Knicks Morning News (2019.06.06)

  • [Sports Illustrated] NBA Rumors: Anthony Davis Names Lakers, Knicks, Clippers as Top Trade Destinations
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 12:12:49 PM)

    Find out the latest news and rumors around the NBA.

  • [SNY Knicks] After Knicks workout, NBA Draft prospect Jarrett Culver says he’s ‘elite’ defensively
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 5:55:44 PM)

    Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, who worked out for the Knicks on Wednesday, says his “elite” defensive ability separates him from some other prospects in this year’s NBA Draft.

  • [SNY Knicks] SEE IT: Is Knicks free agent target Kyrie Irving hinting he wants to come home?
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 4:48:48 PM)

    Though the official start date of NBA free agency isn’t until July 1, any rumor or tidbit of information that revolves around Kyrie Irving will be dissected to find any notion as to where he might land for the 2019-2020 season.

  • [SNY Knicks] Sources: Pending free agent Kyrie Irving likely to leave Celtics, hasn’t ruled out Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:10:10 AM)

    The Knicks will have enough cap space to sign two max free agents this summer. If he chooses to leave Golden State, Kevin Durant will give the Knicks strong consideration. The question of whether Irving would join him in New York or not looms large.

  • [SNY Knicks] Here are the Knicks’ odds to sign pending free agent Kawhi Leonard
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:53:50 AM)

    The Knicks have the cap space to sign two max free agents this summer and potentially add another star by trading for Anthony Davis.

  • [SNY Knicks] Jarrett Culver among prospects to work out for Knicks Wednesday
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:21:56 AM)

    The Knicks have worked out several prospects at their facility in Tarrytown in the past few weeks.

  • [NYTimes] After Knicks workout, NBA Draft prospect Jarrett Culver says he’s ‘elite’ defensively
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 5:55:44 PM)

    Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, who worked out for the Knicks on Wednesday, says his “elite” defensive ability separates him from some other prospects in this year’s NBA Draft.

  • [NYTimes] SEE IT: Is Knicks free agent target Kyrie Irving hinting he wants to come home?
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 4:48:48 PM)

    Though the official start date of NBA free agency isn’t until July 1, any rumor or tidbit of information that revolves around Kyrie Irving will be dissected to find any notion as to where he might land for the 2019-2020 season.

  • [NYTimes] Sources: Pending free agent Kyrie Irving likely to leave Celtics, hasn’t ruled out Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:10:10 AM)

    The Knicks will have enough cap space to sign two max free agents this summer. If he chooses to leave Golden State, Kevin Durant will give the Knicks strong consideration. The question of whether Irving would join him in New York or not looms large.

  • [NYTimes] Here are the Knicks’ odds to sign pending free agent Kawhi Leonard
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:53:50 AM)

    The Knicks have the cap space to sign two max free agents this summer and potentially add another star by trading for Anthony Davis.

  • [NYTimes] Jarrett Culver among prospects to work out for Knicks Wednesday
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 11:21:56 AM)

    The Knicks have worked out several prospects at their facility in Tarrytown in the past few weeks.

  • [NYPost] Jarrett Culver sends strong NBA draft message to Knicks: ‘I’m elite’
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 6:20:55 PM)

    From the instant the Knicks landed third in the lottery, the narrative moved from Zion Williamson to RJ Barrett. But Jarrett Culver is making his case as the best pick for them. After Wednesday’s pre-draft workout at MSG Training Center, Culver called himself an elite two-way prospect, one whose dogged defense will help the Knicks…

  • [NYPost] These Kevin Durant scenarios are making Stephen A. Smith very sad
    (Wednesday, June 05, 2019 12:23:32 PM)

    Just three weeks ago, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith tweeted, “From everything I’ve heard, Kevin Durant and Kyrie [Irving] are planning on coming to New York. 95% chance they say! Only potential hiccup is KD [Durant] changing his mind.” Well, get some Pepto-Bismol ready, Knicks fans. It appears that hiccup is close to arriving. Hours…

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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).

    140 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.06.06)”

    1. Fun quiz (no peeking!) We all know that Kawhi was drafted at #15. Other than him, who was drafted the highest on the Raptors?

      Without peeking, I would guess Lowry? I know Gasol was a second rounder, Siakam was late in the first round, some undrafted guys, etc.

    2. Fun quiz (no peeking!) We all know that Kawhi was drafted at #15. Other than him, who was drafted the highest on the Raptors?

      I’m just looking at their roster, think it might be OG Anunoby.

    3. I peeked. I won’t spoil the answer, but it’s simply amazing that after Kawhi the highest draft selection was at number 23.

    4. It’s mind-boggling that a team without a single lottery pick, and only one pick in the top 20, is in the position that they are in. You couldn’t make it up!

    5. Before that becomes a “see, you don’t need to tank” rallying cry, they did trade two top ten picks for Leonard and another top ten pick for Ibaka. So it’s not like this team didn’t need to be in the lottery a couple of years to get where they are.

      They’re the epitome of team building that I was espousing earlier this year. One star and a deep roster of very good players trumps multiple stars and replacement level talent. I put my money where my mouth was, too, and stand to win a decent chunk of change for taking them at 12-1, even after netting out losses on my Milwaukee bet, my Houston flier, and my Warriors hedge.

    6. Before that becomes a “see, you don’t need to tank” rallying cry, they did trade two top ten picks for Leonard and another top ten pick for Ibaka. So it’s not like this team didn’t need to be in the lottery a couple of years to get where they are.

      Oh, of course, I never intended it to become that. What I really meant is that it goes to show how much having a top-notch executive can help you build a winning roster even if you don’t draft too well in the lottery (which is always a hard thing to do, no matter what).

    7. Klay comes back tomorrow, the Raptors play a bit less of a perfect game and suddenly it’s back to Oakland for game six with KD in the lineup. This thing isn’t over yet.

    8. Steph looked totally spent in the 2nd half. They really had zero chance to win that game unless the Raptors self-destructed.

      I’ll give Masai tons of credit, but if Leonard’s crazy shot doesn’t go in vs. the Sixers and they lose in OT, and then Kawhi leaves, we’d all be saying it was a gamble that didn’t pay off, and now you’re building your team around who exactly? Pascal Siakam?

    9. The biggest team building lesson I’m taking away from the Raptors at the moment is that there’s a lot of value in just hanging around the contending pack and hoping things break your way. People are always quick to want to ‘blow up’ teams that are on the fringes of contending but never quite on a title winning level. The Rockets are a great current example, but a couple years ago people were clamoring to do the same with the Raptors and Masai by all accounts came very close to dealing Lowry going into a rebuilding phase. Instead they hung around the fringes of the pack, took advantage of one huge trade opportunity that (in truth, somewhat inexplicably) came their way, got a few bounces/some injury luck and now they’re two wins from the title against a greatly diminished opponent.

      They got exceedingly lucky and it’s important not to overreact to that, but I do think one critical NBA truth is that every title winner ‘gets lucky’ in a lot of ways, and putting and then keeping yourself in position to be the team that high rolls has a lot of value. We shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss teams who are good but need a lot of things to go right to achieve greatness.

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

      I think last night helped show that Klay Thompson is better than some .095 WS and or .8 BPM player. He’s a solid #2 option on a team that when healthy has two great #1 options. He just takes a back seat. However, if one of the #1s is out, he slides right back to the #2 slot and the team doesn’t lose a ton. Without him, the team struggled to find a 2nd scorer. That forced Curry to bomb away and take a few mediocre (if not poor shots) all while the defense was locking down on him. They also gave up 123 because they missed his defense. All this at home for a team that’s awfully tough to beat when Curry and Klay play.

    11. That forced Curry to bomb away and take a few mediocre (if not poor shots) all while the defense was locking down on him.

      Yeah, shame he could only manage a 63% TS on extremely high usage. That really hurt them.

      Sorry to be snarky, but you really undermine your reasonable point about Klay’s undervalued defense when you say random, inaccurate stuff like that.

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

      Toronto is proof that the right way to rebuild is through a combination of draft picks, trades, and free agency executed by a competent value oriented patient “deal maker”.

      You don’t start with a single plan/approach and then try to execute it. You leave yourself wide open and take advantage of the best value oriented opportunities that present themselves to your specific franchise, at that specific time, in whatever form they may exist at that specific time.

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

      Yeah, shame he could only manage a 63% TS on extremely high usage. That really hurt them.

      Sorry to be snarky, but you really undermine your reasonable point about Klay’s undervalued defense when you say random, inaccurate stuff like that.

      Curry is great, but if you don’t think he forced some terrible shots along the way you either didn’t watch the game or know nothing at all about basketball. Maybe it’s both.

      His 63% TS, as great as it was, would have been higher with the better looks he normally gets when the defense isn’t 100% focused on him and without those forced shots. He wouldn’t have forced those shots except that he knew the rest of his teammates were having trouble scoring. The net of Klay’s absence was clearly negative despite Curry’s heroics. The boxscore matters, but so does actually watching the game to see how and why those numbers happened.

    14. Toronto is proof that the right way to rebuild is through a combination of draft picks, trades, and free agency executed by a competent value oriented patient “deal maker”.

      Yeah, all those stupid strawmen that don’t believe in using trades and free agency as part of a rebuild.

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

      Yeah, all those stupid strawmen that don’t believe in using trades and free agency as part of a rebuild.

      No, all the people that think you HAVE to tank first.

      There are times when it makes sense to tank and there are times where even though you are mediocre you can and should continue moving forward and not blow it all up to start from zero.

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

      He wouldn’t have forced those shots except that he knew the rest of his teammates were having trouble scoring.

      I should add, some part of the reason the rest of the team was having trouble scoring (beside Toronto’s GREAT defense being the main reason), is that you can’t leave Thompson open for a split second. He’s an all time great shooter with a super fast release. You can’t leave him open. If you are guarding Shaun Livingston and the situation dictates, you can sometimes help, switch, or trap off him because you know you aren’t going to get punished as badly. Having such a terrific 2nd option on the court makes it a little easier for everyone else.

    17. No, all the people that think you HAVE to tank first.

      Oh God give it a rest. Literally nobody says this.

    18. Boogie is kind of a train wreck defensively right now, no? Bogut also seemingly no answer for TOR’s size down low.

      You can’t really expect to win giving up 30+ in every quarter…

    19. I have no interest in the flame war, but on the subject of Livingston: he might have the biggest gap between his measured production (bad career BPM, mediocre WS48) and my enjoyment of his game, aesthetically. Even without the comeback narrative, I just like watching him play — the high release, the old-school midrange game, flushing everything off of cuts and in transition, the genius-level ball skills and passing. He’d be a fun player to watch running motion sets with a guy like Jokic; I feel like he’d be a pro at the cuts that Murray and Harris (and, formerly, Ken “Washed Up” Faried) feast on within that offense.

      Who’s a player that’s probably not a big contributor to winning, but who you love to watch?

    20. I think last night helped show that Klay Thompson is better than some .095 WS and or .8 BPM player. He’s a solid #2 option on a team that when healthy has two great #1 options. He just takes a back seat. However, if one of the #1s is out, he slides right back to the #2 slot and the team doesn’t lose a ton

      It’s one game, another problem is their backup is a washed Livingston and Quinn Cook, and the Warriors were also playing a guy they got from the Australian league because one of their best big men broke his collar bone. Klay is a good player, the Warriors miss him, but it’s not necessarily because he’s secretly much better than his on court production suggests.

    21. Who’s a player that’s probably not a big contributor to winning, but who you love to watch?

      Ron Baker

    22. The big problem for the Warriors last night was their defense was atrocious. Maybe Steph can’t make up for Klay’s offensive every night, but he pretty much did yesterday. But losing Klay and Looney seemed to really hurt the defense.

    23. Who’s a player that’s probably not a big contributor to winning, but who you love to watch?

      wayman tisdale, muggsy bogues, robert pack, mahmoud abdul-rauf, kevin duckworth

    24. Who’s a player that’s probably not a big contributor to winning, but who you love to watch?

      World B. Free, Manute Bol

    25. wayman tisdale, muggsy bogues, robert pack, mahmoud abdul-rauf, kevin duckworth

      Potent mid-90s #feels

    26. This is why its so hard to keep repeating as champions. It seems like in the modern NBA (80s and beyond), 3 is about as high as team can go.

      If you’re a championship team, your solid bench gets cannibalized by other teams who are willing to pay more for your role players bc they’re getting all this exposure on a good team and they’re stupidly think they’re better than they are. Then you get super low draft picks, so replenishing your bench and role players is more difficult. Then your main players age and are playing an insane amount of basketball year round, year after year. Think about the fact that Klay, Steph, Draymond, Iggy, etc…have been playing basketball into late June for the last 5 years. That’s less time in the off season to recover. More intense games. Plus the regular season gets harder bc even the shitty teams play all out to try and beat you every night. Then you factor in the mental fatigue.

      I’m not saying the Warriors are done. But injuries to Klay and Durant is going to be hard to overcome. Boogie was nice in game 2 but he’s not in shape to really step up for major minutes.

    27. I think the “you have to tank first” formulation is simplistic but I think what the general formulation of “just look for value” misses is that it’s really hard to consistently find value in an absolute sense in a competitive market with a lot of smart actors. In order to “win” trades you have to have a loser on the other end. In order to find steals in the draft, other teams have to miss on that guy. In order to find bargain FA signings other teams have to overlook a guy’s true value. So to consistently profit from this sort of absolute value you have to be consistently smarter than the other teams. It’s possible, but not easily done.

      In contrast, there’s ample opportunities for “relative” value. By which I mean instances where, because of a team’s circumstance, they correctly value players/picks/etc. differently. A contender trading a first round pick for a contributor from a bad team is a simple example – neither team has to “win” the trade in an absolute sense in order for both teams to come out ahead: the contender has less use for the pick, the bad team has less use for the player.

      However, when you’re a bad team, almost every relative value opportunity that comes your way is going to be an opportunity to get worse in the short run, basically by definition. Other teams are going to have more use for short term gains, which means your relative advantage is in trading off short term gains for long term gains. So you don’t “have to tank” (however we’re defining tanking), and if some other team comes along offering to trade you a dollar for fifty cents, you should probably take it regardless of the time horizon, but there is a real, logical reason why bad teams tend to “bottom out”.

    28. I think in today’s NBA it’s either Jamal Murray or CJ McCollum. Specially Murray, which might is probably related to him playing with Jokic in Denver’s offense, I just like how confident he is and how creative he is navigating pick and rolls and creating shots. I also really like watching Mike Conley play. He would be my favorite veteran guard to get with a Durant / Davis core if he made 10-15 million less per year.

    29. I have an irrational soft spot for Lou Williams, although I guess he’s actually kind of a good player.

    30. Woj:

      Brooklyn is trading Allen Crabbe and No. 17 pick in 2019 NBA Draft and protected first in 2020 to Atlanta for Taurean Prince and 2021 second-round pick, league sources tell ESPN.

      This is Brooklyn clearing cap space for FA signings, yes?

    31. Who’s a player that’s probably not a big contributor to winning, but who you love to watch

      From the discussions on here I think most people would say Frank. ;-)

    32. Atlanta now having picks 8, 10 and 17 is interesting too. Now we can trade down and draft 3 cam reddish’s

    33. @31

      I thought about saying Gallo too, but he’s still pretty productive.

      This seems like a pretty great trade for the Nets. Prince isn’t very good but he shoots 3s pretty well and is still on a very cheap contract, he could be a contributor if the Nets are contenting, more than whatever the 17th pick would probably bring, and they open up 15 million in cap space without Crabbe. Seems like an excellent move by them.

    34. Who’s a player that’s probably not a big contributor to winning, but who you love to watch?

      Ron Baker

      No, name a guy who’s not a big contributor to winning.

    35. No, name a guy who’s not a big contributor to winning

      Then technically I could Mitch Rob since there was very little winning for him to contribute to.

    36. I didn’t particularly enjoy the season he was here for a number of reasons, but I’ve always had an odd affinity for Arron Afflalo’s game.

      Looks like the Nets will be serious competitors in free agency. All I ask is that we either sign enough talent to contend, or hardly sign anyone. Those are our two paths to contention. Anything else will inevitably lead to Knicksy hell.

    37. Are the Nets without Russell a better core than the Knicks though? Allen is good and Harris is a nice shooter, but then what? I think the Knicks probably need to pull a 3rd-star trade with their draft pick – or else just keep doing the slow rebuild and let the chips fall where they may.

    38. From Begley’s story about how the Nets trade makes them a bigger threat in free agency:

      Kawhi Leonard is also a priority for the Knicks this summer. The Clippers and Raptors are widely seen as the most logical options for Leonard in free agency. But people close to Leonard viewed New York as a potential destination for the star two-way player when he was engineering a trade out of San Antonio. So the Knicks should at least get a meeting with Leonard once free agency begins on June 30.

      Kawhi + Durant would be the dream scenario. I can’t imagine it happening, but if it miraculously does, what is the best team we could possibly put around them? Does a trade for Anthony Davis make more or less sense with those two guys at the forward spots? Or would we want to keep Mitch and use our other trade assets to upgrade at point guard from Dennis Smith?

    39. If we do get Leonard and Durant, I would pursue a guard with the rest of our assets. Maybe Kemba on a sign and trade or a guy like Buddy Hield, Bradley Beal or even Jrue Holiday.

      I agree it’s the best case scenario by far as they’re simply the two best players available and top level superstars in their own rights. A team with both would probably be a contender right away with not much more than a couple of decent role players around them and some depth.

    40. Warriors were also playing a guy they got from the Australian league

      *MVP of the Australian League.

      In all seriousness though, Bogut has been a nice late season addition and has been solid off the bench. Outside of his cameo appearance though, you are really going to be stretched when you need contributions from the likes of Cook, Jerebko, McKinnie, Jones, Evens et al to win in the Finals.

    41. See what Atlanta did? They rented out cap space and gained an asset! They didn’t use the cap space to sign Arron Afflalo or his 2019 equivalent!

      Ta da! It can be done!

    42. @45

      And they even got a kinda Arron Afflalo for free anyway if they want it, just by smartly using their cap.

    43. Two first rounders is a steep price to dump Crabbe. I guess that allows them a Max and D’Angelo’s qualifying offer. Kyrie with Russell doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, does it?

    44. Maybe they plan on renouncing D’Angelo and signing two max players? Unless they know something we don’t I don’t know who they’d be signing outside of Kyrie that would make sense.

      Kyrie/Russell could actually be pretty intriguing on offense but I’m not sure about the defense. Not sure what to think-the Nets seem to know what they’re doing but Kyrie/Russell/Dinwiddie/LaVert is pretty weird team building

    45. Without those 1st rounders, there’s no way they put a competitive package together for AD, either. I’d be surprised if they renounced D’Angelo, the QO is around 10mil, I think, which would be nice value. If they renounced him, someone is gonna throw a ton of cash his way. Maybe they plan to go hard at Kawhi and Durant, which makes more sense. One of them, the QA to D’Angelo and they still have a few million to fill the gaps. That would be a nice team.

    46. I wonder if they are just gambling they can sign two players or they have some sort of um “prior arrangement”

    47. In thinking about the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I decided to watch the first 2 episodes of Band of Brothers. Gotta hand it to Hanks and Spielberg.

    48. I wonder if they are just gambling they can sign two players or they have some sort of um “prior arrangement”

      I think that they have an under the table deal with Kyrie and he wants them to sign a second star. What I don’t believe is that they have any assurances as to who that second star will be.

      At the time of the Porzingis trade, I thought that it meant one of two things – 1. The Knicks had an under the table deal with Durant and Irving or 2. The Knicks had an under the table deal with Durant and he wanted them to make room to sign a second max star. I was hoping that #1 was the case, but it looks like it is #2.

    49. @51, good call z man , I’m going to re-watch Band of Brothers too in honor of the 75th anniversary of D Day.
      That is a really great series.

      We visited Normandy on the 65th anniversary, it is one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. Beautiful countryside, history all around, great food, and very nice people.

    50. Two first rounders is a steep price to dump Crabbe. I guess that allows them a Max and D’Angelo’s qualifying offer. Kyrie with Russell doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, does it?

      This actually speaks well for what the Knicks could garner if they should strike out on top tier free agents……

    51. This actually speaks well for what the Knicks could garner if they should strike out on top tier free agents……

      Great point. However, it also does suggest that there is going to be some significant competition for that second max spot, right? I am totally fine with Kemba Walker for that second spot, but if they miss out on Kemba, the pickings get slim quickly (assuming that Kawhi, like Kyrie, wants his “own” team). Hell, there might be an argument to be made for taking Russell if the Nets drop him for Kyrie and a second max, since they would then have cap space to get a third player. And I really do not want Russell at the rookie max.

    52. Can we get a petition going to get Dolan to sit courtside next season? I’m sure he’s bound to shove a player if they land on him.

    53. Why would someone choose to play in New York and want to play Nets instead of the Knicks? The chance to play for Kenny Atkinson? The advantage of having Sean Marks instead of Scott Perry? Their 43 wins last year?

      The Knicks have been rooted in this city for over 50 years; haven’t won a championship in over 40 years; and the team still has buzz and attendance even when they’re horrible. The Nets moved over from New Jersey less than 7 years ago.

      Of course we’re talking about Kyrie’s and KD’s decision making abilities here.

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

      Why would someone choose to play in New York and want to play Nets instead of the Knicks?

      Why did Porzingis want to leave?

      The answer to both is that the Knicks are terrible.

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

      If the Knicks don’t land two top tier free agents (one to replace KP and the other to go into the slot they would have created to add to him if one was available), that means they traded KP for Dennis Smith Jr, two 1st round picks that will probably yield role players, and cap space that will not yield a star to replace him (and no DSJ is not nearly as good a prospect or player as KP).

      Lee would have been off the cap at the end of the year anyway and at that point we’d be more or less committed to rebuilding very young and could just wait out the remainder of Hardaway’s contract and hoped he played decent basketball as the younger players developed and we added more.

    56. The Knicks also gained the privelege of not paying that overrated, injury-prone douchebag a max contract that’s likely to show up on “worst contracts in the NBA” lists a couple of years from now.

    57. Why would someone choose to play in New York and want to play Nets instead of the Knicks? The chance to play for Kenny Atkinson? The advantage of having Sean Marks instead of Scott Perry? Their 43 wins last year?

      All of the above? The Nets are a far better team who get way less press hassle.

      Of course we’re talking about Kyrie’s and KD’s decision making abilities here.

      This is the only reason you should have any hope. Prefering to play for the Knicks is, at this point, a sign of idiocy. Or possibly masochism. I know I laugh at the “oh you’re a Knicks fan? I’m so sorry” jokes. I suspect I enjoy the pain.

    58. If the Knicks don’t land two top tier free agents (one to replace KP and the other to go into the slot they would have created to add to him if one was available), that means they

      Cut a really good deal that is the best evidence to date that Perry knows what he’s doing.

    59. Yeah, now that we have those Dallas picks, I’m sort of excited about doing a true rebuild (if we can actually draft and coach decent players).

      Then, once we have a lot of assets and a playoff team, we can go after a max guy from the next set of great players.

    60. Toronto is proof that the right way to rebuild is through a combination of draft picks, trades, and free agency executed by a competent value oriented patient “deal maker”.

      Sorry, but who did the Raptors acquire via free agency that helped lead them to the fianls? Part of the reason for their success is that they haven’t been saddled with bad contracts, allowing them flexibility to make good trades.

    61. I don’t understand the way this Nets situation is being reported. I keep seeing the same words, often in headlines: “the nets have created $46mm in cap space to sign two max free agents.”

      Durant and Kyrie cost over $70mm. Kyrie and Kawhi cost over $65mm.

      Hopefully Durant and Kyrie aren’t a package deal bc it’s seems 100% Kyrie will be a net. This has been my fear all year long, that players wanting to come to NY will see them as the best option.

      EDIT: I have no idea where ESPN is getting the number $46mm from, but the Nets clearly have over $70mm in cap space and can easily sign Durant and Kyrie.0

    62. I think the whole idea that NBA players see the Knicks as a joke franchise is way overblown. Yes, our owner is still a clown, but Perry has shown himself to be a decent GM and there’s no doubt in my mind that the Knicks hired Fizdale because he’s seen as a “player’s coach”.

      And I’m not sure I understand the “Brooklyn is cooler than Manhattan” idea that’s floated around. Maybe I’m just old and out of touch.

      The Nets may surprise me and grab KD and Kyrie, but I still think we’re the favorites.

    63. It’s pretty annoying that the nets have basically been a joke for their entire non-Jason Kidd existence, but the two times they’ve managed to get themselves in a decent position were the exact two times when we did. I’m talking about this summer and when they had a good enough trade offer to up the cost of Melo. What are the odds?

    64. If the Knicks miss out on KD and Kyrie and Kawhi, they’ll still have lots of cap space. They can then either:

      1. Spend the cap space on mediocre second tier free agents, or

      2. Rent out the cap space by taking on undesirable contracts of dumb teams who want to sign the mediocre second tier free agents, acquiring assets in the process

      Don’t do #1, and it’s a successful offseason. Do #1 and it’s back to 33-win land and many more years of purgatory. Dolan’s Razor says #1 is coming.

    65. And I’m not sure I understand the “Brooklyn is cooler than Manhattan” idea that’s floated around. Maybe I’m just old and out of touch.

      Current day Brooklyn is like Epcot, a ridiculous facsimile of a real place.

      Having said that, their basketball team is attractive and I’ve been afraid that the Durant would see them as the better place to play in NY. They are. They just are.

      And now I’m terrified bc I don’t think you spend two first round picks dumping Allen Crabbe without knowing something. They probably haven’t talked to Durant but they must be talking to Kyrie and he probably gave them reason to believe him and Durant are together. I mean, after all that team has been through, I just can’t see them giving up two firsts without knowing something. This is like when Miami had it all figured out.

    66. If KD doesn’t come, just go into rebuild mode. Stay put at #3, flip the cap space for picks/assets and hey look, you’re starting to amass a bunch of picks and young players. You can flip those things at a later time, and maybe you get some exciting homegrown players out of all that. It’s not a bad route.

      Just don’t go all-in on a Kemba/Tobias Harris core. This really isn’t that difficult.

    67. I think the whole idea that NBA players see the Knicks as a joke franchise is way overblown

      It’s not even that, the Nets are just a better team so joining them players will be looking at better results. Plus the Knicks get constant aggressive press and the Nets get ignored. You think that doesn’t play into some players’ thinking? Cause it sure seems to me that a prominent free agent who is rumored to be NYC bound despises the press.

      Compare and contrast:

      haven’t won a championship in over 40 years

      the nets have basically been a joke for their entire non-Jason Kidd existence

      If you want the glory of elevating a downtrodden franchise there’s no fucking difference. Except Brooklyn’s cooler than Manhattan.

    68. Part of the allure for Durant might be “I’m gonna make NYK relevant.” That WOULD be something kind of remarkable. These guys are pretty savvy about branding, and KD probably realizes that going to the Knicks and succeeding is a bigger story and more compelling narrative than going to the Nets and succeeding.

      The Knicks sad sack status might actually be an asset here in a twisted way.

    69. @69

      In fairness, that’s more a descriptor of North Brooklyn (Williamsburg hipsters) than South Brooklyn (where the Barclays center is)

    70. And now I’m terrified bc I don’t think you spend two first round picks dumping Allen Crabbe without knowing something

      Well, we dumped our “franchise player” so it sounds like we knew something as well. But I’ll admit, the idea of the Nets grabbing KD and Kyrie makes a little sick to my stomach.

      Regarding another free agent, I salivated when I saw the NY Post back page about Kawhi, but I honestly can’t think of one reason he would come to NY. He’s about to win a title (or be a close runner-up) for a city that has totally embraced him, and he’s a California kid so if he’s going anywhere, it’s LA.

    71. These guys are pretty savvy about branding, and KD probably realizes that going to the Knicks and succeeding is a bigger story and more compelling narrative than going to the Nets and succeeding.

      I’m just saying that it is not clear to me that a Knicks resurgence would be more compelling than making a team no one has ever cared about relevant. Hyperbole, but they haven’t won anything since the merger. If they win a chip Durant becomes the most important Nets player since Dr J and probably creates a whole generation of young lifelong fans in the process.

    72. The Nets are just another mediocre NBA team. The Knicks at this point suck in legendary, epochal fashion. Winning with the Knicks seems like an impossible task.

      I mean sure, winning with a Nets team that is essentially a blank slate would probably bring KD some satisfaction. But if he wants to be the big story, if he wants a big attention grabbing narrative, he’ll come to the Knicks.

    73. Atlanta now having picks 8, 10 and 17 is interesting too. Now we can trade down and draft 3 cam reddish’s

      I laughed for like 3 straight minutes with tears, man… then the tears became just regular tears, cause it’s probably true.

    74. I would trade the #3 for those three Atlanta picks, no doubt about it.

    75. I’m just saying that it is not clear to me that a Knicks resurgence would be more compelling than making a team no one has ever cared about relevant. Hyperbole, but they haven’t won anything since the merger. If they win a chip Durant becomes the most important Nets player since Dr J and probably creates a whole generation of young lifelong fans in the process.

      Hardly anyone in NY cares. The Nets couldn’t sell out the Finals in NJ when Kidd was around. In Brooklyn, they offer an exciting young team for much cheaper prices than the Knicks and they still have terrible attendance and very little buzz.

      Sure KD and Kyrie would boost the excitement significantly but it’s not comparable to what they would experience as Knicks. I know I’m not an objective observer and I’m not being very scientific, but everything I’m saying is pretty obvious if you live here and attend games at both arenas.

      Why did Porzingis want to leave?

      The answer to both is that the Knicks are terrible.

      KD and Kyrie can make a team not terrible and negate that concern.

    76. Who would you take at 8, 10, and 17?

      8: Hunter/Sekou/Clarke

      10: Clarke/Sekou/Alexander-Walker

      17: Alexander-Walker/Saminic/Little/Hachimura

    77. Maybe if we draft Sekou he can whisper French words of encouragement into Frankie Nknuckles’ ear

    78. Garland doesn’t look like much of a PG, but the guy can score. Getting Hunter, Clarke and Garland would turn this into a real youth movement.

      Garland, Hunter, Knox, Clarke and Mitch? I could live with that lineup for another year of tanking.

      Edit: nvm, looks like Garland is shooting up the big boards. Hunter too. I’d still find more value out of three picks than one. Too many holes in this roster.

    79. I would trade the #3 for those three Atlanta picks, no doubt about it.

      I’d be 100% down with that if I knew we were getting big time free agents. If we whiff, I’d rather run with Barrett and a bunch of one year contract guys.

    80. @70

      If KD doesn’t come, just go into rebuild mode. Stay put at #3, flip the cap space for picks/assets and hey look, you’re starting to amass a bunch of picks and young players. You can flip those things at a later time, and maybe you get some exciting homegrown players out of all that. It’s not a bad route.

      Just don’t go all-in on a Kemba/Tobias Harris core. This really isn’t that difficult.

      Bingo! I think rebuild mode should be the #1 option, but I understand that if a KD or Kawhi wants to come, they will sign him. I’m happy that KI may go to the Nets. Let him! Keep talking to Cleveland and Atlanta about the #3 pick.

      BTW, also highly recommend Band of Brothers. A wonderful series. The followup The Pacific is not quite as good, but still excellent. It’s not just a Pacific war rehash of BoB, either, following three guys in different Marine units rather than one group in the same airborne unit.

    81. Durant, Kemba, Beal, and holding on to Mitch would be the best scenario.
      Is Durant, Kemba, AD and filler second?
      Or, Durant, Kemba, Mitch, RJ, Knox?

      Without Durant (or Kawhi) – then we are in draft or draft trades, short term rental and Giannis in 2021 mode.

    82. Who do we think is legitimately going to get Max offers this offseason? I feel like there are some under the radar good players that might be had at reasonable value. My guess at max guys:

      Definite:
      Durant
      Kawhi
      Kyrie
      Kemba
      Butler

      Maybe:
      Vucevic
      Middleton
      Tobias Harris

      That’s a lot of money getting burned on the top guys. There are probably deals to be had in the solid 3rd tier guys (some of whom are better than the 2nd tier) like Danny Green, Aminu, Noel, Beverley, Rubio, Ed Davis, Jeremy Lamb, Dwight Powell, Looney, Collison, Boban!. There are some RFA that might be able to be had, too. I’m not too worried about only getting one max guy, or even just getting some reasonably priced veterans to lead the kids if we strike out on all the max guys.

    83. I think it’s very unlikely we’ll use our cap space the way Neptune and JK47 described this summer (I.e. to gain assets like Atlanta did). Most of those trades will get done before free agency or shortly into it. I think if we strike out, it will likely be too late to pivot.

      As for the Durant and Kawhi theory, oh please god yes. Those two are such a perfect pairing. And no, I wouldn’t follow that up with an AD trade. You’d just need a solid backcourt to go with MitchRob and you’re a title team.

    84. This is why I think Kemba is in no way a max player:

      The drop off from Durant and Kawhi to Durant and Kemba is ridiculous.

      I’m sorry, I like Kemba a lot, but if you’re paying him a max contract you’re fucked. You’re going to have holes on your team and he’s not good enough to compensate for them. I’d rather spend $32mm to team Durant up with 3 players like Darren Collison, Ricky Rubio, Danny Green, Robert Covington, DeAndre Jordan, et al. At least I’m not trying to carry replacement level players in my starting lineup that way.

    85. @88
      I hear you. This is a pretty deep free agency this year. I feel like there is gonna be plenty of value to be had rather than maxing out a borderline guy. Hopefully the front office doesn’t panic and focuses on picking up value, rather than maxing Harris or Middleton.

    86. The Nets are just another mediocre NBA team. The Knicks at this point suck in legendary, epochal fashion. Winning with the Knicks seems like an impossible task.

      That’s mostly cause of the hostile and aggressive press though. The Nets last won (the ABA) two years after we last won the NBA. They went to the finals twice since and lost, as did we, they were last there a whole four years after us. They’ve generally sucked as bad or worse and the Knicks over that time span have been in the playoffs a lot more. They just don’t get talked about as much and honestly that’s probably an advantage to them. Hell, which trade was worse – Melo or the corpses of Garnett and Pierce?

      Sure KD and Kyrie would boost the excitement significantly but it’s not comparable to what they would experience as Knicks. I know I’m not an objective observer and I’m not being very scientific, but everything I’m saying is pretty obvious if you live here and attend games at both arenas.

      That’s true! Do you think the Nets would struggle to sell out Barclays if those guys were on the team? I don’t. Do you think KD actually wants all the scrutiny that would come with the Knicks? I sure as hell don’t.

    87. I’d do that trade down if Barrett was at 3, but probably not if Morant was. Morant looks like the real deal. But Atlanta wouldn’t do that trade for Morant anyway, because they already have Trae.

      If we did do that trade, my picks would be:

      8:Coby White; If Coby is taken then Clarke
      10: Brandon Clarke/ If Clarke taken at 8 then Bol Bol/Hunter
      17: Tyler Herro/Alexander-Walker/Grant Williams

      Then you trade up with a future second or two and our #55 pick to draft Shamorie Ponds in the 40s (a lottery level talent in my eyes). That would be a hell of a draft.

    88. I’d do that trade down if Barrett was at 3, but probably not if Morant was. Morant looks like the real deal.

      Yep, best case scenario is Morant falls, second is we trade down. Need to hold off until Memphis picks.

    89. trading down is a bit risky…. i really love coby white but it’s really a hodge podge of names in the mix by the mid lotto and he could be there or not but i doubt the knicks are really scrutinizing the right names….

      i really hope the knicks are giving serious consideration to culver…. on top of the fact that i think he’s probably a safer and better pick than barrett… is that he can probably slot a lot more easily to SG if we do happen to grab durant or kawhi….

      and fwiw….. i hope we don’t sign durant…. the real prize should be kawhi….

    90. @93

      Yeah, assuming the Knicks are looking at the wrong names (hello, Kevin Porter), I’m against trading down. But I think in the ideal case trading down represents better value than Barrett or Culver alone, probably. I think it’s a good problem to have in any case–I’d be happy with any of Barrett, Culver, or a trade down (assuming the picks weren’t bonkers); it’s been a long time since I feel like the Knicks are in a win-win situation come draft night.

      And yes, Kawhi should be the goal–he’s the best player in the NBA, and we’ll land at least a meeting with him, if the reports are right. The odds are low but you gotta give it a shot.

    91. kevin porter’s pretty good…. altho he’s very very risky.. much like bol but in a different way…. i actually like him a lot but i can’t objectively put him in a top 10….

    92. That’s true! Do you think the Nets would struggle to sell out Barclays if those guys were on the team? I don’t. Do you think KD actually wants all the scrutiny that would come with the Knicks? I sure as hell don’t.

      Not my point. The point of my original post is to compare the Nets with KD/Kyrie (not as good) to the Knicks with KD/Kyrie (better); not the Nets this season versus next year if they add KD/Kyrie.

      Someone said on Twitter the other day, and I agree, that the “New York Media” and “scrutiny” of New York has become this boogie man that doesn’t exist or used to exist and doesn’t anymore. And that players nowadays are more sensitive to Twitter/social media and national media.

    93. The priority in my opinion should be first checking with Durant and Leonard. If they’re interested, either one of them or both, you go for them. They’re transcendent guys who are good enough on their own to be the sole star of a team built around them, and no questions asked max superstars.

      Then you check out the rest, see who’s available and what can be done with the draft. I agree with Silky that there’s a bunch of really interesting scenarios that could all work out really well, including just picking Barrett and keeping him until free agency opens and then maybe even trading him if a good situation comes up, or trading down and getting a bunch of decent prospects.

    94. IF Charlotte offers Kemba the supermax he would be absolutely insane to turn that down. He makes 12 million a year right now. He’s obviously quite wealthy, but he’s probably not turn down 80 million dollars wealthy

    95. AD should probably be our focus, he can force the hand of Pels by announcing where he wants to go. which lays heavily on the decision of KD or Kwahi i would guess. right?

      i would rather have AD and Kwahi than Kd and KI. but how how do we get him without including Mitch.

    96. the real prize should be kawhi

      I’d probably pick KD only because Leonard’s quad still worries me- he played no back to backs this season and in the playoffs he’s reportedly been dealing with tendonitis in the knee probably due to overcompensating for the quad. The Spurs medical people thought it was a degenerative injury (Kawhi didn’t agree) so you have to wonder if he’s going to have some real medical issues in the not-too-distant future. KD’s older and his production has dropped a bit the last couple of seasons but I think he’s safer bet to still be earning some measure of his contract in years 3 and 4 than Kawhi.

    97. The point of my original post is to compare the Nets with KD/Kyrie (not as good) to the Knicks with KD/Kyrie (better)

      Better in what sense?

    98. @101 – All things being equal, it would be a better experience to play on a successful Knicks team than on a successful Nets team.

    99. Ah. Well, maybe. I suppose it depends on what they’re looking for. I’d say the Nets would probably be the better team, overall.

    100. I’m starting to suspect that we might not have a real chance at any of the top tier free agents outside of Durant, so it seems kind of likely that we might end up with KD + a guy we trade for. KD and AD obviously would be amazing, but KD + Beal + youth would be a fun team. Sure, they’d win 48 games and flame out in the second round, but after the last few years that’s a pretty acceptable outcome.

    101. I’m starting to get the vibe that Durant ain’t coming here.

      I’m sort of okay with it, or at least I will be until they announce the Tobias Harris signing.

    102. Don’t worry JK. We’re not getting Tobias. JJ Redick and Taj Gibson have just purchased Co-ops on the Upper West side.

    103. The nets can only sign one max player don’t forget. As Tommy beer reported, to afford 2 max slots, they would have to renounce dLo, hollis-jefferson, Dudley, Rd Davis and demarre Carrol. I’m addition to this, they have to waiver Napier and traveon Graham. It’s not happening.

      Dlo fits Brooklyn better than Kyrie imo anyway and doesn’t disrupt as many personalities (unless you’re swaggy P)

    104. I wouldn’t mind a Barrett/Beverley backcourt if we strike out on the big free agents. Wonder what he’d cost…

      I’d pull the trigger on a Frank trade too if we can get a pick in the twenties. He’s just not a fit in whatever system we run. Maybe we can send him out for the Spurs pick and grab Cam Johnson?

    105. I’ve been a Durant fan since he was at Texas, and I’d be very excited to watch him play for the Knicks while he’s still really good. But if he wants to go somewhere else and we strike out I won’t be upset unless we sign shitty players to long term deals. Even if end up with nothing but something like Boogie for 2 years, 50 million I wouldn’t be devastated. Just no more 4 year deals to shitty players.

    106. @108

      Why wouldn’t they do it? These are all marginal players who are easily replaceable, and Kyrie is a simple upgrade over Russell. If they have a real shot at landing two superstars they’ll let go of all of those players in a heartbeat.

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

      Klay Thompson is a .095 WS and a -.8 BPM player. rotflmao

      In another universe maybe, but not this one.

    108. get in and go

      wise words oaktrees…

      the golden state theatre is gorgeous and old…like a church inside…

    109. What black magic do I need to traffic with to get Kawhi to the Knicks

    110. Knicks nightmare scenario: Toronto wins, Kawhi re-ups and KD stays put to try to win back the title

    111. Something tells me that Durant getting all available McKinnie/Cook minutes would produce a very different series

    112. Knicks nightmare scenario: Toronto wins, Kawhi re-ups and KD stays put to try to win back the title

      Even there, it’s only an issue if they then spend their money on shittier free agents.

    113. IF Charlotte offers Kemba the supermax he would be absolutely insane to turn that down. He makes 12 million a year right now. He’s obviously quite wealthy, but he’s probably not turn down 80 million dollars wealthy

      I think once you’ve received a $139 million dollar contract for four years, $180 for five years doesn’t necessarily move you that much. Kemba Walker’s grandkids’ grandkids will be set with the $139 million dollar contract. Does he really need to get the extra $50 million to set up his grandkids’ grandkids’ grandkids for life, too?

      I agree that the leap from the $58 million he’s earned so far to the $139 million contract is a game-changer, but I don’t know if the extra $50 million changes anything.

    114. @119 yeah I agree Brian, that’s the real nightmare scenario.

      Maybe KD, Kawhi and Kyrie all stay put and it’s a boring summer

    115. Danny Green fouling Curry driving from beyond the three point line with the team over the penalty? Not smart.

    116. The Raptors are in good shape overall, but they’re playing super tight right now.

    117. Been saying it probably too much, but the Raptors are just a bad match up for GSW.

    118. At halftime I thought the Warriors might be able to eke out a win, but too much Kawhi in the 3rd and then it looked like the Warriors ran out of gas in the 4th. All that being said, if Durant comes back healthy (which I do not expect at all), the Warriors could win 3 in a row.

    119. At halftime I thought the Warriors might be able to eke out a win, but too much Kawhi in the 3rd and then it looked like the Warriors ran out of gas in the 4th. All that being said, if Durant comes back healthy (which I do not expect at all), the Warriors could win 3 in a row.

      Fairly easily, right? You see it right now. The Raptors only have two guys that they need to cover on the Warriors and even then the games have been relatively close. If you suddenly add one of the best scorers in the NBA? It changes everything.

    120. I might be over thinking the Durant decision , but maybe he sees a Warrior beat down without him as validation and moves on to create a new legacy?

    121. I might be over thinking the Durant decision , but maybe he sees a Warrior beat down without him as validation and moves on to create a new legacy?

      The worry is that if everyone then acknowledges that they do need him, he might want to stay. His whole deal is not being appreciated as much as he wants. If they lose because he’s injured (or if he returns and they make a stunning comeback) that might be enough for him.

    122. wow, two at golden state, who would’ve thought that…this kd storyline is just getting stranger…

    123. I am enjoying this mightily. I don’t generally bet on things, but a friend was mocking me for saying the Raptors had a good chance, and I got pissed and bet him $20 Raptors in 6. I wish I had bet $100.

    124. the jackie greene experience:

      I get it – jackie is a not so unattractive male human being…the show had this chippendales vibe to it…

      I know a little about a lot, that includes music…it was an interesting collection of sounds, hard to really put a name/genre to it…soft rock maybe?

      I get it though, it wasn’t so much a music thing, but a jackie thing…which is cool too…

      the venue was stunning…

    125. Kawhi got very few “gimme” buckets in this game, but he knocked down open shots when he got them, drew lots of fouls with his aggressive play and committed zero turnovers. Oh yeah, and he can play some defense too. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but he is really sublime.

    126. I can say it because I won’t get fined for tampering – boy, Kawhi really does seem Jordan-like this playoffs, right?

    127. GSW fans are pretty douchey. I ain’t mad at this

      I always imagine a bunch of tech bros. citing the Warriors as an example of their prowess and ability to change the world, essentially crediting themselves and their culture for Klay’s and Steph’s shooting abilities. Is that too narrow-minded of me? :)

      Meanwhile, the construction of the Raptors’ roster was also pretty ingenious. Everyone can shoot the 3, defend; almost everyone is very long.

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