[news.google.com] — Friday, November 18, 2022 3:10:00 AM
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[news.google.com] — Thursday, November 17, 2022 8:46:00 PM
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[news.google.com] — Thursday, November 17, 2022 12:45:04 PM
Can Jericho Sims help fix the Knicks’ lackluster defense? AMNY
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109 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2022.11.18)”
Today is again a super late game here, but hey, it’s friday and if i won’t fall asleep until the game, i’m going to be here complaining about everything. 😀
I’d say Quick has to start, but the one to send to the bench should be RJ and not Cam, so what is Thibs going to do? Nothing, is my bet.
I just have one thought about the Simsulation..
At 6’9.5″ 250, the kid is big enough to man the middle, nimble and athletic enough to check 4’s, and switch on defense. Why can’t he play alongside Hartenstein on the 2nd unit? Both guys play in different areas of the court and with Sims out there you won’t have to worry about drop-off on interior defense from Mitch. I say all of that to say this- Leon & Co shouldn’t HAVE to worry about getting a 4 back in a Randle trade, so he can probably make that move sooner than later. And if we really are in on Crowder, then it doesn’t matter anyway. I don’t think Sims should ever play starters minutes at the 4, but he can play well enough to log say..6-8 PF mpg of maybe 10-14 total mpg if Randle is moved- until we get another option at PF. If we need to. Right? I think a 2nd unit of Hartenstein/Sims/Grimes or Cam/Quickley/Rose will be just fine
Sims is really good. The numbers and the eye test confirm that. Maybe Mitch is better, but not $10M+ better.
I am dreading him being benched when Mitch returns.
PS: Sorry PJ, he’s nowhere close to being a 4 in today’s NBA.
The Cam vs. RJ debate, unthinkable going into the season, is really a thing right now. If RJ hadn’t been signed to that extension, he’s be in no man’s land right now.
“PS: Sorry PJ, he’s nowhere close to being a 4 in today’s NBA.”
Let me correct myself, if the 5 is someone like Embiid or Jokic, maybe KAT, I could see him maybe getting some minutes as a “nominal” 4, but it would be more likely that he’d be a 5 disguised as a 4…sort of like Tiago Splitter playing with Tim Duncan. But Hart is not as good as I had hoped, especially offensively. He’s got that floater and that’s about it. The 3 is a mirage, at least for now.
I will say this for Sims. He has the potential to lead the NBA in rebounding. That’s a valuable piece in any lineup configuration.
As “good” as he is from 3, something seems wrong with Cam’s shooting form/approach. He shoots a flattish shot that needs to be perfectly on line to go in. What’s weird is that he shoots close to 90% from the line, also with a flattish shot.
It’s just another example of how he has gotten by on raw talent. He was forced to tighten up some things on both ends and has subsequently improved, but still looks like a streetball player getting by on raw talent.
>The Cam vs. RJ debate, unthinkable going into the season, is really a thing right now. If RJ hadn’t been signed to that extension, he’s be in no man’s land right now.<
Cam's prior stats are his stats, but even last year you could see he was getting better and could do things on the basketball court that no other Knick could do. Plus, with all the injuries his development almost had to be delayed. My hope was that his decision making would improve and his defense (which was bad) would at least become adequate. Then we'd have a useful player for that pick.
Now he's playing hard, defending well, switching, his motor has improved, and his decision making is still inching forward.
IMO, this opens entirely new possibilities.
Cam as a plus defender developing his offense over the next 2-3 years could easily be an all star talent eventually. That what the scouts saw in him early on, and now imo it's on the table as a possibility.
That would be an epic steal.
There are guaranteed to still be bad shooting streaks, boneheaded plays, missed assignments etc… along the way but the Knicks are doing something that Atlanta could not. They have Cam playing hard on both ends and slowly putting it all together.
“That would be an epic
Tonight is a great test for where the Knicks are on offense. The Warriors haven’t been playing well, but this looks like a really tough matchup for NY.
Draymond will probably give Randle fits tonight.
Wiggins should give fits to either Cam or RJ.
Thompson isn’t what he was, but he’s going to make life difficult for someone.
This could easily be a Randle meltdown game where he’s forcing bad shots, turning the ball over etc.. Same with RJ if he’s being locked down by Wiggins.
Naturally, I hope we win, but if we play competitively and players are moving the ball, looking for the best matchup, and doing smart things on offense against this team, that will be a win by itself.
It seems to me Cam has found some success by paring *down* his ambitions, such that any talk of future all-star games worries me. We should be encouraging his more modest usage. That’s not to say we shouldn’t see if he can handle more if that starts looking like a possibility, but worth keeping in mind we’re still talking about a guy with a 99 TS+ with usage in the Tyson Chandler range.
I’ve enjoyed watching him lately and there might even be something to be said for weighing the full games he’s played more heavily than the 10-15 minute spurts he was getting earlier, but still, let’s slow the roll. History says Cam Reddish will break your heart if you get your hopes up.
From Fred Katz:
“Thibodeau has always been hesitant to play Toppin and Randle together. The coach’s ethos is defense, and he builds his schemes around taking away the paint first. Thibodeau isn’t infatuated with rim-diving centers as much as he values rim-protecting ones, and all of the Knicks who block shots also happen to hang around the hoop on offense, too…But circumstances are changing around the Toppin-Randle frontcourt. The Knicks can make up for the lack of rim protection with better perimeter defense, which it got Wednesday from Quickley and Reddish. Shot blocking isn’t nearly as important if getting into the paint is a chore. Randle played his handsiest defensive game of the season…Toppin’s offense, meanwhile, has become too powerful to ignore.”
A fair question is: can Brunson play defense on the perimeter well enough to make this work, or should they try Grimes in his place and let IQ run the point? (or alternatively RJ if he ever gets out of his funk)
“I’d say Quick has to start, but the one to send to the bench should be RJ and not Cam, so what is Thibs going to do? Nothing, is my bet.”
Agree. IQ and Brunson together look like they might be very complementary. Other posters have also said well that RJ and Randle play the same bully ball to the hoop, so having them on different lineups would help spacing (especially when Mitch or Sims are in). The maddening thing is that Randle is actually a better 3pt shooter than RJ despite being the bigger guy. In my worst nightmare, RJ is really just a smaller, less successful, less versatile(!) Randle, and that is something we do not need.
Like Poindexter, I too would like to see Sims play beside Hart in some lineups. So far Hart’s 3 pointer exists only on the blogs of his previous team, so I’d like him to get more reps to find out if we can use it.
You’re asking if we should sit our best player?
Starting five when Mitch back – Randle, Cam, Mitch, IQ and Brunson….
2nd unit – RJ, Obi, grimes, Sims and Rose
Hart – “situational”..
Fournier – Au revoir….
“You’re asking if we should sit our best player?”
lol you got me there! Brunson is averaging 32.7 mpg. Let’s say you run the Randle-Obi lineup out there 8-10 mpg. I am suggesting that for some of those minutes, throw your best perimeter defenders out there, who might happen to be our best 2-way floor spacers as well. In line with Katz’s point about tough perimeter defense mitigating the rim protection issue, if Brunson is the weak link and his guy gets into the paint with ease, things can break down. Obi is already a question mark on D so him and Brunson might not work as well. It comes down to whether what they gain on O ourweighs what they give up on D.
Cam as a plus defender developing his offense over the next 2-3 years could easily be an all star talent eventually.
“could easily” equals what odds? be careful i am on the offer here.
“Hart – “situational””
Probably not gonna happen…
Hart is somewhat disappointing, especially his lack of toughness on the boards. But I doubt that they would bench him unless he plays really badly.
“Situationally” I think Brunson, IQ, Cam, Obi, Randle also works. Every one of them is a threat from three.
“Probably not gonna happen…”
They have one dude who’s got 2 yrs 17 mill riding the pine…why not the 2 yr 16 mill guys as well…
“History says Cam Reddish will break your heart if you get your hopes up.”
All 3,661 minutes of history?
Cam has played considerably less than 2 seasons worth of NBA minutes/games. He’s not on some weird hot streak….in fact, his 3pt shooting, which is what was touted as his best offensive skill when he was acquired, is still only at 33%, right around his career average thus far.
What is encouraging is his shot selection and finishing. Only 5% of his shots thus far are long 2’s, and in his 563 minutes with the Knicks he’s hit 55% from 2 on 100 shots. Still a tiny sample, but it certainly fine to start thinking that it’s not a mirage.
I think it’s fair to compare his progression with our former lanky defensive 2’s…Shump and Frank. Shump’s high water mark from 2 with the Knicks was .458, and Frank topped out at .444. We all lamented how bad those guys were at finishing. I’m feeling really good about what Cam is doing when he gets into the restricted area….not so good about his tendency to get stripped early on in his moves…but he’s showing this incredible ability to hang and adjust in mid-air with either hand, and seems to show fouls well.
Combined with his defense, there’s upside there that simply wasn’t there with Shump or Frank. Bottom line is, it’s really refreshing to even be able to see it happening, rather than having him completely out of the rotation as was expected by THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE going into the season.
“They have one dude who’s got 2 yrs 17 mill riding the pine…why not the 2 yr 16 mill guys as well…”
pepper, I’m kind of with you…I would rather see Hart benched than Sims right now.
But the difference is that Fournier has a .474 TS% and can’t play D…Hart is giving you 10.1 points on a .577 TS%, 11.7 rebounds, and decent blocks and steals numbers per 36. And they haven’t really tapped into his passing potential yet…his assist numbers are way down.
Z-Man, I’m not sure what part of what I said you’re taking issue with. Cam is obviously not on some weird hot streak, because his numbers overall are not that good.
I noted I’ve liked how he’s played recently offensively, largely because he’s pared down his ambitions and has more or less Moreyfied his shot distribution. I also think he’s one of the rare-ish examples of a quality defender who doesn’t rack up much in the way of box-score stats on that end–by the eye-test he seems to force guys into difficult looks and get a lot of deflections that result in steals for others.
At the end of the day though, we are still talking about someone averaging 14/3/1.5 per-36 with a 99 TS+ in his 4th season. My point was we should probably slow the roll on all-star talk accordingly. Do you disageee?
shams is also out saying we are willing to trade quickley (or rose). i am fairly sure that any deal sending out quick would be bad.
“The Knicks have shown a willingness to discuss Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley in trade talks, league sources say, as a way to sort out the team’s glut at the guard position over the course of the season.”
I obviously am in no rush to move Quickley–he’s been perhaps my favorite player to watch in the Leon Rose era. However anyone who rejects the idea out of hand is going to have to explain how we’re going to build a good team if we have to pay Quickley, Toppin, Grimes, and Reddish to say nothing of future draft picks. The team is mediocre with all of those guys making nothing.
Someone is getting traded, or worse, not re-signed.
Cam, Jericho, and IQ have had intriguing starts to the season.
To me, IQ’s defense is the thing that really stands out. It’s unusual to have a perimeter player string together this kind of defensive stretch. He’s been visibly locking people down in a way I never would have expected. He’s been the player we all hoped Frank would be and I find the whole thing weird. Was he doing this all last year and we didn’t notice?
I agree trading IQ seems bonkers. Would be highly upsetting. If you get great value for him, maybe. But this team should not be in a place where it is jettisoning IQ.
Sims – Does anyone get a Dwight Powell vibe? I think I need to see him anchoring the defense for a few weeks before I am a real believer. Nothing wrong with Powell of course, would be an amazing outcome. But without defense this player type has some drawbacks. A huge win though so far and a credit to the scouting department.
Cam – I need to see more from. He’s bounced off the bottom but we are a long way from trust.
I think when Mitch comes back this should be our rotation
Bench – go with Rose, IQ, Obi, Sims
Use Hart, Fournier and Grimes situationally.
Yank RJ if he’s having a bad shooting night and give more minutes to IQ, Obi, etc.
This shores up the defense. Even with Fournier starting the outside shooting is going to be bad at times, so might as well lean into having better defense. Cam starting over Fournier does that. Sims playing over Hart does that. Giving IQ more minutes improves the defense too.
To be clear, I’d have a very high bar for moving Quickley. A single first from a decent team wouldn’t come close to cutting it. My only point is there are obviously going to have be trades soon–we couldn’t build a good team with the young guys making peanuts, so we definitely won’t be able to once they’re paid.
If you think Quickley will bring back the best return of any of the young players, it *could* make sense to trade him on that basis.
From the Athletic’s review of every NBA team’s problems, nothing new for the KB crowd:
Shooting — as we all expected: The Knicks are 28th in 3-point percentage. They have one player — Obi Toppin — hitting better than 34 percent of his deep balls, and he was a supposed non-shooter as recently as a month ago. It’s not just about New York finding points from beyond the arc either. Spacing in the first unit is difficult to find.
Whenever I see a good kid’s name come up in trade talks like this, I just want to assume Leon is trying to pull a bait-and-switch with RJ (pretend RJ is “untouchable” and then swap him into the deal last-minute like he tried to do with Spida).
Because trading IQ for anything other than an all-star talent seems ridiculous at this point, especially because he’s this regime’s special Kentucky find.
Oh, i see what you mean, that we should use the minutes when Brunson is off the court to check if the Randle and Obi pairing is more effective with better defense around them. That makes sense, yeah.
“Z-Man, I’m not sure what part of what I said you’re taking issue with.”
“History says Cam Reddish will break your heart if you get your hopes up.”
My issue with this is that there really isn’t much history with Cam to draw any such conclusions, unless you are ATL and expected him to be a star right away. He just turned 23 (almost 2 years younger than Obi) and has been reasonably effective in his Knicks minutes, especially in a couple of areas that folks prematurely concluded he would likely be bad, e.g. 2pt%, finishing, defensive awareness.
Like IQ, his impact is not fully captured in his stats. Thibs mentioned that his length causes problems for opposing offenses, e.g. passes around him having more air under them, giving hedging teammates more time to close out, or get deflections. Cam gets no credit for those things.
In Katz’s article, he starts with how having Obi and Randle out there without a true C puts Cam in a position to use his length and craftiness to weave and score in the paint, as he did right down the lane during that crucial stretch run. When he has space and a lane to the rim, he’s very tough to stop.
And for the ‘Fire Thibs’ team (which I might have recently joined), here’s the Athletic on that topic:
I’d maybe update my LinkedIn profile
Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks: Going into this season, it sounded a little like Thibodeau might be coaching for his job. Fun, good team two years ago. Abysmal season in 2021-22 with Thibodeau crashing foreheads with the front office like two rams in the hillside battling it out while David Attenborough narrates his butt off. Much smoother start to this season makes it look like Thibodeau is in the clear, but we’re not dealing with a reasonable decision-maker. Leon Rose and company can be plenty good at this job, but ultimately, we’re trusting James Dolan to keep himself from meddling. It’s like asking 21-year old me not to raid the $5 DVD bin. We can only hold out for so long.
It would be totally insane to trade IQ right now for any player not in the SGA category. Insane.
Cam’s cleared a lot of the garbage out of his game — the pointless efforts to create God-knows-what in no-man’s land, the silly long 2s, etc. — and so now the idea is to build up from this proper base.
Next step is to modernize and clear out the lane for him and others and to take him out of his role of standing in the corner on offense. They’ve taken baby steps in that direction.
He has a chance to be both a plus-plus defender and a plus-plus finisher. His trifecta form is pretty pure, so eventually he could even be a plus guy from distance.
Still some “ifs” and still some patience needed, but I’m starting to think his ceiling is actually higher than RJ’s. He’s unquestionably a better athlete, and unquestionably has a better shooting stroke. He’s a better defender right now. He and Quickley are the best defenders on the team.
“My issue with this is that there really isn’t much history with Cam to draw any such conclusions”
We are talking about a guy in his 4th NBA season.
“has been reasonably effective in his Knicks minutes, especially in a couple of areas that folks prematurely concluded he would likely be bad, e.g. 2pt%, finishing, defensive awareness.”
His finishing was terrible last season, like worse than RJ’s. 53% at the rim as a Knick, 57% as a Hawk.
“Like IQ, his impact is not fully captured in his stats.”
I literally said this myself, so still not sure what tree you’re barking up.
But for the love of God, not for Jae Crowder, right? And i wouldn’t trade any of the 5 young guns (IQ, QG, RJ, Cam, Obi) until i had more data. IQ, Cam and Obi seem to be trending up, and RJ is trending down. Grimes is a mistery. We shouldn’t make moves involving them until we know more about how they are in their development, unless the trade is a clear upgrade that we can’t pass.
There’s a lot of history in those 3,661 minutes. He’s been pretty good before. He was pretty good to start last season. He’s even been pretty good in the playoffs before. And every time the same conclusions are always drawn shortly thereafter: he’s a heartbreaker, and not in the Tom Petty sense.
With the important caveat that I never would’ve hired him, etc. I’ve gotta say I think some of the best justifications for firing Thibs are drying up. A few data points:
-The Knicks rank 17th overall in frequency midrange shots, and take the *fewest* number of long-midrange shots in the NBA (h/t to Macri’s excellent newsletter today, which gets into why it might be reasonable to expect our offense to improve as our 3PT shooting improves). Almost all of our frequency comes from the short-mid area.
-We’re 15th overall in 3PT frequency, which doesn’t seem terrible given our personnel. Fournier and Grimes projected to be our highest volume 3PT shooters this year, and one is mothballed/washed while the other has barely played.
-Randle’s usage is lower than it’s been since 2017-2018, which his efficiency is the best it’s been as a Knick
-Obi Toppin has played 20+ minutes in 3 of his last 5 games, with some of those minutes coming with Randle and Thibs indicating he plans on continuing playing them together. This one is admittedly a bit of a reach–ideally 20+ minutes would never be in question, but with Randle playing well it’s not the easiest situation to navigate and Obi projects to play more than he ever has.
-Obi has made huge strides as a 3PT shooter, shooting .406 on 8.5 3PA/36.
-This one is less data based because of the nature of defense, but IQ sure seems to have made crucial strides on that end.
I say all of this as a noted Thibs skeptic who would roll out the red carpet for someone like Atkinson for a number of reasons, but I’m not sure how much Thibs is leaving on the table at this point with regards to both wins and development.
Tonight could be very interesting if the Knicks can win again. Maybe the humiliating OKC loss has woken the Knicks up for a spell, or maybe they’ve just caught two teams at a good time (Utah in the process of a market correction and Denver missing two good players…one of them pretty essential). Still, road wins are road wins!
Cam strikes me as a guy that needs some coddling (touches, in his case) to keep up his focus and effort. I guess we’ll see.
Yeah Noble, I don’t disagree, I’ve been fairly agnostic on Thibs (actually not true at all, passionate about his getting the best out of some players, especially defensively; furious about his minutes allocations). I did lose it over his playing RJ endlessly last game when he was so obviously “sick,” whatever that means.
I’m going to try to accentuate the positive this game, so as not to be too much of a debbie downer, and to avoid driving myself mad and having to switch it off at the end of the third (although it clearly worked!).
Can we just cool it with the trade talk and the fire thibs talk? We’re 8-7. Exactly around what people thought this team would be. So why are we so QUICK(ly) to talk about trading anyone or firing our coach?
Yeah, we got a lot of the same players. But think about it. Brunson is still getting gelled with his teammates. 10 games from now he’s gonna have a much better feel for all of his teammates tendencies, spots they like, etc. And D Rose? He missed basically all of last season. He had a great game. Probably just needs some time to get better. CAM? He’s basically brand new to the team cause he barely played last year after being traded. SIMS has played a grand total of what? 20 NBA games?
Hart is new too. We got rid of Burks, who was a big stabilizing element for our team. Fournier just got taken out of the rotation. Our other young players are all still improving with every game.
Maybe we just…I don’t know…enjoy the team for what they are right now?
“But for the love of God, not for Jae Crowder, right?”
If we trade IQ and the return is Jae Crowder I will be nostalgic for the Steve Mills era. It’s difficult to fathom an IQ trade I would approve of, or even not hate, because his salary is so small. I think we’d somehow have to get back two firsts, with one of them having a chance of being in the lottery somehow. It’s a lot, but it should be a lot. Most first-round picks ain’t gonna be as good as IQ.
The Crowder chatter is interesting, particular with there being whispers of a potential three-team trade. Might be a situation in which something is being lost in the game of telephone–the Knicks might be the third team as opposed to having interest in Crowder.
Knicks get: Cam Johnson, Dario Saric, Serge Ibaka (would have to wait until 12/15)
Bucks get: Jae Crowder
Suns get: Julius Randle, maybe a Bucks’ 2nd
Knicks get: Dario Saric, Cam Johnson, Duncan Robinson, Suns’ 2023 first, Heat 2023 first
Heat get: Jae Crowder
Suns get: Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley
I have never been one to harsh on Thibs too much. The original sin was simply hiring him and committing to win now. That was dumb but not Thibs’ fault. Thibs is going to Thibs.
He has proven more flexible on offense, he has helped the defense, he has played players too much just as we expected. The aesthetics of Thibs, all the postgame press conference stuff etc, have been fine. Not the beard of course and not as quotable as Woodson but totally fine.
Ultimately, we haven’t had great players and that’s basically all that matters.
If keeping Thibs stood in the way of a swift and focused rebuild then of course fire him immediately. If you are passing on trading Randle and Barrett because you think Thibs can work a miracle, that’s stupid.
But overall, I just can’t get too emotional about him.
“We are talking about a guy in his 4th NBA season.”
If your point is “Don’t get your hopes up because he will inevitably get injured and miss lots of time…” then sure, he’s had 3 injury plagued years. He’s played in 58 games as a rookie, accounting for nearly half of his minutes; then 26 games, then 49. RJ has played nearly double the minutes.
I totally agree that it’s premature to make any all-star projections, but otoh his ATL minutes seems pretty meaningless to me at this point because he was deployed differently and frankly, recklessly. Just the fact that his 2pt% has been in another universe than it was in ATL, with a much more appropriate shot distribution and usagr, is cause for giving him a clean slate.
“We’re 8-7. Exactly around what people thought this team would be.”
This is kind of the problem though
If you can get Cam Johnson in here and Randle out, you obviously do that in a tenth of a second.
I don’t know why people rag on Thibs’ beard. It’s the dead mouse on his forehead that’s always troubled me…
That little blurb from Shams is not all that concerning. “Shown willingness to discuss” is so vague that it hardly bears watching. I can’t imagine that the Knicks FO and coaching staff is shopping IQ.
However, it wouldn’t surprise me if they actually are shopping Rose. I know he’s viewed as a “security blanket” for Thibs, but he’s also long in the tooth and would probably welcome a chance for a meaningful role on a contending team.
As someone who has roughly the same baldness pattern as Thibs, albeit in an earlier stage of it, I keep telling myself that I will just buzz everything off when I approach the hair ballpark he’s in now.
Yeah, I like Thibs’s beard. He still looks like The Penguin, but that’s not going to change.
“This is kind of the problem though”
Nah, it isn’t a problem at all. Being an average NBA team that can make the playoffs with a roster full of young players and 7 first round picks over the next 5 years is literally the best this franchise has been positioned since the 90s.
We tanked the year we drafted KP. We literally won 17 games. Worst record in franchise history. Yet we drafted 3 and not 1. And KP is not a franchise player. And even KAT isn’t really a franchise player. If he was Minny would have had far more success than they have while he’s been there.
We tanked the year we draft RJ. We had a worse record than Memphis, who was one of those average teams. Memphis didn’t do some masterful multi-season tank job. They just got lucky with drafting Ja and we got unlucky drafting RJ.
Based on our record, we should have picked higher both years we drafted Knox and Frank. Even so, we could have easily drafted Donovan or Bam or Mikal Bridges with those picks.
We were never average under Mills or Phil or Donnie or Isiah. We were objectively bad. So bad that LOLKnicks became a thing. Maybe some of those teams could have tanked harder but we also had bad draft luck and made bad picks those years. We needed a PG and missed on Steph so we drafted Jordan Hill instead of Jrue Holiday. Other years we didn’t even have picks to begin with.
Two of teh best players in the league right now, Jokic and Giannis, were picked in the second round. Almost half of the all-stars from last season were picked 10th or later.
But sure…tanking is the only way we can get better.
Brunson will not gain more experience and chemistry with his teammates and the offense won’t improve from where it is now. The team can’t get better AS A TEAM on defense. This is it. RJ, Mitch, IQ, Obi, Sims, Cam and Grimes can NEVER improve from where they are right now. None of the 7 first round picks we have over the next 5 years will ever be anything better than rotation players. We will never be able to package some of our players and picks for a star.
Being a bottom of the barrel NBA team doesn’t guarantee you shit. What it does guarantee is that the good young players you do have on your team won’t want to stay there. And it does guarantee it that it will be much harder to trade those young players for anything of value bc if they were any good your team would be better.
Being average is not stuck on a tread of mediocrity. If we had a team of 30 year olds and not a lot of picks, sure. But that is not our situation at all.
Leon Rose is definitely better at the job than Phil Jackson et al. He’s just still not very good at it. It’s totally possible we’ll find a star player with a mediocre draft pick, but it’s quite unlikely. It’s also totally possible we make a trade for a star, but as we saw in the Mitchell negotiations we’re not well-positioned to trade for a star and still have assets leftover to make other moves.
I’m not sure I agree that young players beginning their careers on a bad team inevitably makes them want to leave. Joel Embiid has been in Philly for a while and SGA seems fully bought in on OKC. In fact, I can’t really think of any examples of this phenomenon off the top of my head. The only one that comes to mind is…Porzingis wanting to leave the Knicks, who were trying to be good.
Giannis was not a second round draft pick.
Thibs’ beard now bothers me less in light of Breen’s face fur.
Swift, I don’t think we negative nancies would really disagree with a lot of what your wrote. We have been a bit unlucky in getting RJ. We have been a bit dumb in drafting Frank and Knox. There certainly is an alternate timeline where things could have turned out quite a bit better.
But that being true doesn’t really excuse a lot of what we have done.
Ironically, the best recent example of a star young player wanting to leave the team that drafted him is Kawhi Leonard. My hot take is I don’t think this occurred because the Spurs were tanking. They went 50-16 when he was a rookie. They won an NBA championship.
There are a number of teams that are now serious contenders who took the “quite unlikely” path.
Where would MIL be if it hadn’t drafted Giannis at #15 and Kris Middleton at #39?
Where would PHX be if it hadn’t drafted Devin Booker at #13 and traded up for Mikal Bridges who was drafted at #10?
Where would the Nuggets be if they hadn’t drafted Nikola Jokic at #41?
Where would MIA be if they didn’t draft Bam at #14, or Herro at #13?
Where would TOR be if they hadn’t drafted Siakam at #27, or OG at #23, or found FVV as a UDFA?
Not to mention guys like Donovan Mitchell and SGA and Haliburton, who our FO passed over, or Kawhi and Steph who our FO surely could have traded up for.
A team doesn’t have to hit every year or every pick to make this strategy work. While the odds of finding a star outside of the tanking range are generically low for each pick, a good scouting staff can be the “card counters” who reduce the long odds enough to make the strategy work over a period of time if they have enough stabs at it.
Pulling the trigger on a Spida-level deal is the shit that needs to be avoided when taking the incremental improvement path the FO is on. Even thought they looked bad doing it, they arrived in the right place. Passing over consensus “best” picks like Hali at a given spot also needs to be avoided, as well as drafting consensus “bad” picks like Knox.
But landing guys like Brunson and Hart in free agency, or guys like Sims at #58, or trading protected picks for potential late bloomers like Cam, are the things that if repeated year after year can position the team well for when the right opportunity comes along.
I am strongly in favor of acquiring as many first-round picks as possible and trying to draft star players with those picks, no matter where in the draft they fall. Ditto for taking flyers on UDFAs.
This seems to be an area of disagreement between Leon Rose and I, as he has traded out of two consecutive drafts in favor of accumulating trade assets for a star and has barely touched the UDFA system.
Complaining about trading out of the last 2 drafts that helped us land Cam Reddish, Jalen Brunson, and two surplus 1sts isn’t the argument it was before the year started.
Yeah but one thing I hear repeated here a lot recently is “why are we trying to be mediocre? We’ve tried that for 20 years and it’s failed.”
Except we haven’t actually tried to be mediocre. Or we tried and failed. Leon’s record is 83-80. That is definitely mediocre. But it’s a much better record than Perry/Mills, Phil Jackson, Donnie, or Isiah Thomas. If you look at the record of all of those GMS, they were way below 500. So they were bad teams. Many of whom were in the lottery but didn’t get the pick spot they should have or made a bad pick or the draft just wasn’t that good. And plenty of all-stars are picked later in the first round. And you can acquire stars or very good players through free agency and trades.
So lamenting that we are stuck at being mediocre forever jsut seems silly to me. Mediocre is a huge improvement for our franchise. And we are by no means capped on being able to improve this team. Both with internal growth of existing players, most of whom are super young, or through draft picks or through trades/free agency.
If we had been a 500 team for 4 or 5 straight seasons with a lot of vets and little or no draft picks, I’d be yelling for us to blow it up too. But that is not our position at all.
“Complaining about trading out of the last 2 drafts that helped us land Cam Reddish”
This is the kind of thing that makes me think we’re getting out over our skis about Cam Reddish. I would much rather have Bones Hyland!
As for the trade out from 13, details are still murky but it’s not clear we actually needed to do that to open up space for Brunson. I’ve always said that if it was truly the only way, I begrudgingly accept it was probably the right thing to do. That’s just very hard for me to imagine.
“Thibs’ beard now bothers me less in light of Breen’s face fur.”
Breen now looks like a very well-manicured and pleasant little werewolf.
And Alan, you don’t have anything to worry about for a long while. Unless all the images of you are from the ’90s…
“I am strongly in favor of acquiring as many first-round picks as possible and trying to draft star players with those picks, no matter where in the draft they fall. Ditto for taking flyers on UDFAs.
This seems to be an area of disagreement between Leon Rose and I, as he has traded out of two consecutive drafts in favor of accumulating trade assets for a star and has barely touched the UDFA system.”
And I concur. Where we tend to disagree is on the magnitude of the conclusions we arrive at when they don’t do that. When not drafting at a given spot results in future draft assets, or the flexibility to acquire a UFA with a clean cap sheet, I tend to be fine with the move. To put it in perspective, I was 1000X more alarmed at passing over Hali for Obi than I was at trading out of #19. And trading out of #32 didn’t matter to me at all. Neither one bothered me much when viewed in the context of the other draft position moves made on those draft nights.
(Not that the guys they picked are busts or anything…)
In other words, I am much more concerned with who we pick when we actually make the pick than I am with whether we make the pick or not, assuming that we get reasonable value back in the trade. I have always agreed that we did not get appropriate value back for #19, but it wasn’t a big enough deal to get worked up about. I didn’t like the Cam trade at first, nor would I have liked it any better had we just traded #19 for Cam at draft time. But at this time, I wouldn’t trade Cam back for that CHA pick right now, nor would I trade him for a pick a name out of a hat of the players drafted from #19-24 in 2021. The much bigger question is whether the scouting department was on point in drafting Grimes over Bones, or alternatively, IQ over Bane. If you include Obi over Hali, and McBride over Ayo, those are four pretty questionable choices, and that’s a problem that bugs me far more than trading out of picks for future picks or cap flexibility.
He’s just still not very good at it.
This is unnecessary. Why? Because the Knicks aren’t a 55 win team 16 games into his third season?
So you’d give a tanking squad 5 plus years to tank and tank and tank until they finally draft a star but you won’t give Leon more than 2 seasons to build a contender?
Seems like you have two sets of timelines and two sets of curves for how you judge a GM. If a GM says let’s tank and accumulate lottery picks for 4 or 5 years until we draft Lebron or Embiid, you think they’re a good GM. But if someone says “let’s build a team and incrementally improve” you think they’re not good.
What has Leon done that makes you say he’s bad? Was it drafting Obi? Who now everyone says should play way more minutes? WAs it drafting IQ? Who everyone thought was a dumb pick but now turns out to be a brilliant one? Was it incinerating a pick for Cam Reddish, who is now STARTING on our team?
Was it giving an extension to a 26 year old who just made second team all NBA? Or was it because he hired a former COTY who then won COTY again his first season with us?
Was it extending RJ at a reasonable deal (ok that looks bad now…give you that one?) was it not trading all of our young players and picks for Donovan Mitchell? Was it landing the best free agent in this last free agent class at a position we haven’t had a good player at in a decade?
WAs it giving Mitch a very fair market value contract?
Was it finding Sims in the second round?
I’m honestly wondering why you think he’s “bad.” We’re above 500 the entire time he’s been GM. The team has a ton of young talent, a coach who gets a lot out of them, and a boat load of first round picks.
YEah Fournier was bad. NAme one GM who doesn’t make one bad signing at some point. And his contract isn’t even that bad.
I just think you’re standards are ridiculous. You’ve made up your mind that you don’t like Leon and Thibs and no amount of real evidence will convince you otherwise.
Call me a pollyanna, but I honestly think I’m way more objective about this stuff than a lot of the negative nancies are.
It’s also not lost on me how quickly the refrain has gone from “we incinerated a pick on CAM REDDISH!!” to “now we’re gonna overpay him to stay with us.”
Except we didn’t overpay for RJ or Mitch or Brunson or really any of the free agents we’ve signed since Leon took office. But suddenly we’re gonna overpay for CAM.
“Leon’s record is 83-80. That is definitely mediocre. But it’s a much better record than Perry/Mills, Phil Jackson, Donnie, or Isiah Thomas.”
Leon Rose is a better POBO than all of those guys except arguably Walsh. The problem is in three years he’s yet to approve he’s affirmatively good at the job, as opposed to merely better than his moronic predecessors.
You make the point that unpredictable future events could change this calculus. This is true, but while I’m not a logician it strikes me as a tautology. You could rehabilitate the reputation of any front office executive by citing this. The best executives keep things within their locus of control to the extent possible, as opposed to hoping 12 other teams pass on the next Giannis or whatever.
“It’s also not lost on me how quickly the refrain has gone from “we incinerated a pick on CAM REDDISH!!”’
But it is lost on you that we didn’t incinerate a pick on Cam Reddish, we incinerated a pick for a shittier future pick that we then traded for Cam Reddish. The first move was god awful at the time and looks even worse in hindsight, the second one seemed mediocre at the time but could potentially look better in hindsight. Long way to go on that though.
Has literally anyone expressed fear we’re about to overpay Cam Reddish? I have not seen this.
People still don’t get the concept of “incineration.”
They traded a dollar in an asset class (draft picks). They got back something like 60 cents in THE VERY SAME asset class. That burning of 40 cents of the original dollar — and ONLY THAT — is why the pick was “incinerated.”
A draft pick can’t be incinerated if it’s traded into another asset class. Trading an unprotected 1 for Buddy Hield would be stupid, but it wouldn’t be “incinerating” the pick.
Therefore, the residue charred pick could not be, and was not, “incinerated” by trading it for Cam Reddish. That trade could have been smart, stupid, neutral, whatever, but it could not be incineration.
In terms of the argument that “Oh, but what’s the big deal, they wound up trading the incinerated pick for Cam Reddish??,” it was, is, and will always be stupid to hand a cashier a dollar in exchange for two quarters and a dime. That doesn’t change a single bit if someone is stupid enough to give you another asset a year later that’s worth more than the 60 cents.
“This is the kind of thing that makes me think we’re getting out over our skis about Cam Reddish. I would much rather have Bones Hyland!”
These are two separate concepts, as cearly there wasn’t a plan to acquire Cam when they traded out. Besides, it seems that a) they punted mainly due to cap considerations, so they were surely only going to make one pick in the first round, and b) had they made 2 picks, one of them obviously was not going to be Bones Hyland no matter what. So why not just simply say that they should have picked Bones over Grimes? That totally fair, and you certainly deserve credit for feeling so strongly that Bones would be a smart pick while the FO did not. He’s been awesome!
“As for the trade out from 13, details are still murky but it’s not clear we actually needed to do that to open up space for Brunson. I’ve always said that if it was truly the only way, I begrudgingly accept it was probably the right thing to do. That’s just very hard for me to imagine.”
There were probably other ways to go, but all had some cost attached. I am a hater of dead cap space in general, so waiving and stretching Kemba was not a palatable option in my book. ptmilo did a dive into the net value of the pick exchange, specifically for unloading Kemba, and it seemed like a reasonably fair price.
had they made 2 picks, one of them obviously was not going to be Bones Hyland no matter what. So why not just simply say that they should have picked Bones over Grimes?
Because that’s not the argument, but the bigger question is why it bothers you so much.
Continuing to utter “But they weren’t going to pick Bones anyway” is textbook question begging, in the true (not internet) sense.
“Has literally anyone expressed fear we’re about to overpay Cam Reddish? I have not seen this.”
Sure, it’s a very real concern.
“Besides, it seems that a) they punted mainly due to cap considerations, so they were surely only going to make one pick in the first round, and b) had they made 2 picks, one of them obviously was not going to be Bones Hyland no matter what. So why not just simply say that they should have picked Bones over Grimes?”
If they punted on the 19th overall pick, who makes a hair over $3M AAV, due to “cap considerations” that would make the trade even dumber. It’s so stupid I doubt that had much of anything to do with it, it seemed to be a roster space consideration, which was very stupid because we had a bunch of useless players on the roster.
Accordingly, they could’ve drafted Bones and Grimes. It was totally possible. They just didn’t do it.
“Accordingly, they could’ve drafted Bones and Grimes. It was totally possible. They just didn’t do it.”
And they could have drafted 7 other players who currently suck and couldn’t be traded right now for a second rounder and Grimes. Why are you so unwilling to consider that much more likely outcome?
In case you were wondering, Jae Crowder did in fact play against the Thibodeau Bulls, and Quickley didnt, so this all makes a lot of sense
“If they punted on the 19th overall pick, who makes a hair over $3M AAV, due to “cap considerations” that would make the trade even dumber.”
There was definitely considerable discussion of how only having the 25th picks’ guaranteed cap number on the books was a thing going into the free agency period. I recall a Macri podcast discussing it at length. Was it dumb? Ask Brock Aller, I’m sure he was involved.
Um… that’s a bit optimistic at this point.
Look, I think since Cam has moved into the starting lineup I think for the most part he’s done a reasonable Reggie Bullock impression- good defense and decent very low usage offense. I think his defensive ceiling is really high. Elite if he can get stronger. I think his absolute ceiling is Mikal Bridges though a less efficient/higher usage model. But he’s sure as heck isn’t Bridges now so if the Knicks resign him to Bullock numbers (provided he continues to do what he’s been doing with at least flashes of more) I’d probably consider that as a decent outcome for a #19 pick even in a good draft. If the Knicks pay him like they think he’s going to Bridges (17-20m- and yes I think that’s possible if his scoring makes a decent jump because there are going to be a lot of teams with cap space this off-season) it becomes very iffy. The trade only makes sense if you can get him resigned to a deal that he can outperform as you’d hope a #19 would in the last couple of years of his rookie deal. I don’t think it’s an impossible needle to thread but I think an overpay is likelier.
“And they could have drafted 7 other players who currently suck and couldn’t be traded right now for a second rounder and Grimes. Why are you so unwilling to consider that much more likely outcome?”
Two things can be true:
1) The Knicks definitely did something stupid by trading the pick
2) It’s possible the Knicks would’ve done a different stupid thing if they didn’t trade the pick
Right now it’s looking like we overpaid RJ Barrett by approximately $100M
(1) The choice isn’t between Bones & Cam it’s between the 19th pick & Cam or the average player chosen between 19 to whatever & Cam.
It’s too easy to find 1 player chosen after and in hindsight decide he’s the guy.
(2) As part of a package deal for Dejounte Murray we could derive the value of that pick and it’d likely be more than people here assume.
(3) The 19th pick and the future pick are not comparable the way E seems to think. The players available in that draft vs the players available in the future draft will not be the same. Drafting higher in 1 draft is not necessarily better than Drafting lower in a later draft.
But! The CHA pick may not actually be lower than 19. So I’m not sure why it’s a worst asset.
The CHA pick is a riskier asset but riskier is quite possibly better at that point in the draft.
You can definitely still overpay players but the opportunity cost to losing cap space isn’t nearly what it once was.
I am still observing my 20 game limit. But there are certainly a few nits to pick with Leon.
I mean the opportunity cost of E4 is not zero.
Leon should be writing on a chalkboard, a la Bart Simpson, “I WILL NOT FALL FOR CAM’S CONTRACT YEAR” over and over and over.
If I may wake Musicblogger from its slumber for a moment…
I am going to see the Smashing Pumpkins at Hollywood Bowl tomorrow, and am very excited about it. They had a huge influence on 14 year old Hubie, and I never had the opportunity to see them live. I actually had tickets to see them at MSG in 1996, but their drummer OD’d the night before.
Anyway… I am a basic bitch when it comes to music. I’m not ashamed to say I like some bands that many of you would mock. I am curious, though, how Smashing Pumpkins fares amongst the knowledgeable base here.
And if, for some strange reason, JK47 is a fan, I’ll get an extra ticket tomorrow 🙂
This was me a few days ago.
To be clear, lower opportunity cost ≠ zero opportunity cost.
It’s more if someone gives 80% of their contract value, you’re not too worried. Previously every dollar mattered because more players left in FA.
I feel a whole lot better about Cam this year than before the year started, does not mean I’m not worried. Everyone should be worried.
But the bump up from black hole to what Cam has shown is very meaningful to any results-oriented draft day calculus.
Hubie, I still love Counting Crows. You do you.
Oh, I’m gonna do me regardless. I’m just curious if I’m on my own here.
You are not are on your own with Counting Crows. August & Everything After is still one of my favorite albums.
Billy Corgan’s a bit of a twit — thinking mostly here of his grudge against Pavement — but I’d see Smashing Pumpkins live without hesitation. Not even a question.
Billy Corgan is tough to take- both as a vocalist and an “artiste” but there are tracks from both Gish and Siamese Dream in my iTunes file that I don’t necessarily skip when they pop up on shuffle play. I think even the cool kids still give some props to early Pumpkins.
I’ll add that I definitely like Jimmy Chamberlin’s drumming. And as long as the drummer is good the band is usually worth seeing live.
just one guy here, but this Pumpkins track still hits a lovely spot of melancholy and nostalgia on my playlist — 1979
Begley says Knicks are looking for draft compensation in trades. Says they’re willing to talk about Rose. Does not say whether they’re considering IQ trades.
Article (helps Begley if you even briefly visit): https://sny.tv/articles/knicks-trade-conversations-derrick-rose
Hmm… first of all, I rescind my invitation to JK47. Tickets are expensive AF.
I was going to bring a date, but whenever prices get to a certain range it makes me think twice.
Say, for instance, 2x = y, where x is a decent seat and y is a great seat. I’d rather have the great seat and be alone than the two decent seats, y’know?
So the good news is I’m sitting in the pool circle tomorrow at the hollywood bowl to see one of my favorite bands ever. The bad news is my new russian lady friend is never going to talk to me again after I break the news to her. But if I hear Starla tomorrow, it’s gonna be worth it.
“August & Everything After”, great album…
Alas it’s so locked to a specific part of my life I can’t play it anymore or need a week to recuperate…
I basically picked up guitar because I wanted to shred like Corgan, but the older I get, the less I identify with, like, anything he’s done, including Siamese Dream, which was one of three albums in middle school that I could never tire myself of (but haha we’re talking about middle school and I’m a goddamn adult)
weirdly I like the song “Stand Inside Your Love” from Machina, which is an album that I am not and have never been goth enough to care for
fun fact: Matt Sweeney of Chavez was in Zwan, which is really weird, but then again, he’s played with everyone
if you do not listen to Chavez but like 90s guitar rock, why do you not listen to Chavez?
Siamese Dream is one of the better alt-rock albums of the 90’s, I think that record holds up really well, even the more album cut type of songs. Gish is probably their second best album, I was a big fan of that record at the time, but it doesn’t quite match Siamese Dream sonically. It gets a little dodgy for me after that. Mellon Collie could have been a strong single album but has lots of bloat, and then you have to kind of cherry pick the good tunes from their other records.
I have heard lots of anecdotes about Billy Corgan being a truly ridiculous and insufferable person, but I don’t really hold that against his music. Here’s a sample anecdote: a producer friend of mine worked on a track with Corgan for some song that was supposed to be on some obscure soundtrack album but never even came out. It was not an amazing song by any stretch of the imagination according to my producer friend, yet Billy was treating this thing like it was gonna be a #1 smash. Like dude was just WAY too fired up about this generic by the numbers grunge riff.
My friend also said that Billy was obsessed with Jack White, and very dismissive of the White Stripes’ album sales, repeatedly making the point that the White Stripes were just not on the Pumpkins’ level commercially. “They sold what, like a million records? That’s NOTHING.” That kind of stuff.
Another quick anecdote. Sometime in the 00’s the Pumpkins were doing some tour in support of some album nobody cared about and Jimmy Chamberlin wasn’t going to do the tour. So they reached out to a drummer that we’ll just call Insanely Successful Session Drummer. They had ISSD come down and audition, and he passed with flying colors, so they offered him the gig. Then somebody from management sat down with ISSD and told him, “There’s one thing we need to tell you. After every show, Billy expects the band to convene in the tour bus and listen to a recording of the show, and he critiques the performances of all the members. Oh, and he’s especially fussy about drums.” At that point ISSD noped the fuck out of there.
I’m a much bigger fan of the opener Jane’s Addiction, who were MY band that blew my mind when I was 16. Unfortunately Dave Navarro is not on this tour because he suffers from long Covid, although they do have an excellent replacement in Troy Van Leeuwen, who is a fine guitarist in his own right. Original bassist Eric Avery is on this tour and he almost never plays with them, so it’s a real bummer that they don’t have all four canonical members.
I have heard that Jane’s is writing new material with Eric Avery though, which is exciting to me because all of those classic Jane’s tunes are built around his epic bass riffs.
Stand Inside Your Love is a jam!
Glynis is maybe my favorite Pumpkins deep cut.
I really hope it was Josh Freese
I have no idea how they made “Stand Inside Your Love” sound so dynamic when that album is a horrible example of the early aughts Loudness War — it’s a fantastic sounding recording despite the compression bloat that ruins 9 out of 10 albums from the era
I am doing this for my inner adolescent. Young Hubie has still not gotten over that show being canceled in July 1996. Gotta heal the pain.
From the commentary you would never know we were going for a 3-game winning streak on a west coast trip vs. the defending champs…
If these stupid motherfuckers trade IQ I’m writing a letter!
@ Z — Go Knicks!!
Oh, and I once attended the off-broadway production of Neil LaBute’s SHAPES OF THINGS starring Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz, Gretchen Mol, Frederic Weller. For each scene change, the house sound system played the absolute loudest Smashing Pumpkins music possible, to the point that everyone in the audience had fingers in their (bleeding) ears. This went on for two hours in a tiny theatre. Fun play, though 😉
You’re not alone, Hubert. Big fan of the Pumpkins in the 90s here. It was just that i wasn’t 14. 😛 After the 90s i think they faded on me, don’t know if the music didn’t age well or if i listened to it too much. Sometimes i get paranoid with some band and listen to it over and over, and then in some years i can’t listen to them anymore.
We don’t need to worry about Cam’s next contract, he’ll be an RFA. Anybody thinking there’ll be a lot of teams trying to pay him 15M+ just because he got better at defense? I think we should chill, he’ll only get large offers if he has a great year. He was playing 18MPG and in the last 7 games he has been a starter and plays 29MPG. In those 7 games he played really well in like 3 games, the other he was ok to good. And with this sample we are fearing for the great contract that Cam will receive at the end of the year? When we can match it, if he’s worth it. I worry about a lot of things on this team, but that’d definitely not one of them.
I go to every nearby Death Grips show for my inner adolescent, and I was 27 when I started listening to them
The Post has a fascinating article about how the legal betting services cut off their service to players who actually make significant money.
Death Grips. I tried so hard.
I love that E4’s best game is the first anecdote in that article
That was dirty from Embiid
Courtney should’ve stayed with Billy. They made much more sense as a couple.