SI.com: Five Alive: Jonathan Macri’s Perfect Knicks 2020-21 Starting Five

Jonathan Macri is a talented writer, and he delivered his perfect Knicks 2020-21 Starting Five to SI.com, opening with Chris Paul (who he would suggest that the Knicks get for the Charlotte second rounder, Dennis Smith Jr. and Julius Randle and “several expiring contracts,” but would the Thunder really want the Knicks’ dredges just to get out from Year 2 of Paul’s deal? That’s why Ian Begley’s proposed deals involved the Knicks dumping all of their salaries and accepting Paul into their cap space and thus only trading the Thunder Bullock and a young player, because why would the Thunder want to pay the Knicks’ garbage the same amount they were paying Paul?). He then hopes for the Knicks to win the lottery and get Anthony Edwards.

Might he be a train wreck on a team that gives him too much responsibility and can’t properly reign in his less desirable tendencies while he learns the lay of the land? Oh yes. Yes yes yes.

But would that be nearly as much of a worry with Chris Paul as the floor general? Not in the slightest.

I see no reason why Danilo Gallinari wouldn’t want to extend his time playing with the best point guard of his generation, so let’s say he comes back home to play the four on a two-year deal (second year partially guaranteed for $5 million) with whatever is left of New York’s cap space.

And of course that leaves Mitch to man the five.

I don’t get why Gallinari is accepting a partially guaranteed second year in this scenario.

Anyhow, that’s something for people to talk about. Macri is a good writer, but I don’t think our ideas of “perfect starting fives” match well. That said, I do like it when people call Barrett a three. That recent Post article about RJ Hampton that suggested an all-RJ backcourt? Argh!

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189 thoughts to “SI.com: Five Alive: Jonathan Macri’s Perfect Knicks 2020-21 Starting Five”

  1. with okc heading for the playoffs it’s hard to imagine them letting go of both cp3 and gallo when the off season finally hits…having a quality product each year seems to be a more valuable thing to a smaller market franchise…

    with those two, a couple of promising young players, all those draft picks and cp3 off the books in a couple of years – they seem to be doing just fine without having to do business with us…

  2. I really have no idea what in the world Presti is planning. It really is weird to have a #5 seed and all of those draft picks and yet they seem to want to blow things up, but Gallo is such a fascinating guy. He’s obviously a good player, but he’s on the wrong end of 30 and he’s injury prone, so does it really make sense to lock him down if you’re OKC? He’s not really a guy that you build around. And if you don’t bring Gallo back, then suddenly it’s a question of whether you’re really trying to compete. And if you’re not trying to compete, then why pay Chris Paul $40 million for two more years? And then suddenly it actually might make sense for them to just trade Paul.

    And if we assume that they’e not bringing Gallo back, they’d actually need a power forward, so maybe taking Randle back for Paul would make some actual sense for them.

    Only if they want to trade Paul, of course.

  3. Yea..I like that starting 5 idea, but I think it’s less likely for OKC to accept Randle with Adams already manning the paint. And I’d think they’d rather have Adams’ defense and rebounding more than Randle’s chucking. That’s also why I believe that if we make the trade for CP3, we need to pick up Portis’ option and move him. He’s a better fit. Then we add Payton to get SGA, Gallo(if he re-signs), and Portis the ball while throwing lobs to Adams. Maybe they can ink Trier to add some scoring off the bench as well. I see a real opportunity there for both teams. I know CP3 has an astronomical last 2 years on his deal, but we have plenty cost controlled talent to not be a player in free agency after next season. So..F it..take that swing

    Oh..and let me add..we still need to move Randle. Somebody wants him..just not OKC lol

  4. There is no reason to bring CP3 in here unless there is adequate draft compensation attached.

    I looked for possible contending team that would want CP3 and we could facilitate a trade to and the only one that is far enough under the cap that off loading 30M in salaries would fit CP# in is Miami. Riley would die for him and Andre I and Olynck are on the books for around 28.5M. But Miami has nothing to offer us back (I don’t think they would consider BAM obv).

    If OKC needs to move CP# we are the only game in town.

    And if we do a deal without an avalanche of picks we are dumber than I think……

  5. Totes, you’re being sarcastic, right? No way OKC is also trading SGA. The whole point of a CP3 trade is to clear the future for SGA and have cap space.

    I also don’t see why they would be in a rush to move him. They are very good right now and have so many picks. I guess they could be trying to tank for a high pick next year but with that many picks you would think they might just think they can land other good players with their million first round picks. And they could always trade a few of them to move up if there is someone they really want.

    And not bringing back Gallo would make them worse but they maybe they could extend him for 2 years so he expires when CP3 does.

    Could just be them being a small market and not wanting to pay him that much and wanting to reset for the future quicker. But if I was them, I would keep what they have going and just hope your excess picks will yield some future pieces to build around SGA.

  6. I don’t like the thought of giving up even a second rounder for Paul. Picks should be coming in, not going out. But if they do it, I have to admit that it would not upset me all that much. We’re probably not getting anyone as good as Paul will be during his contract. I’m optimistic that he will play reasonably well for 2 years, not vintage Paul but somewhere between the top 5-15 PG in the league. And the joy of never seeing Randle or Smith Jr. wearing the orange and blue again is a major selling point for me.

  7. Since we have no control, I think a better conversation than would you do it or not (seems like most of us wouldn’t) is how you would feel if Rose did it. As I said, I would have mixed feelings with some cautious optimism mixed in. I certainly wouldn’t be devastated.

  8. Will say it again. moar picks for Paul.

    And I still don’t understand why Chris Paul is going to want to play out the last productive years of his NBA career not chasing a ring.

  9. swiftandabundant:
    Totes, you’re being sarcastic, right? No way OKC is also trading SGA. The whole point of a CP3 trade is to clear the future for SGA and have cap space.

    Crap! Just realized I wasn’t clear. I meant add Payton to the trade so they’d have someone to get those dudes the ball lol

  10. The whole point of hiring a guy like Rose is to get guys like Chris Paul. I’m imagining the issue isn’t whether Rose is giving up enough assets, but whEther Paul would want to come here.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize hiring Rose can only mean one type of rebuild

  11. Paul has said that he won’t give up a penny of his salary to facilitate trades or go to a contender, and I believe him on that. If he comes to NY, he comes with multiple first-round picks and he doesn’t complain when the team is 35-47 with no immediate path to contention. Anything less than that is straight-up dumb.

  12. Wetbandit, I agree and the thought is depressing. It’s not that I don’t want a great player to come here as a free agent, it’s just that I think it’s an un doable strategy for the Knicks.

    I just don’t get all the press about trading Paul. I don’t know of any indication OKC is shopping him. Also, they were willing to go way over the cap with Westbrook in order to have a competitive team. Now they have a competitive team for those same dollars by paying Paul instead. What is it that makes people think they aren’t happy to stand pat with Paul?

  13. He would get to play in a huge market and maybe we could draw another superstar to join him his second season? He could get to the playoffs with us in the East and the east is weaker than the west. We could sign some other players to join the team. We have excess picks to use as trade bait for another star.

    I’m not saying we should do all this. But its not unrealistic to think he would want to play here or that we couldn’t get him help to build a (semi) contender.

  14. CP3 isn’t a superstar anymore, he’s a pretty good point guard if things go well. 2 firsts is what we need from OKC to take that contract

  15. I’m not saying we should do all this. But its not unrealistic to think he would want to play here or that we couldn’t get him help to build a (semi) contender.

    Ah yes, let’s spend all the assets to complement an expiring 36-year-old PG. Yes.

    What is it that makes people think they aren’t happy to stand pat with Paul?

    Presti has never, not once, tied his contending hopes to players on the cusp of retirement age. He’s too smart for that, Harden trade aside. But I don’t think he intends to contend beyond some competitive playoff series over the next two seasons.

    That said, I also don’t think it makes sense for them to trade him away with the assets they received for him. Unloading Westbrook was a stroke of genius. Why undo it by giving up a couple of those acquired picks when Paul is still good and their contending window will not really open for a couple of years?

    They should be in no rush to clear space, especially if they plan on using some of their abundance of picks on actual players, rather than trades.

  16. I definitely don;t want to do that. And I don’t think that is our plan. Just saying that the idea CP3 wouldn’t want to come here is not necessarily true. I laid it out before in the last thread.

    Our win curve under Miller is a team that barely misses the playoffs.

    CP3 would push us into the playoffs in the East. The East is weak enough that we could even win a first round matchup depending on who it was.

    CP3 would get to play in the media center of the world at the most famous arena. Even bringing the Knicks to respectability would be a huge boost for his brand (see Amare in 2010).

    He would have a new DeAndre Jordan to throw lobs to with Mitch.

    Our team has 6 first rounders over the next 4 years to continue to build with and we could get a top pick this year to draft a back up PG that he could mentor.

    There would be good role players/veterans out there that would probably find the idea of playing with CP3 on a good Knicks team appealing. See 2011 with Tyson Chandler joining The Knicks and 2012 with Jason Kidd joining the Knicks. JR, Kmart, Sheed…when we were halfway decent, good veterans wanted to play for us.

  17. Paul is way too smart to want to come to NY, Miami makes way more sense for him.

    I like the Miami idea also because Riley is always trying to improve and win now and CP3 has just enough left in the tank to make Miami better now without crippling their long term strategy. Riley was also very interested in Gallo at the deadline.

    The problem is making all the salaries work and ending up with a much better Heat team. But Riley is a basketball genius that also has GM level skills. If anyone can figure it out he will. He made 2-3 clear cut mistakes in the last few years but still managed to turn the Heat into a very good team with both veterans ready to compete now and young players with upside to improve the team and secure the long term. He was a great coach and he’s great at what he does now. He’s truly a unique basketball genius (other than allowing Starks to keep chucking 3s).

  18. So you want to fill out the roster with older veterans who are more about playing next to a 36-year-old. That sounds like pushing in the chips on a 36-year-old supermax player, to me.

  19. I also agree that I would not trade him if I was OKC. But maybe Paul/the league is pressuring OKC to do it?

    Its always been theorized that the league has a hand in certain things happening. Cleveland loses Lebron they get the first pick. Sending CP3 to the Clippers over the lakers in order for there to be more parity, etc.

    Maybe with covid, the league is looking at lost revenue and thinking…hmm, we need The Knicks to be relevant again because of the amount of global fans they bring in when they are good. Again, a decent Knicks team is a huge draw for TV, international merchandise sales, etc. OKC not so much.

    I’m not trying to spin some huge conspiracy theory but I don’t think its beyond the realm of possibility that this could be what’s going on behind the scenes.

  20. Here’s a fun question: who would you rather have the next two years, CP3 or Kyrie? My vote is CP3

  21. But Riley is a basketball genius that also has GM level skills. If anyone can figure it out he will. He made 2-3 clear cut mistakes in the last few years but still managed to turn the Heat into a very good team with both veterans ready to compete now and young players with upside to improve the team and secure the long term. He was a great coach and he’s great at what he does now. He’s truly a unique basketball genius

    Made a dumb meme for strat

  22. The only good scenario for the Knicks involves Chris Paul getting hurt BEFORE a trade. Then he becomes an albatross and the Knicks can absorb him and a lot of those OKC picks into their cap space.

    But healthy yet aging Chris Paul is too good for them to need to sell and, as Owen stated, Paul kicking it up and down the court for two years for a scrub team trying to squeeze the revenue of four playoff games out of the season just doesn’t seem like the way he’ll want to end it.

  23. <Made a dumb meme for strat<

    Phil was the superior coach with the right players.

    Riley was a hair below as a coach, but way more flexible.

    Riley has vastly greater managerial/GM skills.

  24. >So you want to fill out the roster with older veterans who are more about playing next to a 36-year-old. That sounds like pushing in the chips on a 36-year-old supermax player, to me.<

    If you were asking me, I don't want Paul at all. But depending on the conditions I might be able to sign off on it. I could live with Paul, but I probably won't be able to live with whatever else these pinheads do instead. I'm almost willing to do a mediocre/bad deal to avoid an even worse one if you understand what I am saying. That's how bad I think there guys are at understanding basketball (other than Miller who incidentally I believe came via Phil).

  25. You don’t think a lineup of CP3, Halliburton, Knox, and Mitch can win 50 games?

    With Frank, Melo, Iggy, Bullock and Wooten off the bench?

  26. Yeah I’m gonna call BS on the idea that The Clippers current success can only be tied to the fact that they tanked for Blake.

    Before Cp3 showed up, Blake was exactly the type of high lottery pick that people on here gnash their teeth over. A really good player who maybe is t worth the max but will most likely command it anyways. They were stuck in mediocrity he’ll with Blake before CP3.

    Just a hunch, but I don’t think in 2011 when the Clippers traded for CP3, people here would’ve felt very strongly about the contract extension Blake Griffin signed in 2013.

    When the Clippers traded for CP3, Blake Griffin was coming off a rookie season in which he posted a .152 WS48 and 2.7 BPM while making under $5M.

    Getting that level of production on a rookie scale deal is what:
    1) made them an attractive destination for Chris Paul
    2) gave them the flexibility to add Chris Paul’s salary
    3) made them contenders almost immediately upon adding Chris Paul

    As to the point about none of it being possible without the nixed Lakers trade, I mean, sure, they benefitted from some luck. Same goes for every single NBA team that has ever become a contender, to varying degrees. The Bucks needed 12 teams to pass on Giannis. Toronto needed a very bizarre situation to occur in San Antonio. The Lakers needed LeBron James to want to raise his son in Los Angeles and for Anthony Davis to become unhappy in New Orleans.

    I could go on, but pointing out that we shouldn’t care that the Clippers’ current success started with an all-out tank because they benefitted from some luck is silly. I’ve got news for you: if we ever turn this thing around, it will be at least partially attributable to luck. There are simply too many teams angling for the exact same finite pool of assets for it to not require some luck to win that battle.

  27. As far as the larger conversation around tanking goes, I think two things are being conflated.

    It’s true that there are multiple ways to skin the cat of becoming a contender, but I don’t think that’s true until a team has reached a certain baseline of talent.

    For example, after OKC drafted Durant they decided the best way for them to eventually contend was to try to keep getting players from the top of the draft, because those guys give you the best chance at getting the single most valuable asset in the NBA: a productive player on a rookie-scale contract. They didn’t look to add significant salary from outside of the team until they had KD, Westbrook, and Harden in place and won 50 games. This might just be because free agency wasn’t really available to them, being in Oklahoma City and all, but for the record I think they were correct to do this and I still think it’s the correct approach.

    If it was up to me, we wouldn’t even be thinking about free agency outside of rare circumstances until we had a drafted core that constituted a decent team on its own. This is the approach that gives you the best chance at becoming a truly dominant team, IMO.

    However, I recognize that for varying reasons (impatience, discomfort with the optics, etc.) not everyone is on board with that approach. The other option for OKC was to start looking to free agency immediately after drafting Durant, recognizing that they had their baseline level of production in Durant alone and now it was time to add.

    Who knows how successful this would’ve been? Like I said, I personally prefer the approach they actually took. However, it’s possible this still would’ve worked out for them. I can also see the argument that this would be a more attractive option for the Knicks, because free agency is more available to us.

    You see the commonality in both approaches, though? Nothing was possible until they had their baseline level of talent in Kevin Durant. Continued…

  28. So my question for people who don’t want to avoid marginal wins is this: how are we going to get to the baseline level of talent we need to have before we can even think about the best path to contention? We are not even close to it right now. We have a two-player “core” that, if not supplemented with marginal wins, is probably worth 15-20 wins.

    What’s the plan to get that to, say, 40 wins, while still leaving us the vast amount of flexibility required to get from 40 to 55+, without relying heavily on productive players on rookie-scale deals?

  29. thenoblefacehumper: I could go on, but pointing out that we shouldn’t care that the Clippers’ current success started with an all-out tank because they benefitted from some luck is silly.

    But this is not what people are saying. We are generally saying that for every team that benefitted from a 1-season all-out tank, 1) there are many who didn’t because they didn’t get lucky or they did it in a year when the best player was readily identifiable as a franchise changer, 2) there are many who successfuly rebuilt without tanking simply by being either smarter of more lucky than tanking teams, 3) even teams that got lucky after an all-out tank don’t necessarily get better after hitting on a franchise player, and most importantly, 4) many teams did not go into a season planning to tank, only doing so after their initial plans to win fell through (see: Knicks circa 2014-15).

    The luck that the Clippers experienced as a result of a 1-season tank was no less lucky than the luck the Bucks had in landing Giannis, or the Spurs had in landing Kawhi, or the Raptors had in landing Siakam. It wasn’t part of some multi-year grand strategy. Your proposition that “Hey, the bumbling 2008 Clippers management team pulled it off is evidence that all teams in our position should do it” is ludicrous. This is even more true when you consider the effect of odds-flattening in the lottery WHICH WAS INTENDED TO DISCOURAGE TANKING!!!

  30. thenoblefacehumper:
    So my question for people who don’t want to avoid marginal wins is this: how are we going to get to the baseline level of talent we need to have before we can even think about the best path to contention? We are not even close to it right now. We have a two-player “core” that, if not supplemented with marginal wins, is probably worth 15-20 wins.

    What’s the plan to get that to, say, 40 wins, while still leaving us the vast amount of flexibility required to get from 40 to 55+, without relying heavily on productive players on rookie-scale deals?

    Do you really think that any of the non-tankers on this board can put together a satisfactory answer to this question? Complete with a pro forma roster constructed of real players at real salaries?

  31. Another thing is, if you are muddling along with a 35-win team and you actually do find the next Mitch, or Kawhi, or Siakam, or Giannis, or Adebayo, or Harrell, or Turner, or Clarke, or Jokic (i.e. anywhere from an impact player to a superstar) you jump from a fringe playoff team to a contender in one fell swoop, or you can bring the player along without force-feeding him to the detriment of his development. You have a team that FAs looking for a team to take over will consider, especially here in NYC. You don’t have to spend a bunch more years stinking up your arena like Minny or the Pels to build a winning team, not to mention SAC and yes, the NYK.

    At the end of the day, no one is saying that you are wrong, as much as saying that there are multiple paths of equal risk and viability, all of which depend on shrewd management and some good fortune.

  32. I don’t think anyone is “anti-tank” per se. We’re just fine with the POBO/GM not tanking if that’s how they decide to go, so long as they make good moves.

  33. ***Do you really think that any of the non-tankers on this board can put together a satisfactory answer to this question? Complete with a pro forma roster constructed of real players at real salaries?***

    I understand what Z-Man is saying, and I think both he and TNFH have good points.

    If you draft Jokic in the 2nd round and he becomes a generational player within two years, your rebuild is set. You don’t need to have lost meaningless games on purpose, or even have had any sort of rebuild plan at all. You certainly didn’t need the #1.

    But, most later picks don’t turn out to be that good. Which is why you want to have as many picks as possible over that period. It’s a quantity vs quality situation, and one you can control (quantity) and one you can’t control because there are too many variables (quality). So clear cap space, use it to acquire a diverse portfolio of picks and young assets over a three year period, TRY TO IMPROVE, and good things will happen.

    (Edited to add: *and one of the two “pieces” that the Knicks have was actually obtained via the ”Jokic method”, so the Knicks are actually ahead of the accidental rebuild curve:)

  34. Would they have liked that contract extension for Blake if they hadn’t gotten CP3? They weren’t contenders (or even a playoff team) UNTIL they added CP3. They were a 10th seed low 30 win team that would have been stuck in cap/win share purgatory with Blake as their only star.

  35. As to what constitutes a good move, there is room for discussion if we can step out of narrow, rigid models for successful team building. If you only accept one path to contending and that path requires not signing any free agents, knowing full well that there is zero chance of the FO taking that path, it sounds like a broken record (ok boomer, what’s a record?) after a while.

  36. Finding a Jokic-level HOF-bound player in the second round is rare indeed but a) finding one in the teens or even 5-10 range is less rare, b) finishing 5-10 still gives you a shot at a generational player c) you don’t need that guy, just a solid starter like Harrell, SGA, John Collins, Bam, Booker, VanVleet, etc., who are not rare at all. All of those guys are needle-movers and don’t require gutting the team to get.

  37. I’m fine with drafting smartly a bit lower down, finding low-risk, high-reward free agents and signing them to team-friendly contracts, and keeping max contract space availability going into each summer.

    The reason we are not moving down this path is that we drafted 18yo projects over older, more productive players, signed several unproductive and overpaid FAs, and swung and missed on Randle. It’s not because of Morris, Payton or Bullock. In other words, it’s not the path, it’s the decision-making along the path. You can easily fuck up the tanking path too with bad decision- making.

  38. Was reading an article today about bad luck in recent Knicks drafts and I came across something interesting that I didn’t remember at the time. Donnie Walsh was quoted after drafting Shump saying he was their guy all along at that spot unless Kawhi was still there since he was drafted 2 spots before Shump. I don’t remember any talk about the Knicks being interested in Kawhi, what were the mock drafts at that time saying? I remember by draft night the consensus was Shump was going to the Knicks, although I guess Kawhi was not projected to last until their pick so maybe that’s why there wasn’t any Kawhi to the Knicks rumors.

    Of course the other just missed the article focused on was Steph Curry but I knew that one, it was common knowledge that D’Antoni was salivating over Curry but Golden St screwed us. Just 1 pick separated us from Steph Curry…..

  39. It would have been nice to trade up for those guys like Cuban traded up for Doncic. Alas…

  40. It would have been nice to trade up for those guys like Cuban traded up for Doncic. Alas…

    But thank god we won 29 games that year and not 23! Otherwise we’d be a total laughingstock.

  41. In 2008 Walsh wanted Westbrook at #6, made it public, and he was taken at #4. In 2009 Walsh wanted Curry at #8, made it public, and he was taken at #7. In 2011, as BBA reports, Walsh wanted Kawhi at #17. He DIDN’T make it public, perhaps because he learned his lesson. But it is interesting that the team that took Kawhi moved up to just in front of the Knicks to grab him. So, maybe he wasn’t keeping it secret enough.

    Anyway, it’s interesting to look back at 2011. Our Robert Silverman used the #17 pick to draft Klay Thompson in the bloggers mock draft. The stat crowd wanted Faried. It was considered a weak draft by KBers. (There was even talk of buying the Bulls #30 pick, which, of course, was used to draft Jimmy Butler).

    So much of success in the NBA is dictated by “missing by inches”, both on the court and in the front office. And, as it relates to the conversation here, in 2011 it didn’t matter a whole lot where a team drafted as most of the really good players were found later in on. But other years, it matters immensely. Like in 2009. And 2008. And 2019. And all the other years the Knicks have a decent pick, it seems.

  42. If you like adult board games, then you probably already know that Monopoly gets a pretty low game score. In part, because the optimal strategy has been solved. You buy everything you land on. Sure, luck matters and luck is always present with the dice, but the optimal strategy remains (mostly) constant.

    At this point, we pretty much know the optimal NBA GM strategy. All-out tank. Trade away all veterans. Never chase marginal wins. Maximize draft picks. Collect assets at every turn.

    Our basketball discussions just aren’t that interesting anymore. We spend so much time explaining and re-explaining how this optimal strategy works. Every counter almost always involves “gut” or “eyes” or “scouting”. How do we have conversations at the margins that materially challenge the assumptions built into our optimal strategy?

  43. NahNah: Our basketball discussions just aren’t that interesting anymore. We spend so much time explaining and re-explaining how this optimal strategy works. Every counter almost always involves “gut” or “eyes” or “scouting”. How do we have conversations at the margins that materially challenge the assumptions built into our optimal strategy?

    Oh, the basketball conversations aren’t that interesting? Only a masochistic moron would keep wasting time willingly engaging in uninteresting conversations. So why don’t you find something more interesting to do with your time? No reason for you to lower yourself arguing with the likes of me.

    My guess is that you will stick around like the troll that you are. But I wonder, given that you are so above the fray yet keep coming back for mote, what does that say about you? That you’re a complete loser with nothing else to do?

    (Bingo!)

  44. Z: In 2008 Walsh wanted Westbrook at #6, made it public, and he was taken at #4. In 2009 Walsh wanted Curry at #8, made it public, and he was taken at #7. In 2011, as BBA reports, Walsh wanted Kawhi at #17. He DIDN’T make it public, perhaps because he learned his lesson. But it is interesting that the team that took Kawhi moved up to just in front of the Knicks to grab him. So, maybe he wasn’t keeping it secret enough.

    Anyway, it’s interesting to look back at 2011. Our Robert Silverman used the #17 pick to draft Klay Thompson in the bloggers mock draft. The stat crowd wanted Faried. It was considered a weak draft by KBers. (There was even talk of buying the Bulls #30 pick, which, of course, was used to draft Jimmy Butler).

    So much of success in the NBA is dictated by “missing by inches”, both on the court and in the front office. And, as it relates to the conversation here, in 2011 it didn’t matter a whole lot where a team drafted as most of the really good players were found later in on. But other years, it matters immensely. Like in 2009. And 2008. And 2019. And all the other years the Knicks have a decent pick, it seems.

    Really. It’s like The Curse of the Frozen Envelope.

  45. I’m fine with drafting smartly a bit lower down, finding low-risk, high-reward free agents and signing them to team-friendly contracts, and keeping max contract space availability going into each summer.

    *sigh*

    See, I’m really trying to have this conversation in good faith, but this just boils down to “instead of prioritizing the quality and quantity of our draft picks, we should simply be smarter than all of the other teams, all of the players, and all of the agents.”

    Every team in the NBA wants to sign “low-risk, high-reward free agents and sign them to team-friendly contracts.”

    Every player and their agent wants to prevent this from happening.

    As a result, about 98% of the best contracts in the NBA fall into one of three categories:
    1) contractually limited max/near-max deals
    2) contractually limited rookie-scale deals
    3) contractually limited minimum deals

    So the conversation just goes like this, over and over again:

    “The Knicks suck right now, I think they should try to get better via a strategy that maximizes the quality and quantity of their draft picks”

    “No, instead they should use both draft picks and free agents”

    “Huh, okay, well which free agents are a realistic and and smart option for them?”

    *crickets*

    It’s easy to say “the strategy is fine, the execution has been bad.” It’s a lot harder to articulate what good execution of the strategy looks like, because the players with multiple max contract offers on the table obviously won’t go to a bad team, and everyone else would *rather* not go to a bad team but will if they’re overpaid (both on a years and AAV basis).

    I mean, what’s the best example of a team with as bad a future core as the Knicks right now signing a multiyear non-max/non-rookie scale/non-minimum deal and it actually working out better than taking on salary dumps and filling out the roster with rookie-scale deals would have?

    These opportunities do exist at the margins…

  46. Christian Wood, a young player who has been very productive but in a very small sample size, hitting unrestricted free agency is a potential example of one of these marginal opportunities. Thus, even the most ardent pro-draft strategy folks on here are happy to have conversations about whether or not we should target him, what our line in the sand should be, etc.

    But as a general rule, non-max/non-minimum/non-rookie scale contracts are a suckers market, and the people who claim we can pull off a strategy that utilizes them rarely, if ever, actually name players, years, and AAV.

  47. This is even more true when you consider the effect of odds-flattening in the lottery WHICH WAS INTENDED TO DISCOURAGE TANKING!!!

    This keeps coming up so I should point out that I think it’s being overstated. On the morning of March 11, 2020, the Knicks had a 48% chance at a top-4 pick in this draft.

    By nightfall of the same day, they had a 37% chance a top-4 pick in the draft.

    One win did that. Under the current, allegedly hugely reformed, system.

    Was it worth it?

  48. thenoblefacehumper: This keeps coming up so I should point out that I think it’s being overstated. On the morning of March 11, 2020, the Knicks had a 48% chance at a top-4 pick in this draft.

    By nightfall of the same day, they had a 37% chance a top-4 pick in the draft.

    One win did that. Under the current, allegedly hugely reformed, system.

    Was it worth it?

    Stop trying to use math nerd humper. EVERY JOURNALIST AND THE NBA ITSELF said the flattened odds would stop tanking being a good strategy. I even compiled statistics based upon my watching these guys talk on ESPN about it. Checkmate!

  49. thenoblefacehumper: *sigh*

    See, I’m really trying to have this conversation in good faith, but this just boils down to “instead of prioritizing the quality and quantity of our draft picks, we should simply be smarter than all of the other teams, all of the players, and all of the agents.”

    I know I am going to sound like a dick, but screw it. This is not a matter of good faith. Certain posters cannot connect the dots here. That simple.

  50. nerd humper

    I’ve been thinking about switching my screen name on here to one that I didn’t make at age 13 or whatever it was, and this seems like a decent compromise between doing that and still paying homage to my illustrious knickerblogger history. Hmmm.

  51. thenoblefacehumper: I’ve been thinking about switching my screen name on here to one that I didn’t make at age 13 or whatever it was, and this seems like a decent compromise between doing that and still paying homage to my illustrious knickerblogger history. Hmmm.

    do it

  52. tnfh, even if I accept everything you are saying for argument’s sake (I clearly don’t really accept all of it), what’s your point? That the Knicks suck and will never get better until they find an owner that will hire a GM that will execute your strategy? When do you anticipate that this will take place?

    Quick answer: Not in my lifetime and probably not in yours.

    In other words, which path has a more realistic chance of being successfully implemented?

    The one that simply won’t be implemented by this Knicks regime?

    Or a different rebuilding plan that almost certainly will be implemented, which possibly could be one that has turned a number of shitty teams into contenders on a reasonable timeline when executed patiently and intelligently?

    You keep wringing your hands about how the Knicks never take your preferred path, as if that has ever been a realistic an option, or is one going forward. Good for you! It’s a safe place to be! You never have to worry about being wrong (except when you rank lottery picks…then, look out!) because you only need to defend theoretical positions that never have a chance of being judged in retrospect because they never happen.

    At what point does that get tedious to the point where we can start discussing what actually has even a small probability of happening?

  53. thenoblefacehumper: This keeps coming up so I should point out that I think it’s being overstated. On the morning of March 11, 2020, the Knicks had a 48% chance at a top-4 pick in this draft.

    By nightfall of the same day, they had a 37% chance a top-4 pick in the draft.

    One win did that. Under the current, allegedly hugely reformed, system.

    Was it worth it?

    A better question is, how much of a difference is it likely to make if we 1) have good management or 2) have bad management? Or alternatively, was it really about the players we acquired? Should we have not fired Fizdale, knowing that Miller was a better coach and would try to win as many meaningless games as possible to prove hmself NBA-worthy? Or put another way, would having that 48% chance at top 4 in a draft with no consensus #1 picks (your personal #1 is likely to be available well outside the top $) be better than having a 37% chance along with an additional first, a future second, bird rights on a decent rotation player and a eurostash player? You can’t have it both ways.

  54. I know I am going to sound like a dick

    maybe you could just add that as a disclaimer after nah nah…

    c’mon man, you ain’t gotta make it that easy…we don’t need a trolling handicap…

  55. I’ve been thinking about switching my screen name on here to one that I didn’t make at age 13 or whatever it was, and this seems like a decent compromise between doing that and still paying homage to my illustrious knickerblogger history. Hmmm.

    don’t you dare TNFH…your shit is branded now, just like THCJ…be proud…stand tall…wear that moniker nobly…let your words speak for themselves…from then to forever – be the noble face humper…your younger, cooler self knew what they were doing…

  56. i wonder what ever happened to E…i liked E and their personal pessimistic perspective and overly critical and cynical view of – the whole entire world…

    E cheered me up…it made me feel good to know that even i’m not that continuously negative…

  57. thenoblefacehumper: But as a general rule, non-max/non-minimum/non-rookie scale contracts are a suckers market, and the people who claim we can pull off a strategy that utilizes them rarely, if ever, actually name players, years, and AAV.

    This is a reasonable point. It takes a good eye and pounding the pavement skills to acquire good value this way. Christian Wood is pretty much who Julius Randle was last off-season, and is likely to get a similar contract. Were we wrong to sign Randle? (who probably won several meaningless games for us…)

    It’s a really good question. Neither fits in with the “avoid marginal wins at all cost, sign zero FAs” strategy. Both fit in with the “take an expensive but recoverable flyer on a young player on the upswing that can be part of a good team if he develops” strategy. It’s a good real world conversation to have, even if it doesn’t fit your theoretical optimal strategy.

  58. geo: don’t you dare TNFH…your shit is branded now, just like THCJ…be proud…stand tall…wear that moniker nobly…let your words speak for themselves…from then to forever – be the noble face humper…your younger, cooler self knew what they were doing…

    Wasn’t it about your beloved dog? If yes, definitely don’t change it. Dogs rule.

  59. For the baseball fans among you ESPN is showing live Korean Baseball

    i started watching…til i figured out i didn’t really care about korean baseball…desperation though kept me glued to it for a good three minutes or so…

    UFC goes live saturday with some great fights…

  60. Jonathan Macri dropping the semi-Hubert lineup.

    I would rather draft Hayes or Halliburton at 6 than Edwards at 1. In this draft, where the prospects are so equal, I’m looking for salary savings. Edwards could be the rare #1 pick whose contract in an immediate albatross.

  61. Well Z-Man, if we must limit discussion to strategies the Knicks might actually pursue, you know which one should be the first one on the chopping block?

    The one where they build a contender without fully utilizing the draft, because the New York Knicks were simply smarter than the other 29 teams.

    You never have to worry about being wrong (except when you rank lottery picks…then, look out!)

    I’ll let folks judge for themselves whether or not these are the utterly disqualifying rankings Z-Man, who I don’t believe has ever gone on record in similar fashion, makes them out to be.

    2019
    2018
    2017

    Looks like if the Knicks followed them to a tee without any regard whatsoever for fit, etc. they’d have Zach Collins instead of Ntilikina, Robert Williams instead of Knox, and would still have RJ.

    Impossible to determine who the second rounders would’ve been, but I am quite happy with my 2018 honorable mentions for an obvious reason ;)

    Or put another way, would having that 48% chance at top 4 in a draft with no consensus #1 picks (your personal #1 is likely to be available well outside the top $) be better than having a 37% chance along with an additional first, a future second, bird rights on a decent rotation player and a eurostash player? You can’t have it both ways.

    By the time we won that game Marcus Morris was long gone so this is irrelevant.

    Anyway I wasn’t trying to make a point about the Knicks shitty 2019 offseason strategy. I was just demonstrating that even under the new system there’s plenty of incentive to avoid marginal wins. All they really did was flatten the #1 overall pick odds for the 3 worst teams, there are still plenty of drastic odds drop offs across the board.

  62. Is this the first draft in recent memory where there is really not discernible difference between the top and bottom of the lottery?

    Likely top-10 picks:
    Ball
    Wiseman
    Edwards
    Toppin
    Anthony
    Hayes
    Okongwu
    Okoro
    Haliburton
    Avdija

    Ranking them definitively is nearly impossible, and is it a stretch to say that the top-3 players in this draft may not come from this group?

  63. thenoblefacehumper: By the time we won that game Marcus Morris was long gone so this is irrelevant.

    It really isn’t irrelevant. He’s a major part of the “chase marginal wins” discussion, as he was the best of the vets we signed and probably was responsible for more wins than any other single player on the team. You don’t sign him at all if you pursue your strategy. I cite him as an example of at signing that makes sense even if it means a couple more wins.

    The guys most responsible for the ATL win are Julius Randle (last year’s Christian Wood), Mitch and RJ Barrett. The vets were largely a wash. Ironically, had you only played the vets, we probably lose that game. Does your strategy include not playing young guys like Mitch because he might win games for you?

  64. ***This keeps coming up so I should point out that I think it’s being overstated. On the morning of March 11, 2020, the Knicks had a 48% chance at a top-4 pick in this draft. By nightfall of the same day, they had a 37% chance a top-4 pick in the draft. One win did that. Under the current, allegedly hugely reformed, system. Was it worth it?***

    To be fair, when they woke up, they didn’t know that the season would be over by the time they went to bed. It’s a lot easier sell to not play the starters in a game in April vs a game in early March. The team that’s out there should always TRY to win the game they’re playing.

  65. Just to clarify, I think discussing the merits of trading for CP3 is useful because it’s possible that we either do it or don’t do it. Same with Christian Wood, or Bertans. Same with re-signing Melo or Lin. Same with drafting LaMelo or Hayes.

    Discussing whether we should not sign any FAs or trade for anything other than incoming picks is pretty pointless, since it’s almost impossible that we won’t. Discussing whether we will full-out tank is pretty pointless, since it’s almost impossible that we will, unless as a plan B after plan A fails.

    Discussing whether we should hold out hope for Knox and Frank or should cut bait is also useful and interesting, since it is a decision the Knicks are considering as we speak and we don’t know the answer for sure yet.

    Since everyone is on record about how we feel philosophically, why don’t we stick to discussing things that can actually happen in the foreseeable future within given constraints, especially this offseason? Is that too much to ask?

  66. “probably was responsible for more wins than any other single player on the team”

    He was absolutely not as good as Mitchell Robinson, the only good player on the Knicks

  67. DRed:
    “probably was responsible for more wins than any other single player on the team”

    He was absolutely not as good as Mitchell Robinson, the only good player on the Knicks

    Yeah, what were we thinking, playing him and messing up the tank?!

  68. Damn it. We need games or something. This is…

    Another public service, just sharing the speculation Carmelo and CP3 scenario. And no, this is not an endorsement. I’m just sharing and having some speculative fun.

    Let’s us add Melo to Begley’s starting point of trading Bullock and Knox for Paul. The Knicks end up with a roster of:

    Chris Paul, R.J. Barrett, Carmelo Anthony, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Iggy Brazdeikis, Frank Ntilikina and 3 picks.

    I don’t like the balance. Trier is tired of being on the Knicks. Randle and Melo would need 2 separate balls. Hey, let’s flip them. What team has some level of strife? Oh, Utah. I hear Donovan and Rudy aren’t talking. So trade Randle and Trier for Gobert ESPN trade machine likes it .

    End result?
    PG: Chris Paul, Dennis Smith Jr
    SG: Lottery Pick, Frank Ntilikina, Damean Dotson
    SF: R.J. Barrett, Iggy Brazdeikis,
    PF: Carmelo Anthony, 27th pick
    C: Mitchell Robinson, Rudy Gobert

  69. It’s easy to look at the Knicks and say “Dolan is an idiot” and scream that they are doing it all wrong. But they aren’t just looking at wins:

    2003: 37 wins / $398,000,000 franchise value
    2004: 39 wins / $401,000,000 franchise value
    2005: 33 wins / $494,000,000 franchise value
    2006: 23 wins / $543,000,000 franchise value
    2007: 33 wins / $592,000,000 franchise value
    2008: 23 wins / $608,000,000 franchise value
    2009: 32 wins / $613,000,000 franchise value
    2010: 29 wins / $586,000,000 franchise value
    2011: 42 wins / $655,000,000 franchise value
    2012: 36 wins / $780,000,000 franchise value
    2013: 54 wins / $1,100,000,000 franchise value
    2014: 37 wins / $1,400,000,000 franchise value
    2015: 17 wins / $2,500,000,000 franchise value
    2016: 32 wins / $3,000,000,000 franchise value
    2017: 31 wins / $3,300,000,000 franchise value
    2018: 29 wins / $3,600,000,000 franchise value
    2019: 17 wins / $4,000,000,000 franchise value
    2020: 21 wins / $4,600,000,000 franchise value

    There is no correlation between column A and column B. So if they are looking for incentive to change their philosophy, they aren’t going to be convinced by a bunch of nerd humpers.

    Face it. You guys are investing in a team that hasn’t changed, and has no reason to change. A leopard CAN change his spots– it just requires millions of years of evolution to do so. Darwinistically speaking, Dolan isn’t going to evolve unless he is forced to adapt, migrate, or die. As the owner of the most valuable franchise in the league he laughs at all those other teams and their 3-to-5-year-plans, their win curves, and their rings.

    And he is fiercely loyal to Steve Mills, Isiah Thomas, and Carmelo Anthony. Why?

    Because column B says WE are being the stupid ones.

  70. Well, I would imagine that the franchise value just took a major hit this year. Which is hilarious about how the Mets had a deal to sell and the Wilpons will probably lose, at the very least, hundreds of millions by not closing that deal when they did.

  71. Z-man — as so often happens on this site (and in real life), there are two completely different and totally appropriate (and interesting) conversations happening at the same time. What’s the best thing to do, and what’s the more likely thing to happen.

    These are both great topics to discuss. The problem comes from confusing one with the other. That’s where you get people (including you) slinging shit at each other. They are really different topics. Please pay attention to whether someone’s arguing what we SHOULD do, versus what we are LIKELY to do. I don’t mind us getting testy with each other, but when it’s about arguing past each other on different topics, it gets a bit tiresome.

  72. I get Z’s point that the team value has increased considerably over the years, which is good for the owner. I would think every team has a similar chart. Also it probably correlates with the stock market. The years it was flat or dropped were 2007-2010 (and as Brian mentioned probably this year). My take is inheriting an NBA franchise is a neatly idiot proof way to increase your wealth.

  73. It really isn’t irrelevant. He’s a major part of the “chase marginal wins” discussion, as he was the best of the vets we signed and probably was responsible for more wins than any other single player on the team. You don’t sign him at all if you pursue your strategy. I cite him as an example of at signing that makes sense even if it means a couple more wins.

    This is not true. I’ve said a bunch of times, if there’s a free agent out there who can clearly be flipped for an asset, go ahead and sign him. I said it the day Morris was signed. I’ve repeated it a bunch of times in this discussion.

    Having said that, these situations are exceedingly rare. Most players who can be signed and flipped are good enough to have multiyear offers on the table from contenders (as Morris did), and thus will not be signing with us. As you know, the Morris situation was very, very unique. Without looking, I don’t think a single other player who was signed this past offseason was flipped at the deadline for a first. I don’t think it happened least season, either.

    So yes, we should absolutely sign every good player who agrees to a multiyear deal with the Spurs that he soon regrets, using the cap space we open up when a different player we sign fails his physical. No argument there!

    To be fair, when they woke up, they didn’t know that the season would be over by the time they went to bed. It’s a lot easier sell to not play the starters in a game in April vs a game in early March. The team that’s out there should always TRY to win the game they’re playing.

    I guess instead of using a specific example I should’ve just posted the new odds, because people are getting too hung up on this.

    All I meant to convey was that even under the new system, it’s pretty easy to see marginal wins are disincentivized. In fact, at some positions in the draft they’re actually more disincentivized than they were under the old…

  74. Also, I’d just like to say how nice it is to see the Marcus Morris trade be retconned as the obviously great move it was.

    Because getting people to agree that he should be traded at the time was like pulling teeth.

  75. The Morris deal and trade are an example of something most posters here are assuming the Knicks can never do, I.e. make smart management moves when opportunities arise. And, the PBO actually got fired partially for opposing part of that smart management move. I find it weird saying this, but even though it’s only one example of a smart move and there’s not much else to applaud, it actually makes the “have smart management” strategy more likely for the Knicks than the “Hinkie” strategy.

  76. “[E]ven though it’s only one example of a smart move and there’s not much else to applaud” sure doesn’t support the conclusion “it actually makes the ‘have smart management’ strategy more likely for the Knicks than the ‘Hinkie” strategy,'” so that’s probably why you “find it weird saying this.”

  77. The Knicks are never going to do the Hinkie strategy. I would have they would never have smart management either, but now there are signs of the latter.

  78. Of course, we did change our management immediately after this one example of smart management, so there’s that.

  79. I see no reason why Danilo Gallinari wouldn’t want to extend his time playing with the best point guard of his generation, so let’s say he comes back home to play the four on a two-year deal (second year partially guaranteed for $5 million)

    I don’t really know this Macri guy. Is what he said here credible? I never considered Gallo as someone you can get for that low. If that’s realistic, and we can dump Randle and Smith in a Paul trade, then you can add Paul, Gallo, and FVV in one summer.

    I know, I know: 35 y/o Paul will be only 15% as effective as 34 y/o Paul was, because math or something. But honestly how much worse is this team than the 40-24 Thunder?

    G Paul, Hayes or Halliburton
    G FVV, Barrett
    F Bullock, Barrett
    F Gallo, Knox
    C Robinson

    Plus Frank, Iggy, the LAC pick, the Charlotte pick, and the room exception available to sign a veteran. If I get a pick from the Thunder (and I agree, we should, I just don’t believe it will happen), even better.

    37 wins? 9 seed? Yeah, I’ll take the over on that. That’s arguably better than the Melo/Chandler team that made the 2nd round.

  80. I don’t really know this Macri guy. Is what he said here credible? I never considered Gallo as someone you can get for that low. If that’s realistic, and we can dump Randle and Smith in a Paul trade, then you can add Paul, Gallo, and FVV in one summer.

    He’s a good writer, but I think he’s wishcasting a bit with Gallinari accepting a partially guaranteed second year. That said, sure, Gallinari could certainly be signed to a two-year deal under most circumstances if Randle was traded. I just don’t see him not holding out for two guaranteed years (and I imagine he would get it).

  81. Macri is kind of like a sports blog writer that happened to be signed by SI. Not huge on advanced stats but miles better than say Bondy. He’s been ok in breaking news too. But not an insider at the moment. I do like his podcast but he’s more of an eyeball with some supporting advanced stats kinda guy. (Again, worlds better than the dregs we get in the rest of the beat)

  82. I like Macri, frequently listen to his podcast, but that’s some pretty lazy wishcasting with regards to Gallo. I would be shocked if he takes a glorified one-year deal. He’s been great for a while now. Much better than Marcus Morris, who had multiple long-term deals on the table.

    Also, not gonna lie, I really don’t see the point in balling out on a team we’re hoping is, like, .500.

  83. The guarantee of the 2nd year is not the important thing to me. I’m stunned by the estimated AAV of $5mm!

  84. The guarantee of the 2nd year is not the important thing to me. I’m stunned by the estimated AAV of $5mm!

    No, he’s saying that Gallo will get, like, 2 years/$45 million, but only $5 million of the second year would be guaranteed. That’s the part that’s wishcasting. It’s more likely to be a straight 2/$45 million.

  85. Brian Cronin: No, he’s saying that Gallo will get, like, 2 years/$45 million, but only $5 million of the second year would be guaranteed. That’s the part that’s wishcasting. It’s more likely to be a straight 2/$45 million.

    Ahhhh.

    That makes much more sense. I was amazed bc I misread.

    Never mind then. Yeah, that’s a mediocre team that we should not sign up for unless the Thunder give us many picks.

    The Paul idea without picks only works if you can trade for him, sign FVV, and add a stretch 4. Hard to do, but not impossible.

  86. Macri is kind of like a sports blog writer that happened to be signed by SI. Not huge on advanced stats but miles better than say Bondy. He’s been ok in breaking news too. But not an insider at the moment. I do like his podcast but he’s more of an eyeball with some supporting advanced stats kinda guy. (Again, worlds better than the dregs we get in the rest of the beat)

    I think SI picked him up because he’s a strong, entertaining writer. But yeah, I’m not necessarily always sold on his positions on stuff (like his starting five in this piece, as a for instance). He just writes about it in an entertaining fashion.

  87. I don’t know where my original comment went, to the ether and to return later, I dunno, but –

    Z’s post is exactly what I’ve been thinking about later. Dolans making money making the same crappy win-now moves as he’s been making for the past 20 years. There’s absolutely NO evidence that he’s EVER been interested in short term losses for long term gains. (And he has the bank account to support his side) Isiahs moves, Amare, MeloTrade, MegaMelo, hiring Phil, even signing Randle and Elf… straight to hiring a super agent who ONLY brings to the table the same shit we’ve been dealing with – superstar connects.

    Rose will do what all the others have done. He’s just the Neo of this iteration of the Matrix, and there’s no evidence he has the makeup to be disruptive.

    The question isn’t will he Do the Hinkie- there’s no shot. It’s is he smart enough to Do a Donnie… or Morey.

    So talk about the Franks and Dotsons and Triers… but my feeling is he’s thinking about the Lillards.

  88. Z’s post is exactly what I’ve been thinking about later. Dolans making money making the same crappy win-now moves as he’s been making for the past 20 years. There’s absolutely NO evidence that he’s EVER been interested in short term losses for long term gains. (And he has the bank account to support his side) Isiahs moves, Amare, MeloTrade, MegaMelo, hiring Phil, even signing Randle and Elf… straight to hiring a super agent who ONLY brings to the table the same shit we’ve been dealing with – superstar connects.

    Rose will do what all the others have done. He’s just the

    I don’t see how Z’s point shows anything one way or the other. Since the Knicks just get more valuable no matter what, then it only shows that the franchise value is obviously not based on the on-the-court product. So Dolan’s ways haven’t been “right” in that regard, because he could have done things more intelligently and the team would have gotten more valuable, also. They’re not connected, so it really has nothing to do with anything.

    Except, of course, the most painful one of “Why would Dolan ever sell if the product just keeps getting more and more valuable no matter what he does?”

    But yes, I do agree that Rose will likely be more of the same. That’s just the most likely scenario for any new Knick POBO.

  89. While the value of the team has gone up every year, it does seem like from 2009 to 2013, the value of the team went up more than other years. And 2011 win total is VERY misleading because that was the lock out shortened season. It was also the year of Linsanity.

    There is definitely the argument to be made that he doesn’t care about winning bc the value of the team goes up regardless. But another argument could be made to Dolan that we should be able to put in place a long term rebuilding strategy because the fan base will tolerate it and the value of the team has gone up even after seasons where we won only 20 or 17 games. And if the value goes up when we’re bad, imagine how much MORE money he could make if we were consistently good.

  90. Gallo’s had a “could have been” career because of the injuries but man I miss him playing for The Knicks. It still bums me out that we had to give up so much for Melo. Gallo was a really exciting player to watch live at The Garden and the fans loved him. I remember people going “cockadoodle doo!” after he’d make a free throw.

  91. And outside of the Jazz Linsanity game I got to see live, Gallo vs. Melo in 2010 at The Garden was one of my favorite live Knicks games ever. THey were going toe to toe and The Knicks won that game. The crowd was going crazy. I remember this one dude a few rows in front of me keeping screaming “GIVE THE BALL TO GALLO!”

  92. > He’s (Morris) a major part of the “chase marginal wins” discussion, as he was the best of the vets we signed and probably was responsible for more wins than any other single player on the team. You don’t sign him at all if you pursue your strategy. I cite him as an example of at signing that makes sense even if it means a couple more wins.<

    Thank God Z-Man gets it.

    The idea behind signing players that perhaps don't fit exactly into some "idealistic win curve" where everyone is under 25 and expected to peak on the same curve is that other players are also ASSETS that can be used in trades for picks (like Morris was) or that can be combined with picks and/or other players later into the star players you need to win championships.

    Now of course some nameless troll is going to ask for specific names to sign.

    The reality is you NEVER KNOW who is going to be available, at what price, and whether he would be willing to sign in NY anyway (especially when you tank and suck every year). The market dictates that. Furthermore, as fans we never know who was actually available as a FA or in a trade because half of what the media reports is bullshit rumors. We can only evaluate the deals we did after the fact unless management comes out and says "we could have signed or traded for player x but didn't".

    We are trusting management to identify good players, pay the right price, and fit them together correctly.

    We are trusting management to slowly make the team better so it's more attractive to STAR free agents and also because if some good players are signed to fair/attractive contracts those players can be used as trade chips if better opportunities present themselves later that season, the following year etc..

    Our failing is not the approach. It's the competency of management to identify good players, pay them fairly, fit them together well, and slowly improve enough to make the team more attractive.

  93. thenoblefacehumper: This is not true. I’ve said a bunch of times, if there’s a free agent out there who can clearly be flipped for an asset, go ahead and sign him. I said it the day Morris was signed. I’ve repeated it a bunch of times in this discussion.

    Actually, what you said at the time was that it was ONLY okay given that we were all in on the non-tank, sign FAs strategy. This implies that you would NOT have been okay if they were employing your impossibly narrow (in this context) strategy.

    On the other hand, I said this:

    “We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mills is both a terrible negotiator and a terrible talent evaluator. Perry is more of a mixed bag, but he’s made some very unsettling moves prior to getting here and some dubious decisions since he arrived. So while I have no real problem with the FO choosing to put together a modestly competitive team rather than tanking I continue to be deeply concerned with the decisions they are making within that strategy.

    I also thought that the Portis, Gibson, and Ellington signings were completely pointless overpays (and the original Bullock deal) , as they didn’t fit EITHER strategy, or any winning strategy. I didn’t particularly like the Randle signing either, mostly because I didn’t particularly like his game and thought the price was high, but whatever. I liked the Payton, Morris and re-worked Bullock deals because I thought they were good value on their deals and trade bait at the deadline. Payton in particular was a good flyer kind of deal. We wound up not trading him but he’s a nice value player if we decide to pick up his option for next year. Same with Bullock.

    Hopefully Rose will do a better job within that strategy.

  94. Has Iggy shown one iota of anything to be excited about, outside of Summer League and doing decent in Westchester?

    Nope. But hey, better to be decent in Westchester than not be decent in Westchester! And Iggy was actually good in college, unlike Knox, so that’s something, too. But yes, odds are Iggy sucks, too.

  95. And outside of the Jazz Linsanity game I got to see live, Gallo vs. Melo in 2010 at The Garden was one of my favorite live Knicks games ever. THey were going toe to toe and The Knicks won that game. The crowd was going crazy. I remember this one dude a few rows in front of me keeping screaming “GIVE THE BALL TO GALLO!”

    It was almost bittersweet when the Nuggets and Gallo then beat the Knicks and Melo in their first meeting after the trade. Stress almost, as I still wanted the Knicks to win, but you know what I mean.

  96. Hey Brian, am I the only one worried about Bruno? He hasn’t posted in a while and the shit is hitting the fan in Brazil. Can you shoot him an email?

  97. Z-man:“We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mills is both a terrible negotiator and a terrible talent evaluator. Perry is more of a mixed bag, but he’s made some very unsettling moves prior to getting here and some dubious decisions since he arrived. So while I have no real problem with the FO choosing to put together a modestly competitive team rather than tanking I continue to be deeply concerned with the decisions they are making within that strategy.“

    I don’t think your past quote says what you think it says. We were not moderately competitive. You were flat wrong.

    Record: 21-45, 12th in NBA Eastern Conference

    And this is why the strategy you advocate doesn’t work. It’s very hard to field a competitive team with non-max free agents.

  98. Hey Brian, am I the only one worried about Bruno? He hasn’t posted in a while and the shit is hitting the fan in Brazil. Can you shoot him an email?

    Sure thing.

  99. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our execution,
    But in our strategy, that we are underlings.”

  100. Wouldn’t it be rich if the Knicks wound up with Gallo, Lin and Melo?

    Wilson Chandler is a free agent, too!

  101. Dolan is a starfucker. He likes players and executives that he has heard of, and who are famous. This is all he cares about, period.

    That’s why there’s no rebuild. It’s not that he doesn’t want to rebuild because he’s afraid of losing games. He doesn’t want to rebuild because he doesn’t want a roster full of a bunch of guys nobody has heard of. Every single thing he does fits in with this mindset. It’s why Isiah Thomas was here for so long— Isiah Thomas is very famous! It’s why Leon Rose was hired— he knows famous people!

    There is nothing about win curve or even wins and losses period that has anything to do with it.

  102. Bruno is well. He’s just been working a lot while trying to keep himself sane.

  103. NahNah: I don’t think your past quote says what you think it says. We were not moderately competitive. You were flat wrong.

    Obviously you have a serious reading comprehension issue, and are just blindly lashing out at me. Where did I say that the team would be moderately competitive?

    Here’s what I actually did say at the time, corroborating my position that it wasn’t the strategy that was at fault, but the bumbling execution of it:

    “Getting above the 30-win mark will be a very tough task if everyone basically stays on their college/career trajectory.”

    I know you don’t like me, kid, that’s all good. But you need to up your game in executing the “be a petty asshole to Z-man” strategy. You’re like Mills-level dumb at it.

  104. Brian Cronin: Wilson Chandler is a free agent, too!

    Ha! And Mozgov is only 33, we could use a backup to Mitch…Mike K could pull the tee shirts out of the attic!

  105. Hey guys, thanks for the worries!

    I’m in the last year of my phD so I’m trying to use the quarantine time to work as much as I can, at least to do something productive with it. I’ve been somewhat away from most social media as an attempt to ease up on the anxiety of living in a country where our damn president goes to the congress to say the economy is more important than our lives.

    It’s been a really dark time around here, we all knew that this is what would happen anyway with this government, but seeing a large part of the population still supporting this shit while the death numbers rise is just disheartening. Once more we’re in the forefront of necropolitics and barbarianism in the world.

    I’ll try to drop by more often!

  106. I think Melo and Lin are very real possibilities to get signed by us this off season cause both can probably be had now for the minimum of mini-mid level in Melo’s case. I think Melo was all ready a real possibility as a way for him to end his career and also as kind of an olive branch/mea culpa on both sides to garner good will. You can make all sorts of critiques of Melo, how he became a Knick, his contract, etc…but he also took ALL of the heat when the team started doing poorly after the 54 win season and I think especially by the end of the Phil era, he was treated kind of poorly by the organization. This isn’t an excuse. But it felt like Phil was trying to blame all of the failings on Melo when he was the one who gave him that contract and then tried to “win now” with Noah and Rose, etc.

    So I think Melo coming back on a one year small deal is a very real possibility. And I think Lin coming back too is a real possibility. Both as more role players. But I think Rose is looking to A)mend fences and B) seeing the new financial landscape and looking for any small thing that can generate fan excitement.

  107. Bruno Almeida:
    Hey guys, thanks for the worries!

    I’m in the last year of my phD so I’m trying to use the quarantine time to work as much as I can, at least to do something productive with it. I’ve been somewhat away from most social media as an attempt to ease up on the anxiety of living in a country where our damn president goes to the congress to say the economy is more important than our lives.

    It’s been a really dark time around here, we all knew that this is what would happen anyway with this government, but seeing a large part of the population still supporting this shit while the death numbers rise is just disheartening. Once more we’re in the forefront of necropolitics and barbarianism in the world.

    I’ll try to drop by more often!

    Good to know, Bruno, keep up the good work!

  108. Who are these people that care about getting Melo and Paul on the same team. That has to be one of the most durable dumb ideas in the history of the NBA.

    I remember that Gallo game. As someone who thought, and still think, that Gallo was a better player than Melo it was pretty bittersweet.

    Re the value of the team, it’s a function of interest rates and the stratification of wealth in America. Revenues are more sensitive to winning and losing but given how many multi-billionaires would love to own the Knicks they don’t matter that much.

  109. ***And if the value goes up when we’re bad, imagine how much MORE money he could make if we were consistently good.***

    The Lakers are always good, have a better brand, attract all the good players, and play in the entertainment capital of the world. Wouldn’t it make sense that their value would be higher if there was any correlation between winning and franchise value?

    The Knicks are as valuable as the Yankees, who are are a true international brand for success and have been for 100 years.

    It seems that the league has a value, and the Knicks are going to be worth a certain percentage of that value no matter what they do on or off the court.*

    (*Actually, that’s not true. The one little dip they took MAY have correlated with the Anucha Brown Saunders sexual harassment debacle.)

  110. Good to hear from Bruno!

    I guess a part of me would like to see Gallo or Lin suit up for the Knicks again; that might be a bit of fun. But if it is part of a larger “try to win now” effort including Paul and Melo, naaaah.

    Actually, I would much rather have Gallo man the four than Randle.

  111. Owen: Who are these people that care about getting Melo and Paul on the same team. That has to be one of the most durable dumb ideas in the history of the NBA.

    I remember that Gallo game. As someone who thought, and still think, that Gallo was a better player than Melo it was pretty bittersweet.

    David Lee is only 37, should we lure him out of retirement? Melo, Lee, Gallo, Lin, Chandler, Mozgov, CP3…plus Mitch, RJ, Frank, Knox, Iggy, #1 pick…I’d be down with that!

  112. good to hear you’re well bruno :)

    It’s been a really dark time around here, we all knew that this is what would happen anyway with this government, but seeing a large part of the population still supporting this shit while the death numbers rise is just disheartening.

    we’re seeing the same here in the states…sadly this image says it all

    I’m in the last year of my phD

    if i remember correctly your field of focus was on assisting traditionally under-served segments of society?

    good for you sir…no doubt there are way too many folks whom need your efforts and passion to serve…

    I’m trying to use the quarantine time to work as much as I can, at least to do something productive with it.

    what in the world can be more productive than imagining a starting line up of cp3, RJ, melo, gallo and mitch…oh yeah, just about anything i guess :)

  113. Owen: There is absolutely no reason for DLee to come out of retirement. God bless him.

    Think Blues Brothers…Rose and Perry in sunglasses crashing Lee’s pool…”We’re on a mission from gahd!!”

  114. Actually, what you said at the time was that it was ONLY okay given that we were all in on the non-tank, sign FAs strategy. This implies that you would NOT have been okay if they were employing your impossibly narrow (in this context) strategy.

    …this is quite obviously because, when taken with the rest of the “strategy,” the strong impression was that we had no intention of trading him. If it was clear that we were going to at least strongly consider doing that, I would’ve said it was a perfectly fine move as evidenced by me specifically bringing up the possibility as a way the signing could pay off.

    Again, I’m happy to sign any one-year deals that can obviously be flipped for firsts at the deadline. That’s worth the additional marginal wins.

    What you don’t see to understand is that this is an insanely narrow category of free agents. Most players who could be flipped this way will have multiyear deals available to them, as Morris did.

    Who else has been signed to a one-year deal and then flipped at the deadline for a first in the past few years? The Morris situation was such an anomaly. I’m happy to capitalize on similar situations when they arise. They simply do not arise very often.

    You cannot build an entire strategy around signing guys to one-year deals who reneged on multiyear deals, and then flipping them at the deadline.

    The idea behind signing players that perhaps don’t fit exactly into some “idealistic win curve” where everyone is under 25 and expected to peak on the same curve is that other players are also ASSETS that can be used in trades for picks (like Morris was) or that can be combined with picks and/or other players later into the star players you need to win championships.

    Hahahahaha, this is the retconning I was talking about earlier. Strat was thirsty to lock Morris up for his age 31-34 seasons before we traded him.

  115. Speaking of free agents, isn’t Jordan Bell on the table this year? If we’re moving on from two of Portis, Randle and Taj (which we really should be doing), Bell might be worth a flier. I haven’t been following the situation much, but it doesn’t seem like the Wolves value him highly and he’s young enough to be given anothet shot, I’d think.

  116. The Warriors subreddit used to trash him for dogging plays. Apparently has a bad reputation for slacking off. As much as I liked him as a late 1st-rounder, he has fallen way off since his excellent rookie season. It’s inexplicable that he took nearly 40% of his shots from 10 feet to the three point line during his sophomore year after being so successful in the paint during his rookie year.

  117. thenoblefacehumper: What you don’t see to understand is that this is an insanely narrow category of free agents. Most players who could be flipped this way will have multiyear deals available to them, as Morris did.

    Who else has been signed to a one-year deal and then flipped at the deadline for a first in the past few years? The Morris situation was such an anomaly. I’m happy to capitalize on similar situations when they arise. They simply do not arise very often.

    Agreed, but why does the category have to be that narrow? Why is Payton a signing not worth the marginal wins? His cap-friendly deal with a team option potentially could have been moved, maybe not for the haul that Morris brought in, but for a couple of seconds. He is a decent asset whether we keep him or move him. Same with Bullock on the re-worked deal.

    Then there’s Randle. It was the first move made and you were sort of positive on that one, trying to balance the fair value of the deal with the specter of marginal wins. Problem is, when you sign him, it pretty much throws the all-out tank out the window. It’s clear from the time that he didn’t fit the “avoid marginal wins at all cost” strategy, but definitely fit the “build the team by making cost-effective transactions regardless of the impact on wins” strategy.

    And that’s my point. When you considered that move in a vacuum before all the rest of the cap-squandering signings (specifically Portis, Taj, Ellington, and at first, Bullock) it didn’t seem like a bad first move at all. I actually liked that move less than you, and we completely agreed on the Morris move, as a good one within the real world of possibilities. We also agreed that the off-season taken as a whole was a big shit sandwich executed by an incompetent FO.

  118. ***Speaking of free agents, isn’t Jordan Bell on the table this year? If we’re moving on from two of Portis, Randle and Taj (which we really should be doing), Bell might be worth a flier. I haven’t been following the situation much, but it doesn’t seem like the Wolves value him highly and he’s young enough to be given anothet shot, I’d think.***

    The Wolves value him so much that they traded him to the Rockets, who then traded him to the Grizzlies, who then waived him.

  119. >Hahahahaha, this is the retconning I was talking about earlier. Strat was thirsty to lock Morris up for his age 31-34 seasons before we traded him.<

    Not only are you are a troll that knows absolutely nothing about basketball. you are also a liar.

    I expressed a variety of views on Morris. I thought he was good player (could not sustain his 3p%), but I thought the pick we could get for him was probably going to be of less value than he was as a player. That means I doubted the Clipper pick (or a similar one) was ever going produce a player as good as Morris and we'd have to wait many years for that player to get to his peak. So my view was I would be OK with it "IF" we ultimately used that pick has part of a deal to acquire a better player than Morris or moved up in the draft, but not to select some late first round 18-19 year old scrub that's going to hopefully be a decent player in 2027.

    So basically I was on the 50 yard line depending on what we could get for him.

    I was thrilled with the deal because we also got Harkless. Harkless fits well, is younger, and is the type of underrated defensive role player that has had success on good teams that we should be looking to acquire and either keep or trade later. But I still think we should use that pick to move up in the draft or as part of deal to get a player that makes us better. I don't give a crap about some 18 year old that if we are very lucky will be playoff ready in 2027.

    Now go back to trolling and being wrong abut virtually everything,

  120. >Why is Payton a signing not worth the marginal wins? His cap-friendly deal with a team option potentially could have been moved, maybe not for the haul that Morris brought in, but for a couple of seconds. He is a decent asset whether we keep him or move him.

    Same with Bullock on the re-worked deal.

    Then there’s Randle.

    We also agreed that the off-season taken as a whole was a big shit sandwich executed by an incompetent FO.<

    Payton is a good backup on a reasonable contract that fills a need. He's still young enough to improve his shot and become a solid starter, We should keep him unless he's part of deal that makes us better at PG or if Frank break outs and we could fill another need better.

    Bullock is also fine because he's pretty good, he's cheap, and could be traded later.

    I said from the start that Randle did not fit, was overrated by boxscore metrics, and highly suspect to continue his improved 3p%. Plus we overpaid. We should be trying to move on from him. He would have been a better fit with KP than on this team at a somewhat lower price, but our management has no clue what they are doing basketball wise.

  121. I was thrilled with the deal because we also got Harkless. Harkless fits well, is younger, and is the type of underrated defensive role player that has had success on good teams that we should be looking to acquire and either keep or trade later.

    I have so much respect for this move. This is hilarious. Strat was ardently opposed to trading Morris for “a late first,” which is exactly what we did. Now that the trade was obviously beneficial, my man is pretending the only reason that’s true is because of the expiring salary filler that came our way.

    Not the first-round pick. Not the second-rounder from a bad team in Detroit. Nope–Moe Harkless, whose Knicks career will likely consist of 12 games, changed everything.

    Never, ever change Strato.

  122. Strat has a fatalistic view of late first rounders because, historically, so many teams are obsessed with “upside” at that point in the draft, being that those late-selecting teams already have superstars in place. And while you may not have great odds of finding an NBA starter that late, you’re still looking at incredible AAV at the end of the first round. Robert Williams, for one, will make $9M over his first four seasons, and he’s playing very well in the backup’s minutes he’s been logging.

    Strat also seems to believe (per his posts around the time of the trade deadline, which I looked at) that the couple extra wins eked out by a player like Morris will be a factor in signing superstar free agents, which I see as laughable. So basically, pay an age-31-through-33 Morris $30M for the ~1 VORP he averages in any given year, or take a flyer on a late-round pick who will make less than that over four years. Sounds like a tough decision, to me!

    If we took players from the last five slots in the first round dating back to 2016, we could have a starting lineup of:

    Dejounte Murray
    Derrick White
    Landry Shamet
    Pascal Siakam
    Damian Jones

    Which would be just terrible, especially at a combined salary of $10M a year. No chance we could add two (or three) max players to that lineup.

    This is the post I reference:

    https://knickerblogger.net/sny-com-knicks-marcus-morris-have-strong-mutual-interest-in-reaching-free-agency-agreement-this-summer/#comment-688323

  123. I apologize to the group for the outburst, but dude, you are moron, a liar, an incompetent and a troll.

    You make everything about this forum experience worse.

    If we allow Harkless to leave, imo it will another of what seems like an endless series of bad moves that you don’t understand. He’s exactly the kind of player we should be trying to accumulate because he’s undervalued.

    We don’t need any more garbage can picks for kids that are many years away from being playoff ready role players unless our goal is to die of old age before we win a championship, Their value is in trading to move up for a possible star player or acquiring a better player (as I was qualifying for much of the time of the discussion).

    If you are going to trade Morris for a pick, then be smart enough to trade the pick as part of a deal for a better player than Morris or to move up. Otherwise, just keep Morris on a contract that makes sense given his quality and age and see what happens later.

  124. Agreed, but why does the category have to be that narrow? Why is Payton a signing not worth the marginal wins? His cap-friendly deal with a team option potentially could have been moved, maybe not for the haul that Morris brought in, but for a couple of seconds. He is a decent asset whether we keep him or move him. Same with Bullock on the re-worked deal.

    If we’re now talking about signing free agents with the specific intention of trading them for assets, that’s very, very different than what we were talking about earlier.

    It fits in with a strategy of maximizing the quality and quantity of your draft picks. I have no problem with it provided that you can actually pull it off, which is the hard part because these deals are incredibly rare. You tend to have to live with your free agent signings.

    As for Payton, I don’t think he could’ve been moved for a couple of seconds. He was moved at the 2018 deadline as an expiring when the Suns traded a single second for him, in a move that was widely criticized as they proceeded to watch him do his thing for 19 games and then walk.

    That was in the midst of a career year, so I will be pleasantly surprised if we recoup any value for the marginal wins he brought us.

    As for Randle, I don’t begrudge them much (for that specific signing, the offseason as a whole was a disaster) because it could’ve worked out. It just…didn’t. I probably wouldn’t have signed it but his contract structure limits the damage. I disagree with you that we couldn’t have signed Randle and then stopped adding marginal wins right there, though. Randle + salary dumps would’ve been a perfectly sensible offseason.

  125. Strat has a fatalistic view of late first rounders because, historically, so many teams are obsessed with “upside” at that point in the draft, being that those late-selecting teams already have superstars in place.

    It’s literally just because Frank Ntilikina hasn’t been remotely good. So he feels the need to pretend that’s actually completely normal, and all young prospects have to suck for at least 3 seasons before showing even back-of-rotation level production. He has never, ever backed this up with anything resembling empirics but he’s not going to stop saying it.

    If we allow Harkless to leave, imo it will another of what seems like an endless series of bad moves that you don’t understand. He’s exactly the kind of player we should be trying to accumulate because he’s undervalued.

    To what contract should we sign him? I know, I know, it’s a total TROLL move to ask for anything more than the most vague nonsense imaginable.

    If you are going to trade Morris for a pick, then be smart enough to trade the pick as part of a deal for a better player than Morris or to move up. Otherwise, just keep Morris on a contract that makes sense given his quality and age and see what happens later.

    Props for retconning your retcon of the Morris deal, I guess. So what you’re saying is, if we make a selection with the Clippers’ pick and add that player to our roster, the Morris trade will have been bad, correct?

  126. >Strat also seems to believe (per his posts around the time of the trade deadline, which I looked at) that the couple extra wins eked out by a player like Morris will be a factor in signing superstar free agents, which I see as laughable. <

    This is misleading.

    Keeping a guy like Morris (or Harkless) etc.. is part of a process of improving the team that ultimately makes you more attractive to star players. It's not Morris or Harkless alone on fair contracts that does it. It's a mixture of multiple young and veteran players that makes you a payoff team NOW with upside from young talent and the assets to either land or attract a star player later.

    No star with a functioning brain looks at the Knicks and says I want to go to NY because they have the Clipper's 1st round pick. They say, "A kid like that won't be ready until I'm retired even if he winds up being a decent NBA player, which is not assured".

    What they want to say is "The team won 40 games, they have some veterans I want to play with, a few young pieces with upside, and if I go there we are on the clear road to contention".

    When you suck every year they don't come even if it's NY.

    Walsh learned that.
    Phil learned that.
    Mills/Perry learned that.

    Getting good enough to attract those players can be done via draft only over many years with some luck, but why limit yourself? It's just plain dumb to not take advantage of every possible deal that improves your team and it's position.

  127. Strat, I would say that you get a lot of outrage about your positions because many people don’t value defense as much as you do. They only judge by stats that are mostly based on offense. This explains why you value KP, Frank and Harkless more than they do. I understand why they disagree, but not why they get so angry. Arguing offense versus defense is as old as time, and perfectly normal for a sports blog.

    I agree with you that defense is important, but I think the late first rounder is worth something even if it’s not traded right away. Such picks are often over valued, but still there is a small but real chance you get a usable player right away. And it could be very useful if you want to trade to move up in the draft.

  128. I would also add that coaches seem to agree with Strat in that they gave playing time to Frank and Harkless over players with better stats, but that would be appealing to authority, so I can’t do that.

  129. >To what contract should we sign him? I know, I know, it’s a total TROLL move to ask for anything more than the most vague nonsense imaginable.<

    I think Harkless's 11.5m contract was OK in the pre Covid environment, but we don't know yet what the environment will look like next year and in the years after. I realize you can't process this reality, but environments and markets change and therefore the values change. So I can't give you a number, You can't responsibly put a price on Harkless until we have a better idea of what the economics are going to look like when we have to make a decision and other deals are being made.

    In relative terms 11.5m was tolerable last year. If salaries start falling overall, then less. If salaries for players like him fall more or less than average, you adjust. If he gets relatively expensive you let him walk. But first you have to understand that he's a very good role player you should want on your team now so we get better and then possibly eventually to move to get a better player.

  130. So I can’t give you a number

    My recommendation for your next screen name change…

    Stratomatic: I can’t give you a number

  131. >I agree with you that defense is important, but I think the late first rounder is worth something even if it’s not traded right away. Such picks are often over valued, but still there is a small but real chance you get a usable player right away. And it could be very useful if you want to trade to move up in the draft.<

    I don't think any 1st rounder is worthless.

    I think picks in general have become overvalued in the era of drafting very young players and tanking has become a worse option for rebuilding than it used to be because of that and because the lottery odds have been flattened. As a result I have a philosophical difference on the right way to rebuild in this environment.

    I think you should be wide open to wherever the values are, but that's a dynamic thing.

    You don't start with an approach to rebuilding and try to force it.

    I also disagree with how to value individual players because imo all the public models are so ridiculously and obviously bad at some things, they shouldn't even be part of a serious discussion. They obviously aren't in the real world of trading and valuing players where staffs of statistical experts with better data and scouts are used. When I see a player that's clearly overvalued or undervalued on those bogus metrics I always explain why I think that and sometimes know that to be true. .

  132. My recommendation for your next screen name change…

    thenoblefacehumper – knows nothing about basketball, but a lot about trolling

  133. “Has Iggy shown one iota of anything to be excited about, outside of Summer League and doing decent in Westchester?”

    You mean in his 53 minutes of garbage time in the NBA?

    His Michigan metrics were superior to Barrett’s at Duke…… amazingly….he can actually shoot a basketball!

  134. I believe Trevor Ariza was recently signed to a one year deal by Phoenix who then flipped him at the deadline for a pick. Not sure what they got out of it but I believe it was the season before this one.

    I would go back to the Morris well again. Say, look, we can keep signing you to nice one year deals and trade you to a contender at the deadline if ya like.

    The key is it has to be a good player and the money has to be big enough to entice the player but not so big that its too big of a salary to move at the deadline.

  135. I believe Trevor Ariza was recently signed to a one year deal by Phoenix who then flipped him at the deadline for a pick. Not sure what they got out of it but I believe it was the season before this one.

    Not quite. They traded him essentially for Kelly Oubre’s RFA rights. I’d say those were worth less than a pick. They ultimately signed Oubre to a pretty pointless (considering their place on the win curve) 2/$30M deal that they probably could’ve signed him to without the trade.

    Still, not a bad comparison.

    What I don’t understand about the “there’s no rigid path” crowd is, if you’re going with a general strategy that emphasizes the quantity and quality of your draft picks…there’s still nothing preventing you from signing a free agent if for whatever reason it makes sense to do so.

    Like, let’s say the Knicks took on the salaries of Harkless and Iguodala for two first-round picks instead of signing Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Wayne Ellington (yes, those two things amazingly cost the same amount cap space).

    They still could’ve signed Morris when the Spurs deal fell through! They would not have had to be like “aw shucks, we have the cap space to sign Morris, but we are generally committed to stockpiling picks, so we are barred from signing him :(“

  136. How about this? You build an entire roster out of draft picks. Then, when all 12 of them suck, you fire your entire scouting department. Isolate the variables.

  137. thenoblefacehumper:What I don’t understand about the “there’s no rigid path” crowd is, if you’re going with a general strategy that emphasizes the quantity and quality of your draft picks…there’s still nothing preventing you from signing a free agent if for whatever reason it makes sense to do so.

    Like, let’s say the Knicks took on the salaries of Harkless and Iguodala for two first-round picks instead of signing Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Wayne Ellington (yes, those two things amazingly cost the same amount cap space).

    They still could’ve signed Morris when the Spurs deal fell through! They would not have had to be like “aw shucks, we have the cap space to sign Morris, but we are generally committed to stockpiling picks, so we are barred from signing him :(”

    This goes back to picking a strategy; specifically whether it’s one that you can actually execute.

    “Taking on bad contracts for picks” is the type of deal that is always on the table every season. A guaranteed win from an asset management perspective. Picks always have a positive value (you may not hit on them, but they still represent a positive value from an NPV basis).

    “Singing veteran with hopes to trade him” is a risky strategy. It’s not on the table every season. This is not a guaranteed path to a win from an asset management perspective. The NPV is arguably negative. You don’t know if you will be able to trade the veteran (see Lee, Courtney).

  138. I would be ok with a Gallo signing if we can rid ourselves of Randle, but I don’t think OKC wants Randle and who would they even replace Gallo with?

    I don’t think they’ll trade Paul either unless it’s for picks. Why should they? That team was pretty well stocked, and it needs the young guys to get better before they can take the reins (except for Shai).

    The big-name chasing is embarrassing already. I think we’re fortunate that there aren’t any big names in this free agency and few disgruntled stars. They might try for DeRozan or Drummond if they’re horribly stupid or go after Oladipo (or maybe Booker or Mitchell if they make a stink) but those are really the only options.

    Because of this, I think the Knicks will go hard after LaMelo because he’s the closest thing to a star in this draft.
    Bringing Melo back for a victory lap btw is laughable. Lin could maybe work as a backup PG, but that already sounds too expensive.

  139. No star with a functioning brain looks at the Knicks and says I want to go to NY because they have the Clipper’s 1st round pick. They say, “A kid like that won’t be ready until I’m retired even if he winds up being a decent NBA player, which is not assured”.

    What they want to say is “The team won 40 games, they have some veterans I want to play with, a few young pieces with upside, and if I go there we are on the clear road to contention”.

    When you suck every year they don’t come even if it’s NY.

    Walsh learned that.
    Phil learned that.
    Mills/Perry learned that.

    Getting good enough to attract those players can be done via draft only over many years with some luck, but why limit yourself? It’s just plain dumb to not take advantage of every possible deal that improves your team and it’s position.

    When did I start to agree with you? Strange.
    I feel caught between the two schools. Build with kids or take on the big contracts?
    What I seem to agree with most is achieving a baseline of competence, accumulating draft assets and trying to acquire a star. We have a lot of picks. Good. Keep them. Outside of the draft, how do we get a player here that is playing at or near all-star level?

    It’s a reminder that the last time the Knicks made the playoffs it was because they signed Amare. It was the first piece. It wasn’t a great piece since he was broken, but it elevated the team from the abyss.

  140. “Singing veteran with hopes to trade him” is a risky strategy. It’s not on the table every season. This is not a guaranteed path to a win from an asset management perspective. The NPV is arguably negative. You don’t know if you will be able to trade the veteran (see Lee, Courtney).

    Yeah, to be clear this is why I would stay away from it outside of situations where it’s excruciatingly obvious a trade can be made. Morris was one of those situations, but as I said earlier, you tend to have to live with your free agent signings.

    Most free agents who can obviously be traded will be signing multiyear deals with teams who don’t really want to trade them. This is why I’m skeptical of Morris being offered as some kind of retort to draft pick stockpiling–it took extraordinary circumstances for him to wind up with us on a one-year deal.

    So sure, capitalize on these opportunities when they arise. Spoiler alert: they will not arise often, so you shouldn’t rely on them nor let them get in the way of stockpiling picks.

  141. The hell with David Lee and Wilson Chandler — Langston Galloway has a much better name, AND he shot 39.9% from three this year (way #1 on the Knicks now that Mercury Morris is gone). AND he’d be the highest PTZ/game for a guard on the team this year (since I consider RJ to be an abused 3).

  142. Maybe we could pry Melton away this offseason? He could still become a pretty good point guard IMO.

    I would even take a cheap flier on Josh Jackson. Hey, he’s better than Knox.

  143. Maybe we could pry Melton away this offseason? He could still become a pretty good point guard IMO.

    I like this idea, but I think Memphis will be matching any offers that aren’t insane.

  144. Build with kids or take on the big contracts?

    What I seem to agree with most is achieving a baseline of competence

    How do you do that with the NBA’s middle class?

  145. PG — LaMelo Ball
    SG — De’Anthony Melton
    SF —
    PF — Carmelo Anthony
    C — Fab Melo (I’m sure he’d come back)

    So close to a Fab Five…

  146. having a good organization/owner which promotes success and a solid coaching staff would help a bunch…

    i don’t know – how do you overcome terrible ownership without getting incredibly lucky in the draft or having the nba steer an all-time great point guard in your direction…

  147. thenoblefacehumper: What I don’t understand about the “there’s no rigid path” crowd is, if you’re going with a general strategy that emphasizes the quantity and quality of your draft picks…there’s still nothing preventing you from signing a free agent if for whatever reason it makes sense to do so.

    Like, let’s say the Knicks took on the salaries of Harkless and Iguodala for two first-round picks instead of signing Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Wayne Ellington (yes, those two things amazingly cost the same amount cap space).

    They still could’ve signed Morris when the Spurs deal fell through! They would not have had to be like “aw shucks, we have the cap space to sign Morris, but we are generally committed to stockpiling picks, so we are barred from signing him :(”

    Yes, for sure, that would have been a better way to go that what we did. Most of us pretty much said so at the time! Thing is, Harkless and Iguodala are also good players. These kind of dumps are less common, and there is sometimes competition for them. But yeah, absolutely!

    Just admit that this is a separate conversation from whether one should abjectly tank or not. Taking on these two guys instead of Portis, Gibson and Ellington wouldn’t affect our win total. That’s what I mean by it being more about good management than the actual plan.

  148. well at least he won’t generate any marginal wins…

    some days it’s just good to be grim, cuz, well that shit is hella funny…

    even dead he might have more statistical impact on a game them lance thomas…

    maybe I’ll check later, but, was lance thomas even in the NBA this season?

  149. ***well at least he won’t generate any marginal wins…***

    We are officially entering Major League territory here.

    Owner: This is a list of players that I want to invite to Spring Training this year.
    POBO: I’ve never heard of half of these guys and the ones I do know are way past their prime.
    GM: Most of these guys never had a prime.
    Coach: This guy here is dead.
    Owner: Cross him off then.

    (Wow, that fake Indians team was really ahead of the tanking curve, weren’t they. While everybody else was laughing watching that scene, Hinkie was like “turn that into a five year plan!)

  150. Z-man: Yes, for sure, that would have been a better way to go that what we did. Most of us pretty much said so at the time! Thing is, Harkless and Iguodala are also good players. These kind of dumps are less common, and there is sometimes competition for them. But yeah, absolutely!

    Just admit that this is a separate conversation from whether one should abjectly tank or not. Taking on these two guys instead of Portis, Gibson and Ellington wouldn’t affect our win total. That’s what I mean by it being more about good management than the actual plan.

    Again, it’s not really a separate conversation. First, salary dumps for statistically sound players come up quite often (organizations fall out of love with players for all sorts of non-statistical reasons). Second, taking on the salary dump is usually beneficial regardless of the expected statistical production of the inbound player. In fact, it’s typical to immediately waive the inbound player, and that’s actually part of the optimal strategy because you should give the roster spot to a cheap g-league stand-out.

    I know you are trying to save face by saying, “Eh, we are basically saying the same thing”, but you still aren’t fully accepting the fundamentals of the optimal strategy.

  151. NahNah: Again, it’s not really a separate conversation. First, salary dumps for statistically sound players come up quite often (organizations fall out of love with players for all sorts of non-statistical reasons). Second, taking on the salary dump is usually beneficial regardless of the expected statistical production of the inbound player. In fact, it’s typical to immediately waive the inbound player, and that’s actually part of the optimal strategy because you should give the roster spot to a cheap g-league stand-out.

    I know you are trying to save face by saying, “Eh, we are basically saying the same thing”, but you still aren’t fully accepting the fundamentals of the optimal strategy.

    I’m shocked that you keep responding to my posts, considering you just said that you were bored with the conversation. Man, your life must really suck.

  152. how’s the home schooling going donnie?

    right now we’re reading charlotte’s web, seven to 8 pages every other day, filling in worksheet questions on the story…..doing daily reading and math exercises on i-Ready (he loves that, because it’s more a rehash of concepts he’s already familiar with)…

    i’m having a hard time with the school assignments on Think Central and Spelling City…they just take hours to complete…unfortunately with Spelling City you can’t just take the test, you can do a pre-test but than you have to complete a couple of these “games” you have to play that take 30 minutes or so each to complete…with Think Central many of the concepts and wording of the questions just go way over his head and my ability to explain, and they are long exercises…

    the teacher is also assigning like arts and crafts stuff…yeah, that ain’t happening…a daily assignment worksheet that needs to be completed and marked off…

    to be honest, we’re only spending an hour to two a day on his classroom stuff…school can’t start back soon enough…actually, i’m more than fine with it resuming in September…

    I spoke with someone from the school district today to give them some some feedback…it’s hard for me to imagine home schooling (while still working) with 2 or more children present in the home… i know there are lots of folks though faced with that situation…

  153. Z-man: I’m shocked that you keep responding to my posts, considering you just said that you were bored with the conversation. Man, your life must really suck.

    Correct. My life is bizarre. Despite Hubert’s terrible advice that we should re-open the economy and drink bleach (*I know he didn’t literally say this*), I have taken my quarantine obligations very seriously. My antibody tests came back negative. So yea, I have nothing better to do. I normally play basketball with all my free time. Now, I eat ice cream by the jar and point out all the many flaws in your arguments. My life is pathetic. No question about it.

  154. geo: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

    Yes, GEO, the truly enlightened centrist, coming down from his ivory tower of neutral goodness. Yes, my authority is learning from the smarter posters on this board for the last decade. I try never to make subjective basketball claims. I watch plenty of basketball just like every schmuck on this board. But at least I have the discipline to refrain from claiming my ability to evaluate a player is better than anybody else’s ability. Cause that is just lazy analysis.

  155. So yea, I have nothing better to do.

    sounds like the answer to all your problems are porn, video games and drugs…i’m just kidding, i would never knowingly advocate the use of porn or video games…they’re dangerous…

    “Boredom is the conviction that you can’t change … the shriek of unused capacities.”

    you working from home?

    sounds like a perfect time to perfect – you…a good opportunity to spend your energy and time on yourself…no one is more deserving of your focus than yourself…

    heck, you could do like bob get you some young ‘uns, and chase two toddlers around the house all day at 90 years old…betcha bob doesn’t get bored…

    speaking of bob, can’t believe he didn’t know who tom platz was…i’m so disappointed…as an old power lifting dude, i was positive he would have known that name…

    there is soooo much i don’t know nah nah…i do know though that:
    A). you are not alone
    B). you are not alone
    C). you are not alone

    you got skills, just think what you can do with them (porn, video games, drugs :)

  156. Watching game 7 from 1970. Why can’y this team play like that? And talk about a physical game.

  157. geo: sounds like the answer to all your problems are porn, video games and drugs…i’m just kidding, i would never knowingly advocate the use of porn or video games…they’re dangerous…

    “Boredom is the conviction that you can’t change … the shriek of unused capacities.”

    you working from home?

    sounds like a perfect time to perfect – you…a good opportunity to spend your energy and time on yourself…no one is more deserving of your focus than yourself…

    heck, you could do like bob get you some young ‘uns, and chase two toddlers around the house all day at 90 years old…betcha bob doesn’t get bored…

    speaking of bob, can’t believe he didn’t know who tom platz was…i’m so disappointed…as an old power lifting dude, i was positive he would have known that name…

    there is soooo much i don’t know nah nah…i do know though that:
    A). you are not alone
    B). you are not alone
    C). you are not alone

    you got skills, just think what you can do with them (porn, video games, drugs :)

    Yea, I’m not really bored. I was just being self-deprecating. I have a two-year-old and four-year-old, and I run my own business with about ten employees. I mostly just find it fascinating that anyone who has been on this board this long can continue to debate the optimal strategy. Truly flabbergasted. Like, all available evidence points in the same direction.

  158. Actually, the optimal strategy is getting lucky. Failing that, all bets are off.

  159. Thing is, Harkless and Iguodala are also good players. These kind of dumps are less common, and there is sometimes competition for them. But yeah, absolutely!

    I don’t understand this point at all. I would feel the exact same way if all else was equal, but Harkless and Iguodala were the worst two players in NBA history. Their contracts being attractive to us had nothing to do with their potential contributions to the 2019-2020 New York Knicks.

    In fact, the reason I think Iguodala could’ve been available to us if we inquired is I think the Warriors would’ve wanted to do him a solid and trade him to a team that would immediately waive him. We should’ve offered to do that.

  160. 1970 Game 7 is on MSG right now. I feel badly for you young’uns that you never experienced this.

  161. thenoblefacehumper: I don’t understand this point at all. I would feel the exact same way if all else was equal, but Harkless and Iguodala were the worst two players in NBA history. Their contracts being attractive to us had nothing to do with their potential contributions to the 2019-2020 New York Knicks.

    In fact, the reason I think Iguodala could’ve been available to us if we inquired is I think the Warriors would’ve wanted to do him a solid and trade him to a team that would immediately waive him. We should’ve offered to do that.

    Have you ever watched a game of basketball in your life? Iguodala is a defense-first, team-oriented, NBA Finals MVP with a really nice wingspan. He is a champion and proven winner. Every scout says so. You can’t teach that. His presence alone would make everyone else on the team better players, and he would make every one in the locker room better human beings. And he could even convince the superstars, like the literal corpse of Thad Melo, to join the team.

  162. I have a two-year-old and four-year-old, and I run my own business with about ten employees.

    oh shit, i was way off there…yes, it most certainly sounds like you are neither bored nor lonely…oh well, at least you don’t have to home school right now…just a lot of feeding, cleaning and playing…the whole potty training thing can be a little taxing though…

    i can’t believe home schooling is as popular as it is (before all this virus stuff happened) with people…

    oh well, just keep beating us over the head then…we’ll all come around – eventually…eh, probably not…

    i’ll say this – isn’t it neat that the only difference between obvious and oblivious is simply the letter L…

    we’re all only humans…

  163. “Watching game 7 from 1970. Why can’y this team play like that? And talk about a physical game.”

    That Walt Frazier dude was a pretty good player, ehhhh…….

  164. Much more interesting, and telling, is that the difference also includes the letter “I”.

  165. optimal starting five:

    LSD version- modern day twin towers with two shooters and a real pg
    Robinson – turns into some hybrid of Stoudemire in his prime with the relentlessness of Moses
    Anthony Davis – bolts LA and comes to NYC
    barrett – uses covid 19 break to correct broken jumper and turns into outside threat
    knox – see barrett
    ball – first round pick….better than his bro

    Decent mushroom version –
    robinson – see above
    randle – sees the light/transforms into oakley like performer
    draft pick – small forward who can shoot
    barret – see above
    payton or frank transform into serviceable pg

    Bong hit version
    robinson – incremental improvement but cannot hit a shot outside of the paint
    randle – ditto
    first round pick actually can contribute
    barret – practices during covid break but it doesn’t help much
    dsj gets covid takes remsvidir and it cures that and his shooting issues

    reality – assumes cole anthony selection and he nevers gets on the court playing behind payton, frank and dsj
    robinson – see above
    randle – whirling dirvish
    barret – bricks away
    payton – brings back that funky hairdo to help with the outside shot
    bullock – wtf?

  166. Much more interesting, and telling, is that the difference also includes the letter “I”.

    damn, i was totally oblivious to that totally obvious “I”…so happens i was simultaneously processing some stuff at work…i also made an error there too…i can barely do one thing at a time, what was i thinking…i guess it was really me who was bored and lonely…

    i am the poster child for human frailty…

    see nah nah…that’s how you effectively self deprecate…

  167. you up in that same neck of the woods pepper – are you a dead fan?

    i’m going for the bong hit…we’re due for a little luck on a draft pick…

  168. geo…how’s this for frailty…i noticed the “i” was missing….but i didn’t point it out…because i thought you were setting me up for some comment about how the fault is with me….and i couldn’t figure out your angle or a witty retort….so i stayed silent……*tips fedora*

  169. i tell you dad, just finished feeding godson a couple of chili dogs up in his room, tonight that was the best i could do…god daughter is out in the garage with her equally underage boyfriend drinking a modelo…

    time is like water on a stone, after a while it’ll wear you down…one of things i admire most about z-man, strat, bob and some of the other old farts here – the fire and resoluteness they have…right or wrong, don’t matter…

    as a small business owner and leader, don’t compromise on your expectations…as a son, sibling, partner, father, friend – as a wise grocer once said – diminished expectations seem to be a key component to happiness…

  170. Geo…i am not a huge dead fan….i do like jerry…but i’m more partial to angus young…hope all is well and the hands are doing well…going to play hoops tomorrow with my son…havent hoisted up a 3 in like 6 months…

  171. That Walt Frazier dude was a pretty good player, ehhhh…….

    He should’ve won the MVP, even though it was the “Willis Reed game”.
    Frazier wasn’t just good, he was ideal. He did everything you want a point guard to do. On offense he organized the team on the floor. He broke down the defense driving the lane. He was 2nd in the NBA in assists and made his teammates better. He could could hit a jumper from anywhere on the floor. He was money at the line. On defense he shut down his opponent. He had quick hands and was a ball thief. More than anything, he was calm and cool.
    That’s what I want at the point. He spoiled me.

  172. GoNYGoNYGo – Ready for 2020 Knicks 2.0: He should’ve won the MVP, even though it was the “Willis Reed game”.
    Frazier wasn’t just good, he was ideal. He did everything you want a point guard to do. On offense he organized the team on the floor. He broke down the defense driving the lane. He was 2nd in the NBA in assists and made his teammates better. He could could hit a jumper from anywhere on the floor. He was money at the line.On defense he shut down his opponent. He had quick hands and was a ball thief. More than anything, he was calm and cool.
    That’s what I want at the point. He spoiled me.

    Agree. Willis was a sentimental choice
    First time I watched the game since I had the good fortune of attending. Clyde’s basketball IQ was Mensa level. In fact, the primary rotation had a remarkably high collective BB IQ, which played a role in the game 7 win. Credit must be given to Dick Barnett, who usually defended the top opposing guards ( Monroe, West) allowing Clyde to play the passing lanes and ballhawk. Barnett hit some crazy teardrop type shots over Wilt. Maybe Frank and RJ should work on that.
    Could you imagine if Clyde had played this game in the era of social media?

  173. Even with the bad hip, Willis was able to use his strength to keep Wilt from getting all the way to the basket before the double-teams came. In todays game where 5’s need to be more mobile, no way he could have played.

    The hand-checking was so good to see, I wish they allowed more of it today…

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