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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Eggs & Basket(ball)

Free agent season is here, along with daydreams about 2010, when LeBron James might pack a suitcase and head for Broadway. Is it realistic to think we can cut a deal? By 2010, assuming they fill out the roster with mininum-salary bench players, the Knicks need to trim about $18 million worth of payroll, to offer a free-agent even a dollar more than the mid-level.  To offer a “star” contract – call it $15 million a year – requires cuts of about $26 million. (to get there next year, it’s more like $36 million). If LeBron has his sights set on the biggest offer, bar-none, we’ll need to clear even more space.  

The simplest way to cut costs — but the hardest to accomplish – is trading big-salaried players for players with shorter (expiring) contracts. Dumping Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry could allow the Knicks to offer 2010 free agent deals worth almost $20 million.  Trading Curry, Crawford and Jeffries (for shorter contracts) would do the same. 

Another “opportunity” is to renounce our own free agents. On the rosters below, I included extensions for David Lee and Nate Robinson, and Renaldo Balkman in 2010. The salaries are just educated guesses, but we could probably “save” about $13 million by not re-signing Lee or Robinson. Combined with a Randolph trade, that would give the Knicks about $19 million in free-agent spending money. A more likely option is trading one or both for draft picks; the salary difference would still “save” $5-10 million. There’s also the option of selling off our 2009 pick. Aside from putting cash in Dolan’s pocket, it would save the team $2-3 million in cap room. If we’re pulling out all the stops, that’s something to consider.

The math involves a lot of estimates and guesswork. It also assumes that we don’t sign any new players between now and 2010.  No mid-levels!  No matter what, it will require several major moves to clear cap space by the summer of 2010, and the effort might not be worth it. Gutting the roster for a *chance* to sign LeBron or D-Wade looks a bit like an unshaven guy at the tables, at 4am, laying it all down on Black. 

We’ll get a strong hint of Walsh’s thinking this summer. Does he sign David Lee to a big extension, or trade him? 

2009-2010

  • Zach Randolph            16,000,000
  • Eddy Curry                    10,500,423
  • Jamal Crawford               9,360,000
  • Quentin Richardson       8,700,000
  • David Lee                         8,000,000 (est)
  • Jerome James                 6,600,000
  • Jared Jeffries                   6,466,000
  • Nate Robinson                5,000,000 (est)
  • Danilo Gallinari                2,574,200
  • 2009 1st rounder              2,400,000  (est #7)
  • Renaldo Balkman            2,112,417
  • Wilson Chandler              1,255,440

total:                             $78,968,480 + 3 roster-fillers  
projected cap:              60,000,000

2010-2011

  • Zach Randolph           $17,333,333
  • Eddy Curry                     11,276,863
  • Jamal Crawford             10,080,000
  • David Lee                         8,000,000 (est)
  • Jared Jeffries                    6,883,800
  • Nate Robinson                 5,000,000 (est)
  • Renaldo Balkman            3,027,000 (cap hold)
  • Wilson Chandler              2,130,482
  • Danilo Gallinari                2,753,800
  • 2009 1st rounder             2,600,000  (est #7)

total:                             $69,085,278 + 5 roster-fillers
projected cap                62,000,000

2011-2012 

  • David Lee                          8,000,000 (est)
  • Nate Robinson                 5,000,000 (est)
  • Renaldo Balkman            4,000,000 (est)
  • Wilson Chandler              5,000,000 (est)
  • Danilo Gallinari                 3,491,820
  • 2009 1st rounder              2,800,000  (est #7)
  • 2011 1st rounder              1,700,000 (est #15)

total:                             $29,991,820 +  8 roster-fillers

*all numbers from ShamSports

 

114 comments on “Eggs & Basket(ball)

  1. PJ

    I just don’t think Randolph will be moved, period. Who would be stupid enough to take him, honestly? Maybe the clips….

  2. Ess-dog

    Hey does anyone know the rule on cutting a player? Like, say we cut Curry from the roster. We would still have to pay him the full length of his contract right? But if someone was to sign him to a new deal, his money would be off the cap, correct?

  3. caleb

    Sadly, cutting a player doesn’t help. Steve francis counts against the blazers cap thru 2009, even while houston is paying him. (Of course his houston salary counts against THEIR cap).

  4. Ess-dog

    So it counts against the cap, but payment must be deferred somehow from the old team when a new deal is signed, right? Crazy. It just sickens me when I see the numbers – what these boneheads make yearly. Even Lee, who is clearly our best player for the money gets 8 mil a year? and that should go up 70% next year.
    This clearly shows that Randolph, Curry and Jeffries should be traded for a 30 mil/yr. ballboy as long as he comes off the books in the next year or two. I wonder if the Wolves would take Curry straight up for Cardinal? Maybe we can force a sign and trade with GS or take on Artest for a year for Curry? We need a team that’s in a bad situation. I would take Artest and give up Balkman just to get rid of Curry’s contract. Then, make Randolph work his ass off playing center this year.

  5. Thomas B.

    Thanks Caleb. I am going to sleep much better now that I see just how hopeless the cap situation is. As I understand it, there is no attractive way to get under the cap. One method is trading Randolph and Curry but unless Isiah is hired to be a GM somewhere else, how are we going to do that? Even Kevin McHale, long known as one of the worst GMs around, has shown signs of getting it together-at least in the recent draft. I don’t think he got rid of the Marko Jaric deal just to take back Randolph’s.

    The other option is to renounce our free agents. I like at least 3 of the four guys that will be due for a new contract by 2010/11-Lee, Robinson, Balkman. So I would like not to see them leave for nothing.

    The final option happens to be the most grim. One or more of the bad contracts must become eligible for a medical retirement. How many Allan Houston’s can one team get?

    So I do feel better because now I can give up on LBJ and focus on what to do with our 2012 lottery pick. We did’nt trade that one away did we?

  6. jon abbey

    The only way to get someone off their contract is for them to retire due to injury. Even then it takes something like a year or two for the contract to come off.

    I’m pretty sure that even in that case, the league needs to approve it and they almost never do.

    so, yeah, barring a miracle, Isiah has screwed us for at least the next three seasons. go Portland!

  7. Italian Stallion

    IMHO, the correct way to think about it is to define what it takes to contend for the championship and then figure out what you have to do to get there.

    When I look at the past championship caliber NBA teams, I see one thing most have in common. They almost all have at least 3 all star caliber players and solid role players or 2 superstars and solid role players.

    Almost by definition that means you really can’t pay a real lot of money to anyone that is not all star caliber otherwise you’ll be over the cap. Perhaps you can make one exception.

    Guys like Randolph, Qrich, and Jeffries obviously have to be moved.

    Guys like Curry and Crawford will also have to be moved unless D’Antonio develops them in ways that Isiah couldn’t and makes them very valuable.

    Guys like Gallinari, Chandler, and Lee can be paid top dollar if they develop into All Star caliber players.

    You can’t pay “good money” to guys like Robinson and Balkman. You have to pay role players less money and/or use your draft picks in those roles and allow those guys to leave when their contracts are up.

  8. Danisrob

    That makes for horrible reading. Lets just hope somehow we can get rid of Randolph after that it becomes a whole lot easier.

    And trading Lee for a young PG like Conley would also help a bit, both in our need for a PG and cap space

  9. Ray

    Really. When all a kid in the hood has is his Basketball and his favorite rapper occupying the space in his mind these are the only two things he dreams about. Now we have LeBron James who we are supposedly trying to clear cap space for so he can come and play in NYC. The only problem is that his favorite rapper now is an owner on the Nets wants him to come and play for him in Brooklyn. My friends that is a done deal. We shouldnt even trouble ourselves with the hopes of landing that guy. He is in Jay-Z’s pocket. We need to be looking for the next of the great breed of young players who are out there and look at signing them and making our payroll healthy so that we can make moves when we need to. Forget about LeBron James. He is going to try and leave a legacy in Brooklyn as soon as the Nets get there.

  10. shawn

    wow, this situation really sucks. I dont see myself buying the Nba league pas this season. I’m a lifelong knicks fan living in California, and I always buy the league pass so I can watch everysingle Knicks game. I gotta say, they are pretty much about to have the same roster as last season. except fred jones and the other guy that left. Um..what the hell are they gonna do? Our biggest excitement about the season is watching how they position themselves for 2010? NO one in the league wants to touch any of the contracts, no necessarily because the players cant help anyone, but because they know the knicks are desperate and other G.M’s would just as soon not help the knicks at all and just watch them suffer through another dismal season. If we get Monta Ellis I’d be Happy. Thats about it.
    The other things I’d like to see is if D’antoni can really be the guy to reach guys like collins and chandler and get them to kick it up a notch. Curry fits just fine, no defense. I’m sick.

  11. Z
    The only way to get someone off their contract is for them to retire due to injury. Even then it takes something like a year or two for the contract to come off.

    I’m pretty sure that even in that case, the league needs to approve it and they almost never do.

    Yeah. And I think that is just to free up the roster spot. Didn’t Houston have a medical retirement. All it meant was the insurance company took over the rest of the payments. It stayed on the salary cap until the contract naturally sunset.

  12. daniel

    Lebron will never come to the knicks. There’s no reason for it. He can make more money in Cleveland, who should and will be better. If he does leave, and comes to NY, he’ll go to the Nets if they are indeed on their way to Brooklyn. He joked about as much today – his “favorite borough is Brooklyn” – and if he does leave, he won’t diss his best friend Jay-Z and go to the other NY team; if not Cleveland, it will be the Nets or some other franchise..

  13. Dave

    This is why I don’t understand all the 2010 stories. The Knicks don’t have the cap room to acquire those players. The number of stories in the media about how big a player the Knicks will be in 2010 is amazing.

    They need to cut payroll. It’ll be hard enough to trade Curry and Randolph but it is possible … but to demand contracts that end within the next two seasons on top of that? Ehh

    The other large Knicks deals aren’t far off that. The only pay to move them is to package them with a more attractive asset (Lee, Gallinari, future picks) which you don’t want to do.

    Difficult decisions. We’ll see what Donnie can do but he’s not some magician that can click his fingers and suddenly create cap space for 2010. It’s not entirely his decision either … there has to be some other team/GM/owner willing to take these trades.

  14. Mulligan

    Well, I have to admit that Walsh is probably planning for other things besides Lebron, since it is such a long shot. But, despite the odds being against us, I think in time it could be easier to move some of these guys, especially if D’Antoni makes them look good.

    Both Nash and Shaq have contracts that expire in 2 years and both are at different stages of decline. Crawford/Curry + Randolph matches with Shaq’s contract, for example. I think Crawford + Randolph for Shaq in a year might be tempting for the Suns. Eh?

  15. Z

    I suppose, now that Caleb has laid it all out there, the Knicks are fiscally positioned to play for LeBron even without shedding payroll. If 2010 rolls around and the Cavs are going nowhere and LeBron demands a trade (a la Kobe last summer (but actually follows through on it)) then the Knicks should, feasibly, be able to put a reasonable offer together. Randolph, Curry, Crawford, and Jeffries would be considered “expiring contracts”, the way Marbury and Rose are now. Packaged with young talent and picks, there is no reason to think that if LeBron says “trade me to one of the teams on this list” and the Knicks, Lakers, Nets, and Bulls are on the list that they couldn’t put something together.

    That said, this scenario COULD happen, but a lot has to fall into place for it to ACTUALLY happen, and since there are other fish out there besides LeBron in 2010, it would be best to deal those hefty contracts if at all possible…

  16. AncientMariner

    OK.. got an idea.. since The Raps and the Pacers are dealing JO for TJ and Rasto . how about we get in on the deal and take Tinsley off the Pacers hands.

    we can deal the Pacers their two home town boys Zbo and Jared Jeff and take back Rasho .. if the Raps included Bargnani and we tossed them a 1st rounder it would work money wize. TYhe Raps want to cut bait on Bargnani and perhaps Dantoni can get some use out of him.. he’s be useful to the NYK on the wing and wouldnt take up ECs space.

    Gives us a point who Walsh knows and saves considerable cap space

  17. Ben R

    I truly believe that Randolph will be traded before the summer is over. It might be for all contracts that expire before 2010 or a combination of contracts some which expire before 2010 some after. Either way him and his oppressive cap number should be gone. If we do have to take a longer contract it should be a much smaller one like Heinrich, Gadzuric or Evans.

    As for Crawford I believe he has some value and if all we wanted was capspace we could move him tomorrow.

    I also believe that Curry could be moved for a shorter contract like Blount, Cardinal, Wallace, etc. I have a feeling however that D’Antoni wants to keep Curry. He has mentioned him in his plans a number of times. I think D’Antoni feels he can get him to reach his potential.

    The only player that expires after 2010 that has absolutly no value is Jeffries. To move him we would have to sweeten the pot.

    I think though we will add payroll and hopefully keep Lee so even if we move some of our bad contracts we will still probably be over the cap in 2010.

  18. Z-man

    14 days until 1st summer league game…can’t wait to see Gallinari.

    Any chance that last year was all about bad karma and coaching via Isiah and that this team is actually pretty good? That Nate turns the corner as a PG, Steph comes back strong, WC and Balk blossom, Curry, Zach and Jerome James all come in chisled, Gallinari is rookie of the year…

    It can’t possibly be as bad as last 3 years, can it?

  19. Brendan

    Really useful post, thanks for it.

    The one thing I take away from these numbers most strongly is that this is going to be a several year salvage job to even get the team back to where serious moves for the future can be made. It’s like trying to untie a very tight knot- first you make little moves to loosen up enough slack to begin making larger moves. I’d guess those larger moves are still two to three years away at the earliest; this next year has to be all about player development and adjusting the culture of the franchise such that practices are actually held, no one throws things at each other on the sidelines, no more Truck Party, etc.

    If they get through the year with everyone looking a little better than they did before and no one having done anything particularly stupid, I think you’d have to call that progress. Bonus points if one of these horrifying contracts can be moved. There’s just not enough slack in the knot yet to ask for much more.

  20. Dallas

    I just heard stephen a smith talking about baron davis. He said that Baron will do everything in his pwer to play for the new york knicks

    Thoughts?

  21. jon abbey

    “He said that Baron will do everything in his pwer to play for the new york knicks”

    he’s an incredible player when he’s healthy (which he was all season this year), but unless he’s going to sign for the midcap, I wouldn’t hold my breath. there’s no sign-and-trade out there that both NY and GS would do, plus I doubt GS would help Baron get out of town.

  22. Brian Cronin

    TYhe Raps want to cut bait on Bargnani and perhaps Dantoni can get some use out of him..

    While it is true that the Raptors are looking to move Bargnani, they are definitely not looking to dump the guy.

    He’s a 23-year-old player (well, he will be next season) two years removed from being the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft!

  23. Nick

    Would Don Nelson be deranged enough to trade Baron for Marbury? Question 2 is if that happens do we get the “good Baron” or the end of his tenure with the Hornets Baron? My impression is he is a better fantasy league player than NBA player.

  24. z-man

    Baron is a nice player but his game is a bit too much like Steph’s for me. More consistent and clutch but a low percentage shooter with shoot first mentality.

  25. nj hoop

    I disagree with the comments about Baron Davis. Did you watch the Dallas series 2 years ago? He was the best player on the court, and don’t forget a pretty good defender as well. He would instantly be the best guard we’ve had in a long, long time and don’t forget, he’s only 29. If you want to talk about having a decent team to entice LeBron, adding Baron Davis is a good start. He’s light years better than the Steph of today or 5 years ago. I say go after him.

  26. Ted Nelson

    I don’t really understand the obsession with getting under the cap. It would be ideal to get under the cap AND have a good team, but if you have to pick one of the other I’d take the good (borderline playoff with little chance of ever contending as currently constructed) team over the cap space and a mediocre, declining team with the hopes of free agent and lottery gold on the horizon.

    ————————————————————–

    Most of us were hoping for the same thing in the wake of the Isiah disaster: clense the team and rebuild slowly. Lose in 08-09, get a high lottery pick, and try to shed contracts for shorter ones. Build through the lottery and free agency. We were willing to bear the losses to put a team that at least tried on the court and for the hopes of striking gold down the road.

    I’m starting to get the impression that’s not necessarily Walsh’s plan. He could have brought in a coach known for teaching young players and building skills, but instead he brought in a coach who has publically said that’s not his job. A coach who is regarded as an offensive genius, which is the Knicks’ only potential strength. D’Antoni was also quoted before the draft as saying something along the lines of “we better make the most of this pick because we’re not going to be back in the lottery for a while.” They may be in the lottery next season anyway, but he gave the impression it won’t be by choice (which also means it’s unlikely to be very high in the lottery without some Bulls like luck).

    There is a combination of factors that makes me think this could be a decent plan. It starts with Caleb’s piece above: the Knicks are already right around the cap in 2010 depending on their decisions between now and then. If some of their players really can’t be traded for shorter-deals, they’re bleeding out slowly and praying for some magic in the lottery and free agency. Seems very high risk to me.

    Does LeBron/Wade/Bosh want to leave his better team to come to NY to play with Danilo, an 09 mid-lottery pick, Zach, Eddy, Jared Jeffries, and the scrubs the Knicks accumulate by making cap room to sign him? My guess is no, so you either have to create more cap space or be in a position for a sign-and-trade. If Zach Randolph is “untradable” this offseason (not sure he is, but I have no idea), then does he become more tradable by playing on a 20 win team or a 35-40 win team? I think of Antawn Jamison (who never had the offcourt or weight issues Zach does): as the best player in GS he was worth Van Excel’s expiring contract and some scraps, he’s the 6th man on a 52 win Dallas team with the NBA’s #1 offense and he’s worth the #5 pick and Jerry Stackhouse… If the Knicks start winning a few games (a big if) they’re going to be in a much better position to make trades and probably even a better position to acquire free agents through sign-and-trades.

    I’m strapped to my seat (not sure that’s the expression) waiting for Walsh to make a move indicating very clearly his intentions regarding the “blow-it-up” vs. “make the most of what you have” rebuilding strategy. Having already signed D’Antoni as coach I see the “make the most of what you have” plan as more likely. Still, it’s going to be interesting: can he move Zach/Curry/Crawford/JJ? Does he? For what? Does he really go for it now and make a run at a sign-and-trade for Baron Davis or some other bigtime free agent? Does he end up with the uneventful offseason where his only other move is signing a free agent like Duhon and see how things go next season? Does he get itchy if that’s how his summer’s going and trade Lee for Raymond Felton?

  27. retropkid

    The least movable guy we have is Curry imo. We may just have to eat his deal, or perhaps hope he is felled by injury (sorry to sound morbid, but from a fiscal perspective, it’s our only hope) and we somehow get him off the books.

    If there is a GM that thinks Crawford’s 40% shooting percentage can help his club, other than Zeke, I will be thrilled to hear it. He’s worse for the club than Randolph really…takes too many shots, misses way too many, doesn’t play perimeter D, and worst of all is just wildly inconsistent and therefore totally unreliable.

    If we are stuck with Randolph, at least we gets boards out of him.

    But yeah, you look at it all and realize the Knicks are a long way from being a contender without a miracle or two….

  28. cavjam

    I’m not so sure the postulate “it takes superstars to win it all” is true; I also see the “wait till 2010 (or whenever)” meme as defeatism. Give me a team with heart and intelligence, and I’ll watch and root like a good fanatic. That means Curry and Z (no heart), and N8 and Crawford (dumb as a box of doorknobs), must go. The latter two shouldn’t be huge prob to move; the former two – hey, big guys who can score, even with onerous contracts, must be tempting to someone.

    Chris Quinn and James Jones are the two best values in the free agent market. It’d probably take a three way with a Western team to get Quinn, but I’d like to see both on the Knicks.

    Also, I think Jeffries will prove to be an asset in the Dantoni system. The ridicule of this apparent absurdity may now begin.

  29. AncientMariner

    While it is true that the Raptors are looking to move Bargnani, they are definitely not looking to dump the guy.
    He’s a 23-year-old player (well, he will be next season) two years removed from being the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft!

    In a very weak draft he was number one.. I cant see the Raps getting more than a future number one for him.

  30. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Too bad Zach Randolph wouldn’t fit in with GS fast paced offense, or else a Davis/Zach deal would be awesome.

    Boy normally these kinds of dream trade scenarios makes me want to puke. The other day I actually spent some time on ESPN’s trade checker. What happened to me? :-)

  31. Caleb Post author

    Some followup thoughts…

    I’m sure we’ll be willing to dump the long contracts on anyone who will take them, but it’s more important to hold onto the assets we DO have, and try to get more. Don’t throw in young players to sweeten deals, and make sure you get back picks when you trade someone like Malik Rose or Crawford.

    Donnie Walsh has not made true blockbuster trades; he’s built teams in small steps. The signature swaps that he has made were giving up older players for young bigs — Dale Davis for O’Neal, Antonio Davis for Bender. I don’t think he’s bringing in a Baron Davis or an Andre Miller.

    I know Ted is worried — but IMO D’Antoni says “forget defense” or “I hate young players” just to get a rise out of reporters. If his real priority was winning ASAP, he’d be in Chicago.

    Our young players are actually better right now than the players with the white elephant contracts. There isn’t any tension between putting out the best team, and planning for the future. (although there is some tension between putting out the best team and showcasing guys we’d like to trade).

    The four players with the most long-term value are all forwards. Not a problem — that’s what trades are for. But they’re all expendable in the right deal, especially by next summer when they’ve all established a higher value than they have now.

    Z makes a good comment — a sign and trade could easily be part of our 2010 summer.

    The team won’t be horrible this year. Even without a major move, better coaching, mostly just playing the right rotation, should get us to 35 wins, at least. We’ll probably improve gradually for another year or two, since the key players are all young — but to take the next step, we’ll need to get some luck in trades, free agency or the draft.

    And cavjam, I don’t think you’re nuts — I think D’Antoni will play a fast-paced, open-court style, which will help Jeffries (a little!) Unfortunately, we can’t really showcase Randolph, Q and Jeffries all at the same time, so they’ll probably need to take turns riding the pine, or the plastic, whatever they make those chairs out of.

  32. Caleb Post author

    wow — just saw that Baron Davis opted out of his contract. Huge surprise — he’s leaving $17.8 million dollars on the table; there isn’t a team in the league with nearly that much cap room.

    I guess he’s been putting something in his piggy bank.

    Wonder if Philly would swap Andre Miller for Baron — that would buy GS another year before they decide on the direction of the team.

  33. Ess-dog

    If Baron is dead set on leaving GS, Nelson might be interested in a Davis/Marbury sign and trade. Maybe we throw in a prospect like Balkman. Marbury’s expiring contract is actually desirable to teams, and Steph would get a fresh start (yet again.)
    Let’s hope that happens. This is exactly how teams get good fast. Look at Gasol’s trade demand or KG’s discontent in Minny- these things create lopsided deals. I’d do it in a heartbeat. Worry about our money situation later…

  34. Caleb Post author

    And now I see the Washington Post reporting that the Warriors have offered the max to Gilbert Arenas…

    I think I better stop with the play by play.

  35. Caleb Post author

    Daily News reporting that Knicks will be offering Duhon a two-year contract for $6 million.

    Skimming the lists, here are some players who might interest us — all are at least pretty young and I’m guessing could be had for two-year deals even smaller than the one Duhon is supposedly getting. Thoughts?

    Nick Fazekas, Tony Allen, Shaun Livingston, Sebastian Telfair, Carlos Arroyo, Salim Stoudamire, Antoine Wright, Kwame Brown, Craig Smith, Nenad Krstic, Chris Anderson, Keyon Dooling, DJ Strawberry, Carl Landry (whose negotiation hit a snag when the Rockets requested more testing on his knee).

  36. Ess-dog

    I like Chirs Anderson the best of those players, but is he a D’Antoni guy? Landry, Krstic, Fazekas and maybe Allen all worth a look, but only if we can move some contract first. I don’t understand the thinking behind Duhon, but I’m going to assume they know something I don’t. I would at least wait to see what shakes out after the big free agents do their moving…

  37. Brian Cronin

    The Duhon proposed signing seems to be all about defense, which Duhon can definitely play. The article said that D’Antoni had been trying to get him to back up Nash, so that sounds good to me!

    No way does Landry leave Houston – a lot of the other names, though, interest me a lot, especially Salim Stoudamire – I think he’s worth taking a shot at to see if he can recapture his touch from behind the arc – I’d love having a guy I could trust to make a three. I think he’d be a slight upgrade over Fred Jones.

  38. TDM

    Just read that the Knicks are trying to buy out Marbury, with the hopes of Duhon being the starter, and not a backup. I can’t see Marbury being a problem in his contract year, so buying him out makes little sense to me.

    “The Knicks are widely rumored to be on the verge of reaching a financial arrangement with Marbury that would free them of the troubled point guard, and his successor may already be waiting in the wings.”

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9296

  39. Caleb Post author

    Given the size of his contract, I think it’s pretty unlikely that Marbury can be traded… but there’s no point in turning him loose, until the trade deadline. Maybe we can get someone like Washington or Sacramento to bite and give us a draft pick; they both have lots of 2010 contracts to unload.

  40. Caleb Post author

    and how does a guy get his gravatar to show up! I went and signed up and now I want my money back! :)

  41. TDM

    With regard to potential short-term signings, and assuming the Knicks get Duhon, how about a shot-blocking, backup center. There are a few guys the Knicks could grab, like Foyle, Ratliff, Mourning. Any one of these guys (albeit stiffs) would be great off the bench with limited minutes. A guy like Mourning only played 15 minutes/game last season but still averaged 1.7 blocks/game.

  42. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I, for one, am actually interested in seeing what Marbury looks like during a contract year, so I’d prefer he not be cut. That said, I don’t mind it much, either.

    That same article, though, irked me when it discussed Monta Ellis possibly getting an offer from Miami. The author notes that Ellis would be cheaper than Ricky Davis, but that sounds totally untrue to me, as any offer Miami would make to Ellis would have to be more than what Davis would make, because as a restricted free agent, Golden State can match any offer – and you know for damn sure that they’d match up to what Davis got paid last year, which was just over $7 million (note that is highly unlikely Davis makes that much as a fre agent).

  43. ess-dog

    wow – buyout! My stomach was churning thinking about having to watch Steph again this year. I’d rather be worse at the position and just get rid of him. An extra draft pick would be nice. But in his case, + by – if you know what I mean.

  44. Caleb Post author

    I wouldn’t cry to see him go, but that article doesn’t sound too authoritative.

    In the meantime, it’s Dolan’s money so I’ll keep telling him to spend $40 million next year just to get an extra draft pick!

  45. Cole

    The biggest problem wiht this knicks team is that there are too many players that do not know there role on the team. If you can tell me hte last team that won anything with a 12 man rotation i would love to see it. Since van gundy left we have been playing with 12 man rotation where a new person is seeing 40 minutes every week. It doesn’t allow the team to mesh and as you can see there is no chemistry. What happened to the David Wingates of the knicks who never caused a problem about playing time and was always the first person off the bench cheering for the team. Those are the types of players we need; we don’t need another backup average point guard on our team. D’antoni has to take control play the best players instead of the big contracts and give the fans something to watch for the first time in a while. I’ve had enough of seeing a new starting lineup every other day.

  46. retropkid

    I liked D’Antoni’s quote about coaching the Olympic team knowing many of these guys will become free agents down the line — he’s making sure they all like him!

    If I’m Baron Davis, I find a way to go to the Lakers and get my ring while I’m still healthy…

  47. Cole

    Give me a 9 man rotation with duhan (or marbury), crawford, chandler, nate, lee, randolf, curry, danilo, and maybe balkman or jeffries and the knicks will win some games. If you remember the beginning of last season when we actually looked like a real basketball team and were winning a couple of games isaiah said that he was cutting down the rotation to 8 or 9 players and that was it and we played well and won. Then the whole marbury drama occured and we went back to the 12 man rotation with even jerome james seeing minutes some weeks and look how our season ended. We have talent but we just need to let them mesh and get role players that can play with them.

  48. retropkid

    If D’Antoni and Walsh really want to get Knick fans excited, they should do anything they can to bring back Camby…huge fan favorite, blocks shots and rebounds and can run with other bigs…hustle guy. He’s fragile — but he would be a good fit with our current roster….any chance Denver lets him go for Randolph/Lee or Curry/Lee? Not sure what their cap situation is.

  49. TDM

    The Enver Nuggets wouldn’t trade Camby for Curry or Randolph. The one thing they don’t need is less D.

  50. Ted Nelson

    TDM,

    “The one thing they don’t need is less D.”

    That’s the general consensus, but the Nuggets actually finished #10 in the NBA in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

    Camby is ancient though, not on the top of my list anyway.

  51. Z-man

    Wouldn’t it be better to keep Steph until closer to the trade deadline sowe can get something in return for his expiring contract? D’Antoni must figure he can’t be lucky enough to find 2 suckers as big as Isiah in one lifetime.

    Would Baron and GS go for a sign and trade of Marbury and Baron if we throw in Balkman, Chandler or Nate (for me in that order, I still think Nate will be a more solid player than the other 2)?

    Is there still a realistic chance for a deal for Monta?

  52. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    I’m not particularly worried. I’m just interested (impatient, really) to see what Walsh is going to do.

    If GS lands Arenas and Baron teams with Brand in LAC this could possibly make Randolph a little, tiny bit more attractive to other teams.

    “The team won’t be horrible this year. Even without a major move, better coaching, mostly just playing the right rotation, should get us to 35 wins, at least. We’ll probably improve gradually for another year or two, since the key players are all young — but to take the next step, we’ll need to get some luck in trades, free agency or the draft.”

    This is one of the things I was getting at in that long, rambling post I left earlier. If they become a mediocre team that plays uptempo and scores a lot of points, a lot of the Knicks assets are more valuable. (Jamison went from being worth as expiring contract and some other throw-ins one offseason to a #8 pick and a solid rotation player the next because he moved from the best player on a bad team to a rotation player on a good team.)

    Basically, I was trying to say that this approach is better than trying to dump everything possible to clear cap room for 2010.

    “Daily News reporting that Knicks will be offering Duhon a two-year contract for $6 million. Skimming the lists, here are some players who might interest us — all are at least pretty young and I’m guessing could be had for two-year deals even smaller than the one Duhon is supposedly getting. Thoughts? ”

    I like adding Duhon. He and Danilo would adee two young players who really know the game: raise the Knicks’ miserable basketball IQ.

    I think these two (one done and one potential) additions plus the possible subtraction of Marbury are a great sign: the Knicks are really cleaning up their act and looking for smart players who put the team first. I agree with the why not wait till the deadline thinking on Marbury, but I don’t mind just getting rid of him either. In a contract year Marbury will definitely be motivated, but to do the only thing he knows: dominate the ball and put up 20 and 8, not to play in a complex offense and win games.

    If Duhon does sign for $3 mill per the Knicks would still have $2.8 mill of the $5.8 mill MLE to shop around in the bargain bin. (Kwame might get someone’s full MLE if his agent’s good.)

    “The biggest problem wiht this knicks team is that there are too many players that do not know there role on the team. If you can tell me hte last team that won anything with a 12 man rotation i would love to see it. Since van gundy left we have been playing with 12 man rotation where a new person is seeing 40 minutes every week. It doesn’t allow the team to mesh and as you can see there is no chemistry. What happened to the David Wingates of the knicks who never caused a problem about playing time and was always the first person off the bench cheering for the team. Those are the types of players we need; we don’t need another backup average point guard on our team.”

    I don’t follow your logic. The players don´t decide the rotation, the coach does. The Knicks needed a coach who’d stick to a short rotation and they got one of the guys known around the league for keeping his rotation short.

  53. Ted Nelson

    “(Jamison went from being worth as expiring contract and some other throw-ins one offseason to a #8 pick and a solid rotation player the next because he moved from the best player on a bad team to a rotation player on a good team.)”

    Typo: #5 pick

    My thinking on this one is that maybe Zach goes from being worth a bunch of bad contracts to an expiring contract.

  54. TDM

    “In a contract year Marbury will definitely be motivated, but to do the only thing he knows: dominate the ball and put up 20 and 8, not to play in a complex offense and win games”

    Marbs putting up 20 and 8 will increase his value at the trade deadline for a playoff bound team (not the Knicks) who need some depth to make it to the next level. Perhaps we could get a couple extra picks for his expiring deal.

    “Kwame might get someone’s full MLE if his agent’s good”

    Let’s just hope the Knicks don’t target Kwame with any part of their MLE. Talk about miserable basketball IQ. I’d much rather get a proven defensive C like Mourning, and he’d probably come at a lower cost. Whether he’d want to play for the Knicks is another story. . .

  55. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    The problem with trading Marbury is that you need to take back a salary of equal size. It doesn’t make sense to hold onto him unless he’s the player that can be used to bring in a superstar. But we’ve got plenty of players with big contracts to use for that.

  56. Ted Nelson

    “Marbs putting up 20 and 8 will increase his value at the trade deadline for a playoff bound team (not the Knicks) who need some depth to make it to the next level. Perhaps we could get a couple extra picks for his expiring deal.”

    I don’t disagree with this thinking. I just think Walsh and D’Antoni are more concerned with winning, and letting Marbury “increase his trade value” will mean more Ls.
    Another line of thinking could be that the Knicks have several “distractions” and getting rid of one of them will improve the team’s “chemistry.”

    “Let’s just hope the Knicks don’t target Kwame with any part of their MLE. Talk about miserable basketball IQ. I’d much rather get a proven defensive C like Mourning, and he’d probably come at a lower cost. Whether he’d want to play for the Knicks is another story. . .”

    Sorry, I read this once I sent it and realized it read this way. I was just adding on an unrelated point: Caleb included Kwame in his list of players who might be had for less than $3 mill per, but if he wants the most money he can get and his agent does a good job I think he could get the whole MLE. I have no interest in the Knicks adding Kwame, though. Yeah, I don’t think Zo’s dragging his dialisis tubes from Miami to NYC.

  57. Caleb Post author

    In theory, there could be a deal like Marbury forBrad Miller, Kenny Thomas & the Kings 1st-rounder. Kings can use the cap space to sign a FA next summer. Or Shaq and the Suns #1, if Phoenix collapses.

    Problem is, it would cost the Knicks $21 million next year, doubled for luxury tax. That’s an expensive draft pick, when some teams sell their picks for $3 million!

    I guess there might be a team that implodes and is willing to trade a “star” for Marbury’s expiring contract, just so they can start over (like, Elton Brand)… but really, any team in that bad shape probably doesn’t have a player we would want to pay that much, for 3-4 years.

    It’s pretty unlikely that we find a worthwhile trade, but from a strictly basketball standpoint ($ aside), it doesn’t hurt to try.

  58. Caleb Post author

    There are players on my list that I like better (like Fazekas and Tony Allen), but for $1-2 million, Kwame is a pretty good defensive player — as backup center.

  59. Ted Nelson

    “It’s pretty unlikely that we find a worthwhile trade, but from a strictly basketball standpoint ($ aside), it doesn’t hurt to try.”

    I think that from a strictly basketball standpoint it might hurt to try: Marbury hogs the ball and wallows in anything but a pick-and-roll offense, the Knicks suck, D’Antoni either losses the players or his mind, and Danilo hops the first plane back to Italy (where Steph joins him next season). Kidding, but if you’re worried about all the “distractions” and have a chance to make one of them disappear before the season I think it makes sense. After last season’s “vote” and the recent quote from the ananomous Knicks vet, it doesn’t seem like Marbury’s got many friends on the team. Walsh might have been talking to a few guys on the team he considers leaders (maybe Crawford, Rose, Jared Jeffries, David Lee) and hearing that Marbury’s got to go…

    Of course, I’ll believe him getting bought out when I see it. If they don’t want him as a PG they could try moving him over to the 2 or (it’s radical but he’s not in a position to protest if he wants to up his free agent value) bring him off the bench.

  60. Frank O.

    Okay, someone just said “Kwame Brown” and “pretty good” in the same sentence on the board.
    Caleb, with all due respect, you need to roll your chair away from the computer, take a nice long shower, go back and type “Kwame Brown sucks” into the search field on youtube and be reminded how bad Kwame Brown is, defensively or otherwise.

    The Knicks have enough players not willing to put in a day’s work for a day’s pay.

    It looks to me by going after Duhon the Knicks are expecting Marbury to be a starter, with Duhon as back up. I am one of the few people in the world who thinks Marbury will have a good year, mostly because he’s a total phony and will put out effort because it’s a contract year. If he plays well, he’ll sucker some team into paying him for another four years…
    And I’d rather the Knicks let his contract run out than cut him or trade him for another big contract.
    I also don’t think the Knicks will trade Lee because they don’t want to get pick-pocketed. They know he is very good on a good team. The only way you get rid of Lee is if it helps you get rid of Zach, and they play the same position so that likely wouldn’t happen.

    Wish we had the cap space to go after Baron. Boy will he be a nice pick up for someone…

  61. Long Ball

    Why would they even consider giving Nate Robinson a contract after this year?

    You can 50 of him in the D league for the league min.

  62. Ess-dog

    OK, if the Sixers don’t get Brand or J. Smith, I think they would go for a Crawford and Randolph for Evans, Green, 1st round pick and junk trade. It sounds like they want to replace Green and Crawford would fit well in that offense, he’d be better than Ben Gordon.
    Then we grab whatever shakes out in FA to fill out the squad.

  63. Z-man

    I agree, Mike, Nate is a unique player to bring off the bench, can dominate the tempo of a game and is probably the best shooter on the team, not that that says much. Unless its for a Monta Ellis-type, I keep him for another year and see if his brain can grow into his athleticism. He also seems made for D’Antoni ball.

  64. Dave

    I like that Chris Duhon news. Hopefully the pans out. He’ll be a nice glue guy and temporary band aid for the club.

    They should spend the other 2.8mil on James Jones. A 6-8 wing who plays solid defense and is one of the best perimeter shooters in the league. Another glue guy.

    Those two will provide better balance for the Knicks and help get more out of the better players here.

  65. TDM

    Ted,

    “the recent quote from the ananomous Knicks vet”

    I must have missed it. What was the quote? Could you link the story?

    If its true that the majority of the players want him gone, or if he is impeding the development of the young guys, I’d be more open to the buyout.

    Regarding the center position, I think someone mentioned this earlier, but is there any chance of striking a deal for Okafor? While MJ was a great player, he hasn’t shown the same competence as a front office guy. Any chance of a Zebo for Emeka boondoggle?

  66. TDM

    MJ sounds a little bitter:

    Jordan said last week. “We felt like we put out a great value for Emeka last year and here we are dealing with the same situation.”

  67. Caleb Post author

    I think it’s a good bet the “anonymous Knicks vet” was Quentin Richardson — he’s funny enough to say something like that, and I’m pretty sure he absolutely hates Marbury — I seem to recall them brawling in the locker room in the Larry Brown era.

    All that said, it’s no reason to cut Marbury. I don’t believe a “distracting” weirdo hurts anyone else’s performance, and if it’s really bothering anyone, they can send him home to watch NBA-TV until the trade deadline.

  68. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Let’s assume the Knicks buyout Marbury & sign Duhon. Is there any doubt that Nate Robinson will be seeing major minutes next year? I’d love to see what he can do with 30+ minutes a game in an uptempo offense. Nate nearly doubled his per-minute assists last year, and I’d like to see him develop some more.

  69. Ess-dog

    It’s true that Nate could become a solid option at the point. Remember how he tore it up last year in Vegas? He’s got the physical tools, he just needs to grow up and play smarter. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Duhon blossomed in NY. He wouldn’t be the first player the Bulls misused who later blossomed (Tyson Chandler, anybody?)

  70. cwod

    “He wouldn’t be the first player the Bulls misused who later blossomed”

    Crawford? Curry?

    Nevermind.

    I think a two-year deal for Duhon is fine. He’d at least be a decent option who’d be willing to move the ball.

  71. Dave

    James Jones can play either spot on the wing and even played some power forward for Indy/Phoenix when his teams were desperate.

    Balkman and Chandler … if they can’t beat out James Jones for minutes they have no long term future in a Knicks jersey. It’s not like they’d be putting some immovable object in front them, it’s James Jones. Let’s be realistic about that.

    Jones’ defense and perimeter shooting would help balance the team better.

    Without a trade moving Zach or Curry or Lee I see no significant value in adding another big man. If Duhon were getting an offer at the point I don’t see the virtue in adding another point guard. A wing however has value because the Knicks need to improve their perimeter shooting, need solid veterans, smart players and guys who play defense.

  72. Caleb Post author

    I like Jones but I suspect he’ll be helping someone like the Lakers, Celtics, Cavs or Spurs come May.

  73. GB

    “He wouldn’t be the first player the Bulls misused who later blossomed”

    Chandler isn’t doing anything on the Hornets that he couldn’t do on the Bulls. It was all in his head and he needed a change of scenery.

    Getting to play with CP3 doesn’t hurt either.

  74. jon abbey

    Sacramento resigns Udrih, making it more likely we’ll get Duhon.

    also, Chris Paul is signing an extension, so take him off the list of imaginary targets for 2010.

  75. Italian Stallion

    Any buyout of Marbury will have nothing to do with his talent and skills relative to any other PG we can sign as his replacement.

    It will be entirely about changing the culture of the Knicks from a a bunch of immature, self centered, whining, no class, thug, losers into a team of high quality, emotionally mature, team oriented winners.

    Guys ike Lee, Gallinari, Crawford, and even Curry etc…. have the types of personalities that the Knicks are currently interested in. Guys like Marbury and Randolph are definitely on their way out the door and so are guys like Robinson (if he doesn’t mature) and Balkman (unless he spends more time practicing free throws instead of smoking weed).

  76. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Chris Paul was super-duper imaginary, if anyone seriously considered him.

    Depending on the extension, he could be available in 2013, though.

  77. Italian Stallion

    Quenton Richardson in not even a solid “D” league player anymore. If he’s getting any time at all next year, that means that Chandler, Balkman, and Gallinari are all busts because Q Rich out and out sucks!

  78. Italian Stallion

    I have some good news to report about Gallinari. He’s been working out in NY and reports suggest he’s a lot better and a lot more advanced than most people thought. I think we are going to be pleasantly surprised by his performance in the summer league.

  79. cwod

    Alan Hahn notes that Gallinari’s nickname in Europe is “The Rooster,” which is a loose translation of his last name. Is that better or worse than “The Italian Stallion”?

  80. Z

    “Chris Paul is signing an extension, so take him off the list of imaginary targets for 2010.”

    Rats! There goes my projected 2011 lineup up:

    PG: Paul
    SG: Wade
    SF: James
    PF: Bosh
    C: David Lee

    I guess Mardy will have to fill in for CP3, pending other developments…

  81. Ray

    I dont know what Nates shooting numbers were last year but its seemed like his jumper was pretty consistent to me. He was hitting 3’s and developing the midrange game. I expect him to be a better shooter this year. I dont think that anyone can watch Chris Paul play and not try to model some part of his game after him. I think Nate will do the same and he will be more improved last year. He came to the summer league in shape and ready to ball and i think it will be the same this year. I hope is Zach is gone before the season ends because i just dont want to watch the same starting 5 again. I also think we should keep Marburys contract until February when teams are more desparate to make a deal to improve Cap space or playoff depth.

  82. jon abbey

    “Guys like Lee, Gallinari, Crawford, and even Curry etc…. have the types of personalities that the Knicks are currently interested in.”

    Curry? Curry? Curry? Curry? Curry? are we going for the competitive eating championship? is the goal to lead the league in uncontested layups allowed (we might have that one already)? you need to watch at least a hundred more Knicks games before posting here anymore, dude.

  83. GiantsKnickFan420

    I like the way D’antoni has handled the Lee situation…”I love David Lee,” D’Antoni said. “I read someplace, he doesn’t fit my style. Let’s see, he averaged 10 rebounds, 10 points. He fits anybody’s style. To be creative, he’s the best we have to be creative. [But] the franchise will do their job of exploring every option. At the end of the day, I’d be very happy to coach David Lee.

    “But again it’s the business, it’s the future and we’re doing what you can within certain parameters. It’s overblown because everyone that calls asks about him because he’s the main guy. And it should be a compliment to him. It hasn’t happened. I don’t expect it to happen. If it did, it would have to be somebody good.”

    Nothing else really needs to be said. He said it all right there.

  84. Brendan

    He is well welcome to it. The Clippers are a classic black hole team- nothing escapes them, not reputations, players, media attention, hope…he’s voluntarily consigned himself to playing out the string on his career with a coach no one wants, an owner no one likes, a team no one follows and a roster no one respects. Yay for the beard! I hope dabbling in movies is worth it.

    They’ll resign Brand, and then suddenly notice they have a 2 and a half man squad with those two and Kamen, two of whom are entering the backside of their prime and have serious injury concerns. They have virtually no effective role players, minimal time to assemble them, no goodwill throughout the league to do it with, and they’re in one of the most competitive conferences in league history. Does anyone think BD is worth the 26 wins they’d have needed to make the playoffs last year? This move is epic fail, and amazingly it may very well not even be the most nonsensical move of the offseason- let’s see how many millions Agent Flake pulls down.

    Now, ask me about Wade Redden….

  85. TDM

    The Clippers were kind of like the Bizarro-Knicks. The knock was always that the Clips wouldn’t pay to keep their talent, and would always let them walk as FA’s. The Knicks, conversely, overpaid time and time again.

    Another coincidence, Donald Sterling had his fair share of sex scandals: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0812041sterling1.html. Hilarious and interesting read if you have the time.

  86. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Brendan don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

    If the Clippers resign Brand, they’ll have a good defensive team. Remember this was a 40 win team two years ago, when Brand last played a full season. If Kaman really improved (and isn’t the product of the only good guy on a bad team) and Thornton takes a step forward they could be a scary team in the West. With Phoenix & the Warriors likely to take a step back next year, they might be the only team in their division to challenge their cross locker rivals.

  87. Thomas B.

    Brendan,

    Two and a half man squad? I dont love the Clippers but dont forget about Big Al in LA. He showed some ability. Actually the Clips may be in a better spot than the Knicks.

    Davis
    Gordon
    Thornton
    Brand
    Caveman

    vs

    Marbury
    Crawford
    ?
    Randolph
    Curry

    I know which five I would take.

  88. Brendan

    I know, I should take up blogging again myself and get this out of my system. It’s just- the Clips are another one of those teams where even when they’re trying, they’re not really trying, you know? Davis is a great name, a big splash, a local guy, but signing him isn’t adding him to the core, it’s adding the difference between him and Maggette to the core, minus any age-related decline, minus Shaun Livingston, minus the games Davis almost always misses. Even if you stipulate a Kamen-Brand-Thornton-Mobley-BD lineup which starts, say, 70 games together- is that really a serious team to threaten the top of the conference? For every Warriors and Suns stepping back, there’s a Portland stepping forward.

    I think if everything breaks right for the Clips, they get immolated in the first round by the Lakers next year, and that will be the best year they’ll have with this core given the ages. And what bugs me is, I think they know that. It’s a way of kicking over fan interest for another year with something to talk about, but still without any real interest in contending for a title on the part of the team. I think the Knicks have done that to Knicks fans for many years now, so my heart goes out to the Clippers fan.

    PS: yeah, the Clips may well be better than the Knicks right now, but that’s the lowest possible bar to clear, and neither team is closer to the title in my view- they’re both lightyears away. And Al Thornton? A sub-13 PER as a 24 year old? Doesn’t get my heart racing.

  89. Thomas B.

    Brendan,

    “I know, I should take up blogging again myself and get this out of my system. It’s just- the Clips are another one of those teams where even when they’re trying, they’re not really trying, you know?”

    Yes I get that.

    “I think if everything breaks right for the Clips, they get immolated in the first round by the Lakers next year, and that will be the best year they’ll have with this core given the ages”

    Good point and quite true, either the Lakers or New Orleans. If the Clips keep everyone healthy they could leapfrog Denver, GS, maybe even Dallas (not likely but possible if Kidd takes a tumble). But all that means is that they get the honor of being sacraficed to the Lakers or New Orleans.

  90. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    If Davis does go to the Paper Clips to make movies and play with Elton Brand (in that order of priority, I assume), it does POSSIBLY set the wheels in motion for a Randolph to Philly trade (though not for Miller, Natch).

    If Brand is off the market, and presuming that Atlanta matches Philly’s rumored 5 year offer to Josh Smith, they’re still going to have cap space and need a low-post scorer/rebounder at PF (unless they like the Jason Smith/Marreese Speights combo – which is doubtful)

    With 10 million in Cap space available (before they extend Iguodala), you could do this move…

    Randolph for Jason Smith (or Rodney Carney)

    Anyone on this forum who’d be against that trade?

    Additionally, w/Cleveland in full panic mode w/r/t LeBron, I bet if you offered

    Randolph for Szczerbiak (expiring
    Randolph for Ben Wallace
    Randolph for Varejao and Snow (or Joe Smith for either of them)

    You could even movie Randolph AND Crawford for either of the two big salaries plus one of the expiring Smith/Varejao/Snow troika)

    While you get pretty much zippo back for fattie #2, you dump salary and David Lee gets to start.

  91. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I know, I should take up blogging again myself and get this out of my system. It’s just- the Clips are another one of those teams where even when they’re trying, they’re not really trying, you know? Davis is a great name, a big splash, a local guy, but signing him isn’t adding him to the core, it’s adding the difference between him and Maggette to the core, minus any age-related decline, minus Shaun Livingston, minus the games Davis almost always misses. Even if you stipulate a Kamen-Brand-Thornton-Mobley-BD lineup which starts, say, 70 games together- is that really a serious team to threaten the top of the conference? For every Warriors and Suns stepping back, there’s a Portland stepping forward.

    I think if everything breaks right for the Clips, they get immolated in the first round by the Lakers next year, and that will be the best year they’ll have with this core given the ages. And what bugs me is, I think they know that. It’s a way of kicking over fan interest for another year with something to talk about, but still without any real interest in contending for a title on the part of the team. I think the Knicks have done that to Knicks fans for many years now, so my heart goes out to the Clippers fan.

    PS: yeah, the Clips may well be better than the Knicks right now, but that’s the lowest possible bar to clear, and neither team is closer to the title in my view- they’re both lightyears away. And Al Thornton? A sub-13 PER as a 24 year old? Doesn’t get my heart racing.

    Yeah some good points here.

    But all that means is that they get the honor of being sacraficed to the Lakers or New Orleans.

    What Western team isn’t in this boat? Maybe the Spurs. But a year ago I’m sure there were some Hornet fans saying the same thing. This year they’ve become the team to beat. If Los Angeles doesn’t sign Baron, they’re still in the same boat with an unhappy All Star who just opted out.

    On top of it couldn’t you say this about the Warriors if Baron stayed? Davis was clearly better than the rest of Golden State. At least in Los Angeles he has another All Star caliber playing in the locker room.

  92. Duff Soviet Union

    “I know, I should take up blogging again myself and get this out of my system.” If you’re the guy I think you are, you should take up blogging again. Your blog was just about my favourite.

  93. Thomas B.

    A sub-13 PER as a 24 year old? Doesn’t get my heart racing

    I’m going to forgive Thornton for that because he was forced into the role of go to guy and that really should not be his duty as a rookie. I dont think age should factor into the performance of a player, the better indicator is years of pro experience. Okay now I mean it, I am going to read that layman’s guide just so I can find a way to counter that sub 13 PER argument. Um, what is a PER by the way?

    Why is no one talking about Ramone Sessions? Is he available?

  94. Ess-dog

    Ugh, the sudden realization of how much better the LA Clippers now are than the Knicks is the latest punch to the gut (the previous being the reality of our cap situation.)
    But hey, we’ve got Duhon comin’ so clear off yer Finals trophy shelf!
    We better get some draft picks… fast…

  95. jon abbey

    “What Western team isn’t in this boat?”

    PORTLAND. they’re adding Oden, Fernandez, and Bayless to a really young and deep team that went 41-41 last year.

  96. Ted Nelson

    “At the end of the day, I’d be very happy to coach David Lee.”
    “It’s overblown because everyone that calls asks about him because he’s the main guy. And it should be a compliment to him. It hasn’t happened. I don’t expect it to happen. If it did, it would have to be somebody good.””

    You’ve made my week!

    Dave,

    James Jones would be a good signing for the Knicks. Plus he’s played for D’Anotni before so A. he knows what D’Antoni wants and B. if the Knicks sign it it likely means he impressed D’Antoni somewhat in Phoenix.

    One question I have though, is whether he opted out of $3 mill or the Blazers didn’t pick up his option…

    “Q Rich out and out sucks!”

    IS, he was never that great to begin with, but Q had a good year in 06-07. He was horrible in 07-08, but if the Knicks are around .500 and he’s leading the NBA in made 3-pointers (at a 34% or so clip) I have a feeling you’ll be singing his praises.

  97. Ted Nelson

    Brendan,

    No idea what your blog was, but what did you expect out of the Clippers? Short of a comprehensive long-term rebuilding plan–which we all know would be impossible for the Clippers (they’ve already used the #7 pick on Eric Gordon this offseason)–they were more or less faced with the option of losing their best player or keeping their best player happy my adding what is now their second best player. They’re not likely to be a contender, but come on they’re the Clippers… they’ve been to the playoffs 4 times in their 30 seasons since changing their name and moving west.

    They were a 47 win team in 05-06 with a rotation that included Brand, Cassell, Mobley, Kaman, Maggette (who played 32 games that season), Livingston, Radmanovic/Wilcox, Daniel Ewing and Quinton Ross. The Clipps have basically replaced Cassell with Baron Davis, 32 games of Maggette with Al Thornton, Radmonovic with Tim Thomas, Ewing with Smush Parker/Dan Dickau/Brevin Knight/whoever, and may replace Livingston (if he leaves) with a young player like Marcus Williams or Eric Gordon. They’ve also got some decent young frontcourt prospects in Fazekas and DeAndre Jordan. On paper, they’re as good or better than the BEST TEAM IN CLIPPERS’ HISTORY. Not saying much, but definitely news worthy.

    “They have virtually no effective role players,”

    As I said, on paper I think they’ve comparable to their 47 win team, which, of course, wouldn’t have gotten them into the playoffs last season. This is interseting though. That season they were the 8th best defense in the NBA and the 18th best offense. I think Brand, Kaman, the addition of Baron plus unefficient scorers like Mobley, Thornton, Gordon, and Tim Thomas should get them into the top 20, maybe top 15 offensively. The real question to me is do holdovers like Brand, Kaman, and Mobley plus replacing 32 games of Maggette (plus the minutes Ross or whoever played because Maggette was out) with Thornton, Wilcox/Radman with Thomas, and Cassell with Davis get Dunleavy back into the top 10 defensively? The Clippers have been a defensive team, and should worry about that side of the ball for the remainder of the offseason after an offensive upgrade in Baron Davis, although replacing one of their inefficient scorers with an efficient scorer would help, too.

  98. BigNasty522

    Doesn’t Utah own the Knicks first round pick next year from the Stephon Marbury trade? The gift that keeps on giving.

  99. jon abbey

    One question I have though, is whether he opted out of $3 mill or the Blazers didn’t pick up his option…

    Jones opted out. he’s a nice role player on a good team, but we shouldn’t sign him, Balkman and Chandler need all the minutes they can.

    IS, he was never that great to begin with, but Q had a good year in 06-07. He was horrible in 07-08, but if the Knicks are around .500 and he’s leading the NBA in made 3-pointers (at a 34% or so clip) I have a feeling you’ll be singing his praises.

    the odds of that happening again at this point are about as likely as my swimming the Atlantic successfully, but I guess July is the time for optimism.

  100. Italian Stallion

    “Guys like Lee, Gallinari, Crawford, and even Curry etc…. have the types of personalities that the Knicks are currently interested in.”
    Curry? Curry? Curry? Curry? Curry? are we going for the competitive eating championship? is the goal to lead the league in uncontested layups allowed (we might have that one already)? you need to watch at least a hundred more Knicks games before posting here anymore, dude.

    LMAO.

    I wasn’t talking about his self motivation etc…

    I was talking about his maturity, qualities as a person etc… Curry is a genuinely nice guy of high character.

  101. Italian Stallion

    “Q Rich out and out sucks!”
    IS, he was never that great to begin with, but Q had a good year in 06-07. He was horrible in 07-08, but if the Knicks are around .500 and he’s leading the NBA in made 3-pointers (at a 34% or so clip) I have a feeling you’ll be singing his praises.

    If Marbury is leading the league in assists, gets the NBA sportmanship award, get voted most popular New Yorker and Knick among players and fans, etc…. I’ll be singing his praises too. LOL

    Seriously, IMO, Qrich was never much of a player. He was the far and away the weakest link on the Knicks last year and he’s not going to get any better.

  102. Dave

    Ted,

    James Jones opted out of his 3mil contract. It was a player option not a team option. I thought that was a mistake, I don’t think he’ll get paid that much on the free agent market which makes some team who’s willing to give him 2.5mil very attractive.

  103. Brendan

    I wrote These Days for a bit, so there’s no reason you should know it :)

    “Short of a comprehensive long-term rebuilding plan–which we all know would be impossible for the Clippers”

    This is what gets me- why is this impossible? It’s not like a few losing seasons would threaten their long pedigree of success or ruin their reputation….

    If it’s simply that they’re not competent to do so, I honestly wonder- have they ever tried? So far as I can ascertain, the majority of their moves over the years have been designed to look busy and achieve nothing while siphoning off the league’s shared revenue streams and letting the franchise value appreciate.

    My perspective as a fan is that if a team isn’t seriously attempting to build a title winner, it’s pointless; there’s more to be celebrated about a team in the depths of rebuilding (like, say, the Nets right now) than there is in a team which is content to be mediocre, year after year. YMMV, but that’s just the perspective I work from.

    “On paper, they’re as good or better than the BEST TEAM IN CLIPPERS’ HISTORY. Not saying much, but definitely news worthy.”

    I’m not saying at all that it’s not newsworthy, but this actually captures my issues with it- that so many years of being so heinous have set that bar at a level with their fanbase that any sign of a heartbeat might be acceptable. This is the sports equivalent of tossing an extra fish to the dolphin at Seaworld- tasty, meaningless, and sure to be eliminated soon. If they go on a Celics-style crash course from here and add another major star to the mix and then some quality roles players I’ll change my tune, but right now I think this is just another way of pretending to try for the sake of appearances. A semi-star who loves LA fell into their laps, and that’s great for them, but I think it’s much more an accident of fate than any sign that they want to compete now.

    Here’s a fun fact: by PER, the difference between Elton Brand’s year on that 47 win team and his next best year is 2.9; the difference between Baron Davis last year and Sam Cassell on that 47 win team is 1.3. If Brand, at 29 coming off a blown knee, actually puts up a performance equal to his second-best year ever, the Clips on paper are slightly worse in their top two players with 29 year old Brand and a Davis equal to last year.

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