Knicks 2015 Free Agency Round Table: Arron Afflalo

True or False: Afflalo is the Knicks second option on offense in 2016.

Fisher-Cohen: True. And that’s gonna bump his stats and guarantee he leaves next summer. That’s the problem with player options.

Kurylo: False. He’s going to be their first option for the 42 games Carmelo Anthony misses, because Coach “Gotta Win’em All” is going to ride that ol’ grey mare until it breaks.

Gibberman: False. The Knicks second option is going to be taking good shots off of ball movement generated by the attention given to Carmelo Anthony.

Cronin: True. Unless the Zinger comes on quicker than expected.

True or False: Afflalo will be over his career ts% of 56.1% in 2016.

Kurylo: True. Afflalo’s true shooting percentage seems closely related to his three point shooting. On the plus side, in 5 of his last 7 seasons, he’s shot 39.8% or better. So I think the odds are in Afflalo’s favor.

Gibberman: He’s been under two of the past three seasons so I’ll guess it continues along that trend. False.

Fisher-Cohen: Afflalo was surprisingly efficient for the Magic even when he was asked to carry a much larger burden offensively than he had in the past. He’s two years older now though and coming off a pretty crappy year. I’ll say false but I wouldn’t be surprised to be wrong.

Cronin: He definitely has the capability of doing it, but I think the odds are against him after his last few seasons, so I’ll go with false.

True or False: Last year in Portland, the Blazers were 5.3 points worse (per 100 possessions) on defense with Afflalo on the floor, and the Nuggets were 0.2 points worse. So probably, he’s a bad defensive player.

Gibberman: True. Afflalo no longer has the foot speed he once did to guard at a high level. The hope is he perks up and can be an average defender. That would be nice.

Fisher-Cohen: True. He was an overrated defender in the past and is worse now.

Kurylo: From these stats [http://stats.nba.com/player/#!/201167/tracking/defense/], it would seem he gets burned on the inside. So I’d agree with Gibberman, he’s lost a step & is going to be hurting against speedier players. Maybe against smaller lineups, he can play SF more capably.

Cronin: He’s definitely lost a few steps on defense. I don’t know if he is a bad defender, per se, but he is not much more than mediocre. Sadly mediocre is a huge step up from the likes of THJ, Calderon and Shved.

True or False: Afflalo is worth $16M over 2 years.

Gibberman: I didn’t want the Knicks to sign Afflalo, but I’m fine with this contract. Best case scenario is he plays wells, opts out, and the Knicks move on to a higher level shooting guard next summer with available cap space.

Fisher-Cohen: Absolutely true, but the player option means he’ll almost definitely be gone in a year (unless he falls apart). As the Knicks aren’t going anywhere this year, his only real value to this team is that he inflates their win total, theoretically making them more appealing to next year’s FA class.

Cronin: It’s not an awful contract in a vacuum, as $8 million is about what mediocre players get paid nowadays (see Corey Brewer).I just don’t like the idea of spending $13 million on two mediocre players where the best case scenario is that they have good years and then you lose them after the first year or have to use some of your new cap room to re-sign them and risk losing out on a max-level free agent. If this team is not going to be a contender next season, what is the point of devoting $8 million in cap space to a 30-year-old mediocre player like Afflalo? Forget the fact that Cory Joseph ended up signing long-term for $7.5 million a year, I just wanted to wait period – use the cap room to acquire longterm assets, not short-term “assets” like Afflalo, who, even if you are right about his chances of bouncing back, you’ll then either lose him after one year or have to use some newly found cap space to keep him! It’s just a strange signing. Lopez and O’Quinn were fine signings, as both could theoretically be parts of the next good Knick team. Afflalo and Williams are unlikely to be part of the future (and if you think Williams will be part of the future, why give him a player option so that he can leave after one year? It just doesn’t follow).

Kurylo: Agree with Brian Cronin. What’s the point of giving a player an option in year 2? If he sucks, you’re screwed. If he’s good, he’s gone. Why not save the cash and get some prospects? Cap space can be an asset, especially around mid-season if you’re looking to inject yourself in a trade that needs some extra room.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

95 thoughts to “Knicks 2015 Free Agency Round Table: Arron Afflalo”

  1. Berman’s reporting that we may offer Shved the room. And that Bargnani is likely not returning. AND that:

    “Jackson wanted to re-sign center Jason Smith, but he is expected to have offers greater than what’s left for the Knicks to give him — a starting wage of $2.8 million. It’s too bad because Smith told brass he wanted to come back, believing the system fit him perfectly because of his mid-range jumper.”

    Let’s hope that the Lakers are dumb enough to pay Jah >2.8m for his “services”.

    http://nypost.com/2015/07/06/knicks-exploring-a-shved-return-but-he-has-competition/

  2. I’d be cool with giving the room exception to Shved or Caron Butler (also mentioned in the Berman piece). With Calderon, Grant, Galloway and Afflalo, I’m not sure how many minutes there’s be for Shved but he’s still worth the spot. Butler would also fit nicely as we don’t have a true 3 to back up Melo, though he obviously has significantly less upside than Shved. All in all I wouldn’t expect either guy to have a significant impact, but you never know.

  3. In before a certain poster comes into the thread and belittles literally everyone for not seeing things his way.

  4. “Jackson wanted to re-sign center Jason Smith, but he is expected to have offers greater than what’s left for the Knicks to give him — a starting wage of $2.8 million. It’s too bad because Smith told brass he wanted to come back, believing the system fit him perfectly because of his mid-range jumper.”

    Generally, I would rather have Derrick “30%” Williams taking 3’s than Jason Smith taking his elite mid range jumper. Because math. I suppose there’s some value in having a guy who is a good mid range jump shooter on the floor if you can get him open jump shots and limit the non-open mid range jumpers he takes. And theoretically, with a few better players on the team we’d have more of those chances next year. But Jason doesn’t rebound or play defense anymore, so whatever marginal offensive value his mid range ability is giving you on a tactical level he’s probably pissing it away in other areas. Let Melo take those shots. Or don’t take them.

  5. The value in signing Afflalo and to a lesser degree Lopez, who is more likely to stick long-term, is that you can easily flip a guy like that for assets. The guy got moved last year in a poor season for a lottery protected first. It’s easy to imagine that if the Knicks aren’t really in playoff contention come mid-season the Knicks can flip him for a similar haul and maybe even more if he gets back up around or above his career averages from the field.

    There’s more than one way to recoup assets and use your cap space.

  6. “Jackson wanted to re-sign center Jason Smith, but he is expected to have offers greater than what’s left for the Knicks to give him — a starting wage of $2.8 million. It’s too bad because Smith told brass he wanted to come back, believing the system fit him perfectly because of his mid-range jumper.”

    Another example of Jackson’s genius, to know that someone else would outbid him on Smith, because he knew that Smith didn’t really fit the team’s roster. ;)

    But seriously, I think that’s great news for Shved. It seems like a bit of an overpay, but he’s actually a good player, so I’m more than happy with it. I’d much prefer him than, say, Caron Butler. That said, I also wouldn’t mind holding on to the room exception in case someone interesting gets cut during the season. Having actual money to spend on those types of guys is a huge advantage. The problem is, of course, on whether anyone interesting does get cut. So if Jackson thinks Shved is likely to be better than anyone who gets cut during the regular season, then that’s fine by me.

  7. Blah – Porzingis questionable to play in summer league. What a downer if he doesn’t play.

    Yeah, it probably doesn’t make a huge difference overall, but it would just be cool to see him play in Summer League.

  8. Re-shved he has a qualifying offer so isn’t he a restricted fa meaning we could separately sign/match any contract if we want to go over the cap? Do we lose the room exception in that scenario?

  9. Would the Knicks still have about $2m under the cap after signing these 4 guys since we’d have taken of $2m in cap holds with each addition?

  10. @15

    We will certainly be renouncing that qualifying offer to create the cap space to sign the 4 guys we committed too. The Knicks’ only mechanisms for bringing him back are the room exception, whatever remaining cap space we have and vet minimum contracts.

  11. Re-shved he has a qualifying offer so isn’t he a restricted fa meaning we could separately sign/match any contract if we want to go over the cap? Do we lose the room exception in that scenario?

    I believe the Knicks had to waive the qualifying offer to get the cap room. His QO is higher than the room exception. What they’re doing is waiving his QO, getting to within $2 million of the cap and then signing him to the room, which is roughly $3 million.

  12. A truncated quote from Z Lowe:

    Have you looked at next season’s free-agency class? Kevin Durant is the headliner, but it’s thin at the top after him…

    …next summer’s class lost star power when Kevin Love, Aldridge, and others chose security over higher-risk, higher-reward short-term deals…

    There will be more star-level salary slots next summer under the $90 million cap than star free agents.

    That is very good news for Jeff Green, Luol Deng, Eric Gordon, Nic Batum, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, DeMar DeRozan, Chandler Parsons, and other third-banana types. These guys are going to get paid.

    You know who else it’s potentially great news for? A team that has Carmelo Anthony signed for a 2 year deal (w player option for 3rd) at the old max. Because I really think he, if he has a strong bounce back season this year, he is going to be the prize acquisition for every team that fails to get Kevin Durant. That’s going to net a very nice package for him next summer and will soften the blow of having no picks.

    This, of course, is where the stupidity of the full NTC comes in. However, that should only diminish what we can receive in a trade, not completely destroy it. Unfortunately, we’ll never be able to accept a godfather offer from a team he’s unwilling to play for. But you’d assume that Melo, after another noncontending year here, would be open to facilitating his own exit and at least give us 2 teams he’s willing to play for that we can leverage against each other.

    I’d bet anyone that, one year from now, this is what we’re talking about.

  13. Yeah I’m a Shvedhead, so hopefully he comes back.

    Hopefully this Zinger hip issue is just precautionary. Very nervous about 7 footers with early health issues.

  14. It’s easy to imagine that if the Knicks aren’t really in playoff contention come mid-season

    *SPOILER ALERT*

    We’re not going to be really in playoff contention come mid-season.

  15. Would the Knicks still have about $2m under the cap after signing these 4 guys since we’d have taken of $2m in cap holds with each addition?

    Yes, the Knicks likely have about $2 million in cap space left (they have to use this before using the room, but that’s often just a matter of when to sign the actual papers). That can help them if it comes to beating a vet minimum offer.

  16. Thanks DRed. So my hypothetical seems like it has a really good chance of happening then.

  17. Thanks DRed. So my hypothetical seems like it has a really good chance of happening then.

    My problem with that hypothetical is that if he performs well this season, then they have a chance at getting something for him (his last trade got a theoretical first round pick, but really two future second round picks. As Lowe mentioned, the Nuggets couldn’t find any takers for that pick on the open market because everyone thinks it will become two future second round picks). Now had they just kept the cap space, they could have acquired a pick by using that cap space as a facilitator for other teams. The Clippers, for instance, are desperate to find a cap space facilitator to get room to sign a center. So there, they’d just be renting their cap space to get assets while not competing, rather than, in effect, renting their cap space to Afflalo for a couple of seasons while not competing (while perhaps getting an asset for him this year).

    I don’t think Jackson got Afflalo to flip him. I think he got him because he figured it would improve the team in the short term. And improving the team in the short term when they don’t have a draft pick this year is not an awful idea, so it’s not like going this route is terrible or anything like that, but I also don’t think it was the best course for the future of the team.

    All that said, Afflalo seems to be one of the coolest guys in the NBA, so between him and Robin Lopez, I am very much looking forward to seeing such great guys play for the Knicks. It’ll be a nice throwback to the 2012 team. Actual fun, professional players.

  18. Idk when you look at the east, it’s still pretty dreggy.

    I think we match up just fine against Boston and Philly and probably Brooklyn.
    The Pistons aren’t good, and Indy probably takes a small step back, for now.
    Hornets are terrible, and Orlando is far too young.

    Raptors, Cavs, Bulls, Bucks, Heat, are all clearly better than us.

    I think it’s a wash with the Pacers and the Wiz, but most likely we should top out at the 8th seed in the east.

  19. I wonder what the Suns would give us to take on markieff Morris’s contract if he is still on the block? Looks like they have clevelands protected 1-10 next year and a few Miami 1sts in the future. Any of those would work

    Say we resign shved to the room exception. We trade Calderon for Morris and a 1st. He’s locked up for~ 8/yr for the next 4 years I believe so if they want to cut ties they need to throw in a sweetener. And I honestly don’t think he’s a bad player.

    Pg-shved, grant, Gallo
    Sg-affalo, Gallo, ledo
    Sf-Morris, d-will,early/antekumpo
    Pf-melo, zinger,amundson
    C-RL, o’quinn, Aldrich

    That’s the 15 man squad.

  20. Morris only seemed to be on the block to clear cap space for a possible Aldridge signing. I don’t think they’re looking to move him any more.

  21. You could be right but I know they traded the other Morris and thought I read markieff was rumored to not be getting along with hornacek potentially b/c they traded his bro. Phx also seems devoid of a back up pg..and Calderon would fit that bill pretty well. Would you do that trade? You think phx would?

  22. C’mon man. Even in fantasy land they’re not paying you a first round pick to take Markieff Morris. Dude is a really good player on a good contract. It’s going to cost a first round pick at least to get him, fighting with the coach or no.

  23. The Honorable Cock Jowles July 7, 2015 at 10:43 am
    In before a certain poster comes into the thread and belittles literally everyone for not seeing things his way.

    I mean, you know you are one of the many posters here this could apply to, right? ;)

    How are they handling this week up in Portland? Unfortunate to see a decent team torn apart. They were never contenders, but they were ok and that city loves a fun team.

  24. I just wanted to wait period – use the cap room to acquire longterm assets, not short-term “assets” like Afflalo, who, even if you are right about his chances of bouncing back, you’ll then either lose him after one year or have to use some newly found cap space to keep him!

    Agree with Brian Cronin. What’s the point of giving a player an option in year 2? If he sucks, you’re screwed. If he’s good, he’s gone. Why not save the cash and get some prospects

    I don’t really understand the reaction most have to player options.

    People seem to focus only on the extreme outcomes: he’s good and you regret losing him or he sucks and you’re stuck. There’s a spectrum with a lot of outcomes in the middle. Chances are they will both land somewhere towards the middle of the spectrum (and that probably means they opt out).

    People also focus on this trade-off between short- and long-term assets. Basketball players are fairly fungible assets. There is a market for trading them. If you think you’ve gotten a buy-low candidate below his value, then you also necessarily think that by mid-season you should be able to flip him for something of value. Whether you want to trade him, hold him and let him walk, or hold him and re-sign him (or hold and exercise if something doesn’t work out or he just loves being a Knick) depends on a ton of factors, but the point is that there’s not this black and white divide between short- and long-term assets.

    And the point of giving a player option is to get the player to sign with you. Player options are a negative for a team, they are not giving them out because they want to. They are a form of “waiting,” though, in terms of not tying up long-term cap space on a player you don’t really want to sign at the price he’s commanding. This wasn’t a particularly great FA market, with most of the better players staying put, so the Knicks kicked the can.

  25. About Afflalo. I’m not overly excited about the player or the contract. It’s certainly not exciting but it’s not horrifying.

    Afflalo, as a replacement for either Shumpert or JR works for me. JR is a skilled player but he’s also a head-case. Shumpert is a pretty good defender that just struggles to score. Afflalo is better than Shump offensively but not as good as JR. I think he’ll be a decent defender for us, but not as good as Shump. Where he’s an improvement is all about maturity and clubhouse. This is a good team guy. He won’t be toking up with Rihanna or coming to the Sunday noon games straight from a night of clubbing. I expect 12 ppg and decent defense.

  26. Off topic: I’m not at all impressed by Okafor’s highlights (I know, I know.) He scored 20 on 10 of 22 against what looks like very bad competition.

    A recap of the first few days of the summer leagues would be great, even though the Knicks are only playing in Las Vegas.

  27. AA is going to get a lot of shots and the opportunity to be the 2nd option
    I don’t really view this as a 2 year, $16M deal:
    -If he plays well and opts in, he will be worth the 2nd year at $8M
    -If he plays well and opts out, no huge loss to us
    -If he plays well we can trade him at the deadline this year for future assets
    -If he sucks and opts in next year, he becomes an expiring contract that may have value, and it’s $8M vs a higher cap

    We struggled to bring FAs here this year, maybe next year we improve by trading, and his expiring deal becomes valuable?

  28. In before a certain poster comes into the thread and belittles literally everyone for not seeing things his way.

    Seriously? Are you 5 years old?

    And, assuming you are referring to me, I am “belittling” others for holding extreme views, being unwilling to respect other people’s opinions, and being unable to back-up their own extreme views with anything resembling a solid argument despite “belittling” opposing arguments. I don’t particularly care for Derrick Williams. I just realize that $5 million isn’t much in the NBA, he has not been totally useless to date, and players can actually improve (i.e. there is a difference between using stats for descriptive and prescriptive purposes).

  29. About Afflalo. I’m not overly excited about the player or the contract. It’s certainly not exciting but it’s not horrifying.

    Yeah, that sounds about right. At least he’s not Derrick Williams. ;)

  30. About Afflalo. I’m not overly excited about the player or the contract. It’s certainly not exciting but it’s not horrifying.

    Yeah, that sounds about right.

    Pretty much this offseason. Except for dumping Tim Hardaway, which was very exciting. I’m fine with that.*

    * Unless Cory Jospeh blossoms into an all-star, in which case I’m going be (even more) inusfferable

  31. Seriously? Are you 5 years old?

    And, assuming you are referring to me, I am “belittling” others for holding extreme views, being unwilling to respect other people’s opinions, and being unable to back-up their own extreme views with anything resembling a solid argument despite “belittling” opposing arguments. I don’t particularly care for Derrick Williams. I just realize that $5 million isn’t much in the NBA, he has not been totally useless to date, and players can actually improve (i.e. there is a difference between using stats for descriptive and prescriptive purposes).

    Art thou mad?

  32. How are they handling this week up in Portland? Unfortunate to see a decent team torn apart. They were never contenders, but they were ok and that city loves a fun team.

    No one’s happy about it. Then I remind them that they could be Knicks fans and everything’s better.

  33. This, of course, is where the stupidity of the full NTC comes in. However, that should only diminish what we can receive in a trade, not completely destroy it. Unfortunately, we’ll never be able to accept a godfather offer from a team he’s unwilling to play for.

    How many teams that Melo would be unwilling to play for want to make a “godfather offer” for 31 year old max-contract guy? Of course we don’t know exactly where Melo is willing to play, but it’s mostly going to be contenders or near contenders who actually want Melo. How many cellar dwellars are going to decide that their best move is to give up a ton of value for a couple of years of a non-elite player?

    My problem with that hypothetical is that if he performs well this season, then they have a chance at getting something for him… Now had they just kept the cap space, they could have acquired a pick by using that cap space as a facilitator for other teams.

    Your scenario is also only gives them a chance to get something, at the expense of taking on something of negative value (which may completely outweigh the benefit that you’re getting). It comes across as just your preference on team building, not a clearly better strategy.

    I don’t think Jackson got Afflalo to flip him. I think he got him because he figured it would improve the team in the short term.

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s not either / or. He got him because he thinks he’s worth more over 1/$8 or 2/$16 than any other available FA fit was worth over his asking price, same as every single exec gets every FA. A GM can’t predict the future, he can only try to find value.

  34. This wasn’t a particularly great FA market, with most of the better players staying put, so the Knicks kicked the can.

    That’s the way I see it too.

    Lopez got 4 years because they see him as a viable long term C.

    Afflalo and Williams got 2 years because the Knicks know they are unlikely to get Durant next year and want that space back relatively soon. Next year will be similar to this year in that they will make additions/substitutions and try to upgrade. By 2017/2018 the young players should be more ready, the Knicks will be more respectable, and they’ll make sure they have the cap space to bring in a real star.

  35. Art thou mad?

    Not at all. Just amazed that there are people in the world so petty that they go onto blogs and make rude, substance-less comments for no reason other than to attack other people. Truly amazed, really.

    I mean, what went through your brain this morning when you decided to come on here and make that comment?

  36. I don’t mind the Afflalo contract. It’s true that most likely he’ll perform within the parameters that he’s performed over his career: Somewhere between .090 and .120 WS with middling defense.
    In which case it really will be 16k over 2 years, which is probably exactly what an average NBA player should cost, especially after the new cba.

    Average price for an average player on a short contract. What’s the big deal?

  37. I don’t mind the Afflalo contract. It’s true that most likely he’ll perform within the parameters that he’s performed over his career: Somewhere between .090 and .120 WS with middling defense.

    His WS/48 over the last three seasons:

    Age 27 .049
    Age 28 .099
    Age 29 .050

    It is not most likely that he’ll go between .90 and .120 in his Age 30 season. And his defense is slipping from even middling level as he’s gotten older.

  38. If Porzingis can become a viable 2nd option on offense in his time on the court, that would reduce Afflalo’s role from where it has been in recent years. I can see him upping his efficiency in that case. But that’s a lot to ask from a 19 year old rookie even if he has Spanish League experience.

  39. I don’t really understand the reaction most have to player options.

    I’ll try and explain, because that’s me.

    The problem isn’t player options. It’s player options for this team. If we were a team with a legitimate chance to make a run, then I would be all for it. Get the talent, by all means, and make a run. But we have a snowball’s chance in hell to make a run. If we’re an 8-seed, we’ll have wildly exceeded expectations.

    The Knicks need to build a core of talent for the future. As we’ve seen in free agency, stars want to come to teams with a chance. We couldn’t offer David West a max deal to come but the Spurs are paying him the veteran’s minimum. If he succeeds here, he opts out. If he fails, he opts in. So we’re getting the worst part of the deal either way.

    But you make a good point that I’ll temper…

    Basketball players are fairly fungible assets. There is a market for trading them.

    Yep. That’s the only hope. He excels and some team needs a player like him to make a playoff run. We trade him for picks and players to match up in salary. That’s why I treat the Afflalo and Williams deals differently. I think we’ll be able to flip Afflalo but I have high doubts we’ll be able to flip Williams. He hasn’t shown us NBA starter talent yet and he doesn’t show the desire. So why pay Williams? I still can’t figure it out based on my assessment of him as a player.

  40. His WS/48 over the last three seasons:

    Age 27 .049
    Age 28 .099
    Age 29 .050

    It is not most likely that he’ll go between .90 and .120 in his Age 30 season. And his defense is slipping from even middling level as he’s gotten older.

    It’s not a big deal that we gave a guy who is likely to be pretty mediocre a 2 year contract. But there is very little upside to signing Aaron Afflalo, and that 12 million dollars could have been used to sign players with significant upside, or a player who is likely to be league average, or to take a shitty contract in exchange for assets that might help you more than 2 years from now.

    There’s definitely some value in building a better team, and Afflalo like D. Williams is an improvement over the 6000 minutes of shit we handed out to J. Smith, Bargs, Wearbear, et al last season. So, whatever. They’re just very low upside deals for a team that still is very asset poor.

  41. @45

    Opportunity cost. These are average contracts for players who are close to replacement level. That’s been my biggest issue with this offseason; just not a ton of creativity / the pressing need to use all of their cap space as soon as possible

  42. If Porzingis can become a viable 2nd option on offense in his time on the court, that would reduce Afflalo’s role from where it has been in recent years. I can see him upping his efficiency in that case. But that’s a lot to ask from a 19 year old rookie even if he has Spanish League experience.

    Yeah, like I noted, I hope that the Zinger can come on faster than expected. Back when we did our rookie round table, I predicted year two for the Zinger to hit a 15 PER as I really do think he has the ability to be a scorer in the NBA pretty quickly, and that should be enough to see his PER rise.

  43. So why pay Williams? I still can’t figure it out based on my assessment of him as a player.

    I’ll stop crushing this deal after this but it really feels like the cap space was just burning a hole in their pocket with this one.

    Also for whatever it’s worth, Ainge got Jerebko and Johnson to take team options on the second year. The better question is: what was the market for Afflalo/Williams? Would any other teams have matched our offer?

    I also thought it was interesting that Thomas Robinson, who is the same age as Derrick Williams, had a higher WS/48 and has a third of his minutes in the NBA thusfar, went for a vet’s minimum contract with the Nets..

  44. Somewhere between .090 and .120 WS with middling defense.
    In which case it really will be 16k over 2 years

    I’d bet on a player opting out if they mirror their career value in a year when the cap is going to increase.

    It’s player options for this team. If we were a team with a legitimate chance to make a run, then I would be all for it. Get the talent, by all means, and make a run. But we have a snowball’s chance in hell to make a run. If we’re an 8-seed, we’ll have wildly exceeded expectations.

    Why do you believe that there is only value in current production for a team that is “making a run?” (Being the 8th seed vs. winning, say, 17 games is probably a HUGE financial difference for team… and this team has no 1st rounder anyway.)

    Why do you think it’s ok for a team “making a run” to accept the risk of tying up next year’s cap space but not a bad/mediocre team? Why is that cap space less valuable to a good team than a bad team?

    The Knicks need to build a core of talent for the future

    Why is a player option preventing them from doing that?

    If he succeeds here, he opts out. If he fails, he opts in. So we’re getting the worst part of the deal either way.

    Why is a successful season “the worst part of the deal?” Is a bad season and an opt-in even necessarily a bad deal for the Knicks?

    Yep. That’s the only hope. He excels and some team needs a player like him to make a playoff run.

    The only hope? Seriously? Them playing well isn’t a hope? Why? Because then they’ll opt out? Who cares?

    I have high doubts we’ll be able to flip Williams. He hasn’t shown us NBA starter talent yet and he doesn’t show the desire. So why pay Williams? I still can’t figure it out based on my assessment of him as a player.

    How about letting him play this season before deciding his mid-season…

  45. Is anybody else worried that Shved was a horrifically shitty player before his 700 good minutes here last year? He’s a miserable defender any way you slice it, and before last season he couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean if he was standing on a boat. He seems like fool’s gold to me.

  46. Opportunity cost. These are average contracts for players who are close to replacement level.

    Saying something doesn’t make it true…

    I’ll stop crushing this deal after this but it really feels like the cap space was just burning a hole in their pocket with this one.

    Couldn’t possibly be that they think he’s a talented basketball player. They’re just so dumb that they don’t even know how to manage a budget.

    The better question is: what was the market for Afflalo/Williams? Would any other teams have matched our offer?

    Those are basically unanswerable questions. However, to assume the answer is no is to assume the Knicks are idiots who bid against themselves.

    I also thought it was interesting that Thomas Robinson, who is the same age as Derrick Williams, had a higher WS/48 and has a third of his minutes in the NBA thusfar, went for a vet’s minimum contract with the Nets..

    Maybe teams don’t make their decisions based on nothing but WS/48?

  47. But there is very little upside to signing Aaron Afflalo, and that 12 million dollars could have been used to sign players with significant upside, or a player who is likely to be league average, or to take a shitty contract in exchange for assets that might help you more than 2 years from now.

    They did this with Williams, and no one liked that move either, lol. And there weren’t that many other options for upside: Joseph? Davis? Their teams didn’t exactly fight to keep them.

    Also, I think Jax got the future assets he wanted in this year’s draft (2 extra picks) though he still has the ability to trade for more future picks or young players if he wants.

    Plus, there are many reasons for him to field a decent team this year: Get Melo’s value up in case of trade demand, have the ability to woo free agents next year or the year after, help groom the confidence of the new young guys…

    I mean, Afflalo and Williams don’t make Jax look like a genius or anything, but I like the methodical approach he’s taking. As we’ve seen, just flip flopping guys when and where ever you want doesn’t work so great either (just ask ubernerd Morey.) Jackson seems to have a multifaceted approach.

  48. Is anybody else worried that Shved was a horrifically shitty player before his 700 good minutes here last year? He’s a miserable defender any way you slice it, and before last season he couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean if he was standing on a boat. He seems like fool’s gold to me.

    Definitely. But fuck it, why not roll the dice? He shot the 3 really well his last 2 seasons in Russia, he’s a pretty good FT shooter, so there’s a chance he’s becoming at least average from NBA 3. And he gets to the line really well.

  49. They did this with Williams, and no one liked that move either,

    I actually prefer the Williams deal to Afflalo.

  50. The Thomas Robinson comp was because they were both lottery “busts” who were forwards from the past few drafts who played in some bad situations. Obviously there are more things to make decisions off of than WS/48, but I thought it was interesting that two players who have shown only middling NBA ability were given pretty different deals.

    I don’t think the FO is dumb, I liked the O’Quinn and Lopez moves. I didn’t love the Afflalo and Williams moves. I thought they did great on draft day. Seems to be the consensus around here. I just saw what I thought (and what many people seem to think) were a few misjudgments and commented. I just wonder what those two players would have went for if we didn’t grab them at the times we did.

  51. They did this with Williams, and no one liked that move either, lol. And there weren’t that many other options for upside: Joseph? Davis? Their teams didn’t exactly fight to keep them.

    The Magic didn’t fight to keep O’Quinn, should we question that signing? Players with upside lose roster spots all the time. Heck, remember, Ben Wallace was a throw-in in the sign and trade for Grant Hill when Hill signed with Orlando!

  52. It’s not a big deal that we gave a guy who is likely to be pretty mediocre a 2 year contract. But there is very little upside to signing Aaron Afflalo, and that 12 million dollars could have been used to sign players with significant upside, or a player who is likely to be league average, or to take a shitty contract in exchange for assets that might help you more than 2 years from now

    That about sums it up for me. Regarding the player options, you would think that we saved on the AAV’s of the Afflalo and Williams deals by giving them out. That probably is why you do it. Although I somewhat doubt Afflalo had more than 2-16 on the table.

  53. I dont see what’s so complicated about the downside of player options. You win by getting more talent per dollar. If a player has an option, he will leave (or get more money) if he outperforms his contract. You maximize your risk while minimizing the reward.

    For a team like the Spurs, if they believed in Derrick, it might make sense to give him that player option since his contribution this season might help them win a title.

    For a team like the Knicks, that is currently in the early stages of the process of trying to put together a better team, next year is almost irrelevant from a win total standpoint, so you further minimize the value of the already minimized reward.

    If I offered to bet you that I could bench press 300lbs within the year but demanded an option at the end of that year to be able to repeat that bet for another year, wouldn’t that dramatically lower the odds you wanted to give me? What if you were in the middle of a divorce, and all the money you earn over the next year was going to your wife? Now you get no money if you win this year, at which point I would probably just opt out so you win nothing the following year either, and if you lose, you are pretty much guaranteed to lose again the next year as all I have to do is sustain my physique. That’s what this deal is with Derrick Williams.

    I would have been happier to see Jackson give Williams a 4 year deal for $30m or whatever as even if I don’t like Williams, at least it would suggest Jackson understands the Knicks’ position and how team building works at a macro level.

    And yes, Afflalo could be traded midseason to a team in need, but I have a hard time believing that that was the plan in signing him, so again, if we’re trying to evaluate Jackson here, I don’t think you plug that into the equation. Further, I really doubt that they couldn’t have gotten more value for the long term by using the cap space in other ways.

  54. I think the way the off season has gone presents Fisher and Jackson with an opportunity to show the value of “system basketball”. Lack of a big name signing and uncertainty about Porzingis has kept fan’s and pundit’s expectations for this season lower than if they’d signed a big name. If they quickly come up with a triangle/PnR hybrid and defense that is good at maximizing the roster’s strengths and minimizing its weaknesses and the Knicks outperform those low expectation, they’ll have some support and momentum to build on for next year. I doubt that window will last long though. A prolonged period of experimenting with rosters and variations on O and D schemes could sorely try everyone’s patience and make it even tougher to develop and sustain optimism. I think it could also be important that at least 2 out of the 4 most unknown quantities (Porzingis, O’Quinn, Grant, Williams) show signs that they could learn thrive in the system. I’m interested to see what they come up with.

  55. I think Z-Man said it best recently where he noted that so much of the Knicks’ future fortunes turn on Zinger. If he develops, well, holy shit, that’s a good player to build around and will be for the next decade plus. If he doesn’t…well…you know.

  56. @53 – Ted, It’s obvious that we don’t agree or value things similarly.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass how much revenue we generate for Dolan. The ONLY objective is to become a team that can win a championship. I’ve explained repeatedly why player options prevent us from building the core of such a team, and I quote myself: “If he succeeds here, he opts out. If he fails, he opts in. So we’re getting the worst part of the deal either way.” Their playing well has ZERO value to me if it’s not moving us closer to that championship. It’s as simple as that.

  57. I think it is a mistake to dismiss Williams out of hand without considering the environment he came from and, as Ted noted, his relatively low price and short commitment.
    At 24, he still may show signs of improvement, though his window begins to close in the next year or two. Generally at 25 or 26, I believe, you are what you are. If he can reduce his 3PT attempts to maybe 1/36 v. his almost 4/36, his TS should go up a lot. His inside eFG% is almost .690. His jumper eFG% is .413, and he takes about 69% of his shots that way. If he can flip that so most of his work is inside and he’s taking jumpers only about 31% of the time, you could have a very effective scorer.
    The Kings used him mostly as a SF, but he was a full point better at PER at the PF position (14.5 rather than 13.5).
    I don’t want to over play him. His defense is not good.
    But for $5 million, it will be interesting to see what he can do in this new system.

  58. I dont see what’s so complicated about the downside of player options. You win by getting more talent per dollar. If a player has an option, he will leave (or get more money) if he outperforms his contract. You maximize your risk while minimizing the reward.

    I think you’ve missed a lot of the discussion. I understand full well why a player option is an advantage to the player and a disadvantage to the team. What I don’t understand is why some people are acting as if it’s the end of the world.

    For a team like the Knicks, that is currently in the early stages of the process of trying to put together a better team, next year is almost irrelevant from a win total standpoint, so you further minimize the value of the already minimized reward.

    I think that’s total BS. I think that next season is absolutely important from a W-L standpoint. This is a team without a draft pick that has a “star” player in his prime and some decent complementary pieces. They have little to nothing to gain by not winning, and plenty of gain by winning.

    I think the view of re-building you’re expressing is overlysimplistic.

    I would have been happier to see Jackson give Williams a 4 year deal for $30m or whatever as even if I don’t like Williams, at least it would suggest Jackson understands the Knicks’ position and how team building works at a macro level.

    Again, I think it’s you who doesn’t understand team building.

    And yes, Afflalo could be traded midseason to a team in need, but I have a hard time believing that that was the plan in signing him

    I’ve addressed this exact point already. GM’s aren’t in the business of predicting the future. You don’t sign someone to trade or not trade him. You sign someone to extract value, in whatever form it takes. (If Jax wanted AA long-term, he would have given him a long-term deal… so he’s almost got to be open to trading the guy at the right price.)

  59. @64 Brian, I hope that isn’t true. Are you saying that the primary way that any rebuilding team is likely to progress is by lucking into a transcendent individual talent or that this Knicks team in particular is more likely to have to depend on that? Either way, I hope that a better style of play can have a major impact on the Knicks’ near- and medium-term success and that, if nothing else, they become a smarter, tougher, better coached team.

  60. Since there is no 2016 pick, and ringzz are not right around the corner for NYK, the best thing Phil can do is try to put a non-laughingstock team on the court in the short term while still adding some pieces with long-term value and maintaining some flexibility for the future. As we just witnessed this offseason, it’s hard to add good free agents when you’re one of the worst teams in the league.

  61. I don’t give a rat’s ass how much revenue we generate for Dolan.

    I don’t either, but I also don’t make the Knicks personnel decisions. You and I are not part of the “we” you are referring to. Dolan is the “we.” (Which is why I stopped following the team closely, personally.)

    The ONLY objective is to become a team that can win a championship.

    And how do you do that? Is there only one way?

    I’ve explained repeatedly why player options prevent us from building the core of such a team, and I quote myself: “If he succeeds here, he opts out. If he fails, he opts in. So we’re getting the worst part of the deal either way.” Their playing well has ZERO value to me if it’s not moving us closer to that championship. It’s as simple as that.

    I already explained to you several times how you have created a false trade-off. The player can contribute to moving the Knicks towards a championship despite a player option. He can be traded. He can re-sign. He can help create a winning environment in which young players develop and that attracts future veterans. (And, again, the Knicks only goal is not to win a championship at some unknown point in the future. Their goal is to field a winning basketball team to make money.)

  62. @64 Brian, I hope that isn’t true. Are you saying that the primary way that any rebuilding team is likely to progress is by lucking into a transcendent individual talent or that this Knicks team in particular is more likely to have to depend on that? Either way, I hope that a better style of play can have a major impact on the Knicks’ near- and medium-term success and that, if nothing else, they become a smarter, tougher, better coached team.

    This particular team. Since circumstances seem to dictate that they’re not going for a full rebuild, Zinger is likely the only top five pick they’ll be getting for the near future, so they really need to make the most of that pick.

  63. Seems like a pretty simple and logical formula to me.

    Phil has long term hope for Porzingis and Grant as his draftees and will have the rights to Galloway as well who he says as a potential long term fit. Then he invested long term $ in FA to the players that he believes will have long term value to the team in Lopez and O’Quinn. He hired Afflalo to give the team a short term minor upgrade at SG and add short term wins for next season (and maybe the following). Then he took a short term flyer on a player he believes is under valued in DW. The negotiation w DW was probably “how about a 1 year $5M deal.” “No how about a 1 year $8M deal.” “No how about a 1 year $5M w a player option for next year?” “Ok.”.

    So now Phil is starting to build a core… Melo, Lopez, Zinger, Galloway, Grant, O’Quinn. These players generally seem to be the consensus long term value deals that everyone agrees are decent (I don’t want to have the Melo argument right now. :) And he can start again next season w Hernangomez plus more 2nd tier core FAs and filler bc he learned from this year that the stars (Durant) ain’t gonna come unless we are contenders.

    This is called a plan.

  64. How many teams that Melo would be unwilling to play for want to make a “godfather offer” for 31 year old max-contract guy? Of course we don’t know exactly where Melo is willing to play, but it’s mostly going to be contenders or near contenders who actually want Melo. How many cellar dwellars are going to decide that their best move is to give up a ton of value for a couple of years of a non-elite player?

    Who said anything about cellar-dwellers? There could be some decent teams with cap space and assets to spare that would be interested in Melo, but he may view them undesirable for whatever Melocentric mood he feels at the moment.

    Let’s say Toronto, for instance, makes the 2nd round, loses a tough series to Cleveland, and decides they want to take a stab at being the #1 contender in the East. They call Phil up after the season and offer a package centered around getting our pick back and other juicy assets. But Melo decides playing for Canada is unappealing; he will only play for Miami or the Clippers and we’re going to have to work out deal with one of those two teams, neither of whom is swimming is desirable picks.

    This is one of many extremely plausible scenarios we may have to deal with due to the absolute folly of a including a full NTC to in a max contract.

  65. Which is why I stopped following the team closely, personally

    Is there a reason I’m not understanding why someone who doesn’t follow the team is averaging like 25 long posts per day?

  66. This particular team. Since circumstances seem to dictate that they’re not going for a full rebuild, Zinger is likely the only top five pick they’ll be getting for the near future, so they really need to make the most of that pick.

    I agree that Zinger’s development is an absolute key (probably THE key from where we’re sitting today).

    Do the Knicks have their 2017 1st rounder, though? (Still can’t trade two consecutive 1sts?) If so, the advantage of the short-term nature of the DW and Afflalo deals (that all the option fanatics are ignoring) is that they create flexibility. Based on how things progress, the Knicks can tear it down and go for another top 5 pick in 2017. Or try to rebuild a different way (even if they have somehow swapped picks or something). Or try to go for it short-term.

  67. There is a hidden value in the player options, though I don’t think Ted or anyone else touched on it:

    If they are awful and they opt in, they will back playing meaningful minutes in a season in which we have our draft pick.

  68. Who said anything about cellar-dwellers? There could be some decent teams with cap space and assets to spare that would be interested in Melo, but he may view them undesirable for whatever Melocentric mood he feels at the moment.

    And there could not be.

    This is one of many extremely plausible scenarios we may have to deal with due to the absolute folly of a including a full NTC to in a max contract.

    And a situation the Knicks may not have to deal with.

    It’s a matter of probability. Not an absolute that his trade value is diminished due to the NTC. It’s situational. In theory it decreases his value, but we don’t know if it will in practice. I don’t think it will decrease his value that much in practice because if the Knicks are willing to trade him and another team is willing to trade for him… it probably means the Knicks stink and the other team is good. I certainly think the probability that the Knicks miss out on a “godfather deal” for their old, non-elite “star” is fairly low.

    And unless you have some info about the negotiations is tough to call the NTC “folly.” I can’t stand Melo and would prefer not to have him, personally, but I can also understand why they might have re-signed him and given him a NTC rather than face a rebuild with few picks going forward.

  69. There is a hidden value in the player options, though I don’t think Ted or anyone else touched on it:

    If they are awful and they opt in, they will back playing meaningful minutes in a season in which we have our draft pick.

    It’s a possibility, but I think it’s really far hidden. It would require the player not only being horrible next season, but also the season after that. (He may very well recover from whatever caused the horrible season in year 2 of the deal.)

  70. Since circumstances seem to dictate that they’re not going for a full rebuild, Zinger is likely the only top five pick they’ll be getting for the near future, so they really need to make the most of that pick.

    I’m actually extremely confident we’re going to have a top 5 pick again in 2017. I think Phil is going for one year of not being embarrassing, and then I think Melo is traded in the summer of 2016, and the full rebuild begins.

  71. That’d be swell by me! I don’t think that’s what Jackson is planning, but it’d be a cool idea.

  72. @ 80 & 81…

    My guess is that he’s not planning that far ahead either way. He obviously opened up the possibility, but I don’t know if it’s so much that he’s going for it or planning it as it’s an option based on how the season goes.

  73. I think Phil came here wanting to build a contender immediately around Melo. That was his first option. But I think reality is sinking in and now he’s walking the tightrope between a) alienating your season-ticket holders/pissing off your boss/maintaining credibility with the player & coach you hired and b) maintaining as much of your future potential as possible by not signing bad deals or trading picks.

    And frankly, he’s doing a decent job. I wish we could be fleecing teams with our flexibility like Philadelphia is doing, but even though Dolan isn’t meddling I think it’s too much to ask him to go all out and tank that openly.

    I think he’ll realize when he strikes out in free agency again next year that he has to build a core through the draft. And I think Melo will realize he needs to move on. And then we’ll get a high pick in 2017 to join a now-21-and-hopefully-developing Zinger, plus whatever we got for Melo.

    And if we ever rebuild a solid core here, it won’t take long for us to start attracting players through free agency. We saw that with D’Antoni and Walsh.

    That’s where I see this heading.

    But it is important (to Phil) that next year we are at least competing for an 8 seed in February. A halfway decent season is good for Porzingis’ development, and it allows him another terrible season in 201 when we have our pick.

  74. @Ted

    They have little to nothing to gain by not winning, and plenty of gain by winning.

    What do they gain by winning? that’s what I’m missing here I think. If it’s ticket sales, well whatever — great for them. But it sure ain’t gonna be a title. Whether the draft pick is #1 or #30, it has no effect whatsoever on the Knicks. In fact, sending the #1 overall pick to the Western Conference is probably good for them.

  75. I think he’ll realize when he strikes out in free agency again next year that he has to build a core through the draft

    What I’m saying is that this is speculation. You are saying that if things go a certain way over the next year, Jax might do x, y, and z. I think he’s probably had the possibility in mind in signing a couple of short-term deals (and because of the draft rules). We’re not a year from now, though, and things haven’t gone the certain way you think they might.

  76. And unless you have some info about the negotiations is tough to call the NTC “folly.”

    Here’s my info, Ted:

    Melo became only the second player ever to be given a full NTC in a max contract (prime Kobe, after multiple rings, was the other).

    Anthony Davis didn’t even get one just now. It’s just not something that is done in the current NBA. It’s only done for guys like Duncan and KG and Dirk who take significant pay cuts (sometimes 50% of the max) to stay with their teams.

    Now Melo did take a pay cut. A very minor one. In this season. I think, without having actually been in the negotiations, it is fair to conclude that the NTC was his bonus for leaving $2-3 million on the table in year 2 of his deal.

    Based on everything we know, that’s a severe overpay for a rare clause.

    So I’m going to stand by folly, despite never being a fly on the wall in the negotiations.

  77. What I’m saying is that this is speculation.

    Of course it is. That’s half of what we do here.

  78. What do they gain by winning? that’s what I’m missing here I think. If it’s ticket sales, well whatever — great for them. But it sure ain’t gonna be a title.

    One team wins a title every season. The other 29 teams can’t just all tank.

    The Knicks (and every other team) don’t just operate to win a title or do nothing. The outcomes aren’t binary like that. There are not only financial advantages to making the playoffs (or at least a playoff run), but also team building advantages:

    – Contrary to a lot of people on here’s beliefs, basketball does actually require skills that can be improved through repetition… especially repetition in a cohesive unit.
    – They can also theoretically build trade value in their players if the players are playing well.
    – Free agents aren’t just choosing teams based on last season’s win total. Among other considerations, it’s about a winning environment that they expect to continue going forward. The Knicks aren’t going to get guys to forsake $10 million to sign with them based on one #8 seed, say, but they may become a more attractive FA destination as a winning team that may have some good young players on it.
    – Probably other value I’m not thinking of…

    Not that the Knicks are there yet, but the playoffs also don’t have a pre-ordained champion and a lot can happen once you get there.

    Whether the draft pick is #1 or #30, it has no effect whatsoever on the Knicks.

    Yes, and this is why they have more to gain by winning next season than they do by losing. They gain nothing by losing. They do gain by winning.

    In fact, sending the #1 overall pick to the Western Conference is probably good for them.

    What do you think the marginal value of that outcome is, in a lottery system nonetheless? Do you think that should have any influence at all on their personnel decisions?

  79. So I’m going to stand by folly, despite never being a fly on the wall in the negotiations.

    What I’m saying is that every negotiation is a unique situation, and if Melo was really willing to walk over a NTC… the Knicks may have had to give him one or let him walk. I probably would have let him go either way, but I do understand why they didn’t.

    Of course it is. That’s half of what we do here.

    Your original comment came across as if you were saying that Jax is already planning to do these things as of today. (That’s also how Brian seems to have taken it.) I’m saying that’s a different thing than he might, maybe, do these things in a year, if, maybe, things happen to go a particular way.

  80. When I said I was extremely confident that we’d have a top 5 pick in 2017, that was based on my strong opinion that we won’t be very good again next year and that we aren’t signing Kevin Durant or anyone else game-changing in 2016.

    At that point, I speculate that Plan A (building around Melo) will be scrapped bc both parties will see the benefit to themselves. That’s all.

  81. Thanks, Brian, that was my take. Not that it’s rocket science. Most current contenders lucked into a great draft pick, either through lottery balls (e.g. Duncan, Durant, LeBron, Davis) or by someone slipping to them and blossoming beyond anyone’s wildest expectations (Steph, Dirk.) Free agency usually plays an important role, but without that key draft pick or two or three, getting to the top is crazy unlikely. Probably the best example right now is Memphis. But hitting a home run in the draft is the ultimate game changer.

    It doesn’t have to be Zinger, but he’s the only guy we’ve drafted since Ewing that looks like a HOFer in terms of potential (maybe Gallo?) Even if he is only, say, David Lee good, that would be a huge opportunity lost.

  82. One team wins a title every season. The other 29 teams can’t just all tank

    Of course not. And I wasn’t suggesting the Knicks tank. I was suggesting they shouldn’t be making moves that if they pay out at all, are much more likely to provide a short immediate boost in wins rather than a long term one. Every team is at a different place on the spectrum of “title contender” to “bereft of valuable assets of all types”. The closer you are to the latter IMO, the less you have to gain from short term boosts and the more you have to commit to the long game.

    Let’s take a middle of the road team like the Bucks. They could probably boost their win total by 5-10 games this season by packaging some of their young players for veteran talent. But they won’t. Does the fact that they aren’t offering Antetokounpo for like Chris Bosh or some other aging vet mean they are tanking?

    Contrary to a lot of people on here’s beliefs, basketball does actually require skills that can be improved through repetition… especially repetition in a cohesive unit.

    I agree with this. The problem is the Knicks don’t have much to develop yet, so they’re sorta watering the lawn before they plant the grass…

    it’s about a winning environment that they expect to continue going forward.

    Definitely, and when a bad team squanders an opportunity to make a long term play so it can make a short term one, what does that say about that team’s priorities? What does it say about whether that team can sustain its success if it’s already thinking short term even when its at its nadir? Dwight Howard went to the 45 win Rockets of all the teams courting him and specifically cited the fact that Houston had youth, trade assets and the potential to win over a long period of time. Morey built that always doing the thing that had the best potential long term payout.

  83. When I said I was extremely confident that we’d have a top 5 pick in 2017, that was based on my strong opinion that we won’t be very good again next year and that we aren’t signing Kevin Durant or anyone else game-changing in 2016.

    I would say that there are a lot of different degrees of “not very good.” I agree that your Plan B has a decent chance of happening if they’re on the low end of the “not very good” range (assuming they’re not there because Melo misses the season or stinks… I guess even then he may have some trade value). If they’re on the higher end, though, they’re probably not going to be far out of contention in a “not very good” conference. I mean the 6th spot in the East was a .500 team last season. If they look like they’ve got some momentum and a good young group that will improve, I could see them holding Plan A together.

  84. The closer you are to the latter IMO, the less you have to gain from short term boosts and the more you have to commit to the long game.

    If you have your draft picks, I’d probably agree. I think it misses a lot of detail, but as a general rule… maybe.

    If you don’t have your draft picks, though, I don’t see much difference. Basketball players are fungible assets. If you find an undervalued one, you can trade him for long-term help even if he’s a short-term piece. (And at 29/30, Afflalo may have 3, 4, 5 years left…)

    The Knicks aren’t just signing a bunch of 30 years olds, either … DW is 24, O’Quinn is 25, Lopez is 27. Afflalo is one guy they brought in because they needed some outside shooting and generally needed a SG.

    Let’s take a middle of the road team like the Bucks. They could probably boost their win total by 5-10 games this season by packaging some of their young players for veteran talent. But they won’t.

    This is an odd hypothetical where you’ve made so many assumptions that it’s basically worthless… Teams can’t just hit “force trade.”

    The problem is the Knicks don’t have much to develop yet, so they’re sorta watering the lawn before they plant the grass…

    They have a top 5 pick and a top 20 pick who are rookies, an early 2nd rounder in his 2nd yr, and 24 and 25 yr old FAs, some Euro stashes… They’re not going to get many shots at young talent resembling that for 2 years.

    Definitely, and when a bad team squanders an opportunity to make a long term play so it can make a short term one, what does that say about that team’s priorities?

    You have decided that they’re thinking short-term. That doesn’t make it true. They added a couple of short-term deals to not commit to those or any other players long-term. That’s not some stupid short-term thinking. It’s common sense.

  85. I think some of you aren’t giving Phil enough credit. Now, we’re all speculating, but I could completely see Phil trying to rehab Williams’ image and then send him to a contender near the deadline when somebody needs some depth for the stretch run because of injuries for some sort of pick/expiring. I don’t foresee him trading Affalo, but I can definitely see him using Williams like that. Phil obviously covets picks. There’s no doubt about that as far as I’m concerned. I think the draft/offseason he has had so far can afford him some leeway to make some in season moves from here and see what his plan is.

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