Knicks Morning News (2019.06.04)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Atlantic Notes: Kawhi, Lowry, Knicks, C’s, Sixers
    (Monday, June 03, 2019 3:42:44 PM)

    While their star players haven’t been forced out of action like some Warriors have been, the Raptors are dealing with some health issues of their own in these NBA Finals, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. According to Vardon and Sam Amick of The Athletic, the leg injury that has been bothering Kawhi Leonard since […]

  • [NYPost] Tacko Fall at last getting Knicks shot as NBA draft hype heats up
    (Monday, June 03, 2019 5:14:54 PM)

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Knicks will finally get a chance to interview and work out intriguing 7-foot-7 Central Florida center Tacko Fall on Friday, The Post has learned. Fall swung onto the Knicks’ radar after his impressive NBA Draft Combine performance, showing lateral quickness and ability to run the floor. The Knicks, who have the…

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ NBA Draft Tracker: Two more seniors finish workouts
    (Monday, June 03, 2019 3:58:03 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…

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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).

    69 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.06.04)”

    1. In the interest of risk management, I would rather pay for one in free agency (since they’re capped often far below their actual open-market value) or trade for one than try to see the future in the draft — in the former scenario, you are 100% sure of what you’re getting.

      Outside of Zion, there is no sure thing in this draft. And Zion is a prospect that beats you over the head with his violent, beautiful greatness. Just play the numbers game: there will be a higher success rate on finding WS48 .150 players than .250 players because of the sheer dumb math of it: there are simply more of them to go around. A lot more.

      I strongly agree with this draft philosophy once you’re outside the range of players who will obviously be stars. It’s much easier to hit a single or double in the draft than a home run, and we always swing for the fences. Conversely, not only are you more likely to hit a home run in free agency when you know how good a player is, it’s actually a lot harder to hit a single or a double in free agency, because you usually have to overpay for those players. That’s how we end up with decent players like Lee and Hardaway on unmovable contracts.

      Smart resource management would be using the draft to stock the roster with the guys who will fill the 3rd through 6th spots on your roster at a high level and using free agency and trades for your top 2.

      (Side comment to Grocer, who asked “where do you find these solid role players”: he meant in the draft.)

      Having said all that, I don’t know that these are arguments against Barrett. This classification of him as a volume scorer seems off to me. He has a wide range of skills and I don’t think it’s certain that he can’t be extremely good in the role of the 3rd or 4th option.

    2. Put me in the bullish on Barrett camp, btw.

      If we strike out in free agency, I think he’s a great fit with the kids we have here. A frontline of him, Knox, and Mitchell is very complemtary. You’d just have to be patient and hope they develop.

      If we’re successful in free agency, he has enough skills to fill a starting role in support of KD, Kyrie/Kemba, Mitch. Think of him as a suped-up Harrison Barnes. An overrated player, for sure. But he provided very good value to the Warriors on his rookie contract.

    3. I’m so glad Phil used the 31st pick in this draft (best non-guaranteed rookie contract) to dump Travis Outlaw way back when. If he didn’t clear enough cap space to sign all those bad contracts, we wouldn’t be in the position to draft the top high school recruit in two weeks!! His chess game has more dimensions than the MCU!

    4. I’m friendly online with an NBA writer who does a lot of smart things with analytics, and last night we were debating which was the more valuable asset for the Knicks: Mitch, or the presumed draft rights to RJ Barrett. I argued in favor of Mitch, noting the absurd value of his contract and the fact that it’s much easier to imagine him hitting his ceiling than it is RJ. He went for RJ, even though he agrees he’s a flawed prospect, because:

      1. Wings are just much more valuable than bigs in today’s game. You can get a good center dirt cheap on the FA market, where you have to pay through the nose for a versatile wing. ”
      2. Mitch still has a lot of growing to do on both ends of the court, and his defense outside those blocked shots is a huge work in progress. On offense, “He can’t dribble at all and he can’t shoot. He’s amazingly athletic but good teams can limit that rim running. I think he basically escaped serious scrutiny this year.”
      3. Because of that, even if Mitch does realize his full DPOY potential, it probably won’t be until his next contract. And he’s pretty sure Mitch will be unrestricted at the end of this deal, which means the Knicks might have to extend him early to make up for his current low pay.

      I’m still not entirely convinced, but figured I would share.

    5. I’ve been told the Knicks can easily purchase 2nd round picks for paltry sums. It never seems to happen though. Maybe this is the year?

    6. The guy I’m most worried about passing over is Garland. If the knee issue is not serious, he’s got Trae Young 2.0 written all over him. If he spent the entire year since his injury working on his body and rehabbing the knee, he should make quite an impression in workouts. I suppose you can’t take him at #3 but damn, his skill package is very, very impressive.

    7. I think the picks you might be able to purchase are in the bottom of the second round. They are cheap because at that level undrafted free agents are similarly a long shot. I can see doing if there were still someone available we liked late in the second round.

    8. It seems like teams have caught on to the absurdity of straight up selling second round picks. No one wants a Jordan Bell situation on their hands (for all of his warts, it’s still humiliating to trade a rotation player on the Warriors for non-usable cash).

      You still see the odd pick in the 50s sold from time to time, but it doesn’t seem to be something you can bank on anymore.

    9. @4

      In terms of pure perceived trade value I think the writer is right. That’s why I’m advocating drafting RJ no matter what, even if he’s not the better player.

      @6

      Dunno. It would seem very smart to do so in a year where (if everything goes right) we might need to bolster our bench with dirt cheap contracts. I hope they got the memo.

    10. I agree with the writer about Mitch except that I expect faster development from Robinson than the writer does. Robinson’s lack of offense outside of dunks, lobs and outback’s limits his value. That said, if his low value relative to a top draft pick means that we keep him, that’s fine by me.

    11. You can get a good center dirt cheap on the FA market, where you have to pay through the nose for a versatile wing.

      You can get a passable center on the FA market for pretty cheap. You can’t find many with a >5.2 DBPM in the free agent pile because, well, there’s only two of them. One’s named Mitch Robinson and the other is Nerlens Noel, and if it were up to me, they’d both be Knicks.

      It seems real silly to me to argue that Barrett is more valuable when he hasn’t played a single minute in the NBA. It’s funny that this writer is arguing that Robinson “escaped serious scrutiny” when he had an objectively amazing rookie season in the damn NBA while Barrett got exposed as a bad shooter against far, far inferior talent. Let’s talk about who actually escaped scrutiny. (Is Barrett a top-3 pick if Zion goes to UNC and the Blue Devils go, say, 22-14?)

      If you want to talk about trade value, then yeah, I agree that Mitch is less valuable for all the narrative-driven arguments about wings over bigs, scorers over defenders, switch-fungibility over specialization. GMs appear to be still awed by the new-car smell of a young, athletic wing who has yet to be exposed by the sheer scope of NBA talent. And that’s fucking hilarious, a symptom of pundit self-satisfaction derived from years of repeating the mantra “But did you watch the games?” in as many different phrasings as possible.

    12. I’m so glad Phil used the 31st pick in this draft (best non-guaranteed rookie contract) to dump Travis Outlaw way back when.

      Yeah, but you can never take my memories of the Wear Bear away

      He might not have been a good player in a conventional sense but he really knew how to play Isosceles Forward

      Wear Bear and Jah Smith should have been an unstoppable duo but alas

    13. The guy I’m most worried about passing over is Garland. If the knee issue is not serious, he’s got Trae Young 2.0 written all over him

      Trae is an incredible, once in a generation passer. Garland is not even average.

    14. Side comment to Grocer, who asked “where do you find these solid role players”: he meant in the draft.

      That’s not what Strat meant, which is who I was responding to. Pretty sure Strat thinks all you gotta do is ask the solid role player fairy nicely, which is why he thinks you can just scoop em up off the sidewalk when you’re capped out. He very explicitly pooh-poohed drafting them.

    15. I still think people forget Mitchell Robinson managed to have the highest WS/48 among rookies this past season at 19 years despite reviving no college coaching and not playing a year of organized team basketball. That is mind-boggingly good.

    16. I think we get too caught up in these terms….role players, all-stars, superstars. There is no “correct” way to build a contender. The key is to not overpay for average or bad players and to avoid unmovable contracts. If you do have to overpay, it should be only when you’re all ready good and it should be for a good player.

      Obviously the best is to get a transcendent superstar on a rookie contract cause its amazing value but that is very hard to do. After that, I believe as long as you got some really good value contracts, you are on your way. Maybe that’s a couple of stars getting paid less than they should. Or maybe its your “role players” (which is a very nebulous phrase) who are getting paid less than they should.

      IE, if you have 3 or 4 role players who are making rookie contracts or vet minimums, then you’ve got some money to spare on your stars. Or if you have 1 star or 2 stars who are making less than they really should, you’ve got money to overpay for your role players. Then you get lucky, under pay steph curry and now you can add Durant to a 73 win team but that’s rarely going to happen.

      If we draft barrett and he’s an all-star by year 2, then that’s amazing! We’d have a big 3 with him, Durant and Kyrie plus Mitch and we’d be well on our way. Conversley, if we trade the third pick and pick up two great rotation players on rookie contracts, now we have a nice deep team to build around Kyrie and Durant. Either way would be awesome. Of course, we could also draft Barrett and he’s wiggins or we trade for two picks and whiff on both of them. At the end of the day its all a crap shoot to a certain degree. But I can be convinced that trading for more picks is wise cause you get more chances to get it right. At the same time, we have extra first round picks in the next few years, so maybe this is the year to keep the third pick and go for broke and hopefully draft another star.

    17. It’s incredibly dumb to talk in any way dismissively about Mitch. He did things on defense as a rookie that defy logic. His offensive game is far more developed than guys like Tyson, DeAndre, Capela Whiteside and Gobert were in their early careers (the search targets when they has similar minutes played in the NBA, for Whiteside he was 25 years old when that happened). He is very crafty around the basket and has shown signs that he could develop a decent face-up game all the way out to the 3-pt line.

      It would be absolutely nuts for us to trade him for anything less than a guaranteed top-10 player in his early prime or before. To compare his current trade value to RJ Barrett’s is insane.

    18. Agreed that Trae is a gifted passer (once-in-a-generation is pushing it) and Garland is not. His scouting report does indicate that passing is a strength for him, though.

    19. I found the conversation about Draymond’s situational decision-making fascinating. It’s as if there is a “processing speed/efficiency” metric (similar to that of a computer’s CPU). This speed, combined with peripheral vision and b-ball IQ, is what separates the “savants” like Draymond, Jokic, Paul, or to go back a bit, Larry Bird, from more physically talented but less impactful players, like say, Amare, Westbrook, Porzingis (had to get that in there!), Kanter, etc.

      I wonder if someone can develop a “virtual reality” test to accurately measure this quality in draft-eligible players. It would seem that a player who scored high on this test would only need a basic level of skill/athleticism to be a highly impactful player. It might not test basketball skill at all, just situational processing speed.

    20. The guy I’m most worried about passing over is Garland. If the knee issue is not serious, he’s got Trae Young 2.0 written all over him. If he spent the entire year since his injury working on his body and rehabbing the knee, he should make quite an impression in workouts. I suppose you can’t take him at #3 but damn, his skill package is very, very impressive.

      I predicted that Garland would become the consensus 4th best player in the draft. Doesn’t look like that will happen, but I like him a lot. He’s the guy I’d target in a trade down with Cleveland.

    21. Re: Draymond and the savant, I know this sounds crazy but that’s the potential I see in Frank on that side of the court. I’m not going to make the argument that it overcomes his putrid offense, but that’s why some of us want to believe in him. I see him having that kind of innate grasp of the defensive side of the ball. It’s not even his one on one D, it’s the way he guards space. He can cover 2-3 guys at once. I really wish we could be patient with him, but I understand why we won’t.

    22. Re: Frank, I don’t see that. I see a guy with freakishly long arms and decent, but not exceptional, quickness, strength and instincts. I haven’t seen him make any plays that are solely based on gifted anticipation/making quick reads; in other words, the kind of plays Chris Paul, a much smaller defender with a nothing wingspan, made routinely at his age.

    23. “At the same time, we have extra first round picks in the next few years, so maybe this is the year to keep the third pick and go for broke and hopefully draft another star.”

      FWIW I’m coming around to this kind of thinking. We tanked, got the third pick, take the guy your scouts recommend at that spot, and hope for the best.
      The simple solution is often the best solution.

    24. There is an oral history of Kawhi’s college years on The Athletic. It is absolutely fascinating.

      Gay: The most he talked was on the hard court, and Kawhi was not afraid to let you know that you weren’t going to score on him, that you couldn’t get past him or that he would score on you. Every time the ball went through the net, he just said, “Bucket. Bucket.” That was it.

      Tyrone Shelley, guard: Most people say it like, “Oh, I’m about to get buckets on you.” He was just like, “Buckets. Layup.” Just one word.

      Shelton: He’d be like, “You’re not scoring. You’re not doing anything.” Or he’d be like, “No, no, no.” He’d just move his feet and say, “No.”

      Gay: You couldn’t score on him, so that’s what he would say: “Nope, nope, nope.” And when he would score on you: “Bucket. Bucket.”

      LaBradford Franklin, guard: If he was grabbing a rebound, he’d say, “Give me that” or “Board man” or “Board man gets paid.”

      Coach Hutson: If I heard it once, I heard it 50 times. “Board man. I’m a board man.” That’s what he said. Absolutely. “I’m a board man. Yeah, I’m a board man. Board man gets paid.” He spoke in phrases like that.

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

      @4

      I’m not sure who I would rather have (Mitch or Barrett), but I think your NBA writer friend is exactly right about where Mitch is right now. He’s very good at what he does, but he’s very limited and raw at both ends at this stage. Any really good team could severely limit him on offense and take advantage of him on defense at this stage. However, he’s also so young and athletic, it’s also correct to be enthusiastic about what he might become given where he is and how quickly he seems to be learning.

    26. Shams is reporting that David Griffin is fielding offers for AD. Maybe he’s given up on trying to keep him?

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

      Re: Draymond and the savant, I know this sounds crazy but that’s the potential I see in Frank on that side of the court. I’m not going to make the argument that it overcomes his putrid offense, but that’s why some of us want to believe in him. I see him having that kind of innate grasp of the defensive side of the ball. It’s not even his one on one D, it’s the way he guards space. He can cover 2-3 guys at once. I really wish we could be patient with him, but I understand why we won’t.

      He’s not going to pile up the same kind of boxscore stats as Draymond because Draymond. Draymond is going to get way more rebounds as a PF/C than someone like Frank can get as a PG/SG. But what you are hoping is that he can become the same kind of impact switchable defender at the 1-4 position while adding significant play making. Draymond didn’t get drafted until he was 22 and didn’t start getting good until 23. No guarantees, but the defensive instincts, length, ability to switch, etc… is already there. He’s also a good passer. What missing (besides a shot) is emotional aggressiveness and confidence. He’s putrid as a scorer. That dominates the perception and conversation, but there is something to work with that could turn out to be pretty valuable in a 2-3 years.

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

      That’s not what Strat meant, which is who I was responding to. Pretty sure Strat thinks all you gotta do is ask the solid role player fairy nicely, which is why he thinks you can just scoop em up off the sidewalk when you’re capped out. He very explicitly pooh-poohed drafting them.

      I’m not going to go back and reread the entire conversation.

      I think you can get good role players in the draft, free agency or via trade MUCH EASIER than you can get the legitimate high quality impact players you are going to build around. We have a couple of up and coming role players on our team now.

      IMO, when you don’t have the impact players yet and you have a chance to potentially get one (draft, trade or FA), you have to be a little more aggressive than you would normally be because those chances don’t come along all the time.

      Keep in mind, I am admitting I don’t have a strong opinion on Barrett’s probability of becoming an impact player. However, if you think he has a pretty good chance relative to AVERAGE #3 pick, I think it’s a better idea to draft him than trade down for stuff like the #8 and #10. The entire reason for tanking is to try to draft an impact player. There were never any guarantees we’d get #1, Zion, or a shot at a player that was a no brainer star. This is the gamble of the draft and why I have less enthusiasm for tanking as a strategy than some people except in certain situations.

    29. 2018:

      We tanked, got the 9th pick, take the guy your scouts recommend at that spot, and hope for the best.

      And with the 9th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the scouts of the New York Knicks select–

    30. Maybe, but even if he hasn’t, he has to find out what he could get for Davis.

    31. @32 – just because our front office is incompetent most of the time doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision.

    32. I hope we trade for Davis. Not just because Davis is great, but it would be awesome to move that timebomb pick we’ll surely get wrong, Knox (the pick from last year we got wrong), and DSJ (a deeply flawed player).

    33. Re: Draymond and the savant, I know this sounds crazy but that’s the potential I see in Frank on that side of the courts

      That’s because it is crazy. Frank doesn’t have Dray’s ability to read the game faster than most players-it shows in his middling rebound and steal numbers.

    34. Also Mitchell is probably a much better defender already than that writer thinks he is. Most of the stats suggest he is, and I don’t know how someone as mobile as Mitchell with his block and steal numbers isn’t a good defender

    35. Frank is a terrible rebounder for his size and length. But sure, those instincts will kick in any day now.

    36. Except Draymond Green has played basketball since his college days as if he’s the best player on the court, and he was a highly productive freshman and sophomore who just didn’t have much space to play for two final four Michigan State teams. Then he became a starter and was immediately extremely productive and collected accolades everywhere.

      Draymond’s college production alone was more indicative of a good prospect than anything Ntilikina has done in his entire career, simple as that. Saying he only got good at age 23 is literally wrong. Plus, if Draymond only played defense and was completely useless on offense, he would be far, far less valuable than he has been.

    37. @32 – just because our front office is incompetent most of the time doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision.

      You’re right. And we’ve talked about these competing evaluations of the FO a lot — ostensibly, the same people who picked Knox at #9 also picked Robinson as a UDFA. I just want to see more of the latter before I submit to their authority.

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

      Frank is a terrible rebounder for his size and length. But sure, those instincts will kick in any day now.

      When Frank is on the court, he still looks lost. After every good or bad play he looks over to the sidelines hoping for approval or terrified he’s going to get pulled. I’m not sure he even knows he should be trying to get a rebound. lol He’s tall enough, long enough, and getting strong enough to rebound well for a PG/SG if they want him to. But if they want him to get back on defense or get the ball on the break he’s not going to be in position to get many as a guard.

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

      Draymond got drafted at 22 and was bad in his first year as a pro. He became a good play maker over time. Frank was drafted at 18 and still can’t drink legally. Before we write Frank off as an impact defender and play maker, let’s allow him to finish going through puberty.

    40. Re: Barrett and being exposed, I think that’s a bad take. RJ Barrett wasn’t exposed as a poor shooter at the college level, but Tre Jones and Cam Reddish were (core injury be damned). If you want to call 22 points, 7 boards, and 4 assists a game as being exposed, be my guest. Barrett’s not coming into the league with a reputation as a good shooter or defender (and I’d say he’s closer to average than bad on both fronts), but he’s a great finisher, rebounder, and passer for the position. Believe it or not, his profile looks a lot like Luka Doncic’s profile:

      https://www.basketball-reference.com/international/players/luka-doncic-1.html

      https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/rj-barrett-1.html

      I know that Luka was supremely decorated coming into the draft as a European prospect who beat up on grown men at the age of 18, BUT RJ Barrett also won the FIBA U18 tournament, went undefeated as a senior in college on his way to a National Championship, dominated in the all star circuit (Nike Hoop Summit, McDonald’s All American game), and then went on to break the scoring record for a freshman at Duke, win an ACC Championship (this year’s NCAA Champion is an ACC team), and be named a Consensus All American.

      Both Doncic and Barrett had below average shooting from deep (32% Euroleague and 28% in the ACB for Doncic). Both had paltry defensive stats (1.1 stls for Doncic and 0.9 stls for Barrett). Both came in about as decorated as you can after their age 18 seasons. Are they the same guy? Oddly enough they are both ball-handling wings/big guards, but there’s enough variance in their games that I wouldn’t make a comparison to the two. All I’m saying is look at the whole package when it comes to RJ Barrett and you’ll start to see a lot of value at the #3 pick.

    41. Re: Ntilikina, we absolutely 100% should have traded him to Dallas for his own good. He needs to be in a place where nothing is expected from him offensively and where he can allow the star guard to take the easier assignment on defense. Frank Ntilikina is a niche player, not a nice player, and he’ll struggle so long as people pay attention to him on offense.

    42. There are lots of guys who come into the league at 18 or 19 or whatever and they’re not so lost and inept they can’t figure out how to get a rebound. If your lottery pick is such a fragile flower that he’s too timid and confused to go up and get a rebound, maybe you fucked up with that pick.

      The excuses for Frank Ntilikina’s shitty play are becoming my favorite thing ever. Maybe if he was in the right environment he’d know how to get a rebound. Okay dudes. Whatevs.

    43. He’s terrible at the basic building blocks of basketball such as dribbling and rebounding, but it’s just because of the circumstances. You guys just can’t see the greatness hiding in there behind all that rank ineptitude. He’s just a three point shot from becoming an elite role player. He’s the wing version of Draymond Green. It’s not that he stinks, it’s management’s fault that he can’t do basic foundational things on a basketball court.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen wishcasting like this on this blog, this is a new height of Ndelusion.

    44. When Frank is on the court, he still looks lost. After every good or bad play he looks over to the sidelines hoping for approval or terrified he’s going to get pulled. I’m not sure he even knows he should be trying to get a rebound. lol He’s tall enough, long enough, and getting strong enough to rebound well for a PG/SG if they want him to. But if they want him to get back on defense or get the ball on the break he’s not going to be in position to get many as a guard.

      He doesn’t get rebounds because he’s a lousy rebounder, period. And if he’s actually worried about getting pulled after every play, he’s a head case. He averaged 21 MPG both years, so your contention that he was worried about getting pulled after every play is a joke.

    45. Frank doesn’t even get those cheap Russell Westbrook rebounds where everyone else is boxing out and he just grabs the loose ball.

      It’s almost like he runs the other way when he sees a shot go up.

    46. it shows in his middling rebound and steal numbers.

      I don’t see how the ability to defend multiple options simultaneously would translate to getting rebounds or even steals. If you’re not tough enough to fight the big men below, it doesn’t mean you didn’t perfectly defend the Ball handler on a PnR while cutting off his lane to the roll man. If you take away a pass, it’s not there to be stolen.

    47. I wanted to see Frank play more this season simply because it was a lost season, so might as well play your young players. But the notion that he was given too short of a leash, specially this year, is pathetic. If you can’t make an impact in 20 minutes a game in the NBA it’s no one else’s fault but yourself. He might progress but I have no hopes anymore.

    48. Before we write Frank off as an impact defender and play maker, let’s allow him to finish going through puberty.

      This made me laugh very hard.

      For those Frank fans, and I qualify the term fan because it is hard to be a fan of a player with such God awful stats, here is a ray of hope with no squinting involved. The comp most Frank acolytes embrace is Bruce Bowen…. long , great defender an important piece with terrific teams for a decade.

      Bowen sucked eggs offensively his first two full seasons and was a worse rebounder than Frank as if that is humanly possible. A similarly sucky shooter… etc.

      And recall at the end of Bowen’s second full season in the NBA (1800 minutes) he WAS 27…. not 20!!!

      https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1_hint=Bruce+Bowen&player_id1_select=Bruce+Bowen&player_id1=bowenbr01&y1=1999&player_id2_hint=Frank+Ntilikina&player_id2_select=Frank+Ntilikina&y2=2019&player_id2=ntilila01&idx=players

    49. That’s funny, I was going to make the Barrett-Doncic comparison, too, but – thus far, anyway – Doncic is a much better passer and has mastered getting to the free throw line.
      It does sound like Barrett has excellent “vision”, though (maybe his best trait?), and since he gets to the rim with long strides and at tough angles, perhaps he can up his ft rate… he definitely would be smart to try and mimic Doncic’s game.

      But how odd that DSJ might be replaced by Doncic and then maybe a lesser facsimile of Doncic on different teams? I feel for the guy.

    50. Frank averaged:

      one field goal every 10 minutes
      one free throw attempt every 30 minutes
      one steal every 30 minutes
      one offensive board every 75 minutes
      one dunk every 452 minutes

      Frank is not good at basketball.

      (Another fun one: on New Year’s Eve, Harden had nearly as many FTA (27) in FORTY-ONE minutes of play as Ntilikina had (30) over 900+ minutes this year. Did I say he’s not good? He fucking sucks at the game of basketball.)

    51. Frank is not good at basketball.

      No one is arguing to the contrary. Bowen at 27 was not good at basketball. Things change sometimes and the comp is reasonable. That is all. Landry Fields was great at basketball his first 6 months…. then not so much and he was out the door. Things in life aren’t static.

    52. I think we have squinted enough at Frank we have given ourselves eye strain. He may yet become a serviceable NBA role player, but I think it’s safe to suggest for a lottery pick he has been a bust so far. I would be more than happy for him to turn it around and for us all to be wrong, but there just doesn’t seem to be anything there.

      Draft is a crap shot. We swung for the fences and we struck out. Next batter up.

    53. Bruno is 100% right. read the Draymond article about his diet and work ethic. he says he believes he’s the best in the world. Frank’s never thought that.

    54. @53 Please stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel about Frank.

      Picking him at 7 and Knox at 9 is not the path to success (by any measure so far at least). They need to get a lot better at that drafting thing pronto.

    55. I literally mentioned one thing that frank does that reminds me of draymond so naturally y’all are talking about the 99 things he doesn’t do like draymond. I get it, he isn’t draymond. Moving on….

      Stephen A is saying Kyrie has told the Nets that’s where he intends to sign.

    56. I’m not sure he even knows he should be trying to get a rebound. lol He’s tall enough, long enough, and getting strong enough to rebound well for a PG/SG if they want him to.

      If they had told him it was okay to rebound he’d be rebounding. What we need for Frank is some sort of neural interface. Then we could have one of the guys on the bench control him and he’ll soon be windmilling like it’s NBA Jam.

    57. Stephen A is saying Kyrie has told the Nets that’s where he intends to sign.

      Assuming KD comes here and Kyrie goes to the Nets, I wouldn’t be averse to trying to bring in Kemba as a Kyrie consolation. Kemba without KD though is a different story. I don’t think we can get close to outbidding Charlotte, but worth kicking the tyres (assuming of course we get KD).

    58. As bad as Frank’s individual stats have been, somehow he has posted a lot of the best 2/3/4-man lineup +/- of any Knicks player over the past 2 years.

      Basically, without being a significant offensive contributor, teams somehow get better (on average) when he’s playing. This pattern also goes back to his euroball days.

      Example: A lineup with Frank, Dotson, and Mitch was +8.7 per 100 possessions in 240+ min. When its just Mitch and Dot (840 min), the Knicks get +0.0 per 100 pos which includes Frank’s 240 min. Which makes Dot and Mitch a negative on the court without him.

      The dude honestly just makes teams better in his own Frank way that just seems to dumbfound advanced sabremetrics which, I guess, isn’t quite that advanced then.

    59. Frank was drafted at 18 and still can’t drink legally. Before we write Frank off as an impact defender and play maker, let’s allow him to finish going through puberty.

      Be honest, what do you think Frank’s line would look like if he were in the NCAA this past season?

      I’ve got news for you: it wouldn’t be very good because Frank Ntilikina does not have the underlying basketball skills to succeed at the highest levels.

      He can’t dribble very well. His shot release is slow and the shot itself is bad. He has negative rebounding instincts. He’s not very good at forcing turnovers. Any plus passing skills he may have (dubious) are completely mitigated by the fact that he cannot dribble and thus cannot make plays consistently.

      He has one clear, NBA-level skill: isolation defense in an era where that’s arguably as irrelevant as it’s ever been. He has never demonstrated Draymond-level anticipation or switchability. This is likely why the numbers have never supported the Frank Ntilikina: Defensive Monster narrative

      Plenty of young players have struggled initially in the NBA only to go onto highly successful careers, but they didn’t have the same “bad at basketball” problem. They were generally oozing with skills that they had demonstrated in either college or whatever previous league they were in, and flashed in the NBA inconsistently before putting it all together.

      Frank has nothing to put together. His weakness is the sport of basketball.

    60. As bad as Frank’s individual stats have been, somehow he has posted a lot of the best 2/3/4-man lineup +/- of any Knicks player over the past 2 years.

      Not really a fan of +/- based metrics, but if you want to go down that route, Frank ranked 100th out of 102 point guards in RPM this season. He owes a great deal to (future Knick?) Colin Sexton and Jerryd Bayless.

    61. Omg please pair Kyrie with Russell in BK. That will produce such amazing content. Not only will they be stepping on each other’s toes on court, but I can’t wait for Russell to expose that Kyrie is actually awake (!) while listening to audiobooks (contrary to claims) via Instagram story.

    62. I think the media is missing the story here. I doubt Kyrie wants to team with Russell. If he goes to Brooklyn, they’ll probably be the front runners for AD with Russell as the main trade chip.

      There’s something poetic about all of that, too. Ainge raped and pillaged the Nets, if now they take his main acquisition and beat them to trading for his ultimate prize…

      And LA, if Russell becomes the centerpiece of a trade they couldn’t pull off…

      Seeing LA and Boston get trumped like that is enough to make you hope it happens, even if it’s our supposed rival.

    63. The dude honestly just makes teams better in his own Frank way that just seems to dumbfound advanced sabremetrics which, I guess, isn’t quite that advanced then.

      He makes teams better in his own Frank way. Just Frank being Frank makes teams better. Never mind that he’s the worst offensive player in the league, and doesn’t even get lots of steals, blocks or rebounds. It’s something ephemeral. It’s his Frankness that makes him so great. Who knew, getting skinny through screens and playing good isolation defense is the secret sauce to everything. You can literally be horrible at every other phase of basketball, but if you can play a little defense and Be Frank, you can be an impact player.

      Like the other team sometimes says, “Hey we should score a basket” but then they remember “Oh shit these guys have Frank” and then they just forget how to play basketball. You can’t capture that in a boxscore. But it’s real. Oh it’s very real.

      You nerds with your slide rules and “advanced” stats can’t see greatness when it’s right in front of you. Raw plus/minus numbers don’t lie. Those aren’t noisy. They’re the gospel truth. Get out of here with your RPM crap. Raw plus minus. That’s what it’s all about. Just like pitcher wins and RBI. When’s the last time you went to a baseball game and saw somebody do a WAR? That’s right, NEVER.

    64. Submitted on 2019/06/04 at 10:10 am
      http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-trade-outlaw-2nd-round-picks-for-nothing/

      Most recognized this for the dumbassery it was, even though it was 5 years before the pick turned out to be #31. As usual, there were also some others who carried out their sacred duty to defend every dumbass move this team makes.

      Heh, pretty much every dumb Knicks move of the past had a conversation just like this on the blog when it happened. “What are you guys complaining about? This isn’t a big deal!” (or the rarer, “What a great move!”) cut to the present, “Wow, that move really fucked them.”

    65. I think the media is missing the story here. I doubt Kyrie wants to team with Russell. If he goes to Brooklyn, they’ll probably be the front runners for AD with Russell as the main trade chip.

      I don’t believe that you are allowed to pair a sign and traded player with other players in a deal (the example I used the other day is the big Boston/Brooklyn deal, where Keith Bogans was signed and traded and included in the deal, but he was part of a side deal for Jason Terry and not part of the main deal). You need to do it as two separate deals. I imagine the Nets would be able to work out two separate deals (re-signed Russell for Davis and then all of their other stuff for Pelicans players X and Y or cap space or whatever) but I do not know for sure if they are able to pull that off (I honestly don’t know where New Orleans is, cap-wise).

    66. I agree that Ntilikina helped the offense more than his offensive stats indicate. By the eye test, you can see it flow better and you can actually note him directing traffic sometimes. I like him and want him to get more minutes at point guard, but I still think the plus minus stats are a biased a little positive for him. They compare him to the other Knick guards; and, since the other guards were so bad, that’s an easy comparison.

      The plus minus stats do mean that Frank should have had more minutes at point guard and less at two guard. But that is water under the dam.

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