Knicks Morning News (2014.06.21)

  • [New York Times] Blatt Makes Switch From Euroleague to NBA With Cavs (Sat, 21 Jun 2014 03:46:15 GMT)

    The Cleveland Cavaliers announced David Blatt as their new coach on Friday, handing the 55-year-old a three-year contract to become the first head coach to make the switch from the Euroleague to the National Basketball Association (NBA).

  • [New York Times] Imported: Cavaliers Hire David Blatt as Head Coach (Sat, 21 Jun 2014 02:58:21 GMT)

    David Blatt went overseas to chase his basketball dreams. He’s coming back to fulfill them.

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    Mike Kurylo

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

    42 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.06.21)”

    1. To all of you think that Melo is just a slightly above average volume scorer — don’t you think that it’s odd how many good teams and smart GMs (and other players) are reportedly trying to figure out how to get him? Or that an advanced stat guru like Morey reportedly isn’t interested in hyper-efficient Kevin Love because he’d rather have Melo? Strange, no?

    2. Not at all, if you consider Melo is more suited to play as a small-ball power forward. Also, GMs are trying to get Melo to make him play second fiddle. Did you notice that Boston seemingly has no interest in him?

      Anyway Melo is not a slightly above average volume scorer. Melo is a great player who in the end can’t carry a franchise anywhere in the alpha dog role, unless that franchise is brilliantly managed. The only problem is that Melo can’t and won’t accept that (also, to be honest, LaLa Vasquez seems to have some weight in his decisions, so the destination that makes the most sense – again, Phoenix – isn’t even an option).

    3. @jonno There’s only one person this board who feels that way AFAIK.

      There are a lot of other people who simply feel he’s not the top five player he’s been hyped to be most of his career. For the least two seasons, which have been far and away Melo’s best, I would put him somewhere in the 10 – 20 range.

      Given how rare it is for players of that caliber to change teams, it’s not weird that team would want Anthony. Hell, if we had the roster of the Bulls or Rockets, I’d be down to clear cap space for Melo. Even if we had what Boston has — a ton of picks and some decent, cheap young players — I’d be down to make a play for Melo if it came in conjunction with adding another star.

      The Knicks, unfortunately, might be the most asset poor team in the league right now unless you count the untradeable assets that are Dolan’s wealth and NYC’s appeal.

    4. I seem to remember a whole lot more than 1 person expressing the opinion that Melo wouldn’t have any real viable options if he opted out. Not sure where the idea that Melo is unwilling to accept not being the alpha dog came from since he’s expressed the desire to play with both Paul and LeBron. By the way, the Heat can create cap space even if Wade and Bosh opt in — I bet that they could unload Bosh on someone if they waned to .

    5. johnno,

      That appeal to authority argument is long-since tired. It does fucking nothing.

      If you want to talk about the expertise of the average NBA GM, look at how many franchises have been mired in shitty picks for years. And there are lots of reasons that Morey might not want to go after Love. One of the biggest ones is that the T-Wolves already have a solid future at PG and C and have no need for Asik and Lin.

      You sound like the average baseball fan in 1999. Wake up, bro.

    6. How is Melo not a somewhat above average volume scorer? He shoots a very high volume of shots, and he scores on them at an above average rate, but not at a rate that could be considered elite. He’s a good rebounder as a SF, so he brings that as well, but he’s not a playmaker with the ball. He’s not a great defender. So what else is he? He’s pretty good at scoring, and a pretty good rebounder.

      Now that Melo seems to have developed into a terrific 3 point shooter he’d probably be a good fit on Houston’s offense. Melo’s a good player. The Rockets are at the point where they need to go all in-maybe Morey thinks Melo could be the guy who will put them over the hump and is willing to roll the dice. Who knows. Daryl Morey makes mistakes too.

    7. Jowles — your point would have merit if it were the Pistons or Cavs who wanted Melo. It’s the Heat, Bulls, Rockets and Mavs who want him. I think the Clippers would too if it were possible. If those are the dumb organizations, then I guess you’re right. I wish the Knicks were as dumb as they are…

    8. I can’t believe the Warriors are passing up on one of the best offensive players on the planet over Klay Thompson, who will go from a totally-average player on a rookie contract to a guy making $8-10M because he looks like he might be able to shoot, which is, uh, debatable.

      What are they doing? Why? Why are they doing this to their fans?

      And johnno, don’t act like Miami can’t make mistakes. Chris Bosh’s max contract could be called a mistake. Playing Chris Anderson so little could be called a mistake. Thinking Norris Cole should be getting playoff minutes on a team that has the greatest big-man passer since Magic could be called a mistake. There’s a lot of room for error (see: the Cavs, 2004-2010) when you have the undisputed best player since Jordan on your team.

    9. The thing with Melo joining up with CP3 or Lebron even is that he could still be the alpha scorer. CP3 is a PG. Sure he can score but he’s more about setting up his teammates and would be a great PG for Melo to play with bc he can score but he also is all about the assists and being a PG. So Melo could still be the main scorer and take the last shot. Same is true with Lebron. Lebron can drop 30 but we’ve seen how Lebron is some ways would rather play his all around game and make the right pass, so Melo could still be the main guy who scores more points than Lebron. Honestly Lebron and Melo might be the best Forward combo in NBA history if they joined up. Who do you double team and Lebron is such a good passer that he would make opponents pay every time they tried to double team him and Melo would be the beneficiary of that.

    10. Mirotic fans here might be in luck. Chicago is pursuing Afflalo. My guess is their strategy is as follows: Afflalo for their #16 and #19 picks. Then S&T for Melo in exchange for Boozer/Mirotic/Snell/Kings’ 2015 pick. Rotation would be: Melo/Noah/Rose/Gibson/Afflalo/Butler/5m mle/2m bae. Use the bae to re-sign Augustin and the 5m mle to pick up a quality player. Afflalo is a known versus Mirotic and Bulls probably wouldn’t be able to sign Mirotic ’til next season because of the buyout issues. Meanwhile 2015 is perfect timing for NYK to sign Mirotic plus we could offer him more than Chicago max of 5m mle. So long as Mirotic indicates he is willing to join the Knicks, this seems to work out well for all parties.


      There are SO many things to like about Mirotic’s game. I am probably the #1 Mirotic fanboi here.

      If Mirotic was in this draft, he’d easily be a lottery pick. He is the prototypical stretch 4; has a beautiful shooting stroke and a bevy of post moves. He had an eye-popping .658 TS% in EuroLeague, shooting 46.1% on 3PT. The dude can flat out score. He’s also routinely described as a high-IQ player who makes smart decisions with the ball and has a knack for playing off the ball. On defense, he appears to be a solid to plus defender– he defends the pick and roll very well and is an expert at the Roy Hibbert “jump straight up” move to alter shots. One-on-one defense is strong.

      I’d love to get this guy.

    12. Would you trade Faried for Gibson and a pick. If you are the Bulls does it makes since to trade Gibson if you get back Faried and Afflalo?

    13. If the bulls trade picks for afflalo they lose a ton of leverage in trading for melo. I’d demand they take on Felton and give up Gibson in that scenario. Boozer, Gibson, mirotic, bulls 2015 first rounder and the right to swap in 2017. Also in that scenario I think melo would end up back with the Knicks regardless unless bulls offered up everything.

    14. I will be more than happy if we somehow get Mirotic.

      My only concern about him is that he is a terrible rebounder.

      I mean really terrible. Bargnani bad.

    15. Mirotic’s rebounding is his weakness, but that really seems to be his only weakness. He’s a Ryan Anderson-style stretch 4, but with better defense and very high basketball IQ. If he was also a great rebounder you’d be looking at a Kevin Love-type talent. He’s not as good as that, but I think he could be a really valuable rotation player on a reasonable contract.

    16. Agree.

      This is probably not the best way to sell a player to a Knicks fan, but there is a lot of similarities between him and Bargnani.

      Big guy who can put the ball on the floor, love a long-range shot and good one on one defense

      The difference is that Bargani fucking suck shooting while Mirotic is great. And team defense, of course.

      If Novak and Copeland taught us something, is that an insane TS% alone, is more than enough to be a useful player. But this will be definetly his floor.

    17. To all of you think that Melo is just a slightly above average volume scorer — don’t you think that it’s odd how many good teams and smart GMs (and other players) are reportedly trying to figure out how to get him?

      I wouldn’t call it odd. The NBA is, obviously, not a fantasy league. These are real human beings operating in a world that is a lot more complicated that mere TS% and WS48. GM’s work for owners, and get input from coaches, and medical staffs, and PR departments, and lawyers. There are many reasons why a good team like the Rockets or Mavs would want Anthony, and there are many reasons why good teams like the Warriors and Bulls would want Love. One obvious reason is that there is only one of each player and there are many competing teams. Another, less obvious, reason could be that, though winning is supposedly held paramount, that there is a good deal of business, economics, and politics at play too.

      But none of this means that Anthony is, ultimately, anything more than an above-average scorer or not.

    18. Melo is to this generation what Dominique Wilkins was to his. ‘Nique was, like Melo, a high-usage, decent efficiency forward who was an okayish rebounder and defender.
      This is ‘Nique’s age 30 season:
      .556 TS%
      .502 eFG%
      30.4 USG%
      8.3 TOV%
      .184 WS48

      This is Melo, age 29:
      .561 TS%
      .502 eFG%
      32.4 USG%
      9.5 TOV%
      .172 WS48

      Pretty much the same player.

    19. @ 8 jowlws while I agree with you about klay and think the warriors would be crazy to lose love because they would not include him in a deal. However, one of the arguments I’ve heard is that klay is very valuable because there are few good off guards whereas the league is flush in PFs. Basically the thinking is that it is easier to find an above average PF then a SG and both positions need to be on the court. You could run a two PG backcourt but that may be a defensive liability. Klay verse love is not close but Klays ranking within SGs is similar to love’s ranking within pts

    20. @18 They were both better than 95% of the nba in their eras. It’s so easy to harp on every player’s negatives in this advanced era.

    21. Well, according to WP48, Kevin love is 2.8x more productive than the average PF. According to WS48, he is 2.4x more valuable than the average PF.

      Nope. Even if you fundamentally disagree with WP48, you’re doing some crazy mental gymnastics to explain how Thompson is to SG as Love is PF when Thompson has a league-average PPS for SG.

      Where’s his value? I can tell you where Love’s value is: scoring 18% more efficiently than the average PF while taking 50% more shots per game. Even if he’s a bad defender, he’s so outrageously good at scoring that he’d have to be among the league’s worst to be a net negative.

      If you like Adjusted +/-, you can also see that Love is lightyears better than the average PF. The guy is among the best players in the league, and we’re holding up a trade over Klay Thompson.

      Klay Thompson.

      I just don’t understand this.

    22. i understand your angst, but its not one for one. It Lee, First Round pick AND Thompson.

      Thomson is a rare 2 way shooting guard who can actually shoot

    23. Thompson is not a great shooter. Will he become one? I don’t know. Not a great shooter. Love is a great shooter.

    24. Yeah, I dont get not wanting to trade Thompson in part of a package for Love. They can find a replacement for Thompson easily, you cant find someone anywhere near as good and unique as Love.

    25. They were both better than 95% of the nba in their eras. It’s so easy to harp on every player’s negatives in this advanced era.

      They are also two of only three players with career usage over 30 and career TS% below .550. (The third is Iverson (with +500 games). It’s not shocking that all three of these guys were considered superstars, but none have any rings (and Iverson was the only one to even make the finals in a formality sacrificial lamb season for the east). The takeaway is: teams that invest big money and offense in inefficient scorers are pretenders, not contenders.

    26. Buried in the Mitch Lawrence article is the assertion that Wade is going to restructure his deal from 2/40 to 4/50 (or 55). Assume Wade makes 13 next year. Assume that Haslem will restructure from 4.8 next year to 5 million over two years, so he gets 2.4 million next year.

      Just with that, even if Bosh and LBJ opt-in, the Heat will have enough room to bring back Birdman (2 years/7 million) without using an exception AND use the full MLE and the BAE.

    27. Buried in the Mitch Lawrence article is the assertion that Wade is going to restructure his deal from 2/40 to 4/50 (or 55).

      I get that players only pocket about 20% of their salary after taxes, agents, managers, and lawyers. So if Anthony needs money, I understand that it’s a job and he wants to get paid.

      But guys like LeBron and Wade, who take less money to win more games, deserve the rings on their fingers.

      And loyalty isn’t for nothing. Wade and Miami have a symbiotic relationship. Nice to see players work with teams to create a top product.

    28. Wade probably pockets around 45-50% of his salary. No state taxes on the 41 home games in Miami ( or the 5 road games in Orlando and Texas). Agents, managers and lawyers take 10-15%, not 1/3.

      He gets more gross from this deal than by opting in. Heat may have to waive-and-stretch the last two years of the deal, at which point I assume Wade would retire. On the other hand, Wade might be the most popular athlete in Miami history (Dan Marino and LBJ are the other contenders)

    29. @ 25 – I agree. Not trading Thompson + a future 1st round pick (which odds are will be in 20s) is criminal. I don’t think klay will ever be a #1 scorer or for that matter a reliable 2nd scorer. I was just ponying an argument that I am sure GS will use. Klay is overrated by playing w curry plus he barely gets to the line. However the off guard position as a whole has seen better days.

    30. Well, if that’s the case, then shame on Carmelo Anthony if he takes a max, or anywhere near a max contract. (The entertainment industry allows for a higher take for the leeches and sycophants (lawyers exempt, of course!:)

    31. @26 way to set arbitrary parameters. Can u also tell us all over 25% usage? What about players who played with other 20+ usage players etc. what about a ts below 56%? those three guys have never played with any other 1a or even second tier scorers

    32. way to set arbitrary parameters. Can u also tell us all over 25% usage? What about players who played with other 20+ usage players etc. what about a ts below 56%? those three guys have never played with any other 1a or even second tier scorers

      But Carmelo Anthony has never had a usage at 25%. So why should it matter? And the reason Anthony (and Iverson) haven’t been paired with other top-tier players (except each other) is because it’s too hard to fit two max contracts under the cap and get maximum return (ie two superstars) because at least one of them is always going to be overpaid.

      I’m not sure what is hard to understand about this. Everything the anti-Anthony trade crowd said c. 2011 would happen has come true. You can try to explain all the reasons they were accidentally right (a broken clock is right twice a day?), just as you can try to explain that Dominique Wilkins would have championship rings if it wasn’t for X, Y, and Z. But he doesn’t. (And the Knicks were -8 .500 this year because Anthony couldn’t do it alone (shock!)).

    33. Here’s the weird thing to me about Lawrence’s column – he talks about how Embiid is going to drop because of his injury, but then he talks about how Orlando or Utah could trade up to get the #1 pick so that they could draft Embiid. Huh? If he’s going to drop, why in the world would they trade up to get him?!

      Also, while I believe Orlando is definitely up for trading Afflalo, some of the deals I’ve seen suggested out there make it sound like Orlando is trying to dump the guy. That’s not the case – they know he is really good. They are just trying to rebuild and he’s a bit too old for what they’re going for.

    34. The crazy thing about the Warriors deal is that they’d be getting Kevin Martin back in the deal, so it’s not even like they’d be missing out at shooting guard.

    35. Well Reports are that Kerr /West are holding up the deal. Who know’s if it is true but if it is Kerr needs to take off his old gm hat.

      Is Affalo a back up plan or do the plan to trade Butler. Afflalo has an option on his last year so I can see why they want to trade him. If the Bills do happen to lane Afflalo and Melo to go along with Rose/Noah/Gibson that looks very very good. I am not sure Aff is Melo’s biggest fan but he probably will be happy just to be on a winner. Even if Rose happened to go done Melo and Aff is not a bad offensive pair.

      That would suck though.

    36. I love how Lawrence uses the fact that Rose has not called Melo as proof that Rose wants Love instead of Melo, but then adds that Rose hasn’t called Love, either. High-larious.

    37. @35 That’s an extremely biased view of what happened. The failures of the Knicks are more tied up with Amare’s ridiculous contract, the Bargnani trade, letting Lin walk, and the inability for anyone on the Knicks other than Melo to stay healthy in the playoffs. How can you hold those things against Melo? If Wade spends the last 4 years injured and Bosh gets the flu every playoffs and Miller and Ray Allen are traded for Bargnani, and if they let Battier and Chris Anderson walk then how many championships does Lebron win over the last four years?

      Few teams win the championship and you are using a sample of 2 players to determine that Melo isn’t a championship piece? That’s ridiculously silly.

    38. @40

      Man, have you even read what Donnie Walsh said?

      He’s not holding anything against Melo, the savior, he’s just saying that when he got traded to the Knicks, the “anti-Melo” crowd had the opinion that it would be a failure, because the Knicks wouldn’t be able to field good enough players around him to win a title, and it was painfully obvious that Melo could never do it alone, and this is exactly what happened… and now Carmelo is bailing out, as was also predicted by many here.

      If we should blame Melo, or if this is all his fault for forcing a trade and the max contract etc. is another conversation.

    39. @ 41
      the argument was over Anthony’s value as a player. Walsh was using the fact he hasn’t win any rings/the team sucked to support his argument. I refuted that argument.

      Walsh said that 2 max contracts couldn’t get it done, yet we brought in two more near max contracts in Tyson and bargs, we let talent walk for nothing in Lin and Copeland. We had the pieces to support melo even with the max contracts. Coaches and management failed to make anything of those opportunities.

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