Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pre-Draft Link-O-Rama

Here at Knickerblogger.net we want you to be informed. To that end, we have spanned the information super highway looking for the best pre-draft analysis and mock drafts. If you know of a good link that we missed, please share.

Dave Berri has some interesting views on the “top” point guards. After reading his work I am officially off the Flynn bandwagon and throwing my full support behind Stephen Curry. Check this cool production chart based on the last season of the players who attended college. Berri really likes Lawson. Maybe Caleb was right about Flynn. And Hollinger likes Lawson too.

Over at hoopsanalyst the love for Lawson continues while Ed Weiland goes all Andy Rooney on the pre-draft evaluation process:

It’s as if the scouts, GMs and other personnel men simply focus in on what goes on in the combine and workouts and ignore the season. As if they’re drafting players for a decathlon instead of the same five-on-five game these players were playing the previous winter.

Rooneyisms aside, I think Ed is on to something. Ed also evaluated combo and shooting guards. I’m sure he’ll get to forwards and centers too so check back in on him.

The combine measurement cheers and jeers continue at blogs all over but this one stood out for me. Hoopsreport.com reports that Eric Maynor’s stock is down:

Maynor’s height for a point guard is pretty good at 6-foot-3, but his weight was not impressive. Maynor weighed in at just 164 pounds, the lightest of anyone at the Combine. To successfully defend NBA guards, he will have to hit the weight room.

I don’t quite buy that given that length and speed are far more important to defense with the new backcourt defensive rules. Active hands and fast feet are better indicators of defense for guards. And what does weight tell you about the ability to play good team defense? You know, Stockton would be a late second rounder by today’ standards. Okay now I sound like Rooney. Moving on…

Matthew Maurer over at the draft review tells us of the 7 deadly sins of drafting. It’s a fun and quick read but we Knick fans will disagree with his assessment of Jared Jeffries’ “perimeter oriented skill sets.” Umm-no. Matthew should update his mock—its 3 weeks old—but I have a soft spot for this site as I won a draft trivia contest there a few years ago. My prize: a one size fits none T-shirt and really cool draft yearbook with stats and impressions on the top 20 players at each position. I don’t think they have published one since but I hope he tries it again.

Hoopshype.com has a mock draft powered by Jonathan Givony of draftexpress.com fame. I like that Givony mocks based on what the team should do rather than what the team is expected to do. For example, Givony has Memphis taking James Harden second. I find that to be a great move because of Rubio, Thabeet, and Harden, it is Harden that best addresses Memphis struggles with scoring (28th in Efficiency, 23rd in eFG) right away. Givony has Holiday to the Knicks and Flynn in the bottom half of the lottery as of 6/17/09.

NBAdraft.net updates their mock about every two days. You can also get opinions on hundreds of prospects. The countdown timer is cool too.

If you can tear yourself away from Jessica Gomes, CNNSI has a mock up as well.

78 comments on “Pre-Draft Link-O-Rama

  1. Caleb

    Nice roundup, Mr. B. And I’m with you on Maynor and skinny guys in general – if there’s one thing you can count on it’s that young guys will put on muscle.

    fyi Chad Ford just reported this trade —
    The trade is Richard Jefferson to the Spurs for Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto and Kurt Thomas … more coming in just a second. Deal is agreed to in principle with a trade call coming later today

    God knows what the Bucks are trying to accomplish. Seems like a nice move for the Spurs, although they’re too far out for this to push them over the top.

  2. Ted Nelson

    I don’t think it’s a bad move for the Bucks. They cut a year of salary. Possibly financial flexibility to resign Sessions and/or Villanueva. Could also make a run at some B-list free agents in 2010 or just build a young core around Bogut if Redd walks.

    I don’t know if the Bucks plan to keep any of the three, but they’re all players Skiles would love to coach. If Villanueva walks the trade gives them 2 possible replacements (Thomas and Oberto… an upgrade over Malik Allen and Austin Croshere). I know he’s on his last legs, but if he’s not cut and doesn’t retire KT could free Bogut by doing the dirty work (especially guarding the other team’s top post option).

    I assume Mbah a Moute take RJ’s starting spot, and I’m sure the Bucks fingers are crossed that Joe Alexander earns some minutes. Bowen could provide leadership and earn minutes, but the Bucks already have a couple of defensive minded wings in Mbah a Moute and Keith Bogans.

  3. Frank

    The more I think about it the more Donnie should really try to make this trade happen with Washington. If you only need to give up Chandler and Hughes to get the #5, James, and Haywood/Thomas, I think you HAVE to do it. I really like Chandler but I don’t think the ceiling for him is particularly high. Hughes and James are probably a wash and we would get the added benefit of a big man (hopefully Haywood) who can bang. Then we would have #5 and #8 — we can hope Rubio falls to 5 and if not, pick up Curry and then as Hahn says perhaps DeRozan or Hill etc. at 8. If the players we want at 8 don’t fall we can always trade back for multiple picks or package with JJ or Curry for an expiring. I think we really come out ahead in that scenario. Assuming it is possible that is.

  4. Ted Nelson

    If the Big 3 (plus RJ) stay healthy I wouldn’t rule the Spurs out. They can still make a big splash in free agency with the MLE and an aging star or two at the veterans minimum: Gortat, Sheed, Grant Hill, maybe even an Iverson or Marion or Andre Miller… They’ve got 3 second rounders, including the 37 pick.

    Duncan, Manu, Parker, RJ, Sheed, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, George Hill (?), Ian Mahinmi (?), and maybe bringing back Udoka, Gooden, Finley, and anyone they traded that the Bucks cut…
    They would need a few guys to step up/ sign for depth, but the top of their depth chart can compete.

  5. Caleb

    Yeah, my bad, thought Jefferson’s deal ended this year. So it’s a nice salary move for them.

    To contend, aside from health I think they’d need RJ to return to his form of a few years ago… and make a meaningful free agent pickup… but I guess that’s not out of the question.

  6. Caleb

    And re: Washington, I find it hard to believe that Wilson Chandler is the best they can get for #5, but in this draft, and with all the teams trying to save money… who knows?

  7. mase

    i dont like this trade because we are losing an expiring plus a young gun with a bright future to get the #5 pick…(all that for Curry?)…i dont like haywod, james or thomas…(gimme Caron butler damnit!)

    no on the wash. trade, if we were losing fat eddy’s contract or Jj i might be inticed

  8. Caleb

    The salaries are a wash, and to me it’s inconceivable that anyone would rather have Chandler than the #5 pick, but I get the feeling many readers disagree.

  9. Ted Nelson

    Yeah, the Spurs are going to need some hard work/ luck/ brilliance to legitimately challenge LA plus whoever wins the East, but if any organization’s capable of that it’s the Spurs. They could definitely win a fairly wide open race for the WC runner-up.
    They’ve made a lot of moves you could call misses lately (Butler, Elson, trading Scola, …) and haven’t had any really brilliant strokes in the Manu, Parker, Bowen vein… Even if it’s just been that their solid moves (Mason and Udoka signings) and risks (drafting Mahinmi and Marcus Williams) just haven’t been home runs the way we’re used to the Spurs coming out of left field with a brilliant move. Matt Bonner has been their only real revelation of late, and you’d really like to see him as a fourth bigman on a contender. Could mean their run is over, but it could also mean they’re due for a big hit.

    At 29 RJ should be capable of a bounce-back year, especially in a reduced role with 3 great-to-very good players around him. There’s a lot of potential for a brilliant move in this free agent class when money is tight and stars have faded, as well as in this wide open draft. People have been waiting for a break-out year from Mahinmi forever (looking less and less likely, of course), and Hill could step up after a decent rookie campaign. A lot of things could possibly go right, and the Spurs only need to hit on a couple.

    If they resign Gooden and sign Sheed/Gortat with the MLE the Spurs go 4 deep in the frontcourt: Duncan, Gooden, Sheed/Gortat, and Bonner. Don’t know if they can resign Gooden and use the MLE, or if they’d have to use the MLE on him. Maybe Gooden and Sheed would split the MLE?
    Parker, Manu, and RJ are all above average at their positions. Mason is a solid 4th guard. Hill is at least a solid 4th/5th guard. Maybe Finley comes back for another season. They could still use one more really solid guard/wing, though, to compete for the title.

  10. Thomas B. Post author

    “Nice roundup, Mr. B. And I’m with you on Maynor and skinny guys in general – if there’s one thing you can count on it’s that young guys will put on muscle.”

    Thanks. It’s funny that I give Maynor a pass on his frame while I hold it against Rubio. Two reasons for that: (1) I have actually seen Maynor play, (2) The Knicks don’t have to do too much to get Maynor. Maynor is not as risky (in terms of getting him here).

    I’m looking forward to draft night when we see the GM’s abandon most of what they know about a player and just draft based on what they do not know. Potential will trump production, upside will trump ability, and the younger the better. So Lawson, Hansborough and Maynor will likely be on the board long after Jennings and Holiday are gone. I say this is a good year to pick up a few picks from any teams that are selling late.

  11. Frank

    Mase – Hughes, Mike James, Etan Thomas, and Haywood are all expiring. Hughes for James/Thomas or James/Haywood is essentially equivalent in terms of expirings. So in terms of long-term post-2009-2010 ramifications, the trade comes down to Chandler for the #5. Like Caleb, I think it’s inconceivable to think that’s not a good deal for us. I think at worst we’ll get a player that is equivalent to Chandler (maybe at a different position), and at best, a player that far exceeds Ill Will.

  12. TDM

    My thought with Chandler is ‘why now?’ I think the concensus is that this year is a weak draft. If that’s true, why trade Chandler for a #5, that in any other year, may be a #10-15?

    I’d rather give Chandler another year in Mike D’s system and see how he progresses. If after this season the Knicks have an opportunity to pluck a great (or potentially great) talent in the top of the draft by trading Chandler, then so be it. Next year’s draft is supposedly very deep and much stronger talent-wise.

    The only conceivable reason for trading Chandler now is if the Knicks were able to package him with an anchor contracts. Apparently, Washington called the Knicks inquiring about Hughes/Jeffries. Hughes is expiring, and I think Jeffries will be very tradable next year. If the Knicks are at all considering this trade, Jeffries would have to go, but I would also try to pry JaVale McGee to compensate for giving up a young talent.

  13. Ted Nelson

    I also have a hard time believing that Washington would take Hughes and Chandler for #5, or that any Knicks fan wouldn’t support a trade that sent Hughes and Chandler for #5…

    If I were Washington I might be enticed by Hughes, Chandler, AND #8 for #5. Hughes was completely worthless a few months ago when the Bulls traded him, now suddenly he’s worth the better part of a #5 pick? He did play his best ball in Washington, but they seem to be seriously overestimating their team and going for broke for a shot at home court and a second round exit.

    I can see why Knicks fans are apprehensive about trading someone you know is at least a below-average NBA player (Chandler) for a pick you’ve never seen play an NBA game. However, the Knicks can package #5 & #8 for #2 or #3 and take Rubio or Thabeet, or they can take two guys they really like in the top 8 and basically double their chances of getting a special player. I respect that Chandler could, maybe, become a good player, but I can’t see him being the kind of special player the Knicks could get if they make the right choice early in the draft.

  14. Thomas B. Post author

    “If the Big 3 (plus RJ) stay healthy I wouldn’t rule the Spurs out. They can still make a big splash in free agency with the MLE and an aging star or two at the veterans minimum: Gortat, Sheed, Grant Hill, maybe even an Iverson or Marion or Andre Miller…” -Ted Nelson

    Agreed except for Iverson. I just don’t see how his game fits what the Spurs like to do. Sheed….maybe but you never know what attitude he will bring. Yes to Marion-replacing the defensive ability they lose but adding a player that can get out on the break with Parker.

  15. mase

    tdm, I’m in total agreement with u. Chandler in another year could be scary good, Amare good.

    I would love to have Rubio running the point but this trade doesn’t guarantee him landing here. Plus, I think Rubio is to meek and doesn’t have the midrange game but I digress…sometimes no move is the best move!

  16. Ted Nelson

    TDM– Rather than “why now?” My thought is why not? #5 picks have historically been traded for established guys like Ray Allen and Jamison. If Washington is actually considering, this is an historical opportunity for the Knicks.

    PER: 12.9
    TS%: .515
    3P%: .328
    Reb-rate: 8.9
    Ast-rate: 9.9
    TO-rate: 10.8
    USG-rate: 20.5

    pts/36: 15.6
    reb/36: 5.9
    ast/36: 2.2
    stl/36: 0.9
    blk/36: 1.0

    Chandler has a shot at being a good NBA player, but I just don’t understand what would get you so excited about him…

    This isn’t a great draft, but one of the consensus top 4 (not Griffin, but Rubio, Thabeet, or Harden) might fall to #5, and it’s hard to imagine that the Knicks won’t either take or pass on a better player than Chandler.

    Thomas– I just threw Iverson in there because maybe he can’t get any money and signs a veterans minimum for a ring. Even then I agree that the Spurs should think long and hard, but he’s a dangerous scorer and ball-handler who maybe Pops gets the most out of.
    I think the Spurs definitely need at least one more good bigman to have any shot at a title. Gortat is young, but might never pan out and the Magic or Knicks or whoever could get him. With Sheed giving his all you’re getting an elite man defender and so-so outside shooter who can open things up for Duncan. The new Horry, although maybe that overlaps too much with Bonner. Have never seen enough of Bonner to say what kind of man defender he’s developed into, but obviously a better outside shooter than Sheed.
    Marion might be a great signing, but does he have anything left? and can he play the 4?

  17. Z

    “Chandler in another year could be scary good, Amare good.”

    He COULD be, but I’m willing to take my chances that he won’t be.

    Caleb is right– the minority opinion seems to be that Chandler should be traded for the #5. Most Knick fans seem to think Chandler is an integral piece in the team’s future. Odd, considering he plays the same position as Gallinari.

    I think that there will definitely be players available at #5 that will go on to have better careers than Wilson Chandler.

    I think Washington would be pretty dumb to make the trade with the Knicks. Do they even need Chandler? They have Caron Butler under contract until 2011.

  18. mase

    i was making the comparison between amare and chandler adding in the D’antoni factor, but i agree its a reach.

    frank,
    you’re saying its a wash financially but talent-wise we are the big losers…we’re giving 2 starters for 0!

  19. Frank

    just was reading SI.com and was reminded of this:

    “In a prearranged draft-night trade that turned into one of the most lopsided deals in history, the Mavericks sent No. 6 pick Robert Traylor to the Bucks for Nowitzki and No. 19 pick Pat Garrity, whom Dallas dealt to Phoenix for Steve Nash.”

    Tractor Traylor for Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. That is amazing. Complete bust for 2 HOFers.

    And Mase – we have to think long-term here. Hughes’s talent is completely immaterial — he’s going to be long gone by the time our team is good enough to make any noise. And even in 2009-2010, I’d say the addition of a real interior defender like Haywood far outweighs the loss of Hughes, who is not nearly the defender he thinks he is, and is a pretty awful offensive player. So really, we’re giving 1 crappy starter and 1 up-and-coming but limited ceiling player for a legit (but also limited) center in Haywood, filler in James, and the #5 pick, which presumably will be someone that will be at LEAST as good if not better than Chandler. And we clear up PT for Gallinari. And we get two draft picks who hopefully will be good and will be on their rookie contracts until 2012.

    And by the way, your comparison of Chandler to Stoudemire is WAY out there. Granger is pipe dream too although at least they are in the same stratosphere in terms of physical tools.

  20. Caleb

    I think Chandler is about a #15 talent, and when you factor in that he only has 2 years left on a rookie deal, instead of 4, I’d say his value is more like a 20-25 pick. (If any GMs are reading the board, IGNORE WHAT YOU JUST READ! IGNORE WHAT YOU JUST READ!)

    Stoudemire’s birthday is in November and Chandler’s is in May, so you have to compare him either 6 months younger than last season’s Chandler last season (he was a lot better) or 6 months older (even mo’ better).

    mpg TS p/40 r/40 a/40 to/rate stls blks
    Chandler age 21 33 51.5 17.3 6.5 2.5 9.5 .9 .9
    Stoudemire 20-21 37 53.6 22.4 9.8 1.5 13.5 1.2 1.6
    Stoudemire 21-22 36 61.7 28.8 9.9 1.8 9.4 1.0 1.6

    Chandler does have an advantage as a ballhandler and non-turnover machine. He might be a better defender but I’m not sure. Scoring and rebounding it’s not really comparable.

  21. TDM

    Ok, you win.

    Let’s do the Washington deal, then package the #5 and #8 with a re-signed DLee to the Clips for the #1 and Camby.

    I happened to look at the list of past #5 picks. A bit of a mixed bag. Here are the hi and lo lights:

    Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter, and Dwyane Wade

    Jeff Green, Shelden Williams, Nickoloz Tskitishvili and Isaiah Rider

  22. Caleb

    Here are the #5 picks the last 15 years. It’s a pretty valuable pick. Two superstars, a few more All-Stars, only two real busts.

    Kevin Love
    Jeff Green
    Shelden Williams
    Raymond Felton
    Devin Harris
    Dwyane Wade
    Nikoloz Tskisivilli
    Jason Richardson
    Mike Miller
    Jonathan Bender
    Vince Carter
    Ray Allen
    Tony Battie
    Kevin Garnett

    And the #8 picks… zero All-Stars, a few good players but 2-5 All-flops, depending what you think of Alexander, Frye and Foyle. I’d guess the 9 and 10 picks did better – this looks like a cursed draft slot.

    Joe Alexander
    Brandan Wright
    Rudy Gay
    Channing Frye
    Rafael Araujo
    TJ Ford
    Chris Wilcox
    DeSagana Diop
    Jamal Crawford
    Mike Miller
    Larry Hughes
    Adonal Foyle
    Kerry Kittles
    Shawn Respert
    Brian Grant

  23. Ted Nelson

    I think Washington would far prefer to give away Etan Thomas. He’s clashed with coaches and teammates, while Haywood had a career season in 07-08 before getting injured.

    TDM–

    Granger is an interesting comparison. If everything went absolutely right for Chandler, I could see arguing that Chandler was 2 years rawer coming into the league and in the best case could become a Granger like player.

    Chandler is going to have to become a significantly better shooter/scorer and foul drawer to be comparable to Granger, though. Granger came into the league with a mediocre .540 TS% as a rook and then quickly stepped it up to a solid .573 the next season. Chandler was a miserable .480 as a rook and a bad .515 this past season. But, sure he was younger. By his second season Granger also hit an eFG% of .470 on jumpers and .636 on close shots, while Chandler shot an eFG% of .442 on jumpers and .529 on close shots last season. Granger’s shooting numbers were a lot worse his rookie season, though, when he was a year older than Chandler last season. Granger had a FTA/FGA ratio of only .24 as a rookie, but stepped it up to .27 for years 2 and 3, and then .36 for his breakout career year. Chandler stepped backward his second season, from .22 to .20… But, yes, he’s younger. My feeling is that pure age can often be overrated, though.

    The best case for Chandler is probably a less efficient Granger, basically an Al Harrington.

    I see you guys have already listed #5 picks, but here are the #5 picks from the past 15 years subjectively ranked by me: Garnett, Wade, VC, Ray Allen, Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Devin Harris, Jason Richardson, Juwan Howard, Jeff Green, Tony Battie, Raymond Felton, Jonathan Bender, Shelden Williams, and Skita.

    So, in an average draft you might get a Jason Richardson at #5… He’d be on his rookie deal 2 seasons longer, but also might command more as a free agent due to the hype of a #5 pick…
    There’s also the upside of taking a KG or Wade type talent (for my money, Rubio, Harden, Evans, and Jennings are the only ones the Knicks might take 5 with even the remote possibility of being HoF caliber, but I guess the draft is pretty unpredictable).
    If the Knicks trade up to 2 or 3, of course, the list would be a lot more attractive.

  24. Thomas B. Post author

    Hey Caleb,

    Nikoloz Tskisivilli
    Jon Bender
    Shelden Williams

    Which of those three was/is not a bust?

  25. Owen

    Chandler and Amare? That makes me chuckle….

    Count me among those extremely excited about using Chandler to trade up…

    Thomas B – I think it remains to be seen if Shelden Williams is a bust or not. But its hard to argue that there is a lot more talent available at five than at 8…

    Also, I am baffled by the RJ trade. For the Spurs, either they have Manu healthy, and are championship contenders, or they don’t. Jefferson is not a game changer…

  26. Caleb

    Nikoloz Tskisivilli
    Jon Bender
    Shelden Williams

    Which of those three was/is not a bust?

    I would give Jonathan Bender an incomplete… He played 20+ minutes a game for a Finals team at age 20. The next year, when he was Chandler’s age, he only played 18 minutes a game but per 40 he averaged 14.6 points, 6.4 boards, 2 assists and almost 3 blocks, with a 52.1 TS percentage. Not superstar numbers, but pretty good. Then the knee went.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bendejo01.html

  27. Thomas B. Post author

    Fair enough, but injuries should count.

    Questions for all who care to share:

    What player could the Knicks take at 8 that would just blow your mind? A real “what the hell?” moment. Try to be somewhat realistic. Don’t say a known late second rounder. And yes, “Jerome James” does not count as an answer.

    Who do you think will make the biggest jump and who will have the largest drop?

    Last person in the green room?

    First pick of a person not in the green room?

  28. Caleb

    I am shocked about the Rondo stuff too… and surprised the Pistons turned down that offer, to be honest.

    Thomas, I would ignore injuries when compariing picks – it seems the risk is pretty even for players whether they’re good or not (assuming you give them a medical exam first!) so it all comes out in the wash. I mean, Chandler just went under the knife and could suffer a career-ending injury this year, just like the #5 pick.

    re: surprises, a couple of weeks ago Chad Ford said the Knicks were seriously considering BJ Mullens and if they picked him my head would probably explode.

  29. TDM

    Caleb – not that it makes much difference but the list of #8’s should include Andre Miller, not Mike Miller again.

    What the Hell? BJ Mullens
    Biggest Jump: Tyler Hansbrough
    Largest Drop: Brandon Jennings
    Green Room Furniture: Slavko Vranes, er, I mean BJ Mullens
    Missing From Green Room: Jeff Teague

  30. Frank

    I agree that Mullens is probably the most probable head-scratching pick, although I highly doubt that Donnie will do that.

    That being said — if we somehow end up with #5 and #8, I could see the following scenario:

    #5 – we pick Curry
    #6 – Evans
    #7 – Hill
    #8 – we are left choosing between Jennings, Holiday, DeRozan, etc. none of whom we are crazy about. In that setting — wouldn’t be the worst thing ever to choose Mullens. He WAS the Rivals.com #1 high school player last year. Maybe he and Eddy Curry would motivate each other (more likely they would eat each other).

  31. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Chandler and Amare? That makes me chuckle….

    Count me among those extremely excited about using Chandler to trade up…”

    I agree on both parts. I’m not sure how anyone would think that Chandler isn’t worth a #5 pick. With the #5/#8 combo, the team could end up with a SG/PG. And they can let Danilo takeover a bunch of minutes at SF. For 2010 you could have something like:

    PG: Lawson/Rubio/Evans/Jennings
    SG: Harden/Curry
    SF: Danilo
    PF: Lee

    Throw in a Gortat/LeBron and that’s a great team.

  32. TDM

    “thanks for fixing the miller mixup. But who is the better #8?”

    I think I’d go Andre, but not by much.

    Does anyone think that it is telling that LBJ is moving his Kings Academy summer camp from Akron to UCSD (my alma mater)? Aside from the weather, doesn’t this seem like the first sign of the process of excising himself from Cleveland?

  33. Owen

    “I agree on both parts. I’m not sure how anyone would think that Chandler isn’t worth a #5 pick. With the #5/#8 combo, the team could end up with a SG/PG. And they can let Danilo takeover a bunch of minutes at SF. For 2010 you could have something like:

    PG: Lawson/Rubio/Evans/Jennings
    SG: Harden/Curry
    SF: Danilo
    PF: Lee

    Throw in a Gortat/LeBron and that’s a great team.”

    Exactly. 100%.

    Meanwhile, I love the Eddy Curry renaissance story developing….

  34. Caleb

    Read the Hollinger recap of the San Antonio/Milwaukee trade and he pointed out the Bucks might still have moves to make, if they want to re-sign Villanueva and Sessions and still avoid luxury tax. That could mean moving the #10 pick. If we can’t get Washington’s pick, Chandler for the 10 works for me.

  35. Frank

    Truthfully though, you could have written the last post as:

    “PG: Owen/TDM/Mike K.
    SG: Thomas B
    SF: Ted Nelson
    PF: Mase

    Throw in Lebron and that’s a great team”

    and it would still be true.

    Seriously though, in the fantasy world where we actually do have the #5 and #8 picks, I would definitely try to trade down to the 14-18 range and get rid of a contract, then pick a high-reward/high risk guy like Mullens. The worst thing that happens is that Mullens stinks and takes up Jerome James’s previous spot on the bench — but we still get rid of Jefferies’s or ECurry’s contract.

    “Meanwhile, I love the Eddy Curry renaissance story developing….”
    – Donnie definitely knows how to work the media.

  36. Hudson River

    Historically, whenever we trade/give away young forwards (Udoka, Barnes, Ariza, Balkman?)it seems like they always end up much better than we think they were which tells me Chandler is going to be solid if and only if he leaves the Knicks, something we as fans are just going to have to accept.

    Still, its rare that you see fouls drawn go up all that much and combined with a pretty bad jumper it just doesn’t seem like he is ever going to produce all that much, I say sell now.

    Also I just wanted to comment on Berri’s Win Score. Its entirely arbitrary to me because I don’t believe that 1 point is actually worth 1 steal, or that 1 steal is worth exactly half a block. If you go to 82games.com you’ll find that a block is recovered by the defensive team about 57% of the time (http://www.82games.com/comm16.htm), telling me a blocked shot is worth more than they give it credit for. I just don’t understand how somebody as analytical as Berri created such an arbitrary stat but so it goes. I actually did an independent study for school where I created a stat that I think is significantly less arbitrary than Win score, but Berri is the guy on the internet so he gets the nod.

    The findings are still interesting, and like a ton of other stats I’ve read LOVE Ty Lawson. I mean I think he’ll be a solid player in the NBA, it seems like whoever ends up with him in the middle to late 1st round will be very lucky.

  37. Caleb

    “Donnie definitely knows how to work the media.”

    This draft will be helpful for predicting his picks down the road. For all the chaos at MSG, IT ran a tight ship around the draft. When he took Chandler, there was zero notice until the day before, when Chandler was reported as fact and it was dead-on.

    Last year, it seemed like the interest in Gallinari sort of leaked out over months – a badly kept secret.

    This year — Curry is in the role of Gallinari. A few other names – Hill, Jennings, Holliday – are getting floated a lot. But the Holliday blurbsyesterday seemed pretty calculated… he had a bad workout earlier, came back and did great, now the Knicks are fascinated, yada yada. Either Walsh throwing people off the scent, or Holliday’s agent banging the drum. Either way it’s about as robotic a move as Ewing cerca 2001, and doesn’t suggest real interest. If Holliday is the pick, count me surprised.

    If we take Curry, Jennings, Hill or Evans… I’ll put Donnie in the predictable (leaker) category. Otherwise… master of disguise!

    I’m setting aside the Rubio talk – he’s generally considered the second-best prospect, so it doesn’t tell you much to hear the Knicks are interested. Of course they are.

    And a few weeks ago, there was a mention of Walsh liking Lawson, while D’Antoni didn’t, but aside from that his name hasn’t come up. A leak, and then a clampdown? Or meaningless chatter from an agent?

    Chad Ford seems to think the Knicks have had running interest in Henderson… several mentions; it’s been pretty consistent. I hope he’s not in consideration at 8.

    Oh yeah, Peter Vecsey laid down a marker a few days ago and promised the Knicks would end the night with a second pick – probably a second-rounder. That’s some credibility on the line.

  38. Caleb

    Berri’s WS is based on a straight regression analysis — that’s how those TEAM statistics correlate to wins. On a team level it’s just a statement of fact, but the question is: how valid is it to say the correlation holds true for individual players? e.g. rebounding corresponds highly to wins, but is that because the team’s defense caused so many missed shots, as opposed to the rebounding PF being important…

  39. Frank

    Totally unrelated to the discussion, but I guess Sean May is an UFA now? I know we’ve had our fill of fat big men but does anyone think he’s worth a flyer? 2 year deal at the veteran’s minimum? When he was healthy in 07 he had a PER of 19, 20 p/40, 11 r/40, 3.2 a/40. Supposedly the knee is healthy, and he doesn’t strike me as that big a slug that he’d lose TWO seasons to fatness. Of course, I still wake up each offseason with hopes that Eddy will lose 100 lbs.

  40. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Seriously though, in the fantasy world where we actually do have the #5 and #8 picks, I would definitely try to trade down to the 14-18 range and get rid of a contract, then pick a high-reward/high risk guy like Mullens.”

    Mullens? Seems about every stat guy has him labeled as a bust. For late guys I would do Daye/Blair/Calathes.

  41. Frank

    from Yahoo–

    “The Washington Wizards have agreed in principle to acquire Minnesota Timberwolves guards Randy Foye(notes) and Mike Miller(notes) for Etan Thomas(notes), Oleksiy Pecherov(notes) and Darius Songaila and the fifth pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, a league executive with knowledge of the deal told Yahoo! Sports. The teams are still working out details but the deal is expected to be consummated.”

    Ouch. Wow did the Wizards fleece the Wolves on this one. Foye is probably as good as anyone they could’ve gotten at #5. AND they get Miller’s expiring contract and get rid of Songalia’s longer contract.

    That being said — I think we can expect the Wolves to pick 2 out of Rubio, Evans, and Curry, leading to a core of 2 of those + Jefferson + Love. Not bad. Especially if they then parlay some of their other picks into serviceable depth etc.

    Meanwhile, hello Jrue Holiday or Brandon Jennings. Pretty low chance Curry or Evans falls to us at this point.

  42. BigBlueAL

    This T’Wolves – Wizards trade basically bums me out. So much for the Knicks moving up now. So we stay at #8 and most likely get our 3rd choice since Curry and Evans will most likely be gone.

    Will the Knicks ever catch a freakin break???? EVER????

  43. TDM

    Crazy. They’ll probably package the 5 & 6 for the 2. Rubio is the likely target considering the loss of Foye, and the addition of Etan Thomas.

  44. TDM

    According to Chad Ford:

    The trade hasn’t been consummated yet because of a clerical point that Etan Thomas needs to handle, a source told Katz. Thomas has to come to the Wizards’ offices Wednesday to sign an agreement that he won’t opt out of his deal on July 1 and become a free agent. By agreeing to the trade, Thomas would receive $1.2 million. Thomas is expected to sign the note, but it is a procedural matter that must be done before a conference call with all parties can be held.

  45. Frank

    Well, I think it is highly likely that we’ll be picking from one of these three barring any Donnie miracles: Jordan Hill, Jrue Holiday, or Brandon Jennings. Any thoughts/preferences? The more I think about it, the less I want to pick any of these guys. Maybe we can trade down and get Lawson 4-5 picks later?

  46. BigBlueAL

    Its amazing that a few weeks ago the Knicks were seen as the only team in the Top 10 willing to pick Curry. There was even stuff written that if Curry wasnt picked by the Knicks he could potentially fall out of the lottery.

    Now the Knicks most likely have no chance whatsoever in getting him at #8. Gotta love the draft.

  47. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    The #5 pick to Minnesota. The chance of trading Jeffries/Hughes to Washington is dwindling. Amir Johnson is gone to another team as well. Anyone else feel like they’ve been punched in the gut?

  48. Kobayashi

    Any truth to the rumor that I just started that the Wizzards trade Mike Miller to the Knicks for Hughes?

  49. BigBlueAL

    Read my post a few spots up. Im really bummed out now. I was looking forward to something somewhat big or at the least exciting happening for the Knicks.

    Instead we will most likely be stuck at #8 with our top 2 options, Curry and Evans, gone. This quite frankly sucks big time.

  50. tastycakes

    Part of what’s depressing about the Wizards deal (besides the fact that we can’t grab another lottery ticket) is that other teams always seem to have better packages to offer!

    I mean, I’m not a big fan of Chandler, and would have traded him in a heartbeat for the #5. I think his ceiling is low. But is Randy Foye really that much better? A couple of injury filled seasons on an awful team? Hard to be a big fan when his team was so hard to watch.

    When the Celtics traded the Al Jefferson Pu-Pu Platter for KG, I was pissed. Isiah used to (falsely) claim that he was accumulating assets for a blockbuster that never came, and when the blockbuster was out there, nobody wanted our junk. I guess the Wolves would rather have Big Al than David Lee, but we just never even had a shot.

    I hope we take Lawson at 8. Or trade down to shed a salary or pick up an extra pick or two.

    Also, can someone explain to me why D. Lee and Lil Nate are off the table for trades? I know (think?) they can’t technically be sign-and-traded until July 1, but don’t teams make handshake deals with players contingent on a future event?

  51. tastycakes

    Actually, what I really want on draft night is a Kevin Pritchard style wheeling and dealing extravaganza where I have absolutely no idea what to expect but the Knicks name gets called a lot, we end up with a majorly reshuffled deck, and 3 or 4 young players with serious upside potential.

    Because, let’s face it, none of us know jack. I mean, some of us have better systems than others, but at the end of the day, I just want to believe that the Knicks are going to get better.

  52. Ben R

    I do not think Curry will be a great NBA player. He is not a PG and while a dominant scorer in college his conference was pretty weak. I still like Curry, and would be happy getting him at 8, but I like Jennings, Evans, Lawson, and Hill more. I think the real sad thing is losing the chance to get a second lottery pick.

    I also think there is still a chance Evans falls to us, if Hill, Flynn and Curry all get taken ahead of us Evans will fall. I think after the top four (Griffin, Rubio, Thabeet, Harden) any of the next four (Curry, Evans, Hill, Flynn) could fall.

    My worry is we take Holiday or Flynn. What about moving Chandler for a later lottery pick and getting Lawson. Lawson plus either Evans or Hill would be fantastic.

  53. ess-dog

    Whoa, look what happens when I go to the beach for the day. Mike, is it too late to change my draft bet?
    I happen to agree with Ben R. that Curry is overrated at this point. The thing I liked about Curry was his Lebron lure… and I’m pretty sure bron’s not going to Minny, so I’m fine with it. The chance to grab Rubio is what I would want (want still?) but that chance seems slim. And for the record, I would’ve sent Chandler packin’ for the five, but is Foye really better??? I even think Ill Will would be a better fit for D.C….oh well. I think the key was Minny taking longer salary on. I hope the wolves take Curry and Evans and they both implode over that cursed franchise. Good riddance.

    Actually I’m starting to feel the love for Holiday. I think he plays on both ends, has great physical skills, and appears to be coachable and egoless unlike Jennings. I think he could be our point for the next 10 years. It’s very tempting to take Lawson but my concerns are 1) defense and 2) his pace adjusted stats… UNC had about 10 more possessions per game than UCLA which does make some difference. Of course, Tywon shoots the 3 ball much better, but Holiday has potential… I would lovelovelove a Harden/Holiday backcourt for next year.

    Also, this was disconcerting:

    Speculation is that the Pistons will make a big push to sign unrestricted free-agent Ben Gordon this off-season.

    Despite being cautious about adding salary in 2010, the Knicks will reportedly pursue Gordon as well.

  54. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Well, I think it is highly likely that we’ll be picking from one of these three barring any Donnie miracles: Jordan Hill, Jrue Holiday, or Brandon Jennings.”

    Jennings. You’d have to think that D’Antoni can get the most out of PG, and Jennings has the highest upside.

  55. Thomas B. Post author

    If Curry and Evans are gone by the 8th, and we can’t trade up to get Rubio then I say just take Lawson at 8. I know it sounds crazy but if Lawson turns out to be a solid starter/contributer then who will care that we took him 8th? I do NOT like the idea of trading Chandler to get Lawson when we could just take him for free at 8. We don’t have to take Flynn or Jennings just because draft sites and conventional wisdom says they rank higher. Get the player you think is the best fit and who you think can contribute. If we want to address the PG, then take Lawson 8th. It’s just the kind of gutsy move (if it works) that few GM’s have the guts to do.

  56. tastycakes

    Not impressed with Jennings’ mouth / ego (trash talking Rubio?). I want my kids humble and ready to learn.

    In Donnie I trust. (Not that I have a choice).

  57. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Any truth to the rumor that I just started that the Wizzards trade Mike Miller to the Knicks for Hughes?”

    Peter Vecsey just reported this exact rumor from an unnamed source.

    “When the Celtics traded the Al Jefferson Pu-Pu Platter for KG, I was pissed. Isiah used to (falsely) claim that he was accumulating assets for a blockbuster that never came, and when the blockbuster was out there, nobody wanted our junk. I guess the Wolves would rather have Big Al than David Lee, but we just never even had a shot.”

    I think part of the problem was that Bill Laimbeer wasn’t the Minny GM.

    “Whoa, look what happens when I go to the beach for the day. Mike, is it too late to change my draft bet?”

    Sure.

  58. Caleb

    I guess I was holding out some hope, but Chandler for the 5 was always a pipe dream. Foye is probably a similar value, but the Wolves were able to include Mike Miller – an actual productive, veteran player for a win-now team.

    I was heartened to read in the ESPN article that the Wolves plan to keep both picks, not package them to move up. Don’t know if that’s true, but maybe there’s still a way to swing Rubio in some complicated deal.

    I’d love to have Evans, but I bet he goes top-5. At 8 my favorite is Lawson – better yet, if we can trade down a few slots and still grab him. #2 by a hair is Jennings… #3, I dunno, Curry or Holliday. Curry is a safe pick, but he’s not going to be a star. Holliday could turn out really well — UCLA guys, especially guards, have way outperformed their college numbers (Westbrook, Afflalo, Mbah a Moute) — but his offensive numbers were really rough. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of those four turn out the best.

    Hill is not that exciting a prospect – no offensive game, decent not great rebounder, maybe good on defense. 8 is too high, and he won’t be available later.

    “what I really want on draft night is a Kevin Pritchard style wheeling and dealing extravaganza where I have absolutely no idea what to expect but the Knicks name gets called a lot”

    Count me in!

  59. BigBlueAL

    Andy Katz just said on ESPN that the Brandon Jennings camp believes they will not drop below the Knicks at #8.

  60. Frank

    I guess I”m fine with Jennings or Holiday at 8. Truth is we still have Duhon for 09-10 and so Jennings/Holiday can learn how to play a bit without too much pressure to come right in and be the man.

    I think I’m leaning more towards Jennings — the Rubio trash-talk aside, my guess is that he grew up a lot in Italy, practiced with grown men playing much more fundamentally sound basketball than just about any college program, and probably practiced much more than he would have been allowed to in an NCAA program. And his physical gifts have never been a question. Holiday, on the other hand, has more size but he’s skating by on his high school rep — even though Westbrook’s numbers weren’t great, just about everyone in the Pac10 was impressed with him when he took over for Collison for a bit.

    interesting read from ESPN the Mag in case you haven’t seen it…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3715746

    And Ford’s article from a couple weeks ago.
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2009/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=brandonjennings-090609

  61. Thomas B. Post author

    On Jennings:

    There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance, lord know I skirt the line often. Context matters so I will give him the benefit of a doubt an hope it was just his way of saying I believe in myself. But now he has to back it up.

  62. tastycakes

    Frank, thanks for the links. They are enlightening. I realize how much ESPN loves to cheerlead. When these young players are all potential, ESPN loves to image the best case scenarios.

    My takeaway is that Jennings isn’t all that bright, carries around a lot of anger (dude’s father killed himself when he was a kid, which is awful), has a sense of entitlement, etc. I’m not sure these are traits I want in my PG of the future. Guess we’ll find out ..

  63. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    My takeaway is that Jennings isn’t all that bright, carries around a lot of anger (dude’s father killed himself when he was a kid, which is awful), has a sense of entitlement, etc. I’m not sure these are traits I want in my PG of the future. Guess we’ll find out ..

    I think a lot of what you say can be applied in a positive light, depending on how you look at it. If he has a sense of entitlement, why would he go to Italy instead of expecting some big university to make things right? If he isn’t that bright, then why be the first youngster to go to Italy (instead of maintaining the status quo)? If he carries a lot of anger, then why wouldn’t he make a fuss when he didn’t start in Rome?

    And just to make a point about the Rubio comments, who here was the same well-adjusted person at the age of 19?

  64. daaarn

    Ah, you know it’s draft season when the Knicks war room is abound in rumors. With Minny’s trade, I’m not liking our chances of getting Curry, but I would not advocate trading one of our main guys to move up for anyone short of Rubio. As for Jennings, I don’t think anyone really doubts his physical skills, but I don’t get the best impression from him in regards to his mental/emotional maturity. I don’t see any of the guards that could fall to us to be sure things, but I still think we need to draft the best player available.

  65. Thomas B. Post author

    And just to make a point about the Rubio comments, who here was the same well-adjusted person at the age of 19? -Mike K

    I’m 34-today actually-and I’m still not well adjusted.

  66. Z

    Too bad about the Wizards and Pistons trades (though the Pistons trade could indicate their interest in Lee wasn’t very serious). There are still other trades out there to be had, though! How about these:

    1. The Bucks have wide eyes for Flynn and also want to cut some salary to sign Sessions and Villanueva. If the Knicks draft Flynn at #8 they can offer this package:

    Flynn, Mobley, Jeffries for the #10, Ridnour, Bowen, and Kurt Thomas.

    Bucks get their targeted rookie and save $3 million next year.

    Knicks draft BPA at #10 and dump Jeffries contract.

    OR

    2. Knicks deal Jeffries to the Wizards for Mike James straight up. Costs the Wiz $7 mil thanks to Jeffries’ two year deal, but they actually like Jeffries, are in win-now mode, and Grunfeld has said he’s willing to spend $$ to put a healthy winning team together.

    OR

    3. #8 and Eddy Curry to the TWolves for Etan Thomas, Brian Cardinal, the #18 and the #28

    Wolves would have 3 of the top 8 picks, would actually save $2.5 million next year, and could use a center to play next to converted PF Al Jefferson.

    As for the Knicks, the incentive is obvious…

  67. Ray

    The T-Wolves deal might bust up everything for us. Except if…..They deal those two picks to MEmphis for the #2. Then Memphis gives us the 5 in some sort of David Lee sign and trade leaving us with the 5 and 8. So essentially Memphis might be picking for us. Maybe Donnie is close with the Minny GM and maybe he will do something friendly for us?Or is he friends with the Washington GM? I dunno at this point. Ive never seen deals being made 2 days before the draft. Donnie is going to have to work those phones now and make something happen for us. We have a bunch of role players and some guys that can really score. There has to be a god deal for us out there somewhere. As for picking Jennings…we dont need another Point Guard with an attitude problem. When he talked all that trash about Rubio I could cleary see the holes in his character that had been there all along. The knicks dont need any of that. We need someone who will come in here and work hard to bring the winning days back. NBA Draft…have me stressed like a game ending jumper.

  68. chris.afroman

    ESPN has an article where a player from each team goes through a mock draft. Can anybody post that?

  69. chris.afroman

    With Minnesota now owning the 5th and 6th picks, I don’t think there’s much of a chance the Knicks get Curry unless they find a way to move up in the draft (I can’t imagine MIN taking Johnny Flynn when Curry’s on the board). And there’s pretty much no way Thabeet is going to fall that far.
    Flynn seems like the smart pick but I can’t imagine him being more than a quality backup and if the Knicks are going to get better, they need somebody with starter potential. I know there are some character issues surrounding Jennings, who can seem a bit cocky, but is he the smartest pick here? He has what Duhon lacks – he’s rediculously fast, a great thief, and can get to the basket and finish strong. D’Antoni’s done some good work with point guards before…but I’m not sure the Knicks have a strong leader to keep Jennings in check. Anyone have any other thoughts on this?

  70. ess-dog

    If this is true, I’m becoming a Nets fan:

    “Gerald Henderson is an option for the Knicks if Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans are all off the board.

    New York has been trying to move up to select either Rubio or Curry, but currently remain at the eighth overall pick.

    Point guards Brandon Jennings and Jrue Holiday should be available with the 8th pick, but sources claim that Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni prefer Henderson over the pair.”

  71. Caleb

    Z,

    The Bucks deal makes too much sense to actually happen. Unless they find another “insured” player somewhere (like Mobley) they literally can’t save as much as $3 million without trading Michael Redd. They’d get to move up in the draft, and the Knicks options at 10 would almost certainly be just as good as at 8.

    I don’t actually believe the Wiz want Jeffries back… and I don’t see why the T-Wolves would do that deal. Curry on top of Jefferson and Love? For us, dropping from 8 to 18 is pretty steep, but in this draft it might not matter – some of the better players, like Teague or Blair, or even Lawson, might still be available.

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