Knicks 2015 Free Agency Round Table: Kyle O’Quinn

O’Quinn’s per minute stats are pretty good: 13.0 pts/36, 10.5 reb/36, 2.1 blk/36, 2.6 ast/36, 53.6 ts%. How does this make sense after signing Derrick Williams, who has awful numbers?

Cronin: I think this goes back to what I said during the Derrick Williams discussion – no one move should define a front office. The Derrick Williams’ signing was a poor one, but this seems like an example of a front office looking for undervalued players unappreciated by their current team and going for them. It’s a fine signing. By the way, I find it a bit amusing that this is an example of a bad team not wanting to re-sign O’Quinn, so shouldn’t that be a strike against O’Quinn for all the “appeal to authority” folks out there?

Kurylo: It’s simple. This team isn’t using advanced stats in any meaningful way. I’m guessing the team looks at both Williams and O’Quinn in the same way: here’s a young player that looks promising — let’s sign him! It’s just that one has pretty good per-minute stats, which would indicate the potential to be a productive NBA player, and the other is Derrick Williams.

Give me a reason to believe after the Knicks’ treatment of Cole Aldrich (another player with strong per-minute stats), Kyle O’Quinn will actually get 20+ minutes per game.

Cronin: Aldrich wasn’t a Jackson signing, while O’Quinn is, so I suspect that they will give O’Quinn every chance he can to contribute.

Kurylo: Perhaps the weakest link in the Knicks organization (other than the ownership) is the coaching staff. I said this yesterday in the comments, but it bears repeating (or paraphrasing). Derek Fisher was trying to win games, and yet played Jason Smith 1785 minutes. So I have no faith in Fish to realize which assets help and hurt the team. Although I hope to be proven wrong.

What’s the chance O’Quinn sticks around for that fourth year?

Cronin: Yes, but only if things go poorly…hmm. I guess I should just say yes, since this is the Knicks we’re talking about. But seriously, I think he’ll play well enough to not want that fourth year option. The bar is pretty low for that fourth year option not being worth it.

Kurylo: Zero. And even worse, if he does it’s because the Knicks have no idea that he’s a good player and they haven’t played him enough minutes for anyone else in the league to notice. So he’d essentially be a millstone around their neck.

My gut feeling is they trade him. He’s young enough, and the Knicks will think he’s just filler (Jordan Hill, Mozgov, etc.) to get their next top-10 superstar.

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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).

87 thoughts to “Knicks 2015 Free Agency Round Table: Kyle O’Quinn”

  1. As someone of Irish-American heritage I am proud to welcome Mr. O’Quinn to the team.

  2. It’s simple. This team isn’t using advanced stats in any meaningful way. I’m guessing the team looks at both Williams and O’Quinn in the same way: here’s a young player that looks promising — let’s sign him!

    There’s a difference between using stats descriptively and predictively, plus I don’t think it’s advisable to look at per minute stats with little or no deeper analysis. You are basically saying that they are not using descriptive stats almost devoid of context to make predictive assessments. That the Knicks think Derrick Williams will be decent ($5 million isn’t a big bet) going forward doesn’t mean they don’t know what kind of a player he was in the past (which isn’t nearly as bad as you keep implying with zero evidence to substantiate your point).

    Any team that is blindly using historical per minute stats has no idea what it’s doing with stats. For example, line up DW’s Min per 36 #s with O’Quinn’s and adjust for position.

    I find it a bit amusing that this is an example of a bad team not wanting to re-sign O’Quinn, so shouldn’t that be a strike against O’Quinn for all the “appeal to authority” folks out there?

    I don’t fully understand the context, but wouldn’t a bad team not knowing what they have be a positive for O’Quinn under that logic? If the Spurs let him go, then it would be a negative?

    Perhaps the weakest link in the Knicks organization (other than the ownership) is the coaching staff.

    Are you even sure that Fisher decides player roles? With the Yankees, for example, Cashman and the FO decide roles and Girardi executes tactically. (So… maybe Jax is an idiot… or maybe he was trying to tank while letting Fisher carry on as if they weren’t tanking.)

  3. Well good news for once – looks like Porzingis is officially on the summer league roster!

  4. Phew! Great news. I mean, whatever, if he had to miss Summer League, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it’s definitely better that he is playing!

  5. i forget who did the study.. might’ve been hollinger… but they did note that summer league did have some predictive value for rookies…i think the gist of it was that if you sucked in summer league you are probably going to have a bad year but being awesome doesn’t mean you’ll be awesome…age i would think factored in as well…

  6. and with oquinn… he’s our best passing non-pg so i think he sees a lot of court time this year and esp with lopez against bigger lineups… he’s everything that jackson wanted out of jason smith…

  7. I imagine the theory is that a skilled NBA player will pretty much always do well against the relatively low level of competition in the summer league, but given the small sample of games people can perform well despite being not that good. Which makes sense.

  8. It’s amazing that the Warriors were unable to find a team to fully absorb Lee’s contract. So basically, this is them going from $15 to $3 million (after they waive Wallace). $12 million times 3.25 – it’s a savings of about $39 million. So it still does make sense. I guess they really didn’t want to kick in a sweetener, and instead went for a player that the Celtics wanted to dump who could be stretched.

  9. and with oquinn… he’s our best passing non-pg

    Yeah, he was handing out dimes at a near Aldrichian rate last season and he wasn’t even in the triangle. He should bump those numbers up next year. If he can regain his rebounding form from his first couple season he should be a very nice piece.

  10. Give me a reason to believe after the Knicks’ treatment of Cole Aldrich (another player with strong per-minute stats), Kyle O’Quinn will actually get 20+ minutes per game.

    Because Kyle O’Quinn will actually come to camp in shape and be able to run the court for longer than six minutes per game. Cole Aldrich was given a LOT of opportunity mid-season, but he demonstrated that he simply did not have the endurance to play rotation minutes.

    I think Kyle O’Quinn’s ceiling is to be a poor man’s Charles Oakley: Strong rebounder, strong position defender, adequate mid-range jumper. No leaping ability, will not shot-block, plays below the rim on offense. If he goes badly, he is just another guy at the end of the bench.

  11. this doesn’t have much to do with anything, but the coolest part about watching OQuinn play (aside from his passes to the b aseline cutters) are him rebounding/dropping in baby hooks with his ridiculous wingspan. 7’5 I believe.

    Not that this combo would be any good, but it’d be kinda fun on some level to see O’Quinn (7’5 wingspan), zinger (7’6 wingspan), and RoLo (idk his wingspan but gotta be 7-something) all out there. Explains why all of them are decent at getting steals and blocks, esp Kyle and Kris considering they are mobile for tall guys.

  12. i hope upon the basketball gods that we do not put zinger at the 3… i’m a firm believer that his future is at PF/C and that he needs to start playing a lot closer to the basket…

  13. Quick news….
    Summer League roster (so far):
    Kristaps Porzingis
    Jerian Grant
    Langston Galloway
    Cleanthony Early
    Ricky Ledo
    Travis Wear.
    Jimmy Baron, G (Rhode Island)
    T.J. Bray, G (Princeton)
    Ovidijus Galdikas, C (Lithuania)
    Alex Kirk, F/C (New Mexico)
    Maurice Ndour, F (Ohio)
    Ben Strong, C (Guilford)

    Celtics trade Gerald Wallace to Golden State for David Lee.

    As for O’Quinn, I’m all in!
    A local kid that hustles, fights and claws. He rebounds. He defends. He’s going to be loved by the fans. Yes, the Oakley-lite comparison is valid.

  14. t.j bray had a pretty nuts ts% of .63 his senior year and seems like a decent try if he does well in SL and shved walks.

    also you forgot to add thanasis and labeyrie to the SL roster.

    I have a feeling this summer league is gonna be dope there’s a lot of good young talent there this year, and not just on the Knicks.

  15. i hope upon the basketball gods that we do not put zinger at the 3… i’m a firm believer that his future is at PF/C and that he needs to start playing a lot closer to the basket…

    Absolutely agreed, but if it makes you feel any better, the make up of the Summer League roster sure looks like they’re going to be playing Zinger as a PF.

  16. @15 – Thanks. I can’t believe I missed them! They’re going to add more players to the roster. There could be up to 10 players that eventually play for the Knicks on the team – a worthwhile watch. I wish that I was on my way to Vegas now!

  17. Jah to the Magic for 1 year, $4.5 million. Thanks for saving us from ourselves, Orlando!

  18. That is hilariously awesome. So they essentially chose Smith over O’Quinn. Never stop being you, NBA. Never stop being you.

  19. The Magic dropping O’Quinn doesn’t mean much of anything.
    The Knicks have let go a number of players in the past decade in bad trades or to free agency who became productive players elsewhere.
    Often bad teams like the Knicks expect too much of role players and so of course the role players disappoint. But they go to teams in which their role is clearly defined and they shine.
    O’Quinn may be that guy

  20. Also, it was clear from the Magic’s attempts to turn O’Quinn into a 3-point shooter that they feel they need more outside shooting from their backup bigs. Smith is more of a long 2 than a 3-point guy, but he has value in the right kind of offense, and particularly on a team like the Magic that has a lot of athletes but very few good shooters.

    That’s not $4.5 million value, mind you, but I could see him fitting in better there than he did in New York, and ditto O’Quinn on a team that could use some toughness (and also a big man who knows how to pass).

  21. Jah to the Magic for 1 year, $4.5 million. Thanks for saving us from ourselves, Orlando!

    I’ll miss Jason Smith like I miss a bad case of crabs

  22. Everyone loves Cole so much, seems we lose sight of the fact that he didn’t seem physically capable of playing more than a few minutes at a stretch. It’s hard to get 20 mins a night like that

  23. Just to review one last time, here are Jah’s stats with the Knicks:

    1785 minutes
    .497 TS%
    .032 WS48
    10.5 TRB%

    YOU SUCK, JAH. GOODBYE LOSER.

  24. So if Baloncesto Sevilla collapses, as Araton suggests is possible, would Willy H be eligible to join the Knicks midseason?

  25. Horrible news for Andrew Nicholson. How are you supposed to carve out a career as the new Jason Smith when you team goes out and buys the original Jason Smith for $4.5 million? At least we had the compassion to wait until the original Maurice Taylor had long retired before signing Derrick Williams.

  26. @25

    So if Baloncesto Sevilla collapses, as Araton suggests is possible, would Willy H be eligible to join the Knicks midseason?

    Great question. 1) do we have room under the cap to sign him?, 2) can we get him for a contract longer than the typical 2nd round pick contract?, 3) would imagine that if Sevilla is struggling financially could swing a buyout for pennies on the dollar…

  27. Yeah, I thought TJ Bray was a WP favorite. Our depth at two guard sucks, so maybe he can be this year’s Wear Bear, except an actually passable NBA player.

  28. Willy H’s rights are actually owned by Real Madrid. I believe he was just on loan last season but is returning to his parent club this year.

  29. I would have made the Smith for O’Quinn trade in a heartbeat.
    So Hardaway and Smith for Grant and O’Quinn…we might have to start calling Phil Jackson a genius.

  30. Well, remember, Smith is only gone because the Magic outbid the Knicks, so the Knicks still wanted him back for some reason.

  31. I hope that this means that they can re-sign Shved without using the room. Just give him whatever cap room that is left over. It is more than the vet minimum, and how much is Shved worth on the open market?

  32. Well, remember, Smith is only gone because the Magic outbid the Knicks, so the Knicks still wanted him back for some reason.

    People make a lot of assumptions about what the Knicks wanted. It is entirely possible that Phil is more sophisticated than previous GMs about working the NY press and the rumor mill. Misdirection is part of the game, yo. If he wanted Jah back at $4 mil, he could have made it happen, and he didn’t. So…is he a loser GM who failed to sign his target, or a canny operator who spread misinformation in order to mask his true intentions?

    Not saying he’s a genius — Afflalo at $16 mil is not a genius move (though it’s not a disaster). But he may say one thing and do another in order to achieve his aims, and I am totally OK with that after Donnie “we really want Steph Curry” Walsh. He talked about going small in the draft, for instance, and chose literally the tallest dude available.

  33. i hope upon the basketball gods that we do not put zinger at the 3… i’m a firm believer that his future is at PF/C and that he needs to start playing a lot closer to the basket…

    It took what, one summer league game for Gallo to get his back cracked by the late great Tractor Traylor- Given he already has a hip issue I’m fine with keeping Zinger on the perimeter until he’s a bit more physically prepared to bang down low.

  34. @36- nba trenches are pretty hard to navigate consistently.. and it requires a combination of skill and athleticism to grab boards, finish efficiently and play defense… most great pf’s and centers move further away as they get older because they lose that athleticism and the stamina to take that banging…

    if porzingis can’t handle it’s not going to magically come in an offseason or two or even three… those paint skills have to be cultivated now… if he’s not up to the task then we’ve drafted a bust… but we’re going to have to find out if he can handle it because that’s where all the upside is…

    if he has that inside/out game the sky’s the limit… if he’s parked in the corner or coming off of screens and shooting 8 3s a game… we have a 7ft 3 shooting guard playing pf… it’s the difference between pau gasol and jonas valanciunus and andrea bargnani…

  35. Well, KG was nowhere near the rebounder he was in his prime his 1st 2 NBA seasons. Even a monster like Dwight Howard took a year or 2 before he was dominant on the boards. Don’t expect much from the Zinger next season-hes really young. As long as hes not terrible hes doing fine

  36. A)kg was put at SF his first few seasons…. and howard still had a drb% over 20…
    B)porzingis comes in at least a year older than both of them…

  37. I agree that Porzingis is a few years away from being able to bang inside, but a lot of it has to do with his learning curve. The game video posted yesterday exposed some of the areas he has to work on. For instance, he’s a poor rebound from a mechanics perspective; he doesn’t use his legs to leverage himself against opponents. He has the speed, the leaping ability and certainly the height, but he doesn’t know how to use those god-given talents to succeed yet. These are fundamentals that he has to learn and he’s so young.

  38. if porzingis can’t handle it’s not going to magically come in an offseason or two or even three… those paint skills have to be cultivated now… if he’s not up to the task then we’ve drafted a bust… but we’re going to have to find out if he can handle it because that’s where all the upside is…

    Yeah, if he isn’t a power in the post in his first year, he’s a total bust. I mean, if he ends up a perimeter player with a TS of 60% on 30% usage, and a net positive on defense because he blocks or alters countless shots per game, Phil should be fired.

    Totally.

  39. if porzingis can’t handle it’s not going to magically come in an offseason or two or even three… those paint skills have to be cultivated now… if he’s not up to the task then we’ve drafted a bust… but we’re going to have to find out if he can handle it because that’s where all the upside is…

    Building muscle is not magic. It does take time, though. There are a wide range of possible outcomes for Zinger, but one of them is definitely that he takes some time to become comfotable in the paint in the NBA. It is absolutely not true that teenage bigmen who aren’t ready to play inside in the NBA are busts.

    Also, I can’t imagine you’ve seen Zinger play much if you think all his upside is inside. He has a pretty sweet stroke.

    A)kg was put at SF his first few seasons…

    Yeah, I think that’s the point DRed was making. The KG example sort of flies in the face of your argument that all young bigmen who can’t handle it inside right away are busts. Dirk also couldn’t do much his rookie season and took a 3rd of his shots from 3… what a bust!

  40. i don’t buy the argument that skinny dudes can’t hang in the paint… jonas and pau were both rail thin coming in… so was bosh.. so was kg… so was anthony davis… and so was marcus camby… the list goes a lot further than that… all of them at least demonstrated ability on either offense or defense and in most cases both… the failures are guys who couldn’t hang inside on both ends…

    @41 – being a paint presence also includes defense…. he wasn’t exactly swatting shots left and right in spain… so yea if he’s playing like a true center on defense he can be pretty valuable… but as good of a shooter he is.. stephen curry he is not… nor is he kevin durant… he wasn’t even as good as bargnani or pau gasol from 3… so unless he’s shooting like that .. he’s going to have a tough time reaching 60% TS on 30% usage…

  41. If Porzingis is going to reach his full potential his perimeter game is going to need plenty of work too. He’s got ball-handling issues, needs to be more consistent with his jumper, etc… I have no problem having him concentrate on that stuff for at least the first few months if not the entire first year rather than forcing him into a position he’s just not physically ready for. Looking at Okafor’s highlights yesterday you could see that he was posting up about 5 feet further out than he was used to at Duke and he’s far more physically ready to play inside than Zinger.

  42. @42 – kg being played at SF was a dumb coaching decision by flip saunders… in all likelihood his true talent level was when he was a PF… by age 20 he was already one of the best at his position on the backs of his defensive #s and scoring ability inside…

  43. i don’t buy the argument that skinny dudes can’t hang in the paint… jonas and pau were both rail thin coming in… so was bosh.. so was kg… so was anthony davis… and so was marcus camby…

    First, no one is arguing that all “skinny dudes” are equal. You’ve created a strawman argument.

    The thing is, though, you haven’t even knocked down that strawman. KG played the 3 early in his career. Camby struggled quite a bit early in his career. It took Bosh until his third year to become a star. Pau was a year older and had made huge strides from a couple of years earlier. Neither Jonas who plays in the NBA is a particularly skinny guy, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about there. Even Anthony Davis has gotten a TON better over his three years in the NBA.

    What people are trying to tell you is that every player is different. Every player’s development arc is different.

    being a paint presence also includes defense…. he wasn’t exactly swatting shots left and right in spain

    Actually, he is a good shot blocker… How much do you know about Zinger as a player?

    he wasn’t even as good as bargnani or pau gasol from 3…

    Fun with small samples of players who were different ages!

  44. This is my guess as to the major things Phil Jackson looks at.

    1. Per 36 minute stats, but in light of whether the player was a starter or bench player, who he played with, and what his role was on the team.

    2. Skill set. He’s looking for players with the skills that fit into the triangle. So for example, if player A is a big man that scores very efficiently in the P&R but with no mid range game and player B is better posting up and has a decent mid range game, he will take player B over player A even if player A has mildly better per 36 minutes stats.

    3. Fit with players already on the team. He will generally look for good 2-way players, but if one his players is weak defensively he’ll pair him with good defenders. If he’s got a few defenders/rebounders or spot up shooters, he’ll pair them scorers and play makers. If he’s got mostly perimeter players, he’ll look for post up players and slashers with similar stats etc….

    Rather than just getting the best players based on stats and trying to make it all fit somehow, he’s weighing the stats against these other factors and trying to create the best possible outcome within an overall balanced plan. I’m not defending it or criticizing it, but from his words and actions I think this is a pretty good “basic” summary. I’m sure his own thinking is much more advanced.

  45. @42 – kg being played at SF was a dumb coaching decision by flip saunders… in all likelihood his true talent level was when he was a PF… by age 20 he was already one of the best at his position on the backs of his defensive #s and scoring ability inside…

    Right… You’ve come up with one skinny teenager who excelled inside in the NBA (Anthony Davis). He was a #1 overall pick and even he has developed termendously since his rookie season.

    If you take two minutes to look at the examples you yourself have provided you’re going to realize that it’s very rare for any teenager to excel in the NBA, let alone one who isn’t physically mature.

  46. To continue…

    I think when we question why he got some player with mediocre stats, it’s probably because that player has a specific skill that he thinks the team needs in order to compliment the other players and create his vision. When weighed against some other player with slightly better stats, but without those skills, he opts for the specific skills he wants.

  47. From Ian Begley:

    FWIW: the #Knicks are among several teams to recently express interest in free agent shooting guard John Jenkins, per league sources.

    Thoughts? We continue to need more wings, even if Shved is getting signed.

  48. @44 – he’ll definitely need a well rounded game but my contention is that it is exceedingly rare to develop outside in… even an outlier like dirk… he was able to turn himself from a bust to a great player rather quickly precisely because he improved his inside game…

    his 2p fg% jumped from .455 to .491 from his rookie year… his third he wound up improving his drb%, ftr rate and tov.. 2 out of those 3 are related to his inside presence while holding all his gains from his second year…

    this is intuitive to just about anyone.. there’s nothing more repulsive than a 7fter playing like a guy who’s a ft shorter… and those guys tend to stay that way…

  49. @46 – no straw man here… ppl consistently point to porzingis frame and weight as a deterrent to play as a big man…

    all those guys i listed were skinny coming into the league… yes even jonas was a 7ft 220 guy… and all those guys were pretty good at a young age and all of them performed in their rookie years…

    Rookie PER
    KG 15.9
    Pau 19.5
    AD 21.7
    Jonas 14.8
    Bosh 15.1
    Camby 17.8

    that’s only the guys i mentioned… porzingis clock starts now regardless of what you guys think is a normal development curve…

  50. I think when we question why he got some player with mediocre stats, it’s probably because that player has a specific skill that he thinks the team needs in order to compliment the other players and create his vision.

    Or maybe Charley Rosen just saw a badonkadonk that blocked the sun.

  51. Or maybe Charley Rosen just saw a badonkadonk that blocked the sun.

    Good one. :-)

    There’s no other way to explain getting a guy like Derrick Williams except that he’s pretty good at cutting to the basket and finishing. That’s a skill Jackson likes. So if you look at him as a bit below average on overall stats, but young, improving his efficiency slightly each year, and with a skill that fits well in the triangle and that may allow him to step up his game up another notch, maybe he makes more sense than some other 5m players with mildly better stats.

    I didn’t like that signing, but I’m giving Phil the benefit of the doubt. I refuse to believe he can’t see that Derrick Williams has been a below average performer to date. I’m sitting here in my room in my boxers I can see it. I never won anything, let alone piles of rings.

  52. Everyone is complaining about picking up Afflalo. Would you rather have JR or Shumpert (at 10mil?!?) like last year? How about Wes Matthews coming off of a major injury for twice as much total dough? Afflalo may not be great , but he’s at least average and better than the dreck they’ve been running out there lately. If he can shoot a decent % from 3 point land, and I think he will, he will help immensely.

  53. John Jenkins would be a really nice addition. I remember him from the draft a few years ago– he’s a sniper of a three-point shooter who has steadily shot the three well in college and the pros. He’d be entering his age 24 season, and he has a career .577 TS% in 1300 minutes. Would be ideal for this roster I think.

  54. djphan,

    I think you are misunderstanding / misrepresenting the points people are making to you.

    People don’t doubt Zinger’s ability to play inside as a rookie because he is skinny, but because he is physically weak. Those are two different things. That’s why I said that not all skinny guys are equal.

    People also realize that playing well inside in the NBA has value. They are not questioning that point. They are questioning your point that he absolutely has to play inside immediately regardless of circumstances.

    In terms of your examples… they’re a heterogeneous mix of guys who were different ages, played the game different ways (several were not successful inside to begin their careers like KG and Bosh, others never had their inside games questioned at all like Davis and Jonas), had different levels of initial success and different development paths, and were varying degrees of skinny. There’s not much that this group tells us about Zinger.

    (And, by the way, I don’t think Zinger will play the 3. I just don’t agree with your absolute stance on no tall guy starting his career there.)

  55. My point is not that KG will eventually be known as the American Porzingis. It’s that a skinny dude who can’t bang in the paint his first season or two in the league might be able to develop that skill as his body matures/skills develop. He got 8 boards per 36 in the ACB last year. Mirotic, for example, grabbed 8.6 his last ACB season, when he was 3 years older, and he snagged 8.8 per 36 in the NBA. If the Zinger can pull down just 7 per 36 next season he’ll already be a better rebounder than Bargnani ever was.

  56. I didn’t like that signing, but I’m giving Phil the benefit of the doubt. I refuse to believe he can’t see that Derrick Williams has been a below average performer to date. I’m sitting here in my room in my boxers I can see it. I never won anything, let alone piles of rings.

    I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I can see plenty of reasons why I should. But I mostly don’t. Phil of course knows more about basketball in almost every sense of the phrase than everyone here combined, even the Watson spinoff bot that auto-produces Ted Nelson’s posts. But it’s unclear to me whether that means he is an above average NBA team builder. I don’t have much to go on. His success as a coach is not particularly persuasive evidence. His published comments about TH2 being 8 feet tall and Bargs needing to learn a crossover are probably just confetti koans, but when there’s not much to go on they don’t sound great. Ditto for retweeting possibly the least intelligent attempt at 3 point “analytics” imaginable. You’re totally right that Derrick Williams is pretty effective at the spin-to-the-back door cut of the ball (that and finishing on the break are pretty much the only things he is above average at on an NBA basketball court) , but how can a guy who is one of the 5 worst defenders in the league at his position get a fit bump on a team that could really use some defense?

  57. A skinny guy can be wiry strong with the same height/weight figures as a skinny guy who’s weak. If I recall correctly, KG was described as wiry strong early in his career, by his 2nd season, if not his rookie season.

  58. Weight and height are not measures at all of strength.

    You have several factors like fat%, water retention and muscle that will make two guys with the same weight and height have completely different strength.

    I don’t know where to find the pre-draft test, but Kevin Garnett always looked skinny, however you can see in him some muscle. Porzingis look like a lamppost.

    In the end we are overthinking this thing too much.

    Having some athletic ability can give you a better draft selection, a decent contract (like Derrick Williams case) or a longer career then deserved , but if you are a good basketball player, physical disadvantages will not make much difference.

    There are plenty of examples from all-time greats like skinny KG to chubby Charles Barkley.

  59. FWIW, T.J. Bray was ranked ridiculously well by Arturo Galletti’s draft model last year

    Let’s not use that man’s draft model…i can barely stomach the rest of his website. According to that model the 2013 nba draft was easily projected to be the greatest draft of the last 20 years…

  60. Chubby Charles Barkley is probably in the top 1% of all guys who ever played in the NBA in terms of sheer athleticism. That dude was a fucking freak of nature.

  61. @59 – I don’t really buy that ppl just think that he is weak… every single player that i mentioned had the skinny and weak knock on them coming in… john henson is another who was laughably skinny and he wound up playing fine…

    it’s one thing to look skinny and weak… it’s an entirely other thing to play like that… in spain.. he was on the weakish side but he gained a few pounds and grew a couple inches… i would much rather see if he’s gained more of that ability to play big….

    to put it more simply… here are some easy benchmarks:

    2p fg% > .490
    rb 36 > 8.0
    blk > 2.0

    failing all of those at once in your rookie year as a PF or C puts you in some pretty bad company: matt bonner, brad sellers, nikoloz tskitishvili, bargnani, yi jianlian, danny ferry… Do you see a pattern here? those are exactly the names we are trying to avoid with porzingis…

  62. I don’t think that Porzinkis is too skinny to rebound. I think he has to learn how to rebound; it’s a learned skill. Height and strength are nice bonuses but if you’re out of position or don’t know how to gain leverage, you won’t rebound well. I say we watch him during summer league and see why he can’t rebound (if he doesn’t).

  63. I’ll miss Jason Smith like I miss a bad case of crabs

    Is there a good case of the crabs in some alternate universe? :-)

  64. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOFFJ2hN-4g

    A Robin Lopez montage posted by MeloforMayor @ P&T

    He seems like a very intelligent player. Good complementary player for Melo and Zinger. Not as mobile as Chandler, but a load inside. Good defensive instincts on the P&R. Seems worth the salary, not necessarily a bargain, but not a reach either.

  65. What some people might be missing in regard to rebounding is that there is a certain aspiration and intuitiveness in addition to the technical skills it takes to be an elite rebounder. There’s a reason why Barkley and rodman who were both undersized were among the best boarders ever.. In the current NBA for example Tristan Thompson just has a particular aggressiveness and nose for the ball which is why he is among the games best in offensive rebounding. Even if you play pick up ball you should be able to judge players like this in your own games. Not saying zinger is/will/ or needs to be an elite rebounder but it’s certainly not always height and weight that determines who’s getting that board

  66. In the current NBA for example Tristan Thompson just has a particular aggressiveness and nose for the ball which is why he is among the games best in offensive rebounding.

    A few of us talked about this before the draft. Spatial awareness and intuition are huge components of athleticism. For awhile I was a decent recreational sprinter, but I still wasn’t much good when I tried running routes to catch footballs. There is a huge difference between sprinting to reach a goal and sprinting to catch a ball that’s already in the air by the time you look for it. Elite rebounders are often physically gifted (at least 6’6″ like Barkley and GOAT Rodman), but spatial awareness, timing and adjustment are also primarily important.

  67. @73 and motor.

    I would love to see what would happen if players got paid according to their WP48 score.

    Watching Okafor right now, something is bugging me about him.

  68. The comparison between rebounders and wide receivers is a good one, you do need to have the same sort of high-level ability to track the trajectory of a moving object. Rodman was the master of judging how a ball would carom– he just had an otherworldly awareness of the likely future trajectory of the ball. It’s an innate trait I think, unteachable– a talent rather than a skill. Rodman of course squeezed the most out of this talent by also making himself an expert on the shooting styles and carom tendencies of every significant player in the league.

  69. Well, O’Quinn did not play basketball seriously until he was a junior in HS. He played tight end in football and catcher in baseball. One article read inferred that his unusual passing skills are a product of having to throw to a spot as a catcher, rather than to a person. I guess his skill as a rebounder might have been related to his experiences as a tight end.

    I think the comparison between O’Quinn and Oakley are intriguing. Oakley was very tight end-like. I remember sneaking down to court level during warm-ups and being in awe of how freakin’ imposing he was. O’Quinn has prototypical old school power forward’s size and game, especially if he develops his midrange game to the point where you can’t just lay off him. I’m really excited to see him play in front of his hometown crowd!

  70. Watching Okafor right now, something is bugging me about him.

    He’s not getting position (yet) like he did in college, and he looks so much smaller. I didn’t realize he’s 6’9.5″ which is like Tim Thomas size. For whatever reason I just thought he was bigger.

  71. Same is true for Stanley Johnson, I thought he would be bigger.

    I think the American way is to inflate player’s size by an inch or two. Karl-Anthony towns and Kristaps Porzingis are listed at 7’0″ on DraftExpress, but Zinger looks to be at least 3-4 inches taller than Towns. Yeah, Okafor is certainly shorter than advertised, but more alarmingly, he looks to have serious motor issues re: rebounding and defending. On a lot of occasions, he just stood there and watched. He has great hands and gets boards just by holding his position, but he doesn’t go after anything outside of his immediate area and has no anticipation. I’d be worried if I were a Sixers fan.

    That said, I’m sure we will see some worrisome things from Porzingis as well.

    On the other hand, Hezonja looks amazing, I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make an immediate impact in the NBA and winds up as ROY.

    Jowles, your boy Kyle Anderson killed it in Summer League play. Maybe you were right about him after all? :)

  72. Kyle Anderson should still be a non-factor in San Antonio this season, unless he can play PG for some stints (a-la Cory Joseph, who is a very good player but can’t shoot). At SF he makes next to no sense for them.
    Problem is, he’s too damn slow and I’m not sure Patty Mills can defend all that well speedy opposing PGs to permit to hide Anderson somewhere else on defense.

    Another possibility is to try for the Spurs to go small with Boris Diaw at center and Kyle Anderson at PF, but he’s going to get killed inside.

    I still defend that pick, but I don’t see how he can blossom until he can hit threes at a fair clip (he’s really far from there, right now).

  73. Anderson is interesting. He was great in college, he played pretty well in the D-League, but his offensive rebounding and FTA vanished in the pros and it looks like he could not get any open shots. At all. A sub 40 TS playing on a team like the Spurs is hard to imagine. It could be that it’s just going to take him some time to learn to play-dude is a very skilled basketball player. But it could also be that he doesn’t possess the minimum athleticism to play in the league.

  74. On the other hand, Hezonja looks amazing, I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make an immediate impact in the NBA and winds up as ROY.

    Does he really though? He’s averaging 13 ppg with a .375 fg% and a .28 3pt% while not filling up that stat sheet in other categories. He’s been kind of a chucker, so far. Aaron Gordon, Stanley Johnson, and Myles Turner have all looked fantastic/better than Hezonja imo.

  75. @81, totally going by the eye test. Since summer league is a monster step down from what he’s used to (not so much in talent, but in organizational cohesiveness) I’m only interested in physical/mental tools, and not at all with efficiency. SJ looks very small to me. Hezonja looks like he has great size and athleticism for a SF, plays way above the rim. Definitely a no-conscience chucker, tho!

    But seriously, summer league is a joke. The scrubs trying to make a roster are chucking up bricks left and right. Sure-fire guys are working on specific things.

  76. djphan,

    If you watch about 2 minutes of film on Zinger it becomes obvious that he lacked strength last season. He did plenty of good things on the court, but he also got pushed around by stronger veterans. Every scouting report I’ve read points this out, as well. So, I do think that just about every poster on here thinks Zinger is weak.

    Again, no one is saying not to play Zinger on the inside. Certainly no one is saying not to try him out on the inside to see what he looks like. This is you misunderstanding what people are saying and jumping to conclusions again (creating strawman arguments). People are saying that it’s a circumstantial thing that we can’t sit at our computers and decide in July. People are just reacting to your extreme comments about how if he doesn’t play on the inside and play well as a rookie he’s a bust.

    failing all of those at once in your rookie year as a PF or C puts you in some pretty bad company: matt bonner, brad sellers, nikoloz tskitishvili, bargnani, yi jianlian, danny ferry… Do you see a pattern here? those are exactly the names we are trying to avoid with porzingis…

    You’re cherry picking names with arbitrary cutoffs. Other guys who meet your criteria include Dirk and Detlef Schrempf. Chris Bosh had exactly 8.0 trb/36 and didn’t meet either of the other two criteria. Kirilenko didn’t meet the scoring or rebounding criteria. John Henson (your example), Larry Bird, Mehmet Okur, Joakim Noah, and Zach Randolph only met the rebounding criteria…

    Again, no one disagrees with you that it’s better for a rookie to play well than poorly. Your insistence that he can’t develop after his rookie year and that he has to play the game a certain way to be good are what people are disagreeing with.

  77. Does he really though? He’s averaging 13 ppg with a .375 fg% and a .28 3pt% while not filling up that stat sheet in other categories. He’s been kind of a chucker, so far.

    Agreed. Hezonja is a guy who will probably get attention by putting up good PPG #s if he plays, but I think he’s going to be a pretty inefficient scorer early in his career. Maybe he turns that around as he develops, maybe not. (I’d bet not, personally.)

    Anderson is interesting. He was great in college, he played pretty well in the D-League, but his offensive rebounding and FTA vanished in the pros and it looks like he could not get any open shots. At all.

    It’s also a 358 minute sample… He took 89 FGAs and 14 FTAs. It’s certainly possible that he’ll never be any good, but it’s also possible that at least some of it is small sample noise.

  78. dirk as stated was an outlier…. detlef and kirilenko played SF for years…. there are tons of names who only meet the rebounding criteria… that’s why i specifically said missing all 3 is damning… not 1.. all 3…

    look back at the comments where this started… don’t tell me i’m throwing out straw men…

  79. You are really stubborn. You seem to have no interest is understanding what other people are saying to you, and just keep repeating the same points over and over and over again as if they weren’t clear the first 20 times you made them.

    detlef and kirilenko played SF for years…

    Where this all started was a comment that Zinger better not play SF. And then people saying that we don’t really know where he’s going to be best off as a rookie, but it just might be SF. I kind of doubt it will be, personally, but the point is that we just don’t know. You are the one who keeps insisting that Zinger play like a bigman right away and that every tall player play like a bigman. Some tall guys aren’t best off inside. And others might need some time to develop the strength to be best off inside.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Zinger plays quite well as a rookie. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he barely plays and is used mostly as a spot-up shooter when he does play, though. And while the second case is not a positive thing, it doesn’t totally damn his career. You’re holding him up to a really high caliber of player. We all hope he is that, but he can be a useful piece even if he’s not.

    dirk as stated was an outlier…

    He was a kid who wasn’t physically ready for the NBA who struggled as a rookie. You keep insisting that this can’t be the case with Zinger. But it just might be.

    look back at the comments where this started… don’t tell me i’m throwing out straw men…

    I have explained to you multiple times now how you are creating strawman arguments by not taking the time to understand what people are saying to you. You don’t have to get all defensive about that.

    that’s why i specifically said missing all 3 is damning… not 1.. all 3…

    Again, these are arbitrary criteria you set up. Hitting them depends on role and style of play.

  80. Maybe you think that me disagreeing with some of the things you’re saying means I disagree with everything that you’re saying? That’s not the case. I just disagree with some of the things that you’re saying.

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