Knicks Morning News (2019.06.09)

  • [NYPost] Kevin Knox sees RJ Barrett as his perfect Knicks complement
    (Saturday, June 08, 2019 5:52:09 PM)

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Knicks forward Kevin Knox didn’t get to see his idol Kevin Durant, but he got a taste of what the NBA Finals is about. Knox, the Knicks’ 2018 lottery pick, attended Friday’s Game 4 at frenzied Oracle Arena. In a red hoodie, Knox sat in the 100-level section with fellow rookie Allonzo…

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ free agency plans if Kyrie Irving joins Nets, and execs weigh in on if Kemba Walker would come to NY
    (Saturday, June 08, 2019 9:42:27 AM)

    A look at some of the other options the Knicks could turn to if they cannot pair Kevin Durant with Kyrie Irving.

  • [SNY Knicks] NBA Draft prospect Tacko Fall on what he hopes Knicks, others notice
    (Saturday, June 08, 2019 11:01:03 AM)

    Tacko Fall, the 7-7 center from UCF, spoke with SNY after working out with the Knicks on Friday.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks’ free agency plans if Kyrie Irving joins Nets, and execs weigh in on if Kemba Walker would come to NY
    (Saturday, June 08, 2019 9:42:27 AM)

    A look at some of the other options the Knicks could turn to if they cannot pair Kevin Durant with Kyrie Irving.

  • [NYTimes] NBA Draft prospect Tacko Fall on what he hopes Knicks, others notice
    (Saturday, June 08, 2019 11:01:03 AM)

    Tacko Fall, the 7-7 center from UCF, spoke with SNY after working out with the Knicks on Friday.

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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).

    52 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.06.09)”

    1. Literate sportswriting is a treat. The athlete as blank canvas is an enduring journalistic trope, but he can write the hell out of it. Kawhi on the Knicks would be the most significant pairing of player to team in New York since Messier.

    2. There’s been a lot of chatter about how Jordan-like Kawhi has been, but a friend texted me the other day to say this is actually the closest to a Jordan Pippen duo we’ve ever seen. I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s true. Siakim has been outstanding.

      I know I made a comment about how Budenholzer wasn’t guarding him that Jowles picked up on. And it was true at the time. Bud was daring Siakim to beat them. It worked twice but Siakim adjusted and he’s really been incredible.

      I hope Kawhi leaves bc this team could be unstoppable if they run it back next year.

    3. Siakim could improve next year, too!

      It’s pretty amazing that they’re one win away and poised to be a great team next year, again, and yet I don’t think any of us are expecting Kawhi to return, right? It’s a crazy world, the NBA.

    4. Idk why Kawhi wouldn’t stay unless “branding” in a major market is that big a deal to him. He has a excellent, deep team and one of the smartest young coach/GM combos out there. Drake is annoying af, but that’s really the only problem.

    5. I don’t see why Kawhi would leave either. Of course, since he’s a quiet guy, you don’t know what he’s thinking; but I think it’s at least fifty fifty he stays.

    6. An unsung guy on Toronto is Serge Ibaka. He’s been having a phenomenal series. Big plays at big moments. He’s been every bit as important as Siakam.

    7. It’s pretty hard to imagine Kawhi leaving if they win the chip. It’s okay if he comes to the Knicks though!

    8. Keep in mind two things

      1. Kawhi is inscrutable and isn’t wired like other athletes. Nobody knows what he wants to do or why.

      2. If he wins Toronto its first championship, he can leave guilt-free, like LeBron leaving Cleveland the second time.

    9. An unsung guy on Toronto is Serge Ibaka. He’s been having a phenomenal series. Big plays at big moments. He’s been every bit as important as Siakam.

      Also Van Vleet, who seems to hit every rally killing shot and has been playing outstanding D on Steph.

    10. It’s amazing that of all the Toronto role players that the Spurs could have gotten along with DeRozan, it was Jakob Poeltl. Who’s not a bad player, but who wouldn’t be nearly as valuable in this series.

    11. Fun fact: Jacob Poeltl was drafted with the unprotected first round pick acquired from the New York Knicks in exchange for Andrea Bargnani. Because the Knicks needed to figure out a way to neutralize the immortal Roy Hibbert.

      The East was big, man.

    12. Kawhi is inscrutable and isn’t wired like other athletes. Nobody knows what he wants to do or why.

      Apple time… apple time.

    13. I think if Kawhi leaves is simply because he wants to be somewhere else for himself. Toronto is a huge market, not a typical NBA market but it’s quickly becoming one with this run. Every piece New Balance has made with him has sold out like crazy and there’s many people complaining New Balance isn’t supporting the demand for Kawhi stuff. If he wins the title his popularity will be through the roof no matter where he chooses to be.

    14. I figure he wanted out of San Antonio because he was tired of hearing Midnight Moonlight every time he turned around.

    15. there were some rumors that his uncle and the current agents around kawhi don’t necessarily have his best interests in mind…

    16. Kawhi will most likely be staying in Toronto, I don’t see why he’d leave at this point.
      He might be leaving, but one thing is for damn sure – he is not coming to the Knicks, inscrutable or not.

      Agree on Ibaka and Vanvleet, those goes have made quite a few big plays at key moments throughout the series. That’s a huge difference between these two teams, Toronto’s bench is so much more productive than the Warriors.

      I’d be surprised if the Warriors can extend the series on Monday, it looks like Toronto is just too good on both sides right now.

    17. According to Joe Vardon, the Knicks are “acting like a deal is already in place” with Durant.

      Idk why that would be, but if true, I’d assume the Kawhi push is to pair him with KD. And I’m guessing they’re looking at the #3 pick primarily as a trade chip for an AD deal or possibly some other deal for a 2nd star.

    18. That was a nicely written piece on Kawhi.

      I think the Raptors dominance narrative is a little strong. They won’t be bringing the same team back even if Kawhi re-ups. And if Durant were playing they could easily be looking a lot less dominant.

      I do agree about Ibaka. Happy for him.

    19. If we landed KD and a non-PG star e.g. Kawhi, would anyone prefer putting together a trade package for Conley? Not sure what it would take, and it definitely shouldn’t include Mitch or this year’s #3, but could it be done while still acquiring two max players?

    20. I would say we should should just find a cheap point guard who can play defense and move the ball in that case. Conley is too fragile to trust with our championship aspirations.

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

      If the Warriors can win tomorrow, they are probably even money to win the series. Durant is practicing today. If he can play and gives them just enough to get by in game 5, they are very likely to win game 6 at home with him too. Then it goes to game 7 in Toronto with a healthier Warrior team that has the momentum, more experience, and less pressure than Toronto. That’s got to be close to a pick’em game 7. Tomorrow could change the series in an instant. I would not panic yet if I was a Warrior fan. If Durant can play and has something in the tank, this is still a series.

    22. I really like Conley and would totally be up to get him, but the price has to be cheap. His contract is too big.

    23. It would be hard to make a Conley deal work cap-wise without giving up two of Frank, Knox and the #3, presumably Barrett. I’d prefer to stay with the youth movement, or get AD on the cheap, but Conley is definitely an option.

    24. I’m not counting the Dubs out until they’re dead and buried but Kawhi is playing like prime Jordan right now and just seems like an unstoppable, inevitable force.

    25. Anyone can be sunk if Curry gets hot. He was like 15-39 from the field on poor 3PT shooting in games 2 and 4. Despite the excellent FT shooting, that’s not great.

      Add the injuries to half their team and you see them as the most
      vulnerable they’ve been since 2016 when Draymond got himself suspended and likely cost them the title. This one is the Raptors’ to lose, but if Curry goes off, anything can happen.

    26. A friend is headed back from the west coast and is on a plane with some Knicks and R.J. sitting together. He said apparently they were talking about how good the pitch to KD went.

    27. To get Conley after 2 max guys we have to send out salaries worth 80% of his salary, or about $26m. Assuming we waived Lance to sign the two in the first place that’s basically Knox, DSj, Frank, Trier, Mitch, Dot and a signed no. 3. You might be able to keep Mitch depending on the exact numbers.

      But basically, no. We can trade for a Beal or AD level salary because they’re currently earning a fair amount less. Even then it’s tough. But Conleys deal is just too high.

    28. If Durant comes back and all of he, Draymond, and Steph are full steam ahead it will be hard for the Raptors to close out this series no matter where they play. It would also be the Durant Swan Song of ages if he comes back and the Warriors come from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals.

    29. The problem is that Conley still has 1 more year in his contract plus an option, so there’s no way he gets bought out or something like that. It’s a shame because I think he would fit very well with Robinson, KD and Kawhi. But then again I have a bit of irrational love for him.

    30. this is gonna be Conley’s thirteenth NBA season, hard pass

    31. Ess-Dog – That’s quite the tidbit. What is RJ doing with the Knicks on a plane? And why are they pitching him in the middle of the Finals?

      Very disquieting rumor about Masai being offered a stake in the Wizards to go run their entire organization. We need Masai.

    32. Curry is going to have a hard time going off with the great defense Toronto is putting on him. He is scoring but having to work very hard for those points. He’s getting lots of tough twos in the lane or driving to the basket, not many open looks from behind the arc. Not a lot of opportunities for him to hit a few and start the shimmy shake celebrations that he’s used to.

    33. @34 yeah he’s a casual fan, so idk what to read into that.

      But RJ was definitely sitting with the Knick players (I assume it was the group including Knox that reportedly went to Game 4 with the Knicks assistant coach.)

      Maybe the plan is to keep RJ and only use cap space to get help for KP? I think Kyrie was the first option but he kinda went rogue with this BK stuff… It will definitely be interesting to watch this play out.

    34. Durant apparently has been cleared to practice and is questionable for game 5. If he’s even at 50% capacity, I’ll be pretty scared for the Raptors. They have defended Curry well, but a lot of that is because they don’t have to guard McKinnie, Livingston or Cook. Even if Durant can only really catch and shoot, it becomes a whole different problem for the Raptors to deal with. It’s still highly unlikely they’ll win 3 straight but I’m still scared.

    35. Anyone can be sunk if Curry gets hot. He was like 15-39 from the field on poor 3PT shooting in games 2 and 4. Despite the excellent FT shooting, that’s not great.

      Curry played what has to be one of the best games in NBA finals history in game 3 and they got run off their home court. If Durant is close to full effectiveness they have a very real chance to win 3 in a row, but if he’s somewhat hobbled the Raptors will tear the Dubs to pieces. The Warriors defense has been pretty shitty all series and a limited KD is going to be a huge problem. He can certainly help the offense by just being 7′ tall and a great shooter though.

    36. I know most of you are probably not hockey fans, but if you want to see sports play by play announcing at it’s finest, watch Doc Emrick doing the Blues-Bruins game tonight. The guy is just amazing, and it’s probably the hardest sport of all to do play by play for.

      One of the all time greats.

    37. If Durant is close to full effectiveness they have a very real chance to win 3 in a row, but if he’s somewhat hobbled the Raptors will tear the Dubs to pieces.

      This seems right to me. A hobbled Durant could throw a wrench into their offense as much as improve it and he’d be a defensive liability.

    38. I think Durant is pretty motivated to go at Kawhi right now, and the stakes are so high (3rd championship, 3rd Finals MVP in a row) that if he’s healthy you almost have to take the Warriors in 7. Kawhi Leonard is a special player, but Durant really may be a top 5 player all time. This is the same guy that averaged 35 points a game against LeBron James in the Finals.

      The Raptors will probably walk away with their 1st championship just because they’re one win away, but there’s no way they beat a healthy Warriors team.

    39. Assume Durant comes back and gives GS the following chance to win each game:

      Game 5 (Durant still rusty) — 50%
      Game 6 — 70%
      Game 7 — 60%

      Even with those generous odds, that’s still only a 21% chance to win the series.

    40. Oh, I don’t blame Curry when he’s on a team playing some of those guys on a damn Finals rotation. But if he doesn’t play well, I don’t see them standing a chance.

    41. I think Durant is pretty motivated to go at Kawhi right now, and the stakes are so high (3rd championship, 3rd Finals MVP in a row) that if he’s healthy you almost have to take the Warriors in 7. Kawhi Leonard is a special player, but Durant really may be a top 5 player all time. This is the same guy that averaged 35 points a game against LeBron James in the Finals.

      I now want to see Durant come back and lead them to a miraculous comeback just to see who gets the Finals MVP. They’d have to give it to Durant, right? And yet…I think they might give it to Curry. I got into it a little bit (stress little bit) with some Warriors fans on Twitter who were talking about how at least Curry would now get the MVP and I just couldn’t get over these fans who were, like, “Yeah, they’re down 3-1, but at least Durant won’t get the MVP!” Weird fans, man.

      Here’s the tweet that got me. It was positive takeaways from Game 3:

      Positive takeaways:
      1. Curry will be the undisputed FMVP if we win this series
      2. We’ve been down 2-1 before and won 3 straight
      3. Klay will be healthier for game 4 than if he played today
      4. We actually had a good chance to win this game, Raptors just couldn’t miss

      How is #1 a positive takeaway?! It’s just anti-Durant nonsense, right?

    42. Here’s the tweet that got me. It was positive takeaways from Game 3:

      Positive takeaways:
      1. Curry will be the undisputed FMVP if we win this series
      2. We’ve been down 2-1 before and won 3 straight
      3. Klay will be healthier for game 4 than if he played today
      4. We actually had a good chance to win this game, Raptors just couldn’t miss

      How is #1 a positive takeaway?! It’s just anti-Durant nonsense, right?

      Just like every Yankee fan in 1961 when Mantle and Maris were both chasing Ruth…. the homegrown guy was the big favorite……

    43. I have no beef with people rooting for Curry over Durant, it’s just this weird thing where fans are acting like Curry beating Durant out for the Finals MVP would be a good thing for the Warriors period and not just an individual achievement deal.

    44. I would say we should should just find a cheap point guard who can play defense and move the ball in that case. Conley is too fragile to trust with our championship aspirations.

      Frank says hi

    45. I hope KD is reading a lot of those tweets with his burner accounts.

      I guess for us the dream scenario is KD getting back and the Warriors winning game 5 only to lose game 6 at home with Warriors fans questioning his effort.

    46. If fans are like that with Durant, where they want him to fail, I can see why he might want to move on.

    47. I would imagine that their take is that they only turned on him when it became clear that he wasn’t returning.

    48. That’s a good point. But I’m not sure they liked him much in the first place.

    49. That’s a good point. But I’m not sure they liked him much in the first place.

      They definitely never gave him the love like they gave Steph and clearly that has always hurt his feelings.

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