Knicks 2015 Free Agency Round Table: Kyle O’Quinn

O’Quinn’s per minute stats are pretty good: 13.0 pts/36, 10.5 reb/36, 2.1 blk/36, 2.6 ast/36, 53.6 ts%. How does this make sense after signing Derrick Williams, who has awful numbers?

Cronin: I think this goes back to what I said during the Derrick Williams discussion – no one move should define a front office. The Derrick Williams’ signing was a poor one, but this seems like an example of a front office looking for undervalued players unappreciated by their current team and going for them. It’s a fine signing. By the way, I find it a bit amusing that this is an example of a bad team not wanting to re-sign O’Quinn, so shouldn’t that be a strike against O’Quinn for all the “appeal to authority” folks out there?

Kurylo: It’s simple. This team isn’t using advanced stats in any meaningful way. I’m guessing the team looks at both Williams and O’Quinn in the same way: here’s a young player that looks promising — let’s sign him! It’s just that one has pretty good per-minute stats, which would indicate the potential to be a productive NBA player, and the other is Derrick Williams.

Give me a reason to believe after the Knicks’ treatment of Cole Aldrich (another player with strong per-minute stats), Kyle O’Quinn will actually get 20+ minutes per game.

Cronin: Aldrich wasn’t a Jackson signing, while O’Quinn is, so I suspect that they will give O’Quinn every chance he can to contribute.

Kurylo: Perhaps the weakest link in the Knicks organization (other than the ownership) is the coaching staff. I said this yesterday in the comments, but it bears repeating (or paraphrasing). Derek Fisher was trying to win games, and yet played Jason Smith 1785 minutes. So I have no faith in Fish to realize which assets help and hurt the team. Although I hope to be proven wrong.

What’s the chance O’Quinn sticks around for that fourth year?

Cronin: Yes, but only if things go poorly…hmm. I guess I should just say yes, since this is the Knicks we’re talking about. But seriously, I think he’ll play well enough to not want that fourth year option. The bar is pretty low for that fourth year option not being worth it.

Kurylo: Zero. And even worse, if he does it’s because the Knicks have no idea that he’s a good player and they haven’t played him enough minutes for anyone else in the league to notice. So he’d essentially be a millstone around their neck.

My gut feeling is they trade him. He’s young enough, and the Knicks will think he’s just filler (Jordan Hill, Mozgov, etc.) to get their next top-10 superstar.

Knicks 2015 Free Agency Round Table: Arron Afflalo

True or False: Afflalo is the Knicks second option on offense in 2016.

Fisher-Cohen: True. And that’s gonna bump his stats and guarantee he leaves next summer. That’s the problem with player options.

Kurylo: False. He’s going to be their first option for the 42 games Carmelo Anthony misses, because Coach “Gotta Win’em All” is going to ride that ol’ grey mare until it breaks.

Gibberman: False. The Knicks second option is going to be taking good shots off of ball movement generated by the attention given to Carmelo Anthony.

Cronin: True. Unless the Zinger comes on quicker than expected.

True or False: Afflalo will be over his career ts% of 56.1% in 2016.

Kurylo: True. Afflalo’s true shooting percentage seems closely related to his three point shooting. On the plus side, in 5 of his last 7 seasons, he’s shot 39.8% or better. So I think the odds are in Afflalo’s favor.

Gibberman: He’s been under two of the past three seasons so I’ll guess it continues along that trend. False.

Fisher-Cohen: Afflalo was surprisingly efficient for the Magic even when he was asked to carry a much larger burden offensively than he had in the past. He’s two years older now though and coming off a pretty crappy year. I’ll say false but I wouldn’t be surprised to be wrong.

Cronin: He definitely has the capability of doing it, but I think the odds are against him after his last few seasons, so I’ll go with false.

True or False: Last year in Portland, the Blazers were 5.3 points worse (per 100 possessions) on defense with Afflalo on the floor, and the Nuggets were 0.2 points worse. So probably, he’s a bad defensive player.

Gibberman: True. Afflalo no longer has the foot speed he once did to guard at a high level. The hope is he perks up and can be an average defender. That would be nice.

Fisher-Cohen: True. He was an overrated defender in the past and is worse now.

Kurylo: From these stats [!/201167/tracking/defense/], it would seem he gets burned on the inside. So I’d agree with Gibberman, he’s lost a step & is going to be hurting against speedier players. Maybe against smaller lineups, he can play SF more capably.

Cronin: He’s definitely lost a few steps on defense. I don’t know if he is a bad defender, per se, but he is not much more than mediocre. Sadly mediocre is a huge step up from the likes of THJ, Calderon and Shved.

True or False: Afflalo is worth $16M over 2 years.

Gibberman: I didn’t want the Knicks to sign Afflalo, but I’m fine with this contract. Best case scenario is he plays wells, opts out, and the Knicks move on to a higher level shooting guard next summer with available cap space.

Fisher-Cohen: Absolutely true, but the player option means he’ll almost definitely be gone in a year (unless he falls apart). As the Knicks aren’t going anywhere this year, his only real value to this team is that he inflates their win total, theoretically making them more appealing to next year’s FA class.

Cronin: It’s not an awful contract in a vacuum, as $8 million is about what mediocre players get paid nowadays (see Corey Brewer).I just don’t like the idea of spending $13 million on two mediocre players where the best case scenario is that they have good years and then you lose them after the first year or have to use some of your new cap room to re-sign them and risk losing out on a max-level free agent. If this team is not going to be a contender next season, what is the point of devoting $8 million in cap space to a 30-year-old mediocre player like Afflalo? Forget the fact that Cory Joseph ended up signing long-term for $7.5 million a year, I just wanted to wait period – use the cap room to acquire longterm assets, not short-term “assets” like Afflalo, who, even if you are right about his chances of bouncing back, you’ll then either lose him after one year or have to use some newly found cap space to keep him! It’s just a strange signing. Lopez and O’Quinn were fine signings, as both could theoretically be parts of the next good Knick team. Afflalo and Williams are unlikely to be part of the future (and if you think Williams will be part of the future, why give him a player option so that he can leave after one year? It just doesn’t follow).

Kurylo: Agree with Brian Cronin. What’s the point of giving a player an option in year 2? If he sucks, you’re screwed. If he’s good, he’s gone. Why not save the cash and get some prospects? Cap space can be an asset, especially around mid-season if you’re looking to inject yourself in a trade that needs some extra room.

Knicks Morning News (2015.07.07)

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  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Prospect Has Deal With Minnesota Timberwolves (Tue, 07 Jul 2015 02:25:14 GMT)

    The Serb Nemanja Bjelica, the Euroleague’s most valuable player, was the team’s second-round draft pick.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | College Basketball: Syracuse Tops in Basketball Attendance (Tue, 07 Jul 2015 02:22:04 GMT)

    The Orange topped Kentucky for the second straight year.