Knicks Morning News (2016.05.23)

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Monday's Knicks Links: What Hornacek's staff might look like (Mon, 23 May 2016 05:09:47 EST)

    Monday's Knicks Links: What Hornacek's staff might look like

  • [New York Post] What will Jeff Hornacek’s Knicks coaching staff look like? (Mon, 23 May 2016 00:01:30 -0400)

    Jeff Hornacek's 2 ½-season reign in Phoenix saw changes with his coaching staff, leading to clues on whom he might bring aboard with the Knicks. In December, Hornacek's top two assistants, Jerry Sichting and defensive coordinator Mike Longabardi, were let go against Hornacek's wishes. In January, Tyronn Lue, after he was promoted to the Cavaliers'…

  • [New York Times] Thunder 133, Warriors 105 | Oklahoma City leads series, 2-1: Thunder Explode Past Warriors to Take Series Lead (Mon, 23 May 2016 04:10:56 GMT)

    Kevin Durant scores a game-high 33 points in a dominant victory.

  • [New York Times] Durant, Westbrook Lead Thunder in Blowout Win Over Warriors (Mon, 23 May 2016 04:24:46 GMT)

    Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder gave the Warriors as complete a beating as they experienced during their record-setting season.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Worrying Over Green After Groin Kick Fells Adams (Mon, 23 May 2016 05:06:29 GMT)

    Draymond Green helped motivate Golden State to a record-breaking 73-game winning season but the struggling Warriors will be hoping their emotional forward can avoid suspension after he picked up a flagrant foul on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Demolish Warriors, Grab 2-1 Series Lead (Mon, 23 May 2016 03:06:28 GMT)

    Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 63 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder routed the Golden State Warriors 133-105 on Sunday to take a 2-1 in the Western Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] Cleveland Guard Jones Suspended One Game for Groin Hit (Mon, 23 May 2016 01:21:27 GMT)

    Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dahntay Jones has been suspended for Game Four of the Eastern Conference final against the Toronto Raptors, the NBA announced on Sunday.

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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).

    98 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.05.23)”

    1. Big debate yesterday over Tony Wroten in which the “he has sucked, does suck and always will suck” faction pointed out that he is a “turnover machine.” In his age 21 season, before he blew out his knee, he had a turnover % of 18.0. Here are some other guys’ turnover percentages in their age 21 season — Russell Westbrook – 16.6, Steph Curry – 16.5, John Wall – 19.2, Goran Dragic – 22.4, Eric Bledsoe – 26.3, Ricky Rubio – 22.2 (21.5 for his career), Rajon Rondo – 15.7 (but 21.3 for his career!). I am not saying that Wroten will ever be as good as any of those guys. However, it might be a little premature to be so certain that he will never amount to anything. He also has a shot distribution chart that is the epitome of the modern NBA ideal — 56% of his shots are at the rim and 27% are from 3. (I know — that distribution would look a little better if he actually hit some of those shots but still…) He takes virtually no mid or long range 2s. By the way, even though I think that it is a very flawed stat, for what it’s worth, his DRTG was 106, compared to $10 million/year defensive stopper Iman Shumpert’s career DRTG of 105.

    2. btw Warriors really are in trouble. IMHO Draymond deserves a 1 game suspension for that kick. I mean, that’s totally intentional.

      The death lineup was absolutely massacred last night. Maybe that’s a 1 game blip, but the OKC version of it with Ibaka at the 5, KD at the 4 — that’s pretty hard to stop too.

    3. Is this how the Warriors set the win record? By kicking their opponents in the nuts?

    4. Re: Wroten’s TO% –

      I’ll save THCJ the time —

      TO% is highly dependent on how many possession you use overall since it is a measure of turnovers per 100 possessions used. Since Wroten shoots a ton, his TO% benefits from all the crappy shots he puts up. So players who never shoot (Rondo, Rubio) generally have an artificially high TO%, whereas guys who shoot a ton have the opposite. It’s one of the reasons Carmelo’s TO% has always been really low.

      Carmelo’s low TO% is still “valuable” because at least he gets a higher proportion of actual shots up, and as they say, you have to be in it to win it.

      But yes – I agree that Wroten has a significant chance of lowering his TO% significantly just by playing on a real team, having real coaching, and by not having as many ball handling / creating responsibilities.

    5. @2

      If DeMarcus Cousins did that to somebody he’d be suspended for at least one game without much debate. Draymond’s a great player, but he’s no saint and that was completely intentional.

      The Death lineup got destroyed last night, but they also shot like 1-16 in their minutes which is unlikely to happen again and OKC as a team was just on fire. The bigger concern for GSW is that they have no counter in their normal alignments where Bogut or Ezeli are at the 5. Both of those guys are playing awful in this series.

    6. Interesting the backlash against Wroten — in light of how many of the people on this board like Dennis Schroeder a lot.

      Numbers from Wroten’s last non-injured season (2014-15) vs. Schroder 2015-16

      per -36:

      Wroten: 20.3 points, 6.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 4.5 TOs. TS 49.4. USG 30, TO% 18. Age 21. Resided on real NBA team? No.

      Schroder: 19.5 points, 7.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 4.1 TOs, TS 51.0. USG 28.8, TO% 17.5. Age 22. Resided on real NBA team? Yes.

      And yet Atlanta (a real playoff team with real shooters and a real front office) is seriously considering turning the reins over the Schroder.

      And we are here basically bashing any chance of Wroten being good.

    7. Warriors might not be done but man does it make me happy to see them sweat.

      IMO, GSW has not really been challenged since last year. Yes, 73 wins is impressive. But this whole small ball has revolutionized basketball meme has gotten way out of hand. Last year they beat The Clippers without CP3 in the playoffs and Cleveland without Love and Irving. This year they’ve face an imploding Houston Rockets team and a young (fun and exciting but still young) Portland team. OKC is the first fully healthy REAL team they’ve faced in the playoffs and low and behold they are actually struggling. This idea that the traditional big man is dead or you can’t have a big line up is ludicrous. OKC is showing that you can beat GSW with bigs bc you can outbound them. Its just that your bigs have to not be lumbering with no offense at all. OKC’s weakness was always Perkins IMO. Now that they have Adams and Canter they can play big. Both are not perfect but both have enough offense and can run and are decent/good on defense. I love it.

    8. Well Schroder hasn’t been fantastic since he started either. There’s a fair difference between a career .505 TS% (Schroder) and a career .488 TS% (Wroten) however.

      Schroder also has a significantly higher assist percentage (33.1 vs 25.5) which of course is important for a PG.

      But for me, the main difference between Schroder and Wroten is most apparent when you look at their raw shooting percentages–Schroder shoots a respectable 79.5% from the free throw line over the course of his career, and has a career 3 pt% of 32.4–not great, but he only needs moderate improvement in the latter area to really take a leap as a player, and his having a good FT percentage is a decent indication that he has the chops to improve his shooting.

      Wroten’s shooting stats, meanwhile, are an eyesore: his career FT% is 64.7, and his career 3 pt% is 23.1. That’s the kind of shooting stats that don’t bode well for continued improvement given that he has to take a leap of massive proportions in order to not be an offensive liability.

      Those stats also ignore Wroten’s horrid defense. Schroder isn’t much better in that department, but he’s still better

      I’m fine with the Wroten signing since it’s so low risk, but my confidence in him becoming an even replacement level player is really, really low. Like, below 5% low. Here’s to hoping, though; I would love for Tony to prove me wrong.

      I’m very excited about Hernangomez though.

    9. It’s weird how other guys play for the sixers and don’t turn the ball over all the fucking time.

    10. Wroten’s shooting stats, meanwhile, are an eyesore: his career FT% is 64.7, and his career 3 pt% is 23.1. That’s the kind of shooting stats that don’t bode well for continued improvement.

      I’m fine with the Wroten signing since it’s so low risk, but my confidence in him becoming an even replacement level player is really, really low. Like, below 5% low. Here’s to hoping, though; I would love for Tony to prove me wrong.

      FT% is something that really can improve with enough practice. There are countless examples of that. 3 point percentage is another thing that can improve over a career if you put the work in. What I don’t know is whether he will put the work in.

      Is he ever going to be a great shooter? No. But acceptable? Maybe.

      I’ll tell you one thing you can’t teach, though – getting to the rack and getting fouled. In the last 20 seasons there have only been 28 players who had a FTR >0.4 and a USG >25. Wroten is (the worst) one of them. And those players are generally good players – Arenas, Cassell, pre-NYK Steve Francis, Manu, Harden, young Devin Harris, Iverson, Linsanity, Wade, Westbrook, Wall, etc.

      btw – if Philly did what any normal team would do, which is to tell Wroten he can’t shoot 3 pointers, his TS would have been 53.3. Still not great, but perhaps people would feel differently about him.

    11. But yes – I agree that Wroten has a significant chance of lowering his TO% significantly just by playing on a real team, having real coaching, and by not having as many ball handling / creating responsibilities.

      But therein lies the paradox: he’s at his best when he’s handling the ball and attacking the rim. If he’s not creating, he’s probably spotting up somewhere and we’re playing 4 on 5. I would envision his future role being a Shved or Dwill type off the bench. If he improves his defense and FT% (both possible), he could be a useful bench player. I like the contract as a no-risk signing and don’t set my expectations that high. Phil bought a $1 mega million ticket and hopes to match 3 numbers and collect 5 dollars, a nice return.

    12. But therein lies the paradox: he’s at his best when he’s handling the ball and attacking the rim. If he’s not creating, he’s probably spotting up somewhere and we’re playing 4 on 5.

      In Philly’s spread attack, it’s basically high PNR and Wroten trying to make something happen with the other players standing around. Instead, have him be a secondary ballhandler, attacking after other action, as opposed to trying to create something on his own all the time.

    13. It’s weird how other guys play for the sixers and don’t turn the ball over all the fucking time.

      Stop making sense.

    14. @7 im all with you on the GSW hate. However you are wrong, they didn’t play the Clippers last year. GSW have had one of the easiest two year playoff stretches that I could remember for a good team.
      Last year they played:
      NOP
      Memphis (hobbled Conley)
      Houston(bad juju team)

      This year
      Houston
      Portland’
      OKC

      Okc has been the first legitimate test in two years. They have yet to play the Spurs or the Clippers in the playoffs. Yet all I hear is how terrible the east is. Every team the Cavs have played this year has a better record than who the Warriors have played in the playoffs

    15. Golden State is 140-24 over the last two regular seasons. They are really, really, really good.

    16. I mean most of Philly’s ball handlers do turn it over a lot and Ish Smith’s acquisition helped them reduce that a little bit, but Ish is a player who struggled tremendously in protecting the ball earlier in his career.

      That is probably the most correctable issue for young guards, because so much of that is just experience. The real questions that need to be answered are can he become a better finisher at the rim, can he become a better free throw shooter and can he improve as a shooter from beyond the arc. I think the first two are much more possible than the latter and that would be my primary areas of focus with him along with protecting the ball better.

    17. “Those stats also ignore Wroten’s horrid defense.”
      What is the “horrid defense” description based on? Since I don’t have NBA League Pass (and, if I did, I’m not sure how many times I would have wasted my time watching the 76ers), I’ve seen him play maybe 8 times in his career. When I did see him play, I didn’t focus a whole lot on whether a random guy on a crappy team playing against the Knicks was a good defender. My guess that most other people on this site haven’t seen him any more than I have, nor have they paid much attention to his defense when they did see him play. The only defensive statistic that I’ve bothered to look up is his DRTG, which is pretty good.

    18. Oh, my bad about GSW playing the clippers. But yeah Memphis was beat up too when they played them last year.

      I’m not saying they aren’t really really good. I just get annoyed at how people are crowning them the greatest team ever that has revolutionized basketball. Let them win 6 titles before we compare them with the Bulls of the 90s. When I’ve watched them struggle they seem to just jack up 3s. They have good ball movement and amazing shooters but the only thing that is revolutionary about their brand of basketball is that their shooters are historically good. And this year yeah they won 73 games but lets also look at some of the teams they played during the regular season out west. Memphis was hurt all year. Houston was imploding. Portland got good but it took them awhile bc they had a pretty much whole new team. OKC struggled bc of a new coach. NO had Anthony Davis hurt much of the season. I feel like the West, while still stronger than the East, had kind of a down year overall outside of the spurs, GSW and OKC. I’m not trying to take away from their greatness, but I guess I’m just not ready to put them in the greatest of all time yet because they haven’t won multiple titles or faced real competition until now.

    19. he has a career drtg of 109, a career dbpm of -2.1, and a +2.8 differential on defensive tracking stats. That’s pretty bad overall.

      eye-test wise he gambles too much, gets caught on screens, and falls asleep on a lot of possessions resulting in late close outs or rotations

      he’s athletic though, so those things are at least somewhat fixable.

    20. The amount of discussion about Tony Wroten is truly incredible.

      Meanwhile, I didn’t get a single response to my question yesterday about whether we should re-sign Derrick Williams if he opts out.

      Not that I’m feeling bitter towards Tony Wroten about it or anything.

    21. The amount of discussion about Tony Wroten is truly incredible.

      Meanwhile, I didn’t get a single response to my question yesterday about whether we should re-sign Derrick Williams if he opts out.

      No, too wrotenesque (i.e., athleticism which never translates to results). Net minus player all 5 years, even last season at -6.8. Maybe a 1 year deal.

      How about this attempt to change topic? Riley whiffs on Whiteside and offers Tyler Johnson at 11m for Lopez in a S&T?

    22. I’m not trading Lopez for Johnson and having KP run at the 5 where he’s not actually good yet. He can get his minutes at the 5 against bench units, not starters.

      No, too wrotenesque (i.e., athleticism which never translates to results). Net minus player all 5 years, even last season at -6.8. Maybe a 1 year deal.

      He’s kind of a situational player against certain matchups or if you need somebody that can give you some immediate scoring punch. I’d put that money to use elsewhere if he opts out, which I suspect he will.

    23. Meanwhile, I didn’t get a single response to my question yesterday about whether we should re-sign Derrick Williams if he opts out.

      First responder[edit: nope]: No.

      My take on DW is that he really had a good DW year and was still quite bad. The stuff he does badly seems to outweigh the stuff he does well. A good coach might use him effectively in a lineup with (1) great defenders (bc watching DW play 82 games of spin the bottle reminded me of Amar’e) (2) guys who can either run or support the break with DRB (bc he is a really solid transition player) (3) guys who can shoot but perhaps lack playmaking (bc he can’t shoot but is an okay bailout option to try to get to the line) (4) zero guys who are black holes or bad passers bc that guy plus DW destroys any hope of an offensive flow. But I wouldn’t pay much for that, and someone will almost definitely pay more than I would.

    24. Riley whiffs on Whiteside and offers Tyler Johnson at 11m for Lopez in a S&T?

      I like Tyler Johnson but no way.

    25. Im down to resign DW for the right price. Again, young player with lots of athleticism who showed a lot of improvement this past season. If he wants the moon then you let him pass but if he wants say 3 years with the pay increase we are allowed to give him then he’s a steal. Also he seems to like playing here.

      If I’m Phil I’m looking to keep the core of Melo, KP, Rolo, Grant, Gallo, LT, DW, Quinn and Willy H. I’m looking to get AA to opt out and trade or stretch Calderon but could live with Calderon for one more year as a bench option. The biggest issue with The Knicks the past 15 years besides trading away draft picks is roster turnover. Just look at the 54 win team and how keeping the core in place from the year before (Melo, Chandler, JR, Novak, Shump, Amare) and adding a few pieces (Kidd, Pablo, Felton) helped the team vastly improve. We have a great future franchise player, a decent current franchise player and good center and some younger pieces. Keep those younger pieces so the team can grow internally and add a good SG/wing player this year and watch the team continue to improve.

    26. If DW went insane and opted in, that would be okay, but I wouldn’t want the Knicks to pay him anymore money, so I would not re-sign.

    27. What needs to happen this off-season:

      1) AA opts out

      2) We sign a good 2-guard…or get one via trade, somehow.

      What doesn’t matter: resigning DW. If he opts in, fine. If he opts out and we give him a similar deal, fine. If he gets a big offer elsewhere, fine. I don’t see any scenario where he gets a big offer elsewhere and we match. Nor do I see Phil making an offer to DW before taking care of #1 and #2, which is having your priorities straight.

    28. I want to chime in on Wroten, DWill and what the Knicks need but I have to say that I don’t love any of the plans. The choice is
      1) Do we go for it with Melo
      2) Do we build for the future
      Of course, the Knicksy thing is to try and do both, which lands teams in perpetual mediocrity.

      Sigh, let’s turn to option #1 first

      Melo, KP and Lopez are a good start. Lopez is a good role-player and doesn’t complete a “big 3”. For the Knicks to compete, that is a must. The 3rd player better be a penetrating guard. So I turn to Wroten and JGrant and see players that are fringe NBA right now. They both need time to develop. Maybe they can improve. So neither of them works. The only solution I see for option #1 (and I say this while gargling with mouthwash) is Rajon Rondo. Add a shooting guard that can drain 3’s and we can make the playoffs (JIMMER!!!!). We’re not defeating a LeBron, Steph or Westrbrook team. So why go this route?

      Option 2 build for the future:
      We need draft picks. We need to unload contracts. We need to suck for 3 years. Nobody that’s on the roster today matters and those “future” players are in AAU. Just trade everyone away and collect pieces like the 76ers and Celtics have done.

      Oh, because of how much the 76ers and Celtics have bought into the rebuilding process, option 2 is a stupid, climb-up-the-hill-with-a-piano-on-our-back solution.

      My 2016 lineup:
      Starters – Rondo, Grant, Anthony, Porzingis, Lopez
      Rotation bench: Wrotten, Freddette, Galloway, Early, O’Quinn, Hernangomez

      Let’s see if we can find better wings.

    29. When I’ve watched them struggle they seem to just jack up 3s. They have good ball movement and amazing shooters but the only thing that is revolutionary about their brand of basketball is that their shooters are historically good.

      I don’t understand how this is a bad thing. The ’96 Bulls had the best offense and the best defense in the league that year, but here’s how they stacked up in the four factors:

      Offense

      #4 in eFG%
      #1 in TOV%
      #1 in ORB%
      # 26 in FT/FTA

      Defense

      #6 in eFG%
      #4 in TOV%
      #7 in DRB%
      #8 in FT/FGA

      Like the Warriors, they were good at everything, but they really excelled at offensive rebounding and not turning the ball over. Let’s just say “the only thing revolutionary about the ’96 Bulls is that they had the undisputed best rebounder ever on their team.”

      Exceptional individual talent is how teams break records. The Bulls were great from ’91 to ’93 but became historically-great when they acquired historically-great rebounding talent to go with their historically-great scoring and defense.

      I mean, the only thing revolutionary about LeBron James is that he’s more athletic and has a higher basketball IQ and is more durable than virtually anyone who’s played in the modern NBA.

    30. I want to chime in on Wroten, DWill and what the Knicks need but I have to say that I don’t love any of the plans. The choice is
      1) Do we go for it with Melo
      2) Do we build for the future
      Of course, the Knicksy thing is to try and do both, which lands teams in perpetual mediocrity.

      Pretty much. But, as you noted, at least there is a decent chance that the Knicks will make the playoffs this year. If we’re stuck with this plan, might as well enjoy some playoff action, ya know?

    31. Please, no Rondo. Please.

      I’m a moderate on Wroten. Definitely worth a flyer; maybe he’ll improve and be a solid guy in the rotation, maybe not. However, I also don’t see him as Dwayne Wade light, either.

      Resign DWill? Maybe, depends on what is gotten first. Still like to see a good all-around 2 guard before anything else.

    32. Oh yeah, I don’t want Rondo, either. I just mean that simply a decent offseason, free agent-wise, probably means a real chance at a #7 or #8 seed next season (not a lock, of course, but a good chance).

    33. No to Rondo, no to Turner, no to Stephenson. I don’t care if we miss the playoffs again next year, I do not want those guys on the Knicks under any circumstances.

    34. The problem is that with all of the money out there, there’s really not a whole lot of great options out there. I agree that I’d just as soon say, “Okay, we’ll pass on all of them rather than sign mediocre free agents to big money contracts,” but I think that they’re sort of committed to improving the team through free agency this offseason, so someone like Evan Turner might be who they feel is the best that they can get.

    35. I’d be fine with DWill at 7-8m nothing more. He did put up a .120 W/S season last year on a team that almost never did the one thing he’s good at which is get out in transition. And to his credit he’s improved his TS% every season. And he’s a year younger than Seth Curry!! But he’s still an abysmal defender so…

    36. @ 33. I don’t mind if they overspend a bit on free agents. I think there will be a lot of hand ringing this summer over contracts bc fans will be obsessed with the dollar amount, not looking at what the percentage is for that player in regards to the team’s overall salary. So we’ll hear a lot of “they signed so and so for 12 million! What a waste!” when 12 million today is the equivalent of 8 million a few years ago.

      So “overspend” if they are young FAs. We gotta fill out the roster somehow. The key is to overspend on the right guys, get young players who can still improve, high character guys and two way players. The cap will go up again next summer. And we’ll have a draft pick then too. Things are looking up for us.

    37. @35

      I’m throwing 2+1 (maybe 3+1) with a player option starting at $20m with a 15% trade kicker on the table at Fournier. I think you have to make the contract player friendly to land an RFA similar to how Dallas poached Parsons from Houston. My gut says Orlando won’t match that, but would definitely match a 4-year max offer sheet.

      Then assuming both, DWill and Afflalo opt out I’m looking to sign a decent bench/stop gap type bench wing like Henderson to a 1-year prove it type deal and taking a risk on somebody like Solomon Hill. If they do that and then go over the cap to bring back Galloway and Lance I think I’d be fairly happy with that for one summer. Essentially lock up Fournier to be your starting SG and then add some bench wings to make going small easier and give you more lineup flexibility.

      Regardless though I want a starting SG signed this summer that can hit the above the break 3 at an above average clip, can create his own shot and is young enough to improve and be part of the core long-term. That’s my first priority this summer.

      Don’t be surprised if they dump KOQ and try to sign Leuer as a backup 4.

    38. I think they’d still match, but sure, going for Fournier is a fine idea.

    39. @ 30. That’s fair enough. But I guess my point is that a lot of teams jack up 3s these days. Its just that the warriors happen to have the best shooters in the league on their team, so they can get away with it. but I don’t see that as revolutionary. They aren’t doing anything that Dantoni didn’t try with the Suns. And if the shots are falling they are beatable. That’s my point. Its not revolutionary at all to jack up 3s.

      And I feel like those bulls teams were way more well rounded on both sides of the ball. The debate about which team is better is silly partly bc of the rule changes. But I feel like the Bulls of the 90s would adapt to today’s rules a lot better than the warriors would adapt to the 90s rules. If you could hand check Curry and Thompson, they would be neutralized.

    40. KOQ is on a much cheaper contract than what bench players will be getting this summer, so we might be able to get a 2nd rounder for him. On the other hand, he didn’t play particularly well in expanded minutes, and has now frustrated three different coaches across two franchises with his sloppy play, so I don’t know how he’s valued by other teams in the league.

    41. @ 30. That’s fair enough. But I guess my point is that a lot of teams jack up 3s these days. Its just that the warriors happen to have the best shooters in the league on their team, so they can get away with it. but I don’t see that as revolutionary. They aren’t doing anything that Dantoni didn’t try with the Suns. And if the shots are falling they are beatable. That’s my point. Its not revolutionary at all to jack up 3s.

      I agree that their excellence (on offense) is a function of individual talent rather than some kind of world-beating basketball system that no one’s caught onto. The Spurs won a title with a motion offense because their team executed it well, not because no one could solve the system. So in that sense, I agree with you completely.

      Although in another sense, the idea of (1) creating a system that promotes 3P shooting and (2) actually signing players who can shoot… that might be revolutionary in today’s NBA. (See: Tony Wroten)

    42. By the way- anyone else a little nervous that this hornacek thing is not official yet? Especially in light of how the Kerr situation played out?

    43. Honestly? No. Hornacek isn’t Kerr. I’m thrilled with the idea of Hornacek coming here and running a modern offense, but he’s not nearly the catch Kerr was. Neither Houston nor Memphis is going to be trying to woo him away. This is almost certainly just haggling over contract stuff, done with no pressure because, again, there’s no pressure.

      That said, am I nervous that the rumors of him being allowed to choose his own offense can’t be confirmed until he’s named the coach? Sure. I think he’s definitely going to be the coach. I’m not quite as sure about him getting to pick his own offense. That’s something I need someone to say out loud for me to fully buy it.

    44. KOQ must be the worst practice player this side of Anthony Randolph.

      It’s not just practice. He does a lot of stupid things during games. He would have brief stretches where he would be all over the court, grabbing boards, whipping passes, setting up perfect picks, and then other times when he would take way too many shots, throw dumb passes to players who weren’t there, etc. There are enough skills there to unlock that I’d love to see if Hornacek can do that, but I also won’t cry if they turn him into another asset.

    45. KOQ does enough good things on the court that he deserves more playing time based on on-court performance alone. He must be doing something behind the scenes that is ticking off coaches.

      It’s frustrating because if he could become a consistent 20 mpg backup at the 4/5, he’d be on a steal of a contract.

    46. The problem is that with all of the money out there, there’s really not a whole lot of great options out there.

      It really would be the perfect time to trade Melo. Everyone has cap space, and the FA class is mediocre. Sigh…

    47. I would expect the Knicks to do what they largely did last summer in free agency: stick to short term deals. The cap will jump again next year and 1 or 2 year deals are to everyone’s best interest.

      I haven’t carefully looked at the free agency list but I don’t think there’s a UFA out there worthy of a Rolo type deal and I’m not enamored by the idea of maxing out one of the RFA 2-guards. Maybe the Knicks can get creative in a trade as they did in acquiring Oaq last year. If not, I expect (not just hope) Phil will kick the can down the road.

      Along those lines, I wouldn’t mind Evan Turner. Primarily because he’s the funniest player in the NBA right now. If we’re gonna suck anyway, we might as well be entertaining.

    48. @46
      Why is Hornacek a lower quality coach now than Kerr was two years ago?

    49. I think KOQ is a bit like Anthony Randolph in that he makes mistakes that just make you scratch your head and those kinds of mistakes- horrible passes/terrible shot selection etc…- just erode a coach’s trust. That said, if KOQ (or Randolph) throws the ball in the stands twice and otherwise plays solid, it’s got to better than having a guy like Seraphin out there bricking five foot hook after five foot hook but it doesn’t seem that coaches feel the same way.

    50. If he did not have the no trade, and you were a team interested in Melo…..what would you trade for him? Can we even get a future 1st round pick from a lottery-type team? Would you insist that the knicks take on salary?

      Unless I felt like Melo was the missing piece to get me over the top now, or I was looking to move a like-contract, I wouldn’t sacrifice much for him.

    51. No to Rondo, no to Turner, no to Stephenson. I don’t care if we miss the playoffs again next year, I do not want those guys on the Knicks under any circumstances.

      I knew that bringing his name up would stir the drink. I’ve been looking at what’s out there for the Knicks and concluded that he’s the best option. Yeah, he’s a head case. But is he a legit player? Yes. We have to right the ship and get back in the playoffs. This team cannot be much worse than it is unless Anthony or Porzingis get hurt. Rondo is the perfect short-term solution. He plays defense and he can break down a defense. He was in the playoffs. He’ll be 30 years old. He led the league in assists with 11.7 apg. He scored 11.9 ppg line this year. He shot .35% from 3pt range and 45% overall.

      Oh, and he was 17th in minutes played for a playoff team. Someone disagrees with the anti-RR crew here.

    52. If Draymond gets suspended (which I think he will) then it’ll be time for the unanimous MVP to step up and have the game of his life. No excuses, he’s the best player on the planet according to every single writer, so without his 2nd best player he needs to have a monster performance and send it back to San Fran 2-2.

      Which is exactly what Jordan and LeBron would do in this situation.

    53. Lol the funny thing about the OKC and GS series is that if Waiters has a couple more decent games he is going to earn himself 40 to 50 million this summer. I can’t believe that series is going to come down to him or roberston hitting shots. I will give Waiters credit though, he is hitting threes and attacking the rim making plays for others. Too bad its probably all a mirage and will go back to shooting pull up twenty footers in the near future

    54. Why is Hornacek a lower quality coach now than Kerr was two years ago?

      I didn’t say he was a lower quality coach, just not as much of a catch. Kerr and SVG were the belles of that offseason ball. So him not signing right away was worrisome, because it gave time for GS to woo him away. There isn’t the same situation this year for Hornacek.

    55. It really would be the perfect time to trade Melo. Everyone has cap space, and the FA class is mediocre. Sigh…

      Yep, it really is perfect. They could totally get the #3 pick in the draft plus assets.

    56. Tony Wroten Roundtable – this is awesome!
      We talk more about him than his mother does

    57. Kerr was not the belle of the off season. When he was being courted by the Knicks people were skeptical bc he had zero coaching experience. It was actually Phil and The Knicks showing interest in him that made GSW want him and then when he got hired and had success he was then a great coach. But there were a ton of questions about Kerr when he was hired by GS.

    58. Sure, there were tons of questions about him. The same way that there were tons of questions about Billy Donovan last year. Donovan was still a hot prospect, just like Kerr was. Kerr was a very hot coaching prospect. SVG was perhaps ahead of him, though, that’s fair. That’s why I included SVG along with Kerr. I think it was SVG/Kerr, but I could see it being 1. SVG 2. Kerr. It’s a bit of a difference without a distinction, though.

    59. @ 54. If we’re looking to trade Melo our best bet is to get a younger good player in return for him. I’m thinking if Cleveland loses in the Finals again we do a Love plus a pick/delladova for Melo type deal. Or you look to The Clippers and see if they would trade Blake for Melo (and maybe its a three team deal so we get picks instead of Blake).

      Melo won’t go to a lottery team. Our best bet is a player who is 5 or 6 years younger than Melo and an all star or borderline all-star. I’d love to get Irving from Cleveland instead of Love but why would Cleveland want Love, Melo and Lebron? They’d want to have Irving, Melo and Lebron. But I’d take Love plus a pick or two for Melo. Love’s stock has dropped a lot since his Minny days but he’d be nice here.

      Or you look to the Lakers and hope they’d give us some of their young players and hope that Melo would go there since its the Lakers and they will have cap space to add to him now that Kobe is gone.

    60. Lol the funny thing about the OKC and GS series is that if Waiters has a couple more decent games he is going to earn himself 40 to 50 million this summer. I can’t believe that series is going to come down to him or roberston hitting shots. I will give Waiters credit though, he is hitting threes and attacking the rim making plays for others. Too bad its probably all a mirage and will go back to shooting pull up twenty footers in the near future

      The scary thing is I think that number may end up being low. I definitely would not want to be the team that pays him but I have to admit he has been playing really well these last two series. The thing I never saw coming is that he is defending his ass off. It’s not that shocking to me that someone at least temporarily harnessed his talents into a useful offensive player, but the defending I definitely did not see coming.

    61. The Melo NTC is part of something that Bomani Jones always speaks about. We don’t like when our players have the power, we always support management as fans, which is weird as hell because if we were players we would want the power

    62. The NTC doesn’t bother me as much. Phil still has the power to trade him. So lets say Melo does want out, he can’t just demand to get traded to wherever he wants for crap players. If Phil doesn’t like the deal then he can chose NOT to trade him, which still gives him a lot of leverage over Melo if Melo wants to leave. The NTC gives Melo some leverage but not all of it.

    63. The Melo NTC is part of something that Bomani Jones always speaks about. We don’t like when our players have the power, we always support management as fans, which is weird as hell because if we were players we would want the power

      I like it for him. It’s awesome for him. Seriously, in all honesty, I’m happy for him that he got it. It’s just bad for the team. Good for him, though.

    64. @66

      I will never criticize a player for taking power that is offered by a team’s management. Whether that power is money, trade kickers, player-options or a big, ugly no-trade clause, it is incumbent upon management to make efficient decisions, not for the player to graciously give up his power for the “good of the team.”

      MLB is notorious for creating a system that allows athletes in their early thirties to hit free agency for the first time. A player like Bryce Harper will have played from 2011 to 2019 when he gets his first chance on the open market to receive competitive offers. I don’t bemoan any player under such constraints to get whatever they can when the opportunity arises. To my mind, anyone who does is has far too much sympathy for billionaires, and/or have really drunk the Kool-Aid on their team’s colors and what metaphysical import they carry.

    65. What’s so irksome about the Melo NTC isn’t that it’s a player with power. It’s a player being given power that, in the NBA, was never before given to someone in Melo’s position.

      I think Duncan, Dirk, Kobe had them before and Wade got one the same summer Melo got his. One of these things is not like the other. Melo was given an unprecedented perk when the Knicks were already offering, what, $50 million more than the next team bidding?

      Editing to agree with others that there’s nothing wrong with Melo wanting or asking for it. But there is something wrong with the Knicks giving it.

    66. It would be profoundly disturbing to be offered a megamax contract, ask for a no-trade clause, and then have management say, “Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

      Editing to agree with others that there’s nothing wrong with Melo wanting or asking for it. But there is something wrong with the Knicks giving it.

      From a perspective that has seen how easy it is to trade away draft picks and sign bad players to overinflated contracts, it’s not hard to see how very wrong it is to offer Carmelo a NTC. To the common fan, the NTC is just an assurance that their legit, unequivocal superstar will never play for another franchise.

    67. Melo was given an unprecedented perk when the Knicks were already offering, what, $50 million more than the next team bidding?

      $50 million more that he was never going to turn down, to boot!

    68. Draymon not suspended for game 4.

      I can guarantee 100% if it was Bogut who kicked Adams in the nuts he’d be suspended.

    69. As a Knicks fan still bitter about 1997 I always hope for players getting suspended in the playoffs. I have no sympathy for them and their team.

    70. Thunder are in an advantageous position and are playing their balls off. If I were a Thunder fan, I’d be happy that I got an extra 48 minutes of watching Durant block the shit out of Draymond.

    71. Melo’s No Trade Clause sucks and I’d love to trade him to the Lakers for the #2 pick, but it does not keep the Knicks from being a championship contender. The Andrea Bargnani trade, the STAT contract, picking Cleanthony Early over Nikola Jokic, etc keep the Knicks from being playoff contenders. Melo got what guys like Nic Batum might be close to in AAV this season due to the cap explosion. Was it dumb to give it to him? Yes; we should have traded him at the deadline to the Clippers or something and really got back on track. I’ve always felt that the Knicks could put 3 or 4 players better than Melo around him, and he still might end up recruiting CP3 here next summer. We’ll see what happens. I’m much more interested in Hernangomez, though. He could develop into a more efficient Al Jefferson.

    72. Last guy on the Thunder bench has to punch Draymond square in the nuts within 2 minutes of tip off

    73. Last guy on the Thunder bench has to punch Draymond square in the nuts within 2 minutes of tip off

      I normally think retaliatory actions are bogus, but when the league outright lets a guy get away with kicking your teammate in the nuts? Yeah, I can live with the Thunder retaliating.

    74. I’m a mostly sober and rational person and I give it a 50% chance that the NBA, at the commissioner level, actively stacks the deck by manipulating the draft lottery, memos to refs, and miscellaneous stuff like not suspending Draymond Green.

    75. From a business standpoint you can’t suspend Draymond Green after the Thunder just killed the Warriors in Game 3. If the Warriors won both of their home games, you can trust and believe Draymond Green gets suspended. But you cannot basically force the 73-9 Warriors into a 3-1 deficit. It’s bad for the league. So Steven Adam’s nuts had to be the fall guy. We’ll all forget about it in the long run T he same way everybody forgot about the DeAndre Jordan fiasco.

    76. @81 I can assure you Thunder fans won’t forget it if they lose like I’ve never forgotten ’97. We were winning the title that year. We were better than Chicago. I guess it’s a little different tho. It’s not like OKC guys are getting suspended.

    77. That move at the rim by LeBron was absolutely filthy. Guy is unfair.

    78. Didn’t Green kick him twice? I could be wrong about that though. Either way it was clearly intentional. You could excuse him not being suspended if it was incidental, but the league has to come down hard on guys kicking opposition players in the dick. Not cool.

    79. Kyrie Irving’s defense should be licensed as a sports psychologist

      If he played Calderon one on one the game would only end when one of them missed a layup.

    80. No matter how this postseason ends for the Cavs, I see them shipping Love to Boston, maybe for their #3. Sort of a reverse Wiggins deal. Boston gets their “star” and he’s white to boot.

    81. I wonder if Nola will try to trade for Love? The #6 pick & Anderson might work.

    82. So when do we start the Trade Lopez for guard help/picks and sign Biyombo discussion?

    83. The Raptors might actually be better than Cleveland with Biyombo and Carroll at full strength. I thought they would win 60 this year, but Carroll’s health proved against that.

      If you could sign Biyombo to the same deal RoLo has right now, do you do it? I say hell yeah. He’s 24 in August and would make a great enforcer for when teams try to play foul ball with KP. Then you get to trade RoLo for some decent guard depth or a guy like George Hill.

    84. Re: JR and Shumps defense. My building mate and I were laughing at how shitty Jr. was on that play. You can’t win with him. He came in and jacked up 3 terrible shots including the non jump block by Byombo and that shit defense at the end.what a joke he is. Hell break your heart every time lol

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