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48 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2022.10.18)”
In the wake of the contract extensions given out over the past couple of days, including the Hawks giving four years and $95 million to the perpetually injured, often inconsistent De’Anre Hunter, are we feeling any differently about the RJ deal? Just feels like contracts are exploding at the moment, and will go up even more when the cap spikes in a couple of years. Even Julius’ contract may be looked at as a bargain if he returns to, say, his NOLA level of play.
I thought RJ’s value was fair value, and now it’s confirmed that it is indeed fair value. Nothing to see here. Of course the elephant in the room is if he can improve his efficiency. The preseason gave hope that he can do it sooner rather than later, which will be the most important thing for us this season. Well, unless we can find a trade for a 2-way star to be our number 1 guy, then that’d be the most important thing of the season.
I still don’t buy the good Randle long term, and would much prefer to not have him around. But it think maybe Leon is planning to use good Randle, when he shows up, to trade for a star. This way he’d solve two problems in one move.
I wouldn’t say I’m feeling differently because I liked the RJ deal right away. Anything other than the 5 year rookie max was going to be a win for Leon. You could hardly have expected him to do better than what he did.
It is conceivable that Randle makes that contract look good. It was once considered good value, and it could be again. However, I am skeptical.
Noble, is this you already? 😀
Same here, I thought the contract was okay when he signed, every extension made after has confirmed that feeling.
Mitch, Hart and even Brunson are good contracts too, the FO did a great job about them.
I’m fine with RJ’s deal.
It’s appropriate to “pay up” a little for potential when dealing with young players. The mistake is to assume significant development is a 100% certainty and pay him on that assumption. We didn’t do that. We gave him more than was justified by his current production, but didn’t come close to maxing him. People can probably quibble over a few million on that deal, but there is inevitably some speculation in these young player contracts. RJ seems like a kid that can handle the pressure of NY, wants to be in NY, and is willing to work his ass off to get better. The probability that he gets better is pretty good. The more the better.
I assume we’re doing a wins prediction thread sometime in the next 24 hours for Knicks-related prognosticating but with the season starting tonight I’m curious what people think of the top of the league. For me it has been one of the hardest seasons in memory to pick a front-runner as I have major questions about all of the top teams with the exception only of the Warriors, who all the models seem to hate (538 has them 8th, with less championship equity than the Hawks!). My pick would be Bucks over Warriors in the finals but I don’t feel good about that at all. Looks set up to be a fascinating season.
If the Nuggets stay healthy, they will be a very tough out.
>It is conceivable that Randle makes that contract look good. It was once considered good value, and it could be again.<
I expect him to be better this year than last year even if he's not hitting hitting 3s at the same rate as the year before. He's also going to take less of the heat if the Knicks have a disappointing season. It's going to be shared by other guys that "got paid".
IMO, when the cap takes a significant jump up that contract is going to look attractive, but that doesn't do anything for us now if we wanted to trade him. For every reason, we should hope for the best this season.
Ha, if that guy has actually renewed his season tickets every year since 1976 he might be more hopelessly addicted to this stupid team than any of us.
>If the Nuggets stay healthy, they will be a very tough out.<
I bet a few teams to win it all. The Nuggets are my biggest position. I got around 17-1. I think that’s a pretty good value.
There’s no betting line on it (*) and I don’t bet anyway, but I’m fading “good Julius.”
(*) I think.
Intersting that “E, all merc’d out” doesn’t bet but knows the lingo. 🙂
The NBA is in a period of really good parity. Warriors are good but their championship core is aging and they aren’t the prime Warriors of a few years ago. Then you’ve got a whole slew of teams that could go to the finals and possibly win it all (Bucks, 76’ers, Heat, Boston, Suns, Nuggets, Nets, Dallas, Grizzlies). Some of these teams might be a little better than others but all of them potentially are good enough if they’re gelling and don’t have major injuries, to win it all. I honestly cannot remember a time in my lifetime when the NBA had this kind of parity.
And the Clippers, they can win it all too.
Interesting. I agree with swift’s list other than Dallas and add cyber’s clippers. So we have 9 teams that could win it all. 4 teams have built a nice cast supporting an MVP-calibre player (Nets, Sixers, Nuggets, Bucks,). 3 teams have a next tier player (who they did not trade the farm for) and proved their worth by being the last 3 losing finalists. The other 2 more or less are a total rebuild but in different ways–major all in trades for the Clips and draft wisely with complementary trades for the Grizzlies.
3 approaches–get lucky, hybrid, and total rebuild. 2 of the 3 hybrid teams I would classify as top 5 front offices (whose reputation was built well before this period of current success).
My conclusion: RJ has got to get to be a top 10 player and Leon has got to be a top 5 GM. Maybe I have been a bit too bullish on the hybrid approach???
Edit: probably should classify the 76ers as a total rebuild but they did get a bit lucky with Joel in that despite the injury history he gets better with age.
It’s definitely one of the hardest seasons to handicap I can recall. You can’t go wrong with Bucks/Warriors, but I can’t say I have the best feeling about the Warriors. It flew under the radar that their offense was 17th last year–it was much more “give it to Steph and get the hell out of the way” than people realized. Maybe a healthier Klay, more development from Poole, and some kind of Kuminga/Moody emergence helps in that regard but at the same time their best players aren’t getting any younger.
Giannis will always have the Bucks in the conversation, but I can’t help but feel like they’ve fallen behind in the talent accumulation arms race. They’re definitely very good, but I don’t think they’re good enough to justify a “just run it back” approach and that’s pretty much all they’ve done.
It’s not a novel take, but I’m tempted to go with the Sixers in the East. I’m not convinced Harden is washed–I think he’s been mostly injured and will surprise people this season. First ballot HOF talent tends to not drop off that quickly. One more leap from Maxey and they’ve got a bona fide big 3.
The Celtics will be heard from but a lot went right for them last season. Brogdon is definitely a nice addition and if they’re fully healthy come playoff time they could easily return to the finals, but the Timelord situation is a bit too scary for me and Horford will be 37 by then.
I have no Earthly clue how to evaluate the Nets. They could go 16-4 or something in the playoffs or be fighting for a play-in spot. I’ll split the baby and say they won’t make it out of the playoffs.
In the West, the Clippers roster has become impressively deep while they’ve been on a contender-sabbatical of sorts. I think they’re my pick out there.
Denver will be heard from, but too many injury questions. It feels like the Suns missed their window, but I also feel like they’re being slept on a bit. Understandably so since they went out in humiliating fashion. Memphis and Dallas are a few moves away (I feel better about Memphis’ ability to actually make them). New Orleans should be a blast to watch, but they’re not contenders yet.
I’m a little tempted to go with a hipster Minnesota pick–I’m a big believer in them but Edwards is probably two or so seasons off from being good enough to get them there.
What many missed during all the drama is that the Nets actually picked up some nice parts this offseason. If Nash gets enough help from his seasoned assistants, I could see that team making noise.
I also like the team the Sixers have put together, but they are one ACL tear away from it all falling apart.
I think the Bucks will still be good but not great and same with Boston.
As for us, a lot would have to go right for the Knicks to be a top-6 seed. Even if Brunson becomes a VanVleet-level All Star this year (possible), we are still only a .500 team. We need one or two more guys to reach “near All Star” level after that.
If the Raptors are underperforming early and we are playing well, I would like to see an Anonuby trade for Cam and a first plus filler to ratchet up the defense and give RJ more time at the 2. Maybe it’s not the star trade we need, but I like the fit.
My predictions for this year:
PHI 58 – 24
BOS 57 – 25
ATL 51 – 31
CLE 50 – 32
NYK 49 – 33
MIL 49 – 33
BRK 46 – 36
TOR 46 – 36
MIA 45 – 37
CHI 37 – 45
WAS 36 – 46
CHA 35 – 47
IND 31 – 51
ORL 24 – 58
DET 21 – 61
DEN 51 – 31
LAC 51 – 31
PHO 50 – 32
DAL 50 – 32
NOP 48 – 34
MEM 48 – 34
MIN 46 – 36
GSW 44 – 38
LAL 41 – 41
POR 35 – 47
SAC 32 – 50
UTA 30 – 50
OKC 24 – 58
SAS 23 – 59
HOU 22 – 60
I am optimistic with the Knicks, but even if JR and RJ are the same of last year, as long as you consider Brunson to be an upgrade over Burks you have to give .500 to this team. Everyone in the top is tightly packed. I like the 76ers depth, but everyone else has some kind of question mark. There are a lot of teams which have very good players, but are very thin otherwise. And there are quite a few teams that are oldish and did not upgrade much (MIL, MIA, GSW). And well, what is going to happen with Zion, Kawhi, Ben Simmons and the rest of Nets, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr, Anthony Davis, …? Lots of question marks all over the league. This season is going to be a war of attrition, and maybe it is not bad that we have Thibs and a young team.
Tons of close calls here, but to give it a shot:
I guess I don’t have any particular hot takes aside from maybe Minnesota being a really good regular season team. I think the Clippers and Nets are gonna take it pretty easy in the regular season, while the Heat, Nuggets and some other teams that still feel they have something to prove won’t.
I think Embiid gets MVP if he stays reasonably healthy and has a regular season by his standards, the narrative is trending in that direction.
Poole feels overqualified for the 6MOY, but if they’re really gonna bring him off the bench all season I think he’s a very safe bet to the best full time bench player in the NBA.
If Minnesota wins 50+ for the first time since 2003-2004, Finch will have a strong narrative play.
I hate trying to predict MIP because the criteria are so fuzzy, but Maxey feels like the best combination of existing talent with room to grow. Ant would be a close 2nd for me. Haliburton is a trendy pick, but he’s so clearly already good. Brunson could make this interesting if he becomes a Twenty Point Scorer™ without an efficiency drop off.
I messaged Brian. We should get a prediction thread up at some time today. Important for posterity.
Yeah my issue with Denver is their 2nd & 3rd best players combined for 9 total games last year. And those 2 have had pretty terrible health before that too.
If they can stay relatively healthy it’s a phenomenal team with a very good shot at the title. Honestly they should bench both for the regular season and let Jokic carry them to the playoffs.
Oh, Keegan Murray for ROY, I guess. Dunno, kind of a weird class, but an older guy who was really good in college and will get all the minutes he can handle seems like a good idea.
Iserp you may have usurped swifty. Same number of wins as MIL and we own the tie-break? Make the play-offs without a play-in and Cleveland in the 1st round? I like it!
@ Swifty There was a period from ’70 to ’88 where no team repeated as champion. Writer’s were starting to say it couldn’t be done. To me that was the golden era of hoops. The Knicks even managed to grab 2 rings! I hope I live to see that kind of parity again.
Bucks, Nets, 76ers, Celtics, Heat seem like the top 5 in the East to me. Cavs, Hawks and Raptors are the next tier. I’d consider it a successful season if the Knicks broke into that tier. The Knicks, Bulls and Hornets would seem to be in that 9-11 tier but honestly I think the Knicks are a tick better than those two teams.
It’s not impossible to envision an “everything goes right” scenario where the Knicks make it to like the #6 seed or something similar. At minimum they should make the play-in.
For some realism, I think the last two times I missed the Knicks record by 15 wins, once above and once below, so I do not take my predictions too seriously. But I am a firm believer that one of the problems of this team was the lack of PG play, and I also think that a deep team has a nice chance this season. Many teams are going to struggle with their rotation because they are thin and rely on often injured players.
I like the Knicks depth right now. I think they are positioned to surprise some people. Mitch is a beast. Brunson is a clear upgrade. RJ should continue to improve. Julius and Evan should bounce back. Quickley, Grimes and Toppin should be more confident and aggressive. Derrick Rose is a difference maker. I’m predicting .500. I’d be happy with that. A .500 team gives us something to talk about all season. We’ll be in the post season hunt and there will be satisfying regular season wins.
If we had made the Mitchell trade our handicapping would be telling us the same thing but we’d be locked in for the next five years. If it all goes to shit we have a war chest of picks that we can use or maybe we finally swing a deal.
Maybe we are a .500 team at the deadline and our star becomes available. It seems like there are multiple paths toward happiness for long suffering Knick fans. That’s different.
I can’t/won’t predict other teams as it really feels like there is a glut of them at the top, all roughly equivalent, which means that I really think that injuries are going to play a huge role in what happens this year. Not exactly a hot take, as that’s true every year, but the differences this year seem so infinitesimal that even second-tier player losses for any considerable length of time could drop one of those teams out of contention.
Contract negotiations, not surprisingly, seem to be Rose’s strong suit. The Randle contract is a bummer but I will admit I thought it seemed like a good idea at the time. Mitch’s contract is great, RJ’s is very fair… He’s pretty good at that part of the job, which isn’t surprising given his background.
He’s not great at everything, but he is good at that.
I totally forgot about The Clippers. Yeah,. they could be REALLY good.
That’s what I mean. The NBA is stacked right now with a lot of good teams but it’s hard to know which ones are a cut above the other teams. It’s like a league full of 50 win teams with no 60 win teams that are clearly the real contenders.
Knicks are probably below all those teams LOL but honestly, being a competent playoff team in this NBA with so much parity is probably a good thing because if we can get close to those other teams, a legit star joining us could take us to that level. And if we can get to that level…then it’s kind of anyone’s shot right now.
I also forgot Atlanta and Cleveland. They could be good too.
Having a GM who is good at contract negotiation is kind of a big deal for this franchise. After Mega Max Melo no trade clauses, Eddie Curry, Noah, etc. We’ve handed out so many unmovable contracts in the past it’s nice to not have to worry about that too much now (Randle aside, which isn’t really Leon’s fault and if he has a bounce back season, will be moveable).
Well we’ve had Raptors, Lakers, Bucks and Warriors for the last 4 with their opponents being Warriors, Heat, Suns and Celtics.
That’s 7 different teams in the last 4 finals with only one repeat (Warriors).
Way better than the previous few years where it was Warriors/Cavs/Heat in every single finals.
Way better than the previous few years where it was…Lebron…in every single finals.
I don’t think I realized Embiid led the league in scoring last season. Celtics without timelord against the healthy sixers should be a fun game tonight. Can’t say I’m that interested in Lakers-Dubs
Don’t do it. I had them last year. “Good value,” I thought. And it looked great when they were up 3-0 on Toronto. Then they lost 6 out of next 9.
When you’re watching Playoff Harden do his thing, and you bet money expecting he would do something different, it really makes you feel dumb.
The Nets at plus 900 look nice, though. And I think Strat nailed the best longshot in Denver.
Hey, don’t talk like that about the geriatric rivalry. 😀
I’m curious to see what Zion Williamson is going to do. McCollum, Ingram, and Zion is a pretty nice core of Zion can stay healthy. The other starters are Jonas Valanciunas, who is a decent center, and Herbert Jones, who held his own as a rookie. That’s a team with some helium potential.
I’d rather watch Herb Jones than Lebron right now but that’s probably just me being weird. Zion too of course.
Brian says the win prediction thread will be up either tonight or tmw so that we can all record our L’s for posterity….
>The Nets at plus 900 look nice, though. And I think Strat nailed the best longshot in Denver.<
The teams I like most from a value perspective had key injuries last year. I'm expecting them to be much better this year and imo have a good enough team to to win it all if they are healthy playoff time.
That would be Denver, LA Clippers, Brooklyn, Milwaukee
The teams I like least are the ones where everything that could possibly go right last year went right and I think will decline because of lost players, age of key players, more neutral injury luck, or other issues. That would Miami, Boston, Phoenix and Dallas.
The Warriors and 76ers I'm kind of neutral on.
Some of the younger teams could have a great regular season, but I don't think they are ready to win a championship.
Haha, Owen! 😀 My track record is perfect! (insert Borat’s NOT gif here) In 2020-21 i predicted 24 wins and we got 41 wins (!?). Then in 2021-22 i was bitten by the optimistic bug and predicted 46 wins, of course the Knicks only got 37 and that is counting the meaningless wins to finish the season. How will i fail this time around?
Cyber – Looking forward to finding out!!! 🙂
Okay, the prediction thread is now up. 🙂
I think it was lost because when they were doing it, it seemed insane. “Why are you picking up nice supporting guys when your stars are both leaving?!” So when the stars didn’t leave, people forgot about the earlier moves.
There’s not much point to discussing Durant and Irving. If they are physically and mentally healthy, they are still two of the best players in the NBA. Personally, I think Simmons is a massively better fit on that team than Harden and they are a perfect fit for him. There is no pressure on him to score or space the floor when they also have Curry and a couple of other shooters. All he has to do is defend at a high level (which he can do and they badly needed), rebound, get into the paint (which he can do in that space), and dish. Unless he has a total mental breakdown and is afraid to try to finish, get fouled and have to shoot FTs, he’s going to be as good or better than he was and exactly what they needed. I’m bullish on the Nets.
The Nets are probably going to be annoyingly good. Simmons really is a good fit there, he’ll get plenty of easy buckets and will defend well. If they’re healthy and have their heads screwed on straight, they’re probably the best team in the league. The word “if” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence though.