Pre-Draft Knicks Cap Update

My last salary cap summary, at the trade deadline, assumed a $59 million cap in 2010-2011, which is probably high given recent news reports. On the other hand, I overestimated the mid-level exception which will be Nate’s salary in all likelihood,  and Chandler’s the year after. I tweaked those.

If the Knicks re-sign Lee and Robinson, they’ll have about $15 million in cap room next summer. Less, if we buy an extra pick, or sign any free agent who’s not a rookie. So, $12-15 million. In other words, someone has to go if the Knicks want to max out one free agent, much less two. The recently floated Memphis deal, swapping Chandler and the #8 pick for the #2 pick (Rubio) along with Milic and Jaric, would reduce that to around $7 million. Obviously, we could move Nate, Lee, Jeffries or Curry, but there’s a good chance that Rubio essentially comes in place of a major FA. I think he’s worth it, but it’s a big decision.

The following year, 2011-2012, the proposed trade actually saves cap space. Even without other moves, the Knicks would have around $35 million free to augment a core of Rubio, Lee, Gallinari and Nate.

Obviously, this could go a lot of different directions. Anything that moves Curry’s or Jeffries’ contract would open a world of free agent options. It might be possible in a trade moving down from the 8 spot, instead of moving up to land Rubio.

But in general, the Knicks are already in a tight spot re: free agents, which is why I prefer a strategy of looking for trades and extra assets, rather than banking on an all-or-nothing LeBron strategy.

2010-2011 (summer of 2010)

  • Eddy Curry                     11,276,863
  • David Lee                         9,000,000 (est)
  • Jared Jeffries                    6,883,800
  • Nate Robinson                 5,500,000 (est)
  • Wilson Chandler              2,130,482
  • Danilo Gallinari                3,304,560
  • 2009 #8 pick                     2,224,600
  • 5 roster fillers                  2,368,020 (absolute minimum – 5 rookie FAs, paid the minimum)

total:                $42,688,325
projected cap:   58,000,000

2011-2012 (summer of 2011)

  • David Lee                          9,500,000 (est)
  • Nate Robinson                  5,500,000 (est)
  • Wilson Chandler               5,600,000 (est)
  • Danilo Gallinari                4,190,182
  • 2009 #8 pick                    2,379,800
  • 2011 1st rounder             1,170,000 (est # 20)
  • 6 roster-fillers                 2,841,624  (6 rookie FAs – absolute minimum)

total:                             $31,181,606
projected cap                  59,000,000

*all numbers from ShamSports

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58 thoughts to “Pre-Draft Knicks Cap Update”

  1. Man, makes you really realize how badly Isiah screwed the pooch with the Eddy Curry deal. Is that one of the all-time worst trades? Or is it only tied with the Marbury deal? Or with the Francis-Ariza trade? Or the signing of Jerome James?

    Wow– what a legacy Isiah created.

  2. Curry has to be the worst of the deals because the pain is still here.

    The Marbury mess is 90% over, just on draft pick to go.

    Ariza looks great on a winner. How would he look still here; the same you think? And Ariza would now be just one more FA to debate whether we should keep or drop to clear space for next year.

    James was bad but we all knew from the start that there was no chance of it working. So we were kind of ready for it. And in time (about 4 minutes into training camp) he became a reliable punch line.

    Of course Francis was bad as it was the proximate cause of the..ulp..randolph trade.

  3. Great analysis.

    A big question to me is if (assuming neither can be traded this offseason) the Knicks open the season with Curry and Jeffries both in the starting line-up?

    I think the Curry deal is especially bad since Isiah was bidding against himself. The Francis deal was also bad because Marbury was already on the team and cap-space plus a young prospect with obvious promise were dealt. Randolph also bad, but was repaired rather quickly.

  4. The whole “Mobley Asset” is a little confusing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but insurance picks up 80% of his $9 million contract next year, meaning any team that acquires him will only have to pay $1.8 million of it. BUT, the full $9 million is applied to the luxury tax, meaning teams that are over the threshhold would have to pay the full $9 million in taxes on it.

    IF this is correct, then his contract doesn’t really help teams like New Orleans that are struggling to get under the luxury line. But it does help teams like Memphis and Sacramento, who just want to save $7 million (rather than paying it to Kenny Thomas or Darko Milicic).

    Seems like that is a good starting point to trade talks for moving up in the draft.

    If dealing with Memphis, I’d try to find any way of NOT taking on Jaric in a trade. We can offer Mobley + $3 mil in cash for the pick, plus Chandler (carry over from last thread discussion– Chandler, according to Berman, is one of two “untouchables” (the other being Gallo), but Caleb is dead on: how can he NOT be trade bait? He’s not all that good, plays the same position as the other untouchable, and is basically our only tradeable player of any worth what-so ever!).

  5. “The whole “Mobley Asset” is a little confusing. Correct me if I’m wrong, but insurance picks up 80% of his $9 million contract next year, meaning any team that acquires him will only have to pay $1.8 million of it. BUT, the full $9 million is applied to the luxury tax, meaning teams that are over the threshhold would have to pay the full $9 million in taxes on it.”

    But they don’t have to pay the salary + the luxury tax. Right now there aren’t any expiring contracts (they’ve already expired). So if you have a team salary that is $9 over the cap, you’re going to pay the player + the luxury tax at the end of the year. If you trade that player for Mobley you’re saving $7M+ in salary. Throw in a trade exemption (don’t the Knicks have one?) and a team could shed a contract for nearly nothing and only have to pay the tax on it.

  6. I don’t think you can roll the exemption into a multi-player trade… although depending what you’re after, you can break up the deal into separate trades.

    Not using the exemption, here’s another idea…

    Chandler, Jeffries, Mobley & the #8 for Shaq & the #14.

    If my math is right, the Suns save about $1 million over the two years*, move up six spots in the draft and add Chandler for nothing. It hurts their summer 2010 cap room but I think they’re in rebuilding mode anyway, not sign big-FA mode.

    The Knicks clear an extra $8 million for summer of 2010 ($5 million if you’re planning for 2011). Especially if Lawson lasts to #14, they’ll get just as good a player as they would at #8. And they’ll be better in the short-term, since Shaq is an, ahem, upgrade over Jeffries in the middle. Not to mention, a huge trade chip at the deadline if a Gasol or Garnett-type deal comes available.

    *@1.4 million in 2009-2010 salary, doubled because they are taxpayers, plus $7.9 million that insurance pays on Mobley. In 2010-2011 their payroll is $9+ million higher.

  7. I like that move for the Knicks if they’re convinced they can’t (or don’t want to) trade up for Rubio but I don’t think the Suns do it unless they really like somebody at 8.

    Chandler shows flashes but hasn’t really displayed a single standout skill (for a guy with his size and athleticism he takes way too many jumpers, doesn’t shoot them all that well, and isn’t particularly good at drawing fouls when he does attack). Also the offense is less fluid with him out there (7% decrease in assisted field goals when he’s on the court compared to when he isn’t) which is ok when you’re the Knicks but isn’t what you’re looking for with one of the league’s best facilitators (Nash) and one of the league’s best finishers (Amare).

    The Suns give up a huge trade chip without getting back a difference maker or improving their cap situation. I don’t think that’s their play if they have any interest in convincing Nash or Amare to hang around. If I were them I’d demand Lee from the Knicks and, if I didn’t get him, rest easily knowing I could turn Shaq into a better package at the deadline, if not sooner.

  8. And obviously Lee would be a sign and trade so they would have to wait on him until after the draft, which could complicate things.

  9. Yeah, would take the Suns being in love with someone still on the board at #8, but unlikely to still be there at #14: Flynn, Holiday, Evans, DeRozan, Blair… Plus no one above the Knicks making a better offer. Otherwise I like their thinking with Luol Deng. Whether it’s Deng and/or Hinrich or someone else (Josh Smith, Josh Howard, Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler and/or Peja, Chris Kaman, Richard Jefferson, etc.) they can get a good player or two if they’re willing to take back more years.

    If Lee’s out the door and willing to sign with the Suns, could try Lee, Jeffries, and Mobley for Shaq without swapping picks.

  10. TN: I actually like that trade better for both teams. God knows I love Lee but you can’t give a role player (albeit a great one) 10 million when you have no other pieces and very little cap flexibility. As long as he’s gonna walk it’d be great to get something for him. Although with the trade you just put out there the Knicks would have to take some (potentially non-expiring) salary back, which could nullify the benefits of dumping Jeffries.

    I think they’re probably better off standing pat on the Shaq front; its tempting to try to get a little better (esp. with no pick next year) but unless you can unload Jeffries (unlikely) or Curry (no way), you gain nothing in the long term and you’re still maxing out in the high 30’s in wins next season.

    Better to use any assets that could get Shaq to move up in the draft, get a pick for next year, or just let them expire and have some space for once.

  11. I’m not an “Insider” but Hollinger’s draft rater has a picture of Ty Lawson on the frontpage… Would be very interested to see that as well as Ford’s draft tiers.

  12. “Right now there aren’t any expiring contracts (they’ve already expired). So if you have a team salary that is $9 over the cap, you’re going to pay the player + the luxury tax at the end of the year.”

    There are no expiring contracts right now, but there are some that have non-guaranteed money in them. That proposed Shaq to Cleveland trade includes Sasha Pavlovic who is on a non-guaranteed contract and Ben Wallace who wants to retire and is willing to take a significantly reduced buy out to do it.

    Those are the kinds of “non-expiring expiring contracts” the Mobley Asset is competing against. (ie– the Suns would save more money dealing with the Cavs than dealing with the Knicks, if saving money is all they care about, which it often is).

    Mobley, though, may turn out to be a real nice asset after-all– even better than he’d have been if he’d passed his physical, and MUCH more useful than Zach Randolph ever was!

  13. We are so screwed up by Isaiah we really need a front court that can go after the ball we sucked in Re’s. And I think if the front office focuses on big men that can play(uh ala Patrick Ewing), we might make it to the playoffs. I also think we need a REAL guard, nate is ok but we havent reall had anyone to hand handle the ball since Nate(tiny) Archibald. So let us all pray for wisdom in the front office. AMEN!!!!!

  14. Thanks Mike!

    Austin Daye is the biggest surprise to me. Evans is also a surprise, but a lot less so because I’m confident he can play in the NBA just wondering how efficient he’ll be as a likely high-volume scorer. Flynn fairs better than I would have thought, and Thabeet worse. Not surprised at all by Jordan Hill…

    Forgot that Rose, Mayo, and Gordon all fared poorly last year…

  15. At second glance the biggest surprise is Harden, who I thought had pretty great stats…

  16. I’ve gotten pretty intrigued by Austin Daye — he’s 6’10, 190 (!!!) and pretty raw, but he can shoot and even as a stringbean he was the 2nd best (I think) rebounding SF in the NCAA. It’s sort of like Anthony Randolph – his college #s were mediocre, but he had the body of a high school sophomore. You figure if he can be even that effective, with that body, he can be pretty good when he grows up. I don’t know what Daye’s dad looks like, but he played in the NBA for five years so he must be pretty solid.

    One reason the ratings look like they do is because Hollinger (rightly, IMO) makes age an important factor – for example I think Harden is almost 22, and Flynn still 20. Thabeet is one of the older players in the draft. YOu could make a reasonable argument that this underestimates Thabeet, since he’s only played basketball for a few years, therefore his upside is more like a 20-year-old’s than a 22-year-old’s. But that would be speculation – there aren’t enough examples to find a trend.

    Age is one reason I think Berri doesn’t totally get the draft – all he looks at is “next year” performance. Rubio is a lot more valuable if you project his career, than if you project his 2009-2010 season only.

  17. ” It might be possible in a trade moving down from the 8 spot, instead of moving up to land Rubio.” -Caleb

    Don’t give up on your dream just yet. I know I’ve been on the other side of the fence on this but if you really think Rubio can be a star, then I guess you have to try to get him.

    I do like Berri’s “next year” performance becaue there are too many variables to predict a career. You don’t know about injuries, losing the player as a free agent, whether the player will commit to improvement each year. It is much safer to predict next year than it is the next 5-8. Should you even draft with 8 years later in mind? Thats a nice question I think; How far ahead should you realistically be looking when you draft? I guess it depends on the needs of the team, but I’d say 3-5 years at most.

  18. all of that cap space in 2011 isn’t going to mean much if there’s no one worth spending it on, and last I checked, there wasn’t.

  19. Ted, here are Ford’s draft tiers:

    Tier 1

    Blake Griffin
    Note: Not only is Griffin the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft, but he seems to be a mile ahead of the next prospect in the draft. This is the first time we’ve had just one person in this, or any, tier.

    Tier 2

    James Harden
    Ricky Rubio
    Hasheem Thabeet
    Note: Virtually every team I spoke with has these three players in the top five, regardless of team needs. A few teams argued Rubio should have this tier all to himself and Thabeet and Harden should be in Tier 3, but the majority saw all three in this tier.

    Tier 3

    Stephen Curry
    DeMar DeRozan
    Tyreke Evans
    Jonny Flynn
    Jordan Hill
    Jrue Holiday
    Note: It was pretty easy to get consensus for Tier 3. Virtually every team I spoke with had all these players here. A few teams had Hill in Tier 2, and two teams had Brandon Jennings in this tier. But for the most part, this is pretty set and why a number of GMs say this draft really goes 10 deep. The Nets’ Rod Thorn obviously is hoping someone from Tier 4 will creep up and push someone from Tier 3 down.

    Tier 4

    DeJuan Blair
    Earl Clark
    Austin Daye
    Tyler Hansbrough
    Gerald Henderson
    Brandon Jennings
    James Johnson
    Ty Lawson
    Eric Maynor
    B.J. Mullens
    DaJuan Summers
    Jeff Teague
    Terrence Williams
    Sam Young
    Note: This is a huge tier and shows the parity in the draft. Theoretically, teams are saying you can get the same quality player at 11 that you will get at 24. This is where the real depth of the draft is. A few players like Blair, Clark, Hansbrough, Henderson, Jennings, Johnson, Teague and Williams were unanimous selections. Summers was borderline between here and Tier 5.

    Tier 5

    Derrick Brown
    Chase Budinger
    DeMarre Carroll
    Omri Casspi
    Darren Collison
    Toney Douglas
    Wayne Ellington
    Taj Gibson
    Patrick Mills
    Jeff Pendergraph
    Note: This is what I would call the first-round bubble group and where the consensus really started to break down. A number of teams had Budinger in Tier 4, but not quite enough for him to make the cut. Carroll, Gibson and Pendergraph were borderline picks here. Every one of these players dropped out of the top 30 on at least one NBA team’s draft board.

    Tier 6

    Jon Brockman
    Victor Claver
    Nando De Colo
    Danny Green
    Jonas Jerebko
    Jermaine Taylor
    Marcus Thornton
    Note: If you do the math, 41 players are on the list. Why 41 guys for 30 slots? I included in Tier 6 every player a team told me was in its top 30. All of these guys got one vote, with the exception of Jerebko, who had two.

  20. I said a while back I wanted Curry or Lawson, but I only want Curry if he can be a pure PG and I’m not totally sure that he can. I think I’m rooting for Lawson now, that would make me quite happy on draft night.

  21. “all of that cap space in 2011 isn’t going to mean much if there’s no one worth spending it on, and last I checked, there wasn’t.”

    Well– theoretically it could be some combination of: LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Bosh, Carmello, Roy, Aldridge, Nowitski, Yao, Gasol, West, Durant, Oden, Parker, and Amare.

  22. “I think I’m rooting for Lawson now, that would make me quite happy on draft night.”

    I think an interesting question would be who are you rooting the Knicks get? Right now my list would be:

    and my least wanted list:
    Jordan Hill

    I’m down on Thabeet, because NY would have to trade up for him. And I’d rather have Rubio. Blair and Calathes would mean trade downs or a second first rounder.

  23. The 4 guys behind Griffin that I feel confident in having long, productive careers and who I would love in the orange and blue are:


    Unfortunately, all of these guys should be gone by 8. My next tier is as follows:


    I really believe you need TWO talented 7 footers to go deep in the playoffs these days (Lakers, Magic.) I think Height in the frontcourt is really underrated. Of course, you can’t just have tall stiffs back there. Thabeet is solid at best, but worth a #5-8 pick. And this is why I rank Blair lower even though I love him as a college player.
    Hill is still questionable, but has the length and the hops to help any team, and seems very coachable. I like Lawson a lot but also like Flynn. There has to be something to the love he’s getting. Intangibles are important to turning around a franchise…. and I think his defense is better than Lawson’s. My final tier is:


    Blair and Clark both have too much talent not to be helpful in the future and have proven their worth. Jennings and Holiday might have more pure talent than any other players in this draft, but are so questionable as finished players that they both have to drop below the #10 pick in my opinion.

  24. “Well– theoretically it could be some combination of: LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Bosh, Carmello, Roy, Aldridge, Nowitski, Yao, Gasol, West, Durant, Oden, Parker, and Amare.”

    I’m not looking up all of those guys, but Durant/Oden are definitely under team control for another year after that. I doubt many of those other guys will be there that summer either, but I guess we’ll know more as we get closer.

    am I the only one who has a bad feeling about this draft? I wish I had slightly more confidence in Walsh, I think this is a hugely important pick.

  25. I figure this will be the top 8 in some order:


    I wouldn’t be upset with any of those. I guess one of the last 3 seem the most likely to be available for us, and out of those, I’d rather have Curry, Evans, and then Holiday… I do like the fact that Evans was not afraid to go against other top picks in the Minnesota workout, and that Memphis seemed to get so much better when the ball was in his hands. I would prefer not draft Hill but to be honest, I haven’t seen much of him so my opinion doesn’t really count on him…

  26. Jon,

    Thanks for posting the tiers. I realize Ford is just trying to show us the consensus and not his opinion, but how much good does it do to have 1/2 the first round in one tier? Guess he’s right: it just shows how wide open the draft is.

    Sort of contradictory to say you want Lawson and then you don’t have faith in Walsh’s drafting: he was reported to be interested in taking Lawson.

  27. Since we have no shot at Griffin, I’m rooting for Rubio.

    After that, hoping for Lawson. Or Jennings. What can I say, I like taking a home run swing.

    I’m ok with the other big names, except DeRozan and more mildly, Hill.

    I am a big DeJuan Blair fan and think he will be a 20-10 guy almost instantly, if healthy, but two knee blowouts in h.s… nervewracking. Happy to get him with a pick in the late lottery or beyond.

    Other guys who would be good value compared to where they’ll go are Terrence Williams, Jeff Teague, Nick Calathes and Danny Green.

  28. 2008-2009 NCAA
    Flynn —-57.5%–48.1%—31.7%—16.8—2.6—6.4—3.3—1.4—0.2
    DeRozan-56.2% -40.1%—16.7%—14.9—6.2—1.6—2.3—1.0—0.4

    Very impressed by Teague, other than the high TOs. Underimpressed by Clark. I just don’t see how Flynn can’t be a bust if taken in the top 10… Daye blocks 2.8 shots per 36… The FTA/FGA numbers are very interesting.

    As far as who I’d like to see the Knicks take (assuming Griffin, Rubio, Thabeet, and Harden are definitely gone): Lawson. #2 Maybe Curry or Teague. #4 Holiday, assuming he’s got the high b-ball IQ and hidden PG skills everyone raves about and can be a lock-down defender. #5 Blair. #6 Maybe Evans.

  29. Random thought: Teague and Evans might compliment each other really well as a backcourt tandem.

  30. I think Blair will be a solid role player but you guys seem way too high on him. What’s the difference between him and Reggie Evans (who is 6’8″ and averaged 15 and 12 in college)? Why use the 8 pick on Blair when we have no other pieces in place; you can get a guy like him down the road for the mid-level, there are 2 or 3 available as free agents every year. I don’t see any way Blair more than a 12/13 ppg scorer in the league and I loved him as a college player (although as a Georgetown fan, love isn’t the right word. It was more like the scene in 30 Rock where Jack tells Will Arnett “I hate-respect you.”)

  31. Blair was a much more efficient college scorer than Evans. But some people might argue that Evans isn’t such a bad comp anyway. I mean Reggie Evans, for all the ugliness of his game, is an excellent defender and superb rebounder, traits that make him a lot better than the Channing Frye’s of this world.

    I am actually very interested to see how Evans does in Toronto. I think that swap for Kapono was a big steal for the Raptors.

    I still have trouble getting excited about anybody in this draft we might get other than possibly Lawson, although Rubio would be awesome (though not at the price of Lee)….

  32. I’m not ragging on Reggie Evans he’s a useful player i’m just saying you can get that guy down the road without spending a top 10 pick.

  33. I don’t particularly expect the Knicks to draft Blair, but comparing Blair to Reggie Evans seems about as relevant as comparing Blake Griffin to Stromile Swift. Here’s Blair last season vs. Evans in his final season at Iowa:

    D Blair—60.8%–42.5%—20.7–16.3—-1.6—-1.7—2.0—1.3
    R Evans-55.4%–88.6%—16.3–11.8—-1.4—-2.9—1.7—0.5

    Evans is a strong rebounder, but his 11.8 rebounds per 36 don’t compare to Blair’s 16.3 (Evans has 12.3 reb/36 his first year at Iowa, but 16 is truly remarkable). He wasn’t nearly the scorer Blair was. He blocked 40% of the shots. He turned it over 70% more… Evans was far better at drawing fouls.

    If Evans is the low-end comparison for a healthy Blair, then maybe Charles Barkley is the high-end. Chuck was a much better scorer, passer, and shot blocker in college, and a lesser rebounder.

    Perhaps the best comparison for Blair is Paul Millsap. Their college numbers are pretty close, with Blair doing it against Big East comp. Millsap was far more TO prone, but a better shot blocker. Otherwise the numbers are pretty close.

    After searching through the college stats of the league’s best rebounders who actually played in the NCAA, I don’t find anyone who grabbed 16 reb/36 in his final season. Duncan 14.4, Love 12.9, Okafor 12.8, David Lee 11.6, Jamison 11.4, Boozer 11.0, Bosh 10.4, Camby 9.6, Murphy 9.1…

  34. “I’m going to add Evans to my list. Both Hollinger & Weiland like him. I should probably add Harden as well.”

    I have some serious reservations about Evans. He can definitely play at the NBA level, which makes him an attractive prospect. His rebounds, steals, and blocks are very strong and he should be a strong defender, but he’s TO prone and, mostly, the prototypical inefficient/high-volume scorer. He didn’t get to the line and doesn’t have an outside shot. Obviously he’s a youngster with room to grow, but I see a low efficiency chucker…

  35. With Evans I think a lot depends on his approach – the interview process would be more important than usual, if I were the GM. How does he see himself? What are his goals?

    Not that he’s Tracy McGrady, but that’s an interesting comparison – McGrady was a great rebounder and passer for a guard, and had the tools to be a great defender. He could have been like an uber-Ron Harper – a really great player. But by personality or by what his teams coaches asked, he became a huge-volume shooter, which made him less, not more, effective. Those TS% are painful.

    You could say the same thing about Ron Artest – he was a better player before he started taking 18 shots a game.

    And yeah, I left Daye off my list by mistake — by late lottery he’s a good value pick.

  36. I wonder how interested these lottery teams really are in Thabeet. He’s a perfect smokescreen, and a way to raise value in a trade for the 2-4 pick. Does Memphis really need Thabeet? If they take him, I would think they would try to move Gasol for a true power forward. But if they secretly don’t like him they could a) draft a guard or b) trade down for Hill or Blair. Maybe you could do Conley and the #2 (Harden, Curry or Rubio) to Phoenix for Stoudamire and their pick, maybe get Sam Young or T-Will. and move OJ to the point… and dump darko and marko.
    I also feel like OKC is going to take Curry now. He could play the 2 on offense and Westbrook could defend the 2. I just think they like him better than Harden. Sacto could take Flynn which would be nuts. Or possibly Holiday. Washington and Minny would prefer Harden/Curry or vice versa, but if Thabeet drops he could go 5 or 6. That could leave G.S. with a choice of Hill, Evans, Rubio, Jennings and Holiday/Flynn. Rubio could go two, or drop to Minny at 6.
    Confusing, eh?
    Did you see that rumor of us offering Ill Will straight up for the #5? Would that ever possibly happen?

  37. I think the Ill will rumor is very possible. He is a true rising talent that plays on both ends and once of our best bargaining chips. Donnie has to be working the phones heavy right now trying to get us once of these impact players in this draft. Rubio would be great but another thing that would be great is if we could pick up another 1st rounder to add young depth. One of these small market teams has to be looking to add a little cash in these tough financial times. We dont have a pick for next year so two this year would make me feel good. Rumor has it that this might be one of the best wheeling and dealing drafts in recent history so it should make for some fine drama to see what happens this thursday. I cant wait. But I do home that Donnie does the right thing.

  38. Caleb, I agree on Tyreke Evans. He can be a valuable piece, but a lot is going to depend on his attitude and situation.
    Unless he goes to Washington or Golden State, he’s probably going to end up on a team with few scoring options that either asks him or allows him to dominate the ball and be a high-volume scorer. From there he’s likely to be rewarded for his 20 ppg on 50% TS with a fat second contract. So his incentives leading up to that point (2nd contract, hype, accolades) and after that point (subsequent contracts, hype, accolades) will be perversely aligned with scoring volume. I doubt he’s got the mental makeup to break free of that vicious cycle after his performance at Memphis, so it’s going to take an organization that puts him in an ideal role and gives him the right incentives.

  39. I might be the only one but I am not that interested in Curry. I do not think he has the PG skills to run D’Antoni’s offense. So if we are going to take a SG I would rather have Harden or Evans. If we trade up I would target Rubio first, Harden second. I would not trade up and take Curry, if he falls to us sure but not if we move up. For PG’s I would try and move down and take Lawson. As for Hill he is good but I would prefer moving down and taking Blair and getting something else then taking Hill.

    So I guess move up to take Harden or Rubio if we can (probably not), take Evans or Curry at 8 or if not I would move down and take Lawson or Blair.

  40. “’Well– theoretically it could be some combination of: LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Bosh, Carmello, Roy, Aldridge, Nowitski, Yao, Gasol, West, Durant, Oden, Parker, and Amare.’

    “I’m not looking up all of those guys, but Durant/Oden are definitely under team control for another year after that.”

    Durant and Oden are both restricted free agents that summer. The rest are all possible unrestricted FAs, depending on opt-ins, opt-outs, extensions, etc…

  41. Stream-of-consciousness time…

    Washington will trade their pick, as sure as the Clippers taking Blake Griffin. Fun to think about the Knicks getting it, but there are plenty of teams that could offer more if they want to.

    Teams will end up regretting they passed on Brandon Jennings. Hope it’s not us – either because we took him, or because our pick turned out to be good.

    The Rubio situation is a pretze. It’s easy to say he won’t play in Memphis or Oklahoma City next year. He could fall to Sacramento, but the odds seem to favor a trade by one of those #2-4 teams. If that goes down, Minnesota looks like the most likely landing spot, with New York right behind. Maybe a dark horse like Indiana or Portland, a team with a lot of spare assets. But does Rubio really have the upper hand? Or did he blow it by suing his Spanish team? Someone else – Ted? – might have a better idea of his options, but if he can’t go back to Spain, Memphis could pick him whether he likes it there or not.

    If Memphis really has no leverage, how are they a viable franchise? They can’t trade the pick for remotely equal value because no one will sign an extension there. Their pool of options is very, very small – guys like Luol Deng, who still have a few years left on their contracts.

    Anyway, Jonathan Givony is reporting that these 15 guys have been invited to sit in the green room at the draft. He also says he doesn’t have info on Lawson.

    It’s a little confusing – I get the feeling Givony compiled the list by asking the players’ agents, and there could be a few big fat liars here. But his reporting is usually ok, and if it’s right, this is an interesting list. The league is usually pretty cautious about these invites; players only get invites if there’s pretty good evidence they’ll be picked in the lottery or close to it. The league would rather avoid a Rashard Lewis situation, where the poor guy endures two hours of TV close-ups sitting solo in the room while the draft goes into the second round.

    For all the speculation, I’m shocked to see BJ Mullens actually in the lottery mix. Ditto for Maynor, and even Johnson and Hansbrough are a little surprising. It’s all to the good – the more undeserving players go high, the easier it is for the Knicks to get good value with their pick.

    1. Blake Griffin
    2. James Harden
    3. Hasheem Thabeet
    4. Ricky Rubio
    5. Jordan Hill
    6. Tyreke Evans
    7. Stephen Curry
    8. Jonny Flynn
    9. Demar DeRozan
    10. Jrue Holiday
    11. Gerald Henderson
    12. Brandon Jennings
    13. Tyler Hansbrough
    14. B.J. Mullens (potentially declining)
    15. James Johnson (declining invite)
    16. Eric Maynor (potentially declining)

  42. I don’t know if Rubio wins the suit, although he would seem to have something of a case. The only insight I can provide is that in Spain, like more European countries, labor is treated very well under the law. I also don’t know the inner workings of DKV Joventut, but I would assume they’d take their young star back next year, law suit and all. It might be an awkward situation, but I don’t think they’re in a financial position to tell their most popular player to shove it. Joventut has a far lower budget than the Reals and Barcas of the world, and rely a lot of player development, filling out their roster with youth and promoting young stars early. They could always sell his rights to a Barcelona, Real Madrid (who have been on a soccer star buying spree, apparently not too concerned with the recession), or a Greek/Russian powerhouse. I don’t know how much those teams would pay for one season of Rubio’s services…

    Very weird to see the Pacers rumored to be interested primarily in PGs, but I guess that’s where the strength of this draft is. Suppose they’re letting Jarrett Jack walk, then?

    With Jennings, it depends how far he falls. After the Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis experiences here in NY I just don’t think it’s enough to have the most talent or score 20 ppg or dish out 8 apg… Much more so than with Tyreke Evans, it’s about interviews and workouts with Jennings.
    I just think it’s a shame that the European route is going to get so much less attractive if he’s not a top 10 pick or higher. Especially if he’s picked behind Holiday (which seems fairly likely), a freshman PG who went the NCAA route, stunk, and still got picked early.

  43. “I don’t know if Rubio wins the suit”
    I literally mean I have no idea, didn’t mean it to read that I doubt he wins it.

  44. “Very weird to see the Pacers rumored to be interested primarily in PGs, but I guess that’s where the strength of this draft is. Suppose they’re letting Jarrett Jack walk, then?”

    Aside from Jack, if they draft a PG they’re probably moving TJ Ford…

  45. Truehoop had a post about Jennings/Evans doing well in a PG training session:

    The group was Jonny Flynn, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Jeff Teague out of Wake Forest. I was most looking forward to seeing Jennings as I’ve been following him closely (on TrueHoop, among others) and was eager to measure his progress in person.

    Things got exponentially more interesting in the one-on-one competition (taking turns playing D, staying on if you scored, etc). It was here that Evans established himself as the class of the group. Probably somewhat unfair to pit him against smaller, true point guards as he had at least three inches and twenty pounds on everyone, but I suppose those guys are going to have to get used to that type of matchup at the next level.

    Anyway, Tyreke was dominant.

    I was nearly ready to write [Jennings] off and admit that perhaps his critics had him pegged, a year or two at Arizona would’ve done him some good … and then they started scrimmaging. Three on three — more or less a twenty-minute fast break with those guys.

    Suddenly Jennings remembered who he was and started moving with the type of swagger that I’d read about. On the first possession of the scrimmage he cleanly picked off a pass and beat Flynn in a footrace for an emphatic two-hander. A few possessions later he took an outlet from Holiday and sprinted down the left side. After beating Lawson with a stutter step, he picked up the ball and put it behind his back to avoid Evans’ help defense. Then he flicked a no-look over his shoulder to Jrue for the easy dunk.

    Onlookers collectively gasped.

    Two of the next four possessions ended with Jennings freezing his man and hitting 18-footers.

    I’m not comfortable saying Jennings should be the player Minnesota takes sixth, especially if Evans is available (I’m seriously impressed). But I can’t think of a player in the draft with more upside than Brandon Jennings.

  46. Yeah, I guess Ford isn’t a great fit for the other master of 3 pt. bombing, Jim O’Brien.


    That’s exactly the type of situation where Jennings and Evans will thrive, though. Jennings and Evans are perfect players for a playground game, but as a Knicks fan I’ve learned the hard way that the NBA is not a rec league. That’s not to say they cannot thrive in the NBA, just that there are serious red flags for both.

    The questions about Evans and Jennings have nothing to do with their one-on-one ability, but with their ability to understand and play basketball as a team game at the highest level in the world. It’s hard to judge Evan’s shot selection and scoring efficiency in a pick-up game or one-on-one drill, same goes for Jennings’ ability to run a team and score efficiently.

    The fact that they can dominate in that setting at least establishes their tremendous upside, but for me it would take seriously scouting them all season and sitting down one-on-one multiple times to feel comfortable taking that risk high in the draft. If you put Marbury against Nash one-on-one before the ’96 draft I have to guess Marbury would have eaten Nash’s lunch. (Maybe Nash could go on a run hitting some deep jumpers…) No doubt who went on to be the better NBA PG, though.

  47. Maybe a more interesting example would be Marbury and Derek Fisher. Marbury was more productive, but Fisher was a better defender, outside shooter, teammate, and (as arbitrary as this might be) winner. With 20/20 foresight into their career paths, do you take the better individual player or the better team player?

  48. Marbury might have been wildly overpaid, and a bit underachieving for a #4 pick, but he was more valuable than Derek Fisher, not even close. I don’t mean the 2008-2009 version, but somewhere mid-career…

  49. In defense of Evans — Memphis did essentially go undefeated most of the year once he was switched to point and the ball was given to him to dominate. Tough to argue with wins regardless of efficiency etc. I’m impressed by his size, ability to defend, and competitiveness — so refreshing to see a guy whose agent is probably telling him to shut it down go and play against guys in a situation where he has more to lose than anyone else. I’d be perfectly happy with getting Evans. But I think Minny will take him, if not someone sooner.

  50. Caleb: But the Marbury’s are always going to get max deals… I agree that he was the more productive player and relatively more valuable to his teams, but is it harder to win with that player than a solid, humble role player like Fisher? Is the Fisher type, then, a better asset for your team in the long-run? Especially interesting if you’re a typical team and not a team with Shaq and Kobe… There seems to be a strong tend towards overrating scoring volume on draft night, and that obviously carries over to NBA salaries.
    I mean that’s just an example, and it’s hard to say there’s a definite rule either way. I think it’s an interesting question, though. I sort of doubt Fisher produced like Lawson in college, but haven’t looked at the #s.

    Frank: Evans is definitely an intriguing prospect and I’ve said several times I think he enjoys a long, productive, financially rewarding NBA career. Efficiency is definitely important though. In the NCAA and in Conference USA especially, sure Evans can dominate the opposition one-on-one with his size, athleticism, and skill. The NBA is a difference ballgame. He’s going against similarly gifted athletes and may be asked to run a team at the point.
    Scoring efficiency is especially important, to me, if you’re a high-volume scorer. Evans is someone whose defense, rebounding, and playmaking ability could allow him to be very valuable without scoring at a high volume, but his high-volume college season and once he ends up on a high lottery team with little talent I think there’s a better chance he develops into a high volume scorer than not. Of course, if you’re actually an NBA team drafting him you have some say in his development.

  51. Also, Caleb, I guess my original point was about one-on-one workouts. Marbury might have dominated Nash and Fisher back in 1996, but if all three were free agents tomorrow I have a feeling he’d be the last one picked up.
    Doesn’t mean either Jennings or Evans can’t develop into great NBA players with long, productive careers on successful teams. I just see a lot of that one-on-one, iso mentality in both of them that leads to high per game totals and big bucks, but not to wins. If you’re the team that drafts them I guess it’s your responsibility to make sure their heads are on straight. You’d especially hope Jennings has lost that mentality after playing in Europe.

  52. It’s a good point about one-on-one workouts. Obviously showcases the individual skills over knowledge of the game and ability to function in a team situation.

    If I were running a team, I wouldn’t put much stock in those workouts at all. It seems funny to read about how so-and-so is going to decide their pick, based on the latest workout.

    I suspect there are a few unsuccessful teams that do just that, whereas the well-run teams rely on game scouting and numbers — a bit on measurements – with workouts as a small, small part of the puzzle.

    re: Marbury and Fisher, this is the first step on the slippery slope to, “Is there such a thing as addition by subtraction?” (!) I’ll just say – we probably agree that every player has a certain value, and whether you want them on your team, depends on the opportunity cost — if you sign a guy for $20 million, he better be very, very good.

    I was just making the point that a smart GM would value Marbury over Fisher — at his peak, IMO, you’d be happy to have Steph on a 5-year, $30 million contract, whereas you’d be bummed to see your team give that deal to Fisher. But it’s moot, because as you say, in reality Steph never would have signed a 5-year, $30 million deal. The only way to get him was by wildly overpaying him. Smart teams stayed away.

  53. Yeah, I would say the predraft workouts have little value. Not no value, certainly, since you get a glimpse at a guy’s personality, attitude, and one-on-one/pick-up game skills. For example, you can see that Tyreke Evans has a world of potential, now you have to ask yourself what the chances are that he develops at an accelerated rate (which as a scorer and/or PG I think he needs to) vs. that he becomes a 20 fga/36, 50% TS ball-hog.
    More often than not, though, teams probably fall in love with the Flynn for his gregarious personality or Martell Webster for his ability to hit 10s of half-court shots in a row in an empty gym. On the other hand, they might write off Ricky Rubio because he got sick before a workout and they’re insulted or someone whose a bit reserved socially but a great teammate once he’s comfortable.

    I think I would agree that Marbury/Fisher is an extreme example, and would side with Marbury. If for no other reason than he was traded for a good PG and a very good PG (Brandon who got hurt, and Kidd): take the guy with the higher value and then trade him while he’s still on his rookie deal and still has more upside/ can be excused for not doing x, y, or z because he’s still young.
    Jennings/Lawson seems like a close call to me, though.

  54. the problem with the capology analysis is we WANT lebron and nash to run the offense while the young players develop. and we NEED a big body to anchor the middle [bosh would be nice] so its imperative that we spend wisely this year.

    so robinson is a luxury at anything over 3 million [a price he probably could get elsewhere] so lets save that money and find some low priced rookie free agent who can shoot from the outside and possibly handle the ball when duhon is “resting”.

    lee is another matter. a true fan fav but i doubt he can obtain 9 million in free agency. and he might just give us a home town discount if he thinks/knows that lebron is coming.

    overwise the effects of isaiah will be felt well into 2011. so lets keep the lebron all or nothing in focus. he comes and we will at least fill the seats. he doesn’t and there is no way the franchise will recover anytime soon

    therefore moving jeffries at a minimum [or curry if there is someone as insane as dolan out there] would make the world a brighter place for our long suffering faithful.

    so donnie boy make us proud and separate the chaff from the wheat [if we have any].

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