Knicks Morning News (2016.12.23)

  • [SNY Knicks] Rose leads balanced Knicks past Magic, 106-95
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:20:54 PM)

    Derrick Rose scored 17 points and led six Knicks in double figures as New York defeated Orlando 106-95 Thursday in New York.

  • [SNY Knicks] Anthony’s former coach Karl calls him ‘a true conundrum’ in new book
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 7:45:00 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony’s former coach George Karl called him “a true conundrum” and ripped his defensive effort on the court in a new book called “Furious George.”

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s Game: Knicks vs. Magic
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 6:35:30 PM)

    The Knicks (15-13) welcome the Orlando Magic (13-17) to Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

  • [SNY Knicks] TheKnicksBlog Podcast: Melo Maligned
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 3:15:29 PM)

    Anthony Donahue and Moke Hamilton react to the latest comments from former Nuggets head coach George Karl, who criticized Carmelo Anthony in his book.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks continue homestand against Orlando
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 1:55:43 PM)

    The Knicks continue their homestand on Thursday as the Orlando Magic come to Madison Square Garden.

  • [SNY Knicks] Health of Rose is key to Knicks’ potential climb to league’s elite
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 12:15:43 PM)

    The Knicks can start to make the climb up, but that rests on the health of Rose, which was one of the big concerns coming into the season.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis’ knee OK; Knicks beat Magic
    (Friday, December 23, 2016 12:28:25 AM)

    The Knicks had a relatively comfortable lead Thursday night when things became a little uncomfortable inside the Garden.

  • [NY Newsday] George Karl sounds off on Carmelo Anthony in new ‘Furious George’ book
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 11:40:07 PM)

    George Karl blasted Carmelo Anthony in his new book, ripping the Knicks star’s attitude, leadership ability and addiction to the spotlight.

  • [NY Newsday] Magic coach Frank Vogel says Jeff Hornacek good choice for Knicks
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 8:06:00 PM)

    Frank Vogel interviewed for the Knicks’ coaching vacancy over the summer, but he said they made a good choice in Jeff Hornacek.

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis’ early exit overshadows Knicks’ solid win
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 5:17:44 PM)

    The Knicks routed Orlando on Thursday, 106-95, but whether a Merry Kristaps will go on as planned Sunday no longer is a given. Knicks phenom Kristaps Porzingis limped off the court in the opening minute of the fourth quarter after banging knees with Orlando’s rugged center Nikola Vucevic and left the game for good with…

  • [NYPost] Why George Karl’s Carmelo critiques are so off base
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 4:01:11 PM)

    Amid a wave of anti-Carmelo Anthony fervor in the city during one of the frequent dismal stretches for the Knicks last season — which naturally was all Anthony’s fault — an opposing executive shook his head and laughed. “Let me ask you,” he said, “who leads the Knicks in scoring?” Anthony. “Who leads them in…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo: I’ll answer ‘irrelevant’ Karl digs when I write a book
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 3:34:26 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony said George Karl’s memoir rips are “irrelevant,” he’ll have his say in his own book and claimed he’s not even sure what his former coach means by “conundrum.” “I’m past being disappointed,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ 106-95 victory over Orlando at the Garden. “I hope he just finds happiness in what he’s…

  • [ESPN] Melo on Karl’s criticism: ‘It’s irrelevant to me’
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 6:32:56 PM)

    Melo on Karl’s criticism: ‘It’s irrelevant to me’

  • [ESPN] Stephon Marbury says Knicks tenure was ‘toughest’ stretch in Undefeated interview
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 8:00:48 AM)

    Stephon Marbury says Knicks tenure was ‘toughest’ stretch in Undefeated interview

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis leaves game injured in Knicks’ win over Magic
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 9:21:58 PM)

    For the Knicks there is absolutely no worse visual than Kristaps Porzingis limping as he disappeared into the tunnel

  • [NYDN] Anthony laughs off Karl comments as Knicks beat Magic
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 9:05:30 PM)

    Karl says in his upcoming book, ‘Furious George,’ that trading Anthony to the Knicks was like ‘popping a blister.’

  • [NYDN] George Karl’s personal attacks on Carmelo Anthony a low blow
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 9:05:25 PM)

    Just wait until Phil Jackson writes his book about his time with Carmelo Anthony.

  • [NYTimes] Tragedy Made Steve Kerr See the World Beyond the Court
    (Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:01:03 AM)

    The Golden State Warriors coach draws from the assassination of his father to make sense of a complicated world.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Viselike Defense Adds Teeth to Golden State Warriors’ Buzz-Saw Offense
    (Friday, December 23, 2016 4:00:08 AM)

    Entering Thursday, the Warriors were leading the league in blocked shots and were third in field-goal percentage defense.

  • [NYTimes] Warriors 117, Nets 101: After Spending One Half as Warriors’ Equal, Nets Return to Reality
    (Friday, December 23, 2016 3:52:53 AM)

    The Nets led by 16 points at halftime before a Golden State team without Draymond Green reasserted itself as one of the league’s best.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 106, Magic 95: For Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, a Bad Day Continues Into Night
    (Friday, December 23, 2016 3:58:32 AM)

    Anthony was criticized in excerpts from a book by George Karl, his former coach. He then went out against the Magic and had one of his worst games of the season.

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    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).

    136 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.12.23)”

    1. Man I literally nearly threw up when KP when out of the game. Really looked on TV like a non-contact injury. I was picturing the “should we tank or not” 350 comment thread this morning if he had an ACL or something. Thank everyone and everything that he seems to be fine.

      Nice win for sure, but I still sort of feel like the defense was awful. Open 3’s galore last night for Orlando. It’s possible that was the game plan since they can’t shoot, but still.

      Orlando is another cautionary tale for the “blow it up” club — they got a reasonably decent return for Dwight Howard, had a bunch of lottery picks, and they are completely directionless right now. Hennigan came with a great reputation, spent 4 years each with the Spurs and the Thunder, and honestly has been a total disaster if you ask me. Their big offseason front court acquisitions just got absolutely manhandled by Kyle O’Quinn and Willy Hernangomez.

      Lots of deserved love for KOQ — even though he would be quite valuable on the trade market, I definitely don’t see any trade happening this season — would be a major morale hit to a team that seems to be coming together chemistry-wise. That said, if there’s a major drop-off before the trade deadline, it wouldn’t be a terrible move given Noah is stuck here for a few years, Willy seems to be developing quickly, and that KP will probably play more and more center. For example, I could imagine a trade involving KOQ + Lance to Portland for Harkless and a pick since Portland is overloaded with wings and needs an interior presence.

      And Hernangomez – I have an irrational love for this kid. I was really encouraged/surprised to see him taking 3 3PAs last night – the fact that he’s even allowed to shoot it in a game probably means he’s shooting it really well in practice. This kid is an absolute steal, and we have him at what, 1.5MM/year x 4 years? Gotta give kudos to Phil and Gaines on that pick and contract.

    2. Re: Willy – I don’t think I realized how impressive his stats have been recently. For the year (per-36) he is averaging 15.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.4 blocks on a usage of 19 and TS of 61.4. His major weakness is/was turnovers, but in the month of december (9 games, about 150 minutes) his turnover rate has basically disappeared — from 24.1 down to 6 even as his assist ratio has increased from 11 to 13.

      In fact – and this blew my mind – he is the ONLY rookie in B-R’s database (going back to 1946!) who has averaged per 36 15/12/2 and TS >60. The ONLY ONE. Even if you expand it to all players up to age 26 you only get names such as:

      Kareem Abdul Jabbar
      Charles Barkley
      Shawn Kemp
      David Robinson

      and also one name that should hold special meaning on this board — Jeff Ruland, who was frankly an amazing player until injuries got him – for his career averaged 19p/11r/3a per 36 with TS 61.5 on a 22 usage. Ruruland – aren’t you related to him?

    3. Here’s the B-R link to that Willy HG search — this is for all players regardless of age or years of experience. It really is astounding.

      For those too lazy to link – the names of players in NBA history who have (per-36) averaged 15/12/2 and TS 60+ are:

      Kareem
      Wilt
      David Robinson
      Charles Barkley
      Artis Gilmore
      Shawn Kemp
      Robert Parish
      Arvydas Sabonis
      Jeff Ruland
      someone named Swen Nater in 1978
      Troy Murphy (favorite of Knickerblogger!!)

      and Willy Hernangomez

      btw -out of the 11 non-Willy names, 7 are in the HOF, 1 is Troy Murphy, 1 was derailed by injuries (Ruland), and 2 are on everyone’s list of “best players not in the HOF” (Nater and Rain Man)

      And Willy is a rookie making 1.5% of the salary cap for the next 3+ seasons.

    4. I really enjoyed watching the 2nd units guys play nearly the entire 4th quarter and seal the win. Yeah, Melo and Rose did cameos late, but those guys were excellent together.

      With Willy and OQ both playing so well, there is going to be quite a temptation to trade one of them. I’ve said before that Phil should be looking to just dump LT’s contract on someone if he can. But packaging OQ with LT might yield something nice. Willy should be nearly untouchable at this point.

      Phil may just sit tight and let this team gell. That’ll be fine, but the D is still a problem and Rose’s health will be an issue all season long.

    5. I’m not at all eager to do trades now and mess with a team that’s coming together. I also want a team that has some continuity this year to next year. We have to remember that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

      That said, I think that if the team continues to be good, we will be sellers rather than buyers and we can wait for other teams to come to us. Just looking at the standings, teams that are on the playoff bubble at the trade deadline, perhaps like Detroit, Milwaukee, Washington, Portland and Sacramento, might be looking for help. Phil should wait for the opportunities to come to him, and not go looking at the moment.

    6. Nice win last night!

      I can’t imagine why people are looking to trade anyone right now. I think the team needs to be allowed to continue to build its chemistry. Unless some absolutely steal presents itself, I say we role with what we have.

      By the way, Rose is good for us.

    7. @4 – Clashfan

      Phil may just sit tight and let this team gell. That’ll be fine

      @6 – Clyde’s Suit

      I can’t imagine why people are looking to trade anyone right now

      When did they start allowing rational people to post here?

      I agree that our defense is awful but it’s not “all” the defense. But let’s come clean. The Knicks DRtg is 24th (110.73). But the Knicks are 5th in blocks. The interior defense has been at least average, probably better. Noah, KP and O’Quinn do a good job defending the rim. Further examination reveals something interesting. The Knicks are pretty much average in limiting opponents across the board. All the following are opposing team rank vs Knicks:
      3P: 13th, 3pa: 17th, 3p%: 10th
      2P: 16th, 2pa: 14th, 2p%: 14th
      FG: 15th, FGA: 15th, FG%: 15th
      So where do we suck badly? The free throw line!
      FT: 27th, FTA: 27th, FT%: 17th.
      Also, opponent ORB: 27th.

      So, if we learn to stop hacking-and-whacking we might see a serious improvement in the team overall defensive rating.

    8. KQ should be exhibit A in why we shouldn’t freak out about Noah. This off season people were ready to trade him for a second rounder. Now he looks like maybe the best big man off the bench in the NBA and one of the best values in the league. Of course Noah will never be a great.m value making 18 million but the idea that he can’t get better is ludicrous.

    9. I honestly have felt Noah has been playing better since the first Sacramento game at home. He’s struggled most against Cleveland, GSW and Denver since then, but he looks way more confident and active. He’s starting to at least look to attack the rim when teams lay off of him and if he can hit his free throws closer to his career average we don’t need much else from him on that end. His defense has been more impactful and engaged recently. I thought that in particular he was great in both Sacramento games when he was on Cousins.

      Obviously consistency is the key for him and we’ll need to see it over a longer stretch.

    10. Yeah Noah has played much better recently. It makes such a difference when he can finish a little around the rim and can shoot even 50% from the line. He’s doing a good job moving without the ball, and I kinda feel like the team is looking for him in those situations to try and get him going. KP especially seems to have been passing up shots to throw it into Noah when he has an opportunity.

    11. I do think Noah is playing better, but this is year 1 of a fairly big 4-year contract, and we’re here celebrating the fact that he has not been completely terrible.

      that can’t be good, right?

      I would be perfectly fine with a trade that sent Noah away, specially since Kyle and Willy seem more than able to take his minutes and be much better than him, unless it cost us relevant assets… I sincerely think Willy will be the long-term starter we need, and it would be great to give him increased playing time now to see how he fares… this team has enough experience without Noah to get by.

    12. Who, realistically, will trade for Noah with that contract, that injury history, and these recent production levels? Unless we can sucker Thibs into bringing back his security blanket, I can’t imagine a team in the league taking him on at this price even as a pure salary dump.

    13. yeah that’s the issue, no one really.

      which shows how terrible the contract was in the first place.

      but oh well, let’s move on, I at least hope Horny will give the majority of the minutes do Willy and O’Quinn.

    14. I listened to one of Nate Duncan’s podcasts yesterday and he and his partner had Noah’s ranked as the worst contract in the NBA. You can probably quibble with that, but it’s definitely one of the worst. Good thing we have O’Quinn-I think someone said yesterday that if you count him and Noah together it’s a pretty good deal 2 centers.

    15. @8 as far as the defensive stats I would think lots of blocks + lots of fouls is a result of allowing too much dribble penetration.

    16. I don’t buy for a second Noah is the worst contract in the league. It’s a bad deal for sure, but there’s at least some hope that Noah could be an acceptable starting center if not approaching the elite levels of his peak years in Chicago.

      Evan Turner is a worse contract. Allen Crabbe is a one dimensional spot-up shooter on higher AAV than Noah. Ian Mahinmi has had a surgery on each knee, is getting PRP treatment which will hold him out another 6 weeks and has played a grand total of 14 minutes for the Wizards this season after inking a 4/64m deal. Luol Deng has looked at least as shitty as Noah with the exact same contract. Chandler Parsons has been a permacrock more or less since before signing his 4/94m deal. Kent Bazemore has been complete shit this season after getting 4/70 from the Hawks.

      There are more, but my point is that the guy is actually getting on the floor and has had some good moments for the Knicks that have helped them win games this season. That’s more than you can say for a lot of the guys I listed.

    17. DRed your negativity is such a downer. This team is just scratching it’s potential and yet you are still traumatized by your past.

      We are not trading anyone. Every Knick is untouchable until further notice. No exceptions. We’re too good.

    18. @16 – That might be your guess, and there may be some truth to it. But maybe it’s not?

      Do you know who the top offender is on the team? Don’t cringe: Kristaps Porzingis! He needs to lower his PF/Gm into the 2’s. He has committed 25 more fouls than any other Knick. 40 more than the 3rd worst (Noah).

      Player: TotPF (PF/Gm)
      KP: 105 (3.6)
      Melo: 80 (2.9)
      Noah: 65 (2.6)
      KO’Q: 63 (2.3)
      CLee: 55 (2.0)

    19. As for Noah, is it a surprise that he’s doing better? Not to me. He’s getting healthy. He’s starting to play with rhythm. It’s clear that his hamstring was the biggest issue. Someone (I think it was Geo) brought up the shoulder but I didn’t think so. His range of motion with that shoulder looks fine. But he was not running and jumping like he has in the past.

      No. The contract is bad. That’s water under the bridge. I remain positive about him on the team. If he stays healthy and gets into the flow, I think we’ll have a player that plays closer to his all-star form than we’ve seen so far.

    20. @17

      I kinda agree about Turner, Deng or Mahinmi, but definitely not about Crabbe.

      he’s shooting 42% from 3 and has a .584 ts%, meaning he is doing what he’s supposed to do really well.

      it’not his fault his team is a complete mess.

    21. Nah. KP averages fewer fouls per minute than every other Knick big (Noah/KOQ/Billy). Per game is not helpful.

    22. @21

      The same criticisms of Noah can be levied against Crabbe though. He’s not living up to the expectations of that contract. When you get that type of money you’re expecting more than a guy that’s a spot up shooter, incapable of creating his own offense and is on miniscule usage to boot. His scoring efficiency doesn’t really do enough for them because of how little chance or ability he has to impact the game in that capacity. He’s also an extremely poor defender.

      I do think that a Noah/Crabbe swap is something that could be revisited down the line and a swap of those unsavory contract could be mutually beneficial, but for now it’s probably not in either team’s thinking.

    23. Lavor, while I agree with you in that some of the other contracts are bad, it’s sort of like choosing between the different colors of sh*t. I have hope that Noah plays better than he has (and certainly there are signs), but even if he does, it’s almost certain that years 3 and 4 are going to be really ugly. I guess the Knicks could consider stretch-waiving him if they needs some of that cap room but that’s a big contract to spread out even over 2x+1 years.

      If Phil had any negotiating chops, it would’ve been a 3 year deal with the 3rd year a team option. I highly doubt he was getting anything better than that elsewhere.

    24. Was Hezonja hurt last night? I wouldn’t mind fleecing him from the Magic if it were possible.

    25. @Frank

      I agree, it’s not a good contract, but I firmly believe that he’s been a factor in helping the Knicks win games that they would have struggled to without him, but a lot of that won’t show up in a box score or if it does it’s in ways that don’t stick in the memory the same way a scorching scoring streak will. He’s certainly contributed more to the Knicks than any of the guys I listed and in the case of Mahinmi and Parson has had a much better health record since the ink dried on their respective contracts.

      Also, while I agree the Knicks should have been able to negotiate a more favorable deal, it’s been reported that there was interest in Noah around the league and Rose even said in an interview that Noah had a bigger offer on the table from Washington. If they wanted him that was probably the deal they had to make to get him. I tend to lean towards the thinking that they should have walked away at that point, but whatever, it is what it is at this point.

    26. @23 but man, Crabbe is 24 and is actually shooting better this year than he was last year.

      again, I don’t think it’s his fault that Portland has Lillard + McCollum, two ridiculously high-usage players.

      he’s not been signed to create his own offense, he was signed to do exactly what he’s doing, spot up and hit threes.

      long gone were the days where 17 million a year was superstar money, now teams are paying 17 million for role players with one or two elite skills… Crabbe is a very good 3 point shooter.

      that’s why to me his contract is defnitely better than Noah’s: he’s 7 years younger and has one very good / elite skill, while Noah is simply not doing what he was brought in to do, which was the promise of a very good rebounder / defender and a very efficient scorer in low usages.

    27. @25

      it was a coach’s decision DNP.

      he has been god-awful in the very few minutes he’s had,

    28. Noah has been an excellent rebounder. He’s a major reason why we’re 5th in the league in ORB%. Also, while his help defense isn’t what it once was with more limited mobility, he’s been huge in one-on-one matchups against the better centers we’ve faced like Marc Gasol, Drummond and Cousins.

      Disappointing for sure, but that disappointment imo is detracting from contributions he has made to the team this season.

      he’s not been signed to create his own offense, he was signed to do exactly what he’s doing, spot up and hit threes.

      long gone were the days where 17 million a year was superstar money, now teams are paying 17 million for role players with one or two elite skills… Crabbe is a very good 3 point shooter.

      I know what he was signed to do, and if that’s all he can do it’s really not a good contract. This board has been pretty vocal about how you can find guys like that on the cheap and it was a major reason why the Knicks were really stupid for giving Courtney Lee 4/48m. Crabbe is making close to 19m/yr, not 17m btw.

    29. Lavor, while I agree with you in that some of the other contracts are bad, it’s sort of like choosing between the different colors of sh*t.

      I lol’d.

    30. I would still take a 24 year old very good shooter over an 31 year old intangibles guy every day, I’m sorry, we can agree to disagree.

      and O’Quinn wasn’t god-awful for the Magic, far from it, his numbers were pretty similar to his numbers now with the Knicks… the Magic are just a franchise that makes stupid decisions.

      Hezonja has been truly, amazingly bad tho haha

    31. I would still take a 24 year old very good shooter over an 31 year old intangibles guy every day, I’m sorry, we can agree to disagree.

      I don’t even necessarily disagree with this. I even suggested it’s a trade that could be mutually beneficial in this thread. I don’t particularly think either contract is returning much, if anything in a trade.

    32. I think the reasoning for saying Crabbe’s contract is better than Noah’s is that his age makes that contract easier to move if you had to. They’re both on bad deals.

    33. I would steal Hezonja and throw him into our euro tank and see what comes out.

      I believe he’s only 20 years of age.

    34. I’d much rather have Noah’s deal than Deng, Turner, or Mozgov. Crabbe is closer because he’s so young but I would also prefer Noah’s contract. I might be the only person on this board who if given the choice would amnesty Lee before Noah. Not saying I think the Noah deal is good, but I think his play this year has been decent — not good enough for his contract NPV but better than every player above by a lot.

    35. Hezonja was a kinda sorta decent shooter last year in limited minutes, and didn’t provide really anything else.

      now he’s down to 10 minutes per game and shooting incredibly bad in these minutes, he has a mind-blowing .390 ts%.

      then comes the question, is he not playing because Vogel sees him in practice and thinks “well, this kid is terrible and deserves no minutes”, or is there something else, maybe conditioning issues, behavioral issues?

      I dunno, I would get him if he came for free, but why would the Magic just give him away for free to a conference rival after wasting the 5th overall on him 2 years ago?

    36. The Magic are fucking dumb. They gave away Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris for literally nothing. Hezonja has also had a shitty coaching situation under Skiles, notoriously shitty with rookies, and Vogel, who’s a good coach, but has little patience for defensive failures and has never demonstrated a knack for maximizing his teams’ offensive talent.

      I’d definitely buy low on Hezonja if the price was minimal.

    37. I might be the only person on this board who if given the choice would amnesty Lee before Noah.

      Yes you are the only person who would even for a second consider amnestying the guy leading the NBA in 3P% while playing at least decent defense.

    38. Yeah, Hezonga would be a very interesting get, but I wonder what they’d want. I’ll bet they’d be firm on wanting a #1 pick and a player to match salaries.

      In a vacuum, the Noah deal is definitely bad. However, in context with that of OQ, Willy and even Plumlee all being signed to great value deals, the Knicks are loaded at C and PF for the next 3-4 years at an overall good $.

      I hope Noah can stay healthy, get about 20 min. per game, mentor they young bigs, then be moved in the offseason for wing or PG depth. Tall order, though.

    39. @41
      Actually, there are 2 posters on the board who don’t like Lee at all. I think he’s been fine. Last time I checked, he was pretty much right on his career averages in most areas. What do some expect from him?? He’s a very nice upgrade over Afflalo, too, though that’s not saying much. :-)

      And, his 3 pt. shooting has been lights out. I think he’s been a bit of a disappointment on D (but that could be more of a team thing) but also a bit better of a ballhandler than I thought he was. He had a couple of very nice assists last night, for example.

      His deal is just fine, and he could easily slide in a year or two to a bench role to come in and shoot threes. With KP, Melo, and Rose starting, he’s not gonna score lots of points.

    40. One thing a like about this team is that other than the Suns game, I can’t think of many games I thought they should have won that they didn’t actually win. Mentally, during games I used to wait for them to find a way to lose. Now it feels like they are going to find a way to win. I was very negative on the Rose trade because I thought Lopez was a terrific value and still young and thought Grant would improve (so far not so much), but I think Rose is a big part of winning games. He’s not afraid and can deliver down the stretch. Even when he doesn’t take a shot he’s just a constant threat. You need players like that.

      I loved the Willy Hernangomez signing when we made it. I thought he’d become a decent rotation big with potential to become s starter. Now I’m starting to think he as the potential to become a second tier all star. What a steal that was.

    41. I get why it seems odd to dislike 12m for a guy shooting 48pct from three, but some of that is likely ephemeral. He’s a 38.8 shooter in 1700 tries versus 84 this year. And even when he shoots 100 points above his norm he’s so low volume that it’s only worth 0.7 points per game versus 2.2 when someone like Lowry does it.

      Watching Lee’s defense day to day has been a lot like the Afflalo experience. He seems either worse than I thought he was or was better and is showing signs of age. His effort is very good but I think he’s getting closer to being an outright defensive liability let alone a good defender, and that’s only going to get worse in time. And he’s not good at anything else.

      I don’t think his contract is so bad this year even when his shooting inevitably comes down a bit, but I think when his defense takes another leg down in a year or so he’ll be replacement level.

    42. Frank Ntilikina had an amazing FIBA final against Lithuania, taking home MVP honours for the tournament after he scored 31 points (7 threes). Dude is so lit. I would so trade anyone on this team short of KP to move up to get him in the draft. I just think he’s on his way to becoming an all world defender.

    43. Speaking of disappointing Euros, Mirotic has fallen off the proverbial cliff. I remember during the Carmelo re-signing debate, many were hoping we could get the Bulls to ship us Mirotic as part of a Melo trade. He’d be getting eviscerated right now by Knicks fans and media.

    44. that was the u18 tourney…. ntikilina looks ok but he’s very rough around the edges… and i get dante exum images in my head when watching him play… i think he’s probably going to be one of our targets in the mid first rd…

    45. @d-mar

      I’d consider buying low on Mirotic depending on the price. I think he’s being used totally wrong by Hoiberg in Chicago.

    46. @49

      I find him to be more polished. He can run a PnR well and is improving his game off the ball. The kid will be a defensive stud one of these days. If we can nab him in the mid to late rounds I’d be ecstatic.

    47. Between this

      Also, while his help defense isn’t what it once was with more limited mobility, he’s been huge in one-on-one matchups against the better centers we’ve faced like Marc Gasol, Drummond and Cousins.

      and this

      I think he’s being used totally wrong by Hoiberg in Chicago.

      I’m having Bargnani flashbacks.

    48. Yeah, because Mirotic didn’t shoot 39% from 3 last year and have a 56. TS% over his first 2 seasons in the NBA. He’s much better than the level he’s played at this season.

      Not even going to get into whatever your point is about observing that Noah generally does well defending bigs that like to play out of the post.

    49. On my 2017 draft radar: Ntilikina, Josh Hart, Grayson Allen ( if his stock has fallen), Frank Jackson, Luke Kennard and Shamorie Ponds. I’m sure that there are more Euros out there too. Who would you add?

    50. Mirotic is a perfectly serviceable bench player. His ceiling is a starter on a mid-level playoff team, if you believe that he’s being misused in his current system. He’d probably do better on an motion-based offense like the Warriors, but there aren’t many current NBA players who wouldn’t.

      I’m comfortable talking about how Mirotic has been mismanaged, as long as we don’t start talking about Mudiay or Austin Rivers in the same conversation.

    51. Just that that was a very common argument on this board when trying to justify the Bargs trade.

      I wasn’t actually comparing Noah to Bargs, for what it’s worth; but that’s probably the epitome of damning with faint praise.

    52. I don’t want to see Grayson Allen’s face in a Knicks uniform.

      Some other prospects I Like include Miles Bridges, Jawun Evans, Monte Morris and Nigel Hayes.

    53. @54 I love Shamorie Ponds, I would be very happy if the Knicks took a chance on him… Ntilikina unfortunately for us is looking like a legit star and an elite defender, so he’ll never be available for us.

      I would be very happy with Terrance Ferguson, Rodion Kurucs (KP’s latvian teammate) and Isiah Hartenstein, though me might be too much of a tweener to play alongside KP.

      there’s also Andzejs Pasecniks, who played together with KP as a twin-tower setup in the latvian squad, but he might be too raw.

    54. for the draft the guys to keep an eye on are the aforementioned ntilikina although i’m not sold on him… dennis smith or de’aaron fox who might fall to late lotto or mid first…

      josh hart is one of the most underrated guys in the draft and by the end of it probably in the first round although he’s more a sg like brandon roy…

    55. If the Knicks could get pre-injury Brandon Roy, I don’t think that they should worry about the fact that he’s not a point guard.
      Serious question for the Hezonja fans — why are you so high on him? I’ve never really seen him play much at all, so I don’t have an eye test opinion on him. He put up pretty efficient scoring numbers (but not much else) in very limited minutes in Europe. I remember reading scouting reports that said that he didn’t play much defense and that he had a bit of an attitude problem — one even called him a young JR Smith (and he didn’t mean it as a compliment).

    56. Would anyone entertain trading for Dragic just to avoid having to overpay for Rose’s contract?

    57. @61 not really, I just watched highlights of him and they look pretty good… he’s pretty athletic and has a smooth jumper.

      and yes, I would trade for Dragic if it meant not re-signing Rose for 4-90 or something like that… but the Knicks can’t afford to give away anything Miami would want, I’d say.

    58. and yes, I would trade for Dragic if it meant not re-signing Rose for 4-90 or something like that… but the Knicks can’t afford to give away anything Miami would want, I’d say.

      KOQ+Lance+Rose for Dragic and Winslow.

      Would you do it?

    59. Ntilikina is going to be an NBA stud. We should try everything in our power beyond exchanging KP to trade up and grab him.

    60. @64 hell yeah, not a question… I’m in the minority, but I think Winslow has a high ceiling as a defensive stopper, even though he clearly can’t shoot.

      but I think Miami values him unreasonably highly and would want a 1st rounder added to that trade.

      and I agree on Ntilikina, I’m super hyped for him, Ball and Fultz, I think they all have a good chance to become star players.

    61. We’re going to get a good player I believe in the first round because the draft appears deep. I wouldn’t go crazy to move up unless it’s all the way up and that won’t happen.

    62. Bruno, I agree. I think Winslow will have major value for his defensive ability on the wing regardless of how developed his offensive game becomes. If he even begins to show some consistency as a shooter then he will be a perennial starter.

      Still, I don’t know if I’d add a first rounder to that mix.

    63. Reub, if he’s right out of Prep school, doesn’t he have to wait a year to be drafted?

      And I think that’s too much to give for Dragic and Winslow

    64. RE Dragic and Winslow

      I’ve read that Riley wants to restock draft picks if he makes any deals. Dealing Rose for Dragic + cap filler would give Riley cap relief for next offseason, but I doubt that that would be nearly enough for him. Phil could offer the #1 pick in 2018, but do you really want to start trading #1’s away?

      Rose shows how valuable a penetrating guard can be to the Knicks, but that isn’t really Dragic’s game, though. I like Dragic, though.

      We should all pray that for some bizarre reason Steph Curry still wants to play for the Knicks…
      :-)

    65. I don’t think Diallo woud ever drop to the 2nd round if he declares, he’s just too tantalizing as a prospect… if Thon Maker got drafted #10, someone will take a flyer on a kid this talented.

      and Ras, if the pick was the 2017 1st rounder I wouldn’t do it… unless it’s before the draft and the pick is like the 25th or 26th, then I would think about it, but then Miami wouldn’t do it probably.

    66. @70

      it’s the same loophole that allowed Thon Maker to declare for the draft straight out of prep school.

    67. @70 KnickfaninNJ, the article on Diallo intimates that the league allowed Thon Maker to come right out of prep school so the precedent has been set.

      I don’t know enough about him but if he was deemed talented enough we might be able to get him in the mid to late first round possibly.

    68. and Ras, if the pick was the 2017 1st rounder I wouldn’t do it… unless it’s before the draft and the pick is like the 25th or 26th, then I would think about it, but then Miami wouldn’t do it probably.

      Don’t we have 2 first rounders? I would hate to trade either. KOQ + Thomas + Rose and a 2nd rounder is as high as I would go.

    69. Probably a longshot but I’m still holding out hope for the Trailblazers pick. They have the worst defense in the league and need someone to bolster their frontcourt.

    70. Miami can get more than that for Dragic. He’s playing very well right now.

      I don’t think I’d give up what it would take to get him. Dragic struggled when asked to play alongside other ball-dominant players in Phoenix and Miami. As the third option behind Melo and Zinger he could easily revert to the 14pt 6ast guy he was last year. That’s not worth the $54 mil he’s owed over the next 3 years. And he’s already 30.

    71. I’d be very intrigued by Harrell + a 1st, I think Harrell has nice potential as a hustle guy / rebounder / high efficiency scorer with super low usage.

    72. If I had to choose between Dragic at $54 over 3 and Rose at $67 over 3 I’ll take Rose for the familiarity, cost opportunity, and he’s 2 years younger.

      Derrick Rose is gonna dunk on somebody this year and it will be glorious. Last night showed me he still has enough lift to finish on a fast break and that he’s just being judicious with his burst now. I think we have yet to see the best of Derrick Rose and that he’ll be a good player for most of the time he’s in New York.

    73. If we could draft Hamidou Diallo AND Shamorie Ponds I would scream for joy. Two 19 year old New Yorkers on the Knicks? And Diallo is exactly what the Knicks need; a super athletic wing defender who can and will dunk everything you throw near him. I’d take Diallo in the first round and let him develop in the D League for a year and call him up from time to time. Prep to pro might be more popular for some guys now that the NBA has two way contracts.

      And if we could get Kennard AND Diallo? I’d be declaring the Knicks 2021 NBA champs.

    74. @84 I think that it’s possible that these guys are there when we draft. At least some of them. And it would be a very good environment for these youngsters to grow and develop with seasoned veterans and Hornacek around them.

      How about Kennard, Diallo AND Ponds? Why not dream big?

    75. hahahahaha @83

      I thought I was onto something when I posted til I scrolled up and saw you beat me to it lol. Good stuff

    76. Thon Maker hasn’t gotten on the floor this year. Teams might be gunshy when it comes to spending a lottery pick on a guy who’s a long term development project. He might slip

    77. @89 I agree, but I don’t think that’s the point.

      Diallo is going to get letters from UConn, Kansas, Kentucky… all the top teams in the NCAA.

      he’ll have people working for him on gauging the interest in the NBA, if they find out that teams are not willing to make him at least a lottery pick, like Maker was, why would he declare? If his projection is let’s say, 27th overall, why wouldn’t he go to Kentucky or UConn and be a top 10 or even top 5 pick next year?

      unless he’s really averse to the idea of going to college, which he has said many times he isn’t, there’s no reason ever for him to be a late 1st rounder / 2nd rounder in 2017.

    78. Well he can always declare for the draft and go through the combine and then decide to withdraw and keep his NCAA eligibility.

    79. yeah, exactly… there’s many ways he can gauge interest before having to fully commit, and he’s the number 1 SG prospect in the entire nation.

    80. A lot can change in 12 months though. He can tear an ACL and that could plummet his draft stock. Chances are he’s a top 10 pick regardless but cashing in early isn’t a bad idea.

    81. I’m watching this OKC Boston game and I’m convinced Marcus Smart is the best defender at guard in the league. He’s intelligent, tough, strong, quick, and versatile. I hate that he’s a Celtic so much.

    82. I think they’re looking to move him.

      Giannis in the open court is absolutely terrifying these days. He just threw down a hellacious tomahawk against the wiz

    83. I’m watching this OKC Boston game and I’m convinced Marcus Smart is the best defender at guard in the league. He’s intelligent, tough, strong, quick, and versatile. I hate that he’s a Celtic so much.

      He’s also a complete disaster on the offensive end, TS% .456 and 27% from 3 point range.

    84. yeah, the bucks are becoming my favorite not-knicks league pass team, Giannis is a treat to watch… and this kid Malcolm Brogdon will have a long and nice career.

    85. does anyone know what our 2nd rd pick situation looks like? do we have 2 or 3? i’m looking on the sites but the trade rules are pretty confusing…

    86. You’re very welcome. It’s looking like a fairly late 1st (our own), a mid 2nd (Bulls), and a late 2nd (Rockets).

    87. Marcus Smart is also the league’s most shameless flopper. Barf.

      The hype on Ntilikina is too real at this point. There’s little chance he falls to the Knicks now.

    88. What’s awesome about that OKC win besides, well, you know, the Celtics losing (which is always fun) is that if the Knicks beat the Celtics, they now officially pass them and move into a tie for third in the Eastern Conference with Charlotte (this is how crazy the Eastern Conference is, did anyone here know that Charlotte was now tied for 3rd in the Conference? It’s like #3-10 change dramatically every day).

    89. I bet we could trade up to a late single digit or a mid lottery pick if we package OQ with our pick

      OQ is pretty much the only asset we have besides untradeables like KP and Billy

    90. I don’t get why we’re debating trade scenarios at this point, they’re simply not gonna happen. Enjoy watching this team this year, what you see is what you will get.

    91. I went to the Westchester Knicks game last night and came away a bit surprised. There was virtually nothing separating Plumlee, Baker, and Ndour from any of those D League players. They weren’t the best players on the court for either team. Chasson Randle is almost definitely better than Baker. Even Jordan Crawford was way more impactful than any of the 3. If Crawford was 6′ instead of around 5’4″ or 5’5″ (he’s listed as 5’6″), he’d be an all star in the NBA. He has Nate Robinson type athleticism with a much better shot. He’s simply too short to defend at the NBA level. Randle has to be brought up soon. We can worry about who to release or send down later.

    92. Smart can’t shoot (for now) but he’s a very good defensive player and has a high b-ball IQ. He’s a good guy to have on the floor with ball-dominant Isaiah. He’s sort of like a Noah at the guard position.

      Avery Bradley has really improved his shooting. He might be one of the most underrated players in the league. In your jock defensive guards that can shoot are hard to find.

      The Celts are such a weird team. Every one of their players seems to have a glaring flaw. They grind out wins, but lose to good teams that play well and execute. I can’t see them ever getting past the 2nd round without at least 2 significant additions, and they simply haven’t done much with their draft picks. (how many guards/wings that can’t shoot do you need?!) They are very predictable right now (right at their predicted W-L.) Unless you’re a purist, only Isaiah Thomas is fun to watch. The rest of the team is pretty dull.

      The Knicks, on the other hand, are about inconsistent “stars” who are either spectacular or mediocre-to-terrible (Melo, KP, Rose, even Jennings) and throw bench shit at the wall and see what sticks (KOQ, Kuz, Holiday). The only “boring” guys to me are Noah, Lee and Lance.

    93. Talking about trades is what we need on the internet bro.

      I was really just asking what O’Quinn’s trade value would be. I’m not suggesting we trade him even though we clearly have a logjam at the 5 spot. All of Hernangomez, Noah, and O’Quinn deserve at least 25 MPG and that won’t happen. It’s good to have a bunch of good players at one position, but there’s also a trade to be made when you have the kind of depth we have. O’Quinn has been our best player this year so we actually can’t afford to trade him. His trade value has skyrocketed in the last 30 days, though, and I think that’s interesting.

      I wouldn’t trade him straight up for Rubio right now. He’s a better player on a better contract. I would only trade him for a lottery pick or a young guy. I could see a deal where it makes sense to trade him to Milwaukee in a package deal for Khris Middleton (highly unlikely but O’Quinn is really that good), to GSW for Looney and their 1st round pick, or to Boston for Marcus Smart and some other pieces. That’s the kind of value he has now. A month ago it was probably O’Quinn for Tony Snell we were looking at. That’s amazing progress.

      I’d much rather talk about Shamorie Ponds who doesn’t even seem to be a top 60 prospect despite tearing it up in college ball this year at age 18. If he comes out we have to draft him to add to our collection of hometown heroes.

    94. @106 Obviously Baker didn’t have a great game last night in the D league but he did make 2 threes and had 7 rebounds and 9 assists. He was a minus 22, as was Randle, who had 26 points but 1 assist.

    95. There’s also a young kid that I learned about on RealGM who looks very interesting. This kid is an 18 yr old PG with “lockdown potential” and a versatile offensive game. 6’5″ with a tremendous wingspan playing overseas. He plays like a grown man. Kostja Mushidi.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HarYG2O3cUA

    96. I disagree about the 5 spot. Hernangomez is a very promising rookie on a minimum deal for the next 3 years and O’Quinn has turned into an absolute steal at $4 million for the next 3 years. The only guy it would make sense to trade is Noah, and nobody is taking on that contract unless we package him with sweetener. But under no circumstances not involving a sure-fire stud would I deal either O’Quinn or Willy. I mean, think of it…we’re paying them a combined $5.5 million for the next 2.5 years and you are getting two guys that average 15 and 13 per 36. That’s unheard of!

      I get the infatuation with lottery picks, they are fun! But draft picks are not sure things. And frankly, neither is O’Quinn or Hernangomez, in that I doubt that other teams covet them to the tune of lottery picks. I certainly don’t want GSW’s #30 pick, that’s the least valuable pick out there (#31 comes with fewer strings attached.)

    97. Also, I know that this is projected to be a deep draft, but is it as deep as the 2015 draft? And several players taken in the lottery have shown very little thus far in terms of being stars in the next 2-3 years. Which one of Russell, Okafor, WCS, Hezonja, Mudiay, Johnson, Kaminsky, Winslow, Lyles, Booker, or Payne is guaranteed to be better than Hernangomez, who we picked up in the 2nd round?

      I would hate to ditch an “established” promising young player for the hope of drafting a promising young player.

    98. Looney is younger (20 years old) and playing at a similar or better level to O’Quinn. Admittedly he’s on GS, so his productivity numbers might be inflated, but the skills are there to be an excellent, excellent player. And his contract lasts until 2019, where he then becomes a RFA.

      I love KOQ to death but that contract is a *serious* asset. I’m fine with keeping him, and either way, signing him was the 2nd best move Phil made in his tenure as GM. But we shouldn’t pretend as if he’s untradeable–he could land us an A+ haul. Phil should be sending out feelers all across the league. We could get a bevy of picks for him, or a solid player and a first. We should explore all our options as a team.

      Of course I’d prefer that Noah be traded but that contract is, uh, bottom 5 in the league.

    99. GSW isn’t an ideal trade partner, however. They don’t have their first this year. So there would have to be some kind of contract dump like KOQ + Lance for Looney, McCaw, and a future pick, or something like that. I think that’s a good trade, but I could see why people might balk.

      Our theoretical trade partners would probably have to be from playoff contenders/hopefuls or EC teams that aren’t in our division. That leaves us with teams either like Cleveland/GSW/Toronto, or teams like Denver and NO and Sacramento.

      That being said, there’s probably no KOQ trade happening unless some Godfather offer comes along.

    100. Unless some great offer comes along, it makes more sense to wait until the offseason to move either KOQ or Willy. Five of our 6 guards will be free agents and will need to be replaced. If we can swap KOQ or Willy for a young guard on a good contract it will help balance the roster.

      Right now the roster is pretty balanced though. We’re thick at C but not really thin anywhere, so no need to rush into a trade.

    101. Of course, if we can deal Noah instead, even if it means giving up an asset to get rid of him, we should. If his contract looks bad now, just watch as he ages. It could get real ugly real fast.

    102. You think Kidd and Milwaukee would be short-sighted enough to trade us Middleton? To be honest, O’Quinn and the NBA leader in 3PT% might be too hefty a price in the short term to trade for him, and we haven’t even seen him play post injury. Rose, Middleton, Melo, Porzingis, and Noah would be a tough starting five to pass up on at full strength, though.

    103. Would the Wolves consider Noah/Jennings/two 2nd rounders for Rubio/Pekovic? Can I dare to dream?

    104. No. We need our second rounders to draft Hart, Ponds, Grayson Allen, Mushidi or anyone from Latvia.

    105. I don’t see why the Knicks would trade KOQ. We need two productive Cs. Noah is too likely to break down or disappoint to leave us with just Hernangomez and Plumlee. The best trade candidate is Noah, but I can’t imagine Noah being traded after he took a bit of discount to come here and due to the connection with Rose. I think the Kicks are going to stand pat unless they can move Lance Thomas.

    106. KP could always be the back-up 5 like Gasol was in LA. Noah, Hernangomez, and KP isn’t bad depth at the 5.

    107. I agree that O’Quinn has trade value and if we can pull a heist, we should. Just not sure that any team will covet him as much as we might think. If Looney (WS48=.216) is that good, why would GS trade him for O’Quinn (WS48=.167), who on paper is no better than Zaza (WS48=.170) and maybe not any better than McGee (WS48=.174).

      O’Quinn’s main value is his contract. Zaza and McGee combined are making less than $1 million more than O’Quinn. It would be colossally dumb for them to deal Looney plus a pick to us.

    108. Noah took a bit of a discount????? He is one of the most overpaid players in the NBA right now!

      I read somewhere yesterday that Noah had a better offer on the table from Washington, but took less money to come to NY and leave a little extra cap space.

    109. KP could always be the back-up 5 like Gasol was in LA. Noah, Hernangomez, and KP isn’t bad depth at the 5.

      He may ultimately play C and I personally like KP/Melo at the 5 and 4 respectively, but I think it only works well in spots.

    110. I read somewhere yesterday that Noah had a better offer on the table from Washington, but took less money to come to NY and leave a little extra cap space.

      For whatever it’s worth, the Wizards denied that rumor right away, so who knows what’s true there.

    111. Whether the Wizards were even stupider than we were in overpaying Noah is irrelevant. If we get a chance to move Noah, we should, in a heartbeat.

      KOQ, Willy, and Zing are plenty good enough to be our C rotation for the next 2 seasons.

    112. Whether the Wizards were even stupider than we were in overpaying Noah is irrelevant. If we get a chance to move Noah, we should, in a heartbeat.

      It’s not going to happen. You can tell from Phil’s commentary that he puts some weight on keeping players happy even when he trades them. Noah wants to be NY. There’s a relationship between Noah and Rose. Noah is not getting traded unless they’ve decided to move on from Rose and Noah is unhappy in NY.

    113. One of the best thing about KOQ may also be the worst thing when it comes to trade and that is his low salary. Since the knicks are over the cap if they want a player back it is unlikely they are going to get similar value as Koq at a different position.

    114. i dunno why ppl want to trade koq… his ws48 is .167 in his age 26 year… nobody else on this team is even sniffing that… including KP…. would you trade koq straight up for derrick favors? last year a no brainer… this year.. not so much…

      these are the kinds of guys you keep esp given that getting equal value is going to be hard when so few teams are looking for big men…

    115. Right now I don’t think there’s any harm in seeing how far this roster can get. Tomorrow’s game is certainly a litmus test. I think 50 wins and everybody keeps their jobs. In that event I extend Derrick Rose (but not at any figure.) 50 wins is good not great. How do you go from good to great? Tough to say. I see a ton of teams trying to go from bad to great, though, and that is not necessarily working. Look at the other teams with high picks in 2015, LAL, PHI, MIN. We’re better than them.

      If we beat the Celtics tomorrow it’s a major story. We’ll be shedding the mediocre team narrative. If it all goes to hell we have a higher pick and some cap space to remake the roster in a more fundamental sense. This team still has a lot to prove to me but I’m enjoying what I’m seeing, especially Hern and O’Quinn. Certainly, we should hold our cards at this point.

    116. The big thing for me is we have 4 guys on the roster who can play good ball at the center and I generally like trades. I probably wouldn’t want to trade him for anything short of a lottery pick or Khris Middleton, but it’s fun to talk about.

    117. Has anyone seen JR’s response video to Karl’s comments? It was pretty thoughtful.

      Oh..and Happy Holidays everyone! For me- with burying one parent on my 21st birthday and losing the other earlier this year- I feel kinda displaced during the holidays. But that’ll never stop me from wishing smiles and good times for others- plus I celebrated Festivus on Friday with the airing of grievances at work lol. IT WAS GLORIOUS! lolololololol

      Back to serious- hug your loved ones tight and tell em u love em as often as you can. It’s looking more and more that the world is losing its collective mind faster each day. Crazier than a Phil Jackson tweet?

      Happy Holidays yal!

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