SNY.com: 2 trade packages Knicks could use to land Thunder PG Chris Paul

This is an interesting bit of news. There are now reports that the Thunder would be willing to get rid of Chris Paul pretty much just to dump his salary. They’re not so desperate that they would add draft picks, but it seems like they would be amenable to some reduced offerings.

Ian Begley suggested both Reggie Bullock/Frank Ntilikina and Reggie Bullock/Kevin Knox offers, noting, “One executive (not with the Thunder or Knicks) speculated that the Thunder would be open to the Ntilikina/Bullock package. Another exec pointed out that the trade market for Paul would be limited. So, if OKC wanted to get out of Paul’s contract, the Knicks wouldn’t be competing with many other teams. ”

Huh, if the Knicks aren’t giving up draft picks, I guess I wouldn’t mind either deal.

What do you folks think?

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448 thoughts to “SNY.com: 2 trade packages Knicks could use to land Thunder PG Chris Paul”

  1. If you think there’s anything to be said for a Hall of Fame point guard helping to develop guys like Barrett and Mitch (the pick and roll with Paul and Mitch? Wow!), then I don’t think it’s unreasonable. If they had to give up draft picks, then yeah, fuuuuck that.

  2. why not – well except for the part about losing frank…now cp3 with frank, mitch and RJ – now you’re talking…

  3. This strikes me as a trade both sides would want to pursue, OKC to save money and NYK for “star power”

    It would also quickly resolve all questions of whether Rose is going to be good.

  4. If the Thunder don’t want to have Chris Paul’s contract on their books they need to pay us something to take it from them.

  5. Brian Cronin:
    If you think there’s anything to be said for a Hall of Fame point guard helping to develop guys like Barrett and Mitch (the pick and roll with Paul and Mitch? Wow!), then I don’t think it’s unreasonable. If they had to give up draft picks, then yeah, fuuuuck that.

    That makes sense

  6. I don’t think we need to include either Frank or Knox at this point in the rebuild. Afterall, for there to be any value in brining on CP3 at this point in his career at that salary, he has got to have our young players to mentor.

    I like Bullock/Smith jr or smith/Payton a hole lot better. Why give up players that we like who may still have a bright future if we are bidding against ourselves. Sounds Millsy to me!

  7. I like Bullock/Smith jr or smith/Payton a hole lot better. Why give up players that we like who may still have a bright future if we are bidding against ourselves. Sounds Millsy to me!

    I think the issue is that OKC doesn’t feel like they have to rush the trade. They’d prefer to deal him to clear his salary, but it’s not an imperative. I agree that no other team out there is probably offering anything of note for him, either, but if they’re willing to hold on to him, the Knicks might have to give them at least someone who might be of value to the Thunder, like Knox or Ntilikina.

  8. Agree that we need to get at least one of the Thunder’s nineteen first rounders back. Maybe two.

  9. Owen:
    Agree that we need to get at least one of the Thunder’s nineteen first rounders back. Maybe two.

    Off the top of my head, I honestly don’t know if 19 is hyperbole or not

  10. Y’all know I want him and I’d be willing to take him on without getting a pick back.

    I wouldn’t do either of those trades, though. Bullock is good and Frank and Knox are too young for me to give up on. I’d want all three of those guys here with Paul.

    Taking on his salary is enough. Don’t give them any players or picks of value.

  11. You can say LOL 8 seed all you want, but I would like this team:

    PG: Paul, Hayes or Halliburton
    SG: Bullock, Ntilikina
    SF: Barrett, Iggy
    PF: TBD, Knox
    C: Robinson

    (I put TBD for PF bc I’d like to dump Randle and get someone at his salary that could actually shoot, like Gallinari, or even Morris is the cost to bring him back is low. But who knows.)

  12. I love Chris Paul, but he’s making stupid money, you have to get something from OKC. It’s a negative value contract.

  13. Eventually his body is going to stop showing up and that contract is going to be horrrrrrrrible. Two more years, right? Hell no.

    Or maybe we should just get even more inured to the words, “And with the 9th pick in the NBA Draft, the Knicks select…”

  14. The question isn’t “is Chris Paul worth $40mm”. He isn’t. The question is are we likely going to have better ways to spend $40mm this summer and next. I doubt it.

    We have incredible cap flexibility this summer. Especially if we can find a taker for Randle.

    The only guys we should be holding onto are:

    RJ – 8.2
    Frank – 6.1
    Knox – 4.5
    Bullock – 4.2
    Mitchell – 1.6
    Iggy – 1.5
    Our pick – 6.1 (using cap hold for #4 pick)
    LA pick – 2.1

    That’s under $35mm total for 8 players, leaving $80mm in cap space minus the 4 empty roster penalties. If for some reason we can’t get rid of Julius Randle, we only have $61mm in cap space. That’s a lot of money. We’re not going to find $61mm worth of Hinkie trades out there.

    I’ll take Paul and Wood for $61mm, draft a backup for Paul, and roll the dice that he can replicate the season he just had at least once. If he does, we’re looking at a decent Knicks team for only the 2nd time this century.

    I’m not going to say no to that because OKC won’t give us a pick.

  15. I think I’m with Hubert here. Of all the possible wastes of cap space we could do, this one’s not bad provided we don’t give up a pick. There is also the non-negligible upside of Mitch, RJ and our pick this year getting to play with a genuine, bonafide starting caliber point guard. Like, it’s certainly not the ideal way to use our cap space cornucopia. But it’s not horrible and has some legitimate potential upsides, and on the Dolan curve that’s about all you can realistically hope for.

    Also, I would 100% be down to dump Ntilikina and Knox together if OKC is willing to send a couple picks back.

  16. What do we think the potential to dump Randle without giving up a pick is?

    The contract isn’t terrible (it’s one year plus a mostly nonguaranteed second year). But he’s just such an out of style player. It’s really hard for me to imagine a team wanting him to absorb him into $19mm of cap space.

  17. I agree. You’d probably have to look for three-way deals if you want cap space for Randle. I think you could definitely trade him without giving up a pick, but you’d have to take another player back.

  18. Fred Van Vleet is a free agent. If we clear enough cap space wouldn’t he be a better option than CP3 with some long term value?

    Also, we could include Randle in the CP3 trade. That still saves OKC a little over $20 million this year and $40 million next year if he’s cut.

  19. I was about to mention Van Vleet, the Knicks are going to be one of only a few teams with legitimate cap space this offseason and Van Vleet would be a perfect fit for them. I dunno how much money he’ll command but I’m sure it won’t be for less than 20m a year, not sure how much higher than that would be worth it but I gotta think he is the best available FA assuming Anthony Davis stays in LA.

  20. I think Ingram is the next best free agent, but yes, Van Vleet is up there. I also have no idea what the market will look like this summer. Is the cap going to go down a shocking amount, perhaps? Will teams no longer be willing to spend a lot of money? It’s very confusing times we’re in right now.

  21. Yeah I thought so and can’t imagine the Pelicans won’t match. I’m not saying VanVleet is a perfect PG but how many times does a 26yo PG become available as a FA that’s as good as him? I assume Toronto will try everything to keep him since Lowry is getting up there in age and VanVleet has only had 1 season as a starter where he has put up pretty good numbers so again he might not be the perfect FA to acquire but if the Knicks plan on spending significant money this offseason on a non Anthony Davis FA I would think VanVleet would be the ideal FA to spend it on.

  22. I think the Pellies would match, too. Just noting that he’s the next best free agent after the Brow. And hey, who knows with the cheap ass Pellies?

  23. Another good restricted free agent whose team is so inept that I think they seriously will let him go is Bogdan Bogdanovic. It’d be swell to have a shooter like him in New York.

    But really, trading Randle and signing Bertans or Wood is what I want the most.

  24. Does the “veteran guy teaches the kids how to play” thing even work? I’m skeptical at the idea of bringing in a last-legs veteran to teach the game of basketball to a bunch of kids on a crummy team. CP3 might not bring his A game to that role. I dunno. Sure, there are probably worse ways to burn the $40M but, uh, how about finding an actual GOOD way to burn the $40M for once? A girl can dream.

  25. I mean, Paul was an All-Star just this season, so last legs seems a bit much.

    I don’t think just having a veteran on the team matters much, but I think a Hall of Fame point guard has more of an impact than most.

  26. If the Knicks sign Fred VanVleet, he’d probably suit up day one as the best point guard the Knicks have had since Frazier.

    That’s indicative of just how bad the point guard drought has been… but, seller beware, VanVleet is really, really good.

  27. I am on board with bringing Paul on, for that salary, without getting a pick back, but they at least have to take players we don’t mind losing. If it involves losing a player we think can be a piece for the team going forward, I would not do it. And yes, I am including both Frank and Knox in that category. Perhaps even Bullock.

    They can take their combo pick from a group including Ellington, Portis, Gibson, Payton, Randle, Smith Jr. If they want more, I would just pass, and continue the rebuild.

  28. Giving up youth tickets to watch HOF farewell tours ain’t that smart imo

  29. Trading for Chris Paul should not be plan A. It’s not the best thing we can do with the opportunity in front of us (7 1RPs in the next 4 drafts, RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson), and we should absolutely be looking to add younger players to build around Mitch and RJ. I’d only pursue adding Chris Paul in a world where we foolishly trade Mitchell Robinson and some draft capital for Joel Embiid because that drastically changes the win curve for us. We should be looking to go draft a point guard, sign shooters at the 1, 2, and 4, and let Mitch and RJ do the damn thing.

    With all of that being said, if we’re hellbent on trading for CP3, I need Julius Randle to be in that deal. I’d also want for the Knicks to take LaMelo Ball in the draft if we had CP3. Draft Ball and play him at the 2 next to CP3 for two years. When CP3 is done, you hopefully have a calculated LaMelo Ball to add to a reliable RJ Barrett and a defensive centerpiece in Mitchell Robinson.

  30. Does the “veteran guy teaches the kids how to play” thing even work?

    Probably not.

    But look at the age 34 season he just turned in. How many guys who are good enough to turn in a season like that at 34 suddenly become useless at 35?

    The guy is an outlier. I’d draft a backup PG in the lottery (Hayes or Halliburton) and load manage the fuck out of Paul. 60 games a year at the level he produced this year for 2 years while our PG of the future subs for him on back-to-backs and when he’s dinged up. Sign me the fuck up.

  31. Also if you want Van Fleet or Wood, having Paul here is probably a requisite. Neither of those guys are likely to come here unless you drastically overpay.

    If we can dump Randle in the Paul trade, we can afford both of them and roll out a starting 5 of Paul, Van Fleet, Bullock, Wood, Robinson, and then all our 21 and under draft picks are properly slotted into bench roles until they stop playing like garbage.

    Then project where you are in two years when $44mm is rolling off the cap.

  32. Then project where you are in two years when $44mm is rolling off the cap.

    Frank and Knox will have either made it or been kicked to the curb.

    Van Fleet and Wood will probably be on two year deals. Robinson will be on the first year of his extension. And we’ll have six first round picks on the team on their rookie deals (Barrett, two this year, two next year, one in 2022).

    Now that is a Knicks team that can attract a superstar free agent in his prime.

  33. I promise not to make this a “100 posts from Hubert” day. But that is why I’d take Paul without a pick. I think you can get reasonable facsimiles of his age 34 season at 35 & 36, and I think you can build a long term plan* around his acquisition that gives us two solid years of playoff basketball and ends with us in a great position. The end.

    * It might not be that specific plan, so arguing against our ability to sign wood or van fleet doesn’t derail the whole thing. There will be good players available, and if we have Paul we have a chance to sign them.

  34. If OKC really wants to dump CP3’s salary, I’m sure we can talk them into Portis, Ellington, and Payton. I don’t wanna give up Taj or Bullock. Hell, they can even have Knox. They’d have to give us at least one draft pick and I wouldn’t care if it’s late 1st

  35. Count me in the camp of being cool with a CP3 trade (I’m sure jowles is shocked).

    He’s probably the best PG of his generation and one of the smartest basketball players out there. Sure, he’s vastly overpaid but if he puts up similar numbers over the next 2 years (not unreasonable to expect) to what he did this year, he’s easily the best PG the Knicks have had…EVER?

    There is something to be said about a real floor general helping with young player development. Mitch especially would thrive playing alongside CP3…his leadership isn’t just on offense either.

    Does it hurt our draft place moving us up to a low playoff seed? Sure. But we’re The Knicks. We’ve been a joke for 2 decades now. Its time for some competency.

    Just look at what a difference 39 year old Jason Kidd made.

    And I’ve always believed once the Knicks are decent, other good players will want to join us. And while our draft status might be hurt, we still have our picks and extra picks too. We can hit on good players later in the draft. Indeed we seem to be better at that than at the top of the draft.

    So if we’re not giving up picks and maybe Knox is the only youngster going out and we potentially might get a pick back for taking on the contract, to me it seems like a good move. Its not like a Melo trade where we are gutting the roster and future picks for him.

  36. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats: If OKC really wants to dump CP3’s salary, I’m sure we can talk them into Portis, Ellington, and Payton. I don’t wanna give up Taj or Bullock

    Not sure how those would work with team options/non-guarantees…Brian?

  37. I’m not bullish on trading for CP, but if OKC is willing to discuss taking Randle in the deal, definitely talk with them.

    Give up no 1st rounders, though.

  38. I think giving up one of the very worst of our first rounders (this year’s Clips pick) for Paul is palatable if the personnel exchanged includes Randle and DSjr but no other young players.

    Paul doesn’t have to mentor the young players. He just has to reveal their true potential, which I think he can do.

  39. Put another way, I think we need to focus on acquiring and keeping high-IQ players, and Randle and DSjr don’t qualify. Knox is iffy at best but I’m willing to reserve judgment for another year. Frank is fine. Mitch knows his role. RJ is smart. I like Harkless on the cheap. Iggy is unknown. Of the vets, Bullock, Payton and Taj are all fine but Taj is overpaid. Give Wooten a shot. Sign Bertans. Draft best/smartest player available in lottery.

  40. Z-man:
    Put another way, I think we need to focus on acquiring and keeping high-IQ players, and Randle and DSjr don’t qualify.

    I agree that DSJ isn’t high IQ enough basketball wise, but wouldn’t it be a good thing for him to battle CP3 & Frank for his career? With a guy like CP3 to learn from, I’d be inclined to give DSJ one last shot to learn and apply. I mean- he is athletically gifted, he just doesn’t know how to use it as a PG. However, if another team is still enthralled with DSJ’s “potential”, TRADE THAT MOFO lol

  41. Having Paul around would help some of our young players, but I don’t see enough value in that alone to make a deal unless we get back some compensation for taking on a bad contract.

    However, if we are going to fill the cap space with the same garbage that doesn’t fit together that Perry has been putting into the space, then maybe it’s a better alternative. And let’s face it, no one any good is probably going to want to come here. So it’s probably going be guys like Mudiay, Hezonja, Portis, Burke, etc.. and other players that don’t defend and can’t play or players that can play a little but don’t fit. Maybe we can get Vonleh back. At least he could play a little. lol

    I certainly wouldn’t give up Frank or Knox, but I guess I wouldn’t have a big issue with including Dennis Smith Jr plus salary filler.

    Also, I would question whether Paul would even consider coming here. He’s a powerful guy. He can probably just say “no” and end any negotiation.

  42. The Glass Half Rebuilt: With all of that being said, if we’re hellbent on trading for CP3, I need Julius Randle to be in that deal. I’d also want for the Knicks to take LaMelo Ball in the draft if we had CP3. Draft Ball and play him at the 2 next to CP3 for two years. When CP3 is done, you hopefully have a calculated LaMelo Ball to add to a reliable RJ Barrett and a defensive centerpiece in Mitchell Robinson.

      

    I like that plan (it’s what the Thunder did with SGA) but I’d prefer to do it with a prospect who can shoot, like Halliburton or (dare I say it…) Hayes.

    The more I think about it, a Paul-Van Fleet backcourt would be pretty sweet. Van Fleet plays very well off the ball and can play enough minutes at the 1 to keep Paul fresh. Then we don’t have to focus on PG with our pick and can just take the BPA (which would should do anyway, but whatever).

    I can see that being appealing to Van Fleet, whereas I don’t see him being interested in coming here to be our savior.

  43. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt: Having Paul around would help some of our young players, but I don’t see enough value in that alone

    Paul just being here does very little for our younger players. But our younger players (other than Mitchell) simply aren’t very good in the roles we’re putting them in.

    RJ Barrett sucks at being the primary playmaker on a team with 3 power forwards on the court and no one who can shoot. This plan makes him the tertiary playmaker on a team with a modern NBA offense. That’s what’s good for him. Not mentorship.

    Knox and Frank… these guys should not be playing 2,000 NBA minutes. I’d keep them as 9th and 10th men until they grow up, but we shouldn’t be making plans based on what’s good for them.

  44. >Paul just being here does very little for our younger players. But our younger players (other than Mitchell) simply aren’t very good in the roles we’re putting them in.<

    I disagree. I think Paul has a coaching job in his future if he wants it. Having a winning player like that around teaching players the finer details of the game, sharing the ball, making the right play and the work ethic required to win are all a plus. It may not be a large enough benefit to warrant a trade for that salary (the point I was making), but absent the salary, i'd love him to have take some of our young players under his wing.

  45. I’m not saying no to Christian Wood, hes definitely worth getting, but his shooting is far from a sure thing. Randle took more threes in the year he shot 34% than Wood has in his entire career.

  46. Don’t other players kind of hate Chris Paul?

    I’d love to watch him play but I am not sure what the point would be. Unless we are getting picks.

  47. Owen: Don’t other players kind of hate Chris Paul?

    He’s president of the NBPA…not sure if that means he is well-liked, but he is certainly respected.

  48. ***But look at the age 34 season he just turned in. How many guys who are good enough to turn in a season like that at 34 suddenly become useless at 35?***

    I like the idea of bringing in Paul. But NBA players rarely have a slow decline in their 30s. Even the greats fall off the cliff fast. Nash was amazing in his late 30s and the Lakers traded a boatload or picks for him and he woke up in LA and was suddenly terrible. That’s the way it goes. Paul could be as great at 35 as he was at 34. But that’s when Barkley fell off the cliff, and Drexler, and Ewing…

  49. It’s a gut feeling but I think Paul will be fine for the next 2 years barring a catastrophic injury and overuse. Not $40+million AAV fine, but somewhere around fringe all-star level. I honestly think that bringing him in w/o giving up too much and signing Lin and Melo to near-minimum 1-year deals would be an intriguing PR move. I dunno, it feels like there’s something up with airing Linsanity and interviewing Lin et. al.

  50. B-b-b-but John Stockton! Karl Malone! LeBron James! (All outliers to an extreme degree.)

    I remember this one fondly:

    Paul Pierce at 36: .595 TS% on 22.4% USG

    Paul Pierce at 38: .489 TS% on 17.8% USG (playing next to Chris Paul during the last gasp of the Clippers’ contending era)

    Not $40 million AAV fine, but somewhere around fringe all-star level.

    He’d be fine on LAL for the MLE during their very-short championship window. But there’s also a good chance that his decline happens rapidly and irreversibly. You do not want to be holding this contract when that time comes. Or you do, and you tank your way to a couple top-5 picks. But Chris Paul is not going to be happy about that (and he, like most players, will likely be getting worse faster than he believes he is, so good luck trying to convince him to play 30 MPG for a 20-62 team.)

  51. The idea of another veteran player mentoring/developing other players is nebulous and hard to prove, so I see why people are skeptical of it. But I don’t think we should look at it like he’s coaching them.

    Its about him being one of the best point guards of all time (on both sides of the floor) and how playing with that type of player elevates other players and allows them to learn how to play within their roles. Once they are comfortable in those roles, they can expand their game.

    Like CP3 could run pick and roll with Mitch/throw him lobs all day. Yes, Mitch is all ready good at that, but doing it over and over again in practice and in games with one of the best will only make him better at that. Same with CP3 making the right pass to players in motion/rhythm so they can hit open shots. This muscle memory repetition is important, not to speak of him telling them where to go on offense/defense. We saw this with Kidd. He was on his last legs but he got the ball moving, made the extra pass and that became infectious. Other players, Melo included, started making the extra pass and looked for the open man and the ball didn’t stick. That was Kidd’s doing.

    Its a big undertaking to take him on, no doubt. The salary and age and injury risk should all make it where we shouldn’t have to give up a lot to get him. But that’s the beauty of it. There is the chance to get a future hall of fame point guard here for a few years for potentially salary filler.

    I’d hold on to Frank. I’d be totally fine with DSJ leaving and OK with Knox as well. If Randle is included as part of it, to me its a no brainer.

  52. The fact that we’re debating the merits of trading for a soon-to-be 35-year-old 6’1″ player who will make $85.5M over the next two years– it’s a bad sign, guys.

  53. I’d hold on to Frank too. I think Paul’s salary, combined with his age makes it a negative value contract. We should get something to take it on. I don’t want to give up anything of value to OKC unless we get more than Paul in return.

    I have the intuition that Paul is a noodge. That is, he constantly pesters people for what he wants. It something that might be good in his role as the NBAPL representative. It probably makes teams better in the short term, but then other players get tired of it and want him out of there. Hence his many recent trades despite good results on the court.

  54. I have the intuition that Paul is a noodge.

    This is the thing.

    He doesn’t seem like the kind of cat who is gonna be super into joining a team that is the dregs of the league and trying to teach the 1.5 prospects on the team how to play correctly. I don’t think this would go the way people think it is gonna go. He’d probably be a malcontent.

  55. Yeah, what we need are players that are super chill and won’t hold each other accountable.

    I call bullshit on CP3 being disliked. Jimmy Butler isn’t liked by everyone either. Neither was Jordan. Players who are real competitors aren’t always liked by slackers who just want to play and get paid. But the real competitors/leaders bring out the best in those who are willing/able to live up to those high standards.

  56. Lebron isn’t liked by everyone either.

    There are players who are leaders and also really well liked, like Magic, but sometimes you need that player who will kick other player’s in the ass for not giving their all. This is where Jowles makes fun of me for talking about culture and make jokes about rough rydas, etc…but CP3 running the show with Thibs as the coach, getting on the young players and pushing them to get better. If they don’t want that then we probably don’t want them as players. For what its worth, I think RJ would respond to being pushed like this. Frank too. Mitch seems more chill but also seems to go with the flow. Knox might not like it but then again, we talk constantly about his low motor.

  57. I believe Thibs, Paul and this roster would be toxic disasterpiece theater. No way you can convince me it would work out. And I love Chris Paul as a player and think he’ll be fine in the 75 games he would play in the next two years.

  58. It’s not about him being liked. It’s about him getting disinterested and phoning it in, and making the culture even worse. Somehow I doubt that he’s going to have a real good attitude about finishing his distinguished career in basketball Siberia. He’d probably see it as a punishment, and I wouldn’t blame him.

  59. 1) I continue to think this thing where OKC trades Paul into cap space for no assets in return is a complete fantasy and thus a waste of time to even discuss

    2) Even if you gut the roster to Chris Paul, Barrett, Knox, Mitch, Brazdeikis, and our two picks from this draft in the summer of 2021, we’d still only have around $30M in cap space to fill out the rest of that roster. How exactly are we using $30M to put together the majority of an NBA basketball team?

  60. I did a quick search of guards in the 3pt era who put up WS48 of .120 or higher in .1500mp

    At age 35, the list had 10 names; same for age 36; at age 37 it shrunk to 6; at 38, 3.

    Seems like the big drop-off is between 36 and 37…

    So if Paul gives you one fringe all-star season, he then turns into a giant expiring….and will probably have at least something left. From a marketing perspective, it’s not a terrible “reasonably likely” scenario.

  61. I didn’t draw any conclusions that being a noodge would affect the team well or badly. I don’t know which way it would go. But I think it’s fair to say he’s likely to wear out his welcome after the first season but he will still be owed something like $40 million for another season. That’s something to keep in mind in deciding what a good deal is for acquiring him.

  62. More pointedly, this is not a Joakim Noah scenario with 4 guaranteed years of a player who just put up 3 shitty seasons. It’s 2 years where he can possibly shake up a moribund franchise with no long-term commitment (again, assuming that we trade nothing of real value for him.

    I agree with tnfh that it’s an unlikely scenario, especially in that Paul would not want to come here, but I have to say that it would be kind of excited if it happened. A Paul-RJ-Bullock-Bertans-Mitch starting lineup with Frank, Knox, Iggy, Wooten and Harkless off the bench, plus this year’s lottery pick, would be a fun group to root for, and the future would not be compromised by it, or not by much with the flatttened lottery odds.

  63. thenoblefacehumper: Even if you gut the roster to Chris Paul, Barrett, Knox, Mitch, Brazdeikis, and our two picks from this draft in the summer of 2021, we’d still only have around $30M in cap space to fill out the rest of that roster.

    Either your numbers are off or I have some incorrect assumptions.

    The cap is at $115mm.

    The cap hold for the Clips pick is about $2mm.

    Assuming we don’t win the lottery, the cap hold for our first is between 5-8 million.

    What’s an empty roster penalty, $880k?

    I did forget about Noah before, so we have less room than I thought, but it’s still way more than you say.

  64. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I remember this one fondly:

    Paul Pierce at 36: .595 TS% on 22.4% USG

    Paul Pierce at 38: .489 TS% on 17.8% USG

    Not sure this a good argument against taking Chris Paul for 2 years at age 35.

    Neither is Nash. The Lakers acquired him at 38.

    All these outliers who were turning in peak seasons at age 34 still had them at 35 and 36.

    The argument you guys are trying to make is “Chris Paul isn’t an outlier.”

  65. I actually thought Paul would be kind of pissy when he was traded to OKC. They were not even supposed to sniff the playoffs, and he was traded from a top team in the West.

    Instead, he put up a really solid season and I didn’t hear anything about him “phoning it in” or being a dickish teammate. So why do people think he would be all pissed off about playing for the Knicks?

  66. I do think that a lot of the math depends on whether you think Paul will be an outlier. After the season he just had at 34, I don’t think it’s unseasonable to believe that he is an outlier.

  67. Summer of 2020 cap sheet if we trade nothing for Chris Paul and get rid of every possible extraneous salary:

    Paul
    Our 2020 pick
    Barrett
    Knox
    Clippers 2020 pick
    Mitch
    Brazdeikis
    Noah
    Randle ($4M penalty for waiving him)
    Cap hold for the 9th pick (estimate of our own)
    Cap hold for the 25th pick (Mavs)
    3 minimum roster charges

    That all adds up to $91.5M, leaving us with $33.5M in space before hitting 2020-2021’s projected cap of $125M, which is probably coming down.

  68. I mean, is it not telling to you guys that OKC would be hypothetically willing to do this trade, despite fitting the “young team on the rise being mentored by Chris Paul” mold to a much, much greater extent than us?

  69. I know that the prevailing thinking is that Dolan would never bring Lin back, but something about this week makes me wonder. It’s not like he doesn’t forgive, I mean, Latrell cursed him out to his face mercilessly and relentlessly from the court in his return to MSG and now he’s Dolan’s favorite son. Something seems to be up with the Linsanity rebroadcast.

    I would be totally on board for that (at the right salary, of course!) He’d be a damn good backup to FVV or Paul or LaMelo at this stage.

  70. Z-man:
    I know that the prevailing thinking is that Dolan would never bring Lin back, but something about this week makes me wonder. It’s not like he doesn’t forgive, I mean, Latrell cursed him out to his face mercilessly and relentlessly from the court in his return to MSG and now he’s Dolan’s favorite son. Something seems to be up with the Linsanity rebroadcast.

    I would be totally on board for that (at the right salary, of course!) He’d be a damn good backup to FVV or Paul or LaMelo at this stage.

    They just have nothing else to play and you can market Linsanity as a thing to watch for a week rather than hey here’s a random game for you guys.

    I thought they should have given Lin a look last year. He would have made a decent backup with DSJr and Frank as giant questionmarks. He would hurt draft position, but the plan clearly wasn’t to tank. Surprised no one signed him and he went to China fairly early in the offseason.

  71. Early Bird: Surprised no one signed him and he went to China fairly early in the offseason.

    He didn’t look great with Toronto, so maybe people thought he was washed (and maybe he is) or maybe Lin was only getting minimum offers and could make more money as a cultural hero in China. I wonder if Rose is pushing the idea w/ Dolan as a clever marketing ploy…he is a new voice, you never know. Maybe Mills, who was around for the Lin fiasco, never wanted to go there.

    All speculative nostalgic wishful thinking, but it would be a smart marketing move at this time, no? Especially with the Nets set to get Durant back…that has to be weighing on Dolan’s petty mind…

  72. We discussed it a bit during the offseason, the NBA hasn’t expanded in almost twenty years, while the rest of the world has massively stepped up their game, so the amount of NBA talent out there is amazing. The NBA could easily expand again. Meanwhile, NBA GMs have gotten a lot more stringent in terms of roster spots. Nowadays, if you aren’t a young guy who might be something someday or a veteran who truly makes a difference, NBA teams really aren’t interested in you. That’s what made the Knicks’ offseason so peculiar. Guys like Wayne Ellington are barely getting NBA contracts and the Knicks gave him $9 million guaranteed on day one of free agency!

    That said, sure, Lin does standout a bit among the other NBA guys playing in China. I figure it’s gotta be ego. He didn’t want to try to win a job in training camp (like Shump and a couple of others did) and instead preferring the guaranteed money and the glory from being an Asian-American in the China league. I think that was a mistake, but eh, I guess different people have different priorities.

  73. So why do people think he would be all pissed off about playing for the Knicks?

    OKC is a competitive team with real NBA players on it. NYK is the dregs of the league.

  74. ***OKC is a competitive team with real NBA players on it. NYK is the dregs of the league.***

    But the allure of the Garden!

    But the biggest market in the world!

  75. Come on. After Fizdale got fired the knicks won pace would have put them at 9th or 10th in the East. Chris Paul makes them a low playoff team in the east. Do you remember what it was in 2010 when Amar’e had the knicks as an above 500 playoff team? The Garden was rocking.

    CP3 is a hall of game player. He isn’t going to mail it in playing in NYC at the most famous arena in the world. We aren’t The Kings.

  76. LOL I looked at a comparison of Knox/Frank to see who is worse and here’s what I got:
    Player A: Player B:
    3P% . 337 .311
    eFG .439 .423
    Ast/36 1.5 5.1
    Reb/36 5.6 3.7
    Pts/36 15 10
    TS .474 .450
    WS/48 -.017 -.011
    VORP -2.7 -2.5
    ORtg 94 93
    DRtg 115 113

  77. If they want to take on DSJr/Randle, that’s great. But if they’re dead set on taking one of Frank/Knox, fine, whatever. I’d rather send Knox, because it’s more clear what his ceiling is, and Frank was doing quite well for two months there. If we get a pick back too, I would be ecstatic.

  78. It’s been a fun six hours of “keep the toddler alive” but Daddy is ready for his bong hit break.

  79. Chris Paul makes them a low playoff team in the east.

    This is literally the most commonly cited example of the worst possible place for an NBA franchise.

    What is the point of riding the treadmill of mediocrity for two seasons? If you’re right, we’d have the privilege of getting swept in the first round for two years while the clock ticks on extensions for Mitch/RJ/our 2020 pick.

    We’d also be picking 15th or below after both years (again, if you’re correct about the dubious proposition that Chris Paul makes us a playoff team), so you can’t assume we’d be adding much via the draft.

    Chris Paul would unceremoniously come off the books in 2022, and I see no reason we wouldn’t be right back where we are now except with Mitch being signed to an expensive extension instead of his current tiny contract.

    The other outcome (and I find this one more likely) is that you’re wrong, as in the current Knicks + aging Chris Paul aren’t a playoff team. In this scenario our draft picks are worse than they otherwise would’ve been, and we have far less flexibility to take on salary dumps and/or sign free agents that actually fit our timeline. What do we gain?

    No one has made a coherent argument that any of this leads to positive outcomes that outweigh the obvious negatives. No one seems to be able to answer the question “what exactly is the point of trading for Chris Paul?”

  80. I think Chris Paul can make sense if you think that it’s possible for the Knicks to do the following:

    1. Trade Randle without taking back equal salary (in the alternate, trade him for a 2 or a 3 that you wouldn’t mind having)
    2. Draft a decent point guard prospect
    3. Use Randle’s money or the $30 million that you’ll still have no matter what on a better power forward who makes more sense in the current NBA (Wood or Bertans)
    4. Sign one other decent player at the 2 or the 3, depending on the cap situation (maybe that guy is a guy you get for Randle)
    5. Add the most interesting undrafted guys and free agent fliers you can find

    So it’d be:

    Paul/Rookie PG
    Free agent/undrafted guy/Bullock? Frank? Whoever
    Barrett/maybe rookie guy/maybe Iggy
    Wood or Bertans/maybe rookie/undrafted guy
    Mitch/Wooten/maybe rookie/undrafted guy/free agent flier

    Then you are hopefully a playoff team in Year 1, but specifically a playoff team where you have Paul mentoring the point guard so that he can take over from Paul in two years and you don’t lose much of a beat.

    But yeah, if they can’t deal Randle, they’re pretty much fucked either way.

  81. Actually, fk my last point. Trading for Chris Paul while being so far behind on the win curve, that it’s October in Wuhan, makes so little sense that I don’ tknow why we’re entertaining it. Sure, if we had KP, maybe if Randle was any good, or RJ/Mitch/Frank/Knox were farther along, but NO. They’re not. What would be the point?? Culture? Wingspan? To attract another Afflalo?

  82. So why do people think he would be all pissed off about playing for the Knicks?

    OKC is a competitive team with real NBA players on it. NYK is the dregs of the league.

    Very few people thought the Thunder were going to make the playoffs this year, let alone be an over .500 team. I doubt Chris Paul was jumping for joy at finishing his career in Oklahoma City.

  83. We are not the Kings. Give me a fucking break.

    I’m not talking about how good our team is. I’m talking about The Knicks vs. The Kings. The Kings are in Sacramento. Have any of you been to Sacramento? Or Oklahoma City for that matter? I mean, I live in Omaha. Its fine. But for an NBA athlete the choice between NYC and Sacramento or OKC is night and day.

    Remember on The Office when Ryan says “She’s a Scranton 8 but a New York 5?”

    And yes, that includes endorsements, media deals, etc. Its still NYC.

    Our team sucks and we sell out every night.

    And our team ain’t that bad. Again, look at our winning percentage under Miller. The team would be a few games out of the playoffs. Add CP3 to that and its easily a playoff team in the east. Sure, he’s not competing for a championship but look at Amare and how much his profile went up after making the Knicks a playoff team. He was on the cover of magazines, was in the MVP race for a bit. CP3 making The Knicks watchable would be a huge deal. How often did OKC play on ESPN this year even though they were decent?

    CP3 leading a bunch of youngsters to the playoffs in NYC would be plenty exciting for him, the fans and the media. It would be a big deal even if you dont think it would be.

    Sacramento can barely fill up half of their arena. Its not even night and day.

    I know we’re all a bunch of cynical Knicks fans and I have no illusions of a championship with CP3, but the idea that he would be a malcontent here who would phone it in is laughable.

  84. And you guys are judging the team based on our win total/percentage for the whole year. Not looking at the win pace for the team under Miller. Fizdale was horrible. A competent coach with CP3 and Mitch. Rj and the youngsters. Some vet minimum dudes to fill out the bench and a back up PG lottery pick like Hayes or LaMelo. That team would be fun to watch.

    WHAT THE HELL DO YOU ALL HAVE AGAINST FUN? (can you tell I’m still not getting sleep?)

    Its 2 years. Its next season and then he’s an expiring contract. We’re talking about getting him with minimal/no draft picks and young players.

    We do better drafting later in the draft anyways. And who says next year we couldn’t use our pick and the dallas pick to move up if we really wanted to?

    OR BUY A PICK? Teams are gonna be hurting for money next year.

  85. ***I did a quick search of guards in the 3pt era who put up WS48 of .120 or higher in .1500mp

    At age 35, the list had 10 names; same for age 36; at age 37 it shrunk to 6; at 38, 3.

    Seems like the big drop-off is between 36 and 37…

    So if Paul gives you one fringe all-star season, he then turns into a giant expiring….and will probably have at least something left. From a marketing perspective, it’s not a terrible “reasonably likely” scenario.***

    Since every player’s body is built to order, this is an example of statistical data not being very useful as a predictive tool. The thing with age is that players tend to get slower and don’t jump and high which are constants. If that was all that was at play, the decline would be easy to trace. That’s not what ends their careers, though. Typically, players that are great enough to play great in their mid 30s experience an injury, and it is MUCH harder to come back from an injury when you’re 35 vs 25 at this level. A relatively minor injury to a rookie can end the career of a 14 year vet. There is no way to know whether Chris Paul will be a $40,000,000 cheerleader next year or not. So you should only take the risk if that $40,000,000 isn’t very important to you.

  86. Donnie Walsh: Typically, players that are great enough to play great in their mid 30s experience an injury, and it is MUCH harder to come back from an injury when you’re 35 vs 25 at this level. A relatively minor injury to a rookie can end the career of a 14 year vet. There is no way to know whether Chris Paul will be a $40,000,000 cheerleader next year or not. So you should only take the risk if that $40,000,000 isn’t very important to you.

    Guys like Paul are more likely to sustain nagging injuries that take longer to heal, for sure. Still, it’s a 2 year commitment, compared with, say, Amare, who was at much higher risk even in his first 2 years based on his history than Paul probably is now.

    Paul is a brilliant guy who likely knows how to take care of his aging body at this stage, The layoff probably helps him, too. He also has the kind of non-vertical, non-quick-twitch game that would likely age better than, say, Russell Westbrook. You never know, but if I had to bet, I would come down on the side of him having 2 pretty good years.

    I’m not advocating for signing him at all, just saying that I’d be kind of excited if we did. It’s two years, we can survive that.

  87. Having a 36-year-old Chris Paul at $45M during a shrunken cap year at the production of ~1 BPM would be as Knicksy as it gets. Can you imagine? The cap shrinks to $90M or so and he eats 50% of our cap space to play 28 mpg? Amazing.

    Honestly the only way it could get Knicksier is if they traded a pick for him and then re-signed him for the MLE at age 37.

  88. It would be fun to root for CP3 for a year or 2, if he’s still any good. On the other hand, we could sign some decent young talent in an offseason without many teams with cap space. Much rather throw excess money at a young FVV and Wood.

    FVV
    BulLOCK
    RJ??
    Wood
    Mitch

    is a solid young-ish core that will add a number of 1st round picks over the next few years. That’s a team that could attract a superstar next time one is available. Even without a superstar, progress from our young players and we make the playoffs several years in a row.

  89. thenoblefacehumper:
    Summer of 2020 cap sheet if we trade nothing for Chris Paul and get rid of every possible extraneous salary:

    Paul – 41.3
    Our 2020 pick – let’s assume it ends up where mathematically most likely (7th) – 5.5mm
    Barrett – 8.2
    Knox – 4.6
    Clippers 2020 pick – assuming it ends up where it is now, the 26th pick – 1.9mm
    Mitch – 1.6
    Brazdeikis – 1.6
    Noah – 6.3
    Randle ($4M penalty for waiving him) – this doesn’t exist until next year; you have to trade Randle
    Cap hold for the 9th pick (estimate of our own) – again?
    Cap hold for the 25th pick (Mavs) – ibid
    3 minimum roster charges

    That all adds up to $91.5M, leaving us with $33.5M in space before hitting 2020-2021’s projected cap of $125M, which is probably coming down.

    I put the numbers I have into the quote. Got em from Spotrac. It adds up to 71mm, not including the empty roster penalties.

    Keep Reggie Bullock at 4.2. 4 empty roster penalties at $900k each = 3.6mm That brings you to 78.8mm.

    I projected the cap at $115mm (Begley’s estimate). That’s 36mm in space.

    $36mm and Chris Paul on the roster probably gets you Van Fleet and a stretch 4, be it Wood, Bertrans, or even Gallo. The room exception gets you a decent player, too.

  90. Early Bird:
    It would be fun to root for CP3 for a year or 2, if he’s still any good. On the other hand, we could sign some decentyoung talent in an offseason without many teams with cap space. Much rather throw excess money at a young FVV and Wood.

    FVV
    BulLOCK
    RJ??
    Wood
    Mitch

    is a solid young-ish core that will add a number of 1st round picks over the next few years. That’s a team that could attract a superstar next time one is available. Even without a superstar, progress from our young players and we make the playoffs several years in a row.

    1000% this. Chris Paul, are you serious? This offseason the FA options aren’t great but you have a young PG who would be perfect for this team in VanVleet and a couple of young, stretch 4’s in Wood and Bertins who would also be perfect for this team. Signing VanVleet and one of Wood/Bertins would be a perfect offseason plus adding the 3 draft picks (the 2 in the 1st rd and the 2nd rd pick from Charlotte). Add those 2 FA’s plus 3 picks in the Top 38 of the draft and this would be the best Knicks offseason in God knows when.

  91. thenoblefacehumper:
    Summer of 2020 cap sheet if we trade nothing for Chris Paul and get rid of every possible extraneous salary:

    Ah, I see. You’re looking at the summer of 2021.

  92. BigBlueAL: 1000% this. Chris Paul, are you serious? This offseason the FA options aren’t great but you have a young PG who would be perfect for this team in VanVleet and a couple of young, stretch 4’s in Wood and Bertins who would also be perfect for this team. Signing VanVleet and one of Wood/Bertins would be a perfect offseason

    VanVleet and Wood may be perfect for us, but we are not perfect for VanVleet and Wood.

    They might consider us if Paul is here. They’re not taking our calls if he isn’t. No one will be.

    This is why no superstar dumb enough to want to come here should be turned away.

  93. Here’s a slightly different question, what would people look to get from OKC to take on CP3’s contract?

    1st pick and dumping Randle?

    Two 1sts?

    Sometihng else?

    Would OKC do any of those or just let CP3 expire?

  94. Hubert: VanVleet and Wood may be perfect for us, but we are not perfect for VanVleet and Wood.

    They might consider us if Paul is here.They’re not taking our calls if he isn’t.

    Wood is a young kid who finally got some playing time after bouncing around a few teams, VanVleet went undrafted. You think these 2 guys are not gonna want to come to the Knicks???? Neither one has made big money, if the Knicks outbid the other teams for them they’d both sign with the Knicks in a heartbeat.

  95. I honestly can’t believe there are people here advocating for acquiring Chris Paul. WTF is going on….

  96. You think these 2 guys are not gonna want to come to the Knicks????

    Yes.

    Generally speaking, I think anyone who has the choice to go somewhere else would want to go somewhere else unless we massively overpay.

  97. Age 35 in a basketball career is like age 103 for a human life. If you want to argue that a 103 year old will be similarly healthy 106 as they are at 103… well you’ve got a mountain of trends that aggressively suggest the opposite, so you need a mountain of evidence to tip the scales and convincingly argue that any single 103 year old will be not suffer significant decline in the next three years. Same thing goes for Paul and arguing that his next season will resemble his last one.

    And as far as the “it’s not so bad” stuff I’m hearing here, that’s exactly the reaction most of us had to Phil Jackson’s moves with the exception of the Noah contract. Even Melo’s mega max was not so bad according to many here. Not so bad to me means “not so much worse than doing nothing”, which is fine if other teams are doing nothing, but the teams move up out of the garbage heap are doing so much more than nothing. The distance between “not so bad” and “on a path to relevancy” is enormous.

  98. Ah, I see. You’re looking at the summer of 2021.

    Yeah, my bad with the typo, but I think 2021 is much more relevant.

    This offseason if we take on Paul for Bullock and Ntilikina and renounce all of our free agents (I’m not crazy about renouncing Trier but seems like that ship has sailed) we only have $15M left unless we trade Randle. I don’t see any exciting possibilities whatsoever with $15M.

    I see no way we can trade Randle without taking back salary, who is taking that guy into open cap space?

  99. Would OKC do any of those or just let CP3 expire?

    That’s the issue. They’re the #5 seed with him. They’d prefer to get out from under his money, especially with them having two younger guys who could play the point, but it’s not imperative, so I think they’d just as soon hold on to him if they have to give up anything for him.

    It’s fair to debate whether the Knicks should give up anything for him, but I don’t think the Thunder are in any rush to move him to the point where giving up picks would come into play.

  100. BigBlueAL: I honestly can’t believe there are people here advocating for acquiring Chris Paul. WTF is going on….

    As I said, I’m not advocating for it, not that it makes any difference what we think. As always, no matter what dumb shit the front office does, I always hope for the best. If Paul stays relatively healthy, he’d be a blast to root for on a young team of overachievers. I’d prefer FVV but if the FO brings Paul aboard instead, at least it’s not in and of itself a franchise-crippling move.

    Remember when we signed Amare? If that had been a 2-year deal, and we didn’t follow it up with the Melo trade, it wouldn’t have been that bad when he fell off a cliff after year 1. It was knowing that we were stuck with his cap hit for 4 more years with no market for him. That pre-Melo team led by Amare was a blast to root for, and it put us on the map.

    So long as we avoid the albatross contract or squander assets, it can only get so bad. We didn’t do that with Amare, or Melo, or Houston, or Steph, or Noah…

    Even the Linsanity team….when Amare and Melo were out, they went on a run, and while Lin got most of the credit, Chandler, Shump, Novak, Fields and Jeffries all played very well during that stretch. There was some electricity, some hope.

    If they get Paul for Randle and DSjr but no assets, I wouldn’t see it as the end of the world.

  101. max fisher-cohen: Even Melo’s mega max was not so bad according to many here.

    A 2-year commitment is clearly less bad than a 5-year commitment. That said, if you’re suggesting that the dumbness of taking on CP3 would be a sign that many more dumb moves would follow, that’s a very fair point. So yeah, I’d be more afraid of what it suggested about future moves than the deal itself.

  102. Reading the numbers above, it just seems hard to put a good team around him because the Knicks lose so much financial flexibility because of his huge salary. I am not in favor of it unless we get paid a lot to take him on and even then, I have misgivings.

  103. If they get Paul for Randle and DSjr but no assets, I wouldn’t see it as the end of the world.

    As MFC points out, these pointless moves that don’t move the needle much in either direction are best understood as affirmatively bad moves.

    The Knicks are in direct competition with 29 other teams in a league with a finite number of assets and a salary cap. Those other teams are not going to stop trying to get better in sustainable fashion just because the Knicks refuse to do that. Any asset accessible to us that we don’t gain is an asset another team keeps or gains.

    So while it’s easy to say, for example, signing Bobby Portis to a huge 1-year deal was silly but not actively harmful, another way of looking at it is we did that instead of taking on Moe Harkless’ expiring contract for a pick, or using that roster spot on Christian Wood or Duncan Robinson. It was in fact actively harmful because we passed on the opportunity to do something good.

  104. I honestly can’t believe there are people here advocating for acquiring Chris Paul. WTF is going on….

    nba officially postponed the draft today…you wanna talk some more about frank :)

    actually big blue…was going through the garage today and had to figure out which issues of my yankee magazine i wanted to keep…had all the mags from about ’92 to ’02 or so…

    made sure to keep the no-hitters, paul o’neil, rookie jeter, and all the mo covers…

    right after mick the quick (back in the ’70’s) mariano has been my favorite all time yankee…

    had the magazines in the same box as a bunch of old Muscle and Fitness magazines…on one of the covers was this back in the day dude named tom platz – if you want to see some crazy huge and ripped thighs (who doesn’t, right?) – tom had em…

    betcha bob knows who tom platz is…don’t disappoint me bob :)

  105. thenoblefacehumper: As MFC points out, these pointless moves that don’t move the needle much in either direction are best understood as affirmatively bad moves.

    I get the whole opportunity cost thing. The thing for me is, in the real world where we have no choices but to either root for the team or not, if the Knicks brought on CP3 without giving up much, I wouldn’t be crushed.

  106. Eh fuck it, why bother rebuilding when we can just have a 40-42 season with an over-the-hill supermax guy every fourth year

  107. geo: nba officially postponed the draft today…you wanna talk some more about frank :)

    actually big blue…was going through the garage today and had to figure out which issues of my yankee magazine i wanted to keep…had all the mags from about ’92 to ’02 or so…

    made sure to keep the no-hitters, paul o’neil, rookie jeter, and all the mo covers…

    right after mick the quick (back in the ’70’s) mariano has been my favorite all time yankee…

    had the magazines in the same box as a bunch of old Muscle and Fitness magazines…on one of the covers was this back in the day dude named tom platz – if you want to see some crazy huge and ripped thighs (who doesn’t, right?) – tom had em…

    betcha bob knows who tom platz is…don’t disappoint me bob :)

    I have some old Yankee magazines, yearbooks and programs too! I have some game programs from the 1978 ALCS and World Series which I got from my parents since I was born in 1980. I have yearbooks from 1985, 1988 and 1993. I specifically remember purchasing the 1988 one at Yankee Stadium, as a little kid I was obsessed with reading it. Jack Clark was the big acquisition that season lol.

    In more recent times I have Yankees Magazines from the 1996 season and was able to purchase World Series programs from 1999 and 2009 along with the All Star Game program from 2008. Derek Jeter’s final season I have a bunch of commemorative programs and magazines including the 2014 yearbook which I purchased at Yankee Stadium when I went up there that summer to watch Jeter play one final time. Also got an All-Star Game program from that year since it was dedicated to Jeter.

  108. Jowles, I’m not disputing that acquiring CP3 is not an optimal way to rebuild, far from it. But since we know that the odds of the Knicks ever rebuilding the way you would prefer, it becomes a matter of where it stacks up compared to other moves that are actually possible, given the management cards we are dealt. This is not like trading a boatload of picks for a faux star like Westbrook. Paul is still playing very, very well. He plays the right way and would be fun to watch.

  109. Assuming we don’t give up anything of value (like Frank, Knox, or any kind of pick) the case for trading for Paul is whatever value he adds to the development of the young players in terms of his professionalism, leadership, work ethic, and basketball knowledge that is passed on. That’s not significant, but it’s not irrelevant either.

    The downside of course is that we’d be using up cap space on an older player that’s not part of the future.

    My point today has been that no one that’s any good is going to want to come to NY unless they are brain damaged. We still suck! That’s big part of the formula for signing top free agents. I’ve been saying that for years I’m still not sure people get it. What you have to do is make incremental moves that make you a little better each year so you can eventually trade for or land the whale.

    In other words DON’T TANK except for a single year (to get KP and again last year only because KP was out). After that you should immediately start trying to make progress unless you are small market team that has to draft.

    They aren’t going to take on bad long term contracts for future protected or mediocre picks. They have more than enough picks. Drafting another teenager or two in 2021, 2022 or 2023 just means we’ll be getting a player ready to peak in 2026 or beyond. It’s not going to happen and shouldn’t.

    We are going to wind up doing what we’ve been doing with cap pace for quite awhile now. We are going to find 2nd or 3rd tier players that are more interested in being slightly or grossly overpaid than winning or we are going to sign terrible former lottery picks that. That’s not necessarily better than trading for CP3. He adds some value to out development.

    Personally, I don’t want to do it, but I know our management sucks and he may be the least bad option assuming he doesn’t laugh at us.

  110. So I apologize but I’m too burned out by this week to do the research and math. There seem to be smart people here who can, so I’ll ask. We’ve bounced these three around: Van Vleet, Woods, and Bertans. Could we afford all three? Or (and I hate this, but since it’s a topic of conversation) that 106-yr-old, Woods, and Bertans?
    I plan to go to bed with this running through my head:

    PG Van Vleet, Haliburton, Frank
    SG BulLOCK, Frank, Haliburton (Trier, Dotson, whatever)
    SF RJ, Harkless, Iggy
    PF Bertans, Wood, Taj
    C Mitch, Wood, Taj

    Van Vleet, Haliburton and Bertans would shoot the lights out. Tyrese is 6’5″ so he can play with VV as a SG or back him up at the point. Frank locks things down when needed. People argue that Wood’s best position is center, so get him, Bertans, and Mitch 33-35 mpg as a 2.5-headed frontcourt, Taj gets garbage or foul-out minutes.

    Do whatever is necessary to get rid of Portis, Randle and Knox. Trade them all for beans and sand. I’d set Elf on fire, too. DJR goes in the trash. Roster is done. At least for my dreams tonight.

  111. Raven:
    So I apologize but I’m too burned out by this week to do the research and math. There seem to be smart people here who can, so I’ll ask. We’ve bounced these three around: Van Vleet, Woods, and Bertans. Could we afford all three? Or (and I hate this, but since it’s a topic of conversation) that 106-yr-old, Woods, and Bertans?
    I plan to go to bed with this running through my head:

    PG Van Vleet, Haliburton, Frank
    SG BulLOCK, Frank, Haliburton (Trier, Dotson, whatever)
    SF RJ, Harkless, Iggy
    PF Bertans, Wood, Taj
    C Mitch, Wood, Taj

    Van Vleet, Haliburton and Bertans would shoot the lights out. Tyrese is 6’5? so he can play with VV as a SG or back him up at the point. Frank locks things down when needed. People argue that Wood’s best position is center, so get him, Bertans, and Mitch 33-35 mpg as a 2.5-headed frontcourt, Taj gets garbage or foul-out minutes.

    Do whatever is necessary to get rid of Portis, Randle and Knox. Trade them all for beans and sand. I’d set Elf on fire, too. DJR goes in the trash. Roster is done. At least for my dreams tonight.

    (1) It depends on the final cap number and what Wood & FVV command in the market this year

    (2) Current projections are $115M, but that could drop

    (3) I have us at $69M guaranteed, so $45M to spend (someone should check me on this)

    (4) Based on those numbers we can likely afford Wood, FVV, keep Bullock

    (5) If we trade Randle for Paul, we could then spend $25M on Wood or FVV (Keeping Randle we have $5M, can probably get neither, more room if we include Frank or whoever)

    (6) I doubt FVV comes here to play behind CP3 for 2 years, our offer would need to blow other out of the water

    (7) DET is one of the few teams with cap space and will likely spend it on Wood, Bertans is more achievable since WAS is already at $100M

    (8) In none of the above do we keep: Taj, Dotson, Trier, Ellington, Payton, or Portis

  112. Not to bring bad news, but… Upstate NY is about to get some up close and personal action with Covid. Things are starting to take off up here. I’m wondering if the governor is going to decide against any reopening by area.

    I know this because a friend I have who is a PA just had her whole office quarantined as two nurses just tested positive. The by county numbers are starting to jump as well.

    I’m working at a Target DC. They have been treating us amazingly and providing us with fresh PPE every day as well as distancing everyone a ton. Hopefully it works out well, but I think rural America is going to start feeling this really soon.

  113. So,

    PG: FVV, Haliburton(?), DSJr
    SG: Bullock, Frank
    SF: RJ, Knox, Brazdeikis
    PF: Randle, Bertans
    C: Mitch, (Wooten?)

    Clips 1st
    CHA 2nd
    Joakim Noah (dead salary)

  114. You really can’t bring Taj back if you want to optimize your cap space.

    didn’t we overpay on all those one and one’s just so we can void most of them anyways…do any of them really have a chance of coming back next year on that option…

    except for bobby, gotta gave him at like 80 million…

  115. hey big blue…that’s cool the yanks went on that run when you were still pretty young…

    feels good to either pick or inherit the right team when you’re young…

    I started watching them on wpix, channel 11 in ’75…I hated the reds…every single one of them…i can’t remember why, but – especially dave concepcion…he drove me nuts…

    who are your favorite players?

  116. geo:
    hey big blue…that’s cool the yanks went on that run when you were still pretty young…

    feels good to either pick or inherit the right team when you’re young…

    I started watching them on wpix, channel 11 in ’75…I hated the reds…every single one of them…i can’t remember why, but – especially dave concepcion…he drove me nuts…

    who are your favorite players?

    Yeah the latest Yankees dynasty began when I was finishing up high school so a great time plus the internet was just getting big at that time too so I was able from Miami to read all the NY papers online plus back then broadcast.com was a free website that streamed all MLB games so I was able to listen to a ton of Yankee games with Sterling and Michael Kay from 1998-2000 before MLB caught on and started selling the streams on their site.

    As a little kid living in NY my favorite player was like everyone else’s, Don Mattingly. I also for some reason loved Dave Righetti, used to get super excited whenever he entered the game for the save lol. Also loved Winfield and Rickey Henderson. When they got really good again in the mid 90’s my favorite player at first was actually Bernie Williams since he was the best player until Jeter became a superstar during the 1998 season and by 2000 he was the best player and to this day my favorite player ever. Obviously loved Mo too.

    With the current group my favorite player is without a doubt Aaron Judge, absolutely love watching him play. Gleyber Torres has become my 2nd favorite very quickly. It’s gonna be awesome watching this current group now and in the future, they definitely have the making of a potential new dynasty that can win a few titles over the next 10+ years hopefully. Best thing about the Yankees though is even if they don’t win a title they still put out a great product to watch every year.

  117. I’mma ask this again to the people slotting FVV onto the Knicks:

    What makes you think “no one wants to come here” only applies to max free agents?

  118. bidiong the not so great: but I think rural America is going to start feeling this really soon.

    You’re definitely going to. And we’re going to have a second wave of it, too. We didn’t stay home to make it disappear, we stayed home to flatten the curve.

  119. I’ve been saying that for years I’m still not sure people get it. What you have to do is make incremental moves that make you a little better each year so you can eventually trade for or land the whale.

    People are going to continue to “not get” your plan, because it’s not an actual plan, it’s a series of words strung together that don’t amount to anything in the context of NBA team-building.

    In years, you’ve never once been able to answer questions that amount to the most basic scrutiny, such as:

    “What do you do about the fact that adding free agents in one year makes it difficult or impossible to do so in another year, given the NBA salary cap?”

    “We see players from all over the draft board being productive extremely early in their careers, so what evidence are you citing when you say it’s inevitable no one we draft will be good until 2026? Is it literally just the fact that Frank Ntilikina has sucked in years 1-3, so you feel a need to pretend that’s completely normal for all drafted players?”

    “Which players specifically would you add via free agency at this point in our win curve, and to what contracts would you sign them?”

    Sometimes we actually do debate the merits of adding free agents despite being a very bad team (e.g. Wood and FVV). Good arguments are made on both sides, but you don’t even weigh in on those debates. You just continue to scold everyone else for not understanding the simple path to becoming a contender: rip other teams off in trades, and rip players off in free agency.

    Never mind the fact that other teams are trying to “win the trades” as well, and players invest a lot of time and money in making sure their contracts properly reflect their value. If Strat were GM, he would simply be smarter than the other GMs.

  120. What makes you think “no one wants to come here” only applies to max free agents?

    I believe the thought is the only way FVV leaves the Raptors is if he’s offered so much money they don’t feel they can match, in which case he probably won’t be so picky about the team that made the godfather offer.

  121. “We see players from all over the draft board being productive extremely early in their careers, so what evidence are you citing when you say it’s inevitable no one we draft will be good until 2026? Is it literally just the fact that Frank Ntilikina has sucked in years 1-3, so you feel a need to pretend that’s completely normal for all drafted players?”

    Just to expand on this a bit, using the 2017 draft as an example–8/14 players in the lottery have already posted a season with a .100+ WS48 and/or positive BPM.

    One of the players who hasn’t is Lauri Markkanen, who has come very close, might be undervalued by those models, and has a ton trade value. Another is Markelle Fultz, who is getting his shit together to some extent but is obviously an exceptional case in all kinds of (unknown) ways.

    The remaining 4 are Josh Jackson, Malik Monk, and of course, the two current members of the New York Knicks.

    The draft works, folks. You just have to not be stupid!

  122. TNFH, that’s not a fair stat from the 2017 draft because position matters. Point guards take a while to develop. All the point guards taken in the lottery that year have a negative BPM.

  123. thenoblefacehumper: The remaining 4 are Josh Jackson, Malik Monk, and of course, the two current members of the New York Knicks.

    The draft works, folks. You just have to not be stupid!

      

    You were all over DSjr if I recall correctly…

  124. >People are going to continue to “not get” your plan, because it’s not an actual plan, it’s a series of words strung together that don’t amount to anything in the context of NBA team-building.<

    IMO, it's a waste time to even have a conversation with you because you understand so little about basketball and troll non stop anyway.

    To answer, I would have kept a guy like Noah Vonleh (I'd keep Moe Harkless this year) because they add more value than their contract. Their value comes from defense and non boxscore contributions that tend to be undervalued. Then as we draft players, develop them, add players like that, we'd ultimately get better at a faster rate. That would put us into the trade and free agent market way faster because we'd have the assets and be more attractive for someone that can actually play basketball to come here in free agency.

    The problem with our annual tank fest and desire for "everyone to be on the exact same age curve" is that it will eventually work, but it takes us out of the prime free agent market and develops way slower!!! (Durant and Irving chose the F'n Nets for God's sake and that was after all the other failings with free agents in NY going all the way back to Walsh/MDA)

    I have to question the sanity of anyone that still thinks cap space in combination with a team that's tanking is a good strategy to get star players.

    Beyond that, I've been saying that Perry is woefully incompetent at finding undervalued players that fit together (as was Mills). Cap space is valuable when you have competent people in charge and already have a pretty good team. For us, we should be looking to add players that are under the radar a little and stop worrying so much if they are on the exact same win curve as Robinson/RJ/Frank etc.. or whether they might add a few wins and screw up our annual tank. Then someone that can play basketball may want to come to this cesspool.

  125. You can’t Harkless/Vonleh your way to respectability. Those guys might be worth more than their contracts, but not by large amounts. Guys like that can be decent role players in the right situation but they are not going to add a lot of marginal wins to a bad team. They’re nuts and bolts, and you can’t really do much with nuts and bolts if your chrome and leather suck.

    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to find those players. You should! Surplus value is good! Those guys just don’t bring very much surplus value, they bring a negligible amount.

    We have a bunch of 1RPs due in the coming years, and if we whiff on all of those we’ll still be bad no matter how good the scrap heap veteran finds turn out to be. The draft is still the best place to add talent. We keep whiffing. That’s the real problem.

  126. >The draft works, folks. You just have to not be stupid!<

    The draft is always easier after you get to see the players play at the pro level. But you should also allow very young players to develop over 3-5 years instead of jumping to conclusions based on the very flawed metrics you are using to evaluate them all because you are clueless to begin with.

  127. People want to build via draft but they are are ready to give up before a kid is finished going through puberty. It’s just too funny to believe,

  128. People want to build via draft but they are are ready to give up before a kid is finished going through puberty. It’s just too funny to believe,

    This is a stupid straw man, and it’s a rule of thumb that you yourself don’t even follow. Should we wait around to see how Dennis Smith turns out? Because it seems you’ve judged him as a bust even though “he’s not finished going through puberty.”

    You seem to be saying there is no way to judge an NBA prospect even after they have played thousands of minutes, unless it’s a player you don’t like because he came over in a trade you didn’t like, in which case judge away!

    For the record, DSJ really does suck and he ain’t gonna make it.

  129. >You can’t Harkless/Vonleh your way to respectability. Those guys might be worth more than their contracts, but not by large amounts. Guys like that can be decent role players in the right situation but they are not going to add a lot of marginal wins to a bad team. They’re nuts and bolts, and you can’t really do much with nuts and bolts if your chrome and leather suck.<

    I agree with you.

    But imo the idea for us is to accumulate players like that now because no one that's going to move the chain significantly will come here. If we have a few players like that, Robinson adds to his game, RJ develops his shot bit, etc.. we suddenly have a 40 win team or at least have a few pieces and picks that can be used to roll up into a better player and so on.

    We've been using the tank/cap space model looking for star. That won't work on the free agency side of the equation and is a very long term crap shoot on the draft side.

    Also, I'm not opposed to renting cap space for picks, but imo that's a very early stage tank move.

    We should have done that last year when we knew KP was going to be out and we'd suck anyway. I would not do it now. Even though we totally screwed up the rebuild by losing KP for garbage and set ourselves back a few years, we got RJ as a result of the KP injury and Robinson is still a very good prospect to go along with Frank who I still like. We should be looking for pieces that make us better and stop worrying about the draft or whether the kid is 25 years old or younger. As long as it's a good player on a attractive contract that fits a need and he's not on his last legs, bring him in.

    The downside of what I am saying is that I think our management is incompetent on the basketball side and has no idea how to value players or fit them together. That trumps any approach.

  130. JK47: The draft is still the best place to add talent. We keep whiffing. That’s the real problem.

      

    This is not completely true. We didn’t whiff on Porzingis or Mitch, and the jury is still out on RJ. There are teams like NOP and MIN who hit home runs in the draft lottery and still suck, and there are teams like TOR, DEN and MIL whose best draft picks were outside the lottery. MIA drafted Bam at #14, but he’s no better than Mitch and aside from that they have had very little draft luck and are still competitive. BOS, with all their draft cache, have only hit on one budding star in the draft at #3 (a guy who nearly every “smart” poster here would have passed over) and mostly have acquired decent role players like Smart, Rozier, Bradley, and the now vastly overpaid Brown. Many good teams have found vital players in the bargain bin.

    It’s not a bad thing to have a decent team on the floor even at the cost of draft position, especially with the flattened odds. That way, when you get lucky with a guy like Giannis, or Mitch, or Kawhi, or Siakam, or Jokic, or Draymond, or Parker, or Manu, or Bam (the list of excellent NBA players drafted outside the lottery is very long) the value of that lucky draft pick is maximized…you go from a 30-win team to a 40-win team with cap space, flexibility and trade assets.

    We can keep beating the “we didn’t tank properly” drum all we want, but that’s not the only way out of the morass.

  131. Strat will take any position so long as it supports the 140-point assessment he invented. No point in arguing. He’s convinced Frank will be a DPOY with a sick corner three game and anything less will be blamed on coaching, role or culture.

    It will never be Frank’s fault, because Strat knows so. Because he’s the only smart one in the room. You’re just too dumb to realize it. He’s the only one smart enough to see it

  132. > it’s a rule of thumb that you yourself don’t even follow. Should we wait around to see how Dennis Smith turns out? Because it seems you’ve judged him as a bust even though “he’s not finished going through puberty.”<

    My rule of thumb is that a prospect should at least be good on one side of the ball and then I'll give him the 3-5 years to see if can develop the other side to competency and become a net plus player. I also value work ethic and basketball IQ as important clues as to whether it's worth giving a player that time.

    That's why I am so forgiving with Frank but not DSjr and I'm more in the middle on Knox . That's why I liked Mikal Bridges also.

    To me, DSjr is a gifted athlete, but he's a negative on both sides of the ball and his intangibles are very negative. He's moody and a low basketball IQ player. He also has back and other issues which is rarely a good sign,

    Knox is even worse on both sides, but I trust his work ethic and desire to really dedicate himself to improve. He was also so physically underdeveloped coming in, I'd like to see him fill out a little first. I'm not high on him, but I haven't given up.

    There's no magic formula for it, but you can't throw a guy in the garbage can at 20-21 just because he's not Zion or Morant and also say you want to build via draft. Most of these guys are going to take 3-5 years to show what they are. And even if they don't become all stars, that's fine. You need very good "net plus" role players.

  133. >Strat will take any position so long as it supports the 140-point assessment he invented. No point in arguing. He’s convinced Frank will be a DPOY with a sick corner three game and anything less will be blamed on coaching, role or culture. It will never be Frank’s fault, because Strat knows so. Because he’s the only smart one in the room. You’re just too dumb to realize it. He’s the only one smart enough to see it<

    None of that is true.

    Frank is already plus defender that can impact games on that side once in awhile. He has a strong work ethic and plays basketball the right way (meaning he puts the team first, is a willing and good enough passer, typically makes the right play, and has a good basketball IQ etc..)

    His current value is underrated by popular models that imo suck, but I acknowledge he has a very long way to go on offense to become a starting caliber player on an NBA team. I'm simply willing to give him the time because he has so much of what I value and I see progress in his handle, emotion maturity, confidence, and even shot. I believe he is more likely to get there on offense than the average player because of the intangibles.

    But of course I think people that use broken models to evaluate players like him will undervalue him and I'll keep saying they are wrong.

  134. The downside of what I am saying is that I think our management is incompetent on the basketball side and has no idea how to value players or fit them together. That trumps any approach.

    That was certainly true many times in the past. I’m not sure it’s totally true now. Basically, we don’t know yet. We know nothing about Rose in that regard. Perry’s Knick’s récord in that regard is mostly contaminated by Mills, who seemed to care more about athleticism and pointzz than anything else, and anyway I don’t think Perry was setting player strategy, although I’m sure he had influence. Miller probably does know how to put a team together. I hope they listen to him.

  135. You’re definitely going to. And we’re going to have a second wave of it, too. We didn’t stay home to make it disappear, we stayed home to flatten the curve.

    Oh I know Hubert, it’s just that most people actually think we’re staying home to eliminate it. They’re going to lose their minds when it starts showing up more often here.

  136. Me: Strat no one takes you seriously because all you do is insult people’s intelligence while offering little-to-nothing in the way of specific plans of your own.

    Strat’s response: an insult to my intelligence that offered little-to-nothing in the way of specific plans of his own.

    The idea that we’re just a few Noah Vonlehs (signed a minimum contract and played under 400 minutes this year) and Moe Harklesses (had to be dumped with sweetener at 1/$11M) away from being a 40+ win team is too laughable to respond to, but JK47 hit the nail on the head anyway.

    It is possible to get to the high 30s/low 40s win range via free agency, and is often times not even all that difficult, but what Strat will never grapple with is doing so involves signing the free agents that take away your ability to sign the guys you’re allegedly trying to impress with this cockamamie strategy.

    What made Phil Jackson’s tenure so jarring is this was clearly his strategy (he said so explicitly), which as I mentioned isn’t very difficult to pull off because the smart GMs aren’t competing in the “who can win 42 games while capping themselves out” competition, and he couldn’t even do it.

    Speaking of The Genius Who Has Forgotten More About Basketball Than Any Of Us Will Ever Know, I noticed you didn’t respond to my question the other day, Strat. I’ll repeat it: which specific transactions of Phil Jackson’s revealed that he was such a brilliant basketball mind who was only befallen by his inability to realize $72 million dollars is a lot of money?

  137. You were all over DSjr if I recall correctly…

    Sure, he was 5th on my big board that year (behind Ball, Isaac, Fultz, and Z. Collins) and I don’t regret it at all. I used the exact same process I used to determine FVV, Delon Wright, Brandon Clarke, and Mitchell Robinson were good prospects. Give the data the most weight, supplement it with scouting/tape while keeping in mind the limitations, and factor in other things to the extent possible (age, injury history, etc.).

    The draft is never, ever going to be a sure thing. I’m lucky I was 13 at the time of the 2008 draft and thus a year or so away from posting here, because I would’ve been absolutely drooling over Michael Beasley. These things are going to happen for all sorts of reasons (unpredictable off-court stuff, etc.). Look at Masai Ujiri’s draft history and you’ll see plenty of names that never amounted to anything.

    If you consistently use the approach I outlined, though, you’ll get good value out of your picks in the aggregate (and needless to say, you should stockpile as many picks as possible).

  138. TNFH, that’s not a fair stat from the 2017 draft because position matters. Point guards take a while to develop. All the point guards taken in the lottery that year have a negative BPM.

    1) What in the world does this have to do with the general proposition that, 3 years removed from that draft, a ton of the players in it have already been productive despite Strat’s assertion that it takes 7 years or whatever to make this determination?

    2) Lonzo Ball does not have a negative career BPM, and Fox’s has been comfortably positive for 2 of his 3 NBA seasons.

  139. thenoblefacehumper: Sure, he was 5th on my big board that year (behind Ball, Isaac, Fultz, and Z. Collins)

    So which one of those guys would have represented a major change in our fortunes? If you were the GM and had tanked correctly. your model would definitely have passed over Jayson Tatum and De’Aaron Fox, who were widely ranked above Isaac, Collins and DSjr. And if you had our draft spot, you would have drafted Zach Collins. Do you really think he would have moved the needle for us? Would you be happy about passing on Mitchell, John Collins or Bam, who were certainly in the discussion as viable options at our spot?

    Fultz and Ball were pretty much chalk #1 and #2 picks, so you get no credit (or blame) for having them at the top of your list. After that, your 3-5 picks were reaches in most models. You would have passed over Fox and Tatum against the conventional wisdom. That’s the kind of shit that sets franchises back. You would have passed on Porzingis for Winslow or WCS. That’s the kind of shit that sets franchises back.

    Granted, you’ve identified some hidden gems, but finding a low-risk, high reward flyer in late first, or the second round, or as a UFA is a much different science than drafting the right player in the lottery, and has nothing at all to do with the discussion re: tanking properly. In the lottery, your rankings outside of “chalk” picks has been nothing to crow about.

  140. thenoblefacehumper: (and needless to say, you should stockpile as many picks as possible).

    Folks like you weren’t saying that when we traded Willy for 2 second rounders. There was a ton of hand-wringing about ditching his cost-controlled contract for a measly two second-rounders. There was a lot of BS about how we could have just gone out and bought those second rounders. One particular poster here went against the grain and thought it was a great move at the time. But of course, that was just dumb luck.

  141. TBH, neither Wood or FVV are likely to come to the Knicks. I think FVV has a better chance since he won’t have to share the PG position with Lowry. DET will pay Wood a crap ton this offseason, so I think he’ll be overpriced if we do get him.

    Does anyone else see other players they want this offsesason? We’ve already said Bertans, who has a decent chance of coming here.

  142. So which one of those guys would have represented a major change in our fortunes?

    …all of them except maybe Fultz? Ball and Isaac were working on really nice seasons before the season ended/Isaac got hurt. Collins was a rotation player for a team that made the WCFs at age 21. Weird thing to say.

    If you were the GM and had tanked correctly. your model would definitely have passed over Jayson Tatum and De’Aaron Fox, who were widely ranked above Isaac, Collins and DSjr. And if you had our draft spot, you would have drafted Zach Collins. Do you really think he would have moved the needle for us? Would you be happy about passing on Mitchell, John Collins or Bam, who were certainly in the discussion as viable options at our spot?

    I had Fox 6th and it’s worth mentioning a big board isn’t necessarily a “who should the New York Knicks draft” board, but yes, I think the guy who posted ~14/9/2 per-36 minutes with a .562 TS% at age 21 for a WCF team would “move the needle” for us more than Frank Ntilikina has.

    Folks like you weren’t saying that when we traded Willy for 2 second rounders. There was a ton of hand-wringing about ditching his cost-controlled contract for a measly two second-rounders.

    Not quite sure why we’re re-litigating all of my bad takes today. You’ve, uh, certainly had some yourself.

    I’ve done the Willy mea culpa already–I was a little slow to respond to the collapsing market for centers. It’s something I take into account much more strongly now in terms of draft/trade/free agency analysis. What does this have to do with anything?

  143. I really like Bertans at the right price, but Latvians probably don’t think all that highly of the Knicks right now. I wonder if Dallas will try to snag him somehow.

  144. ***Having a 36-year-old Chris Paul at $45M during a shrunken cap year at the production of ~1 BPM would be as Knicksy as it gets. Can you imagine? The cap shrinks to $90M or so and he eats 50% of our cap space to play 28 mpg? Amazing.

    Honestly the only way it could get Knicksier is if they traded a pick for him and then re-signed him for the MLE at age 37.***

    It would be even MORE Knicksy if the league hands out a new round of amnesty clauses and, while Paul is taking up 50% of the cap to watch games in a suit and tie, the Knicks use it to waive Kevin Knox.

  145. 1) What in the world does this have to do with the general proposition that, 3 years removed from that draft, a ton of the players in it have already been productive despite Strat’s assertion that it takes 7 years or whatever to make this determination?

    2) Lonzo Ball does not have a negative career BPM, and Fox’s has been comfortably positive for 2 of his 3 NBA seasons.

    My point is lot of players have been productive soon after being drafted, but they usually aren’t point guards. I’m not sure why it’s not clear that “lots of players are productive soon after they are drafted” and “lots of point guards are productive soon after that are drafted”. The first is true, the second statement is not. You are right Ball does not have a negative career BPM, but he was drafted second. If we draft a point guard at that position I do expect good signs early in his career. Fox was drafted fifth and has done well, but his BPM in basketball reference, which I assume is a career number, is still negative. If you draft a young point guard after number five you are probably looking at a project, which Frank was.

  146. thenoblefacehumper: …all of them except maybe Fultz? Ball and Isaac were working on really nice seasons before the season ended/Isaac got hurt. Collins was a rotation player for a team that made the WCFs at age 21. Weird thing to say.

    Collins is not a needle-mover. He’s a fragile stretch 5 who put up mediocre stats at the back end of the rotation on a team with one of the best guard combos in the NBA. If you took him at #8 it would have been a fine pick… I was on the record at draft time saying I would have taken him, or John Collins, or Bam, or Mitchell, and yes, or DSjr over Ntilikina, so we were on the same page there. But to take him at #4 would have been colossally stupid. You would have bitched and moaned if we took Tatum or Markkanen over him. That speaks volumes about your drafting prowess.

    Again, no credit or blame for Fultz and Ball, they were consensus picks. But Ball would not have moved the needle that much for us either. Had we drafted him, it’s doubtful that the conversation here at KB would be much different than it is right now.

    I like Isaac, and liked him at draft time, but he really hasn’t done all that much relative to his draft position. Again, I doubt that we’d be having a different discussion here if somehow he fell to us. However, if we passed over Fox and Tatum to draft him, we’d be having a VERY different discussion.

    You can try to talk yourself into thinking otherwise, but you are not very good at drafting. You’ve been wrong as often as right.

  147. I’d like someone to go through the last decade of All-NBA point guard selections and tell me how many of them hadn’t shown significant improvement by the end of their rookie deals. I’d be surprised if you could find a single one.

  148. Collins is not a needle-mover. He’s a fragile stretch 5 who put up mediocre stats at the back end of the rotation on a team with one of the best guard combos in the NBA.

    Bookmarked.

    Again, no credit or blame for Fultz and Ball, they were consensus picks. But Ball would not have moved the needle that much for us either. Had we drafted him, it’s doubtful that the conversation here at KB would be much different than it is right now.

    I didn’t ask for any credit? Anyway, I do not know what “the conversation here at KB” would be like if we had Ball instead of Ntilikina, but the Knicks would be better.

    I like Isaac, and liked him at draft time, but he really hasn’t done all that much relative to his draft position. Again, I doubt that we’d be having a different discussion here if somehow he fell to us. However, if we passed over Fox and Tatum to draft him, we’d be having a VERY different discussion.

    You can try to talk yourself into thinking otherwise, but you are not very good at drafting. You’ve been wrong as often as right.

    Isaac was third in the NBA in DBPM at age 22 when he got injured. He was averaging ~15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks per-36 minutes. What the fuck are you talking about?

  149. As to the Bargnani trade, that was indeed indefensible wishful thinking on my part. I never advocated for that trade nor did I ever say that I would have done it, nor did I celebrate it. I also came around very quickly on that deal and admitted that I was dead wrong once I saw him play, and have never defended it since.

    You have lots of trouble backing down, e.g. it took you forever to lose the snark when discussing Willy. You are persistently arrogant and condescending when going back and forth with Strat, but he has been way more right than you on Porzingis, and could possibly still be right on Frank…who definitely showed improvement of late and just might be a decent rotation piece in the right circumstances next year..he’s still younger than Obi Toppin. You shouldn’t be so quick to crucify him, or me, when you would have picked like 20 guys over Jayson Tatum, or passed over DeAaron Fox for Dennis Smith Jr, and passed over Lauri Markkanen for Zach Collins, or Winslow over Porzingis. Your response to those frightening realities is “well, I would have drafted Zach Collins, so it’s all good.” You couldn’t even pick the right Collins in that draft!

  150. thenoblefacehumper: Collins is not a needle-mover. He’s a fragile stretch 5 who put up mediocre stats at the back end of the rotation on a team with one of the best guard combos in the NBA.

    Bookmarked.

    Sure, when Zach Collins makes me forget about Luke Kornet, I’ll be happy to retract.

  151. You shouldn’t be so quick to crucify him, or me, when you would have picked like 20 guys over Jayson Tatum, or passed over DeAaron Fox for Dennis Smith Jr, and passed over Lauri Markkanen for Zach Collins, or Winslow over Porzingis. Your response to those frightening realities is “well, I would have drafted Zach Collins, so it’s all good.” You couldn’t even pick the right Collins in that draft!

    Actually I only would’ve picked nine guys over Tatum, one of them being Donovan Mitchell, but anyway what I said was “If you consistently use the approach I outlined, though, you’ll get good value out of your picks in the aggregate (and needless to say, you should stockpile as many picks as possible).”

    What you seem to have read was “I, TNFH, 25 year-old law student, can predict the future best player available at every single draft slot in every single draft.” So it’s kind of pointless to continue this argument.

    Needless to say, getting good value out of a pick =/= making the single best pick available, hence, say, Klay Thompson being a good return for the 11th pick in 2011 even though Kawhi Leonard went 15th and Jimmy Butler went 30th.

  152. Jowles, noodling my way through the all-nba guards while I do other work. In fact there seems to be a clear tendency for them to make a significant jump somewhere between years 3 and 5. Sometimes largely due to trades (e.g., Oladipo, Harden). But honestly, we’re talking going from young stars to super-stars, for the most part. So ‘showing significant improvement’ is rather relative.

    It might be more interesting to look at mid-tier point guards — guys we’d all rather have on the team than who we have now, but not all-nba. Those with otherworldly talent tend to start at mid-tier or above. But some of them seemed to stay at mid-tier for a while (e.g., Kemba learned to hit the three consistently in year five, and took off after that). So his ‘significant improvement’ was post rookie contract.

  153. What do people think about signing Aaron Baynes? He’s 33, but can play D and shoot from the C position. Baynes helps modernize our team and open the floor for Randle, Payton, RJ (holy crap do we suck at shooting)

    Mitch still struggles to stay on the floor and we need a solid C.

  154. Ditto two of this site’s faves, DeRozan and Lowry (both all-nba second teamers at various points), who didn’t show any significant improvements until years 5 (DeRozan) and ~7 for Lowry (who’s seems all over the map stats-wise, hard to get a handle on his early years just looking at the numbers).

  155. Okay, final report, all-nba guards in general. Most (outside of the mentions above) started good, and got considerably better during their rookie contracts. A few showed clear jumps, like Our Savior Chris Paul who was pretty darn good his first two years, but found a whole nother gear in year 3. Ditto Westbrook. Goran Dragic (!) was a not-very-interesting back-up his first three years, started to show signs/got starts in year 4, and hit his stride in year 5.

  156. And for fun, looked at four upper mid-tier points: Conley was kinda okay his first three years, got good in year four, then got even better after that. Bledsoe sucked his first two years, learned how to shoot the 3 in year three, and got good starting in year four. Murray sucked his first year, then got better in year two and has inched his way up (has only played four years). And Rubio doesn’t look like he has moved the needle at all since his rookie year (which was pretty good, nonetheless). He is what he was.

    Not sure there’s really any lesson to learn from this little exercise. Most great point guards start good. Most take three-four years to get really good (and there’s usually a significant step at some point, although a few just get better year by year). A subset do manage to make a leap from mediocre or even crap to very good. Some of it seems to be opportunity. Some of it is learning to shoot the three.

  157. “You’re definitely going to. And we’re going to have a second wave of it, too. We didn’t stay home to make it disappear, we stayed home to flatten the curve.”

    You are going to have continual infections until either a vaccine is available or the majority of the herd becomes immune. Keep in mind anyone under 50 without and of cancer, kidney disease hypertension, obesity, COPD are at very (very) low risk of serious outcomes.

    https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-daily-data-summary-deaths-04152020-1.pdf

    Science is your friend……..

  158. So which one of those guys would have represented a major change in our fortunes? If you were the GM and had tanked correctly. your model would definitely have passed over Jayson Tatum and De’Aaron Fox, who were widely ranked above Isaac, Collins and DSjr. And if you had our draft spot, you would have drafted Zach Collins. Do you really think he would have moved the needle for us? Would you be happy about passing on Mitchell, John Collins or Bam, who were certainly in the discussion as viable options at our spot?

    None of these guys would have resulted in a major change in our fortunes. Tatum is a really good young player, but we have no talent.. The Knicks with Tatum instead of Frank are what, a 27-39 team last year? We have one good NBA player. There’s like 4 players in the league who could get these bums near the playoffs. Tatum might be one of those guys in a couple years, and it would be nice if we had him instead of Frank but we’d still suck.

  159. Back to the Paul discussion. What if he does enough to elevate some of the rookies’ game (Mitchell, RJ) so they get big second contracts out of us, and then they turn back into what they were before when they’re playing with a non-HOF pg. isn’t that kinda a likely scenario?

  160. knickerdore: and then they turn back into what they were before when they’re playing with a non-HOF pg. isn’t that kinda a likely scenario?

    I think there’s an argument for saying that if you learned something thanks to a mentor you don’t forget it when the mentor is gone.

    Could this question be quantified? Maybe something like

    The number of players who improved from year n to year n x1,
    while a “significant new player” joined the team,
    and regressed from year n x1 to year n x2

    vs.

    the number of players who improved from year n to year n x,
    with the core of the team staying the same
    and regressed from year n x1 to year n x2.

    The only subjective terms are what qualifies that “significant new player”, and what counts as “improvement”.

  161. I think it would be fair to expect players who don’t initiate possessions to show an uptick with competent PG play, relative to the dogshit we’ve been so privileged to watch over the last few years. Mitch should get some better looks, for one, but if so, the takeaway is simply that you need to find another good PG if you want to maximize your investment in those players. But this is basically a tautology: good point guards make winning basketball.

    I think Chris Paul is a top-3 modern era PG (Magic, Stockton, Paul) in his cumulative production, but for the millionth time, it’s not 2009 anymore. His minutes and touches will be significantly down compared to even his HOU days, which were not even his peak.

    It’s a bandaid over a gaping, festering wound. Once that $45M bandaid is gone, the wound will still be there.

  162. I believe the thought is the only way FVV leaves the Raptors is if he’s offered so much money they don’t feel they can match, in which case he probably won’t be so picky about the team that made the godfather offer.

    So if we offer FVV money so stupid that the Raptors (or 28 other teams in the league) wouldn’t make that offer it to him, we can get him.

    You see the problem here, right?

  163. So if we offer FVV money so stupid that the Raptors (or 28 other teams in the league) wouldn’t make that offer it to him, we can get him.

    You see the problem here, right?

    Yeah I mean I think the consensus is FVV is getting a max or close to it and that’s what we’re debating.

    It’s worth mentioning that we won’t be in competition with 29 other teams though. We’ll be in competition with the Raptors, who have his Bird Rights, and the Grizzlies and Hawks, who are the only other two teams with cap space as of now.

  164. Scratch that, I don’t think the Grizzlies will have cap space after the Iguodala trade, but it looks like Atlanta still will as well as Charlotte, Detroit, and Miami.

    Still, not a lot of competition.

  165. bidiong the not so great: Oh I know Hubert, it’s just that most people actually think we’re staying home to eliminate it. They’re going to lose their minds when it starts showing up more often here.

    Many of them have already lost their minds!

  166. Having a 36-year-old Chris Paul at $45M during a shrunken cap year at the production of ~1 BPM would be as Knicksy as it gets. Can you imagine? The cap shrinks to $90M or so and he eats 50% of our cap space to play 28 mpg? Amazing.

    What is with this unanimity that Chris Paul is an average basketball player beholden to the timelines of ordinary people?

    The notion that he is not in the same category as LeBron, Stockton, Nash, and other greats is absolutely not settled.

  167. thenoblefacehumper:
    Scratch that, I don’t think the Grizzlies will have cap space after the Iguodala trade, but it looks like Atlanta still will as well as Charlotte, Detroit, and Miami.

    Still, not a lot of competition.

    Brooklyn didn’t have cap space for two maxes at this time last year, either. You can’t bank on their being no competition this summer. Almost every team in the league is one trade away from opening space.

  168. ***So if we offer FVV money so stupid that the Raptors (or 28 other teams in the league) wouldn’t make that offer it to him, we can get him. You see the problem here, right?***

    The question then becomes: which would you rather have?

    35 year old Chris Paul at $40,000,000 for 2 years

    Or

    25 year old Fred VanVleet at $30,000,000 for 4 years.

    For a championship level team, it may be option A.

    For a building team, it should be option B.

    (VanVleet is really really good.)

  169. DIdn’t realize that Van Vleet was 4th in the NBA in steals this season.

    Still not sure about a max deal for him though. I think a good comp is Brogdon, who signed a 4 year $80 million deal with the Bucks last year as part of the sign and trade with Indiana. That would be more appropriate for FVV IMO.

  170. Did a few back of the envelope calculations.:

    OKC’s total revenue of 18-19 = $258M
    OKC’s live gate revenue 18-19 = $63M

    Assuming when BB re-opens there won’t be anywhere near the same live gate recipts probably with a contracting cap (by Maybe a lot) OKC is in a God awful position with CP taking down 41 & 44M the next 2 seasons Thry HAVE TO MOVE HIM! This is the franchise that let James Harden get away because they didn’t want to pay the tax.

    The already have 103M gurenteed for next season in salary even with Gallo and Andre Robertson off the books.

    Fate has cast them a nasty blow and they are completely over a barrell. There are few place that can absorb his salary next season

    They have 13 #1 picks the next 7 drafts including Miami’s ’21 unprotected and LAC’s 22 and 24 unprotected….

    It’s time for a NY GM actually put their balls in a vise and extrect 2 or 3 of those picks to take CP3 off their hands and then try to move him at the 22 trading deadline for more capital as an expiring……

  171. Raptors still have Lowry on the books for 1yr@30M. If you offer enough, Raps may not want to match. More likely they try and move Lowry. If so we might be able to absorb that contract along with some picks.

    There’s certainly a chance the Raps don’t use FVV bird rights to outbid or he just doesn’t want to return to TOR while Lowry remains. FVV is attainable.

    I don’t really see the point of CP3

  172. VanVleet is really good, to the point where it would be difficult to be mad about getting him regardless of the cost because at a certain point it would be nice to just have some damn good players.

    However, I think building a contender basically from scratch with him making $30M AAV is going to be very, very hard, and maybe impossible without a draft coup or two (or three).

  173. Van Vleet seems to be heading from underrated to overrated, or at least benefiting from the lack of good players on the market. He’s a good player, I’d be happy to have him on the Knicks, but yeah not at 30 million. Maybe 20 million.

  174. Since I’ve been accused of never wanting to sign free agents/get better, a potential path I don’t hate involves us signing Christian Wood and Jerami Grant to, say, 4/$64M each this offseason, backloaded to the maximum extent possible.

    Just to put some names to draft picks, let’s say we draft Killian Hayes 7th, Jahmi’us Ramsey 27th, and Skylar Mays with the Charlotte pick in 2020 (definitely not trying to break the ceasefire in the Hayes Wars, literally just doing it this way because it’s easier than typing than “our 2020 pick” or whatever multiple times).

    In that scenario we enter the summer of 2021 with Wood, Grant, Barrett, Hayes, Ramsey, Mays, and Brazdeikis under contract, as well as a tiny $1.85M cap hold for Mitch that we can keep on the books until we’re done with all of our other spending.

    In the 2021 draft we have our own pick, the Mavs’ pick, Charlotte’s second, and Detroit’s second (side note: this was a very nice snag in the Morris trade, the Pistons could be very bad next year).

    Depending on some minor details like what pick we have in 2020, what cap holds you use for our 2021 firsts, what contract we sign our 2020 second to, and how exactly the Wood/Grant contracts are structured we should have around $45-$50M in cap space that summer, with the ability to create more without too much pain.

    It’s impossible to say right now how this would turn out because a ton depends on Barrett’s development, how good our 2020/2021 picks are, etc.

    The appeal is that Grant would be the oldest player under contract in 2021 at age 27 and the team seems…at least watchable, assuming we don’t totally botch the draft picks.

  175. I should add that I used the projected $125M cap for the 2021-2022 season, which could be a ways off due to COVID-19.

  176. Donnie Walsh: 25 year old Fred VanVleet at $30,000,000 for 4 years….(VanVleet is really really good.)

    I don’t see what makes FVV worth that kind of money. He doesn’t rebound, or get to the line, or get you tons of assists, or put up strong scoring efficiency numbers. His WS48, BPM and VORP don’t jump off the page. I see a nice piece, but nowhere near a max or near-max player. If someone wants to offer $30 million per for 4 years, , they can have him.

  177. I don’t see what makes FVV worth that kind of money. He doesn’t rebound, or get to the line, or get you tons of assists, or put up strong scoring efficiency numbers. His WS48, BPM and VORP don’t jump off the page. I see a nice piece, but nowhere near a max or near-max player. If someone wants to offer $30 million per for 4 years, , they can have him.

    I’ve found myself watching a lot of Raptors games over the years and I (completely subjectively) think FVV is legitimately the defender people pretend Frank Ntilikina is, so the all-in-ones likely don’t do him justice.

    Still, I agree with you.

  178. This is kiiinda like the KP argument. Sometimes it turns out you gotta overpay a young guy (who fits the win curve!!!!) because otherwise you’re paying for Randles and Ellington’s (even though Ellington types are really a dime a dozen, and minimum salaries should get you a couple Wayne’s)

    Put it this way, id rather be overpaying KP than watching Portis, Randle, and Gibson.

    I’d rather have Van Vleet on an overpay than Chris Paul. I’d also rather have him than Elfrid and two other guys. Running a dynamic shooting PG with our guys is valuable too.

  179. This is kiiinda like the KP argument. Sometimes it turns out you gotta overpay a young guy (who fits the win curve!!!!) because otherwise you’re paying for Randles and Ellington’s (even though Ellington types are really a dime a dozen, and minimum salaries should get you a couple Wayne’s)

    I mean, you could also do neither of these things.

  180. DRed: None of these guys would have resulted in a major change in our fortunes. Tatum is a really good young player, but we have no talent.. The Knicks with Tatum instead of Frank are what, a 27-39 team last year? We have one good NBA player. There’s like 4 players in the league who could get these bums near the playoffs. Tatum might be one of those guys in a couple years, and it would be nice if we had him instead of Frank but we’d still suck.

    I couldn’t disagree more. Tatum is very underrated here at KB. Even if he didn’t produce significantly more wins, he would brighten the team outlook dramatically if he were here instead of Ntilikina. He just turned 22 and is well on his way to becoming a perennial 2-way all-star. If that wouldn’t represent a major change in our fortunes, I don’t know what would.

  181. thenoblefacehumper: I’ve found myself watching a lot of Raptors games over the years and I (completely subjectively) think FVV is legitimately the defender people pretend Frank Ntilikina is, so the all-in-ones likely don’t do him justice.

    Still, I agree with you.

    I mean, yeah, he’s a very nice player, but more of a glue guy than a major piece. if you’re trying to create something akin to a “big 3” at some point, you can’t have a glue guy earning $30 mill unless one of the big 3 is on a rookie-scale contract. I’d rather keep beating the bushes for the next FVV than commit all that money to him.

    Now at $20m per, it’s a whole different conversation.

  182. Part of our plan depends on getting value out of our draft picks. We can afford to overpay some players if we can acquire some strong role players or a superstar through the draft. This works with FVV because he’ll probably still play in 4-5 years, CP3’s time frame doesn’t allow for sufficient development for the 4 players drafted in the first round over the next two drafts

    Ideally we won’t pay more than $25M for FVV (depending on salary cap). I’d probably value him around $23M right now, less is good value & more is an overpay.

  183. If FVV wants to be a Knick I’m in.
    Even by overpaying him.
    He looks highly competitive,ultra hustler, teamball player and Very smart basketball-wise.
    High character? Probably.

    If he don’t want any kind of relationship with the Knicks and who could blame him… CP3 would be a nice repsycling strategy.
    Getting CP3 shouldn’t be a priority but an ok plan B (better than the “Get every available PF on the 1st day”)
    Instead of having trash players and players that don’t fit with the young core we could try adding a future HOFer and see what Will happen.
    An ok “stand by” plan.

  184. fred’s a good 2 way guard, something the Knicks haven’t had in forever, so it would be nice to have him next year. At the same time, he’s like the 4th best player on the Raptors. Overpaying for a good player isn’t terrible, because hey you’ve got a good player, but 30 million a year is an awful lot for a guy who is probably never going to be an all-star.

  185. Giving 33M to Bobby and Julius or 30M to FVV?
    I’ll take the second. Even if it hurts statistically…

  186. Knew Your Nicks:
    Giving 33M to Bobby and Julius or 30M to FVV?
    I’ll take the second. Even if it hurts statistically…

    That’s an entirely different situation. Bobby is a 1-year flyer, Julius is 2 years and a team option.

    You’re not getting a RFA at.a fair price. By definition, you almost have to overpay to prevent a match. There is no reason to overpay on a 4-year commitment to a nice piece but non-star. And honestly, I’m not sure he’s even a “bargain” at $20 million for 4 guaranteed years.

  187. Z-man: That’s an entirely different situation. Bobby is a 1-year flyer, Julius is 2 years and a team option.

    You’re not getting a RFA at.a fair price. By definition, you almost have to overpay to prevent a match. There is no reason to overpay on a 4-year commitment to a nice piece but non-star.

    If you’re a good team you don’t.
    But if you’re the 2020 Knicks maybe it’s a nice starting point to something promising.
    He’s Young. He’s Good. He’s maybe on the road to stardom.

  188. FVV ain’t a sure thing for 30M per year but he looks to me like a bet I’d easily take(especially after watching last season’s finals).

  189. 35 year old Chris Paul at $40,000,000 for 2 years

    Or

    25 year old Fred VanVleet at $30,000,000 for 4 years.

    I don’t mind an aggressive bet I can walk away from in two years. 4 years is a much bigger concern.

    Honestly when we were talking about FVV I was figuring $18-20mm. It seems I missed the mark by a lot. He’s not a max player. I don’t want him on a 4 year max under any circumstances.

  190. Hubert: I don’t mind an aggressive bet I can walk away from in two years. 4 years is a much bigger concern.

    Honestly when we were talking about FVV I was figuring $18-20mm. It seems I missed the mark by a lot. He’s not a max player. I don’t want him on a 4 year max under any circumstances.

    More generally, the big money long-term bet on the non-established all-star is the kind of contract that bites teams all the time. If FVV drops off even a little bit, there would be no way to trade him for fair value. Julius Randle was a guy many people wanted here and the nice thing is that his contract was very reasonable. He hasn’t worked out, fine, so now we can either trade him or eat the $4 mill in year 3. Imagine if that were a 4-year $100 mill guaranteed deal….he’d be going nowhere.

  191. I think a slight overpay for a UFA like Bertans makes more sense. He’ll always have value as a shooter and right now he’s more than that.

  192. I think Van Vleet has benefited considerably from playing alongside a very good PG in Lowry. It allows him to be a secondary playmaker and spot up shooter, which is a good fit for his skills.

    It’s similar to Schroeder, who always has CP3 or Shae on the floor with him and is not coincidentally having a career year. Their offensive numbers are comparable. FVV is a better defender of course.

    On the Knicks, both guys would be the only good backcourt playmaker and would be surrounded by a bunch of non shooters. They’d both be in over their heads. I think we’d regret anything over $18m for FVV.

  193. I know they play different positions…but if we’re going after a RFA…how about Bogdanovic on the Kings…bigger, sturdier guy…good shooter…one year older than FVV…maybe he might come cheaper?

  194. FVV is a better version of Jason Kidd when he was on the Knicks. Good shooter, strong but kinda slow, doesn’t have primary ballhandling duties, hustle defender, good passing vision, good teammate. That’s a nice piece but it’s not someone you build around.

  195. How about not signing mid-level veterans to bloated, long contracts and expecting them to be the foundation of a long-term rebuild? What about that?

  196.  I think Van Vleet has benefited considerably from playing alongside a very good PG in Lowry. It allows him to be a secondary playmaker and spot up shooter, which is a good fit for his skills.

    It’s similar to Schroeder, who always has CP3 or Shae on the floor with him and is not coincidentally having a career year. Their offensive numbers are comparable. FVV is a better defender of course.

    On the Knicks, both guys would be the only good backcourt playmaker and would be surrounded by a bunch of non shooters. They’d both be in over their heads. I think we’d regret anything over $18m for FVV.

    that’s a sobering thought, but on the money, we are more than one player away…

    both of those guys would need another ball handler/shooter next to them for us to see the kind of numbers they’ve had this year…

    we need help – everywhere…like one through 10…at least this year we do have a few guys on the roster that have a chance at developing and can help in a role…and, we have some picks and cap space…

    this is the best spot we’ve been in for a long while…

    forgot who mentioned bringing in a 5 that can shoot the 3, yep, need one of those too…

  197. I still love you bro

    DRed
    February 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm
    Fields hasn’t shot well tonight, but he’s got 5 boards and 7 assists.

  198. Lin about to beat the Raptors. God that was so much fun

    It really was. He had like 9 turnovers in that game, but it didn’t even matter.

    I watched some of the Laker game also. I was at that one with a friend, and we kept hitting each other after every Lin basket. It was like “this isn’t really happening, is it?”

    On the cover of SI two weeks in a row, I mean, how insane is that?

  199. It’s so dreamy, oh fantasy free me
    So you can’t see me, no, not at all
    In another dimension, with voyeuristic intention

    I’m enjoying the last dance, despite some of the painful knick moments and occasionally having to hear bob costas’ voice…

    not enjoying all the time warping between ’93 and ’98 though…tell a simple linear timeline story
    …oh well…

    my favorite edit of the godfather 1 & 2 is when they splice the two and present it in chronological order…I think it was some made for tv thing…

    my favorite parts almost always include vito, young and old…

  200. ***I think Van Vleet has benefited considerably from playing alongside a very good PG in Lowry. It allows him to be a secondary playmaker and spot up shooter, which is a good fit for his skills.***

    Perhaps, but statistically the team played better when VanVleet played next to Powell and Anunoby in the backcourt this year compared to with Lowry.

    Also, the Raptors were 10-3 this year with Lowry out, and in those games they had a margin of victory of +108.

    And, to be honest, VanVleet is even better to the eye test. He rarely makes mistakes out there, plays completely in control all the time, and the record of his teams reflects that. The Raptors were extraordinarily good this year, especially considering they lost one of the best players alive in the off season. A lot of that is because VanVleet stepped up.

    Now, at $30,000,000 per year, yeah, that’s not great value on its own. But a) it’s better than paying and older and even more expensive player to “build” around; b) it’s not like you can’t overpay now and still wait around for a better free agent to come around. Especially when you’ve been waiting in vain for some 40+ years already to fill that position.

  201. For the record, I would rather we sign FVV than trade for Chris Paul.

    I think its a catch-22 way of thinking if you always think “well player X benefits from being on this team that’s good. He wouldn’t be that good here because we don’t have the type of teammates he has.”

    If you think that way then there is literally no point to signing any free agent ever until we build up a good team completely through the draft. And that hardly ever happens.

    FVV is a good player. A good guard! We don’t have good guards! He would make us better. He’s young enough to give the full four years to. He could still get better too. Team building requires getting good players through the draft and free agency. It’s all about what we give him contract wise.

  202. Yeah at something like 3+1 for 80 I’d have a long think about Fred. Probably a bit of an overpay, but that’s free agency. His inability to score inside the arc is a problem.

  203. What? Fred Van Vleet? Honestly, if Kawhi hadn’t sunk that shot and the Sixers found a way to advance in OT, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all. Dude shot a combined 3-24 in the entire seven-game series against the Sixers and wasn’t good in the playoffs overall., at a 0.1 BPM. But he had a few big shooting games, so hey, let’s give him a massive contract? What? Do we honestly not remember Jerome James? Did we not dodge the Scary Terry bullet last year?

    People really need to check his BBRef page out. While he’s a fine player, he is not as good as you think he is — exactly the kind of player you happily overpay when you’re 46-18, have just committed to a max contract, and don’t want to pinch pennies when every marginal point matters when playing 6-deep rotations in a top-heavy Eastern Conference.

    He is not the player you sign when you’re 21-45 and don’t have a single player on your roster who’s shown superstar potential. He’s another player that will carry an otherwise-terrible team to the late lottery, and nothing more.

    If you’re fiending for a guard to overpay, you might as well try to pry Bradley Beal away from Washington.

  204. If you want Fred VanVleet, draft Cole Anthony and let him turn into FVV. I don’t think that’s a good way to spend in free agency; he’s a guy with middling efficiency who plays for one of the best coaches in the NBA. If you take him from Nick Nurse and pay him a ton of money, chances are you’re looking at an overpaid asset over the course of four years.

    I’d rather take CP3 on for two seasons. Kidd, Nash, Stockton, and Billups were all good NBA players in their age 35 and 36 seasons, so I’ll roll the dice with CP3 who is probably better than everybody on that list not named Stockton.

  205. FVV could struggle without Lowry, or he could elevate his passing game like Brogdon. I would not have been happy paying for Brogdon last summer based on his weak assist numbers, but he stepped it up when given the lead guard role. FVV could do the same.

    And for the record, I like FVV but a max contract is too much.

    I still prefer FVV to CP3 because he can contribute when some of our other players and draft picks might actually become decent.

  206. Jowles, you have this really intellectual/smart philosophy about team building but at the same time, you are, in my opinion, way to conservative about anything involving free agency. It always seems like the only time you EVER want to overpay (even slightly) for a player is if they are Lebron James entering their prime.

    Otherwise they just aren’t good enough to move the needle and fuck up our “win curve.”

    I get your reasoning behind this but at the same time, it seems like your philosophy means we can only improve by drafting well and developing those players and tanking every year to get the highest possible pick.

    While I certainly see the merits to this philosophy to a certain degree, you have to also look at what you currently have and how to make that current team better.

    We know Mitch and RJ are pieces we hope to build around. We know bad outside shooting and lack of decent PG play has hurt our team. If a youngish, decently good player is available for us to sign as a free agent, even as a slight overpay, you sometimes have to take that risk. Otherwise what? Next year Mitch gets to run pick and roll with Peyton and a rookie PG again?

    I get we don’t want to mess up our cap long term by overpaying for a non superstar like FVV. But you kind of assume that you are completely stuck with him for the entirety of the contract if we sign him. And that just may not be the case always. You assume that our lower picks because he fucked up our win curve means we can’t draft a good player, which isn’t true. (Mitch was a second round pick).

    We overpay for FVV a bit. He’s still pretty young and he’d be one of the best back court signings we’ve had in a long time. He would address a lot of issues for this team. We’re currently paying Mitch one million a year. Not every contract is gonna be a surplus value contract like that. But if we aren’t giving out super maxes to Amare and Melo type players, then I don’t think its the end of the world to…

  207. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    If you want Fred VanVleet, draft Cole Anthony and let him turn into FVV. I don’t think that’s a good way to spend in free agency; he’s a guy with middling efficiency who plays for one of the best coaches in the NBA. If you take him from Nick Nurse and pay him a ton of money, chances are you’re looking at an overpaid asset over the course of four years.

    I’d rather take CP3 on for two seasons. Kidd, Nash, Stockton, and Billups were all good NBA players in their age 35 and 36 seasons, so I’ll roll the dice with CP3 who is probably better than everybody on that list not named Stockton.

    Based on Cole Anthony’s numbers in college, he’ll be lucky to put up Knox/Frank levels of efficiency.

  208. My argument for FVV is he’s young…ish (he’s 26- for some reason I thought he was 23/24), and while you ARE going to likely draft a PG, having a competent to good player is great, especially at the 1 position, especially with this team, especially if he can hit a 3.

    We can talk about maximizing value for each dollar of cap space spent… but we’re not dealing with a ‘who are we spending the rest of our cap on, when we have Melo/Amare, Tyson, etc… we’re dealing with a ‘who are we spending the rest of our cap on, we have no one, no free agents we want have any desire to come, and otherwise we’re wasting the rest of our money on the Ellington’s, Randle’s, and Taj Gibson’s of the world’

  209. The difference between Brogdon and FVV is Brogdon was a 50/40/90 guy who logged close to 2,000 minutes for the best defense in the NBA before he got paid. He was a good bet to remain productive and was a guy I really wanted the Knicks to add, and even he saw his efficiency stats fall off a cliff.

    Yeah, no thanks on the FVV max contract. I love his fit next to RJ Barrett in theory, but I look at Cole Anthony and see a similar player if that’s the route I want to go (and I’d have a very hard time taking Cole Anthony over LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, or even Kira Lewis).

  210. The most prevalent argument for getting CP3 or Van Vleet seems to be “I’d rather overpay good players than bad players, which is what we’ll do if we keep the cap space.” If that’s the mentality, then why bother? The Knicks aren’t guaranteed to throw their money away, even though that’s what they’ve done for 20 years. You have to believe they’re capable of making good free agent decisions eventually.

    That means not locking yourself into mediocrity by giving FVV $30m or CP3 $44m when you have no other foundational talent. We should be fishing for young stars, either in the draft or free agency, and high value contracts. That’s it. Basic win curve stuff.

  211. At this point Dolan is going to have more fans than Oakley. If I’m Ewing I would say the reason we lost to the Bulls back then was because he didn’t have Houston, Spree and LJ as his teammates yet instead he had Oak, Starks and Charles freaking Smith.

    Ooph, Oakley sounds d-u-m dumb in that article.

  212. *** If a youngish, decently good player is available for us to sign as a free agent, even as a slight overpay, you sometimes have to take that risk. Otherwise what?***

    The thing is, though, he wouldn’t be a “slight overpay”. To poach a rfa you need to do a significant overpay. The Raptors like VanVleet and want to bring him back. So you have to throw something close to the max at him. VanVleet, in a bubble, in NOT worth a max slot, and the naysayers are right to not want that.

    The framework of the debate, though, is would you rather pay for VanVleet or pay for Chris Paul to be your point guard for the next 2-4 years? I think that’s a pretty good question, and like a good question, people are falling on both sides and with pretty good arguments.

    I really like VanVleet. I think he is a player for “conservative” fans to enjoy. He plays very smart, always makes good decisions, plays in control, and plays on good teams. He’s not the flashiest, he’s not famous, he’s not sexy. He’s the kind of guy you want to find cheap and exploit. BUT the Knicks don’t have much else to spend their money on, and they have to spend it on something, so VanVleet isn’t a bad option (and when there’s not a bad option out there, the Knicks should maybe try looking at it for a change:)

  213. The Knicks aren’t guaranteed to throw their money away, even though that’s what they’ve done for 20 years. You have to believe they’re capable of making good free agent decisions eventually.

    LOL!!

    We should be fishing for young stars, either in the draft or free agency, and high value contracts. That’s it. Basic win curve stuff.

    Which is why giving FVV a contract makes sense. He’s young and on the upswing. NOT AT 30M, I don’t think anyone should want that. At 20M, he’s a solid starter, and I doubt Masai is offering more.

    Is anyone advocating maxing Van Vleet? I thought the issue is he’s likely to be overpaid at 20-25M, in which case, give me a team option.

  214. FVV makes a lot of sense next to RJ Barrett and in tandem with Mitchell Robinson. He’s not a guy who dominates the ball, he can space the floor, he plays good defense, and he’s 26 years old. I totally understand why anybody would want that guy on the Knicks, and I don’t dismiss the merit. For me, it’s the cost that I don’t like. He’s a .546 TS% guy who would be coming to the Knicks for more shots, a big contract, and playing with worse talent. I don’t know if that makes a ton of sense for New York.

  215. $20M sounds like a lot but you don’t get a whole lot of player for $20M anymore. Van Vleet will probably command more than that.

    At $20M it’s a no-brainer.

  216. Unless there’s a clear and obvious BPA in the draft, the Knicks should be focused on getting a SG and PF that can shoot 3s.

    If we go into next year with Payton and Frank as the PGs, that would not be the end of the world. But if we go into next year with no one that can shoot again, we need to be examined for brain damage.

    Whoever wins the starting PG job from between Payton and Frank is fine unless we have an opportunity to land a legitimate high level PG that can shoot. Drafting another non shooter is idiotic.

    We should move RJ to SF where he’s eventually going to wind up anyway. He’s big and strong enough now,

    Center is set with Robinson.

    So we need a stretch PF and a real SG to space the floor.

    If Knox puts on some more weight and gets stronger he can slowly move to backup stretch PF (where he eventually belongs anyway), but we need a starter. Even optimistically I don’t think Knox will be ready for that next year.

    The goal should to move on from from Randle, not so much because he can’t play, but because he doesn’t fit at all.

    Between the draft and free agency the goal should be to find a starting SG and PF that can shoot.

  217. Brian Cronin: Ooph, Oakley sounds d-u-m dumb in that article.

    For real, Patrick Ewing played exceptional in that series (maybe Game 2 he was off for a bit) But The Knicks didn’t lose because of Patrick, they lost because most of Pat’s help was sporadic at best.

  218. The thing is, though, he wouldn’t be a “slight overpay”. To poach a rfa you need to do a significant overpay. The Raptors like VanVleet and want to bring him back. So you have to throw something close to the max at him. VanVleet, in a bubble, in NOT worth a max slot, and the naysayers are right to not want that.

    FVV is an unrestricted free agent

  219. There’s no point to debating the merits of FVV at $20M because the Raptors would happily match that (he’s a UFA but they have his full Bird Rights and he has said he wants to be back).

    We could only make them hesitate with a max or close to it.

    It wouldn’t be the dumbest thing we’ve ever done because FVV is good and we have given similar money to guys who are not good, but right now we are so early in the rebuilding process I still think it would be pretty dumb.

    Our core is RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. That’s it, and we don’t even know if the former is good. The team sucked this year, and that was with meaningful contributions from guys who have no future here (Morris, Randle, Taj, Payton, etc.). If you stripped this thing down to the nuts and bolts it would be one of the worst teams of all time. It really is not the time to be cutting off our flexibility for anyone but the most elite players.

    You can yell at me all you want about how it sounds like I’m advocating taking for 10 years or whatever, but the reality is we did what I’m outlining for exactly one season, 2018-2019, and then promptly abandoned it. It also doesn’t help that we botched the mediocre picks we gave ourselves before that (Frank and Knox).

    So we really have no idea how long it would take to build a good team if we 1) didn’t insist on failing the Marshmallow Test with regards to marginal wins all the time and 2) had a semi-competent draft process. There’s no reason to think it would take as long as some folks say though.

  220. JK47: $20M sounds like a lot but you don’t get a whole lot of player for $20M anymore. Van Vleet will probably command more than that.

    At $20M it’s a no-brainer.

    I firmly disagree with that. $20M is not a sound investment in a guy whose eFG and TS percentages are below league average when he’s playing on one of the league’s best teams. Those numbers are likely to drop when he’s a Knick and doesn’t have Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakim, OG Anunoby, Norman Powell, and Serge Ibaka on the court spacing the floor for him.

    The more I think about FVV, the more this seems like a no-brainer the opposite way. He’s a below league average scorer on a team where his usage rate is like the 4th highest. On this team, it would be FVV and Julius Randle playing keep away from RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.

  221. I honestly don’t know why we can’t just load up on draft picks and keep shooting our shot instead of trading for overpriced vets. Is it because we need “big names” in the garden? We have a ton of picks and a perfectly good G-league team.

    We have 15 roster spots and really only need, like, 2 real vets on the team, let’s say Taj and Bullock, although we could exchange both of them if we wanted.

    I would say keep Kadeem, Iggy, Wooten, Dotson, Barrett, Frank, Mitch, and Knox. Trade DSJ, Randle, and Trier because they are disgruntled or need fresh starts.

    That gives you 5 slots for your three rookies this year (Okongwu, Terry, and Bane, let’s say) plus two other guys and just let them fight it out for court time.

    Then, don’t resign the guys that haven’t made significant improvements over their rookie contracts. Keep taking 2 shots in every 1st round and get extra 2nd rounders and stash them in the Gleague.

    Don’t do any big trades or signings until you’re VERY close to contention. Just let guys walk if they aren’t good. Dotson, for instance. Thus far, can’t we find a 2nd rounder in pretty much every draft that can do what he does? And I like him! But he’s not worth whatever his next contract will be (just like Randle wasn’t worth what his next contract was).

    Do this for 4 years, and it will eventually be a decent team, even if you really only hit on 33% of your draft picks.

  222. Do this for 4 years, and it will eventually be a decent team, even if you really only hit on 33% of your draft picks.

    The response you’re going to get to this great post is that this would actually take 10 years, for unspecified reasons that contradict basically everything we’ve seen from teams that have actually done this.

    Okongwu, Terry, and Bane would be a great haul by way. Sadly I think Terry will shoot up draft boards though.

  223. BigBlueAL: At this point Dolan is going to have more fans than Oakley. If I’m Ewing I would say the reason we lost to the Bulls back then was because he didn’t have Houston, Spree and LJ as his teammates yet instead he had Oak, Starks and Charles freaking Smith.

      

    I love Ewing, but he was a disappointing guy to love.

    I think Oakley hit the nail square on the head. Especially with the “a lot of the guys who say that now didn’t do it when they played”. Patrick was not one of the hard guys on that team. I wish he had been.

  224. I honestly don’t know why we can’t just load up on draft picks and keep shooting our shot instead of trading for overpriced vets.

    Mostly we’ve been doing this. We have taken all our picks. We haven’t traded for any overpriced vets, except maybe Kanter when we traded Melo, which was more getting rid of an overpriced vet than acquiring one. We didn’t commit much long term salary in last year’s free agent binge, except for Randall. He doesn’t fit well, but it’s hard to claim he’s overpaid at $18m for your leading scorer when a guy like Gordon Hayward makes $32m. And he’s not old. There have been no rumors at all that were interested in trading picks. I think the reality of going after picks and developing them is just messier than we hope it would be because management still wants a team on the floor but without long term veteran commitments.

  225. The goal should to move on from from Randle, not so much because he can’t play, but because he doesn’t fit at all.

    IMO there are 2 viable strategies here.

    The first is to transition Randle to a primary bench scorer like Harrell. In a couple of years if it’s working out, we’d be able to go over the cap (and let’s be honest FO is gonna hit the cap) to re-sign him in that role at a higher contract than he would get from any other team. Maybe he wouldn’t mope so much if that’s the reality facing him.

    The second is related to FVV. How much competition would there be for him given the cap situation? Hawks, maybe off ball next to Trae? If Hawks are not interested, it might be Knicks forcing Raptors to pay FVV much more than they anticipated. Rose could tell Ujiri we’re prepared to place a 26m/yr offer on the table but prefer Raps take Randle/Ellington/Reggie in exchange for Lowry. Raps save some money and Randle might be attractive to them as a bench scorer for a year and maybe more if it works out. We get a transition 1 guard and hope Ball/Hayes/Halliburton shows something.

    1: Lowry, Draft pick
    2: Frank, Dot
    3: RJ, Knox
    4: Wood, Knox
    5: Mitch, Wood
    OR
    1: Lowry, Draft pick
    2: RJ, Frank
    3: Bertans, Knox
    4: Wood, Knox
    5: Mitch, Wood

  226. I’m of the belief that we already have two blue chip prospects on the roster in RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. With our three picks in this year’s draft plus lesser prospects like Frank Ntilikina, Tony Wooten, Iggy Brazdeikis, and Lamar Peters, I think we have enough youth on the roster that adding productive veterans makes some sense.

    If you could do something like:
    – Keep Gibson and Bullock on the roster
    – Waive Portis, Ellington, and Payton
    – Trade Randle, Knox, the DAL 2023 and Smith Jr for CP3
    – Re-sign Marcus Morris on a two year deal.

    You could have a veteran group of CP3, Reggie Bullock, Marcus Morris, and Taj Gibson to put around RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, three rookies, and the lower tier prospects I listed above. You can continue to draft and develop players so long as you’re not handing out draft picks too early in your program, and there’s enough talent attached to your veteran leadership (at positions that don’t compromise the growth of your young talent, which is the key in all of this) that you’re winning games and putting a good product on the floor.

    I think the front office has to decide if RJ, Mitch, and the 2020 1RP are their guys long term. If the answer is yes, then go put good players around them. If the answer is no, then continue to punt.

  227. Mostly we’ve been doing this. We have taken all our picks. We haven’t traded for any overpriced vets, except maybe Kanter when we traded Melo, which was more getting rid of an overpriced vet than acquiring one. We didn’t commit much long term salary in last year’s free agent binge, except for Randall. He doesn’t fit well, but it’s hard to claim he’s overpaid at $18m for your leading scorer when a guy like Gordon Hayward makes $32m. And he’s not old. There have been no rumors at all that were interested in trading picks. I think the reality of going after picks and developing them is just messier than we hope it would be because management still wants a team on the floor but without long term veteran commitments.

    No we haven’t. We did it for one season. It got us RJ Barrett. Then we ditched it completely in order to win 27 games instead of 17.

    I will say I’m fairly happy with our current pick situation, having both Charlotte and Detroit’s seconds next year is really nice (conceivable for those to literally be 31 and 32). But even that is largely a result of the Marcus Morris signing, which was an accident.

  228. Regardless of the merits of tanking, the Knicks are pretty clearly not going to tank unless they have no choice.

    Since we’re not going to tank and we’ll keep trying to make the playoffs, then does FVV make sense? In that case yes, I’d pay somewhere around $23M for him. Hopefully he likes New York more than Toronto.

    Chances are we stick with Payton anyway.

  229. Yeah I mean obviously cost is the biggest issue for ANY free agent. We shouldn’t overpay for any free agent unless its peak Anthony Davis or Giannis or a true franchise altering/superstar/top 10 in the league player. And even then you want to do it outright in free agency, not trade the farm like we did for Melo.

    I think there is a lot of collective fan trauma with our overpays for Amare and Melo (and Eddie Curry, ZBo, etc before them). We don’t want a 5 year max on a guy who gives you one good season. We don’t want to trade the farm and then pay max for a top 20ish player.

    We don’t want to trade away all of our picks for a disgruntled star.

    But the convo isn’t about giving CP3 a 5 year max or trading away half our picks for him. Its about getting him for 2 seasons (1 season and then he’s expiring) and giving up no picks and a minimal amount of prospects in the process. Its about signing 26 year old FVV to a reasonable contract (20 million).

    I think these are very different scenarios than what we saw under Isiah or Donnie or Phil. But I think a lot of fans especially on this blog are so traumatized by those past mistakes that they take an overly conservative stance on any free agent signing that isn’t a sure fire superstar or a vet minimum. There were some people who were upset about getting Morris after we got Randle but now we have a first round pick because of it. FVV would be 29/30 in the final year of a 4 year contract with us. That’s a very tradeable player assuming he doesn’t get hurt.

    As far as the win curve. Look, if we don’t make the playoffs of course I want as high of a pick as possible. But top 5 lottery picks are not always a sure thing (this year being the best example). And you can look at every draft and find VERY good (sometimes all-star level good) players later in the draft. To me the key is having extra picks and not trading picks. Its about having as many scratch off tickets as possible.

  230. It always seems like the only time you EVER want to overpay (even slightly) for a player is if they are Lebron James entering their prime.

    No, you overpay when you are ready to be “locked in” to a team for which anything less than a ECSF appearance would be a disappointment. I’d be foolish to argue that you should just wait around for superstar UFAs to be available. Guys like Kawhi don’t hit the open market very often. Generally, if a team is not locking down a no-doubt star with a big contract, he’s actually not worth the money (probably Draymond this year) or he’s a malcontent that comes with some baggage (Durant, Kyrie, Butler, et al.). Most of the time, the player is going to take the big money. Towns was happy to take all of Minny’s money, Paul George OKC’s.

    Otherwise they just aren’t good enough to move the needle and fuck up our “win curve.”

    Well, yeah. That’s the whole point. You sign above-average players to big contracts, you’re going to be stuck at, let’s say 37 wins, which is often a bad place to be, re: franchise outlook.

    I get your reasoning behind this but at the same time, it seems like your philosophy means we can only improve by drafting well and developing those players and tanking every year to get the highest possible pick.

    I’ll use a chess metaphor. There are three basic principles in chess:

    (1) control the center
    (2) develop your pieces (FYI pawns are not pieces in chess terminology)
    (3) protect your king

    If you control the center and develop your pieces without protecting your king, you can get sliced up by an aggressive player. If you control the center with your pawns and castle early, getting your king to safety, you may get your defenses pried open by a player that develops his pieces and uses them in conjunction with one another. If you fail to control the center, your pieces may not be covering “key” squares.

    (cont.)

  231. Yes, they have not been trading away picks, but the problem is that they are bad at drafting.

    Frank was a risky pick that should’ve been Mitchell, Dotson was whatever, and Knox was a completely absurd choice — a fireable offense, really.

    RJ was simply the consensus at #3, but let’s be honest: he hasn’t been good yet. In fact, he put up startlingly bad rookie advanced metrics (with some eye test flashes). Iggy has proven nothing yet.

    The only good pick was a pure luck stab in the dark with Robinson where there were no statistics to work with. That doesn’t make me feel good about the GM we just decided to keep on for this draft.

    This isn’t about tanking. The Knicks don’t need to tank, they just need to draft well, although it helps to get lucky with lotto balls, too.

  232. What I advocate for is this:

    (1) Accept that your team sucks, and let them get the best draft pick possible. Use draft assets to build a cost-controlled core, either by picking talent at the top or trading down for extra picks, especially when obvious “steals” are still on the board. Try to find value at any position in the draft. Accept that most draftees will not pan out. Increase them in number.
    (2) Take advantage of win-now teams to unload short-term/expiring veteran contracts for future picks.
    (3) Use remaining cap space to acquire more short-term trade pieces OR sign available FAs that will outperform their contracts.
    (4) Once the “core” is in place — demonstrating the ability to consistently compete for a solid playoff slot — trade for talent, offering cap relief/draft assets to teams for whom those win-now players are not immediately useful.

    The idea here is that every principle of team-building must be followed. You can’t waste three lottery picks in a row and expect to get off the treadmill of sub-mediocrity.

    Likewise, you can’t draft a bunch of studs to be your core and then trade the farm to surround them with overpriced veterans (Sixers: Tobias Harris, Al Horford).

    You have to be principled and stay the course. The Knicks have not shown themselves capable of this. It’s been so bad over the last twenty years that we praise POBOs and GMs for not trading away future draft picks for vets during obvious rebuilding years, only to watch them sign a bunch of low-value veterans that are going to expire as Knicks, with nothing but losing seasons to show for it.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played people in chess who insist on moving their queen into the center of the board on move 2. I try to politely tell them that it is a terrible idea, but they think that if they make a big power move early on, it’ll work out for them. They ought to instead be patient and effect their plan slowly.

  233. And like ess-dog said, the Knicks have whiffed hard in the lottery. If they would stop taking project players that pan out as some of the league’s worst, maybe it would now, on this day of our lord, finally be time to start talking about signing the FVVs of the world. But it’s not.

  234. management still wants a team on the floor but without long term veteran commitments.

    I would argue these “vets” are actually worse for team chemistry because they are balling for their next contracts, passing their lame, score-first playstyle onto young players, and are trying to fill roles that are too big for them (see Melo/Zingis/Randle). Jowles’ post explains everything else.

  235. I’ve been silent for a few months. After COVID hit, I was swamped at work and then there was no basketball. But I decided to pay a visit and was not surprised, in the least, to hear the same arguments over and over and over again.

    Trading Bullock (who cares) plus either Knox or Frank for CP3? Really, that’s CP3 for Knox or Ntilikina. Let that sink in. Will either player be a member of the Knicks in 2 years? Frank is an RFA next year. He’s lost. Knox the year after. What is the question? Are either going to ever be close to what CP3 is? Ever? Even a diminished CP3? Sheesh.

    I’ll just reply to THCJ

    (1) Accept that your team sucks,

    Done.

    (2) Take advantage of win-now teams to unload short-term/expiring veteran contracts for future picks.

    In the NBA you need to match contracts. We dumped Morris and got a couple of picks. Those picks will suck because when you trade to a good team, they just do. We’re not ever getting a lottery pick for an expiring contract. We may end up with one, serviceable player out of the deal if we’re lucky. If we turn Harkness around for a pick next year, we’ll get another useless pick.

    (3) Use remaining cap space to acquire more short-term trade pieces OR sign available FAs that will outperform their contracts.

    I don’t even understand this. Sign a guy to trade him? That was what Mills did last year. It help keep us awful. And if you can find a FA that is sure to outperform their contracts, can you find me a stock that will never tank? Absurd!

    4) Once the “core” is in place…

    What core? 5 years from now? I might be dead. I can’t wait for 2030 to be good. Screw that. We better make the playoffs next year or it’s another failure. Make the trade – preferably get rid of Ntilikina. I like him but his ceiling is playoff team backup . Add 1 or 2 players that compliment him. Develop the kids we have now and are about to…

  236. Ooh, coming out swinging!

    In the NBA you need to match contracts.

    Huh?

    We dumped Morris and got a couple of picks. Those picks will suck because when you trade to a good team, they just do.

    So since those picks suck, maybe we should just give them away. Or maybe sell them for cash. They have no value, right? Right now we’d get the 27th pick from LAC, which could have been used in past drafts to pick scrubs like Monte Morris, Thomas Bryant, Derrick White, Pascal Siakim, Malcolm Brogdon, Dejounte Murray, Ivica Zubac, Montrezl Harris, Larry Nance, Nikola Jokic, Norman Powell or Rudy Gobert. But yeah, you’re right — they have no value. Nothing ever comes of a player picked 27th or later. None of those players would crack the Knicks’ roster. None of those players would provide surplus value at the ~$2M AAV contracts they’d sign.

    We’re not ever getting a lottery pick for an expiring contract.

    And since you think the only thing that matters is a pick being a high pick, I guess there’s nothing left to say. No way the Knicks could take a bunch of 20-something first-rounders and field an entire starting lineup for <$20M, right?

    We may end up with one, serviceable player out of the deal if we’re lucky. If we turn Harkness around for a pick next year, we’ll get another useless pick.

    Which is one serviceable player closer to a winning roster. But no, if it’s not a top-5 pick, it’s not worth trading for. Right.

  237. What core? 5 years from now? I might be dead. I can’t wait for 2030 to be good. Screw that.

    Oh, I see. This is an Onion-y post.

    I like him but his ceiling is playoff team backup

    Damn, you got me good.

  238. Ya’ll are making the evaluation of our young core way too complicated. It’s simple: when the young players win ~40 games on their own, then you have a young core worth surrounding with vets. The Knicks were on track for 26 wins with a ton of assistance from vets and so would probably have won in the teens without that vet assistance.

  239. >The response you’re going to get to this great post is that this would actually take 10 years, for unspecified reasons that contradict basically everything we’ve seen from teams that have actually done this.<

    The list of teams that have been rebuilding via draft for years that are still not a serious contender (and in some cases not even a playoff team yet) is not short. Hell, we've been drafting lottery picks since Porzingis and even got lucky in that he got hurt and got another top 3 pick out if it and we still suck (granted Phil was missing a couple of 1 round picks along the way).

    I know.

    I know,

    The problem is we didn't tank the right way like the 76ers – who are 6-7 years into their rebuild and have a potentially all time great C that can't stay on the court and PG that can't shoot and doesn't fit well with him to show for it. But I know, if they didn't fire Hinkie it all would have worked out great, lmfao

    The data on tanking is out there. It has been studied.

    It can work, but it has been no bargain.

    It's obviously going to be worse going forward because we are drafting younger players than we used to. That means it will take longer for them to reach maturity and the teams to blossom than the historical record indicates.

    Those young players will sometimes get paid before you know what you have.

    The lottery odds are also flatter.

    So it's clearly a worse strategy now than it was at one time.

    It's one of many possible paths, but it's a worse path now than it has been and it was never clearly the best one to begin with except in certain situations.

  240. If we ever achieve to find a cost controlled young core that will win 40 games on their own i will dance tsifteteli naked in front of the Parthenon.

    In other words: when you make plans, God laughs…. especially with knicks plans!

  241. Easy Money
    1 You suck badly for X years till you find your franchise player.
    2 When you find him You break his leg till you pair him with another future all star from the draft.
    3 After finding both you re going to the playoffs and start your dynasty.

  242. Nobody would care if the Knicks tanked or not if the Knicks took OG Anunoby in 2017 and Shai Gilgeous Alexander in 2018.

    I don’t think the strategy is the problem as much as the problem is the infrastructure.

  243. Nobody would care if the Knicks tanked or not if the Knicks took OG Anunoby in 2017 and Shai Gilgeous Alexander in 2018.

    I don’t think the strategy is the problem as much as the problem is the infrastructure.

    Obviously, picking better players would be good, but the appeal of tanking is that the higher you are, the less likely you’ll fuck your pick up. Fuck ups still happen, but they’re much less likely the higher you are in the draft. Stats bear this out, as the difference between top five pick players and players picked from #6-10 is more significant than players picked #6-10 and players picked #11-15 (heck, I think even #16-20). In other words, good players are found outside the top five, of course, but so many good players are found in the top five that being in the top five is still very significant and the best chance you have for picking in the top five is tanking. Give yourself the most cracks at the prize and then start adding players to your team after three years of having top five picks.

    The Thunder had Durant and Westbrook and still sucked enough to pick in the top five for a third year in a row and got James Harden. If you strip your team of win-now veterans and draft in the top five three years in a row, your team will almost assuredly look a lot better going into Year 4. While the Knicks’ approach since Phil got here doesn’t guarantee any real forward movement.

    And the staggering thing here is that the Knicks tanked once and got RJ Barrett out of it! Why in the world would anyone look at that and say, “Welp, that’s proof that tanking doesn’t work” instead of, “Wow, if we do that two more times, we might have an actual good young core!”?

  244. Brian Cronin: And the staggering thing here is that the Knicks tanked once and got RJ Barrett out of it! Why in the world would anyone look at that and say, “Welp, that’s proof that tanking doesn’t work”?

    Because RJ sucked in college and sucks in the NBA?

  245. I just don’t know with the specter of grossly reduced revenues the next season or two Dolan doesn’t just call up Clay Bennett and let him know the Knicks are willing to take CP3 AND Adams and their 69M off their books next season (and Paul’s 44M the following season) for the appropriate draft compensation.

    The Thunder have 13 #1’s the next 7 years including all of their own plus 6 excess picks including 3 unprotected ones….. they can afford to move a few.

    Maybe the team that moved Harden to save money enjoys the prospect of losing a ton of money next year. but it is certainly worth a phone call.

  246. It’s easy to say:
    “If the Knicks had picked that guy” after you see him being ‘Not injury prone’ and see him play for 1-3 yrs.
    The problem with the nba is that there are 20fkn9 more teams wanting to succeed.
    The competition is ugly.
    Good plans are made from Good teams like the Spurs or The Heat or Boston who know how to build contenders methodically.
    We suck.
    We need luck and creativity.

  247. Completely random, but..

    Out of all my years of Knicks Fandom, you know what hurt me the most? The Xavier McDaniel sitchew. That team was TOUGH! A little crazy, but that squad was solid. It still bothers me how most of the time, X was underused, and then the way we lost him. He was Ewing’s true #2..on both ends. What could have built around those 2..with Mase waiting in the wings to take over for Oak..wow.
    Man..
    Shit..

  248. Since this is a statistical blog:
    What are the chances of picking 3 future HOF (KD, Westbrook,Harden) in 3 consecutive drafts and could not keep them forever on your team or at least grab a chip with them ?

    I ll make an eyetest guess and say 1 in a Trillion.

  249. The list of teams that have been rebuilding via draft for years that are still not a serious contender (and in some cases not even a playoff team yet) is not short. Hell, we’ve been drafting lottery picks since Porzingis and even got lucky in that he got hurt and got another top 3 pick out if it and we still suck (granted Phil was missing a couple of 1 round picks along the way).

    The lottery picks you get from actually taking care to avoid marginal wins =/= the late lottery picks you get because, somehow, your Derrick Rose/Courtney Lee/Carmelo Anthony/Joakim Noah core failed become a dynasty.

    Had we not signed any of those guys, there’s a good chance we’d have two of a player pool that includes Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson, Trae Young Jayson Tatum, Jonathan Isaac, De’Aaron Fox, and Wendell Carter.

    The problem is we didn’t tank the right way like the 76ers – who are 6-7 years into their rebuild and have a potentially all time great C that can’t stay on the court and PG that can’t shoot and doesn’t fit well with him to show for it. But I know, if they didn’t fire Hinkie it all would have worked out great, lmfao

    On what planet are the Sixers 6-7 years into a “rebuild?” They were working on their 3rd consecutive 50+ win season when everything shut down. You framed it that way to avoid the truth that completely contradicts your point–they went from having absolutely nothing to being a consistent 50+ win team in four seasons specifically because they avoided all the marginal wins you love.

    And yeah, they obviously would’ve been much better off by sticking with Hinkie but I don’t really care to argue about it. Believe it or not, as a New York Knicks fan born in 1995, despite all of their post-Hinkie screw ups I would sign the hell up for a young, consistent 50+ win team that could fetch a king’s ransom of assets if they decided to blow it up.

  250. The “you can get good players anywhere in the draft” argument is so weak it’s difficult to respond to it without coming across as condescending.

    Guess what, if you have the #1 pick and there’s a guy you absolutely love who you think will be there at, say, #10, you can get your guy and almost certainly a bunch of other assets by trading down.

    Also, yes, there will be good players available with picks deep into the draft. For the “good players get picked as the draft goes on” reason, though, there will naturally be fewer and fewer good players available as your draft slot gets lower.

  251. Check out the 5 first players of the 20 last drafts.
    This is 100 players.
    How many of them helped the team that drafted them to get a chip.
    You’ll easily get the % of tanking success.

  252. Because RJ sucked in college and sucks in the NBA?

    He was no Zion, but come on, Barrett did not suck in college. He was terrible in his first year in the NBA, but not in an alarming way, I don’t think. More in a traditional sort of shitty rookie season way that lots of players had (like Kevin Durant – not that Barrett will be like Durant, but you get what I mean).

  253. RJ Barrett put up bad numbers because the Knicks drafted him and said “hey let’s surround this kid with Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle, and Bobby Portis.”

    I really hope we put more shooters on the court next season.

  254. Also, I’m not arguing that it is better to pick high in the draft than in the low lottery. I’m saying we have to stop hiring bozos to run the organization, and maybe we’d stop worrying so much about not having a top 3 pick in every season we don’t make the playoffs. Draft positioning doesn’t matter as much as the guy making the actual pick.

  255. Check out the 5 first players of the 20 last drafts.
    This is 100 players.
    How many of them helped the team that drafted them to get a chip.
    You’ll easily get the % of tanking success.

    Lebron, Tim Duncan, Shaq and Kevin Durant were all top two picks and just those four guys have won, what, 13 of the last 20 NBA titles? Add in Kevin Garnett, who was a top five pick, as well, and that gets you 14 of the last 20 NBA titles won with a top five pick being their best player. Of the remaining six, you still have a #3 pick winning the NBA Finals MVP for the Pistons, and the Lakers’ second-best (I’d say best in those particular seasons, but I know people say second-best) player in the non-Shaq titles being a #3 pick. Then you have Curry just outside the top five (#7) and that leaves Dirk at the #9 pick (with two #2 picks being the other top guys on that team, though), Kawhi, at the #15 pick, and I guess the rest of that Pistons team outside of Billups as the outliers.

  256. My point is that even if you suck for 100 years and you’re lucky enough to find the future HOFer in the 5 first picks of the draft he won’t help you to get a chip. Because You Suck as a Team.
    He Will get titles with other Teams.
    Unless you tanked accidentally (SA)
    Or He suddenly felt homesick (CLE)

  257. But that’s the thing – you know what team likely wouldn’t lose a star player if they didn’t want to? The Knicks! As seen by the time that they actually drafted Patrick Ewing #1 and he made them one of the best teams in the NBA for, like, 10 years!

  258. Brian Cronin:
    But that’s the thing – you know what team likely wouldn’t lose a star player if they didn’t want to? The Knicks! As seen by the time that they actually drafted Patrick Ewing #1 and he made them one of the best teams in the NBA for, like, 15 years!

    High draft Picks during the 80s are a whole different story.
    Most were flag-bearers and stayed with the team that drafted them for almost their whole career (at least their prime).
    Different eras, different league rules, different strategies.

  259. If you’re a small market team, maybe you have to worry about losing your #1 pick, but that’s not the problem here. That’s the killer thing – every single thing that could possibly say “you should tank” applies to the Knicks more so than other teams (as once they have a nice core, they’d totally be in play for every major star who wanted to force a trade) and yet they never try it! Except for one year, and that one year resulted in one of their only bright spots on the entire team! It’s re-donk-you-lus.

  260. Only one team can win the title every year. OKC lost a finals, to a team with a top 5 player who drafted him (Wade) and lost in game 7 in the WCF to a warriors team made up of homegrown stars. Does that prove you can’t win with stars you drafted in the high lotto? The Warriors and the Heat suggest the opposite.

  261. “The Knicks would retain their stars”

    When was the last time we re-signed a draft pick?

    KP would also like a word.

    Or Jeremy Lin?

  262. Brian Cronin:
    If you’re a small market team, maybe you have to worry about losing your #1 pick, but that’s not the problem here. That’s the killer thing – every single thing that could possibly say “you should tank” applies to the Knicks more so than other teams (as once they have a nice core, they’d totally be in play for every major star who wanted to force a trade) and yet they never try it! Except for one year, and that one year resulted in one of their only bright spots on the entire team! It’s re-donk-you-lus.

    As far as i remember we lost our #1 pick recently cause he wasn’t happy in NY.

    I can understand the common sense of ‘drafting higher is better’ but numbers say that tanking teams have won shit till now.

  263. Brian Cronin: If you’re a small market team, maybe you have to worry about losing your #1 pick, but that’s not the problem here. That’s the killer thing – every single thing that could possibly say “you should tank” applies to the Knicks more so than other teams (as once they have a nice core, they’d totally be in play for every major star who wanted to force a trade) and yet they never try it! Except for one year, and that one year resulted in one of their only bright spots on the entire team.

    Big market teams have huge advantages for recruiting FAs, This suggests that tanking is a far less optimal strategy for them than it is for small market teams. Why should the Lakers tank, when they can just create cap space and lure LeBron away from Cleveland, or AD from NO, or Shaq from ORL? Why should Golden State tank when they can just lure Durant away from OKC?

    There’s definitely a reason why it is so rare for “franchise” players to win championships with the team that drafted them. It is also exceedingly rare for a team to tank for multiple seasons and go on to win championships with players accumulated while tanking. Which championship team can you point to that got there via tanking a la Philly?

    Again, I’m fine with tanking because it’s not championship or bust for me…but I’m also fine with not tanking, so long as we make smart, economical signings, win trades, and draft a couple of winners. I’d like to see an exciting young team with flexibility and upside, and let the chips fall from there.

    The problem this year was that we whiffed on Randle and overpaid a bunch of mediocre players. The only transaction we “won” was Bullock, and that was by luck. If you can’t win trades or sign economical FA’s, then sign scrubs at near-minimum salaries. Our FO constantly lost trades over and over and drafted bums.

  264. I can understand the common sense of ‘drafting higher is better’ but numbers say that tanking teams have won shit till now.

    Do we still not understand that the teams that consistently pick in the top 5 are categorically the worst-run teams, who routinely fail to identify and acquire talent?

    If you tank for three years and are still in the high lottery come the fourth year, your failure can be explained by one of two things.

    (1) bad luck
    (2) sheer incompetence

    There is no third option.

  265. Why should the Lakers tank, when they can just create cap space and lure LeBron away from Cleveland

    The Lakers haven’t made the playoffs since 2013. In 2013-14, Jodie Meeks led the team in Win Shares. Julius Randle did the same in 2017-18.

    The Lakers really could have used a good tank instead of wishing on a lucky star that the greatest basketball player of this new century would pick their scrub-filled team over one that had two young superstars, good role players and the cap space to pay him what he deserved (per the CBA) in Philly.

    Do the Lakers benefit from their unique, inimitable location? Of course they do. But I have to ask — if it’s so easy to sign superstars to wear purple and gold, why did they average like 25 wins over the previous six seasons?

  266. The problem this year was that we whiffed on Randle and overpaid a bunch of mediocre players. The only transaction we “won” was Bullock, and that was by luck. If you can’t win trades or sign economical FA’s, then sign scrubs at near-minimum salaries. Our FO constantly lost trades over and over and drafted bums.

    Oh sure, I’m totally at the point where I never expect them to actually tank, so I agree that I’d be thrilled if they just stopped making actively bad moves. And yes, that’s the hilarious thing, that they’d probably be better off than most teams by just not being actively bad and they can’t even get that right!

  267. KP would also like a word.

    They totally could have called KP’s bluff and kept him, but they thought they were getting Durant and another star. If it weren’t for that, KP would still be here (for better or for worse). In other words, it wasn’t a case of them losing a star. And same thing with Lin. They didn’t lose him, they chose not to keep him. Totally different thing.

    The Pellies lost Davis. The Magic lost Shaq. The Raptors lost McGrady, Carter, Bosh and Kawhi.

    The Knicks haven’t lost a player that they wanted to re-sign since, like, Xavier McDaniel.

  268. Imagine how insufferable Durant would be here. Imagine how insufferable he’s going to be when the Nets aren’t very good next year. I am so glad he didn’t come.

  269. Imagine how insufferable Durant would be here. Imagine how insufferable he’s going to be when the Nets aren’t very good next year. I am so glad he didn’t come.

    100% correct. We might have a blessing in disguise for a change.

  270. If Kawhi had missed the j..
    If KD hadn’t been injured….
    If KP hadn’t lost his corn….
    If i were a richman…

  271. If We had gotten KD i bet that there would have been tanking lovers that would celebrate his absence/injury for the chance on a high lottery pick.
    Or not ?

  272. We also won the Morris signing. We got a very good player on a one year expiring deal and flipped it for a first round pick, a trade exception, moe harkless, some other dude and a pick swap right. That was a great signing.

  273. There are arguments to be made against tanking. But “high draft picks don’t win championships” isn’t one of them. Neither is “high draft picks always leave via free agency” isn’t one of them either.

    The goal of a rebuild isn’t to win championships, anyway. The goal is to compete for championships. There is a difference, and the difference is key.

    To build a competitive team that can win a championship:

    #1 get one of the best players in basketball
    #2 surround him with other excellent players

    This can be done in 3 ways: draft, trade, free agency. One of these ways is free. One you have to give something to get something. One you have to give a lot to get something.

    It’s a strange debate to have, honestly.

  274. swiftandabundant:
    We also won the Morris signing. We got a very good player on a one year expiring deal and flipped it for a first round pick, a trade exception, moe harkless, some other dude and a pick swap right. That was a great signing.

    Correct, forgot about that one, lucky but excellent.

  275. Donnie Walsh: One of these ways is free.

    This is not really accurate. There are significant costs associated with tanking, it is a high-risk, low reward strategy. It has been exceptionally rare to land the kind of generational player you are referring to via abject tanking for multiple years. It is equally rare for that tanking team to legitimately contend during that player’s rookie contract, and then the team has a huge issue with trying to retain the star on anything but a max deal.

  276. I guess I don’t really like a CP3 trade unless it brings back at least one of the OKC 1st rounders, and doesn’t cost us Frank.

    But:

    One thing I like is that CP3 is a whole lot of money for only one guy who will soak up minutes. This year we gave a whole lot of money to Randle, Portis, Gibson, etc etc etc – who all needed minutes. There’s a certain benefit to having that money in a single person who will only play 30 minutes a game – meaning time to develop the people who should have gotten more time this year.

  277. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Do we still not understand that the teams that consistently pick in the top 5 are categorically the worst-run teams, who routinely fail to identify and acquire talent?

    If you tank for three years and are still in the high lottery come the fourth year, your failure can be explained by one of two things.

    (1) bad luck
    (2) sheer incompetence

    There is no third option.

    This makes sense, but is kind of a tautology. If only poorly run (i.e. sheerly incompetent) teams tank for 3 years, and we want our team to be a well-run team, why would we consider that strategy? Why is that a better path to building a contender than a “soft” rebuild via smart drafting at lower spots and smart player acquisition via trades and free agency and good cap management?

    The Ujiri model worked as well if not better better than the Hinkie model, and that was before the flattening of lottery odds. Mills/Perry were implementing a poor man’s hybrid version of both models, and it might have worked if they drafted more prudently, avoided the KP fiasco and made more Marcus Morris moves and fewer Bobby Portis moves. They dodged two bullets with the Kyrie/KD miss, but at least they considered the Knicks if for no other reason than the big market. That suggests that if we get up to a 35-40 win team with cap flexibility, we can bring in a disgruntled star or two, which seems to be what Rose is putting out there. That at least sounds like he’s leaning towards the Ujiri model, but the concern is that he’s a starblanking agent desperately searching for the white whale.

    We’ll know a lot more soon enough.

  278. Sadly, I don’t have the time or patience to go through the statistical proofs but…

    So since those picks suck, maybe we should just give them away. Or maybe sell them for cash. They have no value, right? None of those players would provide surplus value at the ~$2M AAV contracts they’d sign.

    No. We shouldn’t trade away known commodities for blindfold dart shots. You list a dozen players, who have 55 combined years of experience and have a combined 4 allstar appearances. It’s a team that averages out to near replacement level.

    And since you think the only thing that matters is a pick being a high pick, I guess there’s nothing left to say. No way the Knicks could take a bunch of 20-something first-rounders and field an entire starting lineup for <$20M, right?

    No. I’m saying I want to get off of the pray-for-a-miracle merry-go-round and add known commodities and surround them with complimentary parts.

  279. bobneptune:
    I just don’t know with the specter of grossly reduced revenues the next season or two Dolan doesn’t just call up Clay Bennett and let him know the Knicks are willing to take CP3 AND Adams and their 69M off their books next season (and Paul’s 44M the following season) for the appropriate draft compensation.

    The Thunder have 13 #1’s the next 7 years including all of their own plus 6 excess picks including 3 unprotected ones….. they can afford to move a few.

    Maybe the team that moved Harden to save moneyenjoys the prospect of losing a ton of money next year. but it is certainly worth a phone call.

    If we put Bob in charge of negotiating the CP3 trade, I’ll be pretty happy. Paul for Randle straight up saves OKC $63mm…in the middle of a sharp decrease in league revenues. I really think that Clay Bennett would be willing to tell Presti to throw in a pick or two to get the deal done.

    But with Dolan and Rose involved, this could be a monkey’s paw situation. I’ll get the player I want, but it will cost me far more than I imagined. Presti will tell Clay, “don’t worry, boss, I got this”, and find a way to walk away from the deal with Frank, Knox, and picks from us.

    This is where I hope Perry can add value as GM. For all he lacks in player evaluation, he seems to understand the trade market fairly well. It’s possible he can be the voice in the brain trust that tells Rose and Dolan to chill and let him extract value. There isn’t one other team in the NBA who can and will absorb Paul’s contract. If he can’t extract value from that situation, I don’t know what the point of him will be.

  280. To build a competitive team that can win a championship:

    #1 get one of the best players in basketball
    #2 surround him with other excellent players

    This is 100% correct. Bingo.

  281. If you tank for three years and are still in the high lottery come the fourth year, your failure can be explained by one of two things.

    (1) bad luck
    (2) sheer incompetence

    There is no third option.

    Let me add to Z-man’s comments. The statement above basically implies that to get better we need smart management that fields a terrible team for three or more years running. But if we actually had smart management, there are other ways to build a team that other teams have demonstrated. On the other hand, if we have dumb management, being in the lottery three or four years in a row won’t get you a good team without a lot of luck. A lot of the debate here boils down to the wish for luck crowd versus the wish for smart management crowd. That’s a rock and a hard place choice if there ever was one.

    I don’t believe in good luck, at least where the Knick’s are concerned. So that leaves smart management as the only route out. I realize that many believe that smartly managed Knicks is an oxymoron, but I’m hoping that just having not terrible management will eventually give us a watchable team.

  282. The Ujiri model worked as well if not better better than the Hinkie model, and that was before the flattening of lottery odds.

    The problem with the Knicks implementing a ‘Ujiri model’ is that it is extremely hard to do if your team doesn’t have a Ujiri. It would be great if the Knicks hired one of the sharpest minds in the NBA and allowed him to rebuild the scouting + player development systems from scratch. It just ain’t realistic, especially when James Dolan is the owner.

    The Hinkie plan is comparatively idiot-proof.

  283. After reading the latest Berman article on Thibs, I’m on board for hiring him even if he’s dumb enough to come here. (what’s that old joke)

    He may have been over his head with the amount of power the T-Wolves gave him (as they all are when given that much responsibility), but if the issue with Towns and Wiggins was work ethic and the reason Butler left was the attitude displayed by those two, then Thibs was obviously right. And given the immense talent Towns has on offense, the fact that he often sucks on defense, doesn’t even try, and keeps losing without Thibs, speaks loudly that work ethic may actually be a problem.

    I also think he’s 100% correct that winning basketball requires a diverse offense. The dominant PG running mostly P&R or all 3 point shooting doesn’t get the job done in the playoffs. It’s too easy for great defenses to take one or even two things away. You have to be able score in a lot of ways with player movement, ball movement, multiple playmakers, inside, outside, in the post etc…

  284. Dink
    The Hinkie plan is comparatively idiot-proof.

    Hinkie’s plan was so far from idiot proof. It was literally blown up by idiots. There’s a lot of difficult external factors to manage.

  285. I am not sure what “the Ujiri model” being referred to here is other than “be one of the best GMs in any sport,” but it’s worth noting it’s not like Ujiri doesn’t see value in picking high in the draft. 2/3 trade assets he sent out for Kawhi were former lottery picks.

    No. I’m saying I want to get off of the pray-for-a-miracle merry-go-round and add known commodities and surround them with complimentary parts.

    If you’re aware of “known commodities” that are young, productive, and not cost-prohibitive when it comes to doing the second part of this (surrounding them with complimentary parts) please enlighten the rest of us.

    This makes sense, but is kind of a tautology. If only poorly run (i.e. sheerly incompetent) teams tank for 3 years, and we want our team to be a well-run team, why would we consider that strategy? Why is that a better path to building a contender than a “soft” rebuild via smart drafting at lower spots and smart player acquisition via trades and free agency and good cap management?

    Because the poorly run teams who find themselves repeatedly in the lottery aren’t “tanking.” On the contrary, many of them are actually trying to win as many games as possible but are hopelessly inept at evaluating which players help you do that (the Phil Jackson model, basically).

    It’s a different story when you have a team that is intentionally avoiding pointless marginal wins.

    Obviously, no one is going to come out against smart drafting, smart trades, and smart free agency signings. It’s weird to suggest you can’t do all of these things and still avoid marginal wins, though. I mean what, are we a more attractive free agency destination because of the game Bobby Portis won for us against the Bulls? Are we now going to be able to make better trades because of the times Marcus Morris chucked us to victory?

  286. Correct, the 76ers have made a bunch of enormous errors post-Hinkie. And they’re still winning 50+ games a year. It would be difficult to bungle the post-Hinkie years worse than Philly did, AND THEY STILL ENDED UP WITH ONE OF THE BEST TEAMS IN THE CONFERENCE.

  287. Correct, the 76ers have made a bunch of enormous errors post-Hinkie. And they’re still winning 50+ games a year. It would be difficult to bungle the post-Hinkie years worse than Philly did, AND THEY STILL ENDED UP WITH ONE OF THE BEST TEAMS IN THE CONFERENCE.

    This is what’s so wild to me about them being used as some cautionary tale.

    They did what we’re advocating for three seasons, then completely ditched it and basically went the opposite way…but those three seasons alone were enough to stock their war chest so heavily they’ve still been exponentially better than we’ve been in any 3 season period in over 20 years.

    Where do I sign up for the Knicks to replicate this allegedly horrible, failed project?

  288. Yeah I’m in the pro Thibs camp. I mean he has a winning record as a head coach and as an assistant. He got a bad rap in Minny but he improved them considerably. They got to the playoffs and the season he was fired they were basically at 500. And they’ve been far worse since then.

    Towns and Wiggins are losing players. Towns has all the talent in the world and maybe he turns it around eventually but he seems to coast on his talent and not really work that hard especially on defense.

    Thibs is a great coach. The concerns about him running down players I think is a bit overblown. Rose had his career injured but the way he played, it wasn’t like an injury like that wasn’t possible. Same with Noah. He helped turn Butler into an all star. Rose and Noah were young players when Thibs started coaching them and they became all stars, DPOY and MVPs.

    He’s a good coach. Sometimes a big name is a big name because they’ve earned that name. All I know is that if he is the coach, he will demand the team play hard. I will take that.

  289. Dink: The problem with the Knicks implementing a ‘Ujiri model’ is that it is extremely hard to do if your team doesn’t have a Ujiri. It would be great if the Knicks hired one of the sharpest minds in the NBA and allowed him to rebuild the scouting + player development systems from scratch. It just ain’t realistic, especially when James Dolan is the owner.

    The Hinkie plan is comparatively idiot-proof.

    Except that the team that allowed Hinkie to implement it fired him and replaced him with an idiot.

    The statement above just doesn’t match the reality of the NBA. Teams that tank multiple times tend to suck even when they get lucky in the lottery (NYK, MIN, PHX, SAC, ATL, CLE) while team with smart management who tank only occasionally or accidentally, if at all (GSW, HOU, MIA, TOR, MIL, IND, DEN, SAS, LAC, BKN, BOS, UTA to name a few) tend to become contenders. None of those teams drafted a top-10 NBA player with their own top-5 draft pick. They either acquired picks and good players by fucking teams in trades, or drafted well with the picks they had.

    The pitfall is being both poorly managed and not tanking….then you get DET, WAS, ORL, NOP. But it’s pretty obvious that the best road to building a contender–especially with flattened lottery odds that are specifically intended to make tanking a dumb strategy–does not include abject tanking for multiple years.

  290. Those of you arguing Hinkie as a model for tanking to success are ignoring that Hinkie was very smart about player talent ( he traded a rookie of the year and got a lot of flak for it but turned out to be right) and got lucky in the lottery (Simmons). Of course smart management combined with tanking can do well, but the Hinkie case doesn’t show that tanking without smart management works. Smart management comes first. It’s the common thread in building good teams. If you have smart management they will take the opportunities to improve the team that comes along and that may result in incremental improvements and not the Philly model.

  291. thenoblefacehumper: I am not sure what “the Ujiri model” being referred to here is other than “be one of the best GMs in any sport,” but it’s worth noting it’s not like Ujiri doesn’t see value in picking high in the draft. 2/3 trade assets he sent out for Kawhi were former lottery picks.

    It’s really not worth noting. Derozan and Poetl were drafted in the same positions we drafted Ntilikina and Knox. They were not the result of tanking, nor were they drafted by Ujiri. What it actually proves is that you can acquire the assets for an opportunistic Kawhi trade if you have decent assets and cap space. If anything, this is an argument against tanking.

    thenoblefacehumper: Because the poorly run teams who find themselves repeatedly in the lottery aren’t “tanking.” On the contrary, many of them are actually trying to win as many games as possible but are hopelessly inept at evaluating which players help you do that (the Phil Jackson model, basically).

    It’s a different story when you have a team that is intentionally avoiding pointless marginal wins.

    Philly executed that plan and it worked well, but cost the GM his job and let to a change in lottery rules that discourage anyone from doing it again. So which smart GM is employing that strategy now? If the answer is “none”, then why are we even debating it? And why are we selectively ignoring all the teams that went from shitty to really good without tanking? Why are you so dug in on a strategy that a) no one is using because any GM who dares to use it under the current rules will be fired, and b) there is zero chance that the Knicks will ever use? It’s like arguing that the best way to stop global warming is to stop all fossil fuel consumption for the next three years. It might work, but it’s not going to happen.

  292. >It’s the common thread in building good teams. If you have smart management they will take the opportunities to improve the team that comes along and that may result in incremental improvements and not the Philly model.<

    Exactly.

    There are success stories in the NBA with hard tanking, soft tanking, no tanking, and various combinations of the above depending on the circumstances and opportunities at the time. The one thing they have in common is management that understands how to play winning basketball, knows to to identify players with the qualities required to play winning basketball, fits those players together properly, and a GM that understands the cap and salary values so that bad deals are very limited.

    You start with competent management that understands where the opportunities are and then figure out the approach. You don't start with an approach and then try to ram it through.

  293. thenoblefacehumper: I mean what, are we a more attractive free agency destination because of the game Bobby Portis won for us against the Bulls? Are we now going to be able to make better trades because of the times Marcus Morris chucked us to victory?

    Portis was a dumb move that everybody here panned at the time, but he probably was responsible for as many losses as wins…he pretty much sucks and fits in on a tanking team. Morris, on the other hand, helped us win a few games but brought back real assets and probably cost us very little if anything given the uncertainty in this draft and the flattened odds. Think of it as trading down 15% worth of probability for a top-3 pick for a pick for a guarantee of a #8, #25, a second round pick and a good young player with bird rights. He doesn’t fit in with your pipe dream tanking strategy, but it’s hardly a move that should be criticized in retrospect.

  294. If any move should be criticized for creating marginal wins, it would be firing Fizdale and promoting Mike Miller. Fiz was on his way to an all-time losing season.

  295. >You start with competent management that understands where the opportunities are and then figure out the approach. You don’t start with an approach and then try to ram it through.<

    Again, we aren't arguing theory here.

    Various forms of rebuilding have been studied. The statistical data is out there. The difference is that lottery rules have been changed to discourage tanking and make it less attractive and the tendency to draft much younger players makes the draft more of crap shoot and less favorable for tanking (not to mention sometimes having to pay the player before you know what you have).

    So data that suggests hard tanking hasn't been such a clear cut best option to begin with is now a worse option than it used to be. That's not to say you should never do it. It depends. You just don't start from there. You look at your team, your city, the environment, etc.. and figure out the best approach for you at that time given where the values are and opportunities are for you.

  296. I would be fine with hiring Thibs and drafting Cole. There is so much uncertainty in the draft that it gets to a point where people really rip apart some of the top prospects more so than they need to. I get all of the question marks about Cole Anthony but we’d be adding one of the top guard prospects in this year’s draft. That’s really all you can hope for. I guess I’d rather have LaMelo or Hayes but they aren’t without their issues too. Haliburton too. None of them are perfect prospects. Makes me glad we got another first later this year and those Dallas picks the next few years as well. We’ll hit on one of them.

  297. I get all of the question marks about Cole Anthony but we’d be adding one of the top guard prospects in this year’s draft. That’s really all you can hope for.

    “Well, boys, guess I gotta go all-in on this 2-7 offsuit. I get that it’s a terrible hand, but I’m sitting here at the table and it *is* a hand, as opposed to not a hand, so you never know. I could win big!”

  298. A couple notes on the above:

    – LUCK: If you have bad luck AND are tanking/suck, as in, you never move up – and are constantly moving down- in the lottery, or you keep picking one pick after the last good player, you suck. And I think no other team even thinks about this, because it’s literally just the Knicks. I mean, tanking and then dropping a slot every… single… year severely lowers your chances of success… obviously. Yes, I mean, the Knicks drafted guys like Knox, so their talent evaluation needs work. But come on, if we picked not by lottery but by rank, we’d have drafted Ja Morant, Lauri Markannen… all the way back to Kevin Love. Picking third and ending up several tiers below Zion and Ja sucks something nasty.

    – TANKING: If you don’t see the value in getting your exceptional players in the draft by tanking, I don’t know what to tell you. So many top teams got a high lottery pick that they hit on. Cleveland drafted Kyrie and LeBron. GSW picked Curry. Chicago got Rose. OKC hit on three after getting picks number 2/3/3- we never went that high! The Celtics drafted Garnett, and now they have Tatum. The Blazers drafted Lillard. The Lakers drafted a few that they ended up using via trade for a championship caliber team (Ball, Ingram, Randle!).

    Put it this way- almost every top team in the past 10 years had a major player that was picked top 5. The only outliers that built via trade/free agency are the Bucks and the Rockets, and we don’t have the draft success of the former, or the genius of the latter. The Raptors and Clippers also haven’t tanked to where they are today, and that also speaks to the genius of their front offices.

    So… unless you think you have the front office acumen of a Masai or Morey…. you’re probably better off tanking.

  299. I really like Cole Anthony. Great athleticism, has a great jumper, pedigree, quick, decent defense, Yeah, sign me up.

  300. The Celtics DRAFTED Garnett? Might want to check the history on that one. Maybe you meant Pierce?

    I think the question isn’t tanking one year per say but tanking multiple years. The teams you mentioned bottomed out naturally, got a good pick/player and then started to build up from there. And not all of their good players were top lottery picks. Some were later in the first round or even second round picks.

    I have no issue with getting a higher lottery pick. But its not the sure thing people act like it is. For all of those players you listed there are 2 or 3 that were also top picks that did not turn into superstars or were even full on NBA busts. And there is talent everywhere in the draft.

    I do agree we should be acquiring extra picks everywhere we can and we have done that to some degree. Extra Dallas picks, clipper picks, extra second round picks for Willy.

    But tanking shouldn’t be a long term philosophy. You shouldn’t be afraid to sign a good young player in free agency to a decent contract, one that fills a huge need, because you are worried about the win curve. You shouldn’t pass on a great coach because they might fuck up your win curve.

    Now I do agree….playing one year vet rentals excess minutes is dumb. But I also don’t think throwing all rookies out there with no vet leadership and a shitty coach (like we did last season) is productive at all.

    We have had really bad luck with our drafting spots too.

    We messed up with ZInger (strat alert!) Regardless of what you think of him when we got him , the rebuild should have been all system’s go at that point, Melo be damned. Rose and Noah and that season set us back.. That’s when we should have been taking on bad contracts for extra picks (since we didn’t have a pick that season after we drafted Zinger).

    It still kind of amazes me how much Phil fucked up. Sorry strat. Phil had the weight and persona to demand a full rebuild from the get go. The fans would have been patient…

  301. I think the Hinkie model works, and nobody in Philadelphia holds the bad years against the team, and Free Agents are no less willing to go there because of it (they are actually a FA destination now more than they’ve ever been in the past).

    But I don’t think it’s the only model, or even the best model. I think teams should TRY to put the best team together that they can and TRY to win the games they are playing. It’s the only way to have a legitimate league. The Presti model was a milder version that worked well. The Golden State model involved recognizing the win curve and valuing draft picks. Both require luck, but luck is involved in all models, and basketball is a game of luck anyway, so it’s only fitting that luck play are large role in team building as well.

  302. Tanking literally cannot be a long-term philosophy if you draft guys like Doncic. That’s the whole point. When you draft Wiggins and Bennett with two #1 overall picks, you’re not tanking. You’re being a terrible team indefinitely.

  303. The Hinkie model worked*

    Flattened odds makes it far less useful. Still good, but 25% for #1 and a guaranteed top-4 pick is far different from 16% and top-5.

  304. The Celtics DRAFTED Garnett?

    I meant Pierce, my apologies.

    I think the question isn’t tanking one year per say but tanking multiple years. The teams you mentioned bottomed out naturally, got a good pick/player and then started to build up from there.

    … Because they HIT on the pick. They picked well, and their ‘probably the best available pick’ became ‘good pick’

    And there is talent everywhere in the draft.

    There’s oil everywhere, really, so just drill anywhere you want.

    For all of those players you listed there are 2 or 3 that were also top picks that did not turn into superstars or were even full on NBA busts.

    Which is exactly why you need to tank for more than 2-3 years sometimes to hit on a pick. (Longer if you are unlucky and pick badly – the Knicks)

    But tanking shouldn’t be a long term philosophy.

    Right, but you have to define endpoints- when you hit on the picks, and you are able to dig and claw your way out of the hole with good moves all around, with good young players (not vets, the shortsighted move). We are not there yet.

    We messed up with ZInger (strat alert!) Regardless of what you think of him when we got him , the rebuild should have been all system’s go at that point, Melo be damned. Rose and Noah and that season set us back.. That’s when we should have been taking on bad contracts for extra picks

    … So you agree, that once you hit on a pick, and you dig and claw your way out of the tankathon hole, that you rebuild by taking on picks through the draft? So… then right now…. when we don’t have a KP type player (I don’t think KP himself is that player, but whatever)… we should definitely keep drafting?

  305. Tanking literally cannot be a long-term philosophy if you draft guys like Doncic. That’s the whole point. When you draft Wiggins and Bennett with two #1 overall picks, you’re not tanking. You’re being a terrible team indefinitely.

    This is what seems to be getting missed here. Like, yeah, Dallas for example didn’t engage in a long-term tanking strategy. They tanked extremely hard one year, including the well-documented use of lineups specifically designed to lose, traded up even further, and then were able to draft a god damn NBA Mount Rushmore level talent.

    I swear guys, if we draft someone like Doncic I’ll shut up about the need to tank! Until then, what is the grand plan to get the kind of player(s) we need to contend? All I’m hearing is “we will simply rip off the other teams in trades,” which, I mean, sure, sign me up!

    Keep in mind, however, the Knicks cannot trade with the Knicks. So we’re at a significant disadvantage when it comes to trying to find such suckers.

  306. What’s also amazing is that “Suck for a while to build up draft capital” is literally how the Knicks built both the team that won the championships in the 1970s and how they built their good early 1980s team and then again their late 1980s team (after the King injury forced them into tanking mode again).

    While the Knicks since Dolan took over have taken the controversial “suck for decades and build up no draft capital” approach. It has surprisingly not worked. And then the one brief period where they “sort of tanked” from 2008-2010 also led to their best team of the past 20 years. They bungled that approach, too, but even their bungled approach eventually led to a pretty good team.

    It’s a simple, easily achievable approach where, even if you bungle it, you still improve. Just don’t sign veterans to long-term contracts for a few years, suck for a couple of years, get good draft picks, develop the young players and then, when the young players have reached a decent level, then you can start adding veterans to the mix (if need be).

  307. But it can be more than 2 or 3 years. It could be 5, 6, 7, 8 or more years if all you are doing is tanking to hopefully get that one pick.

    You could get the top pick in a weak draft class. You could get the next pick and pick right after a team picks Lebron.

    And you could pick a good but not great player who you aren’t sure you can really build around, so do you do it after year 3 or do you trade them for more picks and continue to suck?

    It can be a merry go round that you never get off. And the odds are flattened. NO got Zion and won like 30 games last year. When that’s possible, how can you make multi year tanking a philosophy?

    ITS ALL LUCK!

    That is why I advocate for the build a young team while stockpiling picks approach. We found Mitch in the second round. He potentially could be a better Tyson Chandler if it works out. That’s almost a franchise player right there. And we got him in the second round because we were willing to take back Enes Kanter in the Melo trade.

    Again, if its a lost season, tank away. But multiyear strategies or tanking indefinitely until you are lucky to hit on a superstar? I just don’t think its really sustainable. At least maybe not in NYC. And there are plenty of good teams, respectable teams, teams that compete sometimes that are never really that bad or bottom out. They’e good because they develop and coach well, they draft well, they trade well, and they make smart FA signings.

  308. Also, boy, people sure do love to gloss over the kinds of tanking tons of the currently contending teams did in fact do.

    -LAL: are where they are today because they were able to attract LeBron with a combination of their market and assets they got from tanking hard, and then trading those assets for AD.

    -BKN: we’ve been through this a bunch of times. For all intents and purposes, they tanked (hoarded picks and took on every damn salary dump they could. Yes, they missed out on the benefit of improved draft picks and made good picks anyway. Is there any reason to believe they’d be in worse shape if they did everything else the exact same way, but had that benefit?

    -LAC: it really all goes back to picking Blake Griffin #1 overall in 2008. Sorry!

    Hell, even the Raptors’ success can be at least partially explained by drafting Andrea Bargnani #1 overall. They flipped him for 33% of the assets in the Kawhi trade (with another 33% coming from another one of their lottery picks in DeRozan).

    Sure, there are other ways to skin this cat. If we draft an all-timer at the tail end of the lottery (Milwaukee), we probably don’t need to tank. If we trade a couple of old husks for a treasure chest of high-lottery picks (Boston), we probably don’t need to tank. If we draft an all-NBA player in the second round (Denver), we probably don’t need to tank.

    To my knowledge, we have not done any of these things yet. So what’s the plan? Nobody is a stronger advocate for 1) taking every draft pick incredibly seriously and 2) getting as many draft picks as possible than me. This will increase the likelihood of being able to do these non-tanking things.

    Of course, doing 1 means not hiring people like Scott Perry, and doing 2 means not chasing after every last marginal win all the god damn time, which for some reason a lot of people seem to be arguing is actually a fine thing to do.

  309. Morris, on the other hand, helped us win a few games but brought back real assets and probably cost us very little if anything given the uncertainty in this draft and the flattened odds. Think of it as trading down 15% worth of probability for a top-3 pick for a pick for a guarantee of a #8, #25, a second round pick and a good young player with bird rights. He doesn’t fit in with your pipe dream tanking strategy, but it’s hardly a move that should be criticized in retrospect.

    Yeah I said this at the time. I was just making the point that the wins he got us were marginal i.e. they didn’t help us do anything good. I’m very happy overall with the decision to bring him on board.

  310. tnfh, all of the examples you gave bear no resemblance whatsoever to what Philly did. That you trace LAC’s success back to drafting Blake fucking Griffin is emblematic of that. The Knicks have actually tanked more often than any of those teams. So has MIN, PHX, and SAC. And we actually lucked out in 2015 where we dropped to #4 but wound up with the 2nd most valuable asset in that draft (maybe the first if KP keeps improving.) And during that time frame, other teams bungled their tanks worse than we did, but got lucky! You bring up the Lakers…who got luckier in the lottery than them? Twice?! Yet it still took being in the most opulent city in the country to attract LeBron and then AD. They went through the Lins and Howards and Nashs trying to get one last glory year out of Kobe, then they drafted Randle and Russell and Ingram and Ball, and traded all of them. We drafted KP and RJ and Mitch and could have drafted SGA and Mitchell/J Collins/Bam. The Lakers gained absolutely no advantage over us by tanking. And while they look good for the next year or two, the cupboard looks pretty bare after that.

    In the meantime, again, why aren’t we discussing the teams that rebuild without embracing tanking for multiple years?

    thenoblefacehumper: Of course, doing 1 means not hiring people like Scott Perry, and doing 2 means not chasing after every last marginal win all the god damn time, which for some reason a lot of people seem to be arguing is actually a fine thing to do.

    No one is arguing that. They are arguing that tanking is not better than winning trades, making smart FA signings, and drafting prudently. They are arguing that no one really has done it any more than the Knicks have, and that those who have done it have also “chased marginal wins” by your own definition (bringing on useless free agents rather than taking on bad contracts into cap space for assets.

  311. I think the term “tanking” is what’s confusing everyone.

    It’s more a proposal to draft and give significant minutes to young, cost-controlled players as opposed to veteran role players.

    You are a bad team:
    If you believe in the talent of certain players and draft them, then you should put them on the court. Hopefully, they will prove you right and you’ll win 35, 45, or 50something games with those young players. Then, next year, you necessarily have worse draft picks because your players played well. See? Not tanking. Playing young players.

    But if you’ve hired a bad management team, you might draft less good players and not win so much. In that case, let the players walk after their rookie (cheap) contracts and maybe fire your management team! Then start over.

    But if you overpay for veterans when you don’t have cheap control of a star player (not KP, a real star) then you:

    1. don’t really see what you have in your young players
    2. have a higher win total than your true core reflects, and you can’t optimize your draft position
    3. put the vets you signed at a disadvantage because they can’t win a chip and look bad in oversized roles

    At least with this iteration of the Knicks, short contracts were handed out (no Eddy Curry or Joakim Noah stuff), so we aren’t crippled in that respect, and they even turned one vet into draft capital (nice!) But the lack of creativity concerning the draft should be alarming.

    Luck and team strategy also play roles, but probably not as much as people think.

  312. If we trade a couple of old husks for a treasure chest of high-lottery picks (Boston),

    And that, in turn, came from them identifying their win curve and dumping their vets while they could still get good draft capital for them, while the Knicks, instead, traded Chandler for other veterans, traded Shump to get rid of JR Smith and extended Melo and gave him a raise and a no-trade clause (and still came out of it with a second round pick eventually that became their best player). So yes, another aspect of tanking is trading your veterans while they are still good.

  313. I think the term “tanking” is what’s confusing everyone.

    It sure does seem that way. Teams have been doing this for decades without anyone freaking out about it, but I guess they didn’t say “tanking,” so it was all right.

  314. That’s the straw man here…no one is saying that multi-year tanking “can’t” work, only that it isn’t necessarily the only effective strategy, or the most effective strategy, or even a possible strategy given constraints (e.g., Knicksiness, leveled lottery odds, coaches and players always coaching/playing to win, GMs not having latitude to do it without risking getting fired, and GMs that are incompetent beyond being able to tank.)

    There are ample success and failure stories on both sides of the narrow “abject tanking vs. chasing marginal wins” argument. What the successes have in common are 1) luck and 2) other strategic team-building strategies, notably, winning trades, making prudent FA acquisitions, building through the draft regardless of draft position.

  315. tnfh, all of the examples you gave bear no resemblance whatsoever to what Philly did. That you trace LAC’s success back to drafting Blake fucking Griffin is emblematic of that. The Knicks have actually tanked more often than any of those teams.

    The reason Philly extended what they did over four seasons was because the (smart) draft picks they made happened to suffer season ending injuries and thus didn’t add to their win totals. That’s it. Otherwise there’s literally zero difference.

    The Knicks have avoided marginal wins and given the overwhelming majority of minutes to guys who might be part of their core exactly once, in 2018-2019. It got them RJ Barrett, who accounts for 50% of their current “core.” Then they went right back to trying to squeeze wins out of guys who had no shot of being part of a future core.

    In the meantime, again, why aren’t we discussing the teams that rebuild without embracing tanking for multiple years?

    Because we’re talking about the best strategy for the Knicks. We do not have Giannis. We do not have Boston’s haul from the Nets trade (that, as BC points out, essentially amounted to Boston “tanking”). We do not have Nikola Jokic.

    If we get one of these players, then sure, it’s a different discussion. That’s what this all boils down to: the best way to get the kind of player(s) you need to contend. Right now we are almost completely bereft of high-level talent and we’re talking about the fastest and most effective way to remedy that.

  316. Brian Cronin: It sure does seem that way. Teams have been doing this for decades without anyone freaking out about it, but I guess they didn’t say “tanking,” so it was all right.

    I think everyone knows what “tanking” means. The disagreement is re: tanking like Philly did it vs. how most other teams have done it in selective seasons, which is actually what we have been doing lately.

    Brian Cronin: And that, in turn, came from them identifying their win curve and dumping their vets while they could still get good draft capital for them, while the Knicks, instead, traded Chandler for other veterans, traded Shump to get rid of JR Smith and extended Melo and gave him a raise and a no-trade clause (and still came out of it with a second round pick eventually that became their best player). So yes, another aspect of tanking is trading your veterans while they are still good.

    But that can happen independently of a “tanking” strategy. The Celtics never won less than 25 games since like forever. They never tanked in the way it is being discussed here. They didn’t tank their way into Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo. They didn’t tank their way into Al Jefferson being the key piece in the Kevin Garnett deal. They never really tanked at all.

    If we are only applying the very broadest definition of tanking, the Knicks have done it as well as most teams. They have not gotten better because of a combination of bad lottery luck, poor drafting and bad cap management. When you never, ever move up a single spot and move down every time you tank well, it’s hard to fault that aspect of the strategy.

  317. But it can be more than 2 or 3 years. It could be 5, 6, 7, 8 or more years if all you are doing is tanking to hopefully get that one pick.

    Where did this fiction come from, that you have to tank for, what the fuck, eight years (?!) because all that matters is getting a super-high pick?

    How many times do we need to go through the drafts to make the point that while there are often franchise-level talents in the top of the lottery, there are still many, many more good players out there after #1? I mean, shit, yeah, I’d rather have picked #1 than #27 in 2016, but Toronto seems to be quite happy with Siakam, and I doubt they’d trade him straight up for Ben Simmons, a worthy #1 overall pick, right now.

    You could get the top pick in a weak draft class. You could get the next pick and pick right after a team picks Lebron.

    Right. And you could have to settle for any of the consolation prizes: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade… or Darko Milicic. Do we really think that the 2004 Pistons would have had their title dreams hamstrung had they started a 22-year-old Dwyane Wade, who was a really good rookie?

    There are always good players in the draft. The problem lies in identifying them. And like this year’s draft, you need to be willing to trade down (and take some shots in the media and within the idiot fanbase) to get the guy that you think will actually be good. The draft slot determines salary and length of contract. It does not determine whether a player is good. It’s merely the right of first refusal.

    And you could pick a good but not great player who you aren’t sure you can really build around, so do you do it after year 3 or do you trade them for more picks and continue to suck?

    The goal is to get several of these players and maintain cap flexibility so you don’t have to trade them away, or lose them to “bad culture.” Hence: ACQUIRE MORE PICKS.

  318. They never tanked in the way it is being discussed here.

    People want the Knicks to:

    1) Give the overwhelming majority of minutes and roster spots to players who have a non-zero chance of being part of their future

    2) Get as many draft picks as they can

    I’m not asking for anything else than doing these two things and letting the dominoes fall where they may.

  319. No one is arguing that. They are arguing that tanking is not better than winning trades, making smart FA signings, and drafting prudently

    A team can optimize it’s draft position while doing all 3 things you listed. It’s not an either/or proposition. The “pro-tankers” here are not against winning trades, smart FA signings, and solid drafting. It shouldn’t have to be said, but I guess we’re at that point.

  320. I think everyone knows what “tanking” means. The disagreement is re: tanking like Philly did it vs. how most other teams have done it in selective seasons, which is actually what we have been doing lately.

    The Knicks did it in 2018-19 and that was good, but then went right back to signing mediocre veterans for no real reason the following year. With the one guy who was actually worth something came to them via a fluke of them signing a guy on Day 1 who turned out to not be ready to play basketball! And Mills wanted to keep that one guy who actually had trade value long term instead of trading him for a pick and then also trade a first rounder for Terry Rozier, who they could have just signed in the previous offseason if they wanted him so bad! Man, Mills was terrible.

  321. It can be a merry go round that you never get off. And the odds are flattened. NO got Zion and won like 30 games last year. When that’s possible, how can you make multi year tanking a philosophy?

    The only way that you turn it into a merry-go-round is if these things happen in some combination:

    (1) You draft bad players regularly. See: Knox, Ntilikina.

    (2) You try to salvage the bad draft classes by hiring “win-now” veterans that win enough games to make your draft slot worse, or just straight-up suck. See: all of the guys they hired last summer.

    (3) You give out contracts to players who do not produce. See: Tim Hardaway, Jr, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee.

    (4) You trade future draft assets or young players to unburden your team from these bad contract decisions. See: Antonio McDyess.

    (5) You otherwise use future draft assets or good players to acquire bad or overrated players. See: Eddy Curry, Andrea Bargnani, Carmelo Anthony.

    ITS ALL LUCK!

    So, seriously, do you want to play poker for real money? I’m not even good, but I’d love to square up with someone who thinks that 2-7 offsuit and pocket aces are virtually the same hand because poker has an element of luck.

    If I offer you a 14% chance to win a million bucks or a 6% chance, which one would you take?

  322. People want the Knicks to:

    1) Give the overwhelming majority of minutes and roster spots to players who have a non-zero chance of being part of their future

    2) Get as many draft picks as they can

    I’m not asking for anything else than doing these two things and letting the dominoes fall where they may.

    While I agree, I think it’s fair enough that when we are all pretty much agreed on the proper strategy, then it’s only natural that we end up debating the areas where we might not all be exactly aligned.

  323. Because we’re talking about the best strategy for the Knicks. We do not have Giannis. We do not have Boston’s haul from the Nets trade (that, as BC points out, essentially amounted to Boston “tanking”). We do not have Nikola Jokic.

    But we have Mitch. We have RJ. We “had” KP. We could have had SGA and (fill in the name other than Frank.)

    Indiana didn’t tank. Toronto didn’t tank. Miami didn’t tank. Utah didn’t tank. You suggest that teams that got good without tanking all landed the likes of Jokic and Giannis, which is simply not true.

    And we actually HAVE collected assets via trades, just not as well as we could have…even with his NYC and trade kicker, Melo was traded for the pick that became Mitch. KP was traded for picks (dumbly, in my view, but whatever.) Willy was traded at his peak value for picks. Morris was traded for picks. Obviously we should have never re-signed Melo and should have gotten more for Chandler and KP. We currently have both cap flexibility and draft capital that we haven’t had in decades.

    Ujiri could turn this team around without tanking, as could any reasonably competent GM. Rose may or may not be that guy. If you are waiting on someone who is going to embrace the all-out tank with no FA signings, you are going to be forever disappointed. But look at the bright side, you’ll always be able to criticize whatever happens and never have to prove that your method would have worked!

  324. Re: top-level picks,

    Just look at last year. What if the Knicks didn’t buy the hype and traded down with Atlanta for say, Herro and Clarke, who many people on this board liked?

    I don’t want to totally discount RJ just yet because he was put in a bad role last year, but don’t you think we’d at least have a bigger and better cast of players by simply recognizing that after the first 2 picks, there were no more real star players in the 2019 draft? Regardless of RJ’s high school reputation?

    For chrissake, Cam Reddish had better overall advanced stats than RJ last year.

  325. The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    If I offer you a 14% chance to win a million bucks or a 6% chance, which one would you take?

    If you have to live in a cave eating nothing but bread and water for 3 years vs. living in a condo in the suburbs of Portland, I’ll go with the 6% odds. Either way, you’re probably not winning the lottery.

  326. We do not have Giannis. We do not have Boston’s haul from the Nets trade (that, as BC points out, essentially amounted to Boston “tanking”). We do not have Nikola Jokic.

    But we have Mitch. We have RJ.

    I give up :(

  327. @Jowles,

    You’re smart and the point you’re trying to make is important but your analogies to chess and poker are pretty off base. You keep ignoring several gargantuan differences between either game and GMing a basketball team.

    It gives the impression you don’t actually know what you’re talking about.

  328. A team can optimize it’s draft position while doing all 3 things you listed. It’s not an either/or proposition. The “pro-tankers” here are not against winning trades, smart FA signings, and solid drafting. It shouldn’t have to be said, but I guess we’re at that point.

    This is what I was saying earlier. It seems like some people think that marginal wins somehow fuel being a smart front office. Not true! You can be smart and not sign Courtney Lee, I promise.

  329. thenoblefacehumper: I give up :(

    You should. Tilting at windmills is a frustrating art. You can’t possibly explain the success of even half of the current playoff teams via the tanking you are advocating for without making impossibly convoluted connections (the LAL and LAC attempts are LOL) and of the teams that actually embraced your strategies more completely (and beyond Philly, I’m not sure there is one that went full-bore) none have gotten over the hump with any more probability than teams who never went near a tanking season in like 20 years.

    Mitch is a game changing, DPOY-level prospect at age 22. He’s not Giannis or Jokic, but doesn’t have to be to be considered a major piece of the puzzle. We got him via a shrewd salary dump of an over-the-hill max player with a NTC, and only after a bunch of teams passed over him like they passed over Giannis, and Jokic, and Siakam, and Kawhi, and Steph, and Draymond, and Butler, etc..these guys are not as rare as you suggest. As I said, we could have had SGA and Bam easily.

    RJ is at worst likely to be a solid rotation piece and has upside. We acquired him by textbook tanking and not being lucky enough to draft at 1 or 2, while 2 non-tanking teams leapfrogged us probably due to flattened lottery odds. Problem is, RJ dropped in to an outsized on a terrible team with bad management. And now that we moved on from Mills, you want to tank for another 2-3 years, while these 2 guys get frustrated by constantly losing and likely move on, especially when top FA’s pass on the joining a perennial losing team and go for the 35-40 win team instead. Where is the GM other than Hinkie that would embrace that strategy if he inherited the Knicks situation?

  330. You’re smart and the point you’re trying to make is important but your analogies to chess and poker are pretty off base. You keep ignoring several gargantuan differences between either game and GMing a basketball team.

    All analogies will reach limits before they become tautologies.

    I used the chess one to explain that some games require concurrent tactics that depend on one another to achieve one’s aims. In basketball, you could tank your ass off to draft Zion Williamson and Luka Doncic in successive drafts and then sign Kwame Brown (like right now, in 2020) and Darius Miles (also right now) to max contracts, and then it doesn’t really matter how well you drafted: you’re not going to win shit if you fail to manage your cap. Just like you’re not going to checkmate Magnus Carlsen before he checkmates you if you develop your pieces well, while keep your king precariously in the center of the board. K?

    I used the poker one to explain (haha) that entering a randomized event with a 14% chance of winning is better than entering the same event with a 6% chance of winning. Sort of like how the cards you are dealt before the flop are random, and determine the likelihood of you winning the hand based on the strength of your cards alone. Obviously this is where the analogy ends — I thought that much would be painfully obvious — as, wouldn’t you know, poker and NBA team building are not in fact the exact same game, otherwise they might have the same name, and be one thing instead of two.

    It gives the impression you don’t actually know what you’re talking about.

    It’d be cool if you would respond to them with an actual rebuttal rather than say, “This bad because bad.”

  331. thenoblefacehumper: This is what I was saying earlier. It seems like some people think that marginal wins somehow fuel being a smart front office. Not true! You can be smart and not sign Courtney Lee, I promise.

    How do any of these moves resemble signing Courtney Lee to a 4-year guaranteed deal? Portis is a 1 year flyer on a very young player, dumb but hardly crippling. Randle is a market-value signing of a young player with good numbers, and that has an out after 2 years and is reasonably movable. Taj is a 1-year locker-room guy to mentor Mitch and play as an undersized non-stretch 5 (a losing proposition in today’s NBA); i doubt he generated any marginal wins. Ellington made little sense, but again, a 1-year deal. Payton is an attempt to get a good PG entering his prime on the cheap, he has disappointed but could also be kept as a backup or as trade bait. Morris and Bullock were both good value signings.

  332. If you have to live in a cave eating nothing but bread and water for 3 years vs. living in a condo in the suburbs of Portland, I’ll go with the 6% odds. Either way, you’re probably not winning the lottery.

    I honestly don’t find 33-win teams all that much more appealing than 17-win teams, which was the difference between the 14% Knicks and 6% Pelicans last year. My wife used to live in a condo in the Portland suburbs, and I can tell you it was much better accommodations than the small cave in which I and several other adjuncts held office hours at the CIA in Hyde Park. At the very least, more hospitable to simulating procreation. Running water, too.

  333. don’t want to totally discount RJ just yet because he was put in a bad role last year, but don’t you think we’d at least have a bigger and better cast of players by simply recognizing that after the first 2 picks, there were no more real star players in the 2019 draft? Regardless of RJ’s high school reputation?

    The really annoying part of the whole draft day stuff last year was that we can safely assume that the Knicks could have traded the #3 pick for what Atlanta got for the #4.

    Most of the time we have to deal with generalities because we don’t know who’s available for trade and for how much until the trades are finalized. (It doesn’t preclude us from evaluating the trades, but it doesn’t act as a window into the world of internal FO evaluations.) Last year, we all but know we could have traded Atlanta for those picks. And watching Clarke become a serious glue guy with a 20-something pick is really maddening when you put him up against Barrett, even despite the age gap.

    I will be shocked if Barrett is as productive at age 23 as Clarke was this year. Holding out hope, and not itching to get rid of him, but to say his rookie year was anything short of a failure would be disingenuous.

  334. You can’t possibly explain the success of even half of the current playoff teams via the tanking you are advocating for without making impossibly convoluted connections

    I mean, I don’t really care to emulate the Orlando Magic.

    (the LAL and LAC attempts are LOL)

    The Lakers traded two #2 overall picks and one #4 overall pick (and Hart and future picks) for AD, but LOL at the idea that their long-term badness gave them a war chest of assets that they used to become successful! LOLOLOLOL!

    The Clippers got Griffin, who made them an attractive enough destination for Chris Paul (who they got using assets they got from tanking). Then they traded both of those guys for basically the entire team they presented to Kawhi and Paul George.

    It’s true, you caught me, you don’t have to tank if you already tanked to get two guys with very high trade value, and then you trade them.

    and of the teams that actually embraced your strategies more completely

    I have no idea what you think I’m advocating for, but I outlined it above. I want the Knicks to collect as many draft picks as possible, and not sign players who 1) have zero chance of being part of our future, or bringing us assets via trade and/or 2) give us some marginal wins that we likely wouldn’t get if we filled out the roster with (carefully selected) 2nd rounders, UDFAs, etc. I want them to do this until the team is decent, at which point they can start to supplement it with guys who help them win.

    What is so objectionable about this? This process can take literally one season if you draft a Luka/Giannis etc., or it can take a lot longer if you don’t. Either way, what’s clear is right now WE DO NOT HAVE THAT GUY OR GUYS. What’s the alternative route to getting them?

  335. thenoblefacehumper:

    The Lakers traded two #2 overall picks and one #4 overall pick (and Hart and future picks) for AD, but LOL at the idea that their long-term badness gave them a war chest of assets that they used to become successful! LOLOLOLOL!

    You are right, it is laughable. They traded two guys who were no better than who they could have acquired at #7 or 8. Ingram put up a career .036 and a negative BPM in 3 years with the Lakers and actually regressed in year 3. Lonzo was somewhat better, but they didn’t really tank to get him…they won 26 games and got lucky. And he turned out to be no better than a bunch of guys drafted in the next 20 spots. They stumbled and bumbled their way into LeBron James because of their location and franchise cache, not shrewd management.

  336. thenoblefacehumper: The Clippers got Griffin, who made them an attractive enough destination for Chris Paul (who they got using assets they got from tanking). Then they traded both of those guys for basically the entire team they presented to Kawhi and Paul George.

    Wait, you’re citing the 2005-2010 Clippers as a model of shrewd management? Please. They were more of a laughing stock at that time than us. They got lucky in that lottery when two teams who tanked better than them moved down (btw how have fellow tankers WAS and SAC been doing since then?). They also got extremely lucky when the CP3 to Lakers deal got nixed. And they’re in LA! That doesn’t hurt! BTW in the 2008 draft they picked up Eric Gordon at #7 and DeAndre Jordan at #35. Without tanking.

  337. thenoblefacehumper: I have no idea what you think I’m advocating for, but I outlined it above. I want the Knicks to collect as many draft picks as possible, and not sign players who 1) have zero chance of being part of our future, or bringing us assets via trade and/or 2) give us some marginal wins that we likely wouldn’t get if we filled out the roster with (carefully selected) 2nd rounders, UDFAs, etc. I want them to do this until the team is decent, at which point they can start to supplement it with guys who help them win.

    What is so objectionable about this? This process can take literally one season if you draft a Luka/Giannis etc., or it can take a lot longer if you don’t. Either way, what’s clear is right now WE DO NOT HAVE THAT GUY OR GUYS. What’s the alternative route to getting them?

    I’m not objecting to what you want to do. I’m objecting to your assumption that it is by far the best strategy, especially when there is literally zero chance that they actually implement that strategy. Again, I listed a number of teams that were able to get there without the tanking part, and it is noteworthy that most of those teams did not abide to your points 1) and 2) above. And even the teams you cite like LAL and LAC tanked less than we did and just got way luckier than us in spite of terrible asset management…they certainly didn’t do your 1) and 2), right?

    The main difference in our positions is that I am not as concerned with determining whether a guy is part of our future or not and whether they add marginal wins or not. All I really care about is whether they add value to the team or not. Morris absolutely did. Portis did not. If we keep making Morris-level deals and avoid the Portis-level deals, our chances of getting better in the next 3-4 years are just as good as if we avoid all vets and only play draft picks, 2nd rounders and UDFAs.

  338. Just to clarify, by adding value, I mean they outperform their contract and we have the option to keep them as part of our future on a fair deal or trade them for assets. Payton is an interesting case, he’s probably worth slightly more than what we’re paying him and might or might not be an asset on an expiring, Same for Bullock, Randle was a reasonable gamble on a young, improving player who looked like he had star potential, so it’s hard to get too bent out of shape by that deal, but he’s clearly not working out.

    I totally agree that Portis wasn’t ever going to be worth $15 mill or more. Taj and Ellington were totally superfluous, so we’re in agreement there. That’s like $30 mill in cap space for eating salary to acquire assets. If they just signed Randle, Payton, Bullock and Morris, I’d be fine with what they did. Any of those guys represented potential value, even if they created a few marginal wins. I don’t see why you can’t agree with that.

  339. Sorry, I am juggling laptops with my brood and spouse. Could have put the first 3 in one post and one was a correction.

  340. I’m not objecting to what you want to do. I’m objecting to your assumption that it is by far the best strategy, especially when there is literally zero chance that they actually implement that strategy.

    It’s an actual strategy though. “Win trades, make smart FA signings, and draft sensibly” is not. It’s a bunch of vague nonsense without a foundation.

    Z-man, your ‘strat’ has less of a chance to be implemented by the Knicks because it doesn’t exist. It’s literally “Be more intelligent than your rivals.”

    That’s your ‘Ujiri System’.

  341. Dink: It’s an actual strategy though. “Win trades, make smart FA signings, and draft sensibly” is not. It’s a bunch of vague nonsense without a foundation.

    whut?

  342. Dink: It’s an actual strategy though. “Win trades, make smart FA signings, and draft sensibly” is not. It’s a bunch of vague nonsense without a foundation.

    Z-man, your ‘strat’ has less of a chance to be implemented by the Knicks because it doesn’t exist. It’s literally “Be more intelligent than your rivals.”

    That’s your ‘Ujiri System’.

    Dink, you are absolutely right. TNFH has to study for his final exams, so please relieve his stress by taking up the mantle. Please spend the next three hours of your life explaining basic logic principles to Z and Strat. If you want a shortcut, simply copy and paste what has been posted here the last five years.

  343. NahNah: Dink, you are absolutely right. TNFH has to study for his final exams, so please relieve his stress by taking up the mantle. Please spend the next three hours of your life explaining basic logic principles to Z and Strat. If you want a shortcut, simply copy and paste what has been posted here the last five years.

    I so hoped that you would actually go the other way and never post here again….

  344. Z-man:
    Nothing like being trolled by two guys named Dink and NahNah.

    In other news, wtf, is Mark Vermin trying to make us feel better about drafting Cole Anthony?

    Here’s the thing though. We aren’t trolling. You just engaged in an internet debate with TNFH. You each spent over 2000 words trying to justify your opinions. Dink and I are simply recognizing that TNFH is making sound, salient points that are convincing. Your arguments are not convincing. If not us, who are you trying to convince? Who is the poster on this board who you think agrees with your takes?

  345. Again, tnfh’s points may be salient, but are only one of many strategies that can work, and among the most unlikely to actually be implemented no matter who the GM is. My biggest point is, let’s live in the real world. I made the analogy of global warming…the absolute best strategy would be to ban all fossil fuel use, but since there is zero chance of that happening, what is a reasonable strategy to hope for from our current leadership? If you think it’s tnfh’s, dream on!

    More pointedly, I’m not sure why you have so much beef with me. You came out of the blue and called me a troll when I feel pretty confident that most of the regulars here would disagree with that characterization, whether they agree with me or not. Do you have some kind of special relationship with tnfh that compels you to attack me?

  346. Piss of cake
    I am convinced too after the salient points.
    Constant Tanking is a far better strategy.
    All it requires is shaolin centenarian patience and a hammer to break your franchise player’s leg till you find his partner from the drafts.
    You don’t even need a FO.
    Just a statistician.
    A blind one to avoid the eye test temptation.

  347. Knew Your Nicks:
    Piss of cake
    I am convinced too after the salient points.
    Constant Tanking is a far better strategy.
    All it requires is shaolin centenarian patience and a hammer to break your franchise player’s leg till you find his partner from the drafts.
    You don’t even need a FO.
    Just a statistician.
    A blind one to avoid the eye test temptation.

    i don’t know wtf you’re sayin but i agree with it

  348. “Rashad Phillips, a rising star in mock-draft circles who played at the University of Detroit Mercy, told The Post he sees a lot of All-Star Victor Oladipo in Hampton. Knicks GM Scott Perry drafted Oladipo for the Magic in 2013.”

    lol

  349. who would have ever guessed ‘piss cake’ is an actual thing…I am forever being enlightened by this site…

    nice nah nah, you the man, man…

    hey jowles, tried some of that tincture you mentioned…they got all different thc/cbd ratios…of course I asked the friendly young man behind the counter to give me whatever would bring me the closest to death…

    holy fuck, I was still high the next day when I woke up…that shit is like a some kind of opiate…

    man, some of this stuff in 2020…not in kansas anymore that’s for sure…hell, not even of this world…

  350. Just a thought RE: The Draft

    I’m starting to really warm up to RJ Hampton if we don’t land as high as we hope for. He’s a little streaky as a shooter, but he’s pretty good at breaking down defenses. An all RJ backcourt kinda intrigues me. But we absolutely have to get a 3 & D SF with a consistent J. Maybe it will be Bullock if he doesn’t have to try to score as much as he did this past season. And if we can’t find a trade partner for Randle and we end up keeping Portis, we might as well flip the 1st and 2nd team big spots. That way we may be able to get the most out of Randle as the 2nd team anchor

  351. NahNah: Dink, you are absolutely right. TNFH has to study for his final exams, so please relieve his stress by taking up the mantle. Please spend the next three hours of your life explaining basic logic principles to Z and Strat. If you want a shortcut, simply copy and paste what has been posted here the last five years.

    IMHO, TNFH is getting invaluable experience in the paper part of civil litigation, which is of more practical value* than cramming for final exams. The ongoing ping-ponging between TNFH and Z-Man** bring to mind the litigations I had with the white-shoe firms( Davis, Cravath, Sullivan), where one was obliged to get in the last word resulting in quadruple sur-reply affirmations or letters until the exasperated judges finally pulled a Moe Howard and knocked the lawyers’ heads together.
    * Since he goes to a highly respected school and many of his peers will veer off to banking or tech, no need to aim for Law Review. Better to hone his craft on KB.
    ** Z-Man, I say this with total respect because without speaking to the merits of what you argue( which I am oftentimes unqualified to pass on), stylistically speaking you are one of the best writers on this board. Your tone is reminiscent of the big firm litigators I used to do battle with. Were you a lawyer before going into education?

  352. geo, I’m right there with you. Also take less of it next time.

  353. I think this tank/anti-tank argument is a little silly in retrospect. It seems like the different philosophies are just philosophies of degrees.

    I believe we should play our young players, especially those we think can be part of the future, as much as possible and not play veterans all the minutes. I just don’t think it should be all young players. I think you do need some of those vets. And I don’t think the young players all have to start. For example, I think under Miller Mitch showed a lot of progress the last part of this season coming off the bench as it allowed him to not pick up early fouls and kind of watch the game a bit before playing. Minutes wise he played more than last year.

    I believe we should take on bad contracts and/or use whatever vets we do have in trade deadline deals that net us more picks. We are basically doing this but we could be doing more. Ironically, there is a chance to get CP3 and actually get draft compensation for it but I guess he’s so good he fucks up our win curve?

    The only place I differ is the idea that its good to every year be the worst team. Or that you HAVE to have the highest pick possible to insure you get a superstar. Its more likely but plenty of good players, really good players, have come later in the draft. And if you don’t develop them, it doesn’t really matter who you draft unless its someone like Lebron.

    I don’t want to chase meaningless wins. But I think a team does have to every off season look at the team itself and what its weak areas are (shooting, rebounding, etc) and make an effort to address that through free agency (if not the draft). You should still be trying to build a functional team and trying to improve that team every year while you rebuild even if you are in the lottery. The goal shouldn’t be to field the worst possible team to get the highest pick because it is ultimately a gamble. And I think its asking a lot of most fans to support a team for 3 or more years of the worst…

  354. Z-man:
    Again, tnfh’s points may be salient, but are only one of many strategies that can work, and among the most unlikely to actually be implemented no matter who the GM is. My biggest point is, let’s live in the real world. I made the analogy of global warming…the absolute best strategy would be to ban all fossil fuel use, but since there is zero chance of that happening, what is a reasonable strategy to hope for from our current leadership? If you think it’s tnfh’s, dream on!

    More pointedly, I’m not sure why you have so much beef with me. You came out of the blue and called me a troll when I feel pretty confident that most of the regulars here would disagree with that characterization, whether they agree with me or not. Do you have some kind of special relationship with tnfh that compels you to attack me?

    As someone who worked in energy (and specifically renewables), the optimal strategy is not to ban fossil fuels. The optimal strategy is to invest heavily in renewables and battery capacity, appropriately tax the externalities presented by fossil fuels, and improve existing infrastructure. We are years away from a national system that can run on renewables alone, both on a baseload and a variable load perspective.

    As to why I attack you, it’s because you should know better. You are not strat, reub or bobneptune. They are basically hopeless and completely disingenuous in their analysis.

    You seem to understand the basic statistical arguments. You, however, refuse to abandon your eyes. You cling to them like Jack to a wood door in a cold sea. You make bold claims (fine). But once they get refuted by statistics, you then always fall back to your eyes or reinterpret the statistics inappropriately. For once, it would be nice to see you concede a point when backed into a corner, not lash out with a 2000 word diatribe.

  355. You should still be trying to build a functional team and trying to improve that team every year while you rebuild even if you are in the lottery.

    What’s your idea of a functional team? Is it getting bargain guys like Seth Curry, young players who can shoot with a low AAV? Or is it signing Taj Gibson and Wayne Ellington to 8-figure deals?

    If the goal is “win more games with Veteran A or Undrafted Rookie B,” then signing vets in free agency will win most every time. But that shouldn’t be the goal.

    You could win 20 games with a roster full of 2nd-round picks at the minimum and be in better long-term shape than winning 40 with a capped-out veteran squad.

  356. I don’t know, Jowles. Honestly, there is no one right answer to this. But I sometimes think you approach players as if anyone over the age of 27 is a veteran that should not be signed on a young/rebuilding team and I just don’t see it that way.

    I’m going to bring up the example of Michael Jordan, which is absurd obviously. But he was 30 when he won his first championship.

    Yes, players don’t usually improve after 27 or 28 and start to decline in their early 30s. But veterans can be role players, bench players or even starters and still produce at a high level way into their 30’s.

    I wouldn’t sign a 32 year old to a 4 year deal at a huge overpay or anything like that but a 30 year old player who fills a specific role could be useful to a rebuilding team. That player could conceivably play that role for 3 or 4 years. I’m talking dudes like Kyle Korver (not now just a recent example).

    I actually think our vet strategy this season wasn’t the worst. People act like Randle is awful but he isn’t. And none of the contracts were bad because they are all short. We needed a PG badly so we got Peyton. We needed outside shooting so we got Ellington. We got a first back for Morris. Bullock was a nice signing. We have team options. The only real quibble I have is that some of those dudes got minutes over guys like Dotson or Iggy, who should have gotten some burn.

  357. A functional team would be something like The Nets a few years ago when they weren’t good but they ran a modern offense and the players they had fit their roles. No point forward Randle BS going on.

    But its really hard to say. A team that isn’t winning isn’t going to look functional.

    Also, I would love to see if your 2nd rounder theory works. I think it would be harder than you think for a team of all second rouners/g-leaguers to win 20 games. The Knicks only won 17 games and had dudes like Melo, JR, Shump, Dalembert, Amare, etc…for a good chunk of that season. We won less than 20 last year with mostly what you’re talking about.

  358. And I think ultimately my first sentence two comments ago sums it up for me. There is no one right answer to these questions. Every situation/player/contract is different. I understand and appreciate your philosophy and approach and think it holds a lot of merit. I would love to see you be GM of The Knicks! But I think all philosophies shouldn’t be dogmatic and rigid and I think that is where I sometimes have beef with you because you hold it as an absolute truth.

    Morris seemed like an unnecessary signing at the time but turned out to kind of be a stroke of genius for us. I don’t know if you would have signed him even for one year because it would have been an overpay and he was too old and he would hurt our win curve. But he’s a good player and we had the chance to sign him for a short deal and that allowed us to trade him for a pick. Every situation is different and being flexible is really important otherwise you miss opportunities and chances.

  359. swiftandabundant:
    I don’t know, Jowles. Honestly, there is no one right answer to this. But I sometimes think you approach players as if anyone over the age of 27 is a veteran that should not be signed on a young/rebuilding team and I just don’t see it that way.

    I’m going to bring up the example of Michael Jordan, which is absurd obviously. But he was 30 when he won his first championship.

    If MJ at age 30 is available, you sign him to a supermax every day all day. No one here is debating that.

  360. Jordan was a few months into 28 when he won his first ring. And any failure to win before 1991 lies with his teammates alone. He was ridiculously good on a mediocre team, like LeBron’s first stint on the Cavs.

  361. The debate is so idiotic I can’t believe we are still having it.

    All the historical data for not tanking, hard tanking, medium tanking, and soft tanking etc… is out there and has been analyzed. If you look at the data and make some subjective reality based adjustments for the attractiveness of the specific city, the economics and ability to handle large salaries, the willingness of the owner to spend money, how strong the draft is, what the free agent market looks like, whether your team is good enough to attract solid free agent etc.. it practically dictates to you what you should do (assuming you are even reasonably competent)

    THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT APPROACH!

    YOU DO NOT START WITH THE APPROACH YOU WANT AND JUST BARREL AHEAD. IF YOU DO YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF WITHOUT GOOD OPTIONS WHEN GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR VALUE EXIST SOMEWHERE ELSE.

    YOU LOOK AT THE ENVIRONMENT AND YOUR SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES AND TAKE THE PATH THAT IS BEST ONE FOR YOU NOW.

    EVERYTHING ELSE IS FOOLISHNESS!

    The only thing I am adding is that it’s 100% certainly than tanking is a worse option now than it used to be because of the flattened lottery odds and because the NBA is drafting younger players. Both make it harder to land the franchise player by being extremely bad and one means you might have to pay the kid before you know how good he is. These days, there is also an increased risk he may decide to leave after the 1st or 2nd contract while he’s still young enough to win if things aren’t going so well in the rebuild as we and New Orleans found out.

  362. Bo Nateman: Z-Man, I say this with total respect because without speaking to the merits of what you argue( which I am oftentimes unqualified to pass on), stylistically speaking you are one of the best writers on this board. Your tone is reminiscent of the big firm litigators I used to do battle with. Were you a lawyer before going into education?

    Thank Bo! I never seriously considered law but I did work for a law firm for a while, mainly to finance my ed degree, and actually met my wife there, who did consider law but became a clinical social worker instead. I worked in several fields before education, including a few years on Wall st. All the prior experience really helped me maintain perspective when I transitioned into education in my 30s. People who go directly from college into education sometimes have jaded views of the corporate world. I especially appreciate the compliment about writing capability, it truly means a lot considering where it was even in my 30s.

  363. NahNah: As someone who worked in energy (and specifically renewables), the optimal strategy is not to ban fossil fuels. The optimal strategy is to invest heavily in renewables and battery capacity, appropriately tax the externalities presented by fossil fuels, and improve existing infrastructure. We are years away from a national system that can run on renewables alone, both on a baseload and a variable load perspective.

    This is a very logical take, but is actually a somewhat moderate approach that still kicks the can down the road compared to a radical break everything down right now strategy. It is also not the only logical moderate approach. That’s kind of what I’m defending.. Even so, your approach is highly unlikely to be implemented, given the political climate today and the enormous power of the fossil fuel lobby. So it becomes a question of what is possible rather than what has a marginal probability of working best and fastest?

    My argument with tnfh et. al. is not as black and white as you are implying that it is. I think it’s flat out wrong to dismis strat’s entire take out of hand, as there are elements to what he says in this argument that are reasonable and backed up by historical outcomes. Lumping him in with the likes of reub actually makes you look less smart, not him.

  364. When you’re at the bottom of the win curve like we are, the “don’ts” are more important than the “dos.”

    Don’t invest in veterans who are not going to be a part of the eventual contending team.

    Don’t give minutes to some marginally decent veteran when you can give those minutes to a young player who might be part of the future.

    Don’t worry about squeezing out 32 wins if it means playing veterans more minutes than necessary. Play the kids and live with the win total.

    Don’t pay market value for mediocrities like Wayne Ellington and Bobby Portis when you can use that cap space to take on a bad contract and acquire a draft pick.

    Just stick to these principles and you’ll be all right.

  365. NahNah: You seem to understand the basic statistical arguments. You, however, refuse to abandon your eyes. You cling to them like Jack to a wood door in a cold sea. You make bold claims (fine). But once they get refuted by statistics, you then always fall back to your eyes or reinterpret the statistics inappropriately. For once, it would be nice to see you concede a point when backed into a corner, not lash out with a 2000 word diatribe.

    Again, your analysis of my arguments is pretty simple-minded. I almost NEVER dismiss stats in favor of the eye-test. I’m therefore not sure what you mean when you say that I “refuse to abandon” my eyes. Do I use visual evidence to support claims? Of course I do, so does everyone that takes scouting seriously. But again, it’s not black and white. Do you think a highly regarded draft analysts like Mike Schmitz and Spencer Perlman ignore stats because they makes judgments based on film analysis? Or do they use stats only and ignore the film entirely? No, they use both extensively and make nuanced judgments based on their own knowledge base and analysis of the accuracy of their own and other’s historical models. Even with these exhaustive analyses by experts, there are widely varying takes on Killian Hayes, and Cole Anthony, Haliburton, Lamelo, and others.

    If I come down on the side of Hayes being a high-risk prospect, that doesn’t mean that I am only using the eye test. It is simple-minded for you to suggest that. My draft predictions over the years have been as good or better than most here, way beyond Frank Ntilikina, and have always been based on both statistical and video analysis, including those of KB posters, and those of experts. As a recent example, I was totally on board with Jowles on Brandon Clarke.

    As to 2000 words, feel free to skip over my posts. If you choose to read them, know that I don’t mind criticism, even snarkiness. Just try not to be shallow and petty about it. From your comment about global warming, you should be better than that.

  366. JK47,

    What about “Trade for former Leon Rose clients and draft prospective Leon Rose clients”. Would that be considered a “Do” or a “Don’t” as a good team-building strategy?

  367. Don’t pay market value for mediocrities like Wayne Ellington and Bobby Portis when you can use that cap space to take on a bad contract and acquire a draft pick.

    Hitting on one hundred percent of your free agent signings is just as unlikely as hitting on one hundred percent of your draft picks. I would say about 50% of our free agent dollars were well spent last summer, which is neither great nor awful. But given that our only longish commitment is Randle, and he is fairly paid at least, getting a 50% hit rate without long term spending is an ok result.

    For the record, Bullock was ok, but became good value because of the renegotiation. Peyton was worth the money. Morris was very good value and management did well to get him when they got the opportunity. Portis and Ellington did not work out. It’s very hard to evsluate Gibson. They did need an actual center, as opposed to a power forward and he was ok. He seemed sort of expensive. But he was our starting center and he wasn’t paid a lot for that role.

  368. JK, Your don’ts make perfect sense in a perfect Knicks world. What complicates matters is that the folks in the position to execute these strategies are working for Dolan and have very little wiggle room. If Ujiri were hired, I would doubt very much that he would follow the don’ts you list to the letter. The key is, it’s okay not to minimize opportunity cost, so long as you don’t kill flexibility and/or you can turn over your mistakes for assets. The Morris signing is a good example…he clearly violates your Dont’s list and definitely took minutes away from Knox and Iggy resulting in more wins, but he also yielded a nice return at the deadline.

    On the bright side, there are serious “don’ts” that even our incompetent front office has been following. for example:

    Don’t trade away draft picks, especially to acquire an overpaid marquee player.
    Don’t sign veteran FAs to long-term guaranteed deals, especially when there is little chance that you can move the contract in the final two years of the contract.
    Don’t give player options

    Sadly, there are others that they haven’t followed:

    Don’t draft players based purely on upside, especially based on a 3-on-3 workout.
    Don’t stretch waived contracts

  369. The point about Free Agency for a rebuilding team is that it should be avoided altogether unless you are able to sign a 2010 LeBron type player.

    Instead of gaining cap flexibility to throw at mid-tier vets, use cap flexibility to acquire similar mid-tier vets that are being packaged with picks and other assets. Every summer these players are available. For example, the Knicks could have absorbed Andre Iguodala’s $16,000,000 and gotten a first round pick. But instead they signed Bobby Portis for $16,000,000 and didn’t get a pick. Why? Because they didn’t think Iguodala would help them win this year, which is a poor long-range team building plan.

  370. Donnie Walsh: But instead they signed Bobby Portis for $16,000,000 and didn’t get a pick. Why? Because they didn’t think Iguodala would help them win this year, which is a poor long-range team building plan.

    Totally agree, but to be fair, I think they saw Portis as a good young player on the upswing who could possibly be a piece of the future. Predictably, he didn’t develop at all.

  371. You can’t just take on what teams are willing to pay you to take and not hire other free agents. One or two of those deals could help. But you still need a team that has enough players at every position to hold scrimmages and get work and learning done in some sort of offensive and defensive system. And you need competent enough players that scrimmages are at an NBA level. For the Knicks last year that meant hiring some free agents last summer that weren’t hired just because they came with assets.

  372. Again, for the 1000th time, Strat isn’t suggesting any viable plan, because he never names a player he would acquire on a reasonable salary. You can’t actually name one move that Strat would implement right now because his whole argument boils down to: be smarter than other people. You can’t actually implement it.

    However, JKs list of don’t is a very easy path to follow. Even a GM of mediocre negotiation and analytical skills could implement JKs plan very well. That’s what makes it an actual plan.

    And you resort to the eye test ALL THE TIME. And when you do, on a stats-based blog, you have to carry the burden. Presumption goes to stats over eye test (sort of like a tie to the runner in baseball). So if you are going to bring the eye test, it’s got to be very persuasive. Your entire rejection of Hayes came down to his “left-hand” capability based on your eye test, and your refusal to understand the correlation coefficient (“r”) between college free throws and NBA three pointers.

    You can’t just turn off fossil fuels without disruption to the economy like you are seeing during COVID. The instability would be disastrous. I would LOVE to see a renewable earth friendly power system; it’s the thing I want most for this planet. I’m just not willing to sacrifice the vulnerable in pursuit of my dream.

  373. hey jowles, tried some of that tincture you mentioned…they got all different thc/cbd ratios…of course I asked the friendly young man behind the counter to give me whatever would bring me the closest to death…

    holy fuck, I was still high the next day when I woke up…that shit is like a some kind of opiate…

    man, some of this stuff in 2020…not in kansas anymore that’s for sure…hell, not even of this world…

    The upset of this whole pandemic is that I never touched my stockpile of mushrooms.

    But that just means I have more when Uncle Geo comes to visit me in Montauk this summer. Which is good, because you’re going to be very disappointed when you see I’m not a male model.

  374. ***You can’t just take on what teams are willing to pay you to take and not hire other free agents. One or two of those deals could help. But you still need a team that has enough players at every position to hold scrimmages***

    If scrimmages are valued higher than asset management, then that is fucked up. Especially if for scrimmages you hire only power forwards.

  375. NahNah: You seem to understand the basic statistical arguments. You, however, refuse to abandon your eyes. You cling to them like Jack to a wood door in a cold sea. You make bold claims (fine). But once they get refuted by statistics, you then always fall back to your eyes or reinterpret the statistics inappropriately. For once, it would be nice to see you concede a point when backed into a corner, not lash out with a 2000 word diatribe.

    Either I missed the surge is disinfectant deaths you assured me would be here by now or this is really the pot calling the kettle black.

  376. NahNah: Your entire rejection of Hayes came down to his “left-hand” capability based on your eye test, and your refusal to understand the correlation coefficient (“r”) between college free throws and NBA three pointers.

    Again, an unacceptably simplistic characterization. EVERY ANALYST confirms that his lack of a right hand is a significant issue. It’s not an eye-test thing just because it’s not from a box score, it’s based on statistical data easily acquired by extensive film analysis.

    And the correlation you site is strong but hardly enough to dismiss his terrible 3-pt shooting entirely. There is a standard deviation and a bell curve, and predicting where someone falls on the curve is hardly an exact science. In my argument, we went through a bunch of players who would up being decent but not great 3-pt shooters based on FT%.

    The larger point, which you choose to selectively ignore, is that my concerns about 3-pt shooting is not the only reason, or even close to the most important reason, why I am so down on Hayes. Not having a right hand is far more concerning, as is his overall lack of elite athleticism. I don’t think his game will translate to being a decent NBA PG, and I don’t think he has the skill or athleticism to play any other position. We can have a reasonable disagreement about these and other things without you mischaracterizing my positions.

  377. For the record, Bullock was ok, but became good value because of the renegotiation. Peyton was worth the money. Morris was very good value and management did well to get him when they got the opportunity. Portis and Ellington did not work out. It’s very hard to evsluate Gibson.

    Bullock, Payton, Portis, Ellington and Gibson gave us approximately stugots for the $50M or whatever it cost to sign them. All of those signings were wastes of time. All of them can be optioned the eff outta here next year, so yay for that, but punting a gajillion dollars of salary cap space is not really a plan that I would rate A plus. We’re not any better off having had those scrubs play for us last year.

    We did get a low first rounder for Morris so hooray for that.

  378. JK47: We did get a low first rounder for Morris so hooray for that.

      

    And a future 2nd rounder and a decent expiring player with bird rights. That’s a really nice haul.

  379. I just finished that massive Steve Coll book on ExxonMobil. If you’re down with a 600+ page read about the unholy marriage of geopolitical influence and necessity of Big Oil, it’s well worth the time. Reads like a novel, in many parts, and does not show undue bias. It is highly critical, in sum, of Exxon’s lobby jockeying, climate-change denial (especially under Lee Raymond) and tacit support of foreign authoritarianism, but also realistic about the currently irreplaceable role of oil and gas in the modern world. I would be thrilled to read an afterword about the rise of electric cars in the U.S. I just hope that the adoption rate speeds up, one way or another.

  380. I mean, there is a minimum salary floor that’s I think 90 percent of the cap, correct?

    In other words, Dolan dollars gotta go to someone d’oh…

  381. Z-man: Again, an unacceptably simplistic characterization. EVERY ANALYST confirms that his lack of a right hand is a significant issue. It’s not an eye-test thing just because it’s not from a box score, it’s based on statistical data easily acquired by extensive film analysis.

    If I had a gong, I would hit it. For anyone bored enough to read my writing, imagine a gong being struck in your mind’s eye, and listen to the deep hum of the reverberating metal. If you get a slight tingle, that’s a bonus.

    You read it here first: statistical data easily acquired by extensive film analysis

    How often does Hayes dribble with his left hand compared to his point guard counterparts? Are you telling me that you have player data for how often EVERY PLAYER INTERNATIONALLY dribbles with their off-hand? Because that is exactly the data you would need to show to make this statistical claim. If you have it, great, please direct me and I will stand corrected.

  382. Nice reading Jowles. Definitely something that would be up my alley. Gonna have to check it out.

    I was just reading about the plight of Steven Donzinger, the lawyer who won a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron over the massive contamination in the Lago Agrio region. Chevron essentially ruined this guy’s life after he won the case. They even got a corrupt NYC judge (Lewis Kaplan) to appoint a private law firm to prosecute Donzinger after the SDNY declined to do so, a firm that has close ties to Chevron. (This article explains it pretty well)

    Global oil corporations are terrible.

  383. when Uncle Geo comes to visit me in Montauk this summer.

    oh my goodness…montauk is soooooooo beautiful…i don’t know, sort of made a mental commitment to myself that sometime next year me, sis and ma are taking a trip back to new york…back to our people :)

    you’re going to be very disappointed when you see I’m not a male model.

    try to stop me from hugging on you hubie…i dare ya…

    shoot, that goes for the rest of you all too if i’m lucky enough to see you in person…

    you all have become a big part of my life…shit my daily routine…we’re blessed with a lot of remarkable folks here…you know what – fuck that – fuck remarkable…you all are a lot of good people…i really don’t give a shit what you do or don’t do for a living or have or have not accomplished in life…

    it really doesn’t mean a god damn thing to me…cuz, that ain’t life…life is simply the passage of time…

    and, most of the time i have zero clue what the argument/debate is, but, it is comforting for me to read and enjoy your words…

  384. Dink:
    Nice reading Jowles. Definitely something that would be up my alley. Gonna have to check it out.

    I was just reading about the plight of Steven Donzinger, the lawyer who won a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron over the massive contamination in the Lago Agrio region. Chevron essentially ruined this guy’s life after he won the case. They even got a corrupt NYC judge (Lewis Kaplan) to appoint a private law firm to prosecute Donzinger after the SDNY declined to do so, a firm that has close ties to Chevron. (This article explains it pretty well)

    Global oil corporations are terrible.

    If you want to understand the geopolitical impact of oil, a good place to start is the Resource Curse.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_curse

  385. Finishing that Coll book is a truly heroic effort. I didn’t make it.

    The hard thing with books like that is they have a short shelf life. Exxon is currently sucking wind and isn’t the monster it once was.

    I work in energy and am sympathetic to the goals of the renewable energy movement. Reducing carbon dioxide output is critical and urgent.

    However, it does appear the renewable energy industry is on its way down the road to being just as corporate as fossil fuels and in its own way prone to quite a high level of misinformation. Not at XOM/CVX levels yet of course but not difficult to imagine things changing 10 years down the road.

  386. My next non-fiction is Chris Leonard’s Kochland. We’ll see if I can stomach another 600 pages of corporate statism. Doing JG Ballard’s Crash right now (making me feel pretty well-adjusted, all things considered) and then Cryptonomicon at the behest of Lady Jowles, who is the only one in the household to have read the copy that I bought, a fact she gently reminds me of when I start whinging about the libraries not being open.

  387. Owen, I think that’s a sound assessment. The serious players that I know that are doing well in solar/wind energy aren’t doing it because they want to save the earth (some are, no doubt). The margins on renewable energy are very attractive (and getting more so every day). They are just as likely to screw over their neighbor for a buck as anybody else (or any other oil exec).

  388. Wait, you’re citing the 2005-2010 Clippers as a model of shrewd management?

    No. I said their franchise was set for 11 years and counting by winning the lottery in 2009, following a season in which they won 19 games. That 19 win season in 2008-2009 can be tied directly to their current success and that is completely indisputable. For that reason, citing them as an example of the success of an anti-tanking approach is incoherent. On the contrary, their success has only been possible because they won one of the more coveted #1 overall picks of the past 15 years.

    The main difference in our positions is that I am not as concerned with determining whether a guy is part of our future or not and whether they add marginal wins or not. All I really care about is whether they add value to the team or not. Morris absolutely did. Portis did not. If we keep making Morris-level deals and avoid the Portis-level deals, our chances of getting better in the next 3-4 years are just as good as if we avoid all vets and only play draft picks, 2nd rounders and UDFAs.

    Like I said the day Morris was signed and repeated in this thread, I have no problem with signing free agents who can clearly be flipped at the deadline for assets. The thing is, these deals are exceptionally rare. If a free agent is coveted enough to fetch an asset at the deadline, he’s probably not signing the kind of short-term contract that makes him a good trade candidate. We all know the Morris circumstances were unique and I’m glad we took advantage of them, but if you’re expecting these opportunities to keep popping up you’re kidding yourself.

  389. Crash!

    One of the more under-appreciated films of the David Cronenberg catalogue.

    I imagine it runs pretty close to the book. Let us know :)

  390. “I would say about 50% of our free agent dollars were well spent last summer…”

    “…especially if for scrimmages you hire only power forwards.”

    That’s what gets me. Sure, if you measure each free agent utterly independently, it’s arguable but not entirely insane to suggest we were at about 50% well spent (I disagree, but well). But when we hire four vets for the same position, when we have a kid who should probably get minutes there, and another kid whose position should be the 3 but he has to play the 2 because we put a modern power forward at the 3 because log jam, and it gums up the minutes we should play our best player, then no. Those are free agent dollars horribly spent.

  391. NahNah: How often does Hayes dribble with his left hand compared to his point guard counterparts? Are you telling me that you have player data for how often EVERY PLAYER INTERNATIONALLY dribbles with their off-hand? Because that is exactly the data you would need to show to make this statistical claim. If you have it, great, please direct me and I will stand corrected.

    Now you just sound incredibly stupid and petty.

  392. geo: oh my goodness…montauk is soooooooo beautiful…i don’t know, sort of made a mental commitment to myself that sometime next year me, sis and ma are taking a trip back to new york…back to our people :)

    Only thing I remember about Montauk is that as a little kid we took a trip for the weekend there and I almost drowned TWICE, once in the beach and the other time in the pool. I have hated the water ever since lol.

  393. Z-man: Now you just sound incredibly stupid and petty.

    This isn’t petty at all. This is a stats blog! We argue about the statistical value of players. If you are saying that Hayes uses his left hand too much (which might be a reasonable assessment, I really don’t know), the burden is on you to back that up with math if we are supposed to take it as a key metric for evaluating his performance. BTW, it would also be helpful to know the correlation of one-handedness to productivity. Harden loves his left hand, but it’s so damn effective, it doesn’t matter all that much.

  394. That’s what gets me. Sure, if you measure each free agent utterly independently, it’s arguable but not entirely insane to suggest we were at about 50% well spent (I disagree, but well). But when we hire four vets for the same position, when we have a kid who should probably get minutes there, and another kid whose position should be the 3 but he has to play the 2 because we put a modern power forward at the 3 because log jam, and it gums up the minutes we should play our best player, then no. Those are free agent dollars horribly spent.

    I think we basically agree. The 50% that I think was well spent was mostly not spent on power forwards.

  395. KnickfaninNJ: I think we basically agree.The 50% that I think was well spent was mostly not spent on power forwards.

    That is a gross mischaracterization of the analysis you are quoting. There is no basic agreement. The money spent on non-power forwards was stupidly spent. BuLOCK, Ellington, and Payton were a waste of money.

  396. Only thing I remember about Montauk is that as a little kid we took a trip for the weekend there and I almost drowned TWICE, once in the beach and the other time in the pool. I have hated the water ever since lol.

    oh shit…that’s scary…yeah, we may be through with the past, past may not be through with us though…

    it’s funny, i’m not too big a fan of flying, or of being on the water…to be honest – i don’t really like driving anymore (in my younger days i was back in forth across the country a lot, certain spots, like the grand canyon i enjoy visiting over and over…i’m not even really that jazzed on bicycling…

    what i’ve loved since i was a kid is simply walking…don’t do it nearly as much as i once did…hopefully if i can keep this body in mostly one piece and still operating – wanna get back to more walking…tough part now is – walking is the most time consuming way of going from spot to spot…right now time is limited…i’m on a clock pretty much all day every day…

    haven’t worn a watch in forever, but, i can usually guess pretty close to “when” it is…intrinsically that fact annoys the heck out of me…

    just finished “checking the mail” after a long and arduous session of going through another chapter of charlotte’s web – i mean, why can’t you just read already :)…so, as normally follows getting a bit lifted – i’m rambling on…

    point of the story was/is – montauk is a feast for the senses…and, if you take it in slowly (walk it), like a lot of really beautiful spots in the world – it’s like magic…

  397. “Your thought process is all fucked up. Your information train is jammed, man!”

    nan nah does jeffrey goines…you’re like a brain bully at times…

    not really serious…maybe a little…i don’t know…who cares…

  398. thenoblefacehumper: No. I said their franchise was set for 11 years and counting by winning the lottery in 2009, following a season in which they won 19 games. That 19 win season in 2008-2009 can be tied directly to their current success and that is completely indisputable. For that reason, citing them as an example of the success of an anti-tanking approach is incoherent. On the contrary, their success has only been possible because they won one of the more coveted #1 overall picks of the past 15 years.

    Right, they hit the lottery and picked the right player, despite doing nearly everything else wrong. That’s called luck. They never embraced a multi-year tanking approach on purpose. They acquired two key players without tanking as you define it (Gordon and Jordan.)

    The improvement the LAC made was way more due to the transition to good management than lucking into Blake Griffin. Case in point, several other teams were transformed by good management after tanking and not getting the Clip’s lottery luck. Others tanked effectively and hit the lottery big time, only to fuck it up by being poorly managed. Others didn’t tank at all and found the franchise player lower in the draft or via free agency. There are lots of ways to get there, and good management has been a far more important ingredient than a specific methodology.

    As for us, we abjectly tanked twice…once we got unlucky at first but lucked into KP, only to let bad management screw that up; then again when we got somewhat unlucky (given the flattened odds, we could have expected worse) and settled for RJ.

    With the flattened odds, abject tanking is more dubious than ever. Last year, every team that tanked not only missed out on Zion and Ja, they now have a depleted roster with a second-rate lottery pick and are likely to be tanking again for an uncertain draft position with an even more iffy draft class.

  399. Thanks NahNah, although I actually think Peyton was worth the shot, given the deep, ugly hole filled with excrement that was our point guard position. Surprisingly for a Knick, he didn’t actually improve his play while here, much less realize his potential. I suppose that’s bound to happen now and then, even with our crack (sic) development staff.

    Anyone know that this is Ellington’s second go-round with the Knicks? In 2014 he came over in the summer with Shane Larkin (aw) and other flotsam for Ray and Tyson. But he was tossed to Sacramento before the season even started, for among others Mr. Outlaw. And was waived shortly thereafter.

    By the Kings. So of course we kept our eye on him.

  400. Right, they hit the lottery and picked the right player, despite doing nearly everything else wrong. That’s called luck. They never embraced a multi-year tanking approach on purpose. They acquired two key players without tanking as you define it (Gordon and Jordan.)

    You continue to miss my point. I am not saying we should “embrace a multi-year tanking approach on purpose.” I am saying we should:

    -Stockpile as many draft picks as possible
    -Avoid any and all free agents who can’t be part of our future and can’t fetch us a trade asset, fill out the roster with UDFAs, 2nd rounders, and G-League standouts
    -Because apparently this needs to be said explicitly: try to be smarter than the other teams during this time

    Do this until you have a player(s) that make it conceivable that your current team + free agents/trade targets could contend. Because the Clippers drafted Blake Griffin, this took all of one year. Same with the Mavs and Luka, etc.

    We. Are. Not. There. If you took away all the wins generated by Morris/Randle etc., we’d probably be on a 15-20 win pace. Our core + free agents would still suck, it would just suck less…which in turn, would make it less likely we get the kind of player(s) we need to turn this thing around. You see how this works?

    Taking on bad contracts for assets, filling out the roster with guys who might be part of a future core instead of Taj Gibson, etc. thus shorten the amount of time it takes to reach contention, because they make it more likely you find the guys you need to reach the core + free agents = contender point.

  401. That is a gross mischaracterization of the analysis you are quoting. There is no basic agreement. The money spent on non-power forwards was stupidly spent. BuLOCK, Ellington, and Payton were a waste of money.

    Then we disagree. I think Bullock and Peyton were good signings and we particularly needed Payton to just actually field a team sometimes when Smith and Ntilikina were injured.

  402. Avoid any and all free agents who can’t be part of our future and can’t fetch us a trade asset,

    In other words, never hire free agents.

  403. NahNah: This isn’t petty at all. This is a stats blog! We argue about the statistical value of players. If you are saying that Hayes uses his left hand too much (which might be a reasonable assessment, I really don’t know), the burden is on you to back that up with math if we are supposed to take it as a key metric for evaluating his performance.

    This is total bullshit. When every single draft analyst points to his lack of a right hand as a significant problem, saying “show me the numbers” makes you sound like a petty, condescending moron.

    Now if you want to concede the point (and please, don’t play dumb here, just concede the fucking point) and then say that you believe that it shouldn’t matter, sure, we can have a debate about that. I think it is a critical skillset that if point guards don’t have at this age, they are unlikely to develop to the point where it isn’t a liability, especially if they can’t overcome it somewhat with elite athleticism. Finishing with one’s off hand is more likely to be improved with practice.

    You brought up James Harden…did you know that he was a standout athlete at the combine his draft year?

    “No projected lottery player was more surprising at the combine than James Harden. Many scouting reports on Harden say that he’s not athletic, but his results say otherwise. First, he recorded a 37” vertical and reached the same maximum height (11’8.5”) as Blake Griffin. Second, he ran a 3.13 sprint, which was only one hundredth behind speedster Ty Lawson, and repped 17 on the bench press.”

    He also had a far better right hand coming out of college than Hayes (I can find evidence for that too, but why bother) but it didn’t even matter as much because he wasn’t being drafted as a PG.

  404. ***never hire free agents.***

    “Never hire free agents” is a bit too dogmatic, but if that’s what it takes to avoid all the terrible problems with building through free agency, then sure. Do it like the small market teams that have built contending teams MUCH more efficiently than the large market Free Agent wooing teams like the Knicks .

  405. And quote: “When every single draft analyst points to his lack of a right hand as a significant problem, saying “show me the numbers” makes you sound like a petty, condescending moron.”

    Z-Man, the rhetorical heuristic you now seek to rely on is called “appeal to authority”. I don’t put too much weight in such appeals. In fact, that is the very reason we are stuck with RJ “Can’t Shoot” Barrett. No bueno.

    Call me crazy for not giving a damn what the wingspan band has to say about evaluating players. Just show me the numbers. If he has only one hand, why didn’t this manifest in his productivity in the leagues in which he played? You know who else has no handle? Frank. You know who sucked in his limited international minutes? Frank. Simple.

  406. You know who else has no handle? Frank. You know who sucked in his limited international minutes? Frank. Simple.

    i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will not take frank bait. i will take the frank bait, and like it.

    you know what sha na na – go ahead and get schooled then sucka…

    no handle…fool, please…

  407. i will not take frank bait

    It’s the one hit we haven’t played during the lockdown. Saving it for the encore. When this thread hits 500 posts, then we argue about Frank’s potential.

  408. TNFH, at the risk of being accused of trying to bromance you to get a look at your knickerbockers, i actually think that lineup you posted at the top of the thread would be super entertaining to watch. i wouldn’t hate that. nice team assembly.

  409. Normally I’d suggest a new thread but this is kinda like when the ash gets really long on a cigar and you just want to see how long you can go before it collapses.

  410. Hubert:
    Normally I’d suggest a new thread but this is kinda like when the ash gets really long on a cigar and you just want to see how long you can go before it collapses.

    The Knickerblogger-Monkey Theorem:

    If you give ten Knickerbloggers access to the internet and 1,483 posts they will type at least one set of identical Frank Ntilikina arguments.

  411. NahNah: Z-Man, the rhetorical heuristic you now seek to rely on is called “appeal to authority”. I don’t put too much weight in such appeals. In fact, that is the very reason we are stuck with RJ “Can’t Shoot” Barrett. No bueno.

    You continue to talk out of your ass. Nearly every single analytical piece on RJ raised his shooting as a big red flag based on both statistical analysis and film study, Feel free to find me an “authority” that said otherwise. The heuristic does not apply here, shocking that you can’t see that.

  412. 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.

    They got CP3 for a future first from Minny, Eric Gordon, Kris Kaman and Aminu. The only reason they were able to pull off that trade was because the league nixed CP3 going to The Lakers, which is where he wanted to go. CP3 wasn’t asking to team up with Blake.

    When the clips traded CP3 to Houston they got 8 players in return! 8 players! Including Patrick Beverly and sweet Lou! Plus a future first rounder.

    They did get some decent assets back for Blake when they traded him to Detroit. I’m not saying he didn’t help the clips get set up at all. But CP3 was by far the bigger reason for their success with Blake and also the bigger reason they were able to get set up so we’ll post lob city. Blake on his own would have doomed the clips to mediocrity much as he has with Detroit.

    The league engineered the CP3 trade to the clips. Without that The clips would not be where they are today.

  413. I’m trying to remember other circumstances where the league stepped in to nix a trade…

    I remember thinking it was a bullshit move by the league…

    I think new orleans was without a owner at the time…

  414. Normally I’d suggest a new thread but this is kinda like when the ash gets really long on a cigar and you just want to see how long you can go before it collapses.

    What’s the record? Might as well make some history

  415. CP3 wasn’t asking to team up with Blake.

    Paul was in the last year of his contract. The only teams who would trade for him were teams that knew he would resign with them. The only reason the Clippers knew he would resign with them was because they had Blake Griffin.

  416. But the clippers weren’t his first choice, the lakers were and the clips only got him bc the league mixed the deal to the lakers under the guise of league parity. If cp3 doesn’t go to the clips they are a mediocre team that barely misses the playoffs with an overpaid fringe star in Blake. Exactly the type of scenario the pro-process crowd abhors.

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