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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Washington Wizards 110 – New York Knicks 107 – Game Recap

Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris. Nescio, sed fieri sentio, et excrucior. 

Ah, the immortal words of the Latin poet Catullus. “I hate and love [you]. Why I do that, perhaps you might ask. I don’t know, but I feel it has to be, and I suffer”.

Setting aside the fact that it’s one of my favorite piece of poetry of all time (so concise, so full of meaning and deep layers – if you didn’t know Catullus by now I strongly advise you to read something by him, the man did write a lot of all-time love poems, and a few of the most lecherous lyrics ever carved into stone before pulp literature was really a thing), has anything ever been written that can be best applied to our Knicks?

I mean, we keep watching and hoping, sometimes hoping for losses, sometimes for wins. Sometimes we find ourselves deeply entrenched in the meanders of dubious present and future contracts, sometimes we’d like to burn it all to the ground.

Other times we end up losing a game and feel ourselves a bit empty, not knowing if we would have liked to lose or win. This game was one of them. Would I have been happier winning this game? I honestly don’t know. I guess that’s what happens when you’re not exactly sure about the direction of the franchise, and when shots don’t fall like they did against Milwaukee.

The good:

– One can only hope that when Frank will emerge from the dungeon, he will play with the same confidence and consistency that has characterized Damyean Dotson (17 pts, 9 rebs, 1 ast, – 3+/-). Dot’s numbers after stepping again on the court are really noteworthy: 17.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 1.5 spg on 62.5% from the field and 65% from three, all in just 26 mpg. Of course the shooting numbers are bound to go down, but let’s say he shoots just 45 from the field and 38 from three. That would still be good for around 12 ppg. If other numbers stay the same (and maybe he improves his passing a bit, 0.5 apg is a really meager tally) you have a picture perfect 3-and-D wing on your hand. I already suggested that, but I guess the best course of action for this season is to engage in a little play pretend where we selected Dotson with the 8th pick last season while drafting a promising French kid in the second round with the 44th pick. Dot’s activity on the boards is really good, and it’s hard to ever see him in the wrong place on the court. Still one of the great mystery of the season why Mario is starting in his place (not that Dot’s game suffers from playing with the second unit).

– As written in the game thread, this was one of the rare games I got to catch live thanks to a bout of insomnia. I finally got to fall asleep at halftime, with all of these blunders by Emmanuel Mudiay (16 pts, 5 rebs, 4 ast, +4 +/-). I can distinctly remember at least 5 shots of his that were blocked and a pair of ugly turnovers. Mudiay’s fourth quarter, though, was a sight to behold. Suddenly he was penetrating with purpose and shielding the ball from those vicious Wizards defenders. He hit one of his patented legs-on-the-elliptical-machine threes. He pushed the pace, a thing he has become above average this season, roughly in the 60th percentile among players who made an appearance in at least half the game for at least 10mpg, and second among Knicks with the same parameters (take a wild guess about who’s first – the answer will be in the continuation of the recap). I didn’t like particularly his overall game, as he was too distracted and unattentive on defense, allowing cuts after cuts after cuts, but without him there wouldn’t have been the final effort that made this game so much more palatable. If we’re honest, in the good column I’d have to put just Mudiay’s fourth quarter.

The bad:

– Allonzo Trier (2 pts, 1 ast, 50% FT, -12 +/-) is doing everything he can to help our front office in contract negotiations. After exploding for a monster performance against Detroit, he’s posting 6.3 ppg on 26.1 FG%, 3 rpg, 2.3 apg and an average plus/minus of -12. Sign him now! Seriously, it’s normal he’s gonna have some nights off. He’s a rookie, and he’s not a point guard by any means. As soon as defenses start doubling him he’s lost and muffled, like putting a pillow in front of a megaphone. He’s not ready to be the designated primary ballhandler of a unit on a regular basis, and that’s ok. He shouldn’t be unless the situation is favorable and demands it, just like it is and was for Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford. Tonight he just didn’t have any solution for the second half extra-tight Wizards defense. He even missed two free throws. Who knows what happens to the rotation when Trey Burke comes back now that Courtney Lee is healthy. If there was a time to sign Zo to a team-friendly deal, it is now.

– Mario Hezonja (9 pts, 2 rebs, 1 ast, +1 +/-) is a real aficionado of this column. I still don’t understand why we’re supposed to have at least a bad starter in all of our iterations. With Lance down, Mario’s stepped up big time for that role. What’s borderline unbelievable is that he has played much worse as a starter than he did when he came from the bench. Bear with me. Mario as a starter: 5.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.0 apg on 33% from the field an 22% from three in 18 mpg. Mario as a bench player: 9.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.2 apg on 40% from the field and 28% from three in 20 mpg. And this numbers don’t even paint the whole picture, as it’s defense where he’s really been otherworldly terrible. We’ve played 25 games and I think there’s no question about who’s the Knicks worst player this year. So, sure, make him the starter and put Frank in the dungeon (I hope at least Ntilikina is not in the Butcher’s room from the original Diablo). As for tonight: Mario came out a bit aggressive, then chucked his way out of the game. To me, the most notable sequence of his game was in the first quarter with 5:25 to go. He was tasked with guarding Satoransky, and after a simple action by the Wizards, Wall threw the ball to Sato in the left corner, wide open (Mario got sucked a bit into the paint by a strange defensive rotation). Hez was still the closest guy to Satoransky, but no! He yelled and pointed at Mudiay, who was much closer to his man (Beal), to go and contest the Czech’s shot, while he was running towards the center court, and maybe Beal. It was something else, really. It was the basketball equivalent of faking an incoming phone call so you don’t have to speak with the guy you spotted 30 feet away, only for him to greet you anyway because your phone isn’t lit up and it’s pretty evident you’re looking for an excuse.

Fun-sized bits:

– Enes Kanter with a double-double, again (13 and 16 in 25 minutes of action). His effort was critical in the first half in keeping the Wiz down. I won’t talk about his defense again, but Fiz threw a very sneak-tank move in the fourth, putting Enes as the lone big in a lineup with Knox, Dotson, THJ/Trier and Mudiay. He entered the game as the score was 93-84. When Vonleh was subbed in for him just four minutes later, the score was 105-89. He never saw the floor again and the game ended 110-107. I think you get the idea.

– Vonleh had a good game (11 pts, 8 boards, +9 +/-) but I can’t put him in the good section if he misses that many bunnies and loses the ball four times due to sheer carelessness.

– Mitch with 3 blocks and a monster alley-oop (Knox had the nice idea to throw him a lob in the first, but missed the spot by about 2 feet. Mitch was able to capture the ball and stuff it anyway), and some good defense in space. It stands to no reason that he only played 14 minutes (at least he’s leading the league – the whole league! – in BLK%).

– Chuck Hardaway Jr.’s new recipe to get over the hump: if you’re shooting badly, take your first shot from 30+ feet! An uninspired 20 points outing for Timmy, who’s regressing to his former habits: bad shot selection, not going to the line that much, not doing a lot on the court (2 assists and nothing else).

– Kevin Knox is putting a lot more effort in his game lately. He shot badly (again), hitting just 3 of his 11 attempts, but got 9 boards, some of them contested, and handed out 4 assists. I liked what I saw from him tonight. Nothing to write home about, but his heart was in the right place.

– Kevin is the answer to the former question! He’s the Knicks with the highest pace on the team (good of the 77th percentile in the whole league). He’s attempting wretched layups, but he’s wasting no time in doing that!

– I like Courtney Lee. He stabilizes whatever lineup he’s in. I’m happy he’s playing again. I hope he’s somewhere else by January.

– The botched uncontested layup by Lee with two minutes to go was hilarious: Lee went for the layup with swag and landed ready to treat those two points like it was nothing (in a very convincing fake way). The layup bounced off the rim. Lee’s face transformed in a second in an expression that suits the awkward kid from high school who has the talent to always say the wrong thing at the wrong time. It was the layup version of the Nick Young missed three GIF.

– David Fizdale said, an hour before the game, he wasn’t sure if Burke’s minutes would go to Trier of Frank. Hahahahahah. Of course. Why not.

I’ll wait for you at the dungeon’s entrance on Thursday against a Celtics team that’s playing much better than it did the last time we faced it. Let’s see who comes out!

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175 comments on “Washington Wizards 110 – New York Knicks 107 – Game Recap

  1. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    I can’t believe Berman’s comments and I very much hope they aren’t true. Wall is a good player, but every place else I read about Wall, he’s basically untradeable because he is owed so much money that no one will both take on his contract and give assets to get it.

  2. Farfa Post author

    Wall’s next contract is horrible. If Berman’s rumors were true it would be on the Bargnani trade level of awfulness.

  3. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

    As I said in the game thread, I wouldn’t trade Dotson for Wall straight up. I’m serious. No freaking way. I was done with the Knicks after the Melo trade until they signed Chandler. But Wall would be it for me forever.

  4. latke

    There must always be a Stark at winterfell and there must always be a multi year, catastrophically bad contract on the Knicks. Noah’s contract is simply no longer expensive enough to satiate this Knicks compulsion. Enter John wall!

  5. Max

    Wall and Oubre alone make the Wizards the easiest team to hate in the league (and they have Howard!)…
    I’m pissed that we’re 2-17 in the last 19 (including NINE consecutive home losses) against such a bunch of jerks…

    Against a team with a good backcourt 16 min for Lee, 20 for Hezonja, 36 for Mudiay… 0 for Frank, our best backcourt defender.

    Fuck Fuck Fuck David Fizfuck (and Perryfuck & Millsfuck too).

    P.S. If we trade for Wall I’ll leave my fandom until his contract expires…

  6. Hubert

    It would surpass Bargnani. The trade he outlined would be the worst trade in Knicks history.

    You need to be given multiple assets to take on Wall. I personally wouldn’t consider taking that contract on for anything less than what the Celtics got from Brooklyn.

    The fact that *we* would be the team throwing in multiple assets (Frank, Dotson, a 1 and a 2) is so beyond the pale it’s making me fearful it might be true.

  7. Farfa Post author

    The trade rumors page on HoopsHype is teeming with Frank rumors in the last week. Do not like it. It feels like they’re actively shopping him.

  8. thenoblefacehumper

    Great cap.

    Giving up multiple assets for Wall would be worse than the Bargnani trade. Even letting them dump him on us for free would be right there with Bargs, still possibly worse. That contract is going to go down in history and not in a good way.

    It’s really too bad that Chuck Hardaway is who we thought he was.

  9. alsep73

    I’m more worried about a Frank trade at the nadir of his value than I am about a Wall trade. Which probably just makes me the same sucker who was dumbstruck when Phil signed Noah, or when Mills signed Hardaway, or when Dolan let Lin walk, etc., etc. There’s a certain level of willful self-denial required to continue rooting for this stupid goddamn team. But a Wall trade would go against everything Perry and Mills have publicly said since Perry arrived. Which doesn’t mean it won’t happen; just that it would require some uncomfortable ‘splaining on their part.

    Thanks, as always, for the recap, Farfa. I missed the game and just looked at Knox’s shooting line and assumed he had reverted to form. Glad to hear the effort was still there, even if the efficiency was not. So long as his energy level is up, it feels like he’ll be a useful player.

  10. thenoblefacehumper

    I look forward to fans trying to justify Wall and KP leading us to second round exits.

    This seems…optimistic, if anything.

  11. Bruno Almeida

    If John Wall is pissed at the Wizards, imagine how happy he would be after his 15th potential assist of the night gets clunked by Hezonja or Knox. He would be overrated, overpaid AND angry all the time! Seems like a great fit.

    No honestly, if we trade for Wall I’m done.

  12. Hubert

    There’s a certain level of willful self-denial required to continue rooting for this stupid goddamn team.

    Oh god yes.

    And every time we get a new GM or President, some of us (like me) re-set our self denial. The wiser ones skip this and know that nothing will change until we get a new owner. But for us fools, it’s like building a dam to hold back the ocean. We look for little wins like “hey, that Melo trade didn’t suck”, “we haven’t traded a first round pick in a long time”, and “oh, that Trey Burke deal was structured perfectly.”

    But there always comes a point when the dam breaks. Right now, mine is beginning to crack.

  13. Farfa Post author

    The perfect drop of Catullus at the plus perfect time, Farfa, you magnificent bastard!

    You, sir, will hold a dear place in my heart for today :)

  14. Hubert

    I look forward to fans trying to justify Wall and KP leading us to second round exits.

    You think that shit combination would win a playoff series?

  15. d-mar

    I look forward to watching John Wall play for the Knicks at MSG and sneering and bobbing his head after he drains a 20 footer making him 6-18 for the game.

    Good times

  16. Hubert

    You know what, I’m not going to let Berman get me like this.

    Trading for Wall eliminates any chance of Durant. You may all think he’s never going to come here, but I doubt Mills and Perry think they have no chance. I trust they’ll hold out.

    Aside: Kemba on a max is better than a Wall trade on so many levels.

  17. Farfa Post author

    But there always comes a point when the dam breaks. Right now, mine is beginning to crack.

    I have to say that I don’t know what it’s like to be rooting for other teams (save for the Spurs, who I’ve admired since my Manu went there – I have an autograph from Manu dated 2000, when he was playing for my hometown club), but is it too much to ask for things to be said like they are?

    This is what is breaking my dam: I feel I can see through Perry’s mask, and it’s not pretty. He has connections, he can maneuver with some other front offices, but he’s not a good judge of talent and, most of all, he’s not a standup guy, which is the thing that irks me the most.

    Fizdale is acting as both mouthpiece and lightning rod for our front office. I don’t buy anything he said about Frank these last two games. I can’t: Mario is playing 20mpg.

  18. Farfa Post author

    Aside: Kemba on a max is better than a Wall trade on so many levels.

    And I can assure I’m a better singer than Jimmy D, but that doesn’t say that much, huh? :)

  19. Brian Cronin

    Kemba on a max would be moronic and yet it would be ten times better than John Wall’s contract. Hmmm…that might be a bit too generous to Wall’s contract. How about it is incalculable how much worse Wall’s contract is than a terrible Kemba Walker max deal?

  20. Brian Cronin

    Trading for Wall eliminates any chance of Durant. You may all think he’s never going to come here, but I doubt Mills and Perry think they have no chance. I trust they’ll hold out.

    You yourself noted that if Durant comes here, it will be because Mills and Perry knew ahead of time that it had a good likelihood of happening, right? So the same would hold true that they would know if he wasn’t going to come here, right? This Wall stuff might be them realizing that Durant isn’t coming.

  21. Farfa Post author

    Wall’s contract terribleness has to be expressed in complex numbers and Fourier transforms.

  22. Brian Cronin

    Here’s the other fascinating wrinkle in all of this. Let’s say that they do trade for Wall. Suddenly they can re-sign all of their current free agents. They can go over the cap to keep Mudiay. They can give the bi-annual to Trier. They can give the room to Vonleh. They can re-sign Mario to his current deal. They can keep all of “their” guys and get a big star. It’s like a win-win from a certain effed up perspective.

  23. Hubert

    You yourself noted that if Durant comes here, it will be because Mills and Perry knew ahead of time that it had a good likelihood of happening, right?

    Yes, but my level of willful self denial was pretty high that day.

  24. Brian Cronin

    As for whether the proposed Berman trade offer would be too much in the minds of Mills and Perry: They clearly don’t see Frank as a real asset (in the sense that they’re already moving past him). Same with Lee. The 2020 first would obviously be a late first (in their minds, because they’re dumb). Same with the 2020 second. So it would really be giving up Dotson for 5 (soon to be 6) time All-Star John Wall.

    Plus, he’s a former #1 pick! Think of the talent!

  25. Farfa Post author

    Here’s the other fascinating wrinkle in all of this. Let’s say that they do trade for Wall. Suddenly they can re-sign all of their current free agents. They can go over the cap to keep Mudiay. They can give the bi-annual to Trier. They can give the room to Vonleh. They can re-sign Mario to his current deal. They can keep all of “their” guys and get a big star. It’s like a win-win from a certain effed up perspective.

    Wall
    THJ
    Knox
    KP
    Robinson/Vonleh

    Mudiay
    Trier
    Hez
    Vonleh/Robinson
    10th pick?

    I’m puking.

    (How can they give Hez the same deal, by the way?)

  26. Brian Cronin

    (How can they give Hez the same deal, by the way?)

    Non-Bird Rights still allow you to re-sign a player to a 20% raise over their current contract. Acquiring a star by trade means that they don’t have to renounce anyone, so they could keep Hezonja for up to four more years on a deal based on 120% of his current contract in year one (and then normal raises in Years 2-4). Hezonja can’t beat that on the open market.

  27. Farfa Post author

    On the other hand:

    Sato
    Beal
    Porter
    Morris
    ? (Bryant? Howard? The presumptive 15th pick?)

    Frank
    Dotson
    Oubre Jr.
    Green
    Mahinmi

    It’s still a sucky team. Which makes it even more likely, knowing Grunwald.

  28. Farfa Post author

    Non-Bird Rights still allow you to re-sign a player to a 20% raise over their current contract.

    Oh god I was willfully ignoring this in all the Mario talking. You’re absolutely right.

  29. Hubert

    All the levels in which Kemba on a max is better than trading for Wall:

    1. Kemba is better than Wall
    2. Kemba’s max is 4 years at $35mm AAV, Wall’s is 4 years at $42mm AAV
    3. You don’t have to give up assets to acquire Kemba. You shouldn’t have to give up assets to acquire Wall, either, but apparently we don’t agree.

    So yeah. Here I am, praying that we max Kemba Walker. The worst is not so long as we can say “this is the worst.”

  30. Brian Cronin

    But you do have to “give up” assets to sign Kemba, as well. You have to renounce Mudiay and Mario (and actually, right this second, I don’t think they could even technically hold on to Burke, Vonleh and Trier and have max cap room for Kemba).

    That’s not much of a loss, of course, but what if Perry doesn’t want to lose either Mudiay or Mario? What if he and Mills look at acquiring Wall as a way to avoid giving up on Mudiay and Mario (and all the others)?

  31. ptmilo

    I’m with Owen. I’m not saying it’s real. But if. If. My fandom isn’t strong enough to survive a Wall trade. Or at least I hope it isn’t.

  32. Hubert

    But you do have to “give up” assets to sign Kemba, as well. You have to renounce Mudiay and Mario (and actually, right this second, I don’t think they could even technically hold on to Burke, Vonleh and Trier and have max cap room for Kemba).

    That’s not much of a loss, of course, but what if Perry doesn’t want to lose either Mudiay or Mario?

    Oh god, that’s right. They think Mudiay and Mario are assets. Why would they want Wall and Mudiay together, though? There has to be a limit to their stupidity, right?

    Besides that, though, there are a number of ways the Knicks could sign a 7-9 year free agent like Kemba and still retain Burke’s cap hold. They just have to move or stretch Lee.

  33. Brian Cronin

     Why would they want Wall and Mudiay together, though? 

    They’ll need a backup point guard and if they deal for Wall, cap holds don’t matter anymore, so the best part of Burke (his low cap hold) wouldn’t matter and they could pick Mudiay over Burke as Wall’s backup (they could even set it up like Mudiay is Wall’s heir apparent).

  34. Z-man

    This is the same paranoia that filled threads just before Phil hired Hornacek….that Phil had already settled on Rambis and was just going through the motions to make it look like there was an actual coaching search going on. Again, this proposed deal flies in the face of everything the FO said they were committed to when Perry was hired. The said that they were committed to youth and athleticism, not taking short cuts and not trading away draft picks. They said that they hope to be big players in free agency next year, which is far different than trading multiple young assets and draft picks for Melo 2.0.

    And until they trade KP (the most Phil thing ever), please stop with the “Mills is secretly committed to rid the Knicks of everything Phil” mantra. I would have preferred that he didn’t stretch Noah and did not sign any FAs this coming off-season, but given the possibilities next July, nearly every smart GM in the league would probably have done the same thing. The odds of trading him w/o giving up major assets were zero, and there was no advantage of waiting to stretch him later in terms of freeing up cap space to be players in FA next July. Why have the stench of his shitty contract hanging over the team if it’s 99% going to happen anyway?

  35. Hubert

    They’ll need a backup point guard and if they deal for Wall, cap holds don’t matter anymore, so the best part of Burke (his low cap hold) wouldn’t matter and they could pick Mudiay over Burke as Wall’s backup (they could even set it up like Mudiay is Wall’s heir apparent).

    GET OUT OF STEVE MILLS’ HEAD!!!!!!

  36. Brian Cronin

    It is true that Steve Mills never goes back on anything he says, which is why the future of the Knicks is all about Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez.

  37. Brian Cronin

    Also, Mills never said they wouldn’t trade draft picks. He only said that they wouldn’t trade draft picks for players who the Knicks could sign as free agents instead (i.e. Jimmy Butler, but more specifically just no rehash of the Melo trade. He pointedly referred to them not making “past mistakes” when talking about trading draft picks for guys who they could sign as free agents).

  38. Grocer

    Isn’t Berman’s track record with this group of guys pretty poor? You’re talking yourselves into this based mostly on minutes allocation in a season where winning isn’t a priority.

  39. Z-man

    KP? what did Mills do with KP? Not offer him an extension yet? What smart GM wouldn’t have done that?

    Frank has sucked horribly, yet played in every game up until the last two. What NBA coach would not have benched him earlier than Fiz did?

    Hernangomez was benched because he was the worst defending big I ever saw apart from Bargnani and Novak, and asked for a trade and got one. He has since been a benchwarmer in Charlotte with no market value above what we got for him.

  40. Brian Cronin

    So you’re saying that Mills changed his mind after his initial statement?

    But that somehow that happening again would be hard to believe?

  41. swiftandabundant

    We didn’t trade picks and players for Butler, we aren’t doing it for Wall. End of story.

    I get it. A youth rebuild is boring and no one believes the Knicks are serious, but they are. They aren’t trading mid season for anyone like Wall unless the deal is in their favor. Wall will only be a Knick if we get draft picks FROM Washington, not the other way around. Even then its not happening. Wall is too expensive, too old and not good enough.

    They’re only going to add an expensive star player via free agency. The list is Durant, Kyrie, Kawhi and maybe Kemba. That’s it.

  42. Z-man

    Also, Mills never said they wouldn’t trade draft picks. He only said that they wouldn’t trade draft picks for players who the Knicks could sign as free agents instead (i.e. Jimmy Butler, but more specifically just no rehash of the Melo trade. He pointedly referred to them not making “past mistakes” when talking about trading draft picks for guys who they could sign as free agents).

    Oh, so then it’s logical to assume that he would trade draft picks for players on horrible long-term contracts, which would be as close to a rehash of the Melo trade as you could possibly get. Are you really trying to say that the fact that Wall is not a pending FA makes a difference? Wow. I’m beyond shocked at the length you have been going to to manipulate every event to suit your entirely speculative narrative about Mills.

  43. Hubert

    We didn’t trade picks and players for Butler, we aren’t doing it for Wall. End of story.

    Butler had suitors. We couldn’t afford him.

    Wall will have zero suitors. We can acquire him for things that Mills and Perry don’t value.

    Apples and oranges.

  44. Brian Cronin

    Are you really trying to say that the fact that Wall is not a pending FA makes a difference

    Only noting that Mills gave a very narrow scenario in which he wouldn’t deal first round picks. Therefore, he can easily do lots of moves without going back on his statements earlier in the year. So if you’re resting anything on, “Mills said he wouldn’t do that!” then you are mistaken.

  45. Hubert

    If you think Mills and Perry wouldn’t be interested in acquiring Wall, your dam is a lot stronger than mine. He’s so Knicksy.

  46. thenamestsam

    I really don’t know how to feel about this rumor. On the one hand I think any Wall deal is really unlikely during the season. I’m not sure the Wiz really want to tear it down when they’re still probably a playoff team, and I do buy that as long as there’s even a hint of a whiff of Durant, Mills and Perry will keep playing towards that possibility. It’s certainly not outlandish to think Berman is just throwing shit at the wall. Knicks were playing the Wiz, his article needed a little juice so he made up a Knicks-Wiz deal that seemed reasonable to him (whoops).

    On the other hand, it is the Knicks so you should always be prepared for the idea that they do something dumber than the dumbest thing you’re considering they might do, and there is a terrifying sort of logic to it as people have laid out. I don’t think we can really say we have a good idea of how Mills and Perry will respond here because in some ways this is the first time they face real temptation to do something super, duper Knicks-y. The idea that they can acquire a “superstar” while giving up a bunch of “bits and pieces” is almost too perfect to be real. I can already hear Isiah lavishing praise on the deal on NBAtv.

    If I was a betting man I’d say that the day Durant officially signs somewhere else is the day we really need to worry about Perry and Mills digging into their “Bad Ideas” folder, but I can’t say it with much confidence.

  47. mase

    The line in the article “people around the league think the Knicks will make a run at wall” is past regimes. It’s the opposite move Perry and Mills profess to make with their patience and development approach. This article is nonsensical.

  48. MSA

    Should we really be freaking out about a Berman article?

    I mean, it’s the Knicks I know, and John Wall on a mega max contract is very knicksy, but when was the last time Berman anticipated a big trade like that?

    It’s not a rhetorical question. I really don’t know if it ever happened.

  49. Hubert

    It’s amazing how history repeats, innit? This from an article on Posting&Toasting that someone forwarded to me:

    Phil Jackson’s plan of pairing Carmelo Anthony and sophomore sensation Kristaps Porzingis with injury-plagued former NBA MVP Derrick Rose may have been doomed from the start, but at this time two years ago the trio teamed up to lead the Knicks on a couple of thrilling winning streaks that included impressive victories over the Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat.

    As of November 20, 2016, the new-look New York Knicks were sitting at 5-7 on the year (including 1-5 on the road) and coming off a disheartening loss to the struggling Washington Wizards. Over the course of the next two weeks, however, the team gelled, going 7-2 during a stretch that featured miniature winning streaks of three and four straight. Heading into a December 7th matchup against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the Knicks were 12-9, and as the great Michael Jordan once said, the team’s ceiling was the roof.

    The roof would collapse, with the Cavs destroying any goodwill the Knicks had built up by bludgeoning them to the tune of 126-94, and the rest of the season was not pretty, but the two-week period in 2016 between November 20th and December 6th was wonderful.

    And those two weeks, celebrated by some as the beginning of something potentially wonderful, were the difference between Frank Ntilikina and De’Aaron Fox.

  50. Bruno Almeida

    Like I said before, I don’t believe Mills in absolutely anything he says, and I still won’t. I haven’t forgotten his role in the Isiah debacle and the fact that somehow, through all the shitty moves that this franchise has done while he has been employed, he hasn’t taken one bit of criticism because he wasn’t the dude saying to the media “we have done this”.

    There has been no indication that he’s capable at his job and no reason to trust that he’s anything more than just Dolan’s representative.

  51. Farfa Post author

    There has been no indication that he’s capable at his job

    But there are at least 5 millions of reasons (Ron Baker anyone) to suggest he’s bad.

  52. mase

    This article has us up in arms but has zero credo ability. How would we be giving up picks and players and assuming his monster contract that no one in the league wants to go near. Berman must be a shit stirring wizards fan

  53. Hubert

    You’re right, mase. I should probably be more up in arms about the fact that we’re much more likely to go all in on Mudiay being the PG of the future. Once the Knicks have you up in arms, though, it’s so easy to get distracted.

  54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    a couple of thrilling winning streaks

    Arbitrary endpoints.

    Over the course of the next two weeks, however, the team gelled, going 7-2

    Arbitrary endpoints.

    miniature winning streaks of three and four straight

    Arbitrary endpoints.

    the two-week period in 2016 between November 20th and December 6th was wonderful

    Arbitrary endpoints.

    Posting & Toasting: thank u, next.

  55. Z-man

    Only noting that Mills gave a very narrow scenario in which he wouldn’t deal first round picks. Therefore, he can easily do lots of moves without going back on his statements earlier in the year. So if you’re resting anything on, “Mills said he wouldn’t do that!” then you are mistaken.

    Here are quotes from the initial press conference:

    The timetable for Porzingis’ return from a torn ACL is unclear. The Knicks will have a lottery pick in June’s draft and have plenty of holes to fill. The plan is to free cap room to use on a loaded free-agent market in the summer of 2019, so next season could shape up to be another dismal one. But Mills and Perry say they’re sticking to the plan.

    “When you talk about building a successful team that is sustainable, patience is required,” Perry said. “You don’t skip steps. There’s a lot that goes into building a successful basketball team in the NBA. There are no quick fixes. That has been tried a number of times here in the past. I think it’s important to remain disciplined.’’

    Mills added, “Unlike in the past when you’re constantly trying to hit home runs and striking out, this is an opportunity for us to build something from the ground up and is sustainable in terms of winning.’

    So are you really trying to argue that making the proposed trade for Wall wouldn’t fly in the face of these statements, and that the “loophole” you mention above is evidence that this trade is a real possibility? I call major bullshit on that.

  56. Z-man

    You’re right, mase. I should probably be more up in arms about the fact that we’re much more likely to go all in on Mudiay being the PG of the future.

    Now this makes far more sense given the context of the Mills-Perry initial presser.

  57. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    There is no reason to believe the Knicks will go after Wall other than Berman wrote it, and Berman is not a credible source. He reported a few things on Courtney Lee, like his wanting to be traded and his health status that Courtney Lee came out and flat out said was wrong. The Wizards are stuck with the John Wall contract and they know it. “Some around the league” believe the Knicks will swing a franchise crippling trade because some around the league still think the Knicks are a group of bozos dumb enough to make that trade. Phoenix is much more likely to do that. Miami might be dumb enough considering they gave Dion Waiters $52M a few summers back. There is no evidence that this current regime would max out KP and trade for John Wall and his 15% trade kicker. I’m not worrying about Wall when a guy like Lillard will be available on the market.

  58. Frank

    I guarantee this piece of clickbait is Berman’s most-clicked-on article this season.
    there’s no way in the world someone would think that trade is a good idea.
    Wall’s a really good player when he wants to be (right now) but everyone and their mother knows that contract is a gigantic zombie albatross.

    Perry (and not Mills unfortunately) seems to have a reasonable sense in terms of proper valuation of assets/albatrosses and I trust/hope that he would deep-six any trade like this.

    Re: Ntilikina – with all the trade rumors and his DNP-CD’s I would not be surprised if he’s gone before the call on Trier needs to be made. I wouldn’t be altogether upset about getting that protected Milwaukee #1 pick (protected for 1-3 and 17-30 this summer, 1-7 next summer, unprotected after that) in exchange for Frank. It’ll almost certainly not convey this summer so we’d be talking about a top7 protected pick for Frank in 2020. It is possible that Milwaukee will lose Middleton and Bledsoe this summer which might make that pick much better than we think.

    I’ve been a Frank optimist for a long time, but with Trier’s and Dotson’s emergence (and with both of them being at least passable defenders) I sort of feel like backcourt minutes will be limited anyway. It might be selling “low” on him but getting his cap # off the books for this summer + a protected 1st isn’t terrible value.

  59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Oh, you take that Bucks pick if they offer it to you. It’s a guarantee that they pick somewhere in the mid-20s next season, and considering that Frank’s contract is much more likely to be worth nothing than something by its end, you take what you can get.

    As long as he’s a Knick, he should be playing, but I have no problem punting for a future 1st, even if the new front office is the type of draft-genius braintrust to think that Knox is a lottery pick, when he’s probably more like a Greek Basket League role player.

  60. Frank

    Just to clarify on the backcourt minutes, it seems semi-clear to even a Frank optimist like me that Frank is not going to be an alpha-dog primary ballhandler in this league, which means you probably need to pair him with someone who is more of a primary ball handler guy. That means you play him at what would be traditionally thought of as the SG/SF positions — positions at which we happen to have Knox (maybe a 4 rather than a 3), THJ, Trier, and Dotson (not counting Courtney Lee), all of whom are honestly better players than Frank at this moment in time (maybe not Knox), and none of whom are really primary ball handlers in their own right (ie. they need a PG next to them). That’s not even taking into account possible FA acquisitions and/or higher ceiling future draft picks. IMHO the only place I could see Frank having a long-term place on this team is if he turns into a real PG — someone who can initiate the action, run a PNR, break a dude down off the dribble if necessary.

    What I would do if I were Fizdale would be to bench poor Trey Burke and just let Frank have those minutes to see what he can do as the main ballhandler. If he crashes and burns doing that for the next 500 minutes and shows no improvement then at least you know. If that’s the case his trade value will likely go down but he’ll always have some value in this league due to his youth, frame, and defense so I don’t think it’ll go to zero.

  61. Hubert

    @64 – I’m pretty sure the article was tongue and cheek, Jowles. I don’t read P&T so maybe I’m overestimating them.

    I just posted it because those two weeks cost us a great player and literally the same two weeks are probably going to cost us a top 4 pick, but for some reason people are excited about it. Again.

  62. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    During the winning streaks, Anthony was dominant, Rose seemed rejuvenated, and Porzingis was in the early stages of his ascent. Alas, the success was short-lived. By January, the team was in the midst of a meltdown, and today the trio’s triumph feels so very far in the past.

    Considering where they were each at in their careers, it’s almost comical now to imagine that the trinity of Melo, Porzingis and Rose could have ever worked, but there’s no doubt that two years ago, for at least a few weeks, they had the Garden buzzing.

    Nope, it was in earnest.

  63. Hubert

    So are you really trying to argue that making the proposed trade for Wall wouldn’t fly in the face of these statements

    A lot of things Mills has done fly in the face of those statements, though.

    Overpaying for Hardaway is a quick fix. Giving up on a 20 year after 14 games is skipping steps. Mudiay and Hezonja are swinging for the fences.

  64. Hubert

    @72 – Oh my, I see. I assumed it was a timely piece mocking the current sentiment that we’re building something here.

  65. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    The Phoenix Suns are supposedly desperate for some PG help.

    How about coupling Burke with Lee for an expiring (or two)?

    That solves a few problems.

  66. Hubert

    I just want to hold onto Frank until our chances of signing Durant or drafting Zion are both 0%. If we get a ball handling wing, literally all he needs to do is become a better 3 pt shooter and we can slot him in as a PG who doesn’t initiate the offense and defends the point of attack.

  67. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    @58

    I agree. I think he’s even worse than you are implying. I hinted at something in the past (that has since gotten some independent support from someone that would know), but I don’t want to debate it again.

    The whole bunch of them are very slowly losing my confidence (coach included).

  68. Owen

    I enjoyed THCJ’s Ariana Grande phase

    It’s pretty easy to troll Knicks fan. We may be paranoid but we have earned it.

  69. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    I’m not worried about the Berman article. As far as I’m concerned Berman is either dumber than a pile of rocks or a major league troll. Plus, I don’t trust him. He’s been used (or allowed himself to be used) as a mouthpiece for people within the organization with an agenda that had nothing to do with what was in the best interests of the Knicks.

    Trading for Wall would be so monumentally stupid, even Isiah and Dolan might not contemplate it.

  70. DRed

    You’d think we’d toss kornet out there sometimes with Mitchell as a rehearsal for when Porzingis gets back.

  71. geo

    i’m kind of/very glad i cancelled my nba league pass for the year…

    it’s so good not to be riding the typical knick emotional roller-coaster…first thing that came to mind ready farfa’s recap – man am i glad to be more emotionally detached this season…

    who cares, let them get wall, trade any and all of our young assets for a derozan type player and call it a day…

    indeed, hope is both a curse and a verse…

  72. Z-man

    through all the shitty moves that this franchise has done while he has been employed, he hasn’t taken one bit of criticism because he wasn’t the dude saying to the media “we have done this”.

    My recollection is that he took a lot of criticism for both the Baker and Hardaway Jr. overpays. He also took his share of criticism in the press when he was empowered after Phil’s tenure. Maybe not in the Berman circles but for the discerning fan, there was plenty of anti-Mills stuff in the media.

    I’m not saying that he’s a good guy or a good basketball executive. But it’s one thing to hold him accountable for all we definitively know about, and another to interpret every event (e.g. Frank being benched and Fiz saying he doesn’t have a dungeon, or Berman throwing shit against the wall as he always does) as if it’s part of some lurid deception that Mills is masterminding behind the scenes on the way to another franchise-killing trade.

    So far, there has not been a continuation of the circus atmosphere around the Knicks since Perry was hired. Does Mills get credit for that? (and waiving and stretching Noah is part of the reason for that, imho)

    Does he get credit for working with Perry to engineer a reasonable trade for Melo?

    Does he get credit for working with Perry to settle on Fizdale, who I see as a reasonable coaching hire for this situation?

  73. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    who cares, let them get wall, trade any and all of our young assets for a derozan type player and call it a day…

    The problem is that the evidence so far indicates they value offense over defense and volume scoring over lower usage efficient scoring. That does not bode well for us long term unless KP turns into a monster. A top level team typically needs three “scorers”. But if the team is loaded with inefficient volume types it’s going nowhere. If those guys can’t defend it’s going to be a debacle.

    They are underrating a guy like Dotson (6 DNPs) who has been one of the best players on the team, overrating guys like Burke/Mudiay, and underrating guys like Baker and Frank.

  74. Bruno Almeida

    @82

    I was talking more about his past with the organization Z-Man, he got criticized for the Hardaway and Baker moves because he was shown the media as the one directly responsible for them, he was the de facto GM at the time. Mills has been involved with the Knicks in some capacity for 11 years with the hiatus between 2009 and 2013 when he worked with Magic.

    My point is that he is not a fresh start, like Perry is, there is history on this franchise for Mills and it is mostly absolutely terrible.

    And no, sincerely I don’t think he deserves credit for the Knicks not being more terrible. Him and Perry did a decent work on the Melo trade, and have basically not shit on the floor like Phil did.

    I don’t think a very well paid executive with decades of experience deserves credit simply for not shitting on the floor. I’ll give him praise when he does something worthy of praise, and it will take many good moves for me to wash away the bad smell of him being in the franchise for some of our absolute worst years.

  75. Hubert

    I don’t think a very well paid executive with decades of experience deserves credit simply for not shitting on the floor.

    Especially when he has his pants pulled down and is squatting over the floor as we speak.

  76. geo

    it’s like one of those situations where you know you’re about to get dumped by a partner…

    if this wall thing starts becoming a reality – i want to make sure i’m fully emotionally checked out prior to that occurring…cuz, it would hurt otherwise…

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t think a very well paid executive with decades of experience deserves credit simply for not shitting on the floor.

    Try to imagine THCJ having an IRL conversation with a company executive about the 90-day stay on these ridiculous tariffs that are consuming my industry’s profits, and the executive praising Trump for the “negotiation” that led to the stay, all the while THCJ is thinking, “I don’t think highly of men who shit on my living room floor and then ask for praise when they clean it up.”

  78. vincoug

    So far, there has not been a continuation of the circus atmosphere around the Knicks since Perry was hired. Does Mills get credit for that? (and waiving and stretching Noah is part of the reason for that, imho)

    He can get credit for that but that’s a low fucking bar.

  79. Z-man

    I dunno, I guess I’m weird in that I can compartmentalize each individual move and separate today from yesterday. To me, everything that happened pre-Perry is not useful to consider in evaluating current moves. Sure, it’s a low bar, but as we have seen over the years, many have failed to get over even the lowest of bars. I’m just glad for the time being that a) we’re not a laughing stock or a circus act, b) we have the semblance of a reasonable long-term plan in place, and c) we are seemingly sticking with that plan.

    It might all come crashing down any minute, but yeah, I can credit Mills and Perry for the time being for giving me more hope of a reasonable rebuild than I’ve had in a zillion years. I don’t get the point of being all PTSD about every rumor or press conference response whenever something happens that isn’t in line with what I personally would do or say in the same situation.

  80. Bruno Almeida

    That’s pretty much it. For all we know Mills has been a big part of the toxic garbage mess of an organization we have had to endure since 2003, and we know for a fact he had a big role in one of the messiest parts of this whole pile of crap.

    I’m all for redemptions stories but there’s quite a lot of redemption to be done still.

  81. Z-man

    Especially when he has his pants pulled down and is squatting over the floor as we speak.

    That’s a horrible image to contemplate…

  82. Sir Robin

    Let’s let history be our guide; I’m sure you are all aware of a few simple facts of NBA history:
    5 teams have won a total 69% of all championships
    6 teams total 60% of all appearances in the finals

    The finals contenders were built by a combination of (in particular order) luck, management skill and coaching, with some well-timed direction by unseen forces in the league’s offices. We all know that Jabbar was traded for a two-fold purpose: to get him to LA and out of Milwaukee. (Per Clyde, the NYKs were in the running to get Jabbar and were discussing swapping him for Jabbar.) And if Red hadn’t swindled the Jazz, Magic would have teamed with Pistol to …? And if Dr. J hadn’t been sold to the Sixers, etc.

    The reality is that the game itself, almost by definition, results in the best player (or top two or three players) virtually being assured of winning. The anomalies can be counted on one hand: Rick Barry’s Warriors (although he did have a great year in 75); Zeke’s Pissed-Ons; the Bullets of 1978; Dirk’s Mavs, Lenny’s Sonics.

    Now let’s look at the NYKs history:
    1. their trading history is among the worst ever (except for DeB and Pearl)–NO MORE TRADING
    2. Their free agent history is even worse: the best they ever did was Allan Houston (think Spencer, Bob McAdoo, etc.). They were all going to “save” however, they never did. AVOID FREE AGENTS UNLESS IT WORKS ON ALL LEVELS: ROSTER, CAP, TIMELINES, etc.
    3. the ONLY titles they have won were as a result of drafting and coaching.

    I for one am not all that disappointed in the totality of our drafting over the last few years. I remember Bill Hosket and Tom Riker, so…

    For the older heads on this thread, at least we’ll always have Clyde (drafted 5) the Cap’n (picked 8th, btw) and those 2 champions. Holzman should probably have won even more titles, but the rule of thumb is to add a rotation player or drop a rung. After the team was formed, the drafting was horrible.

  83. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    What have Mills and Perry done well other than draft?

    Vonleh?

    They were handed a team with all its first round picks and we were already doing a fairly good job of drafting in both rounds via Clarence Gaines. In fact, Gaines may be responsible for KP, Dotson, Frank, Trier, and Robinson but not Knox because he always talks about the first group but seems reluctant to comment on Knox. He may have also had input on Willy from scouting KP. Clarence Gains is gone.

  84. Hubert

    To me, everything that happened pre-Perry is not useful to consider in evaluating current moves.

    I wanted to isolate the Hardaway and Baker signings, too, but I think that was part of my willful self-denial. The Mudiay trade (and his inevitable extension that we will regret before the ink dries) is right up the Hardaway alley.

    There have been a lot more good moves under Perry than we’ve seen in a while. But you can still see the Mills value model: get young, overrated, athletic, ISO scorers who do not play defense, score efficiently, or make anyone around them better. And get as many as possible without regards to fit.

    It’s the same M.O. we saw when Mills worked with Isiah, too.

  85. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    Try to imagine THCJ having an IRL conversation with a company executive about the 90-day stay on these ridiculous tariffs that are consuming my industry’s profits, and the executive praising Trump for the “negotiation” that led to the stay, all the while THCJ is thinking, “I don’t think highly of men who shit on my living room floor and then ask for praise when they clean it up.”

    I suspect there’s not a single competent economist on earth that thinks tariffs are a good idea when we are talking about two countries with similar tax structures, similar standards of living, similar incomes and benefits, similar regulations, similar laws governing business that are enforced.

    However problems occur when there are huge differences.

    If there are huge differences one side tends to win market share, profits (which are reinvested in the other country’s assets), and jobs and the other side gets cheap goods (for whoever still has a job and can afford those cheaper goods).

    It’s a winning formula for the planet, especially if you have a 50-100 year outlook.

    It’s not necessarily a winning formula for every country, especially if you have 1-10 year outlook and a lot of overpaid unskilled and uneducated labor that is becoming unemployed or under-employed as a result of job shifts.

    Tariffs just gets passed along to business and consumers. That hurts short term and solves nothing long term. However, if you can get some of the players to the table to negotiate a deal more favorable to your own country in order to offset some of the short term imbalances between 2 very different countries, it’s a win for the home team.

    The questions are:

    1. Are you willing to tolerate some short term pain (months or even a few years) from tariffs for some net longer term gain as a result of a renegotiation?

    2. Are you actually getting a better deal or are you full of crap?

    I assume you think the answer to #2 is “full of crap”.

  86. Farfa Post author

    To be completely honest, the Melo trade was a good move, especially if you keep track of where Melo is now.

    Also, I take a wild guess that at the end of their respective careers Mitch > Melo (not counting Olympic rings and NCAA titles because, well, they’re not NBA related).

  87. Hubert

    Man, I hate the Steinbrenner brats more than Dolan. Just sell the team, you cheap tax-evading bastards.

  88. ClashFan

    Berman is either a troll or his calendar is showing Apri 1st.

    What an ungoldy bad trade that proposed Wall one would be. BTW, just say NO on John Wall. What a waste of talent he is, and soon to be an aging, massively overpaid one.

  89. Frank

    re: Mills/Perry – I’m not sure it’s as simple as “get young, overrated, athletic, ISO scorers who do not play defense, score efficiently, or make anyone around them better”. Their model is clearly to shoot for the moon on physical upside then trust the coaching staff to develop. Kevin Knox for all his warts is 6’9″ with a big wingspan, 2nd-youngest player in his class, can handle and shoot, and at least before his year at Kentucky was thought of as a good defender. Those guys do not grow on trees. Robinson is a pogo stick hyper-athletic dude with amazing potential even if he has no idea how to play basketball.

    Guys like Hezonja, Mudiay, and Vonleh fall under that category too – physically impressive specimens who maybe just needed to learn how to play, and additionally fall under the category of “distressed assets” — guys who were thought of as having high upside but didn’t show it in their first stop. I’m a Knicks and Jets fan and so I’m very familiar with the idea that a specific player’s failure might not be 100% that player’s fault but the fault of his environment too — that is what Mills and Perry are banking on. And honestly – they’ve been proven right, and somewhat dramatically so. Vonleh is (in relatively small sample) a revelation – excellent defensively and pretty darn good offensively too – by RPM (whatever that’s worth) he is the 10th best PF in the league right now! Freaking Emmanuel Mudiay is the 32nd ranked PG (out of 92) in the NBA by RPM – that is AMAZING after being 81st out of 81 last year, 62nd out of 69 the year before, and 52nd out of 55 the year before that. Hezonja’s been terrible but if you add Burke being better than expected, that’s a fantastic hit rate on dudes that no one else wanted.

    It is true that Vonleh isn’t signed past this year and we have to figure out what to do with Mudiay now, but it’s exciting to me that Fizdale and co. have been able to do this.

  90. Bruno Almeida

    So we’re re-signing the worst starting PG in the league next year? Well at least he’s not the worst overall PG in the league anymore right!

    Farfa, the reason why I call the Melo trade decent is simply because were left with nothing. Kanter has helped us to meaningless wins that have hurt more than helped and will be gone either way, McDermott didn’t complete a season and the 2nd rounder we eventually used on Robinson, well, we very probably would have been able to get Robinson with the Clippers second we traded for Mudiay at 43 (or, if we’re going down the rabbit hole, our own 2nd rounder which was swapped to Denver in the infamous Travis Outlaw ordeal and traded a million times since then, which ended up being 39).

    In the end the trade looks nicer because we ended up with Robinson, and obviously I personally think not having to give away assets to trade away Melo is always a win, but that’s why I call it decent anyway and not very good. Melo still had a better reputation at the time and it’s not comparable to OKC having to dump him after last season.

  91. Brian Cronin

    They were hamstrung by the Melo No Trade Clause, though, so I think they did quite well by getting any halfway decent Melo deal. I mean, he’s been cut three times by three other teams while still on the final year of his original deal he got from Phil! That’s insane! Getting rid of that with his NTC holding them down was a major achievement.

  92. Frank

    Re: the “don’t play defense or score efficiently” thing, I mean seriously Mitchell Robinson is literally the walking antithesis of that statement. The dude is leading the league in BLK% and has a FG% of 63.5. Even after this recent frigid streak, Alonzo Trier has a TS of 58 on 20 usage as an undrafted rookie after posting a 60, 61, and 65 TS in college, and doesn’t exactly jump off the screen as hyper-athletic.

    Overall I think the combination of Mills and Perry have done a very good job. They have been remarkably disciplined and have stuck to their plan which is to snap up potentially undervalued players (“second draft” guys) and shoot for physical upside otherwise. They’ve stayed out of Fizdale’s way as far as I can tell and haven’t (yet) jumped at the shiny object (Jimmy Butler). The franchise itself has had a remarkable turnaround in terms of league-wide image to the point where well-connected and otherwise reasonable insiders like Zach Lowe, Brian Windhorst, and others are openly speculating that the best available FAs might sign with the Knicks. What else do you want?

    The only complaint i have with the regime so far is that they did not trade KOQ and Lee last trading deadline. I think it is unfortunately very likely that we will have to give an asset to get rid of Lee at this point, and so even getting a 2nd round pick last year would’ve been a victory.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens this trade deadline with guys like Mudiay and Vonleh — both are playing well enough that they could theoretically bring back some sort of positive asset, and especially in the case of Vonleh (who we don’t have anything but non-Bird rights on), keeping him has almost no long-term value to the franchise ie. we could even sign him with cap space or room exception in the summer if he wants to play here.

  93. Hubert

    Their model is clearly to shoot for the moon on physical upside then trust the coaching staff to develop.

    Frank’s physical upside is second only to Mitchell Robinson’s and it far exceeds Hardaway’s and Mudiay’s.

  94. Frank

    Man Berman is really on a roll now, most recently floating the idea of trading Dotson to get rid of Lee’s contract. wtf would we trade a young wing who plays on both ends of the floor and is only on the books for 1.7MM next year (after which we would have full bird rights and he would be a restricted FA anyway)? Just to be rid of Courtney Lee?

    who are Berman’s sources anyway?

  95. JK47

    Thoracic outlet syndrome is real, it’s the thing that caused Matt Harvey to start sucking at baseball

  96. Hubert

    Re: the “don’t play defense or score efficiently” thing, I mean seriously Mitchell Robinson is literally the walking antithesis of that statement.

    They had literally no idea who he was and just took a flier. I commend them for it, it’s their best move to date, but they just went BPA with their 2nd round pick. That doesn’t tell you anything about what kind of players they value. Drafting Knox at 9 tells you much more than drafting Mitchell at 39 or whatever

  97. Frank

    They had literally no idea who he was and just took a flier.

    I think this is an untrue statement – did you make that up or did you read that somewhere?
    If I recall correctly – they were in touch with his trainer who has an actual relationship with Scott Perry. Trier even said that he thought they were going to draft him at #36 instead of Robinson, but they ended up taking Robinson, which suggests he wasn’t just a flier but a guy they were targeting.

    Steve Mills is probably a clown but I don’t get the impression that Scott Perry is anything but well respected and well prepared. The brain trust of Knicks right now is Mills, Perry, and Craig Robinson, who if he is anything like his sister Michelle Obama is a pretty sharp dude also. That combo isn’t exactly Masai Ujiri-level but my honest sense is that the franchise is in good hands.

  98. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    1. Are you willing to tolerate some short term pain (months or even a few years) from tariffs for some net longer term gain as a result of a renegotiation?

    2. Are you actually getting a better deal or are you full of crap?

    I assume you think the answer to #2 is “full of crap”.

    I’m responding to this post in the event that you think my assumption is unfounded. If not, disregard–

    As a person who has repeatedly claimed to live “in the real world” unlike many of us, you must realize that your post is purely theoretical, and I’m speaking from a place of intimate knowledge of basic commodity costs and how they have affected and will affect massive construction projects nation-wide, as they have affected literally every industry involved in the construction process.

    A 48% increase in the price of zinc year over year is not “short-term pain” when it slashes your Fortune 500 company’s earnings forecast in half, or forces it to look to sell to a conglomerate to mitigate commodity costs. A 32% increase in cold-rolled steel price is not “short term pain” when you have nine-digit construction projects that are killed in the design phase due to unforeseen, inexplicable tariffs that amount to a would-be despot’s reality-show presidential theater.

    Even if I didn’t live in this world every day of the week, Occam’s Razor says that Donald Trump is a fucking moron and his deals should be viewed as the deals of that very person (i.e. a fucking moron), and beyond the econ lesson you tried to espouse above, there’s nothing about his business acumen (to say nothing of his grade-school grasp on language skills) that suggests that he knows a goddamn thing about global economics. Any other suggestion carries the subtext that you think he’s playing 12D chess, and even the conservatives among us on this site wouldn’t even stick their necks out far enough to make this claim at this point.

  99. geo

    Thoracic outlet syndrome is real, it’s the thing that caused Matt Harvey to start sucking at baseball

    not implying it’s some made up condition – i just don’t think 2 months from now fultz will be shooting much better…

    then again, i didn’t think d’angelo russell would ever pull it together…and. he’s having a good year so far…

    i thought cocaine and crispy cremes is what did in the dark knight…

  100. Hubert

    Frank, he never played outside AAU. How could they have known if he was efficient or not?

    I give them full credit for Mitchell. But they have used their prime resources on acquiring:

    Hardaway
    Knox
    Mudiay
    Hezonja

    That’s a type. Taking the BPA at 39 doesn’t change that.

  101. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    Mills is President of Basketball Operations. That means he has to oversee the basketball business part (marketing, operations, sponsorships etc.). As soon as he got the position he started to look for a GM, which makes sense because one person can’t do both jobs effectively. Once he hired Perry, the team seems to be better run from a GM point of view. So it’s certainly true that Baker was overpaid, but with Perry there, I hope the Knicks don’t make that kind of mistake in the future.

  102. Owen

    I don’t think anyone in Fultz’s camp should be relieved he has TOS, if that is in fact the case. In baseball, it’s way worse than a Tommy John surgery and has been a death sentence for the career of a lot of pitchers. A lot of guys muddle through with it but don’t ever truly recover.

    I don’t really know what the ramifications are in basketball, it doesn’t involve repeatedly hurling something 90-95 mph, but I think I’d rather it be straight mental than TOS.

    THCJ – We just need to bring zinc mining back to the US, re-open the Coeur D’Alene Superfund mines, and our problem will be solved in a jiffy.

  103. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    I really wanted to keep Ntilikina. But with the way the other young guys have developed, and the need to find space for Trier, I can see the logic of trading him. Especially if you can create a roster slot doing so. Of course, I want to get a reasonable return. I don’t know how easy that will be though.

  104. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that the sixers medical staff may have misdiagnosed Fultz. They don’t have a good track record.

  105. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think anyone in Fultz’s camp should be relieved he has TOS, if that is in fact the case. In baseball, it’s way worse than a Tommy John surgery and has been a death sentence for the career of a lot of pitchers. A lot of guys muddle through with it but don’t ever truly recover.

    I don’t really know what the ramifications are in basketball, it doesn’t involve repeatedly hurling something 90-95 mph, but I think I’d rather it be straight mental than TOS.

    THCJ – We just need to bring zinc mining back to the US, re-open the Coeur D’Alene Superfund mines, and our problem will be solved in a jiffy.

    It’s weird. It’s a fucked up diagnosis, to be sure, but I thiiiiiink I’d prefer knowing he has an actual physical ailment over it being totally psychological. There’s a chance that he can heal from TOS. He’s probably not going to heal from the yips, ya know? So I think I would tentatively prefer this diagnosis over it just being the yips. It’s terrible either way, though. The poor guy.

  106. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Career-ending injuries in the NBA tend to be lower-body injuries. I’m looking at a list of players whose careers were derailed by trauma:

    Bernard King, ACL
    Jon Bender, knee
    TJ Ford, spine
    Shaun Livingston, you know
    Ilgauskas, foot
    Greg Oden, like the guy from Unbreakable
    Fat Lever, knee
    Allan Houston, played for Knicks
    Arenas, knee
    Jay Williams, crotch rocket blew up his knee
    Danny Manning, knee
    Bowie, legs
    Baron Davis, played for Knicks
    Mashburn, knee
    Bobby Hurley, didn’t take driver’s ed
    Brad Daugherty, spine
    Sabonis, achilles
    Jermaine O’Neal, knee foot and shoulder
    Brandon Roy, knee
    Ralph Sampson, spine and knee
    Yao Ming, foot and knee
    Amar’e, played for Knicks
    Larry Johnson, played for Knicks
    Penny, played for Knicks
    Webber, knee
    McGrady, played for Knicks
    Grant Hill, ankle
    McAdoo, hamstring (and other leg injuries, can’t find specifics)
    Pistol Pete, knee
    Bill Walton, foot and ankle

    Selection bias, maybe, but this seems like an incredibly rare condition for an NBA player. Gives more credence to the dirtbike accident theory, as baseball players suffer traumatic shoulder injuries from playing the game, and injuries like Kevin Love’s are relatively rare.

  107. Frank

    I give them full credit for Mitchell. But they have used their prime resources on acquiring:

    Hardaway
    Knox
    Mudiay
    Hezonja

    That’s a type. Taking the BPA at 39 doesn’t change that.

    Timmy has been pretty good – i think the issue with Timmy is that he wasn’t the right signing at the right time- but I truly don’t think he’s that overpaid right now. And besides — that was 100% a Mills move, not the Perry/Mills partnership that currently runs the Knicks.

    Knox – 6’9″ athletic/long forward who can handle and shoot. If that’s a type it’s a good type. He’s like 15 games into his rookie season and has looked bad at times and good at times. Too early to say.

    Mudiay – has been pretty good this year, certainly much much better than expected. I’m not sure how that proves your point. If anything it proves THEIR point that they can take guys that needed a change of scenery and make something of them.

    Hezonja – not good. Can’t win ’em all.

    Again – their “type” is high physical upside guys in the draft, potentially undervalued “second-draft” guys when looking on the fringes of the NBA for talent. Then they trust their coaches/development staff to do something with the physical talent. I don’t really see any desire to have chuckers or bad defenders or overrated whatever. Mudiay is not a chucker – he’s just a guy who has sucked despite having great physical tools. I don’t see a problem.

  108. Brian Cronin

    What I don’t like are all the people on NBA Twitter who won’t buy the diagnosis. This isn’t some completely exotic disease, I don’t know why it seems so hard to believe that this is a legit diagnosis.

  109. Brian Cronin

    Again – their “type” is high physical upside guys in the draft, potentially undervalued “second-draft” guys when looking on the fringes of the NBA for talent. Then they trust their coaches/development staff to do something with the physical talent.

    That plan is not a good one, though, when it’s all guys on one-year deals or, in the case of Mudiay, essentially a one-year deal. If you truly trust your development skills, why in the world would you keep signing guys to one-year deals?

    It’s like the Lance Thomas thing. “I see something that no one else sees in him. But I won’t get a team option on him despite no one else wanting him.”

    If a team option is the line in the sand to acquire Mario Hezonja, you don’t acquire Mario Hezonja.

  110. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Knox – 6’9? athletic/long forward who can handle and shoot

    Knox is shooting 34% on 2P and 32% on 3P. In 352 minutes, he’s dunked the ball exactly 3 times.

    While it’s too early to say if he’s going to be the worst player in the NBA for the rest of a short career, there’s literally no NBA evidence that suggests he can shoot. Being 9th in the SEC in eFG% does not make one a “shooter.”

    Out of the 261 NBA players who have played over 300 minutes this year, here’s where these guys reside in TS%:

    Mudiay #133 (!!!) .554 (league average!!!!!!!!)
    Hezonja #253 .451
    Knox #257 .442
    Ntilikina #261 .422

  111. Z-man

    Frank’s physical upside is second only to Mitchell Robinson’s and it far exceeds Hardaway’s and Mudiay’s.

    This is simply not true. He has very poor fast-twitch explosiveness and is not particularly strong or coordinated for a guard. He has length, and that’s it. And physical upside is position-dependent. If he has to play the 3, his length isn’t all that big a deal, and his lack of speed and natural strength is a liability. Knox also has at least as much physical upside. Trier has short arms but a 40 inch vertical.

  112. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    This isn’t some completely exotic disease, I don’t know why it seems so hard to believe that this is a legit diagnosis.

    I think we have a resident ortho, so I’m not about to get into medical ethics as if I’m coming from a place of authority, but don’t we think that this doctor has an overwhelming incentive to not fabricate this high-profile client’s condition?

  113. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

    Bowie, legs

    Totally forgot Bowie played in the NBA. RIP, Ziggy Stardust. There was nothing you couldn’t do…

  114. Brian Cronin

    I think we have a resident ortho, so I’m not about to get into medical ethics as if I’m coming from a place of authority, but don’t we think that this doctor has an overwhelming incentive to not fabricate this high-profile client’s condition?

    Right? And it isn’t like this is some awesome piece of news for the Sixers or anything like that. So I don’t get the incredulity over it. A whole lot of “Yes, this is a real ailment, but I don’t believe Fultz actually has it” out there.

  115. Z-man

    It’s like the Lance Thomas thing. “I see something that no one else sees in him. But I won’t get a team option on him despite no one else wanting him.”

    I’m not sure why you keep bringing this deal up. The problem wasn’t that we didn’t have a team option. The problem was that he sucked horribly by every statistical and was arguably not worth even a minimum salary deal, and certainly no where near what we signed him to AT AGE 27 when his upside was a thing of the past!!!

    I don’t get how that’s comparable to offering a deal in that range to Vonleh (age 23, tearing it up) or Mudiay (age 22, playing like a slightly below average NBA player).

  116. Brian Cronin

    It’s the same thing. If you think that you can develop someone, why sign them to one year deals when you’re not going to gain the benefits of your development?

    The grand benefit of Vonleh’s improvement for the Knicks for next season is “getting to know the team,” which we all know is a huge incentive for free agents over actual money.

    Same with Hezonja and same, to a lesser extent, with Mudiay.

    It’s why the Burke deal was such a good one. They actually will gain some benefit from his improvement.

  117. Frank

    there’s no doubt that it would be better to have longer contracts with these guys.
    Mudiay for better or for worse will be restricted with bird rights, although obviously that could turn out badly for us.

    It hasn’t been all bad on the issue of contracts — the Robinson contract was great. The Burke contract was good. I guess you could complain that they should’ve gotten 2 years on Vonleh but maybe Vonleh just didn’t want to sign a 2 year deal. Ditto with Hezonja. Both had offers other places for 1 year deals. So I guess the next step in logic is to only take guys that WILL sign 2+ year team-friendly deals.

    I dunno – I don’t think it’s so bad that we’ve now shown the league and all future FAs that the Knicks are no longer a laughingstock and that if you come to the Knicks they can build you back up again.

    Re: Knox- I know I’m an optimist and all but I don’t think it’s that unreasonable to just be patient with the kid. He’s barely 19 and just looking at him you can see a player whose body is not there yet. Freaking Lebron James who at 18-19 years old already had a 25 year old’s body had a TS of 48.8 over 3000 minutes his rookie year. DeAaron Fox had a TS of 47.8 over 2000 minutes his rookie year. The list of players who stink to high heaven as 18-19 year olds goes on and on. Sure we’d rather him be Luka or JJJ but the fact is the vast majority of 1-and-done rookies are awful their first year. Add to that he had a severe ankle sprain and probably isn’t fully recovered from that, and the rush to judgment seems uncalled for.

  118. Brian Cronin

    I dunno – I don’t think it’s so bad that we’ve now shown the league and all future FAs that the Knicks are no longer a laughingstock and that if you come to the Knicks they can build you back up again.

    How does “we can build up your value for your next contract” benefit the Knicks while they are rebuilding? That’s a good thing if you’re a good team already, not for a rebuilding team. Like how the Orlando Magic built up Ben Wallace’s value in a rebuilding year and the Pistons got the benefit of it because the Magic couldn’t keep Wallace because they were clearing all their cap room for T-Mac and Grant Hill (so they threw him into the Grant Hill deal).

  119. Frank

    How does “we can build up your value for your next contract” benefit the Knicks while they are rebuilding? That’s a good thing if you’re a good team already, not for a rebuilding team. Like how the Orlando Magic built up Ben Wallace’s value in a rebuilding year and the Pistons got the benefit of it.

    I might be mistaken but I think the plan is for us to be a good team someday. Then that “good thing” is a good thing for a good NY Knicks team.

    Look, I just don’t see how it’s a bad thing to be known around the league for player development. It will be hard to convince me otherwise.

  120. Brian Cronin

    Being known for player development is fine. But be known for developing players who are part of the Knicks’ future. Vonleh actually does have a chance of being that, so he’s not as big of a deal. It’s the stuff like Hezonja that doesn’t make any sense.

  121. thenoblefacehumper

    Timmy has been pretty good – i think the issue with Timmy is that he wasn’t the right signing at the right time- but I truly don’t think he’s that overpaid right now.

    Huh?

    I think you’re making a decent case on some other subjects. I mostly disagree but you’re not pulling things out of your ass.

    But dude, Timmy? His TS% this year is .542. His WS48 is .082. His BPM is -0.8. His rebounds and assists per-36 would look good…if you added them together.

    If these numbers look familiar to you, it’s because they’re very similar to the numbers he’s been putting up since he arrived in the NBA. He’s a mediocre ass player getting paid like Draymond Green.

    Seems like a nice guy though.

  122. Z-man

    It’s also being assumed that team options are given away like candy, which is far from the case. Sure, occasionally a dumb agent buys in, but most don’t…why would they? Most guys want the one-year minimum deal to prove they are worth more and then cash in. Nearly every player on a contract with a team option is either a rookie-scale player, a proven older veteran scrub. I can see arguing that giving out a player option e.g. Derrick Williams is dumb, especially if you are trying to clear cap space. Mudiay can be offered the QO, so his deal can be pushed out another year…or he can be signed to a reasonable contract, or let go, or matched if you don’t care about the cap hold. But if I were Hezonja or Vonleh, no way am I signing a contract with a team option at a minimum salary. I’d rather go to Europe or take my chances that another team would give me the minimum.

  123. Brian Cronin

    But if I were Hezonja or Vonleh, no way am I signing a contract with a team option at a minimum salary. I’d rather go to Europe or take my chances that another team would give me the minimum.

    I absolutely agree that Hezonja wouldn’t have accepted a team option. Then you don’t sign Hezonja.

    Vonleh’s less of an issue, because at least his cap hold is low enough for him to theoretically be part of the Knicks future.

  124. thenoblefacehumper

    I absolutely agree that Hezonja wouldn’t have accepted a team option. Then you don’t sign Hezonja.

    Shades of the ol’ “well how else were we supposed to land Derrick Williams?”

  125. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Re: Knox- I know I’m an optimist and all but I don’t think it’s that unreasonable to just be patient with the kid. He’s barely 19 and just looking at him you can see a player whose body is not there yet. Freaking Lebron James who at 18-19 years old already had a 25 year old’s body had a TS of 48.8 over 3000 minutes his rookie year. DeAaron Fox had a TS of 47.8 over 2000 minutes his rookie year. The list of players who stink to high heaven as 18-19 year olds goes on and on. Sure we’d rather him be Luka or JJJ but the fact is the vast majority of 1-and-done rookies are awful their first year. Add to that he had a severe ankle sprain and probably isn’t fully recovered from that, and the rush to judgment seems uncalled for.

    Agreed! But that rush to judgment works both ways. I’m just saying — don’t say he can shoot. He can’t, yet.

  126. Z-man

    It’s why the Burke deal was such a good one. They actually will gain some benefit from his improvement.

    Sure it was a good one, but it’s not the norm. He accepted that deal and good for us. But at the end of the day, we’re in the same position with him as the other guys at the end of this year. And if he were a FA at the end of last year and offered more somewhere else, what’s the big deal? Next guy up! There’s really not much difference in terms of our cap situation for July 2019, which has been the target year all along.

  127. Hubert

    He has very poor fast-twitch explosiveness and is not particularly strong or coordinated for a guard.

    I’ve seen the dude stonewall Blake Griffin and Joel Embiid trying to back him down. Please don’t tell me he’s not strong or coordinated for a guard.

  128. Mike Honcho

    For all his faults, Frank does seem to have abnormal lower body strength for a guard. He consistently defends much larger players in the post without ceding much ground.

  129. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    I absolutely agree that Hezonja wouldn’t have accepted a team option. Then you don’t sign Hezonja.

    I think that’s ridiculous. You can argue that we overpaid, but of course hindsight is 20/20. Of course we want bargains but I think the front office us looking for reasonable players on reasonable contracts. They could still get that from Hezonja just by sticking to their guns when they negotiate his next contract. Nothing is forcing the front office to accept bad contracts in the future. And if Hezonja suddenly started playing well this year, he’d still be a young player who could improve some more, so signing this coming summer coukd be better than waiting another year and having to pay even more.

  130. Z-man

    I wasn’t a fan of the Hezonja signing, but I also don’t really see much harm in it. The way he’s playing, thank goodness he doesn’t have a player option.

    And tnfh, there’s a HUGE difference between giving a player option and not insisting on a team option, so there’s no comparison with the DWill situation.

  131. Frank

    Re: Frank it is crazy how his athleticism on the defensive end just doesn’t translate to the offensive end at all. I mean, he alternately absolutely shuts down Kyrie Irving, then blocks a big at the rim, then stonewalls Blake Griffin and Embiid in the post. But on offense he can’t drive around anyone and needs 5 feet of space to make a layup.

    Re Vonleh I’m not sure what good his cap hold does us. He’s an unrestricted FA right? And the most we can offer him without using actual cap space = 20% above the minimum he’s making now, which presumably is less than he will be offered this summer. So his NB rights do us no good at all.

  132. Z-man

    I’ve seen the dude stonewall Blake Griffin and Joel Embiid trying to back him down. Please don’t tell me he’s not strong or coordinated for a guard.

    Well right now he’s stonewalling a chair on the bench. But he sure looks uber-athletic cheering on his teammates!

  133. Hubert

    But at the end of the day, we’re in the same position with him as the other guys at the end of this year.

    This isn’t true. Burke has a $2.3mm cap hold and we have his bird rights. If Burke turned himself into a $12mm player (he hasn’t, but let’s say he did) we’d be able to leverage the $10mm difference in his cap hold v his value.

    If you can’t get that benefit, then like Brian is saying, the player is not worth signing.

  134. Frank

    The more i think about Frank the more I think the Knicks need to either trade him now and get as good a deal as possible or make developing his PG skills their #1 priority. If Frank can become a passable offensive PG it just unlocks so much potential defensively – Frank can credibly guard 1-3 and even opposing PFs in a pinch. Everyone else in the future rotation is 6’6″ and up.

    I know Fizdale wants to keep everyone close (ie. not in Westchester) but Frank needs reps at PG and to build confidence. I think he would be helped tremendously by having a team give him the ball and tell him to go make stuff happen. He doesn’t even need to go to Westchester all the time — but could do like Kornet/Dotson/Baker/Hicks did last year and play in games up there just while the Knicks are on a homestand. What good does sitting on the bench do you? Sure, practice with the big club when they’re on the road, but the kid needs to play.

  135. Mike Honcho

    @Z-man no one is saying that Frank is some freakish athlete, just that his body seems to be abnormally well suited for effective defense. It’s just a different aspect of athleticism, kind of how Jeremy Lin was extremely quick without being particularly strong or having a crazy vertical.

  136. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

    There’s nothing he really can’t do, except jump.”
    — Denver’s Jamal Murray, on Nikola Jokic

    If the Knicks sign Wall, Denver might be the team to follow.

  137. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I was folding clothes during the first half of Bulls-Pacers and I actually lost interest in the game in favor of the laundry

    They are barely NBA teams

  138. Bruno Almeida

    I think I want to see Frank traded just so we never have those arguments with Z-Man being smug anymore.

    I’m completely with Brian on this, good front offices sign players to good contracts. Did Mario Hezonja reject the 2 year 10 million deal with a team option? Thank you, next. Is Noah Vonleh’s agent telling us he won’t sign for more than a year? Ok, good luck in the G-League. If the Knicks are having to make concessions to sign players who are either amongst the 50 worst players in the league or are reclamation projects whose only other offers are the freaking Turkish league or China, I’m pretty sure we are doomed anyway.

    Like I said before, I’m fine with reclamation projects, I’m not fine with being a good developmental team that develops players for their next contracts anywhere else. It’s just bad business. I’d much rather do what the Raptors have done and fill the G-League team with 2nd rounders and other dudes and develop them there.

  139. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    We did put players in G league. We have Kornet, Hicks and Jenkins there. We just didn’t send Ntilikina there. Trier was supposed to be there too, but he was too good. That’s not something to complain about

  140. ptmilo

    speaking of which we should give them Mudiay for Melton. This would reverse last year’s stupid trade and the Suns have specifically proven they will look to add a below average expiring point guard to a shitty team when they traded for Payton around the same time.

  141. Z-man

    That’s fine, Bruno, but that’s just your preference. It doesn’t make it a bad strategy to sign bad young players to one-year deals. Again, there are hardly any non-rookie scale deals with team options. Who gives a shit whether we’re possibly developing them for another team? You and Brian are so fixated on tanking being the only viable rebuilding strategy that your ability to consider other alternatives fairly is completely jaded. And only signing players who would accept a player option is akin to tanking, since there are hardly any players with a prayer of ever being worth more than a minimum deal in the NBA that would accept those terms.

    And it’s not like the FO doesn’t try to find those deals. Burke is an example. Mitch’s contract has a team option. The last year of Lance’s deal is only guaranteed for $1 million. That’s probably more of those kinds of deals than most teams have.

    You also discount the possibility that guys like Vonleh or Hezonja play well, there is a much better chance that they could be a sweetener in a salary dump, or a deadline deal for a draft pick. Do you think we have a better chance of dumping Courtney Lee if we include Vonleh or someone like John Jenkins on a one year deal with a team option? Or to get a couple of seconds from a playoff team needing a big?

  142. Brian Cronin

    I think that’s ridiculous. You can argue that we overpaid, but of course hindsight is 20/20. Of course we want bargains but I think the front office us looking for reasonable players on reasonable contracts. They could still get that from Hezonja just by sticking to their guns when they negotiate his next contract. Nothing is forcing the front office to accept bad contracts in the future. And if Hezonja suddenly started playing well this year, he’d still be a young player who could improve some more, so signing this coming summer coukd be better than waiting another year and having to pay even more.

    This isn’t hindsight. I said it when they signed Hezonja, too, for the same reason that I don’t like the move now. It was almost inherently a one-year deal during a rebuilding year for….what, exactly? What benefit besides giving Hezonja a lot of playing time on a team where he might be able to get a better contract next season from another team?

  143. Brian Cronin

    I know josh Jackson has been terrible, but he does not have an effort problem

    Right? That guy is a freak.

  144. Z-man

    https://earlybirdrights.com/salary-cap/

    Brian and Bruno, feel free to look at the individual player contract situation for all of the specific teams and find me one that is following your model for signing players and makes our stand out negatively in contrast. I’ll be happy to reconsider my position if you can point me in that direction.

  145. Brian Cronin

    speaking of which we should give them Mudiay for Melton. This would reverse last year’s stupid trade and the Suns have specifically proven they will look to add a below average expiring point guard to a shitty team when they traded for Payton around the same time.

    It’s shocking to see a team with a much worse point guard situation than the Knicks.

  146. Brian Cronin

    I was folding clothes during the first half of Bulls-Pacers and I actually lost interest in the game in favor of the laundry

    They are barely NBA teams

    The Pacers are kind of built around Oladipo, though, so it makes sense that they would look pretty lost without him. But yeah, it speaks to the general lack of depth for so many NBA teams out there.

  147. Z-man

    I think I want to see Frank traded just so we never have those arguments with Z-Man being smug anymore.

    If people stop saying stupid shit about him, I’ll stop being smug. You are a test case for this, have I been smug to you about Frank lately?

    @Z-man no one is saying that Frank is some freakish athlete

    I dunno, how else should I interpret the following?

    Frank’s physical upside is second only to Mitchell Robinson’s and it far exceeds Hardaway’s and Mudiay’s.

  148. Bruno Almeida

    You haven’t, that’s for sure. The thing is I just disagree with your opinion that we should discuss only the absolute realistic scenarios considering what the front office might possibly do.

    Most of what I say about the Knicks are stuff that I would like to see implemented, and stuff that I am sometimes even 100% sure the Knicks won’t do. When I said at the offseason I thought the Knicks should be shopping Hardaway, you answered the same way: won’t happen so why discuss it? Well, my point of view is that there’s space to discuss what will or can happen, and space to discuss also what we wish would happen. In the end none of us outside of who knows, maybe one guy here and there is an insider, we are all speaking out on perceptions and feelings about stuff we can’t possibly know for sure.

    You keep trying to prove that what Brian or me have proposed never happened, when in my opinion the question isn’t if it has happened or is happening, but that in our view it is the ideal way to approach a rebuild.

    I’m very pragmatic most of the times but you’re being way too pragmatic here. I respect it, I just see other types of discussion as valid too.

  149. Bruno Almeida

    The point is not even that signing Mudiay or Hezonja or Vonleh is a major fuck up, it isn’t. The argument is more that there’s very limited value to this type of deal, and in the Knicks specific situation there’s probably even less value in those moves because of the cap situation and KP’s impeding extension. It’s not that tanking is the only way to ever build a team, it’s that making moves that provide good value is the best way to build a team, whether they come through the draft or free agency or trades. The moves Perry and Mills have done have limited value and are inherently making other possible moves, like using draft picks or utilizing cap space, less valuable.

    If these guys end up having trade value, awesome, the moves ended up paying off. If they develop and stay on the Knicks as much improved players, awesome, it paid off. I, in my analysis of the situation, don’t think either will happen.

  150. Z-man

    Oh, I have no problem discussing it when we use language like ” I would prefer that we…” instead of “we did something that I wouldn’t do, therefore it’s stupid, and while we’re at it, probably part of a conspiracy of stupidity emanating from Voldemort and his evil minions….” Go back and read the threads from the last couple of days, and you’ll see that lots of my comments are reactions to statements that sound like like “X is a bad strategy” or “Y was a dumb move” or “Berman said it and he’s a shill for Mills so it’s probably what the Knicks are thinking about doing…”

  151. Z-man

    @168, that kind of argument would never draw a snarky reaction from me. I totally agree that we should make the smartest deals possible, but reasonable risk-reward deals are OK too, so long as they don’t compromise cap flexibility. I would also say that as a part of a rebuilding strategy, if you can find one Vonleh type player and sign him to a KOQ-type deal, it more than makes up for any repercussions from the other 1-year deals that don’t pan out in one direction or another. And I don’t think any of those guys are hindering our more controlled young players from developing, they all have had ample opportunity to play and improve.

  152. abk

    I just posted it because those two weeks cost us a great player and literally the same two weeks are probably going to cost us a top 4 pick, but for some reason people are excited about it. Again.

    This is just wrong.

    We have the fifth worst record in the league right now. 538 projects us to finish with the fifth worst record in the league by a country mile. We’re projected at 25 wins, while the Nets and Kings are projected for the 6th worst record with 32 wins.

    Check the new lottery odds again. The worst record in the league has a 48% chance of picking #5-30. The fifth worst record in the league has a 58% chance of picking #5-30. All those wins would cost us a whopping 10%. In other words, finishing fifth worst every season only leaves you with one less top-4 pick every decade than finishing dead last.

    The odds have flattened. Finishing with the 8th worst record leaves you about 50% as likely to get the #1 pick as finishing dead last. There’s no “all hope is lost for Zion” or “a winning streak screwed up our future”. I’ll give you that every bit of odds improvement helps, and the absolute worst records let you pick #5-6 rather than #8-9. But barring a big change in this team’s talent level, we have a great shot at a top pick.

  153. Hubert

    You are a test case for this, have I been smug to you about Frank lately?

    I said, in a conversation with Frank, that he had high physical potential and you interjected to say he was using it to defend chairs.

    Sorry, Z-man. You may be right about Frank in the long run, but you can’t argue that you’re not smug AF about it now.

  154. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    We have the fifth worst record in the league right now. 538 projects us to finish with the fifth worst record in the league by a country mile. We’re projected at 25 wins, while the Nets and Kings are projected for the 6th worst record with 32 wins.

    The Nets lost Lavert to injury for the whole season, or at least for a long time. Since 538 just projects based on previous track record, I am sure they are over projecting the Nets. The Kings, on the other hand probably are better than us this year.

  155. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, if the Knicks end up with the fifth-worst record, then that would be fine. The flattened odds make the #5 spot a decent landing spot. #1-4 would be preferable, but #5 is not an awful spot at all. It’s when they start falling to #8-9 that it becomes an issue.

    The Nets lost Lavert to injury for the whole season, or at least for a long time.

    It’s shocking to me that LeVert is apparently going to play again this season after that injury. That shit looked gruesome as heck.

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