Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rockets Grab Artest

The Houston Rockets acquired Ron Artest from the Kings for Donte Green, Bobby Jackson, and next year’s first round pick. So far the move is receiving positive reviews. Hollinger likes the move, as does the Dream Shake blog (who is extra sure the move is a winner, because Richard Justice hates it). Hell even King fans like the deal (“The Kings will do more than just survive — they will thrive without Ron-Ron… Wins for everybody.”)

{democracy:23}

118 comments on “Rockets Grab Artest

  1. tastycakes

    At first I thought this was a brilliant stroke.

    Then someone pointed out that the Rockets already have the offensively-challenged non-headcase version of Ron Ron in Shane Battier.

    Maybe they trade Battier for a point guard upgrade?

    Talent-wise it makes sense, but Ron Ron will have to demonstrate continued growth maturity-wise for it to really work.

    More importantly, Yao and T-Mac have to stay on the floor for 82 games. Fat chance of that.

  2. Thomas B.

    I think this is a great deal for the Kings. I love seeing a team get quality young players at a great price. Green should play well with K-Mart giving the Kings a very potent offense. Plus the Kings get an additional first round draft pick. I wish the Knicks were in such good shape with young players and picks.

    All the Kings need now is an effective low post scorer. A 20/10 guy with maybe 3 years left on his deal. A guy looking to bounce back. A guy who knows the West coast style. Hmmm who could the Kings go after that fits the bill….

  3. Latke

    At first I thought this was a brilliant stroke.
    Then someone pointed out that the Rockets already have the offensively-challenged non-headcase version of Ron Ron in Shane Battier.
    Maybe they trade Battier for a point guard upgrade?
    Talent-wise it makes sense, but Ron Ron will have to demonstrate continued growth maturity-wise for it to really work.
    More importantly, Yao and T-Mac have to stay on the floor for 82 games. Fat chance of that.

    Artest, T-Mac and Battier all can play some 4, but I agree. Battier and Artest’s games do overlap a lot.

    I also agree that Yao and T-Mac’s health is still the main concern for the rockets.

  4. Caleb

    Good trade for the Kings, great for the Rockets.

    Good for the Kings because they got two first-rounders for a guy who was gone in June, anyway. Hopefully we can pull off the same version with Marbury. (worse player, but we could take on salary next year, which the Kings weren’t willing to do)

    Great for the Rockets because their big-two won’t last long; they need a guy who’s good right now, not three years from now. Artest might be a little overrated, but they got him without even giving up a rotation player. Sure, they’re already good on defense, but Artest is even better than Battier, and compared to Battier on offense, he’s Kobe Bryant.

    The potential problem: Artest thinks he really IS Kobe Bryant. But it’s ok in Houston, because most of the team sucks on offense so adding even an average or slightly above-average scorer is a real upgrade. Right now I’d call them the second-best team in the West, and a serious title contender.

    They do have a lot of duplication, with Artest, Battier, Scola, Chuck Hayes, Joey Dorsey and maybe Carl Landry, all fighting for frontcourt minutes. But Adelman is a great coach; he’ll find a way to make it work. And now they have a ton of trade options, to improve the backcourt, or just get back one of those first-round picks. Of course if they’re taking advice from Donnie Walsh, they can just trade Battier to the Lakers to get him off the payroll.

  5. DS

    “Then someone pointed out that the Rockets already have the offensively-challenged non-headcase version of Ron Ron in Shane Battier.

    Maybe they trade Battier for a point guard upgrade?”

    Artest’s game has its differences from Battier’s. He’s a good fit at the 4 and is a much better scorer.

    I think they’ll keep Shane… maybe they’ll nab Steph to play the 1!

  6. Caleb

    Now, if you really want a bold stroke, they should look to trade Yao. The value is sky high and they won about 13 in a row without him last year — I think they could survive.

    Something like Yao for Billups & Amir Johnson… or Noah & Ben Gordon.

  7. Caleb

    …or the Hawks for Horford and Joe Johnson.

    None of it’s going to happen, but as a fan it would be fun to see. Any of those deals would be perceived as a coup for the team getting Yao, but would actually be a winner for the Rockets, IMO.

  8. Owen

    If I were the Kings I would have much rather picked up Landry or Hayes in the trade. Those two guys have been extremely productive for the Rockets and are the odd men out now.

    Artest is a good player though. I think the Rockets have a chance but this doesn’t take them over the hump. Mcgrady is not a genuine superstar. And Yao has been inconsistent due to injuries. They need Yao to play his best, and Mcgrady to improve his shooting efficiency.

    Basketball Reference lists T-Mac’s ts% last year at 48.7%. That must be a mistake right?

  9. Caleb

    “If I were the Kings I would have much rather picked up Landry or Hayes in the trade.”

    I think they can still sign Landry to an offer sheet — or does it count as using your mid-level exception, when you re-sign one of your own players (Udrih)? Hard to see Houston matching any substantial offer, at this point.

    Wow, I didn’t realize it was that bad for McGrady. This will be an interesting test of the value of shot creation — his TS has always been pretty low, but if there’s anyone in the league who’s asked to do “too much” — it’s him. This past year’s usage rate of 29.3 was a career low (!) aside from his Toronto days. Perhaps if Artest (and others) carry more of the load, McGrady will be more efficient. At least he’s a great playmaker and pretty good rebounder, for a 2-guard.

    Anyway, Houston won 55 games last year, even with Yao injured for a big chunk. They gave up no one and added Ron Artest. So they’re looking good, in my book.

    Of course, a Berri purist would say that if they lose Carl Landry, that hurts more than it helps to get Artest & Yao.

  10. Z

    “Good for the Kings because they got two first-rounders for a guy who was gone in June, anyway. Hopefully we can pull off the same version with Marbury. (worse player, but we could take on salary next year, which the Kings weren’t willing to do)”

    The Kings took less than they wanted to because their intention was to use Artest to dump salary. Perhaps they will now look to package the Rocket’s pick with Kenny Thomas and SAR to complete the Artest episode. (Jackson + SAR + Thomas + 1st round pick for Marbury)?

    That would cost the Knicks $$, but that never stopped them in the past; however, with the Balkman “salary dump” as an indication, those days may be over (this recession is hitting everyone, if it hits the Knicks!)

  11. Caleb

    Perhaps they will now look to package the Rocket’s pick with Kenny Thomas and SAR to complete the Artest episode. (Jackson + SAR + Thomas + 1st round pick for Marbury)?

    Hell, it’s only money. Or they could sub Brad Miller for two of those guys; they seem to have a soft spot for him, but then again he’s got to miss 10 games with a dope-smoking suspension. Maybe they will go nuts and trade Miller for Curry, straight up.

    I saw the Artest trade can’t be official until August 14th, but everything is agreed on. I suppose someone could swoop in and screw things up with a spectacular offer – ain’t over until the ink is dry.

  12. daaarn

    Great trade for the Rockets. This definitely makes them a legitimate contender. Now, only time will tell whether or not they’ll break down again like years past.

  13. Z

    “Or they could sub Brad Miller for two of those guys; they seem to have a soft spot for him, but then again he’s got to miss 10 games with a dope-smoking suspension. Maybe they will go nuts and trade Miller for Curry, straight up.”

    How about Miller + Thomas + SAR + Jackson + Rockets 1st round pick for Marbury + Curry?

    Kings save $6 million in the deal, have Marbury to parlay into something of value in February, and buy Curry low.

    Knicks buy the pick for $6 mil and unload Curry.

    Too bad there is no way to know how Curry’s uninsured heart makes him untradeable (is it his heart, his game, or his contract???)

  14. Captain Merlin

    Dante Green can’t be traded until mid-August. How’d they get that trade done early?

    I don’t think the Rockets ever actually signed him, so they were only dealing his rights, and that is perfectly legal on this timescale, as the time limit only applies to those who actually signed.

  15. Captain Merlin

    Ah, nevermind…the deal actually hasn’t gone through officially because of that snafu. As a result, it won’t be officially official until Aug 14.

  16. Owen

    Mcgrady is a bit of an enigma. Strange too that his efficiency fell so sharply in a year his usage dropped. You could blame the loss of Yao Ming, but of course Mcgrady excelled in his absence last year. The truth about T-Mac is that he is an exemplary player in every facet of the game other than scoring, which of course is what he is most known for.

    “Of course, a Berri purist would say that if they lose Carl Landry, that hurts more than it helps to get Artest & Yao.”

    I think Berri will say something to that effect, that Artest replacing Hayes and Landry may not be that huge of an upgrade.

    And that may be accurate. Hard to say, Landry only played 711 minutes last year. Very small sample size. However, he had a huge impact in every game I saw him play, and his stats are off the hook. Chuck Hayes I think has been in the top 75 in adjusted +/- the last two years, and has an excellent WP48.

    The Kings probably felt they had a suitable replacement for Artest in John Salmons, and that Green would help them diversify. That said, I think there is always room for a Landry or Hayes on your team, especially if you are as soft as the Kings were last year.

  17. Dan Panorama

    Re: Artest/Battier, the two of them play multiple positions, no? They should be able to log significant minutes without stepping on each other’s toes. And their games aren’t so similar — Artest is a way better offensive player, which is a skill set the Rockets need badly, especially given that 50-100% of the Yao/T-Mac duo will likely be injured every game.

  18. Captain Merlin

    Re: Artest/Battier, the two of them play multiple positions, no? They should be able to log significant minutes without stepping on each other’s toes. And their games aren’t so similar — Artest is a way better offensive player, which is a skill set the Rockets need badly, especially given that 50-100% of the Yao/T-Mac duo will likely be injured every game.

    I think good ol’ Isiah strategy when acquiring, Francis and Marbury, and Curry and Zbo, and all those other tandems of players who do the same thing was to bank on this exact bit about players being injured a lot, thus enabling the team to never face any sort of breakup in the agony, mischemistry, and strife on the court and in the locker room should one go down.

  19. Ted Nelson

    Looks like Donnie Walsh’s mythical “trading period” has begun…

    I like the deal for both teams, helps them move in the right direction. Houston take a risk, but didn’t pay a huge price and I think they have to take a risk if they want to contend in the West. Sacto gets some pieces to keep rebuilding and, have to ask Caleb, but I think this could be called “addition by subtraction.”

  20. Caleb

    McGrady has been playing hurt the past two years, which I think had a big impact. Unfortunately (for the Rockets), I doubt he’ll ever be 100% healthy again, so you just have to factor that in.
    One reason I like the trade so much – if mcGrady needs a week or two off now, he can take it. The last few years – forget it.
    The other thing he could do is just quit taking 3-pointers — he’s awful, and still takes 5 a game.

    re: Landry, I’m a little surprised more teams aren’t making a play. He really was awesome last year, in the minimal PT. Maybe now there will be movement.

    if I were the Rockets, I’d plan on keeping Artest (the best of the bunch), Landry (best prospect), Dorsey (dirt cheap) and Scola (good, healthy, big enough to play center)… and see what I could get for Battier and Hayes. Of course there’s no reason to force a deal (right, Donnie?) – you can always keep everyone and see how it shakes out.

  21. Caleb

    have to ask Caleb, but I think this could be called “addition by subtraction.”

    No, addition (long-term) by adding two 1st-round picks. The team will be awful in the short run — contenders for the #1 pick, IMO.

  22. Ted Nelson

    I just don’t see how that team moves forward with Ron Artest on it. I would legitimately call it addition by subtraction as well as addition by addition (if Green and pick X are any good).

  23. Z

    Artest could have been traded for Bobby Jackson straight up. That would have been addition by subtraction.

    Kings get a good package. Still, I think they would have preferred dumping Kenny Thomas in the deal.

  24. Caleb

    I just don’t see how that team moves forward with Ron Artest on it.

    Since this is my favorite philosophical point…

    2007-2008 Kings – Ron Artest = worse team in 2008-2009. If you agree, then you can’t call it addition by subtraction. If you disagree – I’m not sure why.

    Now, a rebuilding team can spend $7-10 million in much better ways than on a 30-year-old who will probably go insane and be out of the league in 3 years. But that’s an awfully loose definition of “addition by subtraction,” so loose that I wouldn’t call it that.

  25. Caleb

    I guess “addition by subtraction,” as most people use it, just means dumping an overpaid veteran(s), for the opportunity to spend the money on better (and usually younger) players.

    This can be a good strategy — in fact, it’s usually a great strategy. I like a lot of moves that are billed as “addition by subtraction.”

    But calling it “A by S” misinterprets what was really beneficial… which is seizing the opportunity (cap space, draft picks). If you think the important part was the “subtraction,” you end up making silly moves, like trading a player for nothing, or releasing someone when you might get something in return.

    There sometimes appears to be a benefit in A by S, in that trading the overpaid guy (the subtraction) results in other, better players getting more PT or more shots. Some would say the Kings offense will improve, because Kevin Martin will get more shots with Artest gone*. But that’s a non sequitur. If a team has better options on the roster than playing “Cancer A” for 35 minutes, the coach is free to give those minutes to someone else – it doesn’t require a trade (or a release).

    *Martin getting more shots WOULD help… but then he won’t get all of Ron’s shots, and giving them to Donte Green probably WON’T help. And then there’s the defense. But I’m getting off on a tangent…

  26. Nick

    How is Shane Battier offensively challenged with a 56.1 TSP which also makes him better than Ron-Ron who is at 53? I see Ron-Ron as a team killer not at the level of a Steph or Zach but close so Sac did well. Is it possible someone can give the Knicks a #1 for our baggage?

  27. teddd

    This definitely makes them a very dangerous team. They play defense have inside offense, outside offense and depth. The biggest question will be health.

    But it’s nice to see Morey roll the dice here. TMac isn’t getting any younger and Ming isn’t getting any healthier. You have to go for it when you have the opportunity.

    For those that think teams can’t win with Artest, I can understand that theory based on his unpredictable side but an Indiana team centered around JON and Artest did win 61 games once. That’s an awful lot of games….

  28. Captain Merlin

    I believe I stand firmly aligned with Caleb’s view on what constitutes “AxS.” Oftentimes it seems like those analyzing these trades forget that there is a difference between simple subtraction and Addition by it. The true verdict on this trade will not be in until we are able to see how Greene and the future number 1 play. If they both eventually are horrible and the team plays as expected, then really, where does the addition come in? A less chaotic tone to the sulky carnage of getting humiliated every night? That’s it.

  29. Caleb

    How is Shane Battier offensively challenged with a 56.1 TSP which also makes him better than Ron-Ron who is at 53?”

    It’s all relative. Battier is a pretty efficient scorer, a good passer and low-turnover guy — but he’s not taking any of the load off McGrady or Yao. His usage rate was 62nd of 65 NBA small forwards — lower than Balkman or Jeffries. Along the same lines, I think Artest’s efficiency will improve, as the #3 option instead of a #1.

    If they had traded Battier for Artest I’d call it a minor upgrade (and not worth it, considering the risk)… but trading nothing of immediate value for Artest, is a great move.

  30. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I think T-Mac’s offensive game is one of the few times when a player’s shitty scoring actually IS a result of the team practically begging him to score, no matter how many shots it takes to do it.

    I remember watching some games where the Rockets looked worse offensively than the Knicks, and that was in the middle of their big winning streak!

    Then T-Mac would hit some threes, start getting doubled (practically tripled) and other Rockets would hit threes and get easy lay-ups, and the game would turn.

    But for large parts of the game, it would be “Just shoot, T-Mac!”

  31. brian quinnett's left nipple

    considering that the kings weren’t gonna win this year anyway, dumping a 30-year-old with mental issues who was gonna walk anyway for two first round picks is a great haul.

    and if you’re the rockets, that window is closing quick. anyone who can soften the load on mcgrady has to be a welcomed addition.

    seems to me to be a smart trade by both teams.

    wait…is this the NBA?

  32. Jose B

    Great trade for Rockets, puts them just behind the Lakers in my eyes for the no.2 spot in the West, just ahead of the Hornets/Spurs/Jazz. I still don’t see them topping the Lakers, because they don’t have an answer for a frontcourt of Odom/Gasol/Bynum, not that anyone else does either.

  33. Dave

    The addition by subtraction argument I presume is centered on John Salmons

    Check out his splits last season:

    Starter – 41 games played – 38mpg, 17.5ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.5apg, 50% FG%, 39% from three

    Bench player – 40 games played – 24mpg, 7.4ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, 43% FG%, 21% from three

    John Salmons is also a very tough defender – as a side question did Hollinger name Salmons as the most effective defender on the Kings once? – I rated him behind Artest as a defender but he’s definitely a strong defensive player and the now is the Kings best perimeter defender.

    Salmons continuing his run of being “incapable of playing alongside ball dominating players” (Iverson) and now has added “can’t play off the bench to his list”.

    Then you have Francisco Garcia behind Martin and Salmons. He’s become one of the strongest 6th men in the league. 12ppg, almost 58% TS%, good defense, great hustle and energy off the bench. Solid passer and defender. Really nice role player. Salmons TS% was up around 56% too despite his struggles off the bench. So that’s three high quality wings who are team orientated guys.

    Losing Artest takes away one of the most selfish players in the league. A ball stopper, a guy who breaks plays, unwilling passer. It then opens up the floor for this three wings who all play very well together and are talented. It creates a lot more touches and much better ball movement offensively for the Kings. Artest’s minutes are also going to be replaced by strong defenders, there will surely be a drop off but perhaps not a large one.

    I don’t know if I’d say the Kings are better but I would say they’re comparable without Ron-Ron and it’s mainly because of the strength at his position in Sacramento and also having more team orientated individuals.

  34. Owen

    freeblogging here…

    D’Antoni mentions Zach is a 20-10 guy, awesome…

    Boomer really grilling him here about Randolph, and whether he is the kind of 20-10 guy who makes his teammates better. Lol. DAntoni says thet he thinks Zach can be that guy, that he wants to be considered an ALL=star, wants to make the next step.

    Boomer questions Eddy Curry’s conditioning….

    (Hard hitting interview I have to say, no puff piece)

    D’Antoni says Gallinari can move the ball a little bit like Nash, Duhon can move the ball, Jamal can move the ball, but may need to work on his shot selection a bit….

    Will Lee be traded? Boomer notes that Lee is praying to be in New York. Boomer asks if he is a good enough shooter. (#$%@#%) D’Antoni loves David Lee.

    D’Antoni says Lee is the first name people ask for, and “sometimes the only one” people ask about.

    Sounds like D’Antoni really likes Lee actually….

  35. Brian Cronin

    Well, perhaps he wasn’t a huge fan until he noticed that everyone wants him, which perhaps forces him to take a different look at the player.

    Remember, it wasn’t like Isiah was in love with Lee, either, until he found himself almost forced to play Lee, and then he loved him.

  36. TDM

    “I understand what Yao said, but I’m still ghetto.” — Ron Artest

    Yes indeed, Ron. Yes indeed.

    This trade is blowing up. There are still 2 weeks to go before it can be finalized because of Greene’s contract and Ron is already creating trouble. Even Ron admits that he wil never change for better or worse. He said he wants to see a long-term commitment from the Rockets to show how much they really want him. I hope Adleman leaves his ass in Sacto.

  37. Italian Stallion

    The whole “D’Antoni doesn’t like Lee” idea always struck me as more of a media story than something D’Antoni actually said. No one ever said they were trying to move Lee. The story was they they felt they HAD to at least listen to offers….and I agree with them.

    I think Lee fits pretty well here. To run a fast break, you need a good rebounder that can make the outlet pass. Even better is that Lee moves well and can finish. If Curry is the center, how can a team run a fast break without Lee (or Randolph) getting boards.

    The only thing D’Antoni could possibly not like about Lee is his lack of an outside game. If Lee ever developed a good outside game he’d be an All Star. D’Antoni has to see this too. So he’s not perfect! What’s not to like?

  38. TDM

    “I understood what Yao said, but I’m still ghetto” — Ron Artest

    This deal is going down in flames. There are 2 weeks before the deal can be finalized, and Ron Ron is already causing turmoil with his purported future teammates. Not to mention, he said that he needs to see a “long-term commitment” from the Rockets to demonstrate how much they want him. I hope Adelman realizes that Ron will never change and leaves his ass in Sacto.

  39. TDM

    “The Bulls also have discovered some interest in guard Larry Hughes, as long as they’re willing to take a big contract in return. Since the Bulls need to thin out their backcourt, some possibilities could include Portland’s Joe Przybilla, New York’s Jared Jeffries, Dallas’ Erick Dampier or Denver’s Kenyon Martin.”

    JJ for Hughes straight-up wouldn’t work. We would have to add another contract to the deal to make the money match, like Malik Rose or Q.

  40. Z

    “I think Lee fits pretty well here. To run a fast break, you need a good rebounder that can make the outlet pass. Even better is that Lee moves well and can finish…The only thing D’Antoni could possibly not like about Lee is his lack of an outside game. If Lee ever developed a good outside game he’d be an All Star. D’Antoni has to see this too. So he’s not perfect! What’s not to like?”

    Couldn’t you substitute the word “Lee” with the word “Balkman” and say pretty much the exact same thing? We know for a fact that he did not like Balkman and wanted him traded.

  41. Italian Stallion

    Couldn’t you substitute the word “Lee” with the word “Balkman” and say pretty much the exact same thing? We know for a fact that he did not like Balkman and wanted him traded.

    I don’t think so.

    Lee can hit free throws. So you can’t hack him if he has the ball inside like you can with Balkman. He’s also a little more of a threat from the outside. Balkman is no threat at all. Finally, I think typically you want your SF to more of an offensive threat and outside shooter than your PF.

    I don’t want to debate the Balkman trade again. I just think Lee is a better PF than Balkman is a SF.

  42. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Finally, I think typically you want your SF to more of an offensive threat and outside shooter than your PF.

    I don’t want to debate the Balkman trade again. I just think Lee is a better PF than Balkman is a SF.

    I never bought into typecasting players into positions. Somewhere (on the web? in his book?) Dean Oliver has a nice outline of what you want from each position, and a paragraph later he trashes it saying it really doesn’t matter where the production is coming as long as someone is giving it. Memhet Okhur is more like a traditional SF and Andrei Kirilenko is more like a traditional C, but I think Utah does fine with them even though they don’t fit the stereotype of their position.

  43. Z

    I’m not debating the Balkman trade. You are concluding that Lee is a good fit and probably won’t be dealt because “to run a fast break, you need a good rebounder that can make the outlet pass” and Lee “moves well and can finish” and “the only thing D’Antoni could possibly not like about Lee is his lack of an outside game.”

    What I am saying is that logic doesn’t make sense. In the wake of the Renaldo Balkman revelation we learned that, in fact, D’Antoni clearly doesn’t value: a) good rebounders who can make the outlet pass; b) forwards that move well and can finish; so we can conclude that the outside game is the MOST important factor D’Antoni looks at when deciding which players to keep and which to jettison.

    I don’t know why you would assume D’Antoni wants to keep Lee, considering what we learned to be fact earlier this week.

  44. Captain Merlin

    I’m always a little skeptical of what D’Antoni says. He’s always got a sly grin poking out from under that mustache and is always squinting, as if to throw off anyone trying to pick up a read off his eyeballs. The more he talks up a player, the more likely I feel it is that that player will get moved or at least that an attempt will be made, for better or worse. I mean, he did praise Steph’s game not to long ago, and to think that they are not trying to move him would just be inconceivable. Worst of all, that Balkman deal makes me think that when Lee does get moved, it could possibly just be for a few shlub unsigned second round draft picks and the rights to some euro 7 footer completely devoid of coordination.

  45. Z

    “10 points & 10 rebounds – what’s not to like?”

    I also heard him say (via Owen, via Boomer) that “Zach is a 20-10 guy, a 20-10 guy that can make his teammates better. That he wants Zach to be considered an ALL Star, wants him to make the next step.”

    20-10 trumps 10-10 in that world.

    Since Randolph and Lee play the same position, and management has decided, publicly, to retain a 20-10 guy that they could have dealt and dealt a strong rebounding, passing, athletic forward who can’t shoot, the logic dictates that Lee is not safe, despite D’Antoni’s claim to “like him”.

  46. Captain Merlin

    I think we all know that Lee is unsafe not “despite D’Antoni’s claim to like him,” but rather as a result of said claim.

  47. calebq

    I would say that until he’s been around long enough that we can read between the lines, there’s no reason to pay attention to anything D’Antoni or Walsh say about various players. I’d say the same for almost every coach and exec in the league. Why would they reveal their true feelings, no matter what they were?

  48. Captain Merlin
    20-10 trumps 10-10 in that world.

    Not at the cost of 8 shots and a turnover and a half.

    If the “that world” being referred to is the borderline allstar world, then yes, 20-10, trumps 10-10 no matter the amount of shots and turnovers it takes to get there. This is proved by the sheer amount of guys with games like Zbo who have been allstars, or borderliners, despite the statistical drawbacks. While countless players like taht have made it, how often is it that a 10-10 type player, even with an immaculate slate of other stats is even considered for allstar status? So yes, in the world of building a team in need of borderline allstars, 20-10 always trumps 10-10 no matter how horrible they are otherwise. As for building a successful team, that is another story…

  49. caleb

    how often is it that a 10-10 type player, even with an immaculate slate of other stats is even considered for allstar status?

    Not often, but I do remember when James Donaldson made the All-Star team despite averaging single digits in points AND boards.

  50. Ted Nelson

    After the way Phoenix played I have a hard time believing D’Antoni is so found of traditional positions, but it seems he might be so we’ll have to see.
    It does strike me like D’Antoni could be a guy who lucked out and doesn’t even truly understand why he won in Phoenix. I mean he was TERRIBLE in Denver, but that was a pretty bad team. He might have learned before/in Phoenix, but he might have just lucked out having a core of Nash, Marion, and Amare and role players from Joe Johnson to Leandrinho to Kurt Thomas to Grant Hill. Well, he definitely lucked out with all that talent and that team was a great fit for his coaching style, but I really have to think that Isiah couldn’t even have screwed up as coach of that team. Maybe they wouldn’t have been the #1 offense in the NBA, but possibly top 3-5. When Grant Hill went to Phoenix D’Antoni declared that he would hit 40% on 3s in the magical offense despite being a weak 3 point shooter: he shot 31.7% from 3s last season… It was basically the equivalent of Marbury declaring he would average 10 assists and 5 dimes. That comment might be a sign that D’Antoni considers his offense to rely on great outside shooter/make outside shooters great. Somehow the offense worked really well, but considering that guys like Q, Marion, Diaw, and Hill weren’t terribly accurate from behind the line I’m not sure that was it… Steve Nash did hit 47% of his 3s last season, so maybe that had something to do with it. Shawn Marion was one of the best dunkers in the league and posted a 57 TS% last season despite hitting only 33% of his 3s, so maybe his ability to score inside the arc had something to do with it. It was just a really well built team, though, and while D’Antoni deserves credit for their success I’m waiting to see how he does in NY before deciding how much (whether that’s fair or not don’t know). Anyway, I guess D’Antoni knows his offense and basketball in general a hell of a lot better than I do, I just can’t get on the bandwagon of D’Antoni being a GREAT coach after one stop where he had three really good players and a bunch of really good role players.

  51. Captain Merlin

    I see D’antoni as the sort of coach who will do very well so long as he has players suited to his style, and does not need to bend his style in order to benefit his players strengths. Unless some mystically driven roster upheaval happens before the season, one of those two statements will not fly. Surely, he cannot try running a hi-tempo offense with the Prime Minister of Pudding and the Duke of Donuts on the floor, which invariably means we will likely see him try to run a more typical, half court offense, with perhaps the occasional bench clearing 7 seconds set. I am completely horrified by the prospect of watching him try to coach a groggy halfcourt set, firstly because he doesn’t seem as if he’d do well at it, and secondly, because isn’t that just the same sort of less than competent shit we’ve been seeing for years? Maybe I’m wrong and he will roll out a new, inventive “Cherry Picker” set where one or both of the Buffet Twins hang back on O, while the rest of the team tries playing D. It’s not like they’d be all that worse on defense with either at the other end.

  52. Z

    “the Buffet Twins hang back on O, while the rest of the team tries playing D. It’s not like they’d be all that worse on defense with either at the other end.”

    Seriously– how many times in the Balkman discussions did we hear “no one wants to play 4 on 5 on offense”. I would feel much better playing 4 on 5 on offense than I would playing 5 on 4 on defense. It takes 2, 3 at the most, to score the ball. It takes all 5 to play D, and the fact that the Knicks are, today, a worse defensive roster than they were last week (I didn’t think that roster could get much worse on D!) makes me feel really bad about the prospects for the future.

  53. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    I checked out Artest’s +/- and the team was 4 points better on both sides of the ball with him on the court (an 8 point swing), and the Kings were 8-17 without him. So I guess this is probably not addition by subtraction in the short-run. In the short-run I was thinking maybe his chucker ways were hurting the offense (but that doesn’t show up in the +/-, although that doesn’t mean it’s definitely not there), and in the long-run I was thinking they can finally establish a new identity but I guess that’s a bit mute because he was gone after the season anyway.

    They were only the 25th best defense in the NBA, so maybe Artest won’t be missed as much as those first stats would lead you to believe. I mean maybe they’re the #30 defense in the NBA next season (they might give the Knicks a run for their money), but maybe they can hold down a spot 25/27 if things go well.
    On offense they were 13th in the NBA last season, and this is where I think they can improve. There are 3 ways I could see the offense improving as a result of Artest leaving.
    1. Kevin Martin takes a couple more shots: he actually took less shots per game than Artest last season (15 to 17). By the way, Martin made the offense 9.7 points better, but the defense 6 points worse (in terms of +/-).
    2. They play more as a team. Artest was known for breaking off plays, which among other things hurts the offense from getting the ball into the hands of a guy with a high probability to score (Artest wasn’t that guy last season). This is similar to Crawford and Randolph going 1 on 5 and playing like they’re at the playground: maybe no one else on the court is a great shooter (Artest couldn’t say the same playing with Martin), but the offense can get the ball to someone in a position to score with ball movement, whether that’s Balkman or Lee cutting to the hoop or a guard open for a 3 or even Randolph or Crawford themselves. (Little tangent, but I do think the ability to create for yourself is great, but you have to know how to use it within and offense).
    With good passers for their positions like Brad Miller and John Salmons, maybe Reggie Theus can get them to buy into a team concept and make up for a relatively weak starting PG in Udrih. Miller actually made the offense 7 points better (he also made the defense 4 points better, so trading him to Chicago looks like it would be a big mistake with Spencer Hawes as his likely replacement). Maybe he has a nice long, healthy season.
    3. Someone more accurate takes Artest’s shots. I put this third becuase I’m not so sure about this one. Salmon (31 mpg last season), Garcia (26.5),and rookie Donte Greene probably pick up the minutes Artest left behind. Both Garcia and Salmons had better TS%s than Artest, but didn’t have the +4 effect on the offense. Maybe Artest played a good portion of his minutes with Miller and/or Bibby and/or Martin or his missed games just coincided with the tough parts of the schedule, in which case using +/- numbers might be useless and I think the Kings can definitely improve.

    I’m interested to see what happens. They’re pretty likely to get worse, but if they do get better maybe there is such a thing as addition by subtraction.

    Certainly Jason Thompson and Donte Greene could have a huge impact on how the Kings do post Artest (and Greene is addition by addition… you do have to replace a rotation player with someone though). Or an improvement from Quincy Douby or Spencer Hawes or Shelden Williams (as improbable as all 3 may seen).

  54. Ray

    Atlanta signed Ranpolph Morris. Im pretty sure hes going to be a quality player now that he will get a chance to play real minutes.

  55. Italian Stallion
    Finally, I think typically you want your SF to more of an offensive threat and outside shooter than your PF.
    I don’t want to debate the Balkman trade again. I just think Lee is a better PF than Balkman is a SF.

    I never bought into typecasting players into positions. Somewhere (on the web? in his book?) Dean Oliver has a nice outline of what you want from each position, and a paragraph later he trashes it saying it really doesn’t matter where the production is coming as long as someone is giving it. Memhet Okhur is more like a traditional SF and Andrei Kirilenko is more like a traditional C, but I think Utah does fine with them even though they don’t fit the stereotype of their position.

    I agree 100% that it doesn’t matter where the production is coming from. However, in the real world there aren’t too many 7 footers that can play a great PG and not too many 6 footers that get can double digit rebounds and defend the paint etc… LOL

    The differences in speed, strength, agility, etc… of players of various sizes sort of creates the stereotype for each position, but it’s not a requirement. If you can get the required outside shooting and ball handling skills from other positions, there is no need to for the SF (for example) to have those skills. It’s just not as easy to find the complimentary players because of the tendency for players playing other positions to have other skills of varying levels.

  56. Italian Stallion

    I think we all know that Lee is unsafe not “despite D’Antoni’s claim to like him,” but rather as a result of said claim.

    I don’t believe this.

    I think there are two primary issues with Lee.

    1. There’s a lot of interest in him. IMO, only an idiot wouldn’t listen to the offers. Pulling the trigger is an entirely different matter.

    2. The Knicks are eventually going to have to make a decision about how much he is worth and whether their valuation is equal to the market’s valuation. If theirs is lower, then moving him would be a lot smarter than letting him walk. If you want to keep him, talking him up is a bad idea.

    Randolph is another matter. Even if D’Antoni and Walsh like aspects of his game and think they can improve his shot selection, teamwork, and defense, he will still be a very overpaid player. As such, you certainly want to talk him up, increase his value etc… to make moving that bad contract a little easier.

    The one thing I find interesting about Randolph is that before I got to see him play on a daily basis, I had no idea what his skill set actually was. I just saw the numbers. At that time I read an article where Garnett said he was an oustanding defender “when he put his mind to it”. You really have to wonder where that guy was.

  57. Italian Stallion

    I think the Artest trade makes sense for both teams. Sacramento was too far below the best teams in the West to just tinker with the team and win. By the time they get there, Artest will be on the downside. They are beginning the rebuilding process.

    On the other hand, you could logically conclude that Houston was one player and a little luck on the health side away from being a threat to win the West. Artest gives them a solid player on both sides of the court and will probably take some of the scoring pressure off TMAC.

  58. Italian Stallion

    I’m not debating the Balkman trade. You are concluding that Lee is a good fit and probably won’t be dealt because “to run a fast break, you need a good rebounder that can make the outlet pass” and Lee “moves well and can finish” and “the only thing D’Antoni could possibly not like about Lee is his lack of an outside game.”
    What I am saying is that logic doesn’t make sense. In the wake of the Renaldo Balkman revelation we learned that, in fact, D’Antoni clearly doesn’t value: a) good rebounders who can make the outlet pass; b) forwards that move well and can finish; so we can conclude that the outside game is the MOST important factor D’Antoni looks at when deciding which players to keep and which to jettison.
    I don’t know why you would assume D’Antoni wants to keep Lee, considering what we learned to be fact earlier this week.

    I don’t agree with your analysis, but I suppose we will see in time whether Lee remains and how he is used.

  59. Captain Merlin

    Yeah, someone else posted the link in another thread. I remember questioning the severe lack of credibility to be had by a guy who’s written 2 articles under the tag “A Train” for some speculative rumor site none of us has ever heard of.

  60. Italian Stallion

    Yeah, someone else posted the link in another thread. I remember questioning the severe lack of credibility to be had by a guy who’s written 2 articles under the tag “A Train” for some speculative rumor site none of us has ever heard of.

    Yea, but some of it makes basketball sense. ;-)

  61. Frank
    Yeah, someone else posted the link in another thread. I remember questioning the severe lack of credibility to be had by a guy who’s written 2 articles under the tag “A Train” for some speculative rumor site none of us has ever heard of.

    Yea, but some of it makes basketball sense. ;-)

    Wow, I’d make that trade in a second. Except it leaves us with zero power forwards where we used to have too many. Gallinari I guess? Certainly would make for an exciting team to watch.

  62. Z

    In discussing A-Train’s baseless musings, keep in mind that he lives in Queens and the only other “article” he has written was about trading Randolph and Crawford to the Clippers. Basically, he is a commenter on this blog who found someone to publish his fantasy trades under the guise of a credible website.

    For a self-proclaimed “aspiring sportswriter in his spare time” I must say he is learning the tricks of the trade quickly: he titles his pieces with his unfounded speculation, then adds a question mark (Three-Way Deal Brewing Between Clippers, Nuggets, and Knicks?; Clippers And Knicks Talking Camby-Randolph Swap?)

    His next headline should read: “Educated Basketball Fans Discuss Bleacher Report On Other Sites?”

    I guess in reality he’s only one small step removed from Marc Berman…

  63. Owen

    Trade Randolph for Camby? Yes, absolutely. That would be the best deal ever. We unload a terrible player, and get the ideal player back to address both our defensive weaknesses and our cap issues.

    The Iverson for Lee piece makes no sense. Iverson is half the player Lee is, never mind that he is ancient, and in the last year of his contract. Give up Lee to rent Iverson for a year? How does that help our cap?

    They couldn’t possibly want to sign Iverson to a long term deal? That would be colossally stupid.

    I don’t get, what would the idea be here? That Camby and Iverson with the assorted dreck left on the Knicks would be more competitive than the Nuggets were last year?

  64. Renaldo Balkman's Agent

    Here’s another “Bleacher Report” gem: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/42443-a-deal-id-like-the-knicks-to-make

    Even A-Train is quick to tear it apart in the comments section (for those of you scoring at home). A-Train does get some credibility when he blasts: “that’s the worst trade idea ever- what are yous, ‘tarded or whaaaa?!”

    Bleacher Report is the place people go when they get banned from Knickerblogger for being ‘tarded.

    In think I read on Bleacher Report once that Clyde Frazier’s negativity cost the knicks 35 wins last year.

    Whaaaa?!

  65. Brian Cronin

    I don’t get it, wouldn’t we love a trade of Randolph for Marion?

    I mean, yeah, it’s dumb for the Heat (to the point where they’d never do it), but the Knicks would like that trade, no? Even if it meant giving up Nate.

  66. Z

    “I don’t get it, wouldn’t we love a trade of Randolph for Marion?”

    I admit, most of the time I have no idea what Balkman’s Agent is talking about. Most of what s/he writes sounds like weird, drug-addled pop-culture commentary somehow arranged in an NBA context. But in this case I think he is saying the trade is stupid to suggest because it is so one sided that it would never happen. (That is how I interpret it). Certainly, what Knick fan wouldn’t trade Randolph for anyone at all, let alone Marion?!

  67. Captain Merlin

    Yeah, bleacher report is essentially the lower left side of the lining of rectum in the great gastrointestinal system that is speculative, baseless sports “reporting”/far fetched idea sharing. So, bearing that in mind, it is at least as reliable a source as Berman, if not moreso.

  68. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Has anyone seen this?

    I doubt some aspects of it, but parts of it would explain a lot of things that don’t seem to make sense.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/41826-three-way-deal-brewing-between-clippers-nuggets-and-knicks

    That the author spells Chris Andersen wrong three times + the bad writing tells all you need to know about the credibility. ["I feel, without a doubt, the two teams are talking." - thanks for telling us you don't doubt your own feelings.] If the grammar police are still around, I would like to see someone diagram his opening sentence.

    Although he’s probably just one “according to an NBA inside source” away from writing for the Post.

  69. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    I admit, most of the time I have no idea what Balkman’s Agent is talking about.

    A while back a poster here claimed that Walt Frazier was the cause of the Knicks bad record because of his on-air negativity.

  70. Captain Merlin

    I think someone’s a little jealous that A-Train might be stealing some of this thunder.

    This is in fact what is fueling my extreme doubts about his credibility, so naturally, as a result, I feel it necessary to speculate on a deal just as likely to occur. Here’s the breakdown: Zach Randolph, Q, and the rights to Freddy Weis and lots of cash to the 1989 Quebec Nordiques in exchange for the elderly duo of Guy LaFleur and Michel Goulet, as well as the rights to their logo, and a hell of a lot of throw ins for salary purposes.

    There you go A-Train, I’ve stolen the thunder back, and engaged in a game of one-upmanship. How will he strike next?

  71. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    The bleacher report is now my favorite web page of all time.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/43122-usa-basketball-just-give-them-the-gold

    Steve Nash is underrated:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/43032-underrated-steve-nash-will-quietly-lead-phoenix-to-the-top

    Steve Nash is overrated:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/42967-steve-nash-the-most-overrated-player-in-the-nba

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/43048-confessions-of-a-sports-snob

  72. Captain Merlin

    At least they’re credible. I propose a mass exodus from this blog over to bleacher report, that way we can all learn from the divine banter over there. Also, I’ll be able to super glue my caps lock down and argue the posibility of a Jerome James and Mardy Collins for Greg Oden and Brandon Roy trade, and how it’s obviously another Blazer steal. Both abilities are major benefits of the exodus.

  73. Captain Merlin

    Hopefully Walsh will continue to make outrageous, conversation generating moves throughout out the remainder of the offseason, spaced prudently and at even clip, so as to keep us all constantly occupied at a consistent level with our senseless banter. According to my very exacting calculations, a new banter topic ought to arrive between 1:51 PM and 3:11 PM on Thursday of next week. Until then.

  74. Z

    Erich Doerr fave Nick Fazekas is now an unrestricted FA. Do we have any of our mid level left, or did Duhon smoke it all?

  75. Caleb

    Do we have any of our mid level left, or did Duhon smoke it all?

    Up in smoke. But I’d be surprised if anyone offers Fazekas even $1 million.

    I would love to see us grab him, see what he can do, but we’d have to buy out James or dump Mardy Collins or trade David Lee for a 2nd round pick. The way things are shaping up, I don’t see most of those things happening.

  76. Captain Merlin

    Of those three, the most likely is dealing Lee for a 2nd rounder, sadly. Even then, I don’t think they’d bother going after Fazekas. It’s not that he can’t pay, but rather that the one sure way to guarantee that a certain player will not wind up on this team is to think for just one second in passing that said player would make a nice addition to the team. If you want it, it’ll never happen.

  77. cavjam

    If the grammar police are still around, I would like to see someone diagram his opening sentence.

    It’s actually correct, though the diagrammatic tree extends onto a second chalkboard. Faulkner wrote simpler sentences. It’s also vacuous, sophomoric, and illogical. How can the Nuggets influence a trade for Camby if he’s already traded? Why didn’t they just trade him to the Knicks? “[I]ncreasingly feeling” brings an image of a post-coma patient. “[C]razy here” instead of “crazy for this” is one of those conversational bits which doesn’t work on the page. Of course, the whole article reeks of “look what I pulled through my anal sphincter.”

    I especially love his chiding Denver for not trading players with untradable contracts.

  78. Italian Stallion

    Guys,

    The gist of the article was that several teams made trades that don’t seem to make a lot of sense on paper unless there are more deals to come. The idea that they might deal with each other because some of the key players were part of previous trade talks was pure speculation. Likely or not, the author said as much. What’s the problem? If you don’t like the trades or think any of them is possible, so be it. This was not meant to be news reporting. I posted it here because I thought it was entertaining.

    I’d also like to let you know that most people don’t read the sports pages looking for literary giants. They read these blogs and sports pages looking for entertainment, an occasional basketball insight, because they enjoy discussion etc… Most couldn’t give a rats ass how many spelling and grammar errors there are. You aren’t going to attract many people by pointing out the grammar and spelling errors of others.

  79. Solomon Grundy

    I’d also like to let you know that most people don’t read the sports pages looking for literary giants. They read these blogs and sports pages looking for entertainment, an occasional basketball insight, because they enjoy discussion etc… Most couldn’t give a rats ass how many spelling and grammar errors there are. You aren’t going to attract many people by pointing out the grammar and spelling errors of others.

    Solomon Grundy thank Stalion for informing him to look for literary giant elsewhere. Solomon Grundy never think of that on Solomon Grundy’s own.

    Solomon Grundy have question: if Apache Chief write something, is it not work of literary giant?

  80. Captain Merlin

    I do in fact comb through sports blogs trying to find a blossoming literary giant and every time I see a spliced comma, improper pronoun usage, or misplaced antecedent, a great, furious sadness overwhelms me, much like that experienced by old Native American medicine men in movies when they see litter.

    On another note–why do we have two Solomon Grundy-types now?

    And thirdly, I have a psychically derived feeling that on Thursday between 1:51 and 3:11 PM, some sort of deal will occur to incur the board’s wrath. Probably along the lines of Lee for Ndudi Ebi or some shit like that. Electro tumbleweeds make psychics of us all.

  81. TDM

    “On another note–why do we have two Solomon Grundy-types now?”

    Good question. For a second there, I thought my inner child had developed the ability to blog while I was sleeping. . .

    With regard to Fazekas, I’m a fan. However, I would rather try to get a shotblocker to use in spot minutes. Since Camby looks out of the picture, someone like Theo Ratliff. Has he signed with Detroit or another team yet? I think recalling that he was a UFA.

  82. daaarn

    Just wondering, but what’s with all the Fazekas love? It just seems like I’m reading more and more praise for the guy despite his nominal NBA impact.

  83. Ben R

    daaarn – I think people are excited about Fazekas because he put up fantastic numbers in college and in a very limited amount of minutes put up fantastic numbers in the NBA.

    His sample size in the NBA is so small the chance of him not amounting to anything is high but he is still exactly the knid of low risk high reward player successful teams take flyers on.

    He certainly has as much upside as Chandler or Gallinari.

    I would be stoked to pick up Fazekas until that inevitable David Lee trade.

    Of course Walsh is not an idiot they would not trade Lee for a 2nd rounder, they would hold off until they got a low first rounder 25-30. Give the man a little credit.

  84. Dave

    Folks are interested in Fazekas because of his quality numbers in short minutes plus an impressive college career.

    As for myself, I don’t have any confidence in the man’s abilities or potential. I normally don’t rate athleticism too highly and prefer smarts/skills but you need enough athleticism to compete and I don’t believe Fazekas has that. He’s a candidate, if not the frontrunner, for the most un-athletic player in the NBA. Overcoming this flaw would be very difficult and very unlikely.

    The only reason Fazekas got minutes last season because he found himself on a team where Josh Powell was the second best big man on the roster. To state this is another light, Josh Powell is a borderline NBA player. With the Clippers waiving him I’m not sure he’s in the league next season. This is how bad a situation they were in with their bigs.

    I’d like to see Powell stick around, he’s a fine 5th big in a teams rotation. Anything more than that and you’re reaching a bit. If he were next to a high quality backup big with the size to play center you could be able to use him well as a fourth big in the rotation in low minutes.

  85. Z

    I think it has become obvious that a Randolph for Fazekas + trade exception deal was on the table before the Camby trade and Walsh either turned it down or didn’t think to ask. Either way, he made a terrible mistake. (Dumping Randolph and netting a decent prospect would have been better than keeping Randolph one extra day (but Dumping Balkman was definitely best! (just kidding, for those who aren’t sure (parentheticals rock!))).

  86. T-Mart

    QUOTE OF THE DAY:

    “I’ve been through lots of adversaties”

    - Ron Artest with Stephen A Smith on ESPN

  87. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Just wondering, but what’s with all the Fazekas love? It just seems like I’m reading more and more praise for the guy despite his nominal NBA impact.

    Just look at his numbers in the NBA and in the D-League. His college stats showed he’d likely be a good NBA player, and so far his professional numbers indicate the same. What’s not to like?

    Unless this guy has some other kind of baggage we don’t know about, he seems like a fine fit for one lucky NBA team. Hard to believe guys like Francisco Elson, Jarron Collins, Jerome James, and Kwame Brown are on NBA rosters, while Fazekas is still available. (Check out the per-minute comparison.)

  88. TDM

    T-Mart:

    Love the avatar from the now-defunct “Bert Is Evil” website. The quote is hilarious as well.

  89. Moses

    Mike:

    Those stats are pretty hard to dispute (though the sample size is small). My question is: What would it cost for the Knicks to sign Fazekas? Do we have the cap space?

    It seems like this guy is potentially an above-average NBA starter. Signing him would mean we’d have two of them!

  90. caleb

    What would it cost for the Knicks to sign Fazekas? Do we have the cap space?

    Unless I’m mistaken, the Knicks could still use their bi-annual exception, which would let them offer a deal of $1.91 million (or less). I’d be very surprised if anyone offered more.

    IMO it would be a great, low-risk (no-risk) move to land a guy with a lot of potential. Based on the college numbers and rookie sample, he rebounds well enough to play center. He’s not what you’d call “athletic,” and I’m sure he’ll struggle on defense, but it’s hard to imagine anyone struggling more than Curry.

    I’m not holding my breath for the Knicks to make this move.

  91. Z

    Seems to me management is a little over-obsessed with roster size. They probably won’t want to go back over 15 after working so hard to get below the cut line…

  92. Caleb

    re: roster size…

    James — I sort of get it. They can save more than $20 million (counting luxury tax) if they negotiate medical retirement. That doesn’t happen overnight. They’re holding onto the dream.

    Marbury & Rose — I guess they’re keeping them as trade chits. I won’t rehash all the Marbury arguments, but there’s some logic here.

    Mardy Collins, though — he’s the 4th string point guard, we all know his NBA upside is 12th man, and cutting him is no big financial hit. I will never understand how Balkman could be turned loose before Collins.

  93. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    He’s not what you’d call “athletic,” and I’m sure he’ll struggle on defense, but it’s hard to imagine anyone struggling more than Curry.

    I’m not holding my breath for the Knicks to make this move.

    Wow compared to Curry, he doesn’t look bad at all. Actually a three way comparison is interesting. He’s like David Lee, but take away free throw shooting and throw in blocked shots. He snags nearly double the rebounds as Curry.

    From the few youtube clips I saw, looks like he’s got a couple of post moves, although his nearly 20ppg in the D-League might suggest otherwise.

  94. Caleb

    Oh yeah, I would be shocked if Fazekas isn’t a solid or better NBA rebounder. Rebounding numbers translate especially well, from college.

    I’m more worried about the defense; my only point was that it’s hard to get much worse than the worst defensive center in the league. (that’s my same logic for playing Randolph at the center spot, as long as he’s on the team)

  95. Ess-dog

    re: fazekas
    it simply makes too much sense for the Knicks to go after him. we need another true center on the team, and Mardy’s a waste of space.

    moving forward, i agree that playing Zach at center makes the most sense, because you really can’t get any worse than Curry (except when he occasionally falls into a block) and as we’ve seen, his game and Zach’s don’t agree on offense. Playing Zach at center would be interesting in D’Antoni’s offense. He just has to beat the other center down the floor, and he has the wingspan to guard taller centers (if he wants to.) Meanwhile, Lee could start and be the primary recipient of fast break points (along with Chandler) and you know he’ll work on his D against tougher PF’s. It’s the way to go if we stand pat – which it looks like we will.

  96. Owen

    Re Fazekas, he really is an interesting case.

    His NBA sample is so small, I hesitate to make any judgment on him. But he clearly has done enough to get some kind of contract somewhere. If Brian Scalabrine has an NBA contract, this guy should too.

    It’s funny how athleticism is defined in the NBA. You would think that a guy who can post a a 12 rebound per 36 rate, even if it was in garbage time, even if it was against marginal competition, wouldn’t get that tag. But people certainly seem to base their opinions on how a person looks much more than how he plays.

    I also love his +/- stats, which not only show him having a much bigger defensive impact than offensive, but also show him being pretty much the polar opposite of Curry. Fazekas is a +11 while Curry is a -11.6.

    But again, 259 minutes is a miniscule amount, and +/- stats mean almost nothing with that kind of sample.

    Still, I hope he gets a shot somewhere, if only because I am very curious to see how he turns out.

  97. retropkid

    on paper, the Artest-to-Houston deals looks good for Houston, but given the fragility of that squad’s key players, and Artest’s age, I’d be surprised if it pays off.

    As for off-topic posts: I am not a fan of Fazekas either, just don’t believe he is going to be a big piece of the puzzle.

    Was out of the country during Balkman deal — my sympathies to the big Balkman fans on this board, I know we didn’t have much to root for, and losing him feels bad. But he was more potential than actual — it will be interesting to follow his career and see if he improves or swoons from here… For now, let’s move Chandler up to favorite son status and hope he is in for a monster season…

  98. Z

    I guess Donnie Walsh did a radio interview (turns out the guy must know how to talk afterall). Highlights:

    1) Marbury has a clean slate.

    2) Randolph is worth more than the Clipper offer because he is a “20-10 guy”.

    3) Balkman, contrary to the opinions of Knick fans, does, in fact, suck.

  99. retropkid

    Z — what do you expect Walsh to say?

    “Marbury is a cancer. I’m hoping other GMs will still trade me value for this p.o.s. ego-maniac…”

    “Randolph can’t spell T-E-AM if you spotted him the T,E,and A…he’s a matador out there, flailing and thrashing his arms is usually the most activity he demonstrates. I’m sure other clubs have a #1 draft choice they’d like to give me for this guy!”

    As to Balkman, he doesn’t suck, but he’s a sidelight really. Get over it. The closest he would get to 20-10 is in an eye exam… He probably never averages 20 minutes or 10 points in a season, no matter what club he is on. Hey, I like his game, but enough is enough…

  100. Frank

    As to Balkman, he doesn’t suck, but he’s a sidelight really. Get over it. The closest he would get to 20-10 is in an eye exam… He probably never averages 20 minutes or 10 points in a season, no matter what club he is on. Hey, I like his game, but enough is enough…

    I’ve tried to but couldn’t have said it better. You’d think we just traded Ewing in his prime based on the anti-Walsh/D’Antoni venom on this board.

  101. Z

    “Z — what do you expect Walsh to say?”

    I don’t expect Walsh to say anything, ever. I’m surprised he did an interview at all.

    But, since he did talk, I find it interesting he used the same “D’Antoni cliche of “20-10 guy” in describing Randolph’s value.

    Forgive me if I also remain surprised that there are, presumably, 14 better players on the Knicks than Balkman, after Walsh said Balkman was traded for nothing because “he wasn’t going to play”.

    “The closest he would get to 20-10 is in an eye exam… He probably never averages 20 minutes or 10 points in a season”

    If “20-10 guy” meant 20 minutes and 10 points, then Zach Randolph would be a perfectly used “20-10 guy”. Those guys tend not to make $15 million a year, though.

    “You’d think we just traded Ewing in his prime based on the anti-Walsh/D’Antoni venom on this board.”

    No. You think we DIDN’T just trade Zach Randolph for a $13 million trade exception.

  102. Z

    Also, Bobby Jones was claimed by the Heat off of the Knicks waivers. We get to be reminded of Balkman every time we lose to the Heat this year, too.

  103. retropkid

    the schedule is out, you can go to the Denver game and root for Balkman all you want…. Feel free to launch a “Balkman-blogger” site to celebrate his Nugget-ness, though I’m not sure how many ‘Melo minutes he is going to grab this year…

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