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Monday, April 21, 2014

Would you want Telfair on the Knicks?

Apparently, Sebastian Telfair’s career with the Boston Celtics is over, and Telfair’s career is in some serious jeopardy. That being said, certainly SOME team out there will give him another chance.

The question is – should it be the Knicks?

As commenter “Hudson River” points out, the downsides are:

He is another Shoot first point guard, but he can?t shoot. He doesn?t get along with Stephon at all. He could very well practice on the practice team, but whose minutes would he take? Not Marbury or Collins or even Steve Francis.

The upsides, of course, is that he is 21 years old and has a crap load of “talent.”

He can’t be expecting much money right now, can he? The Knicks could probably get it done without using their whole mid-level exemption.

But is it worth it?

I am not sure, but it’s definitely an interesting new wrinkle to the Knicks’ offseason.

134 comments on “Would you want Telfair on the Knicks?

  1. islesfan

    Acquiring Telfair would go perfectly with all of Isiah’s previous acquisitions.

    Garbage In, Garbage Out

  2. Matthew

    I think he’d quickly take Collins spot. Why not? At one time he started over both Steve Blake and Jarrett Jack. He’s slipped a bit since them, but as recent as this year he was ahead of Rondo in the Celtics rotation. Of course I think the Knicks have enough point guards and Telfair isn’t an upgrade over any of them really so I don’t think he’s worth the headache. Let him land in Atlanta or somewhere like that.

  3. Dan Panorama

    I can’t help but love the guy after that movie but he seems like a terrible fit for the Knicks. Collins is our PG of the future for now or at least deserves a shot at it, Telfair gets upset over his role and has yet to overcome his height deficiency on an NBA level, and has fallen in the rotation and then out entirely in his last two teams.

    I really hope Cleveland snaps him up, I think he would be a great fit there as they’re a winning team that’s desperately in need of some offensive talent and athleticism at the point to complement LBJ.

  4. xduckshoex

    NO.

    Dear god, no.

    Way too many off the court issues and such a terrible attitude. Yeah, he was ahead of Rondo on the depth chart for a while(which isn’t saying much) but he lost his place because he took far too many bad shots and never seemed to want to run whatever offense Doc has them running up there.

    I don’t care how much potential he has, he hasn’t shown anything that indicates he will ever realize it.

  5. Ben Couch

    Couple points:

    1) Sebastian is a good kid, and hard worker – though a little cocky, perhaps, and with a tendency for an occasional bad decision. He’s 21 – everyone makes them then, just not in public. Read “The Jump” or watch “Through the Fire” for evidence.

    2) Yeah, he should’ve gone to college, but he got offered $10 million guaranteed by Adidas before the draft. Hard to turn that down – and realize a life dream while you’re at it – when you grew up in the projects.

    3) They mentioned over at SLAM the other day that the tension between Bassy and Stephon has cooled somewhat. Something about Steph showing up to support Bassy at the court hearing.

    4) Mardy Collins, while he showed something at the end of the year, is NOT the Knicks’ “PG of the future.” He’s best utilized a combo guard to back up the 1 and 2, playing good defense and steadily contributing on offense. A four-guard rotation of Marbury, Crawford, Collins and Telfair would be pretty solid. And it would clear the way for Nate Robinson’s exit.

  6. ShamRoxStar

    Danny Ainge is an idiot, and the trade that brought him to Boston was horrible, as is every single trade Danny Ainge has ever made (except aquiring Ricky Davis from the Cavs).

    Telfair was NEVER ahead of Rondo in the rotation. Doc was forced to play Telflop by Danny as a hopeless attempt to prove the trade was not horrible.

    I wasn’t at practice of course, but I gaurentee Rondo OWNED Telflop in practice from day one.

    The Knicks have no use for this retard. Telflop should do us all a favor and reach into his pillow case and use the gun on himself.

  7. Jesse

    Telfiar is a talent no doubt, but do we need another ego or attitude on the Knicks. We need to clear some of the ego’s that patrol the sidelines at “Madison Square Garden”. Instead of focusing on similar type players with large contracts and bigger ego’s let focus on the David Lee type player and make our team better. Stick with Collins.

  8. Matthew

    They made the trade to get rid of the LaFrentz contract… they probably couldn’t have extended Pierce otherwise.

    What I don’t understand about the gun charge is… does Telfair even realize that guns are LEGAL in the U.S.? That all he has to do is go get a license; that he doesn’t have to purchase a gun under the table from his contacts in the hood?

  9. aug

    if you are a true knick fan how can you even consider wanting this guy. he doesn’t embody the classic knick values of hard work and defensive tenacity.

  10. Dan S

    Telfair is Stephon Marbury in training. Both out of Lincoln HS…both with a ton of talent…and both are losers that will never win a championship. Attitude problems and toruble with the law surround this guy and him and Marbury will clash considerably…so my answer is NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  11. BrandonM

    Neither do JJ and Franchise. What is the difference? We would get rid of two disasters for the price of one. We dont have to play him, he can sit next to the other JJ next year and they can become really good friends!:)

  12. Kevin Dolorico

    Telfair is *not* Marbury in training. Marbury was always a physically imposing, rough power-PG, even in his year in GA Tech.

    Telfair is a smooth finesse player. At this point of his career, he’s a poor defender, poor shooter, and doesn’t do anything but run a fast break well (and even then, because of his size, he’s not a great finisher). His biggest strengths was his supposed out of this world court vision, but perhaps at the NBA level, that’s tempered by the fact that there are a lot of other deficiencies in his game.

    The Knicks don’t seem like a good fit for him right now. Our (healthy) backcourt is loaded. We have 4 or 5 players who spend some time at PG on our roster right now, all of whom have shown more than Telfair (including Mardy Collins – I don’t think Telfair’s had a 12 game stretch as good as the way Collins finished the season!).

    A team like Memphis could possibly use him, since it appears that Damon Stoudamire has lost something… or perhaps the Bucks, who might lose Mo Williams.

  13. CelticBalla32

    I think it would be best for Bassy to go to a place farther away from New York. That’s where he gets in trouble. No offense to anybody if you guys are from Coney Island, but Bassy gets in trouble when he goes back there. I think he needs to go to an up-tempo system that is farther away from home, not closer and certainly not with the Knicks.

    I think Indiana needs a point guard and they could use him (hell, they have enough legal troubles, why not add another lol), Atlanta is desperit for a young point guard, Washington needs a point guard, the Clippers could use him if they don’t get a Conley or Law in the draft, Miami is looking for a better young point guard to take over when Payton retires, Minnesota could use a young point guard with potential, Cleveland needs a point guard (although I don’t think Bassy is what they need), Milwaukee will need a point guard or two especially if Williams doesn’t re-sign, Philly could use Telfair to add with their rebuilding plan. I mean there are a lot of options and I’m sure Bassy will get interest and find a home before next season starts.

    I wish Bassy a lot of luck, I hope he can succeed. And one more thing – he’s NOT a bad kid.

  14. Rick

    No.

    No no no no no no no.

    No no, no no no. Please dear God no.

    How many more shoot-first, talent-later guards does our team need? What makes anyone think that Telfair is going to make the leap by going from an awful team to an almost-as-awful team? The dude shot 37% from the field this year. 2.8/1.2 AST/TO ratio. 1.4 RPG.

    And yeah, I understand that his behavior is a product of his socioeconomic situation growing up, but GOD DAMN.

    GUN LICENSES. GUN. LICENSES.

    Maybe he’s just a closet Libertarian.

  15. jimmyt

    shamroxstar… the point of the celtics trade was not to get telfair. It was to get rid of raefs contract and pick up ratliffs contract that was insured, telfair was a throw in. Dont you think Ainge knew telfair wasnt a good player hence that is why he drafted Rondo? Come on. Telfair may be good in 5 years but a team like the Celtics cant wait that long. I see his arrest as some sort of way out to releasing him but it is for the better.

  16. jon abbey

    awesome, I’m going to say yes, just to piss everyone here off.

    but back in the real world, no matter how pissed Boston is at him, it’s pretty doubtful they’ll buy him out, he’ll likely be traded elsewhere or paid to sit at home for a year until his contract expires. Chad Ford wrote about this on ESPN Insider yesterday.

  17. G-Man

    Guys – we would be lucky to get Telfair at the bargain price that Ainge will have to trade him for now … Boston has a good citizenship policy and after Bassie got in trouble in Here when his chain was stolen he was promptly demoted to third guard. He torched us in a couple of games before that if I remember correctly.

  18. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    No. No. No. I agree with CelticBalla. The LAST thing Telfair needs is the added pressure of “coming home” to add to his woes. He needs to go to a team w/ a core of veterans and where he can back up a solid PG for a year or two, preferably far away from the East Coast. Miami would be great for him. So would Dallas or Houston (though he might drive JVG bonkers). But coming to the ongoing media circus that is NY is a disaster waiting to happen.

    How many “Will Steph and Bassy get along?” stories do you think the four-headed ogre of Isola/Lawrence/Berman/Vescey could crank out a day? If he plays terribly and or gets busted again, the media will have a field day ripping him and if he plays well, they’ll have a field day playing up the Steph-Bassy rivalry. Just ugly. I’m getting nauseated thinking about it.

  19. Rick

    Ken, I agree with you on the media frenzy that would occur were he to play in his hometown with Steph. And let’s face it, the NY media is hard enough on great players (A-Rod, Strahan), much moreso on a bad team with underachieving players.

    The real question is this: Is Isiah dumb enough to add him to the team anyway?

    Probably.

  20. Caleb

    Yesterday I said Telfair might be worth a gamble, at a bargain basement deal – say, $1m or less for a year – but I’ve reconsidered. I don’t think he’s gonna be a player, and he’d be a big distraction.

    That said… you guys have to get over Mardy Collins being the answer to anything. Yes, he’s a pretty good defender, but he’s older than Telfair, shoots about 37 percent and barely 50 percent from the line and is a point guard with almost as many turnovers as assists.

    At the absolute top end of his potential, he might be a Lindsey Hunter-like role player. More likely he’ll be out of the league when his contract is up.

  21. stopmikelupica

    Ken Bannister brings up an interesting point about the media, and I agree totally, but that’s not really a solid reason for making a basketball decision.

    I agree that a) Bassy is probably better off not being so close to home and b) There are teams that would be way better “fits” than the Knicks for Telfair (who would probably use Telfair as a 3rd or 4th guard, not as a starter or 30 minutes a night guy). If I was Sebastian, I would rather start somewhere than back up Mardy Collins.

    That having been said, if the question is “is it worth it?” for the Knicks, then I say yes. He’s worth the minor investment (he won’t cost much), and is 21 years old and has loads of potential. If you are willing to give Collins a chance (older, lower ceiling) or a healthy Shaun Livingston (almost the same age, same amazing court vision and smoothness to his game, though obviously 6 inches taller) a chance to fulfill his potential, then why not Telfair?

    I wouldn’t want him if he was costing much, but taking a flyer on him? Heck yes. Nothing to lose.

  22. repole

    Two notes on the original Celtics Telfair trade:

    1. The trade was first and foremost primarily about money. Raef had to go for the owners to fork up money for Pierce’s extension and the extensoin Jefferson will soon get.

    2. Ainge would have picked Rondo at 7. This isn’t the typical after drafting a player that a gm says “I love this guy, had him top 5!” Ainge was well documented as being in love with Rondo, to the point where tons of rumors about Rondo being the Celtics pick at 7 were popping up before the draft. Seeing the Celtics trade for a pick to take him later pretty much confirms that had they kept the 7th pick, it would have been used to take Rondo. He also noted that had he known he could got Rondo later in the draft, he “may not” have done the deal for Telfair.

    So in that regard, the Celtics essentially traded the Cleveland pick in this year’s draft for Telfair and salary relief…not exactly a horrible move in my eyes, as talent wise Telfair was certainly worth a look. Now I realize from the surface, it looks like a poor trade, but had Ainge flat out taken Rondo at 7 and traded the Cleveland pick for Telfair/getting rid of Raef, no one would be saying he’s the worst GM in the league. He’s done wonders drafting with guys like Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo, Gerald Green, and pre-injury Tony Allen, along with nice complementary players like West, Gomes, and even Powe.

  23. TheFeed

    Only if he promises to shoot Steve Francis, Jerome James and Jared Jeffries in the head. His serial killer name – “The Cap Clearer”

  24. Frank

    Ugh. No.
    Collins.
    Although, I’d give up Robinson for just about anything, and Francis needs to be gone too.

  25. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Stopmikelupica,

    Of course the tabloids shouldn’t be a reason for making basketball decisions, but if the media effects how well a player performs, it’s certainly worth taking into account when evaluating whether or not to bring in a player.

    In every sport, there are players who thrive in a city like New York (or just ‘New York’ b/c there really is no other American City like it) and the hordes of ‘journalists’ (for lack of a better term) who will not only spend days obsessing about every detail of a player’s life (and outside of what he does on the field, as in the extended, “Is Paul LoDuca a gambling, cheating, teeny-lusting louse” series of artcles from last year, or the photos of A-Rod sunbathing), but publish every scurrillous rumor and/or will sometimes just plain make shit up. Some players get off on that. Others find it destroys their game (e.g. Ed Whitson, decent player before and after his stint with the Yankees/total wreck in NY.) Mark Messier certainly got off on it. So did Namath. So did Lawrence Taylor. Reyes looks like he can be one of those guys.

    That being said, Telfair is a ‘talent’ with ‘potential’ (even though he’s been downright awful his first two years in Portland and Boston) but given that this is clearly a player who needs to work on his game, would you bring him into a situation in which there will be many factors (being home, competing w/his cousin for playing time, articles up the wazoo about the first two factors) prohibiting him from doing just that. That’s why I don’t think you can discount the media when evaluating a player.

    And in the end, I really don’t think Telfair is that good anyway, nor will he ever be more than a solid backup. And while Collins doesn’t have his ‘ceiling’, he’s certainly already exceeded my expectations.

  26. mase

    “you people are all crazy!”

    Nate is our best TS% and everyone wants him gone, i dont get it.

    Telfair would work in the uptempo PHX-like offense Isiah envisioned for this season. You’d have a run- and gun offense with Lee, Balk, Frye, Crawford, Nate, Q and Curry all benefiting immensely from him pushing the ball. Of course we still need a 3-pt. threat and a shot blocker to get the ball to him but I’d sign him in a heartbeat.

    It can’t be much worse than the current crop of pg’s we have.(Collins is the ‘backup’ pg of the future’, agreed).

    p.s. id see a movie about the Knicks called ‘the cap clearer’, twice!

    …that is all

  27. Owen

    Actually Mase, Steve Francis has the highest TS% amongst the Knicks guards by a good margin. He is 1.8% better than Nate.

    He also has a more than 5% edge in TS% on Crawford. We can talk about Telfair at great length. But the real guard issue for the Knicks is that the leading shot taker on the team has the lowest TS$ of all the guards other than Collins. Why you guys want to get rid of Francis I dont know. Lets get rid of Crawford and see if Francis is still a cancer.

    Telfair is a bad player with character issues. It’s a sign of how bad things have become for Knicks fans that we are even considering this.

    And Maybe Clyde can fix Mardy. But I completely agree with Caleb. Unless he drastically improves next year he will be out of the league after his contract expires.

  28. dave crockett

    I can’t really see all this alleged upside with Telfair, and I don’t suppose I ever really have. I was hoping against hope that Portland would stay beholden to Telfair and trade Jarrett Jack instead.

    Anyway, I think the first order for Thomas this off-season is: No more high turnover guys, please.

    Francis drives me INSANE because he’s a bona fide ball stopper; five crossovers every time he touches the ball. But, he’s effective no question. He lives at the line. He was surprisingly accurate from 3-pt. range. Plus, he has always rebounded. I like it much better when he plays the 2 guard exclusively though.

  29. mase

    ugh Francis!
    he prevents the offense from flowing, he stands around bouncing the ball while the play goes on, lots of turnovers.
    he does get to the line but other than that he has got to go to the d-league(and by ‘D’ i mean Denver or Detroit or Darfur)

  30. Michael Bloom

    Absolutely not. Just to give my voice to the choir.

    The Knicks need to take lessons in rebuilding from the Portland Trailblazers — which is different from taking hand-me-downs from them.

  31. Owen

    Mase-

    Francis commits fewer turnovers than both Crawford and Marbury and is a better rebounder.

    Looking objectively at just the box score stats, both career and for this season, I dont think you can make a case any guard on this team is better than Francis.

    Box score statistics aren’t everything perhaps. There is defense to consider, and adjusted +/-, and what the pundits think of course is crucially important, but those arent my departments.

    From what you see on the stat sheet, Francis should be starting. 57% TS% vs 51.8% for Crawford is an enormous disparity.

  32. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Yes Owen,

    Francis’ stats may say he is the best guard on the team, but did you watch him play? He’s a ball-hog and a turnover waiting to happen. He was terrible in limited minutes, pouted about his ‘injuries’ when denied playing time, and in extended minutes at the end of the season, was average at best. He’s LOUSY. Doesn’t that suggest that the stats are failing to capture/define a player’s (specifically Francis’) contribution to winning, rather than assuming that Francis was our best guard? He’s a good rebounder for a guard, but a streaky (at best) shooter, subpar defender, and he’s lost the step that made him so devastating off the dribble.

  33. Dan Panorama

    Watching Francis play is essential to judging him since the offense just DIES when he’s on the court with everyone awkwardly standing around while he does his thing. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t in many of our most effective lineups on 82games for this reason.

  34. stopmikelupica

    Francis is awful; he might be great again somewhere else, but he kills any flow. He will be gone, and no one will miss him. Larry Brown should have been forced to take Francis with him as part of the buyout….

    Bannister, not arguing that taking the media effect into consideration is a big factor when evaluating trades. But Telfair, like Marbury, is a tough kid from the projects. He won’t get too bothered by the media. He should be a backup guard, and that’s what he’ll be if he did end up on the Knicks (which he won’t).

    Coming off the bench and running with Balkman, Collins, Lee and maybe Morris? That’s a fun bench, with good defense, great rebounding, and just enough offense. It won’t happen, but it would have been fun to have seen….

  35. Owen

    K: Francis? stats may say he is the best guard on the team, but did you watch him play?

    O: The box score stats do say he may be the best guard. Of course you can also consider defense and adjusted plus/minus when making that evaluation, as I said I clearly said in my comment. Any way you look at it he is not a great guard, nor great looking out there on the court, but none of our guards are good. Crawford is sort of good looking though. That was actually why my sister was really upset after she slept with Eddy Curry, it turned out it ruined her chance with Jamal, who is a much better than a 40% shooter with the girls.

    The only guard whose box score looks better this year is Q, but we play him at 3 as part of our potent three guard attack.

    K: He?s a ball-hog and a turnover waiting to happen.

    O: Yes. A turnover that waits to happens a little longer than it does with Marbury or Crawford.

    K: He was terrible in limited minutes, pouted about his ?injuries? when denied playing time,

    O: Can you believe it? He is unhappy to be riding the bench behind someone with a TS% 5% less than him this year, a player who stretches opposing defenses with a 3pt shooting touch also 5% worse than his. And he also pouts btw because Crawford is longer, smoother, and prettier than him.

    K: …and in extended minutes at the end of the season, was average at best.

    O: Some would say average at best would be better than Crawford and Marbury. But actually I thought he put in some very solid efforts at the end of the season. I do know for sure he played a hell of a lot better than Mardy “Point Guard of the Future” Collins, whose 37% fg in his extended minutes earned him a NYT article about what a great scorer he is and how much better he shoots than those offensive liabilities, Lee and Balkman.

    K: He?s LOUSY. Doesn?t that suggest that the stats are failing to capture/define a player?s (specifically Francis?) contribution to winning. rather than assuming that Francis was our best guard?

    O: The fact that you observe Francis is LOUSY is solid and frankly unsettling anecdotal evidence that box score stats don’t actually measure what is happening on a basketball court. So despite the fact that Francis has been better in pretty much every box score measure other than assists, where he trails by .5, and steals, where he trails by .1, I will refrain from inferring that Craw might therefore be as LOUSY or even perhaps LOUSIER than Francis.

    K: He?s a good rebounder for a guard, but a streaky (at best) shooter, subpar defender, and he?s lost the step that made him so devastating off the dribble.

    O: Ahh yes, a streaky shooter, unlike Crawford, who shoots a very consistent, unstreaky 40% from the field, who steadfastly shoots a deadly 32% from three, and who with high frequency fails to make up for his poor field goal shooting by getting to the foul line.

    Francis isn’t a great defender, I will give you that. If you want to say Crawford makes up for his offensive failings on the defensive end, well, fine.
    ———————————————–
    I fancy myself one of a strange breed of people who do think box score stats and other forms of basketball related data are actually relevant to evaluating basketball players in the NBA, even when those evaluations sometimes seem to conflict with conventional opinion.

    Last time I checked, this was the “the premier analytical blog” on the NBA. Rumour has it that it also is an APBRmetrics friendly site. APBRmetrics, according to Wikipedia btw is “the analysis of basketball through objective evidence, especially basketball statistics.”

    All I ask for is a little room to simply say what the stats suggest. I didn’t make any mention of the WOW in this thread, I have been working very hard to tone that down and confine that discussion to long dead threads and people who are mildly interested. All I was trying to do tonight was look at the stats Knickerblogger very kindly provides and try to figure out what they might say.

    (thanks very much for that btw Knickerblogger, wherever you are out on the interwebs)

    I hoped that if I qualified my comment quite clearly I might avoid a response like yours. No such luck. Bottom line, I honestly do think Francis might be better than Crawford and all i want is what you want, a Knicks team we can all be proud of again.

  36. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Let me ask the first question of my post again:

    Did you watch him play? or are you only looking at the stats?

    And I’m not comparing Francis to Crawford or anyone else. Crawford has major holes in his game as well. But Crawford’s poor play doesn’t elevate Francis.

    He dogged it and feigned injury when his minutes were reduced. He grandstanded like a chump after a big shot v. Washington. And when the team needed him to play like an all-star, he shot 40%, turned the ball over far more than Crawford and the team lost 15 of its last 19. Didn’t this team play .500 ball when Crawford was around?

  37. Steve

    I don’t quite understand the argument here. Francis was, not too long ago, one of the best guards in the entire NBA. Obviously he is the better player.

    However Francis is also getting payed $8 mil a year more than Crawford, so you can’t seriously consider his slight statistical advantage relevant in a discussion on who to keep.

    Of course it’s all a moot point considering that Francis is untradable anyways.

    Bringing the discussion back to Telfair. I think he would be an immense help to the Knicks. I believe he could be convinced to remove the shoot first mentality from his game. Isiah convinced Marbury to do so, at least to an extent.

    With Telfair manning the point on a running team, both Francis and Crawford wont have the ball to turn over, and will recieve it in spots where their gunner mentality will be usefull. Also both players are excellent finishers and Q is that extra three point threat a team needs in a running game.

    The best option might be trading one of the Knicks young forwards (their only assets) for a more atheltic big men to run as well. Tyrus Thomas would be perfect.

    That would create problems obviously, but really Isiah is an adult and should be able to look past his previous mestakes.

  38. xduckshoex

    A couple of things: Steve Francis has never been one of the best guards in the game.

    Second, Telfair has shown zero signs of being able to get players the ball where they need it and when they need it. Trading for stupid players and trying to teach them how to play has not worked so far, why keep hoping that one time it will work out?

  39. Caleb

    I’m not big on Francis, who used to be a good all-around player but has really fallen off, especially on the defensive end. Dave Berri et al love him in part because Stevie is a great rebounder and they overvalue rebounds. (another discussion) His biggest remaining strength is getting to the free-throw line, and at age 30, with sketchy knees and no outside shot – I foresee a cliff-like dropoff. Soon.

    That said, there’s no benefit to buying him out. It might save cash in the short-term but long-term it’s an open invitation to future players to sabotage the coach and team, and “hey, they’ll do an Alonzo Mourning for me and hand me to a contender.” Meanwhile, you lose an asset for nothing (hey, SOMEone might take him in a trade next year when his deal is expiring). If Francis wants to play a role here, fine. If not, tell him to go fishing or Dancing with the Stars, or something, and stay away from MSG.

    Dave Crockett mentioned Jarrett Jack – he would be absolutely perfect here. Defense, shooting, smart, young. Portland might even give him up for the right price, since they have Sergio Rodriguez, too. Jack easily worth an offer of Channing Frye (same draft class).

    StopMike and Ken pretty much sum up my thoughts on Telfair – he’s only 21, could still be good if he gets his act together and a lowball deal has no real risk. On the other hand, the odds are he WON’T pan out, and while I usually think we overemphasize off-court stuff, this one would be an over-the-top media circus.

  40. mase

    “Of course it?s all a moot point considering that Francis is untradable anyways. ”

    steve,
    if he is so good why do you think he is untradable, the contract slowly approaching its maturity date?

  41. dave crockett

    Owen -

    One thing I seem to be missing here is your contention that Francis is less turnover-prone than our other guards. Not according to the rate stats I’m looking at.

    According the KB’s stats, Francis’ turnover rate was 14.2 this season while Marbury’s was 10.5 and Crawford’s was 11.4. Collins’ TO-R is 14.1, essentially equal to Francis.

    Francis brings a number of positive things to the table, but he has been a turnover machine throughout his career (13.3 TO-R). Crawford’s TO-R is 10.6 for his career. Marbury’s is 10.4.

    What I find particularly galling about his turnovers is that he frequently takes the ball into harm’s way with his incessant dribbling and headlong forays into double teams (where he lobbies for a foul). The next pass he makes on a 3-on-1 fast break will likely be his first in a Knick uniform.

    I love his rebounding. I like his toughness, though I find myself still surprised that he’s not a better defender. And of course I love his shooting. But I think criticizing Francis for being turnover prone is pretty much right on target.

  42. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Owen: Looking objectively at just the box score stats, both career and for this season, I dont think you can make a case any guard on this team is better than Francis.
    Owen: Francis commits fewer turnovers than both Crawford and Marbury.

    By what measure? By turnover per 40, Francis is the most turnover prone guard the Knicks have (3.2 to/40). He gives the ball away about as often as stone handed big men Jerome James and Malik Rose. So maybe that doesn’t make him the Knicks best guard, or better yet the best guard for the Knicks. Consider that the Knicks were 29th in turnovers per possession. So while Francis might be helpful on a team that doesn’t turn the ball over much, he may not be the most helpful for this Knick team.

    Additionally there is something to say about Francis’ “winter vacation” where he left the team for the entire month of January. While I can’t verify that he wasn’t injured, it seems odd that he rehabbed from home and was able to play right after Jamal Crawford was lost for the season. There is value in staying healthy/not quitting on your team.

    Owen: Last time I checked, this was the ?the premier analytical blog? on the NBA. Rumour has it that it also is an APBRmetrics friendly site. APBRmetrics, according to Wikipedia btw is ?the analysis of basketball through objective evidence, especially basketball statistics.?

    APBRmetrics doesn’t mean the exclusion of observational evidence, nor does it mean that you can prove anything definitively on the individual level using statistics. You can get a handful of the best APBRmetricians to argue who is the best Knick guard, and I would imagine you’d have 3 different answers (and no Jamal Crawford wouldn’t be one of them).

  43. Owen

    Ooh lord, what a goof, egg on my face, very embarrasing. It was late, I was irritated, and I misread your seriously excellent stat sheets.

    Yes, he is .3 worse per 40 on turnovers than Crawford. My apologies Ken. He is in fact a turnover waiting to happen slightly MORE frequently.

    That said, his TS% is still 5% points better than Crawford.

    I am certainly not advocating the exclusion of observational evidence. In the final four games I observed Francis was featured and that he played pretty well. He played forty minutes a game, and I think he was something like 27-54 from the field with 9 three pointers, and 37-46 from the line. He committed 13 turnovers, but he also averaged more than five rebounds per game.

    I didnt say he was one of the best guards in the league. I just think if he is capable of playing like that in Crawford’s place, it might be an improvement. Crawford really is pretty bad, perhaps not definitively really bad, but pretty bad nonetheless. He takes the most shots on the team and has one nearly the worst TS%. That doesnt make any sense and seems like a salient fact to consider while we are talking about how terrible Francis is.

    Vis a vis behavior, Francis is a brat who thinks he knows how to play basketball better than other people and thinks he should be getting more minutes.

    Maybe he has a point? Is that farfetched? Look where we are. Jamal Crawford is the starting shooting guard, Isaiah is the coach and GM, Mardy Collins has a NYT article written about what a great shooter he is. Many people seriously seem to think it might be a good idea to bring in Bassy Telfair to take his minutes, I dont know, I might be pouting too if I were Steve Francis.

  44. jon abbey

    “You can get a handful of the best APBRmetricians to argue who is the best Knick guard, and I would imagine you?d have 3 different answers (and no Jamal Crawford wouldn?t be one of them).”

    which is funny, because he is.

  45. jon abbey

    all of our guards are flawed, Crawford has by far the most possibility of developing into an above average starter, possibly even an All-Star. he has the best chemistry with Curry, he’s the only one who has the ability to create his own shot in crunch time, etc, etc.

    for those who think he has no chance to improve at 27, he had the best game of his career this year, the 52 point domination of Miami, and my hope is that he can channel that enough to where he plays like that for 15-20 minutes each night. his talent is clearly there, he just needs consistency.

    and Steve Francis is a cancer who needs to go as soon as it makes the most sense for the team. hopefully we’ll never be so desperate as to have to go to him again.

  46. stopmikelupica

    As someone who doesn’t think highly of Francis as a Knick, I am surprised that several of you (including Mike K.) treat Francis’ “Winter vacation” as a strike against him.

    Don’t you think Isiah might have ordered him, or at least permitted him, to stay away? And isn’t that a good thing? After all, would you rather have him pouting on the bench, and being a bad influence on Nate Robinson (supposedly, as reported), or would you rather keep him away from the team?

    I’m in favor of more winter vacations for Francis. And yes, they should hold on to him for one more year, then his expiring contract would actually be an asset.

  47. dave crockett

    Caleb-

    Pritchard and that crew up in Portland have started to wise up. They’re not moving Jarrett Jack unless someone blows them away I don’t think. They might move the backup Spanish kid though.

    One more thought on Crawford: If Larry Brown was dead on right about one thing it was his intentional effort to turn Crawford into Rip Hamilton with better handle.

    Crawford’s injury-shortened age 26 season was most similar to Rip’s age 26 season (which was in 04-05 when Detroit lost to SA in the finals), though Rip’s higher PER came on higher usage. I’d say that might have come in handy down the stretch.

    Of course, for his career Crawford’s has more similarity to Ricky Davis than Rip Hamilton. But I think that’s precisely the point. NY is actively attempting to change him into a different kind of player, a change well on its way towards completion when he was injured.

  48. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Crawford has by far the most possibility of developing into an above average starter, possibly even an All-Star.”

    Sure there’s a possibility, as there’s a possibility that Charles Dolan reads my blog & is planning on hiring me as GM next season.

    Two “late bloomers” off the top of my head, Chauncey Billups and John Starks had their break through season by ages 25 and 26 respectively. If you want me or anyone to believe that Jamal Crawford might still become an above average starter, then find 5 guards in the history of the NBA (let’s keep it from the 3 point era on) that showed significant per-minute improvement after the age of 27.

  49. Caleb

    I like Jack better – his defense – but Rodriguez is only 20, with star potential. Pure playmaker – only played 12 minutes a game, but averaged over 10 assists per 40 minutes.

    You have to think Portland would consider one of them expendable in the *right* deal.

    Call me crazy… but if this is what it took to make the trade, I’d be willing to take on Darius Miles’ contract, if Portland took back one of our (slightly less) bad deals.

  50. jon abbey

    Marbury and Francis are on the decline, Robinson (defense) and Collins (offense) have limited upside, so I stick by my original statement, carefully worded as it was.

    FWIW, Telfair had his career high in one of the few games he played at MSG, 27 in a game I attended early in the 2005-2006 season. if you look at the draft this year and try to slot him in, he’d probably go somewhere in the 10-20 range, so being able to sign him as a free agent (unlikely, but we’ll see) would be adding another young asset.

  51. anh2173

    I am a Celtics fan, first and foremost. With that out of the way I would just like to offer my opinion on Telfair. While I see his ultimate upside as a dynamic offensive sparkplug off the bench, I am really not a fan of his game.

    He did nothing to lose the starting PG position, imo. It was given to Delonte West by Doc Rivers. West can’t run an NBA-level offense. The epitome of West’s playmaking involves him dribbling, mindlessly, for 10-15 seconds at the top of the circle before finding Ryan Gomes for a 18-foot jumper from the baseline. Clearly I am using hyperbole but in all honesty, it is not that far from the truth.

    Telfair can run the offense and he does get people good shots. And he can shoot, too. His problem this season with the Celtics was that he was trying to get everyone else involved and he had trouble finding his own shots. Yes, he still needs to either pass, convert or get fouled when penetrating but his decision-making, from a distribution standpoint, was spot-on, imo.

    Another issue that arose was that Rivers was playing West at the off-guard spot. Which is fine but for much of the season he was attempting to run the offense from there. That took the ball out of both Rondo’s and Telfair’s hands. With West in the game, there is an over-reliance, imo, on individual offense because of his lack of playmaking. He is too deliberate and it forces other players on the floor to attempt to overcompensate or be put in a bad position offensively.

    Defensively, while Telfair is no great shakes he is no worse than comfortably mediocre. He did improve as the season went along, though. Much of the flack he got for poor defense could actually be attributed to poor defensive rotations by Gomes and Jefferson (they were paired for much of the season.) As Jefferson’s floor awareness improved defensively and Gomes saw less minutes at the PF spot, lo and behold, Telfair’s defense wasn’t as much of an issue. Of course, by that point, the seed had been planted and fickle fans needed a scapegoat for the team’s overall poor performance.

    As to Telfair’s legal situation, I find it somewhat alarming that Wyc Doucheback would make a grandstanding play about Telfair’s nameplate being taken off the locker. First and foremost, it does nothing but hurt the trade value of the player in question. Secondly, Tony Allen had full support from ownership and management when dealing with his legal issues and had had a similar situation occur while in college at Oklahoma State. Simply put, Telfair wasn’t Doc’s guy, Allen clearly is. I guess it is just the double-standard and public posturing that put me off. Sorry for mini-rant.

    Telfair can help a team. He needs a coach who won’t micro-manage and scrutinize his every move on the court. Really, I think once he is able to find his shots within the offense he is playing, he could be pretty valuable piece to most any club, defensive limitations be damned.

  52. Owen

    Jon – Jamal Crawford is capable of playing better than he did this year, but he is never going to be an all star. Any way you slice and dice this, an offense where the worst shooter among your scorers takes the most shots is sub-optimal. I really doubt after seven years he will become an all-star.

    The future for Telfair is more open to question I suppose, but when I look through a list of players in the NBA who played as many minutes he did, the only player who jumps out at me as being worse is Adam Morrison, who has been truly horrible.

  53. Ted Nelson

    I’ll add another nay on the Telfair subject. Although Marbury and Isiah might be the tandem to help him develop, I just don?t think he?s a great fit. It seems like most Knicks think they can do everything on the court, when clearly they cannot. Ditto for Telfair.
    With all those athletic wings I think Atlanta’s the place for him.

    Jon Abbey: Getting Telfair would be like adding another first rounder. Except that you have a body of work against NBA-level competition from which to judge him. I mean, being a first round pick doesn?t mean much: guys go in the lottery and never get a second contract.

    Isiah needs to focus on getting good, smart, determined basketball players and stop worrying so much about getting ?value? and “athleticism” and “length” in every deal he makes. He?s constantly making moves like Hardaway and Ariza for Francis or half the roster for Crawford where he appears to have gotten more talent but has, in fact, not brought the Knicks any closer to being a good basketball team for 48 minutes a game, 82 (and hopefully more with the playoffs) games a year.
    The opportunity cost of these ?great values? is actually constructing a good basketball team. There?s no excuse for not putting together a winning team in, what, 3 plus years. So many other teams have turned around their fortunes over the same period. The Knicks, on the other hand, won 4 more games in Layden’s last full season.

    On the Boston/Portland trade:
    If that trade doesn’t make Danny Ainges a bad GM then the fact that he was going to pick Rajon Rando instead of Brandon Roy or Randy Foye seems to.
    Cap space and flexibility are valuable, no doubt, but when you consider that Ratliff’s contract is one year shorter than Raef’s and the Raps got more immediate cap space from the Knicks for a #20 pick it becomes obvious that Ainges thought Telfair was a good player.

    Dave:
    What kind of player are the Knicks trying to develop Jamal Crawford into? One who takes a lot of shots and makes a terribly low percentage of them?
    As long as he mentally approaches NBA games like pick-up games I don’t think you can incorporate Crawford into an NBA offense that executes with any consistency.

    The Knicks need to start playing with effort on a consistent basis and defining guys’ roles in ways that better suit their strengths. Jamal Crawford is a major problem on both counts: his effort comes and goes and his strength is clearly not shooting, so his role should not include being the team’s primary taker of [bad] shots.

    “the backup Spanish kid” had an assist rate of 40 and is lightning quick. If he develops a better shot he’s going to be a hell of a pg.
    I’ve heard that Portland sees Brandon Roy as a pg, in which case moving Jack makes sense. Just something I read, no idea if it?s true.

    On the tradeability of Steve Francis:
    I think Francis is tradeable. I don’t think Isiah Thomas will be able to trade him, but not because he’s untradeable. Isiah probably won’t be able to trade him because he?s already bought out so many guys and has no negotiating skills.

    For a team to trade for Francis they have to truly believe they can?t just wait for him to be cut and get him for a fraction of the price. I do think there would be takers after he came back and played alright at the end of the season, showing that his only injury is to his head rather than his knee. The Knicks might have to take a bad contract back, but maybe it could be expiring or for less money and/or maybe they could get a draft pick in the process.

    I?ve heard Houston would have interest if Francis is cut and that Francis wants to go to Houston (obviously). Seeing as they don?t have many resources to add another piece they might be willing to take on Francis for something like Juwan Howard, Bob Sura, Kirk Snyder, Vassilis Spanoulis, and the #26 pick. Even if they wouldn?t give up the pick it would still save the Knicks about $22 million including the luxury tax. That?s a hefty bill for Houston, whether they’re willing to pay it might depend on how they (and specifically their guards) fair in the playoffs. Head and Alston shooting a combined 26% the last two games bodes well for the Knicks.

    Caleb:
    I wouldn?t mind if they took on Miles? contract to get Jack or the #7 pick, but are Jack and Marbury going to complement each other much?

    Everyone:
    ???Why does everyone hate on Nate???

  54. Caleb

    At this point in his career, I think Marbury would be most effective as a shooting guard. He’s just too slow to guard PGs… but was ok D’ing up Ray Allen and even Kobe. The league is going to smaller backcourts, in general, so I think it could work.

    I’d be pretty happy with a rotation of Steph, Jack, Nate Robinson & even a bit of Crawford. Q can play SF when he’s not rehabbing.

  55. Owen

    Ted – Great post once again.

    Caleb – I think Q would be great as a shooting guard instead of Crawford if he could stay healthy.

    Everyone Else – I know how much all of you have appreciated me keeping you up to date this year on Eddy Curry’s non-scoring box score contributions. Earlier we celebrated Curry Fingers’ runner up showing in turnovers.

    Yahoo has now given us further reasons to cheer. The final version of its Eddy Curry line feature came out. and Eddy just dominated the competition this year, super impressive performance. He was nearly twice as good, by which I mean twice as truly awful, as Hakim Warrick, his nearest challenger.

    http://fantasysports.yahoo.com/analysis/news?slug=mb-curryline_0607&prov=yhoo&type=lgns&league=fantasy/nba

  56. Matt

    As a visitor to this site for the first time, I just wanted to commment on two things: one, this is the most intelligent and articulate NBA message board I’ve ever read, so keep up the good work; and two, as a die-hard Blazers fan, I can almost guarantee that Rodriguez is going nowhere. Pritchard and McMillan both love his potential. From what I’ve seen of the Knicks, Jack would be a great fit — he’s a hard worker who’s extremely coachable and is a pass-first PG, which is something for which y’all are in great need. But he’s not a good defensive player: he sucks at moving laterally on the perimeter and doesn’t do nearly a good enough job using his strength to muscle up on smaller 1′s. Re: Telfair — good riddance to bad rubbish. :) See you at the lottery…

  57. Gerry O

    A Big NO!
    Telfair is not the kind and type of player the Knicks needs to improve considering its present line-up. He would just add to the guard woes of the team. It is even suggested that Robinson and Francis be unloaded. It should be the team’s thrust now to develop Collins…his a natural guard at 6’6″ which other teams will find a match-up difficulty sooner. And its time that the team will give full trust to the leadership of Marbury who is immovable in the team , not by reason of his talent but by his fat contract.

  58. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    “find 5 guards in the history of the NBA (let?s keep it from the 3 point era on) that showed significant per-minute improvement after the age of 27.”

    1. Derek Harper
    2. Sam Cassell
    3. Steve Nash
    4. John Lucas
    5. Darrell Armstrong
    6. Danny Ainge

  59. caleb

    Matt,

    I’m interested to hear you dis Jack’s defense. I haven’t been able to see him play in Portland – you’re not on TV much! – but I remember him at Tech, and he was very solid – not the quickest guy out there, but strong (for a college guard), smart and hard-working on D. His rep is pretty good, and last week John Hollinger gave him an honorable mention for All-Defense, by his measurement system (basically an adjusted plus-minus).

    Of course you have seen him a play a lot more than any of us.

  60. dave crockett

    Dave:
    What kind of player are the Knicks trying to develop Jamal Crawford into?

    :: Probably the 54.4% True Shooter he was in 05-06 under Brown when he took a lot of the 3-point hoists out of his arsenal. He’s a useful guard when he limits his freelancing. I’m not saying he’s a budding All-Star but I can’t see him as the problem with NY’s backcourt–not when we turn the ball over like it’s coated in silicon.

    As long as he mentally approaches NBA games like pick-up games I don?t think you can incorporate Crawford into an NBA offense that executes with any consistency.

    :: Agreed, but one undeniable thing is that for everything Larry Brown did poorly here he demonstrated that you could get the kid to take decent shots and play defense. Isiah didn’t continue that the way I’d hoped–he let Crawford have too much freedom, but I felt like he was playing better and all of a sudden he was done.

    :: As for Nate, my theory is that this is mostly Mike Breen’s fault. (And I’m being only part tongue in cheek here.) Breen is the master of “never let it go” and “damning with faint praise.” Nate’s immature, no question about it. But Breen never let’s you live it down. So, when Nate has a good game it’s, “if he’d just play more like this and refrain from some of the other nonsense…” When he has a poor game every miss is a “wild shot.”

  61. jon abbey

    my problem with Nate is that the other team seems to score at will on him. if he could develop into a doubleteaming pest a la Muggsy Bogues, that’d be great, but I don’t see him putting out much energy on the defensive end. he sure can shoot the 3, though!

  62. brian quinnett's left nipple

    i can’t imagine a circumstance where isiah would not go after this guy.

    hopefully this summer, telfair will learn how to play D, run an offense and develop his outside J.

    that should keep isiah away.

  63. Steve

    OK worst case scenario on Telfair. He proves to be a cancer and the Knicks cut him after a couple of months.
    Best case, he turns into the distributor we know he can be and helps fuel an up-tempo attack.
    Thats not worth the tiny investment required?

    The biggest problem I see with any Telfair acquisition is playing time. The Knicks only have 96 minites to split between Francis, Marbury, Crawford, Robinson and Collins.

    Many of the problems faced by these players are mental and may be alleviated by consistent paying time, and the confidence that comes with it.

    Ideally, Francis, Marbury and Crawford can each play 30-35 minites a night. Robinson can play 20, as a prospect I don?t think Collins should be playing more than 15.

    To remove all playing time concerns from the current roster the Knicks only need to trade one of the three star guards.

    When I think of Telfair I see a spark plug coming off the bench, pushing the tempo and getting bench players and shooters involved.

    The Knicks could give him Robinson?s 20 minutes. Which is a lot easier to swallow than giving Telfair some of Crawford’s or Francis’ playing time.

    On an unrelated note, my idea of a good trade and a NBA GM’s idea are radically different but is this possible? Frye and Robinson for Tyrus Thomas and a second round pick?

    Because if it is I really like this line up.

    PG. Marbury
    SG. Crawford/Francis (one of who will be traded for cap space/picks)
    SF. Richardson/Balkman (depending on Renaldo?s improvement)
    PF. Thomas
    C. Curry

    Lee can continue as 6th man sliding Thomas over to C. Telair would back up both guard spots and the team would be injury protected with Collins and Jeffries.

    In addition we would have a late first round pick, which given Isiah’s history wont be too bad.

  64. Michael Zannettis

    Unfortunately, the trade you proposed would be more favorable for the Knicks than the Bulls, making it almost impossible for Thomas and Paxson to agree to it.

    Based on their history, Paxson could probably extort an unprotected number one pick, the option to swap number one picks, and a fat guy from the Knicks.

    Besides, Thomas is too light to play center.

  65. mase

    ken-
    chauncey Billups #’s dont look a lot better as he gets older but he is a better player for sure.

    also, Nate had an awesome soph season and is not given credit for it.

  66. Owen

    Mase – Nate has some supporters on this board, I dont know about awesome, but he was definitely fairly decent, which is something.

    Steve = You are right. We have a lot of guards who are all fairly mediocre and all have some claim on playing time (except for Collins, who needs to show more next year.)

    IMHO our best shooting guard probably is Q, he was this year, but he has been pushed to small forward by our surfeit of backcourt players and our lack of a small forward.

    What if Balkman emerges next year, if he ever recovers from this flu? He showed serious game this year. I “observed” that he is an amazing, energetic, athletic, hustling ball player who is everything the knicks haven’t been, other than my boy D Lee. His stats were off the charts. Some people think his numbers show he is the second best player on the Knicks. I know he is certainly my second favorite player to watch on the team.

    If Balk shows he is capable of playing big minutes next yeaer, and I think he will, where are those minutes coming from? I dont think you can take them from Q.

    I love the idea of having Tyrus Thomas here. That’s not going to happen for a million years though, not with him on a rookie contract and playing great.

    But if he were here, honestly, would you really start Thomas over Lee?

    I dont understand the “Lee is better off the bench” notion. Lee averaged a double double this year in thirty minutes per game. It’s not a stretch to imagine he could average 13 rebounds next year if he gets the 35-38 minutes he deserves. Tops in the league in FG%, savvy, passes well, takes care of the ball, and does all that without being featured barely at all. He is the best player on our team. Bringing him off the bench doesnt make sense to me.

  67. jon abbey

    yeah, I agree with getting Lee and Balkman as many minutes as possible.

    so, if everyone’s healthy and the roster stays the same, what would you go with?

    Curry-35
    Lee-35
    Balkman-30
    Q-30
    Marbury-30

    Crawford-33
    Frye-26
    Nate/Collins-21

    it’d be nice if we could move Frye for a young guard (a la the Villanueva/TJ Ford deal) and see if Morris could play in the backup 4/5 role, but I’m not holding my breath. it’d also be nice if someone could shoot James and Jeffries and Francis in the head, as mentioned above.

  68. Caleb

    Q was/is good, but counting on him to play starter minutes and not miss 40 games is a big mistake. He has a degenerative back condition.
    If he happens to be healthy on any given night they’ll find a place for him.

    I wouldn’t worry about sliding him to small forward – he’s a decent rebounder, even for a forward, and is strong enough to keep taller guys from posting him up. Like Marbury, he doesn’t have the quickest feet so I’ve noticed smaller guards give him trouble.

    Jon, I more or less agree with that lineup except I’d bump down the backup minutes and give them to the starters, especially Lee and Balkman. And Collins – break glass in case of emergency.

    I also agree that we should see if we can uprade one of those mediocre guards by packaging them with Frye. Matching salaries an obvious challenge.

  69. Owen

    Well, if our franchise center continues to live fifty percent below the Eddy Curry line and rebound poorly, we won’t be getting much from that position. I dont like him, but I belabor that point I guess. Hopefully he can cut back on the turnovers.

    The rest of the lineup looks more or less ok. I think Francis can be productive, but assume he isn’t. If Crawford can play as well as he did in 05-06, and if Robinson and Marbury play as they did this year or a bit better, and if Q gets some minutes at shooting guard, we won’t lose too much in the backcourt. In the frontcourt, we need Frye to revert to being average, instead of being god awful as he was this year.

    Q has to stay healthy,and Balkman and Lee need to get big and bigger minutes and play as they did this year. If that all happens, I like us for 40-45 wins fairly comfortably.

    I think that is definitely doable. There will be a lot of improvement in the East, but we will be a solid playoff contender at least.

  70. Caleb

    Is it time to make predictions for next year?

    Let’s take this year as a starting point: 33 wins. Based on point differential, that’s solid. We were neither lucky, nor unlucky, to win that number.

    Subjectively, I think our true level is a bit better. The biggest reasons are injuries, but we also were improving each month until the catastrophic injury binge at the end. Throwing out the first dozen games as less representative, our winning percentage for the last 70 makes us a 35-win team.

    But there were injuries, and we were harder hit than most. Most painful was losing David Lee – a conservative estimate would make him 10 games better than a replacement-level power forward. Losing him for a third of the season probably cost us three or four games. I’d estimate the other injuries cost us 2 games (compared to “expected” not “perfect” scenarios). Factoring that in, I’d say our “true” level – a starting point for predictions – is 40 or 41 wins.

    What could improve?
    Aside from injuries, Lee and Balkman could play more. Let’s add 3 wins. Those guys, plus Curry, Frye and Robinson (all age 24) should improve a bit. Let’s add 2 wins. We’re at 46!

    But wait. What will get worse?
    Marbury’s age and knees will likely decline. Ditto Steve Francis, even if he’s still around. Subtract 2 wins.

    What’s likely to stay the same?
    Crawford. JJs. QRich (this season where he missed 30 games and had back surgery was actually healthier than the year before, when he was deemed uninsureable).

    Add it up, and I’d say we’re looking at 44 wins, give or take. If Curry cuts turnovers and blows up in a good way, or we luck out on a hot draft pick and we stay totally healthy, we could push 50.

    Since the Knicks are relatively deep, we’re less susceptible to injuries than most teams, but if Lee goes down again and Frye continues to regrees, we’ll be back under .500.

  71. mase

    Telfair needs the Knicks as much as we need him. I don’t think its a home run but he can be the uptempo PG we need. I dont see Collins as this guy since he is more of, yet another, combo guard ala – francis, crawford, nate- at least Isiah is consistent!

  72. IStillMissBernardKing

    I dont understand the pre-judging of Collins. He was a rookie this year and proved he belonged. He has already shown that he is a tremendous defensive player and a rebounder for his position. He obviously needs to work on his shooting but he seems to have very good court vision and is a decent playmaker. The guy was a rookie!!

    Not saying he is the PG of the future, and calling him the backup PG of the future actually makes sense. But he seems a valuable player to the Knicks who will fill a defined role (think Darrell Walker).

    His ceiling isnt tremendous, but he seems like a player that could be like an Eric Snow in the league. Not flashy, but valuable. Why we would need a shoot first PG like Telfair at this point is beyond me.

  73. BrandonM

    Seriously, why is everyone doggin on Collins…Wake up people, he was avg. in the range of 15, 6, and 6 when given extensive playing time at the end of the year! Not to mention he was a rookie and got next to no minutes 90% of the season…I just do not see how people are so pessimistic towards the guy’s eventual development as a contributor..Give him a chance, he is the type of player we need right now (floor leadership, perimeter D) b/c he will only get better with more experience!

  74. Nick

    Nate even with his once a week hot games from 3 only shot 39% overall from 3 and 43 from the floor. He is a turnstile on defense and has a close to 1:1 assist to turnover ratio. Unless you give a huge weight to clutching your own jersey and hopping around for spirit he is at best mediocre.

    Siging Telfair would make Isiah into a parody of himself. He is the latest in a long line of overrated, poorly advised NYC point guards such as Omar Cook and Erick Barkley.

    Knicks need a 4-5 who can rebound and play defense, not another castoff PG that needs to learn how to play PG.

  75. Owen

    Why are we diggin on Collins?

    I posted something in the Schadenfreude thread.

    The reason I don’t like him, yet, is because when he played extended minutes, he took a lot of shots, shot a terrible percentage, and also shot very badly from the line as well. His TS$ is less than 45% – that is horrible. It’s more than 5% worse than any other guard on the team, and 12% less than Francis who led the g’s this season.

    He was also a turnover machine in that final stretch when he was the primary ballhandler. Not as bad as Curry, but bad enough to suggest that this could be a problem. He may fix that,players do improve in that respect, but it worries me. Overall for the season his turnovers weren’t terrible, but he was a secondary ballhandler for much of the season.

    His defense, assists, and rebounding are quite good. If he shot a lot less or much better, he may continue get another contract in the NBA, but to me his stats this year wouldnt justify re-signing him if we were faced with that decision.

    Also, I dont think there is anyone that Collins can guard better than Balkman, and despite the listings, they are basically the same height, as Dave pointed out in a very useful post. So his value as a “defensive stopper” is minimal.

    Nick – 39% is not bad from three, at least relative to what everyone else shoots on the Knicks. FG% is kind of like batting average, especially for guards, it doesnt matter that much. What is important is that Nate has a TS% over 55% which is better than Craw, Marbury.

    On the topic of TS%, and perception of players in general, this is something i posted over at True Hoop, vis a vis the MIP award.

    I am a stat guy, FWIW. My view, having looked at the WOW data, is that what people love to see in basketball; slashing to the basket, long range shooting, dramatic moves, explosive scoring, rarely actually wins basketball games. What wins games is shooting efficiency and the ability to generate possession for your team. The big difference between these Ellis and Martin is TS%. Both roughly shoot 47 fg%, however Martin has a TS% of 61.4, second among guards in the league. Eliis is just at 54.5. That is a HUGE difference. Martin did this by hitting 85 more three pointers and 200 more fts, while being 8% better at the line. Basically, he is much much more efficient. On the possession side of the ledger, i.e. the net of rebounds, steals, and turnovers, Martin was worth 259 vs Ellis’ 154. This is also a significant difference. Ellis commits a lot of turnovers and doesn’t rebound quite as well as Martin. What does this all add up to? Martin look like one of the top ten guards in the NBA. Statistically, I would rate Paul, Bryant, Nash, Kidd, Wade, Manu, and Billups ahead of him, but Martin has moved into a very nice part of town this year. And making the jump from merely good to elite is what being the MIP should be about right?

  76. mase

    “Knicks need a 4-5 who can rebound and play defense, not another castoff PG that needs to learn how to play PG. ”

    I dont’ disagree with this notion but Lee, Frye and Curry are the future frontcourt. I think the bigger concern for Isiah is to find a 3-pt threat and a perimeter defender to stop quicker guards from penetrating, this way they can stop relying on interior Bigs defense. (Also, since the Knicks have 2 of the best offensive rebouders, Balkman and Lee, they can’t afford to add another PF).

    They need a PG!

  77. rob

    how bout francis and maybe frye for utahs pick and kirilenko–i have no idea if the salaries would match up but im pretty sure ak47 and francis are about 16 mil a year…gives francis a fresh start on a team with a point guard that could get him the ball at the 2 and being able to play with that diesel okur/boozer frontcourt–and everyone knows AK is a helluva lot better than he was this year, as a shotblocking PF next to curry (who can also hit a midrange jumper much better than lee/balkman) why the hell not…and i know this has nothing to do with bassy but whatever

  78. mase

    rob,
    thats a decent trade proposal but i’d want to replace Frye with Jeffries or Rose and they won’t go for it.

  79. jon abbey

    I’d make that trade in a second, but I don’t think Jerry Sloan would take Francis. I’d do it without the pick also, probably, but I have to think Frye destroyed quite a bit of his trade value with his dreadful season.

  80. mase

    y? Frye is still lethal from 15-18′away.

    Its interesting that he is to blame for his stagnated development and not the lame coach who stuck him with a center who can’t play any defense… Play him under Jerry Sloan and the guy makes the all-sophmore team.

  81. rob

    the problem is frye doesnt play well with curry, and zekes not gonna turn around and try and make frye the #1 option on the team…and i think francis could be a 15ppg player again in a utah type situation–he might not be stevie franchise anymore but their shooting guards are gordon giricek and derek fisher–not exactly big time players

  82. caleb

    Interesting trade idea.. as hard as it is to see Jerry Sloan getting along with Stevie, Utah might consider it just to save two years worth of big $$. I’m a Kirilenko fan, and he would offer something we really don’t have – a long-armed shot-blocker – but I wonder if he wouldn’t have some of the same issues as he did this year… David Lee has the PF spot nailed down so AK would have to play out of position on the perimeter, or one of them would have to play way out of position at center a lot of the time.

    I’d rather see us try to use Frye as trade bait for a guard, or mid-1st draft pick.

  83. Ted Nelson

    While I agree that Jerry Sloan is most likely not a big Steve Francis fan, Utah might entertain a Francis-AK offer because AK has 4 years on his deal while Francis has 2: the deal would save Utah at least 34 million and put them in position to resign Boozer, Okur, and Deron before they hit the market in ’09.

    Maybe a three team deal could give Utah similar cap relief without the Francis headaches.

    I would be willing to offer Crawford and Jared Jeffries for AK, as well. Crawford improves their SG situation, while Jeffries provides some sort of defensive SF to replace AK. Maybe they’d throw in Ronnie Brewer or the pick we owe them as well. Unfortunately, instead Isiah would probably throw in Frye and a first and agree to take on whatever other contracts the Jazz want to unload.

    Nate Robinson was the #29 3 pt shooter in the league last season, the next Knick was Q at #49, then Marbury at #75. Jamal Crawford? Not in the top 100. (The only reason the Knicks were a bad three point shooting team last year was Jamal Crawford, replace his attempts with an average SG and they’re top 10 in the league in team 3pt%.) The Knicks were the #25 defense in the league last year. So Nate is clearly not the only bad defender out there. In fact, with his athleticism I think he could develop into a Lindsey Hunter type who locks down quick PGs for stretches. On the offensive side of the ball, if he could get back to last year’s assist rate and stay at this year’s TO rate, he’s a poor man’s Leandrinho.

  84. Owen

    Mase – Frye shot 43.5 percent from the floor, his TS% was 46.4%, which is lethal only to the knicks chances of winning a game. I “observed” that he missed tons and tons of jumpshots this year.

    Caleb – It is premature to discuss next year, and I started that, but your post was good btw. I think 50 wins is a real stretch unless Curry becomes a productive NBA center. to do that he needs 9 rebounds per game, 2.5 turnovers, and to shoot better from the FT% line. Also FWIW, the WOW guy has Lee worth 14 wins through 58 games this year.

    Kirilenko was GREAT for the past two years. I also would love to have him here, just as long as Lee still gets 35 minutes.

    Ted – Excellent comments once more, vis a vis 3pt shooting. Crawford did sink the 3pt ship this year, as the stats show.

    I dont think Ak 47 is coming here but as long as he comes to play center I am 100% for it. It would be nice to see a shot blocked again in Madison Square Garden. Just as long as Lee gets his 35 and Balkman gets 30, I will be as happy as I can be while Eddy Curry is still our center and Isaiah is still our coach.

  85. xduckshoex

    Yeah, I don’t see Nate being a lockdown defender, regardless of how strong he seems.

    As for AK…I’d give up anybody not named David Lee for him, but I think expecting them to throw a pick or Brewer into the deal is a little much. AK still has a lot of value; he’s struggled this year, but it’s not as though the 5 previous seasons were just a fluke. He’s obviously a productive player if used properly, Sloan just hasn’t used him properly.

  86. mase

    guys!
    … isn’t ak-47 more of the same player we already have?(balk, lee, jeffries)

    50 wins with the same roster?are you kidding me?

    there are other teams that are going to improve immensly this year vis a vis draft, cap room, free agency…i dont see the knicks making the playoffs unless they upgrade the roster and get some shooters/shot blocker/speedy PG…otherwise every team in the Atlantic will have improved more than the Knicks.

  87. Ted Nelson

    Caleb:
    While I’m not always a fan of conventional wisdom, trading big for small is considered to be amongst the worst sins an NBA GM can commit.

    Obviously, this is not always the case, but I think that with the relative scarcity of bigs and abundance of guards it generally makes sense.

    Trading Frye for a guard could very well turn out to be a Webber-Richmond, Wallace-Strickland level disaster for the Knicks, and with Isiah’s trade record I think it would.

    That said, if it was the right guard I wouldn’t be opposed. The biggest reason I would oppose it is becasue I see no bigger hole on the Knicks’ team than a strong interior defensive presence. Obviously strong defensive bigs aren’t really growing on trees, and Frye might be our best bait to land one. (For the record, Curry should be the one traded, but unless Jerry West replaces Isiah it’s only a dream.)

    Getting a (preferably) guard who can shoot, defend, understands the game of basketball, not have a bum back/knee/brain, and doesn’t think he’s God’s gift to basketball and should, therefore, dominate the ball and/or shoot it 50 times a game would be an instant improvement, but it shouldn’t really be very hard.

    Jon Abbey:
    I’ve seen Nate lock down opposing PGs for stretches. And I don’t really buy the whole opposing players can see over short players line anyway: ever notice that the optimal defensive position requires you to get low???? SO, unless you’re 6-7 like Shaun Livingston the average 6-2, or whatever average is, PG is going to see over you if you’re playing good defense.

    When you’re guarding someone like Tony Parker or Allen Iverson it really doesn’t matter how tall you are if you can’t stay in front of him. Nate is about as quick as anyone and that’s got to be as useful as being tall. Not that being tall or long isn’t a valuable quality for defenders, but quick feet have to be at least as valuable for PGs.

    He’s also got a 90 inch vertical and blocks the shots of 7 foot 5 men.

    Duckshoe:
    I have no idea what AK’s trade value is right now, but I do know that Matt Harpring’s playing over him in the playoffs right now and he’s owed more money than “untradeable” Steve Francis. I’m not saying that he doesn’t have value, but any team besides NY would have to swallow very hard before taking that kind of risk at that price. I’ve also heard he’s unhappy because of his limited offensive role: what team is going to acquire AK to build their offense around??? So, logically, he might be unhappy anywhere he’s not featured offensively (like Steve Francis), decreasing his trade value.

    Mase:

    I agree that the current Knicks’ roster is not winning 50 games next year.
    If healthy AK-47 is not Balkman, Lee, or Jeffries (maybe Balkman in 2 years) he’s one of the premier defenders and shot blockers in the NBA and a very good passer.
    I really don’t think the Knicks need shooters. Replacing Jamal Crawford with a solid shooter would do fine.
    I’m not sure what a “speedy PG” is going to do that Steph can’t do if Crawford’s taking 15 shots a game and the offense is being run through the league’s worst passer.

    A shot blocker, I’ll give you, we definitely could use a strong interior defender.

  88. jon abbey

    “He?s also got a 90 inch vertical and blocks the shots of 7 foot 5 men.”

    right, he did that as a help defender (actually in a loose ball situation off a rebound, if I remember right), which is the kind of defender he could develop into, a la Muggsy Bogues, as I said above. and height matters a huge amount on D at PG, even Lindsay Hunter gets hurt at times at 6’2″ because of this. also, Hunter didn’t develop into a good defender until very late in his career, after his athleticism had faded so he could stay in the league, a bit like Ron Harper.

    “Trading Frye for a guard could very well turn out to be a Webber-Richmond, Wallace-Strickland level disaster for the Knicks, and with Isiah?s trade record I think it would.”

    this is totally unfair, I think, as the only actual player (not a draft choice) Isiah’s dealt with any possibility of blossoming into anything is Ariza, and even that one we can chalk up to Brown, as we’ve been through a bunch of times.

    or do you miss Mike Sweetney? Frank Williams? Maciej Lampe?

  89. mase

    ted,
    respect! you tell it like it is.
    I wasn’t saying that ak-47 is on the same tier as lee, balk and JJ2. I was more making a point about the limited effect any defensive role player ultimately has on the Knicks, not sure why that is though.
    I like Q-rich a lot despite the injuries and I give Marbury respect for showing some strides of maturity this year but that isn’t nearly enough outside shooting power and AK-47 doesn’t do enough offensively. Ironically, Artest is a better fit (-to -be tied) excuse me while i channel peter vecsey, because he brings both offensive/defensive game.
    im getting sidetracked, AK-47 could come here and be a bust like JJ2 who may have had a bad first year considering the injury and getting acclimated to playing in NY but Ak-47 just seems redundant at this point.

  90. Caleb

    I don’t think Nate is a good defender, mainly because he gambles too much, but he has the physical ability, and, I think the willingness to learn. Let’s hope.

    As far as trade priorities, I’d be thinking mainly 2 or 3 years down the road. I’d look for:
    1) Young talent with big potential, even if it’s risky. High draft picks. Age 22, 23 or under. Ideally, a point guard.

    2) A young, defensive-minded big guy.

    3) Dumping some salary so we have flexibility by 2009 or at worst, 2010.

    Who can we dance with? Lakers, Rockets, T-Wolves see windows of opportunity closing, and might be willing to take on overpaid vets who could give them a little boost. (I know Minny’s window closed a long time ago, but they don’t know it). I could see one of those teams taking on Francis…

    With Minny you might work out a deal taking back their lottery pick and bad contracts, in return.

    Houston has less to trade, so I don’t know.. .

    LA… I was playing with the Real GM trade checker. I wonder if they’d take Curry, Frye, Crawford and CCollins in exchange for Bynum, Kwame Brown, Radmanovic & one extra guy to balance it out – Vujovic or Smush or Mo Evans.

    LA gets three starters for two, plus Collins if you like that sort of thing. It’s more of a “win now” lineup. They’d have a serious post player, and I don’t know that he’d drive Phil nuts any more than Kwame does. Crawford would fit – the triangle doesn’t need a pure point guard.

    As for us… we’d get a center with big-time potential, and dump a huge amount of salary. Our lineup would look like:

    Marbury
    Francis
    Balkman
    Lee
    Bynum

    main bench guys:
    Kwame
    QRich
    Robinson
    Jeffries
    Rad Vlad

    We could re-sign Kwame in a year, but if we dump him we’d actually be able to sign free agents in the summer of 2009. It’s such a good deal for us, I don’t think LA would go for it — I’d even be willing to throw in our draft pick, if that’s what it takes.

  91. xduckshoex

    Ted – Kirilenko doesn’t want to be the focal point of an offense. We’re talking about a guy who averages less than 10 attempts per game for his career and has a career high of 12 attempts per game. He just wants to be used on that end in a manner that will allow him to be successful. He was fine with his reduced role as long as the Jazz were winning, but when they aren’t winning and he feels he isn’t being given the chance to help correct that he can understandably get a little frustrated. I think any competitive player would.

  92. xduckshoex

    Mase – the thing you overlook: Kirilenko is one of the best shotblockers in the League, something you said yourself the Knicks could really use.

    He’s not redundant, he’s a significant upgrade over current players. I’ve never understood why people would pass on a player because they already have guys who play a similar style but at a much lower level.

  93. xduckshoex

    Caleb – Bynum is likely not leaving LA, especially for Curry and Frye. I’d love to have him, though.

  94. caleb

    Yah, I wouldn’t do it if I were LA… but if Kobe is impatient enough, they might consider that deal. I’d say Curry will have the edge on Bynum for another year or two.. and they’d also be getting Crawford…

  95. Ted Nelson

    duckshoe:

    I’m not referring to the recent media stuff, but his play all year. The Jazz have been winning all year and yet Kirilenko hasn’t been the same player he was the past few years. I’ve read that he’s unhappy with his role. Which makes sense because after suddenly being reduced to strictly a perimeter player his numbers have fallen across the board. He’s playing 8 mpg less than he was last year.

    While his talent is not being maximized on the perimeter, I think he’s still helping Utah win and the Jazz might be happy with him in that role. However, he’s making around $15 million/year for the next four years: what team besides the Knicks is willing to pay $15 million for 30 mpg and 20 mpg in the playoffs? What self-respecting 26 year old former All-Star is satisfied as Matt Harpring’s caddy?

  96. xduckshoex

    Ted – I think plenty of teams are willing to shell out that dough for Kirilenko. You know that if he was on the market before this season the Jazz front office would have fielded an offer from almost every team in the League; I don’t think management has a short memory. They know what he’s capable of doing, and if word comes out that he’s available the Jazz would likely have all kinds of offers. They wouldn’t be looking at it as paying $15 million for this years version of Kirilenko, they would be paying $15 million for a guy who has put up great efficiency numbers for his career and is still one of the best shotblockers in the League. I think Kirilenko gets moved, and I think there will be a lot of interest.

    Incidentally, the one that makes the most sense for them is a trade for Richard Jefferson. They get their small forward, the Nets improve their frontcourt.

  97. mase

    duck-
    Thats a good trade for both teams, kirilenko for jefferson. The nets have a lot on the plate with V.C.’s free agency and Kidd contract ending, but your overlooking a big factor being that Kirilenko does not sell tix. i think the Nets need to make a splash and can do that by signing a bigger attraction for that same big salary.

  98. Ted Nelson

    duck:
    I do think that there would be interest in Kirilenko. I just think that his contract and game will temper that interest in a somewhat budget conscious era for the NBA:

    - Not enough, but some teams are unwilling to pay $15 mill per for someone who’s not a top 5 or 10 all around player. Budget conscious, and really all, teams are going to consider the opportunity cost of spending so much money on, or making a deal for AK. This offseason and into next season that cost might be high with VC (not that I would sign him) and Billups entering free agency and rumors flying about the availability of KG, Pau, and Jermaine O’Neal.

    - Some teams might be unwilling to pay $15 mill per for a defensive specialist w/ a limited game on offense. Especially b/c AK isn’t best used strictly as an interior defender. His versatility could make him more valuable to some teams, but others would probably only dish out that kind of money for a premium defensive 5 who can bang with the big boys night in and night out and be a constant last line of defense. AK is pretty skinny to be employed as such, and is an average rebounder. Some teams might consider AK as a Bowen level player or rich man’s Jared Jeffries type: Bowen makes $3 mill per and JJ, as we all know, is overpaid at $5 mill per. AK makes more of a statistical contribution than Bowen (and obviously Jeffries) and is a better passer and more efficient scorer than either, but some teams might consider his marginal value to be small (at least smaller than $10, $12 mill) when compared to similar players around the league. (Other teams might appreciate the fact that there are really no similar players in the league.)

    - Some teams may have concerns about his knee or, less likely, attitude.

    - Some other teams will literally have nothing to offer or feel what they do have to offer is too steep a price.

    I think these factors are going to leave some teams with no interest, and at least lower his value a bit to most other teams (only Isiah bids against himself). They might not lower his value at all to budget-less teams like the Knicks and Mavs, or teams who would be able to acquire him with a player making similar $ (maybe, as you suggest, the Nets).

    I agree that the RJ-AK deal makes some sense for both teams. I have no idea where the Nets want to go with their team. All I know is that they have a very smart President (Thorn still works there, no?), but an owner who, as Mase points out, is more interested with profits than winning (maybe once they move to Brooklyn they want to attract the Russian population and AK makes sense, seriously). Here are some factors I think they’ll be considering:

    1. VC. If he signs somewhere else outright I don’t think they can trade RJ for a non-scorer. If he’s signed and traded for a 4 or 5 maybe they don’t want AK.

    2. Can Nachbar, Wright, Adams, House, or an offseason acquisition start at the 2 or 3?

    3. AK is the guy they want at the 3 or 4. There should be some offers for both RJ and (sign-and-trades for) VC, so they have to feel AK is the best option. Given their history of depth problems, they might want a couple of solid players with smaller contracts.

    It’s not very likely that Francis or Crawford/Jeffries is going to be the best deal they see. Frye could, depending on their tastes, be as good a young prospect as is offered although I’m not sure he fits with Okur. If the Knicks pursued a three-way deal maybe they could get it done. Then they’ve gotten another underachiever with a max deal. Not sure Isiah has that kind of credibility with Dolan at this point.

  99. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Great analysis Ted.

    But I still think there are injury concerns with Kirilenko that make dealing for him risky. ‘

    If they’re dead set on moving Frye, use him with a team like Sacramento, Philly or the Clips to move up in the draft and see if Joakim Noah falls…

  100. xduckshoex

    Either way, if the Jazz get rid of Kirilenko they are either looking to cut costs, or get something they feel is worth that $13 million dollar price tag; can the Knicks really help them out either way? All of the players we have in that price range are not as good as Kirilenko, so I don’t see the help.

    Which sucks, because I think Kirilenko is exactly the kind of player the Knicks need.

  101. Ted Nelson

    A couple selling points for a Crawford/Jeffries deal from Utah’s perspective:
    1. Crawford had his best season under another old-school disciplinarian: Larry Brown. Sloan might be comparable in his approach.
    2. AK’s current role in the playoffs is basically as a back-up to Matt Harpring averaging 20.3 mpg, 1.3 ppg (shooting 2-8 on the series), 2.3 rpg, 1 bpg, and 0.7 spg. Jeffries is not the player AK is and his man D seems to be worse than advertised, but I really think he’s capable of at least putting up those numbers. If they can hang with the Rockets with AK at this level, they should be improved if Jeffries matches his production and they feel Crawford represents an upgrade at the 2 (I would argue Crawford is an upgrade over just about no one at the 2).

    If they’re looking for cap space a three-way could work. As I’ve mentioned in this thread, Houston might be one of the only places that would even consider trading for Steve Francis (JVG might have the final say I guess). They have several deals that expire in the next two years that could be sent to Utah along with their pick and/or the Bull’s pick and/or a young Knick.
    Even Steve Francis straight-up would give them a great deal of cap relief just as they’re probably going to want to extend Williams, Okur, and Boozer.

  102. Ted Nelson

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to imply I think the Knicks are going to be able to get AK no problem. But if they decided to make him an offseason priority I think they stand a chance unless some team offers a RJ type, a lotto pick, or a young player Utah is enamored with (and don’t forget that they did trade for Rafeal Aroujo last year, so who knows who that might be).

    I think Utah would be well advised to move AK now, and as a Knicks’ fan hope they don’t, because otherwise I think they lose any leverage they might have, and risk raising more questions about whether he’ll ever be the player he once was or is worth his contract.

  103. xduckshoex

    There is no way that JVG and Francis have a reunion. Francis took a few shots at JVG after he was traded. My favourite quote from Francis vs. JVG was “Whatever. He’s going to coach his way, I’m going to play my way.” That was really professional, Steve. The Rockets may be desperate enough for talent to take on Crawford, though.

    I will hold on to a tiny shred of hope because I have been a Kirilenko fan since his rookie season and would love to see him in NY.

  104. Steve

    About the Kirilenko-Jefferson trade. I think that is a huge mistake for New Jersey.

    There is a good possibility that Carter will leave the Nets this year. When he is gone what will the Wets have left?

    Kidd is never going to score 25 ppg, and Kirilenko is unlikely to even reach 20. With Jefferson and Carter gone, who is going to score?

    Kirilenko is certainly a better player than Jefferson, but he is an offensive liability and his one great asset, dramatic stops, will have less of an effect with New Jersey than many other teams.

    Kirilenko plays at his best when he is a roaming PF, but then he will be taking minites from NJ’s only real deffensive threat.

    Collins might never make the dramatic deffensive plays that Kirilenko provides. But he does do as well as anyone, shutting down the best post player on opposing teams.

    Kirilenko simply doesnt provide great man on man post defence.

    Expecting NJ to be a defensive threat, with an aging Kidd, and a soon-to-be revolving door at shooting guard, is giving Kirilenko too much credit.

    In my opinion the best in-game plays are PF blocks. I don’t think any other aspect of the game to rally a team nearly as much. Except perhaps an ally-oop over a defender.

    Basically what I am trying to say is that Kirilenko disserves better than NJ. NJ will waste his talents and will devolve to a bottom ten team.

    Kirilenko needs to go to a club which feeds of off energy, not a fast pace club necessarily, since his lack of great athelticism will hinder his effectiveness.

    The problem is Utah knows Kirilenko’s true value and will demand a high price. However as Knick fans pipe-dream are really all we have right?

    So teams I would like to see Kirilenko on:
    1. Knicks, obviously, there arn’t really any trades we can pull of however. I get the feeling other NBA GM’s like to put on a show and let Isiah deal with the Marbury/Francis contracts. Plus unless we trade Lee or Balkman, Kirilenko is kind of redundent. (I’d like now to throw props in to Isiah for thoose two picks. Who else is thinking that we’re going to get a better player than the Bulls this draft?)
    2. Bucks, I think it may be because I’m part Australian, but I am convinced that Bogut is a great one-on-one defender. Match him with a shotblocking force and Milwakee has a seriously good frontcourt. With Redd, Willliams (or Billups) providing the offence and Simmons defending the McGrady’s of the league they would be a serious contender.
    3. Orlando, matching up with Howard is more for Dwight’s sake. If Orlando can win scoring 80 points than there will be less pressure on Dwight to develop a offencive game. I think Dwight should focus on his deffensive/rebounding abilities. Bill Russel won a few titles after all. The recent San Antonio/ Detroit teams and the 90′s Knicks and Heat ones showed that defence can win even without transcendant offensive players. It would be nice to see a team carry on that mentality but with exciting players as well.

    I cant think of a fourth team now, but I’m sure someone else can.

  105. Dan Panorama

    I’ve been thinking for forever that AK47 would be great on the Knicks. He would have a perfect role as Curry’s enforcer on defense and unlike someone like Jeffries he isn’t dead weight on offense. I’d trade Francis and Frye for AK without hesitation.

  106. mase

    everyone wants to give away Frye in a trade for $15M per player we already have in Lee, Balk and JJ2…doesnt make sense to me.

  107. xduckshoex

    It doesn’t make sense to you because you fail to realize that Kirilenko is not the same as Lee and much better than Balkman and Jeffries.

    And Frye really is not that good, so it’s not a huge loss.

  108. Dan Panorama

    AKs game is nothing like Lee, Balk and JJ2. He’s a better defender, shot blocker, and passer. Lee is a better rebounder and an offensive asset and would still get minutes. Balk could play the 2 and 3 more without conflicting with AK, especially if we dump Francis and Nate, and Jeffries becomes an expensive 12th man.

  109. mase

    if you want a shot blocker so bad sign Justin Williams or draft someone who’s hungry to play and cheap not a $15m per guy… I’d rather have Rashard lewis for that money or Nocioni for half the price

  110. mase

    cont’d..
    i’d rather have Boozer than AK-47, or gerald Wallace…have you seen Ak-47 in the playoffs and regular season this year?
    he’s a bust!

  111. xduckshoex

    Not going after Kirilenko will not save the Knicks any money. To get that $15 million contract, they have to send out roughly that much money in contracts themselves. His price tag really doesn’t matter.

    Kirilenko is one of the best shot blockers in the game today and he has offensive game on top of it.

  112. caleb

    The price tag does matter – maybe not the next two seasons, but after that, unless AK reverts to his old form, we’ll be saying the same things about him as we do now about Steve Francis.

  113. caleb

    to continue that thought… the price tag is the reason Utah would consider the deal – to save money after 2009.

    I don’t think we could pull it off, but for a similar player I’d see if there’s anyway we could put together a deal for Josh Smith in Atlanta. He’s had some serious fights with the coach, and they have Marvin Williams at the same position, which are the only reasons they would consider not extending him for a max-type deal. Atlanta is way under the cap, so they can take on extra salary in a trade…

  114. tim

    Good grief. Just thinking about having this guy makes me physically ill. I guess that means that Isaiah Good grief. Just thinking about having this guy
    makes me physically ill. I guess that means that
    Isiah has to make this acquisition. He is a great coach and GM, you know…just ask him or James Dolan.

    http://www.fireisiah.com

  115. tim

    Just to be clear, its Telfair makes me ill, not AK. On that topic though, AK in NY, what a joke. If the Salt Lake City media can make him cry, how will he hold up in NYC?

  116. mase

    thats a good point Tim!
    ny media is the polar opposite of UTAH.

    p.s. i really hope G.S. beats Dallas.

  117. xduckshoex

    The media has nothing to do with what happened with Kirilenko. It’s pure frustration with the the team, nothing more.

  118. Pao

    How about going after Ron Artest in the off-season? He’d be a great fit for this team, with Q-rich being uncertain because of his back. Re AK-47 I think Utah making him play in the backcourt is the primary reason for his ineffectiveness.

  119. PaulNoize

    Yeah yeah yeah….Jamal once scored 52 points.

    Kinda sounds like Al Bundy’s line about once scoring four touchdowns in a single high school football game.

    Our entire guard core is made up of slightly above average guards who do not complement each other.

  120. jon abbey

    it wasn’t “once”, it was a month before his season ended. your comparison would be apt if Al Bundy did that four weeks ago, not 25 years before.

  121. stephen krigger

    isn’t Telfair Marbury’s cousin. so if they don’t get along what use is the acquisition. yes he is 21 and if he is able to take direction from isaih thomas then fine we want him

  122. Knicky

    Collins is the Man-who else is compared to Dennis Johnson&Clyde in the same breath.
    Question: Why do we accept abhorent behavior from Rock Stars but not Ballers?

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