Knicks Morning News (2016.06.16)

  • [New York Times] Draymond Green, Contrite Yet Chatty, Rejoins the Warriors (Thu, 16 Jun 2016 00:18:00 GMT)

    Green returned after a one-game suspension just in time to help out the Warriors, who will be without the injured Andrew Bogut.

  • [New York Times] China’s Wang Jianlin Scores FIBA Basketball Partnership (Thu, 16 Jun 2016 07:48:31 GMT)

    China’s richest man Wang Jianlin has signed a partnership deal with basketball’s international governing body (FIBA), the latest move by the commercial property billionaire to expand his Dalian Wanda business empire into sports and entertainment.

  • [New York Times] Bogut Out of Finals With Injury, Hopeful on Rio (Thu, 16 Jun 2016 03:42:27 GMT)

    Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut will miss the remainder of the NBA Finals after injuring his knee, the team said on Wednesday, with the Australian still hopeful of recovering in time for the Olympics.

  • [New York Times] China’s Dalian Wanda Announces Marketing, Licensing Deal With Basketball’s Governing Body (Thu, 16 Jun 2016 02:51:27 GMT)

    China’s Dalian Wanda has agreed to a marketing and licensing deal with basketball’s international governing body FIBA, the company said on Thursday.

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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).

    108 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.06.16)”

    1. From the last thread:

      If you can get a league average PG for $2-10 mill, why pay $25 mill plus for an above average but not great PG who is possibly past his prime?

      First of all, $2-10 million is a very wide range.
      Second – ZERO chance you’re getting a league average point guard for anywhere close to the bottom end of that range. You might get lucky and get one for $10MM, but the idea you could get a league average PG in free agency for less than 8 figures is way over-optimistic.

      Now the trade market might be something you could use, but it’s hard to imagine any trade for a needle-moving PG without trading something we don’t really want to trade (Lopez) or don’t have the ability to trade (Melo).

      And btw – Conley’s max is 4 years 92MM so the AAV is $23MM. By next summer, that will “only” be 21% of the $109MM salary cap.

      I’m not necessarily advocating for Conley — I think we’re much better off saving our $ for next summer and really making a run at Westbrook or CP3 (shorter contract for the latter if he will allow it), or even guys like Gordon Hayward. But I wouldn’t be heartbroken if we got him. Conley’s a really really good player who, in Phil-speak, does a lot of the little smart / non-box score stuff to win games. Here’s a good analysis by Mike Prada about why he’s so good.

      And by the way, at the end of a 4 year contract, he’ll be about 32.5 years old. He’s 28.5 years old right now, not 29. And the idea that he’ll just automatically fall off a cliff is certainly not a given. There have been many many many players who have been really good through their early 30s.

    2. Guys Begley is a fucking moron and his numbers are off on Conleys max. Conley is a 9-year vet so his max is 30% of the cap nd with the Knicks he can get 4.5% raises. His starting salary next season assuming a $90m cap is closer to $26.5m. A 4-year deal puts him around 4/110m.

      Also realize next summer when the cap jumps to $108m the 30% max would start north of $30m AAV.

    3. “he’ll be about 32.5 years old. He’s 28.5 years old right now, not 29.”
      I don’t understand the argument that the Knicks shouldn’t sign Conley because short point guards fall off a cliff athletically at age 30 and he’s going to be 32-1/2 at the end of his contract, so they should wait until next year when they have the chance to sign Chris Paul, who is the same size as Conley and will be 32-1/2 at the start of the season next year. I have no idea whether Conley’s achilles is an issue but, if the doctors think that it isn’t, I don’t think that his age should be a reason not to sign him.
      On another note, I was looking at a bunch or mock drafts yesterday and, if the Knicks can acquire one or more picks in the 35-50 range, here’s a list of interesting (admittedly based on very very limited knowledge of college or international basketball) guys who might be available — DeMetrius Jackson, Deandre Bembry, Tyler Ulis, Juan Hernangomez (various mock drafts have him going anywhere from 20 to 46), Zhou Qi, Paul Zipser, Rade Zagorac, Chinanu Onuaku, Isia Cordinier, Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LaVert, Michael Gbinije, Patrick McCaw, Kay Felder, Cat Barber, Wayne Selden and Dorian Finney-Smith.

    4. Guys Begley is a fucking moron and his numbers are off on Conleys max. Conley is a 9-year vet so his max is 30% of the cap nd with the Knicks he can get 4.5% raises. His starting salary next season assuming a $90m cap is closer to $26.5m. A 4-year deal puts him around 4/110m.

      hmm yeah. that did seem low for him.

    5. Frank,
      By $2 mill, I was talking about finding a league-average guy for minimum via D-League, draft or undrafted FA, which is why I brought up guys like Lin, Beverly, Clarkson and Johnson.

    6. By $2 mill, I was talking about finding a league-average guy for minimum via D-League, draft or undrafted FA, which is why I brought up guys like Lin, Beverly, Clarkson and Johnson.

      I have no doubt Phil will try to find a diamond in the rough, but finding guys who can contribute is exceedingly rare. How many UDFA/D-league/2nd rounders have failed for every success story like those 4 you mentioned?

    7. League average starting point guards means #15 ranked, which includes guys like Ricky Rubio, Derrick Rose (I would rank him there), Knight, Teague and Conley. Those guys are absolutely getting max contracts in this field when the CBA is exploding.

      Conley is objectively a very good player by most metrics. I would be very happy to have him. Melo, Lopez, and Kristaps would be happier to have a good guard, and we would play better, and he wouldn’t be a financial burden in a couple of years. And tendinitis =/= rupture.

      If you really think we have a shot at Westbrook or whoever, fine. But Conley may be a value contract at some point if he’s as good as he’s been.

      I would stick with starting Calderon and having drafts/FA next year, but I wouldn’t begrudge Phil if he thinks this is a good move, because there is a really good chance it would be.

    8. If there is any way we can get DeAndre Bembry we should do it. The only flaw in his game is his shooting stroke and apparently he’s improved that since the end of the season. You’re talking about a 2 guard who averaged 18, 8, and 5 per 40 last year who plays defense and can handle the rock in P&R situations. He reminds me of Iguodala with better mechanics on the jumper. Iguodala was a better rebounder and passer at Arizona, but the similarities are there.

    9. Once you look at the market and all the point guards available for the money they are going to command (and I think it’s being vastly overstated that these guys are going to command $25+ million AAV), I’m starting to believe a buy low trade on Derrick Rose’s last year would be the best bet for the Knicks. He takes up about 2/3s of our available cap space so we can’t lock ourselves into a long term contract too early, and if we move Lopez and/or Calderon in the deal it could make cap space to then attract Hassan Whiteside or Kevin Durant.

      For me, Conley at $17-20 million is ideal, and Conley at $23 million doesn’t sound terrible. I cringe at the thought of giving him $26+ million AAV. Rondo is likely going to command $15+ million AAV over the next 3-4 years, and that’s probably a deal we should pass on considering his inability to shoot. Don’t get me wrong; Derrick Rose sucks and at his current rate of production not only wouldn’t make the Knicks better, but he would be a negative contribution if he doesn’t just break down before the ASB. I just think taking him on is worth it if we can grab one of the two superstars this free agency has to offer. And if he is playing with two eyes this season, we might even get a positive impact from him. If he had 2-3 years on his deal left, then no. There is no upside. But as an expiring contract it might make some sense for a team looking to attract a big time free agent in the next two summers.

    10. And I’m not trading Melo in a deal with the Cavs if we can’t get back one of Irving or Love. I want nothing to do with Brandon Knight’s $15 million AAV over the next 4 seasons. He’s been a bad basketball player at all times excluding the 1688 minutes he played in Milwaukee where he was merely good. That’s a bad contract even if there were no salary cap.

    11. I don’t get it. Why would the Cavs give up Kyrie and Love for Melo, Bledsoe, and Robin Lopez??

    12. “Bembry, McCaw, Lavert, Cordinier, Hernangomez, Payton, Barber all sound good to me.”
      The guy who intrigues me the most is Zipser. Mock drafts have him going as high as the late 20s to not being drafted at all. Everything I’ve read about him leads me to believe that, while his upside might not be as high as some other guys, he could be 3 and D wing who could step in and contribute immediately. The other guy who really intrigues me is Felder.

    13. Derrick Rose is fucking awful, and if he somehow recovers his form next year, then we need to pay him. Now, if Chicago is willing to give us goodies to take Rose off their hands? Yeah, you do that.

    14. If you operate under the assumption that Melo will absolutely never be traded, maxing Conley could make sense. Though it would certainly be an overpay in a vacuum, Conley combined with reasonably expected improvement from Porzingis, Grant, and Galloway could conceivably get us in the 50-55 win range even if Melo continues to decline (assuming we fill out the rest of the roster with above average competence, which, who knows). We’d have almost zero shot at actually winning a championship, but that’s simply not going to happen as long as Melo and his salary:production gap are here anyway. So the idea would be to throw an entertaining team out there while we wait for Melo to come off the books.

      I don’t know if I’m that pessimistic about the prospect of trading Melo though. I’d only be okay with Conley at his max if I knew for an absolute fact that Melo was never going anywhere. The best case scenario that has us back in contention faster than any other approach involves trading Melo for picks, using our cap space wisely (acquiring more picks and/or good, undervalued players), and just generally doing what smart teams do. I’m holding out a sliver of hope that Melo hasn’t lost all interest in bolting Boston, Cleveland, LAC, or anywhere else.

      If that’s definitely not happening, then sure max Conley. He’s good. We might have a good team, just won’t compete for a championship.

    15. This team needs some continuity so I’m against trading Lopez or Melo. We’re closer than many people think. One or two players away from being better than competitive. We can basically add a max player this year and one next year while building around the edges with developing young talent. At the same time KP and Grant will continue to improve. Batum or Conley would be fine for me. Either one. We’re getting close so let’s stay positive. Go team!

    16. Conley combined with reasonably expected improvement from Porzingis, Grant, and Galloway could conceivably get us in the 50-55 win range even if Melo continues to decline (assuming we fill out the rest of the roster with above average competence, which, who knows). We’d have almost zero shot at actually winning a championship, but that’s simply not going to happen as long as Melo and his salary:production gap are here anyway. So the idea would be to throw an entertaining team out there while we wait for Melo to come off the books.

      We won 34 games last year and things generally went well for us health wise. Conley is maybe something like a 6 win upgrade assuming he plays all season and doesn’t decline. Where are you finding 15 more wins?

    17. It never makes sense to over pay. Never. It makes even less sense when you over pay to add to a 32 win team.

    18. Conley combined with reasonably expected improvement from Porzingis, Grant, and Galloway could conceivably get us in the 50-55 win range

      Ahahahahhahaahh no

    19. RE: Conley,
      I’ve said time and again that he is a really good player, so I would never in a million years say don’t sign him. Let’s be clear- he undoubtedly will improve the team if signed. I just don’t think he will improve the team enough to warrant a max salary and block Grant’s experience from learning on the job. Remember- in free agency, you are supposed to pay for what a player is going to do, not for what he’s done. Salary cap increase or not, paying a player the max says that said player is a key cog in a championship run. Conley’s not quite that guy. Our Knicks FINALLY have young to young-ish guys to develop in Lopez/KP/Grant/Galloway/Early/OQ/Hernangomez. So my theory is that by adding quality depth and shooting with multiple players, who are in the young to young-ish range and still improving, the team can add just as much wins as adding Conley and not much else. Then afterwards, we can chase the big fish, the one player away guy in 2017. Like Westbrook. However, if Durant says yes to NY, then that theory goes out of the window and the team should be able to contend for a Finals berth. Conley would have to have a CP3/Kidd/Magic/Westbrook/Zeke effect for me to be on board with offering him the max. Now, if Phil can add him, and Daniels or Bazemore while retaining Galloway/Williams/Thomas and bring Hernangomez over, then we probably have a ECF squad. I don’t envy Phil right now, he has a tough decision to make.

    20. If we could extract a pick from CHI in exchange for renting a year of cap space in an undesirable FA market (in which everyone is flush with cap space and the UFA options are slim) then we absolutely do that, no questions asked. If anything, giving minutes to Rose will help improve our ’17 draft pick. I understand worrying about KP’s development in a losing culture, but the kid is incredibly motivated. He’s already acting like a leader and his friends / teammates are flocking to freaking Liepaja to train with him.

      So on balance, I think pairing him with some good young picks is better for his development than letting him suffer through one more losing season

    21. We won 34 games last year and things generally went well for us health wise. Conley is maybe something like a 6 win upgrade assuming he plays all season and doesn’t decline. Where are you finding 15 more wins?

      If Conley gets us to 40, and we assume improvement from the guys I mentioned gets us to 45, and we replace Afflalo (.048 WP48) who played ~2300 minutes for us with someone decent (Steve Blake? Brandon Rush? Solomon Hill? Born Ready? I dunno), and we don’t go anywhere near Seraphin, we could at least conceivably be in that range with reasonably good luck, no? It’s far from a sure thing (Melo could fall off a cliff, Conley could decline and/or get hurt, etc.) but as long as Melo is here we’re not winning a championship so if we just don’t sign anyone pass the duration of his contract that might be the best thing we can ask for. It kinda sucks but being a Knicks fan sucks.

    22. I do believe that if KP becomes the player we think he can be, then Conley absolutely would be the missing link to a Finals appearance. Phil would still hafta find the right role players to fill in the blanks and Melo would hafta stay healthy.

    23. The Knicks should bring retain Calderon, Galloway, Melo, Porzingis, O’Quinn, Lopez, Lance Thomas, Wroten and Grant. Bring Hernangomez over from Spain. Let Jose be the back up SG and that should improve our situation. I’m not a big Jerian Grant fan but he could be the back up PG. Starting Langston Galloway at the two doesn’t bother me because I think he can be a plus two way guy. Internally, our only hope for roster improvement comes I the form of Galloway, Grant, Hernangomez, and Porzingis. I’ll be the first to say I have zero faith in Jerian Grant’s ability to ever be a good NBA player, but the other three guys have decent to good shots of being good NBA players next season. I can see those three as producers of 15-18 wins. Calderon and Lopez should be good for 13 wins together. Right there we are at 31 wins. Melo should give you 6, so now we are at 37. Add Mike Conley and let’s be generous and assume he’s worth 8 wins. Now we’re at 45 wins and we haven’t calculated for the negative win production we can expect if Seraphin and Wroten play or if Grant sucks again next year.

      The truth is if we are to return 3 starters from last year’s team, it will be tough to improve 18 wins. I believe we would have to replace Lopez with Whiteside while adding some good bench guys, have Porzingis turn into a true superstar, or sign both Batum and Conley to get to 50 wins. All three of those things are unlikely. I think we should expect 43 wins. That seems reasonable.

    24. Batum or Conley would be fine for me. Sign one.

      As someone who is supportive of maxing out Batum or Conley, I just wonder what happens if both players take some other team’s money instead. We saw Phil have to dip way down on his wish list last summer, and this year more teams have more money, and the Knicks didn’t make much of a statement on the court over the past 3 months of the season.

      The Knicks will spend all of their cap space this summer. I think that is as safe an assumption as NTC Melo not getting traded. So to those people hoping against Conley, I hope you’re thinking about the players that $18-$30 million can buy you this offseason.

      If this summer goes anything like last year, we could be looking at adding guys like Brandon Jennings and Eric Gordon to 1 year contracts and not much else.

      So dream big (well, kind of big I guess) and go for the best player available at the position you most need. It’s what the a Knicks are going to try to do, so best to accept it now rather than later.

    25. If KP actually becomes Dirk 2.0 then yes, the Knicks might make the playoffs. But there are also 29 other teams trying to develop young talent, so unless there’s a resurgence in the whole “trade every asset for overrated declining veterans only to become a lottery team without draft picks” model, you should expect the Knicks to be middle of the pack in youth development.

    26. I think the problem with getting goodies thrown in to take on Rose is that there are a lot of teams with cap space that need to reach the salary floor, and those teams may be willing to take Rose without any incentives, and maybe even give something back in exchange for him, like the Sixers.

      The best PG options in 2016 seem to be Conley and Teague.

      Conley is better than Teague, and doesn’t cost any assets to obtain other than NBA dollars. With the value of the NBA dollar going down, there’s virtually no reason to pursue Teague over Conley. It’s not a world altering move, but I wouldn’t bemoan Dolan and his stupid pig face if that’s the way the Knicks go this summer.

      If Conley says “no”, then the Knicks are in a precarious position because they will spend, and the drop off on the PG list is rapid, and the trade assets are few, so things could get scary.

    27. I also wanna say this:
      Conley’s intangibles and hoop IQ are off the charts. Especially on defense. It would be nice to have him and Lopez leading the team defense. Conley does a really nice job of funneling his man into the help. Fortunately, that help on the Knicks would be KP & Lopez more often than not. It could potentially launch the Knicks into top 7 defense-dom. So, I definitely won’t be upset if Phil signs Conley- I’d just rather it not be the max so the team can have some flexibility. We’re already overpaying Melo in his 30’s

    28. @29 this is pretty much a way more concise version of what I was trying to say. As long as Melo is here, we’re spending. I don’t like that he’s here, and I don’t like that we’re spending even if he has to be here, but within the realm of realistic possibilities Conley isn’t half-bad.

      Again, my preference is to trade Melo and do a real rebuild, but I said “realistic possibilities” so…

    29. I would *love* if the Knicks could buy a late first or early 2nd round pick and draft DeAndre Bembry.

    30. Conley is maybe something like a 6 win upgrade assuming he plays all season and doesn’t decline. Where are you finding 15 more wins?

      Why is a 28 yr old professional athlete supposed to precipitously decline?

    31. Age-wise, Conley is likely to be fine for 4 years, and he’s definitely a good player who would improve the Knicks.

      The risk is his Achilles, which IIRC has been a bit of a problem for 2 years now? No, not tear, but are those warning signs? Will it persist? And, are they worth passing on him?

      He’s gonna get a max contract somewhere.

    32. The risk is his Achilles, which IIRC has been a bit of a problem for 2 years now? No, not tear, but are those warning signs? Will it persist? And, are they worth passing on him?

      I train racehorses professionally. If I take a flyer on a $25,000 claimer, I’ll take a health risk, but any time I make a six figure purchase I have x-rays and diagnostic ultrasounds done of of every limb. I can only assume for a nine figure price the Knicks will do their due diligence in this obvious area.

    33. Trading Melo aside, the best way to build this team is to incrementally add talent. LeBron/Bosh/Wade Heat aside, it’s near impossible to build a contender in a single offseason. When good, proven talent is available at a reasonable price, you go and get it. Adding Conley to this team probably brings us to the 40-win level. Signing a reasonable back-up guard with the remaining cap space, say Evan Turner, plus development from KP (and maybe even Grant) probably gets you anywhere from 42-45 wins next year.

      In the 2017 offseason you’d then hope to add another piece and you could be looking at a 50-55 win team within two years.

    34. “It could potentially launch the Knicks into top 7 defense-dom.”
      I was looking at defensive stats the other day, and the Knicks were shockingly good to very good in every category but one — creating turnovers. They were last in the league by far in that category, creating something like 3 fewer per game than league average and 6 fewer than the league leaders. Their rank in other categories — FG% at the rim – 1st, 3 pt FG% – 7th, total 3pt FG made – 4th, points per shot – 7th, adjusted FG% – 9th, blocks 8th, opponent assists – 3rd. They were even pretty good in foul shots given up — 15th. They were slightly better than league average in rebounding. They ended up 18th in defensive efficiency. If they were even league average in turnovers created, they would have been a top 10 defense.

    35. @reub

      You build continuity by assembling a squad that can be sustainably competitive… When the Knicks gave Allan Houston his max deal in the early 2000s, it set the stage for the total lack of continuity that followed.

      The way I see it, acquiring talented, young players is the only way to have continuity. Why? Because otherwise your team is going to suck and have little hope of improving, forcing the F.O. to make changes.

    36. Cant Staps Wont Staps: If you’re not willing to go out and pay the going rate to get top talent, get ready to sift through the bargain bin for players like Jerryd Bayless or DJ Augustin. Are they part of the Path To A Championship that everyone is concerned Mike Conley will ruin?

      Nope, but they don’t hurt it much because they come for practically nothing.

      Is it really that difficult of a concept? If you have a little money and want to make it grow, do you…

      A) spend it on restaurants and cars and other luxuries

      B) invest it

      Signing Mike Conley is A. It’s a a way of cashing in our savings for a short term burst of happiness and play. We need to keep saving and investing if we want to have the chance to have the party of our dreams (i.e. win a title).

    37. Conley is maybe something like a 6 win upgrade assuming he plays all season and doesn’t decline. Where are you finding 15 more wins?

      Why is a 28 yr old professional athlete supposed to precipitously decline?

      If I thought he was going to precipitously decline, I would have written the word precipitously before decline.

    38. @39 – i’m sure the turnover issue was because of our backcourt…. afflalo has historically low steals numbers for whatever reason… we’re also not exactly fleet of foot or quick at any of the positions…. which is a problem those numbers highlight….

      and i also really like bembry… he is another great player that we unfortunately have no chance at…

    39. @41

      I’m sorry but that analogy is ridiculous. In what way is paying a premium for a very good (if not the absolute best) version of something you desperately need and completely lack the equivalent of blowing your savings on frivolous nonsense?

      And in what sense is declining to do that “investing?” Investing in what? The odds that our draft pick next season might be good enough to draft a player who might be good enough to make us a contender? Give me a break. The idea that adding Conley prevents us from drafting or signing young players and developing them is completely bogus. And the idea that he’ll be a walking corpse by the end of his next contract is also pretty damn pessimistic unless you would say the same of Steph Curry (only a hair younger) or Kyle Lowry (a hair older).

    40. We worked out Bembry’s teammate Isaiah Miles, and he was pretty impressive his last year at SJU. He could be a good candidate to back up Melo.

    41. The reasons given for not going for Conley don’t make sense to me.

      Dude’s a PG with elite defensive ability, and a net positive on offense too. He’s 28 (Batum is 27). He’s pretty damn good, and if we get him, it’s a very good thing.

      Investing in Conley and not in “the future” is assuming the money you spend on Conley isn’t going to some young prospect. If you believe that, you have some books to read. (We do have Galloway, Grant, and Wroten as our young “prospects,” anyway)

      My reasons are I would rather spend on a 2-guard, and develop our PG’s. Neither of which have anything to do with money.

    42. Trading Melo aside, the best way to build this team is to incrementally add talent. LeBron

      OK, but you moved aside the actual best way to build this team.

      The Celtics want to trade the #3 and some more of their stash for an established star.

      The Cavs are going to want to trade Kevin Love in 1-2 more games.

      Melo wants to win a championship and play with LeBron.

      This can happen. I refuse to believe this team will never trade Melo. The perfect storm is brewing.

      Melo to Cleveland.

      Love to Boston.

      Multiple draft picks to the Knicks.

      EDIT: I’ll settle for omitting Boston and just taking back Love and a future pick from Cleveland).

    43. If I thought he was going to precipitously decline, I would have written the word precipitously before decline.

      Ok…. I’ll try again. What on earth makes you think a properly vetted professional athlete is going to “decline” next season (and I added next season since you made a reference to plus 6 wins next season by his addition). Everyone stipulates you may get some decline in the out years on a 4 year contract.

    44. The Knicks will spend all of their cap space this summer. I think that is as safe an assumption as NTC Melo not getting traded. So to those people hoping against Conley, I hope you’re thinking about the players that $18-$30 million can buy you this offseason.

      That’s precisely why I’ve been cool with Conley for a while now. Like I said a couple of weeks ago, if you sign Conley, at least you’re adding a very good player. Since the money is going to be committed either way, might as well get a very good player out of it, instead of giving a couple of question marks for $15-20 million a year.

      But yes, all of this should always be attached with the implied “This is what I’d do only if they can’t trade Melo,” since trading Melo is by far their best strategy, it’s just one that is off the table because of a moronic No-Trade Clause.

    45. This can happen. I refuse to believe this team will never trade Melo. The perfect storm is brewing.

      There’s a storm brewing every year. He never actually leaves. Because he will never leave. There have been a number of times where he had a perfect “out.” He never took it. Because he will never leave. The only question with him is what kind of contract he’ll sign for on his next Knicks contract. Hopefully he gives them at least a small discount.

    46. Melo is not leaving and I would bet a lot of money that this is not his last contract with the Knicks

      Wait for the 40 yo MUMM (Mega-Ultra-Max-Melo).

    47. If we could sign both Conley and Turner I would have to make a trip to Vegas immediately to make a little investment.

    48. What on earth makes you think a properly vetted professional athlete is going to “decline” next season (and I added next season since you made a reference to plus 6 wins next season by his addition)

      I didn’t say I thought he was going to decline, although it is not uncommon for 29 year old players to be in the decline stage of their career. I don’t understand what’s got you riled up.

    49. Last day of the season: “This Knicks Team is Freaking terrible. Thank god I never have to watch them play basketball again.”

      Start of the offseason: “If we can just sign one or two guys this team could really be something!”

      Start of the new season: “No we didn’t sign any of the guys I hoped we would, but I’m pretty sold on the guys we got. We’re going to be a lot better than people expect this season!”

      Last day of the season: “This Knicks Team is freaking terrible. Thank god I never have to watch them play basketball again.”

      Cycle of life

    50. We won 34 games last year and things generally went well for us health wise. Conley is maybe something like a 6 win upgrade assuming he plays all season and doesn’t decline. Where are you finding 15 more wins?

      Although reaching 50 is wildly optimistic, you are undervaluing what balance brings to the team.

      Even if Conley is only worth 6 wins per se, not having a glaring weakness adds some more wins. It has always been said that team ball is better than ISO ball, but you cant play team ball you need at least a nice guard, a nice forward and a nice center (and then maybe some role players good at their role).

    51. Love has a year longer contract than Melo. is he really what we want? isn’t the purpose of trading Melo really getting out of his contract?

    52. The nabobs are back again.

      If you don’t think that you can win then you can’t.

    53. OK, but you moved aside the actual best way to build this team.

      I’ll grant that trading Melo and investing in young pieces that fit along KP’s timeline is the best way to build this team. HOWEVER, there has been zero indication ever that Melo will waive his NTC. I’ll believe it when I see it, but until then I’m going on the intel from every single news source close or even remotely related to the Knicks, who all say that Melo will not be traded.

      Given that reality, what is the better way to build this team? Wait until next season and try to convince Russell Westbrook to come here? We saw that one play out in 2010. I’m not even saying we can get Conley, but if he wants to come here I don’t see how you pass him up in hopes of using that money on a better player. Like I said before, when you can get talent at a reasonable price, get talent. Keep adding pieces until it comes together. We don’t need to contend next year, but add 5-10 wins, then get another piece, add another 5-10 wins and go from there.

    54. To be clear, when I said 50-55 I was pretty much referring to the best case scenario. It would have to include a healthy and productive Conley and Melo, tangible improvement from all young guys, and other savvy roster moves. Because all those things would have to happen just to reach pretender status, I will repeat that trading Melo to start a real rebuild should be priority number one. Like Hubert, I’m a tad more optimistic about it than some. But if it really isn’t going to happen, you could do a lot worse than Conley (we know that better than anyone else, because we usually do worse than Conley).

    55. Another interesting scenario I just read: signing Batum and Delly. That would instantly make our defense immeasurably better. Delly/Grant/Wroten would be an interesting trio of young PGs. The offense would be pretty brutal, but take what you can get.

    56. Love has a year longer contract than Melo. is he really what we want? isn’t the purpose of trading Melo really getting out of his contract?

      Love is, what, five years younger than Melo? I agree that if Love was involved in a (hypothetical, since Melo is never leaving) Melo deal, that I’d just flip Love for young players/picks, but there’s still a big difference, timeline-wise, between Melo and Love.

    57. We need to (probably) replace Lou, Seraphin, Afflalo, Williams, Cleanthony, Sasha and maybe Lance and Langston. Spending most of our money on one guy doesn’t seem the smart play unless he’s an elite player

    58. It’s decision time for Draymond tonight: does he play with his hands in his pockets, or does he go out there and rip LeBron’s balls off and throw them into the Q arena crowd? Deal with a suspension for game one of the 2016-2017 regular season to end it tonight, or play with an eye to Game 7? Hmmmm…

    59. You can’t just flip love, Brian. Nor can you hurry it. Love don’t come easy. It’s a game of give and take.

    60. Re; tonight’s game – I predict that Kyrie attempts many more impossible shots, and this time they don’t go in, and LeBron believes he can make outside shots again, and doesn’t.

      Warriors win going away.

    61. You can’t just flip love, Brian. Nor can you hurry it. Love don’t come easy. It’s a game of give and take.

      I dunno, I think a trade for Love would lift us up where we belong.

    62. Cant Staps Wont Staps: I’m sorry but that analogy is ridiculous. In what way is paying a premium for a very good (if not the absolute best) version of something you desperately need and completely lack the equivalent of blowing your savings on frivolous nonsense?

      The analogy is luxuries -> wins. The analogy is perfect because just like luxury items like nice dinners and fancy cars, veteran players become less valuable the longer you have them. That is a fact. We paid more for Melo (even with a good amount of leverage) than we could ever get for him today. Not a criticism of Melo, just a fact of the NBA and the human body. And Melo has aged quite well. No guarantee Conley does as well.

      And in what sense is declining to do that “investing?” Investing in what? The odds that our draft pick next season might be good enough to draft a player who might be good enough to make us a contender?

      Investing in trying the find the next Jae Crowder or Demarre Carroll or Draymond Green or Robert Covington, etc. The goal of this game is to stuff as much talent as you can under the cap. Prime max Mike Conley barely helps in that regard, and 31 year old Mike Conley is almost definitely a hindrance. He is pointless, and his contract prevents you from potentially signing a player who isn’t pointless.

      And the idea that he’ll be a walking corpse by the end of his next contract is also pretty damn pessimistic unless you would say the same of Steph Curry (only a hair younger) or Kyle Lowry (a hair older).

      If you consider an NBA player’s prime lasts about 6 years, then the being 1 year younger (Lowry) or three years younger (Curry) is a huge difference. Furthermore, Steph Curry at half strength is still a very good player. Conley at half strength is Jose Calderon. I’m not saying that Conley will decline that much, but even a 20% decline makes him a liability. A 20% decline makes him prime Ray Felton. Do you want prime Ray Felton on a max deal?

    63. @72, I agree 100%

      Look at the Warriors. Every player on their team is signed to a below market deal starting this summer and two of their three best players are going to be making at least $10 million less than what they would command in free agency through the rest of the decade. That’s what made Golden State so great; they have a roster filled with guys who are underpaid. All of their key players outperform their contracts except for Harrison Barnes. Winning in the NBA is as much about finding market inefficiencies and making the right bets as much as it is about having star players. Look at Toronto; they have zero star players but they were able to get to the final four around Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas’ great contracts. If those guys made max dollars they would not have been able to land all three of Corey Joseph, DeMarre Carroll, and Bismack Biyombo. You need to have team-favored contracts on your books in order to win a championship in a salary capped league. You have to receive surplus value, and Conley on a bloated deal is not surplus value. Melo is already overpaid by $12-15 million dollars relative to his production, and I love Melo. If you are paying Melo, Conley, and RoLo $63 million dollars when together they’re probably worth $45 million, you’re losing $18 million in salary. That’s why overpaying players is so bad. Cap space is a resource, and that is $18 million you could have spent to take risks on Troy Daniels, Solomon Hill, Jon Leuer, Mirza Teletovic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Eric Gordon, and the rest of the field.

    64. If you consider an NBA player’s prime lasts about 6 years, then the being 1 year younger (Lowry) or three years younger (Curry) is a huge difference. Furthermore, Steph Curry at half strength is still a very good player. Conley at half strength is Jose Calderon. I’m not saying that Conley will decline that much, but even a 20% decline makes him a liability. A 20% decline makes him prime Ray Felton. Do you want prime Ray Felton on a max deal?

      This all seems totally arbitrary

      The analogy is luxuries -> wins.

      No. Your analogy is equating Conley to things that do nothing to increase your wealth (wins) versus “value contracts” to investments that compound your money. If you want to say Conley is an investment with little upside then just saying he’s like a savings account makes sense versus investing in a portfolio with more risk, but higher upside potential like playing the stock market in stock or options. It’s nonsensical to compare him to something that does absolutely nothing to improve the quality of your life or increase your monetary potential.

      Investing in trying the find the next Jae Crowder or Demarre Carroll or Draymond Green or Robert Covington, etc. The goal of this game is to stuff as much talent as you can under the cap. Prime max Mike Conley barely helps in that regard, and 31 year old Mike Conley is almost definitely a hindrance. He is pointless, and his contract prevents you from potentially signing a player who isn’t pointless.

      Ridiculous. Conley is a player whose contract will actually decrease in terms of the percentage of cap it takes up and is an actual very good player right now.

      Also we’re still going to have plenty of cap space to fill around KP before he gets paid a salary commensurate to his contributions as Melo’s contract expires right when we’ll have to pay KP. The cap jump next year gives us an opportunity to add another piece…

    65. @lavor postell

      This all seems totally arbitrary

      It’s not arbitrary. Most of the studies that have been done to look at when players stop noticeably improving and start noticeably declining put a range of 23-28 as average NBA prime. Obviously, there’s ton’s of exceptions, but as we can’t predict whether Conley or anyone else is an exception, it’s best to go by averages.

      No. Your analogy is equating Conley to things that do nothing to increase your wealth (wins) versus “value contracts” to investments that compound your money…

      My analogy is saying that to get wins, you have to spend wealth. Every player you have under contract who is producing at prime level has less long term overall value than the draft picks and younger players you could trade for him. The way you win a title then is accrue enough money to throw the best party. If you’re lucky, your party lasts a few years, and then you have to start over.

      Conley is a player whose contract will actually decrease in terms of the percentage of cap it takes up and is an actual very good player right now.

      This is true for all players signed this summer. It has nothing to do with Conley’s value relative to other options.

      Also we’re still going to have plenty of cap space to fill around KP before he gets paid a salary commensurate to his contributions as Melo’s contract expires right when we’ll have to pay KP. The cap jump next year gives us an opportunity to add another piece…

      The fact that the contracts we sign now won’t be in effect in 3-4 years doesn’t change the fact that the money and minutes we squander on players who have no future with could instead be invested in players who COULD be a part of that future. It also doesn’t change overall philosophy you advocate for. Sign Conley this summer. Sign another Conley-like player next summer. Repeat until you have no value contracts at all.

    66. And Melo has aged quite well. No guarantee Conley does as well.

      There’s no guarantee of anything in this game, from Mike Conley’s health to the rapid (or even eventual) improvement of some of the diamonds in the rough you seem to believe Conley would prevent us from cultivating.

      Investing in trying the find the next Jae Crowder or Demarre Carroll or Draymond Green or Robert Covington, etc.

      Are you serious?? Those players were are minimum salary investments in the beginning. Of course we can still invest in developing young players–Conley’s contract won’t even take up all our available cap space this summer, much less prevent us from having a ton of cap space next summer and all of our first round draft picks.

      I’m not saying that Conley will decline that much, but even a 20% decline makes him a liability. A 20% decline makes him prime Ray Felton.

      Oh, okay–you’re not serious. I get it. Carry on then.

    67. You guys are hilarious. “If we can’t sign above-average players under the age of 25 to below market contracts then I’m not interested in anyone!!!”

      Get real. Everyone has major money to spend now and nobody is taking a discount to come to the Knicks. Is that who you want? Nobody?

    68. Melo is already overpaid by $12-15 million dollars relative to his production, and I love Melo.

      Over paid by $15 million?! This is the NBA in 2016! Iman Shumpert makes $10 million, you think that’s how much Carmelo Anthony should get paid and you say you love him? FOH

    69. Honestly, I don’t even want to sign Conley, but the hand wringing over the possibility the Knicks doing that is really weird. I don’t get it.

    70. Melo, a player who posted like a .104 WP/48 and a WS/48 around .125, is overpaid bro. By a lot. And Shump can’t make open jumpers so he too is overpaid.

    71. It’s not arbitrary. Most of the studies that have been done to look at when players stop noticeably improving and start noticeably declining put a range of 23-28 as average NBA prime. Obviously, there’s ton’s of exceptions, but as we can’t predict whether Conley or anyone else is an exception, it’s best to go by averages.

      i thought i was pretty clear in explaining this but i guess you didn’t see the list or chose to ignore it… anyway, you can’t compare someone of conley’s caliber to the nba average… because he’s not an average nba player or the median player if you will… an average nba player will have a shorter lifespan because they usually have very little margin to deteriorate before they are no longer useful…. better players have larger margins and usually the best players will outlast everyone…

      conley’s not like that but his peers have established some baseline of longevity… it’s really nonsensical to assume that he’ll deteriorate to the point where he’s not helping the team when he clearly has comparables that have lasted that long…

      My analogy is saying that to get wins, you have to spend wealth. Every player you have under contract who is producing at prime level has less long term overall value than the draft picks and younger players you could trade for him. The way you win a title then is accrue enough money to throw the best party. If you’re lucky, your party lasts a few years, and then you have to start over.

      when there is a huge jump in the cap you have to recalibrate what your sense of an ‘overpay’ and ‘value’ are…. the average team has over 30mm in cap space…. if you took away max contracts it’s very likely that conley gets more than the 26mm that he’s due…. batum is about to get a contract that pays him the same as melo… wouldn’t that make melo a relative value?

    72. one more thing… it’s very important for a team to recognize where they are in their competitive cycle… this is a great old article by jonah keri but can be applied to all sports…

      basketball is a little different … there are very few high quality players so when you make an investment in one you’re immediately in the ‘trying to win’ mode of your franchise…. we also made a commitment to a 27 yo center for a non-trivial amount of money also…. to not continue on that axis you are undermining your previous moves and that’s how you get stuck in mediocrity…..

      i am in the same camp as everyone else… it’s probably optimal to trade melo…. and if we strike out on conley i would think long and hard in trading off lopez and forcing melo’s hand…. but it’s not realistic…. but if these guys are on the roster… you shouldn’t just be ignoring them… that is turning them into a sunk cost when they are absolutely productive nba players….

      these aren’t portfolio’s where you have an indefinite time frame… players have expiration dates…. looking at the long term ALL the time gets you no where…. was it a good long term move to trade duncan for picks 5 years ago? yes probably…. but then you would have missed out on 2 finals and a championship….

    73. It is very possible to both sign Mike Conley to a max contract and still invest in the future. Phil is already doing that by NOT trading 1st round picks away (in fact, he traded FOR one in getting Jerian Grant), investing in 2nd round picks, etc.

      So far, the young guys include Grant, Galloway, Early, Labeyrie, Hernangomez. I think everyone expects the Knicks get acquire one or more picks in the upcoming draft. Then they’ll spend all the cap space!

    74. Harrison Barnes isn’t exactly making a strong case for getting overpaid this off season.

    75. If we overpaid Conley, will he make a dent vs the Irvings and the currys of the NBA? I just want a 1 year rents of a pg, a Lin Caliber is ok.

    76. I want to lock in a great or near great player at one of the guard positions, leaving us with 4 of our 5 starters as potential all stars. We can lock in our fifth one next year. (All while developing young talent around them)

    77. “Melo, a player who posted like a .104 WP/48 and a WS/48 around .125, is overpaid bro. By a lot. And Shump can’t make open jumpers so he too is overpaid.”

      Can someone please explain to me if these statistics hold up for a player on a bad team that is forced to play sub optimal basketball because he has limited talent around him.

      Also, I strongly suspect that Melo in 2017 will be very very good value as a pct of the cap.

    78. It’s really fun to watch Shaun Livingston play basketball. He may not be a top-level talent, but he plays a really smooth game. 6’7″ is a big point guard.

    79. Klay is molten lava closing the quarter, but livingston is my personal favorite dub

    80. poor guy destroyed his knee at 18 years old. And then he had to toil on the nets!

    81. “Melo, a player who posted like a .104 WP/48 and a WS/48 around .125, is overpaid bro. By a lot. And Shump can’t make open jumpers so he too is overpaid.”

      Can someone please explain to me if these statistics hold up for a player on a bad team that is forced to play sub optimal basketball because he has limited talent around him.

      Your instincts are correct. Since WP and WS allocate team wins to individual players, there is a bias towards good values for players on winning teams and towards bad values for players on losing teams. To make this concrete, if Melo played with four of me as his teammates we would lose every game and his WS and WP would be horrible. But that wouldn’t mean he’s a horrible player, it would mean he was stuck with me as a teammate. From other posts on this forum, I have read that other sorts of stats for Melo were pretty good this year. He’s definitely worth more than an average salary despite the average WP.

    82. You can make that case for WS but WP is less affected by overall team wins. Go to boxscoregeeks.com and look at the Heat from this passed year. Almost all of their rotation players not named Hassan Whiteside graded out as average. Wade, Bosh, Dragic, Deng, etc didn’t do it for that metric. In Derrick Rose’s MVP year in which the Bulls won 60, he didn’t have some great WP48. WP didn’t love Melo in 2013 when we won 54 games the way WS did.

      Basically, WS/48 is more prone to inaccuracies than WP48. Melo is good, but he really should not be making $25 million AAV. Melo, to me, is worth $16M AAV because I do believe it is important to have high usage scorers who make life easier for guys who would see their individual efficiencies fall off a cliff at higher usages. I just believe in a .600 TS% and that is something Melo has never touched in his career. Did you ever ask yourself “man, how many more wins would the Knicks have if Melo’s efficiency was 40-50 points higher?” I do. That’s honestly the difference between a superstar and Melo. A higher scoring efficiency.

    83. The Warriors should still win it all when they get home. Bogut was a huge loss, but I don’t see all of the Warriors being as bad as they were for most of the night tonight.

    84. It’s pretty clear that GS is NOT an all-time great team. They have gone 7 games in 2 straight series vs. two so-so teams, historically speaking.

      And while I’m not a LeBron fan per se (and have usually rooted against him) his greatness is on full display in this series. He has been magnificent.

    85. If it’s the regular season Steph would almost certainly get a game for throwing his mouthpiece and hitting a fan- how do you not suspend him here?

    86. C’mon, we talking mouthpieces? Fine him and let’s do this game 7! That was a wildly entertaining game considering the final score. Lebron- shit, what can you say? He’s just physically overwhelming when he’s locked in like this.

    87. That play where he got the rebound and put the shot back in to put them up…11, I think, after the Dubs had clawed back? Dude looked like Tim freakin’ Duncan. It is crazy how talented Lebron is.

    88. ABC and TNT letting Sager work the sidelines of this Finals is amazing. It’s rare to see corporations do something as sweet as that.

    89. I just think it’s funny. How many ppl are looking stupid for saying Steph is better than Bronny for the last 2 years. Like as an overall player.

    90. Also curry deserved to foul out. He had numerous stupid fouls. Especially the last one. Why the fuck are you reaching 90 feet away with 5 fouls???!!!?!!!?!?

      Spare me Aysha.

    91. Two other things:

      Curry is indeed great, probably will be the greatest shooter of all time, but he’s not the MVP. He was frazzled last night. Not that LeBron hasn’t had his bad moments in the finals! I do think that Steph regroups and has a big game in game seven.

      Love sucks as a max player. I would take the likes of Tristan Thompson or Draymond Green over him in a heartbeat. I pity the team that trades for him, unless it rids them of an even worse albatross and nets significant other assets. Melo for him straight up? NO WAY!!!

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