Knicks Morning News (2019.06.12)

  • [NYTimes]
    Paul George: Undergoes left shoulder surgery

    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 3:39:00 PM)

    Paul George: George underwent surgery Tuesday on his left shoulder to repair a tear in his labrum, Royce Young of ESPN.com reports.

    Visit RotoWire.com for more analysis on this update.

  • [NYTimes]
    Kyle Lowry: Misfires on potential game winner

    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:30:00 AM)

    Kyle Lowry: Lowry managed 18 points (8-16 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six assists, four rebounds, two blocks and one steal across 42 minutes during the Raptors’ 106-105 loss to the Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday.

    Visit RotoWire.com for more analysis on this update.

  • [NYTimes]
    Kevin Durant: May have torn Achilles’ tendon

    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 6:32:00 AM)

    Kevin Durant: The Warriors believe that Durant suffered a torn right Achilles’ tendon in Monday’s 106-105 win over the Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com reports. General manager Bob Myers said Durant will undergo an MRI on Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury.

    Visit RotoWire.com for more analysis on this update.

  • [SNY Knicks] After injury, here are Knicks’ updated odds to sign free agent Kevin Durant
    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 1:20:24 PM)

    Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury has potentially thrown a huge wrench into his free agency and the Knicks’ plans, but that hasn’t strongly impacted the odds of him ending up with the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks target Anthony Davis: David Griffin in no rush to make trade before NBA Draft
    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:26:16 PM)

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

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks target Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury: Headed to New York for evaluations
    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 12:29:24 PM)

    Knicks free agent target Kevin Durant suffered an Achilles injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, casting a shadow over his future. Here’s the latest…

  • [SNY Knicks] Ripple effects of Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury: How Knicks’ free agency plans can change
    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 5:16:08 PM)

    The 30-year-old suffered an injury that, depending on the severity, could have wide-ranging implications for the Knicks, Nets and the rest of the league.

  • [SNY Knicks] Scouts give NBA player comps for Knicks Draft target RJ Barrett
    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 9:15:00 AM)

    When RJ Barrett’s name is mentioned, scouts bring up names like DeMar DeRozan, James Worthy, Kelly Oubre and Rodney Hood. But why?

  • [NYPost] Potential Plan Bs for Knicks after devastating Kevin Durant injury
    (Wednesday, June 12, 2019 12:44:03 AM)

    Kevin Durant’s feared torn Achilles tendon could sway him not to opt out of the $31 million left on his contract since he may miss next season. Pairing KD with another star was the Knicks’ Plan A, but now they may have to pivot. The Post’s Marc Berman looks at their options: 1. Sign Kawhi…

  • [NYPost] Kevin Durant is only one safe from free-agency chaos injury created
    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 11:41:47 AM)

    Plans haven’t changed. They’ve just become more complicated. Despite Kevin Durant likely suffering a torn Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto on Monday night, the Warriors superstar’s suddenly uncertain future doesn’t necessarily mean the line of suitors for the former MVP will shrink. As the crown jewel of the most loaded…

  • [NYPost] Kevin Durant’s injury may have saved the Knicks’ future
    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 11:10:11 AM)

    We are conditioned to believe that a dark cloud sits permanently over Penn Plaza, even on the sunniest of summer days. Two decades of lousy, unwatchable basketball will do that to you. A new century featuring one memorable season — in 2012-13 — and one memorable month — Linsanity — will make you wonder about…

  • [NYPost] Mulling Knicks’ alternatives after Kevin Durant’s crushing injury
    (Tuesday, June 11, 2019 6:32:16 AM)

    TORONTO — The Knicks’ best laid plans may have gone up in smoke in one tragic moment Monday night. The Knicks woke up Tuesday to the news of Kevin Durant’s feared torn Achilles tendon like the rest of New York — stunned. Durant’s return from a calf strain turned into a catastrophe in the second…

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    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    110 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.06.12)”

    1. I am also slowly coming around to the idea that it might not be awful to do the same plan that they had planned, only with Durant missing most of the season. Of course, that would require a second max free agent to be willing to punt the 2019-20 season, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily that big of a loss, considering they’d have Durant back with them in 2020-21.

      We already all noted that the odds were that the Knicks weren’t going to be title contenders in 2019-20 even with Durant and a second max guy. It was going to be 2020-21, when Mitch would be in Year Three and the Knicks’ top draft pick being in Year Two and when the Knicks would have the full mid-level exception available to them, that the Knicks would really hopefully be contenders.

      Well, that could still be the case if Durant returns healthy and I’m fairly confident that he will return healthy. Heck, they might even get a lottery pick to add to that 2020-21 team!

      I’m more than happy with them also just choosing to not spend the money on free agents period, but I think the original plan could still work. The problem is getting a second legit max guy (you know, not Tobias Harris) willing to wait until Durant returns.

    2. If Tobias can be had without giving him a max deal, I’d make him my one “big” signing. The team is gonna need someone who knows the ropes when the offense gets stagnant, and it will get stagnant. That said, I’m about 99% in on the youth movement format- with the 1% being “what if Kawhi..”. Short of that, I say we stay the course and draft Barrett. It is kinda exciting to see what the kids will do when they’re allowed to just play together. We should finally see DSJ and Ntilikina together, and that I’m excited about.

      And honestly- I know this will sound like a hindsight statement- I wasn’t very high on signing KD for his age 30 year and beyond. But I’m not stupid either. As a bonafide franchise player, he’s one of those players who you sign if you have the chance. So part of my is happy that he’s unlikely to be a Knick now because I didn’t have a ton of faith in him aging well during those years having to carry a much heavier load than he does with the Dubs

    3. The plan could still work. Only the chances it will are even lower with your star max player at 32 and recovering from major injury.

      I guess I would do it only if they did *not* sign anyone else this year, rented out cap space, and tanked again. Then you can go for it next summer.

    4. The plan could still work. Only the chances it will are even lower with your star max player at 32 and recovering from major injury.

      I guess I would do it only if they did *not* sign anyone else this year, rented out cap space, and tanked again. Then you can go for it next summer.

      The problem is that, outside of Anthony Davis (and yes, if Davis ends up somewhere this season where he would be unwilling to re-sign, I agree, go for it), the 2020 Free Agent class is weeeak. DeMar DeRozan is possibly the fourth best free agent next season and one of the top four is Draymond Green, who is obviously not coming to go play with Kevin Durant in New York.

    5. If Tobias can be had without giving him a max deal,

      He can’t.

      So let me note that with regards to Tobias Harris, when I talk about him being a bad pick-up, I only mean it as a max guy, which he will be. Otherwise, he’s a fine player. I dig him a lot, actually. If he’s your third or fourth best guy, like in Philly, he’s a great fit even making max money.

    6. The problem is that, outside of Anthony Davis (and yes, if Davis ends up somewhere this season where he would be unwilling to re-sign, I agree, go for it), the 2020 Free Agent class is weeeak.

      Then I’ll go for it only if the other guy is Kawhi. Otherwise the risk of being stuck in 45 wins hell is too big.

      What I think they’ll do is overpay for AD, then pitch to Kawhi in July and when he (probably) says no they’ll try to fill out the roster with 2nd tier free agents. 45-wins-hell here we come.

    7. If I were Durant, it would be idiotic for me not to accept the player option $31.5M for 2019-20. He’s still a UFA in 2020-21.
      It’s time to become rational again. No Zion. No KD. No KI. Kahwi is not a Knick fit.
      I wonder if the Knicks are even in the playoffs next season.

    8. I’m actually warming up to the idea of running an uber-young team next year (DSJ/Frank-Trier/Dotson-RJ-Knox/Kornet-Mitch). I’m only worried about having an unimaginative coach as Fizdale working with them. I fear he might really stunt their development.

    9. If I were Durant, it would be idiotic for me not to accept the player option $31.5M for 2019-20. He’s still a UFA in 2020-21.
      It’s time to become rational again. No Zion. No KD. No KI. Kahwi is not a Knick fit.
      I wonder if the Knicks are even in the playoffs next season.

      It’s not idiotic if other teams are offering him a max now, even with him missing next season. It’d only be idiotic to turn down the player option if no other team is willing to give him a max now. If he can get a max now, he should take it.

    10. You know what? I forgot Julius Randle is out there too. He wouldn’t be a bad grab for a “big” signing either.

    11. My point is more that the Warriors have nothing to lose re-signing Durant. They are capped anyway and will be forever capped with Klay and Draymond’s new contracts, they have no room to replace Durant with anyone.

      They could lose a lot of money! Sometimes I think we act like these teams are only thinking about the competitive product. The money matters, too.

      It’s what, $220 million? Plus the luxury tax. Plus the opportunity cost down the road, in say year 4 or 5 of that deal.

      And then what do you do with Draymond? Can you take care of Steph, Klay, and KD but tell him to take a hike? Can you afford to pay all of them over half a billion for their sunset? You set your rebuild back years if you do, and that lost revenue adds to the cost.

      It’s not as cut and dry as “it makes sense bc they’re capped out anyway.”

    12. KD is in NYC for evaluation – the minute details of that evaluation really change everything. I’m no orthopedic surgeon but my guess is that there are factors that predict a better or worse outcome after an Achilles tear. If the pre-operative eval is favorable (with the caveat that you can never 100% predict what will happen post-op) then I would be in favor of signing him to the max with whatever injury protections he will accept, seeing whether an appropriate 2nd star will also sign for the max, and if not, just signing 1 year balloon deals with FAs or (preferably) renting the cap space out to a team trying to avoid the tax (CHA, MIA, OKC, WAS).

      Running back a team of DSJ, Frank, Dotson, Knox, RJ, Mitch will almost certainly result in another high lottery pick in a draft that is much better than the 2019 draft. I’m ready to do this the right way, not try to cut corners again.

      But importantly, if the pre-op indicators are favorable, I would think signing KD is ok (assuming of course that Kawhi does not want to come – in that case I would def sign Kawhi and a 2nd star and move forward as previously planned).

    13. Just to finish that thought, signing Durant with the injury is roughly analogous to the Sixers drafting Embiid and Saric knowing that both wouldn’t be available for at least a year after drafting. You get the certainty that the player is coming eventually, but still get the tank.

    14. Just to finish that thought, signing Durant with the injury is roughly analogous to the Sixers drafting Embiid and Saric knowing that both wouldn’t be available for at least a year after drafting. You get the certainty that the player is coming eventually, but still get the tank.

      Totally agreed, Frank, except, of course, you know, the whole “32 year old coming back from an achilles injury” side of it. I have faith that Durant will come back fine, but I obviously don’t know for sure and the Knicks definitely don’t know for sure.

      I would be down with the Kawhi alternative, but honestly, there was only one stud who actually wanted to join the Knicks this offseason, and that was KD. And it was through KD that the other major guys would consider it. With him hurt…it’s tough to see other guys still coming here.

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

      I wouldn’t sign Durant to a max contract now with my worst enemy’s money. I could never be that cruel to anyone.

      A lot of these 30ish players have learned that if they don’t play hard during the season they can avoid injuries and have more energy left for the playoff run. Then they play at a high level for 15-20 games in the playoffs. That’s nothing new. The great Celtics teams used to do that. However, 2 years older and post operation we are going to get a shell of the real Durant in the regular season and diminished #1 option in the playoffs, assuming he’s not starting to break down and doesn’t start getting injured regularly.

      We “might” have a 1 year window. If you want to be really optimistic 2 years. It would be Amare all over again except starting at a higher base. IMO, it’s borderline insane.

      I’d way prefer to fill the cap space with some solid young role players that could be part of the team long term as they improve (what’s wrong with Vonleh?) and try to add better players to that list. Julius Randle would have been a WAY better fit next to KP than he’ll be with Robinson, but that’s the kind of player we should be trying to add.

      If we can’t add long term young pieces in free agency, we should be trading the Dallas picks for young players, giving out short term contracts to roll the cap space over, and renting the cap space out depending on the opportunities and prices available for each at that time.

      I’m the guy here most open to creating a team that’s a mix of veterans and young players and slowly building via deal making, but I think Durant is such a bad idea even I would prefer to tank.

    16. I’m actually warming up to the idea of running an uber-young team next year (DSJ/Frank-Trier/Dotson-RJ-Knox/Kornet-Mitch).

      Nice to know I’m not alone. And you left out the likelihood of Barrett joining them.

      I would actually really like that team. Who doesn’t love homegrown kids?

      Side note: I hate to be a downer but all this could reintroduce the specter of Mudiay back on a one year deal (with a team option or non guaranteed year 2). It’s not he’s going to be fielding a lot of offers.

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

      I don’t see Mudiay being back unless they are 100% sold on getting rid of Frank instead of using him as defensive role player that can make plays while working on his offense long term. If DSJ wasn’t here, then they might keep Mudiay around, but I don’t see them keeping both.

      Hezonja probably has a better chance of coming back. He has some legitimate ball handling, passing, and shot creation skills from the forward position. He has a long way to go to become a neutral or plus player because he’s still inefficient and doesn’t defend well enough, but he still has a chance to put it all together on offense and he 100% wants to be here.

    18. Side note: I hate to be a downer but all this could reintroduce the specter of Mudiay back on a one year deal (with a team option or non guaranteed year 2). It’s not he’s going to be fielding a lot of offers.

      Shit, they could run the entire shitty 2018-19 team back if they want. Lance Thomas, come on down!

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

      Just to finish that thought, signing Durant with the injury is roughly analogous to the Sixers drafting Embiid and Saric knowing that both wouldn’t be available for at least a year after drafting. You get the certainty that the player is coming eventually, but still get the tank.

      There’s a monumentally gigantic difference.

      With Embiid and Saric you were waiting for very young players, one of which might turn out to be a superstar for the next 10 years with as close to an unlimited widow as you can get.

      With Durant, you are waiting for a 32 years old player with his best years behind him, possibly very diminished, and with a very short window IF everything else goes right.

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

      If someone else wants to give Durant a max and he’s willing to sign off, so be it. Otherwise, let him opt in, rehab on the Warrior’s dime, and we should have cap space ready for next year so that if he looks good in workouts and the prognosis is favorable, we can consider it when we have more information.

    21. if we end up fielding another 15-30 win team next year i am curating an aesthetic anti vomit list of 2000 minute of point guard preference

      1. morant
      2. coby white in a trade down
      2. some 11 year old undrafted rookie
      3. kadeem allen
      4. milos teodosic
      5. rubio (seems dumb yeah but some chance he is available at a price that makes him trade-worth and might help mitch)
      6. patrick beverley (see above)
      7. frank
      8. ray felton
      9. DSJ
      10. jose calderon
      11. D Rose
      12. jeremy lim
      13. chris smith
      27. mudiay

      ps i know you think dsj is too low i don’t care

    22. I’d way prefer to fill the cap space with some solid young role players that could be part of the team long term as they improve (what’s wrong with Vonleh?) and try to add better players to that list.

      Here’s a list of UFA that were 27 or under last season and had a positive VORP in over 500 mins:
      Tobias Harris – 27
      Jeremy Lamb – 27
      Kevon Looney – 23
      Noah Vonleh – 24
      Richaun Holmes – 25
      Elfrid Payton – 25
      Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – 26
      Enes Kanter – 27
      T.J. McConnell – 27

      And guys with player options for next year:
      Kyrie Irving – 27
      Julius Randle – 24
      Jonas Valanciunas – 27
      Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – 26
      Nerlens Noel – 25
      Tyler Johnson – 26

    23. I guess there are some reasonable 28 year olds, too:
      Nikola Vucevic
      Kawhi Leonard
      Khris Middleton
      Dwight Powell
      Ricky Rubio
      Cory Joseph
      Nikola Mirotic
      Terrence Ross
      David Stockton
      Reggie Bullock
      Mike Muscala

      If you are looking to stay young and build towards the future, I probably wouldn’t go older than that for someone you consider a building block.

    24. Nice to know I’m not alone. And you left out the likelihood of Barrett joining them.

      Actually, that’s the RJ you see lodged between Dotson and Knox :D

      Side note: I hate to be a downer but all this could reintroduce the specter of Mudiay back on a one year deal

      I know. That’s the only thing I would be very ill-equipped to deal with, if only because Mudiay running the show pretty much guarantees shitty offensive sets.

    25. Here’s a list of UFA that were 27 or under last season and had a positive VORP in over 500 mins:

      Did you really think Strat had any intention of being more specific than “I would simply use the cap space on good, young players?”

    26. Well, if it were me, I’d kick the tires on Jeremy Lamb. He’s actually been pretty damn solid in Charlotte and would instantly be our best guard. No idea what kind of attention he’ll be getting, though. I’d definitely bring Vonleh back if he can be had at a decent number. Noel would be great depth behind Mitch if he’s cheap. It all depends on who falls through the cracks and can be had at a reasonable price, but there is some young talent out there to be had.

    27. The Knicks actually had a well thought out plan as it seemed Durant was probably coming here and bringing a friend. However it makes little sense to put 150M into any player coming off an achillies tear for his 32, 33 and 34 year old seasons. Time to park bad assets and rebuild the proper way. What would Ainge pay to dump Gordon Hayward’s last 2 years? This year’s # 15 and next years Grizz #1 … Robert Williams?

    28. A 48 minute rotation of Mitch/Noel would be amazing. If only we had someone able to throw them some lobs in a consistent way

    29. paying real money to julius randle or jeremy jamb is close to the last thing we should do

    30. If you wanted to try to walk the rebuild, but still compete tightrope, then I could see something like this:
      PG: Rubio – DSJr – Trier
      SG: Lamb – Dotson – Frank
      SF: Barrett – Knox
      PF: Vonleh – Knox – Kornett
      C: Mitch – Noel – Kornett

      That could be a playoff team with everyone under 30, and you still probably have ample cap room to take on some bad contracts for assets.

    31. Yes, I too would love to go back to winning 32 games and claiming the 11th spot in the east, that’s what I dream about when I think about this offseason.

      If we get guys who aren’t big upside young guys, they should come by trade with assets attached to them. Everything else is a hard pass. Don’t sign mediocre free agents. Don’t become the Detroit Pistons. It’s an easy plan to follow.

    32. @31

      Charlotte has a similar roster with Kemba Walker who’s a lot better than anyone in that list, and they missed the playoffs still.

    33. @33
      I’d rather miss the playoffs and be in the lottery. I didn’t say it’d be a good option, just saying we could get better and still have flexibility and upside. Just play the game of signing young decent free agents to reasonable contracts and they instantly become an asset for future moves. No max contracts to borderline guys, just value contracts to under the radar guys.

    34. If you wanted to try to walk the rebuild, but still compete tightrope, then I could see something like this:

      What is the point of this approach? Do we want to eventually contend for a title, or not? I understand why a franchise like the Hornets might feel some pressure to go with an approach like this, even if I disagree with it. What exactly is in it for us, though?

      I’m with Strat on this one. Avoid Durant, at least this offseason.

      To me, it depends on just how cooperative he’s willing to be with our most optimal plan. If we sign him to a 2 + 1 with the understanding that he’s sitting out basically the entire first year, run back the tanking squad (i.e. don’t sign anyone besides KD to a multi-year deal), get another top-5 or so pick, and still have another max slot in 2020 (hopefully reserved for AD)…that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

      It would still come with plenty of risk due to all of the uncertainty surrounding post-achilles tear KD, but at that point we’d have multiple high lottery picks + Mitch to fall back on in case it all went to hell.

    35. I feel bad for Farfa

      As long as there’s no Mudiay and Mitch plays at least 28 MPG, it’s still a dream job

    36. What is the point of this approach? Do we want to eventually contend for a title, or not? I understand why a franchise like the Hornets might feel some pressure to go with an approach like this, even if I disagree with it. What exactly is in it for us, though?

      Building deep teams with value contracts is just one way to go about things. Sure, it’d be great to get a 3 max FA super team, but that’s unlikely. Look at the Toronto model, where you have a solid, deep team and use some of your assets to bring in a true star to elevate you from good to championship caliber. Same with pre-Harden Houston. Get value wherever you can, even if it kills a tank. Tanking isn’t as valuable anymore with the lottery changes, anyway.

    37. Yeah, I’d rather overpay on 1-year deals than sign a bunch of average guys long term. But at the same time, do we want to make trades that facilitates a team like the Celtics to get Anthony Davis? Not really. So we are kind of stuck either signing one/two of the top 4 guys or else punting. No one wants another awful year, but the best thing to do if we strike out is to grab a few grizzled vets to help the young players grow for another season.

      I think that’s why an AD trade still seems appealing to the FO. Even if they’re bad for a year or two, at least they have a guy that other big free agents want to play with over the next few years. Knox and DSJ still have to prove they even belong in the league.

    38. Building deep teams with value contracts is just one way to go about things. Sure, it’d be great to get a 3 max FA super team, but that’s unlikely. Look at the Toronto model, where you have a solid, deep team and use some of your assets to bring in a true star to elevate you from good to championship caliber. Same with pre-Harden Houston. Get value wherever you can, even if it kills a tank. Tanking isn’t as valuable anymore with the lottery changes, anyway.

      But how likely is it that Jeremy Lamb, Nerlens Noel, and Ricky Rubio become legitimate trade assets to the point where the return outweighs the (admittedly neutered) tanking benefits? I think it’s much more likely they come at a price point that eventually render them dump-with-sweetener material.

      If their market totally collapses and they’re available at some crazy figure, then sure, I could see the argument for scooping them up and worrying about where the dominoes fall later. But if they’re each making $10M+ AAV? I just don’t see the value in it for us.

    39. Collect assets.

      There has to be some team that would like to park a bad contract here.

    40. @38

      Except Toronto has exactly zero players they signed as free agents on their roster, unless you somehow count Patrick McCaw and Jodie Meeks. Literally everyone else was either drafted or traded for, and the guys they traded away (Poeltl, DeRozan, Valanciunas, Wright) were all drafted too.

      Toronto has never signed mediocre veterans to medium sized contracts, they traded for Ibaka and then re-signed him and that’s it, and that was when they were already a playoff team trying to add something else to get over the hump.

    41. There has to be some team that would like to park a bad contract here.

      I mean, the League is littered with bad contracts. If we can extract a few first rounders here and there we would have a treasure trove for the next disgruntled superstar. Imagine if the Bucks falter come next year because Brook Lopez isn’t back and they can’t find a credible stretch five. How long before Giannis starts wanting out?

    42. Some of these Rich Paul quotes are great:

      “Rich Paul said that if his client is traded to the Celtics this summer it would be as a rental.

      “(The Celtics) can trade for him but it’ll be for one year,” Paul said. “In the event that he decides to walk away and you (gave) away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”

      Paul went on to compare the Lakers to Jennifer Lopez and waxed poetic about the Knicks.”

    43. Paul went on to compare the Lakers to Jennifer Lopez

      I agree: relevant until 2010, now a dormant reminder of a time when streaming services didn’t dominate the market.

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

      French Knicks Pod
      ?@FrenchKnicksPod
      Finally I can announce the news ,
      Frank Ntilikina will participate at the World Cup with the French National Team .

      Another chance to take a look at a healthy Frank to see if he’s making any progress.

    45. Maxing Durant is only good for me if the surgical eval is favorable.

      While it’s obviously true that Durant is 31 and Embiid was 21 or whatever, it was also a foot injury in a big man (and a back injury), and there was no guarantee that Embiid was actually going to be great in the pros.

      100% of Durant is a top 3 player in the league.
      90% of Durant is probably still a top 10 player in the league.
      80% of Durant is a top 25 player in the league
      If HSS looks at his scans and exam and says this is a good surgical risk then you’d have to at least consider it.

      The problem with the pure tank/rebuild is that with the new lottery system it is even more likely that you’re looking at an Orlando magic / Charlotte Hornets / Sacramento Kings kind of rebuild with a bunch of nice (or not so nice) but not great players. Look at the Lakers who somehow got 4 top 7 picks in the last 5 years (with 3 of them being #2 picks) and none of them appear to be that great – certainly no one you can build your franchise around. And it’s not like they did weird stuff in the draft – they drafted the consensus pick each time around.

    46. Running back a team of DSJ, Frank, Dotson, Knox, RJ, Mitch will almost certainly result in another high lottery pick in a draft that is much better than the 2019 draft. I’m ready to do this the right way, not try to cut corners again.

      I would be perfectly happy with this. We had a potential window and it looks to have closed. No suboptimal moves at this point, please.

    47. While it’s obviously true that Durant is 31 and Embiid was 21 or whatever, it was also a foot injury in a big man (and a back injury), and there was no guarantee that Embiid was actually going to be great in the pros.

      Missing on #3 pick is far less damaging to a roster than whiffing on an over-30 player signed to a 10+ veteran max. Fultz is going to compete for biggest draft bust of all-time and the Sixers moved him for two future picks, or possibly three (if it doesn’t convey in 2020). Hell, if they put Fultz on waivers, they would have simply suffered the opportunity cost of having taken him #1 — there is no future impact on their cap space.

      The worst-case scenario with Durant is that he’s a shell of his former self and cannot be moved for assets despite being owed three years’ max salary. The Knicks have a terrible history of these players who are hard, if not impossible, to move: Curry, Marbury, Houston and Amar’e. (Miraculously, the Knicks were not the final team to have been duped by late-career Melo. Still can’t believe they got assets back.) Granted, Durant would be the greatest player in Knicks history, and hopefully his value will stay high via brand recognition alone, but if he gets re-injured or plummets in production, his contract becomes another albatross.

      It is enormously risky compared to drafting an injured player in the draft. If, say, Michael Porter never plays a minute in this league, he will do very little to harm Denver’s long-term outlook.

    48. Trust the process, Knicks! Sorry, for KD, but that ship is sailing away. You got to “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”

      Play all the kids, deal with teams looking to open up cap space, work out sign and trades, whatever. Collect picks. Be in the lottery again next year.

    49. Cavs hired a female college coach, which is a first. I’d be interested to hear anyone here’s opinion on whether we’ll ever see a female head coach in the NBA.

    50. Yes, but we also have terrible players.

      DSJ, the main piece in the KP trade, is probably about as good as Mudiay… Think about that.

      And Knox is worse so far. Yes, he’s very young, but he doesn’t seem to have that insane athleticism or ridiculous skill level you see in some raw players like young Anthony Randolph.

      I’m not even going to bring up Frank.

      If we got Davis, we’d finally have one great, in his prime, player to try and build around (not that we’d do it correctly, but that’s beside the point).

    51. I’d be interested to hear anyone here’s opinion on whether we’ll ever see a female head coach in the NBA.

      Ettore Messina signed with Milan. If Becky Hammon stays patient and waits for Pop to reach the NBA all-time wins record, my money is on her as the head coach of the Spurs in 2022.

    52. But how likely is it that Jeremy Lamb, Nerlens Noel, and Ricky Rubio become legitimate trade assets to the point where the return outweighs the (admittedly neutered) tanking benefits?

      I think anyone with a contract that pays them less than the value they provide is good, and should not be avoided due to tanking concerns, especially if said player is still young and likely to perform well for the entirety of the contract. For example, here is a spreadsheet of calculated value of players based on the number of wins they provide over replacement level, as determined by PIPM. Yes, there are always concerns with the inaccuracies of all in one stats, so consider them rough estimates of value. Even still, if a guy like Lamb can be had for something like 4 years at $40mil, while performing at a level anywhere near last years estimated $15.5mil value, then that is a good contract.
      Even if a contract like that doesn’t have high value around the league it still provides a net benefit for the team, and allows for the team to trade the assets that others do find valuable while maintaining some depth. Some examples of this in the near past were the signings of Robin Lopez and Kyle O’Quinn, both reasonable contracts for solid players who provided more value than they were paid for. Do that. Don’t worry about tanking, just build value.

    53. Play all the kids, deal with teams looking to open up cap space, work out sign and trades, whatever. Collect picks. Be in the lottery again next year.

      this was, and has been my thought for a while – whether KD was going to come or not…it may be best to build slow (and hopefully intelligently)…

      i don’t know though – it’s hard for me to imagine that given our cap space and the few trade assets we currently have that a decent front office couldn’t put together a competitive squad to compete for a playoff spot…

      it seems like the same song every year – but, if we could just find someone to run our offense…which, these days doesn’t even necessarily need to come from the point guard position…we all want to see the defense improve, but, better offense will lead to better defense, even if we never seem to want to acquire or draft (minus mitch) defensive minded players (at least it’s been a while since we’ve done so)…

    54. It’s not idiotic if other teams are offering him a max now

      Honestly, if a team is willing to pay him the max of 5 years of salary for perhaps 4 years of service, that would be the idiotic move.

    55. And right now I feel there are three options:

      1) Trade for AD – I’m not giving CHA what they are asking for. They get the 2 Dallas picks and some salary matches. Period. No #3. No superstar. They’re under the gun because they’re going to lose him. If they don’t pull the trigger with us, they won’t pull it with the Lakers. And if they don’t pull the trigger, we’ll sign him in 2020-21 instead of Durant.

      2) Try and sign two other “A” free agents like Kemba, Kawhi or Butler.

      3) Go with kids.

      I’m inclined to go with the youth movement.

    56. For example, here is a spreadsheet of calculated value of players based on the number of wins they provide over replacement level, as determined by PIPM.

      I think this is interesting and good analysis, but the problem with applying it to a situation like the Knicks’ is it assumes wins are an inherently good thing. To a team in the Knicks’ situation that’s quite far from the truth, and to an extent is actually the opposite of the truth.

      In order to argue these kinds of contracts would be valuable to the Knicks, you need to argue that they have value beyond the wins they would provide because those are actually negative value. So basically you need to argue they have serious trade value, and that’s where this all breaks down for me. First of all I think it’s simply false–it’s always hard to find a market for these kinds of contracts because the teams that are buyers tend to be capped out.

      More importantly, even if you assume they’d have some trade value, do you think they’d have more trade value than first round picks? I mean, the Hawks just acquired two first round picks for taking on one year of an $18M salary. I think it’s impossible to argue that Lamb, Noel, etc. would have more trade value than the picks we could get by simply using the money we’d otherwise spend on them to take on salary dumps. For as often as the Harden trade gets brought up when people are advocating for this “hybrid” approach, it’s important to keep in mind that the primary assets in the Harden trade were…two first round picks (and really three, since Lamb had just been drafted and never suited up for Houston).

    57. I’d much rather just pick RJ Barrett and see what happens than filling the team with decent players and never manage to make the next jump. For every Raptors story that works there’s at least three or four Pistons, Hornets, Magic, Blazers, Jazz, Heat that don’t. You’re severely underrating how hard it is to go from “we have some decent players we can work with and some assets” to “were actually dangerous in the playoffs and can hope to win something”.

    58. The assets the Raptors traded for Kawhi:

      1) Jakob Poeltl, who they acquired from trading a #1 overall pick of theirs in a trade some of you might be familiar with

      2) DeMar DeRozan, who they picked 9th overall following a season in which they won 33 games

      3) A first round pick

      I dunno, sure seems like they utilized win curve manipulation in putting their current team together. Sure, they had to make good picks in the lower half of the lottery, but do you think they wouldn’t have been able to make good picks in the upper half? That’s the only argument you can make for the halfway approach they took for a while actually benefiting them now.

    59. Kevin Durant confirmed via his own IG account that he ruptured his achilles and just had successful surgery for it today.

    60. @63 And Shams confirmed.

      Apparently Boston and L.A. are “engaged in trade talks with New Orleans on All-NBA Star Anthony Davis.” No. 4 pick (duh) being discussed – Woj

    61. Boston remains undeterred in their pursuit of Anthony Davis.

      Does Danny Ainge get fired if Kyrie walks, then he trades Tatum for Anthony Davis and he walks too?

    62. Kevin Durant confirmed via his own IG account that he ruptured his achilles and just had successful surgery for it today.

      I am waiting for the day when someone posts he had unsuccessful surgery :-) But good for him as he can now get on with getting better.

      I almost hope he stays and gets maxed out by GS. He has proved in his absence what every sane person knew….. GS is much better with him and they can make a run for then next how many years. They play a beautiful brand of basketball.

    63. Does Danny Ainge get fired if Kyrie walks, then he trades Tatum for Anthony Davis and he walks too?

      I believe they have seven first rounders in the next four years. So… no?

    64. Is there any way for both teams to lose the title? I don’t want either fanbase to be happy.

    65. Honestly, if a team is willing to pay him the max of 5 years of salary for perhaps 4 years of service, that would be the idiotic move.

      Since there’s almost no chance of them competing for the playoffs next year, a “lost year max player” would be fine for the Knicks if they had an extremely high degree of certainty that in 2020-21, they would (1) have a perfectly-healthy Durant who could replicate his stats from his age-28 season and (2) have a 50-win core to add him to. Since there is virtually no chance of either of those things happening, much less both, it will decidedly not be fine for the Knicks.

    66. I’m inclined to go with the youth movement.

      Cool, that’s settled. Now all we have to do is keep picking terrific basketball players like Knox, Frank, Dennis Smith… oops.

    67. Frank just posted an IG story of him knocking down 5 corner three’s in a row. He was unguarded of course but hey at least he’s focusing on what he needs to work on.

    68. For every Raptors story that works there’s at least three or four Pistons, Hornets, Magic, Blazers, Jazz, Heat that don’t.

      I wouldn’t throw the Blazers, Heat and probably Jazz in that group for these reasons:
      -Yeah Miami has been recently stuck in 8-seed purgatory, but that was after a 4-year Heatles run. Plus I think Bosh was thought to supposedly help keep them a playoff team post-LeBron but the blood clots had other plans for him and them.
      -Blazers took a step up this year. They got to the Western Conference finals with no Nurkic. It helps that they didn’t have to face Houston to get there, though they did beat the top-seed in Denver.
      -Utah is good. Just not quite conference finals-good. A good deal of their future depends on Mitchell’s development.

    69. Frank just posted an IG story of him knocking down 5 corner three’s in a row. He was unguarded of course but hey at least he’s focusing on what he needs to work on.

      Let me know when he shows one of him dribbling into traffic and finishing at the rim. I don’t care if he’s playing against high schoolers.

    70. @69 – I made a bad mistake in my earlier post. It would only be a 4-year contract of which we would only get 3 years for at $164M which comes out to just under $55M per year. Yeah, dumb as sin.

    71. I don’t think it would be the worst to sign Durant and squeeze in another tanking year. Obviously it’d work best if there’s some sort of backroom agreement with Davis to chill in Boston for a year then signing with us, but even without AD we could still get KD and then still potentially make a play for Beal in the offseason. I don’t know if it’s the best plan, but it’s reasonable enough. We’d get another shot at a top draft pick while still maintaining cap flexibility and having a top player already on the books. KD + Beal + Mitch + a top pick from next year’s draft (I assume we’d be trading Barrett for Beal) is not the worst core, especially if guys like Trier, Dotson, Smith Jr or Kornet stick as rotation guys.

      I would prefer that we let KD rehab on the Warrior’s dime via his player option and then, after evaluation of his rehab, try to go for him and AD next year (with, of course, the tacit understanding between them and us that that’s what we’d do) while running out the kids this year, but I’m not going to lose sleep if they decide to sign KD as long as they don’t immediately blow the rest of our cap space on mediocre free agents or any of the B-list “stars”.

      Re:Kawhi, is there any chance he pulls a Lebron and signs for a one year max? He’s a weird enough dude that I could see it happening if the Warriors win and he feels he has something to prove before moving on from Toronto.

    72. “Frank just posted an IG story of him knocking down 5 corner three’s in a row.”

      sigh

    73. Frank just posted an IG story of him knocking down 5 corner three’s in a row. He was unguarded of course but hey at least he’s focusing on what he needs to work on.

      I could find ten random 8th grade AAU players who could do the same thing

    74. I am terrible at basketball but I could probably give you the exact same highlight without taking too much time

    75. This line the Warriors are spewing about “our doctors said the worst would happen is that KD would reinjure the calf” is a load of steaming bullshit. Either they’re throwing the doctors under the bus or those are some Mets-grade incompetent doctors. The Achilles tendon only connects the calf muscle to the fucking bone, gee whiz how could you ever expect that a compromised calf muscle could in any way affect the Achilles tendon hurr durr.

    76. I don’t know, guys. I think we should let the KD dream die. I think it potentially could be worse than going after the fake max guys like Tobias Harris. At least Tobias is relatively young and healthy. KD is in his 30s and now has an achilles tear. He goes down again after signing a megamax? Its Amare all over again except potentially worse cause his salary will be even more than STAT’s was.

      Just build with the young dudes. Make some trades to bring in vets that are overpaid where we can extract a pick. Gallo comes to mind! I would love to bring the rooster back for a year.

      I guess the concern is can Fizdale actually develop the youngsters and put a system in place to build a real team. If we tank again next year, so be it. If the kids take a step forward and we’re better, so be it.

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

      French Knicks Pod
      ?@FrenchKnicksPod
      now I can give you the other big information.

      FRANK IS BACK FULL HEALTHY ON THE COURT & SHOOT A 1000 3PTS EVERYDAY !

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

      Gallo comes to mind! I would love to bring the rooster back for a year.

      He may or may not come with an decent asset, but you know he’ll be happy in NY. So after this season we’d probably get him cheaply to stay for the rest of his career. He’s still a decent #2 option.

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

      French Knicks Pod
      @FrenchKnicksPod
      So, Frank add a lot of muscles on the legs to be stronger .

      He also add muscles in arms & shoulders .

      Don’t forget the kid still grow.

      French Knicks Pod

      yeah still growing.

      Now, he’s a 6’7 Point guard

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

      French Knicks Pod
      ?@FrenchKnicksPod
      Collet : “Frank is an elite weapon on defense to shut down the best players in the world.
      We will test him during the preparation also on offense. We will continue to make him work his match up with small guards & try to take advantage everytime with his post up moves

      “Vincent Florent Antoine Collet (born June 6, 1963) is a French former professional basketball player and a current professional basketball coach. Currently, he is the head coach of SIG Strasbourg and the senior men’s French national basketball team.”

    81. I could find ten random 8th grade AAU players who could do the same thing

      In an East Portland pickup game I was tasked with guarding a guy who looked so much like Dame that I thought it might be him. He was 6′ even and had some real ball skills. Dude pulled up from 38-40 feet four times in a row on me, just a step or two in from the logo, nailed every one. After the fourth I got roasted by my teammates for not challenging him hard enough, so I crowded him and he blew past me on a crossover and dropped a finger roll on a real tall guy who stepped up to help.

      My takeaway from that night was that there are players in over-30s pickup ball in East Portland with better basketball skills than Frank has.

    82. Get you someone who trusts you like Strat trusts random friends and associates of Frank Ntilikina

    83. Huh, I don’t know why my first inclination was that Strat was roasting the tweet for its laughable conflict of interest

    84. @69 – I made a bad mistake in my earlier post. It would only be a 4-year contract of which we would only get 3 years for at $164M which comes out to just under $55M per year. Yeah, dumb as sin.

      The only thing that matters is the cap hit; prorating it over the three healthy years doesn’t tell you anything except Dolan’s ROI in pure wins-to-dollars, which is irrelevant.

      There are situations where paying a guy to give you zero wins would be fine. It would not be fine for the Raptors or Blazers or Rockets, who are in win-now mode. It would be fine for a team like the Knicks, who could stand to benefit from another year of losing.

      I do not want to sign Durant at all, but his playing ability post-injury is much more important than how many wins they get out of him for the money. If we had a 60-win core signed for one more season, and Durant were perfectly healthy, I would pay him $164M just for the possibility of having one good year out of him with my contending team. Win curve, my dude.

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

      Whoever “French Knicks Pod” on twitter is, he/she has broken news about Frank before the NY press a few times. It’s close to 100% that person is connected in some way to Frank. If he says Frank is muscling up, growing and is now close to 6′ 7″, he almost certainly grew, filled out further, and is taking 1000 3 pointers a day.

      I realize some people here enjoy disagreeing with whatever I have to say, but when you take it to the point that you are practically hoping Frank fails so you can say Strat was wrong, it’s time to rethink your position as a fan. We want him to get bigger, stronger, and work on 3s so he can guard 1-4 and provide something on offense. We want him to become a lock down 4 position switchable defender and slowly add to his game on offense. We want me to be right, but for the Knicks, not the Spurs, Clippers, Celtics, Raptors, or some other smart team that understands basketball and is willing to be patient and try to develop him. The fact that he is healthy and working so hard is good news.

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

      @92

      +1

    87. We want me to be right, but for the Knicks, not the Spurs, Clippers, Celtics, Raptors, or some other smart team that understands basketball and is willing to be patient and try to develop him.

      When are these teams gonna start banging down Scott Perry’s door, thus starting the furious bidding war for Frank Ntilikina?

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

      I don’t mind Frank working on his post game in the off season or his French coach asking him to try to take advantage of smaller guards in France. The Knicks were also fine with “game time” development for some of the young players. But if you are not tanking and you want to maximize his productivity instead, that’s a skill he can develop later on. He’s needs a spot up 3 first. That said, if he comes back from France with a decent post game, that’s great. I’d be happy to watch him post up some of the small guards in the NBA too if he can do it effectively.

    89. I want Jennifer Lawrence to come over here and spoon me but there’s just not a good likelihood of it

    90. I realize some people here enjoy disagreeing with whatever I have to say, but when you take it to the point that you are practically hoping Frank fails so you can say Strat was wrong

      did you just do the 3rd person reference thing?

      let me tell you what geo thinks: geo thinks we all want frank to succeed, sadly, frank hasn’t really given us a ton of hope in terms of his ball handling, rebounding, passing, and overall offensive intestinal fortitude…having the ball in his hands frightens him…

      instead of taking uncontested threes with some friendly coach – monsieur frank needs to be playing pickup ball with nba level talent this off-season…frank needs a handle even more than a three point shot or post game…

    91. No one is rooting against Frank Ntilikina for message board cred. People just think it’s kinda funny that you keep citing quotes from people who are obviously going to say good things about him at every opportunity (his trainer and his coach) as evidence of his latent greatness.

      I mean, is there a player in NBA history who hasn’t been gassed up by all of his coaches? That’s just, like, what coaches do.

      Anyway, Frank’s value is about as low as a player’s value can get so you should expect to see all the smart GMs drown us in offers this offseason. Definitely a real thing that is going to happen. Frank is probably Masai’s backup plan if Kawhi leaves.

    92. George Karl and Phil Jackson, but they are truly exceptions to the rule

      I want Jennifer Lawrence to come over here and spoon me but there’s just not a good likelihood of it

      dream big

    93. What was the George Karl line about our own esteemed Derrick Williams? That a coke machine would get more rebounds?

    94. As a diehard Knicks fan, I’m rooting for Frank to be good. Seriously. Same with Knox.

      I’m a strat fan, too. He cool.

    95. I’m rooting for Frank and Knox to be the next MJ and Pippen, for all that it matters (spoiler alert: it doesn’t matter at all).

      Who knew in about a year Z-Man would be slightly more positive than me about our boy Frank?

    96. Isn’t it grand that we always end up back to the point of “I hope we don’t do any stupid trades or sign mediocre players to shitty contracts.” Every fucking June and July?

    97. I’m just developing my “fuck this team,” “what the fuck are they doing” and “Tobias Fucking Harris and Kemba Fucking Walker?” macros in anticipation

    98. I really hope Perry proves he’s a good GM this summer. He may be and Mills will fuck us anyway.

    99. I realize some people here enjoy disagreeing with whatever I have to say, but when you take it to the point that you are practically hoping Frank fails so you can say Strat was wrong, it’s time to rethink your position as a fan.

      You have it all wrong. I don’t disagree with you all the time for the fun of it, I disagree with you a lot because I find your analysis to be way off a lot of the time. Not all of the time! But pretty often.

      Z-Man famously said Ntilikina sucked very early on in the process, and you know what, I disagreed with him. I didn’t think there was enough to go on eye test-wise to call Ntilikina a likely bust. We actually kind of went back and forth about it a few times. But the thing is, Z-Man was right. Everything he said about Ntilikina turned out to be correct. So if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I’m not gonna squint my eyes and pretend Frank doesn’t look like a horrific bust just because I want Z-Man to be wrong.

      If Frank Ntilikina pans out someday, props to you, Strat. You will have been ahead of the curve.

    100. @108

      I agree completely. I realized Z-Man was right about Frank and I’m at peace with that. It’s just what it is. If strat is eventually right people will simply agree with him and move on. Stop trying to make this look like a witch hunt or something like that, because it’s not.

    101. That said I’d still like to see Frank Dotson and Mitch on the court together for a single goodbye defensive possession

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