Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Poison of 20 and 10

Nothing I am about to say here is all that new, but I keep seeing comments that seem to belie this point, so I figured it would be worthwhile to bring it up.

The focal point of this piece is why the Knicks are better off dumping Zach Randolph as soon as possible, even if it means trading him for players who are not nearly as talented as him (and why I would even consider it if the offer was Kenyon Martin, who is signed long-term to an awful contract, and has had surgery on BOTH of his legs).

The problem comes from the poisonous aspect of averaging twenty points and ten rebounds. In his second year in the league, at the tender age of 21, Zach Randolph averaged 8.4 points per game and 4.5 rebounds. In his third year, the 22-year-old Randolph averaged 20.1 points per game and 10.5 rebounds. For this impressive improvement, Randolph was awarded the 2004 NBA Most Improved Player Award.

However, did Randolph really improve much?

Note that, in 2002-03 (his second season), Randolph played 17 minutes a game. The next year? 38 minutes a game.

His per-36-minute averages in 2002-03? 18 and 9.5
His per-36-minute averages in 2003-04? 19.1 and 10

Sure looks like Randolph didn’t really improve much, right? He was just given more minutes. It is certainly significant that he was able to keep up his same level of production even with the improved playing time, but as has been shown in the past, that is usually how these things go.

So, without really changing as a player, Zach Randolph got himself a nice award. Oh wait…he also got something else. Before the beginning of the next NBA season, Zach Randolph got himself a 6-year, $84 million dollar contract extension. And that is why 20/10 is so poisonous.

In Zach Randolph’s mind, he is making insanely large sums of money for one thing – the fact that he can produce impressive counting stats. His financial future rests (in his mind) upon his ability to put up 20 points and 10 rebounds. How can you possibly convince him that it is better for the team if he doesn’t try to score 20 points each time out?

Zach Randolph is a massively talented player. Make no mistake about it. He is a great low post presence, and the man can rebound better than 90% (maybe more) of the NBA. But this is not a man who will ever be taught to do anything than to try to score 20 points and net 10 rebounds, because that stock of being the “20/10″ guy got him this contract, and he is not going to change his game now, or any time soon.

Since the Knicks are being actively hurt by Zach Randolph (whose True Shooting Percentage is 207th in the NBA among qualified players, while his usage rate is 15th — Think about that for a second!), and since he has been poisoned by “20/10,” the Knicks are best off just divesting themselves of the guy, even if it means taking back near-scrubs like Dan Gadzuric and Bobby Simmons.

*********************

Apropos of nothing, the same day Zach Randolph signed his extension, Eddie Robinson had his last two years of his contract with the Bulls bought out for $10.5 million. I just remember Robinson as a sorta useful player for the Hornets his first couple of years, I totally forgot he was given a FIVE-year deal by the Bulls! That almost makes Jared Jeffries look like a good signing!

64 comments on “The Poison of 20 and 10

  1. Mel

    It really is sad that players are paid by virtue of their stats instead of what they bring to a team as far as making it a winner.

    as long as thats the culture of the nba these situations will happen.

  2. John

    Zach Randolph is the equivalent of Antione Walker. He can score at will but is not a great defensive player. I think if Zach can come off the bench for instant scoring, he’d be an effective player when he’s next to defensive minded players. Similar to what Walker did later in his career. But only coming off the bench, not starting……IT knows that curry and zach can’t play together and cannot convince either to come off the bench. Perhaps another coach can? I doubt it…..what contending teams can use someone like Zach?

    Anybody?

    Other than that….we are stuck…..

  3. Duff Soviet Union

    From the embarassing revelations department…I actually thought Eddie Robinson was a good signing by the Bulls at the time.

  4. ScottD

    Zach the “black hole” Randolph needs to go.
    I respect his talent, and his competitiveness, but, once the ball “checks in, it never checks out” much like the old Roach Motel commercials.
    On the few occasions when he has passed out of the double team, like he did when they had won three out of four, the team won.
    As they say “it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks”
    Wouldn’t you love to trade him for a more servicable power forward ala Kurt Thomas, and also either a pure point or a complete small forward.
    I think Zack might be served better by playing on a veteran team that is playoff bound.

  5. Frank O.

    “Zach Randolph (whose True Shooting Percentage is 207th in the NBA among qualified players, while his usage rate is 15th — Think about that for a second!)…”

    You know, I knew he was terribly inefficient (I suspect Crawford is right there with him), but I did not imagine it was quite so bad.
    Part of his problem is that 58 percent of the shots he takes are jumpers. Not exactly what you would want from your power foward.
    On the other hand, Lee takes about 79 percent of his shots from the inside.

  6. Adam L

    EXACTLY!! This is what I’ve been saying, though most people have disagreed with me. I say we are FAR better off moving Zach and keeping Eddy, if we had to choose just one. Zach is more talented, but his negatives can never be hidden. He will always hog the ball. Eddy’s negatives cam be somewhat compensated for by the players around him.

    Which is why I propose Zach and David Lee for Pau Gasol. Zach for Pau straight works money-wise, but Memphis wouldn’t go for it. Maybe Lee would be enough.

    And while Pau is not the exact prototype to play with Eddy (Tyson Chandler is), he comes pretty darn close to fitting the bill. Can score, but is not obsessed with getting his. And amazing passer for a big man, and a great help defender. Rebounding could be a bit of a problem, but its a huge step in the right direction.

  7. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    It’s just amazing how bad Zach Randolph is on defense. He’s blocked just 6 shots in 37 games. That’s the same amount as Jamal Crawford and Fred Jones. Just unacceptable. David Lee has double the amount. Eddy Curry has 20. By per minute stats Malik Rose has double the rate. And he’s no great shakes when it comes to man-man defense.

    When I think of what area can be most helpful to NBA GMs, it’s clearly getting a good idea of a player’s worth on the defensive end. Because you can be good in so many areas, but if you kill your team defensively, there’s just about no amount of offense that will make up for that.

  8. jon abbey

    someone said it here earlier this season, but recently I saw him literally turn around and head to the basket when his man faked a jump shot. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as bad a defender in the league, he makes Curry look like Mutumbo.

  9. Thomas B.

    Maybe I am beating a dead horse as I have written this several times, but I still think Zach to Denver for K-Mart and a first round pick is a good deal for each team.

    Denver needs a player that can score in the post. Nene wont be a real factor this year, post scoring is not either Camby’s or Martin’s strength.

    Denver is a very bad defensive team already as they give up about 104 per. So Zach’s poor D won’t hurt them that much. Besides they might even be able to mask his poor interior D by playing him next to Camby.

    Martin and Zach have about the same money left on thier deals. Martin gets about 15 mill per (average) until 2010/2011. Zach gets about 16 mill per (average) through 2010/2011. Zach is about 4 years younger and has fewer health issues.

    Denver gets a younger player with better post numbers. Denver spends about 3 million more on Zach than they would Kenyon.

    Knicks do this to get rid of Randolph without taking on a longer contract. To offset the age and health issues, Knicks take a Denver first round pick. Knicks get a defensive minded forward who does not need to clog the post. This will free Curry to work (if you can call it work) the low box. Since Kenyon really should not be playing more than 25 per night, we can get time for Lee at PF.

    I think this, combined with moving Marbury is as good an example of addition by subtraction as you will see.

  10. jimmy p

    “if you kill your team defensively, there’s just about no amount of offense that will make up for that”

    I really think this sums up my Knicks and inept job at putting together this roster.

    Begs the question, again, what was the general manager vision for this team (when adding Randolph). Was he building the “Bad Boys II” (obviously not) or building “Showtime?”

    I really can’t figure out what the vision is.

  11. Thomas B.

    john abbey,

    Sounds like a good trade to me. Hell, we could operate Shaq’s corpse a la “Weekend at Bernie’s” and still get a better defensive performance than we would from the living Randolph.

  12. Frank

    I like the Kmart – Randolph deal actually. I haven’t seen Martin play recently but his kind of attitude would go over well on this team — that nasty I’m going to hurt you attitude that he showed on the Nets. Maybe some of it will rub off on Curry.

    From Denver’s point of view, I guess it’s an ok deal. Between Zach and Camby they should be a tremendous rebounding team, and Camby can erase a lot of Zach’s defensive lapses. And they really could use a scoring post player to take some of the pressure off AI and Melo.

  13. Matt

    I think Randolph for Martin is a real good trade for you guys, Martin’s terrible contract and injury history notwithstanding. K-mart would infuse the starting lineup with some much-needed interior toughness and make up for a decent amount of Curry’s glaring defensive shortcomings.

    I think this trade makes less sense from the Nuggets’ point of view for two reasons. One, it’s no small thing to incorporate a ball-pounder like Zach into a lineup that already features two of them: recall how the Nugs really struggled for a 12- or 15-game stretch after trading for AI. Now that they’re combining for 48% of Denver’s FGA per game, I don’t see how there would be enough touches for Randolph to be content (or effective) — especially given that he’s not exactly a “whatever the team needs” kind of guy. And secondly, don’t the Nuggets play at the highest pace factor in the league? Randolph is a liability in a full-court game; it’s one of the reasons we traded him after drafting Oden, because we thought we’d be running more a la Phoenix. Good luck dumping him though, the franchise deserves better than his ilk.

  14. KFFL

    Martin’s numbers:
    Points per game: 10.2
    Rbs per game: 6.3
    mins per game: 26.8
    blocks per game: 1.5
    steals per game: 1.4

    I like this trade. EXCEPT for the fact that he has had surgery on both legs. The man is another injury just waiting to happen. We need someone else in the trade to make it worth our while. Maybe a backup pg?

  15. Frank O.

    Just take the car keys from Isiah.
    then you can talk all kinds of trades.
    But as long as this guy is around, trades are just disasters waiting to happen.
    What Dunleavy said yesterday may have been a bit mean-spirited. But it was accurate.

  16. JK47

    K-Mart would at least give some sort of interior presence. You could give Lee 30+ minutes a game and try to keep K-Mart in the 20-25 range. It’d be a better frontcourt for sure, at least until K-Mart goes down with the inevitable injury.

    On the other hand, it’s still in this team’s best interest to lose, and lose often. So keep sending Z-Bo out there, Zeke! The guy is a 20-10 machine!!! Keep running Q out there too– he’s due for a comeback any time now…

  17. Frank O.

    By the way, at the halfway point of the season, the Bricks are one game of Larry’s pace.

    And it took a mini-winning streak against exhausted teams to get them there.

    Words cannot express my pride

  18. villainx

    I think swinging Zach to the Nets would make some sense if purely on the basis that the Nets are treading water, there big threes is not big enough size wise, and if anyone can bring something out of Zach, it would be Kidd. The Nets have a chance still, but their window is closing.

    What the Nets can give in return, does it matter? Draft pick, salary relief, a role player of some type…

  19. Roshi

    The K-mart + draft pick for Z-bo trade is great for the Knicks, but Denver will never do it. The last thing they need is another scorer who constantly needs the ball. David Lee, on the other hand, is exactly what Denver needs, but that won’t happen either. Even if a trade involving David Lee is highly beneficial, Isiah won’t do it because the NY fans will lynch him for trading away the most popular player.
    Uh oh, I said ‘lynch’….someone call Al Sharpton.

  20. Owen

    Thomas B – The Nuggets are actually the sixth best team on defense in the league. They play at the fastest pace in the league, but are actually very efficient. Their defense is better than their offense.

    Randolph’s defensive on court/off court is at -5 so far this year, which is awful, but that still pales in comparison next to Curry’s -7.5 this year, which is I think the worst I have ever seen from a starting center.

    Randolph is, for all his personality issues, a very rational guy. He understood what kind of financial reward he would get for hitting 20-10, and he went out there and made it happen.

    While everything said about him above is true, Randolph is not worse than Curry, and a team with him will be better than a team with Curry. But if I had the chance, I guess I would have to keep Curry too. Randolph is from the Stephon Marbury “and that’s Factorial” school of basketball. He puts his own interest before the team to an extraordinary extent, and it’s brutal to watch….

  21. Caleb

    Randolph-Martin trade is bad for Knicks, worse for Denver.

    Yes, we get a 1st round pick, and don’t get an even longer contract. But Martin will be just as untradeable… probably even more so, because he’s older and more likely to be hurt. So we get closer to being guaranteed, capped-out in 2010-2011… a late 1st-rounder isn’t worth it.

    Bad for Denver because they already have guys who dominate the ball.. sure they have a good defense and could “afford” a terrible defender, but what’s the point for them? Plus they lose a pick.

    Gasol for Lee is terrible too, since Lee is a better player at 1/15th the money. But if for some weird reason Memphis took Lee AND Randolph for Gasol… I’d consider it. WOuld go a long way towards clearing that 2010-2011 cap space, and we could probably turn around and trade Gasol for an even better, younger piece. Moot, unless Memphis wants to tie up THEIR cap space through 2011.

  22. Caleb

    You can go to 82games to see how players impact each other’s performance on the court… hard to see any sign that Randolph makes others worse when he’s out there.
    http://82games.com/0708/0708NYKP.HTM

    The data is raw, and hard to parse, but to pick out a few examples – FG% for Marbury, Robinson and Crawford is lower when they’re on the court with Randolph – but by less than 1 percent each. FG% for Lee and Curry is better… by less than 1 percent each.

    Just looking at the +/-, Randolph makes no difference… he’s at minus 0.2 points, per 100 posessions.
    http://www.82games.com/0708/0708NYK.HTM

    Going back to what we debated yesterday… is there such a thing as “addition by subtraction?” I still say no. We all agree that Zach is wildly overpaid, an average player at best, and eminently dumpable… but there’s no reason to think the team will improve, in the short run, by getting rid of him. (except in the sense that we’ll get less of a headache from watching).

    p.s. Of our main players, Balkman does best on this measure at +10.8/100 posessions, and Curry does worst – by a wide margin – at -11.7. In fairness, SOME of that is because +/- is a comparison measure — Balkman gets to step in for Q, and Curry gets replaced by Lee.

  23. jon abbey

    “is there such a thing as “addition by subtraction?” I still say no. We all agree that Zach is wildly overpaid, an average player at best, and eminently dumpable… but there’s no reason to think the team will improve, in the short run, by getting rid of him.”

    yes, that’s just one case. Randolph’s leaving Portland was addition by subtraction, as has been gone over here ad nauseum.

  24. Nick

    “I think swinging Zach to the Nets would make some sense if purely on the basis that the Nets are treading water, there big threes is not big enough size wise, and if anyone can bring something out of Zach, it would be Kidd. The Nets have a chance still, but their window is closing.

    What the Nets can give in return, does it matter? Draft pick, salary relief, a role player of some type…”

    You could in a fantasy world get back Boone or Sean Williams or in an ideal world dump off Curry and maybe Q as well for those two and Marcus Williams. That would give the Knicks a potential 40-50 win team in the near future or at least one interseting enough to root for whiel the Nets can be sort of an NBA Island of Dr. Moreau. Alas, salary cap rules and Rod Thorn not possibly being that gullible make it an impossibility.

  25. Adam L

    “Gasol for Lee is terrible too, since Lee is a better player at 1/15th the money.”

    CALEB – did you really just say that Lee was better than Gasol? You know I am talking about PAU Gasol right? Not his younger brother.

    Pau is one of the premier bigs in the league, and up there with Brad Miller as one of the best passing big men to boot. he scores from the post, he scores on the mid-range jumper, and he blocks shots. He also just led his nation to the World Championships.

    Why is Lee better than him?

    Also, Memphis would not be adding to their salary cap. Zach and Pau have very similar contracts, almost identical.

  26. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    And the Last significant Knicks-Nets trades were Mike Newlin for Mike Woodson and Maurice Lucas for Ray Williams back in 1981, if memory serves. Through countless regimes, these two teams don’t do deals w/each other simply b/c if either party ended up ripping the other off, they’d never hear the end of it in the tabloids, WFAN, etc. – the risk is too great.

  27. Thomas B.

    Owen,

    Maybe you and I are not looking at the same stats when it comes to Denver’s defense.

    Denver gives up 104 per game, that is good for 25th place in the NBA, that means only 5 teams give up more points. They only score 2.4 more points than their opponents, which is good for 10th place in the NBA.

    Three teams score more points per game than Denver and none of those teams allow as many points as Denver.

    Denver only has two things going for it as far a defense, rebounding and blocked shots (they are in the top 1/3 of the NBA in FG% allowed so I could give them that too). If they get Randolph the rebounding will not dip, he will not block any shots though. Besides Camby gives you all the blocked shots you need. Lord why did we trade him?

  28. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I think I wouldn’t want anyone back with a contract as big/long as Randolph. I’d rather have a deal where we dump him for a loser with an expiring contract. Additionally if we could get a young guy back – even one coming off a bad season with a tiny bit of potential – that would be ideal.

    You know, the same way Portland traded Randolph for Francis/Frye.

  29. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Thomas B. – check out the Layman’s Guide to Advanced NBA Statistics

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/index.php/2007/10/29/a-laymans-guide-to-advanced-nba-statistics/

    Team Stats

    What You Need to Know
    When looking at team stats it’s important to understand that some teams play faster than others which skews their per game stats. Faster paced teams will get more chances to score per game, solely because they have more opportunities. It’s similar to two NFL RBs, both with 1000 yards rushing, but one had 300 attempts and the other only 200 attempts. In this case it’s not enough to know the totals, instead you have to account for the difference in the number of opportunities. The same applies for team stats.

    So in lieu of viewing how a team performs per game, we calculate how a team does per possession….

    By points per possession allowed, Denver is 6th.

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/stats/2008/d_de.htm

  30. Thomas B.

    Caleb,

    Correct me if I am wrong, but were you not one of the people that said anything for Randolph would be an improvement? K-mart, balky knees aside does the things that we posters have asked for. He plays defense and he rebounds. His contract is not longer, so we are not taking on salary. If he is just as untradable as Zach, what do we lose.

    I understand he has knee issues, that is why I advocate securing a first round pick from Denver. With our own pick looking like a top five and with Denver’s pick likely 19-24 range, we can pick two young players. I think Donte Green would work well on the team, unless Eric Gordon slips to five. Use the later pick on a pass first point like DJ Augustine, unless you were able to get Gordon then use the later pick on the best defensive interior player on the board.

    The Knicks will get better because we have Marbury and teams that had Marbury all get better after he leaves, right?

  31. Thomas B.

    Mike K,

    Thanks for sharing that info.

    So does that mean Denver is actually a good defensive team? What would happen to the Knicks if they played at Denver’s pace? Would they give up 110 per because they now give the other team more chances to score?

  32. JK47

    “is there such a thing as “addition by subtraction?” I still say no. We all agree that Zach is wildly overpaid, an average player at best, and eminently dumpable… but there’s no reason to think the team will improve, in the short run, by getting rid of him.”

    What we would gain if Zach left:
    -More minutes for our best player, David Lee
    -More minutes for Renaldo Balkman
    -Fewer low-percentage fifteen-foot jumpers
    -More shots for higher-percentage shooters
    -Removal of black hole on defense
    -Better flow on offense

    Here’s what we would lose:
    -One or two rebounds per game

    But like I said, I’m all in favor of keeping Zach and watching the team accumulate lottery balls.

  33. Thomas B.

    Mike K,

    On Randolph for Martin. Ideally I think we all want a sharter contract in return for Randolph. I do not see how we can pull that off so I proposed a deal that at least keeps us from taking back a longer bad deal. In a perfect world I would Randolph to Lakers for Odom or Randolph to Miami for J. Williams and Ricky Davis. But I doubt either LA and Miami would touch those deals.

    Honestly, I would prefer three years of Martin on his bad knees to what I see from Randolph right now. Martin at least plays defense. Heck, 25 minutes of martin defense is better than 38 minutes of Randolph’s.

    I didnt really follow Randolph’s game before he came to the Knicks. I just saw the 20/10 and thought “Yes.” I no idea he was this poor a defensive player and a black hole once he gets the ball.

    20/10 poison.

  34. dave crockett

    Owen Said:

    Randolph is, for all his personality issues, a very rational guy. He understood what kind of financial reward he would get for hitting 20-10, and he went out there and made it happen.

    A buddy of mine refers to Randolph as a “benign knucklehead,” which always makes me giggle.

  35. Frank O.

    Caleb:
    I too am a bit confused at you saying Lee is better than Gasol…

    Lee is actually having somewhat of a lesser year than last year so far…Part of the reason is playing time, but part is he’s just not as effective.

    I think he would be very good, but Pau is simply better across the board.
    Better passer, better shot blocker, better scorer and shooter, comparable rebounder, and better free throw shooter.

  36. Frank

    Let’s just be honest here on the David Lee Love-Fest board. He is NOT the Knicks best player by just about any measure this year. He is NOT better than Pau Gasol who is a much more well-rounded player than him. Maybe he would be playing better with more minutes, but as so many of the stat guys on this board have said, players generally do with more minutes what they were doing previously with the minutes they already have. So I love what he does, I love the hustle, but he doesn’t deserve to be called their best player anymore.

    Their best player at least as of the last few weeks, is Nate Robinson. here are his stats for the 12 games so far in the month of January, coincident with his increased role (30 min/game)

    15.8 ppg — extrapolates to 20.7 per 40 min
    3.3 rpg — extrapolates to 4.3 reb/40
    4.4 apg — 5.75 ast/40
    1.25 TO/g — 1.63 TO/40
    48% FG
    39% 3PG
    76% FT
    58.4 TS% – someone please check my math on this
    55.6% adjusted FG% (good for #8 in the league among guards according to ESPN.com)

    For the year, according to 82games.com, he has the best +/- on the team of players that actually play (+9.7).

    He is actually averaging fewer TO per game in January than David Lee despite more minutes and WAY more ballhandling.

    So give some credit where credit is due — let’s get off the Lee bandwagon and onto the Nate bandwagon.

  37. Mike N

    This works on the trade machine: Zach to the nets for Jason Collins, Antoine Wright, and Jamal Magloire. Those contracts expire at the same time or before Marbury’s. Why NJ might do it: they get Randolph without giving up any of their core players. They get to keep their two promising young big men, their big three, and Kidd’s heir in Marcus Williams. They lose post defense in exchange for a low post threat on offense, which they don’t have.

  38. Frank

    ugh, then you have 5 useless centers on the same team– collins, curry, magloire, big snacks, and morris. there must be some sort of mercy rule with that.

  39. Caleb

    Lee doesn’t score as much (a respectable 14.3 per 40, versus 21+ for Gasol) but does it more efficiently. His TS is way off this year, to 58.8%, but Gasol is only at 56 – his lifetime best was 59.3 last year, when Lee was over 65%. If Lee had more scoring responsibility, his efficiency would come down, but I think they’d actually be comparable – though many here will disagree.

    As far as rebounding, it’s not really close. Lee’s rebound rate (percentage of missed shots grabbed) is 17.4; last year it was over 20. Gasol has only had one season (last year) when his rebound rate was highter than 13.8.

    Gasol has done a good job cutting down his turnovers, but until this year he was about even with Lee on both assists and turnovers.

    Gasol does block more shots, but the few times I’ve seen him he didn’t look like an impressive defender. For what it’s worth (I have no idea), 82games’ composite defensive ranking for last year put Gasol in the 24th percentile of all players, and Lee in the 71st percentile. Also in the “for what it’s worth” category, Lee’s ADJUSTED plus-minus last year was +1.92 points per 40 minutes; Gasol was -2.47. Given his good offensive numbers, that doesn’t suggest good defense.

    All in all, they look fairly similar in effectiveness, though I prefer Lee. Even if you do give the offensive edge to Gasol, we of all fans should know the limits of an all-offense power forward.

    Factor in that Lee is three years younger, and he’s clearly got more value. Then you have the contracts – Gasol looks overpaid, while Lee is one of the league’s best bargains. It seems obvious that if these guys got traded for each other, Memphis should have to seriously sweeten the deal – say, giving us their lottery pick and taking back Curry (or Jeffries AND Crawford), or giving us Kyle Lowry AND taking Randolph’s contract.

    In reality, if this deal was ever on the table, Isiah would probably throw in Balkman, Chandler, our lottery pick and Malik Rose.

  40. Caleb

    Frank, I have always been a big Nate fan — he was the best guard on the team last year, too. (His per-minute numbers are virtually identical to last year, except his assists are up and shooting efficiency down).

    But take nothing from David Lee… even having a down year, he still looks the best player we have.

    As for this…
    What we would gain if Zach left:
    -More minutes for our best player, David Lee
    -More minutes for Renaldo Balkman
    -Fewer low-percentage fifteen-foot jumpers
    -More shots for higher-percentage shooters
    -Removal of black hole on defense
    -Better flow on offense

    Here’s what we would lose:
    -One or two rebounds per game

    We don’t need to get rid of Zach to accomplish the first two things… and like I said in my last post, there’s no evidence other players would get better shots or that the team would play better — everyone’s FG% is identical with Zach on the floor, and on the bench. His +/- is virtually even. My conclusion…. he’s an average offensive player; his shots would be split between better (Nate, Curry) & worse (Jeffries, Q) scorers… defense would improve a bit (it’s not like Garnett is stepping in), rebounding would be hurt a bit… all in all it would make no difference… except that getting rid of him (via any trade) is the best thing we could do in terms of long-term roster building.

    I have nothing more to say on this topic!

  41. Frank

    I’m all for getting rid of Zach. I think Zach for Ben Wallace makes lots of sense. A 3 man rotation up front of Wallace, Curry, and Lee sounds formidable to me. And, we’d get Wallace’s contract off the books a year earlier than Zach’s would.

    Similarly, having Noah and Tyrus Thomas with Randolph sounds better for them than having 3 guys in Noah, Thomas, and wallace who can’t throw the ball into the ocean.

  42. Mike N

    “then you have 5 useless centers on the same team”

    True, but Magloire and Morris expire at the end of this season (I think), then Collins the next year. That leaves only two worthless centers, which of course is still two too many. I was just getting into the spirit of “get rid of Zach for shorter contracts and tank the rest of this season.” Seems like this deal, or something like it, might help with that.

  43. Ben Bow

    Heres a trade that personally works out great. It’s actually not a zach randolf trade. In my opninon we should trade him for ben wallace, straight up.

    there are 4 steps.
    1. wait a year, and get our draft pick-derrick rose of memphis

    2. trade randolf morris’s expiring contract and balkman to washington for etan thomas’s 2 year deal, and andray blatche. washington perosnally might do this because balkman has lots of talent, and ETAN had heart surgery, which probably ends his career. On our side, we take 2 years of etan, but give up rose’s last year, and we get an inside presense in blatche. Blatche at this point is averaging 18.6 minutes a game, and 1.55 blocks. double all his stats, and hes a 36 minute center/pf who gets 3 blocks. 12 points and 8 rebounds. thats pretty much exactly what we need.

    3. just all out stop playing randolf, and give curry something like 20 minutes at center, for when we really need an inside post presence. Just wait for their contracts to expire.

    lineup
    1.derrick rose / nate
    2.nate / jamal
    3.jamal(3 guard, running team) / Q-rich / lee?
    4.lee/ blatche
    5.blatche/ curry.

    we would turn the team into a running team. if you look at the first choice of all 5 positions, i think it works pretty good. 3 good shooters, and everyone can run and play D. when we put in curry we can play a half court set.

    4. build around rose, nate, lee, and blatche a nice core.

  44. Caleb

    Mike N, I agree that would be a winner for us, but doubt Jersey will do it… unless they just give up all hope of unloading Kidd and Carter, and figure they have to make the best of things THIS year, at any cost.

  45. villainx

    “Mike N, I agree that would be a winner for us, but doubt Jersey will do it… unless they just give up all hope of unloading Kidd and Carter, and figure they have to make the best of things THIS year, at any cost.”

    Either the Nets reload or go for it. The way the team is now seems to do neither. But they have enough to make a go of it with another piece, and then can go straight to reloading soon after when Kidd leaves.

  46. Thomas B.

    Ben Bow,

    I don’t understand the trade. Morris’ contract expires this year so if we are to trade that contract it needs to be before the trading deadline. Isnt that correct? So I don’t understand the “wait a year” part. Now I do like Derrick Rose. Imagine calling MSG the Rose Garden. Of course if he is a bust then the Post will run: “This Rose Stinks” on the back page.

    I’m not sure we will be able to trade for Ethan Thomas, are there rules about trading injured players? Would he even pass the physical?

    I like where you are going, I just don’t know if we can get there that way. Plus I live in Washington DC, I’m not sure you would like Blatche if you watched his game every night. But he is young and cheap so you can take the risk.

  47. TDM

    Mike N said:

    “This works on the trade machine: Zach to the nets for Jason Collins, Antoine Wright, and Jamal Magloire.”

    Aside from the fact that NJ would never pull a trade like that with its cross town rival, that would bring the Knicks roster up to 17. Who would you propose buying out at that point? We already lost our second round pick from last year because the roster was too full.

    If we are thinking trades instead of just standing pat, I think the better bet is to go after Wallace and/or Hinrich from the Bulls. Coincidentally, that second rounder, Demetris Nichols, is now playing for the Bulls.

  48. Mike N

    “Aside from the fact that NJ would never pull a trade like that with its cross town rival, that would bring the Knicks roster up to 17. Who would you propose buying out at that point?”

    Good point, I hadn’t thought about the roster situation…but now that you mention it, I propose to buy out Jerome James, Jamal Magloire, Mardy Collins…the list could go on.

  49. Gmal

    For what it’s worth I’ve recently tracked some of the BloggaBull site and they ripped any kind of trade for Pau Gasol. The major reason is he really sucks defensively. Although the Bulls desperatly need the interior scoring they’ve been down that road with Curry.
    I would say if you took a survey there are less than 1% of knick fans that would trade Lee for Gasol

  50. dan

    “ugh, then you have 5 useless centers on the same team– collins, curry, magloire, big snacks, and morris. there must be some sort of mercy rule with that.”

    That would be hilarious. Maybe Isiah could start them all against Dwight Howard and the Magic.

    We would give the Heat and the Wolves a run a #1, cut salary for LeBron (who would love to come to NY). Please, please! I’m just gonna pretend it’ll happen so I can be happy about this team for a couple of hours.

  51. Ben R

    I found something really interesting. It shows how Randolph’s main strength, rebounding, doesn’t actually help this team.

    I looked at the rebounding output of the three main frontcourt pairs, Randolph/Curry, Randolph/Lee, and Lee/Curry. I was shocked to find their output identical.

    All three pairs average 20.7 rebounds over 40 minutes. Randolph only gets such impressive rebounding numbers because he reduces the rebounds of his teammates.

    If Randolph does not help this team with his rebounding then that means he is actually good at nothing and is completely useless.

    I believe in adition by sutraction because a coach cannot glue a 26 year old PF making 15 mil+ a year and averaging 20/10 to the bench even if he has better players in front of him. Randolph would be a huge distraction if he got benched and the noise would be unbearable if he was out of the rotation completely.

  52. Ess-dog

    Wait, so what’s the goal here people? Is it solely to move Randolph for cap space? Or do you want to get equal value in return for him? Because you could go different routes. The NJ and Washington trades both sound like a salary dump. Frankly, I don’t know if this is the smartest way to go. As much as one might dislike Randolph, he does have value, and admit it or not, he has more value than Francis/Frye. A desperate salary dump doesn’t necessarily get you anywhere, especially with Fat Eddie still on the team and Q getting minutes for some reason. I’ve seen flashes of Zach playing in a real offense (I mean an offense that doesn’t stand around while one guy has the ball) where he looks pretty good, not as much on defense, but there are teams that can mask that weakness like LA for one. I think we do ourselves a disservice if we don’t try to get equal value for him. For instance, Zach and say Chandler for Gasol seems like a good trade, not that memphis would want Zach or anything based on what they have. The various Bulls trades might work as more than just a salary dump. I guess I’m just saying that as corrupted as Zach is as a player, I can see him changing for the proper coach in the proper system with the right complementary parts around him. We obviously don’t have those parts. He can’t work with either Curry or Lee because those guys aren’t shotblockers. Also, having our two best scorers (Crawford and Randolph) being low percentage scorers isn’t good. One maybe but two can’t work. Also, the knicks have shown little or no off-the-ball movement on offense, enabling Zach’s bad shot selection. I don’t want to sound like I’m sticking up for him, but trade him for Wright and Magliore? Why don’t we just trade the whole team for Primoz Brezec?

  53. jon abbey

    the goal is to have the money to sign LeBron if he opts out in the summer of 2010 (or 2011).

    it’s fun to throw around imaginary trades on the web to try to free up the money to do this, but in the end, the only way this will probably happen in the real world is if LeBron is inexplicably jonesing so hard to don blue and orange that he signs for the midcap and is happy to make it up in increased endorsement money.

    this is what this franchise has been reduced to, a low percentage prayer 2+ years away based largely on the fact that King James likes wearing a Yankee hat. CONGRATS, DOLAN. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

  54. Z

    “As much as one might dislike Randolph, he does have value, and admit it or not, he has more value than Francis/Frye.”

    How do you establish a value on him except by what the market was for him on draft day? Randolph has certainly done nothing to up his value since July. Equal value for him is a bad player with a bad contract. Added value for him is an expiring contract and a prospect (like KB said earlier). Francis/Frye is added value and Portland’s improvement reflect that. Why would Portland have turned down better offers if they were available. The Lakers probably offered Kwame and their pick. Since Portland could wait an extra year for added contract relief they took the Knick deal instead. That Laker offer (Kwame and Critendon) is off the table now because the Lakers are the #1 team in the West right now and Randolph would absolutely ruin what they have and everybody knows it. Therefore, Randolph’s market value has dropped since July. Equal value for Randolph is what the market says it is. Milwaukee turned down a deal that exchanged him for two of their overpaid scrubs, and that deal would have netted them Balkman too.

    KMart, Wallace, the Corpse of Shaq, etc… These are the players that represent Randolph’s equal value. Maybe, if the Knicks are lucky (unlikely) and/or good (highly unlikely) they can fleece another team and get added value (like Portland did last summer). But the problem with going for a steal is that he needs to be kept on the team for what could be 2 1/2 years and I, personally, am going to have a hard time rooting for the team when I can’t stand 20% of the starting lineup.

  55. Ray

    Abbey…..you are right…the goal is to get Lebron. Now from what ive heard Lebron is great friends with Jay-Z, partial owner of the Nets. Lebron is a big time Yankees fan. Thats why they caught him at the Cleveland game with the Yankees hat on. The Brooklyn Nets might be the front runners to get Lebron so it will be interesting to see whatmove they make now in order to be able to sign him then.
    He would be coming to a new team and he would be making history there.The Knicks could also be in the race too. Hopefully we are not still losing by then and if management works things right then we might have a chance. If Lebron comes here his main focus would be to bring a championship to NYC and if he did that his name would be etched in history. If we lose enough to get D. Rose….we would have our PG, Jamal, Maybe Lebron at Point foward, Lee, Curry. Thats an outstanding lineup right there..Lebron would create open looks everywhere and we’d be unstoppable on the break. Its nice to dream sometime.

  56. DNM

    I can’t believe it’s gotten to a point where we are hallucinating about the possibility of LeBron and our 2011 line-up instead of focusing on tonight’s game.

    Sadly that’s all we have to look forward to.

  57. Vishal

    I still haven’t really found a compelling reason to dump Zach instead of Curry, except that Curry got here first.

  58. Z

    “I still haven’t really found a compelling reason to dump Zach instead of Curry, except that Curry got here first.”

    1. Curry plays a position that the Knicks have no one else to play.
    2. Curry is a better low post scorer, which the Knicks could use, if used properly.
    3. Curry doesn’t cut into David Lee’s minutes (who does what Randolph does best, but does it better).
    4. Curry’s contract is equally as long but is uninsured, making it less useful time spent at the Trade Machine because we laymen have no idea what teams are willing to take on such a liability or how much they are willing to pay for such a liability.
    5. Curry did get here first, giving fans more time to come to terms with his weaknesses and thus become more apathetic toward them.
    6. Curry’s main fault is that he is not very good. Randolph’s main fault is that he is an asshole.

    I guess, personally, the case against Randolph over Curry is that I can root for Curry to succeed, but every time Randolph gets the ball I want him to dribble it off his foot and turn and yell at the ref while the other team fast breaks just to hear the boos cascade down.

    But if we can get rid of Curry too, I’m all for it.

  59. W. C.

    I see no point in trading Zach for anyone unless we get a player with fewer years on his contract in return.

    The long term plan has got to be to get under the cap and accumulate VERY GOOD draft picks. I would rather we SUCK for a few years than pick up a player that makes us a little better but does nothing to help clear cap space. Making us a little better just guarantees that we keep getting mediocre picks and get nowhere. We don’t need any more one dimensional role players via the draft. We need a superstar.

    K. Martin fits better on the Knicks and would probably make us better (if he stayed healthy), but we aren’t going anywhere with him, he doesn’t speed up our ability get under the cap, and we’ll wind up getting worse picks if he does in fact make us better.

    In addition, I understand the “minutes” point to a degree, but you guys make it sound like anyone can score 20 and get 10 boards if he just shoots enough. That’s preposterous.

    It actually takes a lot talent to put yourself in a position to take that many shots in a game. Now granted, Zach takes some shots we would perfer he didn’t, but his misses most of them.
    If he made only slightly better decisions, it would not impact his average much and would make him a much more effective player because his FG% would rise.

    We aren’t talking about asking him to stop shooting and only score 10-15 a night. We are asking him to stop shooting when he’s double and triple teamed from more than 15 feet out.

    If he averaged 17 and 10 instead of 20 and 10, his assists went up 1 per game, and his field goal percentage went up 3%-4%, it would not hurt his salary prospects going forward. He already KNOWS he’s overpaid and he’s never going to get that salary again.

  60. ben bow

    Oh, just saying, in reply to Thomas B., i didnt mean to say randolf morris. I meant malik rose. if it weas morris, the salaries would be too far apart. also, im not sure about rules with tradin for injured players.

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