Knicks Morning News (2018.02.02)

  • [SNY Knicks] Kristaps Porzingis will play in Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 8:50:44 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis will look to defend his Skills Challenge title at 2018 All-Star weekend after winning the event last year.

  • [SNY Knicks] Stephon Marbury nears retirement, says he should be in Hall of Fame
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 8:35:05 PM)

    Former Knick Stephon Marbury believes his career is Hall of Fame worthy as he nears retirement.

  • [SNY Knicks] Al Horford would want Noah on his team ‘any day of the week’
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 11:45:07 AM)

    If the Knicks wish to move C Joakim Noah, Celtics PF Al Horford says he would gladly add him to his team.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks have no explanation for awful performance against Celtics
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 10:22:11 AM)

    A rout would be an understatement to what went down inside TD Garden last night.

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis and one Net get Skills Challenge invite
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 10:32:56 PM)

    MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Kristaps Porzingis said last February he would love to defend his Skills Challenge title but hoped he would be in the main event, too. It has all happened. One week after being named to his first All-Star team, Porzingis will be a busy man during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles as he…

  • [NYPost] Exploring Ron Baker’s options after serious shoulder injury
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 3:05:07 PM)

    MILWAUKEE, Wis. — As Knicks guard Ron Baker contemplates the next course of action for his damaged right shoulder, one New York shoulder/knee specialist recommended season-ending surgery that would take three-to-six months of rehab before he’s back playing. The shoulder surgery would repair the torn labrum — not the dislocation. Coach Jeff Hornacek wouldn’t acknowledge…

  • [NYPost] Inside the Knicks’ trade deadline strategy
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 9:49:24 AM)

    MILWAUKEE — As Knicks brass eyes the future, there’s one striking attribute the club would like to accomplish: Get more athletic. Whether that can be achieved at Feb. 8’s trade deadline is still unclear. The attempts next week to alleviate their glut at center could accomplish that mission. Not one of their four centers is…

  • [ESPN] Knicks don’t plan to tank but won’t trade future assets at deadline
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 4:30:38 PM)

    Unless a young star who fits their plans suddenly becomes available, the Knicks won’t part with draft picks or gamble with cap space as Feb. 8 nears.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ big problem: They can’t match up with quick, athletic teams
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 7:29:11 PM)

    MILWAUKEE — Jaylen Brown drove and dunked over Kristaps Porzingis. Jayson Tatum had no defender in sight when he went in for an uncontested one-handed dunk. Terry Rozier got wherever he wanted on the court and hurt the Knicks from inside and out.

  • [NYDN] 6 Knicks players who could be moved and why
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 1:20:28 PM)

    Here’s a breakdown of six Knicks players who could be moved — their chances of being moved — and why.

  • [NYDN] Stephon Marbury ready to retire, still believes he is HOF worthy
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 12:19:20 PM)

    Stephon Marbury may be ready to call it quits on his basketball career, but he isn’t ending his campaign for the Hall of Fame.

  • [NYDN] Knicks should wait for LeBron to make move before roster shakeup
    (Thursday, February 01, 2018 7:37:55 AM)

    The Knicks’ best move may just be waiting for LeBron to make his move. Hopefully, a move out west.

  • 66 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.02.02)”

    Big surprise that the team can’t match up with quicker and more athletic teams — they start a 63 year old PG coming off 14 knee surgeries and play 2 centers in a league where many teams play zero centers. Watching Jarrett Jack try and guard Terry Rozier was pretty embarrassing.

    Truth is – we are in the worst possible place. We blow out bad teams (most of the time) like Brooklyn and Phoenix, but get blown out by good teams. We have the 15th ranked offense and the 17th ranked defense. Exactly in the middle – not good enough to make any noise in the playoffs even if we scrape our way in there, and good enough to have essentially zero chance at a lottery pick.

    Now I hope that Mills/Perry are just leaking their deadline “strategy” of going for the playoffs / not tanking just so other teams don’t try and take advantage, but we really have to be selling right now. We have 2 assets that can bring back something in Lee and KOQ, and I would not be opposed to moving Willy if it brought back another young player at a position of need, even if it’s a low-ceiling player.

    Re: Ntilikina – it is a little disheartening to see him drive to the hoop, actually get there, and never even try and score. Teams aren’t even bothering to contest him on those drives anymore since they know he won’t shoot it. They are going to have to do some serious rewiring of his aggressiveness this offseason. Defensively he is of course fine, and I think he will be at the very least an acceptable 3 point shooter. I think he’s getting to the cup quicker than he was earlier in the year, but he just won’t shoot. It’s weird.

    What guys like STAT (in Phoenix, when he still had knees) and Chandler were so amazing at was that they always got to the basket and were able to convert the shot. Frank being able to get to the basket is halfway there and, bizarrely, getting there is typically the harder skill to have, so it’s quite annoying that he doesn’t convert shots there more often. It’s like being able to throw 105 MPH and not being able to locate your pitches. He’s got the hard part down, so it is all the more frustrating when he can’t get the comparably easy part down.

    Truth is – we are in the worst possible place.

    That is where the Knicks live.

    There are contact drills Frank can work on in the offseason so he can learn to convert once in the lane. His long-ass arms give him a great advantage there too. I think he’ll be fine. The shooting is maybe more of a concern. He really “floats” a lot, even on three pointers.

    But, again, look at Denver and Indiana have missed the playoffs plenty of times and almost never get a very high pick over the past two decades. Those are not horrible franchises.

    Can Frank jump? He’s 6-5 with the Plastic Man reach – you’d think he’d be able to dunk on some of those drives with no problem, but he never tries to. I just don’t get it. I’m trying very hard to like him but like it’s been said above, the passivity is very frustrating to watch. I still think the talent is there. Hopefully it’s just a matter of adding strength and confidence.

    That show Jokic put on last night must be like watching Walton in the 70’s. For you guys who saw Walton in his prime, is that a good comparison between the shooting, passing and rebounding (talking only about the offensive side of course- I understand Walton was a monster on defense as well).

    When you consider Noah’s prowess on the O boards, his still-decent defense, and his great passing ability, he really should be playing. I know that Kanter has his warts, but we need to suck it up, trade O’Quinn and Willy, and just rotate Noah and Kanter at center (with some KP thrown in too).

    There’s no way the Spurs won’t do a 1st for one of those guys, maybe including a pick swap with the Chicago 2nd rounder.

    The team just needs to get this done, bring Noah back into the fold, and then give him regular minutes. A Noah trade will do nothing at best but could cause even more damage.

    And hopefully we are looking at young, potentially helpful players, too, like an Oubre or Nance Jr, not just picks.

    The only player the Knicks have been rumored to want in trade talks is Rondae Hollis Jefferson. Everything else we’ve heard so far is about wanting to move players on our team. I’m comfortable with our front office so far.

    I think Frank’s shooting allergy is a clear case of a complex developed from playing in the euro leagues, where young players are supposed to defer to veterans and make zero mistakes or get immediately benched. That, coupled with the increased focus on passing in Euro offenses, encourages timidity from young guards especially, I think. Unless you’re Luka Doncic.

    Frank’s been more aggressive lately but is still overpassing. I think it’s mostly a mental thing and he’ll be relatively over it by next year. Or at least I hope so.

    Of course, Frank should be finishing on some of his penetrations. But, I love a PG that’s looking to pass first. So few players in the NBA give up a shot, even when they should dish. Maybe Frank errs on the side of passing too much, but that will change. He’ll learn to finish.
    But, be careful what you wish for. A few seasons of Knicks development and he’ll be hero-balling like the rest of them.

    According to CBS Sports NBA analyst Raja Bell, a former Cavaliers executive, during Love’s first year he was “as much of an outcast as you can be” and they even had a huge trade for him on the table. Bell recalled all of this in a discussion about Love on the Off The Bench with Kanell and Bell podcast.
    7 days ago – via
    Raja Bell: “When I was in Cleveland. Kevin Love was as much of an outcast as you can be on a team. It’s the dynamic of being in a locker room that’s just culturally a lot different than you. I say that and I think everybody understands black and white kind of deal.”
    7 days ago – via
    Raja Bell: “There was an element of that when I was in Cleveland. They figured that out, they put it to bed. LeBron went to L.A. had these conversations with Kevin Love, but it was so bad that first year that I was on a phone call with Dan Gilbert and our whole brass and we had a big deal on the table to move Kevin Love in the first year and I was like ‘Move him’ not because I didn’t think he was a good player. I just couldn’t see them figuring out how to work as people together.””

    Boy I would just love to see Love playing the Jerry Lucas 5 with KP at the 4

    I didn’t realize the Love/Cav problem was cultural….. West coast Beach Boy doesn’t mesh with the hip hop culture

    The Spurs’ rumored interest in Willy pretty much confirms my priors; we should hold onto him lest we grovel over his future Finals MVP.

    frank’s problem is pretty hard to fix…. he’s 19 but the will to attack is usually ingrained at younger ages…. kp is sort of having the same problem….

    shying away from contact…. waiting for rebounds to come to them…. settling for midrange jumpers…. that’s what folks on the playground will categorize as soft…. to be an nba player you cannot be timid on the court…

    Those 2 are really not helping the Euro stereotype.

    I know when Bird joined the league there were cultural issues about the ” hick white boy”. He took care care of that quickly by kicking everybody’s ass in practice. If you can play, all the other stuff works its way out.

    i would trade wily for slo mo…. i actually hope that’s something we’re thinking about….

    I’m not too concerned about trades honestly. Courtney Lee won’t fall off a cliff next year and is maybe more valuable next season as a trade piece. KQ we might want to actually resign. Same with Kanter.

    Everyone is freaking out about our draft position but here’s the thing. We’re maybe better wins wise than last year with a younger team where KP is the primary focus. That’s a good thing! And we have the opportunity to bring back a lot of the same team and the same coach (when was the last time that happened). We’ll add a rookie or two to our team through the draft and we’ll be one year closer to some of our bad contracts being done.

    who’s the player who most improved their willingness/ability to finish over time starting from an unusually low level? Having trouble thinking of many raving success stories. Gary Payton I guess.

    @19 Unfortunately, we have more wins than predicted because of Jack, Lee, Beasley and O’Quinn, not because of our “youth”.

    Frank should be sent to the G-League, played 36 MPG and fined every time he doesn’t attack the rim.

    Yes, I like Aaron Gordon. He would add some much needed athleticism and ‘tude. Though I would like him more on the Knicks if we had any history of positive player development. He’d probably end up being Channing Frye 2.0 on the Knicks, and Shawn Kemp 2.0 with a 3 pt shot on the Celtics.

    i would trade wily for slo mo…. i actually hope that’s something we’re thinking about….

    In a heartbeat, but no chance the Spurs go for this.

    I’m not too concerned about trades honestly. Courtney Lee won’t fall off a cliff next year and is maybe more valuable next season as a trade piece. KQ we might want to actually resign. Same with Kanter.

    Everyone is freaking out about our draft position but here’s the thing. We’re maybe better wins wise than last year with a younger team where KP is the primary focus. That’s a good thing! And we have the opportunity to bring back a lot of the same team and the same coach (when was the last time that happened). We’ll add a rookie or two to our team through the draft and we’ll be one year closer to some of our bad contracts being done.

    If you have a way of knowing with any certainty that Courtney Lee won’t decline at age 33, log off this message board and join a front office. Obviously no one has any idea exactly what his decline will look like, but the human aging process applies to him. He will get worse as he ages. That is a fact. Every year we hold onto him it becomes exponentially more likely any value he may have completely evaporates.

    If we re-sign KOQ and Kanter, that gives us 3 expensive players at the 5 after Porzingis gets his max (assuming Willy is traded). That would be such an unfathomably bad use of resources that it’s basically impossible that it happens. If KOQ and/or Kanter aren’t traded at this deadline one or both of them is definitely walking with us getting nothing.

    there’s no point in trading for Gordon if you don’t want to match a max offer in a few months

    the list of guys who’s actually had organic improvement from a sub .400 2p fg% is incredibly short… it’s basically….

    ricky rubio
    kemba walker

    and rubio has basically just improved his midrange game… he’s not actually better going to the rim…. kemba struggled a lot his rookie year but turned it around immediately the following season…. kemba did have considerably higher usage but if there’s hope kemba might be the model….

    the guys who have improved a lot… lillard, jeff teague, deron williams et al…. were starting from a much higher floor….

    that’s not to say it’s impossible…. things that have never happened before happen all the time… but the amount of work he has to put in will be monumental…..

    I didn’t realize the Love/Cav problem was cultural….. West coast Beach Boy doesn’t mesh with the hip hop culture

    I thought it was obvious his teammates don’t like him. Even when they celebrate, the reaction with Love feels more like obligation than heart felt. He never fit and should have been asking out the moment he got his title.

    Kawhi Leonard doesn’t want to be in San Antonio and play with old men anymore.

    Perry/Mills, see above and shock the world. Go full tank this year and add two rookies. bring back Douggie and WB. Come November, starting lineup looks like this.
    1) Kemba – 27 yrs old
    2) Batum – 29 yrs old
    3) Kawhi – 27 yrs old
    4) KP – 23 yrs old
    5)Kanter – 26 yrs old

    @27 I would say Frank is closer to Rubio than Kemba – big point guards with questionable ability to turn the corner. Of course, Rubio has always been an otherworldly passer, but people seem to think Frank has better upside as a shooter.

    Hey, if Frank can locate his outside shot and become a good 3andD guy, he still ends up a good pick. Maybe TH2 become the main drive/kick guy or we find a forward to fill that role.

    I can’t remember who, but one of the basketball writers made the case that if we can’t get anything of value for O’Quinn, we should just let him walk for nothing and get the cap space to fill with a need. I’m a big fan of thinking of cap space as an asset just like that. But I’m not a big fan of that in KOQ’s case because he is on a bargain contract now and there’s at least some chance he’d be willing to come back at a bargain price (albeit smaller) because he likes NY. We could probably get a better value with him than some other free agent. However, if he’s looking for a lot more money, letting him walk might be better than taking back something unattractive scrub for next year just to get a 2nd round pick. Let’s move on and fill a need.

    The same thing for Lee. If we could get younger or a late first round pick, I’m all for it (pending specifics) . But if teams are overvaluing 1st round picks now (and they seem to be) and all we can get back is a similar player, on a similar contract, it may not be worth the trouble. He’s older, but this is marginally his best season. He’s not going to fall off a cliff before the draft and pre season next year when we may have another chance to move him. He’s probably not going to fall off a cliff next year either even if he drops from this small peak. After that, he’s an expiring contract and cap space we can fill at a time when we should be more developed and complete and good players may consider coming here.

    I’m all for doing deals, but first do no harm.

    Ntilikina is pretty bad right now. He’s not a rotation player on a good team. He’s playing for us because we stink at PG and he’s our first round pick. Other than that he’d be buried. Long term, we are basically operating on hope. He’s already a pretty good defender for his age, is younger than the other 1st round picks, seems like the nicest kid in the world, from all reports has a high basketball IQ and strong work ethic, is physically long, and his shot is not broken. That’s a lot of things pointing towards the potential to improve a lot. But no one knows. We won’t know for 3-5 years. We just need to hope he fixes something each year and gets better.

    @30 Popovic’s answer:
    “When I’ll become president I’ll do everything I could to out law ESPN Trade Machine. It stands for everything that’s wrong in this country”.

    Edit: 🙂

    yea i think rubio is a fair comp….. but rubio always had an insane knack to get to the line for his usage…. and he’s much better in all other facets of the game…..

    i don’t have high confidence that frank will figure it out… but it seems like he does have some ability to get to the hoop… it’s just he rarely does anything unless he’s wide open or has a big lane….

    Interesting. The buzz yesterday was that NO was going hard for Monroe.

    RE Frank. Are we again getting all discouraged with a 19 year old who is one of the very youngest players in the NBA? Yup, it is frustrating to watch him not finish at the rim repeatedly, but I think I’ll wait until around this time next year. If, as a ripe old 20 year old, he’s still doing this, maybe then get gloomy? Or at 21?

    I’m more concerned with Timmy, who was godawful vs. the Celtics. Not just shooting, but he defended like a bullfighter. Ole! On the possibly bright side, he did show again how badly the Knicks need a big, athletic three who can defend. LT is not even close to that guy…

    @38 NO was limited in what they can offer while BOS has a 8,4M disable player exception to use.
    Maybe this explain Monroe’s choice, aside from his previous “I’m choosing based on potential playing time” stance.
    And BOS has a good chance to be in the Finals, winning teams are appealing…

    If Frank improves his 3 pt shooting (very very doable), and learns to finish at the rim (very very doable), he’ll have a long successful career. He’s already a great defender and is starting to push the ball in transition.
    Be concerned if he doesn’t take a big step forward next season.
    Remember, 19.

    Rubio was always a penetrating, hold the dribble PG with eyes in back of his head. Everyone gets easy baskets. If only he could shoot.

    My biggest concern about Frank is his court vision, or lack or it, and his inability to hold the dribble and be a court general. Frank often dribbles up and hands off the ball. No bueno.

    Frank will be fine if we wants to be… Assuming he has the tools (which I think he does).

    I played point in college. I was scared out of my mind at first and did EXACTLY what Frank does now. I’d move up to the front court and look to hand off before I got significantly pressured. The way to overcome this is to play where expectations aren’t so high to build confidence. I started playing pickups against the frat squads and that fixed me up. I’m not sure who advocated it, but Frank would probably benefit from some time in the G league. Maybe do the Dotson treatment for a while where he bounces up in down in the layoffs.

    Anyway, it looked to me like Frank was on a steady incline until teams realized they could pressure him hardcode at the end of games and he’d fold. This happened repeatedly for a couple weeks after Hornacek started playing Frank almost the whole 4th. He was a turnover machine and became unplayable at the point.

    Aaron Gordon is one of those guys that seems like he should be great but actually isn’t very good. . .but he’s only 22. Two years ago i thought he was going to be an all star but he’s probably gotten slightly worse since then and I don’t know why. I don’t know how to tell who is going to finally put it together and who isn’t.

    Frank is literally the worst shooter in the NBA who’s played over 800 minutes so I think you have to be at least a little worried about his shooting- especially considering his shot selection is pretty good for a rookie. And I think his assist numbers are helped by the fact that this is a jump shooting team so there are lots of assists to go around- Hardaway, Lee and Jack are all at or above career highs in assists per 36. The fact that he has no idea how to reset the offense if his first option isn’t there concerns me just as much as his shooting and lack of penetration. At 19 he’s bound to improve and even incremental improvements in ball-handling, shooting, and strength/conditioning could make a really big difference when added together. It’s certainly possible he’ll look like a completely different player in two years. But at this point if he turns out to be Nate McMillan (adequate on offense, very good on defense) I’d be pretty happy.

    I don’t think the Rubio/Frank comparison is correct.

    Rubio was always thought to be an elite passer/playmaker while playing in Europe and demonstrated it quickly when it got to the NBA at 21. He was always considered a suspect shooter.

    Frank was mostly an off guard in Europe that was intended to play in a 2 guard front where he could share play making abilities. When Jackson left he became the PG of the future and we started worrying about whether he has enough ability to drive and pass with good vision. He is in the process of learning that now.

    Rubio’s 3P% for the last 3 years is .326, .306,. 304. He’s lifetime .313.

    Frank’s is .323 this year (already better than Rubio) and .375 and .345 in December and January respectively. He was good from 3 in his last year in France and tested well in training camp. He’s going to be a better shooter than Rubio from 3 .

    Some of his poor shooting from 2 is shot distribution. Since he doesn’t or can’t finish, he gets way fewer of those automatic layups, dunks, and other easy baskets. He pulls up mid range.

    What Frank needs is PG skills.

    He has to learn to drive and finish, drive and kick out, drive and draw fouls, drive in and out of the lane to start over etc..

    My enjoyment of this season would go up tremendously if all of Lance’s minutes and 30-40% of Lee’s were distributed to McDermott and Dotson instead. I’m sure Lance is great in the locker room, but let’s limit his contributions right there.

    @46 I was a little bit excited about Dougie at the beginning of the season, but he really has limited value on the court. If he’s not hitting his catch and shoot 3’s there’s not much else he does for you, and lately he hasn’t been making those either.

    That being said, I’m all for giving him Thomas’ minutes, Lance is really hard to watch on offense.

    All that said, I still prefer Frank to Jack out there. That’s how bad out pg situation has been since… a long time now.

    So, reading that the Pels, Spurs, and Pistons were interested in adding Monroe. He would have been for “free,” but how about adding OQ inexpensively?

    I’d still happily do OQ for Stanley Johnson + a cheap expiring, but he’s played better recently so they may no longer be looking to move him.
    Pels no longer have a first or second to offer.
    Spurs don’t look like a good match.

    This is a VERY good article by Tim Bontemps about why there are so many bad contracts floating around the NBA again.

    It got me thinking.

    WTF was a supposed genius like Buford thinking when he gave 37 year old Pau Gasol 3 years at 16m starting this year when his minutes and overall production have been declining for years?

    That’s a BAD one.

    I’m not so sure LaMarcus Aldridge for 3 years at 21.4m, 22.3m, and 26m at age 32 was too smart either. He’s still good, but still. He’s not that good and should start slipping.

    They probably wanted to remain competitive long enough to appease Kawhi Leonard until they could figure out how to rebuild, but apparently that might be backfiring too. Maybe he’s not so smart after all. Lucking into Duncan because of injuries would make a lot of people look smart.

    And it probably was inevitable, but I wonder if Mozgov’s stunning deal, so early in that offseason, kicked it all in to another level?

    So, again, I blame the LA Lakers!

    with so few teams having cap room next year, I wonder what sort of deal KOQ gets if he opts out. I also wonder if that makes Kanter likely to opt in.

    Westbrook’s TS% is at an 8 year low (.516) Kind of strange, you would think that with some of the scoring burden being taken on by George and Melo his efficiency would improve.

    Don’t forget the midlevel exceptions. OQ could nab a taxpayer one starting at $5.5m or so per with raises, or the non-taxpayer one at about $8.8m with raises.

    No way Kanter should opt out unless for a 4 year deal worth lots more than the $18m he stands to make next year.

    I think Kanter is a lock to opt in. That’s why I think we should try to get bad contracts (if possible) and add picks or eurostash for Lee and KOQ. I’d be ok with a couple second rounders for WHG too. We are not in a position to improve our team until 2019-20, so let’s ride with what we have (but don’t play veterans unless we really have too, it makes no sense at all. And if KP gets tired of losing, duh. Look at yourself in the mirror, dude).

    I think we can see why it has been so difficult to move O’Quinn for anything valuable. It’s not so much that he’s not productive and on a good contract. He clearly is. It’s that other productive players like Greg Monroe are being tossed aside at 27. Boston got him for only 5M without giving up anything.

    Teams do not want traditional Cs anymore unless they are excellent rim protectors. They want floor spacers and great rim protectors. O’Quinn does defend the paint, but he’s still considered an “energy” backup.

    If Kanter opts out (and I doubt he will), it’s unlikely anyone is going to come calling at anything even close to what he’s making now. He’s the profile of what teams apparently don’t want anymore.

    I think Kanter is a lock to opt in. That’s why I think we should try to get bad contracts (if possible) and add picks or eurostash for Lee and KOQ. I’d be ok with a couple second rounders for WHG too. We are not in a position to improve our team until 2019-20, so let’s ride with what we have (but don’t play veterans unless we really have too, it makes no sense at all. And if KP gets tired of losing, duh. Look at yourself in the mirror, dude).

    So, we’ve tanked last year. And the year before that. And the year before that.
    You think we should add trash to tank this year, and tank next year, too. And screw KP, let him walk.

    Really? That’s the plan?

    Kanter and Frank should hang out everyday in the offseason shooting 3’s from sunrise to sunset.

    Well, Kyle is a much better rim protector than Monroe, so if a team needs that *cough Cleveland cough* then they should trade for him. But you can’t make a horse drink water, you can only lead him to it, so they say.

    WTF was a supposed genius like Buford thinking when he gave 37 year old Pau Gasol 3 years at 16m starting this year when his minutes and overall production have been declining for years?

    It was part of a two-ended bargain the Spurs made with Pau. Pau had a $16m player option for this year as part of his last contract, which he would have opted into. The Spurs asked him to opt out so they could sign free agents, and in exchange they would reward him with a multi-year deal. He opted out, but then San Antonio struck out in free agency, yet still had to give him the contract they promised.

    Even though it didn’t work out, the bargain made a little sense at the time.

    If Kanter has any awareness of the market whatsoever, he will opt in. Let’s hope he’s a dope like Nerlens. Getting out from under his money would be big for us this offseason.

    Even though it didn’t work out, the bargain made a little sense at the time.

    So in other words he screwed up free agency, now is stuck with 2 overpaid aging players on bad 3 year contracts, a team that is way too good to get a decent draft pick, an unhappy star player, and most likely the beginnings of the decline of the Spurs. Doesn’t sound like much of a genius to me.

    Well, Kawhi’s unhappiness has nothing to do with Buford. The Pau contract, instead, ouch.

    Sure, Buford’s team has won four titles while he was GM (plus a fifth when he was an assistant GM), they’ve never won less than 50 games during his first 16 seasons as GM, he’s won the Executive of the Year Award twice and the Spurs have the fifth best record in the NBA this year with their best player playing only nine (very limited) games so far (they’ll likely make it 17 seasons in a row of 50 or more wins for Buford), but naturally, dude’s overrated.

    But let’s all be sure not to criticize Phil Jackson too much.

    Pau’s contract is only guaranteed for $6.7m in the 3rd year. He already had an option for this year, so they really only gave him one extra year plus $6.7m. He is all but guaranteed to earn his contract and then some this year. It’s not what it looks like.


    It wasn’t about Phil. It was about Walsh, Phil, Perry, Buford, Riley and everyone and every conversation that comes after them.

    The Spurs were fortunate enough to have their franchise player go down with an injury just in time to draft the greatest PF of all time. A player that also happened to be more dedicated to winning than earning money than any player before or since him. A player that remained healthy & highly motivated enough to be productive until he was 38-39.

    Buford became vice president/assistant general manager in 1999 when the team already had both Robinson and Duncan and won their first championship. Before that he was an assistant coach and in scouting.

    His career is fairly close to a former coach that took over a team with Jordan and Pippen and then was actively helpful in building a team in LA that had Shaq and/or Kobe. It’s still an amazing accomplishment to win that much, but my guess is a lot of people would have won championships in San Antionio, Chicago, and LA with that kind of head start.

    The Pau and Aldridge contracts are already hamstringing San Antonio.

    Anyone want Gay for a couple of years at 8-9m to play with KP?

    How about the shell of Parker last year or for 15M this year?

    This period marks the beginning of the end of the Spur era. They are going to have to rebuild around Leonard with limited young assets and no high picks – assuming Leonard even stays because of all the mistakes they’ve made with free agents in recent years. He wants to play with a young team.

    Hey, don’t get me wrong. I’d sign on for that combination of luck and skill to win a few championships. But the Spurs have maneuvered themselves into a bad spot over the last few years. They are old, can’t win, have bad contracts, and the remnants of their championship era and free agent signings are still too good to get a good draft pick. They are close to done. Apparently they all blow some.

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