Knicks Draft 2015 Round Table: Part 2

The KnickerBlogger staff has decided to spend the 8 days prior to the draft discussing the upcoming event. Each day will feature a different question that we will attempt to answer. Feel free to join us in the comment section!

Of Towns, Okafor, Mudiay and Russell, which one is most likely to be a bust?

Kurylo: Despite my statistical background, I’m not going to say Mudiay. Sure he’s got the smallest dataset of the bunch, and his shot is questionable. But he has a few things in his favor. First he’s playing against grown men in China, which is likely to be better competition than in the watered down NCAA. Second I believe players can become better shooters. Unfortunately the riskiest one of the bunch might be Russell. He has serious questions about his defense, and struggled against an NBA caliber defender (Rondae Hollis-Jefferson).

Silverman: ¯\(°_o)/¯ –

i-dunno-lol_1_[1]

Gibberman: This is weird, but I’m also going to say Okafor. He had weight issues in college and leading up to the draft got himself in great condition. That’s a worry. Why not be in great shape for the college season? The free throw concerns mentioned above are real too. He has the highest upside, which is why I’m willing to take a chance by some shocking development he dropped to four.

Fisher-Cohen: Easy — it’s Mudiay. The kid is an awful shooter at a position that demands shooting more than ever. And yes, you can learn to make a spot up three if you work at it. John Wall did it. Sort of. But unless you have Rajon Rondo-esque vision or John Wall-esque speed, or Russell Westbrook-esque athleticism, you need to be able to do more than just make assisted open jumpers. You need some ability to make threes off the dribble and draw big men out of the paint. If you can’t do that, any half-decent NBA defense will go under screens and force you to take shots you can’t make.

I don’t see that super-elite athleticism, vision or speed in Mudiay, and I don’t see many examples of players who have gone from Mudiay’s level shooting to becoming dangerous off the dribble shooters.

Topaz: Agree with most of what Max said, though obviously our information is crazy limited with him. It takes a special kind of athleticism to overcome being such a poor shooter and a turnover-prone point guard.

Cronin: I like him second only to Towns, but Okafor also has the biggest bust potential of these four guys, with Mudiay a close second. While I think Mudiay is the least likely of the four to become a star, I think his basic skill set is one that is just so geared towards the NBA game that his worst case scenario is not particularly awful – his “problem” is that I don’t know how likely he is to hit his best case scenario. Towns and Russell are pretty much locks to be good NBA players. Okafor is close, as well, but I think it is clear that he could at least theoretically eat himself out of the NBA. So he has a red flag that the other three don’t have.

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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).

99 thoughts to “Knicks Draft 2015 Round Table: Part 2”

  1. blech – Rodger Bohn (from Slam Magazine) tweeting out that Trey Lyles is firmly in the mix at #4. Not that I don’t like Lyles (read this from the always great Jonathan Tjarks: http://patternofbasketball.blogspot.com) but it just feels like we could extract something out of another team to move up to #4 while still getting Lyles if that’s who Phil wants.

  2. I wouldn’t worry about it, Frank. I mean, I would slightly worry about them being more interested in Lyles over some of these other guys (like WCS), but I don’t seriously believe any interest in Lyles is honestly interest in him at #4. It just wouldn’t make any sense, and Jackson doesn’t strike me as a guy who would do things that don’t make any sense. We can differ with the guy, but he’s not going to suddenly pick a guy at #4 who wouldn’t go in the single digits otherwise. I have that much faith in the guy.

  3. Emmanuel Mudiay was 13 of 38 from three, which translated to 34.2%. 34.2% does not make him an “awful shooter at his position,” especially when he converted over 50% of his two point shots. The only thing awful about his shooting is his free throw percentage and I’m willing to bet he shoots 70% from the line this season. So no, Mudiay is not an awful shooter.

    One thing Mudiay has over Wall, Rondo, and Westbrook is that his ability to control tempo is years better than any of theirs at his age. His start/stop game is elite. I’ve never seen a player coming into the league able to dictate the game speed as well as he does.

    I agree that the player with the most bust potential is D’Angelo Russell. While he is a good shooter, there is a risk that he won’t be strong enough to keep defenders off of him, and his handle isn’t slick enough to create space the way Curry does for himself (and Curry needs some of the best handle in the NBA to do that). You don’t know if he will be a good defender, and he played against the worst competition of all four players. He represents the most bust potential, IMO.

  4. As for Russell’s bust chances, massive, even if the scenario you describe comes to pass, as you note, the guy can still just flat out shoot the ball. And that was while working as the only real offensive threat on an otherwise mediocre team (that he still took all the way to the second round of the NCAA Tournament). If he suddenly played for a real NBA team where other guys have to be guarded (which will hopefully eventually be the Knicks), he might even shoot better. A guy like THJ can be a rotation player in the NBA while having mediocre shooting numbers in college, so a guy with strong shooting numbers like Russell (41% from three, 57% True Shooting Percentage – and that’s with a relatively low FT% of 75% that you have to think he can improve on, as it is right in that “good, but not great” area and most young players do tick their FT% up a bit when they’re younger – not many make the leap that WCS has made, but a lot of them tick it up 5-8% as they go into their 20s) should be able to make it as just a shooter even if his other skills don’t translate to the NBA (I think they will translate, just noting that they might not).

    Okafor will also almost certainly at the very least be a great scorer in the NBA. There’s just a slight chance that he won’t keep himself in game shape. Not a great chance, as I think he will, but it is an actual worry. It has to be, even if it is just a slight worry.

  5. Russell will almost certainly be able to shoot and pass in the NBA. He’s got good size, so he should be able to rebound and get some steals. That’s a decent NBA PG at worst. His inability to get to the rim and finish in college is a legit red flag, but otherwise he’s a very very good prospect.

  6. If he suddenly played for a real NBA team where other guys have to be guarded (which will hopefully eventually be the Knicks)

    sigh

  7. Agreed, and I think the same basic thing applies to Mudiay, in that he will be able to pass and get to the rim. That alone should make him a decent NBA point.

  8. “His inability to get to the rim and finish in college is a legit red flag, but otherwise he’s a very very good prospect.”
    I’ve never seen Russell play, so I don’t have strong opinions about him one way or the other, but the anonymous scouts in that article yesterday were really very critical of his defense (even going so far as to say that he “can’t guard anyone”). Should we be concerned about that, or were the scouts exaggerating?

  9. NY Knicks co-owner Mr. Isaiah Thomas won’t let Phil Jackson take Lyles with the 4th pick…..that’s a fact.

  10. That scout was exaggerating things. The way Russell was used in college was basically “you’re our entire offense, so don’t bother doing anything but, well, you know, being our entire offense.” Let me again not just how mediocre the team around him was. So sort of like how Coach K doesn’t exactly stress defense with his one and done offensive threats, so, too, was Russell never really asked to play much defense.

  11. If Towns and Okafor are gone I want WCS. I think you can say with some certainty that WCS will be a top defender in the NBA for the next 10 years and drafting fourth, that is good enough for me. He looks like the guy least likely to bust and that kind of certainty would be welcome in my book….

  12. I’m going to say Russell has the potential to be a bust. I listened to him in an interview and decided that he’s arrogant enough to not listen and learn.
    But I don’t think any of them are going to be busts and would do cartwheels if Russell fell to the Knicks.

  13. That’s another thing about Russell. Totally unrelated to this discussion, really, but anyhow, remember when Chad Ford was going on about how Mudiay would be perfect for New York because of his “swagger”? Has Ford ever heard Russell talk? The dude is all swagger!! I don’t think swagger is some key aspect of drafting a guy, but come on, Russell is swimming in swagger! Swimming in it, Jerry!!

  14. The Trey Lyles stuff is baffling. Why would they even say they would take him at #4? Nobody else in the top half of the lottery is openly considering him. Maybe the Knicks want to do his agent a solid and pump the kid’s draft stock. But again, why?

    So I looked it up… Trey Lyles’ agent represents only half a dozen NBA players, including LeBron. As in LeBron James, the greatest player in the world. The Knicks are getting LeBron!!

    He also represents Cory Joseph, so maybe there’s something there, too.

  15. I’m pretty surprised to see people saying Russell is most likely to be a bust as to me he’s the safest pick in the draft. A PG with his shooting ability and passing ability is going to be in the league for a long time even if none of his other skills ever develop at all. Look at our very own Jose Calderon – pretty limited player in a lot of ways, but he can pass and he can knock down shots, and that’s enough to always find a home in the NBA. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t have a long NBA career.

  16. Trey Lyles’ agent represents only half a dozen NBA players, including LeBron. As in LeBron James, the greatest player in the world. The Knicks are getting LeBron!!

    Now that’s some great research. I’m going to start setting aside some money for my LBJ jersey.

  17. Any player can be a bust. Yes, all of the top 3 guys have ? on defense as they were either hidden by defensive schemes (Okafor, Russell) or a talented teammate (Towns) to some extent. Each might be exposed in the NBA. There’s always risks.

    I think Chad Ford (shudder) said it best when he said that the Knicks should just stay at #4 and take whoever falls. However, if none of the top 3 falls, okay, consider a trade as far down as #7 for either an additional pick or a good young player.

    The taking Trey Lyles at #4 has to be a smokescreen, but if so it is a dumb one. The best smokescreen now is “Phil Jackson really likes Porzingis.” If the Knicks don’t like Mudiay with #4, then trade down and take the best player who remains (WCS, Winslow, Porzingis, Mudiay).

  18. I agree that they really should be leaking that they love Porzingis. In fact, I really don’t understand why they aren’t doing that. Or at least leak that they love Mudiay! Why aren’t they doing either?!

  19. I’m setting an all time personal best for changing my mind. smh

    The more I read about the top 4, the more I think the best prospect is Towns and and the second best prospect is WCS. WCS is almost a mortal lock to be a very good defender in the NBA. He also fits perfectly into what the NBA is becoming. He can switch and guard multiple positions inside and outside and help defend the paint when there is penetration. He’s the kind of defender that excelled for Golden State, except he’s over 7 foot! That and an occasional put back or pick and roll dunk makes him a very good NBA player.

    He has improved his FT shooting.

    He’s shooting very well in all his workouts.

    He’s already strong enough to play in the NBA and contribute, but still apparently has some upside on offense.

    We know this kind of player works well with Melo because it worked well with Chandler.

    Really, at this point, I’m finally convinced. Anything other than Towns falling down to us (which is impossible), we should be drafting WCS. The only question is whether we take him 4th or can arrange something where we know we will get him plus an asset trading down.

  20. Anyone else sense an opportunity to dump Calderon here????

    He’s likely not the type of player that they’re looking for (I think they want someone who can play a little defense, as they plan on pairing him with Irving), but holy crap, it really does sort of kind of make you think like that could work!! That’d be amazing!

  21. Yeah, I imagine they’re looking for someone younger/more athletic, but I would be on that phone right now if I were big chief triangle.

  22. Someone Shaun Livingston-esque seems to be what they’re looking for. It’s funny, because that is sort of what Jarrett Jack is, and they just traded him last year (although I think it was necessary to bring in Love? Or something like that? I forget).

  23. for a guard .. if you can’t get to and finish around the rim with some frequency… then you’re whole offense sort of falls apart and you become something of a lesser player very quickly…. even a guy like ray allen had a variety of ways he could score when he was younger… same with reggie miller…

    so if russell or mudiay’s ability to get to the rim doesn’t develop.. then they will be something like role players or worse.. most allstar level guards share this ability… and for both of them it’s a concern but both young enough to say they could develop it… russell’s probably less of a concern since he can shoot and should find a role doing that if all else fails… mudiay’s less clear of course..

  24. What about giving them Calderon and Hardaway? Timmy is a great athlete-he just needs, uh, to be taught defense. Also, did you see him in that rookie all star game?

  25. Did you see him nailing those clutch shots in that must-win game against Orlando last year? That’s Tim Hardaway Jr. – a born winner! Trade for him, other GMs! You know you want to!

  26. come on, come on, Calderon/Timmy for Brendan Haywood is the best trade ever. Just do it already. Do it. Do it!

  27. Just want to make a little suggestions to the knicks front office. Please take a look at Mychel Thompson & Seth Curry from the D-league, give them a chance to be our own version of splash brothers of New York Knicks. Trade down with phoenix Suns for Eric Bledsoe & draft Trey Lyles. Buy a 2nd. round pick & get Richaun Holmes. Sign De Marre Carroll & Mike Muscala & Elton Brand of Atlanta Hawks on free agents with reasonable price & we will be having a formidable playoff teams. Add Jan Vesely from Euroleauge, Cole Aldrich, Alex Kirk or Justin Hamilton & we will be good & surely be under the salary cap for 2015.

  28. I’m also thinking about jumping on the WCS bandwagon. Here’s a 7’1″ defense-first, athletic center that supposedly can’t shoot. But apparently, in his workouts, he showed offensive skills. I still want a great, penetrating point guard to facilitate, so I’m torn. Jeremy Lin as a discount free agent anyone?

  29. @24 stratomatic that’s exactly where I’m at. The probability of WCS being an improved version of Chandler/Jordan is greater than the probability of Mudiay, Russell becoming comparable players at their positions. I don’t believe Mudiay’s shot off the dribble will improve that much plus he’s really almost a complete unknown in so many ways. Russell’s inability to go right, to attack rim, and poor lateral movement, will limit him. He rates to be a below average defender and players like Calderon/Lawson who excel at offense but struggle on D end up being marginal plus players (raw +/-) over their careers. Regarding Zinger, unless someone could convince me he’s gonna gain weight (medical/genetic tests!), I just wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger.

    What also isn’t widely known about WCS is that he didn’t start playing basketball until very late. Calipari quote: A lot of these kids have been groomed since they were 6 years old. Willie really started playing when he came with us. That accounts for his dramatic improvement in FT% and steady rise in WS/40. He’s nowhere near a finished product. Bottom Line High ceiling/high floor!

    Here are 15 reasons to like Trill:

    (1) Elite ability to shut down opponents’ PnR the most used set in the NBA
    (2) Ibakaish rim protection
    (3) Ability to guard 3s, 4s, and 5s
    (4) Arguably best person in entire league to guard LBJ, KD, AD, etc
    (5) Ability to stay on court against small ball and big lineups
    (6) Dive man on PnR and also PnPop potential
    (7) Offensive rebounding
    (8) Ability to get out on fast break
    (9) Mid-range shot provides spacing
    (10) Catch-and-dunk off cutting
    (11) Decent jump hook which could be further developed
    (12) Improved overall game every year in college (WS/40: .158 to .185 to .239)
    (13) Started playing in high school, still able to improve much in his game
    (14) Phil’s team thoroughly scouted Kentucky players so will know if there’s any showstoppers
    (15) His nickname

  30. What also isn’t widely known about WCS is that he didn’t start playing basketball until very late.

    He doesn’t have the desire to play basketball, then! Bust! ;)

  31. If you like a guy, it’s swagger. If you don’t like a guy, it’s arrogance.

    lol it’s all arrogance.

    Anybody see the kerfuffle about Lebron and how disrespectful he was/is to Blatt? And people trying to blame Marc Stein for being racist in writing that it’s beneath Lebron to treat Blatt that way? And Tom Ziller from SBNation actually agreeing with that?

    Fact is – Lebron is unbelievably arrogant (unsurprisingly). He’s never had to treat anyone with respect because everyone kowtows to his athletic greatness and has done so since he was coming out of puberty. He’s undeniably a smart guy, great businessman, and at the very least one of the 3 best basketball players ever. But he’s a jerk.

  32. The only thing that makes me iffy on trill is.. I Wonder if he has a desire to be great. Because he definitely has the tools. But I don’t want a Tyson Chandler/Jared Jeffries hybrid. Lord no.

  33. This is the saddest/most ridiculous thing I think I’ve ever read:

    Q. In the middle of the playoffs, you took to Twitter to ask N.B.A. analysts to give you “some diagnostics” on how 3-point-oriented teams were faring. It struck most as a criticism of teams like the Warriors who take a lot of 3-point shots. You asked, “How’s it goink?” What was that about?

    JACKSON: They have all these analysts. I just wanted to see someone come back to me with statistics: Is 3-point shooting in the playoffs as consistent as it is in the regular season? Does your 3-point-shooting percentage change because you’re in the playoffs? No one figured that one out. And that’s probably me being obtuse to leave it open at the end. But “goink” is one of those New York expressions that we use, and I will tell you this: I learned something. Someone sent me the fact that if you look it up on Urban Dictionary, you’ll find out what it means in today’s society.

    Q. Should I look?

    JACKSON: Well, it’s rather bizarre to say the least.

    Q. So it wasn’t just a typo?

    JACKSON: “Goink” is a castoff expression, right? Instead of, “How’s it going?,” it’s, “How’s it goink?” It turned out to be either a combination of a mixed ethnic group: part Korean, part Chinese. Or it’s a vernacular term for how do you deal with a sexual partner.

    Q. That was not your intention though?

    JACKSON: No, I had no idea.

  34. Holy sh*t sorry I know this is a family website and all but:

    Goink
    To place both your balls in a partners mouth, then repeatedly slap their nose with your tumescent penis in a vigorous manner, preferably whilst waving your other arm in the air.
    -Last night I was with a real slut, she let me goink the hell out of her

  35. I read yesterday that Cauley Stein was on his high school tennis team. Can you imagine how intimidating it must be for your average high school tennis player to have a 7′ world class athlete blasting serves at him?

  36. Lol Frank.

    And I love the use of the word “tumescent”. And the fact that you’re supposed to wave the other arm.

  37. Thanks Frank. I did not need to know what Phil n’ Jeannie did in their private time.

    I read yesterday that Cauley Stein was on his high school tennis team. Can you imagine how intimidating it must be for your average high school tennis player to have a 7? world class athlete blasting serves at him?

    Two words: John Isner.

  38. Also Phil said he seriously thought he deserved Executive of the Year votes, which didn’t do anything to quiet my concerns that he might be a little too impressed with his own cleverness. We seriously might take Lyles at #4.

  39. I do like his exec of the year swagger though. He’s grading himself too highly, but people really don’t seem to understand what a shitty job he walked into

  40. Interesting facet on how to use WCS:

    Option 1: Like Tyson in spread PnR only also have the Pop ability. Consider this lineup: Joseph/Green/Carroll/Melo/Stein. Isn’t that a much improved version of the 2012-13 team? And if we waive Calderon and don’t sign Monroe, we should have the dough to make it happen.

    Option 2: Joseph or Beverley or CJ Watson/Green or Carroll/Melo/Monroe/Stein.

    Which one do you prefer? I like #2 but it’s close. Less reliant on Melo and still have ability to use spread PnR when Monroe’s out as well as 4-out set when WCS is out. Also have WCS guard opponent’s best player if 3,4,5 (e.g., Bron).

  41. Really, at this point, I’m finally convinced. Anything other than Towns falling down to us (which is impossible), we should be drafting WCS. The only question is whether we take him 4th or can arrange something where we know we will get him plus an asset trading down.

    Too risky to trade down. However, my understanding is Orlando really likes Zinger. If Phil’s decided to pick WCS at #4, he could exercise some gamesmanship and tell Magic he’s taking Zinger. However, they could have him if they take Calderon and give us a couple of 2nd round picks.

  42. It not like Mudiay is unvetted. He was the #1 recruit coming out of highschool last year. Not that it means that he won’t bust or anything, but the #1 recruit out of highschool almost always goes on to being a successful pro. The last ten have been: Wiggins, Noel, Anthony Davis, Harrison Barnes, Favors, Brandon Jennings, Eric Gordon, Gerald Green, Dwight Howard, LeBron, and Amar’e.

    Russell, on the other hand, was the #30 recruit just a year ago. There is a lot more variance in success rate down there, fwiw.

    Mudiay seems to be on the Jennings track. #1 recruit, opted to play professionally overseas over playing in the NCAA. Athleticism was the calling card. Shooting woes in the small pro sample heading into the draft. Jennings has turned into a solid starter, even if he’s not a star. That’s a pretty safe floor for Mudiay, I imagine, as long as he stays healthy. And he’s a lot bigger than Jennings, so the ceiling for him could be quite a bit higher.

  43. Damn, there are like 13 different definitions for the word “goink” in the Urban Dictionary – half of them are disgusting. I’m erasing the word from my lexicon.

  44. That list of HS prospects is not exactly a list of sure things

    Of the last 10 there’s only one that didn’t become a solid starter at the very least (Gerald Green). 4 became multiple all stars. Wiggins and Noel are on the right track. Favors could be an all star too. Barnes and Jennings are solid starters. Gordon was good before he got injured. If you’re expecting more from the #4 pick than the solid starter – multiple all star range, I’m not sure what to say.

  45. I agree

    I know that we are all excited to have a top pick but we should be more realistic.

    The 4th pick is far from an all-star guarantee.

    Getting a franchise player will be a home run.

  46. Hezonja 5/6 in 3pts in the first game of the ACB finals. I only saw the final minutes. He made a three pointer from far away, he also played lackluster D, made a nice spin move to start fast break, and tried to force an ill-advised shot against three defenders. I didnt see bad body language.

    JR Smith-like indeed, however, he is still young; so there’s hope he learns to play as part of a team.

  47. The more I read about the top 4, the more I think the best prospect is Towns and and the second best prospect is WCS.

    That’s what I’ve been saying for the last month.

  48. The correct answer is “whichever one the Knicks pick”. :-)

    That made me both laugh and cry simultaneously. Short and to the point… and probably true.

  49. My gut tells me Okafor > Towns and Russell > Muddiay.

    I like guys with polished skills. I know that today’s NBA is all about getting to the FT line and making them. You can have limited skills and be effective if you take advantage of rules which allow a bigger player to basically drive right into someones chest and get the call. LBJ and Harden rode bully ball all the way home, almost, but Steph Curry, the best shooter and dribbler, won the hardware.

    I don’t want a stretch big either. Okafor has the size to not be overmatched. I watched a good bit of Duke in the NCAA tournament and, though his numbers never jumped off the page, his double teams were the lynchpin of their offense.

    I’d rather see a good athlete with size and strength learn team defense than watch a PF take three years to learn a 15 footer. Worse yet, another Tyreke Evans. Knicks need a PG who can keep a defense honest.

  50. The Knicks haven’t had a good point guard in , let’s see, oh I’d say decades may not be overstating it. Despite his shortcomings on defense, Russell is the consensus top point guard in the draft and he can shoot. Shooting is a very valuable commodity as we just learned from the finals. Having someone to run the offense, which Russell seems more than capable of doing, would be so refreshing to see for the Knicks. Unless you have LBJ, having a good point guard really helps, just check the best teams now in the NBA. Besides Towns he is who I would be most happy with if he talks to #4. I will be least happy with any of the Euros as they will likely take years to develop and to me have the highest bust potential. I’m ready for the draft and all of this endless speculation to be done.

  51. …of course being a Knicks fan means knowing the guy that would help the most will be gone by the time they pick

  52. …read we are drafting 4th and Towns will be gone for sure. There is a slim chance Russell will be there.

  53. russell seems like more ginobilli than curry to me.. and that’s still a great player… just not someone who i’d ask to run pg…

  54. 538 released their projection model results today-its very high on Winslow (2 overall) because of a strong likelihood he’s at least a good NBA player.

  55. “538 released their projection model results today-its very high on Winslow (2 overall) because of a strong likelihood he’s at least a good NBA player.”
    Are you going to tell us how everyone else did, or are you going to make us find it ourselves?

  56. I’ve seen it. The formula for the statistical plus/minus it uses is weird, have we seen it before? (lm(formula = plus_minus ~ mpg + p36 + tsa36 + tsasq + tpa36 + fta36 + ast36 + orb36 + drb36 + stl36 + blk36 + tov36 + pf36 + versatility + usgast, weights = minutes). I think.

    It’s skewed based on “eye test” and “scout reports.”

    And what I found interesting was that the player with the highest chance of “star” talent according to the formula was Russell, who also had the highest bust potential of the top 23 players:

    15.2% chance of star level

    34.2% chance of being a starter

    9.7% chance of role player

    40.9% chance of bust

    ??!!

  57. Aw, c’mon. WCS is sure to be the next Jared Jefferies. :-)

    Any Chris Sheridan fans? Apparently he’s predicting that the Knicks “more likely than not” will trade the #4 pick before the draft! Of course, that means a 50.1% chance… LOL.

    Seriously, why would PJ trade the pick before. Won’t he at least wait and see if Okafor or Russell falls? You can still do the deal on draft night.

  58. It’s funny-Layne Vashro (he writes for nylon calculus) has been publishing a model that has star, starter etc odds for a couple year, and his model gives Russell a huge chance of being a star and no chance of being a bust. It would be interesting to figure out how the two models have such divergent results.

  59. If we trade the pick before the draft, I can’t imagine what we’d be trading for. I mean, Minny is almost certainly taking Towns, but who knows? They’re not exactly a model franchise.

  60. Sheridan points to Boston and, wow, Philadelphia as teams interested in the #4. He claims that PJ wants to “restock the cupboard” with lots of picks. I don’t know. I’d want a heckuva a lot from either of those teams to do a deal. Lots of Philly’s future #1’s are protected.

  61. imo … alot of draft models overfit.. everyone puts a lot of inputs in there that don’t need to be.. pelton’s for instance i know for a fact that he uses way too many variables… alot of ppl mistake more variables means higher accuracy.. but it’s really just more noise and i also haven’t come across one that accounts for position besides ed weiland’s who i like a lot…

    it’s an inexact science.. but i always say simpler the better with any model…

  62. I really don’t think you can compare these guys using any metrics. How do you qualify for things like strength of your team, your age, games/minutes played, your league (hell, Mudiay played against grown-ass men, including Starbury in China!), position played and will play in the NBA, how your strengths/weaknesses tend to transfer to the NBA, effort level, etc.

    It’s all eye-test. And right now, except for Towns, all of these guys (Okafor, Russell, Mudiay, WCS, Winslow, Zinger, etc) all have huge positves and huge negatives. I just really wish there was more to see on Mudiay, because its slim pickins.

  63. I can’t imagine what we could give to Philadelphia to move up one spot or why we would do that for anyone except Towns. It seems like Philadelphia and Boston should trade with each other.

  64. Doesn’t the Stepien Rule prohibit us from trading the pick until either the day of the draft, or even after we’ve made our selection?

    I can’t imagine why Phil would be willing to trade the pick in advance, not knowing who might fall there. Even if he’s dead-set on trading the thing, he’s going to do no worse, and could probably do better, if he waits til that night in the event that a Russell or Okafor falls to 4.

  65. I think Phil is doing his due diligence re: trading the pick, but if DX, Chad Ford and others are correct in thinking that Russell will fall to 4, I’m pretty sure the Knicks will take him.

    I think if it’s Porzingis sitting there, we trade the pick to the highest bidder (probably Orlando or Boston.)

  66. Doesn’t the Stepien Rule prohibit us from trading the pick until either the day of the draft, or even after we’ve made our selection?

    Technically speaking, yes, but teams can still work out deals in advance, so that the Knicks would be picking for the other team.

  67. OK, I’m gonna go on the record early (subject to change up until draft night) on who are gonna have the best NBA careers:

    1. Zinger HOF
    2. Okafor Low post beast
    3. WCS DPOY x 4
    4. Stanley J 5+ time all-star
    5. Towns Struggles vs. length/quickness
    6. Hezonja Monster SF
    7. Mudiay Jrue +
    8. Winslow Battier +
    9. Russell Step slow
    10. Portis In he weeds

  68. I think Phil might have revealed his strategy in this quote:

    We’re seeing what can we add to our team that will move us along and make us a better team, and we’ll have to fill out that big possibility with some free agents if we end up going smaller with wings and guards in the draft

    That tells me he’ll look for a big in free agency (Monroe?) and will pick a guard or wing in the draft. So it looks like Winslow, Mudiay, Russell (if he’s there at 4). I think WCS is out ::sigh::

  69. Or if Phil knows what he’s doing, he plants that thought there to try to get teams who want Mudiay (like Sac) to trade up.

  70. I think Phil’s priority is the Triangle not defense and he believes WCS just doesn’t fit in that paradigm. There’s no way he would have obtained Calderon and play Melo at the 3 if defense took precedence. It’s a shame because WCS is like Zinger in that he’s sort of a one-of-a kind player. I’m not sure we’ve ever witnessed anything like him on defense and who knows what this late blooming ex-quarterback/wide receiver/tennis player might be on offense. The last reports have him knocking down corner 3s at a high rate.

    What’s the most Knicksiest thing the Knicks have not done yet? Well they missed Curry by one slot in that draft. Sooo this time they’ll chose Mudiay or Russell and Zinger or WCS will be selected one slot after them and go on to be a superstar while Mudiay or Russell will be a bust.

  71. Phil Jackson played Denis Rodman. Denis Rodman couldn’t pass, and Denis Rodman couldn’t shoot.

  72. Yes but I think Phil believes his legacy is tied to the Triangle at this stage of his career. That’s why a Calderon or a Russell would be the priority. It’s more important for the offense to be a success than the Knicks overall to be a relative success if that makes sense.

  73. If Phil Jackson believes that the Triangle’s legacy is more important than winning basketball games, Phil Jackson should be fired immediately and replaced with someone who understands the objectives of a professional basketball organization. Like an elementary-school student. Or a chimpanzee.

  74. If Phil Jackson believes that the Triangle’s legacy is more important than winning basketball games, Phil Jackson should be fired immediately and replaced with someone who understands the objectives of a professional basketball organization. Like an elementary-school student. Or a chimpanzee.

    I think Caesar from Rise of the Planet of the Apes would make a great GM.

  75. Take a neutral example: Phil would rather have a #5 ranked offense/#15 defense than a #15 offense/#5 defense. And I would even say that he’d prefer a #5 offense/#20 defense to a #15 offense/#5 defense. Has he ever coached a team which had as starters two players as bad on defense as Calderon and Melo?

  76. If the Knicks could pull off a Brendan Haywood and CLE’s 2015 pick for Jose Calderon? That would be a grand slam. Call me a fool, but I think if the Cavs had Jose they could have gone to 7 games with Golden State this year.

    I haven’t really looked at who could be available at 24. Still, I’d make the deal just to make the team younger, and getting Haywood’s non guaranteed deal makes us a much bigger player in free agency. I’d give up TH2 to do it for sure.

  77. I’m fine going into next season with a Mudiay/Green/Melo/Sweet Lou/Monroe lineup.
    It’s not sexy, but it’s balanced, tough and won’t kill us going forward.

  78. Montrezl Harrell is projected by DraftExpress to be the 24th pick. If we came out of the draft with one of Mudiay/WCS/Winslow, Montrezl Harrell, and more cap room? That would make me a lot more excited about the 2016 Knicks. I hope Cleveland and New York are talking about Calderon.

  79. Z-Man — as long as we’re going on the record, I’m with you. I am 100% on board the Zinger hype train. He’s the guy I would be most excited about the Knicks drafting. WCS is my second choice. In my mind, they are the two guys with the highest chance of being real difference makers. Of the top 7 or 8 guys, the only one who I definitely do not want is Okafor. I do not like him at all.

  80. @Johnno – With Embiid being hurt (again) don’t be surprised if Philly takes him, should LA pass.

  81. Z-Man — as long as we’re going on the record, I’m with you. I am 100% on board the Zinger hype train.

    Here’s hoping Philly gets on board!

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