Knicks Morning News (2019.06.08)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Atlantic Division Workouts: Sixers, Knicks, Nets
    (Friday, June 07, 2019 10:57:37 PM)

    The Sixers will bring some potential late-first round prospects on Saturday, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Tennessee power forward Grant Williams, ranked No. 30 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, and Villanova power forward Eric Paschall (No. 31) will visit, as well as Oregon forward Louis King (No. 51).  Theyâ??ll be joined by Justin […]

  • [NYPost] Inside Chase Center: The Warriors’ $1.4 billion pitch to keep Kevin Durant
    (Friday, June 07, 2019 12:56:11 PM)

    SAN FRANCISCO — On Wednesday, with all the hullabaloo swirling over a Warriors’ part-owner shoving Toronto’s Kyle Lowry on the sidelines at Oracle Arena, Golden State executive Rick Welts was across the Bay Bridge, conducting his final tour of the franchise’s pride and joy — the Chase Center. It is a $1.4 billion sparkling, shining…

  • [SNY Knicks] Scouts discuss Pros and Cons of Knicks picking RJ Barrett in NBA Draft
    (Friday, June 07, 2019 9:00:44 AM)

    Duke standout RJ Barrett likely will be available for the Knicks at No. 3 in the NBA Draft. SNY Insider Ian Begley spoke to scouts who evaluated Barrett’s strengths and weaknesses.

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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).

    42 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.06.08)”

    1. 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.

      We really don’t know his whole deal, he’s kept it pretty tight. Sometimes we think it’s about the underappreciation, but just as often it’s about setting up his media company in New York or expanding his basketball role without having to defer to other great players.

      It’s a total mystery. I still think we have a great shot and I don’t think the outcome of this series is going to be a big factor. The extra $50mm or whatever it is the warriors can offer could be pretty significant to a 31 year old on his last contract looking to build an empire.

    2. That scout discussion of Barrett above is so polarizing. You read the first part, and you think we have to pick him, then you read the second part and think there’s a great chance he’ll be a total bust.

    3. Is it weird to think that in less than a month we will have a dramatically clearer picture of the Knicks’ fortunes for the next 5 years? This month is going to be rough!

    4. I think there is a zero chance that Barrett is a total bust. There is a 50-50 chance that he is disappointing for a #3 pick, and a greater than 50-50 chance that someone picked 4-10 has a way better career than he does.

    5. Yes, even if he’s not good, Barrett will very probably stick around, he’s got NBA skills. The fear with him is more that he never really puts it together and ends up getting a huge 2nd contract based on reputation more than actual production.

      The game Kawhi Leonard put together last night was just sublime. He was getting defended heavily and still had zero turnovers, 36/12/2 with 4 steals and a block. The guy is truly unbelievable.

    6. there’s def a chance that he’ll be a bust….. and i consider anyone picked in the top 5 who’s not a regular starter a bust…. he might be rotation worthy for the entirety of his career… and someone like jeff green might be fine… but you can excuse a later pick for that… if it’s in the top 5 they need to be a viable starter…. and with rj it’s very very possible that he’s not that… the low steal rates and the lack of wiggle are two things definitely not in his favor…..

      i was at some karaoke bar with some friends a few weeks back and we ran into some dudes who own a company that does eye tracking for sports…. and they were telling us how a lot of the elite athletes also have very fast eye movements…. he used james harden and some baseball players as an example and he spit out all these numbers and it was fascinating….

      that to me is sort of the essence behind steal rates… and why that correlates highly with nba success… is your brain able to process all the things around you and recognize that you can take that ball from a professional basketball player? if you can you’re probably able to react to players on the other end that lets you make more buckets… like doing a crossover or making that timing cut to the basket… catching an alley oop….

      i’m not saying barrett can’t do those things… it’s possible that his steal and block rates were suppressed by zion and reddish… but if it is indicative of his ability and that his size/bully ball was masking that at the hs/college level then he will disappoint…..

      and i’m generally optimistic…. it’s a risk proposition and rj’s profile is more riskier than his reputation suggests…. the upside is there…. there are plenty of examples of guys like him succeeding…. but there’s also guys who basically busted also…

    7. “…and i consider anyone picked in the top 5 who’s not a regular starter a bust”

      It’s fine that you have your own definition of a bust, just know that you are an outlier.

      Some would consider that if he becomes the next Demar Derozan, it would be a “bust” outcome, or even worse, as he would be likely to get an undeserved max deal. I don’t agree and think that a player who can net Kawhi Leonard in a trade is, like, the opposite of a bust.

      I think the Derozan comparisons are valid. Here is a link to scouting reports at draft time. Frankly, not nearly as promising as Barrett, but indicative how much a young player with a basic skillset can improve with sustained effort on improving his weaknesses. RJ seems like that kind of prospect. The fact that he’s coming into the NBA with a pro body, advanced footwork and very good passing and ball-handling skills going left is very promising.

    8. http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-friday-aug-03-2012/#comment-402252

      re: Kawhi Leonard

      And it’s so obvious why that is true. Low-usage, high efficiency players rarely have the skill-sets to take on more usage without rapidly declining efficiency, coaches recognize this WAYYYYYYYY before the stats do, so they always play the same roles. NBA coaches allow them to do the things they’re good at while burdening others with things they can’t do.

      Where’s ruruland? I want to hear more of his opinions about basketball.

      Whoa, I didn’t realize that I’ve had the same team-building philosophy for 7+ years now, although I would argue that you should sign young players on flyers more than veterans. I totally drop the veteran angle unless they’re going to be a mentor like DAJ. There’s still a place for that kind of player contract in the league. Ostensibly would carry more on-court cred than assistant coaches would. (Easy to tune out a person who’s not out there fighting with you.)

      I just think that the Knicks would be in better shape had they taken a Moneyball approach: shedding salary en masse, stockpiling picks and buying late first rounders and second rounders whenever possible, and then targeting the Leonards and Denmons and Farieds whenever possible. Then, sign vets to one-year deals at an inflated rate (you have to reach the cap minimum anyway, so you’re either wasting the money on some shitty expiring vet or a decent one at a slightly inflated price) and wait for a 40-win core that you can add one or two prized max FAs to.

      But hey, I’m sure I would have wasted Dolan’s money as much as Jax and co. have.

    9. Things to consider:
      -Even though he is a one-directional lefty player right now, much better for that direction to be left. James Harden used to be very weak going right and got a lot better over time. RJ will never be Steph, but he only needs to improve going right just enough to keep defenses honest. Knox seemed to improve going left as the year went on, and I can see that happening with RJ. And to be fair, if he could go left, he’d be a lock at #2 so we wouldn’t get him anyway.
      -RJ has far better shooting mechanics, ball-handling skills and passing skills than Derozan had at his age. I don’t think it’s even close. One scout broke down how RJ’s shooting issues are a combination of shot selection and waist-down problems, meaning that his set-up and release aren’t broken like those of Ben Simmons or Lonzo Ball.
      -RJ looks durable. I don’t think Knox gets nearly enough credit for his durability, given that he played big minutes in the NBA in a primary scoring role, drove to the basket hard enough to have a decent FT rate, and hardly missed any time as a young 19 year old. RJ looks like he can handle major minutes as a rookie, and like Knox, should improve over time.

    10. Man, I hope DSJ is working on his shot. If they draft RJ, he will have to get better at catch and shoot situations to get minutes.

      He’s not that different from a young Kyle Lowry except his shooting numbers across the board are worse (FT% included). I hope he knows how important correcting his shot is to his future in the league.

    11. Somebody had a question about Warriors fans. I think lot a lot of fan bases there is a difference of who roots for the team and who shows up in the arena. Overall the warriors have a deep and diverse fan base that has rooted for the team for a long time and showed up and cheered at Oracle even when the team was bad.

      Oracle has definitely become more douchey as the traditional fan base has been priced out. The biggest thing you should remember about Warriors fans was that they were only about 50/50 when it came to the Bogut trade. A lot of the fanbase wanted to Curry instead of Ellis and they booed the owner on the night they retired Chris Mullin’s jersey. So no, they are not all geniuses.

    12. Ruru was really an odd character. He had this whole elaborate worldview that revolved around proving Carmelo Anthony was an elite player. Like every single argument he would make had “Carmelo Anthony is awesome” at the heart of it, even if he was talking about something unrelated. And then the corollary was that every move the Knicks made was brilliant, because those moves were always going to reveal the true greatness of Carmelo Anthony.

      He actually knew some stuff about basketball, was well spoken and was even a somewhat patient and affable guy, but EVERYTHING was transparently about how good his mancrush Carmelo Anthony was at basketball. It was the strangest thing.

    13. It’s like arguing ad nauseam that Styx is the greatest rock band ever, and repeatedly throwing out “Come Sail Away” and “Mr. Roboto” as hard evidence.

    14. RJ played nothing like derozan at all in college. I don’t know why people keep comparing them.

      RJ could definitely be a bust if he turns into a low efficiency chucker. If he can’t get to the rim and score well in the NBA he’s going to be really bad until he can shoot 3s

    15. Is Carmelo ruruland’s horcrux? Like, now that Carmelo’s career is dead and buried, did ruru die with it?

    16. I can’t stand Mark Jackson on the call. I forgot how obsessed with Kobe he is. He must have trained with him at some point or something bc he’s way too invested in the Kobe legend. Saying Kawhi isn’t quite Kobe, but at times exhibits some of his moves. Aggggh! In Kobe’s dreams he wasn’t even as good as peak Kawhi! Pretty much every career avg advanced stat for Kawhi is better than Kobe’s best season. This includes TS% which even all-in-one haters can get behind. You see some of Kobe’s moves in Kawhi’s game, Mark, bc they’re fucking MJ’s moves. Except unlike Kobe who mostly practiced and utilized MJ’s flashiest and least efficient moves, Kawhi actually replicates Jordan’s efficiency fairly well (thinking about that beautiful mid-range pullup which is almost forgotten in today’s league).

    17. The lazy D effort and heroballing are major concerns with RJB. However, if the Knicks stay at 3, he’s the pick. If they are sour on him, trade to Cleveland or Atlanta or something.

    18. I can’t stand Mark Jackson on the call. I forgot how obsessed with Kobe he is. He must have trained with him at some point or something bc he’s way too invested in the Kobe legend.

      I think a lot of it has to do with these ex-players’ own personal egos. When you say, “Well, since I played, the league has gotten better at core skills like dribble-driving and shooting,” it inherently deflates the value of your own era. Jackson played in the league against Kobe for 8 years and started against him in the Finals in ’00; when he calls Kobe “the GOAT” or whatever, he’s saying, “Yeah, I played against the greatest when I was past my prime and still held my own.” And, y’know, not to mention that they’re peers with a unique, shared knowledge base, while current players probably look at him as an ass-backwards dinosaur whose opinions on ball matter less and less each day.

      These guys, whether they know it or not, are invested in their own legacies and reputations. The league has passed Jackson by in analytical capacity, blown past him and ain’t never comin’ back. That puts Jackson at risk of irrelevancy and I think he knows it. It’s already happened to him with the Warriors.

      I wonder what percentage of retired players believe that their era was the most competitive in league history, i.e. the highest concentration of talent.

    19. OTOH, there’s a tendency to look at today’s advanced metrics and use them to diminish the greatness of past players compared to today’s players.

    20. The Oakland Raiders under Jon Gruden are doing the football equivalent of “how’s it goink.” They used the main asset acquired in the Khalil Mack trade to draft a non-elite running back. Gruden has said he wants to take the NFL back to the 90’s. They spent another first round pick on a hard-hitting safety who can’t cover tight ends in an era where the hard hit is becoming an instant personal foul penalty and safetys really need to be able to cover tight ends. It’s hilarious watching it all in motion.

      This kind of thinking always fails because the game was not better “in their day.” Sports evolve. If you don’t learn to use your best relief pitcher in the most high leverage situation and just blindly only use him in the 9th inning you’re going to get your ass kicked by the people who know what’s up.

    21. @21

      This is the best possible description of this argument. Kobe was an excellent player in his prime and sometimes we forget to emphasize this in the arguments, because he’s such a divisive figure and so many casual fans wildly overrate him. But for me, Leonard is a better player, even if we concede that Kobe was a very good defender when engaged (which wasn’t very often specially outside his athletic prime).

    22. Did Ruru ever weigh in on how Carmelo would mesh with OKC? I vaguely recall him saying something about “feedback loops” and how they would unlock the latent superstar within Melo, but I could be getting mixed up. Nice guy, smart guy even, but truly a bizarre emotional blind spot.

      Anyway, the way I see it there are two ways this offseason could be successful:

      1) Sign two worthy max players–KD and Kawhi is the dream, KD and Kyrie would be pretty damn good too, KD and Kemba/Butler is probably the bare minimum I’d be happy with if we choose this approach. Anything else is almost definitely not worth it.

      2) Hardly sign anyone–Run back the tanking squad + RJ Barrett/Jarrett Culver/whoever we get in a trade down, take every single asset-for-cap-space opportunity we can, and keep trying to find intriguing guys in the second round/UDFA pool/G-League. This isn’t nearly as sexy as the first option but it’s the smartest thing we could do if we miss out on the elite free agents. The KP trade basically reopened this path for us, since it’s not really on the table if you’re paying an anemic asshole $31M AAV.

      Anything in between these two approaches is highly likely to be stupid.

    23. I am deathly afraid of the moving down option now because of the supposed interest in Reddish. I think I’d rather we stay put and also trade for a low 1st or else pull a trade for AD.

    24. It’s like arguing ad nauseam that Styx is the greatest rock band ever, and repeatedly throwing out “Come Sail Away” and “Mr. Roboto” as hard evidence.

      Sounds like someone has too much time on their hands!!!!

      mic drop bitches. I know.
      this is weak ass haiku but
      Styx was the shit, son.

    25. I know the first line has 6 syllables, by the way, but i have a stomach full of chinese food and i’m too lazy to fix it. would it help if i said i tried to fit in a Louis Orr reference?

    26. ok cock. u didn’t see Styx in a half empty Poughkeepsie Civic Center in 1991. did u?

      correction. it was half full

    27. I saw Louis CK there in 2013 and his opening jokes were about how shitty it was

    28. Big ups to DRed for turning me onto the baking steel as a sheet pan conductor. My brussel sprouts are crispier than ever.

    29. Classic archive hit there THCJ!

      Ruruland was one of a kind. His like will never be seen here again. At one point he seemed to admit/insinuate that he was part of Carmelo’s camp in some sort of social media capacity, or somehting. I forgot how he phrased it but it definitely made sense to me.

      Kawhi is something else.

    30. ruru was a sports beat writer for a large D-1 town paper somewhere in the flyover West. I don’t think he was connected to Melo in any substantive way, although his behavior really made you seek answers.

    31. I did enjoy how ruruland never stopped trying his hardest to find new angles to praise Melo, he went to every possible stat, every possible form of analysis of the game. It was true dedication, and at least much more interesting than the common esoteric reasons paid analysts come up to form their own terrible opinions.

    32. It wasn’t just to praise Melo either. Ruru ended up being the ultimate Panglossian, because every transaction was going to be something that lifted the Knicks, and thus Melo, to their rightful place in the basketball hierarchy. If you couldn’t see how Andrea Bargnani was going to make the Knicks great, you just weren’t qualified to talk about basketball.

      He was very thorough.

    33. “This kind of thinking always fails because the game was not better “in their day.” Sports evolve.”

      Change is not always evolution and evolution is not always improvement. For example, this season’s NBA MVP could very well be a guy who is shockingly bad at some elementary basketball skills but is shockingly good at other skills that fit with how today’s game is called. Or you can look at baseball, where people want to change the rules because today’s players can’t handle a defensive tactic that’s been around for (at least) decades.

      Mike

    34. For example, this season’s NBA MVP could very well be a guy who is shockingly bad at some elementary basketball skills but is shockingly good at other skills that fit with how today’s game is called

      You ever watch Shaquille O’Neal play? He was not exactly a real well-rounded player, yet he won an MVP award and probably deserved to win a few more.

    35. We have our random resident Giannis hater now, we’re one step closer to reddit!

    36. It wasn’t just to praise Melo either. Ruru ended up being the ultimate Panglossian, because every transaction was going to be something that lifted the Knicks, and thus Melo, to their rightful place in the basketball hierarchy. If you couldn’t see how Andrea Bargnani was going to make the Knicks great, you just weren’t qualified to talk about basketball.

      He was very thorough.

      The thing that got me was when he would praise a move that seemed like it was going to happen, but when it fell through or whatever, he would then praise the fact that it didn’t happen. I mean, come the fuck on, dude. Your opinions on a move can’t freakin’ change depending on whether the Knicks do it or not. It reminds me of the time that there were rumors that the Knicks were interested in Derrick Rose and we all made fun of it and then it actually happened and, well, not everyone continued to make fun of it. ;)

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