Knicks Morning News (2018.04.02)

  • [NYDN] As Knicks continue losing ways, no end in sight
    (Sunday, April 01, 2018 3:35:57 PM)

    The losing is now historic.

  • [NY Newsday] Lance Thomas tormented by Knicks’ dismal last four years
    (Monday, April 02, 2018 1:31:12 AM)

    Lance Thomas doesn’t just play for the Knicks. He loves them.

  • [NYPost] Trey Burke wants to bring back culture of winning to Knicks
    (Sunday, April 01, 2018 8:44:19 PM)

    Trey Burke talks now as if he will be the Knicks’ starting point guard next season. Certainly he’s solidified his status as starter for the rest of this lost season with five games left. In his fourth straight start, Burke notched 18 points, 15 assists and just one turnover. Still, it amounted to their season’s…

  • [NYPost] The unknowns surrounding Michael Beasley’s push for Knicks return
    (Sunday, April 01, 2018 1:34:55 PM)

    Michael Beasley’s resurrection of his career is nearly complete. Whether it is enough for Knicks brass to make it a priority to keep him next season depends on many factors. Beasley said he wants to be back but knows it takes two to tango. The Knicks will have a gaping hole at power forward when…

  • 101 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.04.02)”

    To continue from yesterday’s thread RE: Willy

    I think the team got too enamored with Kornet as a “new age C”, and that’s why they traded Willy. I don’t think the idea of trading him was erroneous, but the return was. Willy is cost controlled talent who happens to be good. Hornacek failed him in the sense that neither Kanter or KOQ are suited for big roles. There was enough minutes for 3 centers, more so when KP went down. Therefore, it was the wrong move to trade Willy.

    All of Hornacek’s lip service about Willy not fitting the modern NBA is just stupid. For one, what is Kanter? And secondly, where is Kornet’s outside shot and rim protection? It hasn’t shown. In all honesty though, we’d probably win a few more games had we kept Willy- so there’s that in regards to the tank..

    The trade is done. Let it go, hoss.

    The Knicks got future 2nds from a team that’ll probably be rebuilding. Think Chicago’s 2018 2nd times 2: at least a pretty okay return for a player who’s not athletic enough to defend the perimeter or the post.

    I don’t think the idea of trading him was erroneous, but the return was.

    I completely disagree. Teams are starting to wise up and aren’t giving up firsts as easily as they used to. Two seconds is probably the most Willy is ever gonna be worth with teams moving away from bigs like him.

    What’s dumb was trading him right after KP went down.

    What’s dumb was trading him right after KP went down.

    What’s dumb was not playing him after a strong rookie season, continuing to devalue him, and then trading him when his value was at it’s absolute lowest.

    That’s kind of the opposite of smart management.

    Willy Hernangomez just isn’t a better basketball player than Enes Kanter or Kyle O’Quinn. Add that to the fact that KP was closing games at the 5, and you tell me where our 3rd string center was going to find playing time. Willy wasn’t going to play and he was turning into a problem in the locker room with his complaining about minutes. What we got back for him was less than ideal but it’s done and he’s warming another team’s bench. I’d rather talk about Trey Burke and the NBA Draft than the shame that is the Hernangomez trade.

    The big thing about defense is it’s easier to hide a player the further away he plays from the basket. A guy like Jarret Jack or Trey Burke doesn’t hurt you nearly as much as Kanter or Hernangomez because those guys are your last line of defense. Giving Hernangomez minutes for two to three contract lengths would have hampered our ability to have a good defense despite his excellent defensive rebounding. For every reason you can think of to keep him, there are just as many reasons to trade him.

    Given that it’s pretty likely Kyle opts out, we also need a center next year (I guess we’re going to rely on Noah?)

    Given that it’s pretty likely Kyle opts out, we also need a center next year (I guess we’re going to rely on Noah?)


    The problem with the trade was there was no compelling need to move him when they did. His salary is minuscule by NBA standards and he was locked up moving forward. KOQ almost has to opt out and we pray Kanter opts out but certainly shouldn’t be on the roster in 15 months.

    They just should have told him to STFU and beat someone out or at least show us extreme consistent work to get PT.

    I can’t imagine his worth could possible be much lower after being glued to the bench for 4 months.

    if we wind up drafting a SF then the wily trade probably winds up hurting us a bit… we’d be depending on kornet to get heavy minutes at the backup 5…

    if we wind up drafting a big then it works out ok… altho it would’ve been a lot better to deal him in the offseason after he at least got some minutes…

    The Knicks say Troy Williams sustained a fractured jaw in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against Detroit and will miss the remainder of the season.

    There’s an additional often uncited benefit to the Willy trade: the open roster spot that was used to sign Troy Williams.

    Comparing per 36 numbers, +/- numbers and the eye test, I’d honestly rather have Williams.

    The Willy trade is just a reminder that we shouldn’t keep Hornacek around Frank for another year.

    What’s dumb was not playing him after a strong rookie season, continuing to devalue him, and then trading him when his value was at it’s absolute lowest.


    What’s also dumb is that he gave you 80% of what Kanter did at 1/10th the cost. I would be totally fine with that for 15 mpg. We will need it, and not have it, because KOQ will be gone, and inshallah, so will Kanter. Dumb.

    The reason I brought it up isn’t his good game, it’s that people still do not understand Willy’s value. They underrate him because”he couldn’t beat out Kanter.” And those who do not understand their mistakes are condemned to repeat them.

    I can’t wait until the next Shaq, Kareem, or Hakeem comes along and dominates the paint so much teams start looking to play inside out again. There was a chance for a guy like Okafor to become that eventually, but he’s so bad other ways his talent in the post gets swamped by his bad defense and lack of rebounding.

    So its Horns fault that Perry traded Melo and got Kanter back, thus creating a glut at the center position and bringing in another center who was better than Willy? And its Horns fault Willy came into camp having not really improved over the summer? And its Horns fault Willy when given playing time this year looked horrible? Or that he didn’t want to go down to the D-League and get some PT and improve his game while there wasn’t many minutes for him on the team?

    honestly you guys need to let it go. Not every young cheap player that we give up is some horrible bad decision. Its not like we threw him into a trade to get an overpriced vet. We dumped him to open up a spot and got two second rounders out of it. That open spot freed up a spot for dudes like Kornet and Williams who quite frankly are playing better than Willy did this year. Last year was last year. He played good on offense for about half a season when the season was all ready over. He didn’t improve over the summer and when he didn’t get PT, he sulked. Sure, a change of scenery might be a wake up call for him and good for him if he makes something out of his new opportunity, but you guys seriously act like we traded away the next Patrick Ewing. His ceiling is a bench rotation player at best.

    Swift, let me try to explain it again.

    I am not saying Willy is Patrick Ewing. I am saying it was a stupid trade based on value that reveals our management does not know how to think about value and thus is repeating their mistakes.

    Example: we trade for Rose. Dumb on its face (Rose’s injuries and attitude made it obvious) but WORSE in its consequences: we unbalanced the roster, needed a center, and signed Noah for a lot of money over 4 years.

    Rinse, repeat: we trade Willy for nothing*. KOQ leaves. Kanter opts in, then leaves. Now we have no C (except maybe KP, who is not certain), and need to pay someone to play that role instead of using our money elsewhere. What mistake will we make? I don’t know, but based on the original trade, I know they will.

    *And before you argue that second round picks aren’t nothing, Willy was one, the odds are really really small they pan out. The fact that Willy did is even more argument for not trading him.

    We traded a steak knife for two butter knives, and now you want to complain about cutting your food? Get over it! Let it go!

    It seems to me the crux of the matter is how good you think Willy is and what you think his long term upside is. Maybe the team is right and his upside is limited. So combined with some personality and work ethic issues they got turned off. I would counter that I’d rather have him at whatever he’s going to be making for his next contract than Kanter for whatever he’s going to be making. I suspect that Willy’s upside is at least at high as Kanter’s and he’s going to be making less in the future (let alone what the difference is now). I would have given Willy more minutes in an attempt to keep him happy and the minutes would have come out of Kanter. The goal being to keep Willy and eventually trade Kanter. Then again, I think O’Quinn is better than both of them ( at least now).

    Put another way, a chess metaphor: you see this as exchanging pawns – no big deal. But it actually removes protection for a more valuable piece that can now be taken without reprisal. Even if the trade isn’t bad in itself (though it is, because at the very least you’d have to acknowledge we traded at the point of lowest value), it weakens our overall position and opens us to more significant mistakes.

    I would have given Willy more minutes in an attempt to keep him happy and the minutes would have come out of Kanter.

    Which would have had the additional benefit of getting Kanter to opt out! Does anyone think him opting out would be bad??

    I guess my whole idea is that The Willy Sitchew was completely mishandled. You just don’t devalue cost controlled talent like that. No..I don’t think he’s better than Kanter. But, who would you rather re-sign? Kanter at megabucks, or a similarly skilled player in Willy for far less when you are rebuilding? Kanter is the better player, but the chasm isn’t that wide. Kanter and KOQ beat him out. OK. But those 2 picks we got back for Willy were too far away. By then, we probably won’t be as deep in acquisition mode- so those picks will likely be good to us in a trade. So we essentially lost a young, developing, cost controlled talent for the hope for more talent a few years away. We should have gotten back something to develop for the nearer future is all.

    I’m not mad we traded Willy. I just think it was a bad trade considering the circumstances. This coming offseason would have been a much better time to make this move, even if it would be with the same trading partner. More time to evaluate and predict during that time.

    Which would have had the additional benefit of getting Kanter to opt out! Does anyone think him opting out would be bad??

    Right. Some here may disagree, but I don’t see Kanter as the long term solution at C even if KP continues playing PF for awhile. So I see no reason for creating turmoil and making suspect trades just to give him more minutes.

    When Willy got on the floor this year, he was horrible on D and turned the ball over a lot. Who knows what the hell happens in practice; but he lost his job, maybe for a good reason. Then he went to Charlotte and pretty much got called out by his new coach about his effort.

    If you trade away an even remotely intriguing young player to accommodate Enes Kanter, you’ve made a hilariously stupid mistake.

    Yeah, cause I’m so sure Mudiay, Lance Thomas, Isaiah Hicks and Luke Kornet are killers on practice. Luke Kornet is shooting 17 of 59 on 3s and the only thing he ever does is shoot 3s.

    This is a 27 win team giving minutes to some of the worst overall NBA players available in the league and you guys still want to hang on to this Pollyana idea that our coach or management are some mastermind talent evaluators or stuff like that. I just can’t understand it.

    I can’t understand how hard it is to simply believe the simplest answer to all of this: this team is, as usual, dysfunctional and ran by incompetent people, and Willy getting shipped out is another indication of the Occam’s razor.

    What’s dumb was not playing him after a strong rookie season, continuing to devalue him, and then trading him when his value was at it’s absolute lowest.

    For sure his value was lower when we traded him, but it was not at its lowest. Willy’s value can absolutely get worse. If he continues to languish on the bench, or if he plays poorly, or as his great-value contract moves closer to expiration, his value will drop. There is a good chance that Charlotte will not be able to move him for 2 second-rounders this offseason if they try.

    I said last summer that we should have explored trades. His value was never going to get higher than it was then. We waited and his value predictably regressed. But we did get something of value for him. There’s a good chance that if we had continued to wait, his trade value would get even lower.

    Look at Okafor. He was All-Rookie first team and could have fetched a first-round pick easily in trade. Next season he regressed, but Philly still could have gotten a low first-rounder or a couple of seconds. They held onto him expecting his value to bounce back, but it continued to drop, and they had to pay Brooklyn to take his contract.

    I’m going to paraphrase the above but add profanity, so feel free to skip.

    One- This fucking fucked-up organization keeps fucking up. So giving the benefit of the doubt for the Willy situation makes you a fuck up as well.

    Two- Willy was a 23 year old all-Rookie who was actually contributing to the team and giving solid minutes, again at 23 years old. Oh, and he was cheap. Unless he raped Dolan’s mother, he deserved some fucking playing time. Much less fucking trading the guy.

    Three- This is the same team giving lots of minutes to guys like Jarrett Jack, Lance Thomas, Mudiay, Michael Beasley, and then to random people named Hick, Troy, Luke, and Ron.

    Four- We won like 3 games this year. You fucking play your 23 year olds then, and placate them later.

    Dolan’s Razor- Fuck you fans, I’m James Dolan.

    Willy is just one of many things our current administration has done to inform us that they are not going to be able to fix this mess without getting extraordinarily lucky. It’s reasonable to overreact to it because it should not be viewed in isolation. It should be viewed as part of a revelatory series of actions and nonactions that indicate our likely future.

    I’m not too worried about losing Willy. Mills has already shown a willingness to sign a traded away player to a big contract (see THJ). So, 2 years from now, if Willy develops into an okay starter, he will come back for Timmy money…

    The bottom line is that Kanter was gonna play over Willy b/c the new regime traded away Melo for him (not just him, but he’s the big expensive piece) and want him to make them look good. Same with Mudiay. He’s going to play. I understand that logic, though I don’t especially like it.

    There may be something to the idea that they want to wash the taste of Phil out of their mouths, and Willy is part of that. I guess only KP is safe for now.

    And by the way, if ever there was a player to show us the holes in our advanced metrics stats it’s Kanter. The dude is one of the worst defensive centers I’ve seen, along with Amare and Bargnani, constantly sags off players to get the rebound (I saw this against Dirk multiple times. Dirk!), he doesn’t pass, and his weird team enthusiasm just irks me. Putting aside his politics, which are probably good, I don’t like him on this team at all.

    It’s like he does everything statheads use as metrics, but nothing else.

    The bottom line is that Kanter was gonna play over Willy b/c the new regime traded away Melo for him (not just him, but he’s the big expensive piece) and want him to make them look good. Same with Mudiay. He’s going to play. I understand that logic, though I don’t especially like it.

    I agree that’s part of the thinking and I also don’t like it.

    Let’s just hope these guys aren’t crazy enough to trade Frank long before we know what we have. That’s also a Phil draft.


    This. Stop trying to spin this as a one of move because it’s not, it shows how out front office works, their priorities and the way they value talent and want to go around building a team.

    Viewing moves in isolation is how we came to the point of people rationalizing the dumbest shit this franchise has ever done recently, like trading for Rose, signing THJ or re-signing Melo.

    Let me start this off by saying I hated the Willy trade. But I think the issue wasn’t the trade but not making more effort to get him in the rotation earlier.

    By the time the trade deadline was approaching Willy was unhappy and had requested a trade. He probably didn’t want to stay even with the potential for more playing time after KP’s injury. He was understandably pissed about hornacek jerking him around.

    So the front office traded him. They could have said suck it up we own you for two more years but that could have created more bad blood and upset KP. I understand moving a player who doesn’t want to be there. That part is fine.

    The real problem sits with Hornacek. He made no investment in the future by making sure to give minutes to Willy. We should have been looking forward more and investing in Willy’s improvement even if he was worse than Kanter and O’Quinn.

    It’s like he does everything statheads use as metrics, but nothing else.

    I’m not saying Kanter is one of them (though I do think he stat stuffs rebounds a little), but it would not totally shock me if there are players out there that have a good idea of what teams value and pay for and what they undervalue and then try to maximize their salary as opposed to their value to the team.

    I’m not quibbling with people not liking the trade. I totally get that. I quibble with fixating on it as some referendum that Perry is just as dumb as all our past GMs and its the same ole Knicks. Not every move made by even the best GM is good. Some are bad, some are a wash, some are minimal. To act like losing Willy was the dumbest thing ever and just proves how stupid Perry is…I think that’s going to far. Because I don’t see the same people recognizing that he won the Melo trade and did well with the Burke and Williams signings (we got them next year for cheap). Or moves like Kornet, Beasley for the minimum, etc. To me, trading Willy for two second rounders isn’t a move that validates that we’re the same ole Knicks being stupid and wasting talent. Again I point to the fact that we got back picks for him and didn’t attach him to a bad contract to get rid of that player OR throw him into a trade to get some win now overpriced veteran.

    Even if we’re being smart with our picks, looking mostly to the future, trying to get younger and rebuild, there are gonna be moves along the way that are gonna not sit well with everyone. For me as long as they aren’t so outrageous that they seriously hamper our future growth, then I’m willing to accept there were good reasons to make that move.

    I just want to remind some people of how well NBA teams evaluate talent:

    June 24, 2010: Drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the 2nd round (33rd pick) of the 2010 NBA Draft.

    November 29, 2010: Assigned to the Reno Bighorns of the G-League.

    January 9, 2011: Recalled from the Reno Bighorns of the G-League.

    January 2, 2012: Assigned to the Reno Bighorns of the G-League.

    February 3, 2012: Recalled from the Reno Bighorns of the G-League.

    July 16, 2012: Waived by the Sacramento Kings.

    September 25, 2014: Signed a contract with the Memphis Grizzlies

    October 22, 2014: Waived by the Memphis Grizzlies.

    November 19, 2014: Signed a contract with the Memphis Grizzlies

    November 20, 2014: Waived by the Memphis Grizzlies.

    November 24, 2014: Signed a contract with the Miami Heat

    December 13, 2014: Assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the G-League.

    December 15, 2014: Recalled from the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the G-League.


    Signed a multi-year contract with the Miami Heat

    Team 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
    Miami Heat $23,775,506 $25,434,263 $27,093,018

    Someone could have given him 4 years, $10M and he would have taken it in a heartbeat. Now he’s on the books for $52.5M over two years and he’ll probably force a trade that leaves them holding their own dicks.

    In sum, don’t give me that shit about Willy not earning his minutes or obviously being overrated because Charlotte refuses to play him, too. Boban sits the bench in LA when they should be trotting him out to build a ten-point lead over 20 MP of play. Rudy Gobert was a #27 pick who plays like a #1 overall pick. Kyle Anderson has a higher BPM this year than Carmelo Anthony has ever had in a single season. I can keep going if you want.

    Stop trying to spin this as a one of move because it’s not, it shows how out front office works, their priorities and the way they value talent and want to go around building a team.

    Viewing moves in isolation is how we came to the point of people rationalizing the dumbest shit this franchise has ever done recently, like trading for Rose, signing THJ or re-signing Melo.

    No move should be considered in isolation when judging a front office, because you assume they made that move as part of an overall strategy. And since Dolan’s Knicks have a D-minus track record, (and the current front office has like a C-minus record) I don’t blame anyone for assuming the worst of any move they make.

    As a Willy skeptic, I just don’t believe that this trade was nearly as bad as the THJ or Ron signings, or the Barfnani trade, or half a dozen other ridiculous moves they’ve made. Perry got roughly fair value for Willy at the time of the trade. Would they have gotten more by trading him last summer? For sure. Would they have gotten more for him this summer if he’d played more minutes? Maybe. Could he have been a building block player for us? I’m doubtful.

    Frankly, as far as backup center decisions go, I think stretching Noah this offseason will do more to hurt our long-term future than trading Willy.

    The Bulls released a statement that Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn are shut down for the season because there’s not enough time and practices left for them to recover from their fake injuries.

    Where the fuck is Adam Silver now?

    Enes is just an object lesson in the limitations of box score metrics like BPM and WS/48. Obviously you shouldn’t make a stat live or die by one example, but he rates poorly on all the +/- advancdd stats and well on all the box score stats for a reason–because box score stats are really, really bad at accounting for defense and +/- stats are better at that (though still imperfect, ofc–Enes is even worse on defense than the -.3 DRPM would indicate). He also rates as less offensively productive on the +/- stats than the box score stats, but I don’t have an easy explanation for why that is without looking at the equations in detail.

    What is the fine for tanking anyway? Those guys were actually warned…

    You cats just don’t see the big picture with Willy:

    Step 1 – trade Willy for picks of minimal value to some southern team nobody likes.

    Step 2 – ???

    Step 3 – Mills signs Willy to a 4-year, 85-million-dollar contract in free agency.

    Step 4 – Six straight titles 2020-2026!!!

    What the Bulls are doing is ridiculous. They aren’t gonna take the pick but Silver said he is coming down hard on anyone who is actively tanking.

    @36 – you’re not wrong… not every thing the Knicks have done under Perry and Mills has been terrible. Some of the moves, viewed in isolation, have actually been very good.

    But overall, you can see that the team is looking to make marginal short-term improvements to turn a 28-32 win team into a 34-38 win team. Their focus is near term.

    We need a long term focus. And a good player who is under contract for three seasons and the league minimum is something you want if you’re thinking long term. Getting rid of said player because you have a momentary glut of players at his position and he’s not handling it ideally is short term thinking.

    And when you combine it with the Mudiay move, it reveals that we’re operating under a poor asset valuation system. If you look at the two moves combined, this is how the assets that moved should have been valued:

    1. Willy
    2. Our 2018 2nd Round pick
    3. Charlotte’s future 2nd round picks
    4. Mudiay

    We gave up the most valuable assets for the least valuable assets. That shows something is broken.

    Then look at the moves we didn’t make. Why didn’t we trade Lee or O’Quinn? We value the short term gain they can bring (wins this year and next year) more than the long term gain that moving them could have brought (losses this year and next, future picks). Again, what we gave up by not making the move is much more valuable than what we gained.

    Same with the Hardaway move. $17mm in annual cap space was more valuable than what he’s going to give us the next 4 years.

    The bottom line is it’s very clear that short-thinking is inverting management’s valuation system. Sometimes they may make a move that looks good in isolation. But because we’ve been Knicks fans for the last 20 years, we know that without wild luck this strategy is the path to nowhere.

    Most second round picks turn out to be nothing. Look at any year in the draft and you’ll see lots and lots and lots of second round picks that didn’t stick, and here and there you see a second round pick that ended up being able to play NBA basketball. Willy was drafted between Anthony Brown (?) and Rakeem Christmas (?). Those are the kind of guys you typically get with second round picks.

    The picks that were acquired for Willy are very, very likely to be worse players than Willy. And, making the shit sandwich that much worse, they aren’t conveyed until 2020 and 2021.

    Willy has a .570 TS% in almost 2,000 minutes. He has averaged 13.4 rebounds per 36 over his NBA career. He was on the all-rookie first team. Deservedly so! Sure, he has flaws. He turns the ball over a lot. His defense is problematic. Still, trading him away for a sack of magic beans was a terrible idea, parking him on the bench and tanking his trade value was a terrible idea, and none of this is surprising because that’s what the New York Knicks are built on: terrible ideas. Take a glance at the team’s W-L record over the last 20 years and you can see the fruits of all of these terrible ideas.

    Let’s not pretend that the Willy trade was “fair value” or anything else. It was fucking dumb, full stop.

    part of the reason players like Enes and Willy might turn out to be a bit overrated offensively has to do with the testing period and interaction effects. ten years from now I predict that an updated interaction coefficient that penalizes players with both low 3pt shooting volume, low assists but normal to high usg will turn out to be orapm predictive, similar to the high signal from the ast/reb interaction effect. the game changes quicker than the regressions and I actually think there already would have been a small effect here in the past. on a more technical note I think a universal metric like this will inherently miss extreme combinations of stats in a player when it really only hunts for interaction effects from the data averages where moderate variations might not matter; underrating Steve Nash on offense might be an example of that.

    defensively the dbpms of the world just don’t contain a lot of signal yet, and probably won’t anytime soon.

    (This was in response to @40)

    But hubert Mudiay was a top 10 draft pick! I know he’s sucked and the chance of him being good is slim but in your pecking order, if you look at it from the idea of if these assets put it all together what is their ceiling then Mudiay would be top of that list! I mean shit people called Burked a bust not even a year ago and look at him now. Mudiay has the potential to be a huge win for us if he develops and we have this summer and next year to see if that could be the case. Isn’t that the type of move that we should be making if we’re looking to the future?

    @44 I thought Lee was on the trade block, they just didn’t get any worthwhile offers? Just because it would be beneficial to do something doesn’t mean that something is always possible.

    Anyway, trading Willy, not playing him, what we got back, that entire sequence of shit was dumb, bottom to top. BUT, all that can be true while it still being true that he showed up to training camp out of shape, demonstrated no improvement, had a shitty attitude in practice, ect.

    The broader problem is the Knicks are flat out horrible at player development. If Willy wasn’t developing on his own he probably wasn’t going to get anywhere with this team. Same deal all around. If Frank ‘go play some street ball this summer’ Ntilikina doesn’t manage to develop on his own we’ll probably trade him to an organization who’ll put in some effort. KP didn’t go AWOL last summer, he would have been doing his own thing no matter what. They fired the coach who worked with him in the offseason. Burke turned his career around on his own, not because Westchester provides a great environment.

    Trey Burke talks now as if he will be the Knicks’ starting point guard next season.

    is trey a legit nba starting point guard?

    he’s obviously the best point guard we’ve had since felton – but, could he start on a playoff level nba team…

    @ 49 – of course. But bringing them up as examples of failed lottery picks doesn’t mean Mudiay is going to have the same career as someone like Burke clearly proves. Eddie Curry and Bargnani were talented players who could have had good NBA careers if they had the work ethic and desire to do so. Does Mudiay have that? Who knows. But even circling back to Willy, getting traded away from The Knicks where he was on the same team with his close friend KP…that sucked for him but going to a new place is giving him a second chance and he can now chose to make the most of it or not. Same with Mudiay. Same with any player who underperforms at a place. Obviously at some point they move past the point of no return as a bust but I just find it funny that we literally have a staring PG now who is proof that players can get better and we also have people pining over Willy yet we aren’t willing to give Mudiay a shot and declare that move to be idiotic from the day that trade happened.

    People talk about long term thinking on this site for The Knicks yet don’t practice what they preach when it comes to declaring players busts.

    @ptmilo – i think that’s pretty interesting… there was prior work done by 538 that saw that high steals rates led to more total court value for a player…. and i happen to think steals and blocks are highly predictive of overall production from college to pros because those skills are highly correlated with other skills….

    if you look at the ws48 of steven adams and enes kanter it looks very similar…. and kanter persistently had much higher ws48s throughout his career than adams… but adams’ steal and block rates are twice that of kanter… in the box score a steal and a block mean very little…. but that big of a difference can tell you a lot more about a player….

    overall steals and blocks don’t tell you much about a players defense…. but at a certain level… like kanter’s or even lance thomas’ or arron afflalo… it can be pretty telling…. it’s just that so many players are in the ~1.0 steal or ~1.0 blk per 36 that a difference of a .2 stl/blk is just noise… or it could be that low steals/blks just mean the player is just very very limited….

    @47 I can’t tell if you’re being facetious. If you aren’t, I think you should you should forget where he was drafted. That was clearly a mistake. Willy and all three of those 2nd round picks have higher ceilings than Mudiay. More 2nd round picks have become good NBA players than players with Mudiay’s three-year track record of being bad.

    Tonight is a critical night for the tank.

    Knicks (27 wins) vs Magic
    Bulls (26 wins) vs Hornets
    Nets (25 wins) at Sixers (no Embiid)
    Kings (25 wins) at Suns

    A Knick loss combined with a Kings win and either a Bulls or Nets win would be very nice.

    I know it’s fancy to just throw Eddy Curry out there as an example of Mudiay like player but that really wasn’t the case. There was a real argument to be made at the time that he was indeed a promising player. He had ts% marks of .600 as a 20 year old and even though there were obvious signs of him not giving a single fuck about improving or even getting fit, it’s not the same case at all. The price Isiah paid was obviously ridiculously inflated as he could not / would not rebound or defend or pass, but there was real reason to believe he could eventually figure something out and he might have had in different conditions.

    Mudiay on the other hand has now 3 full years of play in the NBA level showing he does not belong. If you give me the statistical profile on both Curry and Mudiay at age 22 and ask me to choose a player to gamble on, I would gamble on Curry 100 times out of 100.

    Again, not every prospect is built equally. Stop it. Burke playing well recently shows us absolutely nothing on the chances of Mudiay ever becoming something. The Mudiay deal was inconsequential, but it was stupid and misguided, just like giving away Willy so early.

    Mudiay’s nonexistent growth rate is, uh, kind of troubling. You’d think he’d maybe get a LITTLE bit better after playing 5,000 minutes but he pretty much sucks just as bad now as he did when he was 19.

    @54 – Or, as the Knicks likely believe from top to bottom, tonight is a critical night to get an important W that will change the losing culture around here and attract a marquee free agent.

    on a more technical note I think a universal metric like this will inherently miss extreme combinations of stats in a player when it really only hunts for interaction effects from the data averages where moderate variations might not matter;

    There are similar issues in horse racing.

    In racing, there are often subgroups that are not the same as the large group they are part of. There are also overlaps and it’s all complicated by the fact that the game is constantly changing.

    For example, jockey is a factor and so is how fast the horse has run in the past (among hundreds of others). One problem is that the best jockeys tend to get the assignment on the fastest horse. They are independent and related factors.

    So how much value does the jockey actually have?

    Tough question.

    It gets more difficult if you try to break it down by distance, surface, running style of horse etc…. The further you break it down the closer you get to what you need to know, but it gets offset by the risks of smaller samples and the changes in the game.

    In racing, some elite math wizards have been able to build comprehensive models that capture the values well enough to turn a profit for their users, but they have holes in them. The more traditional players are trying to use their intuitive skills and experience to find the holes and exploit them.

    I built a model for myself to mimic my thinking. I could never get it to the same level as using my experience and intuition, but interestingly, since I built it from a combination of stats, intuition, and experience, it outperformed every regression I ever tried.

    It’s similar to what’s going on between advanced stats guys and people that are extremely skilled at watching the game. The best answer probably comes from a combination of both.

    I’m not quibbling with people not liking the trade. I totally get that.

    I’d perhaps believe that if you haven’t criticized people every time they criticize dumb Knick moves for the last five years and every time the move in question turned out to be just as dumb as it looked like at the time.

    In other words, you’re precisely quibbling with people not liking the trade.


    I agree with you. With Curry, the results speak for themselves, but the opinions about him now are partially colored by what happened and imo do not fully reflect the possibilities at the start. Granted, a lot of people were very down on him right from the start, but I think a big part of his failure was ultimately his unwillingness to get in shape, stay in shape, work on his game, and in the end all the injuries that further deteriorated the situation. He was a real load inside. He commanded a double team but still scored efficiently. At the beginning he was still young enough to learn how to pass out of it and defend better, but there’s more to it than that.

    Willy and all three of those 2nd round picks have higher ceilings than Mudiay.

    Exactly opposite. That’s the biggest thing Mudiay offers. High ceiling.
    Yeah, he’s sucked. That’s because he plays like an adolescent in a schoolyard. But, size and skills, he’s sky high. In small doses, he’s played outstanding.
    Low cost, high potential reward. Every portfolio needs a couple of those.
    Worst case scenario, waive him and move on.

    Here’s one issue with long term vs. short term value.

    Let’s say I own something worth $1000 now but it will be worth $500 next year, $300, the year after that, and $0 the year after that. I want to maximize my long term value.

    Someone offers me $400 today.

    Should I take it?

    They are offering me less than it’s worth now. Thinking long term, you can argue I should take the $400 now and run because I have a depreciating asset and I am getting something that will help long term. The flip side is that I still have time to sell it and might be able to get as much or more if I wait. There is not clear answer. It’s dependent on your estimate of what you might get in a slightly different market later and what the chances are.

    In tennis, there are players that have great skills that can’t get their ranking above 50, or even top 100. Then, they get a new coach and they suddenly become top ten players. They learn when to be aggressive, and more importantly, when not to be aggressive. When they get disciplined and patient enough to cut down their unforced errors, their ranking soars. And some players never put it together.

    That’s Mudiay’s dilemma. Unforced errors on offense. More aggressive on defense.

    If you’re an agent that’s offered one of these guys, who do you pick?

    Burke – most polished of the young PG’s. Small.
    Frank – most potential for long, unspectacular NBA career. Long and good defender. No offense.
    Mudiay – highest ceiling if he gets his game under control. Skilled ball handler, passer. Vision and can create for others. Too many stupid errors.


    Don’t know what you’re talking about, Mudiay has absolutely shown improvement over his career. He’s gone from the worst player in the NBA to merely one of the worst players in the NBA.

    People talk about long term thinking on this site for The Knicks yet don’t practice what they preach when it comes to declaring players busts.

    That is absolutely not true. Note the argument we’re having about Willy!! I mean, come on.

    The point we are making is this: how Willy “looked” or who “beat him out” for playing time is immaterial. A variety of metrics support the contention that he was at least an efficient scorer and good rebounder. As well, his salary was minimal. A league average player at the league minimum salary provides value. And theoretically he played poorly because “he was out of shape,” yet weeks after the trade he is being played by his new team and, surprise surprise, putting up THE SAME NUMBERS.

    I am not “pining” for Willy; I am pining for a decision-making process that isn’t stupid and broken. Long term thinking means getting players for less than they’re worth, which is very difficult to do, and yet we fucking did it and then didn’t value that player because he was a second-round pick.

    Meanwhile, Mudiay, a first-round pick who has put up ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE GODAWFUL NUMBERS is traded for based on “atheticism” and “upside.” “Lost cost, high potential reward.” Was the trade devastating? No, not at all. But it reveals the SAME stupid and broken decision-making process. We made a stupid trade because Mudiay was a number one pick with “upside,” despite the huge body of evidence that he will never be anything more than he is…a terrible player.

    Was Burke a good signing? Definitely. Was the Melo trade good? Absolutely (though not doing anything about the glut of centers was clearly a negative consequence). So I’m not blindly anti-Perry. These two moves, however (Willy and Mudiay) reveal a front office that STILL DOESN’T GET IT. They care about THE WRONG THINGS.

    Christ, I’m resorting to all caps, that’s how bad it is.

    Lost cost, high potential reward.” Was the trade devastating? No, not at all. But it reveals the SAME stupid and broken decision-making process. We made a stupid trade because Mudiay was a number one pick with “upside,” despite the huge body of evidence that he will never be anything more than he is…a terrible player.

    Low cost, high potential reward is bad?
    A 22 year old, two NBA seasons with no college experience and 11 games in China after high school is a huge body of evidence?

    You guys are not that far apart on Mudiay.

    It’s a 100% certainly that players should be valued based on what you expect them to do in the future and not what they’ve done in past. However, the past is a part of what goes into an appraisal of the future.

    You guys just have different views on the range of possible futures and their probabilities. I think you more or less agree that he has been awful so far. Considering we often disagree on the past, agreeing on that much is pretty good. 🙂


    It’s four seasons.

    His career TS is 46%. It has risen year over year…from an historically awful 44% to a merely astonishingly poor 48%.

    His assist percentage is 26%…but his TO percentage is 17%. Neither percentage has changed much in four years.

    Every single on/off number is negative.

    If he hadn’t been drafted so high, you’d have no problem declaring him a scrub.

    Over a comparable period, Trey Burke’s TS rose every year, to 53% last year – near league average. (Much higher this year, as has been noted.) His assist % has been all over the place, from 29% to 20%, but his TO percentage has always been modest, generally 5 points better than Mudiay’s. There was always reason to believe he could be a serviceable player…especially if he became merely bad as opposed to terrible on D. Mudiay has given no reason to believe the same.

    So, to answer your earlier question: I’d take Burke first, then Frankie Smokes, then Ron Baker, and then almost anybody other than Mudiay, including half a dozen G-league players.

    That’s also the point, if Mudiay was drafted in the 2nd round he would be out of the league for 2 years. A bad projection was made on him doing to his hype coming out of high school and nobody knowing what happened in China, and he’s living from this reputation ever since.

    Burke has shown encouraging signs, Mudiay hasn’t. You focus on the Burkes and dump the Mudiays, like Denver did on our heads and got a 2nd out of it.

    Hell Denver dumped Mudiay to turn their potentially star SG who averaged 3.5 assists per 36 in his rookie year to a PG because he was a better option, and they’ve been a much better place in terms of talent evaluation than the Knicks in the last so many years.

    This is like trying to talk to people who actually believe in the Secret or the power of will or Hollywood movies.

    In theory, where you were drafted should have no bearing on your appraisal of a player a few years later. However, part of the drafting appraisal process is making projections on how good the player is going to be in the future. Whatever those teams found attractive during the draft (like length, athleticism, work ethic, basketball IQ, etc..) will sometimes still be present a few years later even though it hasn’t be realized yet. The probability of it being realized just keeps declining as times passes.

    Mudiay has played almost 5,000 minutes in the league, and has barely improved. This doesn’t speak real highly of his learning curve. Maybe the great master of player development, Jeff Hornacek, will inspire Mudiay to discover his inner greatness. Prolly not tho

    That butter knife will sharpen over time, you’ll see!

    Mudiay sucks and is pretty hopeless, but Burke is clearly good on offense and Ntilikina is clearly good defensively. Hopefully we’ll see improvement from Ntilikina heading into his second year and Burke will give us a good reason to lock him down Isaiah Thomas style.

    At some point, a team is going to tank hard despite having already traded their own unprotected high-lottery pick away as a way to say to other teams, “See, it’s smart to trade players for our future picks — we increase their value for you even when we’ve already lost the deal!”

    Maybe on that day, the NBA will see what a bullshit, self-inflicted wound the lottery system is and they’ll actually make substantial reforms.

    In the meantime, let’s keep winning meaningless games when we’re a hair away from the #6 slot. I’m so optimistic right now!!!!!!!!

    You guys who keep complaining that Hernangomez was good value for his contract are right in the literal sense but wrong that that good value was worth much to the Knicks. Successful teams in the NBA have several impact players on them. In order to have impact players, you either have to pay them a lot, in which case you need lightly paid role players to fill in your roster; or you need to have an underpaid impact player, so you have money to pay reasonable role players. Every team in the NBA is looking for those impact players, including the Knicks. The Knicks have KP, and were probably thinking Hardaway could be a second impact player. Hardaway is an ok player, but I am not sure he is an impact player. Whether he is or not, the Knicks organization is clearly looking for more impact players. I think they judged that Hernangomez will never be an impact player, and they may be right about that. And by the time they expect to have say, three impact players, and are a contending team, Hernangomez was unlikely to be especially underpaid. If you project that at that time he will be a probably roughly fairly paid role player, then you are essentially projecting that he is a replaceable player. If he is a replaceable player then it’s not a catastrophe trading him.

    I don’t think anyone thinks it’s a catastrophe, it’s just pointlessly stupid. Folks are rightly concerned that this recent pointless stupidity means same old idiotic Knicks management. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    I mean, let’s just draft this DiVincenzo kid, he’s like the taller white Steph Curry right now.


    The game is looking rough for him, can’t do anything on offense, but Brunson has been kinda dead too. I still love his defensive smarts and versatility but I’m starting to get a bit disappointed at his offensive game.

    I’d rather go for a guy with obvious NBA-level skills. Mikal is heady but he’s very limited offensively and I don’t think his defensive game translates well in the pros.

    I’m not sold on Lonny Walker, but he’a definitely got my interest. The dude has great length, skills and NBA range. I’m a bit concerned about his motor and IQ, but he looks like a dynamic scorer at the NBA level.

    Mikal Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr are guys people will regret taking. They’re limited upside guys when you consider their basketball skills and neither will be considered athletic freaks at the next level. Their statistical profiles look awesome, but sometimes you need to see why a guy is dominating. Does he have a first step that’s lightning and will be effective, or does he kind of just college basketball his way into a useful niche? How quick is the release on his jumper and how effective would that form be against NBA players? A lot of things, including a statistical profile, go into prospect evaluation. The film is important, too.

    I mean, he could be Nick Young 2.0 so I’m not trying to sell him yet, just pointing out his skills.

    Lonnie Walker needs more time in college if he’s going to have success as a New York Knick. Maybe another franchise like Boston or Toronto can develop him but I don’t think we have the tools in place to make a player more efficient.

    Billy Raftery makes any game fun. One of the best. Him and Clyde would be great together with a play by play guy.

    You guys are way undervaluing Bridges. His team is about to win a national title in dominating fashion; they don’t ask him to do too much because everyone in the team can score.

    I watched him all season, no one will regret drafting him

    They would also be a bottom 10 offense unless Trey Burke is the real deal and we draft Cam Reddish or RJ Barrett.

    Hmm. Burke, Ntilikina, Reddish, Bridges, Porzingis. Hell yeah.

    I’d still take Trae and Wendell over him. Mikal at 9 after those guys would not be a bad thing at all.

    I do think there’s a case to be made that Villanova is just too good and Bridges doesn’t shine much because of that, yeah. Player of the year Jalen Brunson shot 4-13 and was mostly invisible and they still beat Michigan by almost 20.

    Mikal did end up with a very nice line, 19 points on 12 shots with 4 rebounds and very good defense.

    If anything when all is said and done he probably upped his stock a little bit overall. I’m a bit concerned that he could be dominating more but yeah, his team might just be too good and he’s got a more team oriented mentality.

    If the Knicks don’t pick a player on a Final Four team, I quit sports forever. I don’t even care if he played — he must have the heart of a champion! Proven winner or bust!

    For the last three months all I heard hear was Mikal Bridges. Mikal Bridges. Mikal Bridges. Mikal Bridges.
    Admittedly, I don’t watch college ball, but that’s what everyone is so hyped to tank the season for?
    You clowns got a lot of balls.

    Bridges has a very high floor though given how thin he is at 21 he might be best as a two rather than a three. He doesn’t have the ceiling of Young or Carter Jr. though so I’d probably roll the dice with one of those guys if available. As long as it’s one of those three at nine and not Sexton or Miles Bridges I’ll be fine.


    Some people get excited about Emmanuel Mudiay’s future, others would rather watch actual basketball players on the Knicks.

    To be honest if Mikal Bridges cannot play the 3 and the 4 then he doesn’t belong on this roster. If we want a shooting guard we can just take Shai Gilgeous Alexander.

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