Knicks Morning News (2017.11.01)

  • [NYDN] Offseason strength work takes Kristaps Porzingis to new heights
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 9:51:21 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis posted workout snippets with regularity in June and July.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks’ new go-to guy, rising to challenge
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 3:49:26 PM)

    Courtney Lee was leading the break and saw Kristaps Porzingis raising his arm as he darted to the basket. Lee threw a lob that few people could have gotten. But Porzingis climbed the ladder, caught the ball with his right hand and threw it down all in one motion.

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ task: Slow down Harden and Rockets’ 3-point shooting
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 10:33:50 PM)

    The Nuggets attempted 41 3-pointers against the Knicks on Monday at the Garden. In Oklahoma City on opening night, the Thunder tried 38. Well, Knicks, you ain’t seen nothing yet: Here come the Rockets. Last season, Houston attempted a senses-numbing average of 40.3 3-pointers a game. In the embryonic stages this season, the Rockets have…

  • [NYPost] How Kristaps Porzingis grew into the ‘nightmare’ NBA feared
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 12:19:17 PM)

    All summer, Kristaps Porzingis worked on getting stronger. He lifted weights. Ran. Did boxing. He wanted to evolve into what Pistons coach and executive Stan Van Gundy recently predicted for him. “He’s going to be a nightmare for years to come in this league,” Van Gundy said. So far this season, opponents are losing lots…

  • [NYPost] Curious benching shows the fine line Jeff Hornacek is walking
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:50:49 AM)

    The Knicks are a .500 ballclub on a three-game winning streak after a fairly difficult schedule. That’s not the record that will get you a top-3 lottery pick or even a seat at the lottery dais in Manhattan in May. But the new management team of Steve Mills and Scott Perry – as much as…

  • [ESPN] Vote: Weigh in on the NBA through two weeks
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:41:35 AM)

    Vote: Weigh in on the NBA through two weeks

  • [SNY Knicks] Hardaway Jr. gets hot at right time in Knicks’ win Monday night
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 2:49:19 PM)

    Knicks SG Tim Hardaway Jr. came alive in the fourth quarter in Monday night’s 116-110 win over the Nuggets.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis hearing MVP chants from fans and Enes Kanter
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:42:31 AM)

    After another spectacular performance against the Nuggets, Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis is already hearing MVP talks from his teammates.

  • [NYTimes] Carmelo Anthony Is Gone, and Perhaps the Knicks Don’t Miss Him
    (Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:01:04 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis has quickly assumed the role of franchise player, and Frank Ntilikina, the rookie guard, is showing flashes of real talent.

  • 97 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.01)”

    I’d like Horn to try Dotson at the 3. If it works out, great; if not nothing’s lost. Frank looking like a potential 1 guard really helps rationalize our youngin’ minutes; Dotson at the 3 would further help.
    1: Jack (22) Frank (18) Baker (8)
    2: Timmy (28) Lee (20)
    3: Dot (18) McBuckets (22) Lee (8)
    4: KP (32) Kuz/Lance (16)
    5: Kanter (19) WHG (19) Noah (10) presumes eventual trade of KOQ

    Noah’s here for 3 more years so it makes sense to limit his minutes just in terms of durability. He shouldn’t play on consecutive nights. There should be enough minutes then for both Enes and Willy. KOQ’s a tough situation; he’s probably our best center in his prime. But Kanter’s contract (including trade kicker and player option) makes him almost untradeable and he probably won’t walk this summer into free agency where so many teams are cap-constrained and centers are a dime a dozen. I wouldn’t want to trade Willy for a draft pick since he’s already better than most 1st round picks and I doubt there’s a deal where we get an equivalent young player. I don’t know if CBA enables an extend-and-trade in KOQ’s situation but that might increase his trade value. We could let KOQ talk to potential suitors, pick a team he wants which would give us value, then extend/trade him.

    It’s important that coaches on this type of team have player(s) who could reinforce their vision to the team youth. Noah could help implement the active defense approach as well as reinforce things like the need to communicate on defense. Lee appears to be a smart guy who will call people out in terms of the offense (e.g., being in the right spot).

    O’Quinn can, in fact, be traded and extended. Said extension would be limited to just three years (including the current season, so just two more seasons), though, so I dunno if O’Quinn would even agree to such a deal.

    A few other things:

    – If Dotson’s able to play the 3, there’s less need to trade Lee. In fact, the only reason to trade Lee might be to free up some cap or to give minutes to Baker at the 2. Thibs would probably take Lee for Cole and a 2nd round pick. We could buy Cole out and then have cap Lee’s cap available in two summers. I think I’d be inclined to just keep Lee.

    – We should give Kuz some burn early on. He might play just well enough to interest some contender and net a 2nd round pick. Perhaps he could be included in a KOQ deal. OKC (which needs more depth) for example’s got a trade exception which could incorporate KOQ’s salary which would allow us to send them both Kuz and KOQ in any deal given their limited contracts to make any deal work.

    – We probably should just look to buy out Lance this summer (only 1m is guaranteed in his last year). We’d be doing him a solid and we’re gonna have a couple of new draft picks to incorporate this summer.

    – Finally, when I look at the roster from my previous post, how refreshing is it that we’ve got no head cases on the team? We’ve got a coach who looks like he might know what he’s doing and players who are willing to implement his offensive scheme. And benching Kanter for laggin on defense shows Horn just might be serious about implementing the stated vision that everybody puts the effort on the defensive end. Frank’s looking more like a legit 1, KP’s improved even if he’s not able to sustain his play so far, our issue at center is not a bad problem to have, McDermott is showing a glimmer that he could be a rotation player especially in an offense that maximizes his talent. Paging Ephus…great time to be Knick fan. The future looks promising.

    how refreshing is it that we’ve got no head cases on the team?

    Look again. Name rhymes with Smeasley. 😉

    Which is why I’m hoping Smeasley gets cut when Noah returns, even though it’s likely to be Sessions.

    O’Quinn can, in fact, be traded and extended. Said extension would be limited to just three years, though, so I dunno if O’Quinn would even agree to such a deal.

    True but KOQ’s still young enough that it’s possible a 3-year deal might be better. One of the risks in letting him talk to teams is that one of them could tell him to wait until the summer and they’d sign him so they wouldn’t have to give us anything. That might be a team like 76ers. Of course, a contender like OKC would want him right away.

    Look again. Name rhymes with Smeasley. 😉

    Heh but you’ll notice he’s not on my roster. I think he should be cut to make room for Noah. Contenders always seem to need a reserve 1 guard at the trade deadline so keep Sessions. Plus Sessions is some insurance if Jack is injured.

    I’m still annoyed we drafted Dotson instead of Sindarius Thornwell

    I was legit shocked that he almost lasted until pick #50!

    I think if Lee can be traded for some sort of value, he’s going to be traded, whether Dotson is the answer at the 3 or not. If he’s not, we have at least 4 guys who can do serviceable minutes there (Lance, Kuz, Buckets, Beasley). We’re having enough issues handing out minutes right now, I wouldn’t put the priority on a 2nd rounder. He will get his chance at some point as the season rolls on.

    If you want to trade Lee and his contract, he needs consistent starters minutes for at least a solid month

    @9

    There is no way Dotson is better. Sindarius Thornwell was literally the best player in the NCAA last year and led an offensively challenged SC team to the final four and almost beat Gonzaga. He ran the offense and posted nearly a 30% usage while playing excellent defense in a competitive conference. Dotson played in a subpar conference and did nothing besides shoot and rebound. And Thornwell has been posting a >.200 WS/48 in the six or seven game small sample he’s played.

    I like Damyean a fair bit as a solid 3 and D guy in the future, but asserting that he’s better than Thornwell or projects to be better than Thornwell beggars belief. Most draft models had ST as a top 15-20 pick. Thornwell is a much more complete player and has similar skill level.

    We’ll see. Thornwell’s FG% in 4 years of college was below 40%. Dotson shot 44% from 3 on 245 attempts his senior year and had 46% FG% for his career. Dotson would have gone in the 1st round if not for the rape allegations. His eFG was 85 points higher than Thornwell’s was in his senior year. He’s an inch taller and jumps 8 inches higher, while Thornwell is longer and stronger. I don’t think it’s clear who will be better going forward, but either way, both were excellent picks well into the second round.

    I think Dotson fits a NBA roster better, to which I agree with Z-man that he is the better “player”. He’s already a specialized 3 and D guy with athletic potential. Thornwell is super talented and versatile and I’m quite sure he’ll carve himself a place in the NBA on that alone, but he’ll have to adapt his game a lot more to fit well in the the NBA. I would say Thornwell is the better player but Dotson the better fit, probably.

    I don’t think Lee is going to be traded unless someone steps into his role and takes the job away from him first. Management knows Lee is not on the same timetable as some of the better young players. But I think they also want to win games. I don’t think they are going to go backwards in the short term just to get younger and I don’t think anyone is going to give up a similar quality young player for an older player. I still think Lee can be moved and we can get a good value return. I just don’t think the team wants to do that. They like Lee and they want to win while developing the young talent. Someone has to rise first.

    @13 that’s fair. The larger point is that both are first round talents who’s stock went down due to the league’s preoccupation with 19-20 yo’s. Which is why that Chicago 2nd rounder is a nice asset!

    Tell you what, Lee is earning every cent of his contract. Not bad for an old guy!

    I agree. He’s not a star, but he’s a solid 2-way player and good vet to help the young players.

    Re Dotson and Thornwell: I have no idea which one’s better. Thornwell’s a guy who attacks the rim and shoots FTs at a high clip while Dotson is the better and more versatile shooter. Dotson’s able to shoot in traffic and use off-ball screens making him more than your standard spot-up 3&D player. They both are active defenders who rebound well. Maybe Thornwell dropped because of his arrest for erratic driving on a suspended license while on marijuana.

    What’s surprising is Bucks drafted Sindarius and gave him to Clips for 2m according to BRef. Jordan Bell, Thornwell. Knicks – KP, WHG, Frank, Dotson – are arguably one of the best drafting teams. Why is rebuilding team hoarding its cash?

    To my eye, Dotson has looked pretty much like ass during the regular season, but what do you expect from a rookie who is playing only sparing garbage time minutes. But I still feel good about him going forward.

    Re: Courtney Lee – if someone is willing to give us a 1st rounder for him, then sure, trade him. But as of now, the team is 3-3 and the playoffs are not out of the realm of possibility if KP continues to have a TS of 57 on a usage of 35, Kanter continues to beast on the offensive end at least, and we could even below-average to average guard play. He is clearly one of the leaders on the team and was the first to call out the players for not paying enough attention in practice – I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since that call-out (and also Jack starting), the team has looked 2487x more crisp on both ends of the floor (the competition might have something to do with that too…). But I don’t think I’d trade Lee this moment for anything short of a 1st round pick.

    KOQ has been great. He was a Knicks fan growing up and probably took a discount to come here the first time (the S&T from Orlando). If he’s willing to give a significant hometown discount, I’d have no problem with him staying beyond this year. After this season, stretching Noah is not quite as unthinkable (he’s due about $38MM over the next 2 seasons, so stretching him would be a 7.6MM hit on the cap x 5 years, or maybe even more likely would be stretching him after next season since we won’t have much space one way of the other next summer). Kanter will likely be gone after next season, so after 2018-19, having a 3 big rotation of KP/Willy/KOQ is pretty ok by me.

    @15

    I agree with that sentiment

    I think you play noah until he injures himself again and then try and negotiate a buyout. What’s the first game Noah is eligible to return for?

    Lee, right now, is THE critical defence-first/high-ball-movement culture guy. If I’m Scott Perry, I’m not trading Lee until someone else outhustles AND outplays him at his position.

    I disagree. I think the decision on Lee getting traded depends solely on the offer on the table, not on his role w/ us. I’m not talking about him being dumped, I’m talking about him being traded for something of some value.

    Question is, what is his value? $12M / year for this year and 2 more for a 32 year old….I would like to see us get a first round pick in the teens and an expiring deal. I fear that right now the market value is a low 1st rounder, or maybe a first rounder in 3 years. Not sure I’d trade him for that.

    His best value will be at the deadline or after an injury to a contender. I’d play him 32 mins a night until then and let him shine. He’s been great so far.

    If I recall correctly Noah was supposed to miss 12 games in this season, so he’ll probably be back against Cleveland in November 13.

    I think teams are definitely undervaluing those 2nd rounders, but it’s also tough because there aren’t many NBA teams who can develop raw prospects or make use of veteran college proven players and develop them for the NBA. We have no idea how those teams work in development of players and while I feel it’s a key part of becoming a good team, I have no idea how to evaluate how much it’s on the player, how much on the coaching staff, scouting etc.

    Chris,

    I think you’re sorely undervaluing just how difficult it is to build a winning culture. Imagine the 90s Knicks without Starks, Oakley, or Mason. They wouldn’t have been the same. IMHO, Courtney Lee has flipped the switch and made the transition from a conservative player (who wasn’t fully utilizing his skills and abilities due to being overly cautious) into John Starks.

    If you’re truly interested in realizing the potential of the young core, you need guys like Lee to lead by example. Otherwise you’re making the same mistake Sam Hinke did with the 76ers in having all kids and no veterans around to teach by example.

    Imagine the 90s Knicks without Starks, Oakley, or Mason.

    That is not even remotely a similar thing. Those players were core members of a good team when the Knicks won 51 games in 1991-92 when they were 26, 28 and 25. How are you comparing them to 32-year-old Courtney Lee? The better comparison would be to Doc Rivers and Rolando Blackman on the 1992-93 team and even that doesn’t really follow, since that was a really good team already when those guys were added on.

    Steve Mills’s interview with the beat reporters was interesting in that he referenced a “who knows, something might happen” when asked who would be cut when Noah comes off suspension. that said, seems unlikely to me that any actual deal happens before December when a whole raft of players become eligible to trade.

    My guess is that Sessions gets released. He’s been pretty awful – when you get soundly outplayed by Jarrett Jack coming off multiple injuries at age 62, it’s probably time to go. The other possibility would be trading Kuz for a late 2nd, or Lance Thomas for any kind of 2nd or something like that. Lance’s contract isn’t great but 2019-20 is barely guaranteed and he plays a position of need in the league.

    The better comparison would be to Doc Rivers and Rolando Blackman on the 1992-93 team and even that doesn’t really follow, since that was a really good team already when those guys were added on.

    And that’s exactly the type of team Courtney should be on. He’s a pretty good pro, but he’s not moving the needle that far and an extra 2 or 3 wins don’t matter to the Knicks. Courtney is a last piece of the puzzle kind of guy, not a foundation piece.

    I just calculated KP’s TS% without the Boston game where he was double teamed a lot and had an otherwise rough night anyway. He averaging 32.8 points at a 60 TS% in the other 5 games (wow!). He’s going to have bad games from time to time and teams are probably going to start double teaming him more often, but it’s interesting to see where he was at for the rest of the games.

    If I’m running the Knicks my goal for the end of the season is to be starting a team like Willy/Kanter, Porzingis, Timmy/Dotson, Dotson/Baker, Ntilikina. I don’t even need all those guys to be good, just playable in a way that doesn’t wreck the team on the courts chances of competing.

    And that’s exactly the type of team Courtney should be on. He’s a pretty good pro, but he’s not moving the needle that far and an extra 2 or 3 wins don’t matter to the Knicks. Courtney is a last piece of the puzzle kind of guy, not a foundation piece.

    Depends on whether you believe in the “culture” aspect I guess, and also what would come back in trade. A first would be great, but seems likely that if a 1st rounder by itself were on the table, that deal would have already been done. A first plus a bad contract would be a maybe depending on how good that first is.

    @4 Yes.
    Beasley is the JR Smith of small forwards. Talented at hoops but with a very low IQ (basketball and otherwise)

    When was the last time we had a guy as rootable as KOQ? Remember Beardy aka Rony Turiaf ?

    Knicks’ fans truly appreciate players who do what KOQ does, I’m going to the game tonight and look forward to cheering him on (and of course, another 30+ point extravaganza by KP)

    And that’s exactly the type of team Courtney should be on. He’s a pretty good pro, but he’s not moving the needle that far and an extra 2 or 3 wins don’t matter to the Knicks. Courtney is a last piece of the puzzle kind of guy, not a foundation piece.

    Yeah, exactly. I’ve always been a fan of Lee, but yes, he does not make a whole lot of sense on this particular roster (and didn’t from the moment he was signed).

    A first would be great, but seems likely that if a 1st rounder by itself were on the table, that deal would have already been done.

    Yeah, he’s here because they haven’t been able to get even a late first for him, which, hey, fair enough, he’s good enough that at least he doesn’t kill them by being here. It’s not like he’s Noah.

    I mean, it’s not like Lee is a consummate professional too. He has complained publicly to the media quite a few times, he’s played for 7 teams in 9 years and didn’t manage to stick on any of them.

    He’s much more of a journeyman / 3rd wing on a good team than a foundational piece of a strong winning culture.

    If anything, Noah is probably more conducive to a winning culture, if that even matters, than Lee, since he’s known to be a beloved guy in locker rooms and to be a willing mentor to younger players.

    I still think building a winning culture is massively overrated in relation to just developing good players.

    I think you guys are missing the most important point I keep making about Lee.

    The Knicks like Lee a lot!

    They think he’s a solid 2-way player, great teammate, positive veteran presence, on a good deal relative to his contribution, and they value him.

    No one is going to trade a young player of similar quality or just give away a good pick for Lee. What you are going to get back is either another older player of similar quality (that plays a different position) or a younger lower quality player with some small potential for upside. The latter makes some sense from a long term perspective if it’s the right player and you don’t care about winning or vet help with youngsters. However, I don’t think the Knicks are going to go that route when they value Lee and want to win games now too.

    IMO they are not going to trade him unless someone offers a deal they can’t refuse or someone else starts outplaying him.

    So if you want him to be traded, root for someone else to outplay him on both ends of the floor or for some team to be desperate enough for an experienced 2-way player that can space the floor that they make a bad trade.

    I’m not saying Lee has to go, and I’m not saying he has to stay. He’s really not stopping any young players from getting minutes, except maybe Dotson, or if you assume his absence would free us up to go with a bigger 2nd unit w/ both Willie and KOQ getting minutes.

    The issue is what is he worth. And it depends how important winning this year is to you; both in terms of development of the younger guys and wins/losses.

    So if you think Lee has value on and off the court in helping frank, KP and Willie, then you don’t deal him unless someone offers a mid first.

    But you can’t compare him to a 27 year old Anthony Mason playing w/ Ewing and Starks on the Knicks. You could compare him to a 32 year old Mason on the bucks w/ a young Michael Redd. But Lee was never in a Diamond D video. Or that whole Biggie thing. What i’m trying to say is, RIP Mase.

    I think you guys are missing the most important point I keep making about Lee.

    The Knicks like Lee a lot!

    They’ve repeatedly tried to trade him in his long Knick career of one season. They couldn’t get a first round pick for him. Heck, it’s unknown if anyone offered to take him at all for anything. That doesn’t translate to “they like him a lot!” Heck, if it does, then in that case, the Knicks really like Noah, since he’s also not going anywhere for years.

    this is the day when the most average player in nba history at age 32 gets the crowd in an uproar. tony wroten has lost his edge.

    After this season, stretching Noah is not quite as unthinkable

    I agree with this in principle, but in practice there’s no need to stretch Noah until we’re in immediate need of cap space. Better to pay big chunks on a bad contract while we’re not in the market for a marquee free agent than to shift it into future cap space prematurely.

    Courtney Lee is fine but he shouldn’t be starting. He’s a “serviceable” back up, meaning he can back up the sg spot well enough, but at 31, no team will be convinced to buy in on him with the hope that he could make the jump to “serviceable starter.” On the other hand, I could see O’Quinn jumping up to “serviceable starter” for a team that maybe had a big go down.

    THJ is going to log lots of minutes at the two. Ron and Dotson can get his backup minutes.

    Lee is a solid player, but by all means he should be dealt if anything of value can be gotten for him. A first rounder? Yes, please. Or, a decent young player with some upside (a PG or a three who can defend)? Yes, please. Secondarily, shaving off a year or two of salary commitment would be nice, too.

    I’m not saying they can get this, but if so, do it.

    If he was that in love that style of point guard he would have never traded George Hill.

    Dude, its not like he traded George Hill to get some scrub. He traded Hill to get a future franchise cornerstone in Kawhi Leonard. I mean, the fact Pop drafted George Hill and latter Murray as his two future point guards tells me he definitely has that type mind for his system. He gets that length + high IQ rules when plugged into an efficient system as it was the same logic which had him trade up to Leonard to man the 3.

    But he had a jitterbug-y penetrating high usage point guard running his offense for years- the idea that he wouldn’t have considered Smith is crazy.

    Not with Smith’s poor defensive qualities and lead guard mentality. Pop could have had Derrick Rose all offseason for next to nothing and he didn’t feign interest because that type doesn’t interest him, and rightly so.

    PS DeJounte Murray was drafted #29; if we drafted Frank at #29, I’d be doing cartwheels. He also spent a whole bunch of time in the G-League, but god forbid that anyone suggests that Frank does the same. PSS He has been pretty terrible, statistically speaking. The Spurs have the 24th ranked offense in the league.

    The Spurs are missing their leading scorer and best player so blaming their offensive struggle on Murray is a bit disingenuous and very unfair. Also, Frank is also a younger, higher touted prospect coming out of Strasbourg than Murray was out of Washington. Both were drafted around their draft spots because Frank is considered a more high IQ player coming into the league. No doubt Pop would have pounced on him.

    When was the last time we had a guy as rootable as KOQ?

    We had a guy named Jeremy Lin who was rootable for a second. David Lee maybe. But Kyle O’Quinn is about as rootable as it gets for anyone who grew up worshiping Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason like I did….

    Wow, it sounds like Janis threw Melo under that bus.

    “Interesting, how many people who are even somehow involved in all of this, said to me – That was so unprofessional!! Just look at Melo, how he is handling things… And I’am thinking, wait a minute. In reality, if he for once, would decide to fight for something, we wouldn’t be in this situation and Kristaps wouldn’t be forced to take all the damage to himself. It wasn’t done for some personal ambitions or dislike for someone, it was for the sake of overall peace. It needed to be leaders of the team task, but Melo and people around him, never tried to do anything.”

    “The main question here is – what do you even want to achieve in your career? Because money – if Kristaps gonna play at least on his normal level – its gonna come. We are more focused on some different values and not just how to faster get a new deal so we can collect the money. Thats definitely not our goal, so we are not gonna sit and anxiously count all the the minutes and points. You can’t escape the reality and Knicks must also see that. Knicks as of now believe Kristaps is the focal point, so you can’t upset him much, or otherwise at the end of the year, he can say “It’s not so cool here”. RIght now NY fans are going to the Garden mainly to see KP play. So organization has to take that into account.”

    @45 typical weak responses that boil down to “I said it, therefore I’m right and anyone who disagrees with me is disingenuous and unfair, and of course, wrong. I also am a mind-reader and know exactly what Pop and others would do under any circumstances.” But hey, you were too smart for the P&T crowd, right?

    Wow, it sounds like Janis threw Melo under that bus.

    Yeah for not being an anarchist or a “cancer” as people like to say he is.

    Yeah for not being an anarchist or a “cancer” as people like to say.

    Yeah, its unclear what he means there. I don’t know what Janis wanted Melo to do.

    @45 typical weak responses that boil down to “I said it, therefore I’m right and anyone who disagrees with me is disingenuous and unfair, and of course, wrong. I also am a mind-reader and know exactly what Pop and others would do under any circumstances.” But hey, you were too smart for the P&T crowd, right?

    Fake news. Blaming Murray for a poor Spurs offense now that Leonard is out – now THAT’s disingenuous and unfair.

    I think Janis wanted Melo to stand up to Phil for the rest of the team. It seems Phil’s mind games grated on the entire locker room.

    @55, like I said, you being an insufferable asshole is why you got banned from P&T. But you keep right on being one!

    And do you actually think Murray is not at all responsible for the decline in the Spurs offense? Please tell me which metric shows that he contributes positively, or is at least neutral. Or that Kawhi doesn’t mask his deficiencies.

    Dude, its not like he traded George Hill to get some scrub. He traded Hill to get a future franchise cornerstone in Kawhi Leonard. I mean, the fact Pop drafted George Hill and latter Murray as his two future point guards tells me he definitely has that type mind for his system. He gets that length + high IQ rules when plugged into an efficient system as it was the same logic which had him trade up to Leonard to man the 3.

    But he had a jitterbug-y penetrating high usage point guard running his offense for years- the idea that he wouldn’t have considered Smith is crazy.

    Not with Smith’s poor defensive qualities and lead guard mentality. Pop could have had Derrick Rose all offseason for next to nothing and he didn’t feign interest because that type doesn’t interest him, and rightly so.

    Seriously- Tony Parker, an offense first, penetrating (barely takes threes), high usage point guard started for Pop for 15 consecutive years- 15 YEARS!!!- yet somehow you’re comfortable saying that he would have definitely taken Frank over Smith based on the fact that Murray has started 7 games while Parker is injured? That’s just totally unwarranted speculation on your part. And like I said, he had George Hill who’s just about the best possible outcome for Frank (unless Frank shows another athletic gear) AND the ideal playmaking two to pair him with in Manu and he still traded him for a wing- a wing with great potential but a wing nevertheless.

    @57

    More false news. I was banned because,Seth is insecure, didn’t like being challenged, and I didn’t back down. But that’s the past. Why you feel the need to dredge it up is beyond me. Only one acting inappropriate here is you.

    I mean of course KP skipped the exit meeting on purpose. A few here said it at the time that this wasn’t him being petulant –> it was a power play. I thought it was being orchestrated with Melo but apparently not.

    KP is no wide-eyed innocent kid, and Janis certainly is not.

    high usage point guard started for Pop for 15 consecutive years- 15 YEARS!!!- yet somehow you’re comfortable saying that he would have definitely taken Frank over Smith based on the fact that Murray has started 7 games while Parker is injured?

    I say it based on the fact that the last two point guard projects who Pop drafted — George Hill (2008) and DeJonte Murray (2016) to replace Parker fit that mold. I say it based on the fact that even Kawhi Leonard fits this mold of player on the wing. Tall, lanky, major defensive upside players who can plug into a motion offense and share the ball. Those are types he likes on the perimeter as we see with Danny Green at the #2.

    More false news. I was banned because,Seth is insecure, didn’t like being challenged, and I didn’t back down. But that’s the past. Why you feel the need to dredge it up is beyond me. Only one acting inappropriate here is you.

    Right, Seth has that reputation. Of course, it couldn’t possibly have been due to you. You’re never wrong!

    @61

    Yeah, it pretty much only confirms what was sort of obvious already. KP was done with Phil and wanted him out, and his power play ended up working. At least now he seems extra motivated.

    I say it based on the fact that the last two point guard projects who Pop drafted — George Hill (2008) and DeJonte Murray (2016) to replace Parker fit that mold. I say it based on the fact that even Kawhi Leonard fits this mold of player on the wing. Tall, lanky, major defensive upside players who can plug into a motion offense and share the ball. Those are types he likes on the perimeter as we see with Danny Green at the #2.

    And you ignore the fact that the guy who Pop actually played as backup point the last five years- Patty Mills- is nothing like Frank. Corey Joseph wasn’t exactly a long, lanky point either. You’re seriously just fantasizing based on what you want to be true.

    8 of the Spurs’ 13 players have had a TS% of .473 or worse. Small sample size theater.

    Almost as stupid as saying “the Spurs are still elite without a top-3 player!” (which I read in the media several times) is saying something like “Patty Mills and Manu are going to shoot .389 and .417 respectively for an entire season.” Manu might not get up to the ridiculous .612 TS% he shot in 2008, but he’ll probably end the season a little higher than .500. Mills will end the season around his career average unless he’s nursing an injury. Watch when Mills goes 6-9 for 17 points a couple games in a row and his TS% (and the Spurs’ ORtg) looks normal again.

    Janis is a little ahead of himself. Yes KP is the “focal point”, but the stupid Garden sells out no matter who is there. The whole branding, for lack of a better world, humblebrag style attention seeking on their part has always been a little distasteful. I’m psyched that he is doing great but we need that to last past December this time.

    KP is no wide-eyed innocent kid, and Janis certainly is not.

    Not at all, both of them are very calculated about what they hope to accomplish and how to get it. On one level, I am happy they are thinking about more than just how to make as much money as they possibly can like Melo did. On another, you pray that they don’t interfere so much it becomes a Lebron level type travesty.

    Speaking of the Spurs, is Kawhi alive? I haven’t heard shit about him or his injury? Is there a timetable?

    On the one hand, it was pretty presumptuous for Janis/KP to act the way they did, and it’s not real helpful for Janis to be out there running his mouth.

    On the other hand, it worked, and Phil got fired, and we’re better off because of it.

    @63

    Listen, I am not going to litigate my time in P&T. I sure as hell am not going to discuss Seth since I don’t know him or care about him. If you want to discuss basketball holler at me. Until then, stop acting like a baby because someone disagrees with you.

    And you ignore the fact that the guy who Pop actually played as backup point the last five years- Patty Mills- is nothing like Frank. Corey Joseph wasn’t exactly a long, lanky point either. You’re seriously just fantasizing based on what you want to be true.

    Was Patty Mills ever used or going to be the starting point guard on the Spurs? Hell, the fact that Pop would rather have Murray start over an established veteran of his system like Mills at so raw an age only supports my case even more, doesn’t it? Pop didn’t want a small flighty guard like him to take over from Parker despite the fact that Mills is currently the better orchestrator.

    Frankly, I don’t believe a thing Janis says. He sounds like an arrogant enabler, and that often is not a good thing.

    I wonder what, if anything, can be gotten for Okafor or Hezonja at this time? Both will be UFAs this offseason, I think.

    I wouldn’t mind a flyer on Hezonga, but McD deserves most of the three minutes going forward. Hey, I’d trade LT for Hezonga and an expiring, though! 🙂

    Does Pop like long, lanky wings? Yup. But the guys he’s actually played at point haven’t fit that mold until Murray who will almost certainly be replaced as the starter once Parker is healthy. Based what’s actually occurred on the court over many years- as opposed to your speculation- Pop likes penetrating point guards paired with long defensive-minded wings. So while he may have preferred Frank over Smith (who knows?) saying that it was a sure thing that he did is just completely unfounded.

    Do we really want Okafor? We already have enough big men than we know what do with. And we already have skillful post up scorers who play no defense in Kanter and then Willy.

    But the guys he’s actually played at point haven’t fit that mold until Murray who will almost certainly be replaced as the starter once Parker is healthy.

    Um, what about George Hill? 6’3 and a 7 ft. wingspan. He’s so much so in that vein that he was the guy who Frank was compared to on draft day.

    No, we don’t want Okafor. I’m just thinking that Philly and Orlando aren’t going to get anything decent for guys who are playing out the string.

    I wouldn’t mind a cheap look at Hezonja as a three, but with McD needing a long look, I wouldn’t give anything for him. Looks like they are trying to get a 2nd rounder for him. Sacramento was interested but apparently passed.

    Guess which team has a 3-4 record and has 2 players averaging a combined 57 pts. 26 rebounds and 8 assists per game?

    Your New Orleans Pelicans. There’s no way Gentry survives if they don’t make the playoffs this year.

    I loved Hezonja during that draft and obviously he hasn’t lived up to the potential but he’s still young and worth a flier if it only costs a 2nd rounder. We have a convoluted 2nd rounder coming to us in 2019

    2019 second round draft pick from Orlando, Cleveland or Houston (least favorable)
    Orlando will receive the most favorable of its 2019 2nd round pick, Cleveland’s 2019 2nd round pick, Houston’s 2019 2nd round pick and Portland’s 2019 2nd round pick; Sacramento will receive the second most favorable of the Orlando pick, the Cleveland pick and the Houston pick and New York will receive the least favorable of these three picks; Detroit will receive the less favorable of (i) the Portland pick and (ii) the most favorable of the Orlando pick, the Cleveland pick and the Houston pick (via Orlando’s right to swap for Cleveland or Houston (via Cleveland and Houston to New York); via New York to Sacramento; via Portland to Orlando to Detroit) [Cleveland-New York-Oklahoma City, 1/5/2015; Houston-New York, 2/19/2015; New York-Orlando, 7/9/2015; Orlando-Portland, 6/23/2016; Detroit-Orlando, 6/29/2016; New York-Sacramento, 7/14/2017]

    Of course, that would mean, barring a trade, we wouldn’t have a 2nd rounder for 3 straight drafts; we traded our 2019, 2020, and 2021 picks to Philly.

    The news about Jahlil Okafor pretty much nukes any chance of the Knicks trading Kanter, huh? Good thing he’s a per minute superstar.

    Kanter is more efficient and has an elite skill as an offensive rebounder. Okafor is young so maybe he can develop in those areas. If we didn’t have a load of more productive bigs on the roster I wouldn’t mind taking a flyer on Okafor. Some trash team like the Bulls may as well give him a shot if they’ve got nothing else going on.

    When was the last time we had a guy as rootable as KOQ

    We once had Ken Bannister and Eddie Lee Wilkins at the same time.

    The news about Jahlil Okafor pretty much nukes any chance of the Knicks trading Kanter, huh? Good thing he’s a per minute superstar.

    What news about Okafor?

    Um, what about George Hill? 6’3 and a 7 ft. wingspan. He’s so much so in that vein that he was the guy who Frank was compared to on draft day.

    Who he traded despite his being pretty much the best case scenario for Frank and having the perfect running mate for that type of guard in Manu (and they didn’t trade him for year 4 superstar Kawhi- they traded him for an unproven rookie who they thought might have that potential). The idea that Pop doesn’t value penetrating offensive minded points despite having played them the majority of available minutes over more than a decade because of two drafts picks made almost ten years apart is ludicrous. I’m done with this but you know like the song says Don’t Stop Believin’

    Who he traded despite his being pretty much the best case scenario for Frank

    Yes, and if it ever happens that we have the option to trade a young Frank for the next Kawhi Leonard I assume that everyone will be happy, even Frank’s greatest defenders. But this doesn’t disprove the fact that Pop places a major value on this type of player, especially since he traded a heady, lanky, high upside defensive guard for a heady, lanky, high upside defensive wing.

    The idea that Pop doesn’t value penetrating offensive minded points despite having played them the majority of available minutes over more than a decade

    What you really mean is that he played Tony Parker a majority of minutes. A player who was ready to lead a team to a championship at 20 years of age. Comparing him to DSJ because they are quick, high usage PGs is like me comparing Frank to Jason Kidd because they are tall, defensive oriented PGs. Fortunately for the Spurs, Pop is smarter than this and instead of hoping the next quick, high usage PG will be the next Tony Parker he finds the types of contemporary NBA point guards like Hill or Murray who will fit best in his scheme.

    That fall from grace was pretty fast and steep for Jalil Okafor. Three years ago he was the presumptive #1 pick.

    Okafor plays just like the “weaknesses” section of his scouting report suggested. Slow-footed on defense, doesn’t get out-of-zone rebounds, questionable motor. That pick was a whiff.

    2015 draft –
    Okafor #3
    KP #4
    Hezonga #5
    Cauley-Stein #6
    Mudiay #7

    We tend to lament our fate as Knicks fans, but that draft could have gone SOOO much worse. And don’t forget there were many “experts” strongly suggesting that we should take Winslow.

    The problem with taking a flyer on an Okafor or Hezonja at this point is, even if you pick one up for a 2nd round pick, you’re probably losing him at the end of the season for nothing if he plays well.

    BR did an article of proposed trades for Okafor, and the Knicks were in it. It was Okafor and someone else for OQ and LT. The idea being that the Knicks move OQ and LT for a couple of expirings to get out from under LT’s deal and free up $11m for this offseason.

    Nah. I hope the Knicks do not do that. Surely OQ can bring back more than garbage and a bit of cap space?

    That 2015 draft has turned out pretty strange. The no.2 pick (Russell) traded after just 2 years and 2 of the top 5 aren’t having their options picked up. As much as we rued not picking higher (having a better chance at KAT would have probably been worth it), picking at 4 has turned into a bit of a blessing. Hindsight is always 20/20 though, so it’s a bit of a moot point.

    Not to be a downer, but I am not expecting a whole lot today against Houston. They could be a bit vulnerable after a loss to Philly, but I feel we may see D’Antoni’s perimeter offence on full showcase. Just hoping we can keep it close and keep up some of that intensity on Defence. Our offence has been humming along nicely the last 3 games, but we just don’t have the stock to get into a shootout with Houston. If we come away having put in a good Defensive effort, then I will be happy. Gotta love setting the bar low ha ha

    Remember Lose Some More for Okafor? I remember the media laughing at the Knicks for having the 4th pick in a “three man draft.”

    Okafor will be worth taking as shot at for some teams. He can probably be gotten on a relatively cheap deal in the offseason.

    I’d guess his upside at this point is Kanter Lite, i.e. a solid low post scorer off the bench. He probably has more range on his shot than Kanter, but no way will he be the tenacious offensive rebounder that Kanter is. Neither really defends. O will end up a lot cheaper than Kanter’s current $18m, though.

    Considering how bad KAT has been on defense, I think it’s fair to question if KP is a better player.

    What you really mean is that he played Tony Parker a majority of minutes. A player who was ready to lead a team to a championship at 20 years of age. Comparing him to DSJ because they are quick, high usage PGs is like me comparing Frank to Jason Kidd because they are tall, defensive oriented PGs. Fortunately for the Spurs, Pop is smarter than this and instead of hoping the next quick, high usage PG will be the next Tony Parker he finds the types of contemporary NBA point guards like Hill or Murray who will fit best in his scheme.

    Except when they traded George Hill they didn’t go out and find a long, lanky, point to develop as Parker’s backup until a full 5 years later. The guys they actually signed and played as backups were Mills and Joseph. Mills is a small offense first point who’s played the bulk of the backup minutes. Joseph is 6’3 with a 6’5 wingspan and while a pretty good defender is hardly the kind of point you claim Pop prefers. You’re claiming Pop likes long, lanky point guards when he’s had a grand total of two in his rotations in the last 15 years- one of whom he traded (and didn’t replace with anyone similar until this year) and the other who’s started 7 games in place of an injured Parker. They might have valued Frank more than Smith but he fits what they look for in wings more than what they’ve actually played at the point since Parker arrived.

    It is hard to evaluate Poppovich’s preferences in drafting, since he usually drafted late and picked whatever gem was remaining whehter it was me-first or team-first. Perhaps the only characteristic you could say about his picks it is that he got players he could work with (call them high BBIQ, hard workers, high character, or whatever…)

    Ntilikina is very young and projected to be a tall, team-first and defensive point guard. That kind of players take very long to develop. But if you find a good one, it is usually very special, because it is easy to build a team around them, and usually have long careers.

    As for the very few minutes he has played, I could not see any flaw that will not allow him to reach his potential; but also, that it is going to take a long time till we see the finished product.

    Except when they traded George Hill they didn’t go out and find a long, lanky, point to develop as Parker’s backup until a full 5 years later.

    Um, no, because those types of players don’t grow on trees. He made a calculated decision to take a chance on a special project wing knowing Tony Parker was 28-29 and still his starting PG. The fact that he traded Hill for what was a better player in a greater position of need doesn’t disprove the notion he has a particular type in mind for the position – a point which was confirmed by the fact he took Dejounte Murray to fit the profile again.

    Mills is a small offense first point who’s played the bulk of the backup minutes.

    Right now its Murray – a raw, inexperienced player – who is starting and getting the most minutes per game. What does that tell you?

    They might have valued Frank more than Smith but he fits what they look for in wings more than what they’ve actually played at the point since Parker arrived.

    Only because its Parker who has played. As it were, Parker was drafted back when the Spurs offense was conventional and they expected to get major scoring from Duncan/Robinson out of the post and needed a slasher out of perimeter who would break defenses down and create opportunities. Since Popovich has instituted a pace and space motion offense (like Horny’s and Phil’s) where players are expected to move in sync without the ball to get better looks their system that this type of PG isn’t a necessity for his offense to thrive.

    Mills was signed out of the d-league, Joseph ping-ponged back and forth early. Are you telling me there wasn’t a single point who matched Pop’s profile in the d-league or elsewhere in 5 years? Add to that the fact that Murray best offensive skill in college was his ability to get in the lane and his chief weaknesses his decision making offensively and his effort on D which makes him about the polar opposite of Frank as a player despite their physical similarities. Murray’s college game was closer to Smith’s than it was to Frank’s in France.

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