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Thursday, February 21, 2019

SNY: If Knicks land Durant and Irving, who could be their supporting cast?

I’m really only doing this so that we could start a new discussion thread.

But anyhow, David Vertsberger had the following article on SNY.tv and I think it is a bit off on the realities of the Knicks’ cap space.

The discussion is about who the Knicks should add to the team if they get Durant and Kyrie Irving. Now, do note, the Knicks currently don’t even technically have room to sign Durant and Irving to their max contracts, but they can get there fairly easily. But if that were to happen, that would be it for the Knicks’ cap room.

They would have only the room exception (as well as being able to go over the cap to re-sign Luke Kornet). Therefore, the following is functionally impossible…

That leaves DeAndre Jordan and Noah Vonleh, which would make for a terrific frontcourt and snug fit with Durant and Irving. Jordan is close buds with Durant, and may be willing to take less to play with him for a contender. This is crucial given New York’s lack of room. His defense and rebounding will help secure the paint, and Vonleh can help in both those regards while spreading the floor on the opposite end.

Vonleh has developed into a Draymond-lite, appropriate for a combo of Durant and a flamethrowing point guard who enjoys working off pick-and-rolls. Vonleh could come at a relatively cheap price, making him a key target.

There is not room to sign both and even if they decided to part ways with Vonleh, is Deandre Jordan really going to go from making $21 million a year to the $4.5 million of the room exception? For serious?

The cap space for the Knicks going forward is quite tricky.

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92 comments on “SNY: If Knicks land Durant and Irving, who could be their supporting cast?

  1. Owen

    Like it Brian. I do kind of wonder what the way forward is. Because I don’t think Mitch, Trier, KD, and Kyrie gets it done. Presumably the Knicks brain trust has this all figured out.

    Are we better off signing KD and trying to spread the rest of the cap space over a couple of different players?

  2. Hubert

    There is not room to sign both and even if they decided to part ways with Vonleh, is Deandre Jordan really going to go from making $21 million a year to the $4.5 million of the room exception? For serious?

    What’s a reasonable expectation for what he’d make in the market this year? He’s never coming close to making $21mm again. I think the full mid-level (~$8.5mm) is probably his max. Even then, expecting him to take a 50% pay cut is unreasonable.

    I think one important move the Knicks should make is to decline Trier’s option and give him a long term term similar to the value of Mitch’s. That might be hard to finagle now that you’ve set it up to seem like that’s a massive paycut, though.

  3. Hubert

    FWIW, I think Vonleh, Mitch, and Kornet can lock down the center position, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to make room for Jordan. Especially since he’s mailed in the last season and a half.

  4. Brian Cronin Post author

    What’s a reasonable expectation for what he’d make in the market this year? He’s never coming close to making $21mm again. I think the full mid-level (~$8.5mm) is probably his max. Even then, expecting him to take a 50% pay cut is unreasonable.

    Oh yeah, he’s taking a paycut no matter what, but not to the room, ya know?

  5. Brian Cronin Post author

    Are we better off signing KD and trying to spread the rest of the cap space over a couple of different players?

    No way. The only way their plan makes sense is if they pick up two max guys. KD and filler is pointless. Just punt if they can “only” get Durant.

  6. Zanzibar

    The discussion is about who the Knicks should add to the team if they get Durant and Kyrie Irving. Now, do note, the Knicks currently don’t even technically have room to sign Durant and Irving to their max contracts,

    So one of Frank/DSJ/Trier/Knox is gonna have to go to max both Kyrie and KD? Bad error on part of FO – should have cut Enes at start of season and then included Noah in KP trade. Would have avoided all of Kanter’s histrionics and maintained maximum flexibility which would have paid off.

    If our starting 5 were Kyrie/Frank/Dot/KD/Mitch, we’d have DSJ/Trier/Kornet/Knox/maybe Vonleh as the bench unit. That 2nd five is very interesting. Kornet’s the best floor spacing center in the league. Imagine the benefit to DSJ and Trier, two guys who could thrive if they have open lanes to the hoop. DSJ/Trier/Kornet are the trio I most wanna watch together in the last couple of months.

  7. ess-dog

    Idk, that scenario looks a little less likely today. Boston will probably get AD, and therefore, resign Irving (unless Irving just wants to play in NY that bad). And is Durant really going to leave GS for NY and a totally barren roster? i guess Kyrie and Durant are friends, so it’s not impossible. Kawhi will go to the Clippers. That leaves Butler, Klay, and Kemba, but at that point, it’s probably better to just suck again and get another high draft pick. Although, I guess a lot of options open up if we win the #1 pick.

  8. thenoblefacehumper

    The subject itself is important though, and when you really start crunching the numbers it becomes clear that assuming KD and Irving both want the full max (which, who knows how important it is to them) there still might be some minor moves that need to be made depending on our draft pick cap hold.

    For example, if we want to keep Kornet’s cap hold we might have to choose between Frank/Knox/DSJ/Trier. There’s also a chance we’d have to waive Dotson’s non-guaranteed tiny contract if these guys want not-a-penny-less. The reason I was rooting for a Frank trade yesterday is in the offseason teams might realize we’re in this bind and get a sweetener out of us for taking on Frank’s $4.6M. That would suck.

    If we renounce everyone except Kornet and get the first overall pick (I’m assuming this because while overall it would be the best thing to happen to this franchise in decades, it’s the “worst case scenario” in terms of the cap), waive Thomas and Dotson, and trade Frank for nothing we could sign Durant and Irving to their respective maxes, pick up Trier’s option, sign Vonleh with the room exception, and then sign Kornet to whatever we negotiate with his Bird Rights. So the team would be:

    PG: Irving/DSJ
    SG: uhhh just Trier I guess lol
    SF: KD/Knox
    PF: Zion/Vonleh/KD/Knox
    C: Mitch/Kornet/Vonleh

    Needless to say depth would be an issue, but also I’d sign up for that this second.

  9. cgreene

    First, i had mentioned that it is my belief listening to KD that he may want to be the only alpha star on the team and that his desire to leave GSW is to test his greatness in LeBron on the Cavs (post Kyrie) way.

    Second, if we can sign Durant we are signing him. The idea we would punt it is absurd so let’s try and keep it to realistic expectations. So I think it is a legit exercise to see who in the 2nd/3rd tier of FAs would make for interesting targets.

  10. Hubert

    Idk, that scenario looks a little less likely today. Boston will probably get AD, and therefore, resign Irving (unless Irving just wants to play in NY that bad). And is Durant really going to leave GS for NY and a totally barren roster?

    I gotta be honest… the scenario above seems the most likely scenario. The only reason I’ve been semi-confident in Durant is because a) I do think it’s highly probable he leaves GS, and b) Perry is acting like a guy who knows he’s coming.

    If Perry stretched Noah and diminished Porzingis’ trade value just so he can have a low probability chance of signing Durant, wow, that’s just a terrible process.

    And something about not cashing in on Vonleh yesterday makes me think, like DRed said, we cannot trust the process. This might all be a wing and a prayer.

  11. chriskZIPCODE

    in that scenario, we will need a few vet minimum guys. Ron Baker? Corey Joseph? KOQ? what about Mario…..he’s not gonna get paid.

  12. Brian Cronin Post author

    First, i had mentioned that it is my belief listening to KD that he may want to be the only alpha star on the team and that his desire to leave GSW is to test his greatness in LeBron on the Cavs (post Kyrie) way.

    Lebron specifically insisted on the Cavaliers trading for a third star to go with Kyrie Irving before he signed with the Cavs. Durant’s issue is not playing with stars, he knows he has to play with stars to compete with the other star-ladden teams. He just wants to go to a team where he is the undisputed main guy. He went to Golden State, won two NBA Finals MVP and he still isn’t treated like the “man” there, since Curry is there. He was pissed that he defeated Lebron and nobody changed their minds about him. That’s the only reason he wants to leave Golden State (if he leaves there at all, of course).

    So no, he is fine playing with other stars, just so long as he is the main guy like Lebron was in Miami and Cleveland (and now Los Angeles). In fact, he almost certainly would insist on it.

  13. thenoblefacehumper

    If we landed Zion why would we need vonleh?

    I’d eat up every minute of Zion on the floor but I dunno about him playing 3,000 minutes at age 19

  14. thenoblefacehumper

    I should’ve mentioned in #9 that in this scenario we could also simply choose Dotson over Kornet, which might make the most sense given the depth chart.

  15. Brian Cronin Post author

    I’d eat up every minute of Zion on the floor but I dunno about him playing 3,000 minutes at age 19

    While I agree, I also think that if you’re adding Zion and Durant, you might want to use the room to get a 2 instead of Vonleh and then get a vet minimum guy for the Vonleh role. Trier as the only two is a bit on the sparse side of things.

  16. wetbandit

    They’ll try to sign KD and Kyrie, etc., before deciding on DeAndre, so whatevs.

    If they have Kyrie and Durant, they will need some vets or it’s going to be very sloppy.

    If I understand it right, right now, on the books for 19-20:
    – SF: Lance Thomas: 4.6M (1M guaranteed- what does this mean?)
    – PG: Frank Ntilikina: 4.9M
    – PG: Dennis Smith Jr.: 4.46M
    – SF: Kevin Knox: 4.3M
    – SG: Allonzo Trier: 3.55M
    – SG: Damyean Dotson: 1.6M (nonguar)
    – C: Mitch Robinson: 1.56M
    – (6.4M to Joakim FU Noah)

    IF Durant and Kyrie do come over, there are still LOTS of holes- We’d be set at PG with Kyrie/Smith/Frank, SG with Dot/Trier (a Barea-type would be nice), SF with Durant/Knox, no one at PF, and just Mitch sitting at C.

    We’d have to get Vonleh. Mitch can start, get fouled out, and be replaced with a scrap-heap center at the minimum (one a Knick always a Knick tradees O’Quinn and RoLo are avail), and the PF pool for veteran minimums is damn shallow, with just guys like Al-Farouq Aminu (yes pls), Dragan Bender, Kenneth Faried…

    If you then get Anthony Davis, giving up guys like Knox, Frank, Mitch (nooo) and a pick, you end up with a lineup of Kyrie/Dotson-Trier/Durant/AD/?. It’s an even more schizophrenic team, and I’m not sure how they would fix it with vet-min guys.

  17. thenoblefacehumper

    While I agree, I also think that if you’re adding Zion and Durant, you might want to use the room to get a 2 instead of Vonleh and then get a vet minimum guy for the Vonleh role. Trier as the only two is a bit on the sparse side of things.

    Come to think of it, retaining Dotson + Kornet and then trying to snag Ed Davis/KOQ with the room seems optimal.

  18. Brian Cronin Post author

    If Perry stretched Noah and diminished Porzingis’ trade value just so he can have a low probability chance of signing Durant, wow, that’s just a terrible process.

    The Knicks signing just KD after gutting the rest of team would also be pretty Knicksy. So that they win 45 games for a few years during his decline phase.

  19. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I do kind of wonder what the way forward is. Because I don’t think Mitch, Trier, KD, and Kyrie gets it done. Presumably the Knicks brain trust has this all figured out.

    Are we better off signing KD and trying to spread the rest of the cap space over a couple of different players?

    Kyrie and KD does not get it done in the current NBA even if we had a good supporting cast.

    KD and some role players would be foolish. KD will be 31 at the start of the season. So his window is short. You are either all in or you go in another direction.

    There’s no downside to adding KD to cap space.

    KD +KP + moving Hardaway with a 1st rounder for more cap space and adding a high level scorer made some sense. Then you have 3 scorers, our draft pick, and all our young players.

    If you bring in KD and Kyrie, that’s a better 2 man tandem, but getting that 3rd high level scorer here becomes more problematical because it probably involves giving up a LOT of the team. You might have a great threesome if everything fell into place, but you’d have to build the rest of the team quickly before Durant got too old.

    All that said, my brain is still having a tough time processing why Durant want to go from one of the all time great teams in NBA history to one of the all time worst teams in NBA history. I can understand him wanting him to stake his claim as “the man” somewhere or not getting along with some players in Golden State. But if that’s the case you go somewhere where they have good management and a good team in place. This team is absolutely horrid (other than Jordan who is probably out) and many years away from being anywhere.

  20. Brian Cronin Post author

    – SF: Lance Thomas: 4.6M (1M guaranteed- what does this mean?)

    It means that they’re cutting him, so we just have to factor in his $1 million guarantee into the cap room.

  21. Brian Cronin Post author

    Come to think of it, retaining Dotson + Kornet and then trying to snag Ed Davis/KOQ with the room seems optimal.

    After not playing at all this year, KOQ might even be gettable on a one-year vet minimum deal!

  22. mase

    @15

    Explain yourself! Ha

    A 19 y/o phenom for 3k minutes is something we want to see but also the kid is super athletic and 3k minutes is probably like 2k minutes to a normal rookie. In other words he ain’t gonna wear out.

  23. thenoblefacehumper

    KD +KP + moving Hardaway with a 1st rounder for more cap space and adding a high level scorer made some sense. Then you have 3 scorers, our draft pick, and all our young players.

    If you bring in KD and Kyrie, that’s a better 2 man tandem, but getting that 3rd high level scorer here becomes more problematical because it probably involves giving up a LOT of the team. You might have a great threesome if everything fell into place, but you’d have to build the rest of the team quickly before Durant got too old.

    KD + Kyrie + figure the rest out is far from an ideal plan, but it takes some true galaxy brain thinking to argue KD + KP + figure the rest out using some vague THJ trade was the better plan.

  24. wetbandit

    Sorry, I made a massive edit that was timed-out.

    PG: Kyrie, Smith, Frank. OK.
    SG: Dotson, Trier, Frank. OK.
    SF: Durant plays PF now. Then it’s just Knox.
    PF: Durant/Vonleh
    C: Mitch/Kornet/O’Quinn- type

    Very strange team. You’d need some vets, and for wings that’s tough. If we get Jordan on the MLE, then it becomes Kyrie, Dotson, Knox, Durant, Jordan. Tough.

  25. Brian Cronin Post author

    If we get Jordan on the MLE

    They won’t have the MLE, since they’ll be under the cap.

  26. Brian Cronin Post author

    KD + Kyrie + figure the rest out is far from an ideal plan, but it takes some true galaxy brain thinking to argue KD + KP + figure the rest out using some vague THJ trade was the better plan.

    Yeah, as I’ve noted in my discussions of the KP deal, so long as Perry pretty much “knows” that he is getting KD and Irving, then this is definitely the correct way to go. It’s better than the alternative.

  27. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    KD + Kyrie + figure the rest out is far from an ideal plan, but it takes some true galaxy brain thinking to argue KD + KP + figure the rest out using some vague THJ trade was the better plan.

    I wouldn’t expect you to understand it.

    You still think building an historically bad team is brilliant management.

    You have to consider the window.

    With KD/KP and the Hardaway cap space you can add the ideal 3rd wheel without giving up the rest of the team.

    As I said, the Kyrie/Durant tandem would obviously be a lot better (at least on offense but not on defense), but you have a short window with Durant that has to figure into the thinking.

    If you have to give up the rest of the team to get the 3rd star, you have to spend the next year or two rebuilding the role players and bench. By then Durant is 33 and on his way out. If you bring in Durant, you have to go ALL IN now or you are just wasting time. All in means THREE players, role players and bench.

  28. Hubert

    On the other hand, if Durant were willing to come here, it’s quite possible he’d be patient. He’d be coming off three straight titles and might be happy spending a year putting up video game numbers like Harden is while Kyrie and AD play out what is hopefully their one year in Boston (until AD becomes a free agent and Kyrie can sign a 10 year max) and Giannis inches closer to free agency.

    Consider the following next year (with Mudiay on a one year deal with a team option, and Vonleh signed for a reasonable multi year deal):

    1 Smith, Mudiay
    2 Barrett, Frank, Trier
    3 Knox
    4 Durant
    5 Vonleh, Robinson

    And note I’m not advocating to bring back Mudiay or draft RJ Barrett, I’m just admitting we’d probably do both if we don’t get a second star or land Zion.

    That team is pretty much what the Lakers are right now. But if we rent our cap space to accumulate assets, we’d win around 44 games next year and have a lot of young players, cap space, extra draft picks, and movable salaries to build as we go.

    That’s probably better than trying to build it all this summer.

  29. lavor postell

    Anthony Tolliver is somebod I’d be into althought his rebounding fucking blows ass, which is problematic since I think that’ll be a weakness of the team next year in this hypothetical scenario.

    I think it’d be better to think about what skillsets the team would lack with the supporting cast in place in this situation. Shooting (specifically movement shooting) and rebounding are the two which I’d attempt to prioritize.

    Wayne Ellington would be another name to keep an eye on.

  30. wetbandit

    I don’t see Durant coming to that type of team, Hubert. He may want to be ‘the man,’ but not ‘the only man’

  31. thenoblefacehumper

    With KD/KP and the Hardaway cap space you can add the ideal 3rd wheel without giving up the rest of the team.

    Oof. I guess no amount of experience with horse racing can teach you how the NBA salary cap works…

    (this shit makes no sense once you delve into that which you hate; specifics)

  32. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    @33

    They just used KP in part to move Hardaway. They could have done the same thing with a 1st rounder as part of building the new team in the same way Riley was throwing around picks to open space for his big 3.

    It’s all moot though.

    Our brilliant management team created such a historically bad team our best prospect wanted out. Now we are again reduced to praying some superstars are dumb enough to come here. The alternative is that instead of being 4-5 years away from being really good we are now probably 6-7 years away from being really good (assuming they don’t screw a bunch of other things up along the way). Of course, they could save face and bring in Kemba and someone else like that.

  33. thenoblefacehumper

    Oof. I guess no amount of experience with horse racing can teach you how the NBA salary cap works…

    (this shit makes no sense once you delve into that which you hate; specifics)

    Just to be clearer, if we undo the KP trade, assume the cap hold for the 5th pick, and renounce everyone except KP, we need to trade THJ or Lee just to afford Durant alone. If we trade them both, we have $22M left after Durant’s max. So, Strat, which “ideal third wheel” are we landing with $22M?

  34. thenoblefacehumper

    They just used KP in part to move Hardaway. In the off season they could have done the same thing with a 1st rounder as part of building the new team in the same way Riley was throwing around picks to open space for his big 3.

    It’s totally fine to not know jackshit about the way the NBA salary cap works. It’s complicated stuff that generally isn’t worth the effort it takes to understand it if you’re a fan. It’s less fine to speak with authority and condescension about the NBA salary cap if you don’t know jackshit about it.

  35. wetbandit

    I think if you have Kyrie and Durant, you need make a major move for Davis, since you HAVE to shift to winning players. Kyrie, Dotson, Durant, Vonleh and Mitch doesn’t do anything for anyone.

    Trading Dotson, Knox, Mitch (uch), and two non-2019 first rounders may not even do it for AD, since NOP wants real players.

    I mean, if that’s what you’re stuck with, and the vet-min guys are what we’ve seen above, does it even make sense to get KD/Kyrie? Do 2 guys get you past Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, or Milwaukee?

    Ok, then you wait for 2020. I’m very bad at cap space maths, but I see 18-20M left after 70M to Kyrie/KD… what hole do you plug? A SG or a big? OK, you go for a shooter, who turns out to be Kent Bazemore. You now have Kyrie, Bazemore, KD, (ZION?), and Mitch. That’s a weird but maybe good team, with no depth, but so much has to happen. I don’t see it.

  36. Hubert

    I don’t see Durant coming to that type of team, Hubert. He may want to be ‘the man,’ but not ‘the only man’

    It would be under the expectation that we’d improve in the summer of 2020. It’s the same deal LeBron signed up for.

    Keep in mind we’d also have $40mm in cap space to acquire players on one year deals for draft picks.

    And I’m not so sure that we wouldn’t like being the only man for one season.

  37. iserp

    If we are able to trade for AD and sign Durant, we would still have room for a non-max player. I think it would be the ideal situation for Rubio then. Rubio / Trier / KD / AD / Mitch sounds really strong.

    I still think that Kemba / Butler is ten times more likely than KD / Irving, which itself is much more likely than anything with AD, but it is nice to fantasize.

  38. Owen

    I think we bring Durant in and then have him come down with mono for a year.

    It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the Warriors isn’t it? I don’t really know why he wants to leave so bad. If he ends his career with 5 titles no one will really remember his time in OKC. And then they have Klay who will be hopelessly overpaid by someone, Cousins who they can’t re-sign, and Draymond who is looking slightly pumpkin-ish. Interesting decisions….

  39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If Simmons, Butler and Embiid can’t elevate an EC team to a legit contender (and the Sixers, right now, are a good but not elite team), then Kemba and Butler plus 9 scrubs and Mitch certainly won’t either.

    I think people have some seriously skewed ideas about how good this team can be with two third-tier stars. Butler was an exceptional player at his best, but he’s no longer shown production on the MVP level. Not to mention the fact that he’s 30, not 26, so it’s unreasonable to think that his best days are ahead of him. Same with any player looking for a new max contract after the age of 27. There are guys like Chris Paul and LeBron that defy the age curve, and then there are lots of other guys that you pay $30M a year to for being MVP-like three seasons ago (which is exactly what Chris Paul, in his first season of a supermax, is showing).

    So yeah, if you want to win a chip in the first season of a Kemba (29) and Butler (30) double max contract situation, you better have the pieces around them to operate at a high level while they’re within their 4- or 5-year peak. And lord help you if you make the argument that Kemba/Butler would immediately improve the shooting efficiency of the entire team — I’d refer you to the 2019 Los Angeles Lakers as a counterpoint.

    I don’t really know why he wants to leave so bad.

    I wonder how many times in Durant’s life he’s actually felt happy. Like, content, not worrying about the next competition, the next test of his greatness. You look at a guy like Steph Curry with his family, or with his teammates, and there’s this ease about him that his career could end next year and he’d be okay. Or Klay, who recognizes that he’s rich, famous and playing for the great dynasty of the century, and hasn’t a care in the world. Not sure I get that from Durant.

  40. Bruno Almeida

    I think the main issue the Knicks would have is getting into a Rockets like situation, where the depth dies after the core of the team and you spend an entire season rotating through mediocre minimum options.

    We should only have one second rounder this year if I’m not mistaken, which is a pick full of swaps that will probably end up being Houston’s, so a low one. What I would do is to buy as many 2nds as possible on draft day, to try to find at least one decent role player among them, then hit the UDFA market hard.

    I think a core of Kyrie, Durant, Knox, Mitch, DSJ, Trier, Frank and Kornet + our first rounder is decent enough to start out, assuming we renounce Dotson and Lance.

    I would honestly just go for it and see how it goes later. If we get Zion the discussion changes, but assuming we don’t, the first can also be traded for something of value or packaged with Knox or DSJ for someone else.

  41. The KnickerBlogger's Apprentice

    I wonder how many times in Durant’s life he’s actually felt happy.

    I wonder the same.

    Also, KD’s last complaints about all the Knicks rumors make me think he might go somewhere other than NY just to prove the press wrong.

  42. Hubert

    I see we’re in NBA 2K19 mode today

    It would be nice if we could just simulate the rest of the season and get to the good part.

  43. bockadoo

    Why would the Pelicans let AD play the rest of the season? First, he told them he doesn’t want to be there, and second, if he gets hurt what do they do?

  44. Jack Bauer

    Yeah, Durant does seem pretty insecure considering everything he’s accomplished.

    It’s all fun and interesting to go through these scenarios, but as a long time Knicks fan I’ll believe they’re signing Durant, Irving, and/or Davis when I see it. As previously stated he will have several other appealing options if he decides to leave GS at all.

  45. Hubert

    Jordan never seemed happy, either. He was also hypersensitive. He was an extrovert, though. Durant is clearly introverted and bottles this shit up.

  46. wetbandit

    Sorry to pick on your wording twice, Hubert, but as an introvert myself, I like to correct the negative associations with the term. Introvert means ‘someone who is more relaxed alone,’ and extrovert means ‘someone who is more relaxed with others’ – as someone with an extroverted family who thought I was bottling shit up, when I was really just sitting in my room happily reading, I don’t like to hear the association. You can bottle shit up as an extrovert or an introvert.

  47. Hubert

    I’m also an introvert and didn’t mean the work negatively.

    The thing is, when Jordan felt slighted, he told the world about it and it became part of his mythos. When it happens to Durant, he becomes reticent until he finally speaks up and it makes him seem unhappy.

    There’s no judgment there. Just talking about how I think there’s similarity between the two.

  48. airkent

    I think it all comes down to the draft pick, if we get Zion i think everything falls into place with KD and Kyrie.

  49. airkent

    The question after that is if we want to maximize a three year championship window with those guys ie cash in dsj and our picks/dallas picks into vets…. ideally it’s nice to have those cost controlled picks to supplement our team but a lot of those late first rounders don’t hit just ask GS…..

  50. Bruno Almeida

    I think Durant is just really frustrated that the OKC team didn’t work out. They seemed great friends at first, it was the most impressive young core we’ve seen in such a long time, they got to the finals… all that for Harden to be traded for nothing, then suddenly he starts clashing with Westbrook and the media jumps hard on it, Reggie Jackson gets in on the drama, Scotty Brooks was a terrible coach, it must have left such a bad taste in his mouth. Then with their window all but gone because they couldn’t replace Harden, the Warriors go on and build an incredible team and knock them out in that fashion on the playoffs…

    I think this frustration is what led him to leave OKC and what’s been fueling him. He knows he was the best player on the team and his chances of building a dynasty went to the trash because of everything that happened, and I think he tried to remedy the situation many times and only made it worse in terms of media and fan perception. That’s why I think there is an actual chance he wants to go to the Knicks, because if he’s about his legacy and his image as much as it seems, it’s the situation where he could do the most to help it out. It’s probably just armchair psychology, but Durant seems like a guy who cares too much, while lacking the stuff that helped Jordan and LeBron endure the pressure (Jordan’s pathological drive / obsession for being the best ever, and LeBron’s focus on his brand / legacy / extra court stuff).

  51. Hubert

    while lacking the stuff that helped Jordan and LeBron endure the pressure (Jordan’s pathological drive / obsession for being the best ever, and LeBron’s focus on his brand / legacy / extra court stuff).

    This is why I think it’s just a matter of PR with him. He’s got all that shit in spades, we just don’t focus on it because he lost control of his narrative the way Jordan and LeBron never did.

  52. Ben R

    I’m not too worried about our rotation if we sign KD/Kyrie.

    Mitch should be a day 1 starter that leaves two other starters and 3-4 more rotation players.

    Between Frank, DSJ, Knox, Dotson, Kornet, Trier, our rookie, the room exemption, and a couple of vet mins chasing titles we should be able to find the 5-6 players we need to fill out our rotation.

    Also, the only way we don’t have room to keep everyone is if we get Zion so the only way cap space is a problem is if we win the lottery. And then we have Zion so who cares.

  53. Bruno Almeida

    @55

    It might be, he might be very satisfied with himself and just be very very bad at presenting this to the “audience” (or simply not care enough / don’t want to / don’t know how to show this side). I also think he severely underestimated people’s reactions to the GSW move. I think he thought it would be receive as the Heatles were, for example, who received vitriol but were mostly redeemed because people realized LeBron and Wade legitimately didn’t have any help and that’s what led them to join together. The reaction to Durant’s move was, to me, a lot more extreme than it should have been, but that’s what the NBA is right now, a 24/7 crazy business of media and marketing where there’s constant input from fans everywhere from Instagram to twitter and reddit, and where it’s super easy to lose control of the narrative you’re trying to create for yourself.

    I think the criticism went way overboard and it affected him a lot, and that’s why I’m confident he’ll move away from the Warriors after winning the title this year.

  54. geo

    the tobias trade was pretty eye opening for myself…some folks had mentioned his perceived value in the league – seems i was kind late on recognizing that…

    yeah, tobias ain’t signing for no 18mil a year…ditto for middleton

    for me the question now seems to be – how do we find value in this list of names:
    https://hoopshype.com/2018/11/27/nba-free-agency-2019-the-top-players/

    who are those guys which we should be targeting:
    tj mcconnel
    nerlens noel
    kyle o’quinn
    rodney mcgruder
    malcom brogden (goods teams usually can’t keep everyone)
    Bojan Bogdanovic
    Terry Rozier

    who’s that player(s) that everyone else is overlooking?

    now that we have some assets – would it be better to try and trade for that player – or, is that a step that comes after at least establishing a competitive roster…

  55. abk

    One thing I just realized (at least if I understand the trade rules for picks correctly) on the KP trade:

    People criticized Perry for the latter of the Mavs 1st rounders, because if it doesn’t convey (as it’s top 10 protected) it only turns into one second rounder rather than two. At the time I criticized it as well. But it’s actually smart. If you wanted to turn the pick into two second rounders, you’d have to have them convey in 2024 and 2025. Doing that only allows you at most two years of getting that first round pick though (2023 and 2024). By having it only convey as one second round pick if the Mavs keep picking in the top 10, we get three cracks at it (2023, 2024, and 2025) before it turns into a second rounder.

    Basically having it convey as only one second rounder if the Mavs pick in the top 10 gives us an extra shot at the first round pick, because teams can only trade 2nd rounders 7 years out. Thoughts?

  56. geo

    yes, and off the tracks we go…

    Introverts are collectors of thoughts, and solitude is where the collection is curated and rearranged to make sense of the present and future. – Laurie A. Helgoe

    i like to talk, usually for about a good 5 to 15 minute period..then i’m exhausted…it’s one of the things i like most about communicating in this format – you can control your exposure…

    i’ve always related to introversion as impacting how we “recharge” – some around others, others around themselves…

    the best way though i’ve ever heard introversion described – it’s like being a stranger in a strange land

  57. ptmilo

    @59 that’s true but there ‘s an even better way that teams haven’t thought (or decided not) to try yet. you could have a clause that says if the pick hasn’t converted by 2024 it converts to the 2024 Mavs 2nd plus the 2025 Mavs 1st again protected 1-10.

    If the 1st conveys in 2025 the Knicks then have to give their 2025 2nd to the Mavs; roughly reversing the 2024 2nd.

    If it doesn’t it convey it converts into a 2nd just as it does now, except the Knicks are getting the normal two 2nds while stretching to the limit of the 7yr rule.

  58. marechal

    I’m not sure when was the last time that landing the #1 pick could be so franchise-altering for any team. Possibly not since Lebron.

    The combination of Zion’s promise, this FA class, AD on the trade market, the Knicks cap room, and their good collection of assets can lead to something good. It gives them a path for a Kyrie-scrub-KD-Zion-Mitch or Kyrie-scrub-KD-AD-Mitch, both of which would be a real contender especially with a weakened Warriors. There’s perhaps not more than a 5% chance of that happening, but it’s a path.

    That said, in all likelihood the Knicks will find a way to screw it up.

  59. KJG

    Are we super opposed to a KD / Kemba combo?… I know “we” (not necessarily me ) dislike Kemba here, but with KD as the anchor, how much would we miss out in having Kemba vs. Kyrie… is it that much? Really? Other than 2 years… ?? For me, when I look at the two, yea, I believe Kyrie has a bit more to offer, both in good ways and bad, the bad being what appears to be emotional instability, or lack of confidence (that comes through as overconfidence)… I think Kemba comes with less drama and nearly as much talent… have i lost it?

  60. Brian Cronin Post author

    Are we super opposed to a KD / Kemba combo?… I know “we” (not necessarily me ) dislike Kemba here, but with KD as the anchor, how much would we miss out in having Kemba vs. Kyrie… is it that much? Really? Other than 2 years… ?? For me, when I look at the two, yea, I believe Kyrie has a bit more to offer, both in good ways and bad, the bad being what appears to be emotional instability, or lack of confidence (that comes through as overconfidence)… I think Kemba comes with less drama and nearly as much talent… have i lost it?

    Kemba is fine so long as Durant is also signed. The only thing they can’t do is sign max guys if they don’t get Durant (or Kawhi, but he seems like not even in the picture). So long as Durant is one of the max guy, the second one is slightly less important. Butler wouldn’t even be that big of a deal.

  61. Hubert

    Are we super opposed to a KD / Kemba combo?

    I am if Kemba is getting the max. If he’s getting $24mm and I can use $8mm on Jordan or another solid two-way starter, then I’m cool with it. But all signs point to him getting the max.

    This isn’t terrible (especially if you can flip Smith and Frank for better pieces):

    1 Kemba, Smith
    2 Draft pick, Trier, Frank
    3 Durant, Knox
    4 Vonleh, Kornet
    5 Jordan, Mitch

  62. Frank O.

    On Durant v. Curry and Klay in happiness:
    With all due respect, Curry and Klay come from stable families that include former NBA players of high regard. To a degree, both appeared to be preordained NBA talents (see millionaires) in likely upper middle class to upper class families.
    But Durant was abandoned by his father as an infant and was ultimately raised by his mother and grandmother. His father reappeared later in his teens and traveled with him, but still, that is tough. And no NBA history in his family.
    Durant probably feels a bit like he’s under appreciated; he may be right.
    He should have been drafted #1, but wasn’t. In OKC, he played with two future MVPs. With Golden State, he played with Curry, and joined an already utterly dominant team.

    He is great, an easy Hall of Famer, but is considered to be in Lebron James’ shadow since they both played the same positions throughout their career. Statistically, they are near mirror images, except for win shares, where Lebron nearly doubles KD. He is second fiddle right now to Lebron.

    This is probably the source of his frustration and perceived unhappiness.

    And this is probably why he feels the need to make a franchise his own…before it gets too late.

    1. I have always been leery of our love of KD simply because of his age. The Knicks have paid way too much for past performance in my life time. I fear that KD will begin to decline. I know KD declining is still great, but by year two to three, there is not an insignificant chance he will no longer be a max quality player and yet the Knicks will pay him max dollars. (His hunger to be the leader of a championship team is not an insignificant driver, however)
    2. If the Knicks land the 1st pick in the draft, KD is a lock for the Knicks, IMHO, if he is still available. If the Knicks get Zion, other great players will flock to Zion. His value likely goes way beyond his abilities. Zion makes MSG the heavenly city on the hill…

  63. geo

    talk is talk, but, i really think kemba is staying put…

    On whether he expects to stay a Hornet:

    “I believe so. I’ve just got the feeling. I’ve been saying this is where I want to be, the place I love. I’m just really confident I’ll be there. I believe they will figure it out.”

    On whether he’s confident Hornets management will acquire the talent to be a winning team:

    “I think they will get some guys. This is where I want to be. I don’t want to be anywhere else. You see guys wanting to leave teams. I don’t want to do that. I want to help create something special here in Charlotte. Something that we’ve never had here. I want to create some consistency here in Charlotte.”

    for some folks – new york is a great place to be from…

  64. JK47

    Durant doesn’t really rely so much on raw physicality, his game is very skills-based and I think he will age pretty well if he avoids injuries.

  65. thenoblefacehumper

    Now that we’ve exhausted the possibilities for this summer, I should probably mention that Bol Bol is still #3 overall on my big board behind Zion and Morant. I get how scary foot injuries are for bigs, but I’m just not seeing anything exciting out of any of the other guys. He was putting up Embiid-like numbers before he went down, and plenty of players have gotten health issues under control to some extent. The draft is so weak that Barrett, whose Knicks career I’m already dreading, is probably my #4.

  66. danvt

    I’m interested in smart team building scenarios that are predicated on Kyrie, KD, and Zion not coming.

    I think patience will be the ultimate virtue and I’m worried that our tabloid driven FO will behave like DT with Ann Coulter.

    I’m not unhappy with the KP6 move but don’t need to see it payoff immediately. That was never in the cards, really, IMHO.

    What do we do really do?

  67. Brian Cronin Post author

    I am if Kemba is getting the max.

    Then you’re opposed, because Kemba is getting the max. ;)

  68. Donnie Walsh

    Durant doesn’t really rely so much on raw physicality, his game is very skills-based and I think he will age pretty well if he avoids injuries.

    I mean, doesn’t everybody age well if they can avoid injuries? It’s not dimentia that makes players fall off the cliff.

  69. JK47

    I mean, doesn’t everybody age well if they can avoid injuries? It’s not dimentia that makes players fall off the cliff.

    Some players are not effective once they lose that burst of speed that comes with youth. If you don’t have great ball skills or shooting ability but you can get to the rim at ease because you have great wheels, that’s not a skillset that ages well. Durant has more of an “old man” game, he’s an amazing shooter and can score in a million crafty ways.

  70. Brian Cronin Post author

    Agreed. It’s why Westbrook will probably age really poorly.

    The list of speedy guards who hit 30 and then, like, hit a wall is really long.

  71. chriskZIPCODE

    I really don’t see us picking Zion is that big a factor in an FA coming here. I’m trying to think when the last time was that a FA signed w/ a team because of the guy they were about to pick 1st.

  72. thenoblefacehumper

    I’m interested in smart team building scenarios that are predicated on Kyrie, KD, and Zion not coming.

    This is a good point.

    1) Take Morant/Bol/trade down for Clarke
    2) Take on any and all bad-contract-with-asset opportunities that present themselves
    3)Run out another shit show team next year
    4) Rinse, repeat until you have a good team

    As the Sixers showed conclusively, there’s really no way for this plan to flop as long as you stay patient.

  73. chriskZIPCODE

    As the Sixers showed conclusively, there’s really no way for this plan to flop as long as you stay patient.

    I don’t agree with this at all. The sixers started out with stuff worth trading, in an era where teams would trade unprotected 1st round picks, and the odds of picking first for a true tank were higher. They made 3 HORRIBLE high 1st round picks, one at #1 overall, one at #3 (and then I’m counting Noel). Their two homegrown studs were 1 and 3 overall, and the odds of getting those picks now are small.

    Now, they have a big 4, but likely won’t be able to keep both. Butler will opt out and get that raise. If they pay Harris too, they certainly can’t afford Reddick, and they will lose their only reliable bench player (McConnell). I think even if they keep 1 of Harris and Butler, they will probably lose one of those other guys, unless Reddick signs on the cheap. They have a ton of 2nd round picks left, but no other big assets. This might be their one chance.

  74. JK47

    If you can’t “rent” your cap space to a contender in exchange for assets, sign one year deals with whatever FAs get you to the salary floor, then tank another year and try again in free agency in 2020.

    Repeat each year until you either accumulate a lot of legit young talent or attract a true max free agent. Just for the love of all holiness don’t give out the giant mistake max contract to the guy who doesn’t deserve it. Just avoid that and you’re halfway there.

  75. Bruno Almeida

    I like Kemba, I think he’s a very good player, I’m with Brian on this, aslong as he’s the second best guy signed and not the best, I like the move. I’d rather have Irving, but Walker is very talented too and young enough still to be productive for most of his contract.

    I think we’re not discussing so much what happens if the Knicks strike out on AD Kawhi KD Kyrie and Zion because frankly, it’s a very clear path. Pick the best player available on the draft or trade down for more picks and assets, rent the cap space to take on bad contracts in exchange for assets and setup again, while giving Knox / DSJ / Frank / Mitch / Trier all the playing time in the world to see what they got.

    It’s the first time in a while that all the Knicks have to do is one simple thing: not give max deals to non-max guys. It’s exciting because it’s simple and straight forward, and the KP deal is extra exciting in this sense because it puts us forcibly in the right direction, since there’s no pressure about building around him or keeping him happy anymore.

  76. abk

    @61 good points. Teams don’t see mt get that creative with trading picks.

    @79 agreed. I think there are several ways the offseason can go well even without the big free agents, but certainly it won’t have gone well if we max mid-tier guys.

  77. thenoblefacehumper

    Now, they have a big 4, but likely won’t be able to keep both. Butler will opt out and get that raise. If they pay Harris too, they certainly can’t afford Reddick, and they will lose their only reliable bench player (McConnell). I think even if they keep 1 of Harris and Butler, they will probably lose one of those other guys, unless Reddick signs on the cheap. They have a ton of 2nd round picks left, but no other big assets. This might be their one chance.

    What? Philly has full Bird Rights on all of these guys. If they want to keep them, and they want to stay, they will stay.

  78. Z-man

    It’s exciting because it’s simple and straight forward, and the KP deal is extra exciting in this sense because it puts us forcibly in the right direction, since there’s no pressure about building around him or keeping him happy anymore.

    I don’t know if I’d say “exciting” as much as”unsettling but intriguing” because despite what anyone thinks right now about KP, his ceiling is still HOF-level player. Nobody really knows what he will evolve into. The current evidence is cause for guarded pessimism (or optimism that we didn’t blow it) but if he comes back fully healthy and figures out how to bottle what he showed coming out of the gate last year while adding bulk and intelligence, well, I don’t even want to think about it.

    As opposed to the other guys we’re excited about adding (or in fear about adding) because we totally know who they are.

    Believe me, given the circumstances, dealing KP was the intelligent move, pretty much a no-brainer. But if he actually wanted to be here and we dealt him anyway, I’d be much more upset than I am right now.

  79. bobneptune

    If I’m drafting and we miss on Zion, I’m drafting Bol Bol because he is the best player available, period. If I have to wait a year for him….. so what…..

  80. chriskZIPCODE

    Noble, IDK. Philly has 6 guys under contract next year, if butler opt out, for $47M. Butler will get the max, so they will be at $80M. Sure, Harris doesn’t get his max of $33M, but you have to figure it will cost them $25 to keep him, so that’s $105M. Their first round pick will bring them close to the cap. They don’t have bird rights on JJ, so he’s not staying, unless they sign him first and then sign the other 2 guys. If they do that, he’s gotta get $10M, right? They can keep Mcconnell, but again he’s got to demand 6-7. If they just keep both Harris and Butler, draft a player, and keep Mcconnell, they are at 10 guys, over $110M, near the point where they don’t get the exception. Plus….3 more slots to fill.

    Very best case for Phily seems to be to keep their 4, maybe McConnell and get a draft pick, and be over the cap. Likely case is they either keep 3 and one of reddick / mcconnell, or possibly both, with JJ on a 1 year deal.

    But….if they keep all 4…….Simmons gets paid in 2020. So, he’s going to be $25M, Embied will be $29M, Butler will be $35M, Harris will be $25M. Over $100M with 4 guys; add in whoever the draft and they are near the cap with 5 guys. and, they will be like that for 3 straight years.

  81. bobneptune

    I don’t know if I’d say “exciting” as much as”unsettling but intriguing” because despite what anyone thinks right now about KP, his ceiling is still HOF-level player.

    The operative question is what are the chances of him reaching his seemingly limitless potential/skill set.

    The guy is 7’3″ coming off ACL surgery with no comps to go by. He has had other semi serious leg injuries for a young person, too.

    The guy has had serious stamina issues all 3 seasons and I’m guessing it isn’t as simple as giving him more B-12. I think this is more serious than the knee potentially. the chances of him playing at a high level in games 90-95 of an NBA playoff run seem close to nil.

    He seems to have an overt sense of entitlement which doesn’t argue for the type of person that will put in the effort to be great.

    And he shot his way out of Dodge City so I couldn’t give 2 shits whether he lives or dies frankly. We got a very reasonable price for him under the circumstances and don’t have to lock up 153M on the come.

    The nice thing is I don’t have to burn a single mole of glucose or beta hydroxy butyrate thinking about him ever again…..

  82. Bruno Almeida

    @83

    Oh, I agree that if the circumstances were different I would have been fine with keeping Porzingis, but given that he made it a point to make it very clear he didn’t want to stay, I’m happy with the outcome.

    If we had preemptively extended him for example we could be looking at a much worse situation, with teams weary of trading for him with a giant contract and this injury, salaries would have been harder to match, etc.

    I won’t say the result of the entire KP saga was amazing, but it was better than it could have been for sure too.

  83. chriskZIPCODE

    know what else i hate about KP? these stories that he’s talking possible FAs out of signing here. Do we really think a lot of guys are consulting with KP before they sign?

  84. geo

    And he shot his way out of Dodge City so I couldn’t give 2 shits whether he lives or dies frankly. We got a very reasonable price for him under the circumstances and don’t have to lock up 153M on the come.

    well, there it is…

    you’re either with us – or – fuck em…

    i am though kind of curious to see how things play out for him next year – more so, just cuz i’m pessimistic on him; and, i wanna see if i was right…i think dallas will do all they can to put him in the best possible position to succeed…attitude aside – as bob mentioned, i just don’t believe his stamina and physical being will hold up over the course of a season and in to the playoffs…

  85. thenoblefacehumper

    Noble, IDK. Philly has 6 guys under contract next year, if butler opt out, for $47M. Butler will get the max, so they will be at $80M. Sure, Harris doesn’t get his max of $33M, but you have to figure it will cost them $25 to keep him, so that’s $105M. Their first round pick will bring them close to the cap. They don’t have bird rights on JJ, so he’s not staying, unless they sign him first and then sign the other 2 guys. If they do that, he’s gotta get $10M, right? They can keep Mcconnell, but again he’s got to demand 6-7. If they just keep both Harris and Butler, draft a player, and keep Mcconnell, they are at 10 guys, over $110M, near the point where they don’t get the exception. Plus….3 more slots to fill.

    This is mostly inaccurate and/or misleading. Since Philly is just trying to keep their own Bird Rights guys, the cap itself barely matters. They can blow past it with no issue. Butler’s 7-9 year max starts at $32.4M. The 5th year is for $42.7M, but I have no idea where you got $47M. Same goes for Harris.

    They don’t have full Bird Rights on Redick, but they do have his EB Rights and that will definitely be sufficient to re-sign him. I mean, if they’re so inclined they can offer him up to 4/$96M! Obviously they won’t do that but my point is they can blow right past the cap to re-sign him with no problem.

    To top it all off, even if they max out all of these guys (including Redick) they’ll only be in the LT by $1M or so next year. They can easily get below it if they need to. Sure, after Simmons extension they’ll be paying it for a while but I’m pretty damn certain they’ve planned for that.

    Edit: I forgot about McConnell, but it doesn’t really make a difference. They have his full Bird Rights, so this will only be an issue if their ownership is super LT weary.

  86. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t know if I’d say “exciting” as much as”unsettling but intriguing” because despite what anyone thinks right now about KP, his ceiling is still HOF-level player.

    I will literally eat a Bargnani jersey if he makes the Hall of Fame.

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