Knicks Morning News (2016.07.10)

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Deep-Pocketed N.B.A. Has Short Arms When Offering a Hand Up (Sun, 10 Jul 2016 05:39:06 GMT)

    A financial windfall has enriched even the most middling of N.B.A. players while those in the N.B.A. Development League play for paltry sums.

  • [New York Times] Keeping Score: Kevin Durant Was N.B.A.’s Ultimate Prize, With Participation Trophies Galore (Sun, 10 Jul 2016 05:39:24 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors won free agency by signing the coveted Kevin Durant, while the Nets, Knicks and Bulls were forced to take risks.

  • [New York Times] The UConn Legend Breanna Stewart Adjusts to Life in the W.N.B.A. (Sun, 10 Jul 2016 05:24:06 GMT)

    Stewart, a four-time national champion, is learning to deal with losing and the pressure of high expectations in a league that can use a breakout star.

  • [New York Times] Serbia’s Nugget Jokic Ready to Shine at Rio (Sun, 10 Jul 2016 09:09:27 GMT)

    Nikola Jokic capped a dream year in his fledgling career when he helped Serbia qualify for the Olympic Games after a fine rookie season in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets.

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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).

    64 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.07.10)”

    1. LT has always been easy to root for, but I must admit I could not stand the guy until he became a part of our regular season rotation this season. He looked like a guy that did absolutely nothing right on a basketball court as recent as the pre season, and then out of nowhere he started hitting three pointers and became our best perimeter defender.

      I look forward to his being a part of our top 10 defense this year along with Lee, Holiday, KP, Noah, and Melo to a lesser extent. I think we’ll see one of Courtney Lee or Lance Thomas on court at all times considering that our two point guards are pretty bad on defense. That being said, it’s a good feeling to know that we have a 3 and D specialist in Lance for what could prove to be a below market value deal.

    2. How much are we relying on Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangomez? I’m thinking that Jackson’s plan is to use them a lot. If they are what I think PJ thinks they are, that’s gold. But are they What are your thoughts on them?

    3. Not sure how much Kuz will play but this statement from Phil gives some indication of how far he’s come in his thinking since he began here 2+ years ago, and why they brought Kuz in:

      We also think [Kuzminskas] gives us another opportunity to play smaller, quicker, a wider extension in spacing

    4. I hope Mindaugas Kuzminskas can come in a put up similar and hopefully better numbers than Joe Ingles did when he got his chance as a 27 yr old. Ingles is a 6’8 back up SF for Utah who shoots it well from deep and to my eyes plays passable defense. Hopefully Kuzminskas will do a better job on the boards than Ingles though.

      I don’t know what to expect from Willy but I have enjoyed watching his little brother in summer league. If he hustles around like Jaun the knicks might be in good shape.

      Speaking of Denver, That team could be scary going forward. I think they have a better collection of players and picks than Boston.

    5. Sullinger (suddenly an unrestricted free agent) at @10-12m a year > Noah at $18m a year.

    6. Interesting LT article. The one after that is by Arron Afflalo, too. I started to read that, but it appears to be mostly him talking about bootlegging music for his own profit, so I lost interest…

      I wonder how much ghostwriting goes on in those articles, if any?

    7. @6 Ingmarrr

      Why

      @7 Clashfan

      Probably a lot of ghostwriting. I’d wager most of the articles are either dictated or adapted from an interview format.

    8. I think Mindaugus will come in and play well, but be very limited in what he can do. A great reserve role player. Hernangomez will show lots of promise and put up some good per 36 min but just be a huge liability on D and not get much playing time. I’m not convinced Hernangomez will be able to take the spot from O’Quinn, unless O’Quinn really is a complete bonehead. I see Mindaugus taking LT’s spot at some point in the season if not before it.

    9. Mind Dog’s calling card isn’t defense, though. He’s not very laterally quick. Hopefully he replicates Derrick Williams’ role with more floor spreading. (He is DERIKAS WILHELMAS after all.)

    10. I believe that we have a room exception that we could use of close to $3M per. Is that enough to get Sullinger? Is he redundant?

    11. I believe that we have a room exception that we could use of close to $3M per. Is that enough to get Sullinger? Is he redundant?

      All things I’ve read indicate that we used the room exception for Mindaugus Kuzminskas. (Did I spell that right?)

    12. Using wonderful hindsight bias, I wish the Knicks had spent $15 million on Boban and Ezeli. That would have been the perfect offseason and cemented our frontcourt for the foreseeable future.

    13. Frank, great find on that LT article!

      Ingmarr, I don’t get your math. is that based on weight?

    14. How good would Tim Frazier at 2 years 4.1 million and Troy Daniels at 3 years 10 million look on our team. This is why you don’t overpay players in the first week of free agency because once it dies down there are good deals available. Plus Ezili at 2 years 15 million and Jared Sullinger, Lance Stephenson and Terrence Jones still available and not getting much interest. Imagine if we didn’t sign Lee and used that money to get Frazier, Daniels and Jones. All three are 25 or under. Smaller smart deals are how you improve a team. You try to pick up the next Demarre Carrol, Courtney Lee or Mike Bazemore not sign them once they’re established and overpaid.

    15. Or you recognize that the qualifying offer makes it impossible for you to get them at those prices because their current team would just match, and that tying up your cap in offers that will be matched prevents you from filling needs.

      And you recognize that Ezeli’s knee is shot and Lance is a cancer and that Jones doesn’t play a position of need.

    16. @8 & @15 Sullinger is just above average according to ws (.121) and wp (.120), and at 24 he’s entering his prime. Good rebounder, crappy shooter, and the kind of player who gets under your skin if you’re playing against him. Paying him less than Lopez money in this market is a good bargain.

      Noah most likely is in decline. I’d take Biyombo, Ezeli or Sullinger over him, and for less money, and all 3 were available. smh.

    17. Blowing all of our money on highly questionable signings in the first week of free agency is a big part of what we do here

    18. You guys are massively underestimating what a motivated Noah can deliver — not saying it is a sure thing because of his age and injury history — but he is the type of guy you want to bet on — not an overweight, statistically average Sully.

      Until we get injured, this team is going to be a lot of fun to root for.

    19. I would love to have Jared Sullinger and Lance Stephenson on our bench. It sucks we can’t have that, though. Jennings, Stephenson, LT, and Sully would be a formidable second unit. I wonder if they will sign one and ones and maybe we can try again next summer to get both of them.

      Losing Sully and Turner is a really big deal for Boston. I don’t know if they will actually improve beyond 48 wins this year.

    20. @14 A big No Thank You to Ezeli. He looked like hot garbage in the playoffs.

      @20 Agree 100%. Noah brings a lot to the table aside from statistics. Winning attitude, competitive mentality, strong defense and rebounding, and can tutor Kristaps. Of course he has to be healthy to maximize that value. I think it was worth the risk, and all things considered better than Ezeli or Sullinger who seems about average.

    21. WOW, the Blazers are matching Crabbe’s offer sheet. What was the point in signing Evan Turner then??

    22. And Blazers matching illustrates peril of Nets strategy of trying to build your offseason around restricted free agents.

    23. If the Nets sign use that $19M to grab Sullinger and Stephenson I might go see them play the Knicks. The Barclay’s Center is 15 minutes away from me.

    24. how much different is Sully from O’Quinn? I don’t think they’re that far apart so I’m not upset the knicks didn’t get him..

      However, If I’m the nets I’d go after Moe Harkless, Tyler Zeller, and Thomas Jones

    25. @ 17

      Frazier might have been a long shot because he is restricted but Daniels isn’t and didn’t stay with his current team anyway. Sullinger and Jones aren’t restricted either. Stephenson is potenetially a cancer but we have a strong locker room and he’s going to be a bargain because of his issues. Ezeli might have potential knee issues but half our team has verified health issues. Over the next 4 years I would wager Ezeli plays more games than Noah. As for positions of need, PF ( Sullinger and Jones) is a need long term. If we want Porzingis to fully develop he will need to transition to center in the next couple of years and either of them could be a long term answer next to him.

      Terrence Jones is going to be an absolute steal. Before this season when he struggled on a dysfunctional Rockets team he looked like a really nice young player. He is athletic, plays good defense, and is a good shooter and ball handler for a PF.

    26. Porzingis alone probably puts us in a better position than the Nets and their draft pick situation is a total disaster, but I am pretty jealous of the fact that they don’t have to operate under a misguided “win now” philosophy in order to placate a declining faux star.

      Kind of makes me wish we hired someone like, say, Sean Marks, instead of Phil Jackson.

    27. I agree about the Nets. They are at the bottom of a huge hole but their front office seems much stronger than ours.

    28. I guess the Nets are in a bit of a different situation and have basically been forced to go back and rebuild from scratch after the old regime effed things up royally. I think it’s arguable that the trade for Pierce, KG and Terry was worse than anything we have done in the last 5 years (Bargs trade comes close though). The new Nets regime has accepted their fate and done the right thing and torn the whole thing down. I guess for better or worse, the Knicks haven’t completely been snubbed (outside of a few marquee guys) by FA’s the last 2 off-seasons and have had a perennial All-Star in Melo to build a roster around each year. Not saying the Knicks shouldn’t have explored the rebuild from scratch, just I don’t think it has been as necessary for the Knicks as it has been for the Nets.

    29. I would also be a pretty big pass on Sullinger too. Seems to always have questions marks as to motivation and fitness, and has had some pretty worrying back issues as mentioned in 31. On a team friendly deal he would be worth a flier given the flashes he has shown in Boston, but I wouldn’t be clambering for him. Teams seem to be on to that anyway seeing as it looks like everyone has been luke warm on him.

    30. ok so is THCJ willing to let his $ ride on the boxscoregeeks prediction of 19 wins?

    31. Heat are matching the Johnson offer sheet, too. So Nets won’t get either of the young guys people here were feeling envious about last week.

    32. The Nets have to do SOMETHING to ensure they don’t gift Boston another top 5 pick.

    33. So other than Boban, plus the guys like Galloway whose restricted status was later rescinded by their teams for cap space purposes, will any restricted free agents be changing teams?

    34. 19 wins? That’s hilariously awesome.

      No way in hell any team Joakim Noah gives 2,000 minutes will win 19 games. Take that one to the bank. And if we suck that bad? We’ll grab a top 3 pick, Phil will be fired, Melo will probably demand a trade to the Clippers for their 1st rounder and JJ Redick probably, and we’ll be alright. See how not trading your picks away is the single most important thing a franchise can do?

    35. If you read the comments to the box score geeks article, one of them says the math is flawed, because not all minutes were allocated to actual players. Correcting that, assuming Rose got better but wasn’t great (WP48 of 0.55) and KP improves to average (WP48 of 1.00) gives 41 wins.

      Knick’s management obviously thinks Rose can be OK as a point guard and it’s not unreasonable to think KP can be average, so WP actually kind of jibes with the Knicks strategy.

    36. My biggest issue with BSG is they have no foresight. Anybody in the advanced stats community knows that the Knicks’ outlook for next season is rough. With a bunch of volume scorers and little scoring efficiency anywhere on the roster, the Knicks are a bad bet to make the playoffs if we’re going by what we saw as recently as last year. My issue isn’t there. My issue is they’re going by Porzingis’ .037 WP48 and projecting him to be a player who makes marginal improvement. To me, that’s extremely stupid. Okay, we know most rookies don’t really improve to become superstars. But Porzingis has already shown you that he can be the best rebounder on court, that he can shoot the three ball at a good rate, and that he can protect your paint with his size. There is honestly nothing about the guy that makes you think he can’t improve. The only thing is his health because that’s one thing you never know about with guys his size.

      He put up that scoring efficiency (.518 TS%/.467 eFG) in the triangle as a rookie. He very rarely got alley oops thrown his way or was he ever used as a P&R dive man. If you ask DeAndre Jordan or Rudy Gobert to swap shot charts with Porzingis what do you think their efficiency would look like? And that’s not to say that Porzingis would be as good a P&R dive man as those guys, it’s that he has a really good chance to bump his efficiency up as he gets stronger and hopefully Hornacek’s offense opens up some easier opportunities for the Zinger. Porzingis isn’t as good as Towns and Jokic and who knows if he ever will be as good as those guys. But for BSG to think he’s a flash in the pan is really stupid to me.

    37. I don’t see any projection there. Just some guy reviewing ONE type of stat from last season, one as un-predictive as any other.

      Science.

    38. 20 percent of KP’s shots came at the rim last season, and he shot a higher percentage of 2-pt jumpers than Melo EVER has in a single year of his career.

      That’s got to change.

      His FTR looks really good when he consider how few of his shots came inside.

    39. Tyler Johnson and Alan Crabbe both had their offer sheets matched by their respective teams.

      Brooklyn gon’ SUCK!!!!!

    40. KP is going to be revolutionary with his face up game as early as this season. He’s just going to be too fast or too tall for bigs while being an absolute terror on defense. KP might be the best defensive player from last year’s rookie class. I’m banking on 21 total wins from Noah and KP, another 7 from Melo, 8 wins coming from Thomas and Lee, maybe 7 between Jennings and Rose, and another five from the rest of the team. That brings us to 48 wins. If any of Justin Holiday, Kyle O’Quinn, Willy Hernangomez, Ron Baker, or Mindy Kuz give us above average basketball we’ll be at 50+ wins. And if one of Rose/Jennings turns out to be an above average guard we’ll be even better. I bet my prediction of 48 wins is closer to what really happens than that 19 wins projection.

    41. Melo 7 wins
      KP 8 wins
      Noah 7 wins
      Lee 4 wins
      Rose 2 wins
      Jennings 2 wins
      O’Quinn 1.5 wins
      Lance 1.5 wins
      Kuz/Sasha/Willy 3.5 wins

      That’s about 38.5 wins, which feels about right to me. Expecting 21 combined wins out of Noah and KP is a lot– that would be a career year from Noah combined with a massive leap from KP.

    42. Last year I had the Knicks down for 43 wins, and I would’ve been right too if it weren’t for that referee and Lance Thomas’ knee.

      I really think our defense is going to be too good to miss the playoffs. Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, Porzingis, Noah, and to a lesser extent Melo and Holiday all should be plus defenders next season with Noah and Porzingis being outstanding players on that end. Offensively, I’m 95% sure Noah, Melo, Rose, KP, and Jennings will post TS%’s and eFG%’s greater than what they did last year due to things like health, Hornacek > Fisher/Rambis (and probably Hoiberg, too), and playing with more talent at the same time. Add to that Boston, Chicago, Indiana, Charlotte (unless Kemba is for real), and Toronto should be a few games worse a piece. I’m optimistic about the Knicks this year, but I was optimistic about the Knicks every year since we signed D’Antoni in 2008. Like every other year other than 2013, the stats didn’t back me up (well, Dalembert and Calderon fell off cliffs in 2015 so whatever). This year is truly a different beast, though. It’s all about health and KP. If everyone has good health, we’ll be okay.

      And again, I’m secretly rooting for the Knicks to suck so we can have a shot at a player in this excellent draft coming up. Harry Giles/Markelle Fultz and KP would be revolutionary, and Hornacek probably survives Phil when Ujiri signs on. So my fandom only loses if we’re mediocre because that means a suckish pick and a meh season.

    43. I’m feeling good about next year. Every guy on the team is a feel good story of some sort. Even Rose, who is clearly capable of sub-lowlife behavior, comes from one of the most dangerous and impoverished parts of Chicago and is trying to overcome career-threatening injury to lift our team.

      I’ll feel the joy and maybe get my guts kicked in if things go as BSG suggests, but no problem, at least I have all the todays until then to believe in my team.

      Remember, nobody believed in the 1999 Knicks either. The 54-win team got eliminated by the Pacers because WoW fave Chandler got destroyed by a journeyman.

      Think big, Knicks fans!

    44. What would you rather see?

      42-40 first round playoff exit
      32-50, 10th pick in 2017
      22-60, top 3 pick in 2017

    45. To be clear, I’m not on board with that BSG prediction. I think both the prediction itself and the method of coming to it are seriously flawed. It is worth pointing out, though, that the Knicks are betting on a lot of guys bouncing back and/or improving, and that’s just to be good enough to have the honor of being Cleveland’s sacrificial lamb. To actually be good? Some pretty unprecented stuff would have to happen. It’s not an approach that inspires a lot of confidence.

    46. Any piece that compares Zinger with Michael Carter Williams has zero credibility

      i dont mind WP as a stat and I thought the same thing. man, what a lame article and what a bone headed comparison.

      What would you rather see?

      42-40 first round playoff exit
      32-50, 10th pick in 2017
      22-60, top 3 pick in 2017

      3rd, easy. PJ getting fired, Ujiri hopefully coming in, Melo hopefully getting traded, Rose not getting re-signed, top 3 pick in what looks like a stacked draft, etc. I’ll only sign onto the first if we get a realistic shot at westbrook by making the playoffs, but our making the playoffs is likely predicated on D-Rose improving from a black hole from which the basketball cannot escape to a league average player, which would, by every indication, result in a fat contract by him. Hard pass.

    47. What would you rather see?

      42-40 first round playoff exit
      32-50, 10th pick in 2017
      22-60, top 3 pick in 2017

      The only downside of the last option is it means Porzingis probably didn’t make the kind of leap we’re all hoping for. Other than that, I think it’s pretty clearly the best thing that could happen to the team’s long term outlook.

      i dont mind WP as a stat and I thought the same thing. man, what a lame article and what a bone headed comparison.

      BSG is great for accessing WP data, but the writing/analysis usually sucks.

    48. the problem with projecting anything north of 42 wins is the fact that a)we have two starters coming off of TWO straight years of massive decline due to injury and that’s when they actually did play and b)half of our roster is occupied by guys who are probably not nba level players….

      i think the best case is noah posting an effective and healthy year and kp making a minileap.. we miss playoffs because rose and thomas were what we thought he was and we end up with the #10 pick which from my estimates is a pretty strong draft position to be in… we nab cp3 and jayson tatum and we threaten 60 wins in 2018….

    49. Apparently the Nets are considering signing Dion Waiters to an offer sheet.

      This seems to be what happens when you stake your offseason on signing RFAs, and you strike out on your top targets.

    50. I figured it out. This is actually a forum for misplaced Sixers fans.

      One possible option conveniently left off the list is 50+ wins, EC champions, and then we beat the Dubs in game 7 on a last second 4 pt play by ROY Ron Baker after a KP rejection.

    51. @58 reub have you seen the highlights of Simmons in SL? If you use the Knicks Optimism Algorithm on the Sixers you get to 50 wins easily, and a championship before the end of the decade.

    52. Weirdly, the boxscoregeeks piece on the Knicks made me more optimistic, rather than less so. They were so eager to pan the Knicks that they didn’t even do the math right and only counted up the winds contributed by 70% of the available minutes. As soon as that was corrected, a much more reasonable number popped up. It still didn’t project the Knicks as real contenders, but it suggests that with just a little luck, the Knicks will be a .500 team again.

    53. This seems to be what happens when you stake your offseason on signing RFAs, and you strike out on your top targets.

      Seems like an odd strategy for Marks coming from the Spurs FO mold. He must be under a bit of pressure from ownership to make a bit of a splash to put forward a somewhat marketable and competitive team so that they don’t look so awful for trading soooooo many 1st round picks. Sounds pretty familiar actually ha ha

    54. I don’t get the logic behind preferring a disastrous season over a successful one. So that Phil gets fired or quits in disgrace? So that we get a potential stud in the draft?

      KP’s development is the single most important component of the team’s future success. For us to suck that badly, he’d either have to get hurt, not develop, or put in a situation where he’d have to carry more responsibility and fail miserably at it. It could mean having Melo and Noah tying up cap space w/o having any value. And there are no guarantees in the draft, or that a better GM would be hired.

    55. I agree that we might as well root for them to do as well as possible, since I don’t think there’s a realistic chance of them being one of the very worst teams in the league. So better to just hope Rose and Noah return to star form and Porzingis takes a huge leap.

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