Third Party Summer League Assessment

From the better late than never pile, Kurt from ForumBlueAndGold emailed me this evaluation of the Knick summer league players:

I’m out in the sweltering heat of Vegas and I’ve now sat through two Summer League Knicks games, and since I have the time I thought I’d send you my impressions (informed in part by David Thorpe, who I was sitting next to for one of the games).

Jordan Hill: I don’t know what to make of him. There are flashes of rebounding fire and he certainly has an NBA body, but he seemed almost invisible despite them. I’m not sure what he can do in the post, because he almost never got the ball there. In the first game I saw that was because Thabeet was on him, and he could not get into position to get the ball on the block because Thabeet has long arms that deflect entry passes. That and the Knicks guards seemed to fear the post entry pass like it was the swine flu. When he got into space, he showed some athleticism and ability to finish. The Knicks were not as offensively quick or sharp in the Summer League (at times leaning toward a “seven seconds or more” effort) so again it’s a little hard to judge what he will do in the the Knicks season setting. Thorpe thinks he is a player that will look better surrounded by other players, but was also of the mind that it may two years before we really know how good (or not) Hill is.

Toney Douglas: I really like this guy, because players that make good decisions and play within themselves are such a rarity in Vegas. Ran some very nice drive and kicks, found open teammates in transition, played good defense, just was professional for a rookie, he didn’t look raw. The problem was he couldn’t shoot, his form looked good and he got open looks, but the ball just did not go in. I can’t believe that is long-term trend, but he never got it going in Vegas. He is not going to blow you away with his athleticism, but if he can find his shot he’s a solid backup PG.

Morris Almond: He can score at the NBA level. Good moves from the post and in transition. Really finishes well around the rim. Nice shot from the outside. The downside is he cares not about rebounding or defense, he is like a mini Zach Randolph that way (save that really, Zach boards pretty well). Also, a few scouts (not Thorpe) told me comes with work ethic and attitude issues.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

117 thoughts to “Third Party Summer League Assessment”

  1. Thanks to Kurt for this.

    Good stuff, even if it is not exactly thrilling to hear.

  2. Interesting about Almond’s attitude. Have to hope that Jerry Sloan just brought the worst out in him and D’Antoni is his kind of coach. I obviously don’t expect much, but as a 3 pt specialist who can also post up smaller guards he might at least eat some minutes at the 2. (Sounds a bit like what Q could have been offensively if not for the injuries… without Q’s rebounding of course.)

    Encouraging about Douglas. Have to figure he’ll find at least a passable shot after hitting 40% from 3 in college.

    Great insight on Hill… but I also don’t know what to make of it. I sort of buy Thorpe’s thinking: asked to take a supporting offensive role and not forcing the issue Hill might be an efficient scorer at least. Will be interesting to see if D’Antoni encourages him to take jumpers or sticks his butt inside. Since D’Antoni has possibly never discouraged someone from taking jumpers and the Knicks don’t have many shooting bigs (Harrington), I feel like he’ll be shooting too many jumpers and Thorpe might be wrong.
    More interested to see Hill’s development defensively than anything.

  3. Re: Almond – one newspaper (forgot which) suggested the Knicks were interested in Wafer. If D’Antoni & Walsh liked Almond, who they would get for next to nothing, why would they reach out to Wafer? That kind of logic makes you want to buy into the head case theory. Funny you’d think two seasons with almost no NBA time would get through to a young player, but I tend to think some athletes grow up so pampered that they lose sight of reality. Unless the front office didn’t like something about Almond. I think both were quoted as saying they wanted to see what Almond can do other than shoot.

    Re: Hill – I remember in one of the interviews the Knicks saying they liked Hill’s ability to shoot jumpers. I have an interesting theory – what if it’s his post moves that aren’t efficient? From what I saw everything is a fade-away or hook. So maybe the Knicks don’t feature him in the post, but instead use him to draw the bigs out and/or in the pick & roll. Hill did look like a good offensive rebounder, so maybe his shots will either be from 10-15 feet or 1 foot?

    Of course maybe this is what Kurt means by waiting 2 seasons to judge him. Perhaps the team can keep him out of the post until he can develop some stronger moves.

    Just 4am thinking…

  4. “From what I saw everything is a fade-away or hook.”

    I felt the same way until the last game. Hill seemed much more assertive offensively vs. wizards and McGee (who really looked like a legit NBA player) and made some very nice (if unpolished) post moves. On the negative side, I noticed that his defensive reactions seem a bit slow and that his blocks were made by reaching over rather than going straight up. I guess it comes down to whether one buys into the “he got a late start in B-ball and improved every year” theory.

    Summer league gives rookies a feel for what they can and can’t do, gives sophs some off-season work, and lets coaches/GMs figure out who else to invite to camp. Based on what I saw, Almond and Skita both earned invites, and Douglas (shooting, lateral D) and Hill (post play on both ends) learned what they needed to focus on before camp.

  5. I take a little solace in the fact that you can’t tell anything from Summer League. I would love for Hill to get major minutes this year, but if we have Lee and Harrington at the start of the season, it might be tough. A Hill/Lee frontcourt could be interesting because of the passing ability, the movement on offense, and the rebounding. Harrington /Hill on the other hand would be a better blend of post game and shooting. I think it’s pretty clear that, like it or not, D’Antoni places a high priority on his players being able to shoot (at the least a mid-range jumper) pretty well. This is why despite his strong points, I see coach wanting to move Lee.
    As far as Douglas goes, it really wouldn’t hurt to give him the backup burn at point guard. I think he’s at least proven that he can move the ball around well and not turn the ball over. Even if his shooting doesn’t improve, which it will, his point guard skills look strong enough to get Duhon some rest.
    Not really sure what Almond’s role would be on the team. Obviously he would be the 13th or 14th guy and if he has an attitude, it will probably be a similar situation for him as the one in Utah. You would really just have him as injury insurance for Chandler and Hughes (and maybe Nate.) I’m all for getting Skita as big man insurance, but still kind of hesitant on Almond… is he the better choice over Joe Crawford? Or someone else on the waiver wire? We’ll see…

  6. Yes!
    Tim Thomas signs with Dallas!
    Glad to see he won’t be playing in blue and orange…

  7. Holy crap, you guys have got to hear Ric Bucher argue with Simmons about David Lee on Simmons’ podcast…

    Bucher comes off hilariously bad.

    If this is where he’s coming from, vis a vis Lee, then that column he wrote where he had David Lee ranked behind Drew Gooden on the “best available free agents” list (16th overall) makes a whole lot more sense.

  8. Hey Brian, where is the argument in the podcast? I’ve been scrolling around trying to find it.

    Off-topic — Simmons catches a lot of flak for his writing style, but you have to give it to him: his popularity and financial success hasn’t gone to his head. Guy still sounds like the everyman he’s made out to be. The opposite of Colin Cowherd, if you will.

  9. I was way off.

    I thought it was early in Part 1, it’s actually at the 33:33 minute mark in Part 1.

    It begins with Bucher chiding Simmons for first lauding Sam Presti for sitting put this offseason and then saying OKC should sign David Lee. That basically puts Bucher into a position of “having to” (for whatever reason) argue against David Lee, and he does an amazingly poor job of it.

    A choice nugget – claiming that David Lee’s only getting rebounds because of “the D’Antoni system.”

    Simmons gets in a great line at one point – “From what you’re telling me, you’re basically saying that you haven’t seen a Knick game in four years.”

  10. I found it. Ric Bucher says that Lee is no more than a MLE player around the 33′ mark. This is wonderful. This guy has a job and that blow my mind.

  11. Another choice nugget: Brian Cardinal was also a great rebounder and somehow comparable to David Lee… career rebound rate of 10… yeah.

  12. “I found it. Ric Bucher says that Lee is no more than a MLE player around the 33? mark. This is wonderful. This guy has a job and that blow my mind.”

    Trouble for Lee is that if Bucher thinks that, then there are probably a fair number of “basketball people” in positions of power throughout the league that think the same thing. Hard to believe he came up with that completely on his own without knowing some of the mindset around the league.

  13. “Trouble for Lee is that if Bucher thinks that, then there are probably a fair number of “basketball people” in positions of power throughout the league that think the same thing. Hard to believe he came up with that completely on his own without knowing some of the mindset around the league.”

    All the more important for teams to understand and use statistical analysis. If 75% of the teams aren’t stat-savvy, then that gives you a major advantage. It would also explain why David Lee hasn’t gotten a good offer. If the Knicks resign him to a long term deal a little bit cheaper, then we benefit. If Walsh thinks along the likes of Bucher, and Lee walks after a 1 year deal, then we’ve lost out on an asset.

  14. So is Lee just subject to the white men can’t jump mentality, first Drew Gooden is better than him WTF then Lee gets lumped in with Brian Cardinal??

  15. “Don’t judge David Lee on his stats”. Okay, genius, how should we judge him then?

  16. Okay, great, let’s get on with it:

    “Frank Isola reports that “within one day or two,” Donnie Walsh is expected to decide between making a contract offer to Jamaal Tinsley or Ramon Sessions.

    Tinsley is an unrestricted free-agent who will command a smaller salary than the restricted free-agent Sessions. If the Knicks make an offer to Sessions, the Bucks would have seven days to match.

    It was reported earlier that Walsh and Bucks’ GM John Hammond spoke on Wednesday to discuss a possible sign-and-trade.”

    Also, Mark Jackson, favorite for the T-Wolves job. Is Minny trying to surpass Memphis as most ridiculous franchise?

  17. “Off-topic — Simmons catches a lot of flak for his writing style, but you have to give it to him: his popularity and financial success hasn’t gone to his head.”

    Maybe, but for what it’s worth, my friend told me that Simmons doesn’t allow his editors to change anything he writes.

  18. Mike:

    It’s a Moneyball situation — you have an “old school” network of scouts, talent personnel, and executives who make decisions based on gut-feelings and visual cues instead of the leading mathematical analysis … which in turn leads to a market in which assets are regularly over- and under-valued. David Lee seems to be the Kevin Youkilis of the NBA right now, and soon, everyone’s going to catch on (except the Clips and T-Wolves, of course).

    Lee being a RFA may be his biggest obstacle at this point but it certainly seems that his earning potential is not nearly what it should be. I have my fingers crossed.

  19. How can Tinsley or Sessions even be a question. Sessions is a promising young PG who has the chance to be a nice player, while Tinsley in his prime was poor and is now an older, injury prone, headcase who sat our all of last season.

    I cannot think of a PG in all of the NBA worse than Tinsley. He has not shot over 47% TS% since 2004 and has only exceeded it twice in seven seasons, he is turnover prone averaging 3.4 to/36 over his career and has a career 3pt% of 30.7% only shooting over 30% once in the last three years, yet still shoots lots of them, over 1100 for his career. On top of that he is always injured only playing more than 42 games once in the last five years, which would be bad except he is so much worse than replacement level his injuries are actually helpful to his teams.

    The only things he does well is stealing the ball 2.0 stl/36, rebounding which is solid 4.1 reb/36 and getting assists 8.3 ast/36, though his turnovers really counter most of the good in this.

    Tinsley would be a terrible pick up and I will lose what little faith I have left in Walsh if we sign him.

    By the way I would be surprised if Walsh even knew what TS% was.

  20. I’ve got a lot of respect for Bill Simmons. Anyone who can root for the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots and remain utterly necessary reading to a NYC-area sports fan is one impressive writer. He knows his NBA, and is by far my favorite writer who talks hoops semi-regularly.

    Anyway, I was glad to hear Simmons say that he believes D. Lee could be in the starting 5 on a title team. The fact of the matter is that D. has one elite-level skill, and if you think that D’antoni’s system + bad shooters is the only reason he is pulling down 12+ boards a game, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I now think Ric Bucher is an idiot.

    The only thing that bothered me was that neither Bill nor “Steiny-Mo” would say anything about David’s offensive game. He’s a very efficient scorer — stats prove this — has great hands, is strong from the charity stripe. So what if he doesn’t command double teams? David is more than a one-trick rebounding pony.

    My hope is that the Knicks resign him to a multi-year deal in the 7 million per year range. David may be worth more in comparison to some of the awful contracts out there, even some of the ones signed this year (Charlie Villanueva anyone??). But he can pull in 30-40 million easy while giving the Knicks flexiibility to improve themselves, and when he’s on a team making playoff runs when he’s 29-30 years old, he can cash in with an even bigger contract.

    We’ll see.

  21. “Also, Mark Jackson, favorite for the T-Wolves job. Is Minny trying to surpass Memphis as most ridiculous franchise?”

    I don’t understand why people think it’s stupid to give Mark Jackson a chance as a coach, especially for a rebuilding organization.

    He was a slow PG who wasn’t a good shooter. Yet he managed to have a 17 year career and played in 131 playoff games, all as the on-court leader of the team.

    He’s also played for some of the best coaches of his era, has great report with players, is an ordained minister, and not too long ago someone on this site was noting how few black coaches there were in the NBA.

    I think he’s a very reasonable chance to take for a team like Minnesota.

    To be honest, I’m still kind of sorry the Knicks chose D’Antoni over Jackson. D’Antoni’s probably a better coach, and an obvious choice for a team that is close to competing. But for a team like the Knicks, we are now so married to the “D’Antoni system” that we are drafting players like Hill who probably won’t come into his own until D’Antoni is long gone…

  22. I truly hope that Lee stays in NY, and I’m almost glad to hear what Bucher says if it contributes to keeping Lee’s perceived value low. Still, I think what Bucher may have been trying to say (and he was spectacularly awful at communicating anything in this segment) was that David Lee has not won. Not at all. This is important. I still agree with Simmons that he could be a key part of a winning team. I don’t think the Knicks lose because of Lee. But how many times have I seen Lee actually stop someone when the other team truly needed a basket? Not often. Yes, he’s often playing the 5 when he shouldn’t be, and, yes, he always looks to be in the game and competing. But I’ll be damned if the other C or PF doesn’t always get the basket when the moment comes.

    It’s just an impression, not an “advanced stat,” but it sticks with me.

  23. One could have had the impression of Kevin Garnett in ’07 that he wasn’t a winner. Doesn’t make it right.

  24. “How can Tinsley or Sessions even be a question.”

    1) Tinsley would have a smaller, shorter (one year?) contract.
    2) Sessions might not even end up coming here even if he does get an offer, because the Bucks could match. According to a report or two, the Bruce Bowen situation might determine if Milwaukee matches.

    With that said, I don’t really want us to go after Tinsley.

  25. I am sick and tired of the 2010 talk. I hope Lebron signs the extension so we don’t have to go a full year feeding false hopes.

    We need to make smart basketball moves this year and next and the one after that. This putting our future on hold and signing poor veterans for one year and not resigning our own players is a bad way to run a team. I am all for fiscal responsibility but we need to take opportunities to get better when they arise. If this summer ends with Nate and Lee on one year deals and Tinsley fighting Duhon for the PG spot and Hughes as our starting 2 guard, then team actually took a step back post-Isiah not forward.

    Walsh has not made one great move yet. He has made a number of solid moves a few mediocre ones and what seems like quite a few terrible non-moves.

    Lee is the best player to wear a Knick uniform since Ewing, we cannot let him leave, especially not for nothing in return.

  26. Here here, Ben R! That is exactly what I have been saying. I agree with every single thing you said except that Lee is the best player on the Knicks since Ewing. Allan Houston as well as a few others have been better than Lee. You took it too far.

  27. Ben R,

    Sessions is a RFA… The Knicks can’t wave a magic wand and command the Bucks not to match a reasonable deal for their up-and-coming young PG. You make a great point about not wanting Tinsley, but I wouldn’t put every rumor that passes through the sports section on Donnie’s head.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with your point about Donnie’s tenure to date, but it’s hard to say without inside info. For example, if Lee won’t budge for below $12 million per and Nate for below $10 mill, then what is Donnie going to do? I’m sure their agents are expecting that the Knicks will eventually cave given their vast wealth. Might not be this offseason, but if you’re right and 2010 is only “false hope” it might be next offseason.

    I assume the terrible non-trade is the WC and Hughes/Jeffries for the #5 pick and salary. I have no idea what was or was not on the table, but if you’re Washington why do you take back a raw SF (to back up Caron Butler) and a player no one else in the league will trade for (either Hughes or Jeffries) when you want immediate help in the backcourt??? In the Minni deal they got a good starting SG with only one year on his reasonable contract and a young guy who could be a decent third guard. For me it would have been easy to pick between the Minni offer and the Knick offer. I might have at least kept the pick until the draft in case, you know, Rubio fell there or something…

    Fiscal responsibility can be a great thing, depending on what you do with the cap space/flexibility you create… Since I have no other choice, I’m going to give Walsh some time to see what he does.

  28. The Minnesota offer to Washington blew away any possible Chandler and Hughes or Jeffries offer.

    The two offers are barely in the same vicinity, that’s how much better Minnesota’s offer was, talent-wise (while committing to less money and less years!!).

  29. “Allan Houston as well as a few others have been better than Lee.”

    If you really value scoring and outside shooting you could make the case for Houston, but it’s certainly not clear that he was better. At least if Houston was a shut-down defender you could point to that as an edge, but he wasn’t. If anything, I’d say Lee’s age gives him an edge.

    Who are the “few others?” There may be some individual seasons, but I can’t think of anyone who has had a 3 year run like Lee’s.

  30. Ben R.
    I’m with you on making smart basketball moves now. But you have to be cap sensitive regardless.
    I don’t think they are mutually exclusive.
    I think getting Sessions for a reasonable price is best for the Knicks. Waiting to see what the Bucks do about Bowen is just smart. What they do with him could limited their ability to match the Knicks’ offer. You don’t want to make and offer that is matched after seven days because your hands get tied.
    You want to wait for the right moment. I’m fairly convinced the Knicks are going to get Sessions. I think tinsley is a ruse.
    And if you can get lee and nate at a lower price, you take that chance. If Lee and Nate were great players, having two great players should be enough to get you to the playoffs. If one of the two was great and the other good, you should get to the playoffs.
    But two good players on a bad team got you jack,so you don’t want either to highjack your chances at some of the best players in the game. And it’s not just Lebron. Wade, Bosh, there are a bunch of other very good players the knicks could get.
    If it were up to me, I would sign Lee to a multiyear, and then I would work my ass off trying to dump contracts, while praying that Curry and Jeffries are healthy and productive early on. Nate, while exciting became expendable when Douglas appeared to be competent. You get Sessions, and Nate is gone.
    I think the smartest move Walsh has made so far was to not make any move at all. You make a play for kidd, fine. Make a play for Hill for a little bit of cash, fine.
    But the rest of the way, play it close to the vest. He’s in the driver’s seat with Lee and Nate. If he signs them for one year, well, they will need to produce because it is a contract year.
    And if they are really productive, you make a play for them.
    If Lee can improve on his stats last year, he indeed would be an elite NBA player.

    As for Lee being the best player to wear a Knicks uniform since Ewing, well, Houston was better, Spreewell was better, Oak was better. I’m sure there were others.

  31. I think Mark Jackson would be a decent coach for a young, rebuilding team.

  32. Patience, Ben R, patience…

    “If this summer ends with Nate and Lee on one year deals and Tinsley fighting Duhon for the PG spot and Hughes as our starting 2 guard, then team actually took a step back post-Isiah not forward.”

    The Knicks can go 0-82 next year and still not take a step back from the Layden/Isiah era. There are many fish in the 2010 sea, including Lee and Nate if they sign one year deals. If there are better players available, Walsh can replace them with the guys he wants. If there aren’t, he’ll still own their Bird rights. Even if LeBron isn’t realistic, there is nothing to be lost for devising a strategy around 2010 cap space.

    “Walsh has not made one great move yet. He has made a number of solid moves a few mediocre ones and what seems like quite a few terrible non-moves.”

    Isiah rode into town and made the big move right off. It was Marbury, and the rest is history. Watching Layden work was like watching the grass grow, and he still managed terrible trades. Walsh has a similar conservative style to Layden, but so far I still believe he has a plan a little more nuanced than just getting “younger and longer”.

    “Lee is the best player to wear a Knick uniform since Ewing.”

    I like Lee too, but keep in mind how desperate we are, as Knick fans, to cheer for something. Anything.

    Even if he was the best player to wear a Knick uniform this decade, that may not be saying too much.

    *And, just for the record, I think Marcus Camby was the best player to wear a Knick uniform since Ewing, and even during their tenure together. (But your point is taken: trading Camby and Nene (and Ess-Dog’s favorite coaching candidate) for McDyess still depresses me, and I hope we do better by Lee…

  33. Ugh. Why did you have to bring up the Camby trade. Arguably the worst tradeaway since Ewing.

  34. How quick we all are in the greatest Knick since Ewing argument to neglect Lee Nailon and Travis Knight. Surely one of them had some season with gaudy per 40 numbers to please us stat mongers, no?

  35. Walsh hasnt done anything stupid, but now that the mess has been cleaned up Id like to feel like we are doing more than just treading water.

  36. You know what screw PER and any other stat you wanna use because David Lee wouldnt even see the floor on Pat Riley’s Knicks. OK maybe he would see the floor instead of Anthony Bonner so if Oak, Smith, Ewing or Mase were either hurt or in foul trouble Lee wouldve gotten some minutes. Although Ill admit Lee is much better than Smith BUT for all the crap he has gotten, and rightfully so, he did play out of position at SF and actually did a good job defensively covering guys like Pippen.

    As for the 99-2000 Knicks, I guess he couldve taken Kurt Thomas’ minutes but sorry Thomas defensively is much better than Lee and he too couldnt block shots to save his life. Again I know Lee had better stats and stuff compared to someone like LJ but please sorry I dont care what you say ill take LJ, even the Knicks version, any day over Lee. Plus please I dont care about how 1-dimensional you wanna say Houston was, and his D is nowhere near as bad as everybody says it was, just go back and watch the 98 series vs the Heat and how Pat Riley literally doubled him almost every time Houston was isolated or posting up. He was not just a shooter, he was a great scorer period. The next time Lee draws that much attention will be the 1st time.

    So by my count Knicks better than Lee besides Ewing: Oak, Mase, Starks, Houston, LJ, Spree and Camby. Also as much as we hate him now Marbury basically single-handedly got the Knicks into the playoffs in 2004 and had a great 2005 season as well. You could argue Kurt Thomas too but I wont go that far.

    OK sorry just had to go off because I grew up on those 90’s Knicks and have many of their classic playoff games on my laptop from torrents Ive downloaded (plus the Knicks History DVD I have) and watching those games brings back great memories and is all I have right now since the Knicks now and in the past few years have been so horrible. But still sorry again no disrespect to advanced stats and stuff but I would take all those guys I mentioned above ahead of Lee any day. Before you go ripping those guys remember they were all part of different teams that went to the NBA Finals twice, won 60 games as well as 57 a couple of times and 3 other times of 50 win + seasons as well as making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs 9 straight years. Of course its not fair to Lee because he was never surrounded by players like that, but you bet your ass if he did he wouldnt be averaging no double-double because he wouldnt be getting nowhere near the minutes to do so.

    OK Im done ranting, either way believe it or not I do hope the Knicks re-sign Lee for multiple years….

  37. Speaking of assessments…

    I’m a video game roster editor, usually regarded as one of the best. I’ve been doing this since 2003, and have mostly been using advanced statistics to figure out my ratings and a lot of people are happy with them.

    I recently finalized my New York Knicks ratings for NBA 2K9 and would appreciate it if the people here gave me their thoughts.

    It’s a bit much to post EVERYTHING in a blog comment, so please follow the link to check them out in detail…

    Little preview…

    New York Knicks (ranked by Overall)
    85 – Nate Robinson (PG/SG)
    83 – David Lee (PF/C)
    82 – Al Harrington (PF/SF)
    81 – Larry Hughes (SG/SF)
    80 – Wilson Chandler (SF/SG)
    80 – Chris Duhon (PG)
    76 – Darko Milicic (C/PF)
    75 – Danilo Gallinari (SF/SG)
    74 – Eddy Curry (C)
    74 – Jordan Hill (C/PF)
    74 – Toney Douglas (PG/SG)
    73 – Jared Jeffries (PF/C)
    68 – Mouhammed Sene (C/PF)
    68 – Cuttino Mobley (SG) (RETIRED)

    Overall rating of average NBA starter
    PG: 85
    SG: 84
    SF: 84
    PF: 84
    C: 81

  38. What???? David Lee only an 83 overall???? Whose making these ratings Ric Bucher????

    As much as I love 2K I cant even bother playing with the Knicks they are so bad to play with unfortunately. I usually just play seasons and do a fantasy draft. Hate Nate’s release in 2K9, shot takes too long to get off.

  39. Al, for the most part you are comparing David Lee to established veterans.

    I don’t think it’s very fair (or relevant) to see how Lee fits in on a Pat Riley team, when Mike D’Antoni is his polar opposite as a coach.

    Additionally, the NBA was a VERY different league back then. The level of physical play has been cut back on severely, which would limit the effecitveness of players like Oakley and Mason.

    Looking at what Udonis Haslem did under Pat Riley, there is absolutely no reason to believe David Lee couldn’t play for Riley, or any other coach for that matter. As far as defense goes, it’s a lot easier to be a good defender when you’ve got a shot blocking center in the middle like Patrick Ewing watching your back. Lee has played next to Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph, and Channing Frye over the years.

  40. “OK maybe he would see the floor instead of Anthony Bonner”

    Don’t piss my avatar off! Show some respect for the master of the spin-and-fade!

    Bonner’s still holding out for a 5 year $60 million contract too, by the way…

  41. Oh crap Z I never realized it was Bonner, always thought it was Nate!!!! Hey Bonner did have that nasty dunk in Game 3 of the NBA Finals!!!!

  42. Im just comparing Lee to every Knick player besides Ewing since that was the premise of the post. Someone said Lee is the best Knick player since Ewing and I thought that was a laughable statement and a disrespect to many of the players on the 90’s Knicks thats all.

    It was a different style back then, a style Lee would be horrible playing in. Still players like Mase, Oak and all the perimeter players (Starks, Houston, Spree) would do just fine in today’s game. A younger LJ too but his Knicks version probably wouldnt do so well in today’s NBA. Obviously Camby has thrived in today’s NBA so no need to guess with him.

    Again Im considered a Lee hater anyway so tonight’s post wont change that but I still want Lee back and for more than a year if the contract is right. But to me to say Lee is the best Knick since Ewing is again to me insulting and sounds like some stupid comment Isiah would make since he always acted as if the Knicks have been in last place every year since 1973.

  43. I enjoy playing with the Knicks online, and recently hit 7 threes with Gallinari before the guy quit. It would help their cause immensively if they had a half-decent playbook to help you get their less-talented players some easier looks.

    Lee’s rating at center drops to an 82 btw. Which means he’s an above average starter there, and below average at PF (where the position is much deeper).

    Some other Knicks from last season

    86 – Zach Randolph (PF/C)
    82 – Jamal Crawford (SG/PG)
    76 – Quentin Richardson (SG/SF)
    75 – Tim Thomas (PF/SF)
    75 – Chris Wilcox (C/PF)
    73 – Stephon Marbury (PG/SG)
    71 – Demetris Nichols (SF)
    70 – Anthony Roberson (PG/SG)
    70 – Mardy Collins (SG/SF)
    69 – Malik Rose (PF)
    66 – Jerome James (C)

    LOL, Isiah Thomas looking real good here

  44. BTW Z my avatar also strongly disagrees with the Lee is the best Knick since Ewing statement….

  45. I actually went through all the legends and fixed alot of their ratings because after looking through some of them I realized they were jokes. I mean the least they couldve done was used their career FT% for their FT ratings.

    Of course I made sure Ewing remained a 99 overall….

  46. Lee certainly isn’t better than Houston or Spree (the last Knicks to even make an all-star team) but he’s certainly the closest to them (excluding that one season Stephon played well). Nice to see they aren’t throwing him 100 million out of loyalty, but a little disappointing they’re rolling the dice with him considering they’re giving up their 2010 first rounder. They have few assets going forward and they can’t afford to lose him for nothing.

  47. How about Lee vs Oak???? I think thats a good, fair comparison. Although of course I have to take Oak but I admit it is a pretty close call. Same with Mason too, although his rebounding I dont think comes close to Lee and Mason didnt really start having great seasons until he was traded to Charlotte and his one All-Star season with the Heat.

  48. I’d take Oak too, not only because of his defense, but because he had a very good mid-range shot all the way out to the 3pt line. That is still a work in progress for Lee, though he’s too good of a FT shooter not to develoop it. I thought this would have been the year but he probably had enough to deal with in the new offense and getting beaten up guarding centers every game.

    Lee is definitely a better scorer than Oakley ever was though, and he still has room to improve.

    Sadly, I can’t really find another player comparable to Oakley in today’s NBA. The closest comps I can come up with are Kenyon Martin, Anderson Varejao, and Udonis Haslem. Martin’s rebounding is toast since his knees gave out, Varejao isn’t much of a shooter, and Haslem might be the closest though his defense isn’t nearly as good as Oak’s was.

  49. Haslem has never averaged more than 9.1 rpg. Oak and Lee absolutely kill Haslem on the boards. Haslem does shoot the mid-range jumper and FT’s like Oak.

  50. To be the best Knicks since Ewing it would seem you’d have to have played on the Knicks AFTER Ewing. So, Oakley, Starks, and Mason are out. (I would consider Oakley, but not Mase or Starks for better than Lee.)

    Houston was a good scorer or even a very good scorer depending on your scale, but certainly not great. You get into an argument about scoring vs. everything else here. Houston played on much better teams and excelled at his role. Lee’s also excelled in his role, but on worse teams. Lee is also only a bit older than Houston was when he got to the Knicks. I’m not saying one is better than the other, but I don’t think it’s a simple question.

    LJ was older than Lee when he got to the Knicks (again, meaning Lee can develop veteran awareness in the coming years, not just that LJ was old or something…). He has one Knicks season where he put in 16 pts/36, otherwise he was between 10 and 13 every season. His TS% only topped 55.5% once as a Knick. And his rebound rates were consistently in the 9s and 10s… Whatever defensive edge LJ might have had would have to be huge to overcome the other stuff.

    Kurt Thomas was a good defender, which makes the comparison tougher.

    Sprewell was a really inefficient, high volume scorer. Doesn’t hurt as much since he was on good/great defensive teams (which he was a part of), but that has a negative effect. I would consider him, but it’s dubious.

    Camby I might say was better. Injury prone, though. One really great season.

    Marbury for a short time, maybe.

    “It was a different style back then, a style Lee would be horrible playing in. Still players like Mase, Oak and all the perimeter players (Starks, Houston, Spree) would do just fine in today’s game.”

    I don’t think this is necessarily true. Lee’s a great rebounder and efficient scorer, don’t see why that doesn’t transfer. He’s not very physical, but had he come into the NBA back then I don’t see why he wouldn’t have adjusted.
    Sprewell was an inefficient scorer, so he might not have done as well today (same for Starks, who didn’t play on the Knicks since Ewing). Oakley (who also wasn’t a Knicks after Ewing) couldn’t have gotten away with a lot of the stuff he did, but he might have adjusted and even developed a 3 if he were 15 years younger…

    Rashidi, I like comment #46.

  51. Also another thing we forget is back in the 80s and 90s the salary structures were different. LJ signed a mammoth 10 year deal as a rookie, now players are restricted to four year deals. There were plenty of players who were underpaid because they improved long after they signed long-term contracts. Scottie Pippen was one of them, I think he was making 5-6 million the whole time he was with the Bulls which is obviously a steal.

    Oakley’s salaries via basketball-reference
    Season Team Lg Salary
    1985-86 Chicago Bulls NBA $225,000
    1986-87 Chicago Bulls NBA *$345,000
    1987-88 Chicago Bulls NBA $465,000
    1988-89 New York Knickerbockers NBA $1,000,000
    1989-90 New York Knickerbockers NBA *$1,025,000
    1990-91 New York Knickerbockers NBA $1,050,000
    1991-92 New York Knickerbockers NBA $1,050,000
    1992-93 New York Knickerbockers NBA $1,050,000
    1993-94 New York Knickerbockers NBA $1,950,000
    1994-95 New York Knickerbockers NBA $2,200,000
    1995-96 New York Knickerbockers NBA $2,400,000
    1996-97 New York Knickerbockers NBA $2,600,000
    1997-98 New York Knickerbockers NBA $2,850,000
    1998-99 Toronto Raptors NBA $10,186,000
    1999-00 Toronto Raptors NBA $5,236,000
    2000-01 Toronto Raptors NBA $5,760,000
    2001-02 Chicago Bulls NBA $6,545,000
    2002-03 Washington Wizards NBA $1,030,000
    2003-04 Houston Rockets NBA *$1,070,000
    Career (may be incomplete) $48,037,000

    Oakley was a steal for us all those years, as it looks like he was signed to a very favorable 11 year contract.

    So if he played in today’s NBA, there’s no doubt we’d be asking the same questions we’re asking of Lee – is Oakman worth 8-10 million a year?

  52. “Haslem does shoot the mid-range jumper and FT’s like Oak.”

    Haslem’s more or less a poor man’s Oak. He does all the same things but isn’t as good at them. Stylistically, they’re pretty close, just Haslem’s not as good (he was undrafted, after all).

  53. Ted I was waiting for you to rip my post apart!!! LOL

    Hey those 90’s Knicks were my childhood teams, well Im 29 now so really my middle-school to my early (and basically only) years in college teams. Those players will always have a special place in my heart no matter what…..

  54. “I’m just comparing Lee to every Knick player besides Ewing since that was the premise of the post. Someone said Lee is the best Knick player since Ewing and I thought that was a laughable statement and a disrespect to many of the players on the 90’s Knicks thats all.”

    Houston, Spree, Camby, KThomas, Starbury, Jamal, Big Eddy. That’s pretty much the list of guys Lee has to beat out to achieve Ben R’s proclamation. It’s not so far-fetched.

    I’d take Camby, definitely. He rebounds as well as Lee, scores efficiently around the basket just like Lee, but blocks/alters shots ridiculously better than Lee. I think the ability to block shots is far more valuable than the ability to catch a rebound too.

    I’d probably take Spree too, because I thought he was a fascinating character more than anything else, but I loved watching him play too. My guess, though (a priori), is that stat-men could probably argue pretty easily Lee is more valuable (if he’s better than Kobe, he’s definitely better than Spree!).

    Houston’s a pretty interesting comp. Both excel in one aspect of the game, and both are under-appreciated on defense (BBA– I remember watching Allan play Starks like D at times too– chasing Reggie around picks for 490 minutes a series and still having enough in the tank to score 20 of his own). Personally, I think shooting is worth more than rebounding, as one is easier to replace than the other. But I wouldn’t say Houston was necessarily better than Lee. Both are good guys, proud Knicks, easy to root for, great at what they do, pretty bad at what they don’t do (Houston was as bad at rebounding as Lee is at blocking shots).

    Rashidi is right, though. Lee isn’t worth $100 million, just like Houston wasn’t. The team is definitely under new management.

  55. Ted you bring up some more points…

    Starks, as much as we love him, probably wouldn’t make it in today’s NBA due to his erratic shooting. It was excusable back then when 3pt shooters were at a premium, but nowadays every team is loaded with shooters.

    I look at a guy like Kelenna Azubuike, 6’5″, athletic, great 3pt shooter, and even he had to work his way up from the D-League. And he’s a fringe starter on a lottery team, much less a contender like the 90s Knicks.

    Spree I think would have been fine. We forget that the main reason he was an all-star in the first place is he was a great defensive player, which allowed you to tolerate his poor shot selection and attitude. Ron Artest isn’t too different a player, aside from being 50 pounds heavier.

    And you’re right, Oak probably would have worked on his 3pt shot more growing up. And let’s not forget this is a league where Dirk Nowitzki, Rashard Lewis, Antawn Jamison, Charlie Villanueva, and Al Harrington are power forwards. The days where a rugged defensive PF was an asset are long gone (for reference, see Ben Wallace, 2009 Cavaliers). Now your PFs need to have quickness as there are more and more SFs manning the four spot. Josh Smith, Boris Diaw, Lamar Odom… Oakley is effective against traditional fours, not so much against these guys, who’d draw him away from the basket.

  56. And yeah, it goes without saying, Mase and Smith would never play SF in today’s NBA either.

    Though Mase probably wouldn’t have been a 3rd round pick either.

    Looking at some tape of the 94 Finals, he looks like LeBron out there. A 6’8″ 250 pound PF leading the break was unheard of until then. If only he learned how to shoot (or keep his mouth shut)…

  57. Z, once again I apologize for taking a shot at Anthony Bonner!!!! Like I said Ive seen many games again from those teams and really Allan Houston was not a bad defender at all. At least not back then before the knee problems.

    Starks was a career 34% 3pt shooter in alot of attempts mind you but again that isnt God awful. Plus he was considered a very good defender. His career PER was 14.0 which surprised me because I too didnt think it would be that high (I know 14.0 isnt that high mind you) but he did post 3 seasons in a row of 16.0 PER’s from the 91-92 season through 93-94 which coincidentally was when he hurt his knee and had knee surgery that made him miss the last 23 games or so of the regular season. After that surgery he was never the same aggressive driving, athletic dunking player and he started to rely more on the 3pt shot (just looked up his 3pt attempts per game, they skyrocketed starting in the 94-95 season).

    Hey I love these debates though, makes me remember and look back at the good ol’ days….

  58. Mase was a handful to handle when he posted up though. Hell he covered everybody from Rick Smits to Michael Jordan so he was pretty versatile defensively. But yeah even though he was traded for a clearly less than 100% LJ it was a trade that had to be made at the time and in the end it worked out for everybody I guess.

  59. OK back to the present, just read Marc Stein tweet that the Knicks are on the verge of signing Sessions to an offer sheet. The Bucks are expected to outbid the Cavs for Hakim Warrick and therefore let Sessions go to the Knicks because it best fits their budget.

  60. Tough to compare players across eras, or even roles. Defense is so hard to quantify as well. Would the guy in question have learned a different game growing up and adjusted or been a worse player/ never made the NBA because his strengths weren’t suited for a different era??? Probably a case-by-case thing, but obviously purely hypothetical.

    As I remember (not 100% sure on the accuracy of this), Starks only made the Knicks because he took the ball straight at Ewing towards the end of training camp and got hurt. The rules at the time said he couldn’t be cut while injured… He was very much the undrafted FA who worked his way into the league. He also wasn’t all that good, just the only guy on the team other than Ewing who scored. He was a good defender on the best defensive team of all time, though. If he were 15 years younger he might have developed a more consistent 3-point shot… impossible to say. I’d like to think he could have made it today as a scrappy undrafted guard. I also think you could have replaced him with any number of SGs and the Knicks would have been fine.

    I’m sure Spree still would have been a solid NBA player and pseudo celeb. I don’t know if he would have been valued as highly around the league or by fans, though.

    Oakley may have been a C in today’s game (not playing next to Ewing, though, I guess). He also might have developed a different game had he grown up in a different era.

    “Though Mase probably wouldn’t have been a 3rd round pick either.”

    You can count on that, there being no 3rd round and all :)


    I think you can argue for Houston and Sprewell, just don’t think it’s clear cut either way. Hard to compare different positions across different eras.
    I would lean toward saying Camby was better myself and maybe Marbury (for a short time, though if you’re taking entire time as a Knicks can’t take Marbury and maybe not Camby over Lee). Camby also only had two Knicks seasons post Ewing, if you want to get really technical. The first was his best season in a Knicks uniform by a large margin, the second was his worst.
    I don’t think you can count the guys who played with Ewing and left before him. I’m leaning towards saying Oakley was better, but if you put Lee into a perfect role for him next to a HOFer I might take Lee. I’m leaning towards Lee over Mase and Starks… Mason had two very good years for the Knicks at 28 and 29. Defense is an x-factor that you could use to make an argument against Lee.

  61. “OK back to the present, just read Marc Stein tweet that the Knicks are on the verge of signing Sessions to an offer sheet. The Bucks are expected to outbid the Cavs for Hakim Warrick and therefore let Sessions go to the Knicks because it best fits their budget.”


  62. Yeah lets all email Warrick and sing the praises of the great city of Milwaukee and how great it would be to play for Scott Skiles!!!!

  63. Aldridge is reporting it too.

    Maybe an S & T can be worked out where we take some garbage off their hands and give them Mobley and Jeffries in return. It could save them millions of $$ and give us a little more 2010 flex.

    But all the Bucks have at PG is their 19 year old rookie and Luke Ridnour. I really don’t see why they’d let Sessions go, especially if the Knicks don’t come through with the full MLE.

  64. I think Camby was better than Lee (they’re similar players, except Camby’s dominance at defense makes up for Lee’s edge on scoring efficiency) and I think that first year or so of Marbury was better than Lee.

    Besides that, as Z so nicely points out, the list post-Ewing other than those two is basically just Houston, Sprewell and Kurt Thomas (I’m leaving out Jamal, because I think we all safely agree Lee is better than Jamal, right?).

    Of those three, I’d barely take Lee over all three, with Thomas being the closest comparison (because of the defense).

    I love love love Allan Houston, but the guy had basically one skill (shooting) and he didn’t even dominate that skill like you’d think he would. Lee actually dominates two major skills (rebounding and efficient scoring).

    Sprewell, meanwhile, was a high volume/low efficiency player who played good defense. I think a high-efficency scorer who is an amazing rebounder makes up for the defense advantage.

    Thomas’ rebounding and defense make him the toughest competition, but Lee was a noticeably better rebounder than Thomas and Lee’s stunning scoring efficiency I think makes up for Thomas’ defense (I was going to give Thomas credit for assist ability, because I recall him being a good assist guy for a big man, but damn, Lee is right up there with him in assist rate. Wow).

    Lee wouldn’t destroy any of those three, but I think he edges them all out.

    I think Camby has the title for best Knick since Ewing, though, although man, that first full year Marbury had as a Knick – dude had a .575 TS%!!!

    Hopefully Danilo will take that title of Best Knick since Ewing this year (and then, obviously, hopefully someone even better will take it next year).

  65. Ridnour and Jennings is plenty though. Jennings seems like the type of guy who is going to need plenty of PT to iron his kinks out… and he didn’t get to do much of that playing in Europe last season.

    It’s probably safe to say he has a higher ceiling than Sessions, being that he’s four years younger, and not a second round pick that spent 80% of his rookie season in the D-League.

    The real question for the Knicks now is who the 15th man will be. They now have 14 players under contract (including Lee and Nate).

    Almond has a camp invite, we presume Skita has one too if he doesn’t get a good Euro deal, Sene is partially guaranteed, as is Crawford I think.

    Sessions/Duhon/Douglas at PG pushes Nate primarily to SG mins with Hughes. So there really ain’t any time for Almond unless it comes at SF. I suppose he’d be insurance if Gally can’t play, but otherwise do they really need him? He didn’t exactly tear up summer league.

  66. After the BS that was the way people were reporting Nate’s signing, no way am I falling for starting another post until I’m absolutely sure the deal is getting offered!

  67. When I made the statement I very much was thinking post-Ewing, so Oakley, Mase, Starks etc were out.

    As for the others I think Sprewell was overrated, a good defender but only a mediocre scorer and rebounder. Camby I think post Knicks was better than Lee but on the Knicks he was very injury prone and because of that I give the edge to Lee. Houston is the closest but his severe lack of rebounding, assists, stls and the fact that his scoring was never elite keeps him back. He only averaged over 20 pts/36 once in his career and Lee’s 16.5 pts/36 last year is only 2 pts/36 worse than Houston’s career average while shooting much more efficiently. Marbury is complicated, his one season was fantastic but he had alot of problems so I think he is worse.

    Lee is actually elite at two things not one; rebounding and efficiency. People seem to discount Lee’s scoring but 16.5 pts/36 last year is impressive especially at his efficiency. Crawford, who people claim is a high volume scorer, has a career average of 16.8 pts/36, Sprewell 17.1 pts/36, LeMarcus Aldridge 17.1 pts/36, etc. People act like Lee scores 8-10 points a game but he doesn’t. He has turned himself into a medium volume scorer, and is still improving. I do not see why he cannot average 17-18 points a game next season especially if we get a good point guard.

  68. landing Sessions would make this a very nice offseason, but I’ll believe it once it actually happens.

    also, not sure why we’re even debating the best Knick since Ewing. you guys read this site, you know it’s Renaldo Balkman. :)

  69. I know this might be too simplistic and naive but ask Pat Riley or Larry Bird if they would rather face David Lee or Allan Houston. Hell just ask Donnie Walsh…..

  70. LOL yeah if Ric Bucher agrees with me it doesnt do much for my argument I’ll admit.

  71. Lee is actually elite at two things not one; rebounding and efficiency.

    That is the key to discussing David Lee – the latter talent is constantly overlooked.

    Even in defending David Lee to Bucher, Simmons did not bother to bring it up. Lee’s efficiency is outstanding (and an important facet to being a good NBA player).

  72. Rashidi Im pretty sure those numbers are wrong because Oak didnt sign a contract with the Raptors remember he was traded there. He re-signed with them after his 1st season for 18 mil over 3 years if I remember correctly. Im pretty sure he was making around 10 mil per year with the Knicks at least for his last few years hence him making over 10 million in his 1st season with the Raptors.

  73. Just imagine the type of numbers Allan Houston wouldve put up playing for Mike D’Antoni in his prime.

    Sorry had to go there!!!! LOL

  74. It’s seeming more and more likely that the Knicks will make an offer to Ramon Sessions:

    It could all be false rumors but as Z said, David Aldrige also had something on it. If we get Sessions I think he’ll definitely shine with D’antoni (Maybe more 24 Assist games?). And to actually have a good pure pass-first point guard for once will be such a relief. But if we do sign him where does that leave our pg situation? If Sessions starts does Duhon back him up and we move Douglas to SG, or does Douglas back him up? Also it’s unlikely we sign LeBron next year, but if we get someone like Amare Stoudemire, I would love to Sessions throwing lobs to him…

  75. Hopefully this Sessions thing comes through, but I’d like actual confirmation. The latest on ESPN Insider says the Knicks are finalizing their offer sheet, but they also mention a Daily News AI-to-Knicks rumor. That would suck.

  76. Assuming the Knicks would be an attractive option for LBJ, DWade or one of the other top free agents in 2010, is Sessions the guy that is going to help draw these players to the Knicks? I don’t know that I would want to invest long term in signing him. Also, does he really only hit .176% of his 3s?

    As crazy as it sounds, AI on a 1 year deal does not look that bad to me. AI is declining, but I think last season was an anomaly. Not to mention after being bashed in the media the past year, AI would have something to prove in NY if given the opportunity.

  77. Iverson wouldn’t be that bad of a pickup, at least he’s not Jamaal Tinsley. But we have a chance to pick up a sure-fire point guard who can only improve. If Sessions spends enough time he can improve his shooting. If AI doesn’t work out, he will wreck the lockeroom, too many young players. And how could he ever play with Nate?

  78. You bring up a couple of interesting points, TDM.

    1. Sessions may not be the greatest fit next to a LeBron and/or Wade. So, maybe the Knicks have ruled them out. Then again, more wins would probably make the Knicks more attractive. They may have just been making the best move they have any control over and letting 2010 play out in 2010. And if his contract turns out to be a bargain or at least fair then Sessions can always be traded, even included in a sign-and-trade.

    2. AI could be a decent one-year solution. Last season may have been a bit of an aberration, but so was 2007-8: career highs in TS%, 3P%, Off-rating, and win shares. At 34 it’s hard to bet he’ll put up another season like 2007-8, somewhere between the two seasons is more likely. His age also makes him little more than a short-term solution, which combined with his attitude makes him a bad fit with the young team Walshtoni are trying to build. I wouldn’t complain if the Knicks had decided to take a run at AI for one season, but I’m also not upset that they apparently haven’t. If the Bucks match for Sessions (assuming the Knicks actually make an offer), I think you and sj12 are right that AI would be more attractive than Tinsley.


    Sessions’ outside shooting should definitely improve somewhat if he works at it, but I really wonder how much… It would be interesting to see guards who shot comparably terribly early in their careers and how they progressed. Even if he can’t shoot from outside Sessions can be a nice platoon partner for Duhon. As you say, it will be interesting to see what happens to Douglas, but he’s only a rookie and Duhon will be a FA after the season when he can be allowed to walk if Douglas and (potentially) Sessions impress Walshtoni.
    Another red flag, to me, is that the Bucks were a worse defensive team with Sessions on the floor and a better defensive team with Ridnour on the floor. There may be some other factors that explain this (probably are at least some), but if I were the Knicks I’d be looking into it.

  79. It’s a contract issue, not a skills issue. Also Iverson for one year doesn’t sound like the end of the world to me if only because we’d get to see him and Nate on the court simultaneously for a season. Would we really be moral people to deny that to the world?

  80. Just read on RealGM that the bucks just signed warrick. Is the initial waiting over and the seven day waiting period about to begin?

  81. Searched on B-R for comparable seasons to Sessions’ 2008-9.

    First search: guards, below 6-6, under 25, TS% between .500 and .550, assist rate over 25, 3P% under .200 since the 3-point era began…

    Almost all the comparable seasons are from before 1995. Only Speedy Claxton since 2000 and Brevin Knight since 95. Upping the assist rate requirement to 30 would eliminate Claxton, but not Knight.

    Isiah Thomas is the most promising comparison, but he was already 25 and a 5 time All-Star (his 6th was that season) when he had that season. His career was actually in decline statistically by that point, the two championships the Pistons would go on to win not withstanding…

    Same criteria, only limited to ast-rate over 30, 1st through 3rd season (up to 26 yrs old), and since 2000-1 season.

    So, Will Bynum… can’t really see how his career and shooting progressed, since it was last season and all. He was a 26 year old and veteran in Europe. Could take the lack of comparable players as a bad sign for Sessions, or simply say that he’s a very unique talent.

    Interesting to me that Kidd wasn’t comparable at all. Actually, he’s only had two seasons under 30% 3-pt shooting, but plenty of seasons under 50% TSing (7 to be exact). So, not that comparable.

    Here’s (finally) a potentially promising comparison: Jose Calderon. I added FT% about 75%, since that could be a sign that Sessions has a shot that’s just hiding. Calderon came back and hit 33% on 3s the next season, lifting his TS% to a very strong 58.8.
    Checked out and their eFG%s on and proportion of jumpers vs. close shots are very similar…
    One down note is that Calderon was coming off of 3 straight Euroleague seasons in which he hit over 40% of his 3s. Maybe just adjusting to the NBA game and 3-pt range. In the D-League Sessions only took 12 3s, hitting 4 (33%). Sessions hit 38% of his 3s his final season at Nevada (19 for 50), but was a combine 6 for 30 (20%) the prior 2 seasons. So, I don’t think Calderon is a fair comparison, but I’m thinking Sessions can become at least mediocre from outside.

  82. No AI. We might as well have kept Marbury. I don’t see how picking up AI advances the team.

  83. “Just read on RealGM that the bucks just signed warrick. Is the initial waiting over and the seven day waiting period about to begin?”

    There is also the whole Bruce Bowen issue. His contract becomes guaranteed this weekend, so they need to trade him, waive him, or commit to paying him at some point today. Walsh is apparently waiting to see how that plays out because it effects the Bucks’ fiscal plan.

  84. Grizzlies renounced Warrick so there is no waiting period.

    Sessions – interesting. If this happens, and the offer is the full mid-level, it’s only ok value — puts a serious crimp in our plans for next summer. But he looks like a pretty good player. You have to think Nate or (more likely) Duhon is immediate, serious trade bait.

  85. Grizzlies renounced Warrick so there is no waiting period.

    I meant the waiting period for the Bucks to match if we offer to Sessions

  86. If the Bucks did sign Warrick, do they have the room to match an offer near the MLE?

  87. So if Warrick signed with the Bucks, does that mean we can offer a deal to Sessions now?

  88. i think it was that we were waiting to see if they cut bowen to save $2 million, since only $2mil was guaranteed, but since they added Warrick at probably around $2.5 they would easily be over the tax line if we offered the MLE

  89. I don’t think we want to offer the full MLE though… probably more like 3.4 mil over 4 years. I just hope it’s enough to snag him. How does it work if a 3rd team (the Clips?) wants to swoop in and make a play? It’s just the first offer sheet he signs right? So even if the Bucks end up right at the tax line, Sessions could get another offer, so you would want to make it high enough…

    A real point guard???? OMG I’m going to wet my pants!

  90. Hahn’s Twitter says, “Tweeting from vaca bc things are getting hot: Told Knix-Iverson has ‘no chance’…Sessions is the target. Next week. OK, back to the pool…”

  91. If Sessions signs an offer sheet, that’s it – he can’t sign another. It’s the Knicks or Bucks, if they match. Of course, he may prefer to sign with the Clips for $5 million per, vs. the Knicks at $4 million. Plus, we need to bid high enough that the Bucks don’t match. It does sound like a lot of chatter that the Bucks are just not willing to spend anything.

    If we somehow bring him in for $4 million or less, that’s a nice bargain.

  92. How come my posts keep getting moderated? Ran some comparisons to Sessions’ 2008-9 on B-R and posted them…

    I would have assumed Sessions would command the full MLE, but I guess the Knicks just have to outbid the Bucks at this point (maybe Clippers or someone out of left field…Grizz… too??). Who knows what the Bucks are willing to spend, maybe Donnie has a better idea after discussing S&Ts with them.
    I like Z’s suggestion of a S&T for Sessions involving Mobley and maybe Jeffries. Sort of doubt they take Jeffries, of course: I could actually see Skiles using Jeffries, but they’ve already got defense on the wing. The Bucks would also probably try to stick the Knicks with Gadzuric, who might bring some inside D but also has an unpalatable contract. I would look to take back Bowen to get a one year rental of some veteran leadership, especially on the defensive side.

    How much is McCants looking for? Either with spare change (minimum or if the Knicks have it the biannual exception) or if Sessions falls through, McCants might be worth a one year look. At least as much as Almonds or Wafer.

  93. Forget Iverson, forget Tinsley, forget Sessions. We just claimed Jason “White Chocolate” Williams off waivers. SICK.

  94. What’s the deal with Jason Williams? Why did the Knicks claim him off waivers? Just to keep their options open or are they really planning on signing him?

  95. Knicks just cut Sene because his contract was about to go guaranteed.
    That means they had a roster spot, so they grabbed Williams.
    Now we wait til monday or so to see if the Knicks make a play for Sessions.

  96. From the Milwaukee paper:
    Hakim Warrick has agreed to terms with the Milwaukee Bucks. The athletic 6-9 Warrick can play both forward spots and figures to log heavy minutes in Milwaukee.

    The Cavs and Sixers were also pursuing Warrick.

    The Bucks are nearing the luxury tax threshold but still have the rights to restricted free-agent Ramon Sessions. The Knicks are reportedly close to offering Sessions some part of their mid-level exception in a multi-year deal. The Bucks would have 10 days to match.

    Does this mean they Bucks have even less room to keep Sessions?
    It would seem the moons are in alignment…

  97. And this from ESPN:

    Marc Stein reports that the Knicks are on the verge of making an offer to restricted free-agent Ramon Sessions. New York has all of its mid-level exception remaining and Donnie Walsh is reportedly prepared to give Sessions a longer-term contract with the aim of forcing the Bucks to let Sessions go.

    “One trusted source insists that the Knicks believe they can extend Sessions far enough to dissuade Milwaukee from matching but without affecting their well-chronicled strategy to leave enough salary-cap space to recruit one maximum-salaried free agent in the summer of 2010,” writes Stein.

    The Bucks are competing with the Cavs and Sixers to sign forward Hakim Warrick.

    UPDATE: On his Twitter page, Andrew Marchand of ESPN Radio in New York writes that Sessions’ agent said he plans to talk to the Knicks again on Monday.

    Things are looking up!!!!

  98. “The Bucks are nearing the luxury tax threshold…Does this mean they Bucks have even less room to keep Sessions?”

    Remember, the luxury tax isn’t paid until July of next year and it’s based on the end-of-season roster, so teams have until the deadline to wiggle under the tax threshold. The Bucks can match a Sessions offer and worry about cutting salary over the next few months.

    It seems that if they knew they couldn’t afford Sessions they wouldn’t have tendered him, the way they didn’t with Villanueva. Are they really choosing Warrick over Villanueva and Sessions?

  99. That’s true, but there are also some reports that Jennings has really blown them away, which might make them more likely to cut ties with Sessions. And that’s something they didn’t know when they tendered him.

  100. I suppose Warrick + Jennings + cap savings > Villanueva and Sessions to the Bucks. Doesn’t seem logical from a basketball standpoint, but if it nets us Sessions, who am I to argue?

  101. The Bucks waived Bowen and Salim Stoudamire…

    What does this mean???

    Also, the Lakers waived Sun Yue, the Chinese 6’9″ point guard.

  102. Bucks traded Malik Allen for Sonny Weems and Walter Sharpe. I’m not sure how that affects their salary cap and Sessions.

  103. Checking out the trade machine, the deal for Weems and Sharpe actually increases their cap by $200K, and Weems runs an extra year longer than Allen.

  104. Mike Taylor cut by the Clips! Didn’t he have a career best last year in the Garden?

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