ESPN.com: Julius Randle agrees to 4-year, $117 million extension with New York Knicks

From Woj:

New York Knicks All-Star forward Julius Randle has agreed to a four-year, $117 million contract extension — elevating his deal’s total value to five years and $140 million, his agents, Aaron Mintz and Steven Heumann of CAA Sports, told ESPN.

The extension includes a player option on the final season in 2025-26.

Randle had a remarkable, breakthrough season for the Knicks, earning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and second-team All-NBA honors on his way to leading the franchise back to the playoffs with a fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Randle could’ve waited for his contract to expire next season and signed a new $200 million deal, but extending now off his current $19.8 million salary for 2021-22 gives the Knicks financial flexibility to shape the roster and allows him to commit through his prime to a franchise and city he has come to adore — and one that has come to adore him.

Gotta give Rose a lot of credit for convincing Randle to leave roughly EIGHTY MILLION dollars on the table in this deal. NBA players typically don’t do stuff like this, so while I’m sure part of it is just Randle’s personality (the guy is clearly committed to the Knicks, even to the detriment of his own paycheck), you have to give Rose credit for playing off of Randle’s personality to get him to agree to this way below-market value contract.

Now, of course, if Randle goes back to his 2019-20 level of play, this contract is an overpay, but I think even one season of 2019-20 play after his 2020-21 level of play would still get him the mega-max, just due to the lack of free agents out there who have ever made second-team All-NBA.

Anyhow, very good move by Rose. Now there’s no reason not to lock Mitch up, so go get him an extension!

As part of our all-poll content…

If you were in Randle's shoes, would you take this extension?

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372 thoughts to “ESPN.com: Julius Randle agrees to 4-year, $117 million extension with New York Knicks”

  1. No idea why Randle would agree to this contract (I wonder if he fires his agent in a couple years) and I still have my doubts on Randle’s ability to play off the ball next to a better playmaker/scorer but this is obviously a good deal for us.

  2. What a great day, even better than yesterday. Randle is a beast, is a great player, and an even better human being. I voted yes, but i’m a fan, it’s not usual to get a player that’s also a fan. I’m so happy we have him. :)))
    PS: And we have to thank also Mills and KD for it, which is odd, but both played a part in this. LOL

  3. There was probably a lot of teams planning to (try to) get Randle next offseason, feels even better to be the ones ruining the party, for a change. :D

  4. Randle just seems like a great dude.

    My kid absolutely loves him. Randle’s son does basketball classes at House of Sports in Westchester – my kid also does various sports there and saw Randle just sitting on the side watching. So my son and one of his teammates just wander up to him and start talking to him – he was so friendly, took pictures with them, etc.

    Bear in mind this was literally 2-3 days after we lost to Atlanta. But he was still just great with the kids.

    I think the guy is just really happy here. He’s already made $60MM in his career, now tack on another $140MM. Kudos to him for sacrificing some for the team, and kudos to Rose/Wes/Aller/Thibs and co. for creating an environment good enough that he felt comfortable doing this.

  5. Will be interesting to see whether his sacrifice carries over to other guys on the team. Will RJ Barrett take a slight discount on his eventual extension? Will Mitch Rob get extended at a team-friendly rate ? I believe we can still extend him even though we’ve used up our cap space.

  6. I tried too much to control myself in my early take on this.

    It’s a great move.
    If JR plays like last year this is the heist of the decade,
    if he regresses a bit it’s a steal,
    if he’s worse it’s still the right gamble to take.

    The man is a workaholic, he embraced NY and the Knicks, he gave his 100% every game, even when he did dumb things or was bad like in the playoffs.

    He deserved it and the FO did a great job, easing him into re-signing…

    We’re not accustomed to what happened in this last two days, let’s rejoice.

  7. Fournier with a boneheaded offensive foul leading to a Slovenia 3. Fouls out after a great game. 90-89 with 33 seconds left!

  8. One leftover bit of business from last night’s discussion:

    @FredKatz
    One more tidbit, per sources: The Spurs are trading the rights to international prospect and former first-round pick Nikola Milutinov to the Nets as part of the five-team mega trade that’s bringing Russell Westbrook to L.A. and Spencer Dinwiddie to D.C.

    So the Nets didn’t get completely boned in the deal, Brian. Just mostly.

  9. Can’t help but wonder to what extent the FO may have used Randle’s piss poor playoff performance as leverage in convincing him to sign the extension and leave all that $$$ on the table. Whatever gambit Rose & Co may have employed to make it happen, kudos!

    & hang in there, geo. You represent this community at its absolute best

  10. It all makes sense now. They told Tom Thibodeau to keep playing Elfrid Payton so that Aaron Mintz, the agent for both Payton and Randle, would convince Julius to sign this summer.

    We now have Julius Randle and Kemba Walker for the cost of one max player. We have all of our young guys, all of our picks, plus the (likely) CHA 2023 and the DAL 2023. I’m very excited about the Knicks.

  11. we speculated about randle taking the extension much in the offseason and i thought there was a very good shot of him taking it…. seems like lavine was also taking the extension too… it was a lot of money to turn down merely to try and repeat an all-nba season which was going to be hard if some injuries heal up… but also some 3pt shooting regressing would have made it seem really really bad…

    i wouldn’t really credit rose for this… randle signing is entirely his decision just like it is for any other player and he took the conservative route…. it’s really hard to pry away players from the team unless things go by the wayside… it makes planning the 2023 offseason a little easier knowing we dont’ have a megamax to deal with tho…

  12. Frank: Kudos to him for sacrificing some for the team, and kudos to Rose/Wes/Aller/Thibs and co. for creating an environment good enough that he felt comfortable doing this.

    Exactly this. Good work everybody, you can start patting each other’s backs now. :D

  13. @TommyBeer
    terrific game for Knicks superstar Evan Fournier.
    He finished with:
    23 points on 8-of-16 shooing
    4 made 3-pointers (4-of-6 from downtown)
    3-of-3 from the FT line
    to go along with 5 rebounds and 3 assists

  14. I am really surprised. Even though I thought that an extension was possible (as an injury insurance), I did not think it would be this long. It is one thing to get a couple of years with guaranteed money with a player option (which would get him to FA as early as 2023), than four years with the player option, that gets him to FA in 2025. Good for us!

  15. Excellent. Can’t argue with some of these moves. And Randle has been fun to root to this year, playoffs excluded. This is a fun team.

    Now extend Mitch.

  16. It’s probably more due to Randle and his agent’s risk assessmen than to any coaxing/pressure by management. But Leon and Thibs building a winning culture that had Knicks fans dancing in the streets from the all-star break on and rocking MSG while chants of MVP to Mr. #WeHere rained down after every near triple-double certainly helped.

  17. That’s a good point, Z-Man. If Randle had his breakout year during a season where we were tanking, this might not happen.

    But there was a lot of risk in Randle waiting. I brought this up several times during the season and was met with harsh derision for suggesting he would be wise to strongly consider accepting it. I think this was actually the smart move by him and his agent, and I’m not sure he sacrificed that much. He was one injury away from being Victor Oladipo.

  18. I believe the contract must include the same incentive bonuses for Randle, including making the all-star game or all-nba team.

    So if Randle really regressed the deal is slightly cheaper, saving a little over $1M in cap space for years immediately following those he doesn’t achieve those accolades.

    If Knicks miss the playoffs & Randle fails to achieve either of the above, that’s an extra ~$1M.

  19. I was gonna say, kudos to Hubert for calling it despite the naysayers, including me.

  20. Agreed Hubert. And I hope u saw my post at the end of last thread, truly wasn’t trying to bait you.

  21. Alan: terrific game for Knicks superstar Evan Fournier.

    I see we’re using the term “superstar” pretty loosely.

  22. Mitch’s extension should be next up altho Jarrett Allen’s deal kind of complicates things.. i’m not sure if he thinks he can get that kind of money next offseason… i think he can get close with a career year…. and if he’s anchoring another top 5 defense….

    so hopefully we see something today or in the coming days for something like 4/40… because it’d be a huge loss to lose him next year after capping out this offseason…

  23. Z-man:
    It’s probably more due to Randle and his agent’s risk assessmen than to any coaxing/pressure by management.

    Perhaps. But does JR still take this deal if he had instead gone toe-to-toe with Trae and had been a key factor in extending or winning the series? I believe that would have changed the calculus on both sides. Whether or not Randle’s poor playoff performance was brought up in the course of these negotiations, I daresay it had some bearing on the outcome.

  24. It’s discombobulating to say the least to see a board that ripped Phil Jackson for so much as letting Derrick Williams wear his socks too high to be this in the tank for a Knicks FO. I still can’t come close to fathoming it.

    Some thoughts:

    1. It would be nice if the Team Optimists remembered all those discussions where they mused/insisted/whatever that Randle wouldn’t cost $30M and Team No Shill said yes he would. He did.

    2. Covid Regular Season Julius is a $30M player. Playoff Julius isn’t even close to a $30M player. It’s hard to grasp a mindset wherein the regular season is the more “real” and more “important” set of games and the playoffs are the junior partner to that or some kind of obvious outlier. Where on Earth does that come from? When a team aimed to shut Julius down, it shut him down — and that had ripple effects on the entire enterprise.

    3. This team is now capped out with this roster. This is not a championship roster absent some massive move forward by an RJ Barrett, at which point you have a lot of overpaid secondary players — including Julius Randle.

    4. The role that got Julius Randle paid is not a role you can win a championship with Julius Randle in. I thought for awhile there, there was something like at least a board majority on that one.

    5. How does the role of Julius Randle, point forward initiator, co-exist with Kemba Walker, quintessential modern on-the-ball point guard? If Kemba is Kemba, you’ve now put Julius Randle into a role that isn’t worth $30M.

  25. vincoug: I see we’re using the term “superstar” pretty loosely.

    The manic phase that seems to have taken root is indeed something to behold.

  26. Count de Pennies: Perhaps. But does JR still take this deal if he had instead gone toe-to-toe with Trae and had been a key factor in extending or winning the series?I believe that would have changed the calculus on both sides. Whether or not Randle’s poor playoff performance was brought up in the course of these negotiations, I daresay it had some bearing on the outcome.

    That’s a fair point. My guess is that it was more of a lack of a positive than a negative, if that makes any sense. Still, even if he kicked ass in the playoffs, there was considerable risk in waiting, so at the end of the day there’s a good chance he would have taken the extension anyway.

  27. While Wojnarowski reports that the four-year extension will be worth $117MM, that figure includes some incentives — the extension should have a base value of about $106.4MM and could max out at just over $122MM if Randle earns all of his bonuses in every season of the deal.
    As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), those incentives are related to making the playoffs, earning an All-Star nod, and making the All-Defense team. Randle earned the first two in 2020/21.

    All-Defense Julius, here we go. :D

  28. I think this is a good move for Randle also. It at least avoided having this season be a referendum on whether we should mega max him or not. I have my doubts about aspects of Randle’s game but at this price it’s reasonable value.

  29. One nice thing about the Randle signing is that it squashes a season-long debate about whether it’s worth paying Julius as a #1 option. This is 4 years at #2 (or less) money. Heck, Kristaps Porzingis is making more!

  30. Owen:
    I think this is a good move for Randle also. It at least avoided having this season be a referendum on whether we should mega max him or not. I have my doubts about aspects of Randle’s game but at this price it’s reasonable value.

    Haha, you precocious neophyte!

  31. 3. This team is now capped out with this roster. This is not a championship roster absent some massive move forward by an RJ Barrett, at which point you have a lot of overpaid secondary players — including Julius Randle.

    Yes, but it’s fine. This is actually a good adaptation to the environment. This is the Miami Heat model, and they’ve added Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry with no cap space two of the last three years.

  32. E, this is some impressive performance art from you this morning, where even Randle taking an eminently reasonable contract for a player of his age and production is contorted into proof that this front office doesn’t know what it’s doing, that the team is doomed for hitching its wagon to Julius, etc. Was this a draft you saved for the moment when he signed a max contract next summer, and you decided you had to post it, anyway?

  33. djphan: Mitch’s extension should be next up

    Maybe. I love Mitch but he’s really flaky, I could definitely see him waiting until next summer since he’ll be unrestricted. There was also some article I read recently about him getting used by his trainer. I’ll see if I can find it.

  34. Well… we still have the room exception.

    “Well, Kawhi, VIldoza’s deal isn’t guaranteed, so we can clear out $3.25 million for you.”

  35. Man, who could’ve seen this coming at the end of the 19-20 season?

    Congrats to big Julius, well deserved. While this team is definitely a long shot to get to the finals, it’s probably the most rootable team we’ve had since the pre-Melo group with Danilo/Chandler/Lee over a decade ago.

    And this team will definitely be better than that one. How good remains to be seen.

  36. Ho hum, another day, another all star chooses to play in NY on a bargain contract. I don’t miss the days when we were tanking, the team sucked, and we couldn’t even get good players to interview with us.

    The only contract we probably can’t trade is Rose’s and that’s only 2 years and not terrible based on how he played last year.

  37. 3. This team is now capped out with this roster. This is not a championship roster absent some massive move forward by an RJ Barrett, at which point you have a lot of overpaid secondary players — including Julius Randle.

    this team isn’t exactly making noise in the playoffs unless Kemba really is old Kemba and we get solid progression from RJ and Julius… but this team wasn’t exactly designed for that….

    i guess what we’re seeing is that we settled more or less… we’re going to be a first rd team for the next couple of years and/or hope we get that jump up from RJ and Julius and then make another run at free agency in 2023… for some people that’s enough and for others you would hope for more competitiveness to aim a bit higher.. which maybe all it took was forgoing one of these deals for using both of the picks we punted…. or maybe just not investing so much in your bench…

    not competing for championships is ok… but competing should involve not accepting a squad that we all agreed wasn’t enough vs atlanta who was ‘clearly better’… did we do anything that was going to do better against them again? i don’t think so.. and that’s the problem i have with it… i thought our foray into the playoffs was a sneak preview in what we need in order to compete at that level.. and we were not just an Evan Fournier short…

    but it’s ok to enjoy whatever success we have… i just think after the second or third bounce it’s going to start getting old…

  38. Something is clearly up with the people Mitch surrounds himself with, based on comments by pretty much every beat writer over the last couple of years. When healthy, I think he’s the superior player to Noel, simply because he can catch the damn ball on the offensive end of the floor. But if we’re paying Noel ~10 mil per year for the next 2-3 years, then Mitch’s greatest value to us may be as a trade chip for an upgrade elsewhere.

  39. Mitch hasn’t made life-changing money yet (I mean, he has, but in comparison to his peers), so he has a big incentive to take a deal now in case he has a catastrophic injury.

  40. “Well, Kawhi, VIldoza’s deal isn’t guaranteed, so we can clear out $3.25 million for you.”

    “I suppose we could pay you $8mm if we trade Kevin Knox, but we’re not quite ready to give up on his development.”

  41. E been had been reasonable lately. All good things must come to an end.

    It’s discombobulating to say the least to see a board that ripped Phil Jackson for so much as letting Derrick Williams wear his socks too high to be this in the tank for a Knicks FO.

    Personally, I had a bigger problem with things like making Carmelo Anthony the highest paid player in the NBA and giving him a full no trade clause, signing Joakim Noah to 4/$72M, drafting a guy who can’t get minutes on the French national team at age 23 8th overall, things of that nature.

    1. It would be nice if the Team Optimists remembered all those discussions where they mused/insisted/whatever that Randle wouldn’t cost $30M and Team No Shill said yes he would. He did.

    I don’t remember this happening, do you have a thread?

    2. Covid Regular Season Julius is a $30M player. Playoff Julius isn’t even close to a $30M player.

    If our front office was making major decisions based on 5 playoff games, that would be a way bigger red flag than anything else they’ve done this offseason.

    3. This team is now capped out with this roster.

    Defined “capped out.” Right now we actually project to have significant space in 2023, depending on Mitch’s contract and draft pick particulars. Randle unexpectedly taking this deal facilitated that.

    4. The role that got Julius Randle paid is not a role you can win a championship with Julius Randle in.

    It’s also not the role he’s destined to be in for his entire Knicks tenure.

    5. How does the role of Julius Randle, point forward initiator, co-exist with Kemba Walker, quintessential modern on-the-ball point guard?

    Well, we’ll find out, but the concern you express here contradicts your concern from #4. Isn’t Randle as a finisher and only part-time initiator exactly what you want?

  42. If our front office was making major decisions based on 5 playoff games, that would be a way bigger red flag than anything else they’ve done this offseason.

    Jerome James contract, anyone?

  43. i guess what we’re seeing is that we settled more or less… we’re going to be a first rd team for the next couple of years and/or hope we get that jump up from RJ and Julius and then make another run at free agency in 2023…

    I think it’s more that we’re going to run it back this year, and now — with the addition of Kemba — we have a realistic chance to be as good next year as we were this year.

    Then with two years of success under our belt, we’re expecting/hoping that someone angles their way here, and we’ll make the godfather trade offer.

    Hopefully it’s the right player.

  44. Even if E’s worst fears come to pass and Randle turns out to be a poor fit with the direction this team ultimately chooses to go, I’d think his contract would be fairly easy to move.

  45. But if we’re paying Noel ~10 mil per year for the next 2-3 years, then Mitch’s greatest value to us may be as a trade chip for an upgrade elsewhere.

    we were a better defensive team with mitch last year….. and we still haven’t seen mitch with actual pg’s on the knicks yet… so there’s a lot of upside to unlock with him on the squad that we don’t have with noel…

    noel’s fine… i always thought we could approximate his defense with just about anyone like taj… but his offensive liability is a bit much to carry in the playoffs…. that’s like accepting elfrid payton’s offense…. mitch we at least know his archetype can work .. we have capela as a prime example…

  46. From previous thread:

    Randle extends! Honestly since that article he wrote in the Players Tribune, I’ve really come to respect him not just as a baller but as a man. Seems like a hard working, loyal guy that truly wants to make something happen here in New York. Good for him. Hopefully he shakes off whatever that monstars-stealing-his-talent-like-in-space-jam performance was in the playoffs

  47. **Jerome James contract, anyone?**

    We can sign Jerome & platoon him with Randle. Randle plays the regular season & Jerome plays in the playoffs.

  48. did we do anything that was going to do better against them again? i don’t think so.. and that’s the problem i have with it… i thought our foray into the playoffs was a sneak preview in what we need in order to compete at that level.. and we were not just an Evan Fournier short…

    I agree with a lot of your post, but I think Kemba, Fournier, and hopefully some internal development give this team a lot more potential offensive firepower than last year’s. That’s the difference between my opinion now and my opinion pre-Kemba signing. I mean the guy is one injuryplagued season removed from a 4.6 BPM season.

    Of course, I say “potential” because it’s also quite possible Kemba’s off-year was the beginning of an age/health related decline, Fournier doesn’t move the needle much, and we don’t get enough internal improvement. But I see upside here where I didn’t before.

    There’s still no championship upside obviously, but we were never getting there this season anyway. The gamble is that the added respectability around the league is a quicker path there than a more draft/flexibility based approach would have been. I think everyone knows where I personally stand on that, but I also think we have to let it play out to know for sure.

  49. Can’t find the Mitch article anywhere. The big takeaway from it as that his mother, grandmother, and trainer all sound like they’re using him for their own individual wants and convince him to do things like switch agencies because different agencies are bribing them.

    Alan: Jerome James contract, anyone?

    If I’m remembering correctly, I actually liked the Jerome James signing because it meant we weren’t going to trade for Eddy Curry. Shows how dumb I am.

  50. Mitch playing with a bone fide point guard for, somehow, the first time in his career is certainly something you can dream on as far as internal improvement goes.

    Agree that we should’ve just focused on getting him a cheap backup rather than investing so much in Noel.

  51. We’re limited to offering a contract extension to Mitch worth 120% of the average NBA salary. That should be worth around $12M.

    I think that’s a good price for Mitch, I’m just not sure Mitch will agree.

    If we’re capped out there isn’t much reason to not pay both Noel & Mitch, especially for 48 min of high level defense. We’re not close enough to the luxury tax to be worried about those things yet.

  52. Alan:
    E, this is some impressive performance art from you this morning, where even Randle taking an eminently reasonable contract for a player of his age and production is contorted into proof that this front office doesn’t know what it’s doing, that the team is doomed for hitching its wagon to Julius, etc. Was this a draft you saved for the moment when he signed a max contract next summer, and you decided you had to post it, anyway?

    I think it’s a neutral for whether the FO knows what it’s doing, but the prevailing sentiment is that somehow it shows that the FO is genius. They signed their best player, who sucked in the playoffs, to a contract for the most money they were allowed to pay him. He plays an odd role. Hard to see why that prompts balloons.

  53. Can’t find the Mitch article anywhere. The big takeaway from it as that his mother, grandmother, and trainer all sound like they’re using him for their own individual wants and convince him to do things like switch agencies because different agencies are bribing them.

    I believe this is the droid you’re looking for. Everyone should read it, but if you don’t have time vincoug’s summary seems apt.

  54. Without a doubt, the FO prioritized wings and guards that can shoot AND do something off the dribble this offseason — ergo the Burks over Bullock signing. Kemba obviously is a primary ballhandler, but 55% of his 3’s were assisted last year so he certainly can do the catch and shoot thing.

    Trouble with our offense last year was that we were just way too predictable. In the playoffs they absolutely loaded up on Julius, closed out hard on the other shooters, and dared us to beat the closeout and do something with the ball. It will be much much harder to do that this year with Kemba/Rose at the point and Fournier instead of Bullock.

    by the way – minor point perhaps but we might just be the best FT shooting team in the league next year. IQ = 90+%, Kemba = 90%, Fournier/Randle 80-85%, Rose is 85+%, Burks 85+%.

  55. There’s still no championship upside obviously, but we were never getting there this season anyway. The gamble is that the added respectability around the league is a quicker path there than a more draft/flexibility based approach would have been. I think everyone knows where I personally stand on that, but I also think we have to let it play out to know for sure.

    well the ‘respectability’ angle is what i have a problem with this approach… because respectability usually comes with deep playoff runs… atlanta achieved respectability… we didn’t.. and if we just keep getting first round exits… then it’s not coming… this is the same approach Orlando and Washington had desperately trying for competitiveness and respect… and those playoff appearances were just not enough because nobody remembers first round fodder…

    for me i would lean on the Kemba signing a little more if we didn’t desperately grasp at that option after Kendrick Nunn shut us down… so i have very muted expectations about it…. so that may be why we have differences on the upside case… but for me i’m not really counting on Kemba much coming playoff time and i would be ecstatic if he reached 1200 minutes even…

    what the Kemba move did do was make things more interesting…. and i much like everyone is pretty psyched to see how it turns out.. it’s just probably not going to end up where we need it for the foreseeable future and that’s the disappointment…

  56. did we do anything that was going to do better against them again?

    I think we did, actually. Not that Atlanta should be out measuring stick, but if we ran that series back now I wouldn’t expect the same outcome.

    The key is Randle. We had the worst version of Randle. By replacing nonthreats like Elf, Reggie, Noel with Kemba, Evan, and Mitch, I think we could actually get good Randle.

  57. E,

    As I’ve been saying for years now, as long as you have movable contracts and some flexibility to improve, it doesn’t matter if you are capped out with a team that’s not a serious contender. What matters is retaining an ability to improve and having “good to fair” contracts on the books you can trade and roll up into a better player.

    First, once you are good, the better players and stars will be more interested in playing on your team (see Kemba, now Randle, and even Fournier may have spurned us in the past unless we paid a premium). They may even give you a better deal to be there. (win the deal)

    The Knicks have all their 1st round picks, 2 excess 1st round picks, and a boatload of 2nd round picks to use as part of a trade for better players or to move up in the draft to get one. They have RJ, Mitch, Obi, IQ and 2 rookies for internal short, medium and long term upside. The have only one contract I think might be a bit tough to move (Rose), but that’s only 2 years and if he plays like he did last year even that’s OK.

    This is the model I’ve been asking for all along. They executed it to near perfection.

    Obviously, we are not a favorite to win a title yet and we have serious injury risk with Kemba, Rose and even Mitch. But we covered the Mitch situation with Nerlens and Taj, drafted a PG, and can split minutes with Kemba/Rose to mitigate that risk. We’ve taken the next step and have multiple paths to improvement. That’s all you can ask.

    No matter which model of building you use there are no guarantees. But IMO it’s not about which model of rebuilding you use. It’s about executing the plan well. So far, so good. be happy.

  58. We can sign Jerome & platoon him with Randle. Randle plays the regular season & Jerome plays in the playoffs.

    Early Bird, you’re a genius!!!!

  59. I also think that the two-headed monster at PG, with Kemba and DRose splitting time to come at the other team in waves, will go a long way for Mitch and Noel to understand they’re both important and we can do the same at center. There’ll be no free meals for the other team’s offense in the paint.

  60. thenoblefacehumper: I believe this is the droid you’re looking for. Everyone should read it, but if you don’t have time vincoug’s summary seems apt.

    Yes, that’s it! Good article with a lot of pretty damning evidence. I love Mitch and I hope he gets someone in his life that looks out for his best interests.

  61. Hopefully, Mitch can prove his doubters wrong this year. The sky really is the limit for that kid if he just hangs out with the right crowd (the RJ crowd).

    I’m hopeful about seeing serious improvement from both RJ and Mitch this year with starters minutes. I also think Obi stands to improve even though he’s probably blocked from real minutes for the next 5 years (and will probably, sadly, become a trade chip soon).

    I know he’s a fan favorite, but I’m less hopeful about Quickley’s improvement. He still hasn’t proven he can get to the hole — settling for wild floaters instead — and hasn’t come close to showing the vision of a point guard. Maybe his niche is just as a perimeter scorer who can get open for and drain three-pointers like Lou Williams… hopefully with better defense. That’s still a win with the 25th pick.

  62. It’s been 8 years in the making, but rurulands prediction that a Knicks star forward would leave significant money on the table to be part of sustainable winning team in New York just came true. He can now return from his self-exile. (Or has he been here all along under the pseudonymous handle An RJ Barrett Stan Account?)

  63. I think we did, actually. Not that Atlanta should be out measuring stick, but if we ran that series back now I wouldn’t expect the same outcome.

    are you really believing that we would beat them or that it would be more competitive? i mean maybe if the rules really do tank trae’s game i can see it… but i don’t think Fournier and Mitch alone have us win it… maybe it’s competitive but if they were clearly better than us… i don’t think these acquisitions change the outcome… meaning we beat the hawks…

  64. well the ‘respectability’ angle is what i have a problem with this approach… because respectability usually comes with deep playoff runs… atlanta achieved respectability… we didn’t.. and if we just keep getting first round exits… then it’s not coming… this is the same approach Orlando and Washington had desperately trying for competitiveness and respect… and those playoff appearances were just not enough because nobody remembers first round fodder…

    I guess our disagreement is that I think this team legitimately has more upside than those mostly .500ish teams. This is predicated on a number of uncertainties, but nothing terribly implausible.

    We also still have surplus draft capital, which could help us get off any of these contracts if need be, facilitate other trades, and of course allow us to keep accumulating young talent.

  65. E – you’re making a fool out of yourself. Just stop.

    I don’t know…seeing a lot of these players turn down extensions only to get injured or realize they aren’t worth what they thought they were…if I was an NBA playing (ha) at Randle’s level, I would keep it simply and just always sign the max number of money/years when it’s offered to me. If you do that, you’ll make hundreds of million of dollars. I mean, its not like he won’t be able to sign another big contract after this one is done if he plays well these 4 years. Sure, he could bet on himself but what if he gets hurt? Then he’s screwed.

    Man, what an amazing off season. We’re legit 10 deep plus Taj, Villadoza and the rooks.

    I just hope Thibs uses this depth wisely in the regular season. I do think we need one more defensive wing (winslow?). But please thibs. Give Obi plenty of minutes behind Randle. Let IQ, McBride and Villadooza get some PG minutes so Rose and Kemba stay fresh. Let Taj play some for Mitch and Noel and not just when one of them gets injured. Our depth is a huge asset this season and he needs to use it wisely. I’d much rather be the 6th seed than the 4th if it means everyone is healthy and rested come playoff time.

  66. Not that I’ve looked at every team carefully, but arguable we have one of the best benches in the entire NBA with Nerlens, Rose, Obi, Burks, and IQ if Obi and IQ take a step forward. (not mention Taj)

  67. I do think we need one more defensive wing (winslow?)

    The most sensible course at this point would seem to be:

    1)Don’t pick up Vildoza’s guarantee for this season.
    2)Use some of the cap savings we get from that to sign Deuce McBride to a 4-year deal.
    3)Use part or all of the room exception on a defensive wing who can play spot minutes if RJ can’t singlehandedly take on an opponents’ wing scorers.

    I liked the idea of Vildoza, but he’s been mediocre in the Olympics, and between Kemba, Rose, McBride, and Burks and IQ both being able to impersonate a point guard (and perhaps more, in IQ’s case), there’s just no need for him. Whereas the roster is still relatively thin on the wing, unless Quentin Grimes is ready to play NBA-level defense right away.

    The other option is to cut Knox, but I don’t see the FO doing that, as much for their ability to use his contract as filler in a mid-season trade as for any remaining Kentucky-based sentimentality. And it wouldn’t create the cap space that cutting Vildoza would, since Knox is guaranteed for this season.

  68. Yeah, I don’t think we should cut Knox either. I guess they can see how Villadoza looks in summer league first? But yeah one more defensive oriented wing would be nice. Of course, there is this dude who the Knicks drafted who Fournier might like to have on the team so he can speak French with someone that could also be brought back. :)

  69. My “don’t get attached to Vildoza” take is getting better by the day. Your plan is great, Alan. Thank you, Vildoza, you can always have the Summer League memories. :D

  70. are you really believing that we would beat them or that it would be more competitive? i mean maybe if the rules really do tank trae’s game i can see it… but i don’t think Fournier and Mitch alone have us win it… maybe it’s competitive but if they were clearly better than us… i don’t think these acquisitions change the outcome… meaning we beat the hawks…

    the biggest reason we looked so overmatched against the Hawks was that Randle was awful.

    the biggest reason Randle was awful was bc the entire defense could key on him and there 2-3 nonthreats on the floor at all times.

    so yes, I could see an entirely different series with Kemba, Fournier, and Mitch playing alongside Randle and RJ, and Rose running an effective second unit.

    Little things can make a huge difference. There’s nowhere to hide Trae Young anymore, and Mitch is a real threat to neutralize Capela.

  71. Mitch is a huge key to our success, btw, and any thought of him being a trade chip or expendable is highly misguided. We need him. He and RJ are our two biggest sources of internal improvement.

  72. The big disconnect here is how much weight you put on the playoff debacle. I put a ton of weight on it, as it’s a far more “real” test than the regular season, especially the empty arena COVID regular season. I was there for all three home games and in front of the TV Memorial Day weekend. it was downright brutal. Randle was a disaster. A team planned for him a bit and he wilted. Factorial.

    Can they overcome that? Yes, they can. Can Randle improve as a playoff guy? Yes, he can. But there’s no way I’m going to just pretend those games didn’t happen. It’s the exact opposite — those games are way more indicative than the regular season games.

  73. Getting out of the first round implies probably being able to beat Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Philly, Miami, or Atlanta in a 7 game series. That’s a pretty high bar.

    With the roster as currently constructed (and assuming healthy teams), I basically would give us zero chance to beat Brooklyn and Milwaukee in a 7 game series. Philly/Miami/Atlanta? We definitely would have a puncher’s chance. The talent deficit would not be nearly what it was last year. We really have no idea what Philly’s team will look like given the unsettled Simmons situation. I am not totally sold on Miami jumping from #7 to “contender” status – they are really putting a lot of their eggs into a 35-36 year old Lowry basket. And Atlanta… it’ll be really interesting to see whether Trae’s game is really affected by the new rules. The way he was defended under the old rules was so favorable to him (especially at his size) that it really might make a difference if he’s no longer allowed to launch himself backward into a defender in trail position.

  74. I guess our disagreement is that I think this team legitimately has more upside than those mostly .500ish teams. This is predicated on a number of uncertainties, but nothing terribly implausible.

    for me at least.. the upside really hinges on RJ’s third year leap.. which i’m fully expecting is coming but even then may not be enough to hold up some backsliding behind him…. after that i think Kemba getting back to old Kemba is very iffy…. i’m just hoping we get last year’s kemba for 1200 minutes and i think that’s the actual upside case… and beyond that is randle maintaining 3pt% at the same volume while improving his efficiency elsewhere with less iso’s… but overall it’s going to be tough doing better than a 4bpm season for him…

    i think any one of those things is likely but all three is likely going to be needed to actually do better.. it’s a high bar and i’m skeptical….

    Little things can make a huge difference. There’s nowhere to hide Trae Young anymore, and Mitch is a real threat to neutralize Capela.

    absolutely little things can make a huge difference… but also little things can make a little difference… and i think i’m leaning towards the latter here… but we’ll see… sometimes even bringing back an entirely the same squad can yield huge differences too… the grit n grind grizzlies and so were the precipice of the warriors squads were like this so it’s not impossible… but i think we’re missing a lot of the factors to replicate it but it’s something we just have to wait and see…

  75. I kind of doubt we put Vildoza through all of the trouble of coming to the US just to ditch him. If he’s waived, I expect him to be re-signed with the room exception since we can’t let it go to waste and it’s not clear there’s room on the roster for someone else.

  76. I’m emotinally so so down…Fuck Batum(whom I really like)and Gober!!!Who the fuck is Nando DeColo:((
    Luka was totally warn out by today…he’s so close to being a basketball Neo that only his subpar phisical conditioning can stop him from winning everything everywhere. Hope this is a good lesson. I know it’s only going to motivate him more.

    Good for Knicks and Julius. Perfectly fitting the real value IMO.
    I’d give our FO a solid B+ for this offseason.

    So down I didn’t want to reed KB but kind of forced myself to post and read.

  77. I think of the east like:

    First Tier: MIL, BRK
    Second Tier: PHI, MIA, ATL
    Third Tier: NYK
    Fourth Tier: CHI, BOS, IND? CHI?

    It feels weird putting us in with that fourth group – I think we’re clearly better than all of those teams but clearly worse than all of the teams in the second tier. I liked our offseason! But we have a ways to go.

  78. Respectability for the Knicks is no longer being the laughingstock of the league. No we didn’t go on a deep playoff run, but making the playoffs consistently or even missing them while fielding a strong team is a vast improvement over the last 20 years.

    There’s different levels of respect, it’s not black & white. The Knicks & Kings are on the lowest rung. It’ll take a sustained effort to rehab that perception. The Knicks are currently doing just that.

  79. E – yes, the hawks kicked out butts. But the difference between losing in 5 games and beating them the next year is a lot smaller than you might think. A key match up here or there can make all the difference in a playoff series.

    If you have Mitch being able to contain Capella and 2 upgrades on offense in the starting line up that allow Randle to not get double teamed all game…that’s definitely going to make a difference.

    Another thing is that Trae is most likely always going to get his on offense but we had no one to make him work on defense (outside of Rose). Kemba completely changes that dynamic.

    And seriously. People need to stop underrating how much of an upgrade Fournier is. Bullock can basically catch and shoot open 3’s. That’s it. Fournier can do that and also hit pull up 3’s at like a 40 percent rate. He also has a really good mid range game and is a better playmaker than Reggie, can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. He’s a MUCH more dynamic offensive player than Bullock.

    Throw in RJ, IQ, Obi getting better. We can improve and we can take down the Hawks.

    I mean, honestly…people who say stuff like this. Have you never watched NBA basketball from season to season and see teams progress and improve and go to the next level with a few tweaks? It happens all the time.

    Is it guaranteed we can beat them? No. But for all we know the Hawks could take a step back next year too. That happens sometimes as well. And The Hawks are not the only team we have to worry about. We could not even face them in the playoffs next year.

    Also, the idea that we are capped out and can’t make any moves is silly. We have all our picks and then some. We have very moveable veteran contracts attached to productive players. Miami has been “capped out” for years now and has figured out how to add Butler and now Lowry. There’s always a way unless you have massive albatross contracts attached to bad players, which we do not.

  80. If Kemba Walker completely falls apart and has the worst season of his career resulting in an OBPM of 0.0. The Knicks will have improved. 2.8 OBPM by not playing Elfrid Payton.

    If Kemba replicates last season, that’s a 5.3 OBPM swing. Don’t underestimate addition by subtraction. Replacing one of the worst players in the league with Kemba Walker is huge.

  81. Igno-Bot 3000:
    I think of the east like:

    First Tier: MIL, BRK
    Second Tier: PHI, MIA, ATL
    Third Tier: NYK
    Fourth Tier: CHI, BOS, IND? CHI?

    It feels weird putting us in with that fourth group – I think we’re clearly better than all of those teams but clearly worse than all of the teams in the second tier. I liked our offseason! But we have a ways to go.

    Actually, I would put NY in your second tier. I don’t see that Atlanta improved as much as we did. Philly is an unhappy team at the moment and I don’t see Doc Rivers as a coaching mastermind. Miami probably improved more than we did but they were worse than us last season so we could be even now.

  82. Alan: The most sensible course at this point would seem to be:

    1)Don’t pick up Vildoza’s guarantee for this season.
    2)Use some of the cap savings we get from that to sign Deuce McBride to a 4-year deal.
    3)Use part or all of the room exception on a defensive wing who can play spot minutes if RJ can’t singlehandedly take on an opponents’ wing scorers.

    I think it would be more sensible to roll out the team as it is, see what works and what doesn’t, and then make tweaks around the trade deadline (be it trade, or pick up somebody from waivers). I think we should not rush judgement about Vildoza or the other rookies.

  83. For the most part, I would agree, iserp, except we need to guarantee the Vildoza contract before opening night, and if he’s on the team, I don’t think we have cap room to sign McBride to a 4-year deal.

    Though knowing how Aller operates, it’s possible the Kemba contract has been structured in a way to leave that room without requiring a Vildoza decision.

  84. Given its record of 100% futility to date, I can’t help but remain skeptical of the clear-cap-space-win-enuff-games-make-MSG-superstar-destination strategy. If that is indeed the endgame for this FO and all of these moves are intended as a prelude to that then, yeah, color me concerned.

    For starters, do we even have an inkling of who might shake loose 1-2 years from now that would be worthy of all these machinations as well as a megamax deal that would provide surplus value? And if such a player were to become available, how much more likely is it that they would choose not leave the Knicks hanging at the altar a la LeBron & Durant? I know this franchise is in the best shape it’s been in for a long time in terms of cap flexibility and on-court product but there’s no denying the two ton elephant who’s still galumphing through the corridors of 2 Penn Plaza. I speak of course of the team’s owner – a man equally reviled by Knicks fans and the NBA community at large. Even if this team is able to cement itself as a solid 2nd-round contender, would that be enough to offset the very real aversion to James L. Dolan that has given superstars pause in the past?

    Apologies in advance for fanning the flames of negativity in the midst of what has been a pretty happy two day stretch for this franchise. But, hey, I’ve been rooting (suffering) for this team a looong time and there are still many of us Knick fans who still gotta fan. Maybe one day this team will succeed in altering this entrenched mindset. Still not there yet myself.

  85. I think this is a reasonable risk mitigation move for Julius and ultimately a pretty fair contract on both sides. Obviously it looks like a big discount for a guy who made 2nd team all-NBA last year but personally I don’t really think he has much of a case for being a top-10 player last year; he got a lot of credit for being the best player on a an over-achieving team and while he certainly deserved a ton of credit for keeping the offense afloat (almost singlehandedly at times) we’re ultimately talking about the 23rd ranked offense last year. 29th in OBPM and 23rd in overall BPM feels like a more accurate assessment of what he did last year than the 2nd team all-NBA to me and he has work to do to show that even that level is sustainable given how much of an outlier the 3-point shooting was relative to his career. It’s possible he kicks on from here but I wouldn’t be completely shocked if last year ends up being the best of his career.

  86. @TheCohencidence
    If the reported ~$8M for Kemba is true, it likely spells the end for Vildoza on his current contract. If guaranteed, the Knicks wouldn’t have enough money to pay Kemba.

    Still wonder if NY might cut Vildoza and re-sign him using the $4.91M room exception once NY’s over the cap

    Jeremy Cohen pays more attention to the minutiae of the Knicks’ cap than I do, so this may be how it all goes down. Funny how this works. A few days ago, there was at least an outside chance of Vildoza starting for the Knicks this season in the Elf placeholder role. Now, there’s no real path to playing time given all our depth at the position, and his modest salary might be too much for us to pay. Though Cohen also notes we could re-sign him via part or all of the room exception.

  87. See this is what I meant when I talked about a roster crunch if we made the 19th pick. We should have gotten more assets out of the trade, but having forgone the pick we already have Sims on a 2-way and are discussing cutting Vildoza for a wing.

    It’s difficult to field a competitive team and fit 4 rookies on the roster.

  88. Totally reasonable extension, good deal for both sides. I see no problem here. Randle is a nice well-rounded player who does lots of things well.

    The Leon Rose front office clearly doesn’t have the chops to build a great team in the traditional way, by maximizing assets, crushing the draft, etc. but they may have a path to real contention via the “lure disgruntled stars” route. Right now we have a pretty hard ceiling but if Zion or another young superstar forces his way here in a couple of years that could change the whole picture.

    The key is not pushing in the chips on a second tier, Melo-level star. We’ll see if Leon has the patience to avoid that scenario if it presents itself.

  89. E, all merc’d out: Covid Regular Season Julius is a $30M player.

    Given the current trajectory of the Delta (and now the Delta Plus) variants, the Knicks could be getting that player back in pretty short order.

  90. Count, I share your concern about the musician. My hope is that the positive developments we see will increase the value of the Knicks franchise to a level where it makes sense to sell. As a fall back, we can count on another couple of tone deaf gaffes on his part per season, and perhaps it tips the balance where Silver needs to tell him to sell. If Anucha Browne Sanders happened in 2020 instead of 2007, Dolan would not own the team today (not that I am hoping for another horrendous episode like that but the guy is a walking PR liability).

  91. Given its record of 100% futility to date, I can’t help but remain skeptical of the clear-cap-space-win-enuff-games-make-MSG-superstar-destination strategy. If that is indeed the endgame for this FO and all of these moves are intended as a prelude to that then, yeah, color me concerned

    This clearly IS the strategy. Surely they must know that the Randle-RJ-Fournier-expensive bench guys core is not going to win a chip.

    It’s certainly not my preferred strategy and honestly it’s a long shot to work. You need the equivalent of LeBron or Giannis to win a chip this way. The other way of team building, where you shrewdly invest in lots of pieces with growth potential, this FO is not even really trying to do that.

  92. With this much depth, (and injury prone players at PG and C) Thibs HAS to distribute the minutes more evenly. I know there were times last year where he kept starters in in blowouts at the 4th quarter (I yelled at the TV every time) as well as when the bench guys were so ineffective but this year has to be a little different.

    I know Thibs is a stubborn mule and has his ways, but after teaching the guys to win last year and building the culture, this year has to be about staying fresh and healthy – especially if the NBA is going back to 82 games.

    Will Thibs do it? Probably not given the track record but a guy can dream…

  93. Another thing is that Trae is most likely always going to get his on offense but we had no one to make him work on defense (outside of Rose). Kemba completely changes that dynamic.

    Right Swift which is another positive for Fournier over Bullock in that Trae wont be able to be hidden on anyone in the starting lineup. Also the rule changes should diminish his offensive output

  94. @TommyBeer
    Average annual salaries for players that made the First or Second Team All-NBA last season:

    Giannis: $45.6 million
    Lillard: $44.0 million
    LeBron: 42.8 million
    Harden: $42.8M
    Embiid: $29.5M
    Jokic: $29.5M
    Chris Paul: $30M
    Steph: $40.2M
    Durant: $41.0 M

    Julius Randle: $27.3 million

  95. I played around with the numbers in my spreadsheet, we could also clear a little over $8M by signing all our FAs to ascending contracts and making Fournier a S&T to unlock 8% raises, sending a trade exception back to BOS in the process.

    I think we’d still be better off cutting Vildoza otherwise we wouldn’t have enough money for McBride, but this might open a bit more money for the team.

  96. Guys, you remember RJ is on the team, right? Last year he made a huge leap, even greater than Julius, it’s just that the MIP award doesn’t go to rookies/sophomores because it’s expected that growth from them. I think he can do the same this year, and if he does we’re gonna have a hell of a team.

  97. Alan:
    For the most part, I would agree, iserp, except we need to guarantee the Vildoza contract before opening night, and if he’s on the team, I don’t think we have cap room to sign McBride to a 4-year deal.

    Though knowing how Aller operates, it’s possible the Kemba contract has been structured in a way to leave that room without requiring a Vildoza decision.

    I just think that those extra 2 years on McBride contract are not worth getting out of Vildoza’s team friendly contract before seeing him play for us. McBride would be an RFA in any case at the end of his contract.

    However, if what you say about Kemba’s contract is true then it is a different story. But I thought that by signing Rose using his bird rights after everyone else, we could fit Kemba’s $8 million salary.

  98. As a carrying knicks fan for life, I cannot for the life of me understand why some folks are so negative about the team. If your take on the FO is “clueless” “lazy” “unprepared” and it seems to me any outcome other than being proven correct would disappoint you. I’m not singling anyone out, but it seems to me that it is incongruent to hate the FO moves and be able to heartily root for success.

    I am always optimistic the current FO of all my teams is making informed moves. I wait to judge their results through the lens of the past rather than prognosticate their failure. If you set out to fail and you succeed, what have you done?

    These guys added three rookies, and incrementally improved starting PG and SG, while adding draft capital to the future. I cannot wait to see how this team unfolds. This incarnation may not win a championship, but I am sure to enjoy their journey whatever the outcome. The other way is no fun.

  99. If Randle sucks, then we won’t make the playoffs & Randle won’t make $30M under this contract. So it all works out anyway E.

  100. See this is what I meant when I talked about a roster crunch if we made the 19th pick. We should have gotten more assets out of the trade, but having forgone the pick we already have Sims on a 2-way and are discussing cutting Vildoza for a wing.

    The difference is I don’t think Isaiah Jackson/Jalen Johnson + the extra cap space makes us appreciably worse than Noel, ditto for Springer/Thomas + the extra space and Burks. So while there would be a tradeoff of sorts I think if we played it right it’d be a win-win. We’d be better in 2021-2022 by virtue of making good use of the extra space, and we’d be building a stable of young players.

    I echo Count de Pennies’ skepticism of the strategy writ large. I would prefer a front office that had the confidence it could build a contender without having to rely on this much luck (there is always luck involved, but we literally need things completely independent of our control to occur to get there).

    Having said that, I have no idea what the respective probabilities of contention are when it comes to either strategy. It’s possible that this starfucking approach has a higher probability provided a team is in an attractive market and the strategy is well-executed.

  101. Alan: Giannis: $45.6 million
    Lillard: $44.0 million
    LeBron: 42.8 million
    Harden: $42.8M
    Embiid: $29.5M
    Jokic: $29.5M
    Chris Paul: $30M
    Steph: $40.2M
    Durant: $41.0 M

    Julius Randle: $27.3 million

    The Jokic & Embiid deals are the real outliers on that list.

  102. @tommybeer

    Average annual salaries for the players named to the All-NBA Third Team last season:

    Paul George: $44.1 million
    Jimmy Bulter: $35.2 million
    Kyrie Irving: $34.1 million
    Bradley Beal: $35.8 million
    Rudy Gobert: $41.0 million

    Julius Randle (named 2nd Team All-NBA): $27.3 million

  103. I’m not singling anyone out, but it seems to me that it is incongruent to hate the FO moves and be able to heartily root for success.

    i think i have some more voodoo dolls in my closet of isaiah thomas and donnie walsh and phil jackson and steve mills.. i’m working on my leon rose one also but seems that one’s not working too well….

  104. Average annual salaries for players that made the First or Second Team All-NBA last season:

    Giannis: $45.6 million
    Lillard: $44.0 million
    LeBron: 42.8 million
    Harden: $42.8M
    Embiid: $29.5M
    Jokic: $29.5M
    Chris Paul: $30M
    Steph: $40.2M
    Durant: $41.0 M

    Julius Randle: $27.3 million

    BPM for players that made the First or Second Team All-NBA last season:

    Giannis: 8.8
    Lillard: 5.9
    LeBron: 7.5
    Harden: 6.8
    Embiid: 7.2
    Jokic: 11.7
    Chris Paul: 4.7
    Steph: 8.1
    Durant: 6.9

    Julius Randle: 3.7

  105. The other way of team building, where you shrewdly invest in lots of pieces with growth potential, this FO is not even really trying to do that.

    I don’t even know what this means.
    If this means we should’ve picked at 19 and 21 instead of making the trades that we did, you are out of your mind.
    To be clear – anything that happens outside the lottery in the draft is far far far more likely to be an “at the margins” move than anything central.

    Investment in growth doesn’t just mean picking rookies. It also means picking the right rookies (from both basketball and non-basketball ie. personality-type perspective) and then putting them into the right situation to succeed.

    To be clear – as it looks right now, there will be at least 7 players age 23 and younger on the roster:
    Barrett
    Quickley
    Knox
    MitchRob
    Toppin
    Grimes
    McBride

    That’s half the roster that is on their rookie contract – doesn’t seem so bad to me in terms of players with growth potential.

    I am just curious as to what JK47 would have done differently, other than just tank away until you hope the lottery balls (and the presence of an actual generational prospect in that draft) fall your way.

  106. Question for everyone.

    Is this team better than the 54 win team?

    I think maybe so. That team had some great vets who contributed to the teams success (Kidd, Sheed early on, Kenyon Martin later on, Kurt Thomas) but I feel like this team is younger and deeper and more balanced?

  107. The Leon Rose front office clearly doesn’t have the chops to build a great team in the traditional way, by maximizing assets, crushing the draft, etc. but they may have a path to real contention via the “lure disgruntled stars” route.

    Holy $%#$% this is ridiculous. They’ve literally been in power for literally 1 season, and in that season we completely crushed expectations, had the COTY, turned the franchise from a total laughingstock dumpster fire into a place where an all-NBA 2nd team guy just took a big discount to stay, and another all-star level player decided to come play for the Knicks rather than taking probably more money to play for a “contender”. We have zero albatross contracts, and except for probably the Rose contract, every contract on the books is either a positive asset or at worst a neutral asset. We have 2 extra 1sts and 6 extra seconds in the next few years, and of course still have all our own draft picks. We’re still under the salary cap and have tons of flexibility in the coming years.

    But “clearly” this front office doesn’t have the necessary chops. My god.

    I just don’t know what people are talking about anymore.

  108. I am just curious as to what JK47 would have done differently, other than just tank away until you hope the lottery balls (and the presence of an actual generational prospect in that draft) fall your way.

    i think the continued misunderstanding of the position is that people want to ‘Process’ their way to a championship and that tanking and high lotto picks is the only way…

    nobody wanted to tank so you’re arguing against a scarecrow… best to drop it…. you’re getting emotional against a made up position…

  109. I think it’s easy in the off-season to say a rookie can replicate what Noel does on defense, but Noel is one of the best defensive players in the league. There’s very few NBA players who can replicate Noel’s contributions, let alone in the draft.

    The reality is 40-60% of players picked 19 & 21 end up never being rotation level players. It’s very unlikely they can do what Noel do, especially in year 1.

    To a lesser extent the same holds for Burks. Even a promising #3 pick like RJ was among the worst players in the NBA as a rookie.

  110. Been working myself way too hard nonstop since the pandemic began and am now finally on the first vacation in a looooong time in Perugia, Italy. It is profoundly confusing why anyone would choose to live anywhere else but here. It’s insanely pleasurable. Heading to Florence tomorrow. How lucky am I to be basking in the gracious company of the ladies in my life, remembering what it’s like to be struck by the beauty of small moments and perceptions throughout the day?

    May you all enjoy a similarly replenishing break this summer.

    I’m very happy with the offseason. I’ll miss seeing Bullock play D and finding out what he might have done on O with better distributors on the floor. I’m interested to see what he’ll do next to Luka. Glad most of the rest of the gang is back. Many are easy to like and very fun to watch.

    Add me to the chorus appreciating the knowledge that KBers share re the draft, salary cap, and many other things I’d never take the time to figure out on my own.

    My highly incorrect forecast for a crappy last season was mostly based on not foreseeing:
    – Excellent 3pt shooting % and increasing 3pt attempts <- no clue this was coming
    – Outstanding 3pt defense <- thought it would be good, but didn't suspect just how good
    – Julius' massive sustained improvement and durability in the face of overuse <- would have bet against either

    I wonder what I'm not foreseeing this time. As of now, I assume the biggest changes will be:
    – Improved team Off Rtg from better distributors and shot creators and shooters.
    – Worse team Def Rtg from a decline in perimeter D.
    If we stand pat, I'd expect a few more wins (5-7?) than last year's prorated number. The stable roster will be a reference for assessing coaching and development.

    My guess is IQ will improve more than RJ or Mitch. I'm not sold on the star potential of any of the three but look forward to being wrong, as I often am.

    Enjoy the Knicks' good fortune and be kind to each other. You're a good group.

  111. I don’t even know what this means.
    If this means we should’ve picked at 19 and 21 instead of making the trades that we did, you are out of your mind.

    What is with the snippy ass tone as of late towards anyone who’s even mildly critical, or even questioning, of the front office of the New York Knicks?

    As we’ve always said, if you want cheerleading 99% of Knicks based websites are available to you. r/NYKnicks, posting and toasting, you name it. That’s never been a Big Part of What We Do Here.

  112. djphan: i think the continued misunderstanding of the position is that people want to ‘Process’ their way to a championship and that tanking and high lotto picks is the only way…

    nobody wanted to tank so you’re arguing against a scarecrow… best to drop it…. you’re getting emotional against a made up position…

    lol djphan of all people with the “best to drop it”.

    Anyway – I am not even remotely emotional. I am just wondering what the alternative plan is.

    Leon Rose and company don’t have the chops, according to some. I want to see what the correct chops are. What would the doubters have done differently that would definitely be smarter than what they’ve done? And bear in mind that the FO’s approach has already shown success. And I mean big picture success, not “they didn’t get quite as good value as they should have for moving down 4 slots in the draft” kind of miniscule picture success.

  113. I think it’s easy in the off-season to say a rookie can replicate what Noel does on defense, but Noel is one of the best defensive players in the league. There’s very few NBA players who can replicate Noel’s contributions, let alone in the draft.

    The reality is 40-60% of players picked 19 & 21 end up never being rotation level players. It’s very unlikely they can do what Noel do, especially in year 1.

    To a lesser extent the same holds for Burks. Even a promising #3 pick like RJ was among the worst players in the NBA as a rookie.

    I agree there’d be a big drop off in production from Noel and Burks to just about any rookies, but there would be a counterbalancing boatload of extra cap space I think we could’ve used to get better. I happen to think, say, Lonzo and Isaiah Jackson add more 2021-2022 wins than Noel and Burks. YMMV on that but I think it’s borne out by more than a few empirics.

    In this scenario we add more U-24 players and still get better. It might not present the certainty our actual approach has, but the upside is much higher and I just don’t see much downside unless you think Lonzo will be an albatross (I definitely don’t).

  114. thenoblefacehumper: As we’ve always said, if you want cheerleading 99% of Knicks based websites are available to you. r/NYKnicks, posting and toasting, you name it. That’s never been a Big Part of What We Do Here.

    It is true that I’ve always been on Team Optimism. And so this is just who I am – I generally look at things in a positive light unless they are proven otherwise. I was even like that about the Bargnani trade, which obviously was awful in retrospect.

    But honestly – the “clearly they don’t know what they’re doing” crowd is being ridiculous. Honestly. They obviously DO know what they’re doing. Whether they get a 95 out of a 100 rating or a 82 out of 100 rating, they are clearly doing a good job.

    Look at the roster now.
    Look at the cap table.
    Look at the assets we have.
    Look at the player development that happened in the 1 year under their watch.

    You don’t have to be on r/NYknicks to really be impressed by it.

  115. cybersoze:
    Guys, you remember RJ is on the team, right? Last year he made a huge leap, even greater than Julius, it’s just that the MIP award doesn’t go to rookies/sophomores because it’s expected that growth from them. I think he can do the same this year, and if he does we’re gonna have a hell of a team.

    I hope you are right. I very much like the Randle extension, though I also think that he’s likely to regress a bit from last year’s career best regular season. I think if RJ continues to improve and Kemba Walker can remain relatively healthy, it will be an exciting season.

  116. I am just curious as to what JK47 would have done differently, other than just tank away until you hope the lottery balls (and the presence of an actual generational prospect in that draft) fall your way.

    I gave them some credit: their way of building is clearly the “lure the star” approach and it COULD work. Wait for the right star and it could all come together. The “hurr durr some people want to tank forever” argument is a dumb straw man so let’s please retire that.

    This FO doesn’t really crush the draft— they took a 19 overall pick and converted it into mush. I still haven’t heard a good defense of that trade because there isn’t one.

    They invested in FAs who you’re hoping just maintain their level of production— there’s not really any upside in those deals. They either play up to their contract values, or they decline. They’re really unlikely to get Christian Wood-style surplus value out of the FA contracts they signed.

    All of that is… fine. They’re not looking for Christian Woods who could break out, or Lonzo Ball types who still have many years of prime left. They went in a different direction. They’re trying to win as much now as they can, with the hope that the Knick brand improves and stars will want to come here. That’s a reasonable approach. I would have tried to augment this core with high-upside draft picks and some younger FAs but who gives a fuck what I would have done? They’re doing this. It could work!

  117. thenoblefacehumper: I happen to think, say, Lonzo and Isaiah Jackson add more 2021-2022 wins than Noel and Burks. YMMV on that but I think it’s borne out by more than a few empirics.

    In this scenario we add more U-24 players and still get better. It might not present the certainty our actual approach has, but the upside is much higher and I just don’t see much downside unless you think Lonzo will be an albatross (I definitely don’t).

    This is totally fair.

  118. lol djphan of all people with the “best to drop it”.

    seems like you have something to say frank… would you also like to show us how thin skinned you are?

    Anyway – I am not even remotely emotional.

    then why you getting mad over something nobody said? do you believe me when i say that? because it’s true…

    with that in mind are you going to continue on this crusade? i think the positions of everyone in your crosshairs is in this thread and what they’ve stated is more than clear… including myself… so there shouldn’t be anymore room for misinterpretaton… and with that in mind i don’t think anything your asking for makes sense in that regard…

  119. The Noel trade actually makes me much more worried about Mitch – ie. whether the foot is still a big problem. Because in terms of starting level center play, Noel was probably the best option out there, even if he can’t catch the ball at all.

  120. If Kemba Walker completely falls apart and has the worst season of his career resulting in an OBPM of 0.0. The Knicks will have improved. 2.8 OBPM by not playing Elfrid Payton.

    If Kemba replicates last season, that’s a 5.3 OBPM swing. Don’t underestimate addition by subtraction. Replacing one of the worst players in the league with Kemba Walker is huge.

    We saw this same effect with the coaching switch from Fizdale to Thibs. Part of the massive swing was due to the fact that Fizdale was actively suppressing our win total the same way Elf was holding back our offense.

    The Elf to Kemba swing should feel like that.

  121. Also, I think I figured out how to fit McBride into cap space without dumping Knox. You have to leave Rose and Grimes’ cap holds on the books until you do everything else.

    -Waive Vildoza.

    -If you backload the Fournier, Burks, and Noel deals and you can get to their reported AAVs by starting them at around $18.1M, $9.5M, and $10.1M respectively.

    -2/$16M for Kemba leaves us ~$2.7M in cap space.

    -Use that space for McBride (4/$11.5M or so, could also try to split it up between him and Vildoza).

    -Give Vildoza the room exception (2/~$10M–I am assuming they are decidedly against ditching him).

    -Sign Rose and Grimes.

  122. But honestly – the “clearly they don’t know what they’re doing” crowd is being ridiculous. Honestly. They obviously DO know what they’re doing. Whether they get a 95 out of a 100 rating or a 82 out of 100 rating, they are clearly doing a good job.

    I think you’re reading what you want to read instead of…people’s actual posts. JK, djphan, Hubert, Count, and myself have all been pretty clear about where exactly we stand on the current team and have articulated specific objections to our approach.

    No one is saying “these guys are just Phil Jackson redux” or anything like that, and if you think any and all questioning is tantamount to that, that’s a you problem.

  123. Holy $%#$% this is ridiculous. They’ve literally been in power for literally 1 season, and in that season we completely crushed expectations, had the COTY, turned the franchise from a total laughingstock dumpster fire into a place where an all-NBA 2nd team guy just took a big discount to stay, and another all-star level player decided to come play for the Knicks rather than taking probably more money to play for a “contender”. We have zero albatross contracts, and except for probably the Rose contract, every contract on the books is either a positive asset or at worst a neutral asset. We have 2 extra 1sts and 6 extra seconds in the next few years, and of course still have all our own draft picks. We’re still under the salary cap and have tons of flexibility in the coming years.

    But “clearly” this front office doesn’t have the necessary chops. My god.

    I just don’t know what people are talking about anymore.

    THIS TIMES A 100. I don’t even know what people are complaining about anymore. Its getting a bit ridiculous. There is absolutely a path available for us to upgrade this team in the next few seasons if a superstar becomes available in a trade or free agency. We’re literally doing everything the correct way and people are made cause we aren’t loading up on rookie contracts.

    I think BigBlueAl made a really good point yesterday about team pessimism/championship or bust. There is literally only one team a year that wins it all, so if you’re team pessimism/championship or bust, you basically are guaranteed to be right that we didn’t do enough every season unless we win it all. I mean Suns fans right now could be questioning what their GM didn’t do right to win it all. Its an impossible standard to live up to. Choosing to have hope and be optimistic is the much more risky position to take bc unless we win it all or get to the finals, team championship or bust gets to say “see! I told you so!” Its bullshit.

  124. There is absolutely a path available for us to upgrade this team in the next few seasons if a superstar becomes available in a trade or free agency.

    This is EXACTLY WHAT I SAID.

  125. The alternative plan was to take two of the lottery-caliber prospects that fell to 19 & 21. It was to take the blue chip PG prospect that fell into our laps at 8 last year. And it was to make a selection at 33 last year.

    That is it.

    That is literally it.

    None of these made up positions about wanting to tank or saying the front office is incompetent are real.

  126. There’s a path for every single organization in the NBA to upgrade their team if they could lure a superstar in a trade or in free agency. If ZIon said next summer, “I want to play for Orlando,” Orlando could and would make that happen.

    That’s an overbroad, unfalsifiable “theory,” or whatever you want to call it. It is a path open to every single association organization at whatever place they are on the development curve. (And Knicks fans only think that you have to get the “brand” right to draw those superstar guys because they’ve swung and missed at the superstar guys so many times and so it must be the “brand” at fault. Another entirely unproven premise.)

    In a similar vein, any FO that inherited 50M in cap space could move a team from 31 wins to 45-ish, if they were willing to spend all the cap space on guys like the Knicks spent it on.

    People are jumping for joy and cartwheeling at essentially replacement level GMing. The Knicks had some cap space, they blew it on a bunch of veterans, Julius Randle exogenously had the season of his life for reasons having nothing to do with the FO, and now they’ve gone from 31 to probably mid-40s in two years and they’re capped out. Don’t get the A grades being blithely handed out. At all.

  127. Knox won’t be in Summer League, after all. Health and safety protocols. Hope it’s just contact tracing and not him being sick.

  128. I think this FO has the necessary chops to do anything they want.
    But they think the surest way forward is the way they’ve chosen.

    They clearly tried to trade up to get a player they really liked – no dice.
    They looked at their intel about who might choose who, and got as much value as they could while still getting the guys remaining at the top of their board.

    The Burks/Noel vs. Lonzo or whoever debate is a very reasonable debate. As tnfh and JK said, they chose continuity+bird-in-hand.

    They certainly have made some mistakes
    – the 19th pick fiasco wasn’t great, but it’s not like they traded it for 2 seconds next year. It will still very likely convey (or will be traded anyway).
    – they basically lit cap space on fire last year (a true incineration), since they ended the league year with unused cap.
    – one could argue they should’ve taken Favors + the draft pick rather than signing Noel. Have to think Johnny Bryant knows Favors pretty well though – maybe just not a good fit for what they want to do.

    There’s always nitpicky things but I am just a happy Knick fan. My kid is 1000% into it now after not caring about the knicks at all for his whole life prior to last season.

  129. There’s a path for every single organization in the NBA to upgrade their team if they could lure a superstar in a trade or in free agency. If ZIon said next summer, “I want to play for Orlando,” Orlando could and would make that happen.

    Ehh not really. The Knicks DO have some cachet, we have seen stars force their way here before. This ain’t Orlando. A winning Knicks team is a plausible FA/star destination, it’s silly to act like any crummy NBA team could lure Zion.

  130. Been working myself way too hard nonstop since the pandemic began and am now finally on the first vacation in a looooong time in Perugia, Italy. It is profoundly confusing why anyone would choose to live anywhere else but here. It’s insanely pleasurable. Heading to Florence tomorrow. How lucky am I to be basking in the gracious company of the ladies in my life, remembering what it’s like to be struck by the beauty of small moments and perceptions throughout the day?

    very nice Unreason, travel safe and enjoy…any fave restaurants or meals you’ve encountered?

  131. thenamestsam: BPM for players that made the First or Second Team All-NBA last season:
    Giannis: 8.8
    Lillard: 5.9
    LeBron: 7.5
    Harden: 6.8
    Embiid: 7.2
    Jokic: 11.7
    Chris Paul: 4.7
    Steph: 8.1
    Durant: 6.9

    Julius Randle: 3.7

    I see where you want to go, but let’s apply some math to two players – Dame and Julius. Everybody wanted Dame, right? An indisputable superstar, i think. Even here on KB, where everything is disputable.

    Julius – 27.3M – BPM 3.7 – it’s 7.38M per 1 BPM
    Dame – 44.0M – BPM 5.9 – it’s 7.45M per 1 BPM

    He makes more than everybody else, i give you that, but he’s 26, let’s wait for next season to check if it was an outlier season or if he’s still improving.

  132. Ehh not really. The Knicks DO have some cachet, we have seen stars force their way here before. This ain’t Orlando.

    It’s now 20 years ago, but ORL drew Prime Tracy McGrady and Prime Grant Hill to their team in one summer. The Knicks have never done anything remotely like that.

    I agree that there’s some theoretical cachet, and the Rangers get some benefit of it on the NHL side of it, but it’s never actually translated. If people want to say never say never, I’m cool with that — but guys wanting to flock to the Mecca really isn’t a thing. They *love* playing here to be sure, for obvious reasons, but that’s never really translated to wanting to do it full-time.

  133. 2. Covid Regular Season Julius is a $30M player. Playoff Julius isn’t even close to a $30M player. It’s hard to grasp a mindset wherein the regular season is the more “real” and more “important” set of games and the playoffs are the junior partner to that or some kind of obvious outlier.

    180 minutes vs. 2667 minutes. I have no idea how someone can argue with a straight face that one of those samples is more representative of a player’s ability than the other.

    I would gladly point you to Donovan Mitchell’s 193 minutes in the 2019 playoffs, wherein he shot .423 TS% on 32 USG% and a boatload of turnovers, too. And then he turned around and led the league in playoff OBPM (.696 TS% on 37 USG%) the following year.

    Which Devin Booker is the real one? The guy who scored 82 points on 61 shot attempts in games 4 and 5? Or the one who bricked 25 of his 36 shots for 29 points (6 of which came from FTM) in games 3 and 6?

  134. Critics: these guys aren’t awful but I think they should’ve made some more draft picks

    Response: SO YOU’RE SAYING THEY’RE WORSE THAN PHIL JACKSON?!

    Give it a god damn rest. Again, if Rose and co. put together a contender I will be more than happy to have all my 19th pick griping thrown back in my face.

    I’m not sure why everyone is trying to throw it back in my face before that has occurred. Are you under the impression this front office is literally utterly flawless? That’s a weird view to hold of them, or of any other human beings for that matter.

  135. Frank:
    The Noel trade actually makes me much more worried about Mitch – ie. whether the foot is still a big problem. Because in terms of starting level center play, Noel was probably the best option out there, even if he can’t catch the ball at all.

    Mitch posted somewhere on social media yesterday. I can’t find It but he gained 30 lbs or muscle and is up to 275 from 245. Of course he was shirtless. He looked ripped. There was no boot.

  136. Randle’s eventual payday next summer was such a wild card. He had one bad year, one awesome year, and one awful playoff run as a Knick. What does that all equal out to? So much depends on how he plays this season. Obviously now it doesn’t matter how he plays, except for our happiness as fans. We’ll either be celebrating or cursing after this year.

  137. I can’t find It but he gained 30 lbs or muscle and is up to 275 from 245. Of course he was shirtless. He looked ripped. There was no boot.

    He did not gain 30 lbs. of muscle.

  138. honestly, not that surprised about julius taking the extension…he sat in the locker room with nerlens all last year, and – that schroder situation is fresh on everyone’s mind…take the money they’re trying to give you…

    thanks for sharing the westchester story frank…what a cool moment to look over and see your child kicking it with julius…way cool…

  139. I don’t know the extension rules, but I wonder whether it would be reasonable to offer Mitch a 1 year extension guaranteed at something like $12MM. Gives him life-changing $, gives us some certainty for 2 seasons, we’d still have bird rights, and timing-wise his $ could come off at the same time as these other 2+1 contracts. (can extensions have team options also?)

  140. Critics: these guys aren’t awful but I think they should’ve made some more draft picks

    Response: SO YOU’RE SAYING THEY’RE WORSE THAN PHIL JACKSON?!

    Give it a god damn rest.

    for real. it was the same way in the playoffs. “coach needs to make some adjustments” or “I think that last second play sucked” became “WHY DO YOU HATE THIBS SO MUCH!?”

    I don’t get these guys.

  141. Something is clearly up with the people Mitch surrounds himself with, based on comments by pretty much every beat writer over the last couple of years.

    hi al, what do you mean by this – like he’s kind of shady, or he just surrounds himself with shady folks?

    also, what’s a good offer for a mitch extension?

  142. Are there any futures out yet? I’m genuinely curious on what the market is for this team. We’d get 46.5 wins based on last year’s record with an 82-game schedule. I’d say …48.5 game O/U? Based on Payton for Kemba with some regression baked in. Feels reasonable but this Eastern Conference will be more loaded than usual.

  143. I would gladly point you to Donovan Mitchell’s 193 minutes in the 2019 playoffs, wherein he shot .423 TS% on 32 USG% and a boatload of turnovers, too. And then he turned around and led the league in playoff OBPM (.696 TS% on 37 USG%) the following year.

    No idea what you’re talking about. Donovan Mitchell was lights out in his first playoff series; Julius Randle was horrific in his first playoff series.

  144. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Which Devin Booker is the real one? The guy who scored 82 points on 61 shot attempts in games 4 and 5? Or the one who bricked 25 of his 36 shots for 29 points (6 of which came from FTM) in games 3 and 6?

    Probably something like a composite of all the games. Don’t try that with Julius, it won’t come out very well.

  145. Even if Julius hadn’t signed the extension and then went on to regress next season, I doubt the front office would have let him walk. My sense is they’re pretty committed to him as a long term piece. Were that the case, he likely doesn’t get the max but could easily have signed for something pretty similar to what he just did. He would have had to really shit the bed to be offered anything significantly less.

  146. Re: Julius – are there any good video breakdowns of the playoff games? I haven’t looked since the series was so brutal but am now over it and am curious to get more of an understanding as to what exactly happened (both with Julius’ performance and overall)

  147. Julius saw the Hawks defense the very first possession, looked deer in the headlights, and looked deer in the headlights the entire rest of the series. He showed no capacity to understand or adapt or alter his game. By Game 5, it was like, “Dude, you’ve been beating your head against this brick wall for 150 minutes now maybe, I don’t know … stop beating your head?????” He kept beating his head.

    I really, really don’t want to pile on and I fervently hope this was just a weird accident and confluence of forces that won’t happen again but he wasn’t just bad in the series — he was epically, historically bad. In addition to the deer/headlights from the get-go, he shot .298 from the floor. Two. Ninety. Eight. He had 20 assists and 23 turnovers.

    I’m pretty sure he’ll have a nice regular season this year, but he needs to do it in the playoffs, where the defenses are aimed to stop him, they can adjust on the fly, and there’s a bit more pressure and expectations.(*) If you don’t have your doubts or qualms after his initial shot at it, you’re either a cockeyed optimist or an ideologue.

    (*) As Knick fans, given the 21st century perpetual putridity, we don’t really understand and haven’t internalized what the vast majority of NBA and NHL fanbases realize without even trying, which is that the only games that really matter are playoff games.

  148. The primary defender played aggressive on the ball, they soft doubled him with Clint Capela, and they shaded him to the sideline with a third defender. It’s kinda thing you can do when you’re not worried about the other players on the court.

  149. occurs to me i have enough contrarian (at kb dot net) takes right now to enrage large chunks of the many good people on both sides. i can do the board a huge favor by drawing fire. these are actual takes.

    1. randle, almost surely wisely, took this deal for purely self-interested reasons. there is close to no chance randle would have gotten the mega max if 21-22 looks like 19-20, cf this post. in fact i think he’d get notably less than this extension in that case, and that’s without injury. unless he has unusual risk and marginal wealth preferences, he made a highly defensible decision without an ounce of sacrifice required.

    2. even in a pretty (but not great) good case for him, randle is the sort of player who is more valuable to a poor to good team than to a very good to great team. partly bc of this i would have been against mega max’ing him this summer (were it possible) even if the alternative was to lose him. the other part reflects the fact his bpm in 2020-21 had he shot from 10ft plus at his career marks would have been 1.4ish. note i am not saying this is his mostly likely outcome. i still think the extension is smart.

    3. i am suspicious about rj making a leap that would make him a reliably top 50 player. i hope i’m wrong about this. rj literally has shown the best intangibles of any 19/20 yr old i’ve seen. but if that is the case, it limits this team’s space of possible upsides. i’m also suspicious of obi becoming a meaningfully valuable player on a good team, although i do like his chances of putting up solid numbers.

    4. i like mcbride more than grimes and simms more than sims and grant riller more than vildoza.

    5. i don’t think we had a bad offseason.

    6. demanding dissenters provide their own specific, alternative off-season is less reasonable than it seems. counterfactuals are inevitably met with “maybe that player/trade was impossible.”

    7. Frank

  150. geo: thanks for sharing the westchester story frank…what a cool moment to look over and see your child kicking it with julius…way cool…

    Hey geo, hope things are running smoother for you today. Sent you a music on the last thread, in case you didn’t notice it, with all this daily bombastic news about the Knicks. ;)

  151. Sly
    August 5, 2021 at 11:41 am
    As aIf your take on the FO is “clueless” “lazy” “unprepared” and it seems to me any outcome other than being proven correct would disappoint you. I’m not singling anyone out, but it seems to me that it is incongruent to hate the FO moves and be able to heartily root for success.

    I think you can safely single out E

  152. I think the last two moves did a lot to turn around the offseason.

    Getting Kemba is fantastic. There is a good chance he never recovers from the knee injury but the potential upside is huge, Even on a bad knee, he had a better BPM than Lowry last year so there is real upside with this signing.

    The Randle signing is great, I don’t think it’s quite the coup that people are making it out to be, it is the smart move from both Randle and the front office but credit where credit is due, it was a good move.

    Overall, as long as we sign McBride to a good contract and don’t waive Vildoza I’d give this offseason a 7. If we fuck either of those things up it would be more like a 6.5. On the other hand, if we are able to extend Mitch I’ll raise it to an 8/10.

    I still think trading 19 was very bad and I do worry about pairing Kemba and Rose (who I still am really sad we kept and definitely overpaid) because it gives us real potential to have both out for extended periods, maybe even at the same time. I think pairing Kemba with a lower upside more stable backup would have been better.

    The Noel and Burks signings went from bad to mediocre with the news of the unguaranteed 3rd years. The big crux on whether they are decent signings or bad signings lies in whether they are simply depth pieces or if their existence is an obstacle to Toppin, Quickley, and to a lesser extent Grimes and Vildoza getting real shots at having bigger roles in the rotation. I really want to see at least some experimentation at pairing Randle and Toppin and I want Quickley to be given a real shot to have a bigger role than Burks if he earns it.

  153. One objection to waiving and re-signing Vildoza with the Room Exception is that we lose the Room Exception if we end up wanting to waive him in October anyway. I’m not sure the timeline on needing to sign McBride et al. But waiting as long as possible to decide on Vildoza has its benefits.

    Also, I believe we can split the room exception. There isn’t much left after re-signing Vildoza to the same deal, but we could outbid a team for an undrafted player.

  154. The Mitch article is really good. Thanks for posting that.

    Also, hold off on your SL bets, Knox is being held out for Covid related reasons

  155. RE: Mitch’s weight gain
    I REALLY hope he’s not 270 or heavier. With his style of play and previous leg injuries, it definitely changes his effectiveness..and his durability. 260 would be great. 270 is too much

  156. Hubert:
    The primary defender played aggressive on the ball, they soft doubled him with Clint Capela, and they shaded him to the sideline with a third defender. It’s kinda thing you can do when you’re not worried about the other players on the court.

    And he had no clue what to do about it which actually really isn’t his fault because he never should have been put in the position of primary ballhandler and initiator to begin with but had to be because of the limitations of the roster. So the hope for this year shouldn’t be that he keeps initiating but just with better surrounding players; it should be that someone else be the initiator. Hopefully Kemba stays healthy and the initiator transition goes smoothly. We’ll see.

  157. Early Bird:
    The Mitch article is really good.Thanks for posting that.

    Also, hold off on your SL bets, Knox is being held out for Covid related reasons

    Not to worry — there’s a new fiesta in the making as we speak.

  158. Hey geo, hope things are running smoother for you today. Sent you a music on the last thread, in case you didn’t notice it, with all this daily bombastic news about the Knicks. ;)

    howdy soze, thank you :)

    what was the artist again?

    things are good, just do a little more self examination lately than usual…max said something yesterday that was sooooo insightful: Depression is a subtle, slimy, son of a bitch.

    like i said, i gave things a “different” name in my head and convince myself it’s not a thing…depression though is sneaky as feck…once the episode passes – it fades from memory easily…which i guess is a good thing???

    anxiety is simply hard to not notice, remember or deny – your mind races, your heart beats like crazy and you’re left gulping for air…

    what bidiong said rings oh so true: i don’t wanna leave my fucking house, hell, i don’t wanna leave my bedroom, i just wanna stay in bed with the door closed and the lights off, with absolutely no noise at all in my home…

    obviously, with kids, work, family/friends in my life – that’s not an option…

    other than the whole va disability review thing, one of the other reasons i’m able to feel more comfortable discussing it with others, is one of the kids is having some similar struggles themselves…i don’t want them hiding it in the closet or feeling ashamed to discuss the situation…

  159. thenoblefacehumper:
    Also, I think I figured out how to fit McBride into cap space without dumping Knox. You have to leave Rose and Grimes’ cap holds on the books until you do everything else.
    -Waive Vildoza.
    -If you backload the Fournier, Burks, and Noel deals and you can get to their reported AAVs by starting them at around $18.1M, $9.5M, and $10.1M respectively.
    -2/$16M for Kemba leaves us ~$2.7M in cap space.
    -Use that space for McBride (4/$11.5M or so, could also try to split it up between him and Vildoza).
    -Give Vildoza the room exception (2/~$10M–I am assuming they are decidedly against ditching him).
    -Sign Rose and Grimes.

    Noble, don’t throw money away, man. Vildoza makes 3.3M, why would we give 4.9M? Even if we waive him and re-sign him with the exception, give him the same money. And the same with McBride, when we signed Mitch the contract was 4/6.5M, why would we now give 11.5M in the same situation? With the added problem that he’ll probably make more money than Mitch this season (if there’s no Mitch extension).

  160. Hubert: He was one injury away from being Victor Oladipo.

    Correct, Demarcus Cousins is another cautionary tale. Take the money. Also, players generally are unhappy to leave a team. They feel spurned. Dr. J loves NYK. Look at the unselfishness compared to mega max Melo. That’s a team leader right there. Tom Brady was always renegotiating his deal to afford help too, no? I was ready to stop reading this blog a couple of days ago. It was just getting depressing, but this seems like a watershed offseason and, coming off a playoff year, I’m too fucking stoked. One thing the “first round exit purgatory” thinkers may miss is that it’s hard to improve a good team. OK, DAL has Luka but didn’t sniff a chip. Did they improve much with Bullock and a Hardaway extension? What playoff team improved more than we did? Or has more flexibility moving forward? One last thing which is HUGE. We didn’t trade one prospect or draft pick to get this done. Just good signings and cap management.

  161. Re nickname: Evan Almighty? (I’ll be here all weak (see what I did there) I’ll show myself out now…)

  162. geo: yep, turn down these voices inside my head…food for the soul…

    Yeah, that’s it. Or whatever works, i made peace with the voices in my head, i now talk to them. ;D

  163. Re nickname: Evan Almighty? (I’ll be here all weak (see what I did there) I’ll show myself out now…)

    another strong candidate:
    Evan Almighty
    Evian

  164. If we waived Vildoza before even getting to see him in training camp I believe that would represent a huge mismanagement of our cap space. He might not make the team but he is at least good enough that not even getting a look at him would be a real blunder.

  165. Randle did what probably most of us would do — take the money, stay in a good situation.

    That said, very few players actually do that — they go for the greatest $ possible. If Randle put up numbers even close to last year (Say 22/10/5 and shooting 38% from 3), there’s no doubt that someone would have given him a max contract or very close to it. He’s a 2 way player that can play on or off ball, shoots 40% from 3, and is physically a beast. No injury history etc. No doubt he would’ve gotten the max from someone.

    I do wonder whether Oladipo taking the minimum may have been on his mind. That fall from grace is pretty brutal.

  166. geo: another strong candidate:
    Evan Almighty
    Evian

    Nobody liked “French Beard” :(
    Just kiddin, Evian is super funny, i like it.
    Oh, and btw, will there be Evian-ophiles here at KB, or that’s just a privilege of the French Prince?

  167. I’m waiting for Kemba’s first missed game so that everyone can blame it on Thibs. It’s coming.

  168. I see where you want to go, but let’s apply some math to two players – Dame and Julius. Everybody wanted Dame, right? An indisputable superstar, i think. Even here on KB, where everything is disputable.

    Julius – 27.3M – BPM 3.7 – it’s 7.38M per 1 BPM
    Dame – 44.0M – BPM 5.9 – it’s 7.45M per 1 BPM

    He makes more than everybody else, i give you that, but he’s 26, let’s wait for next season to check if it was an outlier season or if he’s still improving.

    Yeah I don’t disagree; I’m not trying to say the contract is bad. I just think there’s a little bit of a Motte and Bailey thing happening with these comparisons to other first and second-team all-NBA players that Tommy Beer is putting forward. Yes he’s paid less than those guys, but I don’t think anybody actually thinks he’s as good as those guys currently, despite them sharing that all-NBA status last year, so what’s even the point of the comparison? If he pushes on from this level and establishes himself as a top 10-15 player this contract will obviously be a massive bargain, but he wasn’t at that level even last year and the year before that he had a negative BPM. I think it’s a good deal for the Knicks but I understand why Randle wanted to lock in the money and I don’t think he did us some over the top favor here or anything like that.

  169. It may be possible to fit Kemba and McBride w/o waiving Vildoza:

    (1) All FA contracts are ascending
    (2) Fournier acquired in S&T for TPE to allow 8% ascending (thus a lower 1st yr salary
    (3) Sign Kemba for ~$7M w/ 5% increase
    (4) include unlikely incentive bonuses worth $1M
    (5) Sign McBride to remainder, almost exactly the rookie min allowing for a 4yr contract

    At least one source says you only need room for
    unlikely bonuses to be approved, and doesn’t count against cap. Probably would want to read actual CBA, but that’s a pain in the ass

  170. How ’bout Evan Fourpointplay?

    (Why not give the man something to shoot for)

  171. Comment in moderation but way to sign Kemba:

    All FA signed to ascending contracts, including Kemba. S&T for Fournier, use 8% ascending, send BOS a TPE.

    Give Kemba $1M in unlikely performance bonus with $7M guaranteed. (Or anyone can get the $1M unlikely and preserve enough)

    McBride signs 4yrs under the cap for min

    No need to waive Vildoza, & you preserve Room Exception if it’s needed.

  172. If Fournier has unlikely performance bonuses then you save up to 15% of his contract, and may be able to ignore the above steps. You can also spread out the performance bonuses to others as long as none of the players receiving bonuses cause you to go over the cap. Because reporting is unreliable and the deals potentially unfinished themselves, there could be more cap space than we’ve alloted based on reported numbers.

    So if Noel has $1M unlikely bonus (say for winning DPOY), you count it when adding another player with a bonus, say Burks also has $1M bonus (for 6th man). When signing Burks or Noel your activite salary is $2M higher. When signing a non-bonus player, you don’t count those $2M.

    Because McBride can’t receive bonuses at the minimum, he can always be signed if there is at least one contract with an unlikely performance bonus of $1M.

  173. thenamestsam: I think it’s a good deal for the Knicks but I understand why Randle wanted to lock in the money and I don’t think he did us some over the top favor here or anything like that.

    I agree. I’d probably be against signing Julius to the max next offseason, but somewhere in between is the fair value for his production. This extension is a steal.

  174. Fantastic news for the team on the Randle signing. That gives them so more financial flexibility going forward. Randle mitigates any injury concerns and locks in close to 30 mil per year, I don’t think he’ll be on food stamps despite potentially leaving some money on the table. Still, an unusual situation in the sports world where a top athlete takes less. I am not used to this amount of good news in such a short time frame for this team – amazing.

    I have to take back my comment from draft night about the front office “not having a fucking clue” after they punted on the 19th pick ( I won’t use incinerated, too controversial). Major Props to Rose & company, this team is making some very good moves and heading in the right direction. I am typically pessimistic about the Knicks based on long standing incompetence, but I have firmly moved over to Team Optimism now. I see no other choice based on recent results. Yeah things could go terribly wrong still, but I am on board with the plan.

    Was listening to Colin Cowherd on the radio discussing the Lakers roster an dhow old they are and it dawned on me that it’s not too far of a stretch to like the Knicks position going forward better. Maybe not for 2021-2022, but the youth and potential on New York sure seems brighter after that than the Lakers (as of now). That LeBron team is not going to age well.

  175. I think it’s fine for pessimists and optimists alike to agree that:

    1) Julius Randle had a historically bad playoff series
    2) Some players are 16-game players and other players are 82-game players
    3) Randle will probably have more help around him in this year’s playoffs

    We’ll find out whether 1 informs 2 (and whether 3 informs 1) soon enough. For now I’ll stay optimistic that the team, and Randle, can be better come playoffs.

  176. geo:
    anyone know who’s slotted to coach our summer league team?

    Can’t find anything about it but I can’t wait for the first game… :-)

  177. 4. i like mcbride more than grimes and simms more than sims and grant riller more than vildoza.

    The Simms > Sims take is unoriginal, sir. I said it when we signed Double M.

    In all seriousness, I hope Simms gets the 2nd two-way spot over Pinson, who I once liked as a prospect but now seems content with being a career Locker Room Guy. At the risk of sounding cold-hearted, I think it would be wise to make better use of a two-way slot than that.

  178. 2) Some players are 16-game players and other players are 82-game players

    Julius Randle is without a doubt an 82 game shot creator and a 16 game finisher. I think our playoff offense has to run through Kemba Walker and hopefully a year 3 RJ Barrett as well, with Julius Randle being a battering ram instead of a shot creator. Julius Randle plays basketball like a big wing, and I think the next step for him is embracing being a power forward. We need him setting screens, rolling hard to the basket, popping out to the 3 point line, and punishing teams on putbacks. It should be doable now that one of Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose will always be on court, but we still need to see him do it.

    I wonder if we still lose to Atlanta if Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier are on the team in place of Payton and Bullock.

  179. “I wonder if we still lose to Atlanta if Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier are on the team in place of Payton and Bullock.”

    Hopefully we’ll get to find out in next year’s playoffs

  180. geo: very nice Unreason, travel safe and enjoy…any fave restaurants or meals you’ve encountered?

    Fav meal so far is too damn hard to say. Widespread genius here in food among other things. I had a crispy pork belly half the size of a large dinner plate three nights ago in Orvieto in a restaurant in a piazza looking onto an amazing duomo. So perfect I had to ask how they did it. Slow cooked over night then very fast over high heart to get the spectacular crisp. But every night’s meal is memorable.

  181. @ShamsCharania
    The Charlotte Hornets have emerged with strong interest in a potential offer sheet for Chicago restricted free agent Lauri Markkanen, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. RFAs can begin signing sheets Friday.

    That’s an interesting choice for them, and the Bulls don’t seem to want Markkanen around anymore. Be funny if, after all the hand-wringing over The Incinerated Pick, it winds up conveying next year(*).

    (*) And I say “funny” while acknowledging that the team should have gotten something beyond one pick, given the protections Charlotte insisted on. But today is not the day to keep re-litigating that one move when so many more interesting ones have happened since!

  182. Fournier is sometimes nicknamed “Never Google,” which works better as an inside joke than an actual nickname.

  183. No need to be always optimistic or pessimistic.
    Just listen to your heart, think about it for a while and just be fair

    Randle signing feels Gooood!

  184. **Fournier is sometimes nicknamed “Never Google,” which works better as an inside joke than an actual nickname.**

    The French Foreign Lesion

  185. ..I googled it yesterday. I figured I’d get it out of the way rather than wondering for 3 (or uh..maybe 4) years. It’s bad.

  186. In all seriousness, I hope Simms gets the 2nd two-way spot over Pinson, who I once liked as a prospect but now seems content with being a career Locker Room Guy. At the risk of sounding cold-hearted, I think it would be wise to make better use of a two-way slot than that.

    i am a particular sucker for sneakily good passers with nba size. i desperately want simms to be the answer to the oft asked question, what if KOQ had a nice stroke from 3 (but was two inches shorter)?

    i know player coaching is a no no, but could we hire theo as a straight assistant coach (without him retiring) and still put him the bench in warmups?

  187. but for me i’m not really counting on Kemba much coming playoff time and i would be ecstatic if he reached 1200 minutes even…

    If you think this is the ceiling for Kemba this upcoming season, I can see why you feel the way you do. Personally I’m hoping for a bit more, as he was genuinely very good after the all-star break. This obviously could be noise but it also coincides with him having time to recover from his offseason stem-cell injection. The injuries that dogged him in the playoffs seemed minor in the grand scheme of things (of course, the older he gets the more of those you assume he’ll have).

    For what it’s worth, Kevin Pelton, who tends to agree with Team Pessimist way more often than not, thinks the Kemba signing really does change the game for us offensively. There aren’t any particularly interesting numbers outside of the obvious ones cited, but Pelton does think there’s a decent chance Kemba is better than he was last year (and it bears repeating that even last year’s performance would be a major upgrade from Payton).

  188. I am also a sucker for sneaky good passers with size. Really hope Simms sticks because he’s a fun player to watch for sure. Theo must stay on the team though–he was probably the invisible sixth man!

  189. I’m still thinking about it, Swift. The thing with the 54-win team was how many different phases and streaks it went through. IIRC, for about a month there, they were one of the greatest teams I’d ever seen. Then Kidd broke down, as did, I think, Sheed. Then the team was just okay for a while until Woodson started leaning more on Pablo as the co-PG with Felton, and using Copeland as our small ball center. And then he did all that East Is Big dumbshit in the playoffs, and the refs wouldn’t call a foul on Roy Hibbert, and that was that.

    Other than Taj — who likely won’t be in the rotation barring injury, based on how Thibs used him last year — there’s no one on this roster nearly as old as a lot of guys who were relied on as key contributors at various points in that season. So, knock wood, health shouldn’t be as much of a factor for this squad.

    Melo playing the 4 at that age was great, Felton playing with a second point guard was really something to watch, and both Novak and Copeland were shooting out of their minds for a while. But I might be inclined to go with this group? Recency bias? What recency bias?

  190. I don’t know if this team is better than the 54 win team, but I am confident that it is more built to last. In 2013, Jason Kidd was a big part of the regular season, until he completely ran out of gas by the playoffs. STAT was always playing on borrowed time (and knees). Rasheed Wallace was also on his last legs.

    Outside of Walker & Rose, the current rotation is healthy and still has tread on the tires.

  191. swiftandabundant:
    So no one wants to debate my question if this team is better than the 54 win team? Really? Sigh. Seems I only get engagement when I’m being ornery.

    I mean, I didn’t answer because I honestly have no idea. In that season the east was very weak, to the level that a 56 win finished 5th on the west while we got thr 2nd seed with 54, and it was full of veterans who knew their roles and performed very well. This team’s record will depend on so many variables like Walker’s health and play, Randle, Barrett etc continuing to play well, a lot of moving parts in the east too with more quality than that season, etc.

    My first thought would be that no, this team is not yet better than the 54 win team and also won’t win 54 games, but it has the pieces in place to progress in a more logical way than the 2013 team.

  192. That’s an interesting choice for them, and the Bulls don’t seem to want Markkanen around anymore. Be funny if, after all the hand-wringing over The Incinerated Pick, it winds up conveying next year(*).

    Charlotte wasn’t that bad last year. Hayward, LaMelo, and a few other players missed a lot of games but they were still competitive at times. I don’t think they’ve had a very good free agent period. They lost a few rotation players. But they added a couple of players in the draft and may still add someone in free agency. If they add 1-2 pieces they might make a playoff run. They certainly have a shot at the play-in tournament.

  193. swiftandabundant:
    So no one wants to debate my question if this team is better than the 54 win team? Really? Sigh. Seems I only get engagement when I’m being ornery.

    Swift, do you mean “better” as in “they’ll win 54 or more games”, or “they’ll advance to the second round”?
    Or just “potential” strenght of the roster?

    I don’t think they’ll win 54 games or more but I’m wait for the schedule for a definitive answer,
    and I think it’s not easy for them to advance to the second round but I still have to digest every other team new roster.

    At the same time I think this team has more “future potential”, with all his youngsters and in general with younger players than that ephemeral 54-win team.

  194. swiftandabundant:
    So no one wants to debate my question if this team is better than the 54 win team? Really? Sigh. Seems I only get engagement when I’m being ornery.

    I’d kind of like to watch this team actually play first before weighing in on that

  195. One thing to remember about Barrett for next year is that unless he improves his game, he’s legitimately the 4th option on offense now behind Randle, Kemba, and Fournier. So his usage will probably fall, as will Randle’s.
    On the flip side, they should both have more space without Payton on the court. There’s also almost no way other teams are going to be able to double Randle effectively with all that firepower on the court. Even if they try to help off Mitch/Nerlens we have the playmaking to lob to them from several spots. If Kemba is healthy, the offense should be much better. It’s the defense we have to worry about with Kemba and Fournier replacing Bullock and Payton. We could probably use another guard or wing defender unless we think one or both rookies are ready to be rotation players.

  196. ***The reality is 40-60% of players picked 19 & 21 end up never being rotation level players.***

    Because it’s a quantifiable result and it’s better than reffing in-fighting, I’ll reveal the actual numbers:

    Over the past 10 drafts:

    #19: 60% have become rotation level players
    #21: 50% have become rotation level players

    In the 21st century:

    #19: 67% have become rotation level players
    #21: 54% have become rotation level players

    In the modern draft era:

    #19: 60% have become rotation level players
    #21: 65% have become rotation level playerst

    *Notes:

    Of the 19 rotation level players selected at #19, there have been two all-stars: Randolph (2); Magloire (1)

    Of the 21 rotation level players selected at #21, there have been two all-stars: Rondo (4); Finley (2)

    **More notes:

    Yes, since the modern two-round draft structure, there have been 19 rotation level players selected at #19 and 21 rotation level players selected at #21. Weeiiirrrddddddddd.

  197. From the Pelton’s piece on the Kemba’s contract:

    “Walker led the NBA by taking 0.51 charges per game last season, according to NBA Advanced Stats tracking.”

    He’s not a good or even an average defender, but this stat is amazing.

  198. Yeah I’m inclined to think they won’t win 54 games in the regular season (though I do think they could pass the 50 win mark) but that they could be a team that has more firepower come playoff time and could be even better next year with just the natural progression of RJ and adding a mid level player to this bunch next year.

  199. thenoblefacehumper: For what it’s worth, Kevin Pelton, who tends to agree with Team Pessimist way more often than not, thinks the Kemba signing really does change the game for us offensively. There aren’t any particularly interesting numbers outside of the obvious ones cited, but Pelton does think there’s a decent chance Kemba is better than he was last year (and it bears repeating that even last year’s performance would be a major upgrade from Payton).

    Kemba’s great on the P-n-R. I’d happily turn over the offense to that. Will Thibs? Who will be the main roll man? Randle? Is he really the best choice? Lots of questions.

  200. I think it’s the 54 win team by a mile. It had Peak Melo and Peak Chandler and was a legitimate dark horse for the NBA title.

  201. DudeInKnicksTown:
    Which Sims is Simms? How will we tell them apart?

    Sims is the 58th pick 6-10 C with 7-3 wingspan, good defender, rim runner and bad FT shooter.

    Simms is the 6-8 UDFA PF with 7-0 wingspan, good defender, way better shooter (40% 3FG, 82,5%FT last year).

    Both were seniors, so they’re… old :-)

    Maybe is it easier to call them Jericho and Aamir?

  202. Yeah, have to go with the 54 win team by quite a lot. We dismantled the super-Heat team every time we played them.

    Our current squad is upgraded from last year, but rarely beat any of the true contenders (not counting some insane shooting luck against the Bucks & them benching all their starters).

    On the other hand, we haven’t mortgaged our future and we should continue being a good team for significantly longer.

  203. Max: Sims is the 58th pick 6-10 C with 7-3 wingspan, good defender, rim runner and bad FT shooter.

    Simms is the 6-8 UDFA PF with 7-0 wingspan, good defender, way better shooter (40% 3FG, 82,5%FT last year).

    Both were seniors, so they’re… old :-)

    Maybe is it easier to call them Jericho and Aamir?

    Thanks. So the extra “m” is for more shooting. Got it.

  204. The thing is, we didn’t really need an abundance of kids that might become rotation players. We needed solid NBA ready starters and all stars.

  205. I’d also like to point out that bad Kemba Walker had a better season than Kyle Lowry. Kemba is making $8M & Lowry is making $30M. That’s a pretty sweet deal!

  206. Meant to address this after the draft, but we now have Jericho, Immanuel, and Obadiah. Like a slow stroll through an old, moss-covered upstate cemetery on a warm autumn day….

  207. It’s hard to know which team is better because our range of possibilities for this year is very wide.

    We aren’t sure what we are going to get out of Randle (3p%), Kemba (injury), Rose (injury), Mitch (injury and development), RJ (development), IQ (development), Obi (development) and whether Thibs will get these new guys to defend well enough

    If we get the upper range on most of that we are going to be very good. If we get the bottom range some people here will be talking about firing people. lol Hell, if we have a bad first week as new players get used to each other some people here will be talking about firing people. lmao

  208. In an average season 54 wins is typically about the 5th best record in the league. Even in the best case scenarios I’m imagining for this team that seems like probably a bit of a reach. Kemba being completely healthy and at his peak production would probably be a prerequisite for that kind of season – he led some pretty ugly Charlotte rosters to shockingly decent offensive seasons, combine him with Randle repeating last year and some other good outcomes and you can imagine a top-10 offense. Then Mitch/Noel and a lot of Thibs magic somehow squeezes another top-5 D out of this group. That’s the recipe I would think but it’s a massive longshot.

  209. Yep:

    Randle’s 3PT%
    Rose’s regression
    Kemba’s body parts
    Mitch’s “30 lbs.” of “new muscle”
    RJB’s continuing climb toward league-average TS%
    Noel’s hands being released from Medusa’s hex

    We have no idea if this is a 40-win team or a 50-win team. Outside of that range, I’ll be surprised.

  210. If we win 54 games it meant everything broke just about right. I would guess if things go well, and we stay relatively healthy, we will win between 45-50 games, if we stumble with injuries or anything else it might be closer to 38-42.

    One of the big things is if Thibs can keep his powder dry. If he can resist riding either of our PGs when the other one inevitably goes down we might be okay, if however he starts playing Rose 40 minutes when Walker goes down or vice versa then it could get ugly really fast. I think both our PGs need to be on a hard 25-minute cap if we want any chance for them to be healthy and rested for the playoffs.

    Thibs cannot Thib or we will be boned.

  211. Meant to address this after the draft, but we now have Jericho, Immanuel, and Obadiah. Like a slow stroll through an old, moss-covered upstate cemetery on a warm autumn day….

    I’m wondering how much we’ve upgraded the roster, name-wise. “Kemba Walker” is an excellent name, but so was “Reggie Bullock,” particularly with the alt-pronunciation of “Bullock.” Fournier gives us a different French flavor from Frank. “Deuce McBride” sounds very cool, “Quentin Grimes” a bit less so (but allows people to drop Simpsons references). Thoughts?

  212. Raven:
    Meant to address this after the draft, but we now have Jericho, Immanuel, and Obadiah. Like a slow stroll through an old, moss-covered upstate cemetery on a warm autumn day….

    Lol. This is great, and true. I can vouch being the upstater in the crowd. Lots of Amish around.

  213. Quentin Grimes is “Grimey.”

    That’s just his handle and if you call him anything else I’m gonna pretend I don’t know what you’re talking about

  214. For what it’s worth, Kevin Pelton, who tends to agree with Team Pessimist way more often than not, thinks the Kemba signing really does change the game for us offensively.

    i haven’t dived in on kemba yet but here’s some observations:

    1) the minutes – this obviously can vary but here’s some safe assumptions:

    a. probably not playing b2b (~12-14games)
    b. playing between 22-28 mpg
    c. miss some amount of games

    i just spitballed 1200 minutes.. i probably undersold the upside case there.. but i don’t think there’s a good chance at 2000 minutes… if he’s 25mpg and playing around ~55 games that gets us to ~1375 minutes… i think you can go /- 300 minutes or so… so maybe the upside case is ~1675…

    but the most troubling part is you have three straight years of drastic minutes declines going from

    2019 – 2863
    2020 – 1742
    2021 – 1369

    obv the upside case is counting on a bounceback of some sort but there’s some spooky terminal decline hidden in the #s also..

    2)the production –

    % of FGA from 0-3 ft / ftr / usg

    2019 – .252 / .267 / 31.5
    2020 – .198 / .272 / 27.2
    2021 – .126 / .220 / 26.2

    this is either the wheels falling off or a possible deadcat bounce .. he could coast for a few more years.. he’s a good enough shooter to rely on his shot.. i think the upside case is that he’s able to manage the pain to stay on the floor and that he can unlock other things.. it’s possible this stuff can reverse and we may even get a couple seasons out of it but i think the substantial upside case of old kemba is probably out of reach..

    but i think knick kemba is probably similar to derrick rose and he may produce similarly and getting 3000 minutes of derrick rose would be pretty good.. the question is what state they’ll both be in come playoff time.. they’ve both struggled to stay on the floor and they’ll cover each other this year which is good but it’s a question mark if it will matter..

  215. The thing is, we didn’t really need an abundance of kids that might become rotation players. We needed solid NBA ready starters and all stars.

    Any idea of a roster crunch is utterly laughable as long as Kevin Knox II is on the team sorry

  216. I think this team’s upside is probably something like that 2012-2013 team. It won’t be as good offensively (relative to the league), but if everything breaks right finishing around 10th in offense seems doable with the defensive upside being significantly higher than that team’s. Like stam said, it would basically require a full bounce back from Kemba. You can throw no regression from Randle, progression from Barrett/Quickley/Toppin, and health luck on top of all that.

    It ain’t likely, but neither was that 2012-2013 team winning 54 games and the front office at the time leveraged way more to put it together.

    People actually reading my posts can tell I give this front office some credit for putting together a team with even that amount of upside without going balls-to-the-walls investment wise, but I’m sure next time I say we should perhaps draft some players I will be accused of calling them the new age Phil Jacksons anyway.

    this is either the wheels falling off or a possible deadcat bounce ..

    Yeah, I mean it’s no secret he was compromised in 2020-2021 and consciously avoiding the rim. As for the prior drop off, it’s hard to know what to make of it because 2019-2020 was a career year for him efficiency wise. It’s possible he just figured out there was more bang for his buck by upping his 3PA. I would imagine the Celtics are a bit more forward thinking about that kind of thing than the Hornets and may have pushed him in that direction.

    On the other hand, who the hell knows?

  217. Max: Simms

    Thanks. We picked Sims first (with our last draft pick) and then signed Simms as an UDFA. But Simms looks better stat wise, so any idea why we preferred Sims?

  218. Knick fan not in NJ: Thanks.We picked Sims first (with our last draft pick) and then signed Simms as an UDFA.But Simms looks better stat wise, so any idea why we preferred Sims?

    Clearly it’s because this Knicks front office is the worst of all time. :-P

  219. geo, it gets so confusing sometimes, doesn’t it? We simply drafted the guy who could his face on the rim. Duh.

  220. The Raps have the doppelganger, we have the real one. ;)

    Speaking of the Raptors…

    The Raptors have officially announced Ujiri’s new deal and new title, announcing in a press release that he has signed a multiyear contract to become the team’s vice chairman and president.

  221. Knick fan not in NJ: Thanks.We picked Sims first (with our last draft pick) and then signed Simms as an UDFA.But Simms looks better stat wise, so any idea why we preferred Sims?

    Misspelling problem?

  222. Geo, if you want to send emails back and forth about anxiety or anything I’m more than happy to share my issues and tell you some of my stories and anxieties as well as some solutions I use to try to help with it. I know we’re both different and similar but I can definitely be an understanding sympathetic sounding board for you as much as I’m sure you can be for me.

  223. Late to this post.
    Great move for Randle. What if he got seriously hurt? A bird in the hand is worth millions in the bush.
    Leon Rose looking quite brilliant these days.

    As for Kemba, as happy as I am with the signing, I think we need depth on the roster at PG. I heard he’s got osteoarthritis in the knee. As an ancient one I can tell you that ain’t fun.

    I expect neither D-Rose or Kemba to play in back-to-backs. It’ll give the 3rd string PG some playing time on those back-to-backs.
    I’m meh about E4 as a Knickname for Fournier. It’s baseball connotation is negative.

  224. BigBlueAL:
    Elf signing with the Suns.

    Whew! Until he definitively signed somewhere else, there was always the chance of the nightmare continuing.

  225. I think the loss of the Norvel Pelle/Nerlens Noel combo weighs pretty heavily against us this year.

    Adding Jericho helps, let’s see if he sticks around though.

  226. **I’m meh about E4 as a Knickname for Fournier. It’s baseball connotation is negative.**

    E4 is the 2nd baseman, Fournier plays the 2. Definitely a bad omen as a nickname.

    1.e4 e6 is the French Defense, which lines up nicely but a terrible nickname

  227. @davidaldridgedc
    Veteran free agent forward Kelly Oubre is in discussions with the Charlotte Hornets, per sources. There’s no agreement tonight, but talks are ongoing. Could be a good fit with a young, athletic Hornets team. Averaged 15.4 ppg for the Warriors last season.

    All the guys some or all of us were afraid of the team acquiring — Schroder, Sexton, Oubre, etc. — are not coming here, on top of Elf being long gone to the desert.

  228. Testing…testing…have tried to post a perspective on everything a few times but it hasn’t shown up and isn’t in moderation, so… testing….?

  229. Tried again, nope. Oh well. Brian, if you see anything in moderation, please release it…or else I’m speaking echo to the void….

  230. I’m trying to imagine Elf under Chris Paul’s tutelage and drawing a blank. It’s possible my brain just won’t go there. Any thoughts from others?

  231. Rama, we’re seeing your testing posts at least

    Don’t have a number on Elf yet, I can’t imagine it’s not the minimum. Being reported by basketballnews.com.

  232. awwwww thanks bidiong, I greatly appreciate it…I’ll be honest, for better or worse I have a bit of a bunker mentality when things get hard…I’ll definitely keep it in mind though…I’ve thought of going to speak to someone, but, just not there yet…

  233. bidiong the not so great: Geo, if you want to send emails back and forth…

    geo: awwwww thanks bidiong, I greatly appreciate it…

    That’s brotherhood right there, and it’s one of the things i like most about our little community. :)

  234. The Suns are close to an agreement on a one-year contract with free agent guard Elfrid Payton, Alex Kennedy of Basketball News tweets.

    Evan Sidery of Basketball News broke the news on the Suns’ negotiations with Payton (Twitter link), while John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 confirms (via Twitter) that the club has made a one-year, minimum-salary offer.

    What in hell is the guy doing?? Take the money, you won’t have a better offer…
    …and worry about the future beef between CP3 and your mom later! :D

  235. So to reach 3 days in a row with awesome news, what’s in store today? A Mitch extension? :)

  236. Possibilities:

    Luka demands trade from Dallas after Olympic loss
    Dolan mulls Knicks sale
    Celtics target Fitzdale after Udoka suddenly quits

  237. BernieEarnie:
    Possibilities:
    Luka demands trade from Dallas after Olympic loss
    Dolan mulls Knicks sale
    Celtics target Fitzdale after Udoka suddenly quits

    Well, Luka on the Knicks would be amazing, but i’ll take option # 2 all day long! ;)

  238. What I like most about this FO is that they have a pretty realistic vision of how far the team could go without compromising future flexibility. They acknowledgethe hard fact that Thibs is here to stay for at least the next 3-4 seasons and like it or not, he’s going to coach the Thibs way, so no sense in acquiring “transitional” players that don’t fit his coaching style if those that do are available with only marginal variability.

    Both this draft and this free agency period turned out to be a combination of a punt to Summer 2023 and a somewhat conservative win-now approach. To me, the most questionable move is locking up Fournier for 3 years at a market-level contract. I guess the gamble is that since he can shoot and create at a reasonably high level, he’s moveable in a blockbuster on that deal.

    Locking up Julius on that extension is as much of a no-brainer as a FO could possibly have. Probably in Randle’s best financial interest, I doubt that the FO had much influence on the decision beyond the obvious…turning the franchise aroud on a dime and creating a non-toxic winning environment in the greatest city in the world. Who wouldn’t want to be The Man on this historic franchise during the current renaissance? It’s a match made in heaven right now. From Leon’s POV he risk of Julius turning into a pumpkin is low. He’s a clear #2-3 at worst, and now he’s getting paid like that. No way his contract gets in the way of a rebuild without massive regression, which just isn’t gonna happen.

  239. Re: Kemba —

    The medical on him is just so opaque.
    On the one hand, the fact that OKC got zero bites at him is worrisome — but could that just be the contract? Probably is just the contract.

    On the other hand, the narrative behind his injury woes last season was that he got PRP or stem cell something thinking that he’d have more time to rehab afterward, but then the season started so early — then he came back before it was really ready. His trend line was definitely pointing up as the season went on, which might be consistent with him just getting healthy again.

    pre-ASB Kemba -> 20 games 600 minutes, shot 39/36.6/91.4, TS 53

    post-ASB Kemba – 23 games 769 minutes, shot 45/35/89, TS 58.4

    By the time training camp rolls around, he will have had 4.5 months to rest/rehab. If Thibs can manage to limit him to, say 28 min/game and avoid most b2bs, we could be looking at a really good season from him.

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if we get a good season from Kemba – say the midpoint of djphan’s optimistic estimate, around 1600 minutes, which is basically what Payton played last year — a mid 4’s BPM (which is at least what he was for the 4 seasons prior to last year’s injury-marred season) replacing a -3.4 BPM from Payton last year – ie. a net BPM of +8. I don’t know how the math works with that, but you have to imagine that is worth a good amount of wins.

    The other major benefit of Kemba coming is that he can be a legit #1 option against the other team’s starters – that hopefully will mean many fewer Randle games of 40+ minutes played, and hopefully should decrease the chance for bad injury luck for Randle. That’ll have the additional benefit of more minutes for Obi and his development. And that’s not even considering how much Kemba will benefit Mitch.

    I dunno guys – if Kemba’s knee is serviceable, is 50 wins achievable? Say offense gets to #10, defense regresses to #8 or so – is that a 50 win team?

  240. Also a very interesting read for those with an Athletic subscription –

    For those who don’t/can’t read it — the most interesting part to me is the semi-obvious notion that the order in which we (the lay public) hears about things is not at all related to the order in which things actually happened — ie. these things have been going on for weeks, with multiple scenarios being considered in parallel, not in series. While we were all bemoaning the cap space out the door to Burks/Noel/Fournier while ignoring the PG issue, it is likely that Rose and co. knew all along that Kemba was coming —

    Partnow -> who used to work for the Bucks, so has some idea of the inner workings of NBA teams-

    I don’t think they burn all their cap space on not-starting point guards if they didn’t have a strong sense of where the Walker situation was headed.

    I very much believe the Kendrick Nunn “turned more $ down from the Knicks to play for the Lakers” was an agent being allowed to do some PR for his client. And that the 2 days without clarification about the 3rd year team options was similarly because the agents for Rose/Burks/Noel leaked the signings first, and of course did not want to advertise that the deals were not nearly as good for the players as initially thought.

  241. I’m on the high side of optimism when it comes to Kemba’s health. It’s entirely possible he just had a brief injury period from which he has recovered. A 2,000 minute season wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  242. What y’all call Team Pessimism is really Team We Would Have Chosen A Different Strategy And Been More Patient. But for the strategy Leon chose, he has executed it superbly.

    This is going to be a really nice team. It’s a fun, poor man’s version of Thibs’ deep Chicago teams that has the potential to make the second round of the playoffs.

    We were talking about tiers the other day. In the East, I only see Brooklyn and Milwaukee as outside of our range. We’re probably the final team on the same tier as Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami. If all those teams reach their highest possible outcome, we’re last in the group. But if we hit our highest and any of them fail to, we could be above them.

  243. Kemba coming here is not luck. Maybe the timing was lucky but its also likely that WWW’s and Rose’s connections gave them the inside track. Do you think Kemba winds up here if we were coming off of a 24-48 season? We’ve seen it a billion times with other teams, even our neighbors across the river…waived declining players prefer winning environments.

    Heck, even Derrick Rose only came here because DET was in the toilet and Thibs was Thibsing here in NY. (BTW if the optimists want a laugh, go read the posts from right after the Rose trade. Spoiler alert: I was on Team Pessimism about this one!

    This was a funny exchange:

    February 7, 2021 at 11:32 pm
    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    How much does he get re-signed for in the offseason? Three years, $50M?

    Z-man
    That’s a really asshole thing to say, even for you.

    ($30 mill tops)

  244. Side note: I love a team that has a fun second unit, and we definitely have that with Rose Quickley and Toppin. The two rookies played much better with Rose last year, and I’m excited to see that continue to develop. I personally would love to see them play small with Toppin at the 5 but that seems like it will never happen with both Noel and Taj on the team.

  245. Kemba coming here is not luck. Maybe the timing was lucky but its also likely that WWW’s and Rose’s connections gave them the inside track.

    You know this is a conspiracy theory, right? :)

    ^ tone police: this is a happy, friendly comment!

  246. I very much believe the Kendrick Nunn “turned more $ down from the Knicks to play for the Lakers” was an agent being allowed to do some PR for his client. And that the 2 days without clarification about the 3rd year team options was similarly because the agents for Rose/Burks/Noel leaked the signings first, and of course did not want to advertise that the deals were not nearly as good for the players as initially thought.

    Kemba coming here is not luck. Maybe the timing was lucky but its also likely that WWW’s and Rose’s connections gave them the inside track

    seems like these are based on nothing but pure speculation… and it’s being portrayed as fact… why?

  247. djphan: seems like these are based on nothing but pure speculation… and it’s being portrayed as fact… why

    Remember the movie “The X Files: I Want to Believe”?

  248. I really hope Obi’s minutes increase this year. Last season he was on a short leash and I’m sure he was constantly looking to the bench to see if Randle was getting up, and as a result he always looked tentative on the court.

    Randle was an iron man last year and good for him, but that meant Obi never got extended minutes. I hope that changes this season.

  249. Frank:

    On the other hand, the narrative behind his injury woes last season was that he got PRP or stem cell something thinking that he’d have more time to rehab afterward, but then the season started so early — then he came back before it was really ready. His trend line was definitely pointing up as the season went on, which might be consistent with him just getting healthy again.

    pre-ASB Kemba -> 20 games 600 minutes, shot 39/36.6/91.4, TS 53

    post-ASB Kemba – 23 games 769 minutes, shot 45/35/89, TS 58.4

    For what’s worth, I did a PRP on my Achilles a couple of years ago, trying to avoid surgery.

    At the time I can barely walk and was really scared that it could break doing the minimal things.
    They told me I would feel some improvements 90 days after the procedure at the least.
    It took more than that, but after 6 months (of semi inactivity) I started to walk normally again and the inflammation was gone.

    Of course I was a 50-something sedentary man and not an athlete that play in the most competitive basketball league in the world and has access to great medical facilities and trainers, but I’ll not be surprised if Kemba would have been impacted by a hurried recovery and now, with some time to rest and rehab, can feel much better… and play much better.

    Edit:
    I think he and D-Rose must be on strict minutes restriction, that’s what IQ and Deuce are for…

  250. So in the East, Brooklyn and Milwaukee are still obviously ahead of us. I would say that Philadephia is too, but I guess we have to see what shakes out with the Simmons situation.

    Then it gets interesting.

    I don’t think the Hawks are necessarily ahead of us. People say the Knicks season is fluky, but why isn’t the Hawks season fluky? I think some of those guys will regress (Bogan, Gallo) but obviously they’ll still be a strong team. I think we are pretty even with them after our moves.

    Miami: yes, they are improved but by how much? I don’t think they improved more than we have improved per se… They are another team where we will have to see how things shake out, but I think we are on a tier with them and the Hawks.

    Boston: I still think they are worse than us. We improved at numerous spots and they seem to have gotten worse at the guard spot if they’re starting Richardson… yes they have stars but unless those stars carry them all season, I think we should be better than them.

    Chicago: They have some firepower now, but that team really has to mesh or it could be a mess, especially defensively. They do have a lot more passing now, though, so they will be improved. But I don’t think they’re better than us.

    Indy and Toronto will all be slightly improved by being healthy and could surprise but I see them as play-in-level teams.

    Charlotte, Washington will be decent, followed by the rest.

    So I guess I see the Knicks as a 4-6 seed, unless there are further moves in the East. Injuries of course play a huge part, but hopefully we are lucky on that front.

  251. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if we get a good season from Kemba – say the midpoint of djphan’s optimistic estimate, around 1600 minutes, which is basically what Payton played last year — a mid 4’s BPM)

    like i said in my post… there’s very good reason to believe that old kemba is just gone… old kemba was a bull towards the rim… here’s his last 7 years % of fga by distance 0-3 ft:

    2015 – .258
    2016 – .250
    2017 – .304
    2018 – .226
    2019 – .252
    2020 – .198
    2021 – .126

    these type of things don’t just collapse at ~age 30 for no reason…. his athleticism is waning… the knees are obv the issue and it’s a growing concern in his career given it’s in a degenerative state… and it’s impacting his ability to get to the rim like he used to and get to the line… and that generally signals the beginning of the end..

    that end could look like a lot of things so it’s not ‘he can’t contribute to the knicks this year’ end… but it’s also not ‘we going to see old kemba’…. i mean anything is possible but i would probably expect it as much as we get an mvp season out of randle….

    now kemba could still be good… but i thnk he’s going to have to retool… just like derrick rose did.. or it could look different… i think that’s what you have to root for… many many pg’s …if not all.. retool around this age …. and kemba’s not special in that regard .. he’s a great shooter.. he can start making plays for others more… there’s a million ways this could go….

    i just think a really good kemba is a bit farfetched.. we’re like seeing something similar to rose last year as far as production goes if you just want a reasonable upside case and last year rose was 2bpm (maybe 1bpm if we’re realistic)… that alone is a lot better than payton and it’s just a question of how long he can do it for… we just have to see …

  252. djphan: pure speculation

    …rumor… innuendo… vaguely sourced reports… confirmation bias… ain’t that what keeps boards like this a-boppin’ this time of year?

  253. It’s not impossible that Kemba Walker, even a washed up Kemba Walker is better than every FA that changed teams this off-season. And we paid $8M for him. I don’t know how this isn’t a great offseason.

    Also, RJ is going to benefit from Fournier & Kemba in a big way. I don’t think we’ve talked enough about the fact this is the first team RJ has played on with actual spacing since some time prior to Duke if ever.

  254. Scouring back over the archives, Kemba missed the first 11 games to work on “knee strengthening,” which means most likely he was doing physical therapy on the muscles around the knee to take load off the knee.

    After not playing very well against BKN in the first three playoff games, he missed Games 4 and 5 with supposedly a bone bruise. I doubt it really was a bone bruise; it would be in BOS’s interest that the world believe the injury was unrelated to the cartilage problem.

    Maybe he finds something in the offseason; maybe a normal offseason of rest will somehow help. Don’t want to be a buzzkill, and wish it was otherwise. But we should be prepared.

  255. Is not the Kemba deal the kind of low risk/high reward gamble we all want to see the front office take more often? Sure, many of us would like to see them take it with much younger players but whatevs.

    Baby steps.

  256. Hubert:
    I’m on the high side of optimism when it comes to Kemba’s health. It’s entirely possible he just had a brief injury period from which he has recovered. A 2,000 minute season wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    I would love for this to be the case but I can’t get past the fact that the Celtics and Thunder have both seen the medicals and while I don’t think we can say definitively that they didn’t like what they saw their actions are certainly a lot more consistent with that than they are with the alternative.

    The Celtics obviously were significantly motivated by the money in trading Kemba but semi-dumping him is not a move that expresses optimism about his future health. And then OKC…everyone assumed when they acquired Kemba that he would their latest project of rehabilitating value and getting picks both coming and going. Their choice to give him a buyout instead definitely makes you think they were not hopeful about him regaining a lot of his lost value (of course the savings and their desire to full tank this year are both factors also). Neither case is definitive and certainly NBA teams have been wrong about medicals before (MPJ should be a Knick!), but it doesn’t make me feel great about the knee.

  257. Anytime you say “never” you’re going to wind up wrong, but I don’t ever even recall a buyout of a contract in the offseason or even pre-trade deadline, and certainly not one of a player of Kemba’s caliber. Especially where there are no character issues or player/organization issues.

  258. Yeah I really hope McBride/IQ and if we keep him, Villadoza, will get some PG burn. Kemba should definitely be on a strict minutes limit and may not even be able to play much to start the season.

    But there was the case of Tyson Chandler back in the day. His medicals/injury issues were bad enough a trade for him got nixed (I think it was New Orleans to OKC?) and then Dallas picked him up for nothing bc everyone thought he was injury prone but then he got past that and was more than fine for the rest of his career.

    You could even say the same for Derrick Rose. He literally lost the prime years of his career bc of a horrible injury but then rehabbed back, learned to play a less athletic style and now is pretty good. Obviously you still worry about D Rose’s health but he’s gotten past the bad part. Maybe Kemba could be the same.

  259. That nixed Chandler to OKC trade haunts that franchise. They instead made the move to get Kendrick Perkins. If OKC had gotten 2010-2012 Tyson Chandler the Durant, Westbrook, Harden trio could very well have won a title and might still be playing for OKC today!

  260. Count de Pennies:

    For starters, do we even have an inkling of who might shake loose 1-2 years from now that would be worthy of all these machinations as well as a megamax deal that would provide surplus value? And if such a player were to become available, how much more likely is it that they would choose not leave the Knicks hanging at the altar a la LeBron & Durant? I know this franchise is in the best shape it’s been in for a long time in terms of cap flexibility and on-court product but there’s no denying the two ton elephant who’s still galumphing through the corridors of 2 Penn Plaza. I speak of course of the team’s owner – a man equally reviled by Knicks fans and the NBA community at large. Even if this team is able to cement itself as a solid 2nd-round contender, would that be enough to offset the very real aversion to James L. Dolan that has given superstars pause in the past?

    Apologies in advance for fanning the flames of negativity in the midst of what has been a pretty happy two day stretch for this franchise. But, hey, I’ve been rooting (suffering) for this team a looong time and there are still many of us Knick fans who still gotta fan.Maybe one day this team will succeed in altering this entrenched mindset. Still not there yet myself.

    I mean of course we have no clue what superstar might wanna relocate in a year or two. Neither does Leon Rose & co, though you’d think part of their pull is to have an ear to the ground on these things, and I’d like to think that they may. But you speak to the bigger issue, which is that James Dolan still owns the team and that in itself is enough to keep some of the superstars away. (con’t)…

  261. I think what we get from Kemba in many ways will be gravy. Simply getting Elfrid Payton the hell off of this roster, and thus adding more spacing to the starting and bench lineups, is a huge thing. If Kemba’s on the court, he can still shoot, regardless of how much he can drive. And on nights when he can’t go, we’ll likely be getting Point Quickley (or at least Point Burks), who may not have the playmaking chops of a Kemba or Rose but can still drastically improve the spacing over what Julius and especially RJ had to contend with for the last two years.

  262. The great thing about the Kemba pick-up is that even worst case scenario has an upside, which is more burn for IQ and McBride (and maybe Vildoza). Which is something we’d all like to see anyway. And for peanuts, too.

    Not many situations have a silver lining in every scenario. Of course we’d love to see Best Kemba, but Medium Kemba is good too, and even Dead Kemba is not a disaster (for the team, for Kemba not so good…).

    Edit: or what Alan just said.

  263. The Celtics obviously were significantly motivated by the money in trading Kemba but semi-dumping him is not a move that expresses optimism about his future health. And then OKC…everyone assumed when they acquired Kemba that he would their latest project of rehabilitating value and getting picks both coming and going. Their choice to give him a buyout instead definitely makes you think they were not hopeful about him regaining a lot of his lost value

    There are basketball and financial reasons that could have motivated Boston & OKC. It’s not sound logic to assume they had access to bad medical records.

    Boston dumped their biggest contract, a player who didn’t mesh well with their two stars. They want the ball in Tatum and Brown’s hands. They got a guy in Horford who plays a position of need and has one less year on his deal.

    For OKC to rehabilitate Kemba, it would have come at the cost of playing time for their best young players. They could have easily decided the chance to get their 40th surplus draft pick wasn’t worth the cost.

  264. I really hope they don’t cut Vildoza right away. He paid to break his contract so he could come try the NBA. Of course, presumably, he got paid enough by the Knicks in last season’s salary so that he didn’t lose money. But he still upended his life so that he could play for us. At the very least he should play summer league and training camp to see how he stacks up against NBA players and what it’s like to play with them.

  265. There are basketball and financial reasons that could have motivated Boston & OKC. It’s not sound logic to assume they had access to bad medical records.

    Yeah I mean I emphasized multiple times in my comment that there are other potential reasons for what both teams did, but if I asked you which is more likely given the way they acted, that his medicals are a-okay, or that there are significant issues, what would you say?

  266. The Infamous Cdiggy: I mean of course we have no clue what superstar might wanna relocate in a year or two. Neither does Leon Rose & co, though you’d think part of their pull is to have an ear to the ground on these things, and I’d like to think that they may. But you speak to the bigger issue, which is that James Dolan still owns the team and that in itself is enough to keep some of the superstars away. (con’t)…

    1. Unless he pulls a complete Donald Sterling, he’s going to be the owner until he decides not to anymore. If your biggest reason to be skeptic of the team progressing is James Dolan, then fine, but then why even try at that point if we’re ultimately going to be doomed, y’na mean? I get that “Knicks” and “hope” have often left us feeling like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the football away. For once, we have more than hope to lean on… we have evidence! Don’t you, sir Pennies, deserve a Knick team that’s on the come up?

    2. Even if his presence may deter some of the top guys, it doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t try move forward towards getting better. They gotta at least try, and that’s what they’re doing.

    3. In sports, winning cures an awful lot (the 21st century Knicks don’t really know anything about that, lol). The allure of NYC couldn’t overcome the stinky formula of Dolan + bad Knick teams/management. Now, you’re looking at a revised formula of winning bball + competent front office + NYC allure to combat and negate Dolan. We’ve only gotten 2 isolated years of that out of the last 20? Let’s see what happens if they can duplicate that formula in consecutive years.

    Oh, and about Dolan: I don’t like the man, but he also has a history of treating quite a few of his players well.

  267. From my understanding OKC takes on vets for picks and tries to help them get to where they want to go. They don’t really want the vets on the team. Likely no team wanted Kemba at that price, so the only way to make that happen was a buyout. Maybe the Knicks were explicitly part of it, maybe not. But I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion it was for medical reasons. OKC is always looking to flip vets and move them along.

  268. Yeah I really hope McBride/IQ and if we keep him, Villadoza, will get some PG burn. Kemba should definitely be on a strict minutes limit and may not even be able to play much to start the season.

    i don’t think there’s a question we will lean on whoever the third pg will be on the depth chart.. quite possibly both in some morbid scenarios… but given how many b2b’s there are in a season… we’re going to see these guys play a lot on those nights alone.. and that’s about 300-500 minutes by itself… plus whatever random games are missed which are going to be significant in aggregate in even the most optimistic scenarios…

    the drama in training camp will probably be 1) do we still think IQ is a pg? i think he’ll get an opportunity to prove it by battling with McBride and 2) will thibs trust McBride with any minutes at all.. will he even be good enough?

    maybe it looks something like this? (3900 minutes available)

    Derrick Rose – 1700 minutes
    Kemba Walker – 1500
    Immanuel Quickley – 600 (of course major time at sg also)
    Miles McBride – 100

  269. thenamestsam: I would love for this to be the case but I can’t get past the fact that the Celtics and Thunder have both seen the medicals and while I don’t think we can say definitively that they didn’t like what they saw their actions are certainly a lot more consistent with that than they are with the alternative.

    The Celtics obviously were significantly motivated by the money in trading Kemba but semi-dumping him is not a move that expresses optimism about his future health. And then OKC…everyone assumed when they acquired Kemba that he would their latest project of rehabilitating value and getting picks both coming and going. Their choice to give him a buyout instead definitely makes you think they were not hopeful about him regaining a lot of his lost value (of course the savings and their desire to full tank this year are both factors also). Neither case is definitive and certainly NBA teams have been wrong about medicals before (MPJ should be a Knick!), but it doesn’t make me feel great about the knee.

    I mean this can be true. You’d think that they took on Chris Paul for one year and allowed him to show he still has it so why not do the same for Kemba? I’d argue it’s b/c Kemba isn’t CP3, and maybe OKC no longer needs that kind of vet to help SGA (and Lou Dort?) grow. So better to buy him out and keep as much PT open for their top guards.

  270. The Infamous Cdiggy: I mean this can be true. You’d think that they took on Chris Paul for one year and allowed him to show he still has it so why not do the same for Kemba? I’d argue it’s b/c Kemba isn’t CP3, and maybe OKC no longer needs that kind of vet to help SGA (and Lou Dort?) grow. So better to buy him out and keep as much PT open for their top guards.

    Or basically what Hubert said. lol

    Hey Hubert… I know we exchanged proposals on what kind of extension to give Randle. Did you call him getting a below-max 4-year extension??? If you did, congrats yo!

  271. I didn’t make a prediction bc I admitted I don’t know his risk tolerance. But I did say, when everyone assumed he would turn it down, that I would take it if I were in his shoes. Turning down $117mm guaranteed would have been a wild and unnecessary risk.

  272. Yeah I mean I emphasized multiple times in my comment that there are other potential reasons for what both teams did, but if I asked you which is more likely given the way they acted, that his medicals are a-okay, or that there are significant issues, what would you say?

    I honestly believe the moves say little about his medical records. They make enough sense on basketball and money levels.

  273. “Early Bird
    August 6, 2021 at 11:35 am

    From my understanding OKC takes on vets for picks and tries to help them get to where they want to go. They don’t really want the vets on the team. Likely no team wanted Kemba at that price, so the only way to make that happen was a buyout. Maybe the Knicks were explicitly part of it, maybe not. But I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion it was for medical reasons.”

    *
    I think that the reason no team wanted him at that price was due to his medical reasons.

    Kemba’s arrival, I think, involved both luck AND skill. Kemba was rumored to be going to the Lakers up until the Westbrook trade last week, and even after that, Rose had no control over Presti to force a buyout. So that involved luck. Once he cleared waivers, he could be claimed by any team, but the Knicks had the most cap space still available to offer him, so that involved skill. Walker also had to agree to take the Knicks’ money, which he maybe wouldn’t have done if the Knicks were still their typical Dolan conducted train-wreck, so we can chalk that up to skill. The Knicks, of course, were also the only team with a gaping hole at point guard, which made the match perfect for Walker to come to. I wouldn’t call this luck, but it certainly wasn’t a skilled move by Rose to still not have a starting point guard a full 18 months after taking the reins of the team. And, finally, Kemba’s health was the driving factor in Boston jettisoning him, and most likely in him being available at all this summer. This is luck, but at the same time, is it really luck? Cause the writing may be on the wall with Walker, and though the price is reasonable for the risk, if Walker breaks down early, a domino-effect could lead NY back to the lottery.

  274. Count de Pennies: …rumor… innuendo… vaguely sourced reports… confirmation bias… ain’t that what keeps boards like this a-boppin’ this time of year?

    What are you talking about?? We have sources, lots of them… even me, here from Portugal! LOLOL

  275. Yeah I mean I emphasized multiple times in my comment that there are other potential reasons for what both teams did, but if I asked you which is more likely given the way they acted, that his medicals are a-okay, or that there are significant issues, what would you say?

    This is a good question.

    On one hand, it’s obviously Presti’s MO to squeeze as much value as possible out of every transaction. At first glance that certainly lends itself to the assumption that he believed Kemba would be unmovable for two years (whether because he saw non-public medical information or just took a look at his salary and the league landscape), and that may well be the case.

    On the other, IIRC it was reported immediately upon Boston dumping Kemba to OKC that Kemba wouldn’t play for them. That wouldn’t leave OKC with a lot of time to peruse medical information. It might mean a buyout was prearranged as a matter of goodwill from the Celtics, desperate to shed the reputation they earned around the league from the Isaiah Thomas fiasco. Presti also might be wary of developing his own reputation as an asset hoarder who doesn’t account for players, and there’s also the tanking angle.

    This might seem far-fetched but Boston’s reputation has materially damaged them (e.g. AD very publicly saying he wouldn’t re-sign there) and it might be worth it to Presti to avoid that kind of thing even if it means he has to avoid pursuing assets no one could even be sure he’d get, due to Kemba’s contract, health, etc.

    Who knows? We’ll find out.

  276. Alan:
    I think what we get from Kemba in many ways will be gravy. Simply getting Elfrid Payton the hell off of this roster, and thus adding more spacing to the starting and bench lineups, is a huge thing. If Kemba’s on the court, he can still shoot, regardless of how much he can drive. And on nights when he can’t go, we’ll likely be getting Point Quickley (or at least Point Burks), who may not have the playmaking chops of a Kemba or Rose but can still drastically improve the spacing over what Julius and especially RJ had to contend with for the last two years.

    Isn’t Kemba regarded as a really good guy, too? If so, he’s also a good “mentor” for IQ, and maybe Vildoza as well, if the Knicks do keep him.

  277. Isn’t Kemba regarded as a really good guy, too? If so, he’s also a good “mentor” for IQ, and maybe Vildoza as well, if the Knicks do keep him.

    Yup, always smiling even through personal/team adversity. People enjoy playing with him beyond him being good at basketball. Definitely won’t hurt to have IQ, Deuce, and perhaps Vildoza around the guy.

  278. Kemba and Baron Davis are pretty good comps for one another. Similar strengths and weaknesses, and their peak years were almost identical. (In fact, br’s “similarity score” puts Davis as Walker’t 4th closest match). Davis came to NY at age 31 after having the last two years of his max contract bought out.

    I don’t know what’s going on.

    (All I know is that my knee still hurts from watching Baron Davis get carried off the court in game #1 of that Heat series.)

  279. There’s always luck and it’s never just skill.

    What are the Warriors if David Kahn isn’t an idiot drafting two non-Steph Curry point guards right before the Warriors’ pick? That didn’t require any skill from the Warriors – it’s just dumb luck.

    Do the Lakers get Anthony Davis if they didn’t luck into, what, 3 straight #2 picks or something?

    What are the Spurs if they don’t win the Tim Duncan lottery? (Probably still very good)

    The skill part is recognizing the opportunity (whether brought about by luck OR skill) and being able to make your move when it presents itself.

    If the Knicks weren’t good this past year, there’s just no way that Kemba considers the Fizdale Knicks. He already didn’t choose them once (when he was a FA).

    Re: Presti and Kemba – no doubt he didn’t want Kemba to play for the Thunder — he’s too good (assuming health). They’ll prob still have to invent an injury for SGA somewhere along the way this season. So, you either sit him against his will, try to trade him, or buy him out. The first was probably not a plausible thing to do for the 2 years left on his contract. He almost certainly tried to trade him but didn’t want to attach assets to get rid of him.

    I wonder how much Kemba gave back. OKC management is famously tight with money (ergo trading James Harden). Any $ Kemba gave back goes directly into the owner’s pockets, so it may have been as simple as that.

  280. This is a very different situation from the CP3 one with OKC. That year they just had gotten SGA, he was promising but clearly still needed developing and pairing him with Paul was the best way to do it while putting less pressure on him. Now SGA has shown what he can do and has already signed a max, it’s his team now. There’s no need anymore for a mentor veteran taking minutes away from their other young players. Showcasing Chris Paul for a year had this added effect that is not necessary anymore when it’s clear they’re not trying to compete right now.

    Of course they probably would have kept him if they thought he had real trade value, but his value right after the playoffs would be at an all time low. There are reasons to be wary still, but I don’t think the buyout necessarily tells us anything crucial about Kemba being done physically.

  281. The hope with Kemba is we get something along the lines of last year. If he has a BPM of around 1.5-2 that would be huge. I think the days of 4+ BPM are probably behind him.

    I think we are all being a little premature with Vildoza. It would be a real shame if he gets cut before getting a shot. If he goes through training camp I would put him as the front runner for 3rd PG. I would be shocked if he doesn’t make the roster at that point. He is quite good, at least he was in Europe.

  282. No matter how you slice it though, it’s still over $70M in dead cap space for Kemba over the next two years, with the only real return the 16th pick in the 2021 draft and an out-year 2nd. Seems like a high price.

    And in the last three months, two teams have been willing to pay a combined $73M in dead cap space and the 16th pick in the 2021 draft to have Kemba not play for them.

    All the stories right after the OKC trade had it as Presti rehabbing Kemba’s value and then flipping him for even more assets once the rehab was done — see? … Presti’s a genius! That didn’t come close to happening.

  283. E, all merc’d out:
    No matter how you slice it though, it’s still over $70M in dead cap space for Kemba over the next two years, with the only real return the 16th pick in the 2021 draft and a out-year 2nd.Seems like a high price.

    And in the last three months, two teams have been willing to pay a combined $73M in dead cap space and the 16th pick in the 2021 draft to have Kemba not play for them.

    They gave back Horford in the deal (2 years 53.5MM although I think the 2nd year was only partially guaranteed). And I believe if there is a buyout, the cap hit is whatever the buyout amount is. So let’s say it cost them $20MM — that’s about the cost to get rid of that much cap space. Then OKC traded #16 for 2 future 1sts from Houston, so they ultimately got 2 firsts out of it…

  284. I see that Kawhi’s opting out (rather than simply extending) cost the Clippers a $9.5M injured player exception this coming season. Whether it were Uncle Dennis or the man himself — I am so glad I don’t have to root for that dude, sometimes.

  285. Let’s say Kemba gave 26M back.

    From Kemba’s perspective he gave back 26M, but since then he signed for 16M (8+8) with the Knicks. I think that’s what is being reported. So in the end he “only” gave back 10M. From a total of 73M, giving back 10M isn’t all that much.

    From OKC’s perspective, they sent a player they tried to trade for a year (no need to ask if he is tradable, right?) with 2 years and 41.5M guaranteed. They get back Kemba and his 73M contract, but he gives back 26M, so that’s 47M. In the end, OKC spent 5.5M to buy the 2021 pick #16 and a 2025 2RP.

  286. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I see that Kawhi’s opting out (rather than simply extending) cost the Clippers a $9.5M injured player exception this coming season.

    Really? Didn’t knew that. :O
    And he also cost himself money in the process, are we sure he and the Clippers are still on good terms?

  287. FWIW – Isola tweeted that Kawhi is likely to sign a 1+1. Wow does that put the Clips in a tough spot. He’ll be out most of the year. He could rehab for a year and go right back into free agency having stolen $40MM from the Clippers. Have to imagine the Clips just say no to that.

  288. Well run teams get lucky more often than badly run teams. Or rather, they’re able to capitalize on that luck. As one of my old acting teachers used to say, luck is often just opportunity meeting preparedness.

    Spurs drafting Duncan is a great example. Yeah they got lucky getting the top pick even though they were barely a lottery team. And they also got lucky that it happened in a year where the number one pick was clearly going to be a franchise player.

    But we’ve seen teams squander franchise players before. The Spurs were very very good in the 90s with David Robinson, Avery Bradley, etc…and just happened to have a down year with injuries. So when they drafted Duncan, they basically added a franchise player to a team that was already a consistent 50 plus win team.

    And even when Robinson retired, they continued to capitalize on their Tim Duncan luck by drafting Tony Parker, Ginobli and later Kawhi and developing those later first round and second round players. Not to mention the other good valuable role players they signed and/or developed during those 15 plus years of success. I mean I remember before they got back to the finals against Miami the first time, a few years earlier they lost in the first round and people said The Spurs were done.

  289. I’m really curious to see if next season RJ is the defensive wing stopper taking Bullock’s defensive assignments. Last season I was more impressed with RJ’s defensive improvements than even his 3pt and FT improvements, there were games and moments where RJ straight up locked down his opponents.

  290. In regards to The Knicks, we won’t ever truly know but would Randle sign his extension this year if we sucked last year or would he pull a Melo and wait for a mega max with a no trade clause cause he’s doing us a favor playing for a shit team? Would Kemba come here if we were bad last year? Would Noel, Rose and Burks agree to shorter contracts with team options at a fair value if we were garbage? Shitty teams hand out shitty contracts bc they often don’t have a choice and it becomes a viscious cycle of bad decisions, doubling down, etc. We all know this as Knicks fans.

  291. Donnie Walsh: Kemba and Baron Davis are pretty good comps for one another.

    I disagree totally. Baron Davis was much more athletic and a way better playmaker (he’s got career averages of 7.2 assists/game and AST% of 36.3 compared to 5.4 and 28.1 for Kemba). Kemba’s fast/quick but nothing athletically like Baron and he’s a much better shooter than Baron (36 3FG% vs 32 3FG%)

  292. BigBlueAL:
    Looks like Rokas has permission from Barcelona to play 3 Summer League games.

    And says he hasn’t ruled out playing here this season. Not that the team has either roster spots or playing time for him right now. Even if he balls out in those three Vegas games, he’d be much better served spending the next year in Barcelona.

  293. Evan “Knickname Pending” Fournier going for gold tonight. France has 2 game win streak against US.

    What’s the smart bet here? USA has more talent, but maybe Gobert is just too good on defense?

  294. Wait, Khem Birch was just waived last year? I assumed Toronto traded for him. Orlando, who had a pile of shitty players, just waived a competent player like Birch? What the what?!

  295. Only way Rokas makes a lick of sense is if we cut Vildoza, and even then we’d need to negotiate a deal which probably comes out of the Room Exception limiting us to 2 years of control.

    Obviously less control likely benefits Rokas but it’d be a very crowded roster

  296. The roster right now has 2 real PGs (Kemba, Rose), 1 guy who is probably a PG but might be a combo guard (McBride), a combo guard who could eventually become a PG but isn’t quite there yet (IQ), a Euro combo guard whose ultimate position is TBD (Vildoza), and a shooting guard who Thibs has used as a PG before (Burks). Even if Vildoza doesn’t make the final cut for 21-22, the roster really doesn’t need another PG or combo guard. If Rokas was 6’6″ and had a rep for defense, might be another story.

  297. @ChrisBHaynes
    Free agent star Kawhi Leonard has decided that he is re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers and terms are being discussed, league sources tell @YahooSports.

    I think Kawhi has ALL the power in this relationship. If he tells Frank he wants another 1+1, Frank has to give it to him. They have no meaningful way of replacing him in the near term, given all the picks they’ve shipped out, even if his departure a year from now would give them some cap space.

  298. The 1+1 is a pretty common deal for superstars. It protects their downside with their player option & allows them to re-sign at bigger numbers faster. LeBron has signed a number of them.

  299. It’s hilarious for Kawhi to sign a 1 + 1 just to become a FA again next summer while potentially playing 0 games this season.

  300. @wojespn
    Free agent G/F Justise Winslow has agreed on a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, his agents Austin Brown and Erika Ruiz of @CAA_Basketball tell ESPN.

    Cross Winslow off the list of guys we might want to use the room exception on if Vildoza doesn’t make the team. Who’s even left in free agency who’s a credible wing defender?

  301. The 1+1 is a pretty common deal for superstars. It protects their downside with their player option & allows them to re-sign at bigger numbers faster. LeBron has signed a number of them.

    It’s a common deal for superstars when the first year is at superstar level. It is not common for a team to sign a guy to a 1+1 where the player might not even play the first year of the deal. Durant, for instance, did not sign a 1+1 with the Nets.

  302. @wojespn
    Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant plans to sign a four-year, $198 million contract extension sometime after he becomes eligible on Saturday, @RichKleiman tells ESPN.

  303. Was hoping we’d give WInslow a look. Danny Green is still available I think he was pretty good last season

  304. @BobbyMarks42
    Here is the breakdown on the Durant extension:

    22/23- $44.14M
    23/24- $47.64M
    24/25- $51.17M
    25/26- $54.70M

    The first year number is 105% off his $42M salary in 21/22

    He is allowed to exceed 35% of the max ($41.65M).

  305. kevin5318:
    Was hoping we’d give WInslow a look. Danny Green is still available I think he was pretty good last season

    Green re-signed with Philly, $20 mil over two years, I think.

  306. Alan: Cross Winslow off the list of guys we might want to use the room exception on if Vildoza doesn’t make the team. Who’s even left in free agency who’s a credible wing defender?

    Frank.

  307. From that list Dude posted, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson might be worth a minimum flyer? He and Frank are the only guys left with any kind of real defensive rep who can guard wings.

  308. shocked millsap hasn’t been picked up…

    rfa sucks but hart should’ve gotten an offer sheet.. would’ve been nice to sign him…

  309. Who’s even left in free agency who’s a credible wing defender?

    gotta believe you already knew the answer – frank frank frank frank, frank frank frank frank, etc.

  310. If Frank goes unsigned, does that mean strat, whose endless appeal-to-authority about people who have “forgotten more than we’ll ever know about basketball, will finally shut the fuck up about how he’s a stud in the making?

  311. Alan:

    Insaaaaaaaaaaane. He’s still so good, and the Nets clearly don’t (and shouldn’t) give a fuck what happens two seasons from now, but god damn!

  312. Seems like Vildoza getting the Room Exception is how this all shakes out.

    To answer soze’s question from the other day, the reason we’d give him an AAV raise is because Room Exception deals are limited to two years. So he’d be surrendering total money compared to his $13.6M contract in exchange for guaranteed years.
    Seems to make sense for both parties.

  313. Yeah, its weird Frank must have secretly turned down all those offers from The Spurs, Raptors, Dallas and all the other smarter front offices that were going to swoop him up and develop him the right way.

  314. Frank Ntilikina is just a meme at this point. I’m sure he has already joined the likes of legends such as Cole Aldrich, Timothy Mozgov, Ron Baker and others that KB loves to reminisce about.

    Apologizes if he hasn’t reach the criteria yet lol.

  315. @NYPost_Berman
    SG Quentin Grimes officially signed his rookie contract today. The University of Houston SG stands to make, at No. 25, $1.8M this season.

    McBride will have to wait until Aller does some cap manipulating, I would guess.

  316. Vildoza’s deal is non-guaranteed so he’s not entitled to that money anyways. On the other hand, a slightly higher salary is usually more beneficial for trade purposes.

    The remaining Room money might have some use, but it’s pretty limited unless there’s a 1st/2nd yr player you need to outbid another team for. But we don’t have the roster space anyways.

  317. Grimes is taking less than the 20% raise we can pay him, so that frees around $360k we can put towards McBride.

  318. Serious question: has Frank Ntilikina been connected to any team this offseason? I haven’t heard a word. Pretty wild considering how stupid I am for not recognizing his greatness and how inevitable it is a smart team will unleash his hidden powers.

    In all seriousness, it’s always been a bit odd to me that Frank didn’t play more Summer League and/or G-League games (he played in all of 2 of the former). You have to admire things like DSJ asking to be sent to the G-League and Knox asking to play in Summer League this year, weird we never saw that kind of urgency from Frank.

    (I promise to completely drop his name from my Knickerblogger vocabulary soon but if he truly washes out of the NBA it’ll be a little hard for me not to take a victory lap or two because of how often I was told I Simply Couldn’t See the Greatness)

  319. I thought Frank, and DSJ for that matter, would bounce around 2 or 3 teams in the seasons following their rookie contract… to be out of the NBA straight after the rookie contract ends would be brutal, even Mudiay managed to do better than that.

  320. Frank may just feel at this point that if his beloved Knicks, the team that he has sacrificed so much for, doesn’t want him that it may just be time to go to a completely different continent. And I wouldn’t blame him.

  321. thenoblefacehumper: I promise to completely drop his name from my Knickerblogger vocabulary soon

    Clearly the new knickname for E4 should be “Frank.” That way we never have to stop.

  322. Wouldn’t surprise me if someone offered Frank the minimum once all the dust settles, but at that point why not just go back to Europe and make more?

  323. Celtics Holding Discussions With Dennis Schröder
    …and the pair for the dance will be the Celtics! This offseason is getting better everyday! :D

  324. Cole Aldrich could actually play, the problem was that he would get exhausted after the first time he had to run or jump

  325. cybersoze:
    Celtics Holding Discussions With Dennis Schröder
    …and the pair for the dance will be the Celtics! This offseason is getting better everyday! :D

    I took a look at a Celtics blog last night. Their fans are not happy.

  326. I am actively anti Schroder, but I think the Celtics have enough shooting that they could actually probably survive him.

    How funny, though, is that the Celtics signed Kanter, dumped them and then…re-signed him? Did they think he, like, got better somehow?

  327. Why wouldn’t they be happy with Schroeder and Kanter plus Horford and Josh Richardson? What’s wrong with them?

  328. I sometimes wonder if DRed gets as much joy from watching Stevens flail as he would seeing the Knicks win the Finals in 7

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