Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Worst Article Of 2010

In today’s news where ratings matter as much as content (and perhaps more), sensationalism in the press is expected. This has been especially true with regards to this year’s NBA free agent class, as some of the game’s biggest stars will reshape the league in an extraordinary fashion in the coming weeks. Given the players’ reluctance to name their potential suitors and the teams’ inability to talk about players signed to other teams news outlets have been left with little actual facts to report on.

Typically when the press is shut out to a story that the public wants to hear about, reporters will seek out “sources” (who frequently wish to remain anonymous) that may have inside knowledge. By getting an insight on the thoughts of the people involved, they can circumvent the cone of silence and provide information to the public. However one problem with this type of journalism is that their sources never have to deal with the consequences of their words. For instance an anonymous source may bend the truth (or invent it) in order to manipulate outside events. People or organizations may leak information (that may not be true) to a source knowing that they will hand it over to the media. Or worse, a reporter may invent an anonymous source to lend a piece some credibility.

Stories with anonymous sources are best taken with a grain of salt. Depending on the reader and the content, some people may swallow the article as truth more easily than others, especially if it fits with the reader’s view of the topic. So in some sense a part of the success of an article quoting an anonymous source is the believability of it.

So enter SNY.tv’s article titled “Source: Knicks eye Johnson, not James.”

The Knicks are targeting Joe Johnson as their No. 1 free agent choice and believe he’s a better fit for the team than LeBron James, according to an NBA source with knowledge of the team’s plans.

“Yes, we think he’s a better player,” the source said of Johnson. “He makes other people better. With LeBron’s people running the locker room that hurts the organization.”

he source also mentioned concerns about James’ entourage taking over the franchise.

“I don’t care what most people think,” the source said. “I’m not saying that LeBron is not a good player, but other stuff comes with it. LeBron’s friends want jobs. You’re gonna lose running your organization. As time goes on you got to hire this guy, you got to hire that guy.”

The source says the Knicks think Joe Johnson is a better player than LeBron James. It’s hard to believe that anyone would think that Johnson is a better player than James. If I had to pick a quick metric to show the disparity between the two I’d say that basketball-reference.com calculates James’ probability of making the Hall of Fame at 98%, and Johnson’s at 6%.

But just as interesting is the person who said that. The author Adam Zagoria, describes him as “an NBA source with knowledge of the team’s plans.” So the source sounds like someone who works closely with the NBA and has insider access to the Knicks, but doesn’t work for the team. But the quote uses the word “we” to describe the Knicks, which implies he’s part of the organization. For instance if the source was Donnie Walsh’s barber, he would have said “they think”, not “we think”. To use “we” implies the guy actually works for the team. So why wouldn’t Zagoria just describe him in a less wordy way as “a source who works for the Knicks?”

Those aren’t the only parts that don’t make sense. The source claims the Knicks are avoiding LeBron James because they’d have to hire some of his friends as well. Let’s just assume that I can’t possibly know if this is true (but a google search for “Cleveland Cavaliers hire LeBron’s friends” results in naught). Does anyone think that hiring 20 of LeBron’s friends at $50k a year mean anything to a team that has paid Eddy Curry $20M to play in 10 games over the last two seasons? Put it this way, if there was no salary cap, would there be any doubt that the Knicks bid would go well over the current maximum price for James? (At least enough to cover cushy jobs for his entourage.)

To summarize the article, the Knicks think Joe Johnson will lead to more wins, they don’t want LeBron James because his entourage will demand jobs in the organization, and the source of this information can’t make up his mind if he’s just knowledgeable about the team or actually works for them. Any one of these facts are difficult to believe, nevertheless all of them combined. Imagine if I wrote an article with quoting a source with knowledge of SNY.tv who said:

“Adam Zagoria just called up his friend who has a John Starks jersey and occasionally gets off his meds. Feeling self defensive about LeBron going to another team, the guy began to rant about how Joe Johnson was better anyway. Hoping to make a big name of himself with such a controversial headline, Zagoria decided to run with the story quoting his mentally unstable friend as an NBA source with knowledge of the team. (This wasn’t such a stretch, since his friend once saw Donnie Walsh exiting the Garden & yelled “Are you going to sign LeBron?” To which he swore that Walsh gave him a wink.). The editor at SNY.tv, too busy with his Hijack Armored Bank Truck in Mafia Wars and pushed the story through without really reading it.

Such an article would be laughed at because it’s so unlikely to be true. I think.

155 comments on “The Worst Article Of 2010

  1. TheRant

    Mostly a fundamentally sound writeup, Mike. But upon reflection, the whole article makes sense to me if “the source” is James Dolan.

    He would refer to the Knicks as “we” and would think of himself as an “NBA source with knowledge of the team’s plans.” He would be frustrated by hiring LeBron’s entourage, yet batshit crazy enough to green light Eddy Curry for $11M per year as the team’s savior.

    He would be pathetic enough to rationalize his own failings by saying Joe Johnson was the guy he wanted all along. And he would be confused as to whether he’s just knowledgeable about the Knicks or actually works for them.

    In fact, I’m sure of it.

  2. David Crockett

    That story is so bad it hasn’t even gotten much play in the echo chamber. Joe Johnson’s mother doesn’t think her baby is better than LeBron. Anyone who thinks he is should be banned from NBA arenas.

    The worst single statement of 2010: from Colin Cowherd “You can’t overpay in the NBA.”

    You just didn’t think that one through Colin.

    The worst LeBron-related meme: LeBron doesn’t want to play in New York, and if they don’t get him it was stupid to clear all that cap space. New Yorkers are parochial. Not everyone wants to live there radda, radda. (Cowherd repeated it, but this is running all over the place.)

    Yeah, like Walsh spent 3 years purging the roster of all-stars.

  3. d-mar

    @2- as I said on another thread, Kay on 1050 has been saying over and over that if they don’t get LeBron, 2010 was “a failure”. And when a caller actually asked if it wouldn’t be so bad if we had kept Crawford and Randolph and not worried about cap space, Kay had no answer for him! Meanwhile, there is such an anti-NY sentiment around the sports media that some don’t even bother bringing up the Knicks any more when it comes to LBJ, and we’ve somehow become less appealing than NJ as a free agent destination.

  4. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    All of this speculation and analysis reminds me of a scene from the delightfully-moronic and woefully-underseen Mike Judge flick, Idiocracy.

    —————————————————————–

    Joe: For the last time, I’m pretty sure what’s killing the crops is this Brawndo stuff.

    Secretary of State: But Brawndo’s got what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes.

    Attorney General: So wait a minute. What you’re saying is that you want us to put water on the crops.

    Joe: Yes.

    Attorney General: Water. Like out the toilet?

    Joe: Well, I mean, it doesn’t have to be out of the toilet, but, yeah, that’s the idea.

    Secretary of State: But Brawndo’s got what plants crave.

    Attorney General: It’s got electrolytes.

    Joe: Okay, look. The plants aren’t growing, so I’m pretty sure that the Brawndo’s not working. Now, I’m no botanist, but I do know that if you put water on plants, they grow.

    Secretary of Energy: Well, I’ve never seen no plants grow out of no toilet.

    Secretary of State: Hey, that’s good. You sure you ain’t the smartest guy in the world?

    Joe: Okay, look. You wanna solve this problem. I wanna get my pardon. So why don’t we just try it, okay, and not worry about what plants crave?

    Attorney General: Brawndo’s got what plants crave.

    Secretary of Energy: Yeah, it’s got electrolytes.

    Joe: What are electrolytes? Do you even know?

    Secretary of State: It’s what they use to make Brawndo.

    Joe: Yeah, but why do they use them to make Brawndo?

    Secretary of Defense: Cause Brawndo’s got electrolytes.

  5. tastycakes

    I’m enjoying the media storm because I’m a fan of the sport. But you have to realize that 99.9% of what is out there is complete and utter bullshit.

    Look, generally speaking, “sports journalism” is a contradiction in terms. Sportswriting (a more accurate term for the profession) s about observing the dramas inherent in the sport itself and its management meta-game. There is no reason to try and adhere to journalistic standards because nobody cares if you fabricate. Most of the fun comes from rumor and conjecture, and if you’re a sportswriter, spinning a tale so fabulously that it becomes regarded as truth is about the highest standard you can aspire to. Witness Chad Ford famously comparing Darko Milicic to Wilt Chamberlain, and not only keeping his job, but becoming known as the go-to draft guru in the process.

    Compound the problem with the fact that the actual sources in the know have huge incentives to keep their mouths shut OR willfully mislead the press, there is a strong likelihood that literally NO information that is out there today is correct unless it is correct by virtue of chance.

    I wish somebody had a website where they analyzed sportswriters predictions or the rumors that they generated and ranked them based on how likely their predictions / rumors were likely to be true. It would be sensational.

  6. ess-dog

    I’ve often wondered how much of this type of “information” is planted by the higher-ups in the League or the players themselves. Re: the “NYK’s like Johnson over James” rumor… could that have been planted by Cleveland management? Johnson himself? Broussard? Benny the Bull? No one will ever know. The only hope is that there is so much pollution that it all cancels itself out eventually, i.e. Broussard in the span of one week saying the frontrunners were the Bulls, then the Heat, then Cleveland.

  7. massive

    Today might have been one of the more hopeful days for Knicks fans. Bosh said he doesn’t see a Wade/LeBron/Bosh thing happening. Also, Denver is open to trading Melo if he doesn’t sign an extension with them, so we could get in on the action there.

  8. Garson

    BREAKING NEWS: Bosh traded to Heat for Beasley , Chalmers , Anthony. Salaries do not have to match as Heat are under the cap.

    From Dan LeBatard , Miami Heat reporter:

    ” I hear bosh-miami is done ..bosh-wade shared agent avoids tampering…its why beasley, chalmers, anthony still here…raptors get them ”

    Raptors would do this as they get pieces back in exchange for Bosh.

    Sad day for Knickerbloggers… someone please refute this asap.

  9. ess-dog

    Meh… I don’t love Bosh. His “clutch” stats are not very good at all. In a straight line, I think he’s slower than D. Lee. He’s kind of a pf/c combo. Sure he’s a great player, def. a max guy, but I prefer the Johnson/Lebron/Amare idea… holding out hope for that rumor.

  10. Brian Cronin

    It really doesn’t matter if Bosh really is significantly better than Lee or Amare or Boozer – it’s that Lebron sure seems to think so.

  11. Brian Cronin

    And yeah, Mike, the article was terrible. When someone posted it earlier in the comments I believe I noted that it sounds like some intern – no real source could be that stupid.

  12. Brian Cronin

    By the by, apparently we can cross Tyson Chandler off the list of possible options. He is not, in fact, opting out.

  13. steveoh

    This was classic:

    “These teams want LeBron for $95 million over 5 years. The Cavs can offer him $125 million over 6 years. So we will soon learn the answer to the eternal question: Would someone take $30 million to willingly live in Cleveland?”

  14. Jafa

    Just read an article about the “experts” picks for where the top free agents will land:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=FreeAgency-100630

    Abbot, Arnovitz & Hollinger all pick Chicago to land LBJ & Bosh, but last I checked, Chicago does not have room to sign 2 max FAs. Coon’s picks are more reasonable but unlikely, as it leaves LBJ alone in Chicago with nobody joining him, and Sheridan’s picks are a God-send, but don’t make sense for Chicago. Ford’s picks just don’t make any sense from NY’s perspective (why would we S&T trade Lee to Jazz for Boozer?).

    So, here’s how I think it will play out realistically, assuming everybody signs straight out without S&Ts:

    Chicago gets LBJ & Lee
    NY gets JJ, Stoudemire & Kover/Miller
    Miami gets Wade, Bosh & Ray Ray
    NJ gets Boozer & Gay
    LAC gets Pierce
    Dirk stays in Dallas

    Would make for a great revival of some great rivalries in the East, with Orlando, Chicago, Miami, NY and NJ all battling it out.

  15. Frank

    You know, I just don’t really get the idea that New Jersey will have any luck convincing the 1st tier free agents to sign. The Nets are really the Clippers of NY — no one wants to go there. Don’t talk to me about Prokhorov, too. Sure, Mark Cuban has some cachet, but that’s Dallas, which is a great city where they’re second fiddle to the Cowboys but otherwise rule the roost there. I just don’t see how Prokhorov can globalize him more than the Knicks can.

    My predictions:

    NJ gets Lee and Gay
    MIA gets Wade and Amare
    CHI gets Joe Johnson and Boozer
    NY gets Lebron and Bosh
    Pierce and Dirk stay in their home cities.

    I still don’t believe that Lebron would ever join Wade in Miami and be 1B to Wade’s 1A.

    I still don’t believe that Lebron wants to be compared to Jordan all day long while watching Derrick Rose dribble the ball 87% of the time. (who are the shooters on that team again?)

    I really don’t believe that he wants to play in Newark.

    I really really don’t believe that he would ever join the Clippers and Sterling.

    So I think if he bolts from Cleveland, he’s coming here.

  16. TDM

    @9 – at best, this rumor is premature. I’ve heard that Bosh wants to play in Miami and that he and Wade are trying to convince LBJ to join them. That said, after tonight, Bosh is going to be riddled with offers, some of which he may not have envisioned. He’s a young guy and I think he will be prone to change his mind once he sees the lay of the land. Its just as likely that LBJ could convince Bosh to join him in NY or CHI and leave Wade on the outside looking in.

    Regarding Beasley, this is pure BS. The reason he is still in Miami is because they couldn’t trade him away for a bucket of spit. They offered Beas and Cash to New Jersey for Dooling. NJ said no. Miami tried to trade him to Minnesota for Ryan Gomes. Rejected. The kicker is that both Dooling and Gomes were released this week. The fact that he is still in Miami is a showing of his lack of value, not that some behind-the-scenes deal for Bosh is about to break.

  17. Frank

    meanwhile, classic quote from Isiah (from SI.com):

    “Thomas didn’t rule out a return to the NBA, though he wouldn’t return as a coach.

    “If I left college, I would only go back to the NBA as a general manager,” he said. “That’s where my skill is at — the evaluation of talent, putting together teams.””

    I’ll give him a weak ok for the evaluation of talent. Putting together teams?!?!?!?!??!

  18. tastycakes

    #19 Frank, I agree with your analysis EXCEPT the “doesn’t want to be playing in Jordan’s shadow” thing. To me, that’s the shadiest argument of the bunch. Who cares? The Bulls have mostly been mediocre since Jordan left, which was ages ago, and LeBron idolizes MJ. Those comparisons will exist wherever LeBron goes, because he’s an elite, MVP level player and it’s fun to wonder if we will ever see another player dominant in the way Jordan was.

    But yeah, the Clippers are a joke and the Nets play in the swamp with no fans or tradition. I can’t believe anyone would predict either of those teams getting any of the top guys.

    The Heat could land LeBron. I think he’d be perfectly fine playing with Wade. It’d make me want to vomit, but it could happen.

    The Bulls, as painful as it would be for them to win this thing, I’d have to root for (begrudgingly). I like LBJ too much as a player, and I have to say, I like watching Rose and Noah.

    Mostly I feel the way I did before — if LeBron goes anywhere, it had better be NYC or the Western Conference. Otherwise, please stay in CLE, kthxbye.

  19. tastycakes

    The other ‘argument’ that I can’t stand is the one that goes like this:

    “The top free agents don’t want to play in New York because of the intense media scrutiny.”

    Get real. Elite, world-class ball players don’t think they can handle the Frank Isolas and Alan Hahns of the world? Give me a break.

  20. jon abbey

    “The Nets are really the Clippers of NY”

    actually the Knicks are very close to becoming the Clippers of NY.

    have we discussed yet about how Donnie Walsh is currently literally in a wheelchair (in the NY Post today)?

  21. Ricky_J

    An unsubstantiable devil’s-advocate-type rebuttal to the the “Lebron doesn’t want to play in Jordan’s shadow” line of thinking.

    We know that he grew up as a fan of MJ. And that he became a fan of at least two teams that were successful in his formative years, The Cowboys and Yankees. It’s not a stretch that he was actually a Bulls fan period.

    My prediction is that we see a news conference in a week’s time where LBJ holds up a Bulls #6 jersey in fulfillment of a boyhood dream. Salary space and surrounding talent etc just happen to form the perfect storm for that to happen.

    Time will tell

  22. Jafa

    @ 22 & 25,

    These are some of the reasons I believe the guy is headed to Chicago. Which leaves us with JJ & Stoudemire, as Bosh will bolt for South Beach if that happened. My only hope is that we don’t overpay for these guys, add some decent talent with the remaining cap space and figure out how to pry Toney Packer from the Spurs (or CP3 from the Hornets). That team will be able to compete with any of the others in the East.

  23. TDM

    One good thing (and only one good thing) that you can say about Dolan, is that he will spend money and lots of it, if he thinks it will help the team. I don’t know that Chicago’s (or Miami’s for that matter) ownership have this mindset. If they get Le-Bosh, and don’t bring home a ring, and Rose comes up for a max-deal extension and Noah wants a slightly less than max deal, are they going to be willing to double-down and pay the salary cap penalty? I don’t have the answer, but I would speculate that there are lots of teams that wouldn’t.

  24. tastycakes

    I’m so obsessed I can’t help but watch ESPN’s god-awful ‘free agent summit’ with Kornheiser, Wilbon, Simmons, and some dickweed from Miami:

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5341951&categoryid=2459788

    Simmons is by far the most rational of the group; the rest are raving loons. I do have to say that Simmons needs to stop talking about how Knick fans are going to “kill ourselves” when we end up with Johnson and Stoudemire. Dude, visit Knickerblogger once in a while, and you’ll know we’ve already started rationalizing!

  25. TDM

    KB – while I agree that the aforementioned article earned the dubious honor of worst article in 2010, I believe I have found the first runner-up:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/LeBron-James-cars-hint-at-his-next-NBA-team-062910

    In this article, the author professes that because LeBron has a garage full of sedans instead of SUVs or sporty coupes, he is assuredly headed for the Big Apple. Hard to argue with bulletproof logic like that . . .

    The first comment to the article summed it up fairly well:

    “This article is the worst article ever. I can’t believe I spent my time reading this ish. Labron will have those cars whether he is in NY or in Mogadishu.”

  26. Robert Silverman

    This may be TMI, but as a recovering alcoholic, this entire free agent frenzy really makes me want to curl up in bed with about 12 bottles of vodka and have someone wake me when it’s over

  27. Brian Cronin

    Chad Ford on Twitter…”Nets believe they’re in the lead for LeBron.”

    Oh, then it’s over, folks. Nothing more to talk about here.

  28. Brian Cronin

    My new pet peeve about this stuff.

    “His original team can offer $30 million more!”

    Which is sort of BS, because the player, if he is good enough, will make at least $12 million that six year regardless – and Lebron will certainly be offered $20, so it’s basically just $10-18 million more over six years. Is that a lot of money? Sure, but it’s “only” $3 million more a year, really (at best).

    And heck, the player can re-negotiate after three years for an extension at the max.

    So I think people seriously overrate the advantage of the hometown team, especially for a guy like Lebron.

  29. tastycakes

    Yeah, but Brian, that’s money in the bank. LeBron doesn’t seem to really get injured, so the odds are incredibly high he banks another max contract at the end of this one. But Wade or Amar’e? The sixth year is a legitimate draw, that’s real money.

    What’s the story with player options anyway? Is that totally up to the contract? Can LeBron sign a 4 year with a player option for the 5th and opt-out if he’s still max-worthy?

  30. ess-dog

    Plus he should at the very least triple that $18 million number via additional advertising, his MSG show, his MSG stock and other sundry business ventures…

  31. SeeWhyDee77

    lol..nice article…while we’re bashing some “ideas”, I might as well jump in. Here’s my thought on this year’s free agency…and I wish agents and players were a little more..”grounded” when it comes to value. All the players available tomorrow are great players. But just because you are “great” at what you do, it does not make you a game changer. And when I say game changer, for lack of a better term, i’m talkin about someone who can change the fortunes of your franchise on and off the court. Those guys are max players. LBJ and Wade..that’s it. The next tier, I would give them max dollars as well, but only if they were paired with LBJ or Wade. On their own they are not worth max dollars to me. And that group is Dirk, Bosh, and Johnson. Those guys are awesome in their own right. The third tier are players whose stats mask who they really are…Gay, Amare, Boozer..all still great players, or stat producers, who really don’t have much to offer other than a nice stat line. You problee noticed that I didn’t include Lee. I would say he’s the perfect glue piece. That third cog who can get u 20 and 10 easy and is a phenominal value at almost any rate. He’s a little hard to place, becuz he’s not your star that everything revolves around..but can take you places as the 2nd or third option, provided that 1st or 2nd option are of the 1st and 2nd tier that I listed. For instance a team with LBJ, Johnson and Lee would be dominant in my opinion. A team that can get Lee for 10-12 mil a year while adding a tier 1 and tier 2, all while making the pieces fit within the salary cap and chemistry-wise will have fielded a championship team by the end of the season. My whole point of saying this is that I wish folks would stop it with this 2 or 3 max player talk. As if all of these free agents are really max players. A max player not only changes the game on the court, but he changes it off the court for your franchise. Think about it. Is anybody following the general idea? As a matter of fact, I believe teams should be able to convince my 2nd tier to take less money to play with LBJ and Wade b/c they are not max players on their own. I don’t know yal, but I hope some semblance of sense enters free agency along with the available players at 12:01. I for one would LOVE to see ‘Bron at 16.5, Johnson at 13.5 and Lee at 9 in tha blue and orange, sprinkled with a Curry and Chandler package trade to make the numbers work…it’s go time Donnie!! Good Luck!

  32. BigBlueAL

    I am beginning to really hate Bill Simmons. His latest tweet:

    “Look at the bright side Knicks fans… (Um… hold on, I’m trying to find a bright side… wow… this is awkward…)”

    Seriously maybe tweet this in a week if things turn out like crap but today when nobody really knows what will happen yet??

  33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    SeeWhyDee77,

    Research shows that wins are among the most important “asset” that generates revenue for an NBA franchise. Not star power, not the allure of max-contract players. Wins. Wasn’t Steph our “star” when the Knicks ended their consecutive home sell-out streak? Max contract players don’t necessarily change the franchise. Winning changes the franchise. That means overpaying for an overrated “star” (Joe Johnson) is not a good move, unless you’re sure he’ll generate a great deal of wins. I don’t think he will.

  34. SeeWhyDee77

    No no..I get what ur sayin THCJ and I problee didn’t explain myself clearly enuf. My premise is this: LBJ and Wade are the only “max players”. They will change your fortunes on and off the court. On the court is self explanatory. As far as off it, people will certainly pay more to see LBJ and Wade than they will the rest of the players. They will bring more attention to your franchise-championships or not. However, if u can pair Dirk, Johnson, or Bosh with either Wade or LBJ-then I think it’s more acceptable to give them max dollars as well. If u sign one of those guys without Wade or LBJ, then hell to tha naw. No max for them. So I agree with what ur saying, I guess i’m jus tryin 2 put a different spin on it.

  35. SeeWhyDee77

    O…and everyone here pretty much agrees that Steph was sadly miscast as our star, though he has always had the talent. See..adding a LBJ or Wade by themselves bumps ur win total significantly..if they can stay healthy. They’re that good. The rest of the guys i’m not so sure about. For instance, how many more wins can we get by just adding someone else other than LBJ or Wade? See what i’m sayin? Maybe I’m the only one who has this much faith in the talents of Wade and Lebron. Those are ur MJ”s so to speak…everybody else is just Pippen’s at best. Not tryin to sell Pip short cuz he is a HOF’er. But was Pippen alone worth as much as he was with MJ? Am I gettin there?

  36. massive

    Everything just works out for the Spurs. Richard Jefferson decided to opt out. Its like the ’99 Spurs-Knicks NBA Finals decided the luck of both franchises for the next decade. The Spurs go on to win 3 NBA titles in the next 10 years. The Knicks? We all know the story.

  37. Robert Silverman

    Effing Spurs…

    What was Jefferson (or rather, his agent) thinking? He’s coming off possibly the worst season of his career and he chucks away 15 mil?

  38. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Are you kidding me? He opted out? Well, I guess his tattoo is no longer the dumbest thing about him…

  39. Brian Cronin

    In theory, it’s a last ditch effort at a long-term deal with the understanding that the new CBA might eliminate mid-level exemptions, which is what Jefferson will be going after starting next year.

    So if he can get a five-year deal for $30 million, that would be better than just $15 and and a smaller deal to follow.

    But yeah, I don’t see who is giving him a five-year deal for $30 million.

  40. Brian Cronin

    Actually, scratch my last comment.

    Jefferson is not moronic. The only way he’s doing this is because he knows he has something lined up already. Like the Spurs probably told him “If you opt out we will give you a five-year, $36 million deal.”

    People just don’t opt out for no reason. Baron Davis shocked everyone when he opted out and ended up with a big raise (for a long-term deal). JD Drew shocked everyone when he opted out and ended up with a big raise (for a long-term deal).

    That has to be what is happening here.

    Wouldn’t it just make perfect sense for the Spurs to say “We need the money to sign Splitter – would you opt out in exchange for us extending you for five years for $30/36 million?”

  41. BigBlueAL

    Berman reporting Knicks will meet with Mike Miller in LA as well as Joe Johnson later tonight.

  42. Robert Silverman

    this may be blasphemy, but I think Mike Miller’s better (not to mention much cheaper) than Joe Johnson

  43. BigBlueAL

    Hahn also confirming that Knicks will meet with Mike Miller tonight too but he mentioned that last season Miller made 9.7 million so cant imagine Miller coming that cheap.

  44. BigBlueAL

    Or I should say too cheap. If he made basically 10 million last season and had a typical good season for him not sure how much of a paycut he would accept.

  45. SeeWhyDee77

    ..or maybe RJ sees that for as great as Pop an Duncan are, that San Antone’s window is problee closed. Either way, I don’t see him flourishing anywhere in the league..unless it’s in NO…RJ needs a GREAT PG to look all star-ish..except for the one season in Jersey that he didn’t have 1. And really, I can only see him flourishing alongside Nash or Paul.
    RE: Mike Miller..i’ve always thought he was underrated. He’s a little banged up..but he’s still good. I don’t think he’s starting SG good for NY tho. Unless of course we landed someone who can create for themselves and others. I still wouldn’t see any problems with adding him, but it would hafta be 4 less than last season’s price.

  46. Z-man

    Based purely on stats, it isn’t clear to me why anyone would prefer Bosh over Amar’e. Is it all about playing with Nash? About the 2 year age difference? Amar’e played all 82 games last year, plus playoff run, so injury history difference is negligible and might actually favor Amar’e (Bosh has never played in all 82 games.) He is a much more efficient scorer and certainly blocks more shots, while Bosh has the edge in assists; they seem roughly equal in rebounds and steal.

  47. Z

    “What was Jefferson (or rather, his agent) thinking”

    Too bad Eddy Curry doesn’t have that agent!

  48. Z

    Okay– I’m outside of Arn Tellem’s house right now, posting from the ficus hedge just to the right of his lanai. Clear view of all rooms. So far no sign of Coach D, Allan Houston, or Donnie Walsh’s wheelchair…

    Joe Johnson and Mike Miller are playing Spin the Bottle with a few of Tellem’s interns…

    Can hear Tellem on the phone… says McGrady to Clippers a “done deal”…

    Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/reliablesource/status/17457633636

  49. Brian Cronin

    That’s where it ends. Seriously.

    Douchebag

    I dunno, that sounds like a pretty good bit making fun of how invested everyone is on every single tweet.

    Now, if it is not a joke and he actually does know, then yeah, that’s lame.

  50. BigBlueAL

    Chris Mannix from SI is tweeting asking would “Wilson Chandler/Gallo/Curry get it done? Would the Knicks pull the trigger? Would Denver?”

    Good question I guess, amazing how now all of a sudden Melo trade talks are heating up.

  51. Robert Silverman

    The Melo rumor is from a fake twitter page. Guy (or girl) pretending to be some local Denver sports reporter. And Mannix fell for it.

    This is getting to be more confusing/complex than the JFK assassination.

  52. Z

    RING RING RING!!!!

    (That was an alarm clock for all the Knick fans out there that said two years ago “wake me up at 12:01 on July 1st, 2010″…)

  53. Brian Cronin

    Joe Johnson will prob. re-sign w/ Atlanta:

    I’m amazed that they’re going “all in” with Johnson.

    If they get him, well, good for them, I guess!

  54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I have this dream where Johnson signs with the Hawks for the huge max deal, and I’m ecstatic, and then it turns into a nightmare when he’s traded to the Knicks for the 2013 and 2014 first-rounders, a re-signed Lee (at $9M per), Fields, and Douglas. Harrowing.

  55. massive

    Randy Foye should be considered, maybe even heavily. At 26, he’s probably a bit too old for the whole upside thing, but Chauncey Billups was 26 (and I think 3 seasons ahead of Randy Foye in terms of NBA experience) when he became a member of the Pistons (Foye’s numbers are very identical to Billups’ at age 26). Not a huge risk if you ask me, as long as he comes at Duhon money (being a Nova grad, he should fit well into D’Antoni’s scheme).

  56. Frank

    any chance this joe johnson thing is a head-fake by Walsh to get ATL to commit all-in to him, which makes it so ATL won’t match an offer to Childress? I’m ok with Johnson as a player but want no part of a 5 year contract. Childress at $5-6M/year sounds good to me though as a back-up plan. We could use a low-usage, high efficiency, top-notch defender on this team.

  57. Owen

    Good thread people. also shocked that Jefferson opted out of his deal, although Brian is probably right about him having something lined up…

    I also would take Mike Miller in a heartbeat over Joe Johnson unless they had the exact same contract, then I would have to think about it.

    At this point, other than signing Lebron, the most I can hope for is that we don’t sign Joe Johnson….

  58. Ted Nelson

    The interesting thing about RJ is that he’s better than Rudy Gay (though older) and probably also better than Joe Johnson (better defender, good passer in NJ).

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=jefferi01&y1=2009&p2=johnsjo02&y2=2010&p3=gayru01&y3=2010

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=jefferi01&y1=2010&p2=johnsjo02&y2=2010

    I don’t know that he has something lined up (which would of course be illegal)… I think he just knew this is the offseason to get a lucrative deal. He was probably is bearish on his chances to have a good, bounce-back season in SA. He’ll be 30 next offseason. There will be fewer team with space. He should be in on the same teams as Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay.

    @51 Brian

    I think it’s the reasons I list above, not tampering. The Spurs hate RJ and RJ hates the Spurs. That much was pretty clear. I HIGHLY doubt they made him a long-term offer. I think he wants to get the hell out of dodge.
    Splitter was a 1st round pick, so his salary is slotted (there’s like 20% of play, but it’s going to be around $1 mill and he’s screwed financially for the next 4 years).

  59. Ted Nelson

    (I used RJ’s 08-09 stats in that 1st link, since I think it’s more likely he was the wrong fit in SA than that he suddenly forgot how to shoot a basketball and will never recover that ability.)

    The more I think about it the more ridiculous it would be to overpay Johnson or Gay, because there is a lot of wing talent available. I think Ben R made that point previously. We can debate their individual merits and values, but… LeBron, Wade, Johnson, Gay, RJ, Miller, Childress, Josh Howard, Morrow, Brewer, Ray Allen, Tony Allen, Dorell Wright, Redick, Outlaw, Tim Thomas, Korver, Kleiza…….. trade targets….

    @79 Massive

    Really? Foye = Billups??????????
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=billuch01&y1=2002&p2=foyera01&y2=2010

    Identical at 26?????? http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=billuch01&y1=2003&p2=foyera01&y2=2010 That’s like saying Jared Jeffries and Kobe Bryant are identical.

    Foye at the MLE would be a HUGE mistake. He and Billups are not dissimilar in terms of style, Foye is just a lot worse. As far as fitting into D’Antoni’s system… at what spot? PG who can’t make plays or SG who takes 89% jumpers and can’t really shoot? Or defensive specialist who is a below-average defender?

    @80 Frank

    I would like to see the Knicks take a look at Childress, depending on their other options and his price. He improved dramatically from Greece Year 1 to Greece Year 2. I have some hope that he will come back to the NBA as a better scorer. I heard Washington is interested.

  60. ess-dog

    I also would like to see Childress on the team, but he cannot play next to Douglas (unless of course, Lebron is also on the wing.)
    But I still think Childress would take 6-7 mil at least. Brewer might be a good option as well at a shade less. I mean Drew Gooden just got 6 mil over 5 years.
    Really it’s all about Lebron. If we get him, we just fill in the blanks how ever he wants them filled. Without Lebron, it’s probably best to go as young and as cheap as possible (unless we somehow get Wade which is very unlikely.)

  61. ess-dog

    The good thing is that if Lebron really does decide by Monday, then the chips will fall one by one after that in a relatively timely manner.

  62. Mulligan

    After 2+ years of excitedly following the rumors around this, I feel really mentally exhausted 12 hours into this…

    Also, if Lebron buys that townhouse in the West Village and doesn’t sign with our beloved bockers, I say we all go egg his house on Halloween.

  63. tastycakes

    Great interview with Gallo. That kid might turn out to be something someday.

    Bucks signed Gooden to a five year deal. They’re really gonna hit the first round hard next year!

  64. ess-dog

    Right THCJ,

    I saw that. I guess they felt they had shotblocking covered with Jordan who also ranked pretty high in win shares. Rautins could be a good spot up shooter – maybe they felt getting a shooter in free agency would be too expensive? And apparently, they are looking at Rautins as a point guard! The lack of interest in a true lead ball handler leads me to believe that Walsh feels confident we are getting Lebron. That’s my positive spin and I’m sticking to it.

  65. marxster

    I have to say that I’m getting fed up with all these reporters out there spreading all this negativity about the Knicks striking out etc.

    I remember the days when everyone thought the Knicks would never get out of the bad contracts they had and it would take many years to get things turned around. Some say if we strike out then the hiring of D’Antoni was useless and that we need a new coach.

    Well, guess what, two years after Donnie arrived, we are now in the situation where we can talk to players. I think he has done a great job.
    I’m pretty confident that we’ll be in a better situation next year than we were in the past couple of years.

    Let’s put some positive Karma out there for christ sake…

    Ok, I’m done with my rant. Thanks for listening. Back to nail biting…

  66. Ted Nelson

    The weirdest thing about Gooden signing to me is that they just let Villanueva walk a year earlier for similar money. Similar player, similar money… doesn’t seem like Gooden’s any more loved by his teams than Chuck since he gets traded once or twice a year.

    Besides 1/2 seasons in Memphis and Cleveland Gooden has been a consistently above average NBA player, so 6 mill per seems reasonable (5 years maybe not so much). Bucks do need to improve their offense and they weren’t likely to be popular with the most attractive MLE guys. Maggette and Gooden have never been known as team guys, I wouldn’t say… Skiles does get the most out of underachievers/attitude guys usually and may honestly like banging his head against the wall and being frustrated… Very questionable whether Maggette/Gooden is how you want to spend $17+ million in 2012/13, though…

  67. Loathing

    It’s all about fit. You really think RJ would be struggling if he were still with an up-tempo offense?

  68. Jafa

    This is unreal. First, the Pistons picked him 2nd in a draft that featured all the superstars we are talking about in the NBA today. Then the Grizzlies gave him $21 Million over 3 years in the first day of free agency in 2007. And now Minnesota is offering him $20 Million over 4 years?

    This guy has underachieved so badly, but these GMs seem to think that just because he is still only 25 years old, he still has time to become something special.

    At this rate, Eddy Currie’s career may not be over (after all he is only 25 years old)…

  69. ess-dog

    Well Gooden looks like a steal now compared to Darko. 5 mil a year? Is Kahn trying to get fired? Maybe he brings a little bit better defense, but frankly, I’d just stick with Love/Jefferson over Darko. Or hmm, maybe they should’ve just drafted a center like oh say, Cousins? Well I guess they’ve got a plan of some sort…

  70. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I think it’s around $12M more.

    I’m going to do this by hand:

    2011 $16.6
    2012 $18.3
    2013 $20.3
    2014 $22.4
    2015 $24.7

    $102.3 million over 5 years with 10.5% increase in salary.

    How much can we offer?

  71. Jafa

    @ 97 – does that make him a player worth an average $5 M/yr? I thinks not.

    Well maybe – after all he is 7 feet tall, 250 lbs and averaged 11.5 ppg, 8.4 rbg and 2.5 blocks/game per 36 minutes over his career. Gooden is 29 years old, 6-10, 230 lbs and averaged 15.4 ppg, 10.2 rbg per 36 so far. He gets 6.4 M/yr.

  72. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Knicks offer:

    $16.6
    $17.9
    $19.4
    $20.9
    $22.6

    $97.4 million over 5 years. That is not much money.

  73. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Much of a difference, that is. I would assume that differences in state income tax could make the difference negligible. Perhaps not, though, since living in NYC means you get taxed even more than a normal, overtaxed NY resident.

  74. rama

    Seewhydee –

    Contracts have nothing to do with relative value, because in a capped system, you can’t possibly give someone like LBJ appropriate relative value. He’s too much more valuable than every other player than Wade (at least in this group). What they do have to do with is scarcity: while there are a lot of players available, there are also a lot of bidders, and in any auction situation, it’s the agents’ responsibility to get the most they can for their client. Very simple.

    I understand your overall point, but…it’s beside the point. Players are looking for the most they can get (though that includes intangibles, like the value of being in a media capital as opposed to, say, Cleveland). If you are looking for a job, would you say, no, please, pay me less, because I just am not worth what that other guy you just hired is worth? Of course not!

    Which is why I’m intrigued if Donnie has a thorough Plan B not for Amare and JJ at the max, but for a variety of useful though less heralded players at lower rates. You need an A-level guy if you want to go far in the playoffs, but we could hope Gallo evolves into that guy, or that we can add him next year, if we make smart moves to put a good collection of complementary players in place this year.

  75. rama

    Considering my auction comment above: would ANYONE have given Darko $20 mil besides Kahn? What a lunatic! You’ve got to figure there was no competition….I feel like anyone on this board could build a better team in Minnesota than Kahn. Maybe he WOULD trade Love…

  76. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I would absolutely die for a Love trade. I’d give up anyone on the current team, Gallo included. You put Lebron, Love, and Bosh on the same team, we’re looking at a 60 win season in year one.

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    What makes the Hawks’ position a position of power is that that sixth year comes as a raise of the previous year’s salary. That would be paying Joe Johnson nearly $25M in 2016 when he’s 34, nearly 35. If they’re dumb enough to do it, well, good for the Knicks.

  78. tastycakes

    Unbelievable that anyone would pay Darko *anything* to play in the NBA at this point. What do you expect to win with Darko as a rotation player?

    I keep thinking there is no way Kahn would trade Love; I know that he’s made a lot of questionable decisions over the last couple of years (to say the least) but you have got to figure he knows what he has in Love. Who knows, if the big Euro center can play (not Darko) and they can trade Jefferson for value, and they get Rubio over .. they could be interesting.

    I’ve realized that sometimes the GMs I think are the absolute craziest (Ainge and Kerr in recent years) sometimes luck out and look like masterminds.

    As for Gooden, yeah, he’s a decent rotation player, but is it me or has he been in decline recently? Agree with Teddy N that Gooden/Maggette seems like a weird way to spend you cap space, but it’s not like Milwaukee is going to attract a big name, and they have a couple of guys they think anchor their team in Bogut and Jennings. (I say think because Bogut is injury-prone and Jennings is over-rated). So whatever, huge surprise, Milwaukee will be mediocre for the next 3-5 years.

  79. tastycakes

    I went to bed last night feeling optimistic about LeBron (well, I’ve been experiencing LeBron mood swings over the past week, to be honest).

    Part of the thing is that the rest of the country tends to dismiss NYC as being overhyped, not as big of a deal as everyone makes it out to be, and they root for New York to miss on big deals like this one. In my mind, there is absolutely an anti-NY bias in the mass media, and there is really no good reason to think that the Knicks — with quality management and an owner willing to spend and a few good pieces on the roster and Curry’s expiring — can’t make a compelling argument that NYC is the best (and most exciting) place for LeBron to go.

    I think David Falk is just plain wrong when he suggests that being in New York is unimportant.

    There was an article in the NYTimes today about how LeBron’s presence affected ratings in Cleveland. If you projected a similar impact in NYC on the Knicks (or Nets, I hate to say) TV ratings, you’re talking about huge numbers of people tuning in and becoming die-hard fans relative to a market that is a fraction of the size. There is a big difference between being a casual NBA and LeBron fan and him being on your team.

    I really believe that LeBron’s fame will become more significant ONLY if he signs with the Knicks. Bulls, Clips, Nets, Heat, Cavs? It’s all status quo.

    I may be biased.

  80. rama

    I think Gooden is a good move for Milwaukee. As someone pointed out, they won’t be bringing in marquee names, and Gooden will work well with Bogut, who if he could stay healthy could be great. He’s the reason that team could be for real, not Jennings. (I still would rather have Lawson than Jennings.) But Milwaukee made a smart move in acting quickly to get quality.

    As for Minny, I hear you, Tastycakes, but that’s a lot of ifs. They’d have to get amazingly lucky.

    I think Melo is playing Denver, basically saying “I won’t resign, so trade me now.” I think he’s a smart guy who realizes that most of the FA action is this year, and he could actually control things as much as LBJ if he got himself traded to one of a few good destinations – like NY. By no means should we trade Gallo, but if Denver was told Melo is history after this coming year, would they take Chandler and an expiring deal like Curry’s? Better than nothing – an average small forward to replace a good (though not great) small forward, and a good bit of cap space to use in their own trade mid-season. It might be the best offer they get.

    IF that’s what Melo’s doing, it’s really smart. Melo in NYC would be a serious draw for LBJ, especially because we could STILL add him AND Bosh. LBJ, Bosh, Gallo, Melo, Douglas…I’m trying not to think about it…

  81. Brian Cronin

    The weirdest thing about Gooden signing to me is that they just let Villanueva walk a year earlier for similar money. Similar player, similar money… doesn’t seem like Gooden’s any more loved by his teams than Chuck since he gets traded once or twice a year.

    I think the big difference is that when they let Charlie go they figured that they were going to be rebuilding. If they knew that they were going to be a playoff contender in 2009-10, no way do they dump Charlie.

  82. rama

    You may be biased, Tastycakes, but I do believe you’re right. And as someone pointed out, it wouldn’t be hard to make up additional money just because of MSG having its own network. Dolan could say, hey, you need your own show on our network, and we’d like to pay you $5mil a year for it. Can any other market offer anything similar? Sure eliminates worries about NYC taxes….

  83. BigBlueAL

    The Wolves signing Darko to his deal and the Bucks trading for Maggette, signing Gooden and Salmons for as much as they are paying them as are the real head scratchers so far.

  84. Brian Cronin

    The Salmons thing is interesting to me, though.

    So their lineup will be…

    PG Jennings
    SG Salmons
    SF Maggette
    PF Gooden
    C Bogut

    Not bad, I guess.

  85. tastycakes

    Seems like a bunch of average players and Bogut, no?
    Maggette is over the hill.
    You like Salmons, Brian? Seems like he pulled out the magical contract-year performance to me.

  86. Brian Cronin

    Hey, I only said it wasn’t bad. ;)

    It doesn’t seem to be particularly good, either.

  87. Brian Cronin

    You know what I don’t get? The notion that the Nets are better suited to win a championship than the Knicks.

    The Bulls I get.

    The Heat I get.

    The Nets? Not so much.

  88. Brian Cronin

    From Chad Ford’s chat:

    The Blazers got close to a deal with the Hornets last week that would’ve sent Andre Miller, Joel Przybilla, Nicolas Batum, Jerryd Bayless and the 22nd pick to NO for Paul before Jeff Bower pulled out of the deal saying that their owner wasn’t ready to trade Paul.

    That’s a pretty shitty offer.

  89. TDM

    @118: I can’t get my head around the Wolves.

    They realize that a Jefferson/Love tandem isn’t working. They want to trade Jefferson. They want to pair Love with a real low-post center. They are seriously interested in Lee. A Love-Lee front court?

    Why would they be chasing Lee? Aren’t Lee and Love similar players? I know Love shoots the 3 on occassion, but I just don’t get it. I guess the answer is maybe they are looking to trade Love AND Jefferson.

    BTW, Nets pitch to LBJ lasted 1hr, 45 min.

  90. Jafa

    Oh my! If this isn’t overpaying, I don’t know what is:

    Memphis is going to pay Gay $81.6 M over 5 years!!! That’s an average of $16 M/yr!!! This guy is worth almost the same amount as LBJ, Wade & Bosh?!?

    I hope and pray our beloved Knicks don’t get caught up in this kind of overspending. I just felt a chill.

  91. Loathing

    OK, so with JJ and Gay apparently done, who’s next for the Knicks if LeBron is a miss? Mike Miller?

  92. ess-dog

    Re: Gay,
    This is not good news. Just logically speaking, don’t you think Lee could now ask for 15 mil, just based on stats alone?
    Hopefully we can use this Curry contract, because we’ll need that money to get a 3rd player of any type…

  93. Jafa

    So far, Knicks pitch to LBJ has gone 20 minutes longer than the Nets pitch. This is a good sign, right?

  94. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It is good news. Lee was going to command more than he’s worth either way. I can’t remember who said it, but Lee at $9M is a bargain, but at $13M, not so much. Let some other team ruin its future by investing 30% of its cap assets into a terrific offensive PF who guards like an And1 Mix Tape-r.

  95. ess-dog

    Well it looks like we’ll be ordering the Mahinmi/Livingston blue plate special then…

    sigh

  96. Jafa

    Don’t count us out yet – lots of cap space = ability to make lopsided trades (we hope).

  97. Brian Cronin

    So far, Knicks pitch to LBJ has gone 20 minutes longer than the Nets pitch. This is a good sign, right?

    Maybe the opposite – if it is just glitz over substance, ya know?

  98. ess-dog

    “So far, Knicks pitch to LBJ has gone 20 minutes longer than the Nets pitch. This is a good sign, right?”

    Maybe Dolan is playing the extended version of ‘Hound Dog’ with a 10 minute solo?

  99. tastycakes

    Would we want Al Jefferson? I’ve never been impressed, and he doesn’t seem like a Mike D type.

    I can’t reach espn.com, which means that either armageddon is happening or LeBron James is crashing their servers .. with a denial of service attack.

    How do you guys know how long the Knicks meeting is going on for? Are there circling helicopters or something?

  100. rrude

    shame about that T-mac trade now that the Knicks look to miss out on the big prizes. We need assets, a la OKC/Portland. Hard to blame them for trying but it’s a pretty big whiff.

  101. Ted Nelson

    @113 Brian

    Could have also been an attitude thing. But Gooden gets traded/moves around so often that it’s hard to imagine all his teams love his attitude.

    @123 TDM

    Is weird, Kahn seems to take an asset building approach. Maybe feels like Lee is the best value he can get in free agency and then can move Love for good value.

    @96 Jafa

    $5 mill per is not exactly what you pay a “special” player… I don’t know why they did it either, but $5 mill is not outlandish. He’s had NBA season where he was worth $5 mill (like 2 maybe).

    @98 ess-dog

    Luckily for Kahn the Wolves have a track record of not firing their GM even when it’s apparent to everyone he’s the worst in the business. I can understand Kahn’s thinking on a lot of matters, but his execution is just awful.

    @100 THCJ

    I believe that annual increased do not compound. You can get that increase on the 1st year’s salary. Therefore, the difference for the first 5 years is just over $4 mill. (96.28 v. 100.43) if 16.6 is in fact the starting salary. That’s why there’s no difference for LeBron, who knows he’ll be re-signed. The 6th year could make a huge difference to someone like Johnson who probably isn’t getting a max extension in his mid-30s when this deal is over. It’s more like $30 mill difference or something to him.

    @112 Rama

    No way Denver does that trade. First, I don’t think that’s the best offer Denver gets. Wilson Chandler, really? Why trade Melo’s valuable expiring contract for Curry’s worthless expiring contract? Surely a team would be willing to give you more at the deadline for Melo than Curry. Melo could legitimately put a team into the playoffs or a playoff team into a contender. Curry can just sit on the bench.
    Melo is not good, he’s very good. I would rather have one more year of him to make a deep playoff push than trade him for Wilson Chandler.
    I don’t think Melo is in the drivers seat at all. Who has cap room next season? He’s likely to be stuck in Denver or looking at a s&t… maybe a couple of teams maybe… but he won’t truly be a “free” agent.

    @117 tastycakes

    Maggette had a great season, hardly over the hill. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/maggeco01.html
    Salmons was about as good last season as this season.
    It’s not a title contender, but that’s a solid team. They were #2 in the NBA defensively last season. Gooden and Maggette have not been good defenders, but Skiles is going to keep that team good defensively. They were only 23rd offensively, but taking shots away from Jennings and giving them to other scorers should help them and might even allow him to post a respectable TS%.

    @118 maxster

    AJ is one of the most overpaid guys in the NBA. The worst defensive C in the NBA. An inefficient scorer for a bigman.

  102. Brian Cronin

    Lee is waaaaaay better than Al Jefferson, and Jefferson might not even be healthy, so no thank you to that offer.

  103. rrude

    Didn’t Gooden play for Skiles in Chicago? If the know each other it may explain the move.

  104. Ted Nelson

    @120 Brian

    Jay-Z is one of LeBron’s best friends. Maybe an idol of his in some ways. LeBron goes so far as to say Brooklyn is his favorite borough publicly. Jay-Z can say he’s not going to recruit LeBron, but his presence alone makes Brooklyn a contender.
    Basketball wise, Devin Harris and Brook Lopez isn’t that far behind Rose/Noah if Harris recovers and Lopez develops (especially defensively). Favors has huge upside. They’ve got extra cap space.

    @121 Brian

    Depends… you could get one higher upside guy for Paul probably. Rubio + #4 (take Cousins) and maybe the rest of Minni’s picks might have been their best play if Kahn was interested. 4 rotation players and 1st rounder isn’t 1/2 bad, though. It’s a conservative trade, but a solid haul that keeps NO right about where it is as a playoff team. 2 of those rotation players with considerable upside (though Bayless is redundant with Thornton). 3 of them have very good defensive reputations. Miller to sheppard Collison. Miller, Bayless, Batum, West, Przybilla, Okafor, Collison, Peja, Julian Wright, Marcus Thornton, Craig Brackins, Quincy Pondexter, James Posey, #22 pick… that’s a REALLY deep team with some upside. Lots of assets.
    Paul’s knees also have to be a question. If the Hornets traded him after last season they could name their price… he was maybe the #2 player in the whole NBA. This season was bad. If they think he’ll come back strong they are probably best off holding him till he proves it. If his knees are shot, now was the time to dump him.

  105. Ted Nelson

    Brian,

    Could have honestly loved playing in NYC, but probably needs another team to bid up his services. Phoenix is so cheap that I doubt they offer Frye above market value, especially before they settle their Amare situation. They’re probably low-balling Frye, and telling him: “if you think you’re worth more than that, show us an offer.” Or his agent anticipates that’s what they’ll do and/or they just told him to take a seat until Amare is resolved.

  106. ess-dog

    Jeez, if we strike out onf FA’s, can you imagine the uproar if Darko averages 15, 10 and 2 blocks next year?

  107. rama

    @141

    Ted – that’s the point: Melo knows next year not many teams will have the cap space they have this year, so this year is the year to make something happen. Otherwise, he’s at the mercy of a constricted market, hoping for at best a sign-and-trade. This year, he can say trade me or I walk and you get nothing – which puts the onus on Denver to get something for him before they can’t get much. Denver has more leverage with a trading partner now than they will mid-season.

    That being said, yeah, they will probably get significantly better offers than Chandler + Curry. It’s not a terrible offer -Chandler is OK, and clearing Curry from their cap space still allows them to make some free agency moves. But they will probably get better. I hope we don’t let go of Gallo, though; the kid has shown flashes. I think it’s 50/50 he becomes a Top Twenty NBA player. In other words, about as good as Melo.

  108. Brian Cronin

    Most recent irritating ESPN thing – post the Nets’ reaction to the Lebron meeting as “news.”

    “The Nets think they did well.”

    SHOCKING!

    You could obviously run the same exact story for the Knicks (who also left their meeting optimistic), but nope, it doesn’t fit the narrative.

  109. TDM

    From Ken Berger’s blog:

    “The Knicks’ pursuit of Felton is a strong indication of a backup plan the team is ready to carry out if it doesn’t land James. Sources say team president Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni would then try to get a quick commitment from Felton and use a legit point guard as an enticement to one of the other free agents — Bosh or Amar’e Stoudemire. Then, the Knicks could try to add one more piece — such as small forward Mike Miller — before going over the cap to retain Lee, assuming they didn’t have to renounce his rights to do it. If they did, the Knicks would probably have to forego one of the signings in order to fit Lee into their $34.1 million of salary-cap space.”

    This should be good enough for at least 30 wins, and would probably lead the league in OPP PPG:

    Felton
    Miller
    Gallo
    Lee
    Stoudemire

  110. Ted Nelson

    @150

    Melo can’t make anything happen, though. He has zero leverage. He’s under contract for next season. Denver has almost no commitments past this season and probably isn’t too worried.

    @153

    That’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever read. I really hope that’s a joke. Felton is maybe the worst starting PG in the NBA offensively…………….. Duhon type bad. At least he’s a very strong defender.
    How do these hacks get jobs? The Knicks cannot sign Felton, Amare, Miller, AND Lee. Completely impossible financially. No journalist in the country seems to have a working understanding of the NBA salary cap. Cannot believe these guys get paid.

  111. Brian Cronin

    No journalist in the country seems to have a working understanding of the NBA salary cap. Cannot believe these guys get paid.

    He did add a caveat in the actual article to say that not all of those players could be signed, just that those would be the players that the Knicks would be looking at.

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