    There is a chance Portis improves, so like I said, his signing doesn’t make me mad, the same goes for Elfrid Peyton for example, who I even like a bit. Outside of Randle they’re the two signings I like the most, simply because I don’t care about the leadership aspects that Morris or Gibson or who ever may bring when we have a roster that could have 9 new players next year or the year after.

  96. Z-man

    I think young players have to learn how to win. Ellington, Morris and Gibson were key “grit” players on winning teams who can still play. Having 3 guys on the roster who will hold young players accountable is good if it’s done right. Gibson, Morris and Ellington are not Lance Thomas or Lou Amundson or Joakim Noah. They’re more like Courtney Lee, who was a dumb signing but a good guy to have around young players.

    Probably the most redundant guy is Bullock, it was sheer charity to keep him on board after his injury became known. Everyone else seems to fit into a plan of vets who had to earn their minutes on winning teams setting an example for young guys.

  97. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    You can also argue that Portis is more of a stretch big man than Willie even though Willie was shooting and hitting some wide open 3s last year. That’s a somewhat subjective discussion.

    How much do you value space relative to efficiency. I think space counts ( and is one of many reasons most models are broken), but the league may be overvaluing it at this point.

    I don’t mind the Portis signing. It’s just way too much to pay for better offense when Vonleh and his better defense were on the board for a fraction of the price. They keep talking about “defense” but keep making margin decisions in favor of offense.

  98. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Willy was bad last year, but I’m going to go out on a limb based on no first hand knowledge and suggest his lack of development has more to do with off the court activities and work ethic than basketball talent and skill. I still think he can be a very good backup C on a good team at a gift of a price, but that’s in part on him. Whether the NBA starts valuing players like him again is another question. I don’t think you can start a guy like that, but I think those players still have a lot of value as backups because of their offense/rebounding. I’d rather have a player like him (Kanter, and even better KOQ etc..) as a backup than someone that can’t defend, doesn’t rebound, but that throws up 3s at a decent rate. I think the league has gone nuts, but they’ll figure that out eventually. The pendulum swung too far.

  99. Bruno Almeida

    @116

    But what’s the point in this when the entire roster will most likely be different in the next two years? Let’s say we eventually keep Barrett, Mitch and Knox out of this group, and let’s admit, even though I think it’s incredibly uncertain, that they will tangibly benefit from the leadership these guys will bring. Is it really worth it using like 5 roster spots for this? When the team still needs talent everywhere?

    We’ve talked about DeAndre being a great influence, for example, yet now 80% of the players he might have positively affected with his character aren’t even on the roster anymore.

    I think good teams need smart and tough veterans. But they are necessary when there’s a baseline of talent already on the team that can be reliably kept around for years, so we are the team that reaps the benefits from their development. I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the Mitch / Barrett / Knox group and say there’s a chance they will be that group, but I’m really not confident at all.

    I’m not mad at the signings, as the contract length of those players mean they’re not huge mistakes like Noah was for example, I just dont really trust the strategy.

  100. Z-man

    @120 I disagree with some of your premises.

    First, it’s very possible that at least half of the future rotation is comprised of players currently on the team. Randle, Mitch, Knox, Trier, DSjr, Iggy, Dotson and Frank are all possible keepers. It’s not unrealistic to think that 5 of those 8 will stick. I’m not sure whether Portis or Payton have a future on the team, but they could certainly benefit from veteran role models and lack of drama and can either become trade assets or something (unlikely but possible.)

    Second, why should it matter whether they are together with these guys next year or beyond? It’s not like you forget everything you learned from being around them once they’re gone. It’s often the case that star players will reflect back on a veteran or two that taught them something important early in their career. You brought up DAJ as an example. Is it possible that Mitch learned some valuable lessons from him in the couple of months they practiced and played together? If yes, then it was good to have him around for a short while, especially without any long-term commitment to an aging player (the Nets are going to rue that contract in years 3 and 4.)

  101. Bruno Almeida

    @121

    What I meant was more the players who benefit from veteran lessons leaving, like let’s say Kornet for example, or if DSJ leaves for nothing next season. If all those players you mentioned actually do become good enough to be a decent core, then yes, the strategy makes a lot more sense. If they dont, well, I guess we’re screwed anyway if that happens.

  102. KnickfaninNJ

    This team is so hard for me to get a grip on. I have to write down the roster to actually know most of the players on it. Phil tried hiring players relatively short term and it didn’t work. Now Perry is also hiring players on short term contracts, but they are more expensive players. Presumably they are therefore better players. Does that mean we will have a better team than Phil did? It ought to, but I have no faith.

  103. DRed

    Portis fits the classic Knicks archetype of scorer who could be good if he stopped being a fucking idiot with his shot selection. His biggest problems scoring are he doesn’t draw fouls and he doesn’t shoot enough 3s.

  104. DRed

    Like yeah Willy isn’t a particularly good player, but he might be better than Portis and I’d much rather have Willy and 14 million dollars to maybe spend on a player who actually is good.

  105. JK47

    If you have to think really long and hard about what exactly the plan is, and nobody can really agree on exactly what the plan is, then maybe it isn’t much of a plan.

    To me it seems like “keep the cap flexibility so we can get Giannis and rack up some marginal wins so we fool people into thinking we’re the Nets” which is really not a galaxy brain level plan.

    I mean it’s better than “give Joakim Noah 4/72 because pinch post” but that is not a high bar.

  106. Z-man

    I don’t agree that there’s not a reasonable and discernible plan. It’s pretty simple, really. Augment a young core group (Mitch, Knox, Trier, DSjr, Dotson, Frank, Iggy) with other youngish players who are either turning the corner or might be about to (Randle, Payton, Portis) and hold them accountable with a small, effective but inexpensive core of hard-nosed vets (Ellington, Gibson, Morris.) Try to overachieve beyond marginal wins to build some chemistry and boil this group down for next year when two more draft picks are in the fold. Be opportunistic at the trade deadline, maybe acquire an asset or two from teams desperate for a decent two-way big like Morris or Gibson or a veteran 3-and-D wing like Ellington or Bullock. Depending on how the season goes, decide who to keep around and who to let go, and take another step forward next year, maybe sign another Randle-level player to a 2-3 year deal with a team option. Most importantly, keep building franchise credibility and become further and further removed from the circus that was the Phil Jackson era. At some point, the right FA or trade target will become available, so keep the cap situation flexible to pounce on the opportunity when it arises.

    I’m not going to argue that there aren’t more prudent ways to go, but this is not a terrible plan.

  107. Z-man

    Like yeah Willy isn’t a particularly good player, but he might be better than Portis and I’d much rather have Willy and 14 million dollars to maybe spend on a player who actually is good.

    This is fair, although there’s not a chance that Willy can be a modern NBA player while the jury is still out on Portis. But yeah, he looks like gross overpay at this point, even considering the team option.

  108. Z-man

    This team is so hard for me to get a grip on. I have to write down the roster to actually know most of the players on it. Phil tried hiring players relatively short term and it didn’t work. Now Perry is also hiring players on short term contracts, but they are more expensive players. Presumably they are therefore better players. Does that mean we will have a better team than Phil did? It ought to, but I have no faith.

    There is a huge difference between the current FO’s approach and Phil’s.

    Phil wanted to build around his rigid and outdated mindset as well as a flawed max player. True, he signed 1-year gigs, but he also signed Melo and Noah to albatross deals.

    Perry/Mills are building around a young core and are indicating that they respect the modern game. There are no albatross deals on the books. There are no signs of FO dementia emanating from twitter or Charlie Rosen.

  109. KnickfaninNJ

    Don’t get me wrong. I agree with you that The Milks/Perry combination is doing much better than Phil did. I was just expressing my emotional response to this new team. Even if my head tells me these are better players and ones with more upside than under Phil, my heart tells me it is going to be more of the same.

  110. Early Bird

    The plan is to stay flexible so that the Knicks are ready when the opportunity arises.

    The opportunity could be RJ blossoming into a star, a marquee free agent wanting to join the Knicks, or a favorable trade for expiring contracts. If no opportunity arises, then the plan is to continue building from within and acquiring pieces with our surplus of picks.

    The issue right not isn’t the overall plan, it’s fine for where they’re positioned (tanking is better, but I’d take this plan over every other plan and if they were willing to take on salary dumps, this would be about as good as tanking).

    It’s the bad decisions on Portis, Ellington, Bullock, Taj, and so on. A few by themselves is fine, together it’s a head scratcher. Sure we could use a few wiley vets, some project players, and so on. We don’t need multiple vets playing the same position. We do need more draft picks. We don’t need to overpay players at every position.

  111. Early Bird

    The current strategy isn’t optimal, but I don’t think you need to have an optimal strategy in the NBA. I think you need an adequate strategy and some luck. The Knicks currently have an adequate strategy and the luck may or may not come.

    You can win in the NBA by avoiding stupid moves and waiting for luck to strike. Now we wait.

  112. JK47

    You can win in the NBA by avoiding stupid moves and waiting for luck to strike.

    This is a pretty good take. These moves were not optimal, but there’s nothing soul-crushingly stupid here. There’s something to be said for avoiding catastrophic mistakes.

  113. Brian Cronin Post author

    This is a pretty good take. These moves were not optimal, but there’s nothing soul-crushingly stupid here. There’s something to be said for avoiding catastrophic mistakes.

    Yeah, the best thing they have done so far is not be as bad as Phil was. That’s a step in the right direction, I guess?

    I mean, for a while there, they had Mills as almost the sole decision-maker and they actually did manage to get worse than that by hiring Phil! So in comparison, this is legit progress!

  114. Sly Wi-yums

    For those that remember the bad-boy pistons of the 80’s, their fortunes turned when they drafted Isiah Thomas second overall in 1981. The 81-82 pistons went 39-43, and had late 80s championship pieces Bill Laimbeer and Vinnie Johnson on that team. With that core of three players, and perhaps Kelly Tripucka as well, they tread water for a few years with significant roster turnover year over year. In 85 they drafted Joe Dumars, and in 86 they drafted John Salley and Dennis Rodman, while trading Tripucka for Adrain Dantley. This established them as a legit contender, and took the Celtics to 7 games in the conference finals. Trading Dantley for Aguirre was the final piece of the puzzle.

    The point is it took 4 years to augment the young core and become a contender. They got lucky that Salley and Rodman were an instant bench. That Isiah was hall of fame PG helped too.

    It may take years to develop a good team, but as long as the core is developing year over year, it doesn’t much matter who the roster fodder around them are, and even less consequential if they are not locked into long term agreements. We have draft capital ahead, hopefully they get lucky and get a hall of fame player or two in the next four years. Excruciating patience is required.

  115. Early Bird

    Dominican Republic beats Germany!! I assume this is an upset even with Dirk retired. Schroeder, Dallas’s Kleber (who looks like he’d slot in nicely between KP & Luka), and Boston’s Daniel Theis against ???.

    If DR has any NBA players, it takes too long to lookup. Someone correct me if I’m completely missing a player on name value.

    US v. Turkey and France v. Jordan about to start up.

  116. wetbandit

    It’s a blowout against Jordan and all, but Frank with the start, with 10 points, on 3/5 shooting (2/2 from three) , 3 rebounds, 4 assists, in 16 minutes so far. Not too bad.

    (It’s irrational as hell the insane amount I want this kid to succeed)

  117. KnickfaninNJ

    At the end of the game he was two for four from three, with five rebounds, a block, three steals and five assists in twenty one and a half minutes and his plus/minus was thirty one. He had 12 points on five shots. He was four for four in free throws. That’s a pretty nice stat line.

  118. Dink

    USA needed a lot of luck to beat Turkey. Hope they start to put it together, not gonna win the championship playing like that.

    Is there any chance Mitch could still be called up? Or are the rosters set?

  119. JK47

    Are you guys really pimping Frank Ntilikina’s statline against Jordan? As in, Jordan the country, not Jordan the guy who starred in Space Jam?

  120. KnickfaninNJ

    I didn’t see the game, but I read Turkey missed four straight free throws at the end of game. That is helpful but not promising for the US

  121. wetbandit

    Are you guys really pimping Frank Ntilikina’s statline against Jordan? As in, Jordan the country, not Jordan the guy who starred in Space Jam?

    Hence the “(It’s irrational as hell the insane amount I want this kid to succeed)” line. I know it’s against a blowout team, but wtf, I’ll take it. It’s like having him play in the D-League (maybe worse, but who cares.)

  122. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    FIBA is Ntilikina’s Summer League and no matter who is the opponent, he needs to show well. He did. Jordan is not a good team and it was probably like playing a college team, but so is summer league. For whatever it’s worth, it’s good to see him have a good game.

  123. Early Bird

    Giannis and Greece lose by 1 to Brazil and Anderson Varejao.

    Giannis is not dominating the tournament like you’d think.

  124. Hubert

    The most important thing I’m looking for from Knicks’ management this season is flipping someone (anyone!) who is not a core player for a pick.

    Barrett, Mitchell, Knox, Randle, Trier, and Brazdeikis are likely perceived as the core guys internally.

    Portis, Gibson, and Ellington were paid too much to be tradeable, even on short term deals (unless you’re taking back a two year contract with an asset, which we should definitely be looking to do).

    Morris should be auctioned off at the deadline. Between Smith and Payton, pick one and get what you can for the other. And I don’t want to start a 10,000 post argument here, but if you can get a 2nd round pick for Frank we should trade him, too.

    We need to come out of this season with more picks than when we started. We should be able to if these guys really have a strategy.

  125. swiftandabundant

    Believing that the FO’s only plan/hope now is Giannis is such a simplistic hot take.

    Every year in the NBA there are star players who suddenly become available. The Lakers situation is very fragile with AD. Lebron misses 10 or 15 games cause of an injury and they’re on the playoff bubble and suddenly AD leaving the Lakers is a very real possibility. Wizards are in full rebuild mode and will probably look to move Beal. Any number of young players on smaller market teams or perrenial losers may want out in the next few seasons (KAT, Fox, Mitchell just off the top of my head).

    The point of the strategy is to get better now. Develop the youth, add one potential foundational piece (Randle) and keep flexibility for when these situations arise. Of course if Giannis is in play they’re gonna try and get him. Why wouldn’t they? But there are any number of players and scenarios that could open themselves up while the Knicks continue to build. All of those short contracts with player options and those extra Dallas picks could be very useful at some point. We don’t know. In the past we were unable to pounce when those situations arose. Now we potentially can.

    And everyone keeps wanting to tank but the odds are flattened. A 30 win team last year got Zion.

  126. Z-man

    It’s a blowout against Jordan and all, but Frank with the start, with 10 points, on 3/5 shooting (2/2 from three) , 3 rebounds, 4 assists, in 16 minutes so far. Not too bad.

    (It’s irrational as hell the insane amount I want this kid to succeed)

    Well, Michael Jordan is 56 years old, so I’d pump the breaks a bit…

  127. Dink

    Every year in the NBA there are star players who suddenly become available. The Lakers situation is very fragile with AD. Lebron misses 10 or 15 games cause of an injury and they’re on the playoff bubble and suddenly AD leaving the Lakers is a very real possibility. Wizards are in full rebuild mode and will probably look to move Beal. Any number of young players on smaller market teams or perrenial losers may want out in the next few seasons (KAT, Fox, Mitchell just off the top of my head).

    You just made a great case for why the Knicks should have been focused on asset accumulation this offseason rather than executing their current ‘plan’. Getting 1 or 2 more 1st round picks (even w/ protections) for renting out cap space would make a trade for a disgruntled superstar much easier. Rebuilding teams that are forced to trade superstars want boatloads of picks, they don’t want the Morris-Portis pupu platter.

  128. cgreene

    Well there is a flip side to that argument. The 1 year team option contracts can also be useful in a trade for a disgruntled superstar if part of the price of said star is taking a bad contract off the books from the other team. The Knicks have enough draft capital to facilitate such a trade right now if that’s what happens.

  129. cgreene

    The Knicks probably have enough salary to take both Lebron and AD from the Lakers if they both want out… lol.

  130. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank keeps looking better and better in every game! He’s having an impact on defense and now making teams pay for leaving him open.

    This was the best thing for him. He needs time on the court against good players with a good coach and team oriented teammates. Even if the Knicks foolishly decide to move from him so soon, he’s making a good case for a team with a long term vision of defense first and team play to take a shot with him. It may take a couple more years for him to really hit stride but he’s worth the shot.

  131. Dink

    This may have been covered here before, but do the team options for the recently signed Knicks automatically kick in if they’re traded? Sorta remember reading that somewhere.

  132. swiftandabundant

    @ 149 – that is one strategy. But having decent players on short contracts with team options are also good as trade throw in’s and maybe one or two of these players can be used at trade deadline to acquire more picks (probably second rounders but hey, that’s not bad). We have 2 extra picks from the KP trade plus the 2 second rounders from the Willy trade that should be high second round picks.

    I don’t know. I think we’re in a good place. Perceptions can change quickly if the team does well and exceeds expectations.

  133. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    This management team doesn’t understand how to play the game properly, has little to no ability to assess a player’s talent and skills accurately, and has little to no ability to value players correctly. They are horrible. But even when your management is this horrible, you can still eventually get pretty good by accident. The deck is still heavily stacked towards helping bad teams luck into good players once in awhile via draft. Even if you are taking the wrong types of players, valuing them incorrectly, and not fitting them together properly, you can STILL get pretty good over time.

    You can’t be much worse than these guys. The only way to be worse is to be this bad AND give away your draft picks. Then you can’t even get lucky over time. Only smart managements should be using picks as assets in trades to get better faster.

  134. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Chris Iseman
    @ChrisIseman
    Solid game for Frank Ntilikina in France’s win over Jordan today. 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting, 2-of-4 from 3. 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block. Played 21:27.

  135. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Previous game

    Frank Ntilikina France ???
    @FrNtilikina
    Sep 1
    En 13 minutes, Frank a compilé :
    8 pts (2/2 3pts)
    2 rebs
    0 assts
    1 stl

  136. Dink

    You can’t be much worse than these guys. The only way to be worse is to be this bad AND give away your draft picks.

    AND give huge, long term contracts to Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Carmelo Anthony.

    You forgot that part.

  137. Hubert

    It’s easier to say “rent your cap space for picks” than it is to do it. There’s a lot of potential buyers for those picks. Brooklyn and Golden State gave some away, but neither team was likely to deal with us.

    We should give these guys a year and see what happens. There are a lot of ways for them to leverage the contracts they handed out this summer to acquire assets at the trade deadline. (And, to their credit, they have aced the finer points of contract details.)

    Let’s say a team like Minnesota, for example, wants to dump Gorgiu Dieng ($17mm a year this year and next year). Enter Bobby Portis and his one year deal with a team option. That saves Minnesota $17mm and gives them over $25mm in cap space next summer. A deal like that is worth a lottery protected 1st round pick.

  138. TheOakmanCometh

    Put me down for the Wizards having the worst record in the league this year. Take a look at their roster. Their second best player is Thomas Bryant. Their third best player is….CJ Miles? If they trade Beal they become a G-League team.

  139. BigBlueAL

    Here’s the problem with the theory that the Knicks are building around their young core, what exactly is their young core?? Their last 2 lottery picks look like busts already. Frank looks like he won’t get a 2nd contract with the Knicks and Knox was historically awful as a rookie. I have some hope for Knox but the Knicks went out and signed a bunch of forwards which makes it hard to see Knox getting significant minutes this year if they aren’t tanking. Guys like Dotson and Trier are nice young players but you’re talking about a 2nd rd pick and an undrafted player who both are FA’s at the end of this season and also might have a hard time getting minutes this year.

    DS Jr is someone who I like and have hope for but they signed Payton who himself is young and decent but again if they split the PG minutes who is the PG of the future then?? The only young players who are definitely part of the Knicks built in young core is Mitch and RJ. Randle is the only player signed who you can include in the young core now, I like him alot and think it was a very good signing but being part of the young core making 20m+ per year kinda defeats the purpose a bit.

  140. alsep73

    Here’s some fresh (or old) meat for y’all to chew on: Melo is now desperately trying to convince teams that he was unfairly scapegoated in NY, Houston, and OKC and can still play:

    Anthony is said to be in good shape and his resume as a scorer is sterling. But some feel Anthony won’t play in the NBA again, despite his latest push to find a contract. His representatives are fighting the perception that Anthony can no longer be a functional team player, that his scorer’s mentality and past complaints about his roles make him a net negative for any team with high aspirations.

    According to league sources, his representatives are fighting that perception, “aggressively.”

    “He has been the scapegoat for a few teams that didn’t play up to their potential,” one source said. “Obviously that is sticking with him. They’re showing teams he can play, but they’re also making the case that the negative reputation stuff is BS, that he is not a team-killer, that other people put blame on him the last few years that he didn’t deserve.”

  141. JK47

    Here’s the problem with the theory that the Knicks are building around their young core, what exactly is their young core??

    This is exactly right, and exactly how I feel. There isn’t even enough of a young core to build around, you need MORE young core, which is why the team should still be in asset collection mode if you prefer that euphemism for “tanking.”

    The Knicks could have tried to snag a pick or two for taking on bad contracts, other teams in the league did it. They could have gotten in on Iguodala or Crabbe. They didn’t even attempt to get in on those deals despite having all that cap space. We’re on a treadmill but uh at least it’s not Joakim Noah blah blah blah.

  142. KnickfaninNJ

    This may have been covered here before, but do the team options for the recently signed Knicks automatically kick in if they’re traded? Sorta remember reading that somewhere.

    That is true if it’s a team option, but not if it’s “non-guaranteed”. I think the Knicks contracts are mostly the latter.

  143. Hubert

    We don’t have a core yet but you can see the groundwork for one being laid. Mitch and Barrett are a nice start. I’m still optimistic about Knox being at least a strong forward off the bench. We’ve also got three first round picks and two premier second round picks in the next two drafts to add to those three.

    Everyone else is pretty much a placeholder unless Dennis Smith shocks us all and takes a leap forward.

  144. BigBlueAL

    I’m with you JK47 but I will say that at least we have all our future 1st rd picks plus the Mavs 1st rd picks in 2021 and 2023 so that is something. They also do have Charlotte’s 2nd rd picks in the next 2 drafts which should be really high 2nd rd picks in the early to mid 30’s which is really good but they don’t have their own 2nd rd picks the next 2 years so that kinda sucks.

    But yeah in terms of the current team the young core really is just Mitch and RJ plus potentially DS Jr.

  145. Hubert

    I also think part of the Knicks plan is to be respectable enough this year for them to be able to make a pitch to Davis this summer.

  146. Bruno Almeida

    Oh poor Melo, unfairly scapegoated by only 3 of the 4 franchises he ever played for. I’m so sad for him. Its not even like 2 of those franchises are amongst the best the NBA has had in the past decade or anything. I can’t wait until reddit starts making Melo appreciation posts again.

  147. swiftandabundant

    Igoudala literally trashed the Knicks in an interview right before free agency. I doubt he was on the table. GSW probably wouldn’t trade him to a franchise he doesn’t want to go to considering how much he meant to their franchise and their championship run.

  148. JK47

    The Knicks could have made it clear they would immediately waive Iguodala and then he could have gone and played wherever.

  149. Dink

    Igoudala literally trashed the Knicks in an interview right before free agency. I doubt he was on the table.

    Edit: JK47 beat me to the punch

    That shouldn’t matter since Iggy isn’t expected to play a single game for the Grizz. Most the reporting on the deal says that the Grizz will either try to include Iggy in a trade or buy him out if nothing presents itself.

    Knicks could’ve just told him that he’d be bought out if he was traded here. Probably preferable to Iggy since it would’ve given him more time + options to find a contender to sign with.

  150. dtrickey

    On the FIBA NBA player watch/guys who we forgot played for the Knicks: KB darling and tank destroyer Maurice N’Dour playing for Senegal in the tournament. Had a decent night against Australia before fouling out.

  151. thenoblefacehumper

    If we promised the Warriors we’d waive Iggy immediately, we probably would’ve been their preferred destination since I presume they’d want to do right by him given the opportunity.

    There was also a holdup with the Whiteside-Richardson-Butler deal over who would step up and take the Harkless contract, so if the Knicks were just the first team to say they’d do it for the pick, I presume they could’ve had him, too.

    I’ll give them a mulligan on Crabbe because at the time the Knicks still thought they had a shot at Durant and Kyrie. Whatever.

    So yeah, the opportunities were probably there. We likely passed on two first round picks for the Portis Pupu Platter. If they can somehow convert any of it into similar value I’ll be wrong, but as of now it sure looks like they spent their money pretty stupidly.

    Not as stupidly as Melo/Noah/Lee/Thomas, but much more stupidly than a smart front office.

  152. Knew Your Nicks

    Just watched France-Jordan.
    eye stuff you won’t see in the box score:
    Frankie played relentless full court D from the 1st second till he left the game.[coach’s plan as the others French pgs did the same]
    His 1st steal was dope.
    He could have had 3-4 more assists. He made pretty good passes to open men. They lost the shots.
    He played in 2 speeds. Mostly in his usual cool one and at few more pressing/driving moments at a faster pace.
    He ran to help a teammate of his to get up quickly after falling to the floor awkwardly to avoid 4 on 5 on France’s D.
    He looked focused and always at the right spot of every play except 2-3 times when he looked like thinking of Knickerblogger comments and somehow one step behind.

    Conclusion:
    I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better)
    A little better all the time (It can’t get no worse)
    I have to admit it’s getting better (Better)
    It’s getting better
    Since you’ve been mine

  153. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Just watched France-Jordan.
    eye stuff you won’t see in the box score:

    Past comments from this dude:

    Exactly my thoughts on Frank.
    Plays 1 to 3 depending on the others.
    His stats don’t tell the whole truth.
    His D is “the truth”.

    If we’re serious about positionless basketball then improved Frank is one of our main future guys.

    Stats fill sheets
    But
    D wins chips.

    Great two way players are Ultra Rare.
    Great Defenders are Rare.
    Great Offensive players are more common.

    Rare is Good.
    :)

    Seriously now i think that Frank should bang a few chicks, man up and bring his A game.
    I know he’s got game but he’s just too shy to let it flow.
    Some hours of sex a few legal ‘drugs’ and some nasty rock n roll will wake his beastie mode and he’ll never be the same !
    #seriously#

    I read in here about Frank’s handles and drives that they both suck and almost the same about RJBarrett.
    Tbh i really like their handles and their drives despite the fact that they lack explosiveness and speed.

    …k

  154. Brian Cronin Post author

    On the FIBA NBA player watch/guys who we forgot played for the Knicks: KB darling and tank destroyer Maurice N’Dour playing for Senegal in the tournament. Had a decent night against Australia before fouling out.

    Ah, Maurice Ndour, the player who looks like he should have an apostrophe in his name but he doesn’t. That was always really confusing.

  155. dtrickey

    Ah, Maurice Ndour, the player who looks like he should have an apostrophe in his name but he doesn’t. That was always really confusing.

    It still is confusing given I spent a whole game watching him with his name clearly emblazoned on the back of his jersey and still couldn’t spell it right today.

  156. DRed

    I always liked Ndour even though he sucked.

    As for Frank, Jordan seem like a terrible team but playing well is always better than playing badly.

  157. Hubert

    I wonder how much Kawhi and George broke the NBA this summer.

    For example, let’s say the Lakers flame out and AD wants to leave and come to NY. Are we at the point where he can just talk to Giannis privately and Giannis tells the Bucks what’s up and next you know we’re giving up 4 first round picks and RJ Barrett for AD and Giannis?

    Forget about the fact that good shit like that never happens to us. Do teams have any power left over their stars, or is that a feasible thing?

  158. Hubert

    Edit: JK47 beat me to the punch

    That shouldn’t matter since Iggy isn’t expected to play a single game for the Grizz. Most the reporting on the deal says that the Grizz will either try to include Iggy in a trade or buy him out if nothing presents itself.

    Knicks could’ve just told him that he’d be bought out if he was traded here. Probably preferable to Iggy since it would’ve given him more time + options to find a contender to sign with.

    I think it’s more likely that if all things were equal the warriors would have rather traded Iggy to literally any team other than the one who was linked with their star player and whose owner gave an interview intimating that Durant had notified them through back channels of his interest. Like, they would have to have been rejected by every other team before they decided to make that trade with us.

  159. dtrickey

    Forget about the fact that good shit like that never happens to us. Do teams have any power left over their stars, or is that a feasible thing?

    Seemingly very little power. Even if you elect to hold a star to their contract and attempt to sit them or force them to be away from the team to avoid them being a malcontent, you are likely to get a knock on the door from the NBPA. A team could just deal said star to the highest bidder regardless of the destination demanded, but I can’t see a team forking out assets for a star that could bolt. Kawhi going to Toronto is the only example of this working out for a team taking a punt on a star rental, but this is a pretty significant outlier.

  160. Early Bird

    For whoever asked, I don’t think the Knick’s deals become guaranteed after a trade. The receiving team can still choose to cut them after the trade. I believe there’s a “grace period” after the end of the season where they still have the opportunity to cut the players or trade and have the other team cut them. Going off memory though, so someone should double check that.

    Re: Young Core

    I like the Knicks going after DSJr and Payton. PG’s usually don’t succeed in the league for awhile so trying to bring in slightly more veteran guys isn’t a bad strategy. I’m not super optimistic about either becoming superstars but I can see them being solid role players.

    The young core is RJ, Randle, Mitch and whoever we draft in the next few years with our surplus of picks.

    Knox and Braz aren’t completely hopeless. Trier could be a decent role player.

    I’ve pretty much given up on Frank. Dotson doesn’t seem like he’ll be more than an end of a bench guy on a good team.

    Losing KP was a blow to our timeline, but getting two 1sts is a steal for an oft-injured guy who was going to walk anyways.

  161. Brian Cronin Post author

    For whoever asked, I don’t think the Knick’s deals become guaranteed after a trade. The receiving team can still choose to cut them after the trade. I believe there’s a “grace period” after the end of the season where they still have the opportunity to cut the players or trade and have the other team cut them. Going off memory though, so someone should double check that.

    The deals don’t become guaranteed when they’re traded. The issue is that you can trade a partially-guaranteed player during the offseason and the other team can just decline the guarantee. You can’t trade a player with an outstanding team option. Essentially, players can’t be traded as free agents. So in that instance, you’d have to pick up the option first. So that’s why the Knicks have made most of the players partial guaranteed second year deals. Again, though, none of this matters if they are traded during this season. It only comes into play during the period between the end of the season and the date their contract needs to be fully guaranteed.

  162. bobneptune

    I’ve seen batting tees with better stuff than Edwin Diaz

    Diaz = Kyle Farnsworth for the Yankees…. the ball comes in at 99 mph and goes out at 115!!!

  163. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    “The guy can play. He’s really, really good defensively. For his position, his mix of size and athleticism is really above average. He’s a real athlete at his position,” Evan Fournier said.

    “He’s the future of the team. It’s great for him. Heurtel got hurt and now he has to put himself in a big spot to run this team. But he can do it. He has the talent and the personality to run this team and be great,” Batum added about Ntilikina,

    “He’s a very, very talented player and an excellent defender, and I see a bright future ahead for him,” said Gobert, who is the 2-time reigning DPOY in the NBA

    “Frank has to stay aggressive & confident 40 mins.
    I’m happy because he didn’t hesitate to take the 1st open shot he got
    We need that. It’s important because for us he is a real threat on offense” Collet said

    “I think he’s physically stronger. He kept developing his body. His body frame is more explosive. And that’s something good for him because now he can stronger attack the basket.
    He is more aggressive” Collet said about the 6ft 7in (2.00m) point guard.

    Clarence Gaines: “Frank’s a talented player – just turned 21 – 2 injury plagued seasons – finding his way – Can’t stop believing – best thing that could happen for him was to play for
    @FRABasketball with a coach than knows him & his game inside & out. We live in a microwave society – Need patience”

  164. d-mar

    I really, really, really want Frank to become a good player. It would be so huge for the future of this team to have a young, useful rotation player at the guard position.

    But then I look at his skill set – erratic shooter, poor ball handler, not good at getting to the rim, average passer, poor rebounder, long arms, moves his feet on defense – and it’s just really hard to believe that he’ll ever make it in the NBA>

    I’d be thrilled if he proved me wrong though.

  165. Early Bird

    Spain almost lost to Iran. Spain hit several threes in the last minute to go up by 8 to close.

    Iran has played some tough games, but lost each one. May not bode well for Spain.

  166. Early Bird

    Greece plays New Zealand tonight. Winner moves onto 2nd round. Both teams have lost to Brazil.

    Best player on the planet may be gone from the FIBA tournament in round 1!!!

  167. Early Bird

    Also, Serbia finally had a legit match and cruised to a 15pt win over Italy. Serbia hasn’t even been starting Jokic. Although worth mentioning that both teams had already clinched advancing.

    In Knicks-ish related news, Gallinari had a dominant game despite losing.

  168. KnickfaninNJ

    And China lost to Venezuela, thus placing third in their group and I think thus not advancing. Even though China isn’t good, and only Cote d’ivoire In their group was ranked below them, they were on their home court, so this has to hurt for them. The loss to Poland (ranked 25 to their rank of 30) must have particularly hurt.

  169. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I wonder what notable players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kevin McHale, Elgin Baylor and Isiah Thomas would say about Frank. They all have such a great track record on personnel matters.

  170. JK47

    “My teammate sucks, have you ever seen that guy try to dribble or finish near the rim? That guy is going to be out of the NBA real soon.”

    -Nobody ever

  171. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Except that he actually IS having a huge impact on defense and playing much better on offense with teammates and for a coach that all have high basketball IQs and play well together using a team concept. If you gave him the ball and said go create your own shot he’d probably still suck like the rest of the Knicks.

  172. Dink

    I used to think that Strat’s obsession with Frank was just an offshoot of him being a ‘Phil Jackson was a good GM’ truther, but I don’t even know anymore. It’s like a ruruland redux, but he’s stanning for Jared Jeffries instead of Melo.

  173. KnickfaninNJ

    So those of you saying Frank couldn’t possibly have improved or something to that effect, did you actually watch the recent games?

  174. dtrickey

    And China lost to Venezuela, thus placing third in their group and I think thus not advancing. Even though China isn’t good, and only Cote d’ivoire In their group was ranked below them, they were on their home court, so this has to hurt for them. The loss to Poland (ranked 25 to their rank of 30) must have particularly hurt.

    Pretty big lol China not making it out of the group stages. Were gifted the easiest group to boost the chances of the home nation making it to the 2nd round. Absolute fumble from a marketing perspective as well. I saw a couple of Cote d’ivoire games and they certainly didn’t disgrace themselves despite going 0/3. Some of these minnow teams play a real scrappy high energy brand of ball that is not always easy to watch but the effort is admirable; as opposed to some of the heavy weights that coast a bit in the pool stages.

  175. JK47

    Nobody said Frank couldn’t improve.

    Lots of people did say that Frank could improve a lot and still suck.

    Which is true.

  176. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    So those of you saying Frank couldn’t possibly have improved or something to that effect, did you actually watch the recent games?

    Sure, maybe he improved. Maybe he now shows the handle of James Harden with the aggression of Russ Westbrook in the body of Kawhi Leonard. And maybe we’ll be back to arguing whether he’s a pathetic excuse for an NBA player when he’s shooting .470 TS% on 12 USG% come December.

  177. KnickfaninNJ

    I’m watching the US open and they showed some guy in the stands and I had no idea who he was. Turns out it was Julius Randle. It’s going to be a while before I recognize most of this year’s players.

  178. ess-dog

    I still think Frank’s better off as a secondary ball-handler/passer on offense and point-stopper on D. He’ll never be able to penetrate well or get supremely vertical, but maybe he can become a decent shooter. He can already pass… having him and RJ as switchable wings could make for a nice fit if, you know, they can both actually become good.

  179. Early Bird

    China’s best player is who? Yi Jianlian? Once Yao retired, sad to say they really have nothing. I am curious why they don’t try and lure a player to naturalize like Fazekas or Blatche. Too much ethnic pride, maybe? Maybe we’ll see Lin out there for them in a few years.

  180. Owen

    Isn’t Lin Taiwanese? Wouldn’t that be complicated?

    Also, Argentine Diego Schwartzman is playing in the US Open quarterfinals right now and Manu is in the house. Rafa, you are in trouble.

  181. Early Bird

    If your argument for Frank being good is three national games against terrible competition, I don’t know what to tell you. For one, most of it has already been said. Two, many of these first round teams are D-League level teams with a rotation player here or there.

    France is making it out of the same pool the Dominican Republic is. How many players have you ever even heard of on the DR’s team? One starter on DR is currently in the NBA, Angel Delgado. He’s on a two-way contract with the Clippers and played a grand total of 15 NBA minutes.

    Oh and they haven’t even played against the DR yet. Frank played against two teams that lost to a team featuring a D-League star. But yeah, I’m sure he looked great!!!

  182. Early Bird

    Isn’t Lin Taiwanese? Wouldn’t that be complicated?

    Also, Argentine Diego Schwartzmna is playing in the US Open quarterfinals right now and Manu is in the house. Rafa, you are in trouble.

    He is, but he also just signed to the Beijing Tigers. I think China will offer him citizenship just to be more competitive in the international scene and I think he may take them up just to have a few more shots at glory/be a national hero. May depend on how strongly his family feels about Taiwan v. China, but since he’s playing in China already…

  183. Z-man

    The main thing you want to see from Frank in FIBA is progress. I think it’s fair to say that he is shooting 3-pointers well so far, which is job #1 for him. Just based on that alone, it’s worth it to pick up his option.

    But yeah, so far the competition has been awful. So reading anything into his offensive play beyond “he’s hitting open 3-pointers” is foolish. That said, it’s nice that his coaches and teammates are raving about him. Not super meaningful but nice.

  184. Hubert

    Turns out it was Julius Randle.

    Randle has been all over the place this summer. I’m going to be very amused when he is a bigger deal in New York than Kevin Durant.

  185. KnickfaninNJ

    There’s only two games of FIBA with Frank so far, which is little data, but there is a hint he’s getting to the line more often. He took a total of six free throws in 34 total minutes of play. That’s not at all earth shattering, but since he hardly ever got to the free throw line playing for the Knicks, it seems like an improvement.

  186. Early Bird

    Greece up by 6 against New Zealand with 1:30 left in 3rd Q. If Greece loses, they’re eliminated. Giannis is finally playing like you’d expect he would against inferior competition.

    Giannis: 16 pts 9 reb 5 ast 2 stls in 20 minutes

    NZ’s Corey Webster: 26pts on 13 FGA 0 FTA 6/8 3PTers in 21 min

  187. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Management report card.

    Noah and Lee (2 players that fit better on a team trying to both rebuild and win instead of tanking like most here wanted) would both be expiring contracts after this year. That would have created cap space into which we could put younger players next year. Instead of Lee and Noah being expiring contracts, we now have Taj Gibson (9m), Wayne Ellington (8m), a broken down Reggie Bullock (4m), and we still have Noah for another 3 years at (6.5m) because he was stretched.

    I’ll remind you, we also wasted 20m of cap space for multiple years on Hardaway/Baker. Moving Hardaway cost us in the KP deal or we would have gotten a bigger haul.

    We drafted Knox over Mikal Bridges. It’s no stretch to hold them to the standard of finding Bridges who was next up on most mocks.

    One could even argue had we put 1 or more good players into the Hardaway/Baker space and drafted correctly, KP may not have wanted out.

    They took 30+ win team with some good young talent, positioned fairly well with all its picks and 20m of cap space (albeit with a very bad Noah contract and the prospect of buying Melo out) and spent the next 2 years making the team worse and losing the best player on the team for less than he was worth.

    But don’t worry about it, we got some extra future 1st rounders out of the KP deal that we’ll use to draft mediocre players that will be peaking in 2028.

    I give them an D-. It would be an F but they came up with Robinson.

  188. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    There’s only two games of FIBA with Frank so far, which is little data, but there is a hint he’s getting to the line more often. He took a total of six free throws in 34 total minutes of play. That’s not at all earth shattering, but since he hardly ever got to the free throw line playing for the Knicks, it seems like an improvement.

    We aren’t going to get enough data on Frank out of FIBA to be meaningful. I am looking for him to stay healthy, play impact defense, show improved strength and aggressiveness going to the basket, and to show the emotional maturity to lead the team without looking to the sidelines after every TO or good play seeking approval or because he’s afraid to get pulled. He has been like 10 year old CYO player in that regard. If he’s also making shots, that’s a bonus even with a small sample size. To me, so far he looks like a stronger and more mature player. In the right lineups I want him on the team. Do I think he belongs on the Knicks? Probably not. He belongs in a place like SA, TOR or even the new ORL where they stress defense and team play.

  189. Hubert

    Moving Hardaway cost us in the KP deal or we would have gotten a bigger haul.

    I know that it holds logically that if you attach shit like Hardaway and Lee you get less back.

    But what kind of better deal do you think was available? He was in the middle of a long term injury, he was going to be a restricted free agent, he was demanding a max contract, and he was telling teams he didn’t want to go to that he sign a one year QO (probably a bluff, but not a risk worth taking if you’re, say, Sacramento or Memphis).

    If we traded Porzingis all by himself, I’m not sure we’d have done much better than two 1sts and a decent young player. The fact that we dumped two contracts is just a bonus. I give that trade a B. Could be an A but KP realizing his upside is a risk.

    We drafted Knox over Mikal Bridges. It’s no stretch to hold them to the standard of finding Bridges who was next up on most mocks.

    Bridges didn’t do anything to make me regret not drafting him. Passing on SGA is the real mistake. I don’t know how that kid wasn’t rated higher, he looked good from day 1 in the NBA.

  190. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    But what kind of better deal do you think was available?

    In a vacuum Strat is right, but given all the variables – not to mention other concerns, such as the rape case – it’s hard to come up with a trade that would have/could have been better in reality. It was a good trade, and having to dump Timmy and Lee doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference in the overall haul.

    Passing on SGA is the real mistake.

    I feel good that, when pressed on draft night, I went with SGA over Mikal. Both would be better than Knox, but damn, if we had SGA instead of Knox, how much more cheerful would I be about the future…gah.

  191. Hubert

    Paul George netted 4 firsts and SGA. KP landed us 2 firsts and Dennis Smith. That seems proportional to me.

    And you know what? I’m not going to kill the Knicks for putting themselves in good position to land Kevin fucking Durant while simultaneously landing the best odds for Zion Williamson. That was the right plan. Just didn’t work.

  192. Dink

    Noah and Lee (2 players that fit better on a team trying to both rebuild and win instead of tanking like most here wanted)

    Huh? Any team that pays Courtney Lee and Noah a third of their salary cap is definitely NOT interested in winning games (or they just have an inept front office). It actually makes winning games much, much harder. We all saw what happened with the 2016 squad that Phil believed would make the playoffs.

    One could even argue had we put 1 or more good players into the Hardaway/Baker space and drafted correctly, KP may not have wanted out.

    Well, we know KP’s poor relationship with the Knicks started under Phil with the skipped exit meeting. Maybe KP was upset about being surrounded by a bunch of crappy, overpaid players signed by the Zen Disaster? If Phil drafted and used the cap space correctly, KP may not have wanted out.

    Phil was terrible at his job. Much worse than Perry has been so far (and I’m not a fan of this FO). PJax gave out horrible contracts AND inexplicably gave up a 2nd rounder to sign Travis Wear. He did everything poorly except for drafting KP. That’s his legacy and he owns it.

  193. Hubert

    The Mills and Perry cons, as I see them:

    – drafting Knox over SGA
    – wasting a 2nd round pick on Mudiay
    – not waiting to stretch Noah
    – Fizdale

    (I am unhappy with their development plan for Frank but that may be like being mad that someone can’t draw water from a rock, so I’ll give them a pass)

    Pros:

    – We handled Melo perfectly and got more value than I anticipated
    – The Willy trade was a heist
    – Mitchell Robinson
    – Not maxing Porzingis
    – Getting great value for Porzingis before that all played out in the media and our hand got forced
    – All the little details they get right in contracts that create flexibility (like the nonguaranteed 2 years)
    – We tanked when we needed to tank and had the best odds for Zion
    – We had cap space when Durant and Kawhi and Kyrie were available
    – We will have cap space when AD is available
    – The Randle signing is good value

    These guys may not be perfect but this is the best management we’ve seen since Dave Checketts left the Garden.

  194. JK47

    Phil pros:
    -Drafted Porzingis
    -Helped JD and the Straight Shot get an opening gig for The Eagles
    -Tweeted “how’s it goink” which was funny

    I have to do other things today so I don’t have time for the “cons” part

  195. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I still don’t understand how getting two second-rounders for the price of a 22-year-old center under contract for four years and $6M is a heist. And I’m a guy who has advocated for years that hoarding draft assets of all types is the easiest path to playoff contention outside of miraculously winning the #1 overall pick during a Zion/Davis/LeBron/Towns draft class.

    It’s a punt at best.

  196. Hubert

    I kinda like Perry. He’s not Masai but I think he’s above average. And I think the plan is pretty clear: be decent this year and make a strong pitch to Anthony Davis when it’s over. We should be in a better position next summer than we were this summer.

  197. d-mar

    Phil pros:
    -Drafted Porzingis
    -Helped JD and the Straight Shot get an opening gig for The Eagles
    -Tweeted “how’s it goink” which was funny

    I have to do other things today so I don’t have time for the “cons” part

    I’ll start – gave Melo a no-trade clause in addition to the supermax, to this day one of most mind bogglingly stupid things a GM has ever done.

    Pop quiz: besides LeBron and Melo, which current NBA players have no-trade clauses? Scroll down for answer

    0

  198. swiftandabundant

    I think Perry has done a decent job overall. The thing is, before Perry we had close to 20 years of bad management for the most part. It took all of Phil’s tenure to even get to a place where we were no longer sitting at home on draft night with no picks. 20 years of shitty management and poor decisions can’t be turned around in 2 seasons, which is all Perry has had at this point.

    If we had kept KP and maxed him we would have a core right now of KP, Barrett, Mitch with Knox, Frank, Dotson, Iggy as our other young players. We’d have our first round picks going forward but no extra first round picks. We’d still be hurting at the PG position. We’d have Timmy expiring and Noah expiring but this next summer in free agency isn’t great. KP and Mitch would be a potentially dope front court though. No lie. But it would be a very anxious time for us because we would not know what we were getting with KP coming back after a year of not playing basketball.

    As it is now we have Randle instead of KP. We have DSJ and Peyton at the PG spot, which at least gives us some hope that the position might be manned by someone with some competence in the near future. We still have Barrett, Mitch, Knox, Dotson, Frank, Iggy as our youngsters. And we have a bunch of veterans on short, team friendly deals. We have potential for cap space this summer or next summer. We have 2 extra first round picks to build with. We do have Noah’s dead weight, which is a bummer for sure.

    I like our currents situation better than the situation we would be in if we’d kept KP. But its not light years better. But the time frame to build something good is longer and the flexibility is better and there are more potential pieces in the future (extra first round picks) to build with.

    Honestly, we should all just see how the season starts before we start handing out grades. If Randle, Mitch, Peyton, DSJ and Knox all improve (this is not an unreasonable expectation), we could surprise people.

  199. cgreene

    Has anyone made the Strat is actually Charley Rosen joke yet? Am I late to the party?

    I am surprised that the Lakers made that trade without an extension from AD. I mean had we given up say Mitch and a bunch of picks and fodder for AD it would have been ludicrous wo an extension right? I guess the Lakers win curve is yesterday bc of the age on LBJ they had to take a risk.

  200. KnickfaninNJ

    Some of the early round opponents in FIBA are probably a bit worse than summer league teams but some are better and a good National team is probably much better than Summer league teams. So overall let’s say it’s equivalent to Summer league. So you have to think “if Frank played summer league and shut down opposing point guards and had these stats would we be encouraged”? I think we would be, but also be worried it was a very small sample size.

  201. Bruno Almeida

    At least this current front office has “some explaining to do” about their strategy, while Phil’s tenure needed no explanation at all, it was obviously terrible in every possible aspect.

  202. Donnie Walsh

    He took a total of six free throws in 34 total minutes of play. That’s not at all earth shattering, but since he hardly ever got to the free throw line playing for the Knicks, it seems like an improvement.

    Back in December of 2017, Frank took 8 free throws in one game against actual NBA players. Did it represent a turning point for him? No. We’re we let down that he reverted back to regular Frank the next day? No.

  203. wetbandit

    I’ll admit it. I’m a Frank apologist. Something about drafting our own defensive, pass-first, kinda smart, incredibly young point guard just got me the first I heard of him. Im aware it’s against all odds for Frank to become an overall net positive player. But he’s got some stuff down that is hard to find, so I’ll keep believing he’s going to have a jump shot and mediocre dribble game and thereby become a serviceable player. I just love watching good defense, maybe more than watching good offense, mostly because one comes at the expense of the other on this team. And Frank plays excellent defense, hands down, don’t get me started on the stats.

    It’s not like we’re all being totally reasonable being Knicks fans when the odds are very much against them contending anytime soon. I guess I’m just aware of it.

  204. TheOakmanCometh

    Perry has been a C- GM so far, which makes him above average for the Knicks.

    Layden F
    Isiah F-
    Walsh C+
    Grunwald D+
    Phil D

    The New York Knicks — where mediocrity is a massive upgrade!

  205. JK47

    I guess that is one thing you could say about Frank, he could become SERVICEABLE if he improves by unexpected amounts on the offensive end.

    His 90 percentile outcome is “serviceable player.”

  206. Donnie Walsh

    100% off topic but my wife watches TV at night, once the kids are in bed. I usually tune it out, but she’s been watching the second season of Succession and I’ve been strangely drawn into it, even though I don’t like any of the characters and all the dialogue is mergers and acquisitions mumbo jumbo that normally puts me straight to sleep (that’s how I know it’s a well made show). Anyway, the main son is named Kendall, and I guess because of that, it’s triggered the name Kendall Gill in my head, and there was a guy I knew in college who was obsessed with the Sonics and believed that Kendall Gill was the unsung heart of that team. This was before basketball reference, advanced stats, and the internet, so I didn’t have any grounds to dispute him because I didn’t stay up to watch Seattle games. But because I’ve had Kendall Gill’s name in my head all day, I decided to look him up just now. Um… he was a good looking guy and all, which I remember, but man, he was horrible: one of 4 NBA players to play 29000+ minutes and have a sub.500 TS%. And one of those guys was Ben Wallace, who doesn’t count, cause he was a world class defender and rebounder. Just Gill, Blaylock, and Antoine Walker. How those guys conned their way into 30,000 nba minutes is beyond me. (If only I knew then what I know now, I’d have put that Kendall Gill apologist right in his place!)

  207. ess-dog

    I’m no Jax apologist — he was beyond awful — but I would assume that his hands were tied re: the Melo contract because that was Dolan’s “star” who he wanted to keep at all costs. The no-trade clause was beyond ridiculous, though.

  208. Hubert

    Funny you mentioned Succession because TheClashFan’s previous comment about WW2 made me think of the hilarious exchange between Tom and the Nazi.

    “And, um, just to be clear, what was the biggest human tragedy of that era?” “The devastation of Europe.” “Uh huh.”

  209. Hubert

    I’m no Jax apologist — he was beyond awful — but I would assume that his hands were tied re: the Melo contract because that was Dolan’s “star” who he wanted to keep at all costs. The no-trade clause was beyond ridiculous, though.

    I’m confident Jackson could have walked away from Melo if he wanted to.

  210. DRed

    If Frank improves from one of the worst 10-15 guys in the league to just a regular bad player we should probably keep him around for another year. When do we need to decide if we’re picking up the option on his contract?

  211. ptmilo

    Just Gill, Blaylock, and Antoine Walker. How those guys conned their way into 30,000 nba minutes is beyond me.

    your wife is right about succession but you are way more fucking wrong about mookie blaylock so as some overwrought cliche-spewing stick thin caricature from the way worse and way more popular billions would say your married put is still heavily leaking theta go relearn some mookie

  212. ess-dog

    I was a Fighting Illini fan as a lad, so I also had a hopeless obsession with Kendall Gill. Like Wiggins or JR Smith, he looked the part of an NBA superstar when working out in an empty gym: He was wildly athletic and even had a cool hi-top fade. But sadly, he just wasn’t any good.

  213. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    We keep forgetting that Frank’s a kid, just 21 years old. He can finally buy a beer in the US. Today was another game against inferior players but he shot 40% from beyond the arc and 50% from 2-pt range and led France with a +23 +/-. We know he can play D. If he can continue to put up good numbers in FIBA, that might be a signal that he’s developing. Let’s be smart and not write him off.

  214. Donnie Walsh

    your wife is right about succession but you are way more fucking wrong about mookie blaylock so as some overwrought cliche-spewing stick thin caricature from the way worse and way more popular billions would say your married put is still heavily leaking theta go relearn some mookie

    I love this response, even though I don’t understand a word of it. Was Mookie Blaylock better than horrible? I guess. He could defend and dish, even though he was a terribly inefficient scorer. But 30,000 minutes to players that can’t shoot is a lot. That’s 5000 more than Manu, who was awesome at everything. (He’s better than Gill, though, by a mile. And I’ll take your word that Succession is better than Billions, cause I ain’t ever watching that one).

  215. Hubert

    If Frank improves from one of the worst 10-15 guys in the league to just a regular bad player we should probably keep him around for another year. When do we need to decide if we’re picking up the option on his contract?

    October 31.

    It has been speculated that he is playing for his option during this tournament.

  216. JK47

    The whole point of Phil was that he had autonomy from Dolan. I don’t want to hear this bullshit that Megamax Melo was Dolan’s fault.

  217. Early Bird

    1) The FIBA 3pt line is closer than the NBA line
    2) The players in FIBA are slower, shorter, and worse on defense than NBA players meaning closeouts taking longer to get there
    3) Ntilikina has been playing PG giving him an even bigger height advantage
    4) Ntilikina has shot well in international competition before, look at his MVP run in the U18 tournament, and he still sucked once he got drafted.
    5) Frank had 4 asts to 3 TO against the DR
    6) Frank is only 2/6 from inside the arc

  218. geo

    only watched billions once, it was some season finale…fan of paul gaimatti’s work, and damien lewis had me absolutely enthralled with his performance in homeland during its first few seasons…

    what i saw of billions, wasn’t so good…if a large attraction of your show is about tense, intelligent conversations, that should be reflected at least a little in the dialogue…different tastes and all though…

    oh yeah, finally caught the deadwood movie…only made it through a half hour or so…it was soooo weird – it was suddenly like everyone was trying to read al swearengen’s lines…it was like every single character was trying to read shakespeare…wtf happened with that?

    i only really remember al speaking like that during the series…

    finished up on LEGION…not what i was expecting – but, still enjoyed the finale and whole series…still working on preacher…enjoying watching Lodge 49…great stoner series :)

    looking forward to whenever better call saul comes on…

  219. JK47

    Season 4 of Rick and Morty is my big television event of the season.

    I’m also a sucker for Star Wars so I’m holding out hope that The Mandalorian might be good.

  220. Bruno Almeida

    Nobody forgets that Frank just turned 21, people don’t talk about it too much because it literally doesn’t matter for us. The Knicks have to make a decision on whether to accept his 4th year option in less than two months, and if they do, they’ll have to make a decision on whether to extend him or re-sign him or let him walk when he’ll be 23. So the fact that he’s still very young only matter if he shows real improvement over his current level, or somehow shows enough promise to be offered a contract based on that.

    If he becomes a good player at age 26, that’s 5 years away from now. The Knicks have to make a decision now. You can’t possibly keep a player under contract for 5 more years for the chance that he turns into something after that when he has shown nothing so far besides good defense and being an overall likeable dude.

    I hope he improves, of course, but for it to matter for the Knicks, he has to start showing improvement very soon.

  221. MBunge

    Just Gill, Blaylock, and Antoine Walker. How those guys conned their way into 30,000 nba minutes is beyond me.

    The peril of advanced stats because anyone who looks at regular stats or…you know…actually saw them play understands perfectly why those guys racked up so many minutes.

    Mike

  222. Hubert

    I like Frank but I think Bruno is right and I wouldn’t hate the Knicks if they don’t pick up his option.

    What happens in the extremely unlikely scenario where we decline his option and then he breaks out? Is he a restricted free agent or is he totally free?

  223. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank today

    3/7
    2/5 from 3 point line
    8 points
    4 assists
    2 rebounds
    1 steal
    Team leading +23 (as is often the case)

    25:21 minutes

    NBA scouts saying they like what they see.

  224. Hubert

    Anyone catch Season 2 of Mindhunter yet? I really dug the first season. Haven’t gotten to this one yet.

  225. wetbandit

    I feel like Frank should go to the Spurs and play for Pop- there’s a systems based game that he can fit into. I’d really like to see him succeed, don’t think that’s here.

  226. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The peril of advanced stats because anyone who looks at regular stats or…you know…actually saw them play understands perfectly why those guys racked up so many minutes.

    Yeah, and anyone who ACTUALLY WATCHED THE BASEBALL GAMES would know that Derek Jeter earned ALL of his Gold Gloves and Miguel Tejada was the BEST player in the AL in 2002 and Vlad Guerrero was the best player in the AL in 2004. I mean, just watch the fucking games! All 2,430 of them, you stupid fucking geek nerds!

    Anyone who argues with these STATS or SO-CALLED FACTS should learn to open their FUCKING eyes and actually WATCH the game with their EYES and their faultless MEMORIES and only then can we know truth. Because all of this stats bullshit is FAKE NEWS created by NERDS in their FUCKING BASEMENTS to feel IMPORTANT when they are actually INSIGNIFICANT PEONS who think Excel is better than the FUCKING EYEBALLS. Fucking nerds!

    See, you start talking about the “peril of advanced stats” even though Mookie Blaylock ranks 75th of all-time in BPM and was in the top-10 in the league like five separate times, so please keep railing against absolutely fucking nothing, while you insist that you have the ability to (1) watch ~1,200 regular season games every years and (2) compile a comprehensive list WITH YOUR FUCKING MIND of players sorted by ability and production and (3) remember them in vivid, accurate, precise detail for decades.

    But the reality of the matter is that you haven’t watched more than a relative handful of the roughly 36,000 regular season games played since 1989, and you, like the rest of us, have virtually no capacity to assess relative value within any given season, to say nothing of the changing of the NBA tides.

    Sure, you could tell me that the games are played with a faster pace than they were 15 years ago, but with no useful accuracy whatsoever. Learn to Google and get acquainted with the facts of the past, not your misconceptions.

    Cock

  227. Dink

    Frank today

    4 assists

    vs. 3 turnovers

    Strat not giving the whole picture just like all those pinheads in the mainstream media. SAD!

  228. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I can’t remember if I saw it in one of those awesome video series on YouTube (like Thinking Basketball or Deep Rewind) or in Neyer’s book Power Ball, but I read that Eckstein has had some positive revisionism. Looking at BBRef, he was #2 on the 2002 Angels in WAR and 9th in the league.

    But you know how we know that? Advanced fucking stats.

  229. JK47

    Eckatein did have one 4.5 WAR season.

    But his heart had a 10 WAR season every year.

    You’d know this if you watched the games.

  230. Bruno Almeida

    I do think we should pick up Frank’s option for the 4th year simply because it’s a small amount of money and there are no viable free agents in 2020 anyway, so the cap space is irrelevant.

    But after that, either he improves massively or he has to be let go. Don’t give contracts to players based solely on them being young, having some metaphysical potential or whatever physical attributes.

  231. Hubert

    I do think we should pick up Frank’s option for the 4th year simply because it’s a small amount of money and there are no viable free agents in 2020 anyway, so the cap space is irrelevant.

    I don’t know. I think AD is 50/50 at best to reup with LA. He’d be signing up for LeBron’s age 36 season and then the great unknown.

  232. Knew Your Nicks

    Just watched France-Dominica
    Let’s see what the box score “aint telling” us this time…
    *Frank started the game along Fournier, Batum, Mbaye, Gobert and finished the half with the starters.
    He didn’t start the 2nd Half with the 4starters but finished the game with the reserves after getting in the game somewhere near the half of the 3rd Q til the end.
    It seemed like he was getting more playing time to be more ready/experienced for the next rounds OR to persuade the Knicks to pick up his option.
    *Frank is NO MORE hesitant to shot 3s. He had 3-4 opportunities to shot open 3s and shot 5 !
    All his shots were looking pretty good but…just 2 went in.
    *He took 2 beatiful drives and made the one. He was possibly fouled on the other.
    *His D wasn’t as pressing as on the previous game but it was still SOLID.
    *2 of his 4 assists were pretty impressive and turned to easy buckets for his teammates.
    His turnovers were all on the first five minutes of the game and the one was foolish for a PG [Stepping on the line of the middle after passing it/pressed by the defender]
    The other was a semi-careless pass which led to a steal and a fastbreak but Frankie got back stole/block the ball which hit the body of the opponent player and went out.
    Frank’s latest trends:
    Quick decisions/No hesitation

  233. Knew Your Nicks

    His 3rd TO was a pass to Gobert or a pass to Mbaye.
    Both passes were almost there but both were not handled well by his 2 teammates and were TO.
    One must be credited to Frank and the other to one of his teammates.

  234. Knew Your Nicks

    *after checking fiba’s ‘Play by Play’ saw that the semi-careless passTO/comeback&steal was on the last 5′ of the 2ndQ.
    My bad.

  235. Owen

    Any time I see an Eckstein reference I know we have an FJM reader in the house. And FJM readers are good people. Greatest blog. Maybe ever. God, I miss that blog.

    The Black Death made WW2 look like Frank Ntilikina. You don’t mess with the Black Death. Wiped out 40%-50% of Europe. Some people will tell you this was a good thing. As many years in the halls of basketball analysis has proven, some people are idiots.

  236. geo

    too funny, my head is wired now so that every time i read a frank post: 10 cc’s i’m not in love automatically queues up for me…not a bad song actually…if frank could only do half as well in his career…

    looks like the first games being shown off of espn + are on Sept 10 (knockout round begins – 7am and 9am est)…definitely not a fan of these games being put on a subscription service…oh well, viewing content is all/mostly just about dollars and cents anyway…

    yes, the knicks organization could definitely be described as a nasty stain…

  237. geo

    i’m not sure why, but, this made me smile:

    “OJ Simpson posted a video telling Antonio Brown to chill out. That’s how far off the reservation of sanity Antonio Brown has gone. If OJ ever reaches out to me, and gives me life advice, I have lost my mind.”—@ClayTravis

  238. Knew Your Nicks

    France will play on the 2nd round against Lithuania and Australia and 2 teams out of 4 (These 3+Dominican Republic) will advance to the next round (knockout round final 8).
    France and Australia have an advantage as they have 6 points (3 wins each from 1st round) while Lithuania and Dominican R have 5 points.
    Lithuania needs to beat France to have a chance to advance to final 8 so as you can imagine the game between France and Lithuania on Saturday will be WWIII & Tricolore Death in one.

  239. Knew Your Nicks

    Same goes for Greece vs Usa.
    WAR.
    Fiba’s system has changed and this will cause WARS !
    Get ready for Bball WARS on Saturday.

  240. dtrickey

    Looking forward to the 2nd round. Got a bit of a taste with Australia v Lithuania which has been one of the better games to watch from a quality of play as opposed to tightness.

    Speaking of Lithuania, another forgotten Knick. Mindaugas Kuzminskas bench warming for Lithuania. Played 10 minutes last night for 3 points and a board. Highlight play was a flashy dunk attempt that he missed on.

  241. Z

    My daughter was invited to play a scrimmage on the staples center court before the Sparks game today. We stuck around for the game, which was my first WNBA experience. Derek Fisher is the head coach, which shows that the Knicks job is still a coveted stepping-stone to coaching in front of nobody at all. It kind of reminded me of the league from Slapshot, only without the ingenuity of creating a fight club out of it. Three dudes chattered throughout the entire game on a PA system turned up to 11, goading fans to dance on the jumbo tron, then ridiculing them for their reluctant performances (yes, they did this even during the actual game). There wasn’t a moment that their voices weren’t reverberating at an ear-crushing volume off of the 15,000 empty seats and boxes. That said, Fish has the Sparks running a way better offense than he was ever able to establish in NY, and the Sparks are probably a move or two away from beating the Knicks in a seven game series. Oh, and their 12th Woman is a 6’7” kid named Kwane Brown. It was a surreal sporting experience, to say the least. My head hurts. But, if I can sneak in some earplugs next time, I’m a convert. Go Candace Johnson. Go Sparks. Bring daddy a championship.

  242. Z

    Just found out that Candice Parker’s kid that scrimmaged against my daughter is also the daughter of ex-Knick legend Shelden Williams. I knew there was a reason I posted #290 on a knicks blog!

  243. slovene knick

    Z I’m resident lector here so I’ll explain it to you from one “rareguler” to another.
    It was Kalani Brown you saw(Daughter of P.J Brown)….I noticed her when she played for Baylor, a beautiful woman in a body of female shaq.

    In the facillity Where I play rec soccer you get meet/see a lot of women volleyball teams from allover the world and those really tall girls are something else. When i pass them by in a hallway i try not to have big eyes and taken a back look on my face and act normally saying halo and stuff, but i bet they can smell the fear :)) Im 6ft tall and these big girls give me a slight ginophobic reaction. They sure don’t have it easy.

  244. slovene knick

    Ephus saying this is a good time to be…. is what we all need.
    And next time around i hope he repeats it season after season for a long time.

  245. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Every time I think about the last 2 years I want to cry.

    Our team could VERY EASILY be Robinson, KP, Barrett, Mikal Bridges, and Frank. That would be a top 5 defense now with upside. They could lock down both inside and outside, have good play making, efficient inside scoring, and some spacing. As those players developed and broadened their skills on offense they would provide a decade of tremendous defense and good team ball. It’s sad how badly they screwed it all up because they don’t understand the game or value players correctly. It was all right there for the taking. Instead they created a mess. I don’t blame KP for wanting to get away from this team and management, but now we are set back a couple of years AGAIN.

    (Not to mention still having space to add Randle as a great compliment to KP in some lineups)

  246. alsep73

    Minor minor roster news: Knicks won’t be signing Kris Wilkes to a two-way deal, after all, due to his summer health problems. He may still come to camp, though. But this creates an opportunity to more securely hang onto Wooten and see what we have in him.

  247. JK47

    Our team could VERY EASILY be Robinson, KP, Barrett, Mikal Bridges, and Frank

    That lineup would suck ass on offense. The only thing resembling a shot creator in that lineup is RJ Barrett, unless you count KP’s half assed attempts at creating iso offense a la Carmelo Anthony as “shot creation.” That would be an incredibly easy offense to shut down.

  248. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Yeah, but KP gets his shot off with that high release, so defenders are frustrated and think of him as unguardable. Of course, the ball doesn’t actually go in the hole all that often, but he gets his shot off. And then spacing, gravity and synergy and the Knicks win more even though they are bad at making points. Sounds counter-intuitive but you’re just not old enough to understand. KP is a basketball player. Also he is good at shooting over defenders. Good at shooting is a skill. Getting shots off is a skill. Doesn’t show up in the box score but neither do grit and hustle and they are probably the two most important attributes in an athlete. That and wingspan. Wingspan helps you get your shot off, which demoralizes the defense and makes them make more mistakes from being flustered by your wingspan. Once they read the scouting report and see that everyone on the Knicks has a 9-foot wingspan they will be frozen with fear and lose the basketball contest. But you can’t tell who won a basketball game from the box score. You have to watch with your eyes and your wingspan.

  249. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    Let’s forget KP please. He wanted out so that scenario was DOA. I wish the Knicks lost a few more games back when Steph Curry was drafted so that they could have snagged him. It’s a worthless wish because it didn’t happen and you can’t turn back the clock. We need to move forward – emotionally.

  250. JK47

    Strat needs to continually drag the current FO to make Phil look better. I don’t know why, but that’s the running theme here. I don’t think this front office has galaxy brain but they’re a clear upgrade over Zen Mustache. Oh, what could have been if we only had smart GMs to build on top of Phil’s wonderful work. A girl can dream.

    Never mind that it was Phil’s asshattery that was a major part in souring KP on this sad sack organization in the first place.

  251. Ingmarrrr

    Oh, let me fix the problem on offense. This team could VERY EASILY be Mitch, KP, RJ, SGA, and Donovan Mitchel. All we need is a competent FO.

  252. swiftandabundant

    Lamenting over the past is how you slowly die as a person.

    Instead, focus on the now and the future. Our now is not bad and our future is full of possibilities. For most of my adult life the future for the Knicks looked bleak. You really had to run some mental gymnastics in your brain to see a future where The Knicks were a good team. Now, its not that hard for me to imagine even if some of the young talent on this team won’t turn into world beaters. The future picks, the extra picks, the financial flexibility. Mitch, Randle and Barrett as a young foundation. I don’t know. I’m hopeful. And Jowles might actually say that my hope isn’t just fantasy.

  253. Hubert

    The 20/20 hindsight thing is unfair. But one thing is fair:

    We picked in the top 10 of two straight loaded drafts and all we have to show for it are two of the worst players in the NBA last year. Some of that is down to picking 8th and 9th, but a lot of good players went after Frank and Knox.

  254. alsep73

    And while there was some debate about Frank (mainly vs DSJ, not Mitchell) two years ago, EVERYONE at the time was protesting Knox, and I recall many people that week saying we should’ve taken SGA. That’s not hindsight; this was foresight.

  255. JK47

    Yeah, the Knox pick was universally panned here, by just about everybody. That was a shitty pick, there’s no sugarcoating that.

  256. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The Frank debate was easier because he was drafted solely on the basis of highlight-reel tape and measurables. The former would let people dismiss his flaws and the latter would let them salivate over potential. Knox played a full season in the NCAA and projected as one of the worst picks in the draft. There was no doubt at the time that it was a high-risk pick, but there was also no evidence that it was high-reward.

  257. TheOakmanCometh

    Not if they utilized the pinch post correctly.

    I know a very lit center who could help us with that. Are we allowed to sign a guy that we are simultaneously paying through the stretch provision?

  258. JK47

    I’ve been a Raider fan for many years but Chucky is so completely incompetent that I’ve made a heel turn and actively root for them to lose. I’m an anti-fan. So I’ve been following the Antonio Brown saga, and it’s lots of fun if hate-watching the Raiders is your cup of tea.

    What’s happening now is amazeballs: one day after threatening to assault the GM and leaving training camp for like the 50th time, they are welcoming AB back, just in time for his huge contract to get guaranteed. This is 100% certain to end with AB pocketing the money then leaving the team or like retiring from football or something when the team is 2-6 a couple of months from now. I mean you can see this coming from 100 miles away.

  259. geo

    Lamenting over the past is how you slowly die as a person.

    enjoy skimming though new posts once things settle a bit at work…a lot of inane, mostly irrelevant stuff – about stuff…then someone will sneak in something like this…

  260. Hubert

    Since I brought up football…. I am mildly excited about the Giants this year. (I’m going to put the Daniel Jones thing in a bucket and move that bucket to the side for now.)

    – Saquon is football’s Zion. Can’t wait to watch him.

    – I’m a lifelong Eli apologist and am happy he gets to play in front of a real line, because what he had to go through the last 4+ years was criminal. This line looks good. I hope he has something left.

    – Evan Engram could be a breakout star and they have professional (if unspectacular) WRs.

    So yeah, I think the offense will be good and the defense average (there’s no pass rush). I don’t see this team being as bad as people think. I think they win 8 games.

  261. Nick C.

    Any talk that AB’s behavior is CTS after some big hit he received in the post-season in 2016 or 2017 or is that just a theory put forth but my conspiracy theory friend?

  262. Hubert

    Had a comment stuck in moderation. I realize now what the bad word is, this happened to me before. Here at knickerblogger, you cannot say the word for someone who breaks the law that rhymes with minimal. Seems odd.

    Anyway, sorry if this eventually looks like a double post:

    Since I brought up football…. I am mildly excited about the Giants this year. (I’m going to put the Daniel Jones thing in a bucket and move that bucket to the side for now.)

    – Saquon is football’s Zion. Can’t wait to watch him.

    – I’m a lifelong Eli apologist and am happy he gets to play in front of a real line, because what he had to go through the last 4+ years was [rhymes with minimal]. This line looks good. I hope he has something left.

    – Evan Engram could be a breakout star and they have professional (if unspectacular) WRs.

    So yeah, I think the offense will be good and the defense average (there’s no pass rush). I don’t see this team being as bad as people think. I think they win 8 games. (This may surprise Bob, who for some reason thinks I read NFL opinions on the internet, but I’m not completely anti-Gettelman. I think he’s made some good moves and am generally excited about the team. Not as excited as I would be if we had Josh Allen and Chase Winovich, which we easily could have had, but I am still excited.)

  263. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    testing

    Damyean Dotson is a rapist who escaped criminal prosecution because he’s good at sports

  264. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    testing

    Damyean Dotson is a rapist who escaped crim-inal prosecution because he’s good at sports

    the other one got stuck in moderation, let’s see about this one

    edit: Hubert I’m impressed with your sleuthing

  265. Knew Your Nicks

    let me give it a try too

    Reading between the lines of a box score is still considered a creaminal

  266. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    I had a thoughtful post yesterday on the value of second rounds picks vis-a-vis the Willy trade that never made it through moderation. Guess I shouldn’t have said jiminy crickets!

  267. ptmilo

    there once was an old sadcore hymnal
    a choir marooned at stage liminal
    it sang only of frenchmen
    and of drafts picks gone sour
    thanks to an owner so daft it was _____

  268. geo

    Any talk that AB’s behavior is CTS after some big hit he received in the post-season in 2016 or 2017 or is that just a theory put forth but my conspiracy theory friend?

    i’d say that’s a very real possibility – but, to be honest – i’m not familiar with his behavior/personality from years ago…he may have always been a crazy egocentric dick…

    was listening to something about dale earnhardt junior that he’s had over 20 concussions driving…dude was out there racing at darlington last weekend…

    yes please – may i have some more brain damage…he should probably take up a safer hobby like snorting rat poison or something…

  269. Knew Your Nicks

    Let’s test a euro-step now:

    The Greek in me says to Watch Greece-Usa !
    but
    The Knick in me yells for France-Lithuania !!
    I’d love to kick the Fiba responsible for this hours fiasco in the butt !
    Serait-ce un criminel ?

  270. Owen

    Watching the US Open and they had an interesting interview with Berettini’s “analytical consultant.”Not that it will help against Nadal but It appears the stat geeks are even getting hired in tennis these days. Is there a tennisblogger? Would love to know the basics of tennis analytics.

  271. BigBlueAL

    I don’t care about tennis advanced stats, I’ll always consider Pete Sampras the greatest tennis player ever no matter what the stats say about Federer, Nadal and Djokovic!!

  272. Hubert

    i got one for you big blue – who do you sit to get stanton back in the lineup?

    I’m not BBA, but I say no one.

  273. Grocer

    Cock, I’ve read the work you’ve done these past few weeks, and I’m proud.

    Sounds counter-intuitive but you’re just not old enough to understand.

    People just haven’t grasped the genius of Depeche Mode. Everything counts in large amounts. Minutes played, shot attempts, time spent injured.. Y’all just don’t understand economics.

  274. JK47

    The Edwin Diaz saga continues.

    He has the most bizarre stat line I have ever seen. He has 15.4 K/9, third highest in MLB with pitchers over 50 IP. He’s 8th among all pitchers in swinging strike rate, again minimum 50 IP.

    But he also has the highest hard hit rate in baseball, highest HR/FB rate, highest BABIP allowed.

    He has basically broken DIPS. You shouldn’t BOTH get tons of swings and misses and strikeouts and also allow screaming hard contact all the time.

  275. geo

    I’m not BBA, but I say no one.

    man, they gonna have to eat a big chunk of that nut if they wanna move him…I think the marlins might still be giving him money too…

    ellsbury ain’t even off the payroll yet…

    can’t think of a worse defensive outfielder on their roster…they can pick or choose 3 or 4 different guys to DH…

    unless your name is mike trout, hard to get value at that kind of salary with so many other roster spots to fill…and, that’s as long as trout stays healthy…

  276. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    – The Willy trade was a heist

    This really is wrong, for several different reasons, but it’s all worked out so it looks better. Covering your mistakes with luck, though, doesn’t make them not mistakes. The logic is simple: Willy is what you hope for from a second round pick – a decent cheap player who can contribute 15 mpg, at very low cost. Most second round picks don’t stick in the league. And while high second round picks are WAAAAY better than low first round picks, the Knicks didn’t know where those picks would land when they made the trade – given Charlotte’s history of finishing just outside the playoffs, it is reasonable to have thought they’d be mid-second round. Just because Mitch, Dray, Jokic and others have succeeded doesn’t mean we should expect anything better than Andy Rautins from those picks.

    For example, pick #33 has a 10% chance of garnering a role player – and a 0% chance of anything better. Last season Willy played a bit better than a replacement player, on a salary around that of a replacement player. Even with two picks, we have a very small chance of getting a player as “good” as he is. It was a bad move, that may work out because of good luck.

  277. Brian Cronin Post author

    Bunge probably LOVES David Eckstein

    I can’t believe you even added the “probably” caveat.

  278. Hubert

    What do you think Willy’s trade value is today? IMHO, he has none. He’s a big who can’t defend or shoot a 3 and has a reputation for having a terrible attitude. He might be in a race with Frank to see who gets to the euroleague first. He is as bad on the defensive side as Frank is on the offensive side.

    If you can get two seconds for a guy who is worth nothing less than two years later, I think you’ve done a great job.

  279. KnickfaninNJ

    Rama, Willie might have some stat indicating he was better than a replacement level player, but he didn’t actually play much, suggesting he’s “replacement level” at best in the eyes of NBA coaches. I believe the coaches rather than whatever stat you are using, so I’d much rather have two chances at another Robinson.

  280. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    What do you think Willy’s trade value is today?

    I agree, it’s near nothing. But that doesn’t mean that at that time, the situation was well-handled. It worked out, but not because it’s a good idea to take a player who made all-rookie, not play him to the point he complains, and then trade him for two picks that together have a 20% chance of bringing you a player as good as him. All while alienating his best friend on the team, who happens to be your intended franchise player.

    Again, the point isn’t whether it worked out – it very well may. We may get lucky with one of those picks – it seems to be one of the few areas of strength for the Knicks, making good second round picks. But it still want well-handled. You can’t ret-con it into good decision making because it worked out.

    @338 Not sure why this is hard to understand: the chance of pulling a replacement level player in the second round is SMALL. Willy, with his decent stats at 15 mpg and minimum salary, already is that. The argument isn’t that he’s great, it is that it is a positive move on the margin. The odds are literally less than 1% we pull another Mitch. I’d love to gamble with you guys. Let’s get rid of this two pair because maybe I could pull a straight flush!

  281. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    I should add, to avoid conversation whether we should have made KP our franchise player, that it doesn’t matter whether you think that would have been a good idea or not: the FO did, and any action has to be evaluated in that context. Did it help in the cause it did it hurt? They wanted to keep KP, they did not, so they failed. Trading Willy was certainly one of the elements of KP’s dissatisfaction.

    As for that KP argument, I don’t know. I’m 60/40 that he’s worth a max, but I see both sides. Now THAT is a question for gamblers.

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