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Thursday, April 24, 2014

NYSUN: A Move to the Second Unit Could Ease Curry’s Woes

http://www.nysun.com/pf.php?id=71835&v=0854304021

Good take on the Curry situation by Martin Johnson.

There were a lot of statistical techniques I learned from reading Bill James’s “Baseball Abstracts” in the 1980s, but one of his comments that resonated most deeply with me dealt with tactics: “Good teams don’t ask their players to do things they can’t do.”

Now, that might seem like just plain common sense. But after growing up watching a variety of inept Chicago teams, then moving to New York where there was no shortage of losers, that comment rang true to me. It came to mind this weekend while I was watching the situation between the Knicks and center Eddy Curry approach a boiling point…

Read the article.

63 comments on “NYSUN: A Move to the Second Unit Could Ease Curry’s Woes

  1. TSW

    Excellent column by Johnson — it reads like message board posts I’ve made throughout Curry’s career. I’ve been pretty consistenly surprised at how many people seem to think Curry is a lot better than he actually is. Johnson hits the nail on the head. Bring him off the bench as a low-post scoring specialist. Don’t expect him to do stuff he has shown no ability to do.

    Of course, the problem is that he’s paid like a superstar. And Isiah has invested considerable personal capital in Curry becoming a cornerstone center. Seems to me that the smart move would be to fire Zeke and bring in someone who doesn’t carry the burden of having to be “right” about Curry (or any of the other personnel blunders).

  2. Caleb

    I’m not a Johnson fan, and he’s overthinking it here. Curry isn’t having problems because he doesn’t know his “role,” he has problems because he isn’t good. “Not knowing their role” is my favorite basketball excuse. Sorry I didn’t make it back on that fast break, coach. I was too busy worrying about my role.

    I also think he’s mistaken in thinking that if Curry plays on the 2nd unit, he won’t guard the other team’s starters. The consistency of per-minute stats strongly suggests that anyone who gets 20+ minutes is basically playing against the same competition, as any starter.

    I do agree with the lead idea of the piece — that good teams don’t ask players to do what they can’t do… and with that in mind, any time Curry is on the court he should get the ball. He is the most efficient scorer on the team and does absolutely nothing else. Some nights it will work for 5 minutes, other nights for 25, but that’s how to use him.

    The only argument “against” is that you might be able to build his trade value by giving him 35 minutes a night and letting him have a high scoring average. Our record wouldn’t be any worse than it is now, and you might sucker another GM into thinking he’s “figured out his role.” I suspect it may be too late for a ploy like that, but there are 5 or 6 GMs dumb enough where it might work.

  3. DRed

    Caleb,

    I think you’ve nailed it. Curry’s problem is that he’s not a good basketball player. But he is really good at scoring, so what you’re saying makes sense. When Curry’s on the court he should touch the ball almost every time we’re on offense. It’s the only way to get any value out of him.

  4. Owen

    Right now, amongst the players listed in this table, Eddy Curry has the absolute worst on/off in the entire league.

    http://www.82games.com/ROLRTG8.HTM

    Just barely, the Knicks still have a positive differential when he is off the court.

    I look at those stats and it makes me think, if we had an average center, someone who could just hold his own out there, or even a underappreciated young big, like Diop, what would our record look like?

  5. Thomas B.

    Caleb,

    I do agree with the lead idea of the piece — that good teams don’t ask players to do what they can’t do…

    I would add that well managed teams do not pick up players that provide what the team needs. I’ve been down on Curry but I will say that on a team that can mask his defensive and rebounding problems, he can be an effective player. Even if he does have a Shining thing going on with Benoit Benjamin this year.

  6. MattinDC

    I like and hate the fact that Isiah over-invests in potential…Jerome James played one good playoff series and Isiah thought he had potential for more. Isiah also picked up Curry based on his potential…assuming Curry would develop into a better player overall when his four seasons in the league showed no such evidence.
    Amazingly, Isiah drafts phenomenally well, based on potential. How can Isiah be so wrong with young veterans (Curry, James) and so right with his rookies? The eternal question…

  7. jon abbey

    “Amazingly, Isiah drafts phenomenally well,”

    haven’t we proven this to not be that true? Mardy Collins says hello (we easily could have had Rondo instead), and Frye over Bynum was one of the worst decisions he’s made in any capacity, admittedly in retrospect.

  8. Greene

    The bottom line here is that Isiah Thomas brings in the wrong players that do not fit with the rest of the players he has. He does not get them to perform to their maximum potential. And he does not even rotate the awkward pieces that he does have very well in terms of trying to get the players that play well together on the court together for most of the game. This said, I read a quote in the Daily News from a fan that ran into Dolan in New Orleans who said Dolan said “I am not going to comment on the Knicks for a very long time.” This leads me to believe that he is absolutely no intention of making a move with Isiah now or at the end of the year. My guess is that his mandate to Isiah is now: You have to coach this team with these players. You cannot add payroll and you are stuck with this for the remainder of your contract. How do we feel about that??

  9. mase

    no kidding that is his mandate but as the owner his responsibility is to try and create a winning product/team…if Dolan owned a team in any other city other than NY he would be out of business in the first 6 months!

  10. Frank O.

    I think the wheels are coming off Isiah and there is very little he does well.
    He has assembled a mismatched team. He keeps getting players that displace good players he already has in those roles.
    this year he did it to two players when her brought on Randolph.

    Before all the Bricks went down last year they were 25 and 31 and playing decent ball.
    This year, he brings in Randolph. In doing so, he takes away touches from Curry, who was more productive offensively last year, although his defense is intolerable, and he forces Lee to the bench where he gets too few minutes.

    So two of the most productive players last year, Curry and Lee, on a team with not many productive players, are retarded by the arrival of Zach.

    We all saw this coming. How Zeke did not see this coming is amazing.

    And this is a guy who knows talent?

  11. Caleb

    ESPN reporting that Yao is out for the season with a broken foot.

    I’d say that Denver and Golden State can all of a sudden rest easy… but last year Houston actually played better without him. Fluke? The Amazing Mutombo? What will happen this time?

  12. Johnny Twisto

    Poor Yao. He’s really seemed to be on the verge of greatness, but he’s becoming Bill Walton Lite.

  13. Brian Cronin

    we easily could have had Rondo instead

    Again, I disagree.

    The Knicks could have “easily” had Rondo instead of Balkman, but not “easily” instead of Collins.

    Even if you want to make the argument that they could have taken Balkman later, you’re certainly not basing it on enough facts to categorize it as “easily.”

  14. JVG

    You know if Yao Ming’s injury had been diagnosed a couple of weeks ago, Eddy Curry could be a Houston Rocket right now.

    In life, timing is everything.

  15. Ben R

    I think it is unfair to attack someone’s draft record because a very young player, Bynum, exceeded alot of people’s expectations.

    Also the fact that Collins name keeps coming up is the exception that proves the rule. He is the only bad pick Isiah has made and it was at the very end of the 1st round and there are only a handful of players picked after him that will even stay in the NBA.

    Maybe he should have picked up Rondo instead of
    Balkman but I really like Balkman and at the time he filled more of a need.

    I hate defending Isiah but he is at worst a solid drafter and a best a very good one.

  16. jon abbey

    “The Knicks could have “easily” had Rondo instead of Balkman, but not “easily” instead of Collins.

    Even if you want to make the argument that they could have taken Balkman later, you’re certainly not basing it on enough facts to categorize it as “easily.””

    we can go around and around on this, you believe Isiah (who has everything to lose), I believe Phoenix (who could care less). no one else wanted Balkman, he would most likely have been undrafted through two rounds if NY didn’t take him.

  17. jon abbey

    “You know if Yao Ming’s injury had been diagnosed a couple of weeks ago, Eddy Curry could be a Houston Rocket right now.”

    actually for curiosity’s sake, I checked Houston’s salaries after I heard about Yao’s injury, and I think it would have been very hard to find a match. they’d be better off just resigning our old friend Jackie Butler anyway, and they’re already paying him.

  18. jon abbey

    “I hate defending Isiah but he is at worst a solid drafter and a best a very good one.”

    this I can agree with, I was attacking the statement that he drafts “phenomenally well”.

  19. Ess-dog

    I think the 20 minutes a game off the bench role is literally the only role that Curry can play for this team because he doesn’t have the conditioning to do any more than that for any team. A scorer’s role off the bench might work because he can only really play 5 minutes at a time before he stops putting his hands up on D all together. The thing that disturbs me the most, is that Isiah can’t even recognize when to go to Curry’s offense (i.e. when the Celtics had no active player over 6’8″ on the floor…) Do you think, if we trade Randolph after the season, we could create enough cap space to try and get Okafor? Ok and Lee would be formidable and hey, if we rig the draft and get Beasley with the first pick, that would be a helluva front line! Or if we get Rose, just as good. Curry off the bench 20 min a game… fine w/ me.

  20. matty

    me and my friend have been saying this from day one eddy curry is a good bad 6th man good because hes out of the starting lineup but bad because hes your sixth man and hes gonna touch the bALL
    BUT SERIOUSLY everyday for the past month he should of been coming off the bench the only time they won he played all of 10 min its time to blame it all on eddy curry well becuase its mostly his fault he is there center piece he is there savior and he really sucks

  21. nj hoop

    Agree with Frank O’s earlier point that the acquisition of Randolph was the downfall of Curry. Last season, Curry had a lot of big offensive games, and this season he looks totally lost. I don’t think his weight or motivation is the issue, it’s sharing the low post. I know he’s a hideous defender and rebounder, but getting 19.5 PPG and 7+ rebounds out of him would at least counter some of his deficiencies. Which also leads me to believe he has some trade value to a team that needs a low post scorer that can play 20-25 minutes.

  22. Latke

    Honestly, I agree with the idea that curry could be more successful on the second unit. Martin is a little overeager to support his point though, and makes exaggerations about who curry would guard. But it’s true – curry would, without a doubt, get more touches per possession if he was playing with a second unit that included fred jones, jared jeffries and/or R. Balkman.

    I thought today’s article in the times was also cool in that it made clear how asinine Isiah’s assertion is that the big man is going extinct.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/26/sports/basketball/26knicks.html?ref=basketball

    “Nearly every N.B.A. champion in the last 16 years — other than the Chicago Bulls — has been anchored by a dominant, low-post big man. Of the last nine titles, eight have been claimed by teams featuring Tim Duncan (four titles with San Antonio) or Shaquille O’Neal (three with the Los Angeles Lakers, one with Miami).

    The Phoenix Suns, who made small ball fashionable but have been stymied in the playoffs, just acquired O’Neal to help them win a title.

    Clearly, the N.B.A. still values a muscle-bound goliath who can draw double teams, score easy baskets and dominate the lane. So perhaps the problem with Curry is not about the game itself, but about him.”

  23. daJudge

    The Knicks have lacked an overall strategy for a long time, particularly, but not exclusively, during Isiah’s tenure. They lack definition, leadership and personality. What type of game do they want to play? Who knows? Hence, they draft and sign players without considering their respective role within a particular team concept/philosophy—because there isn’t one. If it were a football team these flaws would be more obvious. They would draft running backs and shift to a passing offense. The league isn’t getting smaller and quicker, the Knicks are becomming more and more distant from a distinct personality. They are not the bomb squad, they don’t pound it, they don’t use motion, they are not guard, forward or center dominated. They are a disjointed, ill-conceived emphemeral mess. I still watch every damn game.

  24. Luke

    No Eddy would not be better on the second unit because

    A- he is out of shape thats his biggest problem that has to be corrected before anything else

    B- He mentally couldnt accept going to the bench and would sulk and be even worse.We all know we would be seeing Curry trot off the bench pick up two offensive fouls in a row then go back to the bench .

  25. Thomas B.

    http://deadspin.com/360793/isiah-thomas-knicks-legacy-summed-up-in-one-possession

    “Any rebroadcast, reproduction or other use of the pictures and accounts of this game without the express written consent of the National Basketball Association is strictly prohibited.”

    Is this not the biggest joke in the NBA> I mean the copyright notice, not Randolph’s play, which is a close second. If I were responsible for the accounts of that game, I wouldnt want anyone to see it again either.

  26. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    I think Johnson’s post makes a lot of sense in this respect – the Knicks’ bench consist of enough players that play defense but are limited offensively. Eddy Curry is better suited to play along the likes of Jared Jeffries, Renaldo Balkman, and Mardy Collins than he is with Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph. I’d rather have the ball in his hands and force him to create shots than either of those three. The pairing of these players makes sense on both ends – Jeffries, Balkman, and Collins can help minimize Curry’s defensive woes, while Eddy can take the pressure off them on the other end of the court.

  27. Ted Nelson

    A lot of strong points… Especially daJudge. The Knicks need a direction before anything can change.

    I agree 100% that Curry’s more useful when Randolph’s off the court. I don’t know how much moving him to the bench would help in the w column… and I don’t know if I’d rather win 5 more games or have more ping-pong balls.

    I agree with Jon’s take that Isiah is a good, but not necessarily incredible drafter. I would say he has one of the best draft records in the league, but his recent blunders have hurt his draft stock in my mind. Again, if there’s no direction and you’re asking guys to play to their weaknesses rather than their strengths it’s hard to look good. Nate Robinson, for example, could maybe be a 6th man of the year candidate in the right situation instead of the starting PG of the NYK.

    My biggest question at this point is obviously whether or not Isiah gets canned…

    Our cap situation is about as good as it’s been in a while and we’ve got a high lottery pick: right now the Knicks President/GM position must be as covetted as it’s going to be.

    If Isiah stays I have to assume he spends about $3 mill of the MLE on Fred Jones, maybe Jermaine O’Neal opts out and Isiah tries a sign-and-trade involving Marbury or Rose’s expiring deals… basically, he ditches the plan of rebuilding the early 2000s Bulls (Curry and Crawford) to rebuild the Pacers he used to coach: at least they were a playoff team.

    If Zeke’s gone, I really think the new boss comes into a decent situation: lottery pick, $28 mill in contracts set to expire after next season to consider using in trades or sign-and-trades or the chance to get under the cap in a couple seasons, and a potentially strong free agent class.
    I know the consensus is that the Knicks should go into full-blown rebuilding mode in the sense the Sonics are now in, but a shrewd exec and a few lucky breaks could have them in the playoffs immediately and Eastern Conference contention in a couple of seasons.

    I know Isiah’s gotten burned with the MLE before, but how about Diop or Pietrus this offseason???? I wouldn’t mind Chris Duhon in a Knicks’ uniform next season at $1 or 2 mill either…
    Isiah’s also been burned on sign-and-trades for restricted free agents coming off their rookie contracts, but this season’s crop is especially strong and maybe someone with more of a plan could fair better: a Deng/Igoudala/Josh Smith/Okafor plus a top 5 pick would give our young supporting cast a little something more to support.

  28. Alec

    I hope I am not black balled from this blog, but Pietrus is better then Balkmen. Both are good on D, but Pietrus can make a jumper here and there that stretches the floor.
    Diop rebounds and defends better then Curry.
    I would love to have both, but I doubt the Knicks make any moves this year because these additions make too much sense for Thomas to do.

  29. jon abbey

    for instance, last night GS was up by something like six with 2 or 3 minutes left. they missed a shot, got an offensive board, and Pietrus hoisted a contested 3 with probably 22 left on the shot clock. it went in, but even Don Nelson was ready to go off on him for not running clock. do we really need another guy like that here?

  30. Greene

    Just read another article in the NYDaily News stating the Thomas is obviously out next year and mentioning Kiki was with Steve Mills at some movie screening in Harlem and Kiki was top guy for the job. I usually like Isola but I have not seen nor heard any evidence whatsoever that Isiah is out after the season better yet discussion on who is going to replace him. Where is the source that says Isiah is done? Until that comes from a high ranking Garden official I believe Dolan plans to keep him out of spite. I really do. So all these fantasies about the next GM inheriting an advantageous situation with expiring contracts and high picks is moot as far as I am concerned. Does anyone share that?

  31. Alec

    Balkman hasn’t gotten consistant minutes, but neither has Pietrus. I am sure a fan from another city watching Balkman play would be like this guy sucks. We think the same thing about Pietrus because we don’t get to see him often.
    But I can understand your thoughts Jon, I just prefer Pietrus.

  32. Roshi

    I would love for the Knicks to get Diop. Did you see how he defended Duncan in that Dallas/Spurs Western Final two years ago?

  33. Ted Nelson

    Greene,

    A high ranking Garden official can’t really come out in the middle of the season and say Isiah is done after the season… it would be really poor form and take away any authority he has as coach. If they’re ready to say that they might as well just pull the trigger, the only advantage I to undercutting him like that is throwing away the remainder of the season and having a better shot in the lottery. Also, Dolan is probably the only official who has any say in the decision.

    Alec,

    I also like Pietrus because of his ability to defend and hit some outside shots (.349 3p shooting career, .339 season). At the same time, I haven’t seen him play much and have heard similar critiques to Jon’s. I mean while Balkman’s getting inconsistent minutes in his second season, Pietrus is in his 5th.

    At the same time, Pietrus is more of a 2/3 while Balkman is a 3/4… What Pietrus has over Balkman as a shooter (keeping in mind that Pietrus isn’t a very high volume scorer), he gives up on the boards. Basically, I don’t see the two as redundant and think that if they both play to their abilities they could easily coexist in a rotation. (While Balkman gets knocked for his jumper, he’s an efficient low volume scorer and in a better offense he might get more easy looks.)

    If he comes cheap I wouldn’t mind seeing the Knicks make a run at Pietrus, just depends on what kind of demand there is. Certainly helps that GS isn’t likely to put much of a fight, if any, to keep him. I guess Azubuike, a restricted free agent, looks like a better player than Pietrus, but I assume GS wants to keep him.

    Jon, agreed that C and PG are important offseason priorities.
    Like Roshi, I think I’ll really be rooting for Diop… even if he’s only out there 20 mpg and doesn’t score at all, an interior defensive presence would be a huge addition and he might even make Curry and/or Randolph look better… Francisco Elson could be a cheap, short-term option… Patrick O’Bryant might be worth a look…Biedrins is a restricted FA and the Warriors might not mind unloading Harrington or Jackson in a sign-and-trade for Marbury’s contract with half their team hitting free agency. (Could they trade us the last year of Foyle’s contract???)…I have to assume Charlotte’s not going to give Okafor away…

    I know some people don’t like Duhon, but a “pass-first” PG who can defend and shoot from the outside might be a good fit on a team with so many high volume scorers.

    Ess-Dog, Why would Houston make that move???

  34. David Crockett

    “The pairing of these players makes sense on both ends – Jeffries, Balkman, and Collins can help minimize Curry’s defensive woes, while Eddy can take the pressure off them on the other end of the court.”

    Additionally, Balkman and Collins are actually decent passers who are more likely than Crawford and Randolph to give Curry the ball in a position where he can just make his move; rather than get it, read the defense, and make his move. That’s when you get turnovers and offensive fouls.

    Certainly, one way to look at moving Curry to the 2nd unit is that it’s shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. But a less depressing way is to think about how the next coach might actually get something out of Curry. Although he may be a poor player overall, Johnson’s point is that Curry is miscast as a starter because he’s one-dimensional. You can get value from such players on the second unit. For some reason coaches get that when it comes to perimeter players but don’t get it with post-players.

  35. Thomas B.

    We should find out how good Balkman can be. I say start Balkman the rest of the season. Lets see what he can do with consistent minutes. Ditto to Chandler as a reserve.

  36. Thomas B.

    ess-dog,

    “Who would do this move:

    Curry and our draft pick for Yao?”

    I can tell you who would NOT do that move, Houston.

  37. jon abbey

    Pietrus is in an ideal situation for him now, the all swingmen/always running GS team, and Matt Barnes plays ahead of him. I wouldn’t mind him on NY as a bench guy, and he might even be better than Balkman, but I’d be much more excited about Diop (although Rod Thorn said in the Post today they definitely want to keep him) or any real PG.

  38. Owen

    Diop would be almost perfect for the Knicks. A young, not overpriced, highly effective and relativly underappreciated defensive center whose ego is the right size to join our frontcourt.

  39. JVG

    Did anybody read the rumor that Kiki Vandewaghe could be the Bricks next coach? Any opinions on this; is Kiki a good fit?

  40. Roshi

    “Is Kiki a good fit”

    I don’t care if Kiki is the dumbest MoFo alive. At this point, I’d let any dude off the street take the reigns from Isiah. With that said, it’s always good to have someone schooled under Rod Thorn. He tends to make sensible basketball decisions.

  41. Caleb

    Kiki is responsible for Kenyon Martin, Nene and Niko Tskitishvilli with the #5 pick.

    I know I’m in the minority on this, but I also think Carmelo Anthony is wildly overrated and that Bosh or Wade would have been a much better pick… also, in my book, Josh Howard or David West… maybe even Chris Kaman.

    Then again, Kiki did bring in Marcus Camby and hire George Karl.

    But overall, I don’t know that he’s much improvement over Isiah, if any. He has a frighteningly similar approach — quick-fix, big money answers.

  42. Caleb

    Diop would be a good signing at the full mid-level — even with no offensive game, he’s a pretty good rebounder and probably one of the five best defensive centers in the league.

    He’ll have plenty of options, but I somehow doubt we’d be outbid. Only three teams are really in position to offer more, and they won’t (Nets have luxury tax issues and Sean Williams, Philly has Dalembert and Memphis has Darko (and is too cheap, anyway).

    Wonder if he likes New York…

  43. disciple-ken

    There’s no scenario that involves Eddy Curry still on this team that is palatible. If they turned down that Jason Williams deal they are crazy. Eddy and Zach both need to go. THere is no way they are in New York during any type of resurgance.

  44. ess-dog

    Yao is always hurt and Houston could consider moving him… though probably not for anything the Knicks have…
    Kiki’s better than Zeke. My cat’s better than Zeke.

  45. Ben R

    I know I said it before but I still think Smith is the best signing with the MLE. I do not see Denver resigning him. He is a terrible fit in Denver because Iverson needs a SG that can play some point to allow him to play off-ball sometimes.

    Actually Jamal would be great in that role, he would be able to split PG duties with AI and not make Denver’s backcourt too undersized. I think Denver is going to be swept out of the first round of the playoffs and will be looking to shake things up this summer.

    They seemed to have at least some interest in Randolph so how about a trade of:

    Randolph and Crawford for a resigned Smith, Nene, Hunter and Klezia.

    I know Nene has a terrible contract but it is alot smaller than Randolph’s and when healthy he could be a pretty solid starting center. He is a good defender and average rebounder with an offensive game that has potential in my opinion. (last year he had a TS% of 61.1% while scoring 16.4 pts per 36)

    Then draft a PG this year and use Curry to move Jeffries for contracts that are one year shorter and we could be under the cap in 2010 with a core of:

    PG we draft – Nate
    Smith – Nate
    Balkman – Klezia
    Lee – Balkman
    Nene – Hunter

    I like that core and as long as we are careful when we resign; Klezia, Nate, and Lee we could still be enough under the cap to make a run at LeBron.

  46. jon abbey

    that’s an OK plan from NY’s side (except I hate Nene), but there is about as much chance as Denver deciding to go with Iverson/Carmelo/Randolph/Crawford as there is of GWB being elected for a third term. Vecsey said that Denver had zero interest in Randolph, and I believe him on this one.

  47. Spider Cider

    Ben: For the good of basketball everywhere, I shudder at the thought of a team with a potential starting lineup of Crawford, Iverson, Anthony, Randolph, and Camby. If you think Denver plays clown-ball now, imagine the monstrosity that would grow from that mix of players. It might even be more unbearable than this year’s Knicks (maybe not, but it looks god awful). I would not wish that team of buffoons upon any basketball fans, except maybe Laker fans.

  48. matty

    anyone can see that isiah needs to send some sort of message around the league. Do something fire someone up send curry to the bench give him 20 min and throw it in his face the – he brings every time you get a minus you lose 1 min every time you bring a plus you gain one. or atleast you could use cheesburgers and throw him one everytime he gets a block shot. but for gods sake try something dont just keep throwing him in the lineup with out any cheeseburgers. and i think he should switch his restuarants mark aguirre isnt even a big man what does he know about being center. get somebody with some fire and some cheeseburgers. nate starts every night along with lee randolph crawford and… richardson curry comin off the bench whats wrong with that. might actually win some games because you know curry wants to be in the starting line up or maybe he will even work to get there or atleast eat a few cheeseburgers.

  49. jon abbey

    it’s been true all season, but even more so now, it’s insane that Balkman isn’t starting and Chandler and Morris get no minutes. if someone put a bullet in Isiah’s head tonight, no jury in NYC would convict him.

  50. Caleb

    ok,speaking of weird trade ideas…

    Would you trade Randolph & the #5 pick to the Clippers, for Elton Brand?

    Would the Clippers do it? What # draft pick would it take?

    personally, I wouldn’t do any of those… Elton Brand is too old (and the injury question)… but I was thinking about who might actually be willing to take Randolph, and there aren’t (m)any out there.

  51. matty

    come on i should be the coach
    look whos on the floor nate, lee, crawford, zach and rich and were up by 9.. curry on the bench now we up by 9 matty for gm,coach, and president in 09

  52. Ted Nelson

    Ben R,

    For one thing, I’d rather see the Knicks concentrate on becoming very good on one side of the ball: have either a top 5 offense or defense. Smith and Nene would move you in opposite directions as far as I can tell. Right now Isiah’s “offense guys” and “defense guys” strategy is falling flat on its face. I don’t know if his logic was this would make a strong team on both sides of the ball, but the result has obviously been a poor team on both sides. (The great thing about Isiah’s tenure is that it’s literally a case study on what not to do in constructing an NBA team.)

    Crawford-Randolph/Smith-Nene might be a decent lateral move, although the character questions coming in are at least as bad as the ones going out. The Knicks don’t have the talent of the top NBA teams, but they have the talent to make the playoffs (not the mix of talent, but overall level of talent). I think that what they need is a direction and some leadership. Crawford is the closest thing they have to a leader (although I would easily buy an argument that you need to get rid of him and establish some new leadership), as well as one of their better players (gulp) and probably second to Lee in terms of trade value. Moving Crawford has got to be the second best option the Knicks have to inprove this summer (after the draft pick).

    Caleb,

    Maybe if the pick is closer to 10…even if it was a pick you were comfortable dealing you have to consider moving it with Marbury or Rose’s contract for the chance to get a young core guy like Deng, Igoudala, Josh Smith, Okafor.

    Personally, if Isiah stays, the offseason I’m hoping for would be to sign Artest, and have Iverson opt out and trade any decent players we have for him…keeping the twin towers, of course, and preferably moving Jerome James into the rotation. Resigning Marbury long-term would also be a priority. Marbury-Iverson… think about it’s got to be better than Marbury-Francis. Ricky Davis and Sebastian Telfair are also hitting free agency… Here’s our rotation: Curry, Randolph, Jerome James, Artest, Davis, Marbury, Iverson, and Telfair. Talent, athleticism, size, power.

  53. JD90388

    Todd Nelson… I am astounded by the horrific line-up you have there. Its hard to figure out where to start breaking down that team.

    Curry and Randolph have proved they cant work together, primarily because Eddy Curry is a fat ugly slob who couldn’t run the length of the court if you paid him to. (unfortunately for us, we do pay him to)

    Jerome James is a injury plagued bum who had a spark of decency in a playoff series like 3 or 4 years ago, so the moment he can leave this team he needs to be on the first bus out.

    Ricky Davis, Stephon Marbury, and Allen Iverson are three of the most selfish players in the league. (Marbury and Iverson happen to be some of my fav. players but there’s no getting around the fact of their selfishness which may be the reason neither have a ring) The last thing the Knicks need are inflated egos such as those all on one team.

    Telfair might be a viable option if he continues progressing as a passing PG, although he would have been much better had he gone to college… but thats neither here nor there.

    Artest is a great defensive player but he comes at too high a price… so yea, i doubt that team could co exist and would be worse than the debacle we had 2 years ago.

  54. jon abbey

    yeah, that was his point, dude. if we’re going to be historically bad, let’s go all the way.

    plus, think of the parties that team would throw. do guys still count against the cap if they’re in prison?

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