Knicks Morning News (2017.06.02)

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis shot down in big way by model on Instagram
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 2:15:32 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis blew off his Knicks exit interview; model Ines Nikic blew off him — while smooching another man. The Knicks’ Latvian sensation tried to play the fame (and good looks) card on Instagram this week — a move he’s pulled before, albeit more successfully, with a Sports Illustrated model — and received the ultimate…

  • [NYPost] Knicks explore trade for another first-round pick
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 11:47:10 AM)

    The Knicks reportedly have asked about trading for one of the capped-out Trail Blazers’ three first-round picks in the NBA Draft. The Trail Blazers are open to deals for some combination of the picks — Nos. 15, 20 and 26 — and the Knicks have engaged them in talks, according to the Sporting News. The Knicks…

  • [NYTimes] Warriors 113, Cavaliers 91 | Golden State leads series, 1-0: The Warriors Drub the Cavaliers in a Defeat for Parity
    (Friday, June 02, 2017 3:36:42 AM)

    Kevin Durant, the new guy to the rivalry, leads Golden State to victory in yet another lopsided N.B.A. playoff game.

  • [NYTimes] N.B.A. Finals: Here’s How the Warriors Dominated Game 1
    (Friday, June 02, 2017 3:36:34 AM)

    Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined for 66 points, 18 assists and 14 rebounds in a blowout over the Cavaliers.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Against Warriors, Cavaliers Could Render the Regular Season Meaningless
    (Friday, June 02, 2017 12:35:28 AM)

    After beating a Golden State team that had 16 more wins in their second N.B.A. finals matchup a year ago, Cleveland is looking to repeat that feat.

  • [NYTimes] N.B.A. Commissioner Is Ready for Change in ‘One-and-Done’ Rule
    (Friday, June 02, 2017 2:37:13 AM)

    Adam Silver said of the draft-eligibility rule, “My sense is it’s not working for anyone,” though he isn’t sure how it should be modified.

  • [NYDN] Adam Silver: Phil Jackson has right to publicly put Melo on block
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 5:24:18 PM)

    Commissioner Adam Silver never considered punishing Phil Jackson for publicly placing Carmelo Anthony on the trading block.

  • [SNY Knicks] The math behind Melo trade could be tricky for Knicks
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 4:30:38 PM)

    It is no secret Knicks president Phil Jackson wants to trade away Carmelo Anthony this offseason, but the number behind it could turn off potential suitors, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks have spoken with Blazers about acquiring first-round pick
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 12:30:02 PM)

    The Knicks have spoken with the Trailblazers about acquiring one of Portland’s first-round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft.

  • [SNY Knicks] Smith, Shumpert say Melo wants to stay with Knicks
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 11:30:14 AM)

    Carmeo Anthony’s former teammates J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert believe Anthony wants to stay with the Knicks.

  • [ESPN] Sources: Knicks, Blazers talk 1st-round pick
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 12:44:37 PM)

    Sources: Knicks, Blazers talk 1st-round pick

  • [ESPN] Rumor Central: Former teammates believe Carmelo Anthony prefers to stick with Knicks
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 11:11:05 AM)

    Rumor Central: Former teammates believe Carmelo Anthony prefers to stick with Knicks

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks, Trail Blazers hold trade talks centering on draft picks, report says
    (Thursday, June 01, 2017 8:53:00 PM)

    The Knicks reportedly have had discussions with the Portland Trail Blazers about acquiring another first-round draft pick.

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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).

    119 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.06.02)”

    1. That was disappointing. One thing I couldn’t understand was why Tristan spent most of the game on the 3 pt. Line while Cleveland was getting killed on the defensive boards.
      Though it doesn’t really matter. The spacing G State gets with Durant replacing Barnes makes any defensive strategy almost impossible to execute. You have to outscore them, but then you run into their defense full of giant spiders.

      As for Portland, if Phil can get Harkless and the #20 for whatever, I’ll start giving him way more slack. Moe is one of those spider defenders I’d love to have, and there will be plenty of good prospects at 20 worth taking a shot on, like Kennard, Giles, Allen, Leaf, Patton, Evans….
      Plus it would make it easier to grab BPA at 8.

    2. Portland needs defence. Maybe they’ll be open to taking Lance Thomas or even N’Dour.

    3. I don’t fault KD personally, but a player of his talent being able to just join a 73 win and win a championship in their first season is a pretty lame storyline. Unfortunately I can’t imagine a scenario in which the league, the owners, or the NBPA would be motivated to fix this. I know Silver has talked about more parity, but how would that happen?

    4. I only care about which pick the Blazers send us. I would not split hairs between Evan Turner, Crabbe or Moe Harkless if that meant receiving a higher pick.

    5. The difference between getting Turner, Crabbe or Harkless IMO is the pick we will be receiving.

      If it’s Turner you have to get the 15th pick. He’s one of the worst contracts in the league.

      Harkless is a decent young player that happens to be overpaid. So I’m fine even with the 26th.

    6. So which out of this year’s crop of draftees could you see thriving in a game like last night’s? I could see a developed Fultz, Ball, maybe Monk holding their own. Maybe Isaac or Frank in 3-5 years. I have my doubts that Fox, Tatum or DS would play well. Not sure about Jackson.

    7. I read the article about Portland. It makes no sense, but then most stories about trades and salary caps make little to no sense to me. Perhaps this is a tiny reason why so many teams are in perpetual suckitude, because rather than making trades to improve their teams, they have to allegedly contemplate this.

    8. I read the article about Portland. It makes no sense, but then most stories about trades and salary caps make little to no sense to me. Perhaps this is a tiny reason why so many teams are in perpetual suckitude, because rather than making trades to improve their teams, they have to allegedly contemplate this.

      As it currently stands, it does not make sense. Moe Harkless is not the type of guy you trade away with a first round pick just to clear his salary. Even a late first. So that makes me curious as to what they’re trying to get from the Knicks in this theoretical scenario. But hey, if that’s really what the trade scenario is, the Knicks should lock that shit up pronto!

    9. I could see Josh Jackson becoming a Paul George kind of player. I could also see him being Jae Crowder or Demarre Carroll. I can’t see him sucking, though. He’s definitely an NBA rotation player, probably a starter, and possibly a star. He’s a good pick in the top 5.

      Not nearly as impressed with Justin Jackson. He’s very active and seems to be a great kid. There’s something very tweener-ish about him and he seems very herky jerky. I’m not a fan. Rather go with a freshman, eurostash or athletic bruiser.

    10. I could see Josh Jackson becoming a Paul George kind of player. I could also see him being Jae Crowder or Demarre Carroll. I can’t see him sucking, though. He’s definitely an NBA rotation player, probably a starter, and possibly a star. He’s a good pick in the top 5.

      Not nearly as impressed with Justin Jackson. He’s very active and seems to be a great kid. There’s something very tweener-ish about him and he seems very herky jerky. I’m not a fan. Rather go with a freshman, eurostash or athletic bruiser.

      Yeah, Josh Jackson seems to have little chance of tanking, while Justin Jackson could easily tank (he might work out, as well, of course).

    11. @BC + Z-Man

      That’s interesting. I agree with you guys about Josh Jackson, but I think Justin Jackson is the kind of player who doesn’t stir your loins on draft day but is destined to have a long career as a solid supporting cast type of player. Felt he showed steady growth as a shot creator at UNC and improved his 3P% every season on increasing volume. Also like that he hits the defensive glass as a wing.

    12. He’s not big/strong enough for PF and not skilled enough for SF/SG. Maybe he improves his skills through hard work and becomes a decent NBA wing, but I doubt that he’s a rotation player for a while. I see him as a less skilled version of Kuz, who is only now at age 28 looking like a rotation player. Of course, they don’t hit the gym in Europe like they do here. But you can see how Kuz’s lack of strength and consistency hurts him, and I see the same problem with Justin Jackson. Maybe Lance is also a good comparison.

    13. What skills are you talking about? He was the second best passing forward in the NCAA (at least on DX’s top 100) and scored in pretty much every way, from every range besides ISO (i.e. 3, transition, slashing to the rim, midrange.) He has plus length for his position of SG/SF (he can probably never play small ball PF unless his frame puts on some weight which I doubt it can do) and will probably be at least break-even on defense. He’ll never wow you with his athleticism (he’s a good athlete but more fluid than explosive and his lateral movement is meh), but he knows how to make the right play at the right time and is generally a high IQ guy. He projects to be a solid role player and I think he’s one of the safest picks in the draft in that regard.

      We also need good role players. You don’t have to swing for the fences with every pick.

    14. My personal draft order ;
      Fultz
      Ball
      Smith Jr. (I just really like him, probably somewhat irrationally)
      Josh Jackson
      Isaac
      Zach Collins
      Fox
      Markkanen (he’ll have considerable trade value even as a defensive liability)
      Mitchell, Monk or Ntilikina (whoever Gaines likes, I guess)

    15. Josh Jackson doesn’t have either of the requisite skills to be an elite wing in today’s game; he can’t shoot (unless he remakes his form) and he can’t dribble. So we can forget about his being a high volume scorer because he currently cannot create his own shot. Another thing is his rebound numbers are likely a mirage because he played power forward for Kansas. I absolutely hate his film. The only thing about him that I can see translating to the league is his basketball smarts. He knows how to move without the ball which is valuable, but so did Landry Fields. Finally, Josh Jackson went to Kansas. Kansas players haven’t exactly lit the league on fire with the exception of Paul Pierce. I’m half kidding here, but KU’s best player in the NBA right now is Sir Andrew of House Wiggins.

      Now Justin Jackson may end up playing in the NBA for a decade, but he just doesn’t have the athleticism to warrant a lottery pick. He’s another guy with nondescript film that people are using phrases like “he’s a winner” in his scouting report. Anthony Davis won his freshman year, but “he’s a winner” was nowhere near his scouting report because he could actually play basketball. When you have to use those type of phrases for a guy it’s because you’re making up reasons to like him. I don’t like his film, and his stats don’t jump out at me either. He is going to disappoint at the next level.

    16. Personally, my draft big board looks like this:

      Fultz
      Ball
      Isaac
      Zach Collins
      Smith Jr
      Fox
      Tatum
      Mitchell (I can’t watch him and not think about Dwyane Wade)
      Ntilikina
      Monk
      Josh Jackson
      Lauri Markannen

    17. Silky, I mean ball-handling skills. I’m factoring in that he’s a Junior playing for the best program in the country (granted, he’s a big part of that) and dominating younger/smaller players. But his DX weaknesses video reveals some real tweener-type issues…rigid handle, inability to create, etc.

    18. @17 I just re-watched the Josh Jackson videos and totally don’t get what you are saying. He’s 50%+ overall and 38% from 3, explosive, creates space, great defensive instincts, strong, and most importantly, is 20 years old, 2 years younger than Justin.

    19. Justin Jackson wasn’t particularly good on offense until he was older than most of his competition, he’s not a good rebounder and he was mediocre at best on defense. Josh Jackson is a terrible free throw shooter, which suggests his good outside shooting this year might have been more random chance than skill, but even if he’s not a good shooter he can still be a useful pro because of the rest of his game.

      I’d take Justin Jackson with a 2nd round pick, and I’d be happy with Josh Jackson with the 8th pick.

    20. Look at his shooting form. He holds the ball way too far away from his body for that to be reliable.

    21. @21

      You can say that Justin wasn’t particularly great on offense until he was older about pretty much every older NCAA player who went on to be a useful pro–their whole premise is that they needed more time to get good. It’s true that his rebounding numbers aren’t good but that’s partly because he played on the best rebounding team in the country with big men who had a nose for rebounds in Tony Bradley Kennedy Meeks and Isiah Hicks.

      He turned into a plus defender by the second half of his last season.

      I’m not super high on the guy but I think he’s being sold short just because he’s older and doesn’t have superstar upside.

    22. I don’t put much stock into shooting form per se. See: Shawn Marion. Bernard King and Patrick Ewing both had funky shooting form. Athleticism is much more important to me, and Josh shoots well enough to make so that even if he regresses somewhat, he’ll be able to score efficiently.

    23. I don’t do that sort of thing, I have no idea how to analyze shooting mechanics. But he’s a good passer, he can rebound, and he can play defense. I keep seeing him ranked 3rd overall, which I think is too high, but he’d be a fine pick 8th.

    24. I think Justin Jackson is a decent mid-first round pick, and if we nab #15 I have no problem taking him, but we better not take him #8 or I’ll flip.

    25. You have to remember that Josh Jackson had the luxury of playing power forward this year. The man closing out on his corner 3s and the guys he got to use his handle against were, for the most part, NCAA power forwards. I don’t think he looks so good against NBA perimeter players.

    26. The thing is that Josh Jackson’s jumper keeps him from shooting threes unless he’s wide open.

    27. If they get that 15th pick, they’ll probably either go forward/guard or guard/forward, so either Monk/Ntilikina at 8 and Jackson at 15, or Tatum at 8 and Mitchell/Kennard at 15. I like the idea of Tatum at 8 primarily to piss off Melo.

    28. @26

      That’s pretty much where I’m at. At 8, inexcusable. At 15, the only other wing available that I like is Kennard (who will be a defensive liability) unless Anunoby drops (we should definitely pick Anunoby if he drops.)

    29. I’m not super high on the guy but I think he’s being sold short just because he’s older and doesn’t have superstar upside.

      I agree with this 100%.

      If we were considering him for the 8th pick or we are thinking exclusively in terms of potential future all stars, he would be a disappointing selection. But if he’s your second selection after the #8 pick and goes at #15, we could do a lot worse than a kid that has demonstrated he can compete at an elite NCAA level now, has a very high basketball IQ, and a strong work ethic that has lead to improvement ever year.

      We are considering taking Frank at #8 and all he has demonstrated so far is that God gifted him with a long body and that he can play against under 18 kids. He’s hasn’t shown he’s within miles of taking an NBA court right now. He looks like a 3&D player 3-4 years from now.

      As negative as I was on Monk initially, at least if you could convert him to PG he’d probably become an elite scorer from that position and be able to defend it adequately.

    30. @ 3 – nah man. F KD for real for that punk move. You took the GSW to 7 games last year. That series was in the palm of their hands and that was the best OKC team of the whole KD/Westbrook era. And its not like they’re old. That duo had a solid 5 or 6 more years to get a ring together. They finally got some decent role players around them and Adams was the perfect center for that team. You give all that up to go ring chase and join the Warriors? The team you barely lost to just weeks earlier? How can you call yourself a competitor and do that? Its lame as shit. KD is not a champion in my eyes even if he wins 3 in a row with this team. I hope Cleveland at least makes a series out of it cause what’s even going to be the point in watching the NBA the next few years if GSW sweeps them?

      At least with LeBron and Miami that trio had never played together before. Miami was a low seed playoff team with one good player on it (Wade) before the super team formed. And as good as they were, they still had to take their licks the first year against Dallas. I hated that Heat super team but compared to KD joining the Warriors, that was nothing. This is NBA2K shit and its not enjoyable to watch at all.

    31. KD is not a champion in my eyes even if he wins 3 in a row with this team.

      And he won’t be clutch in your eyes unless he scores 25 in the 4th quarter of Game 7 on the road while playing in a walking cast.

      Bargnani has the heart of a champion. Never forget.

    32. Leaving OKC was the right thing to do. Ownership was cheap and wouldn’t spend to keep Harden, Ibaka, KD, and Westbrook together. If Harden never gets traded because “we don’t have the money to keep all of these guys” KD never leaves OKC and they win multiple championships. When Pau Gasol chose Chicago over OKC, I think that was it for KD.

    33. @32

      I agree with you. As much as I hated that Heat team, when James left the Cavs he was surrounded by role players, they had no flexibility, and it was becoming clear they weren’t going to win a championship anytime soon.

      KD and Westbrook were still on an upward trajectory and they had several other young players with upside (especially Adams which is what they needed all along). They were at worst 1/2 notch below the Warriors because of the bench. But the gap was not insurmountable with a few moves or development. Heck, OKC should have won that series last year.

      I get that players want to “win a ring” and play with teammates and in an organization they like, but KD basically sold his brother down the river and left a great team looking for an easy road to the title. I find that sad because I used to love the guy and thought he was on the road to becoming the greatest NBA scorer of all time. He may still become that, but it would have been a million times sweeter to win a title in OKC with Westbrook.

    34. I’d rather be dead in Napa than alive in OKC.

    35. I could see Monk thriving in last night’s game. I can’t say that about most of the others.

    36. I’d rather be dead in Napa than alive in OKC.

      I’d rather be in Saratoga Springs (Saratoga racetrack) or Lexington Kentucky (Keeneland racetrack) and I do plan on having my ashes spread at one of them. :-)

    37. Consider that KD did not like playing with Westbrook. Their chemistry did not look good at times especially at the end of close games in the playoffs. I can see why he would want out of OKC.

    38. High IQ basketball players don’t want to share isolation sets. KD made the right decision, and he will dominate for 5 straight NBA Finals.

    39. I’d rather be in Saratoga Springs (Saratoga racetrack) or Lexington Kentucky (Keeneland racetrack) and I do plan on having my ashes spread at one of them.

      I own property up by Lake Luzerne, so I know it well. We’re talking OKC. Never.

    40. I'm told #Knicks have had several teams contact them regarding guard C. Lee. If they want a 1st they would get that moving him.— Sports News (@JSports_ent) June 2, 2017

    41. Melo would be such a good fit in Portland. But who in their right mind would want to live there?

    42. I’m sure everyone here would stay at a job they didn’t love in Oklahoma over an objectively more appealing situation in the Bay Area for the sole purpose of maintaining some vague status as a “competitor.”

    43. Is it just me or is that J Sports Ent guy a pretty good source? He’s scooped a few things but I can’t remember what exactly

      KD made the right decision for himself and for winning. It’s just not as fun from a spectator position even though watching GS with KD is in a class of its own

    44. Yeah cause that is what I said and this has everything to do with Bargs.

      Dude, it was a punk move. He front ran and band wagon jumped onto a team to shortcut his way to a championship. SOFT.

      And its bad for the game. The fact that Cleveland is the second best team in the league with the best player of his generation on that squad and a decent team around him might get destroyed by the Warriors makes the NBA Boring as fuck and KD is to blame for that. But hey, at least they score super efficiently, right? Hope you enjoy jerking off to all those 3 pointers. I’ll change the channel and watch reruns of Law and Order cause that’s more exciting than this garbage.

    45. @46 I follow him on Twitter. He seems to be level headed and has good sources.

    46. And yeah, until KD actually closes out a 7 game series by playing well in the final game of that series when shit actually is on the line, then he won’t be “clutch” in my eyes. Sorry you don’t like the emotion and drama that is inherit in sports and the reason 99 percent of us watch sports.

    47. “I don’t like this person so he’ll never be ‘clutch’ in my eyes.”

      Takes are comin’ in hot!

    48. It’s Durant’s life and he’s the only one who has to live it so I support him doing whatever makes him happy.

      Having said that though, he basically ruined the league this year, and it looks potentially like for the foreseeable future. When Lebron went to Miami there was a lot of uncertainty. Yes, they were obviously going to be good, but it wasn’t totally clear how good, and that provided a lot of drama throughout the first couple years. And even once they won the two rings, Wade’s fairly rapid decline kept them beatable. They were pretty much always the most intriguing team in the league from the day Lebron joined to the day he left.

      Durant on Golden State just isn’t interesting. They were already a juggernaut with Harrison Barnes in that slot. They’re close to unbeatable now. If they take care of Cleveland as easily as it appears they’re going to, what’s even the point of playing next season? Just to see if Durant, Curry or Green gets injured before the finals? That’s it? I think it’s a really concerning situation for the NBA. I can’t be the only one who went to sleep before the 4th quarter last night.

    49. Eh who cares about clutch. He’s gonna be the best player (or 1A) on one of the greatest teams of all time.

      Maybe I’d care more if this team came together during a time when the Knicks were actually trying to contend.

    50. Having said that though, he basically ruined the league this year

      1) You must have missed the first half of last night’s game. Fucking insanity at both ends. Loved every second of it.

      2) Why is it Durant that ruined the league? How about these ruff rydahz step the fuck up and play harder/better? Why is it incumbent upon players to maintain parity? How the fuck is it Durant’s fault?

      If they take care of Cleveland as easily as it appears they’re going to, what’s even the point of playing next season?

      This isn’t a computer simulation. You’re just watching a great team play against teams who are stuck in the past. Max contracts, 30-team expansion and luxury taxes killed parity –not the will of one player who decided he’d rather play on the least-selfish team of the modern era rather than next to a guy who bangs bodies with his own teammates to grab uncontested defensive rebounds.

      It’s not Durant’s fault. The NBA did this. Golden State just exploited the stupidity of other teams.

    51. Reub,

      Why wouldn’t Melo like living in Portland? After all, the dream of 90’s is alive in Portland.

      Joking aside, it’s still a nice city to live and raise kids in.

      Even that aside, I don’t think he’s getting traded. Or that Phil even wants to trade him. I suspect that the plan was to motivate Melo to actually run and defend more than a couple times a season. Or even try to do those things.

    52. Durant ruined the league? How about this– the league ruined itself with the way they structure the salary cap. By putting a cap on an individual player’s max salary, they have made players like Durant and LeBron and Curry– guys who are worth far more than their salaries in terms of wins– the only thing worth chasing in the sport. To win in this league, you have to have at least one guy on a max $30M contract giving you $45M+ of value. Everything else is irrelevant. If you’re really clever like Golden State you can get two of these guys, and get $90M of production out of $60M in salary.

      It’s a serious flaw in the league, but it’s ridiculous to blame Durant for this flaw.

    53. Yeah, they really need to get of the individual salary cap so superstars are distributed more equitably around the league

    54. I’m sure everyone here would stay at a job they didn’t love in Oklahoma over an objectively more appealing situation in the Bay Area for the sole purpose of maintaining some vague status as a “competitor.”

      Better than 999 out of a 1000 would not, but that’s why there are very few dominant champions at anything when it comes to individual sports.

      I’m going to guess KD would give up trying to win a singles Grand Slam in tennis and try to team up with a player like Nadal to win the French Open doubles and look to a player like Federer to play doubles at Wimbledon just to get those Grand Slams.

      A player like Westbrook (who imo is not as good a basketball player at Durant) is going to scratch, claw, fight, and go down bloodied and beaten trying to win one in OKC. He has the heart of a true champion, but unfortunately for him he plays a team sport and needs help. His partner left the ship while they were still in calm waters.

    55. It’s not Durant’s fault. The NBA did this. Golden State just exploited the stupidity of other teams.

      Durant ruined the league? How about this– the league ruined itself with the way they structure the salary cap.

      Apparently my phrasing wasn’t good. I thought I made it clear in the first sentence but I don’t blame Durant personally at all. He should do what’s best for him. A better way to put it would have been “his decision ruined the league”, or maybe just “Durant being on Golden State ruined the league”. This year, specifically the playoffs, has been awful, largely because Durant is on Golden State. Kevin Durant should do what’s best for himself. The NBA, however, is an entertainment product, and right now, the product is not good.

      THCJ, if you want to say that last night’s game was good entertainment, I’ll respectfully disagree. There was one quarter that was competitive because both teams came out (unsurprisingly) very sloppy. Then Golden State got going and the rest of the game was a blowout. If the only possibilities are Golden State plays poorly or Golden State blows out the opposition I think that’s a problem.

    56. The thing is, I agree that the league has felt a bit more hollow this year. While I love watching Golden State, I’ve definitely been less enthused about these playoffs overall than any other I can recall.

      But as others have mentioned, the Warriors are just the culmination of the owners’ longtime insurance policy against themselves being too stupid. If the owners truly care about parity, they could solve the majority of the problem tomorrow by eliminating the max salary. The players would most certainly agree. Until then, it’s absurd to blame a player for taking what little advantage he can of the absurd situation handed to him by the owners.

    57. Yeah I tuned out after the first half. It was pretty clear that the Cavs were overmatched even with GS playing sloppy the first two quarters.

    58. I didn’t turn off the TV, but I started working on some spreadsheets, so yeah, not very exciting all things considered.

      I don’t begrudge Durant for moving to GSW and I blame the league more for the circumstances which enabled it to happen, but I can’t take him seriously as a competitor for making that move. He’s still going to go down as an all-time great and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t win 2 titles and likely more, but imo it’s hard to place him in the elite of the all-time elite players just for racking up gaudy stats, individual awards and honors by joining a 73 win team.

    59. It is not Kevin Durant’s fault NBA front offices are generally incompetent.

    60. A player like Westbrook (who imo is not as good a basketball player at Durant) is going to scratch, claw, fight, and go down bloodied and beaten trying to win one in OKC. He has the heart of a true champion, but unfortunately for him he plays a team sport and needs help.

      That’s because Westbrook is a RUFF RYDAH. Stephen A certainly approves.

      In all serious, the NBA is, more often than not, a bunch of meaningless games where everybody pretends they’re contenders while the one or two teams that have a realistic chance of winning a ring just try to stay healthy for their inevitable clash in the finals. It was like this in the 60’s with the Celtics, in the 80’s with the Celtics and Lakers, and in the 90’s with the Bulls. Most NBA seasons have an air of inevitability about them. Parity in the NBA has always been elusive.

    61. @56: JK47-very cogent analysis-at least 2 30MM guys performing at 45MM level.

    62. It’s not even the league rules so much- GS was incredibly lucky that Steph had health concerns when he first re-upped. Having a top 5 player making an average starters salary (and not handing out any awful contracts as well) gave them great flexibility. As for Durant- from the back pack days to not talking to the media to going to Golden State I’ve never found him particularly likable. Not super unlikable either but not somebody I find myself rooting for.

    63. I don’t begrudge Durant for moving to GSW and I blame the league more for the circumstances which enabled it to happen, but I can’t take him seriously as a competitor

      Three years ago, I had a serious conversation with a poster on this site who was arguing that Steve Kerr was making a mistake choosing GS over NY because the Warriors salary flexibility going forward wasn’t as good, and the Knicks presented him a better chance of coaching for a title.

    64. Three years ago, I had a serious conversation with a poster on this site who was arguing that Steve Kerr was making a mistake choosing GS over NY because the Warriors salary flexibility going forward wasn’t as good, and the Knicks presented him a better chance of coaching for a title.

      Yeah, that was me and I was wrong. Sorry I couldn’t predict that Draymond Green would morph into an elite two-way player, that Curry would take another step and earn back-to-back MVPs and that the league’s cap spike would enable them to add Durant to the mix.

      I also didn’t argue that the Knicks would be a superior option to win a title, but that the expectations would be much higher to deliver off the bat in GSW than in New York and that if he came up short an impatient owner may not be willing to stick with it.

      Nice job keeping score though.

    65. It’s pretty crazy to think that Draymond wasn’t even a starter before Kerr went there. It’s amazing to what extent every single thing they’ve touched has turned to gold over the last few years.

    66. Not only that, but Kerr wasn’t even planning on startin Draymond until Lee got hurt leading up the season. That’s what makes that outcome even more wild.

    67. Getting back to more Knicks’ related stuff, Draft Express currently has us taking Dennis Smith Jr and Josh Hart with our first two picks in the draft. If we could grab those two players in the draft I will never say another bad word about Phil Jackson again.

    68. Smith Jr and Hart has the potential to be an awesome back court tandem if those two reach their potential and if Smith Jr reaches his potential defensively oh my. Now, if the knicks some how grabbed another 1st to get OG then I will give Phil a pass

    69. If GSW wins would it be time to cash in on Klay Thompson even though he plays really well during the regular season?

    70. It’s hard to actually move on from Klay Thompson because he’s their best defender. I heard the Cavs shot 8% on shots defended by Klay.

    71. @73 “Getting back to more Knicks’ related stuff, Draft Express currently has us taking Dennis Smith Jr and Josh Hart with our first two picks in the draft. If we could grab those two players in the draft I will never say another bad word about Phil Jackson again.”

      Agree – That would be nice. We shouldn’t count on it though

    72. Three years ago, I had a serious conversation with a poster on this site who was arguing that Steve Kerr was making a mistake

      Two years ago, a friend of mine, asked me to say some MC rhymes.

    73. The Cavs need Melo. The Clippers need Melo. The Blazers need Melo.
      Let’s get it done.

    74. We can get a #1 for Lee. Maybe even a mid range one like Detroit’s #12. Should we do it? Should we trade him for Rubio? He’s 31 so I think we should do it.

    75. Why would Minn trade Rubio for a guy 5 years older, with 1 more year left, for similar $$, whom they don’t need

    76. Why would Minn trade Rubio for a guy 5 years older, with 1 more year left, for similar $$, whom they don’t need

      That’s the question I’ve been asking for weeks here, but apparently some think that Minnesota are hell bent to sign Lee.

    77. Some teams value veterans who play the game correctly to serve as a steadying influence on their youngins. Lee might fit that bill for Minny as well as for other teams.

      The Pistons have already stated that they want to add a veteran and trade their pick and they have a need at SG. Pick #12 would be delightful for Lee (Donovan Mitchell, Giles, OG, or even Ntilikina??).

    78. I hope you are right, but if you are looking to trade for a veteran presence, you keep your 26 yr old PG who was 5th in the league in assists last year, and his only real flaw is that he doesn’t shoot well. Levine played pretty well for them last year; I doubt Lee would start for them (assuming Levine is healthy).

    79. Thibs is unhealthily obsessed w veterans, Lavine may not be the same post injury, and C Lee is a 2 way player and elite 3 point shooter. All things Minnesota needs because they’re looking to finally make the playoffs again.

      It’d be dumb on their part but it’s not impossible that they’re interested.

    80. It’s extremely unlikely that Phil would think like this, but I would trade Courtney Lee to Detroit for their #12 pick (if they wanted it), then absorb whomever’s contract from Portland for the #15 or #20 pick. Having 3 first round picks between 8-20 would make us a young team filled with guys ready to accept the triangle in a draft that has a lot of talent. I just want to see Phil be aggressive considering that Detroit and Portland are already looking to trade 1st round picks.

    81. I like Lee for Rubio, Lee for Detroit’s first rounder, and taking on salary to get a Portland pick if some or all of that can be worked out. We could come away with a good young team, especially if we managed to move Melo for a young player or pick too.

    82. I hope you are right, but if you are looking to trade for a veteran presence, you keep your 26 yr old PG who was 5th in the league in assists last year, and his only real flaw is that he doesn’t shoot well. Levine played pretty well for them last year; I doubt Lee would start for them (assuming Levine is healthy).

      Thibs apparently does not like Rubio and wants to move him. The problem is that so much emphasis is being put on PGs that can shoot, Rubio is considered mediocre and not an especially good value around the league. So we are in play to get him if we offer them something they do want.

    83. It’s hard to actually move on from Klay Thompson because he’s their best defender. I heard the Cavs shot 8% on shots defended by Klay.

      would you do it for Middleton and a pick?

    84. would you do it for Middleton and a pick?

      Only if I knew Klay was unhappy about being marginalized regardless of how dominant we were as a team and was seriously considering leaving after 2019 in FA. Otherwise I wouldn’t do anything other than work everything around Curry, Klay, Durant and Draymond.

    85. Klay Thompson’s D is that good?

      He seems like a pretty easy guy to trade this offseason…

      The NBA seemed to survive six seasons of the Bulls being mostly unstoppable. If the next six years are going to be spent watching the Dubs run people over, I think I will survive. They play great basketball.

    86. I think Klay is the new Harrison Barnes — overrated as hell, but somehow still a top MP earner on the league’s best two-way team and possibly greatest offense ever assembled — but I wouldn’t take anything short of a young, cheap superstar who can continue to space the floor and play solid defense. Odds are that that’s not going to happen, so you keep the core intact until Curry’s ankle falls off.

    87. Lee is a fine player who is too old and signed for too long to keep given the current state of our franchise. Trading him for a pick is a no brainer-we can use that money to sign someone younger or to take a bad contract and an asset from another team.

    88. I really would like that 26th pick. It wouldn’t surprise me if jawun Evans or Frank Jackson end up being as good or better than smith jr. Or TJ leaf or Tyler lydon being better than Markkenin

    89. I think you guys are being overly harsh on Klay. He’s exactly the type of 2 way, unselfish player we all want on the Knicks, and people are ripping on him because he’s in a shooting slump.

    90. I think you guys are being overly harsh on Klay. He’s exactly the type of 2 way, unselfish player we all want on the Knicks, and people are ripping on him because he’s in a shooting slump.

      I rip him for doing literally nothing that shows up in a box score except shoot. He’s a good shooter, but not elite, and he is like 13th or 14th in steals, assists, rebounds (per possession) on the team.

      He is a catch-and-shoot guy who plays solid team defense, but cannot generate turnovers, help control the ball via boards, or pass. He is overrated, full stop.

    91. I hear you Jowles, but what else do you want from your shooting guard when you have Steph Curry and Kevin Durant but a guy who can shoot and play defense?

    92. Klay is a very effective defender IMO, and deserving of his good defensive reputation.

    93. Overall, Klay probably is overrated, but he’s very good at what he’s asked to do.

    94. I hear you Jowles, but what else do you want from your shooting guard when you have Steph Curry and Kevin Durant but a guy who can shoot and play defense?

      Do you find it weird at all that he plays on the platonic ideal of an unselfish team yet can’t average more than 3 assists per 100 possessions?

      I appreciate the importance of a catch-and-shoot player in an offense that uses him as a curler/space-creator, but that doesn’t make him an elite player.

      To be frank, I don’t think that anyone can be a bad defender playing 2600 minutes on the league’s 2nd-best defense, even if he has the worst DBPM on the team (he does). This is why I’ve come around on Aldridge, also. But elite? Nah. He’s right for the Warriors. If he leaves for some reason, watch his rep fade.

    95. I rip him for doing literally nothing that shows up in a box score except shoot.

      Great team defense does show up in the box score. It just isn’t attributed to any individual player very well. That’s not the player’s fault. It’s the box score’s fault.

    96. It’s worth noting that one of the things that makes the warriors system hum, aside from having awesome players, is they use guys properly. Javale dunks, Klay spots up for threes-it seems simple, but lots of teams fuck this sort of thing up

    97. Ehh, if he leaves he’ll be 29 and would have won 2-3 championships as Splash Brother #2. I see what you’re saying, though. For what it’s worth, his Game 6 in OKC last year is the best playoff performance I’ve seen out of the Golden Era Warriors.

    98. Great team defense does show up in the box score. It just isn’t attributed to any individual player very well. That’s not the player’s fault. It’s the box score’s fault.

      Last year during the Finals, Mark Jackson called him the best two-way player in the league. That’s the perception I take issue with. As I said, I don’t think a player can be bad at defense as the leading minutes-player on the league’s 2nd-best defense. I’m saying his perception as an “elite” player is unsubstantiated. He’s a great fit for the Warriors, but not an actual star.

    99. Most SG’s are very good outside shooters that do very little else that shows up in the boxscore. They are typically too small and on the perimeter too often to accumulate a lot of rebounds and typically don’t handle the ball often enough to pile up assists. Rebounds and assists are the way PGs and big men typically accumulate boxscore value other than scoring. That’s also why many boxscore models say SGs are overrated.

      But I would ask.

      Are all these coaches and GMs idiots for playing these players instead of playing two PGs or playing bigger men at SG?

      Are these models not capturing the value of elite outside shooters creating space?

      I’m going to guess it’s the latter.

      Elite shooters make it easier for ball handlers and big men to get to the basket because of the extra space they create. It’s a kind of backdoor assist.

      A variation on the value of the SG is the floor spacing PF. You sacrifice rebounds by going small and playing on the perimeter, but you gain spacing.

      Now they are even doing it at the C position.

      KP adds value that’s not being captured by the boxscore by being so effective from outside. He forces a big man (sometimes even a C) away from the rim. That creates more space for his teammates, takes a rim protector out of the paint, and may reduce defensive rebounds for the other team. For all that, boxscore metrics may punish his rating because he gets fewer offensive rebounds playing on the perimeter and fewer defensive rebounds if he’s guarding someone like himself.

      I’m not saying Klay is some kind of super elite player, but he’s better than boxscore metrics say because you can never leave that guy a alone for second. He’s too great a 3 point shooter.

    100. It’s worth noting that one of the things that makes the warriors system hum, aside from having awesome players, is they use guys properly.

      They definitely are getting the most out of Javale, no small feat. I’d struggle with bringing back Klay Thompson rather than Mcgee at 1/4 of the price. What kind of contract will Mcgee get? That’s going to be interesting.

    101. KP adds value that’s not being captured by the boxscore by being so effective from outside. He forces a big man (sometimes even a C) away from the rim.

      Did you mean “Bargnani”?

    102. The best two way player in the NBA is LeBron James, but if we’re not talking about LeBron then it’s Kawhi Leonard.

    103. What’s the deal with Javale? He’s dumb? Health problems? He was pretty decent for a few years when he was young.

    104. Klay Thompson is one of the biggest gunners I’ve ever seen, that’s why he doesn’t get very many assists. When he gets the ball you can bet it’s going up. I’m surprised his teammates don’t get annoyed at him for being allergic to passing. He does have good size and plays hard on defense and is an effective on ball defender most of the time.

    105. I also think Klay is overrated — much in the way that Joe Dumars was overrated: solid player with multiple skills, great team, understated personality: seems underrated, becomes overrated. I understand why people say he is a great defender; he is a really exceptional on ball defender against strong opponents and it’s really noticeable. But I don’t think he’s anywhere near the help defender that you see from the real two-way players in the league, which limits his defensive impact.

      Sort of interesting (and sort of not, yes):

      2014-2017 Warriors
      (1) Steph playing without Klay: PPP 116.8 dPPP 103.5 = +13.3
      (2) Dray without Klay: PPP 114.8 dPPP 101.2 = +13.6
      (3) Steph without Dray: PPP 117.4 dPPP 108.1 = + 9.3
      (4) Dray without Steph: PPP 106.6 dPPP 99.9 = + 6.7
      (5) Dray w/out Steph/Klay PPP 105.5 dPPP 98.2 = +7.3
      (6) Steph w/out Dray/Klay PPP 117.4 dPPP 107.1 = +10.3
      (7) Klay w/out Steph PPP 106.8 dPPP 105.2 = +1.6
      (8) Klay w/out Dray PPP 111.5 dPPP 110.2 = +1.3
      (9) Klay w/out Dray/Steph PPP 106.8 dPPP 111.1 = -4.3

      I disagree that people will sour on Klay once/if he leaves. Harrison Barnes, who is worse than Klay, went to Dallas on a max deal and had a very mediocre year, where he looked exactly like Harrison Barnes with more shot attempts. People think he’s even better now, as far as I can tell.

    106. Joe Dumars is actually a pretty good comp for Klay. Nice defensive guard, some offensive ability, good piece to have on a team, disproportionately famous because of his truly great teammates.

    107. Klay is overrated

      I don’t be quite get the backlash. Mark Jackson speaking hyperbolically during the finals doesn’t make Thompson “overrated”. Not being “the best two-way player” doesn’t mean he’s not an elite two way player, which I think is pretty easy to argue that he is, much like Pippen was an elite two-way player. It takes a lot of energy to be effective on defense, which is why so few players, especially ones that are expected to carry the offense, seem to put full effort into staying in front of their man/fight through screens/contest shots. Klay Thompson deserves the credit that he gets for his resume, which, as Jowles points out, includes playing the 2nd most amount of minutes per game on what is now 3 of the greatest teams of all time. (And, frankly, he’s not even that famous, given that he’s been the #2 contributor on several of the greatest NBA teams of all times. Most people that don’t follow the league wouldn’t know who “Klay” was, unlike some of the other lauded wings of the league).

    108. Klay was an all-star this season, which is probably fine given how thin SG is league wide, but to be honest he’s not even the best shooting guard/wing on his own team (Iguodala is, and pretty much always has been a better basketball player than Klay Thompson). He’s like the 4th or 5th best player on what might be the best team ever. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but if he was on Charlotte nobody would be calling him elite.

    109. Joe Dumars is actually a pretty good comp for Klay. Nice defensive guard, some offensive ability, good piece to have on a team, disproportionately famous because of his truly great teammates.

      Yeah, it’s a good comp. Byron Scott probably is too, as he played the 2nd most minutes on a 65 win team and played his way to a bunch of rings alongside some transcendent players. I’m sure if there was a ridiculous internet driven media culture surrounding the 80s Lakers, the Ric Buchers and Steven A Smiths of the era would have been hyperbolically yelling “Byron Scott is the glue that makes Showtime work!” That doesn’t mean that people actually believe it’s true. But Scott, and Dumars, and Thompson’s huge contributions to the great teams of the history of the league shouldn’t be diminished either.

      (And as for trading Thompson, why would GS do that? He’s online in his 5th year, hasn’t had any significant injuries, is under contract until the summer of 2019, and the Warriors have no other teams to compete with for the foreseeable future.. of it ain’t broke, why try to fix it?)

    110. if he was on Charlotte nobody would be calling him elite.

      If he was on Charlotte, though, would the Warriors have been one of the greatest teams ever in 2015? 2016? The players that play on the elite teams are elite players, whether their individual stats say so or not. The whole point of the game is to play on great teams. Ultimately, nobody cares who the good players on shitty teams are. They are largely forgotten over time, as they should be.

    111. That’s the question I’ve been asking for weeks here, but apparently some think that Minnesota are hell bent to sign Lee.

      I think it’s just a hope that the Wolves are really stupid. Since they wanted to trade Rubio for Rose, then that’s a real possibility.

    112. Lee is a fine player who is too old and signed for too long to keep given the current state of our franchise. Trading him for a pick is a no brainer-we can use that money to sign someone younger or to take a bad contract and an asset from another team.

      Here’s to hoping!! I’m a bit wary on the whole “Teams are willing to trade first rounders for Lee” when teams did trade first rounders this past season and they did not trade them for Lee when the Knicks were making Lee available for first rounders. But hey, if it happens, that’d be swell. Trading Lee for a first rounder should be very close to the top of Phil’s priorities this offseason.

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