Orlando Magic 103 – New York Knicks 105 – Quick Recap

How fitting that we got a brand new KB look for this new Knicks course, devoid of Mills and Mooks and full of picks and Roses!

What’s that? It’s not really a new course? Are you saying that because in the end the team is the same minus a certain SF/PF? Or maybe because we got to win the third game in a row? Or maybe because the young players still don’t play that much? Well, you’re right.

Now, winning every now and then is physiological and winning at home always feels good, but watch this:

– Elfrid Payton, starter: 34 minutes – 1+1 years
– Frank Ntilikina, starter: 14 minutes – 2 years + RFA (plausibly)
– Reggie Bullock, starter: 3o minutes – 1+1 years
– Julius Randle, starter: 30 minutes – 2+1 years
– Taj Gibson, starter: 30 minutes – 1+1 years

– RJ Barrett, bench: 18 minutes – rookie!
– Mitch Robinson, bench: 19 minutes – 3 years + RFA (plausibly)
– Dennis Smith Jr, bench: 15 minutes – 2 years + RFA (plausibly)
– Kevin Knox, bench: 17 minutes – 3 years + RFA (plausibly)
– Bobby Portis, bench: 19 minutes – 1+1, buyout candidate
– Wayne Ellington, bench: 19 minutes – 1+1, buyout candidate

Is this what you want to see in a cellar-dwelling team? Because I don’t. I know, it seems trite at this point, but you can’t really stress enough the fact that if you’re losing and have pretty much no hope for this season, you shouldn’t waste time hunting for wins on the heels of guys who very, very likely won’t be here next year. Randle, I have no qualms with – especially if he plays like last night and “wobbly handle” doesn’t rhyme with his surname. Spot minutes for other guys who don’t actively hurt the team, I have no qualms with (15 minutes for Taj and Bullock can’t be bad, maybe even 10 for Ellington if Dotson and Trier can’t dress and RJ has to be eased back into the rotation). Payton on 28 mpg is okay, he’s the best PG we have and it would hurt not to have someone orchestrating things. From there, go with young and unproven guys and never look back.

Mike Miller is without a doubt someone who understands the basic areas of basketball, and that’s a vast improvement over a few guys we had in the last years and probably over some other guys employed around the league (Luke Walton comes to mind). The problem is that he’s been given 3000 random Lego pieces and he’s (likely) been told “show us you can do something with this!”. While Fizdale would probably have just stacked 25 4×2 studs without matching colors and called it a day saying “I built a futuristic lightsaber, don’t you see? Bzzzz bzzzz, *hand over mouth* Luke, eat what you kill”, Miller seems content building small red houses with flat roofs instead of trying to understand if there are a few pieces that might help build the UCS Millennium Falcon. Mike, we get it: you can do something with what you’re given. But what you’re doing is pointless. Nobody wants to post a pic on himself with 50 identical 3″ x 3″ Lego houses on the ‘gram.

Anyway, the game was pretty entertaining, what with all the stealing (Payton notched 8, a personal career high and just one short of the Knicks record) and three point bombing (Ellington came alive for a brief stint, hitting three triples in a row to cut the Magic lead). And a bit of dunking too, courtesy of Mitch and Randle.

On the positive side, Barrett looked goodish, even if he keeps shooting very very inconsistently: the form isn’t bad, but he never gets off the same shot type twice in a row. Payton looked good again, hitting 7 of 13, thieving 8 balls, dishing 9 assists and generally looking spirited while leading the charge. Randle looked relieved without Mook, but that might just be because the Magic aren’t really suited to defend burly, crafty types – and he blocked two shots in the same quarter! That’s rare. Taj did a very good job – even if that shouldn’t hamper Mitch’s playing time.

On the negative one, Knox was simply awful, missing all of his 5 shots and being totally terrible on defense (Terrence Ross looked like he had bought a Disneyland fastpass to the rim everytime Kevin was on him); Frank didn’t play enough even if he didn’t suck that much; Mitch didn’t play enough even if he looked lost at times, fouled a couple times in a stupid way, and got burned on defense by Vucevic (but the very negative point is that Mitch can’t crack 20 minutes and we don’t actually know why; it might be that Miller’s trying to teach him something, but it’s clearly not working); we played Portis.

Only one last thing (this is gonna be brief, as the Muse said time’s running out): Miller has won 12 games in 30 tries. Fiz won 21 in 104. I can’t still wrap my head around Fiz’s sheer incompetence.

Let’s see where this new CAA-branded course will take us (nowhere good is my guess)!

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Farfa

Just an Italian basketball fan with an insane passion for all things Knicks (and yes, linguine Alfredo is not a real Italian dish).

168 thoughts to “Orlando Magic 103 – New York Knicks 105 – Quick Recap”

  1. Just got around to listening to Michael Kay and co. about the Leon Rose hire and I am not sure I will recover from it. They suggested hiring JVG as GM and Mark Jackson as coach. W. T. F.
    You would ask a great coach to do something he’s never done, and then hire a bad coach. W.T.F.

    I remain super hopeful that JVG really will be the next coach. I would not be opposed to keeping Scott Perry as GM – value for value he’s done reasonably well negotiating contracts and trades. That said, the whole FO probably just needs to get cleaned out. Bye Allan Houston. Is Herb still around?

    by the way I did not realize Harkless is only 26. He’s worth re-signing I think – he probably could be had for a 2 year deal with AAV something between the taxpayer and full MLEs. Can never have enough true wing defenders, and he is a really good defender.

  2. “by the way I did not realize Harkless is only 26. He’s worth re-signing I think – he probably could be had for a 2 year deal with AAV something between the taxpayer and full MLEs. Can never have enough true wing defenders, and he is a really good defender.”

    100% agree.

    I was so focused on the draft pick yesterday (because I want to use it to acquire a star or move up in the draft), I didn’t express any view on Harkless. I don’t know how much he’s worth, but he’s a plus defender and young enough to stick. He’s the kind of player I might have suggested adding last season just to take a better look.

    Morris is having a career year, but if you put a gun to my head at the start of the season I might have taken Harkless over Morris straight up. One of the reasons the Blazers are struggling this year (aside from Nurkic) is that they lost Harkless and Aminu.

    He’s a good role player on a team than already has their #1 and #2 scorer. Now we just need to find #1 and #2. rotflmao

  3. Can I petition for every text box having black font? The alternating gray is particularly hard to read. Looks like someone set a print job to the “ink saver” setting.

  4. “Man – it sure looks like Mills was a big part of the problem (shocker!).”

    I’m not sure how it could have been any more obvious after Hardaway/Baker and the types of players we were adding in free agency, targeting in trades etc.. He may be among the worst basketball executives ever.

    He’s obviously a very bright and educated man, but in basketball he’s like the new fan that’s impressed by points per game, athleticism, making spectacular shots and dunks etc.. He doesn’t recognize or understand what adds value, how to fit the pieces together to maximize team output, how to value the players etc…. Having him as POBO or GM put a team at a monumental disadvantage because almost no one is good at everything. Moving him to another job is a major plus. He’s been a drag on the franchise for every moment he’s had input or decision making power of any type.

  5. I didn’t watch the game but somebody tell me the crowd chanted:

    WE WANT UJIRI… WE WANT UJIRI… WE WANT UJIRI
    WE WANT UJIRI… WE WANT UJIRI… WE WANT UJIRI
    WE WANT UJIRI… WE WANT UJIRI… WE WANT UJIRI
    WE WANT UJIRI… WE WANT UJIRI… WE WANT UJIRI

    No ink on the Rose contract yet. Ujiri wants to be here. He may have an out in his contract. Even if he doesn’t, Toronto would let him go if that’s what he wanted. Why not wait until the summer? There’s no decisions to be made at this stage by the FO until then other than maybe one or two trivial buyouts. Instead Dolan let’s CAA be in charge? I mean the best thing Phil did was to eradicate these cockroaches from the organization. Thibs, JVG, or Jackson would all be terrible hires to coach the team. Terrible situation.

  6. I’ve been reading this blog since, IDK, 2006? If the Knicks had simply followed the consensus among the better posters the team would have made the playoffs most years. It’s the NBA not the NSA. It’s not that fucking hard.

    That’s not an endorsement nor is it a criticism of Leon Rose. His background as an agent could be an asset. He doesn’t rep CAA now that he’s a Knick. Who’s he gonna do favors for? All he has to do is make good business decisions and evaluate talent. The former, again, not rocket science. The latter? Get help, look at data, get a great coach, develop players.

  7. On mobile there’s a little arrow that brings you back to the top. I found where the code lived, but it’s in js. If anyone knows how to code in javascript, I’m willing to add a second arrow to bring a post down to comments or the comment box. Hit me up in the contact form (and put your correct email so I can reply)

  8. I actually don’t hate the Perry/Miller combo, although I think Perry needs better scouts and probably some analytics guys.
    The POBO slot is invariably a YESman that sets a vague course for the team, so I don’t have a huge opinion on that.
    Riley turned out to be great in that role. Maybe certain agents could work, but I’m definitely not psyched on Rose.

  9. Apparently, Rose has to be decertified as an agent before he can be formally hired. That’s more likely the delay than waiting for Ujiri.

  10. Love the new font. New font, new team!

    I’m not that upset about the youngsters not playing more minutes. Its not like they’re not playing at all and many nights Knox is just bad. RJ’s been out, Mitch gets in foul trouble. I think its ok to be on the bench squad for now.

    The team is playing better. I thought we had a team option on Payton? If we do, I’d pick it up (and not just because he had a good game last night). He’s a horrible shooter but everywhere else he’s a competent pg and we need that. Even if we draft a top PG prospect, they won’t be ready to take the keys next year, so let Payton hold down the fort.

    I don’t know. I’m optimistic. 7 first round picks in the next 4 years. A fair amount of 2nd rounders. We got Mitch and RJ. No big cap crippling salaries. Perry is at least competent with contracts. Mills is gone.

    Rose is head scratcher, but he’s not the GM. And Miller seems pretty decent as a coach.

    Maybe, just maybe, there are better days ahead?

  11. Malik Monk sucks.

    Yes, but I still would’ve done a DSJ-for-Monk trade, in that Monk’s theoretical skill (shooting) is much more valuable (in the NBA in general, but particularly on this roster) than DSJ’s theoretical skill (jumping very high).

    Re: Perry, I would hope for someone better. As 21st century Knicks execs go, he’s not bad. But he’s not a great drafter (even if you want to blame the Knox pick on Fizdale, pretty much every first rounder he’s made in his various jobs that wasn’t a gimme has been a disappointment), he has a weakness for overpriced mediocre veterans (he did the same thing in Sacramento that he did here this summer), and I just don’t think he has the imagination you’d want.

    My hope — and I know, I know, hope is the worst goddamn thing when you root for this team — is that Rose is smart enough to understand his learning curve as an executive, and that he lures away some hotshot assistant GM from another team (maybe Masai’s deputy?) to do the actual hands-on GM work, while he functions more as the Dolan whisperer.

  12. I’m only trying to help here, and you guys have done a superb job with this site over the 15 years I’ve been reading.. but if you’re taking requests–
    – Larger font
    – Fit the text boxes to edges of the screen- on my desktop it’s a narrow column of text in small writing, as if it is stuck on mobile view
    – The ‘dark view’ button overlaps with the ‘up’ button, and also the ‘dark view’ completely blacks out some posts without toggling the font to white, so it is invisible

    Thanks for a great site guys!

  13. I’d like to posit that running young guys out there for 30 minutes a game to get shellacked and demoralized on a daily basis, while also destroying their confidence, is counterproductive.
    We have seen this over and over again with the Knicks. Losing will get into a new player’s head; it destroys young players, especially if all they know at the NBA level is consistent, soul-crushing failure. And no where is a person so openly shamed and humiliated in sports like basketball, where all you have is a tank top and shorts and a short bench.

    The Knicks ruin good young players this way.
    Plus, in what business or sport do you reward young performers who fail to succeed…in games or practice?
    Where in capitalism, in sport, anywhere, do your better people sit and your losers lead? What message does that send? What is learned from abject failure? You demoralize everyone and growth is stunted.

    So, putting a mix of vets and young fellas out there and getting some wins, while learning how to win, and FIGHTING for starter minutes, is better for team-building, morale and your youth.
    Gibson played very well last night. Mitch can learn a lot from him, and now has a goal to play as consistently hard and
    smart as Gibson.
    Payton is only 25, and he’s a better point guard than DSJ and Frank, period, and he’s young.
    There is no way Knox should be getting a lot of minutes. He’s not just green; he is terrible.
    Bullock is just better than RJ, and RJ’s shot, as Farfa said, is almost never the same. He doesn’t get better by rewarding him with starter minutes over a better player when his shot sucks and he finishes poorly. Let him fight for minutes.
    Let them feel some wins and earn their places. No one on a bad team should have ANYTHING handed to them.
    They are in the big leagues. Putting them in a position to fail isn’t player development; it’s kinda dumb.

    And I’m not calling anyone dumb. The act is…

  14. I want to remind people that Michael Kay et al. are paid to fill air time, not be intelligent or thoughtful. It’s no surprise that mouthbreathers like them would advocate for hot-take artists like JVG to be a goddamn billion-dollar company’s GM or vapid boilerplaters like Mark Jackson to be the architect of a viable basketball system. Like recognizes like.

  15. Apparently, Rose has to be decertified as an agent before he can be formally hired. That’s more likely the delay than waiting for Ujiri.

    That’s what I meant by the ink is not yet on the contract. And I am serious about the crowd chanting WE WANT UJIRI. Dolan listens to the crowd. The timing of the Mills firing is the equivalent of him making Mills/Perry march to the podium on November 10 to make a statement after all of the thunderous booing at MSG.

    Crowd chanting Ujiri might have some effect here. It could change his mind. At a minimum he could say in the future I gave the fans what they wanted. Don’t blame me. We need to activate twitter #wewantujiri and social media and maybe that could happen at next game.

  16. One of my favorite recaps this season, Farfa. “Nobody wants to post a pic on himself with 50 identical 3? x 3? Lego houses on the ‘gram.” Way to perfectly sum up the Mike Miller era!

    One little jewel lost in yesterday’s hubbub:

    The Knicks’ correctly assessed the value of Jerome Robinson. They weren’t deluded by his status as a former lottery pick. It’s a little win, like swapping out player options for team options. But we should celebrate every win we can around here.

  17. All those picks matter…so long as there is someone competent making selections.
    I think the Knicks were pretty smart at the deadline. Not a whiff of desperation in terms of what they did.
    Jury is out on the GM.
    Don’t know enough to judge.

  18. Does more playing time = improvement? What annoys me about playing vet heavy teams is that we should be trying to see how guys who have little to no NBA playing time can do in the league. Miller said something the other day about keeping Wooten in the Gleague to develop him-we should give him some NBA minutes. Same with Iggy. We don’t need to evaluate Taj Gibson or Bobby Portis anymore.

  19. 1. Does the “quote” button work and if so how?

    2. Is there any way to add a “recommend” or “up” to a post. That what if you are scanning a long thread some of the better ones will stick out?

    3. Can an “ignore” button be added if there are certain posters you would rather not read (like me for example lol)?

  20. I’d be comfortable with a mild shift of minutes away from Taj, Bullock, and Ellington (who I think aren’t very likely to stick) towards younger players for awhile and then in the last 15 games or so a sharper reduction. I think Payton, Harkless, and even Portis should be playing based on merit because they are all young enough to keep around if they prove worth it down the stretch.

  21. DRed:
    Does more playing time = improvement?What annoys me about playing vet heavy teams is that we should be trying to see how guys who have little to no NBA playing time can do in the league.Miller said something the other day about keeping Wooten in the Gleague to develop him-we should give him some NBA minutes.Same with Iggy.We don’t need to evaluate Taj Gibson or Bobby Portis anymore.

    DRed,
    I think if a guy is getting 15 to 20 minutes he is getting enough time to develop and be evaluated. I think running Taj out there and keeping him out there when he is playing well sends a good message to vets and youth alike.
    And I’m sorry, but wins matter. Sucking year after year is why the Knicks’ culture is what it is.
    I mean, take baseball pitchers. They don’t run a young guy out there an let him get pounded over and over again. I’ve played in games where I got just pounded. Frankly, there is no learning in that. You just learn to flinch and doubt.
    Some games Mitch will get 30; some 15. He gains something from both.
    But running him an assured 30 every night and they lose? He’s learning only that he needs to get his stats up so he can go elsewhere. He wants out. Or worse, he never realizes his potential because losing makes you feel like your ceiling is right there.
    So I think there will be an ebb and flow to it. I think Miller knows this.

    And one other thing, great teams play sound defense. I think in NY, that is the character. It’s what MSG is really about.
    From Clyde and Reed, to Ewing and Oak. The Garden begins and ends with defense.
    That is who we are. That is an identity.
    Miller seems to be doing that.

  22. i can’t send code but if you decide to hire someone to help i’d be happy to chip in . i’d also like the ability to change other people’s usernames when they say some especially dumb shit.

  23. And if I sound like I think Miller should be the coach, I do.
    Miller is a great story and one that is quintessential NY.
    He’s spent years working his way up without the pedigrees. Hardscrabble, bootstraps, tough.
    I like it.

  24. I like the new format. I don’t know if it’s feasible, but it would be great to be able to give a thumbs up or down to each other’s comments.

  25. Edge to edge text would be a mistake on desktop. If you want to increase font size, press CTRL and + on desktop.

  26. And a quick follow up on my dissatisfaction with the Morris haul:

    In a vaccuum, we got good value for Morris. But there’s at least two issues at hand in every trade:

    1. The intrinsic value of the asset
    2. The condition of the market
    3. The impact of the acquisition to the buyer

    The matter of Covington was not to make a direct comp, but rather to illustrate that it was a seller’s market. Covington yielded much more than you would have expected. Morris yielded exactly what you would have expected.

    So Perry did just fine on part 1. He got fair value for Morris. But I think he whiffed on parts 2 & 3, and we ended up with less value than we could have gotten.

    When we traded with Ujiri, for example, did he stop when we reached the intrinsic value of the asset we wanted? Hell no. He went back and demanded Mozgov. He made us throw in more picks. He knew how to take advantage of 2 & 3.

    I think a better GM than Perry probably would have come away with everything we got and the Kabengele prospect. Is it, as TNFH said, a hill worth dying on? No, but it’s my position and I’m sticking to it. And I think it’s reasonable to believe that we’re so happy we got *anything* for once that we’re willing to overlook that we should have come away with more.

  27. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt:
    1. Does the “quote”button work and if so how?

    2. Is there any way to add a “recommend” or “up” to a post. That what if you are scanning a long thread some of the better ones will stick out?

    3. Can an “ignore” button be added if there are certain posters you would rather not read (like me for example lol)?

    1. Yes. At least on desktop.

    2/3 Either of these would probably make the site less stable. I’m trying to streamline. Also we’re not reddit. ;-)

  28. Minnesota got a better first round pick for a player who is perceived as being better and is under contract for longer. I don’t think there’s much difference in value between kabengele and the detroit 2021 second

  29. “but it would be great to be able to give a thumbs up or down to each other’s comments.”

    Strong dissent here. This dilutes discourse and leads to people saying things they expect will get more likes. One of the things I personally love about this board is it’s avoided the facebook-ization of online conversation. If you want to agree or disagree with someone, you actually have to type words and form sentences. Let’s keep it that way!

  30. DRed, there’s no need to continue comparing Morris to Covington directly. That was a sidetrack and a distraction and had nothing to do with the main point.

  31. I think a better negotiator would have been able to squeeze Kabengele out of LAC but y’know two days ago it was looking like we’d keep Morris and give him some horrible extension. So it’s fine, it’s like a B, B plus kind of trade.

  32. Hubert:

    I think a better GM than Perry probably would have come away with everything we got and the Kabengele prospect.Is it, as TNFH said, a hill worth dying on? No, but it’s my position and I’m sticking to it.And I think it’s reasonable to believe that we’re so happy we got *anything* for once that we’re willing to overlook that we should have come away with more.

    hubert,

    I think all the turmoil at the top perhaps is why more wasn’t gotten. But after the shake up, with just 48 hours, I think we did well. One can always argue more could be gotten. It looked like the Knicks tried that, but when the Lakers essentially pulled out of the Morris competition, the Knicks lost leverage.
    a team with 12 wins or something at midseason is always at a disadvantage. The Clippers may have declared victory by just keeping Morris from the Lakers and doing no deal at all.

    My thinking is no better than yours. The outcome is what it is and the rest is conjecture. But the Knicks aren’t typical sellers. They are always selling from a weak position. Theirs was made stronger because there is an arms race in LA. Once the Lakers pulled out the leverage was gone.

  33. I hated virtually everything this management team has done over the last 3 years other than lucking into Mitch, but I’m fine with Harkless and the pick. If LA did pull the plug on their offer, we had less leverage. You can certainly try to squeeze more, but you do risk that they pull the plug to do another deal. Then you have Morris and nothing else and all hell would have broken loose in NY.

    So without knowing what else the Clippers might have been looking at for another position and whether they were tough enough to simply say “no” because it wasn’t worth it, there was some small risk in getting greedier.

    In the Melo deal, we were competing against the Nets, Dolan is a moron, Dolan has a huge ego, and other issues made it an easier gamble to try to squeeze NY.

  34. Re: vets vs. kids, tanking vs. trying, etc., I would say that between the flattened lottery odds and the fact that this seems like it’ll be an absolute mess of a draft, it’s not a terrible idea to make the kids fight for minutes and see what’s required to win in this league. There’s also the matter of specific guys:

    * Mitch has definitely plateaued. Is that a case of him not getting enough run to diversify his game? Or are we starting to see the limitations of his basic basketball knowledge versus his abundant skills? I don’t know. But if Miller is trying to get through to him by letting him sit and watch a really smart and fundamentally sound player like Taj, I get it.

    * Payton is young and cheap enough that I don’t hate him continuing to start, especially since he’s better at the fundamentals of being a PG than either Frank or DSJ. I like the idea of Frank starting at shooting guard, since most of us agree that even the optimal version of Frank is a secondary ballhandler.

    * RJ didn’t play much because they’re easing him back post-injury. He is the one guy I would play as much as he can physically handle, because he’s both much smarter and a much better prospect overall than Knox was when he got handed the keys last year. And I do feel like RJ is the most likely of all our prospects to improve simply by playing more.

    * Knox is terrible and should mainly play as Randle’s backup. But if he can’t get much time, c’est la vie. Sunk cost fallacy. It was a bad pick at the time, and we all knew it. I’d rather play Iggy than him.

    * Dotson and Trier were sick last night and thus didn’t play. Dotson should get all of Ellington’s minutes when he’s healthy. Developmentally, though, he seems to be what he is as a plug-and-play 3-and-D guy. Trier, they seem to have just given up on.

  35. “2/3 Either of these would probably make the site less stable. I’m trying to streamline. Also we’re not reddit. ;-)”

    I was mostly making a joke about having an ignore feature. :-)

    I would be against a “thumbs down” feature because it would get personal, but if a thread has 200 posts, I don’t want to read every single one and I don’t want to miss a great one just because my favorite poster didn’t say it. So a lot of thumbs ups would be a quick way to find the best posts.

  36. The trade deadline overall shook out well for us. Three of the teams we’re competing with for lottery position — Minnesota, Atlanta, and Cleveland — got better. The only teams that got appreciably worse were us and Golden State.

  37. Frank O…

    I agree with all of that. That was my original argument before we got sidetracked by Robert Covington comps and whatever Z-Man’s contribution was.

    In my original post I said I was upset because “they pussyfooted until 3 days ago, fucked around with their organizational structure, and locked in on trading directly with two teams who had very few assets to offer.”

    The counter to my argument was that we could not have reasonably expected more for Marcus Morris because he’s 30, a rental, and is mediocre. I strongly disagree with that counterargument.

    Anyway… Side note on the Lakers bit:

    I am really curious where that leak came from. It did no favors to either the Lakers or Knicks.

  38. Trading Mook gave me a reason to be upbeat as Steve had preached.
    Keeping DSJ, Duke Ellington and Bobby Punch told me that we may started selling/recycling our “garbage” as best as we can.

    Hopeful

  39. The Rockets didn’t play anyone taller than 6’6″ last night, Harden had 14 points and they beat the Lakers in LA by 10. It’s pretty fascinating to watch what they’re trying.

  40. So the Rockets are going Lilputian, and the Pistons just traded Drummond (albeit on an expiring contract) for a moldy ham sandwich. Bigs who can’t shoot are definitely being devalued in this league. Which on the one hand suggests Mitch’s next contract might not be onerous. But on the other makes me wonder if he’s as amazing an asset as we have all talked ourselves into believing he is.

  41. We also don’t really know what Morris’ market was like. Coming into the deadline I expected teams like Philly, Miami, Houston and both LA teams to be interested. The Sixers preferred to go with the GSW guys for cheaper, the Heat went all in on Iguodala and Houston ended up winning the Covington bidding, who was the A option for most teams over Morris as the B option. We couldn’t have really negotiated with the Heat because they wanted to dump Johnson and Waiters, and the Knicks clearly didn’t want to pick up a lot of dead salary, and the Lakers were in the tricky position of having to add Green or someone else to the deal together with Kuzma, which my guess is that they thought it was too much.

    So in the end, considering only the Clippers remained as a viable offer, I’m happy with the pick plus Harkless. I kinda like Harkless to be honest, he can shoot a bit even though he’s inconsistent and he’s a decent defender, and he shouldn’t be expensive to keep if he ends up playing well. I wouldn’t be too mad at extending him for like 5-7 million a year.

  42. Great stuff Farfa!

    Excited for us to continue our playoff push. If we fight hard and ride Taj we might be able to push to the bottom of the lottery where the value is.

    Btw, night mode is great….

  43. “My hope — and I know, I know, hope is the worst goddamn thing when you root for this team — is that Rose is smart enough to understand his learning curve as an executive, and that he lures away some hotshot assistant GM from another team (maybe Masai’s deputy?) to do the actual hands-on GM work, while he functions more as the Dolan whisperer.”

    ^ alsep, this is a great thought and a reasonable hope.

    It stands to reason that Rose has solid relationships with GMs around the league, and that most of those GMs are OK letting the best guy on his team get the big break he wants in his career.

    If we’re lucky, he’ll canvass all the top executives he’s worked with, get a great up-and-coming exec in as his GM, and let that guy do the day-to-day work while he manages Dolan.

    That is our best case scenario.

    Alas, with Dolan’s Razor looming, it’s just as possible that LaVar Ball will be our GM next year as reward for delivering all of his sons to CAA.

  44. It’s absurd that the reaction to Frank’s Brooklyn game that Sunday night was, “You’re a 2 guard now.”

  45. DRed:
    The Rockets didn’t play anyone taller than 6’6? last night, Harden had 14 points and they beat the Lakers in LA by 10.It’s pretty fascinating to watch what they’re trying.

    I really am bummed D’Antoni didn’t work out better here.

  46. “The Rockets didn’t play anyone taller than 6’6? last night, Harden had 14 points and they beat the Lakers in LA by 10. It’s pretty fascinating to watch what they’re trying.”

    Its not going to work in the playoffs when there is more time to game plan and make adjustments. They’ll beat a few teams that way, but I’ve written them off and am hoping for the correct matchup and odds to make a huge bet against them playoff time.

  47. “But on the other makes me wonder if he’s as amazing an asset as we have all talked ourselves into believing he is.”

    It’s what I’ve been saying.

    With his limited game, given the right defense and right matchup, he can have a huge impact on both sides in a single game. But against a good defensive team game planning to limit him and with the right players, he’ll be irrelevant on offense and they’ll probably have him on the bench and in foul trouble fairly quickly.

    But the raw talent is there for him to be much more and everyone knows it.

    He started 1 year behind most rookies because he missed a year. Just keep working, getting better, and we’ll see what happens.

  48. Vorkunov remains my favorite of the beat writers. He’s doing a chat over on The Athletic right now, and I asked why we should have any faith in this hire, given Rose’s lack of POBO experience, the terrible history between this team and CAA, and our general trend for star-chasing over actual building. This is how he replied:

    I get the weary, cynical, fatalist Knicks fan perspective on this. Under the wrong circumstances this looks like a novelty hire. If Rose really only makes this a CAA funnel then it’s not going to work out. But if he can leverage his CAA ties then that’s a good thing because CAA represents good players. There were some agents who if the Knicks hired them then the reaction to this is a lot more skeptical and bearish. What we don’t know is what Rose’s approach to team and organization building is. And who he intends to bring in to help him. He’s worked with the Knicks with clients long enough to know the ecosystem. I’d at least get through the GM and coach hire before giving a more decisive opinion. The biggest question is really if Rose will do what others haven’t: Get a long-term plan and stick to it for more than a season or two.

  49. Kyle Boone
    @Kyle__Boone
    ·
    7m
    John Calipari at his Friday presser on potentially being linked to Knicks job: “I’ve never heard anyone in 25 years say anything bad about Leon Rose. He’s a gatherer, he’s a culture-builder. I’d help him in any way I could being a resource. It just wouldn’t be to coach.”

    oh…good…

  50. But on the other makes me wonder if he’s as amazing an asset as we have all talked ourselves into believing he is.

    The important nuance here is that we did NOT argue he’s an amazing asset; we argued that he’s (mostly) an amazing player. By almost any metric (including the eye test), he is a plus player right now, with great scoring efficiency and good rebounding and OK defense. (More than OK depending on how you value rim protection.) But at the same time, most of us also explicitly said that not only do the Knicks not seem to value him, but the league does not value players like him right now. Thus, he is not an asset – even with the amazing contract.

    I think it’s more than a distinction without a difference. If we are wrong, it’s meaningless…but over time, the consistent positive effect of certain players across various teams (and the reverse) seems to indicate that we are generally not wrong. The league is currently undervaluing production at the C spot if it doesn’t come with outside shooting. That is a mistake.

    Edit: It’s only a mistake when said C is mobile, like Mitch. Drummond’s contributions are less valuable because he can’t switch and can’t credibly defend anyone outside the paint.

  51. Calipari knows that unlike at Kentucky, the Knicks will have to work with a salary cap, right?

  52. Despite my defense of Mitch as a good player (if not good asset), I agree with Frank O that Miller playing the vets is OK. Payton is clearly the best PG, Mitch could learn a lot from Taj’s experience, and Knox sucks. I am one of the biggest Frank stans here, and I can see that the issue is inconsistency – some games he’s great, some games he sucks. Being a pro is about being consistent over time, delivering positive, predictable results every game. Frank isn’t a pro yet. I still believe! But not yet.

    Dot has been playing when healthy. Trier is…being taught a lesson? I dunno, but it doesn’t matter, since he’s gone next year. Most of the rest of the players people are complaining about are signed for longer than Trier and are not much older. Bullock’s contract is good. Randle’s is OK. Payton’s is OK.

    Basically, if it weren’t for the utterly awful, inexplicable signings of Ellington and Portis, I’d feel pretty good about our roster, our assets, and even our playing time.

  53. Calipari knows that unlike at Kentucky, the Knicks will have to work with a salary cap, right?

    upvote

  54. Leverage his CAA ties sounds like more of the same free agent savior plan that we keep repeating except this time it’s going to work

  55. DRed:
    Leverage his CAA ties sounds like more of the same free agent savior plan that we keep repeating except this time it’s going to work

    You’re right…but we have been using No. 1 picks for three years now and we haven’t exactly seen the Knicks cloaked in glory either.

    Hope the new regime is better.

  56. Of course, I’ll give Rose some benefit of the doubt if does indeed run the team. I’m aware of the possible advantages of a (former) sports agent running a team, but in the case of the Mets, Brodie VW also showed the potential negatives. The superficial flash, the cronyism (paying through the nose to acquire former clients), the failure to understand value vs. acquiring “big name” players (see Cano, Robinson), and the failure to properly assess the team’s place in the division (see Braves, Atlanta).

    BVW decided to “go for it” and then, once he made his (mostly terrible, shortsighted) moves, dared the rest of the division/league to “come get us.” And, it did. Now, he’s basically capped out the Mets and couldn’t even retain the team’s top free agent. He now has to hunt in the bargain bin, unable to improve a good, but not great, team whose close to ready top prospects have all been traded away.

    Hopefully Rose will not be as full of sheepdip as Van Wag. And hopefully there will not be Knicks equivalents to “big names” Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, and Jeurys Familia. And as Batman once said, “mind your surroundings.”

  57. You’re right…but we have been using No. 1 picks for three years now and we haven’t exactly seen the Knicks cloaked in glory either.

    But they really haven’t. That’s the whole point. They intentionally tanked one year and it got them the #3 pick in the draft. The other years were directionless mish-moshes that got them the #8 and #9 picks in really good top-heavy drafts. In other words, they should actually try building through the draft for a change.

  58. Mitch is fast. Like, really fast

    https://twitter.com/stefanmymind/status/1010340273761726466?lang=en

    If we had a team that could keep up with him, he would be much more valuable.

    I”m not saying he is Tyson Chandler valuable, but part of Tyson’s game was in speeding up the opponent’s defense and slowing down their offense. He was crazy BB smart. He could run the court and even that “kinda” screen that looked lame at the end of his career was game-changing when he first did it. Defenses had to speed up their decision making in a way they were not trained for.

    Mitch is already changing offenses. A rim runner and rim protector with real speed to get down the court is valuable in any era.

  59. Leon Rose repped Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, JR Smith, and Eddy Curry. He not only negotiated their contracts, he orchestrated their trades.

    He is a NY Knick super-villain. Hiring him to be president is like hiring the Joker to be the mayor of Gotham City.

  60. Brian Cronin: But they really haven’t. That’s the whole point. They intentionally tanked one year and it got them the #3 pick in the draft. The other years were directionless mish-moshes that got them the #8 and #9 picks in really good top-heavy drafts. In other words, they should actually try building through the draft for a change.

    Brian,

    My point is just what you said: They had picks in the first round and did not manage them very well. In some cases could have traded up, in other cases picked the wrong guy.
    And it’s even more of a crap shoot now to get first round draft, first pick.
    I’m just saying, they have been building through the draft and they haven’t had great success.

  61. Leon Rose repped Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, JR Smith, and Eddy Curry. He not only negotiated their contracts, he orchestrated their trades.

    He is a NY Knick super-villain. Hiring him to be president is like hiring the Joker to be the mayor of Gotham City.

    I dunno, his job wasn’t to help the Knicks. It was to get his clients paid. Melo’s priority was always “Get the most money possible.” Remember, Rose also repped Lebron during the move to Miami, so it wasn’t like Rose only looks for the biggest dollar amount at the cost of the player’s happiness. In the case of Melo, it just happened that what he wanted more than anything was money and so Rose got him paid repeatedly.

    For instance, we all love Masai Ujiri despite him destroying the Knicks in trades, right? Because his goal wasn’t to help the Knicks. Same thing here. Rose wasn’t trying to help the Knicks, but now that he is, he could hopefully use his skills to help the Knicks.

  62. Yeah, Masai Ujiri is a Knicks super-villain, too. As was Daryl Morey during the Donnie Walsh era. Rose is at least in good company.

    We’ll know all we need to know about him when he hires his GM and announces the next coach. Til then it’s all speculation.

  63. we only traded one of our mercs…last night we won a game with a bunch of short term vets, and – we’re letting the joker take over our basketball operations…

    and yet, still the sun chose to rise this morning…and i think to myself, what a wonderful world…

  64. Can’t remember where I read this but someone wrote that only agents really have a window into all 30 teams and what they’re doing. That’s actually pretty interesting – he represents Chris Paul, so he knows at least through Paul what the structures are like in OKC and Houston. – including what the training/performance staff is like, etc. He represents KAT, so he knows what structures to avoid to be sure not to turn into Minnesota, etc etc. I wonder if he has clients with Toronto – I think they probably have the best organization in the league right now.

  65. Donnie Walsh:
    Leon Rose repped Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, JR Smith, and Eddy Curry. He not only negotiated their contracts, he orchestrated their trades.

    He is a NY Knick super-villain. Hiring him to be president is like hiring the Joker to be the mayor of Gotham City.

    If your lawyer gets his ass kicked by the other guy’s lawyer, are you telling me next time you won’t hire the other lawyer that was better?
    This is business. He didn’t have a personal vendetta against the Knicks. He represented clients and served to the best of his ability. You’re acting as if when the Knicks hire him, he somehow won’t act in the Knicks’ best interest. What? Out of loyalty to CAA, where he no longer has any interests? To players he no longer represents?
    Are you suggesting subterfuge, like he’ll be a mole in the Knicks FO… there really to undermine the great and powerful Knicks? To be compensated by CAA or other players for having done them a solid by cratering the already cratered Knicks franchise?

    No disrespect, but this was kind of a silly, emotional argument about loyalties that don’t exist.
    These guys are all in multi-multi million dollars businesses. They’re all sharks.
    If there is a big, bad-assed, razor-toothed shark out there working against me, I want to hire him.

    I mean, Ujiri said he hates the Knicks and didn’t ever want to leave Toronto to be with the Knicks…but you were cool with him? He basically built a championship team all by himself…a team that crushed the knicks. Using your logic, how could we ever want a Knicks killer like that?
    To borrow a phrase, c’mon man!

  66. Donnie Walsh: He is a NY Knick super-villain. Hiring him to be president is like hiring the Joker to be the mayor of Gotham City.

    I want to give the guy a chance. But this is how I feel about it. Well put.

    And it’s true that if this guy is actually on board with doing everything for the good of the team, it could work out.

    But did it have to be this particular guy? There was no other guy?

  67. Owen: I want to give the guy a chance. But this is how I feel about it. Well put.

    And it’s true that if this guy is actually on board with doing everything for the good of the team, it could work out.

    But did it have to be this particular guy? There was no other guy?

    Owen,
    Hypothetical question:
    If while Michael Jordan was dismantling the Knicks, the Knicks learned he could have been gotten in a trade or free agency, would you have gone after him?

    I mean there were a lot of good players in the NBA. He was THE most hated at MSG.

    So, okay, maybe Jordan is a bad example, because he was the best.
    So, another, if Charles Barkley came available after years of shaming the Knicks, and you knew they could have gotten him, would you have made that move? Or Scottie Pippen? Or even Hakeem, making him and Ewing as twin towers?

    I mean, I keep saying this, but we cheer for laundry. We want our laundry to be better than their laundry.
    Like Vito Corleone…it’s not personal, it’s business. ;)

  68. If you think about it, in Dolan’s mind, Leon Rose was the gettable version of Masai — the guy against whom he went up multiple times, and in retrospect had his ass handed to him.

    I think it’s fine. Could have been worse. Doesn’t require compensation, and there’s a fair amount of variance both in positive and negative territory for him.

  69. Donnie Walsh:
    Leon Rose repped Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, JR Smith, and Eddy Curry. He not only negotiated their contracts, he orchestrated their trades.

    He is a NY Knick super-villain. Hiring him to be president is like hiring the Joker to be the mayor of Gotham City.

    Username checks out.

  70. The key issue with hiring a player’s agent is that he has built his career around helping players exploit front offices to the effect of getting, at minimum, wages commensurate with their market value. As POBO, there will be two paths to success (with regard to veterans): sign worthy max players, who are categorically underpaid, or sign players for less than their market value. Signing players above their market value is only useful if you are in a cap dilemma and have to choose between using Bird rights or replacing a departed Bird player with a minimum salary, which generally means you’re in contention.

    This means it’s nothing like signing Masai or Morey after being exploited by them for years. In that analogy, it would be like replacing Ben Affleck with Christian Bale. Intention and objectives don’t change; only the performance capacity does.

  71. Frank O.: Hypothetical question:
    If while Michael Jordan was dismantling the Knicks, the Knicks learned he could have been gotten in a trade or free agency, would you have gone after him?

    I’ll be honest, I thought we got the wrong free agent in 1996. We picked up Allan Houston when I really wanted Reggie Miller. Yes, Reggie the Knick killer, who always lit us up at Madison Square Garden. I thought it in 1996, and never stopped thinking it, Allan Houston’s run to the finals in 1999 notwithstanding.

  72. Just thinking about Brodie Van Wagenen pisses me off. He was handed a golden situation.

    Alonso, McNeil give you like 11 WAR for free. Then you also have Rosario, Nimmo and Conforto playing for peanuts. You have four of the five starters from the 2015 World Series team healthy and pitching well. Only deGrom was on an expensive contract, and he was worth every penny. That is so much production for so little money.

    A basic normal non-idiot GM could have put a fucking juggernaut together with that core.

  73. i wonder if dolan will put rose in charge of the hot water in the visitor’s team locker room…actually – no need, he already has mills for those type of jobs…

    i’m kind of glad we didn’t get morey – that dude is truly crazy when it comes to roster manipulation…

  74. I know nothing about Leon Rose, so willing to give him a chance before bemoaning the choice.

    The Knicks are in the best shape looking forward than they’ve been in a generation. The last time they had accumulated this many assets and cap space was before the 1996-1997 team. That team did have a NBA finals core to work with…

    As painful as it is watching another bad season unfold, the team has (7) 1RP in the next 4 years, and no albatross contracts. They have the flexibility draft and/or chase free-agents. Desirable free agents that choose other destinations sucks for us, but at least it was/is a possibility.

    The Morris trade was a nice get, bringing three assets to the team, including the mystery euro-stash Sanon. I would have preferred to burn some other logs off the pile, but it didn’t happen.

    I don’t mind the coach trying to win games with the best lineup. Player development occurs at many levels, including practice, and competing to earn minutes.

  75. it’s like the rockets have been all in for the last 5 years or so…i don’t know how he’s doing it, but, somehow houston still has 3 of their first round draft picks in the next five years…i would have thought he’d have cleaned the cupboard by now…

    they’re actually 15th in payroll this year and don’t start moving into the top six until the 2020/2021 season…

    i’m not a big fan of either harden or westbrook, but – morey seems to be doing a pretty decent job…

  76. JK47:
    Just thinking about Brodie Van Wagenen pisses me off. He was handed a golden situation.

    Alonso, McNeil give you like 11 WAR for free. Then you also have Rosario, Nimmo and Conforto playing for peanuts. You have four of the five starters from the 2015 World Series team healthy and pitching well. Only deGrom was on an expensive contract, and he was worth every penny. That is so much production for so little money.

    A basic normal non-idiot GM could have put a fucking juggernaut together with that core.

    Because of all the young talent still on the Mets, they have a puncher’s chance to make the playoffs this year. But, they’re going to have to get great seasons from all the young cheap players to make up for wasting $40m this year on Cano, Lowrie, and Familia. At least Lowrie is an expiring, but not Cano and Familia…

    Hopefully Rose is far smarter and less arrogant.

  77. Frank O – I think there is a baseline of skepticism for me about hiring an agent. As THCJ referenced, it’s a big change to go from trying to bamboozle front offices on behalf of players to trying to shortchange players on behalf of your owner. I fully agree it’s possible he can flip the switch and unmake habits of mind and patterns of behavior reinforced across 40 years. It might be a non-issue. But it seems to me there is a fair amount of baggage that comes with this transition.

    Separately, the fact he was Eddy Curry’s agent leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Although I should thank Eddy Curry for bringing me to KB way back when Mike K was the only person sounding the alarm about how bad he was. (2005)

    It also strikes me that what I would want to hear from Leon Rose most is, “I am never going to be an agent again.” I don’t want him ever thinking about how this or that decision will look if he has to go back to representing players down the road. I know with our present gov’t, conflicts of interest are apparently not a big deal, but I don’t think that’s a good working model for running an NBA team.

    As for Morey, he has an incredible track record which I have discussed many times here. What he did during the Yao injury years to build solid 35-40 win teams from castoffs would be worthy of a Moneyball style treatment if they had ever had a cinderella playoff run. He made Chuck Hayes! a relevant NBA name, one of the more remarkable feats in the last two decandes. No one did more with less for a while until he got Harden, which was a masterstroke. Since then, it hasn’t gone as planned, but obviously it’s been way way better than the Knicks.

  78. I just hope this regime knows how to draft players. I’m still high on Deni Avdija – he’s got that ‘old man’ game already: great cutter and passer with a nice outside stroke. But I still like Haliburton too.

  79. “The Knicks are in the best shape looking forward than they’ve been in a generation. The last time they had accumulated this many assets and cap space was before the 1996-1997 team.”

    I’m less enthused.

    They traded Porzingis to get that cap space and two of those picks.

    They would have had Noah and Lee coming off after this year anyway, but instead they still have Noah on for 2 more years. It only took them 3 years to lose KP, put a worse team on the court than they inherited, and that had 20m of cap space on it when it was handed to them.

    We are in very good position, but we are arguably in a worse position than we were 3 years ago depending on if KP stays healthy and turns into a solid #1a or #2 option he’s been looking like lately. Those are the tough players to get. We got very little for him and have no real prospects for one right now.

    It’s on NEW management to try to turn those Dallas picks into a replacement for KP

  80. A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog then agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature.

    wish in one hand, shit in the other – see which fills up first…we may all be fantastic and competent folks here, but the fact remains the team we root for – more directly, those in charge of the team we root for – are most certainly not…nobody here is disillusioned with where we are or where we’ve been as an organization…

    don’t be like erykah badu’s bag lady…probably best to let the KP shit go…i mean what’s the point…he ain’t coming back…

  81. Buckle up. Berman has a list of potential GM candidates, “from NBA sources” (who also say that our new POBO is “a nice guy around the league but would need a lot of help… He isn’t a detail guy.’’

    Chris Wallace
    Bobby Marks (a CAA client)
    Malik Rose
    Troy Weaver (that one’s promising)
    Kenny Smith (just shoot me now)
    John Calipari (ibid)
    Ryan West (Jerry’s son, now working in Clippers scouting department)
    Tayshaun Prince
    Brandon Williams
    Mark Hughes

  82. Speaking of young guys and their minutes:
    Do you think Trier getting zero minutes for about the last two months is helping his performance?
    Asking for a friend

  83. That list looks like someone trying to troll us. God help us if true.

    I like Berman’s description of one of the worst GMs of all time:

    GM Chris Wallace: One of the savviest veterans on the market. Was GM in Memphis for 12 seasons before being reassigned to a scout last year. While he did blow it with Hasheem Thabeet at No. 2 in the 2009 NBA Draft, Wallace presided over the Grizzlies posting winning records for seven straight seasons in the rugged West. Memphis plays in small market where it’s difficult to attract free agents. Prior to Memphis, Wallace was Celtics GM and director of player personnel with the Heat in the 1990s.

  84. Mark Hughes did a great job at Blackburn Rovers but his results have been pretty poor since then. Uhhh, I guess I’d hope for Jerry West’s son assuming he brings his Dad with him

  85. different sport, but, hoping dominick reyes (go cali) turns out the lights for jon jones tomorrow night…he’s a pretty decent underdog, but, jones looked really old and hesitant against santos (another big puncher) last summer…

    trying to party hard like chuck liddel eventually catches up with you…

  86. “No disrespect, but this was kind of a silly, emotional argument about loyalties that don’t exist.
    These guys are all in multi-multi million dollars businesses. They’re all sharks.
    If there is a big, bad-assed, razor-toothed shark out there working against me, I want to hire him.”

    I don’t think it’s a good analogy. Dolan and Rose were working together to facilitate Carmelo Anthony’s happiness. It wasn’t a zero-sum game between them. Rose thought that the Knicks could a) build a winner around Anthony in New York even with a depleted cabinet of assets, and b) win in NY on a mega-max contract. His job wasn’t just to bank lots of dough for his clients, as evidenced by his orchestrations for LeBron. He wanted them to be successful and be in a winning situation and Dolan conspired with him because he sold Dolan a bill of goods he couldn’t deliver on (because, ultimately, he didn’t know how to). It was strongly in his interests, and his clients interests, for the Knicks to win basketball games and compete for championships. To pretend that it wasn’t is the silly argument.

  87. (*Rose repped Bargnani, who was getting paid whether he was traded to the Knicks or not. He thought adding Bargnani to the Mnicks would be a positive difference making move. He didn’t bilk Dolan to get maximum payout for Bargnani. He’d already secured the deal. But he DID think Bargnani would put the Knicks over the top. You really want a razor-toothed, dull-brained shark on your side?)

  88. I am sure that Leon Rose pursued Melo’s interests just as he did LeBron’s but I think Melo’s priorities in his career were something like this:

    1. Get paid
    1A. Get buckets in my preferred style
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    2. Fame
    3. Legacy
    4. Winning

  89. Donnie Walsh:
    (*Rose repped Bargnani, who was getting paid whether he was traded to the Knicks or not. He thought adding Bargnani to the Mnicks would be a positive difference making move. He didn’t bilk Dolan to get maximum payout for Bargnani. He’d already secured the deal. But he DID think Bargnani would put the Knicks over the top. You really want a razor-toothed, dull-brained shark on your side?)

    How is it possible to know what Leon Rose thought about the Bargnani trade?

  90. Chris Wallace
    Bobby Marks (a CAA client)
    Malik Rose
    Troy Weaver (that one’s promising)
    Kenny Smith (just shoot me now)
    John Calipari (ibid)
    Ryan West (Jerry’s son, now working in Clippers scouting department)
    Tayshaun Prince
    Brandon Williams
    Mark Hughes

    A lot of those names are actually pretty promising guys. A bunch of them are not.

  91. I was a card carrying KP fan, but he’s gone now, so its really a waste of energy to talk about what the Knicks could be right now with him. KP was never happy here. A happy KP in Dallas is a more compelling player than an unhappy KP in NY. They blew the team up yet again a year ago. KP is not part of the solution moving forward from this point.

    The point I was making was that the Knicks in my lifetime have never had this many accumulated assets and cap money.

  92. I think you’re really projecting something at a players agent that you can’t possibly know for sure. Toronto was done with Bargnani, and they weren’t a playoff team. He saw the opportunity to get his client to a bigger market, a playoff team who had won 54 games the season prior. We have no idea if he thought Bargnani was actually a good idea, or if he knew he was garbage. He was defending Bargnani’s interests, taking him from a team that was in the limbo in the east for years to a presumably much better squad.

    I’m not defending signing Rose, as I think there were many more qualified guys for the position. But to be so angry at him because our front office decided the east was big, man, seems shortsighted and weirdly spiteful.

  93. He’s got one bad move and then I’m all out on him, and possibly the team forever. I can’t do another five years of veteran overpays, lottery-pick failures and the inevitable late-season win streak that knocks us out of the top 5.

  94. Me too geo. This night-mode is lit.

    An aside: I’ve been invited to try my hand at color commentating for our JC men’s bball team. Can’t say enough how excited I am for this.
    If you wanna listen (and critique me later, lol) this is the audio link: https://www.spreaker.com/user/dgsports

  95. hey cdiggy – don’t you already do the football stuff – or, is that just interviews?

    it’s driving me crazy now cuz i can’t remember what was on the poster – but, when i was a kid i had one of them “blacklight” posters on the wall…all we need is some neon lettering and and i can medicate and marinate away while slipping in to the screen…

  96. Jowles, if you have the willpower to get out and stay out, more power to you. I tried quitting — very publicly, at that — after they didn’t match the Lin offer sheet, and I was back by the following preseason.

  97. Brian, I agree that several of the names are quite promising. If Rose goes the respected assistant GM route, then we could genuinely have something here. If he hires either another outsider like Smith, or a terrible retread like Wallace who won’t threaten his power… then we’ve all seen this show before, and had best follow Jowles out the door.

  98. It seems like when you bring in an agent to make sports decisions you’re not really getting stone cold logical decision making, you’re bringing friendships and relationships and feelings and emotions into the thing. “Hey, Robby Cano is a great guy and a real star, they’ll love him in Flushing.“ That sort of thing.

    I’m pretty sure Leon Rose is going to bring in his cronies and pals, and guys who used to be good four years ago. He’s damn sure not gonna do the smart and patient rebuild that will result in a stable, contending team. I will be very surprised if the Leon Rose Knicks are anything other than the same Win-Now C-List Not-Quite All-Stars we’ve been watching for many years. I’d love to be wrong but I don’t get a good feeling about this at all.

  99. thanks al…wow, there’s always so much shit going on behind the scenes that you’ll usually never even know about…

    it’s kind of crazy the way you dissected the film…that’s a whole lot of details you touched on…a whole lot of details…cutting your draft down to tighten up your article must have been some serious work…

    i just can not imagine deniro in big…can’t do it…robert deniro has a lot going for him – tom hank’s charm though is not included…

    i remember the first time i saw the film, i was surprised by how much i liked it…pretty sure i had it on vhs at one point…

    the scene in the house with his ex and daughter really does stand out during the movie…some heartbreaking stuff right there…

    whenever i watch it now, for some reason i always seem to sympathize the most with poor marvin…

  100. I’ve always loved that movie, Al. Your review captures its appeal perfectly. I thought it was a personal pleasure – didn’t know showrunners and other industry pros also dug it.

  101. Man, that truehoop article about Wes was sure terrifying to read. Yes, he sounds like a really cool dude caring about Curry like that, but we’re bringing in the guy who, despite receiving such praise from LeBron, obviously didn’t manage to sway him into signings with the Knicks… so why exactly should we trust him to get other dudes to do so? He was so loyal to Curry he put all his effort into helping the dude who… was literally done in the NBA and had no place in the league anymore.

    I mean, I’m all for great acts of empathy, but that’s precisely how we end up signing has beens and making terrible illogical decisions which is exactly what we shouldn’t want from a front office guy… I’m officially scared.

  102. Again, Wes orders a Shirley Temple with a side of orange juice when he goes out to eat. He’s operating on a different level

  103. Owen,

    I was away from my computer and phone. My son’s birthday. He turns 17 and I took him to dinner.
    But I wanted to say I appreciate your answer. Thoughtful as usual. I’m not as moved by the emotional aspects of your concern. But I respect them. You were one of those early voices on Curry. I remember well.
    As for the revolving door concern, I get it. But these people have profit motives at heart. He may or may not do the job well; that is a valid concern. But I don’t care what he might do down the road. I think he will be focused on this job.

    But he will be fighting up stream. He will face many handicaps.

  104. Being a Knicks fan is a special kind of handicap.

    CDiggy, huge fan. GO ELAC!

    (Right? Or am I a Trade Tech guy now?)

    Also, I didn’t know what Soju was before tonight. Soju is better than night mode.

  105. My goodness, the Jazz won with the most blatant goaltending I’ve ever seen, what the actual hell was that.

    The NBA really should start punishing these referees or actually making a replay system that damn works, this is preposterous.

  106. “I think you’re really projecting something at a players agent that you can’t possibly know for sure. Toronto was done with Bargnani, and they weren’t a playoff team. He saw the opportunity to get his client to a bigger market, a playoff team who had won 54 games the season prior. We have no idea if he thought Bargnani was actually a good idea, or if he knew he was garbage. He was defending Bargnani’s interests, taking him from a team that was in the limbo in the east for years to a presumably much better squad. I’m not defending signing Rose, as I think there were many more qualified guys for the position. But to be so angry at him because our front office decided the east was big, man, seems shortsighted and weirdly spiteful.”

    It was speculated at the time by well sourced people. Howard Beck wrote this: “it was CAA, according to sources, that persuaded Dolan to make the ill-fated trade for its client Andrea Bargnani—over the concerns of the Knicks’ front office.” If Rose orchestrated the Bargnani trade to help Bargnani, but knew that it would simultaneously hurt his other clients (Carmelo Anthony, The Smiths, Mike Woodson), then he shouldn’t have done it. If he orchestrated it because he thought the Knicks were one Bargnani away from being a championship team, then it makes more sense.

    Also, I don’t think it’s weirdly spiteful to call attention to Leon Rose’s hand in running the Knicks into the ground. We all share a collective trauma over the Bargnani trade here. To dismiss it now because Leon Rose is a Knick isn’t like rooting for Jordan and Reggie Miller if they had become Knicks in the late 90s. Like Max’s article from 2012, there were many well documented sources about how Dolan was colluding with CAA (Chris Smith, the Chase deal, etc.), which involved them working together to build a winning team (considering every significant member of the team was repped by the agency, there was undoubtedly a mutual interest in the success of the team).

  107. I think we’re all really underestimating Steve Stoute’s role in this. Its kind of scary to think the guy Puffy beat up is now the Dolan Whisperer.

  108. Leon fucking Rose. It’s so bizarre that I can only imagine it unfolding like a decade-long horror movie, another in a long line of horrible sequels that just get worse and worse. And of course, it happens the day after all of us were thinking how great it was that we fired Mills and that we were finally going to bring Ujiri on board.

  109. I’m sorry, maybe many people here thought we were getting Ujiri, but I never did.

    The more I hear about agents becoming GMs, the less I like the idea. Pelinka got lucky with AD, but I think he paid a high price, Myers, in Golden State, hasn’t been looking great lately, and there was Pete D’Alessandro as GM of the Kong’s, whose tenure was regarded as disastrous. Honestly, I’d rather have Perry, but I’m sure it is not to be.

  110. I think we could easily wait for the end of the season and see if Ujiri would be cheaper then, but I don’t see it happening. For some reason, Dolan sees PBO as a position that can’t be empty long.

  111. as i see it there are three possible good rings of leon outcomes under our new overlords, each admittedly far fetched.

    1. weon hire a highly competent analytics friendly basketball gm and delegate actual responsibility, reserving their superpower to sell players on the new knicks when needed.

    2. weon make a lot of basketball decisions but manage to attract two genuine superstars such that it doesn’t much matter.

    3. weon fails fast and hard, but dolan finds that he has allowed in the one fox who can breach the supervoting stock that secures his henhouse. weon use their superpower to generate an unprecedented crescendo of dolan-blame amid players, media and even the league and he finally says fuck it and pukes the team out as the bottom turtle in his lifelong tapestry of escher spinoffs.

    or of course in the much closer fetched scenario we max derozan and trade mitch rj and three unprotected firsts for beal and this blog pivots back to its true love, korean fire chicken.

  112. “It’s my favorite movie, Geo. Have written about it many times, including here.”

    LOVE Midnight Run, Alsep, I can’t tell you how many times I watched it on cable over the years.

    Final scene – DeNiro trying to get a cab at the airport and all he has is a stack of 100’s Grodin just gave him. Cabbies curse him out when he asks if they’ll take a 100. Final line by DeNiro:

    “Well, looks like I’m walking”

  113. Yeah, between the euphoria of Mills getting fired and the team actually correctly completing a slam-dunk trade that any team would have easily made, the Rose news didn’t really sink in for me until today.

    I think this is going to be really, epically bad, but one can’t claim to be surprised because, after all, it’s Dolan. Looking at the Nets, who Stoute rebranded, they don’t even seem to have a POBO. Marks is their GM, of course, but he’s a legit basketball guy. But things can’t be simple with the Knicks.

    Why Dolan even needs this dual president role is beyond me, not to mention why this hire couldn’t wait until the end of the year. Even if I believed Rose and Wes were going to be good at their jobs, this extra layer of interference, which will no doubt be skewed by agent alignments/endorsement deals/popularity contests, can only be an obstacle against building a winning team.

    This will surely mean another decade of Melo-type moves, and I don’t think I can take that honestly. Unfortunately, all the other allegiances I lay claim to (Brooklyn, Atlanta, Chicago) are also broken systems. It feels weird to want to move to Memphis or New Orleans for basketball reasons, but here we are…

  114. I just did some research on Harkless and frankly, he’s a nicer player for this team than Morris. Smart, selfless, versatile, efficient, 2-way bench-level player. I wouldn’t mind re-signing him to a 2-3 year 7-figure deal!

  115. Would the media go with Rose when he does the Curry type trades, and hands out the MMM type contracts? With previous regimes agent relationships and interests were under the table. This time it would be out in the open.

    Maybe it’s typical to the age of Trump capitalism. You do this shit out in the open and your base cheers on.

  116. Rose is coming into maybe the best situation that any POBO/GM has inherited in like forever. We have a tone of draft picks and no albatross contracts. It would be nice if we had at least one or two can’t miss prospects, but then maybe Mills wouldn’t have gotten fired.

    I guess we have to hold out hope that Rose knows that he would become a NY legend if he resurrected this team in a patient, logical way, and would become Phil 2.0 if he fucks it up. He obviously knows how the cap works, has an eye for talent, is well-connected, and knows how to bargain. It’s just a question of whether he can do the same thing he’s been doing except for the other side. Can he possibly be worse than Mills?

  117. Can he possibly be worse than Mills?

    Are you kidding? This is the Knicks

    And I’m not sure why you think Rose has a good eye for talent?

  118. I think we could easily wait for the end of the season and see if Ujiri would be cheaper then, but I don’t see it happening. For some reason, Dolan sees PBO as a position that can’t be empty long.

    This is one of the more baffling aspects of this saga.

    Rose isn’t even in charge. He needs to decertify. Why was there even a rush? What couldn’t we just let Perry handle the deadline and wait? What good can Leon Rose do for us now?

    I think it was a combination of impetuosity on Dolan’s end and urgency on the end of Stoute and CAA. The latter knew this was their chance to consolidate power and made sure Dolan didn’t wait. Why he believed them is beyond me.

  119. Good point, it’s hard to tell when your job is to milk as much money out of a team given your client’s perceived value, which may be a distortion of reality. But part of that job has to involve a realistic appraisal of your client’s actual profile, doesn’t it?

    Effective bargaining is everything, given cap constraints. Mills and PJax were terrible at negotiating, continually bidding against themselves and paying far above market value (or getting back far less than market value) in virtually every deal they made. The best hope is that Rose knows how to win deals and does that over and over again, like he did as an agent.

  120. This can’t be from the McKinsey “playbook”…seems like the dreaded Jimmy thinking “outside the box” (meaning no thinking just reacting) with a little Stoute whispering in his ear…sprinkled with the normal ineptitude of the overall organization….

  121. is it weird that i think we should set ellington free and pick up bender. he’s been awful but he’s only 22 and played well in the g league.

  122. brad turner wrote in the la times that the lakers did offer kuzma and green. he said the knicks countered by asking instead for bradley cousins and a second instead of green. brad townsend has written dallas was willing to send their gsw 2nd to the knicks for green (and presumably courtney lee’s expiring).

    this is a very strange combination of facts.

  123. Z-man, I certainly hope so. But I worry he will value counting stats too much and not understand what it takes to make a good team. It’s why I prefer Perry. He has enough experience coaching that I think he has a better chance of putting together a good team.

  124. After we tried to revive Mario Hezonja’s career, I see no harm in doing the same with Bender. It’s probably pointless but also costs nothing so why the hell.

  125. Re: Bender, the numbers from his one full season look better than those of our crap rookies (which isn’t saying much), but the total lack of rebounding from a 7-footer is alarming.

  126. Some things I notice about Harkless:
    1) He has very good shot selection: nearly all of his shots are either at the rim or from 3
    2) He’s another lousy FT shooter (but hardly ever goes to the line)
    3) He doesn’t pass or rebound very well

  127. I can’t wait to run out a lineup of Mo, Mitch, Hinton, Frank and Payton. We might lose every game but will defend lamf…

  128. Harkless is a decent player who plays within his limitations, just a run of the mill, capable forward. If he wants to stay next season and the Knicks sign him to a cheap contract I’m fine with it.

    MKG though has barely played this season and he’s never seem to figure it out, maybe he can be a plus defender for a team like Dallas, but I doubt he’ll make much of an impact anywhere.

  129. There are actually a decent number of Knick fans on the internet that actually thinks the current Knicks can make a real run at the 8th seed this season. Many of them think the media is unfair with their criticism of the front office and call it #knicksforclicks. It’s truly mind boggling.

  130. ess-dog: This will surely mean another decade of Melo-type moves, and I don’t think I can take that honestly.

    This comes down to the question about if an agent can become an effective GM. There are pluses and minuses. The big minus is that he comes in knowing that Dolan is impatient. What strategy will he employ to rebuild? The blueprint might be to trade picks and players for bonafide stars and pay up. By stars, I mean top 30 players. It’s time the Knicks grab a couple. Don’t you all lament not going after Kemba and Butler instead of the 7-amigos we did sign?

  131. “Charlotte is buying out MKG. I wonder if anyone will even bother picking him up”

    Fun fact: Leon Rose negotiated that MKG contract.

    (I’ve actually followed that contract over the years. MKG was a guy much like Ntilikina. He was a young, physical, high draft pick who was terrible on offense but presumably excellent on defense. He got the extension based on his ability to be a game-changer defensively, with the hopes that his offense would improve. It never did, and there was basically no role for him in the modern NBA.)

  132. “brad turner wrote in the la times that the lakers did offer kuzma and green. he said the knicks countered by asking instead for bradley cousins and a second instead of green. brad townsend has written dallas was willing to send their gsw 2nd to the knicks for green (and presumably courtney lee’s expiring). this is a very strange combination of facts.”

    Fun fact: Leon Rose reps Kuzma.

    At least he did, up until the moment of the event that you are describing.

    Coincidence?

  133. Sounds like Ellington is going to be bought out.

    That should free up some extra time for Dotson, Frank, and/or hopefully Trier to get some extra minutes.

  134. “Eustacchio Raulli
    @EVR1022
    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist:

    3 Year Luck Adj DRAPM –

    2013-15: 4.17
    2017-19: 4.57

    MKG is a defensive star that could never find a viable offensive role. If Dallas can overcome that obstacle with Carlisle, Luka, and Porzi, this could be a high impact signing.

    MKG is 26 years old.”

  135. And hell no I don’t lament not going for Kemba plus Butler. The objective is to build a team that can be a true contender, not the new 2012-13 Knicks.

    I love how people have been harping on that Harden is ineffective in the playoffs because he can’t get the same amount of free throws, yet when Jimmy Butler shoots 25% from 3, not a typo, and has a .703 FTr, also not a typo, its suddenly not a big deal apparently.

  136. GoNYGoNYGo – Ready for 2020 Knicks 2.0: . Don’t you all lament not going after Kemba and Butler instead of the 7-amigos we did sign?

    There’s a world of difference between the situation the Celtics are in and the situation the Knicks are in. Because the Celtics are already under paying for lots of talent, it makes sense for them to overpay a bit to get them into the elite. What helps one team hurts another. The Knicks, having virtually no starter caliber players, would be hurt by the kemba contract. Even with Jimmy Butler, who wasn’t going to come here anyway, the Knicks would be a forgettable team.

    Think of late-prime non Superstar stars as payday loans. If they get you over the threshold to buy the life-saving medical procedure you need, then they are great idea. NBA’s version of a life-saving medical procedure is contending for a title. however, if they don’t do that, and they just end up costing you a shit ton and interest later on.

    This isn’t even hypothetical. the last two times the Knicks went all in on free agents they signed Amar’e stoudemire and then later joakim Noah. Are you into the idea of repeating that?

  137. Oh, and let’s talk about the heat. Do you think the Knicks will draft 3 rotation players in the second round this summer? Do you think Frank ntilikina will take a bam adebayo level leap? The heat are fluke big-time. The front office deserves some credit for finding those players, but there’s only so much of an effect strategy can have on such high variance type things.

  138. Pat Riley has made mistakes, especially in recent years, but it’s Pat “Freaking” Riley.

    On a net basis he has excelled as a coach and in management with just about every style of basketball there is from one extreme to the other, pulls off miraculous deals, gets players to buy into what he’s doing, develops them, gets them into the best shape of their lives, gets them to sacrifice stats and money for the good of the team, creates great coaches, and does nothing but win.

    The whole game has a random element to it, with good and bad luck coming and going, but in the long run no one has done it better than Riley except Red Auerbach. He’s a legitimate executive of the year candidate maybe only behind Memphis. (without ever tanking a game)

  139. Sounds like Ellington is going to be bought out.

    That should free up some extra time for Dotson, Frank, and/or hopefully Trier to get some extra minutes.

    it definitely feels like we’ve gone out of the way to be cool with the players on our roster (give wayne some run and then cut him free) over the last few years (except for the phil melo thing – which was actually a strategy of antagonistic behavior with the goal of getting melo to relinquish something the same individual negotiated away a couple of years prior)…

    other than that though – and, whatever weird thing might be happening with trier (i wounder if he ever refused playing for westchester), we seem to have been cool with most everyone else…

    the noah stuff was a 100% on him…

  140. The difference between having guys like Butler and Kemba on your team and not is that they would draw more players. We’re never going to be even decent unless we both get lucky in the draft and start accumulating real players.

    No, the Knicks are not where the Celtics or Heat are but we have to get to their level before we exceed their level and we’ve stayed put.

  141. The point is that just being decent means nothing in terms of taking the leap to the next level. The Hornets had Kemba for almost a decade and never manage to build anything around him, and if we got him we would be at the same level they were, Kemba plus a decent player here and there. Taking the leap from decent to good contender is not a sure thing at all, and if it doesn’t work, instead of a new rebuild with a relatively clean slate, now you’re paying 33 year old Kemba and Butler 80 million.

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