Knicks Morning News (2017.02.02)

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks bench key comeback win over Nets
    (Thursday, February 02, 2017 12:17:54 AM)

    On paper, it will go down as a win against the worst team in the league — a come-from-behind effort sparked by Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks bench. In reality, it was a frantic effort to avoid complete humiliation at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets, who spent three quarters running circles around their floundering big brothers.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis returns from illness to rally Knicks
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 11:41:41 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis was back from his bout with a stomach illness, and was a big part of a unit that made sure the whole team wasn’t feeling sick after last night’s game.

  • [NY Newsday] Nets deliver on defense . . . until Knicks run away in fourth quarter
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 11:03:48 PM)

    Nets coach Kenny Atkinson followed through on his recent vow to reward good defense with more playing time when he inserted rookie Isaiah Whitehead and second-year player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson into the Nets’ starting lineup against the Knicks Wednesday night at Barclays Center. The question now is whether it was a firm step toward the future or just another spin in their game of roster roulette.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks still trying to deal Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love, report says
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 10:06:32 PM)

    The Knicks apparently are being persistent in their efforts to move Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis’ triumphant return to Knicks was much needed
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 8:40:03 PM)

    The second-year forward has missed eight games this season due to injury or illness.

  • [NYDN] Willy Hernangomez continues to prove worth for Knicks
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 8:38:38 PM)

    The Knicks are getting a boost at center but it’s not from their $72 million investment.

  • [NYDN] Porzingis clutch as Carmelo sits late in Knicks’ win over Nets
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 8:36:57 PM)

    How about this for a turn of events: Carmelo Anthony was benched, Sasha Vujacic contributed, and the Knicks actually won.

  • [NYDN] Carmelo Anthony has played better while on trading block
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 3:18:16 PM)

    A funny thing happened when Carmelo Anthony stepped on the trade block.

  • [NYDN] Carmelo: Impact on family will factor into trade decision
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 7:18:58 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony revealed on Tuesday that any decision about his future in New York will come down to family first.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks Subdue Last-Place Nets for a Needed Win
    (Thursday, February 02, 2017 4:06:12 AM)

    As trade rumors continued to swirl around their star, Carmelo Anthony, the visiting Knicks stayed within striking distance of the East Conference playoff pack by coming back to top the Nets.

  • [SNY Knicks] Vujacic feels ‘alive’ again after performance against Nets
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 11:53:58 PM)

    Knicks guard Sasha Vujacic scored a season-high 12 points for the Knicks on Wednesday night and was a key factor in the team’s comeback over the Nets.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks use late rally to beat Nets, 95-90
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 10:11:09 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and joined a group of mostly substitutes who led a big fourth-quarter turnaround that carried the New York Knicks to a 95-90 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Rose out, Porzingis expected to play against Nets
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 6:18:02 PM)

    Guard Derrick Rose will sit out while Kristaps Porzingis is expected to play Thursday against the Nets, head coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks remain interested in dealing Melo to Cavaliers
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 4:15:11 PM)

    The Knicks remain interested in trading Carmelo Anthony to the Cavaliers, despite the fact that Cleveland refuses to include Kevin Love in a potential deal.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s Game: Knicks at Nets
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 5:17:33 PM)

    The Knicks take on the Nets at Barclays Center on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.

  • [NYPost] This game shows harsh reality of pro basketball in New York City
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 10:55:42 PM)

    The bounce was from a better time, a prosperous time, a time when dark clouds didn’t follow the Knicks around everywhere they wandered. If your basketball memory goes back that far, 18 years, that was what you saw when you saw Kristaps Porzingis get the shooter’s bounce with 32 seconds left. Front rim. Backboard. Bucket….

  • [NYPost] ‘I wasn’t shaking anymore’: Kristaps Porzingis comes up big
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 7:58:02 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis came back in a big way. After sitting out Tuesday’s loss in Washington with an illness, Porzingis returned Wednesday and led all scorers with 19 points in the Knicks’ 95-90 victory over the Nets at Barclays Center. “I woke up this morning, and I wasn’t shaking anymore,” said Porzingis, who said he played…

  • [NYPost] Cavaliers interested in Carmelo — but not for Kevin Love
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 6:34:57 PM)

    The latest round of Carmelo Anthony-related reports, rumors and news offered a reaffirmation of a previous situation. ESPN reported the Cavaliers, though interested in forming an Anthony-LeBron James alliance and despite repeated advances from the Knicks, are adamant about not trading Kevin Love. Naturally, all that can change if the defending champion Cavaliers, who visit…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo benched in fourth as Knicks barely beat pitiful Nets
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 5:18:21 PM)

    There were sights and scenes which, even for a Knicks-Nets game, caused double takes. There was slop. Lots and lots of unbelievable slop. There were two four-point plays by the Knicks, which never had happened before in the same Knicks game — and making that even more asterisk worthy, came from the same guy, Sasha…

  • [NYPost] The wild, original version of the Carmelo trade soap opera
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 1:33:14 PM)

    If you remember what it was like in that late spring of 1977, then there probably has been more than a whiff of déjà vu at the way this has all gone down between the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony. Because back then, 40 years ago, the will-they-or-won’t-they that consumed New York was overwhelming. Remember, 1977…

  • [NYPost] Is Carmelo Anthony staging his own trade audition?
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 7:52:15 AM)

    WASHINGTON — Is Carmelo Anthony trying to enhance his trade value to other teams with subliminal messages? Anthony is on a potent surge, averaging 30 points in the past seven games. Better yet, he has shot 48 percent or better in six of the seven games. In his one bad shooting game during that run, an 8-of-26 night…

  • [NYPost] The legends, feuds and fights that make Knicks-Nets matter
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 7:05:00 AM)

    There were times when the Knicks playing the Nets generated real excitement in the city. Knicks fans flooded Nets home arenas to cheer their team. Nets fans watched road games in bars because they couldn’t get tickets at the Garden. So when the out-of-the-playoff-picture Knicks visit the really-out-of-the-playoff-picture Nets on Wednesday night at Barclays Center,…

  • [ESPN] Thursday’s Knicks News: Porzingis shines in win over Nets
    (Thursday, February 02, 2017 4:47:22 AM)

    Thursday’s Knicks News: Porzingis shines in win over Nets

  • [ESPN] Latest turn for Carmelo Anthony is cheering during the fourth quarter
    (Thursday, February 02, 2017 1:21:03 AM)

    Latest turn for Carmelo Anthony is cheering during the fourth quarter

  • [ESPN] Rose (ankle) sits again as Knicks beat Nets
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 6:40:28 PM)

    Rose (ankle) sits again as Knicks beat Nets

  • [ESPN] Sources: Knicks still after Love; Cavs stand firm
    (Wednesday, February 01, 2017 3:40:06 PM)

    Sources: Knicks still after Love; Cavs stand firm

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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).

    207 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.02.02)”

    1. Here’s some good news: Willy’s WS/48 is up to .118 which ranks him SECOND among all rookies having played more than 500 minutes, just after Embiid at .125. The next player after Willy is Abrine at .084. Link (BTW any chance OKC would deal Abrines for Lee/Holiday? It works in the trade machine. Maybe add Kuz to deal?) Also Kris Dunn is minus .004 so I don’t think Thibs would be eager to let Rubio go unless he’s getting a decent replacement and he probably would wait to sign Rose this summer if he’s still got faith in him to be a transitional starter until Dunn or Jones is ready. It’s a shame because Rubio at a minimum could have been our nice transitional 1 guard if we drafted a top PG prospect and an insurance policy if we strike out in that regard.

      Here’s the bad news: Willy’s .118 WS/48 is greater than KP’s .112. Even though it could hurt the tank, I’d like KP and Willy to play a lot of minutes together and hope that KP could finish in Dirk/Pau end of 2nd year territory at .130.

    2. Seems most likely we are not going to trade Melo before the deadline. There just aren’t enough suitors out there with anything to give — Cleveland is not going to give up Kevin Love, and the Clips literally just have nothing to offer. Ainge only makes trades that are wildly one-sided on his side, and so there just isn’t a suitable partner right now. This summer seems more likely — would probably net us some better offers with more cap space out there (and LAC no longer hard-capped), and probably would be more palatable for Melo from a family perspective.

      Great to see Sasha kill it last night when given the opportunity. by the way – if you take ALL players who have played in >25 games, Sasha literally has the lowest (best) DRtg in the league at 93.7. What’s most notable about that admittedly obscure stat is that pretty much anyone around him on that list is on a fantastic defensive team — of the top 13 players on that list, 10 are on one of the top 5 defenses in the league (SA, Utah, GS, Atlanta, Memphis) — the other 3 players are Sasha, Bogut, and Chris Paul. And Sasha’s DRtg is about 5 points better than either Bogut or Paul (smaller sample size too of course).

      And in the Knicksiest on/off stats ever — our offense craters when Rose or Melo are off the floor (Knicks ORtg with them off-court is 100.7 and 101.6 respectively) . Rose and Melo also are tied for 3rd worst on the team in on-court defensive rating (110.5). Classic one-way Knicks basketball.

    3. Sasha’s great DRtg is certainly due to his playing time against 2nd and 3rd units. He would be torched by starters.

      BUT

      He knows a lot about correct defensive positioning. I mean, I barely tolerate the guy since he has such an annoying face and demeanor, but it’s clear he has nice basketball brains. If you asked me, I’d fire Rambis right now and appoint Sasha as defensive coordinator.

    4. Am I the only one who’d like (maybe especially for the lulz) to see a whitewash Sasha-Ron-Kuz-Willy-KP quintet battle against the big boys? I’d watch them scramble around like there’s no tomorrow with such joy.

      EDIT: if you put Marshall instead of KP you have the ultimate white guys lunchpail team.

    5. (BTW any chance OKC would deal Abrines for Lee/Holiday? It works in the trade machine. Maybe add Kuz to deal?)

      Yeah but I mean, why? Abrines is like a slower version of Rudy Fernandez. If it is to shed Lee’s contract, I’d prefer a first. If it is to improve, I don’t think it can be done this way.

    6. Seems most likely we are not going to trade Melo before the deadline.

      That does seem to be the indication that they’re giving off, but hopefully it is just a smoke screen.

      Here’s the thing, no one knows what Jackson is really thinking. Noone. I mean, we know general stuff like that he’s not thrilled with Melo on the team, but that’s about it. We don’t know if he can deal Melo and we don’t know what kind of return he’s looking for besides pie-in-the-sky stuff like, “Okay, I guess I’ll take Kevin Love if you really want Melo.” He might be looking to retool rather than rebuild. He might be looking to gut the team. He might not make a trade at all.

      Until a deal happens (or doesn’t happen) we won’t know what Jackson is truly thinking. While that is a bit annoying, at least it gives us room to hope for the best case scenarios. :)

    7. I do find it at least evident that Phil wants that Nets pick the Celtics have. Its the reason why Ainge has complained via sources that the Knicks are asking too much and the reason why he insists upon trading Melo for Love. If we were retooling Love would not be the player we’d be looking for but a bunch of guards we could play with KP and Willy.

    8. Fantasy basketball boards are blowing up with Billy discussion. Wins are obviously not ideal, but I can certainly say I had a huge smile on my face seeing Billy go to work in the 4th quarter. Add a young PG to the foundation that is Billy and KP and we may be looking at something we can be proud of.

    9. @1

      Wow, that’s really good stuff. Willy has been supersolid for us. Would love to see him and KP finish that .120-.135 WS/48 area. Of course, it would also mean they probably play less than 24 minutes apiece.

    10. Add a young PG to the foundation that is Billy and KP and we may be looking at something we can be proud of.

      Me. Must. Have. Lonzo. Ball. Dude will enhance this team big time.

    11. All reports make it seem like Phil wants to trade him by the deadline. I think it comes down to Melo accepting a trade.

      Wether we get a Melo trade or not, I’d be really disappointed if we didn’t manage to acquire another 1st rounder

    12. Willy Hernangomez is starting to remind me of David Lee when he first came up. He rebounds well on both ends, is efficient around the basket, and can score with either hand. The good news is that he’s bigger, stronger, has more range than Lee had at this stage, tries hard on defense even if he’s not quite there yet, and is probably a better passer than Lee was at this stage (though Lee got much better). I don’t see why this kid’s upside in not marginal all star.

      Our long term front court is set.

      Add a lottery pick, get one good young player for Melo, add a young free agent (Jrue Holiday comes to play with his brother?), and the Knicks will have a team we can root for.

    13. I still think the deal that makes the most sense is Melo to the Cavs, Love to the Celtics, and the Celtics figure out a way of dispersing their nuclear arsenal of assets so the Cavs get more than just Melo and the Knicks get assets geared more towards the long term future.

      The Celtics have been after Love for a few years. This is clearly the way for both the Kicks and Celtics to get what they want. All they have to do is make the Cavs happy that they are getting back enough for Love.

      GET IT DONE!

    14. @13

      a 3 way trade would work best for all parties involved–I think it’s just a matter of getting Lebron to cut bait on Love, because every other party would jump at the opportunity

    15. Any trade of Anthony that does not bring back a 2017 lottery pick and a young up-and-coming player is a non-starter. With the no-trade clause and the difficulty of matching his salary, I can’t see anyone pulling the trigger.

    16. Willy Hernangomez is starting to remind me of David Lee when he first came up. He rebounds well on both ends, is efficient around the basket, and can score with either hand. The good news is that he’s bigger, stronger, has more range than Lee had at this stage, tries hard on defense even if he’s not quite there yet, and is probably a better passer than Lee was at this stage (though Lee got much better). I don’t see why this kid’s upside in not marginal all star.

      Willy Hernangomez – better DRPM and DRtg than Marc Gasol, despite being on a vastly inferior defensive team.

      I don’t know why we think “marginal” all-star.
      He compares favorably to Gasol’s rookie year despite being 2 years younger: http://bkref.com/tiny/ZQSDa

      His combination of scoring efficiency+usage, rebounding, and passing is extremely rare – if you look at ALL players in B-R’s database up to age 24 season who had TS>57, usage>19, TRB>20, and AST% >9, you come up with only Willy, Barkley, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Love. And he’s the only rookie in NBA history to hit those marks. Even if you lower those standards to TS 55 and USG 18, it’s just Willy…. and Charles Oakley who hit those marks as rookies.

      If you expand it to all non-rookies, it’s basically HoFers or extremely good players – Barkley, Kemp, Parish, KG, DH12, Cousins, etc.

      his defense has already improved a ton just this season despite his limited minutes. He’s shown some 3 point range. I don’t know why Willy and KP might not be the best front court in the NBA within a few years, with both making the All-Star game regularly.

      Re: the Melo trade – let’s do this:

      NYK get: Amir Johnson, Tyler Zeller, Marcus Smart, Nets pick
      BOS get: Kevin Love, KOQ
      CLE gets: Melo, Terry Rozier

      in one fell swoop the Knicks get the draft pick and young player we need, Boston gets their star + defense+rebounding+rim protection, Cleveland gets Melo and a backup PG who defends

    17. @15 The Knicks are not getting back both a lottery pick and a young up and coming player for a 32 (soon to be 33) year old player that is a negative on defense, can’t finish as well as he used to, can’t be productive on a back to back, has been overrated his entire career, and is getting paid a ton of money.

      Quite honestly, if the Knicks just got back expiring contracts they would have won the deal (not advocating it, just sayin). Whatever they put into that cap space would be better as long as they didn’t doing anything stupid like the Noah deal.

    18. Willy’s post up game is way more developed than Lee’s, who I still don’t think has one legit move in the post to this day. I also love the way Willy can run a half court offense from the pivot. He has that wonderful passing/play making ability many Euro centers like Divacs, Gasol, Jokic, etc. show of seeing the play develop and hitting the open cutter/shooter.

      Watching all of the feints, fakes, and pivots in his low post repertoire makes me wonder why KP never picked any of that up in Sevilla practicing with his buddy. Then it hits me that the body types are just too different. KP’s higher center of gravity will never allow him to be as nifty or subtle in the post as Willy does when he put the ball down multiple times to reposition himself down in confined space. I really think KP should look to a guy like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a post up scorer who leveraged his height advantage to shoot over guys down low with just one or two dribbles and a hook within 10 feet of the basket.

    19. I would trade Melo to the Clips for Rivers, Reddick and a future first and then move Reddick for a first this year. I’d throw in Courtney Lee to accomplish this. We’d probably have to take Crawford back but we could rid ourselves of his contract after next season. Bottom line is that we must rid ourselves of Melo.

    20. To say Willy rebounds well is a disservice to how amazing he is on both ends. He had 7 offensive rebounds and 9 defensive rebounds in 25 minutes last night. That’s stupid as shit.

    21. I like Frank’s trade proposal better than Silky’s. Cleveland is going to want a playmaker/backup PG for when Lebron and Kyrie are resting on the bench. Giving them Terry Rozier would fit that role.

    22. No homer: I would rather have Willy/KP than any two combination of Embiid, Noel, or Okafor. In my opinion, there isn’t anything Okafor can do that Willy can’t.

    23. there just aren’t that many other potential destinations for melo…. the clips probably are probably less interested in the offseason unless griffin goes and cp3 stays…. boston will be able to pick one of the top prospects and can move on…

      besides them who else could pop up? i doubt there will be a mda/melo reunion in houston…. i doubt SA would be interested… toronto is a no…. i imagine so is memphis…

      the only other possible destination might be washington…. they have all their picks… they have oubre and morris and mahinmi to make the contracts work… i doubt melo accepts a trade there also but i think it’s better than toronto or memphis….

      aside from that there’s no where…. so if a deal doesn’t get done at the deadline.. i would expect melo to be here until at least his contract runs out….

    24. @17 Melo being overrated is the reason why we would get back assets for him. It doesn’t matter what we(a stats oriented blog) think about his value. He has star power and most importantly connections with two of the best players in the world(LBJ,CP3).

    25. Okafor’s numbers look quite shite. Billy over Okafor is a no brainer. And ditto to what Frank said @16 – there’s no reason to sell Billy short as a potential “marginal” all star. He can be so much more. Hopefully, I’m not getting too ahead of myself.

    26. I don’t know why we think “marginal” all-star.

      I was trying to temper my enthusiasm, but I like the way you think. :-)

    27. Watching the game last night made me wonder about a couple of things concerning KP:
      1. This one probably makes me even dumber than I look, lol. KP is too talented for many to realize he’s still at the beginning of developmental stages. I say this because he tends to look to pass at awkward times, and those passes tend to not be a positive in the flow ofvthe offense more times than not. So I wonder if this is due to his own inability to put everything together at such an early point in his growth or is PF truly not his real position? Which leads me to the second wonder..
      2. Can we start both he and Willy up front and have KP play the 5 offensively and the 4 on defense? Willy only weighs around 240-245, so it’s not like he’s a giant lumbering up and down the court. He should be able to take advantage of his strength and skillset against opposing 4’s the way KP can agains opposing 5’s. Also, while alot of people see alot of Marc Gasol in Willy, I see it a little differently. I see more Duncan than Gasol. Of course he’s not as far along on defense as Duncan was at that stage, but offensively- he reminds me alot of him. Defensively at this stage, he’s reminiscent of Marc Gasol though. That’s extremely high praise, and I don’t expect him to become Duncan, but he does remind me of him.

    28. The Knicks are not getting back both a lottery pick and a young up and coming player for a 32 (soon to be 33) year old player that is a negative on defense, can’t finish as well as he used to, can’t be productive on a back to back, has been overrated his entire career, and is getting paid a ton of money.

      Quite honestly, if the Knicks just got back expiring contracts they would have won the deal (not advocating it, just sayin).

      Finally!

      Somebody with a sense of reality!

      Most days here are bizarrely delusional: for the past few days, Cleveland trades Love and picks for Melo! Today is the beginning of Hernangomez’s reign: he is better than Marc Gasol! All sorts of stats will be produced to prove that he is all star material but he can’t even start on one of the worst NBA teams.

      Porzingis has lost his luster: he’s no longer the all-time great that regulars were projecting until a few weeks ago. Some even want to trade him for a couple of picks!

      I’ll just sit back and enjoy how Hernangomez becomes Duncan by late afternoon…lol…

    29. @17 Melo being overrated is the reason why we would get back assets for him. It doesn’t matter what we(a stats oriented blog) think about his value. He has star power and most importantly connections with two of the best players in the world(LBJ,CP3).

      I don’t think anyone thinks Melo is worth a good young player and a lottery pick anymore. I understand the point though. If others think he’s better than we do, we should try to get whatever we can.

    30. The Knicks are not getting back both a lottery pick and a young up and coming player for a 32 (soon to be 33) year old player that is a negative on defense, can’t finish as well as he used to, can’t be productive on a back to back, has been overrated his entire career, and is getting paid a ton of money.

      @17 – Actually, you’re agreeing with me. The only way I make a trade is if that’s what we’re getting back. We gave up 4 players including Galanari (who at the time was a “young up and coming player”), a 1st round draft pick and the rights to swap a 1st round pick for Melo.

      What I’m saying is that we should not make a trade.

      @30 – I just saw your post. So an edit.
      If we keep bashing him and begging people to take him, you’re right. But that’s not the truth. Look what the Nets gave up for 2 guys at the very end of their career. A sucker is born every day.

    31. Cleveland made it official some time ago: they are NOT interested in Melo. Why should they when Love is younger, better and cheaper?

      Boston is not one Melo away from contention, so they will not mortgage their future for nothing.

      Odds are Melo will stay a Knick or they will be the ones sweetening the pot.

    32. @17 – Actually, you’re agreeing with me. The only way I make a trade is if that’s what we’re getting back. We gave up 4 players including Galanari (who at the time was a “young up and coming player”), a 1st round draft pick and the rights to swap a 1st round pick for Melo.

      What I’m saying is that we should not make a trade.

      Besides the rather obvious fact that 26-year-old Melo was a lot better of an asset than 32-year-old Melo, past mistakes are, well, in the past. They shouldn’t keep themselves from making a deal that would benefit the future of the team just because they made a shitty trade six years ago. Similarly, just because the Nets made an awful trade doesn’t mean that that is the standard you should expect on all other trades. In fact, the fact that the Nets trade did turn out so poorly for the Nets is the main reason why teams like the Clippers are likely less willing to deal future firsts.

    33. Just because the Nets made an awful trade doesn’t mean that that is the standard you should expect on all other trades. The fact that the Nets trade did turn out so poorly for the Nets is the main reason why teams like the Clippers are likely less willing to deal future firsts.

      Amen.

      Should be the first post on every thread.

    34. Brian,
      I’m really not against a trade but I’m against a trade that brings us nothing. So no trade is better than a bad trade. Get me a lottery pick and I’ll be satisfied. No pick, no trade.

    35. I just don’t see a realistic scenario where they get a 2017 lottery pick. They’re constrained too much by the NTC. I think that they can get at least one future first rounder, and possibly even two if the Clippers get desperate, and I think that is as good of a return as you can hope for (as both of those picks could be theoretical lottery picks). I’d love for them to get a 2017 lottery pick, as well, but the only 2017 lottery pick even theoretically available between the three teams that the Knicks seems to be talking to is the Nets first rounder, and that just doesn’t seem to be likely to be available.

      The funny thing is that the hold-up is that the Nets pick is too valuable. It’s hilarious that if it were a worse pick (like if it were likely to be the #7 pick) they’d be more likely to be able to get it! :)

    36. Who was that dude who saw Jonathan Isaac in person last night? I saw he had a very efficient 15 points in 25 minutes with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and a block.

    37. If we had another mid-late first in addition to a top(let’s say 10) pick, would you pick Anunoby if he were available?

      Assuming we didn’t draft a SF with the lottery pick.

    38. Boston would be a great place for Melo, because they can get him without hurting their future. You might have to get a 3rd team involved, but you’d be aiming to get some cap relief in the next 2 years and some of their lesser firsts-Boston’s next year and the Grizzlies pick. Something like that. It’s not a great haul, but it’s better than just keeping Melo.

    39. @39

      Why would we pick Anunoby? Its unclear if he’s even going to enter the draft and if he does the projection is that he goes late first round due to his injury.

    40. Boston would be a great place for Melo, because they can get him without hurting their future. You might have to get a 3rd team involved, but you’d be aiming to get some cap relief in the next 2 years and some of their lesser firsts-Boston’s next year and the Grizzlies pick. Something like that. It’s not a great haul, but it’s better than just keeping Melo.

      I actually meant to mention the Memphis pick. I agree that that is a more likely acquirable asset. And it’s likely the best pick that they’d be able to get in the near future (the 2021 and 2023 Clipper picks could be great picks, but I can see preferring to get a pick earlier than later, plus, of course, the whole “Clippers are likely super wary about dealing first round picks that far in advance).

    41. @39

      Why would we pick Anunoby? Its unclear if he’s even going to enter the draft and if he does the projection is that he goes late first round due to his injury.

      Well, he mentioned mid-late first.

      I’d be down with Anunoby because it’s not like the Knicks’ timeline is being competitive next season anyways, so they can wait on a guy who would have been a lottery pick if healthy.

    42. The funny thing is that the hold-up is that the Nets pick is too valuable. It’s hilarious that if it were a worse pick (like if it were likely to be the #7 pick) they’d be more likely to be able to get it! :)

      Which makes me wonder if we should just hold onto Melo and deal him to Boston on draft night.

    43. Well, he mentioned mid-late first.

      I guess. He would make our front court defense so much better.

    44. Has Anthony actually indicated he will go along with any trade to anyplace?

      “That’s more about what I care about,’’ Anthony said after Knicks shootaround at Verizon Center on Tuesday. “My family, my son being comfortable in New York at an age now where he gets an opportunity to understand being in New York, having a home here, having friends here, my wife working there, having opportunities there.

      “I think about that more so than my decision for my career. At the end of the day, it will come down to my decision, but I think more about what my family is thinking, what they’re going to go through if anything was to happen.”

    45. Has Anthony actually indicated he will go along with any trade to anyplace?

      Has he indicated he won’t?

    46. I still think we won’t trade Melo because he doesn’t want to go anywhere else, but we can’t know that.

    47. If he was staying, why not unequivocally say, “I’m staying.”?

      He holds all the cards, it’s easy to do, and it ends the same line of questioning that he seems tired of answering.

    48. Boston should give us the Nets 2018 draft pick if they don’t want to surrender this year’s. I’d love to pick Luka Doncik if we can’t get an elite PG in this year’s draft.

    49. Has Anthony actually indicated he will go along with any trade to anyplace?

      Melo has indicated he will only go to those places he approves of, under the conditions he approves of. It’s pretty obvious – and it’s called the NTC.

    50. Theo is right:
      -Bos isn’t trading that nets pick, or Crowder for Melo
      -Cle isn’t trading Love
      -LA isn’t trading for Melo unless we take back Crawford and Rivers. And, they aren’t doing that until Paul is happy.

      The best move is to wait.

    51. Melo is doing what any reasonably smart person would do: keep all his options open. He is in charge, after all.

    52. @55 – I agree.

      The main problem with a trade to the Clippers is they would have to give up JJ Reddick (plus other players), but the team would not be much better with Melo and without Reddick.

    53. Melo is doing what any reasonably smart person would do: keep all his options open. He is in charge, after all.

      So Melo does want to leave. Great!

    54. The real interesting aspect of last night’s game was Melo’s willingness to sit down and not complain that the he wasn’t on the floor for the team’s final 5 minutes. Dude is psychologically disassociating himself. Nice.

    55. Why are people so sure that the front office that gave Iman Shumpert $40M and JR Smith $57M won’t trade Kevin Love, who is by no account a rough rider, for Carmelo Anthony?

      Look. The Cavaliers are dead meat when they get to the Finals regardless. They might as well shake things up and let us benefit.

    56. The problem with Melo is that he just says shit sometimes just to say shit. You can’t take anything he says one way or the other. We won’t know if he’s willing to leave until he, well, you know, leaves. Hopefully he does leave, though, as this team is in a precarious position, tank-wise. The future of the team really rides on whether Melo will just let go.

    57. I really think a draft night 3 team deal is what we’ll see. Kevin Love, Melo, and the Celtics’ pick will be on the move. In the mean time, we need to be selling Courtney Lee and Kyle O’Quinn to the Thunder for their 1st round pick.

    58. I just don’t see them dealing non-expiring contracts if they don’t deal Melo. That’s partially why the Melo deal is so important. Until they deal him and officially give up on the season, they won’t start doing deals that they really should be doing, like getting value for Lee.

    59. I hate when dumb things get in the way of smart decisions. You guys think OKC will take Kuz, O’Quinn, and Lee on draft night?

    60. I’m not holding out hope that Phil Jackson finds some hidden reservoir of competence. He doesn’t really understand asset management or player valuation, and that’s just not a real good foundation to build on. He has made a couple of good draft picks, including what looks like a real steal with Willy Hernangomez, so bravo to him for that. But he’s utterly hapless in situations like the one we’re in with Melo. I’m not expecting a positive outcome.

      What probably happens is that Melo stays and the tank limps home with like the 10th overall pick or something.

    61. The fact that Phil hasn’t pulled the trigger on a terrible Clipper deal (yet), makes me hopeful he’ll do the right thing in the end. I could be 100% wrong, but I have faith.

    62. @44

      Which makes me wonder if we should just hold onto Melo and deal him to Boston on draft night.

      @55

      The best move is to wait.

      That’s what I say. The longer we wait, the better. Make others come to us. Let Melo rot on the vine until he voluntarily gives up the NTC. We’re not winning anything until at least 2020. Let everyone else stew.

    63. Who was that dude who saw Jonathan Isaac in person last night? I saw he had a very efficient 15 points in 25 minutes with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and a block.

      That was me. He’s the skinniest human being I’ve ever seen but obviously that can be fixed. Ball handling leaves a bit to be desired but he’ll probably be a 4 in the NBA anyway. Got a few tough contested boards. Defense looked great. I want him.

    64. The Warriors and the Raptors will do us a favor in the end. They’re gonna smoke the Clippers and the Cavs in the playoffs and then both teams will be desperate to trade for Carmelo Anthony. The Raptors will beat the Celtics and prove that the Celtics need another piece to become elite. When Cleveland offers Kevin Love on draft night, we’ll flip him to the Celtics for the 2017 pick and that will give us two picks in the top 10. Hopefully those two picks turn into Fultz/Ball and Jonathan Isaac.

    65. @60: I read that Kevin Love cares so much about his nutrition that he counts out exactly 14 almonds for a snack. Dude IS a rough rider.

    66. He has made a couple of good draft picks, including what looks like a real steal with Willy Hernangomez, so bravo to him for that.

      Jesus, at least give him proper credit. Right can you name any team which had a better 2015 draft than we did picking up KP and Willy that year? Mind you, he didn’t even have the chance to pick in 2014 or 2016 and I’d still take our two over most any team’s combined drafts the past three seasons.

    67. Jonathan Isaac is a 3. He shouldn’t put on more than 15-25 pounds of muscle so he can keep his quickness. A lot of his value on defense is due to his ability to blanket perimeter guys with his size, speed, and length. At the 3 he’d be bigger, stronger, and faster than most guys in his prime, and when you play him next to Porzingis and Hernangomez you have one hell of a frontcourt.

    68. The time to trade Melo is now, because the sucker team that trades for him at least gets two postseasons out of him that way instead of one. After next season he has an ETO, and if he is still playing reasonably decent basketball he’ll exercise that and somebody will give him another mistake of a long-term contract. So trading him in the offseason really kind of cuts his value in half.

      Whatever. I’m finding it hard to care about all of this. I feel like I’ve reached a new level of cynicism with this team.

    69. @74

      I think Isaac’s handle is good enough to play at the 3. He was a guard in HS and shows the occasional ball handling to navigate through defenders to the basket like in this video of last night’s game (2:16-2:23). He, KP and Willy would be a killer front court for years to come.

    70. I still don’t think the future of this team is Willy and KP both starting in the front court. Having KP at the 5 give you the unique ability to build a long-fast starting line-up with 5 three point shooters. Willy looks great, but in the fully formed version of this team (not that it’s clear we’ll ever get there), I’d bring him off the bench as the 6th man and then bring out a starting line-up of p&r point guard, shooters/athletes at the 2, 3 and 4, and KP.

      Drafting any of the top point guards, Isaac, Jackson, or Monk would be great for that. Would be huge for us to get into the top 7-8 of this draft. It falls off significantly after 10.

    71. I am just kind of stoked about our Slick Willy. He’s a way better player than any of us bargained for.

    72. He lost the ball a few times on drives which might be disproportionately influencing my opinion (the eye test kills y’all), but he just screamed versatile NBA stretch 4 to me. I think he’s 6’10” in shoes. I guess Gallo makes that work as a 3 but it’s pretty rare. It doesn’t matter much, I think he’s a stud who would pair naturally with Porzingis.

    73. I think if Willy develops a serviceable midrange game it’s not particularly hard to pair him with KP–you can have Willy playing the bully ball PF type like a Z Bo or Pau

    74. The reason I want any Melo deal to get done sooner rather than later is his recent hot streak (last night notwithstanding) has obfuscated the objective fact that he’s having a pretty bad season. His TS% is below 54% and he’s not really doing anything else. He shot badly last year but had his highest ever AST% and 2nd highest TRB%. Maybe he’s not motivated, maybe it’s age related decline, whatever. He is simply not a good player right now and we should move him for the first acceptable package (1.5-2 assets) because chances are that will become more widely known soon.

    75. @77

      I see your point. But to me he compliments KP so well in the halfcourt. His post game, passing at the 5, and rebounding are really factors KP doesn’t bring yet.

    76. The reason I want any Melo deal to get done sooner rather than later is his recent hot streak (last night notwithstanding) has obfuscated the objective fact that he’s having a pretty bad season. His TS% is below 54% and he’s not really doing anything else. He shot badly last year but had his highest ever AST% and 2nd highest TRB%. Maybe he’s not motivated, maybe it’s age related decline, whatever. He is simply not a good player right now and we should move him for the first acceptable package (1.5-2 assets) because chances are that will become more widely known soon.

      Definitely better to trade guys like him sooner than later. It’s why they should deal Lee as soon as possible.

    77. KP is not a good long-term fit at the 5 simply because he’s a bad rebounder for the position. KP and Hernangomez make so much sense because Willy is already an elite rebounder. You’re talking about one guy who can get you 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks a night and another who can go for 15 and 12. They make a ton of sense together because they cover for each other’s weaknesses.

    78. @85

      Its like a perfectly symbiotic/mutualistic relationship that forms between two organisms to create a sustainable system. Hopefully both will evolve a little bit together: Willy develops a long range shot while KP becomes more proficient in the post. But I have a feeling they can be greater than the sum of their parts.

      And, yes, the key to KP’s success is to surround him with dominant rebounding players on the team to make up for his deficiencies there. Its what Dallas did with Dirk by putting him in a front court with Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion while also having one of the greatest rebounding PGs in Jason Kidd in the starting lineup. This is yet another reason why getting an Isaac or a Ball would be perfect for this team. Both are really dominant rebounders for their position.

    79. Even though we couldn’t outlast the Nets in Tankathon 2017, we’re only 3 games in front of 4th place Orlando. We could keep Melo but get rid of Lee, Kuz, and O’Quinn and still be a top 5 team this year. I’m hoping we make the right moves and keep losing.

    80. Willy could definitely turn into a serviceable jump shooter. His form is good. I don’t think having him and KP on the floor together would be a problem in terms of spacing. The issue with it on defense is that it would commit one of them to playing a lot on the perimeter like KP is doing now. He just isn’t quick enough to guard stretch 4s, and taking him out there removes his best defensive ability — rim protection.

      Ideally KP’s rebounding improves as he gets stronger. Right now when playing the 5 (ie. without Noah/KOQ/Plumlee/Willy on court), his TRB% is only 12.7, which would place him in the bottom 20% of all centers in the league. Unfortunately that’s not much better than it was last season.

      (of note, Melo’s defensive rebounding is off the charts when he plays the 4 with KP – if nbawowy can be believed, he has a DRB% of 30 when he plays the 4 next to KP, which would lead the league for PFs)

    81. I’m starting to think that getting rid of Melo isn’t the most important factor in determining whether or not we tank sufficiently. He can get hot and single handedly keep us in some games, but he also almost brought the tank home against the Nets last night. He has a sub 53% TS in 24 games this year, just about half. To be clear, he has plenty of awesome games as well but those don’t guarantee wins. I think the best approach is to strip the team of the competent, consistent players who aren’t part of our future and worry about Melo later. That means Lee, KOQ, Jennings, and Kuz (he’s regressing quickly, might not actually be any good).

    82. Trading Melo and Lee to the Clippers is what will probably happen. CP3 will make him better and happier. We’ll get a high #1 a few years from now, Reddick who we’d immediately move for a mid first this year, and Rivers who is only 24 and coming into his own. It makes good sense because we’d end up with a first this year in a deep draft plus one later on that could be a lottery pick and young Rivers. I don’t see us doing better elsewhere.

    83. I don’t think Redick will be part of any deal with Los Angeles. They want Melo to pair with Redick and the others. Paul/Redick/Melo/Griffin/Jordan, that’s the killer lineup they want to be able to run out there.

    84. So the Knicks supposedly continue to pester the Cavs about acquiring Love. Isn’t part of Negotiating 101 not acting too desperate?

      “We really want this house.”
      “No, not for sale”
      “But we really, really, really want this house!”
      “Ok, how about if I raise the price 100K, then we might have a deal”
      “Uh,ok I guess”

    85. Yeah, but if you throw Lee in that makes sense for them too, since they’d have Lee locked in beyond this season. It might be tough for them to replace Redick’s shooting in free agency.

    86. Phil has to feel around and ascertain if KOQ and/or Lee is essential to making a good Melo package. If not…. the quicker they are moved the better for the tank.

    87. Keep in mind that the willingness of a team to trade for Melo is not exclusively dependent on their evaluation of his talent. It’s also their situation.

      Take LAC. They have a very good team but not good enough to beat GS and probably not even good enough to make the conference finals. The team has a small window because their best player is aging and their two best players might leave as free agents. Doc knows he needs to add something substantial to have any shot, because if he doesn’t win now the team could soon lose Blake and CP3. So even if he doesn’t believe that Melo is a huge difference-maker, he may feel like it’s worth the risk because it’s the best chance he’s got.

      We don’t need teams to believe Melo is great. We need them to believe he’s worth the risk.

    88. I’m starting to think that getting rid of Melo isn’t the most important factor in determining whether or not we tank sufficiently. He can get hot and single handedly keep us in some games, but he also almost brought the tank home against the Nets last night. He has a sub 53% TS in 24 games this year, just about half. To be clear, he has plenty of awesome games as well but those don’t guarantee wins. I think the best approach is to strip the team of the competent, consistent players who aren’t part of our future and worry about Melo later. That means Lee, KOQ, Jennings, and Kuz (he’s regressing quickly, might not actually be any good).

      Getting rid of Melo is important because there’s no way they’re dumping those guys until they get rid of Melo. They’re one a half games out of the #8 seed! If they get into the playoffs, how would they possibly break this team up?

    89. @96

      I’ve made this point multiple times so I full agree. Its why I want the Clippers to just bottom out suck for the month Paul is gone. They need to feel the desperation to make the trade we want. Its also why I think Love’s back problems suits our needs, it makes the Cavaliers desperate to fill the hole left in his absence.

    90. Getting rid of Melo is important because there’s no way they’re dumping those guys until they get rid of Melo.

      They should at least trade Kyle.

    91. The Clippers’ situation is the one bit of leverage we have. This really could be their last ride. Retaining CP3, Griffin, and Redick would probably put their luxury tax through the roof and they’d just all be a year older with the same non-contender anyway. Maybe there’s a way they can improve outside of replacing Crawford with Melo but I can’t think of one.

    92. They should at least trade Kyle.

      Here’s where Phil holding out for Love can be detrimental to our cause. I am sure Phil wants to keep KOQ as part of the deal to package with Love to Boston for that first round pick.

    93. You know it might not be the worst idea to trade Melo on draft night if that’s what it takes for LeBron to be willing to get rid of Kevin Love. If Boston won’t come off of the Nets’ pick, we can see if Phoenix or Miami would give us their pick.

    94. What we really should be hoping for is no better than 6th worst record in the league. Your odds for a top-3 pick and #1 overall halve going from 6th to 7th.

    95. Yeah, once we get Love we can write our own ticket. Ainge won’t be as able to fuck with us because we can trade him anywhere we want.

    96. Anyone think this trade talk is a blow to Melo’s ego a bit? I don’t get the impression he thinks Kevin Love is a better player than he is. And I don’t get the impression he thinks a top pick and some role players are worth more than he is.

    97. Sure, it’s a bit of a blow to the ego, but at the same time, it must feel good that the other teams are interested in him, ya know?

    98. Remember that Lee played for Doc Rivers in Boston and supposedly Rivers wants him. I wonder if we could just trade him even up for the Clipper’s future #1?

    99. Sure, it’s a bit of a blow to the ego, but at the same time, it must feel good that the other teams are interested in him, ya know?

      For what he considers cents on the dollar. No all star game appearance and now Kevin Love is too rich for you. Must be humbling for him.

    100. Maybe Melo should learn to play the right way. He was particularly selfish and terrible last evening.

    101. #55

      chrisk06811
      February 2, 2017 at 11:44 am
      Theo is right:

      Theo
      February 2, 2017 at 11:50 am
      @55 – I agree.

    102. Rubio (pass first PG who plays defense) + Willy &KP = exciting potential on offense

      Not sure why all of the love on this site for picking up Reddick, he’s 33 which is older than Melo – no thank you

    103. Jesus, you look at a guy like Marc Gasol and realize he’s still playing some of his best basketball of his career at age 32 (21.9 PER, .176 WS/48, 3 VORP) after a down year last season. I hope Willy’s game evolves as nicely as his. He’s already ahead of Gasol’s curve producing comparable rookie season metrics at an age two years younger.

      Marc – 24 years old – 14.7 TRB%, 9.7 AST%, 1.3 ST%, 2.9 BLK%, 16.6 TOV%, 18.3 USG%, .121 WS/48
      Willy – 22 years old – 20.8 TRB%, 9.8 AST%, 1.2 ST%, 2.6 BLK%, 17.7 TOV%, 19.1 USG%, .118 WS/48

    104. Willy Hernangomez and Kristaps Porzingis are two potential top 15 players in this league. If Phil Jackson can draft another one, like Jonathan Isaac, he might actually make a winner out of the Knicks.

    105. Let’s pump the brakes a bit. Willy is good, but expecting him to develop into Marc Gasol is asking a lot.

    106. I think we need to start moving pieces now. Do you think Jennings and Thomas for Rondo and the Bulls pick lottery protected would work? They get out from under Rondo’s contract and get two small assets. I think Thomas and his contract have positive value right now. We simply buy out Rondo and come away with a pick.

      What about O’Quinn for the Blazers pick lottery protected? I live in Portland and they seem to want to make the playoffs pretty badly and O’Quinn would easily be their best big man.

      How about Plumlee, Vujacic and both our 2nds for Frasier? Gives us a nice backup PG on a great contract that has fallen out of favor in New Orleans.

      Finally Rose’s expiring contract and our pick next year top 10 protected for Rubio.

    107. BTW, anyone notice that Gasol as a center has a 14.7 TRB% at 24 years old? KP’s TRB doesn’t look so bad in comparison.

    108. Yeah, I think Nik Vucevic, Greg Monroe, Enes Kanter… these are reasonable, somewhat optimistic targets for Hernangomez. Gasol has been a top 10 player inthe NBA in several seasons. The fact that he didn’t explode onto the scene in his rookie year doesn’t prove that every player who has a similar rookie year to him will become as good as he has.

      Willie just doesn’t have the agility or length to be an impact defender, so unless he becomes one the top 2 or 3 offensive players in the NBA, he won’t be a top 20 player.

    109. If Willy Hernangomez becomes a full time player and his per 36 and efficiency stats remain similar you’re talking about an All Star. The guy plays 20 minutes and picks up double doubles, and he stopped turning the ball over. Billy Buckets is legit.

    110. If you watched a recent game without knowing anything, you’d definitely think Willy was the #4 pick and Porzingis was the second round project.

    111. Willie just doesn’t have the agility or length to be an impact defender, so unless he becomes one the top 2 or 3 offensive players in the NBA, he won’t be a top 20 player.

      Did Gasol coming out Spain? I just ask because Willy’s DRtg is better than Gasol’s as a rookie.

    112. If you close your eyes for 3 quarters, you’d think Hernangomez is Tim Duncan!

      He’s better than Cole Aldrich was at any age, specially when playing against the Nets!

      Can’t wait to see him destroying Cleveland, because maybe they don’t want Melo but will give us 3 picks for Willy!

    113. If you close your eyes for 3 quarters, you’d think Hernangomez is Tim Duncan!

      So, what you’re saying is that he’s clutch!

    114. Willy may never be the defender Gasol is, and he doesn’t have to be. Gasol is a terrible rebounder as far as 5s go. He’s averaging a Bargnani level 6.4 rebounds/36 this season. Hernangomez is a far superior rebounder to Gasol in his best year, and being a good rebounder helps you build defensive value. It shouldn’t shock anybody when a rookie with numbers like Hernangomez develops into an All Star.

    115. I said it early today (post 29): by late afternoon stats would ‘prove’ Hernangomez is a european Tim Duncan and well on his way to becoming one of the top 15 NBA players!

      He already is better than Gasol….

    116. Willy has been great so far it just sucks that you never know when he will be benched for a half or game just because JH forgets he’s on the team.

    117. @131

      A Spanish basketball fan I know believed Willy was a far better player than KP when he watched them play in La Liga. I thought he was fucking nuts 8 months ago. Now the difference between the two doesn’t look great according to the advanced metrics. He told me he thinks Willy can be as good as Gasol based upon what he saw of the two guys in their time back in Spain.

    118. Hernangomez’s game is all-star caliber, but the coaches can’t see it. Hopefully his talents will not go to waste like Cole Aldrich’s.

      Sometimes we can’t understand the NBA!

    119. is theo still here? at least reub is joyful and mostly respectful.

      I think Willy has the potential to be a very solid rebounder and a good finisher around the rim, and that’s already good enough.

      I don’t think he’ll ever be as good as Marc or Pau… Pau was a legit superstar for quite a while and I don’t see Willy having the same offensive ability, specially in regards to passing and shooting… Marc is also a very very good player and he’s an elite defender when he’s healthy, which Willy hasn’t shown us yet (even though the Knicks are a dreadful perimeter defense team, so we can’t really know for sure).

      if he ends up being a 12/12 guy with around .580 ts%, he’s still going to be an incredibly valuable player.

    120. BTW, Memphis did a smart thing pairing Randolph (an amazing rebounder) with Gasol to make up for the latter’s deficiency as a rebounder.

    121. if he ends up being a 12/12 guy with around .580 ts%, he’s still going to be an incredibly valuable player.

      Especially if he can produce those numbers at a round a league average usage rate.

    122. @142

      that’s not what it seemed like, but it’s fine, I won’t fall into the troll trap this time.

    123. Why would Billy only be good for 12 points? Whenever he gets minutes he’s a good bet to score more than 15 points. As a full time player he’d average 17-19 points and 12 boards provided he’s on a team where he’s the at worst the 3rd scoring option. You can do a lot worse than a .573 TS% on a 19.1% USG for your 3rd option, so it’s very possible.

    124. @144

      I agree, my intention was just to show a very feasible not even super-optimistic scenario… as of now he’s averaging 15 points and 14 rebounds per 36, so even if not everything goes right in his development, it’s pretty fair to expect him to be at least a 12/11 guy for the future.

    125. I agree, but I’m usually optimistic about the Knicks. I think Hernangomez will be a version of David Lee that plays defense. We just need to keep building with all the youth that we have.

    126. I was just listening to a Vertical podcast with Jerry Krause. He took Clarence Gains as his only scout to watch Kukoc play in Europe and evaluate him in the 80’s

      He’s still puling rabbits out of his hat 35 years later. Thanks Phil!

    127. OMG everyone calm down!!!! I love Billy too, but we are talking about a guy who has played about 500 minutes in the NBA and started once. A lot of those minutes came against backups. He’s got potential, lots of it, but top 15 player in the league? that’s like Demarcus Cousins range.

      Plus, we are going to trade Kyle O’Quinn for a first round pick? Who is going to do that? There are only about 50 people outside of this board that know KOQ is in the NBA, and most of those are related to him.

    128. I mean, do people here realize that Billy’s easily been the 2nd best rookie this season behind Embiid in terms of PER, VA, EWA, and WS/48? Why can’t we project good things for him?

    129. I love Billy too, but we are talking about a guy who has played about 500 minutes in the NBA and started once.

      Willy’s played around 620 minutes of NBA basketball. Embiid, the runaway ROTY candidate, has around 787 minutes so far.

    130. @149
      I seriously doubt that the Knicks can get a 1st for OQ. More likely is that Phil may hope to package him in a Melo deal. Maybe Lee could yield a mid to late first?

      OQ really needs to go, though. Surely he has some value, and Willy/Noah/Plumlee is plenty at the 5. Plus, KP gets some minutes there.

    131. OQuinn is good and dirt cheap. If we can get a nice asset for him, sure, move him. But the guy we should be shopping hard is Lee

    132. C-h-e-m-i-s-t-r-y

      In addition to energy, Hernangomez has a connection with Porzingis, as evidenced by the beautiful feed from Hernangomez to Porzingis cutting for a dunk midway through the fourth quarter that gave the Knicks their first lead of the game.

      “I think KP and me, we have special connection,” Hernangomez said. “When he looks to me I know what he wants. The same [for me]. I think it’s nice. We play more time together, we played a couple years ago together and the things are going good, so I think we have to keep working the same way and be ready.”

      “He has made huge improvements every day,” Porzingis said. “He’s learning new things every day and the way he works every day. Sometimes he has these moments when he’s mad for whatever reason. I’m the same way. He’s there for me and I’m there for him. He’s been great. He’s been working hard. You can see that. He’s been having great games whenever he gets his minutes. I’m really really happy for him.”

    133. Hernangomez has got a message for Theo and chrisk06811:

      Tell Them Willy Boy is Here

      (reub or Neptune will explain the reference)

    134. Portland, Indiana, Boston and the Pelicans are playoff teams that could use a guy like O’quinn. All bottom 10 in rebound differential.

    135. I think K.P. and me, we have special connection, right?

      Hmm…..I wonder if we acquire Rubio whether he and Willy start speaking Spanish to each other, become buds and KP feels left out. The Lonely Unicorn Once upon a time, there…

    136. @157

      KP, being as awesome as he is, also speaks Spanish too. Remember, he lived for 4 years in Seville.

    137. KP speaks 4 languages fluently actually lol

      The Spaniard trio (KP as an honorary Spaniard) would be really fun to watch, that’s for sure.

    138. It’s all about the draft. We can’t take on Rubio because it compromises our tank and makes us a playoff team. No Rubio. All tank.

    139. Rubio good.
      Tank good (if not on purpose).
      Melo and Noah no good.
      Bruno mean.

    140. With a quick look at the schedule, I think we’re guaranteed to lose at least 54 games this season. 28-54 should be good enough to get us into the top 8 I think. If we do a quick mock draft, that projects to:

      BOS – Fultz
      LAL – Ball
      PHO – Jackson
      DAL – Smith Jr
      NOP- Fox
      SAC – Tatum
      ORL – Isaac
      NYK – Ntilikina

      This would super piss me off but I’d be cool with it.

    141. I think I’m fine with anything in the top 10. Obviously I’d prefer to tank and be lower, but if no Melo trade happens, that’s not happening. I’d be plenty happy with Ntilikina, Bridges, or Fox

      But I’d be REALLY happy with Isaac or Lonzo

    142. We might be able to trade Oquinn on draft day to move up a few slots and draft Isaac. Bridges, Giles and Patton didn’t even make this list so there’s plenty of talent out there.

    143. I do want to reaffirm that I love Willy, and I’m super excited about his potential. I just think it’s premature to call him a future allstar, or as 1 post said, top 15 in the entire NBA potential. I mean; that’s perennial all star, potential hall of famer level.

    144. Sorry if you’ve read this already, but in terms of both contract and production, KOQ is comparable to Mozgov back when Denver got two 1st round picks for him.

    145. @164

      Here’s an interesting hypothetical: say we end up picking 8 and Ntilikina goes to SAC instead of Tatum but the rest of your mock stays the same, do you take Monk or Tatum?

    146. Teague at 25m/yr (stingy bird won’t pay him that much). That’s why Phil wants to be free of Crawford money.

    147. Sorry if you’ve read this already, but in terms of both contract and production, KOQ is comparable to Mozgov back when Denver got two 1st round picks for him.

      Two differences:

      1) Mozgov was playing like 2x the minutes before being traded
      2) 2 Cleveland picks aren’t worth as much as 1 Portland pick even with protections

    148. Another year of hearing about tanking? Can we at least get Rubio if we get Isaac?

    149. O’Quinn is definitely worth a 1st round pick. Knowing his name is what NBA GMs get paid to do. I would say he is under the radar but he passes the eye test, the basic stats test, the advanced stats test, is only 26 years old and is on a great contract for one more year. If we shopped him somebody would bite.

      As for getting Rubio, and hurting the tank, you still do it. I am all for the tank but you don’t pass on a long term piece so you can tank more effectively. Worst case shut him down for a couple months. Rubio is a top 12 PG and will most likely be better than 2 or 3 of those top PGs that everyone is drooling over. He could be our solution at PG for the next 5+ years. He allows us to draft someone like Issac if we tank well enough because we won’t be desperate for a PG. As for signing a PG, Rubio is a better option than Teague, Holiday, Hill or Paul when you take into account age, money and fit.

    150. Markkanen and Leaf were left off of that list as well. There’s so much talent available. I can easily see some teams passing up guards for a big man so we’re going to do fine.

    151. Agree w/ 174 re. Mosgov. Plus…..Cle needed that one specific piece. And they over-paid.

      I wish Noah wasn’t here; then KOQ becomes a keeper.

    152. Justin Holiday was a +29 for us yesterday. I like all Holidays. Jrue would be fine too. Although Rubio would cost half as much.

    153. There’s rumors about Delly/Henson going to Minnesota for Rubio.

      Phil should offer Rose/KOQ/Kuz for Reubio and let Thibs talk to Rose before the deal to make sure they’re on the same page. Maybe Derrick would be OK being reserve in a year or 2 because it’s Thibs. Delly stinks this year and is making 10m so Thibs might be willing to pay Rose 15m. Henson’s 26yo like KOQ and making 13m/yr which might be about what KOQ gets in a year if he continues his current level of play. I’d even add Holiday if that’s what it took.

    154. You know what, my bad. I assumed that O’Quinn was at like 20 minutes a game and he’s at 15. Mozgov was at ~25 a game back then.

      Still, Denver got an OKC pick and Memphis pick out of Cleveland. From basketball-reference:

      January 7, 2015: Traded by the Denver Nuggets with a 2015 2nd round draft pick (Sir’Dominic Pointer was later selected) to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a 2016 1st round draft pick and a future 1st round draft pick. (CLE sends pair of 1st-Rd picks to DEN. One of the picks is from OKC, which is top-18 protected in 2015 & top-15 protected afterwards. The other pick is from MEM & is conveyed if between 6-14 in 2015 or 2016 & and is top-5 protected in 2017 & 2018).

    155. who is Minn going to give you back to offset the $20m that Rose is making?

      For O’Quinn, what team needs him, where he is a significant enough step up from what they have now, that they would be willing to deal a 1?

    156. I cant help but call him Reubio now zanzibar lol.

      how about we only trade bad players away now, and wait until the draft to get good players in?

    157. As for signing a PG, Rubio is a better option than Teague, Holiday, Hill or Paul when you take into account age, money and fit.

      I think that’s true. If we don’t get a high enough pick to take one of the potentially transformative points, I could see taking Isaac and trading for Rubio.

    158. I think we need to trade for Rubio now, there is a solid chance he gets moved before the deadline. Our window to get him is closing and he is easily the best realistic option we have at PG for the foreseeable future.

    159. Hey I’m more than willing to wait but the risk is that Thibs trades Rubio before Feb 23rd to Bucks or another team. I figure the reason Thibs is shopping him so hard now is that he’s including RFA Shabazz (who he will not match) in the package and believes that some team might find Muhammad an attractive piece and give Wolves a better deal now than if he waits til summer when Shabazz loses his value to a potential trading partner.

    160. We should trade for Rubio and fire sale the rest of the team and we’d do a plenty decent job tanking while having a quality NBA PG to either help the one we draft develop or to complement our frontcourt of Isaac/Bridges, KP, and Willy

      Plus I love him and the way he plays

    161. Is there a good player comparison for Bridges? Not a lot of players with his skillset and size(or lack thereof).

    162. @188

      Then we don’t trade for Rubio. He’s not a guy who is a must have player and I am not in favor of jeopardizing our lottery place so we can have him.

    163. Slightly off topic, but our guy KP will be competing in the Skills Challenge on All-Star weekend. No Courtney Lee in the 3-point contest, which is stiff considering his percentage, but I think that’s largely because of the volume of 3’s the guys competing have put up this year.

    164. @192

      Getting good players is just as important as tanking. If tanking is all that matters then why not just trade KP and Willy and really have a terrible team. Odds are Rubio is better than at least 50% of the players that will be taken in the top 10 picks of this draft. Getting him does not mean we cannot tank. If the team really wants to tank we can trade for him and then shut him down post ASB or “showcase” our young players to “see what we’ve got” and only play him limited minutes down the stretch.

      The only way we tank into the top 6 or 7 picks is if management commits and then we’ll sit him if he risks our draft position. If management doesn’t commit then we’re not getting into the top 6 or 7 no matter what we do because a lot of other teams are going to blatantly tank and our team will win games unless we actively try to lose.

    165. I’d trade anything short of KP, Willy, or a first for Rubio in a heartbeat. I think it’s highly unlikely he’s traded for our motley crew of non-assets though.

    166. why would Minnesota ever trade Rubio for anything less than Willy tho?

      he has a .118 ws48 even though he has only a .530 ish ts, which means generally that his other contributions in the court, mostly passing and defending are very, very good… and Kris Dunn sucks and Thibs clearly doesn’t want to play Tyus Jones a lot of minutes.

      I was up for a Rubio trade when I thought Melo was staying, but with the real possibility of dropping to the top 8 at least in the lottery, and the fact that Rubio’s stock is at an all time high thanks to a really good stretch of games, I say no.

    167. If tanking is all that matters then why not just trade KP and Willy and really have a terrible team.

      The point of tanking is to acquire the draft capital that will allow a team to build a core of young players who will carry your franchise for a generation. Rubio, will a good player, is a supplementary piece. If he wasn’t then Minnesota wouldn’t look to trade him away on a rebuilding team would they? So he is not a guy you pass up a chance to get a core piece for. And I would hate to think that the reason we don’t get to choose a core piece is because we spent more picks to get a middling player instead of going for a franchise player. That’s so Knicksian.

    168. all that matters is tanking precisely because we have KP.

      no one is advocating the process in its entirety; we already have the first piece of the puzzle.

      however, due to numerous reasons it is still much, much easier to find a star to pair with him through the draft, and this team already sucks… I’ve said many times and I’ll say it again: the Knicks would need to tank just this season, find an elite prospect PG and then it’s on to compete with a fair chance.

      if it doesn’t work out who cares? it’s not like this core is going to be good in the next 3 years anyway, so we would be in the same position in case both KP AND the aforementioned guard bomb out.

    169. If we trade for Rubio before the deadline, we become a playoff team. He’d make us a lot better and that’s not something I’m prepared for right now.

    170. that was insane by THJr… goes to show that he is talented, unlike people here like to think.

      Dwight also had an insane game, and he’s quietly playing super well… career highs in ts% at .635 and total rebound percentage.

      I would love to have Mike Budenholzer coaching the Knicks.

    171. Reubio, KP, Willy, Holiday and an excellent draft pick by Phil is what we need going forward. It makes so much sense.

    172. do you guys ever wonder what snack cakes Ray Felton keeps in his duffle bag

    173. do you guys ever wonder what snack cakes Ray Felton keeps in his duffle bag

      I was under the impression it was biscuits and firearms.

    174. Getting Rubio does not preclude tanking.

      Maybe a three way could be worked out with the Knicks sending Lee (and maybe OQ) out, perhaps to a 3rd team who flips some asset(s) to Minny. Minny sends us Rubio. Maybe some filler or 2nd rounders in the mix.

      The Knicks then play Rose at the two, where his lousy shooting and bad defense keep the tank fueled up. Play Noah as much as possible, too.

      Imagine a starting lineup of Rubio, Rose, LT (after Melo is dealt), Noah, and KP. King Tiger tank!

    175. I was under the impression it was biscuits and firearms.

      savage

      as I read this, Felton had fell to the ground after a foul and couldn’t stand up even with two teammates helping him

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