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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recent #6 Picks

With the Knicks slotted to pick 6th in this year’s draft, I was curious what kind of player the team might expect to get with that position. So I looked at the #6 picks in the last 10 drafts.

I Buoni (The Good): Chris Kaman, Martell Webster, Josh Childress, Brandon Roy, Shane Battier
Unfortunately there are no superstars in this group. Chris Kaman had a break out season this year, but it was “the best player on a bad team” syndrome. Roy and Webster are young pieces in Portland’s future, but neither have eye-popping stats. Battier has always been a solid defender, but hasn’t contributed enough on offense to make him more than an average starter. Josh Childress became Atlanta’s 6th man.

I Brutti (The Bad): Dajuan Wagner, DerMarr Johnson, Robert Traylor
Traylor looked good his first year, but ate his way out of the league. No one can say what DerMarr Johnson’s career might have been if not for that car accident. Despite the accident he managed to stick around in the league for a few seasons, but never lived up to his pre-injury potential. Dajuan Wagner has his picture in the dictionary next to the word “bust.”

I Giovanni (The Young): Yi Jianlian
A little too early to judge the foreigner, especially since he’s not yet old enough to order a Milwaukee’s Best.

It seems that the Knicks aren’t likely to get a great player here, but the odds are they can get a quality starter. There’s the possibility of All Star talent available as Richard Hamilton, Luol Deng, and Damon Stoudamire were recent #7 picks. The last time the Knicks picked 6th was 1982 when they grabbed shooting guard Trent Tucker.

254 comments on “Recent #6 Picks

  1. daaarn

    i say we trade down or trade away the pick. but honestly, at this point, i’m just praying we get under the cap by ’10 so we have at least a chance (doesn’t matter if it’s a good or bad one) to play in the free agent market.

  2. danny

    the 6 pick puts us in a bad position. Point guards will be gone by then -even Mayo will be gone. For me, it means we must trade Stephon Marbury, without any doubt. If we got a top 3 or #5 pick, we could have drafted a pg, groomed him under stephon this year, then let Stephon walk away next season. Now Stephon will hold that cards, he’ll be able to create a decent season for himself – as this is his FA year – and force the Knicks hand, do they re-sign him to get more of that productivity (and lose cap space), or let him go, and have nothing at the PG position (Nate Robinson can never be a starter)?

    So if he stays, the team could see a positive bump next season (35-40 wins) but then a drop the following season (25-30 wins) and remember, no lottery pick in 2010. –

    We may be under the cap in 2010, but we’ll be terrible and be un-appealing on every level for a FA to sign.

    so in conclusion, tonight was just terrible.

  3. bud

    ok post however i feel that it’s rather inappropriate to demean dajuan wagner here, especially juxtaposing him as you did with dermarr johnson, who despite being involved in a major car accident, did not go through even remotely as many debilitating physical maladies as wagner, who was hospitalized numerous times and eventually had his colon removed.

    i love the sixth pick in this draft. hopefully one of the top five teams decides to go with size and takes brock lopez, leaving us at least one out of skip bayless, eric gordon, and ovinton ziegler – three guys who might have a shot at making a few allstar games one day.

  4. Billy W.

    6th pick plus Zach Randolph for Mike Redd and the 8th pick. Take best point avaiable (Westbrook/Augustin?).

    Ball out with #8, Redd, Chandler, Lee, Curry – Jamal as sixth man.

  5. oboogie

    everyone seems to be poo pooing the 6th pick. we may not draft an allstar, but i am not going to underestimate donnie walsh. he will take the best player or make a solid move, such as trading the 6th and a big contract for an expiring contract, a late 1st rounder and a future 1st rounder.

    i do not remember where i read it, but someone posted a statistic showing that ~80% of walsh’s draft choices in indiana were players who were in the league for over 10 years. that is especially good considering indiana was rarely in the lottery due to the teams frequent playoff appearances.

    beasley or rose didnt fall in our laps, but i am confident management will make a competent decision.

  6. Thomas B.

    There is a shot at Bayless with 6. Bulls should take Rose and Miami will take Beasley. The Wolves could take Mayo at three as they need a two. Seattle suprises all snatching Randolph at four. Memphis secures the post with Lopez at five. That means the Knicks can go Bayless at 6, but the better call might be Gallinari. He plays D and can shoot well. It hard to find a 6-9 player with his skillset and he seems tailor made for D’antoni’s system. Plus drafting him means you dont need to sign Childress.

    I say we go full boar rebuild and youth movement. Move Randolph for anything with a shorter contract. Move Marbury and Rose but only for contracts 1 year longer and young players or draft picks. Explore trading Crawford. Let the team learn the system this year, use your lottery pick wisely, and get good the following year since Utah owns that pick.

    Keep Lee, Chandler, Robinson, our draft pick. All others should be considered touchable.

  7. danny

    Thomas B- why would Seattle take Randolph? Makes no sense. They’ll take Bayless. And Lee should NOT be considered untouchable. The kid is a nice complimentary player – that’s all he is. Not an athlete, has no shot, very limited upside – and he has the perception of being better than he is mostly because he’s white. He is a perfect piece to sweeten any trade.

    note on Lee – this all sounds ludicrous now, and is obviously silly and irrelevent and was never going to happen – but last summer with all those Kobe trade rumors flying, there were a lot of people on this blog that insisted that if the Knicks every had an opportunity to get Bryant, they should not include Lee in any deal…..look it up in the archives, around August-October….just sayin’, Lee has a lot of loyalty from Knicks fans.

  8. Owen

    “there were a lot of people on this blog that insisted that if the Knicks ever had an opportunity to get Bryant, they should not include Lee”

    I was one of those people. Basically, still one of those people. Absolutely nothing has changed. Kobe could only be called the best shooting guard in the NBA because he plays more minutes than Manu Ginobili, whose stats are better, and whose clutch shooting stats this year have been absolutely ridiculous. Try 57.4% from the field, 44% from three, and 93% from the line. I don’t even know what kind of ts% that is but it might be a record for a guy who scored as much as he did.

    Kobe is still nowhere close to the best player in the NBA. Yes, he won the MVP, and yes he is spectacular, but there are a ton of players in the league I would rather start a team with right now. He is 30, in his 12th season, with a lot of wear on his tires, making 17 million per.

    Frankly, halfway through the season, if I could have added one player to the Knicks from the Lakers for the long haul, it definitely would have been Andrew Bynum.

    The Knicks were not one player away last year. They weren’t even two players away. What exactly would we have accomplished by trading Lee, Crawford and Balkman for Kobe? With a team of Jeffries, Curry, Q et all, how many game would we have won? 33?

    Lee was unbelievable in his sophomore season. He regressed a bit this year, mostly because we had an idiot for a gm who brought in another power forward. But he was still outstanding, still by far the best player on the Knicks, still a top 20 rebounder who scores at an average rate for his position at 60+% ts%, still a huge fan favorite. I still don’t think the trade would have helped this team in the long term.

  9. danny

    Owen, I respect your opinion because you give props to Ginobli and make an interestting point regarding his productivity as a shooting guard compared to Kobe.. I too love Ginobli’s game, and in many ways – certainly in terms of scoring – no player reminds me more of Kobe in the league. And I also agree Bryant is not the absolute “best” player in the game (and will be nauseated by hearing that he is over the next 2-4 weeks of playoffs and probably the finals). For me, that player would be Lebron, for his dominance right now and in the future…However, and a big however, nearly any package that sent Knick role players including Lee and so called “stars” for Bryant would have been the must make deal of the century for this franchise – to lose a nice player in Lee (that would start on few nba squads) and a couple overpaid career losers would have made the team better than you assume (as Bryant had proved in the past, note the last few Laker teams) and would have changed the future, as the Knicks would be able to add similar role pieces around a top 3 player and be better than they ever hope to be with David Lee as their “best player”…now, this trade would never have happened anyway, but if an opportunity arises over the next few months to get rid of contracts for viable pieces and cap space if we only include David Lee in a trade – than for me it’s a no brainer. After three years, Lee has shown slight improvement but no ability to really win games as an important player on a team. Again, their are a few David Lee’s out there – but since they’re not white and polite, they are judged appropiatley. Our David Lee, fan favorite of a 23 win team, is worth more than Kobe Bryant,

  10. Ted Nelson

    ” Now Stephon will hold that cards, he’ll be able to create a decent season for himself – as this is his FA year – and force the Knicks hand, do they re-sign him to get more of that productivity (and lose cap space), or let him go, and have nothing at the PG position (Nate Robinson can never be a starter)?”

    They trade him at the deadline. I don’t think he holds any cards: he’s an aging PG who has already fallen off playing on a rebuilding team with a new coach and president under absolutely no pressure to play him. If he’s not on best behavior and performing on the court they can buy him out or tell him to stay home ala Tim Thomas and he’s stuck playing for the veteran’s minimum or in Europe next season.

    “Not an athlete, has no shot”

    I wouldn’t say he’s anywhere near untouchable, but these two statements are demonstratably false.

    I think it’s you who is looking at Lee’s skin color and labelling him as a poor athlete. He’s a pretty good athlete as his McD’s Slam Dunk contest, soph-rook game MVP (I know there’s no defense, but he shinned playing with the best young ahtletes in the game), and rebound rate would attest. He’s pretty quick and athletic for a bigman, but becuase he’s white a lot of people assume he’s not.

    We’ve been through Lee’s jump shooting a lot lately, but basically: he passes up too many Js, yes, and he needs more confidence shooting from outside, but this past season he shot the 26% of his shots he did take as jumpers at a respectable 40% eFG%.

    Anyway, I’m pretty tired of defending David Lee against baseless attacks. I can’t believe the Bulls won the lottery………………………

    #6, how anticlimatic. However, it could be a good thing for the Knicks in the long-run. Instead of “building around” a guy they hope develops into a franchise player, the Knicks are in a good position to get a solid guy and not rush the rebuilding job. (Not that previous #6 picks are a particularly accurate indication of who the Knicks will end up with, but Shane Battier, for example, is my pick for most underrated player in the NBA. Great defender and smart player whose teams win.)

    While I read one scout say recently that last year’s draft was more wide-open than this years, I disagree. The “consensus top 5″ is sure to have 1 or 2 relative busts. On the other hand, a guy like Donte Green might be this year’s Thaddeus Young (not sure though he seems soft). There are lots of other raw players with tons of upside including Anthony Randolph, maybe Westbrook, Javal McGee, Joe Alexander, even DeAndre Jordan…

    Apparently D’Antoni played with Danilo Gallinari’s father for 8 years, which is an intersting subplot…

    I really think Chris Douglas-Roberts is going to be a solid pro, and would like to see the Knicks trade into the late 1st to get him.

    Chicago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the…

  11. Ted Nelson

    “f an opportunity arises over the next few months to get rid of contracts for viable pieces and cap space if we only include David Lee in a trade – than for me it’s a no brainer.”

    It really depends on the deal. I don’t think anyone’s idea going forward is for David Lee to be the Knicks’ best player, but maybe a core player with 3 or more better scorers around him and some skilled role players. This has also been discussed in previous threads, but I don’t want to hastily move Lee for 2010 cap room with two full seasons to go till offseason 2010.

  12. GiantsKnickFan420

    6th picks isnt so bad, it is possible that one of the top 5 prospects fall.. obviously Rose/Beaz will be gone but its possible either Mayo/Lopez/Bayless might be there. There are always players who sky rocket during the workouts and one with a couple red flags might fall.
    Its conceivable to believe that maybe some of the baggage around Mayo drops him out of the top 5. It would be great value at 6 becuase he does have franchise player potential. Has a game similar to Joe Johnson (not as good a shooter) and Lebron in terms of passing,deferring and creating for teamates. Lopez is true center, can play D, plays in a complex offense where hes all over the court and highly involved in the offense, some concerns about his motivation and work ethic might cause him to drop as well.
    Bayless i dont think will drop, hes a freakish athelete at 6’3 and a scoring machine. ultra quick and explosive, very high upside. But hes a tweener, is he a PG? SG? i think teams have been turned off by shoot first PGs or SGs in a PGs body a la Ben Gordon who Chicago still cant figure out how to use. Very small chance he falls, but still possible..
    I still feel good about the pick, even if its Gallinari altho we could trade down and grab him later..

  13. Phil

    Just my opinion, but what are the chances we trade back and maybe unload one of our contracts on someone?

    I figure someone below us is gonna fall in love with the Gallinari or is trying to move ahead of a team, we could just drop down, get one of two of my favorites, Joe Alexander or Russell Westbrook AND we can drop one of our terrible contracts (probably someone of the Jeffries/James ilk..one step at a time..)

    And with Joe Alexander (who single handedly destroyed Duke…white athletic guy destroying them, kinda ironic) or Russell Westbrook (who, I think if he stays in college becomes a top 5 pick) gives us a player whos good, but with a real high ceiling. Just my opinion.

  14. DS

    “Just my opinion, but what are the chances we trade back and maybe unload one of our contracts on someone?”

    Agreed – this might be a good opportunity to unload 1 bad contract.

    Is there any chance we package Lee or Nate with the #6 and move UP?

  15. Thomas B.

    An excerpt from Coach D’s interview with Draftxpress.com

    “Q: What pick did you think you were going to get coming into tonight?
    D’Antoni: Maybe five or four. We would have liked to get a top pick, like a top two, but it didn’t work out like that. We don’t want to be here next year, that’s for sure. We’ll try to make it count this year.”

    Did Coach D not know that the Knicks could not get the fourth pick? There range was 1-3 or 5-7 with the highest probability of picking 6th, which they will.

    That just goes to show that very few people know how the draft works.

  16. Double J

    Ok, so the Italian guy 6-10 “Point forward”, and D’Anotni played with the guys father. Could he be Dirk with better defense? If not him and Bayliss/Mayo doesn’t slip, prefered PG: Augustine or Westbrook?

  17. DS

    Maybe we can stick the Bulls w/ Z-Bo somehow – so that they would still add an interior presence and could draft Rose instead of Beasley.

  18. Thomas B.

    Danny-

    I put Anthony Randolph with Seattle because over the past few years they keep picking lanky, long, young forwards and centers.

    Peter Fehnse in 2002
    Nick Collison in 2003
    Robert Swift in 2004
    Johan Petro in 2005
    Sear Sene in 2006
    Kevin Durant in 2007

    The last six picks average 6’10” in hieght and about 142 pounds in wieght. 6’10 skeletons basically. The guy on the board that fits that description is Anthony Randolph. You talk about how Randolph “makes no sense”, well tell me Danny, aside from Durant which of the last 6 Seattle picks have made sense?

    My draft board is not made of what I think the right play is, it is what I think the team will do. Now based on Seattle’s draft history, Randolph fits what they try to do. In a way you are right, it does not make sense for Seattle to pick Randolph, but that doesnt mean they wont do it.

  19. Thomas B.

    DS,

    I like your thinking but I doubt the Bulls, who hate to pay their players, will bite on Randolph’s contract. More likely they will draft Beasely, then package Tyrus Thomas and Hinrich for the right point. I dont know who that might be. NJ might be willing to send Harris for that package.

    The Bulls might deal with us if they can shed some unfavorable contracts. If we would eat Hinrich and Hughes, they might swap picks with us for Randolph, Rose and Chandler? ( I’d hate to add Lee but it may be needed). The Bulls might do that if the right player is still on the board at 6. The deal saves the Bulls 14.5 million over the life of the deal, not including luxury taxes. That would give them room to sign Deng and Gordon. Or the player at 6 can replace Deng or Gordon, if it turns out to be OJ Mayo. The deal helps the Knicks as it gives us Rose or Beasely. And while we pay more over the life of the deal, we do reduce salary in 2010 by 6 million compared to if we kept Randolph.

    On moving up: I like that idea too but it’s only worth it to move up to 1 or 2. The drop off in talent from the third player to the sixth isnt that much. So we should not pay too much just to get to 3. Moving down might not be so bad. If we can cut the fat, so to speak, and unload Randolph.

  20. JoMo

    Im not really devastated with the 6th pick, as i have a newfound sense of confidence in our new Management. A legitimate plan being in place and all, with a legit system that suits our core players sounds pretty money to me. Hear me out:

    (granted this is involving 3 players) but, in D’Antoni’s system we’d have Crawford and Robinson running up court and jacking up shots from everywhere – something they seem to mindlessly excel at. Throw in Lee, who’s got a penchant for hounding the offensive glass and you’ve got a nice little offensive trio.

    At 6 im thinking either Mayo, Love, or Gordon might still be available. All three of these players would fit into that same system pretty well i think – with Mayo being the most competent on the defensive end. But getting Love and his ability to outlet and start the break would be hugely beneficial in a high octane run and gun system. I say yes to Gordon too just because of his scoring instincts, which im sure will only mature.

    Thoughts?

  21. JoMo

    Also! If these philly trade rumors come into fruition (doubtful, but still hopeful) and we are able to dump Randolph to the sixers who are “desperate” for offense – as that is all he is capable of providing, and i think he’d fit well with their gameplan – we might get someone decent in return, like a Louis Williams and some kind of other awful bloated contract to make it even out. Ok, so maybe that wouldnt work.

  22. TDM

    A couple mock drafts out there have Lopez going at 3 to the Wolves and Love going at 5 to the Griz. I can’t buy that. More likely, a lot of teams in the 3 – 10 range will probably be trying to trade down as well. While Memphis needs a quality PF, they can’t take Love with a straight-face at 5.

  23. DS

    For a group of people who are in love w/ Lee who fell to #30, we’re a little too worried about our options at #6.

  24. xaviermcdaniel

    last year, the warriors dealt Richardson for the Bobcat’s pick which turned out to be Brandon Wright. Is it possible the knicks could do that dumping Randolph for a draft pick (not sure which team in their right mind would do that)? And then doesn’t that involve a trade exception of some sort.

  25. George from Scottsdale

    The Knicks need to do three things-build around defense, rebounding and fiscal responsibility.Trade down and take Robin Lopez,excellent shoblocker and will fit MD’s “running” O,get ’09 pick,don’t have one. Unload either Zach or Curry by packaging with Crawford, only bargaining chip,get what they can for Marbury.Build around Lee,Chandler and Lopez,give Collins a shot at PG,coming off injury and bring Jeffries and Balkman off the bench,N8 may have to go,due big $$$ extension, rather give to DLee. ’09 draft solid pick up scorer and continue to try to unload either Zach or Curry,whoever’s still there!!

  26. mason

    question, If D’antoni style requires 2 major things:
    1. pass-first up tempo pg
    2. jump-shooting PF

    dont Zach and Nate qualify as good options?

  27. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Zach Randolph isn’t exactly a good transition player. In fact he’s probably the worst PF I’ve seen in getting back on defense. Additionally I can’t imagine D’Antoni’s offense running through a PF that holds the ball for 12 seconds without even considering passing it.

  28. mason

    i dont think D’antoni will let him hold the ball the way isiah did but as far as a pick and pop combo with nate(lee as your Offensive rebounder), thats pretty good!

  29. hoolahoop

    Let’s get one thing straight. Unless we steal an elite, high impact, team changing player Marbury is not going to be traded. He’s one of the most valuable players in the league this coming season – even if he doesn’t play a single game. His value is in his expiring contract that will make cap space.

  30. jon abbey

    “Let’s get one thing straight. Unless we steal an elite, high impact, team changing player Marbury is not going to be traded. He’s one of the most valuable players in the league this coming season – even if he doesn’t play a single game. His value is in his expiring contract that will make cap space.”

    this is a bit of a misconception, I think. Marbury’s contract is so big that it will be hard for other teams to match it with guys they want to move.

  31. Nick

    “I dont think D’antoni will let him hold the ball the way isiah did but as far as a pick and pop combo with nate(lee as your Offensive rebounder), thats pretty good!”

    I can’t recall ever seeing Zach set a screen, pick, roll or pop much less see Nate run anything resembling a play but other than that it sounds great.

  32. mason

    “I can’t recall ever seeing Zach set a screen, pick, roll or pop much less see Nate run anything resembling a play but other than that it sounds great.”

    dont underestimte the influence of a good coach on a highly skilled and coachable Nate robinson!

    Also,
    Im hearing the name Danilo, what does he bring to the table that wilson Chandler doesn’t besides ball-handling, anyone know?

  33. caleb

    “Marbury’s contract is so big that it will be hard for other teams to match it with guys they want to move.”

    There’s definitely truth to this. But I still think he’ll end up traded.

    If Marbury is healthy, there will be plenty of teams willing to pay the remaining $6-8 million on his deal (as of February) to be an extra scorer — think of the deals for Sam Cassell, Mike Bibby, Bonzi Wells, etc.

    But there are more potential trade partners than that. Other teams might do it just for cap reasons, then release him.

    There are more than two dozen players with contracts bigger than $10 million a year, expiring in 2010 (a pool of players we would accept). It’s easy to picture some of those teams a) wanting to clear salary; b) being able to cobble together a matching offer; c) being willing to include a draft pick or young player, in order to save $20 million and clear cap space.

  34. Nick

    Mase-I’d like to think that D’Antoni can suceed where hall-of fame coaches have failed in the past with these players. I think they’re incorrigible with Zach, Jamal, Eddy and Nate in that order being the biggest culprits of the players that belong in the league and Q, Jeffires (for trying to do too many things he is incapable of) and Mardy just not belonging in the NBA.

  35. caleb

    As far as trades go… you could also look at options for straight-up deals, just to get an additional pick. For example, if you’re trading David Lee straight up, could you get Mike Conley from Memphis? Would you trade him just for a draft pick, say in the 3-8 range? (one benefit being, you’d save $8-10 million in 2010 cap room).

    Also in money-saving mode, is there a player in the draft we like better than Nate Robinson? (say, in the 15-25 range?)

    It wouldn’t make a difference cap-wise — but is there a prospect we like better than Wilson Chandler?

    I haven’t seen enough of the draf prospects to make an informed judgement… but you can bet that Walsh is weighing those options.

    For the second half of the 1st round, I agree with whoever it was that said Robin Lopez would be a nice pickup.. a 7-footer who actually plays defense. haven’t seen one of those anywhere near MSG lately.

    A non-Knicks thought… what are the odds of Miami trading the #2? They have 2 genuins All-Stars already, one of whom is turning 30 and the other who’s an MVP candidate but can’t be expecting a very long career… do they really want a rookie in the mix, even a great prospect like Beasley or Rose? I could see Miami putting together a deal for Elton Brand, Baron Davis, maybe even Carmelo, something along those lines.

  36. jon abbey

    “There are more than two dozen players with contracts bigger than $10 million a year, expiring in 2010 (a pool of players we would accept). It’s easy to picture some of those teams a) wanting to clear salary; b) being able to cobble together a matching offer; c) being willing to include a draft pick or young player, in order to save $20 million and clear cap space.”

    well, getting from $10 million to $22 million (Marbury’s salary next season) isn’t so easy. as far as “cap space”, you’re only talking about one year extra (since you’ve ruled out players with contracts going past 2010), and are there even many worthy free agent targets in the 2009 offseason?

  37. mason

    nick,
    im keeping a positive outlook since there are good players on the roster and a good coach who will play to their best strengths…its going to be an exciting off- season and i’m looking forward to it.

  38. jon abbey

    meh, there are some OK players on the team, but we’re still in pretty easily the worst position of anyone in the league, not to mention the East got decidedly deeper yesterday. we’re going to be right back in Secaucus next May, probably with more ping-pong balls this time. any ideas who the top guys in the 2009 draft are supposed to be?

  39. jon abbey

    if you could somehow get Mike Conley, he’d be a great chip to turn around and try to move to Portland for multiple players, since I’m sure he and Oden would love to be reunited. of course, Portland could offer Memphis more directly if they wanted, so probably a moot point.

  40. caleb

    “getting from $10 million to $22 million (Marbury’s salary next season) isn’t so easy…”

    True, but you only need to be within 25%, and I think there will be at least a few options… Kings have $27 million in junk that expires in 2010… Wiz have $19 million… Ben Wallace and Larry Hughes are $14 million each… if the wheels really come off in Houston or Phoenix, they could decide to dump McGrady or Shaq’s $20 million deals…

    “are there even many worthy free agent targets in the 2009 offseason?”

    Likely FAs next summer include Mike Bibby, Drew Gooden, Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace, Baron Davis, Jeff Foster, Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Jason Collins, Shawn Marion, Andre Miller, Ron Artest and Chris Wilcox… less likely, but not farfetched (i.e. wouldn’t be surprised if they opt out or don’t get extensions) include Carlos Boozer, Hedo Turkoglu, Corey Maggette, J.R. Smith, Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon…

    So sure, teams will want to get under the cap.

  41. caleb

    And I’d love Conley on his own merits… really good defender, quick, only 20 y/o… could be our starter the next 10 years.

    Don’t know that Memphis would go for it, but they do have two decent PG prospects (plus the #5 pick) and no power forwards.

  42. jon abbey

    “Likely FAs next summer include Mike Bibby, Drew Gooden, Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace, Baron Davis, Jeff Foster, Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza, Jason Collins, Shawn Marion, Andre Miller, Ron Artest and Chris Wilcox”

    no one is going out of their way to clear cap space for any of these guys, come on. Jason Collins?

  43. caleb

    “no one is going out of their way to clear cap space for any of these guys.”

    Are you serious?

    but yeah, I was just kidding about Jason Collins.

  44. teddd

    KB, Roy was an all-star this year at age 23 and has a natural feel for the game that just can’t be taught. Either way, he should never be lumped into the same group as Martell Webster. He’s a star.

    And while Yi is listed at 19 before last season, enough people are whispering that he’s closer 22 to make you wonder…

  45. caleb

    Not only is he old, Yi might have been the worst player in the league of anyone who got meaningful minutes.

  46. TDM

    “what are the odds of Miami trading the #2?”

    It all depends on what Chicago does with #1. If CHI takes Beasley, Miami is taking Rose. If CHI takes Rose, Miami may want to trade out. They are already set at the 4 with Haslem and Marion. However, if Marion exercises his option, they could keep their pick and take Beasley.

    The thing is, assuming Miami would only consider trading the #2 if Rose isn’t there, would the Knicks want to pay the ransom necessary to select Beasley?

  47. caleb

    I saw that on ESPN, too. I’m not so sure Miami wouldn’t consider trading Rose, too – but either way, I don’t see any conceivable offer that the Knicks could put together, that Miami would consider.

  48. Matthew

    bud:

    Wagner was a very bad player even before the injuries. His only skill was scoring, but he shot in the 30s fg%. Terrible player.

  49. TDM

    GB:

    Who do you mean when you say “We’re”? CHI or MIA?

    If MIA, Rose may not be there. As bad as the Bulls need a low-post scorer like Beasley, they also need Rose. Also, Rose is from Chi-Town. They are in the drivers seat – MIA gets the scraps (albeit, still a good position to be in).

    With regard to Miami trading out, I’m not sure how trading picks and players effects the cap situation, but I’d give #6 and Zach for #2 and Blount.

  50. ess-dog

    Caleb, why would Memphis trade Conley? They have Conley and Crittendon as a backcourt for 10 years. Won’t happen. And why would we trade Steph for junk? Unless we can get a REALLY useful player, we should just let him expire at the end of the year.
    I think we need to think big with this pick (who knows if we’ll have a pick this good in the next 4 years.) I’m not against the idea of taking Gordon at #6. So he had a bad tournament, big deal! He’s 19 yrs old. He was ranked by most scouts as the top high-school baller along with OJ Mayo. He was the man at a good program for one year in a great confrence… coaching issues. It’s funny people look at Anthony Randolph and see all this potential, but look at Gordon and see a has-been… they’re both freshmen! I’m not definitely in favor of Gordon (I think you have to think hard if Lopez is still there at #6) but isn’t he a better prospect as a 2-guard than OJ? He has a better shot, a little shorter at 6’4″ (OJ’s 6″6′), but Gordon can jump and drive to the hoop pretty well…
    He, Chandler and Lee would be a nice core. And if we could get a late 1st rounder, I’d take a chance on Lawson as a pure point prospect. He’s at least as good as Collins, and a much better pure point than anyone we have now.

  51. Thomas B.

    Why are so many people talking about Dujaun Wagner all of a sudden? Did everyone watch his workout video on youtube.com? I wouldn’t drink the Kool-Aid. DW is just Nate Robinson with poorer accurancy and even less conscience.

    I should point out that with a week left in the NBA season jon abbey correctly predicted that the Knicks would not have a top five pick. I disagreed and I was wrong. So I am just going to stop arguing with him. He is the best.

    I just think it is lunacy to trade Beasly just because Marion might not opt out of his deal. Five years from now when Haslem and Marion are signing on with title contenders who are looking for a “crafty veteran”, Beasly will be a 25 year old stat stuffing stud. I don’t care if you have nine PFs on the team, you do not trade a talent like Beasly. That would repeat the “Sam Bowie mistake”, which is to draft for need rather than taking the better player even though it creates a logjam.

  52. caleb

    “Caleb, why would Memphis trade Conley?”

    Because they’d (maybe) rather have David Lee. Probably not, but not ridiculous. I don’t know what they think of Conley, but they have 2 other decent prospects so maybe there’s a deal that could work. If not straight up, include the right to swap next year’s picks, something like that.

    “why would we trade Steph for junk?”

    Who said anything about junk? You do it if a team will send back a draft pick or good young player. (to save themselves $20 million+ next year)

    “He’s at least as good as Collins.”

    So are most of the people posting on this board. But yeah, Lawson might be worth a shot with a pick in the 20s.

    re: trading Mike Beasley, there’s no one in the league untradeable, much less a guy who hasn’t even played. Miami has two guys in their prime; if they scored a first-tier All-Star in return for the pick it might make sense to deal… even if Beasley turns out great. I mean, whatever Shaq looks like now, it was a good deal for Miami because they won a title in the short run.

  53. TDM

    “Caleb, why would Memphis trade Conley?”

    Because they are loaded with guards: crittendon, conley, navarro, lowry, miller.

  54. Donald Trump

    Why are we proposing trades that have no basis in reality? Just sit back and let Walsh handle it.

  55. TDM

    Memphis traded Gasol to the Lakers for pocket change and the draft rights to his brother, so exactly what do you mean by “no basis in reality”?

  56. justin o

    i herd that shud the pistons lose this series they will rebuild so how bout this for a quick turn around .
    1. trade crawford for TJ ford. This makes a ton of sense for us, we give up a streaky shooter, for a pass first point guard who can slash thru defenses and will play in d’antonis offense great he can absolutley fly in the fastbreak.
    2. draft danillo gallinari, trade him, chandler and a filler (if needed im way to lazy tolook up the contracts) for tayshaun prince. A great rebounder with huge arms who thinks defense and rebounding first, shot second, something we desperetly need.
    3. Trade David Lee, balkman and randolph to chi for hughes, noah and ty thomas, buyout hughes.
    4. sign and trade for antwan jamison, give up marburys expiring and tyrus thomas.

    heres how we wud luk
    1. Ford
    2. Robinson
    3. Prince
    4. Jamison
    5. Curry
    BENCH.
    Richardson, Noah, Rose, Jefries, james whoever
    this may not be the most reaistic, but this looks like a 6 or 7 seed in the east to me, great defensivly and with the exception of curry can really run. the starting 5 with the exception for curry can really run the fastbreak.

  57. caleb

    Lee for Conley isn’t farfetched… Would Memphis rather have Bayless or Mayo + Lee, or Conley + Anthony Randolph or Lopez or yet another guard?

    $$$ would be a hurdle (Lee getting an extension two years before Conley), but we could take Brian Cardinal or Mike Miller’s contracts off their hands, or come up with another sweetener.

    But you’re right, I need to get back to real work and leave the dealing to Donnie.

  58. jon abbey

    ““no one is going out of their way to clear cap space for any of these guys.”

    Are you serious? ”

    I can’t tell if you’re joking or not anymore, Caleb, but yeah, I’m serious, with maybe one or two exceptions. Baron Davis and Andre Miller had great years, but with one more year of wear on their tires, do you really think teams will be rushing to lock them up for the long term? and I love Trevor Ariza as much as anyone except his mom, but if he commands more than the midcap exemption, I’ll be shocked.

  59. caleb

    ok, I’m not ready to go back to work quite yet…

    re: 2009 FAs, you don’t have to consider these guys LeBron level catches… just one example, don’t you think Washington would be glad to dump Antonio Daniels and Etan Thomas, for a chance to sign Lamar Odom or Shawn Marion? It doesn’t have to be a max deal — a lot of these guys could command $7 or $8 million a year. Besides all that, a lot of non-Knick teams would be glad to save $20 million, whether or not they use the cap space.

    “does Lee for Conley really help us? I’d rather just take Westbrook and stick with Lee.”

    Not a bad idea… I like Westbrook too (especially if we could trade down a few spots, pick up another asset and still grab him)… but it’s not exactly the same. #1 They both look terrific on defense, but IMO Conley is much more polished as a PG… #2, as long as we’re desperate to gain 2010 cap flexibility, paying Conley $4m vs. $8-10 million to Lee, would help..

  60. jon abbey

    “just one example, don’t you think Washington would be glad to dump Antonio Daniels and Etan Thomas, for a chance to sign Lamar Odom or Shawn Marion?”

    yeah, probably, although they have to figure out what’s going on with Jamison and Arenas first.

  61. Danisrob

    Just saw this on True Hoop

    Alan Hahn of Newsday: “There was no frozen envelope, no conspiracy. But now, after the Knicks wound up with the sixth pick from the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, there are many options for Donnie Walsh in what he calls the ‘second stage’ of the Knicks’ rebuilding process. ‘Now,’ Walsh said, ‘our work starts.’ It starts with shopping the pick with the intention of packaging it with one of those hefty contracts on the team’s bloated payroll in an effort to get some desperately needed salary-cap relief, which, for Walsh, is always Job 1. ‘I think we’ll look at everything,’ Walsh said.”

  62. GiantKnickFan

    My ideal situation right now is trading down a couple spots and ship a bad contract, maybe add a decent veteran and draft Gallinari.
    Id only feel comfortable picking at 6 if either Mayo/Bayless/Lopez falls to 6.

  63. villainx

    It should be interesting. Looks like there is a chance of a lot of movement by a lot of teams this off season and around draft time. Hopefully the Knicks sneak in for a steal of some sort.

  64. CMAC

    What do you guys think about trading either randolph or even crawford to philly since they are the only ones with cap to spare for their pick. We could probably get Alexander with that pick. He would be a great scorer in our new offense. He has a good motor can rebound and down the stretch last year took over games in the big east. Im a uconn fan and i saw him just tear us apart our very good d couldn’t stop him and he is a good defender as well. I think he could be a very good pro very underrated.

  65. Ess-dog

    It could get interesting if New Jersey falls in love with Gallinari. Would anyone be for trading our #6 for Jersey’s #10 and #21? Players are greater risks lower down, but damn, we need a lot of help.
    If we got the 2 picks, we could look for Augustin, Gordon, or Randolph with the #10 and Robin Lopez, Lawson, or Brandon Rush with the #21.
    A lot depends on Gallinari.
    If someone ahead of us falls in love with him, then OJ, Lopez or Bayless falls into our laps.
    Should be and interesting draft.
    As far as trades go, I think Lee for Lowry is more realistic. Conley was the top pg in college basketball in the last draft and Lee was an unknown 30th pick. I’m as big a Lee fan as anyone here (except Owen) but I just don’t think Memphis is that desperate. They were desperate with Gasol, because he forced a trade.
    The only team I don’t want to trade with is the Bucks. They almost as bad off as us (I would take Charlie V. off their hands though.)
    Do you think Chicago would swap Nate for Tyrus Thomas? They won’t need him if they take Beasley, and if they let Ben Gordon walk (and they might, because they have to sign Deng), they will need scoring punch from the bench (nate.)
    I still return to the same problem though… who wants Zach? I don’t believe the Sixers rumors. The only realistic option would be to ship him to Cleveland for Wallace, but is that worth it for us?

  66. Thomas B.

    I’d take Jason Alexander if we could send Randolph to Philly.

    would he pass the physical? beside they would have to throw in michael richards to make the salary match.

  67. Ray

    Wow…so many ideas. A couple of things come to mind. The 6th pick doesnt give us the player we might want initially but it does give us a lot of options. You all know i wanted to get Mayo but he might not be on the board. Randolph might be a quality pick but what do we really know about that kid and how many of us have seen him even play? Its Unknown. Is it worth the gamble? Galinari seems like a likely choice. Point foward and gets to the line. He’s young and sure to improve steady jumper and maybe able to guard multiple positions? If all the top PGs are gone. Id would take Westbrook. Young ,still learning athletic freak. CRazy first step and would be drafted number 1 if this draft was about Defense. Would run like a gazelle under Coach D and then would turn around and steal the ball. I like the idea of that. By God mercy if we could dump Z-Bo to Philly and get another pick somewhere…we can get a big man to come in and block some shots for us for heavens sake. Maybe McGhee? or Joey Dorsey who could be a beast off the bench or id would really like to get CDR or Rush. Lots of possibilities for us. Hope D Walsh makes some big moves.

  68. GiantsKnickFan420

    I would be interested in trading down for the nets 10 and 21..
    at 10 we can target jordon/gordon/randolph/arthur/agustin/alexander/randolph
    at 21 we can target rush/lawson/batum/CDR

    ahh.. so many possiblities..

  69. Ray

    Oh yeah guys…Its Joe Alexander. Jason Alexander is the bald guy from Seinfeld. He cant ball.

  70. Z-man

    Part of me wants to stand pat except for draft pick, just to find out how much of the problem was Isiah’s coaching.

    It might be smart to see if we can make Zach and/or Curry look better than they are in order to get teams to bite. Skilled bigs are still hard to find.

    Would Eddy have helped Phoenix more than Shaq?

    After the top 5 (Rose, Beasley, Mayo, Bayless, Lopez) who’s the best long-range pure shooter? We sem to be the only team in the league that doesn’t have a consistent 3-point threat.

  71. mason

    why do we draft dario with wilson and balkman? i think its a possibility but only going to sign off on a sure bet.

  72. Mulligan

    One thing I hope the Knicks start doing is buying up 2nd round draft picks. They don’t affect the cap, right? It seems like there are always a few good European players available in the 2nd round that you can keep overseas for a few years and then suddenly they become really valuable assets. With all the cash we have, we should buy those picks up like candy..

  73. W.C.

    The more I hear about Gallinari the more interested I become. He may be the biggest bargain in the draft if he’s available at #6 or lower.

    The Knicks most obvious need is a SF because we were playing 4 against 5 all season last year with Q Rich starting. He was terrible. Until today, I just assumed that it was Wilson Chandler’s job next year. But if what I am hearing about Gallinari is true, I think we would be foolish to pass on him IF he’s available at #6 or lower (if we trade down) even though he’s also a SF.

    Chandler is actually a PF that has been trying to become a SF. Perhaps moving him back to the PF spot under a D’Antoni system might make some sense in some situations even though he’s small. He’s fast, athletic, and might still develop a very good outside shot (he wasn’t bad in those last few weeks). Like I said, he may be a little small for a PF, but in some instances we could use him at SF instead. The trick would be to use Gallinari, Chandler and Lee effectively.

    I would not be entirely opposed to Curry, Gallinari, Chandler, Crawford and Marbury for next year with Lee continuing to get plenty of minutes at the 4 and 5 depending on the circumstances. Then we could work on a PG next year.

  74. Ray

    Its seems like if Memphis bites and takes Love then we may get a shot at Mayo. ESPN.com has an interview with Love showing some of his workouts and hes actually doing well. Lost some weight and is working hard. That might be good for us.

  75. matt in DC

    Love looks like a very valuable starter for most teams, but Mayo has that “upside” thing we all know and love. Looking at the last few drafts, the Grizzlies like upside picks (Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, Hakim Warrick). I don’t think the Grizz will overlook Mayo or Bayless…most likely, they draft one of those guys and maybe trade Mike Miller or Conley/Lowry for some help. Knicks should not plan on getting an all-star caliber guard this draft, though it could happen with Chris Wallace assessing talent. I’d would not mind seeing the Knicks pick the Italian kid at #6, since its someone Isiah would have NEVER drafted, just to spite Zeke.

  76. caleb

    “Part of me wants to stand pat except for draft pick, just to find out how much of the problem was Isiah’s coaching.”

    I know what you mean. One example — As a rookie, Balkman was the best rebounding small forward in the league (rebound rate) and looked like a great defender — subjectively and objectively (awesome #s of steals, blocks and +/-). Then, this year, he had a stress fracture, then never played.

    I know, he has limitations, and he seems flaky… but then again, our coach was borderline retarded. I will trust D’Antoni’s opinion a lot more than Zeke’s.

    Balkman and Chandler could each probably play the 2, 3 or 4 at times… and both are at least decent prospects… so I’d say the backcourt and the center spot are much greater needs… but we are definitely still at the “best player available” stage.

  77. z-man

    I am always troubled when we start playing guys out of their natural position, especially guys that are already flawed at that position. Balk and Chandler are really 3’s, period. They can serve short stints at either 2 or 4, depending on the opponent and situation, but you can’t plan that way. Both are valuable trade pawns that can complete a package for real players or picks. I think that Chandler has more upside because his O is a bigger improvement over Balk than his D is inferior to Balk’s. They are very similar athletically, it seems. Balk’s O is just terrible and he still is far from an intelligent defender (remember SA debacle?)although he does have freak-like D potential.

  78. caleb

    Especially since he’s a few years younger, I agree Chandler’s ceiling is higher than Balkman, but his floor is lower… he’s potentially good at everything, but I don’t see him ever being great at anything, the way Balkman could be a freakish defender and rebounder.

    IMO Balkman is already a useful NBA player, although he does commit a huge number of idiotic fouls. But we know how valuable even a “limited” role player like Bruce Bowen can be — it’s not hard to see Balkman eventually contributing that much, or more.

    In general, I lean hard towards keeping him; I don’t think he’d bring much in a trade — his real value is much higher than his perceived value.

    He;s such a good rebounder, it’s not a big stretch to play him at the 4 in a small lineup, and he’s quick enough to guard a lot of 2s. Chandler — his game is less formed, so it’s harder to judge what his true strengths and weaknesses will be, eventually.

  79. caleb

    Fun stuff today on hoopshype:
    http://hoopshype.com/rumors.htm

    A few highlights..
    – South Florida newspaper reports Bulls have already decided to take Beasley (sort of makes sense, in that they’d get a lot more trading Tyrus Thomas afterwards, than they would trading Kirk Hinrich)

    – Portland supposedly has offered LaMarcus Aldridge for #1 pick (I assume as part of a pkg)

    – Chad Ford is hearing serious rumors that DeAndre Jordan has a promise in the top 5 — he’s turning down workouts after that. (Jordan might be a decent gamble by #6, tho I always say I prefer Anthony Randolph)

  80. jon abbey

    “Chad Ford is hearing serious rumors that DeAndre Jordan has a promise in the top 5 ”

    boy, I’d be happy if Mayo somehow dropped to 6.

  81. jon abbey

    we desperately need a PG, and I love his D, ability to score, and his upside. I mostly watch the pros (you can tell by my comments I spend a lot of time watching the Western Conference all season long) and not much college before the tournament, so it’s not like I’ve really studied most of these guys.

    but if you told NY fans going into this past season that we’d get Mayo in the draft, I think pretty much everyone would have signed up for that.

  82. caleb

    I’m not down on Mayo, exactly… but there’s no way he’s playing PG in the pros.

    It’s amazing how similar the numbers are between Mayo, Bayless & Gordon… Gordon has the worst PG skills, then Mayo, Bayless the best… OJ also gets to the line a lot less, a little worrisome for someone who’s allegedly an incredible athlete.

    Based on the few games I’ve seen, he’s a good defender, better than either… but he’s also a year older (also a year older than Westbrook)… which makes me think he’s got a less improvement ahead of him…. I know I’m in the minority, but I’d probably put OJ behind any of those guys (maybe not Westbrook) and also behind a few of the bigs..

  83. Dave V

    “I like the idea of that. By God mercy if we could dump Z-Bo to Philly and get another pick somewhere…”

    Can someone explain how we could trade Randolph to Philly? They don’t seem to have the matching contracts, would they be able to take him cause they are under the cap? Any guess what that trade would look like?

  84. caleb

    On 2nd thought… Gordon is only 6’2 or 6’3, can’t play point and had a rough year with the outside shot….so I guess I can see why ppl have moved him down. Still, he gets to the line a ton, had. Ts of 60 even while missing a ton of 3s… And is the youngest of the 4 guards getting hype.

    I’d still put lopez, randolph and bayless ahead of mayo… Maybe jordan, or gallinari (who the hell can say, without seeing him, or even neaningful stats).

    Given how high ppl seem to be on mayo, if he falls to 6 he might be most valuable as a trade piece..

  85. Ted Nelson

    “you can’t plan that way”

    D’Antoni put Marion at the 4 in Phoenix and it worked out pretty well.

    “Can someone explain how we could trade Randolph to Philly?”

    I think it was based on a rumor in the paper.

    With cap space heading into the offseason it seems more likely that Philly will make a run at Elton Brand. If that fails and they blow their cap space on resigning AI2 and Louis Williams, they may be as likely as any team, as far as I can tell, to go for Randolph. To make salaries work they could sign-and-trade Aaron McKie or someone… It’s not necessarily that likely, but it’s not going to be that easy to move Randolph.

    “- Chad Ford is hearing serious rumors that DeAndre Jordan has a promise in the top 5 — he’s turning down workouts after that. (Jordan might be a decent gamble by #6, tho I always say I prefer Anthony Randolph)”

    Jordan may just have an inflated opinion o fhis draft value, but if Ford’s right it does make the 6 pick a lot more interesting…

    re: Westbrook

    I like him a lot, but I think with neither an outside jumper nor refined PG-skills he’s going to have a difficult transition to the NBA if asked to do anything more than defend and drive. Also, for those who feel Lee’s jumper won’t cut it in D’Antoni’s system, I’m not sure you can seriously advocate taking Westbrook.

  86. caleb

    Sixers are 11m under the cap (iggy doesn’t count yet, except for the hold), so they only need to send back 4 million to make it work – e.g. willie green, reggie evans or some combo of smaller deals.

    How likely is it?

    Hmmmmmmmmm.

  87. retropkid

    Most Knicks fans will be willing to write off next year’s W/L record if Walsh has a solid plan for the following year….and he should — and will — take advantage of that.

    Knicks will add by subtraction….pressing need is to unload Curry/Crawford/Randolph contracts, best two out of three at least.

    Marbury will sit with us for a year most likely, but we can handle one more year before the door hits him on the way out.

    We have some pieces to help us move guys out now… #6, #21, Lee, Balkman, Robinson, Chandler, are all move-able, and some combination of them will be gone if it helps unload the dead weight mentioned above.

    Next year’s team will be more fun to watch no matter what, they will run, score, and lose…I can live without Balkman, Lee, and #6 if it gets us out from under Curry and Crawford…

    By the way, back to my “Big Fundamental” comments on another post….Duncan had points and boards last night, but four turn-overs and missed four free throws out of ten…he isn’t fundamental…a great player, sure HoFer, but the guy doesn’t handle the ball well alot of the time and misses FTs way too often…big win last night for Lakers.

  88. caleb

    Ted,
    Westbrook averaged more assists and fewer TOs than bayless, and is only 19, so I’m not sure he couldn’t be a good pass-first PG in the NBA… And we know he’s a good defender. But yeah, the outside shot is ugly.

    In general, at this point I’m not too worried about who fits d’antoni’s system… Good coaches (which I think he is) know that players are more impt than any “system” they have, and adjust to the talent on the roster (the keepers, at least). Think how different pat riley’s good teams have been.

  89. ess-dog

    What about sending Nate and Chandler to Toronto for TJ Ford and a 2nd round pick? I still think Ford is better than any pure pg in this draft except maybe Rose. Then we can grab Gallinari @ 6. Then you have a lineup of Ford, Stephon @ the 2, Gallinari, Lee and Curry. Then we trade Zach for Ben Wallace and a 2nd round draft pick. Ben and Curry can split time at center: offense, defense. Jamal can return to being the 6th man. Balkman can get good minutes off the bench at the 3 and 4 spots. Q and Jeffries can handle mop up duties.
    Then we wait for 2010…

  90. ant

    I HOPE THAT IF I TYPE IN CAPITAL LETTERS DONNIE WILL HERE ME.IT HAS TO BE WESTBROOK.IT IS EVIDENT ITS BECOMING A POINT GUARDS LEAGUE THIS GUY WILL LOCK THEM DOWN.THE GUY IS AN EXPLOSIVE A BALL HAWK AND WILL IMPROVE.PLEASE MAKE WESTBROOK A KNICK.PLEASE.I THINK ABOUT DONNIE PICKING REGGIE OVER THAT HOME TOWN GUY,AND I HOPE HE DOES THE SAME HERE.GO WITH RUSSELL WESTBROOK.

  91. Z-man

    Ted,
    I understand your point, although Marion emerged as a star on both ends almost immediately (despite that ugly looking shot!), while Balkman had trouble getting burn on a 23 win team because even a point blank layup is an adventure for him. I also think that if you have a 2-time MVP at point guard, you can mask some imbalances. It seems that Phoenix eventually hit a wall year after year when running into better balanced teams in the playoffs and forced to play more half court, which is probably why they made that dumb Shaq trade.

    While I wouldn’t mind having a 60-win team that lost in the playoffs at this point, I wouldn’t bank on Balk’s and WC’s prowess at power forward to get me there. Maybe a Marion, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce….

  92. ess-dog

    Essentially we’ll have to wait til the draft workouts before we’ll know who will emerge as the cream of the crop. A lot can change in a month!

  93. Dallas

    what about a trade to miami for the number 2 pick. We can get a franchise player, and we can dump some salary. We can take back Mark Bloun’ts contract, which expries in 2010.

  94. jon abbey

    “what about a trade to miami for the number 2 pick. We can get a franchise player, and we can dump some salary. We can take back Mark Bloun’ts contract, which expries in 2010.”

    maybe they’ll throw in Wade too? come on…

  95. Dallas

    we can give the number 6 pick to miami, because riley already said he doesnt have interest in Beasely. The Knicks can give a package around David Lee, and the 6 for the 2nd

  96. Dave V

    “There’s nothing we have that would make sense for Miami or Chicago.”

    What about Zach for Larry Houghs?

  97. TDM

    Ok, maybe Chicago would give Hughes for Zebo, but do we want him? The guy has been in the league 10 years, and has had played in 82 games only once. His numbers have been steadily declining since 2004 and his contract is arguably worse than Zach’s. Never been a fan.

  98. cwod

    “Balkman had trouble getting burn on a 23 win team because even a point blank layup is an adventure for him.”

    I’d say he didn’t play mostly because of Isiah’s idiocy. Balkman’s offensive ineptitude isn’t that much worse than Q-Rich’s overall uselessness.

    “It seems that Phoenix eventually hit a wall year after year when running into better balanced teams in the playoffs and forced to play more half court”

    Or suspensions and freak injuries.

  99. TDM

    Not to mention, the guy was constantly on Isiah’s wish list, so that should be as good an indication as any.

  100. Dallas

    ok so if we do draft danilo gallinari, how are we going to get a true poont guard. Should we try to get tJ Ford, or do we look to trade for another pick later in the draft?

  101. W.C.

    I know I’m the only one here that thinks this, but I’m not even sure Balkman deserves to be in the NBA.

    You cannot win playing 4 against 5 on the offensive end unless you have 3 great scoring threats. Balkman can’t shot at all – not from the outside or from the free throw line. The comparisons to Bowen don’t hold water because Bowen has an excellent 3 pointer, is a much better defender, and has players like Ginobli and Parker constantly getting into the paint and kicking it out to him for an open shot. The Spurs have 3 all stars.

    A team can get away with some players not having an outside shot, but not these Knicks. THey don’t have a single solid outside shooter on the team.

  102. Dave V

    TDM- I’m not a fan of Hughes either… I’m a fan of trading zach’s contract for one that ends by 2010.

  103. W.C.

    “Balkman’s offensive ineptitude isn’t that much worse than Q-Rich’s overall uselessness.”

    That’s like saying Balkman is OK because he’s only in a coma, but Q Rich is already dead. ;-)

  104. Brian Cronin

    But Dallas, the current reports have the Bulls taking Beasley, in which case the Heat would never trade that second pick, unless they were offered, like, Chris Paul.

  105. cwod

    You’re saying he had trouble getting burn on a 23-win team. I’m saying that his playing time issues had little to do with his ability, since the guy starting ahead of him was one of the worst players in the NBA last season. The line of reasoning “how good can he be if he couldn’t even get time on a terrible team?” doesn’t work for me.

  106. Dallas

    “But Dallas, the current reports have the Bulls taking Beasley, in which case the Heat would never trade that second pick, unless they were offered, like, Chris Paul.”

    But since Rose is the home-town favortie they mite still draft rose. If that happens we could mae an attempt to aqcuire tht pick from miami.

  107. justin o

    how about trading the sixth pick and lee to detroit for tayshaun prince. i keep hearing that if they dont win it this year they will be rebuilding so they mite not b opposed to trading him… thoughts.

  108. Z-man

    In the time that he got, Balk did little to distinguish himself, especially offensively. I was comparing him to Chandler, not Q-Poor. Chandler showed significan improvement in year 1 and is physically similar to Balk, making him expendible.

    At some point, we have to stop thinking that the Knicks are a D-league team and playing scrubs in the hope they will develop someday. I’m still waiting for guys like Monty Williams, John Wallace, Kenny Walker and Maciej Lampe to develop.

    Caleb,
    I agree essentially with your comparison of Chandler and Balk, I think that Chandler fits our needs more right now. I really like his skills, size, toughness and composure and I think he responds more quickly to coaching. Balk seems to have trouble playing within himself. In either case, I don’t think we are debating Rodman vs. Pippen (but it’s fun to dream!)

    Bowen played for 4 teams and did not really become anything more than a spot defensive specialist until he was 29 after 6 seasons. You wanna wait around that long waiting for Balk to develop? Not me. It’s not like he (or his ilk) can’t be attained later via draft, trade or free agency/MLE.

  109. caleb

    I have a higher opinion of Balkman than anyone here, and of course I could be off my rocker, but even now I can’t make a huge case for him because hey — until he gets more playing time, he’s going to be a bit of a mystery.

    Still…
    – it’s true he can’t hit the side of a barn, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt the offense. Mike K. pointed out that Ben Wallace — an equally bad shooter — didn’t hurt the Pistons’ offense, which ranked 3rd or 4th in the league during their good seasons.

    – His rookie year, Balk had truly fantastic defensive #s… averaged more than 2 blocks AND 2 steals per 40 minutes. Hakeem and Gerald Wallace are the only other players ever to do that in over 1,000 minutes. (I’m not saying he’s as good as they are – I’m not insane – but that Balk has shown signs of being more than a run-of-the-mill good defender). He also was plus-10 on the defensive end, meaning the Knicks allowed 10 points less per 100 posessions when he was on the floor. Not that numbers are everything — but anyone watching could see that he made an impact on defense.

    – He played worse, and much less, his second year. The first part of the year could be blamed on a stress fracture. The second half – who knows?

    – He is a very strong rebounder for a SF — the best rate in the league for a small forward as a rookie, and even with a big falloff in year 2, his rebound rate was well above average — almost as high as All-Star PF David West :)

    – He makes very little money, and would bring almost nothing in a trade* — so there’s no reason not to keep him, play him at least 20 mpg for a couple of months and see what he can do.

    – As for Chandler — considering how young he is, he’s a nice prospect for a few years from now — I mean, I suspect you could trade him for a top 20 pick — but in terms of winning games now, he’s awful. He jacks up shots left and right (mostly missing) and seems terrified of passing. Until he gets himself under control, that’s a tough style to fit with other players… I guess I’d like to see him in limited (15-20) minutes, until he tightens up some.

    Either way, until we know what we have in Balk and Chandler, there’s no reason Jared Jeffries or Q should see the light of day, except to audition for other teams, demonstrate that they’re still breathing.

    *For good reasons and bad.
    Good reasons — GMs are understandably concerned that he might be nuts, or have some off-court issues. A few months ago we speculated that he might have attention deficit disorder, or something weird like that.

    Bad reasons — GMs overvalue scoring and undervalue other contributions

  110. Z-man

    I agree totally on Jeffries and Q.

    Chandler may have been instructed to shoot by Isiah, who knows? He seemed to gain confidence in the last 10-15 games, so it will be interesting to see how well he does in preseason. I’m assuming he will work on his game over the summer.

    You could argue that Chandler was taking time away from Balkman, which is possibly telling, although again, with Isiah, you never know. Clearly, Balk was in the doghouse for some reason.

  111. GiantKnickFan

    I think Chandler can be either our starting SF or our backup SG behind crawford. He can defend, rebound and has a competent offensive game unlike Balkman where hes only effective in the break. And sometimes is way out of control, indecisive and very limited range if any at all.
    Picking Gallinari wont change much because he can play some 4, hes 6’10 and his father was a 4. Like said before D’antoni played marion at the 4, so anything is possible…
    There are also rumors that Deandre Jordan has recieved a top 5 promise and has declined some workouts which would mean one of the current top 5 prospects will fall to us at 6, Mayo/Bayless/Lopez… We may not be in such a bad a spot overall.. I personally dont like Jordan becuase he has serious character flaws and right now is not the time to take a chance like that. And he reminds me too much of tyrus thomas, explosiveness with no half court offesive game and disgusting jumper

  112. TDM

    “I’m still waiting for guys like Monty Williams, John Wallace, Kenny Walker and Maciej Lampe to develop.”

    Is someone actually dissing the Magic Lamp? I remember after the Marbury deal with PHX, some sports hack stated that 5 years down the road, that deal would be known as the “Majiec Lampe Deal.” I hear he’s selling pencils in Times Square now.

    With regard to Chandler, the way some of you feel about him know is the same way many felt about Balkman after his first year. Perhaps we should wait a bit before annointing Chandler. I like Chandler and Balkman. Give them both another year to develop under D’Antoni.

    I’d try shopping every player but Lee, Chandler and Balk. Nate and Craw probably have some trade value. Package them with the pick, trade up or down, collect some picks if possible – just no long term anchor deals.

  113. Z-man

    I’m probably one of the bigger Nate fans on this site. Was 10 rows off the court for his 45 point game vs. Portland. I think he’s a perfect D’Antoni-type player.

  114. jrock

    yo, just checked on the trade machine – damon jones and eric snow for zach randolph will work. who wouldn’t make that trade? it makes so much sense for both sides. the cavs get a 20-10 starting PF who can probably be coaxed into playing a little more D by mike brown, and there’s no way he’s getting into trouble with lebron around (and to be fair, he’s been on good behavior in NYC). only way it wouldn’t work would be if lebron vetoed it.

  115. tdm

    Jrock:

    That’s so guerilla-style warfare. Plant a bad seed that will fester like an open sore. In 2 years time, LBJ will be begging to get out of Cleveland. I’m in on that trade even if Damon is a whackjob.

  116. caleb

    The only thing about Nate – money plays into it. He’s due an extension starting in 2009-2010. At his current salary, he’s great. (And I love watching him). At $5 million, when he starts to cut into your free agent options… it’s a harder call. $4m? $6m? $8m? What’s he worth?

    You have to make the same call on Balkman, but a year later, so we can see how he does this year… plus, a guy like him just won’t command big $ even if he’s worth it. Even Bruce Bowen is playing for $4m a year, something like that.

    Chandler, meanwhile, is dirt cheap for another three years.

  117. Danisrob

    “how about trading the sixth pick and lee to detroit for tayshaun prince. i keep hearing that if they dont win it this year they will be rebuilding so they mite not b opposed to trading him… thoughts.”

    If they were to rebuild wouldnt they keep tayshaun as he is a lot younger then the rest?

  118. jrock

    ok, so i thought about it a bit, and here’s what i think i would do if i was walsh –

    the aforementioned zach for jones/snow trade. try to finagle a 2nd rounder this year or a 1st in 09 (since we don’t have one, i don’t think) as well, but even without it that’s a great trade.

    get eddy curry in shape. he can be a solid 15/8 guy, i think, if has someone motivating him. d’antoni’s the guy for the job, because he’s so positive. he should grow a beard also.

    get q-rich’s confidence / shooting % back – if d’antoni can’t do it, nobody can. the point isn’t to get production out of quentin, but to increase trade value so you can dump his contract either before the trade deadline in 09 or after the season.

    get a disability exemption or whatever for jerome james. the guy doesn’t deserve the money he’s making and there has to be a way to get him off the cap, because he’s untradeable and unplayable. he’s definitely not honoring his part of the contract.

    buy marbury out and let him come off the cap in 09. he can go to italy or whatever, but he needs to be as far from MSG as possible.

    i’m not sure there’s anything you can do with jared jeffries other than hoping d’antoni’s coaching improves him and gives him a little trade value. i’d say probably 95% of NBA players are more valuable to their teams than he is to the knicks at this point. pretty sad.

    crawford also might be tradeable in 09, but it’ll be d’antoni’s system and coaching making him look good. don’t tell the other GMs that, though.

    see if you can grab the nets 10th and 21st for the sixth pick and our second rounder, maybe? then get westbrook and robin lopez.

    so your core for 09 is crawford, curry, balkman, chandler, nate, westbrook, lopez, lee. jeffries and q-rich get stat-padding minutes.

    any objections?

  119. jrock

    oh, also forgot to mention – to get the nets picks, we hype the hell out of gallinari and tell them he’s the next sheed. then trade out of the picks after we’ve stoked their interest sufficiently.

  120. Latke

    people are saying keep all the people who can’t shoot. Crawford and robinson are the only guys on the team who would even play on D’antoni’s phoenix team. Lee might get 15-20 minutes off the bench, but balkman, chandler would not play, and Q-Rich started on the suns back when they still had joe johnson.

    Someone said that under d’antoni curry could be a 15 and 8 guy… He averaged 19.5 and 7 last year. You can hate on eddy curry all you like, but there’s no reason he doesn’t have a better statistical season than that under d’antoni. Just being forced to run up and down the court will get eddy in shape. That’s what happened with him in 06-07 — Isiah left him in even when he was winded, let him play 35-40 mpg, and by midseason he was in shape. If Randolph is moved then curry should be up around 21ppg, 9 rebounds. He’ll still be a bad defender, but if you make him a big part of your offense he will score.

  121. jrock

    yeah i’m just not sure he’ll get the reps to average that much again unless he’s really in shape. obviously i would love him to average that, but we’ll see.

  122. jon abbey

    so, while prefacing this with ‘I know this is a crazy thought and this kind of thing never actually happens’, what do you guys think about this, which occurred to me today?

    Walsh and D’Antoni make a full-court press sales pitch to Gilbert Arenas to opt out of the last year of his deal and sign with NY, for one year, for the midcap exemption. Arenas instantly becomes the star of the team and has a chance to reprove himself on the biggest stage in the league, under a coach who will certainly maximize his potential. he leaves some money on the table by opting out, but could easily make it up in endorsements and a higher profile, assuming he’s successful in NY.

  123. GiantsKnickFan420

    There are confirmed rumors that Baron Davis has made inquires about coming to the Knicks through a sign and trade.

    Interesting new development, maybe its time to get creative and dangle that #6 pick, maybe add a 3rd team to ship randolph’s contract and add a solid player and get golden states 14th pick…

  124. Ted Nelson

    “Westbrook averaged more assists and fewer TOs than bayless, and is only 19, so I’m not sure he couldn’t be a good pass-first PG in the NBA”

    I don’t disagree, I just think he may take a couple years to adjust depending on what he’s asked to do. With the recent success of Paul and Williams, I think a lot of people forget that it can be very hard for PGs to adjust to the NBA. Westbrook reminds me a bit of Chauncey Billups and Antonio Daniels, both of whom, also drafted in the same year ala Paul and Williams, had a hard time adjusting to the NBA.

    I could say the same thing about Bayless as far as running a team, but I think he’ll be able to be an efficient scoring combo-guard right away. I think most coaches can find a use for a dynamic scorer in their backcourt, while more coaches will be frustrated by Westbrook’s inability to either shoot or run the offense than will find a use for his defense and driving ability. Who knows though.

    Mostly I just find in interesting that Westbrook is a consensus great pick, while Lee and Balkman are consensus losers because they can’t shoot…

    “While I wouldn’t mind having a 60-win team that lost in the playoffs at this point, I wouldn’t bank on Balk’s and WC’s prowess at power forward to get me there.”

    I wouldn’t bank on it either, but at the same time both have the length, strength, and athleticism to be a Shawn Marion / Boris Diaw / Josh Smith type defender at the 4. I don’t know if that’s how I’d use them, just saying that D’Antoni has done it twice before.

    “At some point, we have to stop thinking that the Knicks are a D-league team and playing scrubs in the hope they will develop someday. I’m still waiting for guys like Monty Williams, John Wallace, Kenny Walker and Maciej Lampe to develop.”

    Balkman and Chandler have both already shown that they can do certain things at the NBA level. I don’t think the Knicks’ biggest problem is their perimeter defensive specialist (who wasn’t really in the rotation for much of the season) or their rookie. This is called rebuilding, and trading promising young players is usually not part of it.

    “Bowen played for 4 teams and did not really become anything more than a spot defensive specialist until he was 29 after 6 seasons. You wanna wait around that long waiting for Balk to develop? Not me. It’s not like he (or his ilk) can’t be attained later via draft, trade or free agency/MLE.”

    I’m just not sure what you propose doing with him instead of waiting??? Cutting him? Trading him for a late 1st? I would be absolutely for trading him in a deal that makes sense, but right now he’s coming off a sophmore slump. The Knicks are in a rebuilding period where I think they can afford to see how Balkman plays under D’Antoni.

    Balkman demonstrated the ability to be a defensive terror as a rookie, I don’t think you’re going to have to wait till he’s 29 to get production out of him. Just depends what you ask him to do.

    “You cannot win playing 4 against 5 on the offensive end unless you have 3 great scoring threats.”

    As far as Balkman’s offense; he can’t shoot, but he is an athletic guy who could be a good finisher if the Knicks manage to run. His ballhandling is also ugly, but decent for a 3 and above average for a 4. In order to run the Knicks are going to need a quick, plamaking PG and/or a solid defense capable of creating TOs and grabbing boards. In this regards, Balkman could be valuable. He could also be traded for someone with an outside shot…

    I’m not sure if that’s an official rule, but guys like George Lynch have made fine careers for themselves as valuable role players. Again, I think the Knicks problem is more the shortcomings of their supposed top players than the guys on the fringe of the rotation. D’Antoni might want 5 guys who can shoot out there, in which case trading Balkman for a pick or a young guy with a shot makes sense.

    “He jacks up shots left and right (mostly missing) and seems terrified of passing. ”

    That’s a pretty good analysis of Chandler at this point. The guy has potential, but if I was looking to win basketball games I’d rather have Balkman out there not shooting than Chandler jacking it up every time he touches it.

    “damon jones and eric snow for zach randolph will work. who wouldn’t make that trade?”

    Just a guess, but Cleveland??? They’re built around defense and LeBron has clashed with guys who don’t give their all. Cleveland’s as good a target to take back Randolph as any team, but there are plenty of reasons they wouldn’t do it. Not to mention the chance to retain LeBron and maybe add a Chris Bosh or someone next to him.

    Chad Ford did say he heard a Jermaine O’Neal for Z, Varejao, and #19 rumor.

  125. Ted Nelson

    “Bowen played for 4 teams and did not really become anything more than a spot defensive specialist until he was 29 after 6 seasons.”

    The guy’s been the best perimeter defender in the NBA consistently for the better part of a decade, “spot defensive specialist”????????????

    “I’m still waiting for guys like Monty Williams, John Wallace, Kenny Walker and Maciej Lampe to develop.”

    A fan of any NBA team could come up with a similar list. Does that mean every young player who doesn’t come into the league playing like a 27 year old veteran should be cut? You could just as easily turn this around and ask why Boston, for example, didn’t wait for Bruce Bowen, Chauncey Billups, and Joe Johnson to develop.

  126. Ray

    Theres so much speculation now. When the pre-draft camps start up on the 27th everything will change. Things that teams thought about players will be different once they see them up close. ITs like the NFL combines the judge the players on such odd stuff. If the Knicks are smart then we should hope they have done some extensive scouting because theres no way you can judge a guys character and abiity at a weekend draft camp. Now we hear that DeAndre Jordan is moving up in value and all he has done is make a couple of big dunks. Everything will change in the next couple of weeks.

  127. retropkid

    “so, while prefacing this with ‘I know this is a crazy thought and this kind of thing never actually happens’, what do you guys think about this, which occurred to me today?

    Walsh and D’Antoni make a full-court press sales pitch to Gilbert Arenas to opt out of the last year of his deal and sign with NY, for one year, for the midcap exemption. Arenas instantly becomes the star of the team and has a chance to reprove himself on the biggest stage in the league, under a coach who will certainly maximize his potential. he leaves some money on the table by opting out, but could easily make it up in endorsements and a higher profile, assuming he’s successful in NY.”

    Arenas is a tremendous talent, but he may be on the downside now, too. I see him going to a team like Dallas…with Kidd and Nowitzki, load up one last time with vets…he’s be a great fit there.

  128. caleb

    re: Jon’s idea, it’s pretty farfetched, but if there’s one big-time player who would consider something like this, it’s Gil.

    Still, be shocked if he doesn’t re-sign, or maybe be part of a sign n trade.

  129. caleb

    Arenas and Elton Brand are in the same boat, coming off injuries and no one really knowing if there’s a long-term problem. Arenas is only 26 or 27, I think… but his game depends on being super-quick… so I don’t think many teams would make a huge sign/trade offer. I’m guessing he gets stuck in DC for a sub-max contract — maybe they compromise, do a shorter cheaper deal, like 3 years for $30 million.

  130. z-man

    Ted,
    Bowen was traded 4 times before he stuck, even by a contending Miami team. San Antonio has a championship nucleus already when they acquired him at age 29. While Balkman does not have much trade value in and of himself right now, he could be included in a package to pry loose a real starter and to unload an overpaid veteran.

    Billups and Johnson never had the holes in their respective games that Balkman has. Neither did Al Jefferson and Delonte West. The difference was the quality of what we got in return. Smart teams trade players at their peak value and get better value in return. While I agree that Balk will be a Bowen-like player on D (doubtful on O, at least for 4-5 years), I think other teams need him more than we do right now and we can get more than equal value for him. We can quibble about who’s better to keep, Balk or Chandler, but keeping both of them seems redundant to me. My personal preference is Chandler, although Caleb’s comments above on the subject are fair. I also prefer Nate to Lee, (i.e. I think Lee is closer to his maximum value right now than Nate is) but can respect those who feel differently. I just feel that if you keep all of them, you will never be anything more than a quick exit in the playoffs for a long time. The shopping spree the Celts went on may not have been in their long-term interests, but their fans will have lots of fun for the next 2-3 years. After that, when Jefferson is a dominant PF, people will question whether it was worth it. And maybe with good management, they will figure out how not to self-destruct like we did starting with the Ewing trade and the Houston contract.

  131. retropkid

    He is only 26. But his stats are heading the wrong way…down 2 years in a row in: Shooting %; Minutes /Game, 3 pt%, FT%, Assists/game, steals/game, blks/game, pts/game….

    He made $11.9 Million last year.

  132. caleb

    The thing about trading away the young guys — even if they’re not future All-Stars, the ones we have (except Collins) are all at least potential contributors to a good team… if you trade them, what do you have? Nothing, except maybe cap room in a couple of years. You end up like the post-Jordan Bulls for 5 years, with tons of cap room and no actual players.

    Even with LeBron, Cleveland was barely a .500 team this year… and they actually have a few decent parts. You need some depth. Just as important, the more guys you have with potential, the better the chances that one or two will beat the odds and really outperform expectations. For the same reason, it might make sense to have 2 lower picks, than the #6 — more lottery balls.

    At some point you need to get lucky — look at the key players in the Final Four. Tim Duncan is the only #1 pick. Boston has two #5s, a #10 and a #21. LA has a 3, a 4 and a 13… plus Bynum at #10. Aside from Duncan, San Antonio picked its two best players in the 20s. Detroit has a #2, #3, #4, #7 and #22 — but even there the top 2 guys are recycled, on their 3rd or 4th team.

    The point is — you don’t have to get rid of everyone for maximum cap room and pray you win the lottery in a Tim Duncan year. You don’t need an all-or-nothing approach. BUT it only works if start piling up multiple assets — some of your young guys will flop, but others will turn out good, or even better. That’s why we should try to hang on to the younger players, or if we trade them, get different young players in return, not just cap room.

    Of course there’s no guarantee; you have to be smart and evaluate talent correctly… the #6 pick doesn’t do you any good if you take DaJuan Wagner (or Yi Jianlan).

    p.s. For all the noise that Boston has made — how much better shape would they be in if they had kept the #5 pick and DeLonte West, instead of getting Ray Allen? Hindsight is 20/20 but West looked great for Cleveland, and the Celtics could be holding Noah or Thaddeus Young right now…

  133. jon abbey

    “For all the noise that Boston has made — how much better shape would they be in if they had kept the #5 pick and DeLonte West, instead of getting Ray Allen?”

    on paper, definitely, but I don’t think Garnett would have agreed to the deal if the Allen one hadn’t happened first.

  134. z-man

    I don’t know, Boston is 3 wins away from the Finals, that’s pretty good shape to me. Ray Allen has had an excellent season and while the Celts make the playoffs without that trade, they certainly arent as good. More importantly, Rondo, Perkins, Posey, and Brown aren’t nearly as good if their roles are expanded. For example, switch Rondo and any other starting point guard in the league (as well as many back-ups) and the Celts are still probably where they are.

    The post-Jordan Bulls are not a good example, since they make the point of how important having a superstar is and how difficult it is to replace one. Had they been willing to part with Deng, they might have Kobe right now. With Kobe, the Lakers went from middle of the pack to brink of finals by basically getting one additional player. Similarly, Lebron is one perennial all-star away from the finals (he almost got there single-handedly.

    That being said, you don’t want to make deals for the “fool’s gold” guys like Arenas (too unpredictable). Garnett and Duncan are at the end of their primes, so they aren’t the first guys you go after either. LeBron, Wade, CP3, Deron, Howard are guys I would trade every young player on our team for without hesitation, and take my chances on building something around them. How many role players have the Pistons and Spurs been through since they built their nucleii?

    Another way to look at it is: if the Celts kept West instead of Rondo and had a guy like Keon Dooling at PG, would they have been much worse? Once you have the studs, the young guys are mix and match.

  135. Frank O.

    I think Ray Allen is worth way more than West.
    I mean, come on. Last night not withstanding, the Celtics were one of the most dominant teams in basketball this year as constituted.
    There is a great balance to their team.

  136. MJG

    caleb Said:

    “Of course there’s no guarantee; you have to be smart and evaluate talent correctly… the #6 pick doesn’t do you any good if you take DaJuan Wagner (or Yi Jianlan).”

    Exactly. And this analysis isn’t always going to be stats-based. Speaking of Bowen, when the Spurs acquired him he had (1) some success coming off the bench for the Heat, but they were so excited they failed to re-sign him; (2) had a career shooting percentage [overall, not just 3's] of something like 36%; and (2) was 29 years old. Imagine if the Knicks had done that – people would be tearing their hair out at the stupidity of it. And there’s no way the Spurs get the last 3 championships without him.

  137. caleb

    I didn’t say the Celtics weren’t a great team, with a good chance to win it all. But their present would be as good or better without the Allen trade, and the future in 2-3 years would be much brighter.

    Still…
    “on paper, definitely, but I don’t think Garnett would have agreed to the deal if the Allen one hadn’t happened first.”

    You’re probably right.

    “switch Rondo and any other starting point guard in the league (as well as many back-ups) and the Celts are still probably where they are.”

    There are plenty of better scorers and even passers, but he’s getting better, fast… and might already be the best defensive PG in the league. He’s not playing a bit role — as of now, he’s clearly the 3rd best player on the Celts. And just 21 (I think).

    “Ray Allen has had an excellent season and while the Celts make the playoffs without that trade, they certainly arent as good.”

    We’re not talking about Ray Allen 5 years ago. He was find during the regular season (still had shooting touch, no longer plays D) but has completely hit the wall. IMO, no question that right now Celtics would be better with West & Young or Noah. Did you catch that Cavs series?

    “LeBron, Wade, CP3, Deron, Howard are guys I would trade every young player on our team for without hesitation,”

    I missed that offer :)

  138. jon abbey

    “Did you catch that Cavs series?”

    did you catch last night’s game? Allen looked rejuvenated. not saying you’re wrong, but it also doesn’t sound like you saw last night’s game.

  139. Ted Nelson

    The major issue I have with your analysis, Z-man, is that teams don’t tend to trade away obvious starters. If there was an opportunity to move Balkman, for example, and a Knick vet for a reasonably young sure-thing starter, I’d probably be for it. However, if a team’s willing to trade someone, at least for an unproven young player and a bad contract, they almost definitely see something wrong with him. Maybe the other team’s concerns about the other guy (age, fit with the team, attitude, etc.) prove to be unfounded and you end up with a steal (Sheed, for example), but there’s going to be some risk either way. I you don’t evaluate the risk correctly, in the extreme case, you end up with the current Knicks.
    It’s just not that easy to trade for proven players unless you give up something valuable — cap space, talent, picks… — and even then the guys teams are willing to trade are Zach Randolph at least as often as Pau Gasol. And you can end up getting caught with your pants down pretty easily if the young guy you give away proves to be better then the guy you acquire (Trevor Ariza or maybe the AJ/KG case, although that’s debatable).
    More teams strike it rich with unproven or barely proven players, as Caleb alludes to. For another example, Joe D. did acquire a big question mark guy in Rasheed Wallace, but Billups, Hamilton, and Wallace had just started producing in the NBA and appartently hadn’t been noticed by too many people while Tayshaun Prince was unproven and unwanted by 20 odd teams in the draft. In hindsight, it may seem obvious that someone like Chauncey Billups was going to be a good player, but it’s not so obvious in the moment. Just like it wasn’t so obvious to Washington that Hamilton was going to be better immediately than Stackhouse or to Golden State that Jamison had a lot more value than Van Exel’s expiring deal (like, say, the #5 pick and Jerry Stackhouse).

    I’m not sure Boston is a good example because I don’t think we have anyone other teams value as highly as Minni did Al Jefferson. Also, I’m not sure there’s going to be a KG on the trade market. Finally, we don’t really have a Paul Pierce. We could try to move #6 and someone for a Ray Allen, but I’m not sure that’s what got Boston to where they are.
    “Billups and Johnson never had the holes in their respective games that Balkman has. Neither did Al Jefferson and Delonte West.”

    I’m not saying Balkman is going to be the next Chauncey Billups, I might die of shock if he became a top 5 PG. One point I was trying to make was that Balkman has already shown the athleticism and production (for short periods of time) to be a role player in the NBA (something that some guys who never develop never do). The other was that you can make a list of guys who had a rough start to their career and do make it just like you can of guys who don’t.

    I don’t necessarily think Balkman is a better prospect than Chandler (if Chandler improves his shot selection and passes occasionally). I would also agree that, unlike Lee, Balkman’s offense is a legitimate liability (as is his fouling) that will limit his playing time unless he addresses it. I do think, however, that Balkman was enough of a difference maker on defense as a rookie that in a functional offense he could play a very productive 20 mpg bringing energy off the bench (or to the starting line-up, whatever).

    Caleb,
    I more or less agree with your post. You have to get value in the draft, and historically that hasn’t just meant lottery picks or top 5 picks or #1 picks. Orlando in the T-Mac years is a good example of why you have to build a good team not just 2 or 3 stars, as are teams who win even when their star(s) go down (say T-Mac’s Rockets this past season minus Yao).

    One point of contention is how arbitrary you make it seem that you end up with a good young player or a bad one. I definitely think the draft has some luck involved, but some decision makers consistently take/develop good players. I refuse to believe it’s a coincidence or that the Spurs lucked into taking Parker, Manu, Scola, and now Tiago Splitter. Of course, it’s not going to work every time, for example, the Jackie Butler signing and maybe the Ian Mahinmi pick??

    Not sure about the Allen trade, I could go either way there. Long-term, it would make sense not to have done it, but then again KG might never have agreed to be dealt there without that trade (which is what held up the trade in the first place). Not to knock Delonte West, but Allen knows how to play the game, he might be helping them out a lot in the playoffs in subtle ways.

    “With Kobe, the Lakers went from middle of the pack to brink of finals by basically getting one additional player”

    This is blatently false!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were the best team in the West early in the season before getting Gasol. What are you talking about?

    “LeBron, Wade, CP3, Deron, Howard are guys I would trade every young player on our team for without hesitation, and take my chances on building something around them.”

    I would trade my left arm for one of those guys, but unfortunately I don’t think they’re on the block. Let’s be realistic.

    “Another way to look at it is: if the Celts kept West instead of Rondo and had a guy like Keon Dooling at PG, would they have been much worse? Once you have the studs, the young guys are mix and match.”

    Like Caleb said, Rondo is regarded as THE BEST defensive PG in the NBA. He was widely considered a top 5-10 pick before falling on draft night, and he’s played pretty well. I don’t think the Celts would be much worse off without him all season, but this deep in the playoffs I think his D is going to be a key.

  140. Ted Nelson

    ” maybe the AJ/KG case, although that’s debatable”

    Just to clarify, I mean in 5-10 years looking back. Although I still would have done it if I was the Celts

  141. caleb

    “did you catch last night’s game? Allen looked rejuvenated. not saying you’re wrong, but it also doesn’t sound like you saw last night’s game.”

    Yeah, I saw it, but that’s 1 good game out of 15 so far (a couple of other decent ones).

    Par for the course for a 33-year-old guy coming off knee surgery.

  142. caleb

    “One point of contention is how arbitrary you make it seem that you end up with a good young player or a bad one.”

    I don’t think it’s arbitrary, obviously some teams are better at spotting talent than others. But even the best GMs make (plenty of) mistakes… the winning strategy is to give yourself a lot of chances. Look what Spurs-groomed Sam Presti did in Seattle — first thing he did was gather 3 or 4 extra first-round picks.

    Now, I’d say Durant and Green have underperformed expectations (though Durant will eventually still be very good, and Green might be ok in the end)… but whatever happens, it’s not a catastrophe, because they have so many more potential picks.

    The catastrophe will happen when they land in OKC, attendance sucks, team goes broke and moves again in 5 years.

  143. Ben R

    I agree with Caleb. I think Rondo is clearly the third best player on the Celtics. On top of that if I could add any player on the Celtics to the Knicks right now it would be Rondo. He is a future star.

    As for Balkman and Chandler, I do not see why we have to choose. Both players can comfortably play three different positions, especially in a D’Antoni system.

    As for Balkman I am a huge supporter. I think he has a good chance to be the second best player out of all our young core. He is a great defender, great rebounder, good ball handler, good passer, good finisher, is not turnover prone and gets to the free throw line alot.

    His only problems are his tendency to foul alot and his terrible jump shot. The fouling problem should get better, it usually does with young aggressive players, so that just leaves the jump shooting.

    Even with his terrible outside shot he managed to shoot a respectable 53% TS% last year and this year had his free throw shooting been at 56% like last year and every year of college his TS% would have been 52%.

    I also do not understand why players on other teams can improve but our young players like Lee and Balkman cannot. Both players were coming off injuries at the begining of this year and both players had undefined roles all season. I am confident that Lee will continue to improve this off-season and if Balkman works hard he will too.

    My only worry is the rumor that Balkman is not a hard worker, if that is true then he will never see the improvement he needs but if he does work hard I am confident he will become a very good player in the next couple of years.

    Chandler is a bit more of an enigma. He played alot of minutes in 21 of the last 23 games. In the first seven of those games he was terrible shooting TS% in the low 30% range, in the next seven he was solid shooting a TS% in the low 50% range and then in the last seven games he was fantastic shooting a TS% of over 56% while hitting over 40% of his three’s.

    If we get the Chandler that was in those last seven games then we are getting a very good player, but seven games is a small sample so was he just hot or was that how good he really is.

    I personally think that both Balkman and Chandler should get at least twenty minutes every game next year to see just how good they are, because both have shown the potential to be very important pieces in our future.

    Also jump shooting is over-rated on this site. You can be an effective offensive player without a solid jumpshot. Players like Lee and Balkman are effective because they attack the basket and keep pressure on the defense. (Balkman still needs to improve his FT% to be truly effective though)

    While I would move anyone for a star or high lottery pick, I do not think Lee, Balkman, Chandler or Nate should be moved simply for caproom. We need to start building a young core, so if we ever get that star he has someone to play with.

  144. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    On the other hand, Presti’s mentor, RC Buford, has been extremely “picky” and only used his (late)firsts when there’s someone on the board he loves. They’re in different situations, but you can be successful in the draft without an abundance of picks.

    For example, in trading down from #6 to #10 and #21 you might pass up an All-NBA player or you might pull a move equivelant to the one the Nets did in moving the pick that wound up being the late Eddie Griffin. I don’t know how much of that is luck and how much is saying to yourself that there are some things that might keep Eddie from every reaching his potential, but at #13 there’s a good chance Richard Jefferson and/or Joe Johnson is sill on the board and at #18 you’re going to have your pick of a bunch of quality bigs including Jason Collins, Zach Randolph, Brendan Haywood, and Samuel Dalembert. I guess that’s why it’s not so easy being a GM.

    “As for Balkman and Chandler, I do not see why we have to choose. Both players can comfortably play three different positions, especially in a D’Antoni system.”

    “I also do not understand why players on other teams can improve but our young players like Lee and Balkman cannot. Both players were coming off injuries at the begining of this year and both players had undefined roles all season. I am confident that Lee will continue to improve this off-season and if Balkman works hard he will too.”

    Good points, Ben.

    “Also jump shooting is over-rated on this site. You can be an effective offensive player without a solid jumpshot.”

    More or less agree.

  145. Ted Nelson

    “While I would move anyone for a star or high lottery pick, I do not think Lee, Balkman, Chandler or Nate should be moved simply for caproom. We need to start building a young core, so if we ever get that star he has someone to play with.”

    Completely agree.

  146. mason

    “I agree with Caleb. I think Rondo is clearly the third best player on the Celtics. On top of that if I could add any player on the Celtics to the Knicks right now it would be Rondo. He is a future star. ”

    over Garnett or Pierce, huh?!?

  147. Ben R

    Ted – I think your points about trades and free agency are spot on. Teams do not move proven young players, especially for unproven ones. I will also add that despite the New York dream of luring Lebron in 2010 the chances of that actually happening are very slim.

    We need to focus on what we can control like moving bad pieces and bringing in players that make us better now and in the future rather than moving talented players like Lee, Balkman and Nate to avoid the need to pay them in the future, in the slim chance of signing a Lebron in 2010.

    As for D’Antoni only liking players that can shoot, Diaw is a poor outside shooter, worse than Lee yet Diaw played a major role on D’Antoni’s Pheonix team. I think D’Antoni will find room for a talented player like Lee. I also think that if Balkman is still here during training camp he will earn a spot in the rotation.

  148. Ben R

    “over Garnett or Pierce, huh?!?”

    Yes I would take Rondo over Garnett and Pierce because we are building for the future and in three years Rondo will be the best player on that team.

  149. mason

    “Yes I would take Rondo over Garnett and Pierce because we are building for the future and in three years Rondo will be the best player on that team.”

    im glad you’re not Donnie Walsh!

  150. caleb

    It’s not much of a stretch to say that Rondo will be better than Garnett and Pierce in 3 years.

    People are having a hard time understanding career paths… 19-year-old rookies are bad and get better fast. almost all players start declining by 30, at the latest. Tall players age better. etc.

    BUT… if the NBA broke up the Celtics in July, and we could take anyone if we wanted in the expansion draft… Garnett would still be the option; you could flip him for a young player even better than Rondo.

    How many hypothetical leaps have we made now? About 5?

  151. Ben R

    You are right Caleb, Garnett would be better if we were looking at then trading him, but I was just talking about who I would want on the Knicks.

    Honestly what would Garnett do for the Knicks over the next three years, help us win 40-50 games and never make it out of the second round and then be seriously on the decline. Rondo on the other hand could be our starting PG for the next ten+ years.

  152. Latke

    “Honestly what would Garnett do for the Knicks over the next three years, help us win 40-50 games and never make it out of the second round and then be seriously on the decline. Rondo on the other hand could be our starting PG for the next ten+ years.”

    IE, we’d be the timberwolves before they traded him. The sad sad timberwolves.

  153. mason

    “Rondo on the other hand could be our starting PG for the next ten+ years.”

    wow!
    didnt realize he was a future HOF’er

  154. caleb

    I think a year ago Mason was mocking the suggested trade of Curry for Bynum. “Why would the Knicks give away their All-Star center?!?!”

  155. Frank

    “Also jump shooting is over-rated on this site. You can be an effective offensive player without a solid jumpshot. Players like Lee and Balkman are effective because they attack the basket and keep pressure on the defense. (Balkman still needs to improve his FT% to be truly effective though)”

    Agreed except if you have 2 or more players like that on the floor at the same time (and that includes people like Curry) that basket area becomes mighty congested and you might find yourself driving into a wall of defenders. I think any good offensive team still needs at least 3 players that can hit from the outside to space the floor and get driving lanes. So jump shots are not overrated in general, though when talking about one or two players total per five man unit your statement is true IMHO.

    That’s why Ben Wallace could be an offensive black hole in Detroit (Rasheed, Rip, Billups), why Tyson Chandler can be a black hole in NO (Paul, Peja, MoPete, and West) or someone like Rodman could be in Chicago back in the day. So while Balkman and Lee can be effective offensive players, I think it’s unlikely they will be consistently effective playing together on the floor, especially when it’s with Curry, which limits their minutes. If they just go and shoot 10,000 jumpers this offseason with good coaching, hopefully this will all be a moot point.

  156. z-man

    On what basis is Rondo “the best defensive PG in the league?” I looked at head to head game stats with other PGs and it didn’t appear that he was stopping anyone. He didn’t seem up to handling a gimpy Billups and an ancient Hunter last night.

    I think, rather, that he is a B. J. Armstrong-type, made better by playing with stars but not a star on his own. Pierce, Allen and Garnett will make a lot op PGs look good on both ends. Just knowing that it is OK to miss shots or to gamble on D because you have back-up makes him better.

    If Mardy Collins was on the Celts this year (and healthy) I wonder if people would be singing his praises too.

  157. z-man

    Ted,
    You think without the Gasol trade, the Lakers are in the conference finals? He’s playing 42 mpg and averaging 20 pts, 9rbs and 4.4 assts in the playoffs. And they still might not get past the Spurs. Please.

    Besides, you help make my point, that without Kobe, the Lakers don’t make the playoffs, even with Gasol and Odom, who are solid all-star caliber players who never had glaring weaknesses in their games, and Fisher, a savvy PG with invaluable rings and experience. We don’t have a Kobe, a Gasol or an Odom yet. Until we do, you can dream all you want about how important it is to give young guys a chance to develop. Again, Lee and Balkman got worse this year, not better, and it ain’t all the coach’s fault.

    The Waltons and Farmars of the world (i.e. the David Lees and Renaldo Balkmans) are just going along for the ride.

  158. scott

    Trade down and draft Chase Budinger. He’s a great athlete (vollyball player) and would be great with D’Antoni. Maybe we can get second first rounder and draft Ty Lawson or just get T.J. Ford.

  159. Ray

    Scott….Budinger is Garbage. I watched a number of Arizona games and didnt see anything in his game that could help us. On the other hand Galinari looks good at the 6th pick and Joe Alexander is very impressive. His game really picked up at heading into March Madness and if he continues to improve hes gonna be a good one. Id give him about too years and we’ll see.

  160. Ray

    Also, what do you guys think of a possible Monty Ellis deal. That kid is a beast and id certainly like to see him here.

  161. cwod

    “If Mardy Collins was on the Celts this year (and healthy) I wonder if people would be singing his praises too.”

    They wouldn’t because Mardy Collins is awful. Neither of them can really shoot, but at least Rondo can get to the rim when he wants to. How often can Mardy blow past a defender?

    Do you watch Rondo play? He gives the opposing PG fits with his quickness and active hands. Billups is a pretty tough matchup because of how much stronger he is than most PGs in the league.

    Even before the Gasol deal, I thought the Lakers had a great shot at the finals. I mean, they had the best record in the West for stretches, even before that trade. You ask for evidence that Rondo is a shutdown defender. I want evidence that the Lakers without Gasol aren’t one of the top teams in the West.

  162. jon abbey

    Monta Ellis isn’t going anywhere, that’s one main reason they traded Richardson last summer.

    as for Mardy/Rondo, please watch more basketball not involving NY.

    “I thought the Lakers had a great shot at the finals. I mean, they had the best record in the West for stretches, even before that trade. You ask for evidence that Rondo is a shutdown defender. I want evidence that the Lakers without Gasol aren’t one of the top teams in the West.”

    this is kind of an impossible discussion, because the reason the Lakers were better before the Gasol trade was largely Bynum, and he’s been out hurt for months. without Gasol (and still no Bynum), I don’t think the Lakers get out of the first round, same as all the other post-Shaq editions.

  163. knicksman

    Joe Alexander is beginning to look really nice, there’s a clip of him dunking from the free throw line on youtube.

  164. Latke

    yeah, dude is an off the charts athlete. Really seems to be aggressive too. Add to that that he has a jumpshot and he could be a real player.

  165. Z-man

    Even if I were to concede the Laker point re: Gasol (which I won’t because the league hadn’t adjusted to Bynum yet and the rest of the west is so good, and I think that Gasol is better than Bynum will ever be) it is Kobe that makes the Lakers good, underscoring the value of a true all-time great. You can’t guarantee getting this kind of player in the draft because all draftees are unproven and the lottery is too uncertain, but you can set yourself up so that you can get one via trade or free agency when the opportunity comes along. There is not one current Knick worth keeping at the expense of this goal. This is New York, great players will come here if you can pay them and have cap space. The Lakers didn’t have to wish and hope and trump up stats to prognisticate with Shaq in his prime, the Celts didn’t have to wish and hope with KG. You put Kobe on a team with Randolph, Curry and Steph and they are instantly in the playoffs, no matter whom the rest of the team is, whether its Jeffries or Lee, Crawford or Nate, Q or Balkman. Once you have that guy, you can work on getting the Lees and Rondos of the world. Even the Gasols can fall into your lap.

    T-Mac was mentioned an a negative permutation of this philosophy, yet although I don’t like his game as much, he did lead the Yao-less Rockets to the playoffs with a sparse supporting cast.

  166. jrock

    man i like gallinari’s stroke from the three. question is, does he have the fire to be the best? that’s what we need on the knicks, someone who is ridiculously driven. we’ll see i guess

  167. caleb

    “you can set yourself up so that you can get one via trade or free agency when the opportunity comes along.”

    Assuming you’re advocating for trades like Lee + Randolph for load o’ crap with contracts that expire in 2010…

    More likely you end up like the Bulls for 5 years post-Jordan, or worse, the Timberwolves for 10 years, or the Cavaliers, or any number of superstar + no one teams that keep barely making or barely missing the playoffs.

    There are superstar-based teams (L.A., San Antonio, New Orleans) but a lot more contenders build themselves incrementally, then get a break — or make a brilliant move — to find their superstar. Even Boston — sure they traded Jefferson for Garnett, but they already had Pierce & Rondo, and held onto their #5 pick (until Allen) — they didn’t package the pick with Ratliff for cap space.

    Hey, I’m the guy who’s OPTIMISTIC that free agents like LeBron will be willing to switch teams, once more teams have cap room. But at most there’s 1 or 2 guys in a given year who are franchise-changers — Pau Gasol, 4th best player on the Laker roster, doesn’t count. One available franchise-changer divided by 5or 6 teams with serious cap room = ugly odds.

    Meanwhile, you’ve given away all your other players, the ones you might build around and the ones with trade value.

    I’ll skip talking about specific players… if you’re lumping Lee & Rondo in a class with Farmar & Collins… there’s not much to talk about.

  168. Owen

    “without Gasol (and still no Bynum), I don’t think the Lakers get out of the first round, same as all the other post-Shaq editions.”

    That is the truth Jon. People are caught up in Kobe euphoria, without understanding quite how good Gasol is. This is a guy who was a legitimate NBA superstar in Memphis before an injury and then apathy. He has posted a 64% ts% in LA. He has been flat out fantastic. There is very little chance they beat Utah with Turiaf and Kwame Brown in the middle.

    Re Balkman the guy is at a crossroads. There are very few players in the NBA who cause nine point swings in defensive +/-. But last year he wasn’t as good as he was as a rookie, for whatever reason, although he played reasonably well in my book. He needs to step up this coming year, but I worry D’antoni won’t give him a chance. Scoring is not his strength but his impact on possession is outstanding.

    My worry with D’antoni is that everyone in the world seems to think there is some kind of free lunch associated with running an up tempo offense. I don’t think this is true, I think Steve Nash is largely the reason why they have been so good. People forget he was the starting point guard on the best offense of all time with Dirk in Dallas. Without a player like him what will D’antoniball look like.

    I can’t believe anyone would equate Rondo with Collins. You can’t just look at scoring (same old story.) For starters, Rondo had 129 steals to 147 turnovers. Off box score he is considered one of the best defensive point guards in the NBA. He also is an excellent rebounder, at 5 per 36. Just for perspective, Deron Williams had 279 turnovers and 90 steals while averaging 2.9 rebounds per 36. Tony Parker had 164 to 55 and averaged 3.2 rebounds. Rondo doesn’t score as efficiently, but from a possession perspective he is light years better than those other guys. And he averages 6.1 assists, basically the same as Parker. (Williams is at 10.1 per 36)

    In my book, Rondo is already easily one of the top ten point guards in the NBA, and it doesn’t have much to do with his teammates. He was incredibly productive last year on that terrible Celts team also.

    I think I am in the same camp as Caleb re the future. Basically, we can trade everyone for cap space, but we need to have more than money, we need to have a team that Lebron wants to come play for. After years of frustration in Cleveland, he is not going to want to go to a team that has no quality players. He will be in his prime, and will probably understand that the exposure in New York will be worth very little if he is on a losing team. He is starting to understand, you can’t win in the NBA without at least three high quality players, whether scorers or role players. When you’re secondary stars are Ilgauskas and Varejao, you aren’t winning a title and at that point that is what it is all about. As good as Lebron was this year, and he was light years better than any other small forward in the league, the Cavs still posted a negative differential.

    Re Randolph. I hate the guy and his game, but he is still a serviceable player. Curry and the black hole at our center position remains the defining problem of the Knicks, especially on the defensive end….

  169. jon abbey

    the other thing about Rondo is he’s getting better all the time. if he keeps it up, he’ll be an All-Star in a couple of seasons.

  170. Ess-dog

    After looking at the Gallinari clips, I’ve decided we shouldn’t select him @ 6. He obviously has a great basketball IQ on the court, but I just don’t think he has the overall physical ability to make it big in the NBA. I think he’s Bargnani with a little better handle and a little less post game. He can sure shoot, but he has bad elevation and his moves are slow. Yes, he’s only 19 and if he’s a hard worker, maybe he can become a Ginobli type in 6-7 years, but I don’t think he’ll even be as good as Kukoc. The player that really jumped out at me as having the athleticism to be fierce at the next level is Bayless. Does he have the mentality to work hard on his pg skills and be the best? who knows. I think it’s obvious that OJ has that mentality.
    If either Bayless, Mayo or Lopez falls to us I will be more than happy (and maybe this will happen if the DeAndre Jordan rumors are true.)
    After that I like Gordon. He has a great jumper from deep range and great athleticism and is a scoring machine… he just has to be able to play the 2 because he’s not really meant to play the point. But he will be better than Jamal, Ben Gordon and a lot of other combo guards out there.
    If we don’t go for him, we should trade down. At the 9-11 spot we could get Westbrook, Alexander, Randolph, or even Gallinari as a project for a good role player and maybe get a second pick or lose a bad contract in the process.

  171. Z-man

    If you compare Rondo’s last 12 games his rookie year to Collin’s last 12 (when Collins got significant burn), they weren’t statistically that far apart. Not to mention that Rondo still had Pierce and Jefferson on his team, while we had…nobody. Many on this site (not me) were excited about Collin’s potential for development because of his size, smarts and defense.

    Rondo has played well this year, but it is a stretch to put him in to the top-10 point guard category. Anyway, I’m not arguing that he is comparable to Collins, only that he is easily replacable in the short term given the Celtics current nucleus. So long as he stays healthy (questionble at his size) he is a solid PG, nuff said.

    We don’t have to worry about becoming the Bulls 5 years post Jordan, we are already there. I’m more worried about becoming the Pitino Celtics. The Celts spent a decade waiting for young guys to develop, most of whom never did, or trading for overpaid, flawed, or old players like we have recently.

    Owen, you are right on with Gasol. He might be the most underrated player in the playoffs right now. He’s kind of a throwback to the 60’s-70’s type player, very fundamentally sound, unselfish, not flashy, can be a complimentary player or a star on any given night.

  172. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “If you compare Rondo’s last 12 games his rookie year to Collin’s last 12 (when Collins got significant burn), they weren’t statistically that far apart.”

    Can you find a worse way to judge an NBA player’s talent than just a handful of games when they’re averaging 40+ minutes? This is where per game stats are really misleading.

    Let’s compare Rondo’s rookie season to Collins’ on the whole.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=collima01&y1=2007&p2=rondora01&y2=2007

    On a per minute basis Rondo is better in rebounding, assists, steals, fg%, and ft%. The two are equal in blocked shots, fouls, turnovers, and free throw attempts. Collins is better in points and three point percentage (with an unhealthy 28%). Rondo is clearly superior to Collins despite being only 20 years old (to Collins’ 22). It’s not even close.

  173. Z-man

    I disagree, Mike. I didn’t pick games at random, but looked at the ony stretch of games where Collins had the opportunity to play consistent minutes. the games were equally meaningless on equally bad teams (the Celts were probably better at that point). Collins was injured all year this year, so no comparison can be made. Their age difference is marginal and Rondo had more experience at that point. Even over the entire season, the numbers aren’t that far apart.

    Anyway, the point was not to compare Collins to Rondo as much as it was to point out that Rondo’s value to the Celtics this year is greatly exaggerated and very replacable by any decent point guard (just about any NBA starter and many backups.)

  174. jon abbey

    “Rondo’s value to the Celtics this year is greatly exaggerated and very replacable by any decent point guard (just about any NBA starter and many backups.)”

    if you really think this, your talent evaluation skills are Isiah-esque. remember this line of yours in two years when Rondo is on the All-Star team and Collins is out of the league.

  175. cwod

    “Not to mention that Rondo still had Pierce and Jefferson on his team, while we had…nobody.”

    The Celtics were in all-out tank mode at that point. Pierce didn’t play at all in April. Jefferson played in four games.

  176. cwod

    Also, just looking at the numbers again, they’re not even that close. Collins’ assist-to-turnover ratio is scary bad while Rondo was at 2.6 over that stretch. Mardy was at 1.5. Seems like a pretty big difference to me.

  177. o_boogie

    “6th, chandler, and lee for monta ellis and the 14th”

    Jon:
    Some mock sites like nbadraft.net and draftexpress.com have oj mayo slipping to 6th. do we make this deal if mayo slips to our spot?

  178. jon abbey

    I think Mayo is more likely to go second than sixth, but even then, no. Ellis was literally my single favorite player in the league this past season, but he’s not a distributor and he’s not a defender.

  179. caleb

    That deal would be pretty lopsided in favor of GS.

    Jon, I know you love monta but he’s not kobe… I don’t know that he’ll end up better, at least not much better, than mayo, bayless, gordon, randolph, etc.

    Meanwhile, you’re swapping lee for #14, which is terrible value.

    AND we throw in chandler? Yuck!

  180. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “I disagree, Mike. I didn’t pick games at random, but looked at the ony stretch of games where Collins had the opportunity to play consistent minutes.”

    Grabbing only those games for Mardy and comparing them per minute to Rondo is basically the same results. Rondo is still better in rebounding, assists, steals, fg%, and ft%, albeit the gap is smaller in some stats.

    “Their age difference is marginal and Rondo had more experience at that point.”

    No difference between a 20 year old and a 22 year old who had 4 years of college?

    ““Rondo’s value to the Celtics this year is greatly exaggerated and very replacable by any decent point guard (just about any NBA starter and many backups.)”

    if you really think this, your talent evaluation skills are Isiah-esque. remember this line of yours in two years when Rondo is on the All-Star team and Collins is out of the league.”

    Yeah I’ll second that. I’ll be shocked if Mardy Collins is playing basketball professionally in 2 years.

  181. Latke

    mayo won’t go at 2, but Miami might trade with Seattle (or minny or memphis). Say Chris Wilcox or nick collison and #4 for #2, Marcus Banks and a small contract or two to make the $s work. Or the #2 for the #4 and a future 1st rounder.

  182. Thomas B.

    6th for Mike Miller? That is just awful. You can get a good young cheap player at 6. Think about it this way, Daniilo Gallaniri at 19 is about in the smae place Mike Miller was at 19. Plus Gallanari is 5 inches taller. You explore those kind of deals after you know what is available at 6.
    Look I would take Elton Brand for the 6th pick but not Miller. Crawford for Miller even up, sure. Miller is kind of a one trick pony is he not? But he is better than Crawford in that his one trick is much more efficent than Crawford, though less explosive.

  183. Reebok1303

    How about trading Randolph and the number 6 pick to Philly for Andre Miller, the number 16 pick, and a future pick like a first rounder next year or in 2010?

    Most importantly, it gets the Knicks rid of one unbelievably awful contract. It gives Philly a shot at a young cheap point guard, possibly Bayless, Gordon, or even Westbrook if they wanted him badly enough, and fills their hole at PF. The Knicks would then have 2 big expiring contracts in Marbury and Andre, over 30 million combined, to either ship at the trade deadline (I’m sure some playoff bubble team could use pg help ie. Mike Bibby and Atlanta this year) or simply let the contracts expire. Plus you could still draft a useful player at 16 like CDR, Koufos, or Darell Arthur in the mid teens and get a future 1st round pick.

    So am I looking through orange and blue colored glasses or would this make sense?

  184. Owen

    Mike Miller is an excellent basketball player. He posted a 62.5% ts% this year, which is exceptional for a wing player. He is a better rebounder and passer than his teammate Rudy Gay, who the TNT guys seem to think is some sort of stud. Miller is everything that Hedo Turkoglu wishes he could be.

    If money weren’t a question you would be crazy not to exchange the 6th pick for Mike Miller.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=millemi01&y1=2008&p2=turkohe01&y2=2008&p3=anthoca01&y3=2008&p4=dunlemi02&y4=2008

  185. jrock

    yeah miller is really underrated. it’s just that he’s been playing for a crap team with some serious ball hogs.

  186. Latke

    yeah mike miller’s pretty good, but he’s 28, which means if the knicks get good in like 2 years he will be on the downswing of his career. People think players play till they’re 35, and some do, but the majority of guys who do this lose a lot of athleticism come 30-31…

    We should suck again next year intentionally, then in 2010 we can be good. We have to give Utah our pick then. Wait on the trades for established players until then.

    As far at the randolph for miller trade – I would rather give philly back a player like balkman or chandler, not give up the pick, and not get their pick back.

    Also, as philly seems happy to try to win now, maybe they’d rather keep Miller, and maybe we could pick up louis williams in some kind of deal. He’d be a nice fit for d’antoni.

  187. caleb

    Miller is pretty good, but unless we screw it up, in 2-3 years whoever we draft will be better than he is then. Not to mention the next 10 years.

    I could see the lakers, with their frontcourt glut next year, do a trade like odom (or gasol, lol) for miller and the #5.

    Re: philly, if they take randolph and give us back nothing, except a short contract like willie green, we’ll be lucky. Don’t think they’ll even go for that, but a guy can hope.

  188. Ben Bow

    i disagree with the comment in the begining about them being good but not great players. Roy is an exceptional player right now. being an allstar in your second year means you are good. just being an allstar means you are a top player in the league. give me any of those people you put under the “good” categorie, and they will be the best player on the knicks. only one not better than D-Lee is martell webster.

  189. Ben R

    I really like Mike Miller’s game but I agree with Latke and Caleb in that Miller has got at max 4 years at his current production. If we draft smart or make a smart trade with the 6th pick we can get a player that can get good production, maybe not as good as Miller but close, for 10+ years.

    We need to build this team for between 2010-2015 that is when our draft pick this year and next plus our young players in Lee, Robinson, Balkman and Chandler will be in their primes.

    We should not target anyone over 26 unless they are a superstar, or incredibly cheap, and we should build towards the future.

  190. jrock

    lol no way the lakers are unloading odom or gasol. they’re gonna be serious contenders if not a dynasty for the next 5-6 years. once they get bynum back, he’ll be the starting C with gasol at PF, odom at SF, kobe at SG and fisher (and eventually farmar) at PG. that’s a scary starting five – they’ll own everybody on the rebounds and they can all score. then vujacic, walton, ariza off the bench? yikes

  191. Owen

    Well, if the standard is players who will be good after 2010, then perhaps Miller is not our guy. The part of me that doesn’t want the Knicks to totally stink for the next three years though would make that trade in a flash.

    As for the Lakers, what you call a “frontcourt glue” I call one of the best 2-5 in NBA history. Gasol is a natural at power forward, just like Bynum is at center if he comes back healthy. They have the potential to be one of the all time great teams I think….

  192. Ray

    If we can’t get rid of a bad contract i dont think we should deal our pick. I think we need to draft and develop some talent and use the D-league to get our picks ready for real games.

  193. Ess-dog

    The Randolph trade to Philly for Miller is good thinking. I think that would be fair for both teams assuming Philly had interest in Randolph.

  194. caleb

    “no way the lakers are unloading odom or gasol. they’re gonna be serious contenders if not a dynasty for the next 5-6 years”

    I agree with you and Owen that the Lakers look awesome for the next few years.

    BUT there is a law of diminishing returns… easiest way to understand it is that there’s only one ball to go around. (The guy who contributes least when not scoring — Gasol — IMO would be the best trade candidate). A fourth All-Star doesn’t do you nearly as much good as the 3rd, who doesn’t help as much as the 2nd, etc.

    Not to mention, Odom and Gasol play the same position so one will be at less than max efficiency, playing out of position.

    Lakers would be just as good, i.e. likely champions, with Bryant, Bynum and one of the two… especially if the trade includes a really strong role player, defensive specialist like young Bowen or deadeye shooter like Miller.

    Meanwhile, they stockpile a high lottery pick who will be blossoming in 2-3 years, when Odom, Gasol and Kobe are past 30 and starting to decline.

  195. caleb

    “How about trading Randolph and the number 6 pick to Philly for Andre Miller, the number 16 pick, and a future pick like a first rounder next year or in 2010?”

    I read this proposal incorrectly.. it’s actually not a bad idea (assuming Philly wants Randolph at all)… it sort of depends, though… if after scouting we think there’s a player at #6 with real star potential, that’s much more important than dumping Randolph now, when we have another year and a half to do it. Andre Miller is a nice asset, who we’d flip for something in another trade, but he’s not going to be playing for us in the long-term, and it’s hard to predict what he would bring.

    I see Anthony Randolph, DeAndre Jordan, maybe Bayless, maybe Gallinari, as guys with real star potential… hard to say for sure at this point.

    If you leave out the #6 pick, considering I’d be happy with Randolph for nothing (maybe a future pick, and the token $4m in contracts)… I’d be thrilled if we got back Miller, a first-round pick now or next year, or anything at all of value.

  196. caleb

    “i disagree with the comment in the begining about them being good but not great players. Roy is an exceptional player right now. being an allstar in your second year means you are good. just being an allstar means you are a top player in the league. give me any of those people you put under the “good” categorie, and they will be the best player on the knicks.”

    I guess it depends what you mean by “great.” Roy is obviously the best of that group and probably a top-20, top-25 player in the league.

    “only one not better than D-Lee is martell webster.”

    hmmm… I predict that Lee will end up having a better career than any of these players, except Roy. Kaman, Battier and Childress are the only competition.

    So at worst, he’s still better than more than half the #6 picks this decade. For all the people who say he should be a throw-in to a contract dump.

  197. o_boogie

    i would take all the z-bo to philly rumors with a grain of salt. ed stefanski is a pretty saavy gm and i dont think he would bring in a problematic player to a team with a young core. philly is trying to establish an uptempo game and z-bo would not fit in that system. as far as im concerned, anyone who is willing to take z-bo is a good thing, even if its 50 cents to the dollar assuming it doesnt hurt our salary cap.

    it seems like the consensus is crawford is going to have a career year under d’antoni’s system. if that happens, he will opt out. i think we should try and move crawford around the trading deadline so we dont lose any value if he walks.

  198. W.C.

    The problem with Balkman is NOT that he can’t be a decent role player. It’s that he can’t be a decent role player on any team that doesn’t have some great scorers on the court with him.

    When you are that limited as a shooter (and can’t even hit foul shots if they mug you when you get the ball near the basket), it allows the defense to double team your best scorers at will.

    You are basically playing 4 against 5 on the offensive end.

    If you have Ginobli, Parker and Duncan on the court, then a guy like Balkman would be able to contribute defense and energy without being too much of a drag on the offense.

    If you have Mike and Pippen, you can afford to have Rodman only grabbing all those boards and playing great defense because you don’t need scoring.

    No one on the current Knicks can’t hit the broad side of a barn from outside. Our best outside shooters are around average at best. It’s almost comical.

    There are very fews teams that have the offensive pieces to incorprate a guy like Balkman without suffering badly despite his having some decent skills. If he can’t upgrade his outside shooting and free throws, he’s worthless to most teams.

  199. Owen

    W.C. – Dennis Rodman averaged nearly six offensive rebounds per game for the Bulls in 96-97 in 35 minutes per game. That was one of eleven seasons in which he averaged more than 5 offensive rebounds per 36. And he was a power forward, not a center.

    It doesn’t matter in the slightest if you can hit the broad side of a barn if you have that kind of rebounding talent.

    There is tons of room in the NBA for guys like Balkman who can’t shoot but who cause 9 point swings in defensive differential, and who have been the best rebounders at their position in the NBA.

    Balkman fouls too much, and there seem to be questions about his dedication and effort levels outside of games. But in my book he is still a million times more promising than Wilson Chandler, who posted an even lower ts% than Balkman this year.

    With the high volume scorers we had on the Knicks this past year, it’s amazing Isiah couldn’t get Balkman more burn. He should be the perfect player to pair with the Crawford, Curry, and Randolph’s of this world….

  200. Ricky

    Let’s say Mayo drops past #5 and the Knicks take Gordon instead. How does everyone feel about that?

  201. caleb

    A week ago I would have pitched a fit but I’ve been looking closer and gordon is actually pretty intriguing… He had a ts of 61 percent, averaged 24 points per 40… And that was with massive chaos at indiana, the coach being fired, team falling aprt, etc… Don’t think that was his best. And he just turned 18 in december, a year younger than mayo.

    I still think I prefer one of the big guys, tho… Gordon can’t play point and is awfully small for a SG.

    Speaking of hypotheticals… If we had a chance to swap wilson chandler for an extra draft pick, who would be worth it? Robin lopez? Joe alexander? Ty lawson? Who?

  202. caleb

    Gordon also got to the line 10 times per 40 minutes, twice as much as mayo… So he’s plenty explosive.

  203. Duff Soviet Union

    Gordon’s defensive numbers (steals and rebounds) are pretty bad and guys like that usually have trouble seeing their scoring translate to the NBA (latest example: JJ Redick). This also applies to Jerryd Bayless btw. As you point out, he’s also undersized and can’t play the point. As for the free throws, is that really a good thing? That skill doesn’t necessarily translate well to the NBA and even if it does, short guys who live at the free throw line tend to have pretty serious injury problems (latest example: Dwyane Wade). On the other hand, he definitely can score and his shooting metrics looked pretty good for a frosh until he got injured. I think he’s a little overrated and I don’t think he’s what the Knicks need basically. Then again, I’m not a Knicks fan so my opinion might be invalid.

  204. Duff Soviet Union

    Caleb, as for late first rounders/early second guys, I love Richard Hendrix and to a lesser extent JJ Hickson. Undersized power forwards but they can definitely play. I also think Lawson and Mario Chalmers are good value.

  205. Latke

    i’d trade chandler for any pick above 15, although i don’t see why a team would particularly want chandler.

    Here’s another good hypothetical: What # pick would you have to get to give up next year’s first rounder straight up? Portland at #13 might be into that given the roster problems (too many signed players) they have. They also have 3 second rounders this year. We might be able to just buy one off of them.

  206. Knicksfan

    CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT FREAKIN RAJA RONDO! This is a Knicks site, who the hell cares about him, he just looks like a scrub, his game is ugly, and nobody better reply to this, just stop talking about him. Ugly players just don’t succeed in this league, he can average 30 and 20 next year and I still would get sick of talking about him. To me he’s like Richard Jefferson he’s just ugly and boring so please stop talking about him, talk about the Knicks.

  207. Ted Nelson

    “Ted,
    You think without the Gasol trade, the Lakers are in the conference finals? He’s playing 42 mpg and averaging 20 pts, 9rbs and 4.4 assts in the playoffs. And they still might not get past the Spurs. Please.
    Besides, you help make my point, that without Kobe, the Lakers don’t make the playoffs, even with Gasol and Odom, who are solid all-star caliber players who never had glaring weaknesses in their games, and Fisher, a savvy PG with invaluable rings and experience. We don’t have a Kobe, a Gasol or an Odom yet. Until we do, you can dream all you want about how important it is to give young guys a chance to develop. Again, Lee and Balkman got worse this year, not better, and it ain’t all the coach’s fault.
    The Waltons and Farmars of the world (i.e. the David Lees and Renaldo Balkmans) are just going along for the ride.”

    You said that because of Gasol the Lakers went from mediocre to the best. This is false. They were already the best team in the West (record wise) early in the season.

    Would they be in the conference finals without Gasol? No idea, Gasol is an amazing player don’t get me wrong, but with a healthy Bynum? Maybe. Without Bynum, almost definitely not.

    Gasol’s defense isn’t a weakness? Odom’s jumper remind you much of Reggie Miller? Funny because for years people have ripped Gasol’s defense and Odom shot worse on jumpers than Lee this past season (.400).
    And how can you possibly say how good the Lakers would be without Kobe? That’s pure speculation. Gasol led Memphis to the playoffs and Odom and a rookie Wade got Miami into the eastern conference playoffs.

    I would agree that the Knicks don’t have a Kobe or Gasol and maybe not even an Odom, but does that mean you trade away the more promising players you do have? For what?

    Again, that’s my biggest problem with your line of reasoning: who are you trading Lee and Balkman for? If the Knicks want to completely rebuild from scratch that’s one thing, but then they shouldn’t have hired D’Antoni who has publically said that his job isn’t to develop young players (in Phoenix) and that the Knicks don’t plan on being in the lottery again next year.

    Neither Walton nor Farmar is on the same level as David Lee. Walton does one thing well for his position, pass, and Farmar does nothing exceptionally well, good outside shot and solid all-around. Lee is about as good a rebounder and as efficient a medium-volume scorer as anyone in the NBA. They are, however, both good, smart basketball players, but not being as clueless on the court as the rest of the Knicks isn’t really enough to compare someone to David Lee. Then again, they’re both white.

    “it is Kobe that makes the Lakers good, underscoring the value of a true all-time great.”
    ” You put Kobe on a team with Randolph, Curry and Steph and they are instantly in the playoffs, no matter whom the rest of the team is, whether its Jeffries or Lee, Crawford or Nate, Q or Balkman.”

    Yeah, Kobe’s been taking the Lakers to the Finals single-handedly ever since Shaq left. Doesn’t matter at all who his supporting cast has been.

    “he did lead the Yao-less Rockets to the playoffs with a sparse supporting cast.”

    Do you watch basketball? Shane Battier, Luis Scola these guys are Olympians, Carl Landry is a beast, and that’s just a well-built team: they were the second best defense in the league.

    You have to stop the other team from scoring as well as score yourself, ask Golden State.

    “More likely you end up like the Bulls for 5 years post-Jordan, or worse, the Timberwolves for 10 years, or the Cavaliers, or any number of superstar + no one teams that keep barely making or barely missing the playoffs.
    There are superstar-based teams (L.A., San Antonio, New Orleans) but a lot more contenders build themselves incrementally, then get a break — or make a brilliant move — to find their superstar. Even Boston — sure they traded Jefferson for Garnett, but they already had Pierce & Rondo, and held onto their #5 pick (until Allen) — they didn’t package the pick with Ratliff for cap space.”

    Good point. Rebuilding from scratch is not a sure thing, even in a big market, but I also don’t see an indication that the Knicks are trying to rebuild from scratch.

    “we need to have a team that Lebron wants to come play for. After years of frustration in Cleveland, he is not going to want to go to a team that has no quality players. He will be in his prime, and will probably understand that the exposure in New York will be worth very little if he is on a losing team.”

    Very true.

    “After looking at the Gallinari clips, I’ve decided we shouldn’t select him @ 6.”

    Yeah, but Skita definitely had the athleticism to make it big in the NBA. You can’t base your draft analysis on youtube highlights.

    “I’m more worried about becoming the Pitino Celtics. The Celts spent a decade waiting for young guys to develop, most of whom never did, or trading for overpaid, flawed, or old players like we have recently.”

    This is false in multiple ways. Pitino was not in Boston for a decade (more like 3 1/2 seasons). He didn’t wait for Chauncey Billups to develop, he traded him in the middle of his rookie year. Once Pitino was long gone, they didn’t wait for Joe Johnson to develop, instead also trading him in his rookie year. Paul Pierce was neither flawed nor old during his playoff runs with Toine, who was maybe flawed but also not old.

    They did trade for some flawed older players, but usually used talented young guys to do it (Billups for Kenny Anderson or Joe Johnson for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers).

    “The Randolph trade to Philly for Miller is good thinking. I think that would be fair for both teams assuming Philly had interest in Randolph.”

    That’s a huge assumption.

  208. Ted Nelson

    Even then I’m not so sure why they’d be interested. They have a strong young core, cap space, Jason Smith and Thaddeus Young both capable of splitting PF duties with Reggie Evans, and the #16 pick. Maybe they want Zach, but I don’t see why (as in, I don’t see why they’d want to screw themselves over).

  209. Ted Nelson

    If they match big offers for Andre Igoudala and Louis Williams, weren’t impressed by Jason Smith, and want to play Thaddeus Young at the 3, then I could see them having interest. Or if they’re just convinced they’re a frontcourt scorer away from Eastern Conference contention (I figure this assumption is probably what sparked the rumor in the first place).

  210. caleb

    They Sixers do have interesting decisions to make… they’re pretty good, but the best player (Miller) is 30. They probably won’t get really good before he starts to decline, so they probably should trade him soon, but that will set them back a ways.

    Meanwhile, the 2nd best player (Iggy) probably isn’t worth the giant contract he’s wanting… do you trade him while he still has a ton of value?
    Especially considering that the future best player (Young) plays the same position (he’s definitely a 3, not a 4, unless you’re going to play a very small lineup)…

    So, do they should trade Miller and go young (pun intended), or do they try to bring in a serious veteran scorer, along the lines of Randolph? (if you’re reading this, Ed — he’s great!)

    They have a lot of money to spend, so unless they score a star like Elton Brand, it probably makes sense to stand pat, keep their options and open and see how the season goes — closer to the trade deadline, they can add a star or semi-star via trade (from a team that basically wants to dump the contract), or they can trade Miller to a contender in a deal that would give them multiple picks and/or give them enough cap room to be huge FA players next summer.

  211. sodrunk

    Had to laugh at that Kobe/Ginoboli comparison.Kobe>>>>>>Ginobili

    Now, why does everyone think Lebron is coming to The Knicks when his contract is up? Is there some subliminal messages Lebron has been sending through his dunks? In my opinion, he would go to The Nets if he was to leave Cleveland.Esp, if The Nets are in Brooklyn by then.In 2010 The Nets will have a good core group of players in Devin Harris, Shawne Williams, and Nenad Kristic.Not to mention, Lebron and Jay-Z stick together like my bed sheets since my girlfriend took that job in Virginia.

    I think The Knicks focus should on on rebuilding the teams through the draft and getting under The cap so they might have a chance sometime in the future for a good to great player in the free agent market.The future not being just 2010.I think The Knicks would be better serve to have another terrible season next year and hopefully get a top 3 pick,so they can had a young inexpensive future star on their team for 3-4 years.Combine that future star with a decent core of role players and a free agent signing in the future and I see The Knicks being a championship contender within 6 years.

    The key here is patients, which Knicks fans should have a lot of after the last 7 years.

  212. Hooped Up

    They should keep the pick and get the best availabe player in the draft at six. Then they need to move curry and jeffries and james if possible.

    Other than that they need to work with what they got and raise the value of the players on the current roster. Hopefully, somebody will be suckered in to taking taking some of the dead weight at the deadline.

    Let’s face it, a Championship ain’t happening next year anyway.

  213. jon abbey

    “why does everyone think Lebron is coming to The Knicks when his contract is up? Is there some subliminal messages Lebron has been sending through his dunks?”

    30 percent that he wears Yankee hats all the time and 70 percent wishful thinking. sadly, that’s the best we’ve got these days.

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