Knicks Morning News (2015.01.08)

  • [New York Times] Clippers Rout Lakers 114-89 on 27 Points by Griffin (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 07:06:25 GMT)

    The Clippers stormed out of the gate, getting after the Lakers defensively and hitting shots on their own end.

  • [New York Times] Suns Survive, Hand Wolves 13th Straight Loss (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 06:18:24 GMT)

    Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves were 10 minutes away from snapping a torturous losing streak that has already turned this season into a lost cause.

  • [New York Times] Thompson Scores 40, Warriors Beat Pacers 117-102 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 06:06:26 GMT)

    Klay Thompson scored 40 points, and the Golden State Warriors shook off a slow start to put away the pesky Indiana Pacers 117-102 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.

  • [New York Times] Kings Snap 12-Game Skid vs. Thunder With 104-83 Victory (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 05:36:18 GMT)

    Rudy Gay scored 28 points and Darren Collison added 24 to help the Sacramento Kings snap a 12-game losing streak to Oklahoma City with a 104-83 victory over the Thunder on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Eurocup Basketball Player From U.S. Hits Fan Who Rushed Court (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 04:57:54 GMT)

    A court invader who shoved a visiting player at a Eurocup basketball game in Montenegro was sent sprawling to the deck by a punch from the player’s teammate.

  • [New York Times] Lawson Scores 23 as Nuggets Edge Magic 93-90 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 04:57:25 GMT)

    Ty Lawson scored 23 points, Arron Afflalo had 17 against his former team, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Orlando Magic 93-90 on Wednesday night for their third consecutive win.

  • [New York Times] Augustin Scores 26, Leads Pistons Past Mavericks 108-95 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 04:33:51 GMT)

    D.J. Augustin scored 17 of his season-high 26 points in the fourth quarter and the Detroit Pistons won their seventh straight game, 108-95 over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Set Record With 13th Straight Loss, 101-91 to Wizards (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 04:12:25 GMT)

    The New York Knicks’ deconstruction project hit a new low, setting a team record with a 13th straight loss.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Nets Lose Third in a Row as the Celtics Pull Away (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:53:25 GMT)

    Avery Bradley scored 21 points as Boston snapped a three-game losing streak with an 89-81 victory over the Nets.

  • [New York Times] Favors Leads Jazz Past Cold-Shooting Bulls 97-77 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:48:54 GMT)

    Derrick Favors had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz used a strong defensive effort to beat the Chicago Bulls 97-77 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Teague, Hawks Stay Hot, Beat Grizzlies 96-86 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:18:42 GMT)

    Jeff Teague scored 25 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 96-86 on Wednesday night to continue their strong play against Western Conference teams.

  • [New York Times] Celtics End Three-Game Skid, Beat Nets 89-81 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:06:40 GMT)

    Avery Bradley scored 21 points, and the Boston Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak with an 89-81 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Howard, Harden Push Rockets Past LeBron-Less Cavs 105-93 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:04:00 GMT)

    James Harden scored 21 points, Dwight Howard had 17 points and 19 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets roared past Cleveland in the fourth quarter for a 105-93 win Wednesday night over the Cavaliers, who played their sixth straight game without LeBron James.

  • [New York Times] Walker’s Game-Winner Lifts Hornets Over Pelicans 98-94 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:01:02 GMT)

    Kemba Walker scored 31 points, including a game-winning 11-foot jumper off the glass with 1.4 seconds left to lift the Charlotte Hornets to a 98-94 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Knight Helps Bucks Beat 76ers 97-77 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 02:49:16 GMT)

    Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton scored 18 points apiece, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat Philadelphia 76ers 97-77 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Wizards 101, Knicks 91: A Small Sign of Progress? The Knicks Lose by Only 10 (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 02:41:53 GMT)

    With a raggedy loss to the Washington Wizards, the Knicks fell to 5-33, but they had lost their previous five games by an average of 18.8 points.

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers Land Mozgov in Trade With Nuggets (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 01:27:18 GMT)

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Russian center Timofey Mozgov in a trade with the Denver Nuggets, the National Basketball Association teams said on Wednesday.

  • [New York Post] Now with Cavaliers, J.R. Smith takes few digs at Knicks (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 05:23:01 -0500)

    CLEVELAND — Figuring out the triangle is no longer his problem and J.R. Smith couldn't be happier. "It's almost too much thinking,'' Smith told The Post Wednesday night before the…

  • [New York Post] Why Fisher was impressed with Galloway’s NBA debut (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:01:49 -0500)

    WASHINGTON — New Knicks combo guard Langston Galloway, at 6-foot-2, knows his future in the NBA is at point guard. And he will try to prove he can handle the…

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: J.R. says Knicks on ‘eggshells’ (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 05:01:00 GMT)

    J.R. Smith said that “everybody in the building” with the Knicks “was pretty much walking on eggshells” this season under the new regime.

  • [New York Daily News] No Melo the least of Knicks’ worries in record-setting loss (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 04:48:57 GMT)

    The Knicks’ historic losing streak still can be extended by two before Carmelo Anthony possibly rejoins them next week in London.

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: Current Knicks bringing to mind the bad ’80s days (Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:26:03 GMT)

    Thirty years ago, the Knicks were arguably worse, if that’s possible.

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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).

    109 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.01.08)”

    1. I’m holding firm to my totally unsupported belief that this entire season is part of Phil’s zen plan to dump Carmelo. He knew Jimmy D wanted him back, and he knew Melo was gonna take the money, and the only way to make Melo amenable to being traded was to be so ridiculously terrible that he’d be able to ask out without a hit to his precious reputation. Everything is going exactly to plan people. Sit back and enjoy the tank.

    2. Man even writers at P&T are forgetting that Iman had a big huge cap hold (looks like 6.5MM not the 8 I thought it was before) just to keep his bird rights.

      http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2015/1/8/7504081/the-knicks-created-another-position-of-need-with-the-iman-shumpert

      Add in even a stretch-waived JR and that would’ve been 8.7MM in dead cap at the start of the FA frenzy in July. If we believe that we currently (ie. post-trade) have about $26-27MM in cap space, that means we wouldn’t even have had space to max out Gasol (or anyone with >6 seasons of service) even if he wanted to come for some reason.

      Count me in on Greg Monroe – I know that’s not a popular stance here but he’s an excellent rebounding (10th best PF TRB% – ahead of Kevin Love and Anthony Davis, might I say) and passing 4 that seems pretty much tailor-made for the Triangle. AND he will have had only 5 years of service ie. a lower max (25% of 66.5 = 16.6MM max as opposed to ~20MM for someone with >6 years of service). AND he’ll only be 25 next season.

      Okafor, Monroe, Melo, Wesley Matthews, and Calderon – that’s a pretty good team if you ask me. I wouldn’t mind Towns or even Willie Cauley-Stein if Okafor somehow doesn’t get to us.

      (man does Cauley-Stein look like a taller/longer Kenyon Martin when he plays. unfortunately there’s no way Phil drafts a guy who has such an undeveloped offensive game unless somehow we fall to the 4th pick (~1/3 chance of that even with the worst record!!))

    3. Even if we have the worst record in NBA history, it is much more likely than not that we will not get Okafor.

    4. Okafor, Monroe, Melo, Wesley Matthews, and Calderon

      Nice to see someone else thinks thats a good front court for the Knicks. With the added flexiblity of mins for Melo at the four.

    5. if we somehow get knocked down to the 3rd or 4th pick, i wonder whether Stanley Johnson could be a real consideration. Dude is just a winner – 4 state titles in high school, a beast of a defender, and has seemed to answer whether or not he could shoot the ball – shooting 44.7% from college 3 point range this year.

      Or if we can’t get Towns or Okafor, maybe we should trade back to get more picks and/or a good young player?

    6. Simmons “Why wouldn’t the Knicks want Dion Waiters? What am I missing with that?”

      Dion Waiters fucking sucks?

    7. Johnson is 6-7 245 already….thats like Lebron in 09. Idk i need to study his game. He may be a good fit at the 3 and 4.

    8. Simmons “Why wouldn’t the Knicks want Dion Waiters? What am I missing with that?”

      Dion Waiters fucking sucks?

      Agreed. I hope Bill was joking. I know hes an ass sometimes but come on.

    9. OKC just traded a first round pick for Waiters! Real serious people who have to evaluate basketball players for a living haven’t figured out that Dion Waiters is bad at basketball. Waiters should have been drafted in the second round (if at all) and should be in the D-League, trying to learn to translate his athletic talents to effective basketball play. Instead, he was the 4th freaking pick in the draft and is now about to torpedo OKC’s playoff chances. I do not get it.

    10. Even if we have the worst record in NBA history, it is much more likely than not that we will not get Okafor.

      Or if we can’t get Towns or Okafor

      Here are the probabilities:
      – If we finish with worst record, we have 46.5% chance of 1st OR 2nd pick (25% we nab 1st).
      – If we finish with second-worst record, we have 38.7% of 1st OR 2nd pick (19.9% we nab 1st).
      – If third worst record, 31.3% (15.6% we nab first).

      Kind of depressing, if we dock our tanker ahead of 76ers and Wolves, we’ve still got less than a 50-50 chance of nabbing Okafor or Towns (presuming they go 1,2 in draft).

    11. Yea i think Presti is trying to make up for his cheap ass owners letting go of Harden. I have no idea how he sees Harden in Waiters. Harden was a smooth role player and great passer.

    12. 50 chance of nabbing Okafor or Towns (presuming they go 1,2 in draft)

      Im not sure Towns is a concensus #2 pick

    13. Phil has always liked really big players, and the current Knicks are not so big right now. I assume we’re drafting a big, but I have no idea which one (or which one we should).

    14. Instead, he was the 4th freaking pick in the draft and is now about to torpedo OKC’s playoff chances. I do not get it.

      I gave OKC a “B” for the trade a few minutes after the trade leaked. The pick is heavily protected. Waiters performed well when not on the court with Kyrie. OKC will look for Waiters to be shot creator on second team, a role which Dion will embrace. Waiters costs only 5m this year and next and OKC is sensitive to luxury tax. They believe at5m, he’s better on second team than matching 8m+ offer for Reggie Jackson. It’s a decent risk they’re taking. Zach Lowe agrees!! Take that everyone.

    15. Simmons is fun to read, but he’d make a terrible GM. He’s just like most fans in his evaluation of trades. Anything that makes the team he roots for obviously better is a good deal and he doesn’t notice that the other team would never go for it. He is a good judge of a player’s performance, but no judge of their value in the trade market.

    16. Nate Wolters being waived by Milwaukee – that’s someone I wouldn’t mind seeing on this team at all, at least as a look-see sort of thing.

    17. Nate Wolters being waived by Milwaukee – that’s someone I wouldn’t mind seeing on this team at all, at least as a look-see sort of thing.

      Yeah, definitely.

    18. Have I missed anything? We still have 2 open roster spots, right?

      I think so. Probably waiting to see who other teams are cutting.

    19. if we somehow get knocked down to the 3rd or 4th pick, i wonder whether Stanley Johnson could be a real consideration. Dude is just a winner – 4 state titles in high school, a beast of a defender, and has seemed to answer whether or not he could shoot the ball – shooting 44.7% from college 3 point range this year.

      Or if we can’t get Towns or Okafor, maybe we should trade back to get more picks and/or a good young player?

      I wouldn’t mind trading down if they don’t have a top two pick. Mudiay is just…yikes…I don’t want any part of that guy. Brandon Jennings is now showing what a guy like Jennings can do on a good team and it is, well, decent enough but not something you’d want to spend a top five pick on.

    20. By the way, when it comes to criticizing Okafor, and how he’s a one-dimensional player in college, while there is certainly something to be said for it (although very often college players develop different skills in the pro, especially the top level talents – would anyone have guessed that Patrick Ewing would ever become as good on offense as he did?), he’s just so talented at that one skill that I wouldn’t hold the fact that Melo has a similar problem against him. Just get the best talent – it’s not like Melo will still be someone to worry about when Okafor hits his prime.

    21. I think so. Probably waiting to see who other teams are cutting.

      Yep. Like Wolters, some interesting names are going to be trickling out.

    22. I liked Wolters coming out of college, and he wasn’t bad as a rookie, but he’s seemingly completely lost the ability to shoot (and he wasn’t exactly Kyle Korver to begin with). Then again, we fucking suck, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world to kick the tires. But what we really should be trying to do is get some big people.

    23. Why not cut Amare and let him hook up with a contender? And also cut Bargs, Smith, and maybe Acy. There are plenty of interesting players out there who haven’t been given a lot of burn. We bring them in and have the ability to witness up close their ability, work ethic, personality, and so forth. Maybe one plays well enough to earn the 3m room exception and another signed at the vet min. This is a golden opportunity to find some surplus value.

    24. I liked Wolters coming out of college, and he wasn’t bad as a rookie, but he’s seemingly completely lost the ability to shoot (and he wasn’t exactly Kyle Korver to begin with). Then again, we fucking suck, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world to kick the tires. But what we really should be trying to do is get some big people.

      Hasn’t really played at all this year – only 31 FGA. They’ve got a ton of guys ahead of him – Brandon Knight, Bayless, Mayo, and even Giannis playing guard. can see why they dropped him.

    25. Atlanta is for sale. Smart owners – selling when your stock is at an all-time high. Our front office could learn a few things from this.

    26. I’m actually not minding Acy lately. He’s played reasonably well in December and January (December per-36 = 10p/10reb on TS 63, January (small sample) per-36 = 13p/12.4reb on TS 57). He’s still a foul monster but at least he tries really hard, which is more than we could say for a bunch of the (now departed) players on this team. He’s a restricted FA with a cap hold of 1.2MM in 2015 which feels about right.

    27. Agreed, Frank, I think Acy is worth the, what, $700,000 worth of extra cap space that he’ll eat up. The odds are that $24 million is all the Knicks really “need,” to give out two $12 million contracts. So they can afford to drop a little bit of cap space.

    28. Sorry about the last comment. I was having trouble on mobile.

      I think this article makes some good points. Basically Okafor is surrounded by good shooters on a team that features him on offense. Towns is on a team with mediocre outside shooting and a big man rotation of NBA talent. He hasn’t shown his full potential. Towns seems much better at the “little” things: passing, rebounding, defense. That’s especially valuable for a team that will feature an aging Carmelo. Towns is just more flexible. He can stretch the floor and anchor a team on defense. Okafor can’t really do either. I think an Okafor-Monroe-Carmelo front line could potentially seal our fate with years of mediocre defense.

    29. I am totally fine with Towns. He’s an excellent, excellent consolation prize, to the point where I think he would be the #1 pick of the last couple of drafts (so long as Embiid was still hurt, of course). I just think Okafor is just so exceptionally talented at the one thing he is dominant at that I’d rather have him, particularly in the Triangle. Towns probably fits in better with Melo, but that was the point of my comment earlier, I desperately do not want the Knicks to pick a top player based on how well he meshes with Melo. That way lies madness.

      The two of them are so far and away the best two guys that I really am getting excited about this tank job. A chance where the #2 pick would still get you one of these guys? That’s awesome.

      Minnesota is going to be tough, though. They’re tanking like crazy.

    30. I love this line from that article, though:

      If there’s a doomsday scenario for the rest of the league, it’s a healthy Embiid sharing a frontcourt with Karl Towns. If that happens, people are going to be so mad at Sam Hinkie it’s not even funny.

      Ha!

    31. Wiggins has been showing signs of friskiness lately. If they really want to tank they’re going to have to make a play for Bargs

    32. RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS – MAX ALLOWABLE BIDS
      Butler 15.7
      Leonard 15.7
      Jackson 10.0
      Draymond 9.0
      Harris 9.0
      Beverly 7.0

      EXPECTED MAX PLAYERS
      Gasol 18.9
      Aldridge 18.9
      Love 18.9
      Monroe 15.7

      Hawks could pay Millsap up to $16.6m (early bird rights). Dragic, Mathews, R Lopez, Danny Green, Jordan and Carroll are out there.

      Observations:
      > I didn’t realize Draymond and Beverley’s RFA amounts were so low. Gotta believe Houston and GSW would match both though Beverley may be a bit of a wild card.

      > Butler and Leonard probably stay with current teams. Pau is starting to complain about 4th quarter minutes. If Chicago does not break through, I’d look for he or Noah to be traded. If I were Phil, I’d offer Melo for Butler straight up (via S&T) but not gonna happen. But

      > All the expected max players will likely re-sign with current teams except Monroe. Sadly, I think the odds are high he’ll end up on Knicks.

      > I don’t really like Reggie Jackson at 10m, but whatever.

      > How smart are the Hawks? Early bird rights and relatively low cap hold means they could offer Millsap a 5 year 83m deal and still have 8m free cap this summer. If somehow they are able to land R. Lopez, watch out EC. I wonder if the front office worked out this scenario with Millsap a couple of years ago arguing that he’d earn more to take a 5 year deal as a 30yo than a 4 year deal as a 32yo. Would some team – Knicks? – offer him a 4 year 75m deal?

      > Given the above landscape, the best we could hope for IMO is Dragic (15m) and Mathews (12m). But the most likely scenario will be Monroe and Jackson. Of course, much depends on whether we draft Okafor or Towns. I’d be happiest if we could sign 2 of Millsap/Draymond/Mathews but not gonna happen.

    33. Fair point. The thing is Towns isn’t just a better fit with Melo (which I do think matters) but he’s a good fit with nearly any team/situation. And if picking based on fit with Melo is unwise, so is picking based on fit with the triangle. I don’t think we can expect either long term.

    34. You think Dragic is going to get $15MM?

      these “max allowable bids” – this is the max you think we should bid or is it the actual max amount?

    35. Given the above landscape, the best we could hope for IMO is Dragic (15m) and Mathews (12m).

      I like this…and like i stated i like Monroe and Mathews as well

    36. Sorry, correction on Millsap. Hawks are only able to offer him a 4 year (not 5) deal using early bird rights. That makes it more interesting.

      these “max allowable bids” – this is the max you think we should bid or is it the actual max amount?

      Actual max amounts.

      You think Dragic is going to get $15MM?

      Dragic and Millsap are wild cards to me in that they are both hitting 30yo. Millsap’s been one of the healthiest and most consistent performers of any player over his career to date. He also only has about 20,000 minutes on him. I think he’ll age like Marion. I’d offer him the 4 year max. He’s an excellent fit with Melo.

      Dragic is harder to read. Last season seemed to be his peak. I’m really not sure what teams will bid on him. Isiah Thomas’ numbers are real good and he’s a lot younger so I’m not sure Phoenix will be that aggressive.

    37. The weird thing about Dragic to me is if they’re stuck with the triangle, does he even make sense here? It kills me, because he’s so good, but I dunno if he makes sense with a triangle team (and the Knicks sure seem to be committed to the triangle).

    38. RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS – MAX ALLOWABLE BIDS
      Butler 15.7
      Leonard 15.7
      Jackson 10.0
      Draymond 9.0
      Harris 9.0
      Beverly 7.0

      I don’t get this – shouldn’t all of these guys be eligible for the same $15.7 million salary?

    39. I like Dragic, but no way at the max. He’s too old and was only really a max production player last year, in what is likely to be his career year. I’d rather take a guy with upside, like Corey Joseph

    40. Dragic said he’s “open” to playing in NY, so it’s pretty much a done deal, right?

    41. I don’t get this – shouldn’t all of these guys be eligible for the same $15.7 million salary?

      I took those figures from an article yesterday. I hoped you or Ephus would be able to confirm.

      ——
      The fact that Hawks are only able to offer Millsap a 4 year deal has brightened my spirits. Here is my ideal scenario which might be achievable:

      Melo/Millsap/Mathews/Okafor or Towns/3m room exception/Cole/Timmy

      If Phil could dump Calderon (include Larkin/Early/Greek in package), we’d be able to offer Millsap max and probably outbid anyone for Mathews. Would Millsap leave a great situation in Atlanta?

    42. @21 Brian

      After your post about a week ago announcing your hatred for Mudiay I did some research. I can’t remember the exact words you used but you inferred that he was stupid . What I was able to come up with in my research is that he may have gone to China because of potential eligibility problems (no matter what he’s saying). Aside from you NOBODY is criticizing the kid. NBA executives are using phrases like “freakish athletic ability” and “can’t miss prospect”.

      What is it that creeps you out about him?

    43. I am going to work on two articles. (1) An assessment of the current Knicks salary situation. I wanted to wait until the trade fodder was cut. This should go up this week.(2) An assessment of the maximum bids for the various UFAs and RFAs. Hopefully next week.

    44. I took those figures from an article yesterday. I hoped you or Ephus would be able to confirm.

      I can’t make heads or tails of it, honestly. I think it might just be some person’s estimations of what those players should make. Since they’re all players in the first six years of their careers, they should all be eligible for the same $15.7 million max salary.

    45. After your post about a week ago announcing your hatred for Mudiay I did some research. I can’t remember the exact words you used but you inferred that he was stupid . What I was able to come up with in my research is that he may have gone to China because of potential eligibility problems (no matter what he’s saying). Aside from you NOBODY is criticizing the kid. NBA executives are using phrases like “freakish athletic ability” and “can’t miss prospect”.

      What is it that creeps you out about him?

      He is basically Brandon Jennings 2.0. That’s clearly an NBA-level talent, no doubt about it. I would just never take such a player with a top three draft pick.

    46. yeah if Parsons got the max under the same circumstances why wouldn’t those players be able to receive the max. If Harris Max salary was only $9m I am pretty sure Orlando would have worked out an extension with him.

    47. Same with the Rockets and Beverly. So yeah, I am inclined to believe it was just the best guesstimate by the author as to how much each of those players will make. In which case I think he’s betting low on Green and Harris (I have absolutely no idea what kind of offers Beverley is going to get).

    48. Brian, From what I’m reading he’s way better than Jennings, but you probably know better. Nbadraft.net compares him to John Wall. The only negatives I read are that he needs to improve his outside shot and limit his turn-overs. He’s turning 19 in March. ESPN’s analysis says “The only real weakness right now is a pedestrian 32 percent from beyond the arc.”
      What is it about his game that doesn’t make him potentially elite? What do you not like?

    49. I think it might just be some person’s estimations of what those players should make, since they’re all players in the first six years of their careers, so they should all be eligible for the same $15.7 million max salary.

      Yeah I think you’re right. I believe the max numbers are the actual allowable maxes for UFA but the RFA numbers are estimates of worth. When I looked at it originally and saw 9m for Draymond, I presumed this must be max allowable bid because he’s gonna receive a lot more than that.

      I am going to work on two articles. (1) An assessment of the current Knicks salary situation. I wanted to wait until the trade fodder was cut. This should go up this week.(2) An assessment of the maximum bids for the various UFAs and RFAs. Hopefully next week.

      Sounds great. This may be too much work but maybe follow-up articles on various teams’ cap situations like Portland, GSW so we could have an idea about which players might be most attainable. Phil’s gonna have to decide which RFA(s), if any, on which to bid and tie up cap space.

    50. Mudiay is a ball-dominant guard, a “shot creator.” A scoring-oriented point guard. When I see him, I think of the following players: Allen Iverson, Steve Francis, Baron Davis, Brandon Jennings, Stephon Marbury, John Wall.

      Some of those guys are good players, but the ball-dominant, high usage guard with a questionable outside shot is just not my favorite kind of player. Mudiay is athletic and has good size so he has some potential as a two-way player, but I’d want Okafor, Towns, Stanley Johnson, Myles Turner and probably Montrezl Harrell over Mudiay.

    51. Draymond Green has me oversalivating. A Green + Matthews result would yield a change of culture so drastic that Dolan would quit playing blues and would start being a sane person.

    52. I don’t get the John Wall comparison, besides them both being fast and ball dominant, I guess (and Wall, by the way, needed to gain a shot out of nowhere in his third year to become a player retroactively worthy of top three pick himself). The player he most reminds me of is a slightly taller Jrue Holiday. And while slightly taller Jrue Holiday would definitely be a top ten pick in the NBA draft, I don’t think he’d be a top five pick. Mudiay was doing well in China before he got hurt, but Stephon Marbury was doing well in China as recently as last year! I don’t hold Mudiay’s success in China against him, but nor do I take a whole lot of stock in it, either. Dude was rocking practically a 30% usage over there! It was like the perfect place for a ball-dominant guard.

    53. Phil’s gonna have to decide which RFA(s)

      Cory Joseph. I already solved that problem. He’s Goran Dragic, except he’s 23 instead of 30.

    54. I think the smartest thing to do is see which Spurs free agents the Spurs are trying to keep and go after them hard.

    55. Stephon just got some crazy award from the Chinese government for being a role model. So yeah. There’s that. I guess that’s more than JR did while he was over there.

    56. As of now, there are only two score-first PG who really help their teams: Westbrook and Lillard. Russell helps his team because he is insane (and cares for the win, not for his numbers), Lillard because he’s bonkers from three. Every other score-first PG is not really that helpful. That’s why I don’t want Mudiay. Score-first players tend to fuck their teams, sooner or later.

    57. Mudiay is a ball-dominant guard, a “shot creator.” A scoring-oriented point guard. When I see him, I think of the following players: Allen Iverson, Steve Francis, Baron Davis, Brandon Jennings, Stephon Marbury, John Wall.

      Some of those guys are good players, but the ball-dominant, high usage guard with a questionable outside shot is just not my favorite kind of player. Mudiay is athletic and has good size so he has some potential as a two-way player, but I’d want Okafor, Towns, Stanley Johnson, Myles Turner and probably Montrezl Harrell over Mudiay.

      Yeah, same here. It is not that he’s not a good player. He is. He will be an NBA talent. He just isn’t someone I’d spend a top three pick on. That’s not much of a shot at the guy when you think of it, ya know?

    58. I mean, Kawhi would be my absolute #1 premium target if I thought it was even remotely plausible that the spurs don’t max him, but that’s just too good to be true.

    59. Yes, obviously at #13 I would draft Mudiay… For some other team.

      You know who was touted last as a can’t miss talent just like Mudiay? OJ Mayo. Would you draft Mayo at number 1-3?

    60. Thanks Brian. Like I said, yours is the only voice against him but I a skeptic (how can we not be?).

      I understand that with our record we should be salivating at the possibility of getting an all-time great player in the draft and I’m with you. On the other hand, I’m not hearing that this is Mike Sweetney or Frederick Weis. If the floor for him is Jrue Holiday or Brandon Jennings I won’t commit harakari on draft night if we get stuck with him.

    61. Beverly has only been in the league for less than two years. It might be that he falls under CBA limitation for how much money he can be offered.

    62. Yes, obviously at #13 I would draft Mudiay… For some other team.

      You know who was touted last as a can’t miss talent just like Mudiay? OJ Mayo. Would you draft Mayo at number 1-3?

      Exactly. It seems like every year we have the next OJ Mayo. And the key is that they’re so prevalent that they tend not to be hard to get if you really want to acquire one later on. Look how easy OJ Mayo was to acquire for his last couple of teams!

      To be fair, though, Mudiay looks better than Mayo.

    63. Here’s something depressing-the spurs have less money committed next year than we do. If Tim and Manu retire, would you rather go to San Antonio if you’re Marc Gasol, or would you want to join the worst NBA team of all time and back up Cole Aldrich?

    64. Thanks Brian. Like I said, yours is the only voice against him but I a skeptic (how can we not be?).

      I understand that with our record we should be salivating at the possibility of getting an all-time great player in the draft and I’m with you. On the other hand, I’m not hearing that this is Mike Sweetney or Frederick Weis. If the floor for him is Jrue Holiday or Brandon Jennings I won’t commit harakari on draft night if we get stuck with him.

      Would it be the worst case scenario? Of course not. Would it make little sense for this team and would it make me question what Phil Jackson is thinking? Yes. Honestly, that’s why I am so worried about the Knicks not getting a top two pick. Top two they can’t fuck up. Three on down I fear they will manage to fuck up. Passing up guys like Johnson or Turner for Mudiay at #3 is something that I honestly do fear. As do I fear Phil Jackson’s reported interest in Reggie Jackson. In exchange for Shump and JR, fair enough, that was logical enough. But actively pursuing him? I don’t get it.

    65. Here’s something depressing-the spurs have less money committed next year than we do. If Tim and Manu retire, would you rather go to San Antonio if you’re Marc Gasol, or would you want to join the worst NBA team of all time and back up Cole Aldrich?

      The Spurs’ pitch to Gasol is particularly stunning, isn’t it?

    66. Aldrich said that his first pair of Uggs came during his second or third year in the league as a gift from his then-fiancee (they’re now married.) He’s also gotten a pair from Amar’e Stoudemire. Now, he said, they’re a go-to gift for people to give him.

      “I have a few slippers, I have two of those boots, I have some of the house shoes, I have some winter boots,” he said.

      So does he hope they’ll make him look like the boots most famous spokesman, Tom Brady?

      For that question, Aldrich turned to Travis Wear.

      “Do I like [sic] like Tom Brady, Travis?” he asked.

      “(Expletive) no,” Wear replied.

    67. I mean, Kawhi would be my absolute #1 premium target if I thought it was even remotely plausible that the spurs don’t max him, but that’s just too good to be true.

      I heard hes not pleased with San Antonio’s offers really though. http://www.rantsports.com/nba/2014/11/21/san-antonio-spurs-should-strongly-consider-trading-kawhi-leonard/

      Kawhi Leonard has said to be looking for a max contract, but the Spurs have been hesitant to dish out that kind of money.

    68. Kawhi Leonard has said to be looking for a max contract, but the Spurs have been hesitant to dish out that kind of money

      They had no problem paying a 35 year old Tim Duncan 21 million dollars not 3 years ago. Kawhi gonna get his money.

    69. Thanks Brian. Like I said, yours is the only voice against him but I a skeptic

      Include me in the skeptics. I watched the Mudiay draft express video and wasn’t that impressed. He didn’t look that fast to me. The Towns and Okafor comparison is maddening since they seem very similar. Okafor looks more NBA ready but Towns might have more long-term potential. Towns could be anywhere from Channing Frye to (dare I say) Duncan (higher ceiling but lower floor than Okafor). The key to me lies in Towns’ ability and willingness to develop his inside game through practice and strength training.

    70. Something I heard on ESPN Radio the other day (they were paraphrasing Stephen A) — that Marc Gasol is as good as gone from Memphis — looking for bigger market.

      If Gasol leaves Memphis, my guess would be that he is doing so to escape the Western Conference and to find a bigger more culturally significant market. Assuming Marc is anything like Pau, apparently Pau turned down OKC in part because there’s nothing to do there. So if these totally made up assumptions are true, then I think we would have a reasonable shot at him.

      re: Mudiay – I don’t know the first thing about him, but right off the bat I can say he’s unlike Brandon Jennings because he is WAY bigger. Like hugely larger. He’s 6’5″ 200 lbs (actually measured) as an 18 year old whereas Jennings has topped out at 6′ 170 lbs. He’s basically Shump-size once he puts on a little more muscle (has already gained 12 lbs since 2013 according to DX). That makes him a completely different defender and also much more likely to be able to finish inside in the NBA.

      In terms of being ball-dominant score-first guy – first of all the scouting reports don’t really indicate that he’s a me-first guy. DX actually says that they didn’t think was aggressive enough trying to score the ball. Second, what would you call guys like Jordan, Kobe, Westbrook, etc.? Ball dominant score-first guys.

      Truth is no one knows what he is or will be in the NBA. None of us has actually seen him play, and unless there is an NBA scout somewhere lurking at Knickerblogger, none of us can more reasonably project him to the pros than people like Givony at DX, who has a great track record predicting the draft and who has him ahead of Towns in his mock.

    71. I wouldn’t mind drafting mudiay if we got a big or two in free agency but if we dont do that we have such a pressing need at center/pf after cole gets his max level deal that it’d be silly to not grab okafor or towns

    72. Disclaimer — I’ve never seen him play — but every scouting report that I read on Okafor compares him to Al Jefferson. That makes me nervous. Would we all be jumping for joy if the Knicks acquired Al Jefferson? Nice player, but hardly a franchise guy.

    73. Disclaimer — I’ve never seen him play — but every scouting report that I read on Okafor compares him to Al Jefferson. That makes me nervous. Would we all be jumping for joy if the Knicks acquired Al Jefferson? Nice player, but hardly a franchise guy.

      I live in NC and i get all of the Duke games. Al Jefferson is a fair comparison post moves galore , not that great on D. He is a better shot blocker than big Al tho.

    74. I like that ESPN punted on almost all of our remaining games. Keep our good players flying under the radar. Not that we have any, but still. I like to be optimistic.

    75. I see Jefferson as a bit of a floor for Okafor. And as a floor, that’s pretty darn good. Jefferson was third team All-NBA last year.

    76. I just want two way players. Is that too much to ask? It’s just weird that people keep comparing Okafor to Duncan when Duncan is definitely in the conversation of best defensive big of all time, and everyone keeps saying “if not Tim Duncan then Al Jefferson”. And yes, Duncan has great post moves, but Duncan’s whole package — awesome defensive technique/awareness, great talent, polished offense — is what makes him great. Not just that he’s an old school back to the basket player.

    77. As long as Okafor is tall and scores lots of points, he is at the very least a very valuable trade commodity. And he is really tall, and it at least seems likely he’ll be able to score lots of points at the NBA level.

    78. Jefferson got under-developed. He could as well have become a 25ppg, 10rpg on perennial contenders. If Zach Randolph did it, Al sure could. So yes, I wouldn’t mind taking Okafor 1st.

    79. I don’t mind one-way players when that one-way is elite. Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, James Harden, Steph Curry – these are the types of players you build around even if they’re not two-way players.

      Plus, of course, being so young we don’t know that Okafor won’t adjust and improve his defense. We know he can be a dominant scorer. Towns we don’t know anything about besides he sure looks like he’ll be able to do a lot of good stuff based on sheer physical skill. If Okafor isn’t there, Towns is an excellent second pick. I’d be thrilled to have Towns on the Knicks. But I’d prefer Okafor, even if he doesn’t mesh quite as seamlessly with Melo.

    80. As long as Okafor is tall and scores lots of points, he is at the very least a very valuable trade commodity.

      Interesting possibility. GSW would match Draymond’s max offer should we make one but would be willing to S&T him to us for Okafor or Towns. Win-win for both teams? GSW may not have enough cap to spread around (luxury tax issues) and would covet a healthy young center for the future.

    81. To me at least part of the problem is that scouting defensive abilities is extremely difficult. Height is obviously a part of it, and for the right guy can almost single-handely make you elite (see Roy Hibbert), but nobody knows better than Knicks fans that there are 7-footers who are total sieves. The guys who always get trumpeted as having massive defensive potential in college are guys with long arms and/or tremendous leaping abilities because they’re such good shot blockers, and guys like Ibaka, Deandre Jordan, Anthony Davis certainly fit that criteria, but there are elite defensive centers who are completely ground bound and don’t have incredible length – Gasol for example.

      When I try to figure out from a scouting perspective why Hibbert is a beast but Thabeet is a zero, or what separates Gasol from plodding 7-footers who are considered too immobile on D (like Big Al), it’s very, very hard to do. That’s why the question of whether Okafor can be Duncan (or more realistically, a poor man’s Duncan) is so hard. Even trying to put your finger on why Duncan is an elite defender is hard. Frank says “awesome defensive technique/awareness”, which is true, but man I don’t envy the college scouts trying to determine in 30 games or so how talented Okafor is with respect to defensive awareness. It strikes me as a lot trickier than seeing that he has great post moves.

    82. Interesting possibility. GSW would match Draymond’s max offer should we make one but would be willing to S&T him to us for Okafor or Towns. Win-win for both teams? GSW may not have enough cap to spread around and need a healthy 5 for the future.

      highly doubt Draymond will get anywhere near a max offer. Maybe $10MM per? At the end of the day he’s only average 14/10/4 per 40. Luol Deng only got $10M per for 2 years last year, and he’s only 29 or 30.

      And no way in the world I trade Okafor or Towns for Draymond Green, when we could just turn around and offer the $ to someone else and not have to trade a top 3 big to get him.

    83. @75 Zanzibar

      I watched the Mudiay draft express video and wasn’t that impressed. He didn’t look that fast to me.

      Bleacher Report’s scouting report says this about him:

      In terms of the scouting report, Mudiay is lightning-quick and awfully shifty off the dribble, where he can change direction and create scoring opportunities at will, whether it’s for himself or teammates.

      He has a strong feel for the game, both as a scorer and facilitator. At 6’5″, 200 pounds, he reminds me of a mix between John Wall and Jrue Holiday—big, skilled playmakers who can take over in the half court and play above the rim in the open floor.

      I don’t know. I’ve seen the videos too and he looked quite fast to me but I’m not a scout.

      @78 Johnno – I guess that’s what I was whining about a few weeks ago before our suckitude was rock-bottom. There’s no LeBron, Duncan, Jabbar, Bird or Magic in this draft. No matter what happens, the best we can get is a potential all-star, not someone who will dominate for a decade.

    84. Yeah, I like Green well enough, but nowhere near enough to deal a #1 pick for him. Heck, I can’t even imagine how low in the draft I’d go before considering it. #7, maybe? Maybe wherever Mudiay is scheduled to be drafted. ;)

    85. “Frank says “awesome defensive technique/awareness”, which is true, but man I don’t envy the college scouts trying to determine in 30 games or so how talented Okafor is with respect to defensive awareness”
      Which goes back to something I said a few weeks ago about how similar Anthony Randolph and Anthony Davis were physically at age 19 and how radically different they have turned out. I would hate to be a scout these days — it was much easier when guys stayed in college for 4 years.

    86. highly doubt Draymond will get anywhere near a max offer. Maybe $10MM per? At the end of the day he’s only average 14/10/4 per 40. Luol Deng only got $10M per for 2 years last year, and he’s only 29 or 30.

      And no way in the world I trade Okafor or Towns for Draymond Green, when we could just turn around and offer the $ to someone else and not have to trade a top 3 big to get him.

      I hear you but does the fact that he’s only 24, improved every year, sitting at .164 WS/48, and rates 12th in real plus/minus this season (last season he was 38th) affect your thinking at all. Dunno this would a tough call for me.
      http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/RPM

    87. Yeah maybe you’re right. He could be this year’s Gordon Hayward – a RFA that someone really wants, so they throw out a max offer.

      Well if we get Okafor or Towns I could see signing Green + Matthews, having Melo and Green play interchangeably at the 3 and 4.

    88. I think Green is going to get some huge offers. Maybe shy of max, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a max offer. I think your idea of Green/Matthews/Okafor could work, Frank.

    89. This scouting report on Okafor from before the start of the season also worries me:

      Dominant high school player who will be a dominant college player likely for a year … Polished low post scorer, but doesn’t project as a dominant scorer or rebounder at the pro level …

      The report also mentions issues finishing over length. Okafor is doing exactly what he was expected to. It’s definitely possible he puts it all together offensively and defensively, but I’d side with the more athletic player in general. The lack of elite athleticism limits his potential offensively too. I really wish I could find more scouting reports.

      I agree with targeting Green and Matthews. It almost makes me excited about the Knicks future.

    90. I still don’t know the mechanics behind espn’s real +/- but since it ranks Jason Smith as the second worst player in the NBA (behind Zach LaVine) it must be doing something right. That said, I’d never trade a top 3 pick for Green. If you’re going to trade that pick you should be getting a player who helps you right away PLUS another high draft pick. I’m ambivalent enough about Okafor that I’d really consider moving down to something like 4 for Willie Cauley-Stein and a legit starter on a good contract. I think Okafor will be better than Al Jefferson (who has only had one year with a TS% over .550 and whose career mark sits at .530) but I think you’re still much more likely looking at a better rebounding Brook Lopez than the next Tim Duncan. If the Knicks could actually move Melo I’d keep the pick and swing for the fences but if Melo’s going to be here, I’d really consider moving a top two pick if you can still get a top 6 or 7-ish pick and a solid player who isn’t taking up too much cap space in return. The Knicks need help at literally every position and there’s no way to fill all those gaps via free agency alone.

    91. He has a 7’5 wingspan. How could this be?

      I guess the idea is that with his size he can dominate lesser players in college without much of a fight, but against NBA size and length he could struggle or at least not dominate.

    92. Okafor and Towns don’t seem that similar to me, other than that they are both blue-chip big man prospects.

      Okafor is the real deal when it comes to scoring. He has a .681 shooting percentage, on 28.8 usage! Granted, much of that is coming against podunk opposition as Duke’s non-conference schedule has been of the creampuff variety, but in his two games against ranked opponents, Okafor was 14 for 18 from the floor. Duke has lots of tough games coming up though against a loaded ACC, so if the guy is still shooting around 70% when the conference schedule is done, I would have to say he projects as a better pro prospect than Al Jefferson.

      Towns is nowhere in Okafor’s league as a scorer at this stage of their careers, but he is a better rebounder, a better rim protector, a better passer, a better team defender and a better one-on-one defender. Towns’ TRB% is only slightly higher than Okafor’s but Towns is usually on the floor with at least one of Kentucky’s other awesome big men– Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson or Trey Liles. All four of the Kentucky big men are future NBA players. Towns is the best rebounder of the four and has also been a fearsome shot-blocker. There is no question in my mind, Towns will be a good defensive center in the NBA.

      They are two very different players. One is an awesome one-way player, and the other is a very solid two-way player. I think at this stage I’d prefer Towns honestly.

    93. I think Okafor is a bigger Al Horford. It is very hard to predict and compare because you are dealing with Freshman. Was Duncan sound on defense as a Freshman? So who knows how a player will improve and grow.

    94. Also, can a team agree in principle to a trade involving draft picks and restricted free agents?

    95. I’m looking at GSW’s contracts and a Draymond max offer would put a lot of pressure on them to match because it looks like it would take them well into luxury tax land. I suspect they will try to unload some contracts but I don’t think they have a lot to offer in terms of sweeteners.

      I hope Phil offers Green the max on Day 1 of free agency. He’s an elite defender, passer, and rebounder at his position., qualities which tend to be independent of the system (not inflated like D’Antoni alumni). His shooting and TS% have been improving steadily. He’s projecting to be a Butler/Leonard type player. He’s 24yo so we’d likely have him for about 8 prime years.

      But Phil’s gonna blow it again and choose Monroe because of Triangle fit. Damn Phil – pick the best player not the best player for your dubious system. Plus one-legged Melo is not gonna be able to guard 3s. And dump Calderon so we could then be sure to have enough money to outbid anyone for Matthews.

    96. Oh shit, we have to play another game tonight? And we don’t have Dwight stopper Bargnani?

      How many quys do we actually have? 9?

    97. In what universe does a team not named the Knicks give up TWO first round draft picks for Timofey Mozgov ?!!?!!!??!!!! Chew on that while you digest NY couldn’t even get one first round pick for Shump and JR – ouch

    98. I seriously love Draymond Green but I don’t think offering him a max is a slam dunk. I know we have some posters on here who take any talk of role as sacrilege, so consider that fair warning, because here goes. Right now Green has proven that he’s one of the absolute best role players in the league. He can just fit in seamlessly into almost any lineup and give you what you need – he can guard big or small, he can pass, he can shoot. If he’s the 3rd or 4th best guy on your team, you’re going to be really freaking good, as Golden State is showing. But paying a guy like that max money makes it awfully hard for him to be the 4th best guy on your team, unless you hit a home run in the draft and get a stud on the super cheap. I’m not sure how Green would do on a night where Melo’s out with a balky knee and all the sudden we’re looking at him to carry the offense for stretches. He’s young enough and has shown enough growth in his game to this point that I think he’d handle it okay, I’m just saying I wouldn’t be jumping for joy if we got him on a max deal in spite of the fact that he is one of my favorite players.

      And I think trading a top lottery pick to get him would be asinine. As we’ve talked about extensively these Knicks need high risk, high reward pieces because they’re trying to climb from a massive hole. The lotto player is the #1 key to that by far.

    99. In what universe does a team not named the Knicks give up TWO first round draft picks for Timofey Mozgov ?!!?!!!??!!!!

      That’s what I said. Dafuq is the world coming to?

    100. And I think trading a top lottery pick to get him would be asinine. As we’ve talked about extensively these Knicks need high risk, high reward pieces because they’re trying to climb from a massive hole. The lotto player is the #1 key to that by far.

      I don’t disagree but let’s think this through. The comparison here is:
      Option 1: Draymond Green/5m cap (the cap for the top 3 pick)
      Option 2: 15.7m cap/Top 3 pick

      Background
      > Green is 24yo so we’d likely be able to keep him all through his prime.
      > The 5m cap does not mean only a 5m player – it could also be the key to signing a 6m+ player.
      > Let’s say Dragic or Monroe were the two possibilities in Option 2 in the current environment.
      > If you review Top 3 picks, more than half of them are busts, mediocre, or slightly above average players. I would guestimate you have a 1/3 chance of landing a player equal to or better than Green.

      Evaluation
      If you pick that 1 out of 3 player in draft, yes then Option 2 would clearly be best. Keep in mind though that it may take a couple of years for this pick to be productive at which time Melo may be in steep decline. But if you pick a bust or mediocre or slightly above average player, then Option 1 IMO would be preferable in this environment. Of course, a lot depends on how you value Draymond versus Dragic/Monroe. To me, 24yo Draymond > Monroe or 30yo Dragic. And also what that 5m extra cap translates to is unknown. But if you game it out I think Option 1 would almost always be superior where we don’t select that 1 in 3 player. Conclusion: Option 1 would more often yield better result but Option 2’s got real game changer capability if you select that special player.

    101. I don’t think Fisher likes Pablo having him guarding Harden when Galloway is out there.

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