2016 FA Roundtable: Courtney Lee

PLUGH: This was a really strong signing. Lee has bounced around during his NBA career, but it seems to be one of those unfortunate situations where he has enough skill to be a starting role player on good teams, but not good enough to meet the loftier aspirations of the teams that thought they could be better. The “shooting guard” spot in the NBA is one of those sexy positions that teams think they can fill with a dynamic, star player. Teams want that creator, shooter, defender, alpha personality at that spot. It’s the way a team can carve out some sort of identity in the small ball world. The point guard has taken over that sex appeal in recent years, but there’s something still mythical about the two guard spot. Lee is called a “3 and D” player, which is mainly a fair label. It’s being oversold a bit in the contemporary NBA because the profile is in such demand. Those two skills, floor spacing and defense, are a premium for role players because the league is dominated by superstar, high usage characters. If you have one (or more) of those characters you’ll need to pay them, and you’ll need to surround them with guys who can shoot. If those same guys can’t play defense, you’re gonna lose. Makes sense.

Lee is adequate on defense. He’s athletic, active, and he can be a pest. Is he a great defender? That’s debatable, but he’s certainly an upgrade over Arron Afflalo and the 2015-16 crew. He’s a good basketball personality fit for a team that now has some primary contributors on offense. He could be in store for some really big nights for the Knicks, in the same way Afflalo was had he been able to put any arc on his three pointers. It was a great value signing that will undoubtedly make Phil look smart….kind of a Robin Lopez sneaky good signing.

FISHER-COHEN: The same timeline issues with Noah and Rose apply to Lee, who will be 31 this coming season. With the $105m cap pretty much already priced into this year’s contracts, Lee is making like $7.5m in 13/14 dollars. This is bench player money for a passable starter whose skillset makes him a nice fit with just about any lineup or system. I like this deal.

CRONIN: You shouldn’t, but if you’re going to commit to a decent team filled with veterans, then Courtney Lee is a very fine player. Honestly, besides Porzingis’ hoped improvement and whatever the new European guys bring, the spot where the Knicks really improved themselves from last year was adding Lee to replace Afflalo and Vujacic. That’s a huge improvement. But yeah, he obviously makes a lot more sense on a team with a more realistic chance to “win now,” but at least he is a good player without a significant injury history.

MA: He’s just OK, but he’s not oft-injured like the other shooting guard the Knicks were considering, Eric Gordon. So, good choice considering the options.

UDWARY: Courtney Lee is pretty much the definition of an average player, which is much improved from anyone the Knicks had in the backcourt last year. We’re not overpaying him for this year, or likely next year, but who know about year 3 and 4 when he is 33 and 34 years old. Early in this stint with the Knicks, Phil Jackson seemed to be walking the line between building for the future and building an immediate contender. It is obvious now that he is going all in on “win now” with these long term contracts for veterans, which makes us likely to continue the mediocrity we’ve seen under the past 4 GMs. At least we aren’t trading 1st round picks, though, so I guess we’re getting smarter in very small increments.

KURYLO: Finally the Knicks acquire a player without shooting efficiency questions (career ts% 54.6%) or injury concerns (77+ games played in 6 of 8 seasons). Lee is supposedly a strong defender, but I’m not seeing from a numerical aspect. According to 82games.com in 2015, the Grizzlies were 7.1 points worse on defense with Lee on the floor. He played 51 games the next year for them the next year, and Memphis was 5.6 points better. But in the second half of that year, the Hornets’ defense was 3.9 points worse. Of course shooting guards don’t affect team defense as much as big men, so perhaps that explains the poor numbers on/off the court.

I like that Phil Jackson is at least trying to pay attention to the defensive side of the ball. However I’m not sure if Lee fits the bill. I’d like this deal so much more if he were 2-4 years younger. I’m concerned that he’s on the wrong side of his career, although I don’t think he’ll still be in a Knicks uniform by the end of his 4 year contract.

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Mike Kurylo

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).

87 thoughts to “2016 FA Roundtable: Courtney Lee”

  1. Good stuff guys, not much to add. Wonder whether Lee had some on/off comparison with Tony Allen. That’s the first guy I think of when I think of SG defense.

  2. I like the fact that of our 7 core rotation players (Rose, Lee, Melo, KP, Noah, Jennings, Thomas) we have 4 defensive-minded guys (Noah, KP, Thomas, Lee). I’m not sure how I feel about defensive stats; effort is key to me.

  3. I think effort is important, but not as key as physical skill and what I’ll call data processing speed. Amare always gave effort, but was slow at processing no matter how hard he worked. Calderon gave effort but was not physically capable. KP gave effort last year but was pushed around, foul prone, and not in 82-game condition. Lopez gave effort but was very vulnerable when switched onto perimeter players. Any of these weaknesses have a domino effect.

    Lee has a pretty good rep for perimeter D, so hopefully he will be a significant upgrade. Rose and Jennings? Not so much.

  4. Courtney Lee is essentially what some people thought we were getting last year with Afflalo. He’s fine as a player, but we (stop me if this sounds familiar) overpaid over too many years. Sure, we’ll be able to move his contract at some point, just like we were able to move JR, or Felton, or Jose.

  5. Wow – we just signed our old friend Maurice Ndour to a 2 year guaranteed deal.
    Surprising they gave him a guaranteed deal but I like that it’s for the vet minimum x 2.
    Looks like he barely played at all for Real Madrid.

  6. So that’s 14 guaranteed contracts.
    Feels like Ronnie Baker and Randle will be fighting for that last spot. Or will be relegated to D-league.

  7. Courtney Lee is essentially what some people thought we were getting last year with Afflalo. He’s fine as a player, but we (stop me if this sounds familiar) overpaid over too many years. Sure, we’ll be able to move his contract at some point, just like we were able to move JR, or Felton, or Jose.

    C’mon, man, everyone got overpaid over too many years. I thought the Lee signing was one we could all agree was a good one.

    Lee 4 years, $50 million
    Solomon Hill 4 years, $48 million
    Tyler Johnson 4 years, $50 million
    Mahinmi 4 years, $64 million

  8. Ndour! So right now that puts the depth chart at…

    PG: Rose/Jennings
    SG: Lee/Holiday/Sasha
    SF: Melo/Thomas/Kuzminskas /Ndour
    PF: Porzingis/O’Quinn/Hernangomez
    C: Noah/Plumlee

    Hmm… the Kuzminskas signing would have seemed to make Ndour unnecessary, and now we have to choose between giving the last spot to a veteran center or a third point guard for the inevitable Rose and/or Jennings injuries.

    Looks like Ron Baker and/or Chasson Randle may have to be signed to partially guaranteed deals so we can park them in Westchester without giving them roster spots.

  9. we just need another guard period. 5 total guards, 1 of which is Vujacic is not a good plan. Phil seems to have this issue with overloading the team with bigs.

  10. Hard to know since we haven’t seen him play since last summer, but he did shoot 43.5% from 3 his last year of college, and he is a shot blocker. A SF/PF tweener that can hit 3s and protect the rim is pretty rare.

  11. Solomon Hill and Tyler Johnson are substantially younger and were arguably better than Courtney Lee last year. They’re reasonably likely to improve their level of play over the length of their contracts. It’s likely that Courtney Lee will get worse. There’s some risk, of course, because they don’t have the substantial track record that Lee does, but that’s the sort of risk the Knicks should be taking. Will it matter that much? Probably not, but it’s still not the best way to use our money.

    Ndour is a good signing. We should use our last roster spot on a point guard, because we are going to need one.

  12. PG: Rose/Jennings
    SG: Lee/Holiday/Sasha
    SF: Melo/Thomas/Kuzminskas /Ndour
    PF: Porzingis/O’Quinn/Hernangomez
    C: Noah/Plumlee

    Big Willy is a center, which makes the Ndour deal understandable.

  13. I like the NDour signing, but I’d feel a little disappointed if we lost Randle because of that.

  14. @12 I’ll admit I have no idea how these negotiations go. Like with Lee, did we offer him 2 years and he and his agent said 4 years or we go elsewhere? I do agree with some that Phil may not be the best negotiator, but if it was a matter of not signing him to lop a couple of years off his contract, I’d still opt to do the 5 year deal.

  15. If someone is 30 you should be more willing to overpay in dollars than to overpay in years-that’s what Phil doesn’t seem to get (and to be fair, he’s hardly the only GM to fuck this up). If Lee won’t take a 2 year deal then you thank him for his time and move on. He’s not particularly good.

  16. Solomon Hill and Tyler Johnson are substantially younger and were arguably better than Courtney Lee last year. They’re reasonably likely to improve their level of play over the length of their contracts. It’s likely that Courtney Lee will get worse. There’s some risk, of course, because they don’t have the substantial track record that Lee does, but that’s the sort of risk the Knicks should be taking. Will it matter that much? Probably not, but it’s still not the best way to use our money.

    I like both Hill and Johnson but this is sort of an apples and oranges comparison here.

    Hill is a SF/PF — played 100% of his minutes at SF last season and 74% as SF and 26% as PF this past season. He’s a demonstrably worse 3 point shooter than Lee, although certainly can improve. But since we already have the Melo/KP tandem playing probably 70% of the SF/PF minutes, should we spend $13MM/year on another one?

    Tyler Johnson is fine, but he was a restricted free agent. Lee was signed on day 2 of FA, and most of the other prominent wing types were gone by day 3-4. If we offered Johnson on day 2, we would have missed the boat completely. FAs and agents would’ve known we had a huge hole at SG, and we would have ended up completely overpaying for a SG rather than possibly slightly underpaying (for more years)

  17. In a vacuum, the Lee signing is fine and more or less in line with what the market dictated. My problem with it is, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before, he doesn’t fit into our timeline. Additionally, it wouldn’t surprise me if Galloway was better over the next 4 years. Would rather have re-signed him and had extra money to boot.

    Lee 4 years, $50 million
    Solomon Hill 4 years, $48 million
    Tyler Johnson 4 years, $50 million
    Mahinmi 4 years, $64 million

    I think I would’ve been happier with any of the other three.

  18. In a vacuum, the Lee signing is fine and more or less in line with what the market dictated. My problem with it is, and stop me if you’ve heard this one before, he doesn’t fit into our timeline. Additionally, it wouldn’t surprise me if Galloway was better over the next 4 years. Would rather have re-signed him and had extra money to boot.

    It’s possible to chew gum and walk at the same time. We basically have 2 timelines –> Melo’s and KP’s. Melo’s time is now, and probably for the next 2-3 years. KP, assuming he re-signs after his rookie deal, is probably here for 12+ more years.

    We have 9 draft picks over the next 4 years. We can compete now and also get younger at the same time.

  19. I like both Hill and Johnson but this is sort of an apples and oranges comparison here.

    I was replying to d-mar.

    Hill is a SF/PF — played 100% of his minutes at SF last season and 74% as SF and 26% as PF this past season. He’s a demonstrably worse 3 point shooter than Lee, although certainly can improve. But since we already have the Melo/KP tandem playing probably 70% of the SF/PF minutes, should we spend $13MM/year on another one?

    One thing this team was short of going into the offseason was good basketball players. KP is allegedly transitioning to center-we could have found minutes for SH if he was on the team.

    Tyler Johnson is fine, but he was a restricted free agent. Lee was signed on day 2 of FA, and most of the other prominent wing types were gone by day 3-4. If we offered Johnson on day 2, we would have missed the boat completely.

    Possibly. But that would have been okay.

  20. For all the shit I talk about Melo’s overpaidness, he’s doing a good job on this latest round of murder-by-cop cases. I don’t care if he’s writing the releases or not; his brand is the vehicle and he’s putting it in motion. I’m into it.

  21. From Berman:

    The Knicks are light on veterans in the frontcourt to back up Joakim Noah and Kristaps Porzingis. Ndour joins fellow NBA rookies Willy Hernangomez and Marshall Plumlee. The Knicks have 14 players on guaranteed pacts, but there’s no assurance Plumlee or Ndour will make the 15-man roster.

    Maybe Plumlee or Ndour had other offers, so the Knicks had to guarantee some money?

  22. the 4th and most likely 3rd year is going to wind up looking bad for lee….. it’s pretty rare for someone of lee’s caliber to even make it to 35 let alone play well… with just this year in mind it’ll probably be ok tho….

    our bench looks pretty horrid and i can say for certain that’ll be one of the biggest things holding this team back even if we manage to get some insane injury luck….

  23. Jennings and O’Quinn are good backups, and Lance is fine if he can hit 3’s at a reasonable clip. Sasha is awesome. The rest, who knows? A team like ours should have some unknowns on the bench.

  24. how can the coaches get Lee to put his 3pt shooting to better use? Why is he only shooting around 3PAs per game?

  25. We have to live in the world as it is, not how we’d like it to be. Sure it’d be better if Lee were 2-4 years younger, but if he were he might not have been available and/ or would have surely cost more money (giving everyone here something else to complain about). Likewise, the 4th year is not ideal, but if you look at the other free agent deals that were signed, they are mostly longer terms. So to get Lee, who is a definite upgrade at the 2 for the Knicks, they likely had to give the 4th year so someone else would have. They improved the team for the upcoming year and had to compromise by paying more and longer than they really wanted to, but the talent level was upgraded.

  26. i guess where we defer is that i don’t think lance and sasha will be fine…. and aside from wily it’s unlikely another candidate emerges to fill minutes….

  27. i read on another board that N’dour looked pretty good recently against team canada.

  28. I think we should sign more veterans for the synergy

  29. My respect for Melo has rapidly increased these past few days. Some things are more important than building a good NBA roster.

    It’s possible to chew gum and walk at the same time. We basically have 2 timelines –> Melo’s and KP’s. Melo’s time is now, and probably for the next 2-3 years. KP, assuming he re-signs after his rookie deal, is probably here for 12+ more years.

    But even if our (misguided, IMO) goal is to be as competitive as possible in the short term, we haven’t gone about that efficiently at all. We traded a good player and a perfectly decent developing player for the worst player in the NBA. That’s not how you “win now”.

  30. our bench looks pretty horrid and i can say for certain that’ll be one of the biggest things holding this team back even if we manage to get some insane injury luck….

    Seriously a lot needs to break right on that bench. I’m counting 7 well-established NBA rotation players on this roster (and one of those is Lance Thomas who has one good year under his belt), 9 if we want to be generous to KOQ and one of Sasha or Holiday. That’s not a disaster, except that obviously (as we’ve discussed ad nauseum) a bunch of the guys we’re penciling in for big minutes have various sizes of question marks.

    This is the problem with trying to put together a “contender” in Free Agency with minimal talent to speak of in place on the roster to begin with. You just can’t get a deep roster by paying market rates for veterans. Which bring us back to Lee. Perfectly good player, perfectly reasonable contract (although I’m with DRed I think we could’ve insisted on paying in $, not years). Are there things that would have been better for this team to do with the money? I personally kinda think so.

  31. I like the Courtney Lee signing. He will prevent the SG position from being an irredeemable black hole for probably two seasons or so, then will probably still shoot well enough to be a decent bench piece at the back end of the contract. His 3PT% is incredibly stable– he’s over .370 year after year after year and in his good years he’s up over .400. The fact that he plays some defense too and is highly durable are both obvious positives.

  32. I’m curious to see who performs better over the next 4 years: Courtney Lee or Eric Gordon.

  33. Eric Gordon is just such a horrible defensive player. He’s bad at every component of defense: his effort sucks, he has terrible lateral movement, he has no core strength, he has mediocre length, his hands are not active… He is a significantly worse defender than Lee in my opinion so he would have to really outproduce Lee on the offensive end to be a more valuable player. Plus there is the obvious discrepancy in durability.

  34. Hopefully Plumlee gets cut or something and we sign Baker and Randle to our last two spots. Though I’m not sure how roster spots work with partially guaranteed contracts and waivers, etc.

    Lee’s gonna be better than Gordon I’m about 80-90% sure.

  35. It’s pretty funny that, last year, a lot of people on this site were utterly outraged that Phil let Ndour get away. Now that he’s signed him to a cheap guaranteed two year deal? Eh. Big deal.

  36. Idk if I was one of those people, but I really dig the signing. I feel like Phil makes smarter moves at the margins than he does with the big stuff, though of course letting go Gallo was pretty dumb.

  37. So now that we have almost all of the offseason moves Phil’s gonna make, how about we grade him on each move. My entirely unscientific provisional grades follow, I’m trying to grade within the context of Phil’s vision, rather than what he should be doing, and also trying to avoid evaluating by way of opportunity cost, as that’s often speculative (unless it’s really obvious that we could’ve gotten better value through other plays):

    A
    Signing Brandon Jennings for 5M/1yr
    B
    Joakim Noah (if he’s durable)
    Signing Willy Hernangomez to a 3-4 yr deal (can’t remember the year number)
    B-
    Courtney Lee
    Mindaugas Kuszminiskas
    Ron Baker partially guaranteed deal
    C
    Resigning Lance Thomas
    Signing N’Dour
    Resigning Vuj
    C-
    Signing Plumlee
    D-
    Letting Gallo go
    Joakim if he’s unhealthy
    F
    Not acquiring a 2nd round pick with cash
    F-
    D-Rose trade (unless helps in getting Westbrook, in which case we still gave up too many assets in a bid against ourselves)

    Overall offseason grade (within Phil’s vision): C (the Rose trade is just horrible and other than that there was a fair combination of smart margin moves, risky FA plays, and missed opportunities)

    Overall offseason grade (in the context of what he should be doing): D

    Overall grade ex post Westbrook (pleasepleasepleaseplease): B+

  38. he would have to really outproduce Lee on the offensive end to be a more valuable player. Plus there is the obvious discrepancy in durability.

    Yeah, that’s why I’m curious to see how it turns out. Gordon, when he was healthy, was a better player than Lee at his peak. The durability + D is the issue. As Mike K says, we’ll see about the D. But wouldn’t it be typical if Rose, Noah, and Lee are all injury plagued/declining due to age while Eric Gordon plays in all 328 games of his contract?

  39. It’s pretty funny that, last year, a lot of people on this site were utterly outraged that Phil let Ndour get away. Now that he’s signed him to a cheap guaranteed two year deal? Eh. Big deal.

    I agree with you that the reaction to Ndour last year was a bit over the top, but I still feel obliged to point out that the it is in no way a contradiction to think you can be really, really dumb for not doing something, and yet simultaneously completely unworthy of praise for doing that exact same thing. There’s a reason nobody congratulates you on the train every morning for wearing clothes that day.

  40. I was bummed when we didn’t sign N’dour, but only in that “hey, he looked great against scrubs playing horrible summer league basketball” kind of way.Nice to have him back, though! Put it this way…can he be worse than Cle?

    I’d like to see Baker and Randle get a real shot during training camp, both seemed to have at least minimal NBA-level skills. We have several minimum guys who can be cut, right? Plumlee didn’t impress me much…do we really need him with O’Quinn on the roster?

    Question: when can these minimum types be packaged in a trade? For example, can they be used during preseason to make an O’Quinn deal for a more expensive player easier to make in terms of matching salaries?

  41. We traded a good player and a perfectly decent developing player for the worst player in the NBA. That’s not how you “win now”.

    Your opposition to this is rooted in the “Derrick Rose is irredeemably the worst player in the NBA” narrative. Not to relitigate this whole thing (which is a big part of what we do here at Knickerblogger) but I just don’t think that will necessarily play out the way you think it will.

  42. PG: Rose/Jennings
    SG: Lee/Holiday/Sasha
    SF: Melo/Thomas/Kuzminskas /Ndour
    PF: Porzingis/O’Quinn/Hernangomez
    C: Noah/Plumlee

    It’s more like:
    PG: Rose/Jennings
    SG: Lee/Holiday/Sasha
    SF: Melo/Thomas/Kuzminskas
    PF: Porzingis/O’Quinn/Ndour
    C: Noah/Hernangomez/Plumlee

    Which is why I think that the edge for #15 goes to Baker. I like Ndour (I think we all fell in love last year) but I remain worried about a backup for Noah. If the roster holds, it seems to indicate that we should expect to see Porzingis play lots of center with the second unit. Horny subbing KP out early to go small (Jennings or Thomas) and then bringing KP back in when either Rose or Melo rests. It’ll be interesting to watch the substitution patterns since Hornecek stated he would try and have 2 out of 3 of Melo/Rose/KP on the floor at all times.

  43. ndour is a pretty mediocre prospect he’s 24 already and didn’t really play all that much last year… we’re basically basing this off of his ok summer league appearance…. coming out of college he was a meh prospect to begin with and given his age he needs to be nba viable right now…. i just don’t see it…

  44. Your opposition to this is rooted in the “Derrick Rose is irredeemably the worst player in the NBA” narrative. Not to relitigate this whole thing (which is a big part of what we do here at Knickerblogger) but I just don’t think that will necessarily play out the way you think it will.

    I don’t necessarily think that my car can’t get hit by a falling UFO right now, but I also don’t think that my car is going to be hit by a falling UFO right now.

  45. The third point guard on this team, whoever it is, is probably going to see a fair amount of minutes considering the shaky health of Rose and Jennings. The “healthy” Rose still missed 20% of the Bulls’ games last year, and Jennings has played 48 and 41 games the last two years.

  46. RE: Ndour – prob worth reading this post at P&T. Apparently he led all players in rebounds and blocks in the qualifying tournament, and definitely belonged on the court against Canada, which has a lot of NBA players on it – Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Ennis, as well as an almost-NBA player in Anthony Bennett. Of course he also shot 5/15 for the game, but was 4/8 on 3’s, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks.

  47. @45

    Yea, we totally shouldn’t be signing relatively young players for the minimum. No upside there.

    So, I guess you think we should be looking to get…David Lee?

    Haterz just wanna hate. We sign a young guy? Bad move. We sign a veteran? Bad move.

    If only we could get LeBron for the veteran minimum! If Phil could make that happen he wouldn’t be so bad.

  48. I don’t necessarily think that my car can’t get hit by a falling UFO right now, but I also don’t think that my car is going to be hit by a falling UFO right now.

    well now you’re just being ridiculous

  49. RE: N’Dour
    I like the signing. Alot. Hate the timing. Sasha’s spot should have gone to him, then Phil could bring Randle and Baker aboard to have 3 more players to develop at the bottom of the roster. And then, when Melo/Rose/Jennings/Noah inevitably has to be shut down for a few games, those guys can be ready to step in. Just think..we could have had 6 developing players for the future with only one expected to be a major contributor in KP/Hernangomez/Kuz/N’Dour/Baker/Randle. This is something that the Spurs have always been good at. Granted, they had that luxury because the top 9 or so guys on their roster have been good enough for them to do so. Still, I don’t see why Phil couldn’t follow that model this season.

    Our top 9 guys aren’t too shabby. Their biggest issue has been health. There is reason for optimism on that front though. Rose and Jennings are 2 years removed from serious injury and Melo’s not far behind. In Noah’s case, he still is very mobile and active on defense despite injuries. And very effective too. Chances are his shoulder is good and he’ll be healthy. I forgot to mention Plumlee. All he really has to do is run the floor and play defense right now. I think he can do that. He’s supposedly the more athletic and skilled of the 3 brothers. We’ll see. At a mobile 7′ 250, I think he has a good chance to stick

  50. I wouldn’t bash Phil for not buying a 2nd rounder. He would have used it to draft Baker or Plumlee, or a guy just like them, who we got anyway.

    How we can grade these 2nd rounders / undrafted / foreign guys we’ve never seen play is beyond me. If Ron Baker makes the team and plays more than 200 minutes, it means something else went horribly wrong.

    I hate to sound like Buck Nasty; Silky Johnson; but in my mind these guys are all skeezers, skanks, skig-scags and scallywoops

  51. What can be said about your opinions about the value of second rounders that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan?

    But seriously, I think there’s no reason that you don’t take a 2nd there–you know Baker and Plumlee aren’t getting drafted, so you can still sign them, plus you get another piece to play with in the form of Whitehead, GP2, etc. It’s not a franchise killing move, but it was a zero risk, all upside investment that he passed up on. Not a big deal in the whole scheme of things, but hey, if Derrick Rose can bounce back from 4 seasons of terrible play, we also might as well try to win a 2nd round scratch off lotto ticket, no?

  52. Not a big deal in the whole scheme of things, but hey, if Derrick Rose can bounce back from 4 seasons of terrible play

    It doesn’t help the anti-Rose cause when its champions continually exaggerate how long he’s been back since the knee injuries.

    He was injured during the 2011-12 season – was putting up WS/48 >0.200 the season when that happened.

    He missed the whole 2012-13 season recovering from the ACL.

    He played 10 games in 2013-14 because of the meniscus repair.

    He was pretty bad in 2014-15 after coming off 2 knee surgeries and missing basically 2 years of playing basketball.

    He was very bad especially in the beginning of 2015-16 while playing with double vision and missing all of training camp dealing with the eye. He was bad but less bad later on in the season.

    So really, he’s had TWO bad seasons since coming back from knee surgery (2014-15 and 2015-16) with a total of about 3500 minutes played. For a starter, that’s about 100 games worth of play, or about 1.2 seasons. Of those 3500 minutes, about 550 were played with double vision. So in truth, he’s had about 3000 bad minutes spread over 2 seasons, which is about 1 season of starter minutes.

    I don’t think I’m being overoptimistic by saying yes, he’s been terrible since his knee surgeries, but that there are mitigating circumstances that give some hope.

  53. It doesn’t help the anti-Rose cause when its champions continually exaggerate how long he’s been back since the knee injuries.

    By that same token, though, it seemed that after every game that arose played well in, the Bulls said “he’s back!”, and every game he struggled in, the Bulls said “he’s still seeing double”.

    (Plus, it has to be considered that in 1927, admitted alcoholic Paul Waner of the Pittsburg Pirates batted .380 by “swinging at the ball in the middle”:)

  54. @50 – relatively young compared to the rest of the roster but relatively old for a prospect…. same goes for plumlee who’s 24, baker who’s 23, kuzminiskas who’s 27…. two of those guys got guaranteed two year deals and kuz got significant money for someone who probably isn’t much better than any of those guys….

    the last 4-6 spots are always hard to fill on any roster… but i challenge anyone to find a worse 5 than ours…..

  55. well now you’re just being ridiculous

    And when Rose puts up another terrible season, you will have more excuses for why the extreme case (i.e. Rose is good) did not happen and the likely case (i.e. Rose is terrible) did.

  56. The third point guard on this team, whoever it is, is probably going to see a fair amount of minutes considering the shaky health of Rose and Jennings. The “healthy” Rose still missed 20% of the Bulls’ games last year, and Jennings has played 48 and 41 games the last two years.

    Jennings played in 80 and 80 games the two years before that, but it’s pretty obvious he’s on a downward spiral.

  57. Rose missed a bunch of the 2011-2012 season with other injuries he had sustained prior to the torn ACL. Then he tore the ACL in the playoffs.

    He missed the entire 2012-2013 season.

    He played 10 games in the 2013-2014 season before hurting his other knee, the right knee, and getting shut down for that season.

    He played 51 games in the 2014-2015 season and played poorly, then re-injured the right knee.

    He played 66 games in the 2015-2016 season and played even worse than he did in 2014-2015, because of yet another injury, this time to his face.

    Either this is the unluckiest man in the world, or he is, uh, kinda injury prone. Any way you slice it, he has either missed substantial time or has played like garbage in five consecutive seasons. Sometimes both. Let’s not pretend he has just had two bad seasons. He has not been both good and healthy for a real long time.

  58. It’s going to be fun to see Ndour going from awesome to a scrub to awesome again based on the jersey he wears. ;)

    Seriously, though, I dig the signing, but boy, Sasha’s roster spot seems like a bit of a waste now.

  59. By the way, doesn’t it just seem like there should be an apostrophe in Ndour’s name?

  60. He has not been both good and healthy for a real long time.

    TRUE

    Let’s not pretend he has just had two bad seasons.

    It’s not called pretending if it’s the truth.

    He played 51 games in the 2014-2015 season and played poorly, then re-injured the right knee. He played 66 games in the 2015-2016 season and played even worse than he did in 2014-2015, because of yet another injury, this time to his face.

    That’s what i said. 3500 minutes. 550 of which he played with a broken face and couldn’t see. Thanks for agreeing!

    Any way you slice it, he has either missed substantial time or has played like garbage in five consecutive seasons.

    If one injury takes you out for 2 seasons, does that mean you’ve played 2 bad seasons? Or does it mean you had 1 injury?

    Either this is the unluckiest man in the world, or he is, uh, kinda injury prone

    No argument there.
    But plenty of players have been injury prone, then been quite durable after. Just off the top of my head: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Grant Hill, Steph Curry, Brook Lopez, Antonio Mcdyess.

    Again – there are more players who are injury prone that keep getting injured than those who don’t. But for a year? Sure he can be healthy for a year.

    It’ll be up to Phil and the rest of the FO to decide what to do if he is healthy and plays ok/well this year. But it’s not a foregone conclusion one way or the other.

    And when Rose puts up another terrible season, you will have more excuses for why the extreme case (i.e. Rose is good) did not happen and the likely case (i.e. Rose is terrible) did.

    It depends on the reason he’s bad. If he gets hit by a car and so misses half the season, sure I’ll call that an excuse. If he gets another injury in the course of regular play, then no, I won’t have any excuses. If he just sucks, then fine, I’m wrong.

  61. “And when Rose puts up another terrible season, you will have more excuses for why the extreme case (i.e. Rose is good) did not happen and the likely case (i.e. Rose is terrible) did.”

    I, for one, will promise not to do this, and will give you full credit for being right with no equivocation…so long as you will do the same if Rose plays very well (i.e., you promise to admit with earnestness and humility that you were dead wrong and that Phil was right, with absolutely no equivocation.)

    And please, none of the “well, everyone thinks he’s playing great but he really isn’t” nonsense that you have often spouted about his MVP year.

  62. I wonder if N’dour would have been drafted if he came out this year? I think he is a skinny version of Taj Gibson who also came out of USC as a 24 y/o. I do not put it against N’Dour that he didn’t get on the floor for Real Madrid, who is one of the best teams in the world, as a rookie when he started late and was coming off of a recent injury. The fact that Real wanted him at all was promising. The time he got practicing with Real was probably very valuable.

  63. And please, none of the “well, everyone thinks he’s playing great but he really isn’t” nonsense that you have often spouted about his MVP year.

    How about some verifiable benchmarks?

    THCJ will admit he was wrong if what? Derrick Rose has a WS/48 over .150?

    You will admit you were wrong if its below .100?

    Call it a draw in between?

  64. If one injury takes you out for 2 seasons, does that mean you’ve played 2 bad seasons? Or does it mean you had 1 injury?

    But one injury DID NOT take him out for two seasons. I don’t know how many times I have to type this. I’ll do it one more time.

    In 2011-2012 he missed 40% of the Bulls’ games with injuries to his toe, ankle, groin and back. This was BEFORE the ACL injury. Then, in the playoffs, he tore the ACL. He did miss the entire 2012-2013 season– ONE SEASON– because of the torn ACL. Then he came back the following year, the 2013-2014 season, and started on opening day, making it 10 games before injuring the other knee, which caused him to miss 72 games.

  65. How about some verifiable benchmarks?

    THCJ will admit he was wrong if what? Derrick Rose has a WS/48 over .150?

    You will admit you were wrong if its below .100?

    Call it a draw in between?

    In order for this to have been a successful “gamble” by Phil, I think a few things need to happen:

    1) Rose plays >60 games or maybe could use >1800 regular season minutes as a benchmark

    2) Rose plays reasonably well. I think 0.150 is a bit high to expect, since this entire past season only 7 PGs reached >0.150 and played 1800+ minutes –> Curry, CP3, Westbrook, Lowry, Isiah Thomas, Kemba Walker, and Lillard. The next group includes names like Parker, Teague, Reggie Jackson, all >0.120. So maybe that’s a better break point for playing “well”.

    In term of WS/48 below which we say he “sucked”, then I propose <0.090, since there are some players who are pretty good who are just above that cutoff, like Avery Bradley, John Wall, and Dragic.

  66. @65 – the big difference between ndour and gibson was that gibson was much more of an inside presence in college .600 2p fg%, presumably higher block and rb per 40 but bref doesn’t have minutes data… he also did this at a major conference…

  67. I think it’s a bit bizarre to not count entire seasons missed due recurring injuries as “bad”. I mean, that’s a bad outcome. If he does that for us, the trade will have fuckin’ sucked. Though it may suck less than if he plays like the worst player in the NBA. Again.

  68. Sorry, I haven’t had time to read the entire thread yet but did read just this week that NDour embarrassed Anthony Bennett in a game just this week, totally outplaying him. It might have been at a pre-Olympic tournament somewhere in Europe. Maybe we’ll bring back Wroten next year after a year in purgatory too.

  69. Outplaying Bennent is not that big of an accomplishment but Triston Thompson was also on the floor and if he held his own against him that is a good sign.

  70. What I would like to hear from the pro-Rose crowd is, what is the positive outcome you envision beyond this year? Let’s say Rose bounces back and maximizes his health (72 games) and productivity (#10 PG in the league). This is as good as you can hope for, right?

    Then what? Do you want to resign him to a multi-year deal? Do you want to let him go?

    This is what none of the supporters of the trade are explaining. They’re fixated on “maybe he’ll surprise us and be good again.” Even in the unlikely event that happens, what’s next?

  71. What I would like to hear from the pro-Rose crowd is, what is the positive outcome you envision beyond this year? Let’s say Rose bounces back and maximizes his health (72 games) and productivity (#10 PG in the league). This is as good as you can hope for, right?

    Then what? Do you want to resign him to a multi-year deal? Do you want to let him go?

    This is what none of the supporters of the trade are explaining. They’re fixated on “maybe he’ll surprise us and be good again.” Even in the unlikely event that happens, what’s next?

    For me —

    1) Renounce Rose’s bird rights. His cap hold and even his max contract # are about the same, so it does us no good to keep his cap hold.

    2) Meet with Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul, order doesn’t matter to me. If either wants to come, I don’t let them out of the room.

    3) Failing CP3/RW signing, then Phil and co. have to sit down and decide who the best free agent PG is. I truly don’t believe they are emotionally committed to Rose. There’s a guy on Twitter @JSports_ent who seems to have sources reasonably high up in the Knicks (has been called out by the regular beat writers as having good sources) who has said they are not committed to Rose any more than they should be.

    4) If re-signing Rose, I would not give him the max. Depending on how he plays, I wouldn’t give him more than 3 years and with some injury guarantees. If his market is that great that he can get max $ and years elsewhere, then I let him go. Lots of PG on the market next year.

  72. @Frank

    The guy on Twitter you referenced basically nailed the Knicks’ signing of Noah and Lee down to a tee long before anybody else. Also was very strong early on that Lance would be back with the Knicks.

  73. No chance in hell that he cracks 0.090.

    No chance.

  74. @Frank

    What you explained there is what you think the Knicks should do next summer wrt to Rose, not how the Rose trade might help the Knicks beyond this season. I think that was really OakmanCometh’s point/question:

    what is the positive outcome you envision beyond this year?

  75. What about .009?

    Possible, but Win Shares has a boner for volume shooting. If he runs the offense while Melo is out, he’ll be jacking up shots left and right.

    If he breaks .500 TS%, we’ll be lucky.

  76. Lots of hedging going on here recently. Some of you are going to be so embarrassed. Get your excuses ready.

  77. It’s pretty sad that we’re setting 1750 minutes and a .500 TS% as what constitutes a “good” Derrick Rose season. Shane Larkin cleared both of those barriers last year.

  78. I think the over should be whatever ws and min numbers Grant puts up.

    But Grant isn’t a one-year gamble. He has upside well beyond next year. Only the “optimists” care about how these guys perform next year. If Rose doesn’t outperform Grant in 2016-17, then the trade is an even bigger disaster than even the pessimists could have foreseen.

  79. @85 Donnie Walsh

    If you’ll indulge me as I externally process some thoughts your comment piqued:

    How much upside, realistically speaking? He’ll be 24 when the NBA season starts. According to the “pessimists,” he’s only got 2 years left to improve before his career arc becomes set in stone.

    Is Grant one of those insatiably hardworking types that raise one skill to an NBA level every off-season? I’m curious as if you bet on him having a David Lee or Kawhi Leonard-paced improvement arc. Or even if it’s reasonable to expect him to split the difference and add one NBA level skill before his improvement tops out. Or he plateaus, and his best asset is his rookie contract.

    Phil drafted him because he was a 6’5 point guard, but it only took one Summer League’s worth of observational data before he soured on him.

    Is Phil’s evaluation wrong?

    Do you hold onto young players, regardless of context, because that’s what best practices are?

  80. Doug–

    1) Even if he has “only” two more years of development before he plateaus, that is better than having none.

    2) Grant doesn’t need to have a Leonard-pace arc to be better than Derrick Rose going forward. That is the context of this discussion.

    3) Phil’s opinion of Grant may not have soured. He may honestly think Rose is going to rebound. Or, he also may think more people will pay to see Rose wear a Knick uniform. Or, he may think Grant will be better in the long run, but he’s playing for 2016-17, not beyond.

    4) when you only have a few players on the roster with upside, and you are not in a position to contend, I think you should hold on to them. I don’t think that regardless of context. I think that in this particular context.

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