Knicks Morning News (2016.04.02)

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: It’s time for Knicks to shut Kristaps Porzingis down (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 03:54:15 GMT)

    The Knicks aren’t prepared, at least not publicly, to declare Kristaps Porzingis finished for the season so we’ll do it for them.

  • [New York Daily News] Porzingis sits out again as lowly Knicks trounce lowly Nets (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 01:56:24 GMT)

    The Garden was dull Friday night, and it certainly had a lot to do with the lowly Knicks and Nets facing off for the final time this year.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Hold On to End Warriors’ 54-Game Home Winning Streak (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 06:27:27 GMT)

    Isaiah Thomas scored all 22 of his points in the second half, including a driving layup with 8.3 seconds remaining, as the Boston Celtics ended the Golden State Warriors’ 54-game home winning streak with a 109-106 stunner on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Warriors’ Home Winning Streak Ends at 54 in Loss to Celtics (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 06:03:38 GMT)

    Everybody expected Stephen Curry to make the 3 from way out with the clock winding down, just as he always does.

  • [New York Times] Celtics 109, Warriors 106: Celtics End Warriors’ 54-Game Home Winning Streak (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 05:31:40 GMT)

    Stephen Curry’s missed 3-point attempt with 5.3 seconds left sealed Golden State’s first regular-season loss at Oracle Arena since January 2015. The Warriors fell to 68-8 this season.

  • [New York Times] Morris Shines in Return to Phoenix, Wizards Dump Suns 106-99 (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 05:18:44 GMT)

    Markieff Morris overcame a rude welcome in his Phoenix return by scoring 21 points and helping the Washington Wizards beat the Suns 106-99 Friday night in a much-needed victory for their playoff hopes.

  • [New York Times] Heat Blow Big Lead, but Hold On to Beat Kings 112-106 (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 05:03:45 GMT)

    Luol Deng made a 3-pointer with 45.7 seconds left and the Miami Heat held on to beat the Sacramento Kings 112-106 on Friday night, avoiding a second straight late-game collapse.

  • [New York Times] LeBron James’ 29 Points Lead Cavs Past Hawks, 110-108 in OT (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 04:27:39 GMT)

    After leading by 21 points in the first half, the Cleveland Cavaliers were pushed past regulation by the Atlanta Hawks.

  • [New York Times] Hayward Scores 22, Jazz Defeat Timberwolves 98-85 (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 04:18:39 GMT)

    The pressure was on the Utah to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race after the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. The Jazz have six games left and can’t afford to drop games against teams that have struggled all season.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | College Basketball: Jamal Murray Will Enter N.B.A. Draft (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 04:13:30 GMT)

    Kentucky guard Jamal Murray will enter the N.B.A. draft, the first of several Wildcats who may turn professional.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: LeBron James Passes Robertson as Cavs Edge Hawks (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 04:04:43 GMT)

    James scored 29 points, passing another Hall of Famer on the N.B.A.’s career scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers edged the Atlanta Hawks, 110-108.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 105, Nets 91: With Little Up for Grabs, Knicks Defeat Nets (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 03:44:43 GMT)

    The Knicks won at the Garden in a game between two teams going nowhere.

  • [New York Times] Barea’s 29 Points Lead Dallas to 98-89 Win Over Pistons (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 03:27:50 GMT)

    J.J. Barea scored 29 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 19 as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons 98-89 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan, Lowry Lead Raptors Past Grizzlies 99-95 (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 03:15:52 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, Kyle Lowry added 22, and Toronto Raptors held off the Memphis Grizzlies for a 99-95 victory on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Edge Weakened Grizzlies in Memphis (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 03:09:27 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, Kyle Lowry added 22 and Jonas Valanciunas led a strong defensive effort that carried the Toronto Raptors to a 99-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at FedExForum.

  • [New York Times] Parker’s Driving Layup Carries Bucks Past Magic 113-110 (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 03:03:55 GMT)

    Jabari Parker made a driving basket with 10.1 seconds left to put Milwaukee ahead and Tyler Ennis hit two free throws that sealed the Bucks’ 113-110 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Walker Scores 27, Hornets Defeat 76ers 100-91 (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 02:33:43 GMT)

    When the Philadelphia 76ers clawed back to within four points with five minutes left to play, Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets just dug a little deeper.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Beat Nets 105-91 to Split Season Series (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 02:00:53 GMT)

    Langston Galloway scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 105-91 on Friday night to split the season series with their city rival.

  • [New York Post] What’s left for Knicks and Nets? Playing for pride — and jobs (Sat, 02 Apr 2016 02:41:19 -0400)

    Give Nets interim coach Tony Brown some credit for being brutally honest. When asked by The Post whether Friday night's game at the Garden had any extra meaning because it was Knicks vs. Nets, he didn't sugar coat the dire situation for both teams. "It's two teams not going to the playoffs. I don't know…

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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).

    61 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.04.02)”

    1. Here are some telling stats:
      1. The Knicks execute pick-and-rolls in 10.5 percent of their offensive possessions, last in league.
      2. The Knicks rank last in drives per game.
      3. Calderon and Vujacic have a combined total of 81 FTA this season. Grant has attempted 101 free-throws. Calderon and Vujacic have scored a combined 98 in the paint in 2,460 minutes. Grant has scored 138 in paint in the 980 minutes.

      People blame Rambis but I blame Phil more. It shouldn’t have taken an intervention to start to play Grant more. I know Phil doesn’t like ball-dominant guards but we would have two shot creators in Melo and Grant. And what will it take for Phil to realize that the no hand checking change and 3ball have led to speedier guards and more high PnRs in the league. It’s very frustrating that we won’t have the opportunity to let Grant get more minutes with Porzingis or test drive a Grant/Galloway/Melo/KP/Lopez starting lineup in a more modern offense.

    2. Some random obervations:

      >No way Dolan’s gonna approve a coach like Rambis or Shaw for more than a 1-year contract when both he and Phil have an opt-out after next season. Maybe the old but feisty Charley Rosen will be our coach for a year.
      >If Chicago’s looking to trade Butler, they’re rebuilding so Pau will be even more of an option. I think it’s almost a certainty that one of Pau or Noah (maybe both if Phil trades KOQ/Calderon in a package) is a Knick next year.
      >What if KD becomes a Laker and Westbrook tells OKC he’s joining him in LA so they better trade him or he’ll walk for nothing. Lakers offer OKC 2016 pick/Russell/Randle and also dump Williams/Young contracts in deal. Doesn’t OKC have to take that deal? Lakers then sign Whiteside and still have money to spend.

    3. Cle only shot 3-10 from the field yesterday, but he had 6 rebounds and 3 assists and wasn’t abjectly horrible on d

      Hope to see more playtime for young Cleo

    4. Playing Grant more was a no brainer once the season turned south. Playing Sasha in general has been a waste. But there’s just no shot the Knicks would have been an appreciably better team this year playing Jerian Grant 2000 minutes instead of 1000. He’s actually been bad. The Knicks are way worse with him on the floor. Even the 30% of his minutes spent on the floor with KP haven’t been very good; the offense produced an abysmal 1.019 PPP. He has played 2/3 of his minutes with Melo and those lineups have also been bad. This is because Grant has been bad and the Knicks are bad.

      It’s nice that Grant has gotten to the line more often than the combination of The Old Man and The Sushi, but Grant has actually been miserable in the PNR this year. His 0.67 PPP in 152 possessions (33% frequency, not that low) is incredibly weak. 101st out of 117 PNR ball handlers with at least 100 possessions. The Knicks EFG% on those possessions is 34.9%.

      I would also like to see him run more PNR with Zinger, if only to try something new and far sighted in the land of the suck, but Zinger is shooting 39% on passes from Grant this year. There is no evidence that a bunch more Grant PNRs would have done anything positive for the team in 2015-16.

      I haven’t quite given up on Grant yet. I think he still has maybe a 20% chance to become Derek Harperish. But I kinda doubt it.

    5. what does everyone think of giving batum the max? that admittedly sounds really horrible on first thought but he has been doing pretty well this year…. and he’s the kind of guard we could use… meaning he’s an above average one….

      there are no pgs although i think we should look long and hard at someone like tim frazier if he frees up….

    6. The problem with all of your cherry picked stats above, both positive and negative, is very small sample size.

      Grant should have played more this year, esp. given all the silly minutes to SV and Calderon playing way more than he should have. Many of us here on KB have been calling for this for some time.

      It was frustrating to see Grant out there make a mistake (and he did make plenty to be sure), and in many cases get immediately pulled. How can anyone really get comfortable with such an incredibly short leash, esp. since Rambis took over?

    7. @5. I think the Knicks will be SG hunting this offseason. Batum is one of many very good ones that are out there…surely Phil can nab one? They can get by for one more season at PG with some combination of Calderon/Grant/Galloway/Wroten/1 year FA signing/trade type of deal. Try to husband cap space to get the PG in 2017 (Westbrook? Paul? Etc.).

    8. Rookie guards in the NBA generally struggle mightily (see Russell, Mudiay). Granted, Jerian is a 4 year college kid, but the only way he’s going to get better (and I understand it’s not a given) is playing time. He should have been playing at least 20- 25 minutes a game as soon as this season went south, which was over 3 months ago.

    9. in terms of jerian grant…. pgs generally talk a while to develop… no matter if they were freshman or college seniors… very few become even good right away and grant’s in that boat…

      if he could start shooting better from 3 that would be a nice start…. and i think he’s def a better shooter than he’s shown… he’s a bit of a high dribbler though and i’m not sure if that’s going to work out for him…. that part he’s gonna need to revamp….

    10. The problem with all of your cherry picked stats above, both positive and negative, is very small sample size.

      Those stats are not “cherry picked.” I agree the sample size is very small but it’s the entire sample. Beyond it you just have flapping gums. The sample isn’t big enough to say anything even close to definitive about Grant’s future, and young point guards often improve significantly from their rookie years. But there is zero evidence more Grant would have helped the Knicks this year.

      what does everyone think of giving batum the max? that admittedly sounds really horrible on first thought but he has been doing pretty well this year….

      Tough question. Wouldn’t be my first choice but hardly a disaster. I think Batum is an okay value at the max (and he is def getting the max), though not a bargain, and I agree he is a good fit. The Knicks are not really the kind of team that should be filling their salary cap with fairly valued 28 year olds because it hardens the ceiling on a team that still won’t be a contender, especially for the 3rd and 4th year when Batum is very unlikely to be a bargain. But it’s a lot better than a bunch of scary alternatives like trading for DRose, paying Rondo, maxing Barnes or paying $30 million first-year $ for Bazemore and Evan Turner.

    11. Stayed up to watch the end of the Celtics-Warriors game. Impressive win by the C’s, but it was very weird to see Golden State be so rattled and commit some unforced turnovers (Steph had 9 of them) Plus Evan Turner was pulling shots out of his ass (God, I hope Phil wasn’t watching that game)

      Law of averages, I guess, and unlike the Spurs, no one has been resting on Golden State in their pursuit of the record.

    12. Yeah Jerian’s been pretty bad, and yeah Jerian should play more. They’re not mutually exclusive, and I don’t think Milo was making a case that they are.

      Batum would be “fine” at the max, but in a world where a front office acted optimally instead of the world of #embracingtheserpent that we currently have, we wouldn’t be signing max players in this offseason that weren’t KD or Whiteside. So yeah, if it’s an organizational fact that we’re *definitely* giving out a max this year, and we can’t get KD or Whiteside, Conley/Batum would be next choices–but I definitely wouldn’t do anything more than shrug at those acquisitions.

      We’re not winning or turning into anything more than a first round playoff exit any time soon and so we shouldn’t be chasing max level guys unless they’re the ones that outperform their contracts like KD, Westbrook, etc.; we need to find players that aren’t valued properly and acquire them so as to build a more sustainable playoff contender than “33 year old Melo, KP, KD/Whiteside/Conley/Batum, + dreck (this means not Evan Turner + Bazemore.)

    13. But there is zero evidence more Grant would have helped the Knicks this year.

      First of all, our defense would have been better and our offense wouldn’t have been worse. Regarding offense, I think you are presuming that Grant would have continued to be a poor performer even if he were given regular starter minutes. Certainly he would have normal rookie 1 issues like turnovers but I think it’s likely he would continue to improve. Surely, his shooting would have gotten better since he wasn’t a bad shooter in college. Regarding PnR, even last night they rarely ran the PnR when Grant was in the game. I think only 2 times they executed it (one with Lopez and once with Seraphin) and both yielded results. Pairs have to practice the PnR to get the timing down and it’s almost certain team wasn’t focused on a Grant/Lopez PnR or Grant/KP PnR Pop in practice. Bottom line: It’s really not a stretch at all to think team would have been around 15th in offensive efficiency and 15th in defensive efficiency if they had followed my recommendation.

    14. Tough question. Wouldn’t be my first choice but hardly a disaster. I think Batum is an okay value at the max (and he is def getting the max), though not a bargain, and I agree he is a good fit. The Knicks are not really the kind of team that should be filling their salary cap with fairly valued 28 year olds because it hardens the ceiling on a team that still won’t be a contender, especially for the 3rd and 4th year when Batum is very unlikely to be a bargain. But it’s a lot better than a bunch of scary alternatives like trading for DRose, paying Rondo, maxing Barnes or paying $30 million first-year $ for Bazemore and Evan Turner.

      Yeah, Batum is getting the max. But since he’ll have multiple max offers, he’s unlikely to pick here, I would imagine. But sure, he’d be a nice fit.

    15. You realize that jumping up like 8 spots in DEFF and 5 spots in OEFF by starting Jerian Grant would be like adding some kind of really good, near max-level player, right?

      Jerian Grant is not really good, even assuming he’d get a little better with more minutes (and that’s quite literally baseless speculation.)

    16. Really our free agency should center around maxing the fuck out of Boban Marjanovic if only so I can see a 7’3 frontcourt where one of them shoots 3’s.

    17. if we’re not trading melo….. and that’s absolutely the best course right now… then i think trying to get batum is the next best thing…. we’d be sort of portland-3years-ago kind of good… which i think is not that bad… and we’re a pg away from truly contending…

      we’re not actually that far off from being pretty good … we have some good players but the rest of the guys are just really horrible.. and that is what is killing us… replacing them with above average guys alone would net us a ton of wins…

    18. This is a lousy FA class, except for Durant, and maybe Conley. If somehow we got Durant, there is still a big problem in the backcourt that needs to be solved, but man, that would be sweet! I suppose Conley would be fine, but then what? Batum is nice, but he’s not really even close to a max player, playing about league average in PER and WS48 for all but one year, and that was 5 years ago.

      I think we should avoid paying big bucks to anyone not named Durant or Conley. If we stand pat, maybe Melo reconsiders the NTC and we can start building a team the right way.

    19. I think we should avoid paying big bucks to anyone not named Durant or Conley. If we stand pat, maybe Melo reconsiders the NTC and we can start building a team the right way.

      I agree, but there’s little to no chance of them standing pat. It’s just a matter of how good the guys are that they sign. Whoever they do sign, Melo will publicly compliment, as he sort of has to, since he’s not going anywhere, so he might as well be nice about the guys Phil gets.

    20. You realize that jumping up like 8 spots in DEFF and 5 spots in OEFF by starting Jerian Grant would be like adding some kind of really good, near max-level player, right?

      Yes I realize that. Calderon and Vujacic are horrific on defense so giving their minutes to Lance/Grant/Galloway would have resulted in a gain of 5. Regarding offense, I am presuming if Grant is playing that the offense would execute significantly more PnRs. If we went from last in #of PnRs to average and pushed the pace in transition, we would have jumped about 5 places (21st to 15th). Playing the wrong system for our personnel and the wrong players is what caused us to finish 13th in the EC. Dumping Phil would be the most important step to improving this team.

    21. You’re ignoring that Grant has been bad at running pick and rolls (he’s been kinda bad in general-which is okay). Doing something bad more often doesn’t make the offense better.

    22. You’re ignoring that Grant has been bad at running pick and rolls (he’s been kinda bad in general-which is okay). Doing something bad more often doesn’t make the offense better.

      To my eye, he hasn’t been bad at all in the PnR. Some PnR stats (NBA.com) do not include spot-ups generated from PnR. It’s kind of obvious to me if the team made this a focus and actually, you know, practiced it that it would be a lot more efficient. And people forget that Grant wasn’t bad at all when he was pushing the pace and executing high PnRs with KOQ on that second unit so it’s not like we’ve never witnessed it. His problems were more due to terrible coaching and player development in the context of the wrong system for the team. Sure, if you want him to be BJ Armstrong or Derek Fisher, he shouldn’t be on this team. But I don’t want to change the system because of Grant, I want to change it because of Grant/Lopez/Melo/KP. We’ll improve next season using the Triangle but never maximize our talent so long as Phil is here.

    23. Looking at Grant’s stats from the beginning of the year to the present might be flawed. He’s been better in a variety of ways over the second half of the season. That could be an aberration, but more likely it’s that he’s getting more comfortable and better in the offense.

      If the Knicks solidify the SG position with a near max player like Batum, I can envision Grant becoming the starting PG next year and none of us in hysteria over it. He may not become an elite PG, but he could become an upgrade over Calderon and average PG as soon as next year.

    24. Again, I don’t get why anyone would consider Batum a “near-max” player. Look at his stats and explain to me why any team should pay him more than $10 mill per year. Just because the market is thin doesn’t mean you should overpay for a guy that won’t make us a contender.

    25. Batum performs much more favorably in BPM and VORP than in WS (and BPM and VORP are almost certainly better at capturing player productivity.) There are players with worse career BPM and VORP numbers who have max contracts. He’s valued by the market as a max player and his productivity compares favorably with a max player if we take “max level” not to mean “lebron james” but rather the more average max level player like Greg Monroe or Mike Conley.

      The question of whether he’s a good *objective* (whatever that means) value at the max is a separate question from his comparative performance vis a vis your average max player, players who he generally outperforms.

      Batum is likely the 3rd best max contract player in this free agent class. You could do worse than him if you’re really dying to blow your cap space. I wouldn’t do it but maybe I just haven’t #embracedtheserpent like our Shaman of Woodstock Phil Jackson

    26. Boban is a risk at a max contract, but I’d do it anyway. He’s the next Whiteside. Dude’s going to get signed for like, 5/$40M, and the Spurs are going to start rolling him out when Timmy retires. He’s gonna put up 25/15 in 30 minutes every night.

    27. I’d target either Fournier or Tyler Johnson, both of whom are young enough to be in their prime at the same time as KP. I think I’d offer Pau a 1 year 20m deal which would make us better next season but also preserve cap for the following summer when there would be more free agents available including Westbrook. (I think we’d be able to package KOQ/Calderon to a team.)

      Note: Maxing Boban and trading Lopez is an intriguing possibility.

    28. I don’t see the point behind signing either Gasol or Noah. We are already good enough at C/PF. If we could get Fournier cheaply, that would OK, but I don’t see him changing us much next year unless he takes big step forward.

    29. Wins Produced may have some problems with the extremes of scoring usage and positional adjustments here or there, but when those things are not a factor, I think it does a better job of identifying value than some of the other models. Batum looks pretty good on Wins Produced and the Bobcats certainly improved a lot this year with him. I think you have to give him a good share of the credit to go along with Kemba breaking out.

    30. I’ve always liked Batum, but let’s be real here. The Hornets are tied for 3rd in the east and have always been focused on short term relevance. Batum and Walker are the keys to their success. Unless some top tier free agent decides Charlotte is an awesome city to play in, their best option is going to be paying Batum whatever it takes to keep him. That will probably be the max. For the Knicks, the pool of gettable free agents of note looks like this IMO:

      Bazemore, Fournier, Pau Gasol, Rondo, Jefferson, Clarkson, Zaza, Turner, Ezeli, Crawford, Deng, JR, Jeff Green, Terrence Jones, Sullinger, Eric Gordon, Hibbert, Chalmers, Deron Williams, Brandon Jennings, Courtney Lee, Mozgov, Motiejunas, Joe Johnson, Biyombo, Nene, Lance Stephenson, Dellavedova, Dudley, Zeller, Jared Dudley

      The pool of maybes looks like this: Beal, Wade, Parsons, Noah (at his age, may take less money to play on a great team)

      I think there’s a chance guys like Horford and West will leave their teams, but they’ll get lots of offers, and I can’t see why they’d pick NY.

      Based on Phil Jackson’s past actions and assuming Derrick Williams opts in and Afflalo opts out, I would expect the KNicks to use the $26m of cap space like this:

      1) One of Chalmers or Dellavedova for $6-$8m/year (we love big PGs who don’t penetrate but can shoot!)
      2) Sullinger for $12-$14m/year (ideal triangle big who unlike Pau, will be willing to play off the bench)
      3) Luol Deng for $8-$10m/year (the new Arron Afflalo!)

      If Melo gets significant input, I would expect something more like Noah and Rondo, which would be disastrous.

    31. I really don’t think we should rule out the possibility of adding Wade and LeBron this off season. I’m not even trying to be sarcastic. We have enough space to offer something like $16 million and $15 million if we waive-stretch Calderon, and then if we get a team like NO or Milwaukee to take Lopez for their 1st rounder, we can offer them even more or go after Gasol.

    32. I’m leaving on a cruise so we’re going to finish the season very strong. When I come back I expect to read that Grant is HOF material.

    33. To be honest, it we aren’t signing Batum, Conely, or maybe Fournier (if you want to gamble on upside), pretty much everything else would be a mistake for one reason or another. The only exception might be adding Rondo, but why take on the headaches that typically come with him. I say we either do it right or we do very little at all other than add place holders like Afflalo was this year. If Melo is not happy with us actually doing smart long term things, then he has to wave his no trade clause and allow us to build with the pieces we get in a trade for him.

      There are a few bigs I wouldn’t mind having, but why are we going to waste money on any of them when we already have Lopez and KP. Maybe if we can get a cheap backup big, that might make sense, but no way we should be spending serious money on a big.

    34. “Batum performs much more favorably in BPM and VORP than in WS (and BPM and VORP are almost certainly better at capturing player productivity.) There are players with worse career BPM and VORP numbers who have max contracts. He’s valued by the market as a max player and his productivity compares favorably with a max player if we take “max level” not to mean “lebron james” but rather the more average max level player like Greg Monroe or Mike Conley.”

      I don’t agree with “almost certainly.” WS is a fairly reliable measure, and it is almost never the case that a player worthy of a max contract languishes at “league average” there. He has shot under 43% in 3 out of the last 4 years. He doesn’t get to the line. He’s a good passer and has a high b-ball IQ, but his WP48 is below Otto Porter and Solomon Hill and about the same as PJ Tucker. You have to put a lot of faith in VORP and BPM to justify a max contract for him. I would personally rather wait.

      PS I didn’t think Monroe was worth max money either.

    35. I honestly don’t “get” the notion of Batum at anything near max money. Someone please tell me what he is actually good at (and I mean good at a max level). He is a very good all around player who isn’t really good at anything.

      Running a business is about asset allocation and in a business like the NBA where there is a cap grossly overpaying for production is death.

      The Knicks have one player that is great value (Zinger) and one that is fair value (Rolo). Everyone else is either bad value or mostly irrelevant. Unless LeBron and Durant are coming here next year the Knicks aren’t going anywhere, so they might as well accumulate assets by parking someone’s bad contract, etc.

      They have 3-5 years to put some young talented players around Zinger to have a chance to be a top team and clogging the cap with the Batum’s of the world is the way to build 7th seed type of team.

      There is a hidden opportunity cost for overpaying good but not great players

    36. @37

      I agree with you, but I think you may be mildly underrating Batum. He’s not a “star” player that can turn a team around by himself, but imo he’s a very good all around player on both ends. He can play either SG or SF at both ends well. He’s probably not worth the max, but he would be a great piece to add to any team at a fair price.

    37. Okay, so Baban is a poison pill option and I am cool going after “PP” guys because they would expire when Melo’s option is up plus the cap is increasing. I am not sure you have to go all they up to the max but you never know. Also, I will pull a REUB and mention a Westy guy like Bachynski, a 7’2 255 lbs shot blocker. How cool would it be to have Lopez be the smallest big. lol. The knicks would really need to do there due diligence in finding a cheap agile big though to upgrade the Lou role. Sign N’dour to SL again and I would also sign Quincy Miller to a SL contract. Dwight Powell is a not so cheap guy since he is another PP candidate.

      As for guards Tyler Johnson is a PP guy too that may or may not be available depending on what Miami does. Maybe the play of Josh richardson has opened up a minor S&T with Miami for Johnson ala KOQ. That would really save the knicks some dough if Miami wanted to move on from Johnson. Another guy I would go after is Crabbe. I go back and forth on what he will get and his value to Portland. They could potentially have money but they also have several rFAs that they could bring back along with their uFA guy, Gerald Henderson. I think Kaman is done so his cap hold is not an issue. So what will Portland decide to do with Harkless, Leonard, Crabbe, and Henderson? Wow, is almost like the young version of last year. Throw in the fact that McCollom will get paid next year and Plumlee is also up to cash in next year to. Maybe another summer to do a little NWP shopping.(yes, NWP is based out of Was and not Ore but who cares?)

    38. @yellowboy

      For a mobile big that wouldn’t be too expensive what do you think about Dedmon from Orlando or Booker from Utah?

    39. I have been a fan of Booker’s for a while but I am not sure what he will get in the open market. He is kind of like a less rim protecting Taj Gibson.

      Dedmon flashes here and there but I was looking for more of a 4 man.

      Also, I must continue my trade for Victor Oladipo campaign. He is not the player you expect your number to pick to be but he has improved every year. Maybe he becomes the Pg/Sg version of Batum. :)

    40. I like Dipo a lot, but I think Orlando is committed to him. Fournier seems like the odd man out if a team throws big money at him.

      Ah okay so you want a mobile 4? I’ve been thinking if we get a frontcourt piece it should be a player like that who can board a bit as that’s a major weakness for us any time KP plays at the 5. If we could somehow find a way to get in the draft and grab Nigel Hayes I think he’d fit the bill, but obviously that’s a gamble. Not sure there’s a guy other than Booker that fits that bill in FA.

    41. @42, what do you think it would take the Knicks to get Orlando to not match on Fournier?

    42. I completely forgot that the Villanova-Oklahoma game was happening, and apparently so did the Sooners.

      Will this finally end the “Is Buddy Hield a Top-3 Pick?” bullshit that’s been going on due to the overall success of his team? The guy is a great shooter but there’s no reason he should be shooting up the draft boards because of four or five good games.

    43. I think Hield will be a very good pro. Not sure if he’s #3 given that he’s a senior, but he’s a very good offensive player, and not just a shooter.

    44. I mean are people really saying he’s a top 3 pick? I have him at 8 or 9 and DX has him at 7 iirc

      He’s gonna be good though

    45. Very excited, my son (who graduated from Villanova last year) and I are going to the championship game Monday. We’re sitting in nosebleed seats, but should be a great experience.

      Since I might be dead before we get to experience a Knicks championship together, a Nova title would be the next best thing.

    46. I think Batum will be an overpaid max player, but only because of the cap increase. Probably a third-tier star who plays the weakest position in the NBA. He’d immediately improve the team, though. I would much rather have him than someone like Cousins or Turner. If you can sign Batum and trade Melo for a 1st and a young talent, you have cause to be excited about the future. But not Durant/Davis/Curry/Kawhi/LeBron-type excitement.

      Batum is gonna get paid, but I see him as a younger version of Iguodala. Eventually he’ll end up on a team with talent and everyone will rave about his veteran leadership, but the truth will be that he’s been productive all along.

    47. Since when does a .670 TS% on a 30.5 USG% equate to four or five good games? That is the most asinine assessment of Buddy Hield I have seen. At one point during the season Buddy Hield was shooting 2s and 3s with the same efficiency, and that was around 53% a piece. Are you serious? He’s a phenomenal shooter and a great rebounder for his position. He’s the Big 12 POTY two years in a row and he finished second for National Player of the Year. He’s been nothing short of amazing this season. Oklahoma got beat today. Big whoop. That doesn’t mean Buddy Hield isn’t one of the best prospects in the draft this year, and it doesn’t mean he won’t be a good pro.

    48. Evan Fournier is probably playing basketball for a different club next season. I think he’d be a good Knick but I’m not trying to overpay for his services. Oladipo, to me, makes more sense as the guy on the way out. Fournier fits better next to Elfrid Payton and Oladipo isn’t really an off ball type of player. I’d let Oladipo be the lead guard in our triangle offense, though.

      Batum shouldn’t make more than 15% of your team’s payroll, but if we could add him and a guy like Donald Sloan we’d have a pretty good back court.

    49. I rather have oladipo than batum and Conley. There are a lot of not so good pg out there that’s becoming stud or decent. Why didn’t we get one like Isaiah Thomas or Seth curry even the Mack from Utah. All of them are once upon a time buy low players. They re better than our buy high PGs

    50. I would love for Hield to be on the Knicks last year and his numbers this year have been nothing short of outstanding. How was he not Naismith POTY? But he wasn’t a consensus top-3 pick before the tournament. My issue is that idiot pundits are still driving their draft boards based on team play in the NCAA tournament and it frustrates me that a 6’3″ SG could, due to that team play, be selected near the slot where you’d hope to find a player like LeBron, Wade or Durant. He could be a good spot-up shooter in the NBA, but he’s going to get smoked by NBA athleticism. Will struggle to finish and stay in front of the freak athletes in backcourts.

    51. Those are fair assessments, Jowles. In this draft, I’d probably take Hield in the top 5 just because it’s such a poor field this year. Simmons, Ingram, and Murray should all definitively go ahead of him as they’re younger, bigger, and more athletic than him with pretty good statistical production. I also love Domantas Sabonis and would not be upset to see him go ahead of Hield, but that won’t happen for reasons I can’t understand. Then of course there’s Dragan Bender who looks like a slightly more athletic version of Nikola Mirotic. That’s 5 prospects not named Buddy Hield that I like.

      I do think you’re selling Hield short, though. He’s a good NBA athlete if slightly undersized at 6’4″ 215 (which is around the same measurables as Wade) with really long arms. He has the athletic profile to be a good defender and by all accounts is the hardest working player in the NCAA. He gets to the gym before games Ray Allen early. I don’t think he will have a problem getting to the rim in the league, and when he develops his ball handling ability he can be a top scorer in any league on the planet. We’re not talking about Jimmer Fredette here; Hield is much more athletic and has a much quicker release. He could eventually top out as Kyle Korver in D Wade’s body, but I think his ceiling is D Wade with Kyle Korver’s shooting touch.

    52. @43

      Probably north of $18m. I imagine Orlando would match anything below that as it’s similar to the deal they gave Harris last summer.

      I like Oladipo more than Fournier also but what are you giving up to even get him? He’s also been balling out to close this season and he’s the type of two way guard Skiles loves. I don’t think he’s gettable anymore and definitely not with our assets.

    53. Batum. He’s not a “star” player that can turn a team around by himself

      The Hornets have a .200% better winning percentage since adding Batum as their major off-season acquisition. And when he was injured in January, Charlotte lost 9 out of 10 games by about a 15 point average deficit. Batum has been excellent for the Hornets this year. He rebounds, passes, defends, can make threes, and contributes intangibles to a winning culture. He will certainly be offered max money, and will likely perform well in comparison to other 2016 max free agents over the next 4 years.

    54. “Max player” is now a relative term. The NBA has a $24 billion TV deal that’s 2 years old. The CBA is 11 years old. It does not reflect this obscene amount of money. That CBA is up for renegotiation next year. I think you know where this is headed.

      A max player in 2016 is an OK value contract in 2018. Who cares if a player is “one of X max contracts in the league” or not? Look at the dollar value by itself.

      Like Donnie said, Batum is one of the best glue guys in the NBA with his well-rounded skill set. Passing, length, defensive versatility, floor spreading – the Knicks have a lot of needs, and he can meet a lot of them. He’s a perfect fit for whatever Triangular iteration of an offense the Knicks will run out next year. He’d make any team better.

      #BATUM2016 #MakeTheKnicksHalfwayDecentAgain

    55. “Max player” is now a relative term.

      REspectfully couldn’t disagree more. I’m not a capologist, but having 8 years of service Batum’s “max” will be 30% of the team’s cap and that is way too high for a well rounded good, but not a terrific player.

      Remember, we have 3 good front court players who shouldn’t be getting >32 minutes a game next year and 2 enormous holes in the backcourt to fill.

    56. If your goal is to “change the culture” by winning some games, you’re a hell of a lot better doing it by bringing in good players like Nic Batum instead of trying to fake it with mediocre non-entities like Arron Afflalo. I’m all for a full tear down and rebuild but considering that is never going to happen I would be happy with a Batum signing.

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