Knicks Morning News (2015.06.28)

  • [New York Times] Lynx Beat Mercury in Griner’s Return From Suspension, 71-56 (Sun, 28 Jun 2015 03:43:34 GMT)

    Brittney Griner stepped onto the court for the first time this season, starting the process of putting her domestic violence arrest behind her for good.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Paul Pierce to Leave Wizards (Sun, 28 Jun 2015 00:52:18 GMT)

    Pierce opted out of the final season of a two-year deal he signed with Washington last summer that included a reported $5.5 million player option for the 2015-16 season.

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Knicks must target bigs in NBA free agency (Sun, 28 Jun 2015 05:52:58 GMT)

    LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol would upgrade the Knicks immediately and would bring a smile to Carmelo Anthony’s face.

  • [New York Daily News] Lupica: It’s time for Carmelo Anthony to put up or shut up (Sun, 28 Jun 2015 05:22:25 GMT)

    This is probably an unknowable thing, for now and maybe forever.

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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).

    160 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.06.28)”

    1. I am not a fan of the pick, and I really wanted Winslow but I will be rooting hard for the Zinger. This quote is about as good as it gets:

      “Ask Porzingis what he is most looking forward to once he gets to the NBA and he answers, “What I’m excited about is I’m going to have access to the gym whenever I want.” Not the typical response. “I can go at night. I don’t know how it works. They told me I’ll have a key or a card and you can get in the gym any time. I think that’s an amazing thing. You don’t have that in Europe. I’m very excited for that actually.” There have already been times in his first two weeks back in Vegas for the second year in a row that he shot his arm into submission, where he actually spent so much time firing way, 1,000 to 1,500 attempts nonstop over a couple hours with Janis, expanding from close to the basket to mid-range to behind the arc, that the muscles went raw. Kristaps couldn’t feel his right arm.”

      That plus driver side Chamillionaire karaoke is some serious off court mojo. Which is good, because we really need to replace the gaping likability hole left by this guy:

      https://twitter.com/PPrigioni9/status/614849216389713921

    2. ps: Berman is suggesting, unclear whether sourced or out of his pooper, “perhaps” $27 million 3 years for David West. Does it have to be said how incredibly stupid that would be?

      Edit: I may be mistaking this somehow. Because he is also claiming that Robin Lopez and West could be had for a combined $15.5 million next year, and we know Lopez isn’t taking $6.5 million. Does he mean West will take three years, $9 million total? I don’t believe that. I have no idea what he is saying.

    3. ps: Berman is suggesting, unclear whether sourced or out of his pooper, “perhaps” $27 million 3 years for David West. Does it have to be said how incredibly stupid that would be?

      Edit: I may be mistaking this somehow. Because he is also claiming that Robin Lopez and West could be had for a combined $15.5 million next year, and we know Lopez isn’t taking $6.5 million. Does he mean West will take three years, $9 million total? I don’t believe that. I have no idea what he is saying.

      Until July 1st happens and numbers actually get tossed around, I wouldn’t worry too much about reporters and numbers. The numbers they cite at this point are almost always guesstimates of their own, often having no bearing on what the actual deals are. Outside, of course, of stuff like “We plan on making him a max offer.” Those things they get right.

      That said, 3/$27 million does sound way too scarily believable.

    4. I think you could do a lot worse than West at pf for 3 years. Maybe the plan is to pair him with DeAndre?

      West would signal that Zinger probably won’t be ready for a couple years, but I like that Phil is preaching patience.

      He’s also giving Melo the vets he wants, which is fine. We’re not winning a chip the next 3 years anyway. If he’s not sold on the younger guys like Carroll or Monroe, I’m happy to believe that he knows what he’s doing.

      We could roll with a Calderon/Grant/Melo/West/Jordan lineup. That would be a grinder. Of course it’s all dependent on Jordan.

    5. Comp for Hernangomez — Vucevic? Check out their stats, measurements and scouting videos on draftexpress.com. They seem like very similar players. If so, that’s a great under the radar move. Since he’s likely to stay in Europe this year, assuming that he continues to develop, it’s the rough equivalent of bringing in a mid to late first round pick next year. I like what the Knicks are doing with second round picks — picking guys with upside who could develop and join the team in a year or two, rather than waiting until those same guys develop and then missing out on them because the Knicks don’t have first round picks.

    6. We could roll with a Calderon/Grant/Melo/West/Jordan lineup. That would be a grinder. Of course it’s all dependent on Jordan.

      I like this type of plan. Let Zinger marinate and put a potential playoff team on the floor now. I’d like to think we can get better value than West but obviously time will tell. Also, is there enough cap money to pay both Jordan and West?

    7. Out of deference to you guys, I watched this DX scouting video on Monroe from last year:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbjLUTdgYWo

      I find his weaknesses truly troubling and the fact that SVG has made zero attempt to keep him gives me even more pause. He is def a tweener with no right hand, lousy D and a questionable motor.

      The argument isn’t West vs. Monroe; it’s West + another quality FA vs. Monroe. I would rather have West crucifying anyone in the locker room that doesn’t give 100% and setting that example on the court than a younger guy with glaring holes in his game and no leadership qualities at all, especially when it allows us to sign another young piece.

      In other words, West, Lopez and Green >>> Monroe and Green or Monroe and Lopez.

      Ideally, that 3rd year would be a team and player option with a reasonable buyout (say $5 Million) but even at $9 mill for 3, he’s not an albatross. In year 3, he will be a solid 15-20 minute guy off the bench.

    8. i really like the type of player jordan is but to me it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be wearing a knicks jersey next season. my guess is that he’ll stay with the clippers or maybe join the lakers. he also doesn’t stike me as the type of player phil would go for.

    9. Can someone tell me a little about Greg Monroe and why signing him would be such a bad thing. I didn’t really watch him while he was at Georgetown or with the Pistons. A quick review of his stat sheet shows that he’s barely 25, averages 18 and 12 per 36 minutes, has had very few injuries, and sports a VORP between 2 and 3 for most of his career.

      I’m guessing most of you feel his D is very bad and that he needs to be paired with a “rim protector?” And/or you feel he would be way too expensive?

      EDIT: Saw Z-man’s post after I posted this.

    10. justise going to miami has kawhi to the spurs and granger to the pacers written all over it…

      Kawhi also went to Indiana. The spurs traded for him later that night (it would be like if Winslow had dropped to 10th and then golden state traded Festus Ezili for him)

    11. Can someone tell me a little about Greg Monroe and why signing him would be such a bad thing.

      Yesterday’s thread has about 130 posts debating it.

    12. I wonder if GS would entertain a Calderon for Lee trade. I would love to have Lee on an expiring deal.

    13. I think Jordan wants more touches on offense and is willing to go where he can get that. I’m sure Jax would be happy to give him at least 5 of Melo’s 18 footers. We could easily offer him the max and %150 of the touches he got in LA (and a good passer like West not needing the ball much next to him.)

      And if we can’t win, at least we could beat the crap out of people with those 2.

    14. I’d take Jordan over Monroe any day of the week and twice on Sundays, especially since the league is definitely gonna address the hack-a-jordan strategy.

    15. Sorry for the posting barrage, my wife’s out of town and I’m deep in housework hell!

      Isn’t the clock ticking on those trade exceptions?

    16. We’ve been crying about Stoudemire’s defense for years. Why would we want someone that’s a worse defender than him? Monroe is a younger version of that. I’m not in his camp because, above all, I want players that play defense now, especially with a core that start with Melo and Calderon. We have to offset their deficiencies somehow.

    17. “Ask Porzingis what he is most looking forward to once he gets to the NBA and he answers, “What I’m excited about is I’m going to have access to the gym whenever I want.” Not the typical response. “I can go at night. I don’t know how it works. They told me I’ll have a key or a card and you can get in the gym any time. I think that’s an amazing thing. You don’t have that in Europe. I’m very excited for that actually.” There have already been times in his first two weeks back in Vegas for the second year in a row that he shot his arm into submission, where he actually spent so much time firing way, 1,000 to 1,500 attempts nonstop over a couple hours with Janis, expanding from close to the basket to mid-range to behind the arc, that the muscles went raw. Kristaps couldn’t feel his right arm.”

      This is why I read this site. Thanks for that. Makes me like this kid so much more.

    18. Out of deference to you guys, I watched this DX scouting video on Monroe from last year:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbjLUTdgYWo

      I find his weaknesses truly troubling and the fact that SVG has made zero attempt to keep him gives me even more pause. He is def a tweener with no right hand, lousy D and a questionable motor.

      Like others have said I think it is worth noting that Greg imrpoved on some of his weaknesses last season after that report was made. It will be cool to see if DX make another FA video for this year’s class.
      Also, there is a difference from SVG not wanting him and Monroe not wanting to be there. There offense is not set up for a player like Monroe.

      Monroe would not be my first choice but he is not a bad choice.

    19. SVG praising Monroe’s defense

      Zach Lowe praising Greg Monroe’s defense

      Article that includes Monroe’s Synergy numbers, compares them to Asik

      Summary:

      Monroe wasn’t a terrible defender last year. He uses scouting reports, positioning and basketball IQ to make up for lack of shot blocking. He guarded centers that Drummond was unable to. His pick and roll defense improved dramatically last year. I also read elsewhere that he rarely fouls, instead of going for blocks he often tries to contest to keep his fouls down.
      He may never be an elite defender but he definitely sounds like someone I want on my team.

    20. Another thought on West: his per 36 minute stats don’t suggest that he is in freefall. He was still an effective player last year, and there is no reason to believe that he won’t be for the next 2 years (the third year is a concern, but his influence on the younger players (and even on Melo) might outweigh the dropoff in play by then.

    21. You are Dude and this is the question.

      It’s game seven of the ECF. You have tickets next to Spike Lee. The opposition is CLE. Do you want to face LBJ or do you want him out with an injury?

    22. Put me down for Monroe. He really would fit perfectly on offense, and he seems to be just a kinda weak defender. Don’t forget, our offense was really terrible last year also.

    23. Though I didn’t want him, Porzingis will be very easy to root for. He’s got talent, is on a mission to be great, and seems like a good kid.

    24. With regards to Monroe vs. Jordan, I believe that Jordan’s max (and Gasol’s, too, maybe) will be about $20 million, whereas Monroe’s is in the $15-16 range. That makes a big difference in who else you can pursue. Jordan and West would be a very rugged front line, though. Gasol and West would fit the Knicks better.

      Jordan’s highly likely to stay in California (Clippers or Lakers), but who knows. I’m guessing that all the WC centers are staying out west. Maybe PJ and Melo can persuade one otherwise.

      Someone mentioned a possible Green, Lopez, West haul. That would be pretty nice.

      There could be a surprise trade, too. Some teams will be looking to clear salary to sign someone else (take the Spurs, for example). The Knicks might spend some of the cap space doing that rather than just flat out sign 2-3 guys.

    25. Yeah, Porzingis is doing very well on the rootability front so far.

      What’s up with professional basketball players in Spain not getting a key to the gym?

    26. What’s up with professional basketball players in Spain not getting a key to the gym?

      I’m not sure, but it is likely that the court is shared with other teams (handball, indoor soccer,…) So it may not be available always.

    27. “It’s game seven of the ECF. You have tickets next to Spike Lee. The opposition is CLE. Do you want to face LBJ or do you want him out with an injury?”

      The answer is, I don’t really care. I absolutely don’t root for any player to get injured. Ever. But if it happens, and it benefits the team I’m rooting for, I’m okay with it. If you are asking whether I would feel cheated by fate under those circumstances, the answer is no. And if the Knicks got into the finals under those circumstances, would I feel the least bit of remorse or regret? the answer to that is also an emphatic no. Same goes the other way. When Ewing blew out his achilles, did I cry when we lost to Spurs? No, those are the breaks of the game.

      BTW, has it ever happened that a HOF player suffered an injury under these circumstances and his team STILL won? Willis Reed ring a bell? Kareem?

    28. There could be a surprise trade, too. Some teams will be looking to clear salary to sign someone else (take the Spurs, for example). The Knicks might spend some of the cap space doing that rather than just flat out sign 2-3 guys.

      Looking at the Spurs cap sheet, if they want to have room for a max they probably have to trade Splitter (unless they renounce all of their FAs and Timmy and Manu sign for the minimum, which I guess I wouldn’t rule out). If they attach a sweetener to Splitter, his $8.5m salary is almost certainly worth taking.

    29. Yeah, Porzingis is doing very well on the rootability front so far.

      The emergence of these highly likable and rather savvy statements (Melo should hire him for PR tips) from a 19 year old Latvian who just got rudely boo’d amid an apex moment in his life suggests a new nickname:

      The Cunning Zingis

    30. Z-Man, read this quote from Zach Lowe on Monroe.

      Monroe is playing the best all-around ball of his career and deserves stronger All-Star consideration than he appears to have received. He has outplayed Drummond for the balance of the season, and he’s working harder than ever on defense — at both big-man positions. When Detroit took off without Josh Smith, we all (justifiably) focused on the power of positioning three shooters around a pick-and-roll — something Stan Van Gundy can do only when he sits one of the Drummond-Monroe combination. Monroe is beasting in the post, dishing snappy interior passes, and making smart reads on defense. He’ll never be a rim protector, but opposing ball handlers are shooting just 38.5 percent on pick-and-rolls in which Monroe’s man is the screener — a strong number, per Synergy. The roster weirdness that undid the Smith-era Pistons hurts Monroe’s All-Star case just enough to open up a spot for someone else.

    31. Winslow-athletically gifted, but there are serious questions about his shooting ability. Kinda raw.

      WCS-didn’t grow up playing basketball in the urban culture. Was more into football as a kid. Tremendous athlete, but still not very skilled. You could say he was even a bit raw.

      Mudiay-lots of potential due to his height and athleticism. Has not yet proven he has the skills to succeed in the NBA because of the league he played in and his questionable shooting

      Stanley Johnson-freakishly huge for his age. Hasn’t yet demonstrated the ability to translate his athleticism gifts into offensive efficiency.

      The other guys in the top 10 after the Knicks pick were Kaminsky and Hezonja. I suppose it would be pointless to note that Kaminsky is probably thought to be the most NBA ready of that group.

    32. Also, the league the Zinger has played in the last two seasons is a better league than the NCAA. So I’m not sure how playing in a better league leaves one less prepared for the NBA. I would not have drafted the Zinger, but saying that the guys taken after him are more NBA ready does not seem well reasoned (except for Kaminsky, but he didn’t grow up in the urban culture)

    33. Hoola, I understand. I don’t want to change this into a race discussion so I will turn this right back to basketball. There’s a litmus test for racism that I wish we taught in schools. It’s so easy. When you use the word “they” (whether explicit or inferred) rather than “he”, you’re crossing the line.

      Prozingas, when interviewed, made a point to separate himself from the stereotype:

      “I’m conscious that there is a stereotype about white European big men who are skilled,” Porzingis said at the NBA draft media day in Manhattan. “But the thing about me is the love of the game that I have.

      “Most of the people are worried about my passion of the game. They say ‘Europeans like basketball, Americans love basketball’. For me, that’s not the case. I love basketball. My whole family: my mom, my dad, and both brothers played. It’s a basketball family.”

      ref: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/draft/2015/06/24/kristaps-porzingas-nba-draft-european-big-men/29246373

      It’s only words. We’ll see whether or not he should be compared to Bargnani or Garnett in the years to come.

    34. I’m sorry didn’t both of Porzingi’s parents play basketball? Didn’t his brother play basketball professionally? He clearly grew up around the game. His shooting ability alone gives him value in the NBA. If he wasn’t so awkwardly lanky, people would actually notice that he’s fairly quick and can jump. New York Times reported he has a 38″ vertical. WCS had a 37″ vertical last year, which still makes Porzingis a year younger than WCS was.

    35. not as safe a pick as someone who is more athetically gifted and has already proven to have the skills to succeed in the NBA

      But “athleticism” is neither race based, nor particularly relevant to NBA success when it comes to evaluating 19 year old prospects. Pat Canoughton scored best at the athletic tests of the combine this year. And Joe Alexander scored best in 2008. Last year it was Zach LaVine. The year before that Shane Larkin. In 2012 Quincy Acy won Most Agile.

      “Athleticism” is a term that is loaded with bias. The important thing is that Ponzingis appears to have the tools to succeed in the NBA. And even if you put stock in things like vertical leap, the NY Times article that danvt linked to says Ponzingis has a 38 inch vertical, which puts him in the upper echelon of the combine this year, and presumably Phil Jackson verified such claims before making the pick.

    36. Re: Jordan: With melo being bff with Paul, and the caa connection, why not a S&T of melo for Jordan?

      Then you can still afford another max guy, if the right one is available (not necessarily this year), plus Danny Green. Or West and Green and have plenty left over for a guy like Ajinca.

      Also, throw Porzingis to the wolves and give him as much PT as he can handle. He’s the same age as the one and done guys and played against grown men, so there’s no reason he should be babied. (I’m loving the quotes coming from him).

      I would be able to enjoy the team again with a lineup of Grant, Green, Dr Doom, West and Jordan. Come on Phil, keep the subtle digs coming!

    37. The reason Phil took Porzingis was his upside AND the conversation the two of them had.
      Porzingis is 100% committed to becoming the absolute best player he can be, and has the values, work ethic, and family infrastructure to support him in that quest. Plus, he fits into the culture that Phil is trying to build.

    38. Re: Jordan: With melo being bff with Paul, and the caa connection, why not a S&T of melo for Jordan?

      I mean, that would be awesome for the Knicks, but the Clippers would never do that. If they deal Jordan they need some sort of big man, because even GM Doc Rivers knows you don’t chase a ring with Big Baby as your starting center.

    39. Porzingis is 100% committed to becoming the absolute best player he can be, and has the values, work ethic, and family infrastructure to support him in that quest. Plus, he fits into the culture that Phil is trying to build.

      And your problem with this is…?

    40. I’m going to wait to see who we actually sign, for how much, and for how long before criticizing anyone. All I will say now is that we aren’t going to put ourselves on the path to contention in 2016/1017 and beyond by signing a bunch of the NBA retreads to be a major part of the team. A single player can be stop a gap for a year or two A few players like that can be useful off the bench and in the locker room. But if we are serious about winning, we should only sign players to long term full contracts that we think are going to be part of the long term future of this team. I’d rather keep the cap space for next year than sign West for 3 years for anything other than a huge discount.

    41. Yeah, I agree strat. We were so bad last season that we aren’t going to be good next year. Gotta be patient.

    42. I must admit that the arguments in favor of Monroe are starting to win me over…thanks EB @29 for the links. At this point, I’m OK with either the Monroe plan or the West plan, so long as one of either Green or Matthews (health confirmed) is involved, or maybe even Carroll. I do think that Monroe vs. West + Lopez/Asik remains a fair question.

    43. @ 67 & @68, Re: West, I think a rotation player of his ilk can leave a stamp on the team for years to ccome, much the way that Garnett probably left his mark on the Celtic’s culture even after he left. West is a winning player, a vocal leader and a consummate pro…very much along the lines of a Wallace or Kidd or Garnett or Pierce. If the situation calls for it, my guess is that he would have no problem getting in Melo’s face, and I think that is something Phil is seriously weighing into the equation. Monroe? Not so sure he will ever have that quality (vocal leader.)

    44. The answer is, I don’t really care. I absolutely don’t root for any player to get injured. Ever. But if it happens, and it benefits the team I’m rooting for, I’m okay with it. If you are asking whether I would feel cheated by fate under those circumstances, the answer is no. And if the Knicks got into the finals under those circumstances, would I feel the least bit of remorse or regret? the answer to that is also an emphatic no. Same goes the other way. When Ewing blew out his achilles, did I cry when we lost to Spurs? No, those are the breaks of the game.

      BTW, has it ever happened that a HOF player suffered an injury under these circumstances and his team STILL won? Willis Reed ring a bell? Kareem?

      That’s the right answer. You don’t root for someone to be injured. From there you’re allowed to take pride as the chips fall. However, I do want NYK to be the best and not simply win based on the way the chips fall. As you would probably agree.

      That’s why I got pissed with some of the comments in the aftermath of P George last summer. I just felt like people were handicapping while the corpse was still warm. He was representing team USA at the time. It seemed small to be thinking about our middling basketball team moving up a rung. But, rather than see my little point, you and some others, who I respect, and would periodically like to share a thought about basketball with, went at me pretty hard.

      But I’d like to put it behind us because, as I said, I do respect your research and writing.

      PS. I thought you were defending Hoola which is why I waded in there. I think the NYT article did a good job with the response to the issue. We’re looking at our assumptions on all levels of society and I think we need to on European big men as well. Thanks and sorry man, no harm.

    45. Paying a premium for “leadership” when the team is utterly bereft of talent and production seems foolish to me, and if you need to spend extra money to motivate the guy who already has the max contract, then it was probably not a real good max contract to begin with.

      I think Jax is interested in West because of “good for the triangle” reasons, and we saw how that worked out with Calderon and Jah Smith. So far we have not seen surplus value from these “good for the triangle” type players. I’m having a real hard time talking myself into the idea that signing a 35-year old David West isn’t really stupid.

    46. Paying a premium for “leadership” when the team is utterly bereft of talent and production seems foolish to me, and if you need to spend extra money to motivate the guy who already has the max contract, then it was probably not a real good max contract to begin with.

      This is pretty much where I stand. You should acquire your “leaders” (I put it in quotes not because I think it’s meaningless, just hard to define) after you have enough talent to make some noise. That’s why I think every available cent we have this offseason needs to go towards acquiring young guys who could be on our next good team.

    47. West was still a solid player last year, which is a lot more than one can say for Jason Smith. But he’s at the age where guys collapse abruptly (a la Camby or J Kidd). A low money deal wouldn’t be killer, but it still doesn’t make much sense since we’re so far from being good.

    48. Instead of spending $8 million on David West, how about Ed Davis? Similar skill set, but better in most areas and about a decade younger.

    49. I must admit that the arguments in favor of Monroe are starting to win me over…thanks EB @29 for the links.

      Somehow I missed EB’s great links when I made my redundant post. To try to atone, here’s part of an article from a Piston blog (redundant components removed). Maybe we could agree that he’s not Amare on defense? However, I worry that his improvement on defense might be due this being a contract year.

      Greg Monroe an underrated defender

      Slow-footed. Not athletic enough. Poor defensive awareness. Below-average shot blocker. Greg Monroe has heard it all before. Even when he was playing college hoops, the New Orleans native was already well aware of what was being said of his defensive ability. Since his arrival in the NBA, the soft spoken center has shed a few of the negative tags that followed him into the League, and built upon his tantalizing offensive skill set.

      Although he is somewhat slow-footed, Monroe, like the Moose, is a solid and wide player, who doesn’t often get beat on the low block – due mostly to his positioning. Whilst he doesn’t block many shots (0.6 BPG for his career), he has quick hands and looks to strip opponents when they drive to the basket, evident in his 1.6 steals per game. Defensive basketball IQ and positioning are hard statistics to quantify, Monroe has often been relied on to guard opposing centers when Andre is unable to. The 24 year-old Georgetown product knows he lacks the athleticism to soar above the rim and swat shots, but relies on his positioning, size and his knowledge of his opponents to keep players players away from their favorite scoring areas.

    50. What’s up with professional basketball players in Spain not getting a key to the gym?

      Can’t get access when Priggy’s dad is in there working out.

    51. Monroe & the Zinger potentially seem like really complementary players on O and D. Really hope the West rumor isn’t true…though there is something to be said for good locker room guys when you’re trying to remake a team’s culture. The right price for “something to be said” is more like $3mil, though.

    52. Maybe Monroe is not Amare and maybe he’s good. But is he a fit?

      Who’s going to protect the rim? If not Porzingas (who is certainly not built to do that today), then it better be the FA center we sign. We all know that there have to be two starting FAs that we draft. A center and a wing. I contend that both have to be plus defenders. We need a rim protector and someone to defend the 3-pt line. Scoring is a bonus for both.

      Monroe having improved on defense is not enough. In the same Grantland article list in one of the links above there’s this clause: “He’ll never be a rim protector”. That gives me pause. In today’s NBA I think you must have one.

      And as for Carroll, yeah, there’s someone that I think makes a lot of sense.

    53. I have very mixed feelings about Monroe.

      If you told me we are going to trade Melo, I’d be in favor of it. I think Monroe can be a very good player on offense and at least competent on defense. Put him with the right player and you are fine.
      With Melo, you run into problems. I think Melo plays better at PF. I don’t think the front line of Melo/Monroe will work. That means you have to move Melo to SF and you still have to find the right PF (which could turn out to be West). As a stated earlier, I’m OK with someone like West as a stop gap or at a deep discount. But I don’t want someone like him that seems to be on the decline being a major piece for the long term. By the time our younger players are ready to get serious, West will be done and we’ll be stuck with him. Show me the long term plan that works with Melo and Monroe that maximizes both and I’m good to go. I just don’t see it.

    54. Getting a rim protector would be great. But we need offense and defensive. We can’t go wrong either way. Our offense was atrocious last season-probably even worse than our defense. Monroe is young, good at a few things, and would make the Knicks better. We’re not solving all our problems in one offseason-we had way too many

    55. Thanks, dan. Truly, I come here to talk Knicks and basketball in a community that loves basketball and usually but not always the Knicks. I don’t like when things get personal. Our language is imperfect. For example, when Brian Cronin, who I respect on many levels, says that a certain decision is a “no-brainer” and I disagree with him, should I infer that he’s calling me stupid, i.e. someone without a brain? The line between civil disagreement and personal attack is not always clearly defined. For the most part, disagreements are pretty civil, and when they are not, there is intervention by authors and posters. I’ve done my share of apologizing over the years, and always accept apologies and don’t hold grudges. And hopefully we will all have better days ahead for this team and less reasons to disagree!

    56. Last year we didn’t have squat. We hope to get back Melo this year. We have to hope Calderon rebounds. We got an offensive weapon in Porzingas. We have some offense. We have NO defense. How about 1 from list “Rim” and 1 from list “Wing”. I tried to rank them and I omitted players that are out of reach or who I just don’t think are a fit:
      Rim: Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, Greg Monroe, Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez, Roy Hibbert, Tyson Chandler, Al Jefferson
      Wing: Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, Danny Green, Khris Middleton, DeMarre Carroll, Wesley Matthews, Jae Crowder, Lou Williams, Ed Davis, Iman Shumpert, Loul Deng

    57. I’m not sure why everyone is so worried about rim protection when we just drafted a mobile 7’3″ guy and rim protection is listed as one of his strengths. Maybe it’s as a weak-side shot blocker. Maybe he becomes our center in a year or two. Worst case is Monroe should have trade value if he doesn’t work out. Worst case for West is that he goes over the same cliff as Elton Brand and we just tied up a lot of cap over the next 3 years for his “leadership”. Let’s not be so focused this summer on trying to solve things we’re not sure will even be issues in a year or two.

    58. ’m not sure why everyone is so worried about rim protection when we just drafted a mobile 7’3? guy and rim protection is listed as one of his strengths. Maybe it’s as a weak-side shot blocker. Maybe he becomes our center in a year or two.

      I wouldn’t expect Porzingis to contribute right away. I think he should play 20 mpg and not to be overloaded with responsibilities.

      I definitely would use the cap in a center and a 3+D wing. My preferences for centers would be: M. Gasol, Robin Lopez, Greg Monroe. And for wings: Khris Middleton, Wesley Matthews, Danny Green. I am not sure Middleton will be available, i’ve already discarded Butler, Leonard and Draymond Green because their teams would match.

      Then we would have the room exception. I would not mind if we tried to bring Lin back.

      @GoNyGoNYGo: It would be really funny if we signed Chandler and Shumpert again, XD.

    59. I’m with DRed on the Monroe issue. You can’t fix all the problems in one offseason, and probably not in two. Three? Maybe. The team stunk on both offense AND defense last year.

      With about $27 million of new salary that the Knicks can bring in, it is not likely to get 2-3 real good two-way players. I’d LOVE the Knicks to get Danny Green b/c he’s strong on both O and D.

      But as for C, the only guys who really are strong on both O and D are Gasol (very unlikely to sign here, and I think the Knicks might have to shell out $20 million per anyways) or Aldridge, who is really more of a 4 and could cost as much as Gasol. We’ll see, but both seem unlikely to sign with the Knicks, anyways.

      What’s interesting about Monroe is that the Knicks could sign him AND a Green or Matthews, maybe. If you want to focus more on D, then so be it, go for the likes of Lopez or Asik, but be aware that the O will suffer from not having a good low post scoring threat, though if you get one cheap enough, there could be money for a 3rd guy (West?).

    60. We talk about getting rim protection but who is seriously available to do that?? The Knicks arent getting Gasol, Jordan or Chandler. So that leaves who, Robin Lopez, Asik or Koufas?? I’d be perfectly fine with any of them but this team just needs good players period. Offensive, defensive whatever. Just be better than the crap we had last season.

      Granted that shouldnt mean giving an older player like West a 3yr contract but beggars cant be choosers I guess lol.

    61. Just read a report that said the Knicks will be meeting with Al-Faroqu Aminu. Thats definitely a defensive first Free Agent.

    62. I wouldn’t expect Porzingis to contribute right away. I think he should play 20 mpg and not to be overloaded with responsibilities.

      Agreed but wouldn’t Monroe take a lot of the offensive burden off Zinger and Melo? Even if our defense were terrible this season, shouldn’t our time horizon and strategy be to add free agents this summer and next, develop our young players over these two years, and then be ready to make a lot of noise. Melo will be older but maybe we won’t need him to do so much if players like Zinger, Monroe, and Grant work out. The gist is that I don’t think we should be signing players (and maybe wasting cap) to shore up an area for this season when it may not be an issue in a year or two.

    63. Looks like Jason Smith and Alexy Shved will be back: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25227457/report-knicks-look-to-bring-back-jason-smith-alexey-shved

      @90 – I doubt we’ll look at them. Chandler is not a triangle fit and neither is Shumpert. A wing must have some scoring ability in the triangle.

      I guess that’s what I’m saying about Monroe. I would rather look for scoring from our wing target than from our interior target. Anthony is great in the post. A vets-minimum center that can score would nice. Ah. Jason Smith. OK.

    64. Regarding West and “veteran leadership.”

      Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have good leadership in place first, rather than last? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all aboard the talent wins train, but it seems to me that having leadership in place sooner rather than later can only help our younger guys growth.

      Not that I’d pay a premium for that, which I agree would be foolish, but the Knicks are so dysfunctional that perhaps instilling a professional culture might actually be the first major step that needs to be taken.

    65. Monroe’s age is a plus, as is the fact that he’d only be getting the “mini-max.” Monroe would actually probably give you pretty good value over the entire duration of his contract. He’s not a rim protector but he has become a good PnR defender and he rebounds. He’s a good overall player, not a star, but a solid player.

    66. Jason Smith is garbage. So it looks like we will have at least one flaming pile of garbage in the rotation.

    67. Just read a report that said the Knicks will be meeting with Al-Faroqu Aminu. Thats definitely a defensive first Free Agent.

      This is the kind of thing we should be doing. Not David West things.

    68. Re-signing Jason Smith is a step back after a decent draft. He’s not an NBA player.

    69. Re-signing Jason Smith is a step back after a decent draft. He’s not an NBA player.

      There must always be at least one player on the Knicks that shouldn’t even be in the league. It was part of the most recent CBA.

    70. Jason smith isn’t good but he won’t kill you as an end of the bench guy. I am hopeful for the development of Schved. Aminu would be sweet to go along with Monroe.

    71. Jason Smith is pointless. He’s even more pointless then when we signed him last season.

    72. Can we not just assume because a NYPost writer wrote it that Smith is coming back. One thing that Phil said was that he could not replace the whole team and needed people back who knew the system etc. I am sure this is for practice purposes and for teaching. Maybe Phil thinks that Smith is a good hard working guy that’s worth having for the vet min as basically a practice player. Also Phil has been very candid about doing nice things for players and maybe he is trying to help Smith get a look. If signing Smith to the vet min is the worst thing that happens this off season then count me as most likely pleased.

    73. I like that shved is coming back I doubt he’s going to replicate his solid production from last year but he’s still a good pickup if he’s cheap.

      Let’s hope Jason smith is just the 15th man in the rotation practice dummy

    74. 2for18, how about them NETS?

      Ha, well that lasted about a week a couple years ago; I just couldn’t care.
      I get interested about the Knicks again during the summers now in hopes melo will leave, then when I’m disappointed I just go away again.

    75. Demarre Carroll has turned himself into a well-rounded player. You can stick him on
      Lebron, Paul George, Wade, Butler, Beal, Melo, etc. Basically he can guard 1-4. Then
      he’ll turn around and give you 3-point shooting, midrange jumpers and finishing at the
      rim. And add that he’s a pro with intelligence and a good attitude. He’s an absolute
      stud right now. He also ensures that Melo will play more minutes at the 4. Cap-wise
      its going to be hard for ATL to keep him. He should be at the top of the Knicks FA
      priorities.

      Danny Green otoh seems like a good role player. For a 2 he can barely dribble.
      Awkward shot that I’m not even sure he can get off if he’s not wide open like he usually
      is in San Antonio. I know hes more of a 2 and Carroll is a 3, but I’m strangely
      confident that Galloway/Grant/Schved? can handle the SG position. Green should
      be the (one of many) backup plan.

    76. The team is going to be better offensively and defensively than it was last season. The FA choices aren’t going to prevent that, they’re going to determine how they get better and set up a new nucleus.

      Why is Jordan out of the question? The reports that he’ll visit the Knicks suggest it’s a possibility. If he doesn’t like being bossed by Paul, why would he go play with Kobe? Maybe Dallas has him locked up and has no interest in resigning Chandler or getting LaMarcus Aldridge. But is that known?

      J0rdan would have a huge impact on defense and transition offense. Porzingis may block some shots but my guess/hope is they’ll be on close outs rather than in the paint.

      Jordan can’t pass or shoot outside of 3 ft or create his own shot. But his D, rebounding, and floor running are so great they more than make up for it. Fitting the triangle shouldn’t be a litmus test IMO. The Knicks need a system-driven rather than an individual skill-driven offense in the half court, but acquiring the best people for the system rather than the best people available seems like a very bad plan. In addition to FAs that are good at running some flavor of half court sets, I hope the new nucleus can rebound, defend, and run the floor to create a strong transition offense.

    77. Al-Farouq Aminu is supposedly coming in to talk to the Knicks. Seems like an interesting young player with upside. How much will he want?

    78. Looking at the list of free agents, I’m trying to find some guys who could be secondary targets if we miss out on some of the big names (and/or miss out on the smaller but still desired names like Joseph, Aminu, etc.) or guys who might be able to be had for the room exception when we’re almost all done. At first glance some possibilities are:

      John Jenkins (37% 3PT% thus far after shooting over 40% in college)
      Brandan Wright
      Amir Johnson
      Thomas Robinson
      Bismack Biyombo if he isn’t offered the QO
      Lavoy Allen
      CJ Watson
      Alexis Ajinca
      Dorell Wright

    79. Wright is a WP superstar, but fares very well in more advanced metrics.
      Not a post-up player or particularly rugged player, but it’s amazing to me that he continues to go under the radar and has been seemingly underappreciated at each stop.

      Ajinca had a breakout, has Gobert length to go along with offensive skill, and I think could be on the verge of a Hassan Whiteside kind of a breakout if given a starting role.

      Frankly, those two guys could provide the best values in free agency.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aucIJr1kbMs

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTQTfUNh-1g

    80. Re Jordan. He’s a stud down low, but seems unlikely to be a good fit for Phil, for better or worse. He’s much more of a PnR guy than a Triangle guy. Supposedly he wants to be featured more on offense. If he doesn’t like Paul, how might he like Melo?

      If they sign Jordan, they probably can’t afford a top 3 and D wing like Green or Carroll, like they could if they sign Monroe to the mini-max or go with a cheaper C (and there are several of those out there).

      If the Knicks were to sign Jordan, I’d say that Porzingis can start right away, though.

      RE Smith and Shved. Meh. If they sign Smith on the cheap to be the backup C and limit his minutes, I’ve got no problem with that. The key is who the 2-3 new signings are.

    81. Ajinca had a breakout, has Gobert length to go along with offensive skill, and I think could be on the verge of a Hassan Whiteside kind of a breakout if given a starting role.

      Not sure I would go that far, but it sure does seem like he could excel in a bigger role. I can’t imagine he’d fetch more than $5 million or so AAV, and maybe could be had for the room exception?

    82. Ajinca is intriguing but it’s a bit peculiar that he made such a jump in one year (contract year?) at this stage. I would be happy if we snagged Green/Carroll/Ajinca and played Melo at the 4 on defense. I still prefer Monroe because he’s an efficient shot creator and we need two of those. The argument, however, could be made that Zinger will have to become a shot creator to justify the pick so maybe we should just presume that?

      I want no part of Jordan at 19m. A lot of his stats were driven by Chris Paul. Maybe if we were playing a spread PnR offense but even then I’d prefer to wait and maybe Zinger plays that role. In the Triangle, he’s a lousy fit – like hoola at a NOW convention.

    83. Hard to believe Melo is the only pre-Jackson holdover left on the roster. Jackson may have resigned him, but I’m in the camp that thinks that was pretty much a requirement of employment.

    84. Re: Greg Monroe – FWIW because these stats are totally opaque to me– his real plus minus and WAR were both better than Drummond last year. For PFs he was roughly 12th in the league for both RPM and WAR. On top of that most of his positive RPM was due to defense – was actually 11th in the league as far as PFs in terms of defensive RPM. Overall (all positions) he was 41st in RPM, ahead of defensive rep guys like Joakim Noah, Favors, Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, Asik, Horford.

      Golden State just won the finals playing small with no rim protection to speak of. Rim protection is great for when your other defenders are bad (ie. cleaning up other people’s messes) but if you have mostly good defenders elsewhere maybe it’s just not the end all and be all.

      Galloway is a good defender. By reputation Grant is a good defender. Sign a solid 3/D guy like Carroll/Green/Middleton and we’ll have gone a long way towards fixing last year’s abomination of a defense even without “rim protection”.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t even mind going after even more under the radar guys – Jared Dudley might be a guy that would come much cheaper, say $6-8MM rather than 10-13 that Matthews/Green/Carroll etc. will be looking for, and is a pretty good defender and good shooter. Jae Crowder might be a target for less than MLE money. Then you get Monroe +/- West and you’ve really improved this team.

      Ideally speaking – we would get someone like Monroe and a 2nd tier wing, have something like $5MM left over in cap space, then rent that space out for picks in next year’s draft (or players on rookie contracts) to teams needing to clear cap for FA this summer. Like, for example trading for Terrence Jones or even *gasp* Raymond Felton (who would of course be immediately waived so as not to anger the basketball gods).

    85. Ajinca didn’t just have a breakout this year but he had one last year when he returned to the nba. His real breakout came over seas as his body and game matured. here is his FA scouting video from 2 yrs ago.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUA0dy74Lo8

      At the start of the year I though Ajinca could be had for the room exception but am not really sure now. I think he should be a mini priority because he pairs well with every FA group. If the knicks make him, their 12 a.m. target and show him love to lock him down they just might could get him cheap. Besides it would fun to have a team full of pterodactyls.

      A question for those knowledgeable about the cap. Can the knicks go over the cap in a S&T?

    86. Monroe would be a safe signing. He’d do well in the offense and we all know a max now isn’t really a max next year, so I think it’d be likely the Knicks would at least come out even over his contract. Zinger is also the exact kind of player — potentially — that can be paired with Monroe who can mask his weaknesses and magnify his strengths.

      Regardless, you still have to hit on a couple of big surplus value players in FA.

      Signing 2-3 guys like Ajinca is how the Knicks can quickly become really good again.

      To build on Frank’s point about contructing a strong defense, one of the ways Melo is underappreciated is that you can build an elite offense around him with specialists and defense-oriented, perceived-to-be limited upside players, whom are still paid .60 cents on the dollar according to some analysis.

      Incredibly, the Knicks had the 11th best offensive rating with Melo on the floor last year, and while Melo has more deficiencies than the elite group of players, that kind of offensive impact is extremely rare and can be leveraged to great effect by a smart front office.

      Offensive rating w/Melo on floor by season with +/- and where that rating would rank on 48 minute basis.
      2014-2015: 107.9, +12.1,11th
      2013-14: 109.4, +6, 9th
      2012-13: 113.4, +5.7, 1st
      2011-12: 105.5, +2.1, 12th
      2010-11: 114.7, +4.4, 1st
      2009-10: 113.5, +4.3, 1st
      2008-09: 113.5 (yes, rating repeated in b2b years), +7.5, 3rd
      2007-08: 110.6, +1.5, 10th
      2006-07, 110.5, +6.8, 3rd.

      Consider that in all nine of those seasons, the organization Melo was playing on had a maximum salary power forward that was either a shell of his former self, missed the entire season or most of the year (Amar’e, and Kenyon Martin).

      Top end offenses have been built around Melo on the cheap for a VERY long time.

      The 12-13 team is a perfect example of how quickly a team can construct a formidable offense around Melo with journeyman and specialists.

    87. Ruru- nice argument on Ajinca. I did see him get beat a few times in that video, but dude is freaking long. Nice footwork/effort to recover. Can he pass? What’s he going to fetch? Definitely a better option than JAH. Could he hold up as a starter?

      Frank- yes the board has sold me on Monroe. With the cap going up, he might be underpaid at the current Max. In related news, he recently said he’s looking for a 2 year + option deal.

    88. I saw a couple mentions of “contract year overperforming” in this thread and I just wanted to say that, at least according to my interpretation/knowledge of the relevant literature, players don’t perform better in contract years in a statistically significant way. I’m not an expert, so my interpretation of the literature is definitely open for debate, but I think generally fears of player performance being a flash in the pan specifically due to being in a contract year are at minimum overstated and at worst simply not true.

    89. In fact, I recall this exact kind of pessimism about the prospects of the upcoming year in the offseason of 12-13, with Lin gone, the despair of Amar’e’s knee issues settling in, and the cupboard virtually bare outside of Chandler and Melo.

      The Knicks are in way better position than 12-13, and while they don’t have a Chandler… yet… they are in position do sign far superior players around Melo, and to build in three tracks of tim towards a continuum.

      From a salary perspective, in 12 of Melo’s 13 NBA seasons, roughly a quarter of the team’s salary cap was going to either Amar’e Stoudemire or Kenyon Martin.

      That something that never gets spoken about.

    90. I want no part of Jordan at 19m. A lot of his stats were driven by Chris Paul. Maybe if we were playing a spread PnR offense but even then I’d prefer to wait and maybe Zinger plays that role. In the Triangle, he’s a lousy fit – like hoola at a NOW convention.

      Jordan’s numbers, or at least the ones Chris Paul could conceivably help with, haven’t really changed since before Paul was on the team.

    91. Ruru makes a great point. I think we should appreciate that we have cap space to add a few pieces around Carmelo Anthony. If we had the cap space to add another player or two around Melo and Chandler, we could have been a special team I think. As long as we’re not trading away first round picks anymore, I’m okay with what we do in free agency. The thing about Monroe, though, is that he may be looking for a Jimmy Butler deal; 2 year contract with a 3rd year option so he can cash in on the salary cap rising. In New York, I think Monroe can develop into an elite player offensively. I see him as a 20, 10, 4, .580 TS% guy in the triangle, and that’s worth a max contract to me.

    92. Given our needs, Jordan might be too pricey. But he’s logged enough minutes without Paul over the last 2 years to be pretty confident he’d earn his money.

    93. Given our needs, Jordan might be too pricey.

      This is the real problem. Jordan is worth his max in a vacuum, but if we were to sign him we’d only have around $8m left to spend. We’re better served going after guys that are undervalued, not properly valued.

    94. Right, I mean, imagine what that 12-13 team could have done had it gotten anywhere near max salary value from Stoudemire’s contract?

      That team won 54 games and then 6 in the playoffs despite absolutely wretched performances from most of the guys that brought them there, including Chandler.

      And had any of the 08-09, 09-10 Nuggets or 12-13 Knicks caught a few breaks at the right time, the entire framework of the conversation about this changes.

      A lowered expectation environment could allow the Knicks to sneak up on teams, just as they did in 12-13 when it got off to that 18-5 start.

    95. Right, I mean, imagine what that 12-13 team could have done had it gotten anywhere near max salary value from Stoudemire’s contract?

      The worry a lot of people, including myself to an extent, have is that we just signed our new Stoudemire to an even bigger contract. Season ending knee surgery at age 31 is no joke.

    96. They said the same things about Tyson Chandler with Paul as they have about Jordan. He’s going to be a monster on both ends of the court until his knees go.

    97. I think it was much easier to add wins to that 2011-2012 team than it is currently to add wins to this even if we had a lot of cap tied up in the disaster that was stoudemire–Tyson Chandler was that great along with Melo playing at the 4 being a better fit for that team; and remember that that season was also predicated on Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, K-Mart, et al not regressing to the mean until about right before the regular season ended. So I doubt that that success is easily duplicated.

      I’m of the opinion that if we’re an 8 seed at best next season unless everything breaks our way, which is unlikely. The year after, though, is fair game.

    98. Prospects for Melo are significantly better than Amar’e.

      Melo’s played at least the last couple of years with that balky knee, and it’s probably affected him prior. He still had the first step and second jumps, and it’s been awhile since he’s lost his top end vertical.

      I actually think there’s a chance he comes back with MORE explosiveness than before, just as Kobe did a couple of years back. It’s bothered him for awhile now, and it shows up all over his splits. His b2b and 4 in 5 efficiency numbers the last 4-5 years are horrendous. And I think that’s where it’s shown up.

    99. Alecto, that 12-13 team was quite formidable with Chandler on the bench, and yes Chandler was great in many ways that season. The Knicks went 12-4 w/out Chandler.

      And yes, Kidd and K-Mart were good, but that’s the point here.

      Throughout Melo’s career, teams have been built around him with journeyman/specialists whose flaws aren’t exposed because of how much of the offensive load he carries at above average efficiency and how much he tilts defenses.

      Limited role players tend to do well with him. That’s a significant advantage when it comes to roster construction,.

    100. If signing Smith to the vet min is the worst thing that happens this off season then count me as most likely pleased.

      I have to agree that getting Smith back on the vets minimum isn’t so bad. I get the commentary on why he’s terrible, but given the state of the roster he was probably called on to more than what was initially anticipated of him when first brought to the team. If he’s pinch hitting 10-15 minutes a night, I don’t think that’s too much of a detriment. Given Melo will be presumably be playing some time at the 4 and bring in Zinger and another rim protector, that really leaves Smith as an end of the bench guy, which is what you usually spend your spare change on. Plus, we don’t know what he is like as a locker room guy. Bringing him back could be for chemistry purposes.

    101. Alex Kennedy just tweeted out that the Knicks are interested in bringing Jeremy Lin back. If that happens we’lol know for sure that Phil is trolling Melo and wants him to waive his NTC!

      Meanwhile we are apparently one of only 4 teams that will get a meeting with Jordan (Dallas, Clips, Lakers, Knicks). We have no idea what Phil’s selling power is but even being in the room with him has to be considered a strong sign that we are still a desired FA destination.

    102. Jordan’s numbers, or at least the ones Chris Paul could conceivably help with, haven’t really changed since before Paul was on the team.

      Hard to believe that arguably the premier PnR guard in the league and a top 5 passer didn’t have a positive effect on Jordan’s production and efficiency. I never said he wasn’t a good player just that his numbers are likely inflated and he’s not worth 19m especially if you’re committed to the Triangle. Most important of all, I don’t want an atrocious free throw shooter who you have to sub out at the end of games.

      In fact, I recall this exact kind of pessimism about the prospects of the upcoming year in the offseason of 12-13,

      I don’t think people are pessimistic so much as worried. Worried that Phil is wasting cap on players like 34yo Calderon and now maybe 35yo West. I’m concerned that he feels pressured to put a playoff team around Melo in the next couple of years or will sign high risk players because they fit the Triangle. He should be focused on building a team that will be very competitive in a couple of seasons instead of one that’s mildly competitive over the next 4 years.

    103. As for David West, I’m in support of signing David West in so far as he doesn’t stop us from signing other valuable players. Preferably, I’d sign Monroe (or other talented big) and DeMarre Carroll (or other talented wing). If we can sign those two then I won’t have many qualms about bringing David West in. This may be borderline tautological, but that’s just how it is. No reason to get up in arms until we see the deal.

      West is a likable guy and still did some good stuff on the court. If we’re playing the triangle there are worse players/fits. However, anything more than a year, maybe 2 is asking for trouble. Given his age, West is about to fall off a cliff. That said, I believe we showed that veterans are a market inefficiency a few years ago.

    104. I’m not a fan of signing West, but this idea that signing players that can help the Knicks next year keeps the Knicks from building a good team in a few years is not valid.

      It’s all about the length of the contract, as EB said.

    105. As for David West, I’m in support of signing David West in so far as he doesn’t stop us from signing other valuable players.

      I don’t see how this is possible unless he opted out of $12m to sign for the minimum.

    106. I think Jordan is overrated if only because we’re going to use the triangle (I don’t necessarily condone the method of player selection but we almost certainly will be running it). Dalembert also graded out highly according to advanced statistics before transitioning to the triangle, he basically flunked out of the league after trying it. Cole Aldrich’s legendary efficiency plummeted as a result of the triangle. The issue is that the triangle asks players to take shots that many of the uber-efficient pass up in order to have their efficiency numbers that high (again, not necessarily endorsing the approach). Given Jordan’s poor shooting he seems like a questionable choice.

    107. I think aldrichs bad shooting wasn’t a result of the triangle so much as there being a twenty game stretch where the offense ran through him and he kept taking awful hook shots because he had the green light . I think the triangle is meant to be flexible and wouldn’t pass up on Jordan just because of perceived fit. That being said he’s too expensive for us at this juncture.

    108. Not that CP3 is god’s gift, but if he doesn’t like playing with Jordan, I probably don’t want him on my team, certainly not on a max contract.

    109. I saw a couple mentions of “contract year overperforming” in this thread and I just wanted to say that, at least according to my interpretation/knowledge of the relevant literature, players don’t perform better in contract years in a statistically significant way.

      If anyone’s interested, this link summarizes the research. My very vague sense was always that performance does improve in the contract year, stays there for a year (players wanting to justify their salary to new set of fans) and then returns to about their historical average.

    110. Man I’m listening to this mark stein el Hassan and windhorst podcast. They are talking about salaries in the next few years being 30 and 40 mill for max players. Melo is not an albatross

    111. The 12/13 team lost Amar’e but also featured a whole lot of guys who…

      A) Outperformed anything they’d done before or since

      B) Flopped as the season went on due to age and overuse

      Replay the 12/13 season 100 times, and I doubt the Knicks average over 47 wins. Just put Kidd and Felton at reasonable expectations for what they’d produce, and the team wins at least five fewer games.

      I’d also add that the Knicks, intentional or not, were on the cutting edge offensively that season with their emphasis on passing and 3 pointers. System advantages are ephemeral as the league will copy anything that proves effective.

      Hell, give the Celtics a healthy-ish Rondo, and I doubt the Knicks even win that playoff series.

      Lastly, while we don’t have the Amar’e albatross, Melo is also 2 years older, and even if you say he plays the perfect style to have a long career, other than Paul Pierce, there aren’t any examples of wing players who play somewhat like Melo playing at prime level in the last 15 years beyond about 32. If you just look at Melo-like players, yeah, you have Pierce, and then you have guys like Rashard Lewis, Glenn Robinson, Danny Granger, Steve Smith, Stackhouse, Stojakovic, Steve Smith… Only Stackhouse was still somewhat productive beyond about 32.

      And it’s not Melo’s body type or play style that I’m saying makes his decline likely. It’s the fact that almost everyone gets worse when they hit the age range Melo is entering right now.

      So the pros and cons of today are certainly different from what they were in summer 2012, but there are still pros and cons. I feel more optimistic about the team’s future after the draft, but I honestly can’t see myself being optimistic for the future until I see Melo moved (and only if it’s before we have to package him with draft picks to make it happen).

    112. i’m wondering why no one likes bringing aldrich back… he wasn’t at all terrible last season and is going to come way cheaper than any other C on the market…

      i also happen to think porzingis future is at C… being 7ft 3 kinda forces that so i don’t know why we would need to spend huge money on guys like jordan or ajinca…

    113. Man I’m listening to this mark stein el Hassan and windhorst podcast. They are talking about salaries in the next few years being 30 and 40 mill for max players. Melo is not an albatross

      A $90m cap puts max salaries at $22.5 / $27 / $31.5

      Melo will make $24.6m in 16/17. Not as bad as it would look with normal cap growth, but still not exciting.

    114. @162 – if West opted out of 12 million to sign with the Knicks for the minimum, he would immediately become one of the most beloved sports figures in New York, especially if he says something at his press conference like “I was born in Teaneck, NJ and grew up idolizing Charles Oakley. I’ve always dreamed of helping the Knicks win a championship playing the Oakley role. I’ve only got a few years left, so I want to do it now.” Won’t happen, but it sure would be great if it did.

    115. and i think everyone’s efficiency dropped because they were taking more shots than their skill level justified… aldrich included… aldrich had a a/to over 1.0 last year which is a miracle if you ask me… pretty sure that was the triangle that caused that…

    116. 12-13 is a great example of the unquantifiable chemistry aspect of basketball that stat heads can’t comprehend

    117. i’m wondering why no one likes bringing aldrich back… he wasn’t at all terrible last season and is going to come way cheaper than any other C on the market…

      Definitely would be happy to have him back at the minimum or even room exception.

      so i don’t know why we would need to spend huge money on guys like jordan or ajinca…

      Well cost-wise, I’m hoping one of those guys is not like the other…

    118. If you just look at Melo-like players, yeah, you have Pierce, and then you have guys like Rashard Lewis, Glenn Robinson, Danny Granger, Steve Smith, Stackhouse, Stojakovic, Steve Smith…….And it’s not Melo’s body type or play style that I’m saying makes his decline likely. It’s the fact that almost everyone gets worse when they hit the age range Melo is entering right now.

      Yeah, and when you include the regular season and playoffs, I suspect Melo has played substantially more minutes than most of those players by this age. I believe the only player younger than Melo who’s logged more minutes is LeBron and his performance dropped this past season. His WS/48 fell from .264 to .199, still an elite player. If Melo projects to fall from .180 to .145, we really shouldn’t be building a team around him.

    119. @er if it’s beyond our understanding, then it’s probably not something we can replicate.

    120. Robinson’s shooting efficiency and rebounding declined slightly in his final three years, but there was no remarkeable drop-off. The difference between Melo and Robinson, for one, is that Melo is a much better player.

      Lewis, Granger and Stojakovic don’t really compare at all.

      Melo’s been bothered by his knee for a few years now. And he’s already well past his physical prime, which was relatively short. He’s more efficient and a better rebounder than he was earlier in his career when he had his spring.

      He’s re-built his entire game the last 8-10 years around his strength, body positioning, quick twitch moves/release, wide array of skills and, yes, an explosive first step which has endured while his vertical and speed have declined.

      Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, all guys who have had years comparable or better from an efficiency perspective in their early to mid 30s because of their style of play.

      That data we use to project production is outdated. We are much smarter today and will be in the future when it comes to slowing down the aging process via nutrition, supplementation, surgery, rehabilitation etc.

      Melo’s most efficient years are likely ahead of him as a team is built around him that reduces his workload.

    121. If Monroe signs a 4 year max his trade value for the last two years of that deal will net the Knicks multiple first rounders if they decide to trade him. You sign that guy immediately if he wants the whole 4 years.

    122. Lebron’s usage was also up, and the kinds of shots he was getting changed from when he was in Miami, including a substantial drop off in cuts and transition.

      He’s not as athletic as he was during his peak, but his decline in efficiency related to his shot distribution.

    123. Melo is gonna come back “more explosive” from his knee surgery the same way he gave us a “substantial hometown discount.”

      Look, I like ruru, and he seems like a nice and intelligent guy and I’m glad he’s back but he’s incredibly myopic about Carmelo Anthony. I just have to roll my eyes when I hear these wildly optimistic predictions about the future, and how the Knicks are really in a great position right now and all of that. The Knicks are actually in a pretty awful position, trying to build around a 31-year old scoring wing coming off knee surgery and with no 2016 draft pick because they executed a mind-numbingly awful trade for a terrible Andrea Bargnani, a trade that ruru tried until he was blue in the face to convince us was a splendid idea.

      The vast majority of athletes decline in their thirties. Melo, at his peak, was a .180 WS48 player. We’ll be very lucky if he plays at that level again. The odds are that he won’t.

    124. If Monroe signs a 4 year max his trade value for the last two years of that deal will net the Knicks multiple first rounders if they decide to trade him. You sign that guy immediately if he wants the whole 4 years.

      Indeed, but since he’s only 25yo, a 2yr deal/player option for 3rd seems more likely. I believe we would only have early bird rights (1.75 times current salary) in a couple of years and, if he’s playing really well, he’d want more so we would not be able to go over the cap to sign him (Brian?). However, there may be a new CBA which might mitigate that issue. Also perhaps an amnesty would be included which would mitigate the risk of Melo falling off a cliff.

    125. Who had the anomalous /career years in 12/13?

      Steve Novak has always been a GREAT shooter. The difference was he could stay on the floor that season because of Melo and Chandler. You can go down the list with almost that entire roster. No one had a career year in terms of efficiency, in fact, quite the opposite (Camby, Wallace, Brewer), but they were able to play significant minutes because their roles became very focused.

    126. You’re misrepresenting my views on the Bargnani trade. They were somewhat nuanced, and I was not condoning the deal on its face, and was strongly against the assets given up.

      I did, however, argue that Bargnani had ability and value in areas which could be leveraged, and could provide a positive impact IF he was able to shoot the 3-pt shot at previous levels.

      His post defense was strong, and surprised most us, but his lack of awareness and instincts were worse than originally speculated/understood and basically eliminate the chance of him being a net positive.

      There was also reason to believe that he was in a poor environment and could rejuvenate aspects of his game in NY, which did not come true. Most reclamation projects don’t work, some do. I was simply making the arguments as to why one could believe he’d turn into something decent.

      I’ve been wrong a number of times, but I’ve been the lone voice on a number of predictions that came true, including the 12/13 season.

    127. A $90m cap puts max salaries at $22.5 / $27 / $31.5

      Melo will make $24.6m in 16/17. Not as bad as it would look with normal cap growth, but still not exciting.

      The current projection is for $89 million ’16-17, then $108 million ’17-18.

      In ’17-18 the max salaries at $27/$32/$38
      Melo will get $26 million.

    128. @EB, once we’re talking about 34+ year old Melo, the idea that he’s going to be a value is over. Again, it mitigates the lost value, but you also have to remember that Melo is not the only guy under a contract signed before the cap jump. There will be (and already are) a lot of guys who were signed before this CBA, most of whom are not on the wrong side of 30.

      @Ruru

      You just threw out 4 MVP winners and Paul Pierce as the best comparisons for Melo. Do you really think that’s reasonable? Further, Kobe is not a great example for hope. He was significantly better at 30 than he was at 33.

      Robinson’s last true season was at age 32. He played 9 games in his final age 33 year (and missed 40 games the year before that). We’re looking at 16/17 as the year Porzingis breaks out and we have cap space to add the missing piece, i.e. Melo’s age 32/33 year… I’d call that a pretty negative comp.

      Lewis, Granger and Stojakovic were all combo forward types (at least as the game is played today) who were excellent perimeter scorers and effective post scorers, just like Melo. All were more strong than athletic in comparison to other players at their position/tier. Those are the reasons people give for why Melo’s career will last until the year 2050, so in my mind, their worthwhile comparisons, much more worthwhile than a handpicked selection of the recent stars who have had the longest careers.

    129. His post defense was strong, and surprised most us, but his lack of awareness and instincts were worse than originally speculated/understood and basically eliminate the chance of him being a net positive.

      Bargs was exactly what he’d always been-a really shitty basketball player. There wasn’t anything remotely surprising about him sucking

    130. Say what you want about James Dolan, but he fired Glen Grunwald three months after he traded for Bargs and gave JR a three year deal. I appreciate that now more than I used to.

    131. 12-13 is a great example of the unquantifiable chemistry aspect of basketball that stat heads can’t comprehend

      Otherwise known as Jason Kidd, who “stat heads” have quantified for a long time. Unsurprisingly, when the minutes load became too much for the old man and he broke down, the team’s performance suffered significantly as well. He was one hell of a player. If he had been able to shoot, he’d be in the conversation for Top Ten of all time. And I say all that while not even liking the guy.

      Anyway, I suggested a few months ago we should target Ajinca. So there’s one place I agree w/Ruru. But w/Porzingis now on board, I actually think Monroe is a better choice. Ajinca is likely to be great value, but not sure he now makes sense w/our likely makeup.

      If we get Monroe and Carroll/DGreen, that is a solid FA season. And most of a good team, with the chance to add one more major piece in FA next year, and the hope that the Zinger becomes a major piece himself.

      As for the bench, v happy with Jerian Grant and Galloway. If we bring back Cole and Shved on minimum deals, that would be excellent. I was a Shved booster before he got here. He lived up to my expectations, and I think he has a lot of room to grow. Also, I would like to see someone throw a hook shot into the crowd at least once a week, and without both Cole and Shved I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

      Amundson and LThomas, whatever. Vet minimum, maybe, I guess. They are OK end of bench filler. Jason Smith, please no.

      And of course, Bargs and THjr, good riddance forever.

    132. Berman:

      Monroe is represented by agent David Falk, who is close to Jackson, has Knicks season tickets and is inclined to funnel him to New York.

    133. Golden State just won the finals playing small with no rim protection to speak of. Rim protection is great for when your other defenders are bad (ie. cleaning up other people’s messes) but if you have mostly good defenders elsewhere maybe it’s just not the end all and be all.

      Yes, they won 3 games in the finals without much rim protection. But they still blocked 30 shots in the series. And during the regular season they had the 2nd highest number of blocks in the league. Bogut was in the top 10 in block%. Ezili, his back up, averaged 3 blks per 36. And Green blocked 1.5 too.

      GS’s rim protection helped get them to the #1 seed and carried them to the finals. It’s not just a matter of mopping up bad perimeter defense. Good perimeter defense forces bad shots or funnels penetration toward shot blockers. It’s all part of what is called Good Team Defense. They are not independent variables. You don’t need both, but it’s a mistake to downplay either, or to try to abstract one from the other.

    134. therwise known as Jason Kidd, who “stat heads” have quantified for a long time. Unsurprisingly, when the minutes load became too much for the old man and he broke down, the team’s performance suffered significantly as well.

      Right but Kidd was not putting up crazy stats. He was just the catalyst for the offensive chemistry. He broke down and wasnt able to play as well.

    135. From everything I’ve read Grunwald had nothing to do with the Bargs trade and his resistance to it was part of the reason why he was fired.

    136. @EB, once we’re talking about 34+ year old Melo, the idea that he’s going to be a value is over. Again, it mitigates the lost value, but you also have to remember that Melo is not the only guy under a contract signed before the cap jump. There will be (and already are) a lot of guys who were signed before this CBA, most of whom are not on the wrong side of 30.

      @Max F-C, It’s an empirical question as to his value and attempting to answer it before it happens is silly. Different players age differently. He could be the same player he was this year, or due to random noise he could be better.

      Second, I didn’t claim that Melo will be an amazing value. I simply find it odd that you would cut off the cap’s rise halfway through, it’s arbitrary and disingenuous. The person you quoted said that the max salaries will hit $40 million, and it’s more or less projected to.

    137. i’m wondering why no one likes bringing aldrich back… he wasn’t at all terrible last season and is going to come way cheaper than any other C on the market…

      lol you must be new here because this is Aldrich Fan Club Central. 98% of the posters here are huge Aldrich fanboys. Yeah we should bring him back on the vet’s minimum again. My guess is he’ll want to stay, has already been here for 2 or 3 seasons, and it’s not like any other team will let him shoot 10 times/game.

    138. I suspect that Aldrich, Smith and Shved will all be back depending on whether they’re willing to accept the vet minimum. I would imagine that that would be the market for all three, but perhaps Shved can do a bit better.

    139. It’s s good thing Phil doesn’t have a great reputation as a GM. Otherwise other teams would probably pay more attention to our free agents the way people assume that people the Spurs target are definitely worth looking at and those three might get more attention.

    140. Who should we be targeting for our 2.8m room exception? Maybe a 1 year deal to ensure we have enough cap next summer to make a play for Conley? I really like CJ Watson who made 2m last year and has posted .130 WS/48 the last two seasons. Nice fit as career 38% 3FG% and plus defender. Give him a 2 year deal and if he works out we would then have early bird rights to sign him over the cap. He could transition to reserve guard as Jerian gains experience. However, Calderon/Grant/Watson/Shved would be a logjam at that position and Phil appears set on starting Calderon. Who else is out there worth considering?

    141. Look, I like ruru, and he seems like a nice and intelligent guy and I’m glad he’s back but he’s incredibly myopic about Carmelo Anthony. I just have to roll my eyes when I hear these wildly optimistic predictions about the future, and how the Knicks are really in a great position right now and all of that. The Knicks are actually in a pretty awful position, trying to build around a 31-year old scoring wing coming off knee surgery and with no 2016 draft pick because they executed a mind-numbingly awful trade for a terrible Andrea Bargnani, a trade that ruru tried until he was blue in the face to convince us was a splendid idea.

      I’m tired of this narrative. The 2016 pick is gone. The Melo contract will be mitigated when the cap goes up. We will have other good players who will score. Melo will be part of the team, less big as time goes by, and he’ll play well. As to FA’s, It’s likely that whatever will happen already has. West was the only part that was leaked (maybe). Phil is going to remake the franchise now.

    142. So who’s actually under contract at this point, assuming the two first rounders and Thanassis all sign?

      Melo
      Early
      Calderon
      Galloway
      Zinger/P-Ziddy/Dr. Doom
      Grant
      Thanassis

      I think Ricky Ledo has an unguaranteed contract, which would technically still have him in the fold.

      That’s 8, and if Louis Labeyrie shows enough in summer league to sign here, that’s 9. If we devote most of our cap space to two upper-tier free agents (say, Monroe and Danny Green), that could be as many as 11 guys under contract, and everything else would have to be done on the cheap. Depth chart would look something like:

      PG: Calderon/Grant/Ledo?
      SG: Green/Galloway/Thanassis
      SF: Melo/Early
      PF: ???
      C: Monroe/Labeyrie?

      Obviously, there’s a gaping hole at one forward position or the other in that scenario. It’s one thing to re-sign Jah to teach the system to the newbies and play 10 minutes a night, but I could see a scenario where he or Lou Amundson or someone of that ilk is our starting 4.

      Given this, which of our scrubs from last year would you most want to see come back?

    143. I look at this more from the perspective where do we want to be after the summer of 2016? What is our target 9 man rotation? If I were GM, here’s a scenario to make us a top contender which doesn’t rely on anything that extraordinary to happen:

      1: CJ Watson/Grant
      2: DGreen or Carroll/Galloway
      3: Melo/9m or so player
      4/5: Monroe/Zinger/9m or so player

      We have to hope that Monroe and Zinger could be around .200 WS/48 players. It would be interesting to calculate Monroe’s WS/48 if you presume .580TS%, 25% usage, 23% rebounding rate and a few other variables. I think he’d be in the ballpark. And Dirk made the leap at 21 so a similar Zinger jump is not out of the question. Melo could end up being our 3rd best player or just one of the Big 3.

    144. This is extremely important…

      I would like to officially nickname KP “Porgy” and then acquire Brandon Bass so that we could occasionally run out a front court of Porgy and Bass.

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