SNY.com: Knicks feel ‘less inclined’ to trade for Russell Westbrook and his massive salary, looking for long-term cap flexibility

From the great Ian Begley:

After three days of free agency, the Knicks still have $18 million in cap space. And it doesn’t seem like they’re in a hurry to use it.

Even after Sunday’s Ed Davis trade, teams were under the impression that the Knicks remain open to providing cap relief to general managers looking to offload salary.

They’ve already done it twice in separate transactions with veteran Ed Davis, acquiring three second-round picks and two young players (Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman).

Depending on how the Charlotte-Gordon Hayward signing plays out, the Knicks could help the Hornets shed any salary needed to complete the transaction via sign-and-trade. Of course, New York would want to acquire an asset from either Charlotte or Boston in exchange for providing the cap relief.

The Knicks could also sit tight during the rest of the free agency period and use the cap space at the trade deadline to absorb a contract from a team looking to clear money in free agency.

Begley threw in some commentary at the end that I think will ring true with us here at Knickerblogger:

Based on what we’ve seen over the past few days, New York is taking a patient approach in Year 1 under Rose. That could mean another long season for the Knicks in 2020-21. Based on current roster composition, it seems like the young Knicks (RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, etc.) will have an opportunity to play a ton and learn on the job. That hasn’t been the case in year’s past.

Obviously, fans looking for a big acquisition in the 2020 offseason were disappointed with the first few days of free agency. The Knicks should have another chance to land a star in the summer of 2021. New York can have significant cap space that summer and will have two first-round picks in what should be a strong draft. (In all, they have eight first-round picks and 11 second-round picks in the next six drafts)

So the waiting game may continue for long-suffering Knicks fans. But Rose & Co. didn’t do anything in free agency that the franchise may regret in a couple years. That alone seems like a step in the right direction.

Agreed.

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425 thoughts to “SNY.com: Knicks feel ‘less inclined’ to trade for Russell Westbrook and his massive salary, looking for long-term cap flexibility”

  1. Optimist:
    Best Off-season Ever!

    Pessimist:
    Why trade #33? We’re doomed…

    Realist:
    Need to start watching TV series this season.

  2. So the only top free agents left are two max guys (Davis and Ingram) who will almost certainly stay with their current teams, plus Bogdanovic, who will either wind up in Atlanta or stay in Sacramento, depending on if the Kings match the Hawks’ offer sheet. So what teams even need to move salary at this point?

    As Begley notes, we could just role into the season with cap space to facilitate deadline deals. Which I’d be fine with.

  3. We could also just roll into the season with cap space, but apparently I proposed the idea of executive role play, because I’m up too early to spell properly.

  4. As Begley notes, we could just roll into the season with cap space to facilitate deadline deals. Which I’d be fine with.

    This part is what confuses me a bit. The Knicks wouldn’t be willing to take on 2021 salary, right? So what help would they really be in facilitating midseason deals? If the deals involve expiring contracts, then the other team in the deal would be fine with taking the players themselves, no?

  5. While I’m not thrilled over adding Rivers, I’m quite happy with this offseason by Rose & co. so far. His FO is doing exactly what Donnie Walsh was trying to do. And, I believe that Dolan has been itching to add a guy like Westbrook just like he did with Melo. The difference is either he’s chilled on the meddling or Rose has done a fine job warding him off and letting his team do their jobs. Either way, this is a good sign

  6. Caldwell-Pope getting $41 million over three when Rich Paul is his agent is some real under the table shit, right?

    Who was giving Kentavius Caldwell-Pope $41 million for three years?

    That said, thank goodness that the Knicks didn’t give Kentavius Caldwell-Pope $41 million for three years.

  7. Alan: As Begley notes, we could just role into the season with cap space to facilitate deadline deals. Which I’d be fine with.

    I interpreted it as we would roll with a team entirely composed of role players…

  8. Brian Cronin: This part is what confuses me a bit. The Knicks wouldn’t be willing to take on 2021 salary, right? So what help would they really be in facilitating midseason deals? If the deals involve expiring contracts, then the other team in the deal would be fine with taking the players themselves, no?

    There are sometimes injuries or unexpectedly bad or good records that cause teams to need players or to reconsider their strategy.

  9. Z-man: I interpreted it as we would roll with a team entirely composed of role players…

    In that case for a change the press would be close to 100% accurate

  10. Early Bird, are you sure about this:

    If we have a PG all year, there’s reason to believe we’ll improve.

    Our offense would have tied for 21st I’d we only count the time after Payton’s return, putting together a 109 ORTG.

    Prior to Payton’s return our offense ranked 30th with a 103 ORTG, approximately 2 pts below the next worst team.

    Our offense ended up 29th in the league per basketball reference adjusted offensive rankings and Payton played 45 of the 73 games. It seems mathematically impossible that we would have been tied for 21st in the games he played given that he played more than half the games, if we were 29th or 30th for the games he didn’t play. The overall average would have to end up higher than 29th if he was that good in that many games. I do recall that our offense was significantly better than before when Miller became coach and that was a much smaller number of games. Maybe you are thinking of that period?

  11. If DSJ can improbably become a useful player, that’s found money. I’m not holding my breath for it, though, even considering some of the family stuff he was going through last season.

  12. Z-man:
    I may be the biggest DSjr critic here, but sounds like he’s putting in the work. Probably won’t make much difference, but deserves credit when it’s due. It Thibs can’t rehabilitate him, no one can.

    Dennis Smith Jr was never a good NBA basketball player but you don’t see guys go from what he was in his first two seasons to what he was last year. I think the combination of Fizdale/Smart’s nonsense and his off court tragedies had more to do with his poor year than anything else. He just looked despondent and depressed all last year, so I think the long off season and new coaching staff will give him as good a chance as any to recoup some of his value in a contract year.

  13. It’s a double edged sword.

    1. Depending on how good the “rooks” are and how many if any of the young players make a jump, we are well positioned to get another good lottery pick and/or use our remaining cap space as a dumping ground for some more 2nd rounders.

    2. We are still firmly entrenched in lottery hell. So when all this cap space opens up again next year to a juicier free agent class, no premier free agent is going to give us a 2nd look. We’ll probably again be debating whether to overpay or give a long contract to a 2nd tier free agent or stay in lottery hell for another year.

    A couple of these kids are going to have to finally break out and get us into the playoffs or close. Then we’ll get a serious look from free agents (one of these years).

    It’s not like I had any great ideas based on the free agent deals that were made, but they aren’t paying me millions of dollars and I don’t have the ability to talk to GMs and agents all day to find out who might be available and what it would cost or what we could get in a trade etc..

    The rebuild via draft process is a long and depressing road that we made even longer with the KP trade.

    IMO, at some point we may have to bite the bullet and pay a good player or two a small premium just to open the door to other trades and free agent signings, It’s either that or wait until we finally get lucky in the draft.

  14. I haven’t come close to giving up on DSjr. My problem with him has always been style of play, basketball IQ, lapses in effort, sulking etc… If I’m going to suffer through the ups and downs of the development of a young player hoping he finally puts it all together, I at least want him to be the type of player I like.

  15. Deefense, I think your outlook is a little more pessmistic than I think where we are.

    Thibs will get the most out of this team. Think last year if we had Miller from the start of the season and a healthy Payton. We would have won like 32 games. The perception of our team and our players as a whole would be better around the league if we were a 32 win team than a 20ish win team.

    I expect Thibs to be able to get us to around 30ish wins. With a team full of young players, that’s not a bad place to be at all. RJ will improve because second year players almost always improve. The team on paper this year also fits a lot better.

    The free agent class next year is better all around. Just a larger group of good players are available. We’ll have cap space and will have added another lottery talent to the team. Plus another late first rounder with the Dallas pick.

    I think one more season of pain and things are going to look a lot different next off season. That doesn’t mean I think we’re getting Giannis and going to the ECF next year. But I think next year we will see a real push for us to become a playoff team.

    I know you think we’ve been rebuilding since we drafted Porzingis. But that reality wise just isn’t true. Phil punted those years with mega max melo and getting Noah and Rose. Then Mills punted another year getting THJ. And we made not the best draft choices with Frank and Knox. But think about how we didn’t have a first round pick the year before we drafted Porzingis or the year after we drafted him. But now we’re going to have two more first round picks next year, two in 2023. Over the next few years we’re going to be adding A LOT of young talent and we have the infrastructure now to support them. And our cap is going to be pretty clean too.

    I expect us to surprise people a bit this year. I think we’re gonna be fun to watch.

  16. Brian Cronin:
    Caldwell-Pope getting $41 million over three when Rich Paul is his agent is some real under the table shit, right?

    Who was giving Kentavius Caldwell-Pope $41 million for three years?

    That said, thank goodness that the Knicks didn’t give Kentavius Caldwell-Pope $41 million for three years.

    Hollinger wrote a great piece about this over the last couple days terming it the “Bird Rights Trap” which I like. For these over the cap teams holding a guy like KCP’s Bird rights, the two options are sign that player or lose out altogether; it’s not sign him or sign someone else to a better deal. They were either going to have KCP on their team or have a giant hole in the rotation where KCP used to be. If KCP came to them and said that’s what he wanted or he’s signing in Atlanta (or whatever) they’re in extremely weak negotiating position to call his bluff.

    Hollinger pointed out that many of the worst looking deals signed this offseason fall into this category:

    It’s no accident that the biggest overpays this week were on big-money, long-term deals for accessory players on capped-out teams: four years and $64 million for Morris; four years and $75 million for Harris; three years and $40 million for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope; five years and $80 million for Davis Bertans; four years and $52 million for Jordan Clarkson; and four years and $60 million for Malik Beasley.

  17. I’m ok with goin with a Payton/Ntilikina/Rivers rotation at PG and a Mitch/Obi/Noel/Spellman/Knox rotation at the big spots. Completely fine with it..actually happy with it. That would leave mainly a Burks/Quickley/Bullock/Iggy rotation on the wings with some Ntilikina and Rivers sprinkled in. The question is: how do we move Randle and DSJ? Package deal? But for whom? Another wing that we can extract picks for saving someone money hopefully. I just have no idea who. Maybe another PF/C to serve as the backup to the backups? I dunno..

  18. Totes, I think DSJ would at best be considered salary filler by the rest of the league right now, and quite possibly a toxic asset, even at a relatively small salary. Either the coaching staff gets him right (in the real way, not the Fiz/Mudiay way), or he has no value.

    As for Blue And Orange Julius? That the Hornets haven’t actually waived Batum yet means there’s still a chance they’re negotiating a sign-and-trade with Boston, which in turn means there’s still a chance we could get in on it and dump Randle on one of those teams (more likely Charlotte) while taking back Batum’s expiring contract and a pick or picks. Beyond that, what teams are both looking for a big man with his skill set (i.e., someone to provide bench scoring and rebounding) and have matching expiring contracts to send back?

    Meanwhile, in more minor transaction news:

    @KeithSmithNBA
    Per league sources: Jared Harper has signed his Two-Way qualifying offer with the New York Knicks.

    Harper making an actual impact on this team is unlikely, given all the players ahead of him at both guard spots, but stranger things have happened, like Linsanity.

    EDIT: Ha, and you made the same point in a sentence that I was busy making at length.

  19. Woj:

    Boston Celtics G-League coach Darren Erman is finalizing a deal to join Tom Thibodeau’s staff with the New York Knicks, sources tell ESPN. Erman coached the Maine Red Claws in 2019-2020 after four years as New Orleans’ associate head coach.

  20. I’m not sure why we haven’t extended a 2+1 offer sheet with poison pills to Ingram. Worst thing that happens is that Ingram is a free agent again in two years and we’ve done him and his agent a favor. I don’t know the details of the deals we’ve signed already, but it seems to me we could probably get to max room if we needed to. It’s not like whatever salary dumping moves we might want to make won’t be there 48h later after the matching period.

  21. I’ve been pretty depressed about the Knicks for a long time. I am not “happy” with what they did because it’s been 7 years of misery (win totals of 21, 17, 29, 31, 32, 17, 37). At some point we need to turn the corner. I’m getting old and crochety. But with Yankee spring training months away and the Jets looking to become the all-time worst team, I needed the Knicks to provide some joy. All I wanted was to be in the hunt for a playoff spot this year, to go into March (April? WTF knows what the schedule is) with a shot to sneak in. I don’t see it this year. Am I wrong? Are they better than a bottom 10 team? Bottom 5?

  22. Deefense, I think your outlook is a little more pessmistic than I think where we are.

    I think it’s dependent on what the young kids do and what Thibs gets out of them.

    I know what we did last year, but my post from last night was basically suggesting that a lot of teams that finished in the lottery behind us or near us last last year either had serious injuries to significant players (Golden State, Detroit, Washington, Chicago) or improved a lot more in the off season than we did. So looking at last year’s win total and saying we have Thib and the kids may get better doesn’t necessarily do a lot for our win% unless these kid really break out.

    I don’t want to debate the definition of tank again and what the proper strategy is after the first year. My point was we had the 2nd worst record in the league back then, got the 2nd better player in the draft in KP, and traded him for potentially unusable cap space and future assets. That delayed our rebuild. If we had KP, RJ, and Robinson the world would be looking at us a lot differently now than having Robinson, RJ and future mediocre Dallas picks,

  23. It’s been 7 years of misery because we haven’t done what we are finally doing this year. If the team had executed a proper rebuild around the time Phil was hired, we wouldn’t necessarily be a title contender, but we’d be a hell of a lot better than we are now. The problem is that we’ve been half-assing it most of the time, occasionally backing into high lotto picks, but more often than not chasing marginal wins that were the difference between drafting De’Aaron Fox and drafting Frank. Rose and company may have some dumb moves in them down the road, but for the moment they are demonstrating that they understand what this roster needs at this stage of things is patience and sensible spending.

    As my man Mike Ehrmantraut would say, half-measures will get you killed, and that’s mostly what the team has been doing prior to this administration.

  24. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    I’ve been pretty depressed about the Knicks for a long time. I am not “happy” with what they did because it’s been 7 years of misery (win totals of 21, 17, 29, 31, 32, 17, 37). At some point we need to turn the corner. I’m getting old and crochety.But with Yankee spring training months away and the Jets looking to become the all-time worst team, I needed the Knicks to provide some joy.All I wanted was to be in the hunt for a playoff spot this year, to go into March (April? WTF knows what the schedule is) with a shot to sneak in. I don’t see it this year.Am I wrong? Are they better than a bottom 10 team? Bottom 5?

    with the 10-team per conference format, we could sneak in, but it would require some things to happen:
    -Obi being NBA ready and good
    -RJ and one of Knox or Frank playing better than bottom 50 in the league
    -Mitch playing a lot and staying healthy
    -Someone else surprising (Iggy? Quickley?)
    -Randle reverting to pre-Knicks form if he is still around

  25. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: All I wanted was to be in the hunt for a playoff spot this year, to go into March (April? WTF knows what the schedule is) with a shot to sneak in. I don’t see it this year. Am I wrong? Are they better than a bottom 10 team? Bottom 5?

    I think if all you want is a cheap playoff chase, the play-in tourney this year is pretty likely to keep us at least nominally in the hunt until close to the end. Even with how awful last year was we were only 2.5 games out of that #10 seed after 66 games played. The bottom of the East playoff picture has probably gotten a little more competitive with Detroit, Charlotte and Atlanta all spending this offseason, but to be in a “playoff chase” the Knicks just need to be within a few games of the Magic, Hornets, Wizards, Pistons tier of teams. That’s an achievable goal.

  26. Ha, and Seth Rosenthal reminded me that Erman was the Golden State assistant coach whom Mark Jackson pushed out because he’s an awful, paranoid man. As Seth put it, “man the Knicks did, like, the exact opposite of hiring Mark Jackson”

  27. Alan:
    It’s been 7 years of misery because we haven’t done what we are finally doing this year. If the team had executed a proper rebuild around the time Phil was hired, we wouldn’t necessarily be a title contender, but we’d be a hell of a lot better than we are now. The problem is that we’ve been half-assing it most of the time, occasionally backing into high lotto picks, but more often than not chasing marginal wins that were the difference between drafting De’Aaron Fox and drafting Frank. Rose and company may have some dumb moves in them down the road, but for the moment they are demonstrating that they understand what this roster needs at this stage of things is patience and sensible spending.

    As my man Mike Ehrmantraut would say, half-measures will get you killed, and that’s mostly what the team has been doing prior to this administration.

    All of this. Simply understanding where the team is on the win curve and keeping their options open until they are ready to compete would be a MAJOR change for this team.

  28. Alan: I think DSJ would at best be considered salary filler by the rest of the league right now, and quite possibly a toxic asset, even at a relatively small salary.

    What makes DSJr toxic? Please remind me of a time when he was a locker room cancer.

    Frankly, I feel bad for him. Of all the guards on the roster, secretly, I hoped he would be the under-the-radar guy for whom the game clicked. I like that he’s been working his tail off.

    I just re-read Mike Schmidz’s 2016 pre-draft scouting report:

    Although a team like the Knicks could sorely use his shot creation, his less than stellar defensive habits and ball-dominant style would likely continue to worsen for an organization that is lacking veteran leadership and stability on the coaching staff and front office. For Smith’s sake, like Monk, he’d be much better off landing in a place like Dallas, which has strong ownership, an accomplished head coach in Carlisle, and veterans like Dirk Nowitzki and Wesley Matthews to learn from. If Smith lands in the wrong spot, his NBA career could look a lot like that lone season at N.C. State — big statistical games in lopsided losses, but with a strong infrastructure in place, his talent could very well be maximized, turning into that top five caliber prospect we saw at the high school level.

    Source: DraftExpress

    How prescient was that?!? So now he’s worked all summer on his jumper and he finally has a coach that won’t take shit from him on defense and a development staff that could nudge him in the right direction. I’m rooting for him over all the other guards. I think he has the most upside.

  29. What makes DSJr toxic? Please remind me of a time when he was a locker room cancer.

    I don’t mean toxic as in bad behavior. As you say, his behavior has been totally fine. I was using the financial lingo (to the best of my limited understanding of anything financial) to suggest that he played so terribly last year that even at $5 million, nobody in the league would want that contract.

  30. DSjr has shown himself to be a thin-skinned pouter with a low b-ball IQ. I doubt that he can ever change that, but we’ll see.

  31. dsj was very obviously hurt last year…. he hurt his back in training camp and very likely came back too early and was probably on pain killers the rest of the way….. that kind of dip in production doesn’t occur without some sort of injury occurring….

  32. thenamestsam: Hollinger wrote a great piece about this over the last couple days terming it the “Bird Rights Trap” which I like. For these over the cap teams holding a guy like KCP’s Bird rights, the two options are sign that player or lose out altogether; it’s not sign him or sign someone else to a better deal. They were either going to have KCP on their team or have a giant hole in the rotation where KCP used to be. If KCP came to them and said that’s what he wanted or he’s signing in Atlanta (or whatever) they’re in extremely weak negotiating position to call his bluff.

    Hollinger pointed out that many of the worst looking deals signed this offseason fall into this category:

    This is why I thought the Warriors would keep Wiggins and not trade him. Like those teams you mentioned, they would have no way to replace him, even though they know he’s overpaid.

  33. Someone said, “The Knicks alway’s eat the marshmallow”. I picked up on the metaphor for a post but I owe the original thought to someone else…

    It really applies. I mean, Why did last years rotation feature Morris, Randle, Portis, Gibson, etc? That’s not really even one marshmallow. Westbrook would be one marshmallow but we’d almost instantly rue the three we could get next summer. OK, enough flogging of this metaphor. It’s good and dead…

    I’m excited about the unknown right now. How good can Mitch be? Does he indeed have a three? Can RJ tap into some Magic Johnson type play? Yes, we have some minutes as predictors but we haven’t seen the movie before. Gordon Hayward? Donovan Mitchell? KCP? Their contracts all are now like the proverbial new car the second it’s driven out of the lot. All downside really. We still have upside. How much? I don’t know. But don’t necessarily assume all our guys have the same value (or lower value) next summer that they do now.

  34. I mean, he wasn’t very good in Dallas either, but DSJ certainly would benefit from good, high-character vet teammates. He would probably do fine learning from the Lakers’ bench, for instance.

    So, the elephant in the room is that Thibs generally runs tight, 10-man rotations. So some of these guys just won’t play at all unless there’s an injury to two. Assuming that Randle will be dealt, I think those 10 should be:

    Payton, Rivers, Ntilikina, Barrett, Burks, Bullock, Knox, Toppin, Robinson, Spellman

    …Unless a guy comes into camp and sucks terribly or shows out way better than last season. Maybe DSJ breaks in as the 11th man, but most likely the 11th guy will be a big (definitely if Randle stays on). Iggy, Quickley, Harper, Pinson, etc. will be on the outside looking in… and there’s still time for the Knicks to add/move more vet bodies.

    I assume Rivers, Burks, and Bullock will be trade deadline fodder, so some of the kids could maybe move up then.

  35. Z-man:
    But how can Charlotte take on Randle, even if we take Batum?

    The only way Randle ends up in Charlotte is if we take Terry Rozier

  36. I’m really curious about how the Knicks guard rotation shakes out. Realistically,
    Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, Immanuel Quickly, Austin Rivers, Dennis Smith Jr. PG logjam feels a lot like the Randle, Portis, Taj, Mook logjam we had at PF last year.

  37. ess-dog, you left out Noel, who should be the primary backup at the 5 so that we usually have an elite shotblocker out there to cover for the defensive failings of other members of the roster. But would definitely like to see Spellman get some minutes, especially if the coaches can get him in shape.

  38. The current projected rotations definitely don’t exactly pass the smell test. Macri thinks Randle and Ntilikina are still being shopped.

    What’s the all-time record for comments on a thread? The Knicks trading a fringe NBA player in Ntilikina for a second round pick could definitely beat out, like, the Melo trade or a playoff game thread.

  39. I cribbed most of this from Jeremy Cohen, but the Knicks could maybe pull a trade like this:

    Knicks get:
    Mike Conley
    Jazz lottery-protected 1RP

    Pelicans get:
    Randle
    Knicks 2021 2RP

    Jazz get:
    Bledsoe
    DSJ
    Bullock

    This saves the Pels a lot of money, and the Jazz can show Mitchell that they are looking to compete this year while also adding a former top-10 pick for him to mentor. The Knicks get a real pg and a first for DSJ.

  40. Alan:
    ess-dog, you left out Noel, who should be the primary backup at the 5 so that we usually have an elite shotblocker out there to cover for the defensive failings of other members of the roster. But would definitely like to see Spellman get some minutes, especially if the coaches can get him in shape.

    I knew I was forgetting somebody! Yes, Spellman is also on the inside looking out. Right now there’s a roster crunch.

  41. The reason to take the over isn’t our offense. Whether Payton plays more games or not, or RJ takes strides, it isn’t going to be good. Our defense, though, should be in the top half of the league. That’s more than 22 wins.

  42. *Cohen originally had Lonzo going to Utah, but I don’t see why the Pels would do that, as they are trying to win now.

  43. Great Athletic profile of Erman by Jared Weiss. On Twitter, Weiss called Erman “the Thibs whisperer,” and said he’s “the perfect person to teach Toppin, Barrett and Robinson the defensive scheme.”

  44. ess-dog:
    *Cohen originally had Lonzo going to Utah, but I don’t see why the Pels would do that, as they are trying to win now.

    His reasoning was something like:

    1) The Benson family owns the Saints and Pels, so they’re currently paying out $330M in player salaries alone with zero fans in the seats.
    2) The Pels probably don’t want to pay Lonzo Ball long term.
    3) They’d probably want to avoid the repeater tax, and BI’s extension with all the salary on their books right now makes them a tax payer.

  45. ess-dogSo, the elephant in the room is that Thibs generally runs tight, 10-man rotations…. Iggy, Quickley, Harper, Pinson, etc. will be on the outside looking in.

    And there you hit the nail on the head! That is my biggest problem about this roster. Unless Thibs does a 180 on how he runs teams, this roster is designed to have developing talent rot on the bench. You wanted

    Payton, Rivers, Ntilikina, Barrett, Burks, Bullock, Knox, Toppin, Robinson, Spellman…most likely the 11th guy will be a big

    I’m afraid it’ll be Payton, Burks, Randle, Toppin, Noel that start with RJ, Knox, Frank, Mitch and Rivers off the bench, Spellman being the occasional 11th man when Mitch fouls out and yeah, Iggy, Quickly and DSJr don’t get any playing time.

    I would rather we not have signed Burks and Payton. They wrecked it all for me. BTW, why is Burks thought of as a really good shooter that can stretch the floor? I mean, he’s better than lots of Knicks, but relative to the rest of the league? He’s just average at best. His numbers:
    FG% 41.8% (good for 113th)
    3pt% 38.5% (good for 53rd)

  46. swiftandabundant:
    No way we should give up our 2021 First Round Pick. We would be insane to do that. Its pretty much guaranteed to be a top 10 pick!

    We would send one of our 2021 2nd rounders (2RP)

  47. In a world where Jerami Grant-a thoroughly average player-gets 60 million for 4 years KCP doesn’t look like an egregious overpay.

  48. the young guys probably won’t play but thibs runs really long and hard practices… if they’re going to do anything they’ll show out in practice…

    a lot of these folks are not going to see the court at all….. and it’s probably going to involve some player that people are very fond of…. so you should be prepared for that….

  49. kcp’s contract isn’t that bad at all… he’s been a solid player for a long while and he’s young….

    you have to realize the mid level exception is now almost 10mm a year…. if you’re a starter in this league AND you’re young… you should be getting well north of that…. for kcp and grant they’re well within that role and they got what you would expect for a young starter…. which btw there aren’t that many of…..

  50. Yeah, for that team, that KCP contract is fine. He’s a good complement to LeBron and AD, and his shooting is less of an issue than it would be on, say, our team. And the Hollinger point is right in the sense that they wouldn’t be able to find a player half as useful if they just let him leave as a FA. If LeBron retires or his play falls off a cliff before KCP’s deal is up, then it’s something of a problem. But flags fly forever, and they’re right now in an excellent position to repeat.

  51. Nicos, I totally agree. And the ending, while thematically consistent, and perhaps “mature,” was terribly disappointing. Aren’t they, like… just doing the same thing all over again?

    As for the sex scenes, I think that you are in the minority there. It’s definitely softcore p*rn for introverted, contemplative, intelligent women. At least that’s what Lady Jowles claims (paraphrasing), and she’s a reliable judge on the topic. ; )

    Alan’s take on the half measures is dead-on. This is the best offseason we’ve had in the modern era, and it’s years overdue. Be patient. Don’t waste money on the Haywards. Don’t blow picks on 30 former stars. Stay the course, develop some young talent, and be ready to pounce once that 40-win core comes into focus. It will happen if not subjected to the whims of hasty executives and grumbling fanboys.

  52. It will be interesting to see who the backup PG is out of camp. Rivers and Frank are more combo guards and DSJ sucks.

  53. My bet for the 10 man rotation will be…

    Payton/Frank
    Rivers/Bullock
    RJ/Burkes
    Randle/Toppin
    Mitch/Noel

    It will be interesting to see if Thibs sticks with a tight 10 man rotation or if he’ll be directed from above to open it up a bit so dudes like Quickley, Iggy, DSJ, Knox, etc…get a chance to play some minutes.

    I really hope there is a G-League this year. I would imagine they could do some bubble like set ups where a few teams just play each other. We will have dudes who won’t get regular minutes and will need some burn.

    And I bet Rivers/Bullock/Noel/Randle are all possible deadline trade bait.

  54. There is no way to predict who will play and how much, starters vs. bench, etc. at this point. And my guess is that Thibs will make the call but there will be an overriding organizational philosophy that Thibs will adhere to, even at the cost of wins. For example, he’s probably going to have to run some young players out there even if they are not the best choice to win a particular game.

    I also think Thibs will reward hard work that leads to results. Kids that give 100% and show improvement will get opportunities.

    In other words, Thibs is the coach but it’s Rose’s team. He’s not going to let Thibs bury the prospects unless Rose himself feels that they are deserving of it and it’s good for the long haul. This is clearly a collaborative structure led by Rose, who is going to listen and defer to a consensus, and going to expect everyone including Thibs to do the same. Thibs will have far more support but far less power than he did in Minny, and his friendship with Rose should make collaboration easier than it was in Chicago. Hopefully Rose doesn’t trust Thibs too much and reins him in when necessary, remembering that Thibs was a driving force behind maxing Wiggins, that he can alienate players and management if empowered too much, and that he needs to implement a more modern offense than he did in Minny.

  55. Our offense ended up 29th in the league per basketball reference adjusted offensive rankings and Payton played 45 of the 73 games. It seems mathematically impossible that we would have been tied for 21st in the games he played given that he played more than half the games, if we were 29th or 30th for the games he didn’t play.

    ORTG isn’t a linear scale. 103 is off the charts bad. Warriors ended up with 105.93 as the worst in the league, we were 29th with 107.10 and then it starts to bunch up. 21st was a bit shy of 110. Knicks’ offense was A LOT better with Payton, though it was of course still poor relative to the league.

    That said, I wouldn’t take the over on the Knicks until the schedule is released. If everything else is equal they’re likely better than the line, but everything else is not going to be equal.

  56. Erman is an exciting hire. I’ve been scanning twitter for more info about the guy — Rondo said he was the best defensive coach he’s played for, and Draymond Green called him a defensive mastermind.

    I’ve been looking for Celtics players he helped develop during his one year coaching their G-League team and so far I’ve found Romeo Langford, Tacko Fall, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters. I don’t know that much about those guys except that Tacko is LOL TALL so maybe someone else can fill us in on if that’s a positive. Waters was last year’s G-League ROTY.

    To add a layer of intrigue, Mark Jackson fired Erman from the Warriors coaching staff because Erman was caught secretly recording conversations between players and coaches. According to Woj, he was doing this because he suspected someone else on the coaching staff was undermining his game preparations and his relationship with the players. That spices up his wholesome salt-of-the-earth image a little. If the Warriors locker room under Mark Jackson was in fact a hotbed of Machiavellian political maneuvering, then it looks like Erman tried to resort to ethically questionable methods to protect his own standing. I’m surprised this never came up in his Athletic profile.

  57. Via Berman

    In the over/under for wins, the Knicks, who failed to make a noticeable upgrade in free agency, rest at the very bottom. New York is tied with Cleveland for the fewest projected victories at 22 ½. That’s based on a 72-game schedule, so a 22-50 Knicks record wins the under bet.

  58. Bobby Marks is noting that teams are mostly giving two-way contracts to their second round picks this year, in part because there may not be a G-League season:

    The condensed offseason/training camp/season has teams putting a premium on roster spots 13-15 going to more established players.

    With the G-League season TBD, 2W players will spend the majority of their time with the parent club. Extended part of the roster but w/o cap hit.

  59. So, the elephant in the room is that Thibs generally runs tight, 10-man rotations…. Iggy, Quickley, Harper, Pinson, etc. will be on the outside looking in.

    And there you hit the nail on the head! That is my biggest problem about this roster. Unless Thibs does a 180 on how he runs teams, this roster is designed to have developing talent rot on the bench.

    This was one of the main reason I didn’t like hiring Thibs. But…

    I would rather we not have signed Burks and Payton.

    If you give any credence at all to the idea that decent vets help young players develop then Rose had to pick up some guards because as much as I hope they develop right now Frank and DSj are really really bad. Bad enough that has he not brought in some competency Rose would likely face accusations from the league of ‘pulling a Hinkie.’

  60. If we could lose more than half of the 50 games by less than 10 points and the young’uns take big steps forward, I’m down with that. Otherwise, it would take non-development by nearly all of the young players to get there, which ain’t good.

  61. I’ve gone down a rabbit hole of the Darren Erman Taping Affair and I’m taking you all down with me:

    “What happened out there was, in my opinion, a total hatchet job for Darren Erman,” said Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “Darren has been one of the most respected assistants in the NBA for a long time. Did he tape a conversation when he thought some of the coaches were bad mouthing him to other players? Sure. Was he a shill for management? Absolutely not.

    “Mark Jackson… was threatened by the work Darren Erman was putting in, the type of hours he put in as assistant coach. You have to have a certain level of understanding if you are a head coach of your own limitations. Doc Rivers had that with (Tom) Thibodeau in Boston. (Larry) Bird had that with (Rick) Carlisle and (Dick) Harter). Mark Jackson never had that with Darren Erman.

    “What happened to (Erman) subsequently, the fact that Doc Rivers immediately tried to hire him as an assistant coach, the fact that the Celtics immediately scooped him up as a Director of Scouting speaks to the level of respect around the league have for Darren and how they don’t believe any of the stuff coming out about him from Golden State.

    If it was about Mark Jackson’s paranoia, no surprise there.

  62. Us having the worst record is way too good to be true. We’ve seen this movie before. It’ll be all bunched up until the last two games or so, then we’ll finish with 24 wins with two teams tied at 23 and another three teams tied at 22. Something like that anyway.

  63. More Ermania:

    This post from the Pelicans SB Nation blog is a good compilation of Erman’s accomplishments up until 2015. Brian Scalabrine gave him equal credit to Mark Jackson for taking the Warriors’ defense from 26th to 3rd in the league.

    Marcus Smart, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, and Harrison Barnes all give credit to Erman for their defensive improvements.

  64. I would rather we not have signed Burks and Payton. They wrecked it all for me.

    I’m not sure how much I buy into the idea that young players rely a lot on the players around them in developing, my instincts tell me it’s probably true on some level but the effect is overstated. However it’s worth noting that Mitch did have better numbers with Payton last year than without him, and while that could always be randomness it’s a fairly intuitive outcome. Basically if you buy into the idea whatsoever, Payton is a sensible signing for both Mitch and Toppin.

    BTW, why is Burks thought of as a really good shooter that can stretch the floor? I mean, he’s better than lots of Knicks, but relative to the rest of the league? He’s just average at best. His numbers:
    FG% 41.8% (good for 113th)
    3pt% 38.5% (good for 53rd)

    That’s about as good as you’ll find for 1/$6M.

  65. Yeah, I like the Erman hire. Right now I’ll predict 24-48. I like the symmetry, and predicting more wins than projected is both optimistic and pessimistic at the same time!

    About DSJ. Before the Knicks traded for him, there were reports out of Dallas that DSJ pouted about losing primary ballhandling responsibilities to Luka, IIRC. The pouting was so bad that he allegedly milked a minor injury for a few games to avoid playing, and Dallas was eager to move on from him. Now, that’s been a while, maybe those reports were exaggerated, etc., and/or maybe he’s grown up a bit. Hope springs eternal.

  66. To elaborate:

    Mitch’s numbers with Payton on: 17.2 PTS/36, .734 TS%, 20.2 USG% (540 MP)

    Mitch’s numbers with Payton off: 13.7 PTS/36, .721 TS%, 12.5 USG% (870 MP)

    Honestly, when you consider that Mitch is arguably our most important player right now it would’ve been downright negligent to not sign Payton to that tiny contract. There’s every reason to believe Payton will have a similar effect on Toppin.

    This poor guy may be the most unfairly maligned Knick of all time.

  67. Knick fan not in NJ:
    Early Bird,are you sure about this:

    Our offense ended up 29th in the league per basketball reference adjusted offensive rankings and Payton played 45 of the 73 games.It seems mathematically impossible that we would have been tied for 21st in the games he played given that he played more than half the games, if we were 29th or 30th for the games he didn’t play.The overall average would have to end up higher than 29th if he was that good in that many games.I do recall that our offense was significantly better than before when Miller became coach and that was a much smaller number of games.Maybe you are thinking of that period?

    There may be some differences with how BKREF calculates ORTG on different parts of their site, but the point still stands. The best way to improve our offense is running out competent PGs every game.

    Plus, the non-overlap of Payton’s return and Miller taking over is about 1 game that Payton played ~10 minutes for.

    As was said above 103 ORTG & was 2 pts worse than the team that ended up in last. It took us playing around 21st in the league just to cover that gap.

    To put 2 pts in perspective, remembering that the numbers may vary for the 2 charts I’m looking at, 2 more points above Payton’s tenure puts us around 14th and 2 fewer points puts us between 26th & 27th. So a 2 pt spread between us & the team actually finishing 30 is horrendous, terrible, no good, very bad. All these teams are clustered pretty closely.

  68. the dallas pick is worth monitoring…. they essentially traded wright and curry for richardson and tyrell terry…. and probably will be without kp until probably feb or even march in my estimates….

    unless luka takes a significant step up… which is absolutely possible and even somewhat likely…. i think they do finish in the high 30s and probably miss the playoffs ….. at the very least the pick should be somewhere in the teens and this draft should be a good one….

  69. Yeah, I don’t get the angst over Payton. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that the Knicks got him back so cheaply. He seems like he’d be a solid backup PG even for a good team. Maybe there’s something off the court about him that has soured him around the league?

    I’ll only be negative about him if they start playing him well over 30 mpg, I guess, which is certainly possible with Thibs. There’s really no other decent PG on the roster. For Frank fans, he still might get decent minutes b/c Thibs might love his defense, but probably more as a backup combo guard. He still needs to stay healthy and shoot better.

    Austin Rivers might be a bigger threat to Frank’s minutes than Payton.

  70. thenoblefacehumper: That’s about as good as you’ll find for 1/$6M.

    Kinda my point. He’s excess. Alec Burks is like a Reggie Bullock. If instead of Burks and Peyton they paid up and signed a better point guard, like Augustine (3yr/21) I would be much happier. Maybe they tried and got rejected, but watching a team of $5M vets play is as appealing as watching paint dry.

  71. I think the ten-man rotation will be:

    Robinson, Noel, Randle, Toppin, Barrett, Bullock, Burks, Rivers, Payton, Ntilikina

    I think at some point we will move Randle and one of Bullock, Rivers, or Burks. After that, I think Quickley and Knox will get a chance to be in the rotation. If Knox falls flat I expect to see Spellman will take his place.

    Barring multiple injuries, I would be surprised if Smith Jr, Brazdeikis, Evans, or the 2-ways get much playing time even post-trade deadline.

    I think we signed one player too many and that player is Rivers. He is really what causes the crunch and keeps Quickley and Knox on the bench to start the season.

  72. Dream: The Knicks land #1 and parlay the Dallas pick an a 2nd rounder or two to move up in a great draft.

  73. djphan:
    the dallas pick is worth monitoring…. they essentially traded wright and curry for richardson and tyrell terry…. and probably will be without kp until probably feb or even march in my estimates….

    unless luka takes a significant step up… which is absolutely possible and even somewhat likely….i think they do finish in the high 30s and probably miss the playoffs ….. at the very least the pick should be somewhere in the teens and this draft should be a good one….

    The Dallas Mavericks are a significant Doncic injury away from being a bottom seven team in the NBA. That pick is absolutely untouchable.

  74. Isn’t it a little weird (potentially in a good way) to be able to get this important an assistant this late in the cycle?

  75. The Glass Half Rebuilt: The Dallas Mavericks are a significant Doncic injury away from being a bottom seven team in the NBA. That pick is absolutely untouchable.

    Yeah, KP’s gonna miss half the year or more probably. Pick’s absolutely untouchable unless it’s for a true superstar. Could be in the lottery even if Luka plays.

  76. For all you over/under would be gamblers, proportionally there are actually more games against the West this year than in a typical year.

  77. Ben R: I think we signed one player too many and that player is Rivers. He is really what causes the crunch and keeps Quickley and Knox on the bench to start the season.

    Rivers is necessary as emergency PG insurance.

    Payton will go down at some point. If DSJr isn’t up to snuff, then Rivers can step in to backup Frank. Plus we can still juice him for value at SG.

    More generally, I am worried that Thibs puts Rivers above Frank on the depth chart at PG, since he has a predilection for playing vets over young guys.

  78. Interesting: Miami and Bam are working on an extension now. People had said they would wait until next summer so they could time things right to potentially add Giannis or another max FA before they extended him. That they’re willing to eat into next year’s salary cap either means they have intel about a Giannis extension, or just that they don’t want to risk anything that would cost them Bam for the chance of bringing in somebody else.

  79. E:
    Isn’t it a little weird (potentially in a good way) to be able to get this important an assistant this late in the cycle?

    Erman was the Celtics’ G-League coach and there’s no G-League this year.

  80. E: Yeah, KP’s gonna miss half the year or more probably. Pick’s absolutely untouchable unless it’s for a true superstar.Could be in the lottery even if Luka plays.

    Also, I’d expect Kristaps Porzingis to miss a ton of games when he comes back because:

    1) It’s his second significant knee surgery since 2018
    2) The condensed schedule will mean there is less rest time between games.

    Luka Doncic is as good a player as any to carry that Mavs team, but without Doncic the Mavericks are Knicks West. I’m quite confident we end up with two top 20 picks in this year’s draft, and if things go left for Dallas we could be in for a franchise-altering draft class.

  81. Alan:
    Interesting: Miami and Bam are working on an extension now. People had said they would wait until next summer so they could time things right to potentially add Giannis or another max FA before they extended him. That they’re willing to eat into next year’s salary cap either means they have intel about a Giannis extension, or just that they don’t want to risk anything that would cost them Bam for the chance of bringing in somebody else.

    There are theories out there that either Dallas or Miami blew the whistle on Milwaukee for the Bogdanovic S&T, so seeing that Miami is going for the extension is a little weird.

  82. Us having the worst record is way too good to be true. We’ve seen this movie before. It’ll be all bunched up until the last two games or so, then we’ll finish with 24 wins with two teams tied at 23 and another three teams tied at 22. Something like that anyway.

    You left off the part where we pick 8th and Dallas, with a 5% chance, gets the #1 pick.

  83. d-mar: You left off the part where we pick 8th and Dallas, with a 5% chance, gets the #1 pick.

    Well, Dallas’ 2021 pick is fully unprotected so that works out in our favor anyway lol

  84. d-mar: You left off the part where we pick 8th and Dallas, with a 5% chance, gets the #1 pick.

    Dallas pick is unprotected, so yes please.

  85. Doug Chu: Erman was the Celtics’ G-League coach and there’s no G-League this year.

    Do you know for a fact there isn’t going to be one?

  86. I think its top 3 protected actually.

    Even if the Dallas pick ends up not being great (say in the low 20’s) and we have the 8th pick because Knicks. Having that extra Dallas pick along with the 2 second rounders, the extra Dallas first rounder in 2023, etc…we could theoretically trade up some spots if there’s someone we REALLY want.

  87. GoNY, Augustine is a 5’11” backup point who only shot 34.8 from 3 last year. I mean, I wouldn’t mind him as a backup point because his career 3% is quite decent, but he’s the answer to who should back up Elf (under certain favorable matchup situations), not who should replace him.

    Ben R, yes, my take exactly. I think Rivers was an excess sign, although I sort of understand the rationale (what Early Bird says). I still feel it wasn’t the right call, although I admit that’s colored a bit by my feeling he’s a jerk. I look forward to finding out if I still feel that way once I see him in a Knicks jersey.

    The final call on the Rivers pickup is whether DSJ and/or Frank get to respectable backup levels or not. It’s very possible both might, also very possible both don’t. But I’m still hoping Rivers gets packaged with Randle (and DSJ) at some point.

  88. I think its top 3 protected actually.

    It is not. I checked multiple sources. The 2023 pick is top 10 protected for that year and the next two, and if it hasn’t conveyed by 2025, it becomes a 2nd rounder that year.

  89. I keep having fantasies where we end up with the number one pick and then like the 5th pick or something crazy like that.

    I know I shouldn’t get ahead of myself but I do believe in GM karma. We’ve had bad draft luck for so long…always picking either right where we’re supposed to or later than the odds said we would. But I also think we created that bad luck for ourselves because we traded away so many of our picks for so many years and then we tried to win now with mega max melo and Noah, etc.

    At some point the lottery gods gotta reward us for starting to do things the right way. Not overpaying for a vet free agent to win now, picking up extra picks, second rounders, etc. At some point the draft luck has to change for us and I just keep thinking next draft is going to be the year that happens.

  90. Tommy Beer posted some video of Toppin shooting 3s in workouts. Workouts are different from games, which is why we’ve never seen Mitch shoot a real 3, but in this case, it’s useful because it’s a clearer glimpse of his form than you can see in Toppin’s game footage, where he does shoot from outside a fair amount. (Even if not at the volume analytics might prefer.)

  91. The thing about Obi Toppin as a shooting big is he doesn’t hesitate, which speaks to confidence in his shot despite the small sample size (something like 43 made threes over two seasons). Karl Towns was 2 for 8 in college as a shooter, but when you saw him in workouts that draft season you saw the confidence and lack of hesitation in his form. There’s also this really sweet shot against a tough Kansas opponent that makes you believe he won’t have a problem spacing the floor. Toppin was a guy I really liked earlier in the season and I think he makes a ton of sense for us once Julius Randle is a Boston Celtic or Charlotte Hornet.

  92. I’ll also point out that Ntilikina isn’t exactly Cal Ripken out there either.

    Payton & Frank are both locks to miss games every year. We need a competent third PG who is willing to ride the pine or take spot minutes at SG. Rivers will probably suck at running the point, but sucking is still a major upgrade over DSJr’s last year.

    FWIW, a 2nd round pick (even at 33) doesn’t give you the baseline level of competence Rivers does. We’d have DSJr & presumably Quickley ahead of the pick anyways.

    I still think we could have gotten more value from the pick, but our roster makes sense top to bottom and it would be difficult to fit a draft lotto ticket. Spellman should beat out most 2nd rounders and we will already struggle to find time for promising young players.

  93. Vorkunov did an Athletic chat today, and when someone asked if the Berman piece might have been sourced by “outgoing FO members trying to stir up trouble,” he replied:

    I’m just gonna say this generally: I think it can be a fool’s errand trying to figure out who people’s sources are or how information bubbles to the surface. Often, it’s not who you think it is. I also think it’s normal for people in an organization to have different thoughts on what the team should do, even if they are in sync. Disagreement is good and healthy.

  94. We no longer had room to sign Ingram to an offer sheet, but it doesn’t matter anyway, per Woj:

    New Orleans Pelicans All-Star F Brandon Ingram has agreed to a five-year, $158 million maximum contract extension, his agents Jeff Schwartz and Jordan Gertler of @excelsm_bball tell ESPN.

  95. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    The thing about Obi Toppin as a shooting big is he doesn’t hesitate, which speaks to confidence in his shot despite the small sample size (something like 43 made threes over two seasons). Karl Towns was 2 for 8 in college as a shooter, but when you saw him in workouts that draft season you saw the confidence and lack of hesitation in his form. There’s also this really sweet shot against a tough Kansas opponent that makes you believe he won’t have a problem spacing the floor. Toppin was a guy I really liked earlier in the season and I think he makes a ton of sense for us once Julius Randle is a Boston Celtic or Charlotte Hornet.

    I’ve expressed a lot of skepticism about Obi’s shooting based on the small sample, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real or that it can’t improve.

    What I do like about Obi as a pick, is he has multiple paths to a high floor and superstar potential. If he shoots well, he’s good. If he dunks everything as a plus athlete, hes’s good. The numbers support his play.

    I’d prefer Hali or trading down for Vassell, but Obi is only marginally worse as an option in my book. Hell, Obi could end up a better NBA shooter than either one.

  96. Zach Lowe:

    The Heat and Bam Adebayo have agreed to a five-year max extension, Adebayo’s agent, Alex Saratsis, tells ESPN.

    The deal includes escalator clauses that can take its total to $195 million over five years, Saratsis tells ESPN

  97. Early Bird: I’d prefer Hali or trading down for Vassell, but Obi is only marginally worse as an option in my book. Hell, Obi could end up a better NBA shooter than either one.

    For what it’s worth, Devin Vassell and Tyrese Halliburton are both CAA clients at positions of need for the New York Knicks. I know Obi Toppin has the Rick Brunson connection, but we didn’t just take Obi because he’s a CAA guy. We took him because the FO truly believed he was the BPA. And I do agree that Obi has a shot to be a better shooter than those two just because his form is a lot better than theirs and he’ll likely be a catch and shoot guy on most of his 3PAs as a pro.

  98. For what it’s worth, Devin Vassell and Tyrese Halliburton are both CAA clients at positions of need for the New York Knicks

    Of course that could be worth nothing because this is the same team that scouted Shai Gilgeous Alexander’s games and took his teammate Kevin Knox instead.

  99. Last bit on Burks. Knowing absolutely nothing about his game, his 3pt% puts him at about the 88th percentile of shooters in the NBA. That’s well above average. One could even argue (I hope wrongly) that he’s what we hope RJ will become this year. Very similar stats across the board, except Burks is much better at all of them, except rebounding (which wasn’t that different).

    I actually expect RJ to be a much better player than Burks, hopefully by early this year. But last year it wasn’t even close. I mean, 88.7% vs. 61.4% on free throws, as just one other example.

    So I like this pickup. Evans, on the other hand, is cannon fodder.

  100. @BobbyMarks42
    Do not get caught up with Miami losing $13M in cap space in 2021/22.

    The front office in Miami is the gold standard of creating room or using other resources (see Jimmy Butler).

    No extension would have presented an uncomfortable position for a everyone involved.

  101. I would think they have to do something for the G-League, right? They can’t just not have it. There are too many players the teams want to develop.

    I could see some situation where they just bubble up a few teams in one location and they just play each other a bunch of times and not travel. That’s probably the smart way to do it. But those players need to play games.

  102. The Heat just gave a five-year contract to a 23-year-old who has nowhere to go but up. This is the way for us, too.

  103. I just want to point out that Zion, Bledsoe, and Adams coupled with Ball and Ingram may be the ultimate ectomorph/endomorph line-up.

  104. The CAA stuff is silly. Half the league is repped by CAA. They’re the largest talent agency in the world.

    The UK thing is a bit more real but honestly, it doesn’t bother me at all. UK is the top college basketball program in the country and Cal gets the top recruits out of HS year after year. UK has turned out some pretty good pro players in the last 15 years. Having that connection is not a bad thing. If that means a dude like Quickley goes a few spots higher late in the first round, there’s worse problems for us to have.

  105. swiftandabundant:
    The CAA stuff is silly. Half the league is repped by CAA. They’re the largest talent agency in the world.

    The UK thing is a bit more real but honestly, it doesn’t bother me at all. UK is the top college basketball program in the country and Cal gets the top recruits out of HS year after year. UK has turned out some pretty good pro players in the last 15 years. Having that connection is not a bad thing. If that means a dude like Quickley goes a few spots higher late in the first round, there’s worse problems for us to have.

    Exactly. If we drafted Maxey at #8 then I’d be worried.

  106. swiftandabundant:
    I would think they have to do something for the G-League, right? They can’t just not have it. There are too many players the teams want to develop.

    I could see some situation where they just bubble up a few teams in one location and they just play each other a bunch of times and not travel. That’s probably the smart way to do it. But those players need to play games.

    They went without a g-league for years.

    Remember, they also have to pay all the players, coaches, and refs without any offsetting gate revenue. Moreover, they would need to house them and perform initial and intermittent covid testing.

    I doubt anyone views the g-league as worth the risk of covid spreading, especially with the most recent spike in cases.

  107. Ingram’s contract puts NOLA very close to the tax line. What do you think Lonzo would cost in a trade, and what would you be willing to give up for him? Same question for Bledsoe and Hill?

  108. Toppin’s upside is pretty high. He was a very defendable pick at #8 regardless of agent or school. He’s got flaws and question marks for sure, but I think his most likely bad outcome is Aaron Gordon/Enes Kanter level faux star, which is a marketable player but not worth maxing…better to trade at peak value. But if he improves on D and polishes up his offensive game, he’s an exciting prospect, even at age 22.

  109. Early Bird: They went without a g-league for years.

    Remember, they also have to pay all the players, coaches, and refs without any offsetting gate revenue. Moreover, they would need to house them and perform initial and intermittent covid testing.

    I doubt anyone views the g-league as worth the risk of covid spreading, especially with the most recent spike in cases.

    True, but it has grown significantly in popularity and usefulness as a player development league. Didn’t some very high level prospects recently commit to the G-League rather than go to college or overseas? That says it all right there.

  110. Z-man: True, but it has grown significantly in popularity and usefulness as a player development league. Didn’t some very high level prospects recently commit to the G-League rather than go to college or overseas? That says it all right there.

    I could see them hosting a handful of games over the course of a week for top prospects and end of benchers. But I’m skeptical they’ll hold much more than that.

    If nothing else, the optics of holding g-league during a pandemic is really bad. If the current spike subsides substantially, we might see something but I’m not holding my breath.

  111. Alan:
    Ingram’s contract puts NOLA very close to the tax line. What do you think Lonzo would cost in a trade, and what would you be willing to give up for him? Same question for Bledsoe and Hill?

    Hill is with OKC now. I would prefer Lonzo, but he only makes 11M, so we can only send 1 player for them to save money… maybe DSJ and the Dallas 2023 pick for Lonzo?

  112. Alan:
    Ingram’s contract puts NOLA very close to the tax line. What do you think Lonzo would cost in a trade, and what would you be willing to give up for him? Same question for Bledsoe and Hill?

    Hill is already in OKC I think. I wouldn’t give up a lot for either guy at this point. Bledsoe is properly paid and Lonzo will be an RFA next year and is still a total enigma as an NBA player. Either would’ve been a reasonable choice if we had taken the path of trying to be decent this year, but that ship has pretty well sailed I think. Neither advances our strategic objectives much at this point. If they’re looking to dump then sure, but I don’t think we need to be targeting any specific players at this point. The roster is basically well positioned to do what it needs to this year (by which I mean lose games).

  113. If Giannis decides to he wants to sign for your team but you need to clear 15 million you just shovel draft picks at another team until they say yes, it’s not that difficult.

  114. A better point guard would help develop RJ, Mitch, and Obi more than Payton or our other PG flotsam will. I’m not saying it’s worth giving up a ton, but that’s the one position where I would still argue it’s worth it trying to get better this year. Even with Lonzo or Bledsoe (sorry, forgot about Hill already being redirected), we’re still going to be bad, but they might do better at putting our young guys in a position to succeed.

  115. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Nicos, I totally agree. And the ending, while thematically consistent, and perhaps “mature,” was terribly disappointing. Aren’t they, like… just doing the same thing all over again?

    As for the sex scenes, I think that you are in the minority there. It’s definitely softcore p*rn for introverted, contemplative, intelligent women. At least that’s what Lady Jowles claims (paraphrasing), and she’s a reliable judge on the topic. ; )

    Maybe being a 55 year old single man watching alone in the midst of a pandemic didn’t put me in the right frame of mind for it! And I do think the class differences probably seemed like more of a genuine relationship issue for U.K. viewers than it would for viewers here which would make the ups and downs more believable.

  116. Alan:
    A better point guard would help develop RJ, Mitch, and Obi more than Payton or our other PG flotsam will. I’m not saying it’s worth giving up a ton, but that’s the one position where I would still argue it’s worth it trying to get better this year. Even with Lonzo or Bledsoe (sorry, forgot about Hill already being redirected), we’re still going to be bad, but they might do better at putting our young guys in a position to succeed.

    To the extent that you’re looking for a guy who can be the offensive focal point for a developmental purpose it would have to be Bledsoe I think – Lonzo is still young but there’s nothing in his record to indicate he’s a significantly better offensive player than Elfrid; he’s a nice transition passer but he’s a non-entity in the halfcourt outside of some spot up shooting. He’s much more of a project in his own right than a guy I’d bring in to help clarify things for other guys.

    Bledsoe can maybe do that still but he’s going to be 31 on opening day, has a lot of money left, and was a little down offensively last year. Pass for me.

  117. Lonzo would be a guy I’d be willing to make a trade for (caveat that I don’t want to give up too much, blah blah blah). But he did pretty well last year and he’s right at that age where a PG can start to put it all together. Good defense, passing, shooting has improved. And I don’t think his dad will be as much of an issue now that LaMelo is in the league.

    Of course, maybe we draft our PG of the future next year but Lonzo would be a decent gamble to be that guy.

  118. I’d be willing take a risk on Ball. But really what you’re buying for this year is that he defends better than Payton.

    Offensively, I expect Ball’s three point shooting was a fluke given that he’s a Shaq-like FT shooter and that may be doing a disservice to Shaq. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if both players Payton and Ball finish the year around .320 from 3. Take away his shooting and Ball looks like a worse passing version of Payton. Even their rebounding is similar.

    I’d gamble on Ball’s upside and defense but you’re not making the other young Knicks look better with Ball in this coming season.

  119. I wouldn’t offer the 2021 Dallas pick for Lonzo. It has too much upside and he’s quasi-expiring (we’d get his RFA rights). Maybe I’d offer the 2023 Dallas pick but expand the protections to cover the whole lottery.

  120. Doug Chu: My mistake, that’s a possibility. They haven ‘t figured out what to do with the G League yet.

    No worries. There are a number of things that need to be worked out. For instance, I know that in years past (or is proper grammar passed?) you couldn’t trade a player that you signed in free agency until December 15th. Obviously, that’s before the 2020 season starts, but I assume there’ll be something similar this year.

  121. thenoblefacehumper: I wouldn’t offer the 2021 Dallas pick for Lonzo.

    Let us all agree that there’s no forgivable reason to trade the Dallas unprotected pick for any reason other than to package it to move up to an even better draft position (ie: trading the Dallas pick plus one or two of our 42 second round picks to draft 5th instead of 20th).

  122. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: No worries. There are a number of things that need to be worked out. For instance, I know that in years past (or is proper grammar passed?) you couldn’t trade a player that you signed in free agency until December 15th. Obviously, that’s before the 2020 season starts, but I assume there’ll be something similar this year.

    At tradenba.com/trade-machine i tried to trade Elfrid Payton for Eric Bledsoe (with the move NO would save 11.8M) and they rated it as a success. I think maybe this year you can trade right away the free agents you’ve signed. We would be much better at the PG position with this trade, don’t you think? The only problem is Bledsoe’s contract (18.1M in 21/22 and 19.4M in 22/23 with 3.9M guaranteed).

    For players you traded for, you have to wait 19 days or trade the player by himself (only other assets are allowed, not other players).

  123. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: No worries. There are a number of things that need to be worked out. For instance, I know that in years past (or is proper grammar passed?) you couldn’t trade a player that you signed in free agency until December 15th. Obviously, that’s before the 2020 season starts, but I assume there’ll be something similar this year.

    I think I saw February as somewhere for when FA can be traded. Not sure if it was a suggestion or final

  124. Early Bird: I think I saw February as somewhere for when FA can be traded. Not sure if it was a suggestion or final

    Yes, you’re right. That website has a “bug” with Elfrid Payton, maybe because he was a Knick last year, they aren’t considering him as a free-agent signing (and for the record i don’t know if they are right or not).

    If i add Alec Burks, the message is:
    “Recently Signed
    Alec Burks cannot be traded because 3 months have not passed since he was signed. He will be eligible to be traded after Feb 18, 2021.”

  125. thenoblefacehumper:
    To elaborate:

    Mitch’s numbers with Payton on: 17.2 PTS/36, .734 TS%, 20.2 USG% (540 MP)

    Mitch’s numbers with Payton off: 13.7 PTS/36, .721 TS%, 12.5 USG% (870 MP)

    Honestly, when you consider that Mitch is arguably our most important player right now it would’ve been downright negligent to not sign Payton to that tiny contract. There’s every reason to believe Payton will have a similar effect on Toppin.

    This poor guy may be the most unfairly maligned Knick of all time.

    Not taking the jaws off that bone apparently. The job of the Knick point guard, the other Knicks, and the coaching staff of the Knicks is not to drive Mitchell Robinson’s offense. Seems like a simple proposition, but apparently not.

  126. So reading about Atlanta. Capella, Collins, Gallinari. Do you play them as 5, 4, and 3? If so, you still have Hunter, Reddish, Huerter, and Snell as passable 3s. Not to mention Okongwu. Do you keep that? Blow it up?

    They’re certainly a team that’s high on my intrigometer.

  127. Many examples to choose from in the lineup data, but:

    Ntilikina/Robinson/Knox/Dotson, plus 14.7 per 100 possessions
    Payton/Robinson/Knox/Dotson, plus 8.5 per 100 possessions.

    Payton’s most frequent 4-man with Mitch was with RJ and Randle, plus 7.2 per 100, significantly less efffective than the one right above it in minutes played — Frank/Mitch/Knox/Portis, plus 14 per 100.

    The only “negligence” involved here would be not seeing the obvious need for floor spacers that reveals itself clearly in last year’s Knick lineup data. It’s blatantly obvious. It’s almost as if having modern NBA personnel groups on the floor makes your team more effective or something.

  128. Ntilikina/Robinson/Knox/Dotson, plus 14.7 per 100 possessions

    93 minutes. Ninety three. Nine three.

    Payton’s most frequent 4-man with Mitch was with RJ and Randle, plus 7.2 per 100, significantly less efffective than the one right above it in minutes played — Frank/Mitch/Knox/Portis, plus 14 per 100.

    If you really think tiny, nitpicked amounts of lineup data are this valuable, why do you continue to ignore the larger samples? Payton’s net on/off was +5.4 compared to +3.7 for Ntilikina. Of the Knicks 7 5-man lineups that produced a positive +/-, 6 of them had Payton including the best.

    I want to be absolutely clear that I don’t think any of this means much of anything! The team was miserable and lineup data in these samples might as well be voodoo. But if you’re going to insist an otherwise obviously god awful player actually has Latent Powers completely based on lineup data you would think you’d give a shit about, well, lineup data!

    Also, this whole conversation is about who is best for the development of our young core. The numbers with regards to Mitch are glaringly obviously. Even if you think the team is better with Ntilikina on the floor (not borne out by the lineup data, but whatever), why the hell do you care about maximizing wins as opposed to maximizing development? That’s the kind of mindset that leads to playing Bobby Portis on a one-year deal over Kevin Knox.

    I don’t even know why I bother. This nonsense will not stop until Frank is overseas. I just wonder if that will instill some humility in the E dog, or if he’ll shift from “the Knicks can’t comprehend the Latent Powers” to “no one can comprehend the Latent Powers.”

  129. thenoblefacehumper: I want to be absolutely clear that I don’t think any of this means much of anything!

    Then why did you use it, and even worse, use it to show some sort of imagined impact on a single solitary player??

    thenoblefacehumper: I don’t even know why I bother.

    Because for some reason, you hate Frank. That can be the only explanation for going on and on and on about Elfrid Payton, of all people. He isn’t any good. I’d say he isn’t any good even if I’d never heard of Frank Ntilikina. Why? Because he isn’t any good.

  130. So reading about Atlanta. Capella, Collins, Gallinari. Do you play them as 5, 4, and 3? If so, you still have Hunter, Reddish, Huerter, and Snell as passable 3s. Not to mention Okongwu. Do you keep that? Blow it up?

    There’s a ton of wings and bigs on that roster. No idea how they plan to keep everyone happy, especially if Bogdan’s offer sheet is not matched by SAC. I can imagine Capela flipped midseason to a contending team thin on rim runners. But the salary is tough, and contenders generally don’t have much in the way of cap space.

  131. The pick we got from Minnesota in the Davis/Spellman deal is in 2026. (Berman suggests the team was mainly interested in getting Spellman.) So here’s where we are:

    @JeffreyBellone

    KNICKS EXTRA PICKS

    Two extra 1st round picks
    1) DAL 2021
    2) DAL 2023 (Top 10 protected)

    Five extra 2nd round picks
    1) DET 2021
    2) DET 2023
    3) UTA 2023
    4) UTA or CLE 2024*
    5) MIN 2026

    *most favorable
    **NYK own 2021 2nd is owed to Philly, which is offset by 2021 2nd due from CHA

  132. cybersoze: At tradenba.com/trade-machine i tried to trade Elfrid Payton for Eric Bledsoe (with the move NO would save 11.8M) and they rated it as a success. I think maybe this year you can trade right away the free agents you’ve signed. We would be much better at the PG position with this trade, don’t you think? The only problem is Bledsoe’s contract (18.1M in 21/22 and 19.4M in 22/23 with 3.9M guaranteed).

    For players you traded for, you have to wait 19 days or trade the player by himself (only other assets are allowed, not other players).

    I see a flaw in that site right away. First, Elfrid Payton has a complete no-trade clause in his contract. Second, when you try these trades on the ESPN trade machine site, you can’t even select Payton, Noel and Burks.

    Interestingly, when I hover over the little Ø symbol the explanation says

    “When a free agent signs a contract, or when a plyer signed to a Two-Way contract has his contract converted to a standard NBA contract, they cannot be traded until December 15 or 3 months, whichever is later.”

    That means that we’re looking at having to wait until late February to trade them.

    (Note: I posted this after I saw some of the responses that said the same thing. )

  133. This is interesting, from Stein’s newsletter:

    The Knicks, for the record, were in the Hayward chase throughout. After the Knicks weighed their own trade for Westbrook, they pursued Hayward much harder, with Coach Tom Thibodeau serving as lead admirer. The Knicks eventually decided to increase their offer to four years from two to compete with sign-and-trade interest from Indiana and Charlotte, but the Hornets went to a financial level for Hayward that no rival was willing to match.

  134. I swear to god, Thibodeau may be a basketball savant, but he has no fucking clue what year it is.

  135. I think Frank gets so much hate by many stat freaks mostly because they can’t figure out (yet) his impact.
    And that drives them nuts.
    To the point to believe that something like a mass hypnosis/conspiracy is going on against them defying rationality.
    So they mock Frank as a psychological Defending mechanism with the fear tho in the back of their head that they may eat crow burger soon.

    Unfortunately stats are unable to show Frank’s impact/potential yet.

    Only kids, animals, Frankophiles and a few prophets can already sense it.

    Patience
    It’s coming clearer this season

  136. I’m less cautiously optimistic if that Hayward rumor is true. 2 years for $60 mil, OK, that’s an eminently tradeable deal, and though we can argue what the point is when the team isn’t going to be good anyway, it would certainly have been a decent signing.

    4 years for $100 ? Never mind the $120m he ended up getting…yikes.

  137. I think Frank gets so much hate by many stat freaks mostly because they can’t figure out (yet) his impact.

    The frustrating thing about reading this unhinged garbage is I’ve actually posted a lot about the kind of players I think box score aggregators underrate, overrate, or just generally don’t capture well. I’m really not a huge WS48/BPM guy. I tend to think they don’t get things orders of magnitude wrong e.g. Frank actually being great despite them saying he sucks, but I always look to underlying numbers before them.

    Frank’s underlying numbers are god awful. I would think he was awful if I never saw a box score aggregator in my life. In fact, I think they actually overrated Frank this past season because he lowered his usage a lot and it’s hard for them to capture the damage that does to an offense when it’s coming from a guard.

    Why do I think Frank’s low usage hurt the team more than box score aggregators were able to determine, you might ask? Nothin’ but the good ol’ eye test.

  138. I’m less cautiously optimistic if that Hayward rumor is true. 2 years for $60 mil, OK, that’s an eminently tradeable deal, and though we can argue what the point is when the team isn’t going to be good anyway, it would certainly have been a decent signing.

    4 years for $100 ? Never mind the $120m he ended up getting…yikes.

    Fully agree. Hayward on a 2 year deal is probably a good trade asset throughout, which is exactly why he was never going to sign one. I have no idea what the point of him on a 4 year deal would be, even at a slightly lower price.

  139. There’s really no reason to either love or hate Frank. You definitely should hate that we picked him in the mid-lottery when there were a bunch of better alternatives. You should love that he’s a worker and plays good D. You should hope that he gets better this year but hate that the odds are better that he won’t improve much than they are that he will turn the corner. Bottom line is, he’s a 22yo kid with a bloated but expiring contract in a make-good year.

    It’s downright stupid to say that tnfh hates Frank. He hates that people twist themselves into a pretzel defending his 3 straight years of objectively god-awful play relative to his draft position. He hates that people blame his poor play on coaches, teammates, etc.

    In this particular debate, he’s mopping the floor with E, who seems to be snarky, oppositional-defiant troll-level KB poster who doesn’t merit being taken seriously. But facehumper has been wrong enough to have a bit more restraint than to say with any conviction that 22yo Frank will not be in the league soon. He’s an NBA-level defensive player for sure, and has shown signs on offense including a FT% that by tnfh’s own arguments forebodes improved shooting. And there have been some mitigating circumstances worth considering, although not enough to discount the reality that he sucked very much.

    But not a single intelligent analyst would conclude that Payton on a 1-year $5 mill deal is bad for this team, especially on the basis of it getting in Frank’s way. It’s as dumb of an argument as one could possibly make. And I don’t even like Payton’s game! It’s called being objective. E hasn’t grasped that concept yet, and is showing no signs that he will.

    E is essentially the DSjr of this board right now…flashes of talent but a hopelessly low posting IQ. Hey humper, stop posting, your getting in the way of E’s development.

  140. Just ask yourself a simple Question:

    How does Frank STILL plays in this team/league while the numbers clearly say Go to Europe/change occupation?

  141. I think my favorite part of this sudden lurch to the right we’ve just experienced is that apparently TNFH is now the Elf of posting.

  142. If Frank was a free agent and we had a chance to sign him for exactly what he is getting paid, and put him on this roster, would you sign him? Probably, because he’s on a cheap rookie contract and you might want to put him somewhere on your bench.

    I don’t see him as a legit starter. He’s somewhere between rotation player off the bench and back of roster filler. Nothing against the dude, but right now, if he doesn’t improve, I’m not extending him a qualifying offer next offseason or paying him $8M+ per year. Who here would? What’s his value?

  143. How does Frank STILL plays in this team/league while the numbers clearly say Go to Europe/change occupation?

    remindme 11/24/21!

  144. @tnfh
    Don’t take me/things too seriously man.
    I’m fucking around/teasing/making humor also.
    I’m definitely a fan of Frank but I can’t sign with blood that he’s been around tomorrow.
    I’d love him to succeed in NY but noone can tell what’s going to happen.
    Health, Motivation, Way of life, Luck all play their part.

  145. i just wanna say, for all you folks living in not the united states of america – turkey day is thursday for us…along with christmas and the 4th of july the biggest feast day we have…

    big ol’ butterballs (that’s a brand of turkey) with crispy and delicious brown skin…lots and lots of mashed potatoes, stuffing (baked seasoned and moistened breadcrumbs), cans of jellied cranberry sauce – all generously dosed with ladles of artery clogging brown gravy derived from the drippings of the turkey…maybe a string bean or two can be added, not really necessary though…

    it’s just a glorious food fest…

    normally the day is paced out with numerous trips to the dining room to enjoy second, third and fourth servings…

    the following day, chances are good that the primary dishes are stacked in between some warm sourdough bread and further devoured…

    the day after the day after – i’m pretty turkeyed out…

    nba draft and free agency = thanksgiving…

  146. I like Frank’s mentality and character and would like to have him on my team. He’s a team- oriented player with a pretty intriguing potential.
    Does he have to improve his game?
    Definitely.
    What’s his value?
    We’ll see that soon.

    Although Erdogan’s Turkey ain’t so friendly lately with Greece…
    Happy Turkey Day !

  147. I’m less cautiously optimistic if that Hayward rumor is true. 2 years for $60 mil, OK, that’s an eminently tradeable deal, and though we can argue what the point is when the team isn’t going to be good anyway, it would certainly have been a decent signing.

    4 years for $100 ? Never mind the $120m he ended up getting…yikes.

    Yeah, that’s definitely a bit disheartening to hear and almost sounds more like they were saved from themselves by other teams being even crazier.

  148. “Detroit Pistons continue roster shakeup, sign sharpshooting Wayne Ellington”

    damn
    Pistons are good

  149. ‘@tnfh
    Don’t take me/things too seriously man.
    I’m fucking around/teasing/making humor also.’

    I’m deadly serious. Your one job here is to break down the Deeefense with your excellent handle, and get the rock to Jowles for the flush.

    Okay, maybe also get your 3pt% above 20.3.

  150. Geo, great minds think alike. And apparently so do ours! I just came here to talk turkey with my favorite cooking community that too often gets distracted by basketball.

    Personal note: since 2009 I have been hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at my apartment. It involves my small family (usually just me and my parents, although this year my family expanded to include a little guy who will be spared the trials of growing up a Knicks fan)… and any person in NYC who, for whatever reason, can’t celebrate Thanksgiving with their family.

    I have hosted as many as 40 people in my apartment, at a table that comfortably fits no more than 10. The amount of random people who were friends of a friend that have come by is countless. I once even had a guy who claimed to be the heir of the Dolce Gabbana fortune (spoiler alert: he wasn’t; he was a criminal. Google Giovanni Gabbana if you want some shits and giggles). My Thanksgiving has spawned marriages, divorces, spiritual awakenings, mid-life crises, and career changes. It even conceived a child. It is, by far, my favorite holiday.

    Bluster aside! I come with a question…

  151. Of all the things I’ve done, the one thing I’ve never tried is disassembling my turkey to confit the legs and cook the breast separately. Even though this is clearly the superior way to cook a turkey, I have always opted for being able to present a beautifully roasted, golden brown whole bird.

    This year my gathering is obviously limited. No parents, no randoms, just 8 carefully selected guests. I’m thinking it’s a good year to experiment. I’m thinking about butchering the bird so I can cook the breast and the legs separately.

    This is an existential choice, really: the American tradition of delivering a whole turkey vs culinary correctness. Is this something anyone else does? Does anyone have their own method for cracking the leg/breast conundrum that they’d like to share? (And please, I hope our moderation tools are set up correctly so that any post that suggests brining the bird doesn’t see the light of day).

    Cheers.

  152. #I’m deadly serious. Your one job here is to break down the Deeefense with your excellent handle, and get the rock to Jowles for the flush.

    Okay, maybe also get your 3pt% above 20.3.#

    I hope that Jowles don’t take more than one dribble and miss my ast!

    stopped my 3pbrickshootarounds due to covid for a while but I’ll come back better right after the lockdown due to studying WayneEllington’s high art of 3s

  153. Hubert: Personal note: since 2009 I have been hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at my apartment. It involves my small family (usually just me and my parents, although this year my family expanded to include a little guy who will be spared the trials of growing up a Knicks fan)… and any person in NYC who, for whatever reason, can’t celebrate Thanksgiving with their family.

    I have hosted as many as 40 people in my apartment, at a table that comfortably fits no more than 10. The amount of random people who were friends of a friend that have come by is countless. I once even had a guy who claimed to be the heir of the Dolce Gabbana fortune (spoiler alert: he wasn’t; he was a criminal. Google Giovanni Gabbana if you want some shits and giggles). My Thanksgiving has spawned marriages, divorces, spiritual awakenings, mid-life crises, and career changes. It even conceived a child. It is, by far, my favorite holiday.

    I knew there was something I liked about you…

  154. I spatchcock the turkey, it cooks so much faster. The presentation suffers, but this year it’s just me and my parents so I’m less bothered by that. I actually had trouble finding a small turkey.

  155. i remember eating a fried turkey, once…when it comes to food, especially holiday food – appearances do matter…mmmm, i love a “wet” bird with dry and crispy skin…the legs and wings are pretty much wasted at our gatherings…by the time the good part of the turkey is finished – who wants the dark meat…pretty much no one…

    vey cool hubie, sounds like you enjoy hosting…the prep and clean up is a bit of a bitch, but, always nice to crash in your own home for the holidays…i like doing holiday meals…

    i found like a 13 or 14 pound bird…which looks a whole lot like just a big chicken…it should be fine for two though…

  156. Payton haters are using his time on the floor to definitively conclude that he is bad.

    Not only would this not hold up under any sort of statistical rigor, it’s puzzling because the argument fails on its face in an unbelievably dumb way.

    To show statistically that Payton sucked you would need (1) a large enough sample and (2) the sample to say the Knicks were worse off when Payton played.

    Every use of raw lineup data will fail (1).

    What’s puzzling is that people insist Payton is bad despite their claim also failing (2).

    This doesn’t mean Payton is good, but to conclude that Payton is bad because of his negative team effects are ridiculous.

  157. I’m the heathen who has never liked thanksgiving turkey in any form. We’re taking advantage of the quarantine to only make food my wife and our two kids like. So I’ll be making my patented crispy baked chicken drumsticks as one of the entrees.

  158. Alan:
    Ingram’s contract puts NOLA very close to the tax line. What do you think Lonzo would cost in a trade, and what would you be willing to give up for him? Same question for Bledsoe and Hill?

    I was definitely curious about trading for either Lonzo or Bledsoe but I don’t see why the Pelicans would necessarily be interested in trading either – it looks like they want to be competitive with this core after getting Adams and that, from what I can tell, they’ll have room to give him whatever he wants as a RFA next year. I think we’re underestimating his trade value anyway – there’s no way he’d be available for just DSJr and the 2021 Dallas pick whether or not we’re comfortable giving those up for him. Personally I’d eat my shirt if that Dallas pick ends up being half as good as Lonzo – it’s always amusing to me how the value of draft picks age like cars off the lot once they materialize into actual players.

    Re: Frank it’s amusing how much of a blood feud his value has become amongst Knicks fans. I didn’t watch much, if any, of the Bulls last year but Kris Dunn was an interesting rehabilitation project and a possible preview into one of the better case scenarios for what Frank ends up being at this point. I hope he gets some decent minutes this year and that Thibs is willing to be creative in playing him at the 2.

    Seems crazy that the Kings chose Buddy over Bogdan but maybe the trade bungle left a lot of bad blood. If they matched Bogdan, I would have definitely been interested in trading Randle and something for Buddy – contract warts and all, I’m certain that Knicks fans would LOVE watching him and we could certainly use his shooting.

  159. I’m eligible for early Social Security next year. I’ll be 62.

    I find it encouraging that the Knicks were actually willing to go out 4 years for Hayward, just not for anywhere near as much money as the Hornets offered. That means there was a legitimate effort to get the team out of lottery hell and on a upward path before all the rest of you young guys are also eligible for Social Security. Lol. It means they understand what has to be done, are willing to be aggressive and go over.the line a little to get it started, but not so far over the line as to hurt themselves badly.

    We didn’t t get anything positive done this off season (at least yet), but I’m encouraged.

  160. I can’t even bare to read the latest Frank argument.

    If you can’t see he’s more valuable that the boxscore metrics suggest, you don’t know enough about basketball to be worth reading.

    ptmilo seems to trust all in one numbers way more I do, but he’s very respected here. Even he demonstrated Frank’s fairly significant plus value on defense using DRAPM the other day. If those numbers are even close to correct in capturing his value, then all the box score metrics clearly underrate him because his steals, drebs, and blocks are not capturing all that plus value.

    Yes, he’s still a net negative player because he’s so weak on offense, but he made progress last year and he’s still younger than our 1st round pick this year.

    So what the hell is the problem other than people that say they are in favor of rebuilding via draft not having the patience to wait until an 18-19 player comes even close to his prime.

    He’ll either get good enough on offense to be neutral on offense and become a net plus player or he won’t, but there’s not much reason to be delusional about where he is now because boxscore stats suck or some people like him.

  161. The good news so far is that we can really focus in on the young core and the Rose/Thibs player development structure unless and until a major deal is made. None of the mercenaries are worth worrying about…in fact, I think they represent good competition for the younger players without being good enough to totally fuck up the tank or keep the kids buried on the bench.

    I wonder who will still be with the team in 2021-22… the obvious yes’s are Obi, RJ, Mitch and the obvious no’s
    are Payton, Bullock, Burks, Randle. I suppose Noel and Rivers are probably gone too, but who knows? And Powell won’t make the team.

    That leaves (my vote):
    Frank (yes)
    Knox (yes)
    Quickley (yes)
    Iggy (yes)
    Spellman (no)
    Pinson (no)
    Harper (no)

  162. I don’t understand why the Kings didn’t match and then just trade Bogdon.

    They wouldn’t be able to trade him until next year (Normally January 15th, but I assume it would be later this year because of the weird schedule).

  163. Deeefense: If you can’t see he’s more valuable that the boxscore metrics suggest, you don’t know enough about basketball to be worth reading.

    Frank is more valuable than the boxscore indicates. I don’t think there’s an issue with that claim. The question is whether his boxscore numbers and offense generally are so bad that he’s still unplayable.

    Personally, I think Frank’s numbers were good enough last year to justify playing him as the backup PG. I encourage it for this year.

    However, there’s a reason to think that Frank’s success last year is due to some fluky midrange shooting and his offensive numbers were still really bad in the scheme of things.

  164. I think there is a rule that prevents that. It may just be the rule that if you sign a player to new contract you can’t trade him for three months. I found the comment below about rules for sign and trades:

    While restricted free agents can be signed and traded, this is not allowed if that player has signed an offer sheet with another team.

  165. If you’re the Kings you do have to wait before trading Bogdan, but unless you’re intending to use the salary to sign someone else you should match the offer, hold the player, and trade him later to acquire an asset.

    Unless you think no one will trade for Bogdan on that contract, which I doubt would be an issue, then you should match the offer and pick up the assets as soon as you can trade him.

  166. The rules only prevent you from trading the player without his consent for one year, or trading him to the team that gave him an offer sheet.

  167. Frank is more valuable than the boxscore indicates.

    No…

    let’s get this straight… he’s terrible…. he’s a terrible player by every metric….. there’s nothing magically missing that shows that he’s so much better than the numbers indicate(yes even the very really flawed drapm)….. it’s very apparent when using two eyes too except for whatever reason people seem very infatuated with this one particularly stupendously bad player…. there’s more attention on him than a langston galloway… who was light year’s better than him! and probably even a better defender!

    it’s going to come as a huge shock to some of you that frank is probably going to put in yet another sub replacement level year…. and while you’re scratching your head at all the reasons why he can’t play…. you can just look back at all the other 3 whole terrible years he’s had for some clue into how that could have possibly happened…..

    and then when you come to that realization you all can come onto this board and repent… and apologize for wasting everyone’s time for subjugating the knick fanbase to what will be the stupidest argument of our lifetimes….. i’m only half kidding on that…..

    frank is probably not going to be in the nba next year…. he’s going to need hang on like austin rivers is hanging on now… and austin rivers is so much better than frank too! and frank isn’t the son of a coach either….

  168. What’s stupid is passing final judgment on a player that hasn’t played a minute of NBA basketball at age 22 yet.

  169. we have 3 seasons on him…. that’s plenty of time to pass judgement….

    like i’m sure you have with dennis smith too… or does he not count towards this?

  170. I’m roasting the turkey the old fashioned way, nice and simple. Only my eldest son and his new wife are coming over and they’ve been in serious lockdown. The smallest turkey my wife could find was an 11 lb bird. Way too much for 4 people but I’m cool with leftovers.

    A couple of years ago she bought whole turkey breasts and roasted them. They were luscious. But now she’s decided that she likes dark meat (no jokes) so we’re doing the whole bird again. So my point is, there’s no reason you can’t pre-cut the bird. In fact, here’s a site that shows you how to do it

    In advance, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  171. DSjr has a basketball IQ problem at the one position he must play which is very IQ dependent. Frank has a 3-pt shooting problem that is belied by his good FT numbers. There’s far more margin for error with Frank because he can defend 3 positions. And for 3 straight years, despite his shortcomings, the team has been better with him on the court than off…the opposite is true for DSjr. Surprised you can’t see the difference. And the three seasons we have should have occurred in Europe, the G-League or the NCAA. It was a bad move for him to enter the draft and I said at the time he was more of a 2nd round draft-and-stash player. I also advocated for him to spend lots of time in the G-League, where he belonged.

    And I never said that DSjr will be out of the NBA next year. He’s also still young enough to improve, although I have less hope for him.

  172. what makes frank smarter at basketball than dsj? passing the ball and routinely getting out of the way and being low usage doesn’t automatically make you a basketball savant….

    is it his defense? what about his defense makes it high iq? do you have examples?

    like i keep asking for this… but no one provides anything but broad… and proud…. proclamations like it’s being willed into existence….

    show me… please…. anyone… for once someone show something…. like if it’s so obvious it should SOOO EASY to show this to the world…

    and i keep asking.. and i keep getting crickets….

  173. This year I’m confiting the legs in duck fat

    i had to look that up to see what it meant…that sounds super tasty…

  174. I just gave you on/off numbers. If you are low-IQ, you get targeted and exploited. Doesn’t seem to be happening with Frank. Why with DSjr and not Frank? I wonder. His bad offense has not once resulted in his team being better off with him off the court. Of course, that’s 3 years and 3800 minutes of coincidence. Sure it is. He had a .037 WS48 and a positive DBPM. Not great, but improved over past years and reasonable for a 21yo prospect who didn’t belong in the NBA as a 19 and 20yo. But of course it’s due to his fluky 2-pt shooting or some other quirk. Right.

    Anyway, we’ve gone through all this a billion times. Let’s see what happens and touch base in a couple of months. I’m sure you will strut your stuff if he fails to improve and gets run out of the league. I’m wondering what kind of tedious excuse you will come up with if he doesn’t.

  175. let’s get this straight… he’s terrible…. he’s a terrible player by every metric….. there’s nothing magically missing that shows that he’s so much better than the numbers indicate(yes even the very really flawed drapm)….. it’s very apparent when using two eyes too except for whatever reason people seem very infatuated with this one particularly stupendously bad player….

    okay

  176. So tell me, why is Bogdan worth $72 million? That’s a TH2 contract, and he’s 27 and worse by every advanced metric than TH2 was in his ATL years before we signed him. Maybe Sacto dodged a bullet….

  177. wait so he’s high iq because of his on/off numbers? that’s the argument? so are we saying all people with positive on/off numbers are high iq?

    are you sure you want to run with that before i start listing players with 5000 minutes of positive on/off numbers?

    i don’t make excuses.. i’m not afraid to be wrong…. it doesn’t even matter to me…. i explain my positions and if you ask me to show you why i will… i will even show you unprompted…. that’s how i engage with people in discussions on the internet and in real life.. i don’t run from anything…. that’s how we both can get something out of an exchange…. if i’m wrong i learn….

    and if frank turns into an allstar i’ll be happy to eat crow…. i did the same mea culpa’s with kp (altho there is some reversion on that call as of late)…..

    but when frank is out of the league i don’t think we’ll get anythign close to that …. judging by some of the posters here i am pretty sure it’s going to start looking a lot like how a certain group of people are treating the election now…. because having the feeling of being right is more important than actually being right for whatever reason these days…. and i really really detest that….

    and this frank argument is just another microcosm of it…… and that’s why i can shrug it off sometimes but other times it just annoys me too much to do so…. it really makes me hate him more than i would any other forgettable player…. and i don’t like that… i don’t… but he has a cult of crazy ppl giving him underserved credit for things and actually putting down other much more deserving players on the team at their expense to elevate him….

    if it was just a meme that would be fine… but ppl unironically think he’s good… and that makes the whole knick fanbase look very stupid….. and i actually do think most fans are better than that….

  178. i honestly thought most salaries would go down this year, less games, less revenue…that did not happen at all…except for us :)

    noah’s are third highest paid player this year…

  179. BTW, after watching the video, I am now seriously considering the spatchcocking method for my turkey!

  180. djphan: are you sure you want to run with that before i start listing players with 5000 minutes of positive on/off numbers?

    Sure, I’d be interested to see a list of players who put up three consecutive seasons of 1000 positive on/off numbers who are now out of the NBA

    djphan: and this frank argument is just another microcosm of it…… and that’s why i can shrug it off sometimes but other times it just annoys me too much to do so…. it really makes me hate him more than i would any other forgettable player…. and i don’t like that… i don’t… but he has a cult of crazy ppl giving him underserved credit for things and actually putting other players on the team at their expense to elevate him….

    Whut? The vast majority of posters here are either totally out on him or holding out hope despite the dismal numbers. Almost no one is arguing that he has been “good” and even strat acknowledges that he has been terrible on offense. As to defense, some of the smartest posters here have supported the contention that he has been better than average, and again, he’s only 21. Some, like me, see hope in his ability to develop into a decent 3-and-D wing based on his FT shooting and non-broken shot.

    Feel free to shout at the wind, but if what you read here on KB makes you “hate him” and see some kind of “cult of crazy ppl” here then you really need to get out more.

  181. Z-man: So tell me, why is Bogdan worth $72 million? That’s a TH2 contract, and he’s 27 and worse by every advanced metric than TH2 was in his ATL years before we signed him. Maybe Sacto dodged a bullet….

    It’s exactly what I said before about not understanding the market. That IS market value. Bodgon is a legit tier-3 player. See this post of mine.

    And as far as DSJr having a low IQ, to quote all the Frankophiles, he’s 22. This is also his second team and his umpteenth coaching staff and unlike Frank, nobody in NY likes him. I don’t see a lower IQ from him. I see someone that hasn’t been coached up right or used right.

  182. i disagree mister djphan…

    i don’t think anyone here is claiming mister frank is clyde reborn…for those of us whom actually are foolish enough to watch the games – it is pretty apparent what frank’s weaknesses are:
    – no handle
    – gets injured a bunch
    – used to get a lot of “deer caught in headlights” looks whenever he got pressured or trapped
    – still hasn’t hit two 3 points shots in a row during a game
    – low steals
    – low rebounds
    – low offensive aggression
    – low everything
    – i could go on

    what is so appealing about frank:
    – comes from a good family, seems like a good young man…actually, the exact same thing could be said for RJ, Kevin and Obi
    – defensive aggression
    – age
    – long limbs, great defensive footwork and uses his hands really well without fouling
    – has little to no guile…if you possess even a sliver of empathy, you can easily experience the game through him…i know that must sound weird as hell to you, but – it’s true…
    – his aggression/confidence has taken leaps and bounds since the world championships…again, gotta watch the games to notice that kind of stuff…
    – we drafted him, he’s endured 23 different coaches since he showed up in new york, he’s lost a zillion games wearing our laundry…doesn’t seem to have broken him…
    – seems like a good teammate
    – the thing that sticks out the most to me right now is how early in the year during timeouts, nobody really talked to him…he used to sit by himself a lot during timeouts…frank’s probably not the coolest guy in the locker room…

    why wouldn’t you give the young man the benefit of the doubt…why wouldn’t you root for frank ntilikina…

  183. BTW, after watching the video, I am now seriously considering the spatchcocking method for my turkey!

    you can’t really stuff the bird (other than with some fruit and herbs) – might as well splay it out, maximize the skin…i’m sold too :)

  184. Sure, I’d be interested to see a list of players who put up three consecutive seasons of 1000 positive on/off numbers who are now out of the NBA

    in case you forgot …. you and i were talking about bball iq… why did you feel the need to inject some other parameter? were you afraid of what i was going to list? it’s ok to be wrong! nobody gives a shit.. it’s the internet!

    and thankfully i don’t think this blog is overrun with the zealots than some of the others…. but we do it see it bleed into here sometimes….. it’s a more commentary on the whole fanbase than kb in particular…..

    Almost no one is arguing that he has been “good”

    and i never said that…..

  185. why wouldn’t you give the young man the benefit of the doubt…why wouldn’t you root for frank ntilikina…

    i have given him the benefit of the doubt…. you can go back to my posts his first and second year… i was quite clear on what is required to stay in the nba after two seasons and what we needed to see from him… (e.g 2p fg%) and i said i would keep an open mind.. but it’s the reason why i was down him before he was drafted and was arguing with folks about his u18s and how ppl thought he was going to dominate the nba because of that…. how people were looking at his youtube videos and going gaga over his handle…. like what?

    god as my witness this shit did not come from no where…. and i treat every knick like this.. i want them to be good…. i want them to succeed… but we keep picking bad players… and we need to call a spade a spade… i go hard on knox too… it’s the same thing but for whatever reason knox doesn’t have a legion of people begging people to give him the benefit of the doubt for some reason….. and people are more willing to call him a terrible and ineffectual player….

    why is that so hard to admit for frank? we have 3 seasons on him and nobody can actually point to any tangible improvement in his game…. that’s weird right? or nah?

  186. What makes Bogdan worth 18 million a year is that NBA teams are drunk for 3 point shooting and Bodgan also sprinkles in some playmaking. I wouldn’t give him that much money but I’m not an NBA GM, and a bunch of them would.

  187. i can’t remember exactly who (not true), but, not so long ago someone mentioned they haven’t watched a knick games in years (i’m a giants fan and haven’t watched a full game from them in many years, so, it’s not that odd)…i thought about that comment for awhile…i felt kind of cheated a bit, like – i have watched sooooo much losing basketball over the last few years…what am i doing, so, to stay connected to a fan site and the folks whom post there i’m watching shit basketball (that’s meant to be rhetorical)…

    do you watch the games djphan?

  188. “there’s more attention on him than a langston galloway”

    I’m just gonna say that Langston Galloway shot 39.9% from 3 last year. That’s tied for 36th best with Gallinari and Damian Lillard. And he has one of the most goddamn mellifluous names in the NBA.

    Someone earlier wrote we should have taken him instead of Rivers and my heart broke a little…

  189. Raven:
    Last bit on Burks. Knowing absolutely nothing about his game, his 3pt% puts him at about the 88th percentile of shooters in the NBA. That’s well above average. One could even argue (I hope wrongly) that he’s what we hope RJ will become this year. Very similar stats across the board, except Burks is much better at all of them, except rebounding (which wasn’t that different).

    I actually expect RJ to be a much better player than Burks, hopefully by early this year. But last year it wasn’t even close. I mean, 88.7% vs. 61.4% on free throws, as just one other example.

    IIRC, Burks main asset has been, for all of his career, his ability to get to the FT-line. I remember him getting like 5 or 6FTA per game, and he makes most of them. That was his highlight in Utah, Cleveland and Golden State, not his 3-pt shot (which he has, but that has not been his focus).

    (I know this because of Fantasy basketball. I used to add him to my rosters to counterbalance the Dwight Howards and DeAndre Jordans of the wordl).

  190. ***I swear to god, Thibodeau may be a basketball savant, but he has no fucking clue what year it is.***

    Do any of us really know what year it is anymore? The fucking 2001 monolith was discovered in Utah yesterday…

  191. (Though i disagree with a lot of what Hubert posts here, I have a feeling that we’d be really good friends in real life)

  192. Bogdonovic’s best attributes are that he can shoot well and, at 6’6″ and 220 pounds, has the physicality to at least fake playing the 3. Add in some playmaking and he’s the prototypical player teams are looking for. But most importantly, he was available for just money. For instance, if Buddy Hield was a free agent this year, he’d have cleaned up. But to get him now, you’d have to trade assets for him and pay him. Big difference.

    But yeah, it’s fascinating that Burks’ has a similar body and decent shooting last season and there was little interest in him. I figure it’s his comparative inconsistency.

    Also, do note that Bogdonovic was nailing shots for shitty teams. You tend to get better looks on better teams, so guys like him tend to shoot even better on good teams (look at THJ playing with Luka).

    Young
    Huerter
    Bogdonovic
    Gallo
    Collins/Capela

    That’s a shit ton of shooting on the Hawks now.

    Only Capela plays defense, but that’s a shit ton of shooting. So maybe you play Reddish at the 3 and Bogdonovic at the 2.

    Young
    Bogdonovic
    Hunter (he looks like he can play some D. Reddish showed some signs of decent D, too, as the season went on)
    Gallo
    Capela

    A reasonable team is emerging there.

  193. spite perhaps, for us blind faith fools…

    in any case – to each their own…I would just say, i’ve read enough of your posts to say i trust your player evaluation ability 99 out of 100 times…

  194. I actually think Bogdanovic is overrated. He is a fine player and definitely a rotation piece in the NBA but I don’t think he gives you that much more than the Burks or Bullocks of the world. In fact, as I posted previously his stats including advanced ones like BPM and VORP are remarkably similar to Burks.

    He is an asset and a good player but I can’t help but think Atlanta just spent a lot of money and got a bunch of decent but not paradigm-shifting players to take time away from their youth movement. I love Gallinari but he is much better at the 4 and they already have Collins there. I don’t love Reddish, Huerter, and Hunter but I would have given them one more season before burying them on the bench and obliterating my cap. They created a bunch of weird log jams. Both Collins and Gallinari want to play the 4, Okongwu is stuck getting 15 minutes behind Capela, Rondo and Dunn both need minutes plus you have 3 young wings that are now backing up two positions.

    The other problem is when Gallinari expires it will be the year after Young gets his max extension so with him and Capela and Bogdanovic they will be pretty capped out even with Galliniari’s money coming off the books. Gallinari needed to be on a two-year contract so they could make their big move the summer before Young gets paid not the summer after.

  195. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

    Re: Frank, we have all year to check if Frank or DSJ can be a good backup to the starter PG of the future (which i hope we get from the 2021 draft). I’m glad we brought in a capable PG (Payton) to at least have 24 mins of a sane offense, from those two i prefer Frank for his defense, but neither one projects higher than backup PG (at the best possible outcome), so why are we wasting time discussing this? Mitch, Obi and RJ are the ones we should be talking about as they are the (possible) future starters of a very good Knicks team.

  196. I remember Bogdan hitting a bunch of big shots last year but scouting the stat line I don’t get it. But then looking at Huerter’s stat line it starts to make more sense.

  197. djphan: and this frank argument is just another microcosm of it…… and that’s why i can shrug it off sometimes but other times it just annoys me too much to do so…. it really makes me hate him more than i would any other forgettable player…. and i don’t like that… i don’t… but he has a cult of crazy ppl giving him underserved credit for things and actually putting down other much more deserving players on the team at their expense to elevate him….

    And thus we see again the maxim that social media not only causes people to express thoughts they wouldn’t otherwise express; it causes people to have thoughts they otherwise wouldn’t have.

    If a guy’s on-off numbers are always positive, and the team plays better when he’s on the court than when he’s off the court, he can’t possibly be “unplayable.” You might be able to say he’s “bad,” but say that instead. Don’t say he’s “unplayable” because that’s fanatical. Excessive words are often used on the net to show strength of belief rather than literalness of belief, most people get that — but words still matter.

  198. Bogdanovic is getting paid more than these other guys, and probably more than what he deserves, but he’s also a more versatile player. As someone who has watched more Kings games than I should, the times when he seemed impressive were mostly when he was their primary ball handler, he is pretty competent even though his passing is not great. Atlanta is paying a premium to have a guy who can add to their new collection of shooters, but also to finally have someone who can take a little bit of the load from Trae Young, who was the only even remotely competent ball handler they had.

    I don’t think he is a good signing, and I don’t think he’s worth the contract, he’s already 28, can’t get to the line and is a streaky shooter with no defense, but I can definitely see the reasoning behind the signing.

  199. And thus we see again the maxim that social media not only causes people to express thoughts they wouldn’t otherwise express; it causes people to have thoughts they otherwise wouldn’t have.

    does this explain why you keep trolling this board trying to hook ppl into some sort of internet fight everyday?

  200. In his newsletter today, Macri speculates that Stein’s source for the “Knicks offered Hayward 4 years” report was Hayward’s agent trying to make the Charlotte deal seem less absurd because other teams were in the ballpark.

    Lastly, my guess is that the final number was four years and somewhere between $84 and $88 million, with the aforementioned partial guarantee on year four. Again, that’s literally just a guess, but an informed one. I have it on good authority that New York thought it had Hayward in the bag at three years, $70 million. I have a tough time seeing Leon Rose – a pretty decent negotiator, it would seem – giving in on both more years and more average annual dollars for a player he thought he had wrapped up. 4/88 would make the AAV $22 million per, a slight decrease from the $23.3 million on an offer of 3/70.

    Even if my reporting is wrong though, and the Knicks never thought they were close on that 3/70 number, jumping all the way up to 4/100 or something even higher seems antithetical to me. But who knows. This is all amateur detective work, after all (but it’s damn fun, right!)

    Macri’s the eternal optimist among Knicks writers, so take this kind of analysis/reporting/guessing with that in mind. But it also doesn’t sound wildly unreasonable, given everything else Rose has done.

  201. Big part of Bogdan’s fame and expectations come from his “recent” tournaments as a leader of the Serbian team.
    He hasn’t shown it yet on the nba but he has the potential to be a leader-big dog.

    From wiki:
    #Bogdanovic also represented Serbia at the EuroBasket 2017 where they won the silver medal, after losing in the final game to Slovenia. With the absence of long-time team captain and leader Miloš Teodosic due to injury, Bogdanovic stepped in as the team’s leader. Over 9 tournament games, he averaged 20.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5 assists per game, on 47.4% overall field goal shooting. He was named All-Tournament Team.

    At the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the national team of Serbia was dubbed as favorite to win the trophy, but was eventually upset in the quarterfinals by Argentina. With wins over the United States and Czech Republic, it finished in fifth place. Bogdanovic was once again the best player in the team, averaging 22.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists over 8 games, while shooting 55.6% from the field and 53% from the three-point line. For his performances, he was selected to the FIBA Basketball World Cup All-Tournament Team. With 183 points scored throughout the tournament, he was the FIBA Basketball World Cup Top Scorer by total points scored.#

  202. I think Macri is a good writer and I like some of his stuff but it’s not really clear to me that he has any real sources inside the organization. Given that the 3/70 contract he’s floated repeatedly never made any real sense for Hayward and that now a real reporter (and Stein is one of the best) is saying our offer was much higher and Macri is caveating his rebuttal theory with “literally just a guess” and “even if my reporting is wrong” I’m going to stick with Stein on this one.

  203. Btw talking about national teams…. a fast way to start believing in Frank’s game is by watching again (?) Fra-Usa quarter final from the 2019 Basketball World Cup.
    Idk if you can find the whole game on the internet but it’s definitely worth searching for it.

  204. I was about to write that Bogdan’s brother Bojan is a much better shooter and makes the same money smh but they were actually quite similar at age 27. Maybe the expectation is that Bogdan will make a similar leap as a shooter…if he does, he’s more than worth the money.

    Atlanta is going to be a force…I wouldn’t be shocked if they wind up a top-4 seed in the east.

  205. I think he is a max player. Obviously you are getting more surplus from AD or Giannis but you can’t complain with how Bam plays D.

    Re thanksgiving, definitely in the “rather just have roast chicken” camp

  206. Yeah the pro Frank people (I consider myself one) that are on here are far more ambivalent about him than on a place like P and T but over there he does literally have a cult like following. Its a little ridiculous. I think a lot of it is because the idealized version of a fully realized Frank is indeed a very tantalizing player. A giant PG with massive wingspan who can shut down the opposing team’s best offensive player, is switchable and can run an offense…that would indeed be a super valuable player.

    I think the reality is that Frank will eventually end up being a good rotation bench guy for a decent team. I do think his defense can be great sometimes and he’s shown improvement last year that I think he’s worth giving more chances. But this has to be his year to really show something. With thibs as the coach he should have the perfect opportunity to thrive. IF there is anyone who would give him burn because of his defense, it would be thibs. If he doesn’t take that step forward this year, we should be done with him.

  207. Bam is certainly a rookie-max player. He’s 23 and was 13th in VORP while trending upward. Had a 4.1 BPM in the playoffs over 687 minutes, too. Absolutely bodied the Celtics, which is, in my world, morally enough to have given him the supermax IMO. You have to give that guy $163M over five.

  208. Z-man:
    Speaking of getting overpaid, does anyone other than me suspect that Bam is not a max player?

    There are very few Cs that I’d really feel like paying them more than $30M a season is moving me towards my objective of winning a championship; it’s just too easy to get pretty decent play at that spot for the minimum or close to it. Bam isn’t one of those guys yet, but he’s also just 22 and his trajectory is really in the right direction (remember that this was his first year as a full-time starter, previously he was mostly a run and dunk guy off the bench).

    With rookie extensions outside of the very few guys who have already demonstrated all-nba level play by that point there’s always an element of paying for what they could be, not what they currently are. I think I’ve seen just about enough from Bam to believe in him as an all-around fulcrum as he moves into his mid-20s but I agree with you that it’s at least worth asking the question whereas I think most people have just treated it as a no-brainer move.

  209. Yeah, Adebayo is a max player in my books, but he’s probably worth about as much as he gets paid when the “real” max players provide much more value than what thr max possible contract gives them. I know I’d rather have Bam on a max than a lot of the other guys getting a max just because they might one day get there.

  210. Z-man:
    I was about to write that Bogdan’s brother Bojan is a much better shooter

    They’re not related, one is bosnian (Bojan) but plays for Croatia national team, and the other is serbian (Bogdan).

  211. I don’t always like this heuristic, but I think Bam is a max player because the market dictated as much. If the Heat were hesitant he probably would’ve had 10+ suitors. I don’t think they’ll have any problem trading him if at some point they want to, barring injury. At the end of the day you’re a max player if all of that applies to you–I’d say the same about Ingram’s contract.

    As far as bigs go, I think it’s pretty clear that in this day and age being productive, even very much so, is simply not enough. To be worth investing in heavily you have to bring something unique to the table. This season I think Bam did so with his playmaking, and with all the necessary eye-test disclaimers I think he’s a 90th+ percentile defender among bigs too. Another eye-test observation: he seems so coordinated it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t unlock a decently reliable 3PT shot at some point.

  212. Mike Miller going to OKC to be an assistant there. Took much longer than it should have, but that guy deserves a job on someone’s staff. Glad he got it.

  213. Woj:

    Sources: Boston and Charlotte have worked on a sign-and-trade for Gordon Hayward that would land Celtics a trade exception, but Hornets have first been trying to find a third team for Nic Batum’s $27M contract to see if there’s a way to avoid waiving-and-stretching his money.

    Get in on that, Leon Rose…

  214. cybersoze: They’re not related, one is bosnian (Bojan) but plays for Croatia national team, and the other is serbian (Bogdan).

    omg that’s a blunder on my part, I thought I read somewhere that they were brothers and instead they’re sworn enemies!

  215. It we can get Batum with an asset, I’m fine with that. He’s a good and smart veteran that can help some of the young players for a year, but he may want not want to rot in NY even if his buddy Frank is here. He may prefer to be stretched and sent to a contender. IMO he still has a little left in the tank and can help a good team. He was hurt last year.

  216. I think Randle and Hayward to Charlotte, a 2023 BOS second to the Knicks, and nothing but an enormous TPE to Boston works?

    Boston would probably happily part with a second for the TPE, and I don’t see why Charlotte wouldn’t want a potentially useful player in Randle. We might even be able to get more from facilitating but this should be the basic framework.

  217. I agree that Miami was boxed in to maxing him. My only question is whether they’ll come to regret it at some point.

    My point about Bam is that he’s a great player at $18-24 mill AAV but at $30-40 mill you are betting a lot of cap space on last year not being a bit flukey.

    I’ll go on record as a skeptic at this point. I don’t see him getting much better than he is right now, which is fine!…He’s very, very good! But I think Miami caught a perfect storm trip to the finals and were exposed by a team that simply overwhelmed Bam in the small-ball style that worked for them in a weird EC year. I think other teams will take notice and adjust and some of the shine will wear off of Bam’s game this year. I don’t get why tnfh conjectures that “he seems so coordinated it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t unlock a decently reliable 3PT shot at some point.” He’s taken 36 3’s in 5000+ minutes and made 5 of them. He shot .690 from the FT line, not much below his career average. His career FG% from 16-23 feet is .270. It’s absurd to believe in him stretching the floor ever.

    I guess it comes down to whether you think Bam’s passing makes the difference, since that’s what separates him from other defensive high-efficiency/low-volume bigs. He does have the makings of an elite passing big, which is super valuable…but $35mill valuable?

    What’s interesting is that lots of folks here questioned whether Wiseman was worth a top of the lottery pick when he seems to offer everything Bam does except passing. The argument was that elite rim protection (and Bam is not elite statistically, block on Tatum aside), rebounding and defense without a 3-pt shot was easier to find at lower cost, and that a team shouldn’t waste high draft picks or max cap space on non-elite 2-way bigs.

  218. Z-man: omg that’s a blunder on my part, I thought I read somewhere that they were brothers and instead they’re sworn enemies!

    Well, fortunately basketball-wise they’re not enemies and even continue to have a league with clubs from former Yugoslavia countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia). So it’s easy to think those players come from the same country. ;)

  219. He shot .690 from the FT line, not much below his career average. His career FG% from 16-23 feet is .270. It’s absurd to believe in him stretching the floor ever.

    71% from the line for his career, and the 16-23 shots are such a tiny percentage of his overall shot distribution his percentage is completely meaningless. They were 5.6% of his shots this year. Last year he shot .438 from that range, would that change your calculation? It shouldn’t for the same reason!

    Having said all of that, I made pretty clear it was in fact conjecture. It’s not worth arguing about because there is quite literally no choice but to wait-and-see. I’ll roll the dice on the 23 year old who is addicted to making massive improvements every season.

  220. Deeefense:
    It we can get Batum with an asset, I’m fine with that. He’s a good and smart veteran that can help some of the young players for a year, but he may want not want to rot in NY even if his buddy Frank is here. He may prefer to be stretched and sent to a contender. IMO he still has a little left in the tank and can help a good team. He was hurt last year.

    No problem with Batum, if we get him we’ll waive him.

    thenoblefacehumper:
    I think Randle and Hayward to Charlotte, a 2023 BOS second to the Knicks, and nothing but an enormous TPE to Boston works?

    Boston would probably happily part with a second for the TPE, and I don’t see why Charlotte wouldn’t want a potentially useful player in Randle. We might even be able to get more from facilitating but this should be the basic framework.

    Well, although the difference between Randle and Batum is only an expiring 8M, i think having 27M (the sum of both contracts) of dead money is worth more than a 2nd rounder. But you said 2023 so Leon Rose will accept the offer without even thought it out! :P

    Also a TPE of 30M is worth much more than a 2nd rounder! You gotta pay, Danny!!

  221. The argument was that elite rim protection (and Bam is not elite statistically, block on Tatum aside), rebounding and defense without a 3-pt shot was easier to find at lower cost, and that a team shouldn’t waste high draft picks or max cap space on non-elite 2-way bigs.

    it’s just hard to find bam’s interior defense in concert with his passing. statistically he looks almost shockingly similar to mason plumlee, but altho djphan and reddit are skeptical, he’s a much better defender. it’s definitely not obvious he will live up to that contract, but as mentioned miami didn’t really have an alternative. bam would be the near perfect teammate for KAT, who really needs to play with a genuine interior defender who can do more on offense than just clog the paint.

    ps owen will regret mocking kevin opie huerter. he mighty actually be bogdan on a hunger strike by the time he’s 23. if he gets buried on the hawks bench this year, he might be an interesting snag for someone.

  222. Getting Randle off the roster (and off of next year’s books for his partial guarantee) has value in and of itself. He is not someone I want here when the season begins, if we can help it. But, yes, ideally we get more than a second.

  223. Would the C’s agree to Randle for a roughly 12 mil trade exception? Is it worth it for them?

  224. i feel like we are going to accidentally give up a first for batum in order to outbid presti. rose hasn’t spoken to press yet this offseason. curious if this mean same old msg shut in strategy (unless you need to sell out your coach) or if it means they haven’t given up on doing something big (dumb).

  225. Bogdan Bogdanovix on a hunger strike? Don’t talk dirty to me like that.

    I mean are we talking JJ Redick in stilettos and a sundress?

    PTMilo’s gnomic utterances per 100 (GUP/100) off the goddamn charts and likely to help him lock down the PEN award for sports blog commentating very soon.

    I like Huerter too but was pretty surprised to see his line looking quite Stauskasian so far.

    Bam is the next Zo and a real impact defender and that’s a good thing. There are only a couple super elite players and I don’t think any of them would mind playing with him.

    And yes, if there is anything that can unite the clans it’s trading Randle

  226. Take this for what it is (there’s a good amount of variation from year-to-year), but Bam has had a negative (which is good in this context) differential between expected opponent FG% and actual FG% every year he’s been in the league, including being 4th among centers as a rookie.

    You see the same thing if you limit it to shots taken within 6 feet. Again none of this is dispositive but there’s a lot of evidence of him being a damn good defender.

  227. Bam is a relatively rare good defensive big who also helps the team on offense because of his playmaking ability. He’s like a lite version of Draymond. I don’t know if he’s strictly worth all that money, because we don’t really know how to value defense, but if you told me Bam was a top 30-40 player in the league I would buy that. He’s very good. How many Centers would you rather have? AD, Jokic, maybe Gobert, Towns, maybe Embiid? (I think Embiid is better than Bam, for example, but he’s never played as many minutes as Bam did last year in a shortened season)

  228. We should get at least a 1st for Batum who takes up almost all of our remaining cap space, unless we send something out.

    We can always pass on the deal and try to pick up a 1st later on, or even multiple 1sts.

  229. I think there’s an outside chance that Rivers starts at pg. Thibs is going to start guys that can run his system correctly. I’m not saying Elfrid can’t do it, but I could see Rivers doing it better, especially as a guy who’s confident in his jumper.

    My worry is that Mitch or RJ could get pulled as started after too many mistakes, something that will probably doom Knox to never playing at all.

  230. I’m more ambivalent about trading Randle. I want him eventually gone this season (that 4 million guaranteed next year isn’t nothing), but if he starts out as a Knick this season and Toppin begins as his back up….its not the worst case scenario. It might be good for Toppin to start out on the bench feasting off second units on offense and learning NBA defense against second units instead of against starters.

    For me the real negative of having Randle is that Knox probably is out of the rotation. Knox should ideally be a 4. Iggy too.

  231. No way RJ isn’t starting. I guess I could see Mitch remaining in the back up role behind Nerlens because of his foul trouble but RJ will start. He may not be able to shoot well but he doesn’t really make “mistakes” when he plays and he is a good defender (relative to his time in the league).

  232. a lot of the other guys getting a max just because they might one day get there

    cough cough KRISTAPS PORZINGIS cough cough

  233. I do agree with Z-Man that if you’re Miami, it’s a bit scary to commit so much money to Adebayo because their finals appearance does look like a fluke, in such a weird season and playoffs specially. But then again, if you’re Miami, it’s not like you have any other real options, with a 31 year old Butler as your main piece and Dragic is also not getting any younger. I think they have to bet on the east still being shaky and the finals appearance not being a fluke after all and go hard on it. If it all falls apart, Bam should still be tradeable easily and they can start over.

  234. If the Heat didn’t give Adebayo what he wanted I would have had to assume Riley has a drug/drinking problem or early stage dementia. There was no way he was going to let a key “young” piece of an already good team walk and take a step backwards. He’s going to try to add the missing piece (s) and get further development out of the young players. He’ll either get there or he won’t, but he’s not going to go backwards. If he misses before Butler/Dragic fade, he’ll continue on with Bam, Herro, Robinson and any other younger pieces or bargains he finds and go big game hunting again with a team that’s still competitive.

  235. “Is Frank Ntilikina an NBA player” – the greatest thread in the history of forums, locked by a moderator after 12,239 pages of heated debate

  236. Personally, unless a very good deal comes along, I would keep Randle and try to build back his value before trading him. After the hellish basketball nightmare of last year, we’d be selling at the bottom if we traded him now. Not that I think we’ve clearly solved our spacing issues, but I can’t imagine Thibs using him worse than Fizdale did and I have to think one of the kids is going to shoot better than we got last year. If he has a good first few months, we could move him for more later. If not, the smart people will realize how badly he’s being used in NY. There will still be market for him on his short contract.

  237. Perhaps the Knicks could somehow parlay the Boston-Charlotte three-way into acquiring Devonte’ Graham as the price of swallowing Batum’s $27 million. With Rozier and Ball on the roster, the Hornets are going to have to deal with Devonte as a RFA at season’s end. It’s hard to see them hanging onto him unless Rozier is moved.

    There might have to be more moving parts, but it would solve the Knicks quest for a long term point guard.

  238. I think Riley is preparing the team for 2021 free agency, with this team: Dragic (PG), Herro (SG), Jimmy (SF), ? (PF), Bam (C).

    Giannis, anyone? And if they get him, to my dislike, i can see 2 or 3 championships coming their way. Would much rather see Milwaukee do it than Miami, that’s for sure!

  239. Strat, even a “good” few months from Randle arguably does more harm than good. He and Payton are a toxic combination when it comes to the more long-term prospects like RJ. Bis best position is as a small-ball five, but that’s a waste of this roster when we have Mitch and Noel, while he’s in the meantime taking minutes away from Obi, and from playing Knox at the 4. (If Knox isn’t a lost cause, it’ll be because he started being treated as a stretch PF.) He creates problems with both spacing and defense that nearly any lineup without him would lack on at least one of those two ends. Plus, there are two teams kind of desperate to make a deal right now, and they need us or OKC to facilitate. His value may be higher later, but there may not be a trade for him at midseason. Get rid of him, start Obi, move on from Steve Mills’ Bogus Journey.

  240. Statistically speaking, whose first two seasons were better, Bam or Mitch (aside from minutes limited due to fouls)?

    How close is Mitch to being a player you would pay $30+ mill for 5 years?

    (This is more to suggest how great Mitch is than to detract from Bam. I think Mitch is going to continue to do historic things this year and will generate wins over what is being predicted by Vegas, etc. Take the over)

  241. Bruno Almeida:
    I do agree with Z-Man that if you’re Miami, it’s a bit scary to commit so much money to Adebayo because their finals appearance does look like a fluke, in such a weird season and playoffs specially. But then again, if you’re Miami, it’s not like you have any other real options, with a 31 year old Butler as your main piece and Dragic is also not getting any younger. I think they have to bet on the east still being shaky and the finals appearance not being a fluke after all and go hard on it. If it all falls apart, Bam should still be tradeable easily and they can start over.

    Yeah, Miami absolutely had to do it. In context, it’s a no brainer. But if you could have him right now on the Knicks at that price (with or without Mitch) would you want him? I’m a hard no.

  242. I think the problem with giving Bam that contract is that he’s on the designated rookie max contract. Tyler Herro officially can’t get that contract from Miami, and he may end up being the one who is worth that type of commitment. I’m lower on Tyler Herro than most people but his player archetype gets maxed out so long as he’s a passable defende.

  243. Let’s all agree on something, Randle has to go, and the sooner the better.

    Brian, i propose a poll for Randle, with the goal to beat the record of most unbalanced poll ever, here at Knickerblogger! ;)

  244. cybersoze:
    Let’s all agree on something, Randle has to go, and the sooner the better.

    Brian, i propose a poll for Randle, with the goal to beat the record of most unbalanced poll ever, here at Knickerblogger! ;)

    It’s organizational malpractice at this point if Julius Randle is not sent to Charlotte in the Hayward transaction.

  245. It’s hard to know who was better-Mitch was a better scorer, a much better shot blocker, a better offensive rebounder. Bam was a better defensive rebounder and a much better passer. It’s easy to look at that and say well it looks like Mitch is the better player, but maybe Mitch isn’t disciplined enough to play defense for a team with a good defense, or maybe playing for teams with bad defenses has undervalued Mitch.

  246. Z-man:
    Statistically speaking, whose first two seasons were better, Bam or Mitch (aside from minutes limited due to fouls)?

    How close is Mitch to being a player you would pay $30 mill for 5 years?

    I think Mitch’s first two seasons were better, but even then Bam was showing a significantly larger repertoire offensively – he has a career usage of 18% (21% this year) whereas Mitch is at 12.7%. And then Bam made like a 90th percentile improvement from year 2 to year 3 which is obviously not a given for Mitch.

    Mitch is dominant as a roll man but Bam from the beginning was showing signs that he could be more than that whereas I don’t think Mitch has even taken the first steps (outside of shooting 3s in an empty gym) towards being anything more. To be a $30M a year player in my estimation Mitch would have to either A. keep his current offensive game and become one of the best defensive players in the league (call it the Gobert Path) or B. significantly expand his offensive game (the Bam path).

  247. I think that bigs that can pass well and anchor a team defense are more valuable to modern teams than bigs that protect the rim well but have otherwise low usage offensive profiles. Draymond, Marc Gasol, and Anthony Davis all have rings, with Bam and Jokic and Sabonis and Embiid and Nurkic and others establishing themselves as cornerstones to successful teams, leaving the Robinsons/Whitesides/Turners/Theis’/Allens/Harrells/etcs of the league largely on the outside looking in to the giant paydays. With the schemes of the modern offense, that ability to facilitate the other scorers is key, and the good teams know what is worth the most money. I think that’s what makes Bam worth his new contract. He’s built for the 2020s.

  248. “Draymond, Marc Gasol, and Anthony Davis all have rings, with Bam and Jokic and Sabonis and Embiid and Nurkic and others establishing themselves as cornerstones to successful teams, leaving the Robinsons/Whitesides/Turners/Theis’/Allens/Harrells/etcs of the league largely on the outside looking in to the giant paydays.”

    Would Draymond or Gasol have won a title if they’d played for Sacramento and Detroit instead of Golden State and Toronto (with Kawhi)? Isn’t the biggest difference between Bam/Jokic/Sabonis/Embiid/Nurkic and Robinson/Whiteside/Turner/Theis/Allen/Harrell more to do with talent than how they play the game?

    The funny thing is…if you look at who has won the title over the last 10 years, the only team that really won playing the “modern” NBA game is Golden State in 2015 beating a Cavs teams that didn’t have Kyrie or Kevin Love.

    Mike

  249. Not sure how I feel about Cade Cunningham being a little meh against UT Arlington. Slightly lackadaisical and slightly high dribble. He’s damn tall though

  250. Sorry for the off-topic, but i got to say this:
    RIP Diego Maradona, it was pure joy to watch this guy play in the 80s and 90s! The equivalent of Michael Jordan in soccer! It’s a sad day! :'(

  251. RIP Don Diego, as a Brazilian we always had the rivalry to go on, but the respect for his legend has always been there. Truly one of the greatest of all time, the kind of sportsman that we will never forget. It’s been hard to get over this today.

  252. when you’re that tall you’re dribble is going to naturally be high… his handle is loose though but that’s something most good young players grow out of…. you can see the outlines of why people like him … great size.. shifty handles… good form on his shot midrange and out and off the dribble….

    what people say about lack of polish is spot on…. looks like a number of areas need tightening up…. it wasn’t super impressive for a consensus #1 pick but his team is dogshit and and these guys haven’t played in a long while…. plenty more games hopefully to see what he got….

  253. for the record messieur djphan, my feeling is that anyone who invests enough in this team to actually watch the games – can say whatever the heck they want about anyone on the team or in the organization – they’ve more than earned that right :)

    one important question though – are you actually a dj?

  254. Yeah, not declaring myself out on Cade. But I kind of expected him to bulldoze through a team like UT-A with all the hype going round. But they have the JUCO player of the year and some other older guys so they aren’t a complete puff.

    Zion spoiled us last year I know. The guys who can do whatever they want in college are very rare.

    Maradonna was, of course, truly a legend. I spent time in Spain growing up when he was at Napoli and all the hubbub about him was a reason I got so into soccer at a very young age. Although I think he actually disappointed quite a bit in some ways. And I think what Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have done puts him down a tier, although they can’t match his career for narrative arc and drama.

    I will say this, Erling Haaland, who I gave you all some updates about last year, might be setting up to be the next Maradonna level player, although he is more of a pure striker. Scored a brace against Brugge yesterday after also scoring two in the Bundesliga on the weekend. Has the one of the most precise left foots I have ever seen and is absolutely blazing fast for a tall guy. Just an unreal player. Set the mark for fastest to 15 UCL goals with seven games to spare.

    He might slow down when he hits the Premier League but it’s been an astonishing debut

  255. Not to go too off topic still, but yeah, Haaland has all the makings of a future all-timer. He’s keeping pace in scoring with Lewandowski, who’s a monster and has the best team in the world feeding him.

  256. one important question though – are you actually a dj?

    no.. although i had youthful aspirations of being one at some point which is part of the origin story…..

  257. Well, BJ Boston looks like an athletic chucker, and since he’s a UK product, we should probably just start building the team around him now.

  258. Yeah, Lewandowski is a better comp. But Haaland has a three year head start on him playing at the top levels.

    I know Haaland is not the kind of player likely to ever be counted as an all time great but his goalscoring record is absurd.

  259. I think with the insane level of determination and drive Haaland has shown, he can be a lot more than just a top goalscorer, the kid is really incredibly driven and loves soccer more than anything. He’s running like a mad men when it’s 4-0 for his team. The only thing that worries me is injuries, also because he plays so hard every time, but barring that I think he’ll keep developing his game even further. Maybe never Ronaldo or Messi because those two set impossible standards, but if anyone can do it currently, its him and Mbappe.

  260. Zion spoiled us last year I know. The guys who can do whatever they want in college are very rare.

    Zion destroying Kentucky in his first college game was pretty special

  261. Bam was showing a significantly larger repertoire offensively – he has a career usage of 18% (21% this year) whereas Mitch is at 12.7%. And then Bam made like a 90th percentile improvement from year 2 to year 3 which is obviously not a given for Mitch.

    Do you want 17 points per 36 via expanded repertoire or 15 points per 36 by being the most accurate field goal shooter in NBA history? If the Knicks had a better offense that could get Mitch 2 more shots at the rim a game he’d outscore Bam. You might still want Bam on offense because his playmaking unlocks more effective team offense, but the difference is smaller than you’d think because of Mitch’s insane efficiency. If Mitch canjust ever learn to shoot fucking FTs he’d be a legit weapon

  262. Zion was so amazing at Duke he got me to watch NCAA basketball regularly that season even though it’s fucking terrible. He’s that special.

  263. We are apparently going to do a sign-and-trade with Houston to acquire Austin Rivers. Presumably, we’ll be doing that to slot him into the Marcus Morris trade exception, which will make it easier for us to absorb other salaries… like, say, a certain overpriced French swingman who currently plays for the Charlotte Hornets?

  264. I mean, if we get Batum for an asset it’s a great sign, it shows they’re really commited to tbe asset building plan and being patient about getting better. As far as Knicks management goes, I have to say I kinda am content with Rose so far, but i won’t say too much until the season starts just in case.

  265. Then presumably we have to give Houston something for going to the trouble of doing the sign and trade. Maybe Jakob Evans? I don’t think he’s in our plans.

  266. Whoops. We lost the Morris exception when we got under the cap, I think. But we could conceivably trade Bullock for Rivers, which still gives us more room to take on Batum. And Bullock, while useful and cheap, is also redundant enough that I wouldn’t mind losing him to get a better asset from Charlotte.

  267. We hired Aaron Brooks in the new role of “two-way liaison,” where his focus will be on the development of Harper and Pinson, or whoever we have signed to two way deals. Berman speculates it’s part of our way of dealing with whatever the g League will be this year, which he says will likely be “ a bubble camp with 100 players. It’s one of the reasons the Knicks decided against using the 33rd pick last week and traded it away for a 2023 pick.”

  268. The Rivers move doesn’t make much sense. Maybe we’re just playing nice with Hou and sending them a trade exception?

    Otherwise, this must be part of a larger trade.

    If we did send them Bullock or anyone other than Evans, I’d want something back. This trade does nothing to help the Knicks.

  269. Alan:
    Whoops. We lost the Morris exception when we got under the cap, I think. But we could conceivably trade Bullock for Rivers, which still gives us more room to take on Batum. And Bullock, while useful and cheap, is also redundant enough that I wouldn’t mind losing him to get a better asset from Charlotte.

    Even if we still had the trade exception this wouldn’t make a Batum trade any easier. The Austin Rivers contract has the same effect on the cap regardless of us trading for him or signing him outright (unless of course we trade a player for him).

  270. Alan:
    Whoops. We lost the Morris exception when we got under the cap, I think. But we could conceivably trade Bullock for Rivers, which still gives us more room to take on Batum. And Bullock, while useful and cheap, is also redundant enough that I wouldn’t mind losing him to get a better asset from Charlotte.

    I’d rather have Bullock than Rivers. I think he’s a better player and also more valuable as a trade chip given his contract.

  271. ***BJ Boston looks like an athletic chucker***

    I can see the NY Post headline now, after he Jamal Crawford’s his way into a game winner…”New York Loves Boston”

  272. Donnie Walsh:
    I like that Toppin wore #1 at Dayton. It’s makes me think “Obi One, you’re our only hope.”

    Did he mind-tricked us into drafting him? Or CHI, CLE, ATL and DET? “These are not the draftees you are looking for”

    The Jedi sounds cool for a nickname, hehe.

  273. ***It’s Bah-tomb for Batum and Tay-tum for Tatum.***

    Aww, I’ve always pronounced it Tah-tomb. Oh well.

  274. Batum made literally 28 field goals last season. That is high-larious.

    And what’s amazing is that if he gets waived, I can almost guarantee that he will quickly be a lot more engaged for whoever signs him.

  275. @JeffreyBellone
    I should note: I’m giving you a scenario for acquiring Batum while sending out the least possible salary. Obviously, there are many different avenues they can explore if you start to include players making more money from the Knicks, so build off this in playing armchair GM

    Burks is the only free agent we’ve signed, so there’s room to sign Batum without receiving salary in return.

    But if they do this, at least we should receive a good 1st RP, as this wastes all our cap space and then we cannot facilitate deals at the deadline.

    If they don’t accept Randle in return, i wouldn’t do this.

  276. If Boston sends one 1RP for the 30M TPE, and Charlotte sends another 1RP for sending Batum without receiving salary back, then i would do it. Two more 1RPs would be very good!

  277. cybersoze: Even if we still had the trade exception this wouldn’t make a Batum trade any easier. The Austin Rivers contract has the same effect on the cap regardless of us trading for him or signing him outright (unless of course we trade a player for him).

    I believe they announced Noel the other day.

  278. vincoug: Even if we still had the trade exception this wouldn’t make a Batum trade any easier. The Austin Rivers contract has the same effect on the cap regardless of us trading for him or signing him outright (unless of course we trade a player for him).

    It would work if we ordered it correctly:
    (1) Trade Evans for Batum & draft compensation
    (2) Sign all the players to put us right at the cap
    (3) Use room exception for Payton
    (4) Houston trades us Austin Rivers for the Trade Exception

    Of course, it’s all moot since we don’t have the Marcus Morris Trade Exception anyways

  279. Happy Thanksgiving, Knicks fans! Went with the turkey leg confit. Easy peasy, except for the butchering. But chopping meat is fun, so…

    Bonus: the smell in my apartment is unreal.

  280. Happy Thanksgiving all. I’ve been brining my turkey for about 12 hours now. I decided to NOT spatchcock this year because I’m spineless myself. I’m using a Bobby Flay recipe. I’m crossing my fingers it comes out good.

  281. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    I don’t see the issue with Randle and Obi that seems to be making the rounds in the press. Randle is almost certainly going to be traded. The only question is when. The Knick buried Randle’s value last year on a no space team as the #1 option. If we trade him now, we are almost certainly trading him at the bottom. That seems foolish, especially since no matter how NBA ready Obi’s body is, he hasn’t even had a summer league and probably shouldn’t be thrown the wolves yet anyway. Just start Randle, try to get his value back to where it should be, and then by the time the trade deadline approaches you can move him and slot a more seasoned Obi into the starting lineup. There is no reason to rush Randle out the door at the bottom of his value before we even know what we have with Obi.

  282. IMO, no one is going to send us anything of significant value to take on Batum’s contract. It’s an expiring contract, We’d be lucky to get 1 decent 2nd rounder or 2 crappy ones.

    I’m fine with taking on Batum and releasing him if that’s what he wants, but I’m not expecting much back. The market for salary dumps is just like any other market. It’s relatively efficient. No one is giving anything away unless they are desperate to complete some trade. I don’t think either Charlotte or Boston is desperate. They can get the deal done by stretching Batum also.

  283. Randle is not going to recover his value. Our spacing is just as bad this year, if not worse.

    If they offer him around and get only piddling returns, we have to just take it. Just get whatever we can and get him off the roster.

  284. I’m happy to see Noah Vonleh found a home in Chicago. He’d probably still be one of our best players. lol

  285. Randle is not going to recover his value. Our spacing is just as bad this year, if not worse.

    That may be true, but let’s see what the young players do and how Thibs handles Randle and the offense. There is no point to rushing him out the door just to watch Obi start, Obi is going to get his developmental minutes and get the starting job when he earns it anyway. Unless a really good deal presents itself, imo it would impatient and foolish to rush. Randle is a good player. It was the Knicks team construction and coaching that sucked last year.

  286. I’m kind of with strat on this one…why not let Thibs see what he can do with Randle? There’s really no reason to dump him unless it’s for a really good player or to facilitate a trade where we get significant assets back (not a 2nd rounder). Randle is one season removed from 2 straight strong statistical seasons. I know his game is ugly, but it would be bad asset management to unceremoniously get rid of him.

  287. This management team should be 100% focused on two things:

    -building up the value of its assets
    -cashing in at the trade deadline

    If something opportune presents itself before then, great, but no need for further roster moves for now.

  288. Happy Thanksgiving to you all! :)

    Early Bird, you are right, Noel is on our books. If you check our cap space here, it would be possible to follow your plan adjusted to send Spellman to Houston (as the TPE is no longer available).

    Strat, i agree with you, they won’t send us anything valuable, but although i agree they’re not desperate, having a solution doesn’t mean it’s a good solution, don’t you think?

    In Randle’s case, i’m with Oakman, i don’t think we can recover his value. At least i can’t see a path that makes Randle worth the 18M he’s in the books.

    And i’ll say more… having to endure a losing season it’s one thing, having to endure a losing season AND RANDLE it’s too much! :P

  289. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    While I’m not thankful to be rooting for such an incompetent franchise I am thankful I have all of you to commiserate with and keep me sane.

  290. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate being thankful and giving thanks to those who thankfully made the bobneptune ban possible

  291. Kansas Gonzaga is on in case anyone wants to watch Jalen Suggs pick apart some other birds this Thanksgiving

  292. Bobneptune was banned? Oh wow, I’m really out of the loop. Guess he threw a tantrum during the elections?

  293. Alan:
    Today, I am thankful that we have Mitchell Robinson and all of these dunks on the team I stupidly root for.

    Patienc is going to be rewarded this year. This team is going to be better than advertised and fun to watch. Starting with three of the longest, most athletic frontcourt players in the league…we might set some dunk/block records. And I think Quickley is going to be more of a factor than people think.

  294. Bruno Almeida:
    Bobneptune was banned? Oh wow, I’m really out of the loop. Guess he threw a tantrum during the elections?

    It was a couple months(?) ago. He threw a tantrum everyday for about a month. We were setting record length posts on topics which are best not discussed at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

  295. TheClashFan:
    Happy Turkey Day to all you folks!I’ve got a full bottle of wine on tap for today…

    what are you drinking? I am going with the old turkey day standby…Riesling..but looking for other recommendations..

  296. Z-man: And I think Quickley is going to be more of a factor than people think.

    Calipari had this encouraging words to say about Quickley:
    “Last year, we went to three guards. I wasn’t doing that early in the year, but as the year went on, I just said, ‘Immanuel Quickley, he needs to be starting.’ That means somebody else couldn’t start. [Quickley] ended up being Player of the Year in our league, but he trusted me to figure it out.”

  297. I don’t really know if I trust much of anything Calipari says about his players, though, since his whole schtick is that he helps good prospects get drafted in exchange for one year of their service.

  298. Also, just for fun question for all the film buffs here: what’s your secret shame movie that’s terrible but you enjoy anyway? Like some people here, Mulholland Drive is probably my favorite movie, but I still love the Will Ferrell Land of the Lost movie in all its glorious stupidity.

  299. Mike Honcho:
    I don’t really know if I trust much of anything Calipari says about his players, though, since his whole schtick is that he helps good prospects get drafted in exchange for one year of their service.

    ditto…seems like all that comes outta his mouth is self serving bs

  300. Mike Honcho:
    Also, just for fun question for all the film buffs here: what’s your secret shame movie that’s terrible but you enjoy anyway? Like some people here, Mulholland Drive is probably my favorite movie, but I still love the Will Ferrell Land of the Lost movie in all its glorious stupidity.

    two of mine are Payback with Mel Gibson and The Ghost and the Darkness with Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas…not sure why…but if I am channel surfing and they are on…i watch’em

  301. True about Calipari, but he didn’t make Quickley SEC player of the year over Maxey, Edwards, Kira Lewis Jr., etc. That’s not a feel-good award…it’s voted on by the coaches. The kid is smart, skilled, mature, can shoot and is a decent defender. He’s also a year older so should be more NBA ready. Did I mention that he can shoot?

  302. Quickley projects to be a phenomenal shooter in the NBA. Obviously, there’s a reason it’s a projection but he’s up there with Terry & Nesmith based purely on the numbers.

    Making sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Best part of Thanksgiving imho

  303. Early Bird:
    Making sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Best part of Thanksgiving imho

    agree…i could just eat that and stuffing…nothing else really matters if those two items are on my plate!

  304. So I woke up to pumpkin bread and maple butter…then my wife’s version of her Hungarian grandma’s potato soup with scallion/bacon/cheddar garnish, then prosecco w cider, then dates wrapped in bacon…

  305. Happy Thanksgiving!

    I have a lot to be thankful for: family, friends, full belly, dry warm bed. Every thing else is luxury.

    I am thankful to be a Knick fan, whose performance and management occupy a significant portion of my time and imagination.
    I am thankful for Red Holtzman and that great team
    I am thankful for Bernard vs Isaiah
    I am thankful for Ewing’s Three pointer against the Celts
    I am thankful for the “Dunk”
    I am thankful for Van Gundy riding Mourning’s leg
    I am thankful for the 99 playoff run
    I am thankful for Felton and Stoudamire
    I am thankful for Linsanity
    I am thankful that I am still a devoted optimistic Knicks fans despite the last 20 years

    *raises glass* Here’s to the Knicks, for better of for worse.

  306. pepper:
    prosecco and cider..that sounds awesome…gotta try that..is that equal parts?

    Mostly prosecco, a small bit of cider…she’s now serving another version…prosecco with a simple syrup she made with sugar and cranberries…

    I also attained a bottle of bruichladdich heavily peated as a digestivo…

  307. i was gonna post something, then read what sly wrote, and completely forgot what i was gonna say…dang sly…

  308. How are people going to feel if Nerlens Noel wins the starting job?

    I don’t think its all that unlikely.

  309. All the reports suggested that Thibs was very excited to coach Mitch. So if Noel winds up starting for some reason, I would trust Thibs on that choice.

  310. Nerlens Noel is about as good as Mitch right now. It is mind-boggling that we have maybe the two best shot-blocking/lob-catching pogo sticks in the NBA at a cost of $7 million a year. I hope we can keep them both forever.

  311. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Much to be thankful for even in 2020 but definitely among those is all of you for making being a Knock fan enjoyable.

  312. just cracked open the Alsatian Riesling…breathing now…wish i had some of that bean dip though…I have a left over beet salad …guess that will have to do as my app…

  313. Happy Thanksgiving everyone

    I had a Thanksgiving dinner Thursday night China time, which is Thursday morning in the US. We found a restaurant here in Xiamen that served Turkey legs for the occasion. The owner said he tried doing whole turkeys a year ago but he couldn’t get all of it to come out cooked right so he went with just legs this year. It was delicious.

  314. How are people going to feel if Nerlens Noel wins the starting job?

    I don’t think its all that unlikely.

    thibs needs to channel 1988 pitino and run the full court press every play with rj at the 1, frank at the 2 and obi mitch and nerlens as the gegenees free safety. on offense we run spain pick and roll with the double lob option every single play with rj on the ball frank in one corner with a kindle and alternating mitch and obi in the other corner doing it for the gram. other teams and their ten day training camps will run out of subs by halftime and we can bring in randle to slow trample their corpses oj anderson style. if not it’s back to the lowe post podcast circuit doing his best caricatured moneyball villain impression for thibs and we hire scoutwithbryan to ensure we fade for cade.

  315. We have 2 bigs that can defend as well as any big in the league, from the rim out to the 3-pt line. Not a lot of teams can say that.

  316. I did some twice baked japanese or korean sweet potatoes. Scooped out the flesh and pureed them with some butter, cream, parmesan and a roasted rutabaga then piped the puree into the shells. They came out great. I’ll probably add them into the permanent rotation for thanksgiving.

  317. DRed:
    I did some twice baked japanese or korean sweet potatoes.Scooped out the flesh and pureed them with some butter, cream, parmesan and a roasted rutabaga then piped the puree into the shells.They came out great.I’ll probably add them into the permanent rotation for thanksgiving.

    The wife said sounds tasty…take the W

  318. yum, delicious thread today…didn’t make it out the house til kinda late today, just felt good to go slow…

    sadly though the turkey was at my house and I’m still a couple of hours away from meal time now…

    to make matters worse, watching back to back shows of beat bobby flay…

    happy turkey day…lots to be thankful for :)

  319. Ugggh! I had to come here to air my grievances. Festivus will be lively!

    So I toiled over my turkey for several days, thawing, brining, stuffing, slathering, basting. I take it out. The thermometer reads 164. PERFECT! So I put it on the back of the stove to rest for 30 minutes so that the juices are fully absorbed and my son starts a Facetime call with my other son who’s in Florida. I turn away for just 30 seconds to say hi to him and look over my shoulder in abject horror. My wife had cut into the turkey “To see if it was done!!!”

    Let’s just say there will be much to say on Festivus Eve!

  320. Mike Honcho: Also, just for fun question for all the film buffs here: what’s your secret shame movie that’s terrible but you enjoy anyway?

    I just watched tonight – Idiocracy. Some of the best quotable lines in film: “Welcome to Costco, I love you”, “Water? Like from the toilet?”, I can go on all night!

  321. For some reason I seem to be the only person I know who likes the movie Lady In The Water. It’s my favorite M. Night movie, but most people hate it.

    But if we are talking about movies that we know are bad and enjoy anyway, definitely Jailhouse Rock. It’s like watching that D’antoni era game where Chris Duhon had 20 assists and David Lee had like 37 points and 21 rebounds. Totally pointless and indicative of nothing, but thoroughly entertaining every time it comes on.

  322. The Knicksiest outcome would be something like Mitch picks up a couple of small injuries, Noel gets the starting spot permanently, plays well but not well enough to be traded for a first then leaves for nothing at end of the season.

    I don’t think it will happen since Noel always seems to pick up small injuries himself, so my guess is that both will get a lot of playing time.

  323. I’m not worried about PT for either Robinson or Noel. In fact, the two of them feel like a great combo to go forward with. It is eerie how similar the two are Compare Robinson to Noel (2019/20 season) Check out the Per 36. They score the same and block the same number of shots. Mitch is the better player, statistically. He rebounds better and turns the ball over less. Noel also accumulates fouls at a faster rate than Mitch! The will be good practice competitors.

  324. The difference is nearly entirely offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding was identical.. The difference is probably more about offensive positioning than aptitude. Mitch took 92% of his shots at the rim to Noel’s 61%.

  325. Mike Honcho:
    Also, just for fun question for all the film buffs here: what’s your secret shame movie that’s terrible but you enjoy anyway?

    For me it’s SCREAM! :) I don’t know if it’s because it reminds me of the 90s, or because back then i had a crush for Neve Campbell, but when it’s on i watch it every time. Or maybe it’s because that assassin is the Knicks of assassins (which turns the movie into a comedy for me), really really bad at his job! LOL

    ptmilo:
    thibs needs to channel 1988 pitino and run the full court press every play with rj at the 1, frank at the 2 and obi mitch and nerlens as the gegenees free safety.

    I only follow the Knicks since 1991 so wasn’t yet following at the time, and i didn’t like when RJ run the point last year, but your idea seems very intriguing. Probably worth a try.

  326. I only follow the Knicks since 1991 so wasn’t yet following at the time, and i didn’t like when RJ run the point last year, but your idea seems very intriguing. Probably worth a try.

    that was a joke but also we should definitely do it

    We have 2 bigs that can defend as well as any big in the league, from the rim out to the 3-pt line. Not a lot of teams can say that.

    i wish this were true but there is no way it is. gobert may be a superspreader but he is miles and miles and miles better than both of these guys (so far). embiid and AD are also way better. i can’t prove this, especially to the rapm heretics, so anyone who wants to be very wrong but tie the argument has a path here.

    finally, mitch is a much more devastating roll man than noel. last year noel’s numbers were helped by playing with one of the best pgs of all time (rim makes per 36 with cp3 on: 5.3, without cp and last year: 4.1), and also by a fluke year from 3-10 which he well never duplicate. mitch’s 4.7 dunks per 36 and and 6.3 rim makes per 36 last year are historically great and make deandre jordan look like bargnani.

  327. Secret shame movie: Scarface. I’ve watched it so many times I can recite lines before they’re spoken.

    My favorite: Tony Montana, after shooting his accomplice in the head “You stupid fuck, look at you now!”

  328. ptmilo: We have 2 bigs that can defend as well as any big in the league, from the rim out to the 3-pt line. Not a lot of teams can say that.

    i wish this were true but there is no way it is. gobert may be a superspreader but he is miles and miles and miles better than both of these guys (so far). embiid and AD are also way better. i can’t prove this, especially to the rapm heretics, so anyone who wants to be very wrong but tie the argument has a path here.

    I admit that it is a largely eye-test base claim on my part, but not completely unsubstantiated. Mitch and Noel are far more mobile on the perimeter than Gobert. Mitch blocked more 3-pointers than anyone in history )I think) and that includes against guys like Harden. It appears at least that both Noel and Mitch can keep up with anyone they happen to switch on to, i.e. the small, quick player with a stepback is not as much as a mismatch for them as it is vs. a lumbering big like Embiid, or to a lesser degree Gobert. AD is another story, but he is potentially one of the all-time great 2-way players, and yet I’m not sure they are better pure defenders either at the rim or in space than either Mitch or Noel. Since not all PnR’s are the same, the data might be skewed…I would like to see data on Gobert, Embiid, AD, etc. vs. Mitch and Noel on PnR’s where they switch onto a small in space leading to a mismatch iso…i.e. one where lateral quickness is at a premium.

  329. ptmilo: finally, mitch is a much more devastating roll man than noel. last year noel’s numbers were helped by playing with one of the best pgs of all time (rim makes per 36 with cp3 on: 5.3, without cp and last year: 4.1), and also by a fluke year from 3-10 which he well never duplicate. mitch’s 4.7 dunks per 36 and and 6.3 rim makes per 36 last year are historically great and make deandre jordan look like bargnani.

    Agreed…Mitch is already an all-time great rim-runner (any time a Wilt record falls that says it all) I’ve said before that his combo of length, vertical jumping, fast-twitch speed/explosion and hand-eye coordination are Wilt-like…just not the strength. He really is a physical freak. Noel is shorter/smaller but he is a very fluid athlete…even those 4.1 rim makes w/o cp3 are still very impressive. What’s interesting is that both guys actually show some touch away from the rim….

    Bottom line….you ain’t getting two of Gobert, Embiid, AD, or even the corpse of DAJ for a total of $7 mill AAV.

  330. #Also, just for fun question for all the film buffs here: what’s your secret shame movie that’s terrible but you enjoy anyway?#

    I wouldn’t call them secret but they’re definitely terrible to the point that they’re both classics in another genres than the ones they were intended to be. Maybe Cult also?
    Absolute Comedy classics for my taste:

    Plan 9 from outer space
    Rambo: The first blood part II

  331. d-mar:
    Secret shame movie: Scarface. I’ve watched it so many times I can recite lines before they’re spoken.

    My favorite: Tony Montana, after shooting his accomplice in the head “You stupid fuck, look at you now!”

    Two terrible movies I get caught up in are Road House and Bloodsport.

  332. From today’s Macri newsletter:

    I continue to hear a lot of point guard names that the Knicks are kicking the tires on. The Westbrook talk seems to have stalled, but John Wall’s name has come up – apparently with the support of Kenny Payne and Tom Thibodeau – as have those of Terry Rozier, Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball.

    Before you have a coronary, I have no idea how serious they are about any of these guys, or who they see as worth giving up an asset for versus who (if anyone) they see as more of a salary dump candidate. My guess, however, is that they don’t feel comfortable going into the season with the point guard crop they currently have.

    Every rumor of guys Thibs has pushed for makes me very grateful that we hired him only as a coach and not a personnel guy, and also that Rose is somebody he respects and will listen to. I like to imagine each Thibs/Rose conversation ending with Leon nodding politely until Thibs has left the room, after which he rolls his eyes, cackles, and texts Brock Aller, “Wait’ll you hear who he tried talking me into TODAY…”

  333. DRed is an innovator and I respect him for it

    I… I kinda like Ocean’s 13 and I don’t always feel great about it. But I’m well aware that Ocean’s 12 is terrible, so I’ve got that going for me. (The first one is an unimpeachable great popcorn flick; one may request to fight me upon disagreement.)

  334. The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl

    the nine year old still requests we watch this one from time to time…maybe now six years or so since we first watched it together…

    I hated the movie so much those first couple of years, after a while though when I knew each scene and line by heart I started appreciating some of the finer details of the movie…

  335. Now for the real hardhitting question: is Sharkboy and Lavagirl Taylor Lautner’s finest work as an actor? Only serious opinions plz; this is an important question for posterity.

  336. I had heard so much about Cade Cunningham, I had to see for myself. So I watched the OK State vs UT Arlington game, Cunningham’s first in the NCAA and came away thinking that it’s a lot of hype and that he has work to do. The pluses: He’s very physical with smaller guards (he’s 6’8″) and won’t get pushed around in the NBA. He has a really good handle and a turbo speed. His 3pt shot is solid and has a lot of good offensive moves. As a point guard he attacks the lane fearlessly and will pass out of trouble. He also showed some good leadership on the court and has a knack for the rebound. The negatives: When guarding someone one-on-one he’s lackadaisical, playing much too far off his man. His help defense is also suspect as swipes at the ball rather than pressing or playing the lanes. I saw too many plays where someone ran right by him to the hoop. He often runs himself into trouble and has too many turn-overs. Bottom line? He looks like a legit 1st round pick but is not all-world. Time will tell as it was only his first college game, but there’s work to do.

  337. Vorkunov:

    The Knicks have officially acquired Austin Rivers. It ends up being in a sign-and-trade with the Rockets. Knicks get Sergio Llull, Tadija Dragicevic and Alex Hervelle from the Rockets for the draft rights to Issuf Sanon.

    Llull was a big European star who Morey never got to come here. Don’t know about the other two. The purpose seems more about cap machinations, though.

  338. Yeah, my way too early eye test/kinda box score analysis has Suggs above Cunningham. Suggs is a pure 1 with a ton of skill.

    Thought about Scarface for the “comfort movie” list, too. I’ve seen it probably 30 times, maybe more and I’m still not sure whether it’s actually “good.” Others I turn on when I don’t want to think, don’t want to get inspired, don’t want to get provoked, don’t need art, etc. would be Magnum Force and Sudden Impact, 48 Hours, and the older school dude comedy canon of Back to School/Stripes/Caddyshack/Ricky Bobby. I put Animal House in a different category than those.

  339. thenoblefacehumper:
    Have a feeling we’ll be closely tracking Jalen Suggs’ draft projection all season.

    Both him and Cade seem so much in control. Very impressive for a debut.

    I continue to hear a lot of point guard names that the Knicks are kicking the tires on. The Westbrook talk seems to have stalled, but John Wall’s name has come up – apparently with the support of Kenny Payne and Tom Thibodeau – as have those of Terry Rozier, Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball.

    Give me Lonzo, please. His advanced stats are mediocre, but watching a brilliant pass or two every game would be so refreshing.

  340. Alan: From today’s Macri newsletter:

    I continue to hear a lot of point guard names that the Knicks are kicking the tires on. The Westbrook talk seems to have stalled, but John Wall’s name has come up – apparently with the support of Kenny Payne and Tom Thibodeau – as have those of Terry Rozier, Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball.

    Before you have a coronary, I have no idea how serious they are about any of these guys, or who they see as worth giving up an asset for versus who (if anyone) they see as more of a salary dump candidate. My guess, however, is that they don’t feel comfortable going into the season with the point guard crop they currently have.

    Every rumor of guys Thibs has pushed for makes me very grateful that we hired him only as a coach and not a personnel guy, and also that Rose is somebody he respects and will listen to. I like to imagine each Thibs/Rose conversation ending with Leon nodding politely until Thibs has left the room, after which he rolls his eyes, cackles, and texts Brock Aller, “Wait’ll you hear who he tried talking me into TODAY…”

    Dare I say that I trust that this FO will approach this intelligently and not make a rash move?

  341. If you’re suffering from a bit of post-thanksgiving burnout and have some time, try watching this NOVA documentary: Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back I’m an avid documentary watcher and this is among the best 90 minute ones I ever watched…the entire NOVA series is top-notch for its day. It sort of ruined the Apollo 13 Tom Hanks movie for me.

  342. Llull was an excellent player when he was drafted and definitely NBA level for a long time, but the ship has sailed. He’s 33 now and declining heavily so this is probably nothing but these random exchanges of draft rights that never end up meaning anything.

  343. Bo Nateman: Ditto
    ( Alan, I believe this qualifies you for KB Influencer status)

    Same here. Thank you for the tip, Brian. And i think The Athletic is owing you your fees, don’t you think?

  344. Stein sums it up well: “Teams always want draft rights to players who stay abroad to plug into future deals. New York adds a triple shot here.”

  345. I had heard so much about Cade Cunningham…

    Cade was a little hesitant in his debut, but here’s the thing: He’s playing PG for a bad basketball team in OK St. There is almost no shooting and all his bigs are stone-handed, so lots of his passes–that should be assists–turned over or just failed to convert to FGs because of that. Despite that, he played good team defense and still scored 21/10 on relatively good shooting. He sags off of guard shooters because he can usually block them at 6’7, but that’s a bad habit that’s easily unlearned. His real issue is that he has a high dribble and is not terribly explosive, but the high dribble can be fixed and he has a preternatural amount of shake to his game. He was merely good in his debut, but you can see flashes of exactly why he is considered a very good #1 pick in sequences like this, where he takes contact, maintains dribble, changes pace, does a shifty move, and converts:

    https://twitter.com/maxacarlin/status/1331719263745433604?s=20

    I wouldn’t update too much on his debut game (where he did look like he had nerves) with a bad basketball team.

  346. ptmilo:
    I only follow the Knicks since 1991 so wasn’t yet following at the time, and i didn’t like when RJ run the point last year, but your idea seems very intriguing. Probably worth a try.

    that was a joke but also we should definitely do it

    LOL, you fooled me! If you talk defense to me, i always take it seriously, maybe even if you suggest a lineup with 5 centers!! ;)

  347. pepper: what are you drinking?I am going with the old turkey day standby…Riesling..but looking for other recommendations..

    Pepper, sorry for so long replying to this. My youngest brother (not the right wing conspiracy nut) gave me a bottle of The Dreaming Tree Crush red, 2016. It seems to cost in the $10-12 range.

    I only drank about 2/3 of it…the rest for tonight’s dinner. It was fine; I’m not exactly a connoisseur, though.

  348. I accounted for his “nerves”. He was sloppy when the game started. One good college player makes a “bad” team “good”. If OK State is a “bad” team, Cade will need to carry some of the blame. I saw flashes offensively, but he was not the only player with a double-double for the Kelyan Boone went 10-12. Cunningham’s 3 assists were another worrisome sign. He wasn’t the only ball handler and did show some ball sharing, but he played off ball a lot and when he got a touch, it was full-speed to the hole. Yeah, game 1. We’ll see.

  349. ah, so you know of this cinematic masterpiece then honcho…hmmmm, i wonder if you are of an age that when it first came out you may have seen it “fresh”…

    i’m not really familiar with any of the actors from the movie other than george lopez…it’s like on the other end of the campiness spectrum from From Dusk Till Dawn

    as a kid one of my favorite “bad” movies was an old sci-fi flick called “Them”, basically some radioactive giant ants…also used to love all the abbott and costello movies, i’m not sure though that those movies were really bad, just silly…

  350. Not a fan of either Steve Martin or Eddie Murphy but whenever I stumble across Bowfinger on the teevee, I never change the channel. Yea, it’s silly AF but it always makes me laugh. Especially that freeway scene.

  351. Alan:
    For those who don’t subscribe to The Athletic, their Black Friday deal is $1/month for the next year for new subscribers. More than worth the value.

    Thanks for that heads-up! I’ve tried the 1-Step Checkout with Paypal three times now, all fails. One of the three I got all the way, through, apparently, but no confirmation from PP after authorizing the payment. The other two times the PP authorization never came up.

    I’ll wait awhile to make sure that it hasn’t gone through yet and try the Sign up with Email option.

  352. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    DRed is an innovator and I respect him for it

    I… I kinda like Ocean’s 13 and I don’t always feel great about it. But I’m well aware that Ocean’s 12 is terrible, so I’ve got that going for me. (The first one is an unimpeachable great popcorn flick; one may request to fight me upon disagreement.)

    I just watched 11 the other day. Its one of those movies I can always just sit and watch or have on in the background. Watching it is a breeze.

    12 is pretty bad and a chore to sit through.

    13 isnt too bad. Its just lacking something that intangible from the first one. The third one makes it seem like they are trying to play the characters whereas the first one it all felt very natural. Does not feel as effortless.

  353. Re: Macri newsletter
    I think the Knicks have a great disadvantage versus teams with smaller fanbases, the media HAVE TO come up with news about the Knicks, even if there is none. I don’t believe it because until now Rose has done a fantastic job, didn’t fall for those cripling contracts, tried to balance the team in a way we all agreed was the best possible in a weak free agent crop (except maybe for Christian Wood, as many have already said here that contract is a good contract, but if you were a player choosing between the Knicks and the Rockets…).
    And there’s another thing i didn’t saw noone mention, by the number of hires since he assumed i think he practically changed all the front-office, which is a thing i don’t remember the previous POBOs to have done. This way he shows he’s not going to say that it’s somebody else’s blame, and also shows he’s very confident in himself. I’m starting to like the guy, but i liked Phil until the 2nd offseason when the Rose/Lopez/Noah debacle happened, so i’m trying to not put a lot of faith in him so early on.

  354. TheClashFan: Pepper, sorry for so long replying to this.My youngest brother (not the right wing conspiracy nut) gave me a bottle of The Dreaming Tree Crush red, 2016. It seems to cost in the $10-12 range.

    I only drank about 2/3 of it…the rest for tonight’s dinner. It was fine; I’m not exactly a connoisseur, though.

    no worries…neither am I…i did the same as you but drank about 75% of the bottle…squeeze a few more glasses out tonight with the leftovers…

  355. @Geo I’m slightly too old to have seen it as a kid in theaters – I’m pretty sure I first saw it when I was babysitting someone’s kids and that was the movie they left me to put on. I’m glad the kids weren’t old enough to understand why I laughed my way through their favorite movie haha.

  356. and yet I’m not sure they are better pure defenders either at the rim or in space than either Mitch or Noel. Since not all PnR’s are the same, the data might be skewed…I would like to see data on Gobert, Embiid, AD, etc. vs. Mitch and Noel on PnR’s where they switch onto a small in space leading to a mismatch iso…i.e. one where lateral quickness is at a premium.

    i agree the usual pnr data is all but worthless for obvious reasons. like if you look who did better defending against the pnr ball handler last year portis looks better than mitch and vucevic looks better than noel. but it’s meaningless.

    mitch is obviously much quicker than embiid or gobert. mitch and anthony randolph were much quicker than tim duncan and jeff george was much better throwing 50 yards against his momentum than tom brady. gobert (and duncan) hedge almost every pnr and are both very disciplined at the rim and great at playing short court positional safety. mitch’s amazing ability to switch off the pnr and block james harden might be net very low value, bc however much better mitch is switching out on a lead guard it’s still probably a bad position for the defense on average, especially if he’s the only rim protector on the court and jumping at 3pt shooters. fortunately he toned this down a bit this last yr.

    here are some unusual on/off stats. this is the on/off #s over the last two years for opponent shots per 100 taken at the rim + 3pt line (on average, higher quality shots) and opp FT per 100. one benefit to these is they are much less volatile/noise than +/- or rapm. this is not adjusted for the benefit mitch and noel get from coming off the bench:

    rim or 3 per 100
    mitch 72.9 on 71.6 off
    noel 71.3 on 69.6 off
    gobert 62.3 on 65.3 off
    embiid 64.9 on 68.1 off

    FTA/100
    mitch 26.3 on 23.9 off
    noel 23.4 on 21.0 off
    gobert 20.3 on 25.3 off
    embiid 22.9 on 25.7 off

    ps i think both mitch and noel are plus defenders and i am very pro mitch!

  357. geo: as a kid one of my favorite “bad” movies was an old sci-fi flick called “Them”, basically some radioactive giant ants

    Sci Fi/Horror films are an endless source of “so bad they’re good” movies. Corman… Hammer… and, of course, the king of ’em all, Ed Wood… are perhaps the best known perpetrators of cheesy, laughably awful horror flicks but they certainly have plenty of company. With low-budgets, poorly written scripts, lousy acting, and cheap production values being the rule rather than the exception, those are the go-to genres for anyone who’s looking for an easy laugh at the expense of a really crappy movie.

    A few weeks back, in the pre-Halloween spate of horror films one of the local stations runs annually, I caught a little known gem entitled Horror Express. Released sometime in the early ’70s, it featured Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing (of course) But the picture was stolen by Telly Savalas, in which he shoe-horned many of his then-popular Kojak moves into his brief role as a Cossack officer. Add in a creature that’s supposed to be the missing link, a scenery-chewing Rasputin-like mad monk, as well as a wah-wah infused soundtrack that would not have sounded out of place in a porn movie, and you have all the makings of a bona fide classic. At one point, my wife wandered into the living room, spent a few minutes watching, and then asked “What in the hell is this?” My answer: “One of my new, all-time favorite movies!”

  358. i would be extra cautious this year with the hot takes on prospects… not that it’s going to stop anyone… but teams are in various states of preparedness and facing various obstacles to even get practice time…. even in a normal year you would need a handful of games to make any sort of thin slices on a prospect….

  359. ptmilo: here are some unusual on/off stats. this is the on/off #s over the last two years for opponent shots per 100 taken at the rim 3pt line (on average, higher quality shots) and opp FT per 100. one benefit to these is they are much less volatile/noise than /- or rapm. this is not adjusted for the benefit mitch and noel get from coming off the bench:

    rim or 3 per 100
    mitch 72.9 on 71.6 off
    noel 71.3 on 69.6 off
    gobert 62.3 on 65.3 off
    embiid 64.9 on 68.1 off

    FTA/100
    mitch 26.3 on 23.9 off
    noel 23.4 on 21.0 off
    gobert 20.3 on 25.3 off
    embiid 22.9 on 25.7 off

    ps i think both mitch and noel are plus defenders and i am very pro mitch!

    Those are interesting counterarguments…Rudy and Embiid better at hedging and staying home and on their feet vs. Mitch and Noel not being physical enough or hedging well causing more switches and chasing blocks leading to fouls. There’s probably still a lot of noise there, but that’s the sort of stuff that you would expect a brilliant (so I’m told) defensive mind like Thibs (and the new guy I guess) to be coaching them up on, i.e. technique and decision-making. But they clearly can do some things on both ends (run the floor in transition, contain little guys in 1-on-1) that max-guys Gobert and Embiid can’t, and it doesn’t seem impossible that they can learn to do the things that they do well.

  360. More on Quickley, from a Times article I missed earlier.

    Quickley’s free-throw percentage last season was the second best in Kentucky history, behind only Tyler Herro, who shot 93.5 percent from the line in 2018-19.

    Quickley’s percentage at the foul line last season was higher than the best college seasons from the best free-throw shooters in N.B.A. history. At the top of that list was Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who shot 89.4 percent in his best year at Davidson.

    Quickley does the things that are most coveted in today’s league, Calipari said, particularly driving into the lane without needing the help of a screen. Quickley also led the Wildcats with a 42.8 percent 3-point rate.

    The Knicks could use the help, too. They ranked 27th out of 30 N.B.A. teams in 3-point shooting and were dead last in free-throw percentage.

    Starting to warm up to the kid.

  361. wow, I haven’t thought about The Horror Express in years…those red eyes in the dark…feeling of being trapped on that train…inevitable grisly death…

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