Bleacher Report: Are the New York Knicks Finally Making the Right Moves?

Interesting Dan Favale piece:

Baseline sensibility is an awfully low bar to which to hold an NBA franchise. Celebrating what feels like the bare minimum of coherent thinking doesn’t sit right. But we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that, in this case, it also represents a shift in operations. The bare minimum has by and large proved to be unreachable for so long. Even when promising groundwork appears to be laid, it is inevitably short-circuited for a chance at superstar hoarding.

Maybe this iteration of the front office, led by Leon Rose, deserves the benefit of the doubt. Maybe.

The tentacles of CAA, Rose’s former agency, continue to have a tight grip on the organization. Just for starters, Toppin is represented by them, as is head coach Tom Thibodeau. The latter’s arrival itself was seen as a red flag.

Never mind the optics of a recently hired agent using his new position to hire his former client. Thibodeau isn’t the coach you choose to chaperone one of the league’s youngest rosters and oversee a thorough rebuild. As the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy noted: “In his last 15 seasons as a top assistant or head coach—with the Rockets, Celtics, Bulls and Timberwolves—Thibodeau finished with exactly two losing records.”

Boxing coaches into a roster type is lame. They can adapt. (Though, Thibodeau has yet to show he can update his defensive approach.) And Thibodeau isn’t in New York under false pretense. No amount of cap space was going to rescue the Knicks from the fringes of the NBA’s basement. It wasn’t that type of free-agency class. Both he and Rose emphasized player development about a kajillion times when Thibodeau was hired. This version of the Knicks could be different.

I think he splits the baby well between complimenting the Knicks and noting that it is still relatively early in our judgment on these guys.

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295 thoughts to “Bleacher Report: Are the New York Knicks Finally Making the Right Moves?”

  1. Looks like we dealt Rivers!

    For a man with four Ls in his name. Seems like a win though.

    No, they got the other player along with Rivers and some other draft rights. It seems like a pure cap deal. Basically, “Give us a trade exception and in exchange we’ll give you a bunch of draft rights for guys.” It’s likely that none of these guys are ever coming to the States, so it was really just the Knicks doing the Rockets a favor in exchange for perhaps some future benefit from one of these European guys coming over.

  2. In the other thread i wrongly thanked Brian for the tip on The Athletic’s black friday promotion, so here it goes to the right person… Thank you, Allan! :)

    It’s already worthy of the 1$, because the first article i’ve opened with the title “The NBA’s incoming 2020 rookie class: Here’s who is ‘Most likely to…’” predicts this:
    Most likely to win Rookie of the Year — Obi Toppin, New York Knicks

    It’s official, i’m on team optimist now! :D

  3. “No, they got the other player along with Rivers and some other draft rights“

    Too much Turkey!!!

  4. As I may be the reigning poster after another thread appears, here’s more on Quickley (from the end of the last thread), from a Times article I missed earlier.

    Quickley’s free-throw percentage last season was the second best in Kentucky history, behind only Tyler Herro, who shot 93.5 percent from the line in 2018-19.

    Quickley’s percentage at the foul line last season was higher than the best college seasons from the best free-throw shooters in N.B.A. history. At the top of that list was Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who shot 89.4 percent in his best year at Davidson.

    Quickley does the things that are most coveted in today’s league, Calipari said, particularly driving into the lane without needing the help of a screen. Quickley also led the Wildcats with a 42.8 percent 3-point rate.

    The Knicks could use the help, too. They ranked 27th out of 30 N.B.A. teams in 3-point shooting and were dead last in free-throw percentage.

    Starting to warm up to the kid. Not convinced he can play the point, but as a microwave bench player… or in the ideal, platonic, utterly fantastical version, the hybrid Frank-Quickley defense-offense guard tandem…?

  5. It’s already worthy of the 1$, because the first article i’ve opened with the title “The NBA’s incoming 2020 rookie class: Here’s who is ‘Most likely to…’” predicts this:
    Most likely to win Rookie of the Year — Obi Toppin, New York Knicks

    It’s official, i’m on team optimist now! :D

    I think Toppin is the cynical choice for Rookie of the Year, really, as it is just acknowledging that Rookie of the Year is typically given to the rookie who scores the most points, and the top two picks went to teams where Edwards will be the #3 scoring option and Wiseman, like, the #5 scoring option.

  6. so, players report next week, 3 weeks of training camp…the early part of the season may be a bit tough scheduling wise…I wonder when the players and staff will have access to vaccines…

    was listening to the ariel & DC mma show and cormier mentioned a fighter training over in abu dhabi who had already been vaccinated…

  7. Quickley’s free-throw percentage last season was the second best in Kentucky history, behind only Tyler Herro, who shot 93.5 percent from the line in 2018-19.

    Right up there with Jodie Meeks and Travis Ford. Meeks won a chip, so there’s that.

  8. Starting to warm up to the kid. Not convinced he can play the point, but as a microwave bench player… or in the ideal, platonic, utterly fantastical version, the hybrid Frank-Quickley defense-offense guard tandem…?

    Whenever I try to talk myself into Quickley his 2PT% slaps me back into reality. It’d be one thing if he tanked it with a bunch of long twos (it wouldn’t be a good thing, but maybe it could be coached out of him), but he was bad at the rim too .

    My best possible spin is that his high fTR makes it likely he traded some made shots at the rim for free throws. It’s not an excuse that does a whole lot for me because it could just as easily cut the other way.

    At the end of the day I’d bet on him to stick in the league for a while because being able to move and shoot is becoming the NBA equivalent of being a lefty reliever in the MLB–it’s a virtual job guarantee. But I don’t see him amounting to much more than, say, Anthony Morrow.

  9. The Favale piece pretty much captures the misgivings about Thibs that were frequently expressed here at the time of his hiring.

    Thibs’ reputation is that of a coach who is brought in by front offices which perceive their team to be on the cusp of contention. His balls to the wall approach is – rightly or wrongly – viewed as the missing ingredient that will help a talented roster “learn how to win” or drag a group of chronic underachievers up to the next tier of success.

    This is, of course, the polar opposite of where the Knicks currently sit on the win curve. Which further begs the question, “Why Thibs? Why now?” Given the sorry state of this roster, it’s hard to imagine that Rose & Co. actually saw him as the final, missing ingredient this team needed to contend. And yet – given some of the reports that since have come out about the team’s interest in some of this year’s class of “name” free agents for whom it (luckily) wound up being outbid – one does wonder if putting together the latest iteration of another 37-win “contender” was not this front office’s plan from the get-go.

    So – whether intended or not – the Knicks now find themselves in developmental, play-the-kids-and-let-the-ping-pong-balls-fall-where-they-may mode – all while helmed by a head coach who’s never been known for that particular M.O. Will Thibs be able to pivot to this new way of doing business or will he revert to familiar habits and wind up over-relying on the Randles, Rivers, and Bullocks of this roster in the hopes of squeezing out an extra half dozen or so empty calorie wins?

    Suffice it to say, I’m less than sanguine that Thibs will do the right thing, play the kids, and live with whatever level of suck may befall the team as a result. How could I, a fan of this team with over five decades worth of accumulated PTSD, believe otherwise? So – here I go again- headed into yet another Knick season hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

  10. hoping for the best but expecting the worse, isn’t so bad you know :)

    I’m hoping to see less swiping at the ball, more man to man, more aggressive double teams and traps…

    some consistent offensive stategy…

    that horny, fischer, rambis and fizdale “style” of offense was bad, made worse by bad rosters…

    we have a hard working, experienced coach and a locker room full of generally good dudes, with some basketball skills…

    plus, things can’t get worse, right?

  11. ***Not a fan of either Steve Martin or Eddie Murphy but whenever I stumble across Bowfinger on the teevee, I never change the channel. Yea, it’s silly AF but it always makes me laugh. Especially that freeway scene.***

    The first time I saw it, I thought it was funny. The second time I saw it I thought it was funnier. The third time I saw it I found it hilarious, and now I love meeting people who haven’t seen it so that I can watch it with them.

  12. Well, as much as we can discuss Thibs and his hiring, the immediate future of the Knicks is, I feel, mostly connected to R.J Barrett and his progression or lack there of. As much as I believe there are possible reasons to like Toppin as a pick, even though he wasn’t my favorite, he projects as a scorer who doesn’t profile as a number 1 option on a good team even on his best case scenario, but Barrett’s best case scenario does. I’m generally very patient with young rookies, but as they reach their sophomore year I need to at least see something that convinces me that there’s an actual player there, and this is RJ’s moment to start showing us that. If he was a 26 year old named Ronaldo Belkman who played 3 years at Xavier nobody would really be excited, but we kinda depend on him progressing to kickstart this rebuild the right way

  13. Brian Cronin: I think Toppin is the cynical choice for Rookie of the Year, really, as it is just acknowledging that Rookie of the Year is typically given to the rookie who scores the most points

    Agreed. But i think that was exactly what we were in need of, a high-scoring player for our young lineups. Because Frank plays elite defense but has no offense, RJ is an all around player but too inconsistent on offense, and Mitch is a very good defender and although very efficient on the offense he’s limited (only dunks and putbacks). So scoring was what the doctor ordered! ;)

  14. Bruno Almeida: As much as I believe there are possible reasons to like Toppin as a pick, even though he wasn’t my favorite, he projects as a scorer who doesn’t profile as a number 1 option on a good team even on his best case scenario, but Barrett’s best case scenario does. I’m generally very patient with young rookies, but as they reach their sophomore year I need to at least see something that convinces me that there’s an actual player there, and this is RJ’s moment to start showing us that.

    I agree with the sentiments, although I’m probably a bit more bullish on Obi. I was neutral on the pick at first, mostly because I didn’t see someone available that I preferred by a big margin, but he has grown on me. I think that he and Thibs are a great match. As to RJ, I am not feeling much optimism regarding the #1 option route. He should become a very good player, but strikes me as more of a #3, maybe a #2 in today’s game where the midrange is a dying art. The shot just looks too ugly to me to ever justify a lot of hope for superstardom. But who knows? He’s got moxie so maybe the shot comes around.

  15. Bruno Almeida:
    …the immediate future of the Knicks is, I feel, mostly connected to R.J Barrett and his progression or lack there of. As much as I believe there are possible reasons to like Toppin as a pick, even though he wasn’t my favorite, he projects as a scorer who doesn’t profile as a number 1 option on a good team even on his best case scenario, but Barrett’s best case scenario does…

    I agree that RJ still is our best hope for a franchise player, for the time being, so yeah his development is the most important. But i also have hope that Obi and Mitch can develop into starters of a good Knicks team, call it 4th and 5th options.
    I’m not so high on RJ as to think he will turn into a franchise player, it’s possible but it’s a long shot, so if he develops into a number 3 option i think that is great anyway.
    Hopefully next draft the ping pong balls fall our way and we select the number 1 option, and then we’ll be only a trade or a free-agent signing away from being a contender.

  16. our fate is tied to this next draft…. i kinda say this almost every draft but it’s one of those drafts that on paper could be pretty special…. we will be in the running for a top pick… and it’s possible the mavs pick will be pretty good too…. with some luck this thing could turn around very quickly….

    that’s why every draft is important… you get one really good player and your franchise outlook can turn around quickly… we haven’t gotten that yet but we’re setup pretty nicely next year….

    and that’s not even counting what we got in rj and mitch… their development and finishing with a bottom 3 record is really the only things that matter….

  17. quickley has a chance but it’s going to be in the cam johnson type of mold where he’s just a 3p specialist…. cam was drafted based purely on his 3p shot and that’s basically the only skill he had and at least for his first year it kinda sorta worked out…. those types of guys don’t usually have long careers though…..

    quickley is most likely in that boat and he’s going to need to jack up a lot of 3s… he has some other skills that might be relevant… his ball handling is not terrible… it’s just when he gets any kind of resistance it starts looking a lot like knox… flails and random chucks at the basket…. and things are going to get immensely more difficult for him going which is why he’s going to be relegated to 3p shots….

    what i don’t get is if you wanted that type of guy you coulda spent FA money on someone like wayne ellington…. there were other guys in the draft that went late in the 2nd that coulda done what quickley did too without spending a 1st rd pick either…. we spent the football equivalent of a 2nd rd pick on a punter…. ugh too mad still…..

  18. A big part of me is “Trade Randle!” Because how can we get Obi on the floor for meaningful minutes with our double-double spin machine in the way. But a bigger part of me thinks it was criminal — as in prosecution-worthy — what we did to Knox his rookie year, and almost as bad what we did with RJ. Only really special rookies should play 30+ minutes a game, especially early on, and they really did not qualify. So my real hope is we start the season with Randle, let Obi get his big feet under him, then off with Julius’s head (for something useful I hope) and let the kid play.

  19. The thing I’m most scared about is that Thibs will treat RJ like he did Wiggins, riding him extremely hard and giving him too much to do right away. They’re different personalities it seems, Wiggins seems disinterested in the game and never really improved, so I hope RJ has it in him to work harder and adjust. It’s tiresome that we have to keep hoping that our players improve so much every time, when the indications are that its unlikely to happen, but at least there seems to be a plan in place and something to look forward for next season. With our incredible low standards as far as FO competence, I’m about as excited as I can possibly be for a team that should still be bottom 5 in the league.

  20. Cam Johnson is an undersized PF and Knox was like the youngest player in the draft and a total upside pick, so I don’t really see the comparison, other than 3pt shooting is important for them, which is true for nearly every prospect these days. I don’t get the suggestion that he’s a one-dimensional player who has little to offer beyond shooting. Quickley was SEC player of the year over Edwards, Maxey, Okoro, Lewis Jr., etc. That doesn’t make him a sure thing but it says that opposing coaches thought extremely highly of his all-around game. The 2pt% is definitely a negative, but he had a .471 FTr, which is exceptional for a guard with a 23.4% usage, way better than guys like Herro, Edwards, Maxey, Hali, Terry, Kira (ps how did Devon Dotson go undrafted?!) He’s also described as a very heady defender for his size, with his 6’8″ wingspan is well above average for his size. I wouldn’t put a ceiling on him before seeing him play in preseason…if those drawn shooting fouls become blocked shots, that will be an early red flag.

  21. Bruno Almeida:
    The thing I’m most scared about is that Thibs will treat RJ like he did Wiggins, riding him extremely hard and giving him too much to do right away. They’re different personalities it seems, Wiggins seems disinterested in the game and never really improved, so I hope RJ has it in him to work harder and adjust. It’s tiresome that we have to keep hoping that our players improve so much every time, when the indications are that its unlikely to happen, but at least there seems to be a plan in place and something to look forward for next season. With our incredible low standards as far as FO competence, I’m about as excited as I can possibly be for a team that should still be bottom 5 in the league.

    Yeah, it’s very troubling that Thibs advocated for Wiggins getting maxed. It’s as if he was blinded by what Wiggins could be sort of like Isiah trading for Eddy Curry. I suppose it’s less of a bad quality in a coach with no power over transactions than a GM/POBO.

  22. half of quickley’s shots came from 3….. cam johnson in his last year was at a 50% 3pr (57% for his career)…. he’s now 68% 3pr in the pro’s…..

    quickley is going to be in that neighorhood…. and that’s 3p specialist territory….. and he’s supremely likely to be severely limited elsewhere… it’s a symptom of a really limited player…. he’s not going to be pushing triple doubles on a nightly basis….

    and for the record.. .the other sec players of the year were mason jones and reggie perry…. are we saying this title means something for these players too or something or nah….

  23. I think Quickley’s upside as a slashing guard is contingent on whether he can add like 15-20 pounds to his slight frame. If you think he can do that without messing up his other stuff that 2 point percentage will look way less bad…he already has a more developed floater/touch game than Knox. Did I like the pick at 25? Not necessarily, but I think he was also somewhat underrated as a prospect, especially on a Kentucky team that was not well put together and had some of the worst spacing in the league.

  24. People anchor their judgments based on initial info in ways that create huge biases. Hold up a bottle of wine and describe it to a bunch of people. Then tell them to write down the last two digits of their SSN and pretend that is the store price. Tell them explicitly that’s not the bottle’s real price. Then, right away, have them make a secret bid using their own money on that bottle. People whose SSN ends in 91 will on average bid a multiple of the people who’s SSN ends in 02. Same bottle of wine, same information about it, just a different explicitly arbitrary number in their head when they start to evaluate it. Huge bias.

    When confronted with the setup and results, high bidders will give all sorts of reasons other than their SSN that justify why they valued the wine more highly than others. This is a feature of how we’re all wired not a measure of someone’s capacity for self-delusion. These strong anchoring effects persist for a long time and resist alteration by contradictory evidence. Apologies to those who knew all that already.

    I suspect this is part of why draft position strongly biases expectations about college player’s eventual value in the NBA. If I imagine that RJ was drafted toward the end of the second round, based on what he did in college and last year, I’d just hope that he’d turn into a useful piece, not necessarily a star or even a starter. If I think of him as a top-3 pick, I look hard for hidden signs of elite skills and hold my breath waiting for him to break out.

    I know draft position isn’t totally arbitrary. Just saying it might carry a lot more weight, due to anchoring, than it should. I’m also not sure, though he seems very emotionally mature, that the added pressure will do him any favors.

    You guys know more than me about how to evaluate rookies, but expectations seem more aligned with his draft position and high school rep than either his college or NBA rookie year performance.

  25. wait what’s the significance of road play? do you think better of prospects who do better on the road or something?

    and how did he blossom in conference play? he looked exactly the same except he was shooting a lot more…. everything else was literally static…

  26. having a good floater game is a mitigation against poor finishing…. unless you’re tony parker you want to get totally to the rim instead of relying on a floater game because having a good floater is still relatively bad…. it’s usually because getting stopped short of the rim usually results in a very terrible shot…. if you’re willfully taking shots in that 3-10 feet area that usually means big big problems to your overall game….

    his inability to finish at the rim really has nothing to do with how skinny he is…. the reason he kept getting stopped short was because he was bulldozing his way to the hoop… he’s not very creative with the ball… he doesn’t have much slipperiness or wiggle or elevation…. he’s not very diverse coming off picks…. and when you don’t any of those things and you meet resistance you’re left with desperate attempts at the whistle…

    that was a common occurrence and it wasn’t all that pretty….. and yes kentucky didn’t have a great team last year… but people used the same excuse to justify the knox pick also …. good players show out no matter the situation especially in college…..

  27. I’m really not sure why it’s build around RJ. He could become a good player, but nothing I saw in his first season made me think he’s necessarily a core long term piece. Compare him to KP. After the first season it was clear KP could be built around. It’s not the same for RJ. Other than the young players and Randle, the rest of the team are competent backup NBA players. It’s fair to ask all our young guys to be at least that good to get playing time.

    As for Quickley, getting a player with at least one NBA level skill at that position in the draft is a good result. I hope he pans out, and am looking forward to seeing him play.

  28. djphan: and for the record.. .the other sec players of the year were mason jones and reggie perry…. are we saying this title means something for these players too or something or nah….

    There was only one SEC player of the year. That said, Perry was drafted in the second round and Jones was picked up as a UDFA by the Rockets…

    djphan: half of quickley’s shots came from 3….. cam johnson in his last year was at a 50% 3pr (57% for his career)

    I still don’t get why you would compare Quickley to an undersized PF. But whatever, he had a 3PTr of .438 last year. Why wouldn’t you shoot a lot of threes when you’re hitting 42% of them!? Herro was at .419 in college and went to .472 as a pro rookie. I don’t see much difference, and as the scouting report said, Quickley started attacking the basket more effectively as the year went on. From the article:

    Quickley did not operate out of pick and rolls and isolations frequently but shot the ball well in limited attempts creating for himself. He began to find some success attacking closeouts and exploiting matchups getting to the line at an improved rate and shooting an elite percentage when he got there. Getting a quarter of his shot attempts in the half court on runners, he scored an impressive 0.94 points per floater [81st percentile]. More fluid than dynamic with the ball, his aggressiveness getting downhill nonetheless stood out as the threat of his jumper yielded some chances to exploit aggressive closeouts.

  29. As to Quickley’s shooting the article said this:

    Quickley did much of his scoring in spot up and off screen situations but made shots off the dribble with good consistency on limited opportunities as well. Scoring 1.04 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [62nd percentile] and 1.38 points per dribble jump shot in the half court [99th percentile], he has a high release point and very reliable mechanics that translate well on the move.

    The article also pointed out that he was a promising defender (Cam is not a defensive PF by any stretch):

    A competitive defender with great length, Quickley gets low and makes a diligent effort to contain the ball. He allowed 0.48 points per one-on-one possession [84th percentile] more than holding his own this season. If his frame continues to mature, he has some potential to guard multiple positions.

  30. djphan: wait what’s the significance of road play? do you think better of prospects who do better on the road or something?

    Ever heard of home court advantage? Guess not.

    djphan: and how did he blossom in conference play? he looked exactly the same except he was shooting a lot more…. everything else was literally static…

    So he shot more at the same efficiency (actually higher….630 TS%, also better advanced stats) against tougher competition in more important games. Is that not a good thing?

  31. Quickley definitely projects to a role player in the NBA. His 2pt% is not concerning because of his lack of ability to score but because of what it potentially says about his overall athleticism. The real question is can he defend NBA wings. If that answer is a yes then he will probably be a useful player. He has decent size and great length for a 2 guard and if he can consistently be a decent or even plus defender at the 2 position then his three-point shooting should make him a nice 3 and d guard. The low 2pt% and trouble finishing point to problems with his size, strength, or athleticism.

    If that does not turn out to be a problem then his ability to finish barely matters. He should have a 3PAr in the mid to high 60s so even if he struggles to finish at the rim it won’t be his role and I would be surprised if he took more than 10% of his shots there.

  32. There was only one SEC player of the year.

    no there wasn’t… you can easily verify this but there’s one voted on by the coaches but AP gives the same thing out also…

    i didn’t compare every part of their games together…. i was stating what a success story looks like for quickley and it looks a little like cam johnson… if you want you can throw in duncan robinson and joe harris also…. cam johnson was probably the highest pick for a specialist besides quickley so that’s why it’s relevant….

    when you pick someone for their sole ability to shoot 3s it’s quite rare to pick them in the first round…. because it’s very easy to pick these kinds of guys anywhere in the 2nd round or get them on short term deals in FA… these guys are a dime a dozen….

    and that’s what made the quickley pick bad… if some other team picked him up you coulda picked jordan nwora or isaiah joe who literally has an identical profile to quickley…. or you could’ve had your pick between these other sec player of the years if you preferred someone with a title…..

    what made him so special? and i’m asking you this because i know you’re struggling to elaborate even though you’re trying so hard….. it’s not the end of the world if he’s considered a bad pick… that’s not the same as having no hope….. it just means if you routinely shop at the kentucky reject aisle you tend to get guys like kevin knox…. if you pick from the good player pile you tend to get guys that … aren’t like that…

  33. djphan: having a good floater game is a mitigation against poor finishing…. unless you’re tony parker you want to get totally to the rim instead of relying on a floater game because having a good floater is still relatively bad…. it’s usually because getting stopped short of the rim usually results in a very terrible shot…. if you’re willfully taking shots in that 3-10 feet area that usually means big big problems to your overall game….

    While this is a reasonable take, it fails to explain his exceptional FTr. But if he finished at the rim at a high clip, he certainly would have been a lottery pick in this draft. We’re talking about a #23 pick in a shitty draft, of course there are going to be concerns. But he’s steadily improved his game and seems to have a winner’s mentality. I think it’s a good bet he’ll figure it out. You obviously don’t. We’ll see.

  34. I don’t see anyway RJ surpasses being a 3rd option. He’s not athletic enough or good enough of a shooter to score at the level of efficiency a #2 or #1 option needs to score at.

    Quickley profiles as a 2nd round pick. He has limited upside and NCAA awards don’t count for much above and beyond what’s already there. Quickley is fine if he can shoot and play defense. Those 2 things will make him worthy of a late 1st.

  35. You’re the one who’s struggling. I posted synergy based scouting reports, listed actual stats, and compared him to similar players, You compared him to players at totally different positions, distorted his stats (e.g. .430=”half”) and suggest it’s a bad thing to shoot lots of 3’s when you are hitting them at a high clip, and offer conjecture that floaters=bad even when they go in. You ignore how he plays on the road and against better opponents. You totally ignore defensive aptitude. But no use belaboring the point. I’ll trust the article I posted over your “expert” opinion. We’ll find out soon enough.

  36. Early Bird: Quickley profiles as a 2nd round pick. He has limited upside and NCAA awards don’t count for much above and beyond what’s already there. Quickley is fine if he can shoot and play defense. Those 2 things will make him worthy of a late 1st.

    I agree that he was projected to be a 2nd round pick..I’m on record as preferring several other players, some who went in the 2nd round. I don’t agree with the “limited upside” implication, unless you mean he’s not going to be Steph or Harden. Will he be just a “good” shooter or a “lethal” shooter? If the latter, will he continue to improve at attacking closeouts and keep getting to the line? Will he benefit from NBA spacing?

    Like you and djphan, I didn’t agree with the pick at the time, but in researching it after the fact I see plenty of reason for optimism. He has enough talent, skill, and physical attributes to make a useful, multidimensional player out of himself. He’s got some intangibles. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop.

  37. Quickley needs to learn to finish better, which is something guys can learn to do.

    As for who is going to be the knicks franchise player, it’s probably nobody on the roster, but if you were betting on who it would be you’d be smart to bet on Mitch, because he’s the only guy on the team who has demonstrated elite NBA skills-he’s a great shot blocker who made a higher percentage of his shots from the field than anybody in the history of the NBA. Odds are he probably doesn’t make it, but he could be say Rudy Gobert but better. RJ was terrible last year. He’s young, he has a path to being good (learning to shoot), but he’s so far behind the odds aren’t in his favor.

  38. when you pick someone for their sole ability to shoot 3s it’s quite rare to pick them in the first round…. because it’s very easy to pick these kinds of guys anywhere in the 2nd round or get them on short term deals in FA… these guys are a dime a dozen….

    I really don’t understand this comment. Good three point shooters aren’t a dime dozen in the NBA, how can they be common in the NCAA?

  39. Just a quick observation, validation that management put together a crap lineup.
    There aren’t any clearly defined roles going into camp. Who’s the starting PG? Starting PF? Should Noel start? We should have a clear starting 5 but we don’t.
    I’ll get off my soapbox and cross my fingers that some of the players take major steps forward.
    Basketball in 2 weeks!!!!!

  40. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Just a quick observation, validation that management put together a crap lineup.
    There aren’t any clearly defined roles going into camp. Who’s the starting PG? Starting PF? Should Noel start? We should have a clear starting 5 but we don’t.
    I’ll get off my soapbox and cross my fingers that some of the players take major steps forward.
    Basketball in 2 weeks!!!!!

    I don’t see this as an issue. I’m not sure how having clearly defined roles helps us.

    For one, it partially depends on management’s goals for the season, which I’m sure they know even if we don’t.

    If the goal is to make a playoff push, which it normally is early in the season, then we’ll see a number of veterans in a lineup:

    Payton
    Bullock or Burks
    RJ
    Randle
    Mitch

    If the goal is player development, then the only real difference is the minutes distribution and Obi:

    Payton (with more minutes to Frank/DSJr)
    Bullock/Burks
    RJ
    Obi
    Mitch

    It’s possible RJ or Mitch don’t start, but I find that pretty unlikely. If RJ really stinks it up in training camp, then he’ll come off the bench and probably should come off the bench. Mitch will play until he fouls out or runs out of breath.

    Knox, Quickley, and Iggy won’t get many minutes as befits their draft status/actual play.

    But as I said initially, I don’t see a lack of defined roles as inherently bad or something to worry about. Management may wish to make a playoff push, but I’m happy if we lose some games figuring out how the roster fits together.

  41. Long time fan, first time poster.

    For some reason a line up of:
    Rivers, RJ, Bullock, Randle, Robinson with Frank/Quickley/Toppin off the bench
    doesnt seem so bad, esp compared to many of the scrub line ups we’ve run over the past few years.

    Besides Milwaukee, BKN, 76ers, Celtics & Miami the bottom of the east’s playoff picture is wide open.

    just my 2c.

  42. Good three point shooters aren’t a dime dozen in the NBA, how can they be common in the NCAA?

    if i was wide open i could probably hit nba 3pt’ers at a 33% clip…. i can go down to a random nyc playground and in a single afternoon could probably pick a guy or even a bunch of guys who can shoot 3pt’ers at a competent level if they were left wide open….

    the problem isn’t the number of guys who can hit an nba 3… the problem is hitting an nba 3 and doing literally anything else positive on the basketball court… like playing defense…. like passing.. like scoring in other ways…. people like duncan robinson… seth curry…. davis bertans… mcdermott… redick… bjelica… joe harris.. gary trent .. kyle korver… bojan bogdanovic… wayne ellington…. luke kennard…. wesley matthews… i mean the reason there aren’t more of these guys on rosters is because not many can afford to play someone who can just shoot 3’s…. and some of these guys were a lot better overall players that is declining into a more specialized player… there’s probably a few more dozen of these guys just waiting for their chance once some of these guys leave the nba…..

    there were literally over 100 players that shot over 35% of their 3pt’ers last year…. it’s not that hard to shoot….. it’s getting more of the entire package that is… and that’s what nba teams are striving to attain to get as many skills with each player as possible….

  43. DJphan, I’m sorry, I’m really not sure I buy your argument. Even in the NCAA three’s are usually not wide open. And one hundred NBA players shooting threes at a good percentage probably represents 10 years of drafting, which means ten players like that are drafted every year. That’s a lot more players than superstars for sure but getting one with the 25th pick is still probably a good outcome.

  44. I don’t see this as an issue. I’m not sure how having clearly defined roles helps us.

    It’s not a problem on a team that is going nowhere and has no hope for the future. Yes, it’s about goals.

    If the goal is to develop a winning team, we need to get to a place where there are 5 solid starters who can play together. That is the FLOOR. At that point we can then look and say “If we upgrade the ?? position” we’ve got a shot. The mentality of many Knick fans is similar to the mentality of Jets and Mets fans. The bar is set so low for them that they can’t imagine what it takes to win.

    I guess that as a Yankee fan, I see the contrast. Think about this, the Yankees don’t look to sign “average” players . They might, as filler, but they set their goals at the highest levels. There is not one position on the field where the Yankees have anything less than “above average” players. In those cases fans wonder how they can go from “above average” to “elite”. Gary Sanchez is an example. 20 teams wish they had a 30 HR catcher that bats .150!

    When the Knicks get to a point where they are trying to figure out which all-star deserves playing time over another all-star in the lineup, we’ll be thinking like winners. Until that point we hang that big L on our foreheads.

    Riddle me this, what player on this roster cracks the starting lineup on the Lakers?

  45. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: I guess that as a Yankee fan, I see the contrast. Think about this, the Yankees don’t look to sign “average” players . They might, as filler, but they set their goals at the highest levels. There is not one position on the field where the Yankees have anything less than “above average” players. In those cases fans wonder how they can go from “above average” to “elite”. Gary Sanchez is an example. 20 teams wish they had a 30 HR catcher that bats .150!

    If the Yankees were in the NBA they’d be hopelessly capped out with an albatross like Stanton sucking up half the cap by himself. You simply can’t compare basketball (or any sport with a hard cap) to baseball.

  46. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Riddle me this, what player on this roster cracks the starting lineup on the Lakers?

    If the standard is how do we form a team comparable to one with the GOAT and a top-25 of all time player, we’re a bit ahead of ourselves.

  47. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: When the Knicks get to a point where they are trying to figure out which all-star deserves playing time over another all-star in the lineup, we’ll be thinking like winners. Until that point we hang that big L on our foreheads.

    The lakers had a big L on their foreheads just a few years ago. They’re not too far removed from a broken down Nash, achilles tear Kobe, disgruntled Dwight, and disappointing #2 pick Ball.

  48. 1. A lot of people have been sleeping on Quickley, but he might be better than we expect. His shooting could earn him a rotation spot fairly quickly and he may even be a decent PG option at times. He was playing off the ball on Kentucky because of the makeup of their team. That’s why his assist numbers don’t look very impressive. But he said himself he’s a PG and feels more comfortable at that position. That alone may make him a rotation player if he also has better playmaking skills than the stats suggest.

    2. The Knicks probably have the worst roster in the NBA right now based on last year’s performance level. But when you’ve drafted 2 talented players, have a few young “project” players, a 2nd year player like RJ, a new head coach and an assistant staff geared towards player development, there are a LOT of potential upside wildcards. That’s the only thing that’s going to make this season tolerable. We could see as many as 2-3 players break out or surprise us to the upside. That’s the hope. Otherwise, you can start your college lottery scouting now and write off next year’s free agency class too. No stars will be coming UNLESS a few players break out a little and/or maybe you can attract 2 that want to play together.

  49. Robinson clearly has more upside that Noel, but given Mitch’s propensity to get into foul trouble and his general greenness on both sides of the ball, it would not shock me if we start the season with Noel as the starting C and Randle as the starting PF. In fact, if we start off with Mitch at C, that bodes well for his off season development that someone like Thibs is starting him over Noel. If we started with Mitch and Obi, that would have some earth shattering implications. If ObI also beats Randle out for the starting PF position that would be screaming things. I just don’t see until we work our way into the season.

  50. Are we finally making the right moves? It doesn’t look like it, we haven’t done anything particularly good yet. But on the other hand we haven’t done anything particularly stupid either, and with this bunch that’s progress.

  51. Bobby Marks says we’ve signed MKG to a one-year deal. Another guy who can’t shoot a lick. And another Kentucky guy. But this means more moves have to be coming, since we already have too many guys for the start of training camp.

  52. We’re going to be terrible, but at least there are a host of intriguing questions that right now make me really curious to see how it all plays out:
    Mitch vs. Noel
    Randle vs. Tobbin (and don’t sleep on our only stretch-4, my chubby buddy Spellman — will he get run?)
    JR — will he play the 3, and who exactly is his competition?
    Bullock vs. Burks, now with Rivers in the mix, along with Frank.
    Who the hell plays point (my least favorite question, since all the possible answers are bad).
    Who among our kiddies will actually make significant strides forward — Frank, RJ, Knox, DSJ, Toppin, Quickley?
    Will Thibs have a short or long leash for the kids?
    Has Mitch actually added something new to his game?
    I also think it’s a make-or-break year for Frank, Knox, and DSJ, which adds tension and intrigue.
    A lot better than “How the hell are they going to play four power forwards?

  53. Huh. Popper:

    Kidd-Gilchrist, a former No. 2 overall pick, is signing with Knicks as ESPN reported. But hearing it’s an Exhibit 10 deal with training camp invite. Knicks have their 2-way deals filled now, but can make moves – waive, trade someone to make room.

  54. ***Bobby Marks says we’ve signed MKG to a one-year deal. Another guy who can’t shoot a lick. And another Kentucky guy. But this means more moves have to be coming, since we already have too many guys for the start of training camp.***

    In the bastardized words of our immortal spiritual leader, “it’s called basket-ball, not team-defense-ball.” (Now all we need to do is trade for Stanley Johnson in order to roll out our all-star lineup of highly drafted dudes who forgot to learn how to, you know, put the round bouncing thingy into the peach basket.)

  55. My dream scenario for the middle of the season based on merit and pending other moves is that we roll out a starting lineup Mitch, Obi, RJ, Quickley, and Frank. We’d have our best perimeter and paint defenders on the court which is an automatic plus. If it’s based on merit presumably we’d be getting some spacing from Obi and Quickley, Frank had matured and added at least a solid corner 3, we’d be getting enough playmaking and ball movement from Quickley, Frank, and RJ (with Obi not a bad passer for a big either), Mitch and Obi would are taking turns dunking, RJ with a slightly improved shot and slightly better spacing would be more effective getting to the rim and finishing and we’d have some fun.

  56. I mean MKG is a junkyard dog. Inept after he crosses half court but he can play great defense right?

    Or is this just a courtesy to help keep his career afloat?

  57. He is also a CAA client. Maybe, the CAA logo should replace the Four Square logo on our uniforms and we change our name to the NY Colonels.

  58. If MKG sticks thru training camp I wonder what happens to Knox. I can’t see him getting much time at PF with MKG on the roster and no other changes to the frontcourt. I also can’t see him winning minutes at SF with his current defensive skills and Thibs as HC.

    I guess we’ll see if Kenny Payne can perform miracles. Don’t think we’ll be seeing much of young Kevin otherwise.

  59. Bulleya1:
    Long time fan, first time poster.

    Welcome Bulleya1! :)
    I started posting a few days ago, so i think we’re the rookie class of 2020, let’s prove this guys that our advanced stats don’t look all that promising but we will crack the starting lineup of a very good team of Knicks posters with our hard work and character!!! :D ;) :P

  60. There has to be another trade coming. I’m sure MKG signed the Exhibit 10 as a placeholder until there’s an open roster spot for him. And we have too many guys, both kids and vets. Whether it’s the Batum salary dump or something else, there must be a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 in the works.

  61. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Riddle me this, what player on this roster cracks the starting lineup on the Lakers?

    Potentially any player not trying to play either forward position. If we take our current roster and stuff AD & Lebron into it, we could win a title. The rest of their team is kinda trash.

  62. Alan:
    There has to be another trade coming. I’m sure MKG signed the Exhibit 10 as a placeholder until there’s an open roster spot for him. And we have too many guys, both kids and vets. Whether it’s the Batum salary dump or something else, there must be a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 in the works.

    We could also just cut Randle & open up playing time for Obi.

  63. Alan:
    There has to be another trade coming. I’m sure MKG signed the Exhibit 10 as a placeholder until there’s an open roster spot for him. And we have too many guys, both kids and vets. Whether it’s the Batum salary dump or something else, there must be a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 in the works.

    Enter this:
    https://www.nbaanalysis.net/2020/11/26/nba-rumors-new-york-knicks-washington-wizards-trade-sends-john-wall/2/

    My favorite passage from this: “In this trade, the New York Knicks will be getting their franchise player in John Wall who hopefully can help change the culture.”

    I thought this proposal/”rumor” might be satire, but it appears to be deadly serious on the part of the clueless writer.

  64. Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn:
    Cavaliers gathered three future second-round picks in past 10 days in deals with Bucks, Lakers and Jazz.

    The battle to who’s the king of 2nd round picks between the bottom dwellers of the league is ON! :D

  65. Quickley signed his rookie contract. The abbreviated offseason and rookie salary scale seems to be expediting this stuff. (Toppin already signed.) I’m old enough to remember rookie holdouts, like the time the Knicks almost signed Harvey Grant away from Washington because they were hamstrung by Tom Gugliotta’s rookie holdout. (I’m also old enough to remember Tom Gugliotta.)

  66. I actually think MKG is not a bad signing. He is a very good defender and is a good rebounder for a wing. Last year he barely played and moved teams and was terrible but the year before that he started taking 3’s for the first time in his career and made 34%. It is a small sample size but that combined with his ft% which has been 77+% in 3 of the last 4 seasons means that maybe he could develop that shot.

    Him being anything more than a journeyman defensive specialist is a longshot but I think taking a flyer on him isn’t the worst move in the world. We should know in training camp if his shot has come along at all and if it hasn’t then you don’t sign him and move on, if his shot has improved he deserves a spot on our roster. MKG with even a passable 3pt shot is a good player. Pretty low-risk move for a player that is only 27 and has a couple legitimate above-average NBA skills and has shown maybe the beginnings of a shot.

  67. I’m not mad at MKG, he’s absolutely a one-dimensional player who can’t score to save his life, but at least he’s a player with one high level, NBA proven skill. Better to use roster spots on guys with at least one or two proven plus sides to their game than the dudes we had like Lance Thomas, masters of “intangibles” but bad at everything basketball related.

  68. DJphan, I’m sorry, I’m really not sure I buy your argument. Even in the NCAA three’s are usually not wide open. And one hundred NBA players shooting threes at a good percentage probably represents 10 years of drafting, which means ten players like that are drafted every year. That’s a lot more players than superstars for sure but getting one with the 25th pick is still probably a good outcome.

    There were a lot of better NCAA three-point shooters than Quickley in Division 1 last season. Almost none of them were drafted. In the top ten in three point shooting percentage alone, only two were picked in this year’s draft, and one of them was taken with the #30 pick (Bey was the other one).

  69. 3 point shooting skill:

    I had a friend who played DIII College ball. There was a guy on his team who was lights out from three, and got a tryout with the Celtics. This guy rapidly learned what an NBA athlete is like. While he could shoot, he could not get the ball. NBA fringe players hungry to make an impression denied him the ball. He just could not shake these invite tryout guys, let alone established NBA vets. “Lots of guys” can shoot, but not many guys can get open long enough to shoot in the NBA.

  70. Brian and Sly, you understood what DJPhan was saying better than I did. I hope the Knicks scouts really figured out that Quickley’s skill will translate to the NBA. That is their job, after all.

  71. Denver Broncos just had to rule out all three of their QBs for Sunday’s game. Should be an interesting watch!

  72. Hi all-
    Looks like this is the day for all the long-time lurkers, first-time posters. Been following versions of this blog since Daily Dime Live was being hosted by Zach Lowe. I feel like I already know many of you and am glad the NeptuneBob is, hopefully, off somewhere crying into his MAGA hat.

  73. I feel like we don’t haze enough. Brian, can you ban this new guy for a few months so he can feel like one of us, maybe, someday?

  74. My comments about the Lakers and Yankees are not about the team as much as the fans. Our expectations are to not be the most god-awful team ever assembled. The bar is lower than the curb.

    Z-Man, if there’s a Knick you would play over Schroeder at PG, please enlighten me. And which wing do you take over Wesley Matthews and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope? While I love Mitch, I’m taking Gasol over him every day. MKG is another example of Knick dumpster-diving and adding a player that nobody wants. The point is the the Knicks next objective is to improve enough to just be plain awful.

    I’m resigned to yet another year in the toilet. I hope I am wrong but I do not see the Knicks as having done anything to move this team forward. As best I can tell, it’s another year of the same.

  75. I did an impromptu turkey trot 10K and then drinkathon in my townhouse complex, fun but i’m wasted so will defer until tomorrow when i can lucidly respond but am not coherent right now so forgive me for the time being

  76. I’m already happy enough that we’re getting actual new posters instead of just new reub, that dude with the Melo obsession or strat burner accounts, that’s for sure.

  77. Ugh, Nate Robinson just got knocked out in a boxing match against Jake fucking Paul! That’s so depressing.

  78. Z-man: I did an impromptu turkey trot 10K and then drinkathon in my townhouse complex, fun but i’m wasted so will defer until tomorrow when i can lucidly respond but am not coherent right now so forgive me for the time being

    I just completed a C25K Couch to 5K program. It really should be called a couch to 30 minutes of running program but C25K sounds better. Anyhow, after I run for 30 minutes the only thing that I’m good for is a nap.

    BTW, it turns out I’m a very slow runner. It ends up being 3.6K or 2.25 miles. Still the 9 week program took me from not being able to run for more than a minute to running 30 minutes which. I haven’t run for for about 40 years so I’m real happy with my progress.

  79. Why is Nate Robinson fighting some 23 year old youtube person in the first place?

    The fact that the fight existed was already depressing, but Nate getting knocked out made it extra depressing.

  80. And I would take a healthy Bullock or last year’s Burks over either Wes or KCP.

    I’d say Payton and Schroder is a toss-up.

    Frank’s shutdown defense is arguably more valuable in a Lakers lineup where Lebron & AD can score at will.

    And once upon a time Marc Gasol would have been a no brainer, but Gasol at 35 isn’t a dominant player anymore. I could see both Noel and Mitch outplaying him this year.

    The Lakers really are a dumpster fire outside of Lebron & AD, but when you have 2 of the top 5 players in the NBA you can win that way.

  81. Wasn’t Wes Matthews so bad that even we decided to cut him?

    It was a courtesy cut so he could go to a good team (as he was an impending free agent), but yes, it is funny to think that he got cut by the Knicks!

  82. It is kind of funny to think that Phil Jackson was, like, “Hmm…I guess I could get a first round pick for Iman Shumpert, but I’d rather get no first round pick just so long as the other team takes JR Smith, as well, who will go on to win two NBA championships after this trade and somehow get Candice Patton from Flash, who is about a million times hotter than him, to date him while not actually breaking up with his wife.”

  83. Hey, I wonder who was drafted with the first round pick that Phil didn’t want?

    Oh, Furkan Korkmaz, who just shot 40% from 3 last year at age 22? Man, he would have sucked to have on the Knicks.

  84. And yes, obviously Phil would not have drafted a European guy who they would have had to wait on. But still.

  85. Brian Cronin: It was a courtesy cut so he could go to a good team (as he was an impending free agent), but yes, it is funny to think that he got cut by the Knicks!

    That may have been part of it, but he straight up sucked for his 2 games on the Knicks:

    27 mpg

    7 ppg
    9.5 fga
    .211 fg%

    2.5 apg
    1.5 rpg
    0.5 stls
    0.5 bpg

  86. That may have been part of it, but he straight up sucked for his 2 games on the Knicks:

    Oh sure, but he could have been quite good and they’d have still cut him. A bunch of different playoff teams were all trying to get him to sign with them as soon as the Knicks cut him, ya know?

  87. And yes, obviously Phil would not have drafted a European guy who they would have had to wait on. But still.

    I laughed out loud.

  88. Frank’s shutdown defense is arguably more valuable in a Lakers lineup where Lebron & AD can score at will.

    This seems true but the trade offers have never been there so..

    BUT, I’ve noticed when Frank gets pulled by the coach (Horny, Fiz, and Miller) and the board is all “wtf look at his obvious defensive impact on this game we’re getting pummeled like Nate Robinson* without him u so dumb trash coach” Frank is fucking up everybody else’s defense. He latches on to his guy with such focus, rolling over screens with aplomb, when the other defender has called for a switch as per the defensive scheme the coach is running. It screws up the rotations, and too often leads to an easy basket or a mad scramble for the other defenders. But when Frank switches like the scheme calls for he gets isolated and it turns into 4 on 4 with Frank guarding a non-serious threat. Frank just isn’t fast enough to lock down two guys on the weak side, so he’s fairly easy to handle for a competent offense.

    Hopefully Thibs can sort this out, but I have a hard time seeing him as a good get for an already strong team if you need to tune your defense to specifically cater to him.

    Am I completely off on this? Does anyone else see it?

    *This board can see the future prove me wrong

  89. While i checked MKG’s stats I was pleasantly surprised to see that CHA acronym changed into CHO when Bobcats became Hornets!
    Otoh his stats are brutal
    One more “Travolta” signing begging for a pulp fiction reawakening ? Let’s wait and see…

    Welcome to Bulleya1 – PerverseOsmosis !

  90. Oh man that Nate Robinson clip. I don’t even understand who Jake Paul is but I know that was bad for America.

    As for whether Frank messes up the defense by performing too well, ahh….

    He’s good at disrupting a high usage playmaker. He did a great job against Doncic. I remember him being good against Harden too. But it’s odd to watch him because he doesn’t seem to put that much pressure on the point of attack. He’s not smothering and he doesn’t rack up steals and blocks.

    I like Frank and root for him but he is eminently replaceable

  91. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    My comments about the Lakers and Yankees are not about the team as much as the fans. Our expectations are to not be the most god-awful team ever assembled. The bar is lower than the curb.

    Z-Man, if there’s a Knick you would play over Schroeder at PG, please enlighten me.And which wing do you take over Wesley Matthews and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope?While I love Mitch, I’m taking Gasol over him every day. MKG is another example of Knick dumpster-diving and adding a player that nobody wants.The point is the the Knicks next objective is to improve enough to just be plain awful.

    I’m resigned to yet another year in the toilet. I hope I am wrong but I do not see the Knicks as having done anything to move this team forward. As best I can tell, it’s another year of the same.

    As fans, we should expect that our owner will hire a competent POBO/GM to execute a prudent rebuild. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just logical. It’s very hard to do that in the NBA. The only short cuts that work seem to involve either LeBron or incredible luck.

    So yes, brace for another losing season but be glad that, at least for now, the new POBO hasn’t done anything incomprehensibly stupid or damaging yet. The Kentucky-CAA thing is unsettling, as are the draft picks, but as a fan I’m in the “benefit of the doubt” stage until the preseason games give us a peek at what we have. I like the head coach and think he gives the team some much-needed credibility. I like that we have more draft assets and cap flexibility now than we’ve had going into a training camp than at any time since at least the ’80’s. I like that we dodged some FA bullets and actually used cap space to acquire some assets (the Ed Davis moves were nice!) and seem willing to do more of that.

  92. I’m not holding out much hope that we land Giannis or someone like that…the “do smart things and hope to get lucky along the way” route seems more prudent at this point. Hope that a couple of the young guys break out under Thibs and the team competes hard and wins more than expected but does so on the backs of the young players. Hope that we get something good in return for Randle, Bullock, Burks, Payton, Noel, etc., and shift their playing time to young guys. Keep scouring the waiver wire, G-League, overseas leagues for promising players at bargain prices. Maybe pick up a decent player with Bird rights on a salary dump at the deadline. Draft well in 2021. Build incrementally unless a star becomes available at a bargain price, or better still, build a .500 team from the draft up.

    If we do these things for the next 2 years, then the NYC/Mecca draw might mean something. The stench of 20 years (more, really) of bad management and PR will take time to dissipate. Clearly, the Knicks are not a preferred destination right now. But if Obi, RJ, Mitch…or any of Frank, IQ, DSjr, Iggy…become winning players, just a little bit of luck can go a long way.

  93. One unsung move that gives me hope is that we waived Taj. He clearly wasn’t worth anywhere near $9 mill and yet I thought Thibs might have insisted on keeping him around. That there isn’t a single bloated non-rookie scale deal on the ledger other than Randle is very encouraging, and even his deal is not crazy-bad.

  94. Z-man,
    Collecting assets is fine, if you use them. I liked the move where Rose basically traded the 27 and the 38 for the 25 and the 33, but he needed to do more with that. Still, the draft was about whether taking Tobbin over Haliburton turns out to be the right call in the long term. Also, the draft as a whole was uninspiring. It was about proper use of the cap space where we disagree. It is my strong belief that there is no “honey” to attract flies to NY. Sure, if Robinson, Barrett, Knox and Ntilikina had established themselves as solid starters, that would be “honey”, but right now, they aren’t. The honey had to come from free agency, where we landed at least one promising player. We didn’t. What we acquired was more of the same – cheaper but the same dreck. What free agent that we acquired would other free agents want to play with? Who’s the Robin to the free agent Batman? Thing is, there were some nice players available, the ones that got big but not max contracts. They would have cost more than what people perceive to be their market value, but those people do not add the intangible value, the value of the “honey” or ability to help lure superior talent. We needed one. Failure to accomplish that is why this was a wasted off-season. If Rose turns around the half dozen mismatched parts for something of value, some honey, I’ll change my tune.

  95. GNYGNYG I agree that it’s frustrating. But that’s what this win-curve business is all about. The “nice” FAs who were actually “available” were few and far between…Wood (with his very small sample size of good play) was the only guy who was available that had the potential to move the needle at a decent price, but then drafting Obi made no sense. I agree that drafting Hali and signing Wood was a reasonable alternative, but Obi could turn out to be much better than Wood, if not outright then value-wise. And it’s not like Hali is likely to take the NBA by storm…he’s a beanpole with questionable ball skills and a weird shooting form that might not work as well in the NBA.

    We weren’t getting FVV unless we offered him a max deal. Hayward wasn’t worth the money he got. Ingram was a pipe dream. Bertans isn’t moving the needle much. It just wasn’t a great time to pull the trigger.

    Now it’s possible that we still go for Westbrook if the price is right (assets coming in, not going out) but is he the answer?

    Or that we make some other high-profile move before the deadline. James Harden, anyone?

    Or that someone (Obi? RJ?) becomes that draw.

    My point is that this is the time for patience and guarded optimism. Let’s at least see what happens when they roll the balls out next week.

  96. Oh man that Nate Robinson clip. I don’t even understand who Jake Paul is but I know that was bad for America.

    I don’t know if it was bad for America, but it sure was bad for Nate and boxing. Boxing isn’t a game. I don’t know anything about his opponent but I read he’s had long term boxing training and is a much younger man. Sometimes people that care about someone (Nate in this case) have to protect them from themselves. He probably thought it was an easy payday with some of the proceeds going to charity (which I know was part of Tyson/Jones). But he was fighting a guy that was there to knock him out and get bigger fights. I used to like boxing when I was young and even saw the merits of MMA at one point. Not any more. It’s a great idea to get in shape, develop fighting skills, learn self defense skills etc.. It’s a terrible idea to have people pounding each other’s heads.

  97. Wood, FVV, Hayward and the rest of this year’s FA ‘s are not enough to attract first class big dogs.
    If our young core don’t improve we don’t attract noone so let’s not make it a drama that we missed to overpay FAs during the off-season.

  98. Deeefense: lmao

    I take it you don’t like Randleeven more than I thought.

    I actually think I like Randle more than most on this board. I’m just thinking more and more about Obi’s playing time and how we really don’t want to compete for a playoff spot in a year where the draft prizes actually seem worth it.

    If Randle is okay riding the bench or playing behind Obi, great! Let’s keep him. But I listened to one podcast that reminded me he might throw a stink riding the bench and if he ends up being toxic I’d rather just cut him

  99. My point is that this is the time for patience and guarded optimism. Let’s at least see what happens when they roll the balls out next week.

    From my perspective, this was the most encouraging off season we’ve had in a long time.

    They were open to matching the offer for FVV, but not wildly overpaying.

    They were open to signing a very good 30 year old player (Hayward) to move the team forward and become a more attractive winning destination sooner, but not at the price Charlotte offered.

    They were open to using a draft pick to trade up in the draft to aggressively pursue the player they wanted if that’s what it took.

    They were open to taking on a contract for an asset if the compensation was appropriate for the contract size and contract duration they were taking on.

    They did not lock themselves into a single way of thinking or a single plan. They scoured the landscape looking for ways to improve the team and/or their assets, but without doing anything stupid (at least yet). That’s exactly what I’ve been asking for. Keep yourself open to everything. This year there weren’t many opportunities, but there will be eventually. We just don’t know what they will be or where they will be located yet. At least now they are looking everywhere and seem competent enough to evaluate things.

  100. Nate
    A few years ago in a greek sports/survival tv reality game (Nomads) an ex legend of kick boxing (mike zambidis aka iron mike18times World champion) had participated at age 37 and everybody was expecting him to kick ass.
    It was sad and pathetic how he was losing from almost anybody in challenges that required strength and endurance.
    Time waits for noone…

  101. Early Bird: I actually think I like Randle more than most on this board.

    I think Thibs is going to play players base on merit, Randle is going to win the starting job, OBI will be brought along slowly, and when he’s ready to take over (assuming he’s not a dud), Randle will be traded. I can’t imagine Thibs using Randle any worse than he was used last year. So maybe we’ll improve his value. I don’t think going slowly with OBI (unless of course he’s ready for more) is going to hurt his development at all.

  102. You never know for sure but it’s safe to say that Mills or Phil or Isiah or any GM/POBO from the past would have lunged at Westbrook with a Carmelo-like deal, bidding against themselves in the process. Or locked Hayward into a Charlotte-like deal (ugh!). Or traded up for LaMelo using multiple assets, maybe even Mitch. Or used cap space to overpay the likes of Portis and Ellington. Or drafted an 18 yo with mediocre college/euro stats but upside.

    It’s a low bar, but the restraint shown thus far is pretty encouraging news for the chronically abused KB fan base.

  103. Deeefense: I think Thibs is going to play players base on merit, Randle is going to win the starting job, OBI will be brought along slowly, and when he’s ready to take over (assuming he’s not a dud), Randle will be traded. I can’t imagine Thibs using Randle any worse than he was used last year. So maybe we’ll improve his value.I don’t think going slowly with OBI (unless of course he’s ready for more) is going to hurt his development at all.

    My other thought is we want to keep Randle because less playing time for Obi means less likely he wins rookie of the year. If he doesn’t win rookie of the year he may not qualify for the higher max extension which would save us money in a few years.

    I’m more amenable than most here to keeping Randle, but he’s not worth the headache and marginal wins if any playing time complaints crop up.

  104. Knew Your Nicks:
    Nate
    A few years ago in a greek sports/survival tv reality game (Nomads) an ex legend of kick boxing (mike zambidis aka iron mike18times World champion) had participated at age 37 and everybody was expecting him to kick ass.
    It was sad and pathetic how he was losing from almost anybody in challenges that required strength and endurance.
    Time waits for noone…

    Nothing was sadder than the Ali comeback against Larry Holmes. That turned me off of boxing for good.

  105. Deeefense: I think Thibs is going to play players base on merit, Randle is going to win the starting job, OBI will be brought along slowly, and when he’s ready to take over (assuming he’s not a dud), Randle will be traded. I can’t imagine Thibs using Randle any worse than he was used last year. So maybe we’ll improve his value.I don’t think going slowly with OBI (unless of course he’s ready for more) is going to hurt his development at all.

    Agreed, we should build up Randle’s value for a trade and bring Obi along patiently. Why cut Randle before it’s clear that we can’t get something of value for him or use him to facilitate a trade for a better player? Just like I saw no reason to waive and stretch Noah…if he whines, let him rot on the bench or stay away from the team and tell the NBPA to bugger off.

  106. The truth is that Randle had a few games when he was an absolute Beast showing signs of Leadership and Value.
    The bad part was that these games were sporadic and spinhogging and badspot3pointshooting were always taken control…
    If he could play smarter under a more barking coach like Thibs we may gain something here

  107. Randle did play better once Payton was back and Frank started playing better off the bench. Not great, but definitely better.

    Having Burks as another playmaker should help Randle too. Same if RJ steps it up.

  108. I definitely wouldn’t cut Randle because that’s a zero upside move, but I sympathize with the desire to get him off our hands as soon as possible.

    It’s very hard to envision a coherent version of the team with him playing a major role and I’m skeptical he can be traded at all (short of a salary dump with sweetener). He simply does not have particularly sought after skills.

    I suppose it’s worth keeping him and gritting our teeth for 25 MPG or so because a playoff team might have some interest if they get hit with a tough injury. It’s just going to suck.

  109. There was an interesting boxing match on yesterday between two undefeated and intriguing heavyweight prospects. It was competitive, and the outcome was a bit of an upset. It got no press coverage while the freakshow Tyson-Jones fight got covered like a top sports news story.

  110. Most people here were fine with the Randle signing at the time. His last 2 pre-Knicks seasons looked good. Last year he regressed and his ugly game left an awful taste in our collective mouths but it’s not hard to imagine him returning to a .600 TS% player under better coaching. He finished the season on a better note so it’s really more about aesthetics on offense and generally mediocre defense than anything else.

    I could see him having salary-matching value should a trade pop up. The western teams are going to get panicky as the season goes on and players get injured. There are lots of ways we might rid ourselves of him that don’t involve using sweetener or dead cap. He’s another case where patience is required.

  111. It’s at least conceivable that Randle spent lockdown taking corner threes and comes out the gate hitting a respectable enough number to entice a team.

  112. Tyler Smith
    @RaiderDamus
    ·
    5m
    Unlike the Knicks, Nate Robinson at least made it to the second round before getting knocked out

  113. my answer to the titular question…

    I think we are finally making some of the basic moves you would expect a team in our position to make. that’s refreshing.

    but it all comes down to their draft. I’m of the opinion that we will come to deeply regret every choice they made on draft night, so that’s far from finally doing the right thing.

  114. I’d feel better about the off-season if we had drafted Haliburton, a non-Quickley prospect with the second 1RP and then Quickley in the second round. Toppin was a high risk pick, there’s a very good chance his defense makes him unplayable.

    The draft was a C when we needed an A. But hey, it wasn’t an F!

  115. Randle was definitely a victim of horrible coaching. Fiz and then Miller both turned him into a dribble-from-mid -court- into-turnover machine and kept him on it even after it was clearly out of his skillset. I don’t love him as a player but he should be better with a coach who puts him in a position to succeed.

  116. Hubert: but it all comes down to their draft. I’m of the opinion that we will come to deeply regret every choice they made on draft night, so that’s far from finally doing the right thing.

    Just to refresh my memory, what were your favored choices at #8, #25 and #33? (one per slot, please.)

    (mine were Haliburton, Terry and Maledon)

  117. Z-man: (mine were Haliburton, Terry and Maledon)

    I probably could have been talked into reaching for Kira Lewis Jr., it was very close for me between him and Haliburton. I wouldn’t have been too upset with Vassell either. But I disagree with JK47, I think Obi is actually the lowest risk of the bunch and think he was a perfectly solid pick at #8 in this draft. And Quickley is growing on me.

  118. As that is all water under the bridge, I’m super-excited about Thibs as coach and looking forward to seeing what he does with this roster. I don’t expect him or Rose to have any particular allegiance to anyone picked or signed before this year. If it becomes apparent that Frank or Knox or Iggy are not worth waiting on any longer, I would expect them to be ditched in some kind of transaction.

  119. DRed:
    Batum got waived, so I guess we’re not getting an asset out of that

    I don’t think it was worth it. Charlotte probably didn’t want to give up much since they can stretch him and the Knicks should prefer to preserve cap space to potentially receive better compensation during the season. With $18M free we can potentially take on multiple contracts each for 1st round picks.

  120. randle’s problem was shooting too many 3s and iso’ing him too much… he needs the ball in his hands while he is moving…. and for that he needs a decent pg running a functional offense…..

  121. I’m so starved for Knicks bball that i see the 4 upcoming crappy preseason games as ecf and Randle as an allnbaer, frank as the goat and dsj as an nba player!

  122. Z-Man,
    While it would be nice to have signed FVV, there were many other options from amongst Joe Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdaonovic, Malik Beasley, Jordan Clarkson, Christian Wood, DJ Augustine, Rajon Rondo, Montrezl Harrell, Rodney Hood and so on. I wanted us to signed one guard and one wing from that list.

  123. FWIW, in the 1,033 minutes Randle shared the floor with Payton his numbers were a lot better. He had a .567 TS% in them vs .506 with Payton off the floor (1,047 minutes).

    There are reasonable arguments to be had about just how much team structure affects an individual player’s production, but I think it’s pretty clearly unfair to send bigs out there with Frank Ntilikina at point guard and expect much.

    Anyway are we still furious about that 1/$5M contract or nah?

  124. Joe Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdaonovic, Malik Beasley, Jordan Clarkson, Christian Wood, DJ Augustine, Rajon Rondo, Montrezl Harrell, Rodney Hood

    1) restricted and not going anywhere

    2) 3/$60M+ for a 32 year old, not even Strat was on board

    3) I guess you can argue for this one but it wasn’t regarded as an obvious move for the Hawks, who are much further along than us

    4) restricted and not going anywhere

    5) I hope this is a joke

    6) I would’ve signed Wood because I think he’ll be an asset at that price, but we don’t know what his level of interest was especially given our current roster makeup

    7) 3/$21M for a declining 33 year old is a much worse use of resources than 1/$5M for Payton

    8) marginally better than Payton last year for 300% of the cost, is also 8 years older

    9) maybe the most duplicative player with Mitch in the league

    10) how much better is he than Burks?

  125. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Z-Man,
    While it would be nice to have signed FVV, there were many other options from amongst Joe Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdaonovic, Malik Beasley, Jordan Clarkson, Christian Wood, DJ Augustine, Rajon Rondo, Montrezl Harrell, Rodney Hood and so on. I wanted us to signed one guard and one wing from that list.

    Obviously I’m not Z-Man, but I don’t think I would want most of those players on the contracts they signed. Christian Wood is the lone exception, but after we drafted Our Only Hope I’m not sure he’s worth the price tag to play backup. Same goes for Harrell and I’m not sure I’d take Harrell’s offense over Noel’s defense anyways.

    A lot of these players are only marginally better than the FAs we signed and are getting paid significantly more than our FAs for multiple years.

    Gallinari is significantly better than our players but is (1) made irrelevant by Obi and (2) getting paid a lot of money when he’s 35.

  126. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Z-Man,
    While it would be nice to have signed FVV, there were many other options from amongst Joe Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdaonovic, Malik Beasley, Jordan Clarkson, Christian Wood, DJ Augustine, Rajon Rondo, Montrezl Harrell, Rodney Hoodand so on. I wanted us to signed one guard and one wing from that list.

    Joe Harris was not coming here, the Nets weren’t gonna let that happen
    Gallo is old, injury-prone and would get in Obi’s way. He’s a much better fit with the Hawks
    Bogdan got way overpaid and may not be that good but sure, I would have liked him.
    Beasley was restricted and would have been matched unless we overpaid, see Bogdan
    Clarkson in no better than Burks and got overpaid
    Harrell took a weird deal to chase a ring
    Rondo made little more sense than Payton and he’s ring-chasing
    DJ would not be anything but a stopgap…I’d rather have Payton at $5 mill and roll the younger guys out there.
    Hood is coming off an achilles tear

    So for the most part, either guys didn’t want to come here, were RFAs who would have gotten way overpaid, or didn’t make sense for us as the team is currently configured. OTOH Noel and Burks are very useful players on the cheap as are Payton and Bullock, the only guys brought back from 2019 free agency other than Randle. And unlike the guys above, they are not tying up any future money for when it makes sense to bring people in.

    Clearly the capologists and scouts are considering all of these things and erring on the side of developing the young players and keeping flexibility for opportunistic moves as they become available. Just the fact that they demonstrated patience is very encouraging imho.

  127. Nate made me sad. The first round told me he was going to get knocked out.
    He lunged to throw wide open punches.
    He got hammered three times by overhand rights and kept lunging.
    Then he was groggy and got caught by a right hook right across the jaw.
    Didn’t like that he was out cold.
    Sad

  128. re: Nate

    Jake Paul is a teen idol YouTube star who now trains in boxing full-time and has access to elite coaching. According to boxing nerds on reddit, his level is “skilled amateur, with some polish.”

    Nate got fucking starched. Even worse, he was wearing blue and orange gear. I didn’t think it was possible to take an L as in a Knicks fan from a celebrity exhibition match in an entirely different sport.

  129. PerverseOsmosis:
    Hi all-
    Looks like this is the day for all the long-time lurkers, first-time posters. Been following versions of this blog since Daily Dime Live was being hosted by Zach Lowe. I feel like I already know many of you…

    Welcome PerverseOsmosis! The race to win the KB Rookie of the Year 2020 is getting super interesting! ;D

  130. Z-man and Early Bird, They were all there. They are all better than all the free agents we signed. That’s my entire point. And yes, it was imperative that we overpay because, as I’ve said several times, 1) the consensus here is delusional about what market value is 2) There is a premium the Knicks must pay to bring a good player into a shithole. So I repeat, I would have signed a wing and guard out of that list and I would paid “real” market value which you would say was an overpayment. I would do that because that is the next step towards building a winning team.

  131. cybersoze: Welcome PerverseOsmosis! The race to win the KB Rookie of the Year 2020 is getting super interesting! ;D

    I will do my best to keep my posts reasonable and my opinions moderate. If the gods of KB deign to vote me rookie of the year, I will share the glory with all.

  132. About CHA and Batum, i guess there wasn’t a deal to be made. Better that than to settle for (almost) nothing and then at the deadline waste the chance to get picks for contract dumps. Still no proof that Rose is doing anything wrong (but ok, still no proof otherwise also).

    I just wish to say that i’m very happy to see a team pay Hayward 37M, 38M and 40M (with Batum’s dead money) in the next 3 years, AND THAT TEAM ISN’T THE KNICKS! (party emoji here)

  133. Right now the Knicks have no one on the roster to build around i.e, no super star talent. There is optimism that one or more of the kids may develop into that. To get a player to build around you need to develop one or get one in free agency. None of the free agents this year were players to build around. Some were nice pieces to add to a team looking to take the next step with an established core. Any big money spent on Free Agents this year would have been poorly spent and at best added some wins to lower the lottery odds.

    The FO showed restraint, A rebuild requires patience from both the FO and the fan base. Over the last 20 years we’ve seen the same story over and over – skipping steps in the rebuild and signing players maxing out cap space and winning 35 games in the process.

    Obviously the players signed are not sexy, but there is a cap floor and you need a full roster.

    I am looking forward to seeing what Thibs makes of this mess and hopefully sparking something to build around.

  134. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Z-man and Early Bird, They were all there. They are all better than all the free agents we signed. That’s my entire point. And yes, it was imperative that we overpay because, as I’ve said several times, 1) the consensus here is delusional about what market value is 2) There is a premium the Knicks must pay to bring a good player into a shithole.So I repeat, I would have signed a wing and guard out of that list and I would paid “real” market value which you would say was an overpayment. I would do that because that is the next step towards building a winning team.

    There’s 2 players on your list that are meaningfully better than our players. Both play the same position as Obi Toppin.

    Rondo is not better than Payton at this point in his career. Augustin might be better on a team with other ball handlers but we don’t have any. He definitely won’t be better at age 36.

    Beasley & Hood aren’t better than Burks or Bullock. And hell no to $15M per for Beasley. Also, Beasley was a RFA.

    Bogdanovic and Clarkson are only worth a couple wins over our players.

    Harris isn’t worth his price tag unless you have the other pieces in place. Quickley potentially replaces him for 1/8th the price. A healthy Bullock is just as good as him. Why pay Harris $20M when he’s 33? He’s out of his prime unless we compete for a championship next year.

    What are you building toward with any of these moves? They don’t get you closer to a title. They don’t get you draft picks. They don’t convince a superstar to come to NY. If we want to finish 9th or 10th in the East for the next 3 years they might help, that’s it.

    If you overpay for these scrubs, then you can’t afford the superstars you actually want.

  135. I agree that how our newly drafted players play will give us a better indication of how the Knicks’ new management is doing. And they have fair competition on the team. Smith (picked at 9) and Ntilikina (picked at 8) are going against Peyton (picked at 10) and Toppin (picked at 8) is going against Randle (picked at 7). With this lineup, I don’t know who Knox and RJ are competing with for a roster spot, but their competition is certainly not as high picks as they were. It’s fine to be smart about deals, we need that. But if none of our recent draftees can beat out this sort of competition, then we will still have a miserable season.

  136. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Z-man and Early Bird, They were all there. They are all better than all the free agents we signed. That’s my entire point. And yes, it was imperative that we overpay because, as I’ve said several times, 1) the consensus here is delusional about what market value is 2) There is a premium the Knicks must pay to bring a good player into a shithole.So I repeat, I would have signed a wing and guard out of that list and I would paid “real” market value which you would say was an overpayment. I would do that because that is the next step towards building a winning team.

    Wait…I figured it out…you’re Steve Mills, aren’t you?

  137. ***The Kentucky-CAA thing is unsettling***

    I mean, it could be worse… We could be married to BDA Management and La Salle University.

  138. Knick fan not in NJ:
    I agree that how our newly drafted players play will give us a better indication of how the Knicks’ new management is doing.And they have fair competition on the team.Smith (picked at 9) and Ntilikina (picked at 8) are going against Peyton (picked at 10) and Toppin (picked at 8) is going against Randle (picked at 7). With this lineup, I don’t know who Knox and RJ are competing with for a roster spot, but their competition is certainly not as high picks as they were. It’s fine to be smart about deals, we need that. But if none of our recent draftees can beat out this sort of competition, then we will still have a miserable season.

    I’m not sure if draft position of competing players matters, but yes, not just handing rookie-deal players oodles of playing time is fine by me. On the other hand, I do think they need to play some, and even players like Iggy, Quickley, and Spellman should get some opportunities. Unless you are convinced that they are not part of the future, or would be better off in the G-League (if there is one). It will be interesting to see how Thibs manages playing time, for sure.

  139. Doug Chu:
    re: Nate

    Jake Paul is a teen idol YouTube star who now trains in boxing full-time and has access to elite coaching. According to boxing nerds on reddit, his level is “skilled amateur, with some polish.”

    Nate got fucking starched. Even worse, he was wearing blue and orange gear. I didn’t think it was possible to take an L as in a Knicks fan from a celebrity exhibition match in an entirely different sport.

    And what was up with him wearing bball kicks instead of boxing shoes in the ring??? It was almost like he was asking to be added to the #lolKnicks meme-ing. Sheesh.

    Yall know my trollish-ass coworkers had a fucking field day with it. They let it rip in our group text last night.

  140. So I don’t really understand the TPE the Celts got for trading Hayward. does it mean that they can go over the cap for multiple years to sign a player? Or trade for a player without sending salary out even though they are over the cap? That seems ridiculous.

  141. The world would be a better place without the douchebag Jake Paul and his douchebag brother.

  142. Z-man, as I understand it, since they didn’t take back salary in the sign and trade with Charlotte, they can take back salary In a trade in the future, even if they are over the cap. If they took back some salary from Charlotte, but it didn’t match Hayward’s salary they could take back the difference in what they sent out and what they received. In this case, Hayward will make 27.9M$ so they can trade a second round pick or anything for someone who makes up to that amount even though they are over the cap. They have one year to do it, and I think it can only be a trade for one player, not a bunch of them, but I’m not sure about this last part.

  143. Sometimes the world is better when you don’t know certain characters exist. Or ignore them

    Anyways, is there a blog or message board analogous to this one (meaning higher IQ levels, lower ESPN levels) with regards to the Giants/Jets, Yankees/Mets, Rangers/Islanders that you guys like to frequent?

  144. Z-man: So I don’t really understand the TPE the Celts got for trading Hayward. does it mean that they can go over the cap for multiple years to sign a player? Or trade for a player without sending salary out even though they are over the cap? That seems ridiculous.

    They can’t sign people into the exception. They can absorb a contract into the exception. However, TPE are rarely used unless one team is dumping salary. Think about how many teams are willing to send out a useful player for nothing. Very few.

  145. I’m not sure if draft position of competing players matters, but yes, not just handing rookie-deal players oodles of playing time is fine by me. On the other hand, I do think they need to play some, and even players like Iggy, Quickley, and Spellman should get some opportunities. Unless you are convinced that they are not part of the future, or would be better off in the G-League (if there is one). It will be interesting to see how Thibs manages playing time, for sure.

    In a way, the draft position of the players doesn’t matter. I’m just using it to reinforce my point that the competition for playing time doesn’t Include any world beating players. But I’m really talking about who starts. I agree with you, they should all get some playing time.

  146. They can’t sign people into the exception. They can absorb a contract into the exception. However, TPE are rarely used unless one team is dumping salary. Think about how many teams are willing to send out a useful player for nothing. Very few.

    True, the salary has to come back in a trade. But that doesn’t mean that no one would trade a useful player into that exception. The trading teams could accept draft picks in return, for example.

  147. To clarify, you can’t package the TPE with Player A Salary to receive Player B Salary equal to TPE Player Salary.

    To use the TPE a team must absorb an incoming salary without sending out salary (unless the trade would work for the outgoing salary by itself or the TPE by itself).

    And Knick fan not in NJ is right, you can package it with picks and potentially acquire a good player.

    Still, you rarely see teams do so.

  148. Agreed, and it’s true a TPE is not always easy to use, but anything that allows you to take on salary even when you are over the cap has at least some value.

  149. celtics hayward tpe is 28.5m and can be used to acquire one or more players, by trade or waiver wire, up to 28.6m until 11-29-21. but this is subject to the hard cap. right now including teague and tristan thompson, celts are hard capped at $138m and so can’t add more than 21-22m, so right now that’s an absolute ceiling. last time the celts used a trade exception was when they stole IT from the suns

  150. Al Horford’s salary seems to fit, and he would probably help them this year, but do they want that contract on the books for 3 years? You would think that an expiring would make more sense…LMA, Drummond, DeRozan, someone like that…

    (although with pt’s calculation they’d have to send out some salary for those guys or is that not allowed?)

  151. I know our resident critic gave it a mildly lukewarm review but I got to say, loved Ted Lasso, very heartwarming show….

  152. I enjoyed Ted Lasso. I just didn’t love it like you guys and so many others did. But I can certainly see how a show about a man with superhuman powers of kindness would resonate, especially in this hellish moment.

  153. It’s a show full of cartoon characters, so I think Alan is justified in not being effusive. But it’s very pleasant and enjoyable.

  154. wetbandit:
    Sometimes the world is better when you don’t know certain characters exist. Or ignore them

    Anyways, is there a blog or message board analogous to this one (meaning higher IQ levels, lower ESPN levels) with regards to the Giants/Jets, Yankees/Mets, Rangers/Islanders that you guys like to frequent?

    For Ranger fans…Blueshirt Banter is pretty good..

  155. It really did resonate with me. Watched six episodes Friday and went to bed with a huge smile on my face. Can’t say any of the books I have read or shows I have watched this year have done the same.

    But I am squarely in the center of the show’s Venn diagram of SNL fan, English Premier league nut, and general Anglophile.

    And I think your review was spot on. It is strange how few big laughs there are in the show. But didn’t seem to matter that much, probably the year.

    We will see how season 2 goes.

  156. Anyways, is there a blog or message board analogous to this one (meaning higher IQ levels, lower ESPN levels) with regards to the Giants/Jets, Yankees/Mets, Rangers/Islanders that you guys like to frequent?

    I do the same thing for Replacement Level Yankee Weblog that I do here. This and that are the only two sports blogs that I follow.

  157. ***is there a blog or message board analogous to this one (meaning higher IQ levels, lower ESPN levels) with regards to the Giants/Jets, Yankees/Mets, Rangers/Islanders that you guys like to frequent?***

    Honestly, I’ve never found a site like this anywhere. It’s a gem. There’s no recreating it anywhere. (I don’t even like the Knicks, btw)

  158. Z-man: Wait…I figured it out…you’re Steve Mills, aren’t you?

    Nope. His 5 PF approach was also ill-conceived. Last year I would have gone hard after Butler and Kemba. I know you wouldn’t want to have “overpaid” for them.

    I ain’t Leon Rose either, that’s for sure. I’m ready to settle in for another nice 18 win season.

    Brian, I just bookmarked your Yankee blog page! :)

    I tried to sign up but I get a message that “New Membership Is not being accepted at this time”. :(

  159. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Nope. His 5 PF approach was also ill-conceived. Last year I would have gone hard after Butler and Kemba. I know you wouldn’t want to have “overpaid” for them.

    Kemba wasn’t coming here no matter how hard you went after him. Boston was a much better alternative. He left CHA specifically to chase a ring. No way he comes to another terrible team. And even so, it was a bad idea from our end.

    Butler was also a UFA and could go wherever he wanted, and forced his way to Miami in a sign-and-trade. Again, he wasn’t coming here.

    You can fantasize all you want about wouldacouldashoulda but in the real world those moves were not possible without the player’s consent, which we weren’t getting with our god-awful team and with Dolan and Steve Mills at the helm.

    GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Nope. His 5 PF approach was also ill-conceived.

    True, but it wasn’t the positional imbalance that was the problem. The bigger problem was that beyond Randle (fair market deal at worst) and Morris, Payton and Bullock (good to great value) we blew $32 mill in cap space by bidding against ourselves to overpay mediocre journeymen like Portis (!!!) Taj, and Ellington. We’d have 2-3 more first rounders if we had kept that space open.

    This year’s FA crop is a better mix in terms of roster balance and cost, and we kept cap space in reserve for beneficial salary dumps. It is a much wiser approach.

  160. I will say this for the Knicks… at least they’re not the Giants or the Jets. Jesus, those two teams are abysmal. I can almost see the Giants not firing Gettelman if they win the NFC East at 5-11.

  161. This year’s FA crop is a better mix in terms of roster balance and cost, and we kept cap space in reserve for beneficial salary dumps. It is a much wiser approach.

    Yes, everyone is on much cheaper contracts than the ones we signed last year (other than Bullock’s, who only cost so little because of his injury), and the roster is more balanced in a way that theoretically will help the younger players improve. There is no free agent savior until we have at least a couple of genuinely promising prospects who either A)stars on other teams would want to come and play with, or B)could be traded for stars on other teams. Right now, we’ve got Mitch, who may not be as valued around the league considering the way the game is trending (and also considering that he’s still more of a great defender in theory than in practice), and a bunch of guys who are either unproven (RJ, Obi) or have so far proven to be bad (Knox, Frank). The way to get better isn’t to overpay middling free agents; it’s to make your younger players better (or replace them with better ones).

  162. As for other team blogs, I really liked River Ave Blues by Mike Axisa. Didn’t have a community as robust as this one, but the posts themselves were absurdly detailed and usually very smart about the present and future of the Yankees. Axisa now runs it as a weekly Patreon, while several of his writers have set up a spinoff blog, Views from 314 Ft., which is similar to RAB but not quite as good. On neither site were the comments much worth reading, though. Haven’t found anything all that great for the Giants, whose online fandom seems to be represented entirely by aging fans who just want a return to smashmouth football and will never stop defending the Saquon Barkley pick.

  163. Macri on the Knicks not taking on Batum’s contract:

    I heard from one league source that the Knicks would not have been getting a first round pick in any potential Batum salary dump, but rather some array of future seconds.

    If that’s true, then probably best that we kept our powder dry to hope a better salary dump opportunity happens in season.

  164. Meanwhile, Wally Szcerbiak continues to be utterly useless. In an interview with Berman, he tries comparing Toppin falling to the Knicks at 8 to the Knicks getting KP at 4 when “people were wondering if KP would go top three.” Nobody was expecting KP to go top three! The whole narrative of that draft was that there was a very obvious top 3, and that the Knicks had once again landed one spot out of the top tier. That Porzingis turned out to be much better than Okafor (and better, when healthy, than Russell) was the surprise.

    Not even sure why I bothered reading that story, since Berman is only valuable when he’s functioning as an organizational mouthpiece, but I did, and wanted to vent.

    (And for anybody who missed it over the weekend, today is the last day for new subscribers to get The Athletic for only $1/month for the next year, an absurdly good deal for the best professional sports site out there.)

  165. I heard from one league source that the Knicks would not have been getting a first round pick in any potential Batum salary dump, but rather some array of future seconds.

    Alan Hahn said that in one his live shows last week.

    I was saying the same thing last week also. We weren’t going to get a 1st rounder for an expiring contract (not even a protected one). I think it was the correct decision. Personally, I think we can do better with the cap space than a couple of future 2nd rounders for a guy we were just going to release. Maybe we can still add a decent player or better assets.

  166. Kemba wasn’t coming here no matter how hard you went after him. Boston was a much better alternative. He left CHA specifically to chase a ring. No way he comes to another terrible team. And even so, it was a bad idea from our end.

    Butler was also a UFA and could go wherever he wanted, and forced his way to Miami in a sign-and-trade. Again, he wasn’t coming here.

    You can fantasize all you want about wouldacouldashoulda but in the real world those moves were not possible without the player’s consent, which we weren’t getting with our god-awful team and with Dolan and Steve Mills at the helm.

    100%.

    That’s why I push a little for getting “better” even if that means adding players bumping up against 30. As long as the contracts are fair and the player will be productive for the duration, there are benefits to having a better team and “good” veterans helping the young players. It makes the team more attractive in trades and free agency, the young players get playoff experience and accelerate their development, the team is actually watchable. If the contracts are fair they can always be moved in a trade that makes us even better (Morris for example got us an OK pick). By the time the young players are starting to peak, those older players are coming off the cap anyway and you can retool with a good young team. What you have to avoid is giving a lot of years to a guy like Amare or Noah where there was clear physical deterioration, multiple surgeries, and a low probability they’d be productive for the whole contract. The downside is you won’t draft as high if you are developing faster with some veterans also, but once you are out of the true “tank sweetspot” in the top 5 or so, you aren’t giving up a lot of value in terms of coming up with a star player via draft. The goal is to get stars. At a certain point, the chances are better via trade and free agency.

  167. Deefense,

    The problem with that approach is that the only way you can get better to the 35 to 40 win range with veteran free agent signings is to overpay for those vets. Then you’re in a situation where its now hard to get those stars when they become available and are those stars really going to be persuaded to come to a 35 win team that is getting 35 wins off the backs of veterans who are all ready in their prime?

    You’ll probably bring up Miami as an example but they constantly get the most out of their young players.

    I think a far better approach is what we’re doing this season. sign some vets to really good market deals that fit in with our young players and hope they develop. All it would take is for Mitch to truly become the Mitch we think he can become or for RJ to take a big leap forward or for Toppin to come out of the gate putting up monster offensive numbers or for Quickley to surprise us for the math of the team to change dramatically.

    Last year’s strategy was half right. The one year deals are good but we overpaid and we got 9 Power fowards. This year, we didn’t overpay and we got a variety of players. The spacing will still be an issue but a lot of that is on RJ, Frank and Knox. If they improve their shooting (especially RJ) the spacing gets infinitely better.

    I will say. This year Rivers, Burkes, Bullock, Payton, Noel and Randle…a combination of those guys should all be moveable at the deadline for more picks. Morris got a 1st last year so there is no reason why Randle couldn’t also net us one.

    We need to develop RJ, Mitch, Toppin, Quickley, Frank, Knox, Iggy, etc…and I think we’ve assembled a group of vets that can do that this year. If some of those youngsters get less PT to start the season, I think that is ok. Thibs runs long practices and if we trade some of the vets at the deadline then PT will open up.

    We’re doing the right thing. Its just going to take another year before we really see the results.

  168. wetbandit:
    Sometimes the world is better when you don’t know certain characters exist. Or ignore them

    Anyways, is there a blog or message board analogous to this one (meaning higher IQ levels, lower ESPN levels) with regards to the Giants/Jets, Yankees/Mets, Rangers/Islanders that you guys like to frequent?

    I like Amazin Avenue for Mets discussion. A lot of well-written articles and the commenters are generally smart and appreciate analytics.

    Alan:
    As for other team blogs, I really liked River Ave Blues by Mike Axisa. Didn’t have a community as robust as this one, but the posts themselves were absurdly detailed and usually very smart about the present and future of the Yankees. Axisa now runs it as a weekly Patreon, while several of his writers have set up a spinoff blog, Views from 314 Ft., which is similar to RAB but not quite as good. On neither site were the comments much worth reading, though. Haven’t found anything all that great for the Giants, whose online fandom seems to be represented entirely by aging fans who just want a return to smashmouth football and will never stop defending the Saquon Barkley pick.

    God, is that the truth. I used to read Big Blue View but left the site a few years ago because of this (and the not at all subtle racism of the commenters that were tacitly approved of by the site-runner there).

  169. The one narrative that I have beef with right now is that The Knicks struck out on free agency.

    I think that’s debatable. Charlotte way overpaid for Haywood. We weren’t willing to do that. Is it really fair to say we struck out on him when we weren’t willing to offer him what Charlotte did? If we offered the same contract that they did and Haywood went to them, then that would be fair. But we didn’t.

    Same with FVV. Getting him was a long shot but if we’d offered 4 years at 110 million a year, would he have still stayed with Toronto? But we weren’t willing to do that.

    Sure, we could have thrown the bank at Haywood or FVV, but how happy would we as fans had been if we’d done that.

    So I don’t think its really fair to say we struck out on free agency. We would have upgraded with better free agents if the price was right. It wasn’t. That’s not striking out. That’s being smart.

  170. Although most of us thought there was a trade coming when MKG signed the Exhibit-10 contract (same as the old training camp invites), now i think it’s not.

    We’re all set for the training camp with 20 players – 16 contracts on the books, 2 more on 2-way contracts, and 2 training camp invites.

    About the 16 contracts on the books, i predict Evans is the guy to waive. Unless we can switch him to a 2-way, if that’s possible i predict Pinson to be waived and Evans takes his place. Either way, Evans is the odd man out.

    As for MKG, i think he’s here to challenge Spellman for the 5th (and last) spot on the PF/C rotation, because they don’t believe in Spellman. Can’t be mad at them as he’s on his 4th team to begin his 3rd year on the NBA, not promising, but he’s only 23 and his numbers show a little potential. I would prefer that to having a guy that defends very good but does nothing else (MKG). I predict that MKG is waived.

    Frontcourt rotation:
    C – Mitch (starter), Noel (backup)
    PF – Randle* (starter), Obi (backup)

    Spellman will be the 3rd stringer at both spots. With Spellman i think Knox will log minutes as the 3rd stringer PF (to add to his SF mins). If they select MKG over him, Randle would have to log the 3rd stringer minutes at C (to add to the starter minutes at PF), and probably no mins for Knox here.

    I know it’s a small ball era, but i just think we have to many guards. Not that they mean a lot but our 2-way contracts are a PG and a SG, and the other training camp invite (Powell) is a PG. No way Powell makes the roster, and no way this 2-ways are promoted. So to my prediction i’m going to ignore them and Evans.

    I think the rotation can be something like this:
    PG – Payton (starter), Rivers/DSJ (backup)
    SG – Frank (starter), Rivers/Burks (backup)
    SF – RJ (starter), Bullock/Knox (backup)
    On the roster, but will not play – Quickley, Brazdeikis

    Quickley will play after the deadline (w/ probable trades of at least 2 of Rivers,…

  171. swiftandabundant:
    So I don’t think its really fair to say we struck out on free agency. We would have upgraded with better free agents if the price was right. It wasn’t. That’s not striking out. That’s being smart.

    100% agree with you

  172. cybersoze:
    Quickley will play after the deadline (w/ probable trades of at least 2 of Rivers,…

    …Burks and Bullock).

    And forgot to detail the asterisk on Randle – he’ll be starter to raise up his value and trade him, but subject to further analysis as i think if Thibs can stop the spinning and point-forward stuff, maybe Randle is a good player to have.

    I know what you guys will object on my predictions, the shooting with Payton, Frank and RJ. And i agree, but i think this will be the first approach by Thibs. If the shooting is a problem, Frank slides to backup and the one who shoots better from Burks and Rivers gets the starting job.

  173. I didn’t even realize we signed MKG.

    Amid the optimism of others, I’m actually becoming quite terrified.

    The best thing about old regimes is that even when they tried to win, they were so bad that we still lucked into good lottery odds.

    The frightening thing about Leon Rose is he actually seems capable of realizing the organization’s aspiration to field a team that wins 38 games.

    It’s time to start viewing this off-season through that prism. Their goal is to be competitive immediately. That’s why they signed Thibs, that’s why they are adding all these vets. That’s why they made the terrible mistake of drafting Toppin despite his obvious shortcomings. They want to win now, and he’s the only player old enough to play for Thibs. And they punted on 33 bc there was no one there who Thibs would play.

    So don’t get your hopes up. Stop watching Cade Cunningham highlights. This is going to be one of the worst Knicks seasons in a long time. One where our kids are consistently benched for veterans on one year deals, all in the glorious pursuit of being the 10th best team in the East.

  174. I think the idea of getting a positive return in a Julius Randle trade is probably a fantasy. What would he have signed for in the open market this free agency? $5M? $7M? Montrezl Harrell is the version of Julius Randle that’s actually a good player and he got 1 year with a player option at $9M a season. This type of player is just not valued by any non-Knicks team in the league – look at the other members of our PF/C bonanza from last offseason – Portis is on the minimum and Taj is still looking for a home (at what will probably eventually be the minimum). Randle’s contract is way, way underwater.

    If he has a good first half and you can trade him for some really dead salary you might get an asset back in the deal, but I can’t imagine any team placing a positive value on Randle on this contract. He’s probably just a sunk cost at this point and should be treated as such: do whatever is best developmentally for the guys we actually care about and let Randle get whatever’s left over. That might mean Randle starting at first because I think it’s a big leap to think Toppin is ready to start given everything (no summer league, no games in 9 months, abbreviated timeline) but what’s best vis-a-vis Randle shouldn’t really weigh into the decision at all one way or the other.

  175. The frightening thing about Leon Rose is he actually seems capable of realizing the organization’s aspiration to field a team that wins 38 games.

    The offense is way too shitty for this team to win 38 games. Nobody can create a shot and almost nobody can shoot. It’s going to be a shittay offense. I don’t think you’re riding an offense where Julius Randle is your #1 option and RJ Barrett is #2 to a 38 win season.

    You can run some nice defensive lineups out there with this roster, but those lineups are even more comically inept on offense. This team is still pretty bad. I’ll be surprised if they’re close to .500 like you’re suggesting.

  176. Montrezl Harrell is the version of Julius Randle that’s actually a good player and he got 1 year with a player option at $9M a season.

    Harrell also signed with the defending champs. He’d have made more staying with the Clips, and probably would have made more going elsewhere. His contract feels like an anomaly. (Though I agree that Randle wouldn’t get nearly this contract if he had been a FA this summer.)

  177. Hubert: That’s why they made the terrible mistake of drafting Toppin despite his obvious shortcomings.

    As opposed to every other player available that had obvious shortcomings?

  178. Hubert, I think your pessimism is unwarranted. I know I’m always and eternally team optimism but I just think you’re reaching with the negativity.

    Toppin was projected to go before 8. Picking him means Randle’s days are numbered and picking him doesn’t really point to us being all about “win now.” Just because he’s older and a bit more NBA ready in some regards doesn’t mean he was a reach. If anything, he fell to us and we’re lucky to get him. Wanting a rookie who can contribute in a meaningful way right away as opposed to picking a project is, in my opinion, a welcome change of pace after picking Knox and Frank recently.

    And sure, Thibs might play vets over younger players. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a good coach who wouldn’t do that. The catch-22 of coaching is that if you’re any good at it, you get categorized as a win-now coach. Thibs isn’t the GM. He can’t trade a bunch of players for Jimmy Butler. He’s been surrounded by development coaches. If we really wanted to win now we would have traded for CP3 or Westbrook or overpaid for Haywood or FVV. We did none of those things.

    I just think you’re being overly negative.

  179. JK47: The offense is way too shitty for this team to win 38 games. Nobody can create a shot and almost nobody can shoot. It’s going to be a shittay offense. I don’t think you’re riding an offense where Julius Randle is your #1 option and RJ Barrett is #2 to a 38 win season.

    You can run some nice defensive lineups out there with this roster, but those lineups are even more comically inept on offense. This team is still pretty bad. I’ll be surprised if they’re close to .500 like you’re suggesting.

    We weren’t that bad last year after firing Fizdale. We’re bringing back largely the same team as last year and have a relatively good coach who’ll run players into the ground scratching and clawing for every win. I’d be pretty surprised if we didn’t finish with something like at least 28 wins/72 games (would be 32 wins/82games) and really fuck up our draft position in a draft that’s both deep and talented.

  180. Hubert, I think your pessimism is unwarranted. I know I’m always and eternally team optimism but I just think you’re reaching with the negativity.

    Pessimism about the Knicks is always warranted.

    The sense I get is that we are pursuing marginal wins right away at the expense of what a team in our situation needs to be focused on.

    I’m hung up on the hiring of Thibs, drafting Toppin bc he seems like the most immediate impact player, and punting on 33.

    All these veteran signings seem like they’re here to satisfy Thibs and play ahead of the kids.

  181. 22-50 will be a coup. Don’t worry about a 38-win pace. Ain’t happening.

    Also, how are teams going to score on this lineup in the playoffs? I feel like we should just pencil the Lakers in for another ring.

    LeBron
    Caruso
    KCP
    Davis
    Gasol

  182. DRed:
    every jets blog I’ve looked at is filled with fucking idiots, which I guess makes sense

    hmmm…why because the pathetically follow a pathetic organization run for decades by a pathetic owner…hmm…that sounds familiar…take it ez big guy on the sweeping generalizations…

  183. Punting on 33 seems really trivial to me.

    We didn’t throw it in to get another win now player in the draft or include it in a trade for a veteran. We pushed it down the road for another second round pick in 2 years. If that future second rounder is used to move up in another draft to get a really good player, would that change your mind about it? We’ve added 2 rookies all ready to a team that has RJ, Mitch, Knox, Frank, and Iggy on it all ready. How much PT do you expect everyone to realistically get?

    And if Thibs had complete control over the coaching staff and just hired his guys, I could see your concern. But he didn’t. He isn’t making GM decisions and his coaching staff has guys who were hired specifically because of their reputation at developing young players.

    And what is wrong with picking Toppin, a more NBA ready player when this draft as a whole was filled with top prospects with huge question marks? Raising the floor a bit with a guy who can probably translate his scoring to the NBA right away isn’t necessarily a win now move. Its just a “lets get a young guy who can actually help us raise the floor a bit” move. After picking Knox and Frank, I welcome a more NBA ready rookie to our team. And he fell to us, too. Its not like we traded up to get him or reached for him just because he’s more nba ready.

  184. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    22-50 will be a coup. Don’t worry about a 38-win pace. Ain’t happening.

    Also, how are teams going to score on this lineup in the playoffs? I feel like we should just pencil the Lakers in for another ring.

    LeBron
    Caruso
    KCP
    Davis
    Gasol

    Well we could run out All D No O:

    Mitch
    Noel
    MKG
    Pinson
    Frank

    or alternatively All O No D:

    Obi
    Randle
    Knox
    Iggy
    DSjr

    So there!

  185. Don’t expect a predictable season.
    According to nba covid protocol a player who will be tested positive he should stay out for 10days or bring 2 consecutive negative covid tests.
    It can become pretty ugly if the pandemic gets wild.

    If this team gets close to a 50% record Thibs will get my vote for coach of the year and like it or not some players would have to be good (assets) for this to happen.
    Win Win stuff unless we manage to land in the 6-9 draft land again by mercenary wins while the youngsters play videogames on the bench…

  186. Yeah I’m not worried about reaching 30+ wins to be honest, if 38 wins happens it will be because Barrett and Toppin are much better than expected or someone else makes a massive leap, and then it’s a good sign for the future anyway. Noel, Rivers, Randle, Burks etc won’t carry us to too many wins by themselves, they simply don’t have the quality to do it consistently. I expect something along the lines of 22-26 wins to be realistic if it was a 82 game season.

  187. I think you guys are underestimating how mediocre this team can be if Thibs doesn’t play the kids.

    A lineup of Payton, Bullock, Burks, Randle, and Noel (with Rivers, Barrett, Toppin, MKG, Mitch off the bench) is… definitely shitty. But coached by Thibs, with an organizational mandate to make the play-in tournament, I can see that team finishing 10th.

    The 8 playoff teams from last year are still ahead of us, and Atlanta will probably be a playoff team.

    You’re telling me that lineup can’t beat out Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, and Detroit? Especially when none of those teams are stupid enough to prioritize the play in tournament over the lottery?

    I don’t have the same faith in our ineptitude you guys have. I see 10th place in the East in our future.

  188. Alan: Harrell also signed with the defending champs. He’d have made more staying with the Clips, and probably would have made more going elsewhere. His contract feels like an anomaly. (Though I agree that Randle wouldn’t get nearly this contract if he had been a FA this summer.)

    I’m not at all convinced the Clips wanted him back. I saw some rumors that supposedly Charlotte offered him more but I’m very dubious of the idea that he turned down a significantly larger offer – he’s made only like $15M in his career and he’s not a baby, there’s certainly no guarantee he has another big deal coming after this one. Guys in that situation rarely don’t follow the money. Players who are pure bigs (i.e. can’t guard even bigger wings), but can’t anchor a defense reliably just aren’t valued at all. It’s too hard to fit them into lineups at the top level. Even the Harrell signing – $9M for the reigning 6th man of the year – was panned in some quarters because it’s not clear exactly what role he has in the playoffs.

  189. Hubert: I will say this for the Knicks… at least they’re not the Giants

    Wha??

    – Despite long stretches of futility, the Giants have at least managed to win a chip in each of the previous four decades. Whereas a likely majority of the KB community have yet to see the Knicks win one in their lifetime and possibly never will.

    – The Giants – whether by design or luck – appear to have found an excellent young, head coach. Yea, the team will be fortunate to win 6 games this year but it’s also shown continued improvement on defense, offense, and specials, Would that the Knicks had gone in the same direction with their coaching hire. Instead of bringing in a “name” with a “win now” CV the team should have tried to unearth the NBA equivalent of Joe Judge – a coach focused on attention to detail, teaching, and putting players in the best position to succeed.

    – I hated the “keep it in the family” Gettleman hire at the time it was made. Hated it even more when he burned the 2nd overall pick on a RB. But it’s time to give the devil his due. In fairness, he looks to be as good – or bad – as whatever the team’s prevailing vision happens to be. The Saquon pick & OBJ extension made sense in the context of the “Weekend at Eli’s” years – propping up a dead QB with the best skill position players he could find. Although foolish, that was his mandate and he dutifully carried it out. Now that DG appears to be targeting players that fit Judge’s vision, he looks much better. Three decent looking OL in the draft as well as several late round special teams types that have all paid dividends this year. The FA signing of Bradberry was genius – a legit #1 CB & DPOY candidate at a below market price. Of course, DG’s legacy ultimately hinges on the fate of Daniel Jones. While the jury is still very much out on him, he had shown signs of progress prior to his injury yesterday.

  190. Same way we avoided dumb moves in the off-season i see it happening during the reg.season.
    This FO looks Not Dumb (close to Smart) so far to repeat the same ol’ shit the previous FOs did.

  191. If we had signed Hayward to the contract he got from Charlotte we would have crucified Rose. I think if we had outbid the Raptors for FVV we all would have been pissed off about it too.

    The Giants have given us two Super Bowls in the past 20 years and 86, when I was 8, was one of the great seasons a fan could ever have.

    So yeah, not too worried about Gettleman.

  192. The veterans we’ve signed are simply not good enough to generate a lot of marginal wins. If they were, we wouldn’t have been able to sign them at their respective prices.

    If we beat our O/U (tied with Cleveland for league-worst at 22.5 IIRC) it’ll be because of over performance by RJ/Mitch/Toppin, everyone else is almost certainly going to play to the back of their basketball card.

  193. Stefan Bondy:

    Reached out to Sergio Llull’s camp to see if a trade to Knicks might lure him out of Europe. The answer was Llull isn’t planning on making a statement on this subject. ….So I guess he didn’t say no.

    Again, he’s 33 and injury-prone now, so it probably doesn’t matter either way. Just passing along what vague news there is at the moment.

  194. Hubert:
    I will say this for the Knicks… at least they’re not the Giants or the Jets. Jesus, those two teams are abysmal. I can almost see the Giants not firing Gettelman if they win the NFC East at 5-11.

    Count de Pennies: Wha??

    Yeah, no knicks fan can ever say “at least we’re not team X”. We’ve been one of the worst run organisations in all of sports over the last 20 years. We’re arguably the least successful NBA franchise over that span, only Charlotte has a claim to be worse. And we’ve definitely the least amount of success than any other franchise in the NYC area. The Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, Islanders, and Devils have all been way more successful than the Knicks over the last 20 years.

  195. Hubert,

    The question is whether they can beat Washington, Detroit, etc. On any given night any NBA team can beat another NBA team. We beat Houston last year.

    None of those teams play in our division. That alone puts us as a great disadvantage as we have maybe the toughest division in the NBA (or at least in the East). Boston, Philly, The Nets and Toronto are all in our division and we will play them more than other teams. All are playoff teams. If The Nets are fully healthy they’ll be one of the top 8 teams in the NBA.

    Second Washington has Beal. No player on The Knicks is as good as Beal. They also have Wall. If he happens to bounce back, then they’re definitely a playoff team. But even if not, the fact that they have Beal means they’ll be better than us on most nights.

    Chicago and Detroit weren’t any worse than us last year.

    Charlotte got better.

    Also, does being the 10th team make you not a lottery team? I know there is a play-in but if you don’t win that play in you’re still a lottery team, no?

    And your assumption is that those vets are all gonna play huge minutes all the time and not a single one of them will get traded at some point. I think that’s a huge assumption.

    If we get to the 10 team playoff situation its because RJ or Mitch or Toppin stepped up.

  196. Bruno Almeida:
    Yeah I’m not worried about reaching 30+ wins to be honest, if 38 wins happens it will be because Barrett and Toppin are much better than expected or someone else makes a massive leap, and then it’s a good sign for the future anyway. Noel, Rivers, Randle, Burks etc won’t carry us to too many wins by themselves, they simply don’t have the quality to do it consistently. I expect something along the lines of 22-26 wins to be realistic if it was a 82 game season.

    Exactly. The narrative that Thibs is being coddled by Rose is silly. Same with the narrative that Obi was drafted as a win-now choice. There is nothing win-now about this offseason. Is it a full-out abject tank? Of course not. But to drum up a false narrative because Knicks is intellectually dishonest.

    Now that doesn’t mean that the moves they made are inscrutable. Just be fair about it. If you think Obi was the wrong guy to draft, fine. If you would have exercised the #33 pick, sure. If you think Thibs was a bad hire either for timing or efficacy, that’s totally fair. What is not fair is drumming up rationales without evidence, or even worse, with ample evidence to the contrary. And then dig your heels in when called out on it.

  197. None of those teams play in our division. That alone puts us as a great disadvantage as we have maybe the toughest division in the NBA (or at least in the East). Boston, Philly, The Nets and Toronto are all in our division and we will play them more than other teams.

    division is basically irrelevant this year

  198. thenoblefacehumper:
    The veterans we’ve signed are simply not good enough to generate a lot of marginal wins. If they were, we wouldn’t have been able to sign them at their respective prices.

    If we beat our O/U (tied with Cleveland for league-worst at 22.5 IIRC) it’ll be because of over performance by RJ/Mitch/Toppin, everyone else is almost certainly going to play to the back of their basketball card.

    I actually see us beating that number. We were on pace to win approximately 22.9 games (prorated to 72 game season) last year if we assume the entire season was the correct sample. If we look at the post-Payton return sample, we beat that number by 5 games (~27.8 wins per 72 games). The questions come down to Payton’s health, the rotation, and our SOS.

    (1) Payton gets hurt a lot, but improved Frank, Rivers, and Burks should help stabilize the offense in his absence. Hopefully RJ steps up too.

    (2) We should be worse from Obi (as a rookie) replacing Portis and Burks replacing Morris. However, I don’t see either as a huge loss. We should benefit from Noel replacing Gibson (this is a huge upgrade). Several of our young players should improve.

    (3) Overall, several teams improved this year that were easy wins last year: CHO, ATL, DET (better but not good), GSW, probably others I’m forgetting. WAS may improve with Wall’s return but I doubt it.

    I honestly like the over play on the Knicks. Add in Thibs and I think it’s an easy decision. I think Vegas is profiting off the lolKnicks fans and betters not seeing the post-Payton&Miller improvement.

  199. I just think football – being such an emotionally driven, tough-guy sport that wrapped so deep in Americana – doesn’t allow for the type of intellectual-nuanced takes that basketball and baseball affords. In layman’s terms, It’s just not nerd-friendly. And I don’t know if you can ever take away enough of the tough-guy macho-ism to even it out.

    Haven’t found anything all that great for the Giants, whose online fandom seems to be represented entirely by aging fans who just want a return to smashmouth football and will never stop defending the Saquon Barkley pick.

    God, is that the truth. I used to read Big Blue View but left the site a few years ago because of this (and the not at all subtle racism of the commenters that were tacitly approved of by the site-runner there).

    Yeah I co-sign on all of that – not always easy being an African-American Giants fan (I’m writing this wearing my Big Blue zip-up fleece hoodie, lol). Sometimes I wonder if the issue of the conservatism of the Giants org is a chicken-or-egg type of thing with the heart of their fan base (I still think that was at the heart of the OBJ trade); that Mara (and Tisch but mostly Mara) they run the team conservatively, which resonates w/likewise fans who want the team to return to their smashmouth ways from a past era where the game was played, well, more conservatively. Both ownership and the fan base need a serious injection of youth and progressive thought.

  200. Several of our young players should improve

    I will be thankful if even one improves at this point.

  201. ‘You’re telling me that lineup can’t beat out Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, and Detroit?’

    Well let’s see. Chicago has:

    Coby White
    Zach LaVine
    Otto Porter
    Lauri Markkanen
    Wendell Carter Jr

    With a bench of:

    Tomas Satoransky
    Thad Young
    Luke Kornet
    Garret Temple
    Patrick Williams (R)
    Devon Dotson (R)

    It’s a matter of degrees I suppose, but to me they have a slightly better starting line-up (assuming Payton, Bullock, RJ, Randle, Mitch, which has exactly one mediocre shooter), and a significantly worse second unit/bench.

  202. This is what being a million billion miles away looks like. The veterans they signed are pure dreck and I have no interest in them whatsoever, or in Randle and his bullshit. Watching him and Payton play patty-cake is expectorate-inducing.

    The only thing that matters is the development of Toppin, Quickley, Barrett, Ntilikina, Knox, and Robinson. (*) Throw DSJ in there if you want but I pretty much consider him hopeless. Maybe, maybe Noel can be a decent young-ish piece. Everything else is surplus to both basketball and mental fandom requirements. If they get a breakout from one or more of those guys, they might be in business. If not, well if not I don’t even want to think about it. All the rest of these discussions about the FO, Thibs, etc. are what fans do, but big picture they’re angels on the head of a pin.

    They have probably the worst talent base in the association. They’re at ground zero. Whether on purpose or not, the FO didn’t fuck up their future (other than maybe by hiring Thibs, we’ll see). Low bar, but it’s something. They have a young talent base worth watching, at least. I fear for their development, but again we’ll see.

    (*) And then at this time next year, the 2021 lottery (ish?) pick and the Dallas pick.

  203. thenoblefacehumper:
    The veterans we’ve signed are simply not good enough to generate a lot of marginal wins. If they were, we wouldn’t have been able to sign them at their respective prices.

    If we beat our O/U (tied with Cleveland for league-worst at 22.5 IIRC) it’ll be because of over performance by RJ/Mitch/Toppin, everyone else is almost certainly going to play to the back of their basketball card.

    I don’t fully agree with this. Noel is a much better backup option that we had last year. Burks, Rivers and Bullock have all been rotation players on really good teams. Giving them playing time over, say, Frank, Iggy and Knox would almost certainly result in a higher win total.

    The 2019-20 Knicks went 17-27 after ditching Fizdale. That’s a 31.6-win pace (27.8 for a 72-game season.) The pace of winning did not slow down after trading Morris. Is this team worse than that one? Are other teams much better in the aggregate than they were last year? I just don’t see it.

    I would say that if we top out at 22 wins that bodes poorly for Obi, RJ, Frank, and maybe even Mitch. Given that some players had down years (Randle, Bullock) and it’s doubtful that at least RJ and Mitch won’t be better this year, 25-30 wins seems like a comfortable range.

    The X-factor more than anything else is Thibs. Has anyone considered the possibility that Miller is actually a better coach than him? Maybe keeping Miller would have been a win-now move, he certainly played every game to win last year and the team overachieved.

  204. The Bulls have more pieces and a better roster. Barrett and Toppin could develop to the point where that’s not true anymore.(*) Right now, it is.

    (*) And of course there’s the chance of a freakish step forward from a Knox, Quickley, Robinson, Ntilikina.

  205. FO being on the same page with the coach is the basis of a successful team.

    When you see a team that clearly has to tank and can’t even lose on purpose then those two are on different pages. Probably different books also.

    Can you Win by developing the youngsters ?
    Do it. It seems like the best way to go.

    If you can’t then tank. Especially if a strong draft class is coming or your team is full of mercenaries ready to go.

    Anything else seems planless.

  206. The worst scenario of all is when the FO and coach are on the same page with a plan, but the plan’s no good and they weren’t even able to execute the bad plan, leaving all to fend for themselves — and there’s ample fear that that’s where we are.

  207. I think that people are expecting Thibs to simply play the veterans a lot, when that’s not likely to be true. If you look at Minnesota before the Butler trade, he played Wiggins, LaVine and Towns a million minutes per game, and they were all 21 years old. He’s never been a coach to refuse playing young players, quite the opposite, so I expect he’ll give Barrett, Mitch, Toppin etc massive minutes and plenty of opportunities to start. Obviously he can change things up with us if the young players don’t provide what he wants for the team, but I’ll wait and see.

  208. the giants surely have their history but if you ask me, they have the worst short term future out of all the NY teams. At least the Jets are going to get Trevor Lawrence.

  209. I’m going to try to accept everyone’s confidence that the knicks will be back at the bottom of the standings, but I see a 10th place finish on the horizon.

  210. ‘You’re telling me that lineup can’t beat out Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, and Detroit?’

    I just looked over the other teams. I won’t list Washington or Detroit, they’re too bad to describe — although Washington seems to play a bit above their heads. Cleveland’s a weird one now — I hadn’t really paid attention to what their moves resulted in.

    C: Drummond, McGee, Maker
    PF: Love, Nance Jr
    SF: Porter Jr, Osman
    SG: Sexton, Dotson (ours!), Exum
    PG: Garland, Dellavedova

    It’s a horrible mishmash of a team, but you could tilt your head and squint your eyes and see them doing mediocre.

  211. Hubert:
    I’m going to try to accept everyone’s confidence that the knicks will be back at the bottom of the standings, but I see a 10th place finish on the horizon.

    I think all of last years playoff teams will make it plus ATL & CHO. Hayward was a massive overpay but he still put together a very good year. Also, depends on how much Ball plays of course. I expect Ball to be terrible.

  212. Early Bird: I actually see us beating that number. We were on pace to win approximately 22.9 games (prorated to 72 game season) last year if we assume the entire season was the correct sample. If we look at the post-Payton return sample, we beat that number by 5 games (~27.8 wins per 72 games). The questions come down to Payton’s health, the rotation, and our SOS.

    Note, if we bench, trade, or otherwise play Randle very little I expect the win total to drop significantly. He may not be a winning piece but he’s still our best offensive piece.

  213. Hubert:
    I’m going to try to accept everyone’s confidence that the knicks will be back at the bottom of the standings, but I see a 10th place finish on the horizon.

    MIL
    BOS
    PHI
    BKN
    TOR
    MIA
    ATL
    IND
    ORL
    CHA
    WAS

    That’s eleven teams in the East that are clearly better than we are. What’s left is DET, CHI, CLE, and us. Could we potentially outplay that group and be 12th in the East? I guess that’s possible, but I still like our chances to be the worst team in the league considering we play in the toughest division.

  214. The Knicks look like a clear bottom 5 offense to me. Gonna be a low eFG% team yet again and probably one of the worst 3PT shooting teams in the league. There isn’t a PG on the roster who can throw the ball into the basket and neither can most of the wings.

    It’s just really hard to shoot like complete shit and still win a lot of games. And while I expect the defense to improve, there are still some holes in it.

    I would expect something like a 25-28 win pace from this bunch.

  215. ptmilo:
    celtics hayward tpe is 28.5m and can be used to acquire one or more players, by trade or waiver wire, up to 28.6m until 11-29-21.but this is subject to the hard cap.right now including teague and tristan thompson, celts arehard capped at $138m and so can’t add more than 21-22m, so right now that’s an absolute ceiling.last time the celts used a trade exception was when they stole IT from the suns

    Kudos to you for going through and figuring this out. I saw the hard cap vs under the cap distinction and I had no interest in figuring out how everything would work in practice.

  216. you can compare lineups all you want, but the team that finishes 10th is going to be the team that is dumb enough to want to.

    Even if we finish 11th but tried to finish 10th, we likely will fuck ourselves up in the long run.

    I am not convinced we are smart enough to play the long game. Our moves this year (both the ones we made and the ones we attempted to make) indicate to me that the near future is more important to Rose than the 3-4 year out look.

    It’s wildly optimistic to think we signed all these vets to flip at the trade deadline when we have a coach who hates playing kids.

  217. for the record… we will probably be pretty bad… but i think anchoring on last year’s results for some of these guys is not going to be too informative… especially for randle who probably won’t shoot as many 3s and probably won’t shoot them as badly as he did…. rj will probably shoot a little better and we will probably see less minutes for frank and knox….. portis is also no longer with the team and he’ll be replaced by toppin who we should all hope beats out portis productivity wise but no guarantees there….

    all of that ‘should’ lead to a somewhat better offense….. and with thibs and hopefully more minutes for mitch our defense improves… with all that we might not be as bad as vegas thinks we are…. we’re still a young team and there’s always room for young teams to overperform….. i just don’t think we will overperform by much….

  218. From an Athletic article in May looking at Mitchell Robinson:

    The Knicks averaged 114.9 points per 1oo possessions when Robinson played with Elfrid Payton — which would be the second-best offensive rating in the NBA — and 105.4 when Robinson was out there without him — which would be the second-worst in the league.

    The Athletic articles really go much more in-depth than I would have thought.

    As an aside, I think people underrate just how terrible Taj Gibson was last year.

  219. The logic of tanking was weak when the odds of a top pick were better. With the current odds it’s akin to investing your retirement savings in lotto.

    Last year I guessed about 18-19 wins for an 82-game season. A bit low.
    I think this year’s team will win 27 games in the shortened season – about 15% better than last year’s prorated 23-win pace because:
    – Mitch’s rookie year was not a fluke
    – Nerlens sharing C duties with Mitch will be a lot like having Mitch on the floor the whole game
    – Thibs – motivation/accountability/d skills & schemes/unlikely to fall into the RJ-as-savior trap
    – slightly better shooting options to decrease the amount of Randall-centered stagnation – Burks, Obi?

  220. Hubert: the giants surely have their history but if you ask me, they have the worst short term future out of all the NY teams. At least the Jets are going to get Trevor Lawrence.

    The NFL is the most coach driven league of the four major sports. With 53-man rosters in a hard capped league, it is impossible to fill most of the spots with anything other than replacement level talent, at best. Good coaching can transform that hodgepodge into something resembling a cohesive whole; under bad coaching, it’s simply a mess. If you believe – as I do – that Joe Judge is the right guy, then the Giants figure to be OK going forward,

    Obv, the Jets are keeping the dreadful Gase around for the purposes of the tank and he won’t be there after this year. So much of that team’s future will then hinge on who it brings in to replace him. If it’s another bum, then I fear even Lawrence (if he even comes out) will save them. The history of the NFL is replete with examples of talented QBs whose careers were ruined by poorly run & coached organizations (see: Luck, Andrew) At least the Giants appear to have the most important piece in place, even if it turns out that Jones is not the guy at QB. The Jets? Who da fuck knows?

  221. Count de Pennies: The Jets? Who da fuck knows?

    The GM is the most important man in the building in the NFL. The Jets are so bad because John Idzik and Mike Maccagnan were horrible at drafting players. Joe Douglas is in charge now and it looks like he landed two pro bowlers in his first draft (I would also like to point out that the Giants took Andrew Thomas over Mehki Becton). Long story short, the Giants are screwed until they fire Dave Gettleman. Joe Douglas looks legit, and he will likely be building around Trevor Lawrence, Mehki Becton, and Quinnen Williams for the next decade.

  222. I think people here are seriously underestimating how bad of a coach David Fizdale was. I’m of the opinion that most coaches don’t have a significant effect one way or the other on teams. But, we were 4-18 when Fzdale got fired and Mike Miller went 17-27 after taking over. That’s a 15-win pace for Fizdale and a 32-win pace for Miller; the team more than doubled its expected win total just by replacing the coach. We’re bringing back basically the same team this year just replacing Marcus Morris (we went 6-9 after trading Morris, a 32-win pace), Taj Gibson, and Bobby Portis with Obi Toppin and Nerlens Noel. I don’t see how this year’s team is really any worse than last year’s team and assuming normal progression from our young players we should probably be better.

  223. fizdale was a terrible coach… but the pre/post fizdale record also basically lines up with when payton was in the lineup…..

  224. vincoug: I think people here are seriously underestimating how bad of a coach David Fizdale was. I’m of the opinion that most coaches don’t have a significant effect one way or the other on teams. But, we were 4-18 when Fzdale got fired and Mike Miller went 17-27 after taking over. That’s a 15-win pace for Fizdale and a 32-win pace for Miller; the team more than doubled its expected win total just by replacing the coach. We’re bringing back basically the same team this year just replacing Marcus Morris (we went 6-9 after trading Morris, a 32-win pace), Taj Gibson, and Bobby Portis with Obi Toppin and Nerlens Noel. I don’t see how this year’s team is really any worse than last year’s team and assuming normal progression from our young players we should probably be better.

    Miller and Payton returning happened almost simultaneously. I’m hesitant to ascribe credit to coaches when you can do it to players. But definitely the two helped turn things around. It’s probably a little bit of A and a little bit of B.

  225. I think the biggest question about the Knicks record for this season is RJ. He was definitely the tank commander last year: 2nd on the team in minutes, -4.3 BPM. If he’s ever going to be anything as an NBA player (and I think he will be) he’s going to need to make a big leap this offseason; 1st season to 2nd season is normally a big jump and with the extra long off-season this is a big chunk of development time.

    If he’s even approaching an average NBA player I think they can be in the running for the 10th seed; they lack any sort of top level talent but they also could have a pretty deep reserve of competence. Obi is a rookie and will probably be very bad but he doesn’t seem like the kind of rookie who will be ultra destructive; both Knox and Frank are reaching the point where if they’re still setting their minutes on fire I don’t expect Thibs to keep playing them a ton (we already saw this happening somewhat last year). RJ on the other hand is the swing guy because even if he’s really awful again he’s going to keep getting run out there. If he is still a huge negative then this team could be right back at the very bottom of the standings.

  226. djphan:
    fizdale was a terrible coach… but the pre/post fizdale record also basically lines up with when payton was in the lineup…..

    Even if missing Payton was the issue and not Fizdale the point still stands. We were on a 32 win pace and we’re bringing back pretty much the same team.

  227. The Glass Half Rebuilt: The GM is the most important man in the building in the NFL.

    I disagree with this. I’ve always seen it as follows:

    The NFL is a coach’s league (highly scheme dependent; requires meshing large rosters of widely varying talent levels into a cohesive whole)

    The NBA is a GM’s league (small roster sizes in which the drafting/signing of just 2-3 superstar players can drastically turn a team’s fortune’s around)

    MLB is an owner’s league (no salary cap; willingness to throw unlimited $$ – albeit in a somewhat intelligent manner – is often highly correlated with success)

    The NHL? No idea; never cared much for hockey.

  228. Everyone seems to be just assuming that our current coaching situation resembles the Miller half of last year and not the Fiz part which…I’m not saying it’s wrong, but just that it remains to be seen a little bit. Everyone always loves the new coach until they start coaching. It was only 2 years ago that everyone was talking about how big an improvement Fiz was going to be over Horny.

  229. thenamestam,

    Dude, come on. There is no way Thibs will be as bad as Fizdale. At worst, he’ll be a wash and similar to Miller.

    This is a dude who was an assistant coach for the late 90’s Knicks, The KG/Pierce era in Boston. He coached a Bulls team that consistently won 50 plus games. His “flameout” with the TWolves involved them making the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. His first year there he increased their win total by close to 20 games (before they added Butler).

    The dude is a super accomplished coach. Horns had one decent season in Phoenix before he was hired here. Fizdale had one decent season in Memphis before getting fired.

    I’m sure I was one of those optimists who thought Fiz would be an upgrade over Horns but Thibs is clearly a good coach. Now we can wonder if he’s not up to date for the modern NBA but dude has forgotten more basketball than dudes like Fiz or Horns know.

  230. Count de Pennies: I disagree with this. I’ve always seen it as follows:

    The NFL is a coach’s league (highly scheme dependent; requires meshing large rosters of widely varying talent levels into a cohesive whole)

    I can see your reasoning, but bad GM’ing is picking Mitchell Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes, and it’s the kind of mistake that will set your franchise back a decade. The GM still has to sign free agents and ultimately not burn dozens of draft picks in order for a coach to have a leg to stand on, and with the NFL’s salary cap you can’t just get lucky three times and pay to keep a group together. The GM has to consistently identify the guys his coach needs in order to keep a talented roster. It’s why Pittsburgh never has an issue with their wide receiver group, why New England always has a great offensive line, why Baltimore never seems to have a bad defense, and so forth. Of course, Bellichick, Tomlin, and Harbaugh are also first ballot HoF coaches but GMs hire coaches. Good NFL teams are built and drafted whereas in the NBA you can get away with Rob Pelinka and still probably win back to back titles.

  231. One last football post and then I’ll stop. I promise.

    It’s somewhat tragicomic that Jets fans are already hailing Trevor Lawrence as the franchise savior when only two years ago they were thanking the Giants for allowing Darnold to fall to their team at 3.

    If anyone, it’s Jets fans who should be painfully aware of the horrible fate that can befall a promising QB prospect who is drafted by a team with lousy coaching. I liked Darnold, too, and was pissed when the Giants passed on him for Barkley. Of course, we’ll never know how Darnold might have turned out had he landed in a better situation. Would better coaching have helped teach him to take better care of the football and mold him into the player many thought he could be coming out of USC? Impossible to say. Sadly, it’s far easier to say that he projects as little more than a career backup at this point. The incompetent coaching of Gase & Co. at the onset of his pro career have likely stunted his development for good.

  232. swiftandabundant:
    His “flameout” with the TWolves involved them making the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. His first year there he increased their win total by close to 20 games (before they added Butler).

    You’ve got your years mixed up there. His first season in Minny they won two (2) more games than the previous season when they were coached by Sam Mitchell (who was definitely Fiz tier). Then they had one good season courtesy of Jimmy Butler, then he got fired in his 3rd year.

  233. thenamestsam: You’ve got your years mixed up there. His first season in Minny they won two (2) more games than the previous season when they were coached by Sam Mitchell (who was definitely Fiz tier). Then they had one good season courtesy of Jimmy Butler, then he got fired in his 3rd year.

    Thibodeau got fired because he was a terrible POBO, not because of his coaching. He gave out a max deal to Wiggins and put together a big trade package for Wiggins who was there a year before he revolted and forced his way out. Thibodeau’s pretty clearly a good coach and was still 19-21 when he got fired. I think most of us like the Fizdale hiring but he was an unknown quantity as a head coach, Thibs isn’t.

  234. Even if Thibs comes in like Larry Brown and lays a big stinker, its hard for me to imagine he’s as bad as Fizdale and I also really trust the assistants on this team. Hell, worst case scenario ole Woody can take over and we know he’s competent.

  235. This year’s squad will likely be very similar to last year’s Miller/Payton version, maybe slightly better as Knox gets no playing time. But Payton is somewhat injury prone and we don’t appear to have a backup unless Quickley shows something. I’d be hesitant to lay money on the over due to that.

    But I absolutely won’t bet the season because the pandemic is still going strong and the vaccine situation is up in the air. Early season results could easily hinge on who tests positive and gets quarantined. Not to mention the wonky schedule this year could result in a harder or easier go of it than normal.

    Hopefully we don’t get screwed by a series of abnormally easy games.

  236. Yeah Thibs’ failure of his Minny stint was less about his coaching and more about other stuff that shouldn’t come into play since he won’t be a GM. And I think we can put to bed the whole, “coach will favor vets!” fear because as others said, the vets alone won’t get this team to 10th-seed territory.

    I should have articulated this before, but in this draft I wanted us to take some Jowles-approved high-floor guys who can balance out the long-term projects in Knox and Frank (and maybe Barrett to some degree) and produce from about Day One. I don’t know if Toppin was what in mind, but he and Quickley can provide some immediate needs, measurables and balance to RJ and Mitch (JK47 jokingly told me I talked him into Quickley – who to me has the chops to be a upper-tier 3&D guard with some secondary playmaking).

  237. Hadn’t really digested the Denver QB fiasco in terms of a 15-deep NBA roster. I suppose it’s possible we could go up against teams with everyone taller than 6’8″ in quarantine (or all their point guards). It could make for some weird games, a dependence on extreme ‘adaptive’ coaching, and abnormal results.

    It could happen to us, too. Of course, losing all our point guards might not be all that noticeable.

  238. About the tanking or going for the 10th place, i agree with both sides arguments, which might seem strange but i’ll explain it.

    Are we going for the 10th place? Definitely, but that’s the spirit at least until 2/3 of the season.

    But are we going to beat the competition for the 10th place? Not likely! The 8 teams that made the playoffs last year are much better than us, and will still be clearly ahead of us. Atlanta got much better, not a chance we keep up with them. That’s 9 teams!

    I think Beal by himself is better than our team, but for the sake of the argument let’s say Washington is on the race for 10th with us, Charlotte and Chicago (Detroit and Cleveland will probably be tanking all season). I can see us outpacing Chicago, but Charlotte or Washington? No.

    So our ranking in the east will probably be 12th if we beat Chicago, or 13th if they beat us. That’s 3 teams ahead of us in the reverse standings.

    Out west, OKC will tank hard (because they are smart), but the other teams that should tank are dumb teams (SAC), have former all-stars that will lead them to a not so bad final record (SAS), or are too up and coming to tank (MEM). As the west is stronger than the east, i think these 3 teams will outpace our “pursuit for the 10th in the east”. The other 4 teams that missed the playoffs last year (GSW, MIN, NOP, PHO), all got clearly better and are going to fight for (or be in) the playoffs.

    So depending on the records of the teams that should tank but will not, we can have 1 to 4 teams in the west ahead of us in the tanking race. Let’s say 2 teams, which would put us 6th league wide for the draft. It’s 37.2% to get a top4 draft pick.

    What we really need is luck with the ping-pong balls! Let’s believe this is the year! ;)

  239. Unreason: The logic of tanking was weak when the odds of a top pick were better. With the current odds it’s akin to investing your retirement savings in lotto.

    Tanking was very much worth it in the years when there was a LeBron or AD to be had at #1. Nowadays it only make sense if the draft class is at least four blue chip players deep seeing as how the worst record guarantees a team a spot in the top-4. If the talent differential between the top 4 and the Knicks’ usual #8 slot is great enough, then tanking is still a viable approach to rebuilding.

    Hubert: you can compare lineups all you want, but the team that finishes 10th is going to be the team that is dumb enough to want to.

    I agree with Hubert here. Every year, there comes a point in the season when many of the no-hopers recognize the inevitability of their fate and try to leverage it into more ping pong balls. That almost never seems to be the Knicks. If this is indeed a draft class with a markedly superior top-4 (and I have no idea if it is) then it would very much be in the Knicks best interest to play itself into the league’s worst record in order to ensure a pick that high. Is this something that Thibs would allow to happen? His coaching history to date suggests that would be very off-brand for him. I can easily see Thibs “wanting to” give the likes of Rivers & Randle extra burn at season’s end in order to beat out teams such as CHA, DET, CLE, CHI, and WAS for that oh so coveted 10th seed.

  240. Next year, on the eve of the lottery, we should all simultaneously sacrifice some goats and chant praises to Balloch, blessed be his name, that we at least move up in the lottery. Any more energetic participants are welcome to upgrade their sacrifice from a goat to a GOAT from any lesser sport (sleep tight, Karch Kiraly).

  241. #If this is indeed a draft class with a markedly superior top-4 (and I have no idea if it is) then it would very much be in the Knicks best interest to play itself into the league’s worst record in order to ensure a pick that high. Is this something that Thibs would allow to happen?#

    That’s what I’ve meant by “FO/Coach on the same page”.
    It’s not about pleasing Thibs’ ego but about realising and chasing Knicks’ best interest.

  242. The Pistons are making the bizarre choice to waive Zhaire Smith. We should absolutely take a flyer on him. He was well-liked by draft models and was good in the G-League last year.

  243. Mike Honcho:
    Next year, on the eve of the lottery, we should all simultaneously sacrifice some goats and chant praises to Balloch, blessed be his name, that we at least move up in the lottery.

    Now we’re talking! ;) If we’re vegetarians, can we only sacrifice some vegetables? :D

  244. thenoblefacehumper:
    The Pistons are making the bizarre choice to waive Zhaire Smith. We should absolutely take a flyer on him. He was well-liked by draft models and was good in the G-League last year.

    He must have a condition of some sort, don’t you think? He only logged 13 games across 2 seasons, then the Sixers let him go for nothing!? A pick 16th in the draft, just 2 years ago. Doesn’t make sense.

  245. JK47 jokingly told me I talked him into Quickley – who to me has the chops to be a upper-tier 3&D guard with some secondary playmaking

    Quickley is one guy I haven’t said anything about since I quoted Hollinger (who trashed the pick). I’m happy to give them the benefit of the doubt on him. It’s not like I ever scouted him or anything.

  246. He must have a condition of some sort

    1) 6’3″ in a league that fetishizes wings
    2) weird-looking jump shot (similar to Haliburton’s, kinda low and slow, big leg kick from deep)
    3) had to play with the Colangelo/Brand Sixers

  247. You guys who are saying we are in a tough division should pay attention to what ptmilo said. That doesn’t mean anything this year. The schedule is different and everyone play all the teams in the conference the same number of times. We will play Cleveland as many times as we will play Philadelphia.

  248. “A pick 16th in the draft, just 2 years ago.”

    That 2018 draft is turning out to be sneaky good. There might turn out to be only three legit busts in the entire lottery. There were at least two of the top four in 2018 and nearly half the 2016 lottery could probably be considered busts.

    Mike

  249. Z-man: Kemba wasn’t coming here no matter how hard you went after him….Butler was also a UFA and could go wherever he wanted, and forced his way to Miami in a sign-and-trade. Again, he wasn’t coming here.

    I disagree. Money talks. We had it and chased the wrong guys.

  250. Z-man: Kemba wasn’t coming here no matter how hard you went after him….Butler was also a UFA and could go wherever he wanted, and forced his way to Miami in a sign-and-trade. Again, he wasn’t coming here.

    I disagree. Money talks. We had it and chased the wrong guys.

    DRed:
    every jets blog I’ve looked at is filled with fucking idiots, which I guess makes sense

    It’s not a discussion board, more of a blog, but Jets X-Factor is a great Jet’s website and these guys actually know what they’re talking about.

    Hubert: So don’t get your hopes up. Stop watching Cade Cunningham highlights. This is going to be one of the worst Knicks seasons in a long time. One where our kids are consistently benched for veterans on one year deals, all in the glorious pursuit of being the 10th best team in the East.

    Very legitimate concern. BTW, I watched Cade Cunningham’s first game and came away thinking he’s good but not the all-world player that seems to be his rep.

  251. cybersoze: About the tanking or going for the 10th place, i agree with both sides arguments, which might seem strange but i’ll explain it.

    In general, about a tank. We’ve done a lot of that. This team should try to win games now. The tank will occur naturally and as I just said, I’m not sure that Cade’s the man for the Knicks in the future.

  252. Count de Pennies: It’s somewhat tragicomic that Jets fans are already hailing Trevor Lawrence as the franchise savior when only two years ago they were thanking the Giants for allowing Darnold to fall to their team at 3.

    When Darnold came out, he was considered a solid “A” prospect – a definite starter. Lawrence is being touted as “generational”. Here’s a case where the prospect was destroyed by the team. He wasn’t given an OL to protect him. Then he started seeing ghosts. He’s broken. If you think about it, Darnold has his career in his own hands. If he wins games, the Jets won’t get the overall #1 and won’t get Trevor Lawrence and will stick with Darnold. If the Jets lose out, Darnold is toast.

  253. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    1) 6’3? in a league that fetishizes wings
    2) weird-looking jump shot (similar to Haliburton’s, kinda low and slow, big leg kick from deep)
    3) had to play with the Colangelo/Brand Sixers

    I got the sense that he had some kind of medical condition, but if that’s not the case, i agree with you that we should try to grab him. Maybe he accepts a 2-way contract (we waive Pinson)?

  254. zhaire smith almost died….. he’s been playing his way back for i think a little over a year… i have no idea how healthy he looks or if he’s lost some of that all-world athleticism but he’s almost definitely worth more of a look than someone like pinson or harper or the bottom of 5-7 of our roster….

  255. reference the g-men and mister barkley: every time a great running back comes along and you are absolutely sure this is the one (most recently: gurley, elliott, mccaffrey), they quickly remind you that no matter what you do – do not waste a first round pick on a running back…or, at least in the first 20 draft positions or so…

    no matter how well a running back performs in their first few years – it makes absolutely no sense to re-sign them after their rookie deal…

    derrick henry is up next…

  256. It sounds like the Pistons only traded for Smith for his salary (they’ve been doing this this offseason, trading players with one year on their deal for players with two years so that they could stretch the money out over a longer period of time and create more cap room). So I don’t think the Pistons cutting Smith really means one thing or another. He’d obviously be worth a 2-way spot, but I imagine some other team will give him a full roster spot. He is an odd fit, too, with all of the other Knick guards and wings who can’t shoot. But yeah, there’s some real promise there.

    And yes, the Sixers should have just kept Mikal. I don’t think that’s even a hindsight thing. It seemed like the wrong move at the time.

  257. Wow, that Zhaire Smith story is something.

    Caught up on that Ringer piece about Christian Wood. Pretty interesting. Been in the league a long time without getting a shot. And the Pistons clearly didn’t want him. Will be fascinating to see how things play out for him in Houston. I’d predict well but may be some personality issues that will come to the fore.

  258. Re: Zhaire Smith story
    That’s a hell of a story, thank God all went well. I suppose this kid cherishes life much more than we do. Would be nice to have him, and if he succeeds it would be a nice feel good story to help build the culture of this franchise. Isn’t that what they are always preaching?

  259. It is a helluva story. I predict the Spurs will take a flyer on him. It’s just a hunch, but they could really use some more young guys.

  260. I am so damn excited about training camp opening. The Last Knicks game was mid-March, no Vegas, the humiliation of being ineligible for the bubble…very tough. To think that we’d be like 15-20 games in by now….it’s been a loooooong wait. I know the Knicks suck and all, but unlike the Mets and Jets, I even enjoy the bad games and watch pretty much every one. Hopefully COVID won’t derail the season again…

    Besides, I’m sick of you guys talking about pizza stones and obscure Australian miniseries.

  261. It could make for some weird games, a dependence on extreme ‘adaptive’ coaching, and abnormal results.

    It could happen to us, too.

    Yep. Could be a very strange season. The play-in games make a lot of sense in context.

  262. I’m ready for camp too. I’m taking the “under” as far as that 22.5 win mark set the other day. Still, there’s lots of intrigued. The number of permutations for how Thibs might use this roster approaches infinite (yeah, I know it’s finite) Which of the 4 or 5 point guards start? Which of the 3 shooting guards start? Are one or more of Knox, Randle and Ntilikina out of the rotation? Will Iggy or Quickly ever see the floor? Will Bullock or Burks rot on the bench?

    It’s not the roster I would have wanted but I’ll take bad Knick basketball over no basketball or basketball without the Knicks..

  263. saw this on that totally lame espn site…i swear, only real losers would ever check there for sports stuff :-)

    Bold prediction as we enter the preseason?
    Snellings: The Knicks will trade for a former All-Star guard before the preseason ends. They used the draft to address youth in the frontcourt, but there’s still a major lack of talent and production in the backcourt. While the smart play might be to go full youth movement and player development with an eye toward the future, with so many former All-Star guards in play, it proves too tempting for the Knicks to resist bringing one in.

    needless to say, it was the only knick mention in the article (things to look forward to in the upcoming season)…i was curious to see who this crazy Snellings character was to be even thinking about the knicks in terms of the national basketball organization and the games it plays…got a quick link to his linkedin thing, saw this:
    I do Fantasy Basketball & NBA Analytics for ESPN. I’m still a Neural Engineer. Dad first. Created The Hoops Lab. Sports analyst alum of Rotowire, Nylon Calculus, Fansided & TYTSports. Biomedical engineering/electrical engineering/neuroscience/neural prosthetics alum of Georgia Tech, Michigan and Duke.

    my brain suddenly feels the need to cover itself in modesty…

    was talking to a school buddy (i only really got one i stay in touch with) the other day who laughed at me for majoring in cultural geography (yep, we all had to do a full boat engineering thing, but – given the choice on an additional “track” – i went geography)…basically my senior year wasn’t so painful academically – i spent a lot of time in the gym and not doing school work things…

    i just wanted to graduate and leave…

    always appreciate folks though whom strive for and accomplish more…oh, and if anyone happens to know this andre fellow, we need to bring him aboard…

  264. Teams that probably got substantially better:
    BKN
    PHI
    ATL
    CHO
    GSW
    PHX
    MIN

    Teams that probably got substantially worse:
    TOR
    OKC

    The rest pretty much stayed close to where they were last year.

    So while we were on a 28 game pace per 72 last year after Payton/Miller took over, there are more improved teams than declining teams. So even if we are “marginally” improved, we’re not winning 30 games. We’d have to be “significantly” improved.

  265. I’m having a really hard time predicting this season’s wins. We don’t have Morris and it’s very unlikely anyone we have will anyone shoot as well as he did. The role players we hired are probably not much better than the ones we hired last year. But on the positive side we will probably have more consistent coaching, one would hope that Knox, Frank and RJ can be better than last year, we have a more balanced team, and I would expect our defense to be a little better because of Noel.

    Other teams did get better more obviously than we did. So I’m torn. Let’s say our defense is between 15th and 20th in the league, that is, slightly better than last year. Then if our offense is improved over 29th in the league, we should be better overall than last year. You can wave your hands and hope that Toppin someone better than EJ will be better than Knox and Portis, but l don’t have any faith in that. So I’m left with we’ll be slightly better on defense and the same on offense. Vegas predicts we will be worse than last year, so I should bet the over, but I just can’t bring myself to believe.

  266. If we are trying to win, and we probably shouldn’t want to win, then there’s several paths to improvement:

    1 – Don’t play Knox 1100 minutes
    2 – RJ doesn’t play like Knox for 1700 minutes
    3 – Noel plays better than Taj
    4 – Bullock returns to pre-injury form
    5 – Someone steps up when Payton gets injured
    6 – Keith Smart doesn’t wreck everyone’s shot
    7 – Thibs is the genius his record shows
    8 – DSJr doesn’t make Knox look like Jordan for 500 minutes

  267. geo:
    always appreciate folks though whom strive for and accomplish more…oh, and if anyone happens to know this andre fellow, we need to bring him aboard…

    Are you trying to take away my chances to be KB Rookie of the Year? LOL!

  268. Knicks basketball is around the corner? Can’t even believe it! :P

    So finally we can try and see progress (even if there’s none) on the play of Mitch (likely), RJ (probably), Obi (total mistery).

    Been missing that, and also been missing the one thing the Knicks are #1 in the NBA… our beloved broadcasters Mike Breen and Clyde! :)

    Oh sorry, there’s another thing we’re #1… Farfa’s game recaps! Been missing that a lot, as those were epic recaps… and sometimes watching the games i wondered ‘how can Farfa write about this!?’ LOL!

  269. Well, if anything this prolonged hiatus gave me a chance to refill my gas trunk and get ready for the upcoming season! I’m also quite bullish on the recappability of this roster (barring a Westbrook/Wall trade, that is).

    So glad to see so many new posters :) and more glad that some are fellow Europeans like you, cybersoze!

  270. cybersoze:
    Knicks basketball is around the corner? Can’t even believe it! :P

    So finally we can try and see progress (even if there’s none) on the play of Mitch (likely), RJ (probably), Obi (total mistery).

    Been missing that, and also been missing the one thing the Knicks are #1 in the NBA… our beloved broadcasters Mike Breen and Clyde! :)

    Oh sorry, there’s another thing we’re #1… Farfa’s game recaps! Been missing that a lot, as those were epic recaps… and sometimes watching the games i wondered ‘how can Farfa write about this!?’ LOL!

    Farfa:
    Well, if anything this prolonged hiatus gave me a chance to refill my gas trunk and get ready for the upcoming season! I’m also quite bullish on the recappability of this roster (barring a Westbrook/Wall trade, that is).

    So glad to see so many new posters :) and more glad that some are fellow Europeans like you, cybersoze!

    Had to retrieve this from the previous thread, for you guys to know Farfa is alive, well… and planning some more epic recaps! :)

    And thanks Farfa, i think we’re at least 4 europeans… me (Portugal), you (Italy), KYN (greece) and an Arsenal fan that i don’t remember the username!

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