Knicks Morning News (2016.03.03)

  • [New York Times] Clippers Rally From 22 Down to Beat Thunder 103-98 (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 07:39:34 GMT)

    The day began for the Oklahoma City Thunder with the stunning news that part-owner Aubrey McClendon had died. It ended with the players and coaching staff shaking their heads for another reason.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Clinch 19th Straight Playoff Berth (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 05:20:45 GMT)

    Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons, 97-81, on Wednesday to clinch their 19th straight playoff berth.

  • [New York Times] Magic Hand Bulls Fourth Straight Loss (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 05:18:28 GMT)

    The Chicago Bulls have fallen, and they can’t seem to get up. And the playoffs are slipping away.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Clinch Postseason Berth With 29th Straight Home Win (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 05:09:32 GMT)

    A month away from home did little to slow the San Antonio Spurs.

  • [New York Times] Augustin Leads Nuggets to 117-107 Win Over Lakers (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 04:54:39 GMT)

    D.J. Augustin scored 22 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead six Denver players in double figures, and the Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 117-107 on Wednesday night in Kobe Bryant’s final game at the Pepsi Center.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Run Away From Detroit in Win (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 04:42:28 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs continue to set one milestone after another during this record-breaking season but insist they aren’t paying any attention while keeping their collective eyes on the ultimate prize, another NBA title.

  • [New York Times] Harden Scores 39, Rockets Top Pelicans Despite Poor Shooting (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 04:15:45 GMT)

    James Harden had 39 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to help the Houston Rockets overcome miserable shooting in a 100-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Conley Scores 24, Leads Grizzlies Past Kings 104-98 (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 04:15:42 GMT)

    Mike Conley scored 24 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 104-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Kobe Bryant Sits Out 2nd Half to Rest Sore Right Shoulder (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 04:09:39 GMT)

    Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is sitting out the second half to rest his sore right shoulder during his final game in Denver.

  • [New York Times] Wizards’ Bench Delivers 4th Straight Win, 104-98 Over Wolves (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 04:06:38 GMT)

    Bradley Beal scored 26 points and Alan Anderson added 18 to lead the Washington Wizards to their fourth straight victory, 104-98 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Hill Scores 19, Pacers Survive Rally, Beat Bucks 104-99 (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 03:54:31 GMT)

    Jordan Hill had 19 points and the Indiana Pacers survived a last-minute rally to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 104-99 on Wednesday night to end a three-game losing streak.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Beat Jazz 104-94 for 11th Straight Home Win (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 03:42:50 GMT)

    Kyle Lowry scored 32 points, DeMar DeRozan added 31 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Utah Jazz 104-94 on Wednesday night for their club-record 11th straight home win.

  • [New York Times] Thomas Helps Celtics Beat Blazers for 12th Straight Home Win (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 03:09:32 GMT)

    Isaiah Thomas had 30 points to lead the Boston Celtics to their fourth straight win, 116-93 over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Kemba Walker Keeps Hornets Rolling in 119-99 Win Over 76ers (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 02:49:01 GMT)

    Kemba Walker scored 30 points and Cody Zeller had 15 to lead the Charlotte Hornets to a 119-99 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Vucevic Scores 24 as Magic Overwhelm Bulls, 102-89 (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 02:48:59 GMT)

    Nikola Vucevic scored 24 points, rookie Mario Hezonja added a career-high 21, and the Orlando Magic beat the Chicago Bulls 102-89 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Amar’e Stoudemire Laments Knicks’ Decline, Then Helps Sustain It (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 02:48:31 GMT)

    Stoudemire appeared to lob some subtle criticisms at Carmelo Anthony and reproached his former teammates for their halfhearted embrace of the triangle offense before helping his new team, the Miami Heat, defeat them.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Memories of Last Season Stalk Knicks (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 01:21:38 GMT)

    The Knicks’ current season has begun to produce echoes of the last one: the same competitive despair, the same threat of irrelevance, the same undertones of nastiness.

  • [New York Post] Porzingis, Lopez offer reasons for Carmelo’s annoyance (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 02:02:37 -0500)

    Knicks teammates feel Carmelo Anthony's pain and frustration. "Melo is in a very different spot than any of us can really imagine,” said center Robin Lopez. "There are times on the floor where we're putting a lot of pressure on him. We need him to do a lot of the heavy lifting for us.” Lopez…

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Jax and Dolan, not Melo, should apologize for Knicks (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 06:26:24 GMT)

    Now that Carmelo Anthony has offered an apology, it would be nice if some other highly paid Madison Square Garden employees did the same.

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo Anthony absent from Knicks’ charity bowling event (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 02:50:47 GMT)

    Hours after he apologized for engaging with a heckling fan, Carmelo Anthony was a no-show at his team’s big annual charity bowling event

  • [New York Daily News] Kid schools Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis, celebrates with dab (Thu, 03 Mar 2016 01:29:10 GMT)

    The Knicks may have found their new point guard.

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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).

    65 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.03.03)”

    1. If KP had a real point guard his stats would be right there with KAT. I hope we stop focusing on the “system” and start focusing on “getting good players”. We have 3 good players, and one is getting old quick. Please trade Melo in the summer. Please play Grant. Please scrap the system, most of the roster, and start over with a fresh new coach, a first rounder or two… We can win this many games with a new, young, fun team just as easy as we can with this steaming hot load.

    2. Is it safe to say that we still don’t know if Grant is any good? He hardly plays 3 consecutive minutes, plays decent defense, and his PNR and court vision is almost always good. His shooting needs work, but he is a rookie who may need burn somewhere to get better.

      His PNR with KP is damn effective. Wish we saw it more.

    3. You know what? A lineup of Grant/Galloway/Melo/KP/Lopez would be pretty ok if playing pick and roll, lots of combos there. Definitely not world beaters, I know, but better than we’ve seen.

    4. We aren’t going anywhere until we have a competent coach and are running an modern offensive system. It wouldn’t matter if we upgraded both guard positions and put Calderon, Afflalo, and Galloway on our bench. We’d still be bad. This system does not generate high EV shots and trying to find players to “fit” that system is partly why we have some of the slugs we do have. It’s also why some otherwise decent players look like slugs for us.

    5. My point wasn’t that we have many good players, more that I can’t even evaluate some of them because of the system/coach/rotations.

    6. Which decent offensive players do we have that look bad in our system?

      I’d say Grant and Galloway might benefit offensively, though Gallo would have to play the 2.

    7. Honestly I’m not sure if the Triangle is the problem. For the full 6 weeks up until Melo hurt his ankle stepping on the ref (12/1/15 to 1/12/16) the Knick were a borderline top 10 offense.

      The problem is we have zero guards that should be playing more than 15 minutes per game.

      Like I wrote in the last thread, Charlotte, which is not even a good team, has 5 guards that are better than any Knick guard — Kemba, Lin, Lamb, Lee, and Batum. Most teams that are any good have at least 3-4 guards that are better than our best guard. Triangle or no, you can’t win without at least near-average guard play, and we’ve been AWFUL.

      Freaking Jimmer was the 2nd leading guard scorer in his last game, and he played 2 minutes.

      Honestly what’s happening now is maybe the best thing that could happen for these reasons:

      1) perhaps Afflalo and DWill will opt out of their contracts and leave = $13MM more in cap space

      2) Calderon’s obvious suckage may encourage us to stretch waive him = ~$5MM more in 2016 cap space

      3) the combination of these things would lead us to have only about $50MM in contracts including cap holds:

      Melo 24.6
      RoLo 13.2
      Calderon stretch charge ~2.5
      KP 4.3
      Grant 1.6
      7 cap holds = ~4MM.

      Given the cap is expected to be about $89MM, we could do some damage with about $40MM in space. Yes perhaps we would want to resign Galloway (who I love but is probably at best a 4th guard on a good team) and Thomas, but that could be done in a way that we still have access to the full $40MM.

      4) No more Rambis

      5) With yet another terrible season from a non-Phil coached, non-MJ/Pippen/Kobe/Shaq/Gasol triangle team, perhaps Phil would open his mind to a non-triangle coach running a non-triangle system.

      6) Maybe, just maybe — Melo would give up his NTC and we could trade him for picks and young prospects. I am a Melo fan, and I don’t blame this mess on him, but it really would be best for both parties if he left in trade.

    8. 1) With the cap spike, the only way Dwill and Aflalo opt-in is if they get injured
      2) No one ever uses the stretch provision (though perhaps they should). I’m not sure it’s even worth hypothesizing about.
      4)Rambis is gone either way. That’s what interim generally means.

    9. agree with 1) and 3), but I think the stretch is a real possibility. Josh Smith was stretch waived by Detroit, and there were rumors of Calderon being stretched waived even before this season.

    10. resign Galloway (who I love but is probably at best a 4th guard on a good team)

      So he’s like Dion Waiters or Jamal Crawford good? More of a Leandro Barbosa type?

    11. I can’t wait until one of the awesome Knick beat reporters breaks the story that Melo was caught bowling somewhere else last night. Or watching DVR’d bowling from 2013. Or playing pool in a bowling alley but refusing to use the triangle to break.

    12. wow this Melo-Dolan thing is getting ugly.
      Getcha popcorn ready!

      this is great. there is literally zero that Dolan can do about Melo’s insubordination. Union would never let a suspension go through, and with a no trade clause, what can Dolan really do about it? He’s not going to release him.

    13. I can’t wait until one of the awesome Knick beat reporters breaks the story that Melo was caught bowling somewhere else last night. Or watching DVR’d bowling from 2013. Or playing pool in a bowling alley but refusing to use the triangle to break.

      lolol

    14. wow this Melo-Dolan thing is getting ugly.

      With Melo it’s always really hard to tell if he knows how his words will be perceived. It totally seems like he’s trying to piss off Dolan but honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if in his head he’s doing nothing of the sort. There’s just overwhelming evidence at this point that he’s horrible at managing media reactions.

    15. Yeah we’re trading Melo. Time to grab D Russell from the Lakers for Melo and then to grab a top 5 pick in the 2017 draft.

    16. why on earth would the lakers trade russell for Melo, and what crap would they have to give us back salary wise to make it work?

    17. Dolan, though, may have other ideas. There are already rumblings that Dolan won’t sign off on Brian Shaw or Rambis as a coaching hire.

      Sure, it’s coming from Isola, but this is the best bit of unsubstantiated gossip I’ve heard in the past month.

    18. The Lakers have a ton of cap space this summer. They don’t need to trade us anything. They could end up having a great free agent off season and they could want to add Melo to a team that will cap out at 45 wins. Who knows?

      The point is that Melo is gone this summer. Between Melo and Jimmy D’s ego, I don’t see this one ending peacefully. The Dolan ticket comment may end up spawning the Knicks’ version of the RA Dickey trade.

    19. Sure, it’s coming from Isola

      You made me read Isola’s twitter feed and I lost like 6 IQ pointz

    20. speaking of losing 6 IQ points, word on Twitter is that Sasha was running with the starters in practice today…

      I wonder what part of “We have zero chance of making the playoffs” and “Sasha sucks” they don’t understand?

    21. Which decent offensive players do we have that look bad in our system?

      Take a look at each veteran player’s long term TS% record vs their TS% with the Knicks using the triangle. More than a few are below their long term average or recent average (if they are developing players). About the only players that aren’t disappointing are Lopez (who scores off OREBs and inside in any system) and Lance Thomas (who is probably not going to sustain his shooting from early in the season).

      Compare that to the days D’Antoni was running a modern system in NY. He had some of the dregs of the NBA earning the highest TS% of their careers (or it dropped like a stone when they left him).

      That’s a system issue.

      We don’t get enough easy transition shots.

      We don’t get enough 3s from good locations.

      We get too many mid range and long 2s.

      We get too many shots out of the post that aren’t EV+.

      People are blaming some of that on the lack of a penetrating PG, but that’s only true if your management actually WANTs a PG that plays very uptempo and runs a lot of P&R etc… We are selecting players like Calderon, Galloway, Afflalo etc.. because our management is looking for a different kind of player in the backcourt.

    22. I want Wroten, McCallum, Frazier and Jimmer by the end of the day. All of them. They’d become our four best guards instantaneously and we’d have something to watch. Jimmy make it happen!

    23. Take a look at each veteran player’s long term TS% record vs their TS% with the Knicks using the triangle. More than a few are below their long term average or recent average (if they are developing players). About the only players that aren’t disappointing are Lopez (who scores off OREBs and inside in any system) and Lance Thomas (who is probably not going to sustain his shooting from early in the season).

      Compare that to the days D’Antoni was running a modern system in NY. He had some of the dregs of the NBA earning the highest TS% of their careers (or it dropped like a stone when they left him).

      That’s definitely true, but there are players that have played better within the Triangle system too. Lamar Odom’s best years by far were within the triangle. Andrew Bynum obviously had all kinds of injury and desire issues but one could theoretically make the argument that the culture of the triangle was what allowed him to maintain sanity and effectiveness in LA. Pau Gasol had his best years in the triangle.

      but yes, I get what you’re saying.

    24. “Dolan, though, may have other ideas. There are already rumblings that Dolan won’t sign off on Brian Shaw or Rambis as a coaching hire.”

      Sure, it’s coming from Isola, but this is the best bit of unsubstantiated gossip I’ve heard in the past month.

      Isola has been pushing super hard for Thibs (which is never going to happen). I suspect this is more him trying to influence than actual reporting. I mean he even called it unsubstantiated gossip.

    25. Veteran Knicks who have played heavy minutes:

      Melo-TS% way down
      Arron-TS% 2nd highest out of last 4 seasons
      Jose-TS% .003 below career average, much better than last year, and basically in line with his last few seasons
      Lopez-bit higher than his career average, basically in line with his last few seasons

      after that, who are we complaining about? It’s basically all on Melo not shooting 3’s well anymore, which could certainly be because of the triangle, but also could be related to age, workload, injury, etc.

    26. The triangle isn’t the problem. Its the talent. We suck. We miss open threes, we’re a bad defensive team, and we have a terrible coach. We don’t get transition buckets because our athletes don’t play. I think the system works and our players make it look bad. I can see an argument that it doesn’t make players better, though.

    27. Re: using the stretch on Calderon

      I don’t see the point of applying cap charges to two future seasons for a marginal cap gain this summer. How much better are we really going to get thanks to $4.5-$5mm of cap space this summer?

      Just take our lumps next year and be done with it.

    28. Also,

      Melo to the Lakers
      Melo to the Lakers
      Melo to the Lakers

      I can see us not wanting to trade Melo for Russell, though. He’s not a triangle PG.

    29. Yeah, I think that the fairest description of the Triangle is that it doesn’t help shitty teams play better. But good teams can make it work. With that in mind, though, it’s probably a better idea to just scrap it then, if it only really works if you already have a very talented team.

    30. That’s a thought, Brian. Torpedo the triangle until we have the talent to excel at it. Then phase it back in. Makes good sense. This way we may be able to play some more PnR and cam sign young energetic guards who can wake up the team and the fans.

    31. Anyway, what’s the perceived trade value of Russell these days? Would you rather have him or their draft pick, assuming it’s not #1 (they keep it if it’s #2 or 3).

      Don’t dismiss it bc you’re blinded by how mediocre Melo really is. Think of how dumb the Lakers are (they traded 4 picks for a washed up Steve Nash) and how badly they would want him to replace Kobe. You can definitely get a solid young piece from them, IMHO. And I think Melo’s perceived value is still higher among league execs than it is on this board. Melo on a 3 year deal is a solid consolation prize for teams who miss out in free agency this year.

      The question is (and I mean this): would Phil trade Melo for Russell or a top 3 pick? The fact that Kurt Rambis is coaching us and Sasha Vujevic may soon be starting tells me he may not.

    32. Right around the time the Knicks were last at .500 at 22-22 they were ranked as high as 11th in offensive efficiency. The triangle is annoying to watch but honestly I think that’s the least of this team’s issues. They need a HUGE upgrade in the backcourt both offensively and defensively. To me all the issues are directly in the backcourt, especially considering how today’s NBA is played.

      Melo/KP/Lopez/O’Quinn is a more than capable frontcourt, surround them with decent guards who can actually defend and dribble inside the paint every once in awhile and you’ll see an immediate positive impact. Having a coach who knows how to gameplan defensively, distribute minutes and put out proper lineups is the next most important issue.

    33. Anyway, what’s the perceived trade value of Russell these days?

      High. I think people all get that Scott is the problem there. Since Scott’s been forced to play a modern motion offense, Russell has looked very good, particularly in the context of the modern NBA (he’s bombing from deep and his step back threes have been particularly impressive). His WS/48 is up to .020, which is obviously very low, but considering it was well into the negatives all year long, it just shows how amazing his recent play has been (we’re talking, like, six games and he’s raised his WS/48 from negative to this point).

      On that point – the Lakers picked Russell second because of how well he fits into the modern NBA. Okay, fair enough. But they did so while having a super NON-modern NBA coach. How poorly run is that organization?!?

    34. This team needs talent, period, and if we’re passing on certain players because they don’t fit into some ancient Jedi system of basketball that literally nobody on planet Earth plays anymore well then that is just fucking stupid. And the whole “rebuild the culture” thing is nice considering JR Smith’s sorry ass is not here anymore, but a team full of nice guys that loses does not generate a much better culture than a team full of jerks that loses. Phil is overthinking this shit.

      Get good players, THEN figure out the best system to maximize their talent. It’s time for Plan C here. Win Now 2015 and Win Now 2016 tanked. Let’s try Win Later.

    35. Compared to our guards, McCallum would look like Lowry, Frazier like Rondo and Wroten like Sprewell. Let’s do it Phil!

    36. Win Now 2015 and Win Now 2016 tanked. Let’s try Win Later.

      I think this was really a Win Later (rebuilding) year that got reframed after Porzingis clouded our judgment with his winsome Latvian ways and several others had a better than expected start. But, Yes! By all mofreakin’ means! I’d rather a system and coach fit to maximize the middling talents of our rebuilding roster than vice versa. I’m tempted to imagine Phil’s perpendicular preferences, his faith in a right triangle, coming from an inflated view of coach’s contributions to winning.

    37. This has been a weird season-when we were .500 I thought we were overachieving because we’d been lucky on 3pt defense and maybe Lance was playing over his head, but I didn’t expect us to immediately become the worst team in the NBA. I’m still not sure what the fuck happened, but it all got real bad real fast.

    38. High. I think people all get that Scott is the problem there. Since Scott’s been forced to play a modern motion offense, Russell has looked very good, particularly in the context of the modern NBA (he’s bombing from deep and his step back threes have been particularly impressive). His WS/48 is up to .020, which is obviously very low, but considering it was well into the negatives all year long, it just shows how amazing his recent play has been (we’re talking, like, six games and he’s raised his WS/48 from negative to this point).

      Great. I’ll take him ;)

      Come on, Lakers. You know you want Melo!!!

    39. Looking at the history you really have to wonder if Melo has the thick skin to last in NYC. I know he’s from here and that its his dream to play in the city, but its stuff like the heckler incident which makes you wonder if he’s more in love with the idea of New York than the harsh reality of being a star there. He was blasted by a fan and outed the owner in front of him. KP was booed by an entire room full of fans on the most important night of his professional life in front of his family and he brushed it off. It takes a certain type of player and I think Melo is too conscious of what the media and fans are saying about him in a no-win situation to exist as a Knick anymore. Its time to cut bait for everyone involved.

    40. If you guys don’t think coaching was a huge reason this season went to crap, then-

      1. Beginning of the season (and last season), games were lost in the third and fourth quarter due to minutes allocation. We all were aware of it, and commented on it in the game threads.

      2. Players who a good coach would not play as much as Fish/Rambis did: Sasha, Calderon, Seraphin, Sasha.

      3. Players who a good coach would play more: Grant, Galloway, to some extent Jimmer, and OQuinn when he was playing well.

      4. Efficient plays that would make a difference on offense (KP, Melo, Calderon, Grant, Lopez have all benefited from PNR in spurts, but coaches/Phil have limited anything but our slow version of the triangle)

      5. We give up on defense on a nightly basis. Good coaches do not let that happen. Ever.

      Again: Not saying we would even hit the playoffs with the above, just saying we would play better.

    41. And say what you want about Melo, but he has always been a dedicated nose-down worker, and if this is the only time he ‘let NY get to him,’ that’s nothing compared to the treatment he gets regularly from fans and the media here. He’s been professional when no one else was many times, and doesn’t get enough credit for it.

    42. and if this is the only time he ‘let NY get to him,’

      Its not. Go back to Linsanity, you could tell he was hyperaware of what was being said about him. Dude is super-sensitive about his image because he wants so much to be adored.

    43. Refresh my memory, because I honestly can’t separate fact from fiction from that time.

    44. Refresh my memory, because I honestly can’t separate fact from fiction from that time.

      This is from Tim Keown’s 2012 piece on Anthony in ESPN the Magazine:

      Behind the scenes, a source close to the team says that William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley, a consultant for the agency that represents Anthony, informed Dolan that Carmelo was not pleased with the direction of the team under D’Antoni. This is nothing new; backstage maneuvering helped engineer Anthony’s departure from Denver and Paul’s from New Orleans. But when it comes to matters pertaining to Anthony, this source described Dolan as being easily swayed by the notoriously mysterious, famously well-connected and mythically powerful Worldwide Wes.

      “Lin was getting what Carmelo was promised,” says a source close to the team. “And Carmelo thought D’Antoni was going to favor Jeremy, so he had to get D’Antoni out of there.

      “It works out perfect for Carmelo. There’s little if any of his DNA on there.”

    45. First of all, great thread. Excellent points all around.

      The one thing that we’re missing here is that Phil Jackson has failed. It’s over. Time for another rebuild. The good feelings lasted all of two months, right? And Melo is done here too. I wished it had worked, but it’s time for him to go to a contender. There’s a team out there that’ll want a player like him to try and take a shot at a title and they’ll give up picks for him.

      But Jackson isn’t making those picks. Dolan is going to fire his ass.

      Ready for Isaih II?

    46. Great. I’ll take him ;)

      Come on, Lakers. You know you want Melo!!!

      I’d gladly take him, too. :)

      But I think the problem is that now the Lakers are sort of sure that he’s going to be a stud, so they won’t be willing to trade him (or Randle, likely, either – Randle’s more available than Russell, though). They’d be willing to move Clarkson for Melo, though. Him and some picks would be fine value (only in terms of rebooting the team – Melo is much better than Clarkson in general, although Clarkson is also a guy who is getting brutalized by being in Scott’s system – he’s a freewheeling guard in a restrictive offense – but Clarkson is the right age and having the draft picks would be essential).

      This, of course, is all moot since Melo will never approve a trade.

    47. If the Lakers don’t give us D’Angelo Russell, we’ll just work out a three team deal with the Clippers and some team like Denver who then gives us something like Mudiay, Barton, Faried, and Buddy Hield (shameless plug for my favorite player in the draft). Or we can say screw LA and do a three team deal with Miami and Cleveland sending Whiteside’s max deal to Cleveland and Melo to Miami while we get back Irving and a pick. Or we can do a three team deal with Houston and Miami with Miami getting Howard and Melo, Whiteside and Bosh to Houston, and New York gets the draft picks, Justise Winslow, and Pat Beverley.

      There will be options for a Melo trade this summer. They will all be good, some better than others for sure. My favorite is anyone that gets us a young point guard like Kyrie Irving or D’Angelo Russell. My fantasy deal is the one that somehow gets us a young point guard and Victor Oladipo.

    48. Though I made fun of bowlgate, I don’t think today’s Melo comments — saying Dolan forced him to put out the apology — are meaningless. That is the exact sort of laundry airing that drives Dolan berserk, and Melo absolutely knows it. This may well pass, but I’m a bit less convinced that Melo stays hell or high water than I was last week.

    49. It’s that time of the year where things have finally finished circling the drain and all there is left to talk about is how bad Jimmy D is.

      I am really enjoying the fact that Melo called out Dolan.

    50. I think Lopez can get you Oladipo. It seems the Knicks are fast tracking KP to five especially the way Rambis wants KP to be used. I know Rambis won’t be the HC next year but I do believe he gets his barking orders from Phil and if I am right that probably means the next HC will use KP the way Phil wants him used.

      Anyway, I think Lopez is some kind of variation could get you Oladipo and then some.

    51. Though I made fun of bowlgate, I don’t think today’s Melo comments — saying Dolan forced him to put out the apology — are meaningless. That is the exact sort of laundry airing that drives Dolan berserk, and Melo absolutely knows it. This may well pass, but I’m a bit less convinced that Melo stays hell or high water than I was last week.

      It seems like almost every year there’s some sort of story that makes me say, “Oh, huh, maybe this might finally be the time Melo asks out.” And then he doesn’t. Because he’s never leaving. Ever.

    52. It seems like almost every year there’s some sort of story that makes me say, “Oh, huh, maybe this might finally be the time Melo asks out.” And then he doesn’t. Because he’s never leaving. Ever.

      I think we’ve hit the end of the road. There’s no incentive for Melo to stay any longer and there’s little incentive to keep Melo any longer.

    53. KP needs a good PnR guard in system that uses the PnR. I don’t understand why Phil refuses to see it. But if he continues to build around KP without using a system that maximizes his strengths the rebuild will stall.

    54. Who would want Melo and why?

      I actually think there are STILL a lot of teams that would want him this offseason – question is whether Melo would want those teams with that freaking NTC.

      Melo (assuming health) is still averaging 22/8/4 this year in spite of this being his worst 3P shooting year since early in his career – have to figure that will turn itself around. There are only 2 other players who are meet those criteria – Durant and Blake Griffin. There is going to be a ginormous amount of cap space around the league this summer, and there is literally maybe only 1 free agent who is a better player than Melo who could possibly be expected to change teams –> Durant. Maybe just maybe Derozan would be more coveted just because he’s younger, possibly Chandler Parsons, but those guys are almost certainly staying with their respective teams. Probably 2/3 of the league will have the ability to absorb Melo’s contract without even really sending much salary back.

      The question is – which team that wants Melo would Melo actually go to, that could also give us a reasonable package back?

      Even though they’re in our division, Boston makes the most sense. A framework such as Avery Bradley and one of their other young guards that can’t play because they have too much depth (RJ Hunter, Terry Rozier, whoever) plus the Nets’ pick and everyone will be happy. I certainly would be.

      The other possibility would be working with another team who has a restricted FA and doing a sign and trade. Not that I think WAS would do this, but something like a sign and trade of Bradley Beal for Melo. Or something like that.

      Re: Phil – I think it’s fair to say he’s done 2 big things right during his tenure, and many bad things. The 2 big good things are Porzingis and Lopez. The bad things are many, but by far the worst thing he’s done– worse than what is now clearly a laughably bad Chandler trade — is allowing Melo to have that NTC.

    55. Right around the time the Knicks were last at .500 at 22-22 they were ranked as high as 11th in offensive efficiency.

      They still had a lot of players playing below their normalized TS% level. They were just getting a lot of offensive rebounds that were driving a decent offense.

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