Knicks Morning News (2018.12.15)

  • [NYDN] Emmanuel Mudiay’s career night helps Knicks stage frenzied comeback to beat Hornets in OT
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 6:45:00 PM)

    As bad as the Knicks have been this season, they rarely fold under David Fizdale. They’re young and they play hard.

    On Friday, that fight was rewarded with an improbable comeback victory.

    Emmanuel Mudiay dropped a career-high 34 points as the Knicks recovered from a 21-point deficit to stun the…

  • [TheRinger] Emmanuel Mudiay’s career night helps Knicks stage frenzied comeback to beat Hornets in OT
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 6:45:00 PM)

    As bad as the Knicks have been this season, they rarely fold under David Fizdale. They’re young and they play hard.

    On Friday, that fight was rewarded with an improbable comeback victory.

    Emmanuel Mudiay dropped a career-high 34 points as the Knicks recovered from a 21-point deficit to stun the…

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Notes: Baker, Kornet, Lee, Trier
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 12:00:12 PM)

    It wasn’t easy for Knicks coach David Fizdale to part with Ron Baker, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Baker was waived yesterday to open a roster spot so that Allonzo Trier‘s two-way contract could be converted to a standard NBA deal. â??This was the hardest one Iâ??ve ever been a part of,â??â?? […]

    (Friday, December 14, 2018 7:30:08 AM)

    NEW YORK, December 13, 2018 – The New York Knicks announced today that the team has signed guard Allonzo Trier

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks takeaways from thrilling overtime 126-124 win over Hornets
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 10:38:57 PM)

    Down as much as 21 points, the Knicks battled back to defeat the Hornets in a thrilling overtime bout, 126-124, in Charlotte.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson leaves game with sprained left ankle
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 7:58:24 PM)

    Knicks rookie C Mitchell Robinson won’t return to Friday’s contest against the Hornets after suffering a sprained left ankle in the second quarter, MSG Network announced.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks, Hornets do battle in Charlotte at 7:00 p.m.
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 5:46:06 PM)

    Amidst a five-game losing streak, the New York Knicks face the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night at Spectrum Center.

  • [SNY Knicks] SEE IT: Ron Baker says goodbye to Knicks fans with ‘Anchorman’ meme
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 4:39:13 PM)

    Ron Baker knows how to keep it classy, and expects New York to do the same.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks rookie Allonzo Trier could play key role in landing Kevin Durant
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 10:25:00 AM)

    Trier and Durant reportedly have a relationship dating back to when the Knicks rookie was a high school player in Oklahoma City.

  • [ESPN] ‘Too lit’ for New York: Noah talks Knicks tenure
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 11:35:15 AM)

    Joakim Noah, now with the Grizzlies, says part of his struggles during his time with his hometown Knicks stemmed from him being “too lit” in New York City.

  • [NYTimes] N.B.A. Roundup: Knicks Come From 21 Down for Overtime Win Against the Hornets
    (Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:44:22 AM)

    The Nets also beat the Washington Wizards on Friday night, 125-118, for their fourth straight victory, the team’s longest winning streak of the season.

  • [NYPost] Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina injuries dampen night
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 6:51:56 PM)

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As center Luke Kornet and point guard Emmanuel Mudiay became heroes Friday against the Hornets, Mitchell Robinson and Frank Ntilikina became casualties — each suffering an ankle sprain in the Knicks’ 126-124 overtime victory. In a scary moment, Robinson, the Knicks’ rookie project, landed awkwardly on his left ankle after snatching a…

  • [NYPost] Unlikely heroes lead Knicks to shocking overtime victory
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 4:51:59 PM)

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The hip-hop music blared. The ice flew. This was one happy visitor’s locker room after point guard Emmanuel Mudiay and unlikely center Luke Kornet rallied the Knicks from an awful first half, during which they trailed by 21 points. The Knicks went on to stun Charlotte, 126-124, in overtime Friday night at…

  • [NYPost] Allonzo Trier doesn’t want to hear from fake friends after deal
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 12:38:35 PM)

    Allonzo Trier would like to know where all these people were when his bank account wasn’t so full. The Knicks’ undrafted rookie, who earned a two-year, $6.8 million contract Thursday after impressing on his two-way G-League deal, wasn’t falling for some of his supposed friends who have since checked in with him. “I appreciate the…

  • [NYPost] David Fizdale won’t let Knicks get down despite dismal record
    (Friday, December 14, 2018 12:06:54 PM)

    CHARLOTTE — After 29 games last season, Jeff Hornacek’s Knicks were 16-13 before it all fell apart — Tim Hardaway Jr.’s stress fracture in early December the start of the comedown. David Fizdale’s Knicks have already fallen apart — record-wise. You’d never know it, though, by the merriment surrounding the team across this mountain of…

  • 87 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.12.15)”

    Something must be wrong with Mudiay. He is just not his normal self on the court.

    Mudiay is bizarre. Check out his last ten Game Scores:

    22.0 (the Milwaukee game)
    29.2 (last night)

    Mudiay’s challenge to overcome is similar to Frank’s in that he needs to assert himself upon games more consistently (albeit that he’s further along the process than Frank is right now).

    Right now, I’d be okay with him getting a 5 yr-50MM. I think he’s gonna get a lot better than even where he’s at now.

    Scoring wise he looked good. Not just because of the numbers, but because he was getting to the basket or close to it and scored without using a floater. Defensewise, it’s hard for me to say. The team was so bad on defense for long stretched, it was hard for me to say who was to blame. A couple of times he got a nice rebound snd lookedvgood doing it. But there weren’t that many moments of that sort.

    If they strike out in free agency this year, they should focus on 2021. Tim comes off the books and that class is loaded.

    Knox has had 3 decent “19yo rookie” games in a row. He’s approaching positive WS territory. Maybe he wasn’t such a bad pick after all.

    I mean, 3 games.

    The thing about Knox has always been that he won’t contribute much anywhere else other than scoring. So when he’s shooting somewhat efficiently like last night, he definitely is a NBA player. 20/3/3 on 50% shooting with a block and a steal and no turnovers is a solid game. He’s not looking overwhelmed so much anymore which is a great sign.

    The evolution for him will be either becoming a more efficient scorer, so he develops as a very good scorer who won’t do much else but it’s fine, or being a better passer and rebounder. Both scenarios are fine outcomes.

    I’ve always been about not signing a max free agent for the sake of signing a max free agent, but I can at least concede that once you max out KP, when you factor in the various raises to the first rounders (Frank, Knox and the 2019 first rounder) and the salaries of any guys you extend this offseason if you don’t sign a max free agent (Vonleh, Mudiay, Burke, etc.) then suddenly you’re stuck without any real way of getting max cap room the next offseason (even with the cap going up about $9 million), unless you somehow dump THJ on someone (or if he miraculously turns down his $19 million player option). So I think that is why they are making signing a max guy this offseason such a priority. I don’t love the process of it all, but I get where they’re coming from. That’s why there seems to be such a good chance of them trying to sign someone like, say, Kemba, if the other true max K’s are off the board (Kevin, Kawhi, Kyrie). Again, not saying that it is the right approach, per se, but I think that’s likely to be their approach and I get why they would think they are “stuck” doing that.

    Exactly. One silver lining is that even if we renounce Mudiay and don’t keep Vonleh or Burke, I believe that we are positioning ourselves well to replace them down the road with similar players…young guys who aren’t panning out and need a change. Fizdale is establishing himself as sort of a Scrub Whisperer.

    I still think he was a bad pick, but he’s looking like a “bad pick who’s a NBA player” more than “future superstar of the Tianjin Gold Lions”

    The thing about Knox has always been that he won’t contribute much anywhere else other than scoring.

    I’d be surprised if that turns out to be true. He has good size, length and agility. In 7 December games, he’s averaging 16.7/6.6/2.1 in 32 mpg. Nothing to draw firm conclusions from, but certainly not suggestive of a 1-dimensional scorer. Like with Frank, it’s hard to concentrate on being aggressive offensively and the other aspects of the game.


    It might be, but in those December games he’s had 4 9 4 4 15 7 and 3 rebounds on each game. The 6.6 average looks nice but it’s obviously heavily skewed by the 15 rebound game against Charlotte.

    Averaging something like 16/4/2 is Andrew Wiggins territory, and just like with Wiggins it’s kinda mind-boggling how a guy with his size and athleticism only grabs 3 rebounds playing 42 minute in a game.

    Wiggins also had all the potential in the world and never got better, he’s the same player he was on his rookie year. The question with Knox is how is he going to develop and where does that development come from.

    22.0 (the Milwaukee game)
    29.2 (last night)

    The thing with Mudiay is he still hasn’t been good overall, he’s just been really good for Emmanuel Mudiay (and he has had some legit really good games).

    Mudiay had a great game last night. He’s also had a much better last 500 minutes than his previous 4700. And he’s only 22. I still want no part of Mudiay on a real contract.

    In the offseason we debated Trey Burke’s baseline TS% after 6600 minutes at 48% & 785 minutes at 56.3%. Some thought 56.3% should be the new normal in part bc he’s still young & played well in the G league. I argued the O/U should be set at 52.5%, bc some of his %s were unsustainably high. Specifically, 29% of his shots were from 16-23 feet & he hit 56.6% of them, which is not a thing. He also shot 73% at the rim. It’d be very tough to make up for the inevitable regression with more/improved 3s and FTs, unless those jumps were herculean. It’s too early to call the Burke debate in only 434 minutes, but it would take a hell of run for him to get back to 56% by the time he reaches last year’s minutes.

    Mudiay has strong similarities. He also takes a chunk of mid range shots (28% before and now), but this year he’s shooting 52% from 10-23. His career is 34%. Kyrie and Steph are 45%. Lillard is 42%.
    Kemba is 40%. If he was at his career avg his TS would drop from 54.8% to 50.2%. Even if he improved on his career numbers to 40% (above average for a guard who is mostly taking pullups), his TS drops to 51.8%. What is he then? An inefficient tweener guard with 4.8AST 2.8TOV (or career 5.9 and 3.4) and less bad but still bad defense? That’s not a very useful player. I’m especially suspicious of his long range shooting bc it’s so rare to have such a lack of lower/upper body rhythm and still become an excellent shooter.

    People seem to have this idea that Fizdale has taught Mudiay how to finish at the rim. But he’s at 53% at the rim this year. That’s not a great number, not much above his career, and well below his stint on the Knicks last year. He hasn’t improved his shot allocation and his FTAs are only up slightly . He could still improve, but…

    I have no idea what to make of Knox yet. I was pessimistic on the pick but felt slightly better after summer league, where he wasn’t really good but did a lot of interesting things. He started the year looking so fucking awful it was like they were running Sam Darnold or Aaron Judge out there as a gimmick. Not just because his shots weren’t falling but because he was shooting every single time he touched the ball and when he drove his arms would fling the ball from angles that appeared to be genuine innovations in geometry. And his defense! But he really has looked a lot better recently. Some of his drives have looked smoother, especially in transition. His defense is still bad, but he’s been more aggressive, especially on the boards. Back to summer league Kevin, I guess, but in the actual NBA. I’m still pretty pessimistic on him, but who knows what he’ll look like in two years.

    Knox is just now finding his legs after being hurt and not being able to practice much. He’s trying to figure it out at 19 and you can see he’s still nervous out there by almost airballing those two free throws. He can shoot it from 3 and take it to the hoop. Versatile, big and very smooth. Looks like he’s gliding out there but gets it done. A lot to like. I think he’ll rebound more and block some shots too. Maybe a 22 point 8 rebound 3 assist and a block per game kind of guy. Make an all star team a couple times. Trying to think of a comp style wise… maybe Kiki Vandewegh(sp)?

    I was trying to think of a comp for Mudiay, maybe a poor man’s Dennis Schroder?

    Career stats

    Mudiay 5.9 assists/36 , TS% .470 (yikes)

    Schroder 7.1 assists/36, TS% .516

    Schroeder has been in the league 2 more years, and unlike Mudiay has a normal looking jump shot. Would you throw any meaningful $$$ at him? I think both players are pretty much what they are and always have been, and I hope some dumb GM will give us something for Mudiay based on his improved performance this year, which is probably not sustainable.

    I don’t really see a Wiggins comparison in Knox. He’s still a deer in the headlights far too often, but I’ve seen isolated instances of very aggressive hustle plays…a couple of monster blocked shots, tough rebounds in heavy traffic, diving on the floor for 50-50 balls. Wiggins played big minutes his rookie year and his game high in rebounds was 10. Even now, he’s averaging 3.8 rebounds in 33 mpg, which would be bad for a sg much less a sf. I’m pretty confident that Knox will be at least an adequate rebounder, maybe something like Melo.

    Mudiay’s upside seems akin to the better version of Ray Felton? Not a terrible player to have, but can only take you so far?

    Even though their bodies are very different, the guy that Mudiay reminds me the most of is Raymond Felton. I could see him becoming that level of player, maybe worth mid-level money but not more than that.

    If the Knicks strike out in free agency and wind up giving out contracts to some of our young players, they are not necessarily dead in the water after maxing out KP. They may not be in an ideal position and they may not be able to sign another max free agent. But if they do a good job accumulating desirable assets with the money, they might put themselves in a position to trade for a superstar that wants out of his current situation the way Houston and others sometimes do.

    The “big” mistake was Hardaway.

    They blew close to 20 million dollars of long term cap space on a player that did not fill a need (they already had a questionable contract for Lee at SG).

    Had they given him a short contract like Baker or put some other filler into the space because no one good wanted to come to NY, we would not be in this position.

    If they put someone young and good that was worth the money into that space we’d be fine because he’d be growing with us.

    Hardaway has probably played better than most expected, but he’s still our worst contract.

    I’d way rather have Hardaway off the books than Lee at their respective salaries, duration of salary, and play. It would just be really hard to get rid of Hardaway. That’s why we are forced to move Lee.

    The possible silver lining of fucking up the tank:

    I’m reminded of how the Celtics built the big 3. They missed out on the top lottery picks and had the 5th pick in the draft. With no elite prospects there, they traded it for Ray Allen.

    Right now, Zion, Morant, and maybe Barrett are the only three guys I want. If we’re at #4 and staring Bol Bol in the face, the move should be to trade Hardaway and the #4 for an established player. You can use Lance, as well, as his contract is a perfect trade enabler (you can get another $7mm in salary but the other team can waive him for $1mm).

    Maybe that’s the better path. For instance:

    The #4 pick

    To Washington for Bradley Beal and two seconds (theirs and they have Atlanta’s).

    Now use some of our seconds to dump lee and you have enough room to max Durant.

    And you’re looking at

    1 Frank
    2 Beal
    3 Durant
    4 Porzingis
    5 Robinson

    Bench: Burke, Trier, Knox, Dotson, Vonleh

    If you hate Bradley Beal that’s fine, there’s plenty of other players you can work with within similar parameters.

    But that’s what I’d do if we get fucked and looking at Cam Reddish or Nassir Little.


    Honestly, that’s because you’ve watched every minute Knox has played and is invested obviously because he’s a Knick. Wiggins has had plenty of monster dunks, huge blocks, hustle plays too. What’s annoying as hell with him precisely is that he’ll have those plays, and then for the next 5 possessions he’ll shoot contested midrange jumpers and slack off on the boards.

    Wiggins also had a slightly better trb% and rebounds per game in college then Knox, and we all talk about how rebounding is something that a college player generally either has or hasn’t. I’m not convinced one 15 rebound game while he’s averaging 3.9 a game is enough to make me confident he’ll eventually be a good rebounder.

    great minds think alike!

    We may disagree wildly on Frank, Z-Man, but common ground is possible elsewhere!

    Felton is a much better player than Mudiay – better passer, better defender, less turnover prone and overall a more intelligent and heady player.

    Not saying Felton has had a Hall of Fame career, but he’s been a pretty solid PG over his career.

    Which is why we are suggesting he is the best case scenario for Mudiay. In the games were his shot is falling, and he is attacking the basket successfully a lot, he reminds me of those better games that Felton used to have for us.

    Yeah, but like I said before, I don’t see Mudiay’s improved play as sustainable. Mostly because he has one of the fugliest jump shots I’ve ever seen, and also because he’s often one of the worst decision makers I’ve ever seen, generally not a good quality for a PG.

    That stuff isn’t gonna change.

    You are right to be skeptical. I think Kerri should be trying to trade him, as much to avoid him turning back into a pumpkin as because of the salary cap issues for the summer. It still isn’t clear, though, whether they buy into him as a real Plan B. Which worries me.

    9-21 teams that use their cap space on the players who produced a 9-21 record will remain 9-21 teams

    Do we really have to debate an 8-figure extension for Mudiay? We go through this absurd exercise every year with a different scrub who strings together 10 decent games for us. Lock up Burke! Lock up Kanter! Lock up Vonleh! I really think they’ve turned a corner, so give them $15m AAV right now before someone else does!!!

    I’m relying on a terrible memory but I recall Felton being a very good passer and an intelligent floor leader. He just couldn’t hit his shot enough to keep defenses honest on the PnR.

    Yeah, please give me Bradley Beal at $28M AAV, the guy who’s cracked league-average WS48 twice and currently rocks a BPM of 0.9 as the anchor of a 11-18 team, and definitely give up a high lottery pick for it too. Sounds like a great plan.

    Raymond Felton was a piss poor defender (opposing point guards used to roast him regularly) but a good passer. He didn’t make good decisions, though. He would regularly brick lay ups when he should kick out and he would N E V E R go over the screen. Emmanuel Mudiay’s ceiling is definitely a 6’5” Raymond Felton, and that isn’t a bad 5th starter at all.

    All I’m saying is I wouldn’t mind Mudiay on a 20M/3 year deal a team option on the 3rd year. I’m much more interested in keeping Vonleh in town, but I could live with a team that has Mudiay, Vonleh, and Porzingis as starters so long as we improve on the wings. I’d just as quickly throw out Mudiay, Kevin Porter Jr, Kevin Knox, Noah Vonleh, and Kristaps Porzingis as a starting five and take another swing at the draft.

    I don’t think Beal is a star but he’s been posting stellar TS%s as he’s aged and is still just 25. His AAV is $25mm, not $28mm. And I think we’d get much better return spending $25mm on Beal than on Hardaway and Nassir Little

    But like I said:

    If you hate Bradley Beal that’s fine, there’s plenty of other players you can work with within similar parameters.

    The point was to discuss the macro strategy of leveraging the pick to dump Tim and pick up a better player, not to get bogged down in the micro example.

    9-21 teams that use their cap space on the players who produced a 9-21 record will remain 9-21 teams

    This seems so easy to understand, and yet…

    We’re really discussing giving Mudiay 8 million a year because he has reached league average PG stats in his contract year.

    The only thing this team should do regarding Mudiay is letting him chuck and hope for more games like this so they can trade him for something valuable. Let other teams figure out if he’ll keep shooting 10% more on mid range jumpers than Damian Lillard or Steph Curry. Didn’t we learn anything from the endless “is Trey Burke for real” discussions? Even bad shooters will have good long stretches or even good years, but that doesn’t mean they figured out anything. You don’t lock up a guy who’s career best performance is league average Point Guard just because he’s 22.

    His AAV is $25mm, not $28mm.

    If the Knicks trade for him, they will pay him $27.1M next year and $28.7M in 2021, so…

    had a chance to watch the game last night…was gonna skip it, until I checked in on the game thread and read the knicks were making a comeback…

    mud (very cool nickname 🙂 is an interesting guy to watch run around the court and play…

    he likes to pass and set up his teammates, seems like a good locker type…

    his turn around shot looks “smooth”; but, a lot of the time when he sets to shoot – his form changes to something much different and weird…very much not smooth…how do you stop someone from kicking out their leg when they shoot?

    I never thought I’d think this, but, he really is the best point guard we have on our roster right now…

    wow, kornet had an awesome game…I wasn’t expecting that…

    when folks here wrote we should simply cut kanter, I wasn’t so sure about it…they were right though…he’s a super likeable guy, but, on the court despite the fact that he does do some things well – he’s just not a very good team player…

    watching mitchrob or even kornet play the five really points out just how bad kanter really is…

    last night I was thinking about this year’s biggest pleasant surprises (trier, mitchrob, mud, vonleh) and without doubt the biggest disappointment: th2…

    I’m not sure why I ever expected timmy to be more than what he’s always been, but still, it’s disappointing to see him not figure out how to play defense or consistently go to the rim…

    I would be absolutely shocked if Mudiay gets anything bigger than taxpayer MLE type $ from any team. My guess is he signs a 1 year contract for $3-5MM with the goal to continue improving and hitting the market again.

    He’s played better for sure, and I commend him and the coaching staff for coaxing this level of performance out of him, but at the end of the day he’s still been below average ie. a backup PG on a mediocre team or a 3rd PG on a good team. Honestly, there are probably 3 total teams for which he would have a sniff at the starting PG job – the Knicks, Magic, and Suns. One of those is probably going to sign Terry Rozier. One or more of those teams is going to draft a PG. THere’s just no room in the market for Mudiay to make starting PG money.

    How much money are backup PGs making nowadays? Van Vleet maybe comes to mind as the best paid one, and he is making 2/18 – and he’s far superior to Mudiay on just about every level. I think 3 for 15 might be the best Mudiay could hope for — certainly that’d be the max I would consider giving him.

    The guy Mudiay looked like last night was Chauncey Billups (albeit without the threes and worse defense). Both big, strong points with a good enough first step to get their shoulder past the defender and then muscle them out of the way and solid, if unspectacular playmaking. Here’s a comparison of their age 22 seasons:

    Right now I wouldn’t give Mudiay anything more than a 3/15 deal- I do think he’s a better back-up option than Burke but he still doesn’t look like a quality starter. That said, his floor game might be starting to come around- his assist rate for December is up to 28% and he’s made some genuinely nice passes. If he maintains a TS% right around league average and gets his assist rate up to around 30% by the end of the season then you’d have an average starter so maybe you offer him 3 years at 8-10m. But even that would be risky given his track record. The trouble is if he puts up those numbers someone like Phoenix might throw out an offer that would make no sense to match so it’s tough to get excited by his improved play. At the end of the day we’re still in mid-december so who knows where he’ll be at the end of the year.

    9-21 teams that use their cap space on the players who produced a 9-21 record will remain 9-21 teams

    And that’s factorial.

    …with the exception possibly being Vonleh. Which is less about his improved play, and more that 1) his skill set is pretty much perfect next to KP, and 2) players like him seem to be really cheap right now.

    But even if Mudiay’s improvement is for real and sustainable, his ceiling is just too low for what his price is likely to be (never mind his cap hold).

    Joking aside about what’s factorial, that wouldn’t be true when your best player comes back from injury and you add a high draft pick. Just ask the Spurs.

    Re: Kornet – he’s very tall, has long arms, and is reasonably agile for a big man. He keeps his hands high and is generally in the right position on defense. Those things go a long way towards making him a good big man defender. When the 3 ball is going down for him, he’s a useful player. I’m glad he got a look last night.

    side note – one thing I really like about Kornet is that when he gets the ball behind the 3 point line he is READY to shoot. No pump faking/hesitating/dribbling into a contested 19 footer (I’m looking at you Courtney Lee!).

    I really do hope we buy out / cut Kanter soon. There’s just no point to him being on the team, other than to maybe teach the young bigs how to play tough inside during practice. But Mitch and Kornet need to play.

    Interesting to hear that Fiz wants to play Mitch and Kornet together. Kornet is sort of KP-lite, and so you can imagine they could run some of the offense that Fizdale eventually wants to run when KP is finally back.

    If we inevitably miss on Zion and Bol, I would love to see Ja Morant and a 4-year deal for Nerlens Noel. The Thunder seem to be deflating his value despite his absurd production (it looks like he’s having major foul trouble, but still, 14 MPG is crazy for a guy putting up his per-poss. and efficiency numbers. I wish I had a better explanation for his benchwarming than “Jerami Grant,” but he’s definitely put work in for the league’s best defense. If Porzingis is going to be an elite rim protector again, but even less inclined to fight for rebounds, a guy who can switch off on rebounding machines like Drummond, Gobert and Capela would be a real asset for the team moving forward.

    Donovan is trying to insert Patrick Patterson on the lineup to have at least some semblance of shooting, but he has been absolutely terrible. With Steven Adams playing 33 minutes a game they basically give Noel the other 14 or so minutes, which makes sense. I wouldn’t be against Nerlens since I think he’s good, but if Mitchell Robinson becomes the player we expect him to be Noel should be redundant. I’d still take him on a 4 year 20 million deal for example, which sounds feasible.

    If we had Zion things would be so much better because we could ignore the big free agents and go for value deals like this one. If we end up with Zion and miss on Leonard and Durant, we could use the remaining cap on players like Noel, Rubio, maybe a guy like Malcolm Brogdon who’s been very good this year.

    Interesting to hear that Fiz wants to play Mitch and Kornet together. Kornet is sort of KP-lite, and so you can imagine they could run some of the offense that Fizdale eventually wants to run when KP is finally back.

    Yeah, this is what I’ve been saying all year. There’s a good chance Kornet isn’t good enough to play in the NBA, but we suck anyhow and it seems like it would worth practicing

    No Mitch/Luke team up tomorrow:

    Knicks say Ntilikina and Burke are probable tomorrow versus Pacers. Robinson is out.

    Hoping Frank and Burke don’t play too many minutes together. But curious how Frank’s role changes now that he’s back.

    I’m much more optimistic on Knox than I was before the draft. He’s got a long way to go, but if he bulks up in the next couple of years and gets more consistent, there’s a definitely a good stretch 4 in there. I hope Fiz really stresses defense with him, though.

    Still not even close to convinced that they should even look to retain Mudiay at a backup PG salary. Very suspicious of any player suddenly getting in shape and playing better in a big contract year. Will he stay focused and in shape if he gets a multi-year deal?

    I would sign Mudiay for the minimum IF he keeps improving. A Vohleh type contract.

    He has way to much minutes of crap production to be trusted on a long deal.

    Anything more is a big no for me.

    I don’t know, maybe a lose-lose?

    Austin Rivers has been playing like one the worst players in the league but he’s expiring… Oubre is not that great and at least he’s young, but he’s also expiring next year and the Suns have Warren, Jackson and Bridges for the position… Ariza has been very mediocre and I have no idea how he’ll solve anything of what’s going wrong with the Wizards, but he should be an upgrade I guess?

    Still a very weird trade for me, seems like a lateral trade that won’t do much for any side. Ariza didn’t go to a contender like he wanted to, it’s unlikely Oubre would re-sign with the Suns unless overpaid and Rivers is garbage

    Suns really cement their tank status? How much time is left on Ariza’s deal? It’s strange for the Wiz, they signed-and-traded him not too long ago but he’s probably an improvement to their complete shit show.

    I looked at a Hornets blog recalling the game on “atthehive”. Some posters there would like to trade Walker for Mudiay. Really. They think Walker is old at thirty for a small point guard and his shooting stats are declining.


    Ariza is also on a one year deal expiring next season… I mean, it’s not like they need any help tanking anyway, they’ve got that on lock.

    My guess is that Ariza wanted out, they promised him they’d trade him and then talks with LA never went further, so they went with whatever was available since no one offered real assets.

    I’m not sure they’re so terrible with Portis, Markkanen and Dunn back in the lineup. Bad, maybe, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they have mini-winning streaks here and there.

    man Jevon Carter popped up from the G league for a night and immediately he’s the only guy in the league who can guard both harden and Paul

    the stupidest thing about the Phoenix trade will be if they decide to give melton’s minutes to rivers while oubre replaces ariza’s minutes. the starting lineup tonight of booker Melton bridges warren ayton is a good dream for a shitty team fans everywhere.

    I don’t really know what to make of ayton. I mean he’s obvious really good but he sometimes seems so apathetic that he makes KAT look like Ewing.


    I thought it was amazing because I still hope the Knicks could somehow pick up Melton from them, I like him very much. But yeah, that would require the front office to make a trade for a non top10 pick in the draft.

    I’m not sure they’re so terrible with Portis, Markkanen and Dunn back in the lineup. Bad, maybe, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they have mini-winning streaks here and there.


    this was a really solid fourth quarter so far for ayton who has been getting the better of Towns. Really don’t understand why Phoenix is going with 3 chuckers together (booker, Crawford, warren) with the lead instead of more defense tho

    i think booker’s a really nice offensive player and his passing has improved a lot. Though to earn his $$$$ he’s probably gonna need to become a top 5 offensive player (which right now he damn sure isn’t) bc that defense is u-g-l-y and it really isn’t any better at 22 than it was at 20.

    To be honest, I haven’t watched him all that much. Just seems like he gets a lot of grief here for a guy that just turned 22. He might never be worth that big contract but if Harden can improve his D, anyone can.

    He’s incredibly bad at defense, like worse than Mudiay levels.

    I do think Booker is extremely talented, but to get away with being only a scorer he needs to be a fantastic scorer, and he isn’t. Harden at a similar age was already extremely efficient scoring.

    His passing has become much better, for sure, and he’s facilitating a lot more, but the sort of player he is needs to score at a .600 ts% or around that mark to be a superstar. .540 ts% with 6.7 assists and 4.1 turnovers per game is not gonna cut it because literally all he does is score and create shots.

    At least there is a path of improvement for him, which would be to get way more free throws than the 5 he usually gets, but that would mean changing his shot selection from those jumpers he loves to attacking the rim, and it’s not easy specially on a crap team.

    Can you imagine thinking, “Shit, we won’t be able to resign Kelly Oubre after this season. Let’s replace him with Trevor Ariza…who we also can’t sign after this season” and then thinking that that made any sense?

    I get the sense that there are decision-makers in Washington who have very quickly pivoted from the long game to the short, and of course, not because they suddenly found their window to win, but because this current team is an existential threat to their careers.

    On another topic, what’s up with the Wizards these days?

    Ernie Grunfeld has managed to survive an incredible 15 years while making some of the dumbest moves I’ve seen, so if someone understands survival as a GM, that’s the guy.

    So who gets the 2nd two way contract now that Trier is signed? Jenkins is tearing up the Gleague, but idk if he can do anything but make three pointers (something that would actually help out a lot if we wanted to win games).

    So we have 52 games left. We should go 14-38 but I’m starting to “worry” that we’re going to go something like 17-35 to wind up 26-56 and in the 6th lottery slot. I don’t really see 17 wins on the schedule, but the Charlotte win was the kind of win that can happen against lots of teams. Ane while I don’t think KP will mean more that a couple of extra wins, it does feel like the team is starting to gel a bit.

    Lance Thomas, Trey Burke, and Frank Ntilikina are all available to play tonight. Damyean Dotson is out.

    Rotations could be very weird tonight.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Kadeem Allen get the other 2-way slot. I doubt he’ll amount to much but his numbers at Arizona weren’t terrible and he’s been pretty damn good with the Westies this season.

    Also, with nothing better to do while brutally hungover on a Sunday morning I put together a best case scenario of sorts for the Knicks next season and going forward:

    Ja Morant (rookie scale for the 4th pick–4/$31.7M)
    THJ (2/$37M remaining, yuck)
    Durant (4/$162.5M)
    Knox (3/$14.1M remaining until RFA)
    KP (5/$156.6M…I know it’s happening but I’m never going to be fully comfortable with this)
    Mitch Rob (3/$5.02M remaining)
    Dotson (RFA after next year at $1.6M)
    Ntilikina (2/$11M until RFA)
    Vonleh (room exception–2/$9.9M)
    Trier (1/$3.5M team option and then RFA)

    -Courtney Lee is traded for expirings
    -Every FA excepted KP and Vonleh is renounced
    -The other roster spots can go to second round picks, etc.

    It’s definitely not a bad team. We wouldn’t have any real cap space for a while aside from the MLE in the summer of 2020. Could it make the finals in the East? Maybe if you project pretty aggressive improvement from KP, Mitch Rob, Frank, etc.

    Overall I’d be happy with it.

    On the Westchester site, Trevon Bluiett is listed as having a two-way. Interesting. He definitely had some moments in college, but he’s pretty old. Better than Hicks though.


    If we start next season with Morant + Durant I would count that as a huge success. There are concerns of course with this roster’s depth, how KD is gonna age, if Morant’s production in college will translate, how KP will return etc, but it’s close to a best case scenario.

    The best case scenario for me is drafting Zion and getting Durant, then flipping Knox for a starting guard, but that’s even more unlikely.

    The best case scenario for me is drafting Zion and getting Durant, then flipping Knox for a starting guard, but that’s even more unlikely.

    Maybe Knox, Mitch Rob, THJ, and a first would be enough for Lillard? Not saying I would do it but it’s probably what we’d need to put up to be competitive for him.

    I think it definitely is, as I think Knox’s perceived value around the league is high. I’d do that trade easily without Robinson included, but I like Lillard more than most people do.

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