Knicks Morning News (2015.07.24)

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Kings Sign Caron Butler (Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:48:06 GMT)

    The Sacramento Kings have signed the veteran forward Caron Butler to a two-year, $3 million contract with a player option in the second season.

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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).

    149 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.07.24)”

    1. Is that a rumor or a suggestion?

      Or an accident report?

      In other news, it feels like the Kings have signed 57 players this summer.

    2. Caron Butler would have been a much much better signing than Lance Thomas and Derrick Williams. Ugh…

    3. FWIW, we are paying Thomas and Admundson pretty much the exact amount of money that Melo took below the max so we could sign free agents this summer. And considering that minor pay cut is probably what got him a NTC clause, we ultimately inhibited our freedom to trade Melo for the privilege of devoting cap space to Lance Thomas and Lou Admundson.

      Of course, that is a silly way to look at it. Phil probably thought that money was going to bring him marc gasol or something. But that’s how it worked out.

    4. Caron Butler would have been a much much better signing than Lance Thomas and Derrick Williams. Ugh…

      Would he have been? Butler is 35 and coming off a bad season. Yet he’s never averaged below 20 MPG in his career and probably isn’t looking for a back of the bench role. I don’t know if his prospects for next season are any better than Lance Thomas’, and he is potentially less likely to accept the role Thomas was signed to play.

      Derrick Williams is a bit of a different story as he’s being paid a good bit more… yet even Williams’ biggest detractors would likely agree that he’s not much worse than current Caron Butler and has a lot more potential.

    5. Collision and a 2nd rounder for Calderon and Early.

      Yeah, just to confirm, that’s just something you threw out there as an idea, right? No one is actually reporting that as a rumor, are they?

    6. Ted,
      Good points there. My thinking is that (of course this is in hindsight after seeing Early in SL ball) Butler would be fine as a backup SF if Melo is playing SF primarily. He plays defense, has great hoop IQ, and by all accounts is a great chemistry guy. Signing him instead of a Lance Thomas would make Early a bottom of the bench guy. That makes the overall roster a bit better top to bottom. I’m actually ok with Derrick Williams starting at PF this season. I see where he fits offensively, and if he starts, he won’t block Porzingis’ growth. I just don’t like the price. It wasn’t a raise for him, but I don’t think he played well enough to get similar money to what he’s made so far.

    7. Caron Butler would have been a much much better signing than Lance Thomas and Derrick Williams. Ugh…

      You’d be hard pressed to find a team signing a free agent worse than Lance Thomas, but that said, Caron Butler would have been a waste of a signing, as well. There’s no loss with him going elsewhere. What’s the upside with Caron Butler? He’s basically playing out the string on his career (sort of like Juwan Howard at the end of his career – he’s the proverbial “Keep Getting Dem Checks” guy).

    8. Totes McGoats,

      I just don’t know that Butler is a better basketball player right now than Lance Thomas. I think that in a lot of ways they’re similar players right now. I don’t think Butler is likely to be a positive contributor in the NBA next season so I wouldn’t really want him entrenched in a rotation spot. I don’t really think of Early as the Knicks back-up SF. Certainly he could lay claim to the rotation spot. I just don’t think he’s any more likely to win the spot than some combination of DW, Afflalo, Thomas, etc.

      I’m not sure that DW’s price had as much to do with his last contract as buying upside. He’s young and has been improving in his actual play, plus it’s pretty easy to make a case that he hasn’t yet tapped into his full ability yet and is a scenery change away from things clicking. He’s a tweener who might not have found the right role and/or his own motivation yet. I’m not saying he has much of any shot at becoming a great player (or he’d get more than $5 mill), but clicking and becoming a perfectly acceptable rotation player who is a bit of a bargain at $5 mill.

      I know we have nothing else to discuss and I’m perfectly happy discussing these things… but I feel like a lot of these back of the bench conversations are just tomato-tomato. I know the Knicks have done little to earn fan trust in years. Phil Jackson just might do a decent job, though, and I’m willing to let him have a little rope to see what he does with it. I have no idea how good he is at player evaluation, but I do think he’s exhibited amazing abilities as a manager of people and builder of teams over the years. Even if he’s off on some of his evaluations, he might get the ship turned around with some of his splashier acquisitions (Zinger, RoLo, Afflalo, Grant are who I’m thinking… at least look like real NBA players) and a positive new organizational culture.

    9. You’d be hard pressed to find a team signing a free agent worse than Lance Thomas

      Based on what? You throw out these extremely harsh opinions all the time, yet never seem to feel much pressure to explain them. Everything the Knicks do is the dumbest thing ever, and everything Brian thinks is the smartest thing ever. Thread after thread after thread of whining and unsupported proclamations.

      He’s basically playing out the string on his career (sort of like Juwan Howard at the end of his career – he’s the proverbial “Keep Getting Dem Checks” guy).

      I don’t think Butler would have signed with the Kings if that were his mentality, nor for that matter do I think Howard would have signed with contenders.

      Butler’s decision to choose a bad team would lead me to believe that the guy wants to play. To be on the court. The guy has made $82 million in his NBA career. Maybe he’s just playing for that last $3 million instead of the min… but he probably could have kept getting paid to either ride the pine for a contender (maybe less but still paid) or to spend a couple of years in Europe or Asia (probably paid more). Sacto is also not really a hot destination to live in. So… wanting to play minutes in the NBA strikes me as his most likely motivation. Maybe he feels like he’ll bounce back and get paid more next season, I suppose, and money is the primary motivator.

      Howard had a decent enough season in Portland playing 22 MPG at 36, then spent the next three seasons in Miami playing under 10.5 MPG every season. Maybe he just wanted to do as little as possible to live in South Beach and collect a pay check, but playing for a ring seems like a decent motivator to pick Miami if he had any other options.

    10. Ted,
      I’ve always appreciated your POV and felt your reasoning is always sound. I hope your right about DW’s potential. If the number of mid range shots that the triangle creates benefits him and he uses his length to play good team D, I will be very happy. I think that might be what Phil envisioned when he signed him. That’s why I’m ok with him being a Knick. That and the fact that he’s still very young. The only “known” quantities we have are (in order of importance) Melo, Lopez, Afflalo, Calderon, O’Quinn, and Galloway. I’m don’t think that’s enough to be competitive as I would like, but it may be enough to compete for the 8th seed. Especially if Williams and the rookies do a solid job. After the top 7 seeds, 8 is wide open because the competition dramatically drops off from 7 to 8. Going forward, maybe Phil should give Kuzmic a shot and grab a shooter. Also, he should cut Ledo and bring Thanasis in for perimeter D. I’d be ok with that roster.

    11. Based on what? You throw out these extremely harsh opinions all the time, yet never seem to feel much pressure to explain them. Everything the Knicks do is the dumbest thing ever, and everything Brian thinks is the smartest thing ever. Thread after thread after thread of whining and unsupported proclamations.

      Yeah know-it-all Brian, you better support your claim that Lance Thomas is a terrible basketball player, it’s not like even the most cursory look at basketball reference reveals that he’s had two seasons of slightly below replacement level play (WS/48 of .088 and .087) and then had two seasons of abjectly horrible basketball to the tune of -.117 ws/48 and -.014 ws/48 or anything! It’s also not as if Caron Butler’s career avg WS/48 matches Thomas’ career high or that over his past 4 seasons he’s more than doubled Thomas’ WS/48.

      Demanding that Brian provide support for Thomas being terrible when you’re too lazy to type the 19 characters it takes to spell out “basketball reference” in google to see that it’s obvious is dumb. You’re always aggressively contrarian and your schtick is obtuse and, frankly, moronic. Though I guess that statement needs to be peer reviewed before it’s considered valid (raise your hand if you think Ted isn’t the things I just said…no one? ok.)

      Do us all a favor and stop posting.

    12. Based on what? You throw out these extremely harsh opinions all the time, yet never seem to feel much pressure to explain them. Everything the Knicks do is the dumbest thing ever, and everything Brian thinks is the smartest thing ever. Thread after thread after thread of whining and unsupported proclamations.

      Dude, look at Lance Thomas’ career numbers. His career TS is 49%. He gets 5.7 rebounds per-36 as a power forward. He does not pass. He does not steal. He does not block. There is no compelling reason to think he provides defensive value outside of those admittedly rudimentary ways of measuring defense. I’m sorry BC doesn’t give a statistical break down of Thomas’ shitty play every time he points out that he is in fact a shitty player, but Lance Thomas fuckin’ sucks.

    13. To be honest Ted, you’re actually bearable when you stop needlessly criticizing others and forward your actual opinions on basketball rather than blathering on about what we can actually know about basketball or personnel decisions. or whatever the contrarian position du jour is. The hollow skepticism is lame and evasive, and you’d do much better to simply talk about your actual opinions rather than this do this disingenuous, second-order, argumentatively abusive bullshit of demanding excessively high evidentiary standards for every statement, and especially for things as obvious as Lance Thomas being absolutely horrid at basketball. It’s really tiresome and the sad thing is that when you’re actually engaging in discussion not just to aggrandize yourself you’re actually pretty alright. It just happens so rarely.

    14. Thanks, Totes. I tend to agree.

      I might lump Galloway in as unproven and think DW has proven a bit more as an NBA scorer than some, but I see the roster fairly similarly.

      I might put the cutoff between good teams and unknown even higher in the East. Not that I’ve really thought it through, just that last season there were 5 teams over .500 and the season before 44 wins would have tied you for 5th. With full seasons from Melo and RoLo, a couple of other guys playing above average ball (maybe a couple of Afflalo, Zinger, O’Quinn, Calderon, DW, Grant?), and some above replacement role players around them… I have to imagine the Knicks have a decent shot at .500+. I mean they won 37 with half a season from Chandler and only two non/Melo/TC above average WS/48 guys in the rotation (Prigs and Amare) just two years ago. Replace half a season of TC with close to a full season of RoLo, Amare with O’Quinn/Zinger and Prigs with Afflalo/Calderon/Grant… and the top of the rotation might not be at least as good next season. That team had only two other rotation players ahead of 0.6 WS/48. The season before that they won 54 games with 3/4 a season from TC and some unexpectedly good performanced from other guys.

      Anyway… totally ad hoc analysis worth next to nothing, but I’m just saying that I don’t know if this team is far off talent wise from the 12/13 and 13/14 Knicks, and with a bit of luck I think that they could be right in the thick of some fairly wide open (after the Cavs and maybe one or two others) EC playoffs.

    15. Alecto,

      Thanks for calling me a moron. Truly great comment you fucking douchebagger.

      You’re almost bearable when you’re not rambling on about a radical economic philosophy that failed spectacularly in practice and just about no one takes seriously anymore.

      A cursory look at B-R reveals that Lance Thomas played 5 Gs and 42 min in 2013-14… It’s literally one season where Thomas was terrible. No one projects future results on a one year sample when they have a three year sample to work with. It is not clear that Thomas is terrible. People merely accept it as true because NO ONE on this board has bothered to spend three minutes providing even a cursory analysis. “We all seen him der stink’er up last seson… so we all knows da truth you moron, Ted… doesn’t not any of y’all der aggree Ted is da moron?!?! Marxism 4eva!!!”

      I am truly sorry that you have misconstrued my comments so fully. How dare I ask someone to actually provide a shred of evidence to support their position? Clearly asking for one shred of evidence is equivalent to a thorough invasion of personal privacy that your great Marxist state will protect us all against! How dare is agree with part of what someone said and disagree with other parts? Clearly one must go to the absolute extreme of any argument. Long live Marx!!!

    16. Dude, look at Lance Thomas’ career numbers.

      I did. He has two seasons of TS%s around 55% and one at 45.6%… He is not a PF, but rather a comb0-F. I don’t think Lance Thomas is particularly good. But when one looks at his stats in any detail… it’s not obvious that he’ll be as totally awful going forward as he was last season. Just like it’s not obvious that Ndour will be amazing or 35 year old Caron Butler is going to be any good at all.

    17. Lance was a passable low usage bench player when he took a majority of his shots at the rim. His problem is that he can’t shoot. If he learned to shoot this off season he’ll be okay-if he plays like he has the last few seasons he’s gonna suck. I would have let him walk.

    18. We should have seen this coming when, in the Phil Files, Jackson named Grant Hill and Lance Thomas as the Duke alums who haven’t disappointed as professionals.

    19. We should have seen this coming when, in the Phil Files, Jackson named Grant Hill and Lance Thomas as the Duke alums who haven’t disappointed as professionals.

      Ha! :)

    20. Lance was a passable low usage bench player when he took a majority of his shots at the rim. His problem is that he can’t shoot. If he learned to shoot this off season he’ll be okay-if he plays like he has the last few seasons he’s gonna suck.

      I think the evidence is a little more mixed than that. Certainly taking more than half his FGAs from 0-3 FT in NO and less than 1/4 from 0-3 feet last season explains most of the huge variation in TS%.

      He’s not a pure-shooter, for sure, but I also don’t look at the evidence and conclude that he can’t shoot. I think the evidence is a bit mixed. From 10-16 feet his FG% is right in line with Melo’s (arbitrary benchmark of a F who can shoot even if he’s not a pure-shooter) and he’s improved markedly from his rookie season from beyond 16 feet: .500 from 16-3P as a 2nd year guy then .377 as a Knick (Melo is career .412 there), and then last season he started flirting with 3P range a bit for the first time as a pro with some moderate success. Ultimately we’re dealing with a series of small samples and some mixed results, is all I’m really saying on his scoring/shooting.

      I’m not sure that steals and blocks are even a reliable proxies for overall defensive performance. I don’t know if I’ve heard anyone say that he’s less than an average (and somewhat versatile) man defender.

      I’m not saying he’s particularly good. Just that he’s not necessarily the worst player or worst FA signing in the NBA. There’s plenty of reason to believe that his terrible play for the Knicks had something to do with role (which is a potential problem of a different sort… but theoretically somewhat out of his control). In the right role, though, I don’t think he’s as totally incompetent as he’s painted to be on here. I don’t know that I would have signed him or given him over the minimum… I just don’t think it was indefensible. The Spurs were also reportedly interested, for what that’s…

    21. aw look ted’s really sensitive about marx. At least I know I can be a “strategy consultant” if I ever choose to switch careers because if Ted is any indication all it requires is the ability to breathe (and not even automatically or through my nose!)

    22. Yes, that’s the takeaway from my comment… I am somehow sensitive about a totally discredited philosopher that one particular commenter on here inexplicably holds up as some sort of profit.

      Why do you feel the need to come on here to discuss basketball in no way and make comments for no other reason than to insult other commenters?

      And, Mike, asking people to support their radical points disrupts the conversation but making non-basketball related comments with no aim except to insult another commenter doesn’t?

    23. I thought we were spending too much time discussing end of bench players? That’s a lot of fireworks for an end of bench player.

    24. Yes, the fireworks were over an end of the bench player. Not over a vindictive comment that had almost nothing to do with basketball.

      And, for what it’s worth, my comments have not been so much about spending time on bench players as overemphasizing their importance and/or jumping to conclusions about which will the best fit for the Knicks. Several commenters have literally used end of bench decisions to condemn the entire FO and the entire rebuild, even if they agree with some of the larger moves. I don’t think that’s reasonable. Many, many commenters have insulted the Knicks for not signing this or that guy and for signing the “worst players ever.” I also don’t think that’s reasonable. I have never meant to say that adding a gem at the end of the bench can’t be a huge win for any NBA team. I just think it should be discussed in context, understanding that reasonable people can disagree about the future value of any individual NBA player.

      We should really start calling this site “Strawmanblogger.net…” One literally can’t make a point on here without someone misrepresenting it for the sole purpose of insult.

    25. a totally discredited philosopher that one particular commenter on here inexplicably holds up as some sort of profit.

      Pun intended?

    26. Ted,

      Alecto didn’t call you a moron. He said you are aggressive and a contrarian, and that your “schtick” is “moronic.”

      And then you called him a “fucking douchebagger.”

      So from a technical perspective, you broke the rules not him.

      But really I don’t care much about that. What I care about is:

      And, Mike, asking people to support their radical points disrupts the conversation but making non-basketball related comments with no aim except to insult another commenter doesn’t?

      Yes. Yes it does. Alecto’s pointed language notwithstanding, he’s got a point. Instead of calling Brian out, why not take the time to use stats to back up your opinion?

      This is what multiple people referred to the last time. That you force others to make their point without bothering to make your own. And that you make the thread about you instead of basketball.

      We should really start calling this site “Strawmanblogger.net…” One literally can’t make a point on here without someone misrepresenting it for the sole purpose of insult.

      So my question would be — why come here then? I started this site (in part) because I wanted a place I could discuss basketball in a way I found productive. Today there are probably a hundred sites to discuss basketball. Back in 2004, I had to argue with idiots on RealGM. So I left. If this site is so biased and torturous, why keep coming back?

    27. 1. Not a rumor
      2. Darren not Nick
      3. Get ‘er dun, Jaxy!

      It’d be a heck of a trade for the Knicks, but I’m not sure if Collison is even going to lose his starting job to start the season (I think we’ll likely see a Collison/Rondo/Gay/Cousins/Koufos starting lineup), so I don’t think that the Kings are looking to move him.

    28. he’s had two seasons of slightly below replacement level play (WS/48 of .088 and .087)

      Not to pick nits here, but an .088 WS/48 is not slightly below replacement level– it is slightly below league average, which is very, very different. League average players have a lot of value, and replacement players by definition have no value. If Lance Thomas plays like 10% below a league average player at his salary, as he has done before, that is excellent surplus value.

    29. The problem is of course that last year Thomas actually DID play like a sub-replacement level player. I don’t like the signing, but Ted is basically correct– Thomas has been a passable NBA rotation player in the past. Either way, hopefully he doesn’t get more then like 500-700 minutes or so.

    30. Ted

      I have a similar personality to you. It got me barred on a couple of forums over time. If you’ll allow some constructive criticism let me make a suggestion. Rather than reading through the posts here looking for things you disagree with and then writing long and sometimes critical responses I think you should focus your energy on your own insights. That would generate value without creating conflict.

    31. Collison would give us more needed scoring punch in the starting lineup and is also younger than Calderon. I like that.

      What was his injury status at the end of the year? Where is this rumor coming from? I can’t find anything like that. The only thing I found was that he supposedly wasn’t particularly happy with Rondo coming to town.

    32. Mike,

      I guess we will just never see eye to eye on this. Vile and insulting comments about me go completely without comment from the all-powerful Mike, yet asking for evidence to support radical viewpoints is the problem… What sort of conversation are you hoping to cultivate, exactly?

      Many of your points are just flat out lies. Have I not backed up each of my opinions on here? Have I not discussed Lance Thomas at length with literally anyone willing to actually discuss him and done so in a perfectly respectful manner? I’m pretty fucking sure that I have. And I’m pretty sure that for totally reasonable and respectful comments, I was the one who got attacked (whether he broke your rules or not) with basically no prompting except for asking Brian why he keeps saying, over and over, in every thread that Lance Thomas is the worst player in all creation.

      I am so tired of this strawman argument that asking people to support their points is some onerous imposition. This meme is so ridiculous and from about the second conversation on it has not been me who has made the conversation about me at all… but rather other people who keep acting like I am unreasonable for asking for some shred of evidence to support radical points. If people, like Brian, prefer to rant and not respond with evidence… fine. I didn’t keep badgering Brian. I was badgered for daring to ask him a question.

      Not sure why I’ve bothered sticking around since I came back… Nostalgia maybe. Habit. There are less than a handful of people on here who seem to have any interest in actually analyzing Knicks basketball. Most just seem to want to echo each other’s comments lambasting the Knicks,

    33. Yeah I mistyped. Replacement level is a lower standard than below-average.

      That being said, there was no reason to give Lance Thomas a greater-than-vet-min contract unless PJ really valued “continuity”. But I don’t think you should fetishize “continuity and character” when you can get a basketball player who’s is 1. likely to be equal or better who fits in “a winning culture” (im sure there are plenty of those on the market, and no, I will not provide evidence for that) or 2. has more upside with the same amount of money (and/or less). The triangle isn’t going to encourage good offensive habits for Lance, either. I’m of the mind that he’s a worse player than his first two seasons of basketball suggest.

      The real issue is the opportunity cost that comes from making the bad bet that Lance Thomas at 1.6m represents. The probabilistic language here is key–so what if “we don’t know” whether or not a d-leaguer, Ndour, whoever will outperform a Lance Thomas type? The whole point of basketball team-building is taking bets with the most favorable combination of risk and reward. Of course we can never say with utter certainty what’s going to happen, because we can’t predict the future, but we can infer from data and, taken along with the considerations of our team’s dearth of young talent, need for average-to-good basketball players, and tradeable assets, that Lance Thomas totally doesn’t fit the bill. In fact, he satisfies none of these criteria while having worse stats than other available vet min type players and less upside than some youngins we could’ve signed (Curry, Ndour, etc.) What’s even worse is that we paid him more than the vet min.

      It’s likely not gonna be a huge deal, but you wanna avoid putting yourself in a position where you lose out on the next d-league standout or a solid vet min addition. Thomas is neither and helps deprive us of another swing at bat (Ndour, curry, whoever).

    34. What was his injury status at the end of the year? Where is this rumor coming from? I can’t find anything like that. The only thing I found was that he supposedly wasn’t particularly happy with Rondo coming to town.

      It’s not a rumor. It’s just ess-dog tossing a possible trade idea out there, I assume for that very reason that you mentioned (that Collison presumably is not thrilled with the Kings going out and signing a big name point guard, even if I presume Karl will play a lot of two point lineups, which he seems to like doing).

    35. stratomatic,

      I try to do a bit of both… although, it’s not necessarily that I disagree with comments. It’s usually just that I think a comment is worth further exploration. (This is really one root of all these issues… people seem to lose all nuance in what I’m saying… if I ask for some evidence people act like I’m asking for a mountain of perfect evidence… if I say I don’t totally agree with something, people act like I have vehemently attacked someone…)

      So for weeks now, many people on here seem to think Lance Thomas is totally worthless. (Brian just happens to mouth-off about it more often and in stronger / less rational ways than others, and never to offer any evidence for just about any of his points.) Today, after weeks of reading these fairly extreme comments, I have asked several people why they think that and/or told them I don’t think it’s totally true for a few reasons. Some people have responded in a reasonable way, and we’ve had nice conversations. Someone like Brian will just ignore it and we’ll have no conversation. Other people, like Alecto, for some reason feel compelled to jump in, defend the honor of the people I dared to ask for evidence, and attack me. These last people are almost always the people instigating the problems. It’s really unnecessary. Clearly my reaction is part of the problem and the reason there’s a trend, but I think that if Mike spent 1/4 the time policing these rude and off-topic comments that he spends policing me… there would be no issues.

      I guess getting off on the wrong foot has really stuck with me. If you actually read through this thread, though, I think you’ll find that my points are pretty reasonable until/after the Alecto blow-up and that many commenters agree with me that Lance Thomas isn’t totally worthless.

    36. I think we’ll likely see a Collison/Rondo/Gay/Cousins/Koufos starting lineup

      I mean I know we like to complain about the Knicks a lot, but credit where credit is due, it takes some new levels of woeful management to end up with that starting 5.

      If I were Cousins I would probably have anger issues too being forced to play with that group.

    37. Alecto,

      That is the same argument that you made weeks ago. The same logical holes exist despite multiple people having pointed them out to you. Discussion with other people seems to have no benefit to you. Many people have made reasonable comments pointing out various nuances of the sitiaution… and you have not incorporated even one into your viewpoint. I guess this is to be expected from a fanatical Marxist in the year 2015. You have pointed out every single downside of Thomas, and basically failed to acknowledge any upside of Thomas or downside of the alternatives in more than a cursory way.

      The heart of your argument is based on assumptions that you not only don’t explain, but present in a way that they can’t be questioned. You say that you are “inferring” from data… yet don’t even mention what data or what specifically you have inferred. You have just decided that you don’t like the guy and like other guys more… and feel no need to justify that position. We can take it or leave it.

      You have strawman’ed the people who disagree with you in multiple ways. It’s a much more nuanced question than whether Ndour is better than Thomas and there are reasons Jax may have preferred Thomas other than continuity.

      Ultimately, you have presented your own unsubstantiated opinion as the only truth. It’s a really unbecoming form of comment to me.

    38. Mike, I think you are being unfair to Ted today. In the past day or two his comments have been very reasonable, except when provoked. And I see nothing wrong with anyone asking why another poster feels a given player is the worst in the league.

    39. If I were Cousins I would probably have anger issues too being forced to play with that group.

      And their bench is no great shakes, either. Hopefully WCS develops enough to become their starting center. But yeah, their big spending spree (including trading away draft picks) for the chance of maaaaaaaaaaaybe slipping into the #8 seed seems quite foolish. However, I think that they think that their future in Sacramento revolves around them making the playoffs sometime soon, so I at least understand the idea behind what they’re trying to do.

    40. And the bench is no great shakes, either. Hopefully WCS develops enough to become their starting center.

      I just hope they get it over with already and trade Cousins somewhere where we can all see how he does in a real organization. I would love to see how Stevens would use him on the Celtics.

    41. Friday afternoon deep dive into Lance Thomas’ bona fides to satisfy the deafening crescendo of a increasingly ornery mob? Let’s do this.

      1. Lance Thomas has a 48.9% career TS% in 2808 NBA minutes. This is substantially below average, despite a well below average usage rate of 14.6%. In fact, only 10 other players in the NBA played 2500+ minutes over that span with sub 15% usage and a sub 49% TS. It is quite bad.

      2. Lance Thomas has also been below average in virtually every other statistical category over those minutes. His ast/36, reb/36, stl/36 and blk/36 have all been below average for forwards during that period.

      3. Of the 132 forwards who played at least 2500 minutes during that span, his VORP of -1.8 (0 is intended to be replacement level) ranks 128th of 132. Incidentally, the four players below him are:
      (1) Derrick Williams (2) Kevin Serpahin (3) Andrew Nichsolson (4) Michael Beasley. So of the bottom five, 2 were signed by the Knicks this offseason, 1 was replaced by Jason Smith and 2 are looking for employment.

      4. Yes, within those terrible overall numbers lie stretches of above-average play in certain categories. This is going to be true for almost every below replacement level player in NBA history. The argument to make is not that his 1300 minutes with a TS of 55% but still a VORP below zero is predictive; it is the opposite: That not only is 1300 minutes not enough, 2800 minutes is not enough either.

      5. I believe he is also a mediocre defender. I admit I cannot document this. But it is very hard to be a good defender when you are not atypically either strong, quick, long-armed, or springy for your position. If you are reading this, I watched him more than you last year. Unless you are DRed.

      6. He is going to be 27. He was not a particularly good college player. It is very hard for a 27 year old with below average athleticism and 2500 below replacement minutes to become useful.

    42. Ted

      These forums are tough for some people to navigate because clear communication can be difficult to express with just words. There are lots of misunderstandings. They’ve been tough for me but I think I’m getting better. Once a dynamic of conflict is in place (for whatever reason) it’s been my experience that it’s very difficult to break. The only solution I’ve found for myself is to back off from responding to other people’s posts with disagreement. If everyone is saying that Thomas sucks and I disagree rather than responding to a particular person I’d just post my own thoughts about Thomas. That way I’m not initiating any potential conflict. You are way too smart a guy and know the game too well to allow this continue towards either leaving or being forced to leave.

    43. I just hope they get it over with already and trade Cousins somewhere where we can all see how he does in a real organization. I would love to see how Stevens would use him on the Celtics.

      If the Lakers really offered their pick and either Randle or Clarkson, I think that was a hard deal to turn down, if you think you’re losing him in a couple of years anyways. But I understand it would be particularly painful to trade him in-state.

    44. @47
      Thanks for taking the trouble to lay that out. Discouraging but excellent comment.

    45. I don’t agree with the statistical analysis nor the flat out bashing of Lance Thomas. My nephew Lance can flat out ball. He makes the whole family proud.

    46. Based on what? You throw out these extremely harsh opinions all the time, yet never seem to feel much pressure to explain them. Everything the Knicks do is the dumbest thing ever, and everything Brian thinks is the smartest thing ever. Thread after thread after thread of whining and unsupported proclamations.

      I guess getting off on the wrong foot has really stuck with me. If you actually read through this thread, though, I think you’ll find that my points are pretty reasonable

      “Based on what” is a reasonable question. The rest is you being dickish to Cronin, one of the most consistently polite posters here. If you’re familiar with my work, you know I don’t have a strong aversion to being somewhat dickish, but knock it off with the why is everybody always picking on me act. Your hands aren’t clean.

    47. Great comment ptmilo.

      I’ll just throw in that last year he ranked 76th out of 81 among small forwards in Real Plus-Minus (our very own Cleanthony Early was one of the 5 worse than him – it’s a fact of the universe that whenever you go to see how close a Knick is to the bottom of some list you inevitably find another Knick even closer to the bottom of that list).

      Also he dramatically fails the eye test. I have no idea what his NBA level skill is supposed to be other than “looking like he is probably very polite”, at which he is definitely in the 99th percentile.

    48. KnickfaninNJ and stratomatic, thank you.

      ptmilo, I think everyone realizes that Thomas was awful last season (half his NBA minutes) and generally hasn’t been an average NBA player. The question is more whether that’s predictive of how he’ll play going forward. That is where I don’t think looking at career average, aggregate stats is as helpful as the drivers behind those stats in a case where you have two equally influential, rather small samples that are radically different.

      No one is saying his 55 TS% is predictive. Some people are saying that his career TS% is influenced really heavily by one terrible season where his shot selection was effectively the inverse of his first two seasons.

      I’m also not really buying your defensive analysis… since it’s basically “I saw him play, but I’m not going to tell you what I saw.”

      I don’t think anyone has high hopes for Thomas. The question is whether he could be above replacement, a reasonable end-of-bench piece as a low usage corner-3/at the rim combo-F who guards whichever forward a more valuable F (mostly Melo) isn’t guarding. Analysis generally involves breaking something down into its constituent parts, then building back up to conclusions. Your analysis seems to start with the conclusions, in that you’re leaning really heavily on career average, aggregate stats as a starting point.

    49. As a GM in any sport you have to roll the dice. You have to buy low and sell high. Buying low usually means selling low or just losing your money. So, Derek Williams and Lance Thomas are probably going to be not that good. It’s the easiest thing to predict that is. However, to dismiss them out of hand or offer their signings as evidence of Phil’s lack of ability is unfair. Some signing like that is going to work out. Someone who previously sucked is going to come out of nowhere for some team this season, earn rotation minutes, and be a nice surprise. And it might not be the summer league darling that everyone predicted. In fact, there might a handful of players in this category. The Knicks problem is that, coming off of 17 wins, even a good un-drafted FA might think twice. Tanking doesn’t pay kids. So, the Knick are a bit more dependent on the DWs and LTs. Only a bit though, because we are talking about the third team.

    50. Only a bit though, because we are talking about the third team.

      For Thomas, yes. There is a not insignificant chance that Williams starts at one of the forward spots, at least at the beginning of the season. Fish isn’t likely going to want to start Porzingis right away, and if O’Quinn is the primary backup center, will they want him starting at PF and then shifting over when Lopez sits, or would they rather have him come in fresh. So Williams could be the starting PF for a little while, anyway. And even if not, he’ll definitely be part of the second unit, ahead of Early and Thomas.

    51. knock it off with the why is everybody always picking on me act

      What does saying I think my comments are reasonable have to do with anyone picking on me?

      I did not say “all my comments were extremely polite and I am the nicest guy ever.” What I said was that I think my comments are reasonable. I don’t think anything that I said to Brian was unreasonable. Almost every thread, the guy bashes the Knicks for the same few decisions and offers no evidence.

      This was also not the first time that I have asked Brian for some sort of explanation of his thinking on this very topic, which is where the latter parts of my comment came from. I just find continuously repeating the same radical comments and ignoring anyone who questions you or disagrees with you to be annoying.

    52. Mike K,
      FWIW, I’ve been as dismissive of Ted as anyone, but the following was uncalled for:

      “Demanding that Brian provide support for Thomas being terrible when you’re too lazy to type the 19 characters it takes to spell out “basketball reference” in google to see that it’s obvious is dumb. You’re always aggressively contrarian and your schtick is obtuse and, frankly, moronic. Though Iguess that statement needs to be peer reviewed before it’s considered valid (raise your hand if you think Ted isn’t the things I just said…no one? ok.)

      Do us all a favor and stop posting.”

    53. I don’t understand how that’s uncalled for when he’s consistently an ass in every thread. Notice how the only people I’ve been consistently rude to were CL, hoola, and him. That should say something. But nah, it’s just me, right?

      Maybe I just have a low tolerance for annoying forum behavior but ever since he started posting again every thread has orbited around his demanding mountains of evidence for every statement while forwarding little to nothing substantive of his own. The quality of the site drops by orders of magnitude when he posts and its really tiresome to see the same arguments rehashed in every thread. He’s consistently rude to other posters (Rama, Brian, djphan those just off the top of my head) and so I respond with rudeness in turn. I don’t see the problem with telling a bad poster to stop posting.

    54. There is a not insignificant chance that Williams starts at one of the forward spots

      Thanks, yes, I agree. He’ll see some court time. I think Phil really likes him, which ultimately means the most to me (until I see him on “Shaqtin a fool”). He’s keeping the spot warm for Zinger.

    55. “Not sure why I’ve bothered sticking around since I came back… Nostalgia maybe. Habit. There are less than a handful of people on here who seem to have any interest in actually analyzing Knicks basketball. Most just seem to want to echo each other’s comments lambasting the Knicks”

      Ted, this is aa gross overstatement. What burns me up about you is, on one hand, you call posters out ad nauseum for not adequately supporting their opinions, yet on the other hand, you make nonsensical overgeneralizations like this one, without adhering to your own lofty evidentiary standa rds. You did it to me a month ago when we were discussing the GSW vs. Cavs. You dismissively said that teams as inexperienced as GSW ’15 have won lots of times before, when 5 minutes of research would have demonstrated to you that you were totally talking out of your ass.

      In conclusion, I have less of a problem with you badgering tone and more with 1) your lack of understanding of the nuances of language, i.e. the line between respectful disagreement and insult, and 2) your variable evintiary standards for others vs. yourself.

      That said, I hope Mike K doesn’t ban you, but if he does, IMHO it would be due to you being incorrigably stubborn, abrasive and dismissive, and ultimately, excessively disrespectful to the guy who created the forum. It’s his party and we’re the guests.

    56. Ted, you havent been complaining about people attacking you for no reason? There was a reason. You were acting like a dick.

      Have I not discussed Lance Thomas at length with literally anyone willing to actually discuss him and done so in a perfectly respectful manner? I’m pretty fucking sure that I have. And I’m pretty sure that for totally reasonable and respectful comments, I was the one who got attacked (

      No, you haven’t. Brian hasn’t said everything the Knicks do is the dumbest thing ever. He sure as shit hasn’t said that he’s the smartest ever. Then you called him a whiner. That’s you, unprovoked, acting unreasonably and disrespectfully. Its dickish, even if you didn’t intend it that way. Keep it up if you want-this aint my website, but try to have some self awareness and we’ll all probably get along better

    57. It’s too bad Jowels can only seem to get revved up when Ruru is around. I think him and Ted could have a pretty epic statistical sparring match.

      Ted I think most agree that you are able to add a lot of insight, but I have to agree with Strat. You can do just as much by stating your point of view without naming anyone in the process. If people agree they’ll back you up and help fight the other position. It’s not you against the world here.

    58. Ted, your argument essentially is that if you peruse Thomas’ 2800 career minutes you can find some stretches in which he wasn’t terrible. Not good, but not terrible. Add on the fact that Thomas is 27 years old, was not impressive whatsoever in college, and to use one of your favorite arguments, has been thrown around from team to team (this on its own is not an indicator of much despite what you think, but with Thomas he’s not valued by front offices simply because he isn’t good). Now can you see why plenty of people are disappointed at the prospect of giving him more than the veteran’s minimum and a roster spot that could’ve gone to someone else?

    59. Maybe Phil sees LT as a valuable glue guy/mentor type? He got a modest raise (by NBA standards) and will likely get limited minutes off the end of the bench. I’m “meh” about him but more happy about Amundson. Both guys played hard and got raises. To me that sets a nice precedent for a team looking to change culture. Work hard…get a raise. Be lazy, get cut/traded, etc. No matter how talented your are or what kinds of stats you put up. Like JR.

      I’ve played on lots of sports teams over the years (and still do)…yeah, not pro sports, but I’ve been on talented underachieving teams in some cases but also on a couple of teams that were clearly better than the sum of their parts. I think not all of the value of NBA players, esp. guys making peanuts, can be found in TS%, Reb/36, etc.

      In fact, LT’s stats mean little to me. If the guy ends up playing significant minutes for the Knicks this year, it likely means that either 1. the team has been ravaged by injuries or 2. that Phil has made major errors elsewhere on the roster that are far worse than signing LT for the $1.6m or so he got. Either way, we’ll have much bigger problems than LT being signed for the end of the bench.

    60. And to be fair, althouth I love and respect Brian C’s contibutions to this blog, he does get very absolutist from time to time. To this day, he still thinks that matching Jeremy Lin’s ridiculous contract was a “no-brainer” (which were his and other’s words, implying that anyone who felt that there were a pretty balanced set of pros and cons to matching vs. not matching and that it wasn’t an easy decision didn’t have a brain; never mind that Jeremy Lin was replaced not once but twice by a 2nd round pick, and cost a 1st round pick to dump his poison pill. Never mind that his $25 million poison-pill contract would have cost an additional $40+ million in luxury tax for the privilege of Lin’s mediocre services, and that Morey himself wouldn’t have matched it in the same circumstances, just like he didn’t match Parsons. But of course, it had to be stupid because anything and everything Dolan does is stupid. Therefore, by extension, everything Jackson does must be stupid. I know I’m exaggerating, but that’s how it sometimes comes across. )

      Ted is not perfect, but Brian has been definitively hypercritical of many Jax moves or non-moves. Even though they’re just opinions, perhaps a bit less certainty in BC’s tone would be nice.

    61. if you peruse Thomas’ 2800 career minutes you can find some stretches in which he wasn’t terrible. Not good, but not terrible.

      It also strikes me as slightly odd that his supporters are basically trying to write off last season, which is not only the most recent data, but also the data accumulated playing in the system and role for which we presumably resigned him. So we not only have to discount the bulk of the data, but also that piortion of it which is most relevant, to find a stretch in which he was more like a normal bad bench player instead of one of the worst players in the league. Seems like a bit of a reach to me.

    62. To this day, he still thinks that matching Jeremy Lin’s ridiculous contract was a “no-brainer” (which were his and other’s words, implying that anyone who felt that there were a pretty balanced set of pros and cons to matching vs. not matching and that it wasn’t an easy decision didn’t have a brain; never mind that Jeremy Lin was replaced not once but twice by a 2nd round pick, and cost a 1st round pick to dump his poison pill. Never mind that his $25 million poison-pill contract would have cost an additional $40+ million in luxury tax for the privilege of Lin’s mediocre services, and that Morey himself wouldn’t have matched it in the same circumstances, just like he didn’t match Parsons. But of course, it had to be stupid because anything and everything Dolan does is stupid. Therefore, by extension, everything Jackson does must be stupid. I know I’m exaggerating, but that’s how it sometimes comes across. )

      I maintain that it was a no-brainer as well from both a basketball and financial standpoint. In terms of improving the roster, it came at absolutely no opportunity cost due to our existing cap situation at the time. Lin, since the deal was signed, has pretty much been a league average point guard with some stretches in which he was better. That’s better production than we’ve gotten from the point guard position for the most part since then.

      Morey had to give up a first-round pick to unload him because they actually had flexibility once he was unloaded. We would not have, so it’s completely irrelevant. If you recall, Dolan’s reasons for not matching had nothing to do with basketball or finances and were purely vindictive. It was dumb then and is no less dumb now.

    63. It also strikes me as slightly odd that his supporters are basically trying to write off last season, which is not only the most recent data, but also the data accumulated playing in the system and role for which we presumably resigned him. So we not only have to discount the bulk of the data, but also that piortion of it which is most relevant, to find a stretch in which he was more like a normal bad bench player instead of one of the worst players in the league. Seems like a bit of a reach to me.

      Another very good point. I understand the value of continuity, a good culture, etc. But that’s not stuff you pay a premium for, and especially not when the continuity in question comes from a 17 win team!

    64. This is really one root of all these issues… people seem to lose all nuance in what I’m saying…

      If nobody understands what you’re saying, maybe you need to say it differently.

      And what the heck does Marx have to do with any of this?? I get so confused when I read through threads these days. They just go to all these weird places so fast.

      Back when I first read this blog, Ted was one of my favorite contributors. Not sure if he’s changed or if the blog has simply evolved, but it’s too bad that the two no longer seem compatible. His contributions are often useful, but there is so much noise in his writing that it’s hard to hear the important stuff. I always felt the same way about Ruruland: when he analyzed basketball objectively, he added so much to the dialogue here. But, unfortunately, he spent most of his time deifying Carmelo Anthony and bickering with the folks that weren’t drinking his Kool Aid.

    65. The question is whether he could be above replacement, a reasonable end-of-bench piece as a low usage corner-3/at the rim combo-F who guards whichever forward a more valuable F (mostly Melo) isn’t guarding.

      I mean, really? The guy has attempted a total of 23 threes since he was a Freshman at Duke eight years ago. We may as well ask whether he would make a good team doctor.

      Analysis generally involves breaking something down into its constituent parts, then building back up to conclusions. Your analysis seems to start with the conclusions, in that you’re leaning really heavily on career average, aggregate stats as a starting point.

      And datamining involves breaking something down into its constituent parts so you can find an unsurprisingly clustered subsample amid a series of noisy data to support a cherry picked conclusion.

    66. I’d rather have Lance be the Assistant to my Team Doctor than my backup SF. He seems like a pretty smart guy.

    67. I’ve been readings this sites for years now and have witnessed bans and whatnot coming from racism , rape , hate etc.. context from certain posters but honestly recently I’ve been finding it harder to come here to read this site and this is where I come for great insight and detailed analysis for my beloved Knicks. I respect and greatly appreciate every posters opinion and views and contributions to this site. I know I don’t post at all on here but that is because the people that do already say everything that needs to be said and I don’t feel the need to post just to say that I agree or disagree with them. With that being said can we please stop this battle of the egos that has been going for quite some time now. It does nothing but degenerate the site and make any new viewer to site think of this as a joke or afraid to post because of the ridiculous backlash they may or may not receive from it. This is not aimed towards any one individual and is more aimed towards the group as a whole. We are all mature enough here and are able to have debates with each other without crossing that line. We are all mature enough that even if someone does cross that line that we don’t have reply by jumping over the line to get to them and if we are not then my judgment of the people and this site has been wrong for years and I must find somewhere else to go but I would love to be right. So in the name of the basketball gods can we please just go back to talking about basketball in a civilized manner without having to scroll up and down just to find the basketball related stuff

    68. ‘stam, this is simply not true. Lin was replaced by nobody’s on two different teams by two different coaches. It’s also hugely presumptuous and disrespectful to spend other people’s money, even despicable assholes like Dolan. The luxury tax alone means that Lin would have cost Dolan the equivalent of a superstar max contract.

      He is certainly not a league average player. As a healthy 27-yo, he just signed for 2 years at $2 million per on a desperate EC lottery team in a climate where anybody with a pulse was being signed for big bucks. There was an opportunity created by not signing him, but it was idiotically squandered on Bargnani, but I contend that the two deals must be evaluated separately.

      Hindsight clearly confirms that Morey lost his gamble big time by overpaying Lin, and that not matching his unjustified offer was a good move(especially considering the luxury tax.) Again, Morey, the boy genius, made an offer so stupid that even HE wouldn’t have matched it, as he proved with the Parsons deal. In other words, even Morey know it wasn’t a no-brainer. He purposely made an offer that any smart GM would have to think long and hard about matching. He did so because he expected far more value from Lin than he got. Do you really think that in hindsight, Morey would have made that move again??

    69. Team doctor has never seemed to be a particularly well filled position here. Not Mets team doctor bad, but not that great either

    70. Am I the only one who remembers the Bargnani trade was just one aspect of MSG’s partnership with CAA?

      Are other posters intentionally omitting the fact that the partnership also allowed James Dolan’s band to open for The Eagles? I mean, the fucking Eagles!!

    71. Do you really think that in hindsight, Morey would have made that move again??

      When he made the contract offer to Lin, I don’t think he knew that James Harden would fall into his lap. So hindsight is kind of irrelevant for this. He was smart not to pass up the opportunity to acquire Harden simply because he was already paying Lin. Lin wasn’t a good pairing with Harden, and Beverly was. That doesn’t mean that Lin was a negative during his time in Houston, or kept the team from getting much, much better. And when his contract became a negative (he wanted to make a max offer to Bosh), he was able to trade it without taking a step back (his team was able to survive the Lin dump to the tune of 56 wins and a WCF appearance).

      So, sure, if he had a psychic eye, he probably would have not made the poison pill offer, but I don’t think he has any regrets about it. And even if he does, what does that have to do with the Knicks?? James Harden didn’t suddenly join them. Ray Felton did!

    72. Z-man, if you want to argue that the Lin contract was bad for Houston, that’s a completely different argument. They had a very different cap and roster situation. The reason matching the contract was a no-brainer was specifically because of our unique cap and roster situation. The cost of having Lin would’ve been Dolan dollars. That is all. As DRed points out, those Dolan dollars were indeed spent, just far more foolishly than on Lin. Also please don’t get me started on the argument that he isn’t league average because front offices don’t seem to think so.

    73. from Donald Trump Is The World’s Greatest Troll By Nate Silver
      http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/donald-trump-is-the-worlds-greatest-troll/

      “A troll,” according to one definition, “is a person who sows discord … by starting arguments or upsetting people … with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” … Trolls thrive in communities that are open … and which operate in presumed good faith (there need to be some standards of decorum to offend). … the troll may feed off negative attention, claiming it makes him a victim and proves that everyone is out to get him.

      So, trolling behavior is marked by:
      1) Sowing discord by starting emotional arguments (rather than respectful discussions)
      2) Disrupting normal on-topic discussion
      3) Receiving numerous prompts to respect decorum standards
      4) Claiming to be a victim whom nearly everyone is out to get

      Ted, I am not calling you a troll. Nor am I saying you are the only one here who does any of these things. I’m saying that though you seem to be unaware of it, you have clearly been trolling big time.

      Changing is a breeze. The keys are the decorum and victim bits. Nail those and you’re golden.

    74. Who was the last controversial poster to hit the board? ruruland?

      The thing about ruruland — and I’m trying to speak around the topic right now, so as to not directly insult the deluded trolls among us — is that while his positions were often extreme (like that Carmelo Anthony is good at basketball), he conducted himself with a sense of moderateness and sobriety that made his aggressors, like myself, seem like barfighting drunkards by comparison.

      I disagree with nearly everything ruruland has ever said, and since he solely exists to promote Me7o’s brand, I revise that: I disagree with everything he’s ever said. (Even if he talked about how delicious Shake Shack is, I would disagree under the assumption that he would argue that Shake Shack’s excellence had something to do with Carmelo’s ability to create shots for his teammates.)

      But he continues to be welcome on this board because his tone rarely digresses into diatribes whose sentences unreservedly begin with “you.” And for that reason I am glad he’s posting. As often as I conceptually agree with those posters who point fingers and hem, haw and tremble angrily in front of their laptops, I can’t bear to see another post with such venom and bile over simple disagreements of an epistemological nature. It’s driving me insane and I hope that the banhammer comes down soon if it doesn’t change.

      Sincerely,

      A dude who used to yell at other dudes on the internet over sports

    75. First of all, there are two main reasons why Lin is not a league average player, and why he was benched and dumped by two teams in favor of nobodies from nowhere, and why he was offered a mere $400.000 a year more than Lance Thomas, and $1 Mill more than the vet’s minimum, despite being in the middle of his prime. First, he absolutely sucks on defense, especially vs. starting PGs in the WC. Second, he turns the ball over too much.

      And please with the “didn’t fit next to Harden” argument.

      As to the $40 Million in luxury tax, again, I think it is horrendously disrespectful to tell anyone, even a spendthrift asshole like Dolan that “unless you spend $60+ million on this guy over 3 years, you don’t have a brain, and if it were MY $60 million, I would spend it in a heartbeat, and swear it was a smart move even though I could have easily found another 2nd rounder/D-Leaguer to take his place . Frankly, it was one of the few smart moves Dolan made during that time.

      Tell me, why didn’t he match Fields? He was in the same boat as Lin and got a similarly ridiculous contract offer from Toronto (who stupidly tried to preempt us signing the corpse of Steve Nash with that move, as I recall.) Why was there no hand-wringing over that deal, but so much over the Lin deal? My guess is it was the irrational exuberance over Lin after the whole Linsanity thing.

      Anyway, the reason I brought it up is to emphasize that terms like “no-brainer” and “dumb” and “stupid” are just as imflammatory as anything Ted has said. Anyone who uses such terms rather than “I think it was a bad move” or at least politely acknowledge that there are pros and cons, as there clearly were here, shouldn’t have a problem with Ted doing it

    76. We’re still arguing about Jeremy Lin?

      When we didn’t re-sign Jeremy Lin, the backup plan was to sign Ray “Fat Fuck” Felton to like a 17-year contract. A contract that we had to trade Tyson Chandler to dump after Fatso became toxic because of his shitty play and his love of waving guns around.

      Hell yeah it was a no-brainer matching Lin, even with the poison pill. Dolan has wasted his money on way stupider shit than that.

    77. And please with the “didn’t fit next to Harden” argument.

      Huh? It is kind of important, no?

    78. There are plenty of reasons why Houston choose Beverley over Lin.

      The more obvious is that Beverley, regardless of where he came from, had a much friendly contract and is actually a pretty decent player.

      Berverley also played 31MPG and Lin 29MPG while they were teammates. It’s hard to say that he was dumped or didn’t get any PT in favor of a nobody. That’s starter minutes on one of the best teams in the West.

      It was a matter of freeing cap space for Bosh.

      One thing that was definitively NOT a no-brainer was signing Fat-Felton and Bargs with even more money.

    79. Knicks are apparently giving Darion Atkins a partialy guaranteed
      contract that will at least get him to camp. Atkins is 6’8 with a 7’2″
      wingspan and uses it for D. Almost all of his points come in the
      post and he has no outside shot or FT ability to speak of, but he
      can offer some D, boards and blocks. He’s more filled out and
      polished defensively than Ndour was, but Ndour seemed to have the
      greater offensive ability and upside. Atkins had been on San
      Antonio’s Summer League team, and we know all about their
      scouting acumen.
      posted by Kalel9 @ 4:43 PM

    80. Atkins looks interesting. Always good to see an intriguing undrafted rookie in camp. And yes, San Antonio’s interest certainly doesn’t hurt! But yikes, those free throw stats were certainly not trending the right way in college. But if he can play some D, that could be a nice guy to have at the back of the bench.

    81. First, he absolutely sucks on defense, especially vs. starting PGs in the WC. Second, he turns the ball over too much.

      There are other things one can do on a basketball court, and Lin does them at a rate that makes him league average by most metrics.

      As to the $40 Million in luxury tax, again, I think it is horrendously disrespectful to tell anyone, even a spendthrift asshole like Dolan that “unless you spend $60+ million on this guy over 3 years, you don’t have a brain, and if it were MY $60 million, I would spend it in a heartbeat, and swear it was a smart move even though I could have easily found another 2nd rounder/D-Leaguer to take his place .

      But that money did get spent, just on Andrea Bargnani, not Lin. If Dolan couldn’t pay the luxury tax that’s one thing, but he could, he just didn’t want to pay it for Lin due to purely vindictive reasons.

      Tell me, why didn’t he match Fields? He was in the same boat as Lin and got a similarly ridiculous contract offer from Toronto (who stupidly tried to preempt us signing the corpse of Steve Nash with that move, as I recall.) Why was there no hand-wringing over that deal, but so much over the Lin deal? My guess is it was the irrational exuberance over Lin after the whole Linsanity thing.

      Because Fields had deteriorated to the point where he was arguably not worth a roster spot regardless of the cost. Lin certainly had not, and we failed to replace him with someone who outperformed what he went on to do.

    82. Saunders’ statistical profile is definitely interesting. I’m less intrigued by Atkins’ profile but if he was ACC DPOY perhaps he has defensive value that isn’t captured well by stats. Very on board with both moves.

    83. Atkins was defensive player of the year in the ACC. A young Rodman?

      Rodman was a scoring machine in college!

    84. Way too much electronic ink being spilled here over Lance “who?” Thomas. It’s making me yearn for the ubiquitous “is Me7o good or not?” Debate.

    85. A dude who used to yell at other dudes on the internet over sports

      The most annoying thing to me is reading people who are so smugly certain of themselves. I had a friend who would argue with me that Ewing would never get a championship and he turned out to be right but does that make the analysis anything to write home about? I mean, it’s easy to win when you take the field. When you predict that a player will play as he’s played it doesn’t exactly make you Nostradamus.

      Oh, and the endless needling over players who only “seem” good to (implied) stupid people because they only use “the eye test” and see guys getting points, athletically but really “inefficiently”. The team concept doesn’t matter at all, just each individual in a vacuum and only players with one elite, discrete skill need apply. But these posters, of course, just let it out in little snarky comments about how “bad at basketball” people are and how stats like PPG are over. God forbid you should root for someone, like someone, or worst of all, expect improvement. Kinda like expecting “your auntie to have bullocks”.

      Some trolls overt and others are oblique. The key to not trolling is expressing YOUR OWN IDEA in an interesting way. If that’s in opposition to someone else’s opinion, OK. You can still put it in a way that’s not confrontational or arrogant. I’m always willing to learn but I don’t like being talked down to.

    86. Do Saunders and Atkins represent the 14th and 15th camp bodies? 5 guys still to add?

    87. I saw Saunders play a few games during last season and he certainly looked like a guy who could shoot the basketball. That definitely tends to be an area where an undrafted player can make a name for himself. And dude’s from Harvard, so I think that there’s a decent chance he has a good basketball IQ. :) Although he’ll always have to live down that blown breakaway dunk during Summer League. :)

    88. Atkins college stats were nothing special, but they played some nasty defense at UVA and he’s long and pretty athletic. Maybe we’re grooming the next Lou Amundson

      Saunders is another long guard. Phil obviously has a length fetish

    89. @90 Dolan decided not to spend the money on Lin. Smart decision.

      Dolan decided to spend his money on Bargnani. Bad decision.

      These decisions are independent ones.

      For example: Morey signed Asik and Lin to virtually identical contracts, and jettisoned them both at the same time for the same reason. One cost him a first rounder, the other gained him a first rounder. Independent moves, one good, one not good.

      Also, you are wrong about Fields. At the time, many argued that his decline was due to not being a good fit around Melo. Also, Lin had knee surgery and was unable to play in the playoffs (and rumors had it that he could have played but didn’t want to risk a big FA payday.)

      But again, just because you would have done it doesn’t make it a no-brainer. In fact, if you polled the 15 smartest GMs as to whether they would have matched (or thought Morey’s offer was a prudent move) my guess is that nearly all of them would say no.

      So my point is that smart people can disagree on the wisdom of a particular move without resorting to incendiary rhetoric.

    90. Dolan decided not to spend the money on Lin. Smart decision.

      In order to think this, you pretty much have to think that Lin has not performed at a level that would’ve made him worthy of one of our 15 roster spots, because that is the lone opportunity cost he came with. So have we not had a single player that was objectively worse than Lin since then?

      But again, just because you would have done it doesn’t make it a no-brainer. In fact, if you polled the 15 smartest GMs as to whether they would have matched (or thought Morey’s offer was a prudent move) my guess is that nearly all of them would say no.

      Again, it was a no-brainer solely for the Knicks. Asking other GMs doesn’t make any sense unless their roster and cap situations were identical to the Knicks’.

    91. Not true. You have a guy under contract for 3 years who would virtually impossible to move (as Morey found out.) Which Btw was the exact reason Morey gave for not matching Parsons.

      In retrospect, Lin never lived up to his contract even without the luxury tax, and his contract was indeed untradable. And now? Lin couldn’t get a single team to offer him more than 2 mill per??

    92. Not true. You have a guy under contract for 3 years who would virtually impossible to move (as Morey found out.) Which Btw was the exact reason Morey gave for not matching Parsons.

      In retrospect, Lin never lived up to his contract even without the luxury tax, and his contract was indeed untradable. And now? Lin couldn’t get a single team to offer him more than 2 mill per??

      Lin being impossible to move would not have made any difference to us, because moving him would’ve opened up exactly zero new opportunities. That is what made our situation different from Houston’s, and is what renders any comparison to their handling of his contract to our theoretical handling of it irrelevant.

    93. And again, face, when it’s YOUR money, you can piss 60 large away on a guy who wasn’t worth even a fourth of that, and can’t now make more than 2 mill in a seller’s market like no other.

    94. And again, face, when it’s YOUR money, you can piss 60 large away on a guy who wasn’t worth even a fourth of that, and can’t now make more than 2 mill in a seller’s market like no other.

      So…James Dolan should be exempt from criticism?

    95. Again, not true. You can still make trades if salaries match, or if the other team has the cap room to absorb the contract. Lin required a sweetener to move.

    96. Also, while the Bargs deal was stupid, it would not have been financially possible if Lin had been matched. So there were opportunities cerated by not matching that we happened to squander.

    97. Criticizing the way James Dolan spends his money as it relates to the Knicks is a big part of what we do here, so we’re not just gonna kick it to the curb.

    98. Again, not true. You can still make trades if salaries match, or if the other team has the cap room to absorb the contract. Lin required a sweetener to move.

      …and the fact that he required a sweetener to move was relevant to the team that moved him, because it opened up an opportunity for them. That would not have been the case with us.

      Also, while the Bargs deal was stupid, it would not have been financially possible if Lin had been matched. So there were opportunities cerated by not matching that we happened to squander.

      Putting aside the hilarity of this example for a second, is this even true? We sent out equal salaries in the Bargnani trade, so why wouldn’t it have worked with Lin on the roster?

    99. Another issue with Lin is that he brought a media circus along with him- the locker room was a complete zoo during Linsanity and while it cooled off in Houston I’m not sure it would have here. He wouldn’t have been worth the distraction. The mistake wasn’t letting him walk, the mistake was replacing him with Felton- though in all honesty I think Felton ran that offense better than Lin would’ve that first year back. The bottom line is for what they gave up to get Felton they probably could’ve found somebody better than both he and Lin.

    100. The rationale at the time for not signing Lin was the tax bill. The Bargnani trade added salary as Q-Rich and Camby were unguaranteed/partially guaranteed, so you could argue that Dolan wouldn’t have wanted to pay the extra tax were Lin getting paid too.

      You also wouldn’t be wrong to point out the hypocrisy of the Knicks claiming poverty when not signing Lin and then adding a similar amount of salary in the Bargnani trade (especially when you consider the Knicks likely wouldn’t have signed Felton had they kept Lin).

    101. Atkins college stats were nothing special, but they played some nasty defense at UVA and he’s long and pretty athletic. Maybe we’re grooming the next Lou Amundson

      Saunders is another long guard. Phil obviously has a length fetish

      Yeah, neither of them really stand out in particular (although each have a nice specific hook – Saunders shot really well in college from three and Atkins was ACC Defensive Plaeyr of the Year), but because of that, I bet the partial guarantees on their deals are very low (likely $75,000 or so), so it is a relatively cheap bet to see if they can show them something in camp. I just love the Knicks trying out some young undrafted guys. Let’s see them roll some more dice! :)

      By the way, the Sixers sign some crazy ass deals – they got a dude to sign a four-year deal with not even the first year guaranteed fully!

    102. his contract was indeed untradable

      His contract was indeed not untradable, evidenced by the fact that it was, indeed, traded.

      Eddy Curry was untradable. Stephon Marbury was untradable. Jeremy Lin was not. And the sweetener wasn’t much: the 3rd to last pick in the first round.

      Lin hasn’t been Linsane since he left NY, but he’s been good. Houston made out extremely well since they poached him. The Knicks have hit a franchise low. Why are we even debating Lin? Let it go, Z-Man.

    103. Chris Copeland cited Jason Kidd being the coach as to why he signed in Milwaukee. It wasn’t exactly like he had a huge market, so that’s not such a big deal, but what I found interesting is what Cope said, “The biggest hook for me was Jason Kidd, by far. Obviously, he was a friend of mine before all this. He was a great mentor for me in New York and someone I continue to grow under. An incredible mind on and off the floor.” Kidd was Copeland’s mentor? Does anyone remember that? I mean, I guess he was sort of a mentor to all the younger players, but it’s just funny that I never recalled hearing anything about Kidd and Copeland specifically back then.

    104. DW, you’re missing the point. It’s not about rehashing the Lin non-match. It’s about the semantics of polite conversation. Using words like “no-brainer” when there are clearly multiple rational perspectives is rude and invites the kind of responses people are criticizing Ted for. That’s the only no-brainer in this conversation.

    105. Ignoring whether or not something is a no-brainer, there’s a material difference between the comparative politeness of Ted’s aggressiveness and calling something a no brainer–the former is way more impolite than the latter and is often out of line. The latter is a pretty casual colloquialism that isn’t really meant to imply anything about the person arguing against you (if there is one). Meanwhile teds calling people whiny and irrational, or, you know, “a fucking douchebagger”. Regardless of whether or not it’s impolite to say something is a no brainer, Teds responses are disproportionately aggressive.

    106. Many of your points are just flat out lies.

      Ted,

      I won’t stand for this. Retract it and apologies, or leave.

      And here is my post. Feel free to bold which parts are lies.

      Ted,

      Alecto didn’t call you a moron. He said you are aggressive and a contrarian, and that your “schtick” is “moronic.”

      And then you called him a “fucking douchebagger.”

      So from a technical perspective, you broke the rules not him.

      But really I don’t care much about that. What I care about is:

      And, Mike, asking people to support their radical points disrupts the conversation but making non-basketball related comments with no aim except to insult another commenter doesn’t?

      Yes. Yes it does. Alecto’s pointed language notwithstanding, he’s got a point. Instead of calling Brian out, why not take the time to use stats to back up your opinion?

      This is what multiple people referred to the last time. That you force others to make their point without bothering to make your own. And that you make the thread about you instead of basketball.

      We should really start calling this site “Strawmanblogger.net…” One literally can’t make a point on here without someone misrepresenting it for the sole purpose of insult.

      So my question would be — why come here then? I started this site (in part) because I wanted a place I could discuss basketball in a way I found productive. Today there are probably a hundred sites to discuss basketball. Back in 2004, I had to argue with idiots on RealGM. So I left. If this site is so biased and torturous, why keep coming back?

    107. Alecto, two wrongs don’t make a right. I disagree with your interpretation of no-brainer. To me, it implies utter stupidity on the part of anyone who disagrees with you. There are a million ways to express a strong opinion without doing that.

      I felt that your earlier comments about Ted were over the line. Just my opinion, feel free to disagree. Keep in mind that a few threads ago, Ted called me a 5 year-old…we’re hardly bff’s.

    108. I guess we’ll just have to disagree on the meaning of no brainer.

      My comments probably were a bit too aggressive, but I don’t feel the need to apologize to Ted–he has done ample enough to deserve that kind of rhetoric. It’s probably better if I just don’t say anything, but I think it’s a little naive to expect people to take the “high road”/ to hold ones tongue when he literally ruins the site and lashes out at people in every thread.

      The way I see it is this: the difference between me and Ted is that I’m verbally abusing one person who deserves it, and Ted is verbally abusing multiple people who don’t. One is far more justifiable than the other, even if they’re both not ideal. Though I’m sure your mileage may vary.

    109. Using words like “no-brainer” when there are clearly multiple rational perspectives

      I count 2 brains that didn’t think it was a no-brainer, and one of them was James Dolan’s brain…

    110. A third brain was Morey’s. In fact, he was counting on not even Dolan being stupid enough to match his stupid (but clever) offer.

    111. A third brain was Morey’s. In fact, he was counting on not even Dolan being stupid enough to match his stupid (but clever) offer.

      I don’t know why this has to be repeated so often, the contract was night and day different for Morey than it was for us due to our roster and cap situation.

    112. And I don’t know how many times I have to repeat that Morey knew OUR cap situation and made an offer that he knew had serious financial consequences for any serious owner or GM to consider, and that matching is something that HE wouldn’t do if the situations were reversed (which he essentially proved by not matching Parsons.)

    113. I’ve found this board to be a fantastic source of intelligent and/or statistically based analysis of my Knicks. Discovered it about a month ago while obsessing over the draft and really have been thrilled to find it. The endless recent discussion of Ted Nelson has been unfortunate since the countless posts on the subject obscure the true value of this board…and in this post I’m going to pile on to the problem with the hope that we can put this all behind us.

      I’ve read most of the posts. My view is that Ted Nelson has taken some significant strides to improve his dialogue. Some of his recent posts have been fantastic. That said, his posts the prior week significantly detracted from the blog for many of the reasons previously stated (most significantly 1. demanding evidence rather than providing his own (thankfully this approach has been abandoned in his recent great posts), 2. escalation in name calling (no need to launch a grenade in response to every mosquito), 3. inability to let even the most minor slight go).

      So what I’m proposing is that we PLEASE, PLEASE put this all behind us. Best would be for all involved in this ridiculousness to acknowledge in a short post that they are prepared to “start fresh and not speak again of past posts on this subject” (wether or not someone else does). If with a fresh start the parties involved can’t keep a productive dialogue focused on basketball/humor, then I’m all for some banishment to get this board back on track.

    114. Mike, please stop with the holier than thou bull. You are possibly the very person who began focusing the conversation on me rather than the Knicks and basketball my creating a ridiculous meme that I ask people for detailed reports or something. Which is a lie. Yet you are still repeating it. I won’t stand for that. You treating me as a child and with no respect is likely what creates the illusion that it’s ok for others to do so. Please stop. Please, for the tenth time, stop implying that I should take the advice of every commenter on here, regardless of its validity. Please have the respect to tell me what specifically you have a problem with me saying. I’m not just going to magically change my whole way of being because you asked me to read scattered advice from dozens of posters.

      I literally pointed out to you what was a lie. 1. That I don’t make my own points. That’s lazy BS on your part. I make plenty of points, but when I don’t have a position I cannot make my point… that is why I ask questions. I am not going to stop asking people to explain the logic behind their statements. It is the reason I come here: to hear what other people think to inform my own understanding. A lot of people seem to have similar motives and we have productive conversations. Others seem to come on here to say whatever is on their mind, and often get hostile when someone asks them why those things are on their mind. 2. That I make the conversation about me. I have no interest in talking about me. Others apparently do. I am not just going to read a tirade telling me that I am or my comments are moronic and pass it over. Nor do I think I should have to read it in the first place. Then to have you essentially second the BS rumblings of a fanatic was really the icing on the cake.

      Alecto, your logic is really questionable. That you feel the need to come on here for no reason but to attack another commenter is really sad to me.

    115. thenamestsam,

      @63… I would argue that’s not my argument but rather a strawman you have created to make my argument look stupid so it’s easy to dismiss. My argument is that projecting future outcomes is not as simple as looking at a small sample of aggregate results. One of the main drivers of Thomas’ performance has been his shot selection, which presumably has to do with the role his coach asks him to play. In one role, he was ok and in another awful. It’s not that he had some good stretches, I don’t think. I think it’s that he was successful in one role and a failure in another. If the Knicks can find a way to integrate him into a cohesive offensive system as a low usage finisher and occasional open jumper taker, maybe he can be successful. I don’t know if last season’s results taking almost only jumpers on a zoo of a team is indicative of what the Knicks expect going forward. I’m not saying he’ll work out. I am saying there’s probably more analysis needed than “he was terrible last season, the Knicks are so dumb for not realizing how terrible he is.” That’s one of several possibilities.

      @your later comment…
      It’s not a matter of discounting anything. It’s a matter of breaking averages down into their constituent parts. This is the heart of analytical thinking. Looking at one number is not an analysis. I would say analysis is more understanding why that number is what it is.

      It’s an assumption that the role he played as a mid-season pickup on a team in full tank-mode with virtually none of the players on the current roster playing is necessarily the role he’ll play next season or indicative of how he’ll play it. May be right, may be wrong.

      I don’t think anyone is projecting Thomas to be all that good. Just trying to look for reasons that might have led the Knick to sign him besides “they’re dumb and have no idea about basketball.” (Which is totally possible… just not the only possibility.)

    116. One of the main drivers of Thomas’ performance has been his shot selection, which presumably has to do with the role his coach asks him to play. In one role, he was ok and in another awful. It’s not that he had some good stretches, I don’t think. I think it’s that he was successful in one role and a failure in another. If the Knicks can find a way to integrate him into a cohesive offensive system as a low usage finisher and occasional open jumper taker, maybe he can be successful.

      But it’s not even close to true that he was “successful” in his early years on New Orleans (also terrible teams) that you think are so in need of deeper analysis. His FG% in the restricted area during those two halcyon years was 56.3%, exactly the same as his FG% in the restricted area last year. Having an overall TS% slightly above league average when you are a low usage forward taking up space in the cozy confines of the restricted area is not a good thing unless you bring a lot of other stuff to the table. In a typical year in the NBA, 25-27 of the 30 teams shoot better than 56.3% in the restricted area. Last year it was 26. These are numbers that will reliably put you in the bottom 10% of forwards and centers in restricted area FG%.

      And that was his best stat! Being a low usage forward with a slightly above average TS% who is not a plus rebounder, passer or rim protector is just not a good NBA player. And that’s the cherry picked part of the sample. If anything, the “deeper analysis” shows that his 1200 minutes in New Orleans is what is unsustainable, because most coaches realizes that you can’t afford to have a guy who doesn’t rebound or rim protect as your low usage paint clogger, especially if they are going to be in the bottom 10% of restricted area efficiency. But most coaches aren’t Monty Williams.

    117. ptmilo,

      I think a lot of that is a fair analysis. I think calling someone who takes a shot close to the basket a “paint clogger” is totally silly, though.

      What I am saying is not that Thomas is some great finisher, but that there might be a low usage offensive role in which he’s somewhat useful (in a pinch). If he can take more of his shots at the basket than he did for the Knicks last season (which was almost none) and build on his tiny bit of 3P success last season while playing average or better defense, he could be an above replacement contributor at the end of the bench. All I’m really saying is that there might be some reason the Knicks signed this guy other than the default reason most people are going to on here that Phil Jackson knows less about basketball than they do.

      You also haven’t mentioned defense in any real way. Seeing as that’s half of the game, it’s pretty much impossible to analyze a player without looking at defense. I understand why people like to stick to objective stats in these discussions, but we have to at least recognize that box score stats don’t tell the whole story.

    118. @Ted, I think there are a lot of non NBA players that if you have the perfect situation for them where they will only ever be asked to do what they do best, they can be passably useful. The thing is, especially if that’s the guy’s ceiling, don’t you think you can do better than that? Don’t you think it would be more wise long term to invest in a player with a higher ceiling even if he’s now less productive? I mean, what’s the cost? If Lance projects to play 300 minutes or whatever, what does he give you over some other more risky player’s worst case 300 minutes, 0.1 more wins on the season?

    119. You also haven’t mentioned defense in any real way. Seeing as that’s half of the game, it’s pretty much impossible to analyze a player without looking at defense. I understand why people like to stick to objective stats in these discussions, but we have to at least recognize that box score stats don’t tell the whole story.

      Here is the complete list of players with 2500+ minutes during Lance Thomas’ career who have averaged .7 or fewer stl/36 and .3 or fewer blk/36 as he has. Although was can agree that steals and blocks are a very narrow window in what makes a good defender, you might notice a certain trend here:

      Joe Johnson
      JJ Redick
      Arron Afflalo (Hi Knicks)
      Steve Nash
      Steve Novak
      Mike Miller
      Quincy Pondexter
      JJ Barea
      Mike Scott
      Gary Neal
      Tim Hardaway Jr. (Hi Hawks)
      Lance Thomas

      You’re not actually asserting he is a plus defender, right? You’re just saying he might be (presumably anyone might be, maybe Bargs was? We’ll never know), and we cannot know the truth. This is a good way to become a total nihilist or maybe perpetually deferential to the argument from authority, with the residual — the least quantifiable variable — justifying the deference. If Ricky Ledo secures the starting 2 job we should just assume that he is an excellent defender, because that’s the thing that we have the hardest time measuring, and management always must know what they’re doing.

    120. I’m starting to feel a little dirty about this thread by now, because Lance Thomas seems like a really good guy, and I’m tired of writing things focusing on how he is probably only the 600th best basketball player in the universe and not the 200th. No mas.

    121. A third brain was Morey’s. In fact, he was counting on not even Dolan being stupid enough to match his stupid (but clever) offer.

      Yeah, I just don’t understand this at all. Morey wanted Lin and gave him a contract that he thought could obtain him. He was probably surprised when Dolan didn’t match, but it’s not like he was siting there praying that Dolan wouldn’t screw him over by not matching the contract that he didn’t need to give him in the first place. It has nothing to do with the other 28 GMs, or Landry Fields, or Lin’s current market value, or anything you’ve been saying here. I understand that you’re trying to illustrate that universalist language like “no-brainer” is misused by contributors to this site, but your Lin example isn’t a very good one.

    122. ptmilo,

      Please stop with the strawmans.

      This is not some abstract notion. Defense is half of basketball. Steals and blocks are mediocre proxies for defensive ability at best (bad defense can inflate these stats, in fact). Do you actually think Lance Thomas is a below average defender? I don’t. He’s a very good athlete, a smart and disciplined player, and I don’t know that I’ve ever heard him called a below average defender. No one is making an appeal to authority. To play your strawman game… Your argument is essentially that if you can’t find a number to measure something that’s freely available on the internet, no one can accurately measure it. That’s not the case. Defense is a real thing and really comprises roughly half of a player’s value.

      And if Lance Thomas were a top 200 player, he’d be a rotation player. 200/30 is less than 7.

      Max,

      It’s a pretty complicated question, but no I don’t think we should just look at upside when evaluating players. We have to consider probability. We also have to consider fit.

      And different people will see different upside in a given player. Most of these guys looking at near minimum contracts don’t have much realistic upside, and I think figuring out which ones do involves more than looking at a couple of aggregate stats or just picking the guy who hasn’t had a chance to fail yet.

    123. DW, clearly you have your mind made up and nothing, not even Lin’s not living up to Morey’s expectations (unless you truly believe that Morey was happy with Links performance, which I think would make one stupid)could give you pause. I suppose that we should leave it at we each think the other is an idiot. I certainly feel that way about you, but then again, I don’t have a brain.

    124. Lin’s not living up to Morey’s expectations

      Not to go all Ted Nelson on you or anything, but what are you getting Morey’s thoughts and opinions from? Did Morey make a statement on Lin that I missed?

      I suppose that we should leave it at we each think the other is an idiot. I certainly feel that way about you, but then again, I don’t have a brain.

      I don’t think you’re an idiot. I just think you’re not making very good points on this subject. I continue to believe what I believe about Lin (and, really, more about Dolan than Lin) because your argument is unconvincing. If you were bringing a new light on the issue, that would be one thing. But I agree more with the other posters on this thread that have chimed in than I agree with you. That’s all. (And the “brainless” joke in #119 was, I hope you know, intended to be just that.)

    125. I’m not trying to convince anyone to change their mind about Dolan in general. He probably didn’t match for all the wrong reasons. But I truly believe that none of the smart GMs and owners would have matched that deal solely on its merits, given the exact same circumstances. For example, Chicago didn’t match Asik’s offer, even though he was much less of a risk than Lin. I also believe that Morey’s public humiliation of Lin during his courtship of Melo spoke loudly about his feelings re: Lin.

    126. I don’t think anyone is projecting Thomas to be all that good. Just trying to look for reasons that might have led the Knick to sign him besides “they’re dumb and have no idea about basketball.” (Which is totally possible… just not the only possibility.)

      +1

      I do feel really talked down to on this board at times. Funny that we’re talking about decorum on a blog and I really appreciate that this comes up. I think the thing is, that it takes a long time to frame a consistent statement. People take shortcuts all the time. Calling things a “no brainer” for example (and please no offense to anyone) is just something to do on a blog that you wouldn’t do in a researched, peer reviewed article. But sometimes flippant statements like “I’d trade Carmelo Anthony straight up for Tiago Splitter” are just not nuanced enough to explain the value vis a vis those two players. I’d prefer a poster take the time and explain. I’d actually enjoy reading that argument.

      In short, I am blown away by the massive well researched and interesting posts at this place. Even checking this amount of words for grammar is a huge job. Brian, Z-Man, Dred, Max, and yes Ted (don’t be mad at me Mike, you are my shining star!) + everyone else (can’t shout you all out) thanks for these afternoons and evenings of entertainment and smart analysis. When I talk to my neighbors and friends about bball I don’t even know where to start. You guys are at a whole ‘nother level.

      The posts that fall flat are the ones that make assumptions and don’t support them. They might in fact be eminently supportable, and that info may be somewhere in cyberspace (or explicated earlier in some massive thread), but it’s lazy (and sometimes arrogant too) to put out an idea and put down people who look at it a different way. Please, at least provide references.

    127. Maybe if the Knicks had offered him 3/15 right in the middle of Linsanity? Or just written a team option into his deal (oy). I think they can be criticized for letting it get to the point where Morey could screw them. And then for signing Ray and Bargs. But not matching 25 large? That actually makes sense.

      Boy we really need a good season. These threads are so ptsd. It’s over it’s over, as soon as the 2016 draft is over, it’s over…

    128. Mike, please stop with the holier than thou bull. You are possibly the very person who began focusing the conversation on me rather than the Knicks and basketball my creating a ridiculous meme that I ask people for detailed reports or something. Which is a lie.

      This is the second time you’re calling me a liar. And again to prove you wrong I have to spend my valuable time coming up with evidence. 7/9 is the date I responded with sarcasm (which mind you I apologized for publicly that same day). Here is from my notes, which I had to spend half my morning researching, examples of you acting like a troll BEFORE I made that comment:

      7/6 – Ted Nelson arguing with multiple members on the board. Called one person an “asshole” and another a “prick”.

      7/8 – Ted Nelson arguing with multiple members on the board. Many people complaining about the debate, specifically that Ted is arguing over nothing and forcing others to research to prove their opinion.

      So don’t accuse me of being “hollier than thou” and lying, when you’re the one who is doing precisely that.

      Note, I didn’t bother looking past that date, since that is all that is required to prove that you are the one who is distorting the truth, not I. I still expect an apology from you.

      Please have the respect to tell me what specifically you have a problem with me saying.

      Trolling is defined as “one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.” You do this frequently. I’m not giving a course on how to behave on the internet. I expect everyone that comments here to be able to gain that skill on their own. Insulting other people directly and sidetracking the conversation to something other than basketball fit in here, among other things.

    129. Ted, I have been reading this site since you were a regular commenter many years ago. You make valid points in your comments and are more than capable of adding to the conversation here, but your current approach is grating. The problem that I see is that you insist on directing every post you make at another commenter, breaking down the post line-by-line and demanding a similar response. When the response is not given (or is below your standards) you continue to come back at that specific person demanding an answer that irrefutably disproves your point (or lack thereof). Ask questions of the community as a whole. If the answers you receive are lacking in statistics, present some that fit your viewpoint and others will respond. If you address someone specifically and they do not respond, that is their choice. Don’t hijack the blog looking for a response from any one individual (as you do multiple times per thread). Express your own opinions and offer your own statistics. The conversation will follow.

    130. Mike, Honestly not sure what to say. You are using your own notes about me doing something once as evidence to prove that you weren’t lying that I do things all the time or never do things. Your actions are bordering on ridiculous. I am sorry that you feel I disrupted your board. Your behavior since has been really odd. You have heckled me, called me out repeatedly even when the consensus on the board has been that others were behaving inappropriately, and then resorted to some incredibly bad logic. If you would just let me be and actually intercede when others make inappropriate comments, I think half this problem would go away.

      No. I never make remarks with no purpose other that to provoke, at least not until provoked myself. I am always trying to discuss the actual issues at hand. This is yet another lie. Stop telling me what I am trying to do with my comments. If you have specific problems with specific comments, please point them out. You still haven’t done that once.

      kburt8, I appreciate the advice. My actually trying to converse with others about topics we’re not 100% in agreement on seems to be a major issue.
      BTW… My commenting style–in terms of quoting other commenters–used to be the norm on here and I believe is a big reason why the “quote” button exists. I didn’t realize how much the board has changed. It used to be a very evidence based and detail oriented community.
      I do not believe it is accurate that I “demand an answer.” People respond to me, and I respond back. If they continuously respond without addressing what I said, my choices are either to drop it or say “ok, that response didn’t address my comment.” That doesn’t mean I am demanding they respond to me… I am demanding that if they want to converse with me, they should address what I’ve said. Having people talk past you all the time is annoying. (Note that many people actually respond to what I’ve said and we discuss things.)

    131. Mike, I’m actually impressed that you have been so patient with Ted. Seems like you are doing your utmost not to ban him, but he’s really not making it easy.

      Ted, your main (but not only) problem is embedded in your response to Mike. Whether naively or on purpose, you use terms like “lying” (loaded term) when you can say “I don’t believe that” or “That’s not true” (non-loaded.) A couple of weeks ago, without any provocation, you called my commentary (I’m paraphrasing) “bullshit that I made up to serve my own narrative.” Are you that dense that you insult people without realizing it, or do you simply not care? You don’t seem to get there is absolutely no way to use words like “ignorant” without being insulting.

      A rule I’ve learned in my work is, be sensitive to what others think and feel, and choose your words carefully, especially in a debate. You have no right to tell others how to feel about the words you use. If they are offended by what you say, and you didn’t mean to be offensive, then you probably could have figured out a better choice of words to get your message across. It shouldn’t really be that hard.

      When a guy like THCJ calls you out for being abrasive, I’d take notice.

    132. You are using your own notes about me doing something once as evidence to prove that you weren’t lying that I do things all the time or never do things. Your actions are bordering on ridiculous. I am sorry that you feel I disrupted your board. Your behavior since has been really odd.

      On more than one occasion you’ve asked for proof or data. So I spent 45 minutes of my morning looking through threads from your first day(s) back in July to gather the evidence that you often require. This isn’t odd. It’s fulfilling your request, one you will ask a few sentences later.

      If you have specific problems with specific comments, please point them out. You still haven’t done that once.

      I’ve done this. Many times. But also in this thread. More than once.

      And then you called him a “fucking douchebagger.”

      So from a technical perspective, you broke the rules not him.

      7/6 – Ted Nelson arguing with multiple members on the board. Called one person an “asshole” and another a “prick”.

      7/8 – Ted Nelson arguing with multiple members on the board. Many people complaining about the debate, specifically that Ted is arguing over nothing and forcing others to research to prove their opinion.

      Again I did this because you’ve besmirched my good name. And that the only evidence you require is proof.

      You have heckled me, called me out repeatedly even when the consensus on the board has been that others were behaving inappropriately, and then resorted to some incredibly bad logic.

      I’ve apologized for responding sarcastically to you.

      And it’s ironic that you’re using the “consensus on the board” to defend yourself when just before you say “stop implying that I should take the advice of every commenter on here”. You can’t have it both ways.

      … [more]

    133. As for the “consensus on the board”, it’s not in your favor. I’ve pointed out a number of people who have complained of your behavior. In multiple threads.

      There are a number of people all pretty much giving you the same advice. We’re trying to help you. But you’re ignoring every opinion doesn’t validate yours (“Please, for the tenth time, stop implying that I should take the advice of every commenter on here, regardless of its validity.”). You’re stuck on this notion that you’ve been wronged, by others and by me, and that all would be fine if others just did differently.

      And that’s the problem. Until you recognize that you have and are continuing to do something wrong, you’ll never get past it. I did something wrong to you, admitted it publicly, and apologized. You have changed over the last few posts, but if this is your mindset, then you’re destined for failure at some point.

      And I still stand by my original comment. You can retract calling me a liar, or leave.

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