Portland Trail Blazers 93 – New York Knicks 117 – Game Recap

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: Carmelo Anthony ends up as the leading scorer of a whole game, on a fairly efficient night (26 points on 17 shots) but the team he’s playing for loses the game badly; then you go and check the boxscore a bit more and notice that Melo has zero assists for the night, and you think back at the game and realize that Melo was pretty much a lone gunner that never helped set the tone on offense and got roasted more than a couple times on defense.

Well, for once we know how that feels from the other side. While I harbor no ill will toward Melo – we’re long past that, right now it’s like bumping into an ex three-four years after you went separate ways and politely say hello and wishing him/her all the best but ultimately not caring that much – I’ve always taken solace in schadenfreuding other teams that had the best player/scorer but ultimately couldn’t snatch the prize (I’m still overjoyed at the thought of the Mavs winning the title in 2011 after the villain-y LeBron decision to cornily bring his talents to South Beach, not to talk about the utter delight in seeing Bron’s stint in Miami end in shambles in 2014 against the joga bonito Spurs). Now, sure, Melo wasn’t even remotely the best player on the floor last night, but that would not stop me from living vicariously the experience of a fan who got his team pitted against the Knicks from 2014 to 2017. It drew a wide, if bitter, smile on my mouth.

But what about the game? Was this game a New Year’s proposition thing? Was it a sign of things to come? Or was it just a lucky game against an injury-plagued opponent with a discombobulated superstar?

If I had to guess, I’d say the latter. We’ve gotten better but there’s no way we’re already at the point where we comfortably hold opponents at arm’s length just because we’re good like that.

That said, all throughout the second half I never felt half an ounce of fear that we would relinquish the lead: things looked too smooth, too easy, too “right” in a certain way. Shots were falling because they were good shots; the ball moved (29 assists!) in a very concerted team effort; the defense kind of held its own – and was helped by one of the worst shooting games Lillard ever played. It was the show of a team asserting its superiority against an outmatched one, even if for one night (although this makes it two in the last seven, given the beating we reserved to Atlanta).

From a tactical standpoint, this game was another mild reassurance that Miller actually puts some thought into games: the insertion of Bullock into the rotation gave way to the spotty resurgence of the double handoff, but this time (instead of the half-assed version that was an absurd staple of Fiz’s offense) it happened occasionally and with full purpose, with the evident aim to give the ball handler an advantage at the top of the key and to free up shooters just above the break. It worked a bit. It was good to see a new basic wrinkle that was obviously not randomly thrown to the wall.

You know what else worked? The effing PnR with Mitch! Now, I wouldn’t advise to get too excited about it because it happened against Whiteside, one of the worst (at least to the eye test – but I have no doubt that Synergy numbers or Cleaning the Glass could confirm what I’m only inferring) PnR defending centers in the league, a possibly hungover Lillard and the worst rotation “wing” defender this side of Knox (yup, still Melo), but yet. You have a dominant offensive weapon, you ought to use it. Even better: you’re morally bound to use it. Pick and rolls featuring Mitch and an average passer/ball handler won’t always (ever?) result again in a perfect shooting night for Robinson, but if you can make teams fear a particular play that means they have to adjust, and with Morris and Bullock on the wings and the reborn Randle looking capable to hit the three at a decent clip, spacing could be wondrous out there. Now imagine if you also mix and match that with a few PnRs with Randle, who’s a good-to-great passer on the short roll, and voilà! It’s suddenly a modern offense inhabiting the neglected spoils of this franchise. Amazing, ain’t it?

On to single player analysis!

The good:

– Oh well, this one is super easy. Mitch Robinson (22 pts, 8 rebs, 1 blk, +22 +/-) just took the game and made it his bitch. It’s not about the simple fact that he tied the Knicks record for most field goals made without missing a shot or that he was amazing on defense, demonstrating for the umpteenth time that block numbers don’t always correlate with good defensive results (his BLK% this year is 8.0, still good for second in the whole League, to last year’s 10.0, but there’s no comparison between the overall great defender Mitch has been in the last few games and the Melbourne Shuffle dancing octopus that he was last year). It’s that he looked downright Dr. Manhattan in Vietnam, especially on the alley-oop connection with Randle in the first quarter. Randle threw a pass that was a foot too high and half a foot too wide, only for Mitch to catch it and throw it down like it was no thing, only with his back partially to the basket and momentum carrying him out of the court. That was a superhuman thing. But what I’m happiest about Mitch is that he’s definitely not plateaued. He’s still improving as a player, and that was the most important thing for the 2019-20 season. If the only thing Miller ever did with this team was to teach Mitch how to defend well 80% of the time, it would still be a gigantic win. As long as Pills recognize at last the immense value Mitch has. Oh, and after last night (only the 48th time in NBA’s history that someone’s hit at least 11 shots without missing one) Mitch’s sporting the best Offensive Rating in the whole League. Last 10 games for Robinson: 12.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.9 BPG, 1.0 SPG, 74.7 FG% in 25 MPG. And “only” 3.7 fouls per game. That’s elite production, guys.

– Julius Randle (22 pts, 13 rebs, 3 ast, +11 +/-) is looking like the guy we thought we signed for. Miller’s Sound if Basic Elixir’s doing its job, huh? Under Miller, Randle’s posting these numbers: 22.6 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.9 APG (to 2.2 TPG) on 48.3/37.7/77.4 splits. Is it sustainable? It certainly looks like it is (save for the three point shooting, which is bound to come down). At the very least, this kind of production will up Randle’s trade value. Given Randle’s weird fit with Mitch, trading him might still be the best case long term scenario; still, if it doesn’t happen you can already see some shades of Randle doing his best Draymond impression on offense to make space for Robinson’s preternatural diving talent.

– Honorable mention for Frank Ntilikina (9 pts, 3 rebs, 10 ast, +23 +/-) who quite improbably was at the helm during the decisive stretch between the third and fourth quarter. While a few of his assists came on bush-league six-foot passes to a shooter on the perimeter, his PnRs with Mitch were the apple of my eye. Frank’s very deliberate (or you can say slow) in his pick and roll enterprises, but it’s the play where his passing acumen shines through. And no turnovers for the game! His defense was nothing special, at least for his standards, but his team command was borderline impressive this time. I won’t say anything too positive about Frank until he proves he can string together three such performances in a row, but I can’t help feeling the warmth in my heart watching those outing by my beautiful French prince. Also, what a nasty dunk in the second half. The game was already half-baked, but we need more of that Frank. Sitting “comfortably” at .043 WP/48 and 0.0 VORP for the season.

The bad:

– Nah.

– Oh come on, it’s the first day of the year!

– Ok. Well, RJ Barrett (7 pts, 4 rebs, 25% FG, -6 +/-) is due for a rest. I’m starting to worry a bit about him. Let’s see what happens when we look at him through Miller’s special glasses (that is, the .500 stint of the last 12 games): 12 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.7 APG (to 1.7 TPG, ouch), 0.4 SPG on shooting splits of 36.4/33.3/60 and 30.5 MPG. The assists and steals numbers are very worrisome. They scream “useless player”. The eye test is even worse. That said, I say: give the kid the full road trip off. Let Bullock, Trier and Dotson get his minutes for that time. Let’s ease him back into the rotation from the bench waiting for Morris to get traded. Keeping him on the court as the third/fourth wheel on offense makes no sense to me.

Fun-sized bits:

– Great debut by Reggie Bullock. 15 minutes, 11 points on 9 shots (3/5 from three), good effort and positioning on defense. As soon as he gets his legs under him, give him the starting nod over RJ or Dotson. If someone enquiries about him, trade him. See? It’s easy.

– A propos of Morris, he was nowhere to be found in the first half (2 points, 0/8 from the field). Then he erupted in the third and ended the game with 18/7/3. He’s trending down, but he’s still quite good. Taking a bit of a backseat to Randle these days.

– Payton shot like shit (2/9) but still grabbed 4 boards, dished 8 assists and blocked two shots. I feel quite safe in his hands.

– Then again, he’s the fourth player I’ve invested with the “passable floor general” title in the last three years. I’m like those people who just can’t wait to fall in love and design the next person who shows a bit of interest in them as “the right one”. Save me from my PG hunger.

– Clyde was strangely snarky talking about Melo’s days with the Knicks and his egotistical ways. A bit bitter, even. It hurts my feeling to hear angry Clyde. Even when he’s totally right. Give Clyde access to a ruruland news feed.

– As a last note, David Stern passed away last night. On multiple accounts, he was a prick and there were a few instances of weird underhanded race things here and there during his reign (dress code anyone?). At the same time, there’s no NBA without him. I wouldn’t have grown as a die-hard NBA fan in Italy. I wouldn’t be writing here. I mean, without David Stern I wouldn’t be what I am (yeah, I consider the passion for the NBA an integral part of me). So, I salute you, Emeritus Commissioner, Architect of the global NBA.

Ready for a likely 0-4 Western road trip? It’s very easy to fall back on earth before January, 15th.

For now, let my eyes get dreamy!

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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).

279 thoughts to “Portland Trail Blazers 93 – New York Knicks 117 – Game Recap”

  1. Great work as always, Farfa!

    Porting over a comment from the end of the old thread, this was close to the platonic ideal of a Knicks win:

    * Mitch was godlike, and in a way that suggests he and/or Miller understand how much they should be running PNR with him.
    * Frank played as well — both aggressive and under control — on offense as we’ve ever seen him.
    * Randle continues his upswing, which matters whether he’s here long-term or we’re trying to trade him
    * Morris had a great second half in front of one of the teams we might be able to trade him to
    * Bullock spaced the floor, played solid D, and showed no rust, and he’s useful as either an ongoing piece or a trade chit
    * Portis played well and mostly under control, though I think his contract is going to be harder to trade than Morris or Bullock’s
    * Knox’s shot was a little off, but he was taking good looks and was active on the boards and on D.

    It’s not a perfect game because Barrett was so lousy, and probably needs a break now that Bullock has returned. But this was a very nice balance of short and long-term value at play there.

  2. The winning is fun but it’s hard to cheer for more victories because we still need a lot more talent on this team.

    Checking out tankathon we could easily drop way to the late portion of the lottery if this trend continues. Not good!

  3. I can’t complain about a win fueled by Mitch having a career game, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified about potentially not trading Morris et al. because of a long shot chance of getting our asses handed to us by the Bucks in 4 games. With Pills fighting for their jobs, it’s hard to see them not chasing every last 2019-2020 win.

    I’m not even bent out of shape about the lottery implications because this class isn’t great and the new odds lower those stakes. It would just be so gutting to pass up a free first round pick because Steve Mills needed to save face.

  4. It would just be so gutting to pass up a free first round pick because Steve Mills needed to save face.

    If we’re reading the Berman piece about KAT as Mills publicly floating his job-saving plan, then I think we can assume they value the first-round pick more than they value Marcus Morris Sr’s veteran presence on the team. Though there have been conflicting reports about whether Morris would actually net us a first. If the best we can do is a second, or even two seconds, do we still do it? In most ways, veteran leadership is wildly overblown, but Mitch talked at length last night about how inspired he was to come out and ball because the reserves got their asses handed to them in practice, and that Morris was talking a lot of smack that fired him up.

    UPDATE: Just re-reading the last sentence of that paragraph embarrasses me. I apologize wholeheartedly and unreservedly.

  5. Ah, life as a Knicks fan.

    Get blown out at home by Cleveland or Sacramento? “Fuck, this franchise is a total train wreck, everyone needs to go, blow this mother-effer up!”

    Win three in a row? “Fuck, this means Mills might keep his job and we get the #8 pick in the draft!”

    Farfa, your recaps are always a highlight of my day. Love the comparison of Melo to the ex-girlfriend, perfect!

  6. I think you trade Morris for whatever you can get. Sure, we’re only 5 games out of the playoffs, but we’re also second from last and we’re behind 6 other teams and we’re about to go on the road and start losing (I guess Phoenix is beatable, especially if rubio is hurt).

  7. Ah, life as a Knicks fan.

    Get blown out at home by Cleveland or Sacramento? “Fuck, this franchise is a total train wreck, everyone needs to go, blow this mother-effer up!”

    Win three in a row? “Fuck, this means Mills might keep his job and we get the #8 pick in the draft!”

    Yeah… We’ve all been mentally fucked up by this organization.

  8. We need more young, good players. An 8-seed is functionally useless, as you’re going to face the Bucks and get swept by 20+ every night. I bet Giannis wouldn’t play a 4th quarter in the whole series.

    We need better draft picks (even though it’s abundantly clear that you can find excellent players after the lottery). We need a no-doubt franchise player. Morris is short-term indulgence for failure in the long term.

    NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony said last month that his No. 15 jersey should be retired by the Denver Nuggets.

    What about his No. 7 at Madison Square Garden?

    After scoring a season-high 26 points for the Portland Trail Blazers in a 117-93 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, Anthony said that he thought about it during the game, which was just his second back at MSG since he was traded by the Knicks more than two years ago.

    “I don’t know,” Anthony said with a smile. “You gotta ask them.”

    “…uh, nah.”

  9. I’m so burnt as a Knicks fan I just want to see interesting games. Good draft picks, playoff contention, and league respect are just hypotheticals that experience has taught me won’t happen or, if they do, won’t do much for the overall state of the team. When we have fun wins like last night I just want more of them, draft consequences be damned.

  10. As always, thanks Farfa.
    FWIW, Mitch appears to be getting some organizational respect. Clyde adverted to the idea that Mitch is regarded as the player on the Knicks with the most upside and in the first quarter, a graphic was run on MSG network showing that the Knicks were 6 and 5 when Mitch played >30 minutes.

  11. It would be interesting to know if we’re running more pick and roll with Miller in charge. Mitch and Randle are both effective roll men.

  12. I think you trade Morris for whatever you can get.

    Oh, there’s no doubt about it. Morris can be a positive influence (…even though I have my doubts about him being a good all-around locker room guy), but there’s no reason at all not to rent him away.

    Does he like it here in NY? Tell him signing him back will be one of our priorities. Do young people need him around? Maybe, but then again what are we paying a coaching staff for?

  13. But seriously, Allan Houston played 9 years with the Knicks and helped bring us 60 playoff games and an improbable Finals run under his tenure. Not a chance he should have had his jersey retired. Oakley gave his prime to this team and made 103 playoff game appearances. Still not worthy of joining Clyde and Big Pat up there.

    Melo? 5 and a half years, a gutting trade in, a merciful trade out, 21 playoff games and just one series win. Oh yeah, but he won a scoring title!

    No fucking chance. John Starks deserves a place in the rafters before Melo does.

  14. there’s no reason at all not to rent him away.

    Remind me: Bird rights don’t exist for a one-year contract, but I could have sworn I read something about how the monetary amount of the deal did give an advantage to whatever team he’s on at season’s end. I just have no idea what that advantage would or could be.

  15. When we have fun wins like last night I just want more of them, draft consequences be damned.

    If you like watching wins that much, you should be praying for losses so you can have way, way more wins later. Imagine that the Knicks had Doncic right now. Imagine watching him go off for an efficient 25, 12 and 10 on a regular basis. Imagine him lobbing endlessly to Mitch, turning him into an All-NBA candidate.

    Think back to the 2017-18 season. Five wins were the difference between the Knicks at lottery position #9 and the Mavs at #3. Do you remember any of those wins fondly, off the top of your head?

  16. but I could have sworn I read something about how the monetary amount of the deal did give an advantage to whatever team he’s on at season’s end. I just have no idea what that advantage would or could be.

    If I remember correctly you can sign him over the cap at 120% of his previous salary. It’s definitely a premium, but we shouldn’t care about it now. Those things are precious for a playoff contender, we are bottom-dwellers with a potential boatload of cap space so I don’t think it makes that much of a difference.

  17. Remind me: Bird rights don’t exist for a one-year contract, but I could have sworn I read something about how the monetary amount of the deal did give an advantage to whatever team he’s on at season’s end. I just have no idea what that advantage would or could be.

    It’s just the non-bird exception which I think is 120% of the previous salary – the advantage it gives is that it allows a team that is over the cap to re-sign its own free agent even though it doesn’t have early or full bird rights on him. So let’s say Morris’s market value is $15-18MM but the team we trade him only has $7MM in free cap next summer. They could use the non-bird exception to offer him as much as $18MM in the first year of a 4 year contract rather than being limited to $7MM starting.

  18. I realize our “n” for Reggie Bullock is 1 game, but he really is an asset on his contract which as far as I can tell is 2 years, 8.2MM with only 1 MM guaranteed in the 2nd year.

    My preference would honestly be to trade Ellington and Dotson before trading Bullock. Ellington because he’s basically superfluous, and Dotson because as much as I like him, Dot is a restricted FA this summer, is probably not as good as Bullock, and likely is going to get a contract significantly greater than $4.2MM next year. Even Bullock’s 150% cap hold next summer is probably less than his market value — he’d still have significant trade value next season if we want to trade him, and on top of that, his salary is small enough that even should we somehow have a big FA summer in 2021, it shouldn’t be too much of an impediment.

  19. I don’t post very often here, but a comment on a previous thread made me think of something:

    For this year, given the state of the team record wise, and the ability to lure free agents, I think the far greater evil is not trading guys like Morris, Ellington, Portis, etc, than say, winning 34 games and screwing up our draft pick in a flattened lottery.

    Just wondering what the general opinion on that is….

  20. Just wondering what the general opinion on that is….

    Given that this is KB and not r/Knicks, I’d wager the vast majority of the board does agree with you. I, for one, do :)

  21. and likely is going to get a contract significantly greater than $4.2MM next year

    I doubt this very much. In three season he’s posted a -3.1, -2.3, and -3.1 BPM, with a .042 career WS48. He’s a terrible scorer, doesn’t pass, doesn’t rebound, doesn’t generate turnovers and isn’t much on defense, either.

    Mudiay, Hezonja, WCS, Nerlens Noel, Jah Okafor, and a bunch of other former lottery picks are all on minimum deals. I cannot believe that a bench player on the league’s worst team is going to be drawing a ton of attention above the vet’s min.

    I’d guess he’ll get a 1+1 from some dumb team like the Kings, Suns or Hornets trying to fill out their bench for garbage minutes.

  22. For this year, given the state of the team record wise, and the ability to lure free agents, I think the far greater evil is not trading guys like Morris, Ellington, Portis, etc, than say, winning 34 games and screwing up our draft pick in a flattened lottery.

    I’d much rather have 5 late firsts or early seconds than a #5 pick (provided that I were not allowed to trade the pick down for more assets, should the guy I want be sitting in the early 20s like Clarke was). But of course, why not have both?

  23. Just wondering what the general opinion on that is….

    Always read. Rarely post. Totally agree with KnickFaninChicago.

    +1 on Dr. Manhattan = MitchRob. Love the recaps, Farfa!

    +1 on Me7o never getting his jersey up in the rafters.

  24. In this snapshot of time (not counting potential improvement), the Knicks don’t have a legitimate #1 or #2 scoring option. Those are far and away the hardest players to get. That’s why teams sometimes gamble and pay a premium for a young player that seems reasonably likely to reach that level even if he’s not there yet. They understand the risk he might not develop, but they do it anyway and are often correct to do so (but not always) .

    Here’s why.

    For simplicity’s sake, let’s say each win a player generates is worth 2 million on AVERAGE.

    The difference between generating 3 wins or 5 wins is worth less than 4 million because of the abundance or role players.

    The difference between generating 10 wins and 12 wins is greater than 4 million and so on until you reach the top because of the rarity of those players and NEED to have players like that to become a serious contender. It’s not a linear 2 million. The closer you get to potentially becoming a #1 or #2 player the more your value accelerates.

    There are a few ways to get a #1 or #2 option.

    1. You can tank for multiple years until at least one falls in your lap and then pray he and/or any other good players with potential don’t want to leave if you still suck a few years later. (even the rumors about KAT come to mind here, let alone Davis and KP)

    2. You can get one in free agency, but you usually already have to be a very good team.

    3. You can trade for one, but you have to have EXCESS assets so you don’t gut the team to get him and you have to very good team so he says OK to the trade.

    4.You can get incredibly lucky in the draft.

    The Knicks have to choose carefully from here because they need to balance getting better with the risks of not getting better.

  25. If you like watching wins that much, you should be praying for losses so you can have way, way more wins later.

    That logic assumes that Knick’s management will turn draft assets into enjoyable wins. History has shown that to be a very weak basis for optimism.

  26. +1 on Me7o never getting his jersey up in the rafters.

    I wouldn’t have even brought it up had he not given that wink-wink answer.

    That logic assumes that Knick’s management will turn draft assets into enjoyable wins. History has shown that to be a very weak basis for optimism.

    There is nothing more cynical than praying for draft-busting, meaningless wins in January because you think that the Knicks management, inept as they are, can never turn a guaranteed top-5 pick into a franchise player.

    If they had stumbled upon Doncic we’d be looking at a decade of playoff runs. From one pick alone.

  27. Mudiay, Hezonja, WCS, Nerlens Noel, Jah Okafor, and a bunch of other former lottery picks are all on minimum deals. I cannot believe that a bench player on the league’s worst team is going to be drawing a ton of attention above the vet’s min.

    None of these players are player archetypes that are flexible and potentially valuable in playoff series when any weakness gets exposed. Bigs in general are much less valuable than wings. Offense only bigs (Okafor) make nothing, Nerlens will probably get much more than the minimum on his next contract, and WCS doesn’t really do anything well. Mudiay is Mudiay, and Hezonja isn’t good at all. Dotson IMHO has shown enough to warrant someone giving a taxpayer MLE type number on, even if it’s just a short contract (not to mention his own little Zach Lowe write-up).

  28. Regardless, we really should be doing our best to unload Morris, Ellington, Dotson or Bullock, Portis, and honestly probably Elfrid Payton, who might be good enough to get an ok second rounder out of someone who needs a dependable backup PG. If we could turn those players into a first and 3 seconds in aggregate, that would be pretty gratifying to me.

  29. Dotson sucks but he looks like a player who could be useful. I’m always surprised when I check his stats and see how bad he is.

  30. This Knicks management would have drafted Trae over Doncic.

    Melo should not come close to sniffing the MSG rafters. Denver would make more sense IMO.

    Strat, Randle/Morris is a legit #2 scorer and Mitch is a legit #3 scorer. What they are missing is a #1 scorer.

  31. Frank looked like a stud in the 2nd half last night (I missed most of the first half). I missed the previous game, where he apparently played well. So, that’s two games in a row, but of course he needs to become more consistent.

    RJB is a mess. He really needs to start hitting some outside shots.

    I really wouldn’t trade Payton for a second rounder. Elfrank Paykina might end up being okay for now, though PG is still need #1. Last night they had 18 assists and 0 turnovers.

    Absolutely you trade Morris if you can get a 1st rounder. Shop him and take the best 2020 first rounder you can get.

  32. Any team thinking that Dotson can be a playoff contributor has a rough time ahead of them, especially if they’re paying more than the minimum. Wings are certainly more valued than bigs on the whole, but you’re making an arbitrary distinction between guys like Mudiay/Hezonja and Dotson. Mudiay is a 6’5″ PG. Hezonja is a 6’8″ wing who briefly looked like a PG for a few games. They both suck, but I don’t see how Dotson carries any more perceived value than they do. He is not even one of those guys who shoots well from behind the arc and does nothing else.

    I’m not necessarily accusing you of endowment effect, but Dotson… sucks.

  33. I think Dot is a pretty good defender with good size that can (and has) played SG through even PF in a pinch. He’s active on both ends, has shown the ability to run off screens and other kinds of off-movement shooting. He’s having a down shooting year this year, but his minutes and role have also been jerked around a lot. On a mini-MLE contract at $6MM I think a team could definitely do worse.

  34. That’s just it though. Dotson is having a pretty normal shooting year for him. He’s fine at the end of the bench, but he’s not a rotation player.

  35. Farfa, great summary once again.

    I concur about RJ. Remember those early November games where he dominated? Well, he’s not getting lift and he’s not able to power through the defenses. Why? Last year between November and March, he played in 38 games (that includes the tourneys) and logged 1341 minutes. Through yesterday he’s already played in 33 games and logged 1037 minutes. He’s hit the rookie wall.

    The same thing happened to Knox last year. Remember that he was the Dec 2018 Rookie of the Month. Then he sucked worse than anything. It ruined him.

    Rest for RJ should be mandatory and that slight ankle tweak he suffered in the waning moments of last night’s game is the perfect excuse for time off.

  36. @28 –

    1. You can tank for multiple years until at least one falls in your lap and then pray he and/or any other good players with potential don’t want to leave if you still suck a few years later. (even the rumors about KAT come to mind here, let alone Davis and KP)

    2. You can get one in free agency, but you usually already have to be a very good team.

    3. You can trade for one, but you have to have EXCESS assets so you don’t gut the team to get him and you have to very good team so he says OK to the trade.

    4.You can get incredibly lucky in the draft.

    I’ve been arguing for weeks that we should keep Morris and not trade him for a late 1st or a second. That had a lot to do with choosing your option #2. But I did a lot of statistical analysis. When most people disagree with me, I look to understand why and there was a flaw. Morris is not good enough to be part of that #2 scenario. He’s a legit starter, ranked somewhere around 100-150 depending on what stat you like. If he was in the top 75 my argument would hold water.

    So, to everyone, y’all were right. I was wrong.

    That out of the way, I think options #2 and #3 are the way to go. We’re getting a top pick. Great. One great player in the NBA is huge. If we trade a few of our non-draft lottery assets now for a legit star (top-30) that still has some tread left on the tire, we can take back an awful contract as long as we still have cap space. That player has to be able to attract FAs and that player has live up to the deal.

    If trading away a few good older assets gains us 1 legit star, go for it. If trading away more assets gets us 2 of them, better. Just hold on to Mitch and RJ. They’re the future.

  37. this is crucial let’s really get into it. imagine damyean dotson justin holiday and the mini mle were sitting in front of your trolley. you could swerve to avoid all of them, but this would require signing up for strat’s 12 part coursera lecture series on proper team construction in nba2k. who dies?

  38. Randle at a palatable 30% from 3.

    Elfrid has been terrible scoring, even for him. Wonder if lingering hamstring issues.

    Frank has been solid. I want to re-sign this player. I’d like to see more consistency before he starts. Needs to keep it up thru next year.

  39. I really doubt most front offices in the league even have Dotson on their radar at all, he’ll probably stick around because he has a good looking shot, but he’s turning 26 and has no track record of being a reliable shooter or defender. Teams will chase the Danny Green type guys, because they’re reliable veterans who can shoot and defend, but there’s a big drop off to Dotson’s level of production.

  40. At this point, from this roster, nobody outside of Mitch should be untouchable for any reason, even Barrett if the right deal comes up. The priorities are still the same, work with Mitch and Barrett, see whatever the other young guys can provide and if they show improvement, and everyone else should be permanently on the “we’re entertaining offers” category, including Randle and Morris. I am pretty sure the Knicks will receive offers for at least Morris, because he’s the most valuable guy for potential contenders.

  41. To clarify my earlier statement on Dot a bit:

    If Dotson can up his 3p% to .35-36 range this year he’ll get a number of suitors. I do like him as a player who can jump into the rotation when someone goes down, but I’m not going out of my way to re-sign him.

    On the flipside his rebounding numbers have trended in the wrong direction.

    Pills note:
    Problem with keeping them on is that they’re unlikely to trade Morris if the Knicks can end up with even a remote shot at the playoffs.

    Randle:
    He’s a #1 scorer at this usage and efficiency. He doesn’t have all the tools you want from a #1 player, but he puts up efficient points and a lot of them.

    I think part of the problem is a new category of Super #1s that can carry a whole team without a #2 scorer. Giannis, Doncic, Harden, etc. are so dominant that they can run an elite offense by themselves. Randle isn’t in that category.

    Mitch/Miller:
    I think Miller changed the defensive scheme to make it easier for Mitch to make reads and just rely on his athleticism. I don’t have the expertise to dissect a scheme, but Mitch doesn’t look nearly as lost.

    I get the impression Fiz didn’t build the defense in a way that plays to Mitch’s strengths, expecting too much of his decision making. To top it off, Fiz started adding a billion wrinkles that did nothing to simplify the game for Mitch.

  42. Underrated portion of Mitch’s game — his hands. That whip pass from Randle to Mitch when Mitch threw it down on Whiteside? That pass was like 10mph too fast. No problem for Mitch. Anything that is even in the same zip code gets swallowed up by those mitts.

    That said, one of his only real weaknesses is defensive rebounding – by the Hollinger stats on ESPN he’s actually one of the 10 worst D-rebounding centers in the league. And it’s probably a real thing (ie. not like the Lopez box-out for teammates thing) – Knicks give up an ORB% of 29 with Mitch on the court and 24.9 with him off the court. Weird. I guess that could be him hunting blocks?

  43. If Dotson can up his 3p% to .35-36 range this year he’ll get a number of suitors

    his career 3 point percentage is 35.2%

  44. Yes, but 3pt% is volatile and Dot was quite bad yr 1 and this year. If he keeps shooting this way his career % will drop quickly.

    It’s why I specified this year, as in this season’s numbers.

  45. Tiers for what we should do with guys on the roster:

    ABSOLUTELY KEEP:

    * Mitch: No explanation needed
    * RJ: He’s in a terrible slump, but I’m not too worried.

    TRADE ONLY IF YOU GET GOOD VALUE FOR HIM:

    * Randle: If the Miller-era guy is the one we have under contract for the next 2-3 seasons, then that’s a useful player to have with that deal. That said, if someone is going to offer us multiple 1sts, and/or a player whose game is more complementary to Mitch’s, you do it.
    * Frank: Admittedly, I’m among our more shameless Frankophiles. The inconsistency is still exasperating, but games like last night make me want to hang onto him for as long as we can.
    * Payton: He’s also going to be inconsistent, and is a pretty flawed player as a whole, but he’s still either our best or 2nd best playmaker by a pretty wide margin, and it’s 6-of-1 as to whether the offense looks better because of him or Miller. I also don’t think his trade value would be very high.
    * Bullock: We’re probably better off getting a pick for him, even if it’s a second, but the ideal version of his game (which we saw last night) is useful for this time, this year, next, and maybe even beyond.
    * Taj: He probably makes too much money to get back good assets, and his veteran presence/savvy feels more tangible than the others’.
    * Knox: His trade value must be really low right now, and I’d favor the odds of him becoming a useful Novak-ish role player over us getting a better asset than that in a trade.
    * Iggy: He’s not untouchable, but I’d like to see what he can do once we clear out some of the mercenaries later this season. And speaking of which…

    TRADE FOR WHATEVER YOU CAN GET:
    * Morris: Either for a first or a more long-term prospect
    * Ellington: Conditional second?
    * Portis: for a bag of beans?
    * DSJ: for a bag of mung beans?
    * Trier: for a bag of dung?
    * Dotson: for an empty bag?

    Anyone want to argue with tier placement?

  46. Begley:

    Knicks say that Elfrid Payton (personal reasons) and Dennis Smith Jr (strained left oblique) are questionable for tomorrow’s game at PHO.

    It’s the Frank Show again. Which means Mitch should probably start, too. I don’t hate the idea of bringing him off the bench, so long as he’s getting lots of minutes and paired with a good PNR creator, which in this case means playing him alongside Frank as much as possible. Ideally, start Mitch, Randle, Morris, Bullock, and Frank tomorrow. Rest Barrett, play some combo of Taj, Portis, Knox, Dot, and Kadeem off the bench.

  47. Luka and Giannis leading All-Star balloting for their respective conferences. Not bad at all.

    (Kyrie being number two for East guards is… less good.)

  48. it was nice watching frank hold on to the ball a little longer than usual and do some point guard stuff last night…

    expectations and hope are some funny things…

    I’m feeling a bit like knick fan in NJ…I’m weary of rooting for this team…at this point I’m greedy for every win…

    I’m a fail on the fan marshmallow test…

    there’s just too much luck involved in the draft, particularly now with the draft position odds being adjusted…

    we have a front office fighting for their job, a coach fighting for a job, and a whole lot of roster guys, fighting for their money…

    crazy enough, this is probably the most talent we’ve had on the roster in six years or so…

    about the same period of time since we’ve had a decent coach…

    doubt we’ll be in the playoffs, but, also don’t believe we’ll be in the bottom five record wise…

    so, guess I’ll just be happy for the occasional win and good team game…

  49. so a list of guys that can actually play in the nba:
    randall
    bullock
    mitch
    payton
    morris

    guys that maybe can play in the nba:
    frank
    RJ
    knox
    portis (for the right price)
    Taj
    Dot

    and, now a coach, who can maybe coach in the nba…and, who knows, maybe blatt can help straighten out mills…

    after decades of this debacle – i can talk myself in to just about any small bit of progress…

    for a good bit there it sure did not seem like we’d crack 20 wins this year…if things continue to head in the direction they are – we may reach the rarefied air of a 32 win season, plus 15 wins from last year…good for about the 9th or 10th spot in the conference…

    not the best for our draft spot, but, seems a bit inevitable at this point…

  50. I’m not sweating individual wins too much, because I really don’t have a clear picture of this years draft yet. I don’t know if it is Wiseman at the top and lesser prospects all around, or if it is a 3 man, 5 man draft, etc. For me it seems that every other week people are hyping up another weird combo guard, Edwards, Ball, Anthony, Mannion, Hampton, Haliburton etc.

    If none of those guys separate from the pack too much as prospects, then staying at the 6th to 8th range isn’t that bad, as we should be targeting guards anyway and like 8 of the projected 10 top picks are guards right now. I would still rather guarantee a top 5 pick but as long as Robinson and Randle or any of the young guys are playing a lot and contributing, it’s fine.

    Just please, please trade Morris before he gets injured or something.

  51. 1. You can tank for multiple years until at least one falls in your lap and then pray he and/or any other good players with potential don’t want to leave if you still suck a few years later. (even the rumors about KAT come to mind here, let alone Davis and KP)

    2. You can get one in free agency, but you usually already have to be a very good team.

    3. You can trade for one, but you have to have EXCESS assets so you don’t gut the team to get him and you have to very good team so he says OK to the trade.

    4.You can get incredibly lucky in the draft.

    This isn’t necessarily wrong, but breaking them down into 4 separate categories is misleading.

    For example, how exactly are you supposed to get the excess assets you need to pull off (3) if you’re not taking on salary dumps and/or signing UDFA/G-League flyers instead of vets as part of (1)? Isn’t (4) a lot more likely if you’re taking on salary dumps for picks as part of (1)? How are you supposed to get the good team mentioned in (2) without making surplus draft picks? The Nets took on every damn salary dump they could, which was why (2) worked out for them.

    Theoretically you can never tank/rebuild/whatever and still draft Giannis, Gobert, Butler, etc. but why the hell would you make it so hard on yourself? The clearest path to getting the kind of player(s) you need is accepting you’ll have a bad team for as long as it takes. It took Philly 4 seasons to get from nothing to contention. We’re working on our 7th consecutive losing season. Sign me the hell up.

  52. Just please, please trade Morris before he gets injured or something.

    Yeah, wins are whatever. Suboptimal, but not worth sweating unless they’re reeeeeeally stupid e.g. Bobby Portis Games. It’s much more important that we don’t make a feckless chase at the 8th seed and thus not trade anyone, or even worse, buy at the deadline.

  53. I’m a fail on the fan marshmallow test…

    No really, geo. The marshmallow test did not involve getting pissed on while waiting for the bag of marshmallows, which is basically what we’ve got from this team the last half decade. Getting tired of being pissed on is different than not being able to wait for the marshmallows.

  54. The marshmallow test did not involve getting pissed on while waiting for the bag of marshmallows

    oh man, i needed that laugh…to think there are folks out there whom actually pay for that particular “pleasure”…

    oh no, i signed up for league pass again because of the knicks…

  55. I’m so burnt as a Knicks fan I just want to see interesting games. Good draft picks, playoff contention, and league respect are just hypotheticals that experience has taught me won’t happen or, if they do, won’t do much for the overall state of the team. When we have fun wins like last night I just want more of them, draft consequences be damned.

    As I understand it (I wasn’t born yet), the Knicks have had exactly two periods of sustained contention. One was built around the 5th overall pick of the 1967 draft, and the other was built around the first overall pick of the 1985 draft.

    I dunno, sure seems like good draft picks have mattered a lot to the Knicks in the past.

  56. okay then…here’s a crazy and sobering thought:

    nothing any of us hopes and wishes for (or writes down here in this most esteemed of all fan sites) in regards to the performance or future of the new york knickerbocker organization means anything…

    it’s all neurons firing off and being converted in to a bunch of ones and zeroes here for our consumption…interesting, but, completely meaningless…

    throw me in the crowd of wanting, needing, “meaningless” :) wins which may hurt our team’s future (not exactly sold on that “fact” at the moment either)…

    if mitch is indeed the type of player we think he is (one of the best young prospects in the nba), let’s try to put and keep decent players around him and get him competing for “something” this very year…

    chase away at that 8th seed baby…cuz, the training wheels are off and millsperry got us rolling now

  57. this draft is sort of all over the place… none of the mocks so far have a real handle on it… a lot of them still have cole anthony in the high lotto and that’s pretty crazy to me….

    edwards will be worth it as the #1 pick and we desperately need a franchise altering talent like him… but even with the worst record it doesn’t move the needle much on landing him.. and we’ll probably need the #1 pick unless golden state wins the lotto (yuck)….

    the best talent besides him are getting mocked all over the place… and i have a feeling a lot of the underrated guys will remain underrated… so i wouldn’t be too fearful of some marginal wins… i’m pretty sure real talent will still be available in the #6-10 range …

    the main concern is who is going to do the picking… if it’s masai… i have full confidence he’ll get the right guy… with perry and mills there is a real danger of them picking landmines like cole or lamelo and we should be terrified if they are still around…

  58. I didn’t realize LaMelo Ball grew to 6’8″. I’m watching highlights right now and he looks real comfortable slicing up some swiss cheese defense. What are his big red flags, aside from his dad and the hitchy jumper?

  59. the NBA’s leaders in assists per game this decade:

    1. LeBron James – 12
    2. Frank Ntilikina – 10

  60. The flattened lottery odds actually help moron teams like us that chase marginal wins. So godspeed, Weird 1+1 Scott Perry Knicks! Go win some meaningless games. It matters less now!

  61. @64

    Similar issues as his brother, I think. Can’t really play the halfcourt against real defense, horrible at getting to the line or converting at the rim (just a terrible shooter in general), and unlike his brother more of a chucker that doesn’t play defense. Good transition guy and will be a plus rebounder and passer, but I think he profiles way worse than his brother, and his brother has sadly been a bust so far.

  62. @61, That is very true, and it was probably the excitement around the good Knick teams with Clyde the got me hooked as a fan when I was young. Of course, rationally I know we need draft picks to get better. But my post was more an emotional reaction. We actually have some decent players this season. Morris is an example. Even though we want high high draft picks, I don’t want to just throw him away. And you may say that getting a pick for him is not throwing him away, but the pick we get is most likely to be someone like Damyean Dotson. I’d honestly rather have Morris.

    I sense that many Knickerbloggers mistrust Knick management so much they’d rather take their chances with the draft lottery than hope management will be smart enough build a team incrementally. But if we don’t have smart management, good draft position is unlikely to give us a contender. Smart management is thus the only thing that will make the Knicks good barring bolt of lightning type luck. So let’s keep the good players we have unless a great deal for them comes along and pray for management wisdom.

  63. There are 30 teams in the league.
    The only team i know that has ‘success?’ through Tanking is 1 thanks to luck (call me JoJo).
    Why is tanking so beloved in here ?
    Is it an elitist caprice ?
    Are there any analytical stats about Tanking that I’m missing ?

  64. Are there any analytical stats about Tanking that I’m missing ?

    minus any competence in the kitchen – it’s what’s left for dinner…

    i’d say we rally around knick fan in NJ, my friend from athens…cuz @69 is pretty much exactly how i feel at this moment also…

    step 1: fire fizdale
    step 2: play better basketball
    step 3: see what happens next

  65. I bet my souvlaki that even if we had drafted Luka or KAT or JoJo we would have probably suck again.
    And lose them just like KP ! By incompetence to build around them.
    So…FUCK Tanking.
    &
    Play good ball mfkrs.

  66. @knickFaninNJ

    I’d love for it to be possible to build incrementally, but the NBA set up a system that makes the best players even MORE valuable than they’d normally be, and that makes it impossible to be more than just transiently good without a top 10 player.

    This is all thanks to the max individual salary. It lets you underpay the best players dramatically for their entire primes. The teams that advance in the playoffs almost always have a top 10 player, and that top 10 player was almost always either drafted or acquired by trading high quality young players or picks.

    So this is not a case of people distrusting the Knicks’ ability to build incrementally. It’s a case of people believing that there’s no other way. The Knicks have wasted a lot of bad seasons, a lot of opportunities to draft great players, by signing completely pointless and forgettable players that bump them up from 15-25 wins into 25-35 wins and the middle of the lottery. Your idea of building incrementally is I think other people’s ideas of the team sabotaging itself.

    People lament Knox and Frank, but the reality is that when you pick 8th or 9th in a draft, you should expect a decent role player, not a gamechanging star. The lamentation should be that the team rostered forgettable players like Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, Kyle O’Quinn, Tim Hardaway Jr, Enes Kanter…

    So never had a chance to draft players like Fox, Isaac, Tatum, Young, Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr, Ayton.

    Hell, even in the KP year, we pointlessly blew the our position with the worst record in thel ast few games of the season and so ended up with KP instead of Towns.

  67. We actually have some decent players this season. Morris is an example. Even though we want high high draft picks, I don’t want to just throw him away. And you may say that getting a pick for him is not throwing him away, but the pick we get is most likely to be someone like Damyean Dotson. I’d honestly rather have Morris.

    Thing is, to what extent do we “have” Morris? He’s a free agent after this season, and he’ll almost certainly go to the team that offers him the most money. If that’s us after we trade him, he’ll be back. If it’s not, he won’t.

    I’m not endorsing the idea of re-signing Morris by the way, it’s very hard for me to see a scenario in which doing so makes sense given our position on the win curve. I’m just saying even if you want him here for the long haul, there is still zero upside to not trading his rights for the second half of the 2019-2020 season.

    As for the expected value of the pick, I think the average first rounder projects better than Dotson but it also doesn’t really matter. Again, we’re talking about trading his rights for 40 games or whatever. Is any rookie contract not more valuable than that? The upside of literally any first rounder is huge (see Butler, Jimmy) and there is almost no downside.

  68. Z-man
    January 1, 2020 at 7:01 pm
    RIP Stern, but I still hated the enforcement of the stupid leaving the bench rule…all Ewing did was take a few steps forward…could have made an interpretation there….alas, spilt milk

    A friend of mine texted yesterday about this and my reaction was “I’ve hated him since the spring of ’97 but RIP I guess.” So we’ve got that in common. Happy New Year, Z-Man, and may 2020 bring you everything you want.

  69. It boggles my mind that some player would come here voluntarily and then be happy to be traded halfway through the season unless he got disgusted with the team and wanted out. So either the player, in this case Morris, will think we screwed him over and not want to come back or he will have been disgusted with his N.Y. experience and undoubtedly not want to do it again. If we trade him now, there is no way we are getting him back for the beginning of next season.

    As for the value of an average first round pick, are you really thinking we will get some lottery pick for him that’s not something really late in the first round? We are not going to get an “average” first rounder out of that.

  70. You can’t live without tanking ?
    Build a functional team, start playing good ball and when your Big Dog(s) go(es) down TANK !
    That’s effective Tanking.
    Our ‘Tanking’ is Crap.

  71. Our Tanking is searching in the garbage for gold !

    And when we luckily find it giving it away for a beer !

  72. I think the argument for keeping Morris is that the draft sucks and there’s no gamechanger FAs available, so he might be worth hanging onto next year. It’s a weak argument.

    @alsep,

    I may keep DSJr only b/c he has no value and won’t net much. There’s a chance his shooting returns to form a bit next year and we can sell high.

    On the other hand I’d like to take a stab at some G Leaguers. So maybe the 2nd round pick we get for DSJr is better value.

    I’m pretty indifferent on moving Dotson. But he definitely has more value to a competitive team and could land a MLE.

  73. awwwww hubert…you warmed my heart sir :)

    and, despite your mighty financial acumen – you will always be beautiful jeff to me (originally you were simply an unfaced armani or polo model – or, maybe one of those underwear guys)…beautiful jeff (pretty easy to pick out in this photo) works for me now though…

    i don’t know, if i had the choice between money or looks, i’d probably take the money…

  74. It boggles my mind that some player would come here voluntarily and then be happy to be traded halfway through the season unless he got disgusted with the team and wanted out. So either the player, in this case Morris, will think we screwed him over and not want to come back or he will have been disgusted with his N.Y. experience and undoubtedly not want to do it again. If we trade him now, there is no way we are getting him back for the beginning of next season.

    What boggles my mind is the idea that Marcus Morris is going to act against his own financial interests in order to spite the Knicks for the crime of allowing him to showcase his talents in the playoffs before his free agency.

    The reason he’s here in the first place is because he thought taking a one-year deal gave him the highest chance of maximizing his career earnings. He’ll be signing his next contract at age 31*–there’s a very good chance it’ll be his last payday. He ain’t passing up the highest bidder because they traded him to a contender, something most players actively seek out.

    *This is why this whole conversation is a little silly. In what scenario does it make sense for us to give a multiyear, high AAV contract to a 31 year old who’s generously the 4-5th best player on a contender?

  75. A healthy & functional Team environment + a well coached team Creates assets and Attracts The Mighty Big Dogs.
    What we have right now is a pack of a few promising puppies and a few tough hyenas blended together.
    We Need Big Dogs !

  76. I may keep DSJr only b/c he has no value and won’t net much. There’s a chance his shooting returns to form a bit next year and we can sell high.

    He’s just so bad right now, and I’m just not sure what the ceiling is that’s worth giving him more minutes this year or next. Obviously, Frank has many problems he still needs to figure out, but it’s not hard to look at him and see the kind of very useful player he could be. Other than jumping high, what is it that DSJ has been great, or even good, at, both in college and in his time in the pros? Like you, I’d value the roster spot as much as whatever crappy pick we might get for him.

  77. Can we trade DSJ with a team from another sport and get let’s say a salary cap benefit ?
    Is this possible ? Send him to Barcelona to play as a goalkeeper ?

  78. DSJ’s true scouting report:

    Vacuum energy is an underlying background energy that exists in space throughout the entire Universe. This behavior is codified in Heisenberg’s energy–time uncertainty principle. Still, the exact effect of such fleeting bits of energy is difficult to quantify. The vacuum energy is a special case of zero-point energy that relates to the quantum vacuum.

  79. Lol @87

    DSJR has no basketball value to me. However:

    (1) he’s a former lotto pick and we all know how the league overrates lotto picks

    (2) He’s still incredibly athletic attacking the hoop

    (3) We’re moving him at the absolute nadir of his value

    I don’t believe in DSJr, but I do believe there’s a GM out there we might swindle if he shows any signs of life. What’s Sacramento’s PG situation like?

    Half-jokingly, there has never been a more perfect tank machine than DSJr. I don’t know what future war tech replaces a tank, but DSJR is it.

    If it were up to me I’d still cut him tho

  80. Other than jumping high, what is it that DSJ has been great, or even good, at, both in college and in his time in the pros?

    In college? A lot of things. He had a .509 2PT% on high volume. He averaged 7.1 AST/40, 5.2 TRB/40, and 2.2 STL/40. He even shot .359 from 3.

    Kevin Pelton’s model had him ranked 4th overall in his draft, only behind Ball, Fultz, and Isaac.

    For that reason, I tend to agree with the people who aren’t crazy about the idea for trading him for a protected second rounder or something. He also made some legitimate improvements from his rookie year to his sophomore year, before turning in a total abomination in year 3. Just feels like an all-downside trade for us.

  81. As for the value of an average first round pick, are you really thinking we will get some lottery pick for him that’s not something really late in the first round? We are not going to get an “average” first rounder out of that.

    Let’s say we get the 30th overall pick. The last 5 30th overall picks have been Kevin Porter Jr., Omari Spellman, Josh Hart, Damian Jones, and Kevon Looney.

    Literally all of those players have shown something in the NBA, and that’s saying nothing of all the guys picked after them (e.g. by far the best player on the New York Knicks). Of course, the upside is much higher than any of those guys (Jimmy Butler) and the downside is much lower (guys who never suit up). 82games analyzed 20 drafts and determined the 30th pick yields a 40% chance of getting a star, a starter, or a rotation player. Their criteria admittedly seems arbitrary, but that shouldn’t favor one side of this argument over the other (they’re likely overrating and underrating some players).

    Regardless, in what position are we to poo poo the idea of having 7 years of team control over a potential rotation player in order to, uh, not upset Marcus Morris too much or something?

  82. Turning DSJ into asset will demand hiring another assistant coach named: David Copperfield.

  83. too funny knew your knicks :)

    i wonder what his situation really is…whether he’s legit injured, they’re trying to push some deal through involving him, or – if he’s simply out of the rotation altogether…

  84. just looking at the standings is a little disheartening – there’s a few teams that are sitting below .500 (16 total teams) that have actually done some not incredibly stupid stuff over the last couple of years, have a decent coach, some talent on their roster, and yet still – they suck…

    all this plotting and planning – for what – to be the pistons, bulls, hawks, kings, wolves, blazers…the gap between the haves and nots seems to be growing…

    cracking in to the top 10 or so teams in the league ain’t gonna be too easy…

  85. The 2017 draft was considered pretty good and look at the top 10-

    Fultz-bust
    Ball-bust
    Tatum-at the least a solid player, depending on how valuable he is on defense
    J. Jackson-bust
    Fox-pretty good with some upside
    Isaac-was looking like a real force on defense until last night
    Markkanen-seems like he’ll be a useful player
    Frank-bust
    Smith-bust
    Collins-showed flashes last season, but still has to prove he’s consistently good

    Who is likely to be an all-star out of these guys? Maybe Tatum because Boston. Fox could certainly get there, and so could Isaac but all those guys were good prospects except Jackson and Frank and there’s a chance none of them are ever going to be really good pros.

  86. Before Smart broke DSJr’s shot I thought he would turn into a decent player.

    538 projected him as a role player for this year.

    He’s still only 6 months older than Frank.

    There are reasons to hang onto DSJr. If there’s a specific G Leaguer that’s young and talented I’d cut him, otherwise we may be overreacting.

    If nothing else, I’d cut Ellington before DSJr.

  87. I’m pretty sure Marcus Morris would not be disgusted, but actually fucking ecstatic to be traded midseason to the Rockets or Bucks while still making the money he could have only gotten from a non-contender with cap space. We would be making a favor to him, not the other way around, he got the money he wanted and will be able to showcase himself on a competitive team so he gets the next bag in the coming offseason.

  88. DSJ is definitely talented BUT his face expression/body language yells:
    “I don’t give a shit”.
    (Depression maybe?)

    IF he manage to ‘find’ himself psychologically and concentrate on playing ‘2020 basketball’ he may play again.

    Not an easy task tho

  89. That Frank dunk. Thanks for posting Alsep.

    The other surprising thing from this game: I guess I didn’t realize Whiteside was total trash on defense. I thought he was indifferent or mediocre but apparently he is a lot worse than that.

  90. It is way too soon to be calling fultz a bust …

    The 2016 draft was very good but very guard heavy… And all the perimeter guys save for Tatum and fox have had issues with their jumpshot…

    With dsj and fultz it came out nowhere… Going from 70% to 50% at the line while 2p% craters just doesn’t happen in normal circumstances… And with dsj he probably caught whatever happened with fultz… I’m guessing it’s a back injury and he’s toughing it out with pain meds because in spurts you see the ease getting to the basket but others he’s in quicksand… He doesn’t even remotely look like he did even last year…

    And fultz is the reason to be patient … this year is a nice recovery of the promise he’s had and he’s about to breakout….

    Or u could trade dsj for jonathan simmons…

  91. I’m bookmarking latke’s post at 74 for copypasta later. What a superior articulation of ideas I struggle to express without my pro-tanking-related carpal tunnel flaring up.

  92. I didn’t realize Whiteside was total trash on defense.

    they mentioned a couple of times during the broadcast that he leads the league in blocks…maybe blocks aren’t that important really???

    I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did in miami…then again, the heat still have waiters on their roster…

    him and DSJ need to be on the same team, together they could suck the joy out of any arena…

  93. You can make up your own minds whether trading Morris for a player who has a 40% chance of being a role player or better and 60% chance of being a bust. I can even imagine that Morris would like to play for a contender or maybe prefers to make as much money as possible. What I can’t imagine is that he is traded before the deadline, but comes back next year, presumably as a free agent.

  94. We actually have some decent players this season. Morris is an example. Even though we want high high draft picks, I don’t want to just throw him away. And you may say that getting a pick for him is not throwing him away, but the pick we get is most likely to be someone like Damyean Dotson. I’d honestly rather have Morris.

    This was my argument and I got blasted for it – justifiably.

    The problem I had was that over rated Morris and I thought there was a substantial drop in talent based on where players are selected. I did a lot of stathead analysis. The first (and easiest) thing I learned was that Morris just isn’t that good. Yep. He’s a legit starter, but he’s just “OK”.
    These are his ranks (there are 2 numbers because the low and high rank all have the same value. You might say that he’s tied in WS at 85, but there are 10 players with the same value).

    WS- 85/95
    WS/48 – 116/118
    BPM – 146/150
    PER – 93/94
    VORP = 139/167

    With 30 teams, these numbers make means his WS and PER is like a #3 player. WS/48 is a #3/#4. His BPM and VORP are #5 starter ranks. So he’s a fringe starter not worth a gamble at age 30.

    More important was the volatility is saw in the draft. I won’t go too deep into the method but even at the #1 position, there’s scary good chance that the pick will be a bust. I selected the entire 2009-2018 drafts. I didn’t include this year because it’s partial. Here are the top-10 picks for those years:

    Blake Griffin, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz & Deandre Ayton. What percent are busts? It turned out, if you picked top-5, there was apx 35% chance the player would be a bust. What is it for late 1’s? around 65%. Yes, it’s much worse, but not really. Those are gamblers odds.

    I did a lot of analysis and weighed it all in my mind and at the end of it all I decided that Morris was not good enough…

  95. Fultz has been a bust, and there is really not much of an argument against that position. Is it because the pre-draft scouting was wrong? I don’t think so. Whatever happened to his shoulder — and I am reckless in my speculation and will save you all from repeating what I’ve said many times before about it — was not an issue until the summer before he was slated to begin his career.

    If you want to argue that his potential was prematurely quashed by sheer bad luck a la Brandon Roy, Shaun Livingston or Greg Oden then I am happy to agree. But when you draft someone #1 overall, the expectation is greatness, not a PG in a shooter-dominant league who has made just 19 of his 71 triple attempts and is nearly as bad between 10′ and just inside the arc. I am looking at his game log, wondering if he has had a torrid streak that signifies developing (or healing) into something other than what we saw in Philly. But even when he’s not shooting 1-10 or 1-7, he peaks at mediocrity.

    He is a dazzling athlete and amazing to watch in traffic. But you cannot say that we are getting anything close to the Markelle Fultz that was advertised in the spring of 2017.

  96. I really can’t believe we’re arguing about whether the uncertain prospect of re-signing Morris for probably 4/$40M is better than a guaranteed 19-22 year old available with whatever draft slot Morris could yield in a trade. Marcus Morris is who the Bucks want to add to make sure they don’t give up a playoff lead when they bring him in as a sixth or seventh man. It is not doing anything for the Knicks but making them a 10-24 team instead of maybe an 8-26 team.

    Here are the top-10 picks for those years:

    Who cares about who bad teams picked at #1? I mean shit, the Cavs selected two of the busts from that list because they had no fucking idea what an NBA player looked like.

    If you’re worried about a #1 being a bust (as I do with Anthony Edwards), trade down and get more chances to not fuck it up.

    If a player is a bust at #1, it’s likely that the front office that drafted him is bad at what they are paid to do. It is definitively not an inherent flaw with the draft slot itself.

  97. Also I want to say re: Fultz’s shooting that Ben Simmons is a fantastic player despite the lack of shooting because he is really, really good at a number of other things, and is an absolute nightmare to match up with.

  98. We’ve had this discussion about busts so many damn times that I don’t think there’s much to say anymore. Yes busts exist, yes even good teams pick bad players, yes the draft is somewhat random and very hard to navigate properly.

    But this is all meaningless as long as getting a star through a draft pick is still the most valuable thing a NBA team can do. I really would love for people who think building through free agency and trading is the best way to go through a list of all the signings and trades that ended up being terrible for the receiving team.

    It’s easy to make an argument against the draft, but you can’t conveniently ignore that many FA signings are also busts, and they’re even worse because they’re signings made with a lot more information about the players and a at a much higher cost because of the salary scaling.

    It is simply that the draft offers a high reward with lower risks associated, so you don’t end up with Chandler Parsons or Eddy freaking Curry or Melo on a mega max for years destroying your cap space. If Ntilikina never figures it out the Knicks wasted nothing but the pick on him; but when Detroit signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, they fucked up 4 entire years of the franchise.

  99. It’s not rocket science. Most of the teams that pick in the top slots of the lottery are horribly managed; teams like the ’96 Spurs and ’20 Warriors are weird flukes where the best-run teams also get the right of first refusal. It should be no wonder that a franchise like the Cavs, so incompetent as to win three #1 overall picks in four years, should pick godawful players with two of those attempts.

    Teams are generally in the high lottery for their incompetence. If stands to reason that they will continue to make bad decisions therein.

  100. Getting a star through a draft pick is great.
    But “forcing” your team to play lousy for years and stop developing your earlier draft picks(mean. Tanking) in order to “Try To Find” that star at a high lottery pick…. is not so smart.
    Looks to me like gambling all your wage at coin flips till you get rich or till you start searching at garbage for food.

  101. He is a dazzling athlete and amazing to watch in traffic.

    Great posting for months now Jowles. Authoritative, patient, informative, interesting, creative.

    This board has hit a nice stride. I appreciate the food, music, etc threads. And guys like Geo who get us recognizing each other (and keep it weird)

    The quote above gets to the essential tension on this site. Lots of people can do athletic things. Those people should be good at NBA basketball consistently. It’s just not true for most though for whatever combination of psychology and physiology.

    As to Knicks, we never should have let Pat Riley go. Trades, FAs, draft, just evaluate talent, teach basketball, get guys in shape. No one way to do it, just do it right.

  102. @106 – If you read my entire post you would realize that I’m supporting trading Morris and agreeing with your math. SMH

  103. GoNYGo, that was a nice post. But I see the same data and don’t agree. By your analysis Morris is a starter quality player, which is better than what you likely get picking late in the first round. I agree the draft is a crapshoot, so you could get better, but much more likely will get worse. I don’t want to do it.

    I would also point out that you actually can’t just trade Morris for a pick unless you trade him into open cap space, which so few teams have that you basically have to take back salary. If you are getting a draft pick in exchange for him, then you are likely not getting a useful player too. Instead you have to take on a contract you don’t want.

    Now Perry and Mills did not get a winning team or any top players with their free agent pickups. But they did get some usable NBA caliber players. I would say they did that with about 50% of the free agents they hired. So if you just let Morris ‘s salary expire instead of trading him, you don’t have to take on a less useful player in return and you get cap room that you can hire someone and have a fifty percent chance of getting a useful nba level player. That’s a better shot at a useful player than picking thirty on the draft.

  104. the Markelle Fultz that was advertised in the spring of 2017

    one of the very few things I’ve actually got right…yeah, I’m never letting this go…

    it was the year we had rose and all those health situations he had going on…

    i remember asking poor knick fan in celtic land every other day – what the heck is going on with rose…he was pretty cool about it and explained a lot of it…

    that rose stuff spooked me for awhile on player health…

    fultz missed some games that spring and washington’s explanation was really vague…really vague…I remember not being able to find any info online about the “injury”…

    granted the 76’s got a team of physicians dissecting these players, but, yeah there was a definite question about his health leaving school…

  105. Lest we forget, the Toronto Raptors just won a championship with a roster that had one guy drafted at #15, a few in the #20’s and the rest in the 2nd round or undrafted. Not a single fucking lottery pick, let alone top 5. What finally put them over the top was being in position to unload DeRozan’s shitty contract for Kawhi. (And wtf were Pop & Buford thinking when they took on DeRozan’s deal? Was that really the best offer out there?) And now, even after losing him for nothing, they still roll a competitive team out there and have loads of flexibility for when the next opportunity comes along.

    And then there’s this:

    “You’re seeing more undrafted guys contribute, and I think a possible reason is the difference between the 25th player in the draft and the 95th player is getting thinner,” said Nick Nurse. “It makes player development and using your G League team important factors.”

    The Raptors believe Raptors 905’s 2017 G League title with VanVleet and Siakam playing large roles was a key element of the franchise winning an NBA title in 2019.

    We show some glimmers of hope/competency with our non-lottery picks and undrafted pick-ups. Maybe we hit it out of the park with the Charlotte 2nd rounder. Maybe Frank and Knox turn the corner. In essence, we’re a half-Masai away from a semblance of Toronto’s path.

  106. Morris is not a bad signing. He clearly has market value commensurate with his contract. So do Randle and Payton.

    Ellington, Taj and Portis, not so much. Cap space lit on fire.

    Jury is out on BullOCK.

  107. are you just now seeing hubert’s post and reacting…how long between the time you read it and the time you posted…

    sorry, none of my business…

  108. It’s an argument over semantics so we can go in circles about it but to me classifying someone a bust means you’re basically closing the book on a guy being a valuable contributor… If fultz pulls a kwame brown or beasley… And never improves he will still be an NBA players but yes I would call him a bust too…

    But at this point that’s his worst case scenario… The upside is still there for him and there’s a long long list of highly regarded guards taking a very long time to develop… the shorter positions usually take windy paths to make it because they have to be more creative to be useful…

    With a guy where it was clear that external factors impacted his play from the jump and now likely having that behind him… You’re probably looking at what his rookie year should have been… And while all-nba is probably far off.. the trajectory and upside is still very good…

    This isn’t kwame brown.. or wiggins or Bennett.. and thinking that he is leads to dumb trades like that simmons deal..

  109. The Raptors are not a good example, as they did trade two former lottery picks for Kawhi, DeRozan was the 10th pick and Poeltl was our selection at 9, acquired for former 1st overall Bargs. They also traded Valanciunas, picked 5th, for Gasol, and Terrence Ross, picked 8th, for Ibaka. So yeah, they didn’t have lottery picks in the roster that actually won it all, but they built a playoffs team with those lottery picks and then cashed in on them as assets to acquire the guys who eventually took them over the hump.

    They are a great example of a team that understood the way to build a good roster, but even then it took what, 6 years and an incredibly rare trade opportunity.

  110. @117 – Sometimes we speed read. You were velociposting (a real term I’ve heard). Understood.

  111. When I said those guys were busts I meant to this point. They’ll wind up providing almost no value on their rookie deals, but maybe they’ll develop into useful pros.

  112. I would also point out that you actually can’t just trade Morris for a pick unless you trade him into open cap space, which so few teams have that you basically have to take back salary. If you are getting a draft pick in exchange for him, then you are likely not getting a useful player too. Instead you have to take on a contract you don’t want.

    That’s not how any of this works. The most widely speculated trade has us getting Harkless’ expiring and a first. If you’re so worried about taking on salary (I don’t know why you would be, but whatever), it’s not hard to trade him for a pick(s) and an expiring(s) deal.

    I’ll repeat: under what circumstances would it make sense for the 2020-2021 Knicks to sign 31 year old Marcus Morris to a multiyear, high AAV deal?

  113. Wait a minute. There are people who think that the Knicks signing Marcus Morris to a contract extension at market value is a good idea? Hitting yourself in the dick with a ball peen hammer is a better idea than that.

  114. Wait a minute. There are people who think that the Knicks signing Marcus Morris to a contract extension at market value is a good idea? Hitting yourself in the dick with a ball peen hammer is a better idea than that.

    And we finally got GoNYGoNYGo on the right side of this issue, too! Glad to have you, by the way, GoNYGoNYGo!

  115. Whatever, Hubert. You called me a racist. Go fuck yourself.

    HAHAHAHA… pretty bleepin rich….

    You get your shorts in a knot and are in a state of extreme high dudgeon for something you an your ilk do to 63 million Americans every other Tuesday.

    HAHAHAHAHA……

  116. @129 not sure what you think my “ilk” is, since I’m largely a spectator during the political debates here at KB, but whatever. You can go fuck yourself too.

  117. are you just now seeing hubert’s post and reacting…how long between the time you read it and the time you posted…

    sorry, none of my business…

    Not very long. Just like the fact that we are all 99+% genetically identical, most of our opinions here are largely identical. But that small % makes a pretty big difference in who we are and the way we treat each other.

  118. @129 not sure what you think my “ilk” is, since I’m largely a spectator during the political debates here at KB, but whatever. You can go fuck yourself too.

    What a fragile waif……

  119. I think staying away from politics, in general, is a great idea. I have relatives that I avoid even having casual non-political conversations with because their political views nauseate me. Fortunately, they’re on the wife’s side of the family. Two of her brothers have stopped talking to each other completely and their daughters (cousins) aren’t talking to each other either. It’s bad. Let’s stay away from that here.

    And we finally got GoNYGoNYGo on the right side of this issue, too! Glad to have you, by the way, GoNYGoNYGo!

    @127 – Yes, I switched back. I say that because my “keep Morris” campaign, which was a relatively new thing, was based on a bad evaluation of Morris’s rank and the odds of finding quality later in the draft. Swap out Morris on this team for one of DeRozan, Teague, Galanari, Bledsoe or Tatum for example, other 30-year olds. Those are better players, more like second or third best starters on their teams instead of a fourth/fifth, I probably wouldn’t have changed my mind.

    The underlying reasoning didn’t change. The Knicks need at least 2 stars and a collection of solid players to be a contender. Finding stars is very difficult, as folks here have noted. Stars, in my mind, are top-30/40 players. BTW, statistically we have one already, Mitchell Robinson. Robinson is rankings are as follows:
    WS- 25/28
    WS/48 – 7/8
    BPM – 10/11
    PER – 10
    VORP – 23/24

    But yeah, Morris should be traded for a late first and an expiring contract. Roll the dice and get a nice piece in the draft. I just don’t think it’ll be easy to find one to make. Someone mentioned the Bucks earlier. I can’t see how we could work out a trade with them without getting back someone like Brook Lopez, but why would the Bucks do that?

  120. I’ll repeat: under what circumstances would it make sense for the 2020-2021 Knicks to sign 31 year old Marcus Morris to a multiyear, high AAV deal?

    Why are you asking this question? No one suggested this.

  121. What a fragile waif……

    That’s funny, I thought you essentially told me to go f myself a couple of weeks ago when I scoffed at a basketball opinion of yours…I guess we can add hypocrisy to your long list of character flaws.

  122. Why are you asking this question? No one suggested this.

    Wait, so what the hell have you been arguing for this whole time? I thought your whole point was that we shouldn’t trade Morris, because you think that makes it less likely he’ll sign with us this offseason.

  123. BTW, statistically we have one already, Mitchell Robinson. Robinson is rankings are as follows:

    I’d like to clarify my opinion on Robinson (again) and why I don’t consider him a #1 or #2 option YET.

    IMO, you need 2-3 high level scorers on team. By high level I am not talking about efficiency alone. That’s just one part of the equation. What I think you need is players that either have the versatility to score efficiently in a lot of ways or that are so dominant at one or two things that certain matchups or defensive strategies can’t really stop them. They are going to score well almost every night because if the defense takes away on thing, they can beat you another way.

    Mitch is still more of a 3rd option.

    His offense will be highly efficient and extremely valuable on many nights, but because he’s limited to lobs and putbacks, there will be matchups and teams that if focused on stopping the P&R and keeping out of the paint will effectively limit or neutralize him.

    To become a legitimate #2 option, he’ll have to develop either a deadly short jumper, a post up game, or the ability to knock down 3s effectively enough to force the defense to cover him and make it more difficult to take away his strengths. But right now, if the Knicks were a playoff team, Mitch was our starting C, and we were depending on him for around 20 +/- points a night, he could not deliver consistently. He’s the 3rd option that will give us some monster night but less so others.

    All told, since he defends and protects the rim also, he’s a terrific player with the best yet to come, most likely including an expanding offense.

  124. Turning DSJ into asset will demand hiring another assistant coach named: David Copperfield.

    I’m only half joking when I say that if I was an opposing GM you’d have to give me a 2nd rounder or take back a bad contract for me to take DSJr. Dallas couldn’t give him away before the Knicks were dumb enough to take him as a key part of the KP deal. He’s done nothing but reduce his value since then.

  125. LOL Z-Man throwing curse bombs. Anyways, speaking of politics, it’s nice to see that we kicked off 2020 with an act of aggression that can precipitate a possible war with Iran. Happy New Years!

  126. @137 – Yes. I agree about Mitch, but he’s legit. That’s the point. Compare his advanced stats to Morris in terms of ranking, and he’s already a game changer. That becomes evident when anyone studies his numbers over 48 min. In fact, his numbers aren’t good. They aren’t all-star, they’re super-star numbers. And YES, he needs a 15-footer and I want to see him stretch the floor a bit with the 3-pt shot once or twice a game. He also has to show that he can stay on the floor. But he’s the perfect example of the fact that gems can be found in the second round.

  127. It took Philly 4 seasons to get from nothing to contention. We’re working on our 7th consecutive losing season. Sign me the hell up.

    IMO, the Philly model is not a easy to duplicate as people think.

    INJURIES contributed to Philly being able to select so many high level picks for so many consecutive years until they finally got a couple right and could then attract the experienced free agents that made them a legitimately good team.

    They basically took the Spurs path of sitting out an injured Robinson and tanking while he was hurt to get an older and more developed Duncan who could come in and be productive immediately. Then they added pieces.

    In fact, that was our own plan with KP. He were fortunate (or not fortunate depending on your perspective at the time) that he was sitting out a year where we would have won “x” more games if he played in order to engage in an all out tank and have a shot at Zion (which failed but we still ended up with a better pick than we would have gotten if he played).

    That’s not a plan. It’s a mishap that occasionally has unintended favorable side effects.

    I’m not saying it won’t work. It’s an option that WILL work. But straight up building via tanking takes a LOT of years, luck and competence.

    It’s not so clear to me that’s a better option that what Miami, the Spurs, Houston, or other teams are always doing by trying to remain competitive, managing space best they can, and trying to get stars into space or by using picks. That approach does not preclude finding bargains in the draft too.

    Miami made a 1/2 dozen mistake in the last few years and they are still only 1 player away from being a serious contender because Riley’s competence overcomes the inevitable mistakes even he makes. That’s the real key. It’s COMPETENCE not the approach.

  128. It took the Sixers five years, not four, and “contention” is an exaggeration of where they were in 2017-18.

  129. I have to admit with the team playing better and finally gelling, I’ve been sad about the prospect of trading Morris for a pick. I know it’s probably the right move long term and that a lot of people on this blog downplay the importance of the idea of team building and culture changing, but Morris brings leadership (both on and off the court) that this franchise has lacked for quite some time. Robinson’s comments after the Portland game confirm this. I would hate for our team to suddenly become uncompetitive again and now our youngsters are demoralized again. Plus I think The Knicks have been so bad for so long that development (ie, tanking again) might be more harmful to us than trying to be a competitive team even if it hurts our draft spot.

    However, with Bullock returning, Randle playing better and the PG position seemingly figured out (nothin great but it’s working), I think it may not hurt us too bad to trade him so if there is a trade out there that brings back a pick or two, I think we should do it. I’d look to trade Morris, DSJ and Trier for whatever first and second rounders we could get.

    But can someone answer this for me? Could we theoretically resign Morris this off season if we traded him? There was a debate about this here and on P and T and I wasn’t sure what the answer to that question was.

  130. INJURIES contributed to Philly being able to select so many high level picks for so many consecutive years until they finally got a couple right and could then attract the experienced free agents that made them a legitimately good team.

    You’ve made this easily falsifiable point before only to see it falsified, so I guess I’ll do that again.

    2013-2014 was the first season in which Philly entered tanking/asset collection/whatever you want to call it mode. They won 19 games and drafted Embiid 3rd overall.

    It’s true that Embiid wouldn’t debut for two seasons, including 2014-2015 which netted Philly Jahlil Okafor, AKA nothing at all, and 2015-2016 which netted them Ben Simmons.

    You might be tempted to think Embiid’s injury is what allowed them to be bad enough to get Simmons, but you’d be wrong. In 2015-2016 Philly won 10 games. The next closest team was the Lakers at 17. So unless you think a rookie, highly load-managed Embiid would’ve been worth 7 wins all on his own, his injury didn’t effect their draft position at all. Recall that during Embiid’s actual rookie year, he only played 31 games.

    Surely his injury as a rookie benefitted their draft position, right? Sure did! It allowed them to draft *checks notes* the current starting point guard for the Orlando Magic. Oh.

    After that we hit 2017-2018, and Philly is a top 5 team by SRS and goes to the second round of the playoffs (so yeah, a contender, sorry E I know facts are stubborn things).

    In sum, Philly didn’t get to where they are because of well-timed injuries. In fact, the record indicates the injuries may literally have not helped them at all. They got to where they are by not chasing marginal wins, taking flyers on tons of UDFAs like Covington, and taking on salary dumps that gave them the assets to trade for Harris (and just generally situated them well). Start to finish, it took four seasons.

  131. I’m confused about this Marcus Morris discussion.

    Are we saying we should NOT trade him and instead sign him to an extension (which basically means just re-signing him into cap space or a non-bird exception)?

    That makes less than zero sense, unless the purpose of this year is to literally win as many games as possible for the small chance of getting swept in the first round, worsening or lottery odds in the meantime.

    If the discussion is about whether we should RE-sign him after trading him away for draft pick(s) / young player(s), that’s a harder decision. We will have absolute loads of cap space in the summer of 2021 (up to $70MM) if we want it regardless of whether we spend some of it on Marcus Morris. The question then is not as much of opportunity cost of cap space, and more of where Morris fits on the team and the opportunity cost of having him on the team playing 30 min/game when Randle, Knox, and Barrett occupy the same 2 positions that he plays. I’m not specifically opposed to re-signing him — yes he doesn’t really fit on the “win curve”, but he does seem like a good locker room leader, he IS a reasonably good player on both sides of the ball, and at some point you have to have good players on your team and pay them accordingly. 3 years for 45-50MM is not so bad.

    Re: Mitch and his “option”-ness — a big who doesn’t handle the ball will never be a #1 option. Getting him the ball for lob dunks may be the #1 option for the offense, but he’s still a dependent player who needs specific actions to get him the ball to score (outside of his crazy offensive rebounding). That said, he’s unlike most bigs in a good way because I don’t believe he’ll ever get played off the court on switches.

  132. Could we theoretically resign Morris this off season if we traded him? There was a debate about this here and on P and T and I wasn’t sure what the answer to that question was.

    Sure. He’d be a free agent. We’d lose the rights to go over the cap to sign him to 120% of his current AAV, but that shouldn’t matter at all because we’ll have pretty much all the cap space we want.

    However, the better question is should we sign 31 year old Marcus Morris to a multiyear deal? The guy turned down 3/$41M from the Clippers last offseason because he thought he could beat that by taking a one-year deal. Should the Knicks, who currently roster one player with a positive BPM, beat that?

  133. Could we theoretically resign Morris this off season if we traded him?

    Yup. With cap space (Just renouncing Portis, Gibson and Ellington frees up almost 32 million dollars – yeah, that’s how bad we spent money this summer). I don’t know why we would want to do it, but we could.

  134. This is a career year for Morris, I’d be against re-signing him longterm. He takes a lot of JR Smith shots that will have us collectively shaking our heads once they stop falling. And they will stop falling.

    His scoring except for his 3pt shot is terrible, even at the rim. We NEED to dump him before his 3pt% regresses.

  135. Surely his injury as a rookie benefitted their draft position, right? Sure did! It allowed them to draft *checks notes* the current starting point guard for the Orlando Magic. Oh.

    I forgot to mention that Simmons was injured this season too. Again, these beautifully timed injuries that brought Philly value which can never, ever be replicated delivered them one Markelle Fultz.

  136. we really need more polls, because I’m pretty sure 80% of the board would trade morris for a late first and there wouldn’t as much interest in convincing dissidents that a bad team should not give up a late first for the nearly worthless consideration of a modestly better probability of paying FMV to a so-so 31 year old free agent.

  137. Jesus, I just found out MitchRob has the highest career WS/48 of any player in NBA history 21 or younger. Top 10 on that list are as follows:

    1. Mitch
    2. Brow
    3. MJ
    4. Shaq
    5. Joker
    6. Magic
    7. Timmy
    8. Marques Johnson
    9. Adrian Dantley
    10. John Drew

  138. I get not wanting to talk about politics especially with how it seems to infect every topic these days, but I also think that sports fandom has some interesting parallels to politics. The biggest one is the reality that if enough of us were principled and informed fans, the front office wouldn’t be able to behave greedily or incompetently. This doesn’t happen, however, because the competitive and tribal nature of both politics and sports juices people up to such an extent that facts become irrelevant and so consensus is also near impossible to reach because if we don’t care about facts, how do we even have a conversation? Likewise, the sports media, just like cable news, plays its part in keeping people ignorant by selling cheap narratives that pander to this emotionality rather than interacting with the facts.

  139. After that we hit 2017-2018, and Philly is a top 5 team by SRS and goes to the second round of the playoffs (so yeah, a contender, sorry E I know facts are stubborn things).

    No, the 2018 Sixers were not a contender and really last year’s team wasn’t either. There’s no constituency to tank for five years just to become a 52 win team that wins a playoff round, then exits.

    They’re not really a contender this year, either — they’re way behind Milwaukee and are as likely to do something like trade Simmons this offseason as they are to win the championship this summer.

  140. There’s no constituency to tank for five years just to become a 52 win team that wins a playoff round, then exits.

    Yeah, can you imagine if the Knicks were bad for five seasons with the payoff being a consistent 50+ win team with surplus assets?

    I for one much prefer our actual course: being bad for longer, without the payoff.

  141. I get not wanting to talk about politics especially with how it seems to infect every topic these days, but I also think that sports fandom has some interesting parallels to politics. The biggest one is the reality that if enough of us were principled and informed fans, the front office wouldn’t be able to behave greedily or incompetently. This doesn’t happen, however, because the competitive and tribal nature of both politics and sports juices people up to such an extent that facts become irrelevant and so consensus is also near impossible to reach because if we don’t care about facts, how do we even have a conversation? Likewise, the sports media, just like cable news, plays its part in keeping people ignorant by selling cheap narratives that pander to this emotionality rather than interacting with the facts.

    I agree. Politics has quite literally become spectator sport. We designate favorites and root them on all while not participating in the process.

  142. Yeah, can you imagine if the Knicks were bad for five seasons with the payoff being a consistent 50+ win team with surplus assets?

    So your plan is to tank until 2024 and then in the 2024-25 season we’ll get a 52 win team that loses 4-1 in the second round to the team that doesn’t even win the Eastern Conference? And then in 2026-27, we’ll still be stuck with a mismatched roster, materially behind the cream of the East, and debating whether to trade one of the main assets our tanking got us?

    Count me out.

  143. No, the 2018 Sixers were not a contender and really last year’s team wasn’t either.

    They came within one miracle Kawhi Leonard shot of eliminating the eventual NBA champions.

    The fuck is wrong with you.

  144. Well Ntilikina maybe I would participate if I had enough estate-taxable money that I needed to shelter so as to create a trust that would fund “non-profits” and “social welfare groups” that funnel cash to extremist candidates that I intend to install in gerrymandered districts to sabotage democratic norms so I have to spend less money next time to ensure that no one fines me when I dump toxic waste by the millions of tons into the ground

  145. The fuck is wrong with you.

    They weren’t winning the championship last year, and they’re further away this year.

    The Sixers could have held on to Jrue and just drafted Giannis instead of MCW, and all the tanking bullshit would just be the blabber than it really is. They didn’t need to tank. Stop sack-licking that stupidity.

  146. It’s wild that teams try rebuilding when they could simply draft Giannis Antetokounmpo instead.

  147. The Sixers could have held on to Jrue and just drafted Giannis instead of MCW, and all the tanking bullshit would just be the blabber than it really is.

    on second thought forget the polls

  148. @158

    That was a hell of a run on sentence, but you raise an interesting point about how money is supposed to equal political participation in our plutocratic system of government.

  149. It’s wild that teams try rebuilding when they could simply draft Giannis Antetokounmpo instead.

    Actually, yeah, it is stupid to tank for years on end when you can get a Giannis at 15.

    There’s no constituency here to tank until 2024-25 and then have a 2013 Knicks season as the payoff. You’re just playing a fantasy GM game with yourselves and you aren’t GMs. And Sam Hinkie isn’t Martin Fucking Scorsese and he didn’t auteur the Sixers to where they are. Get over it already, it’s actually kinda pathetic.

  150. Jesus, I just found out MitchRob has the highest career WS/48 of any player in NBA history 21 or younger. Top 10 on that list are as follows:

    1. Mitch
    2. Brow
    3. MJ
    4. Shaq
    5. Joker
    6. Magic
    7. Timmy
    8. Marques Johnson
    9. Adrian Dantley
    10. John Drew

    I’m still baffled on why Mitch doesn’t start and play ~30 minutes or until he actually fouls out. Never heard of not starting the best player on the team for any reason.

  151. They weren’t winning the championship last year, and they’re further away this year.

    What part of “came within one miracle shot of defeating the eventual champions” are you having problems with

  152. On the other hand, if we did tank even for an extra game we’d have KAT, or Steph Curry instead of Jordan Hill. But I guess it’s just better to wait for the next Giannis to fall to us. Where was Zion drafted again?

  153. What part of “came within one miracle shot of defeating the eventual champions” are you having problems with

    What part of “had they won that series, they would have lost in the next round, but they didn’t win the series so who really cares anyway” are you having problems with? Or are you fantasying that in the way that you’re fantasy GMing?

    If anything, they’re regressing. Their starting five has a net rating of only plus-7.6, as opposed to the 2018 starting five at around plus-20. Looks like they might have peaked at right around 2013 Knicks level . Tanking four years for that? Thanks, but no thanks.

  154. If E was GM, he’d simply find out how all of the players pan out before he decided who to draft. This isn’t hard!

  155. “Rebuilding is stupid because of the existence of Giannis Antetokounmpo” is honestly one of the funnier bits we’ve seen here. Nothing but respect.

  156. So the proper path to contention can be summed in a reddit post saying “just draft Giannis at 15th loooool”

    Really great insight, that’s why I keep coming back to this board. While we’re at it let’s just draft the next Jokic at 41st in the next draft and we’ll be sure to contend right away!

  157. If you take the eventual champs to seven games and you come within a possession of eliminating them, you’re a contender. “They would have lost in the next round hurr durr because I said so” doesn’t really do a very good job of refuting that.

  158. “Rebuilding is stupid because of the existence of Giannis Antetokounmpo” is honestly one of the funnier bits we’ve seen here. Nothing but respect.

    Rebuilding is fine, even occasional tanking is fine. If I were the Knicks, I’d get rid of the mercenaries and play the young guys this year.

    Celebrating four straight intentionally years of tanking as if you’re reinvented NBAing, all to wind up with the 2013 Knicks is stupid.

    Here’s a good law lesson (beyond reading the words the other person writes better, then you wouldn’t see “rebuilding” when he wrote “tanking’) — when you have to change the words your opponent used, you’re probably not having the best of things.

  159. What part of “had they won that series, they would have lost in the next round, but they didn’t win the series so who really cares anyway” are you having problems with? Or are you fantasying that in the way that you’re fantasy GMing?

    I vividly remember the sting of picking the Bucks to crush all comers (cost me $20 to a sports-talk-radio friend, so it felt more like $20,000) but I’m sure you’re much better than I am about prognosticating wholly imagined matchups

  160. Wait, so what the hell have you been arguing for this whole time? I thought your whole point was that we shouldn’t trade Morris, because you think that makes it less likely he’ll sign with us this offseason

    Maybe people here should actually read the posts. In what fucking language is not not trade this season the sane as sign him for four years.

  161. The Sixers are the 2013 Knicks?

    My memory might be a little bit foggy but i don’t remember us having any players the age and caliber of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons….

  162. @155 and @158, it’s not impossible to participate without sacrificing a career, although from personal experience it’s easy to get pulled in and invest more and more time. Anyway there’s a whole movement trying to fight the current state of politics being a spectator sport. Look at the use of pol.is software in Taiwan for example.

    And a piece I wrote about a movement I was part in, and how DAOs could have helped it. It’s a bit long but people seem to find it interesting. At least some people.

  163. Maybe people here should actually read the posts.

    That would certainly be a better state of affairs, but they obviously prefer arguing with the bugaboos in their heads.

  164. We have a “you can draft Giannis Antetokounmpo whenever you want” guy and a “the picks we got for Kristaps Porzingis and his .510 TS% are useless because they’ll be late” guy and it’s the same guy

  165. Not winning an NBA championship in 10 years is definitely a sign of management failure. Therefore, the GM’s of the following teams should be shit canned ASAP:

    Philly
    Boston
    Milwaukee
    Houston
    Denver

  166. The Sixers are the 2013 Knicks?

    Not quite yet, since their peak win total is 52 and the 2013 Knicks won 54.

    My memory might be a little bit foggy but i don’t remember us having any players the age and caliber of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons….

    Your memory is a little bit foggy. Carmelo Anthony was three years older than Joel Embiid is now, but he was third in the MVP voting that year, whereas Embiid’s peak is 7th. Ben Simmons has zero MVP shares to date.

  167. The guy says with certainty that the team that took Toronto to 7 games and lost on an incredible buzzer beater had literally 0 chance to win against the same Bucks Toronto beat in 6 and the depleted Warriors, and “people not actually reading posts” is the problem.

    Yeah dude.

  168. Maybe people here should actually read the posts. In what fucking language is not not trade this season the sane as sign him for four years.

    I literally said “multiyear, high AAV” and then mentioned the deals we know for a fact he already rejected in favor of a one-year deal because he thought they were too low.

    I really hate this no skin in the game thing we see all the time from various folks. We should trade picks for players, I just won’t name the players. We should build a good team without tanking/rebuilding, I just won’t say how we’re going to get the assets needed to do so. Kristaps Porzingis will be a superstar one day, but don’t ask me to name the day. Frank Ntilikina will be a stud for an unspecified smart team that will pick him up at an unspecified time. We should re-sign Marcus Morris, but HOW FUCKING DARE YOU SUGGEST WE’D HAVE TO BEAT THE OFFERS HE’S ALREADY REJECTED!

    So to what contract would you sign Marcus Morris? If he rejects your apparently low-ball offer are you content to let him walk, having forgone a first-round pick in order to not upset him (upset him by trading him to a good team, that is)?

  169. Your memory is a little bit foggy. Carmelo Anthony was three years older than Joel Embiid is now, but he was third in the MVP voting that year, whereas Embiid’s peak is 7th. Ben Simmons has zero MVP shares to date.

    Oh my god did we just get a Carmelo Anthony > Joel Embiid take? Based on MVP VOTING no less?

    This would make Ruru blush.

  170. I really hate this no skin in the game thing we see all the time from various folks.

    What the fuck does this “skin in the game” thing mean? It’s not his fault you didn’t read what he wrote and then distorted the shit out of what he said.

    We should build a good team without tanking/rebuilding, I just won’t say how we’re going to get the assets needed to do so. Kristaps Porzingis will be a superstar one day, but don’t ask me to name the day. Frank Ntilikina will be a stud for an unspecified smart team that will pick him up at an unspecified time.

    Nobody said the first thing you said someone said. And it’s obvious how you get assets — you draft well, trade well, develop well, and get lucky. If you can’t live with the inherent uncertainty and unpredictablity of that, it’s your problem. No one said the second thing you said someone said. There’s one guy here who’s a big KP fan; all I’ve ever said is that he was a far more valuable asset than the return the Knicks got for him, which is 100% factorial. No one said the third thing you said someone said. You’re arguing with boogeymen and straw people.

  171. And it’s obvious how you get assets — you draft well, trade well, develop well, and get lucky

    Lmao

  172. It bears repeating when people are whining about Philly’s failed plan that they fired the architect of the plan and replaced him with an idiot right when they started reaping the benefits and they’re still better than any Knicks team since the late 90s

  173. Oh my god did we just get a Carmelo Anthony > Joel Embiid take? Based on MVP VOTING no less?

    This would make Ruru blush.

    Oh, let me guess. Embiid and Simmons had WS/48s way higher than Melo 13? And Tyson Chandler was the real reason the Knicks won 54 games?

    So how does it work that Embiid and Simmons are transcendent superstars, who get to play with a third kind of superstar (Butler), yet the Sixers win 51 games … and Melo sucks but the Knicks win 54 games? And the Knicks were five pythag wins better? Does not compute.

  174. I’m still baffled on why Mitch doesn’t start and play ~30 minutes or until he actually fouls out. Never heard of not starting the best player on the team for any reason.

    The Nuggets did this with Jokic a few years back when he was obviously their best player and missed the playoffs by one game.

  175. It bears repeating when people are whining about Philly’s failed plan that they fired the architect of the plan and replaced him with an idiot right when they started reaping the benefits and they’re still better than any Knicks team since the late 90s

    Their plan was going nowhere until they fired the architect.

    And no one’s “whining” about his failed plan; they’re ridiculing it. I mean, yeah, if you’re so stupid that you have the 11th pick in the draft and Giannis is sitting right there and instead you take Michael Carter-Williams, you may have to resort to silly gimmicks — but most people aren’t that stupid.

  176. Your memory is a little bit foggy. Carmelo Anthony was three years older than Joel Embiid is now, but he was third in the MVP voting that year, whereas Embiid’s peak is 7th. Ben Simmons has zero MVP shares to date.

    To your credit, you are remarkably well-spoken for a person who uses MVP voting at a basis for player comparison.

  177. E thinks Payton’s 10 ast games are less valuable on offense than Frank’s 4 ast, 2 TO games.

    Why are we bothering to argue with him?

  178. How many All Star games has Carmelo Anthony been in, suckas? That’s a RUFF RYDAH right there. SHOW ME THE RUFF RYDAHS

  179. (And wtf were Pop & Buford thinking when they took on DeRozan’s deal? Was that really the best offer out there?)

    Remember that Kawhi had been out for many months at that point with a chronic thigh problem that no one was sure would allow him to play out his next contract, and indeed, it was unclear he could be resigned either way. As he wasn’t. So I imagine the offers weren’t fantastic.

  180. I’m still baffled on why Mitch doesn’t start and play ~30 minutes or until he actually fouls out. Never heard of not starting the best player on the team for any reason.

    Very good question. He’s the only person on that top ten all time list with a majority of his games off the bench.

  181. (And wtf were Pop & Buford thinking when they took on DeRozan’s deal? Was that really the best offer out there?)

    Dude, do you not know he’s gotten MVP voting shares TWICE???

  182. To your credit, you are remarkably well-spoken for a person who uses MVP voting at a basis for player comparison.

    Secure people tend to be that way. It’s only insecure people who have such an unrelenting psychic need to spend their lives ridiculing what they perceive to be mainstream ways of evaluating sports and players. With me, it’s just about sports, not dragon slaying.

    But in any event, there’s no serious sense in which current Ben Simmons is a better basketball player than 2013 Carmelo Anthony, and I pretty much can’t stand Carmelo Anthony. I’d rather have Joel Embiid, probably, but even the difference there isn’t that great. Neither one is worth intentionally losing for four straight years and the only reason people support Hinkie and that stupid “strategy” is that they want to slay dragons. That’s it. Sam Hinkie is “smart,” everyone else is stupid, and I want to be “smart.” There’s nothing more to it than that and the funny thing is that it’s so obviously not smart.

  183. It’s only insecure people who have such an unrelenting psychic need to spend their lives ridiculing what they perceive to be mainstream ways of evaluating sports and players.

    Like how assists are “hollow” when Frank doesn’t get them? Or how DSJr should be benched for his 17pt-7ast-2TO game, but Frank having 2TO in under 3 min shouldn’t?

  184. Secure people tend to be that way. It’s only insecure people who have such an unrelenting psychic need to spend their lives ridiculing what they perceive to be mainstream ways of evaluating sports and players. With me, it’s just about sports, not dragon slaying.

    This just in:

    Billy Beane and Bill James just insecure dragon slayers. Time to give up on statistical revolution.

  185. So to what contract would you sign Marcus Morris? If he rejects your apparently low-ball offer are you content to let him walk, having forgone a first-round pick in order to not upset him (upset him by trading him to a good team, that is)?

    Jesus Christ. I never suggested signing him to anything. Why do you insist on insanely putting words in my mouth I didn’t write. Go read my posts. I actually suggested I’d rather have cap space than a lousy draft pick. That’s completely different. You are the idiot who reads AAV when I never said anything about it. All I said was I didn’t want to trade him this season.

  186. @200

    Right now it looks like Ja. But I would like see Zion play before I feel better about that prediction.

  187. Remember that Kawhi had been out for many months at that point with a chronic thigh problem that no one was sure would allow him to play out his next contract, and indeed, it was unclear he could be resigned either way. As he wasn’t. So I imagine the offers weren’t fantastic.

    I will always defer to that management team’s acumen, but they have gotten a little weird over the years. I think it’s important to note that with a healthy Kawhi, they probably win 55-60 games in 2017-18, and if they hadn’t fucked up their relationship with him, last year’s 48-win team is probably a 58-win team. (Their top SFs last year were DeRozan, Dante Cunningham and Belinelli.) And it’s hard to blame them for taking what they could for Kawhi, especially since it was a situation similar to KP’s. Are we thrilled about that haul? No, but it’s better than letting him walk for nothing, especially when there’s a solid argument that the contract would be a dud.

    I don’t quite understand some of their drafting since Kawhi. Not taking Clarke is baffling.

  188. Go read my posts

    K

    So either the player, in this case Morris, will think we screwed him over and not want to come back or he will have been disgusted with his N.Y. experience and undoubtedly not want to do it again. If we trade him now, there is no way we are getting him back for the beginning of next season.

    What I can’t imagine is that he is traded before the deadline, but comes back next year, presumably as a free agent.

    Sorry I inferred that you wanted to re-sign Marcus Morris based on all the times you said trading Marcus Morris would make it unlikely that we can re-sign Marcus Morris.

    Anyway, if what you’re actually saying is we shouldn’t trade him and then we should let him walk for nothing, that’s one of the most bizarre opinions I’ve ever seen expressed on this site. I don’t even know what to say.

    I don’t think you actually believe that, though. I think you’re backing into it now because you realized your actual point, which was in fact that we should re-sign Marcus Morris, was bad. I’d pivot back to that one though. It’s slightly less stupid than the opinion you’re pretending to hold now.

  189. Ten years from now – who will still be playing: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant or RJ Barrett?

    All three, but Zion is by far the most likely to be coming back from a lingering major injury.

  190. The entire “Let’s model ourselves after the Sixers” idea is insane. First, they tanked and were virtually assured to get their picks. Second, they drafted 4 top-3 lottery players in 4 years and 2 of them aided the tank by getting hurt. That’s not happening again. And they still haven’t won a championship.

    And the assumption that we would offer a multiyear, high AAV contract to him never came up. If we were to not trade him (which I now don’t agree with) it would only be for a reasonable, 2-3 year deal. A lot of folks here are doing what politicians do. They’re taking things to absurd extremes to make their points.

    @151 & 164 – Yeah. It’s about time we appreciate Mitch for his upside. We’re not contending this season but the hope is that we’re in much better shape next season. Right now it seems the development plan is on schedule.

  191. I sort of assumed the fanatics had the numbers memorized, but even on its own, inane terms, their argument collapses:

    WS/48

    2012-13 Knicks

    Tyson Chandler — .207
    Carmelo Anthony — .184

    2018-19 Sixers

    Joel Embiid — .194
    Ben Simmons — .146

  192. And they still haven’t won a championship.

    Come on now, in the minds of their bootlickers they did — and that’s all that really matters.

  193. Aren’t there reports that Morris wants to be traded? If so, he might actually be happy with being traded to a contender.

    But whatever, if you can get a 2020 first for him, just do it. Worry about maybe signing him again this offseason….during this next offseason.

    If you want to argue that there are Giannis and Jokics out there to grab outside of the lottery, don’t you want more picks to increase the odds that you get “lucky” and get one of those type of guys? Play the probabilities? If not, hire Nostradamus as GM, I guess. Is he available?

    Of course, I’ve read on a Jets forum that, since the Jets have drafted poorly for several years now, they should not try to acquire more “worthless” draft picks. You know, b/c they always draft poorly. And this continues despite the team hiring a new GM who has yet to have a draft.

  194. Nope, TheClashFan. The reports are the opposite. Here’s the latest from Shams:

    Morris has expressed publicly and privately his desire to stay loyal with the Knicks, and the team is said to prefer to keep him.

    Sigh.

  195. @211
    Thanks for the update! No matter, if the Knicks can get a 2020 first rounder for him, the Knicks should do it!

  196. Sigh.

    i forgot who – but, didn’t someone check his stats and determine – he’s not really that great (4th or 5th starter – maybe bench role player – which he’s been for a bunch of his career)…which, makes me wonder exactly how much could we have gotten for him…

    if he’s crazy enough to want to actually play for the knicks, and, he helps fire up mitch in practice or on the court…let it ride…don’t trade him if he wants to stay…

    when he first came here i thought he’d lead the league in techs…he’s changed and seems to be all in on the team, despite his seemingly merc decision to come here in the first place…hard to tell from the outside, but, he seems like a legit vet leader, whom unlike Taj can still perform out on the court fairly consistently…

  197. How long did that good Knicks run last? After that 2013 season? Oh, zero seasons? Okay then. When the Sixers win 37 games this year and then suck for the better part of a decade then maybe this idiotic argument might hold some water but until then… well, I mean somebody has to be the dumbest poster here. I mean SOMEBODY has to be the absolute dumbest.

  198. I guess what some people are trying to say is that IF they trade Morris, they will probably have to take some bad contract back. Maybe even multiple years.

    Some people rather have the cap space next season than a low 1st or, most probably, a 2nd round pick.

    I rather trade him but can’t see why this is so absurd at all.

  199. Secure people tend to be that way. It’s only insecure people who have such an unrelenting psychic need to spend their lives ridiculing what they perceive to be mainstream ways of evaluating sports and players. With me, it’s just about sports, not dragon slaying.

    This board isn’t about hot air. I don’t know exactly how long you were lurking before you became our new resident contrarian, but if you want a place that’s “just about sports,” i.e. just saying boilerplate shit like “Devin Booker is a stud, only real hoopers would understand” or “Giannis doesn’t have what it takes to win in the clutch,” there are far better options available to you.

    I’m happy to have someone to articulate opinions against, but when you start making arbitrary distinctions between “about sports” and “dragon slaying,” as though we as a group don’t spend tens of thousands of words talking very pointedly and sophisticatedly about the game of basketball, I wonder just what exactly you think we’re doing here.

  200. I rather trade him but can’t see why this is so absurd at all.

    I don’t think we are (or should be) signing a significant free agent this summer, so taking on someone else’s bad contract to get an asset for Morris makes sense. It just depends on what that asset is. If it’s a 2nd-rounder in what seems to be a bad/shallow draft, then you don’t take on future salary and just keep Mook. But if it’s a first, and/or multiple picks, and/or a promising young prospect, then sure.

  201. I guess what some people are trying to say is that IF they trade Morris, they will probably have to take some bad contract back. Maybe even multiple years.

    And to those people I would say: that just gives another expiring to trade for another 1st + dead-weight deal next year, should the team fail to improve at all!

    In seriousness, we need to work on identifying our place on the win curve instead of just assuming that cap space in 2020-21 will be the thing that turns the team around. Rookie-contract studs first, then big FA splash signing/trading.

  202. How long did that good Knicks run last?

    Who cares? The Sixers tanked for four straight years, still haven’t put as good a team on the floor as the 2013 Knicks, and their top two proceeds of the tanking had (significantly) fewer WS/48 in their last full season than 2013 Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony. Sack-lick and spin all you want; those are the facts on the ground.

    When the Sixers win 37 games this year and then suck for the better part of a decade then maybe this idiotic argument might hold some water but until then… well, I mean somebody has to be the dumbest poster here. I mean SOMEBODY has to be the absolute dumbest.

    I nominate the ones who have to resort to mischaracterizing the dumbest argument. Now that’s REALLY fucking stupid. Now that we’ve established that, maybe you guys can go back and tell everyone again how Frank Ntilikina has a .000 WS/48 for the year, the last howler you told when someone called you on your bullshit.

  203. I guess what some people are trying to say is that IF they trade Morris, they will probably have to take some bad contract back. Maybe even multiple years.

    1) What is this thing where people are pretending they don’t know how expiring contracts work? We don’t have to do this if the other team just sends back expirings, and multiple contending teams have expirings that could work.

    2) Who exactly are we trying to sign in the summer of 2020 that would make taking on an extra year of salary so dreadful? Let’s actually do try to do the thing where we name specific players, and say what specific contract we’d want to give them. Here’s the list of 2020 free agents: https://www.spotrac.com/nba/free-agents/

    These questions aren’t addressed to you MSA as you’ve made your opinion clear. They’re addressed to the people making the counterargument you outlined.

  204. I’m happy to have someone to articulate opinions against, but when you start making arbitrary distinctions between “about sports” and “dragon slaying,” as though we as a group don’t spend tens of thousands of words talking very pointedly and sophisticatedly about the game of basketball, I wonder just what exactly you think we’re doing here.

    Those WS/48 and BPM numbers really aren’t that sophisticated; if they were, they wouldn’t purport to be able to go back to 1978 box scores and precisely rate players. Even the act itself — just churning numbers from a single 40-year-old historical artifact and only that artifact — isn’t sophisticated in the least. It’s the opposite, really. Not to mention arrogant. I’m entirely lost on why you think reducing all of basketball to a couple all-in-one metrics is sophisticated analysis. The notion sounds frankly ridiculous to me.

  205. Who cares? The Sixers tanked for four straight years, still haven’t put as good a team on the floor as the 2013 Knicks, and their top two proceeds of the tanking had (significantly) fewer WS/48 in their last full season than 2013 Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony.

    The Sixers have two good young players in their primes who are far away from their decline phases and will be good for a number of years. They’ll be a good team in the East for many years, with upside to be an elite team if they add the right players to that core. That’s a healthy, stable situation. The 2013 Knicks were a one-year wonder that collapsed instantly. I don’t know about you, but I’d sure take the former situation over the latter! Tyson Chandler was 30 and Carmelo Anthony was 28. Joel Embiid is 25 and Ben Simmons is 23. Which pair would you rather have? I know which pair I’d choose! The one not heading directly into the headwind of its decline phase!

    Now that we’ve established that, maybe you guys can go back and tell everyone again how Frank Ntilikina has a .000 WS/48 for the year, the last howler you told when someone called you on your bullshit.

    It was .015 at the time, but score one pathetic little point for the E-Dog I guess.

  206. I’m not referring to our collective math ability as sophisticated. This board shines when it’s discussing heuristics for front office management (and the occasional discussion of individual player profile) more than it does trying to achieve mathematical proof.

    Many of us have long been in disagreement about whether a career 0.2 BPM player is actually a superstar. We will find no productive conversation here about the relative value of, say, RPM to PIPM.

  207. Well, at least we keep the long tenured knickerblogger tradition of having at least one poster at all time who posts outrageously stupid shit and yet thinks he’s in a position to offend others and pose as the only one who has seen reason. E’s VORP (value over replacement poster) is clearly higher than ruruland’s or reub’s, so I guess at least we can say we’re trending towards a positive direction. Ruruland was a god of intangibles, though.

  208. If we somehow become desperate to resign Marcus Morris after dumping him to a contender for a pick, couldn’t we just, you know, not pick up the second years of any two of Bobby Portis, Ellington or Taj Gibson and thereby save enough money?

    Why would we want him back though? I just don’t see what he gives us in his early thirties that we couldn’t go without. I’d much rather have a pick, even if we have to take back a longer contract.

  209. Honestly, Ruru made mostly good-faith arguments and at least pretended to care about backing them up. They were bad, but the board wasn’t worse for them.

    This dude…I’m not sure we’ve ever encountered anything like it.

  210. I guess what some people are trying to say is that IF they trade Morris, they will probably have to take some bad contract back. Maybe even multiple years.

    Some people rather have the cap space next season than a low 1st or, most probably, a 2nd round pick.

    I rather trade him but can’t see why this is so absurd at all.

    Yes, exactly

    TNFH, I consider it impossible to trade Morris and then get him back. So if you want him for next season, then you keep him and see if you can sign him for a reasonable contract at the end of the season. There are no guarantees though. He’s playing well and other teams could want him. If you don’t want to keep him, then your choices are to get a high second or late first round pick for him in a trade or have $15m in cap space at the end of the season. I don’t believe that sort of pick is worth $15 million in cap space, but reasonable minds could differ. I can’t find recent trade examples that are relevant here, so I just made my judgement on the sort of players who I think you can get for that money compared to the sort of player I expect at, say, pick 27.

  211. I was always impressed by ruruland’s calm demeanor during these contentious disagreements. Stratomatic too. This is a new thing, for sure.

  212. @217

    i forgot who – but, didn’t someone check his stats and determine – he’s not really that great (4th or 5th starter – maybe bench role player – which he’s been for a bunch of his career)…which, makes me wonder exactly how much could we have gotten for him…

    That was me. I never said “bench player”. That he’s not. He’s a legit starter and 30. But the likes of him can be found easily on the FA market.

    Although Morris is probably on the block, I wouldn’t make the trade unless I got back real value.

    BTW, unlike the other FA we signed, we don’t have an option on him. I thought we did but after looking it up, I don’t think so. If he’s a lame duck, it adds to the reasons to make the trade.

  213. You really are the best.

    no, not really…i tend to bury my head in the sand and only really focus on those things/people in the world whom are close to me…

    i have a tremendous amount of respect for those with the courage and will to try to make a difference on a larger scale, especially for those whom try to provide a voice to those people whom may not have a say in the processes or events which affect them…those people whom try to tackle issues which can affect the greater good…

    being nice is easy – doing good is a lot of hard work…

  214. Marcus Morris is 30 and he’s irrelevant to the win curve of the Knicks. He’s also shooting an unsustainable .452 from 3PT. He’s been a solid 3-point shooter in his career but he ain’t no .450 3-point shooter.

    It seems like a very obvious play to flip him for an asset, even if it’s not a kickass asset. Bringing him back so we can overpay for his decline phase is… well, it’s Knicksy.

  215. I never said “bench player”. That he’s not.

    my mistake, for some reason i thought he came off the bench in boston…i might just be confusing him with his brother though, or, maybe he was a starter in boston…

    i get the reasoning for trying to trade him…i’m just doubtful about the value on the return…

  216. He’s playing well and other teams could want him. If you don’t want to keep him, then your choices are to get a high second or late first round pick for him in a trade or have $15m in cap space at the end of the season. I don’t believe that sort of pick is worth $15 million in cap space, but reasonable minds could differ.

    See my post above. Expiring contracts are a thing.

    Also, by just renouncing Portis/Gibson/Ellington alone we’d already be at $19.5M in cap space this offseason assuming a Morris-sized contracts stays on the books. Renounce Trier and we’re at $24M. Renounce Bullock and we’re at $26.4M. Renounce Dotson and we’re at $27.5M. This assumes Frank and DSJ remain on the books (and this is all assuming the cap hold for the 3rd overall pick).

    Again, who the hell are we targeting in this free agent class that requires us to have so much more cap space than this?

  217. Woj:

    Detroit and Atlanta have been engaged in talks on a trade centered on Andre Drummond, league sources tell ESPN. No deal imminent, but Detroit is talking to Hawks and several other teams on Drummond, sources said.

  218. Detroit getting something for Drummond makes sense for them but what a disaster. they potentially had a golden opportunity last year to undo svg’s desperate Blake trade while also getting a good haul for Drummond and head into a good rebuild. Now they are stuck with Blake and probably won’t get much for drummond’s expiring deal.

  219. @226

    The Sixers have two good young players in their primes who are far away from their decline phases and will be good for a number of years. They’ll be a good team in the East for many years, with upside to be an elite team if they add the right players to that core. That’s a healthy, stable situation. The 2013 Knicks were a one-year wonder that collapsed instantly.

    And, the Sixers added what appeared to be a terrific high pick to that (Fultz), but the dude suffered some mysterious injury that seems to have ruined him.

    Arguing about 2013 is interesting and all that, but’s let’s look to the present and near future. If any of us could trade the entire Knicks roster right now for the entire Sixers roster, would you do it?

  220. Agree with noblefacehumper on post 224

    first of all, Zach Lowe has already said that Harkless + a first is/was on the table. Clips are all-in this year – I do not think they are sweating sending the #26 pick or whatever to pick up a guy who fits so perfectly — Pat Bev, PG, Kawhi, Morris — that is really really good.

    second, I’d happily take on, say Gorgui Dieng (who unfortunately is playing just fine for Minny) and his contract in order to get a slightly better pick.

    re: Morris – I don’t necessarily think he’d be unhappy staying on the team, but he’d really have to be overly sensitive not to understand that trading him for a first is the best thing for the Knicks franchise, and therefore that he shouldn’t take it personally. If I’m the Knicks FO and am actually interested in re-signing him in the offseason, I just have him talk to Aroldis Chapman and see how that turned out (Gleyber Torres + a 5 year 100 bazillion dollar contract for Aroldis)

    Re: the Sixers – they are just fine and will be for a number of years. The biggest swing they took was really on Markelle Fultz, and while Danny Ainge somehow knew how this would turn out, I think that was pretty much lauded as an aggressive and good deal for Philly a la the Luka/Trae trade. The draft is otherwise a bit of a crapshoot and so I can’t really blame them for MCW, Okafor, etc. That said, their plan was predicated on the old lottery rules — I’m not sure that any franchise would have the stomach to super-tank yet have a 50% chance of dropping 4 spots every year you do that.

    In the new lottery world, player development is going to be more and more important — and is how Brooklyn, Toronto, San Antonio, Denver, etc etc have been churning out high level players despite never having any really high quality picks. I am hoping that Miller might have some of that Spurs magic in him.

  221. Thanks for that Ringer link, ClashFan. It’s nice to read a positive analysis of the team once in a while…the changes on offense have been pretty obvious to me (and not all about Payton), but the defensive stuff was enlightening. And so basic! Miller may be a basic coach, but with young players/players new to a team, basic is good.

    Since my Mike Miller prediction worked out, I will stand by my other big prediction from the offseason: AD in 2020. Sure, it still sounds crazy, but it was based on how thin the Lakers are after their two stars, AD’s stated desire to play in NYC, LeBron’s proven ability to alienate his teammates, and LeBron’s potential mortality (though so far he remains a god). It was also based on the idea that Miller would have the team looking decent enough to imagine becoming legit if AD joined. If I’m AD and don’t want to play center, it’s hard to imagine a better running mate than Skynet.

    Probably won’t happen, but if the Miller thing did, I’ll continue to hold out hope….

  222. well, at least not here :)

    i blame that on the knicks though…after decades of failure, it’s understandable that we may all be a little contentious…

    it’s funny, i’ve spent a good bit of time trying to teach the god kids how to use their words to influence those around them in terms of how people interact with them…simply stuff like greetings, and courtesies…”thank you”, “please” and “i’m sorry” can be effective tools in many situations…

    things haven’t worked out so well yet with those lessons with my first god child…i think though the second is starting to get it a little…

    so many times in life i just wish i could say: do what the fuck i say and trust me – it’ll work out…

    one of the biggest lessons i needed to learn professionally after moving out of management, was figuring out a way to get people to do what i ask them do…it takes a while to build the level of trust where people don’t question you much…

    i remember when i first started off in the military i had a big issue with saluting superiors and calling folks sir and ma’am…just went against my nature at the time…wasn’t really until i was out that i started figuring out it was an effective means for setting the tone and placing limits for personal interactions…hell, now it’s just an easy way to communicate when i don’t feel like remembering people’s names…

    doesn’t always work of course…there are more than a few folks you’ll run in to that just don’t give a fuck about you, themselves or anything else…thankfully over the years i’ve learned how to recognize those people and i can quickly switch my engagement methods…being a new yorker/a bit of dick :) and having a loud voice helps on those occasions…

  223. These questions aren’t addressed to you MSA as you’ve made your opinion clear. They’re addressed to the people making the counterargument you outlined.

    We should sign Tim Hardaway Jr just to keep the tradition of dumping him and then re-signing for double the salary.

  224. Yes. Thanks Clash for the Ringer link.
    It’s a great analysis of how the Knicks tweaked their game. I have to imagine that Miller will address some of the lingering issues with the team, like perimeter defense. I want to quote blurb about Mitch from it:

    They shoot 54.9 percent within 4 feet of the basket when he’s in the game, which puts him in the 95th percentile among all NBA big men, according to Cleaning the Glass. And New York gets torched at the tin when he’s not in, allowing opponents to shoot 67.4 percent on up-close tries.

    That underscores the need for a second rim protector. Taj ain’t it.

  225. yes, but that’s what we got bobby portis for though right…

    he ain’t exactly a center, but – paging kenny wooten, paging kenny wooten…

  226. Morris, by the way, is precisely why I always decry anyone who makes the “they can flip him if he plays well!” argument, because as we’ve seen, these morons are immune to the concept of flipping players, even in the most blatantly obvious cases, like Morris.

    As noted before, Mills would never pass the marshmallow test.

  227. Just think of all the opportunity cost this team has frittered away over the years. They go for the bag of magic beans every fucking time.

  228. It never occurred to me the Knicks would actually trade Morris even though we discussed it a lot. It was all hypothetical as far as I was concerned because it’s very clear Pills wants a functional, normal, not totally horrible team this season. They also gave more faith in their ability to use cap space in productive ways for the teams future than we do. But it still isn’t awful that we don’t trade him. Fifteen million in salary probably gets you a starter quality player. A late first round or early second round pick probably does not.

  229. ‘Tank My Ass’
    Sixers tanking plan was a Jojo away from ridicule.
    And they would have missed him too if he wasn’t injured during the draft.(Grabbed him at No3 instead of an obvious No1 if he was healthy)

  230. The thing I don’t think a lot of people are taking into consideration with trading Morris for a pick is that the FA class this off-season isn’t great. So we can take back salary for next year and maybe get a pick and something else to sweeten the pot. Maybe a young guy on a good team not playing much because they’re a deeper team. So yeah, it might be a late 1st round pick and an extra season of salary dump, but maybe you can get a prospect thrown in as well.

    Not that I’ve looked at any scenarios, but we can definitely take on salary for next year without it doing any damage.

  231. It never occurred to me the Knicks would actually trade Morris even though we discussed it a lot

    I mean, sure, betting on them to always do the dumbest possible thing is usually the best bet, but it seemed like even the biggest moron executive would know to trade Morris. Alas, this is the Knicks, so yeah, I guess having some hope of them having half a brain was probably expecting too much from them.

  232. By the way, with any other team (outside maybe the Kings), I would take the current “we prefer to keep him” stories as an attempt to just raise the trade offers for him.

    With the Knicks?

    Well, you know.

  233. I don’t get Drummond for the Hawks, by the way. Collins seems to be their future in the middle, no? He also seems to be 180 degrees apart from Trae Young’s style of play.

  234. Sixers tanking plan was a Jojo away from ridicule.

    And the ’97 Spurs were a lucky bounce away from Keith Van Horn. K?

  235. Collins seems to be their future in the middle, no?

    Nah, he plays a pretty hybrid game — tons of dunks but also 19% of his shots came from 3 last year, way up to 29% at a 37% clip in limited minutes this year. He definitely plays some C, but Drummond won’t take minutes away from him at that spot during the regular season.

    I wonder if they have worries about how effective Young can be without a serious lob threat. He’s such a gifted passer that it would make sense that they would grab someone who can do a lot with a little. I think you’re going to see a lot of >80% shooting nights from Drummond if he’s playing 30+ MPG with Trae. And Drummond is still quite young.

  236. Sixers made it their religion.

    Such a religion that they murdered the cult leader in cold blood and replaced him with an old-boys-club dumbass with a penchant for oversized collars and trading all his young assets for whatever superstar rentals and supermax-eligible 3rd options were available on the market at that very moment. Colangelo was the opposite of Hinkie: rash, impetuous, blinded by glitter.

    We’ll never know when Hinkie would have turned the corner on the tank, but he’s not a dummy. The tank would have ended as soon as the young’ns began their ascension. And they did quite quickly.

  237. Fifteen million in salary probably gets you a starter quality player.

    Guess I’ll just keep trying.

    I posted the list of upcoming free agents above.

    Who is on it that presents such a good opportunity we must pass up a first-round pick to make sure we have $15M available?

    And why can’t we sign this person with the $19M we can clear up by renouncing 3 non-contributors in Portis/Gibson/Ellington?

  238. Which ‘Young ‘nes’ ?

    Jojo made it work.

    He said it by himself:

    ‘i’m the process’

    And he’s absolutely right.

    Without him the Sixers tanking would have been remembered in nba history as a great story for a Hollywood comedy. With Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller.

  239. Common Sense ‘Deathblow’

    If constant tanking was effective and the best way to contention it would have been used by most teams and especially by the smartest/most successful teams in this league.

  240. hey räz…did you read ingmarrr’s political piece about incorporating Distributed Autonomous Organizations into politics…

    some neat stuff…i had never heard the term futarchy before…considering my often times not so favorable perspective on human nature – i like it…

    generally the only thing you can count on people doing – is what’s best for them…if predictive modeling (i’m not even sure that really is) can eliminate some of the “what’s in it for me” from politics – sounds like a good thing…

    hell, i might even vote for robots running it all…

  241. Constant tanking is not effective because it’s only done by fucking garbage franchises who aren’t actually trying to tank, they’re just garbage. And even then some of those garbage franchises like Memphis or Sacramento have better young cores than we do because the Knicks insisted on chasing pointless wins.

    I’m really fed up with the fact that every time this discussion comes up some idiot comes out saying “oh so you guys want to suck for 5 more years”, no, nobody has ever said that, ever. No one wants to be watch a terrible team. But this damn franchise has never tanked properly outside of last season and we’ve been watching fucking dumpster fires on the court for 2 decades now anyway.

    Yes I’d rather trade all our damn picks for the next James Harden and just be good. But if you’re plan is this plan, then give us a real argument, like tnfh always says. Who would you sign? Who would you trade for, in a realistic way? Who are you drafting at the 10th or 12th pick that’s going to be impactful?

  242. i get why the hawks would want drummond but i have a hard time seeing it work out. the defense with young, collins and drummond just tops out at such a low level. i think collins and drummond can play together but it marginalizes collins’ value a little, as you’ve now got two bigs who are mistake prone defenders and collins having to err toward the decent but relatively less enticing perimeter side of his offense game.

  243. If you read this thread from the start you’ll see my realistic arguments clearly.
    In a few words:
    Create Your Assets.
    Through Development.
    Find your VanVleets, your Mitches and your Siakams and make them BIG DOGS. Through healthy team environments.

  244. well we can be thankful knew your knicks that knick fan in NJ made such a strong argument for keeping morris – it seems that even the knick front office folks took notice and he’s staying…

    hmmmm, i wonder what his max contract number would be…no doubt he’s a definite steal at any price, i’m sure…

  245. If you can’t trade him you keep him.

    You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes, well, you might find
    you get what you need
    as Mick said

  246. OK, forget the “losing on purpose” part.

    How about let’s do the “acquire draft picks and young players” part, and shitcan the “bring in a bunch of Arron Afflalos and Taj Gibsons” part.

    How about let’s fucking try that for once.

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