Jackson, the Checketts Doctrine, and the 2015 Draft

“With the 26th pick in the 1994 NBA draft, the New York Knicks select Charlie Ward from Florida State University.”

These words, spoken on June 29th, 1994 by then-commissioner David Stern, represent the end of an epoch in New York, and the beginning of a new science of roster-building. It wasn’t because the Knicks were drafting a franchise player, or even their point guard of the future. It was because from that day forward a “win now” policy was put in place, favoring older, established, and famous players in favor of youth, upside, and the unknown. Ward, drafted over 20 years ago, is the last Knick draftee to stay in New York past his rookie contract. Everybody to be drafted after him (Iman Shumpert the most recent addition to the list) has either been traded for more established assets, or simply let go for nothing.

How common is it for an NBA team to continually unload it’s young players before their rookie contacts are up? It isn’t common at all. In fact, of the 30 teams in the league, only three others currently lack a draftee on at least their second contract with the team (and of the other three teams, none go even close to as far back as 1995 to re-invest in their own “homegrown” talent). So it is an unprecedented strategy that the Knicks have married themselves to over the past twenty years. And one that history views as curious, to say the least. Every team that has experienced any long-term success in the NBA has been built at least partially via the draft. Yet the Knicks have opted to eschew building through youth completely. And it may not be much of a coincidence that over the last twenty years they own one of the worst combined records in the league.

What happened back in the mid 1990s, and why does the strategy continue today?

Despite the fact that the Knicks, as an organization, had experienced much success in the draft, selecting the rookie of the year in both 1985 and 1988 (Patrick Ewing and Mark Jackson) and a host of other long-tenured contributors (Trent Tucker, Gerald Wilkins, Kenny Walker, Greg Anthony, and Hubert Davis), a decision was made by then President of Basketball Operations Dave Checketts to enter “win now” mode. In 1997 they traded all three of their first-rounders from the year before for the marginally talented and highly-paid veterans Chris Mills and Chris Dudley. The moves were good enough to help keep the team out of the lottery for the next 4 years and even make an improbable run to the NBA finals. But then an interesting thing happened: the Knicks stopped being competitive, yet continued to shed their picks and recent draftees as if the Checkett’s Doctrine was etched in the Foundation Stone upon which Madison Square Garden was built.

For twenty years and counting, the Knicks have been trading picks like each draft would be the last. And the picks they’ve been forced to keep (by the Stepian Rule, which forbids teams from trading their 1st round pick two consecutive years) they’ve hastily found a way to move for the players they prefer: namely any older, more famous, and even more highly paid player that is available to them.

Now, in 2015, the Knicks are staring into the face of a long and painful rebuild. They have their pick, which, coming off of the team’s worst regular season performance in franchise history (17-65), is the #4 pick in the draft. It will be their first time in the lottery in six years, when they drafted Jordan Hill 8th (only to trade him eight months later for the extremely-famous-and-even-more-extremely-oversized contract of Tracy McGrady). But will they keep the pick, or will this pick simply be leveraged into a more established player to help the team get back to respectability sooner rather than later?

Possibilities

Jackson, thus far, has been both strangely candid and miserably aloof in his vision for the Knicks since taking the reigns from Layden/Thomas/Walsh/Grunwald/Mills. His biggest move as president was the re-signing of 30 year-old Carmelo Anthony to a five-year,$124,000,000. After seeing his star player lose half the season to injury, Jackson’s window to make that investment pay off is closing. With all the top prospects in the draft this year all being teenagers, it is hard to see how any of them come into the NBA and make an immediate impact. Traditionally, it takes several years for even the greatest of prospects to develop their NBA bodies and minds. Given the team’s history, and its current needs, it seems all but destined that whomever the Knicks select in this draft will only be passing through on their way to their next stop.

However, Phil Jackson, in his inaugural address last year, promised to bring about a “culture change”. This vague allusion could simply mean installing his trademark Triangle Offense and nothing more. Or, more significantly, it could mean something far more dramatic: namely the long over-due dismantling of the Checketts Doctrine, which has dictated Knicks culture for fifteen years too long now.

Because of the Stephan rule, Jackson cannot trade the pick until at least one second after it’s made (this, courtesy of Jackson’s predecessor trading the team’s 2016 pick for the somewhat-famous-yet-still-ridiculously-overpaid former #1 pick Andrea Bargnani). This, it seems, is a good thing, as even the most cynical fans will get to see Jackson’s selection, at the very least, wear a Knicks hat and smile in pictures with Commissioner Silver before being traded away.

But even if Jackson does decide to trade the player, it wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing for the long-term health of the organization.

The problem with a long-term rebuild is that the Knicks don’t own their 1st round pick in next year’s draft. (They traded it not once but twice, the first time in a swap of picks with Denver for Carmelo Anthony back in 2011, and the second time outright to Toronto for the aforementioned Andrea Bargnani). So it’s hard to sell fans, and even more importantly owner James Dolan, on a lengthy rebuild when Denver and Toronto will be reaping the benefits of any Knick suckage in 2015-16. But Jackson does have an option with the #4 pick that can help mitigate the issue: trade it for a lower 2015 pick and a 2016 first round pick.

The talent in this draft is considered to be deep, but outside of the two centers at the top of the draft, the rest of the lottery remains opaque. Picks 3-14 lack a consensus as to where the most value can be had, indicating that the teams may not be gaining or losing much if the picks were to be reshuffled. So trading down to acquire a future 1st round pick may be the best way to maximize the payoff from their historically bad 2014-15 season.

Unfortunately, trading down for a package of futures is easier said than done, as it takes a trade partner that a) covets a player in the top four of this year’s draft, and b) has picks of value to trade. As of now, there are twelve teams that have already traded their 2016 first round pick or are precluded from trading it by the Stephan rule (Brooklyn, Cleveland, Dallas, Golden State, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Heat, Thunder, Blazers, and Kings). Of the remaining 17 teams, six potentially own more than one 2016 first rounder:

Phoenix owns their own pick and Cleveland’s (protected 1-10).

Chicago owns their own pick and Sacramento’s (protected 1-10).

Toronto owns their own pick and the lesser of the Knicks and Nuggets’.

Philadelphia owns their own pick and the Lakers’ (1-3), the Heat (1-10), and the Thunder’s (1-15).

Boston owns their own pick and the Net’s (unprotected), the Mavericks’ (1-7), and the Timberwolves’ (1-12), as well as 5 2016 second round picks.

Denver owns their own pick as well as the Blazers’ (protected 1-14), Grizzlies’ (6-14 only), and the right to swap picks with the Knicks.

It is not unreasonable to think that the Celtics could be interested in repackaging their litany of picks to move up to #4 this year. They own the #16 and #33 in this years draft, and could throw in either their own pick or the unprotected Nets’ pick in 2016 along with a 2nd rounder or two. Such a trade stands to mutually benefit both teams; however, there is also the inherent risk of trading a future star to a division rival that tends to stymie these kind of transactions.

Philadelphia, with their multitude of future draft assets, is also a potential partner, but already owns the #3 pick in this year’s draft and is, like Boston, a division rival.

That leaves the intriguing prospect of dealing with the Nuggets once again, in an effort to undo some of the damage that has been lingering since 2011. Denver owns the #7 pick, but they are facing losing their current point guard (Ty Lawson), who is rumored to have mutual interest in playing for the Mavericks next year. The best PG prospects in this draft are likely to be taken with the #3 and #4 pick respectively, so it is possible that they may have significant interest in moving up from #7 (where DraftXpress has them selecting Duke swingman Justise Winslow) up to #4. And the cost of doing business with NY would, of course, include giving the Knicks the right to reverse swap picks, effectively taking back their own 2016 pick (while sending Denver’s pick to Toronto).

It will be interesting to see what ultimately becomes of the Knicks’ 2015 draft pick. If it is traded in the minutes, hours, days, or weeks after the draft for Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Al Jefferson, or Kobe Bryant, it will be clear that the Checketts Doctrine remains in effect and there will be no true culture change taking place during the Phil Jackson administration. However, if Jackson is serious about reversing course, he has more options than simply taking the best Triangle player, or the most complementary player to Carmelo Anthony, with the #4 pick. The rebuild in New York stands to be a lengthy one, but there may be opportunities this June to lay a foundation for the next decade of Knick basketball. Will Phil Jackson take the opportunity should they arise, or will the policies of presidents past continue to plague the Knicks’ future?

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45 thoughts to “Jackson, the Checketts Doctrine, and the 2015 Draft”

  1. I think that Denver trade would be a win win for both teams. That is one I’d like to see happen. It would show organizational growth as well as help replenish talent over multiple years. It depends on if Denver thinks they can somehow retain Lawson or not.

  2. I originally thought that by “culture change” that Phil was talking about getting players who play hard (on both ends of the court) and unselfishly. However, he then went and resigned ball stopping Carmelo Anthony. So, maybe he did mean “triangle.”

    Unless blown away by an offer for multiple picks and/or young players with upside, I hope the Knicks keep who they pick and sign a couple of young free agents unless he can use his Jedi mind trick to get Marc Gasol to sign with him. If Denver wants to move up from 7 to 4, they’re gonna have to pay.

  3. I thought he was talking culture change around the time he traded JR and Shump while cutting Dalembert. My take was getting rid of the clowns, base din part on reports of JR and Dalembert spending practice time taking half court shoot shots or some such thing.

  4. Watched the 14 minute Mudiay Draft Express video, and it did nothing to sway me one way or the other. Here he is making a pass to an open shooter, here he is finishing a layup in transition, here he is lobbing for a dunk off of a pick and roll. Didn’t see anything that blew me away in terms of athleticism or instincts, and this is in the China league.

    But really, who the hell knows? I’m sure Harden’s video coming out of Arizona State wasn’t spectacular, and look how that turned out.

  5. Something I have seen Chris Herring mention multiple times in the last few months is that the Knicks have actually had a lot of rookies on All-Rookie teams in the last few years. Landry was a 1st teamer in 2011, Shump a 1st teamer in 2012, THJ a 1st teamer last year, and now Galloway a 2nd teamer this year. Now that isn’t necessarily a perfect proxy for them having lots of young talent, because all-rookie teams have their flaws to say the least, but I do think it shows that at least a chunk of the problem in recent seasons has been the inability to develop the talent that is on hand.

    In particular, both Shump and Landry stagnated badly after initially promising results before being unceremoniously shown the door. THJ was probably not worthy of that 1st team spot, but he did show some flashes as a rookie, and he is another one who has now basically failed to show any progress since entering the league. My point being that not only do the Knicks have to be willing to make a change from their win-now mindset and actually get some young players, but they also need to do a better job of guiding that talent and turning it into productive NBA players.

  6. Watched the 14 minute Mudiay Draft Express video, and it did nothing to sway me one way or the other. Here he is making a pass to an open shooter, here he is finishing a layup in transition, here he is lobbing for a dunk off of a pick and roll. Didn’t see anything that blew me away in terms of athleticism or instincts, and this is in the China league.

    the only thing I got out of his video was how crafty he is in getting around guys – he can blow by you, power through you, has hesitation moves, spin moves, crossovers, anything. He’s way more advanced at that stuff than any 19 year old I’ve seen (not saying much I guess!). The way he gets into the paint is like Chris Paul.

  7. Ward, drafted over 20 years ago, is the last Knick draftee to stay in New York past his rookie contract.

    I did a double take when I read this sentence. If there’s anything that screams “this franchise is doomed,” it’s this.

  8. ” did a double take when I read this sentence. If there’s anything that screams “this franchise is doomed,” it’s this.”

    I hear ya…hopefully there can be some development going forward.

  9. but they also need to do a better job of guiding that talent and turning it into productive NBA players.

    +1

    The Knicks have had the most horrendous talent development in the league. How else do you get regression on EVERY drafted player in the past 10 years (except for Gallo, who was traded 2.5 seasons in)? It’s ridiculous.

    Reason 1: Bad talent development. We had no good coaching in the past for the youth, and when a young player took to the court, Pringles/Goatee would yell incoherently at them all the time. What did TH2, Shumpert, and Fields have in common? They looked lost without a map with the ball in their hands, and at times looked so unconfident that they could have cried. It doesn’t help that Jordan Hill, Gallo, and a few others in the past 10 years did considerably better with another team’s coaches.

    Reason 2: When you have over 80 players in your roster over 10 years (yes, that’s the highest in the NBA), you really, really, lack the consistency needed to develop veteran leadership that can mentor the younger players. I can bring up the 2012 roster with its great veteranship, but I just did. Too bad there aren’t any veterans outside of Melo left, and he doesn’t seem the type to teach, more to lead by example (shaky at best).

    Hopefully, assistant coaches Keefe and Longstaff have had enough experience with OKC’s tremendous talent development history to turn this around, but I don’t see any veterans here that would help.

  10. I highly recommend clicking on the NY Times link in the article about the Chris Mills trade. It’s truly prescient.

    “The outgoing players were not surprised at the trade. One of the players traded, who did not want to be identified, said the move was ”just like the Knicks,” who traded John Wallace in a deal for the veteran backup center Chris Dudley two weeks ago.

    The Knicks’ youngest player is Allan Houston, at 26. Houston, like everyone else, was friends with the traded players, but sees the reason behind the deal.

    ”I don’t think they’re trying to hide their urgency,” Houston said of the Knicks’ management. ”For us as players, at least those of us remaining, it’s not our job to understand.'”

    What about now, Allan? As assistant GM is it your job to understand?

  11. Regarding the Denver 2016 picks, the Memphis pick and Portland picks that are protected could both be in play for them. Depending on how the offseason goes for those two teams, both could realistically end up just outside of their respective protections. Especially Memphis of Gasol leaves. (And if Denver doesn’t get the pick next year, it is only top 1-5 protected in 2017 and 2018, and unprotected in 2019. That team isn’t young and could age into a great pick for Denver down the line).

  12. The interesting play for me is to try to get into the 2016 draft so that they can deal the 2017 pick. That would really open up some trade areas. If they don’t plan on rebuilding, then they are much better off having a 2016 pick than a 2017 pick, as presumably the team will be better in 2017 than they will be in 2016. So if they could somehow get Denver’s pick for 2016 and the #7 pick this year for the Knicks’ 2017 pick and the Knicks’ #4 pick this year, that’d be a good deal. I don’t think Denver would do that, as the odds are that neither the Memphis nor the Portland picks that Denver acquired will vest in 2016, but it’s interesting, at least.

  13. I would hope the Knicks get more out of their #4 than a #7 and exchanging 2017 and 2016 draft picks, no matter how much better they may be in 2017. I think getting two #1s should be a minimum.

  14. I would hope the Knicks get more out of their #4 than a #7 and exchanging 2017 and 2016 draft picks, no matter how much better they may be in 2017. I think getting two #1s should be a minimum.

    Denver is not going to be that great next year, so their 2016 pick could be a very good one, so that’s a lot to give up.

  15. I don’t know, to me:

    2015 #4 + 2017 draft > 2015 #7 + high 2016 draft

    Mostly because Mudiay appears at least a step up from Winslow, WCS, Johnson, Mario, et al. Whereas Mudiay only lacks a spot up shooting touch, all these other guys seem one-dimensional to me.

  16. So if they could somehow get Denver’s pick for 2016 and the #7 pick this year for the Knicks’ 2017 pick and the Knicks’ #4 pick this year, that’d be a good deal. I don’t think Denver would do that, as the odds are that neither the Memphis nor the Portland picks that Denver acquired will vest in 2016, but it’s interesting, at least.

    Brian– How would you feel about the #4 to Denver for the #7 and that Grizzlies 1st rounder. It may not vest in 2016, but the restrictions diminish greatly in 2017 and is unprotected in 2019. It will become a 1st round pick. And their average age is over 29 years old– 3rd oldest in the league and just a hair younger than the ancient Spurs team. So there’s a chance that that pick could be a great asset in the coming years.

  17. I could live with that deal. At the very least, it’s, as you say, a very good trade asset. It’s essentially the two firsts that wetbandit wanted.

  18. I think our problem with developing young players is more a problem with not having good young players. THJ is terrible, and was likely not going to be good coming out of college. He could still improve, but that would take him from being awful to being just bad. Fields got hurt. Jordan Hill is a fine enough player (certainly better than I thought he’d be), but we traded him while he was a rookie, so you can’t blame our player development system for failing him. Shump has become a better 3 point shooter, but he was a bad offensive player after 3 years in college-those guys usually don’t develop into good offensive players in the pros. He’s got nothing to be ashamed of. He’s a useful NBA player and was a decent pick, but I’m not sure he points to some glaring flaw in the Knicks player development machine.

    There are very few sure things in the draft. It certainly helps to draft well and have a good coaching system, but it also helps to draft often high in the draft, and that’s been our biggest problem. We’ve been just good enough to not draft at the very top and we’ve given away picks for no good reason.

  19. I just put up a Basketball Legend about Red Holzman’s start as a pro basketball player. Amazingly enough, he became a pro almost solely due to the fact that he was Jewish. Check it out here.

  20. the only thing I got out of his video was how crafty he is in getting around guys – he can blow by you, power through you, has hesitation moves, spin moves, crossovers, anything. He’s way more advanced at that stuff than any 19 year old I’ve seen (not saying much I guess!). The way he gets into the paint is like Chris Paul.

    I’d be happier with Mudiay than the other guys slotted to be available at #4. Definitely has legit two way potential and we could probably get away with pairing him and Calderon in the backcourt next year. Mudiay + 2 way wing (Danny Green, Demare Carrol) + big seems like the best we can hope for… except that’s probably only good enough to be a 4-5 seed next year.

  21. helps to draft often high in the draft, and that’s been our biggest problem. We’ve been just good enough to not draft at the very top and we’ve given away picks for no good reason.

    I think the surest thing is landing a #1 pick and not having terrible luck. That’s the surest way of building a championship core.

    As we’ve seen, though, getting that #1 pick is the hard part and teams don’t really have that much control over it.

    The next best way to build a championship core is to draft high in consecutive drafts and not every other draft. This was the Presti model from 2007-2009. It requires luck, but also provides teams with something that they can control: namely not trading consecutive draft picks. And the luck portion may be slightly overrated. Yes, the Thunder managed three top 5 picks in a row, which required luck. But look at Golden State: their starting lineup has four players they drafted themselves, none of which were in the top 6. (2009 #7, 2011 #11, 2012 #7 and #35). All they did was hold onto their picks until they were developed and not trade them for other team’s valued treasures (including the much maligned at the time no-trade of Klay Thompson for Kevin Love).

  22. Wait wait wait … forget about the draft, mudiay, PJ’s tweets, trade scenarios…

    I have something much much much more important…

    What about David Lee … ??????? didn’t he stay on a 1 yr deal…? Some guy at work we call the “O-man” thought so… it looks to be true… ill get back to work now… k, bye

  23. trading down in this draft especially to about #7 where denver is picking is not smart.. that pick is no man’s land with no guarantees that anyone you would be targeting still being there… you’d have to be pretty high on someone like stanley johnson, stein, turner or kaminsky or the euros to be willing to drop even 3 spots… and winslow is a good bit better than all of them….

    and trying to get picks in 2016 which doesn’t look all that great… is not smart either…

    #4 pick this year is unusually strong due to a stronger than usual top 4… top 5 if you include mudiay… i see no compelling reason to move down…

  24. I don’t know, I really like Mudiay. He would be a #1-3 in the past 3 years’ drafts (2014 possibly #3 ahead of the injured Embiid, 2013 #1 ahead of Bennett/Oladipo, 2012 #2/3 with Kidd-Gilchrist who was hot at the time, etc.). So a deep draft’s #4 may be a #1/2 in another, and we all know the mid-lottery picks who have turned out the best of the draft. All in all, an athletic, big, penetrating, pass-first guard is a pretty good get, I think.

    Great passing is one of those skills that transfers well to the NBA.

  25. “except that’s probably only good enough to be a 4-5 seed next year.”

    is this bad?

  26. is this bad?

    In the East? Not too good. With 0% chance for a championship or improvement (besides our draft pick) in years to come.

  27. I don’t think anyone can expect more than a 4-5 seed from where we are right now.

  28. Playoffs would be nice. My standards are real low now, and with no great young players or stash of picks in the future (or any way of getting picks with these assets – trading Melo excluded), we can’t really rebuild through the draft at this point. So, a lineup of:
    Calderon + Mudiay + Wes/DeMarre + Melo + Monroe/Robin/Koufos
    Would make me happy. Very happy. More likely I see us having defensive issues in the front court yet again. (Calderon/??/DeMarre/Melo/Towns…sigh)

  29. Look the Hawks are going to be broken up after this year so they will have a down year. You will have Cleveland, Chicago, Milwalkee, Washington and then maybe Boston? as the teams clearly better than the Knicks if they have great,great offseason. If the Knicks are a good team next year, id give them a chance against any non Lebron team.

  30. Yeah, it’s not my ideal of team building, but given the signals about Phil’s reign that resigning Melo sent right from the beginning, if we spend the next few years losing 2nd round playoff series I would consider that a very good outcome. Particularly if we can do that without dealing away future picks or mortgaging our future too much via win now trades, I think that’s a decent place for any franchise to find themselves.

  31. “if we spend the next few years losing 2nd round playoff series I would consider that a very good outcome.”

    As we have seen, the playoffs are a crapshoot when it comes to injuries and the like.

  32. And somehow keep accumulating picks (as we have), and finding young players elsewhere (a la Galloway, Shved), eking forward.

    On a side note, our bench may be pretty good at this point, assuming no one regresses. Galloway, Shved, Cole, and Thanasis look good. Acy is not bad as an end of bench player. Not sure about Larkin at all. I hope to never see Wear, Ledo, Smith, Bargs in a NY jersey again. I left out Hardaway on purpose due to the last two games he played.

  33. Fair enough, Donnie… there was no commitment to keep them beyond that 5th year… didn’t he shop around for a $10 or $12M dollar per year deal that summer… only to sign 1 the 1 yr deal right before the season… i guess i could just look it up…

  34. Good article. Most of the opinions boil down to: what is your philosophy in team building? I mean, it’s not really who we draft as much as what. Throw superstar out the window at any position. Inking Melo in at 3, how do you build your ideal NYKnicks team? Want a guard? Bet. What attributes do you want? Athleticism? Mudiay ( maybe )? Innate passing ability? Russell. Rangy wing? Winslow. Bruiser? Johnson. Shot blocking c? WCS ( and if you’ve never seen him play for any stretch of time, you like what you see defensively ).

    Of course, who you draft is also dependent on team philosophy. The Warriors/Rockets/Cavs ( to some extent ) are in effect, euro ball teams. Drive and kick for the three. Call this the new school. You might think about drafting Porzingas or Hezonja. Or maybe you’re old school hoops with a traditional big man and a defensive mindset. Bulls/Grizz. Well, ya struck out on the 2 big time centers, but you’ve still got WCS/Turner.

    Or, you just want talent to stock the talentless roster. In that case, trading the pick makes the most sense. There are kids like Simmons, Diallo, Dunn, Stone, all coming out next year. I love mining for talent in the 2nd. Siyani Chambers. Love that dude. Oliver Hanlan. Sure, he played at Boston College so I hate him, but he can hoop. Delon Wright. The Harrison twins. Christmas. Cliff Alexander. Dakari Johnson, a hometown kid! Young kids can be molded into a system and they can find what it is that they do well in the NBA.

  35. @21 It requires luck, but also provides teams with something that they can control: namely not trading consecutive draft picks.

    Great points all. If you’re gonna suck, don’t get rid of the things that can help you get better. We really need to get a 2016 1st rounder.

  36. Re Shved, I doubt he repeats his performance from last season, but since our backcourt is Calderon, Galloway and nothing, why not take a chance if he’s willing to play for cheap

  37. I think the Knicks problem has long been impatience. I remember a young Rod Strickland going for an old Maurice Cheeks. I remember watching Marcus Camby play his whole brilliant career for another team. All because we had to double down. We can’t wait a year, we need the guy who is ready now. We need to trade the pick a year from now for that guy that puts us over the top right now. We keep diminishing the value of our franchise this way. Strickland might have won Ewing a championship. Camby almost did.
    Just take Mudiay and don’t trade him. Hopefully the kid is the real deal and, coupled with FA acquisitions, the team improves. Don’t set yourself back further by taking a lesser pick now for a pick later. Just take your fucking medicine. Let the culture change take effect and in 2017 let’s keep our pick and hope it’s in the twenties.

  38. I forgot that Mark Jackson was also demoted to second string in favor of Cheeks and eventually traded for Charles Smith. Were those deals Checketts?

    Riley might have pursued the Checketts doctrine with more success had he been retained. He built his MIA teams with one foundational draft pick and big FA’s and trades. So, it’s also how you do what you do. He would have maximized Ewing’s value, not traded for Glen Rice and the whole fiasco of the last 15 years could have been avoided. I wish I had the DeLorean from Back to the Future, though even with 20/20 hindsight I think Dolan still shits the bed. Like Jeb Bush saying that, knowing what we know now, he’d have done the same thing in Iraq.

    Phil can still get this thing right. I do agree with the premise of this article. I see the logic of trade down scenarios but I think that kind of thing is more common and effective in football. I can’t remember a top fiver going in a trade scenario for multiple mid first rounders in the NBA. Any examples of this?

  39. I think ultimately we are seeing a slight shift to the proposition of rebuilding a team through the draft and young talent. Obviously the front office have made it known that they would like to add some big FA’s (which I don’t think is so bad of a strategy), but the indication we got is that the FO the past season is that their is a push to potentially rebuild with a mix of young talent and experienced FA’s. Whether that happens remains to be seen of course.

    I personally tend to agree that we should be looking to draft at #4 as opposed to trading the pick, but I think you are probably doing yourself a disservice by not at least listening to offers for it.

  40. Come on guys… So we KNICKS FANS are selling the idea of trading down the pick. For whatever purpose or justification please…. We should not trade our picks moving forward.
    Taker risk on the draft. If they didnt succeed what will we lose? 5m?
    If they do succeed they are the reward for franchise changer. I mean, we cant win with just free agents etc etc the main ex factor is a draft pick on a rookie contract which could be a gold.

  41. Nice article, Z.

    Knicks have basically made 3 significant old for young moves in the last 25 years:

    1) Starks for Sprewell

    2) Oakley for Camby

    3) Mohammed for 2 1st rounders (Lee and Mardy Collins)

    All of them worked out great, and so the Knicks never did it again. Which to me is the definition of Knicksy. If you were god and you wanted to teach a team to do logical things, you would do what god has done to the Knicks — give big reward to intelligent moves while making bad moves work out even worse. Karma, the lord, random chance — someone or rsomething has kindly tried to guide the Knicks in the right direction, but the Knicks just refuse to listen.

    There’s something comical about it, like watching a guy walk into a glass door, fall on his ass, then stand up and do it again.

  42. Heck, Max, how about the fact that the Knicks have chosen #1 in two NBA drafts in the past fifty years, and both of them were right before the only two sustained great stretches for the Knicks in that fifty-year period (and their other decent stretch occurred following back-to-back top five picks in the late 1970s). So what do they do? Do everything they can to not pick #1 again, of course.

  43. Knicks have basically made 3 significant old for young moves in the last 25 years:

    1) Starks for Sprewell

    2) Oakley for Camby

    3) Mohammed for 2 1st rounders (Lee and Mardy Collins)

    Nazr Mohammed wasn’t just traded for picks. He came with the oversized contract of undersized power-forward Malik Rose.

    So the list should really look like this:

    1) Starks for Sprewell

    2) Oakley for Camby

    3) Sprewell for Van Horn

    4) Camby and Q Richardson for Bargnani

    (Yay #4! #youthbeforebeauty)

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