Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wait, This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen. What Now?

It’s been an interesting week on the New York blogosphere, with hometown hero Jim Cavan pondering whether the Knicks should trade Carmelo Anthony over at Bleacher Report and friends Jared Dubin and netw3rk exchanging e-mails about whether or not to blow up the team (unclear on whether they mean that literally) at Grantland.

Both pieces are well-written and entertaining, but both are ultimately undecided on the path the Knicks should take. As Dubin outlined in the Grantland piece, there isn’t any one quick fix – there are just too many problems to be fixed overnight in one broad stroke.

But the fact remains that many Knicks fans are left standing still with their mouths agape. After winning 54 games a year ago and pushing the impressive Pacers to six games, the team has fallen apart at the seams, helped along by an injury to Tyson Chandler.

On one hand, it seems like the season has barely started. It seems like just yesterday the Heat and Bulls were squaring off on opening night. But that was five weeks ago. And over the last five weeks, the Knicks have tumbled to 3-13, tied for the worst record in the entire league. It happened so fast that many fans and analysts have stopped in their tracks, saying “wait a minute, this wasn’t supposed to happen.”

“So what the hell do we do now?”

That’s the question that everyone seems to be asking, from the fans all the way up to the front office. And nobody seems to know.

When a team has an unexpectedly bad start to the season, there are a number of different paths they can take to try to fix things. They can stand pat and hope the issues resolve themselves with time, they can reverse course and blow up the team, or they can double-down and try to flip their assets for new players that might be able to shake things up.

In the case of the Knicks, well, none of them seem feasible.

Stand Pat

“We should wait for Chandler to get healthy, everything will be fine.”

This is a nice sentiment, and not totally incorrect. When Chandler is healthy, this Knicks’ team is completely different. They have a defensive anchor to patrol the paint, and they have a roll man off high screens that acts like a black hole in the middle of the floor, opening up shooters on the perimeters as the defense crashes down on him, afraid of a lob. When Chandler returns to health, the Knicks will undoubtedly be a better team.

The problem, however, is that by the time the Knicks have a healthy Chandler back, they could have a record in the neighborhood of 5-21 (or something similarly crappy). The list of teams that start the season that poorly and then turn it around to make the playoffs isn’t very long. Even with the East as terrible as it is, the Knicks would need to finish the season 31-25 (or something similarly impressive) to even get to 36-46, the worst record of any playoff team in the last 15 years.

In other words, for the Knicks to have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, they would need (a) Chandler to return to the lineup posthaste, (b) him to be a universal salve for all of their ills, and (c) to begin winning games with alarming frequency immediately upon his arrival back in the lineup.

Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Reverse Course

“We should trade Carmelo”

The logic here is pretty simple:

1. Carmelo Anthony is a good basketball player
2. The Knicks are not a good team even with Carmelo Anthony
3. There are other teams who would want Carmelo Anthony
4. Trade Carmelo Anthony to one of those teams and receive picks/young players/valuable assets in return

This is something that many struggling teams do – if they have a valuable player and they can’t win even when he does play, or he is too expensive for their liking, or they don’t plan on keeping him around for the long-term (or all three of the above), they should trade him to a team that believes they can win with him, his price tag is manageable, and he is a part of their long-term plans. Memphis traded Pau Gasol for Marc Gasol (and cap relief) and turned themselves into a contender just a handful of years later. Seattle traded Ray Allen and used the draft pick they got in return to spur a rebuilding effort. The Knicks, conceivably, would do the same with Carmelo Anthony.

Here’s the problem, though: The Knicks don’t possess their first-round draft pick this year. It is controlled by Denver because of (a cruel twist of fate) the Carmelo Anthony trade three years ago. So the idea of “Trade Carmelo and Bottom Out” doesn’t work because there’s nothing to bottom out to (kind of like in 2009-2010 when the Jazz held New York’s 2010 No. 1 – the Knicks seem to have a habit of trading unprotected No. 1’s).

So, if they were to trade Carmelo, they would need to be sure to either get back a mind-blowing haul of young players and/or picks, or find a way to clear out all the dead money on their cap (cough Amar’e cough) – or both.

But here’s the problem with THAT: It’s effectively impossible. There aren’t any teams that are [dumb enough to/capable of] clear(ing) that money for New York AND offering any assets in return. The only potential suitor, Brooklyn, already surrendered all their available first round picks between now and 2075 in the Boston trade that netted them Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

The only way to trade Carmelo and dump Amar’e with him is the zero-sum game of “You get Carmelo but have to take Amar’e,” and the Knicks don’t really get any assets in return (unless the Knicks agree to take back a similarly onerous contract – like Joe Johnson or Gerald Wallace)

The only option would be to (as Jim suggested in his Bleacher Report article) trade Carmelo for cheap assets and contracts that expire in 2015 (or before), something like to Cleveland for Anderson Varejao ($9.8 million team option for next season), Dion Waiters (rookie contract), C.J. Miles ($2.2 million expiring), and Earl Clark ($4.2 million this season and next season), and a future pick.

And again, another problem: Most teams wouldn’t be interested in Carmelo Anthony right now. Because of his player option for next season, even teams in “win-now” mode could be scared away. And many teams, in fact, aren’t in “win-now” mode, because they control their own first-round pick and are happy to play out the season for a chance a top draft pick next year. On top of that, the days of front offices that trip over themselves to get “a star” (with no consideration as to who that star is, how they fit on the team, or what they’re actually worth in regards to the salary cap) are mostly gone. Very few teams operate that way anymore. Teams are much more discerning now, and teams would be much more hesitant to trade for a player that carries a price tag like Carmelo, but doesn’t carry the guaranteed-title-contender status that someone like LeBron or Durant or Chris Paul does. Other than Cleveland and possibly Chicago, there just won’t be enough interest in landing Carmelo in that type of trade.

(Complicating things further is that it’s incredibly hard to swing a four-for-one trade like the one mentioned above during the season once rosters are filled – the Knicks would end up having to waive multiple players at the back end of the roster, even ones with guaranteed contracts.)

TL;DR: it’s near-impossible to trade Carmelo during the season

Double-Down

“We should package our assets for another key player”
“We should flip Shumpert for someone else”

This is the move that the Knicks would normally make. It’s the proverbial moving around of deck chairs on the Titanic and calling it a new ship, even as it’s actively sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic (Double-win here because the Knicks ARE at the bottom of the Atlantic – division. #NailedIt).

Once again, there’s a problem, and it’s two-fold, to match the two quotes above:

First, all the small-to-mid-sized assets that would normally be packaged together to net a key player…. They were already used. To net Andrea Bargnani. Novak, Camby, Quentin Richardson, and three picks (including a 2016 No. 1) were dealt away for a player that Toronto was having a fire-sale on and, if dealing with a savvy team (read: not the Knicks), would likely have had to throw in their own first-round pick to get the other team to bite.

The only small assets the Knicks have right now are Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway II, which leads us into the second problem:

Shumpert and Hardaway have salary cap figures that combine to just $2,900,520. Because the Knicks are over the luxury tax line, they can only receive 125% plus $100,000 of their outgoing trade cap figures. So, for Shumpert and Hardaway, that number is a whopping $3,725,650.

Plain and simple, there’s nobody that they can trade for with a salary under $3.7 million that is going to make the team appreciably better. They can’t sweeten the deal with first-round picks, because under the Ted Stepien Rule (teams can’t trade No. 1 picks in consecutive years), they don’t have any picks eligible to be traded until 2018 (their 2014 pick is owned by Denver, their 2016 pick is owned by Toronto). Flipping Shumpert and Hardaway for Young Player On Rookie Contract X would be purely a lateral move. Picking up a cheap, budding star like Andre Drummond or Klay Thompson isn’t even remotely within the realm of possibility.

Still, though, this is the course of action that the Knicks are most likely to take – and there’s a reason for it that isn’t entirely satisfying. Because the Knicks don’t control their pick, they’re more likely to try to over-extend themselves in an effort to win now. Why? So that the pick they convey to Denver isn’t a top-five pick and the Knicks look stupid for not protecting it. Instead of treating the pick as a sunk cost (which it is), the Knicks will likely look at the pick through the frame of “we can’t surrender a top-10 pick so we need to win enough so that it’s only a top-15 (or -20) pick.” So the Knicks will flip Shumpert and/or Hardaway, and maybe even an unprotected 2018 No. 1 (because they never learn) for some “immediate help” that may or may not actually help.

“So what the hell do we do now?”

I don’t know. I really don’t. Firing Mike Woodson and turning the reigns over to someone who realizes that Iman Shumpert is their only good two-way perimeter player and one of the few players who actually makes the team better when he’s on the court, and that the team is at its best when Carmelo is playing at power forward would be a decent start. But that’s another story for another time.

140 comments on “Wait, This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen. What Now?

  1. TheRant

    A thoughtful analysis. Except that as far as I know, our 2014 first round pick was indeed traded to Denver but is now owned by Orlando.

    With a great 2014 class and our first round pick plus their own, 2014 will be a magical year for the Magic.

    For us, not so much.

  2. DRed

    Orlando gets the least favorable of Denver’s two first rounders. So the Magic get the higher numbered of the two picks. So yeah, Denver is keeping ours.

  3. JK47

    Are there GOOD options for the Knicks at this point? Not really. That’s what happens when you go into “win now” mode when you’re not good enough to “win now.” So what the Knicks need to do– and almost certainly won’t do– is go with the least bad option. Let this current Amar’e-Melo-Chandler team putter on to its destiny as an occasionally interesting failure, flip whatever pieces you can for assets and live with the fact that you’re going to be bad for a little while. What’s more important is what the Knicks must NOT do:

    1. Do not give a contract extension to Carmelo Anthony that covers his past-his-prime years.
    2. Do not take on any contract that runs beyond 2015, unless it is for a young player with upside.
    3. Do not give up young, asset-type players like Shump or Hardaway unless you’re netting more assets in return.
    4. Do not make any MLE or mini-MLE deals that affect the salary cap after 2015.

    Let’s see how many of those four things the Knicks end up doing– I’m guessing all four.

  4. DRed

    I love Chandler, but if it’s really impossible to trade Melo, then dealing Tyson is our only shot at getting valuable assets back. Tyson should be very attractive to teams in win-now mode.

  5. Donnie Walsh

    Hey, great article. It reminds me of a State Department policy brief, like “North Korea Policy Options”, which detail the problems, the possible solutions, and makes a recommendation based on the analysis. Great work.

    (…and, ironically, the solutions are the same in both fixing North Korea and fixing the Knicks: Dennis Rodman!)

  6. Igno-Bot 3000

    I think it’s worth it to trade Carmelo with no assets back.

    Is JR’s contract three or four years?

    Anyway let’s get the CAA stink off our squad and try to savor as much cap room for 2015 as possible.

    Melo/JR for Pau/Nash matches financially and I would have to think Melo would resign with the Lakers

    Deng/Boozer could work too, although I’m not sure the Bulls would want to do that.

    You could try to work out some kind of Melo/Chandler megadeal with the Clippers, too.

    I don’t care about getting assets back at this point. I just want to make it impossible for Melo to resign here. While I admire him as a player, he has been a toxic personality since he’s got here and ruined the fabric of the team. Chris Smith being our 15th man instead of Jeremy Lin is all I need to say.

  7. Hubert

    I wouldn’t necessarily let the fact that we don’t have our draft pick this year preclude us from bottoming out. It’s a sunk cost. Making decisions to lessen the pain of that sunk cost can dig a deeper hole.

    But you made the better defense for not trading Melo. We wouldn’t get enough good assets to justify it. He’s arguably improved as a player since we acquired him, but the package we would be lucky to get 25% of the future value we gave up for him. As you mentioned, all the suckers have been swindled out of their assets already.

    If you want to reverse course, Chandler is the guy you move (like DRed said). A contender would get two playoff runs out of him, and contending teams would give up good future value to acquire him. I would be looking long and hard at trading him to OKC or the Clippers. Preferably the Clippers because despite the Chris Paul renaissance being owed future picks from LAC is still a nice position to be in.

  8. Igno-Bot 3000

    He’s arguably improved as a player since we acquired him

    He’s definitely improved as a player since we acquired him.

    The letdown is in the intangibles.

  9. Hubert

    I actually have come to like Carmelo Anthony very much, despite the fact that I never wanted us to make the trade and I recognize that it was disastrous. I know he’s been awful on defense at times but when I look at his minutes load and rebounding effort it’s actually hard to scream at him for not fighting through every screen they set on him.

    If we trade all our tradeable assets and bottom out this year, no we won’t get a draft pick as a reward, but it will really test his commitment. If he’s the guy RuRu says (and I think it’s actually 50/50 that he may be) and takes a less than max long term deal that helps us rebuild because he wants to stay here, that’s better than whatever package we can get for him.

    If he just wants win now, than he’ll bolt and we can bottom out in 2015 with our draft pick.

    So I think the best move is to bottom out by trading all the pieces around Melo but holding on to him. Hopefully having Melo around can keep that draft pick from being top 5.

  10. Hubert

    Igno-Bot 3000
    December 4, 2013 at 11:27 am

    He’s definitely improved as a player since we acquired him.

    I think so but there’s a lot of anti-Melo sentiment and I didn’t want to accidentally light that fire.

  11. Hubert

    Preferably the Clippers because despite the Chris Paul renaissance being owed future picks from LAC is still a nice position to be in.

    Actually I just noticed you can’t get a future pick from the Clippers until 2017. I wouldn’t mind having that lottery ticket unprotected, but it limits the help you can get from trading Chandler.

    Would Jordan, Bullock, a 2017 pick, and a bunch of 2nd rounders be worth it? That’s a real long-term play for a short-term FO.

  12. DRed

    Melo has improved as a player as a Knick, but to think that means we should sign him for the period of his career where he should be expected to decline makes no sense. This is probably as good as it gets with Carmelo, and we’re 3-13. He’s just not a max player. If he for some reason gives us a huge discount, fine, bring him back, but otherwise you trade him for whatever you can get or just let him walk.

  13. JK47

    The idea that Melo is going to give the Knicks some huge discount so they can blow the extra money on another bag of magic beans is pretty hilarious. “Hey, we’re morons and we’ve utterly failed to surround you with competent players, but come back for way less money and we’ll try again.” Melo would have to be a very stupid person to agree to that arrangement.

  14. tastycakes

    So, if they were to trade Carmelo, they would need to be sure to either get back a mind-blowing haul of young players and/or picks, or find a way to clear out all the dead money on their cap (cough Amar’e cough) – or both.

    But here’s the problem with THAT: It’s effectively impossible. There aren’t any teams that are [dumb enough to/capable of] clear(ing) that money for New York AND offering any assets in return.

    Weird attitude here, like you’re arguing from the conclusion that Melo is “effectively untradeable”

    Nonsense. As somebody smartly pointed out in a prior thread, Jrue Holliday was moved in the offseason for a #5 pick (Noel) and the Pellies 2014 first rounder (top 5 protected). The Knicks can’t do better than a young stud and a lottery pick for Melo? There are definitely young teams out there with assets and picks (Orlando, Washington, Toronto, Cleveland, Philly, Boston, Sacramento, New Orleans, Milwaukee) that could be targeted. Some of them, like Orlando or Philly, are probably too smart to make a deal with things moving in the right direction.

    The problem is that I don’t believe the Knicks management will recognize the necessity of dealing Melo. Re-signing him to a max contract — you’re delusional if you think he’s going to take less — will be a disaster. And while it’s a shame the Knicks have traded away so many of their picks while staring into the abyss of the lottery, they have a couple of great assets in Melo and Chandler that can be used to get back into the game.

    They need to blow it up.

  15. JK47

    The “Melo wants to win” vs. “Melo wants every dollar he can possibly get his hands on” argument is going to be resolved once and for all. If he re-signs here with this sad sack organization for a max deal it will be clear as day that winning is not his #1 priority.

  16. Ach1976

    Melo, Chandler and Shump for Iggy, Klay Thompson and Bogut? Not sure if the Warriors think they’re good enough with their current roster but we know they were very high on Tyson a few years back.

  17. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    It seems that if the Knicks new Top Priority is not turning over a top-5 pick to Denver (as opposed to their old Top Priority of winning a championship), then the obvious move is to fire Woodson and replace him with anybody not beholden to JR Smith. (I’d say Herb Williams would do fine, but Herb is such a yes-man that he’s survived the entire Straight Shot regime, so I think it would sadly have to be anybody but Herb). A new coach would net some wins around the margins just to screw with Denver’s big block-party, and then Chandler can come back and the team can maybe get into the playoffs with 30 or so wins (maybe even get a top 4 seed, thanks to playing in the worst freakin’ division in the history of sports!)

    But, yeah, that goal is stupid, and leaves us with our thumbs up our butts come July. And it really just punts on the “what the hell do we do with Carmelo Anthony??” question. I guess just pray (or use that CAA capital Dolan’s built up) that he opts in, giving the Knicks until the 2015 deadline to trade him for assets. But if he opts out this summer, at what price do you draw the line at to resign him? What are the other options? Is a sign-and-trade (extend-and-trade?) even a possibility if he opts out? Or sign him to the max and then start listening to trade offers come Dec 15th, 2014? There don’t seem to be any good answers except to hope he agrees to a three year, $30 mil deal, but why would he opt out for that?

    But, like the article says, there’s no good solution for this problem at the moment, so they may as well “stay the course” for now. (And, it’s probably best to trade Chandler after the season anyway, considering he’s got a broken leg and all and probably needs to be able to walk before a team will trade anything of value for him. (And if Shump’s gotta go, fine, but turn him into a guy with a year or two longer on his rookie deal, just to make it somewhat worthwhile.)

  18. Igno-Bot 3000

    Nonsense. As somebody smartly pointed out in a prior thread, Jrue Holliday was moved in the offseason for a #5 pick (Noel) and the Pellies 2014 first rounder (top 5 protected). The Knicks can’t do better than a young stud and a lottery pick for Melo? There are definitely young teams out there with assets and picks (Orlando, Washington, Toronto, Cleveland, Philly, Boston, Sacramento, New Orleans, Milwaukee) that could be targeted. Some of them, like Orlando or Philly, are probably too smart to make a deal with things moving in the right direction.

    Jrue is signed for four seasons. Melo is signed for 3/4 of the season. Any team that would sign him would either be gunning for an extension or confident enough that they could rent him and then resign him. I don’t see any team who would take a shot in the dark at renting him, although the league is open enough that I don’t think it’s a terrible logic.

    I could see him only going to the Lakers or Clippers, or the Bulls as a long shot. Trade with the Clippers would have to be a 3-way unless the Knicks want to move forward with a rotation that has like six wings. Then again, un-matching pieces has always been their organizational philosophy. You could do a lot worse than a Felton/Shumpert/Crawford/Reddick/Dudley/THJ/Bargnani/STAT/DeAndre-centric team in an Atlantic Division where 35 wins will get you the fourth-seed.

    That Clippers team would be awesome, too.

  19. Igno-Bot 3000

    This is a terrible course to go down, but when was the last time a max-level player was on a team that went on a 3-13 run? Pierce in 07 and Wade in 08 come to mind, although the former team was tanking and Wade was injured that season I believe.

  20. Brian Cronin

    I could see the Celtics trading for Melo. They have all of Brooklyn’s draft picks, so they can afford to trade their own.

  21. JK47

    A Melo-to-Bulls trade is an interesting possibility. The Bulls own all of their own draft picks, plus a lotto-protected first rounder from Charlotte (1-12 in 2014 and 2015 drafts, unprotected in 2016).

    Melo for Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and a couple of first rounders– say the Bulls’ first rounder in 2014 and that Charlotte pick– would be a nice haul. Deng and Hinrich are expiring contracts, and if Charlotte continues to be a lottery team for the next two seasons you get an unprotected 2016 pick.

    Cap space in 2015, plus the Knicks’ own pick in 2015, the Bulls’ pick next year, the Charlotte pick… That’s a foundation of a future. Do a similar asset grab with Tyson Chandler and you’re in business.

  22. Igno-Bot 3000

    I’m going to make one more Melo comment and then I will stop for the day.

    I like him as a player and firmly believe that he could be the best player on a championship team. I think his increased efficiency last year and increased rebounding this year are evidence that he is willing/can actually evolve in his game. I think he is a top six or seven player in the league even with his defensive inefficiencies. He can shoot, he can pass, he can rebound and he is not afraid of taking the last shot. I think there is a lot to be said of that.

    But I do not want to pay him an exorbitant amount of money in his declining years while dealing with his baggage. I could deal with the former if he had the off-court grace of Dirk and could deal with the latter if he was getting paid $15 million a year. But it is unfair for us to deal with both. We’ve given him the money he wanted, the coach he wanted and the teammates he wanted (and removed the teammates he didn’t want) and now we’ve seen how far the floor has fallen. This is the house he built, and it’s crumbled. Are we really ready to sign up for more of this at a more expensive price? Do you think signing Kevin Love in addition to Melo (18 months from now) will remove this team’s toxic culture, bad coaching and short-sighted roster decisions?

  23. Brian Cronin

    But you see Melo staying there?

    Boston? Sure, why not? They’re a big market. They would have a great coach (everyone seems to be raving about Stevens), Rondo (who Melo apparently wants to play with) plus the Nets’ draft pick to add a top player next season. They would look to have a brighter future than the Knicks, no?

  24. Hubert

    While I admire him as a player, he has been a toxic personality since he’s got here and ruined the fabric of the team.

    I think that’s very unfair. What’s evident to me is that while he fancies himself an alpha dog and can act like one on the court, he doesn’t set the tone like you would hope a max player would (like Duncan, LeBron, etc). He kinda goes along with what the fabric is. And right now the fabric is shit and it’s bringing out the worst in him. But there was nothing toxic about his personality last year.

    Having said that, I agree, I don’t want him back at 5 years, 130 mil. But I would love to have him here on the kind of deal RuRu thinks he may take.

  25. JK47

    Melo can stay or Melo can leave, but the Knicks’ idiotic method of roster construction isn’t going anywhere. James Dolan runs the Knicks like a fantasy team– always has and always will. “Have I heard of this guy? Is he on ESPN a lot? Does he score a lot of points? Is he buddies with World Wide Wes? Does my band get to open for the Eagles if I sign this guy?” These are the questions that James Dolan asks when he is putting the roster together.

    There is no amount of losing or humiliation that will convince this jackass that the way he does things is wrong. We’re having the same stupid conversations about the Knicks we were having ten years ago– only the names have changed. The basic narrative is still the same. We suck.

  26. Nick C.

    Sad that a common meme around here went from “54 win team and all we are losing is some geezers that were shot, Chris “I played a few hundred good minutes most in garbage time and none with rebounding or defense” Copeland and Steve “no D, can’t get a shot off in the playoffs” Novak” to these Isaiah era scenarios. It f’in sucks but these teams are so reminiscent of those teams from the bizarro to non-existent defense, constant falling behind by double figures early, chronic inability to close, etc. I could go on, but you get the point. The problem is this team is almost being run to lose so I don’t see the return of Chandler and an uptick in shooting as the answer unless winning 37 games and the Atlantic is some great goal. The trading sounds good, is there another Dolan out there to trade with? However as noted anyone tradeable is at a very low point of value, Melo (opt out), Tyson (broken leg), Shump (sucks right now), JR (sucks so bad THJ and Shump look like studs). By all means they should not double down with a max offer.

  27. Igno-Bot 3000

    I think that’s very unfair. What’s evident to me is that while he fancies himself an alpha dog and can act like one on the court, he doesn’t set the tone like you would hope a max player would (like Duncan, LeBron, etc). He kinda goes along with what the fabric is. And right now the fabric is shit and it’s bringing out the worst in him. But there was nothing toxic about his personality last year.

    Having said that, I agree, I don’t want him back at 5 years, 130 mil. But I would love to have him here on the kind of deal RuRu thinks he may take.

    I don’t mind his demeanor on the court for the most part. I was perturbed two years ago by his body language when him/STAT were feuding for the alpha spot, but that solved itself.

    I mind the influence that he has on roster decisions. The removal of Jeremy Lin and the signing of JR/Chris Smith to be specific.

    Imagine if you were a team and had the opportunity to sign Kevin Durant to an exorbitant FA contract. You would sign him for 5/130, but would you sign him if you also had to remove your young PG (and replace him with a below-replacement PG) because they didn’t get along, and then take up two more roster spots with an inefficient player with a bad attitude and his brother who is not an NBA caliber player? Also Durant would have control over the roster and coaching decisions going forward.

    You probably would because he was Kevin Durant. But what if it wasn’t?

    I realize that Felton and Smith were good last year, and that Woodson was (generally) good last year and that this is a worst-case scenario this season.

    But still, what other team goes to these lengths for their star player? I know you can play chicken/egg with Dolan/Melo, but Melo is more than partially responsible for the state of the team right now.

  28. Owen

    “I like him as a player and firmly believe that he could be the best player on a championship team. I think his increased efficiency last year and increased rebounding this year are evidence that he is willing/can actually evolve in his game.”

    Tack on Melo’s 16 games this season to last year and you get numbers pretty much identical to his Denver years. There has been no improvement. He had a hot year from three last year. Take that away and he is the same guy as ever.

    I have torn apart Melo’s game so many times it seems trite. But it bears mentioning once more, he isn’t that great of a basketball player. He doesn’t defend well. He has never been much above average from the perspective of ts%. His only elite skills are shot taking and turnover prevention, worth something, but hardly enough to make him a marquee guy, or anywhere close. He isn’t that good now and he isn’t going to improve.

    I would be overjoyed if we could get some quality assets back for him

  29. ephus

    Until at least December 15, “Stand Pat” is the dominant strategy. On December 15, most players who signed as free agents become trade-eligible.

    The Knicks have seven games between now and December 15. If they right the ship (win at least three games) between now and then, then I would “stand pat” in order to see how the return of Tyson Chandler plays out. If they do not (two or fewer wins), then I think the Knicks have to seriously consider blowing this team up (trading Carmelo, Chandler and JR Smith) to get as many assets as possible and no contracts past 2014-15.

  30. d-mar

    In defense of Melo, put Paul George or Durant or Harden on this current team in his place and other teams would load up on them just like they do Melo. I’m not arguing that he’s better than those three, just that he’s in a very tough situation and surrounded by WAY inferior teammates than the Pacers, Thunder, Rockets, etc.

  31. bobneptune

    I wonder if Guitar Jimmy has realized as of yet how his impetuousness over the Melo deal has sunk this franchise. Should have let the adults like Walsh handle it. But there is always a way out.

    Call Denver (who @ 11-6 is a center away from being a real threat in the west) and offer Chandler for the Knicks 2014 pick plus whatever dreck (McGee?) is needed to make the salaries work.

    Then call Houston and offer Melo for the albatross balloon contracts of Asik and Lin plus Terrance Jones. Melo with Harden, Chandler Parsons and Howard would be a load in the playoffs.

    If Houston is not interested, inform CAA the Knicks will not be signing Melo for any max contract (as the Pirates once told Ralph Kiner after he hit 54 hrs one year and offered him a pay cut, “We can finish in last place with or without you!”) and to make their best deal for the Knicks (read young , cheap players or high picks) via a trade if they want the extra 30+ million that comes with resigning or sign and trade vs UFA. If not…. nice knowing ya……..

  32. Owen

    Isn’t Melo the guy who makes all his teammates better?

    Look, Melo is going to play a lot better this year. The way he is playing right now is unsustainable. He won’t stay this bad.

    But we have seen the best of Melo and it wasn’t worth hitching our future too.

    BobNeptune – I actually love that plan.

  33. thenamestsam

    If we ignore miracle-type scenarios, I think we can all recognize at this point that we’re not going to be contenders either this year or, given that we’re capped out with few assets to speak of, next year. So that means we really need to start planning for 2015 and beyond.

    Tyson Chandler is going to be 33 and starting his 15th season in 2015. That’s a lot of tread on the tires for a big man and he isn’t exactly Mr. Reliable from a health perspective now. I just can’t see him as a mainstay on the next good Knicks team, but he should be a super appealing asset to a team taking it’s swings in the next two years. The Clippers or Portland (if they decide they’re close enough to go for it) are obvious targets. OKC might be interested too. Tyson should bring back a couple long term assets.

    With Melo it all boils down to the money. At a reduced salary there’s no reason he can’t be a central cog on a contending team in 2015 and beyond. At the max the Knicks can give him, he’s a millstone. The Knicks should be gauging his feelings to the greatest extent possible, and simultaneously putting out feelers on what they could get back in a trade. Inevitably it’s going to be a judgement call because they’re going to be weighing the known (assets being offered in a trade) vs. the unknown (what sort of contract Melo will eventually take). I don’t think it’s a slam dunk to trade him.

    To me everyone else except Shump and THJ is 100% expendable (and Shump is too if he’ll bring back another future asset). I doubt there will be much demand for any of them, but they should be totally open to dumping where possible.

  34. Hubert

    JK47
    December 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm
    “Does my band get to open for the Eagles if I sign this guy?” These are the questions that James Dolan asks when he is putting the roster together.

    Made me spit my lunch out.

  35. Ach1976

    Call Denver (who @ 11-6 is a center away from being a real threat in the west) and offer Chandler for the Knicks 2014 pick plus whatever dreck (McGee?) is needed to make the salaries work.

    Interesting. Would Denver trade what may well be a top-4 pick in a loaded draft for Chandler?

  36. Hubert

    I mind the influence that he has on roster decisions. The removal of Jeremy Lin and the signing of JR/Chris Smith to be specific.

    I confident Dolan made those stupid decisions on his own, swayed by his affinity to CAA; not at Melo’s urging. If Melo had roster input we’d have drafted Josh Selby instead of Iman Shumpert.

  37. Igno-Bot 3000

    JK47
    December 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm
    “Does my band get to open for the Eagles if I sign this guy?” These are the questions that James Dolan asks when he is putting the roster together.

    Made me spit my lunch out.

    Is that why we want Kevin Love so bad?

  38. Nick C.

    In defense of Melo, put Paul George or Durant or Harden on this current team in his place and other teams would load up on them just like they do Melo. I’m not arguing that he’s better than those three, just that he’s in a very tough situation and surrounded by WAY inferior teammates than the Pacers, Thunder, Rockets, etc.

    Doesn’t that mean this team sucked to begin with. I don’t know that his most ardent supporters were putting forth the opinion that Chandler was the key to the offense. In fact, there was some speculation that Bargs was going to be a “floor spacer.”

  39. Igno-Bot 3000

    I confident Dolan made those stupid decisions on his own, swayed by his affinity to CAA; not at Melo’s urging. If Melo had roster input we’d have drafted Josh Selby instead of Iman Shumpert.

    Was the CAA-affiliation a thing on this team before Melo was here?

  40. Dan Panorama

    We won’t know the market for Melo, Chandler, Shump, etc until we test it. And at some point soon, a good GM would have to at least put out feelers on Melo/Chandler, either individually or in combination. Chandler, if he comes back healthy, should be an extremely tempting piece for any of the West teams trying to break out.

    I find it hard to believe a team like Boston or Chicago wouldn’t make a run at Melo even without an extension guarantee. Not necessarily a good run, but something better than dumping him for nothing or, worse, signing him for 5 years at the max. Detroit is trying to make the leap now and has a glut of bigs — would they consider Melo/Felton for Monroe/Jennings/Stuckey?

  41. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    “Does my band get to open for the Eagles if I sign this guy?” These are the questions that James Dolan asks when he is putting the roster together.

    Dolan actually thought that Donnie Walsh was Joe Walsh’s brother. When he found out they were no relation, he fired Donnie…

    (Hey, in the movie Jerry McGuire, didn’t Glenn Frey play a professional General Manager that didn’t want to commit a big contract to his washed up star?? Maybe JD should make his roster decisions based on the credo: “What Would the Eagles Do?”!)

  42. EB

    I think Melo needs to shoot closer to league average before anyone takes him. Right now I think I might take Gerald Wallace for him straight up. Better defense and doesn’t shoot 30 times a game at .514 TS %

  43. massive

    Blow up the team. Not now, but in the off season. These guys will still make the playoffs and win a couple games.

    In the off season, you trade everyone and keep Bargnani at center. Play him 36 minutes a night at center. Hopefully Jabari Parker stays at school for a second year and we win the draft lottery. Maybe even Kasey Hill will stay and we can get him, too.

    But if Jabari Parker really does stay a second year (maybe he wants to be the #1 pick badly enough), we have to tank for him. He’s the next all-time great. We’re already poised to suck, just go all out for it.

  44. Hubert

    Was the CAA-affiliation a thing on this team before Melo was here?

    I think it started with the LeBron pitch. They knew they had a sucker as soon as he walked in the door.

  45. EB

    @48 I think this team would win significantly more if they did try and tank. The organizations’ definition of bad players are most of the guys who helped us win last year. In order to tank we’d throw out or Kmart melody shump prigs felton lineup and bench Jr while actually playing Cole Aldrich

  46. Bison

    @d-mar (#35)

    In defense of Melo, put Paul George or Durant or Harden on this current team in his place and other teams would load up on them just like they do Melo. I’m not arguing that he’s better than those three, just that he’s in a very tough situation and surrounded by WAY inferior teammates than the Pacers, Thunder, Rockets, etc.

    It’s still Melo’s fault. I’m serious.

    The team is a wasteland now because of how he arrived. If he had simply waited a few more months to sign as a free agent, the talent surrounding him would be much better now, and we would probably still have a promising future.

    But the greedhead insisted on that extra contract year, forcing us to gut our roster. Our outlook is very bleak now, and I blame Melo for this.

  47. Hubert

    EB
    December 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I think this team would win significantly more if they did try and tank.

    It hurts because it’s true.

  48. massive

    To tank, all you have to do is the same thing we’ve been doing all year, and that’s play Andrea Bargnani 30+ minutes at center every night. You won’t win more than 25 games like that

  49. DRed

    To tank, all you have to do is the same thing we’ve been doing all year, and that’s play Andrea Bargnani 30+ minutes at center every night. You won’t win more than 25 games like that

    Look, we had the 3rd best offense in the NBA last year. Why was it so bad? Tyson Chandler’s inability to hit mid-range jump shots murdered the offense. So now we’ve got a big who can shoot and we’ve got the 23rd best offense in the NBA. Problem solved.

  50. EB

    It’s still Melo’s fault. I’m serious.

    The team is a wasteland now because of how he arrived. If he had simply waited a few more months to sign as a free agent, the talent surrounding him would be much better now, and we would probably still have a promising future.

    But the greedhead insisted on that extra contract year, forcing us to gut our roster. Our outlook is very bleak now, and I blame Melo for this.

    No its not Melo’s fault. We had enough last year to make the playoffs. We arguably have enough this year. Even if we don’t, we threw away a number of other opportunities that weren’t Melo-trade related:

    1) Lin
    2) Novak, whom we traded for Bargs
    3) Copeland could have been signed for a non-guaranteed 2nd yr. Hindsight certainly, but in so far as winning basketball games is concerned and not money there’s no reason not to have done this.
    4) Our team has the same 5 players who dominated at the end of last year: Prigioni, Martin, Melo, Shump and Felton!!! I just looked through a list of 126 lineups use this season and this lineup didn’t show up, not even for the 0.0 min the last one did!!!
    5) Its incompetence by the whole entire organization, the owner and GMs, the coach, and of course the players who can’t run simple plays, can’t hit open shots and don’t call out picks!

  51. EB

    To tank, all you have to do is the same thing we’ve been doing all year, and that’s play Andrea Bargnani 30+ minutes at center every night. You won’t win more than 25 games like that

    Yes. WE know that but does anyone in the Knicks organization or in CAA know that?

  52. EB

    Look, we had the 3rd best offense in the NBA last year. Why was it so bad? Tyson Chandler’s inability to hit mid-range jump shots murdered the offense. So now we’ve got a big who can shoot and we’ve got the 23rd best offense in the NBA. Problem solved.

    That strikes me as a poor analysis. Bargnani isn’t great but he’s hardly the problem and has done quite well on offense. I don’t think anyone believed Bargs should or would replace Chandler and his effective roll game and boarding. However the bigger issue, as THCJ pointed out before the season, is that we lost our best 3pt shooters which drove most of our offense last year. In addition, Melo had a career year shooting from outside and everyone on the team is shooting well below average from outside. And Melo can’t hit a shot to save his life. Has nothing to do with Chandler vs. Bargs.

  53. Bison

    @EB (#55)

    No its not Melo’s fault. We had enough last year to make the playoffs.

    So did the Celtics last year. Loading up on nearly-dead veterans is not forward planning.

    We arguably have enough this year.

    Only because the Titanic division is historically awful.

    Except for Lin, the blunders you cite are tiny compared with losing Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, and our 2014 first rounder in the Melo trade. Think of it: what those guys offered is largely what we are missing so desperately now:

    3-point shooting (Gallo, Wilson)
    defense (Wilson)
    backup center and rebounder who can play heavy minutes (Mozgov)

    Even if we couldn’t use them, they were very flippable for other talent. And we wouldn’t be saddled with Bargs.

    We lost all of that solely due to Melo’s greed. I blame him.

  54. ephus

    According to the New York Post, the Knicks are close to bringing back Jeremy Tyler. We are about to face another “Moment of Dolan.”

    The question will be whether the Knicks will cut Smith, who is also playing for Erie, guard Tour’e Murry, who is on the roster but almost never plays, or center Cole Aldrich, who has seen almost zero action despite Tyson Chandler’s injury.

    If the Knicks keep Chris Smith over Tour’e Murry or Cole Aldrich, I will conclude that the Knicks are governed by the Pentaverate or the Sandford Freemasons.

  55. DRed

    Woodson has played two point guards together for just 84 of the team’s 773 minutes this year

    A film study of the Knicks’ past 10 games shows they’ve surrendered baskets 60% of the time (82-of-137) and allowed 1.3 points per play when they switch—up from the 28% score rate and 0.48 points per play when they keep their assignments.

    Smith underwent knee surgery in July that sidelined him for much of the preseason; he admitted this week that his knee is bothering him.

    Anthony is shooting a career-worst 42.3 percent from the field on an NBA-high 22.2 attempts, including 27.7 percent from three-point range (to be fair, his TS% is only the second worst of his career)

    Amar’e Stoudemire? His minus-0.3 win shares is second worst in the league among players with at least 10 appearances.

    [Bargnani's] lived up to his reputation as a play-to-play sieve, made even more obvious in Tyson Chandler’s absence, and sports an acid-in-the-face 108.4 defensive rating (more than eight points worse than when he’s on the bench).

    Some sunshine I culled from two articles about us this week. But I honestly think this is our nadir. We’re about to start playing a lot more games against our fellow Titanic Division members, Woodson really can’t keep going back to the well much longer with the shit that is clearly not working, and Tyson is a few weeks closer to coming back. I still think it’s about time to blow it up, but at least we’ll be able to watch some winning basketball again. Or at least less frequently losing basketball.

  56. vincoug

    Hey, long time lurker here and I take issue with point #2. You’re putting arbitrary roadblocks in front of blowing it all up. Why do we HAVE to get back an amazing haul of players? Why do we HAVE to dump Amare in the same trade especially when he expires next season? Why can’t we do this:

    Blow it up. Talk with OKC about Tyson for a package of Perkins and multiple picks or to the Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and picks. Try to trade Felton or Prigioni to OKC for Fisher and a 1st rounder; if not then see if we can get a 2nd rounder from them. Bargnani’s been playing well, call every team in the league and see if someone’s willing to give up some future assets for him.

    Most importantly, I guarantee that if we continue to play like this Melo will leave this Summer, probably for the Lakers. Talk to the Lakers about a trade package for Pau Gasol and then flip him to another team. Also talk to teams willing to make a splash and try to win now: New Orleans, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Washington and whoever else. Jump at the best offer of picks and players we get.

    We have our own 1st rounder in 2015! Tank for the highest lottery pick possible and choose the best player available.

    The Summer of 2015 go after our own big 3: Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, and Rajon Rondo. Build around Gasol, Love, Rondo, our 2015 lotto pick, Shumpert, and Hardaway (I guess).

  57. EB

    @58 Bison.
    Well I think Lin, who has a ridiculous TS% of .641, is enough to contradict your premise. In addition, missing Chandler and Amare sucking probably have more to do with it. And citing your perceived needs…

    1. 3pt shooting, Novak and Copeland who are better shooters than either Chandler or Gallo
    2. Backup center is on the roster but we don’t play him.
    3. Defense, we had ronnie brewer but traded him for, idk a second round pick?

    Furthermore, when I said we have the potential to compete this year I was referring to the lineup that we HAVE NOT USED AT ALL, that played excellent basketball last year. I was not referring to the complete ineptitude of the Eastern Conference.

    I hope this clears up my points a bit better.

    DRed puts it nicely.

  58. Tony Pena

    A film study of the Knicks’ past 10 games shows they’ve surrendered baskets 60% of the time (82-of-137) and allowed 1.3 points per play when they switch—up from the 28% score rate and 0.48 points per play when they keep their assignments.

    That’s an amazing stat. Does it say what percentage of plays do they switch? One of you rich guys that can afford going to the game tomorrow should make it into a sign and smack Woodson in the back of his head with it.

  59. Z-man

    Why even bother debating “blowing it up?” It is not gonna happen. Nor is Dolan going to sell the team or hire Morey to run it or Pop to coach it.

    This isn’t fantasy basketball. We are dealing with real limitations here, including entrenched idiotic ownership.

  60. Bison

    @EB (#63)

    Well I think Lin, who has a ridiculous TS% of .641, is enough to contradict your premise.

    No contradiction: my premise included “Except for Lin”.

    The rest of your argument also fails. You can’t be serious about equating starters like Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler to permanent scrubs like Novak and Copeland. Gallo and Wilson are starters because they can defend; they are also able to create their own shots. They can stay in the game and contribute far, far more than Novak and Copeland can dream of doing.

    Imagine Novak and Copeland next to Melo for 36 minutes per game: it’s a total disaster.

    Now imagine Gallo and Wilson next to Melo for as long: pretty damn good, right?

    This is what we’ve lost, thanks to Melo’s greed.

  61. Brian Cronin

    For the Knicks to be able to sign Melo, they would have almost certainly had to let Chandler go anyways, as he was a restricted free agent that year and the Knicks would not have had the cap room to offer Melo a MAX contract without rescinding Chandler’s rights.

    In addition, I think it is unreasonable for us to ask Melo to risk the new free agent rules in the CBA. Where we can fault Melo is his refusal to tell the Nuggets “trade me to the Knicks or else I leave as a free agent and you get nothing.” But even there, “fault” seems strong, as obviously he just fell for Denver’s bluff of letting him leave as a free agent (why would they possibly want to do that?). Plus, of course, there was a bit of a desire on his part to not screw over Denver the way that Lebron and Bosh screwed their respective teams over.

  62. Bison

    @Brian Cronin (#68)

    For the Knicks to be able to sign Melo, they would have almost certainly had to let Chandler go anyways, as he was a restricted free agent that year and the Knicks would not have had the cap room to offer Melo a MAX contract without rescinding Chandler’s rights.

    Remember that we would never have had Billups if he hadn’t come with Melo in the trade. Without the trade we wouldn’t have wasted our amnesty. We could have used it on Amare instead, and that would have allowed us to sign the free-agent Melo for the max — and also keep Tyson.

  63. Brian Cronin

    Yes, they could have amnestied STAT, but they would never in a million years have amnestied STAT following the 2010-11 season. That is one of the main reasons why Chandler was involved in every trade proposal for Melo, because they knew he was gone no matter what.

  64. nicos

    Wilson Chandler is about as average as average can get- a pretty good but not great defender and an inefficient scorer. His rebounding is okay at the three, pretty crappy if he’s a four and he’s making 7m a year for the next two years. Gallo, uninjured, is a nice player but not worth the 32.5m he’s owed over the next three years (including this one). Who knows how he’s going to look coming off an ACL. Chandler, Novak, Copeland- all of these guys SHOULD have been fairly easily replaceable; unfortunately they haven’t been adequately replaced. A healthy Gallo- while still overpaid- would certainly be better than Bargnani but even if he was here and healthy I’m not sure if he’d make a real difference.

  65. EB

    @ Bison

    I’m not saying either Cope or Novak are better players but certainly they are better shooters and when you said we needed 3pt shooters, those were my examples of 3pt shooters we had and could have kept.
    They may not be elite players but they were good enough last year to win us the 2nd seed in the East, and are plenty capable of scoring and scoring efficiently.

    Your original premise was that the Melo trade doomed us. Lin proves that wrong.

    There are too many factors to count that destroyed this team. I don’t see how you can put that all on Melo. The trade may not have helped but it was hardly the end of the world.

  66. er

    This is what we’ve lost, thanks to Melo’s greed

    Is melo Gordon Gecko? He didnt do anything. Dolan and Walsh did the trade. The problem was the billups amnesty instead of stat

  67. EB

    In non-Knicks news, Basketball-reference.com just added a new section “advanced play-by-play”. I love it!!!!

    It also has FGA Blkd for whoever was asking about that for Amare.

  68. Bison

    @Brian Cronin (#70)

    Yes, they could have amnestied STAT, but they would never in a million years have amnestied STAT following the 2010-11 season.

    I don’t see why not. Everyone knew that Melo and Amare needed the same spots on the floor, and that Melo was the better player. Without the ruinous trade, we would have been faced with the following choice in the summer of 2011: Melo or STAT? The decision would have been easy: dump STAT.

  69. DRed

    Because, Bison, Jimmy Dolan is a fucking idiot.

    And I’d argue the Carmelo trade (which I hated) did not doom us. We had a championship calliber team last season. It just made things a lot more difficult.

  70. hoolahoop

    In defense of Melo, put Paul George or Durant or Harden on this current team in his place and other teams would load up on them just like they do Melo. I’m not arguing that he’s better than those three, just that he’s in a very tough situation and surrounded by WAY inferior teammates than the Pacers, Thunder, Rockets, etc.

    I actually think Melo is the most talented player in the league right now, BUT I think the knicks would be playing much better with Paul George or Durant instead of Melo.
    Melo is a stupendous scorer, but he’s still a ball stopper. I realize the knicks are a poorly constructed team, but with Durant or PG the other players on the knicks would be more involved and more in rhythm. They would not look as horrible as they do now.
    Same old story. No one fits with Melo, coaches included.

  71. er

    I actually think Melo is the most talented player in the league right now, BUT I think the knicks would be playing much better with Paul George or Durant instead of Melo.
    Melo is a stupendous scorer, but he’s still a ball stopper. I realize the knicks are a poorly constructed team, but with Durant or PG the other players on the knicks would be more involved and more in rhythm. They would not look as horrible as they do now.
    Same old story. No one fits with Melo, coaches included.

    Get league pass. The Knicks have some of the worst talent 1-12 in the league. I watched quite a few games tonight and Melo would be the only player who would get any playing time on any decent team. Houston has 4 pgs better than the Knicks collection. Look at Portland with The players they have no Knick besides Melo could Play. OKC’s role players have all improved vastly. Jackson and Lamb are worlds better than Shumpert right now. Come on. Melo has the worst supporting cast of a top 10 player and its not Remotely close. Paul George was 5-19 tonight until he hit 2 shots at the end and his team was up 10. How often does that happen with the Knicks. Get a grip the Knicks have a talent problem

  72. Brian Cronin

    Man, freakin’ Portland, man! They beat Indy on Monday and now they beat OKC. They are looking so legit. Batum turned his shit all around.

  73. ruruland

    All-time greatest SF (all of whom played some pf like Melo does) best rebounding year.

    Lebron: 8.0/13.1 (RR)

    Julius Erving: 8.5/16.2

    Larry Bird: 10.5/16

    Durant: 7.8/11.5

    Scottie Pippen: 8.2/13.3

    James Worthy: 7.7/12

    Paul Pierce: 7.3/11.2

    Wilkins: 8/ 13.6

    Rick Barry: 6.8/8.7

    (Elgin Baylor would be tops, but rebound rate not calculated)

    Carmelo Anthony currently: 9.9/14.2

  74. ruruland

    “Tack on Melo’s 16 games this season to last year and you get numbers pretty much identical to his Denver years. There has been no improvement. He had a hot year from three last year. Take that away and he is the same guy as ever.”

    No. Rebounds up, turnovers down.

    He’s rebounding better than any small forward the last 25 years (outside of Shawn Marion), and by a metric you commonly reference, Win Shares/48, ranked 13th among players playing 2,000 or more minutes last season.

    He is currently 13th in +/- net rating for players who have played more than 40 percent of his team’s minutes, after ranking first (ahead of Chandler) last year.

    And of the three players who were apparently essential to the Knicks success last year, one is retired and two don’t see the floor for their new teams.

    What could the Knicks do around Melo if they were getting league average production from 10 spots, max salary production from Amar’e’s spot, and a healthy Chandler?

    If the Knicks were getting Melo level production (in a different way) from Amar’e’s max salary last season, is there ANY DOUBT the Knicks are a championship caliber team?

    While there are some exceptions, on the whole and in aggregate, Melo’s teammates see efficiency increases and turnover decreases playing with him. Age has not mattered.

    Historically, how have offenses performed with Melo on the floor?
    By offensive rating, then where that rating would rank
    2012-13: 113.4, 1st
    2011-12: 105.5 15th
    2010-11: 113.5, 1st
    2009-10: 113.5, 2nd
    2008-2009: 113.5, 3rd (not a typo, four times in five years offense has performed at 113.5 with Melo on floor)
    2007-2008: 110.6, 10th
    2006-2007: 110.5, 7th

    Those aren’t the numbers of a “not very good player,” those are the numbers of a dominant offensive player who has had a tremendously positive effect with hundreds of different player combinations around him.

  75. EB

    2012-13: 113.4, 1st
    2011-12: 105.5 15th
    2010-11: 113.5, 1st
    2009-10: 113.5, 2nd
    2008-2009: 113.5, 3rd (not a typo, four times in five years offense has performed at 113.5 with Melo on floor)
    2007-2008: 110.6, 10th
    2006-2007: 110.5, 7th

    And 28th, 2013-14. YAY!!!!

  76. ruruland

    And Owen and everyone else on this thread, if Melo chooses to opt out so he can take the max from the Knicks, he’ll deserve every criticism aimed his way, and he’ll go down as one of the bad guys.

    He’s not in it for the empty plaudits, and he has more money than he can spend. Guy went through the playoffs with a torn labrum, facing excellent defenses solely focused on taking him out, carrying the offensive load while banging with rugged power forwards on defense.

    Is that a person in it just for the money?

    A guy who is currently leading the NBA in minutes played, who has been observed by many on this board to be the one guy consistently demonstrating heart, while taking much of the blame and being the biggest focus in the biggest media market in the country.

    Is that a person who is simply biding his time so he can squeeze as much money out of the organization as he possibly can?

    Does he look content to you, like winning and losing is an afterthought?

    What about the reports from media in different cities about Melo being the last guy out of the locker room, his head in his hands ruminating after another loss?

    Someone who doesn’t care?

    If Melo takes the max, you can call me whatever you want. I will write a post admitting how wrong I was, and leave this board in shame.

    Melo knows what he needs to do. It’s a very simple cost benefit analysis. An extra $30 million won’t erase the grave regrets he’ll have the rest of his life if he takes all the money he can get at the exclusion of a championship run (s) and the embrace of the city he loves.

    It would be nothing short of selling his soul.

  77. Brian Cronin

    But if that’s the case, why opt out at all? That’s my problem with your theory. If he wanted to help the Knicks out, he wouldn’t opt out at all. But he’s already said he is opting out. Soooo….

  78. Robtachi

    It really kills me to watch college basketball this year knowing the Knicks don’t have a pick. Even their customary mid-round pick would be pretty awesome, looking at a guy like Montrezl Harrell who looks, dunks and rebounds like an absolute monster, projected to be right around 15-20, with some serious upside (albeit raw). He’s the kind of young, freakishly athletic, high energy rebounder they desperately need and can be had with that kind of pick.

    Sigh.

  79. yellowboy90

    All the FA talk with Melo is silly. He will do what he will do and then fans and critics can react.

  80. d-mar

    I actually think Melo is the most talented player in the league right now, BUT I think the knicks would be playing much better with Paul George or Durant instead of Melo.
    Melo is a stupendous scorer, but he’s still a ball stopper. I realize the knicks are a poorly constructed team, but with Durant or PG the other players on the knicks would be more involved and more in rhythm. They would not look as horrible as they do now.
    Same old story. No one fits with Melo, coaches included.

    How’d it work out for Durant in last year’s playoffs playing without Westbrook? Not so good.

  81. ephus

    Reminds me of another Dolan moment. After 2010, Knicks had to decide whether to exercise option on Billups. The lockout was looming. Knicks commit to Billups. When the lockout ended, the Knicks amnesty Billups (before he played a single game since being extended) to create the cap room to sign and trade for Tyson Chandler.

  82. ephus

    NBA and NHL have different CBAs, which makes the comparison unfair. Melo could not extend for more than two years (2015-16) and he could not reduce his salary for 2013-14.

  83. Frank O.

    It’s more the spirit of the thing. Melo could simply announce he will stay with the Knicks and that he will take less. The message would resonate enormously.
    Instead he did something completely different. He’s hedging and the team knows it.

  84. JK47

    Another problem with the “Melo stays for less money because he wants to win” theory is that he will be throwing away at least one more season of his career– the 2014-2015 season. The Knicks have no viable path to upgrading a roster that is sorely lacking talent. The only contracts that come off the books are Beno Udrih and Kenyon Martin, and everybody else is a freaking albatross. You think any team in the NBA wants three years of JR Smith, or two years of Ray Felton, or a year of Amar’e Stoudemire or Andrea Bargnani? The Knicks are stuck with the team they have through next season.

    If Melo signs a deeply discounted deal to come back to New York, he wouldn’t just be leaving money on the table, he’d be throwing a year of his career away– a year of his prime, no less. And when 2015-2016 rolls around, they’d need to hit multiple home runs in free agency– they’ll need point guards, big men, shooters, defensive stoppers… The idea that they’re just going to go into free agency and put together some superteam is the same flawed thinking that led to the situation they are in right now.

    It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

  85. DRed

    How’d it work out for Durant in last year’s playoffs playing without Westbrook? Not so good.

    His team won 4/10 games against playoff competition. We’re 3-13 against less good competition. We haven’t won a single home game without Tyson. Is it ever Melo’s fault when his teams don’t win? If, as ruru claims, Melo is an offensive superstar who makes everyone around him better than;
    1) why is Melo not playing that well on offense this year; and
    2) why are the rest of the Knicks so terrible?

  86. ptmilo

    Those aren’t the numbers of a “not very good player,” those are the numbers of a dominant offensive player who has had a tremendously positive effect with hundreds of different player combinations around him.

    I agree that Carmelo is an excellent offensive player, but if you’re going to talk about on court numbers in the context of Carmelo, you have to acknowledge that when you start to look at other recent elite players who have at least 10K minutes both on and off the court, Carmelo’s net rating differential (offense and defense combined) for his career of less than 1.0 basically stands alone. On-off ratings are very weak over smaller samples sizes but once you get over 10K or 15K minutes off, you just can’t find a net rating career delta this weak.

    The guys who fit this description have a net rating since 2000:

    Duncan 8.2
    Paul 8.2
    Garnett 9.5
    Kobe 6.5
    Pierce 6.8
    Wade 8.7
    Dirk 11.2

    Carmelo is 0.9. On/Off numbers even over large samples are hardly definitive (even if you attempted to adjust them — these are unadjusted), but they should at least be acknowledged in the context of this kind of conversation.

  87. er

    His team won 4/10 games against playoff competition. We’re 3-13 against less good competition. We haven’t won a single home game without Tyson. Is it ever Melo’s fault when his teams don’t win? If, as ruru claims, Melo is an offensive superstar who makes everyone around him better than;
    1) why is Melo not playing that well on offense this year; and
    2) why are the rest of the Knicks so terrible?

    LA Clippers
    Portland
    Pacers
    Atlanta 2x
    San Antonio
    Minny
    Wiz
    Denver

    Knicks have had the hardest SOS in the league so far. Coupled with everyone sucking. For instance tonight is the first intra divisional game

    This is less competition? Melo hasnt been shooting well but everyone else has been god awful. EVERYONE. No one is doing anything avg except Bargnani. Add in that the coach has not put anyone in the proper position.

  88. er

    I wish Melo would just go to LA. I want to get back to discussing a team instead of having a referendum on a player every few days for 3 years smh

    We need to get one of the KB darlings in like James Harden who had a -15 spurt in the fourth last night

  89. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    ruruland wrote:

    He’s not in it for the empty plaudits, and he has more money than he can spend. Guy went through the playoffs with a torn labrum, facing excellent defenses solely focused on taking him out, carrying the offensive load while banging with rugged power forwards on defense.

    Is that a person in it just for the money?

    To which Brian Cronin responded:

    But if that’s the case, why opt out at all? That’s my problem with your theory. If he wanted to help the Knicks out, he wouldn’t opt out at all. But he’s already said he is opting out. Soooo….

    To which I’ll add:

    Can Carmelo Anthony opt out of his current contract and sign this summer for less that he would have otherwise made, or would that be considered “circumvention”? Because it seems that ruruland is saying that Carmelo doesn’t care about money (“he has more money than he can spend”), and all he cares about is winning in New York. If this is true, then opting out and resigning for drastically less money is the fastest path to said goal. Can he sign for the vet’s minimum? Wouldn’t that be an unprecedented act of great leadership?

    (But, I have to agree with Brian that it does seem strange that he stated he would opt out, considering 2014-15 is kinda screwed as it is, and even reducing Melo’s salary burden to nil wouldn’t allow the team to add any significant pieces, right? So why not just pocket the $25,000,000, then play pro bono ball (yes, that’s the antithesis to “heroball”)

  90. DRed

    This is less competition? Melo hasnt been shooting well but everyone else has been god awful. EVERYONE. No one is doing anything avg except Bargnani. Add in that the coach has not put anyone in the proper position.

    The Knicks are unquestionably better than our record suggests. Like I said earlier, we’re about to start winning more games because we’re going to be playing worse teams. But if Melo was legitimately a top 10 player, we’d have more than 0 wins at home since Tyson went down. And yes, a lot of other Knicks share the blame, as they’ve been worse than Melo. But remember, Melo is supposed to make everyone else better. So why aren’t they?

  91. Owen

    PTMilo – That’s a better response than I would have given.

    There is simply no evidence that Carmelo has a “tremendously positive effect.” As you point out, the truth of the matter is that, taken as a whole, his impact would best be described as modestly positive across his entire career. That was true when the trade was made. As I pointed out then, Gallinari had better adjusted +/- numbers and comparable box score stats. while being younger and significantly cheaper. And it’s been true since.

    He just doesn’t do enough on the court to merit any kind of consideration as an elite player. His offensive skills, when you watch him for a couple years, actually turn out to be very limited. He doesn’t generate transition buckets. He doesn’t shoot the three well. He doesn’t play well off the ball. And his offensive workload keeps him from being a max effort defender. He is also a tweener, not quick enough to guard the three, not big enough to guard the 4.

    When I think about Melo, the sad truth is that his career has more in common with Carlos Boozer than with any legit NBA stars. That’s right, my favorite Melo comp. Carlos Boozer.

    Booz has had a very solid NBA career. So has Melo. But neither of them will go down as real stars.

  92. er

    He just doesn’t do enough on the court to merit any kind of consideration as an elite player. His offensive skills, when you watch him for a couple years, actually turn out to be very limited. He doesn’t generate transition buckets. He doesn’t shoot the three well. He doesn’t play well off the ball. And his offensive workload keeps him from being a max effort defender. He is also a tweener, not quick enough to guard the three, not big enough to guard the 4.

    This is wrong because he is very good off the ball. Can shoot threes since hes been in NY. Hes more of a 4 than 3. You cant argue with people like you. You want to see what you want to see. If you dont think Melo is elite than thats your opinion. The Knicks dont have the pieces to show how elite he can be. Last year was the closest. The guy won 50 for 4 years in arow in the west as the lead dog but all of a sudden hes not elite? The plan was for CP3 to come here and it didnt pan out. He would have helped to take Melos game to the next level.

    Nice Booz insult too. Bravo

  93. er

    The Knicks are unquestionably better than our record suggests. Like I said earlier, we’re about to start winning more games because we’re going to be playing worse teams. But if Melo was legitimately a top 10 player, we’d have more than 0 wins at home since Tyson went down. And yes, a lot of other Knicks share the blame, as they’ve been worse than Melo. But remember, Melo is supposed to make everyone else better. So why aren’t they?

    The Knicks had the Pacers beat at home until someone fouled

  94. JK47

    To me Melo is an 80’s-style scoring small forward– a Mark Aguirre, Adrian Dantley type player. Probably a bit better than Aguirre, not quite as good as Dantley. Alex English would be another pretty good comp. Nice players all of them, but not main pieces on a championship team.

  95. Dan Panorama

    I feel like people aren’t bringing up the most obvious impetus for a Melo trade. Which is, sometime a month before the trade deadline or so, the Knicks will probably ask him to either privately commit to an extension or let them explore trade options. If he — totally understandably — says no, then the game’s afoot. This is how everyone from T-Mac to Dwight to Melo in Denver ended up traded. Don’t see why it wouldn’t apply here too.

  96. DRed

    The Knicks dont have the pieces to show how elite he can be.

    So if you surround Melo with really good players, he’s elite? Come on, dude. Melo is really good at some things, but he’s not really good at enough of them to be an elite player.

    Here are the top 5 most similar players to Melo, per b-ref:

    Jack Tywman
    Jamaal Wilkes
    Shareef Abdur-Rahim
    Bob Dandridge
    Terry Cummings

    Here’s Chris Paul

    Jerry West
    Walt Frazier
    Magic Johnson
    John Stockton
    Dwayne Wade

  97. pablopilot

    This is entirely first-class and utterly warranted and well-reasoned negativity. The Knicks are hosed, deservedly so because of their own (Dolan’s) persistent stupidity. There is only one reason for a team with a high payroll in a huge market to consistently suck: poor management.

    I only disagree on one point: I believe Shumpert has does extremely little to distinguish himself to me an NBA player and is still being given a pass based on his athleticism and wishful thinking. I don’t think he has a consistent way to score, can’t create for himself or others or catch and shoot with consistency, he never has big (25+) or even medium (15+) games, he rebounds just above average for his position, can’t really handle and can’t play the point. So he’s a shooting guard who is not a scorer, which is a little like having a first baseman who doesn’t hit for power — a liability. His defense is okay, but not stellar. I don’t believe there are reliable metrics for defensive players so this can’t be proven. But he doesn’t get lots of steals or shut opposing 2’s down. Of course the Knicks D scheme is so baffling (except to teams trying to score on them), who really knows…

    So Shumpert is okay, but limited. Gerald Wilkins-esqe, perhaps? I still agree that trading him is unlikely to yield even equal, much less superior, value, for all the reasons given, plus I think most GMs are wise to his limitations and have no reason to overpay.

    So we’re back to the inexorable: the Knicks are hosed, this year and for the long term.

    Sigh….

  98. JK47

    Shump is not going to be a high volume scorer on this team, BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY ONE BALL. This roster is full of guys who do nothing but shoot every time they touch the ball: Melo, Stat, Bargnani, JR and Hardaway all have USG over 20, and Ray Felton is not far behind. Shump is one of the few guys on the team who is not looking to chuck the damn thing every time he touches it, which is a plus, not a minus as far as I’m concerned.

  99. Owen

    “This is wrong because he is very good off the ball. Can shoot threes since hes been in NY. Hes more of a 4 than 3. You cant argue with people like you. You want to see what you want to see.”

    The guy is a career 33% three point shooter. He has a career Win Shares per 48 of .133. Booz is at .155. And that’s not getting into reams of other numbers showing the same thing. Melo isn’t elite.

    And he isn’t good off the ball. That’s what Linsanity proved for me. Put Melo next to another ball dominant guy and he struggles, big time. He just doesn’t have the skill set to operate without the ball in his hands all the time, probably because he has never done it in his entire life.

    He’s a nice player. That’s pretty much it. Certainly not a max contract guy.

    I have been anti-melo from the start, no question about it. It’s not personal animus. I just don’t like his game or his contract. I really don’t believe he can lead us to a championship or anywhere close. And i am praying that his time here is drawing to a close.

    My traditional refrain is to hope I am proved wrong. Going to keep hoping….

  100. nyk8806

    Note that our discussions have all been focused on what above-board, cap/league rules compliant moves we can or cannot make. Don’t forget that this is the team that signed Chris Smith for basketball reasons (cough) and got away with it. Emboldened, I actually wouldn’t be surprised that WWW/Guitar Jimmy will find a way to get Carmelo paid (not just counting endorsements and other legal sources of income) through some some backroom dealing/offshore bank accounts. His opting out fits in with this. That way he can get his $, look like a great team player, and still win his chip in NYC. #legacysolved

    So, Ruru has gone all in with his pair of sevens, but maybe the deck is stacked.

  101. er

    Chris pauls teams have had more bad seasons than melos. Chris Paul is a great PG. Hes better than melo so i dont get the individual comparison. Melo isnt a stat geeks dream thats why he doesnt compute in these measures. He needs the right pieces to win around him. Same goes for Paul. How many of you think the Clippers have any chance at a championship this year? If they traded Blake for Melo than i think some minds would change

  102. JK47

    Here’s the problem.

    Let’s say everything goes as planned. Melo opts out and signs, I dunno, a 5-year, $40M contract. So far so good. Now all you have to do is let all the 2014-2015 contracts come off the books and go on a free agent bonanza, right? Championship here we come.

    Then you realize that the person who will be orchestrating the 2015 free agent bonanza will not be an actual NBA general manager, it will be Steve Mills. A very generous appraisal of Steve Mills would be that he must be smart since he went to Princeton, and maybe he has some knowledge of advanced stats that we’re all unaware of. A more realistic appraisal of Steve Mills is that he is James Dolan’s personal flunky whose main experience in the NBA involved being the fall guy in the Anucha Browne Sanders case. And if that appraisal is correct, then the reality is that James Dolan is the de facto GM of the Knicks. And if that is the scenario Melo is signing up for, he’s a lot dumber than I thought.

  103. DRed

    Melo isnt a stat geeks dream thats why he doesnt compute in these measures. He needs the right pieces to win around him

    It’s also why he’s not a superstar. Those are measures of things like ‘making baskets’ and ‘getting rebounds’ that help your team win. Melo doesn’t measure up to other superstars when it comes to those things because he’s not as good at basketball as they are, not because he doesn’t have the right pieces around him.

  104. DRed

    And if that is the scenario Melo is signing up for, he’s a lot dumber than I thought.

    If I was Melo, I would get the fuck out of dodge this offseason. And that’s a knock on the Knicks, not on Carmelo.

  105. Owen

    “And if that is the scenario Melo is signing up for, he’s a lot dumber than I thought.”

    I would respect Melo more if he left. It’s the smart thing for him to do. Honestly, would anyone fault Melo for jumping ship?

    And I will say, for all the flaws I see in Melo’s game, Dolan is 100% the problem.

  106. er

    It’s also why he’s not a superstar. Those are measures of things like ‘making baskets’ and ‘getting rebounds’ that help your team win. Melo doesn’t measure up to other superstars when it comes to those things because he’s not as good at basketball as they are, not because he doesn’t have the right pieces around him.

    Thats fair

  107. ephus

    Can Carmelo Anthony opt out of his current contract and sign this summer for less that he would have otherwise made, or would that be considered “circumvention”?

    Yes, but as others have noted above, the Knicks would not gain any flexibility from such a move because they will be way over the cap even if Carmelo Anthony played for free.

    From a cap standpoint, if Carmelo Anthony is going to stay (and suffer through a tough roster next year), the most helpful thing he could do for the Knicks would be to opt-in for next year and then sign a five year, $100 million contract. That is a $5 million/year discount off of the maximum that he could get from the Knicks, and basically the same aggregate money that he could get from any other team if they gave him a 4 year Max deal. It allows the Knicks to essentially shift $5 million/year out of the first four years of the deal and into the fifth year. If I really had my druthers, I would want the first year (2015-16) to be for $17.9 million (when the Knicks will have any otherwise clean salary cap) and to escalate from there. Give Carmelo a player option on year 5.

    People keep talking about whether Carmelo Anthony is a Max player, but “Max” is not one standard. The Max salary goes up depending upon years of service and prior salary. For example, Roy Hibbert got a “Max” deal that averages $14 million/year. The Russell Westbrook “Max” deal pays him $4 million/year less than the Kevin Durant “Max” deal, and Durant averages under $20 million/year.

    I think Carmelo Anthony is fairly valued as a $20 million/year player. In contrast, Lebron James is a true “Max” player. If there was no ceiling on an individual player’s compensation, he would merit at least 50% of the team’s salary cap.

  108. er

    It’s also why he’s not a superstar. Those are measures of things like ‘making baskets’ and ‘getting rebounds’ that help your team win. Melo doesn’t measure up to other superstars when it comes to those things because he’s not as good at basketball as they are, not because he doesn’t have the right pieces around him.

    What you said was fair. But look at a player like D Rose. What is he really elite at? But if you surround him with a superior defensive team with good role players ala Iverson you could win. Thats what you gotta do with Melo

  109. DRed

    I don’t think Derek Rose is a superstar either. I mean, if I could pick one player on the Bulls to have on the Knicks for the next decade (ignoring Rose’s unfortunate health problems), I’d take Jimmy Butler. I agree that teams with either Rose or Carmelo could win a championship. I think it’s more difficult for those teams to do so because they tie up too many resources on Rose and Carmelo.

  110. cgreene

    Stephen A Smith spewing all kinds of Knicks juice right now. Saying Melo is a goner and saying GG wanted to trade for LA not Bargs but was forced to do Bargs bc of CAA… And Stephen A is CAA mouthpiece. Wowza…

  111. thenamestsam

    GG wanted to trade for LA not Bargs but was forced to do Bargs bc of CAA

    I mean…what does that even mean? What pieces do we have to trade for Aldridge? I doubt the Blazers would have been bowled over by our Novak+Camby+1st round pick package.

  112. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    And Stephen A is CAA mouthpiece. Wowza…

    If Stephen A is a CAA mouthpiece, and the Knicks are a CAA “family member”, why would CAA let Stephen A say things that make both the Knicks and CAA look bad? (And from what you say he’s saying it makes both CAA and the Knicks look very bad)

  113. Owen

    I would take Derrick Rose over Melo if injury issues weren’t a factor in a second. He has had one great season .200+ and was on his way to another last year. Hard to tell where he goes from here.

    Jimmy Butler is interesting. Never thought about him for a second. He’s actually pretty damn good. He’s what Shumpert should be.

    Noah would merit consideration also.

  114. JK47

    How would the Knicks have fit Aldridge’s $14M salary into the picture without Portland taking back shitty contracts in return?

  115. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    I suppose, theoretically, the Blazers could have been up for swapping Aldridge for Chandler. But that wouldn’t have precluded a Bargnani deal, so I’m not sure why GG would be forced by CAA to do one over the other. (…And why would GG get fired for it, when he acquiesced to CAA’s wishes?… (…and why did Donnie Walsh get fired when he acquiesced to CAA’s wishes?… (…and why did LeBron James not sign in NY if everyone was acquiescing to CAA’s wishes?…)))

  116. thenamestsam

    Could have led w Shumpert + Salaries + 1st Rder for LA

    Doesn’t seem like that even gets you close really. A single 1st rounder (which if we got LA for just Shump would be pretty likely to be fairly low) and Shump are the only assets you’re getting or Aldridge? Can’t see that from their perspective at all.

  117. johnno

    I distinctly recall a few years ago SAS reporting that Lebron James was going to sign with the Knicks and then saying, “I’m not telling you what I think, I’m telling you what the hell I know!” Stephen A is full of crap.
    Re: tonight’s game — I will watch it and I will care about it because I am an stupid fan.

  118. DRed

    Re: tonight’s game — I will watch it and I will care about it because I am an stupid fan.

    Don’t worry. We’re winning tonight.

    (suck it, Cronin)

  119. massive

    If I recall correctly, the story came out that LeBron was all but poised to join the Knicks and his team had it set up for the greatest player in the world to play in the biggest city in the world. Then he woke up one morning and said “nah, I’ll go play for the Heat” and his management team spent the whole day trying to talk him out of his decision. CAA wanted him in New York City like hell, and that was the plan the whole way. LeBron just said “nah.”

  120. Mike Kurylo

    It really kills me to watch college basketball this year knowing the Knicks don’t have a pick. Even their customary mid-round pick would be pretty awesome, looking at a guy like Montrezl Harrell who looks, dunks and rebounds like an absolute monster, projected to be right around 15-20, with some serious upside (albeit raw). He’s the kind of young, freakishly athletic, high energy rebounder they desperately need and can be had with that kind of pick.

    Can he hit a jump shot from 20 feet? Otherwise what’s the point? He’d just languish on the bench anyway.

  121. Mike Kurylo

    If Stephen A is a CAA mouthpiece, and the Knicks are a CAA “family member”, why would CAA let Stephen A say things that make both the Knicks and CAA look bad? (And from what you say he’s saying it makes both CAA and the Knicks look very bad)

    Clearly you have never met a family where backstabbing occurs regularly between members. I can assure you that in these kinds of dysfunctional families, this makes perfect sense.

  122. thenamestsam

    I distinctly recall a few years ago SAS reporting that Lebron James was going to sign with the Knicks and then saying, “I’m not telling you what I think, I’m telling you what the hell I know!” Stephen A is full of crap.
    Re: tonight’s game — I will watch it and I will care about it because I am an stupid fan.

    I don’t know what he said about the Knicks , but he 100% was the first one reporting that both Lebron and Bosh had decided on Miami, and everyone said he was full of shit at the time, only he was obviously 100% correct. So take that for what you will.

    http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/stephen-a-smith-reports-that-lebron-james-and-chris-bosh-are-going-to-the-miami-heat/

  123. Hubert

    How many of you think the Clippers have any chance at a championship this year? If they traded Blake for Melo than i think some minds would change

    Yes, please.

    CAA, make it happen!

  124. Hubert

    Owen December 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    “And if that is the scenario Melo is signing up for, he’s a lot dumber than I thought.”

    I would respect Melo more if he left. It’s the smart thing for him to do. Honestly, would anyone fault Melo for jumping ship?

    And I will say, for all the flaws I see in Melo’s game, Dolan is 100% the problem.

    I agree. But if he does bolt, he’s the last superstar free agent we’re signing with Dolan in charge.

    Say what you will about Melo but he is respected. If he fights his way here and then bolts asap, that will not tarnish his legacy. It will tarnish our appeal. Hell, it will vanquish our appeal.

    Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that means we finally load up on draft picks. I doubt it, though. I just think it means we go back to paying mid-level players like Eddy Curry max contracts and the spiral continues.

    Hate Melo all you want, it’s in the best interest of the Knicks if he doesn’t run away as fast as he can.

  125. JK47

    Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that means we finally load up on draft picks. I doubt it, though. I just think it means we go back to paying mid-level players like Eddy Curry max contracts and the spiral continues.

    Yep.

    Look, building a team almost entirely through free agency is a difficult thing to do even if you have very intelligent people making the decisions. Building a team through free agency when abject morons are making the decisions… well, we’re all very familiar with how that looks. Somewhere in the most eternally hopeful part of my mind I try to convince myself that maybe Dolan will eventually learn some kind of lesson and hire a real basketball person to run the franchise and stay the fuck out of the way but that doesn’t appear to be happening real soon.

  126. DRed

    Look, building a team almost entirely through free agency is a difficult thing to do even if you have very intelligent people making the decisions. Building a team through free agency when abject morons are making the decisions… well, we’re all very familiar with how that looks. Somewhere in the most eternally hopeful part of my mind I try to convince myself that maybe Dolan will eventually learn some kind of lesson and hire a real basketball person to run the franchise and stay the fuck out of the way but that doesn’t appear to be happening real soon.

    The crazy thing is that we did a very good job of it just last season. We all know my thoughts on Melo, but Amare is the bigger albatross and despite his continued high money non-contribution we won 54 games, our division, and with some better minute management/coaching may have won an NBA title. (granted, the odds would have been against us, but it was possible for us to beat Miami/SA in a 7 game series last year). Considering the constraints he was working under, GG did a great job. So-we fire him, possibly because he didn’t want to trade for a terrible basketball player.

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