Knicks Morning News (2022.11.19)

  • Klay Thompson shines in Warriors’ win vs. Knicks – Golden State of Mind
    [] — Saturday, November 19, 2022 3:56:21 AM

    Klay Thompson shines in Warriors’ win vs. Knicks  Golden State of Mind

  • RJ Barrett’s shooting woes continue in Knicks’ loss – New York Post
    [] — Saturday, November 19, 2022 3:33:00 AM

    RJ Barrett’s shooting woes continue in Knicks’ loss  New York Post

  • Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein: Another subdued effort Friday – CBS Sports
    [] — Saturday, November 19, 2022 2:36:04 AM

    Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein: Another subdued effort Friday  CBS Sports

  • Knicks’ Golden Opportunity Vanishes Vs. Warriors – Sports Illustrated
    [] — Saturday, November 19, 2022 12:51:54 AM

    Knicks’ Golden Opportunity Vanishes Vs. Warriors  Sports IllustratedKnicks fall right back to concerning old ways in one-sided loss to Warriors  New York Post Warriors vs. Knicks: How to watch NBA online, TV channel, live stream info, game time  CBS SportsTeam meeting sparks Klay Thompson, Warriors in complete win over Knicks  NBC Sports Bay AreaKnicks Game Tonight: Knicks vs Warriors Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Nov. 18  Daily KnicksView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Golden State 111, N.Y. Knicks 101 – SFGATE
    [] — Saturday, November 19, 2022 12:51:02 AM

    Golden State 111, N.Y. Knicks 101  SFGATE

  • Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley proving all-around value despite poor shooting – New York Post
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 10:53:00 PM

    Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley proving all-around value despite poor shooting  New York Post

  • Knicks’ two-game win streak a testament to team’s resolve, feelings toward head coach Tom Thibodeau – Yahoo Sports
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 10:38:00 PM

    Knicks’ two-game win streak a testament to team’s resolve, feelings toward head coach Tom Thibodeau  Yahoo Sports

  • Klay Thompson amusingly makes paper airplane following win over Knicks – NBC Sports Bay Area
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 9:56:47 PM

    Klay Thompson amusingly makes paper airplane following win over Knicks  NBC Sports Bay Area

  • Knicks at Warriors Computer Pick Nov 18th – 2022 NBA AI Predictions – The Sports Geek
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 9:55:14 PM

    Knicks at Warriors Computer Pick Nov 18th – 2022 NBA AI Predictions  The Sports Geek

  • Rate the Trade: Kevin Durant to the Knicks – Sports Illustrated
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 7:01:12 PM

    Rate the Trade: Kevin Durant to the Knicks  Sports Illustrated

  • Knicks ‘Willing’ To Trade Immanuel Quickley, Derrick Rose; What Can They Get? – Sports Illustrated
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 3:30:10 PM

    Knicks ‘Willing’ To Trade Immanuel Quickley, Derrick Rose; What Can They Get?  Sports Illustrated

  • Knicks: Tom Thibodeau believes shortening rotation help Cam Reddish flourish – Empire Sports Media
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 3:21:39 PM

    Knicks: Tom Thibodeau believes shortening rotation help Cam Reddish flourish  Empire Sports Media

  • Have the Knicks Found Their Best Lineup? – Sports Illustrated
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 2:00:00 PM

    Have the Knicks Found Their Best Lineup?  Sports Illustrated

  • Knicks Derrick Rose Immanuel Quickley trade talks – WFAN
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 12:22:00 PM

    Knicks Derrick Rose Immanuel Quickley trade talks  WFAN

  • Denver Nuggets Film Friday: We Gotta Talk – Denver Stiffs
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 11:00:00 AM

    Denver Nuggets Film Friday: We Gotta Talk  Denver Stiffs

  • Knicks among teams with interest in Jae Crowder – Empire Sports Media
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 10:10:22 AM

    Knicks among teams with interest in Jae Crowder  Empire Sports Media

  • NBA DraftKings Promo Code: Win $200 on New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors – Yardbarker
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 10:04:35 AM

    NBA DraftKings Promo Code: Win $200 on New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors  Yardbarker

  • Ep. 177 Shock Jacques Knicks Podcast – Posting and Toasting
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 9:00:00 AM

    Ep. 177 Shock Jacques Knicks Podcast  Posting and Toasting

  • Knicks Fans: Bet $5, Win $200 on Any NBA Game This Weekend Only – Daily Knicks
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 9:00:00 AM

    Knicks Fans: Bet $5, Win $200 on Any NBA Game This Weekend Only  Daily Knicks

  • 5 NCAA Prospects the New York Knicks should have their eyes on – Daily Knicks
    [] — Friday, November 18, 2022 8:00:00 AM

    5 NCAA Prospects the New York Knicks should have their eyes on  Daily Knicks

  • 112 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2022.11.19)”

    The Warriors right now aren’t a good team overall but they’re a good team at home (where they usually get all the whistles) and too many of our players had horrible games.

    RJ’s regression is one of the worst I ever seen in a player, I was a strong believer not so long ago, I must admit that my faith is shaken but, sooner or later, I’m expecting a bounce back.

    Obi was unwatchable, IQ played like he was begging for a trade, Brunson put a stinker.


    – IQ 0-5 (0-3 3FG) 27 minutes
    – Obi 0-5 (0-3 3FG) 19 minutes
    – RJ 6-19 (1-6 3FG) 40 minutes (maybe he wasn’t sick anymore?)
    – JB 2-12 (1-5 3FG) 32 minutes
    – Cam (injured) 25 minutes

    and despite this, in the second half:

    – Fournier DNP-CD
    – Grimes 2 minutes 1-1 (garbage time)

    “Adjusting” and “Flexibility” are missing from someone’s vocabulary.

    The Post has a fascinating article about how the legal betting services cut off their service to players who actually make significant money.

    I’ve been fighting with this practice for decades, the disturbing thing is that here they have all the legal right to do this, so you can’t sue them.

    That’s why if you’re a gambler you oper accounts on dozens of sites, then hope to have a large family/friends community to “use”.

    And every now and then you take a walk/drive and place your bets in a public betting place where you don’t need an account, even if they usually keep the right to refuse bets of over 500 euros or bets where you can win over 10.000 euros.

    No betting company wants “good” gamblers around…

    Reading the game thread, i understand that the Warriors totally controlled the lead, but looking at the box score and being down 13 in the end of the 3rd and 10 to end the game doesn’t look too bad. The stat lines for RJ, Brunson, Obi and Quick are a death sentence, you can’t have this much rotation players playing this bad. But it was 1 game, we’re 2-1 on the road trip, so if we win another one, we’ll be 3-2 to end it and the road trip will be a success. On to the next.

    I only got to watch a bit of the first quarter before collapsing, but it was ugly. Obi missed a lob and a dunk, and shot a 3 that went nowhere near the rim, like a throwback to those moon balls he was launching early in his rookie year. Sims missed a lob, guys were blowing easy layups, etc.

    The Cam thing feels unfortunately typical. He was starting to gain a tiny bit of Thibs’ trust last spring, remember, and then he got hurt. If Grimes is actually healthy and can return to the guy the front office deemed untouchable, Cam could return to find out that now he is the “situational” player.

    “Adjusting” and “Flexibility” are missing from someone’s vocabulary.

    Totally agree, if you have several rotation players playing like sh*t, you have to expand your rotation to check if you can replace them with better production for the game (at least). Even if it had to be Deuce or Svi, you should try it. But Thibs is like this since day 1, it looks like he believes a player can get out of a funk by himself during a game. I think this works way less than it doesn’t work.

    Geo, about sleep habits, there’s one thing that allows me to be up until very late, i fall asleep almost the minute i lay down in my bed. Meaning, there’s probably people that “sleep” for 9 hours, but have problems trying to get to sleep, that have less sleeping hours than myself. I guess it’s a blessing to be able to sleep so easily, and i don’t even understand how people that find it hard to get to sleep feel/deal with it, because it doesn’t happen to me at all.

    Over the last three games RJ Barrett is…….

    A. The worst starter in the league
    B A ghost
    C. A shell of himself
    D A player whose coach is unable to keep him accountable
    E. Sick

    Submit your vote guys 🙂

    Over his last four he is 17-65.

    That will put a dent in your percentages.

    Disappointed that IQ laid an egg after all the love we gave him yesterday. I watched snatches of the game and Steph seemed unguardable.

    Over the last three games RJ Barrett is…….

    Actually it’s 4 games. 🙁 This season he had 2 very bad games to begin the season, then he played ok to good in the next 10 games, leading to all the “if we ignore the first 2 games, RJ will be a star” popping up, and now he’s in a 4 game funk. So, 10-6 is RJ’s current good games record. I’m trying to not overreact, but the bad games are so, but so bad, that i get mad at him. And why does he keep shooting the ball, and driving into double and triple teams?

    I still think this team shouldn’t be trying to win at all costs, we were on a 2 game winning streak and we could sense that the players thought they should be doing better, result wise, and that usually freezes them and they get back to not move at all and trying the iso ball a lot. If we take off the pressure to win, maybe they can play with joy and execute the plan not thinking if they’re ahead or behind. This is what’s most important to me, to start playing the right way always, no matter the result. If you put a lot of pressure to get wins, we take a step back and revert to our old ways.

    That’s good for a TS+ of 86. Oof. But the problem is 2P+, i think, as he has been below 90 his whole career (82, 86, 83 and 89). Can you be an efficient player with such dreadful 2P numbers?

    RJ is a selfish, unathletic, poor shooting, mediocre defending wing. With his contract, he is as big a problem as Randle, if not bigger. They absolutely should have waited to see how he progressed before giving him that extension. In my mind RJ now stands for Randle Junior.

    RJ has periods where he’s playing well enough that if you assume some progress over the next few years, he looks likes going to be a very good player. But he also has some of the most dreadful periods imaginable. I think we can expect more of this up and down going forward. His shooting is very volatile.

    I’m not sure what Thibs is thinking. Last year, we needed someone in the lineup that could create something off the dribble. So we were kind of stuck with RJ’s higher usage. With Brunson and Cam, RJ should be 4th option averaging maybe 10 shots a game give or take depending on the matchup and how easily he can get to the basket.

    He was the star lottery pick. They just extended him. They aren’t going to bench him. But at some point they have put a leash on him. IMO we are clearly at that point this year when we have a real NBA PG that can create and score and a bench of NBA players that are better on offense than he is. Playing him this many minutes and letting him jack up shots like this when he’s either sick or in a basketball coma is criminal.

    I’ve heard from a few connected friends that the FO is “aggressively shopping RJ.” I think they may realize that they have made yet another mistake that they wish they could take back.

    At some point, you would hope for an organization that recognizes the potential mistakes before they’re made, you know?

    At some point you start really hoping he is sick and worry that he isn’t.

    I’ve been wishing the lineup was Brunson/Grimes/Cam/Randle/C

    Then move RJ/Fournier

    Backups: Rose/IQ/Obi/C

    “ it looks like he believes a player can get out of a funk by himself during a game. I think this works way less than it doesn’t work.”

    IMO, you don’t want to start yanking players and disrupting rotations every time one of them isn’t shooting well. That would put added pressure on them and probably not be very popular. But you want to use some common sense.

    If the guy throwing up bricks lately normally has TS% of 58%, you can cut him some slack because he’s a typically very efficient scorer. If it’s just random nonsense and he snaps out of it there’s significant upside.

    If the guy throwing up bricks normally has a TS of 52%, he should probably have been on a leash even before the down period, but why cut him any slack? So he can go back to his 52%.

    Thibs is playing RJ a ton of minutes and allowing a very inefficient scorer like him to hoist up the most shots in a lot of games. It was tolerable last year because we had no PG and RJ can do things off the dribble, but right now it’s criminally insane.

    In one of those NY post articles….thibs says he’s not worried about rj’s shot…i.e., “it will come back”…or some bogus crap like that….and

    Rj in same article says he works too hard to not take open looks…

    Assuming they were quoted accurately…they’re both freaking delusional…

    RJ can get hot shooting and look like a good player for stretches during the season, but so can lots of 6’6″ journeymen. Hardaway, Bullock, Burks, Fournier are a few off the top of my head. What is it that makes anyone think RJ has a “very good player” ceiling. I just don’t see it. Neither do most NBA analysts. That’s why he never makes any of those up and comer lists. He just isn’t one. Some of our better posters who follow the college game knew it from day one.

    Man, watching RJ was painful.

    I know Julius can be infuriating, and last night he was mediocre at best, but he never has performances like Obi did last night. Obi was mostly invisible, and alternatively visibly bad. Yet he was a -2 while Julius had 20 points on 15 shots and was a -17. Games like that are why I feel strongly that Obi is not ready for a starting role if the goal is to win games.

    Now I agree that playing him 30+ mpg as a way to find out what he can become and not worrying about wins and losses is a valid, perhaps optimal strategy. But the thought that we would actually win more games if Obi replaced Julius…I’m just not buying it.

    I am not going to overreact to losing to the defending champs on their home court in the midst of a western road trip where we won the first two games. And while the final score is deceiving, we did get the lead down to 8 with the ball in the last 6 minutes or so despite the entire team shooting terribly.

    I don’t expect that PHX game to go very well either.

    The OKC rematch is the one I will expect at least a competitive nailbiter loss. There’s gotta be some pride on the line in that game.

    @Z-man How do you feel about giving some of RJ’s minutes to Obi? He’s been our best 3-point shooter. Maybe he would be a liability on D, but how much worse than RJ or Evan could he really be?

    Any word on Cam’s injury? If he’s out, I guess we’ll get a look at Grimes. I think that’s the most important thing about this year. They need to evaluate these guys and see who can play and who can’t, so they can make the most of next years draft.

    Eh..we lost a game that we were supposed to lose. My only issue is that we were never in it from jump. Though I am pleased with the fight they showed last night to make it somewhat competitive. I’m disappointed we lost a game, but not at all mad that we lost at the defending Champs.

    I’m with Max- I am VERY concerned with RJ. We need to get him untracked somehow. He looked like he was getting into a groove when he got sick and his play has suffered since. My worry is that given his slow starting history- this setback might be prolonged. And we need RJ to shake it off with Cam hurt. Grimes better be ready tomorrow because he likely starts and has to check Booker all game tomorrow

    I’d be fine with any strategy to give Obi more minutes because I’m not concerned with how many wins we wind up with. I root for wins no matter who’s playing but that’s besides the point. So sure, cut RJ’s minutes and increase Obi’s, or Grimes’, or IQ’s, or even Fournier’s or Svi’s.

    But running RJ out there for 40 minutes when he’s playing this way is, like, accidentank shit. 40 fucking minutes!!

    “Games like that are why I feel strongly that Obi is not ready for a starting role if the goal is to win games.”

    If people want to argue I put too much emphasis on a checklist of skills for each player and how they fit together vs. what the stats sheet says, that’s fair. But I agree 100%. Obi is very good at a couple of things, slowly getting better, but Randle has way more skills. If you are trying to win on this Knicks team, Randle should be starting playing 30+ minutes. Obi is too limited. On another team with a solid #1 and #2 option, then maybe a guy like Obi would add more than Randle.

    Re: Cam, groin injuries are tricky. If it’s just a tweak (grade 1), it should be okay in a couple of weeks with treatment; at the very least he should be rested for the rest of this road trip. But based on what I’ve seen, they are very susceptible to aggravation. My guess is that he’ll be out until early December.

    Cam > RJ
    Grimes > RJ
    Quick > RJ

    Dare I say it?

    Fournier > RJ

    I hate to be like this because I’ve been in RJ’s court. I think he has the talent to be a very good player, but he’s delusional and a bit self centered. He’s not even a good player yet and he’s worried about scoring 20 points per game and being an all star? lmao

    His one and only goal should be to get his efficiency to a level that qualifies him as a real NBA player and using his driving skills to draw attention and dish (which he can do) instead of getting his shock blocked and falling on the floor.

    If Alan’s inside info is accurate, that is pretty damning on the FO and might be close to a firable offense when coupled with other substantial unforced errors.

    Re: Obi, if he has suddenly become Steve Novak 2.0 from 3, play him big minutes by all means!

    But is anyone here confident that he can keep hitting 40+% of his 3’s on a 3PAr of 55%? If that percentage drops into the 30’s, then what else does he have besides assisted dunks that good defenses can eliminate?

    That game was a disaster. You have to throw it out as an outlier — everyone (but Sims) was either a fiasco or a farce. When Obi Wan Kenobi blows multiple dunks, and that’s just part of the process, it’s not going to be a win.

    The sad thing was that even average play by the team probably results in a win. But sometimes you just lay an egg.

    The parts that do worry me are Randle fully embracing the clown show aspects of his game, and Randle Junior (love that) playing in an actual full-on coma in terms of shot selection and other on-court behaviors.

    And of course our coach coaching a completely different game than what was actually unfolding out on the court.

    The parts that do worry me are Randle fully embracing the clown show aspects of his game

    I only watched the 1st half and he had indeed a bad start to the game, but after that Randle didn’t look like a problem to me. This clown show was in the 2nd half?

    RJ does have a hard time finishing around the rim. I’d love to see his last 50 shot attempts in the paint.

    RJ is just strange. He seems like a very good leaper on fast breaks. Give him a little runway like on a baseline dunk he had at the game I went to at the Garden and he looks like a stud.

    But when forced to decelerate or shift his weight on drives or after a bit of contact, usually that he initiated to get space, he seems to lose a lot of lift relative to other players. He just seems to be sinking. It’s so hard for him to get a clean unobstructed look unless he gets free off a pick or a cut.

    I want to be an optimist because thinking about his contract is so depressing otherwise.

    I have said it many times but there are vanishingly few examples of guys who have played as many minutes as RJ and then broken out.

    Sims did look pretty good yesterday. it’s funny that he is the same age as Mitch.

    Obi has definitely been lackluster the past few games. I mentioned this during the game thread but he’s currently taking *53%* of his total shots from three. His overall efficiency is still good because he’s making so many of them, but assuming that drops off a bit it feels like a waste of his talents and physical gifts.

    Last year he took 58% of his shots at the rim and 33% of his shots from 3, which feels like a much more natural distribution. This reeks of him doing everything in his power to see the court, which makes a lot of sense given his career arc.

    I’m not worried about 1 game results, but I think we have enough data on RJ to make some conclusions. Strat hit the nail on the head. Cam, Grimes, and Quickley could all end up as good or better than RJ. I would add Evan if he were 25. That is a perfectly cromulent group of wing prospects. There was no need to throw a bag at RJ. Other than PR to distract from not trading for Mitchell, which I think was the right decision.

    At some point, you would hope for an organization that recognizes the potential mistakes before they’re made, you know?

    I don’t know if Leon is aware, but he is on the hot seat right now. Dolan usually waits 3 seasons to fire the POBO/GM, and as Leon is on his 3rd season, he has the trade deadline and next offseason to have a team that prevents Dolan from firing him. Can he do it? I used to believe he can, but now i’m not that confident, he hasn’t made a single move that we can say “how did he pull that off?”, unless you count getting his godson in free-agency a move hard to make. IQ was a good selection, Obi instead of Hali was a blunder. Grimes was a good selection, but it was a strong draft and we had picks 19 and 21, it’s hard to believe we got just one good player out of those 2 picks. Cam might mitigate this, or he might not, as he’s injured again and running out of time to prove himself. Randle’s contract looked good when signed and later it was proved that we should have waited and challenged him to prove himself before we paid him. So what does he do in the next offseason, the same i’ll pay you before you deserve it, now with RJ. The few millions we save by signing this “friendly” deals are not worth the risk that the player doesn’t deserve even the “friendly” deal. To waste picks undoing the bad signings of 2021 and not picking a single player in this year’s draft is another bad move. I’m getting the feeling that to begin next season, Leon will not be at the helm.

    all that is spot on cyber…but part of me says Dolan might have GM fatigue and just not give a shit anymore and let it roll…as long as the money is flowing in…

    You might be right, Pepper. But i thought the same when Phil was here, and fresh from Dolan picking up the option for years 4 and 5, and Dolan fired him regardless.

    There was absolutely no reason to do anything with RJ other than tell him to go out and earn the biggest damn contract he could get. Given his track record, the risk that we’d wind up having to pay him more than what he got in RFA was vanishingly small, and if it actually came to pass we’d all be happy anyway.

    I’m not sure how much of the decision was a genuine belief that RJ would be worth the contract vs a negotiating ploy gone awry, but neither explanation is flattering. Just a god awful decision.

    RJ will likely never make those “25 under 25 lists” but he seems likely to be on the “top 10 worst contracts in the NBA” lists.

    let’s trade our “i am a superstar guy for their disgruntled guy” and throw in the frenchman to boot…

    Brunson and Lavine on defense gives me the creeps. 😛

    Just to go left when everyone’s going right, Barrett is going to go on a tear sometime soon and many here will be wiping sweat off their brows over not having traded him during the doldrums. Because that’s what he does, and that’s what we do here.

    But what that means is that Barrett is a maddeningly inconsistent player who swings wildly from “this ship be sinking” to “he’s an all-star.” That’s who he is. Maybe someday he’ll even things out, hopefully toward the latter part of that description, and thus worthy of his contract. But no guarantees.

    What makes no sense at all is playing him 40 minutes a night when he’s on the sinking ship part of his season.

    If you look under the hood, the Knicks are actually less impressive than their record suggests.

    They’re 8-8 and 23th in SRS, but that is with two “cheap” wins baked in– the squeaker win over Philly without Embiid and Harden, and the squeaker win over Denver without Jokic. This team could very easily be 6-10 and right in the thick of the Tankathon race with San Antonio and the like.

    They’re not good on either side of the ball: 20th in offensive rating, 20th in defensive rating. The young players who we have been hoping would take a leap have not taken a leap. The young players on the team all project to be role players or worse. I don’t think there is a single one among them who you could look at and say “Yeah, that guy is going to be an above average NBA starter.”

    The team is ugly aesthetically, continues to be plagued with a poor team eFG%, doesn’t have the personnel to defend at a high level, and is starting to amass bad contracts. The surplus picks we have coming to us in future drafts are by and large heavily protected.

    This is a SLOG, y’all. This looks very much like a typical Knicks team that hobbles along in mediocre fashion all year then drafts 9th. Some moves need to be made NOW to get this rudderless ship on a path to SOMETHING. We’re almost at the magic 20 game mark, at which point we might want to start accepting the reality that Leon Rose is not very good at this.

    lavine at 40mm aav is harsh but he has more talent in his pinky than peak RJ (combined with E4)…I don’t think the bulls would ever do it..

    RJ just doesn’t ever show any growth. He got better in year 2, regressed in year 3, and now he’s having pretty much the same season in year 4.

    He’s still not as good as he was in year 2, the empty arenas season. He reminds me of the review of Spinal Tap’s “Intravenous De Milo” album: “The musical growth rate of this group cannot even be charted.”

    the squeaker win over Philly without Embiid and Harden, and the squeaker win over Denver without Jokic

    And the OT home win over the Hornets without Lamelo and Rozier…

    Remember that brief time period where we weren’t sure there was that big a gap between Ja and RJ?

    That fucking lottery will haunt us forever.

    we need dj phan to come back and channel the basketball gods and convince them of the accuracy of his RJ prognostication…kind of like a rain dance or something…perhaps that will get the kid going ….

    I’m with you, Raven, i still believe in RJ. He’s making things hard for us believers, but i still think he can be a good player. Maybe borderline all star is his ceiling, getting to one or two all star games based on the narrative… 5 star high school prospect, top3 pick, plays for the Knicks (always useful to get a lot of votes). Wouldn’t be a bad outcome, imo.

    The worst-case scenario is basically playing out. We have enough talent to beat the bottom feeders, but the good teams don’t even have to take us seriously. Randle has improved enough to help us win some games, but probably not enough to trade him. The young players have either stagnated or regressed.

    I stressed all offseason to people preaching “patience” that the passage of time does not inherently improve a team’s positioning. The idea that it does is downright bizarre and contravenes common sense–obviously RJ is a worse asset being paid $27M AAV than he was on a rookie-scale deal, the other guys are worse assets one year closer to being RFAs, etc.

    The premise was that these guys would all inevitably improve to a degree that would outweigh their worsening contract status, completely ignoring the possibility that with the mediocre picks he accrued, Leon Rose simply did not select players that just get better and better all the time. Our guys are what they are, and the market told us what they are.

    The problem with Leon Rose is not that he’s taking too long to build a good team. The problem is that *he is not building a good team period.* How much more evidence do we need?

    But hey, we can still trade for an unnamed star at a price that will, for some reason, be lower than it was for Donovan Mitchell! Pair that guy with the other star we’ll draft with the 11th pick and we’ll only be a few moves away from contending.

    Cyber, I’m not sure I believe in RJ. It’s just that the two camps of “he’s way better than he’s currently playing” and “he sucks and will always suck and should be buried in a pit” are both correct and incorrect. Just depends on what month it is.

    I also think the LaVine story is telling. Barrett’s no LaVine (which itself is telling), but the coach did what I have been screaming should be done with Barrett, which is sit him when he sucks, and it created a storm of clickbait.

    I make no prediction on what RJ Barrett will become, but we totally know what he is now, which is maddeningly inconsistent. Coach him based on this, which means sit his ass down when he sucks, play him when he doesn’t.

    If that screws his confidence, good, because clearly he’s more than irrational in terms of his confidence. He’s been golden spooned since he was a kid. A little adversity (beyond absolutely sucking on the court for 40 minutes a game, which apparently doesn’t bother him at all) might be just the thing. And if it’s not, it still means we’re liable to win more games with someone else playing those minutes than with him going 6-19 with three turnovers.

    “I’m not sure how much of the decision was a genuine belief that RJ would be worth the contract vs a negotiating ploy gone awry, but neither explanation is flattering. Just a god awful decision. ”


    It seems from all the reporting that the FO connected the Spida negotiations with the RJ extension and that didn’t make a single lick of sense. It was almost like they thought resigning RJ to an extension would be a “Fuck you” last word in the negotiations to Ainge (*) as if Danny Ainge would give a shit if you gave a nine-figure extension to a guy he didn’t really want. They also, it’s virtually certain, thought a press release with an RJ extension would “ease the blow” with the fans from them not getting Spida.

    And then you had literally a day later a Berman Kremlinology story about them not really “wanting” to extend RJ.

    So it looks like yet another in a long list of Knicksy transactions where non-basketball considerations not only enter as a factor, but enter as a really big factor.

    They just don’t do things right, ever. It’s always, “Yeah fans we didn’t get Kevin Durant, but here’s Marcus Morris and Julius Randle and Bobby Portis and Elfrid Payton and Alec Burks and Reggie Bullock for you — you’re going to really love them!!!”

    It’s just always this.

    (*) Dolan and his people have a long history of this petty-ass we’re getting the last word shit; remember, e.g., the bitchy, “Well we didn’t want Kevin Durant anyway and didn’t offer him the max” press release.

    Just because RJ sucks doesn’t mean we should assume all our other kids suck.

    Even RJ doesn’t suck as bad as he sucks right now.

    IQ isn’t a 28% 3pt shooter. Grimes hasn’t even really played. Cam has looked good so far. Sims has looked good the last few games. Obi is looking like a legit 3pt threat.

    It’s literally just RJ, who may be sick, that isn’t working out.

    The worst-case scenario is basically playing out.


    In terms of building an actual contender, as opposed to a Sisyphean purgatorial, they’re worse off now than when Leon took over.

    Without question.

    I was always worried for this blog about how, as we improved as a team, when we hit that boring middling point (because most teams don’t go from 27 wins to 55+ wins without getting a generational superstar), the sky-is-falling critics would come out of the woodwork. Glad to see that some folks are right on cue.

    By the way, I sent ‘The Shape of Things’ post from the Smashing Pumpkins discussion yesterday to a theater friend of mine. He wrote back one line:

    ‘Neil LaBute is a nasty piece of work.’

    Problem with all that is that they aren’t really “improving.” In asset terms, they’re worse off than when Leon took over; in purely basketball terms they were a 46-win team in Leon’s first year two years ago, a 37-win team the next year, and project at materially below the 46 this year.

    I saw The Shape of Things at the Beacon Theatre during that run; definitely remember the ear-splitting Pumpkins tunes.

    And that the role kinda fit Rachel Weisz’s personality like the proverbial glove lol.

    Here’s the thing about RJ: even on a good day, he’s really not that impressive. His median good day is something like: 19/5/5 on 57 TS%with zero steals or blocks and moderately negative to break-even defense. That’s a mildly plus guy at best. The RJ extension made sense in the context of the rising cap (recall that really good Hollinger athletic article on the subject during the off-season). But there was still downside risk, which was that RJ would not improve at all over the length of the contract, which would render it an immovable albatross even if the cap rises as projected. And it looks like the downside risk is happening, as RJ has literally not improved one iota since entering the league. The dude needs to continue playing so we can unload him, but there is very little reason to project him as anything better than his median good day, which is not even a Mikal Bridges level player. It’s sad but that’s where we’re at. I’d trade him for a ham sandwich at this point. We’d increase our wins and improve the asset value of all our other young guys. It’s addition by subtraction. At this point, his contract and play is way more of a problem than Randle’s.

    It’ll never happen, but they need to clear out everyone not on a rookie deal and start over. We ain’t getting The Leap from RJ and the team as currently constituted is going nowhere.

    “Let’s hope a team trades us a superstar for less than market value” isn’t a “plan,” it’s a (rather pathetic) fantasy.

    After missing out on Durant, they should have just stayed the course and bottomed out. They’d be way better off now and might even have the superstar they need.

    But instead they went mercantile, the Original Sin in all of this.

    Missed the game last night, though I did walk past a bar-TV on my way to dinner showing us down by a million in the first quarter, so I ordered extra cocktails. Sounds like we had a big letdown after two wins in the so-called “hardest back to back” cities in the NBA. Plus the Warriors are kind of good, no? I’m not worried.

    One rare note of consensus on the threads is that we don’t have our #1 guy. Randle is not him, so we’re left waiting for any one of our young guys to, basically, surprise us and overachieve. RJ is not doing it. IQ has flashes. Obi has flashes. Cam has flashes (if we squint). Mitch is hurt. Sims is now showing flashes. More minutes, please. Win or lose.

    IMO the collective pain rightfully comes from our missed opportunities to draft better players even without a full tank (Hali, et al). I guess KP is the one guy since maybe Ewing that we’ve drafted with hope he could be a generational talent. None of us hoped RJ, Knox, Obi, IQ on down the line would ever qualify for that category. So we wait.

    Unlike some here, I do believe that Leon has successfully changed the Knicks culture and is collecting a strong group of B and C tier guys who can be fun to watch. Thibs must play them — RJ, IQ, Obi, Sims, Cam, Grimes, Mitch upon return — as much as possible to find out who they are.

    If we luckily draft a superstar and win a title, then that “home grown” team will be loved for generations, prolly more than any professional sports franchise in history. But Leon also has us positioned as a good team for a Toronto-style-championship-with-Kawhi (as some poster mentioned recently). I think that’s to Leon’s credit despite his other blunders noted here.

    “And that the role kinda fit Rachel Weisz’s personality like the proverbial glove lol.”

    Haha. She was scary, right?

    Well, at least we have this from yesterday’s game. Mike Breen speaking the Knicks fans heart to the clown. And then there was some seconds of awkward silence. Priceless! 😀

    Richard Jefferson: “The Knicks and I have a complicated relationship”
    Mike Breen: “It’s not complicated at all. It’s pure hatred”

    This is three straight years RJ has been right around .490 TS% after 16 games. Maybe it’s time to re-think that summer workout. He’s certainly not making Drew Hanlen look very good. Since year two I think he’s improved his handle a little and the free throws look a little better. That’s it. That’s all the improvement we’ve seen out of hard working gym rat RJ from age 20-22. I don’t doubt that he works- half the time his footwork looks so deliberate it looks like he’s trying to learn a new dance step- nothing natural or fluid about his game. Per 36, the peripheral stuff- blocks, rebounds, steals, assists, turnovers- has been utterly flat his entire career. No improvement anywhere. For a guy with a reputation as a grinder his hustle stats are pathetic. He works hard to score and I think when he’s iso’d against a star he competes hard but his everyday defense is soft, he doesn’t scrap for boards, and he’s never going to lead the league in floor burns. RJ needs to score efficiently to be worth anything and given the overall lack of explosiveness and touch (and a completely irrational view of his own skill level) that seem pretty unlikely. Randle is frustrating, RJ is just depressing.

    KBA — lucky you. As I mentioned, it was definitely a put-it-in-the-garbage-disposal game. The Knicks missed their initial 10 3-pointers. Derrick Rose, Jalen Brunson and Immanuel Quickley began a combined 0 for 9 from deep. Jalen Brunson struggled on his shot to go 2 for 13.

    One thing that really bothered me, though. Warriors with 32 assists, Knicks with 16. Hard to get assists without making actual shots, but still, the ball was sticking and almost every Knick was playing iso hero ball.

    Yeah, I’m with Nicos on this one, where is the improvement? It feels like he cares, and he tries, but RJ simply can’t be taking 18 shots a game if he’s going to be this bad at making them.

    Even if we point out to Wiggins as a comparison of a guy who was an awful shooter and reinvented himself eventually (and I’ll still die on the hill that he’s not worth his contract), we still don’t have our Steph Curry to carry the load and we won’t be able to get that guy because we’re capped out and never picking high in the draft unless a very lucky and improbable accidentank happens. It’s just a depressing situation with RJ.

    Raven — “One thing that really bothered me, though. Warriors with 32 assists, Knicks with 16.”

    I just watched bits and pieces of the game on the replay. The Warriors always seem to find a cutter going into the paint, and it’s not always the same guy. Even when the personnel changes, the plays are still successful. The Knicks rarely get those kind of baskets (to my eye), and I hate that.

    I’m not a basketball coach by any means. I’m not even as educated a fan as most of you, but is there really such a wide variety of teaching methods out there in the NBA? Can some coaches *really* have better systems to get their guys in positions for easy baskets? Or is it always the same “oldest play(s) in the book” like Clyde says, and it’s rather the strengths/weaknesses/effort of the players that win games. I just don’t know about Thibs in this regard. What is he doing?

    Big Chief Triangle had a *theory* and I’ve seen other new wrinkles stick out like “seven seconds or less”, but I never (I mean ever!) see the Knicks running anything that looks innovative or easy. It’s always: iso to start, beat your man, or draw the double team and spray a pass to the open man. After three f-ing seasons, it just seems like this Does Not Work. Everyone in the stadium knows our half court offense, and the shooting numbers seem to bear that out. Only when the 2nd unit is running and improvising do the points seem to come as easy as the Warriors score.

    I think some coaches can, to some extent, extract more production from worse players, and there has been cases where we’ve seen great coaches build teams that are legitimately more than the sum of their parts. Thinking about recent examples like the Spurs in 2014, when the ball flowed beautifully and everyone was involved in a real game plan.

    However, in most cases I’ll still maintain it is mostly about the talent. Steph Curry needs to be guarded differently than anyone else in the league, and he’s better at hitting jumpers than anyone else in the league, so the Warriors can manage to play this way. Of course there are bad coaches who could underutilize even Curry, and good coaches that will highlight his qualities and build a coherent team around his skills, but it still starts and ends with top shelf talent. Basketball remains the sport where superstar level production is the most impactful simply by the nature of the game and coaching, of course with certain exceptions, will always be secondary to that.

    The issue with this Knicks team is a question of talent, at its core. A great coach could maybe get 4 or 5 more wins out of this team over a full season and a terrible one might get 4 or 5 less, but I think that’s about it.

    As a Knicks fan what is happening with the World Cup right now is giving me some PTSD. Just epic level of dysfunction.

    Thx, Bruno. As you mention, those good coaches prolly get the 4/5 extra wins for a season or two, but everyone still needs a Steph to win it all. As per my earlier post, I do believe Leon “gets that” and wants to find us a star by cycling through our youth in case anyone surprises and/or putting them together in a package for the right #1. It’s just a waiting game.

    Speaking of: does anyone think Leon plans to “tamper” with Zion? Isn’t he close with Austin Brown? Maybe that’s a longterm plan like getting Brunson was.

    And, yeah, Owen, World Cup is usually my favorite sporting event. I was in Germany for 2006, which turned out to be sublime: a gracious host nation; beauty on the pitch –Klose! Podolski! Zidane! — plus dramatic chaos in the final … Headbutt! Haha.

    This year it’s a tragedy. I don’t want to watch, but I can’t look away.

    Raven, it’s true that some (though not all, I believe vincoug did a breakdown recently and concluded it’s actually somewhat rare) contenders spend some time in the middle for a bit before breaking through.

    It’s decidedly not true that this process happens automatically. You have to make it happen somehow, and how are we doing that? What are the reasons to believe we’ll break through? Are we seeing a superstar develop as the Bucks were in 2016-2017 when they won 42 games? Do we have the flexibility to add elite players at the drop of a hat as the Clippers and Nets did in 2018-2019?

    Seriously, what are the reasons to believe this is merely a step? We’re pretty locked into this team from a contractual perspective–Rose and Fournier expire soon, but we also have to pay IQ and Obi, and Grimes after that.

    We either have to see substantial internal improvement, which we are not seeing, or we need to make a major trade(s). We have no trade targets on the horizon, and if one emerges we have no reason to think the cost will be any less than it was for Mitchell. There was near unanimity that we were in no position to pay that price a few months ago, are we now?

    The only thing that comes to mind personally is that the front office needs to take advantage of the one good thing they’ve done from an asset perspective: I think Jalen Brunson is a pretty good asset and we acquired him painlessly. I see no way out of this morass other than trading him for assets and bottoming out, because one thing I’m pretty certain of is we’d be downright terrible without that guy.

    I take no pleasure in saying this because I’ve really enjoyed watching Brunson play and he seems like a stand up guy. I truly wish we were in a position to let him help us win meaningful games, but all the evidence says we are not.

    We can’t even trade him until December 15th anyway, so sure, give the team a little more time to see if we’re closer than it seems. But if by the time the deadline approaches we’re still “lucky to be .500,” what’s the better idea when it comes to contending?

    TNFH – “I think Jalen Brunson is a pretty good asset and we acquired him painlessly. I see no way out of this morass other than trading him for assets and bottoming out, ”

    Wow. Now that is some hardcore, counterintuitive strategy that could pay off *very* well for us longterm. Impressive for real. I just see zero chance this front office would even consider it.

    KBA, I’ve had the exact same thought many times over the years. It always seems like other teams have something resembling a system that we don’t have.

    It often feels like this is true even for teams with similarly lackluster talent and I do think there are some cases of that, but at the end of the day Bruno is probably right. You can’t build a “system” around the guys that have passed through here.

    There’s probably some biases affecting the way we look at this too–the Knicks actually have a pretty decent looking shot chart this year. I suppose that’s a “system” of sorts. It’s just still not leading to much success because of the talent deficit.

    “I just see zero chance this front office would even consider it.”

    Yeah, it’s a non-starter. So we’re stuck hoping we make an insanely good pick or someone trades us a star at a discount.

    Not impossible! It’s just not a “plan” that inspires much confidence. Every team in the NBA can legitimately say they’ll be in a much better position if either of these things happen. The good front offices don’t leave this much to imagination. They plan on getting the normal expected return on their picks and they plan on fair market value trades being available.

    The fact that it’s not literally impossible for us to draft a superstar at 11th or make a trade in which we rip someone off just doesn’t do much for me. Like, I might win the lottery one day, but I don’t plan on it.

    I think the narrative around coaches also tends to undervalue and overvalue players in many ways. Remember when people didn’t give any credit to Spoelstra and thought they were winning because of LeBron and that was it? Then we found out he was actually one of the best coaches in the league for everything he’s done after that. On the other hand, Scott Brooks swindled his way into a 5 year stint with the Wizards simply because of the success Durant, Westbrook and Harden brought him. Those things are hard to evaluate properly with the limited information we have, and there’s just too much noise to know for sure when the data is not decisive.

    Because our front office won’t do something as “crazy” (and successful?) as TNFH’s idea of trading Brunson in December, I want/need to believe our coaches and scouts can/will make us better than the sum of our parts. Sometimes, IMO, that means a coach finds a player and helps him become something spectacular within his limits.

    Growing up in Michigan, I was a Pistons fan of the Bad Boys. Say what you will about who Rodman became later, I believe Chuck Daly “discovered” and turned him into something spectacular by force of their combined wills. Once Rodman’s pure defensive identity was understood (oh I get it; he doesn’t score), even the Great Satanic Franchise of Big Chief wanted him (and subsequently took credit, natch).

    TNFH, you’re totally right that all franchises are trying to win the same deals and find the same steals, so I want/need to believe Thibs and our scouts are alert to players like Dennis Rodman. That’s why I love Mitch, even Cam as a flyer, and so on. Sims! My god someone else mentioned Rodman or even Ben Wallace as an interesting comp for Sims. That would be an amazing result. Thibs should be teaching from Ben Wallace tape daily.

    Starks, Mason, the list is long of players who overachieved despite stats and scouts saying “no” every step of their way. Even the Warriors have those guys. Steph was drafted #7. Fine. But Draymond Green? That guy had to figure out some things with the help of a good coach. Now Is our coach good? That’s a fair question, but there are some signs here and there that he’s not just looking for aging vets these days.

    Steve Kerr is a great coach because he took the players he had and created the best product he could with them. That’s all it takes to be a great coach in the nba because that is the only job. The Xs and Os barely even matter during a 98 game season, it’s so far off on the periphery.

    “All work and no play makes KYN a dull boy”

    Knicks ain’t playing the way i want them to play but they’re still competing and make me wanna see their next game.

    RJ playing so fkn bad, Fournier’s benching and JSims growth stand out lately while also Randle’s focused game seems as one of the bright spots of the season so far.

    Team still trying to find an identity and a stable rotation that would guarantee a steadier rhythm but I’m hopeful that they will (if they really want to).

    My advice to RJ:
    Wake Up

    Pretty dire thread! Maybe we should pump the brakes a bit on the RJ doom and gloom, he’s clearly not as bad as he’s played in the last few games and we have played pretty well much of this season thus far in all but 3-4 games. We have lots of company in the land of the mediocre right now. 18 teams are within 1.5 games of us in the standings.

    This is still a team in search of an identity. Thibs has been churning the rotation around the mainstays of Brunson, Julius and RJ. He finally settled in on a 9-man rotation and it stabilized some things, even with RJ playing like dogshit for more games than not.

    My feeling is that there is still more churning to do….Mitch will be back shortly…Cam will miss some time…Grimes will be worked back into the rotation, maybe Fournier as well…Obi-Julius minutes are a thing…

    I’m not coming to any firm conclusions about anyone in particular or the team in general until things stabilize.

    If Lavine becomes available and he might the way Chicago is playing. I think he’d be a good fit, especially if the package started with RJ and/or Fournier. He’s not a good defender but, at least he’s 6’5 and wouldn’t pose the same obvious height issues that Mitchell would have. I don’t know who the competition would be or the price tag, but he is a legitimate number 1 scorer who would instantly make us at least playoff contenders.

    It’s not RJ’s last 3 or 4 games that bother me. It’s his entire career.

    “It’s not RJ’s last 3 or 4 games that bother me. It’s his entire career.”

    Sure, but the last 3-4 games have been way beyond bothersome, they’ve been a panic-inducing 4-alarm tire fire. That’s not going to continue.

    #We have lots of company in the land of the mediocre right now. 18 teams are within 1.5 games of us in the standings.#

    I don’t know if Wembanyama is also a reason for strangeness in this season but i wouldn’t rule it out.
    Maybe it’s one of the finest chances to steal/trade for a star from a team that will go all in for the Wembanyama sweepstakes during the trading brake.

    “Maybe it’s one of the finest chances to steal/trade for a star from a team that will go all in for the Wembanyama sweepstakes during the trading brake.”


    They won’t be “star-stars,” but I’ll start the list of possibles and near-certainties that could/will shake loose:


    I don’t think anyone is overreacting to RJ’s last 3-4 games, as spectacularly horrid as they’ve been. People are reacting to the fact that it seems pretty clear he’s not making a leap this season, which has huge negative implications for us going forward. The last few games are a part of that, but the ones that came before them weren’t good either.

    We needed him to be an affirmatively, unambiguously good player this year. Instead it looks like it’ll be another year of chopping up 5 games here and 8 games there to try to squint to see a player that will almost definitely never arrive at this point.

    It’s year 4, the majority of the projection period should be over. His fellow draftees have left him in the dust.

    I don’t think the Rockets would trade Eric Gordon for him.

    Ok you guys have convinced me, Barrett and Fournier for Lavine. I mean, how could Chicago say no?

    I get we’re in the pit of mediocrity, I understand we have no obvious direction out, I agree that RJ seriously needs to readjust his medication. But if I may paraphrase James Carville, it’s the stupid, stupid.

    There was some chatter above about coaches and X’s and O’s. I look at our starters and I see utter stagnation. It’s all “My turn to drive.”

    The play that still has me smiling through my tears from last night, where Julius jumped up in the air and spun to pass and not a soul was open so he tossed it to a nearby Warrior happened for two reasons. One was that this play should be given on video to every junior high point guard as a reminder of what NEVER to do (see Frazier, Walt Clyde).

    But the other was that over and over, people just stood around while either Randle, Barrett, or Brunson drove into the paint. Not a soul stirred on the play in question, they were all standing around while their defensive assignments stood in front of them.

    The offense for the starters is stupid. It’s offensive, if I may. It’s borderline obscene. Fix that, and a lot of other problems would stop being problems (I guarantee that RJ works his way out of his funk if he gets a bunch of passes on cuts to the basket, instead of laboriously driving into traffic on his own again and again).

    The worst for me in RJ’s case ain’t the numbers or the inability to take the next step but his robotic demeanour.
    Even Jericho Sims who’s reportedly a perfect poker face seems far more pissed off when he’s doing something bad in the game. RJ seems robotic to the point to make the fan not feel sorry for him but to get angry!
    Angry Randle needed to be cool but Robotic RJ needs to get more in touch with his emotions imo

    If i had the privilege to wakeup-punch two knicks in the mouth right now before the phx game it’d be RJ and Fournier!

    As for the talents and the coach’s xs and os id like to mention that if you have the 20th best D in the league look no further who’s to blame for mediocrity.
    The only excuse we have for not playing good D this season is the ridiculous amount of 3s that’s hard to be guarded accurately but ain’t our only D hole….

    “People are reacting to the fact that it seems pretty clear he’s not making a leap this season, which has huge negative implications for us going forward.”

    RJ is 22, he doesn’t have to make “the leap” this season. Incremental improvements each year would be fine by me. Now he hasn’t shown any improvement thus far this year, in fact, he’s regressed. But there’s lots of season to go.

    More generally, there seems to be all kinds of weird, outlier-ish stuff going on with this team so far. I mean, if I you had no knowledge of how the season was going other than that over the first 16 games:

    -RJ was leading the team in MPG while playing to his terrible rookie year numbers and shooting 25% from 3
    -Fournier put up career worst offensive numbers for 13 games before getting totally mothballed
    -Grimes has played only 42 total minutes
    -IQ was putting up a .490 TS%
    -Rose was playing only 13 mpg of mostly lousy basketball
    -Mitch was playing only 22 mpg before missing eight straight games
    -Hart was playing to a BPM of -1.5
    -Cam was 5th on the team in minutes played to a -1.7 BPM
    -Randle was shooting 33% from 3 and had the same amount of TOVs as ASTs

    …would you guess that the team’s record was 8-8?

    Starks and Mase aren’t good examples of guys who broke out late. Both were good exactly when you might expect. Starks was good his second year. Mase was good his third year after an outstanding 21 minutes in year 2.

    Guys do often take a long path to the NBA. But they don’t often do what RJ has done and then end up very good.

    Christian Wood is an excellent example of the phenomenon of rarely used bench players putting up big numbers in tiny minutes and then sustaining it when given the opportunity.

    Paul Reed is another guy who fits the mold. Philly fans love him. He was awesome in his first 500 minutes and has seen a slight drop off this year. But he would be my bet to be a guy who breaks out at some point if given 1500-2000 minutes. Although he may have defensive shortcomings.

    The data set on RJ is way bigger then it needs to be. He probably tops out at slightly above average. But he will never be a star.

    -Starks didn’t play his second year, and was 26 years old before he was “good.”
    -Mase played a tota of 129 minutes before he was age 25
    -Reed is a low-usage backup big.
    -Wood played lile 700 total minutes in the NBA for 4 years and was waived by multiple teams before he turned 24.

    I’m not pointing these things out to refute your point, just saying that the comparisons aren’t really applicable due to age.
    There is probably not a whole bunch of guys who accumulated over 7,000 minutes in the NBA at age 22 and played as poorly overall as RJ has.

    The best comparison remains Andrew Wiggins. Over their first 3 seasons, RJ’s and Wiggins’ numbers were very comparable:

    Wiggins was never worth his contract and probably still isn’t, but he was moved with a #1 pick for a pretty good player after he signed a MAX extension. RJ’s contract isn’t anywhere near a max, and unless he’s uncoachable, he could probably be reined in bit and still be a net plus rotation player. It’s just hard to tell when Thibs (or someone) will start benching him when he does stupid things, and how RJ will respond.

    If RJ tops out at above average but never becomes a star, that will suck, but thankfully he isnt getting paid like a star either. He shouldn’t be that hard to unload a couple of years into his deal if he stagnates at “above average.”

    Barrett and/or Fournier plus a boat load of draft picks, maybe Obi or Cam might get the discussion started.

    Z-man – D’Angelo Russell is a good player?

    Has there been anyone who has come in to the league, at any age, played as many minutes as RJ and as badly, and ended up being a top 50 player? I’d love to know some names.

    And yeah, plenty of guys have rattled around the league or have been overseas before getting a real chance and then succeeding. But most of them either showed promise in limited minutes or were good pretty quickly.

    It doesn’t take a Phd in pattern recognition to see that RJ is gong to break the mold if he is ever gong to be remotely worth his contract.

    Raven — Totally agree. On both the Offensive and Defensive end, I often see crap out there that seems to be bad scheme more than bad talent. “My turn to drive” sums it up well on the offensive end, and, to me, “Running as fast as I can towards an open shooter” sums it up on the D. It’s year three with Thibs for many of these guys, so I can’t believe they don’t know what they’re supposed to do. Rather I question if what they’re supposed to do is the right thing. Of course, I’m just some guy on a couch and I have no skin in the game or particular skill at basketball, so Thibs can tell me to F-off, but that’s why we’re here 😉

    Owen — Compared to RJ, Starks and Mason (Starks in particular) had just about the most opposite path to the NBA as one can imagine. RJ has been coddled since he was a kid and expected to succeed b/c dad was a player. He was given every chance to shine, at every phase of his career, and with (very important) the expectation that he would do so. Now RJ is shooting like shit and playing endless minutes because of pedigree. It brings to mind the Peter Principle. Starks, on the other hand, played only one year (!) of high school basketball, bounced around colleges, went to jail for petty theft, was famously undrafted, and was bagging groceries at one point before elevating his game and ending up as the NBA’s 6th man of the year. John didn’t get *his* chance to play endless minutes shooting like shit until the finals of the NBA championship, and, yes, that was a tragedy for him and for us. But, in fairness to Starks, he played a very large part in getting us to that series, so I say he earned his right to brick away. By contrast, RJ hasn’t really earned anything at all. I like the guy and I wish he would straighten out his 3pt shot, so it would be easier for him to reach the hoop without falling down. I just hope RJ is putting in the kind of work I imagine Starks had to put in to get there. And even then, this league has no guarantees.

    PS — I’m not whining on to refute your point at all about RJ needing to get his act together — obvs. But to say “Starks didn’t break out late” seems to miss the entire point of his career.

    I don’t think RJ will be untradeable because his status as a high pick (and the promise or potential that comes with it) plus the 20 ppg a game will eventually entice someone, but let’s not forget the Wiggins trade was a result of a bunch of unlikely combinations.

    To start with, the Warriors only even got Russell because Durant, almost inexplicably, decided to help the Warriors by agreeing to a sign and trade instead of just outright signing for Brooklyn as a free agent.

    After that, in another unlikely situation, the Wolves decided they needed to pursuit Russell to pair him with Towns, and one of the reasons given at the time was that they desperately wanted to keep Towns happy by bringing one of his best personal friends.

    So yeah, I don’t think RJ is untradeable or going to be, but the Wiggins to Warriors trade was a very specific transaction that required a lot of moving pieces to fall into place at the right times, so I don’t think it’s a good baseline for what a future RJ trade might look like.

    “Z-man – D’Angelo Russell is a good player?”

    At the time he was traded he was viewed very positively, as a player that was finally making “the leap” that TNFH alluded to. He made the all-star team in BKN before being part of a sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant, then played well (2.6 BPM) for GSW before being traded for Wiggins and a #1 pick. So yes, at that time he was considered to be a very good player on the rise.

    I was just trying to make the point that there are a number of buckets that very good and great player comes from.

    The bucket of guys who couldn’t surpass average nba numbers after 7200 minute doesn’t have a lot of future stars.

    Russell isn’t and has never been “very good.” He put up some gaudy counting stats one year but that’s about it.

    “The bucket of guys who couldn’t surpass average nba numbers after 7200 minute doesn’t have a lot of future stars.”

    Totally agree on this, and it is worrying about RJ — for sure.

    “Russell isn’t and has never been “very good.” He put up some gaudy counting stats one year but that’s about it.”

    This is patently false. In his BKN year when he was an all-star, he had a BPM of 3.4, which was 27th in the NBA and 9th among starting PGs. He was very good that season, and continued to be very good with GSW before he was traded. And he was 22-23 years old at that time. So beyond being very good then, there was a widely held perception (even here at KB) that he would continue to improve and that MIN made a nice trade to unload Wiggins.

    He obviously has not lived up to that promise, but there is no need to distort who he was and how he was perceived at the time of that trade to make a point.

    I think that as far as RJ becoming a *star* is concerned, it’s fair to conclude that that ship has sailed.

    Put differently, it’s a pretty good bet that he will never be a “bargain” on his current contract.

    But can he play somewhere in the vicinity of his contract? Next year he’ll be making $23.8M, then it escalates from there, probably at around the same percentage of the cap. His play this year is a long way from even the $10M he’s getting paid, much less the post-extension figures. All I care about at this time is whether he can close that gap. Anything above that is gravy, and I surely wouldn’t bet on it. But I do think he has a reasonable chance to close that gap if managed correctly. That’s not happening right now.

    Since we beat UTA, they beat the Suns at home and the Blazers on the road. They have the best record in the WC and their only home loss is to us.

    As much as I wanted to come here and bash RJ some more, these posts got me thinking about what an unbelievably terrible job this team has done of building around RJ.

    Look at Wiggins, for instance, who most here see as RJ’s closest comp. Once Wiggins finally got on a team that didn’t clog the lane with a paint-bound center and could surround him with plenty of outside shooters, he blossomed.

    Now imagine RJ in a lineup with Brunson, Grimes, Cam, and Obi at center…

    You guys remember the Wiggins Russell trade differently than I do. I remember thinking at the time that Golden State made out like a bandit. They traded an inefficient player that didn’t fit their roster for a player who was useful and a perfect fit for their roster even though overpaid. And they received a great draft pick as part of the bargain. At no time did I feel like Russell was the good player in the deal and Minnesota was getting something nice.

    I think D’Angelo has always been terribly overrated. He had one good season maybe but overall he’s been just ok in my book and not a true difference maker.

    It seems we all agree RJ is in very dangerous waters.

    I agree with everyone about RJ. And I’ve always been one to give players a lot of time to develop

    Comments are closed.