Knicks Morning News (2019.06.22)

  • [YahooSports] Kendrick Perkins calls Kristaps Porzingis ‘a diva to the max,’ says Knicks trade was right decision
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 8:03:20 PM)

    If you’re looking for a major Kristaps Porzingis fan, Kendrick Perkins is not that guy. In a discussion about the New York Knicks on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Friday, the former NBA player revealed his true feelings about Porzingis, who was traded from the Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks in January. The Knicks have the most cap room of any team this summer – but will they land the top free agents who’d fill it?

  • [Sports Illustrated] NBA Rumors: Warriors, Nets, Knicks, Clippers ‘Significant Considerations’ for Kevin Durant
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 10:02:50 AM)

    Catch up on the latest post-draft NBA free agency and rumors.

  • [SNY Knicks] WATCH: ‘A lot to take in’ for RJ Barrett since joining the Knicks
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 7:34:28 PM)

    RJ Barrett was officially introduced as a Knick on Friday.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest updates from Knicks Summer League: Zak Irvin will play with Knicks’ Summer League team
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 9:11:33 PM)

    Knicks fans will get an early look at some of the team’s young talent during the Summer League schedule.

  • [SNY Knicks] Patient Knicks remain in running for top free agents — but here’s the plan if they don’t land them
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 2:21:59 PM)

    The Knicks have preached patience, but what does that mean in terms of free agency?

  • [SNY Knicks] 7 key quotes from RJ Barrett’s Knicks presser, including thoughts from Steve Mills, Scott Perry
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 1:00:51 PM)

    Thursday night’s Knicks draft picks RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis were introduced to the New York media on Friday, while Steve Mills, Scott Perry, and David Fizdale also fielded questions. Here are the key quotes…

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks add Louisville’s V.J. King, Shaw’s Amir Hinton as undrafted free agents
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 10:43:16 AM)

    After drafting Duke’s RJ Barrett third overall and Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis 47th overall in Thursday’s NBA draft, the Knicks continued to make moves by signing several undrafted free agents.

  • [SNY Knicks] With Knicks planning aggressive pursuit of free agent Kawhi Leonard, here’s what we know about their chances
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 11:22:10 AM)

    We know that the Knicks will still have interest in Kevin Durant, who is expected to miss next season as he rehabs from an Achilles injury. They are also going to be aggressive in their pursuit of NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

  • [NYPost] RJ Barrett watched the NBA Finals with the Knicks’ president
    (Saturday, June 22, 2019 2:29:47 AM)

    When RJ Barrett visited the Knicks for his workout June 10, the Duke product spent more time than the usual draft prospect, even getting invited to team president Steve Mills’ home to watch the NBA Finals. Until now, Barrett was a rabid Raptors fan, growing up in a Toronto suburb for part of his childhood….

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ braintrust must realize fanbase’s patience isn’t infinite
    (Saturday, June 22, 2019 1:13:31 AM)

    The occasion was to introduce the Knicks’ two selections from Thursday’s NBA draft. First-round pick RJ Barrett and second-rounder Ignas Brazdeikis held up their Knicks jerseys, took the customary photos and spoke briefly about how hard they’re going to work to make the franchise a winner. “It was a great step forward for our basketball…

  • [NYPost] The path RJ Barrett took to become the Knicks’ latest savior
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 11:57:51 PM)

    RJ Barrett’s back faces the rim. A chest presses against him. The scoreboard hints at overtime. Some fans tag along with the clock, counting the final seconds. Some chant “De-fense.” Barrett breaks left. He quickly crosses over to his right, then throws the ball between his legs back to his dominant hand. The defender is…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ RJ Barrett welcomes Rangers’ top pick Kaapo Kakko to New York
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 5:05:45 PM)

    The kids are already playing nice. Moments after the Rangers picked Finnish power forward Kaapo Kakko with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft, he was welcomed to town by none other than RJ Barrett. “Sup, Kaapo, It’s RJ Barrett. Welcome to the family! I’m excited to start this journey together. Go…

  • [NYPost] There won’t be a wait for an RJ Barrett-Zion Williamson Summer League battle
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 2:16:26 PM)

    The RJ Barrett-versus-Zion Williams buddy battle for NBA Rookie of the Year starts as early as possible when the Knicks face the Pelicans to open the Las Vegas Summer League on July 5. Vegas knows how to put on a show. Barrett said at his introductory Garden press conference Friday that the Rookie of the…

  • [NYPost] NBA free agency landscape could lead Knicks to bigger Kawhi push
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 11:44:53 AM)

    The Knicks believe they fared excellently in Thursday’s NBA draft, but head into the next step of free agency on June 30 with more caution and recasting expectations. The landscape has changed with Kevin Durant’s Achilles tear that will put him out next season and Kyrie Irving’s recent yen for Brooklyn. It has shifted some…

  • [NYPost] NBA draft grades 2019: Breaking down all 60 picks team-by-team
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 10:07:56 AM)

    The NBA draft featured plenty of trades, a few big surprises and its usual array of entertaining suits. The Post’s Zach Braziller was there to take it all in and he presents his grades for the festive evening: Atlanta Hawks No. 4: De’Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia No. 10: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke No. 34: Bruno…

  • [NYPost] Stephen A. Smith goes full fanboy after Knicks take RJ Barrett
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 7:05:36 AM)

    Stephen A. Smith is in full fanboy mode. Smith, an outspoken Knicks fan who was previously distraught about the results of the draft lottery, raved in typically loud fashion Thursday night after the team selected former Duke star RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick. “OK. We did it. We drafted RJ Barrett,” the bombastic…

  • [NBA] Knicks Acquire Draft Rights to Ignas Brazdeikis
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 8:50:24 AM)

    NEW YORK, NY (June 21, 2019) – The New York Knicks have acquired the draft rights to Ignas Brazdeikis, the 47th overall

  • [ESPN] Zion-Barrett meeting set to start summer league
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 4:49:19 PM)

    Former Duke teammates Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett are slated to make their NBA summer league debuts against each other.

  • [ESPN] Barrett gets ‘Welcome to New York’ moment
    (Friday, June 21, 2019 1:56:17 PM)

    In the days and weeks leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft, RJ Barrett repeatedly professed his desire to be a member of the New York Knicks. Friday afternoon, he learned exactly what that meant.

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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).

    131 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.06.22)”

    1. I’m depressed. It’s really looking like we will come up empty handed in free agency – which would be fine if we would pivot to a true rebuild but that doesn’t feel likely.

      Meanwhile even if we do then looking around the league – wow are we a long way behind other rebuilding teams. Atlanta trades away one of the best rookies in recent years and still has a young core that is MILES ahead of ours.

      I’m not really sure what a good outcome looks or feels like this offseason any more.

    2. I know what you mean. Thinking about it, it seems like trading Porzingis set back our timetable substantially, even if it was the right thing to do. It doesn’t help that Knox and Ntilikina aren’t exciting anyone wth their play.

    3. Count me in as extremely pessimistic. Don’t see anything good happening unless Mitch gets better and RJ looks like all star prospect.

    4. DRPM is a noisy stat.

      I thought it was an improvement as far as defensive metrics go. Believe it or not, Jokic has been very consistent as far as this stat goes. It has ranked him as the 17th best defensive center in the league the past three straight NBA seasons.

      Yeah, but it had him ranked higher than Clint Capela. Hard for me to trust a stat with that outcome.

      I truly believe that defensive impact needs to be rated on non-box score stats.

      The larger point being, it is of little relevance to me if a guy is a mediocre defender, so long as he’s not truly horrendous (say, Kanter, or as a throwback, Steve Novak.) I think all the players the Knicks have brought in have a reasonable amount of defensive potential. The tendency to bring in offensive players is in the hopes that a couple of them become standouts on that end. Then you can fill in the defense with lower cost players and good coaching schemes. Not saying I agree, but it’s a reasonable approach.

    5. Mitch and RJ could be the start of a really good core but really the very start. I’d feel so much better if we had SGA instead of Knox.

      I don’t think the KP trade was the wrong thing to do. We don’t know how much more in terms of future assets we might have got from someone else if we didn’t insist on dumping salary but with a decent chance to bring in KD and a second max player that trade was a reasonable move in the circumstances.

      It’s just hard to see a plan that’s better right now than being bad again for a couple more years and while I’m on with that, it sure would have been nice to find a way into a slightly more advanced point in that journey by now. I occasionally find myself thinking adding D’Angelo and Randle would at least make things a bit more fun, even though in my rational moments I know it’s the wrong move.

    6. I’m trying to stay optimistic, but then remembering that Mills isn’t really very good at his job and has still managed to politic his way into staying around forever, and then reading things like him saying being able to spend good dinner time with players is something important (today about RJ) and seeing the beginnings of the effort to pin/backstab the Knox pick on Fizdale and the sinking realization that the Porzingis trade (*) didn’t lead to two elite max, healthy free agents ….

      The feeling is kind of like a bad hangover. I’m optimistic about RJ, but this team has a LONG way to go and the people in charge are competent at very best. What exactly does Steve Mills do besides office politic, feed Berman, and spy for Dolan? He’s just not a basketball guy and yet he’s the lead Knick basketball decision maker. That realization is just very difficult to escape.

      (And I’ve followed the great Frank debate around here very closely and both sides have good points, but at the end, what’s the point of just junking a guy who’s got elite defender potential for a second-round pick when he’s 20 years old? I see no harm whatsoever in keeping him around and again the fear is that the beef with him is political — he’s Phil’s guy. Frank may ultimately suck, but what problem is solved by sending him packing with a piddling return? If he sucks next year, don’t play him and let him leave.)

      (*) Defensible in basketball terms, but still done in a highly weird way that few if any other front offices would do. The manner in which it was carried out was the opposite of confidence-inducing.

    7. I didn’t mean to say that KP shouldn’t have been traded. We had to do it. But it does set our timetable until being a good team back a lot. Instead of a third player who as an all star we have Smith and some picks that may or may not be good several years from now. That is at least a two year delay until being reasonably good

    8. The pessimism is getting annoying now. All anyone around here wanted was a true rebuild. Now we have it. Last five years the 4th, none, the 8th, and the 9th pick. Well, those players are what they are. We shed bad contracts and now have no veterans. Those players are gone. Two years of FN and one of KN hasn’t unearthed a superstar but they’re not done yet. Mitchell Robinson is a gem and RJ, the THIRD PICK, hasn’t played an NBA minute. We haven’t signed Boogie Cousins to the max and we have 70 large. Our FO has said over and over that they’re gonna do the right thing. Shit guys, breath into a paper bag!

      This is how rebuilds are. Some picks work out others don’t. Most teams don’t make a thirty win leap in one year. How can you avoid incremental improvement?

    9. Celtics sign Tacko Fall. Summer league should be interesting.

      I agree that RJ and Mitch are a nice start and also that Shai would’ve been a great fit with RJ… too bad. I have no faith that DSJ or Frank will ever be plus players and only marginal hope that Knox will.

      You have to admit, Irving and Durant do fit nicely around RJ and Mitch. It could still happen.

      If not, I’d like to throw a big two-year contract at Cory Joseph to play point (and also sign some sort of vet 3-and-D wing) and then just play hard this season for 30 wins or so then keep building…

    10. I was depressed too. Then I took a step back and am no longer that depressed. We’re starving and desperate. We can’t think straight. Let’s start with what we have, position by position.
      PG: Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina
      SG: RJ Barrett, Damyean Dotson,
      SF: Kevin Knox, Ignas Brazdeikis
      C: Mitchell Robinson,
      That’s 8 players and let’s say 2 legit starters in Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett.
      Add 3 starters. A PG, SF & PF. One of which is a max All-star and the other two are B+ players. Add a veteran backup C/PF and that’s a good team maybe a good playoff team. With lots of draft picks coming up to help fill voids, I’m not so depressed any longer.

      Quick edit @9 – My sentiments exactly. We’re not going from 17 wins to 71 overnight,

    11. @9 – you’re right of course, I’m pro rebuild and rebuilds take time. Part of the frustration is that unlike most teams it’s taken us several years to embrace the concept so we’re starting our rebuild AFTER many years of sucking. Another part is we don’t actually seem to be fully embracing it. Assuming we miss on true superstar FAs this summer I’d be a lot more enthusiastic if we really did use our space to secure true rebuilding assets – I’m just unconvinced we will!!

    12. Yeah, but it had him ranked higher than Clint Capela. Hard for me to trust a stat with that outcome.

      But let’s be fair here. It ranked him a few spots ahead of Capela for one year, this one. Variance in annual performance isn’t unheard of in the NBA, even among consistently good defenders. Mejri also saw a dip in his DRPM, too, despite being a top defender most years. I don’t have an issue with anyone in its top tier even if I don’t agree with the ordering of some of the spots. Gobert, Vuvecic, Turner, Chandler, Embiid, etc. are damn solid defenders.

      I do think that the stat seems very team dependent, so the fact that DeMarcus Cousins made #6 on the list is probably more a result of playing on a very talented and well coached Golden State squad. Same thing with Brook Lopez cracking the top 10. I suppose this is what you’re pointing to when you say DRPM shows some noise. So, agreed, context definitely matters because I don’t think Cousins or Lopez magically became better defenders than Capela or Miles Turner due to their individual improvement.

      But the fact that DRPM says Jokic has been a top tertile defender for three seasons on the same team should raise some eyebrows. I think we at least see that his effect on Denver’s defense hasn’t been disastrous and he’s holding his own there for quite some time. Calling him a one-dimensional, only offense type center seems unfair in this context.

    13. People want to get assets but not get better, so that we can get really better. Well, the roll of the dice on that is the KD red shirt. If he comes back to some semblance of what he was it’s perfect. In the meantime you have a choice of signing another max which would result in doubling our win total to around 34 wins and net us a late lottery selection or keeping the money and adding a player like that when KD is ready plus hopefully getting a high lotto.

      It might work or it might not. I think what’s pissing me off right now is the whining about FRANK and KNOX and the assumption that RJ will be that kind of player. Frank and Knox are all upside and no downside. They’re not signed long term. Yes, opportunity costs, SGA, Donovan Mitchell, but every team misses on some picks. That’s part of the process but when WE do it, of course it’s especially KNICKSY.

      Eyes on the prize people. Stop ruing our fate. The world is our oyster. Gimme ideas for fixing it. See what they actually do…

    14. Jokics defense rates as consistently good both by DRAPM (as well as DBPM, DPIPM, AND DRPM…) and when looking at Denver’s defensive on/off numbers. His problem on the defensive end is, in the main, a playoffs problem, as he’s probably the worst rim protector in the league. Coaches targeted him over and over on pick and rolls in the playoffs. But rim protection is only one aspect of defense–Jokic is good at the stat related parts (defensive rebounds and a solid steal rate). He’s a mediocre defender. Certainly not Kanter-esque, because Kanter is actually totally unplayable on that end, and doesn’t know how to move or defend in space. Jokic does, he’s just slow-footed.

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

      KP did NOT trade himself.

      1. He wanted to be in NY right from the start.

      2. He trusted that NY would put together a good team, but hated the way Phil treated Melo and hated all the drama over coaching and system changes.

      3. He gave Mills and Perry a clean slate and seemed especially anxious to play for Fizdale who went all out to repair the damage.

      4. After 2 years, Mills and Perry turned a 35 win team with 20 million of cap space into a 17 win team that was years away from the playoffs.

      5. He threw in the towel and wanted out.

      People are entitled to remain in denial about this, but past drama with Phil, the downside of clearing out everyone that could play, the early mistakes made by Mills in free agency, and the lack of progress with other free agents and draft selections by Perry/Mills is what drove KP out.

      That’s one potential downside of all out tanking. You risk that your young free agent players will be so unhappy with all the losing, they’ll want out. It’s a different now. Players do not wait around anymore for 6-7 year draft rebuilds that waste years of their prime losing. You either execute really well and show real progress turning it around quickly or they lose faith and want out. He lost faith in Mills/Perry and wanted out.

    16. @14 – I disagree. The red shirt Durant could be the all-time disaster too. What if Durant comes back and is only 80% of what he was? That might be the upside, considering his age and the injury. No. We need to try to get good now, great soon.

    17. His problem on the defensive end is, in the main, a playoffs problem, as he’s probably the worst rim protector in the league. Coaches targeted him over and over on pick and rolls in the playoffs

      See, here is the problem. My eyes don’t disagree. But the funny thing is that his DBPM was better in the playoffs (4.1) than it was in the regular season (3.8) this year. This is all very interesting in terms of how we rectify what are our personal impressions are with what some of these metrics tell us. Even if we don’t accept DBPM has the end all/be all how do we reconcile the fact that the same metric says he’s actually a better defender in the postseason than in the regular season? I mean, we can dismiss Jokic’s playoff DBPM due to its small sample, but the same problem applies to our eye test impressions of his defense in playoff games.

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

      IMO, there are no “all in one” defensive metrics that are worth wasting your time on. They are all full of crap, including the ESPN +/- (which I initially had some hope for).

      I think the best approach is probably to look at a combination of things.

      You can look at various micro level defensive stats, watch games and focus on that specific player, look at multiple years of defensive on/off data to try to eliminate some of the noise of a single year, look at specific lineup data and parse out insights, listen to what opposing players say about his defense, and look at the defensive boxscore to see how a player did against that specific defender relative to normal.

      That’s not going to give you some number you can work with easily, but it’s going to put you in the ballpark of whether he’s very negative, negative, neutral, positive, or very positive over time.

      I’m sure teams have much better data to work with because they are tracking everything, but for us, rating a player on some scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is probably good enough.

    19. [NYPost] Knicks’ braintrust must realize fanbase’s patience isn’t infinite
      (Saturday, June 22, 2019 1:13:31 AM)

      Hahahaha.

      Good One, NYPost.

    20. @17 fair enough. That plan might not work out. I was saying that if we wanted a seismic shift in fortunes in a medium term future that’s where we’d roll the dice. And someone will do it if we don’t.

      There’s problems with all approaches. You build through the draft you miss on picks. You sign max players and they don’t play like it.

      The thing that’s making me sad is the lack of creative solutions. Like no Kyrie or Kawhi then what? Couldn’t there be a way forward that no one’s though of? Where’s the outside the box thinking?

    21. This Wilkes kid looks incredibly athletic – maybe he ends up a defensive specialist/finisher type for us? I’m eager to see him in SL.

    22. I look at it like this:
      -there were 3, no brainer, max free agents. durant and klay are both now hurt. that leaves Kawahi
      -there are a bunch of guys that we’ve known all along either have flaws (Kyree) or will probably be overpaid (Harris, Middleton, Kemba)

      The idea that we were ever going to get two max guys that we were comfortable with was a huge stretch.

      Even so, you couldn’t predict Durant’s injury.

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

      @19

      If the plan was so good, why did he want out so badly after initially showing such enthusiasm to play for coach Fizdale?

      I’ll grant he’s a bit of a diva and thinks he’s a superstar even though he’s accomplished very little so far, but something changed.

      He lost faith because they were supposed to rebuild with young players using draft picks and cap space. But they executed so poorly, it morphed into an all out tank. The media let them get away with that spin just like it probably will if they strike out on free agents this year and talk about staying on course with the draft. This management team is made of teflon.

      You can’t just judge a management team by what they do. There are errors of omission. There are teams out there making aggressive moves to move up in the draft to get the exact player they want (Dallas last year and now Atlanta). Others are moving down because they want to rebuild with a traditional style PG and add more pick depth (Atlanta last year). Others are trading picks for stars or potential players. Others are getting good value in trades or signing hidden value in free agency.

      We keep talking a good game about rebuilding the right way and not taking short cuts, but it’s 3 years later and with 20m of cap space and all our 1st round picks we are still the worst team in the NBA.

      It’s time to put up or shut up. You make a major forward move with young players or you are not doing the job.

    24. @22 – I offered a path. We have 6 first round picks over the next 4 years. We have at least 2 potential stars already (RJ and Robinson) and they are cheap. Maybe one of the other kids takes the next step. We have $70M to spend. Try filling out the starting 5 with one max and two good, young and legit starters with that money. We have a path.

    25. It’s a continuum of disfunction but we need to separate the past from the future. Yes, Noah is still getting paid by us. That hurts, but ascribing positive characteristics to organizations that aren’t us while ascribing negative traits to us, is a big part of what we do around here. In other words, we are in good shape going forward. We only need to make the right moves starting now. So, someone deserves credit for giving us a roster with no downside beyond needing to let a short term deal sunset.

    26. @26
      I agree but the devil is in the details. Would you sign up for Kemba + Mitch + RJ core? What particular non max guys put you over the top for a playoff spot?

    27. For the record, I think the Knicks are going to be much improved this year. Not that doesn’t say much coming off a 17-win season. But I think some of the young players are going to take a step forward, the two draftees are going to contribute, and the FO is going to have a reasonable FA/trade plan that improves the team at least in the short run.

      I would have to say based on what I read here that I’m in the 90th percentile of Knox optimism. Maybe it’s an eye-test/small sample/cherry-picking thing, but I saw some really positive things with Knox after the all-star break. A big question mark for him was his motor and toughness, and I am satisfied that those two things are not concerns anymore. We’ll know early on whether he worked on the right things this offseason, maybe as early as summer league.

      I’m VERY optimistic about Mitch. I think he blossoms into a DPOY candidate this year. The only thing holding him back last year was foul trouble, inexperience and physical immaturity in the low post.

      I am also VERY optimistic about Trier. He’s on his way to 6MOTY consideration. He is a prototype for putting what he learned about scoring in the NBA to good use this offseason. I expect a more polished and intelligent player to emerge this season.

      Both draft picks look like NBA rotation players right out of the box for me. Again, summer league should be telling.

    28. @25 – How have the Knicks executed poorly? Ntilikina was Jackson’s pick. He’s 20 but it doesn’t seem like he was worth that high a pick. Knox did not erupt but he’s still 19 and 2018 redraft articles seem to have him going around where he went. Mitchel Robinson was a steal. Even if Trier doesn’t become a starter, they found an UFA that was at worst, a serviceable NBA player.

      No. KP is a short-sighted diva and I think the Knick brass wasn’t as high on him anymore. There was this: Rumor: Knicks won’t offer Kristaps Porzingis fully guaranteed max contract

      Yeah, you’re right about the impatience he had. But trading him away was a great move. We got a good player back, 2 first round picks (one top-10 protected) and a big expiring contract. We’re in much better position now.

      In a different universe, where I didn’t care about how people behaved, I might even make a run at KP as a restricted free agent now – but who here would think that was sane?

    29. I’d be satisfied signing D’Angelo Russell to the minimax, then using the rest of the cap to park bad contracts to acquire assets. There will be teams jockeying to get into position to sign the Vucevics and Tobias Harrises and Khris Middletons, so maybe there’s a way to facilitate that.

      Maybe you can squeeze a good young player and a future draft pick for the cap space. Then your asset pile would include Russell on a reasonable contract, Barrett, Mitch, the good young player and draft pick acquired for the cap space, the two Dallas picks, plus our own picks. Plus our shitty rookie contract guys like Smith, Knox, and Frank. That’s not a bad start to a rebuild.

      Just don’t give out contracts to guys entering their decline phases that will be toxic in two years. Just avoid that.

    30. @28 –
      Will $70M buy these packages:
      Kemba Walker, Julius Randle, DeMarre Carroll and Bojan Bogdanovic?
      D’Angelo Russell, Nikola Mirotic, Dewayne Dedmon and Thabo Sefolosha?

    31. I hadn’t watched alot of Michigan hoops this season so I watched a little of Brazdeikis’ tape, and I am pleasantly surprised with him. He appears to be a smart and athletic guy on offense who’s more fearless and explosive than I thought he would be. And he can actually shoot. While he may not be an instinctively good defender, he is an opportunistic one. I think with his athleticism and measurables, he just might become an average defender with coaching.

    32. All anyone around here wanted was a true rebuild. Now we have it.

      I’m with you, Danvt. This is actually the best position this team has been in since before the Melo trade. Maybe even further back than that. We have a decent group of 19-22 year old players and a surplus of draft picks going forward. The problem is many of those young players have a long way to go. Frank and Knox feel like zeros. I don’t give up on players til they’re 21 so I’m more optimistic than both. But I like this core next year:

      Guards: Smith, Frank, Dotson, Trier
      Forwards: Barrett, Knox, Kornet, Vonleh
      Centers: Robinson

      Let them allshit the bed together and learn. Add a new lottery pick next year and see where we are.

    33. Also, that plan C everyone was deriding yesterday isn’t so bad. I’m not opposed to signing a bunch of guys on one year deals as long as they have favorable team options and we’re willing to auction them off at the trade deadline. Having some veterans around to teach the kids isn’t terrible.

    34. Guys, we really don’t know how this free agent situation is gonna play out. The Nets cleared cap space, so now the common refrain is they must know something. Um, we traded our best player a few months ago to clear 2 max spots so I guess we knew something? The Nets seem to be everyone’s team du jour right now, and the anti- Knicks bias among the sports media is pervasive (LeBatard said the other day the Knicks got the 3rd best player in a 2 person draft)

      Sure it’s possible we may strike out with the top free agents, but let’s let it play out before we throw up our hands and talk about complete rebuilds.

    35. Like english-knick, I’m depressed about our situation. I’m gonna channel the King’s owner Vivek and suggest we consider putting a young, all-lefty starting lineup on the court. The sum would be much greater than the parts; the confusion it would sow would be the type of hidden efficiency boost we seek.

      Here’s a possible lineup: Russell, RJ, Oubre, Randle, Mitch (kinda right?). I’m being facetious here BUT that’s only because I don’t like Oubre or Randle. If there were better players available, it might be worth a shot. Instead of Randle, we could offer 30yo Thad Young a 2-year 30m/yr deal since we’re apparently gonna follow this type of track anyway. Instead of Oubre, we could offer Miami Knox, protected Mavs pick, and Charlotte 2 pick for Winslow in a S&T.

    36. one of the annoying things about our rebuild is that Frank and Knox were fairly obviously bad draft picks at the time they were made. Here’s what I said about Frank on draft night: ” It’s just really hard to look at his euro numbers and conclude there’s a good chance he’s going to be a good NBA player.” Next year “It’s not crazy to think that Knox might be a better player than Bridges, it’s crazy to expect he will be. Just trade down if you want to take a shot on a 19 year old with medicore stats.” So yeah, I’ve been generally supportive of the Knicks just committing to a rebuild, and I understand there are no real sure things in the draft, but it’s frustrating to watch the time trying to rebuild while making really easily avoidable mistakes.

      I would have traded the pick this year and tried to get brandon clarke and someone else, but RJ is at least a guy who was worth drafting and the Iggy kid looks like he can at least shoot, so maybe we’re gradually turning in the right direction.

    37. Also, that plan C everyone was deriding yesterday isn’t so bad. I’m not opposed to signing a bunch of guys on one year deals as long as they have favorable team options and we’re willing to auction them off at the trade deadline. Having some veterans around to teach the kids isn’t terrible.

      Yeah, signing some vets who can shoot with an eye towards moving them at the deadline would be a good idea

    38. I’m with JK47, offer Russell the max and stay active gathering assets for free from desperate teams. DSJ, Russell, Barrett, Knox and Mitch is an interesting core with loads of upside that should already be better than last years team, then sign stop gap guys to fill the roster (and please no Hezonja 1 year deals, try to get team options if they work out)

    39. I’d be pretty happy with Russell at the max. Having a 23-year-old good PG on a reasonable contract? I don’t even know what that’s like. Ray Felton is the best PG we’ve had in a decade.

    40. I think plan c should be just don’t spend the money if there isn’t a worthwhile free agent to spend it on. We’re going to be lousy anyways, so let’s be lousy with young guys.

    41. @34

      This is actually the best position this team has been in since before the Melo trade. Maybe even further back than that. We have a decent group of 19-22 year old players and a surplus of draft picks going forward. The problem is many of those young players have a long way to go. Frank and Knox feel like zeros. I don’t give up on players til they’re 21 so I’m more optimistic than both

      Yes! Right now the team has their own #1 next, year their own plus an UNPROTECTED 1st from Dallas in 2021. Three first rounders in the next 2 years. The should be actively hunting for an additional first rounder for next year with their current cap space. Let’s see if they do it rather than the silly “plan c” we’ve been hearing about.

      Hey, I think it is possible that Frank, Knox, and DSJ all turn out to be “zeros.” But play them nonetheless. Stop crying about what could’ve been. I didn’t want Knox drafted, but they did, so look at all of the young guys and try to develop them. Mitch looks like a very nice piece going forward.

      First take the ball out of Frank and Knox’s hands. That should be easy with DSJ, RJB, and Trier here. Put Frank on the wing, where he’s a very good defender, and have him shooting threes all day. Knox, he needs to be a four. He showed more of a willingness to rebound than I thought he would last year. Obviously he needs to bulk up and, like Frank, shoot threes all day. DSJ shoot shoot shoot and stop being so damn sullen. Maybe one of the three ends up being a solid starter. Frank and DSJ need to show a major step forward this year. Give guys three years each before moving on.

      Before “going for it” via free agency, the team needs two young “stars.” Right now we have zero. But, during this year, maybe Mitch and RJB look like that. If not, keep drafting. Future first rounders give some cause for hope.

    42. one of the annoying things about our rebuild is that Frank and Knox were fairly obviously bad draft picks at the time they were made. Here’s what I said about Frank on draft night: ” It’s just really hard to look at his euro numbers and conclude there’s a good chance he’s going to be a good NBA player.” Next year “It’s not crazy to think that Knox might be a better player than Bridges, it’s crazy to expect he will be. Just trade down if you want to take a shot on a 19 year old with medicore stats.” So yeah, I’ve been generally supportive of the Knicks just committing to a rebuild, and I understand there are no real sure things in the draft, but it’s frustrating to watch the time trying to rebuild while making really easily avoidable mistakes.

      +100000000000000

    43. Sorry Strat: Fuck KP. Overrated piece of shit at this point. Dallas is going to regret paying him the max after next year. I can’t wait until he blows a knee out in year 1 of his new max and we get some great Dallas draft picks.

    44. Porzingis put us in a position where we didn’t have much of a choice, but even if he was 100% satisfied in New York (i.e. wasn’t dealing with a credible rape allegation) it would’ve been smart to get value for him before he became an albatross. Signing “your guys” to massive contracts well before they’ve shown they can consistently produce, and while your team is bad, is how you end up like the Suns.

      The question is, can we use the surplus cap space to make up for the value we lost in that trade by dumping the THJ/Lee contracts? I’ve said before that I’m skeptical we would’ve gotten that much more without their inclusion, since we got so much as it was. Still, a smart front office would find a way to recoup it.

      Plan C (personally I prefer Plan AA, both for where it will send me and for “Arron Afflalo”) would be the opposite of recouping that value–it would be giving up on doing so. I guess there’s a small possibility that we can trade whoever we sign at the deadline, but the guys available on one year deals don’t tend to be highly sought after…or else they would’ve been able to get a longer deal. In fact they’re usually buyout market quality players. It takes a fairly unique set of circumstances to sign a guy to a one year deal and then successfully flip him for something worthwhile.

    45. If the Knicks do go after Russell, I hope his last year was him truly taking a permanent step forward and not just getting his ass motivated temporarily for a new contract. I will say that I’d much rather max him than Kyrie Irving at this time. Replacing DSJ as a starter with Russell might be a very good move.

      I wonder if the Knicks “plan c” is really to sign KD for four years and then some one year deals to preserve cap space for next offseason? He gets his Robin a year later?

      Russell plus keep some cap space to grab another 2020 first rounder would be a nice plan.

    46. I agree on Frank being a poor pick. I’ll reserve judgment on Knox until the end of this year. Honestly, he should not have come out last year, and still, he wasn’t a total zero. Lots of successful guys that stayed extra years in college would have been abject disasters their rookie had they come out as freshman. I wouldn’t bet the house on him becoming a plus player, but the FTr and 3pt%, the improved motor, the durability given his big minutes and attacking the rim to get to the line, and what I saw to be incremental improvements in defense and rebounding after the break are all screaming “wait and see” with him. On the other hand, Frank regressed in nearly every category. There’s not much hope there.

    47. If you do the plan c I suggested, you don’t lose all the value of our cap space, you just save it for next year. That’s better than spending it on the wrong players.

    48. Signing “your guys” to massive contracts well before they’ve shown they can consistently produce, and while your team is bad, is how you end up like the Suns.

      Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t see the Suns’ situation as being particularly gloomy. I think that Devin Booker is enormously underrated here, and locking him up early makes it so that you wouldn’t be paying him more later or losing him for nothing. He will easily bring back commensurate value in a trade for the duration of his contract (who cares why? It’s just a fact.) Everyone else is on somewhere between a manageable and a great deal. They have all of their picks and some cap space. Minnesota is a much better example. Maxing Wiggins was catastrophic, they will never be able to shed that contract without giving up assets. Burning assets for Jimmy Butler and others didn’t help either.

    49. The ray of sunshine with Kevin Knox is that he shot the ball from deep reasonably well for a 19-year old, with a high volume. So that’s… something. He still looks like a pretty poor prospect overall. His instincts are bad. He is looking to pass the ball approximately never, he is very soft taking the ball to the rim and defense is just a rumor to him. It would take a LOT of development in a lot of areas for him to develop into a well-rounded player, and I just don’t really know if this coaching staff is up to that.

      At some point we’re going to need some well-rounded, two-way players. It’s either one thing or the other with pretty much every young player on the roster.

    50. @52

      I just don’t really know if this coaching staff is up to that.

      Aye, there’s the rub. If Fiz continues to only pay lip service to defense and let the players play merry go round iso, it may not matter much who the Knicks draft.

      My small hope with Knox and Frank on offense is, as I said earlier, taking the ball out of their hands. Frank does very little with it and Knox just puts his head down and recklessly drives. You need a good playmaker, and Mudiay was NOT it, despite all the time they gave him last year. Maybe DSJ? Maybe RJB? Maybe sign Russell?

    51. He is looking to pass the ball approximately never

      I agree, although I did see some very nice exchanges with Mitch that also give me a ray of hope.

      he is very soft taking the ball to the rim

      Soft is the wrong word, he wouldn’t have a FTr of .247 if he was soft. I would say “clumsy” or “ungainly” or “unpolished” are better words. For me, “soft” is a more permanent thing, an unwillingness to mix it up; whereas “clumsy” as an “ungainly” still-growing lanky 19yo is more promising. I would imagine that Siakim was a mess driving to the hole at 19. He’s pretty damn good at it now.

    52. I also believe that Fiz told him to go out there, be aggressive, challenge guys and take your lumps, don’t worry about missing. He seemed to rein him in later in the season and Knox responded by shooting a bit better. Again, not acceptable going forward, but I’m going to reserve judgment until he playes in meaningful games with better teammates (hopefully not named Mudiay or Hezonja…and I’m souring rapidly on DSJ and his approach.)

    53. Very inexact, but the going rate for the kind of mid-late 1Rp that gets traded as a sweetener to create space is about $18-20m – I.e taking on a one-year dump of $20m should net a 1Rp.

      So if we signed Russel for the mini max we ought to be able to pick up a couple of picks or cost-controlled young players with some upside for our remaining space.

      I’d sign up to that – it’s a credible rebuilding strategy.

      It’s if we start giving out either Afflalo or Hez – type deals that have literally zero upside and a large opportunity cost that I really won’t be able to take it.

    54. Soft is the wrong word, he wouldn’t have a FTr of .247 if he was soft. I would say “clumsy” or “ungainly” or “unpolished” are better words. For me, “soft” is a more permanent thing, an unwillingness to mix it up; whereas “clumsy” as an “ungainly” still-growing lanky 19yo is more promising.

      Fair enough, I mean he’s not shy about taking the ball to the rim, he just does not have much skill when he gets there. He has good wheels, and can cover a lot of ground pretty quickly, so getting to the cup is not really a problem, it’s the low-percentage floater stuff that kills him.

    55. At the end of the day, 19yo draftees either develop or they don’t. Even Zion needs to improve quite a bit to be as impactful as everyone expects him to be. It all comes down to where does a player plateau? Russell is a guy who everyone wrote off, but now folks are saying it would be smart to max him. Hezonja and Mudiay plateaued. Donovan Mitchell is not where he needs to be, if he stays the same he will be an overpaid chucker, if he develops he will be a dominant guard. Knox should develop somewhat, the question is, at what level will he settle in to the player he really is? There’s ample cause for both optimism and pessimism.

    56. I don’t know why I’m even bothering, but with the Nets wanting to maintain two max slots it would be pretty smart to throw a little offer sheet at Theo Pinson. I doubt it would take much to get it done and he was really good in the G League this past year.

    57. Yes! Right now the team has their own #1 next, year their own plus an UNPROTECTED 1st from Dallas in 2021. Three first rounders in the next 2 years.

      Don’t forget the surplus 2nd round picks!

      My take on the Willy trade was always that we were stupid to not want him, but we got a very good return and one day we’d be happy about it.

      Well, I think that day is coming. If Kemba Walker leaves Charlotte we’ve got two great second round picks in the next two drafts! And if he stays, they’re still decent picks.

      Do we finally have our own 2nd round picks now or are there more that Phil gave away? EDIT: FUCK!!! How the hell did Philadelphia end up with our next two 2nd round picks??

    58. FUCK!!! How the hell did Philadelphia end up with our next two 2nd round picks??

      Ha! We traded them for Willy. Of course.

      The original sin was overpaying for a washed up Marcus Cambys. We needlessly gave up *two* 2nd round picks for him. So instead of being able to draft Willy with our own pick, Phil gave up two future seconds to acquire him. And then Perry undid that by trading Willy for two future seconds in the same years. Odd chain of events.

      Ultimately, though, I’m happy with that trade in hindsight. We would have wasted Willy’s cost controlled years. Now we have two very good picks.

    59. We did send a second round pick to Sacramento for Perry, maybe one of them is that one. I don’t mind we sent it. Perry’s at least competent at the deals he does. That is a big improvement from before.

    60. Short of signing Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving together, we should only be looking to add one max guy and then we should take Andre Roberson and Marvin Williams from their respective teams for whatever asset they will give up. If we left this off season with Kyrie Irving/D’Angelo Russell, Andre Roberson, Marvin Williams, and 2 more draft picks in the 2020 draft I’d be pretty happy.

    61. I really want to be optimistic on Knox, but what bothers me is he doesn’t look like he really knows how to play basketball. He does one of three things when he gets the ball: passes it back, shoots a 3 or drives and puts up a floater. He never head fakes, never drives and dishes. The only fouls he draws are when someone stupidly hits him when he’s barreling down the lane for the inevitable floater.

      It looks like he just started playing basketball a couple of years ago. The only saving grace is he’s still only 19 and maybe he’s a fast learner. But I’m not counting on that.

    62. My biggest fear since it does look like the Knicks will avoid giving out max contracts to undeserving players is that they do the 1 or 2 yr deals for guys just to fill out the roster and actually expect those guys to contribute. The last thing we need is to be here bitching and moaning about a win early in the season because it came from guys who won’t be on the team in the future while the younger players who should be part of the future are sitting on the bench watching.

      If they are gonna improve and win 30 games or so next year while “hurting” their lottery odds hopefully it happens because the young core is improving and winning games not because guys they signed as basically placeholders for the next year or 2 are winning games.

    63. Apparently we’re having Mitch play in a few summer league games? Not a big deal but I don’t get the point of that at all.

    64. Required reading for our “woe is us” brethren:

      Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
      Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
      He wept that he was ever born,
      And he had reasons.

      Miniver loved the days of old
      When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
      The vision of a warrior bold
      Would set him dancing.

      Miniver sighed for what was not,
      And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
      He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
      And Priam’s neighbors.

      Miniver mourned the ripe renown
      That made so many a name so fragrant;
      He mourned Romance, now on the town,
      And Art, a vagrant.

      Miniver loved the Medici,
      Albeit he had never seen one;
      He would have sinned incessantly
      Could he have been one.

      Miniver cursed the commonplace
      And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
      He missed the mediæval grace
      Of iron clothing.

      Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
      But sore annoyed was he without it;
      Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
      And thought about it.

      Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
      Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
      Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
      And kept on drinking.

    65. If we don’t sign any free agents I’m guessing the RJ/Mitch pnr (with Knox spotting up) is going to be a staple of the offense so they might as well get as many reps in as possible. Mitch is far from a finished product on pnr’s. He needs to set better screens and definitely needs to give the ball-handler more space when/if they turn the corner- half the time he rolled shoulder to shoulder with Smith/Mudiay. Of course, Smith and Mudiay weren’t exactly wizards in the pnr either so its hard to say who’s to blame.

    66. Apparently we’re having Mitch play in a few summer league games? Not a big deal but I don’t get the point of that at all.

      Mitch continues to be disrespected. Nate Duncan yet again dissed the guy. A couple of months ago he said that DSJ has a higher ceiling than Mitch. Now a couple of weeks ago he said NYK don’t have any young player to offer in AD trade who’s better than Kuzma. I like Nate but sheesh. Max Kellerman who touts himself as a diehard Knick fan ticked off promising young Knick players and left Mitch out. The latest from Zach Lowe after ignoring him for so long is that he’s “interesting”; translation: he’s not sure what to make of this guy. People don’t recognize that (1) his stats suggest maybe the best shot blocker in NBA history (2) he’s an elite defender in space (3) his stats at his age/experience are much better than Gobert/Tyson/DAJ/Capela.

      If Mitch is injured in summer league, that’s gonna be a real strike against the FO. I’d only play him if he’s been working on his offense; summer league would be the time to try out some of the stuff (post-ups, shooting 3’s, shooting 2’s from 3-16ft, dribbling). Plenty of time to work on PnR in practice and the regular season.

    67. For those who believe Russell is worthy of a max… why is it that a fellow on another team can be one of the worst players in the NBA for 3 consecutive seasons (ws = .001, .030 and .013) with a glorious BPM of -1.8, -.5 and -.4 suddenly during one off season between his 21 and 22 year old seasons morph into a Max player and Frank and Knox cannot significantly improve while even younger?

      Also, Do you want to Max a guy with this profile especially as he had one of the most horrid playoff stat lines ever being snuffed out like a bug by Ben Simmons?

      Also an interesting recent comp for Achilles injuries right under our noses is Zach Britton.

      He ruptured his tendon and had surgery on 12/20/17 – 2 days before his 30th birthday and returned to the mound 6/11/18, 9 days short of six months later. A year later he is still pitching great to a 1.172 WHIP in 57 appearances for the Yankees.

      And to head Jowles off at the pass… Yes, Britton hasn’t completely reproduced his epic 2016 season and thusly is in his decline phase at 31.5, neither did Mariano Rivera (then at 26) ever reproduce his 1996 WAR = 5.o although he had a pretty terrific 16 year “decline” phase :-)

      Now, baseball isn’t basketball, but the loads placed on the ankles striding and landing on the mound generating a 97 mph sinker are certainly comparable.

      You guys would really rather have a 4 year max on D’angelo Russell than in injured Durant for the same duration (albeit less money)?

    68. Of course, Smith and Mudiay weren’t exactly wizards in the pnr either so its hard to say who’s to blame.

      No… it isn’t…. in one word COACHING! Isn’t that what coaches get paid for?

    69. If Mitch is injured in summer league, that’s gonna be a real strike against the FO. I’d only play him if he’s been working on his offense; summer league would be the time to try out some of the stuff (post-ups, shooting 3’s, shooting 2’s from 3-16ft, dribbling). Plenty of time to work on PnR in practice and the regular season.

      Oh c’mon… if a healthy 21 year old gets injured in a refereed competitive basketball game it isn’t “management’s fault” How do you expect a guy to get better without rigorous work against top competition under ideally controlled conditions? Now… if they play him 30 minutes 4 consecutive days, sure than you have a point.

      It just seems you are searching for reasons to hate on them. Motivating a player to practice sensibly is a good thing.

    70. Surprised so many people here are ready to max Russell. I get we’re desperate at that position but 27m/yr is an awful lot of money. I watched a few Net games and he looked like the same old Russell to me. Weak defender who never gets to free throw line. BPM and RPM liked him last year. Why? Best I’m able to tell is that his usage went up, he took more 3’s and made them at a higher %, his TO% dropped by 1.5% from his average, and his passing improved. If you look at his shooting history from 3ft on, it appears his 3FG% could be noise (much like THJ) with his true average being 35%. For example, here are his %’s from 16ft to the arc the last 4 years (earliest first): 36, 40, 45, 41. And his 3FG%: 35, 35 , 32, 37

      27m is too much money to pay for a weak defender who just posted a 53 TS and a .135 FTr. We do need a solid 1 guard to help the other young players. I’d rather offer Rubio a 1yr or even a 1-and-1 (player option).

    71. Oh c’mon… if a healthy 21 year old gets injured in a refereed competitive basketball game it isn’t “management’s fault” How do you expect a guy to get better without rigorous work against top competition under ideally controlled conditions? Now… if they play him 30 minutes 4 consecutive days, sure than you have a point.

      It just seems you are searching for reasons to hate on them. Motivating a player to practice sensibly is a good thing.

      LMAO I just defended the FO the other day against what I believed to be people searching “for reasons to hate on them”. But Mitch playing against sh!tty competition is not gonna help him at all to outweigh the injury risk. He needs to play against NBA starters. Like I wrote, if he wants to try out some new stuff on offense, then fine let him do that in summer league.

      You were a horse owner or trainer? Man I pity the poor horses in your care.

    72. The thing about Russell is that he has shown consistent improvement. Nobody is saying he’s a mega star or anything, but he’s young enough and has shown enough improvement to be a good bet on a minimax. It’s a good deal to take because it’s a good bet for the future. And if he stops improving at all he would still be a good trade chip, as he would be on a tradeable contract and still 24-25, an age where other teams would surely be likely to pay assets to get him.

      The issue with giving a similar contract to a guy who’s probably a superior player, like Kemba for example, is that he’s almost 30, which means we should expect decline soon and not improvement. If that happens you’re stuck with him until the deal ends, while with Russell the deal is far less risky as he will most likely still be tradeable even if he doesn’t progress much.

      I’m not a huge fan of Russell mind you. I just recognize it’s a much better bet to take then maxing a probably more productive player to a larger deal when there’s a lot more risk involved.

    73. People don’t recognize that (1) his stats suggest maybe the best shot blocker in NBA history (2) he’s an elite defender in space (3) his stats at his age/experience are much better than Gobert/Tyson/DAJ/Capela.

      Per 36 stats for Mitch at 20 – 12.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 4.3 blocks.

      Per 36 stats for Nerlens Noel at 20 – 11.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 2.2 blocks.

      Mitch at 20 played nearly 21 minutes a game for an 17-65 Knicks. Noel at 20 played nearly 31 minutes a game for an 18-64 Sixers. And when a rookie who struggled to get on the floor for the worst team in the league projects at 4.3 blocks a game while only four players in the entire league averaged over 2 blocks per game, we just might be looking at some sort of statistical outlier.

      Mike

    74. D’Angelo Russell just completed his age 22 season, and took a big leap, a leap that is not uncommon with PG prospects. There was nothing inherently fluky about his performance– he shot a bit better from 3PT than his career average, but not outlier-type better. He has steadily increased his AST% every season of his career. He shot a bit better on 2-point attempts. The increased assist rate came with a decline in turnover rate.

      For a 22-year old PG, it was a very solid season. You’d be buying his age 23-26 seasons on that minimax contract. There’s a pretty good chance he outperforms that contract. There’s a VERY good chance you’d be able to include him in a trade somewhere down the line, because he’s young and his value is not likely to plummet. On a minimax contract, D’Angelo Russell is an asset. Russell fits in with the timeline of a young team. Oh, and he has two functioning legs.

      With Kevin Durant, you’re buying a player who is a virtual certainty to decline, and decline precipitously. You’d be buying his age 33-35 seasons, and paying for him to play only three of those four seasons. The chances of that being a bad contract in years three and four are pretty high. He is entering his decline phase and he just had the worst possible injury a basketball player can have.

    75. My guess is that without kd coming we resign Mudiay, Kornet and offer Randle & DeAngelo a max. Its gonna be weird.

    76. The idea behind maxing Russell is simple–it’s pretty rare to be able to get a 23 year old, good player for money alone. That’s true, and if they max him I won’t be particularly upset.

      However, if it were up to me I still wouldn’t do it because if he doesn’t keep improving I think the contract would come to be viewed as a negative asset. 4/$117M is still a lot of money for a below average scorer with defensive issues. I’m not sure how much he’d have to improve to justify it but it doesn’t necessarily seem like fait accompli to me.

      Honestly, barring a Kawhi miracle I really only see one realistic path to contention at this point; spend two years tanking/rebuilding/whatever you want to call it (avoid marginal wins, take on bad contracts for assets, buy second rounders, hit the UDFA market hard, etc.), then enter the 2021 offseason with two first round picks (ours and the Mavs’) and plenty of cap space to go after Giannis/Lillard/Gobert/Paul George/Oladipo. Just how much cap space we’ll have depends on what we want to do with DSJ, Trier, Kornet, etc. but if any of those guys make that a tough decision, well, good problem to have.

      It’s not the greatest plan. It comes with a lot of uncertainty and requires a lot of patience. I understand why people might not like it. I just don’t see a better one if we actually want to contend as soon as possible.

    77. The thing about Russell is that he has shown consistent improvement

      This is just not consistent with the facts as shown by his statistical profile. Period. His rise to quazi all star status came directly out of the blue. Pray tell what stat gave an inkling of his impending stardom in his 17/18 season???? Exactly nothing!

      For example he was 122 in BPM in 16/17 and would have been 125th in 17/18 had he played enough minutes to qualify, but all of a sudden he explodes up to 30th this season…. hardly an innocent climb or normal progression, but a quantum leap.

      He then got his ears boxed around in the playoffs by Ben Simmons posting a much worse than Franknesque -5.1 BPM and a -.098 ws/48.

      Is Russell a budding all-star or a player with a statistical outlying season. Or as Zach Lowe put it during yesterday’s podcast, “maybe just a few more bad floaters fell the season”.

      I think it is somewhere in between, but I’m not betting well over 100M on one walk season.

      For the record Frank’s 19 year old BPM is exactly 0.1 below Russell’s 21 year old BPM…..read into that what you might.

    78. if youre not maxing russell what are you spending your cap on? whos a FA in the next 3 years thats coming here? theres a lot of talent in this years FA class and while theres a lot of landmines….

      you wanna wait around for perfect players or perfect opportunities… well those dont come around too often… maxing russell is a good move… picking rj is a good move… short of kawhi coming around to save the franchise…. making good moves is how you start turning things around…

    79. D’Angelo Russell just completed his age 22 season, and took a big leap, a leap that is not uncommon with PG prospects.

      Could provide an extensive list of point guards that explode from BPM seasons of -1.8, -0,5 and -0.4 and then explode in one season to 3.4 AFTER playing 5,000 minutes before that explosion?

      And if this is so common, why is it unpossible Frank can be any sort of player in the NBA after posting a -0.4 BPM in his 19 year old season?

      Just curious if these sorts of explosions are common, they why do they only happen to other team’s players?

    80. if youre not maxing russell what are you spending your cap on?

      I’d try not to spend it on a Fugazy max player. If we can’t land any of the top 3 or 4 players it is obvious to park bad players and accumulate assets. Keep your powder dry until the next top player that wants to move demands a trade. Develop your top draft choices until you have a group of interesting players and maybe you get a couple of Mitches in those multiple picks.

      Rinse and repeat!

    81. We get rid of our draft picks before they hit 22

      For the present administration…. was there any other reasonable choice than to jettison KP???

    82. GMs take fliers on players. Russell was low risk high reward for Brooklyn. He helped lead them to the playoffs. The NBA is predicated on players giving surplus value. We know most players will play to the back of their bubble gum card for the majority of their careers. A very small minority will outperform their expectations. It’s where you have success stories like this that you have good teams. It happens. We just need to unearth a couple gems and not take ourselves out of contention by betting on forgone conclusions like Tim Hardaway Junior.

    83. maxing russell is a good move

      I wish I was that smart to say things with such authority!

      Maxing Russell is far from a good move or Brooklyn wouldn’t be drooling to jettison him for Kyrie and a declining 30 year old with a shredded leg!

      If Russell is sooooooo good , why does Brooklyn drool to toss him for a wack job who is never happy and is 4 years older with a worse injury history for many millions more a year?

      Inquiring minds want to know….

    84. Could provide an extensive list of point guards that explode from BPM seasons of -1.8, -0,5 and -0.4 and then explode in one season to 3.4 AFTER playing 5,000 minutes before that explosion?

      Yes, you’re right! Nobody did exactly that! Nobody had those exact BPMs and then had that other exact BPM! Touché!

      You want a list of point guards though who played like butt in their late teens and early 20’s, and then blossomed into good players though? Because there are fuckloads of those. That list is composed of “most good point guards.”

    85. On Russell:
      – I believe Russell’s passing is for real. That was his calling card out of college – it’s not noise.
      – I believe his TO% genuinely improved but it’s tough to peg where it will end up
      – He shot a lot of 3’s, a whopping 635 at a 37% which prob accounted for much of his OBPM bump.
      – 2FG%, ORB%, DRB%, STL%, BLK% were all static
      – The most worrisome piece is his FTr which last year dropped below his career average of .178. I looked at 1 guards FTR and there were only 4 quality ones in that neighborhood last season. Kyrie at .197, Brogdon at .203 and VanVleet at .192 and Lonzo (only one below Russell). FTr is usually pretty stable so I wouldn’t expect much improvement after 4 years.

      Bottom Line: It should give all the maxers pause that there so are few quality 1 guards with low FTr’s. It looks like you’re banking on Russell continuing to shoot a very high volume of 3’s at a decent % or a lower volume at a higher %. That’s very shaky when his history has been one of his shooting %’s bouncing around.

      I’d offer him $20m in part due my fondness for lefty players. In particular, there have been a lot of nice lefty 1 guards in recent years: Dragic, Isaiah, Simmons, Conley, Fox.

      As for what I would do if we don’t get Russell for 20m (not mutually exclusive):
      (1) Offer Rubio a nice 1-2 year deal
      (2) Offer Collison a nice 1-2 year deal
      (3) Try RJ at the 1
      (4) Hope DSJ breaks through
      (5) Hope FIBA Frank shows up next season

    86. Seriously comparing Russell to Frank saying why can’t Frank improve the same way?? Russell’s TS% is nothing to brag about but even at his worst it was slightly over 50% which would be a miracle for Frank to sniff considering his career TS% is 43%. Don’t even get me started on their Ast and TO%. Those are fairly basic advanced stats but they are so God awful for Frank there is nothing to suggest Frank can ever sniff reaching Russell’s level which isn’t even that good to begin with right now. That’s how awful Frank is. Also Russell in his 1 season at Ohio St was excellent, he was deserving of being drafted #2 overall. There was nothing at all in Frank’s albeit limited career in Europe to suggest he should be a lottery pick.

    87. Yeah Z-Man, on ESPN at 9:30 too. In fact all 4 of the Knicks Summer League regular season games will be at 9:30 rotating between ESPN, NBATV and ESPN2.

    88. (1) Offer Rubio a nice 1-2 year deal
      (2) Offer Collison a nice 1-2 year deal
      (3) Try RJ at the 1
      (4) Hope DSJ breaks through
      (5) Hope FIBA Frank shows up next season

      Signing Ricky Rubio or Darren Collison is the PG version of the Arron Afflalo contract. You don’t get anything out of it other than the 1/2 years of Rubio/Collison/Afflalo playing at their already established level. You get some marginal wins. Fuck marginal wins. These are the kind of contracts to avoid: the players who get you meaningless marginal wins while hurting your draft position, and who won’t be around when the team is in a position to contend.

      With Russell, the idea is that he’d be valuable enough to include in a trade package for some other marquee player down the line. He’d still be young, and would still have some value. You sign Ricky Rubio to a 1+1, you ain’t trading Ricky Rubio for shit. There is also the possibility that Russell, still only 22, develops more and becomes more like a .150 WS48 player. That is not gonna be happening with Ricky Rubio.

    89. i don’t think it’s a forgone conclusion that the nets want to jettison him… he’s a RFA…. and if they don’t sign kyrie i’m pretty sure they match anything….. and if they do… there’s little reason to bring him back since they committed money to dinwiddie… and have guys like levert in tow…..

      russell isn’t without risk… same with rj…. there are no guarantees in life… but taking good risks is 100% about what good decisionmaking is all about…. and saying no thanks to 23 yo good players with tons of upside is frankly a little stupid….

      yes his ftr leaves a bit to be desired…. but we can talk all day about the faults about any player…. overall he’s really good for a player his age…. if you prefer all your guys to be perfect… well here’s a newsflash.. they ain’t coming…..

      i’m sure teams like utah would love to keep their capspace open until lebron or giannis or AD or durant or luka doncic come begging to play for them….. but saner heads realize that they might be waiting a pretty long time….

      we have been trying to starphuc our way to a winning team for the last 30 years… and really escalated that effort since 2000…… we have been waiting for a savior in FA every time we have cap space…. i realize the right way to go about a rebuild is to be patient but you cannot simply pass up good young players if they are available either…..

      we have been in the talent accumulation phase on the win curve for a long while… and part of that phase is actually accumulating talent…. short of teams giving away lotto picks it behooves you to be in the market for good young players when they come available and russell absolutely qualifies….

      what’s the opportunity cost for giving russell max money? we don’t get to give it to harris? or butler? or draymond green or gordon hayward next year? or maybe we want to max out paul george at age 31 or westbrook at age 32 in 2021? those are better options?…

    90. Signing Ricky Rubio or Darren Collison is the PG version of the Arron Afflalo contract. You don’t get anything out of it other than the 1/2 years of Rubio/Collison/Afflalo playing at their already established level. You get some marginal wins. Fuck marginal wins. These are the kind of contracts to avoid: the players who get you meaningless marginal wins while hurting your draft position, and who won’t be around when the team is in a position to contend.

      NO, it’s not the same at all. First off all, Rubio is a much better player than AA was when we signed him. Second, we need a quality 1 guard to help the young guys on our team develop. Rubio will find cutters, find Mitch for lobs and so on. We need our youngins to make progress. That’s more important than tanking and hoping for a high pick given the new lottery odds.

      With Russell, the idea is that he’d be valuable enough to include in a trade package for some other marquee player down the line. You sign Ricky Rubio to a 1+1, you ain’t trading Ricky Rubio for shit.

      Would people be lining up to trade for 30m Russell if he ends up a 2.0 bpm player? I’m not expecting to trade Rubio, he’s a transition guy who helps the development of the youngsters and keeps our options open. We’d still have plenty of cap to take on a bad contract(s).

      Note: I wouldn’t offer any 1 year deals to any vets who would take time from our young players. I would never sign DAJ to a 1 year deal because I want Mitch and Kornet to get those minutes. The 1 guard just happens to be a key position at this time for us so that would be the exception.

    91. He lost faith because they were supposed to rebuild with young players using draft picks and cap space. But they executed so poorly, it morphed into an all out tank.

      Everytime this comes up you say the same thing and it’s complete bullshit. Perry was as clear as he could be without getting in trouble that we were deliberately tanking. They didn’t do it accidentally. KP was well aware of what was going on. Who knows why he actually “lost faith” but we should all be extremely glad he did. KP is a bad loser and Dallas will deeply regret maxing him.

    92. Based on what I’m seeing in his film, Iggy is gonna make a lot of GMs wish there was a redraft.

    93. I dunno, I guess I’m not all that jazzed about wasting cap space on a declining veteran because he can “find cutters” as if our young guys won’t develop without this cutter-finding ability. I’m just dubious about how much long-term value that really has. We traded a pretty good asset to clear cap space and that seems like a pretty wasteful way to use that space. I mean Ricky Rubio cannot throw the ball in the basket, I don’t really know how much the team is going to learn basketball by having a point guard that the opponent doesn’t have to bother guarding.

      If we dumped KP just to fill the space with mediocre veterans who are about to turn 30 then we kind of lost the trade.

    94. I don’t think Rubio is the right fit here. I’d rather grab a cheaper guy like Cory Joseph who can knock down an open three, play some D, stay out of RJ’s way, and allow DSJ to come along slowly.

      Unfortunately, I think Perry will go after Elfrid Peyton, since he drafted him, even though he’s a bad shooter/bad fit. We’ll see I guess.

    95. I think I’ve just given up on trying to correct Strat’s hilarious fan fiction but you’re doing god’s work, Grocer.

      It’s funny that we’re having a legitimate conversation, with good points being made on both sides, about giving Russell a 4/$117M deal after a 3.4 BPM season seeing as how we would’ve had to give Porzingis, who has never cracked 0.3 BPM, 5/$158M.

      Anyway, my concern with a Russell max is it would feel a bit like the beginning of the NBA’s proverbial death spiral in which a team is too good for game changing draft picks but not nearly good enough to contend.

      The 2020 free agent class is barely worth discussing, there’s nothing there for us. It wouldn’t be hard to keep open a max slot for 2021 (it most cost one or more of DSJ/Trier/Dotson/Kornet), but at that point the cap space essentially becomes use it or lose it since we have to pay Mitch the next offseason.

      Is Russell/Barrett/Mitch/2020 pick (let’s say 8th overall)/2021 Knicks + Mavs picks/Trier/whatever other guys we might be able to keep around for the current roster/one max player a contender?

      When I spell it all out, I guess it’s possible? I’d probably be a lot more comfortable with the Russell idea if Barrett was a true can’t miss guy like Zion. Like I said, I wouldn’t be upset with it but I wouldn’t do it myself.

    96. I see a lot of references on this blog to a player “outplaying his contract”. Can someone explain the concept to me? How exactly do you measure performance in $$? What’s the metric?

      I’m not being snarky, just want to understand the concept.

    97. I don’t particularly want to sign Russell but it’d be a perfectly fine move to make. One year rentals that add marginal wins for nebulous development purposes however, that’d be dumb as hell.

    98. @102 my take: a player playing well enough to suggest that he is worth more than he is currently being paid. Case in point: Mitch Robinson. Better example: Steph Curry before he was maxed. I don’t think there’s a formula for it, but who knows?.

      Although you could probably come up with an algorithm that calculates a player’s theoretical contract value by looking at what league average salary for a player is (norming for outliers, obviously Mitch shouldn’t count) for a given BPM, or PER, or WS48, etc.

    99. Absolutely not to short term (or long term) deals for Rubio/Collison/similar players. That’s like the one kind of move we should all agree would be stupid.

      Also, there’s no point in discussing Russell at any number other than his max. He has multiple suitors, including teams who are more excitement than contention oriented (e.g. Minnesota).

      I’ll say this for the Russell idea; it would give us a semi-watchable team for the first time in god knows how long. I could live with watching a Russell-Dotson-Barrett-Knox-Mitch starting lineup with Trier-DSJ-Kornet-Brazdeikis-Frank and whoever else sticks from summer league off the bench. To be clear the team would still be very bad, but at least it mostly would consist of guys who could be around for us long term.

    100. Yeah, don’t agree that signing Rubio is like Afflalo; the objective would be to have competent PG play to help the other 4 guys on the floor develop. Who cares if he can’t shoot: Frank, Mudiay, and DSJ can’t either, but Rubio would surely be better at getting Mitch, Knox, and RJ good looks?

      Having said that, I’d still just stay with all the kids under contract, inc. DSJ. I mean, if the Knicks have already determined that he’s not a long-term keeper, then signing a Russell or Rubio makes sense, though in two different ways.

      I’m very lukewarm about Russell. If they sign him so be it, but I do worry about the relatively sudden one year jump, in a contract year.

      Maybe it’s all moot. Kyrie signs with the Lakers. The Nets keep Russell, and the Knicks resign Mudiay!
      :-) Wait, what?

    101. Z-man, another note of optimism from you. I am impressed. I also think he could be good. I am looking forward to watching summer league.

    102. @102

      A very rough index is VORP, which is [BPM – (-2.0)] * (% of minutes played)*(team games/82). This basically communicates the number of points a specific player is producing over a hypothetical replacement player over the course of a season. You can then index that to the average replacement level salary.

      Say the average cost of a replacement level player is 4m (just pulling these numbers out of thin air.) That means a player with a VORP of 3 is likely worth (if BPM accurately captures his value) around 12m (i.e. 3 times the value of a replacement player). So a value contract in this scenario would be a contract number under 12m per year for that player.

      There are plenty of other more fine-grained and better ways to do it, but that gives you a very rough sketch of a player’s value relative to his contract and a template for how to do it for other advanced metrics without doing any fancy statistical work.

    103. Btw in regards to my earlier query, I get that a guy who makes $40 million per and sucks is underperforming his contract, or at the other extreme, Mitch.

    104. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time for optimism to reign:
      – Z-Man’s got his new blonde-haired, blue-eyed scrub crush
      – er made an appearance the other day to laud our new inefficient chucker RJ
      – Clash and Danvt are stoked about a real rebuild even though it might be a long slog to nowhere
      – Neptune is now couching his pessimism in poetry
      – Even perennial naysayers like JK47 are ready to back up the truck for small sample Russell
      – Hubert, Strat and I are binging on all of these Ntilikina training videos and remain resolute that’s there’s something there
      – Everybody Loves RaymondMitch and we’re all looking forward to the 2nd season of the show after it was almost cancelled

      On to Summer League!

    105. @107, I’ve had a pretty rough education here. I came in as an eye-test GM-trusting optimist. Got my ass kicked during the Curry-Marbury era and have continued learning ever since. Not really optimistic or pessimistic these days, just try to tell it like it is. Most of my pessimistic pissing contests have been directed at a handful of Frank-ophiles, one in particular. Honestly, on that one I felt like I was looking at one of those optical illusions that was so clear to me immediately but others couldn’t see (and some still don’t.) Turns out I nailed that one, but believe me, I would much rather have been wrong. By and large, I’m a just a diehard Knicks fan and just want anyone in the organization to do well…players, coaches, scouts, management, and by extension, ownership (even though Dolan is a dirtbag of the lowest order.) And alas, lots of guys I was initially optimistic about…Anthony Randolph, Shumpert, Felder, Baker, Kuz, Jaramaz, Phil, Fisher, D’Antoni, Donnie, etc. to name a few, didn’t turn out as I had hoped. I would like to say that learning more and more about analytics has helped me look for the right things in players, coaches and management, so I’m not as easily swayed by highlight reels and pundits. In any case, if there’s any time of year for unabashed optimism, it’s mid-June through summer league, right?

    106. So odd: RJ, Iggy, and Kris Wilkes were the top-three spot-up shooters in the NCAA this year. This is clearly something the front office cares about.

    107. Man, I really go back and forth on the D’angelo Russell question every few minutes. If he does improve, we’d have three potentially very good, young players in Russell, Barrett, and Mitch while also having surplus draft picks and cap flexibility. That’s not a bad place to be, especially with the league looking a little more open than it’s been in recent years. I guess if you believe in Barrett, it’s a risk worth taking.

      I don’t quite understand the Minnesota rumors because they’d have to dump Wiggins AND someone else to open up the necessary space. It’s a little hard to imagine he wants to go to Phoenix and get frozen out by Devin Booker all the time (and also, live in Phoenix instead of New York). Seems like we’d arguably be the favorite to sign him if we offered the max sheet.

    108. Z-man, I certainly understand. As a fan it’s hard not to be optimistic sometimes and this is definitely the season to be so. I’m like that too. This blog has taught me caution, but I still want everyone to succeed.

    109. So odd: RJ, Iggy, and Kris Wilkes were the top-three spot-up shooters in the NCAA this year. This is clearly something the front office cares about.

      RJ a top 3 spot-up shooter? Nah. Anybody remember Keith (Jamaal) Wilkes, a star at UCLA a long time ago (Z-Man, Neptune)? Is Kris Wilkes (also from UCLA) related to him? Kris’ Wikipedia page doesn’t mention him.

    110. Yes, you’re right! Nobody did exactly that! Nobody had those exact BPMs and then had that other exact BPM! Touché!

      When you don’t have a good answer to a question…. always answer with smarm!

      You made a simple statement that it is oh so common to find young pg’s that played like azz their first three seasons and blossomed … I merely asked you to provide examples. I don’t think it is very common. So… where is the list of pg’s that played like pure azz their first 5,000 minutes and then out of the blue became max contract candidates???

      http://www.reddit.com/r/reactiongifs/comments/43a26p/mrw_amazon_has_said_out_for_delivery_for_5_hours/

    111. RJ a top 3 spot-up shooter? Nah. Anybody remember Keith (Jamaal) Wilkes, a star at UCLA a long time ago (Z-Man, Neptune)? Is Kris Wilkes (also from UCLA) related to him? Kris’ Wikipedia page doesn’t mention him.

      Jamaal Wilkes was sort of a poor man’s James Worthy. He was known for his unorthodox “slingshot ” jump shot and freethrow style… you would never teach it but he got it down.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd5bWBZrTbQ

    112. Keith Wilkes became Jamaal “Silk” Wilkes in 1975, the year he won a chip with the Warriors and Rick Barry. Respectfully, bob, I didn’t think of him as a poor man’s anything. He was a HOF player in his own right. Silk was more of a very smooth finesse guy, while Worthy balanced finesse with power (a la Dr. J) and was definitely a better player than Wilkes. But Wilkes was very clutch and a very good defensive player, super high IQ. In Magic’s epic 42 pt game when he played center in game 6 vs. Dr. J’s Sixers as a rookie, Wilkes had 37 points and 10 rebounds.

      I don’t think he and our guy are related, but will look into it further. The spot-up shooting suggests a link!

      Here’s a highlight reel:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o37f1cgL0Zo

    113. Idk where to look up college spot-up shooting stats, but this was mentioned repeatedly as fact on the Locked on Knicks podcast. They specifically said that RJ and Iggy were tied for first in the category, while Wilkes was third. Frequency wasn’t mentioned, and this wasn’t solely 3-pt shots, mind you, but all spot-up shots.

    114. I’m not going to prognosticate on Barrett anymore until I see him play against Summer League talent. He, like most 19-year-old rookies, has a rude awakening ahead of him.

      The only person in SL ready for the NBA is Zion Williamson. On opening night he will be the most gifted athlete on the court, and you could be Shane Battier meets Rajon Rondo-level brilliant and be at the mercy of a cannonball-shaped human with a 40” vertical and absolutely no fear in his heart. (This shit is going to sting for years, my friends.)

      There’s nothing left to do but wait on the season. Best case scenario we rent cap space and have to watch some jettisoned veteran scrub threaten our tank with 0.020 WS48 play while cruising toward another Knoxian pick. I’m ready to be patient. There’s no other way.

    115. I’m very much in favor of the Russell for the mini-max. I might be crazy but why not pair him with Julius Randle on a mini-max. That would round out the starting 5 that are 24 and under and could grow together. I love that starting 5. And at $54.5M that still leaves $15 for some rotation veterans. I would even be happy if we resigned Kornet and Vonleh at that point. That would be a good, young team.

      Russell, RJ, Knox, Randle, Mitchell
      DSJ, Dotson,Iggy,Vonleh,Kornet
      Trier,Ntilikina

      Dotson’s the old man at 25.

    116. Not a fan of Randle. I don’t think his 3-pt shot is for real, and he’s not a heady player. Hard pass.

      I’m lukewarm on DAR, he worries me in the IQ dept. He’s probably decent value at a mini-max, but not sure how easy his contract can be moved if he regresses at all. But yeah, it’s better than Rubio et. al.

    117. See, I think even Zion is in for a rude awakening in the NBA (but not in summer league, although we’ll see with Mitch manning the rim.) Personally, I see more LJ than Barkley, and I don’t see LeBron at all. He’s not a great shooter and has a low release, and he’s not a ball-handling and passing savant like LeBron. He ain’t intimidating the Stifle Tower, or Drummond, or for that matter, Giannis or LeBron.

    118. Just don’t sign pointless veterans, it’s all I ask. You either get the top level veterans or none at all. Just the idea of this plan C signing Rubio or Darren Collison sickens me. Stop trying to become the Charlotte Hornets of the Atlantic division. Go for Kawhi plus Kyrie, if they won’t come then go for Russell, if he doesn’t come keep the assets and the cap space.

      I couldn’t care less if we win 18 games or 30 next season, the only reason we have some hope right now is because we sucked enough to get Barrett, flawed prospect as he might be. Imagine if we were at Charlotte’s position trying to talk ourselves into PJ Washington or the Wizards trying to get excited about adding Rui Hachimura.

    119. @123 – What makes you say that you don’t believe his 3pt shot is for real? I think it’s only going to get better. He quadrupled his attempts last season and upped his 3pt% from 22% to 34%. That is significant. He’s also a great fit next to Robinson. If you don’t like him, we still need a PF. Actually, we need 3 bigs.

    120. I’d rather take the best PF available on the waiver wire or in the G-League than overpay for Randle in a player’s market. Someone with space is gonna sign him to a long-term deal. I don’t believe in his 3-pt shot yet because he never shot more than 28% and even 34% is below league average.

      Scalabrine described him perfectly: “He’s not an elite decision-maker.” He also fouls a lot and turns the ball over a lot. He’s a mediocre defender.

    121. You made a simple statement that it is oh so common to find young pg’s that played like azz their first three seasons and blossomed … I merely asked you to provide examples.

      I guess the way I wrote this, it’s a little ambiguous, so it seems like I’m saying 22-year old PGs in particular make a big leap:

      D’Angelo Russell just completed his age 22 season, and took a big leap, a leap that is not uncommon with PG prospects.

      I’m just saying point guards, in general, are often really bad in their early 20’s, the position has a steep learning curve. Russell’s curve was longer than some, but he’s still really young as a 22-year old PG. It’s really not all that rare for players to not be able to hack it as point guards in the NBA through age 21 or so, but to still succeed in the long run.

      Looking around the league at various point guards, and the age at which they had their first roughly average or better season, using WS48 as a metric:

      Eric Bledsoe (23)
      Kyle Lowry (22)
      Kyrie Irving (19)
      John Wall (22)
      Steph Curry (22)
      Darren Collison (24)
      De’Aaron Fox (21)
      Kemba Walker (23)
      Damian Lillard (22)

      And yes, Russell was bad for longer than most of these players, but Russell also came into the league and played heavy minutes as a 19-year old. Most of these guys had one or two throwaway seasons and Russell had three, but most of these guys also weren’t in the NBA as 19-year olds.

      If you can have a good season at PG in the NBA at age 22, you’re in pretty good shape. That’s about when most good PGs emerge.

    122. People keep wanting us to resign Kornet. I don’t understand, he has one real NBA skill, 3pt shooting, and other than that is pretty bad. I also only want Vonleh back if he is on a great value contract. He really faded down the stretch.

      If we want to sign a backup center I would take a hard run at Noel. As for PF, I think you put Knox there and let him take his lumps. If he is going to be a plus player it will be as a stretch 4. He is too slow footed to ever be a plus defender at the 3.

      I think if we are not trying to compete hard this year then put Knox and Iggy at the 4 and just hope it works out. If we sign Randle, which I am somewhat okay with he is our four and Knox is the backup.

    123. @129

      Kornet is actually a pretty decent defender, which significantly ups his value. Not an athlete like Mitch, but gets in the right position and stands upward, which is often enough when you’re 7 feet tall. We should definitely re-sign the guy.

    124. I dunno, I guess I’m not all that jazzed about wasting cap space on a declining veteran because he can “find cutters” as if our young guys won’t develop without this cutter-finding ability. I’m just dubious about how much long-term value that really has. We traded a pretty good asset to clear cap space and that seems like a pretty wasteful way to use that space. I mean Ricky Rubio cannot throw the ball in the basket, I don’t really know how much the team is going to learn basketball by having a point guard that the opponent doesn’t have to bother guarding.

      Ricky Rubio is going to be 29 in a league where tall point guards peak around 30. He has the same assists per possession than D’Angelo Russell even though Mitchell is the one doing most of the ball handling in his team (while having less turnovers per possesion). He is a much more versatile defender, whereas DAR is not a good defender.

      I guess that if you think that shooting 53 TS% at 32 USG% is much more valuable than shooting 52%TS at 22%USG, then ok, D’Angelo Russell is a valuable player, but I just don’t see it.

      BTW, i am truly at odds with the high bpm DAR has for this season and I think it is partly a consquence of AST%, which is flawed and given a lot of weight in the model.

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