2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Kings

Coming off of a resounding victory against the Golden State Warriors, the Knicks head to Sacramento to face a sputtering Kings team with an excellent chance to go OVER .500!

Hopefully Hali has a shitty game. It’d be swell if Quickley outdid him.

Let’s go, get a winning record, Knicks!

Liked it? Take a second to support Brian Cronin on Patreon!

333 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Kings”

  1. Not sure what the elbow patches say about Wally or the fact that Buddy Hield is one of his favorite players.

    I have a bad feeling I am going to have to listen to him all night….

    Oh thank god Walt is on it…

  2. Very nice loss for the Nets sans Durant,
    Detroit and Minnesota will be hard to outtank.

    Let’s go Knicks!

  3. How is it possible that DeMarcus Cousins shot 2-16 for 5 points with 5 turnovers as well?

    Also, how is it possible that Anthony Edwards has a -8.9 BPM this year across 325, about to sink even lower from his oh-fer performance tonight?

  4. Very impressive back to back wins for the Cavs against the Nets. How crazy is it that there is a very good chance both the Knicks and the Cavs will be over .500 after tonight?

  5. This looks like the second of a back-to-back. Lethargic play. I need to see some IQ.

  6. Elfrid should bring back his Magic hairdo just so I can distinguish him from Barrett. I genuinely thought RJ had hit that 3 for a bit and was immeasurably disappointed when the box score aggressively body-checked my illusion.

  7. I think the Celtics could use Richaun Holmes

    The Kevin Martin vibe I am getting from Tyrese watching him play in Sactown is quite strong.

    That guy was great in fantasy for a few years

  8. Mike Honcho:
    Elfrid should bring back his Magic hairdo just so I can distinguish him from Barrett. I genuinely thought RJ had hit that 3 for a bit and was immeasurably disappointed when the box score aggressively body-checked my illusion.

    RJ did hit the corner 3. Payton did not. The box score confirms it.

  9. Obi may never be a 20ppg scorer but if he sticks to the shots he’s been taking since coming back from his injury looks like he’ll be a very solid, efficient player.

  10. BigBlueAL:
    Obi may never be a 20ppg scorer but if he sticks to the shots he’s been taking since coming back from his injury looks like he’ll be a very solid, efficient player.

    that and not blatantly pushing off on his post spin moves…

  11. Randle is very tough to guard, you almost to have to always double team him and take your chances

  12. Still cannot believe Bagley got picked over Doncic. He looks so bad. What a kick in the pants for Kings fans!

  13. Ntilakilla: RJ did hit the corner 3. Payton did not. The box score confirms it.

    The box score on ESPN was wrongly filled out for a few minutes after the shot, apparently. It is nice to have that validated, though.

  14. DRed:
    So how did Reggie come up with this hairstyle?

    I assume the thought process was something like “What if Sideshow Bob’s hair tentacles started devouring each other?”

  15. i was about to write something nice about how good RJ’s rebounding is. He gets a ton of high value boards.

    And then he throws the ball to Halliburton.

    Tyrese looks pretty pretty pretty good.

  16. Two good plays in a row for Payton…

    Hali’s shot resembles Martin’s so much is scary…

    Don’t like the officiating at all…

  17. Mark my words, ye peons: the great Bagley-Randle rivalry will be the defining beef of our times.

  18. My goodness, Halliburton appears to be the exact type of player I thought Lonzo Ball would be.

    And Lonzo Ball was one of my great draft crushes.

    We could’ve had him and passed.

    Unforgivable.

  19. Ok it really is time for serious questions about Anthony Edwards, 2-12 tonight, continuing a truly hideous rookie season

  20. Burks, Quickley, Knox, Bullock and Payton combined: 5-25…

    Halliburton terrific: +/- -9
    Quickley decent: +/- +10
    Hooray for +/-!

  21. Pretty cruel that Bridges is lighting it up vs the Nuggets and our own Kevin Knox is stinking up the joint

  22. Yeh, the whole argument that Edwards was bad at Georgia because the rest of his teammates were terrible isnt aging well.

  23. Early Bird:
    Mikal Bridges is 29th in the NBA in BPM this year, but Knox will catch up anyday now

    Cmon now, we have RJ. Where would Bridges even play?

  24. On League Pass instead of commercials they just showed Knicks shooting around before the 3rd quarter and I kid you not Payton missed every single jumper he took while everyone else was basically making all their shots lol.

  25. Owen: Cmon now, we have RJ. Where would Bridges even play?

    Behind Burks at the wing spot

    Maybe take Iggy’s role as 15th man

  26. Mitch needs to put up strength, in the hands at least…

    I’m still disappointed with the referees…

  27. d-mar:
    Ok it really is time for serious questionsabout Anthony Edwards, 2-12 tonight, continuing a truly hideous rookie season

    I dropped his ass two weeks ago in my fantasy league. He’s looking like a bust already.

  28. RJ looked so fluid on the baseline jumper as the shot clock expired. If he regularly hits that shot, teams will send double teams, which should open things for Randle.

  29. Love it when Elfrid Payton is taking long 2s at the end of the shot clock

  30. If Bullock isn’t gonna pull from 3 then he really doesn’t need to be out there.

    Knicks have been trying to take the Kings inside and 1-on-1, and the offense just gotten gummed up.

  31. mase:
    we look tired…no three point shooting threat will do that

    I’ve noticed that the D gets leaky when guys get frustrated when the offense stalls for awhile.

  32. Shades of the Toronto game i.e. outside shooting now.

    Except these Kings aren’t as good as the Raps, so the Knicks need to grind out the quarter w/out going down to double-digits.

  33. Gotta play Mitch for the whole fourth if we wanna win this game

  34. The starting unit was a total offensive drag in thr 3rd. We ended the quarter with less than 75 points. And, again, it’s because our spacing is trash.

  35. Kings are getting too many 2nd chance opps and corralling the majority of wayward bounces right now.

    I know, SEGABABA and all. Just hope the Knicks can put together a good 5-minute stretch and take back the lead then tough it out. It’s there for them.

  36. Too many players shooting blanks, we’re 3-18 on threes,
    Burks is 2-11, Bullock 0-fer, Payton is Payton…

  37. Max:
    OMG Toppin, you’re not at Dayton anymore…

    Almost like he’s been really hurt by not having a full offseason for him to realize his college tricks won’t work anymore.

  38. Kings have played really hard on D. They’ve taken advantage of our lack of outside shooting.

  39. I’m getting a lil tired of this Haliburton kid…

    Not only has he been a pain, he’s scored 1-on-1 vs Knox twice.

  40. Must be nice to play D when you don’t have to worry about outside shooting beating you…

  41. Not our night…

    Almost like Halliburton has read this blog and was like “oh they think they like me now? Just a moment…”

  42. Z-man:
    I think it’s official…we fucked up in the draft

    Halli clearly outplayed Obi today. I’d say let’s revisit this in a year. But today is an L.

  43. We fucked up four consecutive clutch possessions because our PG can’t shoot and the other team double up the other players…

  44. I know Randle has probably too many limitations to build around him but damn is it satisfying to watch him bully people in the paint when he’s lasered in.

  45. DRed:
    we were due to lose a game because we couldn’t hit 3s

    The funny thing is that a better team definitely would’ve made us go nite-nite by the 4th. We got within 2, and had the Kings not remembered that they only have to guard the Knicks inside the arc and paint, we could’ve stolen this one.

  46. Barely over 90 points scored against the worst defense in the league (averaging more than 120 allowed),
    when the offense is stuck in the mud it’s hard to defend for 48 minutes…

  47. Mike Honcho:
    Can we trade Obi, Knox and Frank for Halliburton?

    What sucks is that you can clearly say that Halliburton kept the Knicks from tying the game and was most clutch.

  48. I might have to get the next edition of 2k so I can assemble the rightful backcourt of RJ, Halliburton and Bridges and weep bitter tears.

  49. Mitch’s FT was unwatchable…

    I love to see Randle pissed off, that’s the way to react, don’t take losses lightly…

  50. At times it looked like Randle was the best player on the floor, but he didn’t have the outside shooting around him to make the Kings pay for doubling him late.

  51. Randle seemed to will us back into it in the fourth. Frustrating loss that showed how truly thin this roster can be, but I’ll take 1-1 on a west coast back-to-back. IQ wasn’t exactly lighting it up but Payton looked listless – looking forward to getting more guards back

  52. The back-to-back effect was there, they crawled in the second half.

    Alas, it was a winnable game, but you can’t win when Payton, Burks, Bullock, Knox and Quickley shot a combined 11-44, no team could win with that.

    Do we consider the other team lucky when we shot 5-22 (22,7%) on threes or luck only applies to us?

    Randle with another good game, I love the way he bullied Bagley, and so did Barrett (6th in a row), a little unlucky on a couple of shots that rimmed out.

    Mitch need to get better with his hands (and learn to shoot FTs), he was stripped too many times tonight, Holmes gave him troubles all night but all the defense (DefReb in particular) suffers when is out, Noel is a good rim protector but an inferior all-around defender.

    Defense was good and the effort was there, but offense could be a real problem, our starting five has terrible spacing and desperately lacks shooting.

    We already know we fucked up the lottery pick, Hali’s play tonight rub it in our faces…

    I’d still rather have a so-so Quickley that a listless Payton, but Thibs continue to piss me off on that.

    Next stop Portland, without McCollum and Nurkic, I’m eager to watch Payton show his “stellar defense” on Dame…

  53. rj was impressive again…. that midrange game is starting to look nba viable…. and his 3s are starting to fall now…. this could be all coming together for him and it’s pretty visible … the only thing really missing in all this is the steals/blocks but that can be really volatile as 3s as they can come in bunches so not terribly worried….

    it’s pretty clear that this team is randle.. mitch and now rj…. and if we get someone else contributing we look pretty good… but if we don’t… we look pretty terrible… and if anyone of rj or randle plays bad it’s a bad time….

    gonna be an interesting offseason no matter what….

  54. well then, it would seem their terrible defense defeated our terrible offense – oh well…

    it’s funny, many of us our favorably nostalgic for 90’s basketball, and that’s exactly what we look like when we play – no offensive flow to the game at all…

    I thought the kings played well, it just looked like we couldn’t hit shots or finish around the rim…

  55. Cashed out at halftime. That appears to have been the right call.

    Passing on Hali was a mistake.

    I wonder what his ceiling is with that frame though. He looks positively frail out there, although 2 steals and four blocks suggests real athleticism.

    All I can hope right now is he doesn’t make a major leap from here but it’s hard to bet against him

    Also, I would have liked Frank to be active last night to see how he did against Fox and Hield

  56. We really need to upgrade the 1 and 3 spots. Looking at the box score and Bullock and Payton’s shooting stats makes that pretty obvious, and then watching Elfrid Payton try to work in the midrange on the second night of a back-to-back felt like actual punishment. I really wanted that win last night; De’Aaron Fox loves to troll the Knicks on Twitter and I wanted so badly for the Knicks to remind him that he’s a loser on a team that passed on Luka Doncic primarily because he was on the roster. Watching him smile at the end of the game upset me.

    RJ Barrett is continuing his strong play on both ends of the court, but last night Sacramento feasted on his cross-court passes so he’s got to cut those out. Other than the turnovers he played another excellent game and he has a decent shot of turning on another good one against a bad Portland defense. Like djphan said, Randle, Robinson, and RJ are this team’s bedrock this season and they’re a good bet to be competitive against anybody once they maintain their play and one other guy on the roster plays a good game.

    The Bulls are playing well this season, but I do wonder what it would cost to land Zach LaVine in a trade. He’s playing the best basketball of his life right now, but his contract expires after next season and I wonder if Karnisovas would rather flip him than extend him for a load of money.

  57. Thibs has three reliable players night in and night out: Randle, Mitch and (fingers crossed) RJ.

    Our other guards and wings are a semi-reliable shooter (Burks, that yesterday was awful) an absolute non shooter (Payton) and a bunch of streaky ones (Rivers, Quickley, Knox, Frank, Bullock).

    Every night he must sift through them, hoping that a couple are in a good mood.
    When the majority of them are on you can beat the Bucks by 20, when they’re all off you got trounced by the Kings.

    That’s why I hope that Frank and Rivers will come back soon, the more alternatives Thibs has, the better our chances to win games like the last one.

    I know I’m beating on a dead horse, but the starting five has a real problem with spacing and shooting, it’s impossible to play Payton with Mitch, Randle and Barrett.

    If Thibs isn’t ready to give IQ the keys of the team he needs to replace Bullock with Burks.
    Bullock’s decent defense could be more apted with the second unit, where Toppin and Knox are sieves.

    I just read Berman’s piece were he states “Sources indicate the Knicks were worried about Haliburton’s slender build” and I don’t know what to say.

    I don’t trust Berman at all, but Toppin must do the FO a giant favor and become a player asap or they must feel really ashamed for the pick…

  58. Wow, Atlanta has the 7th rated defense in the NBA. Did not see that coming.

    Clint Capela has been on fire recently

  59. Huge day for NCAA prospects. Sharife Cooper on ESPN2 now, followed by Cade, Scottie Barnes, Jalen Johnson, Ziaire Williams, Jaden Springer/Keon Johnson, and Suggs just off the top of my head.

  60. djphan:
    rj was impressive again…. that midrange game is starting to look nba viable…. and his 3s are starting to fall now…. this could be all coming together for him and it’s pretty visible … the only thing really missing in all this is the steals/blocks but that can be really volatile as 3s as they can come in bunches so not terribly worried….

    As much as we all want him to improve from 3, I really feel that making that midrange J butter is his next step. I saw shades of that with Brandon Ingram when he was with the Lakers when he wasn’t “good” yet: he was able to hit contested midrange Js.

    Obviously, it’ll also help him for the team to improve their outside shooting so defenders won’t pack the paint when he goes to work.

  61. I agree with Max on flipping Burks and Bullock. Problem is minutes…where are the minutes for Frank and Rivers going to come from, plus Obi needs to play more. Randle and RJ need to be cut back, but after that….either Knox gets benched, or Tibs has the guts to bench Payton or Bullock. I’d be fine with Rivers getting extended minutes at PG, at least he can shoot and take the pressure off the spacing.

    It is kinda fun to have these sort of problems and not totally suck though.

  62. It really does seem like something’s gotta give with the rotation. Quickley and Toppin being squeezed out seems like a bad idea.

  63. Thibs needs the full healthy roster (almost there assuming Frank is irrevelant) and another 15-20 games…then… if it was the case that there was a decision was to be made to tank/develop/evaluate or scratch and claw for wins…I think he sets a rotation for the second half…

    Pretty obvious he is going for scratch and claw…but maybe that doesn’t change things if he is fair and just plays the best guys and those also happen to be the youngsters/nonmercs….but if in his eyes mercs under scratch/claw approach give even an incremental increase in win probability…he will go there..

  64. It might have seemed like the Knicks struggled containing Fox and Hield but they shot horrible. Fox went 7 for 20 and Hield 4 for 11. They did shoot well from 3pt range combining to go 6 for 13 but as a team the Kings only shot 12 for 34 from 3pt range and shot below 42% overall.

    Last night’s loss was entirely on the offense and really basically on everyone not named Randle, RJ or Mitch.

  65. Frank is going to have an uphill climb to get back in the rotation.

    Rivers might make it over Bullock if Bullock doesn’t pick up his offense. Of course Thibs only has eyes for defense and Bullock is our best wing defender.

  66. It will never not piss me off that the reductive facile dummies like us would draft significantly better than the guys actually making millions to run actual organizations

  67. I mean the only case you can make against Hali to the Knicks is that he might, MIGHT, be better off as a two who’s a great secondary playmaker. I read reports that said he struggled to run the pnr. But that’s no case at all- RJ obviously looks better suited to play three anyway and I highly doubt they see Frank as their future two. My guess is that they were pretty sure Randle would be gone next year so taking a four to pair with RJ seemed smart. But it wasn’t.

  68. And on RJ: at some point I think he’s going to need to figure a go to move that will generate a good, or at least good enough shot, when he iso’s. He had a few late possessions where he was pretty indecisive in terms of what he wanted to do.

  69. I’m really hoping on Luka getting a high ankle sprain soon. I’d probably be better off wishing for a knee injury to KP though…

  70. bidiong the not so great:
    I’m really hoping on Luka getting a high ankle sprain soon. I’d probably be better off wishing for a knee injury to KP though…

    I hope Luka doesn’t get injured, that said I wouldn’t be mad if Covid protocol kept him out of a large number of games the rest of the way without him actually catching Covid.

  71. It’s rainy season time here in SoCal. 55° here in LA and I’m in my backyard rocking PJs and a Giants hoodie while smoking hot links on the grill.

    I miss things about NY, but the cold ain’t one of em.

    Knox needs to get on the ball a bit. The entire team seemed out of whack on offense in the 2nd half, but that was a game where his shooting could’ve given the team the spark it needed. Plus you cannot let a rook score on you twice like Hali did.

    This is the first coaching staff that actually has a blueprint for him to become a productive player. There can be a need for him in this team moving forward – nights like this one needs to become less frequent.

    Maybe that’s asking too much. But at least this year is the first where you can see a way for him to be not terrible.

  72. To be fair to Knox Hali scored on several guys. Knox has gotten better defensively- he’s able to keep himself in a position to contest far more often. He still has to get better and then eliminate weak fouls when he does contest. He’s had a bunch of plays where he does a decent job and it’s just a hand on the hip or something little that gets the call. He’s still going to be bad (or last least below average) because his reaction time is so slow but not the soul-sucking nightmare he was the first two years.

  73. And Knox, a thing that I (and maybe others) tend to forget, he’s signed for next year,
    so it makes sense to play him a little more or to trade him.

    I’m curious to watch the roster and the rotations after the trade deadline (still incredibly far away).

    Does my memory fail me or Payton has a no trade clause by rules?

  74. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    It will never not piss me off that the reductive facile dummies like us would draft significantly better than the guys actually making millions to run actual organizations

    I was thinking about that and I went to check Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s stats, my favorite pick at that draft together with Mikal Bridges and… pain. Hell even Miles Bridges is performing decently, the next 3 picks after Knox…

    Shai has a .613 ts% and a 3.1 BPM playing in that dreadful purposefully tanking OKC team as the only scoring threat on the floor for long stretches, and now Lu Dort is looking like a real damn good player and not just a defensive specialist. I gave a lot of shit to Presti for his shortcomings and being a media darling but damn, OKC is in year 1 of their rebuild and they’re already far ahead of us, and will have tons of picks other teams will tank for them. What a brilliant turnaround.

  75. Owen:
    I can recall people saying they didn’t want Presti as GM.

    I was one of those, for real… I do think he never quite found the way to surrounded stars with the right pieces, the type of stuff Riley did so well for example, but I can’t deny his ability to build teams from so many different situations

  76. So before we get all playoff-hyped, it looks pretty obvious that we are going to get passed in the standings by Toronto and Miami, meaning that we’ll be duking it out with ORL, CHI, CHA, and probably CLE for the 9-13 spots. I doubt we catch WAS or DET, they are bad and obviously tanking. Somehow I can imagine Thibs coaching his way into the 9 or 10 spot, unless the team makes some forward-thinking deadline deals. Does that sound reasonable?

  77. If you assume (and you’re likely correct) that Toronto and Miami pass the Knicks, then already you’re looking at the #9 seed as the peak possibility. I think they have as good a shot as any of the other teams going for the #9 seed. A Magic team filled with injuries and an overachieving Chicago and Cleveland? Plus whatever Charlotte is?

  78. no need to imagine Thibs doing that…he is right now executing that strategy..the only way i am ok with it is if …like he says..right now they are only focusing on D…that he next comes up with a better offensive scheme that actively involves the young’uns…if I have to watch an offense run through Randle and Payton for another 50 games…no fucking way…

  79. Question: If Randle finishes the season this way obviously you pick up his option just to shop him if nothing else. Unless Kawhi becomes available I don’t think there’s anybody who’s going to cost you so much that Randle’s 20m is going to kill you. The question is this- would you even consider offering a three year extension at something that winds up well short of his max- I doubt he’d take 3/75 but maybe 3/85? I’m saying no but part of that is because I don’t think he stays at this level but if he does maybe it’d seem less foolhardy?

  80. Oh forget it- since he’ll be a 7-9 guy after next year Randle’s max will start at 32,700m in 2022/23. He ain’t going to extend cheap.

  81. nicos:
    Oh forget it- since he’ll be a 7-9 guy after next year Randle’s max will start at 32,700m in 2022/23. He ain’t going to extend cheap.

    you think somebody is goin gto give him 32 million a yr?

  82. pepper: you think somebody is goin gto give him 32 million a yr?

    In the unlikely event that he both finishes this year at where he now and plays at that level next year? If he puts up back to back years of of 22, 11, and 6 at 27 yrs old then he’ll get the max or something close to it.

    I will add the caveat that NBA finances may look very different in 22/23 when what the damage will be from the pandemic becomes clearer.

  83. I’m pretty sure Randle will get at least 20 million a year offers with the way he’s playing, there’s no way a desperate team for talent doesn’t do it. But the market is really weird for players of his profile and it’s going to be affected heavily by the covid seasons for some time, so maybe, who knows, he falls to a more manageable figure and we keep him. If he keeps this level of play I wouldn’t be against resigning him at all.

  84. at 20 mil…yeah if he keeps it up…at 32 mil…i would have a hard time dippin the pen in the ink to sign that deal…

  85. Houston beating Dallas without Wood and Oladipo is ____________________

    Although Dallas is missing a bunch of guys

  86. The DeMarcus Cousins ressurgence game is definitely not something I was expecting today, but I guess this year has been so weird that anything can happen. He has a .347 ts% so far this season which seems impossible.

  87. I find myself rooting for Boogie these days….he’s been through a lot and it’s a good situation for him.

  88. Brian Cronin:
    If you assume (and you’re likely correct) that Toronto and Miami pass the Knicks, then already you’re looking at the #9 seed as the peak possibility. I think they have as good a shot as any of the other teams going for the #9 seed. A Magic team filled with injuries and an overachieving Chicago and Cleveland? Plus whatever Charlotte is?

    So it seems very likely (like 75+%) that we’ll be picking between 8-12, again, barring injury, trades or unexpected player improvement. I can see us going 20-35 or something like that the rest of the way, which would result in a record of 28-44. That’s clearly “over” territory but sort of that no man’s land between tanking and showing significant improvement. Maybe we have a remote chance of finishing 33-39 for the 8th or 9th seed…or a floor of 25-47 if Randle gets hurt or traded for picks. I just don’t see a way to finish anywhere in the top half of the lottery.

  89. Z-man:
    I find myself rooting for Boogie these days….he’s been through a lot and it’s a good situation for him.

    Yeah, he fell so hard with those horrific injuries in the very worst possible points of his career, it’s nice to see a good moment for him.

  90. My thinking about Boogie is annoyingly circular- I think what happened to him is awful and feel sorry for him. But of course it’s tough to feel too sorry for a guy who has made almost 90m. More than that though- he made that 90m while being completely, unrepentantly Boogie- I don’t think he changed too much, he just got better. The dude did exactly what he wanted to do come hell or high water for 6 years and made a couple of all-star teams and close to 100m. I can’t feel sorry for him but what he went through really did suck so I guess I do still feel sorry for him. And repeat.

  91. nicos:
    My thinking about Boogie is annoyingly circular- I think what happened to him is awful and feel sorry for him. But of course it’s tough to feel too sorry for a guy who has made almost 90m. More than that though- he made that 90m while being completely, unrepentantly Boogie- I don’t think he changed too much, he just got better. The dude did exactly what he wanted to do come hell or high water for 6 years and made a couple of all-star teams and close to 100m. I can’t feel sorry for him but what he went through really did suck so I guess I do still feel sorry for him. And repeat.

    Oh for sure. I generally comment on this with with idea of “I feel as bad for him as I can feel for someone infinitely richer than I am”, because he’s set for life if he never played again. But there’s an aspect of passion that also moves me a bit at least, like the guy could have and maybe should have retired, but he’s still out there on minimum contracts trying to get back.

  92. Thoughts about the night games:

    Detroit: Grant with his first stinker, we’re going to have a very good second round pick.

    New Orleans: you know you’re fucked up when you lose to the Timberwolves without KAT and Russell, ugly.

    Brooklyn: if they continue to play this way the clock is on for Harden to explode over shots distribution.

    Utah: we are the last team that beat them, they’re up for a revenge soon.

    Denver: back-to-back against the same team, in the same building and two consecutive overtime wins? I wonder if it ever happened before. Phoenix must feel really bad.

    Dallas: as inconstant as a team could be, good loss.

  93. Dallas: as inconstant as a team could be, good loss.

    They’ve been experimenting with various lineups because Kleeber and Powell have been out. Last night they also gave KP a rest night.

    It has been an interesting period. They tried playing WCS at C and KP at PF. That looked terrible to me because they lost the spacing advantage that KP gives to Doncic. They’ve been playing Brunson (who imo is very underrated) and Doncic together which is kind of interesting, but not necessarily ideal because
    Doncic would try to dominate the ball on the same court wit Kyrie and Harden. lol If they ever get healthy and get everyone off Covid protocol they are going to be very good.

    The more I see of Doncic though, the less I like him. He’s an absolute magician getting to the basket and finishing. He also passed really well. But he’s a bit of a stat stuffer and does not play a winning brand of basketball. He tries to do way too much even when he has weapons all around him.

  94. Frank is going to have an uphill climb to get back in the rotation.

    Unless he comes back on fire, he’s done here. He has a role in the NBA. It’s just very unlikely to be for the Knicks. He’ll sign somewhere else cheaply and develop into whatever he’s eventually going to be for them. He had a lot of developing to do, but between the injuries and horrible mismanagement he was doomed here.

  95. Agree 100% on Brunson, I’m still surprised he went after Wagner, Spellman, Evans, Musa, Grayson Allen, Simons et all in his draft class…

  96. Luka is a bit of a stat stuffer???

    This is pretty classic Strat.

    He is having a down year so far but still is leading the league in assist rate. Maybe he’s a little worn down from leading the best offense in the NBA last year.

    He does need to learn to shoot the three much better getting to 38% would catapult him to alll time legend status but he has a ways to go.

  97. Leave it to strat to explain a player’s underperformance as a 27% 3PT shooter on 7 attempts a game as “stat stuffing.” Like, dude, the answer is right there for you. It’s right there.

  98. I think that sounds ok. I like Harden better as a comp for sure because Luka doesn’t defend much.

    He is his own thing though. Still growing as a player. And not a Knick unfortunately.

  99. There wasn’t a LeBron before, there’ll never be one after.
    His body is something that ancient gods would envy plus he’s a genius at playing basketball.
    I don’t think it’s fair to compare anybody to him.

    So, based only on elimination process, Luka is more similar to Harden, particularly on defense.
    But I hate Harden’s style of play 100% while Luka irritates me only 20% of the time and he’s only 21.

    I think Luka is Luka, a chubby slovenian guy that plays his own style, not always for the better of the team…
    … But man, how much I want him on the Knicks, he’s so good that sometimes he made Porzingis look like a player…

  100. Luka is 21. Harden was coming off the bench when he was 21, he wasn’t Luka good until he was like 24/25. Luka’s big flaw right now is he can’t shoot 3s, or at least he hasn’t shot well from 3 this season. He’s taking a lot of 3s for a guy hitting sub 30%. The rest of his career suggests his 3 point percentage is going to go up though. Considering his age he’s a phenomenal player.

  101. lol the knee-jerk Porzingis bashing is so petty (not you, Max, just in general.) He’s a very good player in his own right, on his way to being a low-level superstar. He’s injury prone for sure, but when he’s healthy, he scores efficiently enough, rebounds well (that was a knock on him…not any more) and blocks shots with the best of them. He’s not a ball-dominant #1 guy and will never be, but as a #2 guy on a team with a clear #1 like Doncic he’s just fine. The sour grapes on him are comically misguided.

    It wasn’t dumb to trade him under the circumstances. Jackson, Mills and Dolan created a horrible situation and KP was right for wanting out. But they took the first offer rather than showing some patience and got fleeced. Bashing KP by underestimating who he is and will be doesn’t change that.

  102. DRed:
    Luka is 21.Harden was coming off the bench when he was 21, he wasn’t Luka good until he was like 24/25.Luka’s big flaw right now is he can’t shoot 3s, or at least he hasn’t shot well from 3 this season.He’s taking a lot of 3s for a guy hitting sub 30%.The rest of his career suggests his 3 point percentage is going to go up though.Considering his age he’s a phenomenal player.

    All this is true, but Harden was woefully undervalued and misused in OKC. He went to Houston and immediately became a world-class #1 scoring option; then D’Antoni turned him into a PG and he didn’t miss a beat.

    Doncic came into the league in the role he was best suited for and was given carte blanche over the Mavs. He didn’t have to languish in a sixth man role behind KD and Westbrook.

    The funny thing about Harden is that he “presents” as a great 3pt shooter, but is only 36% for his career…i.e a league average shooter! It’s the FTr and FT% that makes him MVP-level elite. Doncic is a better rebounder and passer than Harden was already, and actually better from 2, but there’s more to the offensive gap than just 3pt shooting.

    Ultimately I think Doncic will be a better all-around player than prime Harden, but probably not by much.

  103. Well, Harden is also taking and making a lot of high degree of difficulty 3s. Or he was until he became a Net and focused on passing to Joe Harris. Luka is obviously his own player, but I think you hope he develops into a bigger version of Harden, more or less. Maybe not quite as good of a shooter, but better at getting to the line and finishing inside and a bit better on defense because of his size. I don’t think he has the physical ability to be the defensive terror prime Lebron was.

  104. It feels like Dallas is also either going to barely make the playoffs or barely miss it. So we could have two picks in the top 18. Plus two second rounders. So while I get that people are gonna bitch about not having a top lottery pick, the extra first round pick and the two second round picks could allow us to trade up. While I’d love a top lottery pick I also feel like we’re still at a point where adding two first rounders could be good for us to deepen our talent pool. We seem to do well drafting later in the first round anyways.

  105. swiftandabundant:
    It feels like Dallas is also either going to barely make the playoffs or barely miss it. So we could have two picks in the top 18. Plus two second rounders. So while I get that people are gonna bitch about not having a top lottery pick, the extra first round pick and the two second round picks could allow us to trade up. While I’d love a top lottery pick I also feel like we’re still at a point where adding two first rounders could be good for us to deepen our talent pool. We seem to do well drafting later in the first round anyways.

    It also seems like starter-caliber players are always available in the late lottery or even after. I wonder how much pressure there is to take the consensus picks in the top 10…to avoid the (cue laugh track) lower ceiling guys like Hali, Bey, Precious, Vassell, etc.

    My guess is that by the time we get to the 2021 draft, the KB consensus will identify some good value picks in the 10-15 range where we will likely draft. Maybe we learn something from passing on Hali and target that kind of player. It’s probably more likely in that range than in the 5-10 range, where GMs must feel boxed in by the consensus in the Mocks.

  106. Z-Man, you know I’m the last person on Earth to view a Knicks transaction irrationally positively and I honestly think you’re overrating Porzingis.

    He’s injury prone for sure, but when he’s healthy, he scores efficiently enough, rebounds well (that was a knock on him…not any more) and blocks shots with the best of them.

    After five seasons, this is still more of a projection than anything else. He has never scored at league average efficiency. His career-high TS+ is 99. If you’re saying he’s a “low-level superstar” I don’t understand how that’s enough.

    If it improves, then sure this calculation changes. Right now I think BPM etc. are correct in pegging him as well-above average but short well short of superstar status.

    It wasn’t dumb to trade him under the circumstances. Jackson, Mills and Dolan created a horrible situation and KP was right for wanting out. But they took the first offer rather than showing some patience and got fleeced. Bashing KP by underestimating who he is and will be doesn’t change that.

    This gets stated as fact a lot without much in the way of evidence. It’s worth noting there was a pretty significant time crunch–the deadline was coming up and then Porzingis was going to be an RFA, at which point he could’ve made the Knicks’ lives very difficult if he was so inclined.

    When the dust settled we got two first rounders, and I maintain that the salary dumps gave us the opportunity to get two more. We didn’t, but that’s a separate issue. Even if you limit the package to two first rounders, without looking I’d say historically that’s not a bad haul for a ~2 BPM guy.

  107. swiftandabundant:
    It feels like Dallas is also either going to barely make the playoffs or barely miss it. So we could have two picks in the top 18. Plus two second rounders. So while I get that people are gonna bitch about not having a top lottery pick, the extra first round pick and the two second round picks could allow us to trade up. While I’d love a top lottery pick I also feel like we’re still at a point where adding two first rounders could be good for us to deepen our talent pool. We seem to do well drafting later in the first round anyways.

    Yeah but in a year that has been touted as potentially having multiple superstars, you’re not trading up for those guys. And really, you just want those guys. Even with the nice consolation prize it’s not worth it.

  108. It feels like Dallas is also either going to barely make the playoffs or barely miss it. So we could have two picks in the top 18. Plus two second rounders. So while I get that people are gonna bitch about not having a top lottery pick, the extra first round pick and the two second round picks could allow us to trade up. While I’d love a top lottery pick I also feel like we’re still at a point where adding two first rounders could be good for us to deepen our talent pool. We seem to do well drafting later in the first round anyways.

    Building a contending NBA team is hard but there’s one element of it that is fairly straight forward: you need a dude, and preferably more than one. There’s no easy way to look this up but I’m fairly sure if you looked at, say, every team in the finals over the last 20 years or so they’d almost all have at least one player who was a consistent 5+ BPM guy, and a lot of them had more than that (both in terms of quantity and quality i.e. the BPM was higher).

    The point I’m trying to make is that if you don’t think it’s all that important to pick high in the draft, you’re going to need to articulate a blueprint to getting a dude by other means. I don’t need a history lesson on all the dudes picked late in the draft, and I’ve been very clear as to where I stand on pick accumulation, the value of late picks, etc., but “hope we find the next Jimmy Butler” is not a blueprint that inspires confidence.

  109. thenoblefacehumper: After five seasons, this is still more of a projection than anything else. He has never scored at league average efficiency. His career-high TS+ is 99. If you’re saying he’s a “low-level superstar” I don’t understand how that’s enough.

    Porzingis came back from an ACL injury and got better and better as the year went on. After the all-star break (with the long break factored in) he averaged 35.4mpg, 26 pts, 10.5 rebs, 2.7 asts (vs. 1.5 TOs), 2.4 blocks, and a .582 TS%. Those are all-star numbers. Then he actually improved his efficiency in his 3 playoff games before he got hurt.

    So far this year he seems to have picked up right where he left off and is probably still shaking off some rust. If he continues with these numbers, the “projection” arguments are going to look sillier and sillier moving forward.

    thenoblefacehumper: This gets stated as fact a lot without much in the way of evidence. It’s worth noting there was a pretty significant time crunch–the deadline was coming up …when the dust settled we got two first rounders, and I maintain that the salary dumps gave us the opportunity to get two more. We didn’t, but that’s a separate issue. Even if you limit the package to two first rounders, without looking I’d say historically that’s not a bad haul for a ~2 BPM guy.

    You are virtually alone on an island on this one. There was certainly enough time to shop him for more lucrative offers and squeeze DAL for more. Cuban was hot for KP, and taking his first offer like 5 minutes after KP demanded a trade was dumb negotiating. DSjr was already a bust and the picks were likely to be middling at best. It’s pretty clear that it was terrible negotiating by consensus terrible negotiators.

  110. Z-man:
    lol the knee-jerk Porzingis bashing is so petty (not you, Max, just in general.) He’s a very good player in his own right, on his way to being a low-level superstar….

    … The sour grapes on him are comically misguided.

    I agree KP is a good player, he complements Luka well, he could develop into a B-Level star and it looks like he’s changing his game a bit to use that 7-3′ more. I’ve always found his draft-day criticism pathetic. I don’t know if he will ever fully overcame his anemia problems.

    I understand your criticism about sour grapes bashing and the reason of it, but I want to clear my position.

    I jumped off the KP’s train since his infamous skipped end-of-the-season meeting with PJ, months before his trade.
    He could have had reasons to be unhappy,
    but in in my world first you show that you are a player that can carry a team and raise his teammates (KP never did) and after that maybe you are entitled to publicly show your unhappiness.

    Also, I could think that Phil was the worst GM in history, but he has more rings than KP has fingers and stronger NY roots, so when a legend ask to talk with you, 21 year old wannabe, you go to the meeting, politely and respectfully hear his speech, politely and respectfully air your grievances, thank him for his time, go home and decide what you want to do.

    His behaviour was disrespectful and unnecessary and made me sour on him and his antics.

    Yes, he has all the tools to be a great player and his trade was mismanaged.

    But he has never shown he could be a first option on a good team, he’s soft as the Stay Puft marshmallow from Ghostbuster, he’s a whiner, he’s easy to intimidate (Marcus Smart anyone?), overpaid, often injured.

    At the end, I’m happy he’s not a Knick and I don’t want him back.

    If this makes me a knee-jerker so be it, mine are jerking, KP’s are shaking :-)

  111. If he continues with these numbers, the “projection” arguments are going to look sillier and sillier moving forward.

    Not trying to be snarky but this is pretty much my point. Yes, if Porzingis gets better I will think of him differently. As of now, he hasn’t put up the numbers you found from chopping up portions of seasons. He wasn’t going to be valued as a guy who put up numbers he had never in fact put up. Don’t know why this is so controversial.

    You are virtually alone on an island on this one. There was certainly enough time to shop him for more lucrative offers and squeeze DAL for more.

    You didn’t address my point–what historical analogue suggests the haul was bad? Let’s say he’s a 3 BPM guy (at the time of the trade his career figure was 0.9 and his career high as of now is 1.9), do those guys normally go for more?

    Do you have any reason to believe they didn’t shop the offer? I mean, this would seem to contradict that.

  112. Max, I agree. I was totally in on KP at first and soured on him for the reasons that you mentioned. He turned into an arrogant primadonna without the resume to back it up, and I was fine with the idea of trading him long before it happened. In fact, I said as much when it was rumored that he would be traded to the Celts for picks and one of Tatum or Brown.

    I am merely saying that a) he’s not nearly as overrated as some here suggest, b) we should have gotten more for him than we did, and didn’t because Mills et. al. jumped on the first shiny object that appeared on the misguided premise that it was a lock they were acquiring KD and another star. It was a bad deal, and belittling who KP is doesn’t make it any better.

  113. Z-man: lol the knee-jerk Porzingis bashing is so petty (not you, Max, just in general.) He’s a very good player in his own right, on his way to being a low-level superstar. He’s injury prone for sure, but when he’s healthy, he scores efficiently enough, rebounds well (that was a knock on him…not any more) and blocks shots with the best of them. He’s not a ball-dominant #1 guy and will never be, but as a #2 guy on a team with a clear #1 like Doncic he’s just fine. The sour grapes on him are comically misguided.

    It wasn’t dumb to trade him under the circumstances. Jackson, Mills and Dolan created a horrible situation and KP was right for wanting out. But they took the first offer rather than showing some patience and got fleeced. Bashing KP by underestimating who he is and will be doesn’t change that.

    One of my posts from the other day goes through what it takes to be a top 30 player in the league by BPM, unless you’re a PG you need a TS% of .580 at the minimum. Porzingis has never hit that number in a full season (he has through a whopping 6 games this year).

    If you don’t like BPM, then the proof is in the pudding. If KP was a superstar, then Dallas wouldn’t struggle to make the playoffs every year.

    Finally, KP is 25. He doesn’t have forever to improve anymore. You’re probably seeing his near peak performance right now. If he doesn’t put it together this year, then this is probably it.

    Generally it’s agreed that peak year tends to be 26 or 27. Maybe with him he figures out his shooting late and starts hitting 40% from 3, but you’re not looking at his age and thinking this guy is going to be great some day!!! Moreover, the constant injuries will likely continue and probably increase with age.

  114. thenoblefacehumper: Yes, if Porzingis gets better I will think of him differently.

    He has gotten better. Are you not comparing his Knicks stats from age 20-22 to his Dallas stats? He has improved by every metric, and when healthy, puts up all-star numbers. And he’s only 25 years old. You should start thinking of him differently.

    thenoblefacehumper: You didn’t address my point–what historical analogue suggests the haul was bad? Let’s say he’s a 3 BPM guy (at the time of the trade his career figure was 0.9 and his career high as of now is 1.9), do those guys normally go for more?

    Jrue Holiday, a guy with zero upside, just went for way more than that. That said, it’s about perceived value, not actual value. KP is a hyped player. You cash in on the hype. We didn’t do that.

    thenoblefacehumper: Do you have any reason to believe they didn’t shop the offer? I mean, this would seem to contradict that.

    lol, this actually makes my point! There was plenty of interest, why not shop around and force Cuban to up his offer, or take an offer from another tea? Maybe drop the protection on the 2023 pick, or offer a better player than DSjr?

  115. Ultimately, I do think that KP will continue to improve if he stays reasonably healthy (which, granted, is a huge if) and will be worth somewhere near where he is getting paid on his current contract. He’s still very young and is in a great situation. I have zero doubt that Cuban could get back everything he gave up for him and more, even at his current level of play.

  116. Since we’re on the topic, anyone track what happened with KP’s rape case? Just cuz, you know, Damyean Dotson has incurred some serious hate here for his past behavior. And since we’re using descriptors such as ‘prima donna’ I just wonder if there are some others we might include.

  117. He’s injury prone for sure, but when he’s healthy, he scores efficiently enough, rebounds well (that was a knock on him…not any more) and blocks shots with the best of them

    That’s a big “when”.

  118. Are you not comparing his Knicks stats from age 20-22 to his Dallas stats?

    I mean, every number I have cited is accurate. Yes, he has gotten better. He still hasn’t posted a league average TS% over a single season. He still hasn’t put up a BPM of 2+. I’m willing to buy that BPM sells him short because of his defense, but whatever arbitrary boost you want to give him hardly gets him to superstar status.

    Jrue Holiday, a guy with zero upside, just went for way more than that.

    Another way of saying “zero upside” is “no projection required.” Jrue Holiday had actually put up the numbers the Bucks were seeking when they made the trade. It’s bizarre to write off the fact that Porzingis has not done this as some minor detail that shouldn’t alter one’s view of the trade!

    What trade involving a player of Porzingis’ actual caliber, as it exists in reality at the moment, suggests the return was bad?

    lol, this actually makes my point! There was plenty of interest, why not shop around and force Cuban to up his offer, or take an offer from another tea? Maybe drop the protection on the 2023 pick, or offer a better player than DSjr?

    I continue to not understand the insistence that this did not take place in some form, but regardless the trade saga dragging on could just as easily have reduced the package as it became increasingly clear that Porzingis was not returning to the Knicks. It’s impossible to say either way, so the package should just be evaluated in a vacuum.

  119. Early Bird: One of my posts from the other day goes through what it takes to be a top 30 player in the league by BPM, unless you’re a PG you need a TS% of .580 at the minimum. Porzingis has never hit that number in a full season (he has through a whopping 6 games this year).

    Actually, he has posted that TS% for his last consecutive half-season or so coming off of an ACL tear. But that aside, I disagree with the premise that he’s pretty much done improving, mainly because he’s been injured for much of the past 3 years and because he came into the league as a string bean with a high center of gravity. Let’s not forget that the same folks dismissive of him now had prematurely concluded that he would likely be a Bargnani-level rebounder going forward. How’s that prediction working out?

  120. There’s nothing quite like demanding a max contract when (1) never having put up a great season; (2) never being healthy a full season; and (3) missing the entire preceding year to deflate trade value.

    I really doubt many offices were willing to put up much for the right to pay $30M for 5 years.

  121. Actually, he has posted that TS% for his last consecutive half-season or so coming off of an ACL tear. But that aside, I disagree with the premise that he’s pretty much done improving, mainly because he’s been injured for much of the past 3 years

    You continue to answer your own questions regarding the return…

  122. thenoblefacehumper: What trade involving a player of Porzingis’ actual caliber, as it exists in reality at the moment, suggests the return was bad?

    You’re the one who set the mark at 3 BPM and asked do guys like that fo for more. Holiday topped out at 3.0, and did that once in 11 years. His career average is 1.2. KP already has a higher career BPM and way more upside than Jrue.

  123. Z-man: Actually, he has posted that TS% for his last consecutive half-season or so coming off of an ACL tear. But that aside, I disagree with the premise that he’s pretty much done improving, mainly because he’s been injured for much of the past 3 years and because he came into the league as a string bean with a high center of gravity. Let’s not forget that the same folks dismissive of him now had prematurely concluded that he would likely be a Bargnani-level rebounder going forward. How’s that prediction working out?

    15 games is not a half season. Most people here really doubt he can sustain that level without significant time off, e.g., Mr November syndrome, the forced break because of Covid, etc.

    More to the point, he put up a .570 TS% through the first 20 games of his last season with the Knicks. So yes, he’s done this before prior to turning back into a pumpkin.

    I have no idea why we should assume he’s going to get injured less often as he gets older or why we should assume his peak is later when he presumably has done little training while injured. That’s a lot of missed time he could be practicing in the post, building strength, or shooting 3s.

    Maybe he’s turns it around, but I’m guessing he gets injured again before the end of the season.

  124. I think it’s worth mentioning that the Jrue Holiday trade was as much if not more about getting Giannis to re-sign. Jrue Holiday in a vacuum doesn’t get you anywhere close to that. Griffin had them over a barrel and knew it. Using that trade as a baseline for what you should expect to receive in a deal will leave you very, very disappointed.

  125. Early Bird:
    There’s nothing quite like demanding a max contract when (1) never having put up a great season; (2) never being healthy a full season; and (3) missing the entire preceding year to deflate trade value.

    I really doubt many offices were willing to put up much for the right to pay $30M for 5 years.

    We’ll never know because the deal was made before we could find out. But sure, if you want to believe that the braintrust that masterminded the Lee and THjr deals outsmarted the Shark who traded up to snag Luca, go right ahead!

  126. It’s disorienting to find myself in this position given my opinion on like 90% of Knicks transactions. I promise I am being objective when I say two first rounders just doesn’t seem like a terrible return for a guy of Porzingis’ caliber.

    There are certainly examples of similar or better players going for less, or at least for value that doesn’t make the Porzingis return look bad. Obviously no two situations are exactly the same and there were different contexts involved in all of these but:

    Kawhi–one first rounder, Poeltl, and DeRozan

    Butler–one first rounder, Richardson, and Whiteside

    Russell–one first rounder and Wiggins

    Kyrie–IT/Crowder/Zizic, one first rounder, one second rounder (which was added later to compensate for IT’s injury)

  127. Z-man: We’ll never know because the deal was made before we could find out. But sure, if you want to believe that the braintrust that masterminded the Lee and THjr deals outsmarted the Shark who traded up to snag Luca, go right ahead!

    Okay, but would you pay more for a FA or a player under contract?

    And would you pay more for a player who is going to miss the next year or more for a player who is healthy?

    We don’t need to know the other offers on the table to know his value was driven down. If the Knicks didn’t want to pay KP $30M for the next 5 years, they needed to trade him because we do know that Dallas would offer him that deal.

  128. i think kp was ~ a $25 to $30 million player last year, despite only playing 57 games. here is the boring part of the argument.

    last yr salaries were about $3.75 billion, with maybe $250m excluded as replacementish guys. total wins were a little weird bc of the bubble, but competitive teams played about 72 games. a team full of replacement player would have gone something like 13-59, leaving 23*30 = 690 wins above replacement. that means $3.5b in non-replacement salary for 690 wins, or $5.1m per win above replacement.

    using a naive estimator like vorp, porzingis came in 47th in the nba with 1.8. this equates to about 5 wins above replacement and $25m of total value (his replacement value isn’t an add on when you do it this way). bayesian methods that incorporate on/off to various degrees like him a little more, but are not necessarily better. espn’s rpm is an example and it pegged him at 24th in the nba, the equivalent of 2.5 vorp or $34 million. if i had to guess his value i would be between those two. he gets an extra boost from my perspective for having a combination of spacing, shot blocking and some shot creation, which is scarce.

    whether you want to call a player worth hi $20s to low $30s in value and low level superstar is between you and your dictionary, but it’s a top 35ish player with a bit of residual value on a 25% max deal. of course this ignores being injured for the end of the playoffs and injuries are a huge risk for kp and an important part of his value. but i also think he has a little upside to his play last year and might end up as a true $30-$40m player if he manages to stay healthy.

    i didn’t think the return was terrible but i don’t think was a good deal in a vacuum. but it’s hard to untangle the trade from the looming durant promise. even when dsj wasn’t putting up the worst numbers in the league he always (nba only) thought he looked far worse than his numbers.

  129. The funny thing about Harden is that he “presents” as a great 3pt shooter, but is only 36% for his career…i.e a league average shooter! It’s the FTr and FT% that makes him MVP-level elite.

    harden is a career 40pct career catch and shooter despite a lower portion of his attempts being wide open vs the average player. if you take his pull up shots, which are like 80pct plus of his career 3s, and consider how often they are contested, he is 35.5pct and the equivalent league avg is in the low 31s. he is a great shooter and it’s an important part of his story.

  130. i didn’t think the return was terrible but i don’t think was a good deal in a vacuum. but it’s hard to untangle the trade from the looming durant promise. even when dsj wasn’t putting up the worst numbers in the league he always (nba only) thought he looked far worse than his numbers.

    I concur with your post and would add that the calculus of signing a market value contract for Porzingis was obviously a lot different for a team in the Mavs’ position than it would’ve been for us. When you’re underwater on talent accumulation, market value contracts are often a hindrance.

    The salary dumps are also kind of difficult to account for, since we could’ve used the space wisely. We technically still would’ve had enough space to sign both Randle and Morris without dumping the salaries, but we realistically likely wouldn’t have, so you can arguably tack on Quickley and/or Randle to the return FWIW.

  131. It’s kind of amazing how every single free agent season totally meh players get contracts at AAVs of 15, 20, 22 million per year and then fans of teams somehow think their players are just going to sign at discounts and/or their market value isn’t really what it is.

    I mean, there was no chance — zero, nada, none, zilch — that Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t going to get a max contract. And if Julius Randle’s max is 32 there’s no chance — again, zero nada none zilch — that he’s only going to get 20 on the open market. Twenty for Julius is actually a PAY CUT. What possible reason could anyone have to think that Julius Randle is going to take a pay cut???? With these numbers, he’s going to get at or near the 32.

  132. Of course you have to include context in evaluating the KP deal. Was it a Bargnani-level or Eddy-level disaster? Of course not. Am I dwelling on it as a franchise-killing move? No. I simply think that a) we could have gotten more for him, b) that keeping and maxing him wasn’t a terrible idea, and c) that he’s better than some people are making him out to be. You could do a lot worse with mid-max money than invest in age 25-28 KP. Regarding his BPM, he was still tied for 47th last year with maxed players DeRozan, Donovan Mitchell, and D’Angelo Russell. He was 38th in PER, 44th in WS48 and 46th in VORP. And that’s after averaging in the a half season he spent working back from missing over a year with a torn ACL. His most recent numbers appear to be his best, suggesting that he is improving and there is no reason to believe that he will not continue to improve.

  133. KP at the max would have been a far better investment than Julius Randle was or will be.

    The Knicks didn’t get close to his market asset value in the trade. They handled it amateurishly and got fleeced. Was it franchise-“killing”? It was certainly pretty close. The Knicks are still a million miles away from anything and facing the dilemma of overpaying a guy who you really can’t keep in his current role, lest they slip even from their current 33rd-ish percentile in the league “perch.”

  134. but it’s hard to untangle the trade from the looming durant promise

    Yeah, I’m never going to knock the trade because of the Durant factor.

  135. The Durant factor is certainly real, but if there’s anyone in basketball who’s most likely to misinterpret, overrate, or otherwise bungle whatever back channel chatter was chattering, it’s Steve Mills. And at the end of the day, he did overrate, misinterpret or otherwise bungle it. Durant didn’t come to the Knicks.

    So Steve Mills basically wagered on his own competence or lack of incompetence and on the perception of the front office he led not being one of incompetence. Bad bet.

  136. ptmilo:
    The funny thing about Harden is that he “presents” as a great 3pt shooter, but is only 36% for his career…i.e a league average shooter! It’s the FTr and FT% that makes him MVP-level elite.

    harden is a career 40pct career catch and shooter despite a lower portion of his attempts being wide open vs the average player.if you take his pull up shots, which are like 80pct plus of his career 3s, and consider how often they are contested, he is 35.5pct and the equivalent league avg is in the low 31s.he is a great shooter and it’s an important part of his story.

    I dunno, if we start doing that, I wonder what we would conclude about lots of players, whether from 2 or 3 or even dunks. At the end of the day, he’s taking the shots he’s taking and the result is a slightly above-average 3-pt shooter. If he didn’t get to the line at ridiculous rates for a smaller player and shoot well from inside the arc, he wouldn’t have the historic TS/Usage ratios he put up in his MVP years. Now you can argue that the rate at which he is contested from 3 opens up blow-by jumpers from 2 and drives and makes him more likely to get fouled, but that’s true for Steph as well and he’s over 40% from 3 for his career.

  137. Brian Cronin: Yeah, I’m never going to knock the trade because of the Durant factor.

    I think it’s fair not to knock the “idea” of the trade based on the promise of pre-injury Durant, but to knock the actual trade that occurred on its own merits. And it’s not like there was ever a guarantee that KD was coming. It’s one thing if you do that in a couple of day’s time…but months and months out?

  138. Yeah, smart GMs clear the cap space in a day or two right before they close the deal. Happens all the time. The Knicks didn’t because a big part of the reason they traded KP didn’t have anything to do with Durant, but instead their amateurish hissy fit over KP himself.

    Steve Mills sucked — that’s why it went down the way it did. No need to complicate it more, or rationalize it.

  139. At the end of the day, he’s taking the shots he’s taking

    i swear to my lord and savior greg butler i almost wrote “i realize this reply is an open piss into the 36.3 pct is 36.3 pct hurricane” but i ran out of fingers. so is dame lillard at only 37.3 pct merely a pretty good shooter or does he take a fuck ton of 28 footers?

  140. And I’m not even sure the null hypothesis, “Kevin Durant decided not to come to the Knicks BECAUSE OF the way they treated and traded Kristaps Porzingis” has been disproven. Wide swaths of the association community looked at those few hours and the ultimate result and saw petty vindictiveness and pure clownshoes.

  141. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    And I’m not even sure the null hypothesis, “Kevin Durant decided not to come to the Knicks BECAUSE OF the way they treated and traded Kristaps Porzingis” has been disproven.Wide swaths of theassociation community looked at those few hours and the ultimate result and saw petty vindictiveness and pure clownshoes.

    There’s nowhere to go with this other than conjecture. But there is a silver lining. Dolan made his proclamation that he was told by management that KD or the equivalent was a done deal. When it didn’t happen, it resulted in Mills getting canned. I know you are hyper-cynical about all things Knicks, but if you put getting Mills canned on the pro-trade side, it more than makes up for the paltry return.

    Not that I think the current FO are geniuses, but they are at least not embarrassingly bad. That in and of itself is a huge reason for living with the KP debacle.

  142. ptmilo:
    At the end of the day, he’s taking the shots he’s taking

    i swear to my lord and savior greg butler i almost wrote “i realize this reply is an open piss into the 36.3 pct is 36.3 pct hurricane” but i ran out of fingers.so is dame lillard at only 37.3 pct merely a pretty good shooter or does he take a fuck ton of 28 footers?

    I think we can agree on both Lillard and Harden being all-time great “threats” from 3. They command the level of defensive attention reserved for truly great shooters, and rightfully so. They just take lots of dumbass shots.

  143. KP was a RFA that year, the Knicks had to trade him at the deadline, pay him $30M/yr, or let him walk for nothing.

    Kyrie & KD’s combined salary was over $70M for that year, so you need to trade him at the deadline or potentially lose him for nothing in FA when you pursue KD & Kyrie. The Knicks didn’t have the luxury of waiting until 2-3 days before. They needed to make a move several months in advanced.

  144. Of course not. Am I dwelling on it as a franchise-killing move? No. I simply think that a) we could have gotten more for him, b) that keeping and maxing him wasn’t a terrible idea, and c) that he’s better than some people are making him out to be. You could do a lot worse with mid-max money than invest in age 25-28 KP.

    a) It’s impossible to know if we could’ve gotten more, again the saga dragging on could’ve just as easily hurt his trade value. At the end of the day, it was a comparable return to what the Cavs got for Kyrie Irving and Porzingis has still yet to have one (1) full season that renders the return clearly underwhelming.

    b) First of all we don’t know if he would’ve signed a max with us, he could’ve signed a 2 + 1 with another team and put us in a bad spot. Regardless, I think we’d have a lower chance of winning a championship in the next ten years with Porzingis’ contract on the books. We simply were not in a position to sign a market value deal that came with significant risk. That’s largely because of our own incompetence of course, but the fact remains.

    c) I think he’s pretty good! I used 3 BPM as a baseline earlier because I think that’s more or less where he’ll eventually settle when healthy, and that’s a damn good number. I also think two first rounders is a fine return for a guy who puts up 3 BPM in the increasingly rare seasons in which he’s healthy and makes $30M+ AAV.

  145. A more interesting conversation: let’s say our picks are 12 and 20 for no reason other than that seems right-ish. That would be a bit of a drag but who are some prospects we like in that range? I’ll start with Jaden Springer, Franz Wagner, Terrence Shannon, Sharife Cooper, and Josh Christopher.

    In order, that would probably be Wagner, Christopher, Cooper, Springer, and Shannon. I should have just put them in order originally but I am hungover.

  146. Z-man: egarding his BPM, he was still tied for 47th last year with maxed players DeRozan, Donovan Mitchell, and D’Angelo Russell.

    BPM is a rate stat, so putting up 1.9 BPM for 57 games is less helpful for a team than putting up 1.9 BPM for 72 games.

    So, ptmilo used vorp because it allows us to look at value contributed for the whole season without making any adjustments for KP missing part of the season (I assume).

    Anyways, I think you’ll have difficulty convincing anyone here that DeRozan or Russell are true difference makers worth their price tag. Mitchell will be a little more contentious, but the salary is a bet on him improving and less a reflection of current value.

    I do think KP is probably better value than several of the all-in-one statistics assign him due to his defense, but I’m skeptical it makes up for his offense or proneness to injury.

    Of course, we also happen to have a player on the roster who also plays C and was more valuable last season than KP was by either VORP or BPM.

  147. Early Bird: BPM is a rate stat, so putting up 1.9 BPM for 57 games is less helpful for a team than putting up 1.9 BPM for 72 games.

    So, ptmilo used vorp because it allows us to look at value contributed for the whole season without making any adjustments for KP missing part of the season (I assume).

    I don’t see why this matters in the context of this discussion.

  148. I think you have this backwards, but am happy to stand corrected…

    He’s right

  149. Early Bird: Of course, we also happen to have a player on the roster who also plays C and was more valuable last season than KP was by either VORP or BPM.

    Who do you think would get you more return in a trade right now, KP or Mitch?

  150. thenoblefacehumper: He’s right

    Why should we penalize a player for games he didn’t play due to coming back from injury in the context of a discussion about how valuable a player is when he actually plays?

  151. Why should we penalize a player for games he didn’t play due to coming back from injury in the context of a discussion about how valuable a player is when he actually plays?

    If a player often does not play that should inform one’s view of his value to some extent, IMO.

  152. I know defense is a big difference between the 2 players but is it a slam dunk that you would rather have KP over the next few years than Randle? I guess a batter question is who will be the more productive player over the next few years, KP or Randle?

  153. thenoblefacehumper: If a player often does not play that should inform one’s view of his value to some extent, IMO.

    True, but that isn’t really relevant to this discussion, and in fact distorts the context. KP was injured at the time of the trade, so that was already baked in. He was healthy for the rest of the regular season.

  154. Z-man: Why should we penalize a player for games he didn’t play due to coming back from injury in the context of a discussion about how valuable a player is when he actually plays?

    That was more of an explainer about why it makes sense to use VORP rather than BPM because ptmilo’s argument claims that despite being injured for much of the season KP is still worth $30M (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong ptmilo). So it’s a stronger position and more difficult to assail than saying he’s worth $30M when he’s healthy, because then there’s the clear objection that he’s worth less than $30M since he’s never healthy.

    But to your other point, I’m not sure we are discussing how valuable KP is when he plays. I’ve generally been taking the discussion to be the value of the trade. If so, then we do care about how much he plays because it impacts his actual value.

  155. BigBlueAL:
    I know defense is a big difference between the 2 players but is it a slam dunk that you would rather have KP over the next few years than Randle?I guess a batter question is who will be the more productive player over the next few years, KP or Randle?

    It’s a great question, kind of like a draft-type question. KP has the higher theoretical ceiling but is injury prone and has underwhelmed vs. the hype. Randle is likely who he is but you are likely getting something like what he is for the next few years. I think KP has a much higher trade value on the open market right now, so would probably go with him, even though Randle is the more reliable bet.

  156. TheClashFan:
    FWIW dept., but this seems to be a reasonable take:

    https://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/2927862-are-the-new-york-knicks-really-heading-in-the-right-direction

    Is it fair to say that, at this point, the KP trade = Randle (cap space), Quickly (1st rounder), DSJ, and next year’s Dallas first rounder?

    Yes, because it allowed us to move the team in a different direction rather than building around KP. No, because we could have generated the cap space to sign Randle by other means.

  157. BigBlueAL:
    I know defense is a big difference between the 2 players but is it a slam dunk that you would rather have KP over the next few years than Randle?I guess a batter question is who will be the more productive player over the next few years, KP or Randle?

    If not injured KP, but injury is always a concern. Also, KP is a player who is very complimentary to other players (no need for the ball, good size, defense, blocks shots, 3pt spacing), meanwhile it is tougher to build around Randle (he needs the ball, spacing problems,…). On the optimistic side, Randle assists this year opens up a lot of things in terms of team-building.

  158. A discussion we should have more often is theorizing Randle’s role on a good (let’s say 50+ win) team. I’ve enjoyed watching him this year and he seems like a great dude, but I still kind of struggle to see it.

    There’s no way a good team would employ him as a full time point-forward like we do, so the value he adds with his playmaking takes a major hit. I think to be useful for a good team he needs to be reliable at ~34% from 3 at decent volume and I’m not so sure that’s in the cards.

  159. Early Bird: But to your other point, I’m not sure we are discussing how valuable KP is when he plays. I’ve generally been taking the discussion to be the value of the trade. If so, then we do care about how much he plays because it impacts his actual value.

    Right, and he has sustained an additional injury, so there’s that. But at the time of the trade, the time missed in 2019-20 was already baked in, so I don’t think it should be included in determining his value in that year.

  160. FWIW dept., but this seems to be a reasonable take:

    https://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/2927862-are-the-new-york-knicks-really-heading-in-the-right-direction

    LaVine is an interesting target. I’m inclined to say we should hold off on trading for him and instead try to sign him in the 2022 offseason, thus saving any and all trade assets for a certain Kentucky alumnus who is both repped by CAA and from the tristate area, and is currently in one of the worst situations in the NBA…

    We could go into 2022-2023 with:

    Barrett
    LaVine
    Mitch
    KAT
    Quickley
    Toppin
    Rivers
    Our 2021 1st
    The Mavs’ 2021 1st
    The Pistons’ 2021 2nd

    That might look a little different if some of those players/picks are traded for KAT but I don’t hate the blueprint. The cap math works out if we sign LaVine to ~4/$120M and Mitch to ~4/$60M.

    I am very bored.

  161. dunno, if we start doing that, I wonder what we would conclude about lots of players, whether from 2 or 3 or even dunks. At the end of the day, he’s taking the shots he’s taking and the result is a slightly above-average 3-pt shooter. If he didn’t get to the line at ridiculous rates for a smaller player and shoot well from inside the arc, he wouldn’t have the historic TS/Usage ratios he put up in his MVP years. Now you can argue that the rate at which he is contested from 3 opens up blow-by jumpers from 2 and drives and makes him more likely to get fouled, but that’s true for Steph as well and he’s over 40% from 3 for his career.

    It’s not fair to say his three point shooting isn’t anything special, he just gets to the line a lot. One of the reasons he gats to the line a lot is that other teams defend him tightly because his shooting on open threes is very good. That tight defense probably reduces his percentage for defended threes. Other players don’t get that attention. I mean Frank could have the same three point shooting percentage as Harden this season, but it e we oils to make him as good as Harden

  162. Knick fan not in NJ: It’s not fair to say his three point shooting isn’t anything special, he just gets to the line a lot.One of the reasons he gats to the line a lot is that other teams defend him tightly because his shooting on open threes is very good. That tight defense probably reduces his percentage for defended threes.Other players don’t get that attention.I mean Frank could have the same three point shooting percentage as Harden this season, but it e we oils to make him as good as Harden

    I said as much. But isn’t that true of Durant, Steph, etc.?

  163. That’s one of the most bizarre decisions I’ve ever seen a head coach make.

    The Falcons dropping back out of FG range in the Super Bowl will never be surpassed in moronic coaching decisions to me. Even the Seahawks not going to Beast Mode made more sense than that.

  164. Lol Green Bay’s coaching staff should be executed

  165. Julius Randle Point Forward first 8 games: 32 Ast% 19.6 To%
    Last 9: 26.8 Ast% 9.9 To%

    If the last 9 are for real that’s really not bad. Kemba for his career is 28.4/10.5. Dame is 30/11.7. So you’re a little south of good scoring point #’s but not so far that it couldn’t made up for. Still, I doubt it’s sustainable and even if it was there’d still be spacing and defensive issues.

    Z-man:
    I hate me some Tom Brady

    The only saving grace for me is that I dislike Aaron Rodgers almost as much.

  166. I doubt this factors in Aaron Rodgers throwing and Tom Brady on deck to run the clock out, right?

    no it doesn’t. but i think it’s reasonably close nonetheless. i guess the key intuitive stumbling block is your relatively low win probability even if you make the long shot 4th and 8. not only do you have to convert the 2, you then have to both fade a brady 2 min drill and win in (probably) OT. so there is a sense in which a brady offense would also push the go-for-it yield down a bit from the baseline. i still think it’s probably a go, but it doesn’t seem like it deserves the open mouth treatment. the in game gambling market actually popped up a tick when they decided to kick (odds for GB very modestly improved).

  167. Does that factor in the 1st down is also a TD? It still seems too low a chance at winning following success.

    Idk, I still think you clearly need to go for it. The variance is greater but a 9% chance of winning following a good FG just doesn’t cut it at that point.

  168. At the same time, I hated going for the 2-pt conversion earlier in the game. The common thinking is if you’re down five, go for 2, even if there’s plenty of time left. My thinking is take the sure 1, and this way if you score a TD, a FG only ties, and if the opponent gets a FG you still tie with a FG point after. Being down 5 is a shitty place to be. I don’t know what the odds are, but I always questioned it.

  169. Z-man:
    At the same time, I hated going for the 2-pt conversion earlier in the game. The common thinking is if you’re down five, go for 2, even if there’s plenty of time left. My thinking is take the sure 1, and this way if you score a TD, a FG only ties, and if the opponent gets a FG you still tie with a FG point after. Being down 5 is a shitty place to be. I don’t know what the odds are, but I always questioned it.

    Seems like going for 2 improves the odds, but you better make it! (I also wonder if the odds based on a team’s average 2-pt conversion success factors in that in the conference finals you are probably playing against an elite defense…)

  170. Guess who’s back, back again
    Frank is back, tell a friend
    Guess who’s back, guess who’s back?

  171. I, for one, look forward to saying goodbye to the Hali discourse and returning to the Frank discourse.

  172. Seems like going for 2 improves the odds, but you better make it! (I also wonder if the odds based on a team’s average 2-pt conversion success factors in that in the conference finals you are probably playing against an elite defense…)

    I think it made sense to go for two there, and Rodgers had the play! Dude just dropped it. Ugh.

  173. The ball was tipped but he should have had it anyway…then there was a drop on a TD pass earlier. Can’t blame this one on Rodgers.

Comments are closed.