Knicks Morning News (2019.07.17)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Notes: Morris, Bullock, Vonleh
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 2:14:20 PM)

    After officially announcing their deals with Marcus Morris and Reggie Bullock today, the Knicks appear to be just about done with free agency. Damyean Dotson‘s salary for 2019/20 became fully guaranteed because he remained on the roster through Monday, so New York is now carrying 15 players on guaranteed deals. The team has also exhausted […]

  • [YahooSports] Report: After two-year, $21 million deal falls apart, Knicks signing Reggie Bullock for less than room exception
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 3:22:19 PM)

    Reggie Bullock agreed to a two-year, $21 million contract with the Knicks. He’ll get far less. A health issue became apparent before the original deal was finalized.

  • [YahooSports] Charles Oakley on the Knicks’ new roster: ‘They got maybe one ‘B’ and a lot of ‘C’s’
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 11:25:40 PM)

    NBA free agency has been winding down for a while now, and not many people are impressed with the New York Knicks’ latest effort. As the Brooklyn Nets landed star free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Knicks landed … power forwards. In one of the most transformative offseasons the NBA has ever seen, the Knicks barely seemed to move.

  • [Sports Illustrated] Charles Oakley Grades Knicks Says They Have No ‘A’ Players
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 2:11:41 PM)

    Former Knicks All-Star Charles Oakley thinks New York hasn’t made the grades with its recent free agency acquisitions. 

  • [FOXsports] Knicks finalize contracts with Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 3:07:57 PM)

    New York Knicks finalize contracts with Marcus Morris and Reggie Bullock, 2 of their offseason additions

  • [SNY Knicks] Why former Knick Emmanuel Mudiay believes in David Fizdale and ex-teammates
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 6:47:12 PM)

    Emmanuel Mudiay may no longer be with the Knicks, but the point guard was beaming with optimism about some of his former coaches and teammates.

  • [SNY Knicks] Free agent Reggie Bullock finally signs deal with Knicks
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:50:44 AM)

    The Knicks and Reggie Bullock have finally reached a deal, signing a two-year pact for less than the $4.7 million exception, his agent David Bauman told SNY’s Ian Begley.

  • [SNY Knicks] ‘Which Robinson?’: Former Knicks Nate Robinson or Mitchell Robinson
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 3:39:39 PM)

    Former Knicks point guard and three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Nate Robinson stopped by the SNY studios to play a little game we like to call “Which Robinson?”

  • [ESPN] Knicks sign free agent Bullock to 2-year deal
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 10:50:29 AM)

    Free agent Reggie Bullock, who averaged 11.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 63 combined games for the Pistons and Lakers last season, has signed with the Knicks.

  • [NBA] New York Knicks Sign Reggie Bullock and Marcus Morris
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 8:34:22 AM)

    NEW YORK, NY (July 16, 2019) – The New York Knicks announced today that the team has signed guard-forward Reggie

  • [NYPost] Marcus Morris addition gives Knicks underwhelming top duo
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 9:19:23 AM)

    There’s a bunch of starry tandems in the NBA this season: the Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Nets’ Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Rockets’ James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. The Knicks? They now have Julius Randle and Marcus…

  • [NYPost] Knicks finalize re-worked deal with Reggie Bullock
    (Tuesday, July 16, 2019 7:04:14 AM)

    The Knicks made the Reggie Bullock deal official Tuesday morning. Though it hit a bump because of health issues, Bullock ultimately agreed to a two-year deal at less than the $4.7 million exception with a team option for the second year, a source told The Post’s Marc Berman. Bullock himself announced the signing, tweeting, “Done…

  • 89 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2019.07.17)”

    I don’t buy the whole argument that the talent level for this team is of the 17-win caliber. My from perspective, it was clear that Fizdale had to accomplish oppositional goals:

    1. Develop the young talent
    2. Get the worst record
    3. Play competitively in games
    4. Develop a culture of personal growth

    One would have to be blind to not notice the irregular substitution patterns Fiz used…until they clinched the worst record. Then, starting with the very next game, the substitutions became fewer and more consistent. Not surprisingly, they won most of those games-granted those were late season gimmies. But the first step towards becoming a better team is to win games like that.

    I wasn’t the only one to notice this. P&T mentioned this, and Adam Silver tepid response to the Knicks’ competitiveness spoken volumes about what he was really thinking.

    I’m not arguing that the team was THAT much better, but that I’m thinking they purposefully underachived (in terms of wins and losses) to maximize draft position.

    I didn’t notice that exactly, but I’m sure it is true. I did notice that the team “misused” certain players by having them work on certain types of offense that they weren’t very good at.

    Well, benching starters, like Kanter and DeAndre later, made that obvious.

    “The Knicks’ goal is to win – not tank – in 2019/20, according to Berman, who speculates that Morris and Julius Randle may end up being the team’s starting forward tandem, with 2018 lottery pick Kevin Knox moving to the bench.”

    This is a positive development, Not the winning part, the benching of Knox part. It speaks to holding young players accountable.

    Last year, bringing in Vonleh, Mudiay and Hezonja…giving significant minutes to Kornet, Ellenson and Allen…benching Kanter and DAJ, speaks to abject tanking. Letting all the scrubs go in favor of established vets on 1-year deals speaks to a more serious attempt to be competitive and win. The Atlantic Division is brutal, though, and the rest of the league is not going to be very accommodating. 30 wins, maybe…which feels way better than 17 but might seem counterproductive….should signal to the league and to FAs that no one is guaranteed anything and that you have to produce to be a part of this team’s future.

    The best players should play. If a rookie/young guy is good enough to start or crack the rotation, great. If he’s not, too bad, keep working. Shouldn’t that be the case for every team in every sport? I guess tanking had it’s purpose, but I hope we are past that and try to win games from here on out. We have a bunch of young guys, a bunch of solid vets who will battle in practice and everyone will either get better or hit the road. We have flexibility to make moves in December. I hope Fizdale can coach because he sure couldn’t recruit. Also, I’m sick of hearing from Charles F’n Oakley. Loved him as a player but tired of his act.

    As we fret about our young players losing time to the vets, it’s worth mentioning that, even though it seems obvious, there is no evidence that playing more minutes helps a 19 or 20 year old player develop better. In fact, there is even evidence that seems to indicate it doesn’t matter if a 20 year old plays 400 minutes or 2,000 minutes. The thing that is going to help him most is simply aging.

    Take Knox, for example. Let’s say he plays half the minutes and takes half the shots. But he does it while watching and learning from veterans who actively work with him on getting better. Is he really going to be worse off than if he has another season like last year?

    I know repetition is invaluable but I think the kids can get repetition as much in practice as in games, and having better players to practice against could be better than having extra minutes of getting your ass handed to you. There’s only so much you can learn from a 17 win season.

    I agree..especially in Knox’ case. As far as DSJ, Trier, Dotson, and RJ- there are no vets at their positions that are better than them while MitchRob is the only center we have and the best option there. I would even go as far to say that Ntilikina and Payton are at almost equal. I don’t think Payton was the right “veteran” PG to go after. I still say we should have taken Dragic off of Miami’s hands as opposed to going after Ellington and Bullock.

    @1, this is the hope I am desperately clinging to: that Fiz only seemed like an idiot last year because the goal was to tank, and because the roster was so devoid of NBA-ready talent. This year, they are trying to win, and the roster has a lot of guys who would at least be rotation players on good teams. We still may not be good — Jared Dubin has stats on how much 17-win teams improve the following year, and they aren’t pretty — but I at least expect to see a coherent offensive system, and more effort on defense. (And, ideally, a sensible rotation, but there are so many decent guys now that I won’t blame him for trying different combinations for a while.) If we’re the same clown car we were last season, then Fiz is the used car salesman we all fear.

    From Kevin Pelton in Jan 2018:

    My player projections rely exclusively on age without consideration for experience, because I’ve found no improvement in terms of predicting development when experience is factored in. If you run a regression on players with at least 500 minutes played both seasons, adding experience doesn’t improve the correlation with change in their player win percentage (the per-minute version of my wins above replacement player metric, akin to PER) at all as compared to just considering age.

    I agree with this from personal experience. I get better by working on form and different things in practice. Actual matches are good to gain experience what to do when, but you are just as likely to reinforce bad habits as good ones when you play actual games.

    I know repetition is invaluable but I think the kids can get repetition as much in practice as in games,and having better players to practice against could be better than having extra minutes of getting your ass handed to you. There’s only so much you can learn from a 17 win season.

    While I generally agree once the season begins and you are playing 82 game in 180 nights there is virtually no 5 on 5 practice time.

    I just hope accountability is #1 this season. Let the best players play the most minutes. This is big boy basketball. If Knox or Trier or even Mitch dogs it on defense, set their ass down and tell them, “Geez…. you looked tired out there maybe that’s why you were dogging it on defense”

    If Frank can’t beat Ellington and Bullock out for PT then Sayonara baby…. Same for Knox, Trier, Dotson et al.

    Sports is supposed to be a meritocracy.

    @7 Thanks for the link.
    It’s hard to know what he did without more info than he gave. But the conclusion that experience doesn’t matter seems premature as well as counter counterintuitive. Minutes increase with age in the teacher he’s looking at. So, the absence of an incremental benefit from minutes in predicting his outcome is expected for obvious reasons he doesn’t seem to realize. They are colinear- not independent. He shouldn’t expect a valid estimate for either if both are in his model.

    the biggest thing we can do for our win total is getting mitch to play over 2000 hopefully close to 2400…. the second best thing we can do is play knox under 1000 hopefully under 500 and give those minutes entirely to morris/bullock….

    those two things alone would make up the majority of a win total improvement….

    @13 I might be missing something, but just because there is some collinearity between two variables, doesn’t imply that you can’t estimate independent effects, no?

    Some players are young and have already played a lot of minutes in their first and second years. Other players are older and haven’t played nearly as many. Players enter the league at different ages. All of this variance (with a reasonable sample size) should allow for a model to provide estimates for the independent effects of age and minutes.

    I don’t like the “it’s simple, the best players should play” argument because it really isn’t that simple.

    Teams have to make informed decisions and players have both subjective and objective value around the league. The Knicks will soon have to start making decisions on guys like Knox, Ntilikina and DSJ, and how can they know what they can provide if they don’t get put in game situations? Also, the trade value of a player is related to the production they show and the minutes they play, so if we want to turn some of those young guys, or even the vets signed, into assets they need to play too. Nobody will trade for a veteran dude who can’t crack the Knicks rotation, and no one will trade for a young guy who has had no chance to show anything on the court.

    So no, I really don’t think it’s that simple. If you simply play whoever produces better, ignoring contracts and other aspects of team building, you’re not maximizing the possible value of your assets, which is generally a good way to guarantee you just stay a bad team. Also, playing better also comes in levels: if a veteran player on a one year contract outperforms a young player on a 3 year rookie contract by a very slight amount, wouldn’t it be better to focus development on the guy you have guaranteed on your team on a value contract?

    We can’t tell the value of players if there not in actual games, but the coaches see them in practice and then they will have preseason.

    Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three.says:

    I’m always suspect of studies that try to find correlations between minutes and other things.

    Minutes are generally allocated based on merit, injuries, team circumstances, etc… So you really have no way of isolating whether getting more minutes makes you a better player, getting better as a player earns you more minutes, or some injury or other circumstance lead to a change in minutes.

    Personally, I think taking time to work on specific weaknesses in practice is how you get better at the fastest rate because of the heavy repetition, but you also have to try to execute those things in live action because executing in practice and games are two different things. There’s probably some perfect balance, but I have no idea what it would be.

    Practice is definitely more important than game minutes. The catch is practice and repetition need to be done correctly or they are damaging to development.

    If you practice wrong you play wrong. Fizdale probably will screw up another set of players for us…

    Did anyone listen to the Ryan Saunders episode of Lowe Post from the other day? His anecdote about Wiggins dunking on Greg Stiemsma in practice left me speechless.

    Not because of some rare athletic feat or talent, but because apparently Saunders gets tumescently optimistic over his 25-year-old max player dunking on a retired, 34-year-old role player who flamed out of the league half a decade ago.

    Playing guys in games may not help their development, but it does give you information you can use to see how they are or are not developing.

    Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three.says:

    I agree that it’s not as simple “play the best players”.

    I think team and lineup construction is pretty important. You have assess the skillset of each individual player and try to put complimentary pieces on the court together so you maximize the sum of the parts.

    That’s where I think we still have some issues this year.

    We’ve improved the talent level, but there aren’t a lot of obvious lineup combinations that make me feel like we are putting a well balanced team on the court in terms of skills. It feels like every time we try to address one possible shortcoming we are going to create another one.


    But you miss the point here: yeah, our coaches can probably gauge a players level by practice interactions, but the rest of the league can’t. That makes a difference when we’re talking about assets. Also, we have always heard about players who are great at practice but can’t seem to produce in real games and vice versa, so I really really doubt practice is that important in terms of evaluating production. It can be for development, I sincerely don’t know, but for asset management and evaluation it is not enough.

    Practice is definitely more important than game minutes. The catch is practice and repetition need to be done correctly or they are damaging to development.

    If you practice wrong you play wrong.

    I agree with this. And it’s why I think the kids might benefit more from having these guys here this year than playing more minutes.

    I also think that was the Front Office’s goal, and I find it to be a fairly credible Plan B.

    I do wonder if Minnesota would consider trading Towns with the caveat of attaching Wiggins to him. He just signed a 5 year deal so they could trade him basically anywhere and demand a king’s ransom for him, and this superstar climate suggest than an unhappy presence in your locker room can deteriorate a lot of the work you’re trying to do. The only issue is that every asset you’d demand in return for Karl Anthony Towns can’t happen if you’re asking a team to take on 4 years of Andrew Wiggins at $30M AAV. Any hopes of getting what Presti got for his two superstars goes out of the window because Wiggins is truly dreadful.

    Long story short, I can’t think of a worse situation than the one Minnesota is in. They’re paying max dollars for one of the worst players in the league, Towns is not good enough for them to overcome the Wiggins deal in the Western Conference, and you’re going to be so bad/mediocre that you’re guaranteed to lose Towns to free agency when that time comes.

    Milwaukee would be an interesting team to look at if Towns ends up on the trade block. They don’t have the young pieces you’d look for, but they could offer you their draft picks for the next decade and take on Wiggins. When you have Giannis and Towns together, it should be pretty easy to get over the Wiggins money and still field a contender as long as ownership isn’t afraid of the luxury tax.

    @23, if I thought our management was trying to trade guys then, indeed, you would need to play them in public. But I don’t think our management hired them as trade chips; they just want a team with enough NBA level players and they want good competition for playing time. Anyway, the board was discussing how to pick the starters, and my comment was aimed at that.

    I don’t think reduced minutes hurt the trade value of a young player (or an older player for that matter). I think what hurts the trade value of any player is losing. Any player on a 17 win team (with the exception in our case of Robinson) is going to be considered a distressed asset, some more than others obviously.

    If this team is winning 30 to 40 games and Knox is playing a lot less minutes but looks better in those minutes than he did last year, his value goes up, not down. Rising tides raise all boats.

    Long story short, I can’t think of a worse situation than the one Minnesota is in.

    I agree. To make matters worse, if they hadn’t paid Wiggins, they could have had the money to sign Butler, who would stayed, but just wanted to get paid.

    There’s a very good chance that our ‘Bockers are going to be one of the very worst teams in the NBA, even with all of the Taj Gibsons and Marcus Morrises doing the whole “play the game the right way” thing. If this team comes out with all of these vets and wins like 22 games, that kind of means the plan didn’t work, no?

    @29 if the plan doesn’t work, though, we get a high draft pick and can let the pointless vets go be pointless elsewhere.

    Since prevailing wisdom in the NBA seems to be that you can’t win much with just role players, it’s very interesting and hard to predict how this Knicks team will do

    I think 22 wins would be seen as a failure, despite the flexibility the contracts provide. Perry’s clear goal is to remake the team’s image. To do that, he wants some wins. He also wants agents and players to feel good about playing for the team. Whatever criticisms we may have about team building and talent assessment (and there are many), I think it’s safe to say that he has been somewhat successful in this effort so far. Fiz may seem a snake-oil salesman to us, but players seem to love him. And Bullock’s agent went out of his way to praise the FO for how they handled the situation.

    There’s a lot to clean up, but in terms of business dealings, I think Perry is doing a good job.

    I just wish he had some idea of how to build a team….

    @29 if the plan doesn’t work, though, we get a high draft pick and can let the pointless vets go be pointless elsewhere.

    This is the most likely outcome. Most of the vets will be traded by the deadline I believe, that was the point of the 1 or 2 year deals would be my guess

    And Bullock’s agent went out of his way to praise the FO for how they handled the situation.

    They still signed him after he failed a physical and might just miss the season outright. They better be happy with Perry!

    still field a contender as long as ownership isn’t afraid of the luxury tax.

    They just let probably their second best player in the playoffs leave over luxury tax concerns, so I’m thinking that would be a no.

    Yeah, I’m with DRed, the argument for playing the young guys isn’t so much about helping them develop (who knows), it’s about getting a big enough sample to draw a conclusion about how they’re developing. Would you rather pick up Knox’s third year option next year with a 2000mp sample or a 400mp one? The opportunity cost for this plan is compounded because we also get a worse draft pick from playing our mercenary vets with no perceivable benefit. This off-season and all future plans associated with it are a Dutch Book.

    I think there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the vast majority of improvement for players occurs during the offseason…. that’s not to say that players don’t improve with game time but if that was mostly the case then i think we would see more evidence of players sustaining improvement over the course of the season AND take that into the next season….

    that happens.. but i think that’s pretty rare just based off of my observations…. i think pelton’s lil study makes sense….

    The Bullock signing does seem like an utterly pointless waste of $8,000,000

    1. Our mercenary vets could be brought back if they’re good. Not all of them are old. Morris, Elfrid, Portis…all young enough to be part of the future core if we want. And Randle is clearly brought in as foundation piece.

    2. The draft odds are flattened and don’t hurt non tanking shitty teams as much any more. The Lakers got the 4th pick. NO got the number one pick. Tanking doesn’t give you a huge advantage anymore. Is the slight percentage advantage of tanking worth being a 17 to 20 win team again and potentially turning off future stars from wanting to play here?

    Scenario A:
    19-win team
    #5 pick at worst, roughly 50% of winning lotto

    Scenario B:
    32-win team
    Likely #10 or worse pick, 14% chance of winning lotto
    Whatever cred comes with winning 32 games

    Sorry fellas, scenario A still seems better to me. This team is probably going to do the accidentitank so I’m not really sweating it either way.


    In response to 1, that’s only an argument for guys who you can get for a below market deal. If any of these guys have a banner two years, we only have early bird rights on them. That means we’d be paying market rate (or above) to keep them. You don’t build a good team with market rate contracts–market rate contracts are only good for getting over the championship hump. Theres little to no chance of getting value on a UFA contract on a relatively promising 25 year old. It will help put a watchable product on the floor, but it hurts us long term, imo.

    2. Yes, sacrificing our pick position to “look good” to FAs is a net loss. First, the percentages are still better the lower you go, and lower picks ensure that you don’t drop too far in the lottery (and we are a lottery team, make no mistake).

    A 41 win team composed of mercenaries doesn’t look good to AD or Giannis. A 41 win team composed of cost controlled guys, on the other hand, does look good. The way you get cost controlled guys is by signing below market value contracts, the best way to do that is by getting the most and best assets possible, which means draft picks. If you want a sustainably good team, this is not how you get one. It’s just another moonshot attempt to fool AD or Giannis into thinking they want to play in the “Mecca” on the way to a second round or ECF exit. Or that’s how I see it.

    The only reason this strategy was going to work the first time was that KD was uninjured and literally obsessed with public perception of his legacy. He was the domino that would ensure a successful free agency. That’s not a replicable strategy in the short, medium, or long term.


    NOLA, Memphis and the Lakers moved up, but the Bulls, Wizards, Hawks, Hornets, Wolves all didn’t. You can easily win 22 games and pick 7th like the Bulls did. So yeah, if you end up moving up like New Orleans did, you’re very happy. Would you be happier with 22 wins and the 7th pick than you would be with 17 wins and the 3rd? Or the 5th, which would have been our worst case scenario?

    Dolan is getting killed again today because of the MSG press release that deals with the Daily News, but to me it just looks like two 3rd graders fighting between MSG and the Daily News. The Daily News isn’t the Athletic or the Wall Street Journal.

    And Randle is clearly brought in as foundation piece.

    I think he’s more brought in as a temporary foundation piece, if that makes sense. Simply put, the team needs a guy who can score with relative efficiency on high usage as part of the goal to achieve competence. He’s young and talented enough that he could be part of the long-term core. But he’s also expensive and flawed enough that he could easily be jettisoned in two years if better players are available via trade/FA, or if the kids develop enough that we don’t need his services at a high salary.

    The Knicks are definitely starting Julius Randle and he’ll likely be the guy we run our offense through from game 1. The best passer on our roster is RJ Barrett so he’s probably the guy we need to be featuring, but I suspect Fizdale is going to let him grow into that role while Randle does most of the heavy lifting.

    My dark horse starter is definitely Frank Ntilikina. He started last season through the first two rotations and I think as long as he’s healthy he’s our best perimeter defender. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like Smith Jr, Frank, Barrett, Randle, and Robinson.

    @42 when did the odds of “winning the lotto” go from 14% to 50%? If by winning you mean top 3 pick ok. I am with the flattened-odds-changed-the-tanking-need team.

    The plan is not to win 42 games with a team of mercenaries. The plan is to win 42 games with mercenaries plus cost controlled assets like Mitch, RJ and whoever else emerges (maybe Randle gets to All Star level this year or next with one year left of an efficient contract). One or both of those guys needs to emerge as top 30 players. The FO knows this. They are just trying to put some lipstick on it in the short term and take some of the pressure of 19 and 20 year olds to win games by themselves. No question they brought in too many vets though. Other than that I don’t mind it so long as Mitch and RJ are really good.

    @42 when did the odds of “winning the lotto” go from 14% to 50%? If by winning you mean top 3 pick ok. I am with the flattened-odds-changed-the-tanking-need team.

    You get roughly a 50% chance at a top four pick. Most years, there’s gonna be somebody pretty interesting left on the board at #4.

    That’s not winning the lotto. Winning is winning. We have had 2 top 4 picks in the last 5 years now. So we have won the lotto 2x I guess and we still stink. The KP year was a supposed “loaded” draft that turned out shit and this year is a supposed “thin” draft that who knows maybe Zion eats his way out of the league in 3 years.

    Plus we have 2 extra picks from a team that right now is lottery bound. Plus we have the Charlotte 2nd rounders which look great. We are not short on draft capital right now. We really aren’t. Now making good picks is another discussion. But tbh the only REALLY bad one so far has been Knox which has been made up for by Mitch.

    Tanking is passive, boring, lazy and don’t guarantee success.
    Spurs hate it. I hate it.

    It just seems like we pick ninth a lot and miss out on the really good players in the draft and end up with garbage. I’d like to stop doing that, because fuck that.

    Doesn’t really matter because this ragtag gang of market value veterans and replacement level young players is going to tank just fine organically.

    shit in one hand, wish in the other…see which fills up first…

    new york knickerbocker expectations in a nutshell…

    clue, the heavy hand is the one with poo…and, wears orange and blue…


    Yeah, they should have sent us Tim Duncan when they drafted him to keep their integrity as a franchise!

    @55 David Robinson wanted to go for MVP the previous season but their FO broke his leg to go for THE PROCESS !

    Is there any successful Obvious-tanking so far ?
    I’d call the sixers constant tanking as ridiculous and failed BUT they had the LUCK to get the unique injury prone talent of Jojo on No3 and now seem like tanking winners-experts.

    There’s still plenty of value in racking up losses, just not as much as their used to be. I can’t imagine this team does better than 30 wins and it’s probably closer to 25 but still. If it were on the backs of our long term cost controlled players improving that’d be fine. But wins propelled by rented vets aren’t very compelling. There’s a possibility that it’s not a complete fuckup but I suspect Dolan has mandated wins and the Knicks will be making choices based on that instead of focusing on development and the future.

    When half of the best players in the league don’t come from lottery picks it’s lazy and shows lack of basketball knowledge to miss year after year just to get a great talent easily.
    With that kind of philosophy even when you get this special talent you won’t be able to build a contender around him (KP example) cause youre bball clueless.

    I personally don’t love tanking but I certainly don’t love whatever this current plan is. If we signed a couple of veterans and was still planning on leaning hard on our future prospects I’d have no problem with winning 30ish games this year. Instead, we filled the rotation with mediocre veterans and most of our youth won’t even be in the rotation. I would bet money that 5 of the top 8 players in minutes next year will be new players we just signed.

    The “build a winning culture” slogan sounds shit, dated and banal but its actually true.
    Check out the champion teams and you’ll see it.

    Bringing up the Spurs with Duncan is such a red herring. That team did not TANK in the traditional sense. They were a plus 50 win team for years with Robinson. He got hurt and they “tanked” the last part of the season that year and then got EXTREMELY lucky to land the number one pick. They did not have the worst record in the league. In fact, if I remember correctly, people were pissed that a team that wasn’t actually bad got the top pick and the odds were changed after that year (which made tanking more valuable).

    but now the odds have been flattened back again, so a spurs like situation, where a “good” bad team jumps up is far more likely to happen.

    Also, we aren’t going to win games just off the backs of our vets. Mitch and Barrett will play a lot of minutes and I suspect Knox and DSJ will play a decent amount too. If people around the league see that we have two 20 year olds (Barrett and Mitch) contributing to wins, they’re gonna see a nice foundation in place for the future.

    I’m not sure that this will convince the “full-blown tank” crowd, but take a look at the data below, which suggests that there is not much difference in drafting top 5 vs. #9 to justify tanking in today’s flattened odds world. If you tank, your most likely outcome is picking #5.

    Here are the number of players picked #9 or later in the top 10 in VORP for their draft year vs. the difference-makers drafted in the top 5:

    2006: 7 (1 LMA)
    2007: 6 (3 Durant Horford Conley)
    2008: 7 (3 Westbrook, Rose, Love)
    2009: 5 (2 Blake, Harden)
    2010: 5 . (1 Wall)
    2011: 9 . (1 Kyrie)
    2012: 7 (2 Davis, Beal)
    2013: 7 (0)
    2014: 7 (1 Embiid)
    2015: 7 (1-3 Towns [KP. DAR tbd])
    2016: 7 (1 Simmons)
    2017: 8 (2? Tatum? Fox?)

    It seems that the odds of finding a difference-maker that would justify a full-out tank are somewhere around 30%, and even most of those guys are perennial all-stars but not necessarily true superstars. It would seem that there is little harm from advancing from a 17-win team to a 30-35 win team, so long as your front office can consistently evaluate talent so that those picks at #9 and below yield good players.

    It would seem that there is little harm from advancing from a 17-win team to a 30-35 win team, so long as your front office can consistently evaluate talent so that those picks at #9 and below yield good players.

    Okay, well these guys drafted Kevin Knox because he was good in a 3-on-3 game. So that’s kind of the problem in a nutshell.

    Let’s not forget that what made tanking work for Philly is that they gambled on Embiid and then got “lucky” that he got hurt enough to not play so that they could win the lottery and draft Simmons. Then they got “lucky” again and Simmons got hurt and were able to draft Fultz. It seems that the rebuilding teams that abjectly tanked multiple years generally did not rebuild any faster than teams who stayed in the mediocre range for multiple years.

    @64 exactly! The problem is not where we’re drafting…it’s our drafting methodology at the top of the draft. Seems like we do much better in the second round and with UFAs, when the stakes are lower and there’s no pressure to buy into hype.

    For us to be a playoff team Julius Randle has to turn into Blake Griffin (4.4 VORP vs a 1.4 VORP), Mitch has to be Mitch, and we need Dennis Smith Jr to turn into Eric Bledsoe. I don’t think RJ Barrett will be the worst player in basketball next season and that his secondary stats should keep him closer to a 0.0 VORP than we’d expect for a guy with his shooting issues. Also, can we acknowledge (at least for a second) that we were an overachieving bunch over the first month of the season? Before December 1st and the tank got serious, we were on a 35 win pace (7-16 over our 1st 23 games). We won 10 games after December 1st. Ten. Maybe with a different mandate, our coach can squeeze some more wins out of this year’s Knicks? Also, we don’t have Mudiay and Kanter eating up minutes at the most important positions in basketball.

    I’ll mark my line in the sand today. The 2019-2020 Knicks will go 36-46 and barely miss the playoffs.

    I have long been a proponent of the idea that you can get a quality player at any point in the first round, and a superstar somewhere in the lottery, but let’s not act like there’s a slim margin between a top pick and a late lottery pick.

    Ideally, we would pick #1-5 over the next three years and demand a king’s ransom for teams looking to trade up to win a project player like Barrett, and simply pick sure things like Zion when possible.

    Clarke, #8 and #35 likely could have been had for the #3. Let’s not act like that would have been anything but a W for the Knicks.

    Yes, Barrett might become a star and Clarke might top out around ~3 BPM and a solid role player. But getting three prospects instead of one is a good deal unless you are giving up a player like Zion, who is so dominant that his success seems preordained.

    So I’m in agreement, but it’s still better to have a high lottery pick than a late one, from a pre-draft perspective.

    If your FO sucks Not even Zion and KD’s holy trinity can save you !
    So i guess it’s even better to not having a great talent and camouflage your FO problems so that the FO would have to ‘work’ or get fired.

    We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mills is both a terrible negotiator and a terrible talent evaluator. Perry is more of a mixed bag, but he’s made some very unsettling moves prior to getting here and some dubious decisions since he arrived. So while I have no real problem with the FO choosing to put together a modestly competitive team rather than tanking I continue to be deeply concerned with the decisions they are making within that strategy.

    Its a ‘make or miss’ ‘superstar’ ‘FO’ league after all !

    The 2019-2020 Knicks will go 36-46 and barely miss the playoffs.

    Despite the black depths of his posts, I keep finding myself in sad agreement with JK47. I don’t actively dislike anyone on the team at the moment, individually as basketball players (which is a big difference from previous years, cough-Mudiay, ahem-Rose, etc.). But I think the roster as currently composed makes absolutely no sense. And while a genius coach could perhaps find a way to juggle the demented composition into something functional, I just don’t think Fiz is that coach.

    I’d love to be proven wrong, but my little pit in the sand is 26-56.

    So I’m in agreement, but it’s still better to have a high lottery pick than a late one, from a pre-draft perspective.

    Obviously, but getting a high lottery pick by abjectly tanking has side effects. If you do it in the wrong year, or pick the wrong player, you are choosing to have a team with no difference-makers that make an impact quickly and knock you out of the best spots in the lottery. If the Sixers drafted a healthy Embiid, they probably don’t get Simmons. If they draft a healthy Simmons and Embiid stays healthy, they don’t get the opportunity to trade up for Fultz (oof!) And if you are lousy at evaluating talent anyway, even when you strike gold, it doesn’t make much difference, as it didn’t for Minny when they drafted Towns or for NO when they drafted AD.

    I guess what I’m saying is that smart GMs can accomplish more without tanking than dumb GMs accomplish with tanking, especially with pitfalls suggested by the stats I posted above. This regime can’t really be trusted with the task of making tanking work. It might be better for them to keep landing good 2nd rounders and UFAs and finding high-floor/low ceiling cap eaters like Randle until they can hit a home run in free agency.

    Successful FO means Championship getter.
    Not only draft pick hoarder.
    Not only talent evaluator.
    Not only starplayers recruiter.
    Not only great negotiator.
    Not only salary cap wizard.
    But all of these together with obvious results: Championships.

    Despite the black depths of his posts, I keep finding myself in sad agreement with JK47. I don’t actively dislike anyone on the team at the moment, individually as basketball players

    Getting above the 30-win mark will be a very tough task if everyone basically stays on their college/career trajectory. I don’t see very many teams worst than us on paper, even with the new additions. CLE, CHO, and MEM for sure, WAS, CHI and PHX possibly, and that’s about it.

    Last year we blew out the Hawks opening night. The guys who played real minutes were Frank, Timmy, Kanter, Burke and Thomas starting and Baker, Trier, Knox, Hezonjah and Vonleh off the bench. I still don’t know who the best player of that group is.

    I was just watching some highlights of Mitch’s summer league. I know it sounds like hyperbole from a rabid and delusional fan, but could he possibly be one of the greatest athletic specimens ever the play in the NBA? His combination of speed, size, length, agility, instincts, motor…less so strength…I truly can’t find anyone to compare him to. There’s just so many things to marvel at with him. He made a couple of plays on off-line passes that required a serious adjustment in mid-air, and he did it so effortlessly and smoothly. He seems to have a nose for the rim. He blocks 3-pointers and beats everyone down the floor. Kuz had like five assists to him where he recognized that once he gets the ball that close to the basket, there is just no stopping him. Even Knox is starting to catch on. He’s every bit as impressive with touch around the rim and on shot blocking form and timing than AD ever was, and yet he’s an even longer, better athlete! Agility-length-speed wise, no one’s highlight reel looks like his, except maybe young Wilt. I know it sounds crazy, but he did a lot of record-setting shit last year, right?

    Put another way…imagine if I told you 3 years ago that we were going to trade away Porzingis for picks and scrubs, yet he is going to be surpassed by a freak of nature generational second-round pick?

    @80 – I agree. It’s more than just a knack. I’ve rewound the DVR a couple of times when he’s blocked a perimeter shot. Those are open shots he’s blocking. His reach is astounding. But that’s half of it. How many players can control a blocked shot to himself? He’s still a kid and he’s growing. I think that, if healthy, he’ll become the real Unicorn.

    In reviewing his full highlight reel from last year, obviously you have to factor in that he was a foul machine and made plenty of blunders on the defensive end, got pushed around, etc. But the sheer combination of athleticism, coordination and speed….play after play after play….I’ve never seen anything like it. On specific plays, one by one, he destructed all of the league’s big men…AD, Embiid, Vucevic, Jonas, Horford, Adams, Drummond…he ran down and snuffed Harden, Westbrook, Kawhi…he made one acrobatic mid-air-adjustment layup or and-1 after another.

    This guy is the real deal.

    Oh no Z-Man please don’t start another Wilt discussion, I can’t take it (I agree with you, he’s so coordinated for a guy with his raw athleticism)

    Oh no Z-Man please don’t start another Wilt discussion, I can’t take it (I agree with you, he’s so coordinated for a guy with his raw athleticism)

    A wilt discussion would be silly…. but Russell…. there’s a perfect comp on the defensive end…. quick super athletic leaper/shot blocker with a more limited offensive game.

    Well, he’s weaker than Wilt but a much better FT shooter…..he’s not as much of a track/field-level athlete nor as smart as Russell but much taller and longer. I’ve been trying hard to come up with a valid comparison. Camby? Too small and narrow. Hakeem? Also smaller, but stronger and more skilled. Gobert? Much less athletic and agile, less of a motor, stronger. He’s pretty freakin’ unique.

    One encouraging thing about his summer league performance is that he seemed to be much more focused on defensive rebounding. I know the competition was nothing great, but technique is technique. He’s definitely been working on it.

    There is sort of a weird win-win kind of thing going on with this year’s team. If they play well, and contend for the 8th seed? Uh, okay! That might be somewhat interesting, and it would mean some of the veterans and some of the young guys played better than expected. If they stink, and have the worst record in the NBA? Fine! Top 5 pick coming our way, maybe higher! 2020 looks like a pretty nice draft.

    Worst case, they finish somewhere in between and finish like 11th in the conference. That’s the Dolan’s Razor outcome.

    Am I going over the top?

    Yes. Way, way, WAAAAAYYY over the top. Can we just enjoy the Knicks getting potentially a very good player in the 2nd round without comparing a guy who didn’t even start all season for a team that won just 17 games to Wilt and Russell?


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