Knicks Morning News (2015.07.31)

  • [New York Post] Knicks cutting Ledo paves way for mystery Greek experiment (Fri, 31 Jul 2015 00:08:17 -0400)

    The Knicks' Ricky Ledo experiment is over. And the Thanasis Antetokounmpo saga should soon pick up steam. Ledo, the 23-year-old shooting guard from Providence, was waived two days before his…

  • [New York Times] Knicks Sign First-Round Draft Picks (Fri, 31 Jul 2015 03:35:28 GMT)

    The Knicks announced that they have signed their first-round draft picks, Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant.

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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).

    58 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.07.31)”

    1. do we have 2 slots left? I saw we sign Thanasis and his little brother, Chris Antetokounmpo

    2. I would be thrilled to have any of Thanasis’s younger brothers on the team.

      ESPN sez Jerian is a 52% chance to bust. Phil fiddles while the Garden burns!

    3. ESPN sez Jerian is a 52% chance to bust.

      Well…. that certainly makes it official :-)

    4. “ESPN sez Jerian is a 52% chance to bust. Phil fiddles while the Garden burns!”

      All kidding aside, that was from a 538.com piece. I think it’s pretty safe to say that he won’t be a complete bust for a #19 pick. He seems just too big, smart, seasoned, skilled and athletic to be a bust. A better question at this point is whether he will ultimately a fringe rotation player, a solid back-up or legit starter in the next year or two, and by extension, whether we should have used the pick on someone else (Portis, Looney, Harrell, etc.).

    5. @Z-man

      Thanks, that was a pretty interesting article re: jerian, but it doesn’t capture his court presence, vision, and passing skills – traits that the Knicks sorely lacked at the 1 and 2 last year! And while the SL is hardly the greatest litmus test, it was encouraging to see Grant show material improvement as the SL progressed.

      I would gladly take the other side of ESPN’s 52% probability of him being a bust!

    6. Haven’t been on KB in a while, don’t know if this has been discussed, but…

      The guard rotation is looking pretty lacking: Calderon, Grant, Galloway, and Afflalo. Especially with one and a half rookies and a recently-injured 33 year old. Who’s left? Thanasis as a poor-shooting SG? And who’s even out there? Luke Ridnour and Norris Cole?

    7. We have to hope that either the young guys develop quickly, or that somebody from another team shakes loose during training camp. A backcourt depth chart including Calderon, Afflalo, Grant, Galloway, Thanasis and Wesley Saunders is pretty much all risk, other than Afflalo.

    8. I truly hope that we avoid signing some veteran off the scrap heap. Our rotation seems pretty set:
      Melo, Calderon, Lopez, Afflalo, Williams, O’Quinn, Grant, Porzingis, Galloway.

      If Williams sucks or Zinger isn’t ready, plug in Amundson and Lance as needed.

      For a back-up guard, I’d rather give the Harvard kid a shot until some other young, promising prospect gets waived as deadlines for guarantees and roster cuts during preseason come around. No washed-up vets (Ridnour) and castoffs with no upside (Cole), please

    9. I truly hope that we avoid signing some veteran off the scrap heap.

      So much for that.

      ?@ShamsCharania 7m7 minutes ago

      The New York Knicks have reached agreement on a one-year deal with free agent guard Sasha Vujacic, league sources tell RealGM.

    10. Barf. He was never really that good to begin with, and now he’s spent the last two years playing for the various heavyweights known as Reyer Venezia Mestre, Laboral Kutxa, and Istanbul BB. I want to believe Phil has some crack European scouts who stumbled upon him and thought this guy can still play, but I have a very bad feeling that this came about more from him being unable to remember the name of any guards who weren’t on his Lakers teams.

      Oh and also he’s one of the least “rootable” players around, so there’s that too. Not the depth guy I had in mind for the guard spot. Somebody at least present the case for this guy and give me some hope.

    11. I’m only hearing reports that he’s signed for training camp since he’s had a few years’ experience in Phil’s triangle.

    12. they are just trying to make shved regret his decision. like when a girl dumps you and you start dating her slightly less attractive sister.

    13. When he was young, he was a decent backup. But his game seemed to be deteriorating a bit and then he left the NBA. It’s hard to imagine he’s gotten better.

    14. If it’s just as an unofficial triangle tutor in training camp, I can deal. But not the kind of vet signing I might have hoped for.

    15. Jerian has flaws, but I’d trade Tim Hardaway for him every day of the week

      The only day I wouldn’t trade Hardaway Jr for Grant is the 35th of Neveruary!!

    16. Twitter says Sasha is on a non guaranteed deal, so there’s no real reason to be upset.

      Nick, he was engaged to Maria Sharapova, but I guess she realized she was engaged to Sasha Vujacic because I don’t think they ever got married

    17. On the bright side, it’s another name for Clyde to comically mispronounce. I’m betting on Vooveritch.

    18. Swaddyatink? A lil boychik like Sasha’s maybe kept a real NBA game stashed beneath those long brooding Axe-scented locks all these years? Nah. They can’t actually want/expect him to make the team, right? Must be a camp trig tutor as Alsep said.

    19. Sasha Vujacic is one of the most annoying players I’ve ever seen. Laker fans hate him. There are many reasons to hate Sasha:

      1. He has permanent resting bitch face
      2. His shot selection is reminiscent of JR Smith
      3. He is a ridiculous flopper; there are highlight reels dedicated to his prodigious flopping
      4. He’s also a dirty cheap-shot artist
      5. He gave himself the cheesy nickname “The Machine”
      6. His other facial expressions besides RBF are: crying, scowling, sneering

      He had a couple of good years back during the George W. Bush administration but I’m gonna go ahead and hope that we have some better guard options than Sasha Vujacic when the season rolls around.

    20. Affalo is 29.
      I expect this year he could get close to his career TS% of .561 and an eFG% of .517, particularly if he gets his 3 pt attempts back down to about 3.5/36.
      I’d also like to see him take fewer jumpers and take the ball to the basket. About 87% of his shots were jumpers last year, but he was much more effective going to the basket.
      Shaw was a terrible coach for him and the shift to Portland offered him few ops to get going.
      He seems very interested in Phil’s system, and wanted to come to the Knicks last year.
      I think he could be very good still and he has something to prove.

      I think it is reasonable to be hopeful that he will be a significant upgrade at the 2.

    21. The Vujacic deal feels more like a triangle guy to help the team with the triangle.

      A real international flavor. Porzingis, Shved, Vujacic, Calderon, and of course the Irishmen Grant and O’Quinn. :)

      One thing is clear, the team will be passing, at least when Melo isn’t holding the ball.

    22. Phil used to call him 11 AM shooter…spectacular during practice and…well, you know.

      I really want to say something positive tho, since supposedly we shared a cherry tree over my grandpa’s…the story came up once that I saw my grandpa had a postcard from LA hangin on the fridge…I asked where that came from….

      I’ll stop here so that tree doesn’t get struck by lightning.

    23. @26 Yep. The only thing I ever enjoyed watching that involved Sasha was seeing him get fouled really hard. I’m not proud of that fact, but it’s true. He is among the least likable players ever in my book.

    24. Holy shit, the Mets with a blockbuster acquisition! Cespedes for two minor leaguers…wtf???

    25. The Cespedes trade is a way better trade for the Mets than the Gomez trade. Cespedes is like a 6 WAR player this year, top 15 position player in all of MLB. And they didn’t have to give up Wheeler.

    26. The negative is that he’s a FA but whatever. Getting a star in his prime in the midst of a pennant race for two prospects when you have a solid starting staff for next year…now THAT’S a no-brainer! :)

      I didn’t like the Gomez deal either.

    27. Cespedes is like a 6 WAR player this year, top 15 position player in all of MLB.

      Not to dig too deep into a baseball discussion, but a ton of that value is coming from the fact that UZR has him ranked as one of the 10 best defensive players in baseball this year after never ranking particularly well at all in any other season. I think a lot of that is basically small sample size noise. Still a good player for a team that was desperate for a bat.

    28. I think the signing of Vujacic reflects how difficult it is to hire an NBA level guard on the free agent market. Shved and Larkin got snapped up, and they are not the hottest NBA players around, so the market is very difficult. Take a look at this list:

      http://www.nba.com/freeagents/2015/

      The most promising guard on it that is still a free agent seems to be Norris Cole, and he is a restricted free agent that already has a $3M qualifying offer from New Orleans, so we probably can’t afford him. Most of the other unsigned guards are quite old. The best remaining might be Ben Gordon or Will Bynum. Bynum is reported to be considering playing overseas, where he could make substantially more money than the minimum salary he’d probably get in the NBA. That’s probably true for Gordon as well. So the pickings are slim. Honestly, I’m happy we got Saunders.

    29. It’s a non-guaranteed deal, so I suspect he’s there more as a triangle tutor. If he’s there as a serious signing, though…well, that’d be disappointing.

    30. Sasha Vujacic, WTF?! Would have been a good signing 6 years ago maybe. He wears a great hairnet headband

    31. I think that he would be a good fifth guard. Note not one through four. A fifth guard. He can shoot well, passes the ball, plays defense at least the last time that we saw him, big and long for a guard, and knows the system. Only 31 yrs old. You cant have a team full of prospects. He makes us better now in his limited role.

    32. all these end of the roster moves have signified that:

      a)we dont have much faith in the coaching staff teaching the triangle
      b)we’re kicking the can into next year’s free agency and/or maintaining flexibility for a potential carmelo move…

      it’s really puzzling to me how they are balking so many times on shelling out money for the end of the roster when it doesn’t cost us to not spend it… and the times we did spend was for thomas and amundsen…

      with so many unknowns.. the rooks and how the fa’s and melo gel.. it does sort of make sense to see how the year goes and then re-evaluate but next offseason is going to be crazy expensive to fill roster spots….

    33. Now do we sign another former Laker next, namely C Andrew Bynum? Only 27 years old I believe. Can he give us a good 15 minutes a night on those knees?

    34. @42, new players should comprise more than half the rotation. You say it yourself, there’s so many unknowns on the roster already. I suspect the FO is averse to totally turning over the roster; it may be too much to ask the coaching staff to devote time to teaching triangle basics to a new set of bodies.

      The end of bench moves may also signal a lack of creativity, but I think the KOQ acquisition and the draft as a whole say otherwise.

      Some of these moves are opaque and may indeed be dumb or bad. But to me, the Knicks needed more than a quick fix and it seems like they are taking this one step at a time.

    35. If Atkins or Saunders make the team and they sign Thanasis, they’ll have 4 rookies and 2 second year guys on the roster. If they want to be competitive (which they do since they Bargnanied away their first round pick) a few end of the bench veterans — like Vujacic and Thomas — could be good to have around.
      How weird is it that Bynum is only 27? It feels like he’s been around forever. Of course, when you are drafted at age 17 like he was…

    36. If Sasha has anything left, he’s not a bad signing at the minimum. The problem is that he was playing terribly when he left the NBA. Unless you can account for that (injuries for example), it’s hard to imagine he can recover his best form.

    37. I don’t know if Maurice Ndour is going to be a good NBA player, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be better than Sasha Vujacic this year.

      I guess this answers the question that we’ve all been asking: Is Shannon Brown not available?!

    38. At least Vujecic still has a NBA skill…shooting. If he makes the team it’ll be at Thanasis’ or Saunders’ expense. I’m ok with him at the end of the bench if he makes the team, as he knows the system, spreads the floor, and moves the ball. I am intrigued about this Bynum rumor. Say Phil gives him the room exception and he is healthy. Imagine that huh? Big dreams. I still think he can defend and rebound. He may even have his offensive game still. I don’t expect him to play big minutes. Phil should probably add him if he’s interested. The room exception might be a little too much, but I fully expect Phil to offer it.

    39. Bynum is lurking, count on it. If anything, Jax has been good at not showing his hand. I’m predicting Bynum becomes a Knick on a 1-year deal. (Assuming his health is good enough to at least attempt a return.)

    40. Phew. Toney Douglas is now available. Can’t wait to have TD back here beating on the rims.

    41. All jokes aside..Toney Douglas might actually be a good back up PG in the Triangle. He’s like a more athletic, better 3 pt shooting Galloway. I thought he was out of the league. We’re ok with Galloway though. A better comparison for Toney Douglas..better shooting Randy Brown

    42. I kid I kid!! Toney Douglas sucks. “A Better shooting Randy Brown” really doesn’t say much lol

    43. I don’t know if Maurice Ndour is going to be a good NBA player, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be better than Sasha Vujacic this year.

      I don’t know why someone would say this. No one really has any idea if N’dour can play NBA level basketball. Vujacic, on the other hand has 6000 minutes logged with the Lakers as a ws/48 = .101 player which is certainly plus-plus for a 12-15th player and 3 excellent seasons in there. He 31, not 46 and he’s been playing in Europe mostly, but he was a legit NBA bench player by any definition who was a great ft shooter and a plus 3 ball shooter.

    44. I don’t know if Maurice Ndour is going to be a good NBA player, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be better than Sasha Vujacic this year.

      If Ndour was better than Vujacic, they would have signed Ndour. Since they didn’t, Vujacic must be better.

    45. “If Ndour was better than Vujacic, they would have signed Ndour. Since they didn’t, Vujacic must be better.”

      Good, Brian, you’re finally getting it! ;)

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