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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pre-Orlando Mock Draft, v. 1.0: The Lottery

2008 NBA Mock Draft

I’ll update the mock from time to time as the process unfolds but I wanted to get something up prior to Orlando and team workouts. This mock is less a prediction and more a record of what I would do as the GM of each team. Although I anticipate that trades will change the draft order, perhaps radically, my interest is in matching player and team. Therefore I keep the teams in their given draft order but highlight spots where I expect trades.

1. Chicago Derrick Rose, Memphis, PG

Rose is the best overall prospect in this draft. Although Beasley might fill an immediate need for scoring Rose creates scoring opportunities for teammates. And what really moves him ahead of Beasley for my money is his defensive value. I think he’s the 2nd best perimeter defender in this draft (behind Russell Westbrook).

2. Miami Michael Beasley, Kansas State, PF

Beasley is the best offensive talent in the draft. Although he seems more of a mid post than a low post player he gets to the line an impressive amount (.59 FTAs/FGA or 10 FTAs per pace-adjusted 40) and is a beast on the boards (14.6 rebs per pace-adjusted 40).* On the other hand, though I have seen Beasley play only infrequently, he seems like an indifferent defender. Perhaps no franchise is better than Miami though at getting indifferent defenders to exert effort on that end of the floor.

3. Minnesota O.J. Mayo, USC, G

This is obviously where the draft gets interesting. No consensus has emerged on who the 3rd best player in this draft is. Mayo could easily solidify this spot with stellar workouts despite his so-so freshman season. He is very strong, unselfish, and a good defender, all underappreciated aspects of his game that may serve him well in workouts and interviews. He’s also, I think, a better complement to Randy Foye than is Jerryd Bayless. Kevin McHale is close to Mayo’s now-former agent Bill Duffy and has scouted Mayo extensively.

4. Seattle Jerryd Bayless, Arizona, G

Seattle is likely to select whichever of the three top guards remains on the board. Bayless might be the perfect combo guard to complement Durant. Bayless plays well without the ball, shoots a high percentage (.61 TS), and lives at the free throw line (.59 FTA/FGA).

5. Memphis Brook Lopez, Stanford, C

I like Brook Lopez better than many, but I expect him to slide a bit based on workouts. He lacks elite athleticism and has pre-existing back problems, which make him a prime candidate for a slide. What he brings to the table are good footwork and hands. I think he projects to a more-than-competent-but-less-than-All-Star center that provides Chris Kaman-like production.

6. New York Russell Westbrook, UCLA, G

I doubt Westbrook goes off the board at #6. However, none of the remaining forwards (Gallinardi, Randolph, Love, or Greene) after Beasley strike me as having higher upside than Chandler or Lee. I suspect the new brass will try to package this pick with a bad contract (e.g., Randolph, Jeffries, Snacks) and flip it. The player I’d target in a trade down scenario is Westbrook, who has all-NBA defensive potential. If he had any PG skills he’d be a lock for the top ten. I fully expect his stock to rise once workouts start because his athleticism and motor are tailor-made for that process.

7. LA Clippers Kevin Love, UCLA, PF

Love is all over the place in terms of how he’s regarded. Certainly, the gushing about his outlet passing is a bit overdone by his supporters but the concerns about his athleticism are a bit overstated too. Lots of guy that are not cloud-piercing athletes play PF in the NBA. Love does not project to be a primary offensive option because his post offense doesn’t translates all that well, but his emerging mid-range jump shot, his excellent rebounding and interior passing absolutely do. Some teams will not place a premium on such a skill set but Love is perfect for LA, who may very well lose Elton Brand and/or Corey Maggette this off-season. He doesn’t need a lot of shots to provide value and they don’t need another guy who demands the ball.

8. Milwaukee Danilo Gallinari, Armani Jeans Milan, SF

Perhaps the most impressive thing I have seen about Gallinari is that he took free throws on 59% of his FGAs in just under 34 minutes per game. That’s 8 FTAs per pace-adjusted 40. For a teenager without otherworldly athleticism or size that is an impressive feat. Draftexpress compares him to Hedo Turkoglu.

9. Charlotte Anthony Randolph, LSU, F

Larry Brown isn’t going to play any rookie chosen at this spot anyway, so if Randolph is available at this point in the draft it seems wise to gamble on his upside. He has a lot of tools but doesn’t know how to play the game just yet. The best situation for him is one where he can sit and watch for a while (and keep Adam Morrison company).

10. New Jersey Donte Greene, Syracuse, F

I doubt Rod Thorn keeps this pick. He appears ready to blow up that roster. So, I see #10 and 21 packaged to get a player or to move up. Like Randolph, Greene is a high upside forward with size and skill but lacking experience.

11. Indiana Eric Gordon, Indiana, SG

I think Gordon’s skill set translates best to running teams. He is not a Nate Robinson combo guard that can run the point passably. He is more like Ben Gordon (i.e., strictly an undersized SG). Gordon is a shooter that unfortunately shot poorly in the second half of the season (coinciding with the Kelvin Sampson furor). I see him as one of the bigger gambles among the players that appear destined for the lottery. For its part, Indiana’s entire backcourt situation is unstable. So I would not be surprised to see Indiana move down and perhaps target a point guard (e.g., Augustin, Chalmers).

12. Sacramento Darrell Arthur, Kansas, PF

Sacramento has a gaggle of part-time post players (i.e., Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Mikki Moore, Kenny Thomas, Spencer Hawes, Shelden Williams, John Salmons, and Ron Artest). So Darrell Arthur would fill a clear need and is a much better prospect than any of the available centers. He is a solidly built PF who can post up and step out to shoot the mid-range jumper. He can become overly reliant on that jumper as evidenced by a low number of fouls drawn (.29 FTA/FGA). Though talented, he is a bit of a gamble because he disappears for stretches but is probably worth a look late in the lottery for a team desperate for youth in the frontcourt.

13. Portland Chase Budinger, Arizona, SG/SF

Budinger is an uber-athletic wing that definitely should have stayed in school. He runs the floor, plays without the ball, and shoots well but appears to lack the aggressive makeup typical of focal offensive players. He seems more like a late bloomer who will develop into an excellent complementary scorer, much like former University of Arizona and Spurs great Sean Elliot. Budinger doesn’t defend yet, but should work out well enough to get into the fringes of the lottery or just outside.

14. Golden St. Joe Alexander, W. Virgina, SF/PF

Alexander is something of a ‘tweener with an excellent mid-range game and jump out of the gym athleticism. He would work well in Nellie’s fun-and-run system.

Next: The rest of the first round

* Stats from player profiles at Draftexpress.com

91 comments on “Pre-Orlando Mock Draft, v. 1.0: The Lottery

  1. DS

    Your blurb about the Knicks’ pick in your mock draft makes me wonder where you (and others) stand on Crawford and Curry. I’d see more logic in trading Crawford than Snacks as Snacks will not still be clogging the payroll in summer ’10.

  2. caleb

    Sorry, unless Curry rejects an $11 million option to put himself on the market, we’re stuck with him through 2011. Barring trade.

    Dave, I’m baffled by your note that none of the forwards likely to be left at #6, have more upside than Westbrook. Anthony Randolph is just 18 years old, and despite being as thick as a stringbean managed to average almost 11 rebounds and 3 blocks per 40… a decent scorer and excellent passing and ball-handling skills for a guy that size. He’s raw and needs to put on about 40 pounds, but the upside is there.

    And if you want to talk about star potential (and bust potential), it’s hard to leave out DeAndre Jordan.

    I think I’d rather take a shot with either of those guys, than Westbrook…

    p.s. You’re an Arizona guy. What’s your take on Budinger? When he was a potential Top 10 pick it seemed silly, but now that he’s dropping like a rock…. the guy can shoot, he’s an athlete, he’s big… plus he reminds me of other wings at Arizona (Jefferson, Iguodala, someone else?) who didn’t put up big numbers in college, who seemed like complementary players, but quickly blossomed on the big stage. Thoughts?

  3. Ted Nelson

    I think that based on its objective, it’s a pretty good mock. I have no problem with any particular pick.
    My only real criticism would be that it’s a pretty “safe” draft strategy. Safe is not necessarily bad, but some team(s) in your draft is/are likely going to end up with a Mateen Cleaves, Raymond Felton, Sean May, or Adam Morrison, while someone like DeAndre Jordan, Anthony Randolph, Donte Green, Nicolas Batum, etc. has a good chance to be one of the top 3,4,5 guys in the draft. Just saying…

    As Caleb points out, Jordan and Randolph would likely be in the top 10 of a mock trying to predict the actual order. Given his character questions and lack of production I think Jordan’s a pretty scary pick too high, but with his size and athleticism I could easily see him going as high as top 5 (i.e. ahead of Lopez…). You’ve got wonder if he can be the Knicks’ Amare, but I’ll go on the record against adding another unmotivated, underproductive big. I could see him being a total bust if he does to high, or somewhat of a sleeper if he falls, kind of reminds me of Dampier: probably going to take some maturity and the right environment to get the most out of him. Anthony Randolph seems like as long as he develops his game at a normal rate he’ll be a useful NBA player, and if he takes big steps he could be special. I haven’t seen him play, so I have no strong opinion either way.

    I could see Westbrook falling to, say, 11 to Indy or 13 to Portland and then being one of those obvious draft steals ala Brandon Roy and Danny Granger that every draft analyst predicted would be good.

    In case anyone cares, my favorite sleeper in this draft is Victor Claver from Pamesa Valencia in Spain. I don’t know if he’s going to stay in this draft (don’t think he has to?) or when he can get out of his contract, but when he’s confident the guy’s got lottery potential. He can hit the 3, has good ballhandling for his size, and is long and athletic enough to be a real pest defensively. He reminds me a bit of Shawn Marion, while his NBAdraft.net comparison is Antwan Jamison. If he stays in the draft and the Knicks trade into the second, I’d like to see them take him.

  4. Ted Nelson

    DS,

    I don’t think either Crawford or Curry is so highly paid or so undesirable that I would give up the pick to move him. Maybe if I could trade down and still get my guy. Crawford I think could easily be moved on his own: the guy’s the Knicks leading scorer and most consistent player of the Isiah era, plus he’s quick, long, tall, and high-volume scorer who can “create” shots for himself and others. Curry’s got to be harder to move considering that he’s a 5 who doesn’t defend and his contract is uninsured, but I have to think you could find some team in the next two seasons who’ll want such a devistatingly efficient inside scorer.

    Zach Randolph is the only guy I’d really consider moving down to unload, unless the guy I wanted to take was going to be available anyway. In that case, unloading Jerome James or Jared Jeffries would be great.

  5. Marc R

    Amen about Russell Westbrook. He’s my favorite guy in the draft outside of Rose and I hope the Knicks don’t pass on him just because it’s not what the “experts” think they should do.

  6. Sly Williams

    If the Knicks kept their 2nd pick, they might have been able to pick up Ty Lawson in round 2 to help at PG. Maybe Jason Richards (potentially undrafted)and Danilo Gallinari is the way to go for now, to help fill 2 spots, although it may take time for Gallinari to adapt to the NBA 3-pt line.

  7. caleb

    I like Westbrook, too – just not as much as the others I mentioned.

    If this is what SHOULD happen as opposed to what WILL happen, I think Mayo is too high, and Gordon too low. Mayo will be a good player, and his defensive may be a big asset — but IMO he can’t play the point, and his athleticism is very overrated — he looks pretty quick, but he put up sub-average numbers in rebounds, steals and blocks, and got to the line far less than Bayless or Gordon — just half as much as Gordon, actually. For a guard to be special, I think they need to be a great athlete — and great athletes rack up numbers in those categories.

    FWIW, none of the “Big 3″ guard prospects fared well in those areas. Steals #s were terrible for all (though Mayo had a burst the last 10 games). Gordon was a terrible rebounder (2.8/40), though he did have 0.7 blocks/40.

    Gordon is sort of a tweener and I think he’ll have big problems on D in the pros, but he’s a big-time scorer (24 per 40, 61 ts%) and just turned 18 in December — so I predict a lot of improvement. Mayo’s D might make him a better catch, but not 8 spots better. Same with Bayless.

    Westbrook is harder to compare because his strengths and weaknesses are very different. Obviously a good defender, but a very weak shooter. I think his PG skills will be fine — he averaged 5.2 assists per 40, more than even Bayless, and his A/TO ratio (2.5/1) was better than Bayless, Mayo or Gordon. And that was with Collison running the point. I see him as ending up similar to Devin Harris.

    re: DeAndre Jordan, he was very productive when he played — shot over 60%, averaged almost 13 rebounds and 3 blocks per 40… but it’s definitely concerning that a guy that (apparently) good couldn’t get even 20 minutes a game. I don’t know anything about the coach at A&M; maybe he’s an Isaih-level idiot. But maybe it speaks to some off-court issues. Still, 7-footers don’t grow on trees. Assuming he doesn’t get himself suspended or eat his way out of the league, it’s hard to see him ending up worse than Eric Dampier… pretty good for #6.

    I could say the same stuff about Randolph, except he’s even younger than Jordan, and looks to be a shot-blocking 6’11 forward rather than a future center. In the happy scenario, he’s Marcus Camby with a handle.

    Who can tell about Gallinari? It’s hard enough to guess about 19-year-old without trying to translate #s from the Italian league. If he’s another Dirk, he should be #1 or 2. If he’s Tim Thomas, you’re talking about #20. Scouting will be very important – let’s hope IT is actually going to the games and not sightseeing in Rome.

    This is the first time in a while I feel like the teams’ management has a better handle on who to pick, than I do!

  8. David Crockett

    Caleb –

    I just lost a 10 minute long response that now I don’t want to re-type. (Damn this laptop mouse pad!!!)

    Here are the highlights.

    1. Randolph to me is an unnecessarily risky gamble at 6, particularly when NY could probably create more value by trading down (and targeting Westbrook). He doesn’t appear to me to have any more upside than Wilson Chandler even if he has more natural gifts, and Chandler to me is the critical comparison. Randolph has to change his game and his body at the same time. That’s an incredibly tall order for someone who displays good but not transcendent talent. Case in point, although his rebounding and block #s look good I worry about how they translate because of his body. (Kevin Durant’s rebounding didn’t translate for that reason.) I see Randolph as a player that you’ll never recoup what you put into him.

    2. DeAndre Jordan – I saw four A&M games pretty much tip to whistle. I don’t see it with Jordan, and evidently neither did his coach. He never fouled out of a game but frequently didn’t play much over his average 20 mpg. That indicates poor conditioning, poor play, or both and his coach wasn’t trying to hear it. Every major true PF prospect in this draft, most of them in the 6-8, 6-9 range, outrebounded Jordan per pace-adjusted 40. Just say no to Jordan. He seems like the mother of bad gambles.

    To my mind this is not a draft where to gamble on a future star. But you will be able to find complimentary players that can help. To me Westbrook can fill Raja Bell’s role that no one else on the roster can right now. He’s got to develop a 3pt shot, but so did Bell. Trading down to 10 or 12 to get Westbrook is the kind of solid-but-not-sexy move that can start to put this franchise back on the right path.

    As for Budinger, I expect him to do well in workouts but I’d have loved to see him go back to school because he could improve his stock. Budinger will blossom next to a star player, but you can’t ask him to be the guy. It’s just not his personality. That’s lead to legitimate questions about his toughness. Having said that, as long as a team recognizes what it’s getting he could be a Richard Jefferson-quality steal. He’s lacks experience because he played so much volleyball but he’s got the goods.

  9. ess-dog

    I agree Westbrook is an intriguing prospect, and initally I was in favor of drafting him. But then I though, hey, didn’t we already draft a pass-first tweener guard known for great defense and not turning the ball over? Mardy Collins anyone?
    I know I know, Mardy’s a lot older, less athletic, less hair…
    But it scares me to draft another guard that can’t shoot.
    I’m kind of cooling on Bayless and Gordon also because, if we get a guard, I would want a significant upgrade from Nate and Nate seems to do a lot of the things those players do. Honestly, at pg, I’m not that impressed with this draft after Rose.
    I think decisions have to be made on Zach Randolph before we know what to draft in the frontcourt.
    If Zach is clearly the starter, who’s our center? Obviously it didn’t work with Curry too well, so maybe drafting Jordan to work next to Zach would be an idea (although if what Crockett says is true, it might be too much of a gamble.)
    If we can trade Zach before the draft, then Lee starts and that opens up a path to adding a scoring center: Brook Lopez if he’s still available.
    Maybe D’Antoni will commit to Curry as a feature center. Then a shot-blocking PF like A. Randolph makes sense. Or a little bit of everything guy like Love at PF.
    Obviously I’m in favor of trading Zach, but that might not be possible yet.
    I do think it would be nice to get a 2nd draft pick and get someone else and really rebuild though. Maybe a B. Rush later in the 1st round. We need help. And lots of it.

  10. caleb

    You’re probably right about Jordan – lot of red flags there.

    “Randolph to me is an unnecessarily risky gamble at 6, particularly when NY could probably create more value by trading down (and targeting Westbrook).”

    I’m a fan of trading down — but I think Randolph will be available later.

    “He doesn’t appear to me to have any more upside than Wilson Chandler even if he has more natural gifts, and Chandler to me is the critical comparison.”

    I have to disagree — Randolph’s college numbers are almost all better than Chandler, and Randolph was almost two years younger when he put them up. He’s also 6’11 vs. 6’8…

    “Randolph has to change his game and his body at the same time…”

    He definitely needs a lot more meat on his bones, and I wouldn’t expect much for a few years, but it’s a pretty safe bet that skinny 18-year-olds get stronger… Meanwhile, IMO Chandler is a nice player to have, but I don’t see any hint of star potential.

    Late in the first, or early in the 2nd, I’m a fan of Joey Dorsey… and DJ White put up surprisingly good #s. I saw 2 or 3 Indiana games this year, and he looked really good. Not a good NY fit, though — he’s a good scorer and rebounder, but doesn’t offer much resistance on D.

  11. Z-man

    When, or how, will we ever get a legit shotblocker/intimidator in the middle, if not taking a risk now? Is Jordan legit in that regard? OJ is the only guard other than Rose that excites me, the rest seem like they are missing something. I like Mayo’s size, even if he turns into more of a 2, his PG experience won’t hurt him. Alas, since Mayo won’t be there, I would love to see us take a risk on a scoring SF (Gallinari) or a shot-blocking center (Jordan). Since we currently have Lee and Zach at PF until one or both are traded, I would rather get an immediate impact guy in the middle on D, but woulf hate to wind up with Yinka Dare. Any good clips on Jordan?

  12. David Crockett

    More on my mock and on Jordan…

    I don’t think this draft has much in it that’s worth taking a gamble over. Jordan is a prime example. I’m not saying don’t draft him, but at #6 the costs seem to outweigh the benefits.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/DeAndre-Jordan-1072/stats/

    That’s the link to his comprehensive stats page at draftexpress. He’s got size and athleticism, no question, and somebody’s gonna take a gamble on him high, but he’s a turnover machine that needs a lot of work. No telling if you’ll ever get it out of him. In the meantime any number of players with upside are better than he is at the stuff he’s good at.

    I wouldn’t even consider Jordan before NJ at #10.

  13. caleb

    That’s a scary thought, Z-Man… I think Hibbert will be better, just because he seems like he cares. Draft-wise, I’ve seen him pegged in the 20s, which sounds about right. He’s about as mobile as a tree and pretty robotic, but he’s huge, has nice hands, blocks shots and is actually a decent passer. I could see him eventually as a good backup for a good team.

  14. Z-man

    Yeah, legit centers at that size don’t drop that low. Doesn’t seem like he’s the right fit for D’Antoni anyway, but I like what I read about him…put his head on Jordan’s body and you might have something.

    I was surprised at how little we got out of Randolph Morris this year. He seems like a good guy, athletic, smart, but didn’t make much of his (albeit limited) opportunity.

  15. caleb

    Morris is a good reminder of why you should look at a player’s age. When Morris was the same age as A. Randolph, Jordan, the Lopezes, Hickson, etc., he was nowhere close to what they can do. When he entered the draft early, no one even took him in the second round. By the time he left school, we were comparing his #s a 21-year-old, again kids who were 18 and 19.

    It was a perfectly reasonable signing. Low risk, why not try him out? Some players are late bloomers. But I’m not too surprised at how it turned out.

    Andrew Bynum is in his 3rd season, still two years younger than Morris…

  16. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    I know some will accuse me of stealing CHad Fraud’s thunder and possibly some serious bandwagon-hopping – but the player I’ve had a serious man-crush on (and should go higher in your mock, Dave) is Joe Alexander out of WV. He looked like a killer in the tourney, hits jumpers, good handle, stellar athlete, etc. If you’re trading down, I say he’s worth a roll of the dice betw. 6-10.

    As a Knick, he does seem to replicate Chandler’s skill-set, but I think considering the state of this team, you have to take the best player available. The casualties among GM’s who “drafted for need” are legendary (esp. in the lottery) – Araujo by Toronto at 8, Bowie over Jordan, Bogut over Paul/Williams, Detroit passing on Carmelo for Milicic b/c they had Prince, and on and on (you could even add Balkman over Rondo to this list).

    MI have as much DLee love as the next poster (save Owen), but if Walsh/D’Antoni determines that a PF like Randolph/Arthur is the BPA, I say you’ve got to take him

    My ideal trade? Knicks send #6 to NJ for #10 and #21. Package 21 in a Randolph or Curry Salary dump, and take BPA among A. Randolph/Gallinari/Westbrook/Augustin/Alexander

  17. o_boogie

    im with crock on this one. i saw a couple of A&M games and deandre jordan was a wallflower. thats not the kind of aggressiveness and production id like to see from a big man taken in the top-10. of recent memory, the only big man prospect taken strictly on potential who panned out was andrew bynum. id hate to see the knicks draft him and end up with another chris taft, robert swift, rafael araujo, or patrick o’bryant.

    videos of anthony randolph show a nice skillset: good athleticism, agression, dribble penetration, ability to create shot, rebounding, shot blocking, good in open court. his lack of success at lsu does raise some red flags, similar to jerryd bayless.

  18. Z-man

    You just know some stud is gonna be passed over in this draft at #6, don’t you? Everyone is talking about how deep this draft is…

  19. dave crockett

    Ken-

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Joe Alexander shoot up once team workouts start up.

  20. GiantsKnickFan420

    I really dont see Walsh and D’antoni going for defense with the 6th pick in westbrook. He is explosive on the break, but isnt a good half court offensive player. Its really early to say but i think that the consensus top 5 currently will not be the same after all the workouts. There is always someone who shoots up and forces someone to slip out of the top 5. Which we would grab either mayo/bayless/lopez becuase they are the best player available (if we cant trade)
    We cant go into this draft targeting one position over the other, we need better players throughout the entire roster.

  21. caleb

    Not sure why you say randolph lacked success at lsu… He was easily team’s best player as an 18 y/o freshman. A bad team, sure, but it’s the SEC, real competition… And there was no one else but chumps on the roster…

    I agree that we are definitely in BPA mode… It’s just hard to say who that is. I would prefer to take a bit of a gamble, on a player with a higher ceiling, than a “safe” choice… Hence my love of a. Randolph. But I trust donnie will do a much better evaluation than I ever could, and make the right call.

  22. caleb

    I do think he’ll push for players who are best in the open court…

    – That’s the direction the whole league is going – quicker.

    – he was comfortable with that style in phoenix

    – the knick players most likely to be around in a few years (lee, balk, chandler, nate) all would look much better running, than sitting around in the half-court. Even curry – if he could get shots before the triple team arrives, it would be nice.

  23. Z-man

    I agree, BPA, but other than Rose and Beasley there is considerable disagreement as to who that is. Do you go for best athlete? best pure shooter? Big or small?

    I am not as high on Lopez as everyone else, it seems. Haven’t seen him play much, though. He semed soft and slow. If he dropped to #6 would you take him?

  24. Z

    Drafting Randolph worries me because his name is Randolph. I’m afraid his fragile rookie psyche could be damaged if he has to listen to “You Suck Randolph!” “Trade Randolph!” “Randolph Is A Lazy, Out Of Shape Fuck!” “Go to hell Randolph!” and “Randolph is the worst Knick ever!” chants at every game.

  25. GiantKnickFan

    I wasnt big on Randolph at first, but he reminds me a lil of Chris Bosh.. I think hes def someone we should at.. we have a ton of options becuase someone might fall out of the top 5, making that 6th pick really valuable..

  26. Z

    “is that when Zach is on the court, or Randolph Morris?”

    I totally forgot we had another Randolph already.

    But my worries are confirmed: on any other squad Randolph Morris could have established himself as a franchise center…

  27. Z-man

    If you think Lee is a legit starter at PF and don’t want to trade him, Randolph makes less sense, unless you really think he is BPA.

  28. ess-dog

    Don’t forget about Willie Randolph. It’s hard to be a Randolph in New York right now…
    I do like the potential of a Westbrook or a Randolph, but a good point to me made is that someone of that elite group will probably fall out of the top 5. I could definitely see the knicks trading down a few spots while on the clock and still getting one of those 2 guys.
    The obvious trade scenario is with NJ, and get 2 picks, but it would be safer to try for the 8 or 9 spot. Maybe our pick to the bucks for their pick and Charlie V?

  29. W.C.

    I don’t see the Knicks trading this pick to get rid of a bad contract. In fact, I think it would be pretty idiotic.

    If for some reason we needed to move one of the bad contracts “this” year it would make some sense. But we don’t need to move any of them this year! We need to move them by 2010! It will get easier and easier to move some of them (like Randolph) next year or the year after when there are fewer years remaining.

    Of course if we can move a bad contract and get something of value back, I’ll all for it. But we have to get over this instant gratification mental illness that dominated the Thomas years.

    Who cares if Marbury, Randolph, James, Curry, QRich, Jeffries, Crawford etc…. are still here next year? Next year is not going to mean anything other trying develop a couple of young players (including our pick), seeing who fits in the new system and who doesn’t, etc… The only moves we should make are moves that make sense given a several year perspective. We don’t have to rush into anything.

  30. Hudson River

    If we are thinking potential why hasn’t Marreese Speights come up, he’s a beast who can certainly get his conditioning right in the NBA, although apparently he is very fit he just wears himself out. I would love to see a guy like that on our team who plays 100% every single play, David Lee, Nate and Balkman are good at that, but he might be better.

  31. Ray

    I dont know about DeAndre Jordan either. Hes 7 feet tall. Is that all there is to him? Wouldnt a talented big man like that get playing time at A&M? When i watched A&M games he did not stand out at all. Are scouts so stupid that a few dunks that he did would label him a “prospect with upside”? Please. Id really pass on him if i was Walsh. If we could in fact trade out of 6 and get the Nets picks I would try to snag Westbrook if hes even still available. Its a risk. As for Brook Lopez I kinda like his game. He has a bit of nastyness to him as well as his brother. Hes pretty smooth and I could see him improving. Its just going to take time with him. Id like to see the Knicks get someone who can contribute right away. I think Westbrook can do that. His Defense is ready from day one. While thats there we wait for the offense to develop. He will be taught. D’Antoni will teach him. Starbury will teach him. Walt Frazier will teach him. All because they will see the athletic skills he has and will want to see him grow. What if we got Kevin Love? He makes things happen. He could come off the bench for a bit until the best man wins (Lee vs. Love). I just like the way he makes others better around him. As he gets stronger physically hes going to be a impact player just like he was in college. Who we get at 6 is going to be a tough call. If I were Walsh Id get someone who could actually come in and help now. As far as pre-draft camps go I think most of the order will change when thye really see the skills on some of these kids. Watch out for Joe Alexander, Lester Hudson(who dropped a freakin Quadruple Double on Memphis!!!), Brandon Rush, CDR, Speights.

  32. jrock

    lester hudson dropped a quad double on central baptist college, not memphis. if he doesn’t get drafted we should give him a shot tho

  33. Thomas B.

    “Is that when Zach is on the court, or Randolph Morris?”

    When was Randolph Morris on the court? And why do people keep giving Jerome James such a hard time? Have you seen his per 40 stats this year?

    32 ppg
    48 rbs
    1.000 fg%
    1.000 ft %

    He should be srarting.

  34. Latke

    I heard a few times people saying we don’t need to get rid of Randolph this year, but there is a serious positive to getting him off the team before the season starts: he won’t have a negative influence on the team, won’t impose his lazy ways on the teammates, build frustration, etc. Furthermore, he’ll eat minutes from not just david lee, but from guys like chandler, balkman (both have the size to pf in d’antoni’s system) or perhaps our draft pick. That’s development that’s missed. Randolph already had a bad rap in portland, and they finagled Frye, who was still considered to have a lot of upside, along with a shorter contract. If we could just get some shorter contracts that’d be fab. We could even throw in malik rose’s expiring contract so that the team really wouldn’t be losing contract-money. We’d just have Randolph off our team, and salary cap flexibility sooner.

  35. Reebok1303

    Why isn’t every Knicks fan isn’t clamoring for the team to draft OJ Mayo? I understand that in most mocks he’s long gone by #6 but, other than Rose and Beasley, I think he’s the only guy worth trading up to get (and who would cost significantly fewer assets to acquire).

    Offensively, at 6-5 (actually he’s listed anywhere from 6-4 to 6-6) he’s got the perfect size and length to play SG, but with the experience and the ball handling skills to play the point if he has to. Either way, he shouldn’t have a problem with D’Antoni’s catch and shoot offense and doesn’t seem to need the ball in his hands the entire 24 seconds to make an impact. Plus, the range on his jumper was excellent as he shot 41% from 3 in college, and he looks to have the necessary level of athleticism to thrive in Coach D’s seven seconds or less system.

    Defensively, he’s got to be one of the best on the ball defenders in all of college basketball. Ok, so he may not be in Westbrook’s league and probably won’t be a great rebounder either, but neither is anyone else, and (simply judging by the naked eye) he’s got to be ahead of other top guys like Gordon and Bayless. Thankfully, in their run and gun system he would probably be leaking out on D anyway, not crashing the boards so that shouldn’t be a big deal. (And speaking of Bayless, check out his stats when they matched up head to head – Jerryd is being touted as the most explosive scorer in the draft and Mayo shut him down twice.)

    Plus, Mayo’s been “the man” on every team he’s ever been on and would love the opportunity to prove himself in NYC. And don’t forget that we wouldn’t have to wait on him to add 20 pounds or work on his jumper – the kid has an NBA ready body and can step in and contribute right away, which I’m sure D’Antoni would definitely appreciate.

    Look, if the price turns out to be too steep then I would understand, but not going after this guy would be a big mistake – prospects with limited downside and his tremendous upside like his just don’t become available very often!

    My dream top 6 picks (actually this is exactly how nbadraft.net has their mock going right now!)

    Bulls Rose
    Heat Beasley
    Wolves Lopez
    Seattle Bayless
    Memphis Randolph
    Knicks Mayo

  36. Ted Nelson

    “I heard a few times people saying we don’t need to get rid of Randolph this year, but there is a serious positive to getting him off the team before the season starts: he won’t have a negative influence on the team, won’t impose his lazy ways on the teammates, build frustration, etc.”

    I think everyone would agree that moving Zach Randolph would be addition by subtraction, and would be all for moving him for shorter contracts. I would just say, as I guess would others, that moving him at this point is not worth sacrificing a top 10 pick.

    As far as imposing his lazy ways on teammates, the Knicks were pretty lazy before he got here.

  37. GiantsKnickFan420

    Reebok, about Mayo… He was actaully played out of position at USC, he was a PG all throughout high school where he dominated. Do not be surprised if he is there at 6, that hes our future PG.. And a nice sidenote, Mayo broke some of D’antoni’s high school records in West Virginia…
    Now thats if there are no character issues, i dont think the agent thing is big deal, only for the school and the agent, i just hope that hes not a knucklehead, right now we need someone willing to accept the challenge not mess around and act like a little kid.

  38. retropkid

    I’d like to express my deep personal thanks to Zeke for helping us get the number six pick…

  39. z-man

    Ted, I agree on Zach (wow, we agree on something?) I don’t really see his attitude as the main problem with him. Our team totally lacked chemistry last year, but that wasn’t why Zach was brought in. I agree that he might be easier to move next year when his contract shortens up, although if we can do it this year (or tomorrow!), great. Just not at the expense of a high pick.

    This is a wierd way to put it, but I wonder who the best “chemistry” guy is in the draft. Probably too much to expect from a 19 year old kid, but we’re desperate!

    Is Lopez kind of like a Brad Miller-type?

  40. ess-dog

    I think most people are pro-Mayo. It’s obvious he’s the 2nd best guard after Rose, and they are pretty close. I just can’t imagine he’ll fall to #6. I can’t see a team taking Bayless over him, I just can’t. Maybe Randolph goes to Memphis b/c they really don’t need another guard. I’m not sure the Wolves don’t take him instead of Lopez. Do they really need Lopez and Jefferson in the post? Should they really rely on Telfair as their pg? And hasn’t Seattle been in need of a real post player since Xavier McDaniel? I think a draft order would go:
    Rose
    Beasley
    Mayo
    Lopez
    Randolph or Jordan
    Bayless
    Except I think there’s a good chance Seattle trades their pick (maybe w/ NJ for the 2 picks and then gets Augustin to roll w/ Durant.) I think those top 4 will go in that order somehow. Then it gets crazy. Maybe Memphis takes Danilo? Maybe we do?

  41. ess-dog

    I’m still in favor of trading down for 2 picks though.
    Wouldn’t you rather have an A. Randolph or Augustin AND a B. Rush or CDR than Bayless or Gallinari?

  42. z-man

    Did anyone read today’s post article? Will we take Gallinari based on coach’s relationship with his father? (unless Mayo is still around, then all bets are off).

    He’s being compared to Shrempf and Kukoc.

  43. caleb

    Mayo is a perfectly good prospect but for all the reasons I laid out earlier, there’s no reason to think he’s better than others in the 3-9 range. No reason to give up an asset to move up.

    re: Randolph, I’d gladly dump him for nothing but a shorter contract, but there’s no reason — yet — to sweeten the deal with a pick or young player. W.C. is 100% right that we don’t need to be in a hurry, and these shlubs will be more tradeable next year, when the contracts are a year shorter.

    I also don’t believe there’s any such thing as addition by subtraction… but — big caveat — that only works when you have a coach with enough balls to play the best players and cut minutes for the rest, no matter who they are. Otherwise Randolph does take minutes from Lee & Balkman, which is a problem. I’m eager to see how it plays out.

    p.s. I know we need a point, but I’m not a big fan of Augustin, unless it’s with an extra pick, end of the lottery or lower. I think he’ll get eaten alive on defense, and on offense he doesn’t look big or quick enough to do his thing against a strong defender, like Rose. He could run a team, but IMO he doesn’t look like a difference-maker.

  44. DS

    Caleb –

    I agree that the Knicks have to analyze all of their options very carefully before they trade away a #6 pick just to unload Z-Bo (or Jeffries, Curry, Crawford) and receive other, presumably marginal considerations.

    However, I think in this careful analysis, the Knicks need to consider that if they stash Z-Bo on the bench he may become less tradeable even with a shorter amount of time left on his contract:

    1) General Managers are in somewhat of a political position and to take on Randolph after he’d been sitting on the Knicks’ bench all year would be a dicey, highly criticized move that may cost them their job and they may shy away from pulling the trigger for him.

    2) Also, I think if you let more time pan out, teams other than the Knicks will start to focus more on the summer of 2010 than they had previously.

    Overall, I think there is a greater chance that we need to unload Randolph by ’10 than that this year’s #6 pick will be a vital building block for the future. That said, let’s see what other teams are offering and who is still on the board.

  45. caleb

    DS,

    I hear you, but IMO, unless he suffers a catastrophic injury or is in jail, Randolph’s value couldn’t go much lower than it is now. As long as he’s healthy, people know what he can do. Meanwhile, right now he’s owed another $49 million or so… by trade deadline 2010, that will be down to about half that. That would be less the potential GM-killing move that it would be now.

    The theoretical team that takes him will be willing to pay one (extra) year of big salary, and giving up nothing of value (losers with shorter contracts), in order to pick up a 3rd or 4th scorer for a playoff run, a team like Dallas or Cleveland, maybe Philly.

    We also have other options for getting under the cap by 2010 — finding takers for Curry, Crawford and Jeffries, trading away Robinson or Lee, etc… or even in the worst-case scenario, not having cap room ’til 2011. All of the above are better options, I think, than giving away a potential star at #6.

    I also tend to think that in a year there will be fewer teams, not more, with aspirations for 2010 cap room. Right now teams are keeping their options open, but between now and then a few will decide they’d rather sign a 2008 or 2009 FA, than take a longshot at LeBron.

    Of course I could be totally wrong!

  46. Z

    “I hear you, but IMO, unless he suffers a catastrophic injury or is in jail, Randolph’s value couldn’t go much lower than it is now.”

    Caleb– pretty much the only time I disagree with you is in your theory that there is no such thing as addition by subtraction. I think Randolph stands as a case in point, both in his situation in Portland and now his situation in NY. Losing him, even for nothing, would be a positive for the team.

    I agree with DS. Patience may bring in a better return for Randolph, but as fans, do we really want to endure another season of watching Lee sit while Randolph puts up his 20 and 10? Benching him is unrealistic, especially if the goal is to trade him for a better package further down the road. Randolph’s value could in fact drop lower because the league is still a per game oriented league, and as DS says the political facet of assembling players remains: it is easier to sell 20 and 10 players to the casual fan that makes the league stay in business than it is to sell high TS%, high eFG% players.

    Curry, Crawford, and Jeffries I would not package with an asset to shed, but I think the Knicks have to consider dumping Randolph as a top priority (and not just because I personally can’t stand him.)

  47. Z

    Plus, with the economy in recession, $49 million now may not look worse than $34 million does next year.

    If there is any way to deal him this summer I think we should

    (damn you Isiah! How did Stern let that Frye trade go through in the first place?!? I thought he had our back!)

  48. caleb

    “…your theory that there is no such thing as addition by subtraction. I think Randolph stands as a case in point, both in his situation in Portland and now his situation in NY.”

    I don’t think the Portland experience says much. I’ve argued this with Jon Abbey, but I say they got better because Roy, Aldridge, Jack et al improved, and Przybilla got healthy. Knicks got worse because Marbury missed the season, Lee, Balkman & Curry played worse and Q played so much worse there should be another word for “worse.”

    “Losing him, even for nothing, would be a positive for the team.”

    I agree, but we are talking about the idea of losing him for less than nothing — packaging a valuable asset (like Nate or Chandler) or an extremely valuable asset (like Lee or the #6) just to make him go away. That’s crazy. If he’s making the other players nervous, just send him home a la Marbury or Francis or Tim Thomas.

    “Patience may bring in a better return for Randolph, but as fans, do we really want to endure another season of watching Lee sit while Randolph puts up his 20 and 10? Benching him is unrealistic, especially if the goal is to trade him for a better package further down the road.”

    This is where it gets more interesting… because no, if he takes minutes from Lee, it’s bad. But I have faith in D’Antoni. It’s easy to come up with a rotation where Lee plays 40 and Randolph plays 20-30 minutes, if we need to demonstrate that he can still play. Heck, he can be the backup center 15-25 minutes a game.

    “Randolph’s value could in fact drop lower because the league is still a per game oriented league, and as DS says the political facet of assembling players remains: it is easier to sell 20 and 10 players to the casual fan that makes the league stay in business than it is to sell high TS%, high eFG% players.”

    This is true, but the ship has sailed on Randolph. No one is giving up the traditional return for a 20/10 guy, and we’re only trying to get back worthless players with shorter contracts.

    At 2010 trade deadline, Randolph will only be owed about $24 million. That’s a big difference from $49 million.

    And if it turns out we really do need to dump him to have 2010 cap room, and his value has fallen even lower and we do need to include a sweetener to move him even for an expiring contract… we can still do it, and throw in our Mayo/Lopez/Chandler/Lee/Nate just as easily, a year or two from now.

  49. ben bow

    1.trade number 6 pick for NJ’s 10, 21.
    2.draft: 10: eric gordon, 21: chase budinger

    3.try to trade away marbs, curry, randolf, jamal. even if we cant, just dont play them

    4. build around great young core.

    1.nate
    2.gordon
    3.budinger
    4.lee
    5.randolf morris

    we also have more quality SF’s, in Balkman and Chandler.

    finally, i havnt seen much of budinger. could he play maybe some sg, or PF, or is he pretty much set at SF?

  50. caleb

    I think of budinger as a wingman in the michael finley mode – game not as well-developed, though

  51. Ray

    Budinger does not need to be a Knicks. I would not be happy at all if he came here. What IT did to Randolph Morris and Wil Chandler was dead wrong. Those kids should have gotten much more playing time and then at the end of the year he throws them in games and they are supposed to show their worth. They shouldnt have been sitting on the bench all year anyway. If he would have sent them to the D-League they would have been able to build their confidence and work on their games against real live competititon. It would have made them better instead he stunted their growth. I still believe in them both despite the circumstance. I really hope we do get Mayo but hes looking like hes going to be way gone by the time we select. People are finally starting to realize the tools that he has . Hes going to be really good.

  52. Z

    “I don’t think the Portland experience says much… we are talking about the idea of losing him for less than nothing — packaging a valuable asset (like Nate or Chandler) or an extremely valuable asset (like Lee or the #6) just to make him go away. That’s crazy. If he’s making the other players nervous, just send him home a la Marbury or Francis or Tim Thomas.”

    I remember the debates from earlier this year (re: addition by subtraction), and I remember siding with Jon on that one. Not to rehash an old debate, but I think it is relevant, as the question remains: at what price do the Knicks dump Randolph?

    As it is, I think the Portland situation says it all. I think that they got lucky in that they found a team who was not only going to take Randolph off their hands, but was also going to PAY them for him. They got the dump they were looking for and a young player in return. I think if Isiah Thomas had been curbed by Dolan, Stern, or the restless mob at Knickerblogger, the Blazers would have felt that a package of Randolph and any one of their young assets for Francis would have been more than worth it. In that case it would have been pure addition by subtraction. They would have lost a young player with upside just to get rid of their albatross and all the eyes of hindsight would have unanimously agreed that it was the best move.

    “if we need to demonstrate that he can still play. Heck, he can be the backup center 15-25 minutes a game.”

    Not even Isiah Thomas would pay $24,000,000 for a back up center (that’s Jerome James money!)

    Seriously– the only thing Randolph has going for him is that he averages 18 and 10. If we are going to trade him after next season he needs to average 18 and 10. He can’t do that without taking time and shots away from the developing players/core youngsters.

    Randolph puts this team in a truly bad position, not just fiscally, but statistically and logistically as well.

    I’m not saying deal Lee + the #6 for Antoine Walker. But if we did that trade, I’d harp on the positives and move on…

  53. Ted Nelson

    Z,

    Randolph is a sunk cost, you don’t keep spending to recover a sunk cost.

    Anyway, I’m thoroughly convinced that he can be moved eventually without giving one of the Knicks few assets up. After next season Randolph only has 2 years left on his deal. I can name dozens of guys with “immovable” contracts who got moved, but I can only think of one team (off the top of my head). How many teams have moved an overpaid productive player by giving up a top 10 pick or Olympic alternate??????? Just because there’s no precedent doesn’t mean the Knicks shouldn’t do it, but I just think the precedent says they can do it without giving up their most valuable assets.

  54. caleb

    A sunk cost — exactly.

    “I think the Portland situation says it all. I think that they got lucky in that they found a team who was not only going to take Randolph off their hands, but was also going to PAY them for him.”

    No one would argue — it was a fantastic deal for Portland. Mainly because it gave them total cap flexibility 2 years earlier.

    “I think if Isiah Thomas had been curbed by Dolan, Stern, or the restless mob at Knickerblogger, the Blazers would have felt that a package of Randolph and any one of their young assets for Francis would have been more than worth it.”

    This is pure speculation. And you’re suggesting that Randolph + Brandon Roy for Francis + Frye would have been a good deal, too. Can’t say I agree. Maybe that’s a little unfair — Roy is better than the average #6 pick — but that’s the point of keeping the pick; it might turn into a great player.

    I’m curious — what IS your threshold? What would you give to get rid of Randolph?

    I would consider throwing in Nate Robinson, only because there’s a chance we need to not re-sign him, or trade him anyway, in order to clear cap room. Even then… I think I’d wait, look for other options.

  55. Knickerblogger

    I kinda agree with Ted. If the thinking is that Randolph will be a team cancer, then we can just send him home (like we did with Francis). If Randolph is going to kill our cap, we can still trade him a year from now with a young player that didn’t work out (let’s just say Chandler doesn’t improve/fit D’Antoni’s system).

    If the Knicks traded down to move Zach then I would hope it’s because they really liked someone further down that would have been a stretch at #6.

  56. caleb

    from Chad Ford’s blog last night:

    “For the second straight time I have Italy’s Danilo Gallinari going to the Knicks with the sixth pick in my latest mock draft. It makes a lot of sense. Gallinari’s father played with new coach Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni likes European players and knows how to use them. Gallinari’s style of play is perfect for the offense D’Antoni likes to run.

    But there’s a hitch. A Suns source swore to me Tuesday night that when they showed D’Antoni tape of Gallinari during the year, he wasn’t a fan.

    “Mike said he’s just not sure the kid has what it takes to make it in the NBA,” the source said. “He said he’d be very nervous picking him in the mid-first round. I doubt he’s become converted since he joined the Knicks.”

    Another source made an even more compelling argument: “Whether Mike loves him or hates him, Donnie Walsh is making this pick. He’s the guy who has to take the heat and he’s not going to pass that decision on to anyone else. What matters most is whether Donnie likes him.”

  57. Z

    “Randolph is a sunk cost, you don’t keep spending to recover a sunk cost.”

    I don’t think he is a “sunk cost”. A sunk cost is Stephon Marbury because you can tell him to go home and at the end of the year he comes off the books and it doesn’t effect the team in any negative way. Randolph you can tell to go home but he’s still going to be on the team at the end of the year and at some point you have got to move him or the future of the team will not be as bright. You can’t move a $34 million player who is getting paid to put up 20 and 10 if he is at home watching A-Team reruns (we saw what the market for those kinds of players was this past November when Marbury was put on the block and returned absolutely nothing).

    KB used the term “cancer” in a hypothetical. There is certainly a big difference between a “cancer” and a “sunk cost”. One you operate on and the other you don’t. I think the Knicks are in need of an operation. There were three main cancers on the the 2007-2008 Knicks: Isiah, Marbury, and Randolph. Marbury is benign, Isiah was malignant, and I think Randolph is too. Getting rid of Isiah was a good move, done a year too late. His cancer spread and a new tumor (Randolph) sprung up. I say operate now (if you can) to make the organism more healthy.

    Keeping Randolph for another year will have a NEGATIVE effect on the team (therefore he is not a sunk cost). He plays the same position as the teams best player. He makes the team’s center completely irrelevant because when Curry’s not scoring he’s not doing anything. Randolph effects two positions negatively. The Knicks lost 10 more games after adding Randolph (no other major changes!)

    “I’m curious — what IS your threshold? What would you give to get rid of Randolph?”

    I’d package Randolph for anything I could get back. I don’t think that there is a contract worse than Randolphs. Even if it brings back Kenyon or Nene I believe the Knicks would get more bang for the same buck.

    I’d include Nate in a package, if needed, for anybody at all, just to see Randolph go. Same with Chandler. I’d trade the pick down too (but I’d regret trading the pick outright).

    Balkman I’d be sad to see go, but I’d live with it.

    Lee would be a tough pill to swallow, and I’d hope we get future considerations in return (young players/picks) along with significant cap release. If Walsh announced a trade of Randolph, Lee, and the #6 for Antoine Walker and Marko Jaric I’d shake it off and still go to work in the morning…

  58. Z

    How about Randolph + Robinson + #6 to Philadelphia for Evans, the #13 pick, and their 2009 first round pick?

    The Sixers have two first rounders next year, and the prospect of moving up to 6 this year may make them not mind eating Randolph’s contract. The Knicks are then left with two first rounders in 2009, which isn’t bad since they won’t have their own pick in 2010. Evans’ contract is the same length as Randolph’s but is only $4 million/year. They may not want Nate, so you can leave him in or out, depending on what it takes to get it done.

  59. bud

    eric gordon isn’t a “gamble,” he’s a sure thing. he will score over twenty points per game in the nba, with ease. he can also finished above the rim, so i wouldn’t describe him as undersized at sg, at least on offense. he’s not going to be a good defender, and could be exploited in the post defensively, so the criticism is valid there. if gordon slips into the double figures picks, he will be the steal of the draft – but he should be taken much sooner, because his talent is not hidden, he is not a project, not a gamble: his ability is there, now, for everyone to see.

  60. Knickerblogger

    Thanks bud. Always good to have someone from the future come back in time to let us know what’s going to happen. I know you already violated the Federation’s laws on the space-time continuum, but can you tell us if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown?

  61. TDM

    KB, hilarious.

    “his ability is there, now, for everyone to see.”

    You mean like his .68 TO/Assist ratio?

  62. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    just futzing w/the trade machine here. Who would make this deal…

    Assuming that the Bulls take Rose 1st, Mayo falls to 6, and the gossip/rumors about Riles coveting Mayo are true – yes that’s about 4-5 leaps of faith, but bear with me)

    NY TRADES
    PF Zach Randolph
    PG/SG OJ Mayo (pick #6)
    PF David Lee (or if they’d prefer it, Chandler, Robinson , or Blakman)

    MIAMI TRADES
    PF Michael Beasley (pick #2)
    PG Jason Williams (expiring)
    SG Ricky Davis (expiring)

    Miami gets the Backcourt they crave and a low-post scorer. Knicks dump Zach and get one of the top two players in the draft. Losing Lee’d be tough, but perhaps Miami’d favor (considering they’d have Randolph and Haslem at the 4) one of the other youngsters.

    Thoughts?

  63. daaarn

    @Ken: i dont see miami, much less anyone else, taking on Z-Bo right now. his contract is bad and his attitude is even worse. i can only hope we might be able to move him next year (w/ the year after being the most likely time someone will risk taking him)

  64. Knickerblogger

    Ktab: interesting deal, but I think Miami wouldn’t necessarily want Lee. It might work with Balkman or Nate. (I think Chandler is too young). But at that point, I’m not sure we’re getting the better of the deal.

    Also I don’t see Miami helping the Knicks out in giving them cap space and a possible future star.

  65. caleb

    I could see Miami trading the pick for a veteran star, since they already have Wade and Marion. A big 3 (plus Haslem and a bunch of late signings, a la Boston) could put them right back in contention. But if they’re going young, there’s no way they trade Beasley — he’s the best player in the draft. Maybe for something like the #3 + Al Jefferson – not a deal for Zach Randolph!

    Z,
    your latest suggestion isnt crazy! Trading down from 6 to 13 to get rid of Randolph is a lot different from just packaging up the 6-pick in a bow. Still depends on who’s available…

  66. caleb

    As the president of the OJ Mayo non-fan club, I just hope he’s still available so we can sucker some other team in a trade like that!

  67. Z

    “Trading down from 6 to 13 to get rid of Randolph is a lot different from just packaging up the 6-pick in a bow.”

    Yeah– too bad Philly has the 16th pick and not the 13th. Not sure why I had it in my head they picked 13th. Anyway– even for the 16th pick, I’d still swap it out.

  68. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    I really can’t see Walsh dumping the pick just to ditch Randolph’s contract (Mitch Lawrence’s musings notwithstanding). It only takes one sucker GM to pull off a trade, and as the Denver/Milwaukee gossip of last year shows, there are folks who are/were interested in obtaining Randolph. Seriously – is Randolph THAT bad a player/cancer/contract that you’d have to move a top 6 pick to get another team to take him?

    Call up Cleveland and see if they’ll do:
    Randolph for Ben Wallace and the 19th pick
    Call up Orlando and see if they’ll do:
    Randolph for Battie, Dooling, and Redick
    Call up Dallas and see if they’ll do:
    Randolph and a future first for Josh “Cheech” Howard
    Call up Philly (cap room) and see if they’ll do:
    Randolph for Jason Smith
    Call up Washington (if they lose Jamison) and see if they’ll do:
    Randolph for Etan Thomas, Antonio Daniels and their 1st rounder
    Call up Milwaukee and see if they’ll revisit:
    Randolph for Simmons and Villanueva

    Lotsa semi-viable moves that don’t involve losing this year’s pick. All it takes is one lousy GM….

  69. bud

    not sure what assist to turnover ratio has to do with my previous comment. other than nothing. his ability is there to see, and his ability is scoring, as i stated. he will drop over twenty in the nba, with ease. gms know this, and will select him higher than he is listed on this mock, and he will deliver the ppg. people who watched him at indiana know this. as far as the assist to turnover ratio, and other stats – gordon isn’t an all-round player. he’ll never register a nice assist to turnover ratio, and i hope the knicks grab someone better at pick number six. however, gordon WILL deliver the scoring, and effortlessly. it is not debatable and the statement should not be challenged.

  70. daaarn

    Gordon may very well score 20ppg in the NBA, but like you said, he’s not an “all-round” player, so the Knicks shouldn’t pick him w/ #6 since he’s not the best player at the position and doesn’t fill a need either.

  71. Ted Nelson

    Z,

    I don’t know if Zach’s exactly a sunk cost (you can change the cost by trading him), but the point I was making is that you don’t keep spending to recoup a cost you’re already incurred.

    If you can’t move him, you can effectively send Zach Randolph home for a season and a half if you feel like it and then before the trade deadline 09-10 you can use his soon (1+ seasons) to expire contract to get another piece to help in the rebuilding/free agent attracting. Or you could use his expiring deal as part of a sign-and-trade for a top free agent in 2010. His value will be much higher as an expirnig contract than as a cancer with 3 years on his deal (was Memphis really trading Pau for Kwame Brown or for the cap space he represented?).

    I just don’t see any need to rush and give away the only assets the team has.

    “It only takes one sucker GM to pull off a trade, and as the Denver/Milwaukee gossip of last year shows, there are folks who are/were interested in obtaining Randolph.”

    Exactly. There are so many trades where teams have moved “unmoveable” contracts. Some GM with few other options to improve his squad is likely to look at what he’s giving up (junk) and what he’s getting (a 20 10 guy with a bad attitude and contract) and take the chance.

    To add to Ken’s list of potential deals, how about:

    Sacto: Kenny Thomas (2 years at about $8 mill per)and SAR (2 years at 6+ mill)
    or Brad Miller (2 years about $12 mill per) and John Salmons (3 years $5+ mill per).

    Denver: Kenyon (3 years $15 or so mill per)
    or Nene (4 years, $10/11 mill per) and Steven Hunter/JR Smith (2 years, $3+ mill per/ sign-and-trade)

    Chicago: Larry Hughes (2 years $13 mill or so)
    Could also include Malik Rose and Nocioni/Hinrich (maybe a three-way deal to recoup 2010 cap space, especially if Hinrich’s not the right PG for D’Antoni)

    Charlotte: Nazr Mohammed (3 years $6+ mill per) and Matt Carroll (too many years and too much money). Kind of desperate as the Knicks take back a longer contract, but it’s a smaller one and the deal might actually create like $5-6 mill of wiggle room in 2010 (can’t see Carroll’s whole deal on Hoopshype). Maybe get a future 1st or Raymond Felton or at least Adam Morrison thrown in. MJ also drafted Jared Jeffries…

    Indiana: Zach with Jared Jeffries for Troy Murphy and Jamaal Tinsley. Total reach and just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, I know, but who knows.

    Could also explore three or four way deals.

    “He makes the team’s center completely irrelevant because when Curry’s not scoring he’s not doing anything. Randolph effects two positions negatively.”

    Is it Zach Randolph’s fault that Eddy Curry is an underachiever? Is it his fault that Isiah didn’t play David Lee?

    “it is not debatable and the statement should not be challenged.”

    Jamal Crawford scored 20 ppg this season, does that make him worth having on your team? Or, better, Zach Randolph puts up 20 10, yet no one wants him. You can score 20 ppg and make your team worse.
    One question (or challenge) is how efficiently Gordon will score 20 ppg. Having a 6-3 combo-guard who doesn’t make plays for others and gets burned defensively, but scores 20 ppg on 40% shooting can make your team worse just as easily as it can better (not that Gordon will necessarily be inefficient). The bigger challenge is whether his game translates to the NBA.

  72. TDM

    “it is not debatable and the statement should not be challenged.”

    I wish you could have seen me almost spit up my coffee as I read this statement. Dude, if you don’t want to be challenged, you are on the wrong board.

    If Gordon is giving up 3+ to/game, is he worth 20 points/game with no other tangible attribute to his game? There are plenty of guys who can score 20 ppg in the nba who are unemployed. Hell, I’d call up Spree for the vets minimum if thats all the Knicks needed.

    As for what his ass/to ratio has to do with your prior comment, you said that his talent was there for everyone to see. Well, looking at his talent, I see a lot of turnovers for a pg. This is not a good thing no matter how many points he’s putting up.

    You could have argued that Gordon injured his wrist, and therefore that contributed to his high ass/to ratio. However, saying that your statements cannot be challenged . . . please.

  73. JK47

    Um, isn’t one of our problems that we have too many players with the exact skillset of Eric Gordon? A scoring-oriented guard, awesome… He’s the kind of addition Isiah Thomas would love. He’ll probably be a good NBA player but we’ve already too many players who need the ball all the time.

  74. W.C.

    The idea that we should move Randolph as quickly as possible is wildly flawed! It’s more of the same “very limited” Isiah type thinking that got us into this mess.

    The only way it makes sense is if you are both correct that moving him will be a major plus for the team AND you feel compelled to be better “next year”.

    There is absolutely no reason at all to be thinking about next year. The entire thought process (100% of it) should be geared towards 2010-2012 when we hope to have contender in place. That means the goal isn’t to get better next year. It’s to get as much value out of getting rid of Randolph as possible no matter how long it takes – and despite the chance it could cause some short term problems next year to delay the move.

  75. Dave

    I don’t like Westbrook at all in this draft, definitely not for the lottery and probably not in the Top 20 either. I don’t think the Knicks should draft him.

    Great athelete, good defender but he has zero offensive skills that are even mediocre at an NBA level. That scares the life out of me. He can’t shoot, dribble, penetrate, run the break, run the halfcourt offense. He has some upside to him but there’s just way too little skills in the package to be worth drafting high.

    I honestly think the team would be better served signing Chris Duhon in Free Agency. I think Chris is a superior version of Westbrook (actual floor general, better defender) and he’s already established himself in the NBA.

    I really can’t see Westbrook being a starting guard for Mike D’Antoni. What would he do on offense? D’Antoni likes skilled players. Westbrook is a worse version of Marcus Banks.

    I expect Westbrook to be a big disappointment for whoever drafts him if he goes high in the draft.

  76. Dave

    The Knicks pick looks a difficult one. There’s no clear choices of who is should be.

    There’s no point guard that I’m wild about. I don’t think OJ Mayo is a point and except him to be off the board by 6 anyway. Bayless isn’t really a point guard either but he’s interesting and could be worth the pick.

    Wings … Gallinari is the only one I see worth considering at 6. I haven’t seen him play but he sounds interesting from reading other people’s reviews.

    Bigs …. Love, Jordan, Lopez, Randolph in that order.

    I’m a big fan of Kevin Love. I think he’ll be an all-star caliber player or a borderline all-star. Someone similar to David West or a Memo Okur depending on how his body shapes up with the lost weight. I also believe him to be the surest thing in the draft once you get past the first two picks. Good jump shooter, some post skills, great pick and pop player, good on the elbow, very good passer, cerebral player. Good decision maker, rebounder, can handle the ball. So much to like. It’s difficult drafting a power foward with Zach and Lee already on board but I think Love is so much better than everyone else that it would be worth doing. He’d be great in D’Antoni’s system with his shooting ability.

    As for the other three …. Jordan is a huge risk but his potential payoff is the biggest out of everyone in the draft after Beasley/Rose and might even be equal to Beasley in terms of potential. What makes him special isn’t just the 7 feet size but the agility, balance, ability to run and move around. The difference between say Chris Kaman and Dwight Howard. He reminds me so much of Andrew Bynum. I have no idea whether he’d pan out but with some good big man (Robert Parish) coaching Jordan would be very interesting.

    Then there’s Lopez and Randolph. I’m not wild about Lopez. He can do some things but he doesn’t protect the rim well enough for a centre. Drafting him puts an awful lot of pressure on finding a power forward capable of being a top tier shot blocker. That’s why he slipped in my estimation. Also the Knicks have two post scorers already and can’t find space for them, what good will a third one do? I agree with the poster above on Randolph, he reminds me so much of Chris Bosh. Unfortunately stick thin 6-11 players scare the life out of me so I’m not willing to give him top billing.

    Kevin Love/Gallinari/Bayless/other big men would be preference for the Knicks pick.

  77. Ray

    Love is great is does many things well and I actualy wouldnt mind him either. Gallinari sounds like a tough kid for only being 19 years old andif the Italian League is as good as everyone says it is then he is one of the elite playing over there. He can shoot, dribble penetrate and he gets to the line. Plays mult-positions too. Very versatile. Seems like a good prospect to me. If hes competitive like everyone says he is then he’ll do fine in NYC. The draft is going to be really interesting. We could have a blockbuster deal go down and get more picks or we couldt select at six and possible get disappointed or extremely happy. Who knows whats going to happen? I just hope they bring a kid in here that we would love to see play. At this point I woulndt mind seeing Gordon here is we can get Mayo or GAllinari. He can score from anywhere and is strong and can finish. Something to consider.

  78. Ted Nelson

    “he has zero offensive skills that are even mediocre at an NBA level.”
    “He can’t shoot, dribble, penetrate, run the break, run the halfcourt offense.”

    He can’t penetrate??????? Did you watch the final four? The guy got to the basket whenever he felt like it against the most athletic team in the country on the NCAA’s biggest stage. His dribble isn’t bad. He distributed the ball well for an off-guard…

    “I honestly think the team would be better served signing Chris Duhon in Free Agency. I think Chris is a superior version of Westbrook (actual floor general, better defender) and he’s already established himself in the NBA.”

    I like Duhon a lot, but I’m not sure he’s quick enough for D’Antoni.

    Better defender? Westbrook is considered the best perimeter defender in this draft and has 2 or 3 inches on Duhon. Duhon’s a good solid defender, but Westbrook looks like he could be all-defense if he develops his offensive game. Duhon couldn’t buy consistent minutes on a team that concentrated on defense.

    “D’Antoni likes skilled players.”

    Who doesn’t?

    “Westbrook is a worse version of Marcus Banks.”

    That’s a bold prediction, we’ll have to see in a few years.

    “He reminds me so much of Andrew Bynum.”

    I don’t see it that much. In my opinion, Bynum has a much bigger frame while Jordan might have more quickness/athleticism.

    The big difference I see is that Bynum came into LA and worked hard from day 1, Jordan got to A&M and go himself benched. I see as much Jerome James in him as Bynum.

    “I agree with the poster above on Randolph, he reminds me so much of Chris Bosh.”

    Bosh was a heck of a lot more polished/productive at the same age and Bynum was a good NBA player at 19, we’ll have to see about these comparisons.

  79. Dave

    Ted,

    I’m don’t think Westbrook is a good penetrator. Most of his drives came in the open court not in the half court. He has a huge athleticism advantage in the college game that will matched a lot better by NBA players which will limit his penetration further. I just don’t see it.

    The Marcus Banks example came because of D’Antoni’s connections to him. I think Westbrook has a lot in common with Banks and you can clearly see how he’s treated Banks over the past two years. Banks was a far superior penetration and scorer out of college. He was just as weak a floor general, both similar passing ability, both lack ingenuity with the ball, both were weak shooters. Both were dominant defenders in college and Banks has been a very tough defender in the pros in previous seasons (his D lagged off this season from a lack of confidence from D’Antoni, correctly, benching him).

    Anyway I’m clearly in the anti-Westbrook camp. I don’t rate him.

    I really like Chris Duhon he reminds me so much of Charlie Ward. Excellent defender, one of the best defensive point guards in the league. Great energy and effort. His quickness is fine. He understands how to control the halfcourt and get the ball to his stars. Duhon is nothing special but he’s a fine fill in. His body is a lot like Derek Fishers too, very thick, so nobody beats him about because of his size. Hard nosed player.

    I completely agree with you on Randolph and Jordan. They could be just about anything. Both are projects and no locks to be stars in this league.

    Bynum could have been a bust just as easily as a success story. The Lakers nurtured him brilliantly and he himself was an good-to-excellent (rookie-to-summer between 2nd and 3rd year) worker. I don’t think Jordan is anywhere near a lock to be a top player but I do think he has excellent upside and better upside than every other player after the top two picks. If I were to compare Jordan unfavourably (if he didn’t pan out as a star), I’d probably go with Elden Campbell rather than James. James is an extreme case of not caring, that’s very easy to spot. I haven’t seen that with Jordan. Maybe Brendan Haywood also (I like Haywood more than most I must add) if he fails to add enough offense.

    Like I said, Randolph scares me because I don’t like 6-11 thin power forwards. More fail than succeed. Chris Bosh is the best penetrating big man in the league. He’s unbelievable at drawing contact and fouls on drives from 15 feet. That’s what seperates him from a solid player to an All-Star. That’s no small skill and nothing easy to duplicate. The way Randolph plays the game reminds me of Bosh though. Randolph’s first step is the quickest in the NCAA out of big men. He’s comfortable with the ball. Has a jump shot. Very active defensively. Likes to rebound and block shots, the biggest thing with young bigs is whether they’re willing to get their hands dirty down low. Randolph has willing to do that. I’d rate Randolph higher than I did Brandon Wright last year. Still he’s a project. Bosh was too when he came in the league. If everything possible goes right (which isn’t likely but it never is with raw prospects) he might be able to follow Bosh’s footsteps but that’s a big ask.

  80. Ted Nelson

    I can see some parallels between Westbrook and Banks. Some differences, however, are that Westbrook wasn’t asked to be a floor general in college and Banks hasn’t seemed to make much of an attempt to get better in the NBA. Obviously I don’t really know how hard he’s worked to improve/learn the game, I’m just going on that about the only place he’s played consistently was late in the season after being traded to Minnesota on a weak team when he was playing for a contract. I don’t think Westbrook is a slam dunk: I’ve been saying I think he might have a hard adjustment coming to the NBA and questioning people pushing for the Knicks to take him on this site for a while. I just think he was a pretty impressive penetrator in college and has the athleticism to be a good NBA player if he works hard to improve his game. Last thing on Westbrook: it’s a bit contradictory to say he scored at will in the open court but doesn’t have the skill to play in an uptempo offense.

    I don’t have a problem comparing Duhon to Ward or Fisher or saying he’s a decent PG (in fact, if not for D’Antoni’s hiring I’d be with you 100%). Charlie Ward didn’t run or pentrate: he defended and shot jumpers. So, I can see comparing the two, I just don’t see either running the break for D’Antoni. That is, of course, if D’Antoni and Walsh are going to try and build with that same uptempo “7 seconds or less” mentality…

    I agree that the Lakers did a great job nurturing Bynum, and he must have also worked pretty hard in his own right to make the kind of improvements he has. After whatever went wrong at A&M I’m pretty suspicious of Jordan’s will to work as hard as Bynum, even if given the same nurturing environment. It’s really hard for me to say though, as Bynum didn’t play in college (and, don’t know if it would help, but I never saw him in highs school). I mean given how he’s evolved in the NBA, Bynum might have dominated the NCAA. I could see Jordan as a Dampier type who can be fairly productive, but only in the right environment. Who knows how Bynum/Dampier would have done in each other’s shoes, but I can’t see Bynum not having been a pretty good NBA C in just about any environment.

    I have to admit I haven’t seen Randolph play, so I’m really not in a position to say. It’s just that Bosh was really polished player before he got to GT and was a productive NBA player from day 1. Your comparison seems to make some sense though, the whole quick first step thing. I just wonder if Randolph can be as good overall as Bosh, well he can more whether he will. Bosh seems like a leader on the Raptors as well as a very good all-around player, but like I said I don’t know much about Randolph so maybe he is too. From what I’ve heard, I do like Randolph.

  81. Dave

    Ted,

    I was just coming back to offer another thought on Westbrook because I didn’t do him justice on that last post in comparison to Banks. My point was more how D’Antoni treated a similar skilled player than I expect Westbrook to become Banks Part Two.

    I do think he has an awful lot in common with Banks but there’s a few very important differences. Westbrooks is a much smarter player on both ends of the floor and he’s a much harder worker. For those reasons I can’t see him struggling through his career like Banks did. He doesn’t have the mental deficiencies of a Marcus Banks. I see Westbrook rising to a Fisher-like level (quality starter but no star) rather than an utter disappointment (like Banks).

    I thought Banks-D’Antoni is a good building block to judge how D’Antoni would treat/like a player with similar qualities …. and I don’t think Westbrook is a point guard for a Mike D’Antoni. I don’t Westbook has the creativity or the the ability to run the offense. Once he’s not doing that I think his lack of shooting hurts him from getting major minutes as a shooting guard under D’Antoni.

    I didn’t see anything in Westbrook’s play to convince me he’ll have an easy time adapting to being a floor general. He didn’t look that comfortable creating for teammates or directing traffic (giving orders, calling for screens, telling guys they’re in wrong positions type of things). Mario Chalmers is in a similar situation with Kansas but I thought he showed a lot more in those areas. That’s why I imagine a lenthly development phase and a risky development for him.

    Westbrook did an excellent job of getting to the rim in the open court but orchestrating the break is a different thing entirely. It’s the difference between Deron Williams and Devin Harris when they run the floor.

    Actually Devin Harris is a decent comparison, better than Banks. For the record I don’t like Devin Harris, I think he’s vastly overrated. Most of Dallas’ offensive struggles in the playoffs were because of his inability to create offensively which made Dallas’ offense too predictable, iso dependant and easy to stifle. But Devin’s a good penetrator, exceptional athlete, great defender. Coming out of college Devin was a far superior scorer, better shooter, better off the dribble but other than that they were very similar. More comparable to Westbrook than Banks.

    I don’t think Westbrook is worth a lottery pick. He’s a solid pick from there on down. I don’t see him being any answer for the Knicks.

    On Duhon, I completely agree with you. That’s why I think he’s a good last ditch option. If the Knicks can’t get a top point he’ll serve as a solid placeholder while they use their assets (draft pick say) to improve other areas of the squad. That’s the main reason why I like him for the Knicks and the type of situation where I like him for the Knicks.

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