Knicks Morning News (2017.06.04)

  • [NY Newsday] J.R. Smith on Knicks’ treatment of Carmelo Anthony: ‘Unfair and unjust’
    (Saturday, June 03, 2017 7:48:00 PM)

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Former Knick J.R. Smith contended on Saturday that he hasn’t specifically discussed with friend and ex-teammate Carmelo Anthony whether or not he will waive his no-trade clause rather than continue to butt heads with Knicks president Phil Jackson. But Smith made it clear that he believes Anthony has been treated unprofessionally regarding Jackson’s persistent public criticism.

  • [NYPost] Knicks only can hope to snag ‘one of the great point guards’
    (Saturday, June 03, 2017 10:27:06 PM)

    The celebration inside the Neuse Christian Academy locker room in Red Springs, N.C., became wild after the high-school team survived a last-second battle against Freedom Christian. That is, until its coach, Ken Adrian, angrily entered the room. “You guys are all proud and going crazy,’’ he snapped at them. “You guys just beat an eighth…

  • [NYPost] Remembering the anniversary of the worst Knicks’ loss ever
    (Saturday, June 03, 2017 6:18:03 PM)

    June 2 passed quietly Friday. The baseball teams both lost. The NBA and NHL finals took breathers. People either wrung their hands about Odell Beckham Jr. missing more voluntary workouts, or pondered wringing the necks of people who believe OBJ blowing off OTAs is OMG. Even Knicks fans probably didn’t realize how momentous that day…

  • [NYPost] NBA mock draft 2.0: Lakers grab Lonzo Ball and Knicks pick …
    (Saturday, June 03, 2017 1:55:46 PM)

    With an exceptionally deep NBA draft just three weeks away, here is the Post’s projection at how it may play out June 22 at Barclays Center. 1. Celtics (from Nets) Markelle Fultz: PG, Washington Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said they likely will keep the pick. That is the smart move, and Fultz (23.2 points, 5.9…

  • [NYDN] Knicks, Phil Jackson continue to keep their eyes on De’Aaron Fox
    (Saturday, June 03, 2017 10:00:47 PM)

    Barring the unforeseen, the Knicks won’t get a chance to draft De’Aaron Fox.

  • [NYTimes] For David Griffin, a Cavaliers Architect, the Future Is Uncertain
    (Saturday, June 03, 2017 4:19:54 PM)

    David Griffin, Cleveland’s general manager, has walked a fine line in building a powerhouse while trying to make LeBron James happy. With his contract set to expire, he’s keeping a low profile.

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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).

    71 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.06.04)”

    1. You are so yffzYyf I will is still there at home qe

      Total agreement, here.

    2. Re: the Klay stuff from before

      it was still a mistake to not trade for Love.

    3. I don’t care about JR Smith specifically, but the perception around the league is that our GM is an ignorant dunce. Regardless of what you personally think, that is not good.

      It doesn’t really matter right now because we aren’t signing anyone of note and may even be temporarily beneficial, but if we ever get to the point where we actually should be signing guys, I think we’ll be wishing we had a normal GM.

    4. Jackson is smart, though: he can’t sign anyone, since the Knicks are capped out until 2020. Alienate everyone — it doesn’t matter!

    5. I don’t care about JR Smith specifically, but the perception around the league is that our GM is an ignorant dunce. Regardless of what you personally think, that is not good.

      It’s a problem, but my perception of the players around the league is that other than a handful of them, Jackson could go on a 3 month crazed drug bender, pass out, be oxygen deprived for 10 minutes, need 6 months of physical therapy to learn how to talk again, and he’d still be the smartest guy in the room.

    6. I would also ignore virtually everyone that covers the Knicks regularly and any national NBA guys that comment on NY from time to time. Virtually all of them have an anti Knicks agenda and most don’t understand the game well enough to gain any insights from anyway. They are a total waste of time. They hate us and want us to fail.

      As soon as the Knicks have a good young team, there will be plenty of players that will want to come here, Jackson or not. The bigger problem is the NY media. Players know that any of their failings will be blown up by the media (basketball or private) and no one wants to deal with that.

    7. It’s no secret that I think Phil Jackson is a shitty GM, and an arrogant doofus.

      That said, he has an opportunity here. Once again, he has an opportunity to commit this team to a true rebuild. It seems that Courtney Lee might be flippable for a young player or draft pick. There are some teams looking to unload their first rounders, and Phil has the cap space to absorb a bad contract and acquire assets in the process, the famous “cap space rental” that we have discussed here. The Nik Stauskas scenario, basically.

      Now is the time to go FULL ON rebuild. If he does that, I will give him lots of credit. I will still always wish he had just done this right from the jump rather than dicking around with three years of attempting to build a championship team around Decline Phase Carmelo Anthony, but hey, better late than never.

      If he half-asses it again and signs more win-now free agents, he will fully deserve the roasting he will get here.

    8. It’s a problem, but my perception of the players around the league is that other than a handful of them, Jackson could go on a 3 month crazed drug bender, pass out, be oxygen deprived for 10 minutes, need 6 months of physical therapy to learn how to talk again, and he’d still be the smartest guy in the room.

      1) I see no reason to believe this is true besides lazy “lol athletes are dumb” stereotypes
      2) Phil’s intelligence relative to players has no bearing on his abilities as an executive

    9. I would also ignore virtually everyone that covers the Knicks regularly and any national NBA guys that comment on NY from time to time. Virtually all of them have an anti Knicks agenda and most don’t understand the game well enough to gain any insights from anyway. They are a total waste of time. They hate us and want us to fail.

      “Listen, I know that there are a lot of people telling you that Phil Jackson doesn’t understand the modern NBA offense, that he’s hired nothing but lame-ducks and yes-men to let him coach from the front office, and that nearly every signing he’s done has ranked among the league’s worst deals. These people might also tell you that he has a record of 80-and-166 as Knicks’ executive. Ignore them! They know nothing about value about basketball.”

    10. Yeah, is that from Andrew Johnson? I posted an earlier version a Few days ago.

      Tony Bradley is another undervalued draft steal but I think this model overrated him somewhat.

      It’s amazing how many extremely good big men UNC had this past year. And they all played the exact same way, lol.

    11. @13

      Thanks for that, Jowles.

      So, PAWS likes Markelle Fultz a lot, and Dennis Smith, and Jonathan Isaac. TJ Leaf scores very well, and Zach Collins ranked surprisingly low considering his killer per-minute stats.

      PAWS does not like Ntilikina, although as I mentioned yesterday, young Euro guys like him are kind of difficult to scout via box score metrics. Malik Monk and Donovan Mitchell also don’t do so well.

    12. When he retired from playing, wasn’t Derek Fisher contemplating running for congress?

    13. @11

      Here’s why I have a low opinion of the players.

      1. I’m in no way involved in basketball professionally. I’m just a serious fan.

      2. I’m not a a statistics and probability major, but I’ve been a serious gambler for decades and use stats all the time. (I do gamble on basketball casually on occasion).

      So my knowledge of basketball is derived from watching games for about 50 years, reading articles and posts made by legitimate stats gurus, thinking about what I’ve observed and read, and then looking at the numbers. It’s not a serious endeavor. I’m just a hardcore fan. Perhaps 10%-20% of all my time and energy goes into thinking about basketball.

      I also listen to all the interviews with players on TV and in the news. I watch all the basketball shows where former players are hosts or part of round table discussions. I almost never come away from any it thinking that I just heard some brilliant insights. Most of the time I’m shocked at how bad their opinions are. Most have no idea what they are talking about and can’t evaluate other players at all. The handful that are good typically wind up in the discussions about future coaching jobs.

      I’m this guy using about 10%-20% of his energy on basketball and I’m certain I understand a lot more about some aspects of the game than players that have dedicated their lives to it.

      The same in not true of the coaches and ex coaches. I invariably learn things from them during games, shows, interviews etc.. Most are miles above me. Phil is one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. Most of the players are light years behind his knowledge of the game.

      Is it a problem if they don’t respect his opinion or don’t like the way he deals with players?

      Yes it is. I said that. But it’s not because they are right.

    14. Phil is one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. Most of the players are light years behind his knowledge of the game.

      For all of Phil’s godlike knowledge of the game– and I will grant that he is hands down one of the greatest coaches ever– that knowledge has not translated well to his work as a GM. He doesn’t grasp simple concepts like the win curve, and he has been WAY off in terms of player evaluation.

      Also, passive-aggressive sniping in the media might work quite well when you’re a head coach. Doing this probably benefited Phil during his coaching days. It might have helped get under an opposing player’s skin, or it might have motivated certain players on his team. As a GM, Phil’s tendency to do that is damaging. Players rightfully think “Why would I want to play for this dude? He’ll throw me under the bus.”

      Phil is a legendary X’s and O’s coach. He won a shit ton of titles. As a GM, he has thus far been a failure. I’m holding out some hope that he has learned some lessons and will make some better moves going forward. But he has been bad at this job so far.

    15. stratomatic,

      “NBA basketball” is not a static concept. What would have worked ten years ago does not necessarily work now. The game has changed.

    16. @12

      1. Everyone in business hires their own people and others that are loyal & like minded.

      2. A lot of people criticize his deals. In most cases they don’t understand the deals well enough to evaluate them properly.

      3. His record so far is meaningless. He blew up a team that had no first round picks in 2 out of 3 years of his management & not attractive enough to draw top FAs.

      How was he supposed to create a team with a good record or good young core quickly when no one would come to a team like that and he didn’t have picks?

      The sharpest fans in NY are constantly talking about rebuilding and taking the long term view. He took (and will probably continue to take) a hybrid approach of trying to get and develop young players with upside while simultaneously filling other slots with veterans on shorter contracts that come off the books quickly. He has generally been successful at that. 1/2 dozen players or so he brought in because they filled a need and agreed to a short contract on a rebuilding team have come and gone.

      The entire legitimate criticism comes down signing Noah for 4 years and giving Melo a NTC that may make it harder to get fair value in a trade (neither crippling), but Knicks fans everywhere have their panties in a bunch because we aren’t good yet and because they believe the nonsense in the newspapers.

      Right now we have 2 good young players (at least 1 could become s star), a couple that could turn into good role players off the bench, the #8 pick, a player (Lee) that is desirable enough around the league to land us a very good player or pick, another player in KOQ that we might be able to package for something, a veteran player (Melo) that could land us a starter and/or another good pick in a trade, and a pile of cap space to strengthen the bench. That’s not Armageddon! If we had those 2 picks, we’d be positioned brilliantly.

    17. “NBA basketball” is not a static concept. What would have worked ten years ago does not necessarily work now. The game has changed.

      The game has not changed. The players have changed (big men have more skills) and the rules have been tweaked. But conceptually you are still trying to accomplish the same the things. A good coach with still try to create ball movement, player movement, mismatches, double teams from which you can create open shots etc… I don’t think there’s anything going on now that is beyond Phil’s grasp. We don’t have the players yet. The triangle won’t work the same way “small ball could never win” and “you can’t win a title shooting 3s”. When some team puts 5 solid players on the court with a big C that plays well in the post and draws double, a traditional PF, good passers and shooters, etc… they will win the title.

    18. The “hybrid approach” is fucking stupid. Either play “win now,” or rebuild. Do one thing well instead of doing two things half-assed.

    19. I think you’re giving a Phil a pass on the FA front. There were plenty of good players he could have signed who weren’t top tier free agents, but he squandered that money instead. Jae Crowder was available for less than the combined price of Afflalo and D Will, for example.

      He has also gotten very poor value on every trade he’s made. When we traded for Rose we actually traded away the two best players in the deal, one of whom just had finished a rookie season. He’s been bad in player evaluation, bad at taking advantage of market inefficiencies, bad at understanding where this team is at (he thought each team he put together ought to make the playoffs–ha!) and good on draft night. That’s not a good GM, nevermind his obviously abrasive personality, personnel carousel, and his inability to understand what winning basketball might entail if you don’t have a top 10 player of all time on your roster.

    20. Ntilikina’s boxscore today:
      3 pts
      2 rebounds
      2 assists
      1 steal

      -11 in 16 minutes, the worst on the team

    21. Ultimately I think the simplest way to put it is this: Phil jackson has gone in w the intention of *winning* each and every season he’s been GM, and the results have been the single worst Knicks season of all time and two seasons functionally indistinguishable from the Isiah years. He’s been bad. The only silver lining is that he listens when Clarence Gaines tells him who to pick on draft night. Kudos to him on that front. But a savvy GM does more than just not waste first rounders, he or she actually nets out positive in the assets department rather than just break even (and no, buying late 2nds doesn’t really count as a positive asset.) The one time Phil did that with the Jerian Grant trade he cut bait early on what is by all indications a role player at our position of greatest need who, improbably, actually plays good defense.

    22. I believe Phil only went “win now” last offseason, with bad results. The Rose trade (bad, though not awful), Noah signing (awful), and Lee for 4 years (okay, esp. if he trades him before it is too late).

      The first year he was just trying to dump bad apples and get some young players. None of the young players panned out, though. It was a bad year, mostly, b/c he gave Melo the NTC. D-.

      Year two was to try to add some decent talent (Lopez, OQ) and a couple of hold the fort players, both of whom opted out. Drafted well (KP, Grant, and Willy). Had to cut bait on a bad HC hire. C.

      Year three was bad (Rose and Noah). F. If you believe in a stealth tank, then a C, but I don’t.

      Overall: D. Silver lining: drafting KP, Willy, and keeping all the first rounders. Has he finally learned his lesson?

    23. Yes, he’s going to get a lot smarter now that he has actual draft picks to use. The difference in him (and in the team) will be striking.

    24. I essentially agree with the Phil criticism. That said, I do think you can do the hybrid thing if you are shrewd about it. Phil has just been really bad at the “win now” part.

    25. Phil’s been here over 3 years, we haven’t won more than 32 games, and we have maybe 3 good players. He’s not done a good job.

    26. Ntilikina’s boxscore today:
      3 pts
      2 rebounds
      2 assists
      1 steal

      -11 in 16 minutes, the worst on the team

      I’m in favor of long term thinking, but as far as I can tell taking this kid at #8 is a stretch. Talk about timing. By the time this kid is ready KP might be on the downside of his career. :-)

      I see no reason to think he will be an NBA player for several years or that his peak will anything more than spot up shooting and defense. I’m not even sure why he’s considered a lottery pick other than being blessed with a long body and planted misinformation. If the Knicks get a 2nd 1st rounder I may not be happy if they use that one to take him.

    27. @23 @21 Thank you for your input.

      No problemo.

      I know I’ve had a bit of an obnoxious attitude lately, but I don’t mean anything by it. It’s just venting frustrations. Watching the Warriors/Cavs makes you realize how far away we are from contending. But I honestly feel like we are positioned better right now than we were when Walsh/D’Antoni cleaned house before the Melo deal. That means this is the best position we’ve been in since the 90s. We have some young players, all our picks, a couple of desired assets, cap space, and only 1 bad contract. And even that contract is not crippling given the probable timing of our rebuild. If we get this draft right, there are going to be a lot of smiling faces by the end of this season. The team may not be that good yet, but the future will clearly be bright.

    28. I am not on board with Ntilikina at this time. His floor is marginal NBA rotation player. There are too many guys with higher floors and similar possible ceilings. Just because we need a PG, we shouldn’t take a risk like that.

    29. From our limited information perspective I think Ntilikina is a definite no. He doesn’t project well with any of the publicly available information. I’ll defer to Phil/Clarence’s judgment if they pick him though.

    30. Looking at these draft models, it seems like Tatum wouldn’t be a bad outcome for the 8th pick.

      About Ntilikina, I agree that we should stay away from him too.

      I don’t trust this franchise to develop a raw player like him.

    31. From our limited information perspective I think Ntilikina is a definite no.

      Yeah, I am worried about his lack of steals in Europe since his calling card is allegedly his disruptive defense, but I also have no idea what sort of defense his team plays. I wasn’t very high on Kristaps, who had good but not exceptional numbers in a better league until I saw about 30 seconds of him playing in the summer league and finally understood how big he was. So I understand my opinion on Frank based on his translated European stats may not mean very much.

      I’d be happy with DSJ, Fox, or Tatum at this point, with Isaacs being my dream.

    32. Nigel Williams Goss is another interesting guy. Strikes me as a Malcolm Brogdon pick who might have a high floor and produce from the start. Not a guy I want at eight but I bet he’ll make someone happy.

      It’s going to be a pretty difficult choice. as I have said before, wouldn’t want to have to make this call

    33. I don’t have a lot of basis for this prediction, but I think Korver (or as Clyde would say, Karver) is going to have a big game tonight.

      In any case, Cleveland needs to get something out of their bench players.

    34. I’m not an expert but, depending on health, possibly Mitchell, Giles, OG, Collins and who knows who else might have better potential than Frank. But he sure does look destined for us.

    35. I think that DSJ is going to be an electrifying player, and unfortunately, will be picked just before we pick.

    36. I’m not sure about that. Thibs might desire a defensive big who can rebound some and shoot. Who would that be? Probably Isaac? Maybe Markkanen (who’s defense might be poor but can shoot and rebound)?

    37. Warriors playing so-so basketball with 8 turnovers, score 40 points in the 1st quarter.

      How can anyone hope to beat this team?

    38. Markkanen would actually fit in well in our offense too with KP and Willy. But the defensive end would be problematic. Any chance that Markkanen can guard the perimeter?

    39. If we could work a trade for Rubio while retaining Lee we could have a starting five of
      KP
      Willy
      Markkanen
      Rubio
      Lee

      Plus whatever we got for Melo.
      Pick up Harkless’ contract for more perimeter defense and another draft pick from Portland. Draft Swanigan and Mason.

      Is that a bad team?

    40. I’m gonna be very sad when Fox, Smith Jr, and Isaac go 5 6 7 on draft night.

    41. Shump is acquitting himself surprisingly well defending KD

      Also Deron Williams is unplayable

    42. On Markkanen’s defense:

      “Defensively, Markkanen is a mixed bag. He shows solid agility, good footwork when closing out, and does a nice job positioning himself against smaller players after switching, but his lack of length limits him as a shot blocker, he struggles at times defending more physical big men on the block, and he is just an average rebounder. His upside on this end may not be remarkable, but he certainly has the potential to hold his own at the next level if he can develop as an individual defender inside given his ability to step out and guard on the perimeter, playing angles and leaving appropriate space defending quicker players. – Source: http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Lauri-Markkanen-73519/ ©DraftExpress

    43. This is the game I was hoping g1 would be

    44. That was an unbelievable sequence by LeBron…the contested 3, the shake and bake lefty take, and the drop the halfcourt+ pass in the perfect spot.

    45. Good managers let their employees do their jobs while supporting them. They help good workers succeed. Bad managers micro-manage their employees, and undermine them publicly to deflect blame from themselves. Bad managers make questionable hiring decisions, then blame the employee when it doesn’t work out. Good managers hire people based on specific criteria, and accept personal responsibility when it doesn’t work out. Phil Jackson is the kind of boss that would have you constantly checking for a new job, but his most important employees don’t have that option.

    46. Playing the Warriors really is like trying to hold back a flood. Cavs get it down to 1, they go up 10, Cavs get it down to 5, they go up 14.

      And it happens in an instant.

    47. How do you stop a team that can move their 7’0 small forward to PF when their 6’7 PF has foul trouble?

    48. This team is unbeatable in a 7 game series

    49. I can’t wait until the Knicks are as good as Golden State. If we can land Jonathan Isaac we might just have a chance at doing something special.

    50. the two keys for GSW dominance were Curry’s weak ankles allowing GSW to lowball him w an extension followed by a cap spike allowing them to sign KD

      this won’t be happening ever again, probably. but yeah, if the Knicks were half as good as this team, I’d be ecstatic.

    51. Golden State is definitely unfair. LeBron with a triple double and they lose by 20. Unreal.

    52. Pierce and Billups pretty watchable. I have hit my quota of Chuck and Shaq I think.

    53. I can’t wait until the Knicks are as good as Golden State. If we can land Jonathan Isaac we might just have a chance at doing something special.

      We would have to land Isaac while also somehow picking up Davis or Giannis in FA or a trade. Of course we would need 2/3 of KP, Willy, and Isaac to pan out into superstar status while the odd man out being an all-star talent.

    54. Last year it’s 0-2 also. Warriors should better prepare for game 3 and get that win.
      Can we witness our Knicks to have that kind of NBA finals performance in this lifetime?

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