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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer 2010 Edition: Knicks Front Office On…

Some quotes from Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni from their media interview on 9/22/2010.

(on the offseason)

DW: I like what we did. There are guys out there. You get some you don’t (get some). We got Amar’e who is as good a player as we’ve had here in a long time. A 5 time All Star. And a guy that can dominate a game a guy that can get what he wants by his will. He can just do it. So that was a good get. I thought Raymond was a very good get.

Then the rest of the team whether by trade or by free agency, we filled in some of the blanks that we had. I think we’re a bigger team. We’re very flexible in the sense where we can play big or small. I think we have players that fit in with what Mike (D’Antoni) does a lot better than we’ve had because they’re athletic.

I think we’ve got some young players, the average age is 24.6. We have some young players that will get better. So I’m excited. I just told Allan that it was like when I was in college, and you go out and recruit these guys and then go watch them play when they come in the fall, and that’s the same feeling that I have (now). There’s an excitement to seeing (new players). (There are) 10 new players on this team. Which is going to be a lot of work for Mike D’Antoni. But they came early, a lot of these guys came early. They seem committed to becoming a team. They’re professionals. They work hard. So, I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen so far. Now the real (work) starts. And we’ll see how we are I think we can be a good team. But it’s going to take a lot of work.

(on Eddy Curry)

DW: Players don’t have to come in during the summer. And what I’ve tried to do over the years is not make any judgment on that. But wen they come they have to be in shape. I’m going to be optimistic and think that he’s going to play. I know this when I was in Indiana. I’ll mention Reggie Miller. He never came in the summer. he came back the day before training camp, got his physical, but he was in shape. He had worked out all summer. There is no magic way to do it. For new guys and young guys (it’s important to) get acclimated to what we do.

I haven’t talked to him and I haven’t seen him. But I get word floating that Eddy’s working. That’s what I hear.

(on whether his trainers have been out to see Curry this summer)

DW: No. No matter what we do it’s going to come down to what you do with your career. He assured me that he’d take care of it. So I’m not going to be bugging him all summer like I did the year before. So we’ll see if that helps him. Some guys like it like that.

(on whether Curry can be a contributing player )

DW: I’m going to be optimistic about it. Because I never count a guy out personally.

(on whether the Knicks need him right now)

DW: Yeah. Eddy – we could have used him for the last 2 years. For a guy that big and that athletic he can be a force. And we haven’t had him the last two years because of injury. So you see when you don’t have a center out there it’s been a lot of pressure on David Lee. (Some) teams could kinda have their way with us.

(on Azubuike)

DW: He’s got one of the toughest injures for a basketball player. The patella tendon. He’s been here for 2 or 3 weeks and has worked form 9 to 5 every day trying to strengthen the leg… There’s always the danger of a setback. I don’t think he’ll be ready for training camp, but he could be ready for the regular season when that comes around. We have to see how it develops with him. The kid is working as hard as he possibly could. The trainer said the (better he is in shape), the better off he’ll be (when he returns from injury.)

(on Azubuike’s possible return)

DW: We’d be shooting for the beginning of the regular season. But if he has a setback. It’s a tough injury he’s got.

(if he’s running yet)

MD: He runs on the Alter-G it’s called. Where you only can get the 80% of your weight. So it like it lifts you up and let’s you run run without putting weight on it. And that’s all he’s done. He has not been on the court running.

DW: He was going to run on grass or something like that, I didn’t know if he had started that. That would be the next step.

(on whether there is a hole at off-guard, or any other position)

DW: No… We have players that can play the 2. One of the reasons we brought Patrick in (is because) he can defend the bigger twos. Not for the whole game, but for specific minutes. We’ll have to see how that develops. He’s better than he was before, he’s bigger and stronger, (an overall) better basketball player. I like our rookie (Fields) and obviously Chandler can play there and has played there. And I think he’ll be successful. Probably in college he played the 3. But most 2 guards can be successful. Fields probably in college he played the 3. Most big guards that played in college played 3. And they end up, if they’re good shooters, playing 2 guard in the NBA. I think Fields can make that adjustment and can do that. He has a lot of talent.

81 comments on “Summer 2010 Edition: Knicks Front Office On…

  1. Nick C.

    You know I’m actually getting a bit excited about this team just a bit. 10 new guys, and the bit about them being professional and work hard when was the last time those phrases were thrown about with respect to a NYK team.

  2. cgreene

    So Melo agrees to extend with a Nets team with no Favors, no Harris, less future picks and 2 years in Newark. Why?

    Once again, I point out one major piece of leverage the Melo has that NO ONE mentions. IF he waits it out and does not extend before the trade deadline with Denver’s trading partners such as the NJ scenario above, and the new CBA is disadvantageous even to top level FAs he still has a PLAYER OPTION for next season that pays him $20M that he can exercise in a pinch and force Denver to pay him again before testing FA under the new CBA. That is a lot of protection for himself right there if things go awry.

  3. Ted Nelson

    cgreene: he still has a PLAYER OPTION for next season that pays him $20M that he can exercise in a pinch and force Denver to pay him again before testing FA under the new CBA.

    Or there might not be a next season… that seems like a pretty real possibility. Even with that option, if Melo’s goal is to make money and the consensus is that he’s better off with the current CBA… he should sign a long-term deal now. If he’s willing to take money off the table, he shouldn’t barely even worry about the CBA.
    Also, if he’s dealt to NJ he can’t force Denver to do anything.

    Anyway, at some point Melo is probably going to have to make some sort of sacrifice on at least one of $/Ws/location. If he really wants to play in only NY or Chicago or LA… well, he’s got only 5 options and the Nets are one of them.

    We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

  4. Frank O.

    Trade hysteria…

    I refused to think about this until a deal is actually done.
    I can’t believe the Knicks are unable to find a way to get him. I don’t want them to mortgage too much for him.
    Patience. This is where Donnie is good.

  5. ess-dog

    Not sure why Utah does this, but whatever. Can’t imagine Melo spending 2 years in NJ. Clippers make more sense to me. But Denver really seems to want Favors. I have mixed feelings about all of this because Melo doesn’t seem all too likeable right now whereas Gallo and Randolph are saying/doing all the right things… I’m excited about our current team! I more want to wait and upgrade at guard later on.
    It almost seems as if Melo wants to be a Knick more than anyone else wants him to be a Knick.
    My guess would be that we get him at the trade deadline for Gallo/Curry and picks. We’ll see.

  6. cgreene

    “Or there might not be a next season… that seems like a pretty real possibility…
    Also, if he’s dealt to NJ he can’t force Denver to do anything.”

    If there is no next season then no one gets paid. Moot point.
    He can force NJ or any other team that gets him to pay him the $20M option. You missed my point. It’s nice to have and no one is talking about it. It’s another year of max money under the current CBA.

  7. Robert Silverman

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a NY trade for Melo means no Nix championships for the next 5-6 years.

    Then again, maybe that’s the point. Maybe Donnie’s resigned himself to the fact that the Heat and Lakers have this thing locked down for the next 5-6 years like the Bulls in the mid-90′s. In that case, building the best 50-win team/non-contender would sell tix, if nothing else

  8. Brian Cronin

    Do we agree that if the Knicks traded AR and Gallo, they could get ‘Melo?

    If we do agree on that, then I’d like that to be the story for the Knicks in the future. “The Knicks are not willing to part with both AR and Gallo” instead of the BS “The Knicks don’t have the assets to make the deal,” since you could easily say the same thing about the Bulls. “The Bulls doesn’t have the assets to make the deal” because they won’t trade Noah.

    So why do they get “The Bulls won’t part with Noah” while the Knicks get “The Knicks don’t have the assets to deal”?

  9. Ted Nelson

    cgreene: If there is no next season then no one gets paid. Moot point.
    He can force NJ or any other team that gets him to pay him the $20M option. You missed my point. It’s nice to have and no one is talking about it. It’s another year of max money under the current CBA.

    It’s not that no one else has noticed it. For one thing, when guys have a chance to lock-up long-term guaranteed money at or above the same money they could get short-term… they generally opt for the long-term. Not always, but it makes enough sense and Carmelo seems to have enough options both now and in free agency 2011 (assuming there is a free agency 2011) that he might just want to figure out his medium-term situation rather than playing a lame-duck season in a situation he apparently doesn’t want to be in.

    cgreene: If there is no next season then no one gets paid. Moot point.

    And the player option is also a moot point, which was my point. If there’s no season his next season would be under the new CBA if he hasn’t re-signed this season.

    One of my points: It’s one extra year, but then he still has to deal with the new CBA. *If* he doesn’t want to deal with the new CBA–and the consensus seems to be that it will be harsher on players–then his best financial move is to re-sign this season. That doesn’t mean he has to do it. Another one of my points is that he has to decide what’s most important to him in terms of money/location/wins… and any other factors he wants to consider. With the Nets he could maximize location and money, and wins is a bit debatable… he’d at least be playing with Brook Lopez and a few other decent players… He might have to sacrifice money to play for the Knicks or location to play for some contender… It’s his choice.

  10. Frank

    My guess would be that we get him at the trade deadline for Gallo/Curry and picks.We’ll see.  

    I would seriously hope we don’t do that at the trade deadline unless we really think this team is ready to contend for a championship THIS YEAR without Gallo. I think our goal this year should be to change the culture of the team, change the expectations of the fan base, and aim for second round of the playoffs. Then – let Curry and his fat arse tumble off the cap, decide whether we want to keep the other expiring guys, then sign Melo assuming he is still available. I just think there is little chance this year that we can contend for a championship. Just can’t see giving Gallo away for 2 extra months of Melo and a 2nd round exit.

    Felton, Gallo, Randolph, Melo, Amare, TD, Mosgov etc. sounds way better than that team without Gallo…

  11. Ted Nelson

    Robert Silverman: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a NY trade for Melo means no Nix championships for the next 5-6 years.

    The other question is what the chances of a title team are with no Melo… It’s not win a title or acquire Melo. I’m optimistic about Amare/Gallo/AR, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to win a title or even make the playoffs…

    Brian Cronin: Do we agree that if the Knicks traded AR and Gallo, they could get ‘Melo?

    I don’t know if that’s a given. I would take that deal–since I’m high on both… and not coincidently I’m a Knicks fan–but Devin Harris–>AK-47/Derrick Favors/future picks… not a bad deal. Perhaps the Nuggets don’t like either Gallo or AR… Perhaps they love both of them… Perhaps the Knicks can or cannot get a third or fourth team involved… I have no idea.

    Anyway, I see your larger point re: Knicks coverage vs. Bulls coverage. It’s the mainstream media, though… what do you expect? If a guy’s not proven he’s not good… that’s their philosophy. The Bulls are also the media darling (just as they were a few years ago) because they’re a young playoff team with a shiny new free agent… we’ll see if the results are the same or different this time.

  12. Robert Silverman

    Ted Nelson: optimistic about Amare/Gallo/AR, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to win a title or even make the

    Of course not. It’s a serious longshot. It’s the difference between hitting on 16 in blackjack and holding at 16 (with the dealer/Heat showing 20). You’ve got a shot to win big but could just as soon fall flat.

  13. cgreene

    Brian, I asked Alan Hahn that same thing directly on Twitter and while he did take the time to reply to me, he completely sidestepped the issue saying it was about Denver “selling” the deal to it’s fan base. You are 100000000% correct.

    His reply after I asked him if he would include both AR and Gallo for Melo: “alanhahn @chrisgreene33 No, I’m not giving up both Randolph and Gallinari in a Melo swap. Might cost you one of them plus Mozgov, tho.”
    My response: “@alanhahn then how can it be said that NYK have no assets? that’s wrong. might perception on surface but smart bball people know better”
    His response: ” alanhahn@chrisgreene33 You’re right, but you still have to sell any trade with the Knicks to your fanbase in Denver.”

    So he did admit that I was right on the issue but he still has yet to write it that way. Shows that even the bias against the Knicks in media hits who most consider to be our best and least jaded beat writer. (Although personally I have found a change of tone in his writing lately more anti-Knicks)

  14. ess-dog

    Also, I just think it’s a bad precedent to send Melo exactly where he wants to go, regardless of the talent coming back. It’s like saying “Ok, I’ll let you take the franchise hostage. We’ll give in to your demands.”
    There’s just almost no way we can get him out of principal, so it’s good to write it off at least until 2011 free agency.

  15. d-mar

    Brian – I totally agree that there’s an anti-Knick, pro-Bulls bias in the NBA media world, but I think when writers say the Knicks don’t have the assets, they may be referring to their lack of draft picks. Or maybe I’m giving them too much credit.

    I also agree with cgreene’s point questioning why Melo would agree to an extension with the Nets without Favors, Harris and future picks.

  16. BigBlueAL

    This Melo trade if it happens sucks for the Knicks, not because they dont get Melo necessarily but because the trade helps the Nets and Bobcats.

    Nets give up Favors and Harris but keep Murphy so they will have a frontline of Lopez, Murphy and Melo this season. There backcourt will be a joke but they are supposedly maybe getting DJ Augustin too who might help. The Bobcats get Devin Harris who helps that team out alot too. All of a sudden the 7th/8th seed becomes alot harder for the Knicks to get and losing out on Melo will just continue the negativity from guys like Berman and Isola about what an awful summer for the Knicks. Ugh.

  17. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: Also, I just think it’s a bad precedent to send Melo exactly where he wants to go, regardless of the talent coming back.

    I don’t know exactly where he wants to go, but I’m not sure it’s the NJ Nets…

    I also think you just get back what you consider to be the best package/talent, instead of hurting your business and fans out of spite or to set a league wide precedent when the precedent has already been set…

    BigBlueAL: There backcourt will be a joke but they are supposedly maybe getting DJ Augustin too who might help.

    I don’t really care about the media’s negativity, but the increased competition may be a valid point. Nets do have Farmar, Morrow, and Williams in the back-court. Not great, but each has his strengths. They would just have to hit some outside shots (not Williams) and not get totally killed on D (which is where Williams might help)… Would be a weak defensive team, actually, but could be pretty good offensively.

    Bobs would get the roster balance. A lot would depend on whether they were getting 09-10 Devin Harris or healthy Devin Harris. As a Knicks I would probably rather they have Tyrus Thomas than Boris Diaw… but I guess it’s a toss up.

    At the end of the day I’m hoping for the playoffs, but if the Nets or Bobs beat the Knicks out it’s not like they were going anywhere anyway.

  18. Robert Silverman

    What I don’t get is what Utah’s thinking is here. Why trade Kirilenko for Diaw? How is that anything but a serious downgrade?

  19. Robert Silverman

    Except for the part where he seems to think that Curry & Mozgov are going to be battling it out for the starting center spot

  20. ess-dog

    Ted Nelson:
    I don’t know exactly where he wants to go, but I’m not sure it’s the NJ Nets…I also think you just get back what you consider to be the best package/talent, instead of hurting your business and fans out of spite or to set a league wide precedent when the precedent has already been set…

    I meant Melo’s desire to go to the Knicks. It’s pretty obvious that’s his team of choice, but yes, you really want to just go for the best package if you’re NJ. I would have to agree that Favors > either Gallo or Randolph and AK47 is clearly > than Curry. Plus of course, the pick or multiple picks. So maybe if we went all in with a bid of Gallo and Randolph and Curry plus 2014 pick plus maybe another pick they scrounge up in 2012, then that could be considered a better offer.
    After all is said and done, NJ is still probably a worse team than us, in fact, Melo could be looking at not making the playoffs after his demand. Should be interesting.
    I agree that the Bobs get better – could be a 7 or 8 seed, maybe higher depending on how their post players work out.

  21. Frank

    I just can’t see this happening. All the superstars are jealous of the Miami trio because they got to play together to make a championship contender. And they took less money to get there! If melo goes to NJ that is NOT a title contender and is unlikely to be one anytime soon. So he will have blown his free agency on a team that will be second citizen in NYC, clawing for the 7th and 8th seed for the rest of his career. I was totally wrong on the lebron thing but I just can’t see him being so impatient to leave that he gives up a chance to play with felton, amare, gallo, and Randolph to go play with frickin troy Murphy and mr overrated Brook Lopez. Even if the nets are really good with him, we already saw how famous the nets get when they are title contenders when Kidd and co were there– that is to say, they were not popular at all. Zero vibe.

    Just don’t see it.

  22. Robert Silverman

    Or…

    This is the only way he can get a 20 mil/year contract and figured, eff it, the Heat are winning the next 6 titles anyway so might as well get paid

  23. Z-man

    If it’s a 3 year deal, Melo will be 28-29 at the end of it and ready to squeeze the Nets the same way he squeezed the Nuggets. Although it looks like he’s squeezing the Nets right now.

    I was a big fan of getting Melo earlier this summer, but have soured on the deal. I’d rather root for the promising home-grown kids we have now and think about possibilities that cap space will raise in a year or two (D-Will, are you listening?). It’s looking more and more like we have a blue collar kind of team team for now, just like the old days. Oh, forgot about Curry, maybe I should have said lunch pail team.

  24. Mulligan

    I wasn’t opposed to getting Melo, but man am I relieved we’re not getting into this. Jordan Farmer, T-Will, Melo, Murphy & Lopez? With minimal flexibility for the next few years and a lack of draft picks? No thanks. That team is a 5-8 seed with zero depth. Plus, Murphy’s contract will expire and they won’t have that much cap space to replace him because of melo’s fat contract. Yeesh.

    Knicks are poised to be in a much better position, in my opinion…

  25. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Does Kirilenko make the Nuggets a contender in the West? According to WP48, Kirilenko produced over twice as many wins per 48 as Melo did last season. Are they a 55-win team?

  26. SeeWhyDee77

    since everybody’s on tha subject…
    Call me crazy..but I kinda hope that 4 way deal happens. I am smitten with Rooster’s potential so I don’t wanna lose him..especially for Melo. Chandler and Randolph, sure. But not Rooster. He’s a perfect compliment to Amare. If Melo does end up in NJ..I’d like to see Walsh swap Curry and Chandler for Iggy. Iggy plays D and is unselfish, shoots fairly well and a helluva athlete. I think he would make a great 2nd option with Amare and Rooster on the floor. On the surface a Stat/Melo tandem looks great, but i’m not sure that their games mesh well enough-mainly becuz neither of the them have reps as ball movers. Also, Melo would make our perimeter D even weaker. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a Melo on the floor for the Knicks..but the way this roster is currently constructed, he’s just not a great fit in my eyes. Just picture the spacing, athleticism, versatility and defense a lineup of Turiaf, Stat, Rooster, Iggy and Felton would have with Randolph, Mosgov, Mason/Azu, and Douglas backing them up. I figure PHI would be in the market for another guard if they were to make that trade so Walsh could throw in Azu or Mason and problee get another draft pick in return. Besides..if Walsh stands pat, then I think he could grab D-Will in the near future. I just think he’s gonna hate playin with Jefferson becuz he’s even less mobile than Okur and Boozer, and he’s gonna wanna play with a guy like Stat. I’m not sure if CP3 is gonna be as easily attainable as D Will might be soon. Gonna be interesting…

  27. Robert Silverman

    Yep. Even though it’s a blog, that’s some pretty pointlessly venal stuff.

    Oh wait, Isola’s a hack. I like totes almost forgot!

  28. Z-man

    I’ve been so excited to see what we really have with this current bunch that losing out on Melo no longer bothers me.

    If Melo really prefers the Knicks, he can be here in a year and nobody could stop him, and he’d be coming into a situation where we would have a better team to play with + trade bait/cap room to improve further. He could be here sooner if he just refuses to sign an extension w/ anyone but the Knicks. If he agrees to the Nets proposed scenario, he didn’t really want to be here. This makes it easier for me to swallow passing on him.

    We now have a young, talented, athletic team on which all the players and the coach seem to have something to prove, individually and collectively. It seems like the kind of team where the players have made chemistry and shared leadership a top priority. I have an especially good feeling about our front court: a bonafide stud in Amar’e and what amounts to three lottery picks (Gallo, AR and Mozgov.) We should have ample trade assets and cap room going forward. No, we don’t have a big 3 to introduce in a gaudy spectacle with fog machines and strobe lights, but in a way, I’m glad about that. Maybe I’ve been ruined for life by the perfect chemistry of the ’69-’70 team (did any of you guys read the scrapbook? I read all of those articles in the Post and Daily News every day as a 12 y.o. kid. I highly recommend it!) but I think that rooting for a team that had a host of ways to win, a super-high B-ball IQ, and was all about teamwork is what made the Garden the Mecca that it is, or should be. It is the only arena where a longtime fan has a direct connection to the past while watching the game and looking up at that unique ceiling…all the other arenas around the league have been replaced. I just have a feeling that this team will do the history of the Garden more justice than a team of hired guns like Miami Thrice. While not the jackpot of big-ticket FA signings this summer, Amar’e has a compelling rootability factor compared to the others when you consider that he has busted his ass to overcome a tough childhood and horrific injuries to his knee and eye.

    The media (and many fans) will portray this as the summer of lost opportunities, but I must say that I have haven’t felt as excited about the character of our team in a very long time. Everyone except Curry is saying and doing the right things, despite the incessant Melo trade rumors. Something tells me that rushing to acquire Melo at any cost would screw things up.

    Hopefully I won’t regret this post down the road!

  29. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: I meant Melo’s desire to go to the Knicks.

    Sorry, thought you meant from Denver’s perspective.

    Frank: All the superstars are jealous of the Miami trio because they got to play together to make a championship contender.

    That’s the media narrative, anyway. I’m sure they all have some sort of reaction to it, but they still have to look after their own best interests and accomplish their own goals. Melo is apparently set on playing in a big market, and the rumors are it’s more for quality of life than fame. He’s won everywhere he’s been and has a pretty big ego, so I’m sure he’s not too worried. In his mind I’m sure he’s an MVP player who will take the Nets to the title.

    Frank: So he will have blown his free agency on a team that will be second citizen in NYC

    Over the past decade the Knicks have really been the second-class citizen…

    Robert Silverman: This is the only way he can get a 20 mil/year contract

    Denver’s already offered that, but I guess for some reason he’s set on leaving Denver.

    Z-man: what amounts to three lottery picks (Gallo, AR and Mozgov.)

    I still think this is premature. Timo has lottery potential, but several red flags that very well could have dropped his draft status significantly (24, foul prone, raw on both sides of the ball)… If he were a lottery pick it would have been a very risky one that I think would have been criticized. He’s got a low floor and not the highest ceiling either.

    Z-man: a super-high B-ball IQ

    I feel like b-ball IQ is a huge question mark for this Knicks team, but we’ll see…

  30. Z-man

    “I still think this is premature. Timo has lottery potential, but several red flags that very well could have dropped his draft status significantly (24, foul prone, raw on both sides of the ball)… If he were a lottery pick it would have been a very risky one that I think would have been criticized. He’s got a low floor and not the highest ceiling either.”

    I meant in the sense that if the draft were held today and these 3 were available, my guess is that AR and Gallo would surely be taken in the lottery range and Mozgov would be strongly considered by at least some GMs based on his size, athleticism and what he showed in the Worlds. That said, your point is well taken. I think of Mozgov as something like Jordan Hill, a lottery pick which was heavily criticized. What’s your guess as to where he should have been picked if the draft were held today, knowing what we know today about all the picks and ignoring injuries (e.g. Udoh)?

  31. Z-man

    “I feel like b-ball IQ is a huge question mark for this Knicks team, but we’ll see… ”

    Agreed. I was referring to the ’69-’70 team. I don’t know whether B-ball IQ follows from chemistry or vise versa or if they are 2 separate things. I just like what I see chemistry-wise so far. I wonder whether Melo would compromise that. He doesn’t strike me as someone who would change his game very much. Maybe that’s a plus because he is pretty good as is, but I would be concerned about it. With the young guys on skimpy contracts, it would be easier to go in another direction if they are not willing to adapt, e.g. AR. I just sense something good about the chemistry of this team as currently constructed, and the balance of hungry veterans, impressionable kids, and a coach that has a team built for his style of play.

  32. Frank

    Over the past decade the Knicks have really been the second-class citizen…

    That’s just the thing — the Knicks have stunk over the last decade, during which time the Nets have been to the NBA finals and were a relative fixture in the playoffs until the last 2 years or so. They had a sure HOF PG in his prime in Jason Kidd and a “superstar” not so different from Carmelo in Vince Carter. And I’m not sure that they were ever particularly relevant in NYC. Certainly not like the Knicks were relevant in the late 90s and early 2000s. It’s tough when you’re the second class citizen even when you’re winning and the other team is losing.

    New Jersey has had plenty of stars over the last 15 years — Kenny Anderson, Derrick Coleman, Keith Van Horn, Marbury, Kidd, Kenyon Martin, Vince Carter etc – yet they have never come close to capturing the city. I dunno – maybe the Brooklyn arena will do something for them – but Melo would be mostly through his contract by the time that happens.

    Meanwhile – has there ever been a center more overrated than Brook Lopez? I know some of you guys love him, but if he is franchise center, name me the last “Franchise center” that was not good enough to carry his team to 13 wins in a full season. I mean seriously, give me 25 wins at least. But how good a franchise center can you be when you only win 12 games?

  33. cgreene

    Yep. Hahn got it right on this one especially when talking about the new CBA and how Melo’s team is misreading it. Seems like Melo lost patience and put himself in a spot where he was forced to compromise. Like Hahn said he should have refused the extension and then showed up to play. If he signs with the Nets he is compromising wins for $ and location. He will be half way through his contract before the Nets move to Brooklyn and can add players around him.

    In other news I fall more in love with Amare every 5 minutes. http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=17410

    Also he is last guy standing at practice staying on the floor alone to shoot. http://plixi.com/p/47071867

    I hope he is the real deal.

  34. d-mar

    “Meanwhile – has there ever been a center more overrated than Brook Lopez?”

    Frank, totally agree. I heard some sports guy say today on the radio that Melo’s decision comes down to whether or not he wants to play with Brook Lopez. Huh? He’s a nice player, but a drawing card for a top FA? Please.

    “Here’s the best piece on the ‘Melo situation yet. Naturally, it’s from Hahn.”

    Isola and Berman should check out Hahn’s columns to see how a real sportswriter does his job – solid research, balanced approach, unbiased viewpoints, etc. instead of the negative crap they write just to draw attention.

  35. Robert Silverman

    d-mar: Isola and Berman should check out Hahn’s columns to see how a real sportswriter does his job – solid research, balanced approach, unbiased viewpoints, etc. instead of the negative crap they write just to draw attention.  

    Not to defend Berman & Isola (and I’m not, they’re shameless hacks), but they’re not paid to do solid research and take a balanced approach. They’re not journalists. Their job is get shmucks like us to plunk down fitty cents and buy their smear rags. It’s hateful and it’s up to us to call them out, but “journalism” isn’t their profession. It’d be expecting an elephant to be able to juggle.

  36. tastycakes

    I don’t see the Nets making the playoffs with Melo but no Harris or Favors. What did they win last year, 4 games?

    AMAR’E IS REAL

  37. Ted Nelson

    Z-man: I think of Mozgov as something like Jordan Hill, a lottery pick which was heavily criticized. What’s your guess as to where he should have been picked if the draft were held today, knowing what we know today about all the picks and ignoring injuries (e.g. Udoh)?  

    It’s pretty hard to say. Obviously when he was draft eligible, he went undrafted. He’s clearly a late bloomer to at least some extent, but the 19, 20, 21, and even 22 year olds still have more theoretical upside (relative to where they are now). And despite his advanced age, Timo’s still quite raw compared to more of a polished technician like Cole Aldrich or Greg Monroe. Still, you can’t teach that size and athleticism.

    I think there’s definitely something to a Jordan Hill comparison. Not that Timo is comparable to Hill specifically, but there are parallels to that kind of a pick. Raw guys with question marks but also upside… compared to Hill at least Mozgov is actually big: if nothing else he’s not going to shrink.

    All it takes is one team and there’s definitely a chance Timo might have gone in the lottery. If you said Udoh was a top 6 pick at the end of the college season I bet you’d get laughed out of the room. I just think a lot of teams would pass on a 24 year old with a lot to work on that couldn’t start got his club team or national team despite being physically dominant. This was a deep draft for bigmen. Bigmen with big upside but big question marks went in the 2nd round: Pleiss, Pittman, Whiteside, Alabi, Varnado, Jerome James, Ryan Richards, Caracter… 2009 Draft, on the other hand, was almost void of bigmen. If teams really wanted to draft him in the lottery, I feel like they could have outbid the Knicks in free agency.

    Z-man: Agreed. I was referring to the ’69-’70 team.

    Yeah, I got it in the context. I was just saying that is one concern I have with this 2010-11 team. Hopefully the Knicks chemistry is good, but I worry a little bit about the collective b-ball IQ: you have some athletes who seem to make mental mistakes (Timo, AR), and then other guys who might know what to do but may just be physically incapable of executing in certain areas. It’s not a big concern yet, but I do wonder. Turiaf is about the only guy on the team who is a very strong playmaker for his position that I can think of. Felton is good, but not great… maybe he steps it up. There’s enough talent that hopefully D’Antoni can make things work. The reason I worry, though, is because Phoenix was known as a very free-form offense where players (mainly Nash) made decisions on the fly.

    I guess there is probably a link between “b-ball IQ” and “chemistry,”
    but I’d call them two separate things. You could have a really cohesive unit that just makes a lot of dumb mistakes, and you can have a smart, fundamentally sound group with no motivations, etc. Generally outsiders seem to assign good chemistry to winning teams. Certainly winning makes people happy and some teams just obviously have great chemistry even to outsiders, but I think it’s also just a default explanation for winning.

    I hate calling someone a “winner,” but in this case I wouldn’t worry too much about Melo from a chemistry stand-point because of his track-record. I doubt they’d be a real contender, but he and Amare would be a nice veteran superstar core for the rest of the team to rally around. It’s a young team, but there are some veterans like Turiaf, Azu, Felton, Mason… even WC.

  38. Ted Nelson

    Frank: It’s tough when you’re the second class citizen even when you’re winning and the other team is losing.

    You definitely have a point. Maybe we can say they have both been 2nd class, because I would not call the Knicks 1st class the past decade.

    Perhaps the Nets will remain the Nets, but that’s not a given. New owner. New location. They could transform into at least Mets (when winning) level 2nd class citizens or even force a Giants/Jets situation. Part of it will also depend on whether the Knicks can win. I tend to agree that the Nets are going to disappoint some people with the Melo-Lopez pairing and am obviously optimistic about the Knicks.

    Carmelo Anthony was also born in… Brooklyn, New York. He gets a chance to go “home” (though he didn’t grow up there, maybe that’s part of the motivation) and even if the Nets are still the Nets in 4 or 5 years… he’s worth 9 figures and lives in the world’s greatest city so he doesn’t have much to complain about.

    Frank: Meanwhile – has there ever been a center more overrated than Brook Lopez?

    I do agree some people are overrating him, but he’s a good offensive player and only 21 years old. As a 2nd scoring option he’s your man. I don’t care that his team won only 13 games, but I see your point about not calling him a “franchise C.” I wouldn’t. I would call him a solidly above average rotation player, though. Between he, Melo, Murphy, Morrow, James, and maybe Farmar I like the Nets start offensively… if they could somehow pull Lawson out of this deal…

    How many “franchise Cs” are there in the league right now? I might honestly say only 1: Howard obviously. Yao maybe, but Houston often seems to do almost as well without him. Duncan is a C at this point, I guess, though we’ll see how they use him and Tiago. Lopez isn’t going to lead you anywhere himself, but he’s a good C. That might be what Melo is looking for more than someone to overshadow him, who knows?

    I feel like the “Miami changes everything” stuff that’s been so hot this offseason is overstated and NBA players still have big egos and want a lot of money to play in a desirable location. Just because those 3 took less money to win in their primes, doesn’t mean everyone else will rush to follow their lead. Some might, but others won’t.

  39. ess-dog

    This was interesting to read in the Daily News:

    “A Knicks official says that Mozgov, the 7-1 rookie from St. Petersburg, Russia, has been impressive during voluntary training sessions in Greenburgh and that coach Mike D’Antoni is already considering starting Mozgov alongside Amar’e Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton.”

    I suppose Randolph is still a bit raw to start or maybe redundant. He definitely doesn’t look like a center yet and it looks like Gallo and Amare are clearly the starting 3 and 4. The two scrimmage teams the first day were Felton, Chandler, Gallo, Amare, Turiaf and Douglas, Mason, Walker, Randolph, Mosgov. Just looking at Amare out there it’s really a man among boys, although Gallo looks a lot more built too. If D’Antoni can get these guys all on the same page, we should be a fearsome opponent.

  40. Z-man

    “This was a deep draft for bigmen. Bigmen with big upside but big question marks went in the 2nd round: Pleiss, Pittman, Whiteside, Alabi, Varnado, Jerome James, Ryan Richards, Caracter…”

    Yeah, but at this point I would easily take Mozgov over any of these guys based on what I saw in the Worlds. Can’t imagine that any of them would have done better there than he did; at least he raised his floor compared to the others. His age is a negative, although he started playing late and seems not to have any maturity issues that you worry about with young players. I will say that while I gree that Udoh was a reach, he looked a lot less raw in the clips I watched than Timo does.

    I would agree that if this year’s draft was done over now, he probably doesn’t crack the lottery but in last year’s, probably does (again, assuming what we know now, not what was known about him then.) Don’t know whether I’d trade him for Aldrich or Monroe if I could to it today, though.

    I really intended the analogy in the context of a having a new Knick player that demonstrated “lottery-level” size, athleticism and play this summer and is worth getting excited about, but is still a huge question mark going into training camp. I would be more disappointed if he is a bust or even less than 10mpg player than I would be for, say, a late first rounder or any second rounder (other than a DeJuan Blair who some (including me) thought belonged in the lottery even before we passed on him for Hill.)

  41. Z

    Z-man: What’s your guess as to where he should have been picked if the draft were held today, knowing what we know today about all the picks and ignoring injuries (e.g. Udoh)?  

    I’ll answer this in L-SAT form:

    Mozgov’s rookie salary is going to pay him more than the #5 pick in the draft.

    The top center in the draft was chosen with the 5th pick.

    Which of the following must therefore be true:

    a) Mozgov was the top center prospect in the draft.
    b) The Kings would have taken Mozgov with the #5 pick.
    c) Mozgov is overpaid.
    d) Russia’s post-communist economic system allows an imbalance between wage and labor, creating inconsistent inflation rates that pervert the marketplace.

  42. Ted Nelson

    Love that the headline on hoopshype is that the Nugs want to add Rip Hamilton to convince Melo to stay… either the Nugs or some journalist are delusional. Add a washed up player with a terrible contract and make your team worse in the hopes that your overrated star will stay… Great thinking.

    cgreene: He will be half way through his contract before the Nets move to Brooklyn and can add players around him.

    The Nets should be able to offer a max contract in 2011, unless they trade Murphy for Melo. If Melo is hugely worried about future cap space, though, Denver is the place he wants to stay.

    Robert Silverman: Here’s the best piece on the ‘Melo situation yet. Naturally, it’s from Hahn.

    The problem I have with it is that Hahn acts like he knows everything based in part on speculation. Typical mainstream media “insider” don’t let the reader know that most of what your writing is your opinion stuff. He connects dots that don’t obviously connect… going from a Knicks “source” saying it’s “a moot point” to Josh Kroenke hates New York and won’t trade Melo to the Knicks out of spite to he won’t pick up phone calls from Walsh to… guess what… he’s trading him to another New York team… Logically there are some holes there. Maybe he’s right, but I don’t think it’s obvious that he is. The biggest question mark being why they’re trading him to the Nets if they don’t want to trade him to NY so much… Aren’t these two conclusions more logical? 1. The Nuggets like Favors and AK and picks better than what the Knicks are offering, possibly in part because 2. the Knicks don’t want to offer both AR and Gallo for Melo??? I mean we’ve been hearing all along that the Nugs want picks and cap space, on the one hand, (Favors and AK is about as well as they can do in that regard) and that the Knicks will part with one but not both, on the other… Why speculate on young Kroenke’s inner feelings about Melo’s wedding and the Knicks organization?

    Also, I don’t think it’s wrong of Melo to tell the Nuggets he doesn’t plan to re-sign. He doesn’t have a duty to, but this is the only organization he’s been with and I find it a lot more honorable to tell them upfront than to bolt… leaving them high and dry like the Cavs and Raps.

    Also, who is Hahn to offer expert opinion on the next CBA and labor negotiations? The NHL did this, so the NBA is going to do that… BS. The point is that no one knows exactly what will result from the negotiations: sign a fat deal now to eliminate some uncertainty… what’s the chance players actually agree to roll-back their already in place salaries? I would put it close to zero, but I have even less authority to talk than Hahn. Even if his salary does come down, Hahn acknowledges that it’s unlikely to be as much as if he waits. How far down from $22 mill can you get? The NBA has a history of grandfathering in contracts and allowing for raises with service time.
    I would bet agents and the players’ union know a whole lot more than a journalist, because… you know… it’s their job to know as much as they can.

    Maybe this is the best mainstream coverage of the Melo situation, but I find that to be a sad comment.

  43. d-mar

    “How many “franchise Cs” are there in the league right now?”

    Ted, I’d put Bogut in that category, and take him in a heartbeat over Lopez.

  44. Ted Nelson

    Melo’s biggest mistake, by the way, may have been not signing a deal with an opt-out after 3 seasons like LeBron, Wade, and Bosh did… He could already have his situation resolved with all that 2010 money that was floating around… Bulls? Knicks? Clippers? Nets? Would have had his pick under this CBA. S&T to Magic, Mavs, Lakers, Rockets? Maybe…

    ess-dog: I suppose Randolph is still a bit raw to start or maybe redundant. He definitely doesn’t look like a center yet and it looks like Gallo and Amare are clearly the starting 3 and 4.

    I’ll be interested to see how serious D’Antoni is about playing Amare at the 4. Certainly should start him there after promising him that, but if AR outplays Timo/Turiaf…
    Encouraging news about Timo, though, as winning D’Antoni’s confidence is one of the big potential road-blocks to early success.

    Z-man: Yeah, but at this point I would easily take Mozgov over any of these guys based on what I saw in the Worlds.

    You wouldn’t have the benefit of the WCs at draft time, but since Timo is 24 this is all a theoretical exercise anyway… The bigman competition at the WCs wasn’t all that good. Timo was absolutely shut down by Tyson Chandler, for example. So, first, I wouldn’t assume some of those guys couldn’t have been successful to varying degrees at the worlds. Second, none of those guys are 24 (maybe Caracter is close?). I’m not saying Timo is obviously a 2nd round talent, just that I don’t see him as a 1st round lock in the 2010 draft or any other really. Like I said, though, maybe he would have been a lottery pick. I don’t know.

    Z-man: I will say that while I gree that Udoh was a reach, he looked a lot less raw in the clips I watched than Timo does.

    I liked Udoh in college. He’s got good potential: passes, defends, solid touch on his shot, good athlete… All I was saying is that few scouts thought of him as a top 20 guy for most of the season… then he moved up, but I still don’t know that many teams outside GS take him #6… Raymond Felton at #5 was another one for me… I was scratching my head and it seemed the Bobs just wanted to take a PG no matter what. Williams and Paul were off the board, so they reached.

    Z-man: I really intended the analogy in the context of a having a new Knick player that demonstrated “lottery-level” size, athleticism and play this summer and is worth getting excited about, but is still a huge question mark going into training camp.

    He’s got that upside, but I still feel like his floor is pretty low.

    Z: Mozgov’s rookie salary is going to pay him more than the #5 pick in the draft.

    I appreciate the humor–pretty good–but I don’t think draft slot money is particularly relevant. He was a free agent. Draft picks are not in the NBA. John Wall could look for offers in Europe or maybe China (no idea how they pay over there), but if he wants to get into the NBA and work towards that 2nd contract… he has to take the slot salary. Johan Petro is making about as much as Timo… Would the Kings have taken Johan Petro #5? Whether Timo is overpaid in hindsight will depend on how he plays, but at the time he was signed he was not overpaid because of his upside. Also, if the Knicks don’t pay him what they did, there may well have been a Russian or Greek team with a similar offer on the table.

  45. Ted Nelson

    d-mar: Ted, I’d put Bogut in that category, and take him in a heartbeat over Lopez.  

    I’m not saying that Lopez is the 2nd or 3rd best C in the NBA. Just saying that there aren’t many true Cs out there who excel on both sides of the ball and you’d count on as that pillar to build a strong contender.

    Last season I could agree that Bogut qualifies. Still, the Bucks had several guys about as good as Bogut and won only 46 games with the #23 offense before losing in the 1st to the mighty Hawks. This was the first season in his 5 year career I’d say he qualifies. Maybe he’s gotten better–was only his 25 year old season–but I wouldn’t count on his to remain as good next season.
    I would Pau over Bogut. Amare maybe. A bunch of other guys I’d put in a similar category as Bogut: Noah, Perkins, Horford, a healthy Oden, Bynum…
    Lopez is also only 21, and as a 21 year old Bogut was not a franchise C you’d hang your hat on… 11.8 pts/36…

  46. Ted Nelson

    Robert Silverman: Not to nitpick, but Lopez is 22.

    I should have worded it better, but meant that last season was his 21 year old season. Last season was Danilo’s 21 year old season; everyone here expects Gallo to improve by leaps and bounds this season and going forward. In his 21 year old season Bogut was a rookie and probably an above average NBA C, but far from a “franchise C.” Joakim Noah was at Florida his 21 year old season. Even Dwight Howard has improved pretty considerably from his 21 year old season… Basically the point is that we have to *expect* Lopez to improve on his 21 year old season. Whether he actually does and by how much are definitely not certain. I think it would be fair to expect a considerable improvement, though.

  47. ess-dog

    Looks like the NJ deal will probably fall through. And now Woj is reporting the Knicks new offer of Gallo, Randolph and Douglas. That would leave us pretty thin but my guess is, if the Nuggets go for it, the Knicks will do it. The box office draw will be worth it for Dolan. At this point, I’m ambivalent about it. But we would definitely go from a roster “in progress” to a “fixed” roster pretty quickly. We could be looking at Felton, Azu/Mason, Melo, Amare, Mosgov/Turiaf.
    Our shooting and rebounding would clearly take a hit. But I have to admit and it’s been said here before, specialist rebounders/shooters can be had cheap or found in the 2nd round. Morrow, Ben Wallace, Birdman, Taj Gibson, Kapono…
    Plus if it even slightly heightens the possibility we get Paul or Deron, then maybe it’s the right move.
    I mean lets be honest, if last year at the trade deadline, you were told that we’d have to give up Jeffries, Hill, Lee, Gallo and a 2 picks for Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, would you really not do it?

  48. Z-man

    Dog, I can’t look at it that way. The fact is, we have both Gallo and Randolph now. Is Melo worth both of them? To me, the answer is an emphatic NO.

  49. Robert Silverman

    It depends how you read the article. It’s not clear that it’s Gallo AND Randolph AND Douglas for Anthony, it’s just that those are the names of the players who’ve been mentioned.

    Still, I agree — I don’t think Melo at 20 mil is worth even 2 of them.

  50. Robert Silverman

    Here’s how I see this playing out (based on utterly no “insider” info, sources, legit journalist cred, etc.)…

    The 4-team deal falls through. There’ll be lots of finger pointing, some saying “Melo had 2nd thoughts about NJ,” others claiming that Denver wanted more. Monday rolls around and Melo shows up at the Nugs’ media day w/all the attendant hoopla, but makes a bland statement about, “Putting his focus on basketball.” More gossip emerges that suggest he had a pow-wow w/Coach Karl & Billups about making, “One last run at a title.” Nugs FO claims it’ll do everything in it’s power to keep Melo/add pieces.

    At that point, we’ll be hearing about potential trades until Feb. But if Walsh’s smart, he’ll wait until Melo can become a free agent and bank that Denver’s not going to find a suitable trade partner (or that someone like Kahn will deal for him w/o the contract extension) and that Anthony will be in NYC in the summer of ’11.

    Nostradamus out.

  51. Mulligan

    Robert Silverman: .Nostradamus out.  

    Word. I think if we’ve learned anything about Walsh over the years, it’s that he’s a serious poker player and does not care that much about how people perceive him and his moves. I’m not saying he necessarily won’t trade for Melo (although I doubt it, because he seems to really value the flexibility he’s created), but I don’t think he’s gonna bet the farm to do it.

  52. tastycakes

    The Nets offer would be mighty tasty if I was a Nugs fan. Favors and AK-47 and 2 future first rounders from a NJ team that isn’t necessarily getting a lot better?

    This could be the Nets’ Marbury trade. They’d be mortgaging their future for a guy who isn’t a legitimate #1. I understand why they want to do it, but it’s a desperate move and could backfire horribly. IMO, the Knicks as they are now are much better than the Nets after consummating this deal.

    It’d be unfortunate for Melo (from a fan’s perspective) as well, who I imagine could really thrive in a situation like NYC or CHI where he wouldn’t have to be the top banana.

    AR + Gallo for Melo? I’m not feeling it, but I wouldn’t be crushed. I want to see what we’ve got. My idiot inner Knick optimist is saying this team is going to shock the hell out of people, but I’m enough used to disappointment that I should know better.

  53. Z

    I really don’t think Anthony is reaching free agency in 2011.

    If the Knicks want him, they are going to have to deal players to get him. Maybe not as many as if a free-market would dictate (ie– Anthony having no control of his destination), but a substantial package. I think it is the only way he comes here.

    I think Walsh will use what leverage Carmelo’s control gives him to hope that he can hold onto either Gallo or Randolph, but in the end he will do what he has to do to get Anthony on the Knicks this year.

  54. Z

    tastycakes: This could be the Nets’ Marbury trade.They’d be mortgaging their future for a guy who isn’t a legitimate #1.I understand why they want to do it, but it’s a desperate move and could backfire horribly.  

    This could also be the Nugget’s version of the Patrick Ewing trade. The Knicks had a deal in place that would have netted Glen Rice and (all-star) Vin Baker in a complicated 5 team trade. It was agreed upon, reported as done, and then fell through at the last second. A few days later the Knicks made the same trade minus Vin Baker, basically resorting to half of the value of the package they had already sold to fans.

    Similarly, it’s possible that Melo’s stubbornness to play anywhere but NY could force Denver to take significantly less than the previously reported package, wounding the Nuggets FO and their fans…

  55. Robert Silverman

    Here’s the thing that makes me pause on any Melo trade — WWITD? (What would Isiah Thomas Do?) Clearly he’d trade AR, Gallo, TD, Chandler and two future 1sts (unprotected, natch).

  56. Frank

    I’ve been a big Melo backer here but even I wouldn’t want to trade both Gallo and Randolph for him at $20M. I think one of them would be ok + Curry + Chandler or TD, but both is too much. I think Donnie has the patience to wait this out.

  57. ess-dog

    I don’t like being a Melo supporter here, but from the franchise’s perspective, you have to believe a Melo/Amare team sell a lot more tickets/merchandise/advertising. Whether the team is better or worse with him or Gallo and Randolph is debatable, but the monetary benefit is not debatable so I believe the Knicks will do what it takes to make it happen.
    The other argument is that Gallo and Randolph won’t mature overnight. When they hit the prime of 25 Amare will be entering the last year of his contract. It does make sense to get Amare a team that can win now, regardless of whatever’s happening down in Miami. Otherwise, why not just trade Amare for prospects and draft picks? Go total w/ a youth movement…

  58. Mulligan

    Ugh. I’m sick of this topic.

    In other news, have you all watched the media day and training camp videos on knicks.com? I am loving Ronny Turiaf. What a great teammate. The clip where he’s trying to build up Eddy Curry, saying that he was one of the top guys he hated to guard? It’s just good to see folks having each other’s back and thinking about the team first.

  59. Z

    How about a simple 3 team trade:

    Knicks get Anthony
    Denver gets Igudala and Chandler
    Sixers get Curry and Gallinari or Randolph

    Denver saves face by bringing in a star and a young guy. Sixers save lots of money and rebuild with youth. Anthony ends up at a place he’d actually extend at. Win, win, win (all things considered).

  60. JK47

    If we have to trade both AR and Gallo to Denver along with Curry’s expiring, we should be asking for Arron Afflalo. Afflalo is a role player, but he plays a role we sorely need: lockdown perimeter defender. With Felton, TD, Azubuike and Afflalo on the roster we’d have very tough perimeter defense at pretty much all times.

    Starters: Felton, Afflalo, Anthony, Stoudemire, Mozgov
    Bench: Chandler, Turiaf, Azubuike, Douglas, Mason, Fields, Rautins
    13-15: Ewing Jr., S Williams, one other warm body

    That looks like a pretty good team to me. Maybe Afflalo wouldn’t be available, but he’s exactly the type of player I’d want at SG. He’s one of the best defensive SGs in the NBA– advanced defensive metrics like him and the consensus among Nugs fans is that he is a fine defender.

  61. Z

    Here’s what the salary cap for the Knicks would look like moving forward if Curry, Gallo, and Randolph were all traded for Anthony:

    2011:

    Anthony: $18,949,913
    Amar’e: $18,217,705
    Felton: $7,560,000
    Turiaf: $4,360,000
    Mozgov: $2,566,800
    Douglas: $1,145,640
    Chandler: (QO) $3,099,851

    Total: (no options) $52,800,058

    2012:

    Anthony: $20,939,654
    Amar’e: $19,948,799
    Mozgov: $2,794,621
    Douglas: $2,067,880
    2011 draft pick: $1,400,000 (approx)

    Total: $47,150,954

    Theoretically (and moot too!, considering a new CBA will be in place) the Knicks would have enough to sign Chris Paul or some other max-level 2012 free agent. However, if impatient, the Knicks could add another piece at the deadline this February since they would have only the mid-level exception to work with in 2011 either way. It wouldn’t cost them anything salary wise in the summer to take on salary during the season. They would only have the expiring contracts of Azubuike and Mason to offer though, totaling $4,700,000.

    So that’s what we’d be looking at. No great flexibility, but not crippling either.

  62. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Ugh. I pray to the Basketball Gods that the Knicks don’t give up two high-ceiling prospects to get an overrated volume scorer who will be making $20M/yr until he’s 35. Please. Not another five years of mediocrity.

  63. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: I don’t like being a Melo supporter here, but from the franchise’s perspective, you have to believe a Melo/Amare team sell a lot more tickets/merchandise/advertising.

    In the short-term, yes. In the medium- and long-term winning is what’s going to sell tickets. Knicks had plenty of big names during the Isiah years. When those guys are overpaid and under-producing I think it can backfire and alienate a fan base… between Amare and Melo you’re spending $40 mill per and expecting 50+ wins. Can they do that? Furthermore, Danilo and AR can become “stars” in their own rights if their play warrants it. Even if they’re not “stars” they can become fan favorites.

    ess-dog: u

    I think they are debatable. I’m no sports economist, but everything I’ve heard is that wins are the top determinant of ticket sales (at least relative to market size).

    ess-dog: It does make sense to get Amare a team that can win now

    You could also argue that it makes sense to keep the young guys to win both now and later. It’s not clear to me that a team with Melo would win any more games this season than a team with both Gallo and AR. Gallo and AR both bring things to the table that Melo does not bring. Either one could be as good as Melo this season, possibly both or possibly neither.

  64. Ted Nelson

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Please. Not another five years of mediocrity.  

    I’m not really in favor of a big Melo trade, but it’s still not like the Knicks are looking at title contention without him. I don’t know what you’re defining as mediocrity. The past 5 years they’ve been worse than mediocre. This season they’re widely considered to be on the playoff bubble… which, if the speculation proves to be correct, would be pretty mediocre.

    Z: Theoretically (and moot too!, considering a new CBA will be in place) the Knicks would have enough to sign Chris Paul or some other max-level 2012 free agent.

    If there payroll is $47 mill (and TD’s contract is a player option, and I think Timo’s is, but there are also cap holds… off-hand I think it would be more like $45 or $46 mill)… They don’t have room for a max FA… The cap’s at about $58 mill I think. Unless it expands significantly they can’t make a max offer. Am I missing something?

    And with the maybe $11-13 mill the Knicks will have to offer, there’s the question of whether a CP3/Deron is going to leave tens of millions on the table to play with two guys who are making significantly more.

    JK47: Afflalo is a role player, but he plays a role we sorely need: lockdown perimeter defender.

    I’ve never really thought of Afflalo as a lockdown defender. Above average maybe, but I’d call WC a considerably better defender. Good shooter, but not a great athlete.

    Z: This could also be the Nugget’s version of the Patrick Ewing trade.

    Would the Knicks have been better off getting Vin Baker and watching him drink his way out of the NBA on a max deal?
    I haven’t heard anyone say that the Nets 4-team deal is dead, just on hold while the Nuggets see what else is out there.

  65. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I guess I’m just concerned with the prospect of mortgaging the future of the franchise (draft picks; cap flexibility; young, cheap talent) on one player whose statistics show him to be not much more than a slightly above-average efficiency scorer with a sky-high usage rate. He’s not likely to change that usage rate (he and most coaching staffs will fit him right into the “ball-hog-chucker” slot), so what makes any of us think that he’ll turn into the All-NBA first-teamer he’s never shown himself to be?

    Trading for and signing him to an extension is a scary proposition, considering that the franchise has finally freed itself from the depths of cap & draft hell.

  66. Ted Nelson

    THCJ,

    I agree about not mortgaging the future. At the end of the day, I’d rather not see the trade. Probably not even for one of Gallo/AR, but definitely not for both. Statistically I can project (in my head) both of them to be about as good as or better than Melo, but I can also understand taking the lower risk move of bringing in the player who is already there. That rationale makes more sense if it’s one and not both.

    I disagree a bit about Melo’s value. I don’t think he’s All-NBA first team, nor do I expect him to ever be that (or at least deserve it). I do think he’s a perennial All-Star and probably at least a top 20 guy in the NBA… a guy you can argue for the 3rd team or even 2nd team on a good year. I think some (most maybe) overrate scoring volume, but I also don’t find it worthless or inconsequential in determining player value. (Especially when you’re getting it at an above-average efficiency like a Kobe or Melo.)

    If they’re a solid playoff team, I don’t really think it’s a scary proposition. The Knicks are still in draft hell for 2 more seasons and it’s really a matter of how good they can be without the Melo trade. If solid playoff team is the most likely case and that’s where they get with Melo… not bad. But, yeah, I’d also prefer to roll the dice a little and see what else comes up. If the Knicks do trade for Melo, I may not be thrilled but I’ll be excited to root for the team. I wouldn’t cry with joy if the Knicks got Kobe the way some would, but I’d be pretty happy. I don’t think Melo is that much worse than Kobe. I find comparing him to, say, Marbury or Crawford or Eddy Curry to be a worthless waste of time. Amare and him is the start of a good offense with some other players around them.

  67. Z

    Ted Nelson:
    If there payroll is $47 mill (and TD’s contract is a player option, and I think Timo’s is, but there are also cap holds… off-hand I think it would be more like $45 or $46 mill)… They don’t have room for a max FA… The cap’s at about $58 mill I think. Unless it expands significantly they can’t make a max offer. Am I missing something?  

    Like I said, it’s all moot. But to answer your question: let’s assume a) the current CBA is extended indefinitely (highly unlikely); b) the Knicks don’t add any players between now and 2012 (highly unlikely); and c) the Knicks don’t dump any of the 2012 contracts between now and 2012 (unlikely). All that unlikely stuff established, let’s now assume that the cap rises $1 million in 2011 and another $1 in 2012 (likely, as it went up $1 million in 2010, and that was after a memo from the league preparing for a 5% drop). So a cap of $60 million in 2012 would leave the Knicks with about $15 million to spend, which may not be officially “max money” but it is “Miami Max Money”, i.e.– enough to get superstars to take a $110 million contract instead of $125 million a la Bosh, Bron, and Bwade.

    Ted Nelson: Would the Knicks have been better off getting Vin Baker and watching him drink his way out of the NBA on a max deal?
    I haven’t heard anyone say that the Nets 4-team deal is dead, just on hold while the Nuggets see what else is out there.  

    The point was that the Knicks had a package they’d sold to the fans. Then when it fell through, they took half the package. Vin Baker was to be Ewing’s replacement. He hadn’t fallen off the face of the earth yet. As it was they traded one of the greatest Knicks ever for Glen Rice– a guy who played the same position as Sprewell and Houston. If Denver agrees to a lesser package than the Nets one, they could have similarly disappointed fans that we have had (look at me: clearly I’m still bitter over it.) That was my point. Not that Vin Baker would have been awesome as a Knick.

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