Knicks Morning News (2019.06.23)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Notes: Durant, Wilkes, Draft, Cavanaugh
    (Saturday, June 22, 2019 8:14:39 PM)

    The Knicks will do their homework on Kevin Durant before committing to a max offer, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The team will request access to Durant’s medical records and will evaluate his long-term chances for a full recovery from the ruptured Achilles he suffered in the NBA Finals. New York’s […]

  • [NYPost] The Mets are playing with dubious magic
    (Saturday, June 22, 2019 1:34:06 PM)

    It isn’t the best policy to fire folks on the fly once a season is under way. It is, in truth, an indictment that no matter how carefully planned a season might be, how meticulously blueprinted it was, something has gone wrong. That’s never a good thing. Logically, rationally, we know there is no such…

  • [NYPost] The Knicks may have already made their summer splash
    (Saturday, June 22, 2019 11:40:03 AM)

    The Knicks have a new rookie trio to add to their 2018-19 version. If this threesome has as much promise, the Knicks will be ecstatic. Thursday night and into Friday morning, the Knicks added the leading scorers from three blue-blood college programs — Duke, Michigan and UCLA. RJ Barrett, Ignas Brazdeikis and Kris Wilkes, meet…

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    Mike Kurylo

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

    131 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.06.23)”

    1. I also only want Vonleh back if he is on a great value contract. He really faded down the stretch.

      Vonleh had a weird year. Look at his 3FG% splits by month:
      October = 40%
      November = 41%
      December = 40%
      January = 28%
      February = 17%
      March = 33%
      Average for Season = 33.6%
      Career Average = 31.6%

      His overall performance tracked his 3FG%. He was dynamite the first 3 months, bad in Jan/Feb and decent in March. We’d have a starting caliber PF if he could shoot about 36% from 3. He’s an elite rebounder, excellent defender in space, solid screener, competent disher, and able to post-up in certain situations. He seemed to fare better as a PF than center maybe because his rim protection is meh. Those 3FG% splits scream for player development. That kind of wild inconsistency shouldn’t occur. He’d be a terrific signing at about 4-5m which might be possible if we tell him he’d be the starting PF but another team could offer him more. Perry erred here – should have got a team option. Vonleh had the profile last summer of a player who might have had to accept a team option since there was tepid interest in him at best.

      How does a starting lineup of Rubio/RJ/Knox/Vonleh/Mitch grab you? Rubio is primary playmaker and RJ secondary one. OK balance of offense and defense. DSJ/Trier/Dot/Braz/Kornet 2nd unit.

      Don’t know where to fit Frank. That may be part of the reason FO wants to trade him. I think he could be a quality rotation player in time so I wouldn’t want to trade him. Regarding Frank and DSJ, the FO must make a decision by end of October 2019 whether to pick up their 4th year options. We’d still have some rights but another team could outbid us. I’d play both heavy minutes in Summer League and in October to determine if any significant improvement occurred in their games.

    2. At a low cost, I don’t think Rubio is as bad of an idea as some here do. I have very little faith in DSJ because I just don’t see a smart player at a position that requires a high b-ball IQ first and foremost. That leaves us without a PG. Kyrie is not my cup of tea, after his petulance in two straight situations. I like Kemba but not at the price he will command. Russell is intriguing, but a) he is likely to go elsewhere and b) seems immature and not a leader, which this team needs right now. I guess I’d be fine with either guy.

    3. Frank’s role, if he has to have one, should be 3-and-D guy off the bench. Better yet, put him in the G-League until he dominates on a consistent basis. I advocated for him being in the G-League since he was a rookie and got lots of resistance from his KB entourage…oh, it will kill his confidence to be sent down, yadayadayada…

      Unless he shows something dramatic in summer league and/or French national team, the FO should just dump him for cash or a 60th pick or something.

    4. At the start of this season, Frank will be 2 full years younger, Knox will be 3 full years younger and Barrett will be 4 full years younger than Patrick Ewing was at the beginning of his rookie year.

    5. I agree that Frank should not be in the NBA yet. A couple of years in the NCAA would do wonders for him.

      One thing is for sure. Had he played in college at age 18, he never would have been drafted in the first round.

    6. I’ve always loved Rubio, but pretty torn on him for us right now.

      On the one hand I’m in the camp that says it’s hard to know what you’ve got/had with players like KP if you’ve never had a halfway competent setup man for them to play with. I’d like Mitch and RJ to develop alongside a proper pg who knows how and where to get them the ball.

      On the other, unless you see him as a long term piece then he’s the classic stopgap who adds some wins, loses some ping pong balls but then is gone before the team has really matured out.

      He’s going to cost $20m+ so is in the same broad call park as Russell. Russell is nowhere near as good a playmaker but I. Theory is still getting better and could be a long term piece. Alternatively the space Rubio costs is probably worth at least 1 1Rp in a salary dump.

    7. I don’t see Rubio getting paid that much. If yes, I’m a hard no on him. In the $10-15 mill range, I’m more amenable.

    8. I think a player the Knicks should take a long look at is Brogdon. If you offer a big contract between 22 and the max of 27.25 million right at the start of free agency I think Milwaukee balks and lets him go. They need to resign Middleton and Lopez I think there is a number that is too high for them to match.

      Add to that Russell and Randle which I think you could still afford and then Noel with the full room exemption you could have a really nice rotation. I originally didn’t like the idea of Randle but he has gotten a bit better on defense and Robinson can cover for a lot of his flaws and if his 3pt shooting is real he could be a bargain. Plus he is an excellent passer. I think Randle+Robinson could be a lot like Griffin+Jordan.

      If we made those signings we’d have a lineup of:
      PG: Russell
      SG: Brogdon
      SF: Barrett
      PF: Randle
      C: Robinson
      With DSJ, Frank, Trier, and Allen competing for minutes at the 1 and 2, Dotson, Knox, Iggy, and Frank competing for minutes at the 3 and 4 and Noel backing up Robinson.

      That starting lineup gives us 2 elite defenders one on the wing to guard the other teams best player and Mitch to clean everything up and elite passing from every position except Robinson. Plus we’d have really balanced scoring. Noel would be our best bench player and if any two of our other young players develop at all our bench starts to look pretty good.

      So the money would be:
      Russell – 27.25 million
      Brogdon – 22-27.25 million
      Randle – 15.5-20.5 million
      70 million total
      Noel – 4.75 million room exemption

    9. He’s going to cost $20m+ so is in the same broad call park as Russell. Russell is nowhere near as good a playmaker but I. Theory is still getting better and could be a long term piece. Alternatively the space Rubio costs is probably worth at least 1 1Rp in a salary dump.

      You’re presuming that we could or should take a slew of bad contracts into our cap. Other bad teams are gonna be doing that as well so there will be competition. After signing Rubio, we’d still have plenty of space to take 2 bad contracts if we wanted. My preference would be to sign Rubio, take a bad expiring contract, and keep some cap space open once the year starts. There are sometimes contenders at the trade deadline who are looking for a parking space and will pay a king’s ransom.

      Rubio on a 2-year deal could be a useful trade chip as an expiring contract to match salaries if an unhappy star is available. The other team might not want Russell’s 28m contract with 2 years left if he’s just an OK player or they may already be set at his position.

    10. On the other, unless you see him as a long term piece then he’s the classic stopgap who adds some wins, loses some ping pong balls but then is gone before the team has really matured out.

      The new lottery rules change that calculus, though. Marginal wins are no longer nearly as counter-productive as they were under the old system. If we’re going to be lottery-bound, I’d rather us be lottery-bound and trying our best to develop the kids we have versus trying to accumulate as many ping pong balls as possible. And as others have said, our guys will develop better with a point guard who knows how to get them the ball in the right place. We’ve seen occasional flashes that DSJ could be that guy, and others where he seems utterly clueless. Heck, one of the eye test arguments us Frankophilies make is that the ball seems to move much better when he’s on the court, but we still stink. So signing a stopgap PG is a different matter than signing a stopgap wing like Afflalo or Derrick Williams. It would be a short-term and a long-term move at the same time, even if Rubio or whomever isn’t meant to be the long-term point guard.

      I’m not saying we should do it, as maybe Smith is nearing the age where he could turn the corner like many young points do. But it also seems like a non-terrible backup plan when Kawhi says no and/or we have to wait a year for Durant to get healthy.

    11. @10 – def agree the lotto odds alter the calculus.

      @8 – 100% on Brogdon but I think it takes the whole $27m to get him… I might still do that.

    12. I like Brogdon, but it sounds like he’s getting the max and I think we could use the money in a smarter way.

      Vonleh is interesting, I just don’t remember him being that great of a defender in space who can close out on shooters. He’s definitely a fair gamble at the right price, but maybe a guy like Bobby Portis is better.

    13. unless you see him as a long term piece then he’s the classic stopgap who adds some wins, loses some ping pong balls but then is gone before the team has really matured out.

      This. Even with the more random odds you’re still upping your chances and putting a floor on how far you fall. For short term advantage? I don’t believe in this idea that having a better PG for a couple years will help the kids be better three or four years from now. It could make it easier on them, it could also be a crutch. Rubio would be a short term piece that limits our ability to develop a long term pg without doing much to help the rest of our development. And he’ll get paid. Too much space lying around not to.

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

      I like Rubio as a player because he’s a high IQ playmaker that defends the position well and will probably increase his assists on a team that runs a little more than Utah. Even though he’s not young enough to be a long term piece, he’s young enough to be around for a multi-year contract as long as the price is right and he could theoretically be traded later.

      The Knicks won’t want him though because they don’t care about that other stuff. He can’t score pointz or jump out of the gym. That disqualifies him.

      As much as I like him, Utah was a team that DID need another scorer. So they made the right move getting Conley. That’s an upgrade for them.

    15. Rubio is whack. Been saying that on this board for years.

      Once playoff time rolls around he gets exposed

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

      If you bring back Vonleh, you are getting a player that is already pretty good and a consistent 3 pointer away from being very solid. He showed signs of improving in that area last year, but it’s possible he wore down a bit. He played about 500 more minutes last year than he ever had previously and looked a little worn out or perhaps hurt at times during that really rough patch. Either way, he’s still young enough to improve his outside shot. He does a lot of things well, we need defenders, and he’s likable guy. The only issue is price.

    17. I was looking thru the FAs for lower cost guys I woudn’t mind having to fill out the roster and damn…..there’s not much there (RJ McConnell, Kyle OQuinn, Cory Joseph,Kevon Looney, Elfrid Payton, Satoransky, Ed Davis, Maxi Kleber). that’s really about it.

      we could reunite the morris brothers, though.

    18. At the start of this season, Frank will be 2 full years younger, Knox will be 3 full years younger and Barrett will be 4 full years younger than Patrick Ewing was at the beginning of his rookie year.

      And if they don’t show improvement by Christmas, they should all be cast away!!

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

      We should not be thinking about ping pong balls anymore. That shit is over.

      We should be hoping:

      1. Barrett comes out playing well and is a serious ROY caliber player in our minds despite all the hype Zion is sure to get.

      2. Knox comes back a lot stronger and uses that strength to get to the basket and rebound better, improves his decision making further, and is less of a liability on defense.

      3. Frank adds an adequate 3 pointer and is playing more like a mature 3rd year player instead of a rookie afraid to make mistakes.

      4. Dennis Smith Jr is healthy and starts settling down and making better PG decisions.

      5. Mitchell Robinson gets stronger, adds a few inside moves, and learns how to defend beyond just blocking shots.

      6. Dotson improves his ability to shoot off the dribble so his efficiency can improve despite the higher usage.

      7. Trier goes to Oz, meets the wizard, and he gives him the same thing he gave the scarecrow.

      8. If Hezonja is back, he improves his decision making and ability to finish the good shots he creates.

      9. If Vonleh is back, he improves his 3 point shot further.

      10. We add a couple of young productive players with at least some upside in free agency.

      11. WE WIN A LOT MORE GAMES AND FEEL POSITIVE ABOUT THE FUTURE FOR A CHANGE

    20. I don’t know why it’s not accepted here that age is more important than minutes played. It’s as much proven through statistics as anything else we believe in.

    21. I’d say I’m surprised that there are people here who want to add mediocre veterans on market value contracts to this 17-win team, and use our cap space that way. But I’m not surprised.

      Fuck it, just sign whatever dreck is available, win 30 games and pick 9th forever. It’s been 20 years on the treadmill, I can do another 20 standing on my head.

    22. Vonleh had a weird year. Look at his 3FG% splits by month:
      October = 40%
      November = 41%
      December = 40%
      January = 28%
      February = 17%
      March = 33%

      If you look at his 3pt shooting splits for his career, his “weird year” doesn’t look so weird anymore:

      October = 37%
      November = 35%
      December = 38%
      January = 26%
      February = 28%
      March = 27%

      If the value of a Vonleh contract lies in his shooting the 3pter consistently, ai’d let him walk.

    23. Vonleh is a nice piece as an end of the rotation guy making less than 3 million a year, he is a lot less good if you are paying him 6+ million and hoping he is going to be a major part of your rotation. He needs to get a lot more consistent before I’m happy pinning our hopes on him.

      I think Plan A should be taking a run at Kawhi and Brogdon. If Kawhi doesn’t sign here pivot to a PG to pair with Brogdon. But I think Brogdon should be plan A. He is a tremendous player who because of his experience is going to max out at 5.5 million less than Irving or Kemba making him more valuable in my opinion.

    24. I do agree that Rubio is one of the few names that I’ve seen that probably will get a non-crazy salary. Everyone else, not so much.

    25. Once playoff time rolls around he gets exposed

      lol playoffs…dispensaries open early on sunday in ur state right?

    26. Strat – sorry, but a starting 5 of DSj, Dot, RJ, Knox and Mitch with Trier, Vonleh and Kornet off the bench is absolutely going to be a lottery team – and a high one at that. I’m 100% with you on hoping they develop and win more games. I’m fine if we add long-term pieces who also contribute to wins. It’s adding one- or two-year vet contracts ‘because you have to spend the money on someone’, and those guys adding the 4-5 more wins that move you from picking 3rd to 8th that is the concern.

    27. If you look at his 3pt shooting splits for his career, his “weird year” doesn’t look so weird anymore:

      Vonleh’s total 3FGA last season is about equal to the total 3FGA for ALL of his previous seasons combined. It’s therefore not surprising that distributions might look similar. If you look at earlier individual years where he played > 1000 minutes, there’s not that much similarity.

      I like Strat’s explanation that the extra minutes (500 more last year versus previous high) might account for the drop off. His legs might have been rubbery. So we just got rid of a guy who lacked stamina and we may have another one who’s got the same problem? For 4m/yr, I’ll risk it.

    28. Signing a stopgap PG is a good idea if you think it would help RJ develop if he had less pressure on him next season. I have no idea if that’s true or not. If you’re going to go that route you should overpay someone (Rubio, Joseph, whoever) to get them to sign a one year deal.

    29. @28 – Brian, I think I read pacers as a option and that they’re also looking at Russell. I can see them offering 3/60. I’d be a bit surprised if Rubio ended up getting less than 18m this year.

    30. Also I’m surprised this has to be said but it doesn’t matter how well a guy performs in the playoffs if he’s going to be on the 2019-20 Knicks

    31. Cory Joseph would be another lower profile PG we could sign.

      If you’re going to go that route you should overpay someone (Rubio, Joseph, whoever) to get them to sign a one year deal.

      I used to like Cory but we should stay away from him. He’s not a good player and he’s not a playmaker which should be the priority. Rubio is the best fit and I suspect he’s gonna want a nice 1-and-1 deal (player option) if FO tells him we’re not signing him for 3+ years.

    32. Because of the parity in the west this year, teams are going to be desperate to win now before GSW regroups. capped out teams will pay a king’s ransom to unload bad contracts I say wait until 2022 before bringing on any free agents not named Kawhi or Giannis or making any trades that aren’t clear wins. By then we’ll know what we have in today’s young guys and should have a decent young core. Mills keeps using the word “opportunistic.” Stick with that word, please!

    33. I agree with that strategy, but that was one of the strategies that Begley wrote that they specifically ruled out, no?

    34. he’s my case against maxing d’angelo.

      1. you have to be even more careful with BPM when something about the player is a little unusual relative to the regression period. there haven’t been many pgs in nba history to score at D’Lo’s rate while shooting 27 bps under the league TS, just a few.

      2. to that end, the nets were not better offensively with D’lo on the floor last year. adjusting for teammates, opponents and ridge regressing (ORAPM), he was slightly negative. 1 yr is a tiny sample, but it is very rare for a 3.9 OBPM player to show a -RAPM even in 1 yr. In the last 3 years there have been 41 seasons of a guard producing 3+ OPBM. Russell in 18-19 is literally the one season of a negative RAPM, most aren’t close. Guys like Kemba, Lou Williams and even Dragic don’t come close to -RAPM when their OBPM is over 3. this is excluding the playoff series.

      3. His shot distribution is scary. D’lo has shot 15.5% of FGA at the rim in his career and last year it was 13.5%. This is off the charts low. His career FTR is .178 and last year it was .135. This is also very low for a high volume scorer. These trends have not been on the upswing. almost any high volume guard who can shoot can voluntarily up their 3p rt if it’s under 35%, but getting to the rim and the line more isn’t as easy (but not unheard of).

      4. he took 17.8% of his shots from 10-16 last year and hit 50.4%. if you took him down to steph or kyrie’s career #s his TS drops to 40 pts below league average. none of his other shooting #s looked superficially unlucky to act as a counterbalance.

      5. He’s not a smart player and he looks like a minus defender to me, albeit not a terrible defender like devin booker or trae young.

      6. I still think he’s a good offensive pg and a good player overall, especially for a 22 year old. even so, I think his chances of being worth ~7-8+ wins a year ($27m) are real, but far lower than his chances of being worth sub 7. bad risk.

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

      Strat – sorry, but a starting 5 of DSj, Dot, RJ, Knox and Mitch with Trier, Vonleh and Kornet off the bench is absolutely going to be a lottery team – and a high one at that. I’m 100% with you on hoping they develop and win more games. I’m fine if we add long-term pieces who also contribute to wins. It’s adding one- or two-year vet contracts ‘because you have to spend the money on someone’, and those guys adding the 4-5 more wins that move you from picking 3rd to 8th that is the concern.

      I think they are still a lottery team also, (as is) but I don’t think we should be thinking in terms of tanking again. I think we should be signing players that will make the team BETTER as long as they are young enough to be part of the future and the price is attractive enough that they could used as part of a deal later to roll up into better players.

      All tanking did for us in this cycle was help drive our best two-way player out the door, allow us to make mistakes in the draft, allow us lose out to the ping pong balls, and make star free agents consider freaking Barclay’s Center over Madison Square Garden.

      It will work eventually, but it’s not the optimal strategy. The optimal strategy is using a combination of draft, trade, and free agency effectively depending on where the team is and where the value and opportunities exist.

      We tanked last year because we accidentally (and incompetently) put ourselves in a position where it made sense to tank and because KP was out. We just drafted a good player as a result. Now let’s add a few other good young players in free agency and get better.

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

      @39 I’d be on board for maxing Russell if he was a plus defender. I’d be willing to wait on further development and knowledge on the offensive end because he’s clearly making progress there and is still very young. But that’s a big price to pay for a developing one way player that’s a negative on defense, especially on a team that constantly sacrifices defense for scoring. He’s a thumb’s down for me.

    37. I’m still hoping the Knicks just keep most of the cap space and play the kids. Work to rent cap space for additional picks, in particular a good 2020 first rounder. Ideally, have two lottery picks next draft as well as in 2021, which they already have.

      Rubio? If the Knicks have already determined that DSJ is not a keeper (maybe he’s not a hard worker, clearly selfish, etc.), then signing Rubio would be okay for up to 2 years at a reasonable salary. Again, not to win games, and who cares about his playoff performances, but just to help all the young guys develop. That’s all. I’d much rather they take a flyer on him (assuming he doesn’t get a better deal elswhere) than bring back Mudiay, for example, which certainly might happen.

      See if guys like Vonleh and/or Kornet can be signed to cheap multi-year deals as back ups, or at least 1+a team option.

      I agree with Z-man. Target 2022 as the year to try to make a big splash. Meantime, get more picks and hopefully hit on a couple of them. Put all young players in the best possible position to succeed, and understand that most of them will probably fail (Frank and DSJ really need to show something this year, but I’m not optimistic, Knox is just in year two, so gets a longer leash).

    38. ptmilo, I agree with every single one of your points.

      But even with all those flaws, he is an asset. And if that’s the best asset we can acquire, I’d acquire him rather than rolling the space over or renting it (we have so much space, we can’t rent it all). When the next disgruntled franchise player becomes available, I think we’ll be happy to have Russell, warts and all.

      I think of it like when the Yankees acquired Chapman and Miller with the expectation of trading them later. They had flaws, and it was the wrong point in the win curve to invest in relievers, but it they acquired valuable assets. We need those.

      Russell is still going to score and be young, so he’ll have value even if he is flawed.

    39. Perry might offer Elfrid Payton a 10m/yr deal. He’s an UFA and Perry already tried to trade for him. But for Phoenix having a better 2nd round pick to offer Orlando than we had and he would have already been wearing the Orange & Blue. Perry and Payton have a relationship from their time in Orlando and I could already hear Perry’s speech introducing new Knick Payton at the press conference. Elfrid’s a fine player and the type of young man we have been seeking to help build our culture blah blah blah The specter of Elfrid and DSJ would be very depressing but after the Mudiay trade anything’s possible.

    40. I feel exactly the same way about D’Angelo Russell that Hubert does. Is he a perfect player? No. Does he have flaws? Yes. Is he likely to be a key player on a championship team for the Knicks? Probably not.

      But there are only so many ways to use the cap space we have, and the best way to use that space is to spend it on things that will have future value. I don’t believe Russell will collapse to the point where he is untradeable or a toxic asset on a $27M AAV contract in a year or two. He will have scored many pointzz by then, and he’ll still be “All-Star Point Guard D’Angelo Russell.” In a year or two if some gruntled superstar becomes disgruntled, Russell could be a key piece to put into a trade.

      I just don’t see the exorbitant opportunity cost of signing him. I don’t see what opportunities are being lost by signing a productive 22-year old point guard to a minimax contract. The alternatives I’m seeing being floated around here, which mainly consist of giving market value deals to mediocre players entering their decline phases, do not seem like a path to anything other than continued mediocrity.

    41. I know we have wings galore, but I’d probably be down for taking Hayward off the Celt’s hands if they throw in any kind of asset…a couple of 2nds or one of their lousier firsts. Assuming he opts in, he’d come off the books in 2022, so might be a good placeholder.

      Another Celt I’d consider is Rozier. He’s more suited to be a backup but on the right deal he’s be a nice rotation piece who could start until the right answer comes along. He regressed a bit this year but how much of that was due to pouting (somewhat justifiably) over Kyrie’s antics? I wonder what it would take to get him to sign without overpaying and force the Celts to match…

    42. I think we should be signing players that will make the team BETTER as long as they are young enough to be part of the future and the price is attractive enough that they could used as part of a deal later to roll up into better players.

      Nobody is against this. The problem is it’s very, very rare that players who fit this description change teams in free agency. Russell could be one of them, but since you don’t want to max him (understandable), who are the players you have in mind?

      If you can’t think of any other players who are good, young, and reasonably priced relative to their production, then what is the case for “getting better” while losing flexibility and ping pong balls? What does it do to make it more likely the New York Knicks win a championship?

      If you admit that having a better record just for the sake of doing so doesn’t actually do anything for the team and is just a personal preference, fine. But that doesn’t appear to be what you’re arguing, so what is the point?

    43. i hear you guys but remember the gulf
      between theoretically alienable to a greater fool and actually dealt is wide in the nba. d lo isn’t like butler or pg or middlteon, teams with a curry or lillard or young or fox or morant or booker or kemba or murray probably won’t work. so you’ll be reliant on the opinions of a handful of people. what’s worse, you don’t get to pull the trigger if you decide he definitely isn’t worth the deal but at least retains greater fool value. you need your gm to believe that too, and also for them to find a deal and pull the trigger. and sometimes the player can muck shit up just by whining. it’s a pretty thin reed of protection, though it’s a hell of a lot better than signing a 30 year old mediocre player to a 4 yr deal. the opportunity cost seems simple. rent the damn runway. picks are available.

      don’t sign guys to long term contracts unless you solidly believe they are good bets to outproduce the cost. i know some of you believe that for d’ lo; maybe you’re right. probably it won’t matter bc somewhere more attractive than us will offer him the max.

    44. That’s a very valid counterpoint. It’s a real risk. But it’s one I’m comfortable with if none of the max K players want to come here. Eventually you have to bet on something, and a 22 year old all star with worrying flaws is an ok risk for me.

    45. the opportunity cost seems simple. rent the damn runway. picks are available.

      I’m not so sure you can rent out $70M of cap space. If it’s do-able, count me in, I’m all about renting the cap space. Like many here, I just don’t want to squander the cap space on something that doesn’t move the needle and is not likely to have trade value down the line. I have been sold the “market value contract for Arron Afflalo type player” bag of magic beans before.

    46. Every transaction is a risk. If you never want to take risks, and just populate your roster with mediocre players and float around the 10th seed for eternity, taking zero risks is a good way to do that. There are plenty of teams that do that kind of thing. Signing Ricky Rubio is pretty low-risk, you know what you’re getting with a player like that. But you’re not going to get MORE than the value of his contract.

      10th seed limbo, 32 wins, that’s the worst place you can be, and that seems to be where we are an awful lot of the time.

    47. Man, this discussion really rams home how necessary having a top-10 player in order to even win one playoff series. We should definitely get one whenever we can I guess.

      I’m ok with a Russell contract solely because he’s young and can be moved later. Same applies for Vonleh. Hopefully we fill our cap with 2-year contracts like that since they said they aren’t renting space for picks.

      The thing is, if we get 1 or 2 stars and Mitch and RJ become who we hope they will, we should be able to trade our young guys like DSJ or Knox for plug-n-play vets that can help us in the playoffs.

      Does anybody remember playoffs?

    48. So far this offseason Crabbe and Snell have been traded off for a total of three First round picks and their total salary next year is c $30m. So at the very least we could have picked 17th and 30th in this year’s draft and had a further pick from the nets to show for less than half our space.

      I’m pretty sure more of those deals are out there. Even if not, they still show we could have at least rented out a decent slug of space for assets if we wanted to.

      I’m fine with us not doing that if we still think Kawhi is in play or other top tier FAs are. But if we skipped those then pivot to the Afflalo strategy, that’s just negligent in my book.

    49. It’s all well and good to debate Russell, but are the Knicks even interested in him? We’re hearing that they won’t sign any B level guys, and he’s that. They probably have zero interest in Rubio, too.

      Are they all in on either Kawhi and/or KD? Kyrie? If not KI, then Mudiay returns?

    50. As I’ve said before, when we signed Afflalo and D-Will, Phil was in win-now mode (see: Melo deal) and looking to make deals around the margins to help the team win. He (erroneously) saw those guys as useful, low-risk pieces. The difference is that the team is not in win-now nor pretending to be UNLESS they sign a top-tier FA or two. As such, those deals made more sense then than they do now, and they only made sense then in the context of a win-now strategy which was a dumb strategy then because the team was deeply flawed and wasn’t gonna win anything.

      As to now, I agree with ptmilo in that we should only sign players (beyond the Kawhi’s of the world) if they are likely to be fungible on the contract we are signing them to, D Lo at the mini max is a 60-40 possibility in my book, far from a slam dunk but an okay gamble, Rubio is more like Courtney Lee, who was not an asset at any point after he was signed. Same with TH2. All else being equal, , go young…D Lo or Brogdan. But if you’re going to go with an older guy, at least get something else in the deal.

    51. I would assume they will go after Kyrie first, and if the Nets get him, then the Knicks might go after Russell.

    52. I think of it like when the Yankees acquired Chapman and Miller with the expectation of trading them later.

      This the most insane bit of revisionist history i have ever read here and that is going some. The Yankees didn’t sign Miller (a year earlier than Chapman) and Chapman with the EXPECTATION of trading them later… they had never ever done that before. The were an 87 win team finishing second in 2015 and they signed Chapman to put them over the top.

      Went they realized A-Rod , Mc Cann and Tex were veritable or soon to be toast, they wisely PIVOTED and made excellent moves by dumping them for top end future assets.

    53. I’m ok with a Russell contract solely because he’s young and can be moved later.

      Not to beat a dead horse but what makes you guys so certain you can easily Move Russell’s contract. His max isn’t 27M AAV…. it starts at 27.2 M and escalates to 29M, 30.5M and finishes at 32M. That’s a lot of change for a player with a < .100 ws/48. For 40 years I made my living by buying assets "on the come" in the horse racing business but this is really pushing that concept…..

    54. Signing Ricky Rubio is pretty low-risk, you know what you’re getting with a player like that. But you’re not going to get MORE than the value of his contract.

      Rubio is more like Courtney Lee, who was not an asset at any point after he was signed.

      The purpose of signing Rubio to a 1-2 year deal is not to get excess value out of his contract. And it’s not to acquire some valuable asset. It’s looking at Brogdon and Russell and saying those guys are not worth 27m/yr and trying to find a strategy which maintains some flexibility for the future and helps develop our kids in the short-term. Do you really think having guys play ISO ball is gonna help develop the young players? Do you really want 19yo RJ to have to shoulder the shot creation/playmaking for this team in his first year?

      I find it hard to believe the team could rent out 70m of cap space – other teams are renting out their space as well. We’d still be able to rent out space if Rubio were here. I doubt his being here would cause us to miss out on a 1st round pick because of his money.

      As for lottery position, I expect we’d still be a lottery team. Sure our odds might be worse, but this isn’t such a big deal in the new lottery system. If it were the old system, then I’d be all in on tanking and wouldn’t want to sign Rubio.

      The Russell maxers position appears to be that we’ve got to act now. But why? Opportunities open up all the time. The Nets just signed Dinwiddie and poof Kyrie is ready to go to Brooklyn. Do you think they anticipated that? Chill out maxers. There will be other and better opportunities in the future than a maxed Russell.

    55. The Russell maxers position appears to be that we’ve got to act now. But why? Opportunities open up all the time. The Nets just signed Dinwiddie and poof Kyrie is ready to go to Brooklyn. Do you think they anticipated that? Chill out maxers. There will be other and better opportunities in the future than a maxed Russell.

      I find this to be a representation of the Russell max position that is either disingenuous or doesn’t understand the point. This more fairly represents the position of those who want to overpay for Randle or Rubio.

      The “Russell maxers” just think it’s a worthwhile asset to attain for the price. People want to rent cap space, right? So why not spend it on a guy with value? If you sign Russell this summer, at the worst, barring catastrophic injury, you can trade him for a decent pick next summer. Probably more than one, And you hold the upside in case he actually continues to improve. What’s terrible about that?

      It’s guys with limited resell value like Rubio and Randle who cost you opportunity.

    56. @59, and while no one wants to join a DUMB team no matter where it is, the appearance of the Knicks on so many short lists in spite of a 17-win season bodes well for when that opportunity comes along. Kionda proves that the NY cache is at least somewhat real.

    57. The purpose of signing Rubio to a 1-2 year deal is not to get excess value out of his contract. And it’s not to acquire some valuable asset. It’s looking at Brogdon and Russell and saying those guys are not worth 27m/yr and trying to find a strategy which maintains some flexibility for the future and helps develop our kids in the short-term. Do you really think having guys play ISO ball is gonna help develop the young players?

      The problem with this “logic” is that it assumes it is the function of player to decide the style of play. It is the function of the COACH to decide the style of play and not DSJr! It seems Fizdale ENCOURAGES this style of play…. that is where your problem is.

      If DSJr won’t obey instructions…,. Play Kadeem Allen…. shit, they should probably play him anyway.

    58. Well, again, I don’t really see how it makes sense to sign veterans to market value contracts so they can teach our young guys how to play basketball. I think you’re way overstating the player development benefit of having a guy like Ricky Rubio on the roster. It just seems like making the same mistake we make over and over again, and it’s a really lackluster and uncreative way to use all the cap space we just created.

    59. The purpose of signing Rubio to a 1-2 year deal is not to get excess value out of his contract. And it’s not to acquire some valuable asset. It’s looking at Brogdon and Russell and saying those guys are not worth 27m/yr and trying to find a strategy which maintains some flexibility for the future and helps develop our kids in the short-term. Do you really think having guys play ISO ball is gonna help develop the young players? Do you really want 19yo RJ to have to shoulder the shot creation/playmaking for this team in his first year?

      Fine, if the choice is Russell on a max or Rubio on a one year deal, I’ll take Rubio. What makes you think he’s going to take a one year deal, though? You can’t assume the max for one guy and imagine a discount for the other and say “why wouldn’t you want my guy on a deal that he’ll never sign?”

    60. We tanked last year because we accidentally (and incompetently) put ourselves in a position where it made sense to tank and because KP was out.

      This is wildly inaccurate. Why do you believe this? There’s zero evidence we did anything other than tank intentionally.

      I would assume they will go after Kyrie first, and if the Nets get him, then the Knicks might go after Russell.

      Yeah, I think this is it. Plus they haven’t given up on Kawhi. For better or worse (i think better but YMMV) Perry is very risk averse and we won’t see any deal for Durant.
      I figure Brogdon is exactly the kind of player they’re saying they won’t sign, same with Rubio. I expect that if we don’t get the a-list they’ll try to hit the salary floor with guys who havn’t made it yet, like last year. Hopefully some 1+2 team options kind of thing. I’m perfect happy with this. Unlike some, I think it’s clear there is more hope for the future than we’ve had in a long time, even if I remain deeply sceptical of RJB.

    61. By the way, I’m not for signing Rubio, either, I just think he’s one of the few names mentioned who is at least a good player and won’t be getting a big free agent deal. Everyone else is probably a minimum $17 million player (Randle), a $20-25 million player (Brogdon) and, well, max guys.

      Satoransky probably won’t end up signing for a lot, but only because he’s a RFA and I doubt anyone tries to lure him from Washington. However, if a team did lure him away, it’d only be by offering him a ton of money, as well.

    62. I find this to be a representation of the Russell max position that is either disingenuous or doesn’t understand the point. This more fairly represents the position of those who want to overpay for Randle or Rubio.The “Russell maxers” just think it’s a worthwhile asset to attain for the price.

      Rubio’s a 1-2 year deal where you know what you’re getting and why. Russell’s a potential 4-year nightmare. The maxers appear to recognize there is great risk to Russell signing since none of you appear really gung ho. It’s more the equivalent of a shoulder shrug and aah, he’s young, maybe the bump is real, nothing better out there

      Fine, if the choice is Russell on a max or Rubio on a one year deal, I’ll take Rubio. What makes you think he’s going to take a one year deal, though?

      I don’t think he’ll take a 1-year deal. I’ve written that. I think a nice 1-and-1 deal might be possible.

      If you sign Russell this summer, at the worst, barring catastrophic injury, you can trade him for a decent pick next summer.

      This is an unwarranted assumption which maxers are putting out there like it’s a no-brainer. Do you really think teams are gonna be lining up to take a 28m/yr guy who might be just a bit above average player? His stats are deceiving and may not be sustainable. At his FTr, he’s gonna have to be a really good shooter and passer. I think the latter will happen; the shooting part is very iffy.

      Well, again, I don’t really see how it makes sense to sign veterans to market value contracts so they can teach our young guys how to play basketball.

      I’m not interested in Rubio teaching them anything. I want them to function in a coherent offense where they play to their strengths and take on what they’re ready for. That’s not possible on this team as constructed without a decent 1 guard.

    63. Well the other option is to offer a guy like Isaiah Thomas a one year, 20 mil contract and then just start over again next year. This is, of course, if we strike out on the top 4 free agents like Kawhi. Then you’re mostly just playing the kids, and you have a big trade piece in case another star demands a trade.

    64. @37

      Warriors looked vulnerable even before the Klay and Durant injuries. Not terribly, but still vulnerable. I don’t think there’s any “regrouping” unless they find some young stud players, which they’ve been unable to do for years now. Looney, Jones and Bell have shown some good play, but they’re all role players. Steph, Klay, Dray and (maybe) Durant aren’t getting any younger. They’ll never again be as strong as they were 2014 through 17 unless they find their own Mitch or Siakam and backfill the bench during the Curry decline phase.

      I think teams will smell blood this year, but they shouldn’t be counting on the 2020-21 Warriors to be the top threat in the West by then.

    65. lol playoffs…dispensaries open early on sunday in ur state right?

      You think I was talking about Knicks in playoffs? No I was just saying in general Rubio gets exposed in a series where teams game plan and have 100% focus and intensity. His lack of shooting and scoring is a huge buzzkill.

      Even if Conley is getting up there in age hes a decent upgrade for the JAZZ

    66. Yeah, because having Rubio around for 3 seasons helped Andrew Wiggins develop a lot!

      Again it’s a discussion of people that think winning 30 games instead of 18 somehow helps develop young talent, and people who think that’s bullshit. I’m still firmly in the group that thinks it’s completely meaningless. Very talented basketball players will develop playing minutes against top competition whether they win 20 or 40 games. If we were talking about making the playoffs I could maybe sorta concede a bit, but just signing Rubio and similar guys won’t put us in the playoffs anyway, so what’s the point?

      Do the young players in Charlotte, Minnesota, Detroit, Miami, or Washington have developed better because of winning some more games every season? Did our garbage young players get better while we were winning 30 games compared to the development they’ve shown in this past season? So Durant, Embiid and Giannis being on absolute trash teams for a couple of years hindered their development in any way?

      If Barrett, Knox, Mitch etc are going to be good players, they’re going to be good players regardless or winning 17 or 27 games this season. So don’t sign marginal players and bad veterans, get them from other teams for assets if the opportunities come up and that’s it.

    67. Signing market value veterans, is by nature, a “win now” strategy. It can make sense if you’re trying to go from 50 to 55 wins and you have a black hole at a specific position.

      If you’re adding market value veterans to your 17-win team, you’re just flailing around in the dark. I mean, we JUST DID THIS not that long ago. Remember Courtney Lee? And Mr. Pinch Post? Derrick Williams, anybody? The patron saint of useless free agents, Arron Afflalo?

      What was the end result of all that? Kicking the can down the road, several wasted seasons, and crummy lottery position. Let’s try again doe! This time it will goink great.

    68. This the most insane bit of revisionist history i have ever read here and that is going some. The Yankees didn’t sign Miller (a year earlier than Chapman) and Chapman with the EXPECTATION of trading them later… they had never ever done that before. The were an 87 win team finishing second in 2015 and they signed Chapman to put them over the top.

      Went they realized A-Rod , Mc Cann and Tex were veritable or soon to be toast, they wisely PIVOTED and made excellent moves by dumping them for top end future assets.

      Fine, you get a +1 on the Internet scoreboard for a semantic correction.

      Regardless of their motivation, the point remains:

      The Yankees converted one asset (available money) into an asset that resulted in more than the money could have bought. They were unable to acquire Justus Sheffield, Clint Frazier, and Gleyber Torres with cash. But they used the cash to acquire a conduit to acquire them. That’s what the Knicks could do with Russell.

    69. Kicking the can down the road, several wasted seasons, and crummy lottery position. Let’s try again doe! This time it will goink great.

      I think people legit believe this is a good strategy that somehow works out for other teams. Incremental progress benefits the team even when those players go away/decline. I guess you have to believe that a team is a sort of complex entity that exists independent of the people that make it up. A sort of serious misunderstanding of what institutional memory is, kind of like how Perry is on the hook for past Knicks fuckups.
      I don’t understand it but there you go.

    70. Aaron Affalo and Derrick Williams weren’t the reason we didn’t lose enough games those years.

      The year we drafted KP, Melo was still somewhat decent. And KP was pretty dang good for a rookie and we had Robin Lopez. The team would have won about that many games with or without Affalo and D Williams. Plus, I wouldn’t even put Derrick Williams in the veterans category. To me, he was more in the young, former lottery pick reclamation project category kinda like Vonleh and Mario. It didn’t work out but I think Derrick Williams was an OK flyer to take on for a year.

      Also, that team has one promising rookie. KP. It also did not have a draft pick that year. So the “rebuild” would have been kicked down the road anyways.

      Right now we have RJ and Mitch, who can both be solid hopefully plus a handful of young players who hopefully can turn out good too. Plus 6 first round picks over the next 4 years. The foundation of youth is there all ready and will continue to grow with our extra picks the next few years.

      Signing some GOOD quality free veterans who can help the team grow could be a good move for the team right now especially if they are on good contracts. Courtney Lee was a decent signing but paid about 2 million too much and probably one year too much.

      Also, the odds are flattened now. Winning few more games now doesn’t hurt as much. Plus we have the extra picks and if Dallas misses the playoffs, we could maybe get a high pick from that.

      So I think we should build the team now.

    71. If you’re paying a premium for “veteran leadership” or whatever, you’re losing. That’s what coaches and Lance Thomas on a minimum deal are there to do. If you’re using actual cap space, you should be getting an asset. It can be a player or a pick, but regardless it should be advancing your team’s position in a tangible way. The more you deviate from that simple principle, the less likely it is you’re going to put together a good team.

      Signing some GOOD quality free veterans who can help the team grow could be a good move for the team right now especially if they are on good contracts. Courtney Lee was a decent signing but paid about 2 million too much and probably one year too much.

      It’s becoming a pretty big pet peeve of mine to see people suggest we should simply sign nebulous “good players.” You are aware that the list of free agents is public information, yes? Who should we sign, and to what contract?

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but outside of the universally agreed upon elite tier I see exactly one player who you could make a case for; D’angelo Russell. Reasonable people can disagree on whether or not maxing him would be a good idea, but he’s young and at least somewhat productive.

      Everyone else seems to fall into the Arron Afflalo category, but I guess some people want to run back those glory years.

    72. But there are only so many ways to use the cap space we have, and the best way to use that space is to spend it on things that will have future value. I don’t believe Russell will collapse to the point where he is untradeable or a toxic asset on a $27M AAV contract in a year or two.

      But I believe otherwise. I have a hard time getting anything of value out of that contract. Although not a mega max, it is still a max contract, which is hard to move. And I really dont see anything special about Russell that will make other teams try to get him.

      If you dont like Rubio, for whom I expect 6 years playing at a similar level he has shown, is OK, but you dont have to burn 70 million this season. I’d rather not use the space than signing the Russell’s and Harris of the world. We can fill the team with undrafted kids and tank for another year. It is not like we need Russell to develop our team. Right now, we have a big amount of playmakers (including RJ Barrett), and we don’t have a need for more to implement whatever Fizdale’s system is purported to be, specially we don’t need shoot-first PG with mediocre efficiency like DAR.

    73. Again it’s a discussion of people that think winning 30 games instead of 18 somehow helps develop young talent, and people who think that’s bullshit.

      It’s not about winning more games though that might be a byproduct. If it were so then we could bring in Harrison Barnes and give him some of Knox’s minutes. Would that help Knox? Would Knox learn from him watching him play? No. Would Patrick Beverley, a 3&D 1 guard increase wins? Probably. Would he help the development of our young guys? No.

      This team needs playmakers. It’s conventional wisdom that overloading a young player and asking him to do things he’s not ready for hurts his development. At a minimum, it will slow his progression and FO has to make decisions on these guys. There’s no time to lose. And the worst case is that it does irreparable damage. A player ends up developing bad habits to cope which may be difficult to undo. We don’t want that happening to RJ.

      Let’s take Mitch next. How many times have our guards missed easy lobs? Mitch needs to work the angles and positioning to receive a lob. But how will he know whether he’s successful if you have a guard that’s unable to get him the ball if he takes the proper actions? He’s dependent on others in that respect to validate what he is doing.

      And laugh all you want about finding cutters but most of the good teams value those easy baskets. It’s tough to get young guys to cut if your guards have zero chance of getting them the ball.

      I could go on but teams have always been better when Rubio’s been on the court. We need his playmaking and not for meaningless wins. Rubio/DSJ/RJ/Trier seems like a decent enough # of playmakers for the team. And gotta be better for the fans than watching a reprise of last year’s sh!tty offense.

    74. It’s conventional wisdom that overloading a young player and asking him to do things he’s not ready for hurts his development.

      Can you at least provide concrete examples where this happened? And can you isolate this enough so that we can assume that carrying too big of a load, and not every other possible aspect that leads to a prospect failing, is the reason they have failed?

      I really doubt you can. I’m with tnfh all the way in this one. Who even are the good, properly paid veterans you guys want to sign? Ok so Rubio is one, who else? Give me a strategy based on players we actually have a shot at signing to good contracts, then show me what’s the plan to go from being a 30 win team to a playoff contender, then we can discuss this strategy. Signing Ricky Rubio and Darren Collison is not that for me.

    75. You’re too eager. I replied to @39 in @43

      Not really. You said that you completely agreed with everything ptmilo said but that in spite of that, he’s still an asset. That is a non sequitur. pt was laying out a case for why he very well might be a liability on a max contract. You are starting from the assumption that he is an asset even if he regresses as statistics suggest he very well might. Russell was terrible for each of his first 3 years, and put up a WS48 of .097 last year on a TS% of .533. Maxing him is just as risky, maybe even more risky, than maxing KP.

      Put another way: why are the Nets (who look pretty smart these days, no?) drooling over Kyrie, you know, the asshole who is getting run out of Boston by Celts fans and press? Couldn’t they save a shitload of cap space by maxing the surely max-worthy Russell?

      The fact that the Nets seem to not value Russell all that highly should give us (and other teams) pause.

    76. when you are so bereft of talent like we are and unsure of who belongs on the next competitive team… the only thing you should be concerned about is finding talent…. all this bullshit about finding cutters and putting the young guys in a position to do well…. those are details you care about when you determine that these guys actually belong….

      it’s akin to rearranging the chairs on the titanic….. i’m sure devoting small sums of money to joakim noah and luol deng and tyson chandler and george hill benefited all the teams they were on in a major way… but it’s no coincidence that within a few months of them signing that those same teams were pretty eager to get rid of despite the tremendous amount of team synergy they were bringing….

      i’m sure there’s some benefit to it… but that’s more appropriate for a team that’s much further along on the win curve…. when you’re in the talent accumulation phase… you should only be concerned about accumulating talent… when you’re trying to mix and match pet theories you’re literally lighting money on fire and it’s the #1 reason why gm’s fail because they can’t get this basic thing right… whether it’s through hubris or the pressure to keep their job….

    77. Put another way: why are the Nets (who look pretty smart these days, no?) drooling over Kyrie, you know, the asshole who is getting run out of Boston by Celts fans and press? Couldn’t they save a shitload of cap space by maxing the surely max-worthy Russell?

      Because Kyrie is one of the best basketball players on the planet?

      If you think he’s “getting run out of Boston”, I don’t know what to tell you. He’s dumping them, and they’re pulling a “I didn’t like you anyway.” If he comes out tomorrow and says he wants to play in Boston they’ll offer him a max contract and have a rally at their arena.

      Not really. You said that you completely agreed with everything ptmilo said but that in spite of that, he’s still an asset. That is a non sequitur.

      It’s not a non sequitur at all. I recognize that there is risk. I explained why I’m willing to take it.

    78. Yeah, saying he’s worse than Kyrie is not much, seeing as Kyrie is a really damn good basketball player when you consider on the court aspects only.

      And I agree with djphan, we should really do what Atlanta is doing. They cut or traded every veteran they had, got assets when they could, then signed Vince Carter to a minimum and Alex Len to a small contract and let the young guys simply play. It didn’t seem to hurt John Collins or Trae Young one bit, specially Young who averaged almost 31 mpg and progressed a lot during the season.

    79. Yeah, I have my hesitations about a Russell max but the Nets prefer Kyrie because he’s better. That’s…pretty much it. The Celtics would have Kyrie back in a second, he’s the one walking.

      Overall regarding D’Lo, I guess I’m just a lot more skeptical about the contract being movable at any time than some others. He has a pretty particular skill set that teams don’t tend to go gaga over when it comes to the trade market. If he improves as a scorer he’ll likely return value on the contract, but his issues around the basket date all the way back to college and it seems just as likely his mid-range shooting goes the other way.

      If we were going to be able to use all $70M to take on bad contracts for assets we likely would’ve had to start by now, so I’m admittedly at a bit of a loss as to what to do with all the space (other than not using it for various Arron Afflalos). That’s why I’m both nominally anti-Russell but also wouldn’t be up in arms about him.

    80. I have a college buddy who is as much of a Celts diehard as I am a Knicks diehard. He, and all smart and knowledgeable Celtics fans, while initially excited about landing him, started absolutely hated Kyrie long before the playoffs and the ensuing debacle. My friend was calling for them to trade him at the deadline for whatever they could get for him. Go back and read the Celtics blogs from midseason on. He’s been a shitty teammate in Cleveland and in Boston. He is a selfish no-d chucker who’s teammates can’t stand him. He’s essentially been their Melo, except they didn’t give up much to get him and they won’t be stuck with him. But yeah, you go on thinking that he’s dumping them. I guarantee you, if they re-sign him to a megamax deal, there will be a revolt in Beantown.

    81. @ptmilo – i get the arguments against maxing dlo…. but the major pro-dlo argument is … what else are you spending your cap space on in the next 3 years?

      and yea… i don’t like spending cap space for the sake of spending cap space…. but a promising 23 yo rfa that’s AVAILABLE…. doesn’t just happen every year… it’s actually quite rare….

      let’s take tracy mcgrady….. i’m not saying dlo is completely similar to tmac…. but they hit FA with pretty similar circumstances…. it’s not inconceivable that a young player can become more efficient and a more efficient dlo is a regular all star…. and that was probably the last time someone this young got on the market….

      of course the tmac outcome may not happen… that’s why it’s a risk… but every dollar you spend on a player carries some risk… but what’s the risk of passing up on him? who’s gonna be the next 23 yo rfa that’s going to all of a sudden become available within the next 3 years? because that market is generally non-existent…. the FA class you’re shopping in the next 3 years consist of players in the 28+ yo range and/or they are damaged goods….

      so i ask folks who don’t like signing dlo… if your’e not signing guys like him… are you only saving your cap space for kawhi or anthony davis level type of players? that’s a perfectly fine strategy also…. but you also have to realize that also carries a ton of risk also if you can’t land those kind of players….

    82. I have a college buddy who is as much of a Celts diehard as I am a Knicks diehard. He, and all smart and knowledgeable Celtics fans, while initially excited about landing him, started absolutely hated Kyrie long before the playoffs and the ensuing debacle. My friend was calling for them to trade him at the deadline for whatever they could get for him. Go back and read the Celtics blogs from midseason on.

      So this means he’s being run out of Boston? The team wants to max him. He doesn’t want to be there. Who cares what some people think? We were trashing Carmelo Anthony for years and he got a mega max.

      And I still don’t understand how you think it’s a non sequitur that i can accept that Russell isn’t perfect and still think he’s an asset. Did you see the players that just got traded for Anthony Davis? You can write a book about what’s wrong with them as players. They were still assets.

    83. Not to mention that Kyrie hasn’t been exactly durable. He’s averaged 62 games a season and will be an old 31 at the end of his deal. I’ve been pretty consistently opposed to signing him, especially if he’s the #1 guy. The Nets should be too, He should go to LA and be third fiddle to LBJ and AD. The Nets would be stupid to sign him, but they’re so desperate to eclipse the Knicks as New York’s marquee team that they will roll out the red carpet for him.

    84. And I still don’t understand how you think it’s a non sequitur that i can accept that Russell isn’t perfect and still think he’s an asset. Did you see the players that just got traded for Anthony Davis? You can write a book about what’s wrong with them as players. They were still assets.

      Tell me, which one of them was making $30 mill AAV?

    85. Celtics fans would have liked Kyrie just fine if he was surrounded by better talent than the regressed Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown. That team was mediocre because those guys were playing a million minutes, not because of Kyrie, who was either the best or second best player on the team.

      He was also not liked in Boston because they traded Isaiah Thomas for him, and Isaiah was like their little plucky “Bleed Celtic Green” superhero or whatever. I have Celtic fan friends too, I know exactly how they think. They were expecting ringzz and greatness and that didn’t happen because they had mediocre players up and down their roster.

    86. the asshole who is getting run out of Boston by Celts fans and press?

      Hubert, read carefully…I said by fans and press, not management. That said, I doubt that Ainge is all that upset that Kyrie is taking the decision out of his hands.

      otoh, I think he’s REAL upset about Horford.

    87. A bunch of Celtics fans talking themselves out of Kyrie once it became clear he was seriously considering leaving is not a relevant data point.

      We have very different definitions of “chucker” if Kyrie Irving and his .600 TS% over the past two years qualifies. He pretty much played exactly the same way stylistically as he did in Cleveland where he was the second best player on a championship team, and his production actually improved fairly significantly. The difference was the players around him were worse than LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, etc.

      I find the guy insufferable, but there’s no getting around the fact that he’s been really good at basketball over the past few years. If the Nets are trying to win as many games as possible, picking him over Russell is one of the most simple choices a team can make.

    88. I was listening to a podcast and heard that Phoenix is probably trying to get rid of Josh Hackson and would basically give him away. If we don’t get a big name free agent is he worth using a little of our cap space on? He Is young and would come off our books after a year if we didn’t make a qualifying offer, so we will have flexibility for next year.

    89. so i ask folks who don’t like signing dlo… if your’e not signing guys like him… are you only saving your cap space for kawhi or anthony davis level type of players? that’s a perfectly fine strategy also…. but you also have to realize that also carries a ton of risk also if you can’t land those kind of players….

      Yes, that’s pretty much where I lean despite recognizing all the pitfalls. I tend to think that being in New York is a natural advantage when it comes to reeling these guys in (hence being on the shortlist of AD, Kawhi, Kyrie, and likely KD despite sucking), so if you just maintain cap flexibility and build a half-decent foundation through the draft eventually you’ll land some elite players.

      The risk is that it just doesn’t happen, as we saw in 2010. However shortly after that there was reportedly a ton of interest from Chris Paul…that we couldn’t do anything about because we had blown through both the cap and all of our assets already. Russell =/= Stoudemire and Melo but the general idea is with the advantage of the New York market, I think we can afford to be less risk averse when it comes to who we give big contracts.

    90. Hmmm…I never thought about New Jersey getting Kyrie and us taking their sloppy seconds.

      What is the minimum salary threshold? We need our max guy to be as good as the team we’re playing’s max guy. If we can’t get someone who can legit match up against Giannis or Harden or LBJ we should just keep it in our pocket and hope we can improve the talent and the culture to lure someone. Or maybe one of our picks becomes that and then we can talk about the Rubio’s of the world with our money.

      I don’t want Campy Russell right now.

    91. Celtics fans would have liked Kyrie just fine if he was surrounded by better talent than the regressed Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown. That team was mediocre because those guys were playing a million minutes, not because of Kyrie, who was either the best or second best player on the team.

      Celtics fans love their home-grown players…Tatum, Brown, Rozier, Smart. Kyrie was always a mercenary. While what you say is true, when things started off poorly this year, very few fans were blaming Tatum or Brown…..or Kyrie for that matter. It wasn’t until Kyrie began sniping at the young core, who had brought them a game away from the finals without him, that Celts fans started turning on him. Then he refused to stop shooting bad shots in the playoffs when he was being well-defended and saying stupid things at press conferences. At that point, my sense from checking Celtics blogs and talking to my friend was that they couldn’t wait to get rid of him.

    92. let’s take tracy mcgrady….. i’m not saying dlo is completely similar to tmac…. but they hit FA with pretty similar circumstances…. it’s not inconceivable that a young player can become more efficient and a more efficient dlo is a regular all star

      yeah i agree it might work fine. even marbury and arenas would have been okay if you just got 23-26. brandon jennings and eric gordon and damon stoudemire, not so much. i am just saying i don’t like the up/down with d’lo in particular at $120/4, but i could be wrong. if the guy was fox, who hasn’t yet come close to the offensive fireworks d’lo threw up last year, i’d be in.

      what i’d focus instead is renting the space, but not on 4yr wiggins or wall deals. there are still tons of contracts teams would pay draft/prospects assets to unload that are 2 yrs or shorter. okc wants to avoid the tax. you could take roberson for a fee and might even get lucky and flip him the break. you could take adams for a pick and flip him again for more value to win now team with a truly dead asset like biyombo+ or maybe whiteside. evan turner, parsons, tristan thompson, tyler johnson so phx can max d lo, there is still a ton of money to take in for assets. they don’t require risking a single dollar in 3-4 years on a mediocre bet. i won’t mention timmy or courtney for our own mental hygiene, plus we don’t really want to help them improve.

      and maybe we can also throw a few too-cheap rfa offers out there to guys like jordan bell or delon wright or kleber or satoransky that would be modest commitments and actual value if they somehow went thru. van vleet and harrell and pbev signed pretty moderate deals last year, though of course i admit that’s not the same as not being matched. but who cares if they get matched, just go back to plan airbnb.

    93. I’m pretty sure Ainge would still max Kyrie simply because they have no other choice. Boston fans have turned on him but he was still their best player and most Boston fans simply refuse to acknowledge that the rest of the team didn’t help at all, they’re still under the Bill Simmons illusion that those kids are all going to be superstars eventually. They keep repeating this thing that the kids brought them to game 7 of the ECF when that’s simply asinine, as the east was MUCH better this year with Philly, Toronto and Milwaukee all improving massively. Reaching the ECF last season was much, much easier than doing it this season, even Cleveland with Lebron was clearly a weaker team than at least the Bucks and the Raptors this year.

    94. @100 all true but Boston has always been a weird place when it comes to the Celts. The whole Celtic Mystique thing. Chemistry and loyalty is so fucking important to them. They loved those scrappy overachievers from last year, even though, as my friend readily admits, it was fool’s gold. They hate Kyrie now, even though he’s their best player.

      I don’t think Ainge is even a little bit upset about losing Kyrie given the reality of the present, but is devastated that he didn’t work out as planned and that there doesn’t seem to be a scenario where Kyrie could be paired with another true max guy. He’s had the hots for AD for a long time and I think that was the end game all along. But it’s his own fault for not wanting to include Tatum in the deal…or more generally, for not breaking the bank at the deadline for him. He rolled with his young core and now he’s stuck with them and probably without AD, Kyrie AND Horford. It’s gotta be a bitter pill. But hey, they got Romeo and Tacko! REMAIN CALM!! ALL IS WELL!!!

    95. When you are as bad as the Knicks are, you should probably avoid B-level free agents like Russell at all costs. But when it comes to C-level guys like Rubio who would likely be gettable for reasonable money, you need to answer a question. Do you want to actually watch basketball or do you just enjoy yapping about it on this blog?

      The last nine Finals have been played by three teams from the East and the last five Finals have had the same team from the West. No matter what the Knicks do, the odds are against them EVER winning another title. If succeeding like that is all you care about, you might as well change your hobby from basketball to playing slot machines.

      As for Kyrie, it’s pretty dumb to suggest Boston’s roster is worse than the Cavs who went to the Finals two years ago WITHOUT Kyrie and did nothing this year without LeBron. Boston and Golden State had a common problem last season in that everybody else on the team was trying to play one way while one guy insisted they play a different style. The difference is that Durant is WAY better than Kyrie, who does nothing at an elite level except score and can’t do that consistently.

      Mike

    96. I think of it like when the Yankees acquired Chapman and Miller with the expectation of trading them later.

      IN case English isn’t your first language words have actual meanings that are commonly accepted.

      When the Yankees acquired Chapman and Miller (in different seasons FFS!) they had zero expectation of swapping them out for prospects. ZERO no matter what you say. That isn’t a semantic difference … it is made up BS to try to make some bizzaro world analogy to Russell.

      The Yankees converted one asset (available money) into an asset that resulted in more than the money could have bought. They were unable to acquire Justus Sheffield, Clint Frazier, and Gleyber Torres with cash. But they used the cash to acquire a conduit to acquire them. That’s what the Knicks could do with Russell.

      The is such a BS analogy. Chapman was the best closer in baseball…. Miller was arguably the best set up man in baseball. That is why Cashman was able to extract top prospects for him.

      DAR with his smoking hot metrics at 29 million a year for the next 4 will need assets added to move unless he miraculously becomes a perennial 2nd team all NBA He’s going to have to improve greatly to be neutral value at 117M for the next 4 years. And that’s factorial!

    97. Yeah it’s weird – Jaylen Brown is total garbage with a cute dunk every so often, but Kyrie is the problem?? Those fans seriously don’t deserve a chip (but I have to admit they got some nice pieces in this draft).

    98. the east was MUCH better this year with Philly, Toronto and Milwaukee all improving massively.

      This argument makes no sense. Yes, the East was supposed to be better BUT SO WAS BOSTON. The whole point is they were taking last year’s conference finals team and adding Kyrie and Hayward, along with the same improvements in young players that everyone here is hoping to see from Mitch.

      Again, Kyrie was supposed to make Boston better. Instead, they got significantly worse. Kyrie doesn’t deserve all the blame for that but to suggest he deserves none of it is crazy.

      Mike

    99. When you are as bad as the Knicks are, you should probably avoid B-level free agents like Russell at all costs. But when it comes to C-level guys like Rubio who would likely be gettable for reasonable money, you need to answer a question. Do you want to actually watch basketball or do you just enjoy yapping about it on this blog?

      So wait, uh, don’t go after the B tier guys, but go after the C tier guys because we’re never gonna win anyway so might as well try to win a few games with C tier guys instead of B tier guys because reasons?

    100. @101

      Yeah, Boston is a very unique scenario, and that’s also part of why I feel Kyrie never liked the city and the franchise. They embrace mercenaries too, like they did with KG for example, but as long as they comply with this idea of this mystique around the Celtics.

      For me, Ainge simply missed the window to do what Masai did, to cash on his assets when he had the chance. Granted he couldn’t expect Hayward to get injured and then return badly, but he missed his chance with Kawhi and then Davis (even though it would be even harder to justify trading for an injured Kawhi after the scrappy team went to game 7 of the ECF).

      I just think people are electing Irving as this sort of super villain because it’s the easiest narrative, he’s batshit crazy anyway so no one will argue against that. But those reports that he didn’t have “a friendship” with the young guys and bs like that are what annoy me. If Kyrie not talking to the young guys results in them playing basketball poorly, then honestly there are other things going wrong with your team or those young guys aren’t that good to begin with. Kobe actively went out of his way to humiliate his teammates for years and those role players still did their jobs when they won.

    101. I know everyone here hates the notion of having 70M in open cap space with nothing to fill it with if the top 3 don’t want to come. Well the 70 M isn’t like a trade exception that expires. You can do something (creative?) with it when you see fit.

      I know Chris Paul has an untradable contract, but the next 3 years become palatable if Clint Capela is included as a sweetner or any other perk (swap) the Knicks could ask for. Dumping their 54M onto the Knicks would open a 39M slot for Hou where maybe they could get Kawhi or Tobias Harris to play with Harden and for Pringles???

      That’s just spitballing but the are an infinite number of permutations available.

    102. It’s really easy logic: if Boston, Milwaukee, Toronto and Philly are all at arbitrary point 0, then Irving arbitrarily adds 2 points to that for Boston, but then Philly, Milwaukee and Toronto all get better by 4 with their additions. How is it so difficult to conceive that Boston could have improved, but other teams improved more?

    103. it’s interesting: when we talk about our young guys we talk a ton about mitch, frank, knox, and now RJ…

      just curious what folks think of DSJ, and, why…good chance he along with RJ will have the ball in their hand a lot next year.

      after mitch and RJ, seems he has the most potential…

    104. let’s take tracy mcgrady….. i’m not saying dlo is completely similar to tmac…. but they hit FA with pretty similar circumstances…. it’s not inconceivable that a young player can become more efficient and a more efficient dlo is a regular all star

      This is quite a stretch that doesn’t pass the smell test because T-Mac was younger and came to the NBA out of high school, but even comparing them when they achieved free agency TMac = 20 and DAR =22 it is a joke comparison in advanced metrics:

      https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1_hint=Tracy+McGrady&player_id1_select=Tracy+McGrady&player_id1=mcgratr01&y1=2000&player_id2_hint=D%27Angelo+Russell&player_id2_select=D%27Angelo+Russell&y2=2019&player_id2=russeda01&idx=players

      Now using the only fair comparison when they were both 22 its even more ridiculous:

      https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1_hint=Tracy+McGrady&player_id1_select=Tracy+McGrady&player_id1=mcgratr01&y1=2000&player_id2_hint=D%27Angelo+Russell&player_id2_select=D%27Angelo+Russell&y2=2019&player_id2=russeda01&idx=players

      or…. their 22 year old seasons alone:

      https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=0&player_id1_hint=Tracy+McGrady&player_id1_select=Tracy+McGrady&player_id1=mcgratr01&y1=2002&player_id2_hint=D%27Angelo+Russell&player_id2_select=D%27Angelo+Russell&y2=2019&player_id2=russeda01&idx=players

      If you want to make comps and anologies why DAR is going to be some kind of good value. how about trying one that is consistent with reality???

    105. I would imagine this FO is still going to make a max offer to Durant. Which is a mistake, but that seems very likely. I’d say there’s a pretty good chance Durant is a Knick soon.

    106. I find it curious that some of the same people who were dead set against maxing KP are okay with maxing Russell. They are both essentially league-average players right now and KP has WAY more upside (he’s a unicorn, remember?) For comparison, KB punching bag Jaylen Brown has had a higher TS% in every year than Russell, including last year. Would anyone here want to max him?

    107. No one is at all interested in taking a flee on Josh Jackson? He improved his shooting from the first year to the second, and it seems he can play defense. I confess, I don’t know much more than that about him.

    108. KP is a rather obvious injury risk.

      And again, I mostly like Russell as an asset to be flipped later. I personally believe he’d be useful in a trade for the disgruntled star of the future. I can understand the argument against this, and sure, if he regresses he might be hard to move. That is a perfectly legit argument.

    109. The other thing is that having cap space doesn’t mean either sign big contract or smaller contract FAs or make blockbuster trades or rent cap space. Sometimes teams are willing to trade good young players to make space for a more pressing need. Being opportunistic includes being ready to absorb a small salary dump of a good young player.

    110. KP is a rather obvious injury risk.

      I dunno, so many young guys have come back from ACLs that it’s not as daunting as it once was. I guarantee you that more teams would be lining up to max KP if he becomes unrestricted than Russell. He’s a far more marketable asset, even with the tear. Think about what Dallas gave up for him even with the ACL. Could you ever get that for Russell?

    111. @115 at the right price I’d take a flier on him. Maybe mid-level money? Sort of an Hezonja deal?

    112. He can come back from the ACL but he still has that funky center of gravity and has struggled to add muscle. He missed 10, 16, 34 and 82 games in his four seasons in New York. Granted those last 116 were from the same injury, but I don’t like his chances to stay healthy. His body is a real concern, he wilts like a Trader Joe’s Caesar Salad after 20 games every year.

    113. Being opportunistic includes being ready to absorb a small salary dump of a good young player.

      Completely agree that a ton of cap space is the quintessential fungible asset. There is literally an infinite permutation of ways to utilize it positively. I am not exactly sure what you mean by “absorbing the small salary dump of a good young player”. Why would anyone dump a good young player on a small/value contract,unless it is part of a larger less attractive bigger salary dump? Could you give an example?

    114. Lively discussion.

      Trust the Process! Play the Kids! Cap Space for Rent!

      But yeah, they’re going to max KD.

    115. the tmac comparison isn’t perfect…. but who was the last rfa that was as good and as young and as available as russell? i’ll wait….

    116. I know everyone here hates the notion of having 70M in open cap space with nothing to fill it with if the top 3 don’t want to come. Well the 70 M isn’t like a trade exception that expires. You can do something (creative?) with it when you see fit.

      Definitely agree with this, and this is where Knick front offices in the past have routinely let us down. Creative use of salary cap space is, uh, not a big part of what we do around here. The Knicks do have good flexibility right now, and they should be making moves that preserve that flexibility.

    117. but who was the last rfa that was as good and as young and as available as russell? i’ll wait….

      Not to paraphrase William Jefferson Clinton, but I guess that rides on what your definition of “good” is :-)

      Last year Aaron Gordon, Clint Capella, Montrezl Harrell, Jokic , van vlett were RFAs and only Jokic got the max extension and none of the others got close to it. I’m assuming you could have shook the other 4 loose with a max extension and EVERY ONE OF THEM HAD FAR BETTER ADVANCED STATS AS D’AR….

      Enough waiting?????

      https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1_hint=D%27Angelo+Russell&player_id1_select=D%27Angelo+Russell&y1=2019&player_id1=russeda01&idx=players&player_id2_hint=Aaron+Gordon&player_id2_select=Aaron+Gordon&y2=2018&player_id2=gordoaa01&idx=players&player_id3_hint=Clint+Capela&player_id3_select=Clint+Capela&y3=2018&player_id3=capelca01&idx=players&player_id4_hint=Montrezl+Harrell&player_id4_select=Montrezl+Harrell&y4=2018&player_id4=harremo01&idx=players&player_id5_hint=Nikola+Jokic&player_id5_select=Nikola+Jokic&y5=2018&player_id5=jokicni01&idx=players&player_id6_hint=Fred+VanVleet&player_id6_select=Fred+VanVleet&y6=2018&player_id6=vanvlfr01&idx=players

    118. I’m not in love with Russell, I just think it can be a sensible move with a good chance to pay off. And yes, the injury is what soured me the most on Porzingis. Also, Russell has been steadily improving while KP, who admittedly started his career at a better level, has shown no improvement specially offensively… he was the same player in his 3rd year as he was in his first, just with higher usage and thus higher counting stats and a slight improvement in block rate. To pay a young player a max I want to see improvement, and I just didn’t see it with Porzingis.

    119. lets just say that none of those guys you listed are neither better bor nore available nor younger than russell….

      i mean if you want to argue that youd rather have montrez harrell than dlo… then this discussion is not gonna be all that productive.. the only one you might be able to squint and make a case for is capela… but bigs like capela are not all that valuable…

      if u want to base this on purely advanced stats theres probably 30 or so pf/c’s who probably outrate dlo themselves… but i hope you realize a guy with russells skills is a lot more scarce than those other guys…

      ill let you try again…

    120. This is like advanced stat abuse here trying to compare a 22-year old PG to dunk-and-rebound frontcourt guys. I mean you have to have at least a little bit of nuance when you’re looking at stats.

      Fred VanVleet had a .443 TS% as a 22-year old, I think I’d rather have 22-year old D’Lo over 22-year old VanVleet.

    121. But again, Russell improved, but is still mediocre by WS48 and his TS% is, as ptmilo pointed out, a noisy conflation with significant potential for regression. He’s also had at least two concerning off-court issues. And although yes, Kyrie is the better and more dependable player by far numbers-wise, he is also injury prone and a documented locker room cancer relative to the chemistry that the Nets have built.

      It wouldn’t be a terrible move, but there is a reasonable probability that he regresses to the point of being immovable. In terms of risk, I’d maybe compare it to maxing Jeremy Lin if he were eligible when Morey signed him to that poison pill. Less injury risk but more $ and off-court risk.

    122. As to chemistry, Morey stands out as a GM who never seemed to care less about chemistry and I think it cost him in the long run. Looks like the Rockets window has closed and they are in cap hell right now.

    123. Z-man, thanks. He’s still on his rookie contract. He’s signed for this coming year for about $7m and there is a team option for$8.9m. I agree, getting him would be like Hezonja II.

    Comments are closed.