“…It must have been the morning after…”

A couple of thoughts post-draft/pre-SheShmron Shrames day…

Ah. The draft. It’s been a somewhat trying experience (as it has with all things Knickerbocker-y) the last couple of years decade, hasn’t it. Due to professional obligations, I wasn’t able to perform my yearly ritual of watching the draft, scouring the blogs for sweet, creamery instant analysis and/or punditry, followed hard upon by some light screaming, pounding nails into the floor with my forehead and, like any addict, swearing to any and all gods that would hear my plea, “Once and for all, I’m done with this team! Done, say I!” But I, like all’s y’all, out there, keep swaddling up to the bar and ordering another round of Nix B’ball, with a side of colossal disappointment.

So when I got home late Thurs. eve, I wasn’t overly shocked to click on Firefox and discover that the very interwebs itself seemed to collectively howl with ear-rattling disappointment. Not that it was a shocker. For those who don’t recall (possibly due to the aforementioned head-as-hammer maneuver described above), feel free to hum along with a couple of these rock n’ roll classics:

Renaldo Balkman over Rajon Rondo.

Channing Frye over Danny Granger and/or Andrew Bynum

Jordan Hill over Ty Lawson or DeJuan Blair (No, I’m not mentioning Brandon Jennings. I honestly think he’s a mini-Iverson & royally overrated, based mainly on a 55-point night and a scorching shooting streak in Nov. )

Even Wilson Chandler over Marc Gasol, Carl Landry and Rudy Fernandez even looks dicey in retrospect.

And of course, the immortal Fred Weis over Ron Artest

Naturally, in hindsight, it’s easy to cherry pick an all-star team. The thing about the draft is that, unlike the actual games themselves, we, the fans, can credibly maintain the notion that we can do just as good a job as the pros. It’s why the folks who actually attend the thing live are filled with such rabid vitriol, methinks. We certainly can’t even begin to entertain the notion that we could can a 15-footer off a pick and roll, but evaluating who to take? C’mon! We spend hours evaluating these cats and it’s our fracking hobby. And with the explosion of data available online coupled with the geometric progression of advanced statistical analysis (and your humble correspondent is still quite the newbie in that regard), there are times when we’re actually right – we do know as much as the scouts/GM’s/ESPN wags.

And of course, the whole “draft grading” process is pretty darn silly. Yes, the scribes are going batshit over the Landry Fields/Andy Rautins thing. Brother, please.

The one draft in the last 10 years that the ink-stained wretches were thrilled about the Nix pix was in ’03 (or as Chad Ford’s nightmares call it, “Darko over Melo/Wade/Bosh.”).


So take heart, true believers. We’ll know in a few years

Speaking of the so-called experts, it seems that conventional wisdom (an oxymoron if ever there was one), has decreed that SheShmron is headed to Chicago/Miami/back in Cleveland/even the Clips – basically, anywhere but our fair burgh. With that in mind, (‘cause, you know, those guys are like, never wrong) here’s one way forward that eschews signing any of the big names come July 1st. And I take it as a given that Donnie Walsh scours our humble blog on a daily basis and will provide my ideas as a quality plan Z, should all else fail.

1. Trade Kevin Love & Ramon Sessions for Eddy Curry & Toney Douglas & cash considerations.

I think given Kahn’s various miscues. One could pry Kevin Love off his hands before he realizes what he’s got. The above deal saves Minny beacoup cash and gives M’DA a legit PG. As much as I loathe the thought of giving up DWTDD, to get Love, it’d be worth it.

2. Trade Rudy Fernandez for Wilson Chandler

Given the rumors that Walsh and the walking corpse of Kevin Pritchard were discussing Chandler for Rudy AND the 22nd pick, one would have to think that a straight swap would be doable. Rudy’d be perfect in SSOL.

3. Sign Shaun Livingston, Ian Mahinmi and Travis Outlaw

Here are three young players w/serious upside who probably won’t be re-signed by their respective squads. DC’s got Wall/Hinrich to play point, San Antonio has Duncan McDyess, Blair, Tiago Splitter and now Ryan Reynolds up front and the Clips just drafted Aminu at SF and Donald Sterling’s arms don’t reach his pockets.

My rudimentary math says the above septuplet would come to about 18-22 million in salary. Combined with the cats still on the roster (I’d re-up Bill “Sky” Walker and the Earl of Barron) and ditching FDPSHECEC (Fat, debtor, possible sexual harasser Eddy Curry’s expiring contract gives the ‘Bockers about 28 million in salary commitment for this season, and more importantly, well under the cap moving forward, say for when CP3 eventually hits the market.

This’d be the rotation in 2010-11:

PG Sessions Livingston

SG Fernandez Walker Livingston

SF Gallinari Walker Outlaw

PF Love Outlaw

C Barron Mahinmi

Bench: Rautins, Fields and a few D-leaguers TBD

That’s a decent team for when the KG-like player does become available via trade.

So? Whaddaya think? Good ideas? Reasonable perspective? Remember, I am a mere blogger, nervously typing this in my underwear in mother’s basement AND a Knicks fan, so please be gentle. My fragile pysche/self-esteem can’t take too severe a blow.

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Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

160 thoughts to ““…It must have been the morning after…””

  1. Chris Broussard has made it seem like nobody will come close to signing with the Knicks but he just made a few interesting tweets today:

    “Knicks’ first free agent meeting will be with Joe Johnson at midnite EST July 1. Sources say NYK Johnson’s first choice. After meeting J.Johnson on July 1 in LA, where it will be 9 p.m. June 30, Knicks will then fly to see Stoudemire in Phx the same night. Finally, at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Knicks will meet with LeBron in northeast Ohio. NYK starting to get a little love from players. Looks like they won’t be shut out.”

    There have also been various reports that Bosh will meet with Knicks in NYC despite some rumors that he is a “lock” to join LeBron in Chicago or Wade in Miami. Next weekend is definitely gonna be very interesting….

  2. BTW Robert no offense but if that is the Knicks lineup next season I might kill myself lol :-)

  3. None taken! I’d say take another look at that lineup. Love’s going to be a star (or at least David Lee 2.0) when some genius decides to give him the proper amount of playing time. Gallo’s going to be improved — I figure he nets 18-19 ppg in the above rotation. Sessions rotted last year in a crappy pseudo-triangle O (and behind Flynn) in ‘Sota. And this Nix team is still 20 million under the cap moving forward.

  4. I wonder if the Knicks are trying to make their pitch to LeBron w/ another guy already signed. I have always kinda thought that would be a good strategy.

    If the Bulls can guarantee the chance to play w/ Noah and Rose (plus extra cap room) and we can can guarantee the chance to play with Amare and Gallo (plus Curry’s expiring) maybe our pitch would sound better than what we can boast as of today.

  5. My concern is exactly how much Johnson and Amare will cost. I almost feel like from a PR standpoint, the Knicks “need” those two guys (if they whiff on the Big Three), but if they both want max money, how can you possibly do that? How can you pay them $16 million each (and that’s actually not even the maximum both guys could sign for)?

    What is the least money that Johnson and Amare will take?

    I think Livingston definitely has to be a priority for the Knicks. Well, priority is a bit of a stretch, but he should be someone the Knicks should set their sights on – the market is so out of whack, though, that I have no idea how much even a guy like Livingston might be able to get. Would a team give him close to their mid-level?

  6. I wonder if the Knicks are trying to make their pitch to LeBron w/ another guy already signed. I have always kinda thought that would be a good strategy.

    That used to be their strategy – now it can’t be, since Chicago can do the same thing.

  7. And yes, I botched the song title. It should read. “There’s got to be a morning after”

  8. Great article Robert, I just don’t see why Jennings gets so much hate on this website. Jennings is one of my favorite up and coming guards in the A. It can be argued that Walshtoni and all Knicks fans would want Lawson over Jennings at this point, but potential wise, Jennings has so much room to grow whereas physically, Lawson seems to already be maxed out. If Jennings could beef up a little bit, he could be one of the best point guards in the league. Calling him a mini-Iverson is an excellent compliment. Who doesn’t want to be called a “mini” rookie of the year, former number one pick, four time scoring champion, eleven time all star, two time all star MVP, MVP and an NBA finalist.

    If we could get Sessions that would be awesome, it would be such a steal.

  9. @6 – Brian, I should have emphasized, the Knicks would have an agreement IN PLACE when negotiating w/ LeBron whereas Chicago would not and could not flat out guarantee that anyone would sign with them. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

    Remember in 2000 when Chicago wanted to sign two of Duncan, T-Mac, Grant Hill and Duncan re-signed, Orlando got Hill and McGrady, and Chicago overpaid Ron Mercer so that they wouldn’t be completely empty handed? That’s what I want to see happen to the again.

  10. So now Hahn chimes in via Twitter:

    “Don’t like what I’m hearing today. “Knicks are in trouble with the top free agents,” a source with direct knowledge of convos btwn FAs said. Knicks really have their work cut out for them in these presentations to FAs. Have to be very convincing. But cost of living in NYC, media scrutiny play into the concerns about Knicks. Plus lack of legit talent (all due respect, Gallo) on roster.”

    I need to get off of Twitter before it drives me completely nuts….

  11. “I need to get off of Twitter before it drives me completely nuts…”

    Amen Brother. Twitter is like a virtual high school girl’s bathroom — gossip everywhere, snarky/bitchy comments, and someone throwing up in the bathroom because Alan Hahn said they looked fat.

  12. LOL, I only follow 87 people but they are basically all sports reporters/analysts so you can imagine all the tweets/articles I read on a daily basis.

  13. According to ESPN, the Knicks were courting Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire. I think I’ll cry if they BOTH end up here. I will be able to take Johnson/Bosh, but Stoudemire, Boozer, or Gay? No way.

  14. OK, that NY Post story about Diddy tears it. No realgm.com until Thursday.

    I just heard that LeBron will host a 5 episode reality TV show on ABC similar to “The Apprentice” in which the Cavs, Knicks, Bulls, Clippers, Nets, and Heat will each try to convince him that he should sign with them. Each episode he’ll eliminate a team until he names “The Chosen One.” 9pm/8 ET on ABC.

  15. I respect Hahn as much as any NBA writer, but how exactly are the Knicks “in trouble with top free agents” on June 27th?

    That being said, we Knicks fans really have to be prepared for LBJ to end up somewhere other than NY. Personally, if he’s not a Knick, I hope he stays with the Cavs. It wouldn’t hurt quite as much, and we wouldn’t have to watch the Bulls contend for championships (again)

  16. If LeBron and Bosh don’t work out, I personally want no part of Joe Johnson at max money. Would rather sign Amar’e at max, keep Lee for, say, 12 mil per, and roll the dice that another max FA or a trade once Curry is off the books will take place in 2011 or 2012, preferably for a backcourt stud. If we squander all the cap room on Stoudemire and Johnson this year, we will be stuck in 45-50 win/early playoff exit hell for the next decade. Lee, Gallo and Chandler are all tradable assets. Even Amar’e at max money is probably tradable. Nobody would want Johnson at 17 million per 2 years from now.

    1: Douglas
    2: Chandler
    3: Gallo
    4: Lee
    5: Amar’e

    A decent backup PG from somewhere
    A shot-blocker

    This team could suck or could be a low-level playoff team. Add an all-star type in the backcourt (Chris Paul? Tony Parker?) and if one or more of the bench guys from the draft pan out (Walker, Garcia, Fields and Jordan all have upside; not real high on Rautins until I seem him vs. NBA-level guards) you have a pretty serious team with some home-grown talent.

    PS I’m getting tired of the LeBron hype/roller-coaster. His antics via his entourage are getting pretty tiresome. He has A-Rod written all over him. Even if we luck out and get him, he won’t be the easiest guy to love.

  17. Bosh and LeBron don’t solve our defensive problems either. Maybe Jerome Jordan can play some D?

    Oh, and I forgot Earl Barron as another roster filler…

  18. All of this craziness on every site on the interwebs; and watch as a week after signing, we read in the headlines, “LeBron tears ACL, MCL in pickup game while proving he ‘just wants to win.'”

  19. I would also stay away from Johnson for the max. 13 mil maybe, but not the max. And I would do a Lee/Amare combo even if it’s not ideal. At least you are getting the best players left imo. You can have a 4 big rotation that helps address the defensive weaknesses. It would be a little like Minnesota east but much better. But either could be traded if need be. Plus I feel like Bill Walker’s gonna blow up this year, call me crazy.

  20. You so crazy, ess-dog!

    In all seriousness, it depends on what you mean by, “blow up.” Is he going to be a borderline all-star? Quality starter? Solid reserve? I’d opt for the latter, and be darn satisfied with that, considering he was little more than a throw in when we shipped Nate to the Celts. If he gets 20mpg as the first SG-SF off the bench/7th man and gives the Nix 10 ppg, 4 rpg, 48% FG and around 37% from behind the arc, we can all dance a happy lil’ jig.

    If Chandler is traded (tough w/him still rehabbing this summer), he could get a bump in pt/numbers. But if you expect more than the above scenario, dog (I feel like Randy!), you’re setting yourself up for a disappointment. Then again, you’re a Knick fan, so that’s par for the course

  21. And no, I too wouldn’t touch JJ or Amare with a 10 million dollar/6 year pole

  22. The Broussard article talking about JJ does mention that the Knicks would want to sign him for less than the max I believe.

  23. Guys JJ and Amare are not ideal compared to LeBron/Bosh/Wade but if they sign those 2 and add a couple of smaller pieces for depth (if not trade for a PG like Parker or Nash) with the players already here improving and not to mention Curry’s salary to trade now or use as cap space next season that is easily a 50 win team where one trade in the future could put them into championship contention.

    Im looking at LeBron and even Bosh now as a dream scenario so we have to start envisioning other scenarios and a JJ/Amare duo is not exactly horrible even though its not obviously ideal.

  24. Call me Crazy, ess-dog, but:

    Is there any way to get Clyde off of the announcer’s table if we still need a serviceable PG? Do we hold his rights right now or does Cleveland? He’s still in shape, right, with all of that boating and construction work?

  25. My plan Z hopes for the knicks:

    trade tony douglas for lou williams (giving philly cap space) our cap space = -4.5million

    Eddy Curry for David West, Okafor, two future first round picks, our cap = -8.5 million

    trade one of the future 1sts for Rudy Fernandez, our cap = -1.2 million

    resign david lee @11million/year, our cap = -10 million
    sign Ronnie Brewer @5 million/year, our cap = -5 million

    that leaves about $ 6 million more space for odds and ends or in season trades.

    starting lineup:

    Okafor, Lee, Gallinari, Fernandez, Lou Williams

    Bench: West, Chandler, Brewer etc.

    West is totally movable as well and is big enough to play center — we all know okafor will get hurt and that D’Antoni will prefer West’s range to Okafor’s defense. THis is a solid team (50+ wins). The core is young enough so that when Okafor enters his last year under contract, everyone else will still be under 30, meaning you enter a 2013 with an opportunity to add that last piece to turn a 50 win team into a contender. Brewer is an excellent defensive player and can run the floor. He’s young enough so that his perimeter game has time to imrpove.

  26. hey all I know is William Henry Walker came over and put up a .650 TS and a .630 eFG and shot .400 from three. I know it was only 27 games, but damn impressive. If he can turn the ball over less and just play average defense, I think he could be a Jerry Stackhouse level starter at least. He’s only 23 and had the exact same PER as Douglas, and is better suited to the sg spot than Chandler is, oh and he was a consensus top 5 USA high school player.

  27. I like Kelly Dwyer, but damn, dude…

    New York Knicks: Andy Rautins(notes), Landry Fields(notes)

    If they feel like a punchline, it’s because they probably are. You might get LeBron in a month, New York, and your team is definitely moving in the right direction. But these two? Come on.

    Grade: F

    For serious?

    Pretty weak.

  28. The Broussard article talking about JJ does mention that the Knicks would want to sign him for less than the max I believe.

    Yes, but that’s only because the max for Johnson is $17 million. So him saying he’ll willing to sign for less than that really isn’t saying much.

  29. Eddy Curry for David West, Okafor, two future first round picks, our cap = -8.5 million

    The Hornets are not dumping anyone. They’re safely under the luxury tax now that they’ve traded MoPete, so no trades involving the Hornets unless it’s a talent-for-talent trade (like giving them Gallo for someone).

  30. @Latke: The Hornets cleared luxury tax…they’re not trading anymore.

    @DS: You’re kidding me, right? Please tell me that’s NOT gonna be a reality show. Joke or not, it’d sound like something ABC/Disney would do.

  31. Of course he’s joking, lebron would lose all credibility if he had a show like that.

  32. The urgency is gone for New Orleans but I bet they’d still like to move Okafor’s contract. Curry & Chandler for Okafor, Collison and a future first does the trick for them… gives the Knicks two starters, for one.. gives us a PG.. a defender in the middle… and cuts about a million bucks from our cap number this summer.

  33. If anyone’s watching, Pete Vescey is on NBC w/the immortal Bruce Beck talking about LeBron. Considering I spent a whole blog post ripping him, I have to say, he’s being utterly rational, insightful and free of any of the awful puns/snide remarks that litter his column.

    If the Vescey on TV were to take over for the Vescey in the newspaper, I’d happily gobble up everything he wrote.


  34. Vescey thinks LeBron’s going to the Knicks. I can’t believe I’m actually typing this, but after listening to his wholly logical, rumor/gossip free (Broussard! cough, cough, Bucher! cough, cough), I think he might be right.

    I agree with and liked hearing from Peter Vescey.

    I’m going to go now. I need to leave some birdseed on my front door for those super-cute flying pigs that I have suddenly spotted in the last 5 minutes

  35. So I’m watching the Yankees beat the Dodgers on ESPN (great win for the Yanks, by the way) and I see on the bottom scroll – “Knicks to offer Joe Johnson max contract on Thursday says ESPN’s Chris Broussard.”

    Naturally, I freak out a bit. “Really? Crap!”

    Then I go online (as ESPN and his Twitter account) and nada, zippo, zilch. All there is his earlier articles about Joe Johnson meeting with the Knicks on Thursday – that’s it.

    How lame is that?

  36. Robert, HTML much?

    I don’t love Rudy Gay but would put him ahead of JJ in a plan X. Younger, cheaper, easier to move if it all goes wrong I think. The eFG, and TS are pretty close, Gay has higher ft/fg ratio but lower ft%. I think JJ is too similar to DG.

    Donnnie cant be thinking 2010-11 home run if we miss on LBJ, Bosh. Make solid additions this season and then look to add more with Curry’s contract or cap space next july. gotta think 2 year plan.

    If you can use Curry deal to get Okafor with Lee, DG, Gay and douglas with Walker, Livingston, Chandler, and Routis (snicker) you could make a run at second in the division maybe.

  37. By the way, from Simmons:

    48 hrs ago: sportsbook.com had LeBron at +125 to sign w/ Bulls. Bosh was +300. Now? They’re both -500. Hmmmmmm.

    Gee, you don’t think it has anything to do with people betting on the Bulls when every single media member says he’s going to the Bulls? But no, instead, it’s a clear conspiracy fixing the odds to show that he is going to the Bulls – that’s much more logical.

  38. Gay is barely (if at all) better than Chandler.

    Johnson at least gives the Knicks something that they don’t have – Gay does not.

  39. Gay and Chandler are similar, really? I dont say this much, but you are clearly smarter than I am so please school me on that one. I cant tell if that means you like Chandler or dislike Gay.

  40. “Robert, HTML much?”

    I’m honestly not sure what that’s supposed to mean

  41. Then again, I rarely use my computer as anything more than a fancy typewriter. I can be quite the Luddite.

  42. Gay and Chandler are similar, really? I dont say this much, but you are clearly smarter than I am so please school me on that one. I cant tell if that means you like Chandler or dislike Gay.

    Hmmm…that’s a really great question. I think it’s that I dislike Gay.

    And by “something that they have already,” I just mean a decent small forward. Chandler currently is a decent small forward, Gay is also a decent small forward.

    I’d prefer a very good shooting guard (like JJ) over a decent small forward like Gay when the Knicks already have a decent small forward (and they have Gallo, who could very easily play the 3, as well – heck, it might even be his ideal position). Joe Johnson is a lot better than Wilson Chandler, Rudy Gay is perhaps at this exact second a little bit better than Chandler (Gay is better on offense while Chandler is better on defense) but it’s no great advantage. Gay’s TS was 53.5% – for a dude who does lots of his scoring from the interior, that’s not great. Chandler was at 53.4% for the year, but he’ll undoubtedly be higher next season as D’Antoni has cured him of the three-ball fixation (Gay does shoot a lot more than Chandler, though). Joe Johnson has a similar TS (which is the only reason he doesn’t have tons of teams banging down his door – well, that and his age) but he also has a 22% assist rate (which is very good – Chandler and Gay are both single digits), a lower TO rate than either Chandler and Gay (a single digit TO rate for a guy who has the ball a lot like Johnson is insanely good) and Johnson is not an awful defender.

  43. By the by, trading Chandler for Tony Parker is a lot better idea than getting Joe Johnson, however. I’m not like “Rah rah, Joe Johnson!”

    He likely is not worth the money he will get – but he will be a significant upgrade for the team.

  44. Co-sign. Though I’m not sure what would make SA want to trade for another SF since they’re locked into the artist formerly known as Richard Jefferson.

    They might take Curry & Will for Parker & RJ, but that’s quite the cap albatross to hang on our necks.

  45. Since Paul George went to Indy, and Bird insists he’s not going anywhere, you think we can get Danny Granger for Toney Douglas and David Lee? I’ll take him over Joe and Rudy Gay for sure, but I’m not sure who’s better or will be better between him and Gallo.

  46. Yeah, if you have Gallo you really don’t need Granger (Granger is good and all, he just doesn’t really bring anything new to the team). I’d rather they set their sights on players who would compliment Gallo (or be soooo good that Gallo would compliment them, a la Labron), not duplicate his skills (especially big money players like Granger, who are close to their overpriced years). I mean, paying Granger as a free agent would be rough enough – paying him and giving up useful talent to get him? Too much.

  47. Bargnani is a taller Gallo w/fewer all-around skills. And he’s got an awful contract. Pass

  48. Anyway we can get Rubio? I hope he decides that Minnesota isn’t fit for a top-flight Euro Baller like him, and wants New York. Getting Rubio would make life a lot easier around here, but Rubio is probably high priced this offseason. Maybe at the deadline or next offseason.

  49. Robert- Love would be a great pick-up (though I’d really surprised if MN dealt him) though I’d rather see Chandler go in that trade- I know you’d like to move WC for Rudy F. but at the end of the day I prefer TD to Rudy. And no Rudy Gay, please. While I don’t want him at max money, JJ would be a real help to this team- I think a TD/JJ backcourt has the potential to be the best Knick backcourt in I don’t know how long- probably since the Michael Ray Richardson/Ray Williams days. I think one of the reasons the Knicks got so little done off of the ball was the fact that Gallo and Chandler (and AH and later Walker) are poor passers and more content to make safe passes around the perimeter rather than try to move the ball inside. As Brian pointed out, JJ offers a huge upgrade in perimeter passing which would go a long way in opening up the offense. He’s also still a pretty good defender- a better option at the 2 than either an out-of-position Chandler or Gallo. He also knows the system and had real success in it. Is going to be worth his contract in the 4th or 5th year (or maybe even the 3rd)? Probably not, but short term he’d really help.

  50. Yeah, I’d love to get Love as well, but there’s no way they trade him, right?

  51. Is Raymond Felton a possibility? He’s a RFA, is he worth overspending on? At what point would Charlotte not match?

  52. I think Kahn knows what he has in Love. He’s certainly not in a rush to dump him in a terrible trade. All the rumors are that he wants to trade Al Jefferson. The same agent reps both, I think, and said his feeling is that Jefferson will be traded before Love. I really see no motivation for Minnesota to make that deal. It would be one of the worst, most pointless deals ever made. They could get more than Toney Douglas for Love and probably at least a Douglas type for Sessions. Why on earth take back Eddy Curry? Why even use Curry’s expiring in that deal if you’re the Knicks? (This would be INCREDIBLE value for Douglas to the point where there’s less than zero chance, but in reality I don’t know that the Knicks dump him now while he’s unlikely to have too many fans around the league unless it’s part of a larger deal, salary dump for another team, or sign-and-trade.)

    The rumor I heard was Chandler AND A SECOND for Rudy… I didn’t hear the #22 in there.

    I like the Livingston and Mahinmi ideas, two of the best bargain names out there. Outlaw is an NBA player who might be able to repeat his 2008-9 career year, but as 26 year old 7 year NBA vet next season I’m not sure if his upside is much.
    $18-22 mill combined means all 3 would get the MLE. That’s a big overpay for all 3 and if they’re multi-year deals it’s an enormous risk. Livingston has serious health AND productivity questions. Mahinmi has productivity and possibly attitude questions. Outlaw has a career TS% of .512 and is coming off a poor, injury shortened season. Livingston might not get more than the minimum. With all the cap space Mahinmi might get a few mill, but he’s got 188 minutes played in 3 seasons and will be 24 next season and had his $1 mill option declined by his team… huge risk if you’re giving him any money. Outlaw is the most accomplished/consistent of the three, and he’s been consistently bad with the exception of 08-09. If you paid more than $10 mill combined I’d think it was seriously overpaying.

    Z-Man @58,

    NO! Raymond Felton is not worth spending anything on. Offensively the guy is a black hole. He’s a solid defender and an average distributor, but a terrible scorer. His career TS% is .493. He had a career year in a contract year, I would stay far away from the guy. $4-5 mill per is literally all I would give him (and even then I wouldn’t be thrilled… but he’s hoping to get $10 mill per or something ridiculous… I think he turned down $8 mill per last offseason…). Not that much of an upgrade on Duhon.

  53. “None taken! I’d say take another look at that lineup. Love’s going to be a star (or at least David Lee 2.0) when some genius decides to give him the proper amount of playing time.”

    He was 21 last season and played almost 30 mpg… he put up 14 ppg and 11 rpg… he’s already a young star. He’s one of Minnesota’s building blocks… probably their favorite piece along with Rubio and now maybe Wes Johnson. I don’t understand why you think they’d effectively dump him for Eddy Curry.


    Johnson and Amare will get the max, almost no doubt. Too much money out there for them not to.
    I agree on Livinsgton, but the guy can’t shoot so I wouldn’t think Walshtoni will make him a priority. I think it would have to be a no brainer like Sessions almost was for them. He’s sitting there, they can sign him, why not sign him? Maybe they see him as a compliment to Douglas.


    LeBron has Bosh, Wade, Johnson, Amare… all of their phone numbers. He doesn’t need Chicago to guarantee someone will sign when he can call one of those guys and get their guarantee.

  54. Unscientific Thoughts on Rudy Gay:

    If this past playoffs reminded us of anything, it’s that winning teams have passion, spirit, vim and vigor. Talent isn’t enough. Ask any Denver Nugget, or Josh Smith, or Rashard Lewis (worse, IMO, than Vince Carter, who gets all the hate). (I won’t put LeBron here out of respect for his usual demeanor, but his performance was, of course, a little odd in the willpower dimension.) The teams that we remember from this playoffs — L.A., Boston, but also Phoenix and Oklahoma City — had FIRE.

    Rudy Gay has no fire. None. He appears content to take his shots and earn his money. Not necessarily a bad guy. But hardly what New York needs at this point. He could be a good piece on a team that is already achieving, perhaps. But no way do you feature him as a cornerstone.

  55. Thanks a lot #62, it’s only 9am in Texas and now I have to start drinking!

  56. Re: Okafor to the Knicks. I’m all for it but it would leave the Hornets w/ no size at all.

  57. If you were Atlanta would you take Curry’s expiring, Chandler, and Houston’s pick in 2011 rather than just letting Johnson go? How about if you’re Phoenix (for Amare)

    If we can iron that out, our pitch to LeBron will be Gallo, Douglas, JJ/Amare and room for two max FA’s. Plus a vet w/ the mid-level exception. On the same token, would Curry’s expiring and Chandler sound better to LeBron than boasting that we have JJ?

  58. @18 Z-Man,

    We’ve been stuck in 20-30 win no-playoff hell for the last decade. It’s not my ideal situation, but if Amare/Johnson in fact gets the Knicks 45-50 wins and the playoffs for the next decade… I’ll take it. Of course, both will only be signed for 1/2 a decade (god willing, no 6 year s&ts for those two) so it’s hard to talk about their ramifications 10 years from now.
    If you don’t sign them maybe you can use that cap space to get better players in the future, but maybe you can’t. Melo, the top 2011 FA, is not much more of a max player than those two and plays on a contender he might want to stay with. The other big shot is Chris Paul, but that’s going to be at least 1.5-2 years from now and the Knicks will have competition from teams with more promising young talent to offer in trades or be in a similar situation in FA as they are with LeBron now. Organic growth is also tough when you have no first round picks.

    The assumption that Lee will not get very close to max money is something of a leap of faith. He’s a 25 year old All-Star and there is a glut of cap space available this offseason. Maybe he ends up as an odd man out–since there are a lot of PFs available and 2nd rate FA destinations Minni and Clips don’t need PFs–but I wouldn’t be surprised if his deal ends up being close to a max deal.

    @18 and 22 Z-Man and ess-dog,

    If Lee and Amare eat into each other’s PT and production they might not be as tradable as we think. They’re both going to be starting huge long-term deals on what would likely be a losing team (under the stat quo – NYK FAs besides Lee + Amare situation).

    @22 ess-dog,

    I agree with Robert that it depends what you mean by blow-up. He could/should go from fringe NBA player to solid rotation guy, but his upside is somewhat limited.

    @28 latke

    Some good ideas, but West is both not that moveable and no way in hell he can play C. He would be a big defensive *downgrade* from Lee at C. He’s about 6-6 and is a jump shooter. Memphis is not letting Brewer (a restricted FA) go for $5 mill per after trading a 1st to get him.

  59. @29

    ess-dog, First of all… if I listed all the top 5 HS players who never did anything in college let alone the NBA it would be a long list. Jerry Stackhouse was an inefficient volume scorer and a very good playmaker for an off-guard (as in he was a better passer than Duhon, the Knicks’ PG). Walker is a 1-trick pony, but can be very valuable if he continues to do that trick well. He doesn’t make plays, rebound, or defend well. He scores the basketball efficiently.


    Caleb, that trade also gives NO zero starters for two (Okafor = 1, Collison + pick = 1). I really respect your posts, which is why I have to tell you I’m really disappointed with that one… They would have no C to speak of (Brackins? Songaila? Eddy Curry????) and they’ve already got Peja, Julian Wright, Quincy Poindexter, and James Posey on the wing… Do they really want a below-average starter with potential to be an average starter badly enough to kill their playoff chances and have 90% wing players?

  60. @ 66 DS

    Can’t trade Houston’s 2011 pick (which we don’t even have yet, since it’s just the right for them to swap picks). A team can’t be without a 1st round pick two years in a row. The Knicks have to have a 2011 pick until after they’ve made that pick. And, no, I wouldn’t do that as either Atlanta or Phoenix, but who knows.

    @41 Thomas

    Rudy Gay is maybe worth $7 mill per, giving him more than 10 would honestly cause me to terminate my Knicks’ fandom. Joe Johnson is a serious playmaker: he’s one of the best passing 2-guards in the league but he’s a one dimensional shooter? He’s a strong outside shooter who you can project to play well in D’Antoni’s system (Gay is also a solid jump shooter, doesn’t shoot the 3 as well as Johnson though). JJ’s a 2 guard (SF is probably the easiest position in the NBA to fill with a solid/quality player).
    Joe Johnson is similar to Danilo Gallinari?????? I can see some similarity, but I would call Rudy Gay a million times more similar to Wilson Chandler.


    Gay is a better jump shooter and Chandler a better finisher. Gay gets a lot more steals, but if anything I’d give WC the advantage on D. Otherwise, they’re quite similar: TS%, USG%, reb%, ast%, TO%, blk%… all right there. Chandler is a poor man’s Gay you could say, but if WC gets his jumper to fall and/or improves his handle we might be able to say Gay is a poor man’s Wilson Chandler. Point is just that, like Brian, I see no need for Rudy Gay so long as WC is on the roster. Without WC I see no reason to pay Rudy Gay more than $7 mill per. He’s a 3rd or 4th option, does little other than score, and solid one-dimensional jump shooter SFs (Gay takes 70% jumpers) are a dime a dozen.


    Joe Johnson’s ast% last season was literally 3x Danilo’s. Danilo is a 3/4 and Johnson is a 2. As scorers perhaps they are similar (and as rebounders… bad news for Danilo), but their overall games are different enough.

  61. The one thing that has me very frustrated over the last few weeks of rumors and “done deals” is the total lack of respect and love for David Lee.

    When I look at the 4 FA PFs (Bosh, Amare, Boozer, and Lee), I really don’t see an overwhelming difference. If I had to rank them I’d put Bosh first because he’s a bit younger, he’s a high level high usage offensive weapon, and a little more athletic than than Lee or Boozer. But after that it’s like 2, 2a, and 2b.

    Amare may be the best offensive weapon of the 3, but he’s not as good a rebounder as the others and he’s not nearly as good a playmaker either (especially Lee). Plus, when his offensive usage and elite efficiency is considered at least partly related to playing with one of the greatest PGs of all time (Nash) vs. Lee with Duhon, how does that not bring them even closer togther?

    Over and above all that, I think Lee is a great fit with Lebron if we should get lucky enough to sign James. He’s great at the pick and roll. IMO Lebron and Lee in the P&R or P&Pop would be deadly.

    Over and above all that, the fans absolutely love Lee, he would be cheaper, and give us greater flexibility when making other moves.

    To me, if you want so say Plan “A” James and Bosh, I’m OK with that. But IMO anything that doesn’t include Lee as part of Plan “B” is a mistake and very disheartening.

  62. The more I read about Garcia, the less I like the guy. Serious off-court questions (4 community colleges and couldn’t qualify for UW… I know Amare had a similar story, but I don’t think he’s 1/2 the athlete or ball player Amare was/is). He was hyped as a big athletic freak, but his pre-draft measurements reveal a player who is not long at all and put up the same vertical leaps as Derrick freaking Character (who eat and whined his way out of Louisville). A very worthy risk for the summer league squad and I’m glad the Knicks took a shot on him, but I’m not getting my hopes up anymore. Michael Washington is as interesting to me now as Garcia, and Carroll might be more interesting than either.

  63. @70 stratomatic

    I largely agree with your sentiment. I would put Bosh as #1: offensively he absolutely can shoulder a top 5 offense because he has, and defensively he’s long and athletic enough to at least hold his own so long as he’s not counted on too heavily. Due to various factors I would agree Amare, Boozer, and Lee are somewhat of a toss up looking forward (though it might not be the case in hindsight).

    2 things, though.
    1. Lee has only played at that level for 1 year, in a contract year, playing for D’Antoni. If he’s looking for near max money, which he probably should be, I can see why teams would dock him for lacking a track record (though Amare has to be docked for one-dimensionalism and health/age concerns and Boozer has to be docked for serious attitude questions and health/age concerns). Lee is also a bad defender. Worse than the others, IMO, though the others aren’t particularly good.
    2. It’s media rumors. First off all, most of the speculation is based on what journalists think about these players not what NBA executives think. As far as inside info… they latch onto information from anonymous sources who have some loose affiliation with an organization. LeBron himself might not know where he’s going, but somehow some $10 an hour intern in an unnamed organization does? Or even the GM of some team who has had no contact with LeBron and is just shooting the shit with Chad Ford or whoever? Smoke screen also abound. For all we know Lee might get a knock-out offer day 1 of FA and Boozer might be left along until all other options are gone, for example.

  64. I liked our draft picks, but I still think we have to do something about getting a starting C. Right now we only have the backup C position covered.

    Something creative has to be done with Curry’s contract (perhaps plus a player like Chandler) to make room for a another piece. It doesn’t have to be Curry for another C, but we need another productive piece from that contract. Then we can use the cap space to fill out the roster depending on who we get out of it and what is available among the FAs.

  65. @72

    Agree on their respective track records (and probably playoff experience) being a factor in public perceptions. But as an independent observer I feel confident that Lee will hold last year’s form or improve on it. I am hoping our own management team and more importantly some of the FAs out there get it too. I’d hate to spend more money on an equal player just to satisfy a FA that doesn’t respect Lee’s game.

  66. Let me make some things clear about Rudy Gay, I do NOT think he is a better player than Johnson. But there are a number of advantages to Gay over Johnson.

    1. Gay is 5 years younger. At the end of a six year deal he will be 30. Johnson will be 36. I dont know for sure that Johnson won’t be like Ray Allen or Reggie Miller and continue to be impactful in the mid 30s but I’m not sure I want to take that risk. Look what the re-up with Houston did to us when he got on in age.

    2. Gay can be had for much less than Johnson. Gay is entering his 5th year, Johnson his 10th. A max deal to JJ starts at 16 million. Gay about 13.5. But I dont know if Gay is a max player and you may be able to get him for 9 million or less in this market (just speculating I really dont know). The point is Gay is a good player who gives you more cap flexibility and the pain of the last 10 years of being capped out should make it clear that you need to retain cap flexibility. And maybe with that extra space you could look into some interior defensive help? JJ at 16 million makes getting that help a bit harder I think.

    3. BC explained that Gay duplicates Chandler. Ok you can have that, but I think JJ duplicates Gallinari in many respects. NO, DG has not proven to be the dangerous scorer, shooter that JJ has proven to be over the years. But DG really only had 1 and a half seasons under his belt. He could be just a good, he has shown flashes. And I have to think Gallinari is more likely to be in the long term plans of this team than Chandler. So if that is the case, then getting Gay, who is similar in some ways to Chandler–a player you may not keep–is better than locking up JJ who is similar to player you likely will keep.

    I’m just trying to think long term with the team. What if at 31 (two years from now) JJ pulls an Elton brand on us? Sure Gay could do the same, but it is easier to manage at 10 million than it is a 18 million, is it not?

    I’m going to stop now before I cross the Ted Nelson 5000 word club. Just kidding Ted.

  67. @ 46

    It was a joke that didnt work I guess. I was talking about all of these: “ ” in the otherwise fine effort.

  68. @75

    I share your concerns about JJ. I like his game a lot, but IMO he’s not a max player and almost certain to get paid like one (or darn close). SGs tend to deteriorate faster than any other position. If you ask me, giving JJ a long term near max contract is going to look like a very bad idea a year or two from now.

    I’m not enamored with Gay either because even “if” he’s better than WC, it’s not by enough to warrant a large contract when we already have other players to potentially fill WC’s spot if we trade him. Gay is simply not that good (at least yet).

  69. Gallinari is too poor a rebounder to play the four. Why can’t he be the two? In fact, what does positional play even matter with D’Antoni as the coach? He played a SF as a PF for years, and PF as a center. I don’t know if positions ae as important as ability and responsibilities. The team needs a consistent outside scoring threat. Who cares if you get that from your PF or your SG as long as you get it? We need a defensive center more than anything and we still have no plan to fix that. What good is JJ’s 20 ppg if the other team treats the lane like it is sponsored by “Easy Pass”. Save some money and get a center that can make up for the difference bewteen Gay’s scoring and Johnson. It doesnt have to even be Gay, I just picked someone that can score and do it cheaper than Johnson so you retain some cap flexibility.

  70. “I dont know if Gay is a max player and you may be able to get him for 9 million or less in this market (just speculating I really don’t know).”

    “Rudy Gay is maybe worth $7 mill per, giving him more than 10 would honestly cause me to terminate my Knicks’ fandom.”

    Gay is an RFA so a team will have to over-pay to get him.

    Plus, this is going to be a seller’s market. I don’t think there is any question Gay will may $10+ million next season. (Sorry Ted– we’ll miss you around here…)

  71. Z you think Memphis would match 7-9 million to Gay? I think they may not, if they plan to keep Mayo. I wouldnt go more than 9, would really prefer 7 for his skill level.

  72. He’s not worth it, but IMO Gay is going to get more 7M-9M (perhaps several million). Advanced stats guys are not big fans of his, but he’s a scorer and scorers tend to get overrated and overpaid

  73. Thomas,


    1. I agree about Johnson being age. I hope that, in the case they sign him, the Knicks use this to ensure a 5 year deal and non-max… possibly a deal that declines in value year-to-year even. Hopefully teams in general are turned off by his age or the Knicks let him go should another team max him out, but based on history I assume he gets a max.
    At the same time, Rudy Gay is not very good so I don’t really care that he’s fairly young. I’m not a Johnson fan, but I outwardly hate the idea of Gay at more than, say, $8 mill (which I think would already be overpaying).

    2. Gay is also a restricted FA. Memphis can match if they feel like he’s really getting low-balled, possibly as a mid-season trade asset. If nothing else they could bluff a team into overpaying and/or a s&t.
    Gay is not that good a player. He plays what is not a premium position, does nothing well besides maybe score, and was the 4th or so option on Memphis’ non-playoff club last season. His attitude/work ethic has been constantly questioned for years. He’s a classic does everything well, but nothing that well kind of overrated guy.
    Overall I think Gay is a marginal improvement on WC, and I’m not even a big fan of WC.

    3. I still think you’re out there a bit comparing a pure jump shooting 3/4 with a scoring/playmaking 2-guard. As I pointed out, JJ’s ast% is 3x more than Gallo’s. You can play multiple guys who play multiple positions, are strong shooter, and have no huge holes in their games. It’s a lot harder to play 2 limited wings like Gay and Chandler. Those types of players are also literally the easiest to find in the NBA, in my opinion. You can find athletic 3-men who score in the 2nd round of the draft every season… as the Knicks hopefully did with Fields this year. 3 is generally the easiest position to fill, not one where you should overpay for mediocrity.

    Not signing Joe Johnson isn’t a direct trade-off with not signing Rudy Gay, to me. You could not sign either. Rudy Gay is an average player who is likely to be drastically overpaid. He’s at best your third option offensively. He does nothing that really stands out. If you don’t want to sign Joe Johnson, ok that’s very reasonable, that doesn’t make Rudy Gay any more attractive to me, though.


    Really? You need to play defense, also. Offensively, sure, a perimeter shooter like Gallo could function at the 2. Without a strong PG, a better ball-handler and penetrator might be nice but Gallo would probably be fine (Chandler was on the #17 offense last season). Defensively Gallo might have a very hard time staying with Kobe, Vince Carter, Manu, etc. every night.

    If Marion is the SF who played PF… he’s a unique guy. He can defend the 4 and rebound like a 4, but play the 3 offensively. Does Gallo have the quickness to stay with 2s?

    What great defensive C that D’Antoni will play are you getting for $6 mill per? We’d all love a great C, but what C is available this offseason for $6 mill. The only real C who comes to mind this offseason is Tyson Chandler, who will probably be looking for $10+ mill per.
    It’s not scoring when it comes to JJ vs. Gay!@!@@!@!@! It’s passing, playmaking. Why do you keep insisting Johnson is a one dimensional scorer? I don’t like the guy that much and see how he’s a glorified Jamal Crawford, but he’s one of the best passing 2s in the league.

    stratomatic @77

    Considering that the 3 top SGs in the NBA Finals this season were all over 30, I’m not sure why SGs deteriorate faster than any position. Vince Carter, Manu, Anthony Parker… starting SGs on contenders who are over 30. A big SG who can shoot and pass like Joe Johnson could age well like Paul Pierce, IMO, should he avoid serious injury.

  74. but I think JJ duplicates Gallinari in many respects.

    Ted beat me to it in terms of comparing JJ to Gallo, but I put up his notable stats last night, so that has to count for something! ;)

    Seriously, though, JJ out-rebounded Gallo last year, he turned the ball over less frequently (while having the ball a good deal more than him), shot the ball a good deal worse (although he shot a lot more FGs than Gallo) and, most importantly, dominated him in the assist category. Ever since Johnson has become the primary playmaker (since leaving Nash, basically) he has been an excellent assist guy. How does an excellent assist guy not compliment an excellent shooter? Can you imagine what the Knicks would have looked like last year if they had someone who could reliably get Gallo the ball? Better yet, what if they had a guy who could get Gallo the ball and if need be, could either A. Take (and likely make) a shot or B. Drive to the basket. Duhon couldn’t do any of the three, while Nate and Douglas could only do the latter two.

    I don’t think we should underrate the dimensions Johnson’s game would add to the Knicks. They Knicks literally have not had a guy like him since Marbury’s peak, and at Marbury’s peak we were pairing him with Jamal Crawford at the 2, which was an odd match. Here it would be playmaker/good defender in JJ and shooter/better defender in Douglas. That’d be the most efficient backcourt the Knicks would have since….damn…I dunno (a lot of that, of course, depends on 2010-11 Douglas being like 2009-10 Douglas – 2009-10 Douglas better not have been a fluke!).

  75. @82

    I can’t remember where I read it, but I saw a statistical study that suggested on average SGs deteriorate sooner than other postitions. It might have been at the Basketball Digest, but I can’t swear to that.

  76. Seems to me that scoring point guards have to be the ones who deteriorate the earliest (Kenny Anderson, Damon Stoudemire, Steve Francis, Steph, Iverson, etc.).

  77. Thomas, my main thing is just why sign Gay? 62.5% of the Knicks projectable roster plays SF (WC, Gallo, Walker, Fields). You can not sign Johnson AND not sign Gay.

    @79 Z

    I mostly agree (see #2 in 81). I didn’t say Gay won’t get paid, I said the Knicks should avoid being the suckers who overpay him. If they don’t I’m not sure I can root for them. At best Gay will be slightly overpaid and a poor strategical decision for the Knicks, at worst a total disaster.

    Some sucker probably will overpay Gay (my money on Nets… especially with Thorn gone)… but it’s not definite. Minnesota was one of the biggest candidates, but with Wes Johnson on board they don’t NEED a SF. Wiz are apparently interested in Josh Childress. Clippers added Aminu in the draft, but could still decide to pay Gay if Sterling wants to spend some cash. Nets seem like a prime candidate between their owner maybe wanting a splash and the thought adding some wing help to their Lopez/Favors/Harris core. If the Knicks get in a bidding war with the Nets over Rudy Gay I might shoot myself. Factors also working against Gay are that SFs are plentiful (Knicks and Bulls are pretty set there… and there are plenty of cheap, serviceable options like Childress, Miller, Brewer, Outlaw, Harrington, Barnes…), and that recent similar players given big contracts that were regretted (Josh Howard, Caron Butler, Bobby Simmons…).

    @80 Thomas

    They can sign him as a trade asset if they feel he was low-balled or bluff teams into a s&t.

  78. Mayo also has 2 more seasons under team control, so that’s a pretty long-term concern in NBA terms. There have been several prominent rumors of the Grizz offering Mayo in trades.

    57% of the Knicks play SF to correct myself (4 of 7, not counting Curry since who knows if he plays).

    @84 Agree, Brian.

  79. Memphis may not match any offer, but they are not the only team competing. I think there is definitely a team that is going to over-pay to sign Rudy Gay next month. Whether it’s the Knicks or not, who knows. But it very well may be.

    There are more teams with money than there are good players to buy. Anybody thinking people will sign for what they are actually worth, production wise, is wrong. The top players will sign for less than they are worth. Everybody else will sign for more than they are worth. There will be no bargains (at least not on any young or in-their-prime talent). The bargains are going to be on vets and underachievers, not the Rudy Gays or David Lees of the league. (Chris Duhon will probably be a FA steal this summer. If you are looking for bargains, that is the bin to be checking…)

    I think one can probably break down the amount of cap space, the # of salary slots available, and figure out exactly how much the top 20 FAs are going to make. If there hasn’t been a study done already, maybe here should be one done here? (That way we can get a real good sense whether Ted will be back here again next year.)

  80. I have to agree with Ted in that i want no part of Rudy Gay. I actually like JJ, but i see a problem. If we strike out in big free agents, and let’s say, we manage to add some good pieces. For example, JJ, Tyson Chandler and Lee; and we turn Curry into something similar (like Calderon, Curry’s EC isn’t netting anything more), and turn WC into Rudy Fernandez (which i’d love, but find difficult); then we would have a nice roster Calderon/JJ/Gallo/Lee/T. Chandler 6th: Rudy; which could reasonably (given a nice progression of Gallo) lead us to 50 wins. Now, how do you improve from there? Actually it is very hard, without picks, tradable assets, you only have the MLE, and the MLE is hardly going to improve that roster.

    However, if we get a bigger signing, let’s say Stoudemire, we will have an imbalanced roster that will likely win less games, but you can improve it by spending the MLE in the next years. So maybe it is wiser to hold onto the big names (maybe waiting for Melo next year) instead of filling the roster outright.

  81. Not sure if anyone saw these recent reports, but:

    WNBA league executives report LeBron James and Chris Bosh will sign a deal with the Seattle Storm, pending a trade of Michael Beasley.

    Sources tell me that LeBron James and Chris Bosh have signed with the Los Angeles Clippers to work in their litigation department.

    Update: LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join Dwayne Wade in the WWE as the new Fabulous Freebirds.

    This just in: My sources say that LeBron James and Chris Bosh have signed deals to play midfield for Ghana this weekend. It’s “in the bag”.

    Breaking News: LeBron James and Chris Bosh to sign with the Nashville Predators. Whatever the Nashville Predators are.

  82. @ All: Okay FORGET that I said Gay. Delete every mention of Rudy Gay and insert this instead:

    Instead of giving Johnson a max deal that has him making 21 million when he is 35, can we explore getting a younger player that has scoring talent at a much cheaper price tag? You advance stat heroes can pick the name. Just someone other than Johnson.

    @ 84: Yes Johnson does things better than DG. He is clearly a better playmaker than DG is right now. But I would expect a 10 year pro to do a few things better than a 20 year old who has yet to play 2 full seasons. Johnson Ast% was 15 his first two seasons with a Tov% around 10.75, with eFG around .450, and total rebounding% around 7. Take Gallinari at the same age eFG 52.0, TRB% 8, TOV% 9.4, Ast% 7.6. I see some similar things at the same age except for assists. But I dont know if that is due to a lack of ability or a lack of responsibility. I think DG could improve in that area if called upon to do so. Ditto with rebounding.

    I don’t think its a lack of desire with Gallinari, he just needs to get stronger and learn how to rebound. Gallinari can really do some things when he puts his mind to it.

    @82: Cant tell if you agree with me on defense or you are being snarky but I very much want to fix the team’s interior defense. I’d much rather have Gallinari play the two with a great shot blocker behind him than have Johnson at the 2 w/o a great shot blocker. Oh of course Gallinari cant stop Kobe, nobody can do that. He couldnt stop Carmello Anthony, but he sure gave about as good as he got.

    Johnson at max makes it much harder to fix the defensive issue. That along with his age are more objections. So people don’t think 21 million to Johnson at age 34 wont be a problem?

  83. “can we explore getting a younger player that has scoring talent at a much cheaper price tag”

    Thomas, do yourself a favor and repeat this sentence 10 times out loud: “there are no cheap players this summer, there are no cheap players this summer, there are no cheap players this summer…”.

    There is approximately $264 mil in cap space league wide. Figure LeBron, Bosh, Wade, Johnson, Boozer, and Amar’e get $16.6 mil each, leaving $164 mil to split between the B and C listers.

    9 teams will be able to afford to pay $10 million+ after the max deals are given out.

    so $164 mil to split between: Gay, Lee, Allen, Scola(rfa), Ty Thomas(rfa), Salmons, Haywood, Chandler, Shaq, Jermaine O., Felton, Haslem, Nate, Outlaw, Harrington, and Mike Miller.

    How can Memphis not expect to see a $10+ mil offer for Gay cross their desk? I’d expect it to be even higher.

    Expect Lee in that range too, if not maxed.

    And Felton’s agent is probably really smart and did thorough market research. He’s the top PG available and should expect to pocket $10 mil next year.

    Basically, teams have cleared contracts, not to save this summer but to spend. If it takes $13 million to land the 24 year old Rudy Gay, y’all better believe teams won’t balk.

    So, what young player that has scoring talent at a much cheaper price tag do you have in mind? Nate Robinson?

  84. This isn’t exactly on topic, but the one thing that gets at me about all these free agency rumors is the seeming perception that if LeBron comes to NY, there’s no chance he’ll compete for a title right away. LeBron/Bosh signing with the Knicks wouldn’t make them an overwhelming favorite for a title like it would if they signed with Chicago (at least for Year 1), but they would almost definitely be better than last year’s playoff teams CLE, CHI, MIA (even with Wade and, say Amare), MIL, CHA, ATL, and maybe BOS, but probably still a little worse than ORL. However, the general perception around the league and the media is that he only has a chance to win next year if he signs in CHI or MIA and that going to the Knicks he’s doomed to at least 1 year of mediocrity before they can re-load again in 2011 when Curry’s contract comes off the books. On the contrary, they’d probably be a fringe title contender next year (akin the the Nuggets, Jazz or even Suns this year) and then in 2011-12 be one of the favorites. Chicago certainly has a better roster today, Rose and Noah are probably better than anyone currently on the Knicks roster, but the future flexibility and the fact that the Knicks would be a contender next year are working in our favor more than the national media wants to let on. A LeBron/Bosh/Gallinari core isn’t as good in Year 1 and LeBron/Bosh/Rose/Noah, but LeBron/Bosh/Gallinari/$12 mil Free Agent X could be better than LeBron/Bosh/Rose/Noah in Year 2, and that’s before you get to the possible problems of Rose/LeBron playing next to each other.

  85. Thomas I agree with you 100%. At least Gay is young. JJ is already in decline. I think you look to make trades with teams looking to save cap space. For example, you could probably get iguodala for almost nothing, and he’s 3 years younger than JJ. Really though I think you go after the best player with your cap space. The knicks have guys who can play at the 2 and 3. What they need is a point guard and a big man. That’s why I suggested Louis Williams. Calderon would be nice as well, but his decline last year certainly makes me nervous. At the 4/5 you have a wide array of players to choose from.

    Really I think the main flaw of the knicks last year was that they had no creators. T-Mac flopped in this role. Lee is not the greatest off the dribble or out of the post. You need someone who can get the defense on its heals and then you can worry about ball movement. Admittedly JJ is really good at this, but I dont think its worth the sacrifice at the end of the contract.

  86. @92

    I agree on defense. Knicks were one of the worst defenses in the league, has to improve. Of course 2/3 of the team is likely to change so to some degree last season’s results may be somewhat irrelevant. Good interior D is definitely an easy way to start building a good overall D, though.

    I just don’t see what amazing interior defender the Knicks are going to pick up this offseason. Tyson Chandler could be an option. Plenty of positives, but also some negatives. D’Antoni seems pretty determined not to play a 5 just for the sake of playing a 5, so it’s unlikely that some veteran defensive specialist would see much time.

    re: cap space and interior defense:
    1. I’m not a huge fan of Joe Johnson, I just might rather have him than Rudy Gay even if he’s paid considerably more. I can at least understand the rationale for Johnson (which includes that he’s a D’Antoni guy who might regain his upper-.500s TS% for NYK), but Gay would be an ignorant stab at impatiently spending money, IMO.
    2. Hypothetically having more space helps you add an interior defender, but not necessarily. Some 2nd rounder (Jerome Jordan) or cheap FA (Mahinmi, Ben Wallace) could be the answer while some big-ticket FA (Tyson Chandler) could be a total waste/bust. Knicks could use Curry + asset(s) or 2010 or 11 cap space to add a Biedrins type in a trade. Cap space might help solve the problem, but it might not. That’s not an argument for throwing cap space away, just for not hoarding it when you have good ways to use it.
    It’s debatable whether Johnson is a waste or good use, but something tells me Walshtoni feel he’s the latter. If it’s accompanied by several other good moves (including young guys already acquired developing) I can see the Knicks having Hawks like success with Joe Johnson. It seems realistic both that it might happen and that it might not totally suck, so for modern Knick fan that’s something to grab onto.
    3. Also while defense is an issue, so is offense. The Knicks have 8 players, a lot of whom aren’t guaranteed to still be in the league in a few seasons (no matter how high our hopes for them are). If the Knicks can add, say, Joe Johnson and Amare and take their offense up to a top 10 level that’s huge. A top 10 O and below average D can make the playoffs just as easily as an average O and average D. You don’t get any points for offense-defense balance. Look at last season’s Conference Finalist Suns vs. a balanced, average Rockets team that missed the playoffs.

    Jerome Jordan is an unknown at this point, but so are almost all the current Knicks to a large extent. So, like we hold out hope for Gallo, Douglas, Walker, Chandler, Fields, Rautins… even Charles Garcia and Jaycee Carroll… I hold out hope Jordan can be the Knicks best interior defender since, I don’t know, KT or Nazr or somebody.

    re: Gallo at the 2. Other guys can stay with Kobe at least, but that’s a bad example maybe. There is a difference between an All-Star lighting you up and having an off-night, but the bigger difference to me is that Gallo might have problems staying with an otherwise marginal SG who is just too quick for him. Gallo’s defensive strength does not appear to be chasing guys through picks and stopping penetrating guards (though D’Antoni did try to use his length on PGs, which at least wasn’t miserable but didn’t seem to work that well when complemented by Walker on 4s). Danilo’s long, he helps a bit, he mixes it up inside. Would like to see us use those strengths if his back isn’t an issue inside.
    It would also be ideal for Danilo to develop a little more inside-outside than outside-outside.

    Melo is not a 2. He’s clearly a F. He has a very quick first step, but overall he’s more physical and less quick (or at least perimeter oriented) than your average 2. Defensively I think Gallo is best off at the 3 or 4 maybe as sort of a poor-man’s AK-47 (if he can rebound at least a bit better… but rebounding doesn’t often improve… so maybe at the 4 with a strong rebounding 3).

    Johnson’s age may well catch up with him. Again, though, of the contending teams most (?) have a SG in his 30s: Kobe, Allen/Pierce, VC, Parker, Manu, Terry… In general old is worse, but it’s a case by case thing. Johnson is unlikely to shrink and his jumper is unlikely to get worse. His passing also should remain decent. His defense is already below-average.

  87. @93 Z

    I agree with the general sentiment of a lot of $ chasing a few players inflating prices. There will be guys overpaid, but it may not be totally universal.

    -Some cheaper teams, Clippers for example, might hoard a little cap space if they see no bargains.

    -Another factor to consider is teams can use their space in trades as well as on FAs. Minnesota, for example, might not want to double someone’s next highest offer for them to go there so they might take back, for example, Monta Ellis to get Anthony Randolph. Maybe they dump AJ in a trade that brings back significantly more salary, but also more talent.
    Knicks might want to break up cap space between 4-7 players instead of 2 or 3 at some point. Obviously for the top X players they’ll use it on 2 or 3, but if they’re looking at Gay at the max vs. 3 or 4 solid values for the same $… maybe they make a smart decision. Could give out a couple of 1 year deals to less regarded guys, compete for 2010-11 playoffs, and then try to improve through salary dump trades or future FA classes.
    -Some solid-to-good NBA players do not appear on your 2nd “$164 mill” list. Of course, I don’t know if you included MLEs in you initial calculations, which could mean more money chasing those guys. Childress, Tony Allen, Josh Howard, Brad Miller, Tim Thomas, Linas Kleiza, Morrow, Craig Smith, Jordan Farmar, Brewer (RFA), Lowry (RFA), Dorell Wright, Sergio, Redick, Barnes (opt-out), Frye, Bogans, Bonner, Mason, Amir Johnson, Antonie Wright, Wes Matthews, Kyle Korver, Randy Foye (RFA). Some of those guys will also be overpaid, some deserve to slip through the cracks, but some undeserving guys will probably slip through the cracks and be available if you’ve got, say, $3-4 mill to out-bid teams that only have the minimum (like with Sessions). There are also high-upside plays in Livingston and Mahinmi types.

    Guys will be overpaid, but hopefully the Knicks will be somewhat reasonable.

  88. @ 93
    “So, what young player that has scoring talent at a much cheaper price tag do you have in mind? Nate Robinson?”

    Well now that you mention it….

    I’m going to put a pot of coffee on so I can dive into Ted Nelson’s latest novel.

    @96. I thought we agreed to pretend I never mentioned Gay? Anyway, Sure Johnson isnt losing inches, or a jumper but Houston didnt either. He got up in age, had a kneee injury and never returned to form. I think the longer you play the more likely those wear injuries become. I just can’t go through that again. I say offer JJ less than the max and if you get outbid so be it. It wouldnt be so bad if LBJ is playing with him. I still dont care for the interior holes on D but JJ next to LBJ is easier to deal with than JJ and Boozer/Stoudamire. Why are we even arguing this? We should all pledge to just wait until a signing is announced and stop driving ourselves crazy with this.

    Yeah, that’ll happen.

  89. Some teams may hold out thinking that a new CBA may get them more bang for the buck next year. It could happen…nah.

  90. @90 iserp

    Not quite sure I understand. You say the MLE won’t fix the first roster, but the MLE will fix the 2nd roster?
    In general, yeah, the real danger of the Jordan Hill trade was that cap space is now the Knicks only real asset in the short-term (maybe long-term some of their youngsters step up). They need to maximize their return on that cap space: find underpaid guys, not overpay for semi-stars. The shot at LeBron/Bosh might have made that trade worth it, but there is a downside. Joe Johnson or Rudy Gay may end up being the face of that downside.
    However, if the Knicks manage to get a decent playoff team together, I’m not TOO worried about follow-up moves. Their success is certainly not a given and you can’t really predict them, but if you have a good base and good management you have a good chance to find some talent along the way. You need to look more for under-valued assets than well-recognized guys who you may be overpaying at the MLE maybe… I mean if you can get an Artest or Sheed at the MLE, by all means, but you have to stay away from the Jeffries/Jerome James/Mike James/Marcus Banks type MLE guys.

    @94 jadddddddddddd

    Mostly agree. Knicks are getting short-shift. Miami, especially, has a lot of questions in the short-term. Sure it’s relatively easy to fill in around LeBron/Wade/Bosh, but not a given. Also agree re: Rose.
    My one question is that the Knicks will be better than Boston, but worse than Orlando? I know Boston will be a year older, but they still beat Orlando pretty easily this season. Hard to say how good the Knicks will be since we don’t know how good their young guys will play or who they might get on minimum contracts/with Curry, Chandler, etc. to surround LeBron/Bosh.

    @95 latke

    Trades could be good, but it’s hard to speculate on what organizations want to dump salary. Sixers might look to trade Iggy, but if other teams are offering assets they might outbid the Knicks (who have few assets to offer).
    Lou Williams is really a combo-guard, not a PG. If he’s available at the right price he’s someone I’d like to see in blue&orange, but he doesn’t solve the PG position single-handedly. Sort of Toney Douglas with more driving and less jump-shooting. Someone like Iggy or Johnson on the wing is as much a playmaker. Lou Williams is definitely a good thought, hard to say if he’s available and at what price: Sixers might want a shooter like Douglas to complement Holiday/Turner/Iggy, but Williams is very young on a reasonable deal so they might want to hold onto him or think they can get more value (Douglas is still somewhat of an unknown, even to people in the know… I mean, can he repeat last season? How much will his playmaking/PG ability improve? Guy could be Billups with a better J in a few years or he could be out of the league).

  91. Got a questions for my fellows bloggers:

    As per the news reports, the Knicks will meet with Joe Johnson, Stoudemire & LBJ on July 1, and then host Wade and Bosh in NY. So, what exactly are they going to tell Joe Johnson? You can tell Stoudemire & Bosh you want to team them up with LBJ/Wade, you can tell LBJ & Wade you want to team them up with Stoudamire/Bosh, but what do you tell JJ? Wait till we figure out this LBJ thing?

    As I read it, JJ has NY on the top of his list. What if he comes back quicker than LBJ/Bosh and says he wants in. Then what do you do? How do you spin this?

  92. Joe Johnson, like all very good players, has a large ego.

    That said, even players with large egos realize that Lebron James is a bigger priority than them.

    So I don’t think it’s an issue – Joe knows that if the Knicks can get Lebron, they’ll do anything they can to do it (including getting Bosh to play with him). And I don’t think even a really egotistical player would take that personally.

    So if he’s ready to sign, I think he’ll be fine with “We love you, Joe, but we need to see what Lebron says first.”

  93. @100 Ted

    Boston is also losing Rasheed to retirement, possibly Ray Allen to free agency, Pierce is expected to opt out, Nate (who admittedly didn’t contribute a whole lot except for a few games) will probably sign elsewhere, and Tony Allen is a FA as well. Boston could look a whole lot different next year than this year, and for most of the entire season Orlando was a far superior team. Boston hit that extra gear in the playoffs and completely shut them down, but w/o Sheed and some more of the extra defenders next year, I think Orlando is the better squad, at least without knowing who will be back in Boston other than KG, Rondo, and a gimpy Perkins.

    Also, Miami can’t even do LeBron/Wade/Bosh unless they can get rid of Beasley, which they would have already done if it was possible. No one seems to want the guy. And at that point, their entire roster would be comprised of 4 players (Chalmers), and they would be nearly capped out.


    I think you sell JJ that he’s our #1 option is LeBron turns us down. He has to know he’s not going to be the #1 option for every team out there except maybe Atlanta. There have also been reports that LeBron wants to play with JJ, maybe you sell him on that?

  94. @101

    Jafa, There is a long history of people using talk about the Knicks to drum up or raise salary offers elsewhere — Chris Webber, Phil Jackson, the list just goes on and on and on.

    So I wouldn’t guess that because some “confidant of JJ” says the Knicks are atop his list, that we need to plan for his imminent commitment on July 2nd. This all may take a while.

    In fact, although I’m glued to my computer this week like everyone else here, I would say that Eddy Curry’s salary means our little experiment in free agency will start this week but may not be over for a year or longer.

  95. Yeah, but in the old days, it was “Chris Webber will take the mid-level to come to the Knicks.”

    We all knew that was a BS pipe dream.

    Same with Phil Jackson – “Phil is going to come coach a shitty team!”

    Joe Johnson, however, makes perfect sense to come play for the Knicks. By the way, Broussard was throwing around numbers like 6 years/$96 million (an average of $16 per). I know the math is not that difficult, but I just don’t feel like doing it – anyone know offhand what the lowest amount the Knicks can offer in Year 1 for the contract to average out at $16 million? If it is something like $13, then the Knicks could do the same thing with Stoudemire and come out at $26 million committed the first year, giving them still $8 million to spend on free agents.

    Even better still, if it is $13 million, they could then spend up to $10.5 million on free agents and then re-sign David Lee for $13 (or more!).

    $10.5 could get you Tyson Chandler and Walker.

    Then you would have the vet minimum for Barron and (knock on wood that he would take it) Livingston.

    PG Douglas/Livingston
    SG Johnson/Rautins
    SF Gallo/Chandler/Fields
    PF Lee/Gallo/Garcia
    C Chandler/Barron/Jordan

    Hmmm…that’s actually a feasible team, right (except Livingston)?

  96. “I say offer JJ less than the max and if you get outbid so be it.”

    Agree 100000000%. I don’t want Johnson at the max. Ideally maybe a 5 year deal (which means a respectable 33 his final year), and if you don’t need the cap space up front maybe you make is declining year-to-year (probably better not to since you assume you’re capped out later). I just think that hypothetically that’s not the worst thing the Knicks could do, since I think a certain former UConn SF might be a worse play depending on how high his price-tag is bid up. Raymond Felton, to me, would be a million times worse play (that I doubt Walshtoni make since he can’t shoot). Etc.

    Again, it’s not that I love Joe Johnson, but for the Allan Houston example there are also the Reggie Miller, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen (bad year, but just couldn’t shoot), Kobe, Manu, VC, Jason Terry, etc. examples of guys who age well. Houston was also a lot more one-dimensional scorer than Johnson.

    Rightly or wrongly, Boston’s Finals run will probably mean that this season’s NBA philosophy is “age is just a number.” NBA seems to be very reactionary to trends. For example: no one wants to draft high school guys and Euros early… guys are undervalued and drop, everyone wants to draft them early… they get overvalued and bust, no one wants to draft them again… they outlaw them… Not NBA, but Jerry Jones passes on Randy Moss, never forgets it, so the next time a talented but troubled WR comes along clearly he is Randy Moss #2 and Jones jumps on him. You just hope Walshtoni find some balance and don’t hop on the wildly swinging pendulum.

    Agree on this being a waste of time. But entertaining nonetheless.

    I’m just not that worried about the holes on D because they can be filled later. And the chances of D’Antoni filling them with a traditional C/PF combo–i.e. Ewing/Oakley–are next to zero. Knicks need to find one Jerome Jordan to step up at the 5 and/or a stretch 4 who can defend. Suns had Amare at the 5 (and Steve the Matador Nash) and had a top 15 defense at least one season. If, say, they get Johnson and Amare, they need to fill in some Diaw’s, Marion’s, and Raja Bell’s around them. Between Douglas, Gallo, WC, Fields, Jerome Jordan, Washington/Garcia… maybe they’ve got one or two of those guys.

  97. Hmmm…in my last scenario, let’s say you forget Chandler and instead use the $10.5 to re-sign Barron and Walker plus Livingston and Kurt Thomas. That’s even more realistic!

    Kurt Thomas could be a serviceable center next season while you hope that one of Barron or Jordan can be good enough to start (plus, of course, you still have Chandler/Curry’s money to trade for someone else).

  98. @101 Jafa

    It’s a good question. I obviously have no experience dealing with those matters.

    My (ignorant and pretty useless) opinion on the subject: make your pitch to Johnson without making a formal offer. You might save the $s for the agent anyway. Go all out to convince him NY is the place and he should take less money and 5 years to come to NY. Once in NY he will be teamed with another big name, a “great” coach who loves him, and a good young team that will complement him (lots of shooters) and grow up around him. It will be the most fun he’s ever had and he’ll cement his legacy as a HOF player… Tell him whatever the hell he wants to hear. D’Antoni knows him, so he might have an idea what JJ wants to hear.
    I would definitely risk losing Joe Johnson before giving up on LeBron/Wade without the chance to at least pitch them on NYK. I don’t think you tell him he’s less of a priority than LeBron, though, even if he knows it’s true. Just tell him you want to meet with everyone before you make your offers. At least make him feel like he’s part of the club of elite 2010 FAs.

    You can pitch Johnson on playing with LeBron, too.

  99. “Some solid-to-good NBA players do not appear on your 2nd “$164 mill” list. Of course, I don’t know if you included MLEs in you initial calculations, which could mean more money chasing those guys. Childress, Tony Allen, Josh Howard, Brad Miller, Tim Thomas, Linas Kleiza, Morrow, Craig Smith, Jordan Farmar, Brewer (RFA), Lowry (RFA), Dorell Wright, Sergio, Redick, Barnes (opt-out), Frye, Bogans, Bonner, Mason, Amir Johnson, Antonie Wright, Wes Matthews, Kyle Korver, Randy Foye (RFA)”

    Yeah– those guys are available to everyone thanks to the Mid-Level exception, so I left them out. I also think that there will be at least one team out there that would rather have 1 Rudy Gay @ $13 mil than a combination of Josh Howard, Kyle Korver, and Tim Thomas at the same price…

    “Pierce is expected to opt out”

    I don’t think he’s leaving Boston.

    “unless they can get rid of Beasley, which they would have already done if it was possible”

    It is very possible. They can give him away for free to any number of teams: Washington, Clippers, Wolves. He is on his rookie contract for two more years. It would be the easiest salary dump ever.

  100. @103 jaddddd1,

    It’s possible, but right now I’ll give Boston the benefit of the doubt. I doubted them all playoffs, and they constantly surprised me.

    Their core will still be there: KG, Pierce, Rondo, Perkins… that’s a tough squad.

    -If KG, Pierce, Allen, etc. all lean on Sheed not to retire, maybe he won’t. If he doesn’t want to come back, his contract effectively becomes an expiring deal they can use in trades.
    -They have to be the favorites to retain Ray Allen, though finding a spot-up shooter to replace a lot of what he gives them might not be the hardest thing in the world.
    -Tony Allen said he’s a Celtic for life, and they have his and Nate’s bird rights. Those guys are free to walk, but if Boston wants to they can try to match any offer.
    -Avery Bradley has bigtime upside and a game that might play better in the NBA than NCAA (could be this year’s Jrue Holiday…). Could at least be a nice 4th guard next season, if not 3rd guard.
    -They once again have the MLE this offseason to go for another Sheed type impact player. Maybe you see Shaq in a green&white calling himself the “Big Leprechaun” next season. That actually might be one of his 1st choices… chance to win rings and show up Kobe.

    I don’t know if they were worse than Orlando all season, but they beat them in 6 games when it mattered.

  101. @110 Z

    Beasley’s rookie deal is pretty close to the MLE. They can probably find a taker if all they ask is some cash or a future 2nd. I assume the major hang-up is that Miami wants some sort of return, but at $5 & $6 mill the next two seasons Beasley is not a $1-2 mill rookie deal guy. The teams that can pick him up with cap space might prefer to wait and see what free agents they can attract before helping out the Heat. Or even use the leverage they might have as a the only buyer down the line to get other assets out of the Heat and get Beasley, Chalmers, and pick(s) for, say, $200,000.

    Brian re: 105 & 108

    Definitely some interesting possibilities. Plenty of stuff can happen. I wouldn’t count on Kurt Thomas for too much… would probably rather take a surer thing in Tyson Chandler than roll the dice on Livingston. (Don’t know what D’Antoni thinks of either since neither can shoot the ball.)

    I believe Walker (assuming you mean Bill) has already had his option picked up. He’s a Knick next season, I believe. Barron is a minimum salary guy to me. Nice little end of the bench find, but I don’t expect him to be a rotation player in a good rotation.

  102. @111 Ted

    You make a convincing argument. If everyone comes back, Boston is probably stronger.

    I still maintain Orlando was superior to Boston for much of last season though. Boston might have been coasting, waiting to turn it on at the playoffs, but Orlando has put up back-to-back 59 win seasons and for much of this season was a top defensive team with a very good offense. Boston seemed to shut it down from game 45 to game 82 and then turned it on some time around Game 3 of the Miami series. Boston, at full strength, assuming everyone comes back, probably has a better collection of talent, but for almost all of last season, Orlando was better. Granted, when it counted, Boston kicked their ass. The main point I was making there though isn’t whether we would be better or worse than Boston or Orlando, but that a Knicks team with Bosh and LeBron is presumably no worse than 3rd in the East, and most of the mainstream media would have you believe it’s a 6-8 seed headed for a 1st-round knockout, which I think we can all agree just isn’t true. The East is MUCH weaker than the West, and if you have LeBron AND Bosh on your team, you’re pretty likely to be in the ECF and maybe the Finals.

  103. @113

    Yeah, I agree with the larger point. Should LBJ/Bosh come to NYK and Miami get Wade + a couple of B-list guys (say Joe Johnson/Rudy Gay and Amare/Lee/Boozer/Tyson Chandler) and Chicago picks up scoring with its cap space I would say Miami, Chicago, and maybe Atlanta and the Bucks are their comp for the #3ish seed, and they could even surprise people if a few young guys step up and take a #1 or #2 seed. Charlotte, Chicago, Philly aren’t bad. Every team has question marks, though.

    It’s up to Walshtoni to convey all this to LBJ. He should be deep into the playoffs year one, and more importantly without him those other teams aren’t that good.

  104. Definitely some interesting possibilities. Plenty of stuff can happen. I wouldn’t count on Kurt Thomas for too much… would probably rather take a surer thing in Tyson Chandler than roll the dice on Livingston. (Don’t know what D’Antoni thinks of either since neither can shoot the ball.)

    The only “problem” with Chandler is that he would take up most of that $10.5, right? That’s why I was thinking about Livingston, Thomas, plus another player, too, as how much can those two expect to make?

    But an elite talent like Chandler might be better than a bunch of $3-4 million guys anyway!

    I believe Walker (assuming you mean Bill) has already had his option picked up.

    Not yet (it does seem like a formality, but still).

  105. Not sure I get the whole “everyone is destined to be overpaid because there is so much cap space” argument.

    We’re in a recession, numerous teams are trying to shed salary rather than add it, and doesn’t it just seem like many GMs are wising up to the value of cap space + using cap space wisely?

    If the Knicks do ‘strike out’ I sure as shit hope that they smartly spend some percentage of their money on guys who will improve the team, and not overreach on a guy like Gay (who I also do not like), leaving some amount of cap space open so we can A) absorb a star player in a trade, B) spend more money next year. The absolutely worst case scenario is that we spend all of our money, have no picks, and still field a lottery team. And it could happen, if we pick the wrong guys.

    On another note, I sort of think the whole Joe Johnson gambit is a way for the Knicks to suggest to LeBron that they have somebody on board. Though I’m not entirely clear why LeBron would want to play with JJ over any of the free agent bigs, or D Wade for that matter. So while the Bulls can say they have Rose and Noah, the Knicks can then say they have JJ and Gallo, make an argument that they better complement LeBron, and suggest there is still room for more help with the Fat Eddy contract to move and whatever cap space remains. I just don’t see how the Knicks as currently constructed, adding LeBron and Johnson but no significant big men, would not get spanked by Boston or Orlando (or maybe Chicago if they add a Lee or Boozer or Stoudemire) next year.

  106. We’re in a recession, numerous teams are trying to shed salary rather than add it, and doesn’t it just seem like many GMs are wising up to the value of cap space + using cap space wisely?

    The economy was possibly even worse last year and teams still spent madly.

    Most teams will use up their cap room (see Detroit Pistons’ 2009 offseason).

  107. The potential situations and my preemptive grades:

    A: LeBron and Bosh, LeBron and Stoudemire, Chris Paul and anyone, handing out zero max deals while we wait for CP3 to come to NY

    B: LeBron and Wade, Wade and Bosh, Wade and Stoudemire

    C: LeBron and (ugh) Joe Johnson, Stoudemire and anyone else, Bosh and anyone else

    D: Joe Johnson at max, Carlos Boozer, et al.

    F: Rudy Gay getting a m*th*r-f***ing max deal at the expense of the 2011 and 2012 drafts

    X: Isiah Thomas’ reanimated corpse comes back as President, GM, and Player-Coach

  108. According to NBA.com, Wilson Chandler said that he, Toney, Bill, and even Eddy are working hard EVERY day at the training facility. Two things: 1) Where’s Gallo? and 2) Eddy Curry working hard? Makes me wonder if he can lose more weight and actually make an NBA rotation next season. I think (more like hope) that Eddy realizes that this could very well be his last year in the NBA, and he comes out, makes D’Antoni’s rotation, gets in great (or at least better) shape, and has a career year. Okay, no way Eddy Curry has a season producing more than 19 ppg and 7 rpg now, but maybe he’ll be as useful as Jared Jeffries was last year.

  109. @Jowles

    LeBron James AND Dwyane Wade wearing Knicks jerseys in 2010-11 would be a B grade for you? Remind me not to take your seminar, professor. That’s a mighty steep grading scale.

    Maybe that’s not a championship team. I guess. But can you tell me you wouldn’t be watching every single minute of that most spectacular duo?


    Yeah, I’ll pencil in 10 points and 8 rebounds for Eddy Curry. Meanwhile, I’m also betting that Charlie Brown makes that field goal.

  110. I know Chicago has the most talented roster right now, but I’m just not seeing it. Joining the Knicks has a singular narrative – greatest player chooses the greatest stage to resurrect a long-struggling franchise. Besides, James running D’antoni’s offense would blow people’s minds. How could anything else really trump that?

  111. LeBron and Wade would be fantastic, but what do you do against the Lakers (with two all-star quality seven-footers) and the Magic (best true center in the game), not to mention Tim Duncan (who is still worth a max contract) and the Celtics’ big frontcourt?

    The problem is that with high usage guys, you can’t do much except let them drive to the rim. What does Wade do when LeBron drives to the hole? It creates matchup problems, of course, but I think getting a legit 6’10” outside scoring threat (imagine that on the other side of Gallo! Insane!) would put them as prime contenders in the East.

  112. Also, I don’t think Chicago’s roster is that talented.

    According to WS/48 and TS%, Deng is ever-so-slightly above average. Derrick Rose is a score-first point guard who doesn’t do much outside from take shots. By comparison, Rose put up a WS/48 of 0.100 in his second season. Guess what DWTDD’s WS/48 was? If you guessed 0.097, you were right! But of course, ESPN calls Rose the next “great” point guard, and Toney Douglas is a benchwarmer on a bad Knicks team, so how could he be acclaimed for his outstanding rookie TS% of .571? He couldn’t! Joakim Noah is an excellent young player, but if the Knicks put together a deal for Kevin Love (who, according to the numbers, probably belongs on an All-NBA team), they’d be ready for the playoffs. And given McHale’s ineptness, getting Love wouldn’t cost much.

    The reality is that the Knicks have an excellent core for being primarily comprised of late 1st-round and 2nd-round picks, and if LeBron is duped into thinking that that team is worth playing in MJ’s shadow for the rest of his peak years, he’s got another thing coming. Unfortunately, the odds are that he’ll be joined by Bosh, and they’ll add up to 50 Wins Produced between the two of them, making Derrick Rose look like the All-Star he’s not.

  113. The reality is that the Knicks have an excellent core for being primarily comprised of late 1st-round and 2nd-round picks

    Overall, I agree, but I think it’s worth noting that their best player is an early first rounder.

  114. @124,123, I’m sorry but getting love would be very hard. No way hahn let’s him go.

  115. I can see Johnson improving greatly on the knicks paired with Boozer or Amare. In Atlanta, he had frankly an awful offensive system and few 3pt shooters (only Williams.). Here he would be sandwiched between Gallo and Douglas who ate both around 40%. His playmaking would allow Douglas to come along slowly and learn the system. He and Gallo would make for giant wingmen. Boozer or Amare would provide great inside scoring – Boozer is probably a better fit because of his polished low post moves and his rebounding at the 4. Lee is an option as a great rebounder, but less effective as a post scorer/alley ooper and very weak on D. This is what Johnson was sorely lacking in ATL. Horford/Smith were abysmal post scorers and therefore, 2nd and 3rd options. If Gallo comes into his own next year, how great would it be to have Johnson as a 3rd option? Of course Lebosh is the first choice, but would a Douglas/Johnson/Gallo/Boozer/Jordan lineup really make people barf? This would be our most competitive team since Ewing. Look, Bibby/Johnson/Williams/Smith/Horford with no system was a 4th seed! I know Smith and Horford are great defensive players, but you have to think this team could do that in year 1. Then Curry gets you an upgrade at point or a dominant center or even a strong bench guy, and you’ve got even more assets. Maybe I’m more positive than I should be, but even with a 2a and 2b guy, I’ll be happy. If we strike out entirely… That’s a different matter all together.

  116. Ted,
    I would envision Stoudemire at the 5 and Lee at the 4, so don’t see how would they cut into each other’s playing time. In fact, Lee could play some 5 and Amar’e some 4, so they actually seem to complement each other well when foul trouble or matchups call for it. This also keeps Gallo at the 3 where he belongs for now.

    I see Amar’e as the more valuable asset compared to Johnson in 3-4 years. I also think that while he and Johnson are both below-average to average defenders, Amar’e has more defensive upside (he’s never really played for a defensive-minded coach, not that he would be here!) If the day comes when you need to deal Lee maybe 3-4 year down the road, Amar’e will probably still be a premier PF and could probably be traded. Johnson at age 32-33 at near-max or max money? I like the Allan Houston comparison.

    Agree on Garcia, might never play in NBA but worth a peek in Vegas for $0 investment. Also agree that Jerome Jordan is the best chance we have at a defensive center for now.

    Food for thought (no pun intended!): now that Curry is in a contract year, and that he has had ample time to get into shape and get healthy, is he possibly a rotation player for us this year?

  117. Seriously, adding Lebron and Bosh will make any roster look good (see.. all of Lebron’s Cleveland teams).

    In terms of complimentary pieces, future flexibility and potential for grandiosity, NYC definitely trumps Chicago. I love Joakim Noah, but that’s about it.

    Also, re: 6’10” legitimate scoring threat? Paging Channing Frye…although apparently Jerome Jordan can shoot it out to 18 feet, so maybe there’s some potential there.

  118. @117


    @118 and 120

    LeBron/Wade is honestly my FIRST choice. MJ/Pippen part 2, and no defensive liability inside (which most 2010 free agent bigs are). Two All-NBA defenders on the wing, add a bigman with Curry or 2011 cap space or an under the radar move.
    Offensively two guys who do everything amazingly well don’t really step on each other’s feet (it’s not like bigs where there’s scarce space to operate… the perimeter is massive) if they share the ball/glory.

    re: 122… What does Bosh do against Bynum AND Gasol? What does he do against Howard? He gets run over by all of the above, called RuPaul, and hopes to trade baskets with them… Amare, Boozer, Lee… none are particularly strong defenders that would help much against top frontcourts. Since D’Antoni may only play one bigman, it could be particularly important that he’s actually big and good defensively.
    You have Gallo and Douglas to shoot (and Walker and Fields/Rautins/Carroll). If LeBron drives and draws the D, he can kick it to Wade. You can’t double both of those guys. Maybe you pick one to double. Now a great 3-pt shooter is wide open, hopefully an efficient bigman (to be names later), and one of the best players in the NBA is going 1-on-1. James is also a mediocre jump shooter (not bad) and no matter what teams aren’t leaving either of those guys wide open even from 3. Their 3 pt% could improve significantly as they see less defensive attention.


    I think you’re fine being hopeful, but certainly can’t expect Eddy to do anything and 110% can’t expect any trade value until at least the deadline.


    That’s the dream…

  119. @128

    Two things. 1. There’s only so much space around the basket. 2. D’Antoni. D’Antoni is unlikely to have two guys camped out inside. He’s either going to cut minutes or force them to take more outside shots than they really should. They can’t run as much as D’Antoni might like. For another coach, maybe, for D’Antoni I think you have diminishing returns.

  120. Regarding my previous statements, what would you all prefer – JJ and Amare/Boozer or JJ and Lee plus $10.5 million worth of other players?

  121. What really scares me about the LeBron sweepstakes is Vegas now has the odds at Chicago 1-5 and the rest of the suitors at 4-1 and up. Say what you will about the bookies out there, they always do seem to get it right (see NFL point spreads)

  122. Sorry Brian no chance in hell they could sign JJ/Lee for 22 million leaving 10.5 million left to spend. Maybe they could get those 2 for a combined 26 million but I think it is pretty clear Lee is gone anyway.

    I know Im in the minority here but I would rather have JJ and Amare and I wouldnt be upset at all if that happens to be honest. Shoot me for not being pissed that after 9 years of crap signing those 2 players will lead to an immediate 50 win season with hopes that future moves/signings could lead to a true championship contending team.

  123. @132 “Regarding my previous statements, what would you all prefer – JJ and Amare/Boozer or JJ and Lee plus $10.5 million worth of other players?” BC

    I would prefer JJ and Lee with some cap flexibility so we can improve the roster by methods other than taking on worse contracts (Rose, Davis) or overpaying for at best middling talent with the MLE (James, Jeffries). Being under the cap means you could even absorb a player in a trade without matching up salaries. You just give yourself the most options with cap space.

    I dont want JJ at the max but it wont kill me if we save some cap room and get a post defender.

  124. I would prefer to go after a cheaper wing instead of Johnson or Gay. Childress, Miller and Morrow would in my opinion be better options than Johnson or Gay. While they will not be bargains, no bargains this year, they should all have signifigantly smaller contracts and be much less of a long term risk. Also if we miss on the big three then going after a cheaper wing like one of those three combined with Lee, whose cap hold is 10.5 mil, we would still have alot of money to add some size; Amir Johnson, Haywood, Chandler, Mahimi, take Biedrins for cap space.

    Remember with Lee no matter how much he costs he will only count 10.5 mil against our cap as long as we sign him last. So for all intents and purposes he will be 5+ mil cheaper than Boozer or Amare which make him a better option.

  125. Sorry Brian no chance in hell they could sign JJ/Lee for 22 million leaving 10.5 million left to spend. Maybe they could get those 2 for a combined 26 million but I think it is pretty clear Lee is gone anyway.

    I am deeply offended that you didn’t catch my earlier post on the topic. ;)

    Seriously, though, for the JJ/Lee thing to work, you’d be able to sign JJ for $13.5 million (with raises eventually getting him to an average of $16), then you add in Lee’s cap hold of $10.5, bringing you to $24 million. You would then have $10 million to spend (I said $10.5 million before, but that’s when I thought $13 million would get to 6 years/$96 million, but it does not).

    Then once you spend the $10 million, you could then re-sign Lee for anything you’d like.

    The Knicks have $34 million free, right? If it is $32 million, then just change the $10 to $8.

  126. You are assuming Lee will just wait around forever for the Knicks to re-sign him and if they do re-sign Lee for whatever they want all that would do is cut into any salary cap space they would have next season if they just let Curry’s contract play out.

    No chance in hell (love that line lol) the Knicks dont renounce Lee’s rights. BTW for everyone saying they dont want JJ instead they want younger perimeter players you guys really have no problems sitting through more shitty seasons with no high draft picks possible the next 2 seasons. You guys make it seem like JJ is the same age as Ray Allen. Plus the Allan Houston comparisons arent fair since he had a major knee injury that ended his career and the fact is he was actually becoming a better player as he got older and while he and JJ are very similar with the way they score JJ is a much better passer which bodes well for his game as he ages. Plus his contract will run out the same time as Ray Allen’s has now for the Celtics.

    I mean what now we are too good to have an “old, not that good” Joe Johnson???? Seriously???? Its hilarious that us fans of a team that hasnt been over .500 for 9 straight seasons are now belittling almost all of the FA’s not named LeBron and Bosh as not being worth signing because they are too expensive. I understand the whole overpaying thing but what so giving JJ and Amare a max instead of saving a few million bucks is worth not signing them and continue to suck for years by missing out on all the top FA’s????

  127. 127,

    Josh Smith was the best player on the Hawks last year. I cannot believe he’s only 24. If he were a FA this offseason, he’d be on the wishlist behind LBJ, Wade, and Bosh.

  128. You are assuming Lee will just wait around forever for the Knicks to re-sign him and if they do re-sign Lee for whatever they want all that would do is cut into any salary cap space they would have next season if they just let Curry’s contract play out.

    David Lee has already said that he will wait until the other agents sign (which is smart – wait for the teams who whiff on the big free agents to come a-crawlin’).

    And even if he didn’t, the idea would be that you agree to contract terms with him and just tell him that you just have to technically sign these other guys first, that’s all (it can all be the same day, even).

    It would only cut 3-4 mil out of the Curry money (if they wanted to not trade his contract, of course). It’s not like Curry’s money is enough for a top of the line free agent, anyways.

  129. True Curry’s contract wouldnt give us a max next season but still 11 million bucks is alot, granted with the new CBA who knows what it will mean for next off-season.

  130. BTW my mini-rant about Joe Johnson is not about please I hope we sign him but rather if the Knicks miss out on LBJ/Bosh/Wade I am not gonna be bitching and moaning if they sign JJ and Amare like apparently most here will be doing, hell I will be pretty excited that I can go into a Knicks season actually expecting to make the playoffs.

  131. “Tony Allen said he’s a Celtic for life, and they have his and Nate’s bird rights.”

    Didn’t Nate give up his Bird rights when he agreed to the trade.

    “True Curry’s contract wouldnt give us a max next season but still 11 million bucks is alot”

    Eddy Curry will be traded before the deadline. I guarantee it.

    Think of it this way: the Knicks can add $20 million worth in new players if they trade him and (at most) $11 million if they don’t.

  132. Didn’t Nate give up his Bird rights when he agreed to the trade.

    I believe so.

  133. So, since I gave up dreaming about getting any of the Big 3 (LBJ, Wade, Bosh), I’m hoping the Knicks somehow keep Lee (which feels like less and less of a possibility) and, add Joe Johnson or Gay (but not for the max) and then try to round out the team with some quality roll players or young ‘n hungry guys. Then again, I’d rather suffer through another year (what’s one more on top of a decade of futility?) and get Curry off the books (or use him in a trade) than overpay 2 players not worth the max.

  134. Giving $10M to Joe Johnson or Gay next year means they will probably get six-year deals where they’ll eventually make $18M and be even more overpaid than they would be at $10M. Giving a contract to either of them would be a huge mistake. We’re in trouble.

  135. We will not actually have 11 million dollars next year if we use all our cap space this season and let Curry expire. We have to take into account the raises our $32 million worth of new contracts will have, which will be at least $3-4 million, plus Gallo’s and Douglas’s raises, plus contracts for Walker and Chandler if we want to keep them. Plus if we use all our cap room signing free agents the cap holds on the rest of the roster spots are for rookie contracts, any veterans we sign at their minimum will put us over the cap further cutting into next years cap room.

    Curry’s value is as a tradeable contract. We need to operate on the assumption that we will trade it rather than have actual cap space next year. The only way the cap space from Curry’s contract is more valuable than it’s value as a tradeable contract is if we save some space from this year and with Curry’s contract end up with $10 million+ cap room next year. Otherwise we should trade it to build the roster and not worry about saving money for next year.

    If we are smart we will not renounce Lee until the instant we need the cap space.

    I would not be pissed if we signed JJ but I believe there are much smarter backup plans for LeBron than overpaying a 29 year old SG with average effiency and average defense. He’s a great player but is he really worth twice as much as Miller, Childress or Morrow. I also would not be pissed if we signed Amare but I would much much rather keep Lee. It’s not that I don’t want these players on my team it’s that we have a real opportunity here and we need to not blow it spending all our cap space on two good, but not great players. I would rather take a cheaper wing, resign Lee and then have real money to sign one more big name or a couple mid level players.

  136. What I want to know is the whole sign a cheaper wing player, re-sign Lee then have real money to sign one more big name player thing is who the hell is that big name player then???? If its not Amare or JJ and certainly not LBJ or Bosh than who???? It aint gonna be Dirk or Paul Pierce and not Boozer I would hope if Lee is re-signed. Certainly not Rudy Gay I would pray. So who is the other big name guy?? Instead sign a couple of mid level players so we will have the same exact team with Lee and Gallo as our 2 best players but just more depth. Wow great.

    The only way I see that working out is if Curry is traded for a legitimate player. If that happens then by all means I am on board with that plan. But if its to trade for Collison and Okafor as many suggest than man Im sorry but they will be fighting just to make the playoffs.

    Look I actually have ALOT of faith in Donnie Walsh in putting together a very good team w/o signing one of the big 3 FA and have said so the whole time that not signing one of those 3 FA is not a doomsday scenario by any stretch of the imagination. If the Knicks do strike out on even the next tier of FA’s like JJ and Amare Im gonna be pretty disappointed but will wait to see what happens and hopefully they put together a team like you stated. But Im pretty damn sure that is plan F for the Knicks right now and I hope it doesnt have to come down to that because the margin for error becomes pretty enormous by that point.

  137. Q: if we don’t get LeBron or Wade, would the following combination be better than adding any of JJ, Amare, or Bosh at the max:

    DLee @ $13m
    Tyson Chandler @ $11m
    Mike Miller @ $6m

    Bosh and Lee aren’t very different, at least not as different as $12m and $16m. Lee’s primary problem is not being able to defend well…thus, Chandler, an excellent defender. Because of physical problems, his game has declined, but I’m sure he’ll get $11m from someone. Then there’s the underrated, very efficient Mike Miller, who should be getting $10m from someone but probably won’t. We’d have a team that could defend OK and could shoot and rebound like crazy. We’d be missing the playmaker JJ could be, but we could again use DLee as a point forward, with Miller, Douglas, Gallo all able to extend the defense.

    Not sexy, and again, only if we whiff on Wade/LeBron. But that would make a much more complementary team for CP3.

  138. I think Mike Miller would be a great signing but again look at the team you went with. So we would basically be adding Tyson Chandler and Miller to our team from last season. Plus I dont understand this thinking that CP3 would be easy for the Knicks to acquire. He is not a FA for another 2 years if Im not mistaken and there is no sane reason whatsoever for the Hornets to trade him especially to the Knicks for just basically salary cap relief with Curry’s contract (throwing in Chandler and/or Douglas and taking back more bad contracts from the Hornets is something Im sure they can do alot better for CP3).

  139. @127 and 139
    Atlanta was the #2 offense in the entire league last season, hard to get much better than that. Smith and Horford are both as good as Johnson. Jamal Crawford last season as well. Bibby and Crawford both shot 38-39% on 3s last season, while Williams only shot 30%…

    THCJ, Horford was only 23 as well. Smith is a very good player, but if he were a FA he’d be looking max. He really is a 3rd or 4th scoring option, so that’s a lot of $. Plus the attitude questions. Definitely a great x-factor, though. I would be very interested, but not falling over myself for the Knicks to sign him at the max. Outside of not having 3pt range, would be a great PF for D’Antoni.

    @136 Ben R
    Anthony Morrow, really? Bill Walker looks like he’ll give you the same or more at a fraction of the cost.

    @143 Z
    “Didn’t Nate give up his Bird rights when he agreed to the trade.”

    Yeah, good catch, I think that’s true.

    @146 THCJ

    Contrary to popular belief, the sky is not falling. If a contract starts at $10 million, the most it can reach without a s&t is 13.2 mill and with a s&t is 15.25 mill. Raises are based on the first year of the contract, they do no compound.
    Joe Johnson will be overpaid, but you can win 53 games and have the #2 offense in the league with him as one of your top 3 players. That’s a fact, because Atlanta just did that.

  140. @147 Ben R & 149 BBA

    Great points, Ben, about Curry’s value and renouncing Lee.

    I agree with a lot of Ben’s Johnson/Amare sentiment. However, I also agree with BBA re: 149. A team of Lee, Morrow and two other MLE type guys is not likely to be much better than last season’s Knicks. Same goes for Mike Miller and probably Childress as well (depending on how much he’s improved in Greece). Morrow especially is a really limited guy. Miller hasn’t much helped Minnesota or the Wizrads win games. Last time he was in the NBA Childress was a nice complementary piece, but a low volume scorer. Knicks are losing solid mid-level types in Harrington and Nate from the last few seasons (not to mention Duhon and talents like Crawford and Randolph before that), so I have a hard time seeing replacing them with limited upside MLE value guys taking the Knicks to the playoffs. The right combo might work, but I might be more comfortable getting a solid offensive 1-2-3 punch in Amare/Lee, Johnson, and Danilo going and fill in the Chandler’s, Douglas’, Walker’s, etc.’s around them. That should be a top 10, top 5 maybe offense. The big advantage I could see is if a cheaper Childress/Miller/Morrow type takes a short deal.

    @150 rama

    I tend to think Bosh is worth at least $4 mill more than Lee. Bosh is a real primary scorer who can carry a top 5 offense, and has done so before. He scores at a higher volume and lives at the FT line. His passing is just as good, he just didn’t run the offense the way Lee did last season. His length makes it seem like he could be a strong defender in the right situation and if he applied himself. $4 million may or may not make much of a difference. Could add that to Curry for a max guy.

    My answer, I guess, would be Bosh and Chandler may be better than those three. While I like Mike Miller, the Knicks have a bunch of good young wing scorers. Miller is a very useful role player who would probably thrive for D’Antoni, but between Gallo, Walker, Douglas, and maybe Fields and/or Rautins he becomes pretty redundant.
    At the same time, D’Antoni is unlikely to use/like Chandler at a true PF like Lee or Bosh. No one shooting 3s… I doubt the Knicks will add Chandler and a PF who can’t shoot the 3, but I hope I’m wrong and they at least would do that if it’s their best option.

    Again, I agree with BBA in 152.

  141. To revisit the post-draft discussion, I was not alone thinking the Knicks hurt their LeBron chances with the draft:

    “If it wasn’t for Newark for two years, they [the Nets] would probably be the winner,” the individual said. “But they probably have surpassed the Knicks. I think the Knicks hurt themselves with the draft.”

    It’s an anonymous source with “ties to LeBron” in the Post, so it doesn’t prove much of anything. Still, it wasn’t a totally crazy thought.

  142. Certainly not Rudy Gay I would pray. So who is the other big name guy??

    My plan named JJ as a piece, so obviously I’m down with JJ. Not like “Rah rah, JJ, yeah!” but I think him, Lee plus $8-10 million worth of free agents along the lines of Chandler then using Curry for whoever would be the way to go if they whiff on Lebron/Wade/Bosh.

  143. I think you guys have a much higher opinion of JJ than me. He was the third best player on the Hawks this year and barely better than the fourth best player. He has never had a TS% over 56% and only topped 55% twice in his career, he is an average rebounder, at best, and is only an average defender. He is a good passer but Miller is almost as good and players like Crawford are just as good. Career per 36:

    Johnson – 17.2 ppg, 4.1 reb, 4.4 ast, 52.8% TS%
    Crawford – 17.2 ppg, 3.0 reb, 4.5 ast, 52.4% TS%
    Miller – 15.2 ppg, 5.7 reb, 3.6 ast, 57.7% TS%

    He is not an elite 2 guard. He is a good 2 guard but clearly below the elite wing players. I do not really understand how he has gotten to be thought of as such a good player. He is a borderline all-star and nothing more, that does not seem like the player that will raise out of the cellar.

  144. Ben R,

    Johnson is not an elite guy, but he’s good. I don’t know if teams are actually looking to max him out. If nothing else his miserable playoff performance should convince them he’s not a max guy. It could just be media hype. Maybe he’ll get a max deal with all the money floating around, but that doesn’t mean every team would do that. (People will get overpaid like every year, but it’s not a perfect market where everyone gets a 20% overvalued contract… some teams might look for value rather than throw money around plus there might be salary dump trades.) Money aside he’s one of the better players on the free agent market. He can be the focal point of your offense, which despite playing with talented teammates he was in Atlanta. He can be involved in 50% of your scores between usage and ast%, and do it at an above average efficiency in terms of TS% and TO%.

    Those stats are a bit misleading: The last 4 seasons his stats have been significantly better than those averages. Around 20 pts, close to 5 asts, TS% closer to 54%. Hawks are also one of the slowest teams in the league.

    Mike Miller, on the other hand, has been trending downwards the past few seasons. While his assist numbers have been good, his TOs have shot up through the roof (TO% > ast% last season). The past two seasons Miller’s only put up 11 pts/36 on terrible teams and his TO% has been above 19 (he turns it over about 1/5 the time he makes a play). Miller is also a better rebounder in part because he plays equal time at the 2 and 3, while Johnson spends over twice as much times at the 2 than 3.

    The Crawford comparisons are scary. One thing I can say is that while Johnson is not a good defender, Crawford is an actively horrible defender. Johnson is a significantly better rebounder, as well, if Miller gets credit for that.
    The hope would be that Johnson has a few career years playing in the backcourt for D’Antoni: TS% around 56 on a healthy volume, ast% around 30. That he’s avoid the 1-20 nights Crawford routinely had and be a significantly better playmaker if called on to run the offense. For 12, 13 mill per for 5 years that’s not terrible. Johnson, bigman scorer, and shooter could result in a top 5-10 offense… which seems to be the Knicks’ biggest goal given their coach’s philosophy and decisions.

  145. The more I think about it, the more I think the Knicks should have made Bosh their 12:01 meeting and #1 target even before LeBron. That way they could have said to LeBron, if you want to play with Bosh, it has to be here. This is now the best place for you to play. The Bulls can’t offer Rose, Noah, and Bosh anymore. If that still didn’t sway LeBron; Bosh is on record saying he wants to be a #1 guy, if you signed him and JJ they would basically be a 1 and 1a. That may be a possible scenario this summer while everyone is assuming that if you get LeBron, you get Bosh too.

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