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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What is Mike D’Antoni’s Offense? (Part III)

The chart below shows all of the players who have played 1,000 minutes for SSOL Suns (including the last two non-D’Antoni years, since they’ve largely held to the same system). I also included Carter and Barbosa, since they will both qualify by the end of the season.

LEGEND

Threshold age: The age the player was during the full season before or after that player left or joined Phoenix that is closest to that players prime. I defined a player’s prime as his 27 year old season. For example, Raja Bell played for Phoenix from ages 29-32. His stats with Phoenix below are those from his 29 year old season, and the stats for when he was not with Phoenix are from his 28 year old season (with Utah). I do this so as to prevent interference from players’ rise and decline due to age.

WS/48 w/ SSOL: The player’s win score for the chosen season (as described above) that he played for Phoenix.

WS/48 w/o SSOL: The player’s win score for the chosen season (as described above) that he played for another team.

WS differential: The amount a player’s win score increased/decreased when comparing his Phoenix season to his season without Phoenix (positive numbers mean improved WS/48 with Phoenix).

subjective player type: My subjective description of the player’s skillset.

Player Name threshold age position WS/48 w/ SSOL WS/48 w/o SSOL WS differential subjective player type
Shawn Marion 28 3/4 0.191 0.101 +0.09 2 way offensive double threat
Channing Frye 26 4/5 0.141 0.054 +0.087 offensive perimeter big
Quentin Richardson 25 2/3 0.098 0.023 +0.075 2 way 3pt threat
Raja Bell 29 2 0.110 0.060 +0.05 2 way 3pt threat
Shaquille O’Neal 36 5 0.166 0.119 +0.047 slow scoring big
Steve Nash 30 1 0.203 0.162 +0.041 MAESTRO!
Amare Stoudemire 27 4/5 0.181 0.145 +0.036 offensive mobile big
Brian Skinner 31 5 0.069 0.035 +0.034 defensive mobile big
Steven Hunter 23 5 0.121 0.090 +0.031 defensive mobile big
Joe Johnson 23 1/2/3 0.112 0.086 +0.026 distributor, volume scorer
Leandro Barbosa 27 1/2 0.038 0.014 +0.024 offensive double threat
Tim Thomas 28 3/4 0.069 0.054 +0.015 offensive double threat
Grant Hill 35 3 0.127 0.123 +0.004 jack of all trades
Jason Richardson 28 2/3 0.119 0.116 +0.003 offensive double threat
Matt Barnes 28 2/3 0.069 0.077 -0.008 wing defender
Jim Jackson 34 2/3 0.078 0.102 -0.024 3pt threat
Kurt Thomas 33 5 0.087 0.112 -0.025 slow defensive big
Boris Diaw 26 4/5 0.063 0.103 -0.04 jack of all trades
Eddie House 27 1/2 0.054 0.094 -0.04 3pt threat
James Jones 26 2/3 0.077 0.139 -0.062 3pt threat
Vince Carter 34 2/3 0.065 0.154 -0.089 3pt threat, volume scorer

I make five conclusions from this list:

  1. D’Antoni seems to get a lot of value out of defensive mobile bigs when he uses them.
  2. Guys who do nothing but shoot threes (i.e. don’t add anything defensively and can’t dribble drive) contribute less to SSOL than to more traditional offenses.
  3. If you are capable of defending the four or the five, and either faster than the average 4/5 or a good perimeter shooter, you can help SSOL a ton. If you can do more than one of those things, then you are a SSOL god.
  4. Volume scorers, if they don’t reform their ways, can be cancerous to SSOL (Vince Carter and Joe Johnson).
  5. Shaq likes to prove neigh-sayers wrong.

Let’s start with number three and who I dub the king of SSOL. Shawn Marion is the crowning example of what SSOL values. Despite the fact that during the 07/08 season his primary backups were Shaq and Boris Diaw, both of whom are bigger and stronger than him, the defense was a full 5 points per game better with him on the floor. The offense, meanwhile, improved by 1.9 points. I’m sure if we incorporated pace into the equation, that difference would be even larger. On offense, Marion can do things that pressure opposing bigs in ways they are not used to being pressured. He can run the floor, he can shoot, and he can get to the basket quickly.

Remember how the pick and roll forces a defender to hedge in? Well, Marion’s man is likely bigger, slower, and quite possibly uglier than the guy guarding the two or the three. These differences make it harder for the Marion’s man to recover to Marion after a pick and roll, giving Shawn more space.

The reason Marion’s numbers declined so much, even in the season immediately following his departure from Phoenix, is because he is not a good scorer. He has no post game and he is not good at beating a set defender off the dribble. These are the skills that most offenses demand. His strength on offense in SSOL mostly comes from his speed.

The last point I want to make about Marion’s success in the D’Antoni offense is that it he was never a good three point shooter. He was a 33% three point shooter on his career with D’Antoni, exactly the same number as his career average, and only averaged a little over one make per game. Having a 33% three point shooter attempt threes is not good value — the equivalent of a 49.5 TS%: less efficient than the Milwaukee Bucks’ offense this year, the least efficient team in the league. (I have this weird feeling that there’s a guy on our bench with exactly these skills. I can’t figure out who though…)

In regard to scorers, I think the plain and simple fact is that if they can reform their game to that of the offensive double-threat (shoot, drive, or pass, but don’t stop the ball) then you can be effective in SSOL (Joe Johnson), but if you are used to stopping the ball and taking over the offense, then you are not going to be as efficient in SSOL.

Finally, I want to briefly (D’Antoni style…) talk about defense. Much of Marion’s value comes from his defense — his rebounding, shot blocking, thievery, and general capacity to do things that bigger players can do without the cost to his speed. In general, I think that’s why seven of the ten guys whose value increased most are above average defenders. Two of the remaining three (Nash, Stoudemire) are the dynamos of the offense, and then there’s Channing Frye, whose value comes from his amazing efficiency from the perimeter. This to me is a result of the fact that because SSOL interior players are generally less imposing, it falls to the wings to compensate. Q-Rich helped on the boards, Marion helped with boards, blocks and steals, Bell helped with his man defense.

96 comments on “What is Mike D’Antoni’s Offense? (Part III)

  1. TheRant

    You. Us. Well, Not Us. Them. And Some Of Us. Okay, Not Many. Certainly Landry. We Kept Landry. A Few Of Us. Mostly Them. We. Now. Or Soon. We Hope. They’ll Clear Physicals. Really Soon. Eventually. I Guess.

  2. Frank

    TheRant: You. Us. Well, Not Us. Them. And Some Of Us. Okay, Not Many. Certainly Landry. We Kept Landry. A Few Of Us. Mostly Them. We. Now. Or Soon. We Hope. They’ll Clear Physicals. Really Soon. Eventually. I Guess.  

    Hilarious. Seriously I wonder what the intro will be on wednesday?
    Meanwhile – Carmelo wanted a superstar contract and he’s got one now. That means he better bring it on both ends of the floor every night.

    Wonder what kind of reception he’ll get at the Garden tomorrow night. Probably some boos but mostly cheers.

  3. Frank O.

    Frank:
    Hilarious.Seriously I wonder what the intro will be on wednesday?
    Meanwhile – Carmelo wanted a superstar contract and he’s got one now. That means he better bring it on both ends of the floor every night.Wonder what kind of reception he’ll get at the Garden tomorrow night. Probably some boos but mostly cheers.  

    Are you kidding? The average NY fan loves star power and they will utterly go nuts for this guy. Remember for the past few weeks, there have been a lot of Carmelo chants.
    As much as I feel sadness over this trade, how much I lament not letting that team play out or that the Knicks gave away too much, I have to admit that I’m excited to see what Amare, and Melo and Billups – Amelups, or Mamarups, if you will – will do together.

    I have a sneaky suspicion that they all will complement each other well, that Landry Fields will play a big role in making this work, and that Turiaf and Williams will perform adequately enough to support the front line.
    I think the PnR is going to be enormous for this team.
    I also know that Amare is going to be the Alpha out there, but he won’t have to work as hard with those other two guys out there.
    Last, Billups knows how to run a team and isn’t prone to the kinds of mistakes Felton made.
    Come playoffs, I’m not sure there is a team in the NBA that wants to see the Knicks.

  4. Frank

    @4 – the only player I’m sad about losing is Gallo – really got attached to him over the last few years. But I agree with you – I think this team will have a 10 game adjustment period and then be pretty strong. We really need more frontcourt depth though. No way Turiaf can play more than 24 min/game without falling apart. It WOULD be an interesting lineup to see STAT/Melo/Extra E/Landry/Billups though – we would revive the ol’ Bomb Squad from the late 80s. We’d never get a rebound but it would be a very dangerous offensive team.

    Not sweating Mozgov too much. He looked like he had some potential but seriously, he was never going to be much more than an average center.

    Hahn has mentioned Rasheed Wallace a couple times – if he’s in any sort of shape, he could be a very interesting pickup.

  5. Z

    Latke– I wish your series came during a slow news week. Hope all your hard work gets appreciated the way it should!

  6. Doug

    Frank:Not sweating Mozgov too much.He looked like he had some potential but seriously, he was never going to be much more than an average center.
    Hahn has mentioned Rasheed Wallace a couple times – if he’s in any sort of shape, he could be a very interesting pickup.  

    What I’ll miss most about Mozgov is reading translations versions of his blog. I don’t know if he’s an intelligent guy or if the Russian-to-English conversion just makes his words sound thoughtful and introspective, but he seemed like such a solid guy who was happy to be a Knick. And he had just broken into the starting lineup, too.

    This is the first group of Knicks I’ve really gotten attached to since I was a kid. It just feels like a punch to the gut.

    On the plus side, NEED FOR SHEED~~

  7. latke Post author

    Z: Latke– I wish your series came during a slow news week. Hope all your hard work gets appreciated the way it should!  

    Haha it’s all good. The question is, is Carmelo Anthony more Vince Carter or more Jason Richardson?

  8. DS

    latke:
    Haha it’s all good. The question is, is Carmelo Anthony more Vince Carter or more Jason Richardson?  

    He’s more Vince Carter circa 2004… I read one article a while back that said Carmelo hasn’t had an opportunity to shoot many open jumpers so far in his pro career and showed that when he has, he does it as well as LeBron, Durant, Kobe. So if he’s hitting jumpers in 7SOL and can beat defenders off the dribble consistently. He could be a really good fit*. Sort of like Ill Will on steroids.

    *Obviously I’m bummed about what this trade means for the long-term, like everyone else.

    P.S. I – like Z – LOVED this series. Esp. Part One.

  9. rayhed

    hoopshype has a twitter post saying azu is close to making his debut… anyone hear anything about this?

    also, i am really confused- why would minny take on curry’s contract- how much of it do they have to pay for the season?

  10. Brian Cronin

    also, i am really confused- why would minny take on curry’s contract- how much of it do they have to pay for the season?

    They had enough cap room to absorb his contract without paying luxury tax. The Knicks actually paid them the money he is owed, so they were just losing cap room. And in exchange for cap room and Corey Brewer (who they likely were getting rid of anyways), they got AR.

    They also appear to have given up a 2014 pick. I have yet to see that confirmed, though.

  11. rayhed

    i hope he realizes his potential there…. would just make hating this trade all the better

    also, would love to see gallo traded to the clippers (which is being talked about but highly unlikely)…. a core of gallo, eric gordon and blake would be fun as hell

  12. Brian Cronin

    also, would love to see gallo traded to the clippers (which is being talked about but highly unlikely)…. a core of gallo, eric gordon and blake would be fun as hell

    Do you think it is highly unlikely? I think Gallo’s great, but if you offered me Minnesota’s 1st rounder for 2011, that’s a pretty good offer, no? That’s likely a top 4 pick.

  13. Brian Cronin

    Seriously, Demar DeRozan?

    “I’m a dunker. Dunk contests, you go out there and dunk. I’m not into all the props and everything,” DeRozan said at shootaround before Tuesday’s game against Charlotte. “I try to come out with a creative dunk and do it and go from there. My fans liked it and you can see the reaction from a lot of people afterward.

    “If there’s a dunk contest next year I’ll do it. But not no prop dunk contest.”

    Are you seriously arguing for the sanctity of the freakin’ slam dunk contest?!?!

  14. Z-man

    I just read on realgm.com that Blazers are looking to move Camby. Is that a possibility? He has apparently said that he would retire if traded, but maybe he would like to return to MSG? That would be a great fit with this team, no?

  15. Brian Cronin

    Sources say that Gallo will start at the 3 and Chandler will be the sixth man, so Al is now the, well, seventh man. I am sure he is super-pleased.

  16. Brian Cronin

    I just read on realgm.com that Blazers are looking to move Camby. Is that a possibility? He has apparently said that he would retire if traded, but maybe he would like to return to MSG? That would be a great fit with this team, no?

    If they really have an $11 million trade exception, how amazing would it be to pick up someone like Camby with it? Or even Pryzbilla.

    By the way, what is up with Portland that players are all, “I will retire if I leave Portland!” ?

  17. Mike Kurylo

    Brian Cronin:
    If they really have an $11 million trade exception, how amazing would it be to pick up someone like Camby with it? Or even Pryzbilla.
    By the way, what is up with Portland that players are all, “I will retire if I leave Portland!” ?  

    According to just about everything, the Knicks don’t have the trade exception – Denver does. Think about it – they sent out a ton of salaries without getting much back in return (Twolves ate Curry’s contract).

    Funny thing is I just used “ate” and “Curry” in a sentence without making a joke.

  18. Brian Cronin

    According to just about everything, the Knicks don’t have the trade exception – Denver does. Think about it – they sent out a ton of salaries without getting much back in return (Twolves ate Curry’s contract).

    I agree that it doesn’t seem to make sense. Some folks were still reporting it, so I thought maybe there was something I didn’t know.

  19. Jim Cavan

    Brian Cronin: Apparently, Melo will wear #7. That’s sort of out of nowhere, right?  

    I bet Al Buckets made a teary-eyed appeal to Melo right before he left.

    “Please Melo’. Do it for ME.”

  20. Frank

    Interesting quotes from George Karl (Denver Post via theknicksblog.com) — basically throwing Melo and maybe Billups under the bus, saying that the Denver offense didn’t always run the way he wanted it to and that it wasn’t good basketball the way it WAS run.

    But wasn’t Denver the #1 team in the league in offensive efficiency? I’m sure lots of teams wish they could play bad basketball like that.

  21. nicos

    Another excellent article! Maybe Corey Brewer will magically learn to put the ball in the basket and become our Marion. I will say that getting off of the Twolves whose attempts at running the triangle for the last couple of seasons have been laughable might really help him.

    Another guy who might be available who I wouldn’t mind making a run at is Brandan Wright- he’s barely playing at all for GS but his career TS is .578 (15.9 pts per 36), he’s a decent rebounder and a pretty good shot blocker and shouldn’t cost too much. Plus he’s only 23- I’m not sure who out there is really going to help the Knicks right now- Earl Barron is no upgrade over Sheldon Williams- so I’d like to try to find some young, high upside guys that might wind up being trade assets down the line (if not nightly contributers) to replenish what we just traded away.

  22. Frank O.

    Did the Knicks give up too much? Probably yes.
    But is Billups a star PG or not?

    Here’s how Billups compares to Felton, and then the two best PGs in the game by any measure: Deron Williams and Chris Paul.

    Billups = TS% .634, eFG%.536, 3pt 44%, assists per 36, 6
    Felton = TS% .524, eFG%.478, 3pt 33%, assists per 36, 8.5
    Paul = TS% .604, eFG%.521, 3pt 44%, assists per 36, 9.7
    Williams=TS% .587, eFG%.513, 3pt 35%, assists per 36, 9.2

    As you can see, Billups is arguably one of the most efficient, and hence, most dangerous PGs in the game. He has been less of a facilitator else where than these other guys, but expect that in a Knicks offense where they tend to get far more possessions than most teams and with the type of dominant scorers they have, his assist numbers will increase. So too will is scoring.
    He will make the Knicks bread and butter move, the PnR, far more dangerous because teams cannot lay off him to collapse on Amare or Carmelo because Billups is a deadly accurate shooter.

    Now, certainly he cannot guard these young and lightning quick PGs of today, but he certainly can guard 2s. Fields likely will end up guarding opposing quick PGs.

    But purely from an offensive standpoint, Billups is better than some of the best PGs in the game. He is a savvy veteran with championship experience, which is exactly what a team like the Knicks need, especially a team that has been revamped as it has. He will be a steady force.
    Even at 34, Billups is still an elite guard. Not the best, but in my view a second tier star. He also is the hidden gem in this equation that is too easily overlooked.
    And let’s face it, he’s a season and a half rental before the Knicks go after either Paul or Williams.

    I think defense is an issue and I hope the Knicks are able to bring in a big before Thursday. They could use Brewer in a swap, but we’ll see.

  23. Frank

    well, according to Alex Kennedy the Rockets are now shopping Jordan Hill (along with everyone else). I guess they liked him as much as MDA did!

  24. Jim Cavan

    BTW: Great series, latke. This installment in particular is especially interesting. I think if you’d given everyone on this board this list of players and challenged us to rank them based on little more than the “eye test”, it’s safe to say the results would be all over the map.

    As for Billups: as someone who grew up in Detroit and who counts the Pistons as his 2nd favorite team, I think everyone’s going to love Chauncey, even if his stint is a brief one. He may be a few years removed from his “prime” (although, looking at the stats, it’s almost as if he’s still there in some ways), but I will say this: when it comes playoff time, the Garden is rocking and a lot of our young guys are dealing with their first real taste of a frenzied atmosphere, we’re all going to be glad Billups is at the helm. Guy is by far one of the coolest, most level-headed and even keeled crunch time players of the last 20 years.

    Also: Gallo to Clips? Have to say that would hurt a lot less than seeing him toil away in Newark for the next year and a half. Talk about a fun team if that goes through.

  25. latke Post author

    I’m gonna predict right now that the most likely outcome of the year is that Knicks peak in the playoffs next year. They pick up a few decent role players via vet’s minimum, maybe their draft pick helps. We’ll end up with the 2nd seed and beat a Celtics team that is finally truly showing its age, then lose in the conference finals to Miami.

    The problem arises in 2012/13, with Billups retired or elsewhere, and the Knicks likely several million short of being able to offer a max contract, let alone retain Fields. We’ll use our $13 million or so to try to fill the center and point guard holes, but the lack of a good point guard will really kill us, and Amare will suffer. He’ll also be 30 and likely starting to slow down, compounding the problem.

    We’ll struggle to about 45 wins, lose in the first round, and the KB forums will start speculating on who will take a chance on Amare or what we can get for ‘Melo so that we can go back to rebuilding. Knicks management, however, will refuse to admit that the team has peaked and pull a “Magic” by bringing in whatever overrated players with crappy contracts that they can, and we’ll suffer through another 6-7 years of 20-35 win teams, at which point Stern (or his replacement) will step in (again) and force the Knicks to let someone who knows how to run a team make the decisions.

    Rinse and repeat until Dolan is removed from his post or his musical career takes off, and he no longer needs to fuck over the knicks in order to sooth his ego.

    To be honest though, the prospect of beating the Miami triumvirate before Amare is too old is so slim to begin with that it might not have mattered what we did or do. If not for the Heat, we might have a decent shot at winning in 2012. Most of the big teams now will be in decline.

  26. latke Post author

    villainx: Assuming what’s done is done, how much flexibility do the Knicks have to fix holes going forward?  

    We have two more small expiring contracts that we could move before Thursday: Azubuike ($3.4 million) and Mason ($1.4 million) along with Corey Brewer if anyone is interested in him.

    This summer, we don’t have any cap room, but we have our first round pick, along with the MLE if it exists after the new CBA

    We will have a bunch of expiring contracts which we can wave around during the regular season next year, hoping some team bites — enough contracts to pick up any player that another team is willing to trade us.

    If we renounce Fields and trade Balkman before the deadline in 2012, the only contracts on our books will be Stoudemire and Anthony’s totaling about $41 million, meaning we will likely have somewhere between $13 and $20 million (about $20 million if the way the cap is calculated doesn’t change at all).

    If max salaries are calculated the same way, then the max salary Williams or Paul can start at will be between $16.2 million and $18.3 million, so if the cap drops significantly, we won’t have room to offer a max salary.

  27. Ben R

    I agree Latke. Pre-trade we had a probably 8+ year window in which with smart management and small moves we could be a playoff team and at our peak just short of the Miami Heat. (Plus a shot at Paul or Williams or Howard) Now we have a 2-3 year window to make the playoffs and at our peak be just short of the Miami Heat. I believe that the pre trade team could have weathered a declining Amare because it would have been happening as Gallo, Chandler, Fields, Douglas, Mozgov and Randolph were all hitting their prime. Now as Amare declines, it will be after our good PG is gone and the only players of consequence on this team with upside are Fields and Douglas which is not enough to replace his declining numbers.

    The biggest thing that bothers me in all of this is even if we had to give Denver lots of assets (which I don’t think we needed to) we could have been more creative sweetening the deal than just throwing in Gallo and Mozgov and sending Randolph to Minnesota, since Denver wasn’t particularly interested in them as much as just getting more from us. For example: I don’t see why we coldn’t have gotten Minnesota to take Curry’s contract at a smaller cost. Walker, Williams + 3 million, or maybe take a bad contract from them something to let us keep Randolph. Or why not take Denver’s bad contracts in Harrington and Andersen and send Turiaf instead of Mozgov and maybe keep either Gallo or Chandler.

    To answer your question Villainx the only real flexabilty we have is Turiaf, Mason, Brewer and Azubuike’s expiring contracts, the MLE and what ever value Walker, Williams, Douglas, and Rautins have. Not much. This team with a couple small additions is most likely the team we will see for the forseeable future.

  28. ess-dog

    latke:
    We have two more small expiring contracts that we could move before Thursday: Azubuike ($3.4 million) and Mason ($1.4 million) along with Corey Brewer if anyone is interested in him.This summer, we don’t have any cap room, but we have our first round pick, along with the MLE if it exists after the new CBAWe will have a bunch of expiring contracts which we can wave around during the regular season next year, hoping some team bites — enough contracts to pick up any player that another team is willing to trade us.If we renounce Fields and trade Balkman before the deadline in 2012, the only contracts on our books will be Stoudemire and Anthony’s totaling about $41 million, meaning we will likely have somewhere between $13 and $20 million (about $20 million if the way the cap is calculated doesn’t change at all).
    If max salaries are calculated the same way, then the max salary Williams or Paul can start at will be between $16.2 million and $18.3 million, so if the cap drops significantly, we won’t have room to offer a max salary.  

    Well Fields would be at least 6 mil to re-sign right? We will literally have no space left for anything except Chris Paul, maybe…

  29. Ben R

    Latke – We would also have to renounce Douglas and our first round pick from this upcoming draft and you’re not adding cap holds for empty roster spots which is about 500,000 each. So if the cap does not change with the CBA and the economy does well and we have a 60 million dollar cap. Amare + Melo + Capholds would mean we would have 14.5 million in cap space in 2012 if we renounced everyone and traded Balkman. That would mean to sign here Paul or Deron would have to eat about 4-5 million off their starting salary and we would have to wave goodbye to Fields.

    That will most likely all become moot because I am not expecting the new CBA to do us any favors and why would any star eat 4-5 million starting salary to play in probably the most expensive and tax prohibitive market and be making signifigantly less than your less talented teammates.

    Plus how good would Amare (at 30) + Melo (at 28) + Paul (at 27 with bad knees) or Deron (at 28) and no one else but minimum salaries be? Miami has a better big three and they were able to keep Chalmers and Jones, sign Haslem, Joel Anthony and Miller to bigger than minimum deals and still they are thin. In two years they will be less thin and the MLE could very well be gone which would make surrounding our big three with talent almost impossible.

    Most likely we keep Fields, don’t renounce Douglas or our 2011 pick and have more like 5-6 million in cap space minus Balkman or any other contracts we pick up before then. Not much.

  30. Ben R

    I’ve heard alot of debate about how to prevent what happend in Miami or prevent what Melo and Amare are trying to do with their own big three. (Not going to happen but their still trying) Some owners want a franchise tag but that’s a bad move and the players association would never allow that.

    I think the best way to prevent superstars from teaming up is to get rid of max salaries. It would give the teams that drafted the superstars the inside track to resigning their players because they can go over the cap to sign them. Plus if the difference in playing with your buddies in Miami was giving up 15 million a year instead of 3-4 million I doubt James would be so quick to do it. Also by giving that carrot to the players the owners might be able to get shorter contracts – a 3 year max would do wonders for the NBA. Combine that with maybe a slightly shorter rookie deal 4 instead of 5 and no restricted free agency, let home teams keep their players by doing it the old fashioned way, overpaying, not by forcing players to be where they don’t want to be and I bet the players would sign off on three year deals.

  31. TheRant

    Here’s a weird question. perhaps this is what @36 and @37 were hinting at and I’m being redundant.

    Melo continually said he wanted to play in NYC. And Jersey and others said they only wanted to do a deal if he’d sign the extension. But NY never said that.

    Is there anything stopping Melo and the Knicks from sitting down and saying “Thanks for coming to NYC. We’d like to sign less than a max extension in hopes of landing DWill or CP3″? If Melo is willing to take less than the max, as the Miami three did, can he?

    I guess the “future max” depends all on a new CBA. But I’d love to know what they can decide now, if Melo is willing to sacrifice for the team.

  32. latke Post author

    TheRant: Here’s a weird question.perhaps this is what @36 and @37 were hinting at and I’m being redundant.Melo continually said he wanted to play in NYC.And Jersey and others said they only wanted to do a deal if he’d sign the extension.But NY never said that.Is there anything stopping Melo and the Knicks from sitting down and saying “Thanks for coming to NYC.We’d like to sign less than a max extension in hopes of landing DWill or CP3??If Melo is willing to take less than the max, as the Miami three did, can he?I guess the “future max” depends all on a new CBA.But I’d love to know what they can decide now, if Melo is willing to sacrifice for the team.  

    AFAIK, he will extend first with Denver (with a stipulation in the contract marking it void if he is not traded), although there’s nothing mandatory about that. NY would still have his bird rights, so could extend him afterwards.

  33. totti

    you are the best blog in planet along with milannight.com
    still reading you and still thinking to knicks, my bad.
    this morning i made the funeral of my knicks hat, i killed it with my car. Nothing to do, i still have sentiment for knicks.
    You see, i can understand the ideas of bloggers like those of theknicksblog.com, because the IQ there is not huge. The majority of people there are happy with the trade. Kudos to you and P&T, you people are well aware there is a cap system in nba of today. Some people just don’t take in account this particular thing.
    Amazing Dolan and Isiah did not remember this little silly thing called “cap system”.
    But IMO, the craziest thing about this is: you are already very strong at SF with gallo and will, 33ppg and 11rpg, and guess what you do to improve? You gut the team for a SF!
    incredible

  34. daJudge

    latke–really great stuff and thank you for putting so much thought and effort into the product. I need to read the articles several times to get the gist. Just to shift gears a bit, IYW (if you will). I am getting very excited about the changes. I have lived through so many Knick teams and I don’t remember a scorer like Melo paired with a stud like Amare–ever. Add in an aging but awesome Chauncey Billups and I think we are all in for a treat. Billups and Fields are the two brightest players that the Knicks have had in years as well. Listen—we are going to the playoffs this year with a dangerous team. Let’s take it step by step and enjoy the ride. Also, some of the other guys the Knicks picked up are not garbage. Brewer was picked #7 overall and was great in college. I know he’s offensively challenged, but give him some burn. He’s a lock down defender by all accounts. Putting him and Balkman in together in small doses would make the opposing team think they had fleas. I also truly believe that we will attract another max and find a way to pay. Just my view.

  35. Frank

    I would like to optimistic also and say that this blog, born in the era of horrible Knicks basketball, tends to be unbelievably pessimistic about the Knicks’ abstract future and unbelievably optimistic about our own young players. When Mike wrote an article telling us to settle down about Mozgov, the whole place went ballistic (including, to some extent, me). Chandler was considered an average NBA SF by most until a hot shooting start at the beginning of this year. And Randolph… well, even Sebastian Pruiti is not particularly high on him at this point, and he DOES know something about basketball and advanced statistics.

    Truth is – potential is potential, and sometimes it gets reached and exceeded, but most times it does not. It is entirely possible and dare I say likely that 3 years from now Gallo is a fringe All-Star (but never makes the team due to the ridiculous talent out west), Chandler is an overpaid average player, Mozgov is a backup center playing 12 minutes/game, and Randolph gets his head completely screwed up by Kurt Rambis and never reaches his potential. And then this trade won’t look so bad.

    So many people here were against Amare’s signing because they said “if Phoenix thinks he has horrible knees and is not willing to max him, they must know something. Well – does anyone know our former players better than we do? Maybe they sat down and said – you know what – we got out to a great start, and this is maybe as high as their trade value will go. Randolph is a head case and will never be able to play serious minutes without blowing himself up. Gallo has talent but is not an elite athlete and will never break through to superstar level. Felton is a bulldog but expendable. We may not all agree, but it’s not an unreasonable argument.

    So let’s back off – reserve judgement for 10 games or so while they all get used to each other, then start calling people Damphony etc.

  36. Frank

    meanwhile… yahoo’s Spears and KBerg from CBS sent out random tweets that the Knicks are trying to get Marcus Camby. I can’t imagine what we could possibly offer that Portland would want. Paul Allen has more money than God so I doubt expiring contracts are useful.

  37. Frank

    I’m still going to hope they go out and pick up Sean Williams. 10 day contract, give him a shot in practice to see if he can stick. Amare, Melo, Turiaf, and Billups should have enough veteran leadership to keep him in line.

  38. daJudge

    The Knicks are now apparently trying to land Camby. That would be very cool short term. Maybe Donnie’s not done yet. In general, I’m going along with Frank–let’s stay optimistic for now. At least for you stat guys, wait for some relevant empirical data!

  39. gabriel

    Awesome article latke keep up the good work. I particularly enjoyed part 1 of the article, with the p-n-r video, very informative. I am a long time reader, first time writer. I have enjoyed all of the bloggers here positive and negative. However, to read all this negative writing here in this blog is extremely perplexing. Some bloggers act like this was a championchip team that they dis-mantled. Guys we are 28-26 barely 500. Some bloggers go so far as to say they will not be a knicks fan anymore. Really? then go root for the nets. We just recieved one of the top scorers in the world, and your mad because we gave away Gallinari? who many bloggers were popoing and complaining about his inconsistencies. Also, Mosgov who just was inserted into our rotation a month ago. Chandler who was not gonna get resigned, and raymond felton who is a definte wash with billups (although billups is 44% from three) Come on guys really? Basketball is a league of stars period. To be sucessfull in this league you need stars. Ask our beloved Patrick Ewing, about playing with another star. Guys you really have to understand the type of basketball player melo is. Well look at the response of other basketball players and coaches when they talk about Carmelo. For some reason they seem to be in agreement that melo is an almost an unstoppable offensive force. I think some bloggers look at statistics as the ultimate measure of a basketball player, and fail to use the eye test as well. Knick fans we got to do better.

  40. Frank

    daJudge: Frank, what’s the deal with Sean Williams?Has he got his act together?  

    Draft express wrote that he seemed to have cleaned himself up, first to practice, last to leave etc. Sounds like we should take a flyer?

  41. Frank O.

    Have you guys heard the Donnie interviews tonight. He sounds like he felt like this was the best deal the Knicks could make. He says that you rarely ever get a shot at a superstar in his prime and the Knicks had to make the move.
    He said he and D’Antoni felt like they needed to make this move. When asked if they gave up too much, he said you always end up giving up more than you hoped. They felt that if they didn’t get him, Carmelo would have signed an extension with someone, either Denver or NJ.
    when asked about isiah, he said he didn’t know what the relationship was between isiah and dolan and he didn’t really care. He said Dolan worked with he and D’Antoni.

    Seemed like they had some reasons for what they did, felt bad about losing people, in particular, it sound liked he was terribly sad about losing Felton, and that they felt this was the best more for the franchise.

  42. latke Post author

    Frank: I’m still going to hope they go out and pick up Sean Williams.10 day contract, give him a shot in practice to see if he can stick.Amare, Melo, Turiaf, and Billups should have enough veteran leadership to keep him inline.  

    Wow, that would give us two Sean/shawne williams’, both with bad histories, alone with Shelden Williams. Good thing none of them look alike.

    As far as Sean Williams goes, he’s exactly the sort of defensive big that SSOL has gotten extra value out of (see the chart above!). Here’s a comparison of Skinner (in his 30 y/o season, the one previous to joining SSOL), Williams (in his one full season) and Hunter (in his first season after leaving the suns). Williams is much younger than both of them, and has similar but clearly superior numbers.

    Still, I don’t think you can start a guy with so little offensive skill in SSOL. He’d be better off w/ 20 mins off the bench.

    Obviously Camby is a starter quality center who could make up for all the defense we gave up in that trade. I too don’t see how that happens though — does portland suddenly want Corey Brewer?

  43. d-mar

    The scheduling gods have smiled on the Knicks; if they had to play tonight (like Denver is) can you imagine what the lineup would look like?

    Stat
    Easy E
    Fields
    Turiaf
    Rautins

    Bench: Mason, Walker

    In a weird way, it would have been fun to watch, but would most likely have resulted in a loss, which we can’t afford right now.

    Would be really nice to crush the Bucks tomorrow, they’ve had our number for it seems like forever.

  44. Frank

    If Troy Murphy gets bought out he might be a great pickup. We could offer the ability to stay in NY area and guarantee him a lot more playing time, and freedom to chuck 5 3 pointers per game.

  45. daJudge

    I read the article on Williams. Encouraging. Is he a back to the basket or a power forward? Will coach play him? Frank O, I think most of the stuff about DW and Kaiser Sose is pure bull and speculation. This was a subtext created by the media w/o much substance. I heard a local hack on my ESPN affiliate say such ridiculous things about how Isiah was coming back that I thought I was listening to FOX news. The Knicks paid a lot for Melo because the circumstances required it to seal the deal. Plain and simple. If you don’t care for the deal, I get that too.

  46. BigBlueAL

    I must admit Walsh didnt sound like someone who has one foot out the door tonight. Exact opposite actually. Who knows if Dolan will still not extend Walsh but I dont think Walsh plans on walking away any time soon.

    Best thing we could hope for if Walsh isnt extended would be for someone like Warkentein to take over and not God help us all Isiah or someone handpicked by Isiah.

    I truly do believe that the whole Isiah thing is way, way overblown and its the same 3 people overblowing it in Isola, Berman and Wojo at Yahoo.

    The other media members say what is obvious that Dolan still loves Isiah and still talks to him like a consultant but nothing else. Maybe Im being naive but I cant believe Dolan would ever re-hire Isiah in any type of significant role outside of being a consultant like he tried to do last summer. Also idiots like Berman making a big deal about Isiah having no comment about his situation with the Knicks, as if Isiah is going to deny he has any input. His whole thing is he wants people to BELIEVE he still has alot to do with the decisions especially now that the Knicks are becoming good.

  47. latke Post author

    jaylamerique: http://www.hoopdata.com/blogengine/post/2011/02/22/Breaking-Down-The-Carmelo-Deal.aspx

    I really appreciated the stuff from this article about buying draft picks, but overall it doesn’t really get to the heart of the matter: money and youth. If you throw Chandler out of the equation, call him gone, and you throw out the cheese players (mozgov, williams, carter, balkman), the buyable draft picks, and the point guards (since neither were long term solutions) this is what the trade looks like:

    Knicks get: Carmelo Anthony

    Knicks lose: Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph, $20 million in cap space in 2012 (Anthony’s 2012 salary)

    With that extra $20 million, we’d have between $30 and $35 million in cap space in 2012, at least enough to extend Gallo and sign a max player, possibly enough to get TWO max guys to take haircuts in salary to join with Amare.

    But let’s just say you keep Gallinari and sign one max FA in 2012.

    Do you do this trade as the Knicks?

    Gallinari and Deron Williams for Anthony and Billups

    The only way I like this deal is if the Knicks turn around next year and trade Anthony for Paul/Howard/Deron, or trade him for expirings and other assets. Hell, I’d do the same with Amare if teams preferred. Howard, Paul and Williams are top ten players. Neither Amare nor Carmelo are.

  48. latke Post author

    haha Denver is up 20 with the “skeleton lineup” early 4th vs. Memphis. Seriously holding back making a snarky comment about star power.

  49. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: The Warriors are going to get Troy Murphy. They’ll have the whitest front court in the NBA!  

    I believe I read that he will be waived immediately so Murphy wont stay with the Warriors.

  50. Mike R

    espn bottomline – trade finalized – carmelo just signed the extension for exactly what we thought it was in case anyone was wondering, i was hoping for some reason he would sign for a little less even a couple million less per year

  51. Brian Cronin

    I believe I read that he will be waived immediately so Murphy wont stay with the Warriors.

    Oh, seriously? So Murphy actually is in play? He would look awfully good in the orange and blue.

  52. Brian Cronin

    Let’s say you are Murphy – what would you prefer? Significant playing time on a fringe playoff team like the Knicks or spot minutes for a really good playoff team like the Magic, Celtics and Heat? I really don’t know which one I would prefer if I were him.

  53. Mike R

    Just saw the highlight from the Nuggets game – former Knicks were in attendance and looked like fans gave them a standing O. They looked miserable however especially Ray

  54. hlawyer

    latke:
    If you throw Chandler out of the equation, call him gone, and you throw out the cheese players (mozgov, williams, carter, balkman), the buyable draft picks, and the point guards (since neither were long term solutions) this is what the trade looks like:Knicks get: Carmelo AnthonyKnicks lose: Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph, $20 million in cap space in 2012 (Anthony’s 2012 salary)With that extra $20 million, we’d have between $30 and $35 million in cap space in 2012, at least enough to extend Gallo and sign a max player, possibly enough to get TWO max guys to take haircuts in salary to join with Amare.But let’s just say you keep Gallinari and sign one max FA in 2012.Do you do this trade as the Knicks?Gallinari and Deron Williams for Anthony and Billups.  

    Haven’t the Knicks been down this road recently? You can’t deride the trade because it may affect your ability to sign a player who may want to come here. The Knicks can’t make decisions about what to do now based on players that aren’t free agents yet and might not be free agents over a year from now. They have to get what they can. It isn’t Gallinari and Deron Williams for Anthony and Billups. It’s Anthony and Billups for Gallinari and cap space that could be used to sign Paul, Howard, or Deron Williams if they happen to make it to free agency without signing extensions and the CBA doesn’t change significantly, affecting the Knicks ability to sign those players or those players’ ability to enter free agency. If the Knicks didn’t sign Amare or make this trade, then maybe they could sign Lebron, Wade and Bosh when their contracts expire. Ludicrous.

  55. swiftandabundant

    We will have an adjustment period for sure. Miami did. But the fact that Billups is coming in is actually a good thing. He will mold better with Melo cause they have played together and it will be easier for Amare to adjust to them than it would be for Felton to adjust to Melo I think. We may even drop down to the 7th or 8th spot in the East. A really twisted part of me wants us to face Miami in the first round and shock them like we did back in 99.

    Hello Melo, Welcome to The Knicks!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo

  56. Ben R

    I would bet buckets of money Denver wins more games to close out this season than the Knicks. This isn’t sour grapes I really think they have a nice team. I can see why Felton is pissed he just became a backup pg for the first time in his career. I think that Denver team as contructed is deep, athletic, incredibly efficient and really young. If they can get Nene to stay and keep all those Knicks then I think they might be able to continue as they have the past couple years, a 50 win playoff team in the West.

  57. dmull

    Brian Cronin: Let’s say you are Murphy – what would you prefer? Significant playing time on a fringe playoff team like the Knicks or spot minutes for a really good playoff team like the Magic, Celtics and Heat? I really don’t know which one I would prefer if I were him.  

    whichever one pays the most of course.

  58. latke Post author

    hl,

    It’s true. We went down the road of making cap space in the hopes of signing a big name FA, and no, we didn’t sign lebron, but we did sign Amare Stoudemire. What if we had instead traded all our assets for Amare last February? We wouldn’t have had the assets to pull off this trade in the first place.

    The road we have been down for a lot longer (and seem ever-so-eager to delete from our memory) is the one where we ignore the long term and decide “compete now at all costs even if it provides no reasonable opportunity for a contender.” Over and over we traded youth for win-now talents, and over and over we were burned.

    We may not have signed Paul or Howard or Williams in 2012, but with a decent young team that already has a star, our odds go way up when compared to last summer when we were coming off a 29 win season. And regardless, that team would actually have a shot at championship, whereas Amare, Anthony, Fields and crap does not.

    Think about it like this: Let’s say you need a million dollars by the end of the day to pay off the mafia or they kill you, and you only have $1 for a scratch off lottery ticket. Furthermore, tickets can’t be sold after 6pm, which is in about 10 seconds, so you won’t have time to buy another lottery ticket with any winnings you have. Lottery ticket 1 pays $800,000 every time! It’s amazing! Lottery ticket 2 pays $1,000,000, but only 1 out of 10,000,000 times. Which do you buy?

    The Knicks bought ticket 1. They have $800,000, but they have almost no prospect of getting to the million they need. Sure, the overall payoff was better, but if the goal is to win a championship (win $1,000,000), then you have to take the risk of being mediocre in order to at least have a chance at being the best.

  59. Ben R

    Latke – to further your analagy they bought that $800,000 lottery ticket for $700,000 and might be $100,000 richer but as you said they might be richer but now have no way to get the rest of the money.

  60. latke Post author

    dmull: I’d buy ticket 1.  

    Buying ticket 1 isn’t all bad. At least you can live it up for the next six hours, as the Knicks will do for the next year and a half.

  61. Brian Cronin

    whichever one pays the most of course.

    I’m pretty sure everyone would be offering the same, so his concern would be more about the offseason when he’s a free agent. So which team puts him in the best position to get a good contract?

  62. Ben R

    I really hope we make some kind of move before the trade deadline. Between Brewer, Carter, and Mason that’s a pretty decent amount of expiring contracts which probably won’t play a minute for the Knicks. Add in Turiaf or Azubuike if it’s a great deal and we could possibly get a pretty decent player from a team looking to save money.

    I’d rather keep Azubuike because he could really be an x-factor this year and in the future off the bench but we need size and maybe we can get some if we’re willing to take on long term money.

  63. Z-man

    Azu-who? What indications are there that he will come back anything close to the player he was? I haven’t seen any.

  64. Frank

    latke:
    Gallinari and Deron Williams for Anthony and BillupsThe only way I like this deal is if the Knicks turn around next year and trade Anthony for Paul/Howard/Deron, or trade him for expirings and other assets. Hell, I’d do the same with Amare if teams preferred. Howard, Paul and Williams are top ten players. Neither Amare nor Carmelo are.  

    So many problems with this proposed “trade”.
    1 – no guarantees that Gallo becomes a star
    2 – no guarantees that the new CBA will allow Williams/Howard/Paul to walk. Franchise tag, etc. etc.
    3- no guarantees that those guys will come here regardless.
    4 – what if Chris Paul was really serious about his wedding toast? What if our only chance to get him was if Melo was already here? You can say what you want, but those words DID come out of his mouth, and he DOES have the same agent as Melo.
    5 – without making a significant move in this season or off-season, we would have ZERO chance of actually putting a scare into any of the top teams — a move that would likely threaten our 2012 cap space.

    So while I don’t really think Melo is in that top tier of young superstars (Lebron, Wade, D-Will, Paul, Howard, Durant) I think he is just below that level. The other top players (Kobe, Dirk etc.) are at the end of their prime or later. Guys that we respect (or at least I do) – Jeff Van Gundy, Hubie Brown, etc. all think that this is going to work – that MDA’s offense can get the ball to Melo or Stat in the right place, in motion, without relying too much on iso if possible. Let’s see how it plays out.

    Meanwhile – someone a while back posted that a core of Paul/Melo/Amare would be “too old” to compete against Miami. Please. You’re going to sniff at Paul/Melo/Amare after 10 years of Othella Harrington, Eddy Curry, and Larry Hughes?

    Not to mention that Wade is highly likely to break down by the…

  65. Frank

    One more thing – Melo just signed a 3 year extension meaning that he is signed for 2011-12 through 2014-15. He’ll be 30 at that point. Amare will be 32. I hope to God that whoever the GM is at that point knows when to cut bait and not repeat the Ewing mistake over and over.

  66. Owen

    “You’re going to sniff at Paul/Melo/Amare after 10 years of Othella Harrington, Eddy Curry, and Larry Hughes?”

    No one is sniffing at Chris Paul. Most of us just worry we are not closer but further away from signing him, which should have been our only goal.

    I think there is also a legitimate difference of opinion in play here. A lot of board members are happy to have us be Denver East, happy to be over 500 and happy to be in the playoffs. That’s a reasonable position after everything we have been through.

    Personally, after 32 years of listening to my Dad talk about how amazing it was to be at Game 6 in the Garden when Reed walked out of the tunnel, how great Frazie and that crew were, I don’t want good. I want great. I want a championship. And there is basically zero chance of that.

    It’s going to be great for the Dolan’s bottom line though…

  67. latke Post author

    Frank: 1 – no guarantees that Gallo becomes a star
    2 – no guarantees that the new CBA will allow Williams/Howard/Paul to walk. Franchise tag, etc. etc.
    3- no guarantees that those guys will come here regardless.
    4 – what if Chris Paul was really serious about his wedding toast? What if our only chance to get him was if Melo was already here? You can say what you want, but those words DID come out of his mouth, and he DOES have the same agent as Melo.
    5 – without making a significant move in this season or off-season, we would have ZERO chance of actually putting a scare into any of the top teams — a move that would likely threaten our 2012 cap space.

    You’re right. If this deal was a favor to the back room players of the NBA: Leon Rose, WW Wes, and they use their pull to get Paul here through a trade next season, then it’s a must-do deal. In any other case though I think it made our championship hopes virtually impossible. At least we had a long shot chance before.

  68. d-mar

    Wow, the doom and gloom at the end of this thread is unbelievable, maybe you guys should go to knickerdowner.net. “…zero chance of a championship”? “…championship hopes virtually impossible”? Beck in the NY Times said this morning that the Knicks cap room might be as high as $16 million in 2012, according to “internal estimates”. I know that number has been all over the map, and a lot depends on the upcoming CBA, but this is not the end of days, guys. We have 2 starting All Stars on our team, a pedigreed PG and the knowledge that guys like D-Will and CP3 want to play here. How bad is that? Step back from the ledge!

  69. dmull

    Owen: “You’re going to sniff at Paul/Melo/Amare after 10 years of Othella Harrington, Eddy Curry, and Larry Hughes?”No one is sniffing at Chris Paul. Most of us just worry we are not closer but further away from signing him, which should have been our only goal.
    I think there is also a legitimate difference of opinion in play here. A lot of board members are happy to have us be Denver East, happy to be over 500 and happy to be in the playoffs. That’s a reasonable position after everything we have been through.Personally, after 32 years of listening to my Dad talk about how amazing it was to be at Game 6 in the Garden when Reed walked out of the tunnel, how great Frazie and that crew were, I don’t want good. I want great. I want a championship. And there is basically zero chance of that.
    It’s going to be great for the Dolan’s bottom line though…  

    I love advanced stats. Love them. Do you really have the complete blinders on 24/7 to truly think that Wilson Chandler, Ray Felton, et al. were the type of pieces that bring a championship? Alright, you don’t think Melo is a star and I don’t expect you to change your mind on that, at least for now…but getting a “star” and a guy that you probably think is closer to a star than that player in Billups..it’s at least throwing a punch.

    But what makes no sense at all to me, is this theory that somehow getting Carmelo pushes us further from getting Chris Paul. Uhhhh…dudes, seriously? What this move does, is, if the CBA allows (and that obviously is a huge huge question, but still…) we probably will get Chris Paul. He obviously wants to play with Melo, whether or not Melo’s win shares are that of a superstar or not to you – your knight in shining armor Chris Paul doesn’t care.

    You all really didn’t want to take a chance on Amare/Melo/Paul? Really? You really like Will Chandler and Danillo…

  70. Doug

    I really liked our waddling bulldog of a point guard, but I was under the impression that the Knicks were going to jettison him for Paul or D-Will anyway.

  71. dmull

    Brian Cronin:
    I’m pretty sure everyone would be offering the same, so his concern would be more about the offseason when he’s a free agent. So which team puts him in the best position to get a good contract?  

    Was tongue in cheek. But to honestly answer your question, I think a player, almost always, prefers to play. In particular if the one team is a borderline contender. Another thing that Melo does is that even if Dave Berri and all the stat heads don’t think it makes us any better – players are looking at us as a legitimate threat and I think players will definitely want to be a part of something like this in NYC.

    Would love to get Troy Murphy. What a nice fit that would be.

  72. Ben R

    dmull – I totally agree this trade makes Paul or D-will want to come here much more than before the trade. The problem is it makes it nearly impossible.

    Before the trade having the room to be able to sign Paul or D-will was an easy thing to accomplish, in fact unless there is major changes to the CBA it would have been easy to keep
    Gallo, Fields, Douglas, our 2011 1st rounder and still have more than enough room to sign a max guy in 2011. Whether or they would want to come is an unknown. But getting the cap room was easy.

    Now with this trade the only way to even be able to come close to signing a max guy is to dump everyone, I mean everyone in 2012 and then hope that the draw of Melo + Amare is enough for D-Will or Paul to leave 30%+ of the possible money on the table. Amare + Melo + Minimum cap holds equals about 46.5 million. So unless the cap is well over 60 million I don’t see how we can do it.

    Plus we would have absolutely no one but minimum contracts to fill out the team. Go look at Miami’s team the only minimum players they signed that are actually getting major playing time are Big Z and House. Every other important person on that team is either making more than the minimum (Miller, Anthony, Haslem) or was already signed to small contracts (Jones, Chalmers, Arroyo). You can fill out a position or two with vet min contracts but no way that you can fill a whole roster.

  73. dmull

    That is the major question. And ultimately why I was so against the Amare deal to begin with. Whether people here like it or not, to get Melo it was going to cost this. Amare’s contract was much higher than I expected and I think ultimately is what really killed our flexibility.

    You could say the same thing about Miami though. People thought their supporting cast this year was weak, well as their salaries escalate they’re going to have no flexibility to sign other players either. But it’s a stars league, I think you gather up as many stars as possible and worry about filling in the gaps later, but that’s just me…

    Where there’s a will there’s a way though, especially if Chris Paul’s knees keep the bidding down a bit, maybe he’d accept a touch less than the max, which might start him at what 12-13 Milll? That would probably put us around 55 Mill or so? Not ideal for adding role players but with a couple sharp draft picks and health, we’d be in with a serious chance…

    Or we could sit on Gallinari, Felton, Chandler and Fields and hope to strike lightning…

  74. Caleb

    i don’t think I’d put our odds of getting, say, Chris Paul, at zero… but they almost definitely went down.

    I agree with Ben – Carmelo being here raises the odds of a 3rd superstar WANTING to come. Reality is that other stars like playing with their famous pals. BUT – that benefit is more than offset by the Knicks eating up their cap space.

    If cap really does go to $61-63 million, then yes, Chris Paul or Deron Williams or Dwight Howard is realistic and all could be well. With CP3 we might need to offer a longer contract than other teams, wary of his knees.

    There was a weird perspective shift this year – I don’t know anyone who thought the current team was about to win a title, but 28-26 was right on target – a 12-win improvement, a playoff team where 4 of the key building blocks were 21 and 22 years old. Gallo, Chandler, etc. are not nearly at their ceiling. Doing nothing, we would have been better a year from now – we’re talking a 45-50 win team, with tons of cap space. MSG would have been a very attractive free agent destination, with or without Carmelo.

    But people got impatient. I don’t care about bumping our odds right now; I’d rather be focused on the peak. But I am in the minority, I think.Like Owen said @83 – this is not a bad trade if your goal is a 50-win team, but it lowers the ceiling for sure. Not hopelessly…

  75. Frank O.

    I can see both sides of the argument:
    1. Carmelo brings the Knicks closer to getting Paul or Williams because playing with Amare and Melo is very attractive; or
    2. Carmelo pushes the Knicks further from having the ability to afford Paul or Williams.

    But there are things here that need to be considered.
    1. I think it is a valid point expressed by Walsh and D’Antoni, that Melo is a rare talent, and even rarer that the Knicks could acquire him in what appears to be the start of his prime. Getting a guy like him – and his peers and coaches all universally see him as a superstar – creates momentum for a franchise, it brings excitement to a city. Like attracting a Nobel Prize winner to your faculty, Carmelo will attract others.
    2. While everyone is talking about how the CBA limits the Knicks…well, it doesn’t just limit the Knicks. The waterline will drop for everyone, and if the Knicks are in good cap position now comparatively with the rest of the league, and they are, then they will be in a good cap position during CBA. Remember, the only contracts the Knicks will be committed to in 2012, I believe, will be Melo, Amare and Balkman.
    3. Landry Fields…look, I love the guy, but if it comes down to not signing him and having enough cash to bring Paul or Williams to NYC, Landry is gone. These are perhaps the best two PGs in a generation.

    Of course, the Knicks gave up a lot. I didn’t like it either, but the doomsayers are being a bit overly negative, in my view.

  76. Frank O.

    Further…
    Before, Donnie made moves to get the Knicks into good cap position. Indeed, much of what he did was not envisioned on this blog, by anyone.
    And some of the moves he made, the Amare move, for example, were roundly derided by some on this blog, and Amare has shown in this system to be more than anyone – even the optimists – expected him to be.
    There is every reason to believe Donnie will find a way to improve this team.
    Meanwhile, I have a strong feeling that Carmelo Anthony will be a beast in this offense. If David Lee and WC and Gallo can be efficient scorers in D’Antoni’s offense, Carmelo will be an efficient scorer in this offense.
    I also believe because the offense is designed around good ball movement, Carmelo will see a significant boost in his assists per 36.
    And that really is the only major knock against the guy: his passing.
    Last, this is going to be an enormously efficient scoring team, in large part because Amare, Billups and Anthony shoot almost 23 FTs per game, shooting 79%, 92% and 82%, respectively.
    Of course, this is speculation on my part, but it’s not uninformed.
    I feel like there is a certain level of intransigence in some of these arguments against the trade. I feel like we may have gone one player too far, but to expect somehow that Carmelo isn’t going to get a boost in his already formidable offensive portfolio, as most other players get from SSOL, seems unreasonably negative.
    I don’t see him as an SSOL cancer like Vince Carter or Joe Johnson.
    He’s a wingman that shoots 45% from the field. He’s not a particularly good 3 pt shooter, but he takes fewer than 3 per game.

    The way I see it, the Knicks have a inside-out threat in Amare, a slashing low post scorer in Anthony, and a deadly PnR, knockdown 3pt shooting field general in Billups.
    How we’re not saying, “Holy Shit, these guys are going to be awesome!” is pretty hard to fathom.

  77. Ben R

    Frank O. – the major knock on Melo is not his passing but his defense. We will be a better offensive team with Melo over Gallo and Chandler and Billups over Felton. I have faith Melo will figure out how to play in this system and we will be a very good offensive team. I don’t think there are alot of people that will argue that. How much better is yet to be seen but I definitely think we improved offensively.

    The problem is that Miami team that everyone is using as an example is not winning with offense, (though LeBron+Wade is better offensively than Amare+Melo) it is winning with defense. I look at the Knicks and see that we downgraded defensively in three places on our starting lineup and downgraded our bench.

  78. Frank O.

    Ben R: Frank O. – the major knock on Melo is not his passing but his defense. We will be a better offensive team with Melo over Gallo and Chandler and Billups over Felton. I have faith Melo will figure out how to play in this system and we will be a very good offensive team. I don’t think there are alot of people that will argue that. How much better is yet to be seen but I definitely think we improved offensively.
    The problem is that Miami team that everyone is using as an example is not winning with offense, (though LeBron+Wade is better offensively than Amare+Melo) it is winning with defense. I look at the Knicks and see that we downgraded defensively in three places on our starting lineup and downgraded our bench.  

    I’d be willing to bet that our D stays right around 20th, as it is now.
    Felton, contrary to what people like to say, was not a great defender. He was getting beat often off the dribble and had difficulty guarding the super speedy guards of today.
    Gallo tried hard, but was not an imposing defender, even though he often was significantly bigger than his opposite.
    WC was effective for a time on defense, but his shot blocking numbers were in decline since November. He was a different player over the last 25 games.

    yes our bench is less. Yes we need help at center, but I’m not sure it’s a huge amount.
    What they need is a big center who plays defense. Not sure there are many out there available.
    You point is valid to me. I’m not sure it’s quite as bad as you, but I could be convinced otherwise.

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