Knicks Morning News (2019.05.18)

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Hope, a Flimsy Concept Against the Warriors, Is Slipping Away for the Trail Blazers
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 6:11:03 PM)

    Andre Iguodala foils Damian Lillard, and the Warriors take a two-games-to-none lead.

  • [NYPost] Past video proves Kevin Durant could like playing with RJ Barrett
    (Saturday, May 18, 2019 12:29:25 AM)

    CHICAGO — Kevin Durant apparently has a longtime yen for Duke’s RJ Barrett, the player the Knicks could select at No. 3 in the draft and who possibly could become his future teammate. A 2017 video surfaced from the sports network Overtime in which Durant gives a scouting report on some young high school prospects…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ Steve Mills mum on possibly using No. 3 pick for Anthony Davis trade
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 1:09:50 PM)

    CHICAGO — Knicks president Steve Mills, finally breaking his recent silence, declined to speculate about trading the third pick in the draft for Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis and said fans should be happy — not sad — about Tuesday’s lottery results. “We’re excited about where we are,’’ Mills said Friday at the NBA draft combine…

  • [NYPost] Shamorie Ponds faces steep NBA draft climb; Knicks not yet involved
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 8:45:12 AM)

    CHICAGO — St. John’s star guard Shamorie Ponds was supposed to work out for the Knicks last spring, but a conflict arose with another NBA team and he never got the chance. Disappointed by his reviews, Ponds wound up pulling his name from the draft and going back to St. John’s for his junior year….

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks president Steve Mills on No. 3 pick: ‘We’re excited about where we are’
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 9:03:01 PM)

    Since the Knicks were given the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, only Patrick Ewing and Isiah Thomas have said something about missing out on the top selection and Zion Williamson.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ NBA Draft Tracker: President Steve Mills talks No. 3 pick for first time
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 7:07:55 PM)

    NBA Draft season is upon us, and the Knicks were awarded the No. 3 overall pick following the NBA Draft Lottery. As June 20 approaches to them being on the clock, here is the latest about the top prospects in this year’s Draft class as it pertains to the Knicks…

  • [SNY Knicks] Are the Pelicans down on Knicks’ Kevin Knox?
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 5:23:40 PM)

    After the Knicks failed to land the number one pick in Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery, the attention quickly shifted back to whether or not the team could swing a trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks trade target Anthony Davis: Pelicans owner denies reported ‘over my dead body’ comment
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 4:16:54 PM)

    Pelicans star Anthony Davis has requested a trade, informing the team he has no interest in re-signing. With news of Davis wanting out came reports that the Knicks have strong interest in trading for him. Here are the latest rumors…

  • [SNY Knicks] David Lee stresses Knicks fans to be patient in wake of NBA Draft Lottery
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 2:30:54 PM)

    David Lee, who played with the Knicks from 2005-10, preaches patience after missing out on the No. 1 pick in the NBA lottery and as free agency approaches.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks legend Charles Oakley wants to guide free agents about playing in New York
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 12:27:07 PM)

    Former Knicks great Charles Oakley hopes free agents who are interested in joining the Knicks reach out to him for guidance.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks target Kevin Durant: Calf injury ‘more serious than we thought’
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 9:15:54 AM)

    Warriors star Kevin Durant can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kyrie Irving on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors…

  • [SNY Knicks] Sources: Some with Knicks ‘highly’ rate Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver
    (Friday, May 17, 2019 11:11:05 AM)

    Jarrett Culver isn’t considered part of the top tier in this year’s NBA Draft class, but sources tell SNY Insider Ian Begley that some within the Knicks organization ‘highly’ rate the Texas Tech standout.

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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).

    35 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.05.18)”

    1. This may sound crazy, but I’d rather trade for 2 yrs of Mike Conley (assuming Mem picks Morant and wants to unload salary) versus signing Kyrie Irving for 4 yrs. I think it’s reasonable to think that Conley and Durant would make a better combo as well as cost less, making it possible to keep at least part of the existing roster, including DeAndre Jordan.

    2. It’s kinda crazy how both times the Knicks hired a coach this decade, the guy they wanted went on to take a job and turn a team into a juggernaut. Kerr with the current Warriors and Budenholzer with the Bucks. I’m still all in with Fizdale, but damn it would be nice to have an elite coach.

      The really painful thing about Budz is that they were just a freakin’ year away from having this job be a really good job for him to take. Fucking timing, man. It can be a real bitch. Kerr’s a bit different, as the Warriors job was always going to be the better gig. Another bad case of timing was the Knicks getting D’Antoni probably two years too early.

    3. This may sound crazy, but I’d rather trade for 2 yrs of Mike Conley (assuming Mem picks Morant and wants to unload salary) versus signing Kyrie Irving for 4 yrs. I think it’s reasonable to think that Conley and Durant would make a better combo as well as cost less, making it possible to keep at least part of the existing roster, including DeAndre Jordan.

      Kyrie Irving’s max contract next year is less than $200,000 more than Mike Conley’s salary for next season (Kyrie’s max will be $32,700,000 while Conley will make $32,511,000). So that wouldn’t give you any more room to sign anyone else. So yeah, I’d much prefer Kyrie Irving. Especially since he’s basically five years younger than Conley.

    4. I can’t see going after Conley either. I don’t think we will get Davis either (although I’d like to have him). So I’d rather get KD and KI, if that is in the cards, and keep the young guys we have and trust them to improve.

    5. I wouldn’t take Conley unless we got assets back with him. Shame is, Noah’s deal might have helped make deals like that that work. Really a stupid move to stretch him rather than wait. Just bad cap management. I suppose if they do some clever things this off-season, it will all be good. But I never got that move from a strategic perspective.

    6. Yep, even if they knew that KD was signing here, they didn’t gain any extra cap room from cutting Noah, so it would have been better to just hold on to him to see what could have happened. That said, it is true that they would have had to cut someone. As it turned out, Ron Baker ended up getting cut soon anyways for Trier, but still, it was a less obvious call at the time (and then someone else would have had to have been cut for Trier later on). It would probably have been Kornet who was cut, and there was a theoretical chance that someone else could have picked Kornet up. So Noah’s free up roster space had some use to it. I don’t think it had enough use to justify the move, but it is fair to at least note that there was some utility to the move.

    7. Milwaukee looks really, really good. I thought that the way they murdered the Celts boded well for them winning a title. They’ll still probably be underdogs going into the finals vs. the Warriors but it could be an epic series. As great as the Dubs look, they might get worn down if Blazers can extend the series. Even at full strength, it should be the toughest test that GSW has faced.

      I know folks like to get romantic and call the last 5 years of the Warriors the greatest team ever, but I vehemently disagree. Yeah, they have the titles and all, but they haven’t beaten anything close to a great team in their entire run. In other words, not a single team that they have beaten would have bee serious contenders in the late ’80s-early ’90s. For all the hype about how great the West is, their top 4 nowhere near as tough as the East or the West top 4 was during the Magic-Bird era or the first Jordan 3-peat. This current team lost two games each to the very pedestrian Clips and the good but far from great Rockets before Durant went down. Last year, they went through the post-Duncan Spurs 2.0, the Pelicans (please!) and almost lost to the far-from-great Rockets. The year before that they dominated 4 shitty teams. The year before that they should have lost to the Thunder, and they lost to a shitty LeBron team. In fact, all of the LeBron teams they beat in the Finals were deeply flawed and largely rode on his coattails. The record-setting team couldn’t even win a chip! I think that the Bucks will be the first true test of their greatness in an historical sense. If they lose, I don’t want to hear about them being the best team ever.

    8. I’m not calling them the greatest team ever, either, but five straight finals is still insane, no matter how you slice it. Only two teams in NBA history have ever done that (well, just one since Golden State technically hasn’t done it yet, as I guess Portland could still shock the world).

    9. And yes, Milwaukee’s level of domination in the playoffs is something we haven’t seen since the Jordan Bulls.

    10. The Bucks almost have the perfect roster to contend with GSW with KD and without KD I don’t know how the Warriors make Giannis work on defense. Brogdon really just make them a balanced team. What other team brought a 50-40-90 guy off the bench? They even have a heavy rotation player in Tony Snell who can spread the floor on the bench these playoffs.

    11. The thing that gives me hope the Bucks might win it all is their defense. I know you don’t really stop Curry or Durant because they’re just too good, but it’s been a while since I last saw a team that defended so well. They have size and length at every single position and Giannis is just so damn good.

      All their role players are showing up too, Lopez, Ilyasova, Hill, Mirotic, but the Warriors are notoriously great at nullifying these type of players.

    12. What I will give to the Warriors is that they play beautiful basketball on both ends. Their whole is greater than the sum of their parts, which is a tribute to Kerr. He’s like Pop without the needless churlishness. So extending the argument I made in @7, I think that this is the first time that Kerr will be challenged by a coach of his caliber (Budz) that has a team capable of competing with all other things being equal. Blatt was not NBA friendly, Lue was a joke, I’m not a fan of D’Antoni, Pop hasn’t had the horses, Rivers is good but not as good as Kerr, Donovan sucked, etc. Budz and this Bucks team will test every aspect of this Warriors team. I’ll be rooting hard for them, but if GSW wins, I will give them their props.

    13. The Bucks have a playoff MOV of ~17 including their loss to the Celtics.

    14. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them! says:

      I have no problem mixing veterans and young players as long as the veterans are on fair/attractive contracts and can be moved later as part of a deal to roll up into a better (star) player. I think it’s a net positive for the development of young players to have veterans around that have won before setting the example and also getting playoff experience as soon as possible.

      However, I don’t see much upside in Conley. He’s a terrific player, but he isn’t going to put the Knicks over the top and I don’t think we’ll be able to trade him later at that salary. I don’t think I’d even consider him if we strike out on some combination of KD, KL, KI, AD etc.. and got PAID to take him into cap space. Then he “might” be OK if you are assuming the team was going to take a few years to develop and you were getting some assets to add to the rebuild while biding time. But I’d see that as more of a desperation move and very very low on my list.

      There will probably be less bad/shorter contracts to take on than Conely just to gain an asset. If not, I’d rather hand out a few 1 year deals to roll the cap space over.

    15. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them! says:

      Is it possible that NO would take the MitchRob package intended for AD to acquire Zion instead?

      No. New Orleans ticket sales supposedly when through the roof right after the draft. Mitchell can’t add that kind of value.

    16. @5

      I wouldn’t take Conley unless we got assets back with him. Shame is, Noah’s deal might have helped make deals like that that work. Really a stupid move to stretch him rather than wait. Just bad cap management. I suppose if they do some clever things this off-season, it will all be good. But I never got that move from a strategic perspective.

      Totally agree. I guess the counterargument is get him away from the team, etc., but couldn’t they have just banished him?

      I’m no KI fan, but I’d rather have him for “free” rather than try to deal for Conley given the current circumstances.

    17. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them! says:

      Kerr took the best of what he learned from each of Jackson, Pop, and D’Antoni on offense (which is essentially a lot of ball movement, player movement, good spacing, and both triangle and P&R sets) and added a great defensive mind to his staff. Of course, he also has the high IQ team first players that are both willing and capable of executing it. But Golden State is great because they have the horses and play right under Kerr.

    18. I’ve always been a fan of Conley, but he’s not the guy for me. I’d rather have Kemba than him, unless the Grizzlies were literally paying for us to take him, which shouldn’t happen as at least 2 teams have reported interest in him.

    19. So yeah, I’d much prefer Kyrie Irving.

      Kyrie Irving just had possibly the best statistical production of his career and the result was leading a team that got within one game of the Finals without him to a Gentleman’s Sweep in the 2nd round with him and possibly the most disappointing season in Celtics history.

      Oh, and in possibly having the best statistical production of his career, Kyrie STILL wasn’t a top 10 player in the league.

      Someone somewhere I can’t remember made this point about Kyrie: What would he be seen as if LeBron had never gone back to Cleveland? A rich man’s Kemba Walker. Does anyone really want to give a max deal to an injury-plagued Kemba Walker…even the best possible version of one?

      Mike

    20. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them! says:

      Responding to a report which claimed she had said she’d only trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers “over my dead body,” Pelicans owner Gayle Benson laughed and called it “totally absurd” and “completely untrue,” tweets Fletcher Mackel of WDSU.

      Or it’s true and she realizes that to maximize his trade value she has to include the Lakers in the bidding process to maximize her return before she trades him elsewhere.

    21. @20

      You are really, really underrating how hard it is to win in the NBA. Kemba Walker himself reached the playoffs what, once in his entire career? Kawhi Leonard is a top 5 player in the league and his team is getting slapped around by the same Bucks who embarrassed the Celtics, even though they’re clearly a better team than Boston.

      Kyrie isn’t a top 10 player in the league but he’s very very close in terms of production. Steph Curry or James Harden aren’t walking through the door anytime soon, so he’s the next best thing you can have.

    22. @22

      it’s funny cause it’s in the context of prefering Irving to Conley. Conley’s lost way more time due to injuries, is almost five years older, costs basically the same, has been far more inconsistent as a player, and just flat out is not as good. But somehow the esteemed Mike thinks there’s something wrong with prefering Irving.

      “Injury-plagued Kemba Walker.” That’s Mike Conley.

    23. Mike Conley, who in his career got to the conference finals exactly once and got promptly swept by the Spurs, and that was seven seasons ago… this is a Reddit level take.

    24. Like, I don’t know why some people even think keeping some of the current roster is a good thing. The entire roster of the Knicks is terrible apart from Mitch, and maybe, just maybe, Alonzo Trier. DeAndre Jordan must be a very fun dude to have at parties but he’s declining heavily on defense and will probably be too expensive to be worthy, and everyone else is either bad or has been bad in the earliest stages of their careers while not showing promise.

      If we had to literally trade away or cut every single player on the current roster except Mitch to get real stars, it’s certainly worth it, because there’s not a single player besides him that deserves starter minutes in the NBA or even rotation minutes for that matter. The Bucks spent like 5 million total on Lopez and Connaughton and traded a 2021 pick plus seconds and garbage contracts for Mirotic and Hill, and here’s your depth.

      Build the real core, then we’ll worry about filling the gaps.

    25. . Yeah, they have the titles and all, but they haven’t beaten anything close to a great team in their entire run.

      That Houston team they beat last year is one of the best teams to not win a title in NBA history. It’s probably better than any team Jordan’s Bulls ever beat.

    26. The Celtics barely beat the Bucks last year in round one in 7 games. This year they lost in the second round to a much better bucks team. The Celtics didn’t get worse, the Bucks and the top of the east got way better.

      Additionally, all of the worst 5 man line ups for Boston this year included Gordon Hayward. If Stephens plays him less minutes throughout the season maybe Boston wins more games, avoids the Bucks in the second round and gets back to the ecf. Yet Kyrie is to blame for their “problems” this year and not Hayward. I wonder why…

      Also last year’s Cleveland team was the weakest Lebron led team of the last Lebron Cleveland era. Taking them to 7 games wasn’t really that much of a feat considering the Cavs no longer had…Kyrie.

    27. @30

      It’s crazy how people seemingly flip the narrative all the time on the Celtics role players. First they were all amazing, superstars in the making Tatum and Brown, borderline all-star Rozier, Marcus intangibles King Smart, Hayward was going to come back healthy and playing well.

      Then as the season went on and it became obvious they were wildly overestimated, suddenly it’s now Kyrie that somehow makes them all play like garbage, as if it’s his fault that these guys are not playing at the obviously unsustainable level they reached for like 2 playoff series, or that Tatum decided he has to be the next Kobe, or that Rozier was never good in the first place, etc. The actual one guy in the team who reached 3 straight finals and won one is the problem. The Celtics played like the mediocre team with one star and a couple of potentially good guys that they are, they only disappointed the people who wanted to believe this narrative of a super team.

    28. I love how Mark Jackson goes on national TV and says, “I don’t need the analytics, I watch the game with my eyes” without the slightest hint of awareness that that’s why, at least in part, the very team he’s watching fired him

    29. the freaking warriors are just breaking the game…I don’t think portland just suddenly started to massively suck at times during the last couple of games – I’m guessing golden state’s play has something to do with what’s happening out on the court…

    30. The Blazers played a mediocre and a good team in their early series and got taken to the wire by the good one. The Warriors are a lot better than them. And the Bucks are, too.

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