Knicks Morning News (2016.06.11)

  • [New York Times] Warriors 108, Cavaliers 97 | Golden State leads series, 3-1: Warriors Win and Move a Game Away From the N.B.A. Title (Sat, 11 Jun 2016 04:58:28 GMT)

    Golden State beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland to take a commanding lead in the finals.

  • [New York Times] LeBron James Awards Game Balls to Friends and Foes (Sat, 11 Jun 2016 00:55:10 GMT)

    James is not only in charge of the Cavaliers’ offense, but he has also been giving out game balls to his teammates, and theoretical ones to the Warriors.

  • [New York Times] James Loses His Cool as Cavaliers Pushed to the Brink (Sat, 11 Jun 2016 06:27:27 GMT)

    With his latest tilt at a third NBA title seemingly slipping away with Friday’s Game Four defeat to Golden State, Cleveland’s LeBron James allowed his frustrations to boil over onto the court.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Answer the Bell With Statement Win Over Cavaliers (Sat, 11 Jun 2016 06:12:27 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors answered the bell on Friday with a statement victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers that put them in position to cap their record-setting season with a second consecutive NBA title.

  • [New York Times] Splash Brothers Generate Wave of Momentum in Win Over Cavs (Sat, 11 Jun 2016 05:57:27 GMT)

    Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson generated a wave of momentum that will carry the Golden State Warriors home one win from another NBA title after a crucial victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Golden State’s Draymond Green in Another Playoff Dustup (Sat, 11 Jun 2016 05:39:32 GMT)

    Draymond Green has found himself in another thorny playoff situation.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Beat Cavs and Move to Brink of NBA Title (Sat, 11 Jun 2016 05:06:30 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors bounced back from an embarrassing road loss two days ago to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97 on Friday and move one win away from a second consecutive NBA championship.

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    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).

    45 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.06.11)”

    1. The Knicks really should not be in the business of paying out a max contract to Mike Conley. I would offer him a deal that starts at $18 million with the normal raises but a deal starting at $25 million for a guy who is basically accolade less minus a few All NBA defensive second team awards is a bad strategy.

      Now I really wonder what Cleveland is going to do this summer. They should move one of Love and Irving for somebody’s depth around the league. They don’t need another star. They need guys who can replace JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, and the rest of the rough ryders who can’t make a shot. I think Love is guy on the way out; maybe we can get involved. Cleveland likely has no use for Boston’s first round picks, but I bet they could use Robin Lopez. Arron Afflalo even makes some sense for them as a tertiary scorer, but he’s going to opt out of his current deal so that’s a moot point. A deal where we get the #3 pick, Cleveland gets RoLo, say Avery Bradley and the #16/24, and Boston receives Kevin Love and Shump or something like that. Who says no?

      I could see Cleveland cutting us out of the deal and drafting Buddy Hield with the #3, but he’s too similar to Kyrie Irving in terms of strengths and weaknesses. That, and I just really want us to sign Hassan Whiteside and draft Jamaal Murray.

    2. Robin Lopez is good and on a cap-friendly contract but I can’t imagine how we manage to turn him into a #3 pick. Cleveland could just as easily freeze us out and try to get Crowder, Bradley, +filler from Boston for Love, I think.

      But by all means, pick up the phone, Phil.

      If in some fantasy world we had the #3 pick, I wouldn’t mind Dragan Bender or Kris Dunn; if we wanted Murray, we could probably trade down to Denver for the #7 and #15/#19 if they were willing, though since this draft is perceived as “weak”, they probably wouldn’t go for it.

      A Bender/Porzingis frontcourt would be a defensive nightmare for opposing teams and you could easily run a 5-out lineup. This would have to mean Porzingis would move to center full-time (or Bender would have to come off the bench at first), a move whose sensibility is open to debate, as some of us have pointed out.

      I think there’s a lot of draft-related opportunities for the Knicks this offseason, they just require some clever wheeling and dealing (acquiring seconds, taking advantage of Philadelphia, trying to negotiate a three way trade between Boston and Cleveland, etc.)

    3. Don’t trade Robin Lopez. Zinger isn’t ready to be a full-time 5, and may never be.

      How’s this plan: if we can’t sign KD, or a value all-purpose guy like Batum (not a max player imo, but at the right price is a very solid addition), go to plan B: punt on the big name, sign Jeremy Lin and draft Kay Felder. Keep the cap space in the bank until 2017. Let Calderon’s contract expire and cut him at the deadline. Run an exciting, athletic, uptempo second unit out there every night and win 35-40 games. Get a low lottery pick in 2017 and sign a bigger name FA then.

      Starters: Melo/Zinger/Rolo/Grant/Calderon
      Bench: Lin/Felder/Wroten/Hernangomez/O’Quinn
      Utility guys: Lance, Gallo

      I don’t have a lot of faith in Gallo. Both Lin and Felder will be better than him on Day 1.

    4. Guys, Lopez & KP make a reeeally really good tandem up front. I don’t know why we would trade Lopez, unless Phil gets blown away by an offer. Bigs who can defend the PnR, especially those on a team friendly contract are in demand, which is all the more reason not to move Lopez. Paired with KP, the lane is closed for business more often than not. That is extremely valuable, and for once we have something extremely valuable to build upon. Phil shouldn’t screw with that unless an insanely good deal is offered. The team will be better served by Phil focusing on upgrading the perimeter.

    5. Kriss Dunn played four years in college and never had a TS% over .546. That’s a red flag to me considering he was often the most athletic player on either team. I’d rather have Wade Baldwin IV over Dunn. He’s 2 years younger, shot a better percentage from 3, and plays both sides of the ball.

      And you’re right; Cleveland could either freeze us out or make that trade with another team for a better player. I just think that (like DRed For GM said) chaos is a ladder and that we would be in position to benefit tremendously if Cleveland was cool with grabbing RoLo and Avery Bradley + filler for Kevin Love instead of Crowder/Bradley and the 3 pick in a weak draft when they suck at drafting, and Boston wouldn’t have to break up an already good team (I think they won 48 games this season) too much to add their superstar. You never know what being desperate can do to somebody’s rational mind.

    6. I think Jamal Murray is terrible on defense and turns the ball over too much to be considered a better prospect than Dunn despite his outrageous shooting from the mid and long range. They actually have similar numbers when finishing at the rim, too. Dunn has improved in his 3 pt shooting every year, is the better passer, turns the ball over way less, and has high steal numbers. He’s an extremely athletic player who already plays good defense and has further room to grow on that end. His height and athleticism and already existing tools (steals, assists, average scoring)make him a better prospect than Murray, even if Murray is two years younger.

      I value do-it-all guys like Dunn a lot though so mileage may vary.

      In this fantasy world I’d probably pick Bender anyway and try to draft Whitehead or Payton JR with a second round pick so the point is somewhat moot

    7. Lopez for the #3 pick (and the cap space that follows) is one of those “blow you away” offers IMO. Jamal Murray is a true freshman who just put up 20 PPG on a .590 TS% for Kentucky. For a comparison, Devin Booker put up 10 PPG (18 points/40) on a .600 TS% as a true freshman at Kentucky, and most people would love to have Devin Booker on the Knicks. The only thing about Murray is he’s a poor defender, but he’s essentially the higher ceiling version of Buddy Hield. If you don’t like Jamal Murray? Kris Dunn is cool, too. His average efficiency in college bothers me, but he’s a good rebounder, athlete, passer, and defender for the position.

      And then we get to pursue Hassan Whiteside. It’s really a big win for the Knicks.

    8. And Kris Dunn is actually 3 years older than Murray. He also averaged more turnovers and fouls both per game and per 40 minutes than Murray. I’m not sure where you are getting those numbers from. Murray is a poor defender, though. I’ll give you that.

    9. the circlejerk on Robin Lopez’s mediocre production continues

    10. How’s this plan: if we can’t sign KD, or a value all-purpose guy like Batum (not a max player imo, but at the right price is a very solid addition), go to plan B: punt on the big name, sign Jeremy Lin and draft Kay Felder.

      Keep the cap space in the bank until 2017. Let Calderon’s contract expire and cut him at the deadline. Run an exciting, athletic, uptempo second unit out there every night and win 35-40 games. Get a low lottery pick in 2017 and sign a bigger name FA then.

      Starters: Melo/Zinger/Rolo/Grant/Calderon
      Bench: Lin/Felder/Wroten/Hernangomez/O’Quinn
      Utility guys: Lance, Gallo

      I’d sign off on this plan, or some variation of it.

      Lopez is a very high value player: his contributions make others better at both ends of the court makes shipping him foolish at best.

      IMHO, the Knicks need to keep adding value guys on value contracts that will facilitate cap flexibility every year going forward. The media (and those fans who crave nonsensical splashy moves) will hate this methodical development approach.

      Thank goodness PJax favors value-building and could care less what the talking heads blather about.

      BTW, there are a lot of really good players to be found between mid 1st round through to undrafted FA that, at the very least, a team can fill out its bench with good rookies, if not find a possible starter or two.

      I could see the Knicks get picks by taking on expiring contracts and fill needs and roster spots while maintaining indefinite cap flexibility.

    11. It’s isn’t about the per 40 statistics so much as the fact that Murray had more total turnovers than assists in his first year, which speaks to his poor passing ability and decision making skills when he’s not shooting the lights out. I just think Dunn is more well balanced, with a better athletic profile; they both project about equally well on like the two draft models I could find

      Re: Lopez I don’t think a VORP of 2.0 and a .130 WS/48 counts as mediocre so much as it counts as just good, and nothing more. What I was happy to see from Lopez was his rounding into form post all star break, and I think that this seasons performance was an anomaly given his excellent performance the prior two years and the fact that he had to learn a whole new offense–moreover a lot of his production comes on the defensive end, where the usual advanced production metrics probably underrate him . I irresponsibly prognosticate that he’ll be one of the best values in the NBA come next season, especially in a more up tempo offense.

      Another aspect of the circle jerk is that we finally signed a free agent who plays defense, scores relatively efficiently, and at least performs to his contract value. That’s something new for this franchise, and something to be happy about. So I don’t think the praise is unwarranted, necessarily, so long as you keep it in context.

    12. Lopez for the #3 pick (and the cap space that follows) is one of those “blow you away” offers

      I agree. I’m just not sure that any guard in the draft is worth picking 3rd over one of Simmons/Ingram/Bender, regardless of team need. I really like Dunn though. He’s like Mudiay with a better shot and better on ball defense. Murray’s really good too, but if you’re gonna pick him, Hield’s a better fit if you’re the Knicks. He plays off the ball better than Murray and would probably be a great fit with a PnR guard like Grant.

    13. Ben Simmons is far and away the best prospect in this draft. He’s an elite athlete, rebounder, distributor, and scorer in transition. He’s a good defender when locked in (but he’s not always locked in) and he can’t shoot from midrange or the three particularly well–but that can improve with time and practice, just like it did for Lebron. If by “Lamar Odom without a jump shot” you mean “poor man’s Lebron James” then yeah, the comparison is accurate.

    14. I’d be very weary of Kris Dunn. He led the NCAA in turnovers last year, was second in the Big East in turnovers this year, and he’s fourth all time in the Big East for total turnovers.

      I see what you’re saying about the assist to TO ratio though. I really like Murray as a more athletic Kyle Korver though, so I don’t really see him as a passing kind of guy. He’s a good rebounder for the position though, and that counts for something. He also hit 79 of 100 3s in his workout with Boston.

    15. Simmons will disappoint. He’s a head case with a broken J. He will never be even a good shooter.

    16. From DX: Simmons’ lack of competitiveness in some crucial games has raised questions about his character as a basketball player. While many top picks succumb to the NBA star lifestyle and emerge as average competitors, it’s rare to see that at the collegiate level. From Blake Griffin to Michael Beasley to Carmelo Anthony, those elite college players were rarely questioned about their drive during their collegiate careers. Simmons has displayed an apathy for defense, contact and delivering winning plays in crucial moments. Those troubling revelations in Simmons’ game are cause for concern among decision-makers on lottery teams with whom we’ve had contact.

      Here’s what NBA teams wonder: If Simmons cares so little about winning crucial college road games at Tennessee or Kentucky that could have delivered LSU to the NCAA tournament, how much will he consistently care about competing over a far more physically and mentally draining 82-game pro season? Truth be told, Simmons will almost assuredly be on a bad team that will need to fight every night to win games.

      Simmons’ box scores have grown increasingly hollow. One NBA executive described him as a “taller Rajon Rondo, a more athletic Evan Turner, or a skinnier Royce White.” Simmons has displayed a penchant for stat-mongering like few players in recent memory, seeming to pad his numbers in blowouts. At times, it appears he only passes when guaranteed an assist and chases home-run plays at inopportune times in search of a highlight. Simmons seems to value those things over winning.

      Simmons’ porous defense is masked by his gaudy steal and block numbers. But when watching him closely, it’s clear that no opposing player or coach fears attacking him. As Simmons rarely makes the effort to close out on shooters, put a body on opposing big men, or offer much beyond gambling wildly swiping for steals, his lack of intensity is amplified.

    17. Did they just compare an alleged apathetic underachiever to a guy with a severe clinical anxiety disorder? The fuck am I reading?

    18. From DX: Simmons’ lack of competitiveness in some crucial games has raised questions about his character as a basketball player. While many top picks succumb to the NBA star lifestyle and emerge as average competitors, it’s rare to see that at the collegiate level. From Blake Griffin to Michael Beasley to Carmelo Anthony, those elite college players were rarely questioned about their drive during their collegiate careers. Simmons has displayed an apathy for defense, contact and delivering winning plays in crucial moments. Those troubling revelations in Simmons’ game are cause for concern among decision-makers on lottery teams with whom we’ve had contact.

      Here’s what NBA teams wonder: If Simmons cares so little about winning crucial college road games at Tennessee or Kentucky that could have delivered LSU to the NCAA tournament, how much will he consistently care about competing over a far more physically and mentally draining 82-game pro season? Truth be told, Simmons will almost assuredly be on a bad team that will need to fight every night to win games.

      Simmons’ box scores have grown increasingly hollow. One NBA executive described him as a “taller Rajon Rondo, a more athletic Evan Turner, or a skinnier Royce White.” Simmons has displayed a penchant for stat-mongering like few players in recent memory, seeming to pad his numbers in blowouts. At times, it appears he only passes when guaranteed an assist and chases home-run plays at inopportune times in search of a highlight. Simmons seems to value those things over winning.

      Simmons’ porous defense is masked by his gaudy steal and block numbers. But when watching him closely, it’s clear that no opposing player or coach fears attacking him. As Simmons rarely makes the effort to close out on shooters, put a body on opposing big men, or offer much beyond gambling wildly swiping for steals, his lack of intensity is amplified.

      That should be a VERY damning indictment..

    19. ..and I’ve always thought Simmons is a tad overrated. But there’s no doubt he will be the top pick because teams love you if you’re big, athletic, and can handle the ball. And the kid has good physical skills, so teams are gonna think they can put him in the right environment to thrive. Sadly for him, that won’t be Philly unless Embiid is the real deal, or they Keep Noel at the 5 and add shooters.

    20. Ben Simmons is 6’10” 240, is a terrific rebounder and passes like a good point guard. Maybe he didn’t try hard on a shitty college team coached by an idiot. That’s why I pay millions of dollars for my professional coaching staff.

    21. Just get me the best guard that’s out there. I really don’t care if it costs 25 mill because we’ll have another 25 mill to spend next year. We’ve got a pipeline of cheap players now to fill out the roster with even if it means that Early, Thanasis, Kuzmic, Bachinsky, Trice, Anthony Bennett, Royce White are players 10-15.

    22. What separates Giannis from Ben Simmons? Transition and drives is how Simmons will get his buckets. He’ll also get a few in the post with his size and skill. He has a nice little jump hook.

    23. Also, why would Boston give up Crowder for Love? I think Love’s value has gone down in the league. It might be more perception versus reality but I can see GMs saying if he can’t win with Lebron who can we put around him?

    24. The thing with Conley is we already have Melo’s bloated deal on the books. If we could actually figure a way to parlay our way into the #3 pick you could convince me that selecting Dunn and signing Batum and Noah would be better than grabbing Murray, Conley, and Noah/Gasol. I used to argue that it wasn’t Melo’s contract/trade that held us back but it was Amar’e Stoudemire’s knees and the inability to find a point guard that kept the Knicks from contention. You can’t have too many over valued contracts on your books and that goes double when you don’t have a superstar. Golden State currently has Draymond Green and Klay Thompson signed to deals that are way below market value for top players, and Steph’s contract was a huge reason why they were able to add Iguodala when they did. If the options are to over pay or be patient, I’d rather be patient, play Wroten and Galloway 4,000 minutes total and draft De’Aaron Fox next year. If the ultimate goal is to win basketball games, you have to do it by giving out smart deals. RoLo was a great start. Let’s see if Phil can make it two summers in a row where he adds a good player on a great contract relative to what the market is offering. It’s going to be tough considering how many of those “good player/great contract” guys are RFAs (Fournier and Clarkson specifically), but the max contract stuff doesn’t work. In my opinion, the only two guys worth a max contract this summer are Durant and Whiteside.

    25. @26 that’s why there’s opportunity for a third team to get involved in any trade. Boston won’t give up Crowder, Bradley, and the #3 pick for Love and Cleveland doesn’t really have much use for the #3 pick in a weak draft. Utah could offer Hayward for the #3 if they’re sold on a guy or Atlanta could offer Millsap, Orlando could offer Vucevic, the Knicks could offer Lopez, Brooklyn could offer Thad Young, Philly could offer Okafor, Memphis could offer Gasol if they thought Conley was leaving, and so forth throughout the league. If Boston wants Love, and I think Cleveland will make him available after they lose on Monday, then chances are a 3rd team will be involved.

    26. Let’s see if Phil can make it two summers in a row where he adds a good player on a great contract relative to what the market is offering.

      The cap increase that gave virtually the entire league major spending money is a game changer. Pretty much no veteran worth their salt is going to change teams on a contract below market value. RFAs almost never leave teams on below-market deals anyway because of the nature of restricted free agency, and unrestricted free agents are going to be swimming in lucrative offers. Robin Lopez is a solid player on a deal that will look pretty good as the cap continues to rise, but Phil didn’t sign him through some sorcery… he offered at least as much if not more than any other team was willing to pay. If we want quality veterans to sign here this summer we are going to have to spend. And I’m not sure why we wouldn’t, since most of the alternatives involve completely unrealistic trade scenarios (Melo’s not going anywhere, and Robin Lopez for the no. 3 pick is a joke). We have a 20 year-old potentially generational talent–surrounding him with good if perhaps somewhat overpriced veterans and trying to field playoff team during his developmental years is hardly the worst idea in the world. As the Raptors have shown, it doesn’t take otherworldly talent to make a deep playoff run. Melo, Lopez, Mike Conley, these guys won’t be on the books anyway when KP is 26 and dominating the league, inshallah.

    27. @29. Agreed, but I’d much rather get the quality 2 guard/wing rather than Conley. Go for Batum, Fornier, etc. Hope to snag one. PG can wait a year while we see what what, if any, improvement comes this year from Grant.

    28. We already have value contracts in KP, Rolo, Grant, Wroten, Galloway, Thomas. We’re allowed to overspend to bring that average up. Nothing wrong with it. We need a winning culture now to attract players for the future.

      And whoever we get for the backcourt better be able to shoot.

    29. But it does take talent on reasonable contracts. Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, and DeMar DeRozan were all on valuable contracts when they signed Carroll, Joseph, and Biyombo. They would not have been able to grab those guys and that’s the point I’m trying to make. When you over pay for one guy, you miss out on another and that can be the difference between 50 wins and a second round exit or 57 wins and a trip to the conference finals. Giving Mike Conley $25 million when his production is only worth $15-18 million means you’re losing $7-10 million to spend on another guy.

    30. What separates Giannis from Ben Simmons? Transition and drives is how Simmons will get his buckets. He’ll also get a few in the post with his size and skill. He has a nice little jump hook.

      Brandon Ingram looks like Giannis on the court.

    31. turnovers for young players isn’t a huge deal…. that along with perimeter shooting and fouling usually improve with age….

      it is however very hard for someone with a low a/to to all of a sudden be a great facilitator which imo is a huge knock against murray … i like allan houston as a comparison since their games and stat lines are eerily similar….

      he’s still probably a little better than dunn who i think will be sort of a middle to lower tier pg imo… high steals and assists are great but his shooting and being able to finish around the rim has been all over the place in college and this last year was no different…

    32. This really sounds like the kind of a draft where there might end up being 5 guys drafted in the second round who turn out as good as the top 5 guys. Am I wrong?

    33. I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think there’s some pretty underrated guard talent in the second round that stand a shot at being pretty decent NBA players

    34. this draft has solid talent… simmons is great.. ingram is a bit overrated i feel like but he’s also a solid pick… but you also have chriss, murray and poeltl who i think are shoe-ins for long okish careers… all would be deserving of high lotto picks in any other year…

      chriss and poeltl are coming in very underrated and there are huge question marks surrounding everyone else so it feels like a weak draft but in reality it’s about an average draft… a 2nd round pick is probably as good as a mid first this year though….

    35. Would you rather have :

      Conley for 26 mil?

      Fournier for 20?

      Crabbe for 17?

      Bazemore for 15?

      Turner for 13?

    36. All this talk about us getting the #3 pick is pretty ridiculous. We have nothing to give up for it except for Melo, and he has a NTC that he’s not giving up. Ainge is a smart guy and you don’t give up the #3 pick for Robin Lopez, as goofy and likable (and good) as he is. He’s a slightly above average, or perhaps just average NBA center on a reasonable contract. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Re Reub’s question in #38 –
      I have a feeling we’re looking more at the 10-15MM/year guys.
      I honestly think it’d be a successful summer if we got Evan Turner for $13MM, Bazemore for $16MM, and resigned Galloway and Thomas. Or may Etwaun Moore + Courtney Lee (for less $ than Bazemore+Turner) +Galloway + Thomas.

    37. I tend to agree that adding Turner and Lee might be our best bet unless we’re sold on Grant and want to go young by spending 17-20 mil on Fournier or Crabbe.

    38. @29 — agree 100pct.
      @38 — Batum for 26 is easy. Then I guess Conley for 26, Baze for 15. But the latter two is a tougher call — it’s the third and forth year of Conley that is killer.

    39. @Cant Staps Wont Staps

      The problem isn’t who of the present roster will be on the books when KP is 25 or 26. It’s who won’t be on the roster if we keep overpaying vets. You take this philosophy of “oh well we won’t trade picks but we’ll do everything else we can to win short term”, your contracts aren’t going to look as shiny as RoLo’s does once the cap stops ascending. They’ll become burdensome and WILL be under contract come KP’s prime.

      MOreover, who will be the Draymond Green to our Steph Curry (i.e. dreamworld fantasy for KP)? Who will be the the Tony Parker circa 2005 to our Tim Duncan? KP is most likely not going to be the next Steph Curry level talent. A more likely yet still optimistic outcome is that he becomes maybe as valuable as Chris Bosh or Damian Lillard.

      You need other greatly discounted contracts around a guy like that to hope for title contention, and all the minutes and roster spots and money we flush down the pipes towards declining players like Conley, the less minutes and roster spots we can dedicate to the search for the next potential Draymond Green. The more money we dump on these players, the less cap space we’ll have to facilitate trades for players to gamble on.

    40. I feel like a sign and trade of Batum to Cleveland for Kevin Love would help both teams take a big step forward. Batum is the kind of versatile wing LeBron does well with (he’d be the Wade character), and Love + Walker + Howard could be a formidable big 3 in the east.

    41. I feel like a sign and trade of Batum to Cleveland for Kevin Love would help both teams take a big step forward. Batum is the kind of versatile wing LeBron does well with (he’d be the Wade character), and Love + Walker + Howard could be a formidable big 3 in the east.

      Fascinating deal. However, in such a trade, wouldn’t Love’s contract take up so much room that they wouldn’t be able to sign Howard?

    42. I suddenly remembered that Howard really wanted to play for the Nets in the past. He’s a free agent, and I am sure they will be looking to hire, so maybe there’s a match there

    Comments are closed.