Knicks Morning News (2016.04.13)

  • [New York Times] Warriors’ Chase, Kobe’s Finale Highlight NBA’s Final Night (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 06:48:39 GMT)

    Golden State is playing for history. Kobe Bryant is playing for the last time.

  • [New York Times] Wiggins, Towns Hope Mitchell Keeps Timberwolves Job (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 06:42:32 GMT)

    The young Minnesota Timberwolves’ strong finish to the season has helped interim coach Sam Mitchell’s case to land the permanent job, and now some of the team’s most important pieces are voicing their support for him as well.

  • [New York Times] Chris Paul Leads Clippers Past Grizzlies 110-84 (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 05:09:43 GMT)

    Chris Paul had 12 points and 13 assists and the Los Angeles Clippers extended the Memphis Grizzlies’ freefall to the final night of the NBA’s regular season, defeating the Grizzlies 110-84 Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Leonard Scores 26, Helps Spurs Beat Thunder in OT, 102-98 (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 04:24:44 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs got an unexpected battle in their final home game of the season Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Tie Celtics’ Mark for Best Record at Home (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 03:43:04 GMT)

    The Spurs finished 40-1 at home, a mark that matches the home record set by the Boston Celtics in 1985-86.

  • [New York Times] Heat Beat Pistons 99-93, Pull Within Win of Southeast Title (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 03:36:56 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade got off to his slowest start offensively in a decade and finished with 14 points, helping the Miami Heat beat the Detroit Pistons 99-93 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Pacers 102, Knicks 90: Knicks Finish 32-50: ‘Little Bit Better’ (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 02:32:03 GMT)

    The Knicks fell, 102-90, to the Indiana Pacers and are 49-115 after two years under Phil Jackson, the team president.

  • [New York Times] Paul George Scores 19 and the Pacers Beat the Knicks 102-90 (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 02:31:09 GMT)

    Paul George and George Hill each scored 19 points and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 102-90 to win their final home game of the regular season.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Earn 12th Straight Win Over 76ers, 122-98 (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 02:13:08 GMT)

    Rookie Norman Powell had 18 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 17 more and 11 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers for the 12th straight time,122-98 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Just One More for Curry and Bryant (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 01:28:52 GMT)

    The Warriors will seek a record 73rd win Wednesday, and the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant will probably play his final game.

  • [New York Daily News] After another lost season, Knicks left wondering where to go (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 05:50:17 GMT)

    The Knicks played their B team in the final game of another lost season, ending with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis on the sideline.

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo demands to be part of Knicks’ free agent decisions (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 05:48:50 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony issued something of an ultimatum on the final day of another lost season, sending a stronger message to Phil Jackson.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Wednesday's Knicks Links: Porzingis to spend most of offseason in New York (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 05:31:07 EST)

    Wednesday's Knicks Links: Porzingis to spend most of offseason in New York

  • [New York Post] Knicks-Carmelo Anthony divorce best for both parties (Wed, 13 Apr 2016 01:04:27 -0400)

    Three years ago, another Knicks season ended in the same place this one did, inside a deafening Indianapolis gym called Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The visitor's locker room didn't much look the way a professional locker room usually looks. This was more like the high school football team who just lost the state quarterfinals. Thousand-yard stares….

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    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).

    71 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.04.13)”

    1. Looks like Wittman is getting canned by the Wiz.

      I think we need to grab him before some other team does, he should be in big demand!

      #randyisdandy

    2. I have what surely is an unpopular opinion.

      I would like Kurt Rambis to be our coach next year. For three reasons:

      1. Melo will give up. Trading Melo right now is more important for this franchise than getting a good coach this year. Why? Because you can get a good coach next year. You can’t always get rid of Melo. He has some value now. Who knows if he’ll have any next year. Even if you can’t get D’Angelo Russell or a top 3 pick from the Lakers (and I may be delusional, but I think you can).

      2. We will almost definitely end up with a top 3 pick next year. We might even find another generational talent to pair with Porzingis.

      3. I don’t want Tom Thibodeau anywhere near Kristaps Porzingis. Ever.

    3. I have a probably equally unpopular opinion on Thibodeau: I don’t want him anywhere near this team. Ever. And I find it crazy that people think there aren’t legitimate basketball reasons that Phil Jackson wouldn’t want him.

      Thibs is Mike D’Antoni with defense instead of offense. He had one good run with the Bulls. One. Every other year he burned his team out in the regular season and his players broke down from overuse. That Isola article was typographic felatio. He touted his player development. Maybe the Bulls just drafted great players. Rose, Noah, Gibson, Gibson, Korver, Asik, Butler, Mirotic… Thibs made all those guys? Thibs “rejuvenated” Pau Gasol, who has been great his whole career? I don’t buy it.

      And how is thoroughly misusing Kyle Korver not a massive blight on his record? He had that dude standing in the corner for less than 20 minutes a game on a team desperate for offense. He started Keith Bogans over Kyle Korver 82 times!!! This isn’t Greg Poppovich. He’s a defensive coordinator.

      He’s a very good coach. He designed a great defense. But his system has been thoroughly broken down and mimicked by many teams. Just like no one needs Mike D’Antoni to implement a pick and roll offense these days, you don’t need Tom Thibodeau to implement a Thibs defense. You can find a guy without all his incurable warts to implement the same defense. Frank Volek did it in Indiana, for example.

    4. Hubert. There is no reason for the lakers to do that trade. You need to accept that Melo isn’t leaving

    5. If I had a choice of:

      A) being rid of Melo, being shit one more time, possibly teaming Porzingis up with Russell, having a top 3 draft pick at the end of the year, and being able to hire any coach I wanted next summer

      or

      B) Having Thibs coaching Melo for the next 3-5 years, being stuck in the dreaded middle lane of mediocrity, never getting Porzingis another player his age with his talent and basically wasting his first 6 years like we did Patrick Ewing’s

      I’m taking A all day. Even if it means one more year with Rambis.

      You may disagree, but that’s an actual basketball plan that has nothing to do with cronyism or all these things being bandied about.

    6. Hubert. There is no reason for the lakers to do that trade. You need to accept that Melo isn’t leaving

      Melo would leave if we hired Rambis. 1000%.

      The Russell bit may be a pipe dream, but he would be gone, for sure.

      And that’s why I want Rambis. One year of Rambis will save us 3, maybe even 6 more years of Melo. So sign me up right now.

    7. Seriously, who wants this during the next 3-6 years of the Porzingis era?

      Carmelo Anthony issued something of an ultimatum on the final day of another lost season, sending a stronger message to Phil Jackson about his desire to be part of the big summer decisions. “If I’m going to be a part of this organization and the future of this organization, then I want to be a part of the decision-making in some way shape or form,”

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/carmelo-demands-part-knicks-free-agent-decisions-article-1.2598438

      Make it abundantly clear that we don’t plan to compete next year so he will waive his NTC. I don’t care if we can’t get anything good for him (I think we can, but I may be wrong). Having him gone and getting a top pick next year is 1,000,000 times better for the Knicks in the long run than keeping Melo and hiring the overrated Tom Thibodeau.

    8. I think it’s clear Melo really doesn’t want Rambis to be the coach. Would that be enough for him to waive NTC? I defer to Cronin. Paging Brian…..

    9. Make it abundantly clear that we don’t plan to compete next year so he will waive his NTC

      That would be cool. But I don’t see getting anything great.

    10. I think it’s clear Melo really doesn’t want Rambis to be the coach

      No sane person would.

    11. It’s certainly going to be an interesting summer. As much fun as it is to speculate about Melo trades and high profile coaching candidates, everything to me suggests that Phil intends to triple down on Plan A, the only plan he has shown any interest in since he got here. Bring in a triangle coach (Rambis keeps the job, or maybe Shaw). Continue to try to steer a middle path between rebuilding and going for it, meaning no moves that cost long-term resources, but also no Melo trade to restock the cabinet. Focus on veterans with decent midrange jumpers in the free agent market.

      I’d love to be wrong and for Phil to show us he has more than one idea, but I just don’t see it. I really think we will only shake things up if Melo demands it unprompted, and he certainly doesn’t seem inclined to.

    12. The Monkey wrench in all these theories is the assumption that the Knicks can/will actually sign a player or two that can add a lot of wins. Phil, Melo, and whoever the coach is can have all the input they want, but if Batum, Conley, and to a lesser degree Rondo don’t want to come here (not even sure I want Rondo), the Knicks will be picking at the scraps and are unlikely to land anyone that can move the needle in a meaningful way unless that players also blossoms a lot also (someone like Fournier or Turner). The team will be better because KP, Grant, Galloway etc… will develop, but this team needs to ADD an all-star or close to all-star caliber talent to move the needle significantly.

    13. why is melo saying he wants to be involved in the decision making process, wasnt it melo who convinced phil to sign afflalo!?!

    14. Only if he says things like “Derrick Williams could get outrebounded by our coke machine” like he did last year

    15. Hiring Karl would be more expensive than moving melo’s locker into the basement and expropriating his stapler, but also funnier. May as well build a statue of Jeremy Lin outside MSG.

    16. Thibs is Mike D’Antoni with defense instead of offense.

      Like D’Antoni, I think the whole “Thibs/D’Antoni can’t coach offense/defense” thing is overblown, as it almost always is a matter of personnel. When the Bulls had better offensive personnel (his last season there, when they added Pau and Mirotic), they were a lot better offensively. When D’Antoni had good defensive personnel, he had good defenses (the Knicks were a top ten defense with him the one season he had Tyson Chandler on the squad). Although, like most coaches, he got better at his weaknesses as he went by. It is fair to knock his handling of Korver in his first two seasons in Chicago. But do note that it wasn’t like teams were going out of their way for Korver when he left Chicago – a lot of teams missed out on how good Korver was (and again, while he was missing out on Korver’s skills, he also got the Bulls to win 62 games and 50 – in a 66 game season!!- in those two seasonss ya know?)

      The whole “he plays players too many minutes” criticism is a fair one, though. I think even there the effects are perhaps overblown, but just the optics of it all are terrible and should have been avoided.

      What I’d like about Thibs is that it would be swell to have a coach who actually added value to the team. Granted, the last time they had a coach who did that, D’Antoni, he added just enough value to screw them out of good draft picks in years the Knicks were intentionally not trying to be competitive, so that turned out to be a bad thing in the long run, but still. Remember when the Knicks built their entire team around Patrick Ewing, Ewing then got hurt and Van Gundy still got them to 43 wins and a first round playoff victory? I miss the Knicks having a coach who could pull off something like that.

    17. Hiring Karl would be more expensive than moving melo’s locker into the basement and expropriating his stapler, but also funnier. May as well build a statue of Jeremy Lin outside MSG.

      I think they could even hire Karl and he would say, “This is exactly what I wanted Phil to do.” For all his bluster, Melo will go along with pretty much anything the Knicks do this offseason, provided they at least give the pretense of competing next season. I do agree that he would be willing to waive the NTC if they made it clear that they were not going to be competitive in 2016-17, but that’s not going to happen.

      Also, while I think Rambis is a terrible coach, I also think that they’ll likely add enough players that even a terrible coach (like a Randy Wittman) could get this team to close to 40 wins next season, in which case Melo would be totally locked in. In other words, there’s no realistic scenario where Melo ever leaves.

    18. George Karl is soon to be on the market. Y’all down?

      Nope, I got my sights set on Randy Wittman

    19. BTW, I think there is definitely something to this Jeremy Lin-gets-slaughtered-routinely-and-no-one-calls-it meme.
      He gets utterly brutalized.

      I also still believe he would have been a good guard to keep in NYC.

    20. I’d love to be wrong and for Phil to show us he has more than one idea

      See, I don’t know. Phil has been doing a good job of investing in the future so far, with some hints at maintaining some level of competitiveness. He has gained picks, gotten some promising rookies, invested in an overseas project or two, not given any picks away, and lowered the avg age on our roster dramatically. Our biggest non-Melo signings are Lopez (27 when signed), O’quinn (25), Seraphin (25), Galloway (23), along with flyers on Wroten, Lance, Fredette. I mean, there’s still Afflalo, Vujacic, trading for Calderon, and megamaxing Melo, but all in all, there’s a sight to the future we haven’t had in a couple of decades.

    21. George Karl is soon to be on the market. Y’all down?

      Nope, I got my sights set on Randy Wittman

      I hear the Clippers have a talented assistant coach we should look at….

    22. Phil’s greatest accomplishment is that he hasn’t traded away any draft picks. That’s a low bar, but considering how far this franchise has been set back by trading away future picks, he has avoided that kind of disastrous move. Starting next season, we have our own 1st rounder every year. When is the last time we could say that?

    23. In addition to all of their other functions, first-round picks are a failsafe against unexpectedly bad seasons. If you’re trying to win but things go badly, at least you have a better pick as a consolation prize. The Knicks’ biggest problem over the last decade+ is that they keep trading away their failsafes, then having “unexpectedly” bad seasons and ending up with nothing to show for them.

      These are the seasons we had no 1st round pick, and our record that year.

      2004: 39-43
      2006: 23-59
      2007: 33-49
      2010: 29-53
      2012: 36-30
      2014: 37-45
      2016: 32-50

      That’s seven times in the last 13 years that management said, “We won’t need that pick, we’re going to be great!” And with the possible exception of 2012, they were wrong every single time.

      Draft picks protect you from your own ineptitude. Thank god we have them again, starting now.

    24. @29 I know it’s a little bit of beating the proverbial dead horse, but I would happily skip the 2018 draft and have Kyle Lowry as our starting PG. Right now he’s probably number 4 behind Curry, Paul and Westbrook. What are the chances that we acquire a talent like that through the draft?

      (And the idea that the trade was nixed by Dolan because he didn’t want to get shown up by Ujiri again makes me a little ill.)

    25. @30

      Dolan always makes the wrong decision. Always. I’ve never seen a sober person be as consistently stupid as Dolan. So it figures that the one time he doesn’t trade a pick is the one time it might have been worthwhile.

      That said, I’m not crying about it. Lowry would have made us better, but the last two years would have been big wastes of his talent. We’re obviously not close to contention. And who knows where we’ll be in 2018. I’m OK with the idea of having that pick just in case we suck yet again in 2017-18.

    26. @30, you can’t unravel the tapestry like that. If we had Lowry last year, we don’t get Porzingis this year. I know which player I’d rather bet on over the next 10 years.

    27. So if Batum stays in Charlotte, Conley stay in Memphis, and Rondo either doesn’t want to play in the triangle or Phil doesn’t want to deal with his baggage, who exactly can we get that will actually move us forward in a meaningful way?

    28. Like D’Antoni, I think the whole “Thibs/D’Antoni can’t coach offense/defense” thing is overblown, as it almost always is a matter of personnel. When the Bulls had better offensive personnel (his last season there, when they added Pau and Mirotic), they were a lot better offensively

      Just to be clear, Brian, the statement you replied to:

      Thibs is Mike D’Antoni with defense instead of offense

      doesn’t mean Thibs can’t coach offense.

      I think he’s a heavily unbalanced coach and cited his misuse of Korver and preference for Bogans as an example, but I was referring to the fact that both have a lot of the same warts (they are inflexible, suck at allocating minutes, and they are both – IMHO – limited).

    29. @33, the Knicks can honestly take a gamble on Seth Curry and sign a guy like Jared Dudley or Courtney Lee. If Indiana likes Lawson a lot, they could probably be interested in RoLo for George Hill and then we could grab Whiteside. DeRozan is a player we should let go to Los Angeles, but his game screams triangle the way Afflalo’s game did and that worries me. There’s definitely some moves to be made if we miss on Conley, Batum, and Rondo.

    30. One thing you can most certainly say about Phil Jackson that he hasn’t made the Masai Ujiri’s job difficult for when he takes over. It’s very possible that he could screw that up by signing some bonehead deals this year, but there’s nothing in Phil’s tenure as a Knick that makes me believe he won’t continue to keep us flexible.

      One thing that matters more than anything else in determining this off season is the playoffs. If Golden State sweeps Houston, beats LAC and Cleveland in five, and the Spurs sweep/go to 5 with OKC, there will be a lot of corresponding moves. Like if Cleveland and the Clippers get killed by GSW, I can see LeBron and Chris Paul pushing management to go get Melo (and I’ll be watching ESPN for all of the Stephen A hot takes). If Houston gets killed, D12 is a goner. What if LeBron orders the deconstruction of the Cavs and Kyrie and Kevin get sent packing? Imagine if Boston signs Dwight and trades for Kevin Love? Where does Kyrie get traded? Would Cleveland be better if they signed Seth Curry and had both Melo and Lopez? How about if the Clippers move Blake to the Celtics, Melo to the Clippers, and we grab Brooklyn’s pick and Crowder/Amir Johnson and Boston still signs Dwight Howard? If Durant throws everyone for a loop and signs in Houston? This is shaping up to be a very volatile off season for a lot teams. I for one am rooting for everyone to get destroyed so that they would be willing to overpay for Melo.

    31. @34, Keith Bogans actually played less minutes than Bogans that season. Bogans played 1461 and Korver played 1649, and they both played 82 games.

    32. I for one am rooting for everyone to get destroyed so that they would be willing to overpay for Melo.

      I wouldn’t like that, since it will just make me all the sadder that Melo won’t waive the NTC. Not only that, but think about it, if the other team would “overpay” to get Melo and Melo actually would want to be traded, don’t you think Melo would want them to not do that so he has a better team to go to? In other words, Melo is destined to screw the Knicks into giving up too much to get him and screw them into getting too little to get rid of him (in the alternative reality where he ever leaves).

    33. One thing you can most certainly say about Phil Jackson that he hasn’t made the Masai Ujiri’s job difficult for when he takes over.

      ooooh keep talking dirty to me like that, sailor

    34. @35

      Honestly, I don’t think any of those moves does a lot to improve the team over what we’ll get from the development of the young players. I like Dudley, but he’s playing more PF at this stage than SF or SG. We need a SG. Lee is an upgrade, but it won’t be meaningful. Whiteside is very good, but he’s still a headcase.

      It’s going to be interesting to see what Jackson comes up with, but it could easily turn into year 1.5 of the turnaround instead of year 2. There isn’t a lot of what we need out there. We may wind up with someone like Rondo because Melo wants him and a lot of other teams may not want to deal with the baggage. So we may both have to settle for each other even though he’s made negative comments about the triangle. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rondo is a good all around player, but he can’t shoot a lick and I think we need a scorer. Maybe Fournier is the best bet. I don’t think he’s all that good, but at least he’s young and has upside.

    35. Wait, are the Miami freakin’ Heat seriously going to end up with home court in the first round of the playoffs? The East is weird, man. It’s like you have Cleveland. Then you have Toronto. Then you have, like, six teams that could have finished anywhere between #3 and 8.

    36. The goal should be to make sure we have a max slot for 2017, because all of the top free agents that year — particularly the point guards — are better than anyone who is likely to actually change teams this year. If we can get a significant upgrade at the 2 this offseason without hurting our flexibility for next summer, then I can live with that and hoping for growth from KP, Grant, and (if he stays) Galloway.

    37. Unless we win a lot more games next year, I don’t see any of those free agents that we like wanting to come here.

    38. At the very probably risk of looking like a complete fool in six months, I will make the following two predictions

      1) Boston will trade picks and maybe personnel for either Blake Griffin or DiAngelo Russell or both.
      2) We will get an upgrade at point guard and his name is Jerian Grant.

    39. I’m not sure there’s a single first round playoff matchup in either conference I’m excited about.

    40. So who’s gonna watch history be made with me despite the inconvenient east-coast timing

    41. I’ll probably last until the Dubs go up by 15 or Kobe misses 15 shots, whichever comes first

    42. So, Afflalo really thinks that he’s one of the “premier” two guards in the league? Wow. See ya!

    43. It’s like if in Jeters last game they sent him up to bat every time and he went like 4-31 with 18Ks

    44. follow Sam Mitchell to coach this Minny team with another Lottery pick coming is a good fucking job

    45. How did Kobe score 60. I left and he had 43 pts with a few minutes left. Wow, that must have been some ending.

    46. Jazz got eliminated before the end of the game, I’m gonna consider it a farewell gift by them til proven otherwise.

    47. @massive

      I agree. Phil has done maybe marginally better than if the Knicks had hired Rip Van Winkle to be GM, and he slept through the last 2+ years, with Adam Silver forced to select for the Knicks in teh draft based on the average of NBA draft boards and Tyson Chandler forcing his way out of town one way or another.

      No, you don’t get RoLo. But you do finish with the worst record in 14/15, so maybe you have Towns rather than KP. You don’t get the second rounders from the Prigioni and Tyson trades, but then you also don’t have Calderon under contract through next year.

      The sad thing is that both Rip and Phil have done better than just about any other Knick GM since Dolan took over. Hell, if you give blame to Donnie Walsh for the Jared Jeffries trade, you could argue Phil’s outdone him as well.

    48. Kobe: 60 pts on 22/50 shooting over 42 mins.

      Curry: 46 pts on 15/24 shooting over 29 mins.

      One made history, the other is history.

    49. I agree. Phil has done maybe marginally better than if the Knicks had hired Rip Van Winkle to be GM, and he slept through the last 2+ years, with Adam Silver forced to select for the Knicks in teh draft based on the average of NBA draft boards and Tyson Chandler forcing his way out of town one way or another.

      No, you don’t get RoLo. But you do finish with the worst record in 14/15, so maybe you have Towns rather than KP. You don’t get the second rounders from the Prigioni and Tyson trades, but then you also don’t have Calderon under contract through next year.

      The sad thing is that both Rip and Phil have done better than just about any other Knick GM since Dolan took over. Hell, if you give blame to Donnie Walsh for the Jared Jeffries trade, you could argue Phil’s outdone him as well.

      Truth is – we would’ve been much better in 14-15 if Phil had never shown up. the Felton/JR/Prigs/Shump/Melo/Tyson core ended the 13-14 season 18-6 and just missed the playoffs – and that was with Tyson missing much of the year. That means we would never have had a high lottery pick and we would not have KP.

      So Phil tanked appropriately (whether or not he meant to do that from the beginning) and made the good draft pick and made a strong FA signing in Lopez – but sh*t the bed with his roster construction otherwise, signing 40 bigs and zero capable guards.

      I am still not totally sure the Triangle is a big problem. The offense was ok if you consider that we had zero ability to attack the basket all year long and zero guards that could make a team pay for on-ball pressure. This year, basically all any defense had to do was overplay passing lanes and pressure Calderon/Afflalo and the offense would fall apart.

      I want no part of Rambis going forward, but honestly, a couple even passable guards would put us strongly into the playoff mix next year, Triangle or not.

    50. I find it unusual that no one here is even thinking about taking on expiring contracts (EC) this coming year. Since I don’t really follow other teams, I’m just going to presume that there’s at least one decent SG on an 2016-17 EC. You all can hash out names better that I can.

      With this fairly weak FA class, I suspect that taking on an EC maintains cap flexibility (which PJax has shown to highly value over the past year+). Teams are gonna go nuts and overpay EVERYONE and their mom, including the janitor down the hall. Why not encourage these idiots by giving them cap space? Kinda like loaning casino chips to to bad gamblers. It’ll screw them all up for the next five years plus.

      It’s also not out of the realm of possibility to purchase a 2nd rounder again (remember, for example, that Philly could have up to 4 firsts this year. What are they going to do with their 2nds?) . Or even pick up picks as we pick up serviceable rental players on EC’s.

      So far as I see it, this team has 2 big needs:
      1. Improve their shooting across the board. This team missed A LOT of open jumpers/layups this season that good teams routinely make. That’s just straight up coaching. With the elite free throw shooting this team demonstrated this season, the ability is there, they just need to put in quality time in the gym AND the weight room.
      2. Acquire just ONE 2-way 30+ min guard with decent jumper who can punish strong on-ball pressure. the 2016 FA class sucks, so I recommend the EC route for this. Heck, even Lin for a year would be an upgrade over AA.

      IMO, with those 2 changes, you could keep the existing roster and still make the playoffs. And still have flexibility for the 2017 FA class.

    51. Regarding PJax as GM:

      1. I think the Calderon trade was a wash for both teams. They still have Felton (wow) and the Knicks have Calderon and Early (and I think the Greek Freak’s lil bro too), who I think are honestly better players that have been misused (Calderon) or underused (Early).

      2. Shump trade was really all about dumping JR, who was clearly a cancer on that team. Or any team for that matter. Mission accomplished. No one wanted JR which was clearly demonstrated when Denver released him and only the Knicks were interested and again this past offseason when NO ONE pursued him except for the Cavs (because that was the least worst move they could make due to their cap situation). Even still, Iman Shumpert isn’t worth the ridiculous 10 MM contract he’s got now. Even now, he athletic like Tarzan, but plays like Jane.

      3. The Westchester/overseas programs. It’s clear that the future NBA will involve greater in-house/in-program player development, something of which the Spurs have been masters of and teams like the Heat have built up quite nicely. In PJax’s 2 years, he’s gotten 2 decent draft and stash guys in Europe and built up the Westchester franchise into one of the better programs in the D League. That’s only going to get better going forward. (II truly hope that the next Collective Bargaining Agreement helps the NBA to turn the NBADL into a true minor league where teams control players rights given that they’re learning the game well enough in either high school or college).

      4. 2015 Offseason signings. RL is a win. AA gets to go away. DW was a pleasant surprise who will earn the 8MM/year to perhaps stay and become Melo’s eventual replacement. KO’Q is a decent bench big on a plus contract with the potential with starter potential (he just needs to figure how to score from under the basket). Seraphin wasn’t really necessary but even still can become a good big (probably for another…

    52. 5. Draft Picks. KP: win. Grant: win. Early/TAnt/HGomez: TBD. Considering the Knicks’ awful history of acquiring and developing young players, even this meager collection of drafted talent is a major step in the right direction. Given the tendencies PJax has demonstrated over the past year plus, I expect this to get even better.

      6. The DLeague/Waiver/Trade Throw-in’s wire signings. This team has gotten plus value here from Galloway, Thomas. And it looks like the Wroten signing looks to be more of the same.

      Assuming the Knicks resign Gallo and LT and keep Wroten, I’m curious to see what this offseason’s Camp Melo does to these guys (as well as for KP, Grant, etc.).
      IMO, 22-22 doesn’t happen without last season’s Camp Melo in PR.

    53. @Frank, in my post, I assumed that Tyson was a goner no matter what. He wanted out. So I think the tank is more effective with no Tyson OR Melo.

      @fmikieo — responding to your points by number:

      1) Felton expires this summer. Calderon doesn’t. That’s more important than second rounders, which get traded around for scrubs like Randy Foye.

      2) JR ended up opting out of his deal, so he would have expired. Safe to say he probably would have done the same had we kept him although who knows.

      3) Jackson has gotten one decent draft and stash player. Labeyrie doesn’t look like he’ll go anywhere. This is an achievement, but again, weighing it against Rip Van Winkle’s more effective tank, it’s meaningless.

      4) RL is a point in PJ’s favor. The rest of the guys are meaningless IMO. Please don’t call Derrick Williams a Melo replacement…

      5) KP was a good pick. Not as good as Towns, and he was tops on the draft boards at #4, so even with the same pick and no Phil, we probably draft him. Grant hardly looks like a win. Don’t let a few meaningless games at the end of the season skew your view. There’s still a very good chance he never reaches the lowly heights of TH Jr.

      6) Thomas is not a player who had trade value at the time. Really, you’re praising Jackson for choosing to sign him in summer 2015. Sadly, he didn’t sign him long term, so there’s no real value to him. Same goes for Galloway. Wroten signing was smart in terms of contract terms but is a drop in the bucket in terms of what it will take for this team to turn things around.

    54. In terms of draft/signings/trades, Phil’s done a decent job but for one major mistake (i.e., NTC). Even if Dolan made Melo's NTC a condition of hiring Phil, Jax should have offered a compromise where Melo received max 130m but he had to specify 3-5 teams up front to which he could have been traded by the team at any time over the life of his contract. Melo probably would have chosen Lakers/Clippers/Chicago and we would at least have had some flexibility. Melo could, of course, have expanded that list later if he desired. Note: I’m presuming league permits such a contract.

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