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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The State of the Knicks Salary Cap

Now that the Knicks have formally cemented a sign-and-trade agreement with Marcus Camby for Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, Toney Douglas and 2nd round draft picks in 2014 and 2015, the cap picture is coming into focus. In short, the Knicks face significant restrictions, but as a result of the ingenuity of Glen Grunwald and the favorable Jeremy Lin/Steve Novak Early Bird arbitration, the team is in much better shape than Knicks fans had hoped at the end of the playoffs.

 

A Little History

For the past thirty years, if the Knicks’ salary cap were a painting, it would be Picasso’s Guernica. Horrors abounded and the closer you looked, the more grotesque it became. Red Auerbach twisted the Knicks into a pretzel to prevent them from signing away Kevin McHale, and for the next twenty five years it felt like the Knicks never had any cap space.  When Patrick Ewing neared the end of his career, New York traded his expiring contract for a series of bloated deals (Glen Rice and Luc Longley) that put the Knicks on a losing treadmill for a decade. Despite MSG’s vast financial resources, the team could only attract fast-food quality players at four-star restaurant prices: Shandon Anderson, Howard Eisley, Penny Hardaway, Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry, Stevie Francis and Zach Randolph to name a few.  The Knicks compounded those cap-draining moves with ridiculous MLEs:  Clarence Weatherspoon, Jerome James and Jared Jeffries (love him at the vet’s minimum, but what a bust on the first go).

Four years ago, under the leadership of Donnie Walsh, the Knicks bit the bullet and finally decided to clean up the cap situation in an effort to have enough cap room to sign LeBron James as a free agent in the summer of 2010. The Knicks gathered Al Harrington, Larry Hughes, and anyone else with a pulse and a contract that expired in 2010.  Their hopes rose to a fever pitch when LeBron James elected to announce The Decision just thirty miles from NYC. And after their hopes were cruelly dashed, they consoled themselves with Amar’e Stoudemire.

Getting Carmelo Anthony took more cap room than expected, because the Nuggets insisted that the Knicks take back Chauncey Billups (good player, bad contract) and Renaldo Balkman (returned like a bad penny). After getting eliminated in 2011, New York had to quickly decide whether to exercise a $13 million option on Chauncey Billups.  If not, the Knicks would owe him a $3.7 million buyout, which under the 2005 CBA would not leave enough room for a maximum bid.  So, just before the lockout, the Knicks extended Billups one more year.

 

2011-12 Season – Glen Grunwald Gets Creative

After the new CBA was signed, it appeared that the Knicks were consigned to more years of cap room purgatory. The salary cap was reduced, meaning that the max contracts awarded to Stoudemire and Anthony under the old CBA would take up more than 60% of the Knicks’ cap room. With Billups’ $13 million contract, it appeared that the Knicks’ nose would once again press against the window, watching as other teams feasted on free agents. But New York’s front office creatively engineered a sign-and-trade for future 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, using the amnesty clause provided by the new CBA to shed Chauncey Billups contract and $3 million from the Dolan’s bank account to move Rony Turiaf.

At the same time, the Knicks made a series of moves that led to major salary cap benefits: Signing Steve Novak off of waivers, signing Jeremy Lin off of waivers and signing J.R. Smith to a $2.3 million contract with a player option for a second year @ $2.5 million. Although the conventional wisdom assumed that the Knicks did not obtain Early Bird rights to resign Novak and Lin by claiming them off of waivers (foolishly accepted as gospel by yours truly), the NBPA won an arbitration finding that the Knicks held Early Bird rights to Lin and Novak. This victory had three important consequences.

  • First, the Knicks would be able to spend up to 104.5% of the league average salary ($5.3 million) to resign each of Lin and Novak without utilizing the Mid-Level Exception;
  • Second, because the Knicks would not use the Mid-Level Exception to resign Lin or Novak, they would not be subject to the $74 million hard cap imposed on any team that uses the full Mid-Level Exception; and
  • Third, because Jeremy Lin was coming off of his second year contract, under the Gilbert Arenas rule, no other team could offer Lin more than $5.0 million per year for the first two years of his contract. If a team wanted to bid more, it would have to back-load the deal with up to $15 million starting in year 3 of the offer.

GM Glen Grunwald made three other shrewd moves at the back end of the roster. He signed Josh Harrellson and Jerome Jordan to two-year minimum contracts, with the second year non-guaranteed. Near the end of the season, when Jared Jeffries was injured, he signed Dan Gadzuric to a two-year veteran’s minimum contact, with the second year non-guaranteed. Because Gadzuric was more than a ten-year veteran, his minimum salary was over $1.3 million (although the Knicks would only have to pay $750k (the second year veteran’s minimum)). As we will see below, the Gadzuric, Jordan and Harrellson contracts provide the Knicks with wiggle room to use trade exceptions to bring in veterans through sign-and-trade transactions at a salary above the veteran’s minimum.

 

The Current State Of The Knicks Salary Cap

The Knicks must have at least 12, and up to 15, players signed to the active roster.  They also must carry Renaldo Balkman’s $1.675 million salary, despite the fact that he was waived last year. (All figures via HoopsHype)

Knicks are well over the $58 million salary cap, the $70 million luxury tax and the $74 million “apron.” Because they are over the salary cap, the Knicks cannot sign a free agent without using an exception to the salary cap: trade exceptions, Bird exceptions, Mid-Level Exceptions and Bi-Annual Exceptions. Because the Knicks are over the luxury tax, they cannot utilize the full $5.0 million Mid-Level Exception or the $2.0 million Bi-Annual Exception. Rather, the Knicks can only use the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception (the “mini-MLE”) of $3.0 million.

Currently Signed & Staying – $57.1 million

These are the players who are currently signed and who will stay on the salary cap for next year.

 

Player Salary
Amar’e Stoudemire $19,948,799
Carmelo Anthony $19,450,000
Tyson Chandler $13,604,188
Iman Shumpert $1,680,360
(Renaldo Balkman) – waived $1,675,000

In addition, the Knicks signed James White to a one year deal.  Although his agent said it was for “just less than” the veteran’s exception of $1.4 million, since he only has 2 years in the league, I believe he could not be signed for more than $864,000.

Will Be Signed As Of July 11 – $19,040,000

These are the five players that the Knicks will sign as soon as the July Moratorium lifts on July 11.  Jeremy Lin is signing a 4 year/$28.6 million contract (5/5/9.3/9.3(team option)).  Steve Novak is signing a 4 year/$15 million contract (average of $3.75 million).  Marcus Camby is signing a 3 year/$13.2 million sign-and-trade with Houston.  Grunwald pulled this off by sending Toney Douglas ($2 million – guaranteed), Jerome Jordan ($762k – non-guaranteed) and Josh Harrellson ($762k – non-guaranteed) to Houston along with second round picks in 2015 and 2016.  Jason Kidd is signing a 3 year/$9.3 million mini-MLE contract.

Finally, a moment to discuss the return of JR Smith – announced yesterday.  He will sign a contract to return for $2.8 million.  There is a player option for a second year at $2.9 million, which functions as injury insurance for Smith.  Last December, when Smith sought to return from playing in China during the lockout, Grunwald convinced Smith to take a $2.3 million contract with a player option for a second year at a 4.5% raise.  Because Smith did not have two years on this contract, the Knicks did not hold Early Bird rights (which would have allowed the Knicks to offer a starting salary of $5.3 million), they could only offer $2.8 million — a 20% raise from last year’s salary.   That salary was close enough to the mini-MLE of $3.09 million that Smith did not entertain offers from other teams.  It is not clear whether Smith would have considered a full MLE offer (starting at $5.0 million) from another team.  It is safe to say that Smith bonded with the Knicks and Coach Woodson.

At the end of this year, the Knicks will hold Early Bird rights to Smith, which would allow them to offer a two – four year contract starting at $5.3 million.  Another team still might swoop in with a much bigger offer, so it is uncertain whether Smith will be a Knick after this year.

Player Salary
Jeremy Lin $5,000,000
Steve Novak ~$3,750,000
Marcus Camby ~$4,400,000
Jason Kidd ~$3,090,000
JR Smith $2,800,000

 

Hoped For Returnee – $762k against salary cap

The Knicks hope to bring back Jared Jeffries, but have serious limits on what they can pay.  Jared Jeffries can only be brought back with either a 20% raise under non-Bird rights (which would bump his salary to $1.4 million) or for the 10+ year veterans minimum of $1.3 million.  If Jeffries takes the veteran’s minimum, the Knicks will only pay $762k of his salary (the second year veteran’s minimum) and the NBA will pay the balance.  Equally important, the Knicks will only pay tax on the first $762k.

Player Salary
Jared Jeffries $1,352,181 ($762k against salary cap)

 

One More Slot

The Knicks still need to fill at least one more slot on the active roster.  They could bring back Dan Gadzuric at $1.35 million, which is currently non-guaranteed.  More likely, they will try to trade for one more player, who can have salary of up to $1.79 million (($1.35 million x 125%) + $100,000). A team looking to drop $1.79 million in salary  would take Gadzuric, waive him and not be responsible for any of his salary.  For example, the Lakers could rid themselves of $1.1 million owed to Christian Eyenga, and thereby also shed $1.1 million in additional tax liability.  The Knicks can also need to sign at up to three veteran’s minimum free agents.

Likely Departing

Landry Fields will sign a 3 year/$20 million offer sheet  ($5 million/$5 million/$10 million) with Toronto on July 11.  The Knicks will have until July 14 to match, but that is unlikely now that JR Smith is staying.  Resigning Fields would carry a hefty tax burden ($5 million this year/$12.5 million next year/$25 million in year 3), which would not make sense if Fields is going to be a third string wing player.

TOTAL – Around $79 million

 

The Taxman Cometh

The NBA has announced the salary cap for the coming year  is once again $58 million.  The salary cap is set at 50% of Basketball-Related Income (“BRI”).  David Stern has broadly hinted that although per game revenues went up this year, because teams only played 66 regular season games (instead of the normal 82), BRI went down.  Ordinarily, that would mean that the salary cap would go down, but the new CBA guaranteed that the salary cap would not be reduced this year.

Because the salary cap remains at $58 million, the luxury tax will kick in at $70.4 million.  That means teams must pay $1 in tax for every dollar of salary over $70.4 million.  So, the Knicks are looking at approximately $9 million in taxes.

After this year, the luxury tax becomes much more punitive.  It will be a graduated rate starting at 150%.  Once a team is more than $5 million over the tax threshold, the marginal tax rate moves up to 175%.  Once a team is more than $10 million over the tax threshold, the marginal tax rate moves up to 250%.  So, if the Knicks were $15 million over the tax threshold next year, they would pay $28.75 million in luxury tax.

Starting in 2014-15, there is an even more punitive “repeater” tax scale.  It applies to teams that exceed the tax threshold for four years in a row in 2014-15.  Because the Knicks did not exceed the tax threshold last year, they cannot be “repeater” taxpayers in 2014-15.   But after 2014-15, any team that pays tax in four out of five years (and the Knicks almost certainly will in 2015-16 if they keep Carmelo, STAT, TC and Lin) must pay the repeater tax.  The repeater tax rate starts at 250% (100% higher than the ordinary tax rate) and remains 100% above the ordinary tax level in all brackets.  So, if the Knicks were to exceed the tax threshold by $15 million in 2015-16, they would pay $43.75 million in luxury tax.

Other than taking a big chunk of Jim Dolan’s money, the luxury tax will provide a strong incentive for less flush teams to stay below the tax threshold.  Only teams that do not pay tax are eligible to receive tax payments from the league.  The NBA will distribute 50% of tax revenues to non-taxpayers. (The other 50% will be used in revenue sharing).  If the Knicks and Lakers each pay $45 million in luxury tax in 2015-16, each of the other 28 teams would forfeit at least $1.5 million in tax distributions if they exceed the tax threshold by even one dollar.  For close-to-the-bone teams like Milwaukee, Utah, New Orleans, Phoenix and Sacramento, the tax threshold will pretty much function as a hard cap.

 

Conclusion

If you liked last year’s roster, you will love the Knicks for the next three years.  Glen Grunwald has figured out a way to keep last year’s team together, plus add Kidd and Camby.  But for the next three years, the Knicks will be limited to their current roster, plus one mini-MLE player per year.

271 comments on “The State of the Knicks Salary Cap

  1. flossy

    That Daily News piece about how Jeremy Lin is all butt hurt that the Knicks didn’t make him an offer first (that he would have turned down? I mean, come on dude) also casually mentions this:

    “They also reached a sign-and-trade agreement with ex-Knick Marcus Camby to return to the Garden and give them much-needed depth at power forward and center. In the deal that will pay Camby $13 million for three years, they sent the Rockets a package of players and draft picks that includes Josh Harrellson, who could be cut and return to the Knicks for a minimum deal.”

    Isn’t there like a one-year rule? Or if Jorts is could could he immediately come home? I’m meh about him as an 8th man, but as a 12th man…

  2. ephus Post author

    flossy: Isn’t there like a one-year rule? Or if Jorts is could could he immediately come home? I’m meh about him as an 8th man, but as a 12th man…

    One year rule applies to Jorts, so he cannot come back to the Knicks this season.

  3. flossy

    ephus: One year rule applies to Jorts, so he cannot come back to the Knicks this season.

    Okay thanks. I don’t know why I thought Mitch Lawrence might know WTF he’s talking about.

  4. ephus Post author

    Here is one more error from the Daily News sentence you quoted: “In the deal that will pay Camby $13 million for 3 years.” The third year of the Camby deal is not fully guaranteed. Camby is guaranteed $10 million over 3 years, and it is highly unlikely he will remain on the roster in 2014-15 to vest the last $3 million.

  5. JC Knickfan

    Ephus

    I believe Knicks inlude 2 mil to pay for Douglas salary in the Camby trade?

    If so are we still allowed to use 1 Million in subsequent trade?

  6. ephus Post author

    Each team can send up to $3 million in cash per year to other teams as part of one or more trades. So, if the Knicks sent out $2 million to Houston to pay for Douglas (which I have not seen), New York would still have $1 million Dolan bucks available to facilitate another trade.

  7. JC Knickfan

    Quick search and found this on Camby trade.

    The Rockets will get the Knicks’ second round picks in 2014 and 2015, source tells Y! The Knicks will pay Toney Douglas’ salary in Houston.
    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2012

  8. jon abbey

    Marc Berman ?@NYPost_Berman

    Sport Newspaper Ole journalist just spoke to agents and says Prigioni has ?#Knicks? offer and plans to accept it.

  9. thenamestsam

    jon abbey:
    Prigioni is on board according to Twitter, there’s our third string PG.

    If my middle-school level Spanish translation is correct Prigioni’s agent says that if he plays 20 minutes a night he’ll average 12 assists a game. So that’d be pretty cool.

  10. 2FOR18

    Great work. I think this article should be linked up top as the layman’s guide to the cap. It would be a shame for this piece to just disappear in a couple of days.

    The highly “progressive” tax system should really benefit the Knicks with Dolan’s deep pockets. He’s not looking like such a horrible owner these days (knock on ______’s wooden head)

  11. The Raging Platypus

    Hey ephus, does that one-year rule for Jorts also apply if his option is simply declined, rather than him being outright waived by the Rockets?

  12. ephus Post author

    2FOR18: The highly “progressive” tax system should really benefit the Knicks with Dolan’s deep pockets. He’s not looking like such a horrible owner these days (knock on ______’s wooden head)

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I do not yet know how the highly progressive tax system and the repeater tax will play out. We will have a much better idea next off-season, when we see how OKC deals with Ibaka and Harden each becoming RFAs.

  13. ephus Post author

    The Raging Platypus:
    Hey ephus, does that one-year rule for Jorts also apply if his option is simply declined, rather than him being outright waived by the Rockets?

    If I understand Jort’s contract correctly (and I have less than perfect information here), it is non-guaranteed, not a team option. If it were a team option, it would have had to have been exercised in order for the Knicks to trade him. So, Houston will have to waive Jorts in order to avoid paying him, and the Knicks will be barred from bring him back for one year.

  14. d-mar

    jon abbey:
    Prigioni is on board according to Twitter, there’s our third string PG.

    I know Grunwald had nothing to do with us winning the Bird rights case, but can you do a much better job than he has in adding solid pieces to our roster? It’s great knowing we have a highly competent GM – I think he must go on K-blogger a lot based on the moves he’s made!

  15. d-mar

    Uh oh, Nets have issued an “ultimatum” to the Magic, take our crap deal by the end of today or we’re walking and will sign Brook Lopez to a gigantic contract. Magic execs must be terrified lol.

  16. johnlocke

    Ephus – excellent stuff. You’re like our very own Larry Coon. Appreciate the time, effort and insight!

  17. New Guy

    John Hollinger, always needling us:

    “Couldn’t believe how much Brooklyn gear I saw on recent NY visit.”

    In fairness, he probably means the draft, held at the Nets home!

    I’m not the most ubiquitous fellow but I haven’t seen any Brooklyn Nets gear. Anyone else?

  18. Kikuchiyo

    d-mar:
    Uh oh, Nets have issued an “ultimatum” to the Magic, take our crap deal by the end of today or we’re walking and will sign Brook Lopez to a gigantic contract. Magic execs must be terrified lol.

    Surely signing Brook Lopez and Jerry Stackhouse is more exciting to Nets fans than getting this Howard fellow.

    Right?

    Well, I like it. ;)

  19. thenamestsam

    New Guy:
    John Hollinger, always needling us:

    “Couldn’t believe how much Brooklyn gear I saw on recent NY visit.”

    In fairness, he probably means the draft, held at the Nets home!

    I’m not the most ubiquitous fellow but I haven’t seen any Brooklyn Nets gear.Anyone else?

    I live in BK only about 10 minutes from the stadium, so I’d take what I say with a grain of salt, but I’ve seen a ton of gear. I’d say in my commute and stuff I see about 2:1 ratio of Nets to Knicks gear currently.

    Now a lot of that probably has to do with everyone’s Nets gear being brand new and people tending to wear new stuff more than old stuff, but I do think it’s a testament that they’ve done a decent job with branding. I don’t think it’s the best color combo for jerseys but the white on black has a very classic look. Especially the hats, which are what I’ve seen by far the most, have a really simple look that can be worn with anything. Reminds me of a Yankees cap in that way, esspecially compared to Knicks hats that are basically ostentatious as a rule. And then the t-shirts I’ve seen most are the ones that say “Brooklyn” in big letters with the logo. They’re not really blatantly Nets-y and I think a lot of people are wearing them more as borough pride than as statements of fandom. I’ve been thinking about getting myself one.

  20. Z

    Ephus, this is really great. Thanks for putting it together for us. You’ve been a great contributor to this site lately. Hope you stick around (but if the Magic call asking you to run their front office, we’d understand:)

    The only thing I would add to this piece is a note about Dolan’s willingness to pay taxes.

    2004: $40 million in taxes for 39 wins
    2006: $37 million in taxes for 23 wins
    2007: $45 million in taxes for 33 wins
    2008: $20 million in taxes for 23 wins
    2009: $24 million in taxes for 32 wins
    2010: $15 million in taxes for 29 wins

    He’s even found creative ways to burn money, like when he effectively bought the Balkman pick from the Raptors for a cool $30 million.

    Dolan’s willingness to spend is his one saving grace. If Grunwald can somehow make Dolan Dolars correlate with wins, we could give the ’96 Bulls a run for it:)

  21. thenamestsam

    d-mar:
    Uh oh, Nets have issued an “ultimatum” to the Magic, take our crap deal by the end of today or we’re walking and will sign Brook Lopez to a gigantic contract. Magic execs must be terrified lol.

    Yeah it’s not the strongest ultimatum, but at the same time they really had no choice but to issue it. There’s a decent chance Lopez gets an offer sheet soon which would effectively kibash the trade. I don’t think they mean it as a threat, just as a statement of fact. Either the trade happens today or they’re out.

    Oh also Ephus great, great job on the article. Your commenting has been consistently immensely valuable the last few weeks, and this just caps it off.

  22. johnno

    And you’re not even including the $20 plus million that he paid Larry Brown to coach for less than a season or the how many millions that he paid to Lenny Wilkins not to coach or the $8 million that he paid to Anucha Sanders. It cracks me up when I read the so-called experts saying that Jim Dolan is leery of paying the luxury tax. What “source” gave them THAT information?

    Z: Ephus, this is really great. Thanks for putting it together for us. You’ve been a great contributor to this site lately. Hope you stick around (but if the Magic call asking you to run their front office, we’d understand:)The only thing I would add to this piece is a note about Dolan’s willingness to pay taxes. 2004: $40 million in taxes for 39 wins2006: $37 million in taxes for 23 wins2007: $45 million in taxes for 33 wins2008: $20 million in taxes for 23 wins2009: $24 million in taxes for 32 wins2010: $15 million in taxes for 29 winsHe’s even found creative ways to burn money, like when he effectively bought the Balkman pick from the Raptors for a cool $30 million.Dolan’s willingness to spend is his one saving grace. If Grunwald can somehow make Dolan Dolars correlate with wins, we could give the ’96 Bulls a run for it:)

  23. ephus Post author

    I want to correct something I wrote in comments yesterday (and has been floating around the internet by others). The Knicks cannot use Baron Davis or Mike Bibby (or Jared Jeffries) in a sign and trade if they return on a veteran’s minimum. A veteran’s minimum contract can only extend for two years, and a sign and trade contract must be at least three years (although only the first year has to be guaranteed).

    This means that the Knicks cannot do a sign-and-trade that brings back more than $1.79 million (($1.352 million x 1.25) + $100,000). So the Knicks are limited to players like Eyenga (as I wrote in the article above) and cannot do a sign-and-trade for Dahntay Jones (or others making around $3 million).

    I am really happy about Prigioni coming, but I do not see how the Knicks could offer him anything more than the rookie minimum. The Knicks have no exceptions left and Prigioni has no service time in the NBA to bump him up on the minimum scale. Maybe there is a double secret provision that Glen Grunwald has discovered. I can’t wait to find out.

  24. Z

    johnno:
    …It cracks me up when I read the so-called experts saying that Jim Dolan is leery of paying the luxury tax.What “source” gave them THAT information?

    Right. So I guess the only question that I’m still left with at the end of this is whether there is any strategic reason NOT to match the Fields offer. If it’s all about tax burdon, and if Dolan continues to be keen on burning dough, is there a reason for Grunwald to rein it in? (Like, is there a benefit to being below a certain tax level with regard to future exceptions, and does not paying taxes on Fields 2015 contract give us more flexibility?)

  25. formido

    I knew that story wasn’t legit the moment I read it. C’mon, he graduated from Harvard but doesn’t understand how the CBA works? I suspect people who took that article at face value are already more than suspicious of Lin. Anyway, he just tweeted:

    “Lol why do u guys believe everything? No quotes from me = probably not true”

    flossy: That Daily News piece about how Jeremy Lin is all butt hurt that the Knicks didn’t make him an offer first (that he would have turned down? I mean, come on dude)

  26. ephus Post author

    johnno: And you’re not even including the $20 plus million that he paid Larry Brown to coach for less than a season or the how many millions that he paid to Lenny Wilkins not to coach or the $8 million that he paid to Anucha Sanders

    According to the NYT, the Anucha Browne Sanders settlement was $11.5 million.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/11/sports/basketball/11garden.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    Dolan has always been willing to pay luxury tax. The questions that I think are still open are:

    1. Is he willing to push the Knicks salary more than $15 million over the cap, which will create a marginal tax rate of 325%?

    2. Will Dolan seek to get back below the tax threshold in 2015-16 and stay below in 2016-17 to avoid the “repeater” tax rates, which start at 250%?

  27. Frank

    yes, and Dan L from knicksfan.net brought up the very good point that the Daily News has long had it in for the Knicks, with MSG basically saying that the NYDN threatened to bombard the Knicks with bad press unless Dolan sold Newsday to the Daily News.

    I wouldn’t make anything out of this. Even Hahn’s assertion that Lin wanted to play for the USA team is a little hard to believe. Lin had no idea what his market value would be – could have been as much as $36M over 4 years, or $12M over what the Knicks could offer at best. There is no way that he would take the Knicks offer (and throw away a chance at 12M dollars) just to play for USA Select. If the max was, say $26M and the KNicks could offer $24M, that might be believable, but $5-12MM is more than enough to say that he couldn’t play.

    Not to mention the fact that even if the Knicks offered on July 1, he couldn’t sign until today anyway. If he tore an ACL practicing in Vegas, don’t you think the Knicks would have to at least think about pulling back that offer?

  28. RicanKnick

    I read that our future 35 years old rookie Prigioni will make $800,000.00. I think it’s a good pick. Lin, Kidd, Prigioni > Bdiddy, Bibby, Douglas…

  29. Z

    RicanKnick:
    I read that our future 35 years old rookie Prigioni will make $800,000.00.I think it’s a good pick. Lin, Kidd, Prigioni > Bdiddy, Bibby, Douglas…

    We used to have an in-house specialist on the ACB league.

    Ted– if you’re out there– tell us what we’re getting in Prigioni please:)

  30. Caleb

    ephus: If I understand Jort’s contract correctly (and I have less than perfect information here), it is non-guaranteed, not a team option.If it were a team option, it would have had to have been exercised in order for the Knicks to trade him.So, Houston will have to waive Jorts in order to avoid paying him, and the Knicks will be barred from bring him back for one year.

    What’s the difference between non-guaranteed and a team option? Does a team option mean there is a deadline, after which it becomes fully guaranteed, whereas a non-guaranteed deal means they can cut bait at any time?

  31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Is Dolan trying to pull a Major League on the Knicks? This kind of ineptness has to be intentional.

  32. ephus Post author

    Caleb: What’s the difference between non-guaranteed and a team option? Does a team option mean there is a deadline, after which it becomes fully guaranteed, whereas a non-guaranteed deal means they can cut bait at any time?

    Team option means that the team must decide whether to bring the player back. If the team does not exercise its option, it holds no rights over the player and cannot trade him. It is not a waiver, because the team does not have any contractual right to the player’s services.

    Non-guaranteed contract means that the team holds rights to the player, can trade him, and the non-guaranteed salary counts as outgoing salary for trade purposes. Once the season starts, the team must pay the player for games actually played by the team (whether the player plays is irrelevant). On January 10, all non-guaranteed contracts become guaranteed for the balance of the year.

    If the Knicks do not find a good sign-and-trade for Gadzuric now, they could keep him on the roster in the hope that some team will need to shed $1.79 million in salary by January 10 and send the Knicks a valuable piece for Gadzuric.

  33. Caleb

    In practice, it seems the difference is that the Knicks can carry a non-guaranteed contract (like Gadzuric) as a trade chip – a potential money-saver.

  34. Unreason

    Great piece ephus. I second 2for18′s suggestion that it be added to the layman’s guide.

    I guess Prigioni’s addition means the Earl of Hardwood will be starting at 2 till Shump’s return.

  35. ephus Post author

    Caleb:
    In practice, it seems the difference is that the Knicks can carry a non-guaranteed contract (like Gadzuric) as a trade chip – a potential money-saver.

    Exactly. There are many scenarios where I could see Gadzuric’s non-guaranteed contract bringing back value once the season starts:

    1. After December 15, the Knicks can trade any of the free agents that they just signed (except for Lin and Novak, who cannot be traded until Jan. 15). New York could combine Gadzuric with an outgoing player to allow the other side to shed significant salary.

    2. Teams that are just under the tax threshold now may be forced above by injury replacements. Most teams will strongly want to stay below the tax threshold because they want (a) to avoid paying tax, (b) to participate in receiving tax disbursements (which only go to non-taxpaying teams) and (c) to avoid a step towards the repeater tax rates.

    3. As simple cash flow management, Gadzuric plus $930k from the Knicks could save a team more than $1.5 million in salary expense from Jan. 15 to the end of the season.

  36. massive

    Jeremy Lin ?@JLin7

    “Lol why do u guys believe everything? No quotes from me = probably not true”

    So it looks like those articles about Lin’s hurt feelings were bogus.

  37. ephus Post author

    Toronto GM Brian Colangelo, at today’s news conference, stated that it was “50/50″ whether the Knicks match for Landry Fields.

    Eric Koreen?@ekoreen

    “The Knicks have informed me they are very interested in retaining Landry.” 50/50 prop whether it gets matched, he says.

    I would be surprised if Knicks matched the Fields offer because of the hefty tax burden that would apply ($5 million (year one)/$12.5 million (year two)/$25 million (year three)).

    I would not be surprised, on the other hand, if the Knicks spent the last week trying to convince Colangelo that they might match on Fields, in hopes of turning the deal into a sign and trade before Toronto could actually sign Fields to an offer sheet. Now that Toronto has actually inked Fields to the offer sheet, New York cannot sign-and-trade him to anyone.

  38. Unreason

    ephus:
    Toronto GM Brian Colangelo, at today’s news conference, stated that it was “50/50? whether the Knicks match for Landry Fields.

    I noticed that the physician who treats Jon Abbey’s ulcer was actually at that news conference chuckling in the background.

  39. Frank

    Well, if Dolan is ok with paying the luxury tax, then I guess I’m fine with us matching Landry. Definitely would be roughly 400% more than he should make, but it definitely would give us more depth at the swing, which we need, and I like Landry as a backup 2/3.

    Makes you think, though, that Dolan is literally rolling in cash from this team. Jim Cavan might be right about Dolan and his $1000 bills.

  40. Frank

    One thing of note – looking through all the announcements re: the Camby trade and through Hahn’s timeline, and it doesn’t seem to mention anything about $$ going to Houston in that trade. So maybe we still have all $3M to spend.

  41. thenamestsam

    massive:
    Jeremy Lin ?@JLin7

    “Lol why do u guys believe everything? No quotes from me = probably not true”

    So it looks like those articles about Lin’s hurt feelings were bogus.

    I would be pretty surprised if they were completely bogus.Very few reports, even in a newspaper like the Post, are bogus. What they are is exaggerated and played up to draw a response. I think this is something of an “If there’s smoke, there’s probably at least a little fire” type situation.

    Hahn had a more measured take, saying that to call Jeremy “mad” is incorrect, but that he isn’t exactly thrilled with how the offseason has gone. That makes a good deal of sense given the things we’ve heard. First, he has a tough exit interview with Woodson (again, according to Hahn). That would understandably give him pause given that he had thrived under Dantoni, not Woodson (to the same extent at least), and that he is rightfully wary of doubters given his history. Then when FA opens, the Knicks immediately pursue Nash. Regardless of the Knicks actual plans (they almost certainly would have matched Lin even if they got Nash) you can see how he felt they were looking to replace him somewhat. Then they miss Nash, and immediately turn their attention to ANOTHER veteran PG. Then the fact that he couldn’t sign in time cost him a chance to play for the US select team.

    I’m sure his agent has explained to him and he understands that the Knicks couldn’t offer him as much, so they were never going to go about this any way except letting someone give him an offer, so he never realistically was going to play USA. But he’s a 24 year old kid. They’re not rational beings. Read the last paragraph and think about how he feels, not rationally, but emotionally. Frustration and annoyance makes perfect sense.

  42. 2FOR18

    Isola is tweeting that the Knicks are gonna match Tor’s offer. Happy d-day Jon Abbey.

    The Knicks may be ready to match Toronto’s three-year, $19 million offer to SG Landry Fields.
    Luxury tax is not an issue simply because the Knicks don’t care about it, but it does sound like they’ll wait the entire three days before making the decision. And at this point, it sounds like there’s a 50 percent chance the Knicks will match.
    Related: Raptors
    Source: Frank Isola on Twitter

  43. Unreason

    Frank: it definitely would give us more depth at the swing, which we need, and I like Landry as a backup 2/3

    Dontcha think GG can find a better backup 2/3 for less though? The bar is not very high.

  44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    You think Fields is overpaid? Brook Lopez is getting maxed.

    One plus one is two all day long…

  45. ephus Post author

    I think Isola is misreading the tea leaves here. His “50%” probability almost certainly comes from the exact same Colangelo quote I posted above.

    Even if the Knicks have no intention of keeping Landry Fields, it is in New York’s interest to make Toronto wait the full three days. The Knicks should want to build the reputation for making things difficult for teams that sign their players to offer sheets. Keeping Toronto’s money tied up for an extra three days is a small sting, but it is something.

  46. 2FOR18

    Here’s a question. How is it that the Nets can S&T Lopez in a deal for Howard, but it’s being said that if they sign him they can’t trade him until December? Is there a special rule specific to a S&T?

  47. 2FOR18

    ephus:
    I think Isola is misreading the tea leaves here.His “50%” probability almost certainly comes from the exact same Colangelo quote I posted above.

    Even if the Knicks have no intention of keeping Landry Fields, it is in New York’s interest to make Toronto wait the full three days.The Knicks should want to build the reputation for making things difficult for teams that sign their players to offer sheets.Keeping Toronto’s money tied up for an extra three days is a small sting, but it is something.

    You’re right. I didn’t read that blurb well.

  48. Jafa

    Ephus,

    Let me just say that I am thoroughly impressed by this article. I could not stop reading and loved how detailed and nuanced it was. Dude (or girl), you absolutely made my day.

  49. JK47

    Well, we could use another SG who could also play some SF, so Landry does fit our needs. What do I care if Dolan blows a bunch of money on luxury tax? The roster would look like this:

    PG Jeremy Lin, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni
    SG Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, Landry Fields
    SF Carmelo Anthony, James White
    PF Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Novak
    C Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby

    Then just go out and re-sign Jared Jeffries for the vet minimum and maybe another 3-point shooting guard, and there’s your roster.

  50. BigBlueAL

    Yeah at this point if they dont care about the luxery tax then by all means match the Fields offer sheet. Its a 3 yr deal so its in line with all the other moves they have made. Its a 3 yr window right now before they start all over so why not.

  51. Unreason

    thenamestsam: I would be pretty surprised if they were completely bogus…. he’s a 24 year old kid. They’re not rational beings. Read the last paragraph and think about how he feels, not rationally, but emotionally. Frustration and annoyance makes perfect sense.

    There’s plenty of question marks about Lin, but for me at least, he hasn’t shown any signs that character or rationality should be among them. Did Hahn include quotes? If not, I’d go with Lin’s own version of how he feels.

  52. Robtachi

    massive:
    Jeremy Lin ?@JLin7

    “Lol why do u guys believe everything? No quotes from me = probably not true”

    So it looks like those articles about Lin’s hurt feelings were bogus.

    Yeah, he’s a smart kid. I don’t think he’s ever going to begrudge the only NBA organization who believed in his ability, gave him a shot and universally loved him and his story. Whether it’s with us, Houston, or anywhere else, Jeremy Lin made his millions here and he knows it.

  53. thenamestsam

    I don’t hate resigning Fields. I don’t love it either, I’m just mostly ambivalent I guess. He’ll be hugely overpaid, but I actually don’t think the prospects for finding someone better than him for the minimum or with our weak remaining SnT assets is particularly high. Hell, if he rediscovers his shot somewhat he might even be able to carve himself a solid role in the rotation.

    Is that worth what he’ll be paid? Obviously not. But the cost as I see it is purely in Dolan dollars and I like seeing those go to waste. It doesn’t cost us long-term or short-term flexibility, and the opportunity cost is effectively zero. It’s basically a “Why the Hell Not?” move.

  54. thenamestsam

    Unreason: There’s plenty of question marks about Lin, but for me at least, he hasn’t shown any signs that character or rationality should be among them. Did Hahn include quotes? If not, I’d go with Lin’s own version of how he feels.

    I’m not questioning his character at all, and I’m only questioning his rationality to the extent that the guy is 24 years old. He’s a kid. When kids don’t get what they want, or when they feel spurned they get frustrated and they get upset. I’m not saying he’s outraged or that he’s not going to go right back to feeling the love the first time he hears the crowd going bonkers for him, or that he wants to leave.

    I’m just saying that there are multiple reporters reporting some version of the fact that he’s frustrated with how the offseason has gone, and that if you look at how events have transpired it’s not hard to see why he’d feel that way. Given that I’d be hesitant to dismiss the story as nothing.

  55. BigBlueAL

    People on Twitter are rationalizing matching the offer sheet to give the Knicks an “asset” for possible future trades.

  56. max fisher-cohen

    interesting move by the hornets — Ayon in a sign and trade for Ryan Anderson. There’s a sort of (accidental?) brilliance to it as he’s the kind of player who helps a lot when you have a good primary scorer, but doesn’t help much otherwise. So, assuming Eric Gordon doesn’t have an epic season, he probably doesn’t help NOH much NOW, but if in the next year or two they find another effective scoring option, he will help them a LOT. It’s a best of both worlds situation in that they get to lose for a better draft pick now and have a great complementary player for when they have a more complete team.

    Ayon isn’t young, but he’s cheap and looks like maybe he’s another Anderson Varejao type player, someone who can help create a culture of effort in post-Howard Orlando, so it’s not an utter disaster for ORL, but I’m surprised they couldn’t get a similar caliber player who was 5 years younger. The Magic are on a healthier path now than before, but I still think it’s foolish of them to try to unload these bad contracts now. You WANT overpaid, bad players to fill your cap when you are rebuilding.

    Quentin Richardson ($2.7m)
    Chris Duhon ($3.7m)
    Hedo Turkoglu ($11.4m)
    Glenn Davis ($6.4m)
    Jason Richardson ($5.7m)

    = $30m

    Now you can get some young guys and some TERRIBLE minimum contract players and play the worst players you have and still meet the minimum salary. Meanwhile, you get to lose like 70 games and get a good draft pick. Further, you don’t waste part of Dwight’s value bribing teams to take your bad contracts and instead can look to trade for some truly valuable draft picks rather than the shitty late first rounders NJ is offering. The Cavs understand this, which is why they’re willing to swallow Orlando’s bad contracts.
    wins probably 25 games and gets Orlando

  57. ephus Post author

    Jafa:
    Ephus,

    Let me just say that I am thoroughly impressed by this article.I could not stop reading and loved how detailed and nuanced it was.Dude (or girl), you absolutely made my day.

    Let’s go with Dude. Thanks.

    Re: Trade of Brook Lopez. The CBA requires that any free agent who is not moved in a sign-and-trade within 48 hours cannot be traded for an additional period. For most players, that restriction elapses on December 15. For some players, the restriction lasts until January 15. I am not certain which would apply to Brook Lopez. In either case, the assumption is that Orlando wants to trade Howard long before the Nets would be free to move Lopez. That assumption may be put to the test.

  58. Robtachi

    thenamestsam: I would be pretty surprised if they were completely bogus.Very few reports, even in a newspaper like the Post, are bogus. What they are is exaggerated and played up to draw a response. I think this is something of an “If there’s smoke, there’s probably at least a little fire” type situation.

    I’m saying this coming from the experience of having an immediate family member work as a sports journalist and leave that genre of the profession partially for moralistic reasons: it’s more prevalent than you’d think, particularly when a news organization has a spotty track record of credibility. Usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire, but there is something about sports journalism, probably because the athletes so closely flirt and overlap with celebrity status, that lends itself to a much wider acceptance of speculation and hearsay.

  59. Gideon Zaga

    Ok so since we know Grunwald reads the blog, why can’t he ask Amare to stop teething about his work outs and actually work out. He has to know that until he shows us his so called improved self, our lasting memory of him will be the one where he went 1 on 1 and personal with a fire extinguisher. Amare seems to be too much into publicity than actually doing something. It’s almost as if he’s jealous of Melo. He always has people or himself blowing his trumpet. Even during his injury last year he cut a deal with yahoo to document his rehab and didn’t talk to NY media during that time. I mean I like the guy but he has to be more serious and give up the crap. Last year he even came in making a big splash about 20 lbs of muscle and growing an inch taller. Please Amare! Please!

  60. Frank

    Sounds like Dwight –> Nets is officially off. To be honest, thank God. We don’t need a serious powerhouse right in our backyard. And make no mistake – DWill/JJ/Wallace/Teletovic/Howard would immediately be the 2nd or 3rd best team in the NBA (assuming Teletovic’s reputation as a great stretch 4 is true).

    As it is now, Kris Humphries becomes exceedingly important for the Nets. They literally have zero interior presence unless he comes back. Even WITH Hump, I don’t think they get more than 45-47 wins next year.

  61. 2FOR18

    Robtachi: I’m saying this coming from the experience of having an immediate family member work as a sports journalist and leave that genre of the profession partially for moralistic reasons:it’s more prevalent than you’d think, particularly when a news organization has a spotty track record of credibility.Usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire, but there is something about sports journalism, probably because the athletes so closely flirt and overlap with celebrity status, that lends itself to a much wider acceptance of speculation and hearsay.

    It’s not limited to sports journalism, but that’s for another site :)

  62. 2FOR18

    OKC signed Hollis Thompson.
    GS has traded for Jack, so Nasty Nate is available. I’d rather have him than Fields.

  63. Unreason

    thenamestsam: It doesn’t cost us long-term or short-term flexibility, and the opportunity cost is effectively zero. It’s basically a “Why the Hell Not?” move.

    If that’s true, then I agree. If there’s a legitimate shot at getting a more effective 2 that re-signing him would prevent, then I don’t. I’m ambivalent also. I’d like to see him do well somewhere because it was so fun watching his rookie season, and I don’t think he’ll do well here. I also think that having a very erratic Earl as the only 2 who can defend other 2′s or shoot on the team is a risk.
    The flexibility we might lose is because the Dolan dollars aren’t literally unlimited. I don’t know what the threshold is.

  64. BigBlueAL

    I cant believe Im saying this but I actually hope the Knicks match the offer sheet to Fields. *ducks*

  65. jon abbey

    I’m actually not totally against matching that Fields offer given NY’s current situation. Woodson has already shown that he’s happy to bury him on the bench, and as was said above, we do need someone to play SG along with Smith until Shumpert is back. what’s the downside financially? (he asks ephus or anyone else who might know)

  66. d-mar

    Off topic, but IMO Mike Lupica has successfully climbed to the the #1 most grating and annoying sports radio personality in NY (and perhaps America)

  67. jon abbey

    d-mar:
    Off topic, but IMO Mike Lupica has successfully climbed to the the #1 most grating and annoying sports radio personality in NY (and perhaps America)

    wow, there is so much competition there, worse than Stephen A Smith?

  68. ephus Post author

    If Howard does not go to the Nets, I think Billy King will have built a perennial six seed with no cap flexibility. The Brook Lopez contract will immediately be on a par with Al Harrington as worst signing from inception.

  69. Jafa

    BigBlueAL:
    I cant believe Im saying this but I actually hope the Knicks match the offer sheet to Fields.*ducks*

    Believe it. If we don’t care about the luxury tax, as has been documented on this post, whats a few more millions if it increases our depth at a currently weak position (SG)?

    Right now JR will start the season at SG. Who’s our swing man off the bench? If you match Fields, then you can bring JR off the bench like last year. When Shump gets healthy, Fields goes back to the bench.

    Also, if we have any injuries to Melo or JR, Fields steps right in and you continue to get quality play. Plus, keeping Lin’s “BFF” may smooth over some of those feelings from the past couple of weeks.

    So I can definitely believe it.

  70. BigBlueAL

    Can you imagine if Fields can revert to his rookie season 3pt shooting form?? How about at the worst in between his rookie season and last season?? Say a mid-30′s 3pt shooter??

  71. Jafa

    ephus:
    If Howard does not go to the Nets, I think Billy King will have built a perennial six seed with no cap flexibility.The Brook Lopez contract will immediately be on a par with Al Harrington as worst signing from inception.

    I agree with you that they will overpay him, but I think Brooks could work well paired with a rebounding, shot blocking defensive presence in the post. After all, he can score in the post, which is valuable.

  72. Unreason

    thenamestsam: I’m not saying he’s outraged or that he’s not going to go right back to feeling the love the first time he hears the crowd going bonkers for him, or that he wants to leave.
    I’m just saying that there are multiple reporters reporting some version of the fact that he’s frustrated with how the offseason has gone, and that if you look at how events have transpired it’s not hard to see why he’d feel that way. Given that I’d be hesitant to dismiss the story as nothing.

    Fair enough. Didn’t mean to twist your words.

  73. d-mar

    jon abbey: wow, there is so much competition there, worse than Stephen A Smith?

    Fair point, and of course Michael Kay when he gets fixated on a really stupid argument can give either of them a run for their money.

    On the positive side, I happen to think Evan Roberts on WFAN is the most balanced, rational, well informed and most importantly, non self-promoting and bombastic of all of them. A good listen in general.

  74. 2FOR18

    jon abbey: wow, there is so much competition there, worse than Stephen A Smith?

    Lupica surpassed everyone in assholeness a few years ago when he started to insert political commentary into his articles. Jason Whitlock became my hero when he smacked down Lupica on Sports Reporters. If I ever saw Lupica I would punch him.

  75. ephus Post author

    jon abbey:
    I’m actually not totally against matching that Fields offer given NY’s current situation. Woodson has already shown that he’s happy to bury him on the bench, and as was said above, we do need someone to play SG along with Smith until Shumpert is back. what’s the downside financially? (he asks ephus or anyone else who might know)

    The cost depends on how far the Knicks are above the salary cap, because starting next year the tax rates are graduated.

    2012-13 (easy): $ 5 milion salary, $5 million tax = $10 million

    2013-14 (assuming no major changes): $5 million salary, $12.5 million tax = $17.5 million.
    2013-14 (if JR Smith gets a full MLE (through Early Bird rights)): $5 million salary, $16.25 million tax = $21.25 million

    2013-14 (assuming Lin stays and no JR Smith): $10 million salary, $25 million tax = $35 million
    2013-14 (assuming Lin stays and JR Smith on full MLE):$10 million salary, $35 million tax = $45 million.

    So, keeping Fields would cost $20 million in salary and between $42.5 million and $56.5 million in tax. That is above and beyond the tax burden that the Knicks will have to pay to keep the rest of the team together.

  76. max fisher-cohen

    If it’s Nate v. Fields, I’m not sure who I’d pick. Robinson is very similar to J.R. Smith. He shoots a lot and doesn’t do much else. Fields is a better complementary player – he is a more willing passer and a better defender — and he’s 4 years younger.

    The major risk with Fields (other than incurring Jon Abbey’s wrath) is that unless he gets back to being at least average from the perimeter, there’s not really a place for him on this team. We already have too many interior players who need minutes. We desperately need wing players who can shoot.

  77. thenamestsam

    ephus:
    If Howard does not go to the Nets, I think Billy King will have built a perennial six seed with no cap flexibility.The Brook Lopez contract will immediately be on a par with Al Harrington as worst signing from inception.

    You’re mostly right, but I think they can maybe get a bit higher than 6 seed. They’re a decent squad, and looking at it from their perspective I understand perfectly why they’d rather go that route than true rebuilding. They’re moving to a new building and there’s a decent chance they have a better year next year than the Knicks have had any year in the past decade (next year excluded). Would they have been closer to a championship by going pure rebuilding? Probably, but effectively starting a franchise that way a tough route and I think it can backfire on you in terms of getting a reputation as a losing culture, and really turning off the fans. The #6 pick for Gerald Wallace was a horrible error, but since that point I think he has made mostly the right choices.

  78. jon abbey

    ephus: So, keeping Fields would cost $20 million in salary and between $42.5 million and $56.5 million in tax.That is above and beyond the tax burden that the Knicks will have to pay to keep the rest of the team together.

    yeah, this seems pretty crazy. I’d rather let Grunwald audition guys and hunt for this year’s Gerald Green, and keep the roster flexibility.

  79. Unreason

    ephus: So, keeping Fields would cost $20 million in salary and between $42.5 million and $56.5 million in tax. That is above and beyond the tax burden that the Knicks will have to pay to keep the rest of the team together.

    That’s what I think tips the scale against re-signing. I just doubt that the impact of that 60-70 million on other possible acquisitions is literally meaningless. Once signed, Fields’ value as a piece in a trade also seems pretty minimal to me. But maybe he’s more highly regarded than I realize.

  80. PaulStreetBoy

    Prigioni is a pass first pure point guard whose primary goal is to assist for a basket, or just hit the 3 ball when the ball comes back to him when he is free. i watched him multiple times, but i don’t remember him shooting a 2 pointer, although he does every now and then but almost 70% of all his shots are 3s.
    He played especially well with the Argentine national team surrounded with the likes of Manu, Scola, Delfino etc around. he is their captain and starting PG.

    He has been playing in a very high level in Spain for a while now with TAU and Real and most recently with Caja Laboral. His Euroleague stats put him into top 10 PGs and only last year he did not play deep into playoffs. he his shooting threes with an average 33-34% but he did shoot a 42% most recently in 2008-2009 with TAU. his averages 7pts/4.5assits/2.6rebs/1.5steals/1.2tos in the last couple years with 27 minute of playing time. he would still be playing for Real Madrid at the top of the Euroleague, if not for Sergio Rodriguez (yes that Sergio) who replaced him this year – btw Rodriguez had 5.4assits/20 minutes per game this year –

    if i was coaching him, i would not put him on the floor with the second unit, but with Melo/Stat/JR on the floor so that he can get them the ball at the best possible positions. he can also shoot a three here and there when the ball finds him back when he is open. and i think this is the kind of PG we need. why not start him ahead of the others?

  81. Jafa

    This better work!

    I’m think Grunwald has been very creative given the hand he was dealt, but this better work. In terms of adding talent, we are down to bare bones from a draft pick perspective (only the ones the NBA mandates that we can’t trade), limited to the taxpayers MLE to add a FA, minimum deals and more creative trading for the next 3 years.

    But I guess it is worth a shot. We tried the maximum cap space thing in 2010 and it didn’t work. Why not try the over-the-cap, over-the-tax line, over-the-apron thing a try?

  82. Unreason

    PaulStreetBoy: why not start him ahead of the others?

    Do you think he won’t be given a chance to earn it? or suggesting that he deserves to be named the starting pg already?

  83. Z-man

    I must be missing something here. Won’t having Fields make it harder to ever get under the tax “apron” towards the full MLE,especially in year 3, like if an unexpected opportunity came up to trade STAT or Chandler? I dunno, I won’t flip out if we sign him (for the same reasons jon abbey stated) but it seems like an incredible waste of money…even by Dolan’s standards.

  84. Gideon Zaga

    Come on Jon, don’t joint the bandwagon. My feeling is if we’re willing to sign Fields then we can get someone better say Pietrus or some other able athletic wing with a jumpshot.

  85. Caleb

    I also don’t see us matching Fields – he might have trade value with one or two teams this year, but in two years when he’s making $10 million he’s got none.

    I know that it doesn’t make a practical difference – except to Dolan’s wallet – but I just can’t imagine someone paying $35 million or $45 million to have Landry Fields on the roster. No matter what.

    If he doesn’t actually sign the Toronto offer (did he already?), are Knicks allowed to offer big dollars on their own? Could they offer, say, $18 million over 3 years? Landry might take similar money or slightly less, to stay in NY, and the way the luxury tax works, going from $10 million to $6 million would save the Knicks about $15 million, right?

  86. Z

    ephus:
    If Howard does not go to the Nets, I think Billy King will have built a perennial six seed with no cap flexibility.The Brook Lopez contract will immediately be on a par with Al Harrington as worst signing from inception.

    And he’ll own the Joe Johnson albatross too.

  87. Gideon Zaga

    Great we have the Spanish Ruruland! Welcome Aboard.

    PaulStreetBoy:
    Prigioni is a pass first pure point guard whose primary goal is to assist for a basket, or just hit the 3 ball when the ball comes back to him when he is free. i watched him multiple times, but i don’t remember him shooting a 2 pointer, although he does every now and then but almost 70% of all his shots are 3s.
    He played especially well with the Argentine national team surrounded with the likes of Manu, Scola, Delfino etc around. he is their captain and starting PG.

    He has been playing in a very high level in Spain for a while now with TAU and Real and most recently with Caja Laboral. His Euroleague stats put him into top 10 PGs and only last year he did not play deep into playoffs. he his shooting threes with an average 33-34% but he did shoot a 42% most recently in 2008-2009 with TAU.his averages 7pts/4.5assits/2.6rebs/1.5steals/1.2tos in the last couple years with 27 minute of playing time. he would still be playing for Real Madrid at the top of the Euroleague, if not for Sergio Rodriguez (yes that Sergio) who replaced him this year – btw Rodriguez had 5.4assits/20 minutes per game this year –

    if i was coaching him, i would not put him on the floor with the second unit, but with Melo/Stat/JR on the floor so that he can get them the ball at the best possible positions. he can also shoot a three here and there when the ball finds him back when he is open. and i think this is the kind of PG we need. why not start him ahead of the others?

  88. gjknick

    I originally advocated spending Dolan’s money on Fields until Ephus pointed out how much $$$ it would really cost. I’m still OK with it but HIGHLY doubt old Jimmy will dish out that much moola.
    Instead, bringing back N8 would be fun. A backcourt of Nate and Kidd would be such a fun contrast – one regarded as having a very high B-ball IQ, the other … well not so much. I assume Nate has a somewhat more humble vision of himself compared to his original Knick days. His 3 point range would be a plus and Kid could guard the 2 while N8 takes the 1 defensively. I’m sure he’d be cheap as well.

  89. Gideon Zaga

    It’s funny how they all end up here so quickly after the acquisition, just like the Ruru Melo package. I don’t know why they don’t go to theknicksblog or p&t or some other place. Here always seems like first destination haha.

  90. JC Knickfan

    2FOR18:
    Can this Prigioni guy play the 2?

    If anyone is playing 2, it’s Lin since that what he played in College.

    Look like JR being pencil in as starter right now. If Prigioni earns playing time, seem like Lin might be best option for backup 2.

  91. Gideon Zaga

    I actually like this cos the game is changing, it’s becoming more of an athletic fast (Miami) or shooters league (OKC). Its no longer an execution league. I say this option sounds good and even better when I think about what Landry made me do to my remote last season. Any shooter will definitely help. But on the other hand, Nate and JR on the same team kinda gives me goosebumps. We’re only allowed to have one knucklehead.

    gjknick:
    I originally advocated spending Dolan’s money on Fields until Ephus pointed out how much $$$ it would really cost. I’m still OK with it but HIGHLY doubt old Jimmy will dish out that much moola.
    Instead, bringing back N8 would be fun. A backcourt of Nate and Kidd would be such a fun contrast – one regarded as having a very high B-ball IQ, the other … well not so much. I assume Nate has a somewhat more humble vision of himself compared to his original Knick days. His 3 point range would be a plus and Kid could guard the 2 while N8 takes the 1 defensively. I’m sure he’d be cheap as well.

  92. Z-man

    http://houston.sbnation.com/houston-rockets/2012/7/11/3151444/jeremy-lin-saga-did-the-rockets-simply-do-the-knicks-a-favor

    This article has an interesting spin on the Jeremy Lin situation. It essentially insinuates that the Lin and Camby deals were essentially one deal: Knicks agreed to overpay for Camby by getting Houston to lure Lin into signing a relatively benign offer sheet. If Lin feels that the Rockets essentially did the Knicks a favor by boxing Lin out of a better offer from, say, Toronto, I could see him being annoyed by that. It kind of makes sense in that Houston had to know that the Knicks would match this offer, so what was the logic behind making it in the first place?

    If it is true, we essentially traded a bunch of spare parts and cash for the rights to Lin and Camby for $9 million guaranteed for the next 3 years. Is GG that smart?

  93. ephus Post author

    Caleb: If he doesn’t actually sign the Toronto offer (did he already?), are Knicks allowed to offer big dollars on their own? Could they offer, say, $18 million over 3 years? Landry might take similar money or slightly less, to stay in NY, and the way the luxury tax works, going from $10 million to $6 million would save the Knicks about $15 million, right?

    Until Fields signed the offer sheet with Toronto, the Knicks were limited by Early Bird rights to a 4 year offer starting at $5.3 million and going up by $400k per year — 4 years/$23.6 million. Before Fields signed his offer sheet, I thought that there was an opportunity for a sign and trade at that number, if the last year was a player option. Toronto could have sent back a lottery protected first round pick.

    Now that Fields has signed his offer sheet, the Knicks have to make a choice. Keep Fields at a price that will bump the Knicks up two tax brackets if they try to add more salary in the next three years, or let him go.

  94. Jafa

    PaulStreetBoy:

    if i was coaching him, i would not put him on the floor with the second unit, but with Melo/Stat/JR on the floor so that he can get them the ball at the best possible positions. he can also shoot a three here and there when the ball finds him back when he is open. and i think this is the kind of PG we need. why not start him ahead of the others?

    I say let him be our primary back up PG, with Lin as the starter and Kid playing back-up SG until Shump gets healthy. When he comes in, one of he will probably be on the floor with a Melo/STAT combo, Melo/Chandler combo, JR/STAT combo or JR/Chandler combo.

    Take a look at how our 3 PGs compare from last season:

    AST%
    JL – 41.0%
    JK – 28.4%
    PP – 23.2%

    TOV%
    PP – 19.4%
    JL – 21.4%
    JK – 24.2%

    TS%
    JL – .552
    PP – .547
    JK – .524

    PER
    JL – 19.9
    PP – 19.4
    JK – 13.1

    I’m absolutely down for him to be the primary back-up PG.

  95. Z-man

    Gideon Zaga: But on the other hand, Nate and JR on the same team kinda gives me goosebumps. We’re only allowed to have one knucklehead.

    Flight White has knucklehead potential as well, so we may already have two. I like Nate, and the dude sold a lot of jerseys when he was here. My kids would be thrilled if we brought him back. Although I’d worry about Nate and Melo reviving old grudges and duking it out in practice.

  96. jon abbey

    Jafa:

    Take a look at how our 3 PGs compare from last season:

    heh, come on. two of those were in the NBA, Prigioni not so much.

  97. Jafa

    JC Knickfan: If anyone is playing 2, it’s Lin since that what he played in College.

    Look like JR being pencil in as starter right now. If Prigioni earns playing time, seem like Lin might be best option for backup 2.

    Why not play Kidd at the back-up 2? Chancey Billups is doing fine playing the 2, and he is 6’3” and 202 lbs (Kidd is 6’4” and 205 lbs).

  98. Frank

    Jafa: I say let him be our primary back up PG, with Lin as the starter and Kid playing back-up SG until Shump gets healthy.

    Wait. Really? You want to give some guy you’ve never seen play who couldn’t start over the immortal Sergio Rodriguez in Europe all of Jason Kidd’s backup PG minutes?

    Dude, I know you were against the Kidd signing, but this seems a little nuts to me.

  99. Jafa

    jon abbey: heh, come on. two of those were in the NBA, Prigioni not so much.

    But jon abbey,

    Isn’t advanced stats supposed to help us bridge that gap? Its why we can compare any two players with variations on teams they played on, offensive systems they played under, minutes played, teammates, etc.

  100. Jafa

    Frank: Wait. Really? You want to give some guy you’ve never seen play who couldn’t start over the immortal Sergio Rodriguez in Europe all of Jason Kidd’s backup PG minutes?

    Dude, I know you were against the Kidd signing, but this seems a little nuts to me.

    Seems nuts, but numbers never lie. You can’t dispute the advance stats. If they were better than Lin’s, I would advocate him starting over Lin.

    What increases the intelligence level on this blog is the astute use of advanced stats to augment conventional reasoning. Do you have any advanced stats to augment your reasoning?

  101. PaulStreetBoy

    i don’t think Prigioni will/can play SG in the NBA with a 6-2/6-3 frame.

    btw, for some reason the entire NYC press thinks he played the twice-US-beating 2004 gold medalist team, but he did note. they had Pepe Sanchez playing the PG at the time. but he played the 2008 and will play this year as well.

  102. PaulStreetBoy

    Jafa, your numbers make sense other than the AST%. How come Prigioni have a that low AST%? especially compared to Lin who seemed to score at will?

    the best numbers i found are from DraftExpress that has Ast/FGA of .81 for Prigioni (Euro play) and 0.56 for Lin and .97 for Kidd that makes more sense to me.

    Jafa: I say let him be our primary back up PG, with Lin as the starter and Kid playing back-up SG until Shump gets healthy.When he comes in, one of he will probably be on the floor with a Melo/STAT combo, Melo/Chandler combo, JR/STAT combo or JR/Chandler combo.

    Take a look at how our 3 PGs compare from last season:

    AST%
    JL – 41.0%
    JK – 28.4%
    PP – 23.2%

    TOV%
    PP – 19.4%
    JL – 21.4%
    JK – 24.2%

    TS%
    JL – .552
    PP – .547
    JK – .524

    PER
    JL – 19.9
    PP – 19.4
    JK – 13.1

    I’m absolutely down for him to be the primary back-up PG.

  103. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Jafa: Seems nuts, but numbers never lie.You can’t dispute the advance stats.If they were better than Lin’s, I would advocate him starting over Lin.

    What increases the intelligence level on this blog is the astute use of advanced stats to augment conventional reasoning.Do you have any advanced stats to augment your reasoning?

    Give it up, Jafa. The intelligence level on this blog has been propped up by passionate and creative sportwriting, but there’s no more focus on analytics: apparently because the eyetest hasn’t passed for quite some time on WS48 or WP48, they’re inadmissible as evidence in arguments of player value. Welcome to my Knickerblogger Hell.

  104. 2FOR18

    Jafa: Seems nuts, but numbers never lie.You can’t dispute the advance stats.If they were better than Lin’s, I would advocate him starting over Lin.

    What increases the intelligence level on this blog is the astute use of advanced stats to augment conventional reasoning.Do you have any advanced stats to augment your reasoning?

    I had a 79% TS% in my friend’s driveway last weekend. Sign me up for the Knicks back-up 2.

  105. ephus Post author

    On the tax front, according to Larry Coon’s cbafaq.com, there were six taxpayers this year who paid $32 million in aggregate (Lakers ($12.6), Celtics ($7.4), Heat ($6.1), Mavericks ($2.7), Spurs ($2.5), Hawks ($0.7). $16 million (half of the luxury tax paid) will be equally shared by each of the 24 non-taxpaying teams.

    So the Knicks will receive a $666,667 credit against their revenue sharing bill this year.

    Going forward, the Lakers and the Heat will continue to be taxpayers. The Knicks and the Nets will be taxpayers for the next three years. I do not see any other team getting above the tax line for the next two years.

  106. tastycakes

    ephus, thanks for the terrific analysis.

    One thing I’m wondering about — how does the Knicks being super++ over the cap (and the napkin / blanket / whatever) affect their ability to execute trades? Is it simply a matter of taking in less contract than we give up or are we hamstrung because of how far above the cap we are?

    It seems to me that a lot of our assets are potentially useful to other teams and signed to reasonable contracts (STAT unfortunately aside). So while there’s little flexibility from the free-agent side of the coin, there’s always room to deal right?

    Also, would love to know when we’re under the cap again. My impression is that GG has been savvy in keeping the deals in the 2-3 year range (guaranteed), so if this team doesn’t gel, I’d like to believe that there’s a future beyond Melo.

  107. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Gideon Zaga:
    Great we have the Spanish Ruruland! Welcome Aboard.

    Yeah, I realized that when he said, “I watched him multiple times, but I don’t remember…”

  108. jon abbey

    Jafa: But jon abbey,

    Isn’t advanced stats supposed to help us bridge that gap?Its why we can compare any two players with variations on teams they played on, offensive systems they played under, minutes played, teammates, etc.

    comparing guys within the NBA is flawed enough, but comparing numbers from the Spanish league to the NBA is ridiculous.

  109. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    2FOR18: I had a 79% TS% in my friend’s driveway last weekend.Sign me up for the Knicks back-up 2.

    False analogy. NBA numbers are a fairly closed system. We can’t predict with much accuracy how well a player’s rebounds will translate from the NCAA to the pros, but we can be fairly certain that a poor shooter in the NBA will always be a poor shooter in the NBA. You can cite all the outliers you want, but players trend upward until age 25 and then slowly decline, falling off a cliff at 35 and older.

  110. TelegraphedPass

    Jafa: Why not play Kidd at the back-up 2? Chancey Billups is doing fine playing the 2, and he is 6’3” and 202 lbs (Kidd is 6’4” and 205 lbs).

    It has nothing to do with size. Andre Miller played the 2 successfully next to Ty Lawson, and it wasn’t because he’s particularly big, though he is capable of posting up smaller guards. It’s about skillset.

    Billups can play the two because he’s a fantastic shooter, not because of his size. It’s simple enough to move shooters off-ball, because he doesn’t derive his greatest value from dominating the ball. Kidd is not a great shooter. He developed into a threat over the years, but has regressed recently. It’s certainly possible that he could play the two, but we don’t have a PG to match with him. Lin is a slasher. Lin wants to drive the lane, draw fouls, and hit shooters on the wing after their defenders come to help. Doesn’t fit Kidd as well as I would like.

    Regarding Pablo, I understand how his advanced stats look really great. But they shouldn’t be held up as gospel. I would feel very uncomfortable giving a minimum contract rookie NBA PG the reserve slot over the man we committed 3 years to. Kidd has been in the NBA; we know what he brings. Not for nothing, but the foreign leagues aren’t the same as the NBA so the stats aren’t necessarily the best indicator of NBA production.

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Oh nevermind, Jafa was comparing Spanish league to the NBA. Nope, that doesn’t work. Mea culpa.

  112. BigBlueAL

    Brook Lopez is reportedly signing a 4 yr-60.8 mil deal with the Nets. Making more money than Tyson Chandler. Unbelievable.

  113. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Also, according to WP48 Kidd is still amazing. I’m not sure how, but his numbers are compiled the same way everyone else’s are, so I’m hopeful that he can add 3-5 wins above replacement to this team alone next year.

  114. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    BigBlueAL:
    Brook Lopez is reportedly signing a 4 yr-60.8 mil deal with the Nets.Making more money than Tyson Chandler.Unbelievable.

    And people say that NBA decision makers have access to all sorts of advanced metrics that we don’t have… hah.

  115. 2FOR18

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: False analogy. NBA numbers are a fairly closed system. We can’t predict with much accuracy how well a player’s rebounds will translate from the NCAA to the pros, but we can be fairly certain that a poor shooter in the NBA will always be a poor shooter in the NBA. You can cite all the outliers you want, but players trend upward until age 25 and then slowly decline, falling off a cliff at 35 and older.

    He was comparing stats put up by a guy in the Spanish League to those put up by players against NBA comp. It’s like comparing a PCL hitter’s stats to a ML player’s stats and putting them on equal footing. Come on, you can’t be serious on this one.

  116. ephus Post author

    tastycakes:
    ephus, thanks for the terrific analysis.

    One thing I’m wondering about — how does the Knicks being super++ over the cap (and the napkin / blanket / whatever) affect their ability to execute trades?Is it simply a matter of taking in less contract than we give up or are we hamstrung because of how far above the cap we are?

    It seems to me that a lot of our assets are potentially useful to other teams and signed to reasonable contracts (STAT unfortunately aside).So while there’s little flexibility from the free-agent side of the coin, there’s always room to deal right?

    Also, would love to know when we’re under the cap again.My impression is that GG has been savvy in keeping the deals in the 2-3 year range (guaranteed), so if this team doesn’t gel, I’d like to believe that there’s a future beyond Melo.

    Starting next year, once a team is over the Apron ($4 million above the tax line) it cannot receive a free agent in a sign-and-trade. The only other restrictions from being above the Apron are the lack of a full MLE and no BAE.

    Knicks look to have a nearly clean sheet in 2015-16. Melo, Stat, TC, Kidd and Camby will all expire in 2015. Only Novak has a guarantee for 2015-16. The Knicks will hold a team option on Lin (@$9.3 million) and Shumpert will be due a $3.9 million qualifying offer to make him a RFA.

  117. PrecociousNeophyte

    Numbers never lie? How about you ask Jason Bay about that. IIRC Jason Bay had the worst UZR in baseball in 2009. The Mets signed him and all the “intelligent” baseball fans citing his UZR said how can the Mets possibly expect Jason Bay to be able to handle Citi Field when he was the worst OF in baseball playing in tiny LF at Fenway Park.

    Fast Forward 6 months and fangraphs decides to tweak their UZR formula. Jason Bay suddenly has an above average UZR in 2009.

    The level of arrogance on both sides of the scouting vs numbers debate has simply reached ridiculous levels where no one wins and no one develops a better understanding of the game unless you think going from one extreme position to another is somehow progress.

  118. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And people say that NBA decision makers have access to all sorts of advanced metrics that we don’t have… hah.

    Seems like the Bobcats and Blazers were gonna offer Lopez the same contract.

  119. Jafa

    PaulStreetBoy:
    Jafa, your numbers make sense other than the AST%. How come Prigioni have a that low AST%? especially compared to Lin who seemed to score at will?

    the best numbers i found are from DraftExpress that has Ast/FGA of .81 for Prigioni (Euro play) and 0.56 for Lin and .97 for Kidd that makes more sense to me.

    My data sources:

    http://basketball.realgm.com/player/Pablo_Prigioni/International/2890/2012/By_Split/Advanced_Stats/Recent_Games/0/All_Leagues

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=linje01&y1=2012&p2=kiddja01&y2=2012

  120. TelegraphedPass

    Jafa: Seems nuts, but numbers never lie. You can’t dispute the advance stats. If they were better than Lin’s, I would advocate him starting over Lin. What increases the intelligence level on this blog is the astute use of advanced stats to augment conventional reasoning. Do you have any advanced stats to augment your reasoning?

    Marcus Banks and Anthony Parker say hi, btw.

  121. Bruno Almeida

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And people say that NBA decision makers have access to all sorts of advanced metrics that we don’t have… hah.

    Thats the stupidest contract since Johnson’s bizarre max deal, unbelievable, and now Brooklyn owns both lol.

    I’m very high on Kidd, you just can’t teach a new player to do what he does, I’m not a high intangibles guy but Kidd can obviously still play, he just needs to be n the right role and play less than 25 minutes, which is perfect for us.

    I’m sure he’ll be a huge improvement for us and I’m sure his playing time will go up on the final stretch and on the playoffs.

    If Lin comes back strong, we might have a top 3 team in the east, Grunwald is really amazing at his job, while some other gms… Not so much.

    The highly touted Daryl morey, for example, just let go of two really good PGs to chase a guy that would obviously get matched and now he might have to get Rafer Alston back to run the point because the have no one left, just terrible.

  122. Jafa

    2FOR18: I had a 79% TS% in my friend’s driveway last weekend.Sign me up for the Knicks back-up 2.

    Dude, are you serious?

    Did you play in a major league, American or international? Can you sustain that over the course of a season? Can you even post that percentage with an overweight guy with limited lateral movement guarding you? Exactly, that’s how ridiculous that comeback sounds.

  123. Caleb

    BigBlueAL:
    Brook Lopez is reportedly signing a 4 yr-60.8 mil deal with the Nets.Making more money than Tyson Chandler.Unbelievable.

    On one level it’s ridiculous, but on the other hand they’re almost in a Landry Fields situation. Thanks to Joe Johnson (and Williams), they’re capped out no matter what. They won’t have flexibility with or without Lopez, so there isn’t really an opportunity cost to signing Lopez (as there would be if letting him walk would free up cap space). It only costs $$$$, and Prokhorov probably spends that much on socks.

  124. Unreason

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: we can be fairly certain that a poor shooter in the NBA will always be a poor shooter in the NBA

    A real advance in advanced stats would be to include confidence intervals around projections for a randomly selected player’s performance over a season contingent on certain characteristics. E.g. a 38 year-old pg with an average TS% over a 15-year NBA career of X and a trajectory of Y described by some polynomial, is projected to have a TS% next season of Z with 95% confidence of being between Z_Low and Z_High.
    By being more concrete and transparent, projected performance in specific skill domains surrounded by confidence intervals would decrease the suspicion and controversy surrounding statements about what advanced stats allow one to be fairly certain about. Without that it tends to sound like hot air to me.

  125. Caleb

    Bruno Almeida:

    The highly touted Daryl morey, for example, just let go of two really good PGs to chase a guy that would obviously get matched and now he might have to get Rafer Alston back to run the point because the have no one left, just terrible.

    Well he looks about 40-60 for landing Dwight Howard, which would be a nice consolation prize.

    I think Houston might have gotten sick of mediocrity, and is angling to either land the big fish or get really bad and get a meaningful lotto pick.

  126. BigBlueAL

    Dont get me wrong I toatally understand why the Nets gave Lopez that contract. Just amazing that a player like him can get that much money just because he is 7 ft tall basically.

  127. Bruno Almeida

    Caleb: On one level it’s ridiculous, but on the other hand they’re almost in a Landry Fields situation. Thanks to Joe Johnson (and Williams), they’re capped out no matter what. They won’t have flexibility with or without Lopez, so there isn’t really an opportunity cost to signing Lopez (as there would be if letting him walk would free up cap space). It only costs $$$$, and Prokhorov probably spends that much on socks.

    Yeah, but that also means that Lopez is now 100% untradeable, and they’re stuck with an injury prone 7 footer who rebounds worse than Jason Kidd.

    He’s a decent offensive player and has room for improvement, and they had no other decent options, but this is still an outrageous contract.

  128. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    BigBlueAL: Seems like the Bobcats and Blazers were gonna offer Lopez the same contract.

    Seems like the Bobcats are probably the worst talent evaluators in the entire league. No idea why Portland would offer that contract, though. You have to be smoking PCP to think that Lopez is a max player.

    One plus one is two all day long, though.

  129. bob cook

    Bringing in Nate is absurd. MDA suspended him and Mike’s not precisely a disciplinarian. Woodson might kill him. Or Kidd would. What about Fields? I think it depends on something none of us know. Which is to say do Glen and Woody think he can get back to his rookie form. I don’t see why he can’t. For quite a while in his rookie year, he was among the top five rooks in the league. Maybe even top two for a bit. And his shot was ok. Then he changed it and…well, you saw. But players can improve. DLee learned to shoot. Give Landry a shot and he’s a starter. JR, off da bench. Shump comes back and we see. Shump’s shooting ability does not remind one of Jerry West either. But he too can learn. And someone gets hurt. There you go. So pay the man. But if G and W think he’s somehow toast, off to Toronto. I’m, however, betting on Landry. Most players that blow up do it because they’re head cases. Not the case with LF.

  130. Bruno Almeida

    Caleb: Well he looks about 40-60 for landing Dwight Howard, which would be a nice consolation prize.

    I think Houston might have gotten sick of mediocrity, and is angling to either land the big fish or get really bad and get a meaningful lotto pick.

    But will Howard really think Houston is a nice situation for him? No pg, Martin will probably get traded as a piece of the deal, Scola might too (and he has been pretty bad lately), and who else do they have? Chase Budinger and the Lithuanian dude?

  131. Bruno Almeida

    That said, I do think Morey owned the draft, he got incredible value for the picks he had.

  132. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Unreason: A real advance in advanced stats would be to include confidence intervals around projections for a randomly selected player’s performance over a season contingent on certain characteristics. E.g. a 38 year-old pg with an average TS% over a 15-year NBA career of X and a trajectory of Y described by some polynomial, is projected to have a TS% next season of Z with 95% confidence of being between Z_Low and Z_High.
    By being more concrete and transparent, projected performance in specific skill domains surrounded by confidence intervals would decrease the suspicion and controversy surrounding statements about what advanced stats allow one to be fairly certain about. Without that it tends to sound like hot air to me.

    Yeah, I see what you’re saying. But to a certain extent, we do know that certain traits diminish slower than others — good shooters trend downward (overall) much slower than poor shooters. Tall PGs perform better longer.

  133. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Seems like the Bobcats are probably the worst talent evaluators in the entire league. No idea why Portland would offer that contract, though. You have to be smoking PCP to think that Lopez is a max player.

    One plus one is two all day long, though.

    But isnt Rich Cho heavy into statistical analysis?? Would expect this before but with Rich Cho now as GM wouldve thought they would change their ways.

  134. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    PrecociousNeophyte:

    The level of arrogance on both sides of the scouting vs numbers debate has simply reached ridiculous levels where no one wins and no one develops a better understanding of the game unless you think going from one extreme position to another is somehow progress.

    My attitude has never been that advanced stats are the end-all, be-all. I simply believe that making personnel choices based on those stats are MORE OFTEN safer and more productive than relying on scouting and subjective analysis first and foremost. My picks over the last few years have been Ty Lawson, Ken Faried, Landry Fields, DeJuan Blair (still awesome for a 2nd rounder), Kawhi Leonard, et al. I’m not saying that you can win a championship with that team, but it beats the hell out of picking prospects based on “high ceiling” scouting reports.

  135. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    BigBlueAL: But isnt Rich Cho heavy into statistical analysis??Would expect this before but with Rich Cho now as GM wouldve thought they would change their ways.

    Check out this link:

    http://www.thenbageek.com/players/page/2?_=1342045633814&direction=desc&positions%5B%5D=C&season=2010&single_page=1&sort=per48_rebounds

    Find Brook Lopez. See how terrible he is he is at rebounding? I don’t think there’s any advanced stat that can explain this positively.

  136. Caleb

    Bruno Almeida: Yeah, but that also means that Lopez is now 100% untradeable, and they’re stuck with an injury prone 7 footer who rebounds worse than Jason Kidd.

    He’s a decent offensive player and has room for improvement, and they had no other decent options, but this is still an outrageous contract.

    He would already be untradeable because he’d be playing for a different team.. signing him for less isn’t an option. It’s either overpay or don’t have him.

  137. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Check out this link:

    http://www.thenbageek.com/players/page/2?_=1342045633814&direction=desc&positions%5B%5D=C&season=2010&single_page=1&sort=per48_rebounds

    Find Brook Lopez. See how terrible he is he is at rebounding? I don’t think there’s any advanced stat that can explain this positively.

    Trust me I know what a horrible rebounder he is which is why Im shocked he got this big a contract and was actually in demand by other teams at the same price.

    He can score and do it pretty efficiently but considering the position he plays his lack of rebounding is one helluva huge weakness to overlook.

  138. ephus Post author

    Three thoughts:

    1. If Fields offer sheet is 3 years/$18.7, then the year 3 salary would be $8.5 million and the year 3 tax would be between $21.5 million and $30 million.

    2. The big money going to Hibbert and Lopez means that Chandler’s contract is below market. Meaning that if the Knicks decide to blow this team up, Chandler should have serious trade value.

    3. I favor bargain hunting at SG, prepared to go into the season with the current roster.

  139. ruruland

    Unreason: A real advance in advanced stats would be to include confidence intervals around projections for a randomly selected player’s performance over a season contingent on certain characteristics. E.g. a 38 year-old pg with an average TS% over a 15-year NBA career of X and a trajectory of Y described by some polynomial, is projected to have a TS% next season of Z with 95% confidence of being between Z_Low and Z_High.
    By being more concrete and transparent, projected performance in specific skill domains surrounded by confidence intervals would decrease the suspicion and controversy surrounding statements about what advanced stats allow one to be fairly certain about. Without that it tends to sound like hot air to me.

    Nice post.

  140. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Also, according to WP48 Kidd is still amazing. I’m not sure how, but his numbers are compiled the same way everyone else’s are, so I’m hopeful that he can add 3-5 wins above replacement to this team alone next year.

    I think he will, ironically, because his WP48 friendly traits.

  141. ruruland

    PrecociousNeophyte:
    Numbers never lie? How about you ask Jason Bay about that. IIRC Jason Bay had the worst UZR in baseball in 2009. The Mets signed him and all the “intelligent” baseball fans citing his UZR said how can the Mets possibly expect Jason Bay to be able to handle Citi Field when he was the worst OF in baseball playing in tiny LF at Fenway Park.

    Fast Forward 6 months and fangraphs decides to tweak their UZR formula. Jason Bay suddenly has an above average UZR in 2009.

    The level of arrogance on both sides of the scouting vs numbers debate has simply reached ridiculous levels where no one wins and no one develops a better understanding of the game unless you think going from one extreme position to another is somehow progress.

    Agreed.

  142. 2FOR18

    Jafa: Dude, are you serious?

    Did you play in a major league, American or international?Can you sustain that over the course of a season?Can you even post that percentage with an overweight guy with limited lateral movement guarding you?Exactly, that’s how ridiculous that comeback sounds.

    I was demonstrating the absurd with the absurd.

  143. Brian Cronin

    If Fields offer sheet is 3 years/$18.7, then the year 3 salary would be $8.5 million and the year 3 tax would be between $21.5 million and $30 million.

    What’s interesting is that if the Knicks match and then Fields remains bad, they can cut him after Year 1 and have his cap charge for the final two years ($13 million) spread out over four years. That would reduce the cap hit dramatically, no? I mean, they’d still be paying a lot for a guy who is not even on the team anymore, but still.

    And if he doesn’t suck, then they can trade him to avoid the cap hit in Year 3. Or, of course, just keep him and pay the money.

  144. Caleb

    Brian Cronin: What’s interesting is that if the Knicks match and then Fields remains bad, they can cut him after Year 1 and have his cap charge for the final two years (#13 million) spread out over four years. That would reduce the cap hit dramatically, no? I mean, they’d still be paying a lot for a guy who is not even on the team anymore, but still.

    And if he doesn’t suck, then they can trade him to avoid the cap hit in Year 3. Or, of course, just keep him and pay the money.

    Unless his shooting stroke returns, I think he’ll be untradeable.. even if it does, he’ll be close to untradeable at those #s.

  145. Brian Cronin

    Unless his shooting stroke returns, I think he’ll be untradeable.. even if it does, he’ll be close to untradeable at those #s.

    Right, the shooting stroke not returning would be the “remains bad” option.

    even if it does, he’ll be close to untradeable at those #s.

    If he shoots like he did in Year 1 while keeping all the stuff he added in Year 2, he’d easily be tradeable at 2 years/$15 million.

    Of course, the question is will he? If he doesn’t, then yeah, he’s untradeable.

  146. BigBlueAL

    Berman just tweeted:

    His U.S. agent George Bass confirms Pablo Prigioni is a Knick.

  147. Caleb

    Brian Cronin: Right, the shooting stroke not returning would be the “remains bad” option.

    If he shoots like he did in Year 1 while keeping all the stuff he added in Year 2, he’d easily be tradeable at 2 years/$15 million.

    Of course, the question is will he? If he doesn’t, then yeah, he’s untradeable.

    Well, it would be a good problem to have. He’d be a backup with single-digit per-game numbers, which would be fine for us but not great news for his value or his agent.

  148. Robtachi

    THCJ, I had a whole diatribe loaded up about the perils of implicitly trusting all advanced stats in the court of law/gee-emming with baseball UZR as an example, but it’s pretty much been said already. I like advanced stats, but she’s the chick I want to go out into the city and have some fun with, not marry.

  149. ruruland

    Case in point on advanced stats, which overwhelmingly show Camby to be a better defender than Chandler over their respective careers, to back up what I and others have said about the difference between the two, here is Chandler’s take:

    On Camby: “I’ll obviously have a backup, and it will take some of the load off. … He’s probably a better shot-blocker than I am. He chases down shots. I’m more of a possession defender where I like to make things tough for guys, not necessarily chase down a lot of shots. We can start the fast break that way. … I don’t mind him stealing some minutes, but I can see situations down the stretch where we’re trying to get stops as well as just mixing it up a little bit. We’ve got scoring on the perimeter, so we need finishers and guys that are going to defend and rebound.”

    On Kidd: “Jason is a great defender still in this league, so it’s going to really help because we have some great minds now on the defensive end, as well as just vets who understand how to play the game.”

    On Camby and Kidd’s initiative to want to play for the Knicks: “It says a lot about the organization and the team that a guy like Jason Kidd is willing come and play. He only wants to win right now. It’s the same thing in a guy like Marcus Camby — he only wants to win. It says that the organization is going in the right direction. That’s the reason why I came to New York. We’re going to be title contenders every year.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/

  150. ruruland

    What do you think Chandler means by “possession defender” in the contest of comparing Camby to a shot blocker?

    A lot more to defense than just the blocked shot and rebound, don’t you think? Same deal on offense.

  151. Brian Cronin

    Well, it would be a good problem to have. He’d be a backup with single-digit per-game numbers, which would be fine for us but not great news for his value or his agent.

    Yeah, the thing that is weird is that for his own sake, he really is better off in Toronto starting in an offense geared for him than being a back-up in New York.

  152. thenamestsam

    Lopez: I think his brutal rebounding has been a bit overstated. He had decent rebounding numbers his first two years. Then two years ago he had mono during the summer. That’s the kind of thing that can really linger and it’s easy to see how it could effect your rebounding. Then last year he was hurt. I think people bemoaning his awful rebounding are putting too much weight on his last two years. If he can get back to the 8-10 bounds per 36 he was putting up his first two years this starts to look a lot more reasonable.

    It’s a terrible contract, there’s no denying that, but how much worse is Lopez than Hibbert? He’s worse, but I’m not sure the difference is all that large. The prices on legit centers are off the charts (thank god for Tyson). And the Nets have the richest owner in sports. Once you factor all that in I think it’s easy to see why this is a Landry-type situation for them. It’s a bad contract, but they’re capped out and they’re trying to win now, and other teams were going to max him. I can’t fault them for signing this contract.

  153. daJudge

    (1) Ephus–Haven’t read through the entire thread, but really great post. I am usually too lazy/tired to learn all the great stuff on this site. Your explanations were very clear. That is not, however, a criticism of the other technical posts on this site. One question though—can you hit the open “J”? (2) Also, on the general free agency signings—how can anyone not be happy? (3) Re: Fields–Firstly, Brian’s point makes a lot of sense. Secondly, while I really don’t care that much about him, I care less about the so-called luxury tax. Like most taxes, if you’re earning a great deal of money, the taxation is kind of irrelevant or, at least, subject to major manipulation. This particular “tax” is elastic/deceptive/misnomer/euphemistic, since a team could earn more $$$ by paying and burning through the tax. It’s a way in which the NBA gets into Dolan’s pocket, but he benefits as well. It’s a legal bribe to the NBA, plain and simple. Kind of like, if you have the dough, you can pay to play. If you pay to play, you make more dough at the end of the day. As much as Dolan is vilified, if it makes him money, he will pay to play. And that’s good.

  154. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland:
    What do you think Chandler means by “possession defender” in the contest of comparing Camby to a shot blocker?

    A lot more to defense than just the blocked shot and rebound, don’t you think? Same deal on offense.

    It’s a nice quote from Tyson, and it really sums it all, shot blocking can be a very overrated stat, like on Serge Ibaka’s case, where he’s a worse defender than his numbers show.

    I think it depends a lot on what team you’re facing… A young team that has players who want to take the ball to the rim most of the time (think OKC) would be bothered more by Camby than Chandler I think, specially because they have no low post presence.. The same with Miami… But against whatever team Howard goes to, or slower, older teams, than Chandler is much better because of his positioning, low post defense and the “quarterback of the D” role he has.

    But even then, Camby’s defense is still very valuable, even if he’s obviously not better than chandler, and his offensive rebounding numbers are off the charts, that will help us a lot.

  155. ephus Post author

    The stretch provision would provide the Knicks an opportunity to avoid most of the tax associated with Landry Fields, if they brought him back and then waived him after 2012-13. The first year tax is manageable ($5 million).

    If the Knicks waived him after 2012-13, they could spread out his remaining $13.7 million over 5 seasons. That would mean $2.7 million/year, less set off for any salary earned during the first two seasons. If the Knicks got below the tax line in 2015-16, there would be no tax paid on the stretch payments.

    It still seems foolhardy to me to bring Fields back with the idea of waiving him after one year — essentially paying him $13.8 million for one bad season, plus around that amount in taxes.

    If Fields regained his shooting stroke, the Knicks would still have to trade him in order to avoid the huge tax bills in 2013-14 and 2014-15. It’s hard to see him having positive value at 2 years/$15 million, even though Fields’ new team would almost certainly not have any associated tax liability.

    I say the Knicks should refrain from matching on Fields.

  156. ephus Post author

    daJudge: One question though—can you hit the open “J”?

    I was your classic 6’2″ power forward. No range, no hands and no handle.

  157. 2FOR18

    Well I’ve been wrong on everything re: the Nets.
    I think is the best case scenario for Knicks fans. The Nets will be relevant and good enough to sustain an exciting local rivalry, but not good enough to be a real threat. (But then again, see my first sentence above.)

  158. 2FOR18

    ephus: I was your classic 6’2? power forward.No range, no hands and no handle.

    Jared Jeffries’ normal sized brother?

  159. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ruruland:
    What do you think Chandler means by “possession defender” in the contest of comparing Camby to a shot blocker?

    A lot more to defense than just the blocked shot and rebound, don’t you think? Same deal on offense.

    I love how you constantly assume that an individual’s style of offensive play affects the way his defense will play him, thereby creating defensive imbalance or whatever, yet you do not account for the possibility that simply being guarded by a shot blocker could affect the “rhythm” of an opposing shooter or something to that effect. See, I have no substantial evidence to base this on, but neither do you. Do you have evidence that Camby’s shot-blocking results in him being a poor defender otherwise? Anything but your anecdotal bullshit?

  160. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: It’s a nice quote from Tyson, and it really sums it all, shot blocking can be a very overrated stat, like on Serge Ibaka’s case, where he’s a worse defender than his numbers show.

    I think it depends a lot on what team you’re facing… A young team that has players who want to take the ball to the rim most of the time (think OKC) would be bothered more by Camby than Chandler I think, specially because they have no low post presence.. The same with Miami… But against whatever team Howard goes to, or slower, older teams, than Chandler is much better because of his positioning, low post defense and the “quarterback of the D” role he has.

    But even then, Camby’s defense is still very valuable, even if he’s obviously not better than chandler, and his offensive rebounding numbers are off the charts, that will help us a lot.

    I agree.

  161. cgreene

    Been a while…

    What a succinct and well written post, Ephus. I usually am less interested in the cap stuff but you really summarized it nicely.

    I think as part of the 3 year plan that is now in place that taking a chance on Fields at those numbers is not that bad an idea. He has high bball IQ. We would prefer JR off the bench (although I have a bad feeling Woody has a thing for JR as “his” project and is going to over use him). He makes Lin comfy and he’s young with upside. At this point I’d push the chips in and figure there’d be a creative way to get out of it.

    The other thing I wanted to mention back on the J Lin being sour issue was that he may well be upset he didn’t get a chance to play for Team USA select but I’d think in the back of GG and the rest of management’s minds that they didn’t want him playing there. He’s coming off the knee. He’s the Lin-chpin (couldn’t help myself) to the team at this point. Why would I want him running any risk at this point when we haven’t even seen him play full tilt yet?

  162. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin: What’s interesting is that if the Knicks match and then Fields remains bad, they can cut him after Year 1 and have his cap charge for the final two years ($13 million) spread out over four years. That would reduce the cap hit dramatically, no? I mean, they’d still be paying a lot for a guy who is not even on the team anymore, but still.

    so $50M for a guy who has shown virtually no signs of life for a year-plus now (Toney Douglas was reliable more recently) as opposed to letting Grunwald the Grandmaster* take a shot at filling it on the cheap? just keep bringing in young, athletic, hungry guys for SG auditions (a la the Bulls in recent years, and Gerald Green last year).

    Shumpie should be back after a few months anyway (I refuse to believe he heals at the same pace as us lesser mortals) and the rest of the rotation is shaping up nicely.

    *if you wondered why Prigioni came over with so little financial incentive, Zwerling just tweeted “He had been on Glen Grunwald’s radar for about five years”. I read in the paper today he has tried to trade for Camby the last four trading deadlines, dude is five moves ahead of the rest of us.

  163. Brian Cronin

    I read in the paper today he has tried to trade for Camby the last four trading deadlines, dude is five moves ahead of the rest of us.

    I’m pretty sure we’ve been asking for the Knicks to trade for Camby the last four trading deadlines, too. ;)

  164. jon abbey

    I just realized that once Shumpie is back, assuming of course everyone is healthy, we can put out this lineup at the end of the game to try to get a stop: Chandler, Camby, Jeffries, Shumpert, and Kidd.

    think about that for a second, wowza. good luck trying to force favorable switches there, I’m pretty sure we can all agree to be happy that that arrow is now in Woodson’s arsenal.

  165. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I love how you constantly assume that an individual’s style of offensive play affects the way his defense will play him, thereby creating defensive imbalance or whatever, yet you do not account for the possibility that simply being guarded by a shot blocker could affect the “rhythm” of an opposing shooter or something to that effect. See, I have no substantial evidence to base this on, but neither do you. Do you have evidence that Camby’s shot-blocking results in him being a poor defender otherwise? Anything but your anecdotal bullshit?

    I actually think the example you just used about offensive players becoming hesitant or changing their normal approach to finishing occurs when facing a great shot blocker is absolutely true. Camby provides that.

    The point I was making re: Camby was that he’s extremely poor in rotation, and attempts to, as Chandler puts it “chase shots” that puts him in poor position for other help opportunities.

    In other words, Camby goes all out for the block when a guy like Chandler makes the proper defensive play that decreases the efficiency of other plays or potential plays around him…He doesn’t sacrifice the chance to help in order to make a shot block.

    As I’ve said many times, Camby is a plus defender overall, without question, and an upgrade over JJ. But he will hurt your overall defensive principles if he’s your defensive leader because he does his own thing….. That’s why he’s best as a roamer with strong rotation and extra effort players around him.

    He’s a classic rim protector who’s solid against most post-player who don’t know how to use their strength…He also has great hands against drivers when he can’t block their shots….

    As far as evidence, yeah, plenty of it….

    One sec, I was just looking at his Synergy numbers to confirm what I knew…..

  166. jon abbey

    actually, thinking about it more, once Shumpie is back and close to himself (fingers crossed), this is what I think NY’s best lineups are at this point:

    Offense: Amare, Melo, JR Smith, Shumpert, Lin
    Defense: Chandler, Camby, Jeffries, Shumpert, Kidd

    if you could change the lineup after every single possession, that team could compete with anyone, maybe Dolan needs to petition for 500 additional TOs per game.

  167. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJIUZiSTMMU

    So out of position on defense.

    non-sequitur. Get a Synergy subscription and expand your knowledge of the game.

    Here are Camby’s stats starting in 2009 that prove he’s poor in rotation and can struggle in isolation.

    2009 with LAC: spot-up 1.09 ppp –141 plays (308th in the league), vs isolation .87 (190th in league)

    2009 with Portland: isolation .98 (283), post-up .89 (157), spot-up .74 (12th) just 65 plays

    2010 Portland: vs isolation 1.01 (306), spot-up 1.07 (293)

    2011 Portland: vs isolation 1.03 (309), spot-up .91 (147)

    2011 Houston: (only 8 isolation plays, not enough to qualify), vs spot-up 1.13 on 16 plays….

    Go through the film on each of these plays and you’ll notice that Camby rarely, if ever, goes out of the paint to contest a shot or defend anyone, and instead waits for the opponent to come him to him with a shot he can rebound or block..

    Those spot-up and isolation numbers are horrendous, luckily he makes up for them. But he’s nowhere near a top 5 defender in the NBA, and there’s a long list of guys with inferior stats who provide far more value.

  168. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    actually, thinking about it more, once Shumpie is back and close to himself (fingers crossed), this is what I think NY’s best lineups are at this point:

    Offense: Amare, Melo, JR Smith, Shumpert, Lin
    Defense: Chandler, Camby, Jeffries, Shumpert, Kidd

    if you could change the lineup after every single possession, that team could compete with anyone, maybe Dolan needs to petition for 500 additional TOs per game.

    I think the best offensive lineup next year will be Amare,Melo, Smith, Lin and Kidd.

    Shump will be there eventually though.

  169. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ruruland: non-sequitur.Get a Synergy subscription and expand your knowledge of the game.

    Here are Camby’s stats starting in 2009 that prove he’s poor in rotation and can struggle in isolation.

    2009 with LAC: spot-up 1.09 ppp –141 plays (308th in the league), vs isolation .87 (190th in league)

    2009 with Portland: isolation .98 (283), post-up .89 (157), spot-up .74 (12th) just 65 plays

    2010 Portland: vs isolation 1.01 (306), spot-up 1.07 (293)

    2011 Portland: vs isolation 1.03 (309), spot-up .91 (147)

    2011 Houston: (only 8 isolation plays, not enough to qualify),vs spot-up 1.13 on 16 plays….

    Go through the film on each of these plays and you’ll notice that Camby rarely, if ever, goes out of the paint to contest a shot or defend anyone, and instead waits for the opponent to come him to him with a shot he can rebound or block..

    Those spot-up and isolation numbers are horrendous, luckily he makes up for them. But he’s nowhere near a top 5 defender in the NBA, and there’s a long list of guys with inferior stats who provide far more value.

    So isolation plays by a center or PF have the same expected point value as isolation plays by a PG/SG? So we’re comparing Camby, who would guard most isos in the post, to a guard, who would have a much higher percentage of shots against from places on the floor have a much less PPP?

  170. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    actually, thinking about it more, once Shumpie is back and close to himself (fingers crossed), this is what I think NY’s best lineups are at this point:

    Offense: Amare, Melo, JR Smith, Shumpert, Lin
    Defense: Chandler, Camby, Jeffries, Shumpert, Kidd

    if you could change the lineup after every single possession, that team could compete with anyone, maybe Dolan needs to petition for 500 additional TOs per game.

    This team can compete with anyone as constructed, if healthy. If so, they will give Miami a long, very close series.

    Not having a pg against the Heat creates a chain reaction on offense — particularly against their transition athletes– that is simply too much to overcome.

    Let’s remember that the Knicks half-court defense was quite superb in that series.

    Lacking a pg in that series caused the following:

    1) forced JR Smith into a primary creator role, where he is slightly below average overall, and decreased his ability to operate as a floor spacer and knock down, off-ball shooter and finisher

    2) SIGNIFICANTLY decreased the amount of pick and roll plays, where Amar’e and Chandler are the best 1-2 pick and roll finishing combination in the entire NBA, thereby eliminating one of the Knicks best offensive weapons

    3)Because of the inability to run coherent pick and roll, all of the action created by it was also negated — there were no open corner shots for Novak or Smith that are created by teams sending help to the middle (remember what Paul said about needing a corner shooter, middle pnr creates that opening)

    4) Made Melo’s isolation and post-up touches much more difficult. Because of a lack of passing angles, created by an inability to penetrate, Melo’s isolation touches often started beyond the 3 pt line, a very inefficient place to initiate an isolation

  171. BigBlueAL

    Interesting trade:

    Source confirms Indiana receives Ian Mahinmi in sign and trade with Dallas with Mavs getting Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones.

    Mahinmi is getting a 4yr-16mil contract with Indiana.

  172. Brian Cronin

    Who do you think Dallas is targeting with their amnestied Haywood money? I thought that they were in on Elton Brand, but now that they’ve signed Chris Kaman, do they have room to play Brand, Marion, Dirk and Kaman?

  173. Brian Cronin

    Interesting trade:

    Source confirms Indiana receives Ian Mahinmi in sign and trade with Dallas with Mavs getting Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones.

    Mahinmi is getting a 4yr-16mil contract with Indiana.

    Wow, that’s a nice chunk of change for Mahinmi. I mean, I like him well enough, but I dunno if I like him for four years/$16 million.

  174. ruruland

    5) It put Baron Davis and Mike Bibby on the floor in creation situations, Enough said.

    6) The lack of penetration made the Knicks highly predictable, and allowed the Heat’s defense to overplay all of the Knicks sets — when you face a team that physically strong and quick…..death

    7) the lack of pg creativity, created not just low-efficiency offense, but a high percentage of running opportunities for arguably the greatest defense-to-offense team in NBA history….

    Getting Lin and Kidd not only brings all of the Knicks offensive strengths back into play, but it decreases transition opportunities, therefore improving the defense before even considering the fact that Lin and Kidd are superior defenders to Davis and Bibby.

    The Chandler, Amar’e, Shump injuries/illness should not be forgotten, either. Miami was healthy.

  175. Brian Cronin

    The Trail Blazers and Timberwolves are discussing a deal that would bring Portland free-agent forward Nicolas Batum to Minnesota in exchange for two future first-round draft picks and a veteran small forward acquired from a third team

    I wonder who the veteran small forward is?

    Batum would fit in really well in Minny. They’re putting together an interesting team.

  176. BigBlueAL

    Apparently Indiana is looking to trade for DJ Augustine who is a restricted FA so I guess another sign & trade.

  177. BigBlueAL

    Also all the Knick beat writers tweeted that Woodson today told them Lin will enter training camp as the starting PG for whatever thats worth.

  178. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: So isolation plays by a center or PF have the same expected point value as isolation plays by a PG/SG? So we’re comparing Camby, who would guard most isos in the post, to a guard, who would have a much higher percentage of shots against from places on the floor have a much less PPP?

    Well, let’s compare Camby’s isolation and post-up numbers to other interior players

    Chandler 2012: isolation .59 (17th), post-up .71 (47th)

    Chandler 2011: isolation .76 (101), post-up .8 (90th)

    Chandler 2010: isolation .85 (163), post-up .8 (80th)

  179. Frank

    Brian Cronin: I wonder who the veteran small forward is?

    Batum would fit in really well in Minny. They’re putting together an interesting team.

    Definitely, and they finally have a great coach. Adelman is awesome. Who falls out of the playoffs in the WC though? Jazz are probably out. Mavs may fall out too. Denver will prob be good enough. I think Minny will be a ~6 seed though if Rubio is healthy.

  180. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: So isolation plays by a center or PF have the same expected point value as isolation plays by a PG/SG? So we’re comparing Camby, who would guard most isos in the post, to a guard, who would have a much higher percentage of shots against from places on the floor have a much less PPP?

    Brook Lopez

    2010: isolation .72 (43rd), post-up .83 (103)

    2011: isolation .87 (204), post-up .89 (159)

    Pau Gasol

    2010: isolation: .86 (177), post-up .92 (187)

    2011: isolation .91 (243), post up .81 (93rd)

    2012: isolation .79 (163), post-up .73 (61)

  181. jon abbey

    ruru, you will at least admit that it’s a potential issue that so few of our guys are top quality two way players, right?

    ruruland: I think the best offensive lineupnext year will be Amare,Melo, Smith, Lin and Kidd.

    OK, let’s go with that, you feel comfortable with that team on D at the end of big games?

  182. Brian Cronin

    Definitely, and they finally have a great coach. Adelman is awesome. Who falls out of the playoffs in the WC though? Jazz are probably out. Mavs may fall out too. Denver will prob be good enough. I think Minny will be a ~6 seed though if Rubio is healthy.

    Yeah, I think that the Jazz will be out. So that lets the Wolves in. Adelman really is great. Although as the world’s lone Ant-Rand fan, I am holding a grudge over Adelman’s usage of Randolph.

  183. BigBlueAL

    Now rumors Cavs might trade Antwan Jamison in a sign & trade to the Nets. Love all the rumors!!

  184. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: So isolation plays by a center or PF have the same expected point value as isolation plays by a PG/SG? So we’re comparing Camby, who would guard most isos in the post, to a guard, who would have a much higher percentage of shots against from places on the floor have a much less PPP?

    I could go on and on, I mean guys like Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and even Roy Hibbert have better 3 year isolation, post-up and spot-up numbers.

    Luckily Camby is one of the top 2-3 shot blockers, weak-side shot changers in the NBA……And that trumps his poor numbers elsewhere.

  185. Brian Cronin

    Now rumors Cavs might trade Antwan Jamison in a sign & trade to the Nets. Love all the rumors!!

    That’s a good move for the Nets. Where is the Hump headed?

  186. Brian Cronin

    More rumors, Gerald Green on Pacers radar!!

    I need to get off Twitter lol

    Man, imagine him playing at the 2 with Stephenson at the 1? That’d be the biggest knucklehead backcourt ever.

  187. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    ruru, you will at least admit that it’s a potential issue that so few of our guys are top quality two way players, right?

    ruruland: I think the best offensive lineupnext year will be Amare,Melo, Smith, Lin and Kidd.

    OK, let’s go with that, you feel comfortable with that team on D at the end of big games?

    No, I’d go: Chandler, Melo, Smith, Shump, Kidd to end games, unless Lin and Amare really had it going.

  188. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    ruru, you will at least admit that it’s a potential issue that so few of our guys are top quality two way players, right?

    ruruland: I think the best offensive lineupnext year will be Amare,Melo, Smith, Lin and Kidd.

    OK, let’s go with that, you feel comfortable with that team on D at the end of big games?

    Mavs thought they had the same problem– Dirk isn’t better defensively than Amar’e, Marion is more or less a specialist with a floater, Peja, JJ barrea, Stevenson?

    None of those guys on that team were great two players like Lebron and Wade.

    The Knicks are a younger, more talented version of that team with its best player capable of being a complete two way player.

  189. Unreason

    I could see a Lin+Kidd back court being pretty effective at end of games. That’s when I’m least happy seeing Earl out there unless he’s on fire. If Kidd’s 3pt% is similar to the last couple of years, having him and Lin in together keeps a lot of options open.

  190. Kurt

    Jon Abby in 180-
    I think this calls for a Grunwald nickname of GRANDMASTER G.

    ruru or anyone else who has synergy: are there any pick and roll numbers for Kidd from the last two seasons? I realize he’s a great passer but he’d have to be good with pnr to make optimal use of TC/STAT

  191. BigBlueAL

    I found some NBDL stats for Copeland. Played 19 games in the 2006-7 season. Very good advanced stats at least.

  192. gjknick

    He’s 27 or 28, depending on when his birthday is, 6’8″ 225 lb forward. Played for a Belgium team. Averaged 33 minutes/game, 22.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.8 apg. Hit 57% of 2pt shots, 44% on 3′s. Not much of a scouting report, but amazing what a quick google search can do. Frank’s video is interesting.

  193. formido

    Last year, Lin had several notable end-of-game defensive plays. Took the charge to seal the game against LA. Blocked Nowitzki to seal the game at Dallas. Forced Brandon Jennings to miss wildly on an iso (the play where he yells at Melo and Amare for losing the rebound). He led the D-league in defensive rating and was among the leaders last year in steals per game during his starts. Blocking Derrick Rose twice and picking him twice in one game should be proof enough that we’re not talking about Nash levels of defense here. He’s only going to get better as a defender, too. Positional defense matters more than freakish iso defense.

    The Knicks had a top rated defense last year despite the fact that at least three of the starters routinely have their defense deprecated. I like Chandler, but he’s not *that* good. Folks need to reassess their mental models for evaluating what makes a good defender. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the team’s aggregated defensive rating.

  194. max fisher-cohen

    I don’t know if you can fairly call Brook Lopez injury prone as he hadn’t missed a single game in the three seasons prior to this past one.

    Also, for what it’s worth, Lopez averaged 13.1 reb/36 in the preseason this year. Humphries (who was still a free agent during preseason) I think steals a lot of his rebounds.

    Considering how few good big men there are in the league, that he’s only 24 and, having missed pretty much all of last season, has only played 3 NBA seasons, and that bigs tend to take longer to develop, I don’t think it’s quite the disaster people are making it out to be.

  195. max fisher-cohen

    That said though, the Nets are kind of following the Knicks’ building model, which goes something like this: get a “star” (in the nets’ case it was legit star), then haphazardly throw your assets in the direction of any player who has made an all-star game in the last five years without regard for whether the parts will work together or be enough to make for a title contender.

  196. Kurt

    @216: Most of the video was contested jumpers and a few post ups. Don’t we already have someone who can make contested jumpers?

    @219: exactly, MFC, they’ve made every single mistake we used to make:
    1. Trade lottery pick for former all-star on downside of career whose skills aren’t sustainable with age.

    2. Trade for among the worst contracts in the NBA, just to get a borderline all-star on the downside of career.

    3. Spend max money on big man who can post up but little else (no rebounding or defense).

    4. Trade most of major assests on second tier star.

    5. Blow cap space with bad contracts in fierce “win now” mode with players just good enough to lose.

    6. Since contracts are so bad and bloated, can’t trade them for someone who actually WOULD bring you to the next level.

    7. Owner willing to spend unlimited money to win lets incompetent GM make these bad deals because he’s willing to spend whatever is necessary to win.

    I think Billy King might graduate from the Thomas school of team management…

  197. ruruland

    max fisher-cohen:
    get a “star” (in the nets’ case it was legit star),

    Yes, Deron Williams has been absolutely brilliant with NJ — pure winner. And he was a vastly superior player in Utah to Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

    Obviously the flex offense and having ideal flex and pnr players like Milsap and Boozer had absolutely zero to do with Williams success.

    I mean, he has a career WS/48 less than Stat and 5 points higher than Melo — totally different stratosphere.

  198. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin: Man, imagine him playing at the 2 with Stephenson at the 1? That’d be the biggest knucklehead backcourt ever.

    Marbury and Crawford request to be considered in this category, please.

  199. ephus Post author

    As much as I loved them as a kid, Ray Williams and Michael Ray Richardson may have been the biggest knucklehead backcourt ever. They had all the talent in the world, but could not harness it.

  200. Z-man

    Considering where we were in May, I couldn’t be happier about the way the roster looks right now (or will in a couple of days.) We still have question marks, but I feel like this is a stable roster that will be fun to root for. Prigioni is going to be a very valuable addition, and White and Copeland will make an impact, I can just feel it. Great, great job, Glen, I like you even more than Donnie W.

  201. StatsTeacher

    Watch this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De7M701rzf8

    it’s our ugly St. Pat’s day outfit, but Lin abused Collison so badly Indiana has given up on him. He’s just too small against a 6’3″ guard, Miami abused him so badly he was pushed out of the rotation in their series. I remember they said he was hurt, though I am not so sure about that.

    BigBlueAL:
    Interesting trade:

    Source confirms Indiana receives Ian Mahinmi in sign and trade with Dallas with Mavs getting Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones.

    Mahinmi is getting a 4yr-16mil contract with Indiana.

  202. Ben R

    Brian Cronin: Wow, that’s a nice chunk of change for Mahinmi. I mean, I like him well enough, but I dunno if I like him for four years/$16 million.

    I like Mahinmi at 4 million per.

    11 pts 9 rebs 1 blk, great TS%, 6’11″, turns 26 this year. He seems like a nice bargain at 4 million. He’s foul prone and a little inexperienced but he still has a lot of room to improve.

    I actually would have preferred us going after young unproven talent exactly like Mahinmi or Bayless over old on the decline talent like Kidd and Camby.

    With Kidd and Camby we know what we are getting but even if they stay healthy and don’t decline this year their window is one year maybe two before we need to start looking to replace them with new bench players. Short term we’re a little better if they stay healthy but long term we are worse and it’s not like we’re a couple good veterans off the bench away from truly contending anyway.

    Young talent is a bit more of a gamble but it can pay off as well, what if we signed Mike James as our 3rd string PG over Lin. With young talent you have the chance of getting a potential star like Lin or Ben Wallace or even just a player that out plays his small contract and becomes a valuable long term piece like Kris Humphries or Danny Green or Steve Novak.

  203. ruruland

    Ben R: I like Mahinmi at 4 million per.

    11 pts 9 rebs 1 blk, great TS%, 6’11?, turns 26 this year. He seems like a nice bargain at 4 million. He’s foul prone and a little inexperienced but he still has a lot of room to improve.

    I actually would have preferred us going after young unproven talent exactly like Mahinmi or Bayless over old on the decline talent like Kidd and Camby.

    With Kidd and Camby we know what we are getting but even if they stay healthy and don’t decline this year their window is one year maybe two before we need to start looking to replace them with new bench players. Short term we’re a little better if they stay healthy but long term we are worse and it’s not like we’re a couple good veterans off the bench away from truly contending anyway.

    Young talent is a bit more of a gamble but it can pay off as well, what if we signed Mike James as our 3rd string PG over Lin. With young talent you have the chance of getting a potential star like Lin or Ben Wallace or even just a player that out plays his small contract and becomes a valuable long term piece like Kris Humphries or Danny Green or Steve Novak.

    Shumpert/Smith is your 3rd string pg. Give me a spot-up shooter who can defend some.

  204. thenoblefacehumper

    The Trail ?#Blazers? have requested waivers on F Shawne Williams.

    From the Blazers official twitter. Minimum flyer on Extra E anybody? We still have a relative lack of depth on the wings.

  205. jon abbey

    Prigioni is actually your third string PG, but Ben was talking about last season, when NY chose Lin over James mid-season and reaped the benefits.

  206. JK47

    ruruland: Yes, Deron Williams has been absolutely brilliant with NJ — pure winner. And he was a vastly superior player in Utah to Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

    Obviously the flex offense and having ideal flex and pnr players like Milsap and Boozer had absolutely zero to do with Williams success.

    I mean, he has a career WS/48 less than Stat and 5 points higher than Melo — totally different stratosphere.

    But… But Melo is a coach killer! Unlike Deron Williams. Oh, wait a minute.

    Seriously, Deron has been really mediocre since joining the Nets, now in a not-so-small sample size of 67 games. He phoned it in for a large part of last season, figuring there was no sense in bothering to play hard until Dwight Howard showed up, which never happened. Maybe he’ll decide he feels like playing basketball again this season, or maybe he’ll play like the league average player (.99 WS/48) he was last year.

  207. Brian Cronin

    I actually would have preferred us going after young unproven talent exactly like Mahinmi or Bayless over old on the decline talent like Kidd and Camby.

    I thought he signed for the MLE, but nope, Bayless signed for the mini-MLE. So yeah, I am definitely in the “How the heck do you pick Jason Kidd over Jerryd Bayless for the same money?” boat. Especially since Bayless can play the 2 well (and, you know, the fact that he’ll be 24 years old at the end of next season and not 40). However, I don’t believe Bayless was made available until after the Knicks signed Kidd. So I guess you can’t blame the Knicks for not wanting to wait. They didn’t know for sure that Toronto would let him go and they didn’t know that he would be available for such little money.

  208. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    Prigioni is actually your third string PG, but Ben was talking about last season, when NY chose Lin over James mid-season and reaped the benefits.

    My bad. Just glossing it over and you’re right about this pyrogy.

  209. Loathing

    So let me get this straight…as of right now, this is our team:

    1st Unit: Lin, Smith, ‘Melo, STAT, Chandler
    2nd Unit: Kidd, White/Shump, Novak, Camby
    3rd Unit: Prigioni, Shump/White, Copeland, Gadzuric

    …and two spots left over, both assumed at the 3.

  210. Brian Cronin

    As much as I loved them as a kid, Ray Williams and Michael Ray Richardson may have been the biggest knucklehead backcourt ever. They had all the talent in the world, but could not harness it.

    Richardson, certainly, but I dunno if I’d say that about Williams. He certainly did not live up to his potential, but I dunno if I’d consider him a knucklehead. Heck, even the backcourt I was joking about, Stephenson and Green, Green at least seems to have matured a lot since his early days in the NBA.

  211. Brian Cronin

    So let me get this straight…as of right now, this is our team:

    1st Unit: Lin, Smith, ‘Melo, STAT, Chandler
    2nd Unit: Kidd, White/Shump, Novak, Camby
    3rd Unit: Prigioni, Shump/White, Copeland, Gadzuric

    …and two spots left over, both assumed at the 3.

    Sorta. Jeffries will likely be back. And I think there is little to no chance of Gadzuric actually making the team this year.

  212. JK47

    Wouldn’t the Knicks keep Gadzuric as a trade chip? I seem to recall ephus saying that he’d have some value as a cap relief entity.

  213. ruruland

    JK47: But… But Melo is a coach killer!Unlike Deron Williams.Oh, wait a minute.

    Seriously, Deron has been really mediocre since joining the Nets, now in a not-so-small sample size of 67 games.He phoned it in for a large part of last season, figuring there was no sense in bothering to play hard until Dwight Howard showed up, which never happened. Maybe he’ll decide he feels like playing basketball again this season, or maybe he’ll play like the league average player (.99 WS/48) he was last year.

    It’s fascinating how much differently the two get treated by the media, isn’t it?

  214. Brian Cronin

    Wouldn’t the Knicks keep Gadzuric as a trade chip? I seem to recall ephus saying that he’d have some value as a cap relief entity.

    Yeah, and that’s why he won’t be on the roster. Because he’ll be traded for someone before the season starts.

  215. Brian Cronin

    I’ve always found it BS to give players crap for trying to get rid of their coaches period. It’s gone on since the NBA existed. If you have power as a player, why not use it to get your ideal situation? Even in situations where I prefer the coach to the player, I don’t begrudge the player for trying to get rid of the coach. If they believe they are being hurt by a coach, why put up with the coach just to keep from possibly looking like a “bad guy”? I mean, I’ll disagree with them (and yes, I don’t think you should ever half-ass it to prove a point like Dwight Howard did this past season) but I don’t begrudge them for it. If you succeed after the coach is fired, no one will remember it. Just like no one ever gives Magic Johnson shit for getting his coach fired. Magic had his coach fired, he had Norm Nixon eliminated and no one cares because Magic won a gazillion titles.

  216. jon abbey

    Loathing:
    So let me get this straight…as of right now, this is our team:

    1st Unit: Lin, Smith, ‘Melo, STAT, Chandler
    2nd Unit: Kidd, White/Shump, Novak, Camby
    3rd Unit: Prigioni, Shump/White, Copeland, Gadzuric

    …and two spots left over, both assumed at the 3.

    Shumpert will presumably be starting once he’s back, certainly he’s ahead of White.

  217. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, Shump will definitely be starting when he returns.

    I wouldn’t be so sure. It’s going to take him some time to get right, IMO. And once we’re 4-5 months into the season, I’m not sure you want to start playing around with the lineup. My feeling is that JR has a chance to start the whole season. He’s good enough defensively to make it work, and we know how good is in more of an off-ball role.

    Let’s remember, he was fantastic when he started in 2006-07 playing off Miller and Melo.

    The suspension from the MSG fight, the Iverson trade, and then the issues with GK, he’s never been given the opportunity to start since those 25-30 games in ’06….

    Obviously, JR keeping the starting spot should and will be merit based, but I have little doubt Woodson is going to give him that opportunity.

  218. ruruland

    Brian Cronin: Yeah, and that’s why he won’t be on the roster. Because he’ll be traded for someone before the season starts.

    Grunwald is a smart man, but there are others behind the scenes as well who are known for their creativity in other organizations. The Gadzuric move is another that should help us.

  219. Brian Cronin

    Woody doesn’t strike me as the type to have a guy lose his starting gig due to an injury. And while JR can certainly hang defensively to start the game, he is not the defensive game-changer that Shump can be, which is such a major tool early in the game (as we saw last year when the Knicks had to keep clawing back from early deficits).

  220. jon abbey

    also JR is better separated from Melo/Amare/Lin for the first part of each half, that way he can shoot to his heart’s content like a sixth man should. Smith’s offense is better suited to the second unit once Shumpie is healthy, and maybe even before that if they can find someone to play 16-20 minutes as a token starting SG.

  221. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, agreed. Smith is perfectly suited to that area of the game where the Knicks need someone to take control from the perimeter. Especially when he is paired with Novak.

  222. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:
    Woody doesn’t strike me as the type to have a guy lose his starting gig due to an injury. And while JR can certainly hang defensively to start the game, he is not the defensive game-changer that Shump can be, which is such a major tool early in the game (as we saw last year when the Knicks had to keep clawing back from early deficits).

    I love Shump, and I think having a great defensive player at the guard position ultimately strikes the ideal balance around 3 great offensive players in the starting lineup.

    But we’re talking about January until he plays, February or March until he’s right.

    I just think JR is going to take advantage of the opportunity. He and SHump are both going to get 30+ minutes most nights anyway.

  223. thenoblefacehumper

    Looks about right. I really think Extra E on a minimum deal could fill out this rotation nicely.

    Loathing:
    So let me get this straight…as of right now, this is our team:

    1st Unit: Lin, Smith, ‘Melo, STAT, Chandler
    2nd Unit: Kidd, White/Shump, Novak, Camby
    3rd Unit: Prigioni, Shump/White, Copeland, Gadzuric

    …and two spots left over, both assumed at the 3.

  224. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    also JR is better separated from Melo/Amare/Lin for the first part of each half, that way he can shoot to his heart’s content like a sixth man should. Smith’s offense is better suited to the second unit once Shumpie is healthy, and maybe even before that if they can find someone to play 16-20 minutes as a token starting SG.

    I hear that. But the JR Smith around that kind of offensive talent is not going to be a guy taking fall-away jumpers.

    If Lin plays the way I think most expect he will and the way he knows he has to, then there will be plenty of shots to go around– Smith’s ability to shoot is essential for all the action the starters create.

  225. Brian Cronin

    I love the idea of an Extra E return. And yes, at least partially because I love the nickname Extra E. I’d love Beardy Turiaf to return for the same reason. :)

  226. Brian Cronin

    As a totally random aside, I’m watching an episode of Hill Street Blues from Season 4. It is so sad watching Michael Conrad waste away in front of your eyes.

  227. ruruland

    here’s a short montage from the time he was a starter in 2006, where he averaged close to 17 ppg on .617 TS before the MSG fight and suspension…..(he played less than 30 mpg)

    He was almost exclusively an off-ball player then…

    (non-transition plays start at 1:00)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9B1B1Izqt4

  228. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:
    Woody doesn’t strike me as the type to have a guy lose his starting gig due to an injury.

    he actually said precisely this today in regards to Lin, as quoted in today’s NY Times piece:

    “You can’t lose your starting job based on injuries,” Woodson said. “Jeremy was our starter before he got hurt. He’s not going to be punished for that.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/sports/basketball/knicks-woodson-says-jeremy-lin-will-stay-and-start.html?_r=1&smid=tw-share

  229. ruruland

    jon abbey: he actually said precisely this today in regards to Lin, as quoted in today’s NY Times piece:

    “You can’t lose your starting job based on injuries,” Woodson said. “Jeremy was our starter before he got hurt. He’s not going to be punished for that.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/sports/basketball/knicks-woodson-says-jeremy-lin-will-stay-and-start.html?_r=1&smid=tw-share

    A lot of coaches say that. Lin is clearly the best pg on the roster. Shumpert is going to need time to be the Shumpert of the second half last year.

  230. BigBlueAL

    Why are we all speculating on who will be the starting SG, its obviously gonna still be Landry Fields :-)

  231. 2FOR18

    Brian Cronin:
    I’ve always found it BS to give players crap for trying to get rid of their coaches period. It’s gone on since the NBA existed. If you have power as a player, why not use it to get your ideal situation? Even in situations where I prefer the coach to the player, I don’t begrudge the player for trying to get rid of the coach. If they believe they are being hurt by a coach, why put up with the coach just to keep from possibly looking like a “bad guy”? I mean, I’ll disagree with them (and yes, I don’t think you should ever half-ass it to prove a point like Dwight Howard did this past season) but I don’t begrudge them for it. If you succeed after the coach is fired, no one will remember it. Just like no one ever gives Magic Johnson shit for getting his coach fired. Magic had his coach fired, he had Norm Nixon eliminated and no one cares because Magic won a gazillion titles.

    Good point. I’ve been in the position of having an ignorant, sadistic sociopath as my boss, so if I was in a position of power I would do what I could to change things.

  232. 2FOR18

    Brian Cronin:
    I don’t get it. Did New Orleans just give up on Jarrett Jack for, like, no reason?

    He’s a great pickup for Golden State.

    Greivis Vasquez is awesome (my spelling is way off)

  233. Unreason

    CP3 quote from Vegas re being there with Melo. “Melo like my brother. We’re together all day every day. We always talk about how we have to cherish these opportunities because you don’t get ‘em too often.” Does make you wonder…

  234. Brian Cronin

    The problem with getting Paul is that the Knicks won’t be able to acquire him directly next season. At the very least, a third team with cap room will have to trade for him and then trade him to the Knicks. As we have all seen from the last week or so, trades with three or more teams (especially those that end up with a mega-star playing in a big city) are extremely hard to put together. In addition, I don’t even know if the three-team sign and trade thing would even be allowed under the CBA, so it might be a moot point.

    That said, if Lin has a great year, he would be a palatable return for Paul (Lin, Shump and the Knicks’ 2017 first rounder is a decent start). Lin would do well in Los Angeles.

  235. Unreason

    Brian Cronin:
    The problem with getting Paul is that the Knicks won’t be able to acquire him directly next season. At the very least, a third team with cap room will have to trade for him and then trade him to the Knicks. As we have all seen from the last week or so, trades with three or more teams (especially those that end up with a mega-star playing in a big city) are extremely hard to put together. In addition, I don’t even know if the three-team sign and trade thing would even be allowed under the CBA, so it might be a moot point.

    That said, if Lin has a great year, he would be a palatable return for Paul (Lin, Shump and the Knicks’ 2017 first rounder is a decent start). Lin would do well in Los Angeles.

    Yeah, and it’s better to focus on feeling good about the current roster. It’s kinda like being out to dinner with your beautiful wife and a bombshell at the next table keeps striking revealing poses and winking; hard to ignore.

  236. milt

    JK47: Seriously, Deron has been really mediocre since joining the Nets,

    I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. On a team with no reliable scoring options, Williams had to take on a ridiculous offensive load for a PG – 30.1% of possessions.

    His shooting suffered quite a bit, but he still passed the ball just as well and, crucially, his turnovers didn’t budge at all. That’s an elite player right there.

  237. max fisher-cohen

    ruruland: Yes, Deron Williams has been absolutely brilliant with NJ — pure winner. And he was a vastly superior player in Utah to Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

    Obviously the flex offense and having ideal flex and pnr players like Milsap and Boozer had absolutely zero to do with Williams success.

    I mean, he has a career WS/48 less than Stat and 5 points higher than Melo — totally different stratosphere.

    It’s not Amar’e I’m talking about when I put “star” in quotes. It’s starbury, curry, randolph, McDyess, etc. All of whom, I think you’d agree, are not in the same class as Deron Williams (or Amar’e circa 2010, or Melo). I can forgive this current management for deluding itself into thinking this team can win a title since rebuilds are such a drag, and we’re not THAT far off (if we could split Melo and STAT via trade and not sacrifice total talent, I think we’d be a long shot — the type of long shot that wins a title once ever 20 years or so), but the Knick teams of the last decade were built ala the current Nets. Just desperation move after desperation move.

  238. Frank

    max fisher-cohen: I can forgive this current management for deluding itself into thinking this team can win a title since rebuilds are such a drag, and we’re not THAT far off (if we could split Melo and STAT via trade and not sacrifice total talent, I think we’d be a long shot — the type of long shot that wins a title once ever 20 years or so),

    I agree that we are probably short of true contender status (ie OKC, SA, probably Lakers now, and Miami) but I don’t think we’re that far off. All it takes is 1-2 reasonable “ifs” to come true and I think we’re there. If Lin comes and is 90% of the Linsanity Lin. If JR continues his maturing and focuses on both ends of the floor. I don’t think it’s really a question anymore whether Amare and Melo will buy in at the defensive end – they really brought it after Woodson came on board.

    And I am still not convinced that STAT and Melo can’t work together. I posted it a couple threads ago, but all the hemming and hawing about Amare falling apart just doesn’t really seem to be true if you look at the numbers. He shot 70% at the rim, which is basically on par with his best PHX years. his FTR is basically the same as it was last year – down from PHX but that is likely because he hasn’t had a real PG for any amount of time giving him the ball where he needs it in close. His drop in efficiency can basically be completely accounted for by his extremely horrible jumpshooting – he has shot ~40% and ~44% from 10-15 and 16-23 ft respectively for his career, and shot 32 and 35% last year from those places. If you do the math on that – if he just shot his career averages from those distances, his TS would have been 60, he would have averaged ~21.5 p/36 (not so different from some years in PHX, especially considering lower usage), and no one would be talking about how he and Melo can’t play together.

  239. ruruland

    milt: I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. On a team with no reliable scoring options, Williams had to take on a ridiculous offensive load for a PG – 30.1% of possessions.

    His shooting suffered quite a bit, but he still passed the ball just as well and, crucially, his turnovers didn’t budge at all. That’s an elite player right there.

    ??

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