Knicks Morning News (2015.06.17)

  • [New York Times] Finals Defeats Too Much to Bear for James (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 07:02:55 GMT)

    LeBron James has tasted defeat four times in NBA Finals now but that does not make it any easier to swallow. In fact, losing to Golden State hurt so much he would rather miss out on the playoffs altogether than lose another championship series.

  • [New York Times] Lack of Experience Proves No Problem for Champion Warriors (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 06:53:53 GMT)

    The NBA champion Golden State Warriors proved on Tuesday that an age-old mantra — you have to learn to lose before you can win — doesn’t apply to them.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Rookie Coach Nearly Threw Away Chance at NBA Title (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 06:15:02 GMT)

    Steve Kerr led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA title in 40 years on Tuesday, a feat that might never have happened had he not reconsidered an interview request.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Beat LeBron’s Cavs to Snap NBA Title Drought (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 06:11:53 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors capped a brilliant season with a 105-97 victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday to win the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years.

  • [New York Times] Iguodala’s Sacrifice Pays Off With MVP Award (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 05:57:03 GMT)

    Andre Iguodala’s year-long sacrifice paid off in a big way as the Golden State forward was named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Profile of Golden State Warriors (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 05:56:56 GMT)

    Profile of the Golden State Warriors, who won the National Basketball Association championship on Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Win NBA Title, Down LeBron, Cavs 105-97 in Game 6 (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 05:33:03 GMT)

    As the final seconds ticked off and the Warriors began bouncing in celebration on their bench, Stephen Curry looked up and saw LeBron James coming at him.

  • [New York Times] Warriors 105, Cavaliers 97: N.B.A. Finals 2015: Drought Ends in Style as Warriors Win Title Over Cavaliers (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 04:14:10 GMT)

    Golden State won its first N.B.A. championship since 1975 and denied LeBron James a title with Cleveland.

  • [New York Times] The Latest: Warriors’ Iguodala Voted MVP of NBA Finals (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 04:03:30 GMT)

    The Latest from Game 6 of the NBA Finals (all times local):

  • [New York Post] Thanasis Antetokounmpo in Knicks limbo until draft (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:49:08 -0400)

    Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the Knicks' unsigned 2014 second-round pick from Greece, could have a major decision to make if the club doesn't agree to sign him after the June 25 NBA…

  • [New York Post] Rise of the Warriors offers hope for all NBA fans — even the Knicks’ (Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:07:54 -0400)

    CLEVELAND — The buzzer was groaning, the stands were emptying, the scoreboard numbers — Golden State 105, Cleveland 97 — frozen forever. Stephen Curry was working his way through a…

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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).

    79 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.06.17)”

    1. I admit. I kinda wanted to see LeBron win it for Cleveland. But, I knew GS would take it. I actually had them in 5. I guess everyone’s gonna call Kerr the mad scientist now and ask “how did u let Kerr get away??”. Kerr did a great job coaching this year. Made all the right moves. It also helps to have a roster constructed like the Dubs’ roster. All of a sudden Iguodala turns into the Iggy Philly and Denver expected, an man did he show up in the Finals! Iggy wouldn’t have been MVP if not for a tragic Kyrie injury. That made it much easier to focus on LBJ. Iggy played his heart out on defense. I know he had a huge impact making things tough for LeBron…but LBJ should have been MVP. His numbers were CRAZY. I wonder though..who does Cleveland keep? Love or Thompson? If it’s Love, then is there a way for Phil to ink Thompson? Or do we like Monroe better? If they keep Thompson, it could change the NBA landscape. Suppose Cleveland comes out and says they are gonna let Love walk so they won’t have too much money tied up in 3-4 guys. Suppose they do that before the draft. How does that change the top 4 picks..namely the Lakers’ pick? Does Boston think they cn land Love? If so, how does his impending free agency change their draft? More importantly- how can Phil take advantage of the moment? Cleveland can’t pay both Love and Thompson. Cleveland holds a very important card this offseason. If I were them, I’d keep Thompson for his defense and bank on a healthy Kyrie with a full offseason of JR/Shump with LBJ to steady the ship. Not sure if David Blatt remains HC there though, not with Thibs out there. So many questions. Gonna be a funn offseason, huh?

    2. I wonder though..who does Cleveland keep? Love or Thompson?

      #1
      Totes, doesn’t Love hold a 2015/16 player option? I think that makes it his choice and not Cleveland’s whether he stays. My bet is he sticks and Cleveland has to make a tough choice on Thompson.

    3. We’ve gone through this ad nauseam but in retrospect what the Cavs gave up for their midseason additions feels about right. Mozgov is a game changing center who is under contract for another season at a ridiculously low price ($5M) – that is deserving of 2 protected first round picks. Shump is a limited but sometimes useful player who was a 1/2 season rental at what was a good price for him, and JR is a totally unprofessional nut job that can’t be relied upon to do anything (seriously, in the NBA finals series in which you’re stinking up the joint, you draw attention to yourself by riding some contraption into the arena?) but is sometimes useful but also costs too much money. A second round pick doesn’t seem so farfetched for that combo.

      Again – hindsight is 20/20 but what we gave away was a young player who is always hurt and who has probably regressed since his rookie year and who is no longer going to be inexpensive after this year, and in return we got JR and his shtick out of the locker room and dumped his untenable salary, thereby opening up more cap space for this summer. Whereas Lebron may be enough of a leader to get 60% good JR and 40% bad JR, we didn’t have that, and so we were getting 80% bad JR. Good riddance.

    4. “How was that 60-40? He was dreadful in the playoffs except a few games”
      For the series, JR, Shumpert and Dellavadova combined to shoot almost 29 shots a game, and they shot 28% for the series (including 28% from 3). How LeBron managed to keep the Cavs in the series is beyond me.

    5. > Happy a two-way guy who played the best defense possible against the league’s best player wins the MVP. Sends an important message that defense matters and will be recognized.

      > Speaking of defense, wondering how WCS would defend LBJ? Liking WCS more and more in terms of flexibility – he could take the toughest cover hiding Melo. Even Danny Green or Carroll could guard a tough wing and Melo could guard a less mobile spot-up type SG. Lots of options. A lineup of Joseph/Green/WCS/Melo/Monroe would feature 3 and maybe 4 above average defenders and it wouldn’t be difficult at all to hide Melo. Plus it’s got the two shot creators.

      > Speaking of Melo, is a Love – Melo swap out of the question? Melo’s got his money and Cavs would be his best shot to win a title. Is location more important than winning a chip to him? Would Cavs consider trading the oft-injured Kyrie and look to keep Love in a more featured role on offense? Gonna be an interesting summer.

      > JR and Shump are just fine on the Cavs so long as they have very limited roles. Once Kyrie was injured, all of their warts started to show. We should have got that OKC first round pick in the deal.

    6. This is one of the funnier headlines today:

      “Cavs want LeBron to express opinions on roster decisions”

      Soon to be followed by: “Cavs want LeBron to be more assertive in team huddles”

    7. I think the +22 FTA and -12 personal fouls helps, to some extent, to explain how Cleveland stayed so close especially since it includes the hack a Iggy or the disparity would have been larger.

    8. RE #5
      SS, Melo has a no-trade, so he’s not going to allow a trade, yet. Maybe if the Knicks are awful early next year he’ll want to go in midseason.

      However, with the Cavs guards shooting so brutally bad, maybe they can be hoodwinked into taking Calderon? Timmy?

    9. So can we offer Melo for Kyrie and Love now? Maybe the Cavs’ judgment will be clouded by grief and they’ll accept…

      “If only we had just a little more hero-ball to throw at them, I think we would have won the trophy.”
      -Dan Gilbert (Last night, while you were sleeping:)

    10. hindsight is 20/20 but what we gave away was a young player who is always hurt and who has probably regressed since his rookie year and who is no longer going to be inexpensive after this year, and in return we got JR and his shtick out of the locker room and dumped his untenable salary

      Look, the trade may, ultimately, turn out good for both teams. Getting rid of JR (ie Culture Change) was a necessity for Phil, and a reasonable priority to make for the team. However I don’t like that “Culture Change” is still being packaged with “getting as much cap space as possible”. JR could have been gotten rid of the Josh Smith way– waive him and eat his salary. Instead he was paid in basketball assets to leave, which is the way the old regimes did things and represents the antithesis to culture change in NY.

      If Phil puts together a solid team this summer that wouldn’t have been possible without the extra $ gained from trading JR then I’ll shut up and agree the trade was a win-win. But just because JR sucked in the finals and Shump isn’t worth $10 million isn’t enough for me to agree with the trade just yet.

    11. I read an article on another forum that the Knicks should target Draymond Green over Greg Monroe in free agency.

      While I’d love the Knicks to get him, does anyone else think that the Knicks should just not bother making an offer to any restricted free agents? Given the salary cap soon to soar, why would GS NOT match any offer to Green? Same with Leonard, Butler, etc. Why waste time?

    12. Green is going to stay in GS. When asked about it yesterday, Bob Meyers said “Tell the Warrior fans they shouldn’t worry.”

      Meyers came out of the Wasserman media group that represents Green. So he is very close with that company and used to work with Green’s agent (BJ Armstrong!)

    13. Green can get more money staying with GS. GS has the space for him. GS just won a title with him as a major contributor. He’s going nowhere. I agree that we shouldn’t bother wasting our time.

    14. SS, Melo has a no-trade, so he’s not going to allow a trade, yet. Maybe if the Knicks are awful early next year he’ll want to go in midseason.

      I’m not so sure – the allure of going to play with Lebron and having a great chance to win a championship, while getting the same payday, would be pretty enticing.

      But we’re wasting our time because the Cavs aren’t *completely* insane.

    15. Anyone else think the Love for Wiggins trade was a bad one for the Cavs? I mean they didn’t really miss a beat without him once he went down and all season he wasn’t happy, not really being used to his best ability. I guess he would have helped theoretically in the Finals (as would Irving) but then again their defense improved without him.

      Not saying Wiggins is better than Love (or even that he will be better one day), but a rookie top draft pick who had Lebron as a mentor/teacher…maybe that makes the team chemistry on Cleveland better and makes the team better overall? Plus you have rookie who is improving each game. Lets say all things else equal Cavs kept Wiggins and lost in 6 last night. Now they go into the off season with Wiggins still on a rookie contract (and with a year and playoffs under his belt) and less salary potentially tied up in Love.

      Also, I know this is completely un stats related but in my mind most good championship teams will have that really young rookie or second year player who plays a key role. They’ll mess up sometimes but they provide that youthful energy that a team needs sometimes and their improvement and energy can ignite a team. Again, this is very un stats so forgive me Knickerbloggers! But I just feel like Wiggins would not have rocked the boat being a rookie and his potential for improvement would have meant The Cavs could be even better this next year without having to add any new players.

    16. I think the way things have progressed so far have been basically as unfavorable to the trade as possible. They struggled somewhat to incorporate Love on the court, looking in from the outside it hasn’t been a great culture fit, Thompson took major strides which complicated the frontcourt rotation, Love got hurt, etc. And it seems like the Cavs biggest needs are strong defensive wings who can make 3s which is what you hope Wiggins can give you in the next couple years.

      Still even with all that I think the trade was the right idea. Love is a really, really good player, and year 2 of the Lebron era is where the Heat’s offense really started to come together. If they can convince Love to stay I think he’ll get a lot more integrated into the offense next year. Also it should be remembered that while the Cavs made the finals without Love, they also were absolutely beastly down the stretch with him. The team’s ceiling is much higher with Love than without him in my opinion. If they can improve the flow of the offense while carrying over some of the defensive identity they seemed to develop in the playoff run they have the potential to be a very scary team.

    17. I think trading Wiggins was pretty clearly the right move. Given what they did with Love, and the chance he walks, trading Wiggins for Love may have been a mistake. But Wiggins was a bad NBA player last season. He’s probably not going to be a good NBA player next season. If he’s not, than I think it was right to trade him, because the Cavs need to win now. Was it right to trade him for Love? I don’t think we have an answer yet.

    18. I think trading Wiggins was pretty clearly the right move. Given what they did with Love, and the chance he walks, trading Wiggins for Love may have been a mistake. But Wiggins was a bad NBA player last season. He’s probably not going to be a good NBA player next season. If he’s not, than I think it was right to trade him, because the Cavs need to win now. Was it right to trade him for Love? I don’t think we have an answer yet.

      But it was not only about value, but balance. The Cavs looked like a team stacked with offense, and with little defense, that relied on Varejao not getting injured. A Wiggins-type player made much more sense than Love. And although Love is a better player than Wiggins, players as athletical as Wiggins usually develop favorably.

      Look at it this way, Wiggins has been much better than Shumpert; and the Cavs played much better with Shumpert on the roster. Meanwhile, if Love was on the court or not was not a big difference to them.

    19. Wiggins has not been much better than Shumpert. He’s not even been a little better than Shumpert. Now, the hypothetical CavsWiggins is probably better than the real life MinnyWiggins. So let’s say he was a little better than Iman Shumpert-he scored more efficiently, like he did in real life, and his turnover/assist/defense problems were mitigated by being on a good team. Would anyone in their right mind trade Kevin Love for a slightly better Iman Shumpert?

      I get what you’re saying about roster fit, but in that case the move to make would have been to trade Wiggins for a good wing player.

    20. Via Chad Flav:

      Or, as one rival GM believed, this Porzingis intel is all a smoke screen to get Orlando (who loves Porzingis) to trade up to No. 3 and give Hinkie another coveted asset. I believe Porzingis’ camp strongly prefers he land in Orlando.

      I would love to make a trade with Orlando for them to get the Zinger.

    21. I get what you’re saying about roster fit, but in that case the move to make would have been to trade Wiggins for a good wing player.

      Well, Cavs took the opportunity that Love’s trade value was low at the moment: He wanted out of Minny, and had (still has) a player option for this summer. I don’t know if that was the case for a good wing out there. I guess they could’ve got Iguodala if they had wanted to.

      I understand that Love for Wiggins was the correct move (at least at the time). And if he hadnt been injured (but Kyrie still had) he would have been huge during the finals. I wanted to defend Wiggins a little bit (yes, he won ROTY, but i wanted to defend him around here), and say he still projects to get better.

    22. The winner of the Love trade was Golden State. They opted not to acquire him and he went to Cleveland instead, where he didn’t help them at all in the finals.

    23. The ultimate losers of the Love trade were the NBA beat writers, as the Love injury ruined what could have been a good 5-10 easy articles (each) about how Golden State didn’t trade Thompson for Love. Each game could have been a referendum on the non-trade. With Love injured, though, that hook was no longer there.

    24. i still don’t think the cavs lost the wiggins/love deal… it’s still up in the air how good wiggins is going to be… and the cavs should get at least something for love unless he opts out and signs with la or the celtics which i don’t think is happening…

    25. The trade wasn’t just for Wiggins. Their other 1st round pick, Anthony Bennett, was included in the deal as well. The problem with stats is they only tell you part of the picture. Wiggins played with a shitty team and was the defensive focus at a 19 year old. So if people are looking at his efficiency numbers and saying that he’s a bad player, you kinda lose me with that train of thought. The trade was what it was. It was swinging for the fences. Does anybody really think GS wins in 6 if LeBron has Kyrie and Love? This team was built to win now, provided everybody was healthy because the bench was thin.

    26. I definitely don’t think Wiggins is a bad player. I think he has a ton of promise, and he showed it at times this first season. But whatever the reason, he did not have a good first year. Neither did Kevin Durant, of course, so that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Just noting that Wiggins’ rookie year was not very good. I mean, when your team is actively trying to lose games and it is playing you big minutes every game, I think that’s a pretty good indication that you’re not quite there yet.

    27. Right-Wiggins was bad, but he wasn’t so bad that he looks likely to be a bust (like, say, Anthony Bennett). He put up decent numbers for a 19 year old in the NBA. Considering he was on a team with no interest in winning games most of the year, that’s pretty good. He’s a very good bet to be an above average NBA player, and he has a legit chance of being a very good one. I guess I’d be a bit surprised if he turned out to be the best pro from his draft class, but I certainly wouldn’t be shocked.

    28. he wasn’t horrible.. but he’s not the first 19y0 tasked with being the franchise’s savior… but his offense should come around to something decent… his rebounding and defensive stats left a lot to be desired tho…

      he probably will be pretty decent… but i don’t think the cavs traded away the next durant or anything… it might be at best the next paul george..

    29. he probably will be pretty decent… but i don’t think the cavs traded away the next durant or anything… it might be at best the next paul george..

      Yeah, I think that is his most likely best case scenario. Which is a very good player, of course.

    30. Did anyone see this Haberstroh tweet?

      Without LeBron James on the floor this series.
      JR Smith 0/9 FG
      Delly 0/7 FG
      J. Jones 0/3 FG
      Shumpert 0/2 FG
      Total 0/21 FG

    31. James Jones, in particular, shouldn’t even still be in the league, let alone playing any real minutes in the NBA Finals.

    32. I don’t think rookie seasons are terribly informative. I’m sure someone, somewhere has run correlations between rookie seasons and career prospects. Lebron wasn’t terribly efficient as a rookie, neither was Durant. Of course we also know that Wiggins wasn’t that efficient in college either, but we shouldn’t write him off just yet.

    33. So apparently the Warriors are gonna shop David Lee this offseason. He’s due to make $15.2 mil. this next year on an expiring deal. Any takers?

    34. I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to get someone to take him, most likely by attaching a draft pick to the deal, like how they dumped Biedrins. If the Knicks weren’t stuck in “win as quickly as possible” mode, it’s a type of trade they should be looking for, picking up assets just for short term renting of their cap space.

    35. I love David Lee’s game but he’s worth about $5-6M per year. Paying $15M for him is crippling.

    36. It’s crippling only if you’re trying to build a team to win now. If you’re willing to wait a bit, you essentially rent out your cap space to gain a future asset. It’s what Philly did this past season by acquiring JaVale McGee.

    37. It’s crippling only if you’re trying to build a team to win now. If you’re willing to wait a bit, you essentially rent out your cap space to gain a future asset. It’s what Philly did this past season by acquiring JaVale McGee.

      The only problems with that are that A. the Warriors seem to be shipping Lee out partially as a favor to him, so I doubt they’re looking to stick him with an awful team, and B. David Lee, while not great, is just the kind of competent veteran that can do enough to make a very bad team into just a pretty bad team. I doubt Philly for example would have interest in adding him to their tank squad (and I doubt that GS would send him there). So it will be interesting to see what kind of market there is for him. Also GS already gave up a couple firsts in the series of moves that landed them Iggy if I remember correctly so I wonder how much they’re willing to send out to get rid of Lee.

    38. It’s crippling only if you’re trying to build a team to win now. If you’re willing to wait a bit, you essentially rent out your cap space to gain a future asset. It’s what Philly did this past season by acquiring JaVale McGee.

      what would people think of — David Lee + this year’s #30 pick for Calderon +filler + TPE (I think you can do that with the TPE right?) It would be a net loss of ~$6MM cap space + whatever difference there is between the #30 rookie scale and the minimum salary cap hold.

      So we’d have something like $21MM cap space. Draft WCS to play next to Lee and Melo. Pay Danny Green $10M/year. Pay Patrick Beverly $8M/year. Have enough space after Lee expires for 2 more FAs in 2016.

    39. Lee would make us better next year, when we don’t have our pick, and not screw up our future cap. The only cost is missing out on a particular FA this year. I’d do it, but Phil probably won’t.

    40. I think Lee has the skills to play in the triangle, but I wouldn’t want to give up Calderon without knowing we have some halfway decent point guard to replace him. And even though your trade has only a $6M loss in cap space, you can no longer replace Calderon with someone else and use the dollars freed up by trading Calderon for, say, a point guard. So basically, while I think Lee has some value, this trade wouldn’t be good with the current Knicks roster.

    41. I think Langston Galloway could be the starting PG for this team. Calderon is pretty terrible on the defensive side of the ball — even if Calderon regains his shooting form, Galloway might not be an inferior player overall if you consider defense.

    42. I agree with you about Galloway, but I’m still scared of not having enough point guard skills. In the past few years, the Knicks have always needed three point guards on the roster to handle injuries. Now I like Shved, so if they signed him and also drafted a guard such as Mudiay, then I have no problem letting Calderon go (in fact, I would want to).

    43. Replacing Calderon with some D-League or Euro guy at this point of his career shouldn’t be very hard.

      The odds are that, from now on, it’s only downhill.

      If Phil somehow manage to find a way to dump Calderon without giving assets, I’m in.

    44. If we get Mudiay, maybe I’d see getting rid of Calderon. I don’t see Galloway as good enough to take over as starting PG.

      Given Calderon’s extensive history of elite 3 point shooting and dishing, even given his defensive incapabilities, we should keep him. He is really good offensively, and this is a piss-poor offensive (and defensive) team.

      I am not in favor of giving up players with 1-2 years left on their contract for anything other than long-term assets (youth/picks). Lee is good offensively, and can dish/score well, but on the wrong side of 30. As a rental, I can live with it, but I see getting young free agents as a priority this huge off season.

    45. If you can dump Calderon and get the pick for Lee it wouldn’t be a bad way to go.

    46. I think you would need a 3rd team to take Calderon and they would get the 1st while the Knicks pick up a 2nd rd pick or two.

      I think that would leave the Knicks with $20m left.

    47. @ 43 – I thought you could not combine the TPE with another player in a trade.

    48. Picking up Monroe and making that David Lee trade and getting an additional pick while dumping Calderon wouldn’t be a bad move from an organizational standpoint. Hell, they could even argue it was to make the team more competitive. The fans would buy it all day.

    49. It’s very easy to assume we can find someone reasonable at point guard, but the last time the Knicks made that assumption we got Felton to replace Lin. And we had to trade two picks, Jared Jeffries, some filler and the rights to a young small forward who just played his first season for the Rockets this year in order to get Felton. I don’t want to have to repeat that sort of trade. Calderon knows the system and can shoot. I don’t want to get rid of him without getting a reasonable replacement.

    50. I think my issue there is that it unreasonable to expect Calderon to be a reasonably good point guard next season. Not a lot of good history for players having terrible seasons at age 33, getting hurt and missing the rest of the season and then coming back at age 34 and go back to their age 32 good (not even particularly great) performance. Not even that it won’t happen, but just that it is not reasonable to make decisions that rely on it happening.

    51. the last time the Knicks made that assumption we got Felton to replace Lin. And we had to trade two picks, Jared Jeffries, some filler and the rights to a young small forward who just played his first season for the Rockets this year in order to get Felton.

      That’s not what we had to do. That’s what we did do, because we’re fucking stupid.

    52. I would love to grab Lee if it nets us assets in picks or youth. It’s a one year deal, and ain’t nobody all that good is going to sign with us next year anyway…

      Can we get Ezeli with Lee? Or this year’s 30th and another late first somehow acquired?

      Lee is a great pro, I always felt that if he found the right team fit (such as one where he had a defensive C to play alongside, like Bogut) he could be a key piece on a winner. Even now, I think he could set the right tone for the knuckleheads in our locker room and make useful contributions on the floor.

      Very happy for him to get a chip.

    53. I agree 100% that Cslderon’s performance next year is a big worry. And, what’s worse, if he is bad for a second year, we will probably have to pay to get rid of his contract. But this means we have a priority to get a good point guard. The Knicks were stupid about Lin and didn’t anticipate they couldn’t keep him for a reasonable cost. But it doesn’t change the fact that getting a reasonable point guard isn’t so easy and won’t be free.

    54. Golden State doesn’t own any 2nd rounders for the rest of this decade. And they owe their 2017 pick still for Igoudala. They can attach the #30 pick to Lee, or they can attach a 2018 pick to him (or some combination of Kuzmic, Rush, or Holliday). Not sure what team bites on that kind of package, but it probably won’t be NY. Lee is not a useless player, and one of the teams that loses out on Aldridge or Monroe can do a lot worse than rent Lee for a year, especially with the salary floor in place, and his contract expiring next year when everybody is a FA.

    55. Regarding the question regarding trade exceptions, it is true that you can’t combine trade exceptions with players to match a larger player’s salary. However, you are allowed to trade players along with trade exceptions. They just have to be used for separate parts of the deal. For instance, in the Prigs trade, he was acquired for the picks while the trade exception was used separately for Shved (the trade exception was the one the Knicks got from the Raymond Felton trade, although people confusingly said at the time that it was from the Shump deal, which didn’t make sense to me, since Shump made less money than Shved, but now that I realize it is Felton, it makes more sense, as Felton made more money than Shved). In fact, the Knicks actually got a trade exception for the Prigioni part of the deal (since they sent out his salary and got none in return).

      The deal was essentially like a single multiple-player deal, because the Rockets surely said “We will only do the deal if you take Shved’s contract off of our hands,” but it was technically two separate deals – Prigioni for the draft picks and the trade exception for Shved.

      So no, the Knicks cannot combine their largest trade exception (the one they got from the JR Smith trade) along with Calderon to match Lee’s $15 million. What they can do, however, is deal Calderon for Lee and whoever the Warriors pick with the #30 pick (basically do the deal now but officially announce it after free agency begins) once July 1st passes, as the Knicks will then have the cap room to just add Lee’s contract without the need of cap exceptions. I suspect that the Warriors will find someone to take Lee and the pick without giving back such a large amount of salary, but I could be wrong.

    56. I was all about Kerr back then. It’s still embarrassing that they didn’t try to match the offer and then ended up giving Fisher the deal they wouldn’t offer Kerr. Kerr likely would have turned it down, but fuck, dude, you don’t hype the signing of a coach, use that coach’s signing to lure Melo to stay, get everyone hyped up about Kerr, drive his salary up and then not even match the other team’s offer!

    57. , but fuck, dude, you don’t hype the signing of a coach, use that coach’s signing to lure Melo to stay, get everyone hyped up about Kerr, drive his salary up and then not even match the other team’s offer!

      You do if you’re the Knicks. But rookie mistakes happen and hopefully, Phil has learned. Positivity. That’s what it’s all about. This aggression will not stand, Dude.

    58. Losing out on Kerr might be a problem 2-3 years from now if we make smart personnel moves. Otherwise, who cares? If Kerr really is a great coach, and Fish is mediocre or bad or average, we would have won what-20 games this season? Having a good coach isn’t gonna matter until we get good players. I’m fine with wasting Dolan’s money to see if Fish can learn on the job until then.

      According to Kevin Pelton’s WARP, David Lee was the 7th most effective player in the NBA finals despite playing only 39 minutes. Dude can still play. (astonishingly, Kyrie Irving was the 3rd most productive Cav-LBJ, you the real MVP)

    59. According to Kevin Pelton’s WARP, David Lee was the 7th most effective player in the NBA finals despite playing only 39 minutes. Dude can still play. (astonishingly, Kyrie Irving was the 3rd most productive Cav-LBJ, you the real MVP)

      That’s pretty surprising considering all the bunnies and foul shots Lee missed in the last few games. Of course, 7th most effective isn’t hard to achieve when the other team is Lebron and then mostly garbage.

    60. I don’t think Steve Kerr would have been the coach he looks like he is right now if he were to be coaching the Knicks. Not because we have no talent, but because of all the “Phil Jackson’s Triangle” mumbo jumbo that would have been in the way. Maybe coaching the Warriors (who I will always remember for getting the player and coach I wanted most) was best for him since he didn’t have to perform in PJ’s shadow.

    61. for the last two season, NBA championship was won by teams who are built as teams. Not the Superteams ala Miami, Lakers, and Boston.
      I hope Phil should take note that he should no focus on creating a superteam – Melo Plus Gasol/Aldridge. He should do something like good pieces. Which I think he will do. I heard him in an interview that he will build through pieces.

    62. Chad Ford’s latest mock draft had Philly taking Porzingis and Russell falling to the Knicks at #4. I cant imagine the Knicks getting good luck like that but we can dream at least.

    63. for the last two season, NBA championship was won by teams who are built as teams. Not the Superteams ala Miami, Lakers, and Boston.

      I don’t get this. Miami wasn’t a team? I’m pretty sure they were a team. And made four consecutive Finals because they had the best players in the East, and the single best player in the whole world.

      The Cavs had three terrible players playing significant minutes: Dellavedova, Smith and Shumpert. That is why they lost. Not because of some vague notion of “team.”

    64. Delle, Smith, and Shump were just miserable during the finals. Even the best player in the world can’t win against overwhelming competition alone. But, as far as the “team” notion, while it’s a vague concept, it’s certainly one that the Spurs have adhered to for a long time. The “team” concept could also be called a “system” or even “competence”, which is something we’ve sorely lacked for over a decade. ESPNU is showing the Duke/ ND replay from early in the season. Okafor is a beast. An absolute beast.

    65. Wait, so the Spurs had two of the best players ever in Robinson and Duncan, and then some other hall-of-fame worth players like Parker and Ginobili, but they were a “team?” They just picked good players. It doesn’t matter if you draft them or sign them: if you pick good players, you win basketball games. Has nothing to do with a “team.” I promise you that the Spurs would have gladly offered LeBron $16M a year like the Heat did, were he interested in taking his talents to the Mexican drug war border.

    66. “Team player.” “Play as a team.” These terms generally mean fitting into a concept ( team ) and sacrificing self. You’ve heard this your entire life, from pee wee to high school to college to the pros in any sport. Every coach you’ve ever had said this.

      But to your general point, I too am baffled that there’s not a line of players ready to take their talents to the Costco of illegal drugs. Or here to Denver.

    67. I agree with Jowles. Whether through high-priced free agents or through the draft or through any combination, winning teams have good players that complement each other. Usually some luck is involved, but as Gary Player says, “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”

      The Knicks have been a combination of dumb, impatient, lazy, and unlucky. Not a great combo.

    68. Yesterday, someone on espn radio proposed the following trade: If we draft D’Angelo Russell at #4, trade him straight up for Russell Westbrook. Not that OKC would consider that trade, but I wondered how folks around here would feel about it. He’s signed for the next two years at $16/$17 million. I’d probably do it, but not enthusiastically. Westbrook’s stats during his triple-double run were very Lebron-NBA finals-like.

    69. That’s a great deal for Westbrook, but getting someone good in the draft and building with youth is so appealing and un-Knicksy to me, I would prefer to just keep Russell. I would also note that just keeping our pick would give us approximately $14m more in cap space. So you have to look at that trade as giving up Russell and a $14m free agent to be named later for Westbrook. That’s not so appealing.

    70. lol if OKC is willing to trade Westbrook (with TWO years left on his contract – one of which (16-17) he will be grossly underpaid with the new higher cap) for just the #4 pick I think you do it in a nanosecond. Kevin Love, who was theoretically just a 1 year rental, got traded for TWO #1 overall picks + Thaddeus Young and cap relief ($6M TPE). Russell Westbrook is better than Love, has 2 years left on his contract, and he’s going to get traded for one measly #4 pick? no chance.

      People are falling all over themselves over Lebron in the finals – a 6 game stretch in which, honestly, the Cavs got blown out in the last 3 games. Westbrook was basically Finals Lebron after the ASB this past season – dude almost averaged a 30/10/10 (actually was 31/8.6/9.9 – in just 36.6 min/game as opposed to 46 Lebron was playing) for the entire second half of the season. And he’s only 26. OKC would be absolutely bonkers to do this trade.

      (I’d love to be wrong. but i’m not)

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