Hi guys, good to see you again!
Is there some masochism in me? Of course there is, duh, I’m a Knicks fan. I mean, I stopped writing articles right after the season ended, and I suddenly come back for a kinda lame KB version of a Black Mirror special? Yeah, you bet.
And now onto some more rhetorical questions: did the Knicks fail at free agency? Did they execute badly and communicate worse (I think Mills’ press comments have a chance to make it to Knicks meme/quotability pantheon right behind “The east is big, man”/”We’re gonna fix you, Mudiay”/”Did Beno have to pass the ball”)? Did they sign the worst kind of players you could sign in our situation and at sort of a premium price?
Of course they did, are you even a Knicks fan?
A little perspective on how the day went by:
– KD signs with Brooklyn, joining Kyrie and DAJ: well, here we go. Do I care? Not really. KD isn’t going to step on the court for a year and Kyrie could do all sorts of damage in the locker room in one season. Also, at the moment the Nets have this roster (which is good, don’t get me wrong): Irving-LeVert-Prince-Kurucs?-Allen/DAJ with Dinwiddie, Temple and Musa from the bench. We all know usually to succeed in the NBA you need a top heavy roster, but does this strike you as a real contender in the East? Yeah. As I wrote before, I guess KD should check a little better his Merriam-Webster, I guess that legacy entry is broken.
Verdict: bullet dodged? But also: sour grapes?
– Ramona Shelburne reports that the Knicks didn’t meet with KD because they weren’t comfortable giving him the max given his injury. Now that’s kinda smart, but it looks like someone’s giving a positive, reverse engineered spin to a PR failure. As someone said, the fact that nobody disputed Shelburne’s claim might actually imply that it’s right, but the timing was weird.
Verdict: it feels strange to be on the rational side of things.
– Knicks sign Julius Randle to 3/63. Welp, I should hate this deal but I can’t. We needed a power forward, Randle is 24, offensively very talented, he posted back-to-back .130+ WS/48 seasons and he shot .344 from three on 3.1 attempts per game. On the other hand, he seems like the living avatar of the Clydeism “Swiss cheese D” and his three point shooting could be a total fluke.
Verdict: Scott Perry is a mediocre GM, but there are worse players to spend money on.
– Details of the deal emerge: third year is a team option, leaving flexibility for the 2021 summer (the next good free agency window – 2020 should be fast forwarded from draft night to summer league). Now that’s a good deal! It’s been a while since a Knicks GM knew how to structure a deal.
Verdict: Scott Perry might be a goodish GM after all?
– KD didn’t actually sign for the max in Brooklyn. It doesn’t change much, but what about the aforementioned “Knicks didn’t meet him because they weren’t comfortable giving the max because of his health”? I mean, I could care less about KD now, but the timing of that Shelburne leak looks even more shaky/shady.
Verdict: Grandpa Simpson meme where his trousers keep on falling to the ground.
– We sign Taj Gibson to 2/20. This just doesn’t make sense. It’s not about Gibson per se, he’s a good guy, a heady veteran and he’s (was?) a stout defender, and he developed a bit of a corner three. But he’s freaking ancient (34 years old) and 10 million dollars per year are really too much. I suspect the front office doesn’t really have a plan after all, we just checked off the “only young players” box. Verdict: Scott Perry pulled his Zach Randolph to Kings move in New York too.
– We sign Bobby Portis to 2/31. This doesn’t make sense and it’s actually harmful for the only quasi-foundational piece we have now. I want to scream my basketball pain but I can’t do it because Lady Farfa is sleeping soundly and it’s 1:30 AM in Italy. Bobby fits the Perry/Mills special to a T: youngish former prospect who’s on his way to flame out, has some marginally fascinating tools, doesn’t defend and sports a sub .100 WS/48 (with a career low number last year!). He also posted a positive VORP just once in four years. Oh, and he also broke a teammate’s jawbone two years ago. And we’ll pay him 15.5 million dollars per! To steal some of Mitch’s minutes!
Verdict: we objectively missed a new pair of crazy eyes and Bobby has some of the craziest you ever saw, but our FO is a damn failure. They signed three power forwards who can’t be mistaken for stretch fours for 46 million dollars per year while letting Vonleh and Kornet go. I’m not mad at the Randle deal. I’m mad at everything else.
– We sign Reggie Bullock to 2/21. This does make a modicum of sense but he’s a very “meh” player who pretty much duplicates Dotson’s skill set but is 3 years older and costs 10x. I don’t hate it, but that must be because I’m still shocked by the Bobby Portis/Taj Gibson left jab/right uppercut combo. Dolan’s razor baby.
Verdict: I’m so jaded that if Mitchell Robinson were to blow his own Achilles tomorrow I wouldn’t be concerned at all. Such is the unending cycle of Knicks fandom.
I guess we can safely conclude that the Scott Perry iteration is just the same old Knicks experience, which a lot of single moms trying to find a partner might relate to: “I hope he’s the one” shifts to “oh, I didn’t see such a kind/smart gesture in a long time, he has to be the one” and then “what, did he really kick his own dog/got a “reclamation project” for a second rounder?” and then “but now he’s playing with my kid and he’s sooo nice/hey we got two first rounders in a trade!” and then “wait, why does he keep getting calls from his coworker Chad and at the other end of the line there’s a female voice/WHY DIDN’T WE BUY A SECOND ROUNDER WHY DID WE SIGN USELESS SEMI-VETERANS FOR BIG MONEY AND DIDN’T ABSORBE OTHER TEAMS’ MISTAKES COLLECTING MORE ASSETS?” and then “maybe the next one will be the one”.
Also, the myth of this ninja-GMing done by Perry gets thrown out of the window once and for all. Every guy we signed was linked to us in the last five days. So much for playing your cards close to your chest.
All we have left is hope for RJ and hope that Fiz doesn’t screw around with Mitch’s minutes/starting spot. We all know hope is not a good thing to look for in Knicksland, though.