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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trade Deadline Recap: On the Road to Nowhere

So after all that, we’re back where we started.

For the past week, the Knicks reportedly flirted with trading Iman Shumpert in approximately 72 different deals. He was going to the Clippers for Reggie Bullock, Darren Collison and Knicks’ right to leave Raymond Felton on the Clips’ doorstep. He was going to the Thunder for a sure-to-be-very-late first-round draft pick. He was going to the Clippers again just for Collison, and then maybe for Matt Barnes or maybe for Willie Green too. There was, allegedly, and in this universe, a bidding war for the services of Beno Udrih.

Ink was spilled and tweets were tweeted and … nothing happened. Beno Udrih is a Knick. So are Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton. But that’s not the headline.

Knicks Continue to Wander Aimlessly, could work, but that’s a bit wordy. Let’s go with Bad Team Lacks Plan.

It is always a bit of a fallacy to criticize a front office for inaction, because we don’t know what trade offers there were.* But, a reasonable person might ask herself — as the Knicks sit 11th in a horrendous Eastern conference with a 21-33 record, with no 2014 or 2016 first round pick and no cap flexibility for next season — just exactly why the trade efforts focused on three marginal players, and just exactly how self-deluded this franchise is that it didn’t try to blow it up.

No, we aren’t privy to the inner workings of the organization, but it is safe to say that there would be strong demand for Tyson Chandler (how about the Thunder?) and, of course, Carmelo Anthony.

We shouldn’t be surprised that the Knicks did not seriously attempt to trade Anthony, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult to swallow. Now that the deadline is over, and given that Melo has made every indication he will use his Early Termination Option, the Knicks now officially have two options with their star player:

A)     Let him walk for nothing at the end of the season, or;

B)      Win his services as a free agent. Given the team’s awful constitution (and Melo’s comments about potentially taking less money notwithstanding), this will likely be a 5-year, $129 million commitment to a one-way player in his early-mid 30s.

To argue that the Knicks should not have traded Melo because they would not have received full value, you have to believe one of three things:

1.       The Knicks can still compete this year;

2.       Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks and it is a smart basketball decision to make him perhaps the highest-paid player in the NBA;

3.       Anthony will choose to re-sign for less money.

The Knicks clearly believe at least one of those three things. Otherwise, they would have traded him and gotten at minimum a shred of value. And while believing in any of the three above options doesn’t necessarily make you an irrational actor, it does require a leap of faith. Suffice to say, if you believe in any of options 1-3, you aren’t making a good bet.

For my money, the safer bet is that this team, as currently constructed, is awful. That re-signing a wonderful offensive player for five of his decline years for more than $25 million/year will likely be a disastrous decision. That nabbing a young asset or two and a couple first-rounders for Anthony and Chandler was a realistic option that could have given this team some footing to rebuild in earnest. That while this season is not at all Melo’s fault — on the contrary, his inspired offensive play and effort in an unreasonable number of minutes have been extraordinary — his team is too weak and cap-strapped to simply pay him, make a few tweaks, and produce a winner. That the experiment has failed.

Now, the deadline did have some positives. The Knicks still have a 2018 first-round pick. They never got particularly close to mortgaging even more of the future on this lost season for the likes of Kyle Lowry and Jeff Teague (genuine upgrades, of course, but not enough to move the needle in a meaningful way). There was no talk of moving Tim Hardaway Jr., a dynamic and shockingly efficient scorer (58 TS%, 39% from 3, 81% from the line) on a rookie contract. The team tried to trade Shumpert only to shed salary and get a young player (Bullock) with upside in return, and may or may not have balked with the Clips made them a worse offer.

But while this front office appears to have developed some perspective on the margins, it remains, on the big issues, entirely deluded. Believing that committing to Anthony at top dollar, and letting the rest of the pieces fall where they may, can make the Knicks a title contender.

So this is where we are, back where we started. Nowhere.

*Or maybe we do. This seems a good spot as any for a related mini-rant: the outrageous number of leaks that come out of the front office hurts this team. Seemingly every proposed trade, every small idea, every lunch order this organization has gets leaked to the media. The Knicks have been trying to trade Iman Shumpert for over a year now, and it seems like we’ve known about, in detail, every single rumor. For the good of, say, not destroying the confidence of a 23-year-old promising and extremely athletic two-way wing player, this team needs to stop having the details of every phone conversation end up on Twitter. When the Yankees traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda in 2012, it was a total shocker — no one had heard a word about the proposed blockbuster. For all its warts, the Yankees’ front office has done a masterful job avoiding leaks, which improves their leverage in trades and doesn’t destroy their players’ confidence in themselves and the organization. The Knicks need to fix this. End rant.*

52 comments on “Trade Deadline Recap: On the Road to Nowhere

  1. chrisk06811

    My problem is that I realistically don’t know what we could have received in trade, so it’s impossible to say that doing nothing wasn’t the right (yet most frustrating) move.

    The only fit I saw for Chandler was Granger, and he got dealt. I’m not sure Indiana would have given us back anything else.

    Shump has been so bad this year that his trade value is very low.

    As for Melo…….who would have traded for him, and what could we have received?

    that doesn’t mean I know where we go next

  2. cgreene

    Theargument that we are going to sign Melo to some kind of super max deal is the major flaw in this article. Now maybe we don’t want him at a discount as well but the pay cut is coming. So lets put that to bed. Also we knew blowing it up wasn’t happening a week ago. So that’s old news.

  3. johnno

    “The Knicks have been trying to trade Iman Shumpert for over a year now, and it seems like we’ve known about, in detail, every single rumor.”
    Only if you believe that most of the rumors aren’t completely fabricated. I think that a lot of them are. Stephen A started the story that Dolan wanted to trade Shumpert. This is the same guy who announced that LeBron was going to sign with the Knicks and added, “I’M NOT TELLING YOU WHAT I THINK, I’M TELLING YOU WHAT THE HELL I KNOW!!” So, I question his credibility. A lot of “rumors” come from Chris Broussard. He’s a lot like Jeanne Dixon (for those of you too young to remember her, she was a psychic who made outrageous predictions about famous people) — he throws so many things out there that he is bound to get a few things right. He’s not exactly credible in my mind. You are also assuming that the Knicks didn’t quietly ask around to see what they could get for Melo or Chandler. Maybe they did and found out that there wasn’t a good deal to be made, or maybe they didn’t. And, maybe the front office DOES have a plan and they are doing a good job of exactly what you want them to do — keeping quiet about it and not leaking it to the twitter-verse. (I know I am being a hopeless optimist here but you never know…)

  4. Nick C.

    @ Johnno. Did SAS really bellow about the Knicks getting LeBron? It sounds vaguely familiar. If that is true he needs to be called out every time he boasts about knowing the Heat were getting LeBron.

  5. chrisk06811

    I am certain that every team that was even remotely interested in Shump, Hardaway, Chandler, Melo or even Beno called and tried to rip us off. wouldn’t you????? our track record sucks. maybe we should be applauding them for NOT doing anything stupid.

  6. thenoblefacehumper

    @5 We couldn’t have been ripped off for Beno, any tangible asset we got back would’ve been found money. He might be waived before March 1st and even if he isn’t it’s not like Beno Udrih is going to revive the season. That’s the only real mistake we made, IMO. We couldn’t get a 2nd round pick for him? I find that hard to believe since there were multiple teams rumored to be interested. They had to give something back in a potential trade right? We had no backup plan for when the Hamilton deal fell through so we got nothing.

  7. DRed

    And, maybe the front office DOES have a plan and they are doing a good job of exactly what you want them to do — keeping quiet about it and not leaking it to the twitter-verse. (I know I am being a hopeless optimist here but you never know…)

    I assume they do have some sort of plan. Whether or not it’s a good plan is the big question. Last year proved you can assemble a title contender around Carmelo. So even if we do resign him to a max/supermax level extension, we aren’t doomed. But it will be tougher. The problem I see is that ever since we lost to Indiana the team has done almost nothing that indicates they’re able to realistically evaluate players.

    We should have been able to recognize that last season was a high water mark. We had a great year, but a lot of the guys were old and possibly flukey. So we couldn’t sit still and hope to play as well again with pretty much the same team. But instead of trying to building a similar style team, we decided “Hey man, the East is big, and Roy Hibbert is really big, so we need more tall guys” and made that disastrous trade for the worst player in the league. I’m hoping we realize that Woodson has to go, and just being physically tall is not the solution. Going forward this year I’d like to see Tyson get back to playing like he was early in the year so we can deal him in the offseason. With or without Melo, this team is likely to stink again next season, so it’s imperative we try to get some young players with upside or draft picks, because with Melo (presumably) taking up a big chunk of our cap, we’re going to need some productivity on the cheap. And whatever the plan for the future is, Tyson shouldn’t be part of it. If the team recognizes that and makes some sort of reasonable move with him this offseason, there may be a reason for some cautious optimism. If we bring this same group back next year than we’re probably fucked.

  8. ephus

    the Knicks now officially have two options with their star player:

    A) Let him walk for nothing at the end of the season, or;

    B) Win his services as a free agent. Given the team’s awful constitution (and Melo’s comments about potentially taking less money notwithstanding), this will likely be a 5-year, $129 million commitment to a one-way player in his early-mid 30s

    .

    There is an option C – Melo agrees to a sign and trade in order to get to a team that does not have the salary cap room to sign him.

  9. Jonathan Topaz Post author

    Theargument that we are going to sign Melo to some kind of super max deal is the major flaw in this article. Now maybe we don’t want him at a discount as well but the pay cut is coming.

    Well, OK. Very few players take pay cuts and there’s little indication he will. To say “the pay cut is coming” takes, well, a special kind of certainty. He might, but I don’t think it’s likely, nor do I think you can build your team around that potential act of good will. I happen to think that’s a pretty bad bet to make.

  10. johnno

    Did SAS really bellow about the Knicks getting LeBron?
    Yes, months before the actual decision. It might have been before the season even ended. I laughed when he said it because it was obviously a load of crap since it was clear at that point that even LeBron himself had no clue what he was going to do. He later backpedaled dramatically and pretended as if he never said it.

  11. swiftandabundant

    @ 9. How can you say there is no indication when Melo himself said he would be willing to take less in order to help build a real contender? Now maybe that means taking less somewhere else or only taking a few million less than the super max, but Melo himself said he would take less so why would we think he’s lying?

    I honestly believe Melo knows he kind of screwed himself and The Knicks by forcing the trade in 2010 and now that he has over 100 million in career salary and is pretty much guaranteed another big contract, he will be willing to take less to build a real contender. Leaving 5 or 6 million a year on the table when you’re 27 and going after your first max contract is a big deal. Leaving 5 or 6 million on the table when you’ve all ready made over 100 million in your career is less so. Especially since he would make that up ten fold if he won a title with The Knicks. Even if he just took us to the ECF a few times or the Finals once, he would immediately be one of the top 5 Knicks of all time. Sure, Melo could bolt to go to a contender, but his rep would take a long time to recover. At least if he takes less and stays with the Knicks, people can’t question his loyalty or his willingness to try and build a contender and stick with a job until its finished.

  12. DRed

    The point is, nobody but (maybe) Carmelo really knows what he’s going to do. I think there’s a decent chance he’s serious about his willingness to re-up for some sort of discount, but it’s stupid to set up a long term strategy that assumes he will.

    If Melo bolts and goes to a contender, his rep will be hurt right up until the point that they start winning, and then the media will start writing about how he’s learned the lessons from his disastrous stint in NYC and now he’s changed his game and become a winner. It will be bullshit, of course, but that’s the lamestream sports media for you.

  13. hoolahoop

    As a team trying to put pieces together to get to the promised land for the first time in forty years, the knicks are more lost than they have ever been. All of their own doing.

    Keeping Woodson is an insult to the fans. Boycott MSG.

  14. hoolahoop

    Melo’s been pretty clear. He will only take less money if presented with a plan with all the pieces in place, and the plan simply needs his reduced salary to be executed, like what happened in Miami. His intention is not to take less money, then trust the brains of knicks FO. If he does, he’s as stupid as the knicks.

  15. johnlocke

    Exactly he wants a Lebron / Wade situation. Issue he needs to get resigned at end of year and we won’t have big fish until 2015…so unless he restructures his contract after the fact, (is that possible and to what extent?) not sure how that would work

  16. swiftandabundant

    @15 – I understand this. I guess I just don’t think our lack of activity at the trade deadline shows a lack of a plan. If anything it shows patience, which we’ve never had. Not giving up Shump for garbage and slight improvement at the PG spot is smart. Not giving up Timmy Jr. or another first round pick is smart.

    Felton and JR can improve their stock and will be easier to trade this off season. Chandler should be very moveable this off season as well. Amare and Bargs will start to be real options to trade this off season too. We know 2015 with cap space is the goal but those plans can start to be implemented as soon as this off season. Next year doesn’t have to be a wasted year in my opinion. Its kind of a chicken vs. egg situation though cause Melo resigning for less is what will allow The Knicks to have a real plan and execute it but Melo wants a plan before he agrees to it. But I like the fact that we did nothing major at the trade deadline. Lowry would be a rental and would demand a contract in the off season that might be more than he’s actually worth. Teague might have been nice but also not too much of an improvement. The Clippers deal sounded ok at first but Shump could easily increase his trade value when he comes back with just a few good weeks of play or a nice playoff series if we get in.

    @13. Woodson is CAA. People think that means there’s a conspiracy and he won’t ever get fired. I think what is more logical is that it means The Knicks aren’t going to embarrass him by firing him mid season. His contract ends this year. Let him finish out the year, “resign” and then bring in a better coach, which is what I believe will happen. We can talk about players and free agents all we want but we know a better coach is the first real step to putting together a contender. We are not further than we were 5 or 6 years ago. We have Melo.

  17. hoolahoop

    Melo is in a predicament. He runs the risk of becoming a journeyman if he signs a big contract with another team that’s hoping to become elite (Chicago). That would be worse for him than losing in NY.

  18. hoolahoop

    @ 17. I agree that the knicks did good by not making a deal. The problem they have is they can’t make a deal. You need good assets to make a good trade.
    The only hope for the knicks with Melo, is if Melo holds off on opting out this year, and resigns for a reduced amount in 2015 and the knicks bag a couple of big time players. It’s still far fetched that they’ll be great, but I don’t see any other way – other than letting Melo walk and starting all over again. Unfortunately, that’s the best case scenario. You’re looking at four to five years to rebuild, at minimum.

    Don’t fire Woodson because he’d be embarrassed? You mean even more than letting him look more inept everyday. Dolan is embarrassing himself by not firing him.

  19. max fisher-cohen

    Enjoyed the article, but one assumption that it relies upon is that the goal of the front office is a title. Especially in the East, you can make the playoffs every year and even win one series now and then with a player like Carmelo Anthony and $55m of decent salaries.

    Let’s say in 2015 the top FAs are Rondo, Vucevic, Thompson, Love, Gasol, Millsap, Irving, Leonard, and they all go elsewhere or re-sign with their current teams. Even then, the Knicks could sign, say, Reggie Jackson ($9m), Omer Asik ($11), Jimmy Butler ($9m), who all fit under the cap even with Melo at the max and Smith and Felton still on salary, and have a 46-52 win team with a great chance of making the second round of the playoffs for however long Melo remains elite and the east remains junk.

    The Knick front office might be way happier with guaranteed competence, even if it also guarantees no title, than with going through 1-3 losing years, potentially losing fans to Brooklyn if they remain a playoff team, and facing the risk that they strike out with their draft picks.

  20. flossy

    How can you say there is no indication when Melo himself said he would be willing to take less in order to help build a real contender? Now maybe that means taking less somewhere else or only taking a few million less than the super max, but Melo himself said he would take less so why would we think he’s lying?

    What makes you think there’s anything the Knicks could do to demonstrate they can do an about-face from “total dumpster fire” to “contender” this July, when Melo’s going to have to make his decision (a totally self-imposed early deadline, it should be noted)? His comments said he’d be willing to take a discount to build a contender, but the Knicks have so thoroughly screwed themselves that we’re at least two years out from contender status, even in the most optimistic scenario.

    If he really wants to leave money on the table to win some rings, I’m pretty sure that Melo, LeBron, Bosh and Wade could all resign this summer in Miami for $13-$14 million apiece and then set the league on fire for the next few years. That would be a discount worth taking, rather than giving money out of his own pocket for James Dolan to piss away on the Feltons and Bargnanis of the league.

  21. swiftandabundant

    Because The Knicks partly got themselves into this mess because Melo forced a trade here. I’m simply going on my hunch that he realizes this and will try to fix the situation by taking a more team friendly contract. That’s because I’m a fan and try to hope for the best.

    Things are bleak now but honestly the difference between a really bad team and a contender can be closer than we think. A better coach, a few players having better seasons, a few key acquisitions. Woodson has been awful and I believe he will be gone this summer. But beyond Woodson we’ve had a lot of injuries and key players (Felton, Shump, JR) playing well below their potential.

    There is work to be done no doubt. And it all begins with Melo. But I believe his self imposed deadline is a way to make the Knicks serious. And I don’t think any of the trades that were proposed would have helped us in the long term. I think if they had been really worried about him leaving we would have seen a bad trade for Rondo (giving up too much) or worse, Lowry (a rental and giving up too much). The fact that they did nothing to me actually indicates they are confident he will stay and they can begin to untangle this mess. The team is not as bad as their record.

  22. rew38

    Very well written article.

    I now have no idea how the Knicks will make moves over the summer and next year to avoid having a team 10x shittier than the one we have today or the ones they could have had by making intelligent move before yesterday’s deadline.

    Besides Hardaway and Tyler (yup, Jeremy Tyler, I’m a fan), no player on this team is getting better or has any real chance of miraculously breaking out.

    STAT and the Italian who thinks he’s MJ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9dX6IhU2tM Cracks me up every time…before making me sob for about 4 hours straight) are unmovable between now and when their contracts expire. The only way a team would accept a deal for either of them would either be by A) sending us longer deals, tapping into our ’15 cap space, or B) forcing us to include one of our o-so many assets (does a 1st rounder 4 years from today even count as a real asset by anyone besides our new york knickerbockers?) .
    Oh right, we should probably add Felton and JR to that list. FAN-tastic.

    The reason I wanted to see Chandler and/or Melo dealt is because their trade values will never be higher than were before Thursday’s deadline. Sure we may be able to trade Melo via sign-and-trade but no chance we get the value we could’ve gotten if we traded him before the deadline. Honestly for Melo, anything Boston was getting for Rondo, two assets, was more than good enough for me. Really much rather than that have to pay a 34+ year old $20M+ a season.

    As for Chandler, he’s not getting younger nor is he becoming less susceptible to some sort of trade value killing injury.(Also let me call it now, if TC becomes a FA, some ***** team, like CHA will swoop in with some inflated, unmatchable offer.) Jonathan, your discreet reference about a Chandler to OKC trade: Brilliant. A trade built around Reggie Jackson for Chandler, though surely wishful thinking, but think about it, it makes so much sense for both teams, would have warranted a parade up…

  23. rew38

    So now looking toward the rest of the season, and beyond, what the heck is there to root for or get excited about? Clearly not the product they are currently sending out each night, nor anything that comes to resembling a properly thought-through rebuild plan.

    Whats that Dolan? The prospect of maybe signing some SUPER STAR*!*! and emerging as an insta-contender?? Fooled me once…

  24. swiftandabundant

    @19. Woodson is a CAA client. Firing him mid season would be bad form. I do believe CAA has power and influence with The Knicks but it doesn’t extend so far as Woodson would never be fire.d Just that he wouldn’t be fired mid season and also The Knicks don’t want a repeat of the drama that they went through with Dantoni quitting/getting fired two seasons ago. Melo got blamed for that and therefore Melo’s gonna stick by Woodson.

    Woodson is not coaching well this year no doubt and I think he’ll be gone. My point is just that I think The Knicks are trying to avoid coaching drama mid season and since Woodson is a CAA client they don’t want to embarrass him by firing him mid season. It doesn’t matter how bad the team is or how bad he is doing, any coach getting fired mid season its embarrassing for that coach big time. At least this way there is still a chance to sneak into the playoffs and play a competitive series or even win a first round series and Woodson can save some face. His contract ends after this season, so he can step down, which is better than getting fired.

  25. DRed

    The really scary thing is that we might not even fire Woodson this offseason. Isiah had a terrible run as GM, capped it off by giving 19 million to Larry Brown to go away, hired himself to be an even worse head coach and it took a sexual harassment scandal (which cost his boss another 11 million dollars) involving the guy we just re-hired to run the team and one of the worst seasons in Knicks history to seal his fate. Even if we’re able to deal Tyson for some youth/picks I don’t see how this team is going to be significantly better next year. I mean, we could be looking at a 6-8 seed if things go well, but is that what Melo wants to re-up for? The point is, Dolan is a fucking moron.

  26. mase

    If there was ever something to root for this season considering we don’t have a pick it’s the playoffs… We can’t beat either Miami or Indiana but there wasn’t any trade that would’ve helped.

    By standing pat at the deadline we got as close to rebuilding as you can get with Dolan as your owner.good job mills.

  27. lavor postell

    I don’t really get the negativity around not making trades. It sucks we couldn’t even move Udrih for a second round pick, but that definitely is better than having made a trade giving up a 2018 pick, THJ or Shump in some last gasp bid to improve the team for Melo’s liking. If anything it tells me that the Knicks FO is confident that Melo is re-signing with the Knicks and probably at some kind of discount whatever that may be.

    Grunwald was removed pretty soon after that Bargnani trade if I remember correctly which was probably a collective decision on the part of Dolan, Melo and CAA as they had no faith in him to build a championship caliber team. Mills was appointed almost simultaneously and, as Brian pointed out the other day, was rumored to nearly have been selected as the new head of the players union which I think bodes well for the Knicks in terms of his ability to appeal to marquee free agents.

    I don’t know if the Knicks plan is a good one or a shitty one but we’ll have a much better idea this summer. For now I just want Felton, JR and Shump to be healthy, play well to get us to an 8 seed and maybe win a couple of games in a series with Indiana. I think that would do enough to raise the collective trade value of the overall roster that we may be able to make moves to build a retooled roster around a potentially re-upped Melo.

  28. DRed

    Felton and JR aren’t going anywhere for anything, because they are bad basketball players and one of them is a headcase to boot. I mean, it’s conceivable we could dump them somewhere, but not for anything that’s going to really make a difference. Ray Felton’s upside is okay backup point guard, and while JR can be a decent player, he’s still JR Swish. Tyson is a solid asset if he can stay healthy the rest of the year. Shump could come back and start hitting some shots. THJ is going to have value. And that’s about it.

    And that’s the problem-our short term goals and long term goals don’t really match up. Even at the max Melo should still be good enough for the next 2 years to help the Knicks. He’ll be overpaid, but a productive player. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world. Our best chance to win would be to go into 2016 with a nice rookie, some good young players/another draft pick from trading Tyson, Melo, THJ, a few holdover mediocrities and a bunch of cap space. But that means staying pat and just sucking it up next year. And that means convincing Melo to toss away a year of his dwindling prime in the hope that it will pay off the next year. And that’s going to create a high risk of us doing something stupid.

  29. lavor postell

    @DRed

    I agree with a lot of that. I do think JR and Felton are moveable, but the cost of moving them is dealing Shump as part of the deal. This is why I want all three of those guys to have a strong close to the season so that we can get something more than Collison, Barnes and Bullock.

    I’d also like to seem them play better for the simple fact that I continue to watch the Knicks and prefer to watch them to be enjoyable and not shitty.

  30. Frank

    I’ve sort of changed my mind on this whole Melo / teardown thing. I think ideally we would trade Melo, Tyson, etc., collect assets, then go whole-hog in 2015-16 for Kevin Love etc. However– I think it’s really unlikely that Dolan sells the team before then — and until Dolan sells the team, what are the chances that one of these great superstars will want to come here after all the chaos and dysfunction we’ve already seen? IMHO what is most likely to happen in 2015 is that Love, Aldridge, and others either sign with the Lakers (Love) or with their own team (Aldridge), and we’ll be left overpaying for 2nd tier guys like Rondo or Dragic. If we try tanking in 2015, there’s a pretty reasonable chance that we still won’t be as bad as some teams like Milwaukee, and even if we do get a top 3 pick it could easily be a draft like this past year’s where the top 5+ have really been underwhelming. We could also easily end up with the, say, 8th pick, in which case the best we could really realistically hope for is a solid rotation player or fringe all-star — not someone who can even approximate who we traded away to get him.

    So the question is – do we think we have a better chance with Melo at, say, $18MM/year and ~$30MM in cap space, or a couple extra 1st round picks and a completely blank slate cap-wise? And when I say better chance I mean with this front office and ownership group — because it’s likely to be there 2 years from now. I think maybe we have a better chance with Melo because I think it’s very likely that we’d end up with someone even less deserving of a max contract than Melo is.

  31. Brian Cronin

    I agree that Melo at $18 million is a fine plan. Will he give the Knicks that substantial of a discount? We shall see!

  32. lavor postell

    I wonder what is going to happen with Rondo to be honest. He’s going to be in a very similar situation to Melo was in 2010-11 next season if the Knicks maintain cap space. He could tell the Celtics he will not re-sign with them and the only team he’ll sign an extension with is the Knicks so if they want to get anything for him they have to trade him there and if not he’ll walk in the summer.

    Obviously Rondo or any other major free agent could do this with any suitor that has cap space and is enticing to him, not just the Knicks.

  33. Brian Cronin

    Wow, it looks like the Clippers are going to add Big Baby Davis for just the minimum after he clears waivers. What an unexpected windfall for them!

  34. lavor postell

    I really wonder what the Nets potential pitch to Big Baby is going to be.

    “Remember that time KG made you cry on the bench? Well now he’s not even a good player but just as much of a blowhard.”

  35. Sweetney Ate Curry

    TC becomes a FA, some ***** team, like CHA will swoop in with some inflated, unmatchable offer.) Jonathan, your discreet reference about a Chandler to OKC trade: Brilliant. A trade built around Reggie Jackson for Chandler, though surely wishful thinking, but think about it, it makes so much sense for both teams, would have warranted a parade up…

    I’m on record as saying that we should be looking at every opportunity to trade Tyson now while he still has some value (he’s already lost some since his Dallas ‘chip and his DPOY year here). I want to love Tyson, but he’s largely a myth at this point. He’s no longer the kind of impact defender that can transform a teams defensive efficiency. He’s extremely limited (albeit efficient) offensively. He’s aging. He has the immune system of a malnourished third world infant, and he’s brittle. If we can get something of value in return for him, we absolutely should.

    In fact, I believe I posted a trade scenario with the Thunder (espn Trade Machine link) that involved Tyson, Ray, Shump & Metta/Beno for Reggie Jackson, Thabo, Perry Jones III, and a 1st round pick. I would happily swap out that 1st rounder for Steven Adams but it seems the Thunder want to hold on to him at all costs which, from what I’ve seen of him, is the right thing to do.

    I also had the idea, prior to the deadline, of trying to engage the Bobcats in a Tyson deal. My thinking was that they are a franchise desperate for a playoff appearance and would likely be comfortable mortgaging a little of their future in order to do so. I also don’t think it would be tough to move Jefferson to the 4 spot and, while their is the potential for spacing issues with those two on the court together, I’m not sure it would be some death knell for their offense. Anyway, here is the trade I had cooked up with the Bobcats (note: I’d have wanted an unprotected 1st round pick in 2015 and a heavily protected 1st rounf pick in 2017)…

  36. Donnie Walsh

    Woodson is a CAA client. Firing him mid season would be bad form. I do believe CAA has power and influence with The Knicks

    Haha. CAA isn’t the reason Woodson is still coach of the Knicks. They got him his contract, and they’ll get him his next contract. If he’s fired, he still gets paid. It is in CAA’s interest for the Knicks to succeed. Their other clients on the team are A LOT more powerful.

    The reason Woodson is still coach is because James Dolan, for all of his flaws, is a loyal person, and when he gives a vote of confidence he stands by it, even if it was a retarded vote in the first place.

    *

    Why are the Knicks playing for 2015 Free Agents? That class is going to be weak. 2016 is the year the Knicks should be clearing for. That is the 2010 meat market all over again, no?

  37. Sweetney Ate Curry

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=l8keptn

    Here’s my logic: Obviously, the biggest benefit here is the draft picks I mentioned above. That’s what this trade really accomplishes. The ancillary benefits are shedding salary (thanks to Gordon’s expiring, even if it doesn’t bring us below the cap, it brings us a little closer to getting below the tax-apron and opening up the full mid-level a little sooner than we expected), and getting a cheap young asset in Biyombo. Now, I don’t think Biyombo has a very high ceiling but he’s still got room to improve given how young and raw he is and you can do a lot worse for a 15-20 minute backup 5.

    Obviously, this particular ship has sailed with the passing of the deadline but these are the types of trades we should have been exploring for Tyson throughout this season and I hope we look for a deal of this ilk come summertime.

  38. Brian Cronin

    Sure, I’d take a flier on anyone who can hit a three at this point. Although I could easily see a Chicago reunion in the cards for Gordon.

  39. lavor postell

    Gordon is at least worth a shot and we can do Udrih a favor by waiving him. Not sure how much BG has left in the tank, but on a team where he doesn’t need to shot create and has carte blanche to launch from beyond the arc he might provide a slight boost. I’d rather waive Udrih though and bring up somebody from the D-League that’s having a nice season. Anybody follow the D-League and have suggestions or thoughts?

  40. johnno

    How about Bobby Brown? He’s playing in China and, in December, scored 74 points in a game. That’s one point shy of the most ever in a Chinese League game, which is really impressive — until you consider that the record of 75 is held by Quincy Douby…

  41. yellowboy90

    As bad as Granger has looked I would definitely take a flyer and see if he can use his skills to beat 4s instead of 3s.

  42. DRed

    Ben Gordon? Why would we sign Ben Gordon? The only benefit of having Ben Gordon would be being spared the humiliation of watching a washed up Ben Gordon torching the Knicks for someone else. If we’re going to cut Beno, we need to add someone who could plausibly be decent next year or the year after. There is no point to this lousy Knicks team adding anyone who is 30 years old to the roster. Same goes for Granger, although he can at least still play a bit.

    Shit, even if Bobby Brown was as bad as Ben Gordon, at least he’d give us joke making material.

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