Advanced Scouting: Ovidijus Galdikas

Looking through the Knicks’ summer league roster, there seems to be a fair amount of familiar names. Cleanthony Early, Langston Galloway, Ricky Ledo, and Travis Wear all played for New York last year. Meanwhile Thanasis Antetokounmpo played for the Westchester Knicks. Finally, Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant were drafted this year, and we’ve gone through their potential strengths and weaknesses.

So as I browsed through the roster, one name stuck out: Ovidijus Galdikas. I decided to check on this 7 foot 1 inch center, and think I’ve found a gem. Throwing away numerical analysis, because it’s led me astray in the past (Cole Aldrich), I decided to use my eyes only. And Galdikas is going to be a great NBA player. Witness for yourself.

What we have here is a player that consistently gets open under the hoop. In just about every play, the Lithuanian is receiving the ball near the basket, without a defender in sight, and is flushing the ball for an easy score. This great ability of finding the open spot on the floor where there are no defenders is a skill that doesn’t show up in the box score. Galdikas is going to revolutionize the NBA with this tactic.

Also notice his soft hands. In every single play, Ovidijus catches the ball cleanly, which makes for a smooth finish. This is true whether the pass is on the ground, or in the air. It’s clear from the video that any ball thrown at him is instantly caught. Again this is a fact that neither PER nor WS encapsulates.

And when opposing players attempt a shot in his vicinity, Galdikas is there for the block. Every time. Boom!

Clearly once summer league breaks, the Knicks will have a problem on their hands. With Galdikas as their opening day starting center, what do they do with Robin Lopez? Also how will Porzingis take it when the Lithuanian Lob Lord steals the spotlight as a Knicks rookie? Although New York will have these problems on their hands, I can’t wait to see what Galdikas brings to the 2016 Knicks.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

136 thoughts to “Advanced Scouting: Ovidijus Galdikas”

  1. With Galdikas as their opening day starting center, what do they do with Robin Lopez? Also how will Porzingis take it when the Lithuanian Lob Lord steals the spotlight as a Knicks rookie?

    Thanks for that. I needed a good laugh this morning. It would be cool if Goldielocks found his way onto the roster. He looks like a legit bench depth at center. He does have great size and soft hands, which you can see from the video, but we all know that these videos highlight the good, not the bad. He’s certainly not a stretch-4. The two things that jump off when I looked up his stats are the 2.56 blk/g and the fact that he averaged very close to a double-double last year. Let’s see how he does in the summer league before handing him the starting nod.

    His international stats

  2. OMG with Carmelo demanding triple teams and Bargs coming back to space the floor with his mad skillz for a 7 footer this guy will be UNSTOPPABLE!!!!

  3. I apologize that this is not directly related to the two purposes of this board, the Knicks and whether Ted Nelson has read Getting to Yes. But for any other general stat-heads reading, I thought Andrew Gelman’s recent post linked below was really interesting.

    In short, conventional empirical research originally found that En Fuego was a myth: There was no such thing as having a hot hand in the NBA. This went against the instincts of almost anyone who has every played basketball, and seemed like a good example of the failure of the eye test (so to speak). But then a lot of people found and documented contextual reasons to doubt the research. Maybe shooters take harder shots or are guarded more closely after hitting, warping the data. This allowed for a very modest hot hand effect in some cases, but still way, way less than almost everybody’s intuition.

    But Gelman (really someone else named Josh Miller) is making a new argument. It is kind of amazing, if you like this shit. I won’t repeat it here because he explains it very well for anyone interested. But the point is that if this argument holds up it means that everyone for years has been incorrectly evaluating the make-miss data by overestimating what the “neutral” % of makes should be after a streak. Adjusting for this error materially increases the hot hand effect and could represent a kind of victory for the eye test over the “thinking slow” types that was missed despite years and years of attention. If you think the lesson is that measurement is worthless and instincts rule, good luck with that. But getting things right can be really, really hard.

    http://andrewgelman.com/2015/07/09/hey-guess-what-there-really-is-a-hot-hand/

  4. Let’s see how he does in the summer league before handing him the starting nod.

    You’re doing it wrong.

  5. 2 things: are this guy and Zinger, brothers from another Mother and second, did the Knicks also get the “other” big guy, who keeps feeding this new “matinee idol” for his dunks, if so, I’m in…pay the man !!

  6. You’re doing it wrong.

    You are right as always. Here’s my correction…

    …. The two things that jump off when I looked up his stats are the 2.56 blk/g and the fact that he averaged very close to a double-double last year. The player that has to be careful is Carmelo Anthony. Why pay an aging chucker when we can have a youthful tower guarding the rim? Imagine a front court of Porzingis, RoLo and the Lob Lord! Nobody’s getting into the paint.

  7. Grantland with another installment in their Porzingis profile:
    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/who-is-kristaps-porzingis-episode-3-draft-night/

    gotta say one thing — this kid is 19 years old and is already so comfortable with dealing with the press in his second language. If you listen to him in this segment and to the post-practice interview he did on nba.com, he sure sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders.

    I am irrationally excited about tomorrow’s summer league game.

  8. I am irrationally excited about tomorrow’s summer league game.

    We’re probably going to be doing in-game analysis throughout. My focus will be on the two rookies but I’m keeping an eye on Early. He had a bad first season but there was general team chaos and he got hurt. I’m hoping he develops into a serviceable backup but I think many have written him off already.

  9. I just want to say that I can’t believe nobody posted this legendary clip of Lance Thomas in honor of his resigning. In all seriousness though Lance Thomas stinks. I hope he’s basically Mother Theresa in that locker room, because he really shouldn’t be seeing the floor for an NBA team.

    Not much of a loss obviously, but I’d rather sign literally any 21 year old in the world for that spot. If he has picked up a basketball before then it’s a no-brainer, and if he has shown some friskiness in the D-league or college ball then we’re really getting somewhere.

  10. Not much of a loss obviously, but I’d rather sign literally any 21 year old in the world for that spot. If he has picked up a basketball before then it’s a no-brainer, and if he has shown some friskiness in the D-league or college ball then we’re really getting somewhere.

    Careful. The concept of playing guys who might not suck over guys who we know suck is controversial around here, for some reason.

  11. I am surprised Bargs hasn’t signed in Europe. You would think someone would make him a quality offer there.

  12. @5 http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q65

    His extension/contract was signed during this CBA. If they waive him by 8-1-15, then they can stretch his deal out over 5 years (2*2+1). He’s got about $43MM remaining, so they will have to pay ~$8.5M per year, and this counts against their cap. If someone claims him, then his contract essentially becomes theirs. But it’s doubtful since no one wants him at $21MM this year, and $22.5 next year.

    After 8-1-15, they can stretch him out over 3 years (1*2+1), and that would be for ~$14M hit against their cap. So as 8-1 approaches, and they cannot trade him, it’s probably best to waive him.

    That’s my interpretation of the CBA based on Coon’s FAQ.

  13. He’s got about $43MM remaining, so they will have to pay $8M per year, and this counts against their cap.

    From 2016-17 on, 8M is not going to be all that much.

  14. I am surprised Bargs hasn’t signed in Europe. You would think someone would make him a quality offer there.

    Well, a quality offer over here might amount to 1,5 million euros (maybe). Everyone knows about Bargs.

  15. No one in Europe will sign Bargs. Greece can’t afford him and the other countries are trying to make an example for Greece on how not to spend money foolishly.

  16. I wouldn’t be opposed to Knicks trying to convince Williams to switch boroughs if he clears waivers. He has played well when he hasn’t been a #1 player. With Melo, he’d be a #2 and on a minimum deal, he could be a valuable starting piece. Maybe we can even stretch Calderon just to reduce the logjam.

    He wants to be part of a contender, but I’m sure he has a home here.

  17. 17, Thanks, but it sounds like the Nets don’t want to stretch him. They want to buy him out. How does that work, cap-wise?

  18. Bargnani would probably be half a star to a start in Europe. He’d be a bonafide star in China. Certainly, he wouldn’t command $11MM per year.

  19. @22 I’m not sure. But #67 and 68 in the FAQ states that a buy-out would be negotiated, obviously, at a lower rate in order for the player to gain their freedom. But the contract terms doesn’t change. I read that as: they offer DWill $30MM to walk, he is on books for $21MM and $22.5MM next year. They save total money, but original deal still counts toward cap. So waiving actually seems like the smarter choice.

    Edit: Starting next year, the revenues will be much higher. So they eat the entire deal, but value the cap space more. However, it’s Prokhorov’s money, and maybe he wants to save that $13M since his team’s been shit for years and he’s losing money left and right.

  20. On a side note, Nets used amnesty for Outlaw in 2011, LOL.

    New Jersey/Brooklyn 2011 Travis Outlaw Sacramento Kings $12,000,000

    Kings bid the entire $12M for him, wth?!

  21. The $12 million was over four years. The Nets were then on the hook for the other $16 million left on his contract. But yes, the Nets were definitely lucky that the Kings decided to go long term with Outlaw for some reason (shockingly, the Kings themselves dumped him before that deal was completed).

  22. I hope he’s basically Mother Theresa in that locker room, because he really shouldn’t be seeing the floor for an NBA team.

    Mother Theresa’s got better hops. And she’s been dead for years….

  23. With Ovidijus Galdikas, Kristaps Porzingis, Thanasis Antentokounmpo, Louis Labeyrie, and Guillermo Hernangomez, I’m pretty sure that Phil is just trolling Clyde as this point. I expect to see them all on the roster in the next two years just so we get shots of Phil sitting courtside laughing his ass off as Clyde gives him the finger during play-by-play.

    Seriously, though, don’t all these names mean there’s no reason to bring back Bargnani? We’ve already got plenty of pronunciation challenges, Phil! We’re good! No need to resign him!

  24. Gadzooks! He actually looks more like a Cole clone…sans sans tooth.

    I am incredibly bummed that I’m probably gonna miss the summer league opener. Make sure to post millions of comments so I have something to read on the beach!

  25. RE: Lance Thomas:
    I like the fact that he can play both Forward spots, but for an end of bench guy, I’d rather have Thanasis. I really don’t want any signings that could potentially take minutes away from Porzingis, as I see him as the back up 4 for this season. And Thanasis is really aggressive and athletic. The team could use that. As long as Thanasis can make corner 3’s, then he is a much better asset on the bench than Thomas. Thomas did exceed my expectations last season, so it’s not a bad signing- just not my preference. Hopefully Phil can bring add Shved, Cole, Thanasis, and Amundson with the remaining cap space. Not likely though. Amundson may not return as Thomas may make him expendable. Shved is the bigger question mark with his asking price. If he doesn’t return, maybe someone like Thornton will take the vet minimum. We definitely need a shooter, so I might actually prefer Thornton to Shved. I like Shved though. It’s a tough call.

  26. Thanasis had pretty horrendous 3pt and FT%s in Dleague last year. He had an FG% of 46%, and I haven’t looked deeply into it, but I imagine a lot of them were dunks. Not sure if he can ever develop into a shooter – I see him as another Balkman. May be better if we sign someone like Bray, assuming we land no other FAs on the market. Bray’s shooting is lights out but I’m not sure that translates into a highly athletic league like the NBA.

  27. I hope he’s basically Mother Theresa in that locker room, because he really shouldn’t be seeing the floor for an NBA team.

    Mother Theresa’s got better hops. And she’s been dead for years….

    I fret that Zinger might not have the strength to box her out and keep her off the boards.

  28. #28, the clyde factor may be the most entertaining part of the coming season

    I chalk a lot of OG’s posterization of his peers in this video to his soundtrack which is clearly driving him to success, back in the day I could stroke 3’s like Mars Blackman to “I’m too sexy” by Right Said Fred

  29. I fret that Zinger might not have the strength to box her out.

    Not even the devil can box out Mother T, yo.

  30. Not sure if he can ever develop into a shooter – I see him as another Balkman.

    We’ll see how he looks in Vegas. I’m really pulling for Thansis because I love his tenacity on the defensive end. He’s the kind of guy that can get 10 minutes off the bench and blanket someone with zero regard to playing clean. If he develops any offensive game, he’s in for me. And I’ve spent a year learning how to pronounce his name. I would hate to have wasted that time. If he makes the roster, I’ll try and learn to spell his last name too.

  31. The team currently has at most two centers, if you count O’Quinn as one, so Phil will probably hire at least one center. He has choices of Aldrich, Labeyrie, Strong and Galdikas and maybe Kirk as candidates, assuming he doesn’t go outside for a free agent. Assuming he signs Galloway he has four guards, (Calderon, Afflalo, and Grant are the others), so he probably needs at least two from Ledo, Bray, Baron and Shved. I think Ledo and Shved are likely signings, so maybe that will be enough. If I’ve counted right that leaves one spot for another forward on the roster, who could be Thanasis, Wear Ndour or a free agent. I don’t think anyone’s a lock. I remember last year Wear played his way onto the team. Someone could break out here and do that too. Phil also could leave a spot open so that he could have more competition for that spot in training camp.

  32. I saw Thanasis in a D-League game this year, and he was absolutely underwhelming. He did nothing on either end of the court that made him stand out, and this was against the Canton Charge.

    I’m not ready to give up on the guy, but he has a long, long way to go to becoming a productive NBA player.

  33. The 3rd Grantland video on Porzingis just adds to his likeability and rootability. Looks like he and Myles Turner may have bonded from the Vegas experience.

    Are the Knicks D-league games available online? About a month ago, my wife and I decided to cut cable TV. We have added Sling TV for a few of the bigger name cable channels (like ESPN, TNT, CNN, etc.) along with Netflix and Amazon Prime, which we’ve long subscribed t0 and do get network TV via antenna. We’re saving $102 per month by doing this, but I don’t think that we now get NBA tv. Oh, yeah, we live in Tennessee, not NY.

    Edit…nevermind. $5 online to purchase. No problem!

  34. Who am I describing: an SG, injured last season, excellent shooter, weak defense. You’re probably thinking Afflalo but that description also fits John Jenkins. Once Green and Carroll were off the boards, I would have considered offering Jenkins a 2 yr deal at 3m/yr (team option on the 2nd). I believe we would have early bird rights at the end of the two years and could offer him a bit more than the league average salary. This article describes Jenkins.

    Wouldn’t it have been better to sign Shved and Jenkins to those types of contracts than Afflalo at 8m/player option? Since free agency isn’t gonna make us contenders, we should try to sign young players who might break through to favorable contracts.

  35. @37

    Lopez, Melo, Williams, Afflalo, Calderon, Galloway, O’Quinn, Thomas, Grant, Porzingis, and Early makes 11 players (unless we’re cutting early).

    So 4 spots, assuming we can’t find better players on FA market willing to sign, one has to be Aldrich or Amundson or both since we literally have 1 C on the entire roster. I hope we sign Shved too. I think he can play SG fine assuming his shooting doesn’t regress (54.1% TS). Triangle likes good passers, so him and all of our PGs can play a decent role.

    So 1 spot probably for: Ledo, Antetokoumpo, other Summer Leaguers.

    Some may disagree, but I am for stretching Calderon. I rather throw out Grant more to see what he has. Might piss off Melo to get rid of him, vet for rookie.

  36. @41, NBATV online. It was $15 at start of other summer leagues. With only vegas left, glad to see it’s only $5.

  37. I’m ok with Jenkins. My fear is we may need one of our bench guards to play a big role, and I don’t know if Jenkins is ready for that. But I guess having Grant makes that worry moot. Phil can definitely get Jenkins for the minimum. So ..maybe Phil should fill the roster with Cole, Jenkins, Thanasis , and Amundson? I hope Shved reconsiders though, but I don’t know where to put him on that list. Lance Thomas’ signing kinda screwed that up. Maybe Phil sees something that we don’t.

  38. Cole signs with the Clippers. Sad day for the entire Knickerblogger family. In particular I’d like to send my condolences out to DRed in this time of his deepest despair.

  39. Yeah, I saw Thanasis in SL too. Fast as shit and aggressive as hell, and a freakish athlete, but not an NBA player skillwise by any stretch.

    Clyde: Thanasis with thanasty stuff!

  40. Chris Paul can beat on Cole now instead of DeAndre. That was the entire point of Doc signing him.

  41. Cole deserves better than this sorry team. Now he can hoist the title he deserves next season.

  42. No need to worry about dred… he’s tearing up clipperblogger right now

    I just need to make sure the dredruland name is available.

  43. @47 Just saw that. 2 years, with the 2nd being another one of those dreaded player options. No $ that I can see, yet.

  44. I wonder if there isn’t a currency concern from Bargs. Getting paid in American dollars is far more attractive than being paid in euros for the foreseeable future.
    Bargs may have European offers, but he may not be taking them seriously because if he secures a US deal, those dollars will have a greater value.

    But I’m probably not thinking this through.
    Bargs doesn’t only stink as a ball player, after all there are plenty of bad players who make a new start argument; his brand has just been destroyed.

  45. I’m happy for Cole, and for me. I’ll miss his menacing toothless grin, but will will not miss those ugly-ass backboard breaking hook shots.

    Galdikas and Thanasis: Release the Kraken!

  46. Welp…Cole in LA made Phil’s decision much easier, unless one of the C’s on the summer league roster plays extremely well. Phil’s likely to retain Amundson now. He’s a little undersized though, but he plays big. What if this Galdikas kid completely blows up Summer League? LOL that would be interesting.

  47. The Clips could use maybe one more guy, but the Devil and Cole are a massive upgrade from Austin and Big Baby

  48. Jenkins is a better bet to be a good NBA player in the future than Thanasis. Jenkins is only a year older and has one clear NBA skill: he is a legit shooter. Thanasis is a great athlete but I don’t see NBA skill there.

  49. @43, I’m not sure about stretching Calderon. Phil gave his best two free agent acquisitions four year contracts but the other ones two year or one year contracts. So he seems to have a roughly three year plan and Calderon also has two years left, which fits that plan. In addition, we’ve never seen Grant play at an NBA level. I think of Galloway as a combo guard rather than a true point guard. So it’s very risking waiving Calderon and relying on Grant or Galloway to be a starting point guard.

  50. Cole signs with the Clippers. Sad day for the entire Knickerblogger family. In particular I’d like to send my condolences out to DRed in this time of his deepest despair.

    That must be a typo. The market decided that Cole wasn’t an NBA player, so a championship contending team could not have signed him.

  51. The Knicks will need Calderon’s spot-up shooting if nothing else. They’re pretty short on good perimeter shooting.

  52. Please God have some other team sign Bargs soon and save the Knicks from themselves!
    I don’t think I can take watching that clown in blue and orange for another year, even if he’s nailed to the bench. Just on principal they need to move on from the mistakes of the past…. I say that as someone who thought it wasn’t a terrible idea at the time they traded for him. I was proven to be an idiot very quickly. That first round pick would have come in really handy next year

  53. I was with you back then, Jack, which is why I am down on the Derrick Williams signing, don’t want to make the same mistake twice!

    On the bright side, if the Knicks don’t completely fall apart in 2013-14, Phil Jackson doesn’t get signed. If Jax doesn’t get signed, the Knicks are still essentially run by Dolan. For all of Phil’s hiccups thus far, it is clearly his team for now.

    Bargnani was a big part of the Knicks’ unraveling that led to Jackson being signed. So we are forever indebted to him.

  54. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2519773-mark-cuban-says-deandre-jordan-told-him-he-was-on-a-date?utm_campaign=tsiphone&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=twitter.com

    But, you know, that doesn’t mean that the Mavs and DJ thought they had a deal or anything. Aside from everything that’s been reported, and what Cuban himself says, we don’t know what they actually said and if anything had been agreed.

    I was with you back then, Jack, which is why I am down on the Derrick Williams signing, don’t want to make the same mistake twice!

    I hated the Bargnani move, both because he is a turrible basketball player and because WE TRADED A #1 PICK FOR HIM. I still find that inconceivable.

    I don’t hate the Williams move because while I have little hope he’ll be even replacement level, 1) he’s young, 2) he does have some skills, 3) he’s cheap, and 4) HE DID NOT COST US A #1 DRAFT PICK!

  55. This is he kind of analysis that’s going to finally get Knickerblogger to knock out Grantland.

  56. @70
    I don’t hate the Williams move because while I have little hope he’ll be even replacement level, 1) he’s young, 2) he does have some skills, 3) he’s cheap, and 4) HE DID NOT COST US A #1 DRAFT PICK!

    Word
    + my son goes to Arizona so I have hope DW will turn it around. Beardown

  57. I should clarify that while I hate the Williams signing, I don’t hate it as much now as I hate the Bargnani signing now, but I didn’t hate the Bargnani signing at the time as much as I should have. Sigh, live and learn.

  58. That must be a typo. The market decided that Cole wasn’t an NBA player, so a championship contending team could not have signed him.

    Shift the goalposts much? Who said he wasn’t an NBA player? Henry Finkel was an NBA player that won a ring, I believe. He’s just not anywhere as good as a certain clique here thinks. The marketplace , after years and years of observing his play assigned fair value to him.

    The marketplace gives us the best estimate of his value after a scintillating 5 yr nba career and a 3 full season NCAA career. Everyone in the power structure has watched him play here for 8 years and the marketplace decided (including the numerous advanced stat centric franchises) that he was worth what he now gets paid. That IS what he is worth.

    And it is pretty loltastic that the guy (DOC RIVRS) who has been pilloried around here for NOT being able to form a championship roster around some pretty outstanding players, is now some sort of genius for signing the great white slovenly hope to a pittance.

    You fellas lost the argument. 30 teams had free run at fatty and with serious, smart teams still with a big hole in the middle (Dallas?) wouldn’t offer him 10 cents in Chinese money.Being in a position of authority at a blog doesn’t make you right when the marketplace votes the other way.

    If it will make you sleep better, the marketplace seems to value his services more than Bargs……but that isn’t a certainty yet.

  59. “@LarryCoon Some details on Kings-SIxers trade — Sac gives a 1st two years after sending one to Chicago, protected 1-10 in 2018 & unprotected in 2019.”

    So Philly is going to get a top 5 pick in 2019 because Kings won’t have boogie. Unreal!!!! All the LOLOLOL’s.

    I just wish Knicks could’ve swung this deal.

  60. You fellas lost the argument. 30 teams had free run at fatty and with serious, smart teams still with a big hole in the middle (Dallas?) wouldn’t offer him 10 cents in Chinese money.Being in a position of authority at a blog doesn’t make you right when the marketplace votes the other way.

    u mad bro?

    I think the pro-Cole crowd here is all pretty much in agreement about a few things:

    1. Cole is good value at the minimum salary or a little bit above it
    2. He’s a solid backup center, even with his fitness issues
    3. If he’s forced to shoot 20 FGA a game he’s probably going to stink
    4. He’s a hell of a lot better than Andrea “dribbles good for a 7-footer” Bargnani and Jah “good in the triangle” Smith
    5. He’s not a core player who is going to give you 2,000 minutes but at 15 or so MPG you could do a lot worse

    Anybody who is saying that Cole is anything greater than that is speaking tongue-in-cheek.

  61. And it is pretty loltastic that the guy (DOC RIVRS) who has been pilloried around here for NOT being able to form a championship roster around some pretty outstanding players, is now some sort of genius for signing the great white slovenly hope to a pittance.

    Take that nerds! I was so tired of all the “Doc is a genius” posts.

  62. The best part about Jason Smith going to Orlando is that it should significantly cut down the amount of times I need to read “Jah”.

  63. The Knicks also could be in the mix if Smith doesn’t ask for too much money,

    From the article. Remember, we found $3M the other day.

  64. Shift the goalposts much? Who said he wasn’t an NBA player? Henry Finkel was an NBA player that won a ring, I believe. He’s just not anywhere as good as a certain clique here thinks. The marketplace , after years and years of observing his play assigned fair value to him.

    At least own the stupid shit you say.

    OMG…. hasn’t the marketplace spoken eloquently as to the actual value of Mr. A? Of course, the intelligentsia of analists here knows better than 30 NBA front offices. I mean admit you were all very wrong and move on please. The guy sucks at NBA level basketball.

  65. JR Smith > Josh Smith > Jah Smith

    Can we please for once have a season where I don’t have to look at a box score and see somebody named “J Smith” shooting 4-16?

  66. cole was going to be a really decent failsafe option for us… but given his lack of conditioning i think the knicks thought he was pretty limited at what he could offer…

    jeff withey is still available if we’re still interested in underrated white 7ft kansas centers….

  67. Jeff Withey is basically Cole without the rebounding, which is kind of like being Jennifer Lopez without the booty.

  68. What do you all think about Cuban today? He gave Matthews an out because Jordan didn’t sign but Matthews said that he wouldn’t reneg. Cuban then changed the contract offer from $57M over 4yrs to 70M over 4yrs. Benevolent move but what does that do to the Mavs going forward?

  69. I hope Fisher has Grant running generous amounts of PnR in addition to the triangle at SL. I’m also eager to see how Porzingis does as a roll guy. His height and quickness suggest that might be an important strength. Lopez seems better suited to PnR. In general I’m a bit worried that they’ll overcommit to the triangle and neglect what the new guys are already good at. To keep from reverting to iso as guys get tired or fall behind, I think they need sets they’re fully confident in.

  70. Can we please go a single thread without someone invoking Henry Finkel? Every time someone wants to score some debating points around here it’s Henry Finkel this, Henry Finkel that.

  71. Thanasis did average just a tick under 2 blocks, 2 steals and 6.7 boards (very nice for a two, decent for a three) per 36. Even with his struggles on offense he has a shot of being a situational end of the bench guy on an NBA roster. If you could figure out a way to hide him on offense (which I’m not sure you can in the triangle) he could turn out to be a 10-15 minute a night guy on the right team. I think he has least a good a chance as Early to actually get some minutes this year.

  72. I saw Thanasis A LOT up in Westchester this year. He’s a huge effort guy, diving for balls even when there 30 seconds left in a blowout game kind of effort guy. That in itself is useful on this team IMO. Defensively he’s a beast – great help defender although is a bit of a block hunter. Has quick feet but does gamble too much a la Shump.

    Offensively, he’s a real threat in transition. His handle isn’t bad and he tries to dunk everything (and does). He’s not a great shooter at all but he can drive the ball a bit and his court vision is better than you might think.

    I think he has a place in this league and hopefully on this team. He could be an Aminu sort of guy, which just got the real Aminu $7.5MM/year.

  73. Jeff Withey is basically Cole without the rebounding, which is kind of like being Jennifer Lopez without the booty.

    Well his TS% is .583 compared to .543. His turnover rate is 11.5% as opposed to 17.4. And his WS% is .134 as opposed to .115. He’s got a slightly higher block% too. I think Cole proved last year that he is in no way, shape or form anything more than a competent back-up. I doubt Withey is anything more than that but he hasn’t gotten enough minutes yet to know for sure. I’m not sure I’d pick Withey if I had to choose between the two but the choice sure as heck isn’t as obvious as you seem to make it out to be.

  74. @93 – That’s how I feel too. And it doesn’t much matter if he scores. He just needs to be able to be involved in the offense. But, to his credit, he averaged 12.9 ppg last season. FG%: 45.9%, 3pt%: 27.9, FT%: 61.8%. I hope he’s been practicing those foul shots and let’s try to convince him to not take those shots beyond the arc.

  75. You guys have probably seen more of Thanasis than me, and I’d love to be wrong about him. On the handful of times I caught him on TV he looked pretty clueless, and his efficiency numbers are pretty poor for the D-League, and he’s not young. We could sure use a good defensive wing, so it’s be great if he could make it.

    And as far as Withey, I was sort of just kidding. He looks like a perfectly serviceable backup center type, and nicos is right, he’s pretty comparable in overall value to our favorite gap-toothed franchise savior.

  76. @94
    Thanks for the scouting report Frank. That’s much more encouraging than some others I’ve read. Makes me even more eager to see how he does this summer.

  77. The Knicks’ Baltic Ballers OG and KP will smash the new 7’3″ Serbian Spur Boban Marjanovic (and his eye-catching ears) in an epic battle of outrageously outsized Eastern Europeans!

  78. Wow why would the Clippers bring back Jordan to have him back up Cole? Although I’m not sure why Aldrich decided to go to the West Coast, given that it’ll be harder for him to make the All Star team there than the East.

  79. Fisher really was awful in calling plays out of time-outs last season, so it’s good to know that he’s spotlighting that as an area where he has to improve.

  80. I have no standing to lecture Mark Cuban on exacting revenge, but why hasn’t he offered a Max 1 year deal to Austin Rivers yet?

  81. Defensively he’s a beast

    If we HAD signed Biyombo, I would have loved to see him, Thanasis, and Gallo on the floor at the same time. NO ONE SCORES! NO BALL IN BASKET! NO!

  82. It’s gonna make me sick to my stomach watching Knicks/Heat games this season. Of all places..why would STAT sign THERE??? Besides the fact it’s the Heat..isn’t that the same damn arena where he went Tao Fist on the fire extinguisher?? It’s like working with an ex after a heartbreaking split lol. No pun intended. Ah F it..he’s a member of the Heat now..PUN INTENDED

  83. why hasn’t he offered a Max 1 year deal to Austin Rivers yet?

    Cut off his nose to spite his face.

  84. While neither are amazing players, it is still impressive that Pat Riley got STAT and Gerald Green to take vet minimum deals.

    Dragic/Chalmers/Napier
    Wade/Green
    Deng/Winslow
    Bosh/McRoberts
    Whiteside/STAT/Birdman

    That is a deeeeeep team.

  85. Miami should be pretty good if everybody stays healthy. They’ll probably get an extra 1,000 minutes of both Whiteside and Dragic that they didn’t have last year, and if McRoberts and STAT are healthy that’s another big lump of solid frontcourt minutes that they didn’t have last year. Their defense is not gonna be good though.

  86. Jordan seems to have been within his rights in changing mind at the last minute. Karl is within his rights in waiting till after he accepted the Kings HC job to let it be known that he wants no part of Boogie. In both cases the damage from trusting them could be great to lots of people for a long time. It’s interesting to me that Karl’s actions have elicited such a different media response. FA signings are inherently more dramatic and get more attention. But apart from the amount of coverage, I’m surprised that Jordan’s choices have been widely condemned while Karl’s haven’t. Maybe it’s that coaches never get as much credit or blame as stars, or Boogie’s rep muddles the issue, or it isn’t as clear that the Kings are screwed. I’m not sure what it is, but the contrast seems to need an explanation.

  87. Why couldn’t we sign someone like Stat for minimum? That Heat team, if it stays healthy (a big if), could go deep in the playoffs.

    That is an interesting read about the 3-pt shot. I wasn’t too happy about the Afflalo mention. I hope Fisher reads that article.

  88. We’re starting to get snippets of how the pieces are going to fit together and I’m excited about what I just read about Grant. Marc Berman reports that they are considering having Grant and Calderon start as a back court. (This could, of course this could all be a Berman hallucination):

    There have been suggestions new shooting-guard signee Arron Afflalo could be used as the dynamic sixth man and Jose Calderon and Grant could share the backcourt to add more pace and younger legs.

    I can see a starting 5 that includes both rookies.

    Triangle-savvy Jerian Grant has Knicks gushing over his passing – NY Post

  89. At least own the stupid shit you say.

    Excuse me??? How about growing up…. you may not like what I said, but it is correct. I wrote and you quoted,”The guy sucks at NBA level basketball.”

    That is entirely 100% correct as defined by the marketplace. According to the Clipper’s Blog he will sign for the league minimum .

    Hence, the marketplace (including Morey, SA and geniuses in PHL and everyone else) says he deserves to be on the bottom of the totem pole of NBA players. That IS BY DEFINITION, “sucking at NBA LEVEL basketball.”

    It couldn’t be any clearer…. the marketplace values him on the bottom of NBA players. Learn from your intransigence and get over it. It is ok to be wrong sometimes

  90. “bobneptune” and” Ted Nelsons” have the same number of letters. Coincidence? Not likely

  91. “bobneptune” and” Ted Nelsons” have the same number of letters. Coincidence? Not likely

    Wasn’t it Groucho that said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member!” :-)

  92. The market for argumentative lemons is strong with bobneptunes presence

    Are you implying my argument is the fruit of a tree of falsehoods? I think not. For all the Cole nuthuggers, the facts of the matter are he has been carefully followed by all pro franchises for 8 years. He isn’t some mystery player like Mudiay who played HS and a handful of games in China where there isn’t body of work.

    He has been watched for the better part of a decade. All 30 GM’s (both new school and old) evaluated him and voted unanimously he was worthy of nothing more that a minimum salary, so, in unison they think he ranks in the lowest tranche of NBA players. That’s it….

    Now… is it possible they are all wrong after observing him for a very long time and watching him go into oxygen debt after 90 seconds and the intelligentsia of this blog is correct and he is going to blossom into an average NBA player… sure it could happen, but Fr. Ockham would think it very unlikely.

    It must be disheartening to you die hards that Morey and the rest of the advanced stats GM’s must be looking at different numbers that you fellas, ehhh.

  93. Excuse me???

    So that’s a “no” on owning up to the stupid things that you say? I guess you can’t ask an old dog to learn new tricks. C’est la vie.

  94. I mean it’s pretty clear that there could be a whole host of non cole Aldrich related reasons to adequately explain while cole wasn’t pursued in free agency: some teams won’t pursue him because they already have all their centers under contract. Perhaps they’re working on younger prospects. Perhaps … Etc.

    The upshot here is that there’s a whole host of reasons totally unrelated to player performance that may dictate teams interest in a player and therefore his market valuation. The market does not strictly measure player value (they may be correlated, but it ain’t that strong) and it is not the final arbiter of player value. Furthermore, I think if any team was looking at the stats and rejected cole as a backup center (and if backup center was a position of need) strictly on the basis of performance , then they’d be wrong to reject him, unless they adverted too les quantifiable notions like a players “fit”. Rejecting cole for a reason like that, if it is legitimate, isn’t even close to saying that he’s an unproductive player.

    As it stands it’s probably a whole complex of reasons and so your argument doesn’t make sense, not that it ever did.

  95. Amar’e Stoudemire just signed a veterans minimum contract, so all 30 owners must have unanimously decided Amar’e sucks dog shit, despite his .596 TS% and .140 WS48 last year. Since Amar’e signed a minimum contract, that must mean you can find guys who can score at around a .600 TS% on high usage just laying around in the street if you look hard enough.

  96. ”The guy sucks at NBA level basketball.”

    That is entirely 100% correct as defined by the marketplace.

    Whether Cole sucks at the NBA level basketball or not is not something that gets defined by the marketplace. The marketplace said Hassan Whiteside sucks at basketball. I assure you, he does not.

    I’m a little perplexed by the sudden ranting and raving about Cole sucking. You’ve written more posts today in rebuttal than anybody has written to the contrary in, like, 9 months. Dred has had a facetious man-crush, but there is nobody here saying Cole is worth more than a base level contract that I’ve read in a very long time.

  97. @125

    So your argument is Aldrich is really good at basketball on the NBA level, but only one team had a “need” for a really good player at slightly above the absolute minimum pay????

    That’s your argument???? And you think it makes more sense than he isn’t really good and you fellas are just flat out wrong in your analysis?

    29 other teams have Russell, Wilt and Nate Thurmond on their roster so Cole wasn’t viable???

  98. In this case I strongly prefer Jalen Rose’s point of view. If some guy comes out of college and gets a million dollar plus contract he’s not a bust, and by extension, he doesn’t suck at basketball.

  99. @125 – Obviously NBA teams are infallible, much like the Pope. For instance I bet you can’t name one great NBA All Star that wasn’t given a ton of minutes by an NBA team! Sure plenty of guys have gone from team to team before being discovered. But eventually all of the NBA great players were discovered by NBA teams. Obviously if a team didn’t sign a player, he wasn’t worthy of being an NBA player.

  100. In this case I strongly prefer Jalen Rose’s point of view. If some guy comes out of college and gets a million dollar plus contract he’s not a bust, and by extension, he doesn’t suck at basketball.

    Adam Morrison.

    Checkmate in 1.

  101. @126 – All players are only worth exactly what the NBA pays them. For instance we all known Allan Houston and Eddy Curry were worth 8 digit contracts because an NBA team paid them that.

    We should stop trying to rate players by stats like PER, WS, VORP, when we have the perfect analytical tool: $. So from my perspective, the Knicks just need to pay Carmelo more, to get more production from him.

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