Congrats to Tom Thibodeau, the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year!

I legit still don’t know how to spell Thibodeau without looking.

Anyhow, wow, in an upset victory over former Knick Monty Williams, Thibs edged out a win in the Coach of the Year voting through Williams inexplicably only appearing in the top two on 77 of the 100 ballots, while Thibs appeared in the top two on 85 of the ballots, so even with weighted voting and Williams receiving more first place votes (hence him being the odds-on favorite to win the award, due to more sportswriters naming him as their top pick in their various columns before the voting was announced), Thibs edged it out!

It was like a Knicks regular season victory, it was very unlikely (the person with the most first place votes almost always wins. It’s hard to get vote totals, but it’s been that way for at least the last 15 years before I gave up looking for more), but it was appreciated and well-earned!

Congrats, Thibs!

Liked it? Take a second to support Brian Cronin on Patreon!

509 thoughts to “Congrats to Tom Thibodeau, the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year!”

  1. I think that trading for Lillard is a fool’s errand. As JK and DRed pointed out, why decimate our assets and cap space to build a team worse than the Blazers? Let’s build the right way for a change. Keep making small, smart acquisitions until we build up enough assets/good roster pieces so that giving up some of them in a deal for a max player still leaves us with a good core. Build like PHX, UTA, DEN did.

  2. We need to just chill and realize that for once we’re on the right path. Let’s build our core from within using our draft picks and our cap space while avoiding crippling moves.

    As an example, can you imagine signing Jerome Powell and Richaun Holmes while drafting Jared Butler, Tre Mann and Trey Murphy? Our talent level would skyrocket.

  3. something about watching big men play the game well that makes me happy, blame it on ewing…good to see ayton playing consistently well…

    MPjr just continues to impress, it’s more than just his scoring…really good competitor…

  4. We had a good thread going, not sure why we shut it down before it hit 600 comments.

    Very true about Bodgan. Very true about winning without Harden.

    And very true about Porzingis. Although i know that I will open Twitter and find a very clever gif where one panel is the Knicks fan who was right that it would be a mistake to max KP and the second panel is a fan thinking about giving Barrett the same contract.

    Also, Geo, don’t get on me about this, but we could have drafted Mikal Bridges

  5. Also, Geo, don’t get on me about this, but we could have drafted Mikal Bridges

    well then owen, i leave you this then:
    Bag lady you goin’ hurt your back
    Draggin’ all ’em bags like that
    I guess nobody ever told you
    All you must hold on to
    Is you

    hard to embrace the new, when you’re holding too tight to the past…

    shit, i’m just kidding owen :)

    #doowutchyalike

  6. I mean, we could have drafted MPjr?

    :-)

    Having a crowd definitely adds something. Going to be a terrific series.

  7. speaking of good ol’ digital underground…don’t think we ever talked about it, but rip to greg “shock G” jacobs…kinda fucks me up a bit seeing folks my age passing on…

    fave lines from the humpty one:
    One night I was cooling outside
    Saw my man Wes and said, “Ah shit yeah, it’s gonna be live”
    I was working a double breast silk leaf suit
    With my five hundred dollar brown knee-high Bally’s

    Wes said, “It’s pimpin’ how you wear ’em outside ya pants
    And by the way my ham sandwichs in the alley”
    Ham sandwich meant Brougham Cadillac
    Quarter inch stripes, wheel kit on the back

    It was snotty nose, that means the extra chrome
    Plate on the grill, for sunroof we say it had the brains blown
    I said, “This bitch is inside, you ready to attack?”
    Wes looked at me and said, “Mack mack mack mack mack”

  8. That was quite a second half from the Suns. Chris Paul went from broken down nag to planet killer in truly astonishing fashion.

    I guess Nets are favored overall but I cannot remember a more wide open NBA playoffs in my lifetime.

    Someone is going to write an article about how the betting odds have never been spread this widely at this point or something to that effect and I am excited to read it.

  9. Watching the Suns Nuggets game and I couldn’t help thinking the Knicks could have had either Mikal Bridges OR Michael Porter Jr and instead we have the useless Kevin Knox. Think how much either of those guys would have helped this year’s team….sigh

  10. I guess Nets are favored overall but I cannot remember a more wide open NBA playoffs in my lifetime.

    If Harden returns in time for the Finals, the Nets will be big favorites over whatever team comes out of the west.

    But yeah, if he misses it (or if the Nets don’t make it), then it is a total crapshoot.

  11. Doug Chu:
    Mike Budenholzer: fraud?

    This.
    I came in here wondering just what in tarnation(and I hope yal said that with a Yosemite Sam accent) is goin on with the Bucks-Nets series. But first I have to address Thibs. Congrats! Well deserved. IMO, it shouldn’t have been close! All due respect to Monty- he’s done a wonderful job. Snyder as well. But nobody- AND I MEAN NOBODY- did more with less than Thomas Joseph Thibodeau Jr. Both Snyder and Williams already had good teams. But Williams had the advantage of having CP3..voters must not realize how much easier a guy like CP3 makes it for coaches. Can you imagine if Thibs had CP3? We’d probably be top 2 in the East. The guy just flat out knows the game and can obviously still play at a high level. And again, I don’t mean to take anything away from Williams and Snyder- but that voting was ridiculous!
    END RANT

    Back to Bucks-Nets. Look…I fully expected this series to be competitive. But no one saw the Nets dominating Milwaukee without Harden. Holy hell! Is it preparation? Is Budz not the coach to get them over the Hump? Or is the roster ill-constructed? I dunno..but they definitely should not be getting the concrete shit kicked out of em. Sheesh!

  12. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats: But nobody- AND I MEAN NOBODY- did more with less than Thomas Joseph Thibodeau Jr. Both Snyder and Williams already had good teams.

    This sums it up. Thibs should’ve been number 1 on every vote, plain and simple. We should sing C-O-T-Y during timeouts, just like we sing M-V-P when Julius is at the line, don’t you think? :)

  13. We gotta see what Giannis and the Bucks can do back at Milwaukee, but i’m starting to think he’ll never win as the clear leader of the team, he’s no KD, Steph, Lebron. His game needs another superstar by his side to be championship contender. AD is the same, he won’t win on his own. And having said that, anyone feel Jrue or Middleton are superstars? Yeah, this won’t end well.

  14. RIP, Jim Fassel. A middling tactician, but he took the giants to the super bowl, and by all accounts he was a good man.

  15. The Bucks are a very weirdly constructed team. I wasn’t a fan of the Jrue Holiday trade, even in the context of appeasing Giannis. It just seems like they don’t have enough shooting and playmaking. The Nets have both in spades. So do the Hawks. So do the teams left in the WC.

    Honestly it would take a miracle or a spate of injury bad luck for anyone to beat the Nets. Blake in a limited role is a monster. Harris might be the best shooter in the league. Mike James? Wow.

  16. Anyone knows more about Bryn Forbes? He looked ok yesterday, at least in the part i watched (1st half), and he earns very little money – has a 2.4M player option for next year. I bet he declines it and can be had on the cheap. Does it make sense for the Knicks?

  17. Not gonna lie..as painful as it is for me to say it- I’m impressed with what the Nets are doing sans Harden. It’s not that I don’t think KD and Kyrie are that good- but just look at their starting lineup. I mean they are starting the reanimated corpse of Blake Griffin at C! And it’s working! They have no real rebounding and their best rebounder and paint defender is buried on the bench! I can only imagine what this team would look like in the playoffs had LMA been able to continue playing. I hate em like Julius’ son hates em..but they are really impressive right now. Gotta give credit where credit is due..unfortunately

  18. I also have to credit Steve Nash. Even through the noise of the big 3, he seems to be doing a nice job of keeping the team grounded, which is all he has to do.

  19. Nice article by Vacarro on Thibs.

    He didn’t bat 1.000 this year; he buried Austin Rivers, who sure could’ve helped the Knicks last week while he was helping Denver advance. He stuck too long with Elfrid Payton and instead of keeping Derrick Rose in a reserve role when he finally made a move, he started him, and probably helped wear him out.

    But perfection isn’t a coach’s job.

    Professionalism is. Establishing it, preaching it, implementing it. The Knicks were a joke for 20 straight years. They are a joke no longer. We will see what the next steps yield, but the ones we’ve already seen tell the story plainly: the coach made that much of a difference.

  20. Once again congratulations to Thibs for a well deserved award.

    Dame Lillard is one of my favorite players, that’s why I watch an inordinate number of Blazers’ games, but I’m not inclined to trade for him (or anybody else) If that means getting rid of the few young assets we have and throwing away our future first rounders in classic Old-Knicks fashion.

    We’re not one player away from contending (as was the perceived case for Lakers, Bucks, Clippers, Nets, all of whom mortgaged their future to win now).

    OTOH I’m okay with overpaying Lowry or Paul for two years (plus a team option).
    Both can made our team better, both can immensely help IQ, Vildoza and/or “Eventual PG-Pick” develop and given their age both can accept to share minutes with Rose/IQ/Vildoza/E-PG-P.

    I think Leon & Co. have their offseason plans A, B and C already drawed, now we can only hope they can avoid something very stupid.

    The Draft will be the first litmus test.

    P.S. I’m happy that Vaccaro mentioned it,
    the Rivers’ buyout while keeping Payton was the FO’s move I didn’t like the most.
    He must have pissed Thibs a lot.

  21. the Rivers’ buyout while keeping Payton was the FO’s move I didn’t like the most.
    He must have pissed Thibs a lot.

    The one thing to keep in mind about that — and that gives me some pause — is that Payton and Randle share an agent, Aaron Mintz. I wouldn’t be surprised if our ex-agent POBO, whose specialty is building and maintaining relationships throughout the league, decided to keep Payton and dump Rivers as a way to make nice with Mintz in advance of negotiations this summer about a Randle extension.

    Then again, it’s entirely possible that, as we’ve discussed before, Thibs wanted at least one traditional point guard on the roster other than Rose, and Payton simply fit that definition more closely than Rivers.

    Either way, it was a bad call, though I don’t know if it was a fatal one. Rivers is streaky as hell, and I don’t know that starting him and keeping Rose as a reserve would have been enough for us to beat Atlanta. Maybe we eke out that opening night win and lose in 6 instead, but we were not one role player away from winning that series.

  22. I’d rather pay CP3 in free agency than dump everything for Dame. But I figure there’s a happy medium PG somewhere that doesn’t break the bank.

  23. re: Vildoza

    While I’m sure he can be a useful player it’s not fair to invest him of too much expectations.

    He’s a good player, with a high basketball IQ and he came to New York in his prime (unlike Prigs), but let’s remember that a lot of FIBA players, even very good ones, have problems in their rookie year to adjust to the NBA three point line and need time to learn the different speed/athleticism of the game.

    Plus, there’s the new COTY and his high standards on defense, fitness and effort.
    Belinelli (who played for Pop, Don Nelson, Monty Williams, Mike Budenholzer) still remember Thibs’ practices from his year in Chicago… :-)

  24. Alan: The one thing to keep in mind about that — and that gives me some pause — is that Payton and Randle share an agent, Aaron Mintz. I wouldn’t be surprised if our ex-agent POBO, whose specialty is building and maintaining relationships throughout the league, decided to keep Payton and dump Rivers as a way to make nice with Mintz in advance of negotiations this summer about a Randle extension.

    Good call and Aaron Mintz (surprise surprise) works for CAA.

    You’re right, Rivers wouldn’t have changed things too much, but I would’ve saved a lot in Maalox…

  25. Thibodeau is the first Knicks coach since Pat Riley (1992/93) to win the award.

    No love for JVG in the end of the 90s, i guess.

    It’s the second Coach of the Year award for Thibodeau, who also earned the honor in the 2010/11 season with the Bulls in his first season as a head coach. No one had previously won the award in his first season with two different franchises.

    Maybe he should switch teams each offseason? :D

  26. Re: the ongoing playoffs, I found myself naturally rooting for the Hawks on Sunday, and enjoying it. As I mentioned before, I never had an issue with anything Trae did or Capela said. I actually agreed with Capela, to be honest, and didn’t mind our guys getting called out. I may be totally crazy, and there’s a lot of series left with Philadelphia, but I think they’re going to be a viable threat to Brooklyn if they face them without Harden. Much more viable than this sorry showing by Milwaukee.

    Side note: I thought maybe my guy would want to take my Suns bet off his books and sell it back to me for a nice gain (he’s on the hook for about $35k if they win). He soundly rejected my offer with a laugh! I guess no one is still taking Phoenix seriously. They’re path is hard but I don’t think it’s that unlikely.

  27. I am still of the opinion that the Bench Payton hysteria was way overblown. We went 16-4 in our last 20 games with Payton starting and entered the postseason with Rose as fresh as a daisy. Payton ate minutes early in halves and did not cost the team a single win, and keeping Rose fresh might have been critical to going 16-4. Let’s remember that a single loss more would have had us playing the Bucks with them having home court (no revisionist history here either, not a single poster thought at the time that playing the Heat or Bucks was a preferable outcome.)

    More generally, it’s fair to say that some of his decisions may raise some questions about the future when the roster is actually good, but I for one give him a total pass on everything he did or didn’t do this year. As Vacarro said, he didn’t bat 1.000, but I think he came pretty freaking close.

  28. Another name Fischer mentions is Hawks assistant general manager Landry Fields, who has previously been cited as a potential front office candidate for the Celtics.
    “All teams are monitoring Landry Fields,” said a Western Conference executive, “because he’s going to get a real shot here to run his own team soon.”

    Didn’t knew this. I’m happy for him, he’s a great guy and had terrible luck on his playing career.

  29. Owen: I guess Nets are favored overall but I cannot remember a more wide open NBA playoffs in my lifetime.

    The only team that would surprise me with a Finals berth would be the Hawks, and they’re up a game in their series and probably about to turn this comment into a bookmark. And it also wouldn’t surprise me if Giannis showed up for at least a few games and put up 40 points on 20 shots to make the series competitive. Again, probably getting bookmarked.

    In perceived parity, it almost reminds me of the Eastern Conference in 2016-17, when no East team won more than 53 games or had an SRS over 3.65. Of course, they got healthy, LePlayoffs happened and the Cavs went 12-1 in conference play.

    Kind of crazy that, for one, the Clippers got pushed to the brink in R1 and I could still see them going seven deep in the Finals.

  30. Congratulations to Coach Thibodeau.

    I disagree with the the “Coach Budd = Fraud” take. I remember that the Bucks were barely a .500 team with Jason Kidd as coach. Budd reconstructed the Bucks defense and built the offense around what Giannis does well. The team has been a regular season monster for the past three seasons.

    It is a fair criticism to say that Budd has not been a good coach in the playoffs, in Milwaukee or in Atlanta. Teams with equivalent talent have been able to scheme against Budd, and he has not come back with successful counters.

  31. Put me down as well for team “no go” on Dame. It’s not worth giving up all everything for a playoff run. Besides the fact he has never really won anything, it’s better for us to stay the course and build.

    We did pretty well this past year all things considered. We need another option at pg and dame isn’t it.

  32. Though it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Clips in the Finals,, I have zero faith in them. I dunno..it kinda feels like the year Utah gets back to the finals. I actually wouldn’t mind an old school style of play series in the WCF between Utah and Phoenix. It just may happen. As great as Jokic is, he’s not gonna save them from Phoenix without Murray- unless CP3 succumbs to postseason injury again. As a basketball fan- even with the blowouts- we will see some very good basketball through the rest of the playoffs. We’re witnessing the ascension of Trae Young to superstar status with his playoff run, and the other semifinal series are very entertaining. Not to mention we’ve already seen Luka and Ja shoot themselves up a whole ‘nother level in these playoffs in the 1st round.

    NBA action..it’s faaaaantastic lol

  33. Well deserved for Thibs, obviously. It’s always the next step that’s important with him, and so it is here.

    It puts me in a distinct minority here, to be sure, but at a fire sale price KP has some appeal. It’s tough to swallow the salary, though, naturally. He was badly misused in Dallas, but worse players have been given the plain vanilla max. There’s not a chance in holy hell for a reunion though, one wouldn’t think.

    Definitely not stripping everything down just to get Dame. At some price though, I’d definitely want him.

  34. I honestly kind of like the Hawks. They are a much better team right now for a lot of reasons than they were all season. It would take a lot – Embiid staying hurt – maybe Durant getting hurt. But it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.

    Suns look strong too. Ayton actually impressed me last night. He’s a solid player. Hubert made a good bet there.

    It’s a lot of fun to watch. I haven’t been this motivated to watch playoff games in a while.

    And I’m a no on Dame for all our assets and definitely a no on KP

  35. So I looked up Lillard’s stats, and I was shocked to see a .623 TS, .209 WS, .391 from 3 on 10 3PA/g.. he’s 30, but he’s definitely worth more than what we have or maybe should offer.. what he warrants is more than we would stomach (RJ, Mitch, picks, etc)

  36. It sure would be fun to have Lillard on the Knicks, but yeah, the cost would likely be too high. And KP? Dude still needs to get his ego in check. I wonder why the guy hasn’t developed a bit of a post game — hook shot, anyone? And maybe stop clubbing, too.

    The further Atlanta goes, the less the playoff loss to them stings, if it stings much at all…

  37. Congratulations Thibs! Honestly this was a no brainer.

    Debate question! With the Mavericks losing in the first round, I had an interesting question for you all. Trying to put aside our Knicks bias, would you rather be Dallas or us right now?

    On the one hand, Dallas has Luka who is poised to be a top 5 player for the next decade.

    On the other hand, we’ve got lots of cap space and extra first round picks and a little bit of a bigger core group of young players and also no KP albatross contract to unload.

    It’s an interesting question. Curious to hear people’s thoughts.

  38. I’m a no on Dame, too, as much as I love him. He really backed himself into a corner signing that extension. He has to make it work in Portland.

    Also the ease with which we were dispatched by a team that’s good but not great has sobered me up about trading assets to win now in a conference where even a team like the Bucks is a mile off the pace. Just make the three picks and keep building up our U-25 core of Mitch, RJ, Obi, and IQ.

    (And yes, after a rousing postseason performance, I have turned the corner on Obi Toppin. You can add this to Jowles’ bookmark page, but I could see Obi breaking out next year and it making more sense to keep him than give Randle a $230mm contract. The keys for Obi, I think, will be bringing Rose back as his bench partner and letting him play some time at center, where he could dominate most backup C’s and small ball lineups.)

  39. Dallas all day, Swifty. Luka makes it a no brainer. He’ll be 25 years old when the albatross is gone. Plenty of time to fix their issues.

  40. Trying to put aside our Knicks bias, would you rather be Dallas or us right now?

    The one with the guy who might wind up on NBA Mount Rushmore

  41. Obviously you have to inquire about Lillard and there’s always a price that makes sense, but I agree with the emerging consensus that the actual price will almost assuredly be too steep. A team of Lillard, Randle, and not much else isn’t doing anything interesting and I’m pretty sure the package required to land him would in fact leave us with that.

    Honestly we’re so far off of contention it’s a bit difficult to conceive of a package that isn’t completely pie-in-the-sky that would make sense. I guess something like both 2021 firsts, both 2023 firsts, IQ, and Obi could leave us with enough. It’s irrelevant because that offer is getting beaten easily.

  42. cybersoze: I’m happy for him, he’s a great guy and had terrible luck on his playing career.

    He did have bad luck (and I can’t believe it’s been ten years since he first suited up, and is only 32) but he also got that $18M deal from the Raptors and married a supermodel. If he had been drafted in the first round, he would have had to wait another two years to hit the market, and who knows if his body would have suffered injury all the same.

  43. swiftandabundant: Trying to put aside our Knicks bias, would you rather be Dallas or us right now?

    I would much rather be Dallas, because they have a First Team All-NBA PG on a rookie scale contract. They will actually have cap space this summer. The picks that they gave up for KP will be non-lottery. This year’s is #21 and 2023 is Top 10 protected (plus Luca protected). Having a Superstar who creates value above the Max salary is the surest road to championship contention. Dallas has many years of getting that sort of production from Luca before he gets to a 35% Max salary (and even then (barring injury) he will create surplus value).

  44. Trying to put aside our Knicks bias, would you rather be Dallas or us right now?

    Dallas every day of the week and twice on Sunday. They already have the future Hall of Famer, who almost singlehandedly took a team with Kawhi and PG to 7 games. Getting that level of superstar is the hardest part of the job. We have a bunch of assets and options moving forward, and we have a more enticing market, but we do not have our own Luka, or anyone close to that. All due respect to Julius.

  45. Let’s say we send: Mitch + Quick + Obi + Knox + 4 1RPs for Dame + Covington.
    Is that all that different from: Caris LeVert + Taurean Prince + Rodions Kurucs + Jarrett Allen + 3 1RPs + 4 swaps for James Harden ? I think the extra 1RP is more valuable than the 4 swaps.
    New Knicks starting five: Dame, RJ, Covington, Julius, (some center);
    Probably the starter C can be had for the Room Exception (4.9M). The 12.4M cap space available after the trade can be split on 2 guys like Reggie and Burks (or similar players); Vildoza at backup PG, Taj at backup C for the minimum; We just need a backup PF for the Bi-Annual Exception (3.2M);
    Covington is an expiring, if Reggie/Burks are on 1+1, at the end of next season we can have 25M to add an impact player to the core of Dame, RJ and Julius.
    It all depends on the price to pay, i wouldn’t say no to Dame without knowing it.

  46. Speaking of models, anyone remembers when Porzingis was trying to pickup models on Instagram? Hilarious times. Nobody explained him that the DMs existed, i guess. :D
    And looks like Landry has a lot more “game” than KP. :P

  47. it’s really too soon to speculate on a yay/nay package for dame… everybody that we can include in a deal could have a vastly different outlook by the time dame is actually on the market… the potential competitors like the sixers or new orleans or the celts could probably put together a better package right now… but dame isn’t getting dealt now… at the earliest it will probably be the next trade deadline but more likely next offseason… and a whole lot can change then….

    at the moment… it’s a backburner issue… and the good news is that to be competitors in that deal all we have to do is keep getting good players… keep cap flexibility…. and have our young guys do well…. if we’re still a good team by the time dame hits the market then we’ll probably have some voice in the discussion… and by then we’ll know what we’re dealing with… i mean if you told me the harden package ahead of time i would’ve said that was too little so the price might not end up as exhorbitant as you think….

  48. ***happy birthday***

    Thanks guys (and good pull, cybersoze:)

    I kind of like this new feature. Not sure how we can keep it going, though…

  49. dj I think you mentioned it before but what are your thoughts on Sharife Cooper? He seems to run the pick and roll very well, and that skill set would fit nicely with our other youngsters. Is there any PG in the draft you think is capable enough of stepping into the Elf Payton role of nominal starter who only plays 20 mins/game?

    I’m more excited about the wing prospects in this draft, particularly Ayo and Bouknight, both of whom seem likely to be available. Moses Moody falling to 19 would be a great outcome, too.

  50. Luka is great and knows he is great. Only bad luck and/or injury stands in the way of Luka winning a title. Still, kind of a ball hog in the ball hoggiest sense. Maybe he will take care of his body, maybe he will eat 5 Guys. A number 2 on the Mavs will watch Luka take a lot of off balance 30 footers and start working on their postgame press conference innuendo. There’s nothing wrong with watching greatness – watching joy is more fun right now.
    RJ, Quickley and Toppin are incredibly likeable players hardwired with a strong work ethic. Randle had a rough playoff, but his teammates love him. When Randle’s time is up Zion will be just about ready to suit up. We have picks and cap space. We have pros in the back-office and on the floor. Screw the Mavs and their look how smart we are trading for KP selves.

  51. The reason you stockpile assets is so that when a guy like Dame is available, you can put together a competitive package and still have some stuff left in the cupboard afterwards. We’re not really there. We’d probably have an empty cupboard and the clock would be running because Dame is in his early 30’s.

    I’d rather have a stable, competitive team that improves incrementally and grows organically. Trying to beat the Nets with a Dame/Julius core seems a lot like trying to beat the Heat with a Melo/Stoudemire core. You’ll fall short and at the end you’ll be back at the bottom of the hill rolling the boulder up again.

  52. ***Dame has had a “Dame and a bunch of scrubs” team around him the past however many years, and that really didn’t go very far. Why do we want to repeat that model here?***

    Dame and a bunch of scrubs did get them to the WCF two years ago, and if Thompson and Durant had broken down a week earlier, the narrative would be the reverse. Also, losing to that great Warriors team three times in four years was an unavoidable outcome for all 14 teams in the western conference during that time.

    Lillard moving from the competitive west to the developing east is reason enough to repeat the model here, I think. But it’s probably not going to happen for the various reasons stated here since yesterday.

  53. I will say that I don’t see Thibs wanting three new rookies on the team next year. I think they’ll try to make a deal with at least one pick. I wouldn’t mind seeing this year’s two first rounders go in a deal for a vet PG or a trade up. I’d prefer to keep our picks going forward though, in case injuries derail us next season.

  54. No to Dame. He’s 30. We get him and we have like two years to “compete” and that’s when the nets, Philly and bucks will all still be the top teams in the east. I’d rather middle through a few seasons of bring a first or second round playoff team and try and go all in when Randle is like 29 and RJ is 23 or so and Atlanta is our top competition in the east. Use some of our second rounders to move up this year but still make two picks in the first round this year. Who knows, if we can hit on one more first round pick and get an IQ or better level prospect, now we’re really cooking. We know with thibs, Randle and RJ we can probably make the playoffs next year. Roll with that and get a good role player or two in free agency. Keep grinding. Our season this year was amazing but we are not dame away from competing especially with the nets right now.

  55. co-signing the JK47 approach, which is a bit of a 180 for me. I was drunk on modest success when I thought things like trading Obi and picks for Beal or LaVine made sense. I am now sober AF after a harsh playoffs lesson.

    IQ, RJ, Obi, Mitch, and our two upcoming first round picks is a pretty nice U25 core, and it’s not hard to plug in some vets to keep the team respectable while ensuring none of the kids will have to be overexposed too quickly.

    We could be a consistent playoff team developing draft picks year over year while Nets age out. Patience has rarely been exercised at the Garden, but it’s the right approach.

  56. Cooper is solid and about what you would expect from a late first pg… he does run the pnr ok…. but i always get the impression that he wishes he was 3 inches taller as he has a lot of attempts under a lot of duress and he performs kind of soso … he’s a short pg with low steals rate which is generally not good because if you’re going to be the shortest guy on the court you should have an advantage laterally if you’re not vertical.. i don’t think he’s that….

    but there’s a lot to like… if you want to triangulate.. i think he’s probably between Trey Burke and Jalen Brunson… which is good for a late first and probably worth a rotation spot… but maybe not much beyond that…

    Donsunmo did actually run a spread motion pnr offense in Illinois under Brad Underwood… so out of all the pg’s i would say he has the most experience running a pro style offense… it’s not exactly like what Thibs runs but it’s close…. and that’s why out of all the non-Suggs pg’s he’s not only one of the more talented but probably the best fit….

  57. I will say that I don’t see Thibs wanting three new rookies on the team next year.

    We’ll be lucky if two of them are worth playing! Drafting the right players is hard, but I think we need to try and avoid any temptation to package picks for vets.

    Ideally, Thibs will be willing to expand the roles of IQ and Obi now that they aren’t rookies. IQ can take the minutes played by Burks if we don’t resign him, and Obi can do the same with Noel or Taj. Then we can move our two first rounders into the limited roles that Obi & IQ had. If we’re constantly bleeding youngsters into the team like this, we’ll eventually be in a place where it does make sense to go all in.

  58. ***Is CJ a scrub? I know Dame is the real star but CJ is a very good player.***

    McCollum is not a scrub. But he and Nurkic were injured for half the year and Portland had the same record with them as they did without them. So it really was Lillard and a bunch of scrubs that he carried through the brutal western conference this year.

    Here’s a question for you: would you trade Randle for McCollum if you were the Blazers? What about if you were the Knicks?

  59. Trading for Lillard is exactly what we should NOT do. There is no question that the price will be exorbitant. Even our draft picks have gone down in value because we’re better so we would once again have years with no picks and a top-heavy roster that never gets past the ECFs and probably bows out before that in most years. It would be a different version of the Melo trade, maybe with a bit more upside but not much.

    We have oodles of cap space and a good amount of draft assets and young players, but not a lot of roster stability to build off of. That puts us in a great bargaining position for all kinds of deals. Why would we blow that all on one player unless we were surely in a position to compete for a championship? That’s what the Nets did with Harden. Had they done the Harden deal first, not sure how they could have acquired Durant and Kyrie.

  60. thanks, DJ. I think I’m going to be high on Ayo all the way to the draft. If we got him at 21 and a wing like Moody or Bouknight fell to us at 19, I’d be pretty thrilled.

  61. there’s actually a lot of scenarios that could wind up working out wonderfully for us as long as we stay put… i don’t really like trading up in this draft… you very likely will get someone to fall that’s as good as whoever you were trying to trade up for anyway…. you’d basically be lighting an extra pick on fire… this draft is deep enough to get three rotation players out of this and we can very well stack our roster after this year if we nail it….

    even with the prospect of thibs not playing all these rookies.. that’s what the gleague is for…. in any case we played two rookies decent minutes this past season and gave knox/frank enough run anyway with a much more crowded roster so i don’t think it’s beyond the pale to repeat that this year….

  62. I think there is enough uncertainty as to whether this team is legit that we should probably not go all in this offseason. Showing patience and letting things ride out for another year seems to be the right approach from what I gleam. We don’t know if this team benefited from the shortened NBA season and a lack of packed arenas. There’s no real loss in just letting the kids get another year to develop while riding out Randle’s prime. Rose is going to be a conundrum though. He’s clearly valuable to this team, but also poses an injury and fatigue risk.

  63. I love watching LIllard play. Actually, I should be clear and say I love watching him shoot under pressure. The rest of his game I could do without,

    I’m not a fan of trading for him.

    I’m not a fan of any of the super high usage scorer/ball handlers that don’t defend, don’t actually make their teammates better with their assists, and try to do everything themselves. The “fans” love these guys and assume they just need better teammates to win, but I see it the other way around. IMO, their ball dominance hurts purposeful ball and player movement, hurts some teammates, and gets disappointing results. (it does get accolades, big contracts, and media/fan worship though)

    IMO, CJ McCollum is terrific #2 option skill wise. Powell, Covington, and Nurkic are excellent complimentary pieces. The bench is fine. They underperform expectations (or at least hopes) all the time because they don’t defend and they play a style of basketball on offense that doesn’t win championships.

    We don’t want to bring that to NY and we certainly don’t want to give up a lot of assets for it.

    It’s all moot though. I don’t think Lillard is going to come to NY to be on a team that won’t be better than Portland.

  64. I am also not a fan of overpaying for Kyle Lowry. I’d rather give either a young guy or Vildoza a chance to earn major minutes at PG and let Rose play his 20-25 mpg. It seems like decent enough PGs pop up all the time, so why tie up major cap space in a 36yo? Same with CP3, if he opts out he’ll be looking for too rich of a deal for a team like ours to take on.

    The only expensive FA I’d consider is Kawhi if he opts out. Anything else can wait.

  65. “Donsunmo did actually run a spread motion pnr offense in Illinois under Brad Underwood… so out of all the pg’s i would say he has the most experience running a pro style offense… it’s not exactly like what Thibs runs but it’s close…. and that’s why out of all the non-Suggs pg’s he’s not only one of the more talented but probably the best fit….”

    I saw Ayo described as Elfrid-like. Is he Elfrid-like?

  66. Thibs is entirely deserving of COY, and Randle is entirely deserving of MIP. I have great faith that our core youth will improve significantly over the off-season.

    However, there’s a non-zero alternative universe where the improvements are not as much as we’d hope, Randle (and perhaps Barrett) slide back toward the mean in certain categories (e.g., 3-pt%), and we lose/drop a few of the rotation guys (Burks, Bullock, even Noel and/or Rose) and the replacements don’t play to the the originals’ 2021 stats. Or defense. Not to mention other teams now having the Hawks as an example of how to stifle Randle. And as Randle goes, so goes the Knicks.

    Even with Thibs’ magic, that might be a 30-win team.

    I say keep collecting assets, and leave the powder dry for the ’23 Zion Sweepstakes.

  67. We need a starting PG and a legitimate #1 option to take the burden off Randle and RJ. Both of them are being asked to do more than their skillset warrants. That may not be true for RJ next year, but he’s almost certainly not going to be a legitimate #1 option. He’ll just add to his game and be a better player.

    We shouldn’t plan a strategy. We have to see who and what is available first. There may be some surprises. I have no problem with trading our picks to move up or as part of a deal as long as it’s for a player that fills one of those needs properly. Maybe we can fill one of those need this off season and keep working on the other. Maybe we can fill both and maybe neither. But we know what we need. We want to keep ourselves in a good position to fill those needs. No panic buying and no more role players unless it’s short term or such an attractive contract it can be used as part of a value/team enhancing deal later.

  68. Rose is going to be a conundrum though. He’s clearly valuable to this team, but also poses an injury and fatigue risk.

    Have we given up on the idea of IQ starting? Or is the consensus that he needs to play the 2 next to a PG?

    I was comfortable with him playing the point as long as Randle and RJ were on the court, since they handled most of the playmaking duties anyway. His shooting really opened things up for those two in the limited minutes they played together. (At one point in the season, they had played 252 mins and were plus 13.6; not sure how they ended up for the year.)

    If IQ replaces Elf, that solves the Rose problem, and Rose can continue to help Obi and our new rookies on the second unit.

  69. I believe that playing Vildoza, DRose, IQ and a PG who we draft should be plenty for the position. We might bring Burks back too, who can fill in there.

  70. We need a starting PG and a legitimate #1 option to take the burden off Randle and RJ. Both of them are being asked to do more than their current skillset allows. That may not be true for RJ next year, but he’s almost certainly not going to be a legitimate #1 option. He’ll just add to his game and be a better player.

    IMO we shouldn’t plan a strategy. We have to see who and what is available first. There may be some surprises. I have no problem with trading our picks to move up or as part of a deal as long as it’s for a player that fills one of those needs well. Maybe we can fill one of those needs this off season and keep working on the other. Maybe we can fill both and maybe neither. But we know what we need. We want to keep ourselves in a good position to fill those needs. No panic buying and no more role players unless it’s a short term contract or such an attractive contract it can be used as part of a value/team enhancing deal later.

  71. It would also be a great idea to look and see if we can facilitate any deals for stars with our cap space to add a decent role player or two as well.

  72. okay then NetsTown, story time, if you please…

    just curious, what’s up with the Nets “Town” reference on a knicks site…obviously your a knicks’ fan – why have the nets thing in your name?

  73. jazzfunk:
    Screw the Mavs and their look how smart we are trading for KP selves.

    Hahahahaha…. ya know I had a similar thought in that the Mavs are seen as one of these forward-thinking Western Conference teams while the Knicks have been, well, yanno. That’s begun to change, but it makes me happy that we ended up winning the KP trade before said perception change began. As someone else mentioned, at the time of the trade, the KB/P&T community were the only places you’d find folks saying that we made out decently.

    And good for the Mavs for getting their generational player in Doncic, but yeah they’re losing big value on Porzingis right now.

  74. Btw, happy belated to BigBlueAl (wtf is wrong w/our Yankee offense?) and cybersoze!

  75. I saw Ayo described as Elfrid-like. Is he Elfrid-like?

    certainly not out of college…. they are basically inverses of each other…. payton was more slippery and calling card was transition and defense in college…. ayo scores at all three levels with a decently varied toolkit… both aren’t tremendous athletes but ayo is both bigger and has way more verticality to his game…

    i’ve seen the comps also in some places but i don’t think the people making it haven’t really seen either play…. and you really only need to throw up a youtube clip to see it…

  76. I would be perfectly happy with this team next year:

    1st Unit: IQ, RJ, Bullock, Randle, Mitch
    2nd Unit: Rose, Ayo, Toppin, Taj, and another wing, either a short term vet signing or our other rookie

    We probably won’t get the 4 seed again, but we’ll remain competitive and we’ll keep the player development train chugging.

  77. If Ayo can shoot threes at even a below average clip he’ll have edged Payton already.

  78. JK47:

    I’d rather have a stable, competitive team that improves incrementally and grows organically. Trying to beat the Nets with a Dame/Julius core seems a lot like trying to beat the Heat with a Melo/Stoudemire core. You’ll fall short and at the end you’ll be back at the bottom of the hill rolling the boulder up again.

    Agreed.
    Here’s where you can argue that the team going belly-up on the Knox and [redacted] picks (btw I find it hilarious that this is his new nickname/moniker) hinders the Knicks from striking this kind of deal right now. Thankfully, the cupboard isn’t bare like it was in 2017 or ’18, and the Knicks have installed a system that can develop young players w/out them needing to be near-generational studs.

    Hubert: when you asked me about how I’d handle Randle going fwd, I said I’d basically tell him, “hey you were awesome this season – now go do it again”. In several ways, I’d say the similarly to Thibs: “you did great with the guys we gave you – do it again next year bc we need to keep drafting young guys that will improve our talent base.”

  79. Is peak KB to call Dame a stat-stuffer that doesn’t make his teammates better (he just averaged 10.2 AST in a 7 game playoff series) and doesn’t play winning basketball, or what?

  80. Well, Strat just literally copied and pasted the exact same post only a few posts away from each other up above, which is certainly Peak Strat.

    Talk about empty St(r)at stuffing…

  81. The Infamous Cdiggy: btw I find it hilarious that this is his new nickname/moniker

    Yeah, it is. :D
    I went from being mad every time i read his name to smiling every time i read “[redacted]”. ;)

  82. Here’s a question for you: would you trade Randle for McCollum if you were the Blazers? What about if you were the Knicks?

    Yes to the first, probably no to the second. Randle is a much better complement for Dame than McCollum is. I like McCollum, but I’d need to see a lot more from young Obi before I’m ready to ship Randle out in the process.

  83. geo:
    okay then NetsTown, story time, if you please…

    just curious, what’s up with the Nets “Town” reference on a knicks site…obviously your a knicks’ fan – why have the nets thing in your name?

    geo, it was just meant as a joke. I’ll change it back to DudesTown now.

  84. Donnie Walsh: Here’s a question for you: would you trade Randle for McCollum if you were the Blazers? What about if you were the Knicks?

    Straight up? Hell no, CJ is owed 100M in the next 3 years.
    But Julius for CJ + Simons + 1x 1RP, i think i’d do it.
    The Blazers would do it in a heartbeat, because as Alan says Dame and Julius are a great core to build upon.

  85. cybersoze:
    Is peak KB to call Dame a stat-stuffer that doesn’t make his teammates better (he just averaged 10.2 AST in a 7 game playoff series) and doesn’t play winning basketball, or what?

    IMO, assists are not a great measure of how much better you are making your teammates. To me, making your teammates better is about making passes that lead to much higher quality shots than your teammates would otherwise get. Almost any good ball handler will get 5-6 assists if they handle the ball all the time and have a few good shooters on the team. Very few of them create super high quality shots for teammates or consistently find the open man if doubled.

    That’s what Jokic does. He makes passes that no one else in the league could make and they lead to some much higher quality shots than his teammates would get from anyone else.

  86. I’m not a fan of any of the super high usage scorer/ball handlers that don’t defend, don’t actually make their teammates better with their assists, and try to do everything themselves. The “fans” love these guys and assume they just need better teammates to win, but I see it the other way around. IMO, their ball dominance hurts purposeful ball and player movement, hurts some teammates, and gets disappointing results. (it does get accolades, big contracts, and media/fan worship though)

    In case the rest of you were wondering:

    O-LEBRON: 3rd
    VORP: 5th
    OBPM: 3rd
    RPM: 7th (according to CraftedNBA)
    RAPTOR: 13th

    (This is not at all an endorsement of selling the farm for the end of Lillard’s prime, but… haha.)

  87. NetsDudesTown: geo, it was just meant as a joke. I’ll change it back to DudesTown now.

    We won’t be happy until you change to KnicksTown, right geo? :D

  88. Raven:
    Well, Strat just literally copied and pasted the exact same post only a few posts away from each other up above, which is certainly Peak Strat.

    Talk about empty St(r)at stuffing…

    The first one was held up “awaiting confirmation”. So I changed a few words and reposted it hoping whatever flagged it went away. The second one went through. Someone must have released the original. Don’t you have anything better to do?

  89. The Honorable Cock Jowles: In case the rest of you were wondering:

    O-LEBRON: 3rd
    VORP: 5th
    OBPM: 3rd
    RPM: 7th (according to CraftedNBA)
    RAPTOR: 13th

    (This is not at all an endorsement of selling the farm for the end of Lillard’s prime, but… haha.)

    Lebron is a great defender when engaged and healthy, always made all his teammates wildly better with spectacular passes, always found the open man when doubled, and often allowed teammates like young Kyre or Wade runs things for awhile. He’s the antithesis of what I was describing. I’d say “good try” , but it wasn’t.

    I’m describing guys like Lillard, Harden in Houston with CP3, Doncic in his youth now, and Westbrook. All incredible talents, but I’m not a fan of how they play. You can change stripes though. Trae Young is learning fast and Harden played smarter with Durant/Kyrie than he did with CP3.

  90. Deeefense: Don’t you have anything better to do?

    We are all daily readers and commenters on a basketball blog, whinging about the decisions of a multi-billion-dollar corporation that would ban us from the stadium if we criticized the owner’s shitty blues band. There is no such question as “don’t you have anything better to do,” here. The answer is a resounding “no.”

  91. The Honorable Cock Jowles,

    Lebron is a great defender when engaged and healthy. He always made his teammates wildly better with spectacular passes, always found the open man when doubled, and often allowed teammates like young Kyre or Wade runs things for awhile. He’s the antithesis of what I was describing.

    I’m describing guys like Lillard, Harden in Houston with CP3, Doncic in his youth now, and Westbrook. All incredible talents, but I’m not a fan of how they play. You can change stripes though. Trae Young is learning fast and Harden was playing smarter with Durant/Kyrie than he did with CP3.

  92. The Honorable Cock Jowles: We are all daily readers and commenters on a basketball blog, whinging about the decisions of a multi-billion-dollar corporation that would ban us from the stadium if we criticized the owner’s shitty blues band. There is no such question as “don’t you have anything better to do,” here. The answer is a resounding “no.”

    LOL!
    There’s life beyond the Knicks?? :D

  93. The thing about Thibs COTY award is that I think after he won it the first time he finished 2nd or 3rd the following year (or soon after) and had another top 5 finish. He was in the conversation several times and is now one of the very few to have won 2.

  94. There is no such question as “don’t you have anything better to do,” here. The answer is a resounding “no.”

    According to my phone’s screen time aggregator, there was a 400% increase in the time I spent playing online backgammon while I was on a KB break.

    So yeah, it’s a no for me, dawg.

  95. cybersoze: We won’t be happy until you change to KnicksTown, right geo? :D

    I’ll do it. I want everyone happy here, if it’s possible.

  96. DudeInKnicksTown: Is this any better?

    It’s perfect! But i was just kidding, the username doesn’t matter, what matters is the person behind it, and you’re a cool dude, so nothing else matters… (and now Kirk Hammett starts playing guitar… LOL)

  97. Hubert: According to my phone’s screen time aggregator, there was a 400% increase in the time I spent playing online backgammon while I was on a KB break.

    Are you winning? :P

  98. I wouldn’t trade Randle for McCollum bc I just don’t like McCollum. But…

    If Randle turns down our extension offer this summer, as expected, don’t you have to begin to quietly work the phones?

    It’s not quite the KP situation bc Randle is valuable to a good team. But a 5 year, $200mm deal starting at age 28 for him is not something I want.

  99. Attack of the Trolls Part 97352:

    I had another department Zoom mtg a little earlier today. Naturally, the trolls (sans the AD for once) tried to come at me with their lil Julius Randle derogatories (yeah I just made that word up lol), but I clapped back. First, with the Randle KIA MIP graphic in my background, and then when one of them responded with an Isiah Thomas pic (talk about someone who really needs to be [redacted]), I upped the ante with the AD as Mr. Glass meme pic (go download that one if you haven’t already – it’s hilarious). That caused my dept secretary (a non-trolling Laker fan) to groan and say, “awwwww you know what, C?” I responded, “I’ll stop it when you tell [the trolls] to stop; y’all don’t realize that for once I have real ammo now!”

    They all chilled out after that, haha!

  100. Deeefense: Lebron is a great defender when engaged and healthy. He always made his teammates wildly better with spectacular passes, always found the open man when doubled, and often allowed teammates like young Kyre or Wade runs things for awhile. He’s the antithesis of what I was describing.

    Yeah, and LeBron is either the 1a or 1b greatest player of the modern era. I’d like to trade for 2009 LeBron. Alas–

    I’m describing guys like Lillard, Harden in Houston with CP3, Doncic in his youth now, and Westbrook. All incredible talents, but I’m not a fan of how they play. You can change stripes though. Trae Young is learning fast and Harden was playing smarter with Durant/Kyrie than he did with CP3.

    Just because you don’t like watching the very intentional 5-out D’antoni PNR offense (whose reins he shared with Paul) doesn’t mean Harden didn’t pass the ball when doubled. Westbrook has led the league in assists three different times and played next to Durant during his scoring title days. Doncic had 14, 14, 11, 11, 9, 7 and 6 assists in his playoff games this year. Last year he had 13, 10, 9, 9, 7 and 4.

    Why do you say this about these particular guys, with four assist titles (Doncic is a near lock to get one someday) and a million triple-doubles between them? Why did you pick the most indefensible argument to mount against some of the league’s most willing passers? Where’s Kawhi on your list of guys who don’t share the ball?

  101. The leaders in minutes on the Blazers after Dame were, in order:

    Robert Covington
    Enes Kanter
    Carmelo Anthony
    CJ McCollum
    Derrick Jones Jr
    Gary Trent Jr
    Anfernee Simmons

    That was the #2 offense in the NBA despite Dame supposedly not “moving the ball” enough.

  102. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Why do you say this about these particular guys, with four assist titles (Doncic is a near lock to get one someday) and a million triple-doubles between them? Why did you pick the most indefensible argument to mount against some of the league’s most willing passers? Where’s Kawhi on your list of guys who don’t share the ball?

    There is some point there about being very unidirectional. Luka has the ball, and when he passes, the other players have to shoot. Luka having half the assists of his team in playoffs means that there is little ball movement outside of him. To further prove this point, the Mavericks are one of the worse teams in AST per 100 possesions, as was Harden and Paul’s Rockets, or Westbrook’s Thunder.

  103. I find myself in agreement with the concept that just because a player generates lots of assists doesn’t mean he moves the ball, or makes other players better, or is fun to watch, or is a winner. Once that usage% gets up into the mid-30s it gets hard to justify it unless his teammates are really lacking. Whether Doncic, Harden, Westbrook, Iverson, Melo, Kobe, or LeBron, that 35 usage% is a red flag. Either the player is selfish or his teammates are bad.

    This is especially true at the highest level, where it is an assumption that the team has a lot of offensive options. Can you imagine replacing Magic with Harden or Bird with Doncic and those teams improving? I can’t.

  104. Next question:

    Which roster would win more games over an 82 game season:

    A) 2021 Dallas Mavericks without Doncic
    B) 2021 Portland Trailblazers without Lillard

  105. or

    C) 2021 New York Knicks without Randle.

    (Not suggesting Randle’s on par with Doncic or Lillard — just wondering how the rest of the team fares…)

  106. I would not trade Randle for McCollum, because he is younger, healthier, bigger, cheaper (even if he signs an extension this summer) and plays better defense. The Knicks can fill their backcourt void without giving up Randle.

    Please remember that Randle’s “Max” extension is only 120% of next year’s salary — so he could only make $26M in 2022-23. That is below the 25% Max for players coming off of Rookie salary scale, let alone the 30% Max for Qualifying Free Agents (players who won All-NBA honors, MVP or DPOY) coming off of Rookie Scale or players with 7-9 years experience. It is a lot less than the 35% Max that players with 10+ years experience can get.

    McCollum is going to make $30.8M next year, while Randle will make $20.9M.
    If Randle signs an extension for 2022-23, he will make $26M while McCollum will make $33.3M.

  107. Derrick Rose finished 9th in the MVP vote. Ahead of Kawhi, LeBron, and Harden lol.

    I’m guessing Wilbon gave him that 1st place ballot.

  108. ephus, the consensus expectation is that Randle will turn down that extension so he can sign for more money after next season. If he does that, he could get a 5 year, $201mm max.

    I think Randle at $26mm AAV poses some risk but I would probably still make that offer. Randle at a $40mm AAV is a very hard no for me.

  109. Doc Rivers has made a subtle and effective change early. He has Tobias Harris leaking out early when the Hawks launch a shot. Since Trae Young is the floor balance, that has led to two easy, early baskets for Harris. This works because Simmons (who is guarding Young) crashes the defensive boards effectively.

  110. Hubert: ephus, the consensus expectation is that Randle will turn down that extension so he can sign for more money after next season. If he does that, he could get a 5 year, $201mm max.

    I think Randle at $26mm AAV poses some risk but I would probably still make that offer. Randle at a $40mm AAV is a very hard no for me.

      

    (Quot

    If Randle signs a Max Extension this summer, it would be 4 years/$116M (starting in 2022-23) on top of the $20.9M he is owed for next year. I am comfortable making that investment based on this season, including the poor playoffs.

    If Randle does not sign an extension this summer, then he could get the 5 year/$201M package next summer. But, the Knicks will have an entire additional season to judge whether Randle is worth the money. If he repeats as an All-Star (let alone an All-NBA selection), it would not be an overpay to give him the 30% Max (5 years/$201M).

    There are a lot of scenarios. Jeremy Cohen did a great job of breaking them down here.

  111. Yeah, Randle’s gotta take the ’21 summer max or it’s time to start working the phones hard. No way he’s worth $40M/year.

    Z hit on it; the secular increase in USG% in the modern era is a good proxy for the ball-dominant high assist guy who really doesn’t move the ball that much and very well may be anchoring a selfish/ball stopping offense overall. It’s not a perfect fit, but it does fit some of the people on the list people have made. The fact that so many assists are now available on kick outs to 3 also skew the numbers and the interpretation. That pass used to rarely generate assists and was barely even part of the game.

  112. Ben Simmons is the most confounding player in today’s NBA. He is a bad free throw shooter, a poor 2 point shooter and literally refusesJ to take 3s. Even with all of that, he is a very good offensive player because of his ability to get into the paint and create shots at the rim for himself and spray the ball to teammates. He is a truly great defender who actually can defend all 5 positions. He is the best choice against Trae Young. If Philly makes the Finals against Denver (to give the starkest example), he would be my first choice to defend Jokic.

  113. If he repeats as an All-Star (let alone an All-NBA selection), it would not be an overpay to give him the 30% Max (5 years/$201M).

    It’s not an overpay, but I still think it’s a terrible deal. Kinda like how a Lamborghini is worth $250k but that doesn’t mean I need to buy one.

  114. Getting Tobias Harris into transition has been a huge difference for Philly. Embiid continues to dominate. The Hawks make up ground when Howard substitutes for Embiid.

    Trae Young has basically been shut down by the tag team of Simmons and Thybulle.

  115. Simmons D’d up Trae in the half court and Trae looked as spooked as Randle staring at Capela. Literally the next play Trae adjusted and got down the court faster than Simmons, setting up an easy dunk for Capela. Next play down Simmons matched his pace down the court and forced Trae to give ball up.

    Man, what a matchup.

  116. i am probably the only guy in new york who thinks this … but this sixers squad is really fun to watch….

  117. Wow what a finish to the half by Atlanta

    I think if Huerter wasn’t a goofy looking redhead he’d get a lot more love from non-Hawks fans.

  118. Getting way ahead of myself here but the Hawks making the ECFs sure would be validating for our guys. Does anyone else find Huerter infinitely more hatable than Trae?

  119. From down 18, the Hawks slowly got back to within 2 at the half. They’re really a tough team to beat.

  120. Hubert:
    Joel Embiid is a free agent in 2023, FYI.

    If Embiid makes an All-NBA team this year (certain) and next year, he will be eligible for 35% Max Extension long before he becomes a free agent. His situation is different than Kawhi/AD, who could not get the 35% Max Extension because they were traded from their original teams.

  121. Does anyone else find Huerter infinitely more hatable than Trae?

    after the shit he pulled with noel’s foot and how he acted afterward… he deserved a punch in the face….

  122. Sixers just win the game at the end of that quarter, with those four free throws and the Shake three. Huge swing

  123. Let me be the latest to admit that the success that Atlanta is having against Philly has made me retrospectively feel better about losing to them in the first round.

  124. Which roster would win more games over an 82 game season:

    A) 2021 Dallas Mavericks without Doncic
    B) 2021 Portland Trailblazers without Lillard

    as least the mavs have brunson to run the point…even though you said “roster”, i’d count carlisle in to the equation too…

  125. i must be starting to get the hang of this remote work stuff, i almost thought it was saturday night for a moment (still thinking of shock g :)…that may say more about my saturday nights though…

    once had a job in semi-conductor manufacturing where i was covering a team going 24/7…ended up working a lot, all different times of the day and night and different days…wasn’t a very healthy thing…

    now though, just work more in the evenings then before, a little on the weekend…

  126. Great block by Gobert for the win, but I feel that Morris bailed him out by not drawing a foul on his first closeout. A savvy offensive player would have gone to the line for 3 to tie there.

  127. I may be in the minority here, but I wonder if it’s time to consider that Ben Simmons might be a tad overrated. Wait wait..I’m not saying he’s not good. It’s just that for a while most people have been saying he’s in that upper echelon of players. But I haven’t seem his elite talent show in a while. He’s still not as aggressive on offensive as you’d like, though he’s great defensively. Also, where’s the improvements that elite players make year to year? I just don’t see it. You would think that with the kind of season Embiid has had, Philly would be running through teams with a 2nd option as talented as Simmons. I’m just sayin, I don’t think he’s living up to the hype. Does he need a change of scenery?

  128. Can the Warriors pull off a trade for Dame? A small ball backcourt of Dame + Steph + Klay would probably bring the Warriors back to title contention. If they all can keep healthy. A big if, i know.
    Dame is from Oakland and grew up a Warriors fan. Just sayin’.

  129. Depends on how much trade value Wiseman has and where the Wolves pick lands after the lottery drawling, Cyber. But the Warriors are definitely the kind of team that should go all-in for a Dame-level player while Curry is still this great. My only question is the same one asked about the nets circa the Harden trade: does having that many elite guys with similar skillsets diminish them at some point? It, as we’ve seen with the nets, does it just insure you against inevitable injuries?

  130. Macri newsletter today has a good breakdown of Sexton as a trade candidate, and why the Knicks should stay away unless they’re basically getting him for free. (And even then, he’ll cost a ton in salary very soon.)

  131. There is a promotion running with the Tencent app – NBA’s streaming partner in China, where you get a year of NBA subscription for about $50… with a catch. You pick one of the 8 teams to win the title after subscribing, and after the finals, if you get it right, the app will refund the first 10K pickers their $50. So here is the data I see after one day in this promotion:

    Nets – full 10K filled
    Bucks – 4783
    Clippers – 4073
    76ers – 3511
    Denver – 2521
    Hawks – 1801
    Jazz – 1723
    Suns – 1709

    I went with the Nets because I will renew anyway, and it looks like they really are look too good at the moment.
    Suns number is definitely too low. Maybe fans are holding a grudge for eliminating the Lakers.
    With the subscription you can switch to original english broadcast! (except for no 76er games) Knick Fan not in NJ might worth a try.

  132. Meanwhile..
    Every time I see DeAndre Ayton out there lookin like Hustlin Raymond lol
    *Ayton gets the ball in the post*
    Me: Raymond is that you?
    Ayton(in my mind): Naw naw this ain’t Raymond..naw!

  133. Kawhi might start to get pretty tired of Playoff P if the Clips lose a few more to the Jazz.

    Hey Kawhi, come to NY, we’ve got Playoff J!

  134. Totes – I don’t really know that Simmons is rated that highly given the clear flaws in his game. It seems like the public evaluation of him is about right. One of the best, most versatile defenders in the NBA who can generate offense through transition, drives, and passing. Very good player who won’t ever be one of the handful of elite players. I think you can win a championship with him though just because he is so versatile and can combine so easily with other star players.

    Paul George had an ugly line last night and Kawhi didn’t put the imprint on this game that he did in the Mavs series. Watched most of the third quarter and it was pretty damn exciting. Going to be a fun one.

  135. Nate Bjorkgren fired. Maybe they’ll get D’Antoni this time. Although he might get one of the open gigs.

  136. Joinone, thanks for the tip. I will check it out. And I agree with you, the Suns are too low. The Jazz probably are too.

  137. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    Attack of the Trolls Part 97352:

    I had another department Zoom mtg a little earlier today. Naturally, the trolls (sans the AD for once) tried to come at me with their lil Julius Randle derogatories (yeah I just made that word up lol), but I clapped back. First, with the Randle KIA MIP graphic in my background, and then when one of them responded with an Isiah Thomas pic (talk about someone who really needs to be [redacted]), I upped the ante with the AD as Mr. Glass meme pic (go download that one if you haven’t already – it’s hilarious). That caused my dept secretary (a non-trolling Laker fan) to groan and say, “awwwww you know what, C?” I responded, “I’ll stop it when you tell [the trolls] to stop; y’all don’t realize that for once I have real ammo now!”

    They all chilled out after that, haha!

    Someone really came at you with Isiah Thomas? Shouldn’t there be an expiration date on that? I mean, at least come at you with Phil Jackson as POBO or something.
    :-)

  138. Brian Cronin: Nate Bjorkgren fired. Maybe they’ll get D’Antoni this time. Although he might get one of the open gigs.

    Since the coaching carousel has started to turn — I wonder who Kidd is banking on signing with. Even given the Blazers’ struggles and the difficulty of turning that roster around with so much money allocated, it would seem pretty crazy to turn down a head coaching job for a franchise with an MVP candidate under contract. Of the contenders, I don’t see any with a coaching shakeup in the works. Even if Bud got fired, Kidd will never be welcome in MIL again. What’s the point of holding out? What situation is a better “fit?”

  139. Jowles, I think part of it may depend on whether Kidd again has designs on trying to amass power for himself or not. Olshey might be vulnerable if things go south in Portland, but that seems like a situation where ownership would make a clean sweep and start over. If Kidd is just looking at his options from a standpoint of where he thinks he can win the most games, then I feel like Boston is the place, even with an untested GM and some roster problems.

  140. I wonder if Boy Genius is smart enough to avoid Kidd like the fucking plague.

  141. I’m not in the Lakers locker room, and maybe Kidd has actually turned over a new leaf and stopped being the NBA’s version of Littlefinger. But it wasn’t hard to read all those laudatory Frank Vogel quotes as him begging someone to please get that backstabber away from him.

  142. I completely dismissed LAL as contenders. Of course that’s Kidd’s plan — wait it out another year and rise up to manage the Lakers. Mother fucking Littlefinger.

  143. As others have noted above, the simplest explanation for why Jason Kidd joined the Lakers coaching staff is that he wants to be the coach of the Lakers. I would be surprised if Vogel were in jeopardy this off season, but if the Lakers fall short again next year, a coaching change would be likely. If Lebron wanted Kidd, he would get him.

  144. Is getting yourself in line to be the next Lakers coach really that sweet a gig? I feel like this year emphasized pretty starkly that they need both Lebron and AD healthy to be title contenders but Lebron is about to be 37 and AD is pretty much never healthy. In the short term, sure, they could probably win the title next year if things break right, but in the medium term I think I might rather coach Portland. As we all saw this year with Thibs coaches can have a big impact on defense (although they have serious limitations from a personnel perspective) and if they could just figure out the D they could jump up a couple tiers. Things always work out for the Lakers I guess but figuring out how to transition out of being totally reliant on an aging Lebron over the next few years is going to be realy difficult I think.

  145. If we’re recycling coaches, I love the idea of MDA in Portland. They play his style and they have an all NBA PG. Indiana is nice for him too, but he’d wanna get rid of one of Sabonis or Turner, so I’m not as sold on that job for him. Come to think of it..Portland and Indiana probably want an established coach. If not for that, I’d say hire someone’s top assistant. You know what I’m intrigued by? What happens to Clifford. He may be what Portland needs if they keep the roster together. He’s good for Boston too, I think.

    So that’s Portland, Boston, Indiana, and Orlando all in need of a new coach, right? Sacto should be added to that list, but they are stubbornly stupid.

  146. We managed to avoid having college teams raid our assistant coaching roster, but I wonder if Bryant or Payne might be in line for one of those openings. I hope not, because both feel kind of crucial to Leon’s star-hunting plans.

  147. @ShamsCharania
    Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter is out for the season and will undergo meniscus surgery.

    Rough for Atlanta.

  148. Hoop Central
    @TheHoopCentral
    REPORT: Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics both want a “breakup,” via
    @Farbod_E

    I like Kemba Walker, but between that contract and continuing knee issues we can do without him in NY even though he’d be a good fit if 100% healthy.

    This looks like a very good opportunity for Boston and Dallas to talk.

    Both Kemba and KP want out, both have tough contracts to move, and both have some lingering knee issues. A little tweaking could get that deal done.

  149. I’m not sure why any high level coach would want that Portland job. If they couldn’t get it done this year they are probably closer to total rebuild than a championship.

  150. KP worked out so great in Dallas that the only way they can rid themselves of his final three years is to take on a contract that is almost as toxic.

    Sounds familiar! Glad it’s somebody else and more us!

    #Knicksy

  151. Watching Embiid play this year has been like using a time machine to take myself back to an era when big men used their physical attributes to dominate. When he’s healthy and in shape (unfortunately one or the other is usually not the case) he’s a truly great two way player. We need the 76ers to win a title just so other big men and teams realize you can win with an old style dominant big and we inject some diversity back into the sport.

  152. TheClashFan: Someone really came at you with Isiah Thomas? Shouldn’t there be an expiration date on that?I mean, at least come at you with Phil Jackson as POBO or something.
    :-)

    1. Phil Jackson is known as a Laker coaching legend so they probably wouldn’t go that route.
    2. His failings didn’t hit the same way as Isiah’s i.e. turn into late night talk show fodder.
    3. It’d be easier (read: more trollish) for them to say “the Knicks are so bad even Phil Jackson couldn’t turn them around”. No way they would’ve cared to pay enough attention to know how Phil contributed to the team failures and why he couldn’t turn them around.

    I’d go even more metta and say that you’d think that Isiah being a Piston, it’d be easier for Laker fans to find a reason to clown. But my observation…
    A. I guess what’s one or two Finals’ losses when you have 17?
    B. The one troll in particular wasn’t yet born when Detroit beat LA for the title.
    C. It’s just not in most LA people’s nature to hold sports grudges they way we do (except maybe in HS sports b/c shit’s real out here). LA doesn’t do “long-suffering sports fan” because they’ll just emotionally disengage and go to the beach if their team isn’t good/great. Sure, the Dodgers still have the Giants as rivals but it’s NO WHERE close to Yankees/Red Sox. USC/UCLA will always be rivals, although I feel has been muted lately b/c UCLA hasn’t had a really good football or basketball team in a minute), and Laker fans will probably always hate the Celtics.

  153. thenamestsam:
    Is getting yourself in line to be the next Lakers coach really that sweet a gig? I feel like this year emphasized pretty starkly that they need both Lebron and AD healthy to be title contenders but Lebron is about to be 37 and AD is pretty much never healthy. In the short term, sure, they could probably win the title next year if things break right, but in the medium term I think I might rather coach Portland. As we all saw this year with Thibs coaches can have a big impact on defense (although they have serious limitations from a personnel perspective) and if they could just figure out the D they could jump up a couple tiers. Things always work out for the Lakers I guess but figuring out how to transition out of being totally reliant on an aging Lebron over the next few years is going to be realy difficult I think.

    I said this a few threads back: The Lakers need to transition from LeBron or LeBron/AD’s team to AD first the way the Heat needed to transition from Wade or Wade/LeBron to LeBron first if they want to remain title favorites. With saying that, I could see Portland hoping that a few tweaks here or there around Dame will at least get them back into the WCF, because there probably won’t be a truly dominant (i.e. 00’s Lakers or mid- 2010’s Dubs) WC team on the horizon for at least another year.

  154. for some reason – i now feel compelled to defend petyr baelish…truth be told, i haven’t thought about that “world” in a long while, but, at some time, i’m gonna circle back on this…

    i know i’ll never read A Dream of Spring, i’ve become increasingly skeptical on The Winds of Winter, i will say, it would be a nice christmas gift to myself though…c’mon grrm, if the knicks can get the 4th seed, you most certianly can shit out another 800 pages or so of asoiaf…he already had 150 pages written that didn’t go in books 4 or 5 in the series…

    give us the battle of meereen already…and fuck you for teasing us with ice spiders, as big as hounds

  155. JK47:
    KP worked out so great in Dallas that the only way they can rid themselves of his final three years is to take on a contract that is almost as toxic.

    Sounds familiar! Glad it’s somebody else and more us!
    #Knicksy

    Unfortunately for him (and Dallas), he’s a terrible fit on both sides of the ball the way they play.

    The major problem this year was his defense. He has either temporarily or permanently lost a step of quickness and leaping ability on defense. That does not work well with Doncic and Hardaway. He was supposed to bail them out defensively like last year. He became an additional liability. He better work on his body again this off season.

    However, he had far and away his best season on offense this year despite no off season work, no camp, and a horrendous start in January off the injury. Unfortunately for him he was often used as a floor spacer.

    I remember someone in the Melo camp whining about the way D’Antoni was using Melo. He basically said, “If you are going to use a player like Melo to space the floor, you should have just kept Gallo”.

    If Dallas just wants someone to stand in the corner to create space for Doncic, they’d be better off with Gallo. He’d be cheaper. Then they could look for a defensive minded C (like Noel) to back up their non existent defense.

    You don’t pay the max to a 7’3″ player that can score inside off offensive rebounds, cuts, and occasional lobs, that can shoot over small men inside, and that can make 3s from an extended 3 point line to stand in the corner or 10 feet past the 3 point line to space the floor and then complain he’s not scoring enough. lol You get a low usage sharpshooter.

    He can’t exactly do much about getting out of there though given his salary, injury history, and the fact that he was already a malcontent in NY. It would be best for everyone if they moved him though.

  156. So many excuses for the oh so talented and wonderful unicorn.

    Maybe, like all of us have been saying, he’s just not that good. Certainly not max contract material.

    Take the L for once.

  157. I actually think Kemba could be a good fit if Boston is mostly just looking to dump his salary. The knee is definitely concerning but this was a particularly brutal year to be trying to manage any kind of nagging injury – they played late into the bubble last year and then with the abbreviated schedule this year and Boston dealing with so many other issues I think it’s a little premature to write him off. He still was producing at his prime level as recently as last year. He has one year and a player option left on his deal, it’s not a slam dunk but the other options we’re talking about in free agency are also fliers to some extent – too old, injury issues, etc. Would you feel comfortable giving Kemba a 1+1 for big money if he was a free agent? Seems to me like that’s comparable with the other options and maybe better in some ways. I’d at least look into it.

  158. I’d have to check out his health but I wouldn’t hate acquiring Kemba if he came with picks. The AAV is high but the length is perfect.

  159. “KP is a terrible fit on defense because he’s now a liability on defense” is a hell of a defense of him as a player lol

  160. Two recent mock drafts, one at NBC Sports and the other at USA Today Sports.
    NBC Sports has us taking Usman Garuba (an european prospect with high potential, but he’s a center so doesn’t make sense) and Jaden Springer, passing on Butler, Cooper and Dosunmo.
    USA Today Sports has us taking Cameron Thomas (don’t know much about this guy) and Tre Mann, passing on Butler and Cooper.

  161. I’m assuming Boston knows it has to give up picks for Kemba, right? And there won’t be many takers with tons of cap space. So how about this trade:

    Celtics get: Lucas Vildoza, the 21st pick

    Knicks get: Kemba, the 16th pick, and a lottery protected future 1st

  162. actually we probably wouldn’t throw Luca in, I was being generous. But for a future 1st and moving up 5 spots in this draft, I would do it. Kemba and Rose are a perfectly fine 2 year stopgap solution while we keep using all our picks and stockpiling assets.

  163. Kemba has been putting up 4.0 BPM seasons like clockwork before this last season so he seems like a reasonable bounce back candidate. If they’re throwing in assets I’d consider it.

  164. I think getting Kemba takes the Knicks away from the 2022-2023 FA class (he would never opt out of this contract). He has a 15% trade kicker, so his salary would be over $40m then. Hard pass, especially with those knee issues.

  165. marechal:
    I think getting Kemba takes the Knicks away from the 2022-2023 FA class (he would never opt out of this contract). He has a 15% trade kicker, so his salary would be over $40m then. Hard pass, especially with those knee issues.

    Oh wait, I did the contract math wrong, I didn’t realize he runs through 2023. Yeah okay that’s a no.

  166. I knew it was two years but didn’t know about the kicker. That’s a tough contract. I doubt they’d give up the amount of assets I’d want to take it on.

    The extra year doesn’t bother me bc I see 2023 as a more realistic year to plan for a star than next summer.

  167. A lot of names flying around that for various reasons (unreliability, overrating, injury history, bloated contracts, assets cost, locker room stability) make me cringe…

  168. As was probably to be expected (it’s hard to get consensus so low in the draft) different mocks have us picking a wide spectrum of players…

    The real draft will never come fast enough …

  169. Cam Thomas is an interesting prospect. I am fairly anti-Cam because he does literally nothing but score. It’s easy to see in both the numbers in the tape. He simply does not bring anything else to the table. I’ll always be hesitant about guys like that even if it occasionally leads me to be wrong about the Immanuels Quickley of the world because they have nothing to fall back on if they can’t cut it as high-usage guys in the NBA.

    …but oh boy, does he score. He projects as a good shooter and I actually think he’s a good finisher despite the meh 2PT%–his 2PT% took on a lot of water from ill-advised/role based long twos. His FG% around the rim was 64%, which was similar to Suggs’, and that was with only 21% of those looks being assisted.

    He’s the kind of prospect I wouldn’t draft, but I’d be somewhat excited if we drafted. I think there’s a possibility he could be the #2 scorer on a contender and that is seldom found where we’re picking.

    He could also be Malik Monk though. So there’s that.

  170. Kemba’s contract pretty much takes us out of the running for major free agents before we have to pay Randle. We would have to be compensated insanely (i.e. unrealistically) well for me to think that was worth it. I would wish Brad Stevens the absolute best of luck in dealing with that situation and stay away.

  171. I understand that Walt, Pistol Pete, the Big O, the Mailman and Wilt are all in negotiations with Leon Rose,

  172. Uzman Garuba would definitely increase the gap between us and the next All-Name Team contender.

    The thing is, we need help all over the roster. We need a real starting point guard. We need more help on the wing. We may need more help at center depending on what happens with Noel and/or Mitch. Basically the only position where we don’t really need depth is at power forward, and even there it wouldn’t hurt to have a better stretch-4 option than Kevin freaking Knox. Obviously, some of this help is going to come in free agency, and perhaps some in trades. But given that this draft seems like it has a lot of high-floor role player depth, I’d really like to keep those first three picks if we can. Even if not all of those guys play this year, they might the year after, like how the Raptors do it with guys like Flynn.

    The only guys we definitely have under contract (if we want them) for next season are, IIRC, Mitch, Randle, RJ, Quickley, Toppin, Vildoza, Norvel Pelle, and Knox. Even if we bring them all back (which I don’t think we will, that’s half a roster to fill.

  173. with as many roster spots we have open… and the picks we have… if we start consolidating/trading picks… we’re probably signing a lot of free agents….

    if i had to guess we’ll probably sign one big money FA1 .. either a pg (cp3, lowry or the dinwiddie/payne tier) or a wing (powell/fournier)…. then bring back rose or bullock on a medium deal depending on who our big haul is… then bring back Taj on a cheapie… that leaves 2-3 guys for basically depth in the rotation…. potentially one pg, one wing and one C prospect to either backup Mitch or stay in the gleague and give Taj minutes…

    if we’re consolidating/trading/punting on picks.. that probably means we’re bringing in another free agent on top of that which i can’t believe will be more than a one-year deal given what we’ll be spending on big FA1 and rose/bullock…. if it’s not.. then that would potentially be at least three more multiyear deals and all of a sudden 2022 cap room starts depleting pretty quickly…. even if it’s a one-year deal i feel that’s such a waste when you can use it on a draft pick….

    so yea… if we want to start reading tea leaves i think trading/consolidating picks will signal some big spending this offseason and i would be afraid if that happens….

  174. I imagine that the Knicks may talk to Charlotte about Terry Rozier. The Hornets seem intent upon giving LaMelo Ball the starting PG role. Rozier is not going to be happy coming off of the bench in the last year of his contract.

    The Hornets have a void at center. Mitchell Robinson for Terry Rozer would work under the salary cap, because both teams have a lot of cap space. Alternatively, there could be a three team deal with the Knicks contributing their two first round picks and Charlotte packaging them with their first round pick to get into the Top 3 to take Mobley.

  175. I don’t think consolidating picks signals anything. 4 picks is a lot of picks. From what I hear Kuminga is likely worth multiple low 1sts anyway.

    Still think Dinwiddie makes a lot of sense for the team because there’s little chance he turns down a big 1yr deal. He’s not amazing but he’s a big offensive upgrade for us.

    Bullock makes the most sense to bring back as a 3&D wing. Burks is a very good bench player, but has less of a role on a contender.

  176. I imagine that the Knicks may talk to Charlotte about Terry Rozier. The Hornets seem intent upon giving LaMelo Ball the starting PG role. Rozier is not going to be happy coming off of the bench in the last year of his contract.

    I assume Rozier would just shift to SG. And Mitch’s contract is such a value deal I’d hate to lose it for Rozier.

  177. Man the Suns are so good.

    Chris Paul is the epitome of a player who makes his teammates better. I’d love to see him in a Knicks uniform, even at age 37

  178. CP3 smelled blood in the water and went for the kill… plus 26 assists and only 1 turnover so far in the series. I sure hate watching him dominate us, but as a neutral this is pure joy.

  179. Early Bird: I assume Rozier would just shift to SG.

    The Hornets are widely rumored to be looking to move Rozier, because they fear that he would be disruptive if he does not keep the starting PG role. I think that the Hornets are going to resign Malik Monk, who would be the starting SG. Playing behind Ball and Monk would not make for a happy Rozier.

  180. I do not know whether Denver could have beaten Phoenix with a healthy Jamal Murray. Without Murray, they are getting blown out each night.

  181. The Hornets are widely rumored to be looking to move Rozier, because they fear that he would be disruptive if he does not keep the starting PG role. I think that the Hornets are going to resign Malik Monk, who would be the starting SG. Playing behind Ball and Monk would not make for a happy Rozier.

    Got it. Makes more sense. Haven’t been keeping up with rumors.

    I’ve flipped on Rozier, for $18M he’s a steal and would love to have him. Still don’t know if I’d give up Mitch’s minimum contract. Noel & Taj got exposed pretty bad in the playoffs.

  182. This discussion made read a little bit about the Hornets. They definitely need a center, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t just make Noel an offer. It’s true Robinson is better, but I think the Knicks will want to keep the best center they have; and, Charlotte won’t want to give up Rozier just for the benefit of having Robinson instead of Noel.

  183. Kemba’s contract pretty much takes us out of the running for major free agents before we have to pay Randle.

    The untenability of Kemba’s contract should give a lot of pause to anyone thinking we should give Randle a real max in 2022. They’re in the same tier: they can make all NBA 3rd team on their best year… they can fill out an all star roster consistently… the NBA consistently maxes these guys so they’re right to expect it.

    But there is a gulf between them and the real max players. They are bad contracts to have on your books.

    I’d be pretty firm with Randle this year: here’s our extension offer. If you want to be paid a max next year, godspeed. You’ll have to earn it on a different team.

  184. StatMuse:
    Chris Paul is the first player with 15 PTS, 15 AST, 0 TOV in a playoff game since… Chris Paul in 2014, who was the first player to do it since… Chris Paul in 2008.

  185. They’re likely to bring back LeVert, Sabonis, Brogdon and T.J. Warren, though blowing up the roster remains on the table, two league sources told IndyStar. There’s a belief, however, that while Pritchard is open to the idea, owner Herb Simon won’t give him the green light.
    – via Indianapolis Star

    Myles Turner, anyone? Maybe Mitch and pick #21?

  186. Myles Turner, anyone? Maybe Mitch and pick #21?

    I go back and forth on the Turner idea. He’s not cheap, and while he can shoot threes, he’s not a real floor spacer like a Brook Lopez. And while the block numbers are good, he doesn’t seem as disruptive on defense to me as a Capela type. We definitely need a stretch-5 on the roster to combat that kind of defense (or Thibs needs to be willing to play Randle and Obi together more), but Turner feels to me like a Plan C or D at best in this offseason.

  187. Turner is a likely target of Charlotte. We can facilitate a trade, move some picks, and get Rozier out of it.

  188. It’s an ESPN article (i.e. pay wall) but Zach Lowe’s ode to Phoenix is pretty good:

    https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/31592965/how-chris-paul-phoenix-suns-flummoxing-nba-league-most-complex-pick-roll

    I’ll briefly summarize if you can’t open without taking anything away from the author’s work:

    for anyone (like me!) who attributed too much of the Suns’ success to Paul: think again. Paul & Booker were atrocious together through 20 games but Monty Williams continued to work on the offense and force them to figure it out so it wouldn’t be a “my turn – your turn” set up, and in the end what they have running right now is pretty brilliant (as seen by the endless barrage of videos Lowe inserted of their unstoppable offense last night).

    I really hope we get a Phoenix-Utah WCF. Small market be damned, that would be one hell of a series.

  189. The untenability of Kemba’s contract should give a lot of pause to anyone thinking we should give Randle a real max in 2022.

    Ideally the Knicks will finish the team by 2022, that way maxing Randle doesn’t constrain us too much. There’s still the lux tax, but if we have the other pieces in place an extra $5-10M for Randle won’t kill us.

    Otherwise, we can flip Randle and look at building around RJ if he continues on the superstar path.

  190. Myles Turner, anyone? Maybe Mitch and pick #21?

    It’s a reasonable trade but where does it get us?

    I really hope the sobering postseason adjusted the front office’s timeline. We are miles behind Atlanta and Miami, both of whom are miles behind Milwaukee, who is miles behind Brooklyn. TBD where Philly lies in that equation, but suffice to say we’re not in their class, either. There are zero moves available that can bridge all these gaps. We’re too far off the pace.

    Our win curve points to 2023. The goal here should be to maintain respectability and flexibility while continuing to stockpile assets and develop our picks. Stopgaps with short term commitments like Reggie Bullock are better than multi-year half measures like Norm Powell. And stopgaps who are traded to us with draft pick compensation should be the golden eggs we’re looking for.

  191. I don’t think consolidating picks signals anything.

    we have many open roster spots… if it’s not going to one of our picks… it has to goto somebody … and unless we’re using it on an udfa or on a trade that brings excess players back… it’s either going to a vet on a one-year deal of some value… or a vet on a multi-year deal of some value….

    the one-year deal thing worked out last year and the year before… but this year if we do the same it is likely squeezing a pick from our roster…

  192. turner is not all that better if at all from mitch…. he shoots 3s but he doesn’t shoot them all that well…. the defense is pretty good but mitch proved that he can anchor a top 3-4 defense himself so it’s unclear what additional value turner brings on that end…. turner may be better on drop coverage but mitch is just waaay better if he needs to get out on the perimeter…. so it’s likely we lose a lil something on defense there….

    mitch is also cheaper and still likely cheaper once he hits FA… so it’s unclear why we would even have to include anything more…. in terms of rim running centers we have one of the best in the league…. and you can win in this league with a guy like that….

  193. Knick fan not in NJ: This discussion made read a little bit about the Hornets. They definitely need a center, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t just make Noel an offer.

    Nerlins Noel is bad at catching the ball near the rim, while Mitchell Robinson is elite at catching and finishing at the rim. LaMelo Ball has shown signs of being elite at creating rim runs. Pairing Robinson and LaMelo would unlock something special.

  194. I still hope that the Knicks figure out a way to turn their remaining cap space for 2020-21 into an extra asset at the Draft. There are three teams that will be in the luxury tax if they do not ditch salary at the draft: Golden State, Brooklyn and Philly. Golden State and Brooklyn do not have any obvious salary dumps. Philly could trade George Hill and save about $15M in tax.

  195. Myles Turner has been on and off the trading block for quite awhile. The Pacers may think he’s not a great fit with Sabonis, but I always found their willingness to move him as a red flag. I’d rather stick with Mitch.

    I’m not worried about win curves much. IMO, that’s a wildly overrated concept to begin with.

    If you have a choice you are always going to prefer someone a little younger that will grow with the team. But generally, win curves are only a factor when you are overpaying someone older. If you have an older player on an unmovable contract that’s a problem. If you have someone on a different win curve on a attractive contract, that’s every bit an asset as a draft pick. Marcus Morris was on a different win curve than the Knicks. How did that work out? I kind of liked that outcome.

    What we want to do is keep improving the team while making sure all the players are on fair or attractive contracts. If they are, we can always move them later as part of a major deal that lands the star we need. If we are signing trash for one year because of win curves, they are still trash that no one will want in a deal. That’s not how you move forward towards the promised land.

    We are not tanking anymore, Thank God we have good management and those hellish days are finally over.

  196. strat, the win curve just suggests when you should be willing to pay a premium for additional wins. It’s not about tanking, age, or any of that stuff.

  197. Hasn’t Mitch been practicing shooting threes for years now? Maybe one day he’ll unleash it for all the world to see. That would be a game changer.

  198. we have many open roster spots… if it’s not going to one of our picks… it has to goto somebody … and unless we’re using it on an udfa or on a trade that brings excess players back… it’s either going to a vet on a one-year deal of some value… or a vet on a multi-year deal of some value….

    the one-year deal thing worked out last year and the year before… but this year if we do the same it is likely squeezing a pick from our roster…

    It could just mean the players higher in the draft are better than the players lower in the draft. I mean the 58th pick isn’t likely to be much better than an UDFA anyways.

    Arguably, we have 6 rotation pieces already set:
    Randle
    RJ
    Mitch
    IQ
    Obi
    Vildoza

    We only need 4 more guys and an Austin Rivers type placeholder if Vildoza doesn’t workout. Taj, Rose, Bullock and 1 draft pick can pretty much round out the rotation.

  199. If we want some offensive punch at the backup center (assuming Noel is not brought back, which I would not…he seems to frail and cannot be relied upon for minutes)…Holmes from Sacto is UFA…he is pretty reliable from free throw line in..his shot is awkward but it goes in…it would at least put someone in there who needs to be covered in or around the key area…. I can’t see us going in to next yr with Taj as the no 2 center…

  200. We only need 4 more guys and an Austin Rivers type placeholder if Vildoza doesn’t workout. Taj, Rose, Bullock and 1 draft pick can pretty much round out the rotation.

    so what happens to the other 5 roster spots and/or what happens if anyone misses any time?

  201. I’m not against Rozier as a player, but he’s not worth $19M / year. He was like top 12 in the league in terms of minutes / game for PGs last year and averaged 4 assists. I know he played some SG, but still. I would definitely not give up Mitch for him. Mitch is our only C under contract. unless Taj Gibson has an older brother we can sign, we would have no depth at all. You can resign Rose for 2 years, start him at PG and get Rozier’s offensive production for 1/2 the $$.

  202. DudeInKnicksTown:
    Hasn’t Mitch been practicing shooting threes for years now? Maybe one day he’ll unleash it for all the world to see. That would be a game changer.

    I’ve been shooting 3’s since 1983, and you would not want to see me toss them up on TV. My shot is worse than JD &the Straight Shot.**

    **Mr Dolan. I was not criticizing your band. please don’t ban me from MSG

  203. chriskZIPCODE: unless Taj Gibson has an older brother we can sign, we would have no depth at all.

    Maybe you meant younger brother. I think Taj’s older brother would be too old to help us. :P

  204. I’m going to pound the Mo Bamba table until he gets traded to the Celtics.

  205. If we let Mitch out of his 4th year option, what do y’all think it would take to sign him?

    It’s hard to figure what a center like him is worth these days. I’d be cool with him at around 4 years & $48mm. Would he top that as an RFA?

  206. chriskZIPCODE: I’ve been shooting 3’s since 1983, and you would not want to see me toss them up on TV.My shot is worse thanJD &the Straight Shot.**

    **Mr Dolan.I was not criticizing your band.please don’t ban me from MSG

    Haha. So practice doesn’t make perfect?

  207. Mitch’s best case scenario is to become someone like Capela, who signed that 5/90 deal with the Rockets, was shipped out of town or being too expensive, and has been a godsend in Atlanta. Mitch isn’t there yet, though, and it feels like the number of teams that can support an expensive center who doesn’t shoot are few and far between. So my answer, Hubert is… dunno?

  208. we’ll find out what the mitch # is depending on what jarrett allen signs as he is a rfa this offseason … and i heard 4/100 being floated around but i can’t imagine it’s anything close to that…

  209. Hubert: Mitch (…) I’d be cool with him at around 4 years & $48mm.

    I don’t think Leon does this, because next offseason Mitch has a cap hold of 3.4M. If it was a real bargain, say 3/$18M or 4/$24M, that’s only 2.6M cap space less. But 8.6M less in cap space, i don’t think it’s in the Knicks best interests.

  210. so what happens to the other 5 roster spots and/or what happens if anyone misses any time?

    I mean, we need players but those are roster spots that have been taken up by the Frank’s, DSJRs, and Paytons of the world the past couple years, plus our 2-way slots. No good player is going to sign up for bench duty so it’s mostly filler.

    Maybe we shift Pelle to a 2-way slot and sign a live body big to preserve Taj a bit.

    I’m just saying the front office probably sees the draft as a good opportunity to get one really good player rather than 2 mediocre players. 4 rookies is a lot of rookies. Odds are several would be more Ignas or DSJR than IQ. It’s a lot of dead weight for a roster. We’ve gotten used to having it, but most teams don’t.

  211. an rj barrett stan account: I’m going to pound the Mo Bamba table until he gets traded to the Celtics.

    Why do you think the Magic would trade him? I didn’t read nothing about it, so i’m guessing he’s in their plan for the future (as it should be).

  212. I don’t think Mitch makes much yet, his numbers took a dive once he started playing more fundamentally sound defense. Plus, he needs to show he can stay healthy this year. Also, Thibs offense really does not feature bigs much. Hopefully that changes with some actual PGs though

  213. Hubert:
    strat, the win curve just suggests when you should be willing to pay a premium for additional wins. It’s not about tanking, age, or any of that stuff.

    Maybe I’m using the wrong term.

    The consensus is often that you shouldn’t add an older player when the team is not going to be ready to contend for “X” number of years because that player will be too old to be a key part of the team by the time the rest of the team is ready. The preferred alternative is that you should try to add picks, take a flier on a young player, or at worst add a mercenary for 1 year to keep the cap space.

    I don’t think we should exclude anything.

    If you add a solid 30-31 year old player at a bargain price I don’t care if we are 3-4 years away from contention and he’ll be too old. That contract is worth a lot in a trade (see Marcus Morris) . That player is an asset every bit as much as a pick. Sometimes it’s more attractive to teams that are ready to win now like the Clippers. So forget about how far away we are from contention now. Just look at the market and add the best possible assets including good older players on attractive contracts. You can always trade players like that, flip them for a pick, and possibly even make them part of a deal for a star player.

    The idea is to get better, make the team more attractive, and accumulate assets. Assets includes picks, space, and attractive contracts, not just picks and players all on the same timetable. IMO we want to get out of that tank/pick/slow rebuild mentality.

    I think management is doing it right (for once). lol

  214. Yeah, I think you just don’t understand it. You know, in my own humble opinion.

  215. Here’s the thing about using Capela as a benchmark, though: what would *he* get if he hit the market today? I feel like he might have been the Last of the Mohicans.

    But djphan makes a good point: Jarrett Allen will tell the tale.

    In theory, Mitch’s long term deal should be less if we tear up year 4 and sign him now. The only reason not to do that is if you think 2022 is going to be our year in free agency.

  216. I’m just saying the front office probably sees the draft as a good opportunity to get one really good player rather than 2 mediocre players. 4 rookies is a lot of rookies.

    If they think that, imo they are correct.

    Role players are a dime a dozen. We need all star caliber players. The preferred route is someone already in their mid 20s and ready to go RIGHT NOW via trade or free agency. That would take us to the next level next year. Then you go from there. If someone like that is not available, then the draft is another option. If there’s a sure fire candidate in the draft, then sure, we should combine picks, move up and get him. But screwing around with 18-19 years olds using non lottery picks and second round picks is the least attractive option. We need a starting PG and a #1 option, not some role players.

  217. I mean, we need players but those are roster spots that have been taken up by the Frank’s, DSJRs, and Paytons of the world the past couple years, plus our 2-way slots. No good player is going to sign up for bench duty so it’s mostly filler.

    that’s the point… we used to have those guys under contract and now we don’t… we also had iggy and whoever else was in the cheerlead squad… they were on the roster because we had contractual obligations to keep them there to see if they pan out… they didn’t and now they’re gone and need to be replaced by someone…

    those roster spots could be used on worthwhile players… that we used them on worthless players doesn’t mean we should continue cycling in dregs… we just so happen to have a lot of draft picks to fill them with… are we really that good where we can assume taj and rose to keep it together for a full season and we’re ok even if they don’t?

    the raptors.. nuggets and any other well managed team understand the value of roster slots and developing players to be ready to contribute to a high level team…. what’s the point of trading for draft picks if you don’t use them at a time when you need them?

  218. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Yeah, I think you just don’t understand it. You know, in my own humble opinion.

    I understand what you’ve been saying on the topic perfectly well.

    I’ve just been disagreeing with you for years and think (or at least hope based on the evidence so far) we finally have a management that understands what we should be trying to do, evaluates talent and fair contract values well enough, and understands the basketball and player fit well enough to pull it off.

    Previously we’ve had management and/or coaches that were clueless in every way, management that understood the basketball and fit but not the values, management that probably understood it all but felt pressured and did the wrong thing to save their jobs etc…

    No path guarantees a title, but some paths get the job done faster in competent hands.

  219. Here’s the thing about using Capela as a benchmark, though: what would *he* get if he hit the market today? I feel like he might have been the Last of the Mohicans.

    Less after people got to see what Embiid could do to him vs. what he did to the Knicks. lol

    Seriously though, you can’t judge a guy because there happens to be a couple of bad matchups out there where he’s clearly the inferior player. Every night there are going to be different matchups and sometimes you’ll have the best of it and sometimes the worst of it at different positions. Capela is very good at what he does. He’s just not a star player. He’s a very strong complimentary piece. He’s not going to impact games almost every night.

  220. Let’s not underestimate the value of those picks. We just got run off the court by Trae Young and a bunch of players drafted between 19 and 27 (Collins: 19, Capela: 25, Bogdan: 27, Huerter: 19). If we nail those two picks, we’re in great shape.

  221. strat, win curve isn’t about paths, and players don’t have win curves. Marcus Morris had a price. Our position on the win curve informs us if he’s worth the price. His price was low and he was a good asset, so he made sense.

    There is a point on the win curve where it makes sense to pay a lot to acquire a player. When I say our win curve points to 2023, I mean now is not the time to shell out big contracts or trade picks for a star. But if we keep doing the things we’re doing, we should be there in 1 or 2 years.

  222. The Bucks suddenly stop playing,
    Giannis with a lot of low I.Q. basketball.
    Bud’s chair is wobbling…

  223. Giannis, Butler and Jokic are three great players who were all picked after pick 19 and that’s just off the top of my head. Fuck we drafted IQ at 25 and Mitch in the second round. We absolutely should keep our first round picks this year. I would not oppose, however, rolling up with our second round picks to make the two in the first higher. Two quality rookies would suddenly turn our collection of youth into a really good stash of players.

  224. Watching these mediocre 3 point shooters continue shooting 3s in the playoffs like it’s the regular season is pretty comical. Sometime I think the Warriors set basketball backwards instead of bringing it forward. The Warriors were far and away the greatest shooting team in NBA history and the offense was poetry in motion between the ball and player movement. Mere mortals should be trying to get to the basket in the playoffs under this kind of defense and pressure. They should not be bricking 3s.

  225. thenoblefacehumper:
    Cam Thomas is an interesting prospect. I am fairly anti-Cam because he does literally nothing but score. It’s easy to see in both the numbers in the tape. He simply does not bring anything else to the table. I’ll always be hesitant about guys like that even if it occasionally leads me to be wrong about the Immanuels Quickley of the world because they have nothing to fall back on if they can’t cut it as high-usage guys in the NBA.

    …but oh boy, does he score. He projects as a good shooter and I actually think he’s a good finisher despite the meh 2PT%–his 2PT% took on a lot of water from ill-advised/role based long twos. His FG% around the rim was 64%, which was similar to Suggs’, and that was with only 21% of those looks being assisted.

    He’s the kind of prospect I wouldn’t draft, but I’d be somewhat excited if we drafted. I think there’s a possibility he could be the #2 scorer on a contender and that is seldom found where we’re picking.

    He could also be Malik Monk though. So there’s that.

    Concerned about everything you stated but I don’t care. Cam Thomas at least has the tools to be an average defender and other than Derrick Rose the team has 0 players with his skillset.

    I would be happy rolling the dice with Dosonmu and Cam Thomas

  226. Deeefense:
    The Bucks offense sucks.This is embarrassing.

    Super weird when the Bucks have a great possession putting the ball in Jrue’s hands and letting Giannis and Middleton work together off the ball…

    And then do dumb sht for the next few possessions

  227. Hubert:
    strat, win curve isn’t about paths, and players don’t have win curves. Marcus Morris had a price. Our position on the win curve informs us if he’s worth the price. His price was low and he was a good asset, so he made sense.

    There is a point on the win curve where it makes sense to pay a lot to acquire a player. When I say our win curve points to 2023, I mean now is not the time to shell out big contracts or trade picks for a star. But if we keep doing the things we’re doing, we should be there in 1 or 2 years.

    Again. I disagree.

    You never know where the best values will be, but you should not exclude anything.

    If you pay an attractive price for a player that makes the team better it doesn’t matter what stage your team is at, whether he’s a role player or starter, or whether he’s 22 or 32. He makes you better (and more attractive), can be traded for another player that fits a greater need, can be rolled up with other assets into even a better player, or can be traded for picks. He is an asset just like a pick or cap space. IMO you can’t be overly worried about the timing of the team’s growth, having everyone on same age curve and things like that. Just keep trying to improve your position in every way possible “depending on the market at that time”.

  228. How the fuck does Brown take the 2 last shots in a team with Kyrie and KD? What the hell was he thinking??

  229. Brian Cronin:
    What a beautiful move by Holiday!

    I love Holiday. I think he may be the most underrated guard in the NBA. I thought that was a great move by the Bucks and a huge upgrade over Bledsoe. I’ve been a little disappointed in his performance in the playoffs so far. It was nice to see him come through with a huge basket. If he gets going the Bucks still have a chance to win this series. It’s not a bad matchup for them.

  230. it really feels like the bucks are hanging on by their fingernails…

    it’s cool seeing the suns and jazz both with a really good chance to go to the conference finals, i wouldn’t have guessed that, even at the beginning of the playoffs…

  231. Why couldn’t we have drafted Donovan Mitchell? But at least we had 4 entertaining years of Frank discussion!

  232. i think we just need to recognize and analize the right win share curves…

    dj phan has made me want to draft Ayo Dosunmu…6’5′, 200 lbs, got the bob cousy award…norman powell seems like a solid acquisition for a wing too, wouldn’t mind adding tj mcconnell or devonte’ graham as a point guard…

    see how IQ develops over the summer…

    let mcconnell/graham, plus vildoza and the rookie figure the point guard situation out…hard to imagine thibs starting a rookie though…

    let burks go, resign reggie…maybe we don’t need rose…

  233. strat, it’s never a bad time to get a good player at a good price. The win curve suggests when it’s worthwhile to get a good player for a very high price. You feel me?

  234. i have to agree that brook lopez put in a herculean effort on defense…. and everytime giannis shoots a 3 he kills a kitten….

  235. i missed bucks nets. how in hell did these two teams end up 86-83!? Did the Nets actually play great D or did the bucks just lay bricks?

  236. Sometime I think the Warriors set basketball backwards instead of bringing it forward.

    How’s it goink?

  237. Hubert: strat, it’s never a bad time to get a good player at a good price. The win curve suggests when it’s worthwhile to get a good player for a very high price. You feel me?

    Yes, but are they winning trades? Developing talent? Identifying productive players? Establishing culture? All of these things that mean an awful lot but also mean absolutely nothing all at once?

  238. The Marcus Morris signing worked out, because:

    1. It was a short term deal
    2. He was good enough during his one year contract to be flipped for a draft pick
    3. BECAUSE THE DRAFT PICK ENDED UP BEING A GUY WHO FIT IN WITH OUR WIN CURVE

    Everything about the Marcus Morris signing and trade fit in properly with our win curve. Most market value FA signings don’t work out this way. We’ve seen this again and again: “We can just flip Courtney Lee for a first rounder” was the most obvious recent example. If you sign a dude to a market value, four-year contract, most of the time he is going to be an albatross by the time the back end of that contract comes around.

    If you’re a true “win now” team, this might not matter to you, because you’re trying to, y’know, WIN NOW. Like the Clippers– they signed our very own Marcus Morris to a 4/64 contract because they are at the top of the win curve, trying to win a chip. That made a reasonable amount of sense considering their position. I would sure not like for the Knicks to have 31-year old decline phase Marcus Morris on the books for 3/48 right about now.

    Win curve! It’s a thing!

  239. I’ll do a Nomen est omen for some of the nemes that come up here:
    Donavan-irish origin, dark chieftain, brown haired leader…no further comment needed
    Bojan- slavic, Boj = Fight, fought Kawahi well on O and spectaculary on D ( my father in law is a Fihgter also, good dude)
    Bogdan- slavic chritsian name having latin , and greek origins- Bog= God, dan= given…a long awaited child/threepointer

  240. Cam Thomas would be a strong pick with our early 2nd. Not sure about the firsts, though. A lot would depend on his work ethic and whether you believe in the passing and defense being improvable. A bad outcome would be Iso-Zo, but that’s what scouting is all about…and we seem to have good scouts.

    Trust the process.

  241. In my ideal world, we devote the four picks roughly as follows, with the first two being interchangeable depending on how the draft falls in the teens:

    19: A point guard project whom we trust the super coaching staff to develop within a year or two
    21: Plug-and-play wing
    32: Big man, and preferably someone who can space the floor alongside Julius or Obi
    58: Draft-and-stash Euro, or else some 25-year-old senior whom other teams didn’t want to pick because of low ceiling

  242. The Marcus Morris signing worked out, because:

    1. It was a short term deal
    2. He was good enough during his one year contract to be flipped for a draft pick
    3. BECAUSE THE DRAFT PICK ENDED UP BEING A GUY WHO FIT IN WITH OUR WIN CURVE

    The Marcus Morris trade worked because we signed a good player for an attractive price PERIOD. Had we signed him for longer we may have gotten even more for him!! The Clippers signed him right back for more money because he was WORTH more. That’s why teams wanted him.

    Had we traded him for another player or two that were on even bigger bargain contracts that would have been fine also. We could have kept them, traded them, or rolled them up later also.

  243. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Yes, but are they winning trades? Developing talent? Identifying productive players? Establishing culture? All of these things that mean an awful lot but also mean absolutely nothing all at once?

    Lots of teams have improved by doing exactly these things. Not sure what you mean by “mean absolutely nothing.”

    I also am detecting a knee-jerk negative reaction to everything strat says. Morris is a very good example. A good player on a value contract can always be turned over for assets, no matter where you are on the win curve. The problem is when you sign players to bad contracts…either by overpaying (or even paying market value) for good players or tying up bad players on multi-year deals.

    I don’t get how signing players to well below market value deals ever hurts the team, no matter where you are on the win curve.

  244. (Z-Man) Duarte is a guy who looks ready to play right now
    (Alan) 21: Plug-and-play wing

    Duarte is skipping the combine, maybe he already has a promise to be selected, hopefully from the Knicks.

    (Alan) 58: Draft-and-stash Euro, or else some 25-year-old senior whom other teams didn’t want to pick because of low ceiling

    Totally agree with the rest of your plan, Alan, but for the 58th pick i have a different plan. We always pick UDFA rookies for our 2-way slots, but that means the guy you want must agree to sign with us, this time we can use this pick to guarantee the guy we want. That’s my plan.

  245. The Clippers signed him right back for more money because he was WORTH more.

    Correct, and this is why whatever point you’re trying to make is really not a point at all. The Morris situation was incredibly unique–he signed for less than his market value in terms of both years and AAV.

    No one has ever argued we shouldn’t sign good free agents at obvious discounts. The reaction to the Morris signing was actually positive from the people you’re pretending hated it, precisely because his contract made him valuable.

    The obvious problem with thinking this is repeatable at scale is…most good players do not sign for less than their market value. Like, there’s an incredibly lucrative agency industry that exists largely to prevent this from happening. That’s why “just sign a bunch of good players to very team-friendly contracts” is not a sustainable path to contention, and why you always struggle to name specific examples of players with whom we can execute it.

    So yeah, sign good players to team-friendly contracts whenever you can regardless of your place on the win curve. Those guys can be parlayed into future, non-marginal wins. Opportunities to do this are, again, incredibly rare and in the case of Morris required a slew of bizarre events to occur i.e. him reneging on a Spurs deal AND Reggie Bullock failing a physical. That’s why your calls to just do this a bunch of times are met with eye-rolls. There are a lot more Courtney Lee signings than Marcus Morris signings.

  246. Both Dosunmu and Butler would be pretty good outcomes IMO. I’m a little worried that Butler couldn’t crack .500+ 2PT% until he was a junior, but he wasn’t underwater as an underclassmen and my useless eye-test based observation is he legitimately honed his finishing skills.

    Anyone saying we should definitely trade up is just not following this draft very closely. After the top 5, there’s not much of difference in the players projected to go 6-20 or so. I’m personally high enough on Giddey to think it’s a more of a top 6, but the overall point stands. Barring an unforeseen incredible opportunity, we should make at least 3 picks. Springer, Christopher, and Thomas, just to take one random possibility, would be a much-needed and exciting talent infusion.

  247. Where we differ is that I think the DOMINANT part of the decision making process should be the price and some of these other concerns secondary.

    Should we sign Beal?

    Should we sign LaVine?

    Should we give CP3 a 3 year contract if he opts out?

    For me, all three depend primarily on the price. Other considerations are secondary.

    Where we are now as a team is not fixed. It’s transitory.

    Who says if we signed CP3 we would be done making moves?

    Who says if we signed CP3 some other star doesn’t suddenly want to come to NY?

    Who says if it’s not working out we can’t trade him the year after and actually improve our position further?

    The primary reason I would be against CP3 is the same reason I would probably be against LaVine and Beal. The probable price. If I could get CP3 for 3 years at 30M I’d do it in a heartbeat no matter where the team was.

    The “ideal” is to get a young player, with some upside, at a price that makes sense that we can commit to long term and that fits with the development of the other players. But you can’t close yourself off to other bargain opportunities. In fact, in some ways the ideal situation is a mix of young players with upside and veterans for multiple reasons anyway.

    We need a #1 option and a starting PG. If a player whose game we like becomes available and the price makes sense we’d be imbeciles to not make that move. We can worry about how to get to the promised land from there after that. As long as the price is right, we can always change directions and possibly gain again with more moves.

  248. The one thing I will say regarding a trade-up is that I trust this front office to do it in a way I would not have with any iteration going back at least to Donnie Walsh, and maybe to Dave Checketts. Walt Perrin was in Utah when they traded up for both Donovan Mitchell and Deron Williams(*), so if he has a strong feeling about a prospect and convinces Leon to go for it…

    (*) In hindsight, of course, the Jazz should have taken CP3, but Williams played really well for Utah, got them a good haul from the Nets, and only then turned into a pumpkin for reasons that sounded more personality-based than talent-based. And Portland would certainly rather have had Williams than the combination of Martell Webster, Linas Kleiza, and Joel Freeland.

  249. The obvious problem with thinking this is repeatable at scale is…most good players do not sign for less than their market value. Like, there’s an incredibly lucrative agency industry that exists largely to prevent this from happening.

    I understand that bargains don’t fall from heaven like manna, but we signed Noel, Bullock, Burkes, Gibson and traded for Rose all in one year. That’s a lot of manna. :-) The mistake was probably that we didn’t sign a couple of them for longer so that we could keep them or roll them into something better.

    As long as we keep making moves like that we are eventually going to get a swing at the prize. We need to stop worrying about some idealistic perfection of age, win curve, blah blah blah. Just get the basketball and price right.

  250. Yeah Alan the key phrase you used was “trust this front office”

    Rose and company have not made a single head scratching move thus far. And the one deal they made that had us all saying “WTF?” was the Rose trade and look how that turned out.

    I’d be shocked if our front office made some “win now” move like signing a DeRozan. They’ve shown nothing but patience and competence this far. If they do indeed trade up in the draft I have confidence they have a really strong justification for it.

  251. Rose and company have not made a single head scratching move thus far. And the one deal they made that had us all saying “WTF?” was the Rose trade and look how that turned out.

    Of course, Rose did want to trade for CP3 (which would have been really good for us this year, but would at minimum have cost us the pick that became IQ) and sign Gordon Heyward. He aimed higher but also seemed to hold firm on his price in terms of assets and money. Which makes sense given our old friend the Win Curve. But I’ll be curious to see how restrained he’ll be now that the team has had a taste of real success.

  252. For me, all three depend primarily on the price. Other considerations are secondary.

    Where we are now as a team is not fixed. It’s transitory.

    No one disagrees with the banal proposition that price matters when evaluating the merits of a move. When people rule out hypothetical moves e.g. a Lillard trade or a CP3 signing, reasonable projections regarding price based on precedent are built into their opinion. They don’t think something like “we should trade for Lillard if the cost is Kevin Knox and a second” is even worth saying, and they’re correct.

    I understand that bargains don’t fall from heaven like manna, but we signed Noel, Bullock, Burkes, Gibson and traded for Rose all in one year.

    Bullock is another example of a weird sequence of events leading to a valuable contract, and as good as Noel and Taj were for us we wouldn’t sniff a first-rounder if we tried to trade them.

    It’s unlikely we could’ve gotten one for Bullock and Burks even with both contracts representing obvious value (Morris came with size, versatility, and the ability to take on higher usage that those guys don’t have). We also didn’t sign Rose, we traded for him.

    But again, you’re arguing against no one. People supported the Burks signing when it was made. People identified Bullock’s reduced contract as a potentially valuable asset when it was renegotiated. There is no one saying we should never sign any free agents above the age of 25 regardless of price.

    What people do say is the draft tends to produce better value for teams in our place on the win curve, and that’s downright indisputable. There’s a reason you can name a lot of the free agent contracts that were flipped for good draft picks off the top of your head.

  253. thenoblefacehumper: So yeah, sign good players to team-friendly contracts whenever you can regardless of your place on the win curve. Those guys can be parlayed into future, non-marginal wins. Opportunities to do this are, again, incredibly rare and in the case of Morris required a slew of bizarre events to occur i.e. him reneging on a Spurs deal AND Reggie Bullock failing a physical. That’s why your calls to just do this a bunch of times are met with eye-rolls. There are a lot more Courtney Lee signings than Marcus Morris signings.

    This is less rare if your FO is good at predicting whether a guy’s market value will appreciate after the signing. For example, the Hawks are getting more than $18mill worth of production out of Bogdan and could easily get some assets for him if they wanted to trade him. Same with Christian Wood. Those guys were signed at “market value” deals and have already appreciated significantly since they were signed.

    Then there’s the opportunistic 1-year deal types. You could make the argument that Burks, Noel, Bullock, and Rose, if he was tradable, were all on below market value contracts and all movable at the deadline if it weren’t for Thibs’ win-now mentality and the team playing reasonably well around the deadline. That’s different than the Portis and original Payton deals, which had no upside at all.

    It’s no more silly to point this out than it is to point out that you should avoid the Afflalo’s of the world…it’s much more important to avoid the “bidding against yourself” kind of deals like TH2 and Courtney Lee, and even the fair market-value deals like Fred VanVleet.

  254. thenoblefacehumper: worried that Butler couldn’t crack .500+ 2PT% until he was a junior, but he wasn’t underwater as an underclassmen and my useless eye-test based observation is he legitimately honed his finishing skills.

    Anyone saying we should definitely trade up is just not following this draft very closely. After the top 5, there’s not much of difference in the players projected to go 6-20 or so. I’m personally high enough on Giddey to think it’s a more of a top 6, but the overall point stands. Barring an unforeseen incredible opportunity, we should make at least 3 picks. Springer, Christopher, and Thomas, just to take one random possibility, would be a much-needed and exciting talent infusion.

    This is certainly reasonable, but I have always felt that if you feel very strongly about a player who won’t be available at your draft slot, you are justified in trading up. For example, if you really like Giddy or Mitchell and the cost for one of them is the possibility of drafting both Butler and Duarte, it’s fine to do that. It really should depend on Leon’s faith in his own judgment after listening to his Team of Rivals. My guess is that he will hear persuasive arguments on both sides.

    The other thing is whether either the guy you want or the trade to get him is even available. For example, if we targeted Doncic, what could we have offered the teams drafting in the top 3 to make a more appealing deal than what Cuban offered? In retrospect, would it have been worth a couple of future #1s to move up?

  255. thenoblefacehumper: What people do say is the draft tends to produce better value for teams in our place on the win curve, and that’s downright indisputable. There’s a reason you can name a lot of the free agent contracts that were flipped for good draft picks off the top of your head.

    It’s possible that teams who sign vets to bargain deals are happy with those deals and not looking to move them. And when they DO need to move them, it’s often from a position of duress where the opposing team is is a better bargainig position.

  256. i would reserve judgement on the FO even tho the short term results were ok on their year 1 moves… there’s still plenty of reason to question the process on almost all of their decisions to the point where it’s still possible something really spazzy could happen…

  257. Duarte strikes me as a Reggie Bullock clone. But he’s only 6 years younger than Bullock, and Bullock likely isn’t going to cost very much to retain. I would just bring Bullock back on a reasonable deal to eliminate the need, and take the best player available with both picks.

  258. i would reserve judgement on the FO even tho the short term results were ok on their year 1 moves… there’s still plenty of reason to question the process on almost all of their decisions to the point where it’s still possible something really spazzy could happen…

    Agreed. It’s way too early to grade them. We don’t even know enough about them to reasonably predict what they might do this summer. How we manage our draft picks this year will tell us a great deal.

  259. Bullock’s probably going to cost at least $10 mil per year, Hubert. I think we have room for both him and a Duarte type, but he won’t be as cheap as he was under the weird circumstances of his last deal.

  260. I highly doubt there’s a single POBO/GM in the league that doesn’t understand the concept of win curve.

  261. Z-man: In retrospect, would it have been worth a couple of future #1s to move up?

    Two 1RPs for a future HoF, this is a rhetorical question, right?

  262. bullock is more pure catch and shoot.. duarte has more tools in the shed as far as that goes… he’s more will barton in my eyes.. and will barton is really good(just so happens to be a FA fyi)….

    where we are picking at 21 that’s absolutely really fine to pick…. especially if he really does get to will barton’s level.. you have a high level role player on a rookie scale deal through his entire peak….

    from where we are trying to step up on the win curve we need to pick guys like this along with the high upside guys to round out the roster ….. veteran role players weigh pretty heavily on the cap because they are generally overpaid or at best correctly paid..

    which is why you need to jam as many picks onto your roster as you can since otherwise you are cycling through 1-year deal dregs to fill roster spots…. or doling out expensive multiyear deals that have a high likelihood of turning into albatrosses…

    from where we are in the win curve.. we should be taking some risk on veteran contracts… but the picks themselves should be providing the backbone of our roster still…

  263. If Duarte has more tools, than I’m open to changing my mind. The reports I’ve read suggested otherwise. I don’t want to draft a pure catch-and-shoot, is ultimately what I’m saying. I’d rather have Reggie back at $10mm and draft the BPA

  264. I highly doubt there’s a single POBO/GM in the league that doesn’t understand the concept of win curve.

    This still doesn’t rule out the highly-plausible “strat is Phil Jackson” conspiracy theory.

  265. When it comes to trusting the front office on packaging their picks to move up, don’t forget they tried really hard to package three good draft picks to move up to select Obi Toppin. The only reason it didn’t happen is because every team said no. So I would maybe hold off on trusting them if they turn around and try to package all their picks again.

  266. Hubert:
    When it comes to trusting the front office on packaging their picks to move up, don’t forget they tried really hard to package three good draft picks to move up to select Obi Toppin. The only reason it didn’t happen is because every team said no. So I would maybe hold off on trusting them if they turn around and try to package all their picks again.

    Yeah, I would hold off on praise until they make some sort of major move. I’m not willing to trust these guys yet after a year in which they minorly fucked up the draft, signed a bunch of 1 year deals to reasonable contracts, and made one trade at the request of the coach.

  267. This is less rare if your FO is good at predicting whether a guy’s market value will appreciate after the signing. For example, the Hawks are getting more than $18mill worth of production out of Bogdan and could easily get some assets for him if they wanted to trade him. Same with Christian Wood. Those guys were signed at “market value” deals and have already appreciated significantly since they were signed.

    Again these are all banal, non-controversial opinions that don’t provide any insight as to the best way to build a contender. What do you think the results would be if there was a poll posted here that said “if the Knicks are able to identify players who can be signed for value-added contracts, should they sign those players?”

    Continuously pointing out that the Knicks should be doing this, and presenting it as some kind of subversive alternative to building through the draft, is annoying and adds nothing to the discussion. Identifying specific players to whom this applies, on the other hand, is useful. Hell, as you know I was banging the Christian Wood drum for literal years!

    This is certainly reasonable, but I have always felt that if you feel very strongly about a player who won’t be available at your draft slot, you are justified in trading up. For example, if you really like Giddy or Mitchell and the cost for one of them is the possibility of drafting both Butler and Duarte, it’s fine to do that. It really should depend on Leon’s faith in his own judgment after listening to his Team of Rivals. My guess is that he will hear persuasive arguments on both sides.

    As a matter of general strategy, sure. What I’m saying is heavily influenced by my view of this particular draft. I will be extremely critical of any trade up that doesn’t land us in the top 5 and/or Giddey unless I am proven wrong.

  268. I would say they’ve already earned praise, vincoug. But the level of trust we’re talking about here still needs to be earned. Last year’s draft was all over the map. I’d love to see a better process this year that reveals a coherent, long-term strategy.

  269. The other problem with trying to improve by signing veterans to market value deals is that some of the time you’re gonna whiff and end up with Courtney Lees and Joakim Noahs on your payroll. The way the NBA salary cap is structured, you pay a pretty steep price for making Joakim Noah/Courtney Lee type mistakes.

    A one year deal to somebody like Marcus Morris has very little downside. Ditto the Reggie Bullock contract. But Morris’ 4/64 contract? That has some downside. He’s probably going to be a colossal waste of $16M in his age 33 and 34 seasons. Four years for Reggie Bullock at market value? Probably not going to get lots of surplus value out of that.

    The short term FA deals that have been the Knicks’ calling card are smart because they avoid that long term downside risk. That’s a big reason why we’re in a better position now— no mistakes on the books.

    Let’s keep it that way.

  270. The key here is that strat thinks we all want young players & draft picks because we’re obsessed with age. We actually want young players and draft picks because they have the best potential to outperform their contracts. Surplus value is the key, not age. If a 32 year old wants to play here for half of what he’s worth, we’d all sign up for that, too.

  271. Hubert: Agreed. It’s way too early to grade them. We don’t even know enough about them to reasonably predict what they might do this summer. How we manage our draft picks this year will tell us a great deal.

    This was never confirmed. All of those reports were from vague league sources and included names like Vassell and Hali as potential targets.

    Hubert: Agreed. It’s way too early to grade them. We don’t even know enough about them to reasonably predict what they might do this summer. How we manage our draft picks this year will tell us a great deal.

    I think it is definitely NOT too early to grade them on last year. They made plenty of moves consistent with a chosen strategy and seem to execute that strategy brilliantly. Rose is probably in the running for executive of the year. Any fair-minded analysis would give them an A (or A- or A+) for what the FO has done thus far.

    Now, does that mean that the job is done? Of course not. Might they totally screw up going forward? Absolutely! Was going with the “win now but build for the future plan” the best choice? It’s a fair debate. Was there some good luck involved? Probably, but that’s true for all winning organizations.

    I wouldn’t bet on them getting to the finals in the next 5 years. But I WOULD bet that the team will continue to make progress towards building a sustainable winning roster and having a strong product on the floor for the next 5 years. If you think their success this year was due more to dumb luck than a good process (given the chosen strategy) then whatever.

  272. Hubert:
    The key here is that strat thinks we all want young players & draft picks because we’re obsessed with age. We actually want young players and draft picks because they have the best potential to outperform their contracts. Surplus value is the key, not age. If a 32 year old wants to play here for half of what he’s worth, we’d all sign up for that, too.

    Exactly. You simply cannot be a contender in the NBA if you don’t have multiple players outperforming their cap hits. The best situation is obviously to have superstars that outperform the max, which also has the added effect of bringing valuable role players on undervalued deals, but the most common way to get this is by drafting well. It’s easy to look a success stories like Bogdanovic (which hasn’t even been true in the playoffs because his shooting has been bad outside of a few highlight worthy shots), but there’s limited upside and high risk to simply handing out contracts to known quantities.

  273. thenoblefacehumper: Again these are all banal, non-controversial opinions that don’t provide any insight as to the best way to build a contender. What do you think the results would be if there was a poll posted here that said “if the Knicks are able to identify players who can be signed for value-added contracts, should they sign those players?”

    In and of themselves, they are banal and non-controversial indeed. But When presented in the context of “doing whatever Rose & Co. did” vs. “doing whatever avoids marginal wins at the expense of draft position” crowd were adament about, it becomes much more meaningful and contentious. Strat’s point has been that you can build a sustainably good team AND chase wins at the same time. Clearly, winning 41 games (including going 16-4 to close out the season) did not improve our draft position, and caused us to miss out on the top of this loaded draft. But on the other hand, now you’re looking to sign the next Christian Wood or Bogdan Bogdanovic, but because a player like that can get you from 41 wins to 50 wins, or can be packaged for a star in his prime without decimating the team. Or maybe Vildoza give you a positive jolt at a bargain price rather than being signed by BOS or PHI or MIA. Or Kawhi renounces and signs with us as a UFA next year instead of LAL or ATL.

    And that’s what’s getting glossed over in the dismissiveness towards strat. He has been consistent in saying that the route that Rose has chosen (and executed 1000X better than Phil thus far, sorry strat) is not only a plausable route to building a sustainable contender, but preferable one. And for now, he seems more right than wrong….just not about Phil.

  274. Generally speaking, I think that some here are vastly underestimating the difficulty of doing what the Knicks FO did since taking over for Steve Mills.

    -The Knicks are not a laughingstock for the first time in 20 years (even the Melo/Amare years had their major warts)
    -They went 41-31, best record since winning 54 games, without a single major trade or FA acquisition or rookie star.
    -They are going into next year with oodles of cap space, several extra picks, and no long-term immovable contracts
    -Their 2 draft picks both contributed to winning and look like legit NBA rotation players
    -They have first dibs on the #8 player in the MVP voting
    -They have first dibs on several interesting 1-year guys
    -They have some nice trade chips in Mitch, RJ, Obi, and IQ if they want to go in that direction (hopefully not)
    -They have the Coach of the Year
    -They have a revitalized fan base
    -They have some of the top executive staffers in the league in Aller and Perrin
    -They have connections with top agencies and college programs

    How far removed is that from where we were on February 3, 2020, the day before Steve Mills was fired? When we all would be singing some version of Dayenu just for not hiring Mark Jackson and dodging the CP#3-Westbrook-Hayward bullets?

    And respectfully, considering some of the draft analysis that went down here last year, pardon me If I have more faith in the current Knicks FO than I do in you guys.

  275. Speaking of Amare I said hi to him a few hours ago-he apparently owns a cattle ranch that has a stand at the union square farmer’s market and he was there today. He looks like he could still play

  276. DRed:
    Speaking of Amare I said hi to him a few hours ago-he apparently owns a cattle ranch that has a stand at the union square farmer’s market and he was there today.He looks like he could still play

    He’s 38 years old from the thighs up…

  277. The short term FA deals that have been the Knicks’ calling card are smart because they avoid that long term downside risk. That’s a big reason why we’re in a better position now— no mistakes on the books.

    well.. we still got this crazy haired dude hanging out on our payroll like bobby bonilla for whatever reason…

    Speaking of Amare I said hi to him a few hours ago-he apparently owns a cattle ranch that has a stand at the union square farmer’s market and he was there today. He looks like he could still play

    amare’s an assistant with the nets and he does go pretty hard against most of those guys pregame… and he just finished a stint playing in israel before that.. he has been pretty active since ‘retirement’… for whatever reason i’ve ran into him a lot also and he looks pretty much the same…

  278. I’m out working right now and missing probably the best tennis match of the year. Clay is just so much more interesting than hard court. It almost looks like tennis, instead of just a serve contest.

  279. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I’m out working right now and missing probably the best tennis match of the year. Clay is just so much more interesting than hard court. It almost looks like tennis, instead of just a serve contest.

    I totally agree. Djokovic came back to win in 4 sets after losing the first. Nadal’s loss drops his record at the French Open to 105 victories and only 3 defeats. Incredible!

  280. I really hope Embiid stays healthy for the remainder of these playoffs. When he’s healthy and in shape he’s a throwback beast. Just keep him in the paint!

    I really love the player Trae Young is turning into on offense also. I just have to look away when he’s on defense.

  281. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I’m out working right now and missing probably the best tennis match of the year. Clay is just so much more interesting than hard court. It almost looks like tennis, instead of just a serve contest.

    That 3rd set was incredible.

  282. Generally speaking, I think that some here are vastly underestimating the difficulty of doing what the Knicks FO did since taking over for Steve Mills.

    I’m pretty convinced most people here are so shell shocked from years of incompetency it’s hard to imagine it’s actually possible to get good deals in free agency, make good trades, and develop young players.

  283. sounds like you’re enjoying your new role THCJ…

    i’ve never had a job which involved much travel…

    just spent some time speaking with a young person whom just joined our team, not to be too age biased in the work environment, but, i’ve always enjoyed working with younger folks, so many positive possibilities, so much energy…

    first thing to let them know – it’s in my best interest to make you as competent as possible, so you will be…

  284. Joel Embiid’s improved conditioning is a huge part of his improvement this season. In prior years, he would dominate for the first 6 minutes of the game, until he got winded. Once he was fatigued, Embiid would settle for jump shots instead of going into the low post.

    Likewise, Julius Randle’s improved conditioning was a huge part of his improvement this year. He was able to play 38 minutes mpg, while carrying the offense and being a very strong defensive rebounder.

    The biggest conditioning story, of course, is Nikola Jokic. When Jokic came into the league, he could not run up and down the court more than five times without losing his wind. Now, he is the reigning MVP.

    The flip side is the saga of Eddy Curry. Curry had the skills to be a dominant low post scorer. For whatever reason (and he apparently struggled with mental health issues), Curry could not stay in shape. He basically ate his way out of the league.

  285. The biggest conditioning story, of course, is Nikola Jokic. When Jokic came into the league, he could not run up and down the court more than five times without losing his wind. Now, he is the reigning MVP.

    you have to imagine, at some point Doncic will get it…at that point he may be able to pull a lebron and make it to the finals with whatever roster is in place…

  286. geo: you have to imagine, at some point Doncic will get it…at that point he may be able to pull a lebron and make it to the finals with whatever roster is in place…

      

    As Jokic has demonstrated, it is not about being cut like Giannis. It is about building the stamina to perofrm at a high level for 36+ mpg.

  287. sounds like you’re enjoying your new role THCJ

    Every two weeks they pay me the equivalent of my take-home pay teaching two full 14-week college classes as an adjunct back in 2013. I can’t complain about missing a tennis match on TV.

  288. ephus:
    Does anyone else think that Ayton looks like a 7/8 size version of Embiid?

    I honestly think he’s really, really fucking good. I think people have chalked up everything good that’s happening in Phoenix to the CP3 effect, and while that is partially true, there’s been a lot of internal improvement as well. Ayton and Bridges specially have become really valuable players by themselves, and obviously really valuable pieces in a Chris Paul team in the process.

  289. Ben Simmons has dominated the 3Q, even with missing his foul shots. He has finished at the rim and threw a beautiful lob to Embiid. His also playing shutdown defense.

    Once Philly realized that they would have to match the Hawks’ intensity level (starting the the 4Q of Game 1), they have overwhelmed Atlanta. Maybe it would be different with Hunter, but he is not here and he is not coming back.

  290. Simmons is so good on defense that he is actually able to dig on the post player and recover to Trae Young without giving Young a free drive to the rim.

  291. Simmons is so good on defense that he is actually able to dig on the post player and recover to Trae Young without giving Young a free drive to the rim.

  292. the seth curry trade was one of the best deals of the season….

    deandre hunter wouldn’t affect the series.. he’s just one in a long line of guys who depends on trae for most of his points.. this is just the sixers putting the clamps on… and if embiid is healthy they might be the best team in the league….

  293. djphan:

    deandre hunter wouldn’t affect the series.. he’s just one in a long line of guys who depends on trae for most of his points..this is just the sixers putting the clamps on… and if embiid is healthy they might be the best team in the league….

    I agree that Hunter would not have made a difference on offense. He is, however, the best perimeter defender on the Hawks. He has the size, strength and quickness to stay in front of Simmons when he takes the ball to the rim, which killed the Hawks in the 3Q.

    If Philly plays Brooklyn in the ECF, I would love to see Philly’s defense against the Nets’ offense at the end of a close game.

  294. Sixers lost the first game just to make Knicks fans feel better about losing to this utterly mediocre Hawks team.

  295. simmons isn’t exactly a threat from the perimeter.. he was getting buckets because atlanta as a team decided to take a break for the 3rd quarter…

  296. I won’t get into the discussion again but for me the Hawks are absolutely a mediocre team punching above it’s weight. Turns out it’s harder to beat actually good teams when your role players aren’t shooting a .700 ts% or when you’re facing an offense that can actually shoot better than garbage.

  297. djphan:
    simmons isn’t exactly a threat from the perimeter.. he was getting buckets because atlanta as a team decided to take a break for the 3rd quarter…

    Respectfully disagree. Simmons is shooting 80% at the rim (0-3 feet) in this year’s playoffs. That is elite finishing. He cannot shoot from outside 3 feet and won’t shoot from outside 10 feet, but his layups and baby hooks are strong weapons.

  298. the point is that nobody guards simmons out on the perimeter… they are all in the paint area…. so it doesn’t really matter who guards him as long as he can keep up with him in transition and can contest at the rim…. not an easy task but atlanta has a lot of guys that can approximate that well enough…. and in the first two games he put up 10 fgs total….

  299. campazzo/rivers starting backcourt is problematic if you are trying to get to the conference finals…not sure why malone thinks that will work in this series

  300. Speaking of mediocrity, I hate that the Nuggets and Suns both chose their worst jerseys for this game.

    And the Suns are what an actual good team looks like, the Nuggets just seem outmatched with their injuries.

  301. Bridges and Porter Jr. playing for the title of who we’re angrier about having drafted Knox over.

  302. Bruno Almeida:
    I won’t get into the discussion again but for me the Hawks are absolutely a mediocre team punching above it’s weight. Turns out it’s harder to beat actually good teams when your role players aren’t shooting a .700 ts% or when you’re facing an offense that can actually shoot better than garbage.

    Your definition of mediocre is piss poor. Compared to what? Elite playoff teams? Or the 30 teams in the NBA? The are legitimately a top 8 team in the league. If you think that’s mediocre, your analysis is mediocre.

  303. It’s really too bad the Amish don’t watch television; I’m pretty sure who their favorite player would be.

  304. Bruno Almeida:
    Bridges and Porter Jr. playing for the title of who we’re angrier about having drafted Knox over.

    I feel much worse about Bridges than Porter Jr. MPJ had, according to Hollinger, the “worst medical report” he had ever seen. He had two back surgeries in before he got to the NBA. He has already missed a season. Even when he is playing well, I cannot help think about Brandon Roy – who was another guy who had widely recognized talent but slipped in the draft because of his medical report.

    Bridges, on the other hand, was everything the Knicks needed at the time.

    If I am Kevin Knox, I spend this summer in the same gym as Duncan Robinson or Jae Crowder and do what they do. It is not just about hitting more shots. It is about being aggressive on defense, moving without the ball, taking the ball to the rim to punish close outs and diving for every loose ball.

  305. Z-man: Your definition of mediocre is piss poor. Compared to what? Elite playoff teams? Or the 30 teams in the NBA? The are legitimately a top 8 team in the league. If you think that’s mediocre, your analysis is mediocre.

    My definition of mediocre is a team who’s never, ever, getting even close to winning a title. The 8h best team in the league can absolutely be mediocre if the gulf between the actual top teams, the real contenders, and the middle of the pack teams, like the Hawks, is big enough, and that’s assuming they’re even the 8th best team in the league. Do you really think they’re better than the fully healthy Lakers or even the Celtics? Are they better than the Warriors with Thompson back, or better than the Mavs or Blazers? They were a ~2 SRS team during the regular season which is miles behind the elite teams like the Jazz, Nets, Bucks, Sixers, Suns etc, they’re closer to Memphis or GSW than they are to the Sixers or Suns.

    If you think being a top 10 team in the league means you’re a good team, then fine, I guess they are good, I just don’t get very excited about a middle of the pack playoff team.

  306. pepper:
    campazzo/rivers starting backcourt is problematic if you are trying to get to the conference finals…not sure why malone thinks that will work in this series

    With Murray out and Barton on a minutes restriction, there really are not many good choices.

    Also, Aaron Gordon clearly is not healthy. He is an offensive void.

  307. Teams that have not won a NBA Championship since 1970:

    1. Brooklyn
    2. Indiana
    3. Charlotte
    4. Atlanta
    5. Orlando
    6. Minnesota
    7. Memphis
    8. New Orleans
    9. Oklahoma City (not giving them credit for the Sonics)
    10. Clippers
    11. Utah
    12. Phoenix
    13. Denver
    14. Sacramento

    Teams that have not made the Finals since 1970.

    1. Charlotte
    2. Atlanta
    3. Minnesota
    4. Memphis
    5. New Orleans
    6. Clippers
    7. Denver
    8. Sacramento

    Teams that have not made Conference Finals since 1970

    1. Charlotte
    2. Atlanta
    3. Minnesota
    4. New Orleans
    5. Clippers

    The high water mark for the Hawks since they moved from St. Louis was the 1988 playoffs, where they lost to Boston in a great Game 7 where ‘Nique and Bird went head-to-head.

  308. Richard Jefferson just said that Phoenix had “probably the best backcourt still left in the post-season.”

    He literally broadcasts the Nets during the regular season. Unless you are counting Harden out, there is no way that Paul + Booker > Harden + Irving.

  309. In a 30 team league, “mediocre” would be the 10-20 ranked teams, which the Hawks were for the season; however, they were much better in the 2nd half, a span of which they were definitely not mediocre. Which team is the real Hawks? Probably the latter, which is the healthy and stable version. But, that said, if we are grading teams based only on their healthy and most stable, they may slip back to mediocre, as there are a bunch of rosters that you’d probably prefer under perfect conditions.

  310. Mediocre has “negative” meaning.
    Atlanta’s young team is promising, plays a beautiful brand of basketball and it’s one or two moves away from big things.
    Mediocre?
    Com’ on..

  311. First Bruno, sorry for the tone, it was definitely unwarranted. I still disagree, though, and think calling them mediocre is unnecessarily harsh. I’d classify the Knicks as mediocre and Atlanta as good and promising…in the same group as, say, the Heat. They have an excellent young core in Young, Hunter, Collins, Okongwu and Huerter. They have Capela and Bogdan locked up on value deals. Their only bad contract is Gallo, and it’s not terrible. There’s not a gaping chasm between them and, say, the Suns or the Nuggets. They have some big decisions this offseason and beyond, but just by continued improvement of the young core and better injury lock they should be a team to reckon with in thr EC for years to come.

  312. Donnie Walsh:
    In a 30 team league, “mediocre” would be the 10-20 ranked teams, which the Hawks were for the season; however, they were much better in the 2nd half, a span of which they were definitely not mediocre. Which team is the real Hawks? Probably the latter, which is the healthy and stable version. But, that said, if we are grading teams based only on their healthy and most stable, they may slip back to mediocre, as there are a bunch of rosters that you’d probably prefer under perfect conditions.

    Mediocre comes across as a harsh catch-all term without nuance. I think ATL and teams in their category deserve better than that. But my bad for making a big deal out of it.

  313. ephus, if your point is that ATL’s history as a franchise is mediocre, that might actually be too kind! But I would gladly switch our roster for theirs right now.

  314. I’ve always thought of mediocre for a sports team as those that lose about the same amount as they win, or fairly close. They’re neither really good or bad. The Hawks strike me as a full notch better than that. Frankly, the Knicks were, too, at 41-31.

    Mediocre this year? The Celtics at 36-36. :-)

  315. I think of mediocre as teams that are on the fringes of the playoff hunt even when healthy, or who are capped out while stuck in the middle with no real hope of improvement in the foreseeable future. The very top of the mediocre range would be the Hornets, or maybe the Blazers.

    But I prefer terms like “promising,” “disappointing,” etc. which combine current status with trajectory.

  316. For me mediocre team means
    Boring game
    No potential
    No fire No desire
    Hawks just eliminated us and many here applaud them and wouldn’t mind watching them succeed

  317. Z-man:
    First Bruno, sorry for the tone, it was definitely unwarranted. I still disagree, though, and think calling them mediocre is unnecessarily harsh. I’d classify the Knicks as mediocre and Atlanta as good and promising…in the same group as, say, the Heat. They have an excellent young core in Young, Hunter, Collins, Okongwu and Huerter. They have Capela and Bogdan locked up on value deals. Their only bad contract is Gallo, and it’s not terrible. There’s not a gaping chasm between them and, say, the Suns or the Nuggets. They have some big decisions this offseason and beyond, but just by continued improvement of the young core and better injury lock they should be a team to reckon with in thr EC for years to come.

    I really didn’t understand why you were so angry lol. I use mediocre in the sense of teams that have no shot at winning a title in the present moment, but I’ll admit I’m harsher than most in my assessment because I think there’s a bigger gulf in talent from the actual contenders to the next tier of teams than most people think. So far in this postseason the Jazz, Suns and Nets have been so impressive that I think there’s been a clear drop from them to the next tier of teams, who are obviously good in a relative sense but mediocre when compared to them.

    I really don’t count stuff like future promise or young talent in this assessment, or even my personal enjoyment watching the team. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the Warriors with Curry alone this season, or watching Memphis progress with Morant going nuts, even though they’re decidedly mediocre teams to me.

  318. Mediocre means neither-here-nor-there. It’s negative connotation is subjective. It comes from the Latin *mediocris*, which means *of medium size, moderate, middling, commonplace”*; i.e. “halfway to the top”.

    In NBA terms, it is the teams competing for the playoffs, not for the title.

  319. Would anyone be opposed to this offseason plan?:
    1. Renounce Ntilikina, Burks, 6, and Bullock
    2. Re-sign Rose, Noel, and Taj
    3. Trade Knox and both of our 2nds to move back into the 1st round and add 3 1st round talents to build for the rotation
    4. Sign Graham and Otto Porter in free agency

  320. They are in the conference semi’s and only down 2-1 to the team with the best record in the East. That’s not average. That’s very good, but not a true contender. The Hawks are solidly in the second tier of NBA teams. Here is how I would break down the league right now:

    First tier (contenders) PHI, BKN, UTA, PHX, MIL and LAC.

    Second tier (not contenders but close, maybe a player or 2 away) ATL, LAL, POR, DEN, DAL, MIA, and maybe GSW and BOS, (some have players recovering from injury, like DEN and GSW, who can put them in the top tier without roster moves.)

    Tier 3 (not anywhere near contenders, no clear path to building a contender but with some positive attributes): NYK, TOR, MEM, CHA, WAS, SAS, IND, NOP, maybe CHI. These teams could be on the rise (NYK, CHI or on the decline (WAS, TOR) so it’s really more about direction.

    Tier 4: the horrifically mismanaged and/or rebuilding teams who are likely lottery-bound (on paper) for the next couple of years: ORL, CLE, DET, MIN, HOU, OKC, SAC.

    To me, the tier 3 teams are mediocre.

  321. I think it’s fair to say that some of the notable upwards moves between tiers were PHX (3 to 1) ATL (3 to 2) NYK (4 to 3) UTA (2 to 1) BKN (2 to 1) MEM (4 to 3)

    Some downwards moves: HOU (2 to 4) TOR (2 to 3/4) IND (2 to 3) OKC (3 to 4) LAL (1 to 2)

  322. Reggie seems like a keeper to me, depending on the price of course. High character guy, two-way player…at something like $6 mill for 2 years with a team option, he’s a nice rotation player in today’s NBA.

    I’m guessing that Frank gets offered a better-than-minimum deal somewhere and that we don’t match.

    Burks is a tough one, he was great value on his current deal but at a higher price he probably just gets in the way of bigger things. I think he’s gone.

    Payton is obviously not in the plans.

    One of the biggest questions for me beyond the Randle dilemma is how much do you pay Derrick Rose? My fear is that we will bid against ourselves for him. Even with his stellar play this year, he is not worth anything in 8 figures in my book. If he can get more than that next year, I would wish him the best and move on.

  323. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats:
    Would anyone be opposed to this offseason plan?:
    1. Renounce Ntilikina, Burks, 6, and Bullock
    2. Re-sign Rose, Noel, and Taj
    3. Trade Knox and both of our 2nds to move back into the 1st round and add 3 1st round talents to build for the rotation
    4. Sign Graham and Otto Porter in free agency

    I like Devonte Graham, but i don’t like Otto Porter, so i’d be opposed to this plan, yeah. Anyway, just for the fun of it, tell us what money would you pay those guys and for how long.

    Also i think you’re missing the starter SG, as with your plan i come up with this team:
    D.GRAHAM + *DRose + Vildoza
    ??? + Quickley + 1RP
    Barrett + O.PORTER + 1RP
    Julius + Obi + 1RP
    Mitch + *Noel + *Taj
    (caps – new players, asterisk – guys to re-sign)

  324. Totes and Cybersoze, two concerns there. First, while I once had a crush on Otto, I don’t anymore. Not sure what happened, obviously injuries, but he’s not the player he was. So I’d pass. Second, you’ve lost really important fire power by dumping both Bullock and Burks. They’re both streaky, but they both repeatedly kept us in games throughout the season. Unless you replaced ??? with a real scorer, I think you’ve gone backwards with that team.

    If the price was right you could bring both back and slot them into Porter and ??? in whatever way you want (since both of them and Barrett are all basically the same size). It’s only adding a starting point guard and some rookies (while getting rid of some debris, and hopefully having a healthy Mitch), but I’d be willing to ride with that.

    If you can find a hotshot scorer for ???, that’s even better (although I’d still try to keep one of Bullock or Burks instead of Porter). I don’t know who that’d be though.

  325. Reggie seems like a keeper to me, depending on the price of course. High character guy, two-way player…at something like $6 mill for 2 years with a team option, he’s a nice rotation player in today’s NBA.

    I’d bring him back in a heartbeat at that price. But we’re not getting him at that price. He’ll get at least the full mid level from some team after the year he just had on both ends.

  326. Z-man: I’m guessing that Frank gets offered a better-than-minimum deal somewhere and that we don’t match.

    I would be surprised if Frank gets a Qualifying Offer, which would essentially give him a 1 year/$7M guaranteed contract with a no-trade clause, for fear that he would accept it. Without a Qualifying Offer, the Knicks would not have matching rights on Frank.

  327. Payton is gone — at this point, even the whole “kiss up to the agent he shares with Randle” doesn’t make sense for either party, since this season damaged his market value.

    Frank is almost certainly gone unless there’s just no market for him and he doesn’t want to go back to Europe. Thibs does seem to like him but also views him as a wing only, and we had too much depth there this year to play him over better options. Since I assume more wings are coming (even if Burks and Bullock are both elsewhere), no room at the inn for Jowles’ favorite Knick of all time.

    I have to think Knox is gone, but that assumes there’s another team out there that sees value in the rest of his contract and believes they can turn him into at least a back-of-the-rotation player. (If he were on any other team, we would likely be the team convinced it could fix him, given Payne, Wes, et al.) His contract for next year is already guaranteed, right? So we have to trade him?

  328. Furkan Korkmaz is a unrestricted free agent. I would rather him than Burks at the same price, because of his ability to hit the 3 on the move.

  329. Alan, maybe but maybe not. He has limitations and paying him starter’s money might not materialize. I also think he is at the stage in his career that fit is important to him, maybe not $5mill AAV important but he might consider a modest discount.

  330. cybersoze: I like Devonte Graham, but i don’t like Otto Porter, so i’d be opposed to this plan, yeah. Anyway, just for the fun of it, tell us what money would you pay those guys and for how long.

    Also i think you’re missing the starter SG, as with your plan i come up with this team:
    D.GRAHAM + *DRose + Vildoza
    ??? + Quickley + 1RP
    Barrett + O.PORTER + 1RP
    Julius + Obi + 1RP
    Mitch + *Noel + *Taj
    (caps – new players, asterisk – guys to re-sign)

    Honestly I don’t know what numbers I’d give them. But if Porter’s healthy, he replaces Bullock easy but adds more rebounding and playmaking. But given his injury history, I wouldn’t give him much more than 6-8m a year probably. Healthy, I’m starting him at SF and moving RJ back to G. I think Quickley is in line for a bigger role next season so I’m not so worried about letting Burks go- as long as one of the rookies plays SF and can shoot.

    I’ve heard alot of talk about foin for a big fish this offseason, but I’m not sure any of those “big fish” are worth it this offseason outside of CP3.

  331. frank for the minimum would be fine, but if I were him I’d go to Europe and play more. Elfrid should go, I think he can work as a backup in the NBA for the right team, but that team isn’t this Knicks team. Even if we just wind up with a placeholder vet PG next year we should get a different one (who can shoot).

    Either Bridges were obviously better picks at the time than Knox. So was SGA. Porter Jr we can’t really have an opinion on because we don’t have the relevant information (his reportedly terrible medicals).

  332. I really liked Otto Porter Jr when he was with the Wiz but his career seems to have been ruined by injury. But sure, for 8 million I’d give him a shot.

  333. The key question this offseason will be how much 2022 flexibility we’re willing to sacrifice to keep this team together and/or make it better.

    The summer of 2022 is pretty much the deadline for us to spend our cap space, assuming we re-sign Randle (seems like a safe assumption, if not a guarantee). Randle’s cap hold will likely be smaller than his AAV and Mitch’s cap hold will be minimal assuming we pick up his 4th year option.

    The free agent class in 2022 is stronger than this year’s class IMO, with some reasonable targets being Beal, LaVine, Rozier, Brunson, Kyle Anderson, Valanciunas, TJ Warren, Delon Wright, and Boucher (there are some pie-in-the-sky options like Curry/Butler/Harden/Kyrie/KD too).

    For that reason barring something unexpected I’m partial to trying to stick to one-year deals for both our own free agents and anyone else we sign. That is obviously a lot easier said than done, but might be doable if we inflate the salaries e.g. a 1/$15M deal for Bullock. We could still get better via internal improvement and replacing the Frank/Knox/Pelle dreck but it would be a concession of sorts that we’re not trying to make the leap to contention in 2021-2022.

    Of course, there might be 2021 opportunities that are worth cutting into the 2022 flexibility, There are definitely figures for our own guys and e.g. Powell and Payne that would be worth it. I just think a general approach that preserves a wide array of options for 2022 is our best bet to build a contender.

  334. Roster spots are an important resource and it’s worth asking if we’d even think of giving one to Frank Ntilikina if he had the same exact body of work these past four years but for another team. I think the endowment effect is afoot.

  335. If we don’t keep Frank we’ll need somebody else to perform the “come in for one possession at the end of the half and let the guy with the ball blow by me” role

  336. If we don’t keep Frank we’ll need somebody else to perform the “come in for one possession at the end of the half and let the guy with the ball blow by me” role

    Elfrid Payton should be pretty cheap this year

  337. Yeah, you guys are right, it’s not going to be easy to re-sign the band. They played well, some team will give them the dollars. Maybe keep the plan to give 1-year contracts, or even better 1+1 team option, either to them or to similar players.
    If we must choose, the guys i’d keep are DRose, Reggie and Taj.

    ephus: Furkan Korkmaz is a unrestricted free agent.I would rather him than Burks at the same price, because of his ability to hit the 3 on the move.

    Korkmaz is in fact a great idea, i don’t think he’ll be expensive, he’s very good for a backup, and he’s only 23. I thought he was older, like 26 or something.

    thenoblefacehumper: The summer of 2022 is pretty much the deadline for us to spend our cap space, assuming we re-sign Randle (seems like a safe assumption, if not a guarantee). Randle’s cap hold will likely be smaller than his AAV and Mitch’s cap hold will be minimal assuming we pick up his 4th year option.

    I’m starting to disagree with the Julius max next year, might be an overpay. The best case scenario for the Knicks is to offer him the max-extension, and he accepts it. He’ll be on the books for less money than the aforementioned cap hold, and it’ll extend the deadline to spend the cap space to 2023 (when RJ is going to get paid).

    thenoblefacehumper: pie-in-the-sky options like Curry/Butler/Harden/Kyrie/KD

    I don’t think Jimmy is a pie-in-the-sky option, because if the Heat have another disappointing season like this one, he might opt-out and come play with his old friends, Thibs, DRose and Taj.

  338. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats: 3. Trade Knox and both of our 2nds to move back into the 1st round and add 3 1st round talents to build for the rotation

    I’m thinking about this, because it’s a great idea. Would the Rockets accept that package for pick 24th?

  339. Don’t want to scare people but wouldn’t have been logical to trade Frank a few months ago if he wasn’t on team’s plan?
    There were reports that we denied dealing him a few months ago.

  340. I can’t imagine anyone giving up anything of value for That Particular Player

  341. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I can’t imagine anyone giving up anything of value for That Particular Player

    According to published reports, the Knicks could have either sent Frank or DSJ & 2nd Round Pick for Derrick Rose. Obviously, they chose to send the package and hold onto Frank. I wonder whether that was pro-Frank or anti-DSJ. He might have been very ornery buried below Elfrid & DRose.

  342. cybersoze: And it’s another one for the All-Name team… Vrenz Bleijenbergh! :D

    He’s on a shooting Vrenzy tonight!

  343. backtracking a bit – bruno, you pretty much had me convinced the hawks were a mediocre (not nearly championship level team) until dear donnie dropped this gem:

    In a 30 team league, “mediocre” would be the 10-20 ranked teams

    ugh, so hard to argue with logic…

    you do though get the award for the funniest comment of the off-season:

    I really didn’t understand why you were so angry

    your unbridled optimism warms my heart…

  344. from the lyrical wisdom of mister shakur: i woke up screamin’ fuck the world!!!

    damn skippy…

  345. cybersoze:
    Can we draft this guy with the 58th pick? He was born in Belgium, like Frank, and is called unicorn, like KP. We’d have 4 years to talk about him, hopefully with a better end result than Frank/KP.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToRQmA9bBz4

    I like him too..I’m not so sure he’s there at 58 though. We may have to take him at 32 if we want him as a project. Hell, he may even somehow rise to the end of round 1

  346. geo: I really didn’t understand why you were so angry

    your unbridled optimism warms my heart…

    I didn’t understand it either. Hence the apology. For the record, most of the time I’ve been angry, it’s been at least defensible. Not this time.

  347. in line with our off-season theme:

    so I’ve been absolutely obsessed with wwe’s lost treasures show…I was never much more than a casual pro wrestling man, but, stayed aware of it pretty well from’75 to ’95…

    the show is really bringing back a lot of memories from that period in time…

    I’ve mentioned it before but one of my favorite sports movies is the wrestler

    ps4 recently put wwe 2k20 on sale for $15, so the kids have been playing at pro wrestling like crazy the last day since we downloaded it…

    I shall make my ring debut tonight and try not to get crushed too hard by the kids…

  348. I think it is definitely NOT too early to grade them on last year. They made plenty of moves consistent with a chosen strategy and seem to execute that strategy brilliantly. Rose is probably in the running for executive of the year. Any fair-minded analysis would give them an A (or A- or A+) for what the FO has done thus far.

    Now, does that mean that the job is done? Of course not. Might they totally screw up going forward? Absolutely! Was going with the “win now but build for the future plan” the best choice? It’s a fair debate. Was there some good luck involved? Probably, but that’s true for all winning organizations.

    +100
    Two things in this regard:
    1. The book on the Obi pick is not yet finished. We still may have been better off w/Hali, but the way Obi closed the regular season and playoffs with playing competent minutes makes me think there’s more under the hood.

    2. I brought up a while back that many of us did not calculate or anticipate the positive effect of a FO and coaching staff that establishes a good foundation of culture for their players, a culture of hard work and development (who knew?!) While it ultimately wasn’t enough to overcome a overall lack of talent (which we all knew was gonna bite them sooner or later in the playoffs), it’s one part of the equation that can be carried over and built upon whenever the team does look to improve the talent base.

    The culture of any kind of organized group of people goes a long way in developing an identity. Leon Rose & Co have begun to build the type of culture that can – dare I say – distance itself from the team’s owner and their recent past. An identity that has begun to move the organization away from the #lolKnicks days. I’d say that’s worth at least a lottery pick…

  349. I attended my first playoff game since game 5 of the 1999 finals this evening. It was a bit weird congregating indoors with thousands of other people, but it was fun to be out and at an arena again. I could get used to the short lines at for concessions and extra elbow room at the seats. But, to be honest, it felt kind of like a regular season Clippers game but with clean toilets.

  350. Donnie Walsh: it was fun to be out and at an arena again (…) But, to be honest, it felt kind of like a regular season Clippers game but with clean toilets

    Yeah, that’s all cool and stuff, but about what’s really important.. did you start the chant “Kawhi, please come to the Knicks” or what? :D

  351. You know what? I just thought about something. Maybe it’s because of my biased hopes for the kid, but I think Ntikikina’s corner 3 is real. Would it be so bad if we retain him and pencil him in as the Bullock replacement at the 2? Like..suppose we land a vet PG like Lowry or CP3? Wouldn’t he be a great fit alongside one of those 2? He’d be another ball handler out there with plus defense and a 3 ball. Maybe that’s the way to go this offseason? Graham can get into the paint as well, would a Graham/Ntilikina backcourt complement Julius and RJ well? I’m thinkin that if we go the Graham or even Nunn route, we might be able to bring everyone back (except Bullock and 6), and still extend Julius and Mitch. Would that be a solid enough core to have while the 2-3 rookies we come out of the draft with develop?

  352. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats:
    You know what? I just thought about something. Maybe it’s because of my biased hopes for the kid, but I think Ntikikina’s corner 3 is real. Would it be so bad if we retain him and pencil him in as the Bullock replacement at the 2?

    Stop making sense. That’s not allowed here.

    Bullock is the type of player Frank should be trying to model himself after now. He can try to expand his offense a bit later. He’s still very young. He had no role this year because we have Bullock in a 3&D role now. Bullock is the more consistent and experienced. Our overall lack of firepower on offense kept Frank out of most other lineups.

    If we sign Bullock back, then Frank will probably move someplace like Detroit, Dallas, Orlando etc.. that’s either rebuilding or could use some defense. But if we allow Bullock to leave because he costs too much or we upgrade that position, Frank would be a very cheap alternative off the bench in the 3&D role. And you correct. his current normalized 3p% is hard to know because even though he shot great this year the sample is too small. It’s hard to know how much was noise, improvement, better shot selection etc.. However, he’s pretty good from the corner for his career. So that’s likely real.

  353. continued

    For Frank (or Bullock for that matter) to really be useful to the Knicks we need a #1 option. If we have a #1, Randle, and RJ, then a 3&D player would fit nicely. If it’s Randle and RJ as #1 and #2, a 3&D player is not a very good idea. We did it this year because we lacked offensive talent and took whatever we could get on offense from Bullock as long as he gave us some space and solid D. That was not ideal even though I like him a lot as a role player.

  354. Everybody needs to promise they won’t continue to talk about [redacted] when he’s a solid 8th man for a European team or the 15th man for the Pistons or whatever

  355. thenoblefacehumper:
    Everybody needs to promise they won’t continue to talk about [redacted] when he’s a solid 8th man for a European team or the 15th man for the Pistons or whatever

    Depends on the nature of “whatever.” If Frank goes on to be a decent rotation player on an NBA team, get ready for a decade of “I told you so!”

  356. Deeefense, if your premise is that if we are banking on Randle and RJ being our #1 and #2 options, we’re in trouble, I would tend to agree. To get from where they are right now to the next level is way harder than it was to make the improvements they did last offseason. Every player has a hard ceiling somewhere. Personally, I think that ceiling is below #2 on a contender for both of them. But here’s to hoping that I’m wrong!

  357. You know what? I just thought about something. Maybe it’s because of my biased hopes for the kid, but I think Ntikikina’s corner 3 is real.

    Since we’re putting faith in teeny tiny sample sizes, is Frank’s .194 shooting percentage from 2pt also real? Because that’s what Frenchy shot from 2pt this year.

  358. Gutted about Stefanos on behalf of my wife. Kid played great though.

    We really talking about Frank?

  359. We really talking about Frank?

    Would it be Knickerblogger if we weren’t talking about Frank? I may be misremembering, but I could have sworn we were discussing Frank even back in the Donnie Walsh era.

  360. I vaguely remember someone bringing up a long-armed French toddler who was killing it on the U4 Fisher-Price circuit…

  361. I wouldn’t be shocked if IQ, Frank, RJ, Knox and Obi share the knicks court together next season.

  362. How do we know that Frank ( name not redacted) en wants to come back here? He can get his 23.2 seconds of playing time elsewhere, probably.

  363. Except the fact that all these “scrubbs” were drafted by the Knicks there are two other things that could help them all return.
    1. High Character
    2. 3p shooting

    #Z-man
    June 13, 2021 at 3:44 pm
    Knew Your Nicks:
    I wouldn’t be shocked if IQ, Frank, RJ, Knox and Obi share the knicks court together next season.

    I would put the odds at 10,000-1 against it…#

    I’d easily put 2$ on that bet!

  364. I’d consider locking up Frank on a deal similar to what we did with Mitch, say 5 years for $15 million. We’d probably be very happy with this contract a year or two from now.

  365. Kyrie just got injured landing on Giannis’s foot. It looks like a high ankle sprain. Doesn’t look good.

  366. DudeInKnicksTown:
    Kyrie just got injured landing on Giannis’s foot. It looks like a high ankle sprain. Doesn’t look good.

    Edit: He’s gingerly walking off of the court but it looked terrible when it happened.

  367. Almost all players on bucks nets can shoot 3s
    3 looks like the new D
    If not “3 wins Chips” from now on then definitely “3&D wins them”

  368. If the Bucks win this series it should have a huge asterisk next to it like Toronto’s championship

  369. I’m not rooting for Brooklyn per se..but I want Milwaukee to lose this serious. It sucks that they would be losing to Brooklyn, but with Dame’s situation and the Lakers losing- I’m rooting for a landscape shake-up in the offseason. So I need Milwaukee to go home early, I need Philly to lose to Atlanta, and I need the Clips to lose. Denver has an excuse against Phoenix, but they would have no need to shake things up anyway.

  370. ***If the Bucks win this series it should have a huge asterisk next to it like Toronto’s championship***

    There’s no asterisk on Toronto’s trophy. They won it fair and square with nothing controversial about it.

    That said, crippling injuries to Durant and Thompson (both of whom played 78 games and 2700 minutes that season) was a lot more surprising than Harden (who was injured all year) and Irving (who is hardly ever healthy) going down. This is what happens when you trade your depth for one guy. Why should opponents be penalized with an asterisk for the Nets risky business model?

  371. Can you imagine Thibs doing a five-man mass substitution down only 15 with 4:28 left in a regular season game, much less a playoff game?

  372. Fuck, this garbage time reminds me that we have lost games to Alize Johnson and Reggie Perry…

  373. Assembling a SUPER Team and Losing your Stars one by one seems like a Happy Ending to me!
    I hate injuries of great players as i hate wishing for injuries but what i hate most is fucking the competition of a highly competitive league.

  374. And KD is master in fucking nba’s competition:
    There goes the vulgar Trae-chant perfectly:

    FUCK KD!

  375. Injuries are part of the game and history is full of unfortunate situations.
    Just in the last few years:

    Lakers won the 2020 Finals with Dragic and Adebajo injured,
    Toronto won the 2019 Finals with Durant and Thompson injured,
    Warriors won the 2015 Finals with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving injured.

    And one can go down in the past and find many other examples (in the Finals or in earlier rounds).

    No astericks needed.

    Oh, one last thing before I forget: fuck the Nets.

  376. Nets & Bucks will play Tuesday & Thursday, with Game 7 (if necessary) on Saturday. If neither Irving nor Harden can go on Tuesday, that is a huge challenge for Durant.

  377. The ONLY entertaining things about these soulless superteams is when they lose.

    Of all the teams remaining in the playoffs, the only team I am actively rooting against is the Nets.

  378. JK47:
    The ONLY entertaining things about these soulless superteams is when they lose.

    Of all the teams remaining in the playoffs, the only team I am actively rooting against is the Nets.

    Agree, I wouldn’t mind seeing any of the remaining teams except the Nets win it all

    Well maybe not the Clippers because Ballmer is a bit of a blowhard, and if Playoff P continues to be non-Robin to Kawhi’s Batman maybe Kawhi will bolt.

  379. The Nets when they were all healthy were pretty amazing, that would have been a fun team to watch. They never played together enough to irritate me. Maybe next year.

  380. Porzingis was injured when one on one with Giannis and now Harden too. I hope it’s not a trend.

  381. d-mar: Well maybe not the Clippers because Ballmer is a bit of a blowhard, and if Playoff P continues to be non-Robin to Kawhi’s Batman maybe Kawhi will bolt.

    Kawhi leaving the Clippers is a high-risk/high-reward proposition. If he were to leave, Miami would have the cap space to make him a 35% Max offer (they would have to decline the options on Dragic and Iguodala and renounce their Bird rights on Ariza, Bjelica, Nunn and Robinson (the last one would hurt)). I do not know whether Kawhi would pick New York over playing with Butler and Adebayo.

    If Kawhi went to Miami, they would clearly move into the top echelon of teams in the East. There would be four Eastern Conference teams that would be much more talented than the Knicks, with Atlanta and Boston at the same level.

  382. Durant taking them to the title with both Harden and Kyrie out the rest of the way would be a hell of a storyline….

  383. If Curry and Draymond Green couldn’t lead the Warriors to one win against the Lakers or the Grizzlies, I don’t see how Durant and Jeff Green can lead the Nets to many playoff wins going forward. Especially not 2 of 3 against the Bucks, 4 of 7 against the Sixers, and 4 of 7 against whatever team survives the west. But, yes, hell of a story line if that happens.

  384. I’m rooting for the Bucks to get to the finals just because I like Giannis so much and Milwaukee seems like a place that could use some good news. Bucks-Suns would be my choice.

  385. Bogdanovic promoting Greek generosity and special effects yesterday:

    “In the NBA you’re not getting hit by coins or lighters when you shoot free throws, they are not going to put the lasers in your eyes. Like in Panathinaikos’ (arena), I remember this, the green laser. It’s super tough to shoot like that! Now I know, I don’t have (to deal with this). It’s all about confidence, it’s mental”, explained the Hawks star.

  386. KD is in my list of P*OAT.
    If he gets the title this season w/o the other two he automatically goes to my GOAT list.

    *Pussiest

  387. I’d love to see the Nets and Clippers in the finals simply because I love watching the world burn. I think the overreactions from people about players like KD, Irving, George etc are hilarious and it would keep me fed on entertainment for weeks on end.

    But my personal choice would be anything between Suns / Jazz vs Sixers, also to watch the anti-process people have a meltdown (and the Jazz and Suns are simply playing beautiful basketball).

  388. He needs to change his name to Cameron Excruciatingpayne after Jokic locked, cocked, and crunched his face…

  389. You hate seeing Mikal, Porter, Donovan, etc. tearing it up. The only solace is that if we drafted any one of those guys, Steve Mills might still be in charge. That’s all I got.

  390. Serious basketball fans understand the greatness of Chris Paul, but sometimes I think he’s still underrated. I’m not sure the Suns have enough firepower to win it all, but it would be nice to see CP3 hoist the trophy.

  391. Deeefense:
    Serious basketball fans understand the greatness of Chris Paul, but sometimes I think he’s still underrated.I’m not sure the Suns have enough firepower to win it all, but it would be nice to see CP3 hoist the trophy.

    …especially for Hubert!

  392. Deeefense: Serious basketball fans understand the greatness of Chris Paul, but sometimes I think he’s still underrated. I’m not sure the Suns have enough firepower to win it all, but it would be nice to see CP3 hoist the trophy.

    I always flashback to Chris Paul melting down against OKC. In particular, I think about him turning the ball over by launching a shot when he thought he was fouled to get three foul shots instead of two. No foul was called, OKC recovered and scored, and came back to win.

    For me, that play encapsulates the tragedy of Chris Paul. Some players are not smart enough. Chris Paul has been too smart for his own good.

  393. This has been the first time a Chris Paul team swept anyone in the playoffs. He’s simply never had real quality teams around him, and when he did he got injured himself. With the Nets injuries the title is wide open and I like the Suns’ chances, they match up very well against Utah and I think they have a very good chance against any team that’s not the fully healthy Nets. Their defense is legitimately good, Ayton is playing like a star and so is Booker. It all really hinges on CP3’s health, but they’ll have a week to rest and prepare.

  394. Chris Paul gonna win a chip, maybe. Of the 7 remaining teams, I think 6 can win it all. If Brooklyn isn’t healthy, that’s 5.

    Off-topic: never been much of a Bo Burnham fan but his latest special on Netflix is transcendent. If you’re a fan of experimental form in comedy, turn that shit on and turn your phone off. Still thinking about it a day later.

  395. Re: the draft, I think this FO is going to do everything they can to trade up. A top-10 pick is more valuable in a trade than a few “late firsts” regardless of how the talent shakes out in the draft.
    You never know who is high or nonexistent on another team’s draft board, so moving up can always benefit the team.
    We could move up to 13 or so with our two picks, but then a package with that 13 could jump us up even higher (although top-5 seems unlikely).
    Remember, they have an extra Dallas pick and our own picks to sweeten a deal, plus some tantalizing rookies. Maybe this maneuvering gets them Giddey in the end or even a real #2 option (Ingram, Fox, etc.) It’s very hard to tell yet, but jockeying for better position always helps your trade odds.

  396. I know, it’s not “Three or Rim”, so it’s not modern, efficient and smart,
    but CP3’s display of pull-up midrange jumpers was a thing of beauty…

    I’d like IQ to work on that kinda shot.

  397. Max:
    I know, it’s not “Three or Rim”, so it’s not modern, efficient and smart,
    but CP3’s display of pull-up midrange jumpers was a thing of beauty…

    I’d like IQ to work on that kinda shot.

    It will continue to be sad to me that CP3’s midrange game is an outlier in today’s NBA. That’s the game I grew up with. Although you could make the argument that plodding C’s posting up a billion times a game was also ugly, there has to me a middle ground somewhere. I still think that the most beautiful basketball ever played was the ’80s Celts and Lakers, and the mid-2010s Spurs. The NBA should consider rules changes to encourage that kind of basketball.

  398. Speaking of CP3, recent chatter has him opting out to seek a 3/$60M contract. That’s only 16M more (the option is 44M for next season), for 2 more years, but at his age it’s probably best to guarantee more money now than wait for next year.
    It just happens that 20M AAV aligns with Knicks plans to keep Julius+RJ+Mitch+Quick and have space for a max in 2022.
    For me, if he can put another all star season next year, and help bring a max guy here, that contract is worth it even if the last 2 years are him falling off a cliff.
    What do you guys think?

  399. I’m as skeptical as Bidiong,
    I find it hard to believe that he’ll leave Phoenix after a season like this (it will not happen).

    But as far as dreams go I’m all in for him at 3Yrs/60M… (it will not happen)

    BTW that’s what I’ll be willing give to Lowry too, with the third year a team option (It will not happen).

  400. The other way of looking at the Phoenix situation is that he has given them a championship, and also finally won one himself. So there’s no guilt if he leaves, and he can check one or two more items off his career bucket list by playing in New York and for his buddy Leon.

    I am not expecting it, either, especially given that his family is in LA. But to me it feels more like there’s a tiny chance of him leaving if Phoenix wins the title, and zero chance if that ascendant team still has unfinished business after the playoffs.

  401. Well, Kawhi left Toronto after bringing them a championship, and Raptors fans weren’t really all that bitter about it either.

    So you never know how it’s gonna go with CP3…

  402. Was already rooting for CP3 to win a ring. I guess we’re all collectively doing the same.

    Though he’s so damn competitive I could see him wanting to go for a repeat with that same Suns squad.

  403. Max:
    I know, it’s not “Three or Rim”, so it’s not modern, efficient and smart,
    but CP3’s display of pull-up midrange jumpers was a thing of beauty…

    I’d like IQ to work on that kinda shot.

    It really is modern, efficient and smart. There was a stat that Kawhi Leonard was shooting 67% from midrange this post-season, Paul made I don’t even know how many in a row last night. If a guy can shoot this well from midrange, no analytic model would ever tell him not to take those shots because they are ridiculously efficient shots in this specific case. What analytics doesn’t want is Jamal.Crawford taking 10 midrange shots at 38% per game. If you’re elite at this shot, to the point where you can expect to score more than shooting 3s, by all means take as many as you want.

  404. I really think if CP3 preferred being in NYC to Phoenix he could’ve made it happen pretty easily last offseason – stars are generally pretty good at getting traded to the team they want to be traded to and that’s even when they don’t have a personal connection with the POBO of the team they’re trying to get dealt to. He seemed pretty happy to be there and that was before being validated by all the success on the court. Seems like a longshot.

  405. If you’re elite at this shot, to the point where you can expect to score more than shooting 3s, by all means take as many as you want.

    It’s also worth saying about the Suns offense that a huge part of the story of their efficient midrange scoring is the pressure they’re putting on the rim via Ayton’s interior threat, and on the 3-point line with Bridges, Crowder, Booker, Payne, etc. Even CP3 himself I think would tell you that when he runs a PnR with Ayton he’s looking for the roll man first (rim), the wide open man in the corner second (3s) but with the knowledge that if the team plays a drop and doesn’t help from the corners he’s going to walk into FT line jumpers all day and that’s a great shot for him.

    Great offense is about having a theory of how you want to get really efficient shots and then having counters if the defense takes away your primary options that while maybe not quite as efficient as the primary options are still effective. The Suns, like many teams, use the midrange as a really effective counter when defenses try to take away everything else from them in the pick and roll game, but they also are always hunting for even better stuff despite CP3 being one of the best midrange shooters alive.

  406. His kids still go to school in LA. He’s not moving to the East Coast unless it’s for another huge contract.

  407. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    His kids still go to school in LA. He’s not moving to the East Coast unless it’s for another huge contract.

    Maybe he’ll move East to evade his impersonator in those State Farm commercials?

  408. thenamestsam: It’s also worth saying about the Suns offense that a huge part of the story of their efficient midrange scoring is the pressure they’re putting on the rim via Ayton’s interior threat, and on the 3-point line with Bridges, Crowder, Booker, Payne, etc. Even CP3 himself I think would tell you that when he runs a PnR with Ayton he’s looking for the roll man first (rim), the wide open man in the corner second (3s) but with the knowledge that if the team plays a drop and doesn’t help from the corners he’s going to walk into FT line jumpers all day and that’s a great shot for him.

    Great offense is about having a theory of how you want to get really efficient shots and then having counters if the defense takes away your primary options that while maybe not quite as efficient as the primary options are still effective. The Suns, like many teams, use the midrange as a really effective counter when defenses try to take away everything else from them in the pick and roll game, but they also are always hunting for even better stuff despite CP3 being one of the best midrange shooters alive.

    Exactly. He basically said this in the post-game interview, that when he was on the Clippers he realized teams were starting to play hardcore drop coverage and he basically trained that midrange elbow shot as a counter to those defensive schemes.

    This is a genius level Point Guard doing this stuff, that’s the point, the midrange hasn’t disappeared from the game, but it’s actually become a shot that is really only worth it when done by this type of guy. It’s beautiful to watch precisely because it’s Chris Paul or Kawhi, and not Jerry Stackhouse chucking 2 pointers over defenders at 40%.

  409. To equal a 3 pt shooter averaging 36%, a 2-pt shooter has to average 54%. Chris Paul averaged 54% this year. (Booker averaged 54.2%). Paul is at .509 for his career.

    I do still love the mid-range game, regardless of math.

  410. It would be reasonable to think that an open mid range is a better shot than a covered 3. I’d imagine that it depends on the amount of practice you have have on the shot though.

  411. DudeInKnicksTown:
    I’d consider locking up Frank on a deal similar to what we did with Mitch, say 5 years for $15 million. We’d probably be very happy with this contract a year or two from now.

    I’m down with this

  412. For anyone who enjoys Mavs schadenfreude, The Athletic has a piece about major dysfunction in their front office, particularly regarding Bob Voulgaris acting as their shadow GM.

    Luka is still gonna sign the supermax there, but people are worried that if they don’t start doing better in the playoffs soon, he’ll want out: “It’s not that Doncic’s situation with the team is at a critical inflection point right now. Multiple team sources simply fear that it’s heading that direction.” Lots of messy details at the link.

  413. midrange shots aren’t inherently inefficient…. just like long touchdown bombs are probably the most efficent plays in football…. you can’t just bomb it down the field every single time… neither can you hit homeruns every single time you’re at bat….

    the defense will take away the most efficient shots you can generate some to most of the time… they won’t just let you waltz to the paint and lay it in every single time… neither are they going to send you to the line or give up a wide open 3…. so there’s going to be a certain large percentage of shots that you need to take that’s in between the rim and 3pt area… and it’s usually the majority of the shots since you have to go up against a defense that takes everything else away….

    if you hit those really really well then you’re a significant step up from your competition… and that’s a big chunk of the value of stars that can generate efficient shots from anywhere….. and that’s why they are so valuable in the playoffs where defenses get tighter and they take away most of the things you like to do…. where it doesn’t make sense is when you settle for those 18 ft’ers early in the shotclock against bad defenses in the regular season… that’s where those type of shots really suck….

    so the calculus on a midrange shot shouldn’t be compared directly to a 3pt shot… it should be compared to the type of shots you give up to the opposition and how often they hit them..

  414. Alan:
    For anyone who enjoys Mavs schadenfreude, The Athletic has a piece about major dysfunction in their front office, particularly regarding Bob Voulgaris acting as their shadow GM.

    Bob Voulgaris? Now there’s a name you can have fun with!

    Yeah, no sympathy for the Nets and the egos involved. Go Bucks! I’d like to see Philly knocked out, as well.

  415. In mid-April, during the final minute of a home defeat to the New York Knicks, Voulgaris was seen on the game’s broadcast footage standing up and leaving with about 45 seconds remaining. While the Mavericks were trailing by 10 points at the time, they cut the deficit to six and extended the game seven more possessions before eventually losing.

    I just want to use this awful paragraph to promote the Elam Ending

  416. Alan:
    For anyone who enjoys Mavs schadenfreude, The Athletic has a piece about major dysfunction in their front office, particularly regarding Bob Voulgaris acting as their shadow GM.

    Luka is still gonna sign the supermax there, but people are worried that if they don’t start doing better in the playoffs soon, he’ll want out: “It’s not that Doncic’s situation with the team is at a critical inflection point right now. Multiple team sources simply fear that it’s heading that direction.” Lots of messy details at the link.

    I don’t see why they gave Bob Voulgaris a lot of power to begin with. There’s a huge difference between finding something that other gamblers aren’t valuing properly in the odds lines (and winning money) and constructing a team, creating basketball strategies, using the right lineups, etc.. With all his models and stats I’m sure there was role for him somewhere, but I think Cuban overestimated what BV could do.

    As far as I’m concerned a couple of the lineups and strategies they were using in the Clipper series were beyond stupid.

    All GMs (or shadow GMs) are going to make mistakes, but basically proclaiming that your strategy is to provide space for Doncic and allowing him to do everything (imo dumb to begin with) and then trading Seth Curry for Josh Richardson was beyond idiotic. They obviously needed some defensive help, but Seth Curry was critical to their offense and Josh Richardson was never an impact defender or 3&D player. That trade set them back instead of moving them forward.

  417. so the calculus on a midrange shot shouldn’t be compared directly to a 3pt shot… it should be compared to the type of shots you give up to the opposition and how often they hit them..

    I absolutely 100% agree.

    You tend to play the best teams with the best defenses in the playoffs. Those defenses are trying to take away all the things you do very efficiently. They are more focused on what you are doing well and make adjustments. “X” of the time you are going to have to take a mid range shot. If you have players that are very good from there it will help the overall efficiency of the team even if in theory you’d rather have a shot at the rim or take a corner 3. What you want in theory does not always equal what you can get. Finally, I think some players simply get tight under extreme playoff pressure. The basket shrinks for those guys as you extend out to the 3 point line. Some even get tight from the FT line. The closer you get, the less that pressure seems to hurt. IMO the math kind of changes under extreme pressure.

  418. I’d consider locking up Frank on a deal similar to what we did with Mitch, say 5 years for $15 million.

    Things I’d rather do than give Frank Ntilikina a five year contract:

    1. Try to talk Mardy Collins out of retirement
    2. Convert Taj Gibson to point guard
    3. Staple a slice of provolone cheese to my ass
    4. Eat a durian pie
    5. Cut off 1.5 of my thumbs
    6. Work for a year as James Dolan’s guitar tech

  419. I still think that the most beautiful basketball ever played was the ’80s Celts and Lakers, and the mid-
    2010s Spurs. The NBA should consider rules changes to encourage that kind of basketball.

    That was some great basketball. So was Walton’s Blazers and the Clyde’s Knicks.

    The Spurs team that beat the Heat was insanely beautiful to watch.

  420. 3. Staple a slice of provolone cheese to my ass

    You can trash Frank all you want, but leave provolone cheese out of this. I can’t get enough of that stuff. :-)

  421. “so the calculus on a midrange shot shouldn’t be compared directly to a 3pt shot… it should be compared to the type of shots you give up to the opposition and how often they hit them..”

    Agree with this, too. Just considering what a good 2-pt-shooter looks like.

    When glancing at the list for 2021, of course most of the high-end guys were monster dunkers, but two that stood out were our very own Dougie McBuckets at 64.1% (remember all those back-door cuts for layups back in the day…) and Duncan Robinson at 62.3%. Both Bridges are on the list, Mikal at 63.7 for 8th and Miles at 22 with 59.8%.

  422. Rubbing my hands together in a “Good, Good!” motion hearing about the disarray in the Mavericks FO.

  423. I’m trying to find a news story actually worth a new post and I was at the NY Post and there’s a headline about Kevin Hart trashing “cancel culture” and I just adore the idea of being, like, “What does Kevin Hart think about ‘cancel culture’? I must know!”

  424. Barrettcuda:
    Rubbing my hands together in a “Good, Good!” motion hearing about the disarray in the Mavericks FO.

    As Philly has shown, a FO can be in a complete shambles and still put a successful team on the court. The key is having a Superstar like Doncic or Embiid.

  425. Actually, a Frank thread wouldn’t be a terrible idea. I mean, it’s a terrible idea in some ways, but you know what I mean, so that’s what I’ll do.

  426. I probably should just do one for all of the Knick free agents and possible traded player (like Knox).

  427. JK47: Things I’d rather do than give Frank Ntilikina a five year contract:

    1. Try to talk Mardy Collins out of retirement
    2. Convert Taj Gibson to point guard
    3. Staple a slice of provolone cheese to my ass
    4. Eat a durian pie
    5. Cut off 1.5 of my thumbs
    6. Work for a year as James Dolan’s guitar tech

    So you agree with me, don’t you? :)

  428. I believe that the Nets are done. That Kyrie injury isn’t going to heal itself in a week or two. Harden’s injury seems to be chronic. Plus PJ Tucker is living in KD’s head. I just don’t see them winning.

  429. I mean, take away two of the three best players of any team and I would agree that they’d probably lose. Imagine the 1991 Bulls trying to win with BJ Armstrong, John Paxson, Scottie Pippen, Stacey King and Bill Cartwright.

    And the weird thing for me is that the one guy they have left uninjured is the only one who doesn’t have experience playing without the other two. Both Kyrie and Harden were used to playing without KD and each other, but he’s not used to playing without them.

  430. Brian, KD looked like he was lost without them yesterday. Joe Harris is a nice auxiliary piece but it’s basically KD against the world now.

  431. I like the Nets’ chances tomorrow in Brooklyn (and I do not like the Nets) — even without Irving or Harden. Here are the key moves I expect Nash to employ.

    1. Limit Giannis’ fast break opportunities by getting back on defense and building the wall after every missed shot.
    2. Very physical defense, daring the refs to call fouls.
    3. If the refs call fouls and put Milwaukee into the bonus with more than 2 minutes left in any quarter, the return of Hack-A-Giannis. He is hitting well under 50% of his free throws.
    4. KD as the ball handler on pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop plays with Blake Griffin and Joe Harris.
    5. Lots of no PG looks, with Harris/Shamet/Green/Blake/KD. Shamet will defend PJ Tucker and dare the Bucks to run the offense through Tucker in the post.

Leave a Reply