The Athletic: Let’s fire up the trade machine for the Knicks and see what we can pull off

Mike Vorkunov had John Hollinger on for an excellent discussion for The Athletic (subscription required and recommended) about possible Knick trades.

I adore this take by Hollinger, when Vorkunov noted that he thinks that the Knicks should try to get into the 30s this year as “how many times can the Knicks play that game?” (“That game” being intentionally losing – I dunno, Mike, maybe more than the one time that they did it?). Hollinger replied, “Let me clarify: I see no harm in winning games next season. The Knicks don’t have any reason to aspire to overt awfulness, especially given the flattened lottery odds and the fact that the Knicks can probably do plenty of losing without making any extra special effort.

My point is more that they should be maximizing odds of having a legitimately good team three years down the road. If they manage to go 36-46 or something next season, that’s nice, but in the big picture it’s completely irrelevant. What matters a lot more is if they can be a 50-win team three years from now. Given this franchise’s history, I think it’s fair to worry that they’ll lose sight of the long-term goal if they sniff any short-term quasi-success.”

Awesome.

Less awesome is this deal involving Mitch:

Robinson, the No. 8 pick, the No. 38 pick and Bullock for the No. 2 pick, Poole, Looney and the better of Minnesota or Golden State pick in 2021 (top-seven protected, except that if both are in top seven, they get the lesser of the two picks, and if one is top seven and the other is outside top 20, the Knicks may defer to Golden State’s 2022 unprotected first-round pick instead)

I get the argument, but noooooooo thank you.

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457 thoughts to “The Athletic: Let’s fire up the trade machine for the Knicks and see what we can pull off”

  1. I’ll take that trade with Minnesota all day. (For those without access, it was Randle and the Charlotte pick to Minnesota for the 17th pick in this draft. We also got omari spellman and cap filler in the form of james Johnson’s expiring.)

  2. What matters a lot more is if they can be a 50-win team three years from now.

    oh, i got a good laugh from that line…a few years away from being a few years away, and, the wheels on the bus go round and round…

    actually, i’m surprisingly more optimistic this off-season than i have been for a few years…mills is finally out of the knicks front office, we didn’t stretch on a coach, we can completely remake our roster once again like we have for the last half dozen years or so, top 10 draft, which we must be due to hit on eventually…and – we haven’t traded frank yet…

  3. It just amazes me that there are so many people who think the Knicks getting to 30+ wins is something that we should strive for. Winning 30-something games has been the most common outcome for this team since JVG quit 20 games into 2001-02. Excluding the lockout-shortened year where we went 36-30 we’ve won 30+ games 9 times in 20 years including 5 times in the 7 year Layden/Thomas era! What did that accomplish? Saying we should make some moves to get to 30 wins is saying we should continue to do the same thing we’ve been doing for 2 decades.

    Also, have to give a shoutout to 2014-15 when Phil Jackson took over a 37-45 team, made some moves to get us back into the playoffs, and instead built the single worst team in Knicks history. I feel like trying to build a team that wins in the high 30s/low 40s should count even though they won all of 17 fucking games.

  4. Randle for #17 and a bag of beans sounds wonderful. We’ve been talking up a lot of players that might be available then, all of which are intriguing (some more than others, but whatever). Mitch for Wiseman makes no sense, even if you believe Wiseman is the next Embiid. But there’s a very real, non-zero chance he’s the next Greg Oden. Or something else in between, while Mitch is real, and kind of amazing now, with a bewitching upside. Mitch for LaMelo would make me dig my eyes out with a spoon.

  5. I feel like trying to build a team that wins in the high 30s/low 40s should count even though they won all of 17 fucking games.

    Oh, that totally counts. Two years ago was literally the only time they weren’t trying to win 30+ games and it got them one of their only assets.

  6. If ever there was a year not to chase 30 wins next year is it, at least from a financial standpoint. Even if there’s a vaccine by the start of next season you’re probably going to have to have reduced attendance anyway- at least for a good portion of the season. Just bite the bullet, collect assets and let Thibs coach up the kids for a year so yeah, the Minnesota trade seems perfect.

  7. Now that the basketball season is over, we can return to talking about the important things facing the world right now. Like what the fuck was the movie Tenet about?? I went to a drive in theatre to watch that shit and, despite it being the ONLY movie I’ve been to since February, I still felt it was a waste of my time to try to figure out what I was watching.

    (And, as discussed, I love Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks, Lynch, Bergman, Cronenberg, Gilliam, Cocteau, The Cohens, Antonioni, and many things Nolan. But, I have the feeling that, unlike the puzzle movies I’ve liked in the past, this one is a cul-de-sac that even the filmmakers and (quite clearly) the actors didn’t really understand…)

  8. Don’t Tom Thibodeau and Leon Rose have five year deals? Why on earth would two guys on long term contracts with 7 1RPs in the next 4 drafts try to win as many games as possible? And then when a generational talent like Cade Cunningham is available, you’d be really dumb to take yourself out of contention in maybe the only season fans won’t be admitted into the garden to scream “Sell The Team.”

    The name of the game for these guys shouldn’t be to be competitive right away, it should be to have a clear line to contention by year 3. Run Dennis Smith Jr, RJ Barrett, Devin Vassell, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson out there for all I care. The idea should be to hit two singles in this year’s draft and then go for the extra base hits in 2021. No other strategy, for me, makes sense. Build a cheap 50 win core because that’s the opportunity that presents itself.

  9. The idea that the focus should be on winning 50 games three years from now is the most back assward way of thinking I can come up with. What does that even mean? How many current Knicks would even be a part of that mythical future?

    The goal each year should be to try and be as good as you can while having an honest understanding of how good that is. A team that sucks shouldn’t be considering the same kind of moves as a team that’s already like a playoff contender, but people need to give up on this fantasy that you can somehow game the system.

    Mike

  10. @mbunge

    Virtually zero teams in the NBA try to win as many games as possible each season. If your goal was to win as many games as possible next year, you would trade all draft picks, all players who aren’t yet in their prime, and you would stretch all players who are overpaid to make room for new signings. Is that what you want? is that reasonable? Because what happens when you do that is you end up way worse over the long run. So there is a spectrum where teams decide how much of their resources each year to dedicate to that year’s success vs. to player development and pick and young talent acquisition

  11. Z-man:
    You don’t sign Thibs to lose games.

    Yes, the Thibs signing to me either suggests the FO foolishly wants to win now or IMO even more likely since it rhymes with the team’s history that it didn’t consider fit at all and largely just asked “who’s the most famous?” when choosing from available coaches. I guess the third possibility is they think they can convince Thibs to focus on player development and that he can effectively develop young players, which would indicate arrogance, another common trait of the Knicks FO.

  12. I kind of disagree with that. There is some value in signing a serious coach and having him max out the team, so long as it isn’t done with bad transactions that hamper future development, or by depriving young core players of playing time. Good players are going to shake loose during the next couple of years due to cap shrinkage/non-growth.

    In other words, maintaining flexibility via cap space and assets, drafting prudently, and developing young players are more important to me than the win total.

  13. If the FO doesn’t sign weird mid career players, I agree with you, Z-Man. But I could totally see Thibs going whole hog with like Gibson, Bullock and whatever other mediocre vets we sign, cutting like 5k minutes from young players so we can eke out like 3 extra wins. Ideally, the team is constructed in such a way where there aren’t enough vet players for Thibs to do that, but that’s asking a lot of a Knicks FO. In other words, I’m down for a “try hard to win” coach as long as the roster is made up of players who have the potential to matter long term.

  14. The idea should be to hit two singles in this year’s draft and then go for the extra base hits in 2021. No other strategy, for me, makes sense. Build a cheap 50 win core because that’s the opportunity that presents itself.

    Yup.

    This year, the elite talent isn’t available. But the depth players definitely are.

    Just take Vassell at 8 and call it a day. We’ll have a pair of versatile, cost-controlled, two-way wings in Vassell and Barrett, plus Mitch. Those guys can be the 4th, 5th, and 6th best players on a 50 win team.

    Come back next year and get a top 3 guy. Then spend in free agency.

  15. Berman:

    According to two league sources, the Knicks are seriously mulling trading back in the Nov. 18 draft unless big man James Wiseman or point guard LaMelo Ball fall back to the eighth spot.

    It’s become increasingly clear the Knicks’ top priority, Ball, is unlikely to slide. Wiseman, the athletic 7-foot-1 center from Memphis, has seen some mock-draft fluctuations.

    […]

    One source senses the Knicks have Ball and Wiseman as two players they absolutely “love,” and haven’t been as smitten yet with any other prospect in a consensus weak draft.

    At No. 8, the Knicks have staged internal talks about swapping back with a team in the Nos. 12-15 range to gain a young player in his rookie contract while still making a lottery pick.

    One player that’s been on their radar as a late-lottery guy is combo guard Tyrese Maxey, a one-and-doner from Kentucky.

  16. Just take Vassell at 8 and call it a day. We’ll have a pair of versatile, cost-controlled, two-way wings in Vassell and Barrett, plus Mitch. Those guys can be the 4th, 5th, and 6th best players on a 50 win team.

    Good argument to be made that that’s too optimistic too early on Vassell, but even if it’s right, it just shows that the Knicks are a million billion miles away. Their best guy doesn’t even project to be a front three guy on a 50 win team, and 50 win teams go out in the first or second round all the time.

    With the truncated lottery odds, it’s just a really bad time to be a really bad team. There needs to be a balance of present and future. No, you don’t make reckless moves to win three extra games, but you also realize that there are games to be played between now and that mythical “50-win team” (*) and you owe it to yourselves and your fan base and your culture not to provide an utterly dreck product.

    (*) The harsh reality is that the Knicks don’t project to be a 50-win team in three years even if every planning step is perfectly, cosmically aligned with “Hinkie-ism.” There’s no plannable path from here to 50 wins. It’s going to take luck, most likely the lucky bounce of a ping pong ball, or some crazy-ass major development from a Knox or a Ntilikina or some guy they’re able to trade for.

  17. Another beat writer I know, FWIW, said the Berman report flies in the face of every single thing he’s heard about the Knicks’ draft thinking. (Ball, for instance, interviewed terribly, while no one in the organization has once mentioned Wiseman’s name to him.) So it’s possible Berman is being used for misinformation. Or it’s possible that he remains more plugged-in than everybody else, including the guy I spoke with this morning.

  18. They signed Thibs because Rose is smart enough to not tank for another decade. smh

    It appears they are going to develop some combination of Robinson, Knox, Frank, DSjr, RJ Barret, Iggy, Dotson, Wooten, Harkless, Randle etc.. to whatever their potential allows, add young talent in the draft this year and going forward, sign free agents that improve the team, and make occasional trades using all assets available (including picks) when opportunities present themselves to improve the team and/or talent mix.

    The only question is whether Rose is going to do it competently.

    When I read things like NY might consider giving up a pick and Knox or Frank for 2 years of CP3 I want to vomit.

    When I hear things like CP3 could attract Melo back to NY I want to projectile vomit.

    When I hear things like the Knicks know they need a stretch PF to provide space for Robinson I am encouraged.

    When I hear things like they like Randle a lot but understand he’s not a perfect fit and will either have to be traded if the right deal comes along or play him off the bench, I feel comforted.

    Maybe, just maybe, we may finally be on the right track with a great coach and competent front office. Then, instead of tanking until 2027 and praying the ping pong and draft god smiles on us, in a couple of years we’ll have a good team with a lot of youthful upside, future picks, flexible cap space, and actual real NBA players will want to come to the Knicks.

  19. I read that article a bit ago and was so mad about the proposed Mitch trade I memory holed the article and thus forgot to post it. The others are reasonable, though I think anyone ascribing non-zero trade value to Randle at the moment is fantasizing.

    That said, there is something to be said for being careful with Mitch’s extension. We’ve talked ad nauseam about the glut of low volume/high efficiency/good rebounding bigs around the league and the Lakers provide a hell of an example. To be clear I think Mitch’s youth and defensive upside place him comfortably outside of that category, but that’s not necessarily the question. The question is how much better is he than the type of big you can typically find on the cheap?

    Again, I think the answer could be “a lot, such that they aren’t even comparable” but IMO that would require at least one of two things happening:

    1) Mitch develops into a truly transformative defensive player
    -This one seems plausible given his relative switchability but would obviously require him to clean up the fouls.

    2) He translates his Instagram story 3PT% to the NBA
    -My uneducated opinion on this is his form is pretty bad, but he’s able to get the shot off at wide-open game speed so it’s absolutely worth trying. Not like we have anything better to do.

    Honestly though, as off-brand as this may seem I wouldn’t get bent out of shape about a Mitch extension that might be less than stellar value. I really like watching the guy and at some point we have to put the Charlie Ward streak to bed.

  20. I’m not going to bother to respond to people individually at this point, but it is truly amazing that some people refuse to grasp that we have “tanked” (meaning avoided indisputably marginal wins) exactly once in the past 20 years.

    Ironically, the reason it feels like we’ve been “tanking forever” is specifically because we haven’t been doing that at all! Our “win 30 games at all costs” strategy is is exactly what you’d pursue if you wanted to maximize the amount of time it takes to build a contender. If you actually avoid marginal wins the timetable really isn’t that daunting.

    It’s barely worth talking about at this point because clearly Tom Thibodeau was not brought in to avoid marginal wins. So it is what it is. Hopefully we get some Phil Jackson esque accidentanks somewhere along the way because it’s very hard to map out a path to contention any other way.

  21. My prediction is that Rose et al get fired 2 1/2 years in like everyone else, after trying and failing to make that third year a winning season despite everything not working perfectly in years 1 & 2. Because a winning season in year three is Dolan’s requirement to keep the job. But instead of an intelligent plan it’ll be business as usual next year: they’ll win just enough pointless games to be out of the good odds for a high draft pick. The only hope the Knicks have is that somehow the entire rest of the league gets better while they continue to stagnant. Otherwise it’ll be 30ish wins from now until Dolan moves the team to Seattle.

  22. I’m generally in favor of going further into asset acquisition mode but I’ll also say that at some point there’s diminishing returns on having too many young guys around because you just can’t give them all enough opportunities to maximize their growth. There’s already four top-10 picks from the last 3 drafts on this roster plus Mitch. If you were to do something like the Randle deal and make three more first round picks this year that’s just too many young guys to ever squeeze into one rotation and that’s without even getting into the fringier guys like Brazdeikis or their 2nd round pick this year.

    That’s not to say you don’t do it (I would be shocked and impressed if they were able to do any deal that treats Randle as a positive asset) but there are some constraints here. They probably need to think about taking a draft and stash guy or making some decisions to move on from some of the young guys who are already here before their prospect shine completely wears off (may be too late for some of them).

  23. They signed Thibs because Rose is smart enough to not tank for another decade. smh

    Imagine being smart enough to believe that the Knicks have been tanking for a decade already. Tanking =/= losing.

  24. nicos:
    If ever there was a year not to chase 30 wins next year is it, at least from a financial standpoint. Even if there’s a vaccine by the start of next season you’re probably going to have to have reduced attendance anyway- at least for a good portion of the season. Just bite the bullet, collect assets and let Thibs coach up the kids for a year so yeah, the Minnesota trade seems perfect.

    Exactly plus if next season fans aren’t allowed back, even if it’s only for part of the season, you have to figure teams are going to start having to dump contracts. Who knows which players might become available or what teams might give up to get rid of their albatross contracts. If you look at like the Wizards, they might have to get desperate to get out of Wall’s contract.

  25. I’m generally in favor of going further into asset acquisition mode but I’ll also say that at some point there’s diminishing returns on having too many young guys around because you just can’t give them all enough opportunities to maximize their growth. There’s already four top-10 picks from the last 3 drafts on this roster plus Mitch.

    Sure, but at this point Knox and Ntilikina haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt over anyone else we bring in. I’m still all for playing and trying to develop them, but at this point they should be behind new guys we draft in the pecking order.

    Give them whatever minutes are left over and if it the cost of that is they leave in free agency, well, I don’t think we’ll be out much. I also don’t think either has much of any trade value left to tarnish.

  26. Just a clerical note that the “Jimmy Butler is one of the best shooting guards of all time” take was definitely one of the best and most perfectly timed of the last few years or so. Z-Man right? Donnie? I can’t think of a guy who has ever done more for his reputation in a losing effort.

    That Berman article seems ridiculous. Just as a start, the idea that the Knicks believe that there is even a remote possibility we might draft Ball or Wiseman at eight is ludicrous on it’s face. I know we have reached the divination by examination of goat entrails stage of the NBA season but I can’t give that any credence.

  27. thenoblefacehumper: Sure, but at this point Knox and Ntilikina haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt over anyone else we bring in. I’m still all for playing and trying to develop them, but at this point they should be behind new guys we draft in the pecking order.

    Give them whatever minutes are left over and if it the cost of that is they leave in free agency, well, I don’t think we’ll be out much. I also don’t think either has much of any trade value left to tarnish.

    Yeah I don’t disagree. It’s far from an unsolvable problem – I just think it’s something worth thinking about that isn’t usually dealt with in the discussion around piling up all these draft picks.

  28. Yeah, count me in the group that wants us to play it safe this off season and not swing for some win now fringe/declining all-star in order to barely make (or miss) the playoffs.

    The organization has no reason to do this right now. Under Mike Miller the team was playing at a 30 win pace even after they traded Morris. And the youngsters were getting minutes during that time.

    So make that #8 and #27 pick. Maybe drop Payton and get DJ Augustin or another veteran PG of that caliber that is a better 3 point shooter (Jeff Teague?). If you can trade back from # 8 a few spots to get another youngster or future pick…I’m down with that. Otherwise just stay put. We got a good head coach and a good coaching staff. Trust their ability to coach up and develop the youngsters on the roster. I believe the fans will love watching and supporting a 30ish win team if that team is winning those games off the minutes of the youngsters.

    Then you go into next off season with 2 first round picks (one being a lottery pick) and lots of cap space. The organization will have more options and ability to significantly improve next off season if they stay put right now. And I think the team can improve internally just off the youngsters getting better and our picks this year.

  29. Owen: ust a clerical note that the “Jimmy Butler is one of the best shooting guards of all time” take was definitely one of the best and most perfectly timed of the last few years or so. Z-Man right? Donnie? I can’t think of a guy who has ever done more for his reputation in a losing effort.

    Except that Jimmy Butler is not really a shooting guard. According to B-R he played 0% of his minutes at shooting guard this year in the regular season or playoffs.

  30. but even if it’s right, it just shows that the Knicks are a million billion miles away.

    no, they’re just getting the depth players before the top players, and that’s fine.

    Why do some people think you need to get the superstar before you get the players who can help him???

  31. I agree. This is one of the worst drafts in recent memory, the best player could easily end up being drafted between 10 and 20. Get 2 more picks for our #8 pick, then we have 3 first rounders and a 2nd rounder.

    It makes total sense, which means it will definitely not happen.

  32. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    SG isn’t an actual position anymore

    The only position that really exists anymore is C which is always by definition just the biggest guy on each team. Everything else is basically negotiable. Even among that hodgepodge though SG is probably the position that exists the least.

  33. As someone considering putting Pokusevski #1 overall on my big board, I am all for a trade down.

  34. I’m down with a trade down, as well. The issue is that they only like Wiseman and Ball and that’s…weird.

  35. I also don’t agree that hiring Thibs means they are in win now mode.

    Thibs took the coaching job at Minny. Sure they had KAT and Wiggins but they had been losing games for years before they hired Thibs. And his first year, they were still a team with a losing record. In the second year they got Butler and then made the playoffs. Then the wheels came off because Butler hated the work ethic of KAT and Wiggins. But they didn’t try to go all in Thibs’ first year.

    If we took a similar trajectory, then we could develop this year, make our picks and then go big free agent/star hunting next off season. Which makes a ton more sense.

    We don’t need to wait 3 seasons. Just one more.

  36. I’m hoping there isn’t some unknown issue with Mitch. He missed the voluntary bubble for “personal reasons.” I hope he isn’t getting antsy or upset about his current contract.

  37. DW 7/20/20:

    Butler isn’t just good. He’s probably one of the top shooting guards in the history of the league. There’s Jordan, and then there’s a tier of players beneath him that includes Drexler, Kobe, Wade, Ginobili, Harden, and Butler.

    Z-man 7/20/20:

    I disagree with this. He’s very, very good but not all-time great good. In my opinion, he’s nowhere near West, Kobe or Wade, and definitely below Drexler, Manu, and Harden. I’d put him in the Reggie Miller/Ray Allen/Joe Dumars group.

    Z-man more recently:

    Jimmy Butler is an excellent player. He is a great leader when on a compliant team with an excellent coach and a legendary GM.

    I suppose you can attempt to make the argument that he’s more Bill Russell than Michael Jordan, that stats don’t tell the whole story, but I don’t buy either argument. His statistical profile pales in comparison with legit all-time greats, without dominance in any category. He’s never been to the NBA finals. He’s never come close to being an MVP. He’s never been a first team all-NBA player or even first team all-defense,

    If you want to say that he’s been vastly underrated by most posters here and analysts/pundits out there, sure. All-time great is a couple of bridges too far for me, even if he goes on to win finals MVP this year (don’t worry, he won’t.)

    Nothing that happened in this year’s playoffs has changed my opinion much. He is essentially a 6’7″ SF who is skilled enough to play SG situationally. You sort of have to compare him to multi-positional players like LeBron, Oscar, Magic, McGrady, Pippen, Baylor, Barkley, Mullin, etc.

  38. swiftandabundant:
    I’m hoping there isn’t some unknown issue with Mitch. He missed the voluntary bubble for “personal reasons.” I hope he isn’t getting antsy or upset about his current contract.

    I’m more worried he’s a flake.

    One of the reasons he dropped so far in the draft despite being an outstanding HS player was that he went to college, flaked out and left, didn’t play anywhere, said he was going to go to the combine, flaked out and left without an immediate explanation, and now he missed the voluntary bubble. It could all be nothing or it could be that he has “issues”.

  39. The Orlando Magic are reportedly showing interest in New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr.

    Marc Berman of the New York Post reported the news Monday and noted Smith could become part of a larger deal that includes the Knicks trading down in the first round of the 2020 draft. New York owns the No. 8 pick, while Orlando has the No. 15 selection.

    after what the magic did with fultz, i’m starting to wonder if maybe there is a legit basketball player in DSJ…

  40. The Orlando Magic are reportedly showing interest in New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr.

    I’m calling BS on that one.

    Orlando was rumored to be interested in Frank. That makes a LOT more sense because Fournier is his French teammate and that organization has been stressing defense a lot more in the last couple of years than during their long dismal draft rebuild. That’s why they are improving. They are defending.

    I’ve been really hard on DSjr because I prefer team oriented, defense oriented, high basketball IQ players. So given the choice I’d way rather try to turn Frank into a variation of Patrick Beverley or Marcus Smart over time than DSJr into a ball dominant athletic PG. But I haven’t given up all hope on DSjr becoming a good ball player any more than I’ve given up on Knox (who clearly has to get a lot stronger). DSjr has been hurt a lot. That’s a knock of course, but it has also stifled his development and made him look worse than he actually is. If he can get his mind and body straight, there’s some talent there. Maybe a competent coach like Thibs and his new assistants will be able to salvage his career and make him a good player even if they can’t salvage the laughable idea that he was a worthy centerpiece in the trade for KP.

  41. Honestly, as horribly incompetent as Mills/Perry are as basketball people (and Mills with contracts) and as far back as they set the rebuild from where we should be, we are not in a horrible position to jump start this and move in the right direction quickly. We have some good young talent here that’s going to get a lot better with competent coaching (despite what some people think of them), a lot of cap flexibility, all our picks, and some excess picks that can be used to improve our draft position a little or as part of a trade for someone that can actually play basketball. What we don’t have is a #1 option unless RJ learns to shoot lights out over the next 2-3 years. But if we make progress this year and next, the #1 option will be willing to come. It’s on Rose to add quality players that can actually help and that fit to make us more attractive. It’s on Thibs to develop and use what we have correctly for a change.

  42. Yeah, it’s kind of hard to compare positions, given that they’ve changed so much just in the past few years. But Butler played SG for the majority of his career in Chicago, back when SG meant something, and, beyond that, I think he clearly “does the same stuff on the court” as Dwayne Wade did, and as Clyde Drexler did, neither of whom were great shooters in the 3 point sense of the word, but had a diverse enough offensive repertoire to make their lack of distance shooting largely irrelevant.

    (Drexler, by the way, was 6’7” and spent the majority of his career defending SFs while playing in 3 guard lineups with combos of Porter, Paxson, Ainge, Strickland, Elie, etc. He was very Butleresque as a player. But the reason I made that initial claim was because Butler and Wade had very similar statistical profiles through their first 9 seasons. Wade, 9 seasons in, was already anointed as an all-time great SG, presumably because he had won several rings while playing with an array of other all-time great players, a luxury Butler had yet to experience.)

    (And, incidentally, I originally made a similar Jimmy Butler claim back on the The Great Jimmy Butler Test of 2018 thread, when, as the sole advocate for trading for Butler, I said that “Butler would instantly be the best player to wear a Knicks uniform since Patrick Ewing (and maybe even since before Patrick Ewing)”. That claim went undisputed, which led me to conclude that everybody agreed that Butler was underrated (or that Ewing was overrated:)

  43. I think all of your points are excellent ones. At the end of the day, Butler is a sure HOF player and has intangibles that are hard to quantify and compare to others, especially on the defensive end. I think his playing style is closer to Pippen’s than any of the others….more of a facilitator and glue guy over his career than an alpha dog. A very reasonable question is, if you replaced Pippen with Butler, would Chicago have won 6 straight? I don’t think so, and think Pippen was on a higher level.

    The one quibble is that Wade won his first ring as a one-man wrecking crew at age 25. His supporting cast was made up of an out-of-shape Shaq, a washed up Gary Payton and Alonso Mourning, and a bunch of role players like Antoine Walker, Udonis Haslem and James Posey. His finals performance was unbelievable. Wade also was a scoring champion on an above-average TS% and a 36% usage. I just don’t think Butler is at that level either.

    It could be that because Wade was always a star and Butler had to earn his the hard way, Butler was too deferential as an offensive player for too long. Seems like he is having a later prime than he might have.

  44. Now that the basketball season is over, we can return to talking about the important things facing the world right now. Like what the fuck was the movie Tenet about?? I went to a drive in theatre to watch that shit and, despite it being the ONLY movie I’ve been to since February, I still felt it was a waste of my time to try to figure out what I was watching.

    i haven’t given much thought lately in to heading back to the theaters, these last few years i mostly just go now to bring the kids…i do appreciate the whole new drink a beer, eat a burger and watch a movie thing going on these days at theaters…of course it basically tripled the cost of going to a movie though, oh well…

    finally watched uncut gems, it was interesting for a bit, but, kind of difficult for me to relate to…gambling is one of those few vices i don’t really get, and, i didn’t really understand or buy into sandler’s need to push the edge with his gambling…interesting story, well acted and well paced…

    accidently started watching the movie the purge on tv, which i didn’t even realize first came out in 2013…watched the first sequel, anarchy right after…oh shit, i loved those movies…how perfectly apropos for today – fuck guns…yeah, maybe i got a closet full of guns, knives, a machete and a sword too, but, fuck guns…possession of an automatic weapon should be a felony by 2025…by 2050 they should all be illegal here in the states…

    looking forward to pixar’s soul and hank’s news of the world coming out in december…no doubt westerns may just be my very favorite movie genre…

  45. The goal is a championship. I think Mitch has an all-star ceiling so I’m NOT trading him for pie-in-the-sky. I think RJ has the same ceiling. It all comes down to the Knicks needing to hit on draft picks. Collect them. There are few free agents this year that put them on any path to a championship. There are also no trades like that. I have yet to see any. So build with youth until we hit on one or two more players.

  46. ***Wade won his first ring as a one-man wrecking crew at age 25.***

    Payton may have been old, Shaq may have been out of shape, but Bennett Salvatore was still in his prime.

  47. Z-man: His supporting cast was made up of an out-of-shape Shaq, a washed up Gary Payton and Alonso Mourning, and a bunch of role players like Antoine Walker, Udonis Haslem and James Posey.

    You left out the game 5 referees!

    The work Dirk did with his supporting cast is worth noting, too.

    I remember thinking that Mavs team was a disappointment. The reality is that somehow Dirk Nowitzki carried Jason Terry, Josh Howard, Devin Harris, and Jerry Stackhouse to 60 wins *and* beat a peak San Antonio team on the road in game 7. I know it’s not as impressive as LeBron taking the Cavs to the finals the next year, but it might the second best carry job we’ve seen.

    And without Dirk’s standout performance, that Spurs team threepeats from 05-07.

  48. Fun fact that is wholly irrelevant:

    Jimmy Butler has 7 career triple-doubles in the regular season, spanning 581 games and 19,188 MP.

    LeBron James had 5 triple-doubles in the 2019-20 Playoffs, spanning 21 games and 762 MP.

  49. geo: finally watched uncut gems, it was interesting for a bit, but, kind of difficult for me to relate to…

    I watched maybe 1/3 of it and turned it off. Don’t think I’ll ever finish it. Wasn’t into it at all. EXCEPT! The part where he asks KG about Amar’e’s three at the buzzer. That was a wonderful little easter egg for us knicks fans.

  50. Honestly, as horribly incompetent as Mills/Perry are as basketball people (and Mills with contracts) and as far back as they set the rebuild from where we should be

    Don’t forget Phil!

  51. I watched maybe 1/3 of it and turned it off. Don’t think I’ll ever finish it. Wasn’t into it at all.

    yeah, it was a bit frenetic…i don’t know, generally i like movies that highlight the vices and weaknesses of others…i got: the hustler, the color of money, rounders, and hard eight…it was just easier for me to understand the characters in those movies…

  52. ***Fun fact that is wholly irrelevant: Jimmy Butler has 7 career triple-doubles in the regular season, spanning 581 games and 19,188 MP. LeBron James had 5 triple-doubles in the 2019-20 Playoffs, spanning 21 games and 762 MP.***

    Some wholly relevant fun triple double facts:

    Elfrid Payton has more triple doubles in 331 games than Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, and Manu Ginobili have combined for in 2454 games.

    Julius Randle had more triple doubles in his first 6000 minutes than Dwayne Wade had in 35,773 career minutes.

    The future is bright, New Yorkers!

  53. Alan, that Berman article is interesting. Thanks for posting it. It’s completely different from what he’s said before. I agree with the skepticism about it. You never know with the Knicks, after all. I think the biggest issue in predicting Knick’s action is that no one really knows what the current Knicks’ management philosophy is. Do they want to go for wins this year or are they just interested in building long term? They haven’t said a peep. It’s probably better for them negotiating if no one knows their internal motivations, but of course fans want to know the motivations anyway.

    Personally, I have very modest ambitions for our new management. If they don’t trade the future for geezers and they make deals that bring value to the Knicks, that will be so much better than past management that I’ll take it. We may not get good quickly, but we shouldn’t get worse.

  54. Oof, G league not happening sucks.

    Just to reduce anxiety, wasn’t the deal with Mitch missing the voluntary bubble that he had a kid? That seems like a well adjusted reason.

  55. Mitch should not be traded. He should be offered a 4-year $36-40 mill contract. His presence on both ends will make everyone better.

  56. Knicks are probably trying to get some leverage to do the opposite more cheaply, which is trade up for LaMelo.

    I’d love to pair Wiseman with Mitch, though. The East is STILL big, man.

  57. So one thing nobody is talking about that bears mentioning is the NCAA season could actually be 20-30 games in before the NBA regular season starts. I wonder what having that kind of information on the 2021 draft pool would do to team’s strategies, especially our star-craving Knicks.

    I will say that if this front office watches Cade Cunningham and BJ Boston destroy the NCAA and they still think “hey lets ride Taj Gibson and the vets to a 29 win season” I’ll be pretty convinced they’ll never get shit done of substance. Jonathan Macri does say that this front office is squarely focused on the 2021 draft though, so I’ll keep leaning optimistic until we do something like trade for Chris Paul.

  58. if we are going to trade down, should we be asking for a 2021 pick as compensation for moving down instead of a player or another pick this year?

  59. if we are going to trade down, should we be asking for a 2021 pick as compensation for moving down instead of a player or another pick this year?

    We should be asking for next year, because we already have three picks this year and next year is supposed to be a much better draft. The problem is that everyone knows next year is supposed to be much better, so it’ll be hard for anyone to give up a 2021 pick.

  60. Woj is reporting that Stan Van Gundy is a leading candidate to manage the Pelicans. I haven’t heard his name mentioned for any other position. It reinforces my impression that Griffin is a good GM

  61. And Jeff is interviewing for the Houston job. Be cool if both brothers wound up back in coaching at the same time, and relatively close to one another.

  62. Just stay in the booth, JVG! There’s very little chance that your legacy will improve coaching James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Don’t do it!

  63. I think Harden and Westbrook could work if they get as far away from 7SoL as possible. Russ could never be an asset in that style. If they get couple of defensive bigs, they could be really good.

  64. I love Butler and was saying positive things about him when almost everyone else was “meh” or saying he was too old, but peak Wade was better than Butler and it’s not even close. Peak Wade was an all time great player. He struggled with knee and other physical issues later in his career. I think that kind of diminished the perception of him overall, especially among younger fans that didn’t watch his peak. He also played second fiddle to James for a couple of years of his prime when he was clearly a #1 option that could lead a solid team to championship all on his own. He would have have piled up more stats as the #1 option with the ball in his hands more, but he sacrificed numbers for wins. Peak Wade was a “bad man”.

  65. Brian Cronin: Just stay in the booth, JVG! There’s very little chance that your legacy will improve coaching James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Don’t do it!

    I agree.

    Two enormous talents that will never win a championship as a lead dog because neither knows how to play winning playoff basketball and both are too consumed with their own stats.

  66. Besides not winning a title, JVG reminds me a lot of Bill Cowher, where his legacy has increased in the years since he last coached just by virtue of not coaching and letting people romanticize him a bit. Bill Cowher was a fine coach, but since he’s been “Coach Cowher” for well over a decade now, people look at him a lot differently than they did when he was actually coaching (and again, people liked him as a coach then, too, of course. Just like Van Gundy). Is Bill Cowher really a Hall of Famer? Perhaps. But he sure wasn’t the no-brainer Hall of Famer that he ended up becoming due to his increased legacy. I think Joe Girardi was headed that way, too, before he took the Phillies job and that certainly hasn’t done much for Girardi’s legacy.

  67. I think Joe Girardi was headed that way, too, before he took the Phillies job and that certainly hasn’t done much for Girardi’s legacy.

    Brian, are you saying that JVG taking the Rockets job is Not What You Want?

  68. I think the biggest issue in predicting Knick’s action is that no one really knows what the current Knicks’ management philosophy is. Do they want to go for wins this year or are they just interested in building long term?

    They can and should be open to both.

    The biggest problem is that you already have to be pretty good to attract the kind of serious talent that can really move you forward and you have to overpay the solid role players more interested in money than winning (not exactly the best strategy or player attitude) to get them to a bad team. We aren’t very good, which is why we often wind up with former lottery busts, players past their prime, or overpay to fill out the roster with our cap space. We make the same mistakes over and over. But it’s not impossible to pick up a good player here or there on a decent contract that can help get you to the point where stars may be interested or you can make big trades. You just need competent people picking the players and writing the contracts while you are also drafting and developing youth.

  69. I think JVG’s reputation as a coach has been enhanced by the fact that in the booth it has become more obvious he knows the game ridiculously well and pays attention to all the details.

  70. I think JVG’s reputation as a coach has been enhanced by the fact that in the booth it has become more obvious he knows the game ridiculously well and pays attention to all the details.

    He’s great, but not having to prove it for well over a decade helps a lot, as well.

  71. The biggest problem is that you already have to be pretty good to attract the kind of serious talent that can really move you forward and you have to overpay the solid role players more interested in money than winning

    You do not “have to” do this by any stretch of the imagination. You could simply not sign players who are unaligned with your win curve. There is no NBA bylaw saying “all teams must make at least one (1) Courtney Lee signing per offseason.”

    You could build a core of draftees that is attractive to free agents. The Nets did it with a bunch of picks in the teens and twenties. It’s really quite doable. When you sign the Courtney Lees of the world, you make it less likely you will attract elite free agents because you are sabotaging your young core by lowering your draft position, worsening your cap situation, and elite free agents are perfectly capable of recognizing the wins generated by these Courtney Lee types are not sustainable because you will have to jettison them to make room for the elite free agents.

    For the one millionth time, this doesn’t mean you have to avoid all free agents who aren’t elite. Circumstances can come together in such a way that it may make sense for a team even in our position on the win curve to sign someone (you’ve been silent on who these players might be for years, by the way).

    These players do not look like “solid role players” who you have to overpay, though. On the contrary, for them to make sense for a team like the Knicks they pretty much have to be value signings that, unlike Courtney Lee, can actually be traded pretty much at will if need be.

  72. Z-man:
    I think Harden and Westbrook could work if they get as far away from 7SoL as possible. Russ could never be an asset in that style. If they getcouple of defensive bigs, they could be really good.

    This doesn’t really mesh at all with how this year played out. Westbrook was absolutely tragic the first half of this season when they played with a traditional center because he has completely lost his 3-point shot and teams just don’t guard him on the perimeter. Then they traded Capela, opened the floor and he returned to a borderline all-NBA level for a couple months until the hiatus, at which point he came back hurt and post-COVID and was awful in the playoffs. Concluding based on that evidence that what he really needs is to close the floor back up doesn’t make sense to me.

  73. I don’t know how JVG coming back to the Rockets hurts his legacy. As long as Harden is on that team they’re perennial championship contenders. Any and all blame for losing will be on Harden and the shell of Westbrook at this point.

  74. Regardless of whether it’s warranted, the Rockets will probably bring in a center to matchup with the Lakers bigs. The west is big man.

  75. I don’t know how JVG coming back to the Rockets hurts his legacy. As long as Harden is on that team they’re perennial championship contenders. Any and all blame for losing will be on Harden and the shell of Westbrook at this point.

    That’s a good argument. Okay, fair enough, take the gig, JVG!

  76. thenamestsam: Westbrook was absolutely tragic the first half of this season when they played with a traditional center

    They played D’Antoni’s style both before and after the Capela trade, so the point still stands…it’s about a rigid coach and his system, not the players per se. A truly great coach (i.e. one not married to a system, such as Riley) could make Harden and Westbrook work by putting the right guys around them and changing to a system that worked for them.

    D’Antoni is an innovator and deserves all the credit for it, but he’s also a rigid, egotistical, vindictive prick. He will never, ever win a ring without the perfect combo of players that is, in a sense, D’Antoni-proof.

  77. Well, they are both 31 so don’t know about building around them. Mostly a guess as to who declines better.

  78. There are just a few Big Dogs in the modern Nba imo that you can build a contender around them easily in just a few SMART moves.
    LBJ is the most iconic of them all.
    KD, Kawhi and Steph are close.
    Harden Luka AD Giannis are on the 3rd scale.
    Jokic, Dame, Butler, Embiid, Irving need a buddy big dog to be contending material.

  79. Knew Your Nicks:
    There are just a few Big Dogs in the modern Nba imo that you can build a contender around them easily in just a few SMART moves.
    LBJ is the most iconic of them all.
    KD, Kawhi and Steph are close.
    Harden Luka AD Giannis are on the 3rd scale.
    Jokic, Dame, Butler, Embiid, Irving need a buddy big dog to be contending material.

    I’d put Giannis & Harden in the first category.

    I think Butler is getting overrated right now. He’s good, but before this playoff run no one was talking about him as a true superstar. This was a weird season and the best East teams either weren’t that good or fell apart. Maybe Butler was underrated before, but there’s been a number of aberrant performances like Jamal Murray going from a league average TS% to .626 in the playoffs.

  80. “Early Bird
    October 14, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t know how JVG coming back to the Rockets hurts his legacy. As long as Harden is on that team they’re perennial championship contenders.”

    Speaking of Van Gundy’s coaching legacy, when he was a free agent back in 2003, JVG was offered both the Houston and the Cleveland head coaching job. He knew the Cavs had the #1 pick and would select LeBron. But he chose the Houston job because he’d “never seen LeBron play” and said “Yao is already 7’5”. It was the “win now” job…

    Van Gundy was, of course, fired in Houston the same day that LeBron went 23-8-8 to lead the Cavs to their first ever NBA finals.

    Oops.

  81. Giannis and Harden have choked quite frequently to be considered cold-blooded big dogs for me as the other 3.

    I’m the one who had put Butler under Klay Thompson as a sg but JB showed grit and balls at these playoffs to be considered team leader while Klay hasn’t shown Leadership yet. (I still consider Klay better than JB but didn’t mention him as a big dog to avoid angry attacks!!!)

    Put me on the camp of doubting Thomases about the legitimacy of Heat Wins/Butler’s super performances but still believe that JB can carry a team along one more big dog.

  82. I’ve never been on the Van Gundy train…Jeff or Stan. They are both weird guys with strange legacies. Thibs is a much better version of Jeff.

  83. I mean, if by “choked” you mean wasn’t playing on the literal all-star team like Curry & KD.

  84. Steph and KD showed balls many times when it mattered on the playoffs.
    History says Steph 0 finals MVP and
    KD 2 finals MVP on a heavily loaded Team but… my impression is that Steph changed the game (along Klay) and should be considered as a Holy player for the next generations and KD had Absolute Dominance when he played for GS.

  85. It’s just weird to claim KD can be the centerpiece that’s easy to build a champion around when the only championships he’s won was on a team with ANOTHER player that you can easily build a championship around.

    KD literally had to put the best team of all-time around him to win a championship.

  86. Van Gundy was, of course, fired in Houston the same day that LeBron went 23-8-8 to lead the Cavs to their first ever NBA finals.

    Oops.

    By which time the guy who took that Cleveland job, Paul Silas, had already been fired two seasons earlier. That Cleveland gig was not a good gig.

  87. As for Giannis, it’s like saying Lebron “choked” when the 2nd best player on his team was Zyndrus Ilgauskus.

  88. LBJ is the most iconic of them all.
    KD, Kawhi and Steph are close.
    Harden Luka AD Giannis are on the 3rd scale.
    Jokic, Dame, Butler, Embiid, Irving need a buddy big dog to be contending material.

    re-imagined:
    tier 1: LBJ, KD, Kawhi, Luka, Jokic, Giannis
    tier 2: AD, Harden, Steph
    tier 3: Butler, Dame, Tatum, Embiid and quickly approaching Ja

    Kyrie – i just can’t say anything that isn’t annoying to other human beings – Irving

  89. I think the discussion about trades is backwards. The first thing to settle is the draft. It comes before free agency and more than ever, it’s a balanced draft that may produce over a dozen good players but is flat, without an OMG stud. Even before that, there’s the decision about the 2020/21 salary cap. Is it $115M? $109M? Less? This has a huge impact on trades and free agency.

    CAP: I expect the cap to be $109M, down $6M from where it was originally set. That puts the Knicks in a power seat, with all the cash at the table. I’ll get to free agency soon, but this means the Knicks can absorb salary which means either a big salary or a high draft pick
    DRAFT: What a weird draft. I looked up 7 different mock drafts for the Knicks. Here’s what I found…NBA Draft.net: Tyrese Haliburton; NBC Sports: LaMelo Ball; Bleacher Report: Devin Vassell; ESPN: Isaac Okoro; Draftkings: Tyrese Maxey; CBS Sports:: Killian Hayes; Walter Football: LaMelo Ball; SI: Deni Avdija. That’s 7 mocks and 7 different players. And lord knows there are other names tied to the Knicks. The Knicks need help everywhere even the Great Karnak can’t guess what’s happening here. But since it comes first, it will decide how free agency is approached.
    FREE AGENCYDon’t you wish there were big names this year? No, we’re not getting AD. I’m looking for 1) the best veteran point guard. Fred VanVleet and Goran Dragic come to mind. 2) Veteran shooter and for that I zero in on Davis Bertans and Danilo Gallinari but I wouldn’t rule out Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Morris. 3) Veteran center to back up Mitch. Nerlens Noel and Dwight Howard come to mind. I prefer Marc Gasol and Hassan Whiteside, but I don’t think they want a backup role.
    That leaves “trades”. Unless it impacts the draft, and is for picks, It’s the lowest priority. And if it’s for the draft, remember that the Knicks hold the high ground this winter.

  90. Early Bird:
    As for Giannis, it’s like saying Lebron “choked” when the 2nd best player on his team was Zyndrus Ilgauskus.

    This isn’t fair because the Bucks were a consensus favorite, and not just because they had Giannis.

  91. KD showed some superstar stuff during his OKC years too.
    He wasn’t far from a chip there twice.
    He may is a malakas but you can’t question his Game.

    When your team has the best record of the league no matter what the roster is if you don’t make it at least to the finals that means choking.
    (Injuries aside)

    Who said that LBJ ain’t a choker too ?
    But he’s a MONSTER also!
    He’s the definition of “Dr GOAT and Mr Choker”

  92. ***By which time the guy who took that Cleveland job, Paul Silas, had already been fired two seasons earlier. That Cleveland gig was not a good gig.***

    It’s kind of funny that a Silas is also being considered for the Rockets job this year!

    But, too that, isn’t the idea that Van Gundy might actually be a GOOD coach? Isn’t that a factor in the discussion? I mean, Paul Silas isn’t being considered for head coaching jobs 17 years later, unlike Van Gundy. Just because Silas failed to succeed with young LeBron doesn’t preclude another coach from succeeding had they been given the chance. Silas clashed with Eric Snow to get himself fired. Surely not every coach would fall into that rather inane trap, right?

    (Would we still have 200,000+ dead from covid in this country if we’d had a different president? Possibly, right? Like with coaching, different decisions can be made that can lead to different outcomes, I imagine).

  93. Silas was a bit of a hot commodity himself at the time. He was coming off of a 47-win season in New Orleans (as part of an overall productive run as the Hornets coach). I imagine him being 77 has more to do with him no longer getting coaching opportunities.

  94. Kevin Durant has exactly 69 VORP for his career

    I assume that there is no player with exactly 420 Vorp. Maybe someone with a 42.0 or 4.20?

  95. oh shit, just glanced at espn’s front page – the dodgers scored 11 in the1st…that’s funny…

    as much as i have grown to despise the devil’s rays, at least they’re now tormenting the even more evil astros…ha ha altuve, maybe you outta give ol’ chuck knoblauch a call…i used to like altuve, even though they had beat the yanks in the post season…i definitely don’t view him the same…i don’t know – performance enhancing drugs were and are fucked up…what the astros did though was just dirty…

  96. ***Silas was a bit of a hot commodity himself at the time. He was coming off of a 47-win season in New Orleans (as part of an overall productive run as the Hornets coach). I imagine him being 77 has more to do with him no longer getting coaching opportunities.***

    Maybe, but I think Silas only got one job after his Cleveland gig, and he coached it to the worst winning percentage in the history of the league. That’s hard to bounce back from at any age. (Ask Bill Hanzlik, Richie Adubato, and Roy Rubin.)

  97. That must be some sort of mastermind reverse psychology marketing ploy by Mr. Stoute. What a genius.

    Maybe their changing the team name to KNICKERBULLS, and we’re just seeing the bottom half of the new logo?

    :-) ?

  98. Yeah all Steve Stoute has done since joining the Knicks is embarrass the team. He needs to be gone. Let Walt Perrin be the marketing executive.

  99. ***To be scrupfair, embarrassing the team is well on brand.***

    Yes, as we all now, embarrassing the team is a big part of what we do here, we’re not just going to kick embarrassing the team to the curb. Wear those shorts, Stoutey!

  100. That does seem like the kind of thing that might piss off Dolan, so interesting to see what happens.

    Go Knickerbullz!

  101. Unsurprising in the least, but Shams reports that Davis is going to opt out and sign a new contract with the Lakers. He and Rich Paul are just debating how long they want it to be: one-plus-one, two-plus-one, or three-plus-one.

  102. I like VanVleet. I think he’ll move the chain in right direction and is a good fit next to Frank. Frank is taller and a good secondary playmaker and defender for the shorter VanVleet be on the court with. But he’s not a primary scoring option. He’s more of a 3rd option. It’s probably not going to be easy to pry a legitimately good basketball player away from a playoff team, with some good young pieces, a great organization, and great coach to play with the NY Knuckleheads unless we overpay significantly. I don’t mind overpaying here or there for the right player, but less so when it’s a 3rd option type player and the Knicks are missing a #1and #2. You don’t necessarily want to use up all your financial firepower on a very good player when you are still searching for #1 and #2.

  103. I think a healthy Durant (who may never be 100% again) is one of the greatest all around players ever and probably the greatest offensive player ever. Steph can be slowed down a little if you get physical with him. Some other players were/are as good or better getting to the basket and finishing. But no one combines Durant’s ability to score from anywhere and everywhere in a super highly efficient matter under extreme pressure no matter what the defense throws at him. To me, Bird also had that kind of versatility (through we never got to see it at its best because the game didn’t recognize the value of 3s yet). Bird was also a much better playmaker. But Durant has (had?) the athleticism to go with all those skills that Bird didn’t have. If anything Durant is probably underrated because of his decision to leave OKC.

  104. The NBA Finals MVP was first awarded in 1969. Since that point, who is the best NBA player to win multiple titles and never win the NBA Finals MVP. Steph Curry, presumably, right? Other options include Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Walt Frazier, David Robinson and Manu Ginobili.

  105. Would not want to have to pick one guy from that group. I love Curry and he changed the game but can you really take him over Pippen?

    Also, Morey out in Houston. WOJ BOMB!

    Doesn’t feel like a surprise.

  106. Wow. Morey has taken a few public digs at Dolan over the years so it was probably never going to happen anyway, but the rush to fill up our front office despite literally nothing happening for months on end looks even dumber now.

  107. I don’t know if there were other forces involved or what was going through Morey’s head when he traded for Russ, but he screwed that up really bad. Rockets would have been easy favorites if they had CP3 this year.

  108. i’m guessing fertitta will be more aggressive trying to get under the luxury tax (they will be close, depending on where it lands) with morey gone. a little concerning that begley reported “agents of leading free agent point guards” believe the knicks would be interested in westbrook if he became available.

  109. a little concerning that begley reported “agents of leading free agent point guards” believe the knicks would be interested in westbrook if he became available.

    Here is how I am reassuring myself at the moment on stuff like this or the Paul or Melo rumblings: so far, everyone’s sources seem to be people outside the Knicks organization, not people inside it. And they are assuming the Knicks will act a certain way because they always have. It’s entirely possible — maybe even probable — that Rose, Perrin, et al are gonna be the same as it ever was. But until they actually do something, personnel-wise, we have no way of knowing. The “of course the Knicks will mortgage the farm for the decaying corpse of Russ” could be valid, but so could Jonathan Macri saying that the team’s primary focus is maximizing assets for the 2021 draft, and that they won’t overpay in trades for vets.

  110. Peak Steph was better than pippen. I’m not optimistic on Steph’s aging curve, but it’s too soon to say who has the better career

  111. Yeah no thanks on Darryl Morey. There’s an argument to be made that he’s a good GM, but I think he’s a failed starfucker who would likely have been fired 5-7 years ago if Clay Bennett wasn’t a cheap owner who refused to give James Harden $4M more dollars over the life of his contract extension. The Westbrook trade was a bad one, and the Eric Gordon contract might be 3rd worst in the NBA. No thanks.

  112. I also think Tillman Fertita is the type of owner who would get conned by a “real basketball guy” and end up with somebody who doesn’t understand the intricacies of building a championship program.

    We shall see.

  113. I’d be surprised if they looked to move Westbrook anyway. He was awful in the playoffs but that was post-Covid and dealing with a lingering injury. Before that he had gotten on a pretty good roll during the second half of the pre-bubble regular season. After they already sold low on CP3 last season they can’t afford to do it again and they’re pretty tapped out from an asset perspective. It’s hard for me to imagine what kind of realistic trade involving him could raise their championship equity. So a Westbrook trade only really makes sense to me if they’re ready to go into a full rebuild, and I just can’t see that yet.

  114. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    Yeah no thanks on Darryl Morey. There’s an argument to be made that he’s a good GM, but I think he’s a failed starfucker who would likely have been fired 5-7 years ago if Clay Bennett wasn’t a cheap owner who refused to give James Harden $4M more dollars over the life of his contract extension. The Westbrook trade was a bad one, and the Eric Gordon contract might be 3rd worst in the NBA. No thanks.

    They had the 2nd best record in the NBA during his tenure.

  115. Brian Cronin:
    The NBA Finals MVP was first awarded in 1969. Since that point, who is the best NBA player to win multiple titles and never win the NBA Finals MVP. Steph Curry, presumably, right? Other options include Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Walt Frazier, David Robinson and Manu Ginobili.

    It still puzzles me how Clyde didn’t get the Finals MVP after putting on the greatest Game 7 in any sport ever with 36 points, 7 rebounds, 19 assists, and had to defend The Logo.

  116. thenamestsam: They had the 2nd best record in the NBA during his tenure.

    And isn’t Mike Brown one of the winningest coaches in NBA history or something like that? Houston never bottomed out and was a consistent playoff presence through Darryl Morey’s tenure, but he had 13 years to win an NBA championship and never put together a team that went to an NBA Finals. A lot of that, to me, is because the Rockets did not draft well outside of the Clint Capella pick. Rob Pelinka just won an NBA championship but I don’t think anybody here would be clamoring if he were the next GM of the New York Knicks. I personally do not want a general manager who does not value the draft, and nothing Darryl Morey has done in 13 years says he values the draft. To me it’s an easy pass.

  117. I think we end up with LaMelo somehow, mostly because it seems like we rate him higher than other teams and the price might not be incredibly steep. If a team like GS actually prefers Tyrese or Vassell to LaMelo, and they don’t find the vet they want, it makes sense to swap with NYK and add Frank and/or the Clips pick.

    That being said, Washington could clearly get a haul for Beal during this draft. I can’t imagine that doesn’t happen with one of the top draftees.

  118. Morey had essentially zero chance of surviving the Hong Kong tweet and “essentially” sprinted out the door when COVID cratered the league’s business.

    As to Clyde and Game 7, he’s too classy and respects Willis too much to really let loose, but he’s given a lot of hints that it really chaps his ass that Game 7’s legacy is “the Willis game.” Sports is a mythmaking enterprise and sometimes it leaves tire tracks on the undeserving — and this is clearly one of those instances.

    The new FO will trade Mitch for the chance to draft LaMelo, almost certainly, so we should all be preparing for that scenario. Probably to G-State. Mitch’s contract fits their financial needs perfectly. I’ve mentally got the 8 and Mitch for the 2 as all but a done deal. There certainly could be a lot of Post-Traumatic Knicks Syndrome at work there.

  119. LaMelo apparently bombed all his interviews — “shit the bed” is the phrase I’ve heard — and I wonder what impact, if any, that will have on his draft stock. You don’t have to answer questions on the court, but execs often look at the interview as a sign of both maturity and ability to take instruction.

  120. The Glass Half Rebuilt: And isn’t Mike Brown one of the winningest coaches in NBA history or something like that? Houston never bottomed out and was a consistent playoff presence through Darryl Morey’s tenure, but he had 13 years to win an NBA championship and never put together a team that went to an NBA Finals. A lot of that, to me, is because the Rockets did not draft well outside of the Clint Capella pick. Rob Pelinka just won an NBA championship but I don’t think anybody here would be clamoring if he were the next GM of the New York Knicks. I personally do not want a general manager who does not value the draft, and nothing Darryl Morey has done in 13 years says he values the draft. To me it’s an easy pass.

    I think you’re wrong on the merits – earlier in his tenure when they were building up they drafted very well: Patrick Patterson at 14, Marcus Morris at 14, Mirotic at 23, Chandler Parsons at 38, Jeremy Lamb at 12. All of that was in a 5 year period. Then they got Capela at 25 and Harrell at 32. It’s true they deemphasized the draft once they had a title contender – that’s basic win curve stuff – but concluding from that draft record that he doesn’t value the draft doesn’t make sense. To me it seems like Morey often gets compared to perfection instead of actually looking at how he stacks up against other GMs. Can you name 5 guys who you think have done a better job than him over the last 10 years?

  121. Lue’s staff will be interesting to watch. Why hasn’t Cassell gotten a shot anywhere?

    That OKC job is interesting. Maybe they should hire a guy like Cassell and let him grow with the job. Or if they prefer an established coach, they should hire Atkinson. Now I really hope NO hires D’Antoni. That would be a fun fast paced team depending on how they address the PG spot.

    I have no idea what Houston is gonna do though. Would JVG really come back for that job? MDA’s smallball kinda left that roster stuck with that style unless they can find something to do with Westbrook or *gasp* Harden. Maybe they really do like Mike Brown..which would be laughable.

    Ooooo..what about Indy? That’s an interesting job. I got a name for that one. Becky Hammon.

    What yal think?

  122. Hammon looks like the candidate for first women coach…who is the GM in Indy…it isn’t Bird anymore…just don’t see it…maybe after Pop steps down…she will be the person in SA…unless Big Fundamental wants it..

  123. Houston has to blow it up. Harden is now 31 years old. He’s such an offensive force that he can be a top 5 player for probably a few more years but the clock is officially ticking. They need to trade him for as many picks and prospects as possible. I don’t know who that would be though. Hopefully not us!

    Same with Westbrook, although not sure what value he has right now. The wise move might be to trade Harden first, then center the team around Westbrook for the time being, hope you can respark some of that Westbrook post Durant OKC the man magic, up the trade value, then trade him as well.

  124. wow, so there’s a chance for us to be starting cp3, russ, melo, blake griffin, and kevon looney…let the good times roll…

  125. Morey made more than his share of big mistakes, but he’s countered that with an uncanny ability to get out from under them and keep moving forward. I think his small ball gambit was a terrible idea given the team LA put together, but it might have worked in another year. It’s hard to argue with his success even if he made some mistakes.

    Other than that I have more respect for him than anyone else in the NBA.

    Even if he didn’t realize the risk he was taking and backlash he was going to have to deal with, speaking out on China and Hong Kong was the right thing to do. When Ford, GM, IBM, Dow Chemical and some financial institutions were doing business with the Nazis, they considered themselves apolitical entities just interested in business. That’s not a very good excuse for doing business with evil people, but it’s less hypocritical than marketing yourself as “woke” and doing business with communists hell bent on dominating other countries, abusing human rights, ethnically cleansing some groups, sending people to re-education camps, clamping down on religious freedom etc..

    So I say 3 cheers for Morey for not being a fraud. Just next time, stay big because sooner or later in the playoffs you are probably going run up against a very good big team that can dominate and score inside.

  126. DRed: Peak Steph was better than pippen.

    If you assume that defensive value can never match offensive value, sure. But if offense and defense are equally considered, I would say that peak Pippen is at least as good as peak Steph. The gap between their defensive abilites is greater than the gap between their offensive abilities. And I think Pippen might have been even more valuable today as a multi-positional defender with a very good all-around offensive game.

  127. My issue with Morey is that he was so analytics-driven that he lost sight of the interpersonal dynamics and “fit” aspects of team-building. He is sort of the D’Antoni of GMs.

    As to “should Dolan have waited?”, it didn’t feel like that was even a consideration. Sounded like Dolan had been sold on Rose possibly being better than any GM who would shake loose, even Morey. I doubt that there will be even one scintilla of buyer’s remorse until Rose’s team fucks up a few transactions. Everything in the Knicks front office still has that new car smell…tainted only by Stoute’s brainfarts.

  128. Yeah, Steph was the better player at his peak and I don’t know who has had the better career. Pippen’s numbers were actually slightly more mediocre than I would have thought. I do think his defense probably gets short thrift.

    Anyone who has seen a Lamelo Ball media hit is not surprised by the fact he doesn’t interview well.

    Morey didn’t value the draft in that he never tanked. He always scrapped together, Strat style, a bargain basement 37 win team at worst in the era of the deadweight Yao contract. He’s a great gm, really an all-timer. Wresting Harden away for basically nothing was one of the all time great moves. But he hasn’t done much since.

  129. As a die hard Knicks fan of the 1990s, I have real hard time giving Scottie Pippen credit for anything. You can throw all the stats, and all the objectivity you can find at me, but I will go to my grave believing that if Scottie Pippen had been drafted #4 by the Clippers, and Reggie Williams had been drafted #5 by the Bulls, this thread would be discussing whether Steph Curry or Reggie Williams was the greatest multiple-ring wearing player to never be finals MVP. (And Pippen would have played 11 seasons of forgettable basketball for 7 different teams, to the tune of a 266-474 career record while never playing for a +.500 team in his career, like Reggie Williams did…)

  130. You can throw all the stats, and all the objectivity you can find at me, but I will go to my grave believing that if Scottie Pippen had been drafted #4 by the Clippers, and Reggie Williams had been drafted #5 by the Bulls, this thread would be discussing whether Steph Curry or Reggie Williams was the greatest multiple-ring wearing player to never be finals MVP. (And Pippen would have played 11 seasons of forgettable basketball for 7 different teams, to the tune of a 266-474 career record while never playing for a +.500 team in his career, like Reggie Williams did…)

    same except with jordan and lancaster gordon

  131. Wresting Harden away for basically nothing was one of the all time great moves. But he hasn’t done much since.

    I mean he built a team that went toe to toe with literally one of the best teams of all time and might have beaten them if not for a poorly timed CP3 hamstring tug. I know popular opinion is always you’re either a champion or you’re a gigantic loser but it’s crazy how quickly popular narratives about all three of Morey, D’antoni and Harden were able to erase how good that team was. They didn’t win a title but that was a title level team and would’ve won it in most years.

  132. I just find it hard to believe he maximized Harden’s prime with that Paul trade.

    Maybe that was the best option on the table. They certainly could have won one.

  133. Owen:
    I just find it hard to believe he maximized Harden’s prime with that Paul trade.

    Maybe that was the best option on the table. They certainly could have won one.

    I think the problem was more that for whatever combination of reasons (CP3’s health, Harden and CP3 relationship, overvaluing Westbrook etc.) they gave up on it too quickly and at a real nadir of CP3’s value. If CP3 had his OKC year in Houston this season they would’ve been right among the favorites again and even if they didn’t win it all they’d be much better positioned this offseason with the recovery in CP3’s value.

  134. thenamestsam: I think you’re wrong on the merits – earlier in his tenure when they were building up they drafted very well: Patrick Patterson at 14, Marcus Morris at 14, Mirotic at 23, Chandler Parsons at 38, Jeremy Lamb at 12. All of that was in a 5 year period. Then they got Capela at 25 and Harrell at 32. It’s true they deemphasized the draft once they had a title contender – that’s basic win curve stuff – but concluding from that draft record that he doesn’t value the draft doesn’t make sense. To me it seems like Morey often gets compared to perfection instead of actually looking at how he stacks up against other GMs. Can you name 5 guys who you think have done a better job than him over the last 10 years?

    I think Riley, Ujiri, Bob Myers, Ainge, and Buford/Pop have pretty soundly done a better job than Morey in the past 10 years with Presti as a toss up. I did forget a lot of those names were indeed drafted by Morey, but mainly because they were never major parts of contending Rockets teams and that they never netted assets that Morey used to land anything of consequence. Darryl Morey traded the draft rights of Nikola Miroti? for Jonny Flynn and Donatas Motiejunas. Marcus Morris got traded for Isaiah Canaan. Parsons left for nothing in free agency. The Lamb pick was a substantial part of what netted James Harden, and Trezz helped land CP3 so that’s good.

    I’m probably being hard on Morey, but I don’t think he’s a GM at all. I just don’t want him or his mentality around the Knicks. If anything, the ideal version of Leon Rose is a Darryl Morey type with less emphasis on analytics and a bigger emphasis on relationship development.

  135. Is it overly conspiracy minded to have the recent Chinese NBA TV renewal be the first thing that came to mind when reading about Morey?

  136. I think Darryl Morey is a tier two GM. I rank him below Ujiri, Ainge, Buford, Myers, and Riley and put him on the tier of Presti, Pritchard, and Justin Zanik. He lost me with the Westbrook trade and Eric Gordon contract, and man how long a contract will the next guy need to take that job? Two aging ball handlers over 30 making $40M+ plus a piece and no draft assets to speak of? That’s tough.

  137. I guess I just don’t understand how someone who by your own standards is one of the top-10 GMs (and I think you’re underrating him a bit but set that aside) is an “easy pass”. There’s literally no reason at all to think that Rose is going to be above average as a head decision maker and we have Perry as a #2 who we know is bad!

  138. thenamestsam:
    I guess I just don’t understand how someone who by your own standards is one of the top-10 GMs (and I think you’re underrating him a bit but set that aside) is an “easy pass”. There’s literally no reason at all to think that Rose is going to be above average as a head decision maker and we have Perry as a #2 who we know is bad!

    He’s an easy pass because I think there is a very specific way to build a no-bullshit title contender, and that is to exploit cheap labor. Morey’s draft record just doesn’t do it for me. In 13 years as general manager he didn’t draft a single all star, and that’s not something I can get over. Of course, the NBA draft is my favorite part of the sport (being a fan of a terrible team will do that to you), so I might just be biased. Morey’s MO was “get stars at all costs,” and I don’t think that is the mentality you need in New York. Stars will come here if you draft and develop accordingly, and that’s not something you ever have to compromise just because you are picking higher in the draft. Chicago took Derrick Rose at 1, Joakim Noah at 9, and Jimmy Butler at 30. I feel like Morey would trade our 1st round pick to land a Robert Covington type in pursuit of a championship and that would hamstring our ability to improve in future seasons.

    He would obviously be an improvement over Scott Perry, but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to be the lead decision maker.

  139. thenamestsam: I mean he built a team that went toe to toe with literally one of the best teams of all time and might have beaten them if not for a poorly timed CP3 hamstring tug. I know popular opinion is always you’re either a champion or you’re a gigantic loser but it’s crazy how quickly popular narratives about all three of Morey, D’antoni and Harden were able to erase how good that team was. They didn’t win a title but that was a title level team and would’ve won it in most years.

    But great GMs build contenders whose title window lasts beyond a one year. The teams that TGHR cited had their unlucky years too. If you had as long to build as Morey did and made as many “brilliant” transactions as Morey did and don’t have one stinkin’ finals appearance to show for it, you have to answer for that. Not to mention that he is leaving his replacement a total train wreck and the value of the heist that Presti pulled off at the expense of Morey’s flailing just grew astronomically.

  140. Morey’s willing to gamble more in his trades and deals than other GM’s are. That doesn’t make him better or worse overall, but it means there is more variation in the outcomes of his moves. I don’t hold it against him for trading for Paul and then for Westbrook. My guess is that the owner’s marching orders were to go for it all right away and he was doing what he was supposed to. After all, he had an owner that was planning to sell and probably wanted good results for his last years of ownership and for when he did sell.

    Perry seems to be sort of the opposite in style. He hasn’t made many big moves, and he seems to only make deals he is sure are worth it or at least aren’t potential financial millstones. He was in favor of trading Morris for a draft pick, and this is also un-Morey like. Knox seems to have been a terrible pick, but Barrett was the consensus pick at number three and could become a very good player. I’m actually not unhappy to have Perry instead of Morey. As I’ve said before, I have only modest ambitions for Knicks’ management. Someone who doesn’t screw us up seems pretty good to me.

  141. He would obviously be an improvement over Scott Perry

    That much we should all be able to agree o…oh…

  142. No question that Morey is a “solid” GM, just like no question that D’Antoni has been a solid coach. But as my buddy used to say when I would get all coulda-shoulda-woulda after a golf round, “You are what your record says you are.” This is more true for coaches than players, and even more true for GMs than for players. Morey build a perennial winner who were a joy to follow during his tenure, despite the untimely playoff exits. But he has all the raw materials and leverage to build a championship team and he failed. And despite his correct stance on China, he was kind of a cold-blooded dick.

  143. Z-man:
    No question that Morey is a “solid” GM, just like no question that D’Antoni has been a solid coach. But as my buddy used to say when I would get all coulda-shoulda-woulda after a golf round, “You are what your record says you are.”

    You used to play golf with Bill Parcells?

  144. Now reports going around the Knicks might be a landing spot for Russell Westbrook. It would be so exciting to have a guy getting triple doubles every night and scoring 25 points on 30 shots consistently. And we’d have veterans chomping at the bit to play with him. We might have a shot at Terry Cummings or World B. Free.

  145. MJG1789:
    Now reports going around the Knicks might be a landing spot for Russell Westbrook. It would be so exciting to have a guy getting triple doubles every night and scoring 25 points on 30 shots consistently. And we’d have veterans chomping at the bit to play with him. We might have a shot at Terry Cummings or World B. Free.

    What are you talking about? Rondo just opted out of his contract, and Melo is readily available!

    In this era of positionless basketball, the Knicks could start Rondo, Westbrook, Melo, Randle, and Portis. (Mitch, RJ, Knox, and Frank are gone in the Westbrook trade). Look at all that size, star power, and pointzzz!
    :-)

  146. Westbrook is definitely up there on the list of “Players destined to be a Knick.”

    I’m still pissed at Tyreke Evans getting suspended for two years, taking him away from his inevitable Knick destiny!

  147. Is it overly conspiracy minded to have the recent Chinese NBA TV renewal be the first thing that came to mind when reading about Morey?

    I think that the Rockets make a lot of money in the Chinese market and the CCP is extremely prone to acts of revenge. Course never making the finals is also a thing.

  148. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think, which year was Nick Young on the Knicks?

    Leon Rose gearing up to make a splash definitely feels like having our head on the chopping block. Maybe he won’t do anything stupid.

  149. In a year full of sadness, anger, and disappointment, the New York Knicks may still manage to piss me off more than anything else.

  150. I’m actually not unhappy to have Perry instead of Morey.

    I am generally in favor of legalizing recreational drugs but now I’m second guessing myself

  151. I don’t understand the Westbrook talk. The evidence suggests he’s on a steep decline and with a lot of time left on the contract that seems like a very hard “no”.

  152. Tim McMahon heavily implied the Westbrook trade was a Ferttita thing on the Lowe Post. It’s very hard to piece together a coherent explanation for that trade otherwise, though I will say it’s possible we’re having a very different conversation if Westbrook is healthier in the bubble. He was looking really good down the stretch of the pre-bubble regular season.

    Morey has had some misses over 13 years, but it’s funny that some of the same people who insist that bottoming out for assets doesn’t work are also bearish on the executive with a crystal clear record of sustained success.

    We would be lucky beyond my wildest dreams if Rose and co. turn out to be as good as Morey (they will not).

  153. morey’s tenure was a huge success but the sheen wore off the last few years trying to elevate his team into the upper echelon…. there were some really strange moves… most of which were probably mandated by ownership to cut costs but i also wasn’t really a big fan of the westbrook deal…. it was a huge gamble that didn’t really pay off …. but this year was strange so it may pay off next year if they decide to keep it together….

    i wouldn’t really blame morey or harden or d’antoni for not overtaking one of the best teams of all time…. and they were obscenely close to pulling it off…. you take your shots and hope you make it…. in that way they are probably like this decades suns or kings teams… maybe not as aesthetically pleasing but those were damn good teams that just ran into bad luck and great teams….

    with the perspective of time… i tend to actually like those kinds of teams more… the old sonics.. jazz… suns… kings teams that were just footnotes in the nba’s history because they weren’t champions…. i don’t even necessarily care about championships anymore… there are other ways to appreciate excellence and unique times and place than a championship run…. i really hate the manufactured runs of the lakers, warrior and heat teams anyway….. i do appreciate runs like the mavs…. the original warriors… the spurs… where you actually see a team grow.. overcome obstacles and build a winner….

    these houston teams were sort of an extreme example of that… they rotated everyone around harden to try and get there… i think they probably did that one too many times but i think morey would say… and probably did say.. that doing nothing was the bigger risk…. we’ll never know but that’s why these teams are just much more interesting to me than the lakers….

  154. There’s two tales of Daryl Morey.

    He started with flotsam and jetsam and kept trading until he landed James Harden. This is one of the great achievements in GM history. He rode that trade to a sterling record, and he deserves all the credit for it.

    After the Harden trade, though, his moves would fit well in the annals of Knicks history. I mean, the dude gave Ryan Anderson 4 years, $80mm. And once the league caught up to the analytics wave, he did very little to differentiate himself.

    I’m not concerned that we missed out on him. He’d probably just Phil it if he was here anyway. (I don’t need to define what “Phil it” means, right?)

  155. After the Harden trade, though, his record would fit well in the annals of Knicks history.

    After the James Harden trade his team had a 3-2 series lead on arguably the best team of all time and probably would’ve won it if Chris Paul had a healthier hamstring

  156. thenoblefacehumper: After the James Harden trade his team had a 3-2 series lead on arguably the best team of all time and probably would’ve won it if Chris Paul had a healthier hamstring

    shouldawouldacoulda

    bottom line is he blew up that team and set the franchise back 5 years. He made one of the worst trades in the history of the NBA. He could never get anywhere close to equal value back for Westbrook, and even us non-geniuses could see that Westbrook and Harden was not a great match even if Westbrook didn’t cost all of those picks.

    Presti must have one of those 4-hour Viagra boners thinking about those picks.Fibnally he can put the Harden fiasco behind him.

  157. >>> Rondo just opted out of his contract, and Melo is readily available! <<<

    I actually don't think Rondo would be a terrible signing. We need a PG. There's no long term options available, so go for a veteran stop gap. As long as it's a Portis-style 1 year deal with a team option, paying him more than his market value for one year strikes me a reasonable use of cap space.

  158. shouldawouldacoulda

    This is so incredibly reductive and silly. You simply cannot reasonably ask for a higher chance of winning a championship than that team had, especially in an era where a different team was annually starting the season as the overwhelming favorite.

    Like I said I didn’t like the Westbrook trade one bit, but if you assume Ferttita said “Chris Paul has gotta go, get the best deal you can” (sounds like that happened) it makes a lot more sense.

    Overall with a 13 year track record you’ll accumulate things people can nitpick. His record speaks for itself. I’m curious, is there anyone here who doesn’t think we’d be lucky to have Morey now, or at any point in the past?

  159. The Rockets weren’t unfortunate in that conference finals against Golden State. That’s one of the great bullshit narratives that exists.

    Golden State was up 2-1 in that series, coming off a 41 point victory, with game 4 at home, when Andre Iguadola got hurt.

    When the teams were even with health, Golden State won by 13 (on the road), 41 (at home), 29 (at home), and 9 (in a game 7 on the road). The Rockets won one game without a decided injury advantage (a 22 point victory at home in game 2), and eked out two close wins (by 4 and 3 points) when they were at full strength and Golden State was a man down.

  160. andre iguodala is not chris paul….

    I read his post a few times to see if I was missing something because I couldn’t believe this was the equivalency being made

  161. His 13 year track record includes 2 trips to the conference finals and 4 to the conference semis. That record speaks for itself. He is also leaving the team totally bereft of fungible assets other than Harden, and if he trades Harden, he will probably build a perennial finals contender in OKC. Your take of “it’s not that simple” is actually the simplistic one.

    The Spurs, Lakers, Heat, Cavs, Mavs and Warriors all had bad luck seasons and still managed multiple finals appearances and championships. It’s inexcusable that the team Morey build essentially topped out in a team that made one WCF appearance before it imploded due to a bad mix of egos.

    And blaming it on Ferttita is lame. Any person of character would not let himself be forced to make a trade that would tarnish his reputation forever. I said the same about Donnie Walsh regarding the Melo trade. When you are the GM, you own every move you make. These are all very rich people who can more than afford to resign if they vehemently disagree with a career-defining move.

  162. Well, Hubert can defend himself, but I don’t read his post as trying to compare Iggy and Paul as players, or necessarily even their relative value to each team.

    Rather, he might be suggesting that, when both teams were at full strength, GS was cruising. Iggy going down evened things up and gave Houston a chance, which then went out the window once Paul went down. Thus, those crying that Houston coulda woulda are conveniently shaping the narrative unfairly?

    Hubert?

  163. Presti must have one of those 4-hour Viagra boners thinking about those picks.Fibnally he can put the Harden fiasco behind him.

    He’ll never put the Harden thing behind him.

  164. Ultimately, Presti has widely been considered inferior to Morey for a long time since that fiasco, and now I think that narrative has a chance to be reversed. Presti is staring at a chance to go down as an all-time great GM if he plays the amazing hand he now holds correctly. Morey? Who knows?

  165. It’s literally inconceivable to me that there are people who follow the Knicks religiously and are sneering at a record of “only” winning 50 games a season, making the 2nd round every other season and the conference finals a couple of times in a decade. Like Lakers fans taking that kind of success for granted, sure I can understand that. But it’s crazy to me that there are Knicks fans like that too. We’ve got one 2nd round appearance in 20 years! I feel like we’re living in different realities.

  166. TheClashFan, your reading comprehension is in the top 1% of this board. As usual, someone would rather litigate an irrelevant side argument than address the main point, which is:

    Many, including TNFH in this very thread, like to present the fallacious opinion that Daryl Morey built a team that could have beaten Golden State if not for bad luck.

    The truth is that a Golden State team with Kevin Looney instead of Andre Iguadola is not the Golden State team we all know. Further, Morey built a team that, if not for *good* luck, was on its way to being easily cast aside by the Warriors if 5 or 6 forgettable games with his team losing each game by an average of 25-30 points. That’s a lot less impressive than the falsehood that TNFH was presenting.

  167. thenamestsam:
    It’s literally inconceivable to me that there are people who follow the Knicks religiously and are sneering at a record of “only” winning 50 games a season, making the 2nd round every other season and the conference finals a couple of times in a decade. Like Lakers fans taking that kind of success for granted, sure I can understand that. But it’s crazy to me that there are Knicks fans like that too. We’ve got one 2nd round appearance in 20 years! I feel like we’re living in different realities.

    Are you not understanding that the conversation is about where Morey ranks among the top GMs? No one is suggesting that he is anything other than a tier 2 GM.

  168. Are you not understanding that the conversation is about where Morey ranks among the top GMs? No one is suggesting that he is anything other than a tier 2 GM.

    We literally had a “I prefer Scott Perry to Daryl Morey” comment earlier.

  169. I gave Morey all the credit in the world for most of his tenure. I merely said the latter part of his rockets career featured a lot of moves that were *very* Knicksian, so I’m not gonna lose sleep over not hiring him. The guy has been a train wreck for years now.

    Which of these moves do you want to defend and say that they don’t look exactly like something you would see from a James Dolan team?

    1. Trading Lou Williams, Pat Beverley, Montezl Harrell, Sam Dekker, and a 1st round pick for 32 year old Chris Paul

    2. Giving Chris Paul 4 years, $160mm contract at age 33.

    3. Ryan Anderson, 4 years, $80mm

    4. Eric Gordon, 4 years, $53mm

    5. Taking Marcus Morris at 14 (in front of Kawhi Leonard at 15).

    Bonus:

    6. Getting the league thrown out of China and shrinking the NBA revenue by 20% because of a stupid comment in the media.

  170. Brian Cronin: We literally had a “I prefer Scott Perry to Daryl Morey” comment earlier.

    Right, that’s absurd. Perry is like a tier 7 GM, just above league-wide laughingstock-level (are you listening, Phil?)

  171. 6. Getting the league thrown out of China and shrinking the NBA revenue by 20% because of a stupid comment in the media.

    Imagine a billion-dollar industry losing 20% of their revenue due to a nuclear superpower being pissy over an employee tweeting three words in support of basic human rights.

  172. There’s a video of Melo making some shots in a gym and “Melo” was trending and I was like, “Huh? Is Melo seriously trending just because he is doing a nice job shooting in the gym?” but then I saw the real reason is because the Nuggets put out a tweet asking people to name their favorite Nugget of all-time and of the players they showed in the graphic, conspicuously omitted Melo and people got pissed.

  173. I’m not going to defend Morey’s trade of Paul for Westbrook, but I don’t think it was his decision. I think Harden and Paul didn’t get along because Harden is an extremely talented and skilled idiot that wouldn’t listen to Paul about how to play winning basketball. That created friction. One had to go. Harden won the battle because he’s younger. Morey was trying to salvage the situation by bringing in the only other high level talent available that might keep them competitive for another year or two.

  174. Deeefense:
    I’m not going to defend Morey’s trade of Paul for Westbrook, but I don’t think it was his decision.I think Harden and Paul didn’t get along because Harden is an extremely talented and skilled idiot that wouldn’t listen to Paul about how to play winning basketball. That created friction.One had to go. Harden won the battle because he’s younger.Morey was trying to salvage the situation by bringing in the only other high level talent available that might keep them competitive for another year or two.

    Even if everything you say is true, it doesn’t justify the trade. He got absolutely fleeced and crippled the franchise in exchange for a very outside chance at a short-lived title run. It was literally as dumb of a trade as could be made for the assets and cap space involved. It was a move of flailing desperation. Morey assembled the team and Morey has to own the consequences of how it worked out. It doesn’t make him a bad GM overall, just like Pickett’s Charge didn’t make Robert E. Lee a bad general overall. But it definitely tarnishes his current legacy as just as much as letting Harden go tarnished Presti’s. At least the Thunder had a contender after that move (should have made the finals maybe even more than the Rockets).

  175. Hubert:
    I gave Morey all the credit in the world for most of his tenure.I merely said the latter part of his rockets career featured a lot of moves that were *very* Knicksian, so I’m not gonna lose sleep over not hiring him. The guy has been a train wreck for years now.

    Which of these moves do you want to defend and say that they don’t look exactly like something you would see from a James Dolan team?

    1. Trading Lou Williams, Pat Beverley, Montezl Harrell, Sam Dekker, and a 1st round pick for 32 year old Chris Paul

    2. Giving Chris Paul 4 years, $160mm contract at age 33.

    3. Ryan Anderson, 4 years, $80mm

    4. Eric Gordon, 4 years, $53mm

    5. Taking Marcus Morris at 14 (in front of Kawhi Leonard at 15).

    Bonus:

    6. Getting the league thrown out of China and shrinking the NBA revenue by 20% because of a stupid comment in the media.

    It’s things like these that made me say yesterday that he’s made a boatload of mistakes (as they all do), but he also has an uncanny ability to get out from under them (like Riley) and keep moving forward. IMO, he has always had the right approach to team building in that he used all assets and all avenues to try to get the #1 and #2 options you need to compete at the highest level….until this extreme smallball experiment.

    Of course, #6 is one of his best accomplishments even if he didn’t know he was going to pay a price for not being a fraud like the rest of them.

  176. Morey gambled that Okc’s 6th man of the year is actually an “All NBA first team/MVP” type of player, “stole” him and started creating a contender around him.
    That was his Masterpiece.

    Rest of his moves tho were not so impressive or asset makers.

  177. trading for cp3 was probably the second best move morey ever did… cp3 is in the discussion of best pg of all time….

    and that contract is not that bad… look at the production cp3 has generated so far on that contract… he is coming off a near .200 ws48 season…. he’s probably not falling off a cliff these next two seasons…. 44 mil is expensive but he’s not some sort of albatross…. all time great players age well…. we see that with lebron… and we saw that with cp3 even contending with injuries late in his career….. the mistake morey made was assuming that cp3 was in terminal decline…. wasn’t a terrible assumption but it’s a gamble that didn’t work out and the rockets paid dearly for it….

  178. Z-man: Even if everything you say is true, it doesn’t justify the trade. He got absolutely fleeced and crippled the franchise for a very outside chance at a short-lived title run. It was literally as dumb of a trade as could be made for the assets and cap space involved. It was a move of flailing desperation. Morey assembled the team and Morey has to own the consequences of how it worked out. It doesn’t make him a bad GM,

    If you want to say the buck stops with him I can’t argue with you.

    But if Chris Paul and James harden come into your office and say “one of us has to go” and the entire NBA knows you have to move CP3’s contract coming off a bad year at his age, you are going to get screwed, There are no good deals.

    Now if you want to argue he overpaid CP3 (and many others) I’ve been saying that all along about him, He gave out some terrible contracts over the years. Most of the time he was able to get out from under them and keep moving forward. He probably figured CP3 and Harden would be fine together and give the team a multi year window to compete. So he didn’t mind overpaying a bit or for too long to stay at the highest level for a few more years. This one came back to bite him in the ass.

  179. You tell them tough shit, you’re both under contract, work it out until I can find a reasonable deal for one of you.

  180. the mistake morey made was assuming that cp3 was in terminal decline…. wasn’t a terrible assumption but it’s a gamble that didn’t work out and the rockets paid dearly for it….

    The mistake he made was thinking Harden wasn’t an idiot. Those two did not get along because Paul believes ball and player movement, team oriented play, and unselfishness wins in the playoffs. Harden believes in dominating the scoring and playmaking. Right or wrong, that’s why Kobe, McGrady, the TNT crew and others would marvel at what Harden was doing in the regular season but kept saying he wouldn’t win in the playoffs against great teams and great defenses playing that way. If Kobe is criticizing you for dominating the ball too much and taking bad shots you know you are doing something wrong. lol That’s why CP3 was so frustrated.

  181. 1. Trading Lou Williams, Pat Beverley, Montezl Harrell, Sam Dekker, and a 1st round pick for 32 year old Chris Paul
    2. Giving Chris Paul 4 years, $160mm contract at age 33.
    3. Ryan Anderson, 4 years, $80mm
    4. Eric Gordon, 4 years, $53mm
    5. Taking Marcus Morris at 14 (in front of Kawhi Leonard at 15).

    1. Traded a bunch of spare parts for CP3 to build a top tier title contender. Isn’t cashing in your chips to build a 65 win team the whole reason you get chips in the first place?

    2. Re-signed the second best player on a title contender? That’s a train wreck move? You’re trying to win the NBA title, not the cleanest cap sheet title.

    3. This is a bad deal although it did help in the short run, they eventually had to dump him.

    4. I think you’re looking at the wrong deal? Gordon’s original contract worked out totally fine; it’s his current extension that sucks. The extension was awful. Nothing to add on that.

    5. Anytime you pick a longtime NBA starter at #14 you’ve done good. Nobody seriously thinks that every time you don’t pick the best guy on the board you’ve failed right?

    Anyway Morey has his misses. All GMs do. I think when you’ve been GMing for over a decade you have enough of a track record that focusing on one specific move instead of the record in totality is mostly just missing the forest for the trees.

  182. Z-man:
    You tell them tough shit, you’re both under contract, work it out until I can find a reasonable deal for one of you.

    If it was that easy, I’m sure he would have done it. My guess is that he had players, agents, and ownership up his ass. So he found the only deal available for a star player that could keep the team competitive, keep Harden happy, and move forward. Harden would not have gone along with blowing it up at his age. He had to bring in another star using a CP3’s bad contract to do it. No doubt it was a bad move because CP3 proved he still had something left in the tank and Westbrook is no bargain, lol but at that point everyone thought CP3 was pretty much ready to decline sharply.

  183. I agree Z-man.

    I think one of the problems with the social media age in regards to sports is everything gets ramped up to “we gotta do something big now” idea for whatever narrative. Rockets up 3-2 against The Warriors before CP3 gets hurt. Next season CP3 is hurt more and they slip a little, CP3 and Harden are fighting and now ownership, the players, agents, coaches…etc…are all feeling and creating this pressure to DO SOMETHING NOW!

    But winning cures all. CP3 and Harden weren’t fighting the season they won 60 plus games and took the Warriors to 7 games. CP3 bounced back last season. If they’d just stayed the course, with CP3’s renaissance they probably would have been favorites this year or at least would have gotten to the WCF again.

    They’d be in a much better position to trade CP3 now like The Thunder are or they could try it again next year.

    Instead they made a panic move and now they’re screwed. But again, the best move might be to do nothing and see if Harden and Westbrook can work it out. They were doing well before covid hit and Russ got hurt.

    If they are going to blow it up, I think the move would be to trade Harden first. He has real trade value right now. Then let the team play centered around Russ next year, rebuild his value and then trade him.

  184. Anyway Morey has his misses. All GMs do. I think when you’ve been GMing for over a decade you have enough of a track record that focusing on one specific move instead of the record in totality is mostly just missing the forest for the trees.

    this is absolutely true… if you look at rc buford…. it’s going to be littered with not so great picks and deals … then you have the kawhi deal which at the time was a bit of a head scratcher….

  185. I love CP3, DJPhan, but they had a long title window with James Harden in his prime, and that trade shortened it to basically two seasons. Two seasons in which Golden State was peaking.

    In the long run, I think many seasons with Williams, Harrell, Beverley, and Ariza (a $ casualty because of CP’s salary) to go with Tucker and Capela would have been better for Harden than a short run with Paul. They would have been able to swing a trade for a more optimal piece than Paul.

  186. >>> 1. Traded a bunch of spare parts for CP3 to build a top tier title contender. Isn’t cashing in your chips to build a 65 win team the whole reason you get chips in the first place? <<<

    Those "spare parts" are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th best players on one of the best teams in the NBA. And they make $26mm total. They're the perfect pieces to surround a max player with.

    If Morey doesn't make that trade and the stupid Eric Gordon signing he has all those guys plus Harden and Ariza and Capela and the flexibility to create a max salary spot during last year's free agency.

    He went all in at the wrong time against the wrong hand. It was pretty dumb. Not to mention Paul and Harden were never ideal partners, anyway.

  187. tim mcmahon recently reiterated fertitta hated the cp3 contract so much that he said it was the worst contract he’d ever seen in the history sports or business. i guess he forgot what ignite paid for joe’s crab shack. he also said that morey was by far the biggest cp3 backer in the organization. morey may not have had the option to tell harden and paul to work it out if the new, blowhardy owner was weighing in.

  188. Hubert:
    >>> 1. Traded a bunch of spare parts for CP3 to build a top tier title contender. Isn’t cashing in your chips to build a 65 win team the whole reason you get chips in the first place? <<<

    Those “spare parts” are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th best players on one of the best teams in the NBA.And they make $26mm total.They’re the perfect pieces to surround a max player with.

    If Morey doesn’t make that trade and the stupid Eric Gordon signing he has all those guys plus Harden and Ariza and Capela and a max salary spot during last year’s free agency.

    He went all in at the wrong time against the wrong hand.It was pretty dumb.Not to mention Paul and Harden were never ideal partners, anyway.

    You’re right, spare parts was probably too harsh. I think all those guys are flawed players, but they are good. I think you’re slightly wrong about them being able to keep all of them and add a max because PatBev was a free agent last offseason but I’d have to go back and really check the math.

    Turning those guys into CP3 basically pushed the Rockets from a 55 win team to a 65 win team. I think the criticism that he went all-in at the wrong time with the wrong hand is reasonable – but I also think the timing piece relies a little bit on the ex-post knowledge of the Warriors dissolution. I don’t think it was quite so obvious at the time that any significant chunk of Harden’s prime would outlast the Warriors juggernaut. As for the wrong hand bit I kind of think the proof was in the pudding. The fit looked awkward on paper but in reality they were pretty much a juggernaut when CP3 was healthy.

  189. No one has even mentioned his true masterpiece: renting out the useless shell of Tracy McGrady for 10,000 consecutive first round picks

  190. we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important message:

    i’m a filthy pig who likes to eat ass

    just finished episode 3 of the the boys…oh, now this is the kinda super hero shit i really like…

    in 2002 DC Comics published this 4 part series called: JLA: Destiny…it was past of the Elseworlds imprint line that DC had started back in ’89, it allowed DC to use characters outside of their normal canon continuity…

    Marvel did something earlier with the “What If” storylines starting back in ’77, and really went all in during their The Age of Apocalypse storyline in the mid ’90’s…

    JLA: Destiny though was the first time i really remember a comic “humanizing” superheros – flaws and all…it is “odd” comic book stuff – especially for when it was released…

    garth ennis just never ceases to amaze…i never read his books, i just don’t like the art very much, but – the stories are brilliant…i need to check, but, i think i might have most of the Hitman, weird, but interesting comic book…i didn’t even realize til now that was him too…ha, i remember liking it despite the art…

    anyways, back to more morey and the rockets…

  191. His unacknowledged masterpiece is replacing Yao with Chuck Hayes and almost breaking 500 for a few years.

    Love that Morey is our new Ntilikina.

    Ess Dog – that was funny

  192. For Geo and all the scouts that are reading

    Today i went for my 3rd shootaround AT NOON this time…

    MISTAKE

    A BIG ONE

    I had 7/100 3s (7% for the analytics guys) with the Greek noon sun on my face for 1 and a half hour!

    After the last 3pointer i was so exhausted that i hadn’t have the courage to put a cd on my car’s cd player on the way home.
    That has never happen again on the last 25 years!

  193. just finished episode 3 of the the boys…oh, now this is the kinda super hero shit i really like…

    Just started season 2. Homelander is one of the best villains I’ve ever seen on screen.

  194. Just finished Season 2. Easily my favorite show on television right now. Geo and Hubert, you are in for a treat!

  195. I had 7/100 3s (7% for the analytics guys) with the Greek noon sun on my face for 1 and a half hour!

    am i the only one concerned about what was happening between shots

  196. Donnie Walsh:
    No one has even mentioned his true masterpiece: renting out the useless shell of Tracy McGrady for 10,000 consecutive first round picks

    This is the thing… There’s two questions at hand.

    One is where does he rank historically. I’ll gladly concede that given his overall record, he’s a pantheon level GM. He was so ahead of his peers for a long time that he racked up massive W’s in the trade market. What he did building that WCF team is the basketball equivalent of the guy who started with a paper clip and traded his way to a house. He’s a legend and he deserves to be.

    But the second question is how desirable is he now. The league has caught up to him. There’s no Donnie Walshes around who don’t understand the value of a first round pick for him to take advantage of any more. Without a wealth of opportunity in the form of hapless GM’s, he’s been… Kinda average. Sometimes terrible. He’s taken some bad risks and shown questionable judgment.

    I’ll never deny him his place in the pantheon. I’m just not confident he’ll repeat his success again based on his overall trendline, which is definitely heading down, sharply.

  197. am i the only one concerned about what was happening between shots

    :)

    KYN it’s gotta be natural, flow with it, be the ball…heightened expectations may be affecting your performance…try to simply focus on pleasing the inside of the rim…

    is it one of those metal nets?

    what does the surrounding area sound like?

    concrete court?

    anyone watching?

  198. Homelander is one of the best villains I’ve ever seen on screen.

    okay hubie, i got some thinking on this to do…no movie/tv villains are readily coming to mind…hmmmmmmm…good one hubie…i may have to google this one just to get a start…the governor and neegan come to mind, but, they were just kind of doing their best in a chaotic world…real evil villain though…hmmmmm….

  199. okay, i cheated and looked them up, but, here’s my fave villains list:

    saruman – lord of the rings
    palpatine – star wars
    “john doe” – se7en
    commodus – gladiator
    sauron – lord of the rings
    warden norton – shawshank redemption
    joffrey baratheon – game of thrones
    sylar – heroes
    ramsey bolton – game of thrones
    athur mitchell – dexter
    livia soprano – the sopranos
    gillian darmody – boardwalk empire

    been taking the “long” way to work, it’s about a 20 minute walk now…i’m gonna figure on who was the most evil of that lot…

    my favorite villians are pretty easy to remember: vader, dexter, nelson van alden and al swearengen…

  200. ///am i the only one concerned about what was happening between shots///

    Unfortunately my trainer stuff and my ball boys were too expensive to retain under this shortened covid shootaround period so i have to run/walk just to bring the ball back after my bricks!

  201. I was just going to defend KYN — I don’t think roughly a shot a minute is all that inexplicable, given that with 93 misses the odds are strong that his form isn’t, um, perfect, so those long shots were going to end up all over hell’s half acre. Which is sort of like how I imagine an urban Greek court in the hot noon sun to be.

  202. geo:
    okay, i cheated and looked them up, but, here’s my fave villains list:

    saruman – lord of the rings
    palpatine – star wars
    “john doe” – se7en
    commodus – gladiator
    sauron – lord of the rings
    warden norton – shawshank redemption
    joffrey baratheon – game of thrones
    sylar – heroes
    ramsey bolton – game of thrones
    athur mitchell – dexter
    livia soprano – the sopranos
    gillian darmody – boardwalk empire

    been taking the “long” way to work, it’s about a 20 minute walk now…i’m gonna figure on who was the most evil of that lot…

    my favorite villians are pretty easy to remember:vader, dexter, nelson van alden and al swearengen…

    good list but no Thanos?

  203. Unfortunately my trainer stuff and my ball boys were too expensive to retain under this shortened covid shootaround period so i have to run/walk just to bring the ball back after my bricks!

    this is sad and unnecessary. if you are in fact missing 93 of 100 bombs separated by 55-second interludes of one man basketball tag spud sprints, you need only post the videos, midnight-melo style, to tiktok and you will soon have the enough clout that drew hamlin himself will happily fly to athens and rebound for you.

    one key sign of fuck i’m not young anymore is when shooting around suddenly feels like exercise and not something you do when you need to think or relax. not a great feeling, kids.

  204. I’m not shooting 3s for 90minutes.
    I start with layups and midrange ones.
    Finish with 100 3s or 10 made ones.

  205. Fuck I’m not young and in shape anymore is for sure.
    Not giving Up Exercising tho is the main goal here.

  206. Does Frank guard you?

    The way to turn that frown upside down is to get a kids hoop and then just savagely dunk on it.

    I liked The Boys a lot. It’s just a fun watch. A tiny bit thought provoking maybe but mostly in the category of excellent entertainment for the father worn out by small children, kind of like the Last Kingdom.

  207. When anyone’s watching i put my best shooting form and mechanics and shoot almost like my idol KKnox!
    When noones watching i lose my focus and shoot like Thanasis. Looks like i’m made for clutch moments only! LoL

    My today’s moto was:
    Every shoot counts!

  208. Excuse my many small comments but tried to post them as one and were denied too many times…
    Still can’t figure out why?

  209. Loved the first season of The Boys, less crazy about the second. Have little faith in the show runners given the fact that they somehow failed to realize that watching Homelander drink milk was without question best part of the show.

  210. Exercising tho is the main goal here

    yeah, ol’ rock and roll dan from some beautific little spot in vermont got in to my head a bit with his: i’m all in shape and sexy now with my smooth left hand layups…just got one of those oura ring things…i don’t know man, i’m just desperate and scared…at the moment i’m trying to do a little better job at living and not sloth and glutton my way to the grave…

  211. good list but no Thanos?

    well now, given my own thoughts on excessive human inhabitation of our planet, yeah, he’s pretty waaaay far down on my villain list…

    you wanna read a really good Thanos story (not named infinity gauntlet) – try checking out: The Death of Captain Marvel (the graphics are dated, 1982, the story though is seriously epic)…Thanos and Death though, what a couple…although romance wise it probably takes second place to the Deadpool and Death Annual from ’98…

    so, my final answer was between: gillian darmody, warden norton and “john doe”…i wanted to pick warden norton (in part because i love shawshank redempiton so much) – but, gotta go with “john doe” from the movie se7en…kevin spacy was brilliant in the movie, shame it took so long to find out he was also a predator in real life…

  212. Life is SWEET and has LOTS of ways to be Satisfactory, Enjoyable and Happy.
    In order to be that way tho First Priority has to be Health.

    And as the lazy ol’ greeks used to say….

    Healthy body, healthy mind.

  213. – When anyone’s watching i put my best shooting form and mechanics and shoot almost like my idol KKnox!
    When noones watching i lose my focus and shoot like Thanasis. Looks like i’m made for clutch moments only!
    – Concrete court slightly bumpy at places. Remember it from the 80s. Maybe its older.
    – Surrounding area sounds like kids playing and cars passing by.
    – Net is fine.
    The rim looks slightly wonky.

    thank you KYN, okay, mesh net then…old court, established neighborhood…

    wow, i must really need to take a trip somewhere…

  214. Owen:
    Does Frank guard you?

    The way to turn that frown upside down is to get a kids hoop and then just savagely dunk on it.

    I liked The Boys a lot. It’s just a fun watch. A tiny bit thought provoking maybe but mostly in the category of excellent entertainment for the father worn out by small children, kind of like the Last Kingdom.

    +1 on Last Kingdom…this past season dropped just in time for pandemic shut in watching…gobbled it up real quick…

  215. “well now, given my own thoughts on excessive human inhabitation of our planet, yeah, he’s pretty waaaay far down on my villain list…”

    until he takes out someone in your family…

  216. I see comments pointing to my statement about Perry and Morey in disbelief. But then there are posts describing horrible moves Morey has made, and they are true. The way I see it with Morey you get both moves that are big wins and moves that are big losses. I don’t want the big losses and this is the Knicks, so I have no faith in big wins actually happening. Perry has made small wins, Morris for example , and small losses, for example drafting Knox. If we keep going with a mix of small wins and small losses our asset pile means we will get better on average. That’s enough for me.

  217. no doubt, thankfully it’s only fantasy and no real world sacrifices are required…yeah, that would be much less fun to think about :)

    i can’t remember, was Thanos’ plan to eliminate just humanoid creatures or 50% of every life form, like plants and animals too…

    every time i see one of those take care of a dog/cat commercials, it reminds me just how many dogs and cats there are here too…although it seems it may just be the abundance of gaseous cattle that do us all in the quickest…burgers for everyone baby…you would of thought by now someone would have invented some gas-x for cows…

    okay, i’m gonna cease to be weird now…


  218. the bar and the ground are officially on the same level

    Not so. Most people here seem to want to be the Heat, the Lakers or Toronto and only want a GM who can bring that level of success to NY. But I would consider it a success to be like the Pacers. That is a lot better than we are now. I think our current management has a chance to do that if they are patient.

  219. Not so. Most people here seem to want to be the Heat, the Lakers or Toronto and only want a GM who can bring that level of success to NY. But I would consider it a success to be like the Pacers. That is a lot better than we are now. I think our current management has a chance to do that if they are patient.

    As noted by others, the Rockets under Morey have the league’s 2nd best record (Spurs are #1) and the longest active playoff streak (8 consecutive seasons).

    And that’s NOT what you want for the Knicks?

  220. ptmilo: one key sign of fuck i’m not young anymore is when shooting around suddenly feels like exercise and not something you do when you need to think or relax. not a great feeling, kids.

    Another is that you’ve been posting here for like 30 years…

  221. And that’s NOT what you want for the Knicks?

    Of course I would love to see that. But I have Knicks PTSD. I don’t expect it to ever happen. If Knick’s managements swings for fences, I am convinced it will be a disaster. So I aim lower in my hopes.

  222. The way I see it with Morey you get both moves that are big wins and moves that are big losses. I don’t want the big losses and this is the Knicks, so I have no faith in big wins actually happening.

    Can’t believe I’m even engaging here but all of Morey’s “big losses” have occurred in the context of him trying to shore up the good team he’s already built.

    In other words, they’re the kinds of “losses” Scott Perry has never had the chance to accumulate because he’s literally never built a good team.

    I would actually be very satisfied if our biggest complaint about Scott Perry was “he hasn’t excelled at putting the finishing touches on his perennial 50+ game winners.”

  223. I would actually be very satisfied if our biggest complaint about Scott Perry was “he hasn’t excelled at putting the finishing touches on his perennial 50+ game winners.”

    This I agree with 100%

  224. pepper: good list but no Thanos?

    i would add jason to the list…i always wanted somebody to kill that fucker…i guess in the last installment jamie lee may have got him..

  225. nicos:
    Loved the first season of The Boys, less crazy about the second. Have little faith in the show runners given the fact that they somehow failed to realize that watching Homelander drink milk was without question best part of the show.

    I like the premise of the show and the riffs on celebrity culture and all, but I though the show gradually got heavy handed about it (scene after scene of the fraud superheroes doing promos and the like). Got a few episodes into season 2 and got burnt out; I just don’t really care about any of the characters any more. I’ll let some time pass and return to finish the season and see how it goes.

  226. Knick fan not in NJ: So Perry doesn’t actually draft badly and the deals he made as Knicks GM have often been good value (the Hernangomez trade, the Melo trade for example)but everyone here except me thinks he’s a terrible GM?

    Fair point. I think the biggest issue with Perry is that it’s hard to separate him from Mills. The Knox pick was a massive missed opportunity; the RJ pick vs. moving down is a valid question; overpaying Portis, Ellington, signing Gibson and Payton who messed up the tank, took minutes away from prospects and ate up cap space that could have been used to acquire assets. But yeah, he’s better than terrible.

  227. So Perry doesn’t actually draft badly and the deals he made as Knicks GM have often been good value (the Hernangomez trade, the Melo trade for example) but everyone here except me thinks he’s a terrible GM?

    That article outlines a wildly obvious pick in Fox, an obvious pick in Barrett that may yet turn into a missed trade down opportunity, one genuinely great find in Mitch, and a whole bunch of other picks ranging from nothing to absolute garbage. Then couple that with his free agency record.

    I mean what are we even talking about? At a certain point you’re who your record says you are and this guy has worked in an executive capacity for the Magic, Kings, and Knicks.

    He is much better than Phil Jackson, sure. That’s like saying a player is better than Chris Smith on Andrea Bargnani. It tells us nothing about whether or not they’re affirmatively good.

  228. Ignoring his pre-Knicks history, he’s been more comparable to a lot of middling GMs than bad ones. You can praise Perry for doing a modestly good job of collecting draft assets and maintaining cap flexibility. Randle was a very reasonable signing even though it hasn’t worked out as hoped. All the other signings are one year + team options which is way better than his predecessors did. He has generally won trades other than the KP trade which is sort of wait-and-see. The one major unforced error is the Knox pick, but finding a lottery-level player in the second round with a pick he acquired by trading Melo’s “untradeable” MMM contract (Mitch) balances that out a bit.

  229. pepper:
    “well now, given my own thoughts on excessive human inhabitation of our planet, yeah, he’s pretty waaaay far down on my villain list…”

    until he takes out someone in your family…

    no doubt, thankfully it’s only fantasy and no real world sacrifices are required…yeah, that would be much less fun to think about :)

    David Attenborough has some far less drastic ideas on curbing excessive human population. One caveat for me is that I just don’t ever see myself converting to a full plant-based diet.

    Vegetarians, please don’t @ me (lol).

  230. RE: Westbrook rumors

    Call me crazy, but I think it could work if we trade for Westbrook and start a PF who could stretch the floor and a good shooter at the 2. I have no idea how we pull that off though. Realistically, could we field a starting 5 of Mitch/Bertans/RJ/Dot/Russ? Or is it better to overpay for FVV and start a backcourt of he and Frank?

    It’s so frustrating knowing that the Knicks have options, but you can’t trust the team with them lol. Nevertheless, a healthy Russ in the EC would elevate the Knicks on will alone. Not saying I’m down to trade for him, but if that ends up being the move- it could work. As long as we don’t give up the 8 this year and next year’s first.

  231. I just can’t get on the one-year-contract love train re Perry. He signed FOUR POWER FORWARDS. Who does that. And it didn’t just make no sense for the position. They ended up playing one at the three (we’ll skip the fact that I personally disliked the guy, as he was demonstrably not a terrible basketball player), which destroyed any chance to see if RJ fit there, forcing RJ to play at the 2 (where I don’t think he belongs), forcing Knox to play what minutes he got as a wing with floppy clown shoes instead of seeing if he could become a stretch-4 (doubtful but they need to find out), and cut into Mitch’s minutes as they threw various of them into the center position because again, four power forwards.

    It’s not just that the Knicks suck at developing players. Last year they actively impeded any development by putting those four guys on the roster. if you’re not moving forward you’re probably going backward, and last season was a great example of that.

  232. I think you can find your way to saying Perry is a middling GM if you give him credit for our few successes (Mitch, trading Morris, and whatever else) and blame Mills for the rest.

    It’s hard to sort out how much he is responsible for ultimately.

  233. Every time I think Knickerblogger can’t reach a new low, it does. Scott Perry? The guy with the 67-163 record as Knicks VP of Basketball Ops? That guy? That guy is good at his job? Are we actually fucking serious with this shit? Are we in peak offseason shitpost mode? Are we just stirring the pot? Skirmishing for pageviews? Bored at work? What the actual fuck are we talking about here? Scott Fucking Perry? Come the fuck on, please?

  234. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Every time I think Knickerblogger can’t reach a new low, it does. Scott Perry? The guy with the 67-163 record as Knicks VP of Basketball Ops? That guy? That guy is good at his job? Are we actually fucking serious with this shit? Are we in peak offseason shitpost mode? Are we just stirring the pot? Skirmishing for pageviews? Bored at work? What the actual fuck are we talking about here? Scott Fucking Perry? Come the fuck on, please?

    whyisaguywhohasconstantlysaidweshouldbelosingasmuchaspossibleduringscottperrysentiretenureissayingheisterriblebecausehelostalotidontgetit

  235. You’ll never really be able to separate Scott Perry from Steve Mills, but I will say that in the 20 minutes Steve Mills was by himself he gave Tim Hardaway Jr an embarrassment of riches AND gave Ron Baker the full MLE when nobody offered him more than the minimum. Perry probably had to navigate a lot of Steve Mills’ terrible ideas on team building (if you think the Knicks would have traded out of 3 to take Clarke, Herro, and Bol Bol you’re kidding yourself), but once Mills was gone he had orchestrated a bidding war between LAC and LAL.

    I think there’s evidence that Scott Perry’s tenure was mostly harmless, but passing on Mikal Bridges and SGA to take Kevin Knox was a little more than a small loss. Also, DeAaron Fox wasn’t an easy pick over Jonathan Isaac or even Dennis Smith Jr at the time. He could have taken any of those three players and nobody would have bashed the move at the time. I think we can easily find a better GM than Perry.

    Like I said about Morey, I don’t think I want a guy who has been an NBA GM for 13 seasons and didn’t draft a single all star. Maybe Trezz breaks that streak at some point but it’s still a damning demerit I think. And for those talking about Morey’s record being the 2nd best in the NBA over his tenure, would you take him over Hinkie, Pritchard, or Hammond? Especially if in his last seasons as GM he left you with a 33 year old Ja Morant and no picks?

  236. I don’t understand your point about De’aron Fox. Perry did pick him over the other two which is a point in his favor. As for drafting all stars, Perry drafted Oladipo, who I think has been an all star twice.

  237. but I will say that in the 20 minutes Steve Mills was by himself he gave Tim Hardaway Jr an embarrassment of riches AND gave Ron Baker the full MLE when nobody offered him more than the minimum.

    even by knicks’ standards – that was some really weird shit…

  238. If any of you have any passing interest in the Sweet Science, the best boxing match of the year is going to be on ESPN within the hour.

    Vasyl Lomachenko, the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter in the post-Mayweather era, is taking on perhaps the top under-25 fighter in the sport, Teofimo Lopez. Lomachenko is a brilliant offensive fighter, has a free-flowing style of offense that reminds me of the great Salvador Sanchez. A pure textbook fighter, uses unexpected angles and times his opponents. Has made some pretty tough opponents simply quit in their corners. Lopez is an explosive puncher with both hands and has the size and strength advantage here.

    A+ matchup in a sport that rarely features those. Easily the most interesting fight of the year.

  239. Haha I just found the thread from the Kawhi-to-Toronto trade in which I said with conviction that now-three-time-NBA-champion Danny Green was old and consequently sucked and would be out of the league or on ring-chasing vet contracts by 2021

    Haha don’t let me have opinions anymore

  240. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Haha I just found the thread from the Kawhi-to-Toronto trade in which I said with conviction that now-three-time-NBA-champion Danny Green was old and consequently sucked and would be out of the league or on ring-chasing vet contracts by 2021

    Haha don’t let me have opinions anymore

    Don’t be too hard on yourself…..he didn’t exactly light it up with the Lakers, at least statistically speaking.

  241. If any of you have any passing interest in the Sweet Science, the best boxing match of the year is going to be on ESPN within the hour.

    thanks for the reminder jk, espn has been promoting this fight for a few weeks and looks like it’s gonna be fun…the kids had me caught up in watching despicable me and almost forgot about the fight…

  242. that dude had rocks in his gloves…

    I see tampa is heading in to the bottom of the 6th up 3 – 0…how do they even afford charlie morton and their bullpen…more team salary deception and chicanery going on there in tampa…

  243. it’s weird watching the boxing with no fans…

    that just reminded me.of back in the day watching johnny tapia grab dudes, punch them a bit and then wave to the crowd :)

    I think tennis is the only sport other than combat without piped in crowd sounds…getting punched or kicked sounds like it hurts even more now…

  244. Teofimo is putting on a clinic. He’s making Loma look like a nobody.

    Teo is going to dominate this sport for a long time.

  245. I thought this was a clear win for Lopez.

    Loma had a surge but he just gave away too many rounds. Then Lopez took the 12th and slammed the door.

  246. Very good fight! I think it was closer than the cards showed, but Lopez won it with the last round. But had Loma won the last round and lost the decision, I would have thought he was robbed.

  247. Lopez showed some great technical skill. He controlled the distance and didn’t allow Loma to get inside and move his hands. Loma finally figured out the timing in round 8 but it was too late.

    Loma is small for a lightweight and looked very small compared to the broad shouldered Lopez, who will probably be an outstanding welterweight in a couple of years. Loma is a great fighter but he should be fighting at 126.

  248. I think Loma gave it away more than Lopez took it…

    those first six rounds it looked like Loma was fighting not to lose…

    those scorecards didn’t even have it close…it wasn’t really close the first half…

    reminds me of aldo getting thrown way off by mcgregor…

  249. Rounds 2 and 7 were probably the rounds that the judges gave to Lopez, and to be fair, Loma didn’t do all that much in those rounds, so only the one card was out of whack.

  250. loma took too long to figure out how to get inside but even then….sooner or later he was going to get hit going in there and in that last round he took a beating…definitely to high of a weight class for him…

  251. Loma is a guy who makes you pay for your mistakes, and takes advantage when you have lapses in concentration. Lopez did not really make a lot of mistakes. He didn’t bite on Loma’s feints, and kept Loma in front of him so Loma couldn’t use angles and throw punches around Lopez’ guard. It was a really impressive technical performance. It didn’t always look flashy but Lopez’ style really presented problems for Loma.

    I loved seeing Loma make that adjustment and claw his way back into it. But Lopez made the correct counter adjustment too. These are my favorite kinds of fights, where they’re operating at a high technical level like that. Loved this.

  252. ESPN really hates the Knicks. They rank them 30th in the league, behind the cavaliers and the pistons, despite those teams having worse records last year. Their logic for this is unclear.

  253. Haha don’t let me have opinions anymore

    Whoa, whoa. TWO Jowles mea culpas within the same year, much less the same month?!?! What is happening here?

  254. This year has really been one for learning how to better apologize in the Jowles home, what with spending an inordinate amount of time in 1500 sq. ft. together. I sometimes get those claustrophobic vibes here, too, and wish Hubert, for one, would stop insisting that Jordan was infallible, lace up his running shoes and get some goddam fresh air now and then. Good for one’s clearheadedness and all that.

  255. Lomachhenko was too small and too old, he got completely manhandled. He barely threw a punch for the first 7 rounds of that fight

  256. Random and off current topic…but I think Minny should trade #1 to Cleveland for Sexton and the #5, and pick Okoro. Cleveland with the top pick should pick Edwards or Ball- in that order.

  257. Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins, Collin Sexton: a proud lineage of “lottery pedigree” scrubs that Minnesota can pin its pitiable hopes on. Sounds perfect for MIN.

  258. Ha! But do we expect anything less of the Timberwolves? All jokes aside though, although this is a draft with no clear cut star, Minnesota would get totally hammered if they picked a guy like Okoro at 1. Even if he probably is the best fit for that roster

  259. Anybody like Obi Toppin at 8? He’s not an impact defender but he’s a versatile offensive player, can attack the rim and shoot from the perimeter.

    I wouldn’t hate that pick at 8.

  260. Salary slot is a huge deal, too. If you think Brandon Clarke is the third-best player in the draft but you can get him for $2.5M AAV instead of the $8.5M he’d command as the #3 pick, that’s a big deal. It’s especially a big deal when you pick in the top of the draft multiple years in a row and have to dedicate $25M of your cap space to rookie-contract players who may or may not be any good.

  261. I think Toppin has a fairly high floor but I wouldn’t be happy with him as our pick. His offensive numbers are definitely eye popping but he was 22 playing in a weak conference, and tons of his points came from post ups that will be much more difficult in the NBA and more importantly are pretty much a dead form of offense outside of exploiting switches.

    He’s pretty much a disaster defensively and I’m not sold on him ever being a high-volume 3PT shooter (his FT% is mediocre, he didn’t shoot a lot in college, and his release is pretty slow).

    I see a souped up Enes Kanter, basically. He can prove me wrong by improving (a lot) defensively and/or becoming a consistent 3PT threat.

  262. i think the real question we ought to be asking ourselves is why the erik killmonger boys costume is currently sold out throughout the world…basically, it’s the black panther suit with gold instead of purple trim…it just looks way cooler…kids instinctively know that kind of stuff…

    on a much more positive note, just realized the Dynamite song comes to us courtesy of the east…gomawoyo…had this gig one time working in a school which taught korean to military folks…it was awaseom, we had a ton of native speakers in the builders…a lot of really neat people (most prideful bunch i’ve ever run in to)…

    biggest lesson learned was one afternoon hanging out in the teachers lounge playing ping pong…i’m a long island kid who had a basement for awhile, hell yeah we had a ping pong table…i’m falling apart now, but, back when i worked at that school, shit i was still rock steady then…hmmm, it’s funny, didn’t know at the time though i was sick and about to get much sicker for the next 10 years…anyways…

    so, i’m in the lounge hitting the ball around with some other uniforms and a few teachers, this older, slender instructor walks in to play…i remember at the time being like jowles strong, felt good…i liked playing fast and low…when we started playing he was soooo balanced and effortless, he used that “penhold” grip…i had played against folks who used that grip before, but never anyone that could make a ball do right turns after it hit the table…i remember backing way the heck off the table and having him just run me around the room…it was nice, that was one of my longest assignments (2 years)…

    took me a while to match what i was assuming and actually seeing when we played…he had major juice amongst the other instructors, found out later from one them that even further back in the day he had played at the national level back in s. korea…just a really graceful gentlemen…no doubt he enjoyed kicking my ass…

  263. obi kinda reminds me of rodney rogers.

    also for the boxing fans, if you haven’t yet be sure to check out vergil ortiz. fast and powerful like lopez, and a very smart kid. can’t wait to see him fight some of the killers at welterweight.

  264. Obi doesn’t seem like a heady player. I’d pass. I guess the unlikely upside is something like Amare. That would be a nice find in a shitty draft.

  265. Knicks seem very interested in Okoro. I wonder if seeing Butler and Iggy in the playoffs is pointing them in that direction (probably unwisely.) To be fair, Okoro is a very, very imposing defensive player. I just don’t see how you don’t prioritize shooting at this point. How many teams now wish they didn’t pass over Herro? (we know the Celts wish one more team did!)

  266. I suppose it’s a good thing that the Knicks are not homed in on one player, or on whether they will stay at 8 or move up or down. Nice to not telegraph like they have so many times in the past.

  267. Knicks seem very interested in Okoro. I wonder if seeing Butler and Iggy in the playoffs is pointing them in that direction (probably unwisely.) To be fair, Okoro is a very, very imposing defensive player. I just don’t see how you don’t prioritize shooting at this point. How many teams now wish they didn’t pass over Herro? (we know the Celts wish one more team did!)

    Please please please please get a shooter. Please.

  268. I would be fine with taking Tyrell Terry, even at #8. Obviously trading down to get him would be nice, but he seems like by far the best natural shooter in this draft. Super intelligent too, and has already put on like 20 lbs of muscle since March, which was the biggest criticism of his game. I see more Trae Young than Jimmer Fredette, but obviously you have to trust the scouting there. I worry that having a Kentucky guy in the coaching/scouting fold might steer them towards Maxey.

  269. Brian Cronin: Please please please please get a shooter. Please.

    It’s interesting how few projected lottery picks are knock-down outside shooters. And there’s one less now that Vassell’s shot looks busted.

    Tyrese’s ability to shoot that shot at the next level is questionable, Obi was shooting on low volume, and Killian is still working on his deep ball. Bey and Nesmith are probably the surest bets to be decent shooters at the next level, unless second round guys like Merrill or Joe can pan out.

    I guess you could trade down for Terry, but point guards that small don’t have a good track record in the league.

    I would say defense is just as important as shooting for this team, and aside from Okoro, idk who is a high enough level defender to consider at 8.

  270. If you want shooting poku has to be a consideration. He looks like he’s shooting fts when he’s behind the arc. Smooth

  271. ess-dog: I guess you could trade down for Terry, but point guards that small don’t have a good track record in the league.

    According to this report, Terry put on 20 lbs. and is now listed at 6’3.75″ with shoes and weighs 180. He’s bigger than Kemba, Lillard, Trae, CP3, Lowry, VanVleet, Mike Conley, etc. and around the same as Curry, Kyrie, Parker, Rose, etc., although not the athlete or with the length of some of those guys. He is even working with a shot doctor, despite shooting the lights out at Stanford. That’s the kind of prospect I want on my team.

  272. Z-man: According to this report, Terry put on 20 lbs. and is now listed at 6’3.75? with shoes and weighs 180. He’s bigger than Kemba, Lillard, Trae, CP3, Lowry, VanVleet, Mike Conley, etc.and around the same as Curry, Kyrie, Parker, Rose, etc., although not the athlete or with the length of some of those guys. He is even working with a shot doctor, despite shooting the lights out at Stanford. That’s the kind of prospect I want on my team.

    If this is true, great let’s take Terry. But I’d guess this is more like how Frank & Knox grow an inch taller every year but somehow always appear the same height.

  273. I do not want Obi Toppin whose 3pt shooting is likely an illusion and in the best case scenario doesn’t shoot enough 3’s to be useful in today’s NBA.

  274. One of the biggest thing I admire Morey is the way his tenure treats sunk costs. I just read the ringer piece realizing he was only allowed to go over tax for 1 year, so finding all the creative or stupid ways to cut costs and paying for past mistakes are pretty interesting. Until now that he’s most likely out of options and let go.

    I think JVG still coaches USA FIBA stuff from time to time. That maybe keeps him from being too out of touch. I still like Kenny Atkinson as a mini-MDA level replacement more for Houston.

  275. Tyrese Haliburtion is 6’5″ 175 and clearly is too small to play effective defense at an NBA level. He just doesn’t weigh enough.

    Tyrell Terry has shot up my board now that he’s 6’3″ 175, that legit NBA size makes all the difference for his profile going forward.

  276. Please please please please get a shooter. Please.

    Brian, how would you feel if we took Okoro at 8 and then traded into the teens to get Lewis or Terry or someone else who can shoot? I’m as gunshy as everyone else about adding yet another non-shooter to a roster with Mitch, RJ, Frank, Randle, et al. But Okoro seems to be really good at literally everything but shooting, is a much better finisher than RJ, and thus seems like the kind of player who might be worth the gamble that he can be taught to shoot.

    [re-reads this paragraph, thinks about many previous Knick drafts]
    Time is a flat circle.

  277. The Okoro hype is baffling to me. I’m willing to buy that he’s the rare bird defensive prospect who can be very impactful without generating turnovers (largely for the sake of argument, not because I’m entirely convinced).

    That still leaves…just about every other aspect of the game? He’s not quite Ntilikina because he’s athletic enough to generate a decent amount of points in transition and has flashed a little in the way of a dribble drive game, but he still profiles as a second round flyer type to me.

    He would definitely continue our proud tradition of drafting guys in the lottery with the hope that they’ll get better at, like, 10 different basketball related things though, so there’s that.

  278. He would definitely continue our proud tradition of drafting guys in the lottery with the hope that they’ll get better at, like, 10 different basketball related things though, so there’s that.

    TNH, all the scouting reports I’ve seen on Okoro rave about not just his individual defense, but his athleticism, his finishing at the rim, and his secondary playmaking. If he could already shoot, he might be the consensus top pick. So it’s not like he has to get better at lots of things like Knox or Frank. He just has the one, really. It happens to be the big one, and there are very few Kawhi Leonards out there. I’d probably rather take the high floor guy in Vassell (who’s allegedly a better team defender than Okoro, but not as good one-on-one), but I don’t think Okoro is an insane choice if the team can find shooting elsewhere in the draft and in FA.

  279. If we draft Terry can we bring back JR to elbow him in the face?

    (God, that still stings, we would have swept those green fuckers and maybe had more energy and focus for game 1 vs. Indy)

  280. I was kinda into Obi Toppin before reading this thread. Read enough compelling points here to want to avoid him.

    I’m beginning to develop a zeal for Patrick Williams. Although I don’t actually watch film, so what that really means is the people I read are beginning to develop a zeal for Patrick Williams. Sam Vecenie in the Athletic describes him like this:

    “his defensive instincts in help are outrageously good, and he’s an underrated playmaker with ball in hand. Someone who can play multiple positions and defend all over the court.”

    He’s 6’8 with 7’0 wingspan and sturdy frame. Shot 32% from three (on merely 50 attempts), but an 84% free throw shooter. His defensive impact shows up with 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks per 40. And his rawness shows up with 3.1 turnovers (apparently he travels a ton).

    As someone who prefers to build from the bottom up, I like the idea of putting a guy like that next to Mitch to create solid defensive team.

  281. Patrick Williams sounds like the player that Fizdale, Mills, and Perry talked themselves into thinking Knox could be. Which… if he really is, that’s great. And if he’s just Knox 2.0… time remains a flat circle.

  282. I get the Kevin Knox fear, too. I think it was just a couple weeks ago I wanted to avoid him because he sounded like Knox. But I’ve been reading credible people speak very highly of him. I don’t recall many scouts being very high on Knox.

  283. TNH, all the scouting reports I’ve seen on Okoro rave about not just his individual defense, but his athleticism, his finishing at the rim, and his secondary playmaking.

    He has definitely thrown down some cool dunks and made a few nifty passes, but…

    -5.6 TRB/40 as a 6’6″ guy in college
    -2.6 AST/40 vs 2.5 TOV/40
    -1.1 BLK/40 and 1.2 STL/40

    At the end of the day, the scouts are asking us to ignore a lot of empirical realities here. How many times do we need to get burned by doing so before we learn our lesson? There are plenty of examples that show “athleticism” doesn’t necessarily translate to “functional athleticism in the context of helping an NBA team win,” and Okoro seems primed to become the next one.

  284. If Haliburton and/or Hayes is still on the board and we pick someone else I am fairly sure we will have fucked up without knowing anything else

  285. Well, I mean, if you’re going to bust out numbers on an analytics-friendly blog, TNH, then I’m going to respond with [extremely fake Wallace Shawn voice] WHAT IN THE WORLD CAN THAT BE?!?!?!

    Now, what don’t you just enjoy a drink from this cup of wine?

  286. Now that there are questions about Vassell’s shot, I’m starting to lean towards Okoro or Lewis Jr.

    Would love a trade up scenario with that second clippers pick. Grab Okoro at #8 and then trade up with our Clips pick, second rounder and cash to snag Lewis Jr.

    Or do a trade down to get another first where we could grab both of those guys.

    We need shooters but we need everything honestly. I was of the mind that Vassell/Haliburton were the way to go because of the shooting to surround RJ but now I’m thinking get the best/most talent and put our trust in development. If RJ doesn’t learn to shoot he’s not gonna be someone worth building around anyways. Okoro/RJ could be a pretty exciting wing duo though if they develop nicely.

  287. What is the deal with Vassell’s shot? I saw a tweet about him taking down a shooting video (albeit one where he sank nearly every shot he took), but nothing beyond that.

  288. Halliburton can’t be passed if we’re lucky enough for him to be at 8. But I wouldn’t be mad if we passed on Hayes for Williams or one of the shooting wings.

  289. The Okoro hype is baffling to me.

    His free throw rate is ridiculous. Incredibly powerful dude that gets to the rim at will. Plus, his handle and passing are already decent, and his shot doesn’t look broken (he kind of has that guy-that’s-too muscular release.)

    That being said, I think he’ll go top-6, and I don’t think he’s a very good fit between RJ and Mitch.

  290. I like Toppin a lot. He creates mismatches. He can body defenders inside, has range outside and runs the floor with confidence. Considering our offensive timidity, Obi would shake things up considerably.

  291. I thought the same thing about Toppin, jazzfunk, but this thread has made me consider that many of those mismatches wouldn’t translate to the NBA bc they were attributable to his advanced age (22 y/o) and post up game.

  292. His free throw rate is ridiculous. Incredibly powerful dude that gets to the rim at will. Plus, his handle and passing are already decent, and his shot doesn’t look broken (he kind of has that guy-that’s-too muscular release.)

    His FTr is a very legitimate rejoinder to the points I raised. It salvages an otherwise very underwhelming statistical profile. He may yet become a plus offensive player and second round flyer was probably a little harsh.

    There are still too many risks for me to comfortable with him in the top half of the lottery though, especially considering there’s at least a decent chance one of Hayes/Haliburton/Vassell is available.

    Also we shouldn’t be drafting for fit etc etc etc but maaaaaaaan his fit is particularly bleak…

  293. >>>Also we shouldn’t be drafting for fit etc etc etc but maaaaaaaan his fit is particularly bleak…<<<

    You don't think this would be good?

    G Frank
    G Barrett
    F Okoro
    F Randle
    C Mitch

  294. Not a fan of the idea that the pick needs to be a shooter. Drafting for skill need seems every bit as dubious as drafting for positional need. Maybe more so in a lot of ways since at least position is something you should feel very confident you can project. It seems to me like it comes from the same mental mistake though; the truth is we have absolutely no idea who is going to be on the Knicks a few years from now (which is when you hope whoever you draft is relevant) so worrying about how a prospect hypothetically fits into that group is pointless. The roster construction of last years Knicks was clearly totally jacked up in terms of both positional balance and balance of skillsets, but the #8 pick isn’t the right place to address that.

  295. Hubert, the age issue and level of competition are definite concerns with Obi. Too many of our previous draft picks required wishful thinking to imagine their trajectories and we were wrong. There is an infrastructure in place with Toppin’s skill sets. He will be challenged at first, but we do not have to squint to see the positives like we do with Frank and Kevin.

  296. #You don’t think this would be good?

    G Frank
    G Barrett
    F Okoro
    F Randle
    C Mitch#

    I almost dropped my cellphone while reading that!

  297. Toppin is hard to figure out in my opinion.

    On one hand, he feels like tweener in a bad sense like RJ: too small to defend centers and too slow to defend pfs. But I do like his versatility on offense — you can tell he started out as a guard (like Anthony Davis), and I think he could become an even better passer in the right system.

    Wasserman said today that most teams actually have him rated really high and that it’s very unlikely he’ll make it to #7: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2913808-how-high-will-2020-nba-drafts-most-popular-prospect-climb

  298. I think I’d be up for trading down for a later pick and a bucket of rocks on the theory that there are plenty of people worth a flyer at a lower price point and I’d rather not repeat the drama of “needing” to play a bad draft pick because they were picked relatively high. No standouts coupled with more uncertainty than usual is making me think that less options at less money might be a better choice. Not sure there’s anybody interested in trading up though.

  299. i don’t always pay close attention to the ncaa. for those of you who do, how does okoro compare with what marcus smart looked like as a prospect?

    edit: not the numbers, i can see the stls rate difference etc, asking the eyeballers

  300. Jowles, you’re generally in favor of trading down, especially in a situation like this without an obvious blue chipper. So what kind of return, pick-wise, would you want for going from 8 to somewhere in the mid teens? Ignore any players, just pick-for-pick(s).

  301. If the Knicks want to move down I think the Celtics would be a logical partner; They’ve got 3 firsts, they have a bit of a roster spot crunch already and as a contending team there’s no way they intend to have a bunch of rookies on the team next year, so they need to make some kind of move. The particulars of that trade read as nonsense to me though – there’s no world in which the Celtics would be interested in Taj at his salary – they have tax concerns and his production can be approximated at the minimum and I don’t even think the trade works legally since he makes more than Langford.

  302. I am skeptical of Tyrell Terry‘s claimed growth spurt, but to be clear I would probably draft Terry in the top 3-5 if he actually did grow an inch and put on 20 lbs. Haliburton, Okongwu, Terry, & Wiseman would be my top picks.

    I’ve come around a bit on Okoro, despite his shooting, he could be a decent pick. It will just look really ugly next year and possibly until we trade one of Okoro or RJ. I wouldn’t consider him at 8 if the draft were better.

    Vassell‘s shooting always looked like a bit of a mirage based on the numbers. He’ll be fine as a league average shooter and decent defender, but it’s not exactly thrilling as a draft pick.

    Normally I couldn’t care less about interviews, but LaMelo Ball still has a lot of flaws he needs to fix. He’s abhorrent on defense. If the interview is as bad as they say, then I do not want Ball under any circumstance.

  303. I would do that trade barring Hayes being available at #8. Langford has some intrigue, but more importantly I think 14 + 30 > 8 for a team in our situation and that’s accentuated by the relative weakness of this draft. If we put the entire roster on the trade block we’d receive calls about exactly two players. We need as many darts as possible.

  304. I’m actually intrigued by some of the players possibly available at 8, so I’m less inclined to see us trade down. But Matisse would be interesting. We already have Frank, but a mean, aggressive Frank would be better than a scared, passive Frank.

  305. I don’t know why the Sixers would trade Matisse — he’s a perfect, cost-controlled 3 and D guy.

    I still think the Knicks will try to trade up for LaMelo, though. This should be an easy draft to trade up in, and they seem to want him badly, despite the smokescreens. I honestly still don’t know what to make of LaMelo. There just aren’t enough stats.

    I would be fine with Haliburton and Hayes, and to a lesser extent, Avdija and Toppin. Terry is tempting though — that stroke is pretty sweet.

  306. Yeah, the Sixers won’t trade Matisse. But a girl can dream…

    Please no LaMelo. He just seem the athletic version of an idiot savant. One real skill, and a whole lot of hype. If we were a team that could put four great shooters out there in various combinations for him to find, maybe. But we’re about the exact opposite of that description, and likely will be for years.

  307. What about the proposed Celtic trade of Romeo Langford, #14 ,and #30 for Taj and #8?

    I’d be concerned that multiple people at TD Garden had severe neurological damage, but I’d take it.

  308. If we could trade for Romeo Langford, somehow steal Matisse Thybulle, draft Tyrese Haliburton, and pick up Langston Galloway, that would be a suite of names I could cheer for.

  309. I thought I saw a post from THCJ about Okoro vs. Smart. I see Okoro as more of a wing…mart as more of a combo guard. Smart turned out to be a much better player than I expected…you knew the defensive tenacity would be there but he developed into a better shooter and playmaker than I expected, and straddles that line between being super-intense and a dangerous (to his own team) hothead.

    Okoro has a high motor but doesn’t seem as crazed as Smart, which could be good or bad. I think he is a reasonably “safe” pick but it would be shocking to me if there aren’t several better players taken after him if he is drafted in the top 8. Thing is, he’s got that Swiss Army Knife game that could turn into Igoudala or Stanley Johnson. I see more Iggy in his game…his left hand is nicely developed, he has a decent array of scoring moves and his 3 doesn’t look broken. But 8 just seems too high to pick him for a team like ours that is so desperate for shooting.

  310. One thing that could be happening is that the Knicks might be showing interest in lots of different players to hook a team that is enamored with one guy….maybe someone below them is really hot for Okoro, sort of like PHX was hot for Mikal. That’s not a bad strategy.

  311. The Celts are desperate for bigs so they might be looking to draft Okongwu or Wiseman. Both of those guys probably aren’t available at #8, so I doubt they deal with us.

  312. I don’t think it’s crazy to think Thybulle could be available – if Philly wants to make significant changes to that roster (and they should) they don’t exactly have a ton of different cards to play. A trade construction where they use Thybulle as a sweetener in some kind of Horford trade seems like a possibility to me. But they’d be looking for guard help obviously in that kind of deal and we have none to offer so I don’t see any Knicks possibilities unless it was a convoluted 3-team setup.

  313. Alan:
    What is the deal with Vassell’s shot? I saw a tweet about him taking down a shooting video (albeit one where he sank nearlyevery shot he took), but nothing beyond that.

    I saw the video, didn’t realize it had been taken down. He was shooting with a bizarre shooting form. He was almost throwing the ball at the basket instead of shooting it. He was holding the ball above and almost behind his head. Really weird shooting motion.

  314. I’m not sure we should be looking to trade down.

    I don’t watch many NCAA games or scouting films. IMO, the progress of many young players is mostly a crapshoot depending on work ethic and basketball IQ anyway. I have no expertise on any of these kids.

    However, imo we should probably be trying to fill one of our many needs with someone that has a chance to be more than just another good role player. If anything I’d rather try to move up if there’s someone up there worth taking a shot at. Other than that, I’d rather trade a pick to try to bring in a very good young player with upside who’s perhaps not happy where he is now. We are so bad it will be impossible to get an actual star (unless he’s a couple years away assisted living), but there should be some good young players out there that are available. If the right kind of player is not available in the draft we should make a move. We need a player that we can firmly say “this is our starting PF of the future”, “this is our starting SG of the future” etc.. Right now we are looking at Robinson and RJ as the only untouchables. One of them may be flake and the other may never learn to shoot. I’m not being pessimistic here. I like both. I’m just saying when you need this many things you have to go out and get a GOOD young player even if picks are involved.

  315. There was a trade someone here proposed that I liked where we traded Randle (and Payton) to Detroit for Blake and their # 7 pick. I liked that idea a lot. Gets us a “star” to keep Dolan happy but also Blake is a better fit for what we want to do than Randle. Get another lotto pick too. Then trade our clips pick and 2nd rounder to move up. Pick 7, 8 and maybe around 18 or 20.

    Something like that would be a great night for us depending on who we drafted.

  316. What are the chances that the superiority of his version of Space Jam wins the GOAT argument for Lebron

    I really have no opinions on this draft I trust other than that I like Okongwu more than his projected draft slot

  317. Jowles, you’re generally in favor of trading down, especially in a situation like this without an obvious blue chipper. So what kind of return, pick-wise, would you want for going from 8 to somewhere in the mid teens? Ignore any players, just pick-for-pick(s).

    I would need two picks in the teens. I’ve repeatedly argued that you can find good players at the end of the first round (and the last pick of the 1st round might be the best pick in the draft, as you get the guaranteed 4 years on rookie scale without the 2nd-rounder flexibility that leads to contracts like the Whiteside extension) but given the uncertainty among the top lottery picks, I’d venture to bet that there’s going to be a lot of value after the top 10 this year.

  318. If we’re willing to take on mediocre players for a year or two just in our division Boston is probably going to be trying to dump Kanter and maybe one or two of their other fringe guys, and the Nets probably want to get rid of Taureen Prince.

  319. ***If we could trade for Romeo Langford, somehow steal Matisse Thybulle, draft Tyrese Haliburton, and pick up Langston Galloway, that would be a suite of names I could cheer for.***

    This is what happens when we let F. Scott Fitzgerald name the characters in our simulation.

  320. Donnie Walsh:
    ***If we could trade for Romeo Langford, somehow steal Matisse Thybulle, draft Tyrese Haliburton, and pick up Langston Galloway, that would be a suite of names I could cheer for.***

    This is what happens when we let F. Scott Fitzgerald name the characters in our simulation.

    Now that’s funny!

  321. I really don’t know how much value we could get from a trade-down situation this year. This draft being so undifferentiated from like #5 onward just means that teams only have an incentive to trade up if they’re really, really in love with one particular guy. I don’t think anyone other than Boston bites for a trade-up with no sweetener (e.g. us taking on a contract of theirs). I think the best you could expect to get is #14 and #26, no player. I think I take that if Hali, Hayes, and Okongwu are off the board. In which case, you draft one of Kira, Poku, or Terry with the #14 and then hope one of the guards falls to #26 (if you pick Poku) or that Poku does (if you pick one of the guards). Or you can get creative and package the #26 and a second to trade up to, say, #21 to guarantee getting two of the three, probably.

    Unless we get three real assets from the trade down I’d probably stay put, especially since Hayes and Hali both look like they could fall to 8.

  322. Guys I’d be enthusiastic about drafting at #8 (Leaving out LaMelo, Wiseman, Edwards bc they won’t be there for sure):

    Haliburton
    Terry
    Hayes, Jr.

    Less so:
    Okoro
    Okongwu
    Toppin
    Avdija
    Achiuwa
    Nesmith

    Not at all:
    Hayes
    Vassell
    Bey
    Maxey
    Anthony
    Williams
    Smith
    Poku

  323. If the Knicks favorite players are ones who will go late, then I’m ok with them trading down. Otherwise they should wait and see what they get at number eight. This is such a jumbled draft, a player they really like could slip to number eight and then they’d be kicking themselves for trading down.

  324. I think I take that if Hali, Hayes, and Okongwu are off the board. In which case, you draft one of Kira, Poku, or Terry with the #14 and then hope one of the guards falls to #26 (if you pick Poku) or that Poku does (if you pick one of the guards).

    I should add that my prior enthusiasm for this deal is completely dependent on Poku being available at 14. If you’re not sure he will be, I probably don’t do it.

    For better or worse (I think it’s the latter), it’s hard for me to see the Knicks taking Okongwu too seriously. The rumblings we’ve heard seem to indicate they’re taking fit into account. FWIW I think that can be reasonable to a certain extent but I wouldn’t let it get in the way of taking Okongwu, who I think could be special.

  325. Back to work today…

    I’ve just got no read on this draft. I would love to find a good lead guard that can stroke it. Doesn’t seem to be this draft’s strength… although you guys have talked me into Tyrell Terry.

    HOMER PLUG: there’s been some buzz around RJ Williams of Boise State. He’s an ELAC xfer – so I’m pulling for him to be drafted… or at least get a look from a team as an undrafted rookie FA.

  326. The only way I see us picking Okongwu is in a trade-down, meaning we pick him for another team if he’s available and then trade him. His offensive game is super-raw and it doesn’t make for a good pairing with Mitch. More generally, this draft may be more about drafting for need over BPA than most, given the uncertainty about everyone in the top 10.

    I agree that he can be special, though. Dude is ferocious.

  327. Hayes is probably the #1 prospect on my big board. I view him as literally the only prospect in this draft who has proven to a reasonable degree that he can drive, shoot, pass, and defend. Not much more to it than that. Statistical models love him and I see nothing in the tape that leads me to believe they’re missing something.

  328. BTW, one of the beat writers tells me he’s heard a rumor that Vassell was just screwing around after practice in this now-infamous video. But as with everything leading up to the draft — especially this draft, under these circumstances — who the hell knows what’s true?

  329. swiftandabundant:
    There was a trade someone here proposed that I liked where we traded Randle (and Payton) to Detroit for Blake and their # 7 pick. I liked that idea a lot. Gets us a “star” to keep Dolan happy but also Blake is a better fit for what we want to do than Randle. Get another lotto pick too. Then trade our clips pick and 2nd rounder to move up. Pick 7, 8 and maybe around 18 or 20.

    Something like that would be a great night for us depending on who we drafted.

    This doesn’t make even one iota of sense for Detroit. They clearly know they’re entering a rebuild phase and they have no near-term cap space aspirations. Why would they give up a top-10 pick to get off Blake’s salary?

  330. Alan:
    BTW, one of the beat writers tells me he’s heard a rumor that Vassell was just screwing around after practice in this now-infamous video. But as with everything leading up to the draft — especially this draft, under these circumstances — who the hell knows what’s true?

    That’s kind of a shame. I watched the video and was thinking that if he had a higher release point it would be close to a Kareem
    Skyhook except that he’s not sideways to the basket.

  331. DANILO GALLINARI
    @gallinari8888
    Where to next?

    The Knicks need a stretch PF and the restaurants in Little Italy are open.

  332. Depending on the price point and whether it would complicate other moves (say, using our cap space to take on bad contracts for picks, assuming Rose is more on board with that than Mills was), I’d be perfectly happy to see Gallo back on a one or two-year deal.

  333. If we are being serious and not playing fantasy draft basketball, the Knicks need both a legitimate #1 and #2 scoring option unless they are banking on RJ filling one of those roles in a couple of years. They have plenty of positions to choose from since we are terrible everywhere. lol What we don’t “need” long term is a player that looks good on stats models but will never be more than a solid role player. You can never have enough of those guys, but they are a means to an end. The end is getting a solid #1 and #2 option. We’ve already exhausted the “KP is hurt, let’s tank” with RJ. Well see how that works out over the next few years. We dropped in the lottery again this year. It’s going to be harder (as if isn’t hard enough to begin with) to get lucky in the draft. I think we have to make a move to get a young player that has that kind of upside potential. If not now, soon.

  334. Man, if we could move Randle, I would ABSOLUTELY love The Rooster back at The Garden for a season or two. One of my favorite Knicks ever and he is absolutely the prototype 4 that we need on our team. Would much rather see Gallo than Melo.

  335. Alan:
    Depending on the price point and whether it would complicate other moves (say, using our cap space to take on bad contracts for picks, assuming Rose is more on board with that than Mills was), I’d be perfectly happy to see Gallo back on a one or two-year deal.

    I read a few months back that he said he wanted to finish his career in Italy. That implies he won’t need a very long term contract to sign. I also read he wasn’t interested in going to Miami in a trade this year because they wouldn’t give him or at least promise him a multi year contract.

    I don’t think he’s going to take a 1 year deal, but a 2 year deal for NY “may” be possible.

    It depends on how much he wants to be on a contender vs. just finishing his NBA career somewhere he’ll be comfortable and happy.

  336. I read a few months back that Gallo said he wanted to finish his career in Italy. That implies he’d be willing to take something other than a very long term contract. I also read he wasn’t interested in going to Miami in a trade this year because they wouldn’t give him or at least promise him a multi year contract.

    I don’t think he’s going to take a 1 year deal, but a 2 year deal for NY “may” be possible. It depends on how much he wants to be on a contender vs. just finishing his NBA career somewhere he’ll be comfortable and happy.

  337. *** You don’t think this would be good?
    G Frank
    G Barrett
    F Okoro
    F Randle
    C Mitch
    Halliburton can’t be passed if we’re lucky enough for him to be at 8.***

    With Barret already on board, and Halliburton in the fold, we can then use the Dallas pick to take 6’7” Rutgers guard Caleb McConnell; sign undrafted Dayton center Matt Kavanaugh; and use a 2021 2nd rounder to take East Tennessee State freshman Damari Monsanto.

    1. Halliburton
    2. Barrett
    3. McConnell
    4. Kavanaugh
    5. Monsanto

    (then they can change their name from the New York Knicks to the New York Neptunes)

  338. Before I answer the Gallo question, I’ll reiterate that I think the optimal strategy for this team is to punt on 2021, use as much cap space as possible to acquire guys like Taurean Prince who come with draft picks, and let Thibs focus on player development while bottoming out en route to a high pick in the 2021 draft.

    Having said that, if you’re seeking to get this team out of the gutter ASAP and let the kids play in a competent environment, then Gallo is a good way to execute that strategy.

    That strategy only pays dividends if you can get over the 30-38 win zone and compete for a playoff spot. To do that, you have to find the right veterans who can elevate the young players on the court. Gallo’s skill set fits perfectly between RJ and Mitch, so I think he accomplishes that.

    Another guy that I think would help a great deal if we’re going in that direction is Rondo. If we’re doing any sort of veteran signings, those are the two guys I’d offer 1 1 deals to.

  339. Continuing with armchair GM…

    If you gave Rondo & Gallo one year deals and moved Randle for anything (Hollinger and Vorkunov suggested he’s worth a mid-first from Minnesota; I’ll settle for not having to compensate a team to take him), the next step you could take to get this team to instant respectability is to offer a market value contract to FVV, who might actually be inclined to take it with those two here.

    1 Rondo
    2 Van Vleet
    3 Barrett
    4 Gallinari
    5 Robinson

    You bring Bullock back, use the room exception on someone decent, and work Frank, Smith, Knox, and our two draft picks into the rotation if they can earn their way in.

    That’s at least a good way to execute the strategy Mills and Perry failed to pull off this year. But I don’t know where you go from there. I guess you just tread water in the 40-45 win range until you luck into a superstar via free agency or trade.

  340. Another guy that I think would help a great deal if we’re going in that direction is Rondo.

    Rondo turns 35 before next season and would be leaving an NBA champion, clear favorites to repeat, with the GOAT and the best (semi)traditional big man since Duncan’s prime, the #2 and #12 players on the all-time BPM leaderboards who will be under contract together for the next three years, at least. So let’s just give him a 4-year max and put together some Orlandoesque 35-win seasons before the inevitable plummet to the top of the lottery again, where we’ll pick another intriguing ACC blue chipper who can’t throw the ball into the ocean. KNICKS.

  341. And for those who do read clearly, the only reason I even mention Rondo is because the Knicks seem to have a hard on for solving the PG position right now. This raging boner of theirs could lead to the mistake of giving up real assets for Chris Paul or reaching for a player at 8 who is not worthy of being selected at 8. Rondo seems like a relatively harmless way to address that problem compared to the other choices we’ve been presented with.

  342. Alan:
    How are we feeling about Killian Hayes at the moment?

    I’m feeling that of all the players likely to be drafted in the top 10, Hayes is the most likely to be out of the league in 5 years. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-ft basket stanchion.

  343. As good as Rondo was in the playoffs, he has one (1) regular season where he posted a positive BPM since 2012 – 2013, and that was 2015-16 on Sacramento, both a season I’d completely forgotten about and not particularly recent now either. Further, taking him out of a championship environment and putting him onto a team battling to get to 32 wins does not strike me as the way to unlock “playoff Rondo” on a day to day basis. Expecting him to be a guy who helps you win regular season games next year seems very optimistic.

  344. z-man, tnh, you now have to have a rap battle about Killian Hayes. I don’t make the rules. I just enforce them.

  345. You’re not signing him with the expectation of unlocking playoff Rondo on a day to day basis. You’re signing him because he can provide average PG play for 24 minutes a night while satisfying Thibs’ and Rose’s desire for a veteran PG without compromising the long term future of the team. You can substitute Rondo with any PG you think can provide league-average play on a one year deal.

    We were talking getting a guy like Gallo. I don’t think there’s any point in just getting him alone, that just gets you into 32 win zone. But if you get Gallo, coax a veteran PG to sign on the cheap, and leverage all that to add a nice piece like FVV, then at least you’ve gotten somewhere. Those are the conditions I’d consider signing Gallo.

  346. Alan:
    z-man, tnh, you now have to have a rap battle about Killian Hayes. I don’t make the rules. I just enforce them.

    Already played out….now all that remains is for us to see how he develops (hopefully he is picked before #8 so the stakes are low.)

  347. what’s the point of rondo when we can just exercise payton’s option. payton and mitch played 542 minutes together last year. in those minutes the offense was oddly excellent (113.6 per 100 vs 105.8 otherwise), and mitch was much more useful (pts per 100 23.2 vs 18.8 and rim attempts per 100 13 vs 10). plus payton doesn’t come with a 10pct chance of convincing rj and mitch to become scientologists.

  348. Payton also froze out Barrett whenever they shared the court together, or at least so goes the narrative. Developing RJ is arguably priority number 1 for this season, and ideally we have a starting PG who knows how to get him the ball in the right spots, as often as possible.

  349. Hubert:
    You’re not signing him with the expectation of unlocking playoff Rondo on a day to day basis.You’re signing him because he can provide average PG play for 24 minutes a night while satisfying Thibs’ and Rose’s desire for a veteran PG without compromising the long term future of the team.You can substitute Rondo with any PG you think can provide league-average play on a one year deal.

    We were talking getting a guy like Gallo.I don’t think there’s any point in just getting him alone, that just gets you into 32 win zone.But if you get Gallo, coax a veteran PG to sign on the cheap, and leverage all that to add a nice piece like FVV, then at least you’ve gotten somewhere.Those are the conditions I’d consider signing Gallo.

    Yeah I agree with this philosophically I’m just pointing out that Rondo hasn’t provided average PG play in the regular season in a while. If you substitute like DJ Augustin for Rondo I think it becomes a little bit harder to convince yourself that this is a solid path to any kind of anything even though Augustin is probably a better bet to be a productive regular season PG next season.

  350. I wouldn’t get Rondo simply because he cannot shoot 3’s. I do think we should cut Payton and I do think we would need another stopgap veteran PG to take his place (even if we draft a PG) but I’d rather go with DJ (thibs connection) or Jeff Teague. I know those names are not inspiring but we’re talking one year deals (with team options) at Payton or less money. To start games, run an offense, hit open 3’s, etc.

    I don’t think we should draft for “fit” around RJ and Mitch although I don’t think drafting a big should be our priority (maybe with the second rounder?). But I do think we should address fit in free agency.

    I think last year’s strategy of getting vet free agents on 1+1 deals wasn’t the worst strategy, it was just poorly executed bc we signed Randle, Morris, Portis and Taj. Signing 4 power forwards was beyond crazy. Then you compound that with Payton being a PG who can’t shoot at all. Plus Bullock was hurt the first part of the season. So spacing was a nightmare.

  351. i know there is a story that payton froze out rj, but rj’s scoring number (22/100 48% TS with, 23/100 47% TS without) do not show it. i watched the games too and, yea, it looked a different when payton played, but isn’t that just comparing what happens to an unproductive point forward when you go from a lineup with zero true pgs to a lineup with 1 pg?

  352. ptmilo:
    what’s the point of rondo when we can just exercise payton’s option. payton and mitch played 542 minutes together last year.in those minutes the offense was oddly excellent (113.6 per 100 vs 105.8 otherwise), and mitch was much more useful (pts per 100 23.2 vs 18.8 and rim attempts per 100 13 vs 10).plus payton doesn’t come with a 10pct chance of convincing rj and mitch to become scientologists.

    i would prefer Payton. he’s younger, cheaper, and better. i would gladly pick up his option right now, name him the starting PG, and wait for a long term PG solution to present itself. but Rose and Thibs seem to want to move on from him, to the point that they’re considering giving up assets for Chris Paul and trading up to Lamelo Ball. both of those moves would be terrible, imo.

    as i said from the start, this is not my optimal strategy. this is my attempt to optimize a strategy that Rose, Perry, and Thibs seem likely to pursue.

    an FVV-RJ-Gallo-Mitch team doesn’t suck. i’d think it needs another ball handler to round out the lineup, so i looked for cheap guys who could outperform his contract while satisfying knick mgmt’s desire for a big name vet.

  353. I’ve never liked Rondo. I know he has his uses, but the Knicks should stay very far away, esp. if he’s just chasing the biggest paycheck he can get rather than where he’d fit best (or chasing another ring).

    I’m still suffering from BVWPTSD, so awaiting Rose’s first big player transactions with more than a little trepidation.

  354. the only reason I even mention Rondo is because the Knicks seem to have a hard on for solving the PG position right now

    Sorry, what about my post stood in opposition to this? He’d solve the problem. And then he’d retire. And then the Knicks would have used that roster slot on a sure-to-decline player instead of picking literally anyone else — like Shane Larkin, who would gladly come back to the NBA if guaranteed a starting PG slot, or better yet, someone young and cheap with actual upside. I wasn’t even suggesting that you thought it was a great idea! I’m saying it’s a terrible idea, independent of your endorsement of it! And I advocated for giving him the max, in this most-Knicksy scenario. How realistic!

    But I must say, it’s funny how you lead the blog in AMBOPT (Arguments Misinterpreted by Others Per Thread). Something something isolated variable. Very cosmic brain hard for comprehend with me!

  355. If we’re just looking to make the playoffs, which is what signing Gallinari signals, Elfrid is a fine choice. We were on a playoff pace once Elf came back from injury and Gallo is better than Randle.

    Rondo sucks despite his playoff performance. We don’t need him stealing Jerome James’s schtick.

  356. I’m sure the Knicks would just go with DJ Augustin before Rondo, as he has a positive history with Thibs, I believe.

  357. The default should be:

    1. sign Augustin with Frank hopefully stepping up to take over the starting job.

    2. trade DSJ for some beans and give Jared Harper the 3rd string role.

    3. draft BPA

    I’m not a fan of trading for CP3, but it sounds very possible. I do like trading up for LaMelo if the price isn’t too steep (one extra first and a player that isn’t RJ or Mitch).

  358. Shams:

    The Indiana Pacers are hiring Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as their new head coach, sources tell

    @TheAthleticNBA

  359. The Raptors may be the new Spurs in the sense of every organization wanting to steal a little bit of their magic by hiring a coach/exec out of there.

  360. Donnie, clapping hands emoji

    I just listened to Jared Dudley on the Simmons pod talking about life in the bubble on the Lakers and it was excellent. Surprised by how different an NBA vet sounds in 2020 relative to 2010. He isn’t the smoothest talker but has excellent insights and some of the behind the scenes stuff was great.

    He talks about Rondo and basically says he is a little crazy. Extremely intelligent but you need to manage him carefully. That doesn’t sound like what we need right now mentoring Frank, RJ, and Mitch.

  361. Vorkunov just threw out a trade idea that has the Knicks moving down to the Suns spot at 10 and getting Oubre Jr. while the Suns move up to 8 and get Bul-LOCK. He has the Knicks taking Vassell at 10, but I’d rather grab a point guard or a shooting pf, if possible.

    I don’t hate the trade, but I don’t think the Suns would do it just to get Haliburton (although it also frees up decent cap space for them.)

  362. Vorkunov just threw out a trade idea that has the Knicks moving down to the Suns spot at 10 and getting Oubre Jr. while the Suns move up to 8 and get Bul-LOCK. He has the Knicks taking Vassell at 10, but I’d rather grab a point guard or a shooting pf, if possible.

    I would do the shit out of that. Oubre is a pretty nice player and the difference between 8 and 10 in this draft is negligible.

  363. Oubre isn’t a bad player at all but I don’t really see the point of getting him in the building for a year even if the cost is relatively minimal (in this case going from 8 to 10). I suppose there’s always the chance that we could pull another Marcus Morris maneuver, but this would be riskier since unlike Morris we’d be giving up more than just money to get Oubre.

  364. I forgot how much money Phoenix gave Oubre. That’s pretty funny.

    Here’s a fun trivia question, one whose answer is apparent via its very asking:

    Who made more money?

    1) Gerald Green, 2005-06 through 2019-20, 13,026 minutes played
    2) Chandler Parsons, 2019-20 season, 54 minutes played

  365. I see no point in Rondo. Rondo was washed up two teams ago.

    Let me be clearer on my thinking.

    The goal isn’t to win games just to say we won more games.

    The goal is to get better every year using all avenues available so we can build a team that could potentially attract top tier players via free agency/trade to go along with the developing young players and additional draft picks.

    I would say Gallo is the upper age limit I’d be comfortable with when it come to veterans that could “help” attract top tier players eventually and I’m probably be overly generous because I love him. If I didn’t love him so much I’d probably be arguing against him too.

    At least Gallo is a legitimate #2 option and the perfect fit. His game doesn’t translate as well in the playoffs, but he’s very good. If you gave him 2 years or 3 years with some kind of team control on the 3rd, you have a perfect fit for for the team and a guy that should be reasonably productive for the remainder of the contract. With some development from RJ/Robinson (plus more space for them to work with) you suddenly have a team that makes some sense. If you add one more more good piece you could quickly get yourself into a position where a star looks at the team and says “there’s enough to work with there that if you add me and some of these kids keep getting better we have a very good team”.

    If we are hell bent on on PG, I’d just as soon keep Payton, keep developing Frank and/or DSJR, or draft one before I’d go with Rondo.

  366. I don’t see much point in Oubre. He’s an OK player, but he’s not cheap. And to be honest, I think RJ is eventually going to be our SF. In fact, I don’t see why he’s not our SF now. He’s the opposite of Knox. Knox came in extremely under developed physically. He has to fill out and get a lot stronger to play his position effectively. RJ is ready to be physical now and has supposedly got into much better shape over the break. Instead of trying to overpower smaller SGs, I think he’s ready to use a combination of his craftiness and strength against slower SFs.

    In my ideal world, we’d add a solid playmaking combo guard (VanVleet if he was cheap enough and wiling to come to this dump), put him on the court with Frank, move RJ to SF, add Gallo or some other quality stretch PF, and Robinson at C. That’s actually a basketball team.

  367. And to be honest, I think RJ is eventually going to be our SF. In fact, I don’t see why he’s not our SF now.

    This is true but we’re also in the positionless age. There’s really not such a thing as a “shooting guard” anymore. Oubre is that type of player, a 2/3 swingman.

    I guess ideally we want our other wing to be a very good shooter, and Oubre is really only okay as a shooter. I do like his overall game. He’d play the position of “pretty good player” for us, and we need those. His contract makes it all kind of moot though.

  368. I don’t see anything in Oubre’s statistical profile that is the least bit intriguing. Can someone enlighten me? Below .100 WS48, negative BPM metrics, career .329 from 3, doesn’t pass at all, plays SF where some want RJ to play…

    Hard pass.

  369. There’s a whole bunch of “meh” players that the Knicks could sign. Why? Is Oubre’s ceiling all-star? At the same time, why look at Rondo? He’s not on his way up.

    The way I figure things, barring a trade, RJ, Mitch, Randle, Ntilikina, DSJr, Knox, Iggy & Wooten two of the three 1st round picks get roster spots. That’s 10 players. The Knicks should target the top two of the top free agents they can. They need shooters and play makers. Gallinari and VanVleet are near all-stars and I would target them:
    Gallinari: WS 6.3 (rk 30); BPM 3.3 (rk 22); VORP 2.4 (rk 27)
    VanVleet: WS 5.8 (rk 36); BPM 2.7 (rk 33); VORP 2.3 (rk 29)
    Whiteside: WS 8.5 (rk 8); BPM 3.2 (rk 25); VORP 2.6 (rk 22)

    These stats make them “near all-stars”. Definitely tier-2 but real players. Gallo is the great compliment to Randle and Mitch up front. Whiteside and Mitch make a great pair in the post. There’s always a rim protector on the floor. VanVleet is a 2-way player, a playmaker and compliments RJ. They should work well together.

    Does a starting lineup of VanVleet, Barrett, Vassell, Gallinari & Whiteside with rotations of Knox, Frank, DSJr, Randle and Mitch off the bench sound interesting? That’s where I would go to start. The Knicks don’t give away any draft assets now and can offer up players that fall out of favor with Thibs (Frank, DSJr, Knox) at the trade deadline for draft considerations.

  370. Brian Cronin: Do you not want him to play the 3?

    I think it’s still too early to define him as a 3…Jimmy Butler and Jaylen Brown are good examples of what I mean… I don’t like Oubre in any case and definitely not if you think of RJ as only a 3.

  371. Brian Cronin:
    Did D’Antoni just get squeezed out of the head coaching market? That’s kind of hilarious.

    I’ve been one of his biggest fans, but the more I learn about the game the more I think he’d be better off as an assistant coach than head coach. The game is called and played differently in the playoffs. He doesn’t adjust well to that difference, the game to game, and the in game adjustments that take place in the playoffs more often. I’m not so sure working with Nash (if that’s where he winds up) adds a lot of value because I’m sure Nash will play fast, stress 3 pointers, and be creative on offense, but at least we know they’ll get along.

  372. I don’t see anything in Oubre’s statistical profile that is the least bit intriguing. Can someone enlighten me? Below .100 WS48, negative BPM metrics, career .329 from 3, doesn’t pass at all, plays SF where some want RJ to play…

    Oubre is a strong defender though, and is the kind of defender you want in the modern game: switchable and versatile. If you buy his performance from last season as a baseline, he’s a decent but not great offensive player who plays very good defense. Guys like that are useful. I do believe he’s the type of player whose value is not fully captured by the boxscore.

    Still though, his contract makes him irrelevant to us, I didn’t really consider that when I said I’d be interested in him as a Knick.

  373. I don’t see anything in Oubre’s profile that says he’s anything other than mediocre but if we’re only dropping back two spots I don’t have a problem taking a flyer on him. Also, assuming he doesn’t shit the bed here it seems to me that he wouldn’t be difficult to flip to another team for a future 1st.

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