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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Off-Season Musings 1.0

With the conference finals in full swing, and Knick fans left dreaming of what might have, it is time to think about what is coming up next. Free agency and the draft are right around the corner.

For the most part, the Knicks core of Anthony, Chandler, STAT, and Shump is set. Roster changes will most likely involve the other players and are likely to come from the draft, via minor trades and low dollar free agent signings.

Given that, I figured I’d put up a quasi-open thread to discuss potential losses and additions—but with some ground rules.

1. Let’s stay away from pure rosterbation, shall we? With little cap space for major free agents and few assets worth trading, Larry Bird Chris Paul is not walking through that door. It’s not impossible I suppose, but the Knicks aren’t well positioned for that kind of deal.

2. Check out your idea before posting. You can check trades ideas against the CBA at ESPN and RealGM. You can also find player contract and team salary cap information at basketball-reference.com.

I will add a few words about potential losses and additions, and update this post throughout the off-season.

POSSIBLE LOSSES

1. J.R. Smith – Odds favor Earl’s return, and not without some justification. His detractors and agnostics will surely point his to piss-poor shooting and remind us that it wasn’t just bad in the playoffs. His regular-season .522 TS% was well below his career mark of .540. His supporters will point to real improvement from “bad J.R.” Most nights he brought an improved floor game to at least partially offset his awful shooting. We saw sustainable career bests in DREB % and TOV %. We also saw a little less 3PT gunning (more than one full 3PTA/36 below his career average, his 4th fewest), and more willingness to challenge the defense (a near career best FTA/36). The major question is whether the Knicks overpay.

2. Pablo Prigioni – Will someone price the Knicks out of the market? I doubt it but that is the question.

3. Kenyon Martin and Chris Copeland – Ditto.

4. Raymond Felton and Steve Novak – With 3 more seasons left on their respective deals neither is likely to go anywhere, especially Novak with his newly balky back. And yet, either could be flipped for a complimentary player or be part of a bigger deal to make numbers work. To that latter point you could add James White and possibly Marcus Camby.

5. The Rabble (Quentin Richardson, Earl Barron) – Neither is likely to return, though it’s worth noting that Q-Rich shot 35% from the arc in Orlando just a season ago. He looked to be in good shape, and if Novak is going to be chronically back spasmy you could do worse at the end of the bench.

POSSIBLE ADDITIONS – THE DRAFT

Virtually everyone is saying that this is a role player-heavy, beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder draft. That’s fine for the Knicks, who pick at #24 anyway.

I have included draft prospects ranked #20-28 on the “big boards” of three different sites (i.e., DraftExpress, NBADraft.net, and SBNation. These boards have each been updated since mid-May. They just give you an idea of some of the names likely to be linked with New York in the coming weeks.

Prospect Rankings, #20-28

Draftexpress

NBADraft.net

SB Nation

20 Tony Mitchell, PF, 21 years old, Sophomore6′ 9″ 236lbs.North Texas Tim Hardaway, Jr., SG, 21 years old, Junior6′ 6″ 185lbs.Michigan Dario Saric, SF, 19 years old, International6′ 10″ 223lbs.Cibona Zagreb
21 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, 20 years old, Sophomore6′ 6″ 204lbs.Georgia Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, 18 years old, International6′ 9″ 196lbs.Filathlitikos Rudy Gobert, C, 20 years old, International7′ 2″ 238lbs.Cholet
22 Dario Saric, SF, 19 years old, International6′ 10″ 223lbs.Cibona Zagreb Shane Larkin, PG, 20 years old, Sophomore5′ 11″ 171lbs.Miami FL Reggie Bullock, SF, 22 years old, Junior6′ 7″ 200lbs.North Carolina
23 Shane Larkin, PG, 20 years old, Sophomore5′ 11″ 171lbs.Miami FL Gorgui Dieng, C, 23 years old, Junior6′ 11″ 230lbs.Louisville Shabazz Muhammad, SF, 20 years old, Freshman6′ 6″ 222lbs.UCLA
24 Allen Crabbe, SG, 21 years old, Junior6′ 6″ 197lbs.California Rudy Gobert, C, 20 years old, International7′ 2″ 238lbs.Cholet Kelly Olynyk, C, 22 years old, Junior7′ 0″ 234lbs.Gonzaga
25 Jeff Withey, C, 23 years old, Senior7′ 0″ 222lbs.Kansas Lorenzo Brown, PG, 22 years old, Junior6′ 5″ 189lbs.N.C. State Steven Adams, C, 19 years old, Freshman7′ 0″ 255lbs.Pittsburgh
26 Glen Rice, SF, 22 years old, Senior6′ 6″ 211lbs.Rio Grande Valley Tony Mitchell, PF, 21 years old, Sophomore6′ 9″ 236lbs.North Texas Kenny Kadji, PF, 25 years old, Senior6′ 10″ 242lbs.Miami FL
27 Giannis Adetokunbo*, SF, 18 years old, International6′ 9″ 196lbs.Filathlitikos Sergey Karasev, SG/SF, 20 years old, International6′ 7″ 197lbs., 1993BC Triumph Jamaal Franklin, SG, 21 years old, Junior6′ 5″ 191lbs.San Diego State
28 Archie Goodwin, SG, 18 years old, Freshman6′ 5″ 189lbs.Kentucky Allen Crabbe, SG, 21 years old, Junior6′ 6″ 197lbs.California Brandon Davies, C, 21 years old, Senior6′ 10″ 242lbs.BYU

*I have seen multiple spellings of this guy’s name.

If you’re looking for rookies who could come right in and play a role a few names jump immediately to mind.

  1. Gorgui Dieng (Louisville) would be a godsend. He is Tyson Chandler-lite. He can run, block shots, and board. If you watched the title game you also saw an emerging pick-and-pop game. My guess is that he won’t be around for New York at pick #24.
  2. Tony Mitchell (North Texas) has an NBA body and athleticism (6’8-3/4” in shoes, 235#, 7’2-1/2” wingspan—yes, please). Boy, is he raw though. His ability to contribute right away probably depends on what you ask him to do. He should be able to defend, rebound, and run the floor, but there are question marks. After the former Missouri recruit sat out for academics and signed with North Texas he had a promising freshman season. He surprised many by staying in school after a coaching change. It did not go well. The team disintegrated and he regressed across the board. A red flag for me is that he should have been renowned as a physical player in the Sunbelt Conference with his measurables, but he wasn’t that sophomore year. He boarded well as a freshman—not dominant, but well—then fell way off as a sophomore. He took more 3s and fewer free throws. At #24, New York should throw confetti if a talent like Mitchell falls to them. I’d be happy to get him but he definitely comes with a caveat emptor sign. Update: Instead of writing all that I should have just sent you over to P&T for Jonathan Tjarks’ excellent write up on Mitchell.
  3. Allen Crabbe (Cal) is just about tailor-made to play in New York’s offense. (Watch the video scouting report at DraftExpress.) He probably has a lower ceiling than the other two, but could theoretically step into his long-term role right away. Mike Montgomery is a very good college coach, so Crabbe knows how to play. He’s mostly catch-and-shoot, but with enough handle to beat overplays. Think Miami’s James Jones, but with better handle.

Of the three, I suspect that Crabbe is most likely to be available.

Next time: Possible Pro Player Additions

97 comments on “Off-Season Musings 1.0

  1. kronicfatigue

    I thought the biggest concern about Prigioni is not getting outbid by another NBA team, but him (and his family) deciding to go back to Spain. I only casually follow the Knicks (heck, I follow this site more than the team), but I feel like that could be the biggest blow to offseason. JR isn’t going anywhere because of his playoffs, but if Prigs leaves backup PG is a huge issue. He’s such a stabalizing bench player, and creating a hole at PG makes it impossible to address the frontcourt issues. Kidd is not a backup PG anymore, and he’s only on the roster because of his contract and name.

    I think Prigs leaves. I think his family will be happier in Spain, he doesn’t need the money to stay in the States, and when he looks at the Knicks he doesn’t see a serious championship contender. He plays a very smart style of basketball (little things like immediately fouling when defending the break) and I imagine the Knicks style frustrates him.

    If Prigs goes, then the Knicks have to trade someone like Novak for cents on the dollar to fill a need. And everything could spiral downward from there.

  2. flossy

    kronicfatigue:
    I thought the biggest concern about Prigioni is not getting outbid by another NBA team, but him (and his family) deciding to go back to Spain.I only casually follow the Knicks (heck, I follow this site more than the team), but I feel like that could be the biggest blow to offseason.JR isn’t going anywhere because of his playoffs, but if Prigs leaves backup PG is a huge issue.He’s such a stabalizing bench player, and creating a hole at PG makes it impossible to address the frontcourt issues.Kidd is not a backup PG anymore, and he’s only on the roster because of his contract and name.

    I think Prigs leaves.I think his family will be happier in Spain, he doesn’t need the money to stay in the States, and when he looks at the Knicks he doesn’t see a serious championship contender.He plays a very smart style of basketball (little things like immediately fouling when defending the break) and I imagine the Knicks style frustrates him.

    If Prigs goes, then the Knicks have to trade someone like Novak for cents on the dollar to fill a need.And everything could spiral downward from there.

    Prigioni had already stated recently that he wants to stay in the NBA.

  3. maxwell_3g

    Im a sucker for “wingspan” so Ive been in favor of Mitchell for a while now. If he can rebound and protect the rim from the weakside a little, maybe his unwillingness to work under the basket on offense would be a good thing, as he vould be a very solid stretch 4 in a smaller lineup

  4. Z

    Olynyk was born to be a nyk.

    As for having to decide between Glen Rice and Tim Hardaway, that’s a toughie, circa 1995.

  5. yellowboy90

    Crabbe, Larkin, and Eric Green are my picks. I doubt Olynyk will be there. Crabbe is a sharpe shooter that can shoot off of screens, hand offs, & spot ups while having just enough handle to make u pay for closing to fast. plus he has a 6’11 wingspan and good size to grow into a defender.

    I still would like to some how pick up D. Williams from minny. Same size as the Mitchell kid.

  6. Glew

    I think with feltons inconsistences and question marks surrounding Kidd and prigioni we got to get a PG. Our offense really sputters without a guard who can turn the corner on defenders

  7. flossy

    Tony Mitchell scares me. He looks like an A+ athlete and D- basketball player, who has had serious red flags raised about his intelligence (basketball and otherwise) and effort level. If people have raised questions about his fundamental on-court awareness and understanding of basic defensive sets in a crappy college conference, I can’t imagine he’d see the floor anytime soon for Mike Woodson. I’d hope he could improve with better coaching and leadership, but this is a guy who openly admitted to giving subpar effort last year and didn’t have the academic chops to even get into Mizzou, so I don’t know if he can be counted on to be a quick study or respond well to tough love.

  8. AvonBarksdale

    Whoever we get no matter how impressive will have a tough time proving getting minutes from Coach Woodson. Pablo said the hardest thing about the NBA was proving to the team he could be a great team player in the minutes he is given and that while he can play one minute and help he would like to be trusted more. Basically he didn’t say anything outright negative but the vibe was it was hard for him to prove himself to the staff and he wants to stay in the nba but for a team he can really help out. A nice way of letting everyone know he didn’t agree with the coach playing him 4 minutes that game in the playoffs. He should’ve stayed in game 6 also. Felton stopped being consistent exactly around the time coach started really messing with the lineups and rotations, pablo was handling the ball more when he started than felton and it threw off his whole game..he didn’t drive as much at all..looked like he was uncomfortable from the tip off ….done complaining go Knicks.

  9. massive

    Dennis Schroeder, even though he isn’t listed here, is the player this team needs. I’m afraid he is going to end up with the Utah Jazz at 14, but he’s an international player likely to slip in the draft for more known commodities like a Shane Larkin or a CJ McCollum. He’s the best player to come out of Germany since Dirk Nowitzki, and I honestly believe he will be a better version of Rajon Rondo. Allan Houston was at the Nike Hoop Summit (the best American high-schoolers vs the best international prospects) and saw him play first-hand, so I hope the Knicks have legitimate interest in this kid.

  10. BigBlueAL

    I know the consensus in the draft will be to draft a PG or PF/C but if you can get a shooter who can play SG/SF Id jump all over him. Plus this late in the 1st-round they would probably be more of a sure bet than drafting a PG or big man with “upside” and “potential”.

  11. nicos

    To fill needs I’m hoping for either Larkin or Dieng though if Gobert falls you’d have to consider him. I really like Dieng’s passing from the high post and he’s got a decent jumper- he’ll need to get stronger but could be a rock solid back-up/spot starter five for years to come. I wouldn’t mind a high ceiling big wing/stretch four (though Tony Mitchell scares me) and there should be a few of those available. If Muhommed falls he’d be tempting, just wish he was an inch or two taller.

  12. DCrockett17 Post author

    Z:
    Olynyk was born to be a nyk.

    As for having to decide between Glen Rice and Tim Hardaway, that’s a toughie, circa 1995.

    Olynyk — I really didn’t get to see much of him. I know people were all over him.

    Rice v. Hardaway — I know right.

  13. max fisher-cohen

    honestly think NY’s best bet is to trade the pick for a future first or second year player (maybe w/ Novak’s contract?) unless BPA is NBA ready or stashable overseas. There’s no point in picking up a guy only to let him fester on the bench. IMO properly developing a pick is a bigger factor than the talent a guy walks into the league with.

  14. DCrockett17 Post author

    flossy:
    [...] If people have raised questions about his fundamental on-court awareness and understanding of basic defensive sets in a crappy college conference, I can’t imagine he’d see the floor anytime soon for Mike Woodson. I’d hope he could improve with better coaching and leadership, but this is a guy who openly admitted to giving subpar effort last year and didn’t have the academic chops to even get into Mizzou, so I don’t know if he can be counted on to be a quick study or respond well to tough love.

    You have to be careful. At 24 I think Mitchell is close to a no-brainer. You don’t put too much on his plate early but Woody can use 6’9″ with length. Even if he doesn’t have a high basketball IQ.

    As for some of the other stuff, I’ve learned over time that you just can’t overreact to sub-par effort and academic difficulty in college basketball. It’s a red flag to be sure, but something to probe into deeper–not an automatic deal-breaker.

    Mitchell is like OJ Mayo, a basketball mercenary since high school. He went to school because he had to. He’s not a dumb basketball player though.

    The only thing that makes me scratch my head? I’m not sure why Mitchell went back to school. It could be that he heard he needed to work on his “stretch 4″ skills.

  15. DCrockett17 Post author

    AvonBarksdale:
    Whoever we get no matter how impressive will have a tough time proving getting minutes from Coach Woodson.

    A couple things work in favor of a rookie getting some (limited) burn. All our PFs are at least 30, and that’s assuming we re-sign Copeland. Our old team surely played too many regular season minutes. I don’t even think that was Woody’s plan, but injuries forced it.

    The Prigioni thing was weird because he played Copeland pretty much right away. Then he went to the dog house. Then he was out. On the other hand, Woody rode Kidd into the ground during the regular season. Consequently, he was worthless in the post-season.

    The other thing is, barring some other addition, backup PF is the most likely place to see a long-term injury. Between STAT and Kenyon (assuming we re-sign him), there will be minutes at PF.

  16. Clyde_10

    This team can’t win a championship.They can’t win the East. Brooklyn,Indiana,Chicago,have bigger upsides than NY.
    Boston,Cleveland and Washington will be coming strong.I see a steep decline if changes in philosophy aren’t implemented starting with this draft.We have to build around Carmelo,Shump,JR,and Felton. Copeland and Kmart should be resigned. Give Amare every chance to play significant minutes if he gets hurt again it’s an expiring contract to use in a trade. Same goes for Novak.Jkidd gets another year then he’s in a suit on our sideline.Get Marcus Camby in the line-up every night if he gets hurt it’s just another expiring contract. We have to get bigger and younger. It’s maddening to me that we let Hernry Simms get away I say go now get him back. Grunwald must understand that Geogretown bigs always give good value. Most importantly the Organization has to plan for the future. This win now attitude is counter productive and ineffective. If Portland would trade LaMarcus Aldridge for Tyson Chandler I’d do it in a heartbeat! Varejo and CJ Miles? Done. Gortat and Dragic? Done.Gooden/MbahaMoute and Larry Saunders? In a NY minute. For two first rounders and a second? Yep and Yep. We need drastic change to get championship ready. The Knicks are basically back where they were before the Melo trade if you’re talking championship or bust. We’re a nice little team with one star.A well thought out plan with home grown talent is the way to build a future.If we keep our draft choices going forward.Melo gets his ring three/four years from now with RayRay, a mature All-Star JR, Shumpert and Copeland. This brings financial flexibility,
    maintains a youthful core, keeps us entertaining.competitive and
    attractive to future free agents.We’ll need a coach to let the kids play and grow. If Woodson won’t do it.Give Herb his shot with Patrick and Jkidd as assistants.If this nonsense continues I’d counsel Carmelo to look to moving on. He takes to much abuse as Dolan…

  17. DCrockett17 Post author

    massive:
    Dennis Schroeder, even though he isn’t listed here, is the player this team needs. I’m afraid he is going to end up with the Utah Jazz at 14, but he’s an international player likely to slip in the draft for more known commodities like a Shane Larkin or a CJ McCollum.

    I think the issue is that Schroeder isn’t a secret. Everyone has him rated out of our range and a number of teams that can draft and stash a player pick ahead of us.

    If Schroeder comes to the Knicks it almost certainly would take a move up the board. That raises a whole other set of questions. I heard Dallas is likely to be dangling #13 attempting to clear some cap space. In fact, I have my eye on that roster generally.

  18. DCrockett17 Post author

    BigBlueAL:
    I know the consensus in the draft will be to draft a PG or PF/C but if you can get a shooter who can play SG/SF Id jump all over him.

    That’s Crabbe to a tee. I’ve seen at least one mock that has him coming to NY.

  19. Z

    DCrockett17: I heard Dallas is likely to be dangling #13 attempting to clear some cap space. In fact, I have my eye on that roster generally.

    Dallas doesn’t want the $1.6 mil caphold the #13 pick would take up. They also want to clear salary, but isn’t it difficult to clear salary between the deadline and the draft/start of FA? It seems that they would be limited to taking back non-guaranteed contracts, since at this point there are no “expiring” contracts until next year. So unless some team has a big exception that they want to use to acquire Shawn Marion, isn’t Vince Carter the only salary they can really shed in exchange for the #13 pick?

    According to the trade machine the Knicks can trade Q Richardson for Carter, but that doesn’t seem right. The trade machine also says Earl Barron is available to trade, but Sham Sports doesn’t have him listed as having a contract past this year. So, according to Sham Sports the only non-guaranteed contract we can offer for Carter+#13 is James White, but that doesn’t match up enough. So of the Mavs want to use the #13 to unload Carter there is no chance of the Knicks can do it without involving a third team, right?

  20. massive

    DCrockett17: I think the issue is that Schroeder isn’t a secret. Everyone has him rated out of our range and a number of teams that can draft and stash a player pick ahead of us.

    If Schroeder comes to the Knicks it almost certainly would take a move up the board. That raises a whole other set of questions. I heard Dallas is likely to be dangling #13 attempting to clear some cap space. In fact, I have my eye on that roster generally.

    I’m with you on that. The Hoop Summit game really did wonders for his draft position as I don’t think he was even a 1st rounder before that game. #13 is where we would need to be so we could jump right in front of Utah, and Dallas is supposedly willing to trade it for cap relief. I think #13 and Vince Carter for our pupu platter of non-guaranteed contracts and the Ronnie Brewer trade exception could be enough to pull that off. Then we could select an Allen Crabbe, Gorgui Dieng, or Sergey Karasev with the #24 pick. But I really believe Schroeder needs to this team’s priority if the Mavericks’ pick is really up for grabs.

  21. DCrockett17 Post author

    Z: So of the Mavs want to use the #13 to unload Carter there is no chance of the Knicks can do it without involving a third team, right?

    Don’t the Knicks have a trade exception for one of the Brewers (Corey or Ronnie)?

  22. Z

    massive: I think #13 and Vince Carter for our pupu platter of non-guaranteed contracts and the Ronnie Brewer trade exception could be enough to pull that off.

    It used to be that trade exceptions couldn’t be combined with other assets in a trade. Not sure if that still applies, but if so, NYK can’t use the Brewer exception to acquire Carter I don’t think.

    Since there is discrepency between the Trade Machine, Sham Sports, and Hoops Hype, can anybody set the record straight on what the marginal assets the Knicks own are? (ie, do White, Barron, Richardson, etc, have non-guaranteed deals in 2013/14 or not?)

  23. yellowboy90

    White has a team option deadline on June 30th. So it is right after the draft. Maybe one of OKC’s late 1sts or a second rounder. Mike Woodson needs to think like Mark Jackson. play your rooks along the way and have them bloom in the playoffs. I know this won’t happen all the time but it work with Chi and Jimmy Butler too.

    Anyone have any opinion on Mike Muscala. 6’11 PF/C that rebounds, blks, and has an offensive game. Small school player though but apparently his name is buzzing right now.

  24. DCrockett17 Post author

    yellowboy90:

    Anyone have any opinion on Mike Muscala. 6’11 PF/C that rebounds, blks, and has an offensive game. Small school player though but apparently his name is buzzing right now.

    Michael Doleac/Channing Frye-type big who will be a good pick-and-pop player. Good rebounder too. I like him a lot. Wish we had a 2nd round pick. If there is no one on the board we like at 24 and we could move down to take him that’d be good with me.

  25. jon abbey

    moving up and down makes sense in football, not really in basketball. if you like a guy and it’s your turn, just take him because he might not be there when your lower pick comes up.

  26. jon abbey

    I should say more precisely: moving down because the guy you want isn’t supposed to be drafted until later doesn’t make much sense in the NBA. this is what I argued repeatedly at the time with Ty Lawson: who cares where he’s projected? if he’s the best player available at your slot, just draft him and be happy.

  27. massive

    jon abbey:
    I should say more precisely: moving down because the guy you want isn’t supposed to be drafted until later doesn’t make much sense in the NBA. this is what I argued repeatedly at the time with Ty Lawson: who cares where he’s projected? if he’s the best player available at your slot, just draft him and be happy.

    Right; that only works in the NFL where there is a bunch of talent in every draft. NBA drafts produce about 10-18 quality basketball players per draft, so you can’t just say “if he isn’t there, we’ll get some other guy.” That’s why I really want to trade up to 13 to get Dennis Schroeder.

  28. jon abbey

    nicos:
    To fill needs I’m hoping for either Larkin or Dieng though if Gobert falls you’d have to consider him.

    just for the record, Dieng/Larkin are the two guys who jump out to me also, although I kind of doubt either will get to us. Oladipo I had hope for a long time ago, but clearly he’s not getting past the top handful of picks.

  29. bidiong

    We have so many ifs right now it isn’t funny. It would be great to get the Dallas pick if we could pull it off dealing scrubs but Woodson won’t play any rookies enough to get full development because we have savvy vets like Kidd that need minutes. We all hope Woodson learned something this year but do any of us really think it happened?

  30. BigBlueAL

    Dieng’s age might make him slip enough in the draft to get to the Knicks. Same problem for someone like Kenny Kadji who could be an ideal stretch PF in the NBA but is old as hell for a rookie prospect.

  31. massive

    Kenny Kadji will not be a good NBA player. Miami’s success was completely due to Shane Larkin’s excellence. He wouldn’t even be considered for the NBA if it weren’t for Larkin.

  32. massive

    bidiong:
    We have so many ifs right now it isn’t funny. It would be great to get the Dallas pick if we could pull it off dealing scrubs but Woodson won’t play any rookies enough to get full development because we have savvy vets like Kidd that need minutes. We all hope Woodson learned something this year but do any of us really think it happened?

    D’Antoni was known for not playing rookies but he played Landry Fields. If the player is good, he will see time. Well, unless you’re Chris Copeland.

  33. bidiong

    massive: D’Antoni was known for not playing rookies but he played Landry Fields. If the player is good, he will see time. Well, unless you’re Chris Copeland.

    We need a coach by committee of knickerblogger fans. We’d win a chip every year.

  34. BigBlueAL

    massive:
    Kenny Kadji will not be a good NBA player. Miami’s success was completely due to Shane Larkin’s excellence. He wouldn’t even be considered for the NBA if it weren’t for Larkin.

    I dunno about all that. Yes Larkin was clearly the best player on the Canes, no disputing that. But Kadji has a 7’3 wingspan and in his 2 years at Miami shot 42 and 35% from 3pt range while making 1 per game. He has pretty decent shot blocking numbers too.

    If he were 21 and not 25 I think he would be a legitimate late 1st round/early 2nd round candidate especially if he shoots even better in his workouts. But I live in Miami and have always followed Canes basketball ever since the Steve Edwards/Constantin Popa days so Im probably a bit bias lol.

  35. d-mar

    Remind me again who is the best point guard in the NBA? I think it’s pretty clear cut at this point, what a ridiculous performance tonight by Parker (and in game 3)

    Spurs-Heat could really be a fascinating finals

  36. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    Damn, the Spurs did not fuck around.

    Now they get 9 days off. Not liking their chances in Game 1 of the NBA Finals especially if the other series goes 6/7 games which means it wont end until Saturday or Monday. Unless they are somehow playing the Pacers instead of the Heat lol.

  37. Vinny L.

    Hey, for those still crying over Lin being let go…

    How about PG Nate Wolters of South Dakota State:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojXhPClIX8I

    I can’t figure out for the life of me why people keep talking about this Prigioni guy as if he’s a must have. These same people then go on to bash Felton! Prig is only worth a couple of assist & points a game. He got destroyed in that 4th quarter game 6 (shouldn’t of been in the game-Woodson decision). Copeland will probably get offered more $ than Prig even though Wood REFUSED to play him until game 5 win (pulled Cope out of game 6 4th quarter after he hit two big 3’s!).

    Young Free Agent Big’s: I like J.J. Hickson (C) or Andray Blatche (C)

    Maybe this is just a pipe dream. I hear the Knicks are still going after old geezers ;o(

  38. Zanzibar

    I’d like to highlight imo an under-appreciated issue: Melo’s ETO at end of next season. What if Melo has a good year but Knicks don’t make it out of 2nd round again? If you’re Melo, don’t you consider exiting and maybe joining Cavs/Kyrie for a brand new MAX contract instead of enduring more of the same in 2014-15, risking injury/performance drop and jeopardizing your next contract? Keep in mind that a few teams likely will be reserving cap space in case LBJ exercises his ETO in 2014 and leaves Miami. If Melo just walks to one of those teams, we get no compensation and have no cap in 2014 to sign free agents. Too risky? The more I think about this the more I arrive at yeah, too risky. Maybe now is the time to sell high on Melo and Tyson?

    My strategy: We have Bledsoe/Shump/Drummond/Amare and lure Lebron using Melo TPE in 2014. We then sign Aldridge (or whoever Lebron wants) in 2015 using freed cap when Amare and Jordan’s contracts expire. Worst case we have 3 mad upside youngins and cap galore in 2014 and 2015. But forget my strategy for the moment – does Melo’s ETO worry you enough to maybe want to sell high on him and Chandler? Wouldn’t Dolan and GG look like fools if Melo walked in 2014 and we got no compensation? Remember even a S&T would not be possible if Melo preferred in 2014 to go to team without cap to sign him as free agent.

  39. johnno

    Zanzibar: lure Lebron using Melo TPE

    I’m pretty sure that you can’t use a TPE to sign a free agent, but only to take back a salary in a trade. I think that it’s a pretty safe bet that LeBron is not coming to the Knicks at any time in the foreseeable future.

  40. Zanzibar

    johnno: I’m pretty sure that you can’t use a TPE to sign a free agent, but only to take back a salary in a trade.I think that it’s a pretty safe bet that LeBron is not coming to the Knicks at any time in the foreseeable future.

    You’re right about a direct free agent signing but S&Ts are possible. I believe after LBJ exercises ETO, an S&T is possible where Heat trade LBJ to Knicks for draft pick. Remember the Nash to Lakers situation? But yeah, LBJ is a long shot regardless, which is why I ended by asking is it worth trying to trade Melo now for whatever because of the ETO risk.

  41. johnno

    Zanzibar: an S&T is possible where Heat trade LBJ to Knicks for draft pick

    I think that it’s a pretty safe bet that, if the Heat were to trade LeBron to the Knicks (who couldn’t sign him without the Heat’s cooperation) for a draft pick, the fans in Miami would set fire to the American Airlines Arena. I think that we should all acknowledge what appears to be obvious — we will NEVER see LeBron in a NYK uniform.

  42. Zanzibar

    Once Lebron decides to leave, Heat will want to receive some compensation. Draft picks (and maybe Cope if playing well) are better than LBJ walking to a team with cap space like Cavs or Celtics and Heat receiving nothing at all. An intriguing question is whether Heat would amnesty Wade to keep LBJ.

  43. johnno

    Zanzibar: Draft picks (and maybe Cope if playing well) are better than LBJ walking to a team with cap space like Cavs or Celtics and Heat receiving nothing at all.

    How about the draft rights to Frederic Weiss, 3 second round draft picks, Marcus Camby and James White’s expiring contract? If the Heat really play hardball, the Knicks should be willing to include Quentin Richardson and Earl Barron. You sound like Yankee fans who call WFAN and say, “The Yankees should trade three crappy single-A players for Justin Verlander.” Yeesh…

  44. Count de Pennies

    Zanzibar:
    So nothing is better than something in your world? Got it.

    In the NBA world, nothing often is better than something when that “something” lands you in the second round purgatory (where the Knicks presently appear to be mired).

    Should LeBron decide to leave Miami, I suspect Riley would prefer to blow the whole thing up and roll the dice on getting top lottery picks in a few consecutive years rather than taking on another team’s table scraps who would only eat up cap space, rob the team of some extra ping pong balls, and retard the rebuilding process.

  45. Zanzibar

    Count de Pennies: In the NBA world, nothing often is better than something when that “something” lands you in the second round purgatory (where the Knicks presently appear to be mired).

    Fine but what is the downside to taking a 1st round and 2nd round pick even if Riley wants to blow it all up? Only if LBJ’s second choice is a WCF team would that make sense.

  46. Nick C.

    What happened to rule #1 of the thread?

    1. Let’s stay away from pure rosterbation, shall we?

  47. Count de Pennies

    Zanzibar: Fine but what is the downside to taking a 1st round and 2nd round pick even if Riley wants to blow it all up? Only if LBJ’s second choice is a WCF team would that make sense.

    I’m presuming that LeBron would not leave Miami to “take his talents” to a team that is in the running for a high lottery pick.

    I’d further argue that if the best draft pick that Riley could reasonably get in a trade to a contender was one in the mid to low first round, the Heat might be better off without it. The cap hold/hit for that player could hinder the team’s flexibility going forward. And that mid-to-late first rounder may turn out to be just good enough to keep the Heat from sucking badly enough to where it will not be able to position itself for a top-3 lottery pick in future years.

  48. Zanzibar

    I really didn’t take the thread in this direction. At the end of my original post I said ignore my strategy and posed a simple question for discussion: Does Melo’s ETO constitute a significant enough risk that we should look to trade Melo (and Tyson) while we can still receive some value? That, I believe, is a very fair issue for discussion.

  49. Z

    Zanzibar: Fine but what is the downside to taking a 1st round and 2nd round pick even if Riley wants to blow it all up? Only if LBJ’s second choice is a WCF team would that make sense.

    Wait, are you figuring that James will suddenly decide he wants to force his way to the Knicks? That he’ll suddenly want to play or James Dolan and with Amar’e Stoudemire?

    After what will be his 4th finals appearances in 4 years, I don’t think he’ll be lamenting “the one that got away”. It’s been 3 years since The Decision now. Isn’t it time to move on?

  50. Z

    Zanzibar:
    Does Melo’s ETO constitute a significant enough risk that we should look to trade Melo (and Tyson) while we can still receive some value? That, I believe, is a very fair issue for discussion.

    That would basically be the same scenario Denver dealt with. Anthony wouldn’t just opt out on July 1st, 2014. He would inform the team of his intentions and they’d have ample time to devise a divorce strategy. It’s not something the Knicks should be worried about, and even if there is a chance of it happening it shouldn’t effect business this summer in any form.

  51. Zanzibar

    Z: Wait, are you figuring that James will suddenly decide he wants to force his way to the Knicks? That he’ll suddenly want to play or James Dolan and with Amar’e Stoudemire?

    If even 2 of Bledsoe/Shump/Drummond are terrific, why wouldn’t LBJ consider joining the Knicks if Wade is struggling? Worst case Amare/Jordan contracts are tradeable in 2014 or then expire leaving enough cap to sign someone like Aldridge.

    Z: That Anthony wouldn’t just opt out on July 1st, 2014. He would inform the team of his intentions and they’d have ample time to devise a divorce strategy.

    What strategy if he decides to go to a team with another star and cap space (maybe Cavs, Lakers, Boston)? The only reason he didn’t walk to Knicks was because of the uncertainty surrounding the new CBA.

  52. jon abbey

    johnno:the fans in Miami would set fire to the American Airlines Arena.

    there are no fans in Miami, not sure they’d even notice for a while.

  53. jon abbey

    people get that signing with Cleveland involves living in Cleveland a good part of the year, right? no big name guy is going to do that voluntarily, unless they grew up there and even then probably not.

  54. KnickfaninNJ

    Zanzibar:
    What strategy if he decides to go to a team with another star and cap space (maybe Cavs, Lakers, Boston)? The only reason he didn’t walk to Knicks was because of the uncertainty surrounding the new CBA.

    Many people like living in Miami (Probably half the residents of NY seem to want to retire to Miami, in fact). James got a quality team, a GM everyone respects and friends on the team. What does the CBA have to do with anything about his decision. His desire to come to NY seems to me to be basically wishful thinking on the part of NY fans. As far as I know, he never said anything about liking NY and wanting to come here.

  55. johnno

    KnickfaninNJ: His desire to come to NY seems to me to be basically wishful thinking on the part of NY fans. As far as I know, he never said anything about liking NY and wanting to come here.

    Two big differences between Melo and LeBron — (1) LeBron a better player (2) Melo wants to play in NY…

  56. flossy

    Sorry if this isn’t as ~*~sExY*~*~ a topic as trading Melo to make room for LeBron, but I think if we don’t draft a big we should roll the dice on Jermaine O’Neal if he’s willing to take the vets min. I know we got burned by the old farts committee of backup centers last year and JO is an injury waiting to happen, but he is only 34 and he still has a bit of an offensive game (in other words, he could play with K-Mart without everyone scratching their eyes out).

    I think if Marcus Camby could have given us 1,000+ decent mins over 55 games (as JO did last season) we’d have been thrilled. Then again, that was with the Suns, so I assume he’d crumble to dust if he left their training staff for ours. Melo, Tyson, and some combo of Amar’e (hopefully for 1,800+ mins) and K-Mart/Camby/JO would hopefully be enough for a solid frontcourt rotation.

  57. Keniman Shumpwalker

    flossy:
    Melo, Tyson, and some combo of Amar’e (hopefully for 1,800+ mins) and K-Mart/Camby/JO would hopefully be enough for a solid frontcourt rotation.

    The reason why not to do this is sitting right there in your post: “…I assume he’d crumble to dust if he left their training staff for ours.”

    While I don’t have any surefire alternative ready to go, here’s a list of bigs who could be potentially had for the vets min (previous salary in parentheses) whose age/injury history scare me a lot less than JOs:

    Chris Andersen ($341,756 prorated vets min)–I’ve been advocating for Birdman since last off-season and, if he isn’t re-signed, he’d still be a good get.

    Ryan Hollins ($854,389)–he’s a lunatic clown-baby but he’s young, jumps high, and screams a lot.

    Jason Maxiell ($5,000,000)–obviously this would be a significant downgrade in salary for him but he is on the wrong side of 30 and hasn’t produced enough to warrant even a mini-MLE deal so, if the market for him dries up quickly, maybe we can get him for the min for one year.

    Brandan Wright ($992,680)–he probably is in line for more than the vets min given that he had very solid per/36 numbers this year (17 pts, 8 rebs, 2 blks) and he had a .606 TS%. But, if we can find a way to fit him in…

    Anyway, JO is a realistic option and might be better, in a vacuum, than all of the above (except maybe Wright), and I certainly wouldn’t be mad if we brought him in…I would just REALLY love to avoid getting older and more injury prone.

  58. massive

    I don’t want any old guys from Phoenix. They leave Phoenix and their health leaves them. I’m not thrilled with the prospect of having another old and useless player on our roster over a Patrick Beverly type of player that could potentially be useful.

  59. Brian Cronin

    there are no fans in Miami, not sure they’d even notice for a while.

    Hilariously and sadly true.

  60. Brian Cronin

    For what it is worth, I don’t think Melo will ever leave her on his own volition. I think he is prepared to win or lose as a Knick (until he’s old enough that he might be willing to sign with/be traded to another team as a retirement plan type deal).

  61. Hubert

    Zanzibar:
    I’d like to highlight imo an under-appreciated issue: Melo’s ETO at end of next season. What if Melo has a good year but Knicks don’t make it out of 2nd round again? If you’re Melo, don’t you consider exiting and maybe joining Cavs/Kyrie for a brand new MAX contract instead of enduring more of the same in 2014-15, risking injury/performance drop and jeopardizing your next contract? Keep in mind that a few teams likely will be reserving cap space in case LBJ exercises his ETO in 2014 and leaves Miami. If Melo just walks to one of those teams, we get no compensation and have no cap in 2014 to sign free agents. Too risky? The more I think about this the more I arrive at yeah, too risky. Maybe now is the time to sell high on Melo and Tyson?

    My strategy: We have Bledsoe/Shump/Drummond/Amare and lure Lebron using Melo TPE in 2014. We then sign Aldridge (or whoever Lebron wants) in 2015 using freed cap when Amare and Jordan’s contracts expire. Worst case we have 3 mad upside youngins and cap galore in 2014 and 2015. But forget my strategy for the moment – does Melo’s ETO worry you enough to maybe want to sell high on him and Chandler? Wouldn’t Dolan and GG look like fools if Melo walked in 2014 and we got no compensation? Remember even a S&T would not be possible if Melo preferred in 2014 to go to team without cap to sign him as free agent.

    You lost me with the LeBron stuff.

    But I don’t think you’re crazy about Melo’s ETO. I said it several times during the year. When the 2013/14 season is done, and he looks at who he’s going to have to run with the following year, it would not shock me if he wants out.

    Also, I think he, LeBron, and all them arranged to have ETO’s the same year for a reason.

    No way it’s Cleveland, though.

    Only way he opts out is to replace Wade as LeBron’s sidekick in Miami.

  62. Hubert

    Although they are all part of the same draft class, Wade is significantly older than the other 3 guys (Wade: 31, Melo: 29, Bosh: 29, LeBron: 28). Not to mention he has the most physical baggage on him.

    I know it’s a conspiracy theory, but I think Melo is prearranged to replace Wade down the line. Depending on Wade’s health, it could be after 2014 or after 2015.

    But that is the ONLY way I could ever see Carmelo Anthony leaving. It wouldn’t be to join the Cavs or any other team with cap room. But if Wade’s knees are shot after 2014 or 2015, I think Melo is on the Miami Heat.

  63. BigBlueAL

    There have already been a bunch of articles written about the potential FA class next summer. The only thing Ive seen written about Melo potentially leaving is to go to the Lakers. Thats it. With LeBron its been the same, leaving the Heat to play in Cleveland or with the Lakers.

    Of course the Lakers talk is if D12 stays and Kobe retires or re-signs for pennies giving them a boatload of cap space for LeBron or Melo if not possibly both.

  64. thenamestsam

    I think the only really safe bet is that it’s going to be fascinating to see what plays out down in Miami. Wade is a max-level guy by reputation and he still puts up pretty great stats as a supporting guy, but if he’s your best player you’re not winning anything. Physically he just can’t carry that much load any more. After another full year with presumably another long playoff run? I don’t think teams are going to be queuing up to max him out. But he has been in Miami a long time and by the time he hits FA will have a minimum of two rings there, 3 or 4 is more likely. Are they really going to tell him “Thanks for the good times” and try to bring in Melo to replace him, or get back under the tax with a few more modestly priced guys and move forward with Lebron+Bosh?

    Then there’s the question of whether Lebron would really leave Miami. The last couple years have mostly squashed Lebron’s mercenary reputation as most of the negative talk has died down due to the chip. If he wins again this year the GOAT talk is going to get going full force and adulation of him will be at an all-time high. Would he really want the negative press of walking away from another franchise? I really can’t see it unless he’s going back to Cleveland (where the press angle would be totally different).

    I suspect the answers will depend a lot on what happens between now and then. If they can 3-peat (obviously looking way ahead – I think the Spurs are going to give them a war, and I wouldn’t even write off Indy yet, plus next year is almost certain to be tougher unless 90% of the league gets injured again) I can’t see how they do anything but get the band back together and go for the coveted 4 in a row. If they fizzle this year and next year I suspect they’ll go a different direction, with Riley maybe ditching Wade in an effort to get better and Lebron seriously considering other options. Should be interesting.

  65. stratomatic

    Hubert:
    Although they are all part of the same draft class, Wade is significantly older than the other 3 guys (Wade: 31, Melo: 29, Bosh: 29, LeBron: 28).Not to mention he has the most physical baggage on him.

    I know it’s a conspiracy theory, but I think Melo is prearranged to replace Wade down the line.Depending on Wade’s health, it could be after 2014 or after 2015.

    But that is the ONLY way I could ever see Carmelo Anthony leaving.It wouldn’t be to join the Cavs or any other team with cap room.But if Wade’s knees are shot after 2014 or 2015, I think Melo is on the Miami Heat.

    IMO there’s no way Melo winds up in Miami. IMO Riley would never pay a max salary to a mildly above average efficiency high volume scorer when even without Wade the Heat already have 2 superior scoring options. He’d be more likely to go with a very efficient average efficiency average volume player that’s above average at a few other things for half the price.

  66. stratomatic

    BigBlueAL:
    There have already been a bunch of articles written about the potential FA class next summer.The only thing Ive seen written about Melo potentially leaving is to go to the Lakers.Thats it.With LeBron its been the same, leaving the Heat to play in Cleveland or with the Lakers.

    Of course the Lakers talk is if D12 stays and Kobe retires or re-signs for pennies giving them a boatload of cap space for LeBron or Melo if not possibly both.

    Melo to the Lakers?

    What did D’Antoni get run out of town again?

    There’s no way in hell D’Antoni allows management to make that mistake twice. If they are crazy enough to want combine Melo with Kobe and/or Howard, Nash, etc… he’ll leave

  67. flossy

    stratomatic: Melo to the Lakers?

    What did D’Antoni get run out of town again?

    There’s no way in hell D’Antoni allows management to make that mistake twice.If they are crazy enough to want combine Melo with Kobe and/or Howard, Nash, etc… he’ll leave

    Hah! Like Mike D’Antoni has any say about how that franchise is run.

  68. Clyde_10

    Hubert: You lost me with the LeBron stuff.

    But I don’t think you’re crazy about Melo’s ETO.I said it several times during the year.When the 2013/14 season is done, and he looks at who he’s going to have to run with the following year, it would not shock me if he wants out.

    Also, I think he, LeBron, and all them arranged to have ETO’s the same year for a reason.

    No way it’s Cleveland, though.

    Only way he opts out is to replace Wade as LeBron’s sidekick in Miami.

    Zanzibar:
    I’d like to highlight imo an under-appreciated issue: Melo’s ETO at end of next season. What if Melo has a good year but Knicks don’t make it out of 2nd round again? If you’re Melo, don’t you consider exiting and maybe joining Cavs/Kyrie for a brand new MAX contract instead of enduring more of the same in 2014-15, risking injury/performance drop and jeopardizing your next contract? Keep in mind that a few teams likely will be reserving cap space in case LBJ exercises his ETO in 2014 and leaves Miami. If Melo just walks to one of those teams, we get no compensation and have no cap in 2014 to sign free agents. Too risky? The more I think about this the more I arrive at yeah, too risky. Maybe now is the time to sell high on Melo and Tyson?

    My strategy: We have Bledsoe/Shump/Drummond/Amare and lure Lebron using Melo TPE in 2014. We then sign Aldridge (or whoever Lebron wants) in 2015 using freed cap when Amare and Jordan’s contracts expire. Worst case we have 3 mad upside youngins and cap galore in 2014 and 2015. But forget my strategy for the moment – does Melo’s ETO worry you enough to maybe want to sell high on him and Chandler? Wouldn’t Dolan and GG look like fools if Melo walked in 2014 and we got no compensation? Remember even a S&T would not be possible if Melo preferred in 2014 to go…

  69. flossy

    Melo bailing on the Knicks after 4 years would be absolutely horrible for the reputation of everyone involved. It would pretty much cement the worst parts of everyone’s reputation–the Knicks are incompetent, 2nd class organization, Melo is a 2nd-rate star and a mercenary who tried to ride someone else’s coattails to get a ring after failing as the alpha, etc. etc.

    If he never ended up winning a championship after leaving he’d be forever mocked by everyone, but the only surefire way to win would be to join up with LeBron, which is absolutely 100% never going to happen because it would also result in him being forever mocked by everyone.

  70. lavor postell

    Im back from a self imposed Knicks hiatus. Didn’t realize how much losing to Indiana would depress me. Anyways in the land of hypotheticals I’d be shocked if jr smith was not a Knick next year. I also don’t think we’re nearly as far off as some think but it’s obvious to me we need another legitimate shot creator and certainly one more efficient than jr and Felton. Shumperts continued development can also be a huge x factor for us as well as we got glimpses of in the playoffs. A healthy STAT that can give us 20-25 a night will also alleviate the pressure on melo to put up an efficient 30 every single night. Idk I’m also an eternal optimist so I’m sure I’m wrong. Also if melo exercises his eto Ill go get a full body wax 40 year old virgin style and run a lap around msg naked. Anybody think we’d have a shot at oj mayo this summer or is he just not nearly enough of an improvement over jr for it to even matter?

  71. Frank

    flossy:
    Melo bailing on the Knicks after 4 years would be absolutely horrible for the reputation of everyone involved.It would pretty much cement the worst parts of everyone’s reputation–the Knicks are incompetent, 2nd class organization, Melo is a 2nd-rate star and a mercenary who tried to ride someone else’s coattails to get a ring after failing as the alpha, etc. etc.

    If he never ended up winning a championship after leaving he’d be forever mocked by everyone, but the only surefire way to win would be to join up with LeBron, which is absolutely 100% never going to happen because it would also result in him being forever mocked by everyone.

    totally agree. after he made such a fuss or getting here, to bail would be the worst poison to his already shaky image. if he bails to sign for more years, that’s another story. whether that’s a good idea for the NYK or not… that’s also a different story what will be a 30+ year old player.

    if he DID in fact invoke his ETO and leave, I actually don’t think that would be an all-bad outcome for the Knicks — presumably that would be after another disappointing season with an aging roster, and it would allow us to start the teardown a season early by trading Tyson, Amare, and the rest of our expiring contracts.

  72. BigBlueAL

    At this point I want Melo to stay and for the Knicks to try to win it all with him. It has definitely been a roller-coaster ride so far rooting for him as a Knick but this past season he won me over. I have no problem rooting for a player who clearly has his flaws but at least certainly gives us plenty of highlights and he has made this team relevant again. Its only been 2 1/2 seasons but right now I have a hard time seeing Melo in the NBA playing for another team, at least while he is still relatively in his prime.

    Of course it would greatly help if he re-signs for much less than the max. That will be the real interesting part of all this.

  73. Clyde_10

    In reference to Zanzibar’s post #41i think the time to move Chandler is now. Also what makes so many people think that Melo’s game won’t continue to evolve? He misses so many shots in close don’t you think he’ll master the proper english and touch to get those shots to start dropping? Do you think he won’t grow as a rebounder? Remember Paul Pierce and Ray Allen before they hooked up with Garnett?Neither were renowned for their Defense. When it’s time for Melo to look for that last big contract I won’t blame him for going Ring Hunting if the Knicks continue down this path.

  74. Vinny L.

    @Zanzibar comment 41

    Possible.

    If that does happen, i don’t see that happening in NY or Ohio. It would have to be a neutral location of their (Lebron & Melo’s) choosing. I don’t see Lebron selling out Ohio to be under Melo in NY or vice versa.

  75. Zanzibar

    Vinny L.:
    @Zanzibar comment 41

    Possible.

    If that does happen, i don’t see that happening in NY or Ohio. It would have to be a neutral location of their (Lebron & Melo’s) choosing. I don’t see Lebron selling out Ohio to be under Melo in NY or vice versa.

    How about this? Howard likely goes to Rockets. Lakers decide to punt this season and just let Pau and other salaries expire. In 2014: Lebron/Kobe/Melo/Bosh/Nash SHOWTIME!! (Kobe takes 5m MLE to catch MJ)

  76. jon abbey

    really the time to move Chandler was last offseason, but who knew? Cuban is looking better for letting him go after this season, certainly.

  77. Vinny L.

    @Keniman Shumpwalker

    After getting burned this year, no more old big guys!

    Brandan Wright is a decent pick, but what about Andray Blatche, J.J. Hickson, Chandler Parsons, DeJuan Blair, and Jeff Pendergraph?

  78. yellowboy90

    jon abbey:
    really the time to move Chandler was last offseason, but who knew? Cuban is looking better for letting him go after this season, certainly.

    I think he can be moved at the same level as last year. Blazers, OKC, and LA could desperately use Tyson. The problem is OKC has Perkins and the Blazers don’t have anything but picks and opening up a huge TPE to make some S&Ts.

    Fans didn’t vote Chandler all Defense. The coaches did.

  79. ess-dog

    Chandler just played way too much the last two years. We need a decent backup center so that Tyson can pace himself. Plus, I’m sure the neck was an issue.
    Look, we’re stuck with Chandler/Amare/Melo for a couple years, but isn’t that better than being stuck with Curry/Marbury/Francis? It’s good to step back and get some perspective.
    A big question is where does Melo play next year. Personnel decisions will be made based on that. I believe he should go back to sf, with some time at pf when we need Shump to guard the sf position.
    I think Dieng would be perfect with Amare coming back. We need an injection of youth in that front line.
    Not sure how to fix the frontcourt. I think Ray and Pablo could get it done at the pg position if everyone stays healthy. It’s not great, but it could be worse. Shump/JR is a nice combo at the 2.
    Frankly, it will be hard to improve at any position without losing something at another position.
    I like Cope, but his presence isn’t necessary. JR and Pablo are both way more important. If we can keep those two and Kmart, we’ll be in good shape.
    Hell, maybe it’s better to trade our pick with Novak for some cap space so we can keep the guys we need and maybe find another cheap vet.

  80. maxwell_3g

    Zanzibar:
    Once Lebron decides to leave, Heat will want to receive some compensation. Draft picks (and maybe Cope if playing well) are better than LBJ walking to a team with cap space like Cavs or Celtics and Heat receiving nothing at all. An intriguing question is whether Heat would amnesty Wade to keep LBJ.

    I guess im the youngest old school person on this board. I don’t want LeBron on my team!!! why would you want to win with frontrunners. why would you want the heat’s sloppy seconds. some of y’all can go ahead and dream of LeBron, but im not down with that new age sissy basketball. GO KNICKS (meaning, the players on our team, not the Heat)

  81. Brian Cronin

    I guess im the youngest old school person on this board. I don’t want LeBron on my team!!! why would you want to win with frontrunners. why would you want the heat’s sloppy seconds. some of y’all can go ahead and dream of LeBron, but im not down with that new age sissy basketball. GO KNICKS (meaning, the players on our team, not the Heat)

    There are only four players on the entire team that would not be considered “sloppy seconds.”

    Melo, STAT and Chandler are all “sloppy seconds” from other teams.

  82. ruruland

    Yeah, again, if you honestly think Melo is going to cut and run from NY after he’s essentially staked his entire legacy, you haven’t been paying attention to what he’s been saying all these years.

    He’s not going unless the Knicks want him to. Players are coming here in 2015. Melo is not going to other teams in 2014. Take my word as you will.

  83. Brian Cronin

    Yes, that much seems clear. He isn’t leaving unless they’re pushing him out (until the end of his career, of course, when all bets are off).

    Here’s the interesting question – the one that someone else brought up earlier and I honestly don’t know (although I have my guesses) – will Melo take a pay cut when he re-signs with the Knicks?

  84. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:

    Here’s the ieresting question – the one that someone else brought up earlier and I honestly don’t know (although I have my guesses) – will Melo take a pay cut when he re-signs with the Knicks?

    I said that months ago. There’s no doubt, but people will believe whatever they want. Think for yourself.

    Do you not see Melo as someone who is very competitive, deeply concerned with his legacy, and who’d do just about anything to get that gorilla off his back?

    Do you believe him when he talks about his childhood dream of bringing a chip to NY? Is that all empty hackneyed marketing and pr?

    By the time Melo decided he wanted out of Denver, he was 25. The machinations of the trade and the second big max contract all happened just after his 26th birthday.

    Maybe he is not quite the big picture thinker Lebron is, but he was not virtually guaranteed to be a billionaire at 24, either.

    It’s been a decade and I think Melo, with the limitations he has relative to the all-time greats, is sick of trying to prove himself every year as a guy who can essentially carry a team by himself. And I know he doesn’t, but let’s be honest, at this point in his career, he’s carried a far bigger offensive load than Wade had, Kobe, even Lebron. Shit, T-Mac had Yao Ming for a few years, even if injuries stopped them from forming a great team.

    Is it really hard to tell that Melo is way beyond the money at this point?

    Someone doesn’t dramatically change their mental approach to the game, life even, as Melo has in NY, if he is primarily concerned about wealth.

    Melo has a net worth close to half a billion. He’s a successful businessman.

    You don’t think he’s licking his chops at the chance to form a team in ’15 that can win a couple of championships, taking, what, a $10 million annum paycut?

  85. ruruland

    And another thing, people see Melo as this unaware, sort of vapid guy who just kind of shows up and does his thing.

    I don’t think people are really aware of how much discipline Melo has needed (he learned it during the AI years) to keep his mouth shut about certain things. I mean, Brett Bearup, George Karl, Stank Kroenke.

    At every opportunity he has refused to divulge his side of the story (while admitting that he has one and that he’ll reveal at the right time) about the Nuggets front office, about his vision of playing in NY and building a team while getting a pre-CBA adjusted contract.

  86. ruruland

    stratomatic: IMO there’s no way Melo winds up in Miami.IMO Riley would never pay a max salary to a mildly above average efficiency high volume scorer when even without Wade the Heat already have 2 superior scoring options. He’d be more likely to go with a very efficient average efficiency average volume player that’s above average at a few other things for half the price.

    Someone who keeps repeating that Melo has “mildly above average” efficiency doesn’t know that his points per possession is 6 points higher than league average, in the 90th percentile, that his ppp as a team # would rank only behind Miami and OKC — chock full of high efficiency specialists, nor that he has a Harden turnover-adjusted equivalent .605 true shooting percentage, or a Durant turnover-adjusted equivalent of a .593 TS.

    That someone probably has not created his own super-secret proprietary gambling formula.

    The fact that that someone doesn’t know that Melo was more efficient than Wade last year (1.12 pp to 1.08), as efficient as the NBA’s GOAT flopper Harden (1.12), is further proof of that.

    You realize that 6 points over 100 possessions is the same difference between the Clippers and Lakers, the Spurs and the Jazz?

    Melo is very efficient. Considering the load he’s carrying, 36 percent of the offense, which has only been done 16 times in league history since 1981, it’s incredibly efficient. (Melo’s o-rating is 7th among those 16, just behind King’s ’85 season)

    Just because there are two historical outliers in Durant and Lebron doesn’t mean Melo isn’t an elite offensive player.

    He’s not Lebron, he’s not Durant, he’s not Chris Paul. That’s it.

  87. ruruland

    Maybe will one day, after Melo has a ring or two and some of his advanced statistics “improve” with a 7-10 percent usage drop, people will look back at what he accomplished in 2012-13.

    He led a team to the third best offense in the NBA — only behind the loaded Heat and Thunder who both featured two of the 10 most efficient offensive seasons in NBA history —with Raymond Felton and JR Smith as his top two wingmen (.505 and .522 TS respectively).

    He led a team with a 40-year old Jason Kidd, one of the most limited offensive guards in the league, playing the fifth most minutes on the team, and with Tyson Chandler, one of the most limited offensive centers in the league, playing the 4th most minutes on the team.

    That whole historically low turnover rate thing?

    Yeah, that doesn’t happen if you don’t have a guy like Melo who can create his own shot literally every possession, and do it at efficient levels.

    Is it any coincidence that Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd both had the lowest to % of their careers playing alongside Melo?

    You remember that Nate Silver piece about Melo’s ability to create allowing his teammates to take a higher proportion of quality shots/possessions?

    Have you checked what Nene and Afflalo have done since the trade after thriving in Melo-centric offenses?

    Six Knicks players, including Tyson Chandler, set their career lows in to% in the Melo-centric offense this year.

  88. Hubert

    Tell me if you guys think there is any reasonable chance of this happening:

    I keep reading that New Orleans wants to get rid of Eric Gordon’s contract but no one wants him because he hasn’t played.

    Gordon will make $15 mil/year for 3 years, total of $45 mil.

    Ryan Anderson $8.5 mil/year for 3 years, total of $25.5 mil.

    That’s over $70 mil for 3 years.

    Amar’e makes $45 mil over years. They would save $25 million by picking him up. Even more if it were to occur mid season.

    Is that even remotely possible or did I put on my WFAN radio caller hat?

  89. Hubert

    ruruland: I said that months ago. There’s no doubt, but people will believe whatever they want. Think for yourself.

    Do you not see Melo as someone who is very competitive, deeply concerned with his legacy, and who’d do just about anything to get that gorilla off his back?

    Do you believe him when he talks about his childhood dream of bringing a chip to NY? Is that all empty hackneyed marketing and pr?

    By the time Melo decided he wanted out of Denver, he was 25. The machinations of the trade and the second big max contract all happened just after his 26th birthday.

    It’s been a decade and I think Melo, with the limitations he has relative to the all-time greats, is sick of trying to prove himself every year as a guy who can essentially carry a team by himself. And I know he doesn’t, but let’s be honest, at this point in his career, he’s carried a far bigger offensive load than Wade had, Kobe, even Lebron. Shit, T-Mac had Yao Ming for a few years, even if injuries stopped them from forming a great team.

    Is it really hard to tell that Melo is way beyond the money at this point?

    Someone doesn’t dramatically change their mental approach to the game, life even, as Melo has in NY, if he is primarily concerned about wealth.

    Melo has a net worth close to half a billion. He’s a successful businessman.

    You don’t think he’s licking his chops at the chance to form a team in ’15 that can win a couple of championships, taking, what, a $10 million annum paycut?

    Sorry, but none of this computes with his decision to force the Knicks to gut their roster to acquire him instead of joining as a free agent.

    The fact that he is complaining in the Post today about us not getting him help is appalling. He lost the right to complain when he chose his contract over leaving us with valuable assets.

  90. Hubert

    CORRECTION: I only read the headline. No quotes from Melo. Just Marc Berman citing a source close to Melo. So it’s not fair to criticize him on that.

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