Knicks Morning News (2015.01.18)

  • [New York Times] Griffin Scores 30 in Clippers’ 117-108 Win Over Kings (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:59:12 GMT)

    Blake Griffin scored 18 of his 30 points in the second half, Matt Barnes had 26 points and the Los Angeles Clippers pulled away in the third quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings 117-108 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Pistons, Led by Kyle Singler, Defeat 76ers (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:30:46 GMT)

    Singler scored 20 points, and Greg Monroe had a double-double as Detroit routed visiting Philadelphia.

  • [New York Times] Randolph’s Double-Double Leads Grizzlies Past Blazers 102-98 (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:17:13 GMT)

    Zach Randolph had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Beno Udrih added 17 points, including two key buckets in the final minute, and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 102-98 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Curry and Thompson Help Warriors to 131-106 Win Over Houston (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 04:59:09 GMT)

    Klay Thompson had a great night offensively on Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Wiggins Scores 31 as Timberwolves Beat Nuggets 113-105 (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 04:56:31 GMT)

    Andrew Wiggins scored a career-high 31 points and Robbie Hummel had two big tip-in baskets in the fourth quarter, helping the Minnesota Timberwolves hold off the Denver Nuggets 113-105 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Greg Anthony Is Arrested (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 04:56:07 GMT)

    The basketball analyst and former N.B.A. player Greg Anthony was suspended indefinitely by CBS after he was arrested on a charge of soliciting a prostitute in a Washington hotel room.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Beat Bulls 107-99 for 12th Straight Win (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 04:44:17 GMT)

    The Atlanta Hawks are looking down at the rest of the Eastern Conference heading into the second half of the season.

  • [New York Times] Stephenson, Hornets Beat Pacers 80-71 in OT (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 03:59:12 GMT)

    Lance Stephenson was back at his trash-talking best — this time against his old team.

  • [New York Times] Wizards 99, Nets 90: Wizards’ Big Men Lead Surge Over Nets (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 03:47:07 GMT)

    Nene and Marcin Gortat made up for less impressive shooting by John Wall, Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce as Washington won at Barclays Center.

  • [New York Times] Nene, Wizards Bounce Back to Win 99-90, Earn Split With Nets (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 03:32:42 GMT)

    Nene scored 20 points, three other Washington big men were in double figures, and the Wizards beat the Brooklyn Nets 99-90 on Saturday night to split their home-and-home series.

  • [New York Times] Singler Leads Surging Pistons to 107-89 Win Over 76ers (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 03:14:23 GMT)

    Kyle Singler scored 20 points, Greg Monroe had a double-double and the Detroit Pistons routed the Philadelphia 76ers 107-89 Saturday night.

  • [New York Daily News] ROTTEN APPLE: The top 10 worst sports seasons in NY history (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:08:55 GMT)

    We know the 2014-15 Knicks are unimaginably terrible at the moment — losers on two continents now, not just one.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks give Langston Galloway 10-day deal (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 02:13:40 GMT)

    The Knicks made some minor news on Saturday without dumping salary or losing a game.

  • [New York Daily News] China offers Stephon Marbury a second act in hoops life (Sun, 18 Jan 2015 01:59:52 GMT)

    As Richard Nixon and George Foreman famously proved, there are indeed second acts in American lives.

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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).

    57 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.01.18)”

    1. I am so loving the Hawks these day, and wishing they were ours. Did anyone see this article? It could have been written about the ’69-’73 Knicks.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/sports/basketball/unselfish-hawks-resemble-winners-namely-the-spurs.html?ref=sports

      Teague is the most underrated PG in the league, and Millsap may be the most underrated PF. Horford’s star has been tarnished by injury, but he has a complete game, if a bit undersized at the 5. Carroll is a D-leaguer made good. Unselfish two-way players at every position, what a novel concept! They must be so much fun to root for, and unfortunately are stuck in maybe the worst b-ball city in the league. I’m definitely rooting for them in the playoffs. A Spurs-Hawks finals wouldn’t do much for ratings, but would be great for the purists.

    2. What about this strategy: Trade down to get 2 at least 2 #1’s (w/ Celts?) and pick up Delon Wright and a high-ceiling big. Then target 2 two-way players with our cap space. Wright looks like he can help right out of the box. He leads the NCAA in WS40.

    3. I don’t see why some people think Jax is dying to take a ball dominant guard. He had ridiculous success with amazing bigs in LA, and he knows what Melo is. I don’t think there’s any way we don’t take Okafor or Towns unless we slip to 3 or 4. In that case, I’m ok with trading down a bit.
      Otherwise, I’m ok with a Calderon/Matthews/Melo/Acy/Okafor lineup, which should be at least watchable.

    4. “Otherwise, I’m ok with a Calderon/Matthews/Melo/Acy/Okafor lineup, which should be at least watchable.”

      LOL, the new bar for our team is set at “watchable”. Baby steps, I guess!

    5. Ess, not sure if your comment is directed at me, but I don’t think Delon Wright is ball-dominant. He has a usg% of 23.5 and an ast% of 39.4. He also is a very efficient scorer, although not from 3. If you are referring to Mudiay, I agree.

    6. Agree w/ d-mar, that would be better but not a playoff team. I don’t think you can win without athleticism at the point guard position, unless you have a rim protector or two (Acy? Melo? Okafor? None of them are stopping anyone that beats Calderon.)

      Calderon is the worst starting PG in the league, and maybe even on our current team. He can’t get to the rim, defend, get out on the break or rebound. At this point, he is nothing better than a 3-point specialist. I actually wish that we used Shump to dump his salary instead of JR’s.

    7. I am so loving the Hawks these day, and wishing they were ours.

      +1 What roils me about the current Knick situation is that PJ could have placed us on this course – it was all set up for him. Brian and I have argued about this but I believe Chicago would have given us Butler/Mirotic/draft pick in exchange for Melo/JR/Prigs/Dalembert. I doubt Spurs will hold on to Parker, Mills, and Joseph so we could probably could obtain Corey as RFA. Doesn’t he remind you of Teague? So we’re looking at: Joseph/Butler/Mirotic and about 35m in free cap.

      I understand the argument that building just through draft picks is a crap shoot but Jax didn’t have to go that route. We could have had young players who already have shown something. All that said, his incompetence will result in a Top 4 pick and a chance to redeem himself. If he’s able to trade Melo to Chicago or wherever this summer, he should do it. Then we have something like: Okafor or Towns/Joseph/Draymond? and again 35m in cap which we should be in no hurry to spend since our players are so young and haven’t peaked. We might have even have a shot at Durant. Patience Phil.

    8. What I’m saying is, if we have to rebuild around Melo, we should do it with young, athletic, hungry players. Getting Marc Gasol or LaMarcus Aldrich might help in the short run, but there would still be too many holes to fill for us to be competitive with good, deep teams like Atlanta, Washington, Toronto, and Chicago. Not to mention up and coming teams like Charlotte and Milwaukee (has anyone noticed that they are 21-19 and .500 vs. Western Conference?) And who knows how goof the Sixers and Celts will be in 3 years?

      If we’re gonna rebuild, let’s rebuild and not take short cuts. It has to start with a stud PG.

    9. What roils me about the current Knick situation is that PJ could have placed us on this course – it was all set up for him. Brian and I have argued about this but I believe Chicago would have given us Butler/Mirotic/draft pick in exchange for Melo/JR/Prigs/Dalembert.

      We have no idea if this is even true. It seems like Chicago was more interested in trying to convince Melo to give up $50m guaranteed money so that they didn’t have to break up their core.

    10. Zanzibar, you have made your point re: what could have been w/ Chicago, but I agree with Brian, there was really no way to confirm that. Anyway, it’s spilt milk. I’m only interested in what we do going forward, given this golden opportunity Phil seems to have stumbled and bumbled his way into. I don’t think we need to trade Melo to have a successful rebuild, but would be open to it IF we get excellent value in return. In other words, if he chooses to put a promising but young, non-competitive team out there next year, maybe Melo waives his no-trade clause. But so long as that clause is in effect, I don’t see the logic in considering trade possibilities.

    11. An interesting question is, could it be worth a pick in both this year’s and next year’s draft?

      I truly wonder if any of this hinges on Andrew Bynum’s progress. I sure hope not. That said, if he could be an 15-20 minute backup C, i.e. take Cole’s minutes, that is a significant 2-way piece.

    12. We have no idea if this is even true. It seems like Chicago was more interested in trying to convince Melo to give up $50m guaranteed money so that they didn’t have to break up their core.

      The only reason it seemed that way is because we were unwilling to take on Boozer’s deal which effectively made a S&T impossible. Phil’s definitely going to regret that when Melo forces his way out of here within the next couple of years.

    13. I was just looking at the lottery odds. It’s weird that the odds are 36% that the team with the worst record will get the #4 pick, and less than 50% for getting one of the top-2 picks? So there is no way to tank your way to even a 50-50 chance of a top-2 pick.

    14. We have no idea if this is even true. It seems like Chicago was more interested in trying to convince Melo to give up $50m guaranteed money so that they didn’t have to break up their core.

      What core would they have been breaking up? Mirotic wasn’t even on the team. And we would been able to give them JR (nice fit as “catch-and-shoot” SG), Prigs, Dalembert. And they wouldn’t have had to pay Boozer’s amnestied salary. It boggles my mind that people would even dispute this. Look at the roster: Rose/JR/Melo/Taj/Noah/mle/Snell/McDermott/Prigs/Dalembert. Does that look gutted to you? Chicago would have been ecstatic.

    15. I think Phil would be ecstatic if Melo “forced” his way out.

      Perhaps, though Phil wanted him back so badly that he offered him a near-max deal AND a no-trade clause. I’m fine cutting our losses and starting over completely but I’ll be pissed that we’ll probably get complete trash back, like what Toronto got when trading Vince Carter, when we could have gotten a decent haul if we had traded him to Chicago over the Summer.

    16. What core would they have been breaking up? Mirotic wasn’t even on the team. And we would been able to give them JR (nice fit as “catch-and-shoot” SG), Prigs, Dalembert. And they wouldn’t have had to pay Boozer’s amnestied salary. It boggles my mind that people would even dispute this. Look at the roster: Rose/JR/Melo/Taj/Noah/mle/Snell/McDermott/Prigs/Dalembert. Does that look gutted to you? Chicago would have been ecstatic.

      There’s been a lot of talk that Chicago had to trade Taj Gibson as well if they wanted Melo. But that’s only if Chicago wanted to sign Melo outright. Boozer’s salary was large enough, or nearly large enough, that it would have covered Melo’s deal in a S&T.

    17. I’m fine cutting our losses and starting over completely but I’ll be pissed that we’ll probably get complete trash back, like what Toronto got when trading Vince Carter, when we could have gotten a decent haul if we had traded him to Chicago over the Summer.

      True but in a way I think this works out better for us because we probably wouldn’t have gotten as high a draft pick. Drafting Towns or Okafor and dumping Melo for only a pick or two would be the best result we could have hoped for including arguably even that Chicago S&T.

    18. True but in a way I think this works out better for us because we probably wouldn’t have gotten as high a draft pick. Drafting Towns/Okafor and dumping Melo would be the best result we could have hoped for including arguably even that Chicago S&T.

      I see the argument but don’t agree. If we do everything else the same except we trade Melo to Chicago for Boozer, Mirotic, and their two 1st round picks last Summer are we that much better record wise than we are right now?

    19. OK, in my scenario, I had Butler/Mirotic/Boozer/Dunleavy/draft pick in exchange for Melo/JR/Prigs/Dalembert (using trade exceptions to make work). In yours, I still think we would have been better because of Boozer & Mirotic. We had all the leverage in that deal because Melo wanted money and to go to a Chicago team which was not gutted. Chicago wanted Melo. Phil should have been able to extract a nice return under those cirumstances. We had productive players who would have fit on a “win now” team but not on NYK at the time.

    20. Seeing the talk of what Korver and Milsap are doing with the best team in the east and Matthews as a high value free agent, it’s funny to think that all three of these very affordable players were on the Jazz in 09-10 and almost certainty could have been kept. And those guys had nothing to do with Hayward (drafted in ’10) or the Deron Williams loot (Favors, Kanter, and Dieng who they then traded to get the not-good Trey Burke), though who knows if the latter trade happens in a silly counterfactual world. Still, that’s a pretty good team and would likely include the kind of top off type signings you get from competitive teams. (And this still hits them for trading Koufos plus two firsts who are both now decent NBA assets for Al Jefferson in the interim and then losing him for nothing and ignores the first they would have had in place of Alex Burks and Exum). You know who else was on the Jazz before ending up in Atlanta on a cheap deal? Demarre Carroll.

    21. @22 wow! good research, pt!

      Vin and Zanzi, isn’t it kinda useless to continue debating what we could have done differently with Melo? I mean, we are way past that. Should we go back and debate whether we should have made the Eddy Curry trade?

      I think that most on this board agree that PJ has not made any great GM moves thus far. He has a lot to prove going forward. Most would also agree that he has unexpectedly landed in this position of going for a complete tank/rebuild (other than Melo) by dumb luck. The good news is, for the first time, we are looking to end the season with more draft picks than we started with, have not thrown away a future #1 on a stopgap (Lowry) or worse (Bargnani) and have tanked our way to a top 4 (hopefully top 2) pick in a top-heavy draft.

      And regardless of why Phil signed Melo, the current reality is that it may be better and easier to get value for him in a trade now than it was then. He can easily become maybe the best #2 player on a contender for the next 3 years, and most of those guys are (or will soon be) on max contracts. If he stays, we will need to find a #1 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 rotation around him with (after hopefully dumping Calderon) a top draft pick and a bunch of cap space.

    22. And regardless of why Phil signed Melo, the current reality is that it may be better and easier to get value for him in a trade now than it was then. He can easily become maybe the best #2 player on a contender for the next 3 years, and most of those guys are (or will soon be) on max contracts. If he stays, we will need to find a #1 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 rotation around him with (after hopefully dumping Calderon) a top draft pick and a bunch of cap space.

      I don’t see how it will be easier to get value for him now that it was then. He’s getting older, will probably have knee surgery, has a larger contract that will be more difficult to match salaries with, and has a full no-trade clause.

    23. Melo was an unrestricted FA then, so he had even more “no trade” leverage than he has now. Any trade considered then was contingent on him agreeing to a S&T, or taking tens of millions less. He actually could have walked away with us getting nothing in return, which he can’t do now.

    24. Sam Smith has written a lot of content on the Bulls and what they needed to give up to get Melo. Here’s one piece that sort of summarizes the scenarios:

      http://blogs.bulls.com/2014/12/the-carmelo-anthony-conundrum/

      The Bulls wouldn’t have been able to bring Mirotic over this year if they’d acquired Anthony, but that doesn’t mean he’d have ended up a Knick. He’s have just stayed in Europe one more year.

      And Taj Gibson probably would have been traded, but more likely in a separate deal for future picks (since the Bulls would have needed to free themselves of their 2014 picks).

      Butler was never on the table.

      So it boiled down to Boozer, Snell, Dunleavy and the two 1st round picks as part of a S&T, which still would have been a good trade for NY. But it’s moot because Phil refused to engage in S&T talks. So what Chicago had to do was try to gut their team piecemeal to other teams to clear $22.5 million in space. That would have cost them Gibson, Snell, Mirotic, Gasol, Dunleavy, and McDermott, just to have Anthony this year.

      As it was, the Bulls only offered $74 mil ($22 mil less than the max a team other than the Knicks could offer), so they either couldn’t find any takers for their jetsom or they didn’t try too hard to clear the space.

    25. Good breakdown Donnie.

      Btw I hope everybody that was piling on Wiggins this summer has been monitoring his numbers for the past month. Still a long way to go, but definitely looks like he could be developing into a hell of a player.

    26. I remember many commenters telling me I was delusional in thinking that the Spurs model could be replicated anywhere, saying “yeah, the Spurs model exists only because they lucked into Duncan”. Well, if anything, the Hawks are proving that’s not the case. Did they luck into drafting Al Horford? Certainly so, but then again having your draft pick and choosing wisely do wonders for your team. Maybe next year will be our first step towards that goal; or maybe not, since it could be possible that Triangular reasons will cast a shadow upon sound modern planning.

    27. I admit I was incredibly wrong about Wiggins. While he has to prove himself in the next few years, his ceiling got considerably higher than Tony Allen 3.0, which was the popular (mine included) comparison in August.

    28. Maybe next year will be our first step towards that goal; or maybe not, since it could be possible that Triangular reasons will cast a shadow upon sound modern planning.

      Talent makes systems look great. Run the Hawks or Spurs system with this crew and you’re still going to get your ass kicked every night.

      The Triangle was the system used by a back-to-back champion only 5 years ago.

      I remember many commenters telling me I was delusional in thinking that the Spurs model could be replicated anywhere, saying “yeah, the Spurs model exists only because they lucked into Duncan”. Well, if anything, the Hawks are proving that’s not the case.

      There are other systems that work great as well. The Blazers run a very effective 3 out, 2 in offense where almost every set starts with both bigs at the elbows.

      Dallas runs their “flow” offense to the tune of the No. 1 ORtg.

      The thing all of these have in common is they have very good talent.

      Run the Triangle with Memphis’ roster and I bet it’d look like a championship caliber offensive system.

    29. @22 Demarre Carroll was also briefly a Jazz and left the same summer Millsap went to ATL.

    30. I agree Lavor. I was just pointing out that the Spurs Model could be implemented even far away from the Alamo.

    31. i mean of course wiggins could have been this good but his projections were bad and his college play didnt reveal anything particularly spectacular. he’s still not worth the #1 pick because at the time of the draft all of that was merely theoretical upside.

      Now, he looks decent, and we’ll see if he keeps it up.

    32. @Donnie Walsh 26 None of those scenarios involved including any other Knick than Melo which makes them all badly flawed. They were mostly focused on shedding salary outright. Just because someone outlines scenarios doesn’t mean that person has inside info on what Chicago was willing to do if Phil agreed to talk S&T. You have to tell me why both Chicago and NY wouldn’t have been happy with my scenario.

    33. i mean of course wiggins could have been this good but his projections were bad and his college play didnt reveal anything particularly spectacular. he’s still not worth the #1 pick because at the time of the draft all of that was merely theoretical upside.

      Now, he looks decent, and we’ll see if he keeps it up.

      Well clearly the projections weren’t bad if he looks as good as teams projected him to be. Maybe people should recognize that wing players in Bill Self’s system don’t really get maximized.

    34. Just because someone outlines scenarios doesn’t mean that person has inside info on what Chicago was willing to do if Phil agreed to talk S&T. You have to tell me why both Chicago and NY wouldn’t have been happy with my scenario.

      It’s not just “somebody”. It’s Sam Smith. He knows what goes on with the Bulls more than anybody. Chicago didn’t have a scenario where they let go of Butler. Why would they suddenly want to do it for JR Smith and Dalembert?

    35. It’s not just “somebody”. It’s Sam Smith. He knows what goes on with the Bulls more than anybody. Chicago didn’t have a scenario where they let go of Butler. Why would they suddenly want to do it for JR Smith and Dalembert?

      There were no negotiations, period. That is what we know now. Info leaks when negotiations are taking place. If Chicago FO gave Sam Smith anything, it was to influence any potential deal through the media to stake out an initial bargaining position. And, after it was clear there was gonna be no trade, why would they say that they were willing to trade Butler if push came to shove? That would make no sense. Again look at the deal I outlined and the resulting roster and tell me there’s no way Chicago makes that trade. They obviously make it. Butler was not some star at the end of last season.

    36. @33, uhhh….that’s a tautology that guarantees that anyone who disagrees with your initial projections is wrong forever, even if they are right. What about people who disagreed and combined different information in different ways to project that Wiggins would be awesome? It’s okay to argue that Wiggins could have been a bad bet that turned out better than anyone can reliably predict. But only as a possibility. You can’t simply assert that your model of him at the draft controls and any deviation from his results and that model is an unpredictable windfall. Maybe someone had a better model than you.

    37. @ 37 – there was no way that the Bulls were going to include Butler in the Melo trade. Butler is their best peremiter defender and one of their better playmakers. I don’t including JR and Dalembert increases the value from Chicago’s end. JR had no value coming into the year and anyone could have had Dalembert. The best the Knicks were going to do was get Mirotic and a couple of firsts in the 20s.

    38. there was no way that the Bulls were going to include Butler in the Melo trade. Butler is their best peremiter defender and one of their better playmakers.

      They wouldn’t have needed his playmaking if they had Melo and Rose. You have to place yourself at the time of the trade and how players were perceived. JR just finished the season strong and was 4th in the league in “catch and shoot” %. Does that sound like a good fit for Melo and Rose, especially when Butler 3FG% was 28%? BTW Butler’s WS/48 was .131 last season. Dalembert was perceived as an above average reserve center. Prigs posted WS/48 of .123 and .127 his first 2 years. That would have been a nice haul for them in their “win now” situation. And they would have had the 5m mle if they wanted since they stayed over the cap. Really folks, this one’s a no-brainer. Phil had all the leverage. The worst that could have happened really wasn’t all that bad.

    39. I mean all I’m really saying is that he was pretty meh in college for all the hype he had and that there wasn’t any particularly good reason for him to be #1 other than the riding of the hype train. The projections part was more of an aside, but I think it’s pretty clear that if you looked strictly at his college performance without fantasizing about his upside there’s not a great reason he should be a #1 pick in comparison to other players, Self system or no. I would’ve probably valued him at the fourth or fifth pick, not that I’m particularly expert in player evaluation

    40. Though I’ll be happy if he does continue to do well–it’s always nice to see new talent blossom. I just think it was a bit silly to take him at first in that draft.

    41. There were tons and tons of words written about the Bulls’ interest in Melo and never in any of them was there ever an indication that they would be willing to move Butler. In fact, there were articles specifically written where Bulls sources noted that he was not available in any Melo deal. Butler was never on the table. Butler was never going to be on the table. The Bulls would have much rather just not trade for Melo period and spend their money on a free agent like Pau Gasol and bring Mirotic over if it meant losing Butler.

      Feel free to bemoan the fact that the Knicks missed out on maybe Mirotic and picks (I don’t even know if Mirotic was ever really available), but there was no scenario where the Knicks were ending up with Jimmy Butler.

    42. I decided to look over the past discussions about Wiggins and I certainly don’t feel off on anything I said about the guy. The basic “insult” of the guy is that it was a clear decision to trade him for Kevin Love, which is no insult at all.

    43. Brian, why do you and others choose to ignore your own common sense? Why people here when this subject arose said they didn’t even want Butler, that he couldn’t shoot, and was gonna be an RFA. But somehow he was indispensable to Chicago at the time? Nonsense. There was no good information on what Chicago would have been willing to deal because there was no negotiations. There was nothing to leak! Phil said no from the outset. And there is no way that Chicago would admit he was on the table after being rebuffed by Phil for any trade because that would have impacted their Butler relationship.

      I remember that period very clearly. Almost all of the talk was about shedding salary not a S&T. Butler’s name never arose because his salary was so low. Why would it be in Chicago’s interest – not that of speculating reporters – to talk about who it would have included in any deal if Phil wasn’t interested in the first place. Did you expect them to say: Yeah we would have sent them Taj or Butler? Of course not.

      Look at their roster in my above post. It defies all logic to say they would have walked away from that deal which would have given them Melo and a deep roster PLUS avoid payment of Boozer’s amnestied salary. They wanted peak Melo and not 34yo Pau who had just had a mediocre season. They had set it all up to take Melo’s salary in a trade via Boozer’s contract. Everything was aligned except Jax.

    44. The trade you proposed above is robbery for the Knicks. Maybe the Knicks could have gotten Butler (I doubt it) but then the Bulls would not have added Mirotic or the 1sts. I also disagree that Phil was in a great negotiating spot – he wasnt. Melo wanted the max, the Bulls did not want to pay thus there was a slim chance for a sign & trade. I believe it came down to two teams – the Knicks & Lakers. If the Knicks were not willing to give Melo the MMM, he would have went to the Lakers for the max.

    45. Melo would have gotten a 4 year max from Chicago, not the 5th year. Phil never should have offered him a 5 year max deal and maybe no deal at all. He was not gonna go to the Lakers if he could have gone to Chicago for the same amount of money without gutting the team. And that could only have been achieved through a S&T. Again, at the time, JR, Dalembert, and Prigs were very useful players for a team in “win now” mode. Worst case, if Melo walked to Houston or LA, we would have had free cap. We probably would have been terrible this season and been in position for draft pick. And we would have plenty of cap this summer where there are many quality free agents available.

    46. Yeah sorry Zanzibar, Im going to have to add to the pile of people disagreeing with you.

      Not that this isn’t all pretty irrelevant anyways. There aren’t time machines yet, so the focus might as well be on future Melo trade scenarios .

    47. I decided to look over the past discussions about Wiggins and I certainly don’t feel off on anything I said about the guy. The basic “insult” of the guy is that it was a clear decision to trade him for Kevin Love, which is no insult at all.

      I haven’t looked through, but I remember a number of posters suggesting Wiggins would flop and that trading for Love was a no brainer. I thought at the time and still feel it was stupid because Love does absolutely nothing to address the team’s biggest deficiencies, namely rim protection and help defense. I did think they’d be more successful in the regular season than they have been, but that’s not just on Love.

      They aren’t in a terrible situation or anything, but every move they make reeks of desperation since they signed Lebron and they’ll have a number of interesting choices to make this summer and next.

    48. I think it’s entirely possible that Melo said to Jackson, “give me this contract with the no trade clause or I’m taking Chicago’s offer.” In that case, I understand bringing him back on the hope that he could be moved later.

      The problem with that theory is that if Melo really wanted to go to CHI, surely he would have been open to some kind of sign and trade, which leaves two long shot possibilities that make the above possible:

      1) Chicago was unwilling to give Melo the max in a sign and trade or was unwilling to offer more than token assets.
      2) Melo only cared about maxing his income and used the threat of going to CHI as an FA as leverage to get the near $30m 5th year (the new CBA caps sign and trade contracts at 4 years).

      #2 actually doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me since entering his 35 year old season, a best case scenario for him would be like $10m/year deal. That 5th year probably tacks on $20m to his lifetime earnings. Hard to ignore.

    49. If Melo was thinking strictly financially, then of course his best deal was the five-year mega max.

    50. The max the bulls could offer Anthony was $96. But the offer they made to him was only $74 million.

      I think that they believed that their best chance of poaching Anthony wasn’t with dollars but with providing him the best chance to compete for a championship (in a big market). So they weren’t interested in gutting their roster, a la the 2010 Knicks. Especially since they had salary flexibility and a cheaper fallback option in Gasol.

    51. @Farfa

      Their owners are cheap, but their front office has been great. The Perkins deal aside Presti and co. have done a great job maintaining cap flex and keeping their picks. The Waiters deal is still open for judgment IMO. Of course he’s been terrible in his career to this point, but I’ll wait to grade that until I see how Waiters plays out, though I don’t think OKC’s limited one-note isolation heavy offense is likely to improve his performance.

      If I would criticize the FO for anything it’s sticking by Brooks as long as they have.

    52. @ 49

      I thought trading Wiggins for Love was a bad move not only because I think Love is way overrated (he put up great stats on a horrible team!) but also from chemistry stand point. Irving is all ready an alpha who wants to score and thinks the Cavs are his team. Love is going into FA where he’ll want a big contract. Wiggins would be a rookie. Sure, a number one draft pick, but he’s not gonna have a huge ego thinking he deserves the ball or to be the man, especially with Irving and Lebron on the team. Lebron could be a great mentor to Wiggins and Wiggins would listen bc he’s a rookie. I think sometimes GMs (and fans) mistake needing a player in their prime (hello Knicks) over a rookie when a rookie player can still be a valuable part of a championship team. Just because a player is still green and learning doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to a team. Rondo was a second year player when he started for the 2008 championship Celtics. Tayshaun Prince was a rookie (or second year?) player when he started for the 2004 Pistons. Rookies have less egos, especially when they are on a team with players like Lebron. I think coaching is also a huge issue with Cleveland, but if Love bolts and then Lebron a year later, Cleveland is gonna regret making that trade.

      Its also why I hope to god we don’t trade away Okafor or Towns (if we get them) in order to pair Melo with another star. Even if it means we are less likely to win it all (we ain’t winning it all with Melo regardless), I’d rather we set ourselves up better for post Melo by drafting and developing one of those guys than making a win now move.

    53. Ill be honest, I thought the Love trade was a great move by the Cavs. I thought Love would fit in perfectly as a P&R partner w/ Irving & James and his D rebounding and outlet passes would lead to countless fast breaks. I thought he would try harder around the rim on defense and playing with Lebron would elevate his game even further. Obviously I was wrong but I still believe that the Cavs are not using him properly and wasting his talents. He stands in the corner on a lot of their sets waiting for a pass which is just a poor use of his skills. If this keeps up I do not see him resigning in Cleveland but I guess we’ll see.

    54. @54

      Lavor, as always you express my thoughts better than what I did. Presti is doing a great job balancing wins and expenditures (Perkins deal aside). I also agree that the worst mistake is keeping Brooks. That said, in the evaluation of a sports enterprise, you have to consider sports results, and the most likely outcome is that, while having a dominant scoring talent, a wrecking ball of a point guard (who I don’t like, but that’s just me) and a superb defender all in their immediate pre-prime, OKC will never win a Championship. And that’s on management (but probably not on Presti, who is evidently repeatedly receiving orders to avoid the tax) – full management, not just Presti.

      @55

      I think LeBron was the one pressing to send Wiggins away so they could get Love. I still think Cleveland’s main problem as of now (Mozgov on board) is that LeBron suffers from a crippling case of egotism and narcissism (while trying to take the most shortcuts possible, which is rarely advisable). I was hoping he really did change, but evidently Lee Jenkins really knows how to write. He’s a superstar that doesn’t really know how to play with others (and don’t get me wrong, it’s not about passing or deferring. It’s making others comfortable enough to play at their best. First year in Miami he failed badly at that, and he’s seemingly repeating the same mistake).

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