Knicks Morning News (2016.04.23)

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Celtics Beat Hawks as Isaiah Thomas Scores 42 (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 03:21:43 GMT)

    Thomas’s point total was a career high as the Celtics closed to two games to one in the best-of-seven series.

  • [New York Times] Pearl Washington, Dazzling Guard Who Put Syracuse on Basketball Map, Dies at 52 (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 01:08:19 GMT)

    A charismatic point guard who achieved legend status as a Brooklyn schoolboy, he helped lift Syracuse University to national prominence in basketball and went on to play in the N.B.A.

  • [New York Times] Hornets, Blazers Need a Win; Thunder, Raptors Seek 3-1 Leads (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 08:21:47 GMT)

    The Charlotte Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers are hoping a change in venue will provide some mojo in the NBA playoffs, while the Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors look to take 3-1 leads in their first-round series Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Finish Strong, Put Grizzlies on Brink (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 05:57:27 GMT)

    Despite lopsided wins by San Antonio in the first two games of the Western Conference opening-round playoff series against the injury depleted Memphis Grizzlies, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili knew Friday night would be different.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Take 3-0 Series Lead, Beating Ragtag Grizzlies 96-87 (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 05:12:37 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs didn’t play with their usual methodical precision. Kawhi Leonard more than offset those shortcomings, especially against ragtag Memphis.

  • [New York Times] NBA Playoff Capsules (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 04:45:42 GMT)

    LeBron James had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving made a pair of big 3-pointers down the stretch to help the Cleveland Cavaliers move within a game of a first-round sweep with a 101-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

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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).

    29 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.04.23)”

    1. I think the 2016 free agent class doesn’t do much for the Knicks. If they were to be real real players for all the names available, I’d say Drummond and Fornier should be the targeted haul. Drummond is 22 and Fournier just turned 23, so, marrying them to Porzingis for the next four years will see them all playing in their prime together. Fournier has improved every year in the league and could be a relatively good $ value too. Outside of those two, I don’t see this offseason helping create a truly competitive Knick team. And Drummond, I suppose, is going to super-max it out in Detroit. So, basically, the Knicks are going to still be bad next year. Fun!

    2. Honestly I have some hope that Grant will improve and that Wroten will help us. If we could just land a decent shooting guard somehow we would be much better next year. Blatt would help too if that happens.

    3. Why would we go after Drummond? Our front court is formidable. Our front can score, play defense and rebound.

      Phil will upgrade the backcourt. I see him targeting Batum, maybe Beal, Bazemore and then maybe someone like Chalmers, etc. it won’t turn us into contenders but our backcourt was horrible so I think the upgrade along with Zinger and Grant and Gallo and possibly Williams all improving will get us into the playoffs. Then we’ll have cap space and a draft pick next year to add to the mix. So I imagine Phil’s timeline is improve agai. This off season and be a playoff team and then really take the step the next year.

      And yes, Melo will stay and will be worth it.

    4. What about Dellavedova? He seems like a nice triangle fit, defensive PG with a 3pt, and is very young. He will likely go wherever he is offered more money, the question is how much is Cleveland willing to offer him (if we have to overpay, then he is less desirable)

    5. You upgrade every position on your team until you have an All Star or better level player in those positions. It’s why there’s talk about Golden State’s potential pursuit of KD. They don’t need him, but he’s an opportunity you shouldn’t be foolish enough to pass up on. The Knicks won’t go after Drummond because he’s a RFA, but if he were available you do not let Robin Lopez stand in the way of you and an elite player at his position. You don’t let Mike Conley get in the way of adding Chris Paul. You don’t let Nic Batum get in the way of Jimmy Butler, and so forth. I don’t think Cleveland would think twice about trading Kyrie Irving for Chris Paul, and they’re both good ball players. It’s just that one guy is a HOF talent and the other is an All Star level talent.

      Of course we should look to upgrade our guard talent, and I think Evan Fournier would be a great way to do that. He’s a young and improving player who will likely be a good basketball player for the next ten years. You want your team to improve, and you want to build around elite talent. Grabbing an elite big is a good idea even when you already have good bigs. And it’s not like it’s an either/or proposition; we’ll have $36 million in cap room this summer so we can definitely do both.

    6. I think the 2016 free agent class doesn’t do much for the Knicks.

      I’ve been thinking about it a lot. So the way that I started is to figure out what we have and what we need. There are certain locks, and a few wild cards. If things break perfectly, Afflalo and D.Williams will opt out saving $13M in cap space and we’ll stretch Calderon which will will save $5M in cap for him (We’ll get hit for $2.5M for the following two years. I think it’s a no-brainer for the team to pick up Galloway’s $900K. Also, I am working with a $92M cap which is a projection from Basketball Insiders. With luxury tax cap at $110M. I’ve gotten most of my cap rules assumptions from Larry Coon’s Cap FAQ

      PG: FA#1, Grant, Wrotten
      SG: FA#2, Galloway
      SF: Anthony, FA#4, FA#5
      PF: Porzingis, FA#3, O’Quinn
      C: Lopez, Hernangomez

      So what have we got? That is $70M if Afflalo and DWill stay or $57M if they both opt out. If they both stay, we have $22M which may not be enough for a max player. But with the amount of money out there, I think they will. So I see the need to pay for 5 free agents to get the Knicks to 13 players. We’ll pay 2 of them the veterans minimum which is 1.0 – 1.5 for players with 3+yrs. 2.5M. That leaves 3 free agents.

      So, let’s assume we max out 1 player. Obviously we want a PG. Conley is the best, in my opinion, and commands the max. His defense alone makes him worth it but do we commit for 5 years? There are few others worth looking at even for what we need. Whatever we can then spend on a starting SG is where I go next. It needs to be a young 3-and-D.

    7. Why would we go after Drummond? Our front court is formidable. Our front can score, play defense and rebound.

      The key to championship caliber success is to synchronize the primes of your best players. Anthony at 31, Lopez at 28, and Porzingis at 20 doesn’t max out Porzingis’ upside. Lopez and Anthony will be on the downside during Porzingis’ peak.

      Even signing Whiteside is kind of a lost cause for the Knicks, I think, because he is 6 years older than Porzingis, which is basically twice his basketball age. Whiteside and Durant are the best players available this summer, but if the Knicks sign one of them, they should probably trade Porzingis for a developed player immediately afterward because why spend that kind of money if you’re not going to max out the upside?

      If Porzingis is the player the Knicks are building around, they need more 20-23 year olds to develop alongside of him. And without draft picks, they need to look to free agency. There are players that age available, so I think that if they are going to spend money this summer, they should spend it on younger players rather than middle-aged players.

    8. Whiteside and Durant are the best players available this summer, but if the Knicks sign one of them, they should probably trade Porzingis for a developed player immediately afterward because why spend that kind of money if you’re not going to max out the upside?

      I dont think you need to be so drastic, the Spurs didnt trade Kawhi to maximize the upside of Tim Duncan. You have to figure it is better to keep Porzingis and let everything to run its course. If you get Durant, you are on the right track, even if you have to wait a year or two. Without injuries you have to figure that everyone not entirely dependant on athleticism will play at a high level until 33 or so.

    9. There’s no point talking about Drummond. SVG didn’t pay all that money to a bunch of so-so 20 somethings to not match on Drummond. There’s a better chance New Orleans releases AD by accident and we sign him.

    10. I would laugh forever if SVG didn’t match Drummond, and then I’d cry forever when the Knicks said, “Eh, we have a franchise center already.”

    11. Tony Wroten has been working out with Allan Houston. Pack it up, bitches. Wroten is about to turn into Jamal Crawford.

    12. Yeah I know the prevalent thinking on this site is that we should only get players that are Zinger’s age so that we can have them all grow together and therefore have this massive championship window with Zinger, but I just don’t think you have to build a contender that way. I think most good championship teams have a mix of youth, prime players and vets.

      David Robinson was near the end of this career when The Spurs got Duncan. No one thought “oh we should trade the Admiral now for some players that are young and have potential to match up with Duncan.” And The Spurs didn’t think that again with Kawhi…they didn’t trade Parker and Duncan. Why? Because they knew that having veterans who can teach/guide the youngsters is a good thing. The Celtics had 3 dudes in their 30s and a second year Rondo as their core. What was great about that for them was as those dudes got older, Rondo improved enough to offset them and that got them a championship, a second round playoff exit (7 games to Orlando with no Garnett), another Finals appearance (7 games), and an ECF appearance.

      I’m not advocating that we get all 30 plus players that are Melo’s age in order to “win now.” But this idea that we shouldn’t get a prime player like Durant or Westbrook bc they are in their prime, Melo is older and Zinger is younger…I think that’s foolish. You put together the best team you can with a mix of youth and experience (without sacrificing too much long term growth by giving up picks). It’s actually good for Zinger to have veterans on the team to help guide him and show him the ropes and even if we don’t become a championship team while Melo is still useful, getting into the playoffs and getting experience for Zinger in those situations is good for him. Plus you don’t have to just have lottery picks to keep building esp once you have a guy like Zinger. Late first round picks are useful too (again see Kawhi). I just don’t think it has to be championship or complete…

    13. Thing is, the Knicks don’t have the cachet to bring in the real elite mega-star players when they hit free agency. The truly greatest players in the game are smart enough to know that they shouldn’t play here.

    14. David Robinson was near the end of this career when The Spurs got Duncan. No one thought “oh we should trade the Admiral now for some players that are young and have potential to match up with Duncan.” And The Spurs didn’t think that again with Kawhi…they didn’t trade Parker and Duncan. Why? Because they knew that having veterans who can teach/guide the youngsters is a good thing.

      No, they knew that they had a contending team, so that’s why they didn’t break any of those teams up. The Spurs won 59 games, then lost their star player (who had just been named first team All-NBA during the 59-win season, a season where the other two centers on the All-NBA team that Robinson beat out for first team were little known big men Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal, with Patrick Ewing not even making the team at all) before the next season even began, correspondingly gave up on that season in the hopes of adding a once-in-a-generation talent, added that once-in-a-generation talent and then won 56 games the next year. If the Knicks’ situation was remotely comparable to the Spurs’ situation, then this season would be the equivalent to the Spurs’ season that won 56 games. The Knicks won 32.

      The Spurs won 61 games the year before they traded their back-up point guard for the pick they used on Kawhi (their back-up point guard! For Kawhi freakin’ Leonard!). They won 50 games (out of a 66 game season) in his first season.

      The Spurs’ situation then was not even slightly similar to the Knicks’ current situation. If it were, I’d totally think otherwise about the Knicks’ current situation. If the Knicks were already a contending team, then sure, it would make sense to keep Melo and Porzingis together.

      And no one is saying “don’t add Kevin Durant.” If the Knicks could add Kevin Durant this offseason, then great. They’re not going to add Kevin Durant this offseason. So it’s a moot point.

      By the way, as a bit of an aside, David Robinson was “near the end of his career” when the Spurs drafted Tim Duncan? He was 31 years old when the Spurs drafted Tim Duncan, same age Melo is right now.

    15. @13 this was the case with the Clippers, and then they drafted Blake Griffin. Then Chris Paul demanded a trade out of town and happily went to LA so he could play with Blake and DeAndre.

      So if Porzingis is Blake and Lopez is DeAndre and Melo is Melo, we should have a good shot at landing some free agents with the $36 million we have. Oh yeah I forgot. Triangle.

      The triangle marriage and the NTC were two of the worst things to happen to the Knicks.

    16. There are soooo many bad things that have happened to the Knicks these past two decades that those two are sadly very, very low on the list.

      That said, yeah, they’re not good either.

    17. I think we should take all the premier backcourt FAs off the list. They are all in very good spots and seemingly very happy. They can also get more money. They aren’t coming to NY. There’s an outside shot someone like Derozan could move, but that’s only because Masai is smart enough to let him go rather than may him huge money. Even a guy like Fournier is likely to stay put in Orlando unless we overpay significantly. We are looking at guys like Courtney Lee, Evan Turner, and people in that 2nd/3rd tier where they are good role players that can be replaced. So their teams won’t overpay to keep them.

    18. Somehow I thought David Robinson retired after The Spurs won their first championship. But you’re point about him being 31 really only proves my point more. That we shouldn’t fret about keeping Melo because he’s not near the end of this career, just near the end of being a peak performer. But like say Paul Pierce he’s still got plenty of good years left in the tank and if anything we’ve seen a more mature, better passing, better defending and rebounding Melo with lower usage this year. His shot was off for a lot of the season but overall he played a much more team friendly game this year, which is really encouraging. I can’t read his mind but I think he realizes he can’t/shouldn’t bear the load all game and won’t win that way and if Zinger can take the next step this year and the next, then keeping Melo can make us a good team.

      I think we can add some decent guards this year to improve our backcourt significantly. Also, the idea that a player would want to stay in Orlando (who also did not make the playoffs) over NYC is a little of a stretch (replying to multiple people now). Maybe we can’t add Batum or Beal but even some of the second tier guards could improve us in our back court. Then we will have cap space (plus a draft pick) next summer too. Maybe then we snag Westbrook cause we’ve made the playoffs and Zinger has stepped up.

      My overall point is just that I don’t believe we need to either be a real contending championship team or completely rebuild with youth around Zinger. I think there is real value to building a good playoff team that maybe can’t win it all these next few years. If we can do that, even if Melo never gets his championship on this contract, then it’s going to be a lot easier to reload when Melo’s contract is up. And we will be adding first round picks (if Phil sticks around) after this year.

      I’m just not so negative. We’ve improved. We’ve added Zinger and some decent role players. And we haven’t sacrificed…

    19. Fournier is a restricted free agent. That’s why he’ll likely remain in Orlando unless the Knicks overpay him significantly.

    20. I think Orlando is tied to a starting five of Payton, Fournier/Oladipo, Hezonja, Gordon, and Vucevic for the foreseeable future. One of their shooting guards will leave Orlando I believe. Chances are Fournier is the one out of the door because he’s going to get $18 million a year this summer and Orlando will probably not match or S&T him. I think we could have Fournier if we wanted him.

    21. Oh, and Pete Vescey tweeted last night that Phil never wanted Blatt and that the ONLY candidate is Kurt Rambis.

      I really hope Melo demands a trade. I don’t think I can fully support a Knicks team with both HC Kurt Rambis and Carmelo Anthony because it’s madness. Rambis is a tanking HC and Melo is a competing basketball player. If you’re gonna hire Rambis for a season (because he AND you will be fired next summer), just trade Melo and play Tony Wroten 2500 minutes because Rambis will make your team worse with his stupid rotations (he refused to play Kevin Love at one point in his career). Just tank it, get fired, and let the Knicks move on to Masai Ujiri so we can move onto a prosperous era of Knicks basketball.

    22. Yeah if that scoop is actually true that’s simply a fireable offense on Jackson’s part

      He’s so. fucking. INCOMPETENT. The fact that the best thing you can say about him is “well he hasn’t traded away any picks” tells you all you need to know.

    23. Vecsey is pretty reliable on scoops, but I think this is definitely one of those “let’s see it first before we complain about it” type deals. Odds are that there will be plenty of time for complaining very soon. No need to rush it.

      There is also the slim chance that Dolan steps in based on fan reaction.

      But yes, I can’t say that that that Vescey report did not freak the heck out of me.

    24. There is also the slim chance that Dolan steps in based on fan reaction.

      A new low for Knicks fans, rooting for Dolan to step in. FML.

    25. Oh yeah, totally. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad. Like I said the other day, I am rooting for Steve Mills, the guy who try to cover up Isaiah Thomas’s sexual harassment, to make a power move. We are in some weird areas of fandom right now

    26. If Phil only wants Rambis, why hasn’t he hired him yet? This is why I believe no one. Phil let it be known he wanted Kerr when he first got here and that kind of blew up in his face. We had no idea about the Chandler trade or the Zinger pick or the Hardaway trade for Grant. Yet I’m supposed to believe a report about Thibs wanting to be here but not even getting an interview when Thibs was given basically full control in Minnesota and a young team with the best rookie AND 8 million a year? Or that Blatt is only being interviewed for some reason to appease fans? If Phil wants Rambis Rambis would be the coach right now. Maybe he does end up being the coach but with the playoffs going on right now if Phil wanted Rambis why not just give him the job so people can freak out and move on?

    27. The Phil hate on this site is ridiculous.

      When Phil was hired you thought he inherited a team that could be top 4 in the east and that the triangle might be a competitive advantage because nobody was else in the world was doing it. Since then we’ve won like five games, fired one coach for resisting the triangle, are not allowed to trade Melo but must still pay Jose Calderon, and you’re really excited that we might contend when Melo is 36 if we sign Russell Westbrook. Maybe you err toward optimism?

    28. If Phil wants Rambis, Rambis would be the coach right now

      Phil is probably busy trying to talk Ron Harper into giving coaching a whirl.

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