2010 Report Card: Jonathan Bender

In December of the 2010 season, Donnie Walsh reached back into his past and summoned Jonathan Bender. In 1999, Walsh drafted a teenage Bender for the Pacers with the 5th overall pick. Bender is the only player of the first 10 selected that failed to amass 20,000 minutes played in the NBA. Bender failed to live up to his NBA expectations due to injuries not lack of talent. He managed only one season with more than 60 games played, and retired at the tender age of 25.

Away from the league for 4 years and joining the team mid-year, Bender was used sparingly by D’Antoni until the season neared to a close. On March 19th, the forward started his first game for the Knicks in what was likely going to be the first of many. Ironically injuries derailed his career yet again, as Bender broke a finger and was done for the year.

On the court, the 6-11 Bender can stretch the defense with three point shooting, but despite his height he struggles with the ball close to the hoop. He doesn’t score a lot (14.5 pts/36) and has mediocre efficiency (52.9% TS%) Bender’s turnover rate is alarmingly high (3.5 to/36), and he’s especially prone when he puts the ball on the floor. On defense his shot blocking was impressive (2.1 blk/36), but his rebounding is lacking (6.4 reb/36).

The big question with Bender will always be his health. Even though the finger injury is more of a fluke injury, he had problems with his hip & leg earlier in the year. It’s not known if he can take the daily pounding of the rigors of the NBA season, even as a reserve. Additionally it’s hard to gauge exactly what kind of player Bender is. He had only one season with more than 1000 minutes and that was in 2002 as a 21 year old. Bender managed a miniscule 292 minutes played as a Knick in 2010. Still if the Knicks want to roll the dice on him, Bender could be a cheap option for a 8th/9th man. In D’Antoni’s smallish lineups, he could function as a center, paired with stronger rebounders.

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 2
Defense: 4
Teamwork: 3
Rootability: 4
Performance/Expectations: 3

Final Grade: B

Similarity Scores:

.000 Jonathan Bender 2010 NYK 10.8 52.9 47.0 14.5 1.8 6.4 2.0 0.2 2.1 3.5
.121 Brad Sellers 1992 DET 13.7 51.3 46.6 16.2 2.4 6.7 2.2 0.2 1.6 2.4
.206 Charles Smith 1995 NYK 13.9 54.4 47.6 16.2 2.4 5.4 2.0 0.8 1.6 2.5
.206 Jermaine O’Neal 2008 IND 14.4 48.9 43.9 17.0 2.4 8.4 2.8 0.6 2.6 3.2
.210 Elden Campbell 1998 LAL 16.4 52.7 46.4 16.5 2.9 9.2 1.6 0.7 2.1 2.3
.230 Roy Hinson 1991 NJN 11.1 50.8 51.3 16.2 2.4 7.5 1.6 0.0 1.2 2.4
.245 Rony Seikaly 1995 GSW 12.7 56.6 51.6 15.1 2.7 9.3 1.6 0.7 1.3 3.6
.246 Jim Eakins 1976 TOT 13.5 54.6 45.1 13.6 3.6 9.5 1.9 0.7 1.5 2.5
.251 Dino Radja 1997 BOS 12.6 47.1 44.0 14.4 1.8 8.7 2.0 0.9 2.0 2.9
.252 Mark Blount 2005 BOS 12.5 55.9 52.9 13.0 2.4 6.7 2.2 0.6 1.1 2.7
.257 Elton Brand 2009 PHI 14.6 48.4 44.7 15.6 3.0 9.9 1.4 0.7 1.8 2.7

Again not a lot of very comparable players; most are 3 standard deviations away. “He Who Shall Not Be Named” appears, as well as some poor rebounding centers.

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Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

48 thoughts to “2010 Report Card: Jonathan Bender”

  1. He had 1 season with more than 1000 games? No wonder why he is so injured ;-)

  2. Bender did seem to give the Knicks some good minutes. I’d like to see him after a full summer of training, getting healthy and in game-shape. That said, didn’t he make some statement after the season about retiring?

  3. The fact that “Charles Smith, 1995” shows up on his similarity score list should be reason enough to send Bender packing.

    Seriously, though, I agree that Bender is a very difficult player to gauge. Mike gives him a “4” on defense, and the 2.1 blk/36 isn’t too shabby… I didn’t see him play enough to really get a good feel for how good of a defensive player he is, but if he really is an above-average defender I’d think he would have value to us.

  4. The problem with Bender is that he was initially a wing player who I think is being reborn as a post player due to his knees. It seems like he mostly played the 3 or the 4 for D’Antoni and his list of comparables seem to be mostly centers and power forwards. Watching him play, he’s more of a face up player offensively with a good three point shot, but his ball handling and speed/quickness to the hoop have obviously declined a great deal. He’s sort of like T-Mac in that regard, which hurts his eFG because he just can’t score in the paint any more. His defense on shorter 3’s is where he got a lot of blocks, tailing his smaller man to the hoop – similar to how Gallo gets a lot of his blocks.
    If he could beef up and learn a post game, he could try to mimic Dirk’s game somewhat – kind of an inside/outside 4 – but I don’t see that happening as he just looks too wobbly on those legs.

  5. Sort of interesting that a lot of those comparable seasons were guys on their last legs (Seikaly, Smith, Sellers if he had any legs to begin with, JO in Indy, Hinson, Radja, Brand and Blount and Campbell to some extent…). Almost all of those guys were on the decline and didn’t play much in the NBA after those seasons, or at least were traded. Maybe a coincidence, but looks telling in this case.

    To me it’s totally whether Bender’s heart is in it. I’m not sure it’s obivous he ever had a burning desire to play basketball in the first place, and as TDM mentions he came out and said he’s just happy he proved he could still hang in the NBA and will likely retire… He barely even hung in the NBA and you want a guy who is not satisfied with 300 minutes of garbage time but wants to be the best. With so many open roster spots and his potential fit with D’Antoni’s style of ball, though, he could be one of the better options to fill a roster spot at the vet’s min.

    Yeah, he needs to be reborn as something. Either a 6-5 guy or a 7 footer with some more testosterone. His TOs were always very high, so I think some sort of a change was always necessary. I don’t get the impression he has the mentality to make the necessary changes.
    (Even Matt Bonner is effective on his rare inside attempts, but I would mention a poor man’s Matt Bonner as Bender’s potential before a poor man’s Dirk. Bonner took 62% 3pt attempts last season, while Dirk took 17%. Bender took 39%, so maybe somewhere in between. I just don’t see him creating like Dirk, so I think he’s best spotting up for 3s and trying to cut those TOs.)

  6. Bender is actually a good finisher on dunks, which seperates him from Bonner. Cutting to the basket could add a wrinkle Bonner doesn’t have, but overall the same sort of gimmicky 4th bigman who causes match-up problems and helps space the offense while getting by on D.

  7. Apologies for going off-topic: While it is generally good news that Phil Jackson said he has no desire to coach Chicago, the good news doesn’t end there. It was being reported after the game last night that Phil said he would not come back to coach the Lakers if Buss wanted him to take a pay cut. IMO, this would preclude a team like Cleveland from bringing him on board to keep or get LeBron. Phil’s last contract was for over $10M per year. I believe coach Brown was only earning around $2M and he was a guy they hired away from the Pacers to keep LeBron happy. I don’t think there is any chance that Cleveland is going to shell out an additional $8M per year for Jackson, even if he was the guy LeBron wanted.

    Does anyone else think the salary cap should be raised $5M +/- to include consideration for the head coaching position? It just seems like a team with a great headcoach has an almost unfair advantage over Don Nelson or Kurt Rambis. IMO, the head coach is similar to the sixth player on the floor. Shouldn’t that be taken into consideration with the salary cap?

  8. Final Grade a B??? Someone with a fairly generous grading scale for Mr. Bender.

  9. Question – do you think Evan Turner is a no-brainer for the #2 overall pick?

    I tend to think so, but apparently Philly does not.

  10. @8

    At some point, as coaches salaries have reached 8 digits per annum, it does seem they should be considered in the cap. However, I have no idea if the coaches have their own union and how they’re involved in the CBA or if they have a seperate CBA or no CBA. If they’re currently seperate I suppose the NBA would have to reach an agreement on one CBA with both the players union and coaches union. If the coaches are already in on the CBA it might be easier. I’m talking 100% out of my ass, though.

    Knicks could offer Jackson $15-20 mill per if that’s what it takes to get LeBron. If it leaked and didn’t work out things would get really messy with D’Antoni though… If Jax were ready to leave LA for more money and LeBron was still unsigned I suppose Jax’s agent might approach Walsh, could still be nothing but a negotiation tactic to get LA to pony up though. With Shaq and Z coming off the books this summer, Cleveland might not mind shelling out for Jackson. Chicago probably wouldn’t be “interested” (allegedly) if they weren’t willing to pay him.

    I don’t recall seeing much of the Wolves at all last season and I know they stunk, but why does everyone go with Rambis as their go-to bad coach?

  11. @11

    I’d consider Cousins and Favors at #2 also. Turner would be the “safest” pick, but Cousins clearly has more upside and some think Favors does too.

    As far as diminishing returns from Holiday-Turner-Iggy-Young… I think it’s an excuse to promote a draft for need agenda… All those guys besides Iggy can shoot from the outside at least respectably, which is one of the reasons given they can’t play together. You’d have the ability to go “small-ball” style at times, but you could also bring one off the bench and use primarily a 4 man rotation at those 4 spots with a Kapono/Green/Carney picking up the slack.

  12. @ 13

    “You’d have the ability to go “small-ball” style at times, but you could also bring one off the bench and use primarily a 4 man rotation at those 4 spots with a Kapono/Green/Carney picking up the slack.”

    Should read “at those 3 spots”

  13. I think all the Phil Jackson talk is kind of a red herring. LeBron likes Mike D’Antoni well enough and obviously they have a good relationship. The Lakers still have a very good core and they’d be foolish to let Jackson walk. Jackson has already said he won’t return to the Bulls. Pat Riley is in Miami, so that’s not gonna happen. The only places a Lebron-Jackson marriage could happen would be in Cleveland and New Jersey.

    Does Phil Jackson really want to go to Cleveland? Perhaps he might, since he’s kind of the ultimate “closer,” the guy who brings a team over the hump. Then again, it’s Cleveland. I don’t know if many of you have been to Cleveland, but it sucks. Hard. Phil would have his superstar in LeBron, but the supporting cast around him would be nowhere near the supporting cast that’s around Kobe.

    Then there’s the Nets, which might be intriguing, but remember the Nets have a very long way to go, even if LeBron were to come to town and join the #3 pick in the draft. There’s a reason they won 12 games last year: they have Brook Lopez and a variety of guys who stink. Devin Harris is one of the most overrated players in the NBA, Yi Jianlian is godawful, and nobody else on the team has much upside. #3 picks in the draft are busts all the time. LeBron and Phil would really be taking a major risk joining the Nets and their eccentric, possibly crazy owner, and I just don’t see it happening.

  14. @15

    I don’t think Phil leaves LA, either. For one thing he’d probably have to break-up with his girlfriend in the process. He has been in LA for 11 seasons and has 4 rings. If he wins the 5th there, he’s almost got to go back to try for his 4th 3-peat. Might be ready for a new challenge, though, if the Lakers want to low-ball him and another team offers him more money.

    I don’t think it’s obvious at all that LeBron likes D’Antoni. He has to work with him if he wants to be on the Olympic team, that’s not his choice. He’s called him as offensive genius, but he followed it up right away by saying that defense is the most important thing to him (LeBron)… i.e. he doesn’t think D’Antoni can coach defense. If I had to choose between Jax or D’Antoni luring LeBron to NYC, there’s no doubt I would choose Jax. His resume speaks for itself. D’Antoni has to prove he coaches defense, and public opinion against this notion may be too strong to overcome… i.e. if LeBron buys the hype–and there’s evidence he does–he might not want to play for a coach many people think can never win a championship with his style. I think the hype is largely BS, but I do buy into at times when he’s sticking his SG on the other team’s PF and refuses to play a 5 all season. If you’re selling Bosh as your 5 and LeBron’s main concern is defense… you might as well not even try it.

    Devin Harris had a bad year. His worst since his rookie year in terms of PER and about 1/2 his career average in WP/48. If he’s never healthy again he’s overrated/paid, otherwise it was an atrocious year in which he was probably never fully healthy. Brook Lopez last season was not clearly better than Harris has been on his career, especially when you consider defense.
    I don’t think the Nets are much further away than the Knicks if they get LeBron and somehow manage to trade the #3 pick tp bring in a proven star. I also don’t think LeBron is going to NJ, but maybe the Jay-Z connection is that important to him…

  15. I must say that this is quite a stomach punch. I’m a part-time Phoenix Suns fan, and I’m on a high about Steve Kerr’s roster with ELEVEN contributing players in the conference finals (Collins played okay before Lopez got back). And over here at Knickerblogger, we’re grading Jonathan Bender. Ouch.

    Hang on, Knicks fans, we’re almost out of the wilderness….

  16. “Hang on, Knicks fans, we’re almost out of the wilderness….”

    we may be exiting hell, but I don’t know how far past purgatory we are getting.

    I also don’t think coaches matter much, although Mike Brown really made me think about that position.

    As for Bender, in a season in which the Knicks had almost nothing to play for and the fans had very little reason to watch, he at least provided some genuine narrative spark, as you can see from his GNS+ of 83.5%. I’ll be surprised though if he is a productive rotation player next year.

  17. Well if the ‘leak’ is correct. We could be looking at a lineup of Douglas/Chandler/Lebron/Gallo/Bosh.
    How do we feel about that? It’s not that surprising that D’Antoni wouldn’t want a true center, but it’s an odd mix. I have yet to see Gallo legitimately play the post, especially on defense. Maybe, after a summer of training and conditioning under his belt, he’ll be better off at the 4, but last year he seemed more like a shooting 3. Maybe he’ll follow the Rashard Lewis model.
    Bosh should pick up most of Lee’s rebounding, and frankly, with his tendency towards ball-stoppage, it might be better having him at the center in a Howard-type role. The big question mark with him is can he be the last line of defense? I don’t know. I think about Gallo/Bosh going up against Gasol/Bynum and I cringe a bit. Hopefully the amazing Mr. James will make up for some inequalities in the post defense. Also, picking up a Jerome Jordan type in the draft could at least allow us to play big at times (as opposed to eddy curry who would allow us to play FAT.)
    Then you have the big drop off at the guard play. It would be nice if Chandler could pick up where he left off before the surgeries, but I wouldn’t count on it. It also leaves us without a stellar three-point shooter at the 2 and 3 (yes, James is merely above average on three pointers.)
    On the other hand, we’ll have good outside shooters at the 1 and the 4. We love Douglas, but will James really accept that backcourt? Maybe the goal is to get a veteran guard w/ Curry’s contract? Walker provides depth on the bench, and maybe T-Mac is still in the picture…
    Defensively at least, the 1, 2, and 3 should be pretty strong. But it still isn’t quite a championship contender. I guess it depends on what we can turn Curry’s contract into.

  18. @17

    Hard to exhault Jarron Collins and then be upset we’re talking about Bender… (Not sure what you mean by “playing well” but Collins’ PER in the playoffs is 1.4, regular season was 3.8. Good defender, but a big negative offensively.)
    Kerr has actually done a good job recently, which surprises the hell out of me. I’m stunned by Dragic, who I saw a few times in Spain and didn’t think had a prayer in the NBA… Pretty average NBA player overall, but having a great playoffs. Also a surprised by Robin Lopez. Could see it coming with Richardson (obviously) and Frye.


    I’d take that line-up in a heartbeat. I assume the plan would be to eventually add a true center of some sort to the mix (don’t know that either LeBron or RuPaul would sign up thinking RuPaul was going to be banging with the big boys). As a starting point, though, any line-up with LeBron, RuPaul, AND Gallo gets my blessing.

    “I have yet to see Gallo legitimately play the post, especially on defense.”

    There aren’t that many post-up 4s in the NBA these days. Even when you go up against a Boozer or Bosh who can hurt you inside, there’s an Okur or Bargnani who floats around the perimeter a lot. Gallo may have been the Knicks top help defender after Jeffries and Hill were traded, which isn’t saying anything at all but I think he can hang at the 4 on what would be an average defensive team at best.

    “with his tendency towards ball-stoppage”

    I don’t really get this… He was Toronto’s go-to scorer. That’s like saying LeBron, Wade, Kobe, etc. all have a tendency towards ball-stoppage. Bosh scored very efficiently, was low TO, had a very respectable ast% for a big, and led the #5 offense in the NBA… If he was stopping the ball, maybe more teams need a guy who stops the ball.

    “I think about Gallo/Bosh going up against Gasol/Bynum and I cringe a bit.”

    In all likelihood it would take a few years to win a title. If you think about Channing Frye and Amare defending those guy you’ve got to cringe a bit, too, though. They’re 2-2 with the Lakers in the WCF.

    “Also, picking up a Jerome Jordan type in the draft could at least allow us to play big at times”

    As I said, I think they will do what they can to get an interior defensive presence. Might be more of a Biedrins/Dalembert type who can run the floor, or might be a real big boy… I have no idea. I don’t know if Jerome Jordan is or isn’t a legit NBA center, but between potentially 3 picks in this bigman rich draft, the Curry expiring, and all the Cs available in free agency 2011… The Knicks will have themselves to blame if they don’t have at least the makings of a solid 5 by year two. (I wouldn’t mind if it were an interior defensive presence who couldn’t play the 5, ala AK-47, though a big boy who could bang would be nice in the playoffs against Howard, Bynum, even Perkins, and maybe Brook Lopez and DeMarcus Cousins someday.)

    “On the other hand, we’ll have good outside shooters at the 1 and the 4. We love Douglas, but will James really accept that backcourt?”

    As you say 1, 4, and 6 cancel out 2 and 3 to a large extent. James has not problem scoring very efficiently. Chandler would hopefully cut his usage in that line-up and also hopefully get back to tat least he 32% 3pt shooting he displayed in 08-09.
    According to the “leak” D’Antoni will sell LeBron on being the Magic Johnson of the team… He already had 8 ast/36 this season, so I don’t think his role will change too much really. I don’t know if LeBron even knows he exists, but this would be the PERFECT role for Toney Douglas. Shoot 3s, defend PGs, be the secondary playmaker. You couldn’t invent a better situation for him than playing with LeBron. Because his defense is potentially very good and his perimeter shot is already very good AND he can take it to the rack pretty well… Douglas could easily develop into a better complement to LeBron than Mo Williams and co. at PG in Cleveland (Williams and Gibson are almost exclusively jump shooters and not plus defenders… West can get it to the hole and defend a bit, but had a terrible year shooting the ball).

    “Walker provides depth on the bench, and maybe T-Mac is still in the picture…”

    Between Walker, the draft, and vet’s min free agents the Knicks will probably have themselves to blame if they have no bench. To me center is a lot harder to fill than bench… Even if they don’t find many plus contributors, some veteran fillers who don’t hurt you shouldn’t be hard to find. Maybe with all the cap space out there no one decent is settling for vet’s min deals… doubt it though.

    “But it still isn’t quite a championship contender.”

    With LeBron in a potential top 5, top 10 offense I’d call you a contender. (D’Antoni’s teams in Phoenix were always contenders even if they never even made the Finals.) Probably not going to win it without some luck, though. Going from 29 wins to 50 would be very welcome by me.

  19. @20

    The defensive concerns, though, are also why I’d put a LeBron/Wade pairing at least on par with LeBron/Bosh. I have a hard time choosing between the two hypotheticals in my head.

  20. LeBron, D-Wade, Chris Bosh, and Joe Johnson are going to talk with each other about Free Agency. Wade says that they need to know what each other is thinking about, and that this will be a very important process. Wade seems big on loyalty, and he doesn’t know about the Bulls, but he didn’t mention the Knicks. Is this a good or bad thing?

  21. Re: the “plan leak”
    Not saying that LBJ/Bosh wouldn’t be awesome. Just wondering what would/should be the top duo for us. LBJ/Bosh would immediately make us a contender, 50 plus wins. And who knows? With the Celts and Lakers a year older next year, we would stand a pretty good chance.

  22. @21: Does everyone remember when Moe Williams was hurt and LBJ was officially the point guard?

    21-Jan Lal W 93-87
    23-Jan Okc W 100-99
    25-Jan @Mia W 92-91
    27-Jan Min W 109-95
    29-Jan @Ind W 94-73
    31-Jan Lac W 114-89

    2-Feb Mem W 105-89
    4-Feb Mia W 102-86
    6-Feb Nyk W 113-106
    9-Feb Njn W 104-97
    11-Feb Orl W 115-106

    @ 20: I feel great about about Douglas/Chandler/Lebron/Gallo/Bosh after watching Duhon/Chandler/Jeffries/Gallo/Lee most of this year. Though I’d be happiest trading Curry’s contract for a 5 and pushing Ill Will to the bench. I feel more strongly about plugging the gaping hole in the middle than I do about the benefits of Wilson’s offense.LeBron/Douglas/Gallo/Bosh/[Birdman/Okafor/Favors if we take Elton Brand’s Contract :)]

  23. @20: sorry for asking you to connect the dots for me, but what leak? Did I miss something?

    The Knicks are bringing in Jeff Foote (Cornell) for a workout today. Don’t know much about him, but here’s his state page from DraftExpress: http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Jeff-Foote-5841/stats/

    I found a youtube clip of him that was pretty impressive. The usual youtube vid focuses on uncontested dunks and alley oops. This vid, however, shows some nice passing and defense as well as offensive moves. The Knicks could do a lot worse with a second round pick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U3nas2uLyc

  24. I didn’t scrutinize the Cavs in the post-season but it seemed like LBJ was bringing the ball up the court more often than not so I am not sure that this is anything more than semantics to call him PG or SF.

  25. LeBron, D-Wade, Chris Bosh, and Joe Johnson are going to talk with each other about Free Agency. Wade says that they need to know what each other is thinking about, and that this will be a very important process. Wade seems big on loyalty, and he doesn’t know about the Bulls, but he didn’t mention the Knicks. Is this a good or bad thing?

    It’s probably meaningless, but I guess any bad news story about the Bulls is good for the Knicks, as it seems like the media can’t wait a day between talking about how great the Bulls’ situation is, and this is the first notable chink in their “armor.”

    As for the players discussing it – what could they possibly agree upon there? It’s not like they can all play together (yes, they all technically could, but you know what I mean), so what good will discussing stuff be? Other that I suppose trash talking teams. In that case, keep talking, Wade, keep talking!

  26. By the way, the notion that Jordan not being involved with the Bulls is somehow a knock on Chicago is just so ludicrous I can’t imagine someone would seriously make the point. The dude wants to own a team! He cannot buy the Bulls, so what is there for him in Chicago?

  27. TDM – Hollinger ranked Foote as the #19 prospect in the Draft in terms of projected peak PER; 11.71. I think that would make him an 8th man in an NBA rotation. Again, not bad for 2nd rounder. I would be happy if the Knicks snagged him at #38.

  28. @31: that doesn’t look too bad for a second rounder considering last year’s picks:

    26. Jordan Hill Arizona 10.97
    . . .
    62. Toney Douglas Florida St. 8.56

  29. @28,

    Well Wade may have a point about Chicago’s organization. There must be a reason why Phil Jackson, the Zen Master, will under no circumstances return to coach the Bulls. I’m not sure what that has to do with them being “loyal” or anything, but something must be wrong there. I just hope Wade isn’t holding some recruiting party that’s no good for us over here. I think the best thing for us would be for the four to discuss options and which team can offer the most for them now, where they can possibly pair up, market size, supporting casts, fan support, etc.

  30. Haha, true. Though that projection is PEAK PER for one’s career. Hopefully Douglas will peak higher than 8.56. Also worth noting that Hollinger mentions that it’s fairly hard to gauge and that top NBA players don’t project a huge PER based on their college #’s. I think he said Durant is the highest ever w/ 19.

  31. @31
    Wasn’t Greivis Vasquez a top 5 on that Hollinger list? Could do worse with him in the 2nd round as well.
    “The Leak” was apparently someone in the Knicks org. telling Chad Ford the knicks plans for FA. The preference in order was LBJ/Bosh, LBJ/Wade, LBJ/Dirk and it suggested that Gallo would play the 4 with their top choices. Not sure if it’s “true” but hey, I need something to think about at work…

  32. Foote is an intriguing prospect. He falls undrafted in most mock drafts, which would be amazing if the Knicks bought a 1st, took 2 good 2nds, AND signed Foote. I hate drafting for need, but I’ll be happy if they take a flyer on any legit bigman/men in this draft. I do buy a little bit into the “if you’re going to miss, miss big…” logic, to an extent.

    “26. Jordan Hill Arizona 10.97
    . . .
    62. Toney Douglas Florida St. 8.56”

    Both had a rookie PER of 15, though… league average for all players. It’s only one season, but the only guys drafted after Douglas with a higher PER last season were Blair and Thornton. The only guy taken in the next 10 picks with a better rookie PER than Hill was Lawson. There were only 5 guys drafted behind him with higher rookie PERs (Lawson, Collison, Beaubois, Blair, and Thornton). By Hollinger’s own standards the Knicks 2009 draft has been very good so far. I can’t imagine Hollinger would still take 25 players ahead of Hill (though he may take more than 7) and 61 players ahead of Douglas (who was creamed for being old and a short SG).

  33. @33
    It seems like Wade is merely pushing for his home team, in other words, he’s selling the Heat, even if it means bashing other organizations in the process. And by the way, how is this not tampering?
    I have to believe that Riley will come back to coach if they get 1 or 2 more stars – total dick move to Spolestra though. And while Miami is a great place to live/party, how will Wade sell that supporting cast which is worse than ours?

  34. ess-dog,

    Vazquez is 10. Definitely encouraging. Danny Green was #8 last season, though. Thornton wasn’t top 25. Collison was 18 behind such notables as Paul Delaney and Aaron Jackson, and just ahead of Leo Lyons and John Bryant (no offense to those guys, maybe they do catch on in the NBA someday). Joe Alexander was #3 in 2008, Russell Westbrook and Brook Lopez weren’t in the top 12. Hollinger’s rater does make some good predictions, but it’s far from perfect. He lists everything from 2002-2008 before that year’s draft, but I don’t know if everything before 2008 is fit to the historical data. All those draft look a bit better than 2008 and 2009. If the Rater is based on the historical success of players taken in those drafts, it’s not surprising it fits well. Predicting is harder than describing what’s already happened.

    Wade/Bosh was #2.

    “how will Wade sell that supporting cast which is worse than ours?”

    If Wade is set on Miami it might help the Knicks to get to their “leaked” dream scenario of LeBron/Bosh. Wade can settle for Joe Johnson… I read a pretty good line about how Miami has more Knicks fans than Heat fans anyway.

  35. @36,

    That’s what I’m thinking. That Miami team won’t win it all for another three years with Wade and another superstar. But I’m not too sure he’s trying to sell Miami, and if he is, he must be content with his one title. The Heat aren’t as close to contending as we are. Say they get Amar’e, Kurt Thomas, Steve Blake, and Wade comes back. Blake/Wade/Beasley/Amar’e/Kurt Thomas really isn’t that much better than this year’s Arroyo/Wade/Beasley/Haslem/O’Neal team. This team is better offensively, but worse defensively. Even if they retain Jermaine O’Neal for cheap, I’m not too sure if he’s a significant upgrade over Kurt. They do have enough to bring in a quality free agent after two max guys, so maybe they can take on a larger contract to fill a need. Still, they won’t be much more than what this year’s Atlanta team was. Unless Beasley turns into the mega-stud people expected, that’s the only way this team is a contender.

    And this is tampering if D-Wade is talking about Miami. If he isn’t, then this wouldn’t be considered tampering.

  36. Michael Jordan has been announced as the cover boy for NBA 2K11. Any thoughts?

  37. Anyone watching the game? Alvin Gentry’s half time speech was anything but inspiring. And what the hell is up with Marv Alpert’s hair? He looks like a muppet. The Lakers may be the best in the west, but Magic-Kareem-Worthy would make these guys look like clowns.

  38. Even if we get Bosh our inside presence will need a lot of work. Although the draft has a lot of big men, I was wondering about veteran big men help such as Ben Wallace. He had a real comeback year for the Pistons, and maybe he would be a cheap way to fill the bench. I know he can no longer provide 40 minutes a game, but he would provide the kind of defense and shot blocking that this team would sorely lack when he would be on the floor. The downside is that he is old and probably would not fit into D’Antonio’s run and gun. Therefore, on offense he might not be a good fit, but I would be looking at him mainly for defense. I am not sure it is feasible to bring in a guy like that if only half his game fits your team’s concept.

    I hear a lot of talk about big men, which we certainly need, but does anyone have thoughts about drafting a point guard? There are a couple of interesting late round prospects who might be good fits for D’Antonio’s style of play. I refer to Jerome Randle out of Cal and Alexey Shved from Russia. Shved per DraftExpress, seems raw, but sounds like he has a huge amount of upside. He might be an interesting gamble.

    I guess if the Knicks buy another first round pick like last year, they might have a bit more flexibility to draft a point guard. I will certainly understand though if they only pick big men, since this is currently a glaring need. A point guard that could be developed for the future, would be a nice pick up though in my opinion.

  39. My brother is a big Suns fan, and I can’t even imagine how much of a gut punch that loss must have been. Yikes.

  40. @44

    I hadn’t thought about Ben Wallace. If he’d come to NY that would be a great use of a veteran’s minimum contract. Two considerations are whether he can get (a bit) more money elsewhere (if that matter to him at all at this point) and whether he wants to play with LeBron (assuming he’s more likely to come if the Knicks have LeBron, he and LeBron played together in Cleveland so I have no idea what their relationship is like).

    I don’t advocate drafting for need. I think bigmen could be a bit of an exception, to some extent: because they are so rare and valuable, it might be worth taking a bit more of a risk than it would on a similarly talented smaller player. However, only to an extent and you don’t want to reach on a bigman ahead of clearly better prospects. I especially wouldn’t draft for need in the 2nd round, since only a handful of 2nd rounders in the average draft are actually NBA players.

    This is also a very deep draft for bigmen, so that might be where the positional value is when the Knicks pick. This is a weak draft for PGs. Still if the prospect they like best is a PG, then take him.

    Shved is, in fact, raw. Couldn’t crack the rotation for powerhouse CSKA at 21 years old. Had to be lent to Dynamo, where he played pretty well for four games in the 2nd Division EuroCup. He has no outside shot (even the youtube clip provided on nbadraft.net is of him bricking uncontested 3 after uncontested 3 in practice). He’s not a PG. He’s got legitimate development potential (especially since his slashing style may play better in NBA than Europe), but with all the roster spots the Knicks have to fill I doubt that’s a gamble I’d take early in the second round. I haven’t really seen him play, though, so I can’t really say.

    Knicks may be able to pick up Jerome Randle after the draft as a free agent.

    As far as PGs/combo-guards: between Bledsoe, Warren, Vasquez, Terrico White, and Armon Johnson one or more might fall to the Knicks, and Collins and Scheyer should be on the board. Collins may never be a starting NBA PG, but he seems to me like someone who can play but doesn’t “measure” or “project” well… Depending on who else falls to them, I would have no problem with the Knicks taking Sherron Collins. Could be a solid 2nd round pick up to fill out the guard rotation.

  41. Speaking of point guards, does anyone know anything about Matt Bouldin out of Gonzaga? NBADraft.net makes him sound like an interesting prospect, yet I haven’t heard much about him. He’s got good size and what sounds like a good nose for the game.
    But yes, at #39 I would consider Collins a very safe pick. Although if the money was equal, I just as soon go with Sergio Rodriguez and draft another position. But it looks like it will be hard to retain Sergio.

  42. If Wade actually cares about team loyalty in the terms he defined it, we are out of the running. Jordan has good reasons of his own for not working in Chicago, namely team ownership, but NYK has snubbed Ewing ever since he retired. But who knows what he’s thinking.

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