Knicks Morning News (2015.07.05)

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: The Nets Focus on Themselves, Not the Knicks (Sun, 05 Jul 2015 05:36:55 GMT)

    Instead of worrying about the Knicks, the Nets quietly went about doing as much as they could with what they had in the N.B.A. draft.

  • [New York Times] LaMarcus Aldridge Says He Will Sign With San Antonio (Sun, 05 Jul 2015 03:57:46 GMT)

    Aldridge, considered to be among the top free agents available in the N.B.A. this off-season, announced on his Twitter account he would join the Spurs after nine seasons with the Trail Blazers.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: N.B.A. Testing New Technology (Sun, 05 Jul 2015 03:48:45 GMT)

    Referees in the N.B.A. summer leagues will be wearing headsets, and replay reviews will be used during games.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks sign forward Kyle O’Quinn to 4-year, $16 million deal (Sun, 05 Jul 2015 05:46:00 GMT)

    The Knicks nabbed a local product with the rest of their cap space.

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Knicks’ future depends on Carmelo Anthony (Sun, 05 Jul 2015 04:32:59 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony’s importance to the Knicks has never been greater.

  • [New York Daily News] Lupica: Knicks lack any lure for free agents (Sun, 05 Jul 2015 03:52:26 GMT)

    Monroe isn’t the best or richest free agent this summer, but he may have been the one who spoke the loudest about the modern NBA.

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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).

    126 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.07.05)”

    1. Nice job grabbing O’Quinn for 3 years at a low price. I hate saying this because I think it’s about the least important thing in the world when it comes to team development, but he’s a natural fit for the triangle. Pretty good passer, wide body and good feet for the high post. He tried to stretch his shot out last year and it didn’t really work, but I still think he might turn out to be reasonably potent shooter for a big. He adds toughness on defense but is far from a thug (yet another likable player added) — has to learn to foul a little less. I remember watching him in summer league thinking he reminds me of Oliver Miller after a season on Survivor. There’s not a whole lot of guys in the league that get >1 stl > 2 blk and >2 assists / 36.

    2. Donnie Walsh said:

      And gimme a little credit. I did give Jackson an A for his draft performance! (Comment #98:)

      But, lol, point taken. I am definitely a knick pessimist (hard earned over the past 15 years). I’ve been right a lot betting the under with them this century. (And like I said, I like Lopez, and I like Zinger. I just think the optimists on the board are amusing today, spinning this like Jackson’s at home chomping on a cigar saying “I love it when a plan comes together”. To me, he hit it in the rough, the sand, waded into the lagoon, then two putted to save bogey. Not exactly championship caliber stuff, but not a disaster either. I guess that’s the bar we’ve set for satisfaction:)

      Thanks, well put and very understandable.

      I admittedly tend to be overly optimistic, but also try to keep it somewhat real. For example, I was one of the few “optimists” who thought going into last season that they were not a playoff team. I also hated the Derrick Williams signing.

      My issue with the constant Jackson bashing is that I feel that he actually DOES have a plan and that he’s done at least an A- job of sticking to it.

      His #1 goal was to completely change the culture of the team. He has done that in sweeping fashion. You can hammer him for the Melo deal, which runs contrary to this goal, but it can be argued that it was a prudent business decision that would actually help accomplish the goal in the long run. He clearly didn’t draft or trade solely to accommodate Melo. Every trade out and acquisition in has been consistent with the primary goal, regardless of record, draft position, or most importantly, Dolan’s track record of meddling.

    3. The only real complaint I have about either the draft or free agency is the Derrick Williams signing. It’s beyond puzzling how anyone could offer him that kind of money but also those terms. If, by some miracle, Williams turns out to be better than any of us expect, then my hat’s off to Phil Jackson but I can’t find justification now.
      When you take luck of the draw out of the picture, the draft was an “A”. And it’s clear now that the plan was to build a solid core of supporting role players around Melo in free agency. I think he’s done that too but the Williams signing drags the grade down to a “C”.

    4. @2 con’d…

      The second part of the plan was not to make the “big mistake.” If you think that signing Melo was the big mistake, I can’t fault you for feeling that way. I think it was a calculated business decision that considered Melo’s value in the present and in the future, as well as market forces. I don’t think that move can be judged until 2-3 years from now. I will concede that the jury is out, but there id just as much likelihood that it will turn out positively as negatively in terms of Jax’s long term plan. One thing is clear: there was no opportunity cost this year; the big FAs weren’t coming, Melo or no Melo.

      He clearly didn’t make a second “big mistake” with cap room. We went after Jordan, Monroe and LMA. He wisely told LMA that he would be a C, and LMA cxled the meeting, good for both parties. He didn’t get any love from Monroe or Carroll, who both went to better situations. But he reeled in a great consolation prize in Lopez for reasonable $, and Afflalo is probably a bargain at $8 million for 2 years. Williams and O’Quinn are roll-the-dice young bigs with upside. I hate the DW deal and love the O’Q deal, but whatever. At least he didn’t throw big bucks at Monta Ellis, or gut the franchise for DeMarcus Cousins. Or trade for Roy Hibbert, like the mighty Lakers just did. Or totally strike out in both the draft and FA like the Celts.

      Maybe your golf analogy is a good one. He definitely made some rookie mistakes, but all of them were of little consequence or can’t be judged yet (Melo). At the end of the day, he went about things very differently than his predecessors, including Donnie Walsh himself, who dumped first round picks to free up space even before signing Amare or Melo. Walsh, for all his greatness, didn’t have the balls to threaten to publicly resign rather than make the Melo deal. I don’t think there’s any way Jackson gets bullied into a bad deal by Dolan, which is the entire point. This is now Jax’s team alone.

    5. On a team with still a lot of unknowns, I have a feeling Williams will surprise us. He’s still early enough in his career that there could be improvement.
      Porzingis also hits me as very important and will contribute sooner.
      I really like Grant.
      I love the Lopez move. I don’t know if Monroe and Melo would have worked well together.

      My problem with this team is Melo. He is a genuine scoring star, but a player who should not be the center of a team’s focus. His way of playing has not led to much success. He’s not a system guy.
      I also am sick of this idea that the Knicks constantly place people out of their natural position. Amare was a PF, not a C. Melo was a 3, not a 4.

      This year, it looks like Phil is building a team where people will finally be able to play their proper positions. The fact that the Knicks are loading up on PFs leads me to believe that Phil and Fisher intend to play Melo at the 3. That move alone will ensure Melo likely will be healthy throughout his contract. I don’t see him lasting playing at the 4.

    6. Some posts in the past few days have put together Knicks line-ups by position. They all seem to have Porzingis listed as the backup power forward. This may not be accurate. I think he’s likely to play small forward, at least on offense. I know that he’s huge, but his game and skill set are much more like that of a small forward. He’s a scorer who can shoot outside shots and not a banger who is likely to post up someone. I realize that if we have a lineup of Lopez, Melo and Porzingis on the floor, that people will say that Melo is the three and Porzingis the four; but, in practice, Melo’s likely the one posting up and kicking out to Porzingis if need be. If Porzingis gets good, this will be a very difficult lineup to defend. If you put your big forward on Porzingis, he has to cover far out from the basket and that leaves the small forward guarding Anthony. If you put your big forward on Anthony; Anthony is very quick, so that’s a difficult choice; and it leaves a small forward on Porzingis.

    7. I would imagine that the whole point of drafting Porzingis is to get him to become a post player, as that’s the area of his game where, if he unlocks it, he’ll be a star. So I think he will be a back-up 4 to start the season.

      I imagine the starting lineup will be something like Calderon, Afflalo, Williams, Melo and Lopez, with Melo and Williams practically interchangeable between the 3 and 4.

      Galloway backs up both guard spots, Grant backs up the point, a not-yet-signed player will back up the 3, Porzingis initially backs up the 4 and O’Quinn backs up the 5.

    8. Berman at the Post claims we are going to bring back Lance Thomas and Amundson at the minimum and are hoping to bring back Jah and Shved depending on what other offers they’ve gotten. That would leave one roster spot open, or none if they sign Thanassis after summer league.

      I don’t hate bringing back a few guys who had time in the system last year, but was hoping for better bench offense than Jah and Shved.

    9. I think Thomas and Amundson definitely earned chances to make the minimum on the Knicks’ bench. I think a lot of what they’re planning to do will involve what happens with the room exception. If it is a shooting guard, then it is less likely to see Shved return. If it is a wing, more likely to see Shved return. I think it’ll be a wing, so that Shved might return for whatever cap room they have left over (which is probably less than the room but more than the vet minimum, and I have no idea what kind of offers Shved is looking at out there – seems hard to believe it’ll be a lot).

    10. After reading back on Willians a bit, I’m a little more optimistic. Prognosticators were in love with him: great athelete, a variety of refined moves near the basket, great elevation, good shooting form from deep… The negatives were disinterest on defense, and the fact that he thought he was an sf at the next level.
      If he can hit the weights, work on his threes, and basically emulate Paul Millsap, he could really work out nicely.
      I think the biggish contract maybe has to do with his rookie contract being pretty high (he was the #2 pick after all.) Pride probably wouldn’t let him take less than his rookie contract, and it’s also just bad policy to admit that you’re on the downswing with a smaller contract.
      I think it’s a fair enough gamble, especially since we’re seeing the league move to smaller, sharpshooting 4s.

    11. I don’t mind if Porzingiz learns to post up. That would be great. But I suspect he’s going to be a very good scorer. So if you want scoring on the floor, then you may want him, Anthony and Lopez on the floor at the same. Maybe it doesn’t matter who you call the three and who you call the four in that case. After all, we run the “triple post” offense, and that would be three posts, for sure.

    12. Frank O, the league is heading more and more towards “positionless” basketball, where the lines between 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 get blurred, sort of Venn diagram-like. What’s most important is the ability to defend in P&R, in ISO in a mismatch, and in transition. I think our team defense has improved with the new acquisitions. We are younger, longer, and smarter than last year.

      As to Melo: on offense, the triangle is less position-specific. My guess is that Melo will play all 5 positions, depending on the defense and who else is on the floor. On defense, he’ll match up according to the personnel on the floor, but with so much P&R, he will have to guard in the post as well as on the perimeter. I don’t think you “protect” him by playing big and keeping him at the 3. Chasing wings over screens set by bigs isn’t protecting him. He’s a nightmare matchup for most 4’s, especially when teams go big. The guys who defend him best are long, tough wings like Deng and Battier.

    13. Is Chandler Parsons, like, the coolest guy in the world or something? All these guys keep citing Parsons as the reason they want to play for the Mavs, including guys who have never played on the same team as him like Jordan and Matthews. I don’t get it.

    14. Who’s a remaining wing who can score and would take the room exception? Unless Grant or Early blossom more than expected, and more quickly, we will desperately need someone who can create a shot whenever Melo sits.

      Obviously, JR Smith 2: Now With More Pipe ain’t happening.

    15. Is the room exception there all year? If yes, why not save it for a rainy day? Give Cle a chance!

    16. Walsh, for all his greatness, didn’t have the balls to threaten to publicly resign rather than make the Melo deal. I don’t think there’s any way Jackson gets bullied into a bad deal by Dolan, which is the entire point. This is now Jax’s team alone.

      +1000

      One thing I’ve always thought is that it was partially Walsh’s job to get Dolan to buy into what he wanted to do. Part of his job was to manage Dolan. Phil obviously has Dolan’s buy-in — the entire roster has changed over other than Melo himself, and we just spent this offseason building a team rather than a fantasy roster.

      I love the Lopez move, meh ok on Afflalo, who I think will probably be better than he was last year. Love Kyle O’Quinn – just the type of low risk low cost bet that pays dividends down the line — even if he’s just an average backup 4/5 and never improves, he’s still a huge bargain at $4MM. Derrick Williams – not a huge fan of that move but at the end of the day it’ll barely be 5-6% of the cap next year even if he opts in. It’s essentially a mini-MLE considering the cap rise, and won’t hamstring us much if at all.

      I’m for bringing 3 of Jason Smith, Amundsen, Thomas, and Shved back, if only because they seem like great team guys, won’t complain about minutes, and already know the system. Shved maybe still has some upside if he decides to finally hit the weight room. Would love to see Thanasis get a try too.

    17. Back to Jackson’s effectiveness and legacy as GM, so much of it hinges on Porzingis. If he is not at least a fringe all-star caliber player by year 3, and some other guys taken after him (specifically Winslow, WCS and Mudiay) are, he’s gonna take a major hit.

      But I have faith in the Zinger. The picture of him on the podium with all the other so-called 7-footers is telling. He’s a good 4 inches taller than KAT and Okafor, and 2-3 inches taller than WCS. He’s a sky hook way from being a monster in the post. I think Phil should get him in the gym with Kareem.

    18. Is Chandler Parsons, like, the coolest guy in the world or something? All these guys keep citing Parsons as the reason they want to play for the Mavs, including guys who have never played on the same team as him like Jordan and Matthews. I don’t get it.

      Maybe he runs a gangster mob. How did he got a max contract?

    19. I think the biggish contract maybe has to do with his rookie contract being pretty high (he was the #2 pick after all.) Pride probably wouldn’t let him take less than his rookie contract, and it’s also just bad policy to admit that you’re on the downswing with a smaller contract.

      Well, if you’re Williams, this all makes plenty of sense. Of course you take more money if you can get it; the problem though, is that I don’t really give a damn about Williams pride. From the organizations perspective, this is a bad signing. If Derrick Williams wouldn’t sign for less because of his pride, well then you don’t sign Derrick Williams.

      Good for Williams, bad for the Knicks. Jackson has done a decent job changing the overall culture of the team so far, but this move was a step back as far as I’m concerned.

    20. Z-man
      I see some of what you say, but I still believe teams are generally shaped by these traditional positions, and they are helpful in terms of communicating. Golden State had some pretty clearly defined roles. San Antonio did.
      I recognize these constructs are changing, but more as an adaptation to personnel. The NBA’s star focus also drives some of this. These are marketing tools after all. If you have a star, so called, a marketing plan would demand that star have the ball in his hand as much as possible. Unfortunately, the Knicks have been modeled by a marketing team.

      Melo’s role with this team has put him up against larger-bodied, traditionally PF types. Those big bodies have taken a toll. He was a remarkably durable player playing SF. As a PF, he’s been pretty banged up. Still out there, but significantly degraded when hurt.
      It’s good to see we are putting larger more athletic bodies out there so that Melo isn’t banging on 6’10, 6’11 guys. You could see a big three of Lopez, Porzingis and Melo being pretty good. I also think Williams still has potential to change and will be a solid contributor.
      Of course, I argued that the Knicks should have moved him because I don’t see him ever leading a team to a championship.

      Of course, my current optimism about the Knicks is just me being hopeful. We have to see how players develop and then how Fisher blends them and gets them to gel. There have been plenty of talented teams that didn’t play well together, and weaker talent teams that were greater than the sum of their parts.

      But for the first time since the pre-Melo trade, when we had a bunch of young, interesting guys, I’m kind of excited to see new players develop and develop chemistry. I’ve been longing for some time for the Knicks to develop a team with a nucleus of young talent. For the first time in a couple years, I expect to watch more consistently.

    21. Z-man,

      I completely agree with this.
      “What’s most important is the ability to defend in P&R, in ISO in a mismatch, and in transition. I think our team defense has improved with the new acquisitions. We are younger, longer, and smarter than last year.”

    22. Good for Williams, bad for the Knicks. Jackson has done a decent job changing the overall culture of the team so far, but this move was a step back as far as I’m concerned.

      Maybe. It should be noted that Fisher shares an agent with him. I’m sure that agent was in Fisher’s ear starting last year.

      Were there less risky guys out there? Sure. Is 10 over 2 years a lot for a guy that couldn’t get a foothold in Minny? Yes. But are their many 24 year olds out there with that much untapped potential who are still available? Not really. It was a calculated risk, like Anthony Randolph or Eddy Curry were, but IMO with better calculating, lol.

      We’ll see.

    23. As I said in an earlier post, if you’re going to give Jackson a C or worse for free agency (and I do think grading free agency is kinda dumb) there are a bunch of other franchises who get F’s. Even Dallas, where Cuban is getting the usual fawning treatment by the sports media for grabbing Jordan, may not even make the playoffs if they don’t upgrade their bench.

      Jax did the best job he could, some free agents chose other options. As Z-man said earlier, he’s slowly changing the culture, not looking for quick fixes like Monta Ellis or Rondo. Put me in the cautiously optimistic camp, with Zinger’s development pretty much determining our future, and I’m ok with that.

    24. But I will say the Williams move does reek of the kind of hubris that we often see with organizations.

      “Oh he just hasn’t played in a REAL system with REAL coaches yet. WE can turn him around.”

      One of the more common mistakes in the NBA lol.

    25. Man… just can’t wrap my brain around that Hibbert trade by LA.

      Isn’t it the team that’s trying to dump salary who’s supposed to sweeten the pot? Yet it was the Lakers who sent a second round pick to the Pacers for the rights to take on Hibbert and his $17 million contract.

      Worse yet, the Lakers stand to lose their 2016 first rounder to Philly if it’s not in the top 3. Hibbert is certainly no great shakes but he just may be good enough to win the additional game or two that could send a sure-fire lottery pick Eastward.

      Worst move made by any team in this offseason to date.

    26. Well, the Lakers with a healthy-ish Kobe, Randle, and Russell were not sure-fire in the bottom 3 anyway, so the Hibbert gamble makes some sense. Indiana should be interesting w/o West and Hibbert and with Monta.

    27. Anyone watch summer league games? I hear Hezonja looked like a stud, and Kaminsky looked great. Turner also. Winslow, not so much yet.

    28. Wow nice move getting O’Quinn. He’s basically a homeless man’s Towns with his skill set at this point, with plenty of upside.

      Regardless of how he got there, I think Phil has put together a 40+ win team. Set at center, pg, sg, and whichever position melo plays, with Zinger/Willams at the other forward spot. That’s 4 actual NBA players that will be on the floor at all times, with hopes that Zinger or Williams will make it 5. I give Phil a solid B for the off season. Graded on a curve, considering what he has to work with, make that a B+.

    29. One thing is clear: there was no opportunity cost this year; the big FAs weren’t coming, Melo or no Melo.

      You can’t know this.

    30. “But for the first time since the pre-Melo trade, when we had a bunch of young, interesting guys, I’m kind of excited to see new players develop and develop chemistry. I’ve been longing for some time for the Knicks to develop a team with a nucleus of young talent. For the first time in a couple years, I expect to watch more consistently.”

      Yes, yes and yes.

    31. @32 I base this on the fact that every top-tier FA either stayed put or went to a contender. Why would any of this year’s crop have even considered granting a meeting, much less signed with the Knicks if they didn’t even have Melo? I can’t prove it, but it seems like a pretty safe assumption based on what actually happened.

    32. 7. Brian Cronin: “Grant backs up the point”

      Initially, yes, but depending on how long it takes for the ‘NBA ready’ Grant to become NBA ready, I believe the plan is for Grant to play with Calderon while Calderon changes over to more of a Paxson/Armstrong/Kerr/Fisher shooter’s role, where Calderon is proficient, too.

      Porzingis should be able to contribute this season, at least when matched up with a stretch 4. But, what’s up with Porzingis’ hip?

    33. @34 Jordan and Monroe were 2 of the top 3 FAs, and they went to non contenders. Jordan wants to be the man, so NYK were out. And Monroe went to freakin’ Milwaukee.

      Note that this is to counter your statements that melo had no effect on who the Knicks signed, and that the top FAs signed with contenders; I’m not commenting on the merits of signing Jordan and/or Monroe.

    34. I’d rather have Lopez and O’Quinn than Monroe. In fact, I think it’s a no brainer. Nice job, Phil!

    35. @29 Hezonja jumped right off the screen for me. I can’t wait to see Zinger and Grant, and hopefully O’Quinn and maybe Williams (next week?).

      With all of the college basketball I watch, somehow I’ve never seen Turner play, so I’m going to try to catch him. All I know is that the numbers he puts up are amazing, and that supposedly he has a “bad gait”.

    36. @37 What?? Both Milwaukee and Dallas were playoff teams last year. Jordan went to Dallas, a 50 win team in the west. He will not be “the man” there either. Milwaukee has the best young roster in the East. And Monroe was NOT a first-tier UFA like LMA, Gasol or Jordan. He was on the level of Carroll and Matthews, both of whom went to winning teams.

      And as I just posted, I’d rather have Lopez and O’Quinn than Monroe for the same money any day of the week and twice on Sundays. And Melo probably had something to do with Lopez coming here.

    37. I’d rather have Lopez and O’Quinn than Monroe. In fact, I think it’s a no brainer. Nice job, Phil!

      Agreed

    38. @37. 2FOR18

      I grant the Mavs are fading out with the end of Nowitzki’s career, but I disagree the Bucks are a non-contender. They’re a riser with a proven dynamic coach. Besides the Cavs because of Lebron, what other EC team has a clear edge over the Bucks?

      I wonder how much Robin Lopez’s choice of the Knicks was influenced by the chance to be close to Brook.

    39. @40 Goalposts moving furiously! Can’t keep up!
      Contender ≠ Playoff team. Isn’t everybody ripping on Dallas for their current roster? And again, Milwaukee!

    40. With remaining roster spots. I hope the Knicks sign Galloway, Shved, Thanasis and Amundson. Not a big fan of Lance, but if Thanasis sucks in summer league, I’m OK with him. Not a fan of Json Smith at all.

    41. @42. Yes, the Bucks have a better roster, but I don’t see them as a contender at all. They have no rim protection and very little 3 point shooting. But yeah, I’d take their roster over the Knicks’.

      Re: Lopez coming here in large part due to his brother – absolutely.

    42. O’Quinn reminds me of a poor man’s David West in some ways. Between him and Willy Herm the Knicks will have some below the rim bangers in 2016.

    43. I think it likely that Jackson will leave at least one roster spots open through summer league so that he can use summer league as a kind of tryout for some of the summer league roster.

    44. To me, a contender is a team that, given a break or two, can make it to the finals. If Lebron goes down with a knee, who is absolutely better than the Bucks in the east? Toronto? Atlanta? Chicago? Washington? Monroe definitely makes them a better team, and their young athletic core has boatloads of upside.

      I’m not buying that Lopez comes here solely for his brother. A healthy Melo makes any team with decent pieces a playoff possibility. Last year, neither was true, i.e. Melo was not healthy, and no decent pieces around him. I’m pretty confident in saying that Phil discussed the positives of playing with Melo (compared to Aldridge) and how well they complement each other. Having Melo certainly didn’t hurt, and probably helped. I mean, who did the Celts attract?

    45. I forgot about Ledo. I hope he gets a good look, he showed some things last year. Lance, Jason and Lou have absolutely no upside, so keeping more than one of those three makes no sense to me.

    46. And if the three, Smith probably has the most value with this roster, in that he can knock down outside shots. Lou and Lance overlap a lot with the other blue collar types we’ve picked up.

      Though of the three, he’s also the one Fish is most likely to give too many minutes.

    47. As bad as I feel about the Williams signing, the O’Quinn sign-and-trade excites me. What I love about O’Quinn are all the things that Williams does not do.

      After watching some of the O’Quinn videos, all I see is a player that does these things that Williams could but doesn’t:
      -protects the rim.
      -passes the ball like a point guard
      -runs the floor
      -boxes out
      -moves without the ball

      I hope that Williams proves Jackson right, but every other player seems to fit into the plan.
      Some of the videos I’ve watched:
      Kyle O’Quinn aka Young Merlin O’quinn , the Assist Wizard & Block Party Host
      Kyle O’Quinn’ Plays – Welcome to Knicks
      Kyle O’Quinn Reacts to Being Drafted

      How do you not like this kid?

    48. If your definition of contender is, if Lebron goes down, one of the 10 mediocre EC teams might make the Finals, then yes, Mil is a contender.
      Now compare the Bucks’ roster with the Knicks.
      – Everyone agrees they would take Lopez/O’quinn over Monroe, so edge to Knicks at C
      – melo is better than any forward they have, so edge Knicks
      – Jabarai Parker vs Zinger/Williams = who knows?
      – Calderon/Grant vs MCW/Vazquez – ?
      – Greek Freak vs Afflalo – edge Bucks

      Are the Bucks really that much better?

    49. Re Stanley Johnson, to be fair, he plays big for his size. Very tough down low. NBA ready body for sure.

    50. Let’s wait until we start the season with a five game winning streak before we start talking playoffs and stuff. Lets talk about being 500 to begin with.

    51. I’m just anxious to see how this team comes together and how Fish coaches them. Hopefully a few of our unknowns or players we don’t expect much out of will surprise us. I don’t think Phil made any big mistakes. Perplexing moves and a swing and a miss, sure- but no big mistakes. And…it’s sad that “no big mistakes” is almost like a victory. But considering the past decade or so of overall front office misery, this offseason has been a breath of fresh air. Love em or leave em, it’s on the players now. I still hope Cole, Amundson, and Shved still have spots. If that happens, I’ll have no complaints- until the team starts piling up losses. That said, the most disappointing thing about this offseason is we can’t pile up losses this upcoming season. It will make Phil`s moves seem alot worse if our pick (that we don’t own) is another lottery pick. Granted, next year’s draft isn’t supposed to have the talent this year’s did- but still- we can’t give up another lottery pick

    52. Watching summer league right now. Stanley Johnson in one word: UNDERSIZED

      I guess we’re never going to agree on anything. He looks great to me. (Oh OK, I just saw your other post!)
      Kaminsky on at 3. Also Andrew Harrison, who I really like.

    53. we’re still not a .500 team… lots hinges on porzingis, grant and galloway if they can deliver 4-5 win seasons.. if they do.. we can punch our playoff tickets.. but right now we’re still about a 36 win team..

    54. Re: Bucks vs. Knicks, very few people would argue that at the time (before Monroe signed) that the Knicks roster and upside was anywhere near as good as the Bucks. You can’t use Lopez or O’Quinn in the comparison, since signing Monroe pretty much kills those deals. And in a way, you are actually making my point: with Melo, it was a tough call between the Bucks and Knicks. Without Melo, the Bucks are a no-brainer choice.

      Now that all the deals have gone down, there’s a very outside chance that we are actually more promising than the Bucks. That would require Melo to stay healthy, and all of our acquisitions playing at a high level relative to their upside.

      Funny, though, it was the preseason games vs. the Bucks that convinced me that we were nowhere near a playoff team. They were just so much more athletic than us that I couldn’t see us ever competing with them and other young athletic teams (Toronto, Washington) for 4 quarters. Then I went to an early season game vs. Orlando where guys like Vucevic and Fournier just killed us. We were both dumb and slow. That is no longer true. So your post-FA comparison is pretty valid. The Bucks could regress and we could outperform expectations. But on paper, they are the better team.

    55. And it might be the case that Monroe will regret signing with the Bucks. We’ll see!

    56. My worthless grades on the signings, looking at them all as pieces in a puzzle rather than just in isolation:

      Lopez = B+. Solid defender and screen setter. Good rebounder (better than advertised b/c of the team he was on). Not much of an offensive game, but can hit his free throws. Great guy.
      Afflalo = B. Solid veteran, hold the fort guy. Affordable 1+1 deal keep $ and trade flexibility. Good guy.
      Williams = B. The riskiest pickup b/c he seems to be busting. However, just a 1+1 deal, 24 years old and still has some upside. At worst, he stinks, opts in for year two, and costs $5m on a cap of $90 or so.
      O’Quinn = A. LOVE this guy. Defends, rebounds, passes, decent mid-range game. Great guy. Just forget the three pointers and he’s a solid 4 who can also play some small ball 5.

      B+. With the draft, this looks to be the most fun, rootable team since the pre-Melo/Amare playing like MVP/Gallinari upside Knicks. Phil said he’s looking to change the culture, and 3/4 are guys that can do that and play well, too. The 4th is the big swing for a homerun that might end up a swing and miss. All guys under 30 (though Afflalo turns 30 soon). If need be, any the 3 cheaper contracts can all be easily used in trades.

      BTW, I recall reading some time ago that Shved was going to play in Europe this year. I hope the Amundson rumors are true.

    57. The Bucks are a top 5 defense, or at least they were last year. The Knicks ain’t gonna be no top 5 defense any time real soon.

    58. Monroe is joining Henson and Pachulia, and they’re exceptionally long and athletic all over the floor.

    59. Clash,
      Funny, I was thinking the same thing, this is a very similar (I think better!) group to the Amare pre-Melo group.

      Melo vs. Amare
      Zinger vs. Gallo
      Lopez vs. Mozgov
      Afflalo vs. Fields
      Calderon vs. Felton
      J Grant vs. TDDWTDD
      D-Will vs. W Chandler
      O’Quinn vs. Turiaf
      Cle vs. Extra E
      Galloway vs. Rog Mason

      That was a very fun team to root for, and I think this team has more upside and is more exciting.

    60. Z-man. The big key now is Melo. Amare played that season like an MVP, and seemed to help elevate the young players around him. Time for Melo to do that, too, if he can. If can stay healthy and start becoming a true mentor, the team could be better than expected.

      I think Lopez, Afflalo and O’Quinn are such solid guys that they should help make the Knicks respectable again after last year’s debacle. The key, however, to possibly becoming a serious playoff contender in the next 2 years lies with the development (or lack of) of Porzingis, Grant, and (to a lesser extent) Williams.

    61. Looking at those roster comparisons:
      -Amare and Melo are a wash
      -Gallo was more developed than Zinger, but still not all the way back from injury. Zinger could be better than Gallo was then in short order.
      -Lopez is far better now than Mozgov was then. They are comparable now.
      -Afflalo will probably be better than Fields, but Fields was out of his mind during that stretch, we were comparing him to John Havlicek! Later that season, once the novelty wore off and the 3’s stopped falling, he was exposed. Call it a wash.
      -Felton was good early on, and Calderon has sucked. As much as it pains me, gotta give the edge to Felton.
      -Grant HAS to be better than Toney, no?
      -Chandler is much better than D-Will
      -O’Quinn has way more upside than Turiaf, but similar players in this comparison?
      -Unless Cle develops, gotta give the edge to Extra E, who shocked us during that stretch and then petered out. But similarly low expectations going into the season
      -Gotta give the edge to Langston over Mason, right?

      We are down a first round pick next year, but have unknowns in Layberie and Hernangomez, and maybe roster spots for Shved, Ledo and $2.8 million chip left. So is it fair to say that we are pretty much back to that time, but even in better position?

    62. But I will say the Williams move does reek of the kind of hubris that we often see with organizations.

      I don’t love the Derrick Williams deal either, but it’s a two year deal … if you’re going to gamble on young guys working better in your system, at least don’t lock in for too long!

      The O’Quinn deal is more what I wanted to see as far as taking a risk on young talent — identifying a guy who has been marginalized or overlooked for no real fault of his own and picking him up on a cost-effective deal. I’m more optimistic that he’ll be a useful player for us than D Williams, whose track record is pretty lousy at this point.

    63. @78 Z-man, we have a de facto #1 pick coming next year in Hernangomez. If you haven’t, read up on him. Unless he gets seriously hurt this next year, he’ll be a nice addition next year. Labeyrie is an extreme longshot, but hopefully he’ll look good in summer league.

      I agree that the teams are roughly equivalent, but that earlier team had a winning record, IIRC, at the time of the big trade. Very tough to see the current team with a winning record this year. That’d be a +25 game improvement, I think. So many new players and a tough system to learn. We’ll see.

      @73 Tastycakes, I may be too bullish on O’Quinn, but I don’t see him as a risk. He’s solid. Maybe he can be more; we’ll see. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start out starting at the 4. Williams is the risk, but I think a fair one given that Phil got 3 very solid guys in free agency. I see Williams starting out off the bench with Porzingis, Grant, Galloway et al, but all of them getting good minutes to see if they develop.

    64. The more Zinger footage I watch, the more worried I am about that pick. Defense is going to be a major struggle for him based on his instincts let alone his strength limitations. I can’t help but feel he will end up being a very tall Ryan Anderson or worse..Steve Novak.

    65. I really don’t think you can compare this year’s team to last year’s. Melo got hurt in the first few games, and besides him, the roster absolutely sucked from top to bottom and underachieved under a rookie coach and a new system. Not saying we will have a winning record at the halfway point, but we will certainly be much improved.

    66. A shotblocking Ryan Anderson would actually be a pretty good player. Plus Zinger projects to be a more athletic finisher at the rim than Anderson.

      Anderson is a .380 career 3PT shooter, and has had two seasons north of a .200 WS48. Ryan Anderson has had some really productive seasons, and actually has a higher career WS48 than Carmelo Anthony.

    67. This is a great interview with O’Quinn:

      http://www.basketballinsiders.com/qa-kyle-oquinn-excited-to-join-new-york-knicks/

      Great interview, but proves my point. The difference between PJ’s “B” offseason and an “A” offseason are the player options. There is NO WAY that O’quinn doesn’t agree to the same deal without a player option — this guy was literally praying that a deal with NYK would emerge. In hindsight we could have gotten a team option. These are the small things that make the difference between a savvy executive, an adequate executive, and a patsy.

      That said, all in all, I’m excited for the season and for the first time in a long time we have a team that feels like it will be fun to root for. Quality, smart, hardworking basketball guys, basically the antithesis of what NYK has come to mean over the past two decades.

    68. For years 1-3, a shot-blocking Ryan Anderson would be awesome! Beyond that, hopefully he’ll be more than that.

      As to Anderson’s WS48, that was true for Novak, Fields and Lin for a time. Very misleading.

    69. I’m cool with a Ryan Anderson comp for Porzingis. If he can rebound half as well as Anderson, then he’ll be a really nice PF for us. I don’t necessarily think Porzingis needs to gain weight, he’s fine at 7’2″ 233. But he definitely needs to get stronger like KG did in his career. Remember, KG played at 6’11” 220 much of his career, but he was deceptively strong.

    70. Ha! I just read the Cavs are trying to trade for Joe Johnson!! Tax much? How does he fit in there with LBJ, Love, and Kyrie??? Would he be willing to anchor that 2nd unit? If so, that would be a really nice, shrewd move for Cleveland. Johnson is so much better than JR.

    71. Spurs just renounced qualifying offer to Cory Joseph, per Broussard. Could we get him for the room? Does he fit the roster as it looks now?

    72. That would be nice, but I doubt it. The Spurs are probably the only team that can sign him for cheap. Maybe Houston is attractive enough, but I doubt he’ll come to the Knicks for cheap

    73. One thing that’s in our favor is he can get playing time. As a Spur, he’ll be behind Parker, Mills, Green and Manu in the guard rotation.

    74. Looking at some of the crazy deals handed out so far, it seems the Knicks are getting players on lower annual values in exchange for the player options. I don’t think giving 3 player options means they were beaten on those negotiations. Williams and Afflalo will both be young enough to receive multi-year offers with all the cap space opening up next year. At worst they will be expiring contracts to mix and match in trades next offseason. It’s really not much downside at those dollar figures.

      They’ve been able to split up their cap room for 4 valid additions to a rotation that was in desperate need of players who aren’t replacement level. They can still do a little more but this has been a very productive free agency so far.

    75. Spurs just renounced qualifying offer to Cory Joseph, per Broussard. Could we get him for the room? Does he fit the roster as it looks now?

      Notice Spurs waited until after everyone used their cap to renounce Cory? Very smart on their part! Now imagine if we had not signed Williams or Afflalo and just sat on the cap? We’d be the favorite to sign a 23yo who’s posted over .140 WS/48 his last 2 seasons and .211 WP48 his last season. Contrast that to signing Afflalo who by any and every metric is a below average player (WS/48, WP48, raw or adjusted net plus/minus). Nice things happen when you don’t panic and waste cap. That is why Phil has proven himself a mediocre GM plus the fact that he completely botched the Monroe negotiation. Calderon/Afflalo/Melo is a disaster on defense and missing on Monroe severely limits our offense (think shot creators). Consider what might have been:

      1: Joseph/Grant
      2: Calderon/Galloway
      Melo/Monroe/Zinger/O’Quinn in front court

    76. Now imagine if we had not signed Williams or Afflalo and just sat on the cap?

      Yeah, I’m sure you and all the Jax doubters would have been applauding him for doing nothing and hoping teams like the Spurs would renounce players.

    77. Except Monroe pretty clearly wanted to join a better team. Afflalo signing was dumb though

    78. Yeah, I’m sure you and all the Jax doubters would have been applauding him for doing nothing and hoping teams like the Spurs would renounce players.

      I absolutely would have applauded his patience. It’s not just Cory Joseph – other opportunities (not just renounced players) would have been available, all better than Afflalo and Williams.

      Except Monroe pretty clearly wanted to join a better team.

      Uh, no. It’s clear Phil botched the negotiation. Monroe was a perfect fit for the Triangle. All kinds of reputable sources had him going to Knicks. And are you telling me Melo, Zinger and oodles of cap is chopped liver? “Contender” is the way an agent provides the cover for all parties involved so as not to poison the well in the future.

    79. @88 I advocated for doing that specifically with regards to Joseph. He’ll probably be around the same price as Afflalo or cheaper, which is annoying.

    80. A little pet peeve I have is people setting 17 wins as a baseline just because that’s what happened last season. melo was all they had, and he got hurt right away. This is a completely different team. Discounting the opportunity for 40+ wins because that would be a 23+ win improvement is kind of silly imo.
      Looking at the East and comparing rosters, I see no reason why this team, if fairly healthy, can’t make the playoffs. This is coming from a big pessimist. Other than Cleveland, Chi and Miami, I don’t see any teams that scare me. I see a bunch of teams that can range from very good to very bad, depending on how injuries, young player development, and luck turn out.

    81. we aren’t that good…. our offense is a bit suspect and our defense isn’t a slam dunk to be top 10 either… we’ll probably be middle of the pack defensively and hopefully our offense can match it….

      we’re simply not as good as tor, was, atl and mil right now…. and we’re in the mix for the 8th seed but we’re not clearly better than the other group of teams there… injuries might push us up but we’re not exactly immune to that bug either… all of our projected starters missed significant time last year….

      there are reasons to be optimistic esp if the rooks and galloway overperform but aside from that … the best you could say is we can be a 7th and 8th seed if things break right … but that’s not any different than a host of other teams…

    82. Man, there’s gotta be a way to get Joseph.

      If we stretch Calderon, how much money would that leave us? I’m sure we could also trade Calderon with a sweetener (2nd rounder or Thanassis) to someone, maybe the 6ers or Wolves.

    83. Man, there’s gotta be a way to get Joseph.

      If we stretch Calderon, how much money would that leave us? I’m sure we could also trade Calderon with a sweetener (2nd rounder or Thanassis) to someone, maybe the 6ers or Wolves

      Stretching Calderon only gets us to around $4 million in space, which probably won’t be enough for Joseph. Finding a trade for Calderon would probably at least make up competitive for Joseph though. Not sure we have any second round picks to attach unfortunately so it’d probably have to be someone who legitimately wants him. I think he’d make a lot of sense on the Cavs but I think they’re looking for more with Haywood’s contract.

    84. @ “Uh, no. It’s clear Phil botched the negotiation. Monroe was a perfect fit for the Triangle. All kinds of reputable sources had him going to Knicks. And are you telling me Melo, Zinger and oodles of cap is chopped liver? “Contender” is the way an agent provides the cover for all parties involved so as not to poison the well in the future.”

      It’s not clear to me at all. And Monroe was not a “perfect fit” by any stretch of the imagination. Pau Gasol was a perfect fit. Monroe is no Pau Gasol. Monroe also sucks on D. So Phil “botched” his way into Lopez and Afflalo for the same money as Monroe alone would have cost.

      Funny, considering how many time Phil “botched” things this year, we are in the best position as a franchise that we’ve been in since he pre-Melo days. At this rate, he’s gonna botch his way into a championship!

    85. trading calderon (to CLE or elsewhere but probably CLE) without sacrificing important assets and signing corey joseph would change my grade of this offseason from like a C all the way to a B+ or an A. That’s how good it would be. This being the Knicks, and not the best of all possible worlds, that ain’t happening.

    86. I like the feel of the team going forward. No more shortcuts – just solid moves. Can’t wait to see how good KP and Grant are. Don’t jump on me for this question, but I’d like an answer… are Lopez, Afflalo, DWilliams and O’Quinn a better improvement to the team/ value than Hibbert, LWilliams and Bass? I’m not complaining, but it’s like a fly buzzing around me – I want to get rid of this question…

    87. bockadoo, I would say emphatically yes. Lopez is WAY better than Hibbert. Lou Williams is a great scorer, but a one-way undersized SG is not what we need at this point. Bass is a nice veteran piece, kinda like the Afflalo of PFs, but I rather have Afflalo and O’Quinn. And Williams? Probably the worst of the FA moves thus far, but even without him, it’s a net win.

    88. I don’t get the Cory Joseph love, unless those that love him think the Spurs are really stupid. They essentially gave up on Splitter (Career WS48= .182) and Joseph (last years WS48 = .149) to pay the max to a guy with a career WS48 of .135 and a WS48 of .o69 in 34 playoff games. If Phil had done that, folks here would be crucifying him!

    89. Thanks Z-man! Just wanted to make sure. I think LA scrambled pretty well after getting shut out early though.

    90. Derrick Williams is at the same place in his career that Wilson Chandler was when he was going into his age 24 season. I think we should stop exaggerating how bad having Derrick Williams on our team is going to be because he’s improved at least his scoring efficiency every year since he’s been a pro and could be very useful cutting backdoor with slower power forwards guarding him. Considering the lack of depth at the four, I’d say it’s a race between him and O’Quinn to start. While O’Quinn is a good basketball player, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Knicks chose to start D-Will over him.

    91. Z-Man, did you get too close to some fireworks yesterday?

      Monroe also sucks on D.

      Didn’t we establish that he’s not a rim protector but this season he was at least average overall?

      So Phil “botched” his way into Lopez and Afflalo for the same money as Monroe alone would have cost.

      Monroe=16m which is less than Lopez(12m) + Afflalo(8m) =20M.

      I don’t get the Cory Joseph love, unless those that love him think the Spurs are really stupid.

      Spurs already have Parker and Mills. Mills is cheap.

      Funny, considering how many time Phil “botched” things this year, we are in the best position as a franchise that we’ve been in since he pre-Melo days. At this rate, he’s gonna botch his way into a championship!

      That’s a very low bar to set. A chimp throwing darts would have exceeded that standard. Even Lakers may be better than us. Right now, we’ve got the worst of both worlds. On offense, it’s all Melo Ball and it’s unlikely he’ll be at his peak from a couple of years ago given injury, age, and mileage. And who is our second option? On defense, Calderon, Afflalo, and Melo are enough to drive Lopez batty just like what sent Tyson over the edge. And the free agent crop next summer doesn’t look all that appetizing and other teams will have plenty of cap as well. The best approach would have been to either sign talented, preferably young, starters like Joseph and/or accumulate assets (value contracts or draft picks) which could have been used in trades to provide more ways to improve team than just through free agency.

    92. I think we need O’Quinn to back up Lopez, who doesn’t play that many minutes per game.

      The big rotation will probably be Lopez/Williams/O’Quinn/Porzingis/Admunson at this rate. Hopefully it has room for improvement.

    93. I’m slightly less sour on D-Will now than I was at first. He’s a pretty impressive finisher and lob target. But he is not as good as Wilson Chandler was at the same age…he’s a worse rebounder, defender and passer. A poor man’s Wilson Chandler is not worth $5 mill per year.

    94. Zanzi,
      Re: Monroe, he is at best average on D. He also can’t hit a shot past 6 feet.
      Re: Lopez vs. Monroe, I have consistently said, even before FA officially started, that I didn’t like Monroe and preferred Lopez, West and others. My guess (and to be sure, all you are doing is guessing) is that Phil wasn’t crazy about him either. Just because Phil didn’t acquire your favorite player, and that the media hyped the match, doesn’t mean that he screwed up.
      After Phil signed Lopez, he had $9 million in cap space left. If he had signed Monroe, he would have had significantly less.
      Re Joseph, he has not proven to be a starting-level PG. We just drafted a PG and Galloway played PG much of last year. Do we really need him more than, say, O’Quinn? And you didn’t address the Aldridge deal and the numbers I posted. Why is that better than the Melo deal?

      One thing I will agree with you on is that D-Will was a bad signing.

    95. I dunno bock..in Detroit..he’s worth it. He’s their only offensive threat. I wanted him to be drafted as a Knick sooooo bad

    96. One thing I will agree with you on is that D-Will was a bad signing.

      It’s not worth 5m to try to try to strike oil on Derrick (notice what I did there?) and Afflalo at 8m for effectively two years is a bad contract. People are enamored of spot-up guys like Calderon and Afflalo but it doesn’t take long for them to fall out of favor just like Novak. It’s like forever dating the same type of woman and it always ending in a bad break-up.

      My guess (and to be sure, all you are doing is guessing) is that Phil wasn’t crazy about him either.

      Well he met him when the gong struck midnight. It’s not just he was my choice – he appeared to be Phil’s choice as well. Most likely he didn’t offer the max or wanted him to take less for the team. You don’t ask a guy that just took a 10m shave the previous season to take less from what would have been a value contract at 15.8m.

      The difference between Lopez and Monroe’s contract is only about 3m. LBJ struggled against GSW because he was the only shot creator on the team after the injuries. We struggled when JR was our second option. Rim protectors are more available than shot creators. I don’t care if Monroe is a terrible jump shooter. When 20% of his shots were jump shots this past season, he posted a .580TS% on high usage. You need those guys to be effective in the playoffs.

      Joseph, he has not proven to be a starting-level PG. We just drafted a PG and Galloway played PG much of last year.

      He’s not a starter but he played 18mpg. The reason he didn’t play more is because of a logjam at the position. I’ll take my chances that he will be able to more or less maintain his stats at greater minutes in a similar motion offense. We have no idea how rookie Jerian Grant will be. If he excels, then we could trade one of them for a position of need. Galloway meh, more utility guy than starter at the 1.

      Not quite sure what you mean about Aldridge..

    97. The Knicks have a guy who was way below average last year penciled in as the starting PG, they have a guy who has been way below average for a few years penciled in as the starting shooting guard, and they’re also right now projected to start Derrick Williams, who has never been very good in the NBA. The other two starters are Melo and Lopez– those guys are good players but not true superstars who can carry three sub-par starters.

      The main bench pieces figure to be the rookies, Porzingis and Grant, and they’re big question marks. Galloway and O’Quinn should be serviceable bench pieces. Early was terrible last year and the rest of the team will be made out of veteran min scraps and I guess a room exception signing.

      It’s crazy to me to think that this is a playoff team. The team is below average at three of the five positions.

    98. Lance Thomas is probably the best SF option at this point. Unless there’s some International stud
      or D-League star they can scrap.

    99. Cory Joseph just became a Raptor at 7m/yr. Are you telling me he wouldn’t have preferred to have been a starter (versus Lowry’s backup) for the same amount on the Knicks? And Joseph >>> Afflalo for fewer dollars and would have allowed us to play Calderon and Galloway at the 2.

    100. The boo hooing is reaching astronomical levels. He’s Canadian and probably wanted to play for the raptors. Meanwhile we have a pint guard in grant already and also Galloway.

    101. Derrick Williams should’ve been the only gamble. Afflalo, otoh, they could’ve spent those $8M
      on:

      A:
      -Alexis Ajinca, 4 yrs, 20M
      -Cory Joseph, 4 yrs, 30M
      -Kosta Koufos, 4yrs, 33M

      B:
      -Brandan Wright, 3 yrs, 18M
      -Marco Belinelli, 3 yrs, 19M

      C:
      -Patrick Berverly, 3yrs, 18M
      -CJ Watson, 3yrs, 15M
      -KJ McDaniels, (Houston has only Midlevel, so anything over 5.5M)
      -Jeremy Lin, 3yrs??, 18M??

      Not trianguly but good young players at decent value:

      -Ed Davis, 3yrs, 20M
      -Farouq Aminu, 4yrs, 30M

      I probably missed some.

      The problem is that Jackson seemed to take a “let’s field a team approach” rather than a
      “let’s get the best players we can get” approach (Obviously forget about the real big names).

      Afflalo was almost the only SG out there. But, the team is going to be deficient in some areas anyway, so might as well try to get the best talent.

    102. You’re assuming that:
      1, they reached out to everyone
      2, all these mid level free agents said no

      I’m assuming that:
      1, they didn’t put any of them high enough on their list
      2, they didn’t HAVE to sign Afflalo to that contract

      Which is more likely?

    103. I don’t think Joseph was ever an option. He signed with his hometown team less than a day after the Spurs rescinded his qualifing offer. I doubt he even really looked elsewhere.

      As for filling out the roster we need another wing pretty badly. I’d vote for Datome, but would be okay with Ellington or Jenkins as well. All of them should be options with the room exemption. Lance Thomas and Early don’t provide enough 3pt shooting or talent.

    104. I’ve consistently said that I don’t like Monroe, so there’s no point in debating the non-signing.

      I don’t get the hand-wringing about Afflalo, He’s a really good player and will likely outperform his contract. He’s 29 and had a career TS% of .570+ before an off year last year. He has great size and savvy for a SG, and is a great pro to have around young, developing players. It’s a 2-year deal at half the going rate for guys like Matthews and Green (took a hometown discount for sure.)

      One other thing: there were two coaches who even WoW fanatics conceded had a positive effect on player performance: Pop and Phil. Phil’s not coaching, but I think he has a vision for these players. For better or worse, he believes in his system, and is going to favor system guys with high basketball IQs. Afflalo is clearly seen as a system guy. Lopez, O’Quinn and Afflalo all fit that mold.

      Phil came in with a 5-year plan. Afflalo, Calderon, Derrick and maybe even Melo will be gone by the end of year 3.

      Let’s not pass judgment on this year’s team until pre-season. I think they have a very low floor (25 wins) and a reasonably high ceiling (40+ wins), depending on how the rookies develop and injuries, but it doesn’t really matter that much in the long run whether we signed Ajinca or Williams. Then another free agency period will happen in 2016, and at least one good, young player (Hernangomez) will be in the mix. Today’s rookies won’t be rookies any more.

    105. I don’t get the hand-wringing about Afflalo, He’s a really good player and will likely outperform his contract. He’s 29 and had a career TS% of .570+

      I’m not sure what to tell you if you won’t listen to the fact that he’s been a below average player according to every metric: WS/48, WP48 and plus-minus. TS% is not the be all end all.

      I’ve consistently said that I don’t like Monroe

      What’s important is that Phil liked him and couldn’t close the deal. It was Phil who said the Triangle would allow him to sell free agents.

      ***************************************
      Look I want Phil to succeed. I’ve given him high grades before (on Shved deal and draft). But the Grant pickup was him posting Hardaway’s availability in the league office and Hawks approaching him. It was free agency where we would find out what we got. Whiffing on your #1 target who fits your system and committing 26m cap to Afflalo and Williams over two seasons earns him a gentleman’s C. In the immortal words of Marlon Brando: We coulda been a contenda.

    106. Google Phil Jackson and free agency and oodles of articles @ March 12 pop up all reading something like what is below. What came to pass and what was discussed seem like two entirely different things.

      Speaking to the media Thursday in Los Angeles prior to the Knicks’ eventual 101-94 win over the Lakers, Jackson said that his plan for rebuilding the team centers around free agency.

      “We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us, but we also know we’re going to build our team with free agents,” he said, via ESPN. “A hundred and ninety players or so are going to be free agents. Not half the league, but like a third of the league is going to be free agents. So that’s where our priority stands.”

    107. People are enamored of spot-up guys like Calderon and Afflalo but it doesn’t take long for them to fall out of favor just like Novak

      Putting Afflalo in the same category as Novak just is incorrect. Afflalo was a first option on Orlando (when he was having his best years). He’s an elite post-up guard (top 5 of all post-up scorers in terms of efficiency) and a great spot up shooter. And at least he’s not totally incompetent on defense. I loved discount triple-check when he was here but he’s the definition of a one trick pony while being truly awful at anything else.

      Afflalo isn’t great but the other thing we needed badly (especially after Monroe turned us down) is someone that the offense can run through in a pinch when Carmelo is off the floor. For the last several years our offense has completely fallen apart when he’s off the floor. Affalo at least has the experience of being a first or second option. In that respect (and probably only that respect) he’s better than Danny Green who generally is an off the ball kind of guy.

    108. Google Phil Jackson and free agency and oodles of articles @ March 12 pop up all reading something like what is below. What came to pass and what was discussed seem like two entirely different things.

      Speaking to the media Thursday in Los Angeles prior to the Knicks’ eventual 101-94 win over the Lakers, Jackson said that his plan for rebuilding the team centers around free agency.

      “We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us, but we also know we’re going to build our team with free agents,” he said, via ESPN. “A hundred and ninety players or so are going to be free agents. Not half the league, but like a third of the league is going to be free agents. So that’s where our priority stands.”

      I’m not sure what you mean when you say that what happened is not what he said back in March. We took Porzingis who is a project. We’re going to have 3 if not 4 new starters on the team through FA. He also said many times that it’d be unlikely that we would go for any of the big names. Honestly, this has all happened pretty much the way Phil said it would.

    109. “Honestly, this has all happened pretty much the way Phil said it would.”
      He also said that he was concerned that their lousy season would make it tougher to attract the top free agents, which also turned out to be true.
      “they could’ve spent those $8M on:”
      What makes you think that all — or any — of those guys you list wanted to sign with the Knicks? I love when people say, “We could have signed player X,” as if X has no say in the matter. If it were that easy, the Knicks “could have signed” Monroe, Aldridge or Jordan.

    110. I mean of the approximately 10-20 free agents who we could’ve signed for the combined price of afflalo/williams some permutation was likely able to come to ny if phil actually offered them to. To say that new york is bad and so no free agent would ever want to sign here beggars belief when the main determiner of where a non elite player will go is $$$$$, barring championship aspirations (ex. Green for the Spurs).

      Afflalo and Williams are bad at most contract values, never mind a combined 13m. I don’t understand why everyone’s going soft on Phil just because the bar was set so low from the past 15 years.

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