Knicks Morning News (2018.01.27)

  • [SNY Knicks] Kanter, Porzingis lead Knicks past Suns
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 11:32:11 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Suns vs. Knicks, 9 p.m.
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 8:47:23 PM)

    PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns return home Friday to face the road-weary New York Knicks during a stretch for both teams that only a travel agent could love.

  • [SNY Knicks] How and why the Knicks should trade for Kawhi Leonard
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 2:15:23 PM)

    The one thing the Knicks should go all-in on is trying to swing a deal with the San Antonio Spurs to land Kawhi Leonard.

  • [SNY Knicks] Burke breaks out with double-double in Knicks’ loss to Nuggets
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 8:55:18 AM)

    Knicks guard Trey Burke had a double-double of 18 points and 11 assists in 29 minutes, all season highs, in Thursday’s 130-118 road loss to the Denver Nuggets.

  • [NY Newsday] Jeff Hornacek impressed with Trey Burke’s play for Knicks
    (Saturday, January 27, 2018 12:33:56 AM)

    PHOENIX — Not many good things came from the Knicks’ 130-118 loss to the Nuggets in Denver on Thursday night. It was hard to find a bright spot after the Knicks gave up their highest point total of the season.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks close out road trip on high note with win over Suns
    (Saturday, January 27, 2018 12:17:00 AM)

    PHOENIX — Lance Thomas had seen enough. He had seen enough of the Knicks playing poor defense on this long road trip to last a lifetime. So the veteran did something about it.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has fond memories of his time in Phoenix
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 9:44:38 PM)

    PHOENIX — Jeff Hornacek played for the Suns for the first six seasons of his NBA career and coached in Phoenix for three seasons before coming to the Knicks.

  • [NYPost] Players-only meeting sparks Knicks
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 11:19:54 PM)

    PHOENIX — With the sun setting on their season and a respected veteran bolting the trip, Knicks co-captain Lance Thomas spoke up at a players-only breakfast meeting at the hotel Friday morning before the Knicks’ 107-85 win in the Valley of the Sun. Thomas lit into the team with a speech about the need to…

  • [NYPost] ‘Need that little dirtiness’: Kanter gets tough as Booker tossed
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 8:37:55 PM)

    PHOENIX — Knicks center Enes Kanter was a bully inside, scoring 20 points with 10 boards, but his blocked shot on a Devin Booker drive was the best damage he wrought Friday night. A Kanter-Booker dustup led to the ejection of the Suns star in the Knicks’ 107-85 victory at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Kanter…

  • [NYPost] Point guard controversy brews as Trey Burke rolls in Knicks win
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 6:59:13 PM)

    PHOENIX — Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said he still is trying to figure out how to sort out their new three-headed point guard situation. On Friday night, for the second straight game, Trey Burke made the case he has to play. With Devin Booker ejected late in the third quarter after his tiff with Enes…

  • [NYPost] Knicks fear Noah not back till next week, double down on trade talks
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 7:48:48 AM)

    PHOENIX — Joakim Noah may not rejoin the Knicks until next Thursday in Milwaukee, according to a person familiar with the situation. Noah still has family and friends in nearby Chicago and it is where his charity foundation, “Noah’s Arc,” is located and run by his mother. Unhappy with his invisible role, with the Golden…

  • [NYTimes] A Teenager’s Basketball Dream Is Size XXXXXL
    (Saturday, January 27, 2018 12:04:02 AM)

    What’s life like at 7 feet 7 inches? Robert Bobroczkyi, a 17-year-old basketball prospect, gives us a view of his world.

  • [NYDN] Knicks end West Coast trip with 107-85 rout of lowly Suns
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 9:19:16 PM)

    The Knicks got exactly what they needed on Friday.

  • [NYDN] Knicks wasting opportunity if they don’t allow Ntilikina to start
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 9:18:26 PM)

    Frank Ntilikina is the international man of mystery. He’s the great unknown.

  • [NYDN] Enes Kanter throws shade at Devin Booker, Jared Dudley
    (Friday, January 26, 2018 7:52:46 PM)

    Kanter’s reputation as a trash talker is growing.

  • 68 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.01.27)”

    What about Kanter/Lee/Walking Bucket/McD for Boogie/Ajinca/Filler/2 1st round picks?

    Would Pels be that desperate? That would shift the tank into another gear, resolve our logjam at the 5, and free up oodles of cap this summer (but that the cap thing might not be a plus given our front office). Would you throw WHG into the deal if Pels balk?

    If that deal were to happen, Knicks would almost certainly use the cap to sign KCP (they wouldn’t sign Boogie to 5-year deal, right?). We’d have 3 picks this summer. Our roster might look something like this:

    1: Burke, Frank
    2: KCP, Dotson, Baker
    3: Hardaway, Draft Pick
    4: KP, Draft Pick
    5: KOQ, WHG, Noah

    Note if Walking Bucket liked playing for the Knicks, we could offer him a nice fat 1 Year deal with no player option. Only a 1 year deal though. That would effectively just transfer any excess cap to summer of 2019 and not give us agina worrying about Killer B.

    Hard to tank against a team as bad as the Suns, especially if you unleash the power of Burke.

    Phoenix stands , with Orlando and Sacramento, among the few teams that has been worse than us in management and players development… wait a sec, our new GM worked with two of them… 🙂

    But for now Perry’s small moves have positive returns (Beas, Burke and even Jack) so I’ll give him some credit, let’s see what happens in the coming weeks.

    From yesterday

    Well managed teams never end up in a state like the one the Knicks are in

    If we had good management anytime during the last 15 years, we wouldn’t be having this discussion… That’s kinda the point, hope to get lucky in the draft precisely because we can’t trust these clowns to build a team properly. Even the freaking Timberwolves, who have been one of the few bigger jokes than the Knicks, eventually lucked out.

    We have new management. If Perry sucks, we are going to suck no matter what we do. We have no choice but to hope Perry is good.

    We cleaned house & tanked the year we got Porzingis. The jury is still out on him, but we were well positioned coming into this year with good cap space and all our picks.

    A rebuild is a multi year process even when you have Pat Riley, Darly Morey, or RC Buford in charge.

    The Timberwolves lived in the draft for years always sucked – even with Towns. Thibs got rid of bunch of their “prospects” and brought in Butler, Gibson, and Teague. That’s how they got good. He made trades to bring in players with experience, that were ready to play now, but still young enough to keep a good window in the present while the remaining younger players got better. He made good deals.

    The Heat lost James, Wade, and Bosh but they are already a pretty good team. They found value, added free agents, & made trades. Riley is not sitting around saying he can’t contend with this team so he should tank. He’s looking around the league trying to roll his assets into another star so he can.

    The Rockets drafted Capela (25), and added Harden, Paul, Ariza, and the rest of the team by making smart trades and signings. In fact Morey did a couple of ridiculously bad things along the way but his good moves swamped the bad to overcome them.

    The draft is a hedge against failure to do smart things.


    Sure, but despite Minnesota or Miami being good, they’re never going to win a chip with this roster. You know who’s exponentially more likely to win a chip before Minnesota or Miami? Philadelphia. And Philadelphia got there by tanking, not by signing JJ Redick to a 1 year overpay (though that was a smart move too)

    Houston shouldn’t count as a model considering their current franchise success is entirely based on OKC making literally the worst trade in NBA history. We’re not going to be hosing anyone in trades in a league-historic manner anytime soon. Boston is a bad example of a team to emulate for the same reason, because Danny Ainge makes his salary off predating on stupid teams in all time bad trades (the Nets trade). Given our personnel, the best option is to tank hard this year and then start going for it next year or the year after that when all of our bad contracts are off the books.

    In other news, Jonathan Givony, formerly of DX and now working for ESPN, has Trae Young listed as SEVENTH in his 2018 mock. If that were to bear out and we missed out on Trae Young because we didn’t decide to tank earlier/trade Lee and KOQ at the deadline, I’ll be livid.

    That said I think he’s going 3 or 4 at worst, not 7.

    OKC giving up James Harden wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the Nets-Celtics trade in 2013. The Thunder got back the pick that turned into Steven Adams. The Nets have been subjected to being a bottom 10 team every year and letting Boston, your direct in-division competition, draft for them. The Celtics have a potential dynasty on their hands and it’s all because of how dumb Billy King was. Even with James Harden in Houston, the Warriors are still king in the West.

    Trae Young has AI-level athleticism and is probably two inches taller than AI-was. Imagine if Steve Nash had AI’s athletic ability. That’s what Trae Young presents you as a basketball player. His potential on defense and his size will likely limit his draft positioning, so I’d really hope the Knicks are trying to lose as many games as possible or even trade up for Trae Young. The 2018 NBA Draft is the best draft of the decade and probably the best since 2003. There are so many special players this year it’s crazy.

    I’d trade up for Doncic or Trae or even MPJr in a second. 2019 looks to be a very weak draft and I highly doubt we’re going to be this bad again next year if KP has literally any development whatsoever.

    Say we were at 12, and Trae Young was at 6. Would you do our 2018 selection, our 2019 pick, and WHG to trade up to 6? Is that enough?

    Oh man that Cousins injury is rough. Pels can’t do anything now.

    So does that make KP an all-star starter? So ridiculous.

    The jury is not out on kp. He hit the wall when Timmy went down and he needs a pg.

    Trey Burke could be the guy but maybe not. His penetration and scoring was sorely missed when Timmy got hurt.

    Still not sure we are sellers at the deadline, perry and company still want to make a playoff push. Nothing will change that until we are mathematically eliminated .

    One thing I do like about Perry is that he hasn’t given his hand away. No one really is sure if he’s a buyer or seller at this point, and that’s only to the Knicks advantage.

    Scott Perry’s greatest strength has been his ability to get surplus value out of his vet minimum signings. Burke, Jack, and Beasley sure beat the hell out of Seraphin, Lance Thomas, and Jason Smith.

    The thing about Perry is we don’t really know anything about what to expect from him – he’s never been the decision maker. Sure he may have had input on things but you never know what he would’ve done in any of those situations if it was ultimately up to him.

    Now it might still be that kind of situation here with Mills, but I certainly hope not. It sounds like Perry was the one who put the kibosh on the Houston-Melo trade, so it seems at least that Mills will listen to him.

    I still can’t figure out what qualifies Mills to be POBO of one of the flagship franchises of American sports.

    I know it’s a tiny sample, but Burke’s offensive advanced stats are sick! What’s promising is that he actually shot 31-70 from 3 last year, so the big jump is in his 2-pt shooting, which is possibly sustainable. He’s a phenomenal ball-handler, that’s for sure.

    I still can’t figure out what qualifies Mills to be POBO of one of the flagship franchises of American sports.

    Well he appears to be very good at pressuring sexual harassment victims to remain silent which the Knicks have historically put a premium on in their FO personnel moves

    Burke is gonna regress hard eventually. Hopefully he doesn’t cost us a top 10 spot by that time

    I know it’s a tiny sample, but Burke’s offensive advanced stats are sick! What’s promising is that he actually shot 31-70 from 3 last year, so the big jump is in his 2-pt shooting, which is possibly sustainable. He’s a phenomenal ball-handler, that’s for sure.

    Yeah Burke has really been amazing. I can believe the 3 point shooting because he was a high level shooter in college, but the fact that he’s been passable on defense has been even more surprising — granted, playing mostly against backups, which is probably the right role for him.

    But in terms of sustainability — 44% of his FGA are long 2’s (16 feet to <3 point range) and he's shooting 72.7% from there…prob not sustainable lol. But hey I will ride this train as long as it's going.

    As of now though — he’s the best PG on the team. He and Frank shoudl be splitting all the PG minutes.

    sorry the other thing is how well he’s distributing the ball. He’s averaging 10.5 assists per 36 right now – his career high including college per 36 is about 6.5.

    yeah he’s going to regress hard. or maybe he likes this offense and is in better shape etc.? and will shoot 73% from long-2 forever?

    I sure wish that Kanter would just STFU.

    what’s the longest nickname in nba history? White Whine with No D Kanter

    Jared Dudley and Enes Kanter Twitter war. lmao

    More Jared Dudley Retweeted Enes Kanter
    Your as corny as you look Boi! Just remember this NBA fraternity knows exactly who you are! One of the worst pick n roll defender in the NBA! Now hold that L kid!Jared Dudley added,

    Get on the treadmill before you talk bro.
    You got the retirement body ? ?
    12:33 AM – 27 Jan 2018


    Your assumption is that once the team has a roster of young and veteran players in place if it’s not good enough to win in that snapshot in time it never will be.

    If you would applied that thinking to the Rockets last you would have said they will never win a championship with Harden, Capela, Beverly, Ariza, and Anderson. But they turned their assets into Chris Paul and now they are the 2nd best team in the league and do have a s shot. Maybe they won’t get there. Maybe everyone is just wasting their time trying to beat the Warriors for the next 3-4 years. But they have a very good team, Capela is getting better, and for all we know Morey will make a move at the deadline to get better.

    The 76ers are already many years into their draft rebuild and all they have to show for it so far is a million losses, a fired executive, a few busted 1st round picks, a C that can’t play back to backs and may not last long enough to achieve his promise, a #1 pick with a messed up shoulder that can’t get on the court, and one player that looks like he could be legit star. Sure they have a shot to win a title some day if it all works out well. There are many paths to heaven. But right now they are nowhere and assured of nothing other than another 3 or more years of trying to get there.

    The draft is no panacea.

    Kanter and Barea got in good haymaker counterpunches this week. Was Dudley the guy who ripped Melo a few years ago for being “overrated?”

    But, I do wish Kanter would stop it. I saw one article this morning that accused him of fat shaming. True or not, nothing good can come from that.

    Then again, maybe the “worst pick and roll defender” remark will get him to work on that?

    You have to give Perry some more points for working with Burke, convincing him to stay in the G league for awhile, and locking him up for next year on the cheap. It’s way too early to judge anything, but he certainly looks like at least a solid backup and he may be better than that.

    @30 you’re suggesting that Kanter must “Cut the crap”? 😉

    Edit: I hope someone gets the reference aside from us… 🙂

    Must be a reference to the final Clash album, the one that was disavowed by the remaining members (only 2 were left by then) of the band b/c their manager remixed it (horribly) without their knowledge before it was released. It sounds like it was recorded by a cheap portable cassette deck.

    Yeah, ’85. I saw the Clash in ’84 (after they’d already fired and replaced drummer Topper Headon and guitarist Mick Jones in ’83). Very exciting show (Joe Strummer was amazing and the new dudes were good onstage), but they missed those two guys, badly, in the studio.

    Both of my sons are Clash fans. Makes me proud.

    Anyways, what was that about Kanter??

    Perhaps Kanter should put the same amount of time and effort into working on his defense that he does trying to be clever on social media.

    That being said, I think he is worth keeping if they can resign him at a decent price. He is a force down low on offense and on the glass, plays well with KP, and sticks up for his teammates ( we’ll maybe he needs to cut down a bit on that last one ).

    I totally agree, Kanter’s comments on his love for the city are clear and his option is way higher that what he could get on the market.

    The 76ers are already many years into their draft rebuild and all they have to show for it so far is a million losses, a fired executive, a few busted 1st round picks, a C that can’t play back to backs and may not last long enough to achieve his promise, a #1 pick with a messed up shoulder that can’t get on the court, and one player that looks like he could be legit star. Sure they have a shot to win a title some day if it all works out well. There are many paths to heaven. But right now they are nowhere and assured of nothing other than another 3 or more years of trying to get there.

    They’re 24-21 with the 2nd youngest average age in the NBA, almost total cap flexibility, and have surplus picks in the future. This is all despite receiving less than nothing from the most recent first overall pick. There’s no amount of spin that can make it look like their strategy hasn’t been immensely smarter than ours.

    The Sixers plan was fine but their training staff has to be the worst in sports.

    We’re lucky the Lakers pick is getting worse and Fultz has fucked up his shot so bad.

    @40 +1. They are better than us now. Their young core is better than ours so even with no additions they figure to be better than us for the next few years. They have better future draft collateral than us. And they have a better cap sheet than us. The Process may not have been an unmitigated success but my god has it been better than our ‘strategy’…

    The 76ers are already many years into their draft rebuild and all they have to show for it so far is a million losses, a fired executive, a few busted 1st round picks, a C that can’t play back to backs and may not last long enough to achieve his promise, a #1 pick with a messed up shoulder that can’t get on the court, and one player that looks like he could be legit star. Sure they have a shot to win a title some day if it all works out well. There are many paths to heaven. But right now they are nowhere and assured of nothing other than another 3 or more years of trying to get there.

    Haha, what?

    Simmons is the clear-cut ROY and is already an outstanding player with nowhere to go but up. By year 3 it wouldn’t be crazy to see him in the >.600 TS% club with the same assist/rebounding stats, which is a legit MVP candidate.

    Embiid is shooting .580 TS% on 33 USG% with anecdotally-elite defense (held up by DWS and DBPM). McConnell and Covington are also shooting extremely well for players with those contracts. Amir Johnson is an expiring contract providing excellent value, as always, at decent pay. Redick comes off the books this year as well, although I could see him staying if they have a shot at a top-level FA. Either way, the contract was smart.

    And that’s another thing: the Sixers have SEVEN players with team options at the end of their contract, 9 years (~$44M, $30M to Fultz and Simmons) of team options in total. Contrast that with the Knicks, who have ONE player with a team option, and four players with player options totalling $46M over four. That’s not even counting the Noah contract, which is basically a rolling player option until he finally retires for being such a shitty basketball player.

    Oh, and the Sixers will have room for a mega-max contract next year.

    But please, tell me more about how the Sixers don’t have much to show for their rebuild. [cue ancient Gene Wilder meme]

    It’s amazing how well regarded Burke was in college. His negatives were mostly about size, but here were his positives:

    Point guard with tremendous heart and determination … Many of the cliche attributes fit him: A natural born killer. Fearless warrior. Fierce competitor. Has a will to win. Will battle tooth and nail on every possession. Mind over matter guy who brings intangibles that don’t show up on the box score. Clutch performer who seems to shine when it matters most … A tremendous leader. Relishes the opportunity to take the club on his back and carry them to victory … Shows great consistency. Comes to play every game and had just a small handful of games where he didn’t score at least 15 points … While scoring is his forte, his ability to run the team and make plays for others, as well as maintaining above a 3-to-1 ast/to ratio is enough to label him a legitimate point guard … Has really evolved as a floor general, dictating the tempo and showing the patience to allow plays to develop and find teammates … A strong ball handler, though not elite level … Shows the ability to find teammates on drive and kicks … Tremedous in pick and roll situations … His numbers show how effective he is averaging 18.9 ppg, 47% from the floor, 39% from 3, 80% from the line, and a 6.8 to 2.2 a/to ratio … Validated his 3 point shooting ability by hitting a high volume (2 per game) … Has a surprising 6’5 wingspan, giving him some additional length to get shots off and finish at the rim … A pesky defender showing excellent ability to anticipate an opposing guard’s next move and get his hands in to strip the ball away … Shows solid body strength giving him the ability to stay on balance when contact occurs and finish off drives … Very effective in catch and shoot situations, playing off the ball.


    The only difference between our views is that I looked at the current standings, reminded everyone how long they’ve be doing this, reminded everyone about Michael Carter Williams and Jahill Okafor, pointed out that Embiid is so risky he has injury insurance written into his contract, pointed out that Fultz is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma, and if everything works out perfectly for them they are still 2-3 years away from serious contention.

    The reality is what may be the biggest purposeful and effective tank in the history of sports got the architect fired, the rules changed, we are 4 years into it, and they are still 2-3 years away IF Embiid stays healthy.

    Again, there are a lot of paths to heaven and what the 76ers did is one, but if you think a 7-8 year rebuild that hinges on the bad back and feet of a 23 year big man is a panacea for rebuilding we have different definitions. There are other teams that have drafted well, traded picks, traded players, used cap space effectively etc.. that turned around or sustained & improved their position quicker and with greater certainty than that. There are also teams that have been in the lottery for years still going nowhere

    reminded everyone how long they’ve be doing this

    They’ve had one more consecutive losing season than we’ve had, and it seems like we’ll catch up this season with them being solidly over .500.

    reminded everyone about Michael Carter Williams and Jahill Okafor

    Dude. They converted MCW into an awesome asset. Okafor is a total bust, but it just speaks to their asset surplus that it didn’t set them back all that much. The entire premise of The Process is that first rounders will break your heart left and right, so if you aren’t contending you might as well stockpile as many as possible.

    another terrible injury. this time andre roberson. as rough as he is on offense, i think he might be the best defender in the nba.

    The Sixers are looking up right now. There was both good luck and bad luck involved as would be expected. Embiid’s health is a question mark, but he’s a perennial MVP candidate if he stays reasonable healthy. Hinkie was fired, but I doubt that he makes the dumb Fultz deal, so that’s not on him or his strategy.

    But it’s useless to compare it to the Knicks strategy for the last 20-30 years. Water under the bridge, and now the tanking strategy will be less productive with the rule changes.

    The best overall strategy has always been very simple: buy low, sell high. In other words, never make a move or signing unless you are more than likely to be able to unload the player for more than you paid, and make sure you consider opportunity cost for every signing. I don’t mind player options if the player is highly unlikely to underperform the option (e.g. Kyle O’Quinn.) For example, the Derrick Williams and Afflalo player options sucked, but sucked less than locking them in for 2 years at the same money. Would you rather have Kanter locked in at his price or have some hope that he will opt out? TH2’s makes a lot less sense, as does Ron Baker’s. But yes, team options are much smarter than player options.

    I don’t think anybody wanted us to tank for as long as the Sixers. Not having a 2016 pick hurt so ideally the Frank draft and this year would be the last.

    They’ve had one more consecutive losing season than we’ve had, and it seems like we’ll catch up this season with them being solidly over .500.

    I’m not arguing that we’ve done anything especially well for a very long time.

    I’m arguing that the tank/draft mode of rebuilding that I used to argue in favor of on David Berri’s blog years ago is now overrated. Selecting 19 year olds is a lot tougher than selecting 22 year olds. Even if you are both good and lucky at it, those 19 year olds are 3 years further away from being ready to contend than in the days I thought it was a very good idea to tank.

    IMO, the correct way to rebuild now is to try to win trades, sign good value free agents, manage your cap well, and keep your picks. If you keep doing that well, you’ll accumulate extra picks, have players that other teams find attractive, and the cap space available to eventually land the stars you need to contend. The picks themselves can be used as currency or as a hedge against a bad year.

    IMO, it’s wrong to practically give away good assets just to get worse and get a better pick.

    It’s good to have your picks just in case you have a disappointing year or can land a legitimate young star player by tossing in a pick as part of a trade.

    If it was up to me I’d identify our needs, surpluses, and bad contracts.

    The bad ones are Noah, Kanter, and to a lesser degree Thomas and Baker. Those are the guys we should be trying to move. Guys like Lee, Beasley, McBuckets, O’Quinn, and Willy can be made available to varying degrees, but if we can’t make a winning trade we should keep or resign them as long as the contracts remain attractive. We may wind up practically giving O’Quinn away. I’m going to cranky that day. I’d rather resign him on a fair deal and worry about the glut at C later than give him away.

    By the way the Cousins and Roberson news is awful and injuries can go to hell…but the devil on my shoulder is telling me Enes Kanter and Courtney Lee may have just gotten slightly more tradable.

    The Ajinca plus NOP 1st for KOQ is so obvious it just has to happen. Hey we’ll even throw in our worst 2nd rounder this year!

    Seriously I would ask for that trade and give the Pelicans lottery protection this year, top 10 protected next year, then unprotected after that.

    This is why it’s good to wait till close to the trade deadline to do something. Other team’s needs appear or can become more urgent over time

    I love O’Quinn, but the Pelicans season is over. They would never make that trade.

    Steph Curry is a perfect example of why those April wins can come back to haunt you.

    Steph Curry is a perfect example of why those April wins can come back to haunt you.

    He would have been in the package to get Carmelo, or a package for some other scrub. The Knicks don’t re-sign players. Trading young talent for overpaid, overrated “stars” is a big part of what we do here.

    Part of me thinks there’s no way he would have survived the T Mac and Melo trades, and the other part thinks there’s no way D’Antoni would have gotten his hands on Steph Curry and not made him a monster from the beginning.

    Not 100% sure the Pelicans wouldn’t go for that KOQ trade.
    They are desperate to make the playoffs — AD can be an unrestricted free agent in 2 years, and they have no guarantee that Boogie is coming back next season or will even re-sign with them — so they can’t just blow off the rest of this season, which is their best chance to make the playoffs in forever. They’re the 6 seed right now out West. Their net rating WITHOUT Boogie on the floor is actually a +2 — not that bad. Where they are really terrible is when they have neither Boogie nor AD on the court – a -9.9 net rating where they are stuck playing Omer Asik at C.

    In addition – KOQ makes about $1MM less than Ajinca this year which gives them valuable room under the tax to make other smaller signings. Taking Ajinca also clears $5MM off their cap next year.

    We would be giving them lottery protection in case the thing blows up, so their bets are hedged there.

    I dunno – I get the sense they are pretty much all-in for this season regardless of the Boogie injury. Not sure what other assets they have other than that 1st round pick to get good players and/or get $ off their cap.

    @63 – it has occurred to me that Jae Crowder is a buy-low candidate right now. Would fit in well on our team assuming that he comes close to his previous level of play. I’d do that trade even if we don’t re-sign Isaiah (I would not re-sign Isaiah) just to get Lee off our books in favor of a player who is more of a positional and age-fit.

    I’d rather stay away from Isaiah. Lee is fine for now, let’s roll with Burke. Crowder is OK but I doubt that Cleveland gives up on him, he would be a critical player for them in the playoffs.

    @67, Lee & O’Quinn will help them get through Toronto and vs GS. IT needs the ball every possession to be IT, who tore up the league and was an MVP candidate, and so does LBJ. Back in Miami days, DWade gave up the ball and played off LBJ. IT won’t do that in contract year. Can’t blame him either. Kyrie trade will haunt Cleveland.

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