Knicks Morning News (2015.04.06)

  • [New York Times] Three Years After Bolting for Brooklyn, Nets Keep One Foot in New Jersey (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 09:00:02 GMT)

    The team still has offices and a gym in East Rutherford while it builds a complex in Brooklyn, and the impending end of an era has left business neighbors nostalgic.

  • [New York Times] Kawhi Leonard’s Case for Defensive Player of the Year (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 06:54:10 GMT)

    Kawhi Leonard just might swoop in and steal the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Send Lakers to Record 56th Defeat in 106-78 Rout (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 05:06:09 GMT)

    While the Los Angeles Clippers threw alley-oop passes off the backboard and jumped to a 43-point lead, the Lakers needed two late 3-pointers from a guy on a 10-day contract just to avoid the worst offensive performance in franchise history.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Game of the Week: Spurs at Rockets (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 05:00:41 GMT)

    With less than two weeks left in the N.B.A. season, even Western Conference contenders like Houston and San Antonio are still jockeying for position in the standings.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Snap 9-Game Losing Streak With 101-91 Win Over Sixers (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 04:33:11 GMT)

    Andrea Bargnani bounced back from an awful, two-point performance in his last game against the Wizards with one of his best this season.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Knicks End Skid at Expense of the Almost-as-Woeful 76ers (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 04:01:59 GMT)

    Andrea Bargnani scored 25 points and Shane Larkin added 15 and 11 rebounds, and the Knicks ended a nine-game losing streak with a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

  • [New York Times] Paul George’s Long-Awaited Return Electrifies Pacers’ Push (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 03:50:24 GMT)

    Out since Aug. 1 after breaking his leg, forward Paul George gives Indiana a valuable weapon in its quest to qualify for the playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Hood’s Big Fourth Quarter Lifts Jazz Over Kings 101-95 (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 03:42:13 GMT)

    Rodney Hood scored 13 of his season-high 25 points in the fourth quarter and the Utah Jazz pulled away to beat the Sacramento Kings 101-95 on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Leonard Has 26, Spurs Snap Warriors 12-Game Streak, 107-92 (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 02:45:18 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors have steamrolled teams for the past month, but they ran into a huge roadblock named Kawhi Leonard.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Use George’s Return to Spur 112-89 Rout Over Heat (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 02:21:15 GMT)

    Paul George savored every moment of his postgame stroll to the locker room.

  • [New York Times] LeBron Has Triple-Double, Cavs’ Hit Long Shots, Beat Bulls (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 00:09:17 GMT)

    Kyrie Irving heard LeBron James scream to shoot, so he shot.

  • [New York Daily News] Woeful Knicks beat woeful Sixers at less-than-electric MSG (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 05:17:34 GMT)

    An indicator that Sunday’s Knicks-Sixers game held little relevance outside of those directly involved emerged in the hours before tip-off.

  • [New York Post] Ex-Duke star Lance Thomas breaks down Jahlil Okafor’s game (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 00:34:50 -0400)

    Knicks forward Lance Thomas was on the last Duke team to win the NCAA title, in 2010, and sees the karma in place for the Blue Devils' fifth national championship….

  • [New York Post] Andrea Bargnani opens Fisher’s eyes with new side to his game (Mon, 06 Apr 2015 00:13:13 -0400)

    Two developments occurred at the Garden for the first time this season — one seen, one heard. When Andrea Bargnani left the court in the final minute Sunday night, he…

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    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).

    95 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.04.06)”

    1. The final 10 days of the NBA season should be riveting. No, I’m not talking about boring teams like the Clippers, Spurs, Blazers and Grizzlies jockeying for playoff position, I’m talking about the glorious race to the bottom between the Knicks, T-Wolves and Sixers.

      Which teams can summon up the suckiness to lose the rest of their games? Which teams will stumble along the way and accidentally win a game or two? Will it come down to the final day of the season as SIxer, Knicks and T-Wolves fans tune in in record numbers to root their opponents on?

      Should be epic!

    2. I just can’t shake the feeling that Minny is going to end up with the first pick, if only because in doing so they’d have on their roster the last three 1st overall picks.

    3. I’m okay with them getting the first pick, I just want one of the first two picks. Okafor and Towns both looked like sure fire NBA players on Saturday (although, to be fair, Towns looked better than Okafor).

    4. I see no scenario where Towns is not the 1st overall unless he breaks something or is veeeery disappointing in his tryouts. Dude just screams potential in a way that only Davis and Durant did in the last 12 years. Then again, Durant got picked 2nd, sooooo…

    5. Ess-dog, they are bad but look like they have a tremendous future ahead of them. At this moment, we have a gimpy talented scorer, ill-fitting pieces scattered around the roster and the holy hope that comes with a top 5 pick. So they’re in a much better place.

    6. I think it’s pretty likely that we take Ok or CAT with a top 2, but who do you take btwn 3-5?

    7. I think it’s pretty likely that we take Ok or CAT with a top 2, but who do you take btwn 3-5?

      I would choose Russell, WCS, Mudiay in that order.

    8. Russell, Johnson, Cauley-Stein. I like the prospect of Johnson losing hype before the draft, it could be something to watch for if we end up picking 4th or (god forbid) 5th; we probably could trade down and nab something else.

    9. I think Winslow is a better all around player than Johnson. I’m wary of Russell’s less than exceptional athleticism. Im probably more likely to go with WCS or Winslow at 4 or 5. 3 is the toughest choice though as Mudinay is such an enigma.

    10. I see no scenario where Towns is not the 1st overall unless he breaks something or is veeeery disappointing in his tryouts. Dude just screams potential in a way that only Davis and Durant did in the last 12 years. Then again, Durant got picked 2nd, sooooo…

      I remember Durant did disappoint at the workouts when he couldn’t bench press 80 lbs or something. (Yup, people actually cared about that more than they cared about his ability to put a ball through a basket).

    11. Yeah Donnie you’re right, I completely forgot that. Also, Oden was deemed such a sure thing that to be honest drafting him or Durant looked like a coin toss. Pretty much as Kat vs. Oak.

    12. And Oden looked like he would have been a very good player, so I can’t knock that pick too much.

    13. How can we get into the second round this year? Fred VanVleet isn’t even listed on most mocks and I think he could be a steal.

    14. The team that is really gonna be sweating on May 19th is the Lakers. At the 4th worst record, they are going to be dangling precariously next to the 1-5 ledge. They’ll have a 17% chance of losing their pick to the Sixers (and a 12% chance of landing the top pick).

      My guess: they land the top pick. (Because they’re the Lakers, of course)

    15. Dude just screams potential in a way that only Davis and Durant did in the last 12 years. Then again, Durant got picked 2nd, sooooo…

      As big a Towns fan as i am, i totally disagree. This kind of goes back to me railing against the poster who said Boogie isnt even worth a top first round pick this year. Towns is good, but hes not Anthony Davis or Durant good. No one in this draft is. Towns is not as athletically smooth as you think. I think the comparison between him and Okafor has kinda put him in this “more athletic” light which is not totally true. Hes still pretty plodding for an “athletic” dude.

    16. As big a Towns fan as i am, i totally disagree. This kind of goes back to me railing against the poster who said Boogie isnt even worth a top first round pick this year. Towns is good, but hes not Anthony Davis or Durant good. No one in this draft is. Towns is not as athletically smooth as you think. I think the comparison between him and Okafor has kinda put him in this “more athletic” light which is not totally true. Hes still pretty plodding for an “athletic” dude.

      This. Towns is a really good prospect but he’s definitely not on that level and as you pointed out his athleticism is being blown way out of proportion.

    17. Towns is the best player in the draft and the most complete draft pick since AD but he’s still at least a tier below him, like er is saying. We’ll still be very lucky to have him if we do indeed get him.

      I still don’t think the Love trade was a win for Minnesota–they traded away Kevin Love in what was effectively a straight up trade for a massively overrated player that doesn’t show much upside–Wiggins has had a pretty poor rookie season and he had uninspiring stats in college and doesn’t have much “star potential”. Anthony Bennett is awful and doesn’t merit mentioning. They also traded away the Heat’s first rounder for thad young who they then traded for the corpse of KG. So they traded Love for pennies on the dollar and got back Andrew Wiggins and a 6m trade exception, while also giving away a first rounder. That’s a bad trade for Minny, categorically, full stop. Unless you think Wiggins even partially merits the hype he’s been receiving for a few years (he doesn’t). For Cleveland it’s was an obvious low risk high reward play.

    18. @ er

      agree – the Davis comparison is just wrong. ADavis is once in a generation draft pick. I think Towns will be good…probably better than Hibbert / Horford…but will take time.

    19. But I never said that he has athletic potential. He has basketball potential. I mean, Okafor is pretty much who he is, and he looks like he’s going to be a player who makes the rules on one end of the floor. Great player to have for sure. But Towns? You don’t have a sure idea about how he’s going to grow in his NBA role. I see a player who could dominate an entire game, from offense to defense. That’s just my opinion and I might be wrong, but at this point I would draft Towns over Okafor 100 times out of 100. That said, in January I was completely on the Okafor bandwagon, so make of that what you want.

    20. I also said he screams potential. Not that he is as good as Davis. The same would have been the case for Embiid if he didn’t break his foot.

    21. But I never said that he has athletic potential. He has basketball potential. I mean, Okafor is pretty much who he is, and he looks like he’s going to be a player who makes the rules on one end of the floor. Great player to have for sure. But Towns? You don’t have a sure idea about how he’s going to grow in his NBA role. I see a player who could dominate an entire game, from offense to defense. That’s just my opinion and I might be wrong, but at this point I would draft Towns over Okafor 100 times out of 100. That said, in January I was completely on the Okafor bandwagon, so make of that what you want.

      All fair points. I was just thrown off by the AD and KD comparisons. You are right though he has potential. The athleticism thing comes in for me on the defensive end on how he would be able to roam the middle. He defintely needs to work on his help Defense Iq which will come with time, and he needs to improve his post footwork and counter moves. One thing that really hinders his athleticism is supposedly how big his feet are, 22 i think.

      Im happy with Towns, Okafor Russell or Winslow (as a SG).

    22. Towns’ free throw shooting really gets me. A big man with a free throw shooting percentage as good as him is quite rare. It says a lot about his shooting ability.

    23. Yea I was reading stories about how he’s actually a perimeter player who was forced into the post due to height. For instance when he was a 16 year old on the DR national team he hit a three against the US

    24. So they traded Love for pennies on the dollar and got back Andrew Wiggins and a 6m trade exception, while also giving away a first rounder. That’s a bad trade for Minny, categorically, full stop.

      You gotta look at the contracts. MIN traded away one year of Kevin Love for six years of Andrew Wiggins. MIN did about as well as they could have done for a player who was leaving. Heck, they probably did the best of any team trading away a player who was going to leave.

    25. You’re right that it was the best they were over a barrel, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a bad trade, or that they didn’t trade love for pennies on the dollar. It’s an indication that Minny drastically mismanaged their assets and so put themselves into a situation where they had to trade love for Wiggins instead of reading the tea leaves a year or two earlier and trading love then.

      Furthermore I’m sure there were a few other teams who called minny up about possible k love rentals (GS comes to mind). And those deals were likely better than love for wiggins if you had a relatively unclouded view of wiggins college stats.

    26. I mentioned this on a prior thread, but Towns really reminds me a lot of Andrew Bynum. And I guess a healthy, young, attitude-free Bynum would be worth a #1 pick, but I do think that’s Towns’ ceiling.

    27. He seems like a better passer/shooter than Bynum, but also not as tall/strong as Bynum.

      I think WCS has an athleticism closer to Davis’s, minus the ball skills, lol.

      But I wouldnt be sad if we ended up with a 7 footer that could run the floor like a forward and has the ability to guard 4 positions.

    28. Towns’ free throw shooting really gets me. A big man with a free throw shooting percentage as good as him is quite rare. It says a lot about his shooting ability.

      Myles Turner says ‘why u h8ing, Brian’?

    29. Ha! Hey, I’ve been very big on Turner all season long! I still have him in my top 8! But I will admit that a lot of that is because I don’t trust Enigmatic European Guy. If I were to count him, I guess Turner would go to #9.

    30. I read some analyst a few months ago who said Porzinwhatever’s game reminded him of a young Bargnani and I have taken him off my board completely.

    31. I’m officially abbreviating Enigmatic European Guy as EEG. The trick about Bargs has always been that he resembles a good player, hence him getting so many chances over the years. So I don’t knock EEG for seeming like Bargs, but at the same time, I can’t possibly predict which way he’ll go, which makes me wary of picking him up. The volatility for European players is much higher than players we get to see in college, so you’re almost as likely to get a bust as you are a stud. In certain circumstances, I’d be fine with that. #9 pick, boom or bust is not a bad gamble. #1-6? I want more certainty.

    32. So does that make Mudinay an EAG?

      Looks like he was basically the top ranked high school player his year.

    33. Porzingis is a prodigious shot blocker, with great length and uncanny instincts for weak side shot blocking. That’s probably his best attribute at this stage, so that alone makes him a different type of player than Bargs. Porzingis is freakishly thin though, just looks like a twig out there. He is gonna have to put on a lot of weight or he is not going to be strong enough to be a good NBA forward. Too much risk I think, I’d pass on him.

    34. Kind of ironic that people are comparing Towns to Bynum since they went to the same high school.

    35. Does anyone know Towns scouting report coming out of H.S.? I know about him being a perimeter player but what about the athleticism he displayed there and his ball handling and things like that. I’m just wonder how much did UK’s offense restrict him?

    36. Wiggins is a “serious contender” for roy only in the sense that a lot of people are goimg to vote on him based on a 3 week sterch of good play in January.

      A list of better rookies off the top of my head:
      Nerlens
      Mirotic
      Elfrid
      Aaron gordon
      Jordan Clarkson
      galloway
      Markel brown
      Jusuf nurkic

    37. While Wiggins has played better than I expected (but my expectations were very low), early results are kinda underwhelming for a 1st overall pick. I guess a guy who is going to post 0.180 WP48 in the first round of the playoffs should be ROTY without a second guess, but as many of us have noted before, pointz and pre-draft hype still rule the debate.

    38. Okafor is having almost no impact on this game at either end, I really don’t want him on the Knicks.

    39. He’s being too passive. Seal off the paint! Demand the ball! He hasn’t made a shot since 10:00 remaining in the 1st half.

    40. I second that emotion. He’s too slow. Just a sieve on defense. He can dunk when wide open. We’d have to have Bill Russell to make up for him on D.

    41. in the words of Georges St. Pierre, “I am not impressed by your performance”

    42. No way I would ever draft someone who played poorly in one game

      You’re right, you shouldn’t judge a player by one game, and if he was having an off night shooting I’d be fine with that, but he’s having zero impact at either end in the biggest game of his life (2 rebounds???)

      I think that’s cause for concern.

    43. He’s played like this the whole tournament. Zero defense. We have enough guys like that.

    44. This tourney didnt change a thing. The Top 2 picks still are by a mile Towns or Okafor and we should be beyond thrilled if the Knicks land either one in the draft.

    45. I still like Stanley Johnson over Justise Winslow. They’re comparable players but Johnson looks like the better defender to me. #eyetest

    46. Thrilled with Townes. Not with Okafor. Who would play defense for us? If we don’t get Townes I say we trade down.

    47. Still stunning to see Okafor and Towns not included in first team All-Tournament. Doesn’t mean a thing, but still strange.

    48. This tourney didnt change a thing. The Top 2 picks still are by a mile Towns or Okafor and we should be beyond thrilled if the Knicks land either one in the draft.

      It didn’t change a thing with regards to Okafor and Towns being the top two, but it definitely moved Winslow into the top seven, when he wasn’t there before, so that’s a notable change due to the tournament.

      Okafor, Towns and one of Mudiay/Russell are a lock for the first three (Okafor and Towns are generally locks for the top two, but I could see a scenario where one of Mudiay/Russell goes #2 to a certain team like Philly). After that, it’s a toss-up for every pick between the remaining one of Russell/Mudiay, WCS, EEG and now Winslow. And Johnson fell out of the top seven due to his tournament play (Russell likely also fell out of being definitely the top three due to his tournament play, now he and Mudiay are toss-ups for one of the top three picks).

    49. I think The measuring tape may be Winslow biggest hurdle. He needs to measure at least 6’6 w/o shoes I think. His handles is too weak to be a sg imo so He needs to hover around avg height and length for a SF.

      Also, on my hunt for Istanbul players, I came across Nemanja Bjelica, 26 y/o 6’10 Serbian wingman. Unfortunately, his rights belongs to Minny but teams are interested in trading for his rights.

    50. Most heartening thing I’ve read in a while–

      The top three unsigned candidates to return – with the theory Andrea Bargnani will be offered more than the minimum elsewhere – are Amundson, Lance Thomas and injured combo guard Alexey Shved, who also has eyed Europe.

      That seems to indicate that Bargnani might be back but not if he asks for more than the minimum. I know this board will think the world is ending and that Phil is the anti-Christ if Bargnani is anywhere on the roster, but I’m perfectly ok with him being a minimum guy on this team next year.

      I think The measuring tape may be Winslow biggest hurdle. He needs to measure at least 6’6 w/o shoes I think.

      He already did that: http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Justise-Winslow-7190/

      I think Winslow is going to be one of the best players in this draft class. He just plays with force. Reminds me of Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, and he’s already a much better 3 point shooter than either of those 2 were in college, even as a freshman.

    51. I think it’s hard to say that Okafor’s value on offense is more important than WCS’s value on defense.
      I see them as about equal with WCS filling more of a need around Melo.
      I just think that Okafor will be eaten alive by guys like A. Davis or either Gasol. Even an average NBA center will abuse him.

    52. A week or two agoI said I didn’t want Okafor. I feel even stronger about it now after seeing a few more games. He’s got WAY too many severe weaknesses for me to be comfortable. He also doesn’t fit on a team with Melo because of his defensive deficiencies. We’d get abused endlessly until the day Melo retires. If we get the second pick, I’d trade down, pick up a more complete 2 way player that fits, and whatever else we can get. It’s Towns or bust for me.

    53. That article is still pretty damning.

      Suppose, for the sake of argument, Okafor really IS destined to be a historically relevant offensive big, but is less than average on D.

      Why would anyone choose that over Towns?

      (For the record, I am of the popular opinion that one must draft based on best-player, not on best-fit. Even with the triangle.)

    54. Towns: A high-%, athletic, passing big, with good to great defensive, rebounding, and shot-blocking skills.

      … perfect.

    55. Towns: A high-%, athletic, passing big, with good to great defensive, rebounding, and shot-blocking skills.

      … perfect.

      dont forget his developing ability to stretch the floor that cal totally refused to abuse at kentucky

    56. The thing that bothers me most about Okafor is that every scouting report, even the most glowing, says that he is not an explosive athlete and that he sometimes has trouble scoring “over length.” That was very much on display in the tournament. In three of the last four games, he played against big players, all of whom were supposed to be inferior prospects to him. However, he struggled to score and rebound in all three of those games. Kaminsky is tall, but he is not supposed to be an elite athlete. Yet, except for a few uncontested dunks, Okafor had virtually no success trying to post him up. In fact, for much of the game, Kaminsky was able to pretty much push him around and deny him position on the block. In the NBA, he is going to face guys who are as big as he is, but are stronger, more athletic and more skilled. If he struggles against college bigs, I fear that he is really going to struggle against NBA bigs. I am curious to see how Okafor measures at the combine. My bet is that his no step vertical is no more than 24″. Okafor, who many were comparing to Duncan, averaged about 6 rebounds a game for the tournament. Those are Bargnani-esque rebounding numbers.

    57. People were comparing Okafor to Duncan? It seems Towns fits the profile of Duncan much better than Okafor…

    58. People were comparing Okafor to Duncan because (as far as I can tell) he sometimes shoots a short jump shot off the glass. Duncan as a player was nothing at all like Okafor-in college his offensive game was super raw but he was a destroyer on D.

    59. The thing that bothers me most about Okafor is that every scouting report, even the most glowing, says that he is not an explosive athlete and that he sometimes has trouble scoring “over length.” That was very much on display in the tournament. In three of the last four games, he played against big players, all of whom were supposed to be inferior prospects to him. However, he struggled to score and rebound in all three of those games. Kaminsky is tall, but he is not supposed to be an elite athlete. Yet, except for a few uncontested dunks, Okafor had virtually no success trying to post him up. In fact, for much of the game, Kaminsky was able to pretty much push him around and deny him position on the block. In the NBA, he is going to face guys who are as big as he is, but are stronger, more athletic and more skilled. If he struggles against college bigs, I fear that he is really going to struggle against NBA bigs. I am curious to see how Okafor measures at the combine. My bet is that his no step vertical is no more than 24?. Okafor, who many were comparing to Duncan, averaged about 6 rebounds a game for the tournament. Those are Bargnani-esque rebounding numbers.

      Exactly. While his post game is polished, its really only effective when he has a huge size advantage. That is why his lack of athleticsm rears its ugly head. He needs to develop some counter moves, and im sure he will.

    60. I think Okafor will learn some moves to be a great offensive center (plus, let’s not forget his passing ability, which is the thing that really separates him from the usual “scorer in the post” mold); my issue with him is that in the nights when his offense won’t work he’ll bring nothing to the table. Defense can be learned but the track record of poor defenders turned at least average, for the center position, is pretty much inexistent. That’s the reason I wouldn’t draft Okafor 1st. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to draft him 2nd, though.

    61. I’m not very excited about Okafor but the tournament hasn’t really made a difference. I still think of him as an Al Jefferson kind of prospect. It’s hard to get players like Okafor, interior bigs who are not particularly strong or athletic but excel with agility, footwork, ball-handling, length and touch, room to maneuver in high intensity college games like the NCAAs. Defensively, he looked exactly like he as always looked: bad. I wish he’d had a better tournament because it looked for a long time that Towns might be available at #2 (but then, maybe we’d have gotten the 1 and taken Okafor); now it seems more likely that it will be a Towns lottery.

      I think we should ignore the fit with Melo entirely. Melo is going to be 33 years old with 35,000 miles on the odometer by the time these guys are 22 and ready to really contribute.

    62. Melo is going to be 33 years old with 35,000 miles on the odometer by the time these guys are 22 and ready to really contribute.

      Hey Dirk won at 33. It could happen

    63. Yeah I mean, Okafor is still probably the #2 guy (although I think you can make a case for Russell at that spot, he had a hell of a year) but Towns is clearly #1.

      After those 3, WCS and Mudinay round out my top 5.

    64. “plus, let’s not forget his passing ability, which is the thing that really separates him from the usual “scorer in the post” mold”
      Granted I hardly ever watch college basketball but, in the three games that I watched him play, he didn’t show much passing ability at all. The numbers certainly don’t say that he’s a great passer since he averaged about the same number of assists/36 as Cauley-Stein, which is to say hardly any.

    65. I’m not sure if this was posted too late for morning-news:

      14000 viewers for Knicks telecast

      I list it here because I’m one of the non-watchers. Tanking is giving up a year of a fan’s life. It’s selfish, I know, but I would have liked to hold onto a pipe-dream. I don’t know that any of our sell-offs do anything except get us a high pick. Watching this team is like watching the scabs that crossed the picket lines during the various sports strikes (MLB, NFL). I have no interest in watching these guys who would otherwise have been buried deep on someone’s bench.

      Just sayin.

    66. Zach Lowe just posted about some possible high value low cost players in the coming free agency; headlining the list is none other than Bismack Biyombo, who I personally like a fair amount. I also like the inclusion of Jae Crowder and Ed davis; I don’t like the inclusion of O’Quinn, Teletovic (why?), or Will Barton especially over Corey Joseph, Ajinca, and Aminu.

      http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-nba-groupon-games-which-players-are-the-next-free-agent-steals/

    67. Towns is a high-ceiling, high-floor player. If he doesn’t get injured, he will be at the very least an above-average defensive C, an excellent rebounder and a plus on the offensive side. That’s his floor. If his offensive game develops a bit, he will be a fine all-around center, probably a bit reminiscent of players like Pau Gasol and Alonzo Mourning. If he really blossoms and exceeds expectations and really reaches his ceiling, he’s Tim Duncan.

      Seven-footer centers who are good two-way players are exceedingly rare, which is why Towns is the clear #1 in this draft.

    68. I don’t like the inclusion of O’Quinn, Teletovic (why?), or Will Barton especially over Corey Joseph, Ajinca, and Aminu.

      I guess it depends on the situation of the team signing them to a new contract. Teletovic is a kinda good player who is too slow-footed to be a factor as a starter, but is a pretty decent cog for 10-15 minutes per night. Kyle O’Quinn is a goodish banger who gets overvalued because of his beard (no, really, that’s true. If he didn’t have any distinguishing feature he would just be the next Trevor Booker, just taller and less athletic), but he can be a contributor to a fringe contender, say, the Clippers (yeah, shooting fish in a barrel when talking about the Clips’ bench). Will Barton is the most intriguing piece, while at the same time being the most likely to flame out. I think Denver maximizes his talents, given he’s a quasi-decent clone of Wilson Chandler.

    69. Seven-footer centers who are good two-way players are exceedingly rare, which is why Towns is the clear #1 in this draft.

      This.

    70. Have you guys considered that halfway through the season, Okafor decided to “tank”, so he won’t have to be a Knick… :) jk

    71. Farfa, è il tuo nome dall’abbazzia Farfa o altrove?

      (nb: io studio italiano me stesso, ma so molto poco)

    72. Alecto, I didn’t know you could speak Italian! And quite well might I say (you’re German, or did I remember wrong? If I remember right, du musst weissen, ich kenne nur ein bisschen Deutsch. If I remember wrong, I just threw some random German words to the wind).

      No, it’s a nickname I got in high school from a stoned friend, who was mocking my surname (Ferrari, like the car) and ended up with “Farfallari”, which is a cross between my surname and “farfalla” (butterfly – don’t ask me why, he was stoned). Farfallari was deemed too long and so I got stuck with just Farfa. At first I didn’t like it, but then I got accustomed to it and now it’s way more likely I answer to someone calling me “Farfa” than to someone calling me with my first name.

    73. Johnno, about Okafor’s passing skills, it suffices to do a quick Google search with “Okafor passing”. I agree he looked very stiff in passing out of double teams in the last few games, but the kid showed for 30+ games he knows his way sharing the rock.

    74. I’m American, though my heritage is Italian, German, and Irish, all by my grandparents. Unfortunately I’m only fluent in English despite that–but I’m studying Italian and can get by in Russian if I refresh my knowledge of it.

      I figured your nickname either had to do with butterflies or the abbey, so I guess I was close!

    75. If Okafor ever starts enjoying food more, he’ll be Eddy Curry.

      Everyone got upset when I suggested that previously. I “get” that he has better passing skills than Curry ever did etc…, but this guy can’t defend a lick, he’s a mediocre rebounder, and a bad free throw shooter. The entire case for him is that he scores efficiently in the paint with good post moves. At least Curry did it well enough against pro defenses that they felt compelled to double and even triple team him. Okafor is doing it against college teams and most often against a shorter defender.

      I hate to make projections about a kid. He could turn out to have a huge work ethic and high enough basketball IQ to become a star. Then I’d look like an idiot. But I think he’s a higher probability to be a bust than some of the other players in the top 4-5. And personally, I want nothing to do with him.

      If we can’t get Towns, I’d take Russell, Winslow, and maybe even Cauley-Stein before him.

      Unless Phil knows something about Mudiay that I don’t (which he should), I don’t want him either, but I’d rather have him than Okafor.

      Again, if we get the second pick and Towns is gone, Phil should try to trade down to get the player we want plus whatever else we can get.

    76. Again, if we get the second pick and Towns is gone, Phil should try to trade down to get the player we want plus whatever else we can get.

      Yea, if not 1 the optimal pick may actually be 3. If Towns is gone first, 2 could be a tricky spot. Do you draft Okafor and hope he can adjust(at least offensively)? Do you go with the crafty guard in Russell? Do you take a shot at Justice/Stanley Johnson?

      USA today is making the case for Justise over Jahill in the draft.

      http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/04/justise-winslow-jahlil-okafor-nba-draft-march-madness-ncaa-championship

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