Knicks Morning News (2016.05.28)

  • [New York Times] LeBron James Makes Sixth Straight N.B.A. Finals With Cavaliers’ Rout (Sat, 28 May 2016 03:53:44 GMT)

    James scores 33 points as Cleveland eliminates Toronto with ease in Game 6.

  • [New York Times] After Two Decades, W.N.B.A. Still Struggling for Relevance (Sat, 28 May 2016 06:30:03 GMT)

    Even with a tether to the rich and powerful N.B.A., attendance and television viewership have lagged for the W.N.B.A.

  • [New York Times] James Scores 33, Cavaliers Reach Second Straight NBA Finals (Sat, 28 May 2016 05:18:34 GMT)

    For LeBron James, it’s six straight trips to the NBA Finals.

  • [New York Times] King James Targets Six of the Best for His Cavaliers (Sat, 28 May 2016 04:18:28 GMT)

    LeBron James is planning to “appreciate” a sixth consecutive NBA Finals appearance after the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame the Toronto Raptors on Friday to seal victory in their Eastern Conference final series.

  • [New York Times] Cavs Punch Ticket to NBA Finals (Sat, 28 May 2016 03:33:27 GMT)

    LeBron James scored 33 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 113-87 on Friday to win the Eastern Conference.

  • [New York Times] Raptors’ Biyombo Faces Game 7 Suspension After Flagrant Foul (Sat, 28 May 2016 01:36:51 GMT)

    Raptors center Bismack Biyombo faces a suspension for a potential Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals after picking up a flagrant foul in the first quarter of Game 6 on Friday night.

  • 95 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2016.05.28)”

    My vision for this team’s operations going forward:

    The Knicks need to focus more on player development via Westchester, overseas, etc. Acquiring free agent talent is both expensive and risky. Not to mention that there’s too much competition for too few talented players.

    If possible, they should acquire a second DLeague team that plays out of somewhere nearby, like Jersey, Long Island or Connecticut. And both teams should focus on developing players’ skillsets and getting them ready for the up tempo-PNR-triangle hybrid I can see JHorn using.

    I’d also want to see the team use the 11-14 team roster spots differently than before. I’d use those spots for developing young players with upside acquired on the cheap (drafted or undrafted) and have have those players spending as much time as possible in the DLeague getting both PT and more-intensive coaching. The Knicks can get by game-to-game with a 10 man roster and, if/when injuries happen, they’ll have the 11-14 guys (that have been getting PT) ready to step up.

    The 15th roster spot would remain open for when a high value/low cost player unexpectedly becomes available.

    The thing about putting money into another D League team is that the D League already does not produce a high yield of NBA players. There are a good amount of success stories in the NBA that went through the D League, but most of those guys were NBA draft picks. Taking undrafted talent and putting it in the D League rarely amounts to much because it is rare that players come out of the D League in the first place. I mean, it’s rare that good NBA players come out of college/Europe when you consider how many college programs/Euroleague teams there are, but the difference is that NBA teams do not find those programs. It’s unrealistic to expect a team to invest in a second talent pipeline when the first one has only produced Langston Galloway, and he’s an average NBA basketball player (who was a great player for his collegiate program).

    I do think the NBA should have a program where they do an All D League 1st team and promote those 5 guys to each of the bottom five teams in the lottery (regardless of if you’ve traded your pick) in some sort of small room draft. Give those five guys 3 year minimum contracts with team options in years 2 and 3. This way there is incentive for guys in the D League to work harder at their craft and it incorporates more organizational investment/media coverage to the D League. Like if I were a 76ers fan I’d be convincing myself that Ben Simmons plus the All D League first team point guard could really change the franchise for the better. I don’t see the harm in this at all.

    Speaking of the D League, it wouldn’t hurt to give Jarnell Stokes a look. His D League numbers are absurd, he was a good player in college, and his per minute stats in the NBA look pretty good too.

    I think the question mark with Stokes is fitness. He’s always been a heavier set guy.

    Like I said in the other thread, I am not worried about the Hornacek thing, as the Knicks are just weird. However, I suppose eventually there will come a time when him not being signed would make me a little worried. I think I’ll pick….hmmm….June….12th! There ya go, if he doesn’t sign by June 12th, I’ll be worried. 🙂

    So then you bring him off the bench or get him to drop some weight. A combination of Stokes/Hernangomez next to KP when he’s eventually a 5 could be great. His weight is only a problem if it keeps his stamina low, but he played 860 D League minutes and tore through everyone. Of course he’s a D League undersized front court prospect so I doubt he’ll make it on the NBA level, but he definitely deserves a shot on an NBA summer league team.

    To the OP, I think the Knicks are doing a much better job of player dev/oversees scouting since Phil arrived. Maybe it could be better, but the team has gone from wasting a 1st round pick on Weis (though that was quite a while ago) to nailing one with KP.

    Phil has taken flyers on guys in the 2nd round, too (Thanasis, Labeyrie, Hernangomez). Too early to know if any of them will pan out, but you have to keep buying those cheap lottery tickets!

    Kevin seraphim was in our rotation last year. I don’t think jarnell will have any problems.

    The thing with Jarnell Stokes is I’ve seen him listed anywhere from 6’6″ to 6’9″. If he’s really 6’6″ (which is shorter than Draymond Green), then yeah it’s hard to see his success at his weight, position, and mobility. That being said, the guy can clearly play. He deserves a shot

    Agree that a second D-lg team won’t do much for us development wise, but what about investing in a euro team? Could get us a more favorable way to stash euro picks and a better handle on player development overseas.

    Like I’ve said, the D-league is bad enough that you’re probably not going get anything but decent NBA players out of it if you put in the effort. By decent I mean below average, but with some skills that make them playable-which is fine, because they won’t be making any money. It’s much better to have some D-league guy who can (say) hit 3’s and pass a bit than spending 6 million on a veteran NBA shooter who you know isn’t bringing much else to the table. Especially for a bad team like the Knicks.

    As for this Stokes guy, why not? Without Lou and Kevin we’ve got two frontcourt spots to fill. I assume one is earmarked for Willy, but I’d be fine bringing another young big on board.

    Bazemore and Lance Stephenson. Totally changes our team and our backcourt. Affordable. Who says no?

    The prevailing thinking here and amongst the talking heads is the the NBA world, talent wise is zero-sum, which means there can only be X stars, Y quality role players, and Z serviceable roster fillers.
    And that the Knicks, in order to get ahead, need to outgame the other teams in order to win the zero-sum NBA talent game.

    I see it differently. I see a bunch of young talented american basketball players who have never had to learn to play and/or develop their skills. The NBA needs to get on this and, at least, develop a minor league system, if not coordinate the development of programs at the high school and college level. And if the NBA lacks the will to lead, then it would behoove the Knicks to get ahead of this by building their own farm system. Both via extra DLeague teams as well as some agreements with overseas teams.

    To, at least, a good extent, Phil Jackson sees this. I’m just arguing that he ought to double down the chips with respect to player development.

    If my reasoning fails to convince, then consider this: I suspect that the Spurs and Heat see it the same way, which is how they’ve been able to remain competitive for as long as they both have. While still being able to acquire new players and/or coaches that can contribute immediately.

    Bazemore is a good player, but I think his next team will be extremely disappointed for what they get from him for the money they dole out.

    He can shoot, pass, and play strong defense. What’s bad about that? $15 mil is the new $8 mil.

    I think that Derozan, Batum (who will be a max player), Fournier and Crabbe are probably unobtainable.
    Clarkson might be available as a RFA if the Lakers sign Derozan and/or KD plus Whiteside. He would be fine. He actually might be a good young guard to go after. Fournier really had a breakout year!

    Fournier had a really fine season last year. I would actually offer him a max contract. He’ll be making hundreds of threes for us at around 40% and averaging around 20 ppg while playing good defense so why not? And only 23 so he might get better. 4 years/$100 mil.

    I haven’t seen much of Fournier, because honestly I haven’t seen a whole lot of Orlando Magic basketball recently. He’s regarded as a good on-ball defender though, and of course his shooting numbers are pretty good, so if his defensive reputation is accurate, that’s a pretty nice two-way player even though he doesn’t stuff the box score in other ways.

    It would be nice to have a young prolific three point shooter to space the floor. Imagining kick outs from Grant and Wroten. Orlando doesn’t fully appreciate him because they also have Oladipo and Hezonja.

    Fournier would be an excellent signing even at max money because he’s 24 years old this year and can create his own offense at an efficient rate. I don’t think he’ll get max dollars, but I’d love it if the Knicks could end up with him.

    I like Fournier, too, but why wouldn’t Orlando match? He’d be a valuable asset/trade chip even if they really don’t want him that badly.

    I’m crossing my fingers for Batum. He can shoot and defend. He’s also a solid passer and rebounder. He can play some at the 3, too, in small ball lineups.

    That’s the whole problem with restricted free agents. Why wouldn’t the home team always match so why bother?

    I wouldn’t mind Batum but he says he likes Charlotte.

    That’s why Bazemore might be best. He’s an early bird free agent so I think that Atl can only pay him slightly over $4 mil per year. It almost guarantees that he leaves. And he’s a nice all around player.

    Fournier on a max makes no sense for Orlando when they have their future starting five in Payton, Oladipo, Hezonja, Gordon, and Vucevic.

    Why did Steve Kerr think it was a good idea to have Barbosa, Speights, Barnes, Livingston, and Iguodala out there as a 5 man unit? My god that could have cost them the game.

    Mo Buckets Do What Mo Buckets Do

    da Kobe Assist game is strong

    Fournier on a max makes no sense for Orlando when they have their future starting five in Payton, Oladipo, Hezonja, Gordon, and Vucevic.

    With so much money out there, a good young player can easily be traded for something (even if it is not a lot) rather than letting him leave for nothing.

    That’s why Bazemore might be best. He’s an early bird free agent so I think that Atl can only pay him slightly over $4 mil per year. It almost guarantees that he leaves. And he’s a nice all around player.

    They can only re-sign him for the MLE without using their cap room, true, but they can also re-sign him using their own cap room (they would use Horford’s $18 million cap hold, then re-sign Bazemore with their left over cap room, which is likely around $19 million and then go over the salary cap to re-sign Horford). It’s definitely not an ideal situation for them, though.

    considering that Draymond Green is now walking dead after that Adams dunk, I’d say so

    GSW is going to pull this one out. OKC can’t win a half court basketball game.

    Durant 6-19 and they’re up by 5. I’d say OKC is feeling pretty good about their chances.

    @34 What is Dray may never die

    @36 Interestingly, I would’ve said that down by 5 at the half was a good outcome for GSW. They absorbed OKC coming out like a house of fire at home.

    It’s crazy how Westbrook laughed at the thought of Curry’s defense but Westbrook couldn’t stay in front of Steph if his life depended on it.

    I hated it at the time, but not trading Klay Thompson for Kevin Love was brilliant.

    The Warriors have made 20 3-pointers, and the Thunder have made 3, and it’s somehow a tied game.

    Donovan needs to do some coaching here. Every possession for OKC looks like a “Melo in crunch time” possession

    I must admit to a guilty pleasure of seeing home team fans disappointed. Especially when they wear the same shirt en masse. Except for my teams, of course.

    Klay had so many ridiculous threes, but my favorite was probably when he shot one right over Westbrook at the top of the key. Flatfooted, complete standstill.

    Would be awesome if KD comes out of his slump and OKC stuns GS there. If that doesn’t happen, I hope Cleveland sweeps GS’s cocky asses. Green, Curry, and Speights make me sick. Green never commits a foul, Curry and Speights do their gyrations after baskets… Wish they could all be like Thompson (top 10 playoff performances ever?), Bogut, Iguodala… Professionals. Iggy with great d, clutch plays all over the place.

    Iggy’s an unsung hero of the game, had a huge lefty lay in and 2 or 3 gigantic strips in crunch time.

    OKC turned it over 6 straight times to end the game… disgraceful

    OKC did not choke. They are not a better team than GSW and should not be expected to beat them in any building on planet earth. The Warriors played uncharacteristically bad basketball in Games 3 and 4; teams that go 73-9 don’t get blown out twice in a row. The biggest difference in those two losses and the last two games is GSW made it a half court game. I know this is a stat-based website but bear with me.

    Russell Westbrook cannot beat people with his handle. He has to blow by guys or score in transition, so when he plays a great defensive team like GSW, they’re going to stay in front of him and make his life hard. Westbrook beat nobody off the dribble, but he instead got transition opportunities and attacked a rotating defense. Russ is also a bad facilitator despite his high assist totals. I’ve never seen somebody get double digit assists while freezing out his team, but Westbrook does it often enough. He’s also not a plus defender which is a shame since he’s every guard’s physical superior.

    KD just has no real ball control skills and is still a feeble guy for the position. He can’t create space against GSW’s wing players and they bother him consistently enough that his efficiency drops tremendously. He is also not a guy who makes teammates better since he’s an isolation scorer primarily and a fast break scorer secondarily. Steve Adams, Ibaka, and Roberson are excellent but they are never intentionally involved on offense outside of setting screens.

    OKC has great players but they are not a great team. They don’t work together, and that’s why they coughed up the 3-1 lead.

    And despite all of that, they are still 1 win away from the NBA finals and 5 wins away from an NBA title. For a team with no real chemistry, they are doing extremely well.

    Klay proved why he is a far superior player to Harden… when everything was going into the crapper, Curry couldn’t get into the flow early in the game Klay kept Gs afloat. The after Curry got his sea legs, Klay closed like the assassin he is. All this while he was making Westbrook work hard and shoot a poor percentage. Great player, great team.

    Team ball>>>>>>Hero ball


    Normally I’d say this is a hot take, but it looks pretty good to me.

    Still, Durant and Westbrook are light-years better than anyone on the Knicks and I would eradicate er and/or reub with extreme prejudice to get them in blue and orange.

    Haha so that excuse laden post is not a hot take now?! Wow. Jowels of the cherry pick fame is a fan of excuses. K.

    Klay is definitely better then Harden just because of the defense. Klay has a flair for the dramatic and in my opinion gets hotter than Steph. He’s a microwave. Jus not in as spectacular fashion as steph

    Haha so that excuse laden post is not a hot take now?! Wow. Jowels of the cherry pick fame is a fan of excuses. K.

    That was not an “excuse laden” post at all, in fact it was pretty critical of both Durant AND Westbrook.

    I agree. The point is that it’s a hot take. After THIS game. KD and Russ are avg. before this game they were top 5.

    Fwiw the love trade was a good idea before it was obvious that Klay Thompson would be the best or 2nd best 2-guard in basketball

    Maybe it was obvious to the GSW front office. They may know a little more about Klay than us.

    Sure you could be optimistic like their FO was and see Klay improving significantly but, well, he took a really enormous leap, and not the kind that is easily predictable or really predictable at all.

    Just like how it was completely unpredictable two years or even a year beforehand that Steph would have the greatest offensive season of the modern era of NBA basketball

    GS didn’t have much more to go on than we did besides a rosy view of the stats and probabilities. Good for them.

    For all the shit we give mark Jackson, he said that GSW had the greatest shooting backcourt of all time in their first or second year together. The public laughed. Remember?

    Yeah but Mark Jackson had no good reason to say that and he’s a fucking moron so that just sounds like false confidence

    My loudly asserting that the sun won’t rise tomorrow morning doesn’t entail that I was making a reasonable statement when the sun in fact didn’t rise the next morning; there’s no reason to assume that mark Jackson had some special predictive powers by virtue of his proximity to Steph and Klay that would justify his saying that before either of them broke 60 TS or .150 WS/48

    Yeah but Mark Jackson had no good reason to say that and he’s a fucking moron so that just sounds like false confidence

    Right. Coaching a player gives u no insight to the potential of the player. Right. None @ all

    The point is that while coaching gives you better insight into a player it doesn’t give you special predictive powers to assume the best out of your young shooting backcourt when that best outcome has like a 5% chance of happening.

    That that 5% chance event came to pass doesn’t mean he had good reason to assume that it would; there’s just no way of justifying it versus other possibilities, hence the odds.

    Yeah but Mark Jackson had no good reason to say that and he’s a fucking moron so that just sounds like false confidence

    But, you don’t know what Mark Jackson’s reasoning was. He was with them everyday. He watched them practice. He saw their work ethic. And he was proved right. So who are you to say he is a fucking moron?

    And as for the Love trade, Kerr preferred Klay after taking to the other players. He felt that there was chemistry that he didn’t want to ignore. Statheads sometimes scoff at the C word, but it wasn’t dumb luck that GS opted not to trade Thompson for Love. It was a calculated decision that turned out to be the correct move. Why not just give them credit for it and move on?

    there’s just no way of justifying it versus other possibilities, hence the odds.

    You mean hence the 5% odds that you just made up? That’s the only way to justify it?

    For the record I thought and still think it is fine to have taken either side on the Klay for Love trade debate–it’s not as if that trade was going to be enormously one sided one way or the other. I was just defending the reasonableness of those supporting a Love for Klay swap.

    I give Kerr great credit for holding onto Klay; good for them. But that love for Klay non deal only looks obvious when the non likely outcome of Klay being the best 2 guard in the league has already happened. That’s what I’m saying.

    Except that it wasn’t a reasonable disagreement. People on the Love side were incredulous.

    Fournier’s offensive game looks a lot like Klay Thompson. I am not saying he is as good as Klay but his style of player is very similar to Thompson. To me his movement off the ball, dribble stride, shot mechanics, and athleticism are almost carbon copies of Klay.

    If the Knicks got Fournier, I’d be pleased. I just don’t see it happening. “Maxing” Fournier isn’t much higher than what he’s already likely going to get as a restricted free agent. The only real option would be to give him a ridiculously player-friendly contract, like an opt-out after one year and a 15% trade kicker (thus making it difficult for Orlando to match for the purposes of trading Fournier) and I don’t know if that would be worth it, as he’d obviously exercise the opt out, since the cap is going back up next season (and if he doesn’t, then, well, we know the only reasons he wouldn’t do it, and they’re not good ones ;)).

    It’s worth noting that the Magic were in a very similar situation with Tobias Harris last year and they re-signed him and then traded him. I suspect that that’s what they’ll do with Fournier if the offers get too high (I think they’d gladly keep Fournier if he stays around $15 million a year). Heck, their GM is already doing the good ol’ “Watch out other teams, we will match on Fournier” thing in an attempt to keep Fournier’s salary down.

    The wild card is “Crazy offers designed to make it hard for the team to match,” which are rare in the world of traditional RFAs. It’s not like Dallas is exactly in great shape with their Parsons’ contract, ya know? They got him for two years and now he’s either leaving or getting a huge raise.

    Now that OKC shot 3-23 from downtown I am convinced that the Waiters trade was a bad idea.

    I’d give Solomon Hill 12 million every day of the week before giving Fournier an offer Orlando wouldn’t match.

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