Knicks Morning News (2016.01.12)

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks Daily Links: Tuesday (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 05:30:39 EST)

    Knicks Daily Links: Tuesday

  • [New York Times] Warriors Beat Heat 111-103 for 36th Straight Home Win (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 07:10:02 GMT)

    Stephen Curry and the rest of the Golden State Warriors starters struggled to pull away from Miami.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Win 8th Straight in Nets’ First Game Since Shake-Up (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 05:48:53 GMT)

    The Spurs are the NBA’s pillar of consistency and stability, an organization these Nets could only hope to resemble — on the court and in the front office.

  • [New York Times] Banged-Up Wizards Cruise Past Bulls for 114-100 Win (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 05:03:52 GMT)

    The Washington Wizards used balance and ball movement to make up for another injury to a key performer.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: No Drug Charges for Odom (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 04:54:09 GMT)

    The former N.B.A. star Lamar Odom, who was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel in October with cocaine in his system, will not be charged with any drug counts.

  • [New York Times] Spurs 106, Nets 79: Stable Spurs Meet Turbulent Nets, and the Outcome Is Predictable (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 04:46:24 GMT)

    San Antonio, the N.B.A.’s epitome of consistency, met the Nets, a struggling team that had just fired its coach and reassigned its general manager. Not surprisingly, the Spurs ran away with the game.

  • [New York Times] Pondexter to Undergo Knee Surgery (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 04:42:28 GMT)

    New Orleans forward Quincy Pondexter will undergo surgery on his left knee that will end his season before it begins, the team announced on Monday.

  • [New York Times] Nets’ Owner Takes ‘Full Responsibility’ for State of the Team (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 03:38:39 GMT)

    Mikhail D. Prokhorov, the team’s owner, said he had underestimated the pressures of competing in New York, calling it “maybe my most important lesson.”

  • [New York Times] Spurs Rout Nets 106-79 to Match Best Season Start (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 03:27:28 GMT)

    Forward LaMarcus Aldridge collected 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs matched their best start to an NBA season with a 106-79 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Manu Ginobili Made Spurs Assistant a Believer Back in Italy (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 02:00:19 GMT)

    Ettore Messina signed Ginobili at age 21 to play for him in Italy. Messina is now an assistant for the Spurs as Ginobili, at 38, winds down his N.B.A. career.

  • [New York Times] John Johnson, All-Star Forward in N.B.A., Dies at 68 (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 01:09:53 GMT)

    Johnson was a two-time All-Star with the Cleveland Cavaliers and helped the Seattle SuperSonics win the 1979 N.B.A. title.

  • [New York Daily News] Melo’s winning ticket? Sharing the Powerball, er, basketball (Tue, 12 Jan 2016 03:50:44 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony has already hit a few jackpots — a gorgeous wife, beautiful son and a $124 million contract, just to name a few.

  • 54 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2016.01.12)”

    I know this is a Knicks site, but I just wanted to give a shout out to Joe and Evan’s show on WFAN and the job Evan did with Brett Yormark from the Nets. He was relentless, calling Billy King’s moves “the worst moves in basketball history” and not letting Yormark hide behind the new arena and new D-league team and new training facility — “why would anyone come here? no one is coming”. In the day of softball questions for these executives, they really put Yormark’s feet to the fire. Worth the listen: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/audio/joe-benigno-and-evan-roberts/

    I would have LOVED it if someone had done this to Dolan or Isiah back BKP (before KP).

    (and actually – kudos to Yormark for stepping up for what he surely knew was going to be a grilling. Dolan would never have agreed to that)

    Frank, thanks for the podcast pointer. Definitely worth listening to. I agree Thibs would be a great choice. He has the potential to get reasonable results with modest talent and the Nets need that from a business and a fan point of view. But they probably shoukd hire a GM first. They should consider Geoff Petrie. He did a reasonable job in Sacramento despite really stingy owners and being a known quantity to potential coaches like Thibs might help in luring them to NY.

    Another possible coach who might get reasonable results from a lousy roster for a year or two would be Dave Cowens.

    It is easy to beat up on the new kid with no friends (so to speak). If they did that with an established person, whose return patronage they need I would be impressed (Eli, Cashman, Alderson, any Knicks, Reese …). That team is doomed. The owner is like a walking SNL parody. I definitely agree with the above. They need a GM first, and one who can operate without interference.

    Okay. I’m finally back from my cruise. So what’s all of this stuff I’ve been hearing about the Knicks being transformed into title contenders? Jose is really getting standing ovations? Really? ?

    Well, now that I’m back I certainly hope that there are no turbulent waters ahead for team terrific.

    Thanks for the morning chuckle Reub. I hope the cruise was awesome. I’ve been on one and it was a blast.

    I would feel bad for the Nets but they trolled us pretty good when they moved to Brooklyn.

    Somewhere in the great beyond Red Holtzman is smiling.

    His acolyte, PJ has reworked a team with few assets into a competitive, ball sharing and interesting team in very short order. His moves this past year were sometimes puzzling to most of us, but clearly, the guy gets what works in basketball…. defense and ball movement with unselfish play. While many here don’t like THE system… it is A system that works when properly run and fosters sharing the ball.

    Last off season nary a top end free agent would give the Knicks a second look. I have a feeling top end UFA’s would be very happy to play with a locked up core of Lopez, Zinger and Melo now.

    I know the money is different, but why does anyone think Durant wants to play the rest of his career in OKC with a core that hasn’t been able to win over the past 5 seasons and why must Westbrook want to return when he becomes an UFA in 17? Durant can’t be sure Westbrook will re sign even if he likes playing with him (which isn’t a known, known to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld)

    Durant would look pretty good as a 6’10” 2 guard with Zinger, Melo and Lopez…..

    Durant as a 6’10” 2 guard??

    Anyway, it’s interesting that the biggest reason a Durant might not come here – Melo’s ball-hogging – has changed so significantly this year. He not only looks like a more complete player to all of us, but you have to think that Durant sees someone who’s going to defend, rebound, pass, and yet who, like him, can take anyone in the league one-on-one. It’s a lot more like playing with Lebron … which is still the best way to win a championship. He took that collection of palookas to the Finals and even competed, despite losing Love and Irving. If what we’re seeing is the genesis of that version of Melo, there is no great player in the league who wouldn’t find it appealing to come here, given how solid the team is, how promising Porzingis is, how respected Phil is.

    We still do need a great guard, though. I’d be thrilled with Batum. But I don’t think Durantula is an impossibility, especially if this team continues to gel and compete.

    I love this stat — in his first 27 games this season, LeBron James ranked among the league’s five worst shooters outside the paint at 28.6 percent.

    I think we may be seeing LeBron starting to wear down from always being in the Finals. He’ll still be amazing though because of his mind.

    I am in the minority here, but I don’t get all the love for Batum here at anything in the same time zone of a max contract. He is a very nice, somewhat above player, period. He’s played 16,000 minutes and is what he is.

    This is the first season where he has played extended minutes at the 2 guard (44%) and his ws/48 has plummeted.

    He also has had a pretty serious case of suck fever over 1,000 playoff minutes in 34 games with a ws/48 = .043

    Big money???? Not for me…..

    Umm.. I do not see Durant as a 2.

    But a frontcourt lineup of Durant/Melo/KP would be in-friggin-tense.

    Ummm… I think Durant, Melo , Lopez and Zinger could all play on the floor at the same time without a major problem. Why could Durant not play as a guard in that sort of a line-up with a ball handler /defensive pg? Isn’ he a good enough shooter 🙂 Couldn’t they funnel quicker 2 guards into the twin shot blockers.

    Think outside the box in your fantasies 🙂

    I think Durant’s rookie year they had him at 2 guard and he sucked. He moved to forward the next year with a coaching change and became the player that he is. It is possible that it is all just his natural development and the position change is coincidental or that 6’10” players are not ideally suited to playing guard extensively no matter how awesome they are.

    Batum does better in WP than in WS. He’s third among all shooting guards in overall Wins Produced this year, behind only Jimmy Butler and James Harden. On a per-minute basis he’s third in WP48 behind Butler and Manu Ginobilli. He consistently does well in WP year after year. He’s a boxscore-stuffer.

    He is a very solid rebounder for a SG/SF. He’s pulling down 6.7 boards per 36 this year, and he has had nice TRB% numbers his whole career. He’d be the best rebounding guard on this team by a comfortable margin. The Knicks are not a good defensive rebounding team, and the frontcourt of Lopez-KP-Melo seems locked in, so a guard who can rebound would be a nice thing to have.

    He is the kind of player who does not have any one stand out skill, doesn’t have the one mindblowing stat that makes you go “wow,” but who has a very well-rounded game with few weaknesses. He scores efficiently– career .568 TS%. He’s not a great 3-point shooter, but he’s good– career .363 3PT%. He’s a good defensive player– at 6’8″ he’s long for a two-guard but he is not too slow to guard some of the quicker slashing two-guards in the league. He’s a good passer and a willing passer– has been averaging over 5 assists per game the last three seasons. He gets to the line and is a good free throw shooter.

    Batum’s tepid WS48 this season is largely a byproduct of being on a mediocre team. His TS% is way up this season, rebounds are up, assists are up, usage is way up, turnovers are the same, blocks are the same, steals are the same. Last year he was on a 51-win team, while this year he is on a mediocre team that will probably finish below .500. He is actually playing better this year since moving to SG, regardless of what his WS48 says.

    I am in the minority here, but I don’t get all the love for Batum here at anything in the same time zone of a max contract.

    I am with you. I like Batum. I don’t like him at $20mm+. And I’ll tell you why:

    1. How far does that really move the bar? Not far enough, in my opinion.

    2. If you make that signing, you’re pretty close to making this your team for 2-3 years. There’s not a lot of flexibility left when you start throwing max contracts out to non-max players.

    This team has it’s top two pieces already and they are both going be value. (Admit it, if Melo is playing this way next year, he is great value at $24mm.) I think it would be better served continuing last year’s model of finding multiple players at good value on flexible deals. I would rather see us improve 2-3 positions by signing non-max players than go the Batum max route.

    You can (theoretically) get 2 strong rotation pieces for that amount of money, and I’d rather go that way.

    Pau seems like he could be great value next year. He’s still chugging along, knows Fisher and the triangle, and he won’t require us to sacrifice long term flexibility. A frontcourt rotation of him, Zinger, Melo, RoLo is something I would happily sign up for and all 4 would be likely to outperform their salary. Then I’d spend the savings upgrading the backcourt.

    Playing great ball for a 7 game stretch doesn’t make someone likely to outperform their salary next season

    I agree with Frank O, if we could upgrade from Calderon to a top 12 point guard that can attack the basket and hit threes at a reasonable rate we could be a 50 win team. I think we have a really solid starting 5, if we had a guard like lowry or teague it would really help KP get some easier baskets and force us to run more P&R.

    Playing great ball for a 7 game stretch doesn’t make someone likely to outperform their salary next season

    Not sure who you are denigrating here. Melo? Pau? Neither has a 7 game track record.

    We have enough in the front court. We need back court help.

    Help is help, and value is value. If door #1 is cashing in all our chips to upgrade from Arron Afflalo to Nic Batum, I’d like to keep looking behind other doors.

    If we can forge that frontcourt it gives us the flexibility to seek more modest upgrades in the backcourt. The goal should be to make the rotation better, not just one area.

    And for what it’s worth, you’re crazy if you think we have enough in the front court. KP is 20 and is far from being a 40 minute force every game. Adding a player like Pau would be a tremendous benefit

    I agree with Frank O, if we could upgrade from Calderon to a top 12 point guard that can attack the basket and hit threes at a reasonable rate we could be a 50 win team.

    Nic Batum is a top 12 PG?

    I’d be happy to upgrade the PG position, as well. Note that my argument was to go for 2-3 rotational upgrades at good value (like we did this summer) instead of making one splashy upgrade by throwing a max contract at a non-max player. And I specifically said I would spend money upgrading the backcourt.

    One of the benefits of the triangle, though, is that is doesn’t require a max player at PG, so you can afford to find someone between Calderon and Mike Conley at $25mm. And if he isn’t there this summer, be patient.

    Take a gander at the list of unrestricted free agents who will be hitting the market in 2016 and 2017. Other than the “pipe dream” category of player, the LeBron-Steph-Durant-Westbrook category of player, there’s some slim pickings out there. I’m looking for ways for the Knicks to make upgrades at the guard positions, and I’m left kind of scratching my head. And of course there’s no 2016 draft pick, and the draft-and-stash guy we picked up last year is another big. And we have very few trade chips. I’m all for creative ideas to upgrade the guard positions if anybody has any.

    I think dred was talking about Chalmers.

    I don’t think there will be much movement from NY. I think Phil is going to want to gauge what this team’s ceiling is before making any decisions, most likely the offseason. If Derrick Williams and Lance Thomas leave, our frontcourt rotation is not so formidable.

    I think they will want to upgrade the backcourt, but like others said, it may not be a 35 MPG person, but a 20 MPG person. If everything were to go according to plan (Afflalo and Williams opt-in, Galloway gets a reasonable deal) I think Batum would be awesome. A lot of who is available depends on how some of these teams finish the year.

    I don’t think Batum is a max player, but part of his skillset is that he’s a great playmaker for the 2/3. If you have Batum on your team, you can think a little less traditionally about the PG position. That expands the options and even opens the door to someone like Galloway if he can improve his scoring efficiency another notch.

    I’m all for creative ideas to upgrade the guard positions if anybody has any.

    I have some of the same concerns vis a vis the next couple of free agent classes and our lack of draft pick this summer. Hernanogomez might be a useful trade chip, though it would help if his team would actually play him.

    As it is, we’re going to have to spend some of our cap space either giving Lance a raise or replacing him with another backup swingman, and potentially facing the same dilemma with Afflalo and Williams. But in terms of the backcourt, I don’t think we should be so quick to dismiss Grant. As discussed in yesterday’s thread, virtually all rookie point guards struggle, and Grant has the added issue of moving to a system that’s the polar opposite of the one he ran at ND. It may be that his shot never gets better, and that he has to be on a team with a P&R-based offense to be of any real use in the NBA, but just because he hasn’t been the instant pro-ready point we hoped for because he played four years in school doesn’t mean he might not be our answer in a year or two.

    I thought I was obviously talking about Melo. It’s like you guys don’t know me anymore.

    We’ve played great basketball for 2 weeks. Let’s play it for another 3 months and then it’ll be more clear if we should be thinking about win now moves like signing Pau Gasol. In 3 months maybe O’Quinn will have become a useful player. Maybe Melo will have shown this point Melo thing was a fluke. Remember all the articles from 2013 about how MVP candidate Melo was passing out of double teams because of veteran leadership? And then all the articles from 2013 about how overrated bum Carmelo Anthony and his selfish ball hoggery doomed the Knicks? The shit we’re doing that is definitely sustainable is not playing Sasha and Chubby Chubs. Playing more Porzingis at the 5 and more staggered lineups is something that should make us better the rest of the year.

    Even in the absolute best case scenario for our back court (Galloway and Grant show sustained improvement over the second half) we’re still going to be thin on the wing. Batum would be a great fit-whether or not we can afford him depends on how the team plays the rest of the way. The market out there for PG or wings in the offseason isn’t great. In the last thread Lavor mentioned Bazemore and Fournier as other options-I think that’s a pretty good way to think about possible upgrades.

    Interesting stuff about our defense — all year long we have been very good at limiting opponent eFG but our defense hasn’t been great – to my eye it was that we were fouling way too much. And that WAS true in November – 2nd worst in the league at opponent FTA/FGA at 0.34. But if you look since Dec 1, we’ve actually been one of 4-5 best teams in limiting opponent free throw attempts (0.24, tied for 4th with TOR). And we’re actually 7th best in opponent eFG over that period of time at 48.3.

    But where we have been suffering all year long is in our defensive rebounding and in forcing turnovers.

    Lou, Serapahin, and O’Quinn have been pretty hacktastic this season. O’Quinn is our best defensive rebounder. so I’ve been wondering why he seems nailed to the bench lately. Could be that coach is trying to cut down on the fouling.

    Because almost every team will have cap space this summer, every free agent is going to be overpaid. The question becomes whether an overpriced Batum at or close to the max is more of a value in that environment than an overpriced Bazemore or Fournier at slightly less than that.

    I don’t think Batum is a max player, but part of his skillset is that he’s a great playmaker for the 2/3. If you have Batum on your team, you can think a little less traditionally about the PG position.

    Totally agree. Great passing from the wing positions is so rare and underrated. One of the things that makes the GS offense so formidable is they have great passing at every position: Bogut at the 5, Green at the 4, Iguodala at the 3, Curry/Livingston at the 1/2. Batum can see over most 2/3 defenders and hit cutters and other 3 point shooters. It’s much easier to find a point guard that can pass well than a 6’8 player who can also shoot, rebound and play D. Batum would be a huge improvement over Afflalo IMO, although whether I’d give him 20+M definitely depends on what other options are out there.

    Maybe Chalmers, Noah and Pao are all that this team needs. Smart, role playing veterans like that to put us over the top.

    I feel like our best team is Lopez, KP and Melo at Sf, Afflalo and Calderon/Gallo.
    LT and DWill have been very solid rotation guys and Grant is ninth off the bench where he should be.
    Sure, we could upgrade Afflalo, but I actually think he has been very solid on D and efficient on O. An upgrade at PG would be great. I think Gallo could grow into the job as will Grant, but not right away.
    In either case, I’d like to see them do it through the draft. I’d hate to see the team dynamic messed with right now.

    Because almost every team will have cap space this summer, every free agent is going to be overpaid. The question becomes whether an overpriced Batum at or close to the max is more of a value in that environment than an overpriced Bazemore or Fournier at slightly less than that.

    That’s fair.

    I also agree with your previous comment about Grant. If there is no great option at PG, let’s have some patience. If we end up building a solid team whose weakness is Jose Calderon at PG next year (before expiring), that’s not the worst thing in the world. Grant could very well be our answer by the time Jose is off the books.

    Maybe Chalmers, Noah and Pao are all that this team needs. Smart, role playing veterans like that to put us over the top.

    Over the top of what? It would probably get us into the playoffs, but that’s about it. Not to mention pretty much max us out as far as future flexibility and ability to improve goes. One of them might be worthwhile, but three? No thanks.

    I also agree with your previous comment about Grant. If there is no great option at PG, let’s have some patience. If we end up building a solid team whose weakness is Jose Calderon at PG next year (before expiring), that’s not the worst thing in the world. Grant could very well be our answer by the time Jose is off the books.

    I agree with this and others who have expressed the same thought: that Grant shouldn’t be given up on yet and that he’ll likely take a year or two to develop. Hell, just look at how Jeff Teague developed. His rookie year he was sporting a TS of .459, last year it was .566 and this year it’s down a bit, but still not terrible at .538. I’d be very happy to have Grant develop the way Teague did; into a good, but not great, PG.

    Only way I see the knicks upgrading their two back court position would have to involve a trade. One possibly obtainable PG is Jrue Holiday. Obviously , Holiday has some holes to his game and would be risk but he could be a good player with some minor tweaks.

    I was just looking at some cap stuff. If we passed on re-signing AA and D-Wil, we would have enough room to sign Batum to the max (is it 20mm?) and Gasol for $12mm (reasonable estimate), still have a few million leftover to find some value signings, and re-sign Lance Thomas with his bird rights.

    Melo – 24.5
    Batum – 20.0
    RoLo – 13.2
    Pau – 12.0
    Jose – 7.7
    Porzingis – 4.3
    Grant – 1.6
    Galloway – .98
    Lance Thomas Caphold – 1.5 (I believe; it’s 1.5x his current salary, right?)
    Hernangomez – .52

    That’s only 86.3. The cap is $89mm. There’s two spots left and the room exception. Even if Batum’s max is higher than 20mm, it would work.

    Then the following offseason Jose comes off the books, and cap goes up again. Oh Jesus. I’ve worked myself up into a tizzy. And just a month ago I wanted to trade Melo this offseason.

    OK I’m going to go in the corner and settle down now til the game starts. Fuck the Celtics.

    The Knicks do not have a lot of assets that trade partners would want. I mean, try to make a trade for Jrue Holiday in the trade machine. Either you have to hope the Pelicans would want Jose Calderon, or that they’ll be interested in a rental of Arron Afflalo. A Kyle O’Quinn/Jerian Grant package with Lou Amundson and Kevin Seraphin thrown in to make the salaries match works in the trade machine but the Pelicans can probably do better than that for Jrue.

    Picking up impact players through trades is going to be difficult task for the Knicks. You have the foundational pieces– Melo, Lopez and Porzingis, then you have the veteran guys who either have player options or whose contracts are expiring– Afflalo, Williams, Seraphin, Thomas, Admunson, Galloway… That leaves Calderon, O’Quinn, Grant and the last two pieces of flotsam and jetsam, Early and Vujacic. And of course the 2016 draft pick is already gone and every 2nd round draft pick until the second term of Sasha Obama.

    The conventional objective — first player to get rid of all his cards wins — was enough to keep them interested, but they soon wanted to spice things up. So Bazemore and Schroder hatched the idea of adding some of the more notorious cards from at least two other decks — all the Draw 2s, Wild Draw 4s, Reverses and Skips. The players referred to the extra cards as “heat.” The game was born anew.

    “I think everyone should play it that way, because it’s no-holds-barred,” Bazemore said. “It’s the W.W.E. of Uno, man. It’s crazy.”

    The games almost always continue from takeoff to landing, and each player is expected to be a full participant, with no excused absences. Guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who was a part of the group earlier this season, learned that lesson. After a couple of weeks spent honing his Uno expertise, teammates said, he wanted to take a break, if only for one flight.

    “He said he was tired and wanted to rest,” Schroder said. “So we had to kick him out.”

    Hardaway has not been invited back. Those who have stuck with the game cite the value of chemistry and camaraderie.

    God Bless America

    And of course the 2016 draft pick is already gone and every 2nd round draft pick until the second term of Sasha Obama.

    I was curious what our upcoming 2nd round pick status actually was, so I went to RealGM’s future draft picks page. Obviously, we have no first rounder in this draft (and the Nuggets would have been able to swap picks with us if they’d wanted to), but have all other upcoming first-rounders. We own none of our own 2nd-rounders until 2022(!), though we will have Houston’s 2nd-rounder in the 2017 draft, and a pair of 2nd-rounders (who they’re from is too complicated to explain here; just click the link) in 2019.

    Fortunately, Phil has proven himself open to buying 2nd-rounders as needed, but still.

    Not at all a fan of Fournier… Putrid defensively by most any metric, and only slightly above average offensively on average usage.

    I’ve always been thinking of the Knicks as basically buyers for a guard or some other person to help improve the team. But lately I’ve been thinking maybe they’ll be sellers. They have O’Quinn, Seraphin, Amundden and Vujacic. All of these guys could be open to moving somewhere where they will play more. Phil could easily trade one of two of them for picks and/or young guys and wait till summer to try the free agent market.

    Toronto is rumored to want to trade a pick for a player. Anyway we can get our pick back and then turn it Buddy Hield?

    If Toronto calls and offers us our pick back for Lance Thomas, do you say no?

    I think it’s a tough call.

    I love the idea of signing Noah and Bazemore and dealing one of the opt-ins, O’Quinn (at his bargain price is a real asset) for another solid PG.

    Lopez isn’t a 30 MPG guy, and won’t be moving forward. 96 minutes to split between Noah, Zinger and Lopez.

    Noah doesn’t offer a post-game, but the triangle is perfect for his high-post passing, and he’s only a couple of seasons removed from being arguably the best all-around big in the game.

    And I know how unpopular the term “intangible” is around here, but an in-tune Noah is one of the best intangible/ leader guys in the league.

    @40 Dang Hubert, I was running the same numbers when you made your post and arrived at very similar conclusion! A few differences:
    > You left out KOQ at 3.9m
    > You left out about 4 or 5 empty roster spot cap holds at 2-3m
    > Grant is 2.1m hold
    > I had 2.5m hit to stretch Calderon though we might be able to trade him/3m for a 2nd round pick
    > Pau would probably take a 2 year/20m deal(10m/yr cap hit) – he’s only making 7m now
    > I think league cap will be somewhere between 80-90m; 90m is not a certainty

    One important thing to bear in mind is that though we could over the cap to re-sign Gallo and Lance, their salary would be part of the cap the following summer off-setting any increase in the league cap. Unless we sign Pau to a 1 year deal (and even then maybe not), we likely wouldn’t have any cap in summer of 2017 other than mle because of about 15m for Gallo and Lance. But since there’s slim pickins’ then other than Westbrook, I like idea of loading up this summer and then relying on trades/mle after that to upgrade our 1 position if required (KOQ/Hernangomez/Grant are potential chips). Here’s my 12 man roster presuming we only have enough cap for Nic and Pau though we might have another 10m available depending on where the league cap ends up:

    1 Langston/Grant/3m room exception
    2 Nic/Langston/Lance
    3 Melo/Lance/Nic
    4 KP/Melo/Pau
    5 Lopez/Pau/KP/KOQ/Hernangomez

    Andrew Smith, one of Brad Stevens’ college players, died after a long cancer battle. Tough spot for him to have to coach tonight.

    Also, cancer is a bastard.

    Even if Batum’s max is higher than 20mm, it would work.

    Batum’s max will be roughly $25 million. He’s currently in his 8th season in the league.

    Batum’s max is projected to start at $23.1 million, with a 4 year max contract of $108 million.

    Charlotte can offer him $40,000,000 more than anybody else (5/$147,000,000).

    (Yup, that’s US dollars. And that is to wear shorts to work and play with a ball.)

    Batum’s max offer from the Knicks is projected to be $108.23 over 4 years, starting at $25.3 million.

    That seems like a lot, but keep in mind that teams are going to spend over a billion dollars on free agents this summer.

    Charlotte isn’t really a player for the Durants and LeBrons on the market, and have some nicely developing talent. They can offer Batum a $147 million contract to stay.

    Batum says he’s happy in Charlotte and likes the front offices’ vision. That might just be lip service, but the Hornets will have about $40,000,000 in wiggle room to convince Batum not to leave.

    The Knicks do not have a lot of assets that trade partners would want. I mean, try to make a trade for Jrue Holiday in the trade machine. Either you have to hope the Pelicans would want Jose Calderon, or that they’ll be interested in a rental of Arron Afflalo. A Kyle O’Quinn/Jerian Grant package with Lou Amundson and Kevin Seraphin thrown in to make the salaries match works in the trade machine but the Pelicans can probably do better than that for Jrue.

    Unfortunately my idea would have to involve a protected 2018 or 2019 pick. O’quinn, Seraphin, and Amundson would make it work salary wise but Lou would have to agree to be traded.

    Another easier trade would be for a guy like Darren Collinson but Sacremento is still in the mix for the 8th seed out west.

    The more likely scenario is the Knicks revisit negotiations with “everyone’s favorite” Shved, talk to guards like Chalmers and Delladova, or find a euro FA.

    Comments are closed.