Sports Illustrated: Top 5 Former Tom Thibodeau Players Who Could Wind Up on the Knicks

Jonathan Macri had an interesting bit:

If you didn’t groan (or grunt, in the spirit of the Knicks new head coach) after seeing the title of this article, you’re a kinder soul than most.

Of all the knocks on Tom Thibodeau – that he’s relentless with practices (not true), that he buries his young players (it depends), or that he’s lost his defensive edge (remains to be seen) – the one that can’t really be denied is his penchant for relying on those he’s comfortable with.

In Minnesota, President of Basketball Operations Thibs went out and acquired former Bulls Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks for coach Thibs to inject into his rotation. In just two-and-a-half years on the job, five former players has to be considered a lot.

In New York, Thibodeau won’t be wearing both hats, but it’s foolish to assume he won’t have some input on the roster, especially with more than half of the spots potentially up for grabs.

With that in mind, let’s look at the top five former Thibodeau players who could wind up wearing orange and blue, the likelihood each becomes a Knick, and whether it would be a good idea or not.

(One name you won’t see here: Jimmy Butler. The Heat are surely gearing up for a run at Giannis, not at the expense of Butler, but to pair them up. If three times ends up being the charm for Thibs and Jimmy Buckets, it won’t be for some time from now)

Click the article to see the reasoning for his picks, but it boils down to:

5. Dario Saric (under 10% chance)
4. Jeff Teague (15-20%)
3. Zach LaVine (25%)
2. Taj Gibson (50%)
1. DJ Augustin (better than 50%)

As Macri notes, Augustin might not be the ideal move in terms of blocking other players, but since the Knicks likely will be trying to win, he makes some sense as a stopgap.

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346 thoughts to “Sports Illustrated: Top 5 Former Tom Thibodeau Players Who Could Wind Up on the Knicks”

  1. Very uninteresting list!
    I guess I’d shoot for Augustin most, just to have a legit pg in the building (and one that would be the proverbial “stopgap”). Still, it’s not very exciting. I’m sure that means they’ll reach to draft a pg.

  2. I want FVV and Anthony Edwards.
    Not Thibs’ second hand reserves and statistical treasures hidden under rocks and going undrafted.

  3. I’ll probably be proved wrong, but I doubt the Knicks will go after players because Thibs knows them already. That did happen in Minnesota, but remember that Thibs was GM while being full time coach. He didn’t have time to scour the NBA for talent, which I think made it much more likely he relied on his prior experience with players when acquiring them. Hopefully, that won’t happen here.

  4. I’m on board with Taj returning, even at his option. Love him for less, obviously- but it’s not like we absolutely need the cap space this offseason. I can get on board with Augustin- especially if we end up drafting a PG like Cassius Winston later in the draft because we missed out on our top options at PG. I also wouldn’t be mad if we land at 8ish and draft Vassell. If Winston and Smith are on the board with our 2nd 1st, I’d get Smith and make a play to move up for Winston if we have to. Somebody can have Knox and our 2nd in that scenario

    This would save us cap space for next offseason by avoiding a trade for CP3 and still give us more serviceable play at the 1 than Payton because of the spacing, while not blocking Winston and Ntilikina’s growth on the floor

  5. In his newsletter, Macri continues to push the idea of a Zach LaVine trade, suggesting that Knox, DSJ, and our lottery pick this year would get it done, and that LaVine would do well in a more structured and accountable system. Even though Knox and DSJ seem like lost causes, I remain deeply skeptical, and worry about giving out assets and money for a guy who seems like a better version of Tim Hardaway Jr. But maybe I’m underrating him and/or overrating what Walt Perrin can do with the 6th through 8th pick of a weak draft?

  6. I agree with you and would rather take my chances with LaMelo. I don’t think it will be that hard to move up to get him if we have to, and Killian is a good option as well.

    I know his shooting numbers and defense aren’t there, but LaMelo still seems like the best fit next to RJ and Mitch. Then they could nab Quickley, Bane, or Tilllie in the 2nd round (assuming they’ll have to trade the Clippers pick to move up for LaMelo) for some much-needed shooting.

  7. Lithuanians are goodhearted people but Arturas Karnisovas spent 2 years in Greece and became as sly as a fox.
    He will possibly trick us with Lavine!

  8. Alan:
    In his newsletter, Macri continues to push the idea of a Zach LaVine trade, suggesting that Knox, DSJ, and our lottery pick this year would get it done, and that LaVine would do well in a more structured and accountable system. Even though Knox and DSJ seem like lost causes, I remain deeply skeptical, and worry about giving out assets and money for a guy who seems like a better version of Tim Hardaway Jr. But maybe I’m underrating him and/or overrating what Walt Perrin can do with the 6th through 8th pick of a weak draft?

    Even in a bad draft I’m not giving up a lottery pick for Lavine. I understand the appeal, his raw numbers are good and his advanced stats aren’t terrible so it’s easy to look at him and say that if he fixes a couple of things he’d be great. But we’ve been down this road before with plenty of other players and don’t feel the need to relive that with Lavine and he’s injured a ton so don’t think having Thibs grind him to dust is great for us or him.

  9. Z-man:
    There might be competition to move up for LaMelo, no? Might cost more than our lottery pick…

    Perhaps. The trade partner would probably prefer our Mavs 2021 pick to the Clips pick (plus DSJ maybe). Who is our competition for LaMelo? Detroit? Orlando? I don’t think they have better trade pieces than we do, but I could be mistaken.

  10. do you guys buy the explanation of zion’s defense looking shitty so far as mainly attributable to being an out of shape rookie? watching him, he looks nothing like the defensive player he was in college. he does a shocking amount of stupid stuff every time he’s out there, even for a newbie teenager, with not a lot of awesome stuff to balance it out.

  11. I have the feeling that some coaches such as Poppovich, BStevens, RCarlisle, ESpoelstra have the talent and the knowledge to put together slowly but steadily perfectly functional coherent teams so that if they throw in the roster guys that were picked up even from the streets these guys will thrive.
    I’d call it maximization of a player’s potential as a part of a healthy team.
    And i cross my fingers that Thibs still has this talent too.

    Zion
    Haven’t watched his game closely but i have a not so good feeling that he’s much more heavy than he should have been as a pro athlete that jumps high many times a game.

  12. ptmilo:
    do you guys buy the explanation of zion’s defense looking shitty so far as mainly attributable to being an out of shape rookie?watching him, he looks nothing like the defensive player he was in college.he does a shocking amount of stupid stuff every time he’s out there, even for a newbie teenager, with not a lot of awesome stuff to balance it out.

    Well there’s this article from realgm.com suggesting that Zion has physical issues being downplayed by the Pels.

    I’m on record at draft time being less bought in to the hype about Zion’s sure-fire all-time great projections. He certainly has some incredible tools, but between his physical problems and his funky shooting form, there’s still lots of stuff requiring improvement to sustain that level of play.

  13. Serious question – in a re-draft, do you take Zion or Ja?

    I’m going with Ja, and I would have said that before the restart.

  14. was watching the 76’s against the spurs yesterday…mostly just wanted to see how the sixers were playing with simmons at the 4 and shake at the 1…

    biggest takeaway from the game was that thibs should have waited for the philly job…brett brown should be done after this season…

    that and pop was chilling in pajamas on the sidelines…it was funny, he looked incredibly comfortable…

    I thought maybe philly could make some noise in the playoffs, it’ll be surprising if they make it out of the first round…

  15. I’d go with Ja as well, he looks freakin’ incredible, even on bad nights! Of course, so did Derrick Rose at that stage…

  16. “But of course, I’d take RJ over either of them”

    It seems semisarcastic right now but in a few years it may be The Truth !
    RJ – The New Improved Truth

  17. Special Talent is always impressive but it can’t beat Health and Hard Work/Will to win in my book.

  18. Steve Stoute needs to stop giving interviews. Or doing his job. Or anything.

    Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

  19. “I think James Dolan is definitely misunderstood,” Stoute said. “He’s certainly brash. And I always, as a sports fan, love the sports owner that’s willing to invest and pay for the talent. You look at some of the greatest sports owners in sports history, those are the guys that were willing to go buy the top players. And it’s a very risky business, right? Because when you go get Phil Jackson, nobody says, ‘Man, they got Phil Jackson.’ There’s a guy who spent a ton of money to get Phil Jackson and Phil Jackson failed.”

    “There’s different stokes for different folks. I like his very clear style. He makes a point and he is very loyal to his perspective. It doesn’t make it any harder (to work with him). If you have a strong argument, he’ll listen. If you don’t have a strong argument, you’ll get run over,” Stoute said. “I’m a CEO. I understand that. I have people come to me with an iffy point of view on something. I can’t make a decision with an iffy point of view. You have to have a rational point of view that you’re willing to support all the way. If you don’t have that, you’re not going to make it. And if you don’t have that with Dolan, you’re not going to make it.”

    With the Knicks, they fell victim to the same type of sensitivities where people were making these statements, the employees wanted to hear something, they definitely wanted to hear something, they weren’t ready to fall victim to what the employees wanted to hear immediately and it became an issue.”

    “With having Leon in, World Wide Wes and myself, the three of us, we’re the best sort of team as it relates to being able to speak with free agents,’’ Stoute said. “Our relationship with talent to bring them to New York. They haven’t had this level of talent in the last 10 years that can go out and pitch free agents and convince them why New York is great.‘’

    get paid steve stoute…get paid…

  20. cuz, lord knows – if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, you better baffle them with your bullshit…yeah, how’s that goink…

  21. geo:
    cuz, lord knows – if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, you better baffle them with your bullshit…yeah, how’s that goink…

    I’ve got an English degree (Creative Writing), so bullshit like that makes my head hurt!
    :-)

  22. I think it bears mentioning that Ja is an injury risk too. He’s built like Jason Concepcion and jumps 45 inches in the air around large angry men.

    Zion looks really sluggish out there. I had some doubts about what his career projections would look like while recognizing he had MVP potential (mostly because of injury and an early decline). The guy he comps to pretty well is LJ I think, although he is obviously much heavier. Let’s be honest, there is no comp for Zion.

    Since he came into the league Zion has looked different than I expected. Less team oriented and far less disruptive on defense. He is much less willing to defer to established pros than he was to RJ and Cam at Duke. Will be interesting to see how it goes.

  23. Even with his injury problems Zion has been better when he’s on the court than Ja. Ja has been terrific for a young PG. I’d still take Zion, but that’s because I don’t have enough knowledge or information to guess how likely he is to have a fairly healthy career.

  24. Yeah, there really aren’t any close comparisons to Zion. He’s not as skilled as LeBron, as fluid as Barkley, as tall and long as Kemp, as fit as LJ. You can throw Mase in there as well. But his ability to elevate at his size is pretty unique, he’s a 300lb projectile.

  25. DRed:
    Even with his injury problems Zion has been better when he’s on the court than Ja.Ja has been terrific for a young PG.I’d still take Zion, but that’s because I don’t have enough knowledge or information to guess how likely he is to have a fairly healthy career.

    Disappointing…as a future GM, you should have that knowledge and info.

  26. Enes Kanter has only surpassed Zion’s TS% twice in his career

    Enes has never surpassed 30% USG

    Enes isn’t a rookie

  27. If Zion gets into shape and stays healthy he’ll be fine. He has looked a little pudgy and gimpy all year long as a rookie but he’s still putting up numbers. Swole Zion would wreck this league just fine.

  28. Yeah, Zion rules. But his usage level is way higher than I expected and his defensive intensity is absent.

    He might be a best shaper in his third year and turn on the effort at some point. He is certainly capable of it. But my sense of this year is that he just wants to put points on the board, which he has done efficiently.

  29. I think “Zion has looked sluggish since the NBA has returned” can be separated from “Zion has been outstanding as a rookie overall.”

  30. i think he looks like he just wants to catch his breath…i don’t know, one on one, first to fifty buckets – maybe i could take him…

  31. Lance and Jamal with monster games showed why they’re still the first choice when it comes to roster filler!

  32. I think for a guy like Zion who may struggle with staying in shape, this season has been a terrible introduction into the NBA for him

    The coronavirus stoppage following a serious injury has probably hurt his training disproportionately

    I wouldn’t worry, I doubt he’s the only one looking sluggish out there. He’s just in the spotlight more

    Ja Morant just went 5-21 for 11 points. Perhaps he’s a little sluggish as well?

  33. i think most people agree that zion will either be a juggernaut on offense or crippled by injuries. he’s been a little different than expected, but a beast nonetheless. but his defense has looked terrible from day one. maybe i am overreacting to 600 minutes of an injury and conditioning challenged 19 year old, but the vast majority of bigs who become very good or even good defenders never look like he has, even in the first half of their rookie year. of course, most of them don’t play out of shape at 19 either.

  34. In all fairness I haven’t had a chance to see any of his bubble games, so I’m mostly responding to his overall record. My impression was that some people, not all, were questioning that and not just his bubble play

    But I think his rookie status and the weirdness of this season should grant him a little more leeway

  35. defense for rookies is a tough to gauge but most do struggle… even high profile and high caliber rookies like zion will….

    his defensive numbers have tanked but we are talking a small sample and he has been hurt… i imagine he’s not all the way back yet and we probably won’t know if he will be healthy until next year….

    but he is on a really really good trajectory….. the only thing you should question is the health because he is definitely for real….

  36. watching him, he looks nothing like the defensive player he was in college.

    I don’t think he was a particularly good defensive player in college, but yes, he is getting exposed by superior NBA talent. I think he’s going to need a ton of coaching, and to lose 5-10 lbs. if he wants to sustain effort for 82 games plus playoffs. Make no mistake that his body will always look “muscly soft” if he eats a balanced diet, as he’s an endomorph if there ever was one. (You’re not going to see him look like Kawhi or Bledsoe without an artificial diet like keto or some stupid shit that no professional athlete should do.) It’s almost jarring to see that body type in this league, as most of those guys go on to play defensive tackle or inside linebacker or fullback. He is fuckin’ RARE.

    He already looks like a guy who will score 50 before his 21st birthday, but the defensive lapses are pretty terrible. He can erase mistakes with the explosive speed, but you don’t have much room for error when you’re matched up against the depth of talent you see at the wing position these days. You’ve got 6’9″ guys like Paul George who can pull up from 35 feet or drive to the hole in about three strides. Unless you’ve got an elite rim protector as a backstop, you really need to play positional defense instead of relying on your leaping to get blocks from behind.

    He’s got the spatial awareness to do it, but it looks like conditioning and effort. Also difficult to fix, but you can’t teach floor vision and the nose for the ball, and he’s among the best players in the whole league in that regard. He is absolutely relentless, like a bowling ball version of LeBron when he faces up with his man near the low post. Combine that with a willingness to pass to an open cutter? Fuck, man. I wish we had “Zion’s potential” problems.

    (I wrote this hours ago and forgot to click send.)

  37. ugh, watching some of the local clips broadcast…just saw at halftime shootaround noah working with zubac…coaching him up a bit…zubac had gotten in to it a bit with booker in the first half, and it looked like noah was telling him to not worry and keep at it…

    fuck lit noah…

  38. Zion needs to look into the Melo Diet. Otherwise, I think he’s doing fine. Maybe we can trade Knox for him if he gets hurt? I’d even throw in a 2nd round pick.

  39. Tip:
    If you ever come across a game with Zubac called by Kevin Harlan Don’t Miss It!
    Harlan is Obsessed with Zubac (probably the sounding of his name) and the broadcast is hilarious!

  40. JFC, JJJ is out for the season with a meniscus tear in his left knee.

    The Grizzlies are probably going to get the #8 seed and they’ll be playing without JJJ.

  41. Booker should have passed the ball, but hitting that shot despite getting fouled by PGIII was really impressive.

  42. Zion’s absolute floor barring career-altering injury is perennial all-star. and his ceiling is top-50 of all-time player. Even though their body types are different, maybe the guy he compares most favorably to is Amare, who might have been a top-50 player if his knees held up. I remember seeing Amare early in his career, and he was just so athletically superior to everyone on the court, it seemed like he outjumped everyone by a foot and power-dunked over anyone who got in his way. But despite being by far the best athlete on the floor, he was always a step slow on defense.

    Zion is young and can learn, but he has a loooong way to go on defense to be considered a 2-way player in the NBA, especially considering how challenging it is to guard both the perimeter and rim these days. If you’re slow on the uptake, you almost need to be James Harden on offense to make up for it to be in the all-time great category.

  43. Booker really has the makings of a varsity athlete.

    It’s like you’re trying to turn me into a Suns fan with the Uncle Junior jokes, Jowles.

  44. I turned on the Suns highlights and they were talking about how Mikal Bridges was going to be an All NBA defender someday.

    That was a good shot by Booker.

    Horrible news about JJJ.

    And hell of a line from Luka.

  45. So KP went 6-18, 3TOs, and fouled out in 27 minutes. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

    *hides*

  46. LOL Celtics lose to Heat without Butler.

    For all his success, Spoelstra is still way underrated.

  47. The truth is that bos-mia seemed to me like a must lose game for the smartest team.
    Who you’d prefer for the 1st round between Indiana and Philadelphia ?

  48. I expect A LOT of load management and strategy on those seeding games.
    Especially on the last ones.
    For many teams some games are meaningless and Wins can be worse than Losses.

    Truth will be fully revealed in the playoffs.

  49. The guy Zion really reminds me of Earl Campbell. He was maybe my favorite running back to watch of all time but even as a 12 year old I knew there was no way he’d have a long career.

  50. “How ’bout those Nets?

    (obviously the Bucks mailed it in…)”

    That or Suddenly These Nets became the “GSW of the ’20s”!

    Bucks have the best record in the Nba right now 3W over the 2nd LAL.
    If Budz and stuff don’t use that to rest his stars if possible and also retain the best record then maybe he ain’t the sharpest knife…(and we did great for passing him for Fiz!!! Lol)

  51. Let’s not forget that Barkley, the most precise comparison to Zion, got fat as hell and played 65+ games a season until he was 33. And Barkley was asked to bang inside way, way more than Zion ever will. Hell, by the time Zion is 30, this might be a two-hand-touch league.

  52. According to wiki Sir Charles and Zion are both 6 ft 6 in (1,98m) but Barkley is listed “slightly” lighter:
    252lb(114kg)
    to Zion’s
    284lb(129kg)
    It’s like Zion’s playing and jumping while wearing an extra 15kg backpack

  53. I don’t think Zion will ever have the ball skills or shooting form that Barkley did, and the perimeter focus of today’s game doesn’t help him. But he’s something else, that’s for sure.

  54. Shams thinks the odds of the Delete Eight teams getting together in any circumstance — either a second bubble or teams reuniting at their own facilities — are not good:

    There is growing belief among the NBA’s eight franchises not in Orlando that a second bubble site being built for minicamps and intrasquad scrimmages will not happen, sources tell The Athletic. There is pessimism about in-market minicamps for group workouts happening as well.

    “There’s nothing happening,” one GM told The Athletic after a Tuesday call between the eight GMs and league officials. “It’s a shame. It’s a huge detriment to these eight franchises that were left behind.”

  55. This Rockets loss was visible from outer space 2 hours ago…
    Their body language was screaming:
    “Blazers are pals”

  56. skinny melo with the dagger. we’re going to need that kind of clutch performance in the playoffs next season

  57. “There’s nothing happening,” one GM told The Athletic after a Tuesday call between the eight GMs and league officials. “It’s a shame. It’s a huge detriment to these eight franchises that were left behind.”

    The lottery should only include the 8 teams that were left behind. It would be adding insult to injury if teams selected for the play-in round were able to leap over teams that were kept home.

  58. Hubert: The lottery should only include the 8 teams that were left behind. It would be adding insult to injury if teams selected for the play-in round were able to leap over teams that were kept home.

    I don’t see how it makes a difference.

  59. “Every week it’s something different,’’ one coach from a Delete 8 team told The Post. “The players association just keeps getting involved. I call it 50-50. But we can’t go eight, nine months without anything.

    I have no strong opinion on what the correct thing to do is, but hopefully our guys are in the gym working on their skills with some coaching. There can be an upside to this very extended break even if ultimately the team is at a disadvantage at the start of next season. Off season is often when players make a leap in skills to be honed in games the following season. It”s not like next season is critical to any of these teams because their championship window is closing, It’s already shut for years. lol

  60. At some stage teams are going to adjust to Zion and he’s going to have to adjust back and expand his game or they’ll limit him to a bit less than he’s producing now. That’s especially true in the playoffs where he’s bound to run into a few tough matchups.

  61. Early Bird:
    So KP went 6-18, 3TOs, and fouled out in 27 minutes. Does anyone have an opinion on this?
    *hides*

    I do.

    3 pointers are volatile, especially if you are given the green light to to take some especially long ones because you make them often enough to help generate space for your teammates. Some night’s he’ll go 5-7 and others 0-7.

  62. I’m not a LaVine fan. Also, if the Bulls are making him available, that makes 2 teams that were willing to move on from a young seemingly talented player while he was still so young, Why?

    He doesn’t play defense and exhibited some serious attitude issues last year. No matter how bad the coaching was (and I don’t know that it was bad because I didn’t see enough) some of his behavior last year was borderline Insubordination. Pass.

  63. Man – TJ Warren in the 3 games since the restart:

    47 of 72 from the field (65.2%)
    14/23 3P 60.8%
    36 points per 36 min
    TS of 77%

    I think that is good?

    And it’s not all bad defenses:
    WAS 29th ranked defense
    ORL 10th ranked defense
    PHI 7th ranked defense

  64. No matter how bad the coaching was (and I don’t know that it was bad because I didn’t see enough) some of his behavior last year was borderline Insubordination.

    I paid little attention to the Bulls this year. Was the alleged borderline insubordination under Hoiberg or Boylen? By all accounts, Boylen is a caricature of the asshole drill sergeant coaching style: at least as difficult to be around as Thibs, but without any of the skills or smarts that makes players put up with Thibs. So if LaVine was behaving badly under the Boylen regime, I don’t much blame him.

    (Which doesn’t mean I want LaVine.)

  65. LaVine is great value on his current contract. He’s the kind of player that usually gets overpaid with a near-max or max contract. He’s worth every penny of $20mill for the next 2 years. The rub is that you’d have to give up assets to get him. I’d pass at this point, but if the cost is reasonable, he wouldn’t be a bad guy to have.

  66. Z-man: LaVine is great value on his current contract. He’s the kind of player that usually gets overpaid with a near-max or max contract. He’s worth every penny of $20mill for the next 2 years.
      

    He’s what I would call a “fake” star. They score well and make some magical highlight plays on offense, but they don’t help their teams win much because they aren’t “elite” scorers and are a huge negative on defense. Pass

  67. Deeefense: He’s what I would call a “fake” star.They score well and make some magical highlight plays on offense, but they don’t help their teams win much because they aren’t “elite” scorers and are a huge negative on defense. Pass

    Why do you think that LaVine is a huge negative on defense?

  68. FVV looked pretty dang good against the Heat scoring 36. I wouldn’t hesitate to give him a big offer sheet, but why would he want to leave Toronto?

  69. Why would anybody tune in to watch 8 bad basketball teams play each other over and over and over again? (Hmm… maybe they can wear All Lives Matter shirts and stand during the anthem, then the few dozen people actively boycotting the NBA will have games to watch. Do it, Silver!)

  70. FVV looked pretty dang good against the Heat scoring 36. I wouldn’t hesitate to give him a big offer sheet

    Again, FVV will be unrestricted this offseason. No offer sheets required.

  71. Lavine is a good offensive player, but it’s likely he’s bad enough defensively to eat up most of his value on offense.

  72. I don’t get the LaVine hate at $20 mill for 2 years.

    Are we looking for a short-term boost of a few wins? I mean, the guy’s best attribute is his scoring, and he’s got a TSAdd of 11.9 this year. Is that really worth $20M with a shrunken cap?

    If this team were a defensive juggernaut in need of some average volume scoring, a la 2011 Bulls, I’d say, yeah, why not? We need young players who will outperform their contracts, not a guy in his prime, already used to a big salary, and ready to cash in on volume scoring hype in a few years.

    He’s the mediocre anchor of a 22-43 team, not some undervalued superstar on a team “outperforming expectations.”

  73. Is there a big difference between LaVine at $20M over the next 2 years and FVV at $20M over the next two years?

    At least we know LaVine’s efficiency is suck-proof. What are the odds that FVV gets better going from Ujiri and Nurse’s Raptors to Thibs and Rose’s Knicks?

  74. Is there a big difference between LaVine at $20M over the next 2 years and FVV at $20M over the next two years?

    No, but FVV had a few big games last June and put on a ring on his own finger. As I mentioned the last time we had a serious discussion of his value, he played like a scrub from game 2 of the playoffs through game 16 — he shot 3-24 in the entire Philly series, scoring 13 points with a 7-7 appearance from the line. He continued to suck for the first three games of the Bucks series, shooting 4-20 for 10 points.

    Then came the new-dad narrative and a few torrid games against the league’s best team, scoring 48 points over three games on just 25 shots. (Weird stat here — he did not attempt a single FTA in the entire series. Further, he did not draw a shooting foul in 14 of 24 games last postseason.) Very good series against the Dubs.

    But if Klay and Durant don’t get injured, I think there’s a solid chance that Raptors are the runners-up and we’re not talking about VanVleet as some kind of worthy recipient of a $20M AAV contract, especially in this cap climate.

    He is not a bad player, but he’s not close to a guy that a non-contender should be overpaying. And that makes him just like LaVine, except you find find non-doctored photos of him holding up the O’Brien trophy with a smile on his face.

  75. You’re not getting FVV for $20mill over 2 years. He’s getting a minimum of 3 years, and probably for more $ than that. I’d be fine with the former and would pass on the latter.

  76. LaVine is a non-starter for me unless he replaces Randle and a permascrub like DSjr, and maybe a second rounder. I don’t think his contract will be hard to move, and he might even bring back an asset.

    Or he might actually get better, he’s still young enough to improve. If James Harden could improve his D (and he definitely has) then so can LaVine, especially under Thibs.

  77. swiftandabundant:
    Is FVV a better defender than Lavine? I have no idea.

    I was watching the Raps/Lakers games over the weekend and JVG was going on about FVV’s defense.

    Definitely, he’s a very high-IQ player overall, just has some physical limitations and is not a gifted passer.

  78. Problem is that Lavine isn’t really that good of an offensive player. ORtg 106, OWS 1.8, eFG+ 100, TS+ 101 (though his OBPM is pretty good, 3.3 which ranks just outside of the top 20 for this year). It’s funny, if he were a better shooter from midrange it might be a different story. He shoots 62% at the rim, 38% from 3, and 80% on FT and he takes almost 80% of his shots either at the rim or from 3 but he’s such an atrociously bad shooter on the other 20% of his FGA that it drags down is eFG% and TS% to league average. And that’s not good enough when scoring is your best skill.

  79. I dunno – I feel ok about Van Vleet, especially if we end up moving down in the draft and don’t get a solid PG prospect. I think my preference would be to draft LaMelo or Killian Hayes, but assuming those guys are gone by the time we draft, FVV for 3 years $60MM might be a pretty reasonable thing to do. He has a distinct Chauncey Billups vibe to him IMO. Winning player from a winning team. Tough defender, really good shooter, can play off ball as well as on. FVV/Frank/RJ/Mitch would be a really solid defensive 4-some.

  80. The difference is that FVV sets up your other young players while LaVine takes touches away from them.

    I get the argument that FVV isn’t worth the contract he’ll get, but if the knicks can groom a pg behind him and have him set up/teach the young players on the team how to play, it could be a worthwhile signing. The knicks won’t come close to competing over the next 3 years anyway.

    But yes, pass on LaVine for all the reasons mentioned above.

  81. Melo in his sixth season and Lavine in this season have very similar basic and advanced stats. Melo a better rebounder, Lavine a better shooter and assister. Take that information and do as you like.

  82. by the way does anyone know the deal with draft position for the non-lottery teams? These “seeding games” count for positioning, right? Like should I be rooting for Miami/Denver/Boston so that the Clips pick ends up at 24-25 instead of 27?

  83. Frank:
    by the way does anyone know the deal with draft position for the non-lottery teams?These “seeding games” count for positioning, right? Like should I be rooting for Miami/Denver/Boston so that the Clips pick ends up at 24-25 instead of 27?

    yes

  84. VanVleet is, in many ways, the antithesis of LaVine. One is a highly athletic, highly recruited, highly drafted, slam dunk champ who has never played on a good team. The other is an undersized, unrecruited, undrafted, NBA champ who has never played on a team that didn’t win 50+ games. Oh, and one has an almost 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio while the other has a 3:1.

  85. Melo in his sixth season and Lavine in this season have very similar basic and advanced stats. Melo a better rebounder, Lavine a better shooter and assister. Take that information and do as you like.

    Relative to league average? Overall TS% has skyrocketed since ’09.

  86. Well, if it were an either/or choice, I’d go for FVV. He’d cost nothing but money and might help the development of RJB and Mitch. Assuming he starts and his groin holds up (big assumptions), Frank could regularly just set up in one of the corners to shoot threes, letting FVV and RJB initiate the offense.

    ZLV is a very exciting player, but I wonder how much he’d cost and then how much ball hogging he’d indulge in? Still, I wouldn’t rule him out, esp. if some voodoo magic could be conjured up to get the Bulls to accept Randle back as a big piece of the package to get him. That or social distanced hypnotism.

    But I wonder if the Knicks will just wait for 2021 free agency.

  87. It’s a mistake to assume that a non-elite player’s performance within a peak offensive and player development system will travel with him when he leaves, especially if he goes to a team with an offensive system that’s unlikely to be ultramodern.

    If we sign FVV for 4 years and the Raptors draft a PG with the 28th pick in this draft, I would put good money on whoever they draft being the better PG over the next 4 years.

    FVV and Lavine are just not the kind of moves a team like us should be considering. Sometimes you can justify a bad move relative to the win curve bc teams need to sell tickets, but that’s probably not going to be a thing next year.

    Just follow the Brooklyn method: be patient (for at least one year) and only make moves that bring us assets or players well below market value.

  88. You ever see that meme with the guy who’s walking with his girlfriend and his head gets turned by a flashy female who just strutted by them? There’s usually labels to the guy, his disgusted girlfriend, and the passerby.

    The Knicks are the guy.

    His girlfriend is a proper rebuilding strategy.

    And the woman walking by is an overpriced basketball player who can singlehandedly guarantee we miss out on the playoffs, the best picks in the draft, and a better player/trade down the line.

    She gets us every time.

  89. Just follow the Brooklyn method: be patient (for at least one year) and only make moves that bring us assets or players well below market value.

    This would probably be the best road to take. But this is the New York Knicks we are talking about, so you have to think of it in terms of “what are some less awful moves the team might possibly make.”

    We have all of this cap space and nothing to do with it. We traded the best asset in the organization to create the cap space, and then used it on a bunch of dreck journeymen. Now it’s a year later and we can simply decline the options on almost all of them, but then what?

    I mean sure, use the cap space to acquire assets. Spend some of it on guys who might outperform their deals, like Christian Wood type players. I’m all for all of that. What I’m really not into is another round of Bobby Portis + Taj Gibson for $24M, or $15M for the dynamic duo of Elf Payton and Wayne Ellington. I mean, there’s got to be something better than that out there.

  90. If you want Fred VanVleet, just draft Grant Riller. He won’t be FVV good from the jump, but that is a guy who you put in your farm system and let him develop in the G League until he’s ready for a bench role in year 2 or something.

    Hell, if Kendrick Nunn can give you value as a rookie, so can Riller.

  91. If we sign FVV for 4 years and the Raptors draft a PG with the 28th pick in this draft, I would put good money on whoever they draft being the better PG over the next 4 years.

    We pick 27th and the Raptors pick 28th. Something tells me we’re going to take a scrub and the Raptors will take Grant Riller to replace Fred VanVleet.

  92. Just follow the Brooklyn method: be patient (for at least one year) and only make moves that bring us assets or players well below market value.

    That’s what they should do, but the hirings of Mr. Worldwide, Rose, and Steve Stoute probably mean more of the same FA starf*cking we’ve grown accustomed to. Gotta hope this FO is the one that can finally trick a legit star into signing here. Not holding my breath.

  93. >>> But this is the New York Knicks we are talking about, so you have to think of it in terms of “what are some less awful moves the team might possibly make.” <<<

    I think taking on Chris Paul's salary without making OKC add a sweetener is the least awful ill-advised move we can make.

    I have more faith in him defying the age curve for another 1-2 years than I do in FVV thriving outside of Toronto for the next 4 seasons.

  94. If we sign FVV for 4 years and the Raptors draft a PG with the 28th pick in this draft, I would put good money on whoever they draft being the better PG over the next 4 years.

    i will book this for any pick and any team fvv signs with

  95. yes in gambling language this means i am giving you the option to get this action for your terms or for some other team bulls, cavs, etc. fvv signs with if you want it. only caveat is if it’s real it has to be escrowed. four years is a epoch among friendly strangers.

  96. This is the spiciest direction this thread could have taken. I am here for it.

  97. for the record that wasn’t in the least meant as a thinly veiled call out to hubert for his (sure, stupid) take. he just baselessly seems like a fellow traveler in the lowly gutters of throwing money at inane esoterica for kicks. probably bad form, tho — sorry.

  98. LaVine is a non-starter for me unless he replaces Randle and a permascrub like DSjr, and maybe a second rounder. I don’t think his contract will be hard to move, and he might even bring back an asset.

    Agreed on both counts. Also, as a side note, when there is a hot shit GM that everyone is raving about and he takes a big new position at a new team and then he promptly wants to trade a notable player from said team, it’s almost always going to be a sucker’s bet. Like when Masai went to Toronto and practically instantly traded Andrea Bargnani and then also quickly traded Rudy Gay (while the team improved from 34 wins the previous year to 48 wins in Masi’s first season). Not that Lavine is as bad as Gay (and obviously not as bad as Bargs), but you know what I mean, when smart executives join teams and want to get rid of a guy right away, it is likely not because that player is some great asset that you should mortgage your future for.

  99. I dunno – are we anti-FVV here because he was an undrafted rookie?

    He’s 26, injury-free for the most part, and is objectively a good defender.
    He’s ~40% from 3 on high volume for his career, and an 84.4% free throw shooter — he’s objectively a very good shooter, able to shoot both off the catch (44% from 3) and off the dribble (33.8% which is pretty good).
    He’s much less a supporting cast guy in TOR now – he has about the same usage as Lowry. He’s actually top 15 in the league in “drives”.

    I have a hard time believing that he won’t at least be a valuable contributor — seems unlikely he’ll be a superstar, but 3rd best player on a good team is definitely possible. ~$20MM/year AAV is a steal for someone like that IMHO. He’s young enough to be on the same timeline as our young guys, ie. will not be out of his prime until probably after a theoretical 3 year contract, with ideal goal to be actually in the playoffs by the 21-22 and 22-23 seasons.

    Honestly it will be interesting to see what Toronto is willing to give him – that’ll tell us a fair amount what they think about his potential. My guess is they will tell him to go out and get his best offer and they will match it. Lowry is 33 already – they will need a PG to take them into the next era.

  100. I think FVV is a good basketball player, but I don’t like the idea of taking a key piece on one of the best teams in the league and making him into the main piece of our offense, which is likely to be below average at best next season. VanVleet’s TS% is below league average, and that’s when he’s surrounded by Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakim, Marc Gasol, OG Anunoby, Norman Powell, he’s also being coached by Nick Nurse. This isn’t like the Malcolm Brogdon situation, where the bet was that a current 50/40/90 guy would take a step forward and be able to contribute to another team’s offense. FVV is already a guy with below average scoring efficiency and then you’d be removing him from an excellent situation to join the Knicks.

    It could work out, but it’s not exactly a slam dunk.

  101. The pro-FVV argument is that we have been absolute dogshit on offense for most of this century — a period that, not coincidentally, has featured mostly terrible point guard play for this team. Getting a guy who can run an offense — even if it’s less modern/unpredictable than what Nurse is doing — and can shoot feels like it would have a big ripple effect on the rest of the team. And that’s before you even get into the fact that FVV is also very good on defense.

    There’s a price where it doesn’t make sense, but we so desperately need a competent point guard, guys. That position is the root of so many of our problems.

  102. I like FVV, and yes, we could do a lot worse. The problem is simple: it’s just not a good idea to pay a lot for someone who’s ideally the 4-5th best player on your team before you have the first 3-4 guys.

    FVV adds maybe 5 wins to our total which is not going to be enough to change the calculus for elite free agents, but is plenty when it comes to hurting our draft position.

    Also, with the cap situation as uncertain as it is right now, and with it being far from a guarantee FVV is as productive here as he is in Toronto, I could see him becoming an albatross very quickly.

    I can see how one might think this is all true of Wood as well who I do want to pursue, but he’s younger, arguably has higher upside, produced on a fellow dog shit team, and I think he’ll be cheaper.

  103. Also with the front office all but saying “we will be drafting a point guard” explicitly, it’s a little hard to see $20M+ AAV for VanVleet being an efficient use of resources.

    I’d rather give whoever we draft a chance to be productive, and if they turn out to suck I don’t think the opportunity to add a player of VanVleet’s caliber at $20M+ is a once-in-a-lifetime situation.

  104. Frank:
    I dunno – are we anti-FVV here because he was an undrafted rookie?

    He’s 26, injury-free for the most part, and is objectively a good defender.
    He’s ~40% from 3 on high volume for his career, and an 84.4% free throw shooter — he’s objectively a very good shooter, able to shoot both off the catch (44% from 3) and off the dribble (33.8% which is pretty good).
    He’s much less a supporting cast guy in TOR now – he has about the same usage as Lowry. He’s actually top 15 in the league in “drives”.

    I have a hard time believing that he won’t at least be a valuable contributor — seems unlikely he’ll be a superstar, but 3rd best player on a good team is definitely possible.~$20MM/year AAV is a steal for someone like that IMHO. He’s young enough to be on the same timeline as our young guys, ie. will not be out of his prime until probably after a theoretical 3 year contract, with ideal goal to be actually in the playoffs by the 21-22 and 22-23 seasons.

    Honestly it will be interesting to see what Toronto is willing to give him – that’ll tell us a fair amount what they think about his potential.My guess is they will tell him to go out and get his best offer and they will match it. Lowry is 33 already – they will need a PG to take them into the next era.

    Problem is, no one knows more than Masai what FVV is worth. If he lets him go, it’s a bad sign.

  105. “Rookie contracts are guaranteed for the first two years. The team then has the option of keeping them for the next season and again for the fourth season if they wish at an increasingly higher pay scale. By the fifth season they will hit the market as a restricted free agent. The drafting team can make a qualifying offer, if the player declines the offer they can take offers from other teams but the drafting team can match the contract price (or pay more) and keep the player for at least one more season. If the original team declines to match another teams offer for the player, the offering team can sign the player to a minimum two year contract.”

    Isn’t it much easier to build carefully the supporting cast and try to get 2 proven young super studs after their 4th or 5th year in the league than Tank and tank again and again…. and Try to find the Next Super Star who will probably abandon the “forever sucking and tanking team” for another team with a carefully built supporting roster?
    FVV looks to me like a serious piece on a carefully built supporting roster able to attract serious big dogs.

  106. How about rebuilding by only making value-added deals?

    Honestly, I don’t care whether we rebuild through the draft, trades, G league, waiver wire, or free agency. If you keep winning transactions in one way or another, you will get better.

  107. ***Problem is, no one knows more than Masai what FVV is worth. If he lets him go, it’s a bad sign.***

    Masai is working within a different salary context, and is already paying $30mil a year for a point guard.

  108. Masai’s executive tenures at Den and Tor don’t seem very friendly to tanking/ High Lottery picking.
    Is it possible that “building the supporting nest” first is more crucial in the modern era than “waiting for the drafted golden egg” ?

  109. Masai was all prepared to blow Toronto up, but when the Knicks turned the Lowry deal down, they went on a run and he changed tactics.

    But that said, sure, if Masai was the Knicks’ President, I would have faith that he’d figure the best way forward.

    The key thing, though, is that you can rebuild on the fly if you have vets that teams want. Had Phil not been a moron, I think he could have rebuilt on the fly with the Knicks with Melo and Chandler both having a lot of value around the league. He didn’t want to do that, because he sucked. And now, the team doesn’t have anything they could trade like Masai did in Denver (and in Toronto, to a lesser degree). The Clippers and Thunder are other good examples. They had veterans teams actually wanted, so they could turn them around into current and future assets (more future in the Thunder’s instance).

  110. Brian allow me to say that the Thunder had the chance to build a dynasty through their 3 drafted HOFers but they came up empty handed.
    Seems to me like they traded a tanker full of gold for a few Ferraris.

    As for the Clippers they definitely did it the right way but they had some Kawhi-preference-luck on their side also.

  111. yes in gambling language this means i am giving you the option to get this action for your terms or for some other team bulls, cavs, etc. fvv signs with if you want it. only caveat is if it’s real it has to be escrowed. four years is a epoch among friendly strangers.

    If it’s the Knicks, I’ll take the bet. I should probably get some odds on this but we can quibble about that if it comes to pass.

    The hardest part will be settling on a metric to determine who added the most value, but we’ll cross that bridge if we get there.

    You can name the dollar amount. Setting up an escrow account is fairly simple.

  112. Honestly, I don’t care whether we rebuild through the draft, trades, G league, waiver wire, or free agency. If you keep winning transactions in one way or another, you will get better.

    This isn’t really a strategy. It’s the Strat Plan. “Do good things and win transactions” isn’t a strategy, it’s an aspiration.

  113. Brian allow me to say that the Thunder had the chance to build a dynasty through their 3 drafted HOFers but they came up empty handed.

    The Harden trade was forced on Presti by the moron owners. After that, Durant left. It wasn’t like they traded him.

  114. I dunno – are we anti-FVV here because he was an undrafted rookie?

    I’m not anti FVV at all. I think he is a fine player.

    But I’m very confident that making him the best player on a 20 win team and asking him to carry the load while surrounded by bad shooters in a system that isn’t likely up to modern standards is a prime example of the Peter principle.

    Cross sports analogies are suboptimal, but paying him to be the man on the Knicks reminds me of all the times an NFL team overpaid a WR who put up great numbers next to an all time great, only to find that he couldn’t match that production as a #1.

  115. ***Cross sports analogies are suboptimal, but paying him to be the man on the Knicks reminds me of all the times an NFL team overpaid a WR who put up great numbers next to an all time great, only to find that he couldn’t match that production as a #1.***

    But Van Vleet won a title along side Kawhi, then Leonard left and the team remained just as good. Who is the all-time great FVV is leaving to play in NY? Kyle Lowry? Pascal Siakam? They’re good players, but it’s possible that VanVleet is a major contributor despite NOT playing along side of a great player.

  116. “The Harden trade was forced on Presti by the moron owners. After that, Durant left. It wasn’t like they traded him.”

    Yeah, i know the details but the fact remains that if you ve been given the ULTRA RARE chance as an executive to build a team that can Rule the league for a decade (or even more with trades on decline) and you can’t keep it together maybe it’s not the right way to do it…
    It’s not just coincidence that the most successful teams of the last decade(s) didn’t rely on THEIR high lottery picks to build something strong and sustainable.

  117. But I’m very confident that making him the best player on a 20 win team and asking him to carry the load while surrounded by bad shooters in a system that isn’t likely up to modern standards is a prime example of the Peter principle.

    Well, except he shouldn’t be asked to “carry the load,” and he shouldn’t be asked to lead the team in usage or whatever. He should be asked to play the way he already plays. Add FVV to the team, hopefully get some development from Mitch and RJ, and you get gradually better. Even on the back end of his contract FVV should still be productive.

  118. The FVV question is probably moot anyway, since, all other things being equal, don’t you think he’d want to stay at one of the league’s best organizations rather than going to the Knicks?
    As was noted, Lowry is getting old, so FVV will get the keys to the car, and Toronto will then pay him.
    It probably makes more sense for us to try and pry Melton away with a big offer.

  119. It probably makes more sense for us to try and pry Melton away with a big offer.

    I like Melton a lot, but he can’t shoot, either, so I don’t know if he makes sense for a big money offer for this particular team.

  120. Loving the Melo hot takes, like he’s having some career renaissance or something.

    Meanwhile, his shooting statistics are pretty much the same as they’ve been for the past 5 years I.e. pretty bad

  121. Build the “nest”
    “$teal” the “golden eggs”
    Score the “birdie”
    it seems as the hardest part is to steal the big dogs from other teams but in knicks case the hardest part seems to be the solid built of the environment/roster/salary cap conditions(the nest).

    *I think Hubert had said something similar a few days ago and i agree.

  122. I mean… if you’re NY and you’re being considered as the most valued team of the sport despite SUCKING HARD all these years and ALL “Golden Gooses/Stars and Superstars” avoid you like the plague then It’s Definitely time to Clean your “Dirty Nest”!
    Lukas and Zions won’t save you miraculously by themselves. If you had them you’d lose them too by “smarter” teams just like Kp.

    You need ORDER.

  123. I should probably get some odds on this but we can quibble about that if it comes to pass.

    ok bye

  124. I like Melton a lot, but he can’t shoot, either, so I don’t know if he makes sense for a big money offer for this particular team.

    as resident melton stan, i agree. you get him cheap (not out of the question) or not at all.

  125. Hubert: But I’m very confident that making him the best player on a 20 win team and asking him to carry the load while surrounded by bad shooters in a system that isn’t likely up to modern standards is a prime example of the Peter principle.

    Why are we calling the Knicks a 20-win team? After Fizdale got fired they were on a 32-win pace, and one would expect that they will improve even without FVV next year. The likelihood is that the Knicks will win over 30 games next year, with or without FVV (meaning if they sign less expensive FA’s with some of their cap space.) Thibs himself will almost certainly increase the win total.

    That doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to sign FVV, only that we should assume that the team will improve next year either way.

  126. Every time I watch a Nuggets game and see Michael Porter Jr being predictably awesome, I remember draft night when every Knicks fan wanted Michael Porter Jr and we ended up with Kevin Knox instead.

  127. I can see a world where FVV is an improvement on what we have here but I’m not sold on him either. I just don’t want RJ, Mitch, and the 2020 lottery pick to be frozen out in favor of FVV/Julius Randle pick and rolls.

  128. Are the Raptors on TV? I’d prefer watching FVV and the other Toronto players over the Celtics Nets snoozefest.

  129. FVV gives me mixed feelings. A lot of times you take a good player on a good team and move him to a worse team and He doesn’t look as good. But then again, sometimes, like with Harden, they are even better than you expect.

  130. I don’t think there is any doubt that FVV will help significantly. As mentioned, he is a very high IQ player with great leadership qualities. It’s just about timing and cost. But there shouldn’t be any worries about him regressing due to lower quality teammates. He seems pretty idiot-proof, what you see is what you get. The only question is whether he will produce to his contract. To me, he seems like a $15-18mill player. $20 mill is on the high end but still reasonable. Anything over that will make him tough to trade and kills the cap if he gets hurt.

  131. JK47:

    This isn’t really a strategy. It’s the Strat Plan. “Do good things and win transactions” isn’t a strategy, it’s an aspiration.

    If you want to get all semantical, it’s a transactional philosophy that applies to any strategy you favor, and the goal is the same regardless of the strategy you use to get there. In and of itself, if you win enough transactions, you will eventually be positioned for a big move, whether via the “tear it down and rebuild from scratch” strategy (e.g. Hinkie Sixers) or the “hit home runs rather than singles” strategy (e.g. Cuban’s Dallas) or hit singles rather than home runs (Denver). OTOH, any strategy will fail if you lose transactions, either continually or in the biggest moments. The Knicks have lost far more transactions than they have won, mainly by targeting the wrong players or bidding against themselves. Strategic choices were a secondary problem.

    Last offseason, had the Knicks only signed Morris, Payton and the re-worked deal of Bullock, they would have not had any opportunity cost…all of those contracts were at fair market value or better. Even Randle was a decent gamble that didn’t work out. But there was zero reason to sign Portis, Ellington and Gibson. That’s kind of what I’m referring to. If we gave Randle a Tim Hardaway Jr. deal, we would have lost that transaction too and had another albatross to deal with.

    Where’s that break-even point for FVV? That what matters to me most, not the strategy.

  132. FVV is probably going to get Brogdon money, and I think there’s potential for that to be a fair deal. VanVleet has enough ability to create for himself and also play off the ball that I can envision a roster where his two-way play is valuable and stabilizing for a young Knicks team.

    It really all depends what happens in the draft. If we end up with Anthony Edwards then maybe sandwiching RJ and AE between FVV and another shooter from the 4 spot might not be the worst idea. We just have to be willing to spend through 2021 because nobody is coming here.

  133. Every time I watch a Nuggets game and see Michael Porter Jr being predictably awesome, I remember draft night when every Knicks fan wanted Michael Porter Jr and we ended up with Kevin Knox instead.

    I was fine with Porter at the time. I thought it made sense as a home run pick, considering I wanted them to tank in 2018-19. However, the medical reports on Porter were terrible and all we really could judge things on at the time were the reports that were out there which, again, were terrible. We’re talking, “Not sure if he will ever walk correctly” terrible. So while I still thought it was worth a gamble, I don’t think it was unreasonable to pass on him. So outside of him, I wanted Mikal. I think Denver just had the luxury of being able to “throw away” a pick, if necessary.

    That said, that’s why I wanted Denver’s GM as Team President instead of Leon Rose. They’re smart there in Denver.

  134. ***I was fine with Porter at the time… However, the medical reports on Porter were terrible and all we really could judge things on at the time were the reports that were out there which, again, were terrible.***

    Unlike the reports out of the 3-on-3 scrimmage, which were excellent.

  135. Fred VanVleet is basically Linsanity, just without the insanity. If Lin had signed to stay in New York and had played 4 years building upon his breakout, the best realistic outcome would have been for him to be what VanVleet is now.

  136. “Do good things and win transactions” isn’t a strategy, it’s an aspiration.

    True, however….

    It’s not surprising, but almost everyone here is missing the point, because well, Strat said it.

    First, implicit in any successful strategy is not having fools running the team. Management has to be competent.

    The point is not to just say we should “win transactions”.

    The point is to say “don’t limit yourself to just drafting” when the transactions you can potentially win include trading players, signing young or veteran free agents at bargain prices, renting cap space, trading draft picks for experienced players, rolling over cap space, and any combination of the above trying to slowly accumulate value that can then be rolled up into star players.

    At any given time, the best deals could come from anywhere among that broad range of possible moves, but if you are hell bent on primarily using the draft and renting cap space for more picks, you are limiting the possibilities, relying more heavily on draft luck, may be focusing on the place where the values are the WORST at that point in time, and ensuring the process is going to take 6-10 years because of the age of the players even IF you are lucky.

    The difference between the consensus here and actually doing it correctly is the willingness to consider the full range of possible deals “so you have a better chance to win transactions” and accumulate value faster.

  137. Unlike the reports out of the 3-on-3 scrimmage, which were excellent.

    Yeah, that’s the part that killed me. That they wouldn’t pick Porter because they didn’t want to punt those seasons and then they drafted a guy who was basically as valuable as a guy who literally could not physically play.

    I looked back at what I said back in the day:

    Porter must have a career-altering injury. Otherwise, he would have to be the guy. They should be tanking this season anyways, and if they’re willing to wait on Knox, they could certainly wait on Porter.

    So….yeah. That did not work out well for the Knicks.

  138. First, implicit in any successful strategy is not having fools running the team. Management has to be competent.

    That was the main problem with both Phil and Mills’ tenure as Team Presidents, agreed. They were both incompetent Team Presidents.

  139. I wanted Porter, but let’s be honest: the Knicks medical staff would’ve put him in the morgue. I’m glad for his sake and the sake of his family that he fell to Denver.

  140. JK47: Well, except he shouldn’t be asked to “carry the load,” and he shouldn’t be asked to lead the team in usage or whatever. He should be asked to play the way he already plays. Add FVV to the team, hopefully get some development from Mitch and RJ, and you get gradually better. Even on the back end of his contract FVV should still be productive.

    Of course you’re right. We’re talking about the Knicks, though.

    Unless FVV has some MSG fetish, you’ll have to pay him much more than he’s worth to get him to come here. Typically, when bad teams spend quasi-superstar money on a non-superstar, they double down on their mistake by irrationally expecting him to be more than he is just because they paid him more than he’s worth.

    I’ve got no faith the Knicks ceased being one of those dumb teams.

  141. Alas, I suppose I’m the only one here who still holds out hope for Knox becoming a good player.

  142. I have hope for Knox. I think he has a good chance of being a reasonable “three and D” wing. He’s young and apparently, from what his ex coach says, needs a lot of growing up, but that will happen. But that doesn’t mean I think he was a great draft pick.

  143. Z-Man, I don’t think Knox is entirely hopeless, but he has a really long way to go just to be a back-of-the-rotation player on a good team, let alone justify getting picked ahead of Mikal Bridges, Porter, SGA, etc. He’s seems so uncoordinated and a half-step too slow to process where other guys are moving to on the court. The nights when his jumper is wet, he looks like could at least be a Steve Novak type. The nights when he summons the effort to rebound a lot, he looks like he could be useful. But the jumper is way more inconsistent than it should be given his form, and the whole “low energy” tag circa the draft has proven true on most nights. 2 of his 3 champions in the organization are gone in Fizdale and Mills. Thibs probably isn’t going to play a half-dozen young prospects in his rotation, and we can assume that Mitch, RJ, and our lottery pick already have spots sewn up, while Frank’s defensive gifts will put him ahead of Knox in our new coach’s pecking order. So he may not get much of a chance to work things out in games with the big club, and then it’s a matter of whether we really are going to use Westchester the way we’re supposed to, and also if Knox actually has the ability to get better. By all accounts, he’s a good, hard-working kid, so the will is there. He’s just really really bad at a lot of things right now. Sigh…

  144. Z-Man, I was just about to say the same thing. People keep saying we’re a 20 win team but Miller had us playing at a 32 win pace once he took over. Its disingenious to say we’re just a 20 win team.

    Replacing Peyton with FVV would most definitely improve the team A LOT bc of his defense and shooting. And as people have mentioned, he can play on and off the ball, so it doesn’t prevent you from drafting a PG in the draft.

    I get the argument that overpaying a vet for a not good team is a bad strategy but I think there are some caveats to be made.

    We’ve done this largely with one way players, not two way players. Randle, STAT, Melo, Hardaway. All were offense first players who were either average or suspect on defense. FVV is a legit 2 way player.

    And PG is the most important position in the modern NBA. And 3 point shooting is super important as well.

    So his impact on the team, even if he’s not a superstar, could potentially be big for us.

    I get not overpaying for players in FA when you’re not good as a good overall strategy. But I think there is an argument to be made for a player like FVV, even if he’s not going to be our best player when we are (hopefully) good, being a player that helps take us to the next level.

    I don’t know. We look at win curves, stats, etc…but its also about team building a functional basketball team that makes sense. Replacing Peyton with FVV would fix A LOT of our issues.

    And again…we are not a 20 win team. Fizdale sucked as a coach.

  145. Oh, I don’t think Knox can ever be justified as a good pick, that ship has sailed. Same with Ntilikina. I’ve been pretty vocal on both.

    But “bad draft pick” doesn’t always equate with “permanent bad player.” Both are very young still, have physical tools, and seem to have good attitudes. I’m willing to suspend final judgment until I see what Thibs does with them.

    But hell, I was optimistic about Anthony Randolph, Ron Baker, Toney Douglas, Jerian Grant, etc., so there’s that…

  146. swiftandabundant: Z-Man, I was just about to say the same thing. People keep saying we’re a 20 win team but Miller had us playing at a 32 win pace once he took over. Its disingenious to say we’re just a 20 win team.

    And this is true even after we traded our 2nd-best player…we went 6-9.

  147. I’m still waiting for Knox’s ‘superior’ athleticism to show up after it was touted in a bunch of draft profiles. Dude just looks slow, weak, and awkward out there. Low floor, low ceiling, terrible pick.

  148. Which was the biggest contract heist?

    (1) trading away two years of THJ for $1.8M AAV only to resign him for $71M — and then trading him away, again!
    (2) paying Jerome James $30M as a reward for literally one decent playoff series, to have him play 694 minutes over 90 games
    (3) the inexplicable $9M NTC Ron Baker contract, for which the Knicks got about 500 MP of production that they could have replaced with just about any UDFA at the league’s absolute minimum

    At least THJ can say he started on one of the league’s best-ever offenses (perhaps the best ever, which is an amazing feat following five years of Warriors basketball). Jerome James got traded away after three years but was waived by the Bulls and never played again. Ron Baker is playing in Russia or something like that.

    Whenever I feel impostor syndrome at my job, I just remember how much has been paid out to decision makers to execute transactions like those above.

    Is there anyone who disagrees that this franchise would have performed worse over the last ten years, had they made every potential transaction via Knickerblogger-regular popular vote?

  149. But hell, I was optimistic about Anthony Randolph, Ron Baker, Toney Douglas, Jerian Grant, etc., so there’s that…

    But who were you not optimistic about in the past who was drafted very young?

  150. That’s the advantage of drafting young. You see what you want to see, and if they don’t pan out, you blame it on environmental issues. The coaching! The conditioning! The teammates!

  151. Dink:
    I’m still waiting for Knox’s ‘superior’ athleticism to show up after it was touted in a bunch of draft profiles. Dude just looks slow, weak, and awkward out there. Low floor, low ceiling, terrible pick.

    I think they’re wasting time playing him at the wing. He needs to bulk up a bit and try to play at the four. Maybe some day he can be a useful stretch four, but he’s gotta hit his threes.

    I’d like to see the Knicks run as much as possible with Young PG, Frank, RJB, Knox, and Mitch. They’d lose a lot of games, but spot up Frank and Knox, let the other guys run lots of pick and rolls, and see if anything develops. Tell Stoute to hype this as some sort of “young stars” lineup.

  152. re: FVV, the most positive thing you could say about acquiring him via an overpay is that it only costs cap space, not assets like acquiring LaVine would require. But cap space will never be more valuable than in the next couple of years. Teams are going to be strapped with players that put them into a tax hell.

  153. I think they’re wasting time playing him at the wing. He needs to bulk up a bit and try to play at the four. Maybe some day he can be a useful stretch four, but he’s gotta hit his threes.

    I really don’t know if there’s an appreciable difference at this point, aside from who you match up with on defense.

  154. ***Which was the biggest contract heist?

    (1) trading away two years of THJ for $1.8M AAV only to resign him for $71M — and then trading him away, again!
    (2) paying Jerome James $30M as a reward for literally one decent playoff series, to have him play 694 minutes over 90 games
    (3) the inexplicable $9M NTC Ron Baker contract, for which the Knicks got about 500 MP of production that they could have replaced with just about any UDFA at the league’s absolute minimum***

    You could add a bunch of other contenders here. Like:

    4) Allan Houston, who we bid against no one to make the highest paid player ever… so high, in fact, that the league created an amnesty provision just for the Knicks to get out from under it (which, of course, they still didn’t do).

    5) MMM, also, bidding against no one, for the right to create the highest paid basketball player ever.

    6) Joakim Noah, who is making so much more than he’s worth for as far as the eyes can see…

    7) Chris Smith, who, though he only made $500,000 was, literally, a heist. Ephus and I STILL don’t understand how the Knicks didn’t get punished for that one.

  155. God, I’m embarrassed by not including those. I had completely forgotten that Allan Fucking Houston was the richest contract at the time. MMM makes more sense, since the league has always had a massive hard-on for him, and very few people outside of this board though it was a bad deal, which, of course, it was.

    Noah is maybe the worst, now that I think of it. The fact that another team is giving him burn is mitigating, though. It’s much worse to give a player’s best-ever contract and have them flop out of the league before it’s over.

  156. But hell, I was optimistic about Anthony Randolph, Ron Baker, Toney Douglas, Jerian Grant, etc., so there’s that…

    Oh man, Anthony Randolph. If you want a sign of how deep my Knicks fan pathology runs, it is this: as you may recall, the David Lee to GSW trade rumors were out there a few days ahead of The Decision, and the deal was presented as what the Knicks would do if they didn’t sign LeBron. And as I watched highlights of Randolph’s summer league play, I found myself thinking not only that he would be a pretty good consolation prize if we didn’t get LBJ, but that I might almost… prefer to have him, and to see him grow from these raw materials into an absolute monster of a finished product.

    As always, I am a moron.

  157. Haha. Z-Man wrote this about Knox after his first summer league game:

    “Knox: super live, big body, fast and aggressive esp. in transition (put the low motor shit to bed) likes contact; biggest negative: absolutely no left hand which will be problem #1 in the NBA (see: Anthony Randolph). I know he wasn’t passing much but he did have that crosscourt feed to Dotson and the on-the-floor tip to Mitchell. Fiz probably told him to take it to the fuckin’ rack with abandon, which he did in spades. His D was fine, certainly not cause for concern yet. Grade: B+“

    Anthony Randolph invoked!

  158. That was the high point of Knox’s career…a B+ in his first summer league game. (holds back vomick)

  159. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I really don’t know if there’s an appreciable difference at this point, aside from who you match up with on defense.

    I think in the case of Knox it is trying to hide him on defense.
    :-)
    I just don’t think he can guard anyone out in space but he has shown a willingness to rebound, so try to keep him as close to the basket as possible on D, and just shooting threes on O.

  160. BTW, speaking of D, I don’t know if you Mets fans watched any of last night’s game, but with Rosario, Cano, and McNeil out, the Mets went with an infield of Davis at 3b, Gimenez at SS, and Guillorme at 2b.

    For the first time this year, the D was terrific, esp. up the middle. RANGE. There were several ground ball outs last night that would not have been with the regular crew out there. And it didn’t hurt that Billy Hamilton was in CF, too. Of course, those guys may not hit much, but Gimenez and Guillorme were mighty impressive in the field.

  161. Alas, I suppose I’m the only one here who still holds out hope for Knox becoming a good player.

    Knox turns 21 next week.

    His two years of bad stats could just mean he wasn’t ready for the NBA at ages 19 & 20. I’ll hold out hope for him at least til the end of his rookie contract.

  162. With Knox, you’ve got the stats AND the eye test working against him. Other than those nights where his jumper is falling, he just looks clueless at everything, particularly in the halfcourt. Us masochistic Frank-ophiles can at least point to how obviously disruptive he can be on defense, even if his offense is… [redacted].

  163. just looked at the standings in the west…i think each team has like four games left…i’m guessing either the blazers or spurs are gonna knock the grizz out of the playoffs…

  164. Andres Gimenez looks like a player. They should just run him out there at SS and figure out something else to do with Rosario.

    Despite Brodie’s mismanagement, the Mets STILL have a good core of young talent on the roster. This year they’ve gotten better than expected performances from Gimenez, David Peterson, and Franklin Kilome, granted these are teeny tiny sample sizes but all three of those guys look like useful pieces. They still have cost-controlled years left of Alonso, Dom Smith, JD Davis, Rosario, Conforto, Nimmo, and Gimenez on the offensive side alone.

    A new owner/GM situation could right that ship pretty quickly, it’s not like the Mets are in the wilderness. They have some talent in the system.

  165. I still have one or two hopes of Knox becoming a good player but I won’t publicly “fight” to protect his prestige or get depressed if we trade him for someone more sexy, till he shows me clear signs of willingness to succeed.

  166. I firmly believe a KnickerBlogger.Net House of Reps would be the 2nd best front office in the NBA behind Ujiri’s Raptors.

  167. Oh man, Anthony Randolph. If you want a sign of how deep my Knicks fan pathology runs, it is this: as you may recall, the David Lee to GSW trade rumors were out there a few days ahead of The Decision, and the deal was presented as what the Knicks would do if they didn’t sign LeBron.

    I read this half, and set out to pour some cold brew. While I did, I thought, “Hey, I can’t remember if I was a Randolph stan, but I totally understood the optimism at the time. Looked like he could be a real difference maker on defense.”

    And as I watched highlights of Randolph’s summer league play, I found myself thinking not only that he would be a pretty good consolation prize if we didn’t get LBJ, but that I might almost… prefer to have him, and to see him grow from these raw materials into an absolute monster of a finished product.

    Then I read this–

    hahahahahahaha oh man, that’s pretty good

  168. Knox has shown really nice flashes in many areas — shot blocking, passing, outside shooting, and even leading the break — but the promising bits are so few and far between.

    Idk if this has to do with him not being in optimal shape or if he just has the type of mind that wanders a lot. I think it’s close to impossible for a guy like Knox to suddenly grow a mentality like the one CP3 has, but I wish him the best in trying to figure it all out.

  169. and set out to pour some cold brew.

    that sounds like an excellent life choice at this moment…I will join you sir…cheers to you and lady j…

  170. JK47:
    Andres Gimenez looks like a player. They should just run him out there at SS and figure out something else to do with Rosario.

    If they’d listen to me, I’d move Rosario to 3b, start Gimenez at SS, and McNeil at 2b. That right there would make the up the middle D much better. Guillorme is the utility guy, and Cano DH (I’d rather just dump him, but they won’t, and he is off to a good start hitting, but he’s an old and frequently hurt statue on D). Davis and Dom split time in LF (though Davis would be better at 3b, he made a very nice play there last night).

    If Kelenic were still here they could have a Nimmo-Kelenic-Conforto OF to go with that. Oh well.

  171. Anyone know enough about sports medicine to be able to guess how long Ben Simmons will be out with a subluxation of the left kneecap? Like, is he done for the bubble? Or is there a chance he could return depending on how deep the Sixers go without him?

  172. This post talks about DJ Augustin and Jeff Teague and also a lot of people want FVV to fill our PG hole but what about Shane Larkin? He is not demanding a starting job just 18-20 minutes a game minimum and could easily be our starter but also come off the bench as a sixth man if we draft a PG and he excels or if Frank all of a sudden takes a huge leap forward.

    What Larkin did in Europe this year is legit and his 3pt shooting should completely translate.

    I think we should sign Larkin 8-10 million a year, sign Noel 8-10 million a year, and then chase someone like Ingram with the rest of our capspace.

  173. Ben, do you have information on Larkin’s salary? It would seem crazy to me to offer anything significant to him based on some Europe play when he’s never made more than $1.5M in the NBA. I’m not saying that he’s bad (he used to be, but sure, he’s got more experience and probably in his athletic prime), but why bid that much when he appears to have zero interest from NBA teams since 2018?

    I’m way down for Noel on a long-term contract. He’s perennially undervalued and would be the anchor of a nasty defense with Mitch. 48 minutes a night having to fuck them with at the rim? Would be incredible. Guys would hear footsteps.

  174. Wow — Larkin shot .510 from three on 7 attempts per game over 35 euroleague games? Good for him.

  175. I would, of course, start by offering Larkin less but my guess is he will make close to 4-5 million staying in Europe and he did get some nibbles from NBA teams last summer but turned them down because he wanted assurances he’d get real minutes and teams were looking for him to be an end of the rotation type player.

    After this last season, my guess is someone makes him a real offer. He just had one of the best seasons in European basketball history. Plus his team won the Turkish League and was first in the Euroleague when it shut down.

  176. Gotcha. I wonder if someone like him will stay in Europe simply because the U.S. is a total shitshow and we could be looking at a 2020-21 season that looks like this year’s restart, only far less palatable to players.

    Also, I wonder if he’d rather be starting and leading in Euroleague or sitting on the bench in the U.S. Impossible to know.

  177. I could see him staying in Europe if next season gets screwed up but in an interview in June he said he wanted to return to the NBA he just wanted a guarantee of 18-25 minutes a game and a meaningful role on the team before he would commit.

  178. We do actually have rights toa young European point guard, Issuf Sanon. Ben do you know how he’s doing?

  179. I don’t hate Lauri Markkanen if that’s who they are targeting for the stretch PF position.

    He’s kind of a poor man’s KP in that he’s a PF/C that can stretch the floor, but he doesn’t defend as well or protect the paint at all. But if you slot him next to Robinson, you’ll get the inside defense to back him up and you’ll get decent scoring, floor spacing, and rebounding for a stretch 4, Plus he’s still young enough to break out further. I think last year he battled some injuries and was very unhappy with the coaching. So maybe there’s more in the tank than we saw last year to begin with. It’s not a bad idea depending on the price.

  180. geo:
    the heat look really good, now and going forward…

    it’s amazing what a little front office and coaching competency can do for an organization…

  181. Larkin’s hands are too small. lol

    Does Euroleague use WNBA balls?

    The Pelicans are an exciting young team, but they are sooooo bad defensively.

    I have to watch the condensed game on this one. Kings took 33 3PA and made nearly half. Wondering how much of that was open attempts.

    Edit: watching the short highlights, Zion blew his assignment twice already, which led to 5 easy points, haha

    Edit #2: make that three blown coverages

  182. Speaking of international players, I wouldn’t mind taking a flier on Yam Madar in the 2nd round. He’ll take a few years, but could really be worth it once he perfect’s his jumper.

  183. You didn’t ask me, but I went and looked for some numbers anyway:

    https://basketball.realgm.com/player/Yusuf-Sanon/Summary/95051

    In 20 games across several different formats he’s averaged a little under 2 assists in 23 min. He’s listed as a SG on the website which might explain why that number is so low

    34% on threes on 64 attempts doesn’t tell us much, historically he’s been worse. He did manage a .794 FT% on 63 attempts

    He was pretty efficient on 2pt FGs and averaged 1.2 stls in his 23 minutes

    My worry is that at 6’4″ and 185lbs, if he can’t run the point he’ll get pushed around too much at SG

  184. it’s amazing what a little front office and coaching competency can do for an organization…

    the question becomes then – what path forward is there as long as james dolan remains the owner…can rose, pretty much single handily, turn the current tide…

    it doesn’t seem that hard, particularly with the financial resources the club has – and yet…

    lord knows, even luck (bouncing lotto balls) hasn’t spent too much time on our side…

  185. geo: the question becomes then – what path forward is there as long as james dolan remains the owner…can rose, pretty much single handily, turn the current tide…

    it doesn’t seem that hard, particularly with the financial resources the club has – and yet…

    lord knows, even luck (bouncing lotto balls) hasn’t spent too much time on our side…

    Some point to the NY Rangers hockey club as an example of a functional team under Dolan ownership…it appears there he has just hired a competent President/GM (probably on someone else’s guidance) and then walked away….they had a great run of making the playoffs in X years in a row…went to the finals one year….conf finals another year…and are now in what appears to be a potentially successful rebuild on the fly, i.e., they have not been an embarrassment…it seems like he is is unable to divorce himself of the basketball team like he does for the hockey club and that inability produces shit executives, shit coaches and shit players and a shit team…

  186. I assume the hope is that Sanon will develop PG skills. He seems athletic enough to play PG in the NBA using his efficient 2pt game and steals numbers as a proxy, but yeah that was disappointing to find out his ast numbers were so low

  187. Also, Mikal Bridges just held the embodiment of basketball god, TJ Warren, to 16 pts on 20 shots

    Mikal Bridges’s floor is significantly higher than Knox’s ceiling

  188. Imagine how nice it would be for this team to have a guy with both a three and D.

    If only Mikal Bridges was there when the Knicks were drafting. If only…

  189. Bridges Knox and Bridges sounds like a bad legal drama starring Don Johnson and Nicolette Sheridan.

  190. ***If only Mikal Bridges was there when the Knicks were drafting. If only…***

    I ONLY know about the 2018 draft what I read here on Knickerblogger. And I remember the overwhelming consensus pick of the KB hive-mind was Michael Porter Jr. Then when he got injured, and fell out of the conversation, it was all but a foregone conclusion that the Knicks would take Mikal Bridges, who people said had a low ceiling but high floor. Then, suddenly, 3-3, “can’t teach youth”, blah blah blah, and, much to the chagrin of everybody that ever typed a word into the KB WordPress, the Knox era began…

  191. Yeah, I remember being so happy about the fact that Bridges was actually going to be there when the Knicks picked! And then they…didn’t pick him. Sigh.

  192. To be fair, though, Bridges would also be perfect for the Sixers right now and they had him and traded him!

  193. My recollection is that the primary object of Knicks dread for the year before that draft was Miles Bridges. Some folks liked Mikal but there wasn’t really a consensus fave. No one talked much about Knox until just before the draft, but when it seemed that the Knicks were interested, no one was happy about it. In fact, it may have been the most unified opinion ever on KB that drafting Knox was a bad idea.

  194. Yeah, Miles Bridges was definitely the guy people were most afraid of the Knicks drafting. How little did we know. Actually, I think Bridges would probably have been nearly as bad as Knox. My problem with Miles Bridges is that he wasn’t necessarily bad at things, but he also wasn’t good at anything. He was just a guy who takes up space. Knox has probably been worse than “just taking up space,” but Knox at least had theoretical upside that Miles Bridges did not.

  195. I think the preference of Knox over Miles came down to Knox being younger. So at least theoretically he could not suck at some point in the future

    But everyone was pretty clearly against picking either one

  196. that knox pick is a great example of why it’s important to just making a good pick…. mikal bridges would’ve been a very solid if unspectacular pick….. and having good players on your roster makes things so much easier to build going forward… when you miss on a pick… you’re left with a gaping hole on your roster in which your pick was supposed to solidify….

    that’s not to say that you shouldn’t take a gamble every now and then…. when porter was there i would’ve been very very tempted and would’ve been completely onboard with it…. but bad upside picks like kevin knox is reflective of the process that our draft guys take…. and it’s just not good…

    that’s why i’m a bit nervous with the same folks in charge of the draft this year…. this is one of those drafts where you need a good process to pick the best guy because the best guys aren’t obvious….. coupled with the fact that we will be picking low most likely it has a possibility of setting us back again….

  197. Personally, I don’t get the fawning over Mikal. Today he had 10 points on 9 shots, o 3’s or FTs, 4 rebs, 2 asts, 1 stl, and 0 blks in 35 minutes. And we’re excited because he shut down the all-time great TJ Warren? (and no one guards anyone 1-on-1 circa 1968 anymore.)

    Bridges has a usg% of 12.4, shoots 35% from 3, and has a BPM of 0.7. And he’ll be 24 next month, meaning that this is probably about as good as he gets. Sure, he would have been a better pick than Knox, but his teammates DiVincenzo and Brunson are playing as well or better than him.

    If we took Mikal, we’d be wringing our hands about passing over SGA, who some here (not me) knew was the guy to take in our spot. And the trade PHX made for him was incredibly dumb.

  198. djphan: that knox pick is a great example of why it’s important to just making a good pick…. mikal bridges would’ve been a very solid if unspectacular pick….. and having good players on your roster makes things so much easier to build going forward… when you miss on a pick… you’re left with a gaping hole on your roster in which your pick was supposed to solidify….

    And the same was said in 2015 when some smart people here were advocating for taking WCS over KP because he was the “safe yet unspectacular” pick. I totally disagree with this strategy. You have to take some calculated risk. You can find a Mikal Bridges in the FA market at a reasonable premium over the $4-5 million he’s making the next couple of years. Try finding a SGA or Michael Porter at that price.

  199. I know he’s been super underwhelming, but Knox is almost exactly 3 years younger than Mikal.

    Yes, Mikal is a nice piece right now, ideally for a contending team, but there would almost be no point in having him on the Knicks (save for his trade value and just having a rootable guy).

    Will Knox even be in the league three years from now? Hard to say. SGA sure would’ve been a nice pick, though.

  200. SGA would’ve been the best pick but obviously since we picked knox we had no idea that he was the best guy on that kentucky team…..

    mikal is good… he’s efficient and he was stupendous defensive numbers…. 2 steals and a block per 36 is really really good especially for his position and he has the pedigree to both maintain and also use that to catapult the rest of his game…. there’s still room for growth when your defensive numbers are this good despite his age…. that he shoots 3s well and is efficient (albeit in limited opportunities) is icing on the cake…

    at the minimum you have what people crave which is an actual 3 and D wing… which we could use… we could use half the player mikal is because that would still be a lot better than knox….

  201. you can take some calculated risk…. but those calculated risks don’t involve guys like knox who if anyone was paying attention at all to him and his game … you couldn’t help but notice that there was another guy on his team who was WILDLY better than him….

    it’s not enough to project well….. it matters how good that player currently is in order to project that high… someone like michael porter was a high risk but the reward was pretty high…. the guy was the consensus pick and was looked at as the next durant…. and deservedly so if you saw him in action in hs… kp maybe was a high upside pick… i was never really hiigh on him before the draft….

    but the point is that these role player guys absolutely matter…. especially at the mid or tail end of the lottery when you’re dealing with a bunch of guys who are probably overrated and won’t make it to their second contract…..

    in the draft you should draft for upside…. but you also have to recognize how likely they are to realize that upside… and the right players who do actualy have that upside…. kevin knox is absolutely not one of those people…. neither was frank… and that’s the problem with our drafts…..

  202. djphan: mikal is good… he’s efficient and he was stupendous defensive numbers…. 2 steals and a block per 36 is really really good especially for his position and he has the pedigree to both maintain and also use that to catapult the rest of his game…. there’s still room for growth when your defensive numbers are this good despite his age…. that he shoots 3s well and is efficient (albeit in limited opportunities) is icing on the cake…

    at the minimum you have what people crave which is an actual 3 and D wing… which we could use… we could use half the player mikal is because that would still be a lot better than knox….

    I think you are inflating his value. For example, he does NOT shoot 3s well. League average is .357 and he is below that…and clearly WELL below average for a wing, and shoots a low volume of 3’s. His usage is also WELL below average for a starting wing. He doesn’t get to the line. You can find players like him by other means (drafting lower, FAs, trades) without paying much of a premium. You really think there’s a big difference between Mikal and Mo Harkless, or Reggie Bullock, or Hollis-Jefferson? Or that you can’t double what your paying him to $10 mill and find a like player?

  203. djphan: you can take some calculated risk…. but those calculated risks don’t involve guys like knox who if anyone was paying attention at all to him and his game … you couldn’t help but notice that there was another guy on his team who was WILDLY better than him…

    Knox being a bad pick doesn’t make Mikal a good pick, just a less bad one. That’s my only point.

  204. Mikal is an excellent defender with a .617 TS% who plays the position that everyone in the NBA is looking for. That’s an outstanding value at the #9 pick (yes, he went #10, but you know what I mean, had the Knicks picked him at #9).

  205. His highTS% is at a near league-low in usage for a wing. His OBPM is -0.9. He’s a mediocre offensive player. You can find players like him every year outside the lottery.

    What do you think he would get offered if he were a FA this year? If the over-under was $10mill AAV what would you take?

  206. Mikal gets compared to Knox because he and Miles were the other 2 guys projected to go there and play the same position. Everyone on the board wanted Mikal over Knox. We knew he’d be better. No one is saying that he was the best pick ever

    Mikal would start for us at the 3, so his easy to fill role hasn’t actually been filled (Bullock is more natural as a 2)

    Mikal plays strong defense by all accounts

    Comparing him to Bullock, a solid NBA starter isn’t a bad thing at #9 in the draft

    My comment on shutting down TJ Warren was a joke, but Warren would go off against Knox

    Knox was a safe bet in that there’s a 99.99% chance he didn’t amount to anything

    The reason we praise Mikal is just that he’s so obviously better than Knox that it’s befuddling anyone would prefer Knox. No one thinks Mikal would make us a playoff contender but he could start on a playoff contender and that’s worth something

  207. The fun thing about Knox is that he is so bad, and so unlikely to get any playing time, that anyone else would have been a better pick. Literally anybody else in the draft would have been as good or better. I remember asking my KY fan friend about him and he said “Knox is a volume scorer who needs to learn how to score.” Knox is the kind of player who’s never going to have a career in China. The worst part is that he’s eating up cap space.

  208. Early Bird:
    Mikal gets compared to Knox because he and Miles were the other 2 guys projected to go there and play the same position. Everyone on the board wanted Mikal over Knox. We knew he’d be better. No one is saying that he was the best pick ever

    Mikal would start for us at the 3, so his easy to fill role hasn’t actually been filled (Bullock is more natural as a 2)

    Mikal plays strong defense by all accounts

    Comparing him to Bullock, a solid NBA starter isn’t a bad thing at #9 in the draft

    My comment on shutting down TJ Warren was a joke, but Warren would go off against Knox

    Knox was a safe bet in that there’s a 99.99% chance he didn’t amount to anything

    The reason we praise Mikal is just that he’s so obviously better than Knox that it’s befuddling anyone would prefer Knox. No one thinks Mikal would make us a playoff contender but he could start on a playoff contender and that’s worth something

    I essentially agree. My point is to keep things in perspective. The hope at #9 is not to get Mikal Bridges. The hope is to get a guy you can’t easily acquire lower in the draft or outside the draft except by overpaying. Let’s keep in mind that he’s not getting paid near the minimum like Mitch. He makes more money than Reggie Bullock. Why would you be excited about drafting Bullock at #9 when you can find him just as cheaply every year outside the draft?

    If you want to say that you’d be relieved that you got even value for the pick, I get that. i just think you should aim higher at #9, even if you risk a lower floor. You gamble on Michael Porter, or on the 19 year old with the best stats, not a guy whose ceiling is run-of-the-mill 3-and-D guy. Knox was a terrible pick, but the strategy was correct.

  209. Z-man: Why would you be excited about drafting Bullock at #9 when you can find him just as cheaply every year outside the draft?

    Bullock was supposed to make $21 million over 2 years before we renegotiated because he failed the physical

    Bridges makes half that salary

    I think you may be underrating just how good Bridges is on defense and his ability to continue improving

  210. Early Bird: Bullock was supposed to make $21 million over 2 years before we renegotiated because he failed the physical

    And he would have been grossly overpaid at that amount, as were Portis and Ellington. That was Mills bidding against himself again.

  211. Z-man: And he would have been grossly overpaid at that amount, as were Portis and Ellington. That was Mills bidding against himself again.

    That’s fair. I still think he’d make more than Bridges.

    Either way I don’t think we’re that far off in opinions. I’d have been fine with Bridges, but yeah risking for SGA or Porter was better.

    I honestly can’t remember where I was on either of them

  212. Early Bird: That’s fair. I still think he’d make more than Bridges.

    Either way I don’t think we’re that far off in opinions.I’d have been fine with Bridges, but yeah risking for SGA or Porter was better.

    I honestly can’t remember where I was on either of them

    Agreed.

  213. What do you think he would get offered if he were a FA this year? If the over-under was $10mill AAV what would you take?

    It’s interesting, because I have no idea what the new NBA economy is going to be like. If this were a normal year? I’d take the over, but with this year being so crazy, $10 million might be a lot period. I truly have no idea.

    And sure, I posted my comment from that draft earlier – I wanted to take the risk on Porter. So yeah, I’d prefer gambling on Porter getting healthy over Mikal, but I like Mikal a lot.

  214. It’s kind of insane to me that with very little going different in this Knicks timeline we could have a core right now of KP, Mitch, Donovan Mitchell and Shai.

    Mitchell picked over Frank. Mitchell as a rookie probably helps us win a few more games that season but considering KP got hurt, we’d probably have tanked the rest of that season like we did. Shai was picked 11th, while we picked Knox at 9th, so if we dropped 2 slots we still could have grabbed him.

    The only difference is that the following season, we probably don’t pick as high as 3. Even with KP out the whole season, if we had a back court of Mitch and Shai instead of freaking Mudiay, so we probably would have picked lower in the lottery.

    So we’d have a maxed out KP, Mitchell about to get an extension and Shai, Mitch and whoever else we drafted last year on their rookie contracts. The only difference going forward is that we wouldn’t have the two extra Dallas picks.

    I know people debated about KP being worth a max or not but GD, its a little sad to think we could have that core four right now all under the age of 25 and all with bird rights, etc.

  215. Mikal Bridges is already a very good role player, but he has chance to become a great role player.

    He’s exactly the kind of player you want on a team when you already have your #1 and #2 scoring options. He
    brings other things to the table at extremely high levels, He’s probably going to be an all defensive team player, can stretch the floor well enough, and makes smart enough decisions to be very efficient on low usage. If he improves his 3 point shot a little more he’ll basically become the “dream” role player. If he expands his offensive game a little further (and he probably will over time), he could be a critical piece on a championship team.

    I don’t want to beat up on Knox anymore because he’s still very young and may get a lot better on both sides as he matures and gets stronger, but he’s a scorer. He’ll never be as valuable as a scorer as Bridges is at everything else.

  216. It’s kind of insane to me that with very little going different in this Knicks timeline we could have a core right now of KP, Mitch, Donovan Mitchell and Shai.

    The draft is the draft.

    It’s always easier in hindsight. Even the people out there that liked “so and so” don’t remember all their own mistakes and all the players they overlooked too.

    What we could easily have is Robinson, KP, Bridges, RJ and Frank. That’s a damn good defensive team inside and outside. It could eventually become one of the best defensive teams in the league. We’d need a lot of development on the offensive end from RJ and one other player, but it would be a work in progress. They’d all be very young. if you don’t get it you still have good role pieces as you search for more of a more two way scorer to plug in somewhere.

  217. Yeah, I’m more forgiving of Frank than Knox. But I guess my point is that Donovan Mitchell and Shai wouldn’t have been considered reaches for where we picked. They weren’t picked that much further down. And I believe Mitchell in particular was someone that was discussed about a possible pick for us.

    And while I like Frank more than Knox, both were reaches for where we drafted them. I mean, Phil picked Frank and then was fired like a week later. Its insane they let him make a pick and then axed him.

    Frank could very well turn into an NBA rotation player and valuable role player on a good team because of his defense and versatility. But he was a total reach at the 8th pick. Donovan Mitchell was picked lower simply bc he was a bit older.

    And Knox was even more of a reach at 9 in my opinion. Shai was his freaking teammate and clearly the better player (plus we still needed a PG).

  218. Porzingis had another good game statistically last night, but I thought he looked gassed at times last night. He didn’t have the energy to defend or rebound at some points. His passing is definitely getting better though. Whatever they are doing in Dallas to improve him is working, but maybe he needs to play more like 30 minutes a night instead of 35-40 minutes a night.

    I love aspects of that team, but all the injuries and the lack of any defense by some of their players is going to make it impossible for them to go anywhere. They can’t stop anyone with Hardaway, Curry, Doncic and some of the other combinations on the court together. Their defense is comical right now. You can’t win in the playoffs if you can’t stop anyone.

  219. I am going to be honest, I thought Tropical Storm Isaias was at best a late 2nd rounder. I actually went for a short drive for a bite to eat just as the storm was about to peak. It wasn’t even raining. Took me 2 hours to get back home, getting hit by branches and dodging other people trying to get home. It was basically a scene out of Mad Max if they filmed it in Long Island.

    Definitely a late lottery pick at worst.

    Also, running a grid through a 100 year old forest. I have some questions about how this is going to work long term.

    Mikal Bridges is pretty much the Villanova prototype. He isn’t as athletic as Trevor Ariza but he gets the job done, Philly style. I can’t remember what I wanted in that draft but there has been no easier call than saying no to Kevin Knox.

  220. Jeez, maybe Mitch can learn to play out on the perimeter, so they can pair him with Wooten.

    Idk how Wooten is as a man defender or how he is in space, but that would be fun to watch. Then maybe add Vassell to the mix?

  221. Mikal Bridges is already a really nice player to have and there are plenty of reasons to think he’ll get better.

    He’s old-ish for a second year player, but his college numbers, current FT%, and a bit of the ol’ eye test indicate his 3PT% is only going to improve.

    He’s baby steps away from being a high-efficiency, mid-usage lockdown wing defender. You know, the kind of player 30 teams want at all times. Danny Green comes to mind.

    He’s never going to be the best player on a championship team, but neither will 99.99% of NBA players. You need 14 other guys too.

    What was confusing about the Knox pick is I never understood the idea that he had some particularly high ceiling either. It’d be one thing if we picked Zhaire Smith, who was very raw but had some eye-popping statistics indicating untapped potential. That might be an understandable risk/reward assessment vis-a-vis Bridges. Instead we picked a guy who was good at nothing over a guy who was good at a modest number of very important things.

  222. Yup. There was just no defending the Knox pick at the time. Mikal Bridges was right there as the guy with the greatest probability of being a useful pro, at what has increasingly become the most important position in the league. Smith was a much better gamble for greatness kind of pick. And if we wanted a slightly raw kid from Kentucky, SGA was right freaking there!

    It was a bad pick, and, worse, a terrible process behind the pick. Walt Perrin has a long and respected draft history, bu if Perry still has the final say in this stuff… ugh.

  223. Kinda weird that such an allegedly good defender led the 29th-ranked defense in minutes played in 2018-19. Only 12% of their total minutes, but damn, that was a real bad defense last year.

    I’d rather have just about anyone but Knox, though. He’s legitimately and obviously terrible at basketball.

  224. Porzingis had another good game statistically last night, but I thought he looked gassed at times last night. He didn’t have the energy to defend or rebound at some points. His passing is definitely getting better though. Whatever they are doing in Dallas to improve him is working, but maybe he needs to play more like 30 minutes a night instead of 35-40 minutes a night.

    He was really good on offense and it looks like he’s starting to figure out how to punish small defenders effectively. He’s also dishing more than he ever did on the Knicks.

    But Ivan Zubac also ate him up for most of the game. He was scoring and rebounding at will with KP guarding him. Not impressed with his close-outs either, he gets lazy chasing guys around the 3pt line. I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to bang with the big guys and I still like Mitch’s defensive potential over his.

  225. I think we know why Mills/Perry/Fizdale liked Knox.

    They are impressed by scorers, athletic ability, and the ability to create your own shot over things like defense, teamwork, basketball fundamentals and high basketball IQ etc..

    It’s extremely difficult to find someone that can do it all. So you are basically making tradeoffs towards your personal preferences and your needs. Phil wanted players that play a more team oriented fundamentals based game (imo he 100% would have drafted Bridges over Knox for sure), but he took a player like Frank over DSjr and MItchell.

    The problem with all those more athletically gifted scorers is that unless they are high efficiency also or can do other things really well also (like defend, make plays etc..) they don’t add as much value as people think. A high level high IQ defender and team oriented player is never going to get you lead you to a championship. You need the legit star scorers, but when you do get those elite scorers the elite roles players will help you get the championship. The middle of the road scorers typically become 6th men or overpaid and over hyped.

  226. Dink: He was really good on offense and it looks like he’s starting to figure out how to punish small defenders effectively. He’s also dishing more than he ever did on the Knicks.

    But Ivan Zubac also ate him up for most of the game. He was scoring and rebounding at will with KP guarding him. Not impressed with his close-outs either, he gets lazy chasing guys around the 3pt line. I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to bang with the big guys and I still like Mitch’s defensive potential over his.

    That’s what I saw too. To me he looked gassed. He didn’t have the energy to set picks, move on offense, score etc.. and also rebound and defend. He was standing around getting out hustled for rebounds and burnt on defense. But it’s not an every night thing, He was gassed for some reason last night.

  227. Dink: That’s what I saw too. To me he looked gassed. He didn’t have the energy to set picks, move on offense, score etc.. and also rebound and defend. He was standing around getting out hustled for rebounds and burnt on defense. But it’s not an every night thing, He was gassed for some reason last night.

    That’s what I saw too. He looked tired to me. He didn’t have the energy to set picks, move on offense, score etc.. and also rebound and defend. He was standing around getting out hustled for rebounds and burned on defense. But it’s not an every night thing, Sometimes he comes with a lot of energy on defense. He was tiring quickly for some reason last night.

  228. Kinda weird that such an allegedly good defender led the 29th-ranked defense in minutes played in 2018-19. Only 12% of their total minutes, but damn, that was a real bad defense last year.

    true, but the defense was 2.5/100 better with him playing, despite a higher 3pt% (which yes can be affected by defense but is also the number one noise contributor to points/100 allowed). And this year the defense was still bad but they were 5.5/100 better with him playing. but really you need pretty massive samples (rough estimate when the numbers start to talk louder: 8000 minutes of on time matched with 4000 minutes of off time) to be very persuaded by on/off numbers by themselves, and that’s only when you try to quiet confounders of teammate and opponent quality as RAPM does. FWIW Mikal’s DRAPM by one popular method of calculating it (they are all very similar) was average as rookie and moderately above average ( 0.57) this year. His DRAPM adjusted for “luck” — mainly 3pt shooting adjusted for quality of 3pt shots allowed and opponent FT shooting adjusted for their normal % — was better: .44 as a rookie and .82 (which is 48th best) this year. The exception to needing large samples is if the numbers are really huge or if they confirm strat’s priors.

  229. Alan:
    Yup. There was just no defending the Knox pick at the time. Mikal Bridges was right there as the guy with the greatest probability of being a useful pro, at what has increasingly become the most important position in the league. Smith was a much better gamble for greatness kind of pick. And if we wanted a slightly raw kid from Kentucky, SGA was right freaking there!

    I recall being a Mikal guy before the draft. I really really did not like Knox b/c, here in SEC country, I’d seen a lot of him and he looked like a ridiculously raw, low IQ, low motor guy. I thought he’d be totally useless. He reminded me of a guy I played on a rec league team with.

  230. The exception to needing large samples is if the numbers are really huge or if they confirm strat’s priors.

    This one got me good.

    Yeah, let’s be fair to the good defenders on the 2018-19 Suns. 1211 minutes of Jamal Crawford will sink any ship. The Suns got outscored by 15 points per 100 possession when he was on the floor, and 8.7 points/100poss worse in raw on-off. Among players who played more than 20 games, he ranked 2nd-worst in DBPM, just ahead of noted matador Collin Sexton and right around where Human Wheat Thin Trae Young landed.

  231. here’s a mystery player’s raw defensive on-off over the ten years from 2008-09 thru 2017-18. A positive differential indicates the defense had better (lower) pts/100 without the player.

    —-on —-off—-net
    08 111.6 105.5 6.1
    09 108.9 112.0 -3.1
    10 105.8 105.2 0.6
    11 100.2 105.2 -5.0
    12 98.1 104.9 -6.8
    13 104.9 104.7 0.2
    14 104.8 97.7 7.1
    15 106.0 109.7 -3.7
    16 108.3 106.2 2.1
    17 111.6 111.5 0.1
    avg 106.0 106.2 -0.2

    anyone wanna guess the player?

  232. It’s interesting, because I have no idea what the new NBA economy is going to be like. If this were a normal year? I’d take the over, but with this year being so crazy, $10 million might be a lot period. I truly have no idea.

    Might we expect to see someone like FVV bet on his future and take a one year deal this “summer,” hoping that next year money will be less tight?

  233. Might we expect to see someone like FVV bet on his future and take a one year deal this “summer,” hoping that next year money will be less tight?

    Depends on what he’s offered, right? He should drop a line to Nerlens Noel or Isaiah Thomas and ask for some advice.

  234. The Suns are a lot better this year defensively, they’re 19th overall and they’re much better on that end when Mikal is on the floor. The Rubio-Booker-Oubre-Mikal-Ayton lineup with Mikal at the 4 has been a good lineup for them, it’s the lineup they often use to close out games and they like it specifically because it’s a pretty decent defensive lineup.

    He also started off the season in a horrible outlier shooting slump, he just could not buy a 3-pointer for the first 20 or so games of the season, but he’s been fine since then.

  235. DID I GUESS RIGHT?!

    sorry i don’t recall the topic.

    that was quite a guess and the now shitcanned denouement was going to be that despite his raw on/off looking pretty mediocre over his aggregate memphis career, drapm and luck adjusted rapm actually like him quite a bit better and somewhat more in line with popular conception (if you average his luck adj drapm rankings over his memphis life it averages around 80th in the league with a median of 49th). not to say that there aren’t much better stories to tell than the aggregate, since people change with context, as they age, as the game changes, as their schemes change, etc. everyone ultimately is forced to be mostly a storyteller when it comes to nba defense. although one thing is true. universally great defenders almost never have poor luck adjusted rapm for significant samples, context be damned. like you’re not going to look up any 8000 (or 5000 for that matter) minutes of kevin garnett or ben wallace or tim duncan and see anything but kick ass drapms.

  236. Holy shit, seriously? That was a guess based on year endpoints and defensive reputation alone.

    I should have bet money on it. I promise that I wouldn’t have tried to move the goalposts ; )

  237. What the hell Jowles?! I log in and see someone telling you to fuck off, I assume it’s for politics, Frank Ntilikina, or something to do with rebounding really well

    Well-played.

    PTMilo, I appreciate your post. It’s still a poignant point. I’ve been using this site more and more to look stuff up because it has all the RAPM luck adjusted info, including 3 & 5 year searches: http://nbashotcharts.com/rapm?id=1136220815

    Would be nice if they included total minutes played tho

  238. He also started off the season in a horrible outlier shooting slump, he just could not buy a 3-pointer for the first 20 or so games of the season, but he’s been fine since then.

    Yeah, I was shocked when I saw his shooting numbers recently, because I had looked earlier in the season and they were so low and now they’re high.

  239. Yeah, well, I’m as surprised as the rest of you, but no one can fuck with me in this thread, I feel like I should have carte blanche to go off, I am the basketball master, y’all can suck’t

  240. I’ve never been a big math guy – about the best thing i took away from all those courses i took over my school years was that it was perfectly acceptable in many situations to simple extrapolate…i like guessing, sign me up for that…i do love science fiction though…maybe 30 plus years now since I first read foundation and the thought of being able to set forth a path for humanity based on known data and different predictive calculations has always stuck with me…westworld did a nice storyline on it in season three…

    just reading some of the statements reference accounting for “luck” in calculations makes me smile…

    you all our some worthy hairy seldons…

  241. Wow, the Griz came to play in the matchup of the two most under-appreciated teams in the NBA game.

  242. If the Suns can get away with Mikal at the 4, we could probably put RJ there eventually (even though Mikal is longer, a better shooter, a better defender, oh, never mind).

  243. I wouldn’t mind having an unorthodox short but athletic starting unit of:
    FVV-AEdwards-Frank-RJ-Mitch
    after last season’s PForgy!
    Traditional basketball seems dated.
    Time for experimentations.

  244. Knew Your Nicks:
    I wouldn’t mind having an unorthodox short but athletic starting unit of:
    FVV-AEdwards-Frank-RJ-Mitch
    after last season’s PForgy!
    Traditional basketball seems dated.
    Time for experimentations.

    This lineup may have spacing problems. Also Frank is not good.

    I fully support going small as long as Mitch is on the court to cleanup everything

    FVV-Bullock-SF that can shoot-RJ-Mitch intrigues me

    But rather go FVV-Bullock-RJ-Gallinari-type-Mitch

  245. Why was Washington invited to the bubble? They have no exciting players, and on top of that they are bad. Why not just bring the teams that are actually competing for the playoffs into the restart? Leave Charlotte off too and pair the top 20(!) teams together for setting the playoff seeds. I imagine there was a lot of thought put into this, I just don’t see what I’m missing here.

  246. I like FVV but I think he is about to get PAID. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets north of 100 million dollars. I worry that part of his success is always being the 3rd or 4th option and playing for an extremely well-coached veteran team. At 4 years 60 million or two years at 40-50 million, I like it but I don’t want to lock myself into 4 years at huge money which is what I think he’s going to get.

    As for Bullock, I’d rather play Frank at this point. Frank barely shot worse than Bullock last year and is a much better defender. With Frank’s FT% I can’t help but think his 3pt shooting will come around one of these days. If it does he is a better player than Bullock. I think Frank showed enough to finish the year that I think he should get real burn next year and if he continues to improve great and if he plateaus or regresses we cut him loose.

    I agree about a stretch 4 type. My first choice is chasing Ingram but Markkanen, if he’s available, or Bertrans/Wood, if either one can be gotten on a reasonable contract, are preferable to Gallo. I love Gallo but he is old and injury-prone and is not worth bringing to a young team like ours.

  247. Why was Washington invited to the bubble?

    They wanted to get Phoenix in to the bubble, so they had to include Washington, because they made the cutoff “within six games of a playoff spot” to get Phoenix in there.

  248. How about CP3/Edwards/RJ/Wood/Mitch?

    You can also substitute Edwards for Tyrese or Vassell.

    Or maybe go after Gallo instead of Paul. Doesn’t a Randle/Gallo sign-and-trade make some sense?

  249. That’s why I said a Gallinari-type player, because I don’t specifically want Gallinari. In retrospect, using hyphenation for it amid a bunch of other hyphens was maybe not the best idea.

    I don’t think anyone is about to get paid big bucks. This may be the perfect offseason to get players on the cheap for the longterm

  250. Gallo, Bertans, Markannen and other stretch 4s are the logical way to go and close to traditional basket of the last decade.
    I’m visualizing a non stop moving offense full of fast breaks, pnrs and wing slashing with FVV and Frank being the occasional spot up 3pt shooters.

    All these of course in a “wet dream without much deep basketball thinking” attempt to include my FA protege FVV, my Frankophilia, my most eye pleasing draft pick of 2020 and the most promising knicks pieces of the future!

    In other words:
    It may suck but i’d love to see it! It may work !
    Why Fiz was fucking with our roster last year and we can’t? :-)

  251. He can’t rebound worth a dime but why does nobody talk about Jerami Grant as a potential free agent signing at power forward? I think he would fit in great between RJ and Mitch.

  252. I like Grant, He would be a great signing. For PG my hope, I said it earlier, is Larkin. He is killing it in Europe and would be cheap. That way we don’t clog things up with a long term PG signing when we’ll probably draft one and maybe Frank will still develop. Larkin could start and then be the sixth man if our draft pick or Frank become the starter. I want no part of CP3 and only FVV if it’s a good contract.

    I personally think sign Larkin, Noel to back up Robinson, and a good stretch 4 for real money, then if we have cap left maybe a flyer on a wing that can shoot. Draft Hayes or Haliburton and go forward from there.

    Potential Stretch 4s: (in probably this order)
    Ingram – sign and trade for a first or two (lottery protected), Knox and Randle
    Markkanen – Trade for Knox + LA pick or protected Dal pick (if he is truly available)
    Grant
    Wood
    Bertrans
    Hernangomez

  253. If you are Leon Rose, and you spend your cap space on Bertrans, Shane Larkin, and Jermani Grant, you are not lasting long in Dolan Land…

  254. I spoke to a friend of mine that lives in OKC. He’s a passionate fan. He always has season tickets. He’s telling me that the thinking in OKC is that Gallo is going to stay in OKC as long as CP3 stays there and they are expecting CP3 to stay, The feeling is they have a good team now, several young players that will improve, and plenty of assets to get better next year and still keep rebuilding long term when CP3 and Gallo are done.

  255. That makes more sense than trading Chris Paul. OKC is a franchise that values a winning team, even if they aren’t a candidate for winning it all.

  256. but really you need pretty massive samples to be very persuaded by on/off numbers by themselves, and that’s only when you try to quiet confounders of teammate and opponent quality as RAPM does. FWIW Mikal’s DRAPM by one popular method of calculating it (they are all very similar) was average as rookie and moderately above average ( 0.57) this year.His DRAPM adjusted for “luck” — mainly 3pt shooting adjusted for quality of 3pt shots allowed and opponent FT shooting adjusted for their normal % — was better: .44 as a rookie and .82 (which is 48th best) this year.The exception to needing large samples is if the numbers are really huge or if they confirm strat’s priors.

    RAPM and DRAPM are as bad as all the other “one number” stats, just for different reasons.

    They are fine for people that follow the game casually, but should be put in the garbage bin for serious people,

    One reason is that you can be on the court with a couple of very good players, but if they are players that don’t compliment your skill set well the team will not do so well when you are on the court and it will look like your fault given the others do so well when you are off the court. Those stats can’t capture team construction issues,.

    That’s why some people have tried to focus on lineup data too. Thy are looking for combinations/skillsets that work together well. Of course, then sample sizes, opposition, match ups etc… are a major problem.

    This game CANNOT be reduced to single number by some formula (at least not any time soon).

    Anyone that thinks it can is allowing superior math skills to lead them to misplaced arrogance and a LOT of bad analysis and conclusions. Stats are to be used as a secondary tool in combination with subjective analysis, game watching, and player skills assessment. You’ll still be wrong some of the time, but at least you’ll know that too and have some idea of when you are more or less certain.

  257. Dink: He was really good on offense and it looks like he’s starting to figure out how to punish small defenders effectively. He’s also dishing more than he ever did on the Knicks.

    But Ivan Zubac also ate him up for most of the game. He was scoring and rebounding at will with KP guarding him. Not impressed with his close-outs either, he gets lazy chasing guys around the 3pt line. I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to bang with the big guys and I still like Mitch’s defensive potential over his.

      

    One of the Mavs blogs suggested the Clippers were forcing Porzingis into switches that put Zubac on one of the other Mavs and all of them were too small/weak to handle Zubac. Apparently, the Mavs defense against the P&R is to switch, but with some injuries and players missing they didn’t have the pieces to handle it against the Clippers. That was partly why Zubac had such a good game.

    That’s independent of what we both saw.

    Porzingis was tired on the court at times and not trying very hard on defense.

  258. Unless you understand Xs and Os and assignments in every situation at a coaching level and are going to watch 10 hours of game film every day like Thibs, I think the best way for the rest of us to evaluate defense is based on game watching, but also what the best players and coaches are saying and doing because they DO understand those things at a high level and watch all the film.

    1. Are the best coaches targeting a certain player in their P&R trying to isolate him and take advantage of a weakness and switch?

    2. Are the best coaches targeting a certain defender with their P&R to get him OFF their star player (like they’ve done to Frank at times) to allow the star player to be defended by someone else?

    3. What do coaches say when asked? They know the Xs and Os, assignments, watch the game film, and know who is gives them a tough time and who they can take advantage of. Sometimes they glow about certain defenders even though they are hesitant to be too critical of the bad defenders.

    4. What do other players say? They know who gives them a tough time, who they can beat, how, how easily, etc.. and like coaches are often very complimentary about certain defenders.

    5. I don’t think any player can give 100% on every possession. Some possessions, especially at the end of games, are critical and do require 100%. Certain players will totally lock down and some even take over and impact the game on that end at those critical times. Those are the guys that win with defense.

  259. Man, those Morant-Clarke highlights….

    Didn’t realize how good he was on defense either. Jesus.

  260. I’d read that Clarke had a funky looking shot at San Jose State but I didn’t realize it was that bad looking

  261. Here’s a promising Athletic feature on Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne, who’s apparently seriously considering an offer to be on Thibs’ staff here.

    “KP is one of the best development coaches in the world,” Towns says. “KP is the horse beneath the jockey driving Kentucky basketball.”

    During his nine seasons in Lexington, Payne has guided nine Kentucky big men to become NBA lottery picks, including No. 1 overall picks Towns and Anthony Davis.

  262. Yeah I think they do a nice job on the production aside from them fucking up the crowd noise sometimes

  263. I mean this TJ Warren thing is one of the more insane NBA storylines in a while, right?

  264. “The Pacers currently have all NBA players named T.J. on their roster. In the 2015-16 season, they had all NBA players with the last name Hill
    2019-20 T.J.s: Warren, McConnell, Leaf 2015-16 Hills: George, Solomon, Jordan”

    There are clear signs of “black and yellow” magic here

  265. For a long time I’ve felt that the Knicks don’t have to be champions to make me happy with them, they just have to be well managed and decently performing. The Pacers are a model for that.

  266. Some teams decide to suck so they can have a high lottery pick (tank).
    Some others suck despite trying hard not to (knicks).
    and some others build solid foundations from management to roster and wait for the perfect opportunity to grab displeased/free agent big dogs or draft and develop future bigdogs and try to go for the ring.(most playoff teams)

  267. So Phoenix just decided to grow into a finals contender during the layoff??

    Just think how good they would be if they had kept TJ Warren!

  268. ess-dog:
    So Phoenix just decided to grow into a finals contender during the layoff??

    Just think how good they would be if they had kept TJ Warren!

    Suns fans are countering that by saying that if they had kept T.J. Warren, they wouldn’t have had the money to sign Ricky Rubio (a true point guard), and Mikal Bridges wouldn’t be having minutes.

    It’s still a terrible move trading a 25 years-old starting SF (a thin position in the league, for those who still value traditional positions), after productive seasons, with 3 years remaining on a reasonable contract, FOR CASH CONSIDERATIONS.

    People in Phoenix are lucky that the Suns are the hottest team in the bubble, otherwise they would have to deal with pundits and fans endlessly rubbing the TJsanity in their faces.

  269. Macri and Stefan Bondy both suggest Kenny Payne is getting close to joining the staff. Macri:

    If the number I’m hearing on Payne is legit – it starts with a 2 – it might make him the highest paid AC in the NBA. Lue signed for 4/$6.5 in Cleveland, and Kidd beat that in LA.

    Either way, if this doesn’t hit a snag, look for Payne to have a huge role in player development.

  270. I feel like hiring the guy renowned for coaching the best college players in the country for half a year might have some design flaws but it’s not my money and he can’t be worst than his predecessor.

  271. The new regime seems to be good at extracting money from James Dolan at least

    If Dolan didn’t make it so difficult to like him, I would have compassion for him. From where I sit I think we’ve had a few scumbags in management over the years that took advantage of a man that probably has Aspergers or is somewhere else on the spectrum. I just don’t know that to be the case. Maybe he’s just be a fool that that’s been taken by scumbags.

  272. KnickfaninNJ:
    For a long time I’ve felt that the Knicks don’t have to be champions to make me happy with them, they just have to be well managed and decently performing. The Pacers are a model for that.

    All you need is to get into a position where you are one breakout player, one free agent, or one winning trade from contention to feel great. We took a path where we are debating the number of years and amount of luck it will take to draft and develop a good team and we all know it’s a LOT of BOTH. People are satisfied with that idiocy (or actually prefer it), not because it’s smart, but because they became so accustomed to incompetent management signing terrible FA free deals and making bad deals for picks we have a distorted view of what it could be with some competent “basketball people” and “GM level” expertise in charge.

  273. We took a path where we are debating the number of years and amount of luck it will take to draft and develop a good team and we all know it’s a LOT of BOTH. People are satisfied with that idiocy (or actually prefer it), not because it’s smart, but because they became so accustomed to incompetent management signing terrible FA free deals and making bad deals for picks we have a distorted view of what it could be with some competent “basketball people” and “GM level” expertise in charge.

    Where are all the people cheering on the “tank for exactly one season, land a decent but very flawed prospect, and then try to win as many games as possible with mercenary free agents, all the while not taking on a single salary dump” strategy?

  274. People are satisfied with that idiocy (or actually prefer it), not because it’s smart, but because they became so accustomed to incompetent management signing terrible FA free deals and making bad deals for picks we have a distorted view of what it could be with some competent “basketball people” and “GM level” expertise in charge.

    Yeah I’m so traumatized from watching a senile old hippie give out no-trade max contracts to overrated players and wildly overpay washed up immobile centers because they can pass out of the pinch post that I have Stockholm Syndrome and I’m willing to accept almost anything

  275. Yeah that’s the other thing. “Give out big one-year contracts to shitty players” is a much better strategy than “give out big multiyear contracts to shitty players, while sometimes throwing in full no trade clauses for good measure.”

  276. we have a distorted view of what it could be with some competent “basketball people” and “GM level” expertise in charge.

    I’m just happy that strat is putting his own ideas in sarcastic quotes.

    Seriously, who has a distorted view? Everybody can see what’s happening with other teams. We aren’t actually trapped in an abusive relationship with no outside perspective. You just think we’re all idiots for not signing on to your “plan” of making good moves in whatever way is possible, when literally everyone agrees that is a nice aspiration, but certainly is not a plan or a strategy. Your only actual strategy is to never ever tank for a high pick. I remember you used to frame it as a moral stand, now you try to frame it as stupid because there’s risk involved. I got some news for ya sonny..

    We’ve had many years now of Knicks FOs trying, and failing, to execute your preferred plan. I hereby declare strat’s “plan” of “make good moves by being smart while never tanking” to be an abject failure, as it relies far too heavily on hiring front office folks who are brain genii and Dolan is clearly incapable of that. This plan has failed more times than Hinkie.

  277. If Dolan didn’t make it so difficult to like him, I would have compassion for him.

    This is unsurprising, since Dolan’s “plan” for the Knicks is the exact same as yours is and he just can’t seem to manage to find the personnel capable of executing it properly.

  278. Michael Wacha to the injured list.

    We’re 15 games into this season and the Mets are already using their #8 starter.

    Mets gonna Met

  279. You know who I’ve been intrigued by since I first watched him play? Jaxson Hayes. Kid looks like a monstrous, agile 16-yr-old. imagine what he might become by the time he is old enough to vote.

  280. Melo just got blocked badly by Norvel Pelle to end the quarter and it gave me an awful Roy Hibbert flashback

  281. Melo passed Havlicek and Pierce on the all time scoring list today. Currently 15th. ht Tommy Beer

  282. It’s that kind of against the grain thinking that will make you a great GM someday.

    I never anticipated Lillard being this good.

  283. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Coulda had Bol, Hayes and Clarke for the Barrett pick

    This is a bit of revisionist history. There was no way to predict that Clarke would last till 17 or Bol would fall out of the 1st round. More likely we could have had Clarke at 8, Bol at 17, and then someone else at 35. That still would have probably worked out in our favor but lets at least be intellectually honest with the hand wringing.

  284. Maybe, but coulda

    So, uh… did Austin Rivers just put up 41 points off the bench on 87% TS?

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