Washington Wizards 121 – New York Knicks 115 – Perry Christmills everyone

I don’t know if I’ve already told you this: I’m color blind.

My color blindness isn’t severe (I’m not seeing the world in black and white, and I can actually get right even some “advanced” nuances, such as lilac or fuchsia), but nonetheless here and there it pops up, especially related to green/brown and blue/purple mix and matches.

It’s not like I ever forget being color blind, but playing a bit with an old game for iPad (Forever Lost is its name, a clunky, quirky escape room/puzzle game) I was reminded how frustrating it is for a color-impaired person to try and solve incredibly easy puzzles just because the game designer thought it was a good idea to base at least one third of the game on riddles that rely on the ability to discern bright green from yellow in a very small pixelated area. The game can be solved in around one hour, one hour and a half. It took me three hours to beat it. I breezed through hard puzzles with total ease and repeatedly clunked easy riddle after easy riddle because I didn’t understand what the hell I was seeing. I knew very accurately what I should have done: I simply couldn’t find a way to make my eyes collaborate and step over the amazingly low hurdle.

Why am I telling you this, you might ask.

It’s simple: these Knicks play defense just in the same way I approach color-coded quizzes. They theoretically know what they should do; they just have no means at all to translate theory into practice. They’re lost.

To concede 121 points to a glorified G-League team is very bad, from whatever angle you choose to look at it. This was a positively Fizdalian game: nothing seemed to be working, the choice to put DSJ into the game before Frank was puzzling (not trying to reignite the endless battle between Frankophiles and normal people – just kidding! I’m a Frankophile too – but the team struggled mightily on defense from the get go, maybe Frank would have helped stabilize the defensive mindset a bit), guys seemed very frustrated and resigned to lose, Mitch was in foul trouble for the second game in a row.

In short: maybe it’s recency bias, but this is probably the worst loss of the season. Good for the tank, I guess, but very discouraging.

***

But then again color blindness might also be the right metaphor/allegory for the talent evaluation area of our front office. There’s no way you build a roster like ours if you grasp the basic tenets of basketball and you’re capable of watching the damn game. You know those visual tests where there are a bunch of differently colored dots and you’re supposed to see a number or a letter in there? And you know how easy it is for people who see correctly to say 13! or B! and then wonder what the hell was that test, so easy that nobody could flunk it? Well, most of the time I see jack shit in there and get looked with a mixture of amusement and pity by standard people.

You see where I’m going, right?

Farfa : colors = Pills : talent.

Show us KBers a Knox and a SGA, and pretty much everyone will go for SGA. Show Pills a Knox and a Durant, and they won’t tell them apart one from the other. Where we see a .020 WS/48 peak talent, they see a vast stream of indistinguishable .100 WS/48 prospects, and if it’s so, why not go with the youngest, tallest people?

So there you have it, guys: these Knicks are a Mondrian painting made by me.

***

I wish there was something good to say about anything that happened last night. About how Julius Randle went for 35 shooting the ball just 21 times, but then I look at his pitiful 5 boards and 2:3 ast/to ratio and I’m like whatever. About how Mitch blocked 6 shots and got 13 boards but then I’m reminded he fouled out again (of course your job isn’t made easier by those swiss cheese cardboard people we call backcourt, but come on big guy) and I’m like who cares. Elfrid Payton dished 12 assists! What’s the point. Dotson drilled 5 threes! Sure, good effort, good job.

Fucking losers.

***

But they’re our losers, right?

I don’t know, honestly. Are they? Is there someone on the team you could wholeheartedly call “mine” (in a sports related sense of course)? This is a team composed by hired guns, second round picks and ill-equipped lottery picks on their rookie scale contracts.

You want to call the rookie-scale contracts “yours”? Be my guest. You can have Mitch, who’s good, great almost, but not enough if he can’t stay on the damn floor. His advanced stats and like ambrosia, but he needs to make a few extra steps to be really serviceable (in the meantime play him all you can you morons).

Then I’ll feed you a few basic advanced stats (#teamoxymoron FTW) for the other youngsters:

Player A: .031 WS/48, -2.7 BPM, -0.1 VORP
Player B: -0.032 WS/48, -4.1 BPM, -0.4 VORP
Player C: .015 WS/48, -2.7 BPM, -0.1 VORP
Player D: -0.085 WS/48, -6.6 BPM, -0.4 VORP

Can you guess who’s who? (The last one is super easy, if you watched at least three Knicks games this season).

This is not what a rebuild looks like. This is a headless chicken running around.

***

Anyway, guys. Christmas is here. It’s time to be happy. To celebrate. To stay with your family.

I have a family, of course. A loving mom, a loving dad who just retired from his job and is all too eager to help me with mine, a smart, smoking hot and snarkily strong woman (who I love with all my heart) on my side and a lot of friends.

But we’re all family too. There’s no Christmas without Knickerbloggers. Heraclitus said there’s no light without dark, no happiness without sadness; then, there’s no moral strength without Dolan, and we can revel in knowing that we all have it. Let there be a smile on your face for the next few days. Save the frowns for these orange and blue clad clowns.

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Farfa

Just an Italian basketball fan with an insane passion for all things Knicks (and yes, linguine Alfredo is not a real Italian dish).

207 thoughts to “Washington Wizards 121 – New York Knicks 115 – Perry Christmills everyone”

  1. Player A is Knox.
    Player B is RJ Barrett (looking very bad. Very, very bad. I still have a lot of hope for him, though).
    Player C is Frank.
    Player D is DSJ.

  2. Brilliant! Thank you, Farfa for lending meaning to our pile of manure. FWIW, I too am color blind* but have learned to distinguish and identify colors over the years based on people repeatedly telling me what the color is. So maybe there is hope that in 45 or so years ( the estimated time my brain took to make the correlations), our backcourt, Randle, Portis, et al will internalize and therefore execute the lessons about defense. Hope springs eternal ( I’d love a meditation of what keeps fans so loyal in such hopeless circumstances).
    Happy Holidays to you, Ms. Farfa and all KBers.
    *For some reason, when I was diagnosed as being colorblind, the nurse had my mother come up to my school to advise her in person and my mom bawled uncontrollably. ( So I have always been a shitty dresser and on several occasions have worn mismatched socks)

  3. DSJ played ahead of Frank because of politics. Practically every thing this front office does is political, from the constant leaking and backstabbing, to things like the incompetently handled trade of Kristaps Porzingis to the incompetent signing of Tim Hardaway, Jr. to try to stave off the hiring of David Griffin.

    No team does things this way. No team has two front office guys “working together,” one a ready-made fall guy, always going to practice, sitting together at the games, with blurred lines of authority and favored media shills. It’s hard enough to win in the NBA doing things only for basketball reasons; it’s next-to-impossible to win with this structure and this much politics and bullshit entering into things.

    No other team does things this way. Happy Festivus!!

  4. Thanks for the recap Farfa, and have a great Holiday. I wish everyone else on Knickerblogger a great holiday too.

  5. Excellent recap. I watched Knives Out instead of the Knicks last night. Highly recommend it, especially in place of watching the Knicks.

  6. What did you think of the SJW angle, Early Bird? While I agree with the inheritance criticism outside of fiction, I found the thinly-veiled allegory about white inheritance/entitlement contrasted with the pure, unadulterated hearts of new immigrants to be a little, uh, much. Also it wasn’t nearly as funny as it thought it was — I saw it in a theater with a bunch of people who didn’t seem to realize it was intended to be a dark comedy.

  7. I find it hard to believe that DSJ played more minutes last night because of “politics.” DSJ has missed a decent chunk of time this year bc of his injury and personal issues. Frank has gotten a lot of burn. Even after DSJ came back he was not getting that much time and less than Frank. But Frank hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire. The reality is that they are both young, struggling guards on a team that is struggling. There will be games when Frank gets more minutes and games where DSJ gets more minutes and until (if) one of them really breaks out, both will have games where they don’t play much or not at all.

  8. I don’t believe in the “politics” rationale at all. When you have a crummy team you try different things. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, playing Smith off the bench probably cost the Knicks the game. He had a abysmal 7 minutes for a plus minus of -13. Washington went on a run and didn’t look back.

  9. Yeah, I know, this FO isn’t political in the least. There’s no chance they want to do everything humanly possible to try to salvage the only living, breathing (*) piece they got back for one of the more valuable young assets in the league, lest their reputations sink even further. Not a chance. Unpossible.

    (*) Well, kind of anyway.

  10. Nobody but nobody gives one flying fucking rats ass about which inconsequential bust of a Knicks point guard prospect gets playing time. Please do continue to suggest that somebody does give that rat’s ass though, because the world needs the lulz.

  11. Ntilikina was firmly ahead of DSJ in the rotation for a while. Then he kept sucking and the team kept sucking, so a change was made. DSJ sucks too, so feel free to argue that the original arrangement of the deck chairs on the titanic was better. It’s completely irrelevant.

    This team needed a point guard before it drafted Frank Ntilikina and continues to need one after. This team needed a point guard before it traded for DSJ and continues to need one after. I can’t fathom being so passionate about which Europe bound scrub should get the non-Payton minutes.

  12. I find it hard to believe that DSJ played more minutes last night because of “politics.”

    To be clear he didn’t even play more minutes than Frank last night. He entered the game first but Frank ended up playing more. That’s only because Pills are in the pocket of big France though. I heard that Mills honeymooned in Paris! And did you know that Steve Perry has been seen by multiple wittnesses eating a croissant with his morning coffee! Wake up sheeple, the truth is out there!

    But seriously it’s pretty clear to see that Miller is a new coach throwing shit at the wall. He’s trying all the guards (Trier finally included! Do the Trier stans have an official fan club name?) in all kinds of alignments and finding (big surprise) that none of them are much good.

  13. There are a lot of things some people can fathom that others can’t. Vive la difference.

    Frank is a synedoche for something much wider, which is why the Garden crowd again cheered him when he came in last night. They know bullshit when they see it, bless their souls.

  14. Frank played more minutes because it takes like two possessions to see why he should be in the game. Doesn’t mean they want him to play. They don’t. They don’t really want Mitch to be their center, either. Senseless, yes — but this FO is utterly incompetent.

  15. i’ve noticed rj really struggles against tough defenses and team’s with good shotblockers… here is a snip of his game log this month and how he shot 2p fg:

    was (30th drating) – 6 for 11
    mil (1st) – 4 for 12
    mia (11th) – 1 for 7
    atl (27th) – 8 for 10
    den (2nd) – 2 for 6
    sac (17th) – 4 for 9
    gsw (23rd) – 5 for 11
    por (18th) – 1 for 7
    ind (8th) – 2 for 11
    den (2nd) – 3 for 5
    mil (1st) – 0 for 7

    some of his best games have come against the dregs of the nba… i don’t think that’s necessarily bad… they’re still nba teams and he has had some decent performances against good nba defenses last month.. i do think it’s indicative of someone who’s obviously young and still finding his way when opposing defenses rotate properly against him on his drives… his shotmix is not very diverse and so it’s exploitable if you put a guy in front of his rim opportunities….

    he can respond by passing more… farfa astutely pointed out that rj’s assists under miller have gone down significantly… and that’s not only because he’s not playing pg anymore but that rj is putting his head down on his drives…. rj could do well with a better floater game also… i forget who but someone also pointed out his putrid 3-10 ft shooting (24%)… that’s indicative of someone getting denied on his drives and so he stops short and puts up a very poor quality flip…. he would also do well by just not shooting quite as much… 1-2 shots per game he’s forcing things… that is pretty good from where he was at duke but if he cuts those out then his efficiency would skyrocket…. less is more…

    he’s not there yet but these are just tweaks that are needed… his 2p fg% has taken a nosedive but still sitting at an acceptable 42%… his ftr and basically all his box score contributions are at good or great levels for his position and age cohort…. if he just had a 50% TS he would be the 2nd best rookie in this class.. i think he eventually gets there …

  16. You know, when ruruland was stumping for Melo, I could understand it if I squinted and pretended that it were 2009 instead of 2014.

    This is a new and terrifying thing altogether.

  17. Breen attributed the cheering to “Knicks fans want their lottery picks to be stars,” but no, that’s not it. They’re not doing the same thing for Kevin Knox. Knicks fans know their bullshit, that’s it. And they like their defense, that’s the other it.

  18. Everything is politics when it comes to which backup PG gets first quarter minutes but second quarter backup PG minutes are based on merit. That tracks.

  19. Everything is politics when it comes to which backup PG gets first quarter minutes but second quarter backup PG minutes are based on merit. That tracks.

    They want him to play but he sucks so overtly and the contrast is so obvious that they can’t continue on. It’s not really confusing at all. (Nor do I think anyone here is actually “confused,” they’re just dug in to their Frankophobia. The FO really wants DSJ to succeed, for pretty obvious reasons. That isn’t confusing at all.)

    They did not want Frank to play, and if there hadn’t been the injury to Payton and the family thing with DSJ, Frank would not be playing. San Antonio and Boston and Brooklyn were the expected models.

  20. Everything the team does is political bullshit executed by incompetent boobs except for the things I agree with which are done because of the obvious shining light of their inherent logic.

  21. RJ’s assists have likely gone down because he’s realized he’s playing with two massive hogs and has to hog himself if he’s going to be able to contribute.

    Reason #54,231 to dump the mercenaries.

  22. not trying to reignite the endless battle between Frankophiles and normal people

    God I’m such a failure of a human being

  23. Last night was as dreadful a performance as I’ve ever seen. When I turned on the game, the Knicks were leading after the 1st. It was a shit show for the remainder of the game. The Knicks turn down open shots, leave sharp-shooters wide open on the perimeter, drive directly into traffic and turn-overs. I just couldn’t believe that what I was watching was NBA basketball.

    Farfa hit the nail on the head pointing at RJ, DSJr, Knox and Frank. They were worse than putrid. These four should be the perimeter defense. Knox was torched on defense and several times you could see on his face that he knew that he blew it but had no clue how to defend. Randle had the worst 30+ point game ever. And Mitch STAY OUT OF FOUL TROUBLE!!!!!! WTF? At least half of his fouls are stupid reach-ins. STOP that. When will he learn that he’s more important on the court than on the bench?

    Dotson was a bright spot. Relegated to the bench as the 11th or 12th man, he deserves PT. If I’m coach, he’s playing and Knox gets sent down to the G-league and doesn’t return until he learns how to defend the perimeter. Add to that Knox’s near-worst shooting efficiency and … (Note to self: OK. Time to take a deep breath and calm down. The BP must be through the roof. Calm down….)

    I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, kool Kwanza and a glorious Festivus for the rest of us. May we all get what we wish for in the new year, a basketball team.

  24. I’ve basically called it quits on this organization after over 50 years. MSG is a irredeemable cesspool and no amount of faith or desire on my part can change it.

    There are a handful of kids on this team that deserve to be part of a good organization where they will be valued correctly, fit together with other players correctly, where their current skillsets will be utilized correctly, and their weaknesses will be developed over time so they can become good or even key players on a contending team over the long haul.

    It’s beyond just basketball at this point. I feel sympathy for any young kid this organization drafts or trades for. If I was an agent I would recommend that any young player that could possibly get drafted or traded to the Knicks refuse to work out or make it known publicly known they won’t stay in NY. I’d do everything possible to avoid that fate for one of my kids. It will only hurt their development, long term earnings potential, and chance to play for a good team in meaningful games later on.

    The mercenary players are all fine. If you are willing to sacrifice a year of your career for an extra few million and then move on, that makes perfect sense. But there are at least 1/2 dozen young players on the Knicks that should be asking for a trade right now while they are still young enough to get all they deserve out of basketball.

  25. I know the Knicks FO can be political. I’ve been following this franchise for over 20 years.

    I’m just saying. Frank and DSJ have both underperformed. The team had done poorly with either playing. One was our draft pick, the other acquired in a trade and they were picked exactly one spot apart from each other. Frank has gotten plenty of minutes this year and is still getting minutes even when DSJ plays. The idea that DSJ should never play and Frank should get all the minutes is silly. Right now they both have about an equal chance of turning into a decent player (slim).

    There will be nights when DSJ will get more minutes and night’s when Frank will get more. Miller has said this much…that he wants to use all three of his PGs. Until one of them starts to stand out, this is what will happen the rest of the season. Most likely neither are in the team’s plans long term and I imagine we will draft a PG this summer.

  26. Thanks Farfa, great recap. Please clap twice quickly, and three times slowly when Randle doesn’t iso from 30ft out, that would be my cue to watch a game again.

    was (30th drating) – 6 for 11
    mil (1st) – 4 for 12
    mia (11th) – 1 for 7
    atl (27th) – 8 for 10
    den (2nd) – 2 for 6
    sac (17th) – 4 for 9
    gsw (23rd) – 5 for 11
    por (18th) – 1 for 7
    ind (8th) – 2 for 11
    den (2nd) – 3 for 5
    mil (1st) – 0 for 7

    Thanks djphan. I had the notion that this is happening and your work confirms it. I also agree with your conclusion that it’s a good sign for RJ’s future development.

    Happy holidays everyone.

  27. I like contrarianism as much as the next guy, but Frankophilia is by far the majority sentiment of the Knick commentariat and fanbase. The cheers for the guy at MSG aren’t inventing themselves. It’s fine not to be fathoming it, but that un-fathoming is a distinct minority preference. Again, nothing wrong with that. And my argument isn’t to majority preference as a vessel of authority, just that given the multifactional sentiment to the contrary, the “unfathoming” seems a bit showy. It’s actually easy to fathom.

    I’m not sure if it’s bad form to cross-post Posting and Toasting, but go to the second bullet point of their wrapup and you’ll find the mainstream perspective on the whole matter. It’s pretty much what I wrote in real time last night. The contrast when Frank came in late in the first half last night was impossible for anyone with two working eyes to miss.

  28. I remember the old days, maybe yesterday, when certain posters were ranting that Elfrid Payton was useless because he blocks our young two way players and hurts the team by maybe getting the Knicks to eke out a useless additional win or two. Now they’re mad that Dennis Smith Jr got to play. Can we get some consistency for christmas?

  29. When you have a crummy team you try different things. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, playing Smith off the bench probably cost the Knicks the game. He had a abysmal 7 minutes for a plus minus of -13. Washington went on a run and didn’t look back.

    DSJr is the one young player that deserves to be on the Knicks. He’s terrible on both sides of the ball, has an extremely low basketball IQ, gets lost on the court constantly, has back issues, and seems to have some emotional issues when things aren’t going well, but he has several important things going for him that make him ideal in NY where the management and fans are equally clueless about how to value and fit players together properly. He can jump, make the occasional highlight play, and like all low IQ players with athletic gifts, he can occasionally get hot, fill up the boxscore, and impress the pinheads (all while contributing mightily to the loss).

    He’s the Michael Beasley of guards, though that may be insulting to Beasley.

  30. I’m not sure if it’s bad form to cross-post Posting and Toasting

    Only speaking for myself here, but I actually see KB and P&T as companion pieces. It’s good to read both to maintain some sort of perspective.

  31. The Knicks braintrust showered Frank with at least$5 million more than his 2020-21 market value by idiotically picking his option up for next year. If anything, they basically lit $6 million in cap space on fire. Not a single team in the NBA would pay him a plug nickel over the minimum for his putrid french ass next year, nor would any team trade anything of value for him. If last night demonstrated anything, it’s that you can pick up better players than Frank on the retread market at any time, as the Wiz did in fielding a team last night. (Same with Knox and DSjr, but I digress…)

    But no worries, discerning (by E’s take) Knicks fans will be treated to yet another year of woefully overpriced sub-g-league level play from their hero that they can blame on someone other than Le Scrub d’Resistance himself.

  32. Ok so here’s the deal. At a JD and the Straight Shot concert a few years ago some dude wearing a beret shouted out “Tu crains” (“you suck” in French) at Dolan. After the show, Dolan called Mills and said “I know Ntilikina is a really good point guard, but I don’t want that goddamn French fuck seeing any court time”

    So there you have it, conspiracy theory explained.

  33. If last night demonstrated anything, it’s that you can pick up better players than Frank on the retread market at any time, as the Wiz did in fielding a team last night. (Same with Knox and DSjr, but I digress…)

    Frank played 10 minutes last night and was fine? Bit foul happy but that game didn’t really demonstrate anything about Frank at all.

  34. Lots of teeth gnashing today. That game must’ve been fugly. But hey they actually led and almost came back, right?

    This team is just too young, and sure, some of these guys aren’t good enough. At least there’s a coach that can work with them now instead of a politician.

    I’m perfectly happy to let them grind this year out so we get a top pick like Edwards. And there’s plenty of minutes for all our crappy guards! Frank just needs some more time at off guard.

    Let the kids get their reps in, enjoy this living shitshow for what it is, and have a happy, merry whatever!

  35. @35 It wasn’t a knock on Franks play last night, it was meant to point out that Washington was desperate for NBA players and suited up vet’s minimum guys like Payton II, Robinson and Pase??iks, and that guys like that are available at any time, so why waste time defending Frank’s right to play more minutes until he starts playing like something more than a bargain basement player?

    It’s pretty likely that we can find a 22yo undrafted FA next July that will put up better numbers than Frank and is more worthy of a roster spot. And yet, here we are, arguing about whether he’s getting enough playing time.

  36. Frank has far more upside than any of those jokers and my sense is that you understand this. The reason you play him is to develop him, in the hopes of garnering the benefit of that upside, and my sense is that you understand this, too. If you don’t understand it as applied to Frank, you understand it conceptually, and that understanding will unlock a lot of what apparently appear to be mysterious writings and thoughts about the long-wingspanned French dude.

  37. People (and podcast pundits too) seem surprised that the crowd roots for Frank. But he’s actually the Knicks senior player, having been on the Knicks for a full three seasons. Who else do they know well enough to root for? I realize Dotson has also been on the team for three seasons, but he is less visible. No one else has been here more than two seasons and for many it’s there first season with the Knicks and they may not be back next season.

  38. I understand why people love the idea of Frank. He is a good defender and steam player and we’ve been short of those types of players for the last 20 years. I desperately want the Knicks to be good at defense and play team ball but I’m finally starting to give up the ghost on frank. I want him to succeed and maybe we screwed him up but I don’t think he’ll turn into a good player for us.

    But I do want us to invest in players that are good at defense. I’m tired of watching us get beat by scrubs every night.

  39. An unironic “we should make personnel decisions based on MSG chants” take has been sorely lacking from this board. We have entered Clyde Police territory, and I for one am entertained. Never, ever change my guy. Don’t listen to the haters. You’ll be the one laughing when the NBA’s Frank Ntilikina era begins, which should be any day now.

  40. Yeah, I know, this FO isn’t political in the least. There’s no chance they want to do everything humanly possible to try to salvage the only living, breathing (*) piece they got back for one of the more valuable young assets in the league, lest their reputations sink even further. Not a chance. Unpossible.

    So much world building.

    It all starts with the fantasy that Kristaps Porzingis is lighting it up in Dallas. As E has told us, he’s a top 15 asset in the NBA, and the whole world is laughing at us for not giving him a max contract that 29 other teams were lining up to offer without hesitation.

    This fiction is the backstory for today’s fantasy: That Mills and Perry personally elevated Smith over Frank in order to save face for the humiliation they suffered by trading one of the 30 best players in the world for pennies on the dollar.

    It couldn’t just be that all our guards are crap and really doesn’t matter who plays so you might as well rotate them and see if something different works.

  41. Man, it’s too bad Silverman isn’t writing here any more. I would absolutely love to read his take on a political thriller in which Mills & Perry decide that playing bum-ass DSJ 13 minutes a night is the key to saving their jobs and launch a wide-ranging conspiracy to bring it to fruition. But then, in a shocking twist, swayed by the indisputable glory of Frank’s first half minutes (0 points, 1 assist), and the crowds’ obvious fondness for our French hero, the former villians see the error of their ways and call off the whole thing with DSJ’s second-half DNP as the crowning moment of glory.

  42. 2010-2011 Andy Rautins is the most underrated player of all time according to E’s crowd noise frequency and decibel metric.

  43. This is just going to get reflected off of more eye-test Teflon, but I’m going to say it anyway: Frank is nowhere close to defensively elite. He’s a merely average defender. He’s good at playing close to his man but doesn’t fill up the stat sheet in the ways you expect defensively elite wings to do. He also gets burned on team rotations. He’s an anemic rebounder at 3.2 TRB per 36–totally inexcusable given his size. He doesn’t get blocks despite his significantly plus wingspan (.6 blocks per 36). He doesn’t even get all that many steals (a solid but not eye-popping 1.8 Stls/36, for a total of 2.4 stocks per 36.) If you want to be an elite wing defender, you have to have all of these things and good man defense. Frank only has one component, and it shows in all of his defensive stats, which rate him as an below-average to slight above-average defender. He may get better with age, but there is no reason to suppose his anemic rebound rate gets any better, and that’s because Frank is Charmin-soft. You can’t be too great of an all-around defender if you don’t rebound. Rebounding is actually one of the most impactful things you can do on defense, and Frank sucks at it. Coupled with his overrated “non stat-sheet” D (inability to set picks, mediocre help d, etc.) and you have a merely adequate defensive player. Yay.

    Here’s what actual (non-superstar) great or elite point & wing defenders around Frank’s age do:

    Pat Bev (rookie age 24 season): 5.5 trb per 36, 3 stocks per 36.
    OG Anunoby (this year, same height as frank lol): 7 TRB per 36, 2.5 stocks per 36.
    Matisse Thybulle (rookie): 2.2 TRB (sad to see), 4.5 stocks (!) per 36.
    De’Anthony Melton: 8 TRB, 3.5 stocks per 36.

    All of these players are way better than Frank. Frank’s upside is getting to the level Melton and Thybulle are already at, while being totally unable to play NBA-level offense. This is to say that Frank’s upside is a slightly above replacement level player. All for 6 million dollars next year!

  44. Happy Holidays to all of you. And Happy Festivus for the rest of us!

    I’m no DSJ fan, but I don’t really see the point of bringing him in for 6 minutes, then benching him when he wanders around, lost and sulking on the court as usual (esp. on defense). I mean, if they want to get a look at him (showcasing?), sure, give Frank a night off and give DSJ all the backup PG minutes. All they’re doing is putting even more pressure on a DSJ who likely is not nearly emotionally mature enough to deal with it. Just D League him already.

    Anyway, I don’t understand all the outrage about PG minutes. Bobby Portis’s very presence on the team, his salary, and the minutes he gets are far more annoying to me. :-)

  45. This is mainstream opinion from people who actually would know:

    “Frank is a phenomenal defender,” said Dinwiddie, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “He makes it as tough as the elite guys in the league: He’s in that class. I was able to shoot a lot of free throws, attack in transition. It’s not like I had 30 just on Frank. Frank did a great job, made me work all night. It was tough. He is a great defender.”

    I don’t really know what to make of the relentless obsession with the box score stuff without sounding uncharitable, but it’s pretty uncontrovertable that there are things in life that certain people are just better at doing than other people and maybe deconstructing athletes’ abilities by watching them is simply one of those things. There are people who are better than other people at seeing things in movies, plays, etc., and a basketball game isn’t a whole lot different than that. And we don’t even have to get to differences in perception among non-professionals; it should be self-evident that Spencer Dinwiddie is better at evaluating NBA defenders than a civilian reading a box score.

    The fact that some things in a basketball game are measured for posterity, unlike things in a movie or play, doesn’t really change that fundamental reality. The fact and existence of the measured things unfortunately create all manner of illusions about capacity to see.

  46. Look, we disagree a lot on here, but I think we can all agree the next front office needs to apply a two pronged test to any decision that comes before them:

    1) What do a few thousand strangers at MSG think?

    2) What does Spencer Dinwiddie think?

  47. Yeah because players and former players are proven to be the best talent evaluators in the business! So many success stories like Michael Jordan, Derek Fisher, Jeff Hornacek, so much knowledge!

  48. The strongest evidence for Frank’s elite defensive ability is the praise he drew from an opponent that just hung 30 on him. That’s definitely a powerful statement.

  49. As I’m quite comfortable in believing the Mavericks should have and don’t have any interest in trading Kristaps Porzingis for Marcus Morris and Elfrid Payton, I’m quite comfortable going with Spencer Dinwiddie as being able to tell an elite defending NBA guard over civilians reading a box score. I’m extra comfortable going with Spencer Dinwiddie and my eyes over civilians reading a box score. If others’ eyes can’t see or refuse to see what’s there to see, let’s just leave it as I wouldn’t really presume to go up to Manhola Dargis and mock her for resorting to the “eye test.”

  50. It’s funny the NBA kicked the Knicks off Christmas and half the games they scheduled are still terrible matchups

  51. This appeal to film crit is doubly strained given that films don’t admit of or need quantifying, since they’re not games, and second because Manhola Dargis–despite being a film critic I usually like–has no special authority over determining what the good films are! She just (usually) has well-developed reasons for her opinions.

  52. I read an interesting article over the summer that looked at turnovers that were credited to someone other than the defender guarding the guy who turned the ball over and guys guarded by Frank turned the ball over a lot. I’ll have to see if I can find it again.

  53. @55

    That would go some way to giving an actual response to my argument, thank you!

  54. Serious questions for Strat/E:

    At what point will Porzingis’ mediocre stats stop being Fake News? When will he have “shaken the rust off” or “gotten stronger” or whatever? When can we expect him to put up the numbers that the actual good players put up?

    Similarly, when can we expect Frank to stop having some of the worst numbers in the NBA? It looks like he’s headed for his third straight season in negative WS48 land, so when will he crack, say, .100? Will he ever, or will his greatness only ever be known to the luminaries who can see through the fake numbers?

    This matters a lot particularly in Frank’s case, because as much as you may despise both the fake all-in-one metrics and the also allegedly fake more narrow ones like “points per true shot attempt,” you really don’t see a lot of players on elite teams getting serious rotation minutes without grading out as at least competent via the fake numbers. This might be why when Ntilikina was clearly on the trade market, your predictions that the smart, good teams would bang down the door for him didn’t materialize.

    So when’s it gonna happen for these guys?

  55. @Jowles re:Knives Out

    **Spoilers**

    I thought the movie was criticizing both sides of the SJW & alt-right divide. While everyone was arguing and playing politics, the immigrant is doing her job and doing it well. So I thought there was a more subtle angle where the inevitable consequence of playing at politics instead of working will naturally lead to someone else inheriting everything, i.e., the immigrants will inherit the country because they work harder. Recalling the lines when Daniel Craig says she didn’t mess up because she’s good at her job, and when Craig says he follows the natural laws of things, like the terminus of gravity’s rainbow.

    I thought there were a few funny scenes, but not supposed to be laugh out loud ones–more of a smirk. Craig’s speech about the donuts was hilarious, and I thought he was great. I watched it with my parents and brother and my dad laughs out loud at everything so it came off decently. Honestly, would have preferred silence during some segments. I heard others laughing too perhaps because the constant laughter made them realize it was comedic.

    Yeah thinking back it is a bit ham fisted from that angle but watching it isn’t as clear as knowing the resolution since everything is still up in the air.

    I did enjoy the new take on the genre.

    ***Knives Out Spoilers***

    Definitely 100% better than watching the Knicks.

  56. Who are the elite NBA players who are in the vicinity of .100 WS48?

    Who are the useful NBA players who are in the vicinity of .000 WS48?

    Surely there must be SOME.

  57. The funny thing is that if Dallas stays top 4 in the Western Conference until late January (feasible) KP will be in the All-Star Game and every lamestream talking head will go gaga at the idea of bashing the LOLKnicks again, while never bothering to take a real look at KP’s production.

  58. This matters a lot particularly in Frank’s case, because as much as you may despise both the fake all-in-one metrics and the also allegedly fake more narrow ones like “points per true shot attempt,” you really don’t see a lot of players on elite teams getting serious rotation minutes without grading out as at least competent via the fake numbers.

    Actually, you do see that but in any event any player we offer up would be tautologically deemed to suck because they have a low WS/48. “Joe Jones? Big deal, he sucks. He has an WS/48 lower than Frank Ntilikina’s!!”

    Seems kind of pointless.

  59. “The Knicks passed on a really good one, and Dallas got the diamond in the rough,” James said after his Cleveland Cavaliers’ 111-104 win Saturday night over the Mavericks. “He should be a Knick. That’s going to make some headlines, but he should be a Knick. Dallas is definitely, I know they’re excited that he didn’t go there.”

  60. No, please, name all the secretly good players who get big minutes on good teams with WS48s in the .000 or below range. Your answer kind of makes me think you searched and couldn’t find any.

  61. I have noticed that whenever DSj shoots the ball leaves a faint chemtrail behind it. The extra chemical load is probably why he’s playing so poorly this year. E’s right, the FO is desperate to get him burn but it’s not because of the KP trade (worse than the AB trade? AB KP DS, nuff said). It’s so that they can influence the crowd (and Dolan) with their mind control chemicals – instant saved careers.

  62. Frank has far more upside than any of those jokers and my sense is that you understand this. The reason you play him is to develop him, in the hopes of garnering the benefit of that upside, and my sense is that you understand this, too. If you don’t understand it as applied to Frank, you understand it conceptually, and that understanding will unlock a lot of what apparently appear to be mysterious writings and thoughts about the long-wingspanned French dude.

    No, my sense at draft time was that we made a terrible mistake by drafting him because he had very little upside (because he couldn’t shoot, had no fast-twitch explosion, was a lousy ball-handler, didn’t rebound, and was too small to be a forward. If you don’t believe me, ask Ntilikilla and Bruno. And lo and behold, he STILL has virtually no upside (actually, less than he did at age 18), certainly not any that would justify a $20 million investment since he was drafted. But you keep that porch light on…he’ll turn the corner any day now.

  63. To be clear, I am on the record as saying that his ceiling is a back-of-rotation 3-and-D small wing IF AND ONLY IF he can hit 3’s at a decent % (say 37%). Beyond that, he’s a vet’s minimum end-of-bench scrub that can be picked up off the scrap heap at any time. He’s a Mudiay/Hezonja-level player AT BEST.

  64. Frank’s WS48 isn’t in the .000 or below range. You guys can’t even play it straight with your own numbers.

  65. FWIW, RAPTOR does view KP favorably (but far from superstar level). Mostly due to his defense, but not nearly as bad as you would think on offense, likely because of spacing (still bad on offense).

    RAPTOR also does not view Frank’s defense favorably and actually prefers Payton’s defense.

    Lots of issues with plus/minus metrics even after adjustments so take everything with heaping helpings of salt.

  66. Frank’s WS48 isn’t in the .000 or below range. You guys can’t even play it straight with your own numbers.

    My guy, his career figure is -0.023. Are you hanging your hat on his rapidly declining .015 figure from this year, only? I mean, there’s no reason to do that, but sure, feel free to expand the search to .015 or below.

  67. His WS at the moment is about 0.2. That puts him slightly over the 25th percentile in the league, which sounds about right.

  68. There’s only one way to explain the chants. Wily Frenchmen have infiltrated MSG and laced the beer with LSD. It’s all about the alphanumerology.

  69. His WS at the moment is about 0.2. That puts him slightly over the 25th percentile in the league, which sounds about right.

    I did a search of players who have played over 500 minutes this season and have WS48 of .020 or lower. There are 12 players on the list. 7 of them are younger than Frank.

    Which suggests that the bottom quartile is loaded with scrubs who had a cup of coffee. Of guys that actually play, Frank is in the bottom 5 percent, and of players in their 3rd year or more, is in the bottom 2%. He fucking sucks.

  70. The argument shouldn’t be Frank’s playing time vs. DSJ’s, it should Frank’s vs. Dotson’s. Frank’s not a point- he’s never even cracked a 20% assist rate- if you want to develop him he should be playing the two. Dotson is basically the same age as Payton, is unsigned for next year and is about as replaceable a player as you can find- mediocre on both ends (he’s not a bad man defender but is horrible off of the ball). You want to develop Frank- let him take all of Dot’s 16 minutes and find him a few more either at the one or three. Of course Bullock is coming back and I’m sure he’ll take all of Dot’s minutes as Perry and Mills desperately search for any positives that might save their jobs.

  71. I did a search of players who have played over 500 minutes this season and have WS48 of .020 or lower. There are 12 players on the list. 7 of them are younger than Frank.

    I would think all those 12 players are in the regular rotation for their teams given the number of minutes they play. Thirty teams with an average of 9 player rotations is 270 rotation players. That puts Frank about fifth percentile, which matches your first number.

  72. I’m strongly in favor of calling up Kadeem Allen and giving Frank a shot at the 2.

    Payton/Allen/ anyone but DSJR
    Frank/Trier/Ellington for trade reasons
    RJ/Dotson
    Morris/Randle/anyone but Portis
    Mitch/Taj I guess

    And I guess we should give Knox minutes in there somewhere…

  73. Yes, but as I pointed out, some of them would not be regular rotation players if they weren’t either on bad teams, or rookies, or both. For example, RJ Barrett is on the list and he only is a rotation player because he is a 19yo #3 pick on a terrible team. So you shouldn’t really include him (or Cam Reddish or Coby White or Darius Garland or Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter or Jordan Poole or Kevin Porter) in evaluating how bad Frank is relative to the league. And as someone pointed out, his recent trajectory is rapidly trending towards “worst non-rookie player in the league.”

    PS the non-rookies are Kent Bazemore, Lonzo Ball, and Treveon Graham. At least Lonzo and Bazemore had some productivity in the past.

  74. Best outcome for the Knicks is to re-sign Frank and have him leave to play in France for 3-4 years. I think we retain his rights if he doesn’t play in the NBA and we can look to bring him stateside at an age he may actually contribute. If he does blossom into a real player he’s at least 1 more contract away.

  75. No, please, name all the secretly good players who get big minutes on good teams with WS48s in the .000 or below range. Your answer kind of makes me think you searched and couldn’t find any.

    I thought this a fair question so I did a BBRef search with Frank’s criteria. His current age is 21 and his ws/48= 0.015 so I searched 21 yr olds with ws/48 </= Frank's….. an interesting result:

    Kemba Walker
    Eric Bledsoe
    Hassan Whiteside
    Rudy Gay
    Jamal Mashburn
    Reggie Jackson
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    D'angelo Russell
    Patty Mills

  76. Why are we arguing about Frank after a game in which he played pretty well for 10 minutes and we lost to one of the worst teams in the NBA at home?

  77. This appeal to film crit is doubly strained given that films don’t admit of or need quantifying,

    It makes sense when you realize ‘E’ is our board’s Armond White.

  78. Because nobody can talk about anything else other than a triangle “point guard” who can play average defense because they’re nostalgic for the Ewing Knicks.

    @82

    Ah, it all comes together now.

  79. Because everyone on this board has a big brain and the emotional insecurity to believe that their ability to project one PG/SG’s future value reflects on their intelligence, and therefore, their worth as a person. Me included.

  80. there are plenty of ppl who have been wrong and admitted as such…. i thought kp would be a bust… he hasn’t been quite that bad altho he’s likely to be perpetually disappointing…

    being smart isn’t about predicting something and being right… in fact most smart ppl will be the first to tell you that they don’t know everything….

    what’s contentious about all this frank talk is the ‘because i said so’ type of arguments and finally the appeals to authority…. that doesn’t move the conversation forward…. it’s not productive… and that’s mainly the source of the jeers and hostility that often takes up all the oxygen in the room….

    it’s trolling…. if you want to engage honestly…. show your work…. nobody… well aside from certain kinds of assholes… will react in a hostile fashion to good faith engagement…. that’s not what’s goin on here….

  81. and now, for the other 20% of life…

    whenever, wherever you are – I hope you’re able spend the day as you please…

    for me that’s trying to slow the passage of time…I wanna sip and savor life, not guzzle and gorge it…

    I usually only take vacation in one or two day chunks, so between work and family/friends – I’m on a mission just about each and every day…I’m gonna change that next year…

    I know there’s lots of folks whom enjoy/need to be fully engaged, almost all the time…for those folks i imagine it helps them feel alive…with purpose…

    man’s search for meaning, to have absolutely nothing to do…for a while…

    so today, trip over to ma’s…give her a chance to do ma stuff – feed me and lecture me on life…watch endless cooking competitions (the bakers are the real bad asses…you damn near need a degree in chemistry to figure out what to do), and take a nap…one of life’s greatest luxuries – a simple, yet rarely attainable, nap…

  82. @85

    Exactly. I had plenty of heated arguments with Z-Man specially because I thought Frank was a good draft pick and I believed he would be an impact player. He is not, so I changed my stance as soon as that became clear. I waited as long as I’m willing to do with young players which is basically “show me something by the end of the sophomore year”, and he showed me nothing.

    There’s been plenty of other people over the years in this board who have had super heated arguments and have changed stances. But I won’t suddenly believe in Frank when every piece of actual evidence we have show he’s terrible, just because I like him, and I do like him.

  83. Arguing about Frank is like a never ending chess game with only a few pieces left on the board for each player.
    Minimal, stress-free and endless.

    Merry XMass Everyone !

  84. Merry Franksmas everybody! That is, unless you celebrate Dennisukkah Jr., in which case: Happy Dennisukkah Jr.!

  85. Being smart isn’t advocating for the Knicks to sign or draft underrated players like Seth Curry, Jordan Bell, Kyle Anderson, Kawhi Leonard, Brandon Clarke, Hassan White side or Kent Bazemore (when the last two would have cost like $1.5M AAV). It’s knowing that while I might not be smart, the people who consistently naysayed me are much dumber.

  86. Exactly. I had plenty of heated arguments with Z-Man specially because I thought Frank was a good draft pick and I believed he would be an impact player. He is not, so I changed my stance as soon as that became clear. I waited as long as I’m willing to do with young players which is basically “show me something by the end of the sophomore year”, and he showed me nothing.

    There’s been plenty of other people over the years in this board who have had super heated arguments and have changed stances. But I won’t suddenly believe in Frank when every piece of actual evidence we have show he’s terrible, just because I like him, and I do like him.

    There is a small problem with this analysis. I just posted empirical data showing 3 players currently in the NBA on max contracts had WORSE 21 yr old seasons than Frank.

    The sample size of 18-21 year old players entering the NBA is relatively small. That doesn’t mean that Frank is somehow going to become a max player but it does imply he may get substantially better by the time he is 25. Many here discount that out of hand.

  87. I don’t really follow or talk about basketball to demonstrate my intelligence; I have other vehicles in life to do that (or fail to do that).

    Frank to me is a perfect emblem of Knick incompetence and so he’s a perfect vehicle to use to mock that incompetence. Plus I love great defenders and I subjectively like Frank and like being part of a really knowledgeable fanbase who sees the right things in Frank and sees through the Knick bullshit. Happy to join the majority faction on this one, because they care about what I care about and see what I see.

    As far as showing work, my work is the eye test on defense and the testimony of people like Spencer Dinwiddie. There’s no way for me to prove anything to anyone about something like perimeter defense, and I understand that. I think there’s some sandbagging going on here because I don’t really think people here wouldn’t be able to tell who was a good defender if the Knicks played 82 pickup games at W 4th or Rucker where no stats were kept other than the score, but if they say they need the numbers to tell, I guess I can’t argue with that. I’m pretty sure I could, though.

  88. I don’t know if calling it politics is ok but playing Trier and especially ridiculously playing DSJ before Frank seemed pretty strange to me too yesterday.
    My feeling is that they want to trade DSJ and possibly Trier. (Of course my feeling may be also my desire)

  89. I don’t really follow or talk about basketball to demonstrate my intelligence; I have other vehicles in life to do that (or fail to do that).

    pics or it never happened/happens…

  90. Lol, take it easy everyone. I’m joking (mostly). Enjoy the holidays or at least the time off. Hopefully 2020 begins a new, less inept, decade in Knicks management.

  91. Knickerblogger is not exactly basketball tho.
    It’s a brain/eye/stats arena without rules like street fight !

    Kill or be killed !

  92. One wrong word can beat you up pretty badly in here !
    Knickerblogger taught me the exact meaning of absolute precision !

  93. @97

    Why is there a space between the letter of the last word and the sentence-terminal punctuation mark? Do better.

  94. @99(lol)
    It’s called poetic licence. .
    It has to do with spacing ! And style !
    I swear i can prove it !!!! !!!!!

  95. @100

    Please submit your peer-reviewed paper on the applicability of poetic license to punctuation for a proper Knickerblogger investigation.

    Absent peer-reviewed proof, I refuse to acknowledge the effect of spacing.

  96. If you need to be fully convinced just ask Bobby P about the significance of punchuation and spacing between him and Nikola M !

  97. Completely off-topic: Lady Farfa gifted me a Lego 1989 Batmobile (already Christmas here).

    That woman has an extra extra gear. If anything bad ever happens to our relationship, I’ll be the stupidest man on Earth.

  98. Latest Knicks News:
    Bobby Portis asked from Santa to make him ‘All-Defensive First Team’.
    Santa called Harry Potter asking for Help. They re both missing ever since.

  99. I thought this a fair question so I did a BBRef search with Frank’s criteria. His current age is 21 and his ws/48= 0.015 so I searched 21 yr olds with ws/48 </= Frank's….. an interesting result:

    Kemba Walker
    Eric Bledsoe
    Hassan Whiteside
    Rudy Gay
    Jamal Mashburn
    Reggie Jackson
    Spencer Dinwiddie
    D'angelo Russell
    Patty Mills

    Yeah, but with the exception of Ntilikina, all of these guys showed improvement from year one to year two. (As did every player that’s ever been good). That can’t just be ignored.

  100. Yeah, but with the exception of Ntilikina, all of these guys showed improvement from year one to year two. (As did every player that’s ever been good). That can’t just be ignored.

    Not true…. Just taking the 3 max players DAR, Whiteside and Walker on that list. DAR came into the NBA at 19, and regressed in ws/48 from 20 -21 from .033 at 20 down to .014 at 21…… he became an all star at 22. Not a soul on this board would have predicted that.

    Walker didn’t enter the league til he was 21 FFS. His ws/48 didn’t exceed .101 til he was 25!

    Whiteside didn’t play 110 minutes in the NBA til he was 25.

    Frank came into this shit show of a team late in his 18 year old year from a completely different culture and system and endured 4 coaching changes and 3 management changes in his first 2 seasons and his second season was virtually injury marred.

    The notion that at 21 his ceiling absolute is Mike Riordan is incompatible with history….

  101. bob, you’ve spouted tons of bs over the years, but this takes the cake. Whiteside is a C so there is no comparison, Kemba and DAR showed exceptional proficiency at the college level, and had requisite offensive skills that just needed to be polished in the NBA. DAR was a positive VORP player for every year he has been in the NBA and his worst BPM is better than Frank’s best. Same with Kemba, even more so.

    Frank sucked as a backup guard in a shitty euro division and while there never demonstrated any skills suggesting that he could be a PG in the NBA (unless you are going to bring up the utterly meaningless MVP in the U18 tournament.) He has not improved meaningfully in any statistical category in 3200 minutes of playing time.

  102. Not true…. .The notion that at 21 his ceiling absolute is Mike Riordan is incompatible with history….

    I know it’s the holidays, and we’re all hitting the egg nog hard these days, but history is very clear on this: no rookie has ever posted a negative WS/48, gotten even worse his second year, and went on to be a good NBA player. His company is Josh Jackson, Dragan Bender, and a few other guys you’ve probably never heard of. The sample size is big, the results are damning. Merry Christmas, Santa isn’t real, bah humbug, Frank is terrible.

  103. @99 Jowles, in French, and maybe other languages you put a space before the punctuation at the end of sentences. I’m not sure if this is the rule, or just sometimes, but I definitely see it happening when they write in English.

  104. Merry Ho Ho Ho!

    The Knicks give us nothing good to talk about that’s why the threads are the same shit all the time. We need better content from the team.

  105. bob, you’ve spouted tons of bs over the years, but this takes the cake. Whiteside is a C so there is no comparison, Kemba and DAR showed exceptional proficiency at the college level, and had requisite offensive skills that just needed to be polished in the NBA. DAR was a positive VORP player for every year he has been in the NBA and his worst BPM is better than Frank’s best. Same with Kemba, even more so.

    Z…. don’t blame the messenger and feel free to place the snark directly where the Sun don’t shine. I responded to NFH’s allusion to Frank’s ineptitude when he said this:

    No, please, name all the secretly good players who get big minutes on good teams with WS48s in the .000 or below range. Your answer kind of makes me think you searched and couldn’t find any.

    I did not pick the metric . So…. rather than pontificate blowing smoke from my posterior, I did an actual search and found two current actual NBA point guards with worse WS/48 than Frank at the same age that ARE CURRENTLY ON NEWLY MINTED MAX CONTRACTS

    I am truly sorry if that doesn’t fit the story line.

    If you want to say Frank was already in the league for 2 years at the age of 21…. fine. I’ll counter that with he was foisted into this management/coaching and player shit show prematurely when he should have been left in a bigger Euroleague team for the needed seasoning..

    Kemba walker played the best AAU ball in America and had 3 full years in the best BB program with an absolute great coach in Calhoun at UCONN, played in the Final 4 in the title game under huge pressure. He was as well prepared to enter the NBA as any college player ever….

    Except he sucked a gigantic bag of dicks as a 21 year old and played statistically worse than Frank. he didn’t play league average til he was 24 and now he is all NBA with a Max contract. Thems is the facts… do with them whatever you may but I listed 10 players that sucked serious…

  106. Well the idea we’re being sold is that ‘Staps and his Herculean .106 WS48 is a superstar top 20 player right now, as in present and not future, and that the French Prince is a good and productive player right now, like in 2019.

    Sure, some players have improved from a baseline of shitty and become good, that happens sometimes. What we’re being told is that the all-in-one metrics are somehow wrong about these players in the present tense, and that you can somehow have a .106 WS48 and still be a basketball superstar.

  107. I did an actual search and found two current actual NBA point guards with worse WS/48 than Frank at the same age that ARE CURRENTLY ON NEWLY MINTED MAX CONTRACTS

    you should read what you quoted again…. that’s not what he was asking for…

  108. What we’re being told is that the all-in-one metrics are somehow wrong about these players in the present tense, and that you can somehow have a .106 WS48 and still be a basketball superstar.

    You could certainly be one in the future but just as certainly aren’t one now……

    I think the moral of this story is that “sometimes” 21 year old NBA players get an awful lot better….

  109. Bob, you didn’t understand my question. Of course if Frank improves astronomically, he can be good. That’s…how improvement works.

    But when I asked when that would happen, E responded by saying it doesn’t need to happen because Frank, right now, is good enough to get major minutes on a good team. None of the the guys you cited (and there are a ton of other issues with the list as others have pointed out) were rotation players on a good team with their Ntilikinian numbers. They were after they improved.

    Now, if you’re saying Frank, like them, will improve, sure. My original question was when will that happen? How long will he be too scared/unconfident/injured/young to be evaluated properly? It’s clearly not happening in season 3, so do we have to wait until season 4? Beyond that? I’m just eager for the latent greatness to come out!

  110. Frank very obviously should not have been in the NBA at all the last two seasons.

    I know it’s the holidays, and we’re all hitting the egg nog hard these days, but history is very clear on this: no rookie has ever posted a negative WS/48, gotten even worse his second year, and went on to be a good NBA player.

    I’m not sure this matters. I don’t think comparing a 22 year old to a 19 year old is all that valuable

  111. https://elitesportsny.com/2019/12/24/new-york-knicks-rumors-team-open-to-trading-frank-ntilikina/

    He’s averaging 5.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game, but understanding his game goes much deeper than reading box scores. He shut down Luka Doncic in critical fourth-quarter moments twice in November. Those two wins make up 29% of the team’s wins so far this season and they were prime examples of the kind of elite defense the long-limbed guard possesses.

    29% of wins! Wow!

  112. My main objection is to the Greek Chorus who says OMG Frank is 21 and can’t possible get significantly better. That is objectively BS. It is also very tiresome.

    Today Frank is not a rotation player on a good team…. everybody gets that.

    What I do not get is the notion that playing Players like Payton who is 4.5 years older than frank and not close to an average NBA player today and prioritizing his development over Frank’s or even a longer shot DSJr.

    And that’s not even bringing up the sheer insanity of the D Roses, Noahs, AfLOLo’s and more recently Morris, Bullock, Gibson, et al trying desperately to win 30 games as if that is some sort of victory.

    I am old enough to remember how the last Knicks real teams were built… over a half dozen drafts developing those players at all levels from Willis to Clyde (stars) to starters (Bradley) to role players (Stallworth, Cazzie) to marginal players like Mike Riordan, with a deft trade or two at the end.

    I’m not expecting Frank to be Willis or Clyde, but maybe Bradley, Stallworth or Mike Riordan. But prioritizing mercenary vets over young players under control is pure lunacy.

  113. Today Frank is not a rotation player on a good team…. everybody gets that.

    Re-read the series of comments you’re responding to. You missed something.

  114. I’ve said it a million times: on this joke of a team, play Frank until the wheels come off. My point is if we ever plan on not sucking, we should try to develop an idea of where Frank fits into that. This includes his contract, his position, his playing time, etc. It’s in that context that I find his performance, um, discouraging.

    I don’t really care that Payton gets minutes that could theoretically go to Frank, because they don’t play anything close to the same position. Also if we gave Frank too many minutes all we’d ever hear about is how we were “overusing him” or “putting too much pressure on him” or whatever anyway (I’m old enough to remember when these were common refrains to explain away his sucktitude under Hornacek, before the pivot to “the Knicks are too stupid to understand his power” began).

  115. I’m not expecting Frank to be Willis or Clyde, but maybe Bradley, Stallworth or Mike Riordan. But prioritizing mercenary vets over young players under control is pure lunacy.

    I generally agree with this, but Ntilikina is barely under control and has shown minimal growth in three years. And although it’s purely conjecture, I like the idea of the rest of the team playing with a functional point guard, even if Payton tops out as a fringe playoff team’s second-stringer. Robinson in particular could benefit from a few extra lobs per game, which Ntilikina is largely incapable of.

    Instead of arguing between mediocre mercenary veterans (who will not be relevant by the time this team first cracks .500, probably 2-3 years minimum) and a trio of lottery underachievers, we should maybe cut bait on both and start looking to the G-League and UDFA pile for flyers.

    I would be up for Ntilikina playing a ton of minutes if I thought it would help his trade value — I do not think even 50% more playing time is going to meaningfully accelerate his slow crawl toward viable NBA player. But since he’s allergic to shooting and rebounding, it’s not like his superficial numbers are going to do anything for him. Even if he played all 48 all night, he’d be on pace to score 12 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds a game. Hardly useful to dupe some front office’s idiots (looking at you, Vlade) into a decent trade. (One second rounder would do, and I doubt he’d fetch that right now, especially at a lottery pick’s 4th-year salary.)

    And to piggyback on tnfh’s post, there is absolutely no reason that Payton can’t play the 1 next to Ntilikina at the 2.

  116. I think most of us here feel like Frank could be a cromulent defense-oriented shooting guard role player at some point in his career. He’ll never be a reasonable point guard, that is clear to me, and he doesn’t rebound enough to play much small forward.

    So that’s a pretty niche role, defensive two guard. I guess such a player is useful but honestly who gives a shit. Draft a Melton type in the second round if you really gotta have a player like that. It’s not a super exciting profile.

  117. My feeling is that they want to trade DSJ and possibly Trier. (Of course my feeling may be also my desire)

    I’d keep Trier and trade DSJ, but I think you might actually have to pay someone to take DSJ at this stage. He was terrible in Dallas. They were trying to get rid of him but there were no takers. His value is much lower now.

    There is a huge difference between Trier and DSjr.

    Trier is an efficient scorer that doesn’t defend, is a black hole with the ball at times, and that has a questionable basketball IQ. But that “efficient scorer” attribute is something to work with. He has a chance to become a 6th man on a very good team with some good coaching, time, and playoff experience.

    DSJr doesn’t do a single thing at a very high level so you can imagine him as a key role player on a good team and has way too far to go in his development in every facet of the game to imagine him ever becoming a high level starter, especially given the low basketball IQ.

    High level stars usually show a lot of potential in multiple areas of the game right from the start and just need coaching, development time, and playoff experience to reach their potential.

    High level role players usually are usually plus players in one area, but weak in others. They need coaching, development time, and playoff experience to maximize that strength and develop their weaknesses just enough to not be a huge liability in other areas. Then you pair them up with players whose strengths compliment them.

    Frank has a shot to become a high level starting role player on a very good team that already has their #1 and #2 option.

    Robinson has a shot to become a 3rd option on a very good team, but he has a lot to learn on both sides. He’d have to expand his offense a lot to be considered a #1 or #2 option (still possible) but I’m beginning to question his basketball IQ and his full potential.

  118. cont…

    Knox looks more like a player that will be OK at a lot of things, but not good enough at any one thing to become a solid starting role player and certainly not good enough at everything to be a #1 or #2 option.

    I am sort of mixed on RJ because it’s so soon. He does enough things well at such a young age, it’s possible to imagine him as #2 option on a very good team, but his shot is so weak, he has to make a huge hump in that area over the next few years. If he can’t, it’s also possible to see him as more of a 3rd or 4th option a few years from now.

    I’d keep Dotson.

  119. Jowles, that was an interesting article that is probably correct but manages to illustrate all that is wrong with the Knick’s management’s taste in players. I’m not saying Frank is good but the only reason I can think of for this:

    For the Knicks, a trade would free up all of the second-unit minutes for Smith.

    [because they want to prove he can become good]

    is that we really are tanking despite all of managements statements to the contrary. Of course, knowing our management they really believe this and are not tanking.

  120. DSJr doesn’t do a single thing at a very high level so you can imagine him as a key role player on a good team

    That should have been “can’t imagine”

  121. Z…. don’t blame the messenger and feel free to place the snark directly where the Sun don’t shine.

    You’re right, bob, that comment was unnecessarily personal and I apologize for that, probably one too many servings of holiday cheer were involved. As to where I should put the snark, I’m scheduled for a routine colonoscopy next week…wouldn’t want to shake up the doc…

  122. There’s several criticisms of Frank that get floated around and it’s important not to conflate them. The way that E and some other posters comment leads me to believe they put Frank above Payton at PG today (yes, you deny making that claim but your other posts suggest otherwise).

    Then there’s more general criticism of Frank’s longterm potential due to his inability to do anything on offense. There is previous precedent for tall guards, especially PGs, improving later on as they get stronger and learn use their size/finesse to their advantage. However, as DRED points out, Frank is so out of sample age and production-wise these numbers are fairly meaningless.

    Others make the valid claim that few, if any, have ever made the leap Frank needs to make.

    There’s a valid argument from both sides whether age or NBA experience should dictate the projection. Again, few prior samples makes it impossible to make definitive statements.

    There’s another confusion as to whether the Knicks actually want to win now. If the Knicks want to tank they should play the worse or younger player. However, this argument is separate, though not unrelated, from a discussion of player value.

    Despite everyone on the board understanding that the Knicks benefit from losing more, some would rather see Payton start. I still enjoy seeing the Knicks win, even though it’s bad in the longterm. From a personal enjoyment of individual games standpoint I’d rather see Payton play.

    Then there’s the question of whether or not Frank is a PG at any future point. Some say SG, some say PG, some say nothing, etc.

    I’m leaving some stuff out, but Frank supporters seem to be conflating these different criticisms on a semi-regular basis. BobNeptune and E often respond to criticisms that aren’t being made with arguments against unrelated positions.

    Personally, I think Frank could have value someday, but it’s too far in the future and too hypothetical. He’s a heavy…

  123. I thought the article was pretty dumb

    Everything related to the Knicks top to bottom is dumb.

    1. They don’t value players correctly.
    2. They don’t understand how to fit players together correctly.
    3. They don’t understand how to develop a player’s physical talents and skills.
    4. They don’t understand how to develop a player’s mental strength and competitiveness under pressure
    5. The news coverage (with a few key exceptions) is terrible and the few good guys are hated by MSG and a lot of fans.

    It’s a giant shit show.

    There was no hyperbole in my earlier comments.

    If I was an agent I would do everything in my power to get my young players out of NY for their long term player development, long term financial well being, and chance to experience basketball at the highest level so they could feel the joys of winning and playing the right way in meaningful games.

    If I was an agent and had some veterans due to circumstance never got a really good payday or that were willing to sacrifice a 1-2 years of their basketball career because they needed the money or valued it over basketball, I’d send them to NY where they’d get overpaid for awhile, straighten out their finances long term, and then either retire or move on depending on their age.

    If I was an agent and had a couple of high level draft prospects, I would advise them to not show up for a workout in NY and openly talk about how they prefer other cities.

    No matter what the truth was with the KP trade, the best thing that ever happened to him and Hardaway was getting out of this hell hole. RJ, Mitch, Knox, Trier, and especially Frank and Dotson should already be thinking about asking for a trade. The latter 2 should be screaming for a trade.

  124. Saying that “some players like Frank improve” is like saying that “some powerball tickets are winners.” It’s about odds and trajectory and opportunity cost. I would love nothing more than to eat major crow on Frank and for him to blossom into a solid NBA player or even a star. But he hasn’t improved at anything in 3,000+ NBA minutes and management won’t send him to the G-League where at least he has a chance to work on his game without NBA pressure. But right now, he belongs in the G-League by any worthwhile metric, and he has shown that NBA minutes don’t help him at all.

  125. Z…. don’t blame the messenger and feel free to place the snark directly where the Sun don’t shine.

    It just wouldn’t be Christmas here without somebody telling Z-Man to drink bleach.

  126. I thought the article was pretty dumb

    I agree 100%. My point was that it is both dumb and reflects management’s actual dumb thinking.

  127. I’m fine keeping DSJ, Elfrid and Frank for now, but I agree with Jowles in that we should be running competition at them from the Gleague and undrafted players. These guys need to earn minutes with good, consistent play, not be given minutes so they can practice.

    Yes, it’s a waste to give minutes to a 30 year old instead of a kid, but Elfrid could be a rotation player 4 years from now, and if the other guys can’t beat him out, they don’t deserve to play as much as him.

    If, say, Frank wants to start, he should play really well in his allotted 12 minutes. And then… he should do that again next game. And again for 10-15 games in a row. By then, he’ll be a statistically good player! And then he can start!! It’s really not that hard.

    Or maybe he will only marginally improve. Then, if we are eventually outbid for Frank’s services at a fair price, so be it. You can’t overpay for anyone long-term except #1 option guys.

  128. Dred’s article on Frank way up in the thread is interesting and claims that Frank is one of the better defenders in the league. I’m not entirely convinced, but definitely interesting.

    On the other hand, no other metric I’ve seen rates Frank’s defense that highly. RAPTOR and RPM don’t see him as elite on defense. Of course both metrics impute individual value partly from team defense.

    In other words, Frank may actually be incredible at defense and the Knicks are so inept on D that it barely registers on +/-, much like the conclusion of one study on found no adverse effects of the large amounts of sodium in eggs but featured the alternative hypothesis that no effect was found only because Americans consume so much sodium anyway that even cutting a significant portion out made no difference. Or as Strat says, Frank would have value on a team other than the Knicks.

    There’s no real conclusion to this post, I’m just rambling random thoughts on Frank… but I’m halfway through my morning coffee with a little extra of that holiday cheer and rambling about Frank is a big part of what we do here.

    Nonsequitir: Frank is bad

  129. I gave Ntilikina until the start of 2020 to show me that he has something. Forget his age. He has 2+ years in the NBA. If he hadn’t improved significantly, which he hasn’t, he moved from unproven prospect to lottery bust. Objectively, his ceiling is borderline rotation player brought in for 3-and-D. He has a way to go with the “3” side of it and his “D” side is flawed. Ntilikina can’t keep up with super-fast guards. He’s marginal and I would trade him ASAP in case some other team hasn’t figured that out and think he has real value.

    This is Knox’s second year. He gets the same leeway as Frank did, until 2021 but he’s looking like a bust too. He can’t defend the perimeter and although his shooting improved, it hasn’t enough.

  130. Saying that “some players like Frank improve” is like saying that “some powerball tickets are winners.”

    I’m willing to take a wild stab at Frank improving something better the 270,000,000-1 or something of the sort analogy boy…….

  131. My dude better be a few thumbs into a new bottle of aged peat before he starts snifting the Clorox VSOP

  132. @139

    It didn’t say that Frank is one of the better defenders in the league, at least the way I was reading it. It said that Frank was one of the best in the league at *non-shooting defense* which the author claimed is a small contributor to overall defensive productivity (shooting defense accounts for most of defensive productivity, along with rebounding iirc). There was no combined data on shooting + non-shooting d. I don’t think it serves as positive evidence of Frank’s greatness unless he ranks highly in the full dataset.

  133. There’s another part of the site that combines shooting and non-shooting D into a single metric and Frank is in the 97th percentile or something. I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out that site. Navigation is terrible and the databases could use a glossary. I’m also not quite catching some of the methodology as they post links to some NBA.com boxscore that appear to disagree with the stats they write next to the link.

    However, Frank is truly terrible at defensive rebounding and loses a lot of defensive value for that. Did not see a rebound + total defense metric, so based only on the metrics they use, but not sure about the method behind their assignment of rebounding value.

  134. My dude better be a few thumbs into a new bottle of aged peat before he starts snifting the Clorox VSOP

    Well I do have a couple of bottles of magnesium citrate to look forward to…bottoms down!

  135. peace and joy in whatever you might have going on today…

    hopefully family, friends or work ain’t driving you crazy at moment and you’re able to do what you like…

    saw something a liked a whole lot more than the irishman on netflix… had a chance to watch the two popes…hopkins and pryce are simply sublime…

    time to go escape in to my fantasy mmo world of the elder scrolls and go attack and defend for the honor of my alliance…mostly though, I just really like pouring flaming oil on the savages that come to attack any keep I’m defending…

    I hope you’re all able to spend the day as you wish…

  136. My dude better be a few thumbs into a new bottle of aged peat before he starts snifting the Clorox VSOP

    Some horse trainers used to give race horses Clorox via a nasogastric tube prior to racing because the sodium hypochlorite is a powerful base that buffers the excess lactic acid in the blood stream. No shit…. actually true!

  137. Some horse trainers used to give race horses Clorox via a nasogastric tube prior to racing because the sodium hypochlorite is a powerful base that buffers the excess lactic acid in the blood stream. No shit…. actually true!

    …are you trying to tell me that jowles was just trying to help me with my lactic acid problem?

  138. awwwww, the very same to you farfa…i’m sure those fortunate enough to be close to you and have you in their lives feel very much the same…

    took me a while in life to figure out the whole human dynamic of give and take…as it is with most things in life – it is much better to give than to need to receive…

    so tell us – do you need to assemble your batmobile, or did it already come assembled?

    do you have similiar items that it goes along with?

    most importantly – where will you display this treasure?

  139. pt a friend just forwarded that to me, funny as hell!

    That said, I recently had a guy follow me out of a Starbucks and as I turned the corner and headed to school he screamed out “you fucking Jew!” Pretty chilling…

  140. so tell us – do you need to assemble your batmobile, or did it already come assembled?

    do you have similiar items that it goes along with?

    most importantly – where will you display this treasure?

    I have yet to assemble it; browsing the ‘net it looks like it will take us between 5 and 8 hours to do that :)

    I don’t have a real companion piece to it (I have five Lego Architecture sets and Kylo Ren‘s Tie Fighter one) but it won’t be a problem, since it needs all the spotlight it can get alone :)

    It will probably be displayed on a small table in the living room. It will take up 22*7*5 inches of space!

  141. That said, I recently had a guy follow me out of a Starbucks and as I turned the corner and headed to school he screamed out “you fucking Jew!” Pretty chilling…

    damn. i was expecting to get some of that when i first moved out of ny 20 yrs ago but basically never did.

  142. I’m glad y’all satisfy the Star Wars/Lego geek quota so I can do cool-guy shit like write a crossword puzzle for my wife’s only Xmas present

  143. that is so way cool farfa :)

    nothing is more valuable than your time senor jowles…sounds like you and lady jowles are building a pretty darn nice life together…

  144. merry fucking chris smith

    Oh my god, why didn’t Mike K make “It’s okay to say Merry Chris Smith” bumper stickers to sell on this site back in 2014?? (And still sell today, of course:)

  145. Pretty amazing that Giannis has taken six 3PA and made none, and yet his 2PT shooting is still a whopping 6-15. I was told that when interior guys take threes, it gets them easy buckets at the rim.

  146. Steve and Perry need to be moved soon and PBO hired ASAP. We have another legit shot at top pick. These fools would Knox it & draft LaMelo Ball, if he has a good 3v3 workout.

  147. Golden State beats Houston, improving the Knicks’ draft odds! It’s an Xmas miracle!! Something nice happened for the Knicks.

  148. re-watched the two popes today, only made it through about an hour of the show last night…you could make the arguement that those are two of the very best actors in the world performing together in that film…

    always found theology an interesting subject…ties in to how we’re all wired and why people do some of the things they do…

    too bad people gotta be involved in religion, human beings always fuck things up…

    it’s pretty much a great pr piece for the catholic church (whom some might think is in dire need of some positive press)…heard some ad on the radio reference some class action lawsuit and the catholic church…that was sad…

    don’t think i’ve ever seen a biopic of a pope before, pretty much everytime I’ve seen them portrayed on screen is as bad guys…

    this was an interesting against the stream piece in that regard…a little heavy handed at times, but, interesting movie…

    jonathan pryce and anthony hopkins talking things out though…acting wise that’s about as good as it gets…

  149. watching the nuggets and pelicans finish up…what ever happened to zion williamson…is he gonna red-shirt the year…

  150. Pretty amazing that Giannis has taken six 3PA and made none, and yet his 2PT shooting is still a whopping 6-15. I was told that when interior guys take threes, it gets them easy buckets at the rim.

    Do yourself a favor.

    I realize a lot of so called “experts” on TV aren’t experts. But if you listen to great coaches and high basketball IQ former players, you WILL learn a lot about basketball that’s not in the boxscore and that explains aspects of the game not located there.

    What people have been trying to explain is that if Giannis has the ability to make 3s at a high enough rate that will tend to take the few elite defenses out of a “pack the paint” strategy against Giannis. That in turn would tend to create more space for both him and his teammates to get to the rim and allow him to beat his defender off the dribble.

    Yesterday, the 76ers coach was on record saying that even though Giannis was hitting 3s at a higher rate so far this year, he’s not sold on the idea that he’s suddenly a much better 3 point shooter and was going to defend accordingly and let him shoot 3s.

    People that understand basketball will also explain that night to night matchups are critical to team and individual success.

    The 76ers have Joel Embiid. He is one of the few defenders with the height, physical strength, and defensive ability to force Giannis into tougher shots at the rim on his own.

    That’s not to say that Embiid will stop Giannis every night. No one can. But against that specific matchup the idea would be to get Giannis out in the open court running and trying to beat Embiid down the court. That’s a little tougher when the 76ers hit 47.7% of their 3s.

    The other option would be for Giannis to not just take a lot of 3s, but to actually make them and force the 76ers coach into a defensive adjustment that will make it easier for Giannis to beat Embiid.

  151. The Knicks are good for a few laughs every day at this point. The latest rumor from Berman is that the Knicks are looking at Towns and may want to trade for him. Towns has long been on my radar as a guy that may eventually want to leave his current team to join an organization where he can win.

    But who in their right mind would jump ship from the T-Wolves to the Knicks?

    If Towns is getting a little frustrated in Minnesota (which I suspect he is or at least should be), a team like the Celtics (who are a good C away from being a major title contender) or the Heat (similar situation except I’m not so sure Butler/Towns want a round 2 with each other) make way more sense.

    To get him to agree to come to you, you have to actually have a good team.

    It’s the same situation as free agency. Free agents and unhappy players asking for trades have lot of different priorities, but they all tend to want to go where they can win. They don’t go to teams that are tanking to accumulate 18-19 year olds that are many years away from contention and to teams with incompetent front offices (let alone both).

  152. They don’t go to teams with half the regular rotation or thereabouts being newly signed vets on one year deals either.

  153. I should add that the 76ers also have Horford who has a history of doing well defending Giannis.

  154. They don’t go to teams with half the regular rotation or thereabouts being newly signed vets on one year deals either.

    I agree. But you have to start somewhere. Unfortunately, MSG is such a cesspool that even the mediocre players won’t come here unless you overpay them.

  155. I interpreted the Berman story as Mills lobbying for his job: “Don’t worry Jim, I can get the star you want in here.” (*) These stories of a front office savior or a free agent savior or a disgruntled guy in a small market who wants to play at the “Mecca” savior are a perennial and consistent feature of Knickland. And they never, ever manage to snag the savior, yet he’s always and perpetually right around the corner. At this point, it’s really kind of pathetic.

    (*) “Oh, and that awful Porzingis trade? Don’t worry, Jim, the two draft picks we got from Dallas are going to get you a new superstar. It was really a good trade, please don’t fire me.”

  156. The other option would be for Giannis to not just take a lot of 3s, but to actually make them

    Aren’t you the one who says that Porzingis’s gravity makes his teammates better? What about him actually making shots?

  157. To get him to agree to come to you, you have to actually have a good team.

    Why would you need a good team to trade for him? Towns doesn’t have a NTC. Knicks would just need to have the best offer.

    This is why the Knicks should have been trying to acquire as many draft picks as possible instead of making marginal or outright bad FA signings the past few years (Hellooo Lee + Noah). They would be in a much better position to pounce on trades for disgruntled stars.

  158. Since KAT can actually be had in a trade

    Please don’t even dignify that Berman story by pretending Towns is available. For once, I agree wholeheartedly with E. This reeks of Mills trying to buy time for himself.

    I mean, just read this BS:

    According to the source, another player the Knicks are expected to monitor is local product, Karl Anthony-Towns, the Timberwolves’ 24-year-old superstar who also signed a max extension this summer.

    In an era when stars have shunned the Knicks (Irving, Kevin Durant, Kemba Walker, Leonard), it’s only logical Towns would intrigue the front office.

    The first pick of the 2015 draft, Towns hails from Metuchen, N.J., and grew up a diehard Knicks’ fan. If he sought a trade, his wish list figures to include the Knicks.

    The Timberwolves have enjoyed little success during Towns’ tenure and are currently on an 11-game losing streak, dropping to 13th place in the Western Conference at 10-19. Towns, averaging 26.5 points and 11.7 rebounds, has been out the past few games with a knee sprain.

    At least on Christmas Day, it was worth writing to Santa Claus about — that Towns ultimately gets tired of Minnesota’s snow and losing and prefers to come home.

    There is nothing to see here.

  159. And Towns is in the 1st year of a 5 year extension, which would make him the ideal target for a trade. Young, extremely productive and locked in for 4 more years of a contract he’s probably sure to live up to.

    If he becomes available the Wolves will get to pick and choose through at least what, 20 offers? Pretty much every contender outside of the Sixers, Nuggets and maybe Lakers would pounce on him immediately.

  160. Yeah the trade offers for KAT (and I do think he may become available – I don’t trust Berman much but you don’t need to watch the TWolves for long to get the sense that he’s getting tired of being there) would be massive. RJB, filler salary and a couple of mediocre firsts isn’t even enough to start a conversation (and forget about Covington who is a significant positive asset as well). Part of the problem with the “trade for a young star!” idea is that the Knicks don’t actually have all that much ammo. We have 4 former top-10 picks all under age 22 and somehow their collective value is pretty minimal, and as we’re all aware the extra Dallas picks don’t look all that sexy anymore. Mitch+RJB+ a few picks might get your foot in the door depending how they see Mitch, but if you do that what part of what remains is attractive to KAT?

  161. If we offered a package of Mitch, RJ, and 2 Knicks firsts… would even that be enough?? There’s no combination of players on the Knicks that I would take if I’m the TWolves. We’d need to throw in some really valuable picks.

  162. @174, 175 Not sure that thinking is really true. The contenders are not stock full of young assets and/or draft capital. The NBA is VERY top heavy this year. So you have to start looking at low seeds and lottery teams as the only teams that have the assets for a deal like this.

    Miami has assets in the form of good young players in Herro and Bam but not draft capital and giving those 2 up would leave them super thin and Butler ain’t getting younger.

    Celtics – I do not see it. Needs to start w Tatum who has 1 year left on his rookie deal but who else? if they can pull it off Kemba, Jaylen, KAT, Hayward is strong.

    Memphis – Clarke and JJJ plus filler plus unprotected 2020 pick is a nice haul. Leaves them w a Ja/KAT core. Gonna really need to fill in quickly. That would work and be better than Knicks offer.

    Utah doesn’t make sense and doesn’t have pieces

    Denver doesn’t make sense and doesn’t have pieces

    Portland has no assets other than Zack Collins

    Sixers cupboard is bare

    Nets might be able to do something interesting with Dinwiddie, LaVert and a bunch of first rounders and make a run with Irving, KAT, Durant for a couple years. ps What’s up w Irving? Super wieird Nets won’t even comment on his injury and he won’t talk to press. So glad that dude is not a Knick. He’s a horse’ ass.

    Pellies have nothing wo Zion except Ingram and picks. Ball is a BUST.

    Suns could package something around Ayton and picks and team up Booker and KAT. That would work and be better than Knicks offer.

    Bulls could give up Carter and Lauri and picks and reunite KAT and Dunn? Ha.

    But seriously there is not that much good stuff out there in the world of contenders and almost contenders. There really isn’t.

  163. If the Knicks luck into the top pick next year it would make a potential KAT trade easier to envision. Otherwise I think it would take every single pick the Knicks could possibly include in a trade plus swap rights for a generation.

  164. Holy shit, is KAT really averaging 9.1 3’s/36 and hitting them at a 41.8% clip?? He’s got a TS of .654, WS/48 and VORP at elite levels.

    This is a dumb organization who has Wiggins for the next 4 years. If Randle/Payton+picks works, hell yea. The only assets I’d hold back is more than 2 1st rounders. I mean, who on the Knicks is more valuable to us than Towns? It’s really up to Towns/Min.

  165. Celtics – I do not see it. Needs to start w Tatum who has 1 year left on his rookie deal but who else? if they can pull it off Kemba, Jaylen, KAT, Hayward is strong.

    Memphis – Clarke and JJJ plus filler plus unprotected 2020 pick is a nice haul. Leaves them w a Ja/KAT core. Gonna really need to fill in quickly. That would work and be better than Knicks offer.

    Boston has Memphis’ 2020 pick (top 6 protected, or unprotected if it conveys in 2021) So that’s one big minus for Memphis and another asset for Boston. Tatum plus that pick plus filler would be a great move for Boston, as he is wildly overrated but I’m sure Minnesota would salivate over him.

  166. The only way the Knicks will get a star here is if they land Masai. I can see a superstar free agent being willing to trust Masai. No one is going to trust the Knicks with their career.

  167. @181 it’s not his choice. Guys in the first year of an extension do not have the leverage that guys near the ends of these contracts do.

  168. @181 it’s not his choice. Guys in the first year of an extension do not have the leverage that guys near the ends of these contracts do.

    I wasn’t talking about Towns because he’s not on the trading block.

    And if he were on the trading block, I assure you someone would be able to top our offer of RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and picks.

  169. Sure. I agree there a some teams that could top that offer. The question is (like the Knicks if they make that offer) would it make sense for those teams to do that? Doesn’t even really make that much sense for Miami to send Herro and Bam and try and compete right now. They wouldn’t be good enough to get out of the 2nd rd.

  170. Minnesota has a lousy record, but they are three games out of the playoffs. Making the playoffs is important to them. They are going to keep trying to win for a while this season. I don’t see them doing anything until the end of the season, if at all. Then, I agree with Dink, the Knicks only have a chance if they luck into a high pick. Minnesota would also need to have gotten a lousy pick in the lottery and also Towns would have to be interested in leaving.

  171. Instead of dreaming of trade scenarios for KAT, our FO should be looking to make trade deals with the TWolves that would send them vets like Morris, Payton, etc…to Minny for future picks so that Minny would get better in the short term (thinking it would help them keep KAT).

    Then when KAT inevitably bolts in a year or so, we have more picks to use in a trade for him.

  172. Towns is definitely worth including multiple first rounders in the deal, he has been unstoppable this season and this is the first time in his entire career he’s had a single minor injury. If you want to follow the strat plan of finding a star somewhere and then building around him, there’s literally no better option.

    There’s a way it could happen if the Wolves end up going for another rebuild, then our own picks would be very valuable draft capital for a trade. But if they want talent to continue to tread water in the west, then there’s no way our offers would be very attractive.

  173. i’m kind of surprised by the nets record this year, i thought they would struggle more…i had no idea though that kyrie would miss so much time…

  174. Jumping after KAT is worth doing. He’s worth the two Dallas picks also. I would keep the Knicks own #1’s. Add in 2 of our offseason free agent signings. Resist giving up Morris or Payton.

  175. Jeez we really are horrific. We won’t even trade Morris for assets. I just know it.

    I don’t think even these guys are that dumb. But that really is the danger of one-year signings with the intent of dealing them later. If they suck, you’re stuck, and if they’re good, you run the risk of fooling yourself into keeping them longterm.

  176. We won’t even trade Morris for assets.

    Define asset? A late 1st? That’s not an asset. Morris is better than many lottery picks, including two of our own (Ntilikina and Knox).

  177. Morris is, indeed, better than some terrible players, true. But you still trade him for the best first you can get. Committing to “30-year-old having a career year” Marcus Morris longterm at this point would be insanity.

  178. Check that, not coming unless it’s a lopsided, asset-depleting trade that makes it impossible to build around him.

  179. KAT is not coming here. Why are we even discussing it?

    The worst is that Berman’s article specifically notes that he isn’t even on the market! But that the Knicks are preparing in case he ever does hit the market. Uhmmm…okay? It’s like having an article saying that the Knicks would be willing to acquire Giannis if the Bucks were interested in trading him. Shit, I might have given Berman another idea for an article!

  180. On one hand, the Berman article is wasting all of our time. On the other hand, I respect him for totally phoning it in over the holidays

  181. It really does read as Berman helping his source out, as Mills wants people to think he still has some sort of plan for the future. “Luckily,” that Wizards loss was so bad that I think Mills might actually be on the way out. But then again, if a Wizards loss really has that much impact one way or the other, doesn’t that speak to how poorly Dolan runs things? “Oh, we were 3-5 with Miller, so I guess I’ll keep Mills around.”

  182. I mean, discussing our impossible hopes and dreams certainly beats having another damn Frank Ntilikina centric conversation, so I’m all for that.

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