Knicks Morning News (2016.02.18)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks seek help at NBA trade deadline, likely won’t get it (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 02:18:06 GMT)

    It remains to be seen whether Phil Jackson can help achieve it by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks’ Porzingis doesn’t find peace and quiet on vacation (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 01:27:50 GMT)

    Kristaps Porzingis spent much of his All-Star break on vacation in the Caribbean, but he needed to return to New York for some quiet.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks Daily Links: Thursday (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 05:48:08 EST)

    Knicks Daily Links: Thursday

  • [New York Post] NBA trade deadline’s here: Will the Knicks be players? (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 02:29:47 -0500)

    Kurt Rambis is getting a sense the Knicks will stand pat at Thursday's trade deadline but, you never know. Shved happens. Minutes before last year's deadline, the Knicks shipped point guard Pablo Prigioni for combo guard Alexey Shved in a minor deal. This year, ironically, the Knicks are looking for any sort of backcourt boost…

  • [New York Times] NBA’s Trade Deadline Approaching, So Buckle Up (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 07:27:35 GMT)

    Last year there was hardly any action in the days leading up to the NBA’s trading deadline. That led some to believe it would come and go quietly.

  • [New York Times] Kings Fire Assistant Coach Walberg (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 05:54:27 GMT)

    The struggling Sacramento Kings fired assistant coach Vance Walberg on Wednesday in another sign of discord between the team and head coach George Karl. Walberg was a close ally of Karl, who took over in February last year.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Shrug Off Losses and Trade Rumors as They Try to Refocus (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 04:05:56 GMT)

    The Knicks, who are 1-10 in their last 11 games, resumed practice with an unchanged roster after the All-Star break as their interim coach, Kurt Rambis, said their goal was to make the playoffs.

  • [New York Times] With Much Unsettled for Nets, Brooklyn Complex Is a New Center of Gravity (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 02:43:10 GMT)

    Even after they left New Jersey over three years ago, the Nets continued to practice there. That changed on Wednesday with the opening of a new practice site in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

  • [New York Times] Heat to Travel Without Chris Bosh (Thu, 18 Feb 2016 01:42:21 GMT)

    Bosh will not play for Miami in its next game, at Atlanta, but the Heat offered no further information about his going back on medication to combat a blood clot.

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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).

    93 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.02.18)”

    1. I was lukewarm on the trade when it happened, and in general the trade wasn’t panned by the pundits, but man, how terrible does Phil’s Tyson Chandler trade look now?

      Chandler + Felton for Calderon, Larkin, Dalembert, Thanasis, and Early.

      Felton sucks but is no worse than Calderon probably, is paid less, and doesn’t have $ in 2017.
      Larkin – lost for nothing
      Dalembert – released
      Thanasis – a 10 day contract and no more
      Early – can’t get on the court.

      Brutal.

    2. Rambis added “some things offensively’’ during Wednesday’s early-evening practice — stuff he lobbied Derek Fisher to do, centering on making it easier for the coach to stage play calls. Fisher had made the infamous remark “we don’t run plays.’’

      “It’s just concepts, little different actions, be able to call plays from the sidelines when they’re advancing the basketball so we get players in certain positions on the floor so they can have better opportunities to get the ball in the hands of players I want the ball to go to,’’ Rambis said.

      This comes from the Post. It’s really weird to me, given that Phil wants more system play and said so when he fired Fisher. It makes me think the reason for firing are mostly not basketball related, but who nows.

    3. Felton sucks but is no worse than Calderon probably

      Never underestimate Felton’s suckitude! At least Calderon is an elite shooter. Felton does nothing well.

    4. Interesting:

      @ESPNSteinLine: ESPN sources say Rockets, if Ty Lawson trade talks with Utah were to collapse, would strongly consider waiving Lawson if they can’t move him

      Not sure that Lawson would even want to come here if he’s basically a FA (and I wonder whether Philly would make an offer for him above the minimum that we could give). But he had pretty good stats during the Brian Shaw era, and early on in 2013 people were raving about Lawson in Shaw’s offense:

      http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2013/11/26/nuggets-lawson-thriving-with-shaw-in-charge/

      of course Shaw and Lawson ultimately clashed and both were exiled from Denver, but the point is that Lawson seemed to have the potential to do well in an offense that apparently loosely resembled Triangle stuff.

      The substance abuse stuff is obviously a gigantic red flag, as are his across-the-board awful status this year. But hey, when you go dumpster diving you can’t expect to find a diamond.

    5. …so they can have better opportunities to get the ball in the hands of players I want the ball to go to.

      I really hope he means Porzingis and not Afflalo.

    6. Re: Hernangomez — So, if the Knicks have the opportunity to obtain Oladipo but, to make the deal happen, they have to include Hernangomez, should they do it? I say yes for Oladipo, but no for Teague or Rubio. However, this opinion is based on my near total lack of knowledge as to how good Hernangomez is or has the potential to be. By the way, with all of the articles/commentary about the Knicks’ lack of assets, I’ve been very surprised that this is the first time anyone has mentioned him as an asset.

    7. I really hope he means Porzingis and not Afflalo.

      I’m fine with getting Afflalo the ball if has a small guard on him – even with how bad he’s been recently, he’s still averaging 1.08 PPP on post-ups, good for 96th percentile. It’s just when he tries to go iso and ends up with contested pull-ups or other garbage.

      lol I look now and see that Afflalo is in the 86th percentile for iso and 78th percentile for spot-ups – why oh why does it seem like he sucks so bad on offense then?!!?

    8. I don’t like Oladipo much, and I’d rather be able to take a look at Hernangomez before trading him. Unless it was a straight-up swap–which it never would be–I wouldn’t think much of the trade. Though it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

      Ricky Rubio for Hernangomez plus Calderon/O quinn on the other hand…

      Really though I’d be happy with an AA or D-Will trade for some seconds and salary filler.

    9. Re: Hernangomez — So, if the Knicks have the opportunity to obtain Oladipo but, to make the deal happen, they have to include Hernangomez, should they do it? I say yes for Oladipo, but no for Teague or Rubio. However, this opinion is based on my near total lack of knowledge as to how good Hernangomez is or has the potential to be. By the way, with all of the articles/commentary about the Knicks’ lack of assets, I’ve been very surprised that this is the first time anyone has mentioned him as an asset.

      Yes for Oladipo
      Yes for Teague
      Yes for Rubio

      We have too many front court players as it is. yes it’s nice to have assets whether in a position of strength or not, but when you can trade “excess” talent for legitimate players (all of whom are/will be on favorable contracts in the new environment) I think you have to do it. We already have Lopez, Melo, and KP signed for the next 3.5 seasons — opportunities at the 4 and 5 are going to be few unless there is a big injury.

      Not sure how we would make any sort of reasonable deal for Rubio (contract-wise), but I’m a big fan regardless of how bad a shooter he is.

      Crazy that he’s still only 25 years old. he’s an 80% FT shooter — really feels like he should be a much better shooter from the floor than he is.

    10. to clarify on above – trading “excess” talent for YOUNG, legitimate players on good contracts at positions of SEVERE need — YES.

    11. Frank Today: I was lukewarm on the trade when it happened, and in general the trade wasn’t panned by the pundits, but man, how terrible does Phil’s Tyson Chandler trade look now?

      Frank 6/25/14: I have to say – I am just flabbergasted by this trade…I think it’s a home run.

      I was at first “nervous” about the trade and then opposed it once I looked at Calderon’s plus/minus over the last few years. That said, I don’t think the trade has worked out all that terrible, the chief reason being that cap constraint hasn’t been an issue and likely won’t be this summer plus we probably wouldn’t have gotten that much for Tyson anyway because of the cap constraints of other teams. I remember mentioning Phoenix a few times as a fit with cap space but beyond that not sure there were many simple deals to be made.

      The real problem is how Calderon is being used. The 1/2 position minutes should be allocated to Grant/Afflalo/Galloway/Lance with Calderon getting maybe 10mpg depending upon match-ups. He could guard many SGs and 1s like George Hill mitigating his defensive woes. On this vague subject, Berman tweeted: Rambis said added stuff to offense, including an easier way of getting set so he can call plays. Uh, isn’t the heart of the Triangle offense that it doesn’t use sets and is a “read and react” offense”? The Triangle has been the team’s main problem so far; this is a semi-positive development in that it appears they are making a “transformative” versus “transactional” change to it. Our offense should be ranked waaaay higher than 21st in the league.

    12. Frank Today: I was lukewarm on the trade when it happened, and in general the trade wasn’t panned by the pundits, but man, how terrible does Phil’s Tyson Chandler trade look now?

      Frank 6/25/14: I have to say – I am just flabbergasted by this trade…I think it’s a home run.

      lol I guess I’m busted — although in my defense, the rest of the “I am just flabbergasted by this trade” sentence was that I thought we got a pretty reasonable deal. The flabbergasting was just that the deal was just a huge deal. the “home run” part… no excuse I guess.

      anyway, certainly is retrospect it was an awful trade.

      Tom Ziller seems to think perhaps the Kings will end up trading for Afflalo…

    13. Tom Ziller seems to think perhaps the Kings will end up trading for Afflalo…

      I was thinking that the only reasonable trade we can offer for Rubio would be along the lines of Afflalo to Sac, Ben Mclemore (or some pick), Grant + Hernangomez to Min and Rubio to NY. I dont know if the salaries are OK, but something along those lines.

      However, i am not sure Min would bite with that.

    14. Victor Oladipo is young, athletic, shoots the three at a respectable clip, and scores points. He’ll at worst be a good trade chip. Unless the Knicks are extremely high on Hernangomez and think he can play the 4 next to Porzingis in a starting 5, you trade him to Orlando. We need guards, bro.

    15. The Honorable Cock Jowles
      February 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Ooh, just checking my past predictions to make sure I’m not crossing wires here — check out this gem from Hubert:

      http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2014-02-15/#comment-462629

      hahahahaha Tim Hardaway Jr. was a waste of a pick (I called it)

      Hold up.

      Tim Hardaway is garbage, but we flipped him for the 17th pick in the draft two years later! That’s not a waste of a pick!! I’m calling even on this.

      I believe you were up in arms that day because we passed on the great Reggie Bullock, no?

    16. There was interesting discussion yesterday about the best way to build a title contender (through draft, trade, free agency, etc).

      My (late $0.02):

      You need to get one of the best players in the league on your team by hook or by crook. Duncan was drafted, Shaq was a free agent, Dirk was drafted, LeBron was a free agent, Steph was drafted. It doesn’t matter how you get them. You just need to get them.

      Step 2 is the trick. You need to win the lottery. The Lakers got Kobe with the 13th pick. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli turned out to be hall of famers, Kevin McHale did his old team a favor. Pau Gasol was stolen from Memphis. Chandler was acquired for peanuts by Dallas. The big 3 decided to take pay cuts in Miami. A second round pick from Michigan State turned out to be the best center in the NBA.

      (You can argue that some of those teams were just smarter and saw value where the rest of the league didn’t. You’d be right. But they still got lucky that the rest of the league didn’t see the value that was there.)

      Then you need to be smart around the edges. That’s basically it. Have the best player in the league on your team, then get some ungodly tremendous value from a late draft pick, a lopsided trade, or a free agent taking less money… and then win.

      We actually might have the hard part in Porzingis. Now we just need to throw away this stupid “win during Carmelo’s window” bullshit and be patient until we can pull off the heist. Then we’re good to go.

    17. We have too many front court players as it is. yes it’s nice to have assets whether in a position of strength or not, but when you can trade “excess” talent for legitimate players (all of whom are/will be on favorable contracts in the new environment) I think you have to do it. We already have Lopez, Melo, and KP signed for the next 3.5 seasons — opportunities at the 4 and 5 are going to be few unless there is a big injury.

      The problem here I think is that trading Hernangomez makes it harder to trade Lopez in the next few years. I love Lopez, don’t get me wrong, but he’s our best trade asset outside of a first round pick or a waived NTC Melo. And one I could see us actually flipping, unlike the first two.

      Moreover I think having Guillermo on the team builds some goodwill with Porzingis which further increases his chances of staying here for his entire career. That’s a side concern, though.

    18. We have too many front court players as it is.

      Yeah but we got the wrong ones. Frank, I think your long-standing prediction that we will sign a Gasol is about to come true. Pau’s comfort level with the Triangle and Rambis/Phil plus cap space plus a competitive team plus cultural center should make NYK an attractive destination. KP/Lopez/Pau front court would be awesome!

      Free Willy! If Melo’s staying and we sign Pau, then I think we would have to look at deals which augment our 1/2 position. I hope Phil waits until the summer to make such a deal. I would hope Grant would get a lot of burn the remainder of the season. Greater use of sets and play-calling should only help his game and I gotta believe Rambis plans to call a lot of PnRs (maybe using Grant and Melo as ball-handlers). Willy and KOQ might net us a decent SG in a trade this summer and Willy/KOQ/draft pick might be sufficient to net us Bledsoe or Rubio.

      Note: Grant/KOQ didn’t play the last game and KOQ has been linked to trade rumors. My fear is Phil is gonna give Hawks Grant and Hernangomez plus filler at 2:59pm for Teague.

    19. I don’t think you have to worry about Grant and Hernangomez to Atlanta for Teague. There just isn’t any filler available to make that trade work. The only way I could see to make salaries match would be to send Calderon to Atlanta, who they probably don’t want, and to add cheap stuff they do want for example Seraphin and Hernangomez. But I really don’t think Atlanta would consider that enough for an all-star point guard.

      (of course, given my prediction track record, this prediction of mine could make it happen)

    20. Ok so here’s a possible trade. Boston needs front court scoring. So how about Williams for Rozier, Young and draft picks. Williams is good and I would like to keep him, but this way we get youth at guard and picks. Both Rozier and Young were picked mid first round, so I suspect they have potential to develop.

    21. I don’t think you have to worry about Grant and Hernangomez to Atlanta for Teague. There just isn’t any filler available to make that trade work.

      add in Calderon or Derrick Williams or KOQ or certainly Afflalo and it would work just fine

    22. I think of “filler” as guys traded to make salary cap stuff work but whom the receiving team doesn’t intend to use. Atlanta would have to want to use Calderon or Afflalo, or they wouldn’t accept that big a contract, so i didn’t think of them as filler. I’d be happy to trade KOQ, and the Hawks need a center for this year, but he has a long enough contract I don’t think they could consider him filler either.

    23. Wow SVG is not kidding around. Motiejunas + Thornton to Detroit for Joel Anthony and a protected 1st.

    24. Hawks need a center for this year, but he has a long enough contract I don’t think they could consider him filler either.

      a rotation-level PF/C for $4MM/year is about as good a contract as there is short of a rookie contract. I think KOQ and his contract are assets, not liabilities.

    25. That would be nice. KOQ to Atlanta getting Teague back is definitely good in principle. For example, KOQ, Seraphin and Early to the Hawks for Teague works and I would definitely be in favor of it.

    26. We have nothing to trade for.

      Maybe Hernangomez has some value but I doubt that he will attract any decent name for us.

    27. I don’t understand that trade from Houston’s point of view. Motiejunas is bigger and younger than Anthony and has just as good advanced stats. I guess they think of Anthony as better at playing the center position, so they now can trade Howard more easily, but it doesn’t seem a good deal for Houston if they do no further trades

    28. a rotation-level PF/C for $4MM/year is about as good a contract as there is short of a rookie contract. I think KOQ and his contract are assets, not liabilities.

      It’s definitely possible that the Knicks and Magic are both just dumb (I mean this sincerely), but O’Quinn has been unable to get consistent rotation minutes on some very bad teams the alst couple years. I still think the guy can be a contributor given a chance, but I sincerely doubt he is seen that way around the league. Whether it’s right or not, he’s clearly valued as an end of the bench guy.

    29. I don’t understand that trade from Houston’s point of view. Motiejunas is bigger and younger than Anthony and has just as good advanced stats. I guess they think of Anthony as better at playing the center position, so they now can trade Howard more easily, but it doesn’t seem a good deal for Houston if they do no further trades

      They moved on a RFA with a bad back that they don’t have playing time for in exchange for a pick that should be somewhere around 15th. That seems like good value.

    30. I love how much energy this board invests into hypothetically trading several benchwarmers for an average rotation player

    31. I view the Boston benchwarmers I suggested trading for as rightly the equivalent of first round picks They are young enough to still be in college or close to it.

    32. Can anyone explain to me why perennial mediocrity Randy Foye is the Cinderella of the trade deadline ball? He just garnered dj augustin, steve novak, and two second round picks!

    33. @ChrisFedor: Keep an eye on the Sacramento Kings. They have dangled a few players and none have been moved yet. #Cavs could still get involved there.

      need to figure out how to steal Collison or even Ben McLemore.

    34. My hope for today is no-news=good-news.
      Don’t give away picks.
      Don’t trade Melo.
      Bring up Jimmer.
      Bench Jose.

    35. Meanwhile, Stein claims we tried and failed to strike a deal with Minnesota for… Kevin Martin?!?!?

    36. “I love how much energy this board invests into hypothetically trading several benchwarmers for an average rotation player”
      You think we’re bad? Yesterday on Libertyballers.com, some 76er fans were proposing trades that would net them Draymond Green. Robert Covington was the centerpiece of one of them.
      It’s amazing how the Rockets can’t seem to find anyone who is willing to give them much for Dwight Howard. Could you imagine the feeding frenzy that would have been going on as recently as two years or so ago if Howard were on the market?

    37. Come on Phil, you still have 19 minutes to get us Steph Curry!

      This should work, right?

      (My favorite thing about it is that Hollinger projects GSW would only lose 4 games as a result.)

    38. Re: Kevin Martin it seems likely Phil was going for the Jose-Martin even swap. So I’m fine with that.

      I’m just happy we didn’t do anything stupid.

    39. btw I’m calling it now–

      this summer our big FA haul is going to be Pau Gasol and Evan Turner. Or maybe OJ Mayo instead of Turner.

    40. A first rounder for Jeff Green is pretty impressive by Memphis. Meanwhile, though, Green fits in pretty well for the Clippers.

      A protected first rounder from Washington for Markieff Morris is a big risk, but it could pay off.

    41. The most interesting trade was the Wizards trade with Phoenix. It has the potential to make the Wizards better, leading to a tougher Eastern conference.

    42. I womder if the Knicks were saving the vacant roster spot for possible trades and now will call up Jimmer (or some other PG)

    43. holy lol-ness:

      @MikeAScotto: Sources: Knicks turned down a Rockets offer of Patrick Beverley. Asking price of a first-round pick and two rotation players was too high.

      Assuming that is for real, Morey must think Phil an idiot.

      Also seems likely the Knicks leaked this to make it clear to the fans there was nothing reasonable that could be done this deadline.

    44. (My favorite thing about it is that Hollinger projects GSW would only lose 4 games as a result.)

      PER! PER! PER!

    45. 2017-18 he will be making $26,243,760
      2017-18 Durant will be making $35.6 Million and thats under the old projections

      So 33-year-old Melo will make $10 million less than the maximum possible contract? That’s not a pro for the contract.

    46. So 33-year-old Melo will make $10 million less than the maximum possible contract? That’s not a pro for the contract.

      Yes. Kobe is making the full max right now at 38.

      Whats a good number? 15 mil a year? come on

    47. So 33-year-old Melo will make $10 million less than the maximum possible contract? That’s not a pro for the contract.

      It might look very good once you see what Nic (Mr 0.083 ws/48) Batum earns……

    48. So 33-year-old Melo will make $10 million less than the maximum possible contract? That’s not a pro for the contract.

      We all wish Melo had taken less, but we need to remember that guys like Ryan Anderson are going to be starting at $20MM this summer. Eric Gordon will probably start at $16MM or more. Al Horford is going to start this summer at 25.3 and will be making gobs more than Melo even when he’s 35. Dwight Howard is going to want to start at $29.5MM at age 31 + 1000 injuries.

      He’ll be off the books after his age 33 season, which is not really that old. He might be slightly overpaid and certainly won’t be a great value at $28MM that season, but it won’t be that bad.

      The no-trade clause is by far the worst thing about his contract. The #s themselves aren’t horrible.

    49. (My favorite thing about it is that Hollinger projects GSW would only lose 4 games as a result.)

      PER! PER! PER!

      It is not PER. He did not make PER to calculate wins. When he was writing columns, he never cited some number of wins added due to PER. It’s just something they made up for the Trade Machine (based on PER, probably, but without any real thought into it)

    50. @52 Z-man said:

      I wonder if the Knicks were saving the vacant roster spot for possible trades and now will call up Jimmer (or some other PG)

      @53 Brian Cronin said:

      I imagine that they’ll see who gets waived first before going to the D-League.

      I can’t imagine there’s going to be any cuts that’ll help the Knicks. On the other hand, it’s time to try out Jimmer. If he can just become a team player, it’ll go a long way. We know he can score, but can he pass? Can he run an offense? Has he learned the triangle? We’ll see. I expect him to get called up.

    51. Ty Lawson and Lance Stevdnson come to mind as possible cuts. I’m not sure they count as help though.

    52. So I’m pretty pissed off that the Thunder traded DJ Augustin, Steve Novak, and two 2nd round picks for Randy fucking Foye as if we didn’t have Arron Afflalo, who for all his worts IS WAY BETTER THAN RANDY FOYE AND HIS .457 TS%.

      Fuck.

    53. Sam Presti once looked like a genius. Now he’s looking like the guy who traded for Randy Foye and Dion Waiters.

    54. The no-trade clause is by far the worst thing about his contract. The #s themselves aren’t horrible.

      True, the no trade clause is the worst part about the awful contract.

    55. I can’t imagine there’s going to be any cuts that’ll help the Knicks. On the other hand, it’s time to try out Jimmer. If he can just become a team player, it’ll go a long way. We know he can score, but can he pass? Can he run an offense? Has he learned the triangle? We’ll see. I expect him to get called up.

      You’re almost certainly correct that there will be no veteran cut who would be a good idea for the Knicks to sign. That, though, is a bit different from whether they will sign a veteran who gets cut. This is a team where Sasha Vujacic is a member of the rotation, ya know?

    56. So I’m pretty pissed off that the Thunder traded DJ Augustin, Steve Novak, and two 2nd round picks for Randy fucking Foye as if we didn’t have Arron Afflalo, who for all his worts IS WAY BETTER THAN RANDY FOYE AND HIS .457 TS%.

      Fuck.

      It’s not a great trade, but it probably slightly improves them this season, opens up cap space that they can use on roster buyouts and saves them $8 million. Afflalo would not save them any money (he makes more than Novak and Augustin combined, while Foye makes half as much as they do).

    57. There is no way giving a player like Randy Foye some playing time improves your team. No way at all. Like why give up two 2nd round picks when in recent history 2nd rounders have turned into Nikola Jokic, Isaiah Thomas, and Draymond Green? For Randy Foye?

    58. To save $8 million. Remember, they dumped James Harden to save money. They like to save money.

    59. Foye is a 3 or specialist that can’t shoot 3 pointers (29% on 6 attempts/36).

      And he’s only been to the playoffs once in his life, so they’re not even buying an “experienced vet”.

      A bit of a head scratcher.

    60. Presumably they think his 37% career three point percentage is more indicative of his shooting than his 29% percentage this season.

    61. @75, Right. The sad part for their fans is they like to save money more than they want to win a championship. I can’t wait for them to be mediocre after KD and Russ leave them high and dry.

    62. If OKC had all 5 of Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Reggie Jackson, and Serge Ibaka on their roster they would be as good as the Warriors. That’s my honest opinion. Instead they said “nah, let’s just spend the money on Perkins and Enes Kanter.” Oklahoma City is not going to sign any big FAs so when you give away the NBA’s best 2 and a really good point guard in Jackson, you’re forfeiting a championship. It’s embarrassing.

    63. If OKC had all 5 of Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Reggie Jackson, and Serge Ibaka on their roster they would be as good as the Warriors. That’s my honest opinion. Instead they said “nah, let’s just spend the money on Perkins and Enes Kanter.” Oklahoma City is not going to sign any big FAs so when you give away the NBA’s best 2 and a really good point guard in Jackson, you’re forfeiting a championship. It’s embarrassing.

      Yeah I think a lot of people have changed their mind about OKC’s front office. Heralded as draft geniuses because they built a great young team that went to the Finals. Fair enough trading Harden 9was always going to be hard to keep him), but ultimately letting Martin go for nothing, trading for Waiters, the huge Kanter contract and now the Foye trade would suggest that their front office is pedestrian at best.

    64. Keeping James Harden would not have been difficult for any competent front office/ownership group. The Harden trade had to do with the Gasol/Howard frontcourt in LA (it’s a real shame that team never amounted to anything), because the Thunder wanted to be able to match up Perkins and Ibaka with those two. Westbrook, Harden, and Durant are 3 of the 7 best players in basketball, and I’d argue Westbrook/Harden/Durant/Ibaka is a better group than Curry/Thompson/Barnes/Green. But you want to move your team from Seattle to OKC and then penny pinch. If you wanted the money, you should have never left Seattle. And to compound it with dumb trades and stupid free agent signings is unreal to me. You don’t just draft 3 HOF basketball players and spit on that blessing. It’s terrible what OKC did and they will see how stupid it was when KD and Russ walk away from them.

    65. You know what, with both Chicago and Miami now beset with injuries (and all the best wishes to Chris Bosh – holy crap, what a terrible situation for him), there is a very real chance that they both drop out of the playoff race. The Pistons and the Wizards are currently the #9 and #10 teams, and they both improved themselves at the deadline, so maybe the Knicks’ odds haven’t gotten any better, but still, with so much movement, there’s at least a chance! Not a good one, but a chance!

    66. Yeah, it’s really too bad we went into that 9 out of 10 tailspin, as a lot of the Eastern teams have gone into their own funks.

      I like your optimism, Brian, but making up 5 games with 27 left is a very tall order, especially considering we also have to vault over the Magic, Wizards and Pistons. I think we’d have to go something like 18-9, which is hard to envision with this squad.

    67. I could not care less about the playoffs. How does that even help us in the long term? Three things we need going forward, none of them the playoffs: Competitiveness, especially on D; Development, especially of KP/Gallo/Grant; and quality guard acquisitions. I’m pretty sure Rambis doesn’t help us with any of those, though. A good coach matters.

    68. How does that even help us in the long term?

      How does it hurt us? We don’t have our draft pick, and having guys like Zinger and Galloway experience playoff basketball would be nothing but positive for their development.

    69. How does it hurt us? We don’t have our draft pick, and having guys like Zinger and Galloway experience playoff basketball would be nothing but positive for their development.

      Well, it might hurt us in that it would convince Phil that we could be a contender if we just got a few free agent pieces rather than show that we have a long way to go and rebuild like an intelligently optimized franchise would.

    70. It doesn’t help or hurt us. It’s a sign of improvement; not going to the playoffs is a symptom not a disease. I’d love the playoffs, but there are far more important long-view things to do (like develop) rather than short-sided crap for the playoffs (like play vets heavy minutes).

      Interesting idea on P&T: Don’t judge Phil on anything he says, because everything he has ever said is bullshit. Judge him on actions. He never traded a first rounder (huge for us by itself); drafted KP; got Grant for Hardaway; shopped Chandler, Shumpert, JR, et al., when it was clear the Knicks needed some big changes; picked up a shit ton of projects from D-League and benches around the country (and hit big on some); and his biggest mistake was hiring Fisher. Not too bad when you completely discount all the “triangle” and “make the playoffs” comments from the past couple years. I have a feeling the new coach will not be a triangle-heavy guy a la Blatt.

    71. It would be great to make the playoffs, but it is extremely unlikely to happen. Ultimately, the preponderance of preseason predictions was pretty balls-on accurate. If we play one game over .500 from here on out (a reasonably optimistic expectation) we would finish at 37-45, which is like 5 games better than pundits predicted. More likely, we finish something like 35-47, and very possible that we go into another tailspin and barely get to 30 wins, especially if Melo’s knee flares up and he shuts it down. Without a healthy Melo, we don’t scare anybody.

      Alas, what’s done is done. I’m glad Jax didn’t compound our future issues by making a rash decision at the trade deadline. In three years (or hopefully less!), this will be Zinger’s team. We have all of our first round picks after this year. I can’t remember the last time I could say that! (Does anyone know when that last time was?)

    72. The last time the Knicks kept all of their available first round picks without trading them (which is four picks ahead, right?) was 1985-1988.

      The last time they made even three years’ worth of first round picks in a row was 1990-1992.

      Of course, there is plenty of time for them to deal a first round pick between now and 2017-2020.

      Coincidentally (not coincidence at all), the last time they had a successful rebuild was 1985-1988.

    73. Interesting idea on P&T: Don’t judge Phil on anything he says, because everything he has ever said is bullshit. Judge him on actions. He never traded a first rounder (huge for us by itself); drafted KP; got Grant for Hardaway; shopped Chandler, Shumpert, JR, et al., when it was clear the Knicks needed some big changes; picked up a shit ton of projects from D-League and benches around the country (and hit big on some); and his biggest mistake was hiring Fisher. Not too bad when you completely discount all the “triangle” and “make the playoffs” comments from the past couple years. I have a feeling the new coach will not be a triangle-heavy guy a la Blatt.

      His first year’s actions completely fit his words. He tried to put together a “win now” team. He just flopped at it.

      Then he tried to do a “win now” team this year while maintaining flexibility to sign big free agents this offseason. So far, he’s failed at that, as well (the “win now” part, that is – the flexibility is still there).

      Both roster constructions matched his words, which were, “I think it helps us the best in free agency to compete for the playoffs, as free agents want to come to winning teams.” They just didn’t work.

      It seems waaaaay too generous to then say, “No, he was secretly trying to fail these past two seasons.”

      Getting the #4 pick in a loaded draft was providence, not planning. The “plan” was to win around 38-40 games last year, so as to better convince players like LaMarcus Aldridge that the Knicks were worth signing with. Picking Porzingis with the pick (and not dealing it), though, was just smart drafting, and he deserves all the credit in the world for that.

    74. Getting the #4 pick in a loaded draft was providence, not planning. The “plan” was to win around 38-40 games last year, so as to better convince players like LaMarcus Aldridge that the Knicks were worth signing with. Picking Porzingis with the pick (and not dealing it), though, was just smart drafting, and he deserves all the credit in the world for that.

      To be fair – as soon as it was obvious the team was awful, he started planning the teardown/tank. So in that sense it wasn’t providence. Yes, he definitely thought the team last year was better than it ultimately was. But he very quickly tore it down and ensured the tank.

      (I will say that it’s sort of providence that we didn’t get the 2nd or 3rd pick. i know the clarence gaines thing and all but i’m not sure we wouldn’t be looking at chucker D’Angelo Russell or no-D Okafor).

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