2016 FA Roundtable: Willy Hernangomez and Mindaugas Kuzminskas

PLUGH: These are really good signs of the Knicks getting smart. I’m not sure how much Clarence Gaines had to do with the two of these signings, but WHG (or is it BHG now?) was on the radar while the team was scouting Porzingis at Sevilla. A good organization is able to fill important bench roles with quality players. It’s increasingly difficult to afford those kind of players from within the NBA universe. The ACB is full of strong, talented players who have proven their value on a quality stage. Many of the guys available outside the draft are limited in their range of NBA skills, but there are great specialists who can be bought at lower cost. WHG was a second rounder because he’s still raw. He’s young and lacks lateral quickness on defense. He’s not explosive and his shooting range is somewhat limited. But….he’s got good size, great touch around the rim, and he can bang with the best of them. He’s got great promise as a rebounder in the NBA. Kuzminskas looks like so much fun. He seems like the sort of player, stylistically, who can play the DWill role for the Knicks. He can get into transition and make trouble around the hoop. It seems as though his range is limited from a consistency point of view, but for 12-18 minutes a game off the bench, he may just be a tremendous asset. It’s impossible to tell how good an import like “Kuz” can be by watching YouTube highlights, but if you go by his online resume he’s gonna dunk on some fools and give us a few thrills along the way. The most important part of these signings is that, along with Porzingis, the Knicks are expanding the range of the organization’s hunt for value.

CRONIN: These were easily the most impressive signings of the offseason for the Knicks. They might both be busts, but they’re at least guys who, if the Knicks are correct, could provide major value at minor cost. And they’re young, too! I am a huge fan of these two signings.

UDWARY: The franchise has been pretty good with European signings in the past, so I’ll give them a benefit of the doubt on this one. Hernangomez is Porzingis’ bud, young, sounds like a banger and tough rebounder on a cheap contract which is always useful. Better than signing Chris Smith, I suppose. The other dude I know nothing about, other than he can dunk on YouTube, which probably makes him better than Derrick Rose.

FISHER-COHEN: I’m in support of any move that gets us players with less NBA experience on cheap deals. You pay a premium for proven players, leaving you a much slimmer chance of winning the deal, and losing on a small deal like Kuzminkskas’ or Hernangomez’s is no big deal given the size of their deals. The question is will we create minutes for these players? The moves Jackson made this summer along with his lame duck status put a lot of pressure on the team to win immediately, which tends to result in a focus on playing known quantities rather than giving less experienced players minutes and the chance to grow and adapt.

Kurylo: Cronin, I would say this about Ndour too. The NBA is a league where probably 80%-90% are overpaid. Certainly not the (true) superstars, but a lot of bad contracts are given out by necessity of the rules of free agency. Hence there is a great efficiency in getting players from outside the NBA, whether it be overseas or the D-League on cheaper contracts and hope they turn into NBA role players and starters. It’s absolutely crazy that teams aren’t filling up the back end of their rosters with young NBDL and/or foreign players hoping to find a useful NBA player.

201 replies on “2016 FA Roundtable: Willy Hernangomez and Mindaugas Kuzminskas”

It’s much easier said than done to fill the back end of your roster NBDL or Foreign players. Foreign players are typically under contract if they are relatively good and NBDL players that are available are mostly ones who couldn’t get a contract abroad. Of course there are NBDL players available, but most of them aren’t worth getting. The Knicks do pretty well at finding undrafted players; but, with exception of Galloway, the people they found worth bringing up from d-league didn’t do very well and at least one, Early, was a draft pick, not a free agent find.

The Knicks do pretty well at finding undrafted players; but, with exception of Galloway, the people they found worth bringing up from d-league didn’t do very well and at least one, Early, was a draft pick, not a free agent find.

They do?

I mean look at Jeremy Lin. The guy was on our roster for weeks and got like zero burn, until D’Antoni threw him in out of desperation. Even look at this year, as we ignored Jimmer Fredette who lit up the D-League because Sasha Vujacic. He scored 21.2pts/36 on ts% of .585, and how much did the Knicks play him last season? 5 minutes total.

I don’t think we’re getting the right guys half the time, and the other half when we do have them our coaches ignore them. There is a market efficiency we’re missing out on, because NBA coaches would rather win 32 games playing washed up vets than 29 games trying out unknown NBA quantities.

I replied to that roundtable before the Ndour signing, but yes, I was a big fan of the Ndour signing. Heck, I probably liked the Ndour signing more than that I liked the Hernangomez and Kuzminskas signings, as I think he is more likely to be a good NBA player than those two guys (Hernangomez is a total crap shoot at this point).

At least we signed these dues to multi-year deals in case they work out

One of the things I liked best about the signings. The Knicks actually getting the benefit of a player’s upside! It’s a novel concept for the Knicks.

along with his lame duck status

Phil Jackson is entering the 3rd year of a 5 year contract…

Even look at this year, as we ignored Jimmer Fredette…

My god, you can’t be serious. Jimmer is awful and has had plenty of opportunities to prove that his talent will take him to the D-league all star game but no further. I would frankly rather have Sasha on the team. Back bench guys need to know their roles, and Jimmer is beyond useless unless he’s your primary ballhandler freelancing his way to 20 FGA.

Better than signing Chris Smith, I suppose

What’s the point of these round tables if the writers aren’t going to do their homework? FYI, there are actual stats and scouting reports available for Hernangomez, who put up fantastic per36 and efficiency stats as a 20 year old rotation player for one of the best teams in one of the best leagues in the world. “I’ve, uhhh, seen Kuminzskas dunk on YouTube so I guess he’s better than Rose, har har.”

Do better.

Bring them on! Young players are the type of investment the Knicks need to make more often. Past-their-prime mercenaries haven’t worked out too well.

Tell you what, I am really liking what Phil’s done this offseason. Can’t wait for training camp.

i’m pretty sure wily will turn into a decent player… the euro stats look pretty good even in his limited minutes… he’s got some issues on the defensive end that might prevent him from being starter material but his rebounding and scoring ability should make him a rotation player at the very least…

kuzminskas doesn’t look all that great but as a depth signing probably not that bad given the dearth of talent at the wing position…. i wasn’t all that thrilled with the 2nd yr…..

@BC

How is Hernangomez any more of a crapshoot than Ndour? I’m not an expert on Billy but he’s one of the highest rated young Spanish prospects. Ndour’s a guy who balled out in Summer League, got hurt i training camp with Dallas and had a small showing at Real Madrid which doesn’t help us evaluate him a very much. I actually think both of these guys will develop into rotation players, I’m just wondering if there was something specific about Ndour versus Billy (and Kuz I guess) that makes you think he’s a safer bet to turn in to a solid rotation piece.

Yeah, what’s with the “lame duck” stuff? Yeah, if the team implodes, I could see him moving on, either voluntarily of with Dolan’s help. Not gonna happen, though. Phil has created an exciting product and there is no reason that he won’t want to stick around as they take the league by storm.

How soon we forget that this team was 22-22 at one point last year, with a much worse roster, an inferior coach, and no clarity going forward.

I’m psyched about all these foreign players. What really excites me about the Kuzminskas signing was watching the Lituania vs USA game from the 2014 FIBA tournament. He lit up the scoreboard. And even though Lithuania lost, this is a good indicator of how good he can be against quality players. When you watch the video, think about who he’s playing against. Here’s the US roster: Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson, Derrick Rose, Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, Mason Plumlee, DeMarcus Cousins, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond.

Kuzmiskas vs. USA 2014 FIBA team

Mike,

You and I differ on Jimmer Fredette. I think he can’t move side to side at all and is no hope NBA level defense.

For Lin, I agree teams should have taken him mores seriously. But the Knicks still did asc well as other NBA teams regarding him.

Yeah I wanted Rambis to play Fredette also last year, but at some point you just have to trust the overwhelming consensus among NBA circles that the dude can’t run an offense and can’t play a lick of defense.

(meanwhile post-ASB Sasha was putting up a TS of 60.2 on a usage of 15.7)

Off topic, back to an old topic. I know it’s just summer league but Jerian Grant has been mighty underwhelming. 6 games, 24.5 minutes per game so not a huge sample size, but he’s shooting 31% from the field, 21% from 3 point range, for a mighty strong TS of 41.4%. And this is summer league where a PNR PG should be able to thrive. At the same time, other sophomores are basically tearing up the league.

Obviously time will tell, but it’s possible we should have thought about Phil trading Grant as getting some value for him before he self-tanked his value further.

Phil has created an exciting product and there is no reason that he won’t want to stick around as they take the league by storm.

Z-man, I appreciate you fighting the good fight, but it’s a far cry from reasoned arguments that you can’t predict how this season will go based on the kind of surgery Rose had vs. “it’s an exciting product.” I am all behind the argument that it COULD be if Noah’s health is good and Rose stays healthy and attacks the rim (successfully) and facilitates and Melo goes back to raining 3s…but it could also be current unsigned PG leading the team for 40 games. Which, again, could turn out OK if Randle or whoever else we sign turns out to be a league-average player like Lin, but, you know, it probably won’t.

A lot of question marks, mostly around health, some around fit. I personally believe we’ll be pretty good, because Noah will play at least 60 games at a high level, Melo will stay healthy, KP will take a leap forward, at least one of the new dudes will contribute, and Jennings will play 1800 minutes of competent PG…but that’s a 50/50 bet at best.

Unless you mean “exciting” as in “no way to predict how this medical experiment is gonna turn out…”

Off topic, back to an old topic. I know it’s just summer league but Jerian Grant has been mighty underwhelming. 6 games, 24.5 minutes per game so not a huge sample size, but he’s shooting 31% from the field, 21% from 3 point range, for a mighty strong TS of 41.4%. And this is summer league where a PNR PG should be able to thrive. At the same time, other sophomores are basically tearing up the league.

Obviously time will tell, but it’s possible we should have thought about Phil trading Grant as getting some value for him before he self-tanked his value further.

Jesus that’s really bad. The one thing about Grant I always have found weird is that for a PG his handle isn’t really that good. He struggles a lot when he has to drive left and seems to struggle against pressure defense when bringing the ball up despite being a fairly athletic player himself. Still have hope for him, but it’s definitely possible the shooting towards the end of last year was an aberration more than an improvement. Time will tell.

Under the new cap environment, any time you can sign rotation players for $3 mil or less (as both Mindy and Willy are), that’s a huge win. Now it remains to be seen if they actually will be rotation guys.

Mindy looks more likely, given his skillset as a better fit for the NBA. But if we can get a total of 20 mpg from the two of them, in any combination, we’d have to be happy.

re: Lin, I’m really not sure how his signing and his production for us can be characterized as anything other than good scouting. He didn’t get run until D’Antoni was desperate because like it or not, that’s how the NBA works. We picked him up, kept him on our roster, and then let him play at a certain point in the season. You could say we lucked into him, but you can say that about almost everything that happens in the NBA if you spin it that way. Lin in combination with some of our other scrap heap signing (Lance, Gallo, Copeland, Novak, etc.) suggest that end of the bench signings are actually one of the things the Knicks are good at.

Did you guys read that, hilariously, the Knicks official site had Kuzminskas listed as from the USSR rather than Lithuania? Didn’t the USSR die in like 1991?

If they sign a guy from Turkey, maybe they’ll list him as from the Ottoman Empire?

By the way, I just checked and Amundson, Early, Galloway, and Seraphin are still listed on the Knicks site’s 2016-17 roster!
🙂

My god, you can’t be serious. Jimmer is awful and has had plenty of opportunities to prove that his talent will take him to the D-league all star game but no further.

Fredette is 27 years old with a ts% of .525 (2 years have been above 54%), 16.2 pts/36, and .381 from 3p%. How are those not NBA numbers? I’m not saying he’s an NBA All Star, but clearly he’s able to play in the league.

If Derrick Rose puts up a ts% of 52.5%, half of the Knick fans on the internet would take a week off to celebrate.

Yeah I wanted Rambis to play Fredette also last year, but at some point you just have to trust the overwhelming consensus among NBA circles that the dude can’t run an offense and can’t play a lick of defense.

No. No you don’t. If you could trust them, this blog wouldn’t exist.

Do I really have to go down the list of NBA undrafted/tossed around players to show that this is wrong?

I don’t think D-league stats translate reliably to the NBA, but if you’re going to bother putting Fredette on the roster and your team sucks anyhow you should let him play some real minutes. There’s no downside at all. That’s the only problem I had with that move.

Do I really have to go down the list of NBA undrafted/tossed around players to show that this is wrong?

Trouble is — he’s NOT an undrafted player. He was a lottery pick! A lottery pick that they made all kinds of weirdo trades to get! He couldn’t even stick in Sacramento and New Orleans! Find me a lottery pick who wasn’t given a real chance at contributing. Jimmer is not that player. He’s a nice story, rootable guy like Rudy, and certainly he should be able to find a place somewhere as a slow combo guard who can’t guard anyone but shoots well — sort of an younger Jose Calderon who passes even worse than Jose does.

Cole Aldrich was also a lottery pick who didn’t get burn for years and now just signed a three-year/$22 million contract with Minnesota.

How are those not NBA numbers?

Isn’t there another aspect to playing basketball? Something about guarding people or something like that? WikiPedia tells me it’s called “defense.” Perhaps that has something to do with it?

Jimmer definitely should have gotten more playing time with the Knicks last season, but I was surprised at how short he looked on the court. He is a clever penetrator and good shooter, but he’s a shorter version of Calderon on D.

I wonder how many short white guys who’ve been discarded by 5 or more NBA teams (6 in Jimmer’s case b/c San Antonio took a look at him, too) have made good? He turns 28 during the season.

How is Hernangomez any more of a crapshoot than Ndour? I’m not an expert on Billy but he’s one of the highest rated young Spanish prospects. Ndour’s a guy who balled out in Summer League, got hurt i training camp with Dallas and had a small showing at Real Madrid which doesn’t help us evaluate him a very much. I actually think both of these guys will develop into rotation players, I’m just wondering if there was something specific about Ndour versus Billy (and Kuz I guess) that makes you think he’s a safer bet to turn in to a solid rotation piece.

Ndour played well against NBA players. We’ve never seen either of the European players play against NBA players. That’s the big crapshoot of the European market, and why European players have a much higher bust rate than college players. We can translate college stats fairly well. We can see how a guy does against other NBA players in Summer League. European stats don’t translate nearly as well. Doesn’t mean that those guys won’t turn out better, but they’re riskier.

Anyone who can shoot as well as Jimmer can has a place in the NBA. Given his other limitations though, particularly on defense, I’m not sure he’ll ever be anything other than a 14th-15th man/practice player. He was actually given decent run (10-15 MPG) every year except last year and has been resoundingly terrible at everything except shooting.

Yall are missing the point-if you think Jimmer is so limited that he doesn’t belong on an NBA roster (a valid opinion)-don’t put him on your teams roster. He’s on your D-league team. Your staff has plenty of time to evaluate him up close.

I read an article last year about Jimmer that suggested that he has been resistant to adapting his game to the NBA to fit in to a team’s scheme, etc., instead freelancing too much. Not saying that that article is right and that he’s been resistant to coaching, but it is an additional possibility as to why he’s not stuck long term with any team.

@17 – i would say end of the roster type of moves was a strength of the grunwald era… hell i would probably say save for the bargnani trade that he made mostly good moves all around….

the thomas, galloway moves are not anywhere near any of those since they are both appreciably worse…. we’ll see how these current ones pan out but the bottom half of the roster looks really bad…

The way he plays makes that believable. Even in the D-League he hasn’t demonstrated an ability to run the offense like a PG. He just chucks up shots, which works in the D-League, but won’t in the NBA.

rama,
By “exciting product,” I am including Porzingis and all the young, intriguing talent currently on the roster. I think that Noah is a guy that will excite the crowd, and Rose will if he continues to come back towards full health.

But I also think that Porzingis, Ndour, Kuz, Holiday and Baker are lanky defenders that are going to block a lot of shots and dunk a lot in transition.

A team can be exciting without winning very much, sort of like the Knicks were just prior to the Melo trade, with Gallo, Lee, Chandler, Mozgov, etc. anchored by Amare. The trades/signings are done, so at this point, why would any Knicks fan assume that a relatively healthy Rose and Noah, plue KP and Melo, plus Jennings and Lance, plus a bunch of young guys fighting for NBA cred, are no fun to watch and root for? Can you seriously tell me that you are not excited to see how things pan out, and are not hoping for everyone to pull through and gel into a good team?

Note that the same people saying Fredette is obviously a dud because no one in the NBA would sign him are the same people saying that players must be good because Phil Jackson has vetted them.

Always the same people.

Z-man, the question is why would any Knicks fan assume Rose et al are going to be relatively healthy?

. We’ve never seen either of the European players play against NBA players.

@25 Brian, see the link to the video I posted in post 11.

I’ll add my $0.02 on Jimmer. I would have liked to see him get major time at the end of last season. I blame Rambis for that. He should have gotten a shot. I can’t say he would’ve been good or bad, but I would’ve liked to find out.

Fair point about Kuz. I actually wasn’t even thinking of Kuz, because he’s seen as more of a bench guy (there’s a reason he was never drafted). Although yes, he can occasionally light up the scoreboard. Hernangomez is really the mystery to me. I legitimately don’t know if Hernangomez is going to even be a decent NBA player. He might really not even be better than O’Quinn. Or he might be a legit rotation guy. I am completely lost on him. I like the signing because at least there’s a high reward for being right on him and low risk, but I really have no clue what to expect from him.

I’ll add my $0.02 on Jimmer. I would have liked to see him get major time at the end of last season. I blame Rambis for that. He should have gotten a shot. I can’t say he would’ve been good or bad, but I would’ve liked to find out.

Rambis was just the worst.

Isn’t there another aspect to playing basketball? Something about guarding people or something like that?

Where was this post yesterday, while folks were spending hours comparing the Spurs, one of the highest rated defensive rosters ever, to this Knicks team?

But I also think that Porzingis, Ndour, Kuz, Holiday and Baker are lanky defenders that are going to block a lot of shots and dunk a lot in transition.

Three of those may not be NBA players.

But yes, I am excited for the season – in part to answer the question of which three. And to see Noah, one of my favorite players (now that he’s no longer on the Bulls!). And to see whether Rose has anything to contribute. And to see how Horny tries to mold this team. There’s a lot to be excited about…it just isn’t exactly congruent to having an exciting team.

As for Jimmer, it was stupid to bring him up and not play him. But that was just how Rambis liked to roll…thank God he’s gone. Either way, I don’t think Jimmer’s scoring facility makes up for his inability to guard anyone.

Where was this post yesterday, while folks were spending hours comparing the Spurs, one of the highest rated defensive rosters ever, to this Knicks team?

I was playing videogames with my son. Priorities.

Note that the same people saying Fredette is obviously a dud because no one in the NBA would sign him are the same people saying that players must be good because Phil Jackson has vetted them.

Always the same people.

This is the same tautology that the WoW folks use to justify why Nick Fazekas really WAS the next coming of Wilt Chamberlain, except that no one would give poor Nick a chance.

“My particular advanced stat says this guy is great. The fact that he can’t get on the court is because Greg Popovich is an idiot and won’t play the right players. The fault is Popovich’s of course – it couldn’t possibly be because my favorite advanced stat might not be telling the whole story”

by the way – speaking of players who put up a nice TS and don’t turn the ball over so look great by certain stats — does anyone here actually think Calderon was a good player last year?

Note that the same people saying Fredette is obviously a dud because no one in the NBA would sign him

Except in Jimmer’s case he’s been signed by multiple NBA teams and all have kicked him to the curb pretty quick. He can shoot at an NBA level for sure. That’s the only thing he can do at an acceptable standard for an NBA PG.

Was Calderon good? He was good for the offense and bad for the defense, and we used him in such a way that exacerbated his weaknesses. Jose can’t guard anyone, and we generally paired him with Afflalo, who also can’t guard anyone. It was fucking stupid all year long and I never understood it.

@28 Yes, this. It’s asinine to simply quote Jimmer’s shooting percentages and say “what, you’re telling me he’s not an NBA player?” Yeah, Jimmer can shoot. What he can’t or won’t do is function as a mini-Novak, i.e. come off the bench for 10-15 mpg to be a designated catch and shoot sniper. Jimmer needs to have the ball in his hands as the focal point of the offense–he has never had success playing any other way. And unfortunately for him, he is bad at literally everything other than shooting, which makes it impossible to justify giving him minutes and letting him play “his way.” The guy should quit while he’s ahead and go sign in China where the talent disparity wouldn’t be so glaring and he could take 30 shots/game. In any case, he does not belong on the Knicks.

I’m psyched about all these foreign players. What really excites me about the Kuzminskas signing was watching the Lituania vs USA game from the 2014 FIBA tournament. He lit up the scoreboard. And even though Lithuania lost, this is a good indicator of how good he can be against quality players. When you watch the video, think about who he’s playing against. Here’s the US roster: Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson, Derrick Rose, Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, Mason Plumlee, DeMarcus Cousins, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond.

Kuzmiskas vs. USA 2014 FIBA team

After watching the video, I must say that being defended by James Harden helps.

Isn’t there another aspect to playing basketball? Something about guarding people or something like that? WikiPedia tells me it’s called “defense.” Perhaps that has something to do with it?

Are you claiming that the NBA only suits up people who play this “defense”, and the league is void of players who don’t play this “defense”?

Trouble is — he’s NOT an undrafted player. He was a lottery pick! A lottery pick that they made all kinds of weirdo trades to get! He couldn’t even stick in Sacramento and New Orleans! Find me a lottery pick who wasn’t given a real chance at contributing. Jimmer is not that player. He’s a nice story, rootable guy like Rudy, and certainly he should be able to find a place somewhere as a slow combo guard who can’t guard anyone but shoots well — sort of an younger Jose Calderon who passes even worse than Jose does.

By your logic of trusting GMs and trading for lottery picks that have stuck with their original team, Bargnani was a slam dunk for the Knicks, right?

By your logic of trusting GMs and trading for lottery picks that have stuck with their original team, Bargnani was a slam dunk for the Knicks, right?

If A then NOT B
does not imply that
If NOT A then B

Are you claiming that the NBA only suits up people who play this “defense”, and the league is void of players who don’t play this “defense”?

Players who are horrendous defenders need to addsignificant value on offense to offset this or they’re unplayable. As has already been discussed, Jimmer’s one plus skill (shooting) is diminished by his inability to function effectively as a spot up shooter, his need to dominate the ball, and his limitations as a PG, the only position someone of his height can realistically play.

Too short to play SG + shoots too much to play PG + too ball dominant to function as an off ball shooter + cannot guard literally anyone = not an NBA player.

I don’t think D-league stats translate reliably to the NBA, but if you’re going to bother putting Fredette on the roster and your team sucks anyhow you should let him play some real minutes. There’s no downside at all. That’s the only problem I had with that move.

Thank you. Do I think Fredette is going to be a great NBA player? No.

But the GMs of this league consistently overlook good players, and we should be finding them. Especially on a 32 win team. And if you put Fredette on your minor league team and he does well, and then you sign him to your major league team, why the hell are you letting him sit there & do nothing?

Either don’t sign him in the first place, or play him!!!

Not playing Fazekas was a travesty. Was he the next Andrei Kirilenko or Chris Andersen? Probably nah, but the guy was dominant in every league he played in before and after the NBA, so why the hell could he not make a roster when players like Josh Selby were hot garbage in the NCAA and then hot garbage afterward?

I’m surprised people are excited about Kuz. He’s 27 in October, does not look anything like an NBA defender, isn’t a plus shooter, and his main talent is dunking on less athletic people than NBA players — the one thing that translates least well from Europlay. Hernangomez at least has age and some offensive traits that tend to translate, even if it’s hard to imagine him defending well. I’m glad we gave ndour another shot, though, it wouldn’t be impossible for him to be our Aminu.

Who was the blonde in that video? If she’s his wife/girlfriend, then it was an excellent signing.

Again, we’re not arguing that Jimmer is good or bad. We’re arguing that it’s dumb to have a guy on your D-League team, call him up to the regular team, and then never play him when your season is already over. That’s it.

Quick question: would anybody here trade our roster for the Warriors roster?

Also, can we discuss whether Joe Alexander got a fair shot in the NBA?

I’ll hang up now and listen to your answers off the air. Thanks!

@DRed

That’s your argument and it’s a legitimate gripe, but that doesn’t seem to be the argument some are making.

@11

Also very evident James Harden and Fareed are atrocious defenders but hopefully the league sleeps on Kuz, seems like he will take advantage

Re: Jimmer, last I looked, Buford, Morey, Ujiri and Hollinger were still working for NBA front offices. Why aren’t they jumping on the Jimmer train? He’s as available as any D-League scrub, right?

Also, last I looked, Jimmer was killing it with Denver in the Vegas summer league. Not.

Please, give me a break with Jimmer, a guy who has been in the NBA for over 3,000 minutes and has sucked for nearly every one of them. (Jimmer Fredette’s career WS/48=.037; Andrea Bargnani’s career WS/48=.057)

I’m surprised people are excited about Kuz. He’s 27 in October, does not look anything like an NBA defender, isn’t a plus shooter, and his main talent is dunking on less athletic people than NBA players — the one thing that translates least well from Europlay. Hernangomez at least has age and some offensive traits that tend to translate, even if it’s hard to imagine him defending well. I’m glad we gave ndour another shot, though, it wouldn’t be impossible for him to be our Aminu.

I’m not excited for him. I just think he’s an impressive low risk signing. Hernangomez I am more excited about, but I’m more excited for Ndour out of the three of them. And Ndour might not even be much of an NBA player either. Pretty much all three are lottery tickets. Better to pick up cheap lottery tickets, though, than signing someone like Sasha, ya know?

As to the call-up, maybe they ran him out in practice and he couldn’t keep up with the big boys. Who knows? I won’t defend it, but let’s not make the jump from there to “oh, if they only gave him a real shot, he would have made such a difference.”

I’ll hang up now and listen to your answers off the air. Thanks!

Promise?

Z-man, the question is why would any Knicks fan assume Rose et al are going to be relatively healthy?

No one’s assuming anything. Just saying that there’s a reasonable possibility that they will be healthy enough to make a significant positive impact, and that as a fan, I’m excited about that chance.

Kuzmingaus seems to have one NBA-level skill– he can put the ball on the deck and get to the rim in a hurry when there is some open space in front of him. That is a skill that is not without its benefits, but the likelihood is that we’ve downgraded from Derrick Williams to Kuzmingaus. Williams has the same ability to take the ball to the hole, but he has shown he can do that through traffic and draw fouls. I’m not so sure Kuzmingaus will be able to rack up the huge free throw rate the way D-Will did, and I’d be surprised if he was able to match Williams’ .550 TS% on 23.3 USG%.

The rest of Kuzmingaus’ game does not seem noteworthy. He doesn’t appear to have many secondary skills other than scoring.

In honor of Donald Trump and the RNC, I am glad we can dedicate a lot of time to talking about some white ballers today, albeit with some immigrants in the conversation….

Scott Baio was a good young actor! But yeah, holy shit, what did he become as a person? Henry Winkler must feel so awkward, because they’re still close, but Winkler is, you know, sane.

@36 – Brian Cronin –

Hernangomez is really the mystery to me. I legitimately don’t know if Hernangomez is going to even be a decent NBA player.

I agree. The scouting I saw of him highlighted his poor lateral movement and his inability to guard pick-and-rolls. Maybe it’s a skill he can develop. Maybe not. That’s why I’ve been advocating getting a true, experienced big behind WHG and Plumlee. I trust neither – and O’Quinn isn’t the answer either.

@42 DRed –

It was fucking stupid all year long and I never understood it.

Me too. That’s why I was so pissed off at Rambis for not playing Fredette. When the team was out of it, why not try the kid out?

@44 iserp –

After watching the video, I must say that being defended by James Harden helps.

True, but there were others on the floor – and all were All-stars.

@64 JK47 –

but the likelihood is that we’ve downgraded from Derrick Williams to Kuzmingaus.

The price difference is significant and we know that Derrick Williams played zero defense.

The rest of Kuzmingaus’ game does not seem noteworthy. He doesn’t appear to have many secondary skills other than scoring.

To be fair, that’s a highlight video. The only thing it tells us is that he wasn’t embarassing on the floor with NBA All-stars. That, to me, says a lot. How would Jerian Grant have looked?

By your logic of trusting GMs and trading for lottery picks that have stuck with their original team, Bargnani was a slam dunk for the Knicks, right?

That’s a straw man and I’m pretty sure you knew that before you hit “Post Comment” . But ok sure, good point.

Again, we’re not arguing that Jimmer is good or bad. We’re arguing that it’s dumb to have a guy on your D-League team, call him up to the regular team, and then never play him when your season is already over. That’s it.

Yes I agree 100%. That whole thing was ridiculous. Especially when the rumors were that we were also looking at Tim Frazier, who it turns out played pretty well for New Orleans, and would look mighty good as either the 2nd or 3rd PG on this team.

Kuzmingaus seems to have one NBA-level skill– he can put the ball on the deck and get to the rim in a hurry when there is some open space in front of him. That is a skill that is not without its benefits, but the likelihood is that we’ve downgraded from Derrick Williams to Kuzmingaus. Williams has the same ability to take the ball to the hole, but he has shown he can do that through traffic and draw fouls. I’m not so sure Kuzmingaus will be able to rack up the huge free throw rate the way D-Will did, and I’d be surprised if he was able to match Williams’ .550 TS% on 23.3 USG%.

I think we can probably all agree we really don’t know anything about Min-Dog other than some grainy Youtube videos and FIBA videos of him taking Harden to school.

There are some interesting trends in his stats the last 3 years:

2013-14 –> TS 52.7, 3P% 30.5 (on 95 attempts)
2014-15 –> TS 59.8. 3P% 32.5 (on 160 attempts)
2015-16–> TS 59.6, 3P% 33.9 (on 180 attempts)

He really has some interesting stats.
He is a wing player, plays mostly like a guard according to the Euroleague people that I’ve heard describe him.

his career 2P% is 57.2 and he shoots 3’s at high volume. As a wing.

It’s just very rare to have a wing with a 2P% that high that can actually shoot from distance too.

I know his stats are from Europe, but the total list of all players in the 3 point era who posted a 2p% > 57 and shot 3’s at a reasonable volume and percentage (4 3PA/36, 33%) are:

Nash
Kerr
Brent Barry
OKC Harden
One bizarre year from Matt Barnes.

That’s it.
Just a weird list of people for admittedly a weird group of stats. But he apparently is a guy who can really attack an overaggressive closeout, and can shoot it if you don’t close out.

In comparison, Derrick Williams’s career 2P% is 48.1 and his career 3P% is 29.9.

This is the same tautology that the WoW folks use to justify why Nick Fazekas really WAS the next coming of Wilt Chamberlain, except that no one would give poor Nick a chance.

Fazekas = Wilt. That’s a 7 foot strawman if I ever saw one!

But this is going to drive the point home. Let’s just say the statistic community did say that. Wouldn’t it be dumb for an NBA front office to not give him a legit shot?

If Mr Offense, aka Mike D’Antoni, can’t figure out that Jeremy Lin is an NBA-level point guard by watching him in practice every day (and only stumbled upon him when Bibby and Baron were hurt, and he got bored of watching Shumpert and Toney Douglas try to run an offense) then maybe NBA coaches aren’t the best judge of talent?

Or if you want to give them the benefit of the doubt – maybe they need more than 269 total NBA minutes (Fazekas’ entire career) to pass judgement on whether someone or not would perform well in the NBA? How long did it take for someone to figure out that Ben Wallace was a starter level NBA center and give him 30+ mpg? Maybe some players don’t get the same chance as others depending on their draft position, perceived worth, athleticism, or ability to break ankles?

Otherwise you’re saying that NBA coaches are infallible, no?

Scott Baio was a good young actor! But yeah, holy shit, what did he become as a person? Henry Winkler must feel so awkward, because they’re still close, but Winkler is, you know, sane.

They can commiserate with the Growing Pains cast (sans Kirk Cameron).

Mindaugas Kuzminskas was tremendous last season shooting an eFG% of 74% in transition, 58% on spot up Js, and 53% going 1-on-1 in the post.— Synergy Sports Tech (@SynergySST) July 5, 2016

So according to Synergy at least, Kuz can score efficiently in a few ways.

Scott Baio was a good young actor! But yeah, holy shit, what did he become as a person? Henry Winkler must feel so awkward, because they’re still close, but Winkler is, you know, sane.

I’m particularly looking forward to hearing Antonio Sabato, Jr. speak, as well as Willy Robertson from Duck Dynasty.

By your logic of trusting GMs and trading for lottery picks that have stuck with their original team, Bargnani was a slam dunk for the Knicks, right?

That’s a straw man and I’m pretty sure you knew that before you hit “Post Comment” . But ok sure, good point.

Is it?

Here’s your quote:

“at some point you just have to trust the overwhelming consensus among NBA circles ”

Bargnani
* 1st overall pick
* 7 year starter in Toronto
* Given 5 year $50M contract
* Traded to Knicks for 3 players + 1st round pick
* Started in ~85% of games he played for Knicks

So how many in the NBA circle were involved with these decisions. Let’s give the 1st overall pick a pass. 7 year starter in Toronto? All those coaches? Given a $50M contract? Then another GM trades for him? Then another 2 coaches make him the starter in nearly every game he managed to suit up?

And we’re not counting scouts, assistant coaches, etc. That’s like 10-20 people in the NBA inner circle that couldn’t see his true worth (or lackthereof).

Finally – imagine a league where NBA GMs were all stat heads. They only looked at numbers and never watched the games. Imagine if Nick Fazekas was to the eye what Bargnani was to the stat-sheet. Then imagine Fazekas having Bargnani’s career. Wouldn’t you have an issue if someone asked you to “just … trust the overwhelming consensus among NBA circles”?

Here’s another video of Kuzminskas. This one is from the 2015 Eurobasketball quarterfinals vs. Italy. Here you get to see him against former Knicks Danilo Gallinari and Andrea B@%&#@#i (aka, he who shall not be named). It’s a full game video. He went 2/3 from 2pt, 2/3 from 3pt and 3/4 from FT. Lithuania won this game and went on to lose to Spain in the finals.

2015 Eurobasketball Italy vs Lithuania

As for Willy, here’s the scouting video by DraftExpress on him: Draft Express

FYI….it should be mentioned since our two new Euros played against each other today that Lithuania beat Spain. Kuzminskas started, but was pretty awful in 17 minutes. He had 7 points and 2 boards with no “hustle stats” on bad shooting. He made one three.

Hernangomez played against Valanciunas most of the game and had 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block in 24 minutes.

I can’t believe we’re arguing about the worth of Jimmer Fredette.

No one is arguing that he’s not a good shooter. I even said he has a place in the league. But he’s not a good overall player if he can’t play a lick of defense, even if he has a TS of 58 in the D-league.

Obviously time will tell, but it’s possible we should have thought about Phil trading Grant as getting some value for him before he self-tanked his value further.

We included Grant in a trade for a guy who has been arguably the worst player in the NBA over the past two seasons. What value? Even if you think Rose will get better because we’re not orthopedic surgeons, or Melo synergy magic, or whatever, that’s not value.

We included Grant in a trade for a guy who has been arguably the worst player in the NBA over the past two seasons.

Did you forget Bargnani?

Off topic, back to an old topic. I know it’s just summer league but Jerian Grant has been mighty underwhelming. 6 games, 24.5 minutes per game so not a huge sample size, but he’s shooting 31% from the field, 21% from 3 point range, for a mighty strong TS of 41.4%. And this is summer league where a PNR PG should be able to thrive. At the same time, other sophomores are basically tearing up the league.

Coming off his 1,265 minutes of fg% = 39.4%, 3 ball =22% and TS% = 47.9% , I’m not sure why anyone is mystified, Frank

Let’s face the facts…. Phil made a move to go out and get Grant and decided in a very short period of time he made a big mistake and never played him even though we had the worst starting back court in the league.

The only way he “earned” his way on to the court was when the Vets surrendered the last half dozen games of the season and went and gave their gar-bage (Marv inflection, plz!) playing time away.

One positive quality Phil has shown and he gets no credit for is when he realizes he made an error…. he doesn’t try to spin it …. he corrects it

If they sign a guy from Turkey, maybe they’ll list him as from the Ottoman Empire?

See…. this is the outstanding humor I come here for…. not the too cute by a half , smarmy stuff like, “The other dude I know nothing about, other than he can dunk on YouTube, which probably makes him better than Derrick Rose.”

Fredette is 27 years old with a ts% of .525 (2 years have been above 54%), 16.2 pts/36, and .381 from 3p%. How are those not NBA numbers? I’m not saying he’s an NBA All Star, but clearly he’s able to play in the league.

Seriously?

Because WS/48 for career = 0.039 is a stat, too? Most of his other non cherry picked non shooting stats suck eggs too

If Mr Offense, aka Mike D’Antoni, can’t figure out that Jeremy Lin is an NBA-level point guard by watching him in practice every day (and only stumbled upon him when Bibby and Baron were hurt, and he got bored of watching Shumpert and Toney Douglas try to run an offense) then maybe NBA coaches aren’t the best judge of talent?

Your making some pretty big assumptions here. First of all, D’Antoni should be applauded for turning to Lin at all, and for continuing to stick with Lin after his first good game. Second, NBA teams don’t even practice that much in-season, especially not the kind of full-go 5 on 5 work where you’d actually get to see a player’s ability in a game-like situation. In 2014, for example, the Clippers scheduled 6 practices in the entire month of December. It’s pretty tough to get an idea of how a player will do against in game NBA competition from watching them in shootarounds and walkthroughs.

And finally, obviously the appeal to authority argument has been torn to shreds time and time again on this website, but it should be noted that NBA coaches are paid millions of dollars to judge talent. If there were people in the world that were better at it, they would be getting those jobs instead.

It’s easy to say that an NBA team should do something like turn the keys to the car over to an unproven D-League call up like Lin who has a blank track record of NBA success, but that’s just not how it works. NBA coaches have to deal with a huge amount of mitigating factors including GM/Owner expectations, but more importantly what the players on the actual team think. You can debate whether or not it’s right for Melo to have been upset about Lin as much as you want, but if he was mad about Lin at the end of the season, even when it had been proven that nothing else was working, you can only imagine how he would’ve felt if D’Antoni started the season with Lin.

Cole Aldrich was also a lottery pick who didn’t get burn for years and now just signed a three-year/$22 million contract with Minnesota.

Mr Aldrich didn’t get burn because he consistently demonstrated the inability to cross half court 4 consecutive times without being in oxygen debt. I’m happy the fat fuck finally decided to get in a little bit of shape and cashed in. That makes him a half a step ahead of Eddy Curry… But Ringz?

What really excites me about the Kuzminskas signing was watching the Lituania vs USA game from the 2014 FIBA tournament.

James Harden was defending him or the man he passed to for around 80 percent of those plays. That doesn’t tell me much.

Note that the same people saying Fredette is obviously a dud because no one in the NBA would sign him are the same people saying that players must be good because Phil Jackson has vetted them.

Always the same people.

Jesus… were you vaccinated with a phonograph needle? You sound like Carl Sagan’s famous, “Appeals to authority figures are meaningless!”….blah, blah, blah. This isn’t Astrophysics at Cornell.

This is the NBA, not a game of horse. as it has been pointed out by many, any metric other than pure shooting makes Jimmer a non NBA player. Take your pick, Not that 6 GM’s came to the same conclusion that he sucks….. his metrics in totality say he sucks. AND….. he sucks by the always infallible “EYE TEST”!

Derrick Rose is the Scott Baio of point guards.

If you Google some of the ladies he dated, you’d call him the Steph Curry of point gurads…..

Let’s face the facts…. Phil made a move to go out and get Grant and decided in a very short period of time he made a big mistake and never played him even though we had the worst starting back court in the league.

Agreed.

The lesson Phil should take from this experience is not that he should trade Grant immediately but that young players are extremely unpredictable and that to do what he’s done twice now with recent 1st round pick point guards and just toss them in the trash is arrogant. Phil should be humbled by the fact that neither Larkin nor Grant lit the world on fire after he chased them, but he’s still like a serial dater when it comes to these young players.

How about these stats (all per 36 minutes)–

Reggie Jackson age 21 rookie year:

10 points, 5.8 assists, 3.1 rebs, 40.8 TS%

Will Barton age 22 rookie year:

11.9 points, 5.8 rebs, 2.3 ast, 43.7%

Goran Dragic age 22 rookie year:

12.2 points, 5.5 assists, 5.1 rebs, 3.6 TO, 48.7 TS%

Yeah, most of your young players who aren’t drafted in the lotto aren’t going to pan out. However, you don’t know shit after one 1200 minute season just like you didn’t know shit when you drafted them. These are kids with no experience and the amount of energy and encouragement and minutes you give these players is going to play a significant factor in how they do in the long term and how your team does as well.

I can’t believe we’re arguing about the worth of Jimmer Fredette.

Considering the Hornacek round table thread was nearly 300 comments long with about 5% actually about Hornacek, then I don’t think it’s too surprising ha ha. This blog needs training camp to start.

I like the Willy and Kuz (and Ndour) signings. At this stage they are relatively unknowns, depending how good you are at translating Euro-ball stats to NBA projected numbers, but on pretty low risks contracts, it’s the kind of gambles this blog has been crying our for the last few seasons.

Yeah, most of your young players who aren’t drafted in the lotto aren’t going to pan out. However, you don’t know shit after one 1200 minute season just like you didn’t know shit when you drafted them. These are kids with no experience and the amount of energy and encouragement and minutes you give these players is going to play a significant factor in how they do in the long term and how your team does as well.

Yeah whatever. I’m guessing Phil has seen enough to feel Grant will never amount to a significant player.

To say, you don’t know shit after 1200 minutes is a bit presumptuous, don’t you think. He watched him practice on a daily basis and soured on him enough to pull the plug. He was horrid statistically. I’m sure Phil et al wanted him to succeed as did the staff. They made a value judgement. They could be wrong, but it was not like Grant was brought in by another regime…. Phil had skin in this pick and pulled the plug.

Hundreds of players get cast away on a yearly basis and many of them are young. To pick one or two and say that proves dumping a young player because young player X or Y proved someone wrong as always bad is silly. Each case gets judged on its own merits. Sometimes mistakes are made…. sometimes the correct judgement is made.

I prefer an executive who acknowledges an error and moves to correct it.

“I’ve, uhhh, seen Kuminzskas dunk on YouTube so I guess he’s better than Rose, har har.”
Do better.

not the too cute by a half , smarmy stuff like, “The other dude I know nothing about, other than he can dunk on YouTube, which probably makes him better than Derrick Rose.”

Jeez… In my defense, I wasn’t really joking.

I’m guessing Phil has seen enough to feel Grant will never amount to a significant player.

If you go down the list of all the players that have ever played for Phil– on Chicago, then in LA– you can’t find a player that the team gave up on that then went on to have a productive run with another team. The sample is big, and it’s true for both the championship teams and the re-tooling teams (post Shaq). It certainly doesn’t mean that Phil’s ability to evaluate talent is unimpeachable, but, as a coach, he was amazingly good at playing the good players on his team and not playing the bad ones.

If you go down the list of all the players that have ever played for Phil– on Chicago, then in LA– you can’t find a player that the team gave up on that then went on to have a productive run with another team.

Besides the obvious (SHAQ!), Horrace Grant and BJ Armstrong had good years after the Bulls. Glancing at the 2000 Lakers roster, you had Horry and Lue (stretching it a little, but he did play for an additional 8 seasons in the NBA). I’m sure there are more. Since free agency it’s near impossible to keep everyone you like.

It certainly doesn’t mean that Phil’s ability to evaluate talent is unimpeachable, but, as a coach, he was amazingly good at playing the good players on his team and not playing the bad ones.

Adam Morrison, Kwame Brown and DJ Mbenga can confirm this.

If you go down the list of all the players that have ever played for Phil– on Chicago, then in LA– you can’t find a player that the team gave up on that then went on to have a productive run with another team. The sample is big, and it’s true for both the championship teams and the re-tooling teams (post Shaq). It certainly doesn’t mean that Phil’s ability to evaluate talent is unimpeachable, but, as a coach, he was amazingly good at playing the good players on his team and not playing the bad ones.

Who are you and what have you done with Donnie Walsh?

Phil Jackson might be the best coach of all time. He’s definitely top 3-4. But coaching and GMing are different. Signing Arron Afflalo to play with Jose Calderon isn’t an all time great GM move

I don’t think we’re getting the right guys half the time, and the other half when we do have them our coaches ignore them. There is a market efficiency we’re missing out on, because NBA coaches would rather win 32 games playing washed up vets than 29 games trying out unknown NBA quantities.

Because no matter what the front office says, “you can’t rebuild in New York,” and every coach knows it. D’Antoni put Lin in after he knew he was done here – it didn’t matter anymore. For Rambis, the difference between 32 wins and 29 wins was probably the difference between continuing to be a NBA assistant coach and watching the games from home. Two or three more wins and he’s probably head coach right now.

Which doesn’t explain playing Calderon and Afflalo together, but there are some things man was not meant to know. Do not seek the forbidden knowledge lest you burn your eyes and imperil your soul!!

Besides the obvious (SHAQ!), Horrace Grant and BJ Armstrong had good years after the Bulls. Glancing at the 2000 Lakers roster, you had Horry and Lue (stretching it a little, but he did play for an additional 8 seasons in the NBA).

The context was young players buried on the bench. Shaq, Horry, Grant, and Armstrong all played lots of minutes under Phil, then left to go elsewhere. In all of Phil’s years as a coach, both championship years as well as the post Shaq re-tool period, Phil never had a Lin, or a Whiteside, or even a Novak or a Mahinmi or a similar player like that that wasn’t given a decent chance by him only to pan out for some other team. The closest, as you said, was probably Lue, but he went on to be a journeyman, not a reclamation project that turned into gold for some other team. Von Wafer had one decent year after being buried by Phil, so maybe he’d be another example.

Who are you and what have you done with Donnie Walsh?

Hey, man, I’m fair! (when fair is called for:)

Popovich, and the great Spurs staff, buried Novak and Mahinmi, and Boban could turn out to be yet another guy that leaves San Antonio for nothing and proceeds to contribute elsewhere.

In most businesses, if you’re right 80% of the time you’re going to be very successful. Phil was probably right 90% as a coach, but only 60% as a GM so far.

But I still appreciate him as a GM because he so clearly values flexibility and risk management. Thus, no trades of #1 picks, no long onerous contracts. (Go ahead and make the argument that Melo’s contract is long and onerous, but I don’t think Phil had a real choice in the matter. Guitar Jimmy gave him some latitude, but I doubt so much latitude as to trade the star of the team.)

I hope Kuz is good, because his name will be a treat every broadcast.

I wonder if Kuz can be like another Lithuanian back up SF that Melo played with in Denver? If he can be in the mold of Linas Kleiza then I would call that a success. Speaking of Kleiza, what happen to him after he left Denver?

Honestly, Melo’s contract might be considered long, but it’s not onerous unless you’re dying to trade him and thus hate the no-trade clause. In the current environment we’re getting reasonable value for the money and his salary isn’t a huge fraction of the cap.

“My WHG/KUZ Preseason Scouting Report”
Checking the euro-stats of WHG&Kuz’s won’t impress you.
Also the fact that those 2 europeans were found by us and not by the Spurs [who are more known EuroHunters than us] is probably an indication that they’re not Petrovic/Sabonis material.
Willie looks slightly chubby for his age and Kuz looks like a member of a CCCP national basketball team of the 70’s crying out for a haircut.

Are those 2 capable of being NBA role players or future starters ?

Why Not ?
They’re young, they look smart and tough and they came to the future team of a euro-stud.

Do i like those 2 signings ?

I LOVE THEM !

Yes, GMing is different than coaching, there’s a learning curve. Especially when you go from not being involved with the game much at all to being the boss of a troubled franchise in a marquis city with a clumsy roster.

I’ve seen some growth, though. The Porzingis draft is telling. The Willy draft and stash is telling. The Hornacek hire is telling. The Rose-Noah-Lee-Jennings chain of events is telling (if you have faith in Phil’s talent/health analysis, which I have more than most here). The Kuz and Ndour finds are telling. And I have a really good feeling about Baker. At worst, I think he’ll be better than Galloway in pretty short order.

I credit Phil for the Afflalo and DWill deals in a very thin market. He got exactly what he wanted…contract -level production that would lead to opting out with no presure to re-sign them at a premium. In my book, that’s good GMing. The real risk was them playing so poorly that they would opt in and waste cap space. I think he feels the same way about Rose. He will probably play well enough to justify the trade of Lopez, but not well enough to re-sign him or panic about him leaving.

Phil cut bait on Galloway, Grant and Seraphin. Any of these 3 could develop, but are their chances all that more probable than Ndour, Baker and Kuz?

The jury is out on the Rose deal. Imho, the one thing that Phil can be held accountable for is jumping the gun with Chandler…that was a rookie lunge. As far as the coaching goes, I’ll give him a pass, he was tinkering with guys he trusted, knowing that signing a “real” coach was probably premature.

I think it would be fair to criticize the Fisher hire in retrospect…he did give him a long-term deal at a big salary and was probably very disappointed in how things played out, But since coaching was not a big thing at that point and since they don’t count against the cap, I don’t care about it all that much.

Also Fisher was an emergency back-up. He thought Kerr was a lock but instead got used for leverage by him in landing a better offer from GSW. That was a pretty big lesson for Phil and a reason why I think he just kept that Rambis is a lock crap floating out there while he conducted an actual coaching search.

Your making some pretty big assumptions here. First of all, D’Antoni should be applauded for turning to Lin at all, and for continuing to stick with Lin after his first good game. Second, NBA teams don’t even practice that much in-season, especially not the kind of full-go 5 on 5 work where you’d actually get to see a player’s ability in a game-like situation. In 2014, for example, the Clippers scheduled 6 practices in the entire month of December. It’s pretty tough to get an idea of how a player will do against in game NBA competition from watching them in shootarounds and walkthroughs.

I’m not making any assumptions. The facts are Jeremy Lin was lighting up the summer league and D-League, but no NBA coach/GM could figure out that he was rotation worthy. Then the Knicks signed him in December and had him for weeks before he made his big splash against the Celtics. It was a night that D’Antoni was desperate, not that he identified Lin as some great talent. Giving D’Antoni credit for discovering Lin would be like giving credit to your uncle for buying the right lotto tickets if he hits the jackpot.

This goes straight to my point. The NBA front offices are not made to find talent that isn’t already collectively known. They’re really bad at noticing the Jeremy Lins and the Nick Fazekases of the world, and they’re really bad at noticing how useless the Andrea Bargnanis and Derrick Roses are as well.

You’re conceding that NBA practices aren’t good areas to identify NBA talent. If this is true (and it is), then shouldn’t NBA teams play fringe players in NBA games to identify whether or not they are good enough to play in the league to gauge their true worth?

Now that the topic has switched to PJ’s performance, I’d say he has been pretty bad. His most promising move was selecting Porzingis with the 4th pick that landed on his lap while he was driving to the playoffs. I don’t give much value to that because it was a top pick, so odds are the selection is going to be quite promising and because Porzingis is still in the early stages of development. After a very promising 1/2 season, we don’t really know if Jackson drafted Nowitzky or Landry Fields. I hope it’s Nowitzki, of course.

The rest of PJ’s tenure has been discussed to no end, so I won’t add anything other than he gets a clear F from me because the Knicks have been a terrible team under his direction and as of today, the future is not very clear or bright.

His most promising move was selecting Porzingis with the 4th pick that landed on his lap while he was driving to the playoffs. I don’t give much value to that because it was a top pick, so odds are the selection is going to be quite promising and because Porzingis is still in the early stages of development. After a very promising 1/2 season, we don’t really know if Jackson drafted Nowitzky or Landry Fields. I hope it’s Nowitzki, of course.

lol

@115

+1

No credit for a smart pick that reveals both a reliance on quality scouting and a willingness to swing for the fences the time it’s most important to swing for the fences. But had Phil picked, say, Okafor, I’m sure that would go in the “F” pile.

So, we may have written the obituary on Grant’s SL performance a tad early…

There is no rational reason to believe Porzingis will be better or worse than Okafor. He is talked about as a sure-fire superstar only because this is a Knicks fan site and he plays for the Knicks. But reality is we don’t know for sure: he had a great start followed by below average production during the second half of the season. Landry Fields did the exact same thing and he was “the glue”, remember?

Not too long ago most regulars were singing the praises of Grant as a solid prospect. Afflalo and Calderon were great moves by Phil at some point. Hetnandezgomez and Mandingus are great and shrewd moves even before they have played a single NBA minute.

But, granted, all that is speculation. The hard facts is the Knicks have bern pretty bad under PJ. Will it get better? I doubt it, but only time will tell.

i’m almost certain that if we landed #3 instead of #4 we would be looking at okafor… but i do give him credit for getting it right… i really didn’t like porzingis before the draft but so glad i was wrong about it…

it’s really the other moves that are questionable… trying to segregate skill from luck is a tough thing to do esp in basketball…. i think by now we have enough of a sample to make a judgement… and phil’s tenure is going to hinge on what happens this year either way…

If you can’t tell the difference between Porzingis and Landry Fields that’s your problem and there are plenty of non-Knicks fans who think Porzingis is going to be a star as well.

For KP to turn into Landry Fields, wouldn’t he first have to shrink about 8 or 9 inches? And that’s just for starters.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that that does not happen!

I’ve been a lurker for years so I can tell this Theo guy is someone who has been banned under multiple usernames already. Same manner of speaking and the same “Time will tell” line.

If I’m wrong I apologize, but I doubt it 🙂

You’re conceding that NBA practices aren’t good areas to identify NBA talent. If this is true (and it is), then shouldn’t NBA teams play fringe players in NBA games to identify whether or not they are good enough to play in the league to gauge their true worth?

I’m not conceding that NBA practices aren’t good ares to identify NBA talent, that is the entire crux of my argument. NBA coaches should play fringe players in NBA games. And that’s exactly what D’Antoni did. Your argument would only make sense if he had refused to play Lin and Lin was then discovered by some other NBA team. But D’Antoni did play Lin, and continued to stick with him after he flashed brilliance. To criticize him for the point in the season at which he decided to play Lin seems unfair to me. It’s unreasonable to expect a coach to trot out a D-Leauger to start the season.

Lin’s first meaningful action (in that game against the Celtics) came in the 23rd game of the season, even in the lock-out shortened season that’s still only 1/3 of the way through. And he sucked in that game, 7 minutes and 0-3 from the floor. The next game, D’Antoni tried him out again (to his credit) and Lin exploded for 25 points.

If i were TWolves’ GM and the bball gods were giving me the chance to pick AGAIN [after watching the 2015-16 season] whoever i want from the class of the 2015 draft i’d pick KP.
KAT is the safer choice but KP is the right choice imo !
And thank God we picked 4th !!!

@120 – my point is that after watching Porzingis play his first season, we have the same excitement we had when we saw Landry Fields emerge as a very promising talent. It does not mean that Porzingis will not go on to become a star. It means giving PJ credit for drafting a star instead of Okafor or someone else is quite premature. Porzingis has yet to become a star and Landry Fields is a cautionay tale.

Landry Fields is not a comparison for Porzingis. I was never excited to the point I thought we had a potential star with Landry. A potential starter or quality rotation wing yeah, but not much more. At the absolute minimum I expect Porzingis to be a quality starter.

Landry Fields is a sad story. You can’t predict “severe nerve injuries to shooting arm that ruin one’s jumper forever” in anyone career’s arc.

But I doubt that’s what Theo meant. He’s here to rustle jimmies and chew bubble gum… and he’s all outta bubble gum.

“KP might shatter his elbow while executing a fast break dunk like Andrew Bogut and lose all confidence in shooting, so I give Phil NO CREDIT for drafting him.”

Are we gonna go through this again? The bloom was off the rose with Fields before he hurt his elbow. His stats regressed in the last months of the regular season and he was completely useless in the playoffs.

Not to mention, comparing the emotions of hitting the jackpot on a #4 pick to a total surprise find in the second round is a joke. We could probably trade Porzingis for a king’s ransom right now, just based on his market value and unlimited upside. Do you think that was true for Fields after his rookie year?

I’m very happy that the great Jim Cavan and the WSJ were certain about the greatness of Landry Fields, but I didn’t share that belief or excitement. I was pretty happy we landed a guy in the 2nd round who looked like a legit wing in the NBA, but it’s not comparable to Porzingis at all as a prospect or what I believed to be their respective ceilings as NBA players.

Did you happen to read this part of Cavan’s review?

After the late February acquisition of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, Fields wasn’t quite the same. Though he never relinquished his starting job, Landry’s numbers tapered off noticeably in the final three months, steadily sliding from a December peak (10.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, 66% TS%) to a final month (18 games) in which he averaged just 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds with a TS% of 49%. By the end of the Celtics series, a season that had started with such a clandestine bang had faded in a statistical whimper. Fields’ stat line for the 4-game sweep? You sure you want to know? Positive? 1.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 19.8% TS%, an ORtg of 49, and a WS/48 of -0.164.

@ Knew Your Nicks

Checking the euro-stats of WHG&Kuz’s won’t impress you.
Also the fact that those 2 europeans were found by us and not by the Spurs [who are more known EuroHunters than us] is probably an indication that they’re not Petrovic/Sabonis material.
Willie looks slightly chubby for his age and Kuz looks like a member of a CCCP national basketball team of the 70’s crying out for a haircut.

You don’t find 20pts and 11reb per 36min and a 64TS%+ in the 2nd strongest league in the world impressive?

Or Kuzminskas’ 20pts & 5.5reb per 36 min with a 59TS% in that same league to be impressive?

If anyone put up these numbers in the NBADL or college people would be clamoring for them, and neither league is as talented.

We’re also the team that found Pablo Prigioni, Chris Copeland, and drafted Kristaps Porzingis. What’ve our mistakes been? Fredric Weiss from 15+ years ago?

fields was unfortunately not the most hyped prospect the knicks had… that award goes to one channing frye…

PER of 18.1 and ws48 of .108 and then preceded to have the mother of all sophomore slumps…

You don’t find 20pts and 11reb per 36min and a 64TS%+ in the 2nd strongest league in the world impressive?
Or Kuzminskas’ 20pts & 5.5reb per 36 min with a 59TS% in that same league to be impressive?

The stat”per 36min” looks to me as inacurate as assuming that Usain Bolt will be the fastest marathon man because he’s the fastest “per100 metres”.
I’m sorry but i don’t find their “per game” stats impressive…
If they were as good as “per36” don’t you believe they’d play 36min each game ?

We’re also the team that found Pablo Prigioni, Chris Copeland, and drafted Kristaps Porzingis. What’ve our mistakes been? Fredric Weiss from 15+ years ago?

I’m not talking about mistakes.
I’m just talking that other teams have brought in the NBA players like Detlef Schrempf, Toni Kukoc, Sarunas Marculionis, Drazen Petrovic, Arvydas Sabonis, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki…..
We’re Rookies in the EuroStud hunting.
That’s all.
I want more than you to see WHG and KUZ become Great Players but despite my optimism i find it a little bit hard.
Not impossible but…very difficult.
Let’s both hope i’m wrong on that one.

If they were as good as “per36? don’t you believe they’d play 36min each game ?

I have always said this.

If they were as good as “per36? don’t you believe they’d play 36min each game ?

No!!!!! This is so wrong. Minute allocation is completely different in Europe. KP averaged like 14 and 20 mints per game his last two years in Europe. WillyH almost never saw the court just because he was a young guy.

Comparing Porzingis to Fields is absurd. But even funnier is Mike K carping that undrafted players aren’t given a fair shake because of X Y Z when ONE YEAR EARLIER D’Antoni started a second-round rookie. Who, to D’Antoni’s credit, did produce, at least for much of the year. So, maybe the argument that NBA coaches can’t recognize talent isn’t exactly accurate, at least when it comes to D’Antoni.

The highlight of the Landry Fields era was the video on YouTube where he pretended to be an employee at Modell’s.

No!!!!! This is so wrong. Minute allocation is completely different in Europe. KP averaged like 14 and 20 mints per game his last two years in Europe. WillyH almost never saw the court just because he was a young guy.

As far as i can imagine the NBA’s interest for KP didn’t start from his stats but from his physical skills/potential/constant eye-scouting.
If you check euro stats per36 you’ll find many guys with better stats than KP who don’t fit in the NBA tho..
As for the minute allocation in Europe it’s definitely different but that doesn’t mean that the stat named “per36” can give you valuable info about a player in Europe.

Why are we picking on Landry Fields? The guy has a Stanford education, made a few million $ in the NBA, and has a smoking hot wife.
🙂

@ per 36 haters
The point of using per 36 numbers is to make comparisons possible between those who play 10 min and those who play 42 min or 31 min or 24 min. If you see 2 players who put up 10 pts/g & 3reb/g, but one played 12 min/g and the other played 42 min/g all other things equal you’d take the one who played 12 min.

Also, no one expects either Mindaugus or Hernangomez to play 36 per game. So even the terrible arguments that are usually thrown around about per 36 numbers won’t work here.

One more for the young ones:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/euro/players/arvydas-sabonis-1.html

When “PerGame” approaches “Per36? you have your SUPERSTAR.
Till then “per36? is just pulp fiction…

Totally valid comparisons from 15-20 years ago.
Wilt Chamberlin averaged 23 reb/g for his career. I guess that means every modern day player sucks at rebounding. Do I want a prime Tim Duncan on my team? Nope b/c his rebound numbers suck. I don’t want any player that can’t average 30pts & 20rebs. That’s my standard for good numbers. Is this really your argument?

The point of using per 36 numbers is to make comparisons possible between those who play 10 min and those who play 42 min or 31 min or 24 min.

To make comparisons between those who play 1omin and those who play 42min is as “—?—” as comparing my dunks on the schoolyard to Vince Carter’s dunks.

To make comparisons between those who play 1omin and those who play 42min is as “—?—” as comparing my dunks on the schoolyard to Vince Carter’s dunks.

1) The second thing you mention isn’t comparable, but it doesn’t follow that the first thing is incomparable.
2) Mindaugus and Hernangomez aren’t going to be playing 36 min/g so the argument if true wouldn’t even apply.
3) Would you rather work 1 hour for $900 or work 8 hours for $900? You’re saying you don’t see a difference since each is $900/day.

Totally valid comparisons from 15-20 years ago.

Unfortuntaly i’m not very familiar with modern eurobasket.

Wilt Chamberlin averaged 23 reb/g for his career. I guess that means every modern day player sucks at rebounding. Do I want a prime Tim Duncan on my team? Nope b/c his rebound numbers suck. I don’t want any player that can’t average 30pts & 20rebs. That’s my standard for good numbers. Is this really your argument?

My argument is that WHG&Kuz’s stats don’t impress me.
Clear.
Simple.
Nothing less.
Nothing more.
I’m not claiming the tetragonisation of the circle.
🙂

1) The second thing you mention isn’t comparable, but it doesn’t follow that the first thing is incomparable.
2) Mindaugus and Hernangomez aren’t going to be playing 36 min/g so the argument if true wouldn’t even apply.
3) Would you rather work 1 hour for $900 or work 8 hours for $900? You’re saying you don’t see a difference since each is $900/day.

I really don’t understand you.
What are you trying to tell me ?

The point is if player A avg 20 ppg in 35 mins a game and player B plays 15 mins a game and avg 20 ppg per 36…..why is he only playing 15 mins a game?

The point is if player A avg 20 ppg in 35 mins a game and player B plays 15 mins a game and avg 20 ppg per 36…..why is he only playing 15 mins a game?

And which are those 15mins ?
Are they playing against starters ?
During garbage time ?
Finishing games ?

That’s why “per36” is only good for novels and dreams imho

Your opinion is wrong

I’m always open to change my mistaken opinion if you show me the right one.
Can you ?

There’s no place for opinion here. Or athletic performance. Or teamwork. Or systems. Or leadership.

Only stats are important.

FWIW,

Mindaugas was 2nd on his team in total mp and 1st in pts/g. But hey he didn’t play 36 min so we have no idea how good he is.

The most mpg on Unicaja was 24 and Mindaugas played 20. The issue wasn’t lack of skill. The difference is largely due to different coaching styles.

Read this

I’m not convinced.
Sorry.

How about the durability of a player ?

NBA is not only a league for the most skilled bball players but also for the most durable/most conditioned ones.
That’s why the rookies and the europeans usually “hit the walls” on their first years.

I’m not convinced.
Sorry.

How about the durability of a player ?

NBA is not only a league for the most skilled bball players but also for the most durable/most conditioned ones.
That’s why the rookies and the europeans usually “hit the walls” on their first years.

Not sure how this affects the impressiveness of the stats they put up last year. Nor do I see how that’s an issue when they’ll be playing at most 10mpg behind Melo, Noah, KP, O’Quinn…

FWIW,

Mindaugas was 2nd on his team in total mp and 1st in pts/g. But hey he didn’t play 36 min so we have no idea how good he is.

The most mpg on Unicaja was 24 and Mindaugas played 20. The issue wasn’t lack of skill. The difference is largely due to different coaching styles.

ok man.
Let’s hope that we sign our own “Detlef Schrempf” and i’ll be more than pleased to say that “per36” was prophetic and i was a false prophet !

You should find yourself a different Knicks blog

Why ?
Are you only “per-etics” in here ?

Why ?
Are you only “per-etics” in here ?

There’s a wide variety of opinions here, but pretty much all the regulars frown on per game stats. If you want to cite them here prepare to argue a lot.

Or instead you could go away to a different blog and spare us tedious arguments that go nowhere

It’s in big font at the top of the page.

i trust stats.
i don’t trust “per”.

Or instead you could go away to a different blog and spare us tedious arguments that go nowhere

I’ll try to put numbers on every post of mine to make it more scientific and be accepted.
1+1=2
2 per36=72+1=73championship

When “PerGame” approaches “Per36? you have your SUPERSTAR.
Till then “per36? is just pulp fiction…

What the fuck are you on about? Nobody is arguing that Kuzminskis and Hernangomez are burgeoning superstars. They’re simply using the per-36 numbers to give a better understanding of the rate of their production adjusted for a set amount of minutes. It’s not an exact science, but it’s a lot better valuation tool than deciding that because they didn’t play x minutes per game they’re not impressive without bothering to understand why they may not have played a lot of minutes or that the lack of minutes is a reason why their per game numbers may not look great.

Most of us DO like stats. Some of us use stats as a compliment to what we see with our eyes. Per stats or any averages, are valid when the sample size is significant. If I told you that I batted .400 in the majors, you might be impressed until you learned I was 4-for-10. Stats without framing are misleading. The best example (I know that I’m opening up a can of worms here) is Derrick Rose’s 13.5 PER last year. On the surface, it’s below the 15 average. On the other hand, it fails to factor the months where he could barely see. And we don’t see other things in stats that factor into predicting a player’s future production. Did he find his wife sleeping with Derrick Fisher? Has he started to date a Kardashian? Is he hanging out with Johnny Manziel?

This is one of the dumbest fucking arguments I have ever seen here. This is like nuclear bomb dumb.

What the fuck are you on about? Nobody is arguing that Kuzminskis and Hernangomez are burgeoning superstars. They’re simply using the per-36 numbers to give a better understanding of the rate of their production adjusted for a set amount of minutes. It’s not an exact science, but it’s a lot better valuation tool than deciding that because they didn’t play x minutes per game they’re not impressive without bothering to understand why they may not have played a lot of minutes or that the lack of minutes is a reason why their per game numbers may not look great.

Why so angry ?
I prefer to judge players on actual stats and not “per” ones.
That’s why i don’t find the stats of WHG&Kuz impressive.
I like their game and their potential tho.

@178

With how often that family is seen associating with players, I am surprised that it’s not a meassurable statistic rather than an immeasurable factor.

@181 – So let’s coin the KF% term. That’s the Kardashian Factor and it’s the percent of diminished ability attributable to association with a Kardashian.

Relax, guys!

Per36 is the same as per 48, but magnified, or ‘condensed’ if you will, to make the numbers appear bigger. You could do per 30 or per 40, if you wanted. Some people use per-minute stats. None is wrong; they are just small portions of the big puzzle called statistical analysis. Lots of variables, lots of valuable information and lots of opportunities to reach very different conclusions based on the same data. A game in itself.

Why so angry ?
I prefer to judge players on actual stats and not “per” ones.
That’s why i don’t find the stats of WHG&Kuz impressive.
I like their game and their potential tho.

Dude, “per” stats are literally just the “actual stats” you like multiplied to reflect the time played. That’s all. It helps you evaluate players, on a rough basis, by giving you a common framework of comparison so you can look at their actual production. No one is arguing that your analysis should end there.

Does anyone know a good argument to get out of a speeding ticket?

Amnesia.

Dude, “per” stats are literally just the “actual stats” you like multiplied to reflect the time played. That’s all. It helps you evaluate players, on a rough basis, by giving you a common framework of comparison so you can look at their actual production. No one is arguing that your analysis should end there.

You’re right.”Per” is not the correct word for what i’m trying to say.
I prefer to check “per game stats” & “min per game”. to get a pretty good first look at a player.
I don’t like “per36” “per48” and other types of hypothetical stats that the player never puts up but they come out from multiplication.
That’s my point of view.

@185
You could try refuting the metric of miles per hour: claim your speed can only legitimately be judged by the distance you traveled, not how long it took to go that distance. If the officer doesn’t buy it, you can have him talk to Knew Your Nicks. He’ll have your back.

So let’s coin the KF% term. That’s the Kardashian Factor and it’s the percent of diminished ability attributable to association with a Kardashian.

Could also make that a per-36/48 as well to gauge the effect on a minutes basis.

@185
You could try refuting the metric of miles per hour: claim your speed can only legitimately be judged by the distance you traveled, not how long it took to go that distance. If the officer doesn’t buy it, you can have him talk to Knew Your Nicks. He’ll have your back.

I’ll definitely help you man !
After all that ”beating” i had for calling the stats of our euro-youngmen ‘not impressive’, i’m ready to fight 12 more rounds for you too.

Does anyone know a good argument to get out of a speeding ticket?

@185 – You too? I got nailed in the am.
Typically, if it’s a suburban ticket, go to court and they’ll plead you down. They just want your cash.

One plus one equals two all day long and that, along with the vehement defense of the eye test, ain’t never gonna change.

The positives:
1.As long as Rose/Noah/KP are healthy, and Lee is hitting around 38-40% from deep while playing solid defense, we should see something closer to the Olympic Melo more often because he won’t hafta do all the heavy lifting.
2. In Noah/KP/Lee/Thomas/Billy/OQ/Holliday/Kuz, we have a good combination of length, defense, and rebounding. Pretty selfless group of guys I just named too.

The negatives :
1. We don’t have enough shooting on the roster to maximize Rose’s forays to the rim and Melo’s ability to draw double teams.

The unknown :
1. The blue and orange elephant in the room…health. We have no clue how healthy Rose/Melo/Noah/Jennings are gonna be. We hafta pray to every God, knock on every wood, and use every superstitious tactic we know of to wish healthy seasons for each of those players. Honestly, if Rose is healthy, Melo has yet another teammate who is every bit as good as he is- but this time comes at a time where the ball doesn’t stick to his hands so much.

This is gonna be a crapshoot of a season if there ever was one. Can’t wait..

Totes, I agree that we could use more outside shooting. We could also use an experienced “true” center.

it’s hard enough having an intelligent conversation when people try to make facts fit theories rather than theories fit facts, but when some people don’t even want to accept facts as facts…

If only Ted Nelson were here to set Knew Your Nicks straight. We could all sneak off to a separate thread and let them beat each other into submission.

Don’t think there’s any peer reviewed studies to verify that sentiment, Rama. Tsk tsk.

If we could get hoolahoop back then things would really get interesting

And that’s exactly what D’Antoni did. Your argument would only make sense if he had refused to play Lin and Lin was then discovered by some other NBA team. But D’Antoni did play Lin, and continued to stick with him after he flashed brilliance. To criticize him for the point in the season at which he decided to play Lin seems unfair to me. It’s unreasonable to expect a coach to trot out a D-Leauger to start the season.

Lin was signed in December. D’Antoni gave major minutes to Toney Douglas from December -> February. That’s ~25 games. And he was getting 20-30+ minutes a night.

This would be like a man making bad financial decisions and having to sell his house & everything he owns, and then at the last minute out of desperation he tries to sell sold old papers he has, and one of them turns out to be 1990s stock in Microsoft. D’Antoni didn’t do anything great by deciding to play Lin. It was the obvious move.

Saying D’Antoni gets credit for Lin is like calling our tramp a stock market genius. If anything D’Antoni made the situation worse the whole time by playing inferior PGs and racking up L’s.

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