Knicks Morning News (2016.07.02)

  • [New York Times] Jeremy Lin Is Returning to New York (With the Nets) (Sat, 02 Jul 2016 04:18:29 GMT)

    Lin, the Harvard guard who electrified Knicks fans in 2012 with “Linsanity,” has agreed to a deal with the Nets, reportedly for three years and $36 million.

  • [New York Times] Joakim Noah Agrees to Sign With the Knicks After Meeting Officials for Dinner (Sat, 02 Jul 2016 05:28:28 GMT)

    Though no deal has officially been signed yet, the center met with team executives in Orlando on Friday and agreed to a four-year deal.

  • [New York Times] Chandler Parsons, Al Jefferson and Evan Turner Pick New Teams (Sat, 02 Jul 2016 00:33:07 GMT)

    As the N.B.A. free agency period began, players who it was reported were not changing teams included Mike Conley, Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside and Bradley Beal.

  • [New York Times] NBA Players Cash In as Big Free Agency Period Opens (Sat, 02 Jul 2016 05:00:32 GMT)

    Mike Conley and All-Stars Andre Drummond and DeMar DeRozan are staying put. So are Hassan Whiteside and Nicolas Batum.

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Hawks Adding Dwight Howard, Keeping Bazemore (Sat, 02 Jul 2016 04:39:34 GMT)

    Dwight Howard is coming home to Atlanta.

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ big-time risks are worth it: They finally matter again (Sat, 02 Jul 2016 00:54:37 -0400)

    There is skepticism attached to this, of course, and it really has little to do with Joakim Noah, even if those 29 games he played last year are a red flag, even if the fact he'll turn 32 next February is another, even if the reported cost of securing his services for the next four…

  • 226 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2016.07.02)”

    If the tagline for this site was “Marketing.Humor. Knicks.” we could all marvel at the job this front office is doing. Because who wouldn’t want to see Melo, Rose, Noah and Porzingis finally gell and get healthy and play like they are capable of post AS break and become the great team they are destined to become? PJ’s magical mystery tour all over again.

    Nate Silver tweeted: “What if the Knicks actually had the 2011 version of their lineup but they also had to play 14-year-old Porzingis for 30 mins per game?”

    Not for nothing: If you’d told me one year ago that NY would sign Joakim Noah for only $250,000 AAV more than Evan Turner — I’d have stopped talking to you for the rest of my life, because I don’t talk to liars.

    Someone here joked that injured players are the new market inefficiency, and I did lol over it, but it did just allow us to sign Noah for only $3M a year more than Timofey Mozgov, NBA Finals DNP-CD.

    Someone here joked that injured players are the new market inefficiency, and I did lol over it, but it did just allow us to sign Noah for only $3M a year more than Timofey Mozgov, NBA Finals DNP-CD.

    I think that most people I’ve seen post here concede that Noah could conceivably have a couple of good-great years with the Knicks. Lopez just seemed like a better, cheaper bet with age and having played all 82 games.

    These Wade rumors seem like straight BS considering the Knicks have $14.5 million in space after the Noah signing.

    Luol Deng to the Lakers ($72 million, 4 years). He seemed to fit in so well with our new theme. Ben Gordon’s still out there, right?

    All 30 NBA teams know the value of young players. This FA has showed they’ll pay through the nose for it. Youth is like OBP and catcher framing. NY has dug their own hole the last few years with bad decision making, so now they’ve got to do some Oakland A’s style chicanery to compete. Oakland went after all-glove no-bat guys 2 years before Andrelton Simmons got a $58M deal. They targeted 29 year old players. They went after mediocre OBP, high flyball% hitters.

    I’m not at all saying that the Knicks have good Processes as good as Billy Beane’s front office ROUGH RIDERS. Stop hissing at me. Please put the taser away. But I do see this as similar.

    The Knicks have once again negotiated against themselves this offseason, (maddening how this habit seems to infect consecutive general managers) but it is a strategy. Out of their own poor decision making, they lack assets. One thing they can do is roll the dice on injured former stars who are under 32, and bet on those players’ work ethic to get back to 80% of their previous level. In the meantime, do the minimal things that are the equivalent of signing your name on the SAT like not trading 1st round picks away.

    @4 Looks like Phil is betting on Noah’s potential to do a few things:

    Be the defensive anchor that never shuts up, like Chandler was but Lopez wasn’t. NY was a top 10 defense when Lopez and KP did their twin towers thing on the floor, but they still sucked horribly. Maybe the Knicks can become a real defense again.

    Keep the ball moving. Easy for Noah. Thibs ran the Bulls offense through him when Rose was out. LOOKS LIKE THE TRIANGLE’S BACK ON THE MENU, BOYS. I loved Lopez, and it was out of that affection that is was especially painful for me to watch him turn into a deer in the headlights when getting the ball in the pinch post. Wings and cutters would weave around him and he was totally frozen. He incrementally got better to the point he would make a correct decision with the ball… after visibly thinking about it for 5 seconds. Noah is going to be a delight to watch operate out of the high post.

    Mentor KP. Yeah yeah boo me for me bringing up intangibles on this here website [barely avoids giant vaudeville hook shooting out from stage right] but now NY has its Garnett to its Towns — their own brainy/unhinged former DPOY big man to develop its unicorn of a star.

    Jason Kidd-style coach on the floor effect. I don’t see a negligible effect when NY had their best season with Melo when he wasn’t expected to be vocal, be a talisman, or lead outside of example on the court. Except Noah is 31, not 38, and is not on the last gasps of his career.

    Also, what the hell is this:

    Clippers meeting with Durant was “intense” and “at one point Steve Ballmer was crying” but everyone grew closer and a big lesson was learned
    — Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) July 2, 2016

    Perhaps this has been discussed before, but the prime objective of James Dolan may not be to get a CHP. Rather to have entertaining product for Cablevision. That as much as “one does not rebuild in NYC” informs the Knick management philosophy. Thus a Mets’ Sandy Alderson style* rebuild would not fit the Dolan paradigm. It also explains the Melo and summer of ’16 transactions. Brands build viewers.

    * I believe Sean Marks will use a similar style to remake the Nets.

    DS and Dough Chew owning the thread!

    I don’t agree that the Knicks negotiated against themselves. Now, they did overpay in years, true, but the whole league is drunk with cash right now. Noah could surely get 4 years elsewhere.

    Let’s see now what Phil does with the remaining cap space ($14m or so?). I’d like to see him take a flyer on a restricted young guy (Tyler Johnson? Crabbe?) rather than settle for Gordon if Lee gets more $ and/or years elsewhere.

    You know, there is a certain mob mentality on this site. This is the land of a thousand wishful GMs, which is fine. It’s a blog after all; it’s where all our dreams come true.
    The Knicks took a gamble on a young point guard, who once was an MVP, who is had several injury years, but played 66 games last year.
    Is it a gamble? Yes. Are the players available at point better options? None that are guaranteed.
    So, even if this guy rounds out to be just a good guard, we’ve done well for a one year rental.
    I can see upside and downside potential. For one year, no big. Certainly Grant wasn’t the savior.
    But then enter Noah. One of the great motors in sport. Not basketball, sport. A vocal leader. A guy with heart bigger than our entire team last year. A guy who played with plantar faciitus in both feet and still had a huge impact (if you’ve ever had it…nothing but respect). He’s a defensive force, a great leader, and still strong for a few years to come.
    He’s had injuries, but there are few players in sport who hasn’t. Very few, so let’s not inflate injuries into monster liabilities.
    If there is a player I want mentoring KP, it’s Noah.
    You have to remember, the Knicks are NOT a destination for the best of the league right now. KD was never, ever coming here.
    So the Knicks mitigated risk with a one year flyer on Rose. If he is coming back to a level he once was at, this is the year. Last year was his transition. And we got Noah because of him.
    I have no doubt Noah is going to have a huge impact.
    I liked Lopez, but his contract and level of play made him an attractive trade piece. If you didn’t see that coming, you weren’t paying attention.
    This all could turn bad. When we won 54 games our guys crashed late, but mostly due to age. This is not an old team.
    But let’s not act as if there were great options. Frankly, we got one of the very best centers in basketball. I have no doubt he’ll be excellent.

    I think everyone can agree that Noah’s health is the difference between high lottery and the 8th seed in the playoffs. And people; Joakim Noah ran the triangle offense in Chicago. The Bulls under Thibodeau used a lot of triangle in Chicago, it’s just that his name wasn’t associated with Phil Jackson so nobody noticed or cared.

    Signing Tyler Johnson would be a nice way to game this year’s cap number a little bit and add a few more wins to the table. If we could add TJ along with Noah then I’d be pretty optimistic about the Knicks chances assuming KP improves and Rose regresses to the mean with health.

    The shooting guards we’re targeting do not inspire me at all. I don’t like Courtney Lee because he’s super average and we need difference makers. Eric Gordon is a bench player at this point, and Austin Rivers is a dumpster fire.

    All 30 NBA teams know the value of young players

    I know at least one that does not

    I’m really ugh about the 4 year Noah contract. But I guess if anyone you would give it to someone who brings leadership etc. (Watch me talk myself into more optimism!)

    4 years for Courtney Lee seems a bit much as well. But he’s another professional, an actual 2 way player at SG. And a knockdown shooter. We haven’t had one of those in a while ( who isn’t afraid to shoot ). But man would I feel better about a 2-3 year deal.

    Dough Chew, Frank O: thanks. I am firmly in the looking for positive spins on this new Knicks team stage.

    One of the bottom lines for me: does this help KP’s development? I hope so – I hope there’s space for him to do his thing. I hope these guys will actually pass him the damn ball.

    Otherwise I wasn’t expecting the Knicks to do anything special next year anyway – I mean people were talking about Evan Turner on this site not long ago.

    The Noah signing doesn’t bother me too much because by the time he’s no longer stud Noah KP and Willy will be starting in the front court for us.

    And his contract expires in the same year as Willy’s. It’s the guard issue that bothers me so much. We absolutely have to select a shooting guard in next year’s draft, and it’s a good year for guards. We’ll be selecting anywhere from #4 to #21 depending on health and who we add at the guard positions. Since we have all of our picks going forward and we haven’t added a player with bad numbers yet, I’m not ready to jump as yet.

    Again, the Courtney Lee contract bothers me a lot more than the Noah contract since we already have our future front court on the roster. It’s the back court where we have no young starters.

    The Noah signing doesn’t bother me too much because by the time he’s no longer stud Noah KP and Willy will be starting in the front court for us.

    Well, he’s no longer stud Noah now so…

    Noah had the worst eFG% in the entire league last year, while Rose had the third worst WS again in the entire league. As someone else noted, these would have been great moves back in 2011. Instead we’re just paying for past glory. Welcome to mediocrity!

    WS/48 doesn’t capture Noah’s complete value. His ORB rate was absurd, he’s still the best passing center in the league, and he’s still a great defender. Noah’s WP48 has never dipped under .175 for his entire career, and that says something about his value. 4 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists in around 20 minutes a night? Those are impressive numbers despite the poor efficiency. Noah is still a stud as long as he’s healthy, and the shoulder injury shouldn’t be a thing next season.

    Deng’s deal makes me very confident in Phil. The FUCK are the Lakers doin??? Mosgov’s deal was ok..I could live with Clarkson’s deal as a RFA if I were a decision maker in the Laker organization. But Deng’s deal is a clear indication of the market gone wild. It’s like a poor person becoming a millionaire overnight. Teams are purchasing 10 bedroom homes, when they are a single parent of 1. It’s ridiculous. I’m ok with Noah’s deal now. At least we know he’s alot closer to his peak form than Deng. On top of that, Noah’s issues are issues that he’s most likely to bounce back from and play well. At least for 2 seasons. Holy crap! Agents don’t even have to work for their cut right now, it seems lol. Guys are just walking into meetings and getting cash thrown at them like the best strippers ever. Jeebus!!! I can probably run backup PG for our Knicks and get 8 mil AAV..and I’m hilariously out of shape! My vertical USED TO BE 40″…now it’s probably 10 lol. And I’m maybe 5’10 192 now, but not in as good of shape as those numbers would suggest at 39. LOL..I’m sorry- I can’t stop laughing. I WANT MY MONEY PHIL!! I’m leavin my job now and I’m on my way to Woodstock, Montana, West Bumfuck- wherever you are cheefing your peace pipe at lol. I WANT MY MONEY!!

    I think everyone can agree that Noah’s health is the difference between high lottery and the 8th seed in the playoffs.

    @15 – No. We don’t at all. First, the roster hasn’t been fully assembled yet but if the Knicks are healthy, the ceiling is much, much higher. Melo-Rose-Noah have 14 all-star appearances between them. In the East, the 2-seed is a good target and if they miraculously play at their career peaks or close to it, a championship is not out of reach. Mind you, that is admittedly far-fetched, but you could not have said that with any Knick roster since Ewing.

    If the Knicks have injury woes with any of the three, they’ll be hard-pressed to make the playoffs. That’s the risk.

    Love Noah, welcome to NY, cannot wait for the season to start!
    Still a lot of work to do especially at SG but so far so good, we now have pieces to compete with anyone

    Remember this from way back on Thursday:

    Can we all unanimously agree that if Phil gives a 4/72 contract or more to Joakim Noah that he’s a fucking idiot? Certainly that is a consensus we can all reach, no?

    YES, I think we can all agree to this. Anyone, Bueller? Bueller?

    Funny how nobody stood up to argue otherwise before it became a reality.

    Mind you, that is admittedly far-fetched, but you could not have said that with any Knick roster since Ewing.

    We actually were a 2 seed not that long ago.

    @29 – “…that a championship is not out of reach.”

    2-seed, if healthy, is a reasonable goal.

    I’ve read that ATL may look to unload salary to resign Horford. Korver 5M? I would say Sefalosha, but I’m not sure he wants to play in NY after what happened to him last year here.

    I’m certain Phil Jackson is a moron. I just think the Knicks are set up to have some sort of stability even though Phil is a moron. The length of the Noah contract blows but with KP, O’Quinn, Plumlee and Hernangomez, we have enough in the front court to get over his eventual decline. I’m hoping Lee turns us down and Gordon/Rivers sign with somebody else. Maybe Miami does the unthinkable and maxes out Dwyane Wade so we can steal Tyler Johnson (who didn’t even play a lot for Miami). Rose, Holiday, TJ, and Galloway would be a decent enough back court to match up with KP, Melo, Hernangomez, and Noah.

    Totes, my vertical was 10″ at it’s best. A quarter of that now, LOL.

    Luol Deng to the Lakers ($72 million, 4 years). He seemed to fit in so well with our theme.

    Deng is a guy that dealt with bad injuries for a few years, then recovered to play well again at age 30. So there is a living, breathing example to pin hopes for Noah, Rose, and Eric Gordon to.

    My main gripe with the resident optimists is the constant reference to the possibility of Rose “returning to form”. I don’t know if people realize how unlikely it is that a player who hasn’t been healthy and/or productive for FOUR consecutive seasons will all of the sudden start playing at even a slightly above average level. I’m not sure that has ever happened, actually.

    The fact of the matter is point guard figures to be at least as much of a clusterfuck this year as it was last year, and Derrick Rose might be the one player uniquely suited to actually make it worse.

    @27
    Dear Ser Jowles of House Portlandia,

    Kindly re-submit your scorn in the form of shitpost and/or dank meme, hopefully not in sports gambling references about your bookie’s scouter levels being under 5000, kthx

    @28 Donnie
    It was such an howling emotional mass of shit-flinging and ugly-crying that you couldn’t have paid me to wade into that fray

    butt seriously folks

    Have we not just witnessed that LUOL BY GOD DENG just signed an identical contract to Noah’s with the Lakers. Let that inform your contextual understanding of our current environment.

    @28 because people, myself included, are fans of the team and want to see it succeed. I didn’t want the Knicks to give Noah that contract but now that we have I see there being two ways to look at it.

    1) condemn the move as shortsighted, a bad contract, etc and assume that the season will be a bust.
    2) look for the positives, hope for the best, and give myself a reason to watch next year.

    I follow sports for my own entertainment. In the few games the past years where the Knicks have played well, I’ve been through the roof with excitement. It doesn’t make sense to me to write seasons off before they even happen–what’s the point of watching and what’s the point of being a fan? If and when we crash and burn as has happened the past few years I’ll tune out and carry on with my life.

    And I know the inevitable response to this is: if we built the team properly we would have a sustained successful product to root for. Obviously I prefer that, but it’s not happening that way right now, so I’m looking for other reasons to get excited. It’s not rational, but being a sports fan to me is not about rationality, it’s about excitement and entertainment, watching the worlds best athletes do incredible things.

    That’s my outlook on this, obviously you all are entitled to your own POVs as well, but I’m sure you can at least see where I’m coming from.

    The Hawks can’t really be stupid enough to offer Horford a big deal, right? It’s not that Al can’t play; he’d be a great power forward next to Dwight. It’s that Paul Millsap is cheaper, is already awesome, and would have to be moved in order for the Hawks to sign Horford.

    @23 I believe it is Noah’s DRB rate along with his assist rate that still make him elite among the league’s centers. In my opinion though the little bit of good that comes with this signing is largely wiped out by his awful eFG%, which hasn’t exceeded .5o in 3 years along with his declining WP. Combine all that with his injury history and the fact that we gave him a four year contract and that we are now paying him $5 million more than Lopez, who I believe was comparable to Noah, just makes this a bad deal overall in my opinion.

    @34 – deng has been basically the same player for his entire career… he is nothing like noah or rose….

    @32

    The length of the Noah contract blows but with KP, O’Quinn, Plumlee and Hernangomez, we have enough in the front court to get over his eventual decline.

    How do you know we have enough in the front court? Other than KP, KOQ couldn’t get into the rotation and Plumlee and Hernangomez have yet to play an NBA minute. Sounds like a huge question mark.

    I don’t care if Noah scores 2 points/game. He is here to rebound, play d, and pass. He is elite at all 3. His ability to do these things will age slowly because they all require brains, hustle, and balls, and he is elite at all 3 of those. He is the perfect guy to mentor KP as well. I love the signing. Rose is here on a 1 year prove it deal. Let Melo, Rose and KP score. Noah will be the glue guy. Get Lee to hit kick out jumpers off of Rose penetration and play perimeter D. I think this is a solid, well rounded 5. As John Wooden said “I play my best 5, not my 5 best”.

    Why isn’t l. stephenson on anybody’s radar? I believe he is an RFA and had some kind of a renaissance at the end of last year with Memphis during their playoff run – a solid 30 games or so – when everybody was injured.

    I understand he is a pariah (drugs maybe?), but isn’t he the kind of reclamation project that has done traditionally done well in NY in the past?

    He is only 25, healthy and with undeniable potential.

    @35 I guess it’s a risk Phil has to take when the Knicks have consistently shot themselves in the foot dating back every GM since Scott Layden.

    The can’t-miss superstars like Durant aren’t coming here. Even an emerging star like Hassan Whiteside won’t give the Knicks a meeting — precisely because this isn’t a model franchise.

    Outside of KP there are no promising talents on rookie deals; we all know how a) Walsh and Grunfeld gave them away like candy and b) Knicks can’t or won’t blow up the team and rebuild, so there aren’t other team’s picks either. There are no draftees, so not enough guys on the roster. Rounding out a roster with free agents is doing it on hard mode (still no idea why Grant had to get thrown in the Rose deal.)

    So it looks like Phil chooses to chase after what he judges a market inefficiency: injured former stars. It’s a strategy that doesn’t involve trading away future first rounders, at least. And it’s brought in quite possibly the best possible player in the NBA to come to NY and mentor Porzingis. That will be fun!

    This so far is how Phil likes to work. He is neither the most wizard-like GM nor the WORST IDIOT EVER. One wishes he’d fight more for every inch in trade/contract negotiations. But we’ve seen how he likes to build in future “outs” in his deals to keep things flexible for the Knicks: And he also like to be a wheelin’-dealin’ son of a gun — orchestrating multi-phase offseason plans that take a while to develop. Is it wise? No idea. Is probably too complicated for his own good? Probably. Is it fun to write how Robert Evans talks? You bet your sweet ass it is.

    Also: I find it very interesting that he doesn’t give a shit about our desire for transparency and to be kept in the loop. How long did he leave everyone squirming and sitting on their hands, going into panic attacks over Rambis staying on, while he played MASTER TROLE and patronized rural Iowa’s finest Thai restaurants?

    I don’t think Phil’s philosophy or style is the best match for being a great GM in Today’s NBA, but I think he’s a very interesting person that is fun to write about. Didn’t someone propose a theory that he’s keeping things warm for Masai Ujiri, the one man Dolan fears and respects above all? I hope that happens.

    @37 I think everyone here is a fan of the team, but calling out the front office for poor moves is not a sign of not being a fan. Many of us are simply calling out Phil for what we believe are horrible moves that will set back the team in the long run and will not bring us any closer to championship basketball. Overall I still respect Phil as a coach, how can you not with 11 rings, but as a GM I see no long range plan to bring winning basketball back to NY. All I see with these moves is condemning the team for more mediocrity into the foreseeable future. I would love to be onboard with these moves, but all this does is remind me of the reign of error associated with Isiah. What’s that line from The Who, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

    So sad and so human how if [something extremely unlikely happens] everything would be great leads to the conclusion that everything would be great.
    And now I’m going to buy a couple of lottery tickets and look for a place to spend all my money.

    I have faith that Joakim Noah, the best player on this decade’s Bulls, we continue to play productive basketball for at least another two seasons. I expect at least 2,000 minutes and 10 wins from Noah this season.

    @37 SJK

    I’m with you, dude. I got a history of the depression and the anxiety. I’m doing good now, but regular life has given me enough problems by itself. Sports are my diversion and my entertainment. I like learning about analytics because they deepen my understanding of basketball and make it more fun to watch.

    Because, if I may have a moment of personal privilege: Say I not only believe everything will turn out for the worst, but also argue and demand that everyone else believe the same. Say if you try to tell me otherwise, I will vehemently oppose you and argue with you until you see things the way they “really” are.

    Those are the same exact thought patterns that invite depression into my life. I assume that everything will turn out for the worst because that’s how things have always been, and I become bitter and the walls start closing in. So while it seems fun to join the “shit on everything because the analytics suggest we should” brigade, I choose not to. It’s just not good for me.

    I’m not going to be a reub and demand that everyone also be an optimist. That’s just as shortsighted. I’m not you. You’re not me. And that’s worthy of respect. If having KB to bitch and moan and be correct about everything sucking is your release valve, then exercise your right be yourself.

    I choose to follow sports and talk and think about sports in the way I enjoy the most. I hope we’re all doing that.

    Even if everybody is healthy this is not going to be a good offensive team. The Knicks were 25th in offensive rating last year, and their two key additions are both horrendous offensive players who have had dismally bad offensive efficiency numbers over multiple successive seasons. They were also a mediocre three-point shooting team last year, and they’ve subtracted two good three-point shooters in Calderon and Afflalo and added a terrible one in Rose. Let’s say the Knicks add Courtney Lee– that would be a helpful signing, and I like Lee as a player, but the Knicks are still goink to be one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league unless Porzingis morphs into Larry Bird at age 21.

    The league average was .354 on three-pointers last year. The Knicks do not have a single player on the roster right now who hit that mark last year. The Knicks shot .341 from 3PT last year, and they have only two players who barely reached that mark– Langston Galloway at .344 and Justin Holiday at .343.

    The Knicks are also removing a guy in Robin Lopez who was very efficient in converting opportunities near the rim and replacing him with Joakim Noah who has seemingly completely lost his ability to finish near the rim. So there are some more easy buckets walking out the door.

    Phil took a weak offensive team and somehow made it worse. I know he isn’t done making moves yet, but there aren’t any more huge difference makers walking through the door. I’m having a hard time looking at this current team from a Four Factors perspective and seeing how this is going to be anything better than a bottom-third offense.

    Even if everybody is healthy this is not going to be a good offensive team. The Knicks were 25th in offensive rating last year, and their two key additions are both horrendous offensive players who have had dismally bad offensive efficiency numbers over multiple successive seasons.

    Um… synergy.

    @47 Only if there’s a way NYK can get rid of Seraphin but keep Snakey the Snake

    @49 Get lost and kick rocks, dude. Is it somehow better than “human” to agree with your point of view? There’s a difference between not letting negative thoughts consume your headspace and a lack of financial education.

    @53 JK47

    Wow. Did Afflalo really shoot 38% 3PT on 280~ attempts last year? All I visually remember is how much he hijacked the offense doing post ISOs and chucking up everything. Also refusing to ever pass to KP and get him involved offensively at all. 53.1 TS%, 4 REB, ~2 AST… all with a 19.1 USG. What horrible disappointment, given his reputation! Did not expect such a retrograde ISO player. Afflalo gone is addition by subtraction.

    Devil’s advocate:

    Melo’s 3PT last season was 39.9%, a hair under your threshold. I also expect KP’s 3PT to improve with a full NBA season under his belt. Well, it should. If it doesn’t I’ll be disappointed and also upset with him. If NY adds Lee, and you include Ron Baker, that’ll be 5 potential floor spacers. (don’t worry fam, I said “potential.”)

    I think Noah’s passing can equal Lopez’s put-back game. Noah will be a difference maker for the Knicks’ ball movement. If he is a secondary playmaker for the offense in the high post, then open shooters and cutters score more.

    We will probably miss Lopez for his stellar garbageman play. Still, Noah is a better rebounder. Someone said the other day that Noah missed an unusual number of tip-ins last season, and that those are a volatile, BABIP-like stat. Yes, I think we will all get frustrated when Noah can’t convert certain lay-ups. But his injuries have not affected his offensive rebounding numbers. If Noah successfully crashes the glass, KP and Willy H will only be a pocket pass under the hoop away in those kinds of scenarios.

    Rose is going to be a great adventure and a giant question mark. Maybe he serves as the dribble drive creator the Knicks lacked all last season? His athleticism is still very good. Possibly his FTA plummeted because he was going easy on his knees his first full season back. Possibly he has irreversibly declined. Not a fun risk to take.

    @50 Will wonders never cease. What Amare wants and what he will get are two different things however.

    Amare does come from the Olajuwon teaching tree of post scoring. And it does take a village to raise a Kristaps. HMM.

    I really hate that we had to guarantee four years for a player with such a bad trend line the last 3 years. I will say though that I love the fit if he bounces back. If it was up to me we would have just kept the solid reliable value C we already had on the roster, but no use crying over spilled milk I guess. Still a lot of work left to do on the fringes of the roster and not a ton of money to do it with.

    Sign Lance Stephenson – The Knicks don’t have enough knuckle heads on the squad right now

    One positive of all of these signings that will make Knicks basketball fun to watch: almost every guy has a friend/someone they like and trust on the squad. Rose and Noah are close. Porzingis and Hernangomez, ditto. Melo and Noah have been friends, and if Wade came (unlikely) that’s Melo’s boy. Porzingis looks up to Melo, and I could see him also looking up to Noah.

    Phil has been preaching cohesion and team ball…I could see lots of unselfish play with this squad and the possibility of real gelling in a way that hasn’t happened for the Knicks in a long time. Maybe Phil sees this too?

    i don’t know SHIT about WS,WP,BABIP,BMW and TWA but i feel that Noah will make our team mentally tougher, gritty and highly energized.
    Jo is a Badass
    &
    I LOVE IT

    almost every guy has a friend/someone they like and trust on the squad.

    Don’t forget that Phil has Kurt Rambis, and Dolan has Isiah!

    @64

    Win Shares: calculates points produced against possessions used, and then compares that to league average (marginal offenses). Then it translates those additional points into Offensive Win Shares. Skewed toward volume scorers, but not as much as PER.

    Defense is weird and WS punts by using DRtg. Defense is very hard to quantify.

    Wins Produced: regression-based statistic that uses the box score to, again, extrapolate wins from raw box score data. It then adjusts, creating an “average” based on three “types” of players: guard, wing, big. Punts on defense by splitting performance-against-average 5 ways.

    Skewed toward efficient shooters, offensive rebounders and players who get lots of steals and commit few turnovers. Has the highest correlation with actual wins of the major all-in-one stats (PER, WS, WP). Like most stats, not great at prediction, but better than your eyes.

    BABIP: Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) measures how often a ball in play goes for a hit. A ball is “in play” when the plate appearance ends in something other than a strikeout, walk, hit batter, catcher’s interference, sacrifice bunt, or home run. In other words, the batter put the ball in play and it didn’t clear the outfield fence. Typically around 30% of all balls in play fall for hits, but there are several variables that can affect BABIP rates for individual players, such as defense, luck, and talent level. Hitters have more control over their BABIP than pitchers do and that lack of control for pitchers has lead to the creation of Defense Independent Pitching Statistics (DIPS). (from Fangraphs)

    BMW is a luxury automobile company and TWA was an airline that was essentially bankrupted after 9/11.

    edit, Kyle Collinsworth is a terrible shooter, nevermind

    I haven’t posted much lately (life’s been busy), but you all are making me smile and laugh with these epic threads. “Ruff rhydahs” lol.

    I’m not happy with the 4 years for Noah but my gut (don’t laugh cock jowles and JK47), tells me he’s going to be a beast for us. I always loved his style of play. He’s going to have a chip on his shoulder, and he’s a hometown kid.

    Rose- most likely a bust. To many injuries for a game predicated on athleticism.

    Shooting guard- seriously I don’t want them to throw money around. Phil should just let the dust settle and take a flier on what’s left for 1 year. Preserving cap space for next year. Maybe we overachieve despite Rose’s suckitude, and we convince Westbrook to join up.

    Not great contract for Noah. 72 mil for 4 years is nearly Amare territory. Speaking of which, STAT on a veterans minimum or even at 3mil will be an excellent addition. He will help mentor the young guys, provide some leadership and maybe do his thing from time to time. Back to Noah, really disappointing we didn’t try to bring Kanter (if rumors are true ).As for the SG, best man now looks to be Courtney Lee.But please give him a reasonable contract like 2 years 26mil or 1+1 player option.

    @69
    Thanks for the detailed analysis but i must admit that i really don’t trust stats as much as my eyes.
    Is there any stat for energy, toughness, leadership, confidence, cockeyness, team spirit….

    even if everyone’s healthy i have a hard time seeing us breaking .500…. i would say we are optimistically 38-42 wins with a realistic range of around 36-40…

    @65
    Unfortunately i’m not from usa and can’t understand everything in this blog but i can imagine that
    “FINALLY SOME RUFF RYDAHS”
    has to do with old skool rap ? or not ? i really don’t know/sorry

    Is there any stat for energy, toughness, leadership, confidence, cockeyness, team spirit….

    Energy: Oreb%; Dreb%; D-rat
    Toughness: mpg; games
    Confidence: FGA
    Cockeyness: FGA/sec
    Team Spirit: winning%

    OK, enough of this. Time for SUMMER LEAGUE!!!!

    (wut, no game thread?!)

    @77
    DMX 1998
    “Stop, drop, shut ’em down, open up shop / Oh, no / That’s how Ruff Ryders roll / Stop, drop, shut ’em down, open up shop”

    Speaking of which, what about a vet’s min for our old friend Novakaine?

    @77 and @82

    Stephen A. Smith calls “gritty” players RUFF RYDAHZ and we hate Stephen A. Smith because he is a terrible human being and also one of the worst people in sports media.

    Hey Z-Man– did you see that I tried to infuse a silver-lining into things in this thread, and got shot down for being an optimist?! Thought you’d appreciate that 🙂

    Unfortunately i’m not from usa and can’t understand everything in this blog but i can imagine that
    “FINALLY SOME RUFF RYDAHS”
    has to do with old skool rap ? or not ? i really don’t know/sorry

    A “RUFF RYDAH” is the kind of player favored by American sports “journalist” Stephen A. Smith. If you’re not familiar with Stephen A. Smith consider yourself lucky.

    @91- I almost choked on my soup laughing! Yes he is lucky if he doesn’t know Stephen A. Smith. Ignorance truly is bliss sometimes.

    @91
    Unfortunately i know S.A.Smith a bit via Youtube…so not so lucky !
    But i can feel your hate on his hateful-tv persona

    I was in Uzbekistahn once, and some guy was on the radio, screaming and yelling. I asked the driver what he was so riled up about, and he said it was a sports radio station, and the guy was complaining that the new goalie on the Uzbek soccer national team wasn’t a rough rider… (or something like that).

    Hey Z-Man– did you see that I tried to infuse a silver-lining into things in this thread, and got shot down for being an optimist?! Thought you’d appreciate that 🙂

    Ha! You know, I even checked Deng’s stats to verify your comparison!

    Look, Donnie, I hear you and all the other skeptics. You are all smart guys and have been correct plenty of times over the years. I certainly wouldn’t bet on my side of the argument, but it’s a more fun side to argue, imho. I always told my kids: don’t get too worked up worrying about what hasn’t happened yet. Right now, it serves no purpose for me to get all gloomy, since I will root for whatever team we put out there, as I have for the last 50+ years. If I convinced myself that the worst case was more likely than the best case, the games wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. But keep at it, it’s also less fun if we’re all in agreement.

    So, Biyombo to the Magic apparently. The Magic have an awful lot of big men all of a sudden– Biyombo, Ibaka, Aaron Gordon, Vucevic… I guess they will want to move one of Gordon or Vucevic for some backcourt help.

    Kingsy is the new Knicksy.

    Yeah, but Sacramento doesn’t proclaim itself to be the “Mecca of Basketball”, and Arco Arena doesn’t portend to be “The World’s Most Famous Arena”.

    I wouldn’t trade Vucevic

    Vucevic only makes $11,000,000 a year. Who would even want that?

    Yeah, but they Arco does have the most famous..cowbells? Their FO is looking pretty incompetent. I’m honestly starting to wonder if things with the Knicks FO were really goink as bad as we thought they were, considering the Kings’ situation. They actually had Rondo and Cousins!! Maybe I was too into what the Knicks were doing to realize how bat shit that is

    So, Biyombo to the Magic apparently. The Magic have an awful lot of big men all of a sudden– Biyombo, Ibaka, Aaron Gordon, Vucevic… I guess they will want to move one of Gordon or Vucevic for some backcourt help.

    If they move Aaron Gordon for a 40-year-old Ibaka, everyone in that front office should be fired. After Towns and Porzingis, there’s no one in the league more poised to have a breakout superstar year. He’s already very good at basketball and he’s TWENTY. Third year in the league and he’ll be 21.

    Edit: Maybe Antetokoumpo.

    Props to Afflalo for possibly doing the Knicks a big favor. Reportedly, the Kings are the Knicks’ main competitor for Courtney Lee. However, AA signs with them (2/$25m), possibly taking them out of the Lee sweepstakes.

    The argument that the Noah signing is not that bad because of the huge contracts all around free agency is a bad argument. When the market goes crazy the best thing to do is not participate. The cap will raise one more time and then settle down. Contracts will come back down as less teams have cap space and there will be opportunities in 2018 and 2019. The prudent plan would be to hold tight, collect picks and youth and sign only 1 and 2 year contracts to keep flexible for the future.

    We are building a win now team that even if everything goes right and miracles happen won’t get past Cleveland and will likely implode with injuries and win 35 games and not only miss the playoffs but also miss on a high draft pick. It feels a lot like the team we put together with Jason Kidd that broke exactly right to win 50+ games and then imploded and stuck us in a hole for 2 years.

    @106 you need to be more specific, when you say “collect picks and youth and only sign 1 and 2 year deals” what exactly are you referring to? Who are these “youth” and who are these players signing 1 and 2 year deals?

    I’m not saying I’m happy with the length of Noah’s contract, but I’m also not sure how well the concept of sitting back and doing nothing plays out either.

    @106
    You’re right! but i still like the Noah signing.
    It’s like eating candys.
    Bad for your health but good for your psychology !

    @107
    At this point you get what you can and do nothing if there is no good opportunities. We squandered our chance at picks making the terrible Rose trade but Lopez could have gotten something and Grant would have been a cheap player in our back court, after that trade our options were limited but doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing. Four years for a 30 year old injury prone center that seems to have lost a step is the definition of the wrong thing. Four more years for a 30 year old role player in Lee is not much better.

    We needed to be conservative and look long term this summer instead of these short term moves with long term implications. Who cares how many games we win next year if it helps Porzingis’s growth and gets us a pick to build with. I’m not suggesting we tank. There will be people available after the market settles down. Stephenson on a short prove it deal would have been good. Also there will be players available to trade as teams overspend on shiny new toys. Millsap, Vucevic, Bogut are all cheaper short term bigs that could have been interium solutions. The key was nothing longer than 2 years unless they were a player that was getting better not getting worse.

    SGs pool is:Lee /Wade /Rivers /Gordon. Who you got?For me its Lee, or Wade on a 1+1.

    Did Gordon get signed? I doubt that Lee takes a 1+1 but I can see Gordon taking one. Crabbe, Tyler Johnson, Rivers, Lance are other possibilities albeit remote.

    After we figure out our shooting guard situation, I would like to see Phil bring in Jarrett Jack on 1+1 if possible. I think that would be a solid backup PG.

    Eric Gordon is a terrible defensive player in many ways– he lacks length for a shooting guard, he lacks strength and he lacks lateral quickness. Rose and Gordon is a really, really bad defensive backcourt and should be avoided at all costs. Plus Gordon can’t stay on the floor.

    Hell naw to Eric Gordon. Courtney Lee might not be the shooting guard of our dreams but he is just as good as Gordon on the offensive end and is actually a solid perimeter defender. He is particularly good at defending the three pointer.

    If not for that little nypd issue, I’d say we should scrap the two guard hunt and use the rest of our space to take splitter and thabo from the Hawks as they desperately try to clear cap room for horford. Maybe this could net us a couple of seconds and also would give us a guy who defends wings better than anyone we’re talking about signing.

    Also, it would be a mistake to renounce Galloway’s QO just to pay Lee 16m/yr.

    Thabo as a 6th man will be great value. As a starting SG, not so good.Splitter for 8 mil is a little bit steep for a second unit C.

    If Phil renounces Galloway or trades O Quinn for no assets he deserves to be run out of town

    If the Knicks are taking gambles, here is a name that can turned into a chip: Roy Hibbert.

    If the Knicks are taking gambles, here is a name that can turned into a chip: Roy Hibbert.

    Who said the Knicks are taking gambles?

    Phil Jackson, ladies and gentlemen, wouldn’t know a good deal if it hit him in the face.
    Let me tell you what. We’re getting screwed. These team presidents, they don’t know how to make deals, and they’re killing us. We got the greatest franchise in the world and we’re getting killed. It’s terrible.

    If I became president this is what I’d do. I put people in charge who know how to make deals. I know these people. I’d call my friend Carl Icahn and say “Carl, get me the best most efficient players available. Oh and by the way: Leave us plenty of cap room for next season when the real FA come on the market.” Boom. Trust me, that’s all you need. Simple. In fact, I talked to Carl last night. I asked him and he said he’d be happy to do it. Happy.

    You know what else? I’d put a ban players from Chicago. Right? People say “You can’t do that.” Watch me, OK? You know what I saw? The day, that terrible awful day, when the Eddie Curry trade went down. We all remember that. The tragedy. It was horrible. You know what I remember? Chicagoans all up and down Michigan avenue celebrating as they watched our suffering. All our hopes crashing down around us. I saw it with my own eyes. Now here they are coming in again with their exploding joints, hogging up our cap space. Enough. No one else from Chicago gets in until we figure out what’s going on.

    You know what else? I’d build a wall around Madison Square Garden. Right now there are people, these scalpers and Wall Street crooks, they’re just streaming into the garden with their weapons and their drugs and I don’t know. Of course they want in. Why wouldn’t they? That doesn’t mean we have to let them. So I’d build a wall and make them pay for it.

    Free agents, free trade. Sounds great right? Let me tell you something. Nothing’s free, alright? It’s rigged. The whole system’s rigged. It’s time we take this team back and make the Knicks great again. I’ll make this the greatest team in history.

    Donnie, its clear the team is gambling on Rose and Noah staying healthy to compete. If that happens, hello playoffs. If it doesn’t, hello lottery.I don’t think you can argue with that.

    The argument that the Noah signing is not that bad because of the huge contracts all around free agency is a bad argument. When the market goes crazy the best thing to do is not participate.

    You are assuming this market is a bubble. But the salaries players are getting are similar percentages of the cap as what players got a few years ago, so I think these salaries are the new reality.

    There are more free agents and contracts than their used to be, but that is also not because the market is in bubble mode. It’s because the last CBA shortened the maximum player contracts and it’s been long enough that almost all league players are now on the shorter contracts so more enter free agency every year than used to.

    Unreason – I think you are going to give that establishment candidate DRed a run for his money. He’s at the beach!

    Great post @122!

    for some reason, Trumps rhetoric sounds less crazy when in the context of making the Knicks great again. A temporary ban on Bulls is a great idea! (Just until we figure out what is going on, of course).

    So Marvin Williams takes less to stay in Charlotte, while Horford refuses less and moves to Boston.

    Charlotte is an interesting team. They seem to be turning a corner. I’m curious to see how their roster turns out.

    I sgree about Charlotte, they could be good this year. Horford will also help Boston a lot.

    “the East is big, man”

    The Cs need to replace Turner. Horford is a good move but they still can’t shoot or draft worth a damn.

    Oh. Fuck Billy King for giving the Celtics the right to swap 2017 draft picks. Next year’s class is loaded.

    EDIT: I’m not saying Turner could shoot and losing him makes them a worse shooting team. Turner was a good player though and they need another guard if they want to get into the mid 50s in wins.

    Horford seems like a good player but since really that great that it’s being considered a coup for Boston to get him (and pay him like $40MM in his age 34 season)?

    I mean I’m hating this Noah signing because we’ll be paying him less than half that in his age 34 and 35 seasons. And Noah is arguably better than horford IMHO. And horford has missed most of 2 of the last 4 seasons with injuries too.

    Knicks sign Courtney Lee for $50 million over 4 years. (Maybe $48 million)

    Ain’t no “arguably.” The only thing Horford does better than Noah is score and stay healthy (both of those are very important though). Noah is a better rebounder, passer, defender, leader, and LeBron hater. But if health is equal, give me Noah all day every day.

    The Courtney Lee signing sucks bro. We look like a worse version of last year’s Bulls.

    Although paying another 34 year old isn’t ideal, it’s hard to hate this contract. Lee at least brings things their starting unit really needs, and does it reliably. And the price is not bad.

    Courtney Lee is a nice little player, and he’ll fit in well here. That’s a solid signing.

    Lee brings at least three key things to the table:
    1. Durability. Lee has never missed significant time in his career, and is usually good for 75 games and 2,000 minutes.
    2. Perimeter defense. Lee is excellent at defending jump shots, particularly three pointers. Here’s an article about his prowess as a perimeter defender: http://www.atthehive.com/2016/3/6/11167418/courtney-lees-impact-as-a-perimeter-defender
    3. Spot-up shooting. Lee is a career .384 shooter from 3PT, and has a career .546 TS%, not bad for a shooting guard.

    The Knicks will be paying for Lee’s age 31-34 seasons, but $12M AAV is not a crippling salary with the current salary cap and he’s probably a guy you can move in a season or two if you need to clear cap space. He’s also the kind of player that will probably age pretty well– his game is based in fundamentals and perimeter shooting, and those guys have longer shelf lives than the guys who rely on pure athleticism. In my opinion he’s clearly an upgrade over Afflalo, so Phil did a good job on this one.

    Well, again, the “Amare bucks” multiplier for next year is .617, his salary before the skyrocketing of the cap is equivalent $7.4 million (i.e. less than Lin’s average annual salary in the poison pill deal.) in 2017-2018 and beyond (assuming that the cap stabilizes around $107m) the multiplier is .542, making his salary equivalent to $6.5 million. That’s what Big Snacks was paid in his last year by the Bulls, and less than the Rockets paid Jared Jeffries after we traded him. Good value for a solid journeyman vet. Not sexy, but a very nice fill of a position of need in this crazy market.

    The best thing about the Rose deal is that it kept us from making fools out of ourselves going after Conley at $30+ million per.
    The best thing about the Lee deal is that it isn’t Evan Turner or Dwyane Wade or Eric Gordon.

    Putting together a “win now” team that doesn’t have much of a chance at being a realistic contender is not a good idea, but hey, this team can at least make the playoffs and I’ll be honest, smart plan or not, I really, really like watching the Knicks in the playoffs (so I totally understand the allure of just putting together a decent team after having a bunch of shitty teams). So it is something! AND I’ve long been a fan of Noah and Lee (although the “long” part is the problem, ya know?), so that’s nice, too.

    Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and Joakim Noah is going to be a lot of fun playing with in 2K17. That’s always a plus.

    Also, KP is a smart guy. The first thing he said about playing with Derrick Rose is that he will provide a lot of offensive rebounding opportunities for him. That’s hilariously true. The Kobe assist lives on!

    I still would have preferred a Grant-Lee-Melo-KP-Lopez lineup going into the season, while keeping the cap room in reserve, especially for next year. Maybe sign Lin as starting PG, or throw an offer at Tyler Johnson. Then fill the roster with young players with upside. Would that team be really worse than the Rose-Lee-Melo-KP-Noah lineup? I see the upside in the latter, but what are the chances of reaching that upside, really?

    Best case scenario. Knicks make it to the second round of the playoffs. Rose is pretty much the reason they lose. Sell CP3 next summer that he’s the missing piece.

    Overall this has the look of a pretty good team. When was the last time we had only one or two minus defenders in our starting lineup?

    The injury risk of Noah/Rose/Melo is compounded by the fact that there is not a lot of depth on the team. It’s a long way down from Noah to the likes of Kyle O’Quinn and whichever Plumlee we have the rights to. And we still don’t know who the backup PG is, or who would take Melo’s minutes if Melo has to miss time. So it’s going to be key for Phil to make very shrewd moves around the edges in case these contingencies arise. That’s another area where the lack of young, cost-controlled players hurts: you have to find your depth from the vet minimum scrap heap.

    So next year will probly be:
    Rose/Galloway
    Lee/Holliday
    Melo/Thomas
    KP/O’Quinn
    Noah/Hernangomez

    Honestly the two line ups are about the same health permitting. I’d put my money on Rose’s improvement to being better than Grant, and Noah is better than Lopez, but both teams look like 45-48 wins max. I also think Rose, Lee, Melo, Porzingis, and Noah have a better chance of reaching the second round of the playoffs because rough ryda.

    I like what the team looks like today. Lee > Afflalo and Noah > Lopez. The Derrick Rose problem still looms. I wonder if we can steal one of Lawson or Chalmers on a prove it contract to back up Rose. Our roster looks like this right now:

    PG: Rose, Galloway
    SG: Lee, Holiday, Baker
    SF: Melo, Thomas
    PF: Porzingis, Hernangomez
    C: Noah, O’Quinn, Plumlee

    Absolute best case scenario is Rose regains his fake MVP form (.160 WS/48, .120 WP48), Porzingis becomes an All Star (.175 WS/48, .150 WP48), Noah stays healthy and regains 2014 DPOY form (.150 WS/48, .250WP48), Melo plays the way he played last year (.120 WS/48, .110 WP48), Galloway takes another step forward as the 6th man, and Lee is his usual self. That team shocks the world and wins 55+ games then loses to Cleveland in 7. The worst case scenario? The injury bug bites and we win 27 games.

    Most likely scenario is a 44 win season and we lose to Cleveland in 5 games.

    I remember back in 2007 when the Celts first signed the Big 3, the argument was that they had no depth and no cap room, and that Rondo wasn’t ready for prime time. There will be guys out there.

    The issue is whether Noah and Rose stay reasonably healthy and play well. If they do, this is a good-to-very good team. If not, they will be so-so to terrible. But unlike in the past, there is a plan B (draft picks and cap space.)

    I think we should pass on a back up PG if he’s not a young UDFA, Ty Lawson, or Mario Chalmers. Galloway is a good enough 3rd guard to be the back up combo guard.

    Could we actually afford Chalmers? He’s gotta be worth at least $6-8 mill per in this market!

    If Noah stays healthy we’ll win like 43 games. If Noah and Rose stay healthy AND play well? This is a great basketball team, but it’s so unlikely that those guys give us 70 games a piece playing high level basketball.

    Part of me is convinced that Rose is going to break out again, Noah is going to be an All NBA player, and Gar Forman will get fired for giving up on the heart and soul of Chicago basketball. The other part thinks Harry Giles will be a Knick next year. Both sides are very very pleased. Ultimately we’ll have a pick in the high teens and we’ll get smoked in the 1st round of the playoffs.

    IMO Phil has done a great job this summer. He’s Built a very competitive watchable team for this year. and we still have flexibility going forward. We signed Courtney Lee, a trade-able asset going forward, and 20 mill (D. Rose), comes off the books next summer. I’d take that anyday, over where we were last year.

    I worry we are not going to have Lance Thomas or maybe Galloway. Once the big names are signed other teams are still going to have money and needs and could compete for them

    Great job, Phil! You’ve improved us greatly at 3 of our 5 starting slots. Plus you added a nice 3&D guy in Holliday. Plus added a number 2 pick in a loaded draft. Plus we have all our number 1’s going forward. Would really like another shooter/scorer and maybe Amare too. Sleep well, Zenmaster!

    Phil didn’t do a great job. He took a huge risk and we’ll see how it pans out. Otherwise he gave two guys their last big contracts and while one of them is a top 15 player when healthy, his health is a big question mark going forward.

    All 4 years guaranteed for 30 yr old Courtney Lee? At 12 per? We couldn’t steal Daniels for the same price? I may be in the minority, but I don’t think the cap is going to keep rising like it is. Not at this rate. Maybe in small increments like it usually does. So..in 4 years, we will have a 35 yr old Noah and a 34 yr old Lee getting a good chunk of cap space. Does Phil really expect them to age like Grant Hill, Kevin Willis, Pau Gasol, or Jamal Crawford? Sheesh!

    Or does he not care because he’s not gonna be there after next season?

    I read somewhere that Chalmers may miss most of the season. Lawson could probably come cheap. Jack too.

    Thoughts on trading our 2017 1st round pick for Okafor and a 2nd round pick?

    I think Jack would come pretty cheap. I’d be a fan of that move, if Phil can pull it off.

    the deal to lee is going to be another albatross on the tail end….. guys like him don’t age well but he at least has a good shot at giving a good year or two….

    it’s still not enough to make the playoffs in my estimates…. alot of things has to break right in order for us to sneak in…..

    the question is… if we don’t make playoffs does phil get fired? if he doesn’t… he absolutely should be….

    we can’t trade our 2017 pick… but no we shouldn’t do that anyway….

    There’s no path to a championship with this core, but it might be a watchable team for a couple of seasons before everybody starts getting old and it all goes to shit. Or maybe not. If Noah plays like 2014-2015 Noah and Rose plays like 2015-2016 Rose, the team will probably suck right out of the gate. But it might not suck! For one or two years at least!

    Around here, that’s pretty much the best we can hope for. Uh, thanks, Phil?

    Make the playoffs? We have a chance for Eastern Conference Championship.

    See how the Celtics set up their roster? They have a bunch of guys on rookie contracts who are not stars, but who are productive, and they won 48 games with that bunch. Now they sign Horford, which I’m not a huge fan of, but they still have money left over to possibly sign Durant. And if they sign Durant, they will probably wreck the rest of the Eastern Conference.

    THAT’S how it’s done, folks.

    I’m surprise Derrick Williams and Terrance Jones have not been scooped up yet.

    I’d love to share your optimism on the ECF reub, but even with a healthy Noah & Rose, I think Cleveland/Boston/healthy Wiz with Scott Brooks may all be better than our Knicks. If Phil is able to improve the spacing, then that probably changes. But this team will be interesting and easy to root for. There’s no denying the upgrade in talent.

    Amir Johnson $12M
    Avery Bradley $8.2M
    Isaiah Thomas $6.5M
    Jae Crowder $6.5M
    Marcus Smart $3.5M
    Kelly Olynyk $3M

    That’s six relatively productive players for the low, low price of $39.7M. Plus they have this year’s #3 overall pick Jaylen Brown and the rights to a couple draft-and-stash guys. They will probably get more production out of Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder for $13M than we will for Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose for $46M.

    Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that those sons of bitches don’t get Durant.

    What, the team that won 48 games last year and might add Al Horford and Kevin Durant? We’re in a better position than that team?

    If the Celts get Durant, I promise that I won’t post for a week.

    The Celts will pile up wins in the regular season and flame out in the playoffs next year. Horford is way more overpaid than Noah.

    Let’s look at playoff near locks for next year:

    1) Cleveland
    2) Toronto
    3) Boston
    4) Orlando

    Then you have teams that are very likely to make the playoffs:

    1) Miami
    2) Atlanta
    3) Detroit

    Then you have a bunch of teams that need things to break right to varying yet feasible degrees for them to make the playoffs. Here’s how I would rate them in terms of likelihood (considering remaining cap space, too)

    1) Charlotte (lost a bit in free agency but still the favorite)
    2) Indiana (they won 45 last year but I’m not real high on their offseason)
    3) Chicago (42 wins last season and probably upgraded at C and PG compared to last year’s Rose and Noah)
    4) Milwaukee (so many young studs)
    5) New York
    6) Washington

    Do we have the cap space left to sign Thomas? I suspect he’ll get a better offer than we can give now.

    I would not cal any team a “lock”until I learn more. What happens if Horford gets injured? How much will it hurt Boston to lose Evan Turner? Why is Orlando a lock? How does Atlanta fare w/o Horford and Teague? Does Howard get weird again? Miami? They suck.

    But I agree with your general point…the Knicks are hardly a lock for the playoffs.

    As bench help:
    Ramon Sessions would be a very good backup PG for us. He might be my top choice. I think that Jennings will cost too much. Lawson, Chalmers, Brooks? Gerald Green has done well in Horny’s system. Kevin Martin? For less money, Tim Frazier looked very good late. James Ennis too. Troy Daniels?

    If there’s a better way to spend an afternoon than laying in the sun on a beach drinking beer I haven’t found it yet. Tremendous value over replacement afternoon

    That team also lost Evan Turner who was a big part of what they did last year. Evan Turner is a three point shot away from being a franchise cornerstone and it will not be easy to replace him.

    They’ll be better than the Knicks without a doubt, but let’s not give Danny Ainge a bunch of credit here. He wouldn’t be in such a good position if Billy King wasn’t a complete fucking moron, and even then he is down right bad at drafting. That team’s best players are Thomas, Johnson, Crowder, and Horford. None of those guys were his draft picks. Bradley, Olynyk, and Smart are super boring and average players. He’s building his team to be successful over a long time for sure, but he’s not winning a championship anytime soon. I will say that he’s a lucky break away from a championship which is more than I can say from the Knicks.

    If D Rose isn’t a fucking car wreck again and we get really lucky on the injury front this is a team that could finish .500 or so. Maybe even be good if Porzingis takes a massive leap. But we’re probably gonna win something like 37 games unless we pull a rabbit out of a hat with the last bits of money we have left.

    Assuming health:

    Rose>Calderon
    Lee>>Afflalo
    Melo
    KP>rookie KP
    Noah>Lopez

    ..assuming health

    Four year deals may be investments as the cap rises. Assuming health…

    Give me Ramon Sessions and Tim Frazier as cheap backup PG’s. There are plenty of under the radar wings out there for cheap but we need the PG depth for sure.

    Rose>Calderon

    You can’t say Rose is better than Calderon, because he was sooo much worse last year and he was relatively healthy

    Never thought I’d say this, but reub is right about Tim Frazier.

    Atlanta is a lock to make the playoffs with Thabo Sefalosha, Kent Bazemore, Dwight Howard, and Paul Millsap on their roster. I’d say the playoff locks are Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, Atlanta, and maybe Charlotte. Indiana got worse and if there was any team to bet the under on it’s them. My early prediction for playoff seeding is as follows:

    1) Cleveland
    2) Toronto
    3) Atlanta
    4) Boston
    5) Detroit
    6) Charlotte
    7) New York
    8) Indiana

    If there’s a better way to spend an afternoon than laying in the sun on a beach drinking beer I haven’t found it yet. Tremendous value over replacement afternoon

    Grilling lemon pepper pork chops and veggie kabobs on a grill while baking three-berry crumble, topped with vanilla ice cream. I’m bulking for greater presence in the low post.

    Feel how you want to, but a starting five of Schröder, Sefalosha, Bazemore, Millsap, and Howard is probably the best defensive unit in basketball next year. That team is a lock to make the playoffs and they will be better than the Knicks.

    @183 – i think the better comp is how we stack up against last year’s 42 win bulls team…..

    we are roughly in the 38-44 win range right now… if rose is really as bad as last year or noah goes down for significant time then we’re not going to be much better than last year’s 32 win season….

    That team is a lock to make the playoffs and they will be better than the Knicks.

    Lol. Prescient eh?

    Can’t argue with someone who knows already

    DRed, Tim Frazier would flourish under Hornacek’s tutelage. Would give us so much energy too off the bench. Would come cheap.

    Feel how you want to, but a starting five of Schröder, Sefalosha, Bazemore, Millsap, and Howard is probably the best defensive unit in basketball next year. That team is a lock to make the playoffs and they will be better than the Knicks.

    Wrong.

    Wait. People really think Rose, Lee, Melo, KP, and Noah is a better starting five than Schröder, Sefalosha, Bazemore, Millsap, and Howard? Interesting.

    The Hawks are probably going to be around 53 wins this year. I think the Knicks can grab at most 50 if KP has a break out year and if Noah stays healthy. Make no mistake though; the Hawks are poised to win their division next year. We have Boston and Toronto in front of us.

    Masaii passes up market value deal on Biyombo and mega-maxes Derozan?

    Please enlighten me, Berrites.

    This has the feel of the ’12 team.

    It’s very easy to take the pessimistic view on this group, as most did that year. Anyone can tell the Rose/Noah injury, never the same narrative.

    When I watched Rose play the last two seasons, what was apparent to me was the total disorganization of the Bulls offense, and the lack of a coherent roll for Rose.

    Yes, he’s not a Russell Westbrook level athlete anymore, but he clearly remains one of the most explosive guards in the league, and a great penetrator.

    A lot has to go right for the Knicks to be really good. More has to go right than most teams.

    But this team has the highest ceiling of any Knicks squad of the last 10-15 years.

    There’s this chance that Rose and Noah are healthy, rejuvenated, that KP grows into a star and Melo finally settles into a role where he doesn’t have to carry the offense, and he gets to play a more complete, efficient-style.

    That Lee and Holliday hit 3s and provide consistent quality defense, Galloway takes another step and the depth becomes a strength.

    What are the odds of all of that happening?

    Low. About as likely as lotto pick turning into a superstar. But that’s my point.

    I feel like I’ve seen this before, and it’s a lot of fun.

    It seems like no one actually watched our first summer league game. I just finished watching it, so I will give my observations. Take them with a grain of salt. The picture quality wasn’t very good and the announcers were bantering and mostly not saying who scored or did something of interest, so I had a hard time figuring who was who. But here goes anyway:

    For the Pistons, Stanley Johnson played and looked like the best player out there. Their rookie, Ellison, showed some signs of good stuff and is only 19, so he could be good. (He was apparently drafted number 11) A guy name Bachynski also looked good. He got a lot of rebounds.

    The Knicks could not hit a jump shot. They also weren’t great on defense most of the time. Maybe this is due to their changing their mind about who was to coach the summer league team at the last minute. Dajuan Summers stood out as a reasonable player. He’s from our D league team. Also Plumlee looked reasonable, but didn’t seem to play much in the second half. Ron Baker played point. I didn’t expect that. He looked reasonable in distributing, and dribbling and such, but was 0 for 7 shooting, or something like that. He is reputed to be a shooter, so I don’t know what was going on. He wasn’t taking absolutely awful shots either. He just didn’t hit them, and sometimes missed by an awful lot. A guy name Akil Mitchell played a little bit and I thought he did some good things. Apparently he was in D-League last but only played three games or so before being injured and then didn’t play again. Labeyrie was in the game a bit, but I wasn’t too impressed. There was also a guy named Tokoto who played guard and I thought he had potential, but it was very hard to say.

    At the end the announcers said they would be talking with KP and PJ during the game tomorrow (Sunday).

    Wait. People really think Rose, Lee, Melo, KP, and Noah is a better starting five than Schröder, Sefalosha, Bazemore, Millsap, and Howard? Interesting.

    It’s all speculation man. There’s a lot of variAbles. Olympic Melo for example

    @massive, I don’t see how you can not put Orlando in the playoffs. tons of youth, won 35 last year, added an all-star caliber player (even if Ibaka hasn’t made an ASG) while giving up maybe a league average bench player. Also added Biyombo.

    Even ORL lacks a point guard and have weird roster balance, if they just make one big for guard trade, which they’ve gotta be planning to do at this point, I see them winning in the upper 40s.

    Charlotte lost Lin (and Jefferson, who was hurt most of the season but made some contribs) and had several dudes have career years last year (Kemba, Marvin Williams, Batum). Only upside is maybe a little growth from Kaminsky and the possible return of Kidd-Gilchrist. If you wanna pick a team to underperform, I’d go with them.

    When I watched Rose play the last two seasons, what was apparent to me was the total disorganization of the Bulls offense, and the lack of a coherent roll for Rose

    Oh for sure. That’s why he sucked

    Our summer league team is horrid. Maybe Baker and Harris have a slight chance of becoming pros. The rest is just filler. They’re going to play the Heat on Sunday who I watched yesterday and it’s a guaranteed blowout for Miami. They have a roster of 18 guys all of whom are really talented and hungry. If you can see Sunday’s game keep an eye on Jankovic, Weber and Walker for Miami as guys we can steal away. We’re going to get blown out.

    Our summer league team is so awesome I’d be surprised if we didn’t have 5 or 6 all-stars from it. Go Phil!

    Great job, Phil! You’ve improved us greatly at 3 of our 5 starting slots…Plus added a number 2 pick in a loaded draft.

    Reub! I’m surprised! You agree that the Knicks are going to have the #2 pick in next year’s draft thanks to Phil Jackson?! I thought you were looking forward to the ECF come June, not the lottery!

    Please enlighten me, Berrites.

    Who are you talking to? This is knickerblogger, not wages of wins (or raptorblogger).

    The only person who has mentioned Berri around here for years is you.

    Four years of Courtney Lee, huh? I guess it’s the safe bet, after days of playing Russian Roulette with the roster. Lee is the epitome of “mediocre journeyman”, now playing on his 8th team in 9 years. (He’s kind of the Drew Gooden of guards.)

    I almost wish, though, the Phil had gone with Eric Gordon, not just for the LOL factor, but because Gordon has more upside (i.e. “If he’s healthy!”), and that’s really what this team is all about, after all.

    It will be interesting to see who performs better in their $50,000,000 contract, both next year, and over the next four. My guess is Lee blows out his knee in training camp while Gordon plays all 328 games unscathed and rejuvenated. Why? Because #knicks, of course!

    This has the feel of the ’12 team.

    See, that’s the problem in a nutshell.

    That 2011-2012 team was a one-year wonder. It was the culmination of a “win-now” strategy that failed. It was a team that was built around players who were almost certain to get injured or rapidly decline, and that is precisely what happened. It wasn’t sustainable, and it didn’t lead anywhere but right back to the bottom of the NBA standings. It might have been a fun year, but what followed it was most certainly not fun. I don’t want a repeat of 2011-2012, I want something BETTER than that.

    In the 90’s this team was a fucking juggernaut. I loved that 90’s team more than any other sports team ever. They made the playoffs 14 years in a row, made two trips to the Finals, lost twice in the Conference Finals, and won at least one playoff series in 11 out of those 14 years. They had an identity, they came at you with badass defense year after year after year and they made you proud to be a fan of the team. They may have never won a chip but I loved them to death anyway.

    So the idea of one big season winning 50+ games and winning maybe one first-round series before everything disintegrates and goes back to shit is not appealing at all to me. The ceiling of this team that Phil has put together is not “NBA champion,” and it’s going to start declining due to age the minute it steps on the floor. There’s no future to it– the core of the team is three guys who are injury prone and entering their decline phase. That might– I repeat, MIGHT be good for a short time, but that is not a formula for a team that is built to last.

    I’m sick of watching Knick teams that are assembled this way. It’s demoralizing and disheartening, and that’s why I’ve become a shouty old guy who complains about them on the internet all day. It’s the same stupid boom and bust cycle all over again, with all too little boom and way too much bust.

    It’s not even boom or bust. Just plain old let’s sell a crappy product in a shiny package because we can. Poor Porzingis, I believe he actually does love the game for, you know, basketball reasons.

    JK quit the fucking Knicks. You just complain and complain. Why are u a fan of them? Fuck the 90s Knicks. They didn’t win shit. They are no different than the 13′ Knicks. So stop with the bullshit nostalgia. Because if you were you now, you would be leading the chorus of “rebuild, because there’s no chance to beat the Bulls”

    You don’t even wanna give the younger fans a chance to see the so called “juggernaut” from yesteryear.

    I don’t want to give the younger fans a chance to… wait, what? What the hell are you talking about? Dude, I’m not depriving you of anything. My opinion is that I don’t think this team is real likely to win a championship. You are free to enjoy New York Knicks basketball in any way you choose despite my having this opinion. You wanna be a real optimistic type fan who doesn’t question things much and roots, roots, roots for the home team, that’s great. I’m not standing in your way. You do you, I’ll do me.

    I don’t care for Phil Jackson’s brand of roster building, but that doesn’t make me a bad fan. I’ve stuck with this team through many, many years of complete horseshit basketball, and I’m still here all these years later. I could have jumped off the bandwagon many years ago but no, I stuck it out through every Othella Harrington and Clarence Weatherspoon and Chris Smith and Eddy Curry and Jerome James this team could throw at me. I stuck it out through the Larry Brown era. I stuck it out through countless Bargnani GIFs and the “Blame Beno” game and several JD & The Straight Shot album releases. And I’m still here caring about this team after they have played about .400 ball over a 15-year period.

    You know why I still care? It’s because I have no choice. I’m actually a very loyal– stupidly loyal– fan. Skip over my comments if it offends your delicate little sensibilities so. But don’t tell me I’m not a good fan because I’m not waving the pom-poms like you.

    1) Masai Ujiri is an awesome GM. He lost Biyombo and paid DeRozan, and his team is very likely to pay for that in wins. The summer isn’t over, though, and he drafted two really good looking prospects in the first round so we’ll see how everything shakes out.

    2) JK47 is absolutely right. The Knicks put together a team that doesn’t have potential to grow together. Rose, Melo, and Noah each probably won’t be here past their contracts (maybe Melo), and they’re all bad bets to improve or even be as good as their peak selves. This team isn’t set up for long term success and that’s not good. That’s why this brand of team building isn’t good; it sets you up to have to retool your team in a few seasons instead of adding to the product you’ve already built.

    I will say, however, that for the first time the Knicks have three young players in Galloway, Porzingis, and Hernangomez that all look to be Knicks for some time. If Porzingis and Hernangomez turn into a starting front court and Galloway turns into 6th man extraordinaire, then we actually have three pieces to build around going forward. The Summer League team looks terrible so I won’t talk about anybody from that roster as a part of the future. We also don’t owe 1st round picks anymore so the team should add youth to its outlook every year. We won’t be trading away our old dudes for assets since we’re going for it now, but we still have youth. It looks better than it did 10 years ago, and all they have to do is get two of the next three drafts right to build around KP. All isn’t lost.

    Rose, Lee, Carmelo, Zingis, Noah

    That’s one guy who shouldn’t be declining in value. People really think this is how you should build a team? 3 years of sucking has lead to one player I can feel optimistic about.

    Of course this isn’t the way that they should be building a team. It’s pretty much a terrible way to build a team. However, once they made the mistake of committing long term to Melo while the team around him was falling apart (which is still an amazingly foolish idea), they were already pretty much doomed to be too good for a real rebuild, so if they’re going to be mediocre, I can see the appeal in trying to be on the upper end of mediocrity rather than the lower end. The upper end might at least get you a second round playoff series. I think it is fair enough to hate this approach while still rooting for them to do as well as they possibly can with this approach, as it isn’t like things are going to change.

    So I’m fine with hoping that Derrick Rose improbably returns to greatness and that Noah regains his past form and that Porzingis makes a leap and that Hermangomez is a real player and that Justin Holiday develops and that the Knicks get someone decent with the room exception. We can dislike their plan while still hoping that it somehow works out.

    Of course we’d rather build through the draft with all young players etc.- but nothing about the last few days has changed that. Free agency is not the place to sustainably build a team. The only way it brings you giant success is if you land the really big fish – but you have no chance of doing that unless you’re actually pretty good, which we have not been.

    Our current “old team” situation is pretty much the result of Melo’s NTC and years of trading away draft picks. The former is a sunk cost. The legacy of the latter will take a few years to go away. The one thing that is different is that we’re no longer reading picks away.

    I don’t think Phil has done a great job by any means- but this should be the best team we’ve put on the floor in a long time. At least it’ll be entertaining.

    Agreed, Frank, it will be an interesting team to watch and, again, they have a real shot at the playoffs, which I always get a kick out of. So I’ll gladly enjoy the silver linings in this grey cloud of a plan.

    Brian + JK combined to say it well. We have been stuck on the myopia treadmill for 15 years now, and it’s frustrating to see that continue in general. Is it worth it to start filling up prime KP years with guaranteed salaries of 34 years olds, just to have a puncher’s chance of having a kind of interesting season? But while this latest incarnation is mostly more of the same, it’s a better version because we largely have our draft picks and because one of the big risks we took (Noah) will be a really valuable player if we get lucky with his age and injury profile; that hasn’t always been the case — we’ve has some true lose-lose exactas on our resume. I can’t say the same about the Derrick Rose trade, which seems no better to me now that free agency is mostly over for us and the idea of “clearing the out year salary decks” is quashed, but I will still be rooting for a one year miracle from him.

    It’s ironic that some fans who applaud Knicks’ management repeatedly failing the marshmallow test simultaneously get salty at posters for calling it as they see it: pessimistically. You are deeply offended by the concept of continuing to show up to root for a team while lampooning management’s ineptitude, yet express it by happily returning to this skeptic-friendly blog year after year to bark at the voices of reason.

    @212 JK47

    Help me understand what’s going on here.

    You say you’re a fan of the Courtney Lee signing. It’s a sign Phil is making the best of the Knicks’ shitty self-imposed standards.

    You seem hopeful that the Knicks will put the most watchable team on the floor in recent memory (even if it’s making the best of a bad scenario.)

    Then Al Horford goes to Boston. There are rumors that Boston signing Horford automatically means they win the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. That’s what sets you back to doom-and-gloom, shit-on-everything mode? I don’t get it. You criticize optimism and in the same breath seem to accept a very tenuous Twitter rumor as truth and become inconsolably bitter.

    The smart money is and has always been on Kevin Durant taking a 1+1 deal with OKC. Many good and smart basketball writers have noted that his FA meetings are an elaborate show. Every player wants the experience of the biggest franchises in the league seeking after them, pandering to them, wining and dining them, and creating elaborate personal presentations begging them to sign with them. KD is no different. Before he comes back to OKC for another shot at the chip with Westbrook and Adams, he may as well enjoy being the most wanted man of the offseason. And why not? It’s part of the fruits of his labor working to become a top 3 player in the league.

    In other words, KD returning to OKC is a lot more probable than giving it all up to play with Al Horford, Boy Genius Brad Stevens, and a bunch of 6th and 7th men. I spend too much time reading about the NBA on the internet, and I have never heard anything close that Al Horford is Durant’s Helen of Troy.

    Is Boston a better run franchise than NY? Of course. Do I wish NY had fleeced Billy King instead? Sure. Will that get them Kevin Durant? Absolutely not. FOH.

    By the way, we all understand how thankless it is to be a Knick fan. The vast majority of us celebrated the 90s Knicks teams, survived the Layden and Isiah years, and had were sorely disappointed by the false hope of Walsh and Grunfeld. Yes. We are all brothers and sisters (lol has there ever even been a female poster here ever?) in the struggle.

    What I am trying to say very gently is that any lingering trauma you carry from all those shitty years is not unique. I went through all those disappointments too. We’re all here because the Knicks. This common experience does not really gift any single individual a special wisdom on interpreting Current Basketball Events. It also does not mean that becoming old men yelling at clouds is the only path mature and sensible adults could possibly take.

    @219 ptmilo

    That is honestly a little difficult to parse for me. You are trying to say a lot of things at once. Could you rephrase your last paragraph?

    In the 90’s this team was a fucking juggernaut. I loved that 90’s team more than any other sports team ever. They made the playoffs 14 years in a row, made two trips to the Finals, lost twice in the Conference Finals, and won at least one playoff series in 11 out of those 14 years. They had an identity, they came at you with badass defense year after year after year and they made you proud to be a fan of the team. They may have never won a chip but I loved them to death anyway.

    +1

    For the rest of it too.

    [while waving my blue&orange pom-poms]

    K-N-I-C-K-S !
    TO ALL PHIL MOVES I JUST SAY “YES” !

    YOU KNOW WHY YOU FEEL DISTRESS ?
    K-N-I-C-K-S !

    Any way you look the glass!
    It’s ok ! You’re one of us !

    I don’t think it is useful to psychoanalyze fellow posters on the merits of being optimistic or pessimistic about the Knicks. Varying opinions makes for great debate.

    I DO think that it is great to point out logical flaws, baseless speculation and self-serving hyperbole. Frankly (no pun intended Frank or Frank O.) there is plenty on both sides.

    I have no problem with Phil’s choice to do a “modified rebuild.”

    Melo: Phil has operated as if Melo is a superstar in the twilight of his prime. Many here don’t agree with Phil’s perception and can back it up with advanced stats. I’m in the middle…I think Melo is better than the skeptics say and not as good as his supporters think. His current deal (around 26% of the cap) is at the high end of his value, and will settle into the middle in the next 2 years (or he can opt out of year 5.) Bottom line: he’s here and any handwringing about it is moot.

    Zinger: All arguments against Phil are watered down by his drafting of this unicorn. KP in and of himself gives us reason for optimism beyond anyone without the initials KAT. Phil deserves 100% of the credit for that. Skeptics will disagree.

    Rest of team: Rose is on a 1-year deal and is healthy and hungry. Noah is better than Lopez and will be for the length of his contract. Neither are cap-killers. Lee is a market value serviceable player who fills a glaring need. Everyone else is TBD.

    In 4 years, this will be a totally different team except for KP, without the need for a fire sale or dealing picks out of win now desperation. Nothing like prior win-now situations.

    I wonder how KP feels about the direction of the team; he’ll always say the right things, but I wonder if he’s less optimistic deep down. As a GM, my #1 priority would be to protect him and keep him happy.

    Melo: Phil has operated as if Melo is a superstar in the twilight of his prime.

    If this is the case, he should trade KP or future picks. The Celtics have a bunch of guys on discount contracts and are looking for a star to be their centerpiece. I bet we could get both Crowder and Isaiah Thomas for KP or get a couple similar players from some other team. That actually makes the Knicks a top 8 team at minimum.

    when you’re a bad team with no great value contracts trying to compete in the short term, you’re living in a fantasy world if you think you can just use cap space to upgrade the team into 55+ wins. For all the criticism of Isiah, if you start under the assumption that he accepted a condition from Dolan to make an elite team within a couple years, at least he understood that to accomplish that, the Knicks would have to gamble and win in a big way. Phil hasn’t even gambled to a degree where the best reasonable case outcome makes the team a contender. He needs to turn $100k into $1,000,000 in a year, and he’s investing in stocks that best case maybe pay off $500k. He needs to be taking out loans and maxing his credit cards and if he wants to have a chance at reaching a peak that grants even a dark horse chance at a title.

    The appropriate model for this is the Nets. We know in retrospect that the trades they made were disastrous, but before that firs tseason with pierce and KG, many legit gave them a title chance, and if things broke differently, maybe htey would have won a title.

    The Knicks? there’s not even that best case to hope for. We just made ourselves maybe a bit better this year at the expense of our future.

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