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113 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.01.25)”
Best win of the year (the first, in my memory, against a good team at full strenght, but I can be wrong) and a total team win, where everyone brought his little brick.
It was a hard fight and was far from perfect, with nice stretches followed by ugly sequences, but the effort was always there and the bench unit finally came alive.
Plays Of The Game:
Both in the last minute and both by I-Hart (with help from RJ and Randle):
– First, with a 3-points lead after a Randle’s turnover he blocked a Spida’s shot (pulled up over RJ’s strong defense).
– Then, after an ugly Knicks’ last possession culminating in RJ’s airball after Randle was blocked by Mobley, he “vertically defended” Mitchell’s tying drive (kudos to Randle for denying him the three). The refs didn’t whistle a “star call”* and the game was over.
Stats Of The Day:
17-33. Knicks’ 3FG, on the back of Randle’s blistering night (8-12).
14-21. Knicks’ insufficient percentage on FTs. Luckily the Cavs missed some too, but in a close game you can’t afford to throw so many points in the sewer, we need to get better.
0. RJ Barrett plus/minus, the only starter without a negative one (he did play a lot with the bench unit).
+11. Hartenstein’s plus/minus, lowest of the bench unit (he did play all the last quarter).
Sure, the 5 TOs and the last minute were ugly but the rest of the game was huge (36-13-4) and it wasn’t easy against Mobley and Allen. Sometimes he looks like the strongest man in the league and we really need him to be a beast in Boston.
An off night for the little general, making our win much more important. Judging from the number of times he’s banged or run over maybe he needs some rest.
One of the most “erratic in the same game” player I’ve ever seen he can look like a star one moment and like a total scrub the next one.
Yesterday 80% of his defense was putrid then he had a couple of nice plays at the end, while he was decent on offense until he started banging his head on walls (at the end of the 2nd qrt Allen swatted away RJ’s shot like he was a 8-year kid playing against his older brother). Thibs kept him out for half of the 4th and he was right.
Someone wrote that he must lose weight and I agree 100%.
Double chin at 22? Come on kid!
Glue Grimes sometimes become Invisible Grimes. As usual one of the few Knicks that move without the ball and watch for cutters, he must become more vocal when his teammates ignore him too much. And he must stop doing dumb fouls on three pointers (he got whistled for another flagrant that we somehow survived allowing only 1 point, but the same thing against the Hawks did cost us 5 points and changed the game for good).
Trapped all game long beetween a rock (help on penetrators) and a hard place (let Allen free to roam), he get a pass becuase Cavs’ big men are a bad nut to crack.
He wasn’t 100% and broke a streak of 17 double digit games but I liked him a lot and maybe I’m biased. He’s growing into the 6th man role day by day.
Keep your voice down but, after shaking off the rust, it looks like he’s back doing Obi Things, including some questionable defense.
25 points in the last 21 minutes, shooting 9-13 (6-8 3FG). Yes, 21 minutes. In 2 games. Scoring 25 points. Sigh.
Most minutes in a month (23) and maybe Thibs’ best decision of the night. 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 put-back dunks, 2 huge defensive plays and a missed touchdown pass. Let’s hope he’s feeling better and this is the start of something (in the few games remaining before his trade 😉 )
Come on Deuce, eat your cereal and hit your free throws! After two years my mood when he hit a shot has changed from “he just needs confidence” to “ehi, Halley’s comet is passing”. Still I love the kid and his unwavering energy plus I really like his cuts when I-Hart’s in the high post…
We won, so he’s right (did you notice that I was so kind to avoid grades during the 4-games losing streak? I know, I have a golden heart) but… there are some “buts” starting with Obi’s minutes (hot-hands management isn’t Thibs’ strong point) and ending with the last minute of hell on offense, but we won so…
Anyhow I like the way he managed Hartenstein’s and RJ’s minutes.
* On the Cavs’ previous possession they called a questionable and-1 on a Garland’s layup where the alleged foul was made at the FT line…
More good karma…AD coming back the day after we play the Lakers!
My fave imports from Italy: Food, leather, wine, opera, KB recaps…thanks, Max!
Thanks Max. Great game. Happy for Hart.
Great recap, thanks Max. It was a great win indeed, but now let’s go win in Boston to make this even better.
I believe Mitchell was being guarded by Grimes most of the night, and he had a total of zero FT’s.
I love the way Grimes plays defense (flagrant 3 point shot fouls notwithstanding) he moves his feet and stays right up on his man. Same goes for IQ.
Great great win.
I want to believe in RJ so bad but I also can’t help but think that a trade with the Raptors where we get back OG could really catapult this team to the next level. Not contender status, per say, but a really good second round team.
I keep thinking RJ plus a pick or two or OG because we have 2 high usage guys already in the starting line up with Brunson and Randle and OG would just take our defense to the next level. Plus he’s a great 3 point shooter. And RJ being from Canada, still having upside, being on a relatively decent deal for 3 more seasons after this…he might be a guy that Toronto would accept that wouldn’t then cost us also a bunch of picks. So we’d still have a move to make after that.
I don’t know. Trading RJ and keeping Randle definitely pushes our timeline to NOW and makes our window smaller bc Randle is older. But Randle is a VERY GOOD player. And when he’s got other defenders around him and isn’t tasked with carrying all of the offensive load, he can be quite good on defense too.
RJ. I want to believe. But the fit with Randle has never been great. And he really should play the 2 more than the 3 but we got Grimes (and IQ) in that slot.
This would be a beastly starting 5 with IQ as the 6th man.
I also just wish there was some way we could give Obi more minutes either at the 3 or 5 or at the 4 with Randle at the 5. He’s starting to perk up again. And it would just be nice if he could get 20 a game instead of 10.
I agree with Walker, but I’ll do him one better and also pull a Mitch for Turner trade.
Then you have:
No stars, just total competency on both sides at every position. Three years max of stellar play before the decline starts.
Good win. And I am happy about my Okoro wearing Brunson’s jersey joke. Z-Man, thank you for the assist.
Yes, bringing a game thread joke up the next day is clear evidence that it was well constructed and hilarious.
Shout out to Ricky Rubio and his truly spectacular -26 in 13 minutes. Stay handsome my friend.
Owen, it was very funny. Apologies for not calling it out, I was in the throes of despair over losing another game after a double-digit lead.
Follow-up on Barrett, since it’s been in the threads for a while. Feels like last night ends the argument — he’s an undersized, methodical (slow) three, not a two. He was repeatedly destroyed by Garland last night. Admittedly Garland is a borderline star starter in a professional basketball league so has skills, but Barrett just couldn’t stay with him.
There’s a place for Barrett, as he’s very strong and skilled and can score, sometimes in great bunches. But it’s unclear if losing his double-chin is going to solve the ‘methodical’ issue.
Thanks guys, really appreciated.
They’re literally the best team in the league and pissed for the last two losses.
At the end it could depend on how many of them will be missing, yesterday they were without Brown, Smart, Brogdon and Horford.
If they’re without Tatum as well we have a chance
True about Garland, even if we’re gonna have different opinion on his role forever, maybe in the end he simply isn’t good enough to be anything as a starter (honestly I still have some faith he can be very useful).
My take is that Garland is a 6’1 All-Star and “officially” the PG of the Cavs (Mitchell is labeled as their starting SG, also at 6’1, there aren’t many teams with two short players in the backcourt).
Both of them aren’t the “ideal” assignement for Barrett, they’re way too quick (but he did a better job on Mitchell at the end).
The bad news is that our starting PG is even worse at guarding them, the good news is that for some strange reason we match up well, as a team, against the Cavs.
Anyway RJ’s season on defense has been disappointing so far, no matter his nominal role.
We’ll be playing in Boston, so we’ll have on the road advantage. 😛
Hey, this Miami win shouldn’t count! 😀
Anyone thinking we’ll shake things up at the deadline? Obi, Grimes and IQ looking good. We’re in 7th. I’d part with one of those guys and a pick for someone who puts us ahead of the play in teams. Jeremi Grant would be worth that. Give them Fournier to match $. Of course POR must love him so that’s not necessarily feasible but wow. I’d probably give up RJ for JG but not in addition to the first three names I mentioned. A prospect and a pick for a playoff round or two…
“I keep thinking RJ plus a pick or two or OG because we have 2 high usage guys already in the starting line up with Brunson and Randle and OG would just take our defense to the next level. ”
I have mixed feeling on this.
Anunoby is my kind of player. He has more size and length at the SF position and defends well. He would make us better now if we swapped RJ for him. But I don’t think he’s good enough to make us a contender because we’d still lack a #1 option that can “close” games.
Giving up RJ and a pick or two (even if protected) is a lot of ammo when you still need another high level player. I’d also live in constant fear that RJ was eventually going to take the next step and surpass Anunoby.
I’m starting to think basketball needs a more refined stat for the ability to “close” games. IMO, it’s both a basketball and psychological skill with the latter part being underrated.
There are times in the last minute or two when I don’t want the ball in Randle’s hands even if he’s having a great game. My mind immediately assumes it’s going to wind up with a terrible shot, a missed shot, a strip, bad pass etc…
RJ has hit some big shots in his brief career, but I often see a look of terror in his face that is accompanied by a terrible miss. He’s not that guy either, at least not yet.
Brunson is the only one that seems capable of handling the job mentally, but he doesn’t have the size and athletic ability to get what he wants all the time against length when they are focused on him.
I’m glad I’m not a GM or President of Operations.
Some decisions are legitimately tough.
But I don’t think he’s enough to make us a contender
Yeah I don’t think OG is enough to make us a contender either. But I think he would take us to the next level if we’re doing this incremental build thing.
I can’t see a realistic move that can put us ahead of BOS, MIL, PHI, BRK over 7 games if these team are at full strenght, so I doubt we can pass a playoff round this year (obv I hope to be wrong) and I’d rather keep this band together and wait for the offseason to tinker the roster.
“I’m starting to think basketball needs a more refined stat for the ability to “close” games. IMO, it’s both a basketball and psychological skill with the latter part being underrated.”
I’m with you Strat…isn’t there a new award this year for some kind of closer thingy…
Anyway…as a professed gambler…you would probably agree that a large majority of NBA games are decided in the last few minutes when the intensity picks up…and therein lies the rub with Randle…I don’ trust his decision making or Barrett’s…Randle’s value is high now…we should try to maximize it…not sure what we can get for Barrett…but I would be ok moving either or both of them….
“you would probably agree that a large majority of NBA games are decided in the last few minutes when the intensity picks up”
It kind of like a horse race where you can’t go all out 100% from the start to the finish. You have to rate a little. You can go hard early to get the lead and then relax a little a little or relax early and make a middle move to get into contention, but it’s not until the stretch that everyone is doing their best. Basketball has its runs that are partly random, but teams also vary their energy output. It’s the 4th quarter when teams step it up a notch and then the last few minutes it’s all out.
I tend to think in terms of horse racing a lot. 🙂
You can’t get Randle’s production at anywhere near that cost. I get why people have issues with him – he will make at least 3 dumb unforced errors per game – but that means you don’t want him closing, not that you don’t want him period. He’s responsible for a third of our wins.
Trade Randle for what exactly that maximizes his value and dramatically improves this team’s prospects over the next 3 years? One would think that with the type of season has now had 2 of the last 3 years that you are talking about getting a Donovan Mitchell level haul for him?
I am in total shocked.
On a night where I was under the weather and so tired that I didn’t even bother to watch a second of hoops while laying in bed(I think I crashed at maybe 7:20pm ET), BOTH MY HOYAS AND KNICKS WIN AND IN UNEXPECTED FASHION?? Nice to wake up to that lol. I did see that final defensive sequence in the highlights. It was nice to see defensive focus and urgency to close out a win for once. And to do it against Cleveland as Mitchell had heated up in the 2nd half made it even better.
As far as the team’s construction is concerned, I wonder which would be better:
Trading RJ in a deal for someone like Anunoby, or moving RJ to SG where he’s long enough and strong enough to take advantage of his game(offensively & defensively) and make Grimes and Quickley the bench backcourt? I kinda lean towards the 2nd option- provided we can add a bigger wing somehow. But at the same time, it’s looking like RJ is not gonna be able to flourish the way he needs to with Randle and Brunson dominating the ball. With Randle playing like he is, you could talk me into moving RJ. I also wonder what Orlando is gonna do with the frontcourt glut. Sure it would be nice to hold on to Isaac, but in Bol you have a guy who can comfortably play all 3 frontcourt spots- so maybe the Knicks should give them a call. It would also make it easier to find a home for Obi if you could steal Isaac. Or maybe their grand plan is to move one or more of Carter, Bamba, & Mo Wagner. Who knows? I just hope Leon & Co are furiously working the phones to find pieces that are longer and more versatile at forward and SG at least
hey poindexter, i hope you’re feeling a bit better today…take care of yourself…
RJ and 1s for OG is nuts.
Last week Bobby Marks at ESPN put RJ in the “difficult to move before the off-season” category, for some kind of “poison pill” restriction (he has a different value in dollars for us and for the potential buyer).
Can someone with more knowledge about the cap wrinkles than me explain? 🙂
Good to finally see the Isaiah Hartenstein we all thought we were getting. Better late than never. Gonna need that version of him to get to the all-star break near .500.
Randle unambiguously deserves to be an all-star, probably more so than last time, and yet he might not get selected because coaches feel embarrassed about giving it to him in 2021 and then watching him shit the bed the next year. Regardless, he’s been great and has *mostly* played in a sustainably productive way.
He’s exceeded my 100th percentile expectations for the season and has swiftly changed the narrative about his contract. Among the top-20 players in BPM, only Haliburton (rookie-scale), Zion (rookie-scale before max extension kicks in), Markkanen, and Sabonis are paid less.
I don’t know of any stats that measure the ability of an otherwise unremarkable shooter to get extremely hot from 3, but Randle has 9(!) games with 5+ 3PM despite shooting just .345 on the season. Pretty crazy. Might have something to do with opposing teams not fully respecting the shot because of the season/career percentage.
“Can someone with more knowledge about the cap wrinkles than me explain? 🙂”
If RJ is traded this season, his outgoing salary counts as $10.9M for us but $26.2M (his AAV for this season and the four after it) for the team receiving him.
It makes trading him very difficult, though not impossible.
It’s getting late pretty early in RJ’s career. As usual we’ve had our hopeful stretches, but year 4 is looking a lot like years 1-3. I’d be surprised if he could be the centerpiece of a trade for OG, but if he could be we should absolutely do it.
At this point I’ll take the risk that he drastically improves his value after such a trade. He doesn’t have any valid gripes about his deployment and while his rosters haven’t been ideal for him, he also hasn’t played in a way that justifies crafting a roster around his skills.
Just feels like we’ll still be talking about promising 9 game stretches four years form now. OG is a more than adequate exit strategy IMO.
Why is it nuts? OG is a VERY good player. And if it’s two firsts, say this year’s firsts, those are not going to be good picks.
I will add that I still think RJ has enough upside to draw the line at adding much of anything in a potential trade for OG. We’d still be quite far from contention, so we’ll need all of our picks. Doesn’t seem unreasonable in a trade in which we’re sending out the higher upside player.
Funnily enough, the OG is one of the few teams that can be traded for RJ, poison pill and all, fairly easily. Pretty sure RJ and a small salary like Archie Diacono’s for OG and a small salary like Josh Jackson’s would work.
This sure feels like a a typical Knicksy type trade.
Fournier + our ’23, Dallas ’23 and Washington ’23?
Yeah I mean if it was RJ for OG straight up, I could see that working too. But I’d throw in a first if that made it happen!
I keep thinking about Toronto and OG because RJ is from Canada, so I could see it being very appealing to Toronto from a PR/ticket sales perspective, especially since he does still have a lot of upside.
That win actually triggered a NYT story about the Knicks! Admittedly a very tepid one, with such lines as “The Knicks won a game in which they were neither perfect nor putrid.”
This one stood out: “If the Knicks finish with a winning record this season, it will be only the second time in the past decade that has happened.”
If being slapped in the face with a wet fish could be a pleasant experience, reading that sentence would be it.
Chances of a trade between Leon and Masai where we don’t end up brutally fucked?
F. Above 40%
OG has the same WS/48 as Cam Reddish. He has a 563 TS%. Last year, he had a 549 TS%. If it’s RJ and unprotected 1s, the new car smell will quickly wear off and it will be a disaster.
Philosophically, it does slightly “rightsize” things tactically with the lineup, but far more than just that is required to get anywhere here.
At best, the trade would be pointless. At worst, it would be a disaster.
You could also write this sentence.
“If the Knicks finish with a winning record, it will be the 2nd time in 3 seasons.”
That sounds better to me!
“OG has the same WS/48 as Cam Reddish”
He also has the same RPM as Mikal Bridges. I am completely fine with using box-score AIOs as a quick offhand but they’re always going to be deeply flawed when evaluating players who bring outlier value on defense.
This is all correct, except the money for the receiving team. It’s 23.6M, because only the guaranteed money of the extension counts (107M).
About how a trade can go, Raptors would have to send us OG and another 1.5M+ to be able to receive RJ’s money (the aforementioned 23.6M). The Knicks would be sending RJ (10.9M) and then we’d need to send 4.3M+ to a 3rd team. Maybe Cam to the Spurs, because they have a lot of cap space.
Mikal is a better value thats worth paying a premium for but either will fix both 1st and 2nd unit issues.
Moving RJ to play with the bench mob, lowering his minutes to 25 but higher relative usage against B players will help his development too. Although he obviously won’t welcome it at first. RJ is paid so it woudn’t effect his bag. That will make pride easier to swallow.
We should want to trade all our low value 1st round picks instead of RJ for an elite 3&D player.
OG is a very excellent defensive wing who is a decent offensive player. TS% undersells his value. See: Marcus Smart
That doesn’t mean we should trade multiple assets for him, but he’s never going to be a “disaster” unless you give up something like the Murray package for him. Clearly he isn’t an all-in piece, but he is better than RJ right now by a lot and will likely always be a better 2-way player.
Well done, Owen. I also want to call attention to Donnie Walsh’s “bleals” bit the other day; its genius wasn’t appreciated during its time.
Or it’s just Masai trying to drive up the price.
“Moving RJ to play with the bench mob, lowering his minutes to 25 but higher relative usage”
I couldn’t stop thinking that if there was any game to try this, Cleveland was the opponent to start Deuce and put RJ with the bench mob. Two shifty 6’1″ starters in their backcourt.
We won, so what do I know. And it would never happen with Thibs. But I would’ve liked to see it.
Some of our firsts are fugazi, so if we trade three of them it’s not the same as Atlanta trading unprotected picks in ’27 and ’29.
If we trade Obi Tobbin, iHart, our pick this year, the Washington pick, and the Milwaukee pick for OG, we would become signifcantly better without hampering our ability to trade for a star in the future. That’s a trade we should be ok with making.
No RJ, though. And no IQ (this is a reversal for me; earlier in the year I wasn’t valuing him properly).
Toronto wants bigs anyway, and Nick Nurse could probably do a lot with Obi and Hart.
***I keep thinking about Toronto and OG because RJ is from Canada, so I could see it being very appealing to Toronto from a PR/ticket sales perspective***
Blood in the Tundra.
The first obvious question Leon should ask would be, “Why am I helping another East competitor retool themselves from purgatory when my team is more purgatorial than they are?”
There’s no good answer to that question. And then if OG Anunoby is the kind of young asset that paired with other pretty good assets renders you purgatorial, then why would you want him and why would they trade him?
The only sensible answer from the TO side would be that “the offer for him was too good to turn down,” and there’s no reason whatsoever for the Knicks to be putting themselves in that overpaying position.
Marginal intra-purgatorial improvements are pointless if not counterproductive. That simple statement should be every NBA GMs screensaver, though many of them have already internalized it so completely that it would be unnecessary.
Hubert’s trade would be ok, I suppose, but it still violates Rule One. Trading RJ and 1s for him would be beyond stupid, venturing squarely into LOLKnicks territory.
Trading RJ is addition by subtraction, almost no matter who comes back.
I don’t fully believe that, but it’s arguable that RJ for OG removes the worst per-minute player on the team for a modest positive player.
So as of now we have the 17th and 20th picks this year, that’s with the Dallas pick conveying. The PIstons pick is heavily protected and doesn’t convey until the Pistons actually start winning some games, which might be never.
How does the Bucks pick we’re getting work? I just tried to figure that out and came away scratching my head. There’s protections involving multiple teams on it so it’s confusing, but I’m sure one of you nerds knows how it works.
At any rate, none of those are super valuable picks. If you can cash in some of those paper clips for an actual useful player, you might as well do it.
The latest rumors are about the Knicks being one of the teams ready to pounce if Bob Myers will leave the Warriors…
I am thinking that Donnie has all his kids in school full time now. Only way to explain his recent dominant run.
renders you purgatorial
But this is your opinion. You want a team that is a sure fire contender or a lottery team. A lot of people, including GM’s, don’t think that way.
Being a competitive team that can make the playoffs is an enjoyable position to be in for a lot of people.
No good GM wants his team to be in purgatory and fear of purgatory and/or the hope that some sucker would be willing to give him a ridiculous overpay, would be the only reason Masai Ujiri, a very good GM, would put OG on the market.
There are certainly some shitty GMs who either don’t mind purgatory or don’t have the ability to avoid it — one of them most likely helms the Knickerbockers — but good ones do very much mind it.
I think Knickerblogger is an excellent name for a mid-aughts basketball blog but Factory of Sadness would have worked well too.
The Bucks’ pick is just top-4 protected in 2025. It’s actually the simplest of all of our weird picks. It’s probably the most valuable for that reason even though the Bucks have Giannis.
The only thing complicated about it is that it goes to New Orleans if it’s top-4 as opposed to staying with the Bucks, but that has no bearing on us.
Edit: What TNFH said, just a little too late
… which also means that pick will convey then and there. I don’t think there’s any provision for it to be conveyable later — so in theory the Knicks could lose it entirely. That’s of course highly, virtually black swan unlikely.
I like the Bucks pick. They are already an older team and don’t have ready assets to get more youthful. The pick is something like 2025, which is far enough away from now that I don’t expect the Bucks to continue to have a dominant team. Some thing like mid first round is a real possibility.
Wrong way to look at.
We need what they have too much of, and they need what we’re not using.
Some trades work well for both teams even if the net changes are incremental. TOR has an abundance of lanky wings. The Knicks are woefully short in that dept. And they will have to pay OG shortly. (and I think it is extremely likely that OG opts out in 2024 and will command more than RJ is making at that time.) Meanwhile, let Masai grapple with unleashing RJ’s limitless upside while the Knicks put one of the best defensive 3&D wings in the game next to Randle, IQ, Grimes, and Brunson.
Masai is an excellent GM but he’s not perfect. If he asks for too much, just say no. But if it’s RJ vs. OG + a protected pick, it’s a no-brainer. Throw in Sims or Deuce if you have to.
The Washington pick is the fugazi one.
Giannis is going to be 30 in 2025 and they currently have excellent flexibility heading into the 2024 offseason with Middleton off the cap and Jrue entering his option year. There’s likely a limit to how bad they’ll be.
If we end up giving away the 17th pick in 2023 and 20th pick in 2025 for OG, I can live with that.
We need what they have too much of, and they need what we’re not using.
Yeah, but when a team is trying to get out from a redundancy, I’d be very hesitant in taking the one that lost the evaluation battle off their hands. Get Barnes instead.(*)
This is basically a subset of the “Why am I helping them retool their way out of purgatory” primary question.
But in any event, I’m ok with your proposed trade, I think. Obi did show some improved creativity off the bounce in the last two games though. He looked like an effective off the bounce association guy, actually.
(*) And it’s really only a “redundancy” because both have offensive limitations. If one of them was more effective on that end, it wouldn’t really be seen as a redundancy.
while the Knicks put one of the best defensive 3&D wings in the game next to Randle, IQ, Grimes, and Brunson.
That’s not a contender and doesn’t project to be one. It’s no better, and is probably worse, than the non-contender Ujiri is trying to get out from under. Siakim/FVV/Barnes/Trent are better than Randle/IQ/Grimes/Brunson. (Grimes barely belongs on that list of 8 but I’ll play along for discussion’s sake. KB has a thing for Grimes that really isn’t warranted.)
You also thought it was extremely likely that Randle was going to opt out in 2023 and sign for $240MM.
You’re mistaken again, and for the same reason. Guys like OG and Randle aren’t good enough to get paid if they get hurt. Only superstars take those risks.
OG would opt in for his final year in exchange for us adding 2-3 more years onto his contract. That way he cashes in on his best year, is set for life, and can be a free agent one more time before he’s 30.
Two GMs enter a bar, both have their team in purgatory, which one is the very good GM?
“You also thought it was extremely likely that Randle was going to opt out in 2023 and sign for $240MM”
Bullshit. I said that was a possibility and that the Knicks would be better off offering him an extension rather than risk losing him for nothing. Some wanted to call his bluff. I didn’t. How’s that position looking now?
if your point is that OG might choose to extend at a much higher salary than he’s getting paid now, that’s possible. But if TOR doesn’t act pre-emptively and tries to lowball him, well, see: Jalen Brunson.
with IQ and RJ on the bench…
this is a very good team and we’d still have all our draft picks.
Come on, Z-Man. We don’t have amnesia. You said – many times – it would be “malpractice” if Randle’s agent let him sign an extension because all he had to do was wait one year and get a max.
* I will concede that had we not offered him an extension and he played the way he did last year, he’d probably be signed to a lower deal right now, so it was erroneous to be worried about him earning the max as things panned out. But now he’s playing like a near-max player and despite last year, his contract is a bargain for us….not necessarily easy to move but certainly a bargain in terms of production per cost if we keep him. There’s no way you can find a player at his productivity level for his salary locked in for the next 2-3 years in today’s market.
“Come on, Z-Man. We don’t have amnesia. You said – many times – it would be “malpractice” if Randle’s agent let him sign an extension because all he had to do was wait one year and get a max.”
Then it should be easy to find a quote of me saying so. Find one and I’ll happily take the L.
And if you can’t, then stop saying it.
“this is a very good team and we’d still have all our draft picks.”
It’s a decent team, not a contender IMO, and you don’t even start Grimes with that team because you have the 3&D covered already by OG. (Grimes isn’t better than IQ and he’s not better than RJ and you certainly aren’t going to start him if you have the same guy only better and bigger. He becomes your “bench OG” if you’re doing things right.)
OG has the sheen of being a “Masai guy,” which has a lot of currency around here. We should lose those heuristics around here — we don’t need them.
i gotta be honest, i was a little surprised by our win last night…
i’m not really sure what we’ll see at boston…a good thing maybe?
you know, from like a objective entertainment pov…
not so much as a knick fan…ran in to another old knick fan dude at lunch yesterday…it’s funny, when i speak, folks assume i’m from the city, gotta let ’em know i’m suburbs born and baked 🙂
ha, thinking of it now, when i’m drinking, i get some folks thinking i’m from louisiana…actually, my popo (ma’s dad) and his people are from there, monroeville…
strange to think at this point in life i’ve been out here in cali longer than new york…
yes sir, if you’re a knick fan, you are a real fan…
this is a very good team and we’d still have all our draft picks.
This is a significant improvement, 50+ win team, everyone is young and it sets up the sign & trade for the disgruntled superstar top 10 player to get to contender level. Not sure why every potential move must be viewed with the same lense of a legit contender or pass.
We have THREE 20ppg scorers. Thats not a .500 team. Thats depsite Thibs not becausw of it.
Not sure why every potential move must be viewed with the same lense of a legit contender or pass.
Me neither. Like we can incrementally get better with smaller moves and still leave the door open for a major superstar trade if we don’t blow our assets with those smaller moves. Also, if the team we have is good and full of young players and those players are all on reasonable contracts, they are attractive trade pieces.
“OG has the sheen of being a “Masai guy,” which has a lot of currency around here. We should lose those heuristics around here — we don’t need them.”
E, not sure what you mean, can you explain.
As to RJ, it’s a hard call for me, perhaps easier since no one is knocking at the door. Sometimes when he plays, I envision a tough 25 ppg scorer, but other times he almost seems like a bust. If I traded him for a player that is much better on defense and an overall better fit, but a lower ceiling on offense (like Anunoby), I would not want to attach much additional value. My instinct is to keep him with the not unreasonable hope that he improves his consistency, including finishing and perhaps develops some very potent shot going to the paint. Of course, there is the problem with his position inasmuch as he is not a 2, too slow to guard 3’s and too weak to guard 4’s. For me, he is a quandary. It would be easier if he were a bust!
“OG has the sheen of being a “Masai guy,” which has a lot of currency around here. We should lose those heuristics around here — we don’t need them.”
E, not sure what you mean, can you explain.”
Sure. A lot of what we do around here and on quality NBA blogs generally is evaluate GMs and their records and philosophies. The ones who do the job well get tons of credit, the ones that don’t get lots of criticism.
Masai, rightly, is seen as one of the better GMs and what happens is that narratives build up around those kind of guys. The narrative with him is that he “does a great job getting excellent players with later draft picks or even undrafted and then developing them.” He’s gotten a bunch of guys that way — Siakam, FVV, Trent, etc. OG is one of those guys. He still carries the reputational sheen of that, even though he has a lot of holes and even though his TS% is the equivalent of Cam Reddish’s.
And in decline.
It’s a lazy shorthand.
Guys like Reddish have the reverse sheen — picked up by the Knicks, by Leon Rose, not really developed and then he adds to that with his general outward demeanor of giving few fucks. Yet his TS% is the same as OG’s and — *as everyone agreed* — he was playing quality, disruptive defense — OG’s strength.
RJ Barrett is another “reverse sheen” guy. You need look no further than last night’s doozy where he was deemed to have covered Darius Garland and deemed in turn to have gotten lit up by Darius Garland.
Darius Garland was 6 for 17 from the field with six assists.
I try to be neither a sheen nor a reverse sheen guy. It’s lazy.
In basketball terms, I can get behind the idea that TO might want to move him because he’s duplicative of Barnes. Fine. First, the better plan then would be to go get Barnes. Second, they’re only “duplicative” because they have offensive limitations and deficiencies. Third, he’s duplicative with Grimes so then TO’s problem then becomes the Knickerbockers’ problem (although Grimes isn’t close to as good as Barnes and could much more easily just be sent to the bench or otherwise marginalized). But it’s real tough to see why people would be trotting out lineups with two pure 3&D guys in them, while at the same time putting two far better offensive players on the bench.
The reason you pay a lot for OG is because you think he’s an All-NBA Defense player who can guard almost any position. If you think his defense is worth less than that, then you pay less.
One open question I have is if his defense is worth less in NY because we don’t, and possibly can’t, run a switching scheme. Often times defensive versatility will be weighted heavily and not just ability to shutdown specifically SFs or whatever.
He can also sustain a higher usage than most elite defenders, showing the ability to shoot and drive. He *might* have some more to unlock offensively.
EPM grades OG as a 99th percentile defender.
RAPTOR (top 50ish) & LEBRON (didn’t look) grade him as solidly above average but not elite.
End of the day someone needs to go watch a butt load of game film and decide if he’s an elite defender or merely a very good defender.
E, thank you for that thorough explanation. I agree with most of it, but the sheen you speak of may be real in the sense it reflects respect for talent evaluator, like Masai. I guess it’s not legitimate support for a hard conclusion, but the sheen probably can be in the mix.
So to sum up: A primary reason– probably *the* primary reason — for the Raptors’ wanting to mix things up falls at the feet of the inefficiency on over 20% usage each of Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby, and now we’re being asked to see OG Anunoby as the missing element that would turn the Knicks into a 50 win team and somehow worth RJ Barrett and multiple 1s.
I … think not.
If the Raptors were the Knicks, OG Anunoby would be getting singed around here nightly for his inefficiency and the multi-year decline in same. Textbook, quintessential “grass is greener” guy.
The difference between OG and RJ and (lol) Cam is that OG is one of the best wing defenders in the NBA and the guys on the Knicks are not. I don’t think the Knicks should trade for him, but his price is fairly high because he is a perfect piece for a bunch of contenders. He’s okay on offense and you can absolutely just stick him on elite big wing players, and there’s like 3 guys in the league you can say that about.
The difference between OG and RJ and (lol) Cam is that OG is one of the best wing defenders in the NBA and the guys on the Knicks are not.
And yet somehow the Raptors, with Scottie Barnes, deemed to be essentially that as well, are 19th in the NBA in defensive efficiency. While the Knicks, with “terrible wing defender” RJ Barrett and poor defender (no scare quotes needed) and (at best) indifferent defender Julius Randle are 13th.
“but his price is fairly high because he is a perfect piece for a bunch of contenders. ”
I thought we were talking about the Knicks though (smile emoji).
IQ-Grimes-OG-whoever-Mitch would be a ferocious defense lineup
L2M report says Mitchell should’ve gone to the FT line on both of the last two drives (Foul on RJ on the first one, foul on Hart on the last play of the game) for whatever that’s worth.
You’re absolutely right, after last week comical “explanation” about why RJ wasn’t fouled on the tying dunk, the only thing one can say about L2M is “whatever that’s worth”. 🙂
So is a “reverse sheen” like a very matte surface?
I am shocked about that L2M report.
I wasn’t sure if it was a foul but I absolutely thought they would call it.
I don’t know much about Anunoby, but I suspect many of you are giving away to much in your proposed trades. He is good at defense. Barrett is a scorer. The NBA values scorers much more than defenders.* They don’t even have to be efficient scorers, they just have to do it in reasonable volume. Trading Barrett for Anunoby and giving away picks is overpaying for defense.
*And the Gobert deal might be considered an exception to this, but I suspect it made a lot of teams think that they shouldn’t pay too much for defense, reinforcing my point.
“OG has the sheen of being a “Masai guy,” which has a lot of currency around here. We should lose those heuristics around here — we don’t need them.”
I think you’re way, way off on this. Being intrigued by Anunoby is not some niche Knickerblogger obsession. Just about every reputable NBA reporter has said interest in him is incredibly widespread around the league–apparently the Raptors already have an offer of three first-round picks on the table.
This likely has more to do with the fact that he ranks very well by impact-based metrics than the fact that he was drafted by Masai. Malachi Flynn was also drafted by Masai and I don’t see anyone saying we should trade for him.
On the flip side, Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Quentin Grimes, and Immanuel Quickley were all drafted or otherwise acquired by Rose and/or Scott Perry and people here praise their play all the time. In fact, you’ve vehemently argued that people here are entirely too eager to praise some of them. No one uses the “sheen” heuristic.
The interest in OG likely has much to do with things like his 53rd ranked 3-year RAPM or his 90th percentile EPM. I could go on but you get it: while we can argue about how valuable these datapoints are, they are certainly not “sheen.”
By the way, I certainly don’t recall a consensus forming that Cam was an impact defender. People certainly remarked on flashes of strong defensive play, myself among them, but he tended to revert back to the space cadet he’s always been on that end.
Cam played his last game for the Knicks on December 3rd, and since then the Knicks have the 7th best defense in the NBA. Before Mitch went down, it was the the 3rd best defense in that timeframe. So you might want to hold off on the Cam Reddish DPOY bets.
Side note: two players having the same TS% is a meaningless data point on its own. “You say Nikola Jokic is an elite offensive player, yet you do not say the same for Nic Claxton, how interesting” would not be a compelling hypocrisy charge. OG scores significantly more than Cam and is assisted on far fewer FGM.
Just compared them on bref, Quentin is better in virtually everything except rebounds, assists, and points per game. Counting stuff and advanced.
i was wrong to have not been bothered by RJ’s extension…i was way too focused on his offense, and bought the whole: “taking on the toughest offensive guard/wing to defend” story…
that’s what it was – a story…him and brunson get targeted all the time on defense…at least brunson takes charges…
that and not thinking mitch was coming back, definitely two of the biggest misses for me this year…
having said all that – i don’t think there’s any way we’re able to move RJ – as an asset…
then again, it only takes one other front office to bite…
I don’t think being 53rd in RAPM makes you a great player. That means most NBA teams have two players with better RAPM than him. But it does seem that there is league interest in him and that he’s not just defense. This article cites Toronto sources so it may be a little biased, but it is still interesting.
OG Anunoby is not a “great player” and no one thinks he is. But you can’t get a great player for RJ and filler.
***I am shocked about that L2M report. I wasn’t sure if it was a foul but I absolutely thought they would call it.***
What did the report say, that Mitchell didn’t choke?
TNFH, if we could do the trade for RJ and filler it might help both teams. But nobody is suggesting “filler” as the add ins. They are suggesting first round picks.
Some of the picks we have are not hugely valuable. Late first round, or possibly not conveying anytime soon.
“He’s gotten a bunch of guys that way — Siakam, FVV, Trent, etc. ”
Trent Jr. was acquired via trade for Norman Powell.
***Trent Jr. was acquired via trade for Norman Powell.***
I don’t really want to tread into E’s territory here because his premise today was rather absurd, but because It’s kind of relevant to the discussion: Ujiri initially acquired Norm Powell (a 2nd round pick) AND the pick that became OG Anonuby for 27 year old flame-out Greivas Vasquez. Sheen or not, the man is just really, really good at his job.
“Hubert IV says:
January 25, 2023 at 15:29
Come on, Z-Man. We don’t have amnesia. You said – many times – it would be “malpractice” if Randle’s agent let him sign an extension because all he had to do was wait one year and get a max.”
I have to wonder why he would blatently accuse me of saying something “many times” that I never said even once. What does that say about you, Hubert? Maybe some of “we” actually do have amnesia?
For reference, here is the thread from the day Julius signed his extension. (It’s a classic offseason thread fwiw)
Speaking of really good at his job, Damian Lillard is closing in on the bittersweet title of “best player ever to never play in an NBA finals”. (Not sure who currently holds that dubious honor. Is it Carmelo?)
Big props to Mitchell for owning up to his choke job.
Wait, is AD back already?
I seem to recall reading that he was coming significantly faster than how long his sort of injury usually lasts. So it could be. When players recover extra quickly like that I always worry they are doing long term harm to themselves or taking an excessive risk of reinjury.
Hey KnickFan, you’re back in NJ for a while, right? How’s it going?
About OG, if you go check their stats, OG is better than RJ on offense too, he just has a lower usage – 21% for him and 26% for RJ. I think a lower usage goes well with our team because RJ is taking away from Brunson and Randle, players clearly better than him. Otoh, RJ is only 22 and OG is 25, so if RJ improves his play this might be a bad trade. And that’s the problem with RJ, we have to ponder if we think he’ll improve what he needs to improve to be a star or not. Right now, i’m leaning to believe he’ll be like Wiggins, at some point he figures it out and maybe becomes a good #3 option, so i’d trade him for OG. But i also understand people that wouldn’t do the trade, it’s because they believe he’ll have a breakout and become a star. I hope Leon makes the right bet here, that’s all i want. 😉
Either way, this looks like an academic discussion, i don’t feel that OG is really on the market. And even if he is, Masai will try to rob us, so a fair deal is highly unlikely. And overpay for OG wouldn’t be smart.
Or Steve Nash, a two times MVP.
Cybersoze, yes I am back in NJ for vacation and then an academic conference. It’s going ok. I’m very jet lagged, but it’s nice to be home. Thanks for asking.
It’s interesting OG is that good on offense. I didn’t realize that. And we don’t need all that usage tgat Barrett does. But I think the front office really likes Barrett, so I find the deal unlikely. But you never know.
By the way, some untrustworthy Twitter source claims the Knicks offered Obi and two first round picks for OG. What are the thoughts on that offer?
Well, it depends on what picks are we talking about. If it’s 2 unprotected picks, HELL NO. If it’s our 2023 pick unprotected and one of the protected picks we own, i would do it.
Toronto really is in a strange position, they are only 1 game behind the last place for the play-in (Chicago), but they also have the 6th best odds at Wembanyama/Scoot. They have a non zero chance to think about trading the older guys (Siakam and FVV) and tank this season.
I think Siakam is going to pull a hamstring