Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Screw the basketball gods! Embrace your inner hoops atheist.

So the Knicks were the only team to end up worse off than regular season record would dictate.

Of friggin’ course. Because LOLKnicks, right?

The draft with the best looking pair of bigs to come out together in a long time, and New York appears to be on the outside looking in. It’s not like we need low post scoring or rim protection.

That’s it for you basketball gods. You’re done here. I renounce you, like the mythical Salieri.

So with that out of the way, the draft is still weeks off which means current prospect rankings will stay in flux as teams work them out. Short of injury or scandal though, Towns and Okafor (in some order) will be the top two selections. Of course, some are already suggesting that the Lakers may take Mudiay at #2. (I doubt it.) Philadelphia also looks poised to take a guard at #3, but who the heck knows what the Sixers will do.

It seems like the Knicks have three categories of options involving the pick.

1. Draft best player available at #4 and sign a rim protector in free agency. Right now a consensus appears to be forming around 19 year old PG Emmanual Mudiay as the fourth best player. He played about a dozen games (including playoffs) in the Chinese league after foregoing the Larry Brown experience at SMU. I have nothing intelligent to say about the kid because I haven’t seen or read much about him. He has a pro body at 19, and that’s not something to take lightly. Drafting a guard would force the Knicks to look elsewhere for the rim protection it sorely needs. Hey, I hear Tyson Chandler is unrestricted…

2. Draft the best remaining center at #4. A strategy that hasn’t received much ink just yet involves the Knicks using the pick on the next best center after Towns and Okafor. Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein and Texas freshman Myles Turner are defense-first bigs in the Tyson Chandler mold. That’s probably the ideal style of center to play alongside Carmelo Anthonly. Both are right at or about 7’0″ and 240lbs. Right now DraftExpress lists Cauley-Stein as the 6th rated player and Turner as the 11th. Assuming those ratings hold, Cauley-Stein’s probably not an outrageous reach at #4. By the time we get through work out season, we may be talking about him as pretty good value at that spot.

3. Move the pick for additional assets. The pundits are already speculating that the Knicks will listen to trade proposals. All things equal, I prefer the team use the pick rather than move it unless a move involves other young, cheap players and/or picks.

I am a salty dog right now. Like pretty much every other Knicks fan, I was hoping the draft lottery would provide some clarity on who would anchor the next good Knicks team. We are not much closer to knowing that, unfortunately.

The big thing Knicks fans (by which I mostly mean me) must remember though is that this roster needs a massive talent infusion. It is legitimately one of the worst 2 or 3 in the league. At this point, New York won’t get one of the two would-be franchise-altering bigs. Still, there is PLENTY of space on the roster for young, quality, athletic basketball players. Plenty of minutes too. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Knicks could stand an athletic upgrade at virtually every roster spot.

Although our dreams of drafting the next Patrick Ewing may have been dashed, an equally important dream of not drafting the next Stacey King/Jason Caffey or trading the pick for the next Eddie Curry remains very much alive. So, lets count our blessings. But keep in mind that they were supplied by random chance. Not the basketball gods.

Fuck those guys. Seriously. Fuck them.

189 comments on “Screw the basketball gods! Embrace your inner hoops atheist.

  1. Farfa

    I have the feeling that those “goink” quotes are going to permanently kick the Woodysms to the curb.

  2. stratomatic

    I want Winslow.

    He’s an efficient scorer with good shot selection, excellent defender, excellent rebounder, rose to the occasion in the tournament, and seemed to be putting it all together at the end of the season. I can see him contributing next year and continuing to develop into an all star caliber 2-way player. I can live with that!

    I don’t want to wait 3 years for Mudiay to “hopefully” develop a shot and learn how to defend. If he was a certainty to become a star, OK. I’ll wait as many years as it takes. But I’m not waiting 3 years to find out he’s always going to be a liability spacing wise because he can’t shoot a lick.

    The real issue is how do the Knicks fill the center position now.

    Melo can plays some PF with Winslow at SF in a small lineup and they can also play Melo at SF and Winslow at SG in a big lineup, but either way, they need a defensive presence in the middle.

  3. WeirdJohn

    I don’t post much as I have very little basketball knowledge compared to the others here, but I’m not sure we are totally out of the running for one of the bigs. If (and I realize this is a big if) Okafur or Towns drop out of the top two, they are essentially going to drop to 4 if the consensus that the 76ers are drafting a point guard is true.

    Yeah I’m an optimist, but who knows?

  4. Hubert

    Melo and the 4th pick to LA for the 2nd pick. Who says no?

    The Lakers would agree to that trade before we could finish proposing it.

  5. KnickFaninChicago

    Long time reader here. Wanted to throw my two cents in as a non-expert. Disappointed we didn’t get Towns; however, after him I think a lot of these other guys are interchangeable value wise. Any chance we can trade down a pick or two and get WCS say at 6 or 7? If so, what kind of return would we get with the trade? What’s two spots worth?

  6. Hubert

    Some thoughts:

    1. Shame on Derek Fisher for trying to win games down the stretch. It was an extremely stupid thing to do and it gives me great concern about his long term viability as a coach. I don’t want people that stupid involved in high level decision making.

    2. Having said that, I don’t think the drop off from 2 to 4 is as huge as people are making it out to be. I think this is a draft with 4-5 top prospects, and we have the fourth pick. This is not the 2007 draft (Oden/Durant) where falling out of the top 2 meant doom. I believe it’s going to be more like the 2008 NBA draft (1. Rose, 2. Beasley, 3. Mayo, 4. Westbrook, 5. Love). We may well look back on this and say “Thank god we didn’t get the 2nd pick and take what’s his name”. This is a crap shoot of the highest magnitude, but we are right in the middle of it.

    3. It still does not excuse Derek Fisher. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.

    4. I had been hopeful that we could trade Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers for their top 5 pick, but that was when I thought they might be 4th or 5th. Unlikely at 2.

    5. Now we have to be afraid that WE might be the stupid team that trades the pick for an overpriced star. The worst case scenario is not falling 4th. The worst case scenario is trading this pick.

  7. Hubert

    One more concern:

    We need to take whoever we think the best player is, but I fear that instead we will take the best player that complements Melo. Which would be tragic if that costs us a better player.

  8. Farfa

    3. It still does not excuse Derek Fisher. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.

    Oh yes it doesn’t.

  9. stratomatic

    Winning those games was well beyond idiotic and celebrating wildly like Hardaway Jr was when he went on that tear is reason enough to trade him on basketball IQ grounds alone (let alone that he was terrible last year until we needed him to be terrible).

  10. vincoug

    One more concern:

    We need to take whoever we think the best player is, but I fear that instead we will take the best player that complements Melo. Which would be tragic if that costs us a better player.

    This is my 2nd biggest fear, that we’ll draft based on fit next to Melo. That would be fucking idiotic.

    My biggest fear is that we trade the pick to “win now”. That would probably make me quit being a Knicks fan.

  11. Alecto

    I’m really torn between Mudiay and Russell, with an outside shot of Porzingis. We get so few bites at the apple that maybe it’s better strategy for us to choose the higher upside player, other things being equal. Mudiay isn’t a good fit for the triangle but has more potential to be a two-way player than Russell–who has a good wingspan but poor lateral movement, poor defensive instincts from playing zone, and only moderate athleticism–which I find rather valuable. Russell’s shooting numbers are great, however, and that’s where Mudiay struggles mightily. I think Winslow is slightly overvalued but still pretty good, but I’d rather not take him. I would love WCS, but unless we trade down it’s probably not good value at the #4. I wouldn’t touch Hezonja with a 10-foot pole. Porzingis is mysterious but seems to have all the tools and he had decent stats in a relatively competitive league.

    So for me, I guess my draft priority at the 4 position goes something like

    1. Mudiay
    2. Russell
    3. Porzingis/Trade down for a pick + a future one (Kings?)
    4. WCS
    5.Winslow

    If either of the two bigs are open you take them, obviously.

  12. Frank

    I don’t think we can go wrong with any of Mudiay, Russell, or Winslow.

    I hadn’t watched quite as much of Winslow as I had with the other 2, but does anyone see a little bit of James Harden in him? I’m sure all of you have seen his Draftexpress video He’s basically the same size (a little taller even) than Harden, is a lefty, just bulldozes people when he drives, and has all this weird herky-jerky stuff on his trips to the rim. If one can believe his 41.4% from 3 point range (in spite of his low-ish FT%), I’m not sure why we think he has a low ceiling.

    let’s see–
    – consensus top wing defender in the draft
    – 41% from 3 point range
    – multi-faceted – averaged 18/9/3/1.8/1.2 per 40.
    – very strong intangibles by all reports
    – doesn’t disappear from games frequently (a la Stanley Johnson who btw IMHO has Chris Singleton written all over him, and not in a good way).
    – and not that this should matter in terms of who we draft (IMHO with a top 5 pick you should always go best player available) but if we draft him, we have a serious logjam at the wing position between Melo, Winslow, THJ, Early, Thanasis, so presumably Melo would play more at the 4.

    Anyway, long story short — JUST DON’T TRADE THE PICK unless it’s so no-brainer that you have to.

  13. thenoblefacehumper

    The Lakers would agree to that trade before we could finish proposing it.

    If you’re right, I think we’d be incredibly foolish to not at least consider it or other similar trades. I don’t think Melo is useless but moving up in the draft and ridding ourselves of his contract would be pretty appealing to me.

  14. Hubert

    I’m not going to lie: if the Knicks trade this pick to “win now”, I’d probably take a break from basketball for a while.

    Having said that, we can’t ignore the fact that this is precisely how Danny Ainge built a championship Celtics team around Paul Pierce. After they missed out on Oden/Durant, they traded the 5th pick in the draft for Ray Allen.

    Of course, that would have been a monumentally stupid decision if Kevin McHale didn’t decide to do his old buddy a solid and hand him Kevin Garnett on a silver platter one month later.

    So yeah, I’m all against trading this pick. But I can’t kill them for shopping it. I mean, if they want to try to recreate Pierce-Allen-Garnett with Melo-Gasol (via FA)-some all star caliber guard they traded the 4th pick for, I won’t hate them for trying. It’s extremely unlikely, but it’s worth a shot.

    Of course, that Celtics team already had Rondo and Perkins in place, and there is currently no one of that caliber on our roster.

  15. Alecto

    If we engineered a Melo to Lakers trade and got their 2nd pick I would start going to church and maybe even start believing in a higher power.

  16. Hubert

    If you’re right, I think we’d be incredibly foolish to not at least consider it or other similar trades. I don’t think Melo is useless but moving up in the draft and ridding ourselves of his contract would be pretty appealing to me.

    I don’t know how much of Captain Luke’s Kool-Aid you’ve drank, but while Melo is an albatross to our organization, he is by no means an untradeable contract. Nor is he viewed around the league as an unwanted commodity like Amar’e Stoudemire was. He has trade value. Using him to move up from Mudiay/Russell to Okafor is cashing in on that value for one cent on the dollar.

  17. Alecto

    Post-knee injury Melo with an NTC is a definite albatross. Melo is perceived to be a very valuable player around the league, but his just coming off the injury and basically having us over a barrel with the NTC really impacts our negotiating position. He’s only going to L.A. or Chicago, and everyone in the league knows that. Both of those teams would parlay that into an advantageous negotiating position. If there were a Melo trade, however, any at all, I’d be ecstatic. If the value is -25m off our books and the possibility of grabbing Towns/Okafor you do that every day of the week and twice on draft day.

    Even a broken clock…

  18. Hubert

    Here’s another thought:

    when you’re one of 4 poorly run organizations* in a 4 player draft, maybe 4th is the best place to pick.

    * I may be stretching it calling Philadelphia poorly run, they at least know how to tank and Hinkie has a smart (albeit unpopular plan). It’s unclear, though, if they know how to benefit from tanking yet.

  19. Frank

    So yeah, I’m all against trading this pick. But I can’t kill them for shopping it.

    yeah, it’s silly to close your ears to offers. Maybe someone just blows you out of the water. Or maybe Phil loves Kaminsky (I do) or Myles Turner and can trade back to the 8-10 range and pick up a 1st rounder for next year in addition.

    Meanwhile what is up with Steve Mills? Does he have dementia? What’s with all this talk about adjusting who they draft based on who they think they’ll be able to sign in FA?!??! Dude, free agency is AFTER the draft. DURING the draft, potential FAs are all under contract to another team. We all know that there are backchannel talks with agents all the time, but he may as well have said “depending on how our tampering goes, we may draft a big or a wing”. Would anyone be surprised if there are tampering charges against the Knicks the 1st week of July if we land someone good?

  20. thenoblefacehumper

    Post-knee injury Melo with an NTC is a definite albatross

    Even a broken clock…

    Yeah…this has nothing to do with me drinking Captain Luke’s Kool-Aid, and everything to do with the tradability of a 30 year old coming off major knee surgery with one of the biggest contracts in the sport. I think you’d be surprised at just how low his value is, especially having not played since the surgery.

  21. Hubert

    Post-knee injury Melo with an NTC is a definite albatross

    To us, yes. But sometimes people want your albatross. JR was an albatross, too. And we were foolish for acting like him and Shump had no value. We’d be extremely foolish to act like Melo doesn’t, either.

  22. Alecto

    I think you underestimate the impact of that horrendous NTC, but I’d like for you to be right.

  23. thenoblefacehumper

    To us, yes. But sometimes people want your albatross. JR was an albatross, too. And we were foolish for acting like him and Shump had no value. We’d be extremely foolish to act like Melo doesn’t, either.

    Their contract situations were somewhat undesirable, whereas Melo’s is potentially franchise ruining. Just completely different situations. I don’t hate Melo as a player or person but I really think a trade to the Lakers in exchange for us moving up in the draft makes sense for both parties (Melo and the Knicks, that is, not so much the Lakers…).

  24. thenamestsam

    Massively disappointing day obviously, but if there’s one things Knicks fans have practice with it’s getting over massive disappointment. Basically, I’ve already talked myself into Winslow 100%. Similar to Frank’s reasoning basically. You take a guy with fantastic defensive ability, a respectable 3 point shot, and all the right intangibles and you’re already talking about a starter on a good team. The question is where his upside is, and I see enough there to believe he can become a Jimmy Butler type, who isn’t quite ideal as a primary offensive option, but is a strong secondary option while also being a wing stopper on the defensive end. Also while you should never draft for need in the top 5 it certainly doesn’t hurt that a versatile defensive wing who doesn’t need the ball a ton (at least right away) is a really nice fit next to Melo.

  25. Hubert

    Yeah…this has nothing to do with me drinking Captain Luke’s Kool-Aid, and everything to do with the tradability of a 30 year old coming off major knee surgery with one of the biggest contracts in the sport. I think you’d be surprised at just how low his value is, especially having not played since the surgery.

    So then don’t trade him now.

    Do you honestly think Carmelo Anthony is anywhere close to being finished as a basketball player?

    This wasn’t “major knee surgery”. He didn’t tear an ACL/MCL or have Amar’e Stoudemire microfracture whatever.

    In 12 months he’ll have finished another all star season and he’ll be making $20 million in a league where the max salary is around $30 million. Reducing him to a chip you use to move up two spots to draft a player who may not be better than the guy you can get at 4 is as silly as giving him a mega max contract in the first place.

    Let’s find some sane middle ground here.

  26. thenamestsam

    As far as Melo’s trade value, I think you have to keep in mind the wise words “It only takes one idiot”. I think there are probably a lot of smart teams around the league who would see Melo as an albatross and have almost no interest in him at any price. But you cannot convince me that the Kings, or the Lakers, or a few other really dumb teams wouldn’t still value him as a superstar. It only takes one of them willing to pay up to get a good haul for him. Unfortunately, any other team listing the dumb teams who might take their albatrosses would put us as the top of the list, and yeah, we’re not trading him.

  27. thenoblefacehumper

    So then don’t trade him now.

    Do you honestly think Carmelo Anthony is anywhere close to being finished as a basketball player?

    I don’t know, but if we wait to find out then we risk losing all potential trade value.

    In 12 months he’ll have finished another all star season and he’ll be making $20 million in a league where the max salary is around $30 million. Reducing him to a chip you use to move up for Okafor is as silly as giving him a mega max contract in the first place.”

    Maybe, or maybe he’s shut down for the season again and begins to be thought of similarly to Stoudemire. This isn’t necessarily about Okafor. Moving up in general increases flexibility in multiple ways.

  28. GoNyGoNYGo

    I’m not going to lie: if the Knicks trade this pick to “win now”, I’d probably take a break from basketball for a while.

    Honestly, that happened to me last season. I just had to stop watching basketball. It pained me. I would flip through the channels, stop MSG to see the score, got ill, changed the channel. That also means I haven’t watched the playoffs. I finally put on my Knick gear yesterday, like a geek, and sat down to watch the next ugly chapter in Knicks history.

    I’m trying to return to my home in Knickistan but there’s only famine, blight and misery there.

  29. Alecto

    I don’t think he’s done playing basketball or anything but I think that trading to the Lakers for the #2 pick is the best chance we get at trading Melo–I don’t care if it’s pennies on the dollar, not having Melo and having 25m extra in cap is better than having Melo and not having 25m extra in cap. Melo simply isn’t worth close to that amount of money. The value of keeping Melo until he’s 35 vs. getting rid of him now is low. Why wouldn’t we see if we can get another shot at getting a max player who’s truly worth the money? Or, just as well, why not build the team the Hawks way, and have a bunch of mid-size contracts for great players? We could easily sign whoever we wanted and was realistically available this season and the next with all the extra cap space.

    Imagine a starting 5 of Corey Joseph, Danny Green, DeMarre Carroll, Millsap, and DeAndre plus whatever high value backups you want (Aminu, Ajinca, etc.)–that’s way better than what we could hope of accomplishing with Melo’s contract on the books

  30. GoNyGoNYGo

    We could easily sign whoever we wanted and was realistically available this season and the next with all the extra cap space.

    You must’ve been hitting the hookah hard. Without Melo we won’t be able to attract Knick City Dancers much less good players. What’s the draw? The triangle? Old man Jackson? Playing with Alexey Shved and Langston Galloway?

  31. Alecto

    I forgot that we would have the #2 pick so scratch DeAndre and put in KAT or Okafor and you have a great, relatively young team on your hands and approximately 18m in cap. That’s legit.

  32. Alecto

    You must’ve been hitting the hookah hard. Without Melo we won’t be able to attract Knick City Dancers much less good players. What’s the draw? The triangle? Old man Jackson? Playing with Alexey Shved and Langston Galloway?

    The fact that we have 50+m in cap to build a competitive team, a top 2 pick, and, most of all, money.

  33. Hubert

    He’s only going to L.A. or Chicago, and everyone in the league knows that. Both of those teams would parlay that into an advantageous negotiating position.

    Denver did OK when he was only willing to go to Brooklyn or NY.

    Melo’s NTC was an atrocious decision by Phil, and it leaves us with little leverage. But it doesn’t leave us with zero leverage. All we have to do is tell Melo we’re not going to trade him if he only gives us one choice.

    I would be stunned if we can’t get at least two first round picks (or players of that equivalent) for Melo. Once the Lakers take Okafor, for instance, how much will they really want Randle? Randle and a future number 1 for Melo does not strike me as unreasonable at all.

  34. Alecto

    Randle and a future number 1 for Melo does not strike me as unreasonable at all.

    I could see that, but only because the Lakers are dumb. I think if you asked that trade of the Spurs or Hawks or X other model front offices they would laugh in your face. But I would totally be down for that, too.

  35. Dan Panorama

    Greg Monroe seems like he’d at least fill the same role as Okafor and is already an established entity, so there’s that possibility in free agency at least. We got way more holes than can be patched up with just an FA signing or two and a draft pick, though. I question whether Melo coming off surgery with 4 years left on his deal could actually net us a high lottery pick, maybe if LA is that crazy about adding a big name, but Phil seems pretty committed to using FA for not only this year but next year as well to build with him in mind. Would be surprised to see him be dissuaded from that path, especially given that we have no draft pick in 2016. If we’re going to trade him and go full rebuild, might as well do it after next season then, when hopefully Melo bounces back healthwise and has one less year on his deal.

  36. Owen

    I love this Melo for the 2nd pick idea. Surprising I know…

    I would take Willie Cauley Stein over Mudiay, who strikes me as having enormous bust potential. Myles Turner also seems to have a ton of potential. Either of those guys would work for me.

  37. Hubert

    I don’t think he’s done playing basketball or anything but I think that trading to the Lakers for the #2 pick

    Just to be clear, we’re all talking about trading Melo AND the #4 for the #2 pick, right?

    Because if you mean trading Melo for the #2 pick, then oh god yes.

  38. er

    Lol the Melo rhetoric is ridiculous. If the Lakers get Melo and the 4 for the two, the Lakers might be top 4 in the west next year. They could get Prorgingas, WCS or Winslow. With Kobe and Randall returning and still room for a mid level player

  39. er

    It should be very telling that no team went out of its way to give him a contract last season

    You are kidding right?

  40. Farfa

    the Lakers might be top 4 in the west next year

    Well, how? Clarkson(Rondo?)-Kobe-Melo-Randle-WCS? Nah, that’s about Utah-level.

  41. Hubert

    I feel like by the time the draft comes around, people will all be assuming the Sixers take Mudiay. Highest standard deviation of any player in the draft, possibly. If he doesn’t pan out, they’re still in the lottery. Just like Embiid, just like Noel. He fits their M.O. to a T.

  42. Dan Panorama

    A lot of people seem pretty optimistic Sixers are sold on Mudiay based on that logic and their scouting work in China, which would make this whole plan super easy since we’d obviously take either Russell or Okafor after they drop.

  43. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Banishing Melo to LA to play second fiddle to an ancient, injured Kobe Bryant is my ultimate fantasy. And to get a #2 pick in return? Please, please, please.

  44. JK47

    Phil’s top criteria for this upcoming draft pick:
    1. Does he fit well with the triangle?
    2. Can he shoot mid-range jumpers?
    3. Will he help us win right now?
    4. Is he a good fit with Carmelo?

    In other words, all the wrong criteria.

  45. Hubert

    DISCLAIMER: I am totally against trading this pick.

    REALITY: the Knicks are not.

    And as I mentioned earlier, the Celtics went from garbage to champion in one year from almost the same position we are in.

    So just thinking out loud, what’s the extremely unlikely but not entirely possible scenario that could get us there? Because that’s what Phil is going for, I assume.

    Step 1 is obviously convincing Marc Gasol to come here.

    Step 2 is trading the pick for a two-way wing player. Is there any chance that Chicago doesn’t want to max out Jimmy Butler bc Reinsdorf is a cheap bastard and would trade him to us for the 4th pick and start over with Winslow as a cheaper, younger, Butler-hopeful?

    I know I’m talking pie-in-the-sky/best-case-scenario here. But I might not quit watching basketball if we pulled off an extremely unlikley Melo-Gasol-Butler trio. And again, as crazy as this is, this is exactly what the Celtics managed to do just 8 years ago, so it’s not unprecedented.

    Any other unlikely-but-not-impossible free agent + trade acquisitions combinations you’d go for?

  46. Farfa

    Phil’s top criteria for this upcoming draft pick:
    1. Does he fit well with the triangle?
    2. Can he shoot mid-range jumpers?
    3. Will he help us win right now?
    4. Is he a good fit with Carmelo?

    In other words, all the wrong criteria.

    I know it’s tongue-in-cheek, but I imagine this as the exact process that led to us signing Jason Smith.

  47. max fisher-cohen

    You win at basketball GMing by stockpiling assets (i.e. picks, young dudes because they are cheap/free) until they develop into a championship quality, until they are valuable enough that you can move them to make a championship team, or some combination of the two.

    Ainge did that. It wasn’t just the 5th overall pick. He had young Al Jefferson, Gerald Green (a pretty good prospect at the time), and Minnesota’s draft pick (huge for Minny since they knew they’d be bad after the trade), to go along with numerous second tier young pieces such as young Tony Allen, Rondo and Glen Davis, which allowed him to fill out the roster. Ainge had been strategically disassembling the team for years, acquiring assets.

    The Knicks’s strategy has been to only trade pieces when they require a bribe to move or are part of a bribe. Ainge sacrificed short term to win long term. The Knicks sacrifice long term so they can win a little tiny bit more short term.

    If they decide the change that, they could maybe one day do the thing Ainge did, but it will take several years and would require tossing several more seasons out the window. It would definitely require trading Melo.

  48. Farfa

    Look, I’d be ok with a Melo and 4th pick for 2nd pick and loose change (but I wouldn’t despise Randle). It just will not happen.

  49. JK47

    Here it is, May 2015 and we’re lamenting about some meaningless games the Knicks won down the stretch of the season, torturing ourselves because the Wolves beat us in the race to the bottom and got the #1 pick and will use it to take the object of our desire Karl-Anthony Towns, while we’re debating who to draft with the #4 pick, Emmanuel Mudiay or Kristaps Porzingis. The only surprising thing about this whole turn of events is that we somehow didn’t get bumped down to #5.

    hows it goink bball gods?

  50. DRed

    If we engineered a Melo to Lakers trade and got their 2nd pick I would start going to church and maybe even start believing in a higher power.

    Amen

  51. Hubert

    Owen & THCJ:

    You’re talking Melo and the 4th pick for the #2 pick, right?

    I mean, I want to be rid of Melo, too, but come on. The drop off from Okafor to Russell is not Carmelo Anthony. You don’t think we’d be better just trading Melo to the Lakers for Randle or future draft picks and just using our 4th pick??

  52. Hubert

    The drop off from Okafor to Russell is not Carmelo Anthony.

    Hell there might not even be a dropoff. Russell may very well be better than Okafor and be available when we pick 4th. You’re valuing Melo at ZERO if you want to make that trade. I’m no RuRu, but come on. He’s not worthless.

  53. JK47

    This is the year Melo gaves us that .000000001% discount, so we can’t trade him now. This is our time! Enough cap space for Greg Monroe and some other schmoe, plus Emmanuel Mudiay! Where do I sign up for League Pass?

  54. swiftandabundant

    Also to say Melo didn’t attract players is a little disingenuous. We did sign Tyson Chandler right after he won a championship and Melo was on the team at the time. Maybe it was all about the money for Chandler but you gotta think he thought “Melo’s a pretty good player I could team up with” when he made the decision. Also, its not like the Knicks have had a ton of cap space during Melo’s time here (partly because of Melo but also everyone loves to ignore Amare’s role in that). This is the first time The Knicks have had Melo AND cap space. So I think we can really decide this summer if players want to play with Melo or not.

  55. swiftandabundant

    Also, if we’re talking about a Melo to the Lakers trade. Why not Melo for Kobe straight up?

    The salaries basically match. Kobe can play for Fisher for one year and “teach” the Triangle to our players, teach Mudiay how to be a relentless competitive ahole, etc. Knicks would still have their cap space for this summer and then next summer we’d have a TON of cap space cause Kobe’s contract would be off the books plus the salary cap would go up. We’d punt a year but we can get some good bigs this off season to build around out pick. Heck maybe Kobe signs a mini mid level with us to be our 6th man for 2 years afterwards.

    Melo gets The Lakers (LaLa would approve of this trade). Lakers get their super star to build around their #2 pick and Randle.

  56. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I can’t believe that people are justifying a $124,064,681 contract with a no-trade clause for an overrated chucker on the wrong side of 30 because they think that other NBA players won’t play for the Knicks if they don’t have a perceived “superstar.”

    cap space > fake superstar

  57. DRed

    This team is the NY Knicks, not the Carmelo Anthonys. Carmelo should not get blamed or credited for the players we sign. Our main attractions for FA (in order of importance) are money and the increased media exposure that comes from playing in NYC.

  58. JK47

    “I gotta get to NY to play with that 17-win team that is the laughingstock of professional sports so I can be a teammate of that guy who wants the ball all the time” said no one ever.

    Nobody gives two shits about playing with 31 year old Melo. Let’s get this ridiculous notion out of out heads.

  59. Hubert

    You win at basketball GMing by stockpiling assets (i.e. picks, young dudes because they are cheap/free) until they develop into a championship quality, until they are valuable enough that you can move them to make a championship team, or some combination of the two.

    Ainge did that.

    Let’s be clear:

    Ainge stumbled along blindly for a fair amount of his first few years as a GM, which included some notable mistakes like trading the #7 pick in the 2006 draft for Sebastian Telfair. He traded Antoine Walker for draft picks, then he traded draft picks to get Antoine Walker back. He drafted Rondo in the 2007 draft because he traded a first round pick in the 2008 draft to get him.

    This was not a guy wisely hoarding assets for years. He switched back and forth between trying to win now and looking to rebuild when his win now teams turned out to be poorly constructed.

    I strongly disagree that Gerald Green was ever a well regarded prospect. Ainge was absolutely bailed out of years of inconsistent management when his best friend, Kevin McHale, decided to make one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. That was not a case of stockpiling being rewarded. That was Celtic nepotism.

    He knows what he’s doing now, no doubt. But it took him some years of screwing up to get there.

    The Heat didn’t stockpile assets before they built their title-winning teams, did they? Did the Spurs land Tim Duncan because they had been stockpiling?

    Let’s be real: we like to pretend there is a blueprint, but really you just need to get massively lucky or you need to fleece a stupid team. That is the blueprint.

  60. swiftandabundant

    I don’t even think the increased media exposure is that big of a deal to players. Maybe to marginal players like JR Smith but if you are a superstar in the NBA, you have plenty of chances to do ads for shoes. Just ask Durant or Westbrook. The media exposure thing works both ways bc some players might not want the added pressure of playing in NYC where every game is dissected by the media.

    I would do Kobe for Melo in a heartbeat. It would rid us of Melo’s contract 3 years earlier (his 3 worst years). We’d have a lot of cap space next yr after Kobe was done with his contract.

  61. DRed

    If you’re a superstar, sure, you don’t need NY. But if you’re Greg Monroe?

    Kobe for Melo straight up would be a swindle by us, although it would expose us to the risk of Kobe bullying Jimmy D’s dumbass into some sort of disaster of an extension.

  62. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t even think the increased media exposure is that big of a deal to players.

    Seriously! You’ve got Russ Westbrook dressing like he lives in Williamsburg, but he talks like he’s never going to leave Oklahoma. Oklahoma.

  63. Hubert

    That is the blueprint.

    That and don’t be stupid and trade your future draft picks for bad basketball players, which is the part we keep screwing up.

  64. DS

    I don’t know if I’m saying anything new but:

    Here was a breakdown of the Knicks’ chances for each pick:
    1st overall: 19.9%
    2nd overall: 18.8%
    3rd overall: 17.1%
    4th overall: 31.9%
    5th overall: 12.3%

    #4 was the most likely outcome. And there was a 60% chance they would pick 3-5. Obviously I’m still salty and esp. pissed that they didn’t end up with the worst record, or lose the Atlanta game, etc. But the odds going into last night were that they’d end up with pick 3, 4, or 5.

  65. JK47

    So is Monroe, Caroll and Mudiay a good off-season or is it still constant bitching mode?

    I don’t know if you noticed, but this team sucked mightily last year, and does not have it’s own draft pick next year because some genius thought Andrea Bargnani was the piece we needed to put us over the top. Greg Monroe is mediocre and Emmanuel Mudiay is the guy most of us have been saying we don’t want all along.

    So yeah, constant bitching.

  66. GoNyGoNYGo

    So is Monroe, Caroll and Mudiay a good off-season or is it still constant bitching mode?

    The latter.

  67. swiftandabundant

    People are hating on Mudiay, though, simply bc they haven’t seen him and he played in China. at one point he was supposed to be the top pick. We could very well end up with him and be super happy about that in a few years. He could be pre injury Derrick Rose and if he does develop a shot watch out. At the very least he’s gonna get to the rack at will and we haven’t had a guard who can do that in AGES.

  68. stratomatic

    Do you honestly think Carmelo Anthony is anywhere close to being finished as a basketball player?

    He’s almost certainly not finished as a basketball player, but since he was never actually worth a max contract in his life, I can say with confidence that after surgery he’s not one now.

    IMO, this whole Melo discussion is silly.

    Melo is not going anywhere. If the Knicks are a 30 win team next year, that’s a different story. Then Melo might want out. But he would not have re-signed and Jackson would not have given him the money if both didn’t want to go forward for now.

    We should be debating Winslow vs. Mudiay because that’s whose going to be available. The 76ers are going to take Russell. We can also speculate about who we might be able to get in a trade for the pick (including trading down), but realistically we are coming away with either Winslow or Mudiay.

    Personally, I am fine with Winslow. I think it’s close to a cinch he’s going to be a solid two way player and eventual all star. Mudiay may or may not have more upside, but he’s way more of a project and there’s no guarantee he’ll actually be better. To me, Winslow is practically a no brainer.

  69. thenamestsam

    Taking a guard like pre-injury Derek Rose and sticking him in the triangle sounds like just about the best way to make him as ineffective as possible. I know we backed off the triangle to some extent at the end of the year, but still.

  70. Donnie Walsh

    Chad Ford seemed to have the Knicks taking Justise Winslow every time the Knicks had the #4 pick in his generator gizmo.

    Though I’ve never seen him play, Winslow seems from his college stats, measurements, and scouting reports like a replica of former #2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist– a solid pro player, but not exactly a franchise changer (for a franchise that desperately needs changing)

  71. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    But he would not have re-signed and Jackson would not have given him the money if both didn’t want to go forward for now.

    He would not have resigned if he knew that he was in for a franchise-worst season and no end to that suckage in sight. (And then his best chance at replacing the gaping hole left by Chandler’s departure shrunk from one meaningless win in April. One win!)

    If dude wants to be known as a winner, he’s gotta exercise his power and get the hell away from Dolan.

  72. DRed

    I’d rather have Winslow than Mudiay. Winslow is athletic, and he can shoot. Shoot > Can’t Shoot.

    If we are going to sign Greg Monroe, however, I’d probably rather trade down and take WCS or Myles Turner, because those guys can block shots.

  73. DRed

    Though I’ve never seen him play, Winslow seems from his college stats, measurements, and scouting reports like a replica of former #2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist– a solid pro player, but not exactly a franchise changer (for a franchise that desperately needs changing)

    Winslow is a bit smaller than MKG, but he hit 41% from 3 last season. Kidd-Gilchrist can’t shoot at all.

  74. DCrockett17 Post author

    @79 This was the first year in the past few I couldn’t get to Duke for a game. So the first I saw of Winslow was in the tournament. He struck me as a mildly better version of Cleanthony. That said, I’ve seen nothing of Mudiay. I’m always leery about talk of athleticism. The difference between Russell Westbrook athleticism and Iman Shumpert athleticism probably isn’t dramatic, but it’s real and meaningful.

    The workouts will be ENORMOUSLY important.

  75. Kevin Udwary

    If you’re looking to trade down for WCS, I don’t think you could go far. He legitimately could go 6. It really wouldn’t be much of a reach to just take him at 4.

  76. ptmilo

    Count me out on Mudiay. It’s true that you only need to improve your shooting a little if you’re Wall or Rose or Westbrook. But Mudiay doesn’t look like he has quite the explosiveness of any of those guys at age 19. And guy who is explosive but not quite all-time-WTF explosive who only improves his shooting from bad to ehh is suddenly closer to Dion Waiters than the all nba team. Not saying he is Dion Waiters but I would easily take Winslow over Mudiay.

  77. stratomatic

    He would not have resigned if he knew that he was in for a franchise-worst season and no end to that suckage in sight. (And then his best chance at replacing the gaping hole left by Chandler’s departure shrunk from one meaningless win in April. One win!)

    He knew they had no chance of contending last year. There is absolutely no difference between winning 17 games and 41 game (or whatever) if your goal is winning a title. This was always a multi-year project and both he and Jackson knew that. The only thing that has changed is that they gutted what could be viewed as reasonable assets (Shumpert and Chandler) to get more immediate cap space and not have to worry about Chandler being on the downside also.

    If dude wants to be known as a winner, he’s gotta exercise his power and get the hell away from Dolan.

    I agree that Dolan is a plague on this team (and IMO without many redeeming qualities), but that sounds a lot more like wishful thinking than anything else. Melo has known about Dolan all along but chose to both sign here and then re-sign here despite that. All of his eggs are in the Phil Jackson basket for 1 more year. He’s not going anywhere.

  78. DRed

    He struck me as a mildly better version of Cleanthony.

    Cleanthony was 23. Winslow is 19. That’s an enormous difference. If you’re mildly better than a 23 year old Cleanthony Early when you’re 19, there’s a good chance you’re going to be much better when you’re 23.

  79. JK47

    So the first I saw of Winslow was in the tournament. He struck me as a mildly better version of Cleanthony.

    Nah. Winslow is a fine defensive player, while Cleanthony is an absolute sieve on the defensive end. Winslow racked up a decent amount of blocks and steals for a 6’6″ wing and also did a pretty solid job crashing the glass. Cleo had weaker block, steal and rebounding numbers at an older age in a weaker conference. Cleo was a pretty good scorer at age 22 in the Midwest Valley Conference, while Winslow was a pretty good scorer at age 19 in the ACC.

    Winslow seems like a similar player to Wesley Matthews to me, and that ain’t a bad thing.

  80. thenamestsam

    So the first I saw of Winslow was in the tournament. He struck me as a mildly better version of Cleanthony.

    I harp on this all the time, but keep in mind that Cleanthony Early was 23 when he was drafted. Winslow will turn 23 on March 26, 2019. In case anybody doesn’t have their calendar out that’s 4 years away.

  81. DCrockett17 Post author

    @71 Sure, but what stings is that the Knicks were the *only* team that got leaped. It’s like going to a store and getting into a long check-out line where you are the last person in line for your entire wait. It’s not as if people getting in line after you would somehow shorten your waiting time. It’s that you’re last the entire time.

  82. DCrockett17 Post author

    My priors about Winslow certainly are not strong. So I’ll concede that he’s perhaps more than a mildly better Cleanthony. I suppose the follow up question is whether you’d prefer Cleanthony + Winslow or if Cleanthony + WCS is a better use of the draft asset from a roster-building standpoint?

  83. ptmilo

    I don’t think we watched the same guys. Early is almost the exact opposite of Winslow on defense. Early had great catch up leap/length and took a lot of risks, but got bullied by everyone with bulk and made a huge, almost crazy, number of mistakes. Winslow never got pushed around, almost never was in the wrong place — one of the least mistake prone 19 year old defenders you will see, and kept his feet on floor most of the time.

    On offense Winslow played point forward a lot and ran plays from the top while early did not really handle the ball in true pro-style sets and had 50 assists in two full college seasons. Early was much more of a slasher, transition finisher, and pull up and shoot guy.

  84. thenamestsam

    I suppose the follow up question is whether you’d prefer Cleanthony + Winslow or if Cleanthony + WCS is a better use of the draft asset from a roster-building standpoint?

    I don’t think who the Knicks drafted last year with the 34th pick should have even the faintest bearing on who they pick #4 this year. Early was pretty mediocre, and the odds are always against a 2nd rounder. If he becomes a halfway decent bench player that’s a win. You might as well say we shouldn’t pick WCS because he doesn’t pair well with Cole.

    Even if you had a real conflict, that high in the draft I’m a pretty strong believer in best player available, but for the Knicks it’s irrelevant because they have a “need” at literally every position and role on a basketball team. If some miracle occurred and Cleanthony and Winslow both became stars, well then you have two star wings. By then Melo will probably be on his way out of the picture, or you trade someone, or you bring one off the bench. But you don’t not draft Winslow because of Early.

  85. Owen

    I can’t get excited about Winslow. I feel like the tourney hype guy is always the one to avoid, it’s the Jonny Flynn rule. Not that he won’t be a solid pro but I don’t see serious upside.

    I think WCS is the guy for me, hands down, will leave it to the real draftniks to sort out whether that’s a trade down or not. I see an All NBA defender who can defend the pnr or inside and who can finish lobs with aplomb. The dream would be a Tyson clone but those don’t grow on trees. Still, I’d much rather have a projectable big than a Mudiay scratch off….

  86. JK47

    Winslow was unquestionably the winner of this year’s Shabazz Napier Award, but he was still a highly regarded player even before the tourney– he was consistently ranked in the 6-10 range by almost all of the mock draft sites before the tournament began. It’s not like he’s some chump who was mediocre all season then got hot– he was actually a very solid player for pretty much the whole season.

    Winslow may not have superstar potential, but he’s a very high floor pick– he’ll be a good defender in this league and an adequate to good offensive player. I like WCS too and he is also a high floor type player but I think Winslow’s ceiling is higher.

  87. Donnie Walsh

    Winslow will turn 23 on March 26, 2019

    Personally, I think Phil should steer clear of Aries altogether. They tend to be turnover prone and don’t get to the free throw line as much as they should. (It’s statistically proven)

  88. Eyal

    The Celtics traded the 5th pick for Ray Allan, but it’s not like they got Garnette for free. If the Knicks had anything close to what Minnesota got this conversation would approach making sense. Maybe.

    This is what they got: (from Wikipedia) “Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, cash considerations, Boston’s 2009 first-round draft pick (top 3 protected), and the 2009 first-round pick which Minnesota had traded to Boston.”

    (Jefferson was a rising star at that time, with real value.)

  89. er

    Yeah to echo above Winslow is way higher ceiling type of player. I think he would fit well here. He would need to up his ball handling skills and ft pct

  90. er

    But he drive to the hole like a bull in a China shop. I recommend watchcibg his highlights on YouTube

  91. iserp

    Winslow is a bit smaller than MKG, but he hit 41% from 3 last season. Kidd-Gilchrist can’t shoot at all.

    Winslow also shot 64% from the free throw line. One number does not go with the other, and 3P% is more volatile.

  92. DCrockett17 Post author

    @92 I agree with best player available in principle, but see it as more of a heuristic than an axiom.

    The comparison of interest is not Winslow vs Early. It’s Winslow vs. WCS. If the team thinks there’s a huge gulf between the two prospects then things are easy. But if they’re equal, or there’s a small difference, then I think the team has to consider how much it likes what’s already on the roster at each position.

  93. d-mar

    Can we stop with these trading Melo scenarios? Do you really think Jax is going to max out a guy for 5 years and then a year later turn around and try to dump his contract?

  94. johnno

    Doesn’t last night kind of prove that tanking one or more seasons is no sure way to build a winner? You still have to be lucky enough to win the lottery. Put another way, you could go 0-82 for three straight years and end up with 3 number 4 picks.

  95. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The dream would be a Tyson clone but those don’t grow on trees.

    I don’t know, Owen. I’ve been reading this board for a good portion of my adult life and I’m pretty sure that anyone can roll, dunk and tip the basketball, if that’s all they ever try to do.

    Doesn’t last night kind of prove that tanking one or more seasons is no sure way to build a winner? You still have to be lucky enough to win the lottery. Put another way, you could go 0-82 for three straight years and end up with 3 number 4 picks.

    Tanking doesn’t really work. There are lots of people writing about this in great detail, but look at the Cavs. Had 3 #1 picks and 2 #4 picks over the course of four years and they still needed a real-deal superstar to carry them this deep.

    The problem is that the #1 overall pick only gives you options, not basketball production. It’s up to the front office (and luck) to choose the player that can turn opportunity into production.

    It’s a lot like one of those automated sushi bars, only there 30 plates and maybe 3 of them actually taste good. You can’t see too well through those matte plastic covers, so you’re playing a game of limited information. Getting the #1 pick doesn’t mean that you’ll pick the best fish, just that you’ll have the first choice in guessing.

  96. DRed

    Winslow is a bit smaller than MKG, but he hit 41% from 3 last season. Kidd-Gilchrist can’t shoot at all.

    Winslow also shot 64% from the free throw line. One number does not go with the other, and 3P% is more volatile.

    I don’t think Winslow is a slam dunk. But if we’re comparing him to Mudiay or MKG, he has shown himself to be a better long distance shooter than either of those dudes. MKG couldn’t shoot 3’s in college, and he has taken 18 in his NBA career. Dude can’t shoot at all. I think a better comp for Winslow would be to a non-insane version of Indiana Lance Stephenson

  97. stratomatic

    I like the idea of WCS in some ways, but I suspect he’s going to be close to a total zero on offense unless he’s in a system that creates dunks and easy shots for him. I think he’d be a better fit in a P&R offense. I think the Knicks want to play more inside out with a post up big. WCS can’t score that way.

  98. KnickfaninNJ

    I have been reading draft history and, as a Knick fan, it scares the hell out of me. I was thinking that Porzingis might be sort of like Kobe in that he’s so young when about to be drafted and nobody knows how good he will turn out. So I looked up the 1996 (Kobe’s) draft. Apparently, it was one of the best drafts ever for talent. Kobe was drafted 13th. That seems to me a fair place for Porzingis to be drafted too. The Knicks, led by an ex Knick player who had several years of experience as GM (Ernie Grunfield), had three draft choices, numbers 18, 19 and 21, and came away with John Wallace, Waler McCarty, and Dontae Jones, none of whom ever contributed much of note to the Knicks. However, the top six players all turned out to have a lot of talent. In order they were Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Shareef Abdur-Raheem, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen and Antoine Walker. The next six choices were very forgettable.

    What do I conclude from this history? It’s conceivable to trade down and get the next Kobe, but the chances are you will get a forgettable player. If we keep the pick, we are very likely to get a quality NBA player. Given that Phil is a novice GM, I don’t trust him to trade down and get someone good. So I’d much rather we just keep the pick and use it.

  99. Donnie Walsh

    Winslow hit 41% from 3 last season. Kidd-Gilchrist can’t shoot at all.

    I don’t know a thing about college ball, but isn’t the 3 point line a lot closer than the NBA one? Does college 3pt shooting translate with any accuracy to the pros?

    Winslow and Kidd-Gilchrist managed the exact same TS% in college (.570), and the exact same offensive rating (115.5), and the exact same D-rating (92.8), and the exact same WS/48 (.195). All their other stats line up pretty closely too, outside of the 3pt discrepancy.

    They also both played wing next to the most dominant C in the entire NCAA.

    Kidd-Gilchrist is a good player, and the Knicks would be lucky to have him. But he is terrible offensively, and not much of a cornerstone for the Bobcats (at this point). Is it unrealistic to expect more from this #4 pick than a player of his caliber?

  100. Frank

    All these guys (except WCS) are only 19 years old. I don’t think it’s clear at all who will be able to develop as a shooter, who can’t, etc.

    Winslow – doesn’t dribble that well or pass that well, but maybe can shoot the 3 and defend well
    Mudiay – dribbles great, passes great, dunks great, ok defender, can’t shoot yet
    Russell – dribbles great, passes great, can’t finish in traffic, poor defender, can shoot already
    WCS – defends great. can’t do anything else.

    none of these guys are finished products. i think you have to get them in workouts and in the interview room and take your best guess as to who is truly motivated to get better and who has more raw material to work with.

    Honestly, I’m fine with any of Winslow/Mudiay/Russell and wouldn’t be heartbroken with WCS, although it’s getting harder and harder in today’s NBA to play guys who are zeroes on the offensive end. And Phil hasn’t had a zero on the offensive end on any of his teams except Rodman. Everyone has to shoot, pass, and cut in the triangle, right?

  101. KnickfaninNJ

    Tanking doesn’t really work. There are lots of people writing about this in great detail, but look at the Cavs. Had 3 #1 picks and 2 #4 picks over the course of four years and they still needed a real-deal superstar to carry them this deep.

    yes, but they got many of the key pieces that carryed them this deep by trading those draft choices.

  102. GoNyGoNYGo

    OK. I’m starting to calm down (or is that numbness?)

    I’m resigned to some facts:
    1) Melo is going nowhere.
    2) The Knicks can add one young piece to the team.
    3) We have a decent core of 3rd-stringers.
    4) We can sign a few free agents.

    Screw the pick, who’re the free agents? I look at the list and sense that we’re going to overpay for over-the-hill players. So, who are they? Greg Monroe? Rajon Rondo? Paul Milsap? Please someone get me excited. Please.

  103. nicos

    I like the idea of WCS in some ways, but I suspect he’s going to be close to a total zero on offense unless he’s in a system that creates dunks and easy shots for him. I think he’d be a better fit in a P&R offense. I think the Knicks want to play more inside out with a post up big. WCS can’t score that way.

    The Knicks got a lot of value out of Lou Amundson last year despite him being an offensive zero who was a poor fit for the triangle. WCS’s floor is a much bigger, more athletic version of Amundson or a more defensively versatile version of Biyombo, his ceiling is Chandler. Winslow’s floor is a smaller Aminu (which to me is a worrisome floor), his ceiling is Jimmy Butler. I haven’t seen enough of Mudiay- his floor is probably a bigger Elfrid Payton, his ceiling is Rose/Wall. If WCS wasn’t 21 already I’d say it’s a no brainer to take him and I’d still lean towards him unless one of Towns/Okafor/Russell drops down.

  104. DRed

    I don’t know a thing about college ball, but isn’t the 3 point line a lot closer than the NBA one? Does college 3pt shooting translate with any accuracy to the pros?

    Yes, it does.

  105. thenamestsam

    Kidd-Gilchrist is a good player, and the Knicks would be lucky to have him. But he is terrible offensively, and not much of a cornerstone for the Bobcats (at this point). Is it unrealistic to expect more from this #4 pick than a player of his caliber?

    I think unfortunately the answer is that yes, it is unrealistic. You can certainly hope for more, but if you’re expecting us to get more than a solid starter with the #4 I think you’re going to be disappointed as often as not.

  106. ptmilo

    Before you get too worked up at Winslow’s percentage in 150 attempts at the FT line @ Duke, remember he shot 74% on over 1000 FTAs in high school, and that line doesn’t move. His shooting as been off and on and it’s difficult to extrapolate one year of NCAA 3pt shooting into the horizon, but he looks nothing like broken pinball flipper MKG did in college. He usually shoots in rhythm, which is a lot more than you can say for Mudiay. He might have a bit of a hand-size problem, because sometimes he is in rhythm but the ball comes out funny, similar to Kawhi’s problem. If you (cherrypick and) compare him to guys like Kawhi and Draymond from a shooting perspective as young college players he clearly looks better.

  107. DRed

    Obviously, big picture, missing out on the first pick to win 2 meaningless games was unforgivably stupid. But we did, and here we are. On the plus side, this is a very deep draft, and we have so many needs that we have plenty of chances to improve. If we stick at the 4, we should have a choice of several players who should be good-Winslow, maybe Russell, Mudiay (although he scares me, he certainly has a chance of being very good) WCS, Henzonja, Turner and a few others all have a decent chance of being all-star caliber players. I’d be fine with trading down a few spots with a team like Denver, either to dump a contract or get a future first rounder.

  108. hoolahoop

    I think all the talk about the knicks picking Mudiay is off the mark.
    Phil likes to be the genius contrarian. I see him drafting someone or making a deal that no one could see coming. . . . And ruining this team for another decade.

  109. vincoug

    My priors about Winslow certainly are not strong. So I’ll concede that he’s perhaps more than a mildly better Cleanthony. I suppose the follow up question is whether you’d prefer Cleanthony + Winslow or if Cleanthony + WCS is a better use of the draft asset from a roster-building standpoint?

    Cleanthony was brutal this past season. Admittedly, he was hurt and missed a lot of time but I’d rather not base our draft one how well they fit next to Early. There was someone on P&T last night that wanted to draft based on how well they fit next to Galloway as well. As of right now, there isn’t a single player on the team that we draft based on how well they fit together.

  110. Will the Thrill

    I really hope Russell drops to us. He is pretty much better at everything than Mudiay except for running fast and jumping high (and maybe defense? Who knows?). Winslow seems to be a nice player but I don’t think he can be a player that can be instrumental in turning this god awful team around.

  111. Donnie Walsh

    Wait, who is the “enigmatic euro guy”? Porzinkis or Hezonga? (I thought it was Porzingis, but draft xpress has Hezonga rated higher (at the moment he’s going #5 and is the highest rated swingman).

    They have Winslow as the #2 swingman (going #7 overall). And Stanley Johnson #3 (#9 overall). (Stanley Johnson has better size than Winslow. They both seem rather pedestrian on offense, but Johnson has a better d-rating. Is there a reason his stock is down, outside of tournament success?)

  112. airkent

    Farfa, you know anything about Hezonga? He is listed bigger than Winslow and apparently he has got good athleticism and shooting, kind of reminds me of Gallo.

  113. Alecto

    Hes a head case who likes scoring in isolation and has good skills but poor motivation especially on d. I think his comp is like a defensively incompetent klay Thompson or rich mans jr but im no scout.

  114. airkent

    Also just throwing this out there, but if we signed Marc Gasol do you think we could trade thjr for Pau so Chicago could have some extra money for butler, there have been rumors that they don’t want to pay their three bigs…. I pretty sure chicago could get more for Pau but would we even want to do that. I know people don’t wanna trade the pick but what about the 4th and thjr for Pau, toney snell and the 23d pick?

  115. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I know people don’t wanna trade the pick but what about the 4th and thjr for Pau, toney snell and the 23d pick?

    Yes! Let’s trade the 4th pick for a 35-year-old athlete. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of this.

  116. thenamestsam

    I know people don’t wanna trade the pick but what about the 4th and thjr for Pau, toney snell and the 23d pick?

    Scenarios like this are basically the worst case. Moving down from 4 to 23 to grab a 35 year old and a backup wing makes less than zero sense. Even if it convinces Marc to come here, so what? I’m not sure using all our cap space and our top 5 pick to bring in two over 30 centers really counts as a victory.

  117. iserp

    I know people don’t wanna trade the pick but what about the 4th and thjr for Pau, toney snell and the 23d pick?

    No, but if they dont want to pay their bigs, i don’t mind absorbing noah, gibson or hinrichs contract for their 23rd pick.

    They could actually get a few millions below the cap (even with Butlers cap hold) and try to get some help at SF. So i guess they could be motivated to something like that (however, they are players very tied to their core, so it might feel bad in the team/fan base)

    EDIT: Pau Gasol was actually their best big and in a friendly contract, so it could get some value around the league, but for a contending team, not the knicks.

  118. airkent

    I was actually thinking tony snell was a bit of a sleeper in there, he is very statistically comparable to Jimmy Butler in their first two years in the league. I agree that trading the 4th pick in not a great idea but i don’t think the knicks are willing to go through a long rebuild which is what i believe the majority of us want. I just threw out a proposal i believe will turn us into a competitive team over the melo years.

  119. stratomatic

    I can see Winslow developing into SG/SF version of Draymond Green (SF/PF) . I think we would all sign off on that.

  120. nicos

    After viewing the draft express video again I have to say that I won’t be shocked if Mudiay goes either 2 or 3 (well a little surprised at two.) I don’t think he has Wall’s end to end speed but you can see why he was rated as the second best prospect coming out of high school- truly elite athleticism along with genuine point guard skills. Even if he never learns how to shoot I could see him having a Kidd-like career. His floor looks like a better playmaking Tyreke Evans and I’d say his ceiling is as high as anyone in the draft. I’m still not sure I’d even take him at four but I think once teams work him out you could see him leapfrogging anyone besides Towns.

  121. johnno

    “After viewing the draft express video again”
    I love those videos. After the first 2/3 of every one (i.e., the part where they show a guy’s strengths), I am pounding on the table saying, “This guy is GREAT! That’s who I want!” Then, they show the guy’s weaknesses and I’m thinking, “Oh no! This guy has bust written all over him!” I’m glad I’m not a scout and I’m definitely glad I’m not deciding whom the Knicks should draft — and all of you should be glad that I’m not deciding — because I definitely would screw it up.

  122. Dan Panorama

    Bear in mind nearly all the prospects we’re talking about will probably not hit any kind of star status in the best case scenario until 3-5 years, when Melo is gone as well as probably everyone on the current roster, plus Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher, etc. Probably not worth thinking about anything except who has the most talent at this point.

  123. Brian Cronin

    His floor looks like a better playmaking Tyreke Evans and I’d say his ceiling is as high as anyone in the draft.

    You’re stealing my exact comparison!!! Booo!!!! ;)

  124. DRed

    Good point, Dan. If we take a 19 year old he’s very likely not going to help much next season

  125. mura2337

    @129 His floor looks like a better playmaking Tyreke Evans and I’d say his ceiling is as high as anyone in the draft.

    His floor looks like any other athletic guard to come into the league. Ceiling? Agreed (with you and Cronin). The real problem is you can’t base his athleticism on anything other than against high school kids and the Chinese league, and with that it was only a handful of games.

    Look. It really depends on soooo many things for these kids to be successful in both the short, and long term. Whomever we draft, we can only hope that they’re a long term piece of the team and allowed to grow at their own pace. Danny Green got cut from Cleveland, goes to San Antonio, now he’s a valuable piece. Historically speaking, there’s only, what? Like, maybe 1 superstar per draft and maybe 2-3 stars? Again, i’m just hoping to get a solid player for the next decade.

  126. Brian Cronin

    Wait, who is the “enigmatic euro guy”? Porzinkis or Hezonga? (I thought it was Porzingis, but draft xpress has Hezonga rated higher (at the moment he’s going #5 and is the highest rated swingman).

    Hezonja is not as enigmatic as Porzingis, I don’t think. Porzingis could be legendary…or he could be a bum. Hezonja has a lot more certainty to him, but less upside.

  127. mura2337

    @135 I apologize for sounding like a jerk, it’s not my intention and I’m praying that you’re not endorsing taking them, but, haven’t we all learned never to take a foreigner in the top 5? Hell, the top 10? With the exception of Dirk, who was 9th, everybody else is a roll player at best. Rather take a shot on someone like, well, any other top 20 rated player.

  128. ptmilo

    @135 I apologize for sounding like a jerk, it’s not my intention and I’m praying that you’re not endorsing taking them, but, haven’t we all learned never to take a foreigner in the top 5? Hell, the top 10? With the exception of Dirk, who was 9th, everybody else is a roll player at best. Rather take a shot on someone like, well, any other top 20 rated player.

    Yao went 1st. Pau went 3rd. How now brown cow?

  129. stratomatic

    I think Winslow is ready to contribute next year. He’s clearly strong enough and appears to have enough basketball IQ to not be overly TO prone like many rookies. I agree that he won’t hit his best stride for 4-5 years when Melo is gone, but if we take him, he is going to play and contribute wins next year.

  130. mura2337

    Yao didn’t exactly have the longest career. You’re right that he was worth the pick. I forgot about him. As for Pau, good player too. Forgot about him. However, my main point is in this draft, are you taking one of the cats that were mentioned over any of the other top 10 rated players?

  131. swiftandabundant

    All the floor and ceiling talk can get confusing at times especially when caveats are thrown into the mix.

    His floor is Shump but with a better jumpshot. His ceiling is Butler but with worse help defense but better passing however less ability to finish at the rim BUT better rebounding on the left side of the court.

    I agree that the expectation is that a #4 pick turns into a solid starter. for a good team There is so much emphasis placed on floor/ceiling, NBA ready, athleticism, is he or isn’t he a superstar. Fact is its all BS. We won’t know till they play games and even then it won’t be for a few years. I hope whoever we draft develops into a starter that is good and I enjoy rooting for them and eventually they are part of a contending team. Either they are the superstar or they are the supporting player that we build around the super star. Either way we need both so I’m good with drafting someone and finding out.

  132. Brian Cronin

    Comparing prospects to similar players is probably the most valuable tool that there is for judging prospects.

  133. mura2337

    @140. Yeah, we certainly will find out. I’m just tired of seeing wasted years of drafts. Plus nothing next year, but whatever. It is what it is. Like you said, we’ll find out. I’m just hoping that this offseason represents the beginning of stability. Honest to god stability. At least with that, we can actually make plans.

  134. Brian Cronin

    The four best 3-point shooting teams in the NBA are the final four teams in the NBA Playoffs. It’s weird how that worked out…

  135. stratomatic

    All I know is that I was borderline despondent last night when they called our name for the 4th pick, but right now I’m feeling really good about the possibility of adding Winslow.

    1. He’s a 2-way player
    2. He’s versatile
    3. He has already shown he can perform under pressure
    4. He’s a high IQ player
    5. He fits perfectly

    We can play Melo at the 4 and Winslow at the 3 in a small ball lineup and Melo at the 3 and Winslow at 2 in a big lineup. Calderon, Winslow, Melo, FA, FA.

    Let’s go Phil. This is a no brainer!

  136. nicos

    [Mudiay’s] floor looks like any other athletic guard to come into the league.

    He’s not just a raw athlete though- watch him play pnr- he’s got a great feel for where to find/create space and find passing angles. He’s not going to have to learn how to play point guard like Westbrook who’s figured it out (for the most part anyway) or Tyreke Evans (who hasn’t.) Unfortunately, if you can’t shoot a lick it makes playing point pretty tough though Jason Kidd (who I think may be as good a comp as Wall or Rose) had a pretty good career. And yes Brian- I totally stole that Tyreke Evans comp from you! I think he’s pretty clearly the best athlete in the draft or at least the best athlete with some real basketball skill. His first step, ability to stop and go, change direction on a dime, etc… is great for a 6’5 guy with genuine playmaking ability. As I said, I’m still not sure I’d take him at 4 but I think once teams actually work him out the idea of him going at 2 or 3 may not seem surprising at all.

  137. dtrickey

    Lol has this boards self-loathing made people looney? Melo and the #4 for just the #2? C’mon guys. I know we are disappointed, but lets not be silly. You’re all better than that ha ha. Besides, do we really want to be making the Lakers better?

    Doesn’t last night kind of prove that tanking one or more seasons is no sure way to build a winner? You still have to be lucky enough to win the lottery. Put another way, you could go 0-82 for three straight years and end up with 3 number 4 picks.

    Yes, yes, yes x1000 yes.

    I think the fact that we are debating so many variables on who to take at number four suggests there is a bit of depth after Towns and Okafor. I really like the idea of WCS, but I think we should seriously consider Mudiay, just on the off-chance we could draft a potential franchise PG. Strolling through Facebook, I had a look at some of the workouts and interviews the Knicks did with WCS. He seems like a good quality kid, and I think if we are talking about drafting a guy who is going to be a cornerstone, character has to be a big factor. Talent and potential being the main ones ha ha .

    I like the “enigmatic” tag we often put on Euro’s at draft time. Enigmatic = we aint watched a lot of Euro hoops ha ha

  138. mura2337

    He’s not just a raw athlete though- watch him play pnr- he’s got a great feel for where to find/create space and find passing angles

    Only saw him play twice. So way too small a sample size for me and he wasn’t overly impressive. But i wouldn’t complain about anybody because anybody is an upgrade from what we have. And, to Cronin’s point earlier in the post about 3 of the final 4 teams being 3 point shooting teams, taking the Euros ( who are generally considered good outside shooters) becomes a viable option.

    All i know is that for 30 plus years I’ve waited for this team to win a chip. All i want is to have legitimate hope that we’re on the right path…

  139. thenamestsam

    Comparing prospects to similar players is probably the most valuable tool that there is for judging prospects.

    Comparisons are one thing, but I agree with swiftandabundant that talking about floor and ceiling is usually dumb. In particular basically every lottery pick who busts falls well short of the player that’s listed as their “floor” in these types of dicussions. In my opinion, for each and every guy chosen in this draft with no exceptions the actual “floor” is making no impact whatsoever in the league. There is no such thing as a true sure thing really ever, and certainly none in this draft. As for ceilings, at least two or three of these guys will probably exceed even our highest expectations of them.

    So why bother talking about ceilings and floors? It makes significantly more sense to me to just think of some prospects as higher volatility than others. Mudiay and enigmatic Euro are high volatility. Kaminsky is probably just about the lowest volatility in the draft.

  140. mura2337

    So why bother talking about ceilings and floors?

    I’m bored out of my mind and love reading the comments on this site cause Knicks fans are the F&^%ing greatest! And arguing semantics is just good, clean fun.

  141. Z-man

    Frankly, I’m not sold on either Mudiay or Russell. Mudiay is a terrible shooter and low IQ player. Russell is way less athletic than the average NBA PG, and way WAY less athletic than the average 2. For me, Shmitz’s breakdown of their weaknesses are pretty telling, neither is a 2-way impact player in the NBA for at least 2-3 years.

    I am guessing that the best player not named Towns or Okafor will come from the 5-20 range. Somebody is gonna, as Clyde says, make the quantum leap. Stanley Johnson and Montrezl Harrell are gonna make an impact as rookies for sure. Winslow will be as good as his offense will take him. Trey Lyles has sleeper superstar that was incognito on a stacked college team written all over him. Porzingas might wind up being better than Towns and Okafor. Looney has plenty of room for development. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that every one of these guys will turn out better than either Mudiay or Russell.

    In any case, it’s a crazy crap shoot with 18-19 year olds. We might be in a great position PR-wise to roll the dice on the Kawhi Leonard that everyone projects in the teens but that you could justify taking higher, or better yet, trading down for.

    Last year, we were talking about how great the draft class was, yet not a single guy in the top 20 had an even average WS48. In 2013, the 3 best players (based on WS48 and minutes played) were drafted outside the top 20, and of the top 5 picks, only Oladipo has a chance of being a multiyear all-star. In 2012, 2 of the best players in the draft were taken in the 2nd round! (Green, Middleton). In 2010, Paul George was picked #10, after a bunch of good but not great players. Steph Curry was taken after Thabeet and Flynn!!!

    So the problem in this draft is identifying who the potential superstar is, even considering the guys that are seeded lower in the mocks. The GM that has the IQ to identify him and the balls to reach for him is few and far between. Is Phil that guy?

  142. Brian Cronin

    Last year, we were talking about how great the draft class was, yet not a single guy in the top 20 had an even average WS48.

    Not by the time the actual draft took place. After Wiggins, Parker and Randle all basically had “eh” college seasons and the best player in the draft suffered a major injury, the draft was not viewed as a particularly good one (and that was before 2 more players from the top five picks had early season-ending injuries).

    But yes, I agree with your general point that the depth of this draft suggests that #5-15 really might produce the best player, as guys like Porzingis and WCS have excellent upsides. I doubt it, as the top two are both really, really good prospects, but it is a real possibility.

    I like the “enigmatic” tag we often put on Euro’s at draft time. Enigmatic = we aint watched a lot of Euro hoops ha ha

    I certainly see the point, but seriously, young European players do have the highest bust rate out of all top draft picks. We just don’t know enough about them due to the way their system is played (where the best young players are role players for pro teams instead of featured players for “amateur” teams in college).

  143. mura2337

    We just don’t know enough about them due to the way their system is played (where the best young players are role players for pro teams instead of featured players for “amateur” teams in college)

    Good point. I’m wondering, due to the change in the way the NBA is played, particularly pace and space, which is in essence foreign ball, is it going to be easier to judge foreign players? Or project how they would play in a more wide open system like the Rockets, Warriors, etc…

  144. stratomatic

    I certainly see the point, but seriously, young European players have the highest bust rate out of all top draft picks. We just don’t know enough about them due to the way their system is played (where the best young players are role players for pro teams instead of featured players for “amateur” teams in college).

    If that’s true (and it is), how do we feel about a player coming out of China. where Marbury is still a superstar, JR Smith averaged 40 points a night, Wilson Chandler was a major stud, etc…

    Marbury was barely an NBA caliber player when he left the US. It’s several years later and he outplayed Mudiay by a mile in the playoffs. Absolute best case scenario is Mudiay is a good player in 3-4 years and a high level player in 5-6. Worst case scenario is 3 years from now he still can’t shoot and we find out that supposed athleticism etc… was a function of HORRIBLE competition in China.

    If this guys turns out to be a star, so be it. But the probability of him being a bust is MASSIVELY higher than for anyone else being considered.

  145. Z-man

    To be clear, Brian, I was mainly suggesting that the best player other than Towns or Okafor (I think both will be future all-stars at worst) will come from later in the draft, and that there’s an outside possibility that the best player will come from later. I am also saying that the uncertainty about Mudiay (and even Russell should he drop) is enough to make trading down a reasonable move (I wouldn’t have traded down from either Okafor or Towns.)

    I am not sold on WCS. I am a card-carrying member of the “guys like Chandler are a dime a dozen” club (ok, just trolling Jowles a bit). But seriously, will WCS ever be much better than Cole? Or Birdman, who was available for a song? Is he really worth a #5 pick?

  146. dtrickey

    I certainly see the point, but seriously, young European players do have the highest bust rate out of all top draft picks. We just don’t know enough about them due to the way their system is played (where the best young players are role players for pro teams instead of featured players for “amateur” teams in college).

    Oh yeah I 100% agree. Very risky considering there has been only a handful of legit star Euro players in the history of the league. I guess we as regular punters are really left to guess on internationals that haven’t played college hoops, as there isn’t much opportunity to watch these guys play unless you are a pro scout. I think that whilst some of the European leagues have really great players, it’s probably safe to assume (on the basis of not having seen a guy play outside of highlights) that a star over there is a serviceable role player.

  147. swiftandabundant

    But wouldn’t Wilson Chandler, JR Smith and Marbury dominate in college too? If for no other reason than they’ve had years of experience against NBA players?

  148. Brian Cronin

    To be clear, Brian, I was mainly suggesting that the best player other than Towns or Okafor (I think both will be future all-stars at worst) will come from later in the draft, and that there’s an outside possibility that the best player will come from later. I am also saying that the uncertainty about Mudiay (and even Russell should he drop) is enough to make trading down a reasonable move (I wouldn’t have traded down from either Okafor or Towns.)

    I am not sold on WCS. I am a card-carrying member of the “guys like Chandler are a dime a dozen” club (ok, just trolling Jowles a bit). But seriously, will WCS ever be much better than Cole? Or Birdman, who was available for a song? Is he really worth a #5 pick?

    Oh, gotcha, then yeah, after the top two I don’t think anyone is a sure bet, but I think Russell will be the best of the bunch.

  149. MKinLA

    From a long-term perspective, I hate the idea of using this pick on a 1 or a 2 who depends on super-human athleticism to have a shot at being an elite player.

    One bad injury for a guy like that has the potential to turn him ordinary (like Derrick Rose, Brandon Roy, etc.).

    Players who are big and/or really great shooters are much safer bets to deliver far-above replacement-level play for 10 years… which is really what we’re hoping for here.

  150. Brian Cronin

    Good point. I’m wondering, due to the change in the way the NBA is played, particularly pace and space, which is in essence foreign ball, is it going to be easier to judge foreign players? Or project how they would play in a more wide open system like the Rockets, Warriors, etc…

    I imagine that that will help, but in the end, they still don’t play enough for us to get a proper context for them.

  151. Brian Cronin

    If that’s true (and it is), how do we feel about a player coming out of China. where Marbury is still a superstar, JR Smith averaged 40 points a night, Wilson Chandler was a major stud, etc…

    They weren’t doing what they were doing at 19 years old. Mudiay was putting up comparable numbers to someone like Will Bynum, but at 19. That’s a hugely significant aspect of what makes him such a good prospect.

    Similarly, Okafor’s offense numbers are historic due to his age, not just because he’s a great offensive player. There have been a number of seniors who put up numbers like Okafor, but no freshmen.

    So if Mudiay is playing like a veteran point guard when he’s 19, what’s he going to be when he’s 20? Or 21?

  152. GoNyGoNYGo

    The big difference between Mudiay vs the top-3 is the confidence factor. He has the physical attributes and has shown what he can do on a limited basis, but we’re just not sure. And then there’s the whole “why did he go to China anyway” factor. Some said it had to do with eligibility questions but I’ve read reports where it was all about earning the money to help his family. Larry Brown hinted at poor advice from agents. However, everything I’ve read indicates that he’s the real deal. There’s actually a good chance he goes earlier than the Knicks.

  153. er

    I’m in for either mudiay or Winslow at this point. I think you have to go with the upside. If Philly takes mudiay I’d pick Winslow.

  154. heavencent35

    We keep on saying that MELO is not worth the max..
    But if we max gasol or deandre? Are they worth the max?
    Time to unite. Melo plus 4th pick and an non superstar pieces will be a great off season.
    also, anyone from town, okafor, russel, mudiay i think is ok with me.
    WCS or Winslow or the international guys i think is not a good idea for me.

  155. Z-man

    Mudiay is not a good shooter at all, not even FTs. Schmitz pointed out that he shoots “out” rather than “up” resulting in a flat shot. That’s a major red flag.

    Stanley Johnson, anyone?

  156. Frank

    Fran Fraschilla was on today on ESPN radio — and given the choice of anyone other than Towns/Okafor/Russell he actually chose Porzingis (over Winslow/Mudiay and anyone else). Called him a 7’1″ athletic freak that’s still growing, has put up excellent numbers in a very good league (clearly better than D1 and CBA), has Kirilenko potential on the defensive end and Dirk potential on the offensive end. Yowza.

    He did not think the Knicks would take him, just that he would if he were the one picking.

  157. Z-man

    Porzingas is a really intriguing option. He has enough length to overcome his frail looking frame. Definitely worth a long, hard look.

  158. BigBlueAL

    I know he is an enigma but it really is fun to watch JR Smith when he is on fire like he is tonight.

  159. Alecto

    Yeah I think I would pick either Mudiay or Porzingis at the fourth pick. I like lotto tickets when they play basketball.

    But I agree with er in the sense that we wont have this opportunity again for a while so we ought to go with upside other things being equal. Better to try and maximize the possible return off our one apple bite–other things being equal of course

  160. heavencent35

    After we landed the 4th pick i am very excited to get mudiay. But reading all other rumors there is a big chance he is gone by 4th.
    I am a Duke fan but pls not winslow. He is more like an Evan Turner.
    MUDIAY RUSSEL OKAFOR TOWN
    That should be our only chances.
    Please no WCS too. I will rather take a risk for a possible star that a sure good player.

  161. Brian Cronin

    But if we max gasol or deandre? Are they worth the max?

    A. Gasol is better than Melo (and I don’t even really mean that as a shot at Melo, Gasol is just a better player)
    B. Gasol’s max is 25% lower than Melo. The thing that got me was paying Melo the Mega Max, that’s the worst thing.

    Jordan, I’ll agree, is a bit of a stretch at the max.

    Time to unite. Melo plus 4th pick and an non superstar pieces will be a great off season.

    You’re making it a pretty low bar to cross.

  162. Brian Cronin

    Another FA target goes down!

    The Knicks being interested in a guy is apparently the death knell! First Matthews and now this!

  163. Z

    These are all the #4 picks for the past 20 years:

    Aaron Gordon
    Cody Zeller
    Dion Waiters
    Tristan Thompson
    Wesley Johnson
    Tyreke Evans
    Russell Westbrook*
    Mike Conley
    Tyrus Thomas
    Chris Paul*
    Shaun Livingston
    Chris Bosh*
    Drew Gooden
    Eddy Curry
    Marcus Fizer
    Lamar Odom
    Antawn Jamison*
    Antonio Daniels
    Stephon Marbury*

    In the past 20 years, the #4 pick has produced 5 all-stars (3 of them are Point Guards)

    The average # of all-stars per draft is between 4 and 5

    7 of the drafts have produced 3 or less all-stars (though the recent drafts skew that a bit)

    Here are how the draft slots stack up when it comes to producing all-stars over the past 20 years:

    #1 = 13
    #3 = 8
    #9 = 7
    #5, #10 = 6
    #4, #6 = 5
    #2, #17 = 4
    #7, #19 = 3
    #15, #20, #24, #30, #47 = 2
    #11, #13, #14, #16, #18, #21, #25, #28, #29, #31, #32, #35, #38, #43, #47, #51, #57 = 1
    #8, #12, #22, #23, #26. #27, and all other 2nd round picks =0

  164. Brian Cronin

    I think Kobe is the clear choice. They’re both great defenders, but it is funny, for a guy not known for his efficiency, Kobe was a lot more efficient than Penny was.

  165. Farfa

    Farfa, you know anything about Hezonga? He is listed bigger than Winslow and apparently he has got good athleticism and shooting, kind of reminds me of Gallo.

    Hezonja doesn’t remind me Gallo at all, if not for the frame. He is a way more well-rounded player on offense, and is much, much faster than Gallo ever was. He oozes talent, to me he’s the best offensive wing of the draft, hands down.
    The problem is that he is really, really inconsistent and shows a very bad body language. Gallo was always a mature kid, very steady and with his head firmly planted on his shoulders. Hezonja sometimes flips a switch and behaves like he doesn’t need to put in any effort, since he believes to be the very best player on the floor. Somebody compared him to a taller JR, and it could be a good comparison. If I had to pick 4th, I’d consider him but only after a very, very extensive interview where I’d try to determine his life values and his maturity.
    Could very well be the steal of the draft if he goes all the way down to #8 and below.

  166. Farfa

    a year rental bargain for wes matthews and demarre carrol. Let them prove they can play after injury. who says no?

    1) Depends on the market.
    2) Next year the cap will jump. So signing a player for just a year could be an unwise move, especially since we wouldn’t keep any Bird rights.
    3) We’re in for a slow team-building exercise. Rentals are no good. We need a foundation.

  167. Alecto

    Id be interested in signing Matthews but it’d have to be a pretty steep discount for me to consider Matthews over Danny Green given the ACL injury. What would be the realistic discount?

  168. Frank

    I’m not feeling Wesley Matthews at all right now — not that I don’t love him as a player but an Achilles injury is by all accounts one of the hardest to come back from. Elton Brand was a shell of himself afterward. Kobe went even more to old-man ball after his, and was even more of a sieve on defense than he was before the injury.

    I’d actually be much more willing to take a chance on Carroll even if his injury is an ACL since the track record is so much better on those injuries.

    Re: Mudiay:

    Mudiay is a terrible shooter and low IQ player.

    I’m really not sure how anyone can say he has low basketball IQ. This is based on what exactly? We literally know so little about this guy. DX’s profile says he’s unselfish, finds the open man, has great defensive potential. Pretty much everyone says he has great intangibles, that very few 18 year olds could have done as well as he did in China both on and off the court. It’s amazing how these narratives are born — what, because he’s a power lead guard that may or may not have had issues with the NCAA causing him to go make $1.2MM in China (which 99% of posters here would have done if they had the opportunity by the way) he has to have low IQ? I just don’t get it how this stuff propagates itself.

    Re: his shooting – he shot 75/149 (~50%) from 2 point range and 13/38 (~34%) from 3 point range. I would not say these are marks of a “terrible shooter”, especially if you consider the FIBA 3 point line is farther than the college 3 point line. Sure his FT% is worrisome but most players who really want to improve that can improve it.

  169. Tony Pena

    @Frank – Agreed on Bball IQ. I don’t think you can be a great passer, run the floor well and have low bball IQ. His shot though, numbers aside, has some type of gait in it. So scary. Ideally I would take him at #8-10.

  170. stratomatic

    The Cavs winning the title without Love is going to be high-larious.

    Tristan Thompson is massively underrated (well maybe not after these playoffs). I knew the loss of Love wasn’t going to be as big as people thought. They are way different players, but their values are not that far apart (given Love’s reduced role this year). The Cavs have enough scoring without Love. So he wasn’t that critical. The only question was spacing and whether they could find a way to change the offense and continue getting good shots for James at the rim. It turns out they maybe a million offensive rebounds have greater value than some extra spacing from a guy planted at the perimeter.

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