Knicks Morning News (2019.06.14)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Free Agent Rumors: Clippers, Nets, Knicks, Kyrie, KD, More
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:02:10 PM)

    While the Clippers are generally grouped together with the rest of the Los Angeles and New York teams leading up to free agency as the big-market franchises looking to make a major splash on the free agent market, the Clips’ plans may look a little different than what those other clubs have in mind, writes […]

  • [YahooSports] Report: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have discussed joining Knicks or Nets, both teams still interested
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:28:04 PM)

    Irving definitely appears interested in Brooklyn. Durant’s injury and Irving’s agent change have unearthed more intel. The Knicks and Nets are both still interested in signing Durant and Irving together, league sources said.

  • [NYDN] NBA draft profile: Knicks target De’Andre Hunter of Virginia
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:41:00 AM)

    With the top two picks in the 2019 NBA draft seemingly set in stone, a dozen or so players are vying to be selected in the remaining eight spots of the top 10.

    De’Andre Hunter, a sophomore forward from Virginia, is a lock for that group. In his final collegiate season, en route to leading the Cavaliers…

  • [NYPost] Kemba Walker offers very little hope to Knicks, other suitors
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 10:56:30 AM)

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Good luck to those trying to get Kemba Walker out of Charlotte. The three-time NBA All-Star said he would consider taking less money than he is eligible to make to stay with the Charlotte Hornets if that means helping them build a winning team. Because Walker was named to an All-NBA team…

  • [NYPost] Doug Gottlieb has a ridiculous Knicks, Kevin Durant take
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 10:50:03 AM)

    Doug Gottlieb, who has offered many peculiar opinions during his time as a Fox Sports pundit, delivered another nonsensical take on Kevin Durant on Wednesday. Gottlieb claimed that if the Knicks, who still have interest in Durant despite his ruptured Achilles, offered the 10-time All-Star a max contract, it would be a sign of weakness….

  • [SNY Knicks] WATCH: With Knicks picking third, Top 5 No. 3 picks in NBA Draft since lottery
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 6:37:41 PM)

    With the Knicks holding the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft, SNY presents its Top 5 No. 3 picks of the Draft Lottery era.

  • [SNY Knicks] Should Knicks pivot from Kyrie Irving to Kemba Walker in free agency?
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 5:59:11 PM)

    With the Knicks owning two max free agent slots, it was always the dream of marrying Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in blue and orange next season in The Garden. Even with Durant’s Achilles injury, that still might be the case.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks free agent target Kevin Durant will reportedly miss entire 2019-20 season
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:37:40 PM)

    While the injury is a big blow to Durant, it might not scare the Knicks off, with SNY’s Ian Begley reporting that some in the organization would still consider signing KD despite the Achilles injury.

  • [SNY Knicks] Scouts weigh in: Could RJ Barrett be a better NBA player than Zion Williamson?
    (Thursday, June 13, 2019 8:45:00 AM)

    Zion Williamson was a human highlight reel at Duke, but could his college teammate RJ Barrett end up as a better NBA player? Scouts share their opinion with SNY’s Ian Begley.

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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).

    143 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.06.14)”

    1. Awesome win for Toronto, who regardless of Klay and Durant may have won the series anyway.

      That said, it sucks for basketball that the GS dynasty goes out like this – two major injuries to two of their best players in the two most important games of the year. No financial flexibility going forward unless they want to blow it up. Zero chance of “running it back” next year due to Klay and Durant definitely being out for most if not all of next year. I’d rather see a dynasty go down swinging with all its parts intact than to see if chopped out from underneath due in large part to injury.

    2. Meanwhile, wtf was going on with the Warriors letting Klay go out there for free throws?

      And another question – they auto-fouled after Klay made the 2 free throws which, because of the Raptors being in the bonus cost them 2 free Siakam throws. What if instead of an intentional foul the coach just runs out onto the floor? That’s just a technical foul and 1 FT right? It’s still a stoppage of the clock after which you can make a substitution?

    3. If klay doesn’t shoot, he can’t come back in the game. Makes sense if you don’t know the extent of the injury yet and shooting fts isn’t going to aggravate most injuries.

      A tech gives you 1 ft and you get the ball. You just gave a team 1 free point in a close game? No.

    4. Man, I don’t often feel sorry for GS management after this great run but how would you like to be looking at opening a new arena when a viable option is blowing it up due to injury. They almost have to blow it up now…..

    5. There was a beautiful moment on the sidelines in the end, with 0.9 seconds to go after Curry missed the 3. He was standing next to Kerr, who hugged him and both smiled. They were about to loose the game but they were still smiling, maybe because they got the shot they wanted and the brilliance of getting it against the great Toronto defense was almost as important as hitting it.

      What a great team. They lost two allstars, probably two hall of famers, and still had two of them in the game plus Iguodala and Cusins, two former allstars playing well. I don’t think they were as good as the 90’s Bulls, but they were so much more fun to watch it’s not even close.

    6. Does steph, Draymond + pupu platter make the playoffs in the west? Looks like we will find out. Would be awful not to make the playoffs in your first year of your $1.5 billion stadium, but they have so little flexibility to add to the team over the next few years, especially if they are keeping Klay. We will see if Lacob and Myers are as smart as they think they are.

    7. I predicted Raptors in 5 but I still feel good about being the only America to pick Toronto to win

      get that weak ass stuff outta here. we gots folks here who knew KD would go down with knickitis months ago.

      April 13, 2019 at 5:22 pm
      i am taking toronto to win it all. my theory is that kawhi dogged it on defense this year and gasol can find an extra old man gear so they are even better than they’ve looked.

      http://knickerblogger.net/patrick-ewing-to-represent-the-knicks-at-the-2019-nba-draft-lottery/#comment-655478

      May 26, 2019 at 7:43 pm
      without kd i think it’s competitive but i think i like the raptors.

      rama got that Fizdale Magic
      May 26, 2019 at 8:03 pm
      Ptmilo makes me feel better about predicting Raptors in 6.

      https://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2019-05-26/

      and here is one where someone howard schultzes your gm campaign into full self funding status

      February 3, 2018 at 9:42 am
      since it’s looking more likely by the day that hornacek might not be around next year, let me throw a name out there I haven’t seen mentioned: Nick Nurse.

      https://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2018-02-03/#comment-610852

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

      Imagine the Warriors miss the playoffs next year and luck into a high spot in the lottery. If Durant stays, the following year they bring back Durant, Steph, Klay and a high lottery pick to begin their rebuild.

    9. Imagine the Warriors miss the playoffs next year and luck into a high spot in the lottery. If Durant stays, the following year they bring back Durant, Steph, Klay and a high lottery pick to begin their rebuild.

      That’s the Spurs master plan – tank for Duncan when Robinson goes down for the year, get Duncan, WIN.

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

      As great as the series was in some ways, I came away from it feeling very empty despite cashing a bet on the Raptors. It’s just not the same when injuries are such a huge factor in the outcome. I’m not trying to take anything away from the Raptors. They proved how critical defense is in the playoffs. Their defense was stifling at times throughout their run and a few of their players rose to the occasion on the other side of the ball. They may have won anyway. It just doesn’t feel the same.

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

      That’s the Spurs master plan – tank for Duncan when Robinson goes down for the year, get Duncan, WIN.

      I thought that was sort of our master plan too until KP got so disgusted by what he saw on the court he wanted out.

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

      I predicted Raptors in 5 but I still feel good about being the only America to pick Toronto to win

      A couple of us actually made a score on the series. $$$$

    13. Imagine the Warriors miss the playoffs next year and luck into a high spot in the lottery. If Durant stays, the following year they bring back Durant, Steph, Klay and a high lottery pick to begin their rebuild.

      Wow … for a bettor you seem to like long shot parlays :-)
      Steph and Green might make the playoffs ….
      If they miss the playoffs they’ll be drawing thin to get an high lottery slot.
      Then two older players coming off the two worst injuries possible will have to return to form with AI and likely others role players gone with Curry and Green 18 months older
      While paying a huge luxury tax….

      I’ll take the under……

    14. Sorry, if the Warriors are fully healthy they win in 5. They came really close to making it a 7 game series with no Durant, no Klay for a game and a half and a hobbled Looney.

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

      If Klay didn’t get hurt, they would have been strong contenders to win it all next year. A core of Steph, Klay and Green is basically the former championship team. What their issue was this year (after Durant went down) was that they used to have a good 3rd option with Barnes. They don’t have that now with Durant out. It’s not like Barnes was ever anything special, but he could play off the others and knock down the open 3s when he was gifted them. He could also score in other ways when one of the other players was resting. To me, Boogie is so bad on defense the team is disadvantaged when he’s on the court for his scoring. But without that 3rd option they really couldn’t play Bogut either. Also, guys like Iggy and Livingston used to be young enough to give the team a lot every night instead of in some spots.

      Without Durant, they need to upgrade the bench again and find a 3rd scorer.

      I guess it depends when Klay is expected to be back. If he can come back in March, they could still make a run if they start rebuilding the bench now and add a scorer.

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

      Then two older players coming off the two worst injuries possible will have to return to form

      So are we conceding that Durant (an older player coming off perhaps the worst basketball injury there is) is unlikely to return to his best form?

      Then why are so many people anxious to max him out for what will be at best a 2 year diminished window?

    17. This will never happen, but how would you guys feel about maxing Durant AND Klay as part of the bonus tank strategy we were discussing yesterday?

    18. wHy BoThEr PlaYiNg tHe GamEs, We AlReDy KnO tHe WaRrIoRs WiLl WiN, zZzZzzZzZ

      This will never happen, but how would you guys feel about maxing Durant AND Klay as part of the bonus tank strategy we were discussing yesterday?

      kill me now

    19. So are we conceding that Durant (an older player coming off perhaps the worst basketball injury there is) is unlikely to return to his best form?

      Then why are so many people anxious to max him out for what will be at best a 2 year diminished window?

      First of all nobody concedes anything around here if you hadn’t noticed :-)

      The odds a year from now Durant will be as good as he was 2 years ago is nil. Will he be 90% of what he was a month ago…. maybe and that is still a top 25 player rather than a top 2/3, but I wouldn’t pay 50M+ a year for 3 years for that.

      As I said yesterday, we had a great plan and it got fucked by no one’s fault. Time to shift into pure long term rebuild mode and rent out the 70M for many picks. If absorbing Alan Crabbe’s one year nets a #15 and another #1 – #2, then rent away baby!!!

      Or call up GS and offer a gaggle of picks for Curry and Green and prepare to be laughed at….

    20. Durability is a part of greatness. The Bulls won 6 championships in 8 years against much better competition without sustaining a major injury. LeBron played the alpha dog role in 8 straight finals without Pippen or Jordan getting hurt. That’s not just luck. The Rockets probably knock off the Warriors last year if Chris Paul doesn’t go down. And what about if Kawhi was fully healthy? He had no explosion of lift this entire series.

      Also, give the Raptors credit for playing a balls-out, physical, take no prisoners brand of basketball. It was a war of attrition and they held up better than the Dubs. Simple as that.

      Durant is a spindly 31 yo with a lot of miles on those skinny legs. He may be injury prone for the rest of his career. The Warriors should let him go, but they probably won’t out of pride, loyalty, continuity, the new arena, etc. I think we see this same core back in 2020-21.

    21. I predicted Raptors in 5 but I still feel good about being the only America to pick Toronto to win

      Bruh.

      I netted over $3k from those bets back in March when y’all were telling me about the fatal flaws of only having one Max player.

    22. Oh, and Steph is making a case for being a top 10 player of all time. The dude was double or triple-teamed and played with a box-and-1, and still put up numbers. And he plays a below-the-rim game that should age well, despite his size and usage.

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

      Time to shift into pure long term rebuild mode and rent out the 70M for many picks.

      I’d also be fine with adding young players that can be part of the long term core or traded later as part of a bigger deal to roll up into a star, but we have so much excess cap space now could probably do both those things and still have to give out a couple of short term contracts to roll cap space over.

      The only possible rationale for signing Durant is if he comes with a 2nd youngish star and the only way to get that 2nd star is WITH Durant. I can’t imagine there are too many stars that are going to waste a year in NY waiting for a diminished Durant to come back, but you never know.

    24. get that weak ass stuff outta here. we gots folks here who knew KD would go down with knickitis months ago.

      this is fake news.

    25. The Warriors next year are going to be interesting. They have Klay, Steph, Draymond, Iguodala, Damian Jones and someone named Jacob Evans under contract. Klay is going to miss, what, at least half the season. So they need to add a lot of pieces, but Steph, Draymond and 20ish minutes of Iggy are a very good core.

    26. Question….Since Kyrie is supposedly headed to Brooklyn, Do you make a run at DeAngelo Russell? And if so is it an advantage or a disadvantage to have to 2 lefties in the backcourt with RJ Barrett?

    27. At least the NBA doens’t have to make that awkward decision this year about the champs visiting the white house.

    28. Ptmilo, I agree 100% with the Markov chain probabilities that you cite. But in my conception of someone working on his game, that doesn’t apply. If someone did take 1000 hopefully identical shots they would get a good estimate of their actual shooting form, but they wouldn’t get any better. They would actually probably reinforce whatever bad habits they already have. Instead of doing that it’s better to try and practice different things, like different release points, different footwork, different spins, not to mention practicing different ways of getting the shot off, such as off the dribble or catch and shoot. Then after you figure something new, for example footwork, you have to get that grooved before you really focus on accuracy. If Frank was really working on his game, I would expect him to be doing this stuff and only do short segments where he tries the same shot one time after another.

    29. Steph, Draymond and 20ish minutes of Iggy are a very good core.

      Draymond averaged 7 points a game this season, shooting under 30% from three with a lower usage rate than Jordan Bell and the highest turnover percentage on the team.

      Iguodala averaged 6 points a game this season, was 10th on the team in PER, and played almost 500 fewer minutes than Draymond despite playing two more games.

      Mike

    30. That’s the Spurs master plan – tank for Duncan when Robinson goes down for the year, get Duncan, WIN.

      I thought that was sort of our master plan too until KP got so disgusted by what he saw on the court he wanted out.

      Who’s KP in this scenario? Chuck Person?

    31. russell is probably not all that popular here but i think he’s on the cusp of something great… i would absolutely offer a max to him…

    32. If “roll the cap space over” means “give out pointless Arron Afflalo type contracts” that’s a bad idea. That’s a waste of an opportunity. That cap space should be used to park bad contracts and extract assets if possible.

    33. Jowles , your re-posting of Knickerblogger win predictions made me think about this coming year. Last year I just averaged everyone’s predictions to make my own. This obviously didn’t work well. For next year I suspect I will be on the negative side. We won’t have Durant playing for us (even if we sign him) and I see very little likelihood we will get two good players as free agents. And on our current roster I only see Robinson and maybe our first round pick this year as potential impact players. Everyone else, except maybe Knox, I look at as good role players at best. Even if Knox improves a lot he has so far to go he won’t be good yet either.

      So, assuming we are going to be bad, we could sign Durant for playing the season after next and just tank again, or we could just go with the young guys again. I hope our young guys show improvement. Otherwise it is going to be a long season to watch again.

    34. Alameda County Sheriff’s office is investigating Raptors GM Masai Ujiri for misdemeanor battery of a police officer.

      #takethatUjiri

    35. I can’t claim a year-old prediction, but before the series I was among a few that noted this was a bad match up for the Warriors.
      But, man, they got killed by injuries. KD and Klay.
      A great team playing hard-hard through adversity.
      The Raptors played great, but if KD had played the outcome easily could have gone the other way.

    36. My Raps in 6 bet was predicated on the virtual certainty that KD was out for at least 3-4 games. It also took into account Kawhi’s gradual diminishment; whatever ails him ain’t going away, and the increased minutes in the playoffs were clearly taking a toll. But the Klay injury was just bad luck, and that alone could have turned the series the other way. It says a lot for the greatness of the Warriors as a team that they were so competitive missing so much. Curry is definitely top 50 all-time, maybe top 20. But Iggy and Dray are the backbone of the playoff version of the Warriors – very tough, disruptive on D, heads-up players on O, just really good all-around players. I’m delighted the Raps won, but I tip my cap to GS.

      My guess is that Kawhi stays and GS offers KD a max extension and he stays as well. Which does make Chris’s Twitter joke on the money for me – from Zion, KD, and Kyrie to…what?

      So long as we don’t max Tobias, I guess I can roll with another bad team next year. Sigh.

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

      @31

      From my experience, you are going to get better by repeating a shot over and over, but your results in practice will be misleading. What happens when you practice the same shot over and over is that you develop a kind of groove and feel for it that enables you to execute it successfully at a higher rate in the practice session than you would if you shot it cold in a game situation.

      When I used to shoot a LOT of pool, I would practice for an hour and keep a record of every shot I missed. If I was missing a particular shot too often, I would shoot it 100 times in a different practice session. I got better at every single one of those weaknesses over time. However, I was always better towards the tail end of the 100 shot sequence than I was the next time it came up fresh in a game situation because of the general feel and grove difference.

      So instead of 100 shots for each one on the list, I would do 10 of one weak shot, then 10 of another weak shot, then 10 of another weak shot and start over until I reached 100 of each.

      That worked better for me personally.

      I think you want to practice all the shots you are weak at as much as possible, but you also want to vary it around a little to simulate actual play better.

    38. I agree about getting in a groove with extended practice. That happens to me with tennis serves. But then they get worse again as my arm gets tired and the rest of me does too. It seems like different people learn differently when it comes to physical skills. Whatever way we each learn, I think we all mix it up a little during practice in one way or another.

    39. I’m happy for Toronto, was pulling for the all the way, but yeah, feels a bit hollow with 2/5 of the starting lineup out.

      Now we see what the Knicks will do. Even before KD went down, I’ve wanted the Knicks to just “trust the process” and rebuild/tank. The KP trade was a very nice step in that direction; just keep going. Rent out cap space as Atlanta just showed how to do. More picks. Please, no more stopgap, “hold the fort” signings, a la Phil. There’s no fort to hold!

      If no significant trades take place, roll out this lineup:
      DSJ
      Frank (keep him on the wing)
      RJB (but, trading down should certainly be looked at)
      Knox (stretch four)
      Mitch

      Gonna lose a lot of games, but at least it is a very young lineup, and we can all hope that someone emerges out of that as a young star. Maybe two? Mitch + ? If not, just keep making lottery picks. I’m not at all bullish on DSJ and Frank, but give each a third year (well, if Frank can ever stay healthy) unless either can be flipped for a future 1st rounder.

    40. I am also in favor of still going with the kids. We can hire free agents, but the market just got more difficult because of injuries. I think it unlikely we get two top players or even one at this point. And the second tier players are likely to be quite expensive, so let’s just wait and see and be opportunistic

    41. Man! That series was like watching “Raging Bull”. Ugh.

      I was really pulling for GSW. I know they’re “dick hangers” and what not but they play a beautiful style and Steph Curry is a unique and phenomenal talent. They make basketball fun to watch even if you have no real dog in the fight.

      I’m of two minds about TOR. Ultimately, I don’t feel there are style points for championships. They hung in, made it through a bold playoff run, and played who was on the floor at the end. You don’t win a title by accident. However, if Klay Thompson plays the 4th quarter, I think there’d be a game 7. If he doesn’t miss another game, very possibly TOR doesn’t even win the series despite KD. Klay’s really fucking good.

      So, congrats to them. That’s big. The fans deserve it and don’t deserve asterisks. Maybe it just shows that the difference between winning or losing isn’t as big as we sometimes think. (Well, for NYK it’s a yawning chasm.)

      This is also a cautionary tale about the old school “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” mentality. No KD and Klay makes the whole league less interesting next year… Just live to fight another day maybe…

    42. My roadmap for the next year:

      1) Sign KD to whatever contract he is willing to sign. I’m ok with banking on his return to some semblance of the top 5 player he is.

      2) Do not resign Mudiay

      3) OK with re-signing Vonleh to a deal up to $3-4MM/year x 2-3 years.

      4) Don’t waste $ on anyone else unless it’s truly a below-market deal on a player that might actually contribute to winning basketball on a playoff team.

      5) Rent out residual cap space, hopefully pick up another 1st rounder or two +/- multiple 2nds

      6) Do not re-sign Mudiay

      7) play kids – DSJ, Dot, RJ, Knox, Mitch with Frank/Trier/Kadeem/Kornet + Vonleh.

      8) win 26 games

      9) Get #5 pick

      10) Decide based on kids’ and KD’s progress which way to go from there. Ideally speaking we would have all the cap space we have this year minus KD space + extra 7MM due to higher cap, our draft picks, the 2 Dallas 1sts, plus other picks from renting out our space which could go a long way in trades for veterans if KD is back to himself, or for a “building the right way” process.

    43. Injuries are part of the game. I don’t take anything away from Toronto for staying healthy and taking advantage of Golden State’s injuries. C’est la vie.

    44. Frank,
      To be clear, you don’t want them to re-sign Mudiay???
      lol

      Sorry I forgot:

      #11 ) do not resign Mudiay

    45. C’est la vie.

      Right. Life involves luck. Life involves a fine line between winning and losing. One make by Steph and the season is still going. He didn’t and it’s not. Toronto deserves the accolades. However, IMO, the better team didn’t win. That’s OK. Sometimes the better team doesn’t. I get it. Go ahead Canada, puff out your chest. It’s cool, but this wasn’t Bird/ Magic. This was watching a couple of national treasures suffer brutal crippling injuries and the woe of aftermath.

    46. russell is probably not all that popular here but i think he’s on the cusp of something great… i would absolutely offer a max to him…

      bold, at least in tone. 25 and 8 per 36 for a 22 year old is off the charts so it’s not hard to see what excites you. i would steer clear, partly because he hasn’t really improved much in getting to the rim, finishing at the rim or getting to the line since coming into the league. he is also still a highly prolific doer of dumb shit on both ends. i worry he’s going to float along with the kind of high volatility offense and low volatility bad defense that is very useful to most teams but not at the 25pct max. would you rather have minimax d lo or minimax booker? the nets ending up with kyrie, d lo and dinwiddie together would be the most shot creation heavy d-lite backcourt you could dream up.

      one thing is for sure; he’s getting that minimax.

      ps we just exercised our $3.5m iso zo option

    47. Toronto’s defense was superb. They really made it hard on the Warriors almost every possession, those guys can guard.Raptors also had 5 guys who can shoot on the floor most of the time, they are legit champions despite all of the Warrior injuries. If KD and Thompson are healthy for the full series it’s almost certainly a different outcome, but they weren’t – no asterisk. This is the real world and the scoreboard doesn’t lie.

      I was rooting for the Warriors , despite loving Kawhi, because they play such beautiful basketball. All the turnovers and Draymond’s stupidity aside, they make it fun to watch.

      Lastly there have been several comments on this blog that Klay Thompson is “average” or “overrated”. In my opinion this is ridiculous , Klay can play, he’s a difference maker on both sides of the ball. When he gets hot it’s off the charts, no one in the NBA and few maybe ever have gone on streaks like he does. It was very sad to see him suffer that gruesome injury, particularly just as he enters free agency. I can’t see him leaving Golden State but he will be out for most if not all of next year which can’t help his bargaining position.

      It will be very interesting to see how the Warriors handle the Durant and Thompson contract situations.

    48. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri for suspicion of misdemeanor battery on a police officer, it confirmed Friday morning.

      The alleged incident occurred Thursday night on the floor at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, after the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA title and Ujiri tried to join the team on the floor. He was stopped by a deputy.

      “Mr. Ujiri was unknown to the deputy at that time. He [the deputy] asked him for a credential,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “He shoved the deputy out of the way and walked toward the court. The deputy pushed back. The president came forward more with a more significant push and ended up striking the deputy in the face.”

      some great playoff basketball this year, that will probably be mostly remembered most for the warriors injury woes…

      that crazy 4 overtime game between the nuggets and blazers, and kawhi’s “lucky” bounce against the sixers were probably the most memorable moments for me…

    49. For whatever it’s worth the Knicks just picked up Trier’s option for next season.

    50. Begley:

      The Knicks have a few other team options to decide on and also have until June 30 to decide on guaranteeing $1 million of veteran leader Lance Thomas’ $7.6 million salary.

      The Knicks currently plan to waive Thomas ahead of the guarantee date, per SNY sources.

      But the club has interest in bringing the veteran back as a free agent, sources say. Thomas’ leadership and professionalism is held in high regard in the organization and he is respected for his mentorship to younger players.

      So that means we won’t be using his non-guaranteed salary in a trade.

    51. A bit more injury luck and the Warriors may win, but I don’t think that deserves and asterisk. Golden State had some fortunate injury luck in their runs (Love/Irving then Kawhi, then CP3). In the end you still have to execute. Toronto won 17 / 24 quarters and would have swept if Klay shot his season average from 3. Warriors have had an amazing run, playing the equivalent of six seasons in five years and have nothing to be ashamed of. They cemented HoF careers for 4 people (I say Curry, Klay, Dramond and Iggy get in) and had contributions from a 5th HoFer. Oh, and completely changed how people thought basketball should be played and teams get constructed. Toronto got the win, but GS can be celebrated too.

    52. So, GS suffers injuries to KD, Klay, Boogie, Iggy and the other dude. Masai shoves a cop and walks away uninjured.

    53. i think russell has a shot in being more efficient…. it’s really not all that hard if he just reigns in his 3pt attempts…. he is a very talented scorer and i have no doubt his ftr improves during his peak…

      the thing to worry about is his foot…. but i think it’s a risk worth taking… there aren’t many ppl available that have a shot at outperforming a max… and russell has a very good shot at it…

    54. My issue with Russell is that I need one of two things to happen before I’m happy with him on a max contract: either he ups dramatically his free throw rate, which is a bit hard to do considering he’s not the most athletic guard, or he continues to improve his assist to turnover ratio. If both things happen he’s a superstar, if one of them happens he’s a very damn good player. If he can turn 3 or 4 of those long 2s he takes so often into free throws and continues to show sustainable improvement in his passing, he’s a max guy no questions asked. I don’t think he’ll ever be a plus defender, but his steal rate is kinda decent and he has size.

    55. Summer League starts in exactly 3 weeks.

      dang, you’re right…

      The 2019 NBA Summer League will be held at the Thomas and Mack Center and Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada on the campus of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It will begin on July 5 and end on July 15. All 30 teams and two national teams, China and Croatia, will participate.

      that might not be a bad trip to go check out some games…

    56. that might not be a bad trip to go check out some games…

      We were actually debating between Vegas for Summer League or Portland for that weekend for a guys trip I’m taking. I was leaning towards Vegas but Portland won out because one of our buddies just moved there. I’m sure we’ll be taking in the games from a brewery somewhere, although it would have been nice to see [insert Knicks draft pick] live.

    57. it’s like a 1,000 degrees in vegas right now, i doubt it’ll cool in a couple of weeks (if anything it’ll be a thousand and ten)…

      i’ve never visited portland before (currently in the 70’s)…i imagine just about every city (except for maybe newark :) has it’s bright spots – friends, food and beer definitely makes for a bright spot just about anywhere…i have a couple of friends who do buddy get togethers…that’s very cool to be able to stay connected with a group of friends over the years…enjoy senor…

    58. This from tomy
      If I’m the Knicks,
      I try to sign both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to max contracts this summer.

      Allow them both to rehab/redshirt next season.

      Enter 2020-21 season with KD and Klay around a core of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox, plus another high lottery pick.

    59. Westgate and Caesars have the Lakers as the favorite for the 2020 championship!!

    60. Latest CBS mock draft calls RJ “very Knicksy”. And says “This feels like destiny. He’s going to average 20 per game and probably not make the Knicks that much better than before. It’s not his fault.”

    61. There’s nothing bad with drafting a guy who can realistically average 18-6-4 in his rookie season, even with middling efficiency, as long as you’re ready to exploit the trade market if you recognize he’s not gonna move the needle. Do I trust the Knicks to do that? Well…

    62. From what I have read, he’s not a total sieve on defense and he can pass. That makes middling much more acceptable.

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

      I was a fan of drafting Russell, but I’m not a huge fan of signing him now at the max. If we should have learned anything from the playoffs, it’s that defense matters a LOT in basketball, especially in the playoffs when both teams are all out on every possession.

      Our criteria for adding players should be.

      1. Can he defend at an above league average level?

      2a. If he can defend at that level, does he have a good offensive game or do we feel he can develop into a solid role player on offense over time? If yes, OK.

      2b. If he can’t defend at that level, he’s a pass unless he’s going to be one of the best offensive players in the league.

    64. no hoops this summer???? Big 3 starts next week, fools. And if you’re not going to root for our old friend, Shawne Williams, with the extra e, then you don’t love hoops.

      Plus Gilbert Arenas. wouldn’t it be worth the ticket price just to yell ‘shoot’ every time he touches the ball?

    65. @75 I agree with this, let’s get this guy Frank Ntilikina from France, he’s exactly what you’re looking for. (Just kidding, I was happy when Frank was drafted ahead of DSJ).

    66. russell is probably not all that popular here but i think he’s on the cusp of something great… i would absolutely offer a max to him…

      If you sign Durant, a Russell deal makes a lot more sense. The one wasted year is actually helpful.

      Russell’s Max is 4 years, $117. But the first year is essentially a waste. We’re going to have to spend to the floor anyway. Might as well do it on Russell.

      Now fast forward to next summer. Durant is coming back healthy. We have a new lottery pick. We have Russell at age 24 on a 3 year, $87mm contract. We either like him so much we want to keep him or he’s an incredible trade chip to get someone better.

      If the Nets sign Kyrie and need to renounce Russell, unless Kawhi is coming here, I absolutely offer him the max. It doesn’t matter if he isn’t a perfect player. What’s important is if it’s the best way to spend ~$25mm this summer. He will likely never be untradeable on that contract, so the risk is minimal. And he fits the young core very well.

      It think it’s a great idea, djphan

    67. I feel like the KD and Klay injuries may be a good opportunity to re-evaluate things. I was okay with pursuing KD over the summer, but did not want Kyrie (if push came to shove, I would’ve barely preferred Kemba). Now that KD’s out for a year, I feel like they should just give up on that plan. He’s 30 right now [31 by the start of next season], so that’ll make him 32 by the time he next plays an actual game. I dont know about you all, but that’s rather old for a player who already has a ton of mileage on his odometer since coming into the league at 19. Add to that the type of injury he sustained, and it’s almost guaranteed he won’t ever be back to where he was before the injury. Some may say that’s still better than most of the players in the league, and I dont disagree, but he doesn’t fit into the window the rest of the team is at from an age perspective. Furthermore, if Gordon Hayward is anything to go off of, KD’s not likely to feel comfortable enough from a mental standpoint to play at 100% of his diminished ability anyway, so you’re probably looking at 2 wasted seasons of cap space before finally having a 33-34 year old KD return to prime playing shape, and he’ll definitely be on a natural decline by then anyway. I’d rather stay young, maybe spend big on a young veteran [although I’m not exactly a fan, I wouldn’t be completely averse to D’Angelo since I don’t think we have any chance at getting AD] and try to build thru the draft with another high draft pick.

    68. Yeah, now it seems like plan A would just be a lot of noise and money for not much in return. Also, wouldn’t that sort of suck if we capped out on KD and another guy but then a really good young player became available by demanding a trade or something like that?

      Russell could be interesting… idk if he’s the best fit with R.J., but he’s worth considering. Another tank year could be rough, but we’re honestly still in the “collect young talent” phase.

    69. Latest CBS mock draft calls RJ “very Knicksy”. And says “This feels like destiny. He’s going to average 20 per game and probably not make the Knicks that much better than before. It’s not his fault. “

      Sounds like a knickerblogger alumni talking….

      I am entering none of the above territory when it comes to our futures options….

    70. I don’t hate the Russell-on-a-minimax idea. He’ll be entering his age 23 season and he clearly made a leap at age 22. He has basically become the player his college scouting report said he would become. He fills up the boxscore pretty nice. And as Hubert mentions in #78, Russell on a 3/87 contract in the summer of 2020 might be a nice trade chip.

      It’s kind of hard to do the mult-year hard tank now with the new lotto rules, so if you sign Russell to a minimax and then use the other slot to take on a bad contract and extract some assets, that might not be a bad play. Keep the flexibility for the future, acquire some young talent. Next time a disgruntled star is available you can dangle Russell, Barrett, Dallas picks, whatever you acquired for taking on the bad contract, etc.

    71. Yeah, drafting RJB and then signing Russell would be interesting. This lineup might be fun:
      Russell
      Trier
      RJ Barrett
      Doesn’t matter/not touching the ball
      Doesn’t matter/not touching the ball
      :-)

      I’m trying to warm up to the idea of signing Russell. At least he’s young and did improve last year.

    72. Doesn’t matter/not touching the ball
      Doesn’t matter/not touching the ball

      Russell actually passes! His AST% has gone up every year he’s been at the league and it was at a perfectly point guard-ish 41.3 last year. He’d lob up a few for Mitch.

    73. @82

      He’ll be entering his age 23 season and he clearly made a leap at age 22.

      Wait, are we talking about Russell or Mudiay? Oh, I see, Mudiay turns 24 late next season, so not him. Whew. But wait, do the Knicks know that?
      :-)

    74. @84
      Yeah, I was just joking a bit. Still, lukewarm at best about maxing anyone this offseason.

    75. @84

      Exactly. If Russell was a non-passer I would be very against it, but he actually had the second highest ast% in the league this season, only behind Westbrook, while keeping a decent turnover rate.

      If we max him, it’s still on the basis of expecting improvement from him because he’s not a max player right now, but there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic about it.

    76. This doesn’t suck:

      1 Russell, Smith
      2 Frank, Dotson, Trier
      3 Barrett, Knox
      4 Vonleh, Knox
      5 Robinson

      I mean, it will next year, but it’s got options going forward.

      (I’m being generous with Frank, obviously, but I’d give him a shot. A guy who doesn’t need the ball like him or Dotson makes more sense than Trier.)

    77. filling the lineup with guys who can pass is one way to build a synergistic offense…

      pairing russell with barrett and culver… with smith developing is the makings of one and russell fits the mitch barrett and smith timelines…

      thats a core that has a decent chance at mattering… and if russell doesnt work out… you find out who belongs by the time that contracts over anyway and play FA or the draft…

    78. Yeah, as long as Russell keeps this level of play at least, he’ll always be tradeable as he’ll only be 26 by the time the contract is over. It’s different from say, maxing Kemba Walker and then trying to trade him when he’s 32 and making 35 million a year. I’m not saying I think the Knicks should definitely max Russell, but he’s far more interesting then Tobias Harris, Middleton or guys like that.

    79. Dunc’d On podcast just did a scouting report on Coby White: both of them would take him over RJ. That’s enough for this Tar Heel!! Trade down and take Culver/White at 5 or 6!!

      White has a short wingspan and won’t really defend a ton in the NBA, but is a sick shooter (shot like 45% from 3-pt on spot ups; only had a 35% overall 3-pt% because he took tons of pull-up threes at a 25% rate, as he was our only creator on offense) with lots of creative moves and really good speed. He’s not the passer or quite the athlete Morant is, but I think he’s the most skilled scoring guard in this draft. He also was #2 in true shooting among freshman, behind Zion of course.

    80. There’s nothing bad with drafting a guy who can realistically average 18-6-4 in his rookie season

      Yeah, no kidding. The list of rookies who ever averaged that (and I actually dropped those stats by 0.5) is 18 players long and the 1st 5 names listed are Jordan, Kareem, Oscar, Bird, and Magic.

    81. I’d pass on Russell- a .533 TS% (league average is .560) and 30+ usage is a pretty bad combination. I doubt it’d be disastrous but I’d just as soon see if DSJ can make a leap similar to what Russell did last year. He probably won’t but maintaining 2 max spots for guys who’ll outperform their contracts beats paying one guy who’ll have to make another big leap to justify his.

    82. In terms of RJ Barrett, I’m of the opinion that we trade down, unless the impossible happens and Memphis doesn’t take Morant. Overall I’m not sold on RJ, and by trading down we can also pick up additional assets (which this team desperately needs). We can also be in play to grab one of the promising point guards in either Garland or White. For me trading the #3 makes too much sense.

    83. I’d rather roll with Dennis Smith Jr and give that four year contract to Malcolm Brogdon. He’s 4 years older than Russell, but he’s already a really good ball player who would fit perfectly between Smith Jr and Barrett.

    84. I don’t hate the Russell max idea–it would be kind of exciting to have a 23 year old, cost controlled, borderline all-star level player.

      I think I’m more partial to just taking on as many short-term salary dumps as possible and saving the money for someone who will more clearly outproduce the max salary, though. Under the Russell plan we’d be getting a little too close to mediocrity-without-flexibility for my tastes.

    85. Woj:

      The Pelicans have agreed to a deal to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks – including the No. 4 overall in 2019 Draft, league sources tell ESPN.

    86. They got to keep Kyle Kuzma and they still have room to add another max guy.

      Looks like LA will win the championship next year.

    87. Kyle Kuzma sucks! The Lakers insisting on keeping him is hillarious. Still, great trade for the Lakers. I’m a huge Lonzo fan but of AD stays healthy they got him for Lonzo, so deeply mediocre kids and what should be at worst mid round picks

    88. That’s a bunch of garbage they traded for the Brow.

      Well there are other things in life besides basketball I guess

    89. It seems like a shitty package but it also seems like Zion is set up pretty well to have a great team built around him.

    90. Well, better than the Celtics. Maybe they flip Ball for someone? Like to Phoenix?

    91. Yeah and the Kuzma thing is weird. He’s such a similar yet much worse version of LeBron.

    92. Wow, what a steal for LA at least depending on how the picks end up. Lonzo Ball has a hard cap on his upside until he completely reconfigures his shot; Brandon Ingram’s upside is that he physically looks like Durant; and Josh Hart is whatever. I just hope they don’t waste the 4th overall on Cam Reddish, at least for Zion’s sake.

    93. I wonder if LeBron’s ever been on a basketball team with someone better than him before

    94. Kind of shitty for both teams. AD + aging LeBron + some max guy that isn’t kawhi doesn’t really put you over the top imo. If you don’t get chips off the back of this (and this core is very injury/aging prone) this trade will blow up in LA’s face, because the cupboard is mighty bare. Lonzo and the picks are the relevant assets the Pels got, but it’s also not really up to par imo.

    95. Ramona Shelburne:

      Gonna be interesting to see the details on the Picks LA just gave NOLA. From what I understand the Pelicans didn’t want Lakers FRP next year. But through pick swaps they essentially have control of the Lakers draft for the next 7 years.

    96. While others are speculating that they’ll want to trade with us to pair Zion with RJ.

    97. This AD-to-LA trade reminds me of what we gave up for Melo. We insisted on keeping Landry Fields and got smoked for it, and that looks like what happened to the Lakers here.

      Anthony Davis with LeBron James is about as good a duo you could ask for short of Steph and KD, so they’re in really good shape regardless. If I’m LA I have no interest in signing a 3rd max free agent. They need Brook Lopez, Danny Green, and Pat Beverley.

    98. Idk, that seems like a great package for the Pels. Grateful we didn’t match that. The #4 pick, 2 other first rounders, pick swaps, Lonzo, and a couple other decent young players. Too much for me.

    99. Wow. Just read B/R article on KD and the history of exploded Achilles. Absolutely no thanks. Apparently he’s also had a history of soft tissue injuries (didn’t realize that) which makes the outlook worse. Sounds like best case is flashes of the old KD for short periods but his post surgery career will include lots of regular season rest regardless of how he recovers and very likely future injuries.

    100. @113

      I think it’s a good package given that they had no leverage and that Davis is still a one year rental. But Lonzo plus all those picks and the other assets (Hart is a good role player but not moving the needle too much, Ingram is going to be a reclamation project) still don’t really measure up to ADs value in absolute terms. I think the Pels got the better end, but Im not enthused about either teams haul really. And yeah, matching that price was way too rich for my blood.

      Good on Perry for not getting into a bidding war.

    101. @116

      Absolutely. Love that Perry stayed out of it. Would you give up four firsts (say #3 this year, Dallas 2021, NYK 2021, NYK 2023), Mitch, Knox, DSJ? That’s the approximate cost of this deal. I’m running away from that.

    102. The Knicks aren’t getting any of the big time FA’s which actually makes this off-season even more fascinating. God knows what the hell Mills and Perry will do with all that cap space without any of the big time FA’s coming here. Fascinating and scary to think about at the same time.

    103. @116

      Totally agreed. Way too rich for my blood. Perry hasn’t impressed me too much yet with his talent evaluation skills (my opinion of him will be set after this draft), but I’m quite confident in his trade negotiating skills at this point. He’s made all the right moves in that area.

    104. Fucking Lakers. Of course they acquire AD for less than full value, because Lakers.
      Not surprised at all, but it is really annoying how everything always works out for that franchise.

      Meanwhile back in NY, the Knicks main free agent target tore his Achilles, sigh….

    105. Vegas knew. Caesers had Lakers as favorites for chip next year at +400 yesterday. After the trade became official it changed to +350.

    106. I like the trade for the Pelicans. The Lakers have a terrible history of developing draft picks. The young guys might really blossom on the Pels. That doesn’t mean the Lakers will be bad, but I don’t see them as good as the Raptors or the Bucks. I remember the Nets Boston trade. The Nets made the playoffs one or two years and then were in no draft pick hell for years. That could happen to the Lakers. But what do I know.

    107. Fucking Lakers. Of course they acquire AD for less than full value, because Lakers.
      Not surprised at all, but it is really annoying how everything always works out for that franchise.

      Eh? It’s a practical king’s ransom. What superstar has been traded for more? Compare this to the Kawhi, PG, or Kyrie trades.

    108. If the Pels did want Barrett what would be a resonable deal for a pick swap?

    109. If it’s true that the Pels really coveted Kuzma, and are lukewarm on Ingram/Ball, maybe we can swap 3 and 4 for the price of Ball, especially if they want to keep Jrue around for whatever reason.

      EDIT: Apparently Griffin really likes Lonzo. Well, scratch that idea. Maybe Hart plus a second?

    110. Yeah , a real king’s ransom because Lonzo Ball, Hart and Ingram led them to the playoffs playing with LeBron (not really) and all of those #1 picks are very likely to be at the end of the first round (prime AD will be on the Lakers still) so those are slightly better than a bunch of second rounders…

    111. @127

      They got the #4 overall pick!! That alone is the backbone of most star deals. And then tons of other assets and swaps. Again, what star has been traded for more?

    112. Harden, Love, Boogie, PG, Kyrie, Kawhi, etc. All were traded for much less. If we traded 3 picks, swaps for more, Mitch, Knox, and DSJ you’d be beaming with pride?? I wouldn’t.

    113. Has anyone reported whether Davis has agreed to re-sign with LA or extend his contract as part of the deal?

    114. Bontemps:

      The Pelicans will get the following picks from the Lakers, league sources tell ESPN:

      No. 4 pick in 2019
      Top-8 protected in 2021, becomes unprotected in ‘22
      Unprotected swap in ‘23
      Unprotected first in ‘24
      Unprotected swap in ‘25

      Tremendous haul for David Griffin & the Pelicans.

    115. Good deal for both teams, better for the Pels.

      Benefit for Knicks: we didn’t trade Mitch. That’s huge!

    116. Let’s be real: Mitch is an eight-figure player (and possible all-star) on a near minimum salary. You don’t squander that.

    117. Agree-great haul by Griffin. Lebron will be 39 in ’23, so those swaps in ’23 and ’25 become interesting. the real value is the UFRP in 2024. Lakers likely in the lottery at that point.

    118. Z-i agree, Mitch is very valuable, from production and value perspectives. I wonder how hard the NYKs pursued AD, or if at all.

    119. The closer you look at this trade, it has Nets-Celtics 2.o written all over it. Obviously, the Lakers with LBJ and AD have a much better shot at winning a title than that Nets team with aging Pierce and Garnett, but that window is gonna close pretty quickly as LeBron inevitably declines.

      And then every year, just like with the Celtics, we’re gonna be saying “OMG, another first round pick for New Orleans? How many freakin’ picks do they have”?

      I think Griffin did a tremendous job under the circumstances.

    120. The thing is Griffin had so little leverage and still got what he got. I’m not a fan of Ingram, but Hart is a serviceable player and Lonzo is still promising, plus all the picks are assets even if they don’t pay off as lottery picks.

      I’m just sorta glad I can go back to hating the Lakers without restrictions with them possibly contending. It’s much easier to hate the Lakers than the Warriors were, with Steph and all their decades of being terrible.

    121. “Mitch is an eight-figure player (and possible all-star)”

      Someone forgot to use the sarcasm font,

      The reason the Knicks shouldn’t have offered what LA did has nothing to do with Mitch. You’d give him up to get AD all day. It’s that the Knicks don’t already have another top 10/15 star to pair with AD. You don’t potentially give up your first round picks for the next half-decade to become a less talented version of New Orleans. And you don’t do it even if you can also sign Kyrie because then you are still a less talented version of LA right now.

      And this is a win for LA in the sense that a few more smart moves will make them a legit contender for the next two seasons…but after that? Yeesh.

      Mike

    122. The thing is Griffin had so little leverage and still got what he got. I’m not a fan of Ingram, but Hart is a serviceable player and Lonzo is still promising, plus all the picks are assets even if they don’t pay off as lottery picks.

      It’s a remarkable return for Griffin. So many pick swaps! Wow!

    123. The best part for me is we’ll still get to draft RJ Barrett. Anthony Davis is great, but I’d rather have RJ and Mitch. That’s our version of Mitchell and Gobert.

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