107 thoughts to “Johnson: With Adjustments, Playoffs in Knicks’ Reach”

  1. From the article: Marbury at the point (his defense against Ray Allen on Friday was a revelation; if he commits to that level of intensity, it will create a mid-career renaissance).

    I don’t know what to say about this. Along with all the other unrealistic expectations already heaped on Marbury, another couldn’t hurt.

  2. The last few years, Steph has played MUCH better defense when guarding SGs than PGs. It’s when he has to stop dribble penetration from the likes of Parker, Arenas, Paul, Iverson, (or even a rather nondescript fast PG like Brevin Knight), et al. that he struggles.

    I don’t have the stats to back it up, but Steph’s strength and quickness make him far more suited to defending SG’s. This theory falls apart when you see Rip Hamilton post him up ad naseum, as he did in the triple OT game v. Detroit.

  3. Great point Ken. Exactly correct.

    I would say that those speedy pg’s are almost never stopped by the opposing defender though…I mean – almost no one actually stops Tony Parker or Chris Paul initially..it takes help defense and consequently quick rotations to neutralize guards like them.

  4. Ken, I think you make a great point. His off the ball D on Ray Allen was exceptional the other night, and I’d say that even in the Detroit game Rip was hitting some tough shots and really busting his ass to get the ball.

  5. Honestly Rip tears through everyone. He is so consistent and in such good condition that if the game goes 3 ot’s like that game, you can expect him to score at least 40. I think Marbury gets a pass on that one.

  6. That was the greatest game of Rip’s career. It was so frustrating watching him because time after time he was forced into taking shots that were outright terrible – under pressure with the shot clock winding down, off balance, at a weird angle – and somehow they all went down (until the last overtime, thank god). If Steph and the Knicks were letting him take open threes it would be one thing, but sometimes guys just have a crazy night. Tony Delk once dropped 53 points in a game on 20-27 shooting with a career average of 9.1 points.

  7. There are so many “greatest games of their career”s against the Knicks (Ron Artest recently and Wilt Chamberlain a while ago), it was nice to have Rip’s come in a loseing effort.

  8. The Knicks have traded a lot of guys and passed up on a lot of New Yorkers in the draft leaving a lot of people with chips on their shoulders to take out on us. Hence Queensbridge’s Ron Artest, Brooklyn’s Jamaal Tinsley, and ghosts of Knicks past like Charlie Ward have torched us at various times with greater motivation.

  9. Charlie Ward had a really good game against the Knicks?

    When was that? I don’t recall him ever having a really good game against the Knicks.

  10. I seem to remember him giving us the dagger one game as a Spur even though he was playing very limited minutes for them that season but I can’t remember the details. I could be wrong, though.

  11. Yes. I do remember that.

    I love the fan who got in Isiah’s face and kept repeating “How could you trade Charlie Ward?”

  12. I was pretty happy to see the last of Charlie Ward, I must say.

    Isiah takes a lot of flak, some of it deserved, a fair amount of it not so much. it’s pretty amazing to look at what a dreadful core of talent he inherited, not that we didn’t know that then, but three years of hindsight makes it even more obvious:

    C-Dikembe Mutumbo, Michael Doleac
    PF-Kurt Thomas, Antonio McDyess, Othella Harrington, Mike Sweetney
    SF-Keith Van Horn, Clarence Weatherspoon
    SG-Allan Houston, Shandon Anderson
    PG-Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, Frank Williams

    the six big guys are mostly tiny role players now, the only one who’s done anything real is McDyess, and that was partly because of how good the guys around him in Detroit were/are.

    of the seven perimeter players, I think only Shandon Anderson is still in the league, if he even is.

    I mean, that has to rank among the alltime least talented rosters, in terms of potential going forward from that point. factor in how ridiculously over the cap they were even then, and Isiah has done a pretty good job rebuilding. if he’d just held on to Ariza and Jackie Butler (who I know hasn’t done anything, but he looked so promising last year), I think I’d give him an A as GM, pending the first round swap with the Bulls, which looks less potentially catastrophic every day. how about that for some revisionist thinking?

  13. I thought Johnson’s article was pretty insightful — thanks for the link KB. I would agree him with 100%.

  14. jon, good point. Isiah has done a fantastic job with the Knicks over the last three years. Thomas has earned the respect of his collegues, the media, and the fans. Isiah’s genius becomes apparent when you compare what other GMs had to work with in the same time span. A half season before Isiah took over the Knicks, Miami had this plethora of future talent.

    Caron Butler
    Eddie Jones
    Brian Grant
    Malik Allen
    Mike James
    Travis Best
    Rasual Butler
    Vladimir Stepania
    Eddie House
    LaPhonso Ellis
    Anthony Carter
    Sean Lampley
    Sean Marks
    Ken Johnson

  15. well, point well taken, but Butler and James alone make that list decidedly better than what Isiah inherited, not to mention the cap room that allowed them to sign Odom and the high draft pick that allowed the miracle of Dwayne Wade to fall into their laps.

  16. The issue with Isiah is not that he hasn’t made the team more talented, because he has, but that he’s overpaid to do it.

    If your friend was moving from a two-bedroom apartment in Coney Island, all the way up to a brownstone in Park Slope, you’d be really happy for him.

    But if you heard that the market rate for a brownstone is $2 million and he paid $15 million for it, then you as his friend, has the moral obligation to slap some sense into him before he throws all that money away.

    That’s essentially what Isiah has done: Improved the team, but cost too much talent/draft picks/salary cap space to do it.

    We’re his “friends”. We’re here to “slap some sense into him.”

  17. KB-

    By looking at Miami’s roster, are you criticizing Isiah for not trading for Shaq and drafting Dwyane Wade? Miami wouldn’t have been successful if either move wasn’t made. Isiah did not have the opportunity to do either move even if he was the greatest GM in history since Wade was drafted before the Knicks’ pick and Layden simply didn’t leave enough talent in place to trade for Shaq.


    Nobody can deny that the Knicks have overpaid (in money, not talent) for their players but, as has been said before in these comments, as long as Dolan’s willing to pay, that’s not a problem. Getting under the salary cap is overrated since true premium free agents don’t generally switch teams. It’s hard to agree that Isiah’s moves cost too much “talent” since barely anybody he’s traded has been a competent player after leaving the team. As for picks, the team already has an overabundance of players in their first three years and under 25, so who can say that more draft picks would have been useful or needed.

  18. OK, I’m not going to be the one to blindly defend Isiah, but the real estate analogy holds no water. when he got there, not only was the team hopelessly over the cap for years to come, but there was pretty much zero talent on the roster. the only way to go was via Dolan’s open checkbook. you say he cost “too much talent/draft picks/salary cap space to do it”, let’s examine those one by one.

    talent: outside of Ariza, who has he traded who would be an asset on this team now?

    draft picks: not only has he done a superb job with the ones he’s had, but he’s added extra ones in deals like the Mohammed deal and the Rose deal, allowing them to pick up guys like Lee and Balkman. the Curry deal was a calculated gamble that looks reasonably good right this second: a first-round pick in a dreadful draft (this turned out to be Tyrus Thomas last year, Isiah didn’t expect it to be such a high pick with Larry Brown on board obviously), and the rights to switch first-rounders this year, when Isiah hoped the Knicks would have at least begun to turn things around. in exchange, NY got a guy who’s turned into as good a scorer in the paint as there is (I believe he’s leading the league in points in the paint), and who’s still only 25 and clearly improving all the time (although his D and rebounding still obviously leave something to be desired, to be kind). the jury’s clearly still out here, but it’s looking a lot better than it did six months ago.

    salary cap space: he inherited a team with zero chance to get under the cap until Allan Houston’s contract expired, which I believe is at the end of this season. it would have been insane to take the approach of trying to get under the cap, they would have been fielding a CBA team for years, they would have lost tons of season ticket holders. so he and Dolan evidently decided, given the situation, the open checkbook (until this past offseason, when Dolan finally closed it) was the way to go. FWIW, being under the cap is at least a little bit overrated in the NBA, it’s not like actual franchise players almost ever become free agents. and with the mid-cap exemption, even a team with as ridiculous a payroll as NY can sign competent role players like Jared Jeffries.

    the bottom line is to win in the NBA, you need a franchise player, one of the handful of best players in the league. you can get these guys by draft (almost always, but with the lottery, clearly this is tough to rely on), free agency (really rare these days, who was the best FA to change teams in the last five years? Arenas is probably the answer, but I don’t think anyone, including Washington, knew he’d blow up like he has), or trade. no one’s going to trade you LeBron or Wade or Duncan, anyone you get is going to be flawed somehow (even in Shaq’s case, you have the obscene contract that’s going to handicap Miami for years to come, not to mention giving up two almost All-Stars in Odom and Butler). so Isiah took two shots, Marbury and Curry. Marbury hasn’t worked out especially well, but gave hope to a dead franchise at the time. Curry looks like he has a chance, we’ll see.

    look, I have plenty of issues with Isiah, but I do think he’s overly demonized to an extent and that the good moves he’s made haven’t been given enough credit. that’s all I’m saying. you can’t just say “he shouldn’t have done that”, you need to give a specific plan of what should have been done instead. I don’t think there were too many other ways to go, although clearly this kind of plan could have been executed somewhat better.

  19. I see LZ Granderson has an article along similar lines on Page 2 of ESPN.com today (subscription side, I think).

    maybe the overall perception of Isiah’s job starting to shift slightly, the media seems to always be about six months or so behind reality, it took them a long time to realize what a brutally bad and unprofessional job Larry Brown did here last year also.

  20. LZ’s summary is exactly how many people feel, myself included, about Isiah: Genius at the draft, moron with the salary cap. I’ve said it myself two years ago.

    I just don’t buy the argument that Isiah is a success because the Knicks are better off than they were 3 years ago. Looking at the 2003 season, the following teams had a record worse than New York: WAS, ATL, CHI, MIA, TOR, CLE, MEM, LAC, DEN. As of right now only 2 of those 9 teams have a record worse than the Knicks.

    Look we all know the Knicks were bad in ’03 in every aspect of the franchise. And I’ll be the first (and maybe I was the first) to say that Isiah is a master at finding young talent. But I, and I’m going to guess a lot of other people, feel that Isiah has made some critical mistakes along the way. Bad teams are suppose to get better over time, but from the evidence above, the Knicks have been behind the curve.

  21. OK, what critical mistakes that cost them anything more than Dolan’s cash (and the quicker that loser goes bankrupt, the better)? I really think there are only a few, and the worst one, Francis/Ariza is at least partly Larry Brown’s fault. what moves should Isiah have made that he didn’t?

    none of those nine teams were in anywhere near the salary cap hell that NY was in 2003, so it’s hardly a level playing field. there wasn’t another way to go, IMO. plus the 2003 draft brought franchise players to four of those teams, LeBron, Wade, Carmelo and Bosh. it’s apples and oranges, really.

  22. and to be clear, I’m not saying Isiah is a success at this point, far from it. what I’m saying is that I think he’s overly demonized. given the situation he came into, I think he’s done an OK job, and there’s a lot of upside depending on how the rest of this season goes.

    if they lose to Philly and Charlotte, I’ll be happy to go back to ripping him to shreds. :)

  23. Jon –

    Isiah Thomas was brought here to rescue the Knicks from the mess they were in thanks to the Scott Layden regime. He had 2 primary objectives: stabilize the Knicks financially (by getting rid of as many horrible contracts as he could, stockpiling draft picks, etc.) and return them to respectability. While he has been successful in stockpiliing talent (albeit, mostly expensive talent that does not seem to mesh), he has barely improved the team record-wise since he took over. Even now, in his fourth year on the job, Isiah’s Knicks still the same three thing they were when he took over: (1)below .500 (2) first in payroll (3) not even close to getting under the cap. The only reason things look better than they are is because the Knicks are in the worst division in recent memory, where 33 wins might be enough for a division crown.

    Don’t evaluate him on a game-by-game basis, judging him on the outcomes of the Philly and Charlotte games. Judge him on the big picture – he has voluntarily signed Jerome James to a 5-year deal, traded for Steve Francis when he already had Marbury, signed Vin Baker, traded away high draft picks, been accused of sexual harrasment, and currently has most Knick fans secretly rooting against their team so that he will be fired…

    The bottom line is if the guy has no common understanding of the salary cap, and no idea how to put his best 5 players on the floor, then how in the world can you say “I think he?s done an OK job”?

  24. “He had 2 primary objectives: stabilize the Knicks financially”

    says who? seems like his directive from his boss involved nothing of the kind.

    “The bottom line is if the guy has no common understanding of the salary cap”

    again, says who? he looked at the situation, looked at the cap rules, and realized the only chance was to go for the open pocketbook approach. FWIW, it’s extremely similar to the way Dallas built their team until a few years ago, stockpiling assets, with the HUGE exception that they had a far better franchise player to do it around in Nowitzki.

    the Philly/Charlotte thing was half-joking, although I am going to be very bummed if they don’t take these next two…

  25. I think Jon has really hit the nail on the head with Isiah. I wish people would stop cherry picking moves he made they don’t like, completely ignoring the reasonable circumstances he made all of the moves you’re complaining about, while simultaneously failing to provide any alternative plan that would have worked better. Even with regard to his worst 2 moves, at the time of the Jerome James signing we had no center. Everyone was screaming for a center. There was no one even approaching the radar in the pedigree of Eddy Curry. Everyone knows how impossible it is to get a decent 7’0 center. So he signed Jerome James to the mid-level exception, who had just done very well for the Sonics in the playoffs. At the time it wasn’t a bad move, who knows what would have happened if he had indeed ended up started at center the entire season that year.
    With regard to the Steve Francis deal? We had an alarming glut of small forwards has anyone forgotten we had 6 small-forwards on our roster at that point?

  26. I think Jon has really hit the nail on the head with Isiah. I wish people would stop cherry picking moves he made they don’t like, completely ignoring the reasonable circumstances he made all of the moves you’re complaining about, while simultaneously failing to provide any alternative plan that would have worked better. Even with regard to his worst 2 moves, at the time of the Jerome James signing we had no center. Everyone was screaming for a center. There was no one even approaching the radar in the pedigree of Eddy Curry. Everyone knows how impossible it is to get a decent 7’0 center. So he signed Jerome James to the mid-level exception, who had just done very well for the Sonics in the playoffs. At the time it wasn’t a bad move, who knows what would have happened if he had indeed ended up started at center the entire season that year.
    With regard to the Steve Francis deal? We had an alarming glut of small forwards has anyone forgotten we had 6 small-forwards on our roster at one point? The Franchine-Starbury backcourt didnt work out like the pipedream Dumars-Thomas we had hoped for, but are you really going to slam the guy for giving it a shot and dumping a 6th extra small-forward. Yes Ariza has been doing very well in Orlando, but in the big picture, when you take into consideration the potential pros and cons at the time, this move was not the latest team-titanic addition. Not to mention the insurance policy having Steve Francis around in case Marbury got/gets hurt.

    And those were the 2 bad moves everyone brings up over and over and over and over again.

  27. I agree about the Jerome James thing, with the possible caveat that I’m not quite sure of Jackie Butler’s status at the time. nevertheless, it was just cash, so I don’t think it was so bad. plus there’s still a chance he’ll contribute at some point before his contract expires, possibly via getting something in a trade (it would help if he ever showed any signs of life on the court ever, Kelvin Cato has looked better in his brief role this year.

    the Francis one I refuse to defend, except that I’d like to know how much of it was Larry Brown’s doing. Ariza was exactly the kind of guy we should be stockpiling, and even a blind person knew that Marbury and Francis couldn’t play together and neither had a tradeable contract. that and not resigning Jackie Butler are IMO, Isiah’s only two definite personnel missteps thus far.

  28. If Vecsey is to be believed, Larry Brown apparently has been trying to get Francis in Philadelphia if/when he is bought out by the Knicks. So maybe there really is something to the claim that acquiring Francis was all Brown’s doing, as illogical as that may seem.

    As for Butler, he was already on the team when the Knicks signed Jerome James, but he only played 3 games the previous year and was picked up in April, I think. Not exactly a viable option. Not signing Butler doesn’t look like that big a deal considering he has barely played in San Antonio this year and Curry has been averaging strong minutes.

    Other arguable missteps by Isiah, though both are relatively minor:

    Not protecting the picks in the Curry trade (though Paxson claims that would have been a dealbreaker and, frankly, I would rather have the 12th pick in this year’s draft than the 2nd in last year’s), and

    Throwing in last year’s second round pick in the Mo Taylor trade, which turned into a 32nd pick in the first round and Isiah could have done something with it.

  29. “Not signing Butler doesn?t look like that big a deal considering he has barely played in San Antonio this year and Curry has been averaging strong minutes.”

    we don’t know yet, and he’s only 21 (22?). San Antonio didn’t get him for this year, he looked ultra-promising last year, and they don’t make many talent evaluation mistakes down there. it just seemed crazy to let him leave for such a relatively small salary, I’d much rather have him in the Cato spot on the roster and see how he develops in the next few years.

    “Not protecting the picks in the Curry trade (though Paxson claims that would have been a dealbreaker and, frankly, I would rather have the 12th pick in this year?s draft than the 2nd in last year?s)”

    yeah, like I said earlier, I think this was a calculated gamble on Isiah’s part: “if we have Curry and a great coach like Larry Brown, no way this can backfire on us too badly”. I certainly think he was well aware of what he was doing, and we’ll see soon enough how it turns out.

    “Throwing in last year?s second round pick in the Mo Taylor trade, which turned into a 32nd pick in the first round and Isiah could have done something with it.”

    that’s interesting, although that draft was really really thin. before I think this is valid, I’d like to see Mardy Collins show any signs of life. what was he taken, 29th?

  30. definetely. i had a question abou one thing. you have to be one year removed from high school graduation to enter right. I know Bill walker just tore his acl he’s done for the year. but if he wanted could he come out despite his crazy high school situation.

  31. “So he signed Jerome James to the mid-level exception, who had just done very well for the Sonics in the playoffs. At the time it wasn?t a bad move, who knows what would have happened if he had indeed ended up started at center the entire season that year.”

    I thought most fans recognize Jerome’s walk year as not something that could be sustain. And I would slam Isiah for that then and now.

    The main thing is that when it comes to Isiah and the Knicks actually paying for talent, they are paying really poorly. For that reason, I think the Park Slope analogy is quite applicable, except instead of Park Slope, Isiah is paying top dollars for an apartment in the same Coney Island building.

    With that, I am more hopeful for the Knicks that I have been for many seasons. I wonder how the Knicks would fare if the Atlantic (and East) was stronger. But the players have been doing okay under Isiah.

  32. yes, the rule keeping high schoolers from turning pro for a year seriously weakened last year’s draft and made the upcoming one unbelievably deep, assuming most of the guys declare who experts expect to.

    FWIW, there’s a chance Oden will stay in school, I think, depending on how successful Ohio St. ends up being. if they don’t win a title or come close, I could see him taking a shot at it again next year and staying in school one more year.

    Knicks gain another game on the Bulls tonight, it’s now 20-16 to 16-21, down to 4 1/2. even if they don’t catch them, the smaller the eventual gap, the better the Curry deal looks.

  33. “Isiah is paying top dollars for an apartment in the same Coney Island building.”

    Isiah isn’t paying anything, Bozo Dolan is. best-case scenario, he goes bankrupt and we finally get a real owner, so bring on those luxury tax bills.

    I heard Isiah asked before the game on the radio about Webber (hypothetically, in order to avoid tampering, “if a player above a certain height became available, would you be interested?”), and his tone of answer made it seem like there’s a good chance that he would join NY after the buyout happens (the Philadelphia Daily News reported today the buyout was done, Peter Vecsey has reported he’ll then join our heros).

    it’s a pretty big gamble if true, obviously depending on what role Isiah has in mind for him. but Webber was the Western Conference player of the month in January 2005 and averaged 20 points and 10 boards as recently as last season, I don’t believe he’s had any new injuries since then.

    I think it’s totally dependent on Webber’s attitude, so hopefully Isiah has a good sense of that if he decides to pull the trigger on this. I haven’t seen much of him since he went to Philly, but is it possible he would immediately become our best passer? you’d also have to think the guy who takes the biggest hit in minutes would be Jeffries, and we all know he’s Isiah’s boy. anyway, I could see it working out very well or disastrously, what do you guys think?

  34. I’m down with Webber. Webber had elite talent, but often seem to fall short when it comes to exceeding during the elite moments (time out anyone?) But he’ll do no worse than raise the talent level for the entire team.

    The Webber experiment didn’t pan out for Philly, but I think this Knick team would be a much better fit.

  35. sorry for three posts in a row, but here’s the latest on Webber, NY seems not to be an option, which makes sense. I could see him being a good addition to any of those teams, except maybe Dallas. he’s clearly done his research while collecting paychecks for doing nothing:

    “Webber told ESPN.com on Wednesday night that 17 of the league’s 30 teams have already called to register interest in his services, but the free agent-to-be hopes to sign with one of the following contenders: Miami and his hometown Detroit Pistons in the East; San Antonio, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers in the West.”


  36. Why would a team that’s not going to compete for a championship this year stunt the growth of Frye, Lee, and Curry for a player with a wreck of a body and absolutely no long term future, probably not even beyond the end of the season? Webber will go to some contender that could use him in the playoffs – Phoenix and Detroit would both be good fits.

  37. I wasn’t really saying it was smart, just reporting on it because until a few hours ago, it seemed like a done deal to NY. it does seem like a bad move to add another frontcourt player to interfere with our young guys, but Isiah sounded like he would have done it given the chance.

  38. abbey-
    “Isiah isn?t paying anything, Bozo Dolan is. best-case scenario, he goes bankrupt and we finally get a real owner, so bring on those luxury tax bills.”

    Not likely. Dolan estimates that the Knicks account for roughly 3% of revenue generated by the Cablevision/MSG empire. In addition, the majority of Allan Houston’s 20 million this year is covered by insurance. If the buyout of J.Rose’s and Mo’ Taylor’s contracts say anything, its that the Knicks are not hurting financially, and probably won’t be in the future.

    That said, being screwed salary cap wise, in addition to costing an owner money, limits the flexibility of the roster. Record wise and cap-wise, the Knicks look alot like they did a couple of years ago, except younger and more athletic, which has been Zeke’s mantra.

    “it would have been insane to take the approach of trying to get under the cap, they would have been fielding a CBA team for years, they would have lost tons of season ticket holders.”

    I disagree. I think Knicks fans would rather see young developing players be sub 500 than overpaid vets who don’t really fit together well be sub 500. Lee, Ariza, Butler and Frye have been reasonably popular at MSG.

  39. Quote from the Sports Guy yesterday on his live chat.

    Bill Simmons: If David Lee isn’t on the 2008 Olympic team, I’m going to be furious

  40. A few points on the Isaiah tenure:

    1. Dolan most assuredly wanted at least a first-round playoff team so that the team is profitable. So, he mandated mediocrity at minimum. The public line of “you can’t rebuild in NY” was cover for this line of reasoning. To me, the question of “what would Isaiah do if Dolan had said to him “blow it up and start over” is a significant one. In that regard, I look at his tenure with the Pacers and his eye for talent both there and in Toronto tells me that we would have seen what we see now, but a year and a half earlier.

    2. Jerome James was a worthless signing, and I think that we were seeing overconfidence on Isaiah’s part there. If Isaiah would just identify talent and let someone else decide what’s doable…

    3. Larry forced Isaiah’s hand on Francis. Had we not seen the Francis trade, I believe that Jackie Butler and Trevor Ariza would still be here, and that we wouldn’t have Francis (obviously) or Jared Jeffries here. This presupposes a different coach than Larry Brown, but if Zeke had blown the team up originally, I don’t see Larry here.

    4. I actually like Isaiah. I don’t know why…it’s crazy, I know. My pipe dream is that he fires himself as head of B-Ball, stays on as coach, and says to Dolan “go get Kiki Vandeweghe.” It might be crazy, but can you remember a more fun, promising Knick team?

    5. Isaiah, like LZ Granderson said, has done the dirty work and now Knicks fans want to reward someone for the easy part. All I have to say is that Rick Carlisle’s been a godsend, right?

  41. thepalerider Said:

    “Quote from the Sports Guy yesterday on his live chat.

    Bill Simmons: If David Lee isn?t on the 2008 Olympic team, I?m going to be furious”

    It’s not very often I agree with Simmons, but Amen to that.

    If there’s one thing I will give Isiah credit for it’s that David Lee was one hell of a late-first pick. I just love that guy! I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see him acquire a rebounding crown before his career is over — he’s one of the savviest rebounders I’ve seen since Dennis Rodman and he’s going to get even better.

  42. The case against Thomas has three major winning arguments:

    1. Jerome James. The idea that this wasn’t a disaster from day 1 is a joke — every one knew he was a mess (just look at the press on the trade). I’m not sure who else was available with the mid-level exception, but maybe we could have added someone. At the very least, we wouldn’t have another contract shackle around our necks.

    2. The Francis trade. This is easily the worst of his tenure, but it may not have been his fault.

    3. The Curry Trade: It is starting to look better, just as much because TIm Thomas has reverted to total headcase status from the all-star he was in the playoffs last year as because of our turnaround. But we took an enormous chance and are still taking an enormous chance as a result of the draft picks.

    There are a few minor points too

    1. The utterly unnecessary Jared Jeffries signing

    2. Drafting Balkman/Collins instead of Marcus Williams and Balkman (or something like that).

    3. Vin Baker

    4. Not dumping more money.

    If it weren’t for the Francis trade, this would be a bad job but not a horrific one. If you substracted the bad moves (but kept the Curry trade), our roster would look like this:


    Can anyone more expert than me explain where this would put us w/r/t the salary cap? My instinct is that we would be coming under the cap as soon as the dead money came off at the end of next season. But I’m not sure.

  43. Because this “no bad moves except for Curry” line-up is basically what we have now in terms of talent — maybe a little stronger, because there is no Francis drama and because Ariza and Butler are better than Jeffries and James — we could expect to be in the same place or so in the standings but with a brighter future.

    I think the result is that Thomas isn’t the best GM, but isn’t Kevin McHale either

  44. DLEE wasn’t Isiah’s idea to draft it was the asst. coaches and scouts decision whohad been scouting him since freshman year. Isiah of course gets the credit…

    IMHO the obvious choice for Webber is Jersey because they need a rebounding/passing big man to replace Nenad. They could wind up winning the East. In NY he would be another short term solution that would eat up Lee’s minutes.

  45. Will all of the Isiah Thomas haters please refrain from monday morning quaterback whining about all the decisions he made without qualifying what you’re saying with the circumstances which were present at the time the signings/trades were done. You would make yourself come off substantially more credible.

  46. Regarding Isiah and Lee, of course talent scouts and assistant coaches find these guys – that’s their job. But the GM ultimately makes the pick and he could have just as easily gone for a more hyped player like Christ Taft at Lee’s spot instead of taking a gamble with a lesser known guy. Also the fact that Isiah has a very strong draft record with multiple teams is enough to show that, at the very least, he knows how to run a scouting system and listen to the right advice. Also, scoring not one but three productive players with bright futures in the NBA in the same draft is very impressive given the tremendous number of busts out there.

  47. Dan,
    To say Isiah could have gone with a more hyped player like Taft, it sounds like your saying he doesn’t know what he is doing. If so why defend him?
    Also, You misunderstood what I said. Isiah’s track record for drafting is not in question, I have a source in the Knicks coaching staff who said the organization had Lee locked to go in the first round the previous year and Isiah had very little say.

  48. T-Mart-

    That’s true. You have to look at the situation. That still doesn’t mean giving Jerome James all that money was a good decision. It was unquestionably a terrible one. The Jeffries signing – the jury is still out, personally I didn’t like it at all at the time and still don’t see what Jeffries brings to the table other than length and athleticism.

    A lot of his decisions that were heavily scrutinized at the time they were made ended up looking a lot better – to that I’ll agree. But let’s not act as if Isiah hasn’t made his fair share of errors in his time here. While he’s been strapped with basically only the MLE to sign Free Agents with, he’s used it poorly – sometimes the best move is to not make a move at all.

  49. Jerome James-who cares? all he cost was Dolan’s money. we’re also only though 1 1/2 years of that deal, I’m not quite ready to call it a complete bust although he’s obviously had zero positive impact so far.

    Eddy Curry-here’s how this deal stands at this second:

    the Knicks received Curry, who’s now a borderline All-Star and a dominant post scorer who just turned 24 in December. they also received Antonio Davis, who became Jalen Rose along with a #1 that became Renaldo Balkman.

    so NY got Curry and Balkman. they gave up Sweetney (who’s shown pretty much nothing since leaving), Tim Thomas (the Bulls sent him home, he played a good month for Phoenix to get a new contract, and he’s now back to not trying again, absolutely no loss here), last year’s #1 (Tyrus Thomas, who could end up being really good, but who has a helluva long way to go to be in Curry’s league), #2 choices in 2007 and 2009 (we’ll see) and the rights to switch first rounders this year (as of this second, the difference between #9 and #20, but a few more NY wins and that gap will narrow even more). that’s a winning trade as of now, I don’t even think it’s close.

    how about Kurt Thomas for Quentin Richardson and Nate Robinson? even if you don’t like Nate, that’s a fantastic deal for NY at this point.

    and again, being under the cap is kind of overrated. sure, guys like Nash and Arenas sometimes switch teams, but they’re few and far between and they almost always have questions attached (virtually no one thought either of those two would be as good as they’ve been the last few seasons). we saw Wade, LeBron, Carmelo, Bosh, all reup with their original teams this year, that’s what happens more often than not with the true franchise players.

    Isiah’s built arguably the best young frontcourt in the league (what other team has two forwards and a center all as young, tall and talented as Curry, Lee and Frye?) in three years. he hasn’t quite figured the guard situation out yet, although Q looks great (how nice was it to see him back draining threes last night?).

    three wins in a row, five in a row at home, our boys are beginning to gel. memo to Larry Brown: if you don’t change the lineup every game and let guys actually play together for half a season or so, they tend to develop some chemistry. you’d think you might have picked that up over the years, but evidently not.

  50. Jon Abbey-

    I agree with your analysis of the Curry trade (and your exhaustive, but fair, defenses of Isiah), but the pick that the Knicks gave up last year was actually Lamarcus Aldridge, who has looked better than Tyrus Thomas. Still think it was a clearly winning trade though.

  51. Mase –

    You misunderstood me, I meant the exact opposite. I was saying Isiah deserves credit for trusting the advice of his scouts in making his decision when they have a good find rather than doing what sports pundits pressure might pressure him towards, not that he doesn’t know what he’s. Every draft pick is ultimately the GMs choice and Isiah deserves full credit for a great pick in David Lee, even if he didn’t personally find him.

  52. Isiah did sign off on the pick so he gets partial credit but the Knicks as a team already had decided on him. Isiah does not deserve the same credit for it as he does for selecting someone like McGrady is my point.

  53. Mase, who is this “source in the coaching staff”, and why didn’t you start out with, “i know a source in the knicks coaching staff” in the first place. Better yet, just name the source, it’s not like you’re Stephan A Smith behind a microphone about to lose your behind the scenes beat writer street cred because you ratted out like Mark Aguire on
    knickerblogger.net haha. Wait you better not say anything, I heard Brendan Suhr scowers this website, if he sees that “Mase from Knickerblogger.net” is revealing his trade secrets you’ll be done forever. Wait, David Hanners just signed in, Im outta here.

  54. “The richest man in the world is no longer Bill Gates, but a Harlem man, known simply as ‘Tron.’ Is that your son, Tron?”
    “Nah, I bought this baby CASH! I’m RIIIIIIICH!”

  55. “I agree with your analysis of the Curry trade (and your exhaustive, but fair, defenses of Isiah), but the pick that the Knicks gave up last year was actually Lamarcus Aldridge, who has looked better than Tyrus Thomas. Still think it was a clearly winning trade though.”

    no, Thomas is who the Bulls wanted in that slot and who should be included in this reckoning. the trade was just a way for Chicago to get an extra asset (Khryapa), here’s a Q&A with Thomas immediately after the draft:

    Q — Tyrus, can you talk about how the trade developed and when you first heard about it.

    Thomas — “I knew about the trade before the draft even began. I guess it was just a situation where Chicago wanted to get more assets and Portland wanted to secure LaMarcus from Charlotte. We both knew about the trade so it wasn’t a shock and I had a heads up on it.”

  56. it doesn’t surprise me to hear that David Lee was initially someone else’s idea, as I think Isiah is kind of biased against white players (when it comes to American white players, I’m right there with him, they’re almost invariably disappointing), so Isiah picking him always struck me as a little odd.

  57. I think taking away credit from Isiah Thomas for the Lee signing is silly. Brendan Suhr may have close ties to Billy Donovan, but Isiah knew about Lee before the Knicks drafted him.

    Lee?s Chicago connection continued with Windy City-born Knicks President, Basketball Operations Isiah Thomas. ?I?ve known Isiah since (former Knick and University of Florida Coach) Billy Donovan arranged a summer series on campus for the players three years ago and Isiah came to speak to us,?

    And you can throw “Larry Brown wanted Steve Francis” in the same pile. In each of these acqusitions, Isiah is the person that signs off on the deal. While Suhr & Brown might have their input, ultimately Thomas is the one that is responsible for the personnel decisions on the Knicks.

  58. but real life doesn’t work like that, it’s not black and white, there are almost always a million shades of grey in between (most of which we can just guess at). I have no idea about the Lee thing, but we all remember how crazy things were in Knick-land when the Francis deal went down, the sexual harassment lawsuit had just been brought against Isiah, Loser Larry was trying to stage a palace coup while simultaneously not doing his job, and the media was ripping Isiah and Dolan daily.

    so under those circumstances, when Larry Brown tells Isiah (and Dolan, who would have had to specifically agree to take on such a big additional financial commitment), “if I have Steve Francis, I think I can make this mess work, plus you have to get Ariza off my team” (obviously an educated guess on my part, but I bet it’s in the neighborhood), it’s hard to fully blame Isiah too much for saying “OK” while simultaneously thinking “I hope that satisfies you, you big whining baby, now go and do the job we’re ridiculously overpaying you to do.”

    Chicago drops their 5th in the last 6, they’re now 20-17 to the Knicks’ 16-21. go New York, go New York, go! the Garden is slowly slowly waking up from its long slumber, I think…

  59. “but real life doesn?t work like that”

    Sure it does. If you’re the accountant of a company and the owner asks you to cook the books, you’re the one going to jail when the IRS calls. It may not have been your idea, but you’re the one responsible.

    Often people in management positions get advice from the workers above & below them. However they have to be the one to make the decision & stand by it. I’m sure plenty of managers have been fired for decisions that weren’t originally theirs, and even more have been promoted for advice they took.

    Even if Isiah Thomas’ only hand in the Lee signing was to hire Suhr and take his advice, that’s his job and he deserves the credit for it. Good managers hire good workers and listen to their advice. If Larry Brown did tell Isiah to get Francis, then Isiah is at fault for listening to that advice.

  60. yeah, I still disagree. to cite a different situation that we have more concrete knowledge of, Brian Cashman has been the GM for the Yankees for quite some time, but it wasn’t until after the 2005 season that he truly was doing the job without major, major interference from the Tampa wing. so under your system, you can say “Cashman was the GM who signed Sheffield”, but the truth is he wanted Vlad Guerrero for that spot, as one of many examples (not that Sheffield was actually much worse than Vlad over those three years when he was healthy, but that’s not my point). since October 2005, he’s had full control of GM duties and not surprisingly, his moves have been far better.

    my point being that GMs don’t always have 100 percent control, Isiah certainly didn’t last spring. when do you think this oft-reported power struggle between Isiah and Brown actually occurred? that was when it was at its worst.

    so you can stick with your corporate way of assigning responsibility, I’ll stick to trying to figure out what actually happened. either way, the Francis deal is, IMO, by far the worst move of the Isiah regime, and arguably the only one to have a negative effect on the current roster (which is the main reason it’s interesting to me if it was pushed/forced upon him by the circumstances at that time).

  61. nice site, by the way. generally insightful and intelligent postings, pretty rare for a sports-related discussion board. thanks for running it!

  62. I think you have to look at all the moves as Isiah’s fault. You have to give him credit for the Lee pick just like you have to blame him for the Francis trade. I know it is not that simple and there are a many different forces that act upon any and every move a basketball team makes but fair or not ultimatly the GM is the one that gets and IMO deserves the blame/credit for those moves.

    With that said I am pretty satisfied with Isiah’s reign as GM. He’s made as many mistakes as good moves but overall this team was desperate for major change and he provided it. I think if you look at this team now taking into account Isiah was not very good at trades, terrible with signings and great in the draft you have to be pretty happy going forward, because in the future this team should be pretty much done with trades and free agent signings.

    I also like the job Isiah has done as coach. With x’s and o’s and even substitution patters he could be better. But he really has this team playing for him. I get the impression that they would jump off a cliff for him and are really coming together as a team. I truly believe we are making the playoffs this year and not just limping in with the Atlantic crown. I see at least 38 wins which should be better than the 8th seed. In fact I think two Atlantic teams will make it.

  63. “the GM is the one that gets and IMO deserves the blame/credit for those moves.”

    the blame/credit from who? his boss, Dolan, knows precisely what actually happened, he doesn’t have to make educated guesses like us and the usually-at-least-six-months-behind-reality media.

    the problem with a second Atlantic team making it is that Miami is now primed to make a run. Shaq started practicing today, Walker and Posey just got reinstated, and they always have the ridiculous Wade to fall back on. I don’t really see any of the other teams (Detroit, Cleveland, Orlando, Washington, Chicago, Indiana) fading enough for a second Atlantic team to get in, although I guess it’s possible. I do think that the Atlantic will be a good three team race, not decided until late in the season, and I think the winner will be over .500.

  64. I think Aldridge is the appropriate measuring stick for the Curry trade.

    Whatever Chicago did with the pick is irrelevant, it’s just a matter of the Knicks’ lost opportunity there.

    Aldridge was the best player available at the #2 pick (and the Knicks likely would have taken him if they had the pick, even with Lee and Frye), so that’s what Curry has to best.

    Which is not to say that he will not (or hasn’t).

  65. “Aldridge was the best player available at the #2 pick”

    says who? no one agreed on this at the time, Chicago certainly didn’t.

    “and the Knicks likely would have taken him if they had the pick, even with Lee and Frye”

    what is this based on? I’d be willing to bet they would have gone for Thomas or Rudy Gay, or maybe Brandon Roy. it was pretty clear that Isiah was drafting by position last year, and the biggest need by far was an athletic guy who could play SF.

  66. to clarify, when I say “no one agreed on this”, I mean there was no consensus amongst experts or teams what the order of the top players should be, not that no one agreed with Brian that Aldridge was the best player after Bargnani was taken. it’s actually possible Portland even preferred Thomas to Aldridge, but they didn’t have that choice available. our friend Larry Brown was widely quoted before the draft as saying Thomas was the top talent available of anyone, including Bargnani.

  67. I think you have to measure Curry against any of the top players; Roy, Thomas, Aldridge, Gay, and Morrison. It would have been one of those five that Isiah would have picked. Wven with that in mind I would still do the trade. Curry is invaluable. There are only maybe 10 players in the whole league that I would trade Curry for straight up, and I doubt that any of those players will end up that good.

  68. There are only maybe 10 players in the whole league that I would trade Curry for straight up

    Ben, you were making so much sense until this point. When Curry is the best All Star snub, we can argue that maybe he’s the 20th-30th best player in the league, and if he’s an All Star starter, you might get away with 10. If I had Dwight Howard, there are maybe 10 guys in the league I would trade him for. And Eddy Curry is no Dwight Howard.

  69. There are easily 30 players I would trade Curry straight up for. He’s on a great run and I really hope he’s turned the corner but he’s done this before. Let’s wait and see if he can sustain it before we start talking All-Star snub.

  70. Shaq is most likely not gonna play in the All-star game because of injury. Eddy Curry will more than likely take that spot on the East team.

  71. Saying there are 30 players because of an all-star snub is disingenous. There is a MUCH higher value on classic, low post threat centers right now even if they aren’t as talented because of their rarity in the league. I’m not saying there aren’t more than ten guys I’d trade Curry for, but the all-star game only picks two centers and Dwight Howard has literally never started at center this season. Shaq is the only true center left in the East right now that isn’t a seven foot placeholder like Brendan Haywood or someone – and would you trade Curry for him at this point? There are dozens of high scoring wingmen and speedy point guards, but a player like Curry is close to one of a kind right now.

  72. keep in mind the statement wasn’t that Curry was in the top 10 players at this second, it was who would you trade him for now? Ray Allen is probably better, but I doubt anyone would trade Curry for Allen right now. again, Curry just turned 24 in December and is improving before our eyes, I believe he’s leading the entire league in points in the paint.

    “I?m not even sure I would consider Curry to be one of the top ten centers in the league.”

    you really don’t want to try to make a list to back that up, trust me. even if you include PFs like Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal, it’d be tough to get to 10.

  73. You’re right i went overboard with the 30 players comment. I agree there are only a handful of quality centers. But a 2 months ago Curry had little trade value and was getting slammed on this board.

    Now he’s an all-star center “one of a kind”

    All i’m saying is let’s see if he can keep it up. I’m a Knicks fan i hope he can do it.. I personally hope he wins an MVP award and leads us to the Finals one day.

  74. Assuming Shaq has one last playoff run in the tank, Yao is more or less the only other better center in the league than Curry. I wouldn’t trade Cury for Wallace right now and who else is there? Maybe Marcus Camby when he’s healthy but he only plays like half the season which is why we traded him in the first place. The other contedners are all dying of old age and injury – Ilgauskus, Brad Miller, etc. and are no longer on Curry’s level.

  75. Don’t forget Dwight Howard and Jermaine O’Neal. Also Amare Stoudamire and maybe Andrew Bynum.

  76. Marc R Said:

    “Don?t forget Dwight Howard and Jermaine O?Neal…”

    Actually, Jermaine spends almost half his minutes at PF. His PER while playing PF is 25.9, but at C his PER is only 20.4. Curry’s C PER is 21.8. And if you take it to Net PER at C, Jermaine has a +4.5 while Curry has a +5.7.

    So actually, you could make a pretty strong case that Curry is indeed a better C than Jermaine, on both ends of the floor. Jermaine is undoubtedly a better PF though. :-)

  77. “Yao is more or less the only other better center in the league than Curry. I wouldn?t trade Cury for Wallace right now and who else is there?”

    That would be less funny if Ben Wallace wasn’t making Chicago, which is Curry’s old team, one of the best in the East.

    Right now Curry is definately behind Yao, Duncan, Amare, JO, Dwight Howard, and Chris Bosh, and I don’t see any of those guys declining much in the next 5 years. If you’re forecasting for the future you can’t just discount guys like Miller & Ilgauskas & not consider Bynum & possible a couple of guys coming into the league like Oden, Noah, Thabeet, and maybe a few overseas we don’t know about.

  78. Count-

    How do you figure out PER for when players are playing different positions?

    And, more importantly, Curry has played some position other than center at some point this year? Considering Curry’s overall PER is just less than 18, if his C PER is 21.8, he must have played an awful lot (and/or awfully poorly) at some other position to bring his overall PER down so much.


    You’re absolutely right about who Curry is behind on that list, but he and Yao are the most traditional centers on that list. Who knows if that matters so much anymore though.

  79. If you’re counting every PF as a C then yeah, there are at least ten to fifteen guys better than Curry. But almost none of those guys – Duncan, Howard, Amare, etc. – are true centers. Even when they play minutes at center it’s way more because of said dearth of real centers to plug in there than it is because they’re natural centers. Amare, for example, openly objects to being a center but plays it because of a glaring need for him there.

  80. There are many more than ten players better than Curry right now but that is not what i meant. When it comes to trading Curry I would not trade him for any player over 30, except Duncan, because their talents would be wasted on a young NY team. I would not trade him for anyone who is injury prone; Jermaine O’Neal or coming off a major injury; Stoudamire. I would only trade him for a truly elite wingman or guard not simply an all-star one like Pierce, Arenas, Paul not because he is better because it is not even close but because he plays Center the hardest position to fill in the NBA. That leaves:
    Yao, Howard, LeBron, Anthony, Kobe, Wade, Brand, Nowitski, and probably Bosh although I think he scores too much from the perimeter so I might not. Maybe I am forgeting a couple of players but I stand behind my statement.

  81. I think the verdict is still out on the Curry trade… given the weak draft last year, Knicks didn’t give up that much, but let’s not get carried away… Curry may be one of the best low-post players in the league, but of players over 6’8 he’s probably the worst rebounder in the league, and one of the worst defenders.

    I’ll admit he’s been a little better on both those counts this year, going from horrible to bad, but it’s not like he’s ever going to be a good rebounder or defender. Reasonable scenario is he turns into a good center, maybe even very good, but not great. Zach Randolph is a good comparison (same age, although a much better rebounder) Does anyone think Zack Randolph is superstar material, now or ever?

    Downside is $$. It may not matter until 2009, but after that, there would be cap space if Isaiah hadn’t made the deals for Curry, Q, Jerome James, Crawford & Jeffries. It’s not that these guys are terrible (well, except we all know who), but they cap out the Knicks and are so overpaid that they’re basically untradeable.

    There IS hope. Picture this: Curry pans out, Frye and Lee develop into all-star types (one gets traded, along with a big contract, for a quick, top-notch guard), Balkman and this year’s draft pick become solid starters… but because of all the overpaid deals, there’s no margin for error.

  82. “That would be less funny if Ben Wallace wasn?t making Chicago, which is Curry?s old team, one of the best in the East.”

    um, they’re 20-17 and in the seventh spot in the East, hard to be too impressed right now with that. is Wallace even an upgrade over Tyson Chandler, who they gave away after signing Wallace? he’s certainly much older.

    if you gave Chicago the chance today to undo that signing and reverse the Chandler deal and the Curry deal, I guarantee they’d jump at every one of those. they didn’t even really want to make the Curry deal at the time, they were forced into it because of the heart condition issue. the Bulls have absolutely no post scoring, partly because of the aforementioned Ben Wallace (who’s arguably as limited as Curry, just replace shotblocking and rebounding with minimal scoring ability and dreadful FT shooting, but no one ever seems to mention that, even though we all know it).

  83. “Yao, Howard, LeBron, Anthony, Kobe, Wade, Brand, Nowitski, and probably Bosh”

    for people clamoring for salary cap room, it’s interesting to note that not one of these players has changed teams via free agency.

  84. Goodwin said Webber and Thomas will talk over the phone. “The Knicks are definitely on Chris’ radar just because of the relationship between Isiah, Chris and myself,” Goodwin said. — New York Post

    This would be a disaster why is Isiah even considering this?

  85. its not a disaster, Webber could definately provide some insurance for the frontline and his passing would be a veteran influence. he’s going to detroit or miamiit looks like.

  86. 6:07 to go in the 3rd, David Lee has played 6 minutes, he has zero fouls, this is fucking bullshit

  87. yeah, less than 30 minutes three straight games now, totally inexcusable. it seems clear to me that Lee and Q should start over Jeffries and Crawford, the minutes will fall more easily into place then. Crawford has been getting too many, let him be the sixth man.

    bad loss, can’t afford many of those. this makes the Sacramento game on Monday a must win, they need to come out for that one revved up, even with the early start. it was nice to see Curry come back after his most frustrating half in a while (since Yao?) with 20 in the second half, though. and who was that guy in Derek Anderson’s jersey? Ray Allen? couldn’t be, him we stopped…

  88. Isiah said he didn’t want to mess with the winning formula after they came home from the west coast trip, completely understandable. They won one game against the 6ers, then get quasi blown out by the Bobcats. David Lee lost another 5 minutes of playing this game. Can anyone explain this???? David Lee is 10X the “glue” Isiah professed would be derived from the Jared Jefferies signing. This is unacceptable. Additionaly, I’m always rooting for Jamal, but seriously, how much evidence do we need he needs to come off the bench. Start Q at the 2, put Lee in at the 3, eventhough he doesn’t fit well at the wing behind the line, whatever.

  89. Yeah, Lee should be playing a lot. Robinson is getting too many minutes and not doing anything. Go big. They look better with one true guard on the floor. Crawford at point when Marbury is resting and keep Lee in the game. Where was Balkman tonight when they needed some defense?

    Can someone answer a question I have about the pass on Butler last summer. My understanding is that they let Butler go because they had to chose between Jeffries and Butler and couldn’t sign them both if they only had a 5 mil MLE to spend under the salary rules. Obviously they felt Jeffries had more to offer. Are my assumptions wrong? Could they have signed both players?

  90. yes, Butler was their own player, so they had no restrictions on keeping him. they just decided to be cheap (now you decide to be cheap?) and let him go.

    and Nate Robinson played 13 minutes Wednesday and 6 minutes tonight, 10-15 minutes per game I think is the right range for him as the 8th man right now. if you really wanted to go big, you could use Balkman as the 8th guy, letting him play some 2 guard like he did during the suspensions, and not use Nate at all.

  91. They didnt match the Butler contract offer becuase since they were over the salary cap his contract would essentially be worth twice what he signed for. exapmle i believe he got a 3 yr 7 million deal from SA for the NYK it would be 3 yr 14 million(you pay dollar to dollar when your over the cap)besides butler is a cheap version of Eddy Curry score in the low post couldnt play d or rebound

  92. the numbers involved are far smaller than the ones for Jalen Rose or Steve Francis, just a really odd time to get cheap, especially over such a relatively small contract. Butler showed very positive signs rebounding and on D, and he’s still only 21, with a legit center’s body. inexplicable to me that they let him go, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how that one turns out.

  93. in somewhat related news (the other really promising kid Isiah let go), Trevor Ariza got back his MRI results last night, sprained MCL, out at least 6-8 weeks, with surgery still a possibility down the road.

  94. I kind of agree that he’s basically a very poor man’s version of Curry. But I also agree that it was stupid to suddenly start being cheap. We decided not to take a low risk on a player who might at worst be a decent asset with a very small contract – yet we’ve had absolutely no problem taking on monster contracts over the years.

    Doesn’t make sense to me…but all that said I don’t really think Butler is going to come back to haunt us.

  95. back to this for one second:

    “That would be less funny if Ben Wallace wasn?t making Chicago, which is Curry?s old team, one of the best in the East.”

    FWIW, Wallace’s +/- is actually -14.6, which I’d guess is among the lowest in the league this year.

    The Bulls are +0.6 when he’s on the floor (69% of the time) and – 15.3 when he’s off. not sure if that includes their 44 point win without him last night or not…

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