Knicks Morning News (2019.07.03)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Free Agent Rumors: Mavs, Morris, Knicks, Wizards, Wolves
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:27:30 PM)

    The Mavericks have interest in free agent forward Marcus Morris, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News, confirming a report from Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com (Twitter link). However, Dallas has “a few [players] ahead” of Morris on their wish list, according to Townsend. Danny Green is one of those names believed to be ahead […]

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Sign R.J. Barrett
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 7:59:24 PM)

    The Knicks have signed R.J. Barrett to his rookie contract scale contract, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Assuming he signed for 120% of the rookie scale, Barrett will take home $7.84MM during his first season in the league. Barrett is expected to play for the Knicks’ Summer League team in Las Vegas. Barrett was […]

  • [NBA] New York Knicks Announce 2019 Summer League Roster
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 6:41:39 AM)

    NEW YORK, NY (July 2, 2019) – The New York Knicks today announced the team’s 16-man roster for the MGM Resorts NBA Summe

  • [SNY Knicks] A look at where some Knicks free agents have landed
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:29:09 PM)

    Emmanuel Mudiay, Noah Vonleh and Luke Kornet all found new teams in NBA free agency on Tuesday.

  • [SNY Knicks] Jay Williams weighs in on why Kevin Durant chose the Nets over the Knicks and others
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:44:14 PM)

    Jay Williams is close to Kevin Durant. He’s a partner on Durant’s show, The Boardroom, on ESPN. So his insight into Durant’s decision to join the Brooklyn Nets carries weight. He offered some thoughts on Durant’s decision to join the Nets on Zach Lowe’s The Lowe Post Podcast on Monday.

  • [SNY Knicks] Getting to know all of the Knicks’ free agent additions
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 4:30:12 PM)

    The Knicks have brought in six new faces into the locker room, so what should fans know about their new players?

  • [SNY Knicks] Why Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson is changing his number to 23
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 4:08:20 PM)

    Mitchell Robinson will wear a new number this season and the Knicks center has good reason for the change.

  • [SNY Knicks] In advance of Summer League, RJ Barrett talks about 2019-20 Knicks: ‘We’ve got a squad’
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 2:52:55 PM)

    Barrett, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, will be one of the focal points of the upcoming Knicks season after they didn’t land their top targets in free agency.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest updates from Knicks Summer League: NY announces roster, which includes RJ Barrett
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 10:00:26 AM)

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

  • [SNY Knicks] A deep dive on the Knicks’ new roster: How do pieces fit and how many games can they win?
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:00:00 AM)

    The Knicks completed a flurry of signings before the calendar even flipped to July, filling out a roster of legitimate NBA players, something they haven’t often possessed lately.

  • [NYTimes] A look at where some Knicks free agents have landed
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:29:09 PM)

    Emmanuel Mudiay, Noah Vonleh and Luke Kornet all found new teams in NBA free agency on Tuesday.

  • [NYTimes] Jay Williams weighs in on why Kevin Durant chose the Nets over the Knicks and others
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:44:14 PM)

    Jay Williams is close to Kevin Durant. He’s a partner on Durant’s show, The Boardroom, on ESPN. So his insight into Durant’s decision to join the Brooklyn Nets carries weight. He offered some thoughts on Durant’s decision to join the Nets on Zach Lowe’s The Lowe Post Podcast on Monday.

  • [NYTimes] Getting to know all of the Knicks’ free agent additions
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 4:30:12 PM)

    The Knicks have brought in six new faces into the locker room, so what should fans know about their new players?

  • [NYTimes] Why Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson is changing his number to 23
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 4:08:20 PM)

    Mitchell Robinson will wear a new number this season and the Knicks center has good reason for the change.

  • [NYTimes] In advance of Summer League, RJ Barrett talks about 2019-20 Knicks: ‘We’ve got a squad’
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 2:52:55 PM)

    Barrett, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, will be one of the focal points of the upcoming Knicks season after they didn’t land their top targets in free agency.

  • [NYTimes] Latest updates from Knicks Summer League: NY announces roster, which includes RJ Barrett
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 10:00:26 AM)

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

  • [NYTimes] A deep dive on the Knicks’ new roster: How do pieces fit and how many games can they win?
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:00:00 AM)

    The Knicks completed a flurry of signings before the calendar even flipped to July, filling out a roster of legitimate NBA players, something they haven’t often possessed lately.

  • [NYPost] Kevin Durant’s Nets-versus-Knicks decision wasn’t so easy
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 4:27:52 PM)

    If there’s a perception Kevin Durant’s decision to choose the Nets over the Knicks was easy, it wasn’t. Jay Williams, an ESPN broadcaster and Durant buddy, told The Post the free-agent superstar had associates trying to pull him toward Broadway over Barclays Center. “To give insight, there were people in his camp that wanted him…

  • [NYPost] RJ Barrett’s first Rookie of the Year hurdle: Summer League battle with Zion
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 11:58:29 AM)

    Two days after the NBA Draft, RJ Barrett was in Santa Monica presenting the Rookie of the Year Award at the league’s awards banquet. “The NBA Awards was great,’’ Barrett said. “Hopefully I’ll win the award next year. It was good to experience that.” The Knicks’ new 6-foot-7 swingman sniper was talking on a conference…

  • [NYPost] Mitchell Robinson changing Knicks number for dead high school teammates
    (Tuesday, July 02, 2019 9:33:52 AM)

    Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is changing his number from 26 to 23 to honor two dead high school classmates. The Knicks released their Summer League roster and Robinson is expected to play at least two games. The first practice is Tuesday in Las Vegas. Robinson, the No. 36 pick from last year’s draft who went…

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    Mike Kurylo

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

    169 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.07.03)”

    1. Jowles – very much enjoyed your song – thanks for posting a link to it!

      Re the Knicks –
      interesting how they’ve set up flexibility

      The only players that are likely to have guaranteed money past 2020-21 are Knox, Barrett, and Mitch. Will still have Joakim Noah’s $6MM stretch (*eyeroll*). Assuming Mitch continues his trajectory, it’s likely the Knicks will decline the 4th year team option for 2021-22 and instead make him a restricted free agent after the 20-21 season. His cap hold will be miniscule. Assuming they’re still on the team, they’ll also have some level of bird rights on DSJ and Frank. Assuming they pick up team options on some of the 30 people they signed to 2-1 (team option is the -1) they will have EB rights on those guys too. So despite striking out on Durant (which as others have noted might actually have been the most prudent outcome), we will have tons of flexibility both next summer and especially the summer after that. While I REALLY would have liked to have been the team that took Harkless + a pick (instead of signing Portis, for instance), fact is we still have a likely high lottery pick coming next draft, a high 2nd round pick from Charlotte, then both NYK and DAL 1sts in 2021 and the high CHA 2nd rounder in 2021. We are set up reasonably well — now it’s on Fizdale and co. to develop the players and show some progress.

      I didn’t think it would turn out this way, but the flattened lottery odds really have changed the dynamics around tanking. It still makes mathematical sense to tank, but the psychology around it is so different after 3 of the “top” 4 teams dropped down, and in the cases of CHI and PHX dropped down a lot.

    2. Re-post:
      Guys like Vonleh, Kornet and Mudiay will always be available. Portis is a gross overpay and a mistake, no defending that move…seems like we once again bid against ourselves. Payton and Randle are fair market value deals when considering the premium you pay for a team option.

      Gibson, Ellington and Bullock are all unheralded lunch-pail guys who had to bust their asses to become pro’s pros, so they are fine on 1+1 culture-building deals. If the goal is to develop the young guys to see what you have , none of these guys will get in the way. They might actually help bring out the best in Payton, Randle and Portis as well.

      Overall, I think this is going to be a very fun, scrappy young team to watch.

    3. @177 I don’t think “athleticism” in the raw sense separates Simmons from Knox.

      no way. Simmons is one of the fastest player in the league.

      According to private data provided to SB Nation by NBA Advanced Stats, Simmons’ top recorded speed this year was 19.7 miles per hour, which translates to him racing the length of a court in roughly 3.25 seconds. For a bit of context, Kings’ point guard De’Aaron Fox, who declared himself the fastest player in the league, recorded a top speed of 18.6 miles per hour just before the all-star weekend.

      https://www.sbnation.com/2019/5/9/18554193/ben-simmons-philadelphia-76ers-fast-speed-highlights

      knox had two pro days at kentucky and ran 3.22 and 3.37 in the 3/4 sprint. ben simmons ran 3.05. ben simmons’ combination of speed and strength is a big part of who he is and knox is not close.

    4. I agree with Z-Man. I just hate to see Portis, who’s definitely the worst player of the newly signed ones, get 15.5 mln while we could have absorbed a contract netting a pick.

      BTW, did you see how The Ringer is publishing hit piece after hit piece about the Knicks? That site is making me nauseous by the day.

    5. Disagreed with some of the points in the Ringer article by Sherman (e.g. that trading KP was a blunder and that this strategy of trying to attract big FAs might actually be better than doing a traditional rebuild), but this passage was great and worth sharing:

      The Knicks seem to be in a Catch-22. They could land a star free agent if it weren’t for the fact that they’re a toxic organization whose incompetence turns off star free agents. If they landed a star free agent, they could start winning and shed the reputation of toxicity, but they can’t land a star free agent because of their reputation of toxicity. The Knicks are the Knicks because they’re the Knicks, and their plan to break the cycle is perpetually foiled by their inherent Knicksdom.

    6. But seriously, despite what you posted, I don’t think end-to-end speed is all that relevant to the larger point, which is that Knox is plenty athletic enough to be an all-star player, his problems are about other things. I’m not sure how often whatever Simmon’s speed and athleticism advantage is comes into play when comparing him to Knox. In looking at his game film, I mostly see a guy who is beating guys with his brain.

      Knox is a better 3-pt shooter than Simmons, so there!

    7. :-) if it makes you feel any better the AC in my office died and i’m sweating like ben simmons in a 3pt contest

    8. I will again compare our FO to a stroke victim, you have to adjust your expectations accordingly. It is impossible for them to make the deeply cerebral moves, so you temper your hopes to “I know you’re gonna do some dumb shit, but please don’t make any truly catastrophic moves. ” Sucks as fans to be in that situation, but as long as Dolan is at the helm, it’s pretty much the reality we will face. I, for one, am not going to bang my head against the wall because we squandered $25 million in 2019-20 cap space on Gibson and Portis (the rest of the deals really aren’t that bad.)

    9. Will still have Joakim Noah’s $6MM stretch (*eyeroll*).

      How long till Noah’s stretch provision is the longest tenured Knick? Can we name it team captain? Can’t contribute less than Lance Thomas basketball-wise.

    10. Has anyone noticed all the guys who left huge amounts of money on the table this offseason? The league rigged the salary system as much as it could to favor resigning with their current team but the top players make so much they feel comfortable foregoing tens of millions of dollars in order to control where they play.

      It’s also interesting how the top guys are all signing four year deals after the popularity recently of shorter term contracts. Nobody cares about the mega max but they do care about not winding up like Boogie or Isaiah Thomas.

      Mike

    11. thanks y’all, I hate self-promotion which is why I have a secret, unmarked Soundcloud with all this stuff on it — and I am overjoyed that geo called “Want” mesmerizing hahahaha

    12. Mudiay to the Jazz!!! makes me feel better about the Portis deal. Him at $15M per isn’t that bad when you consider Mudiay is getting paid to play basetball.

      Then again, my argument in sorta support for the portis deal is that he’s only 23…..which is how old Mudiay is.

    13. The Portis contract is the one that remains utterly mystifying to me. Yes, we have to pay The Loser’s Tax to a degree, and also had to overpay to secure this particular contract structure. But Portis still isn’t good enough — in either potential or production so far — to justify that on this team with these other players.

      Randle and Payton were by far the most sensible moves. Gibson, I don’t love, but the dude plays defense and is an “adult in the room” who can actually contribute on the court in the way Lance Thomas couldn’t. Bullock and Ellington shove Dotson and Trier (and Frank, I guess) further down the depth chart, but the spacing they create will be helpful for Barrett and Mitch and Knox. So sign all those guys to those contracts, and it’s a perfectly sensible pivot from not getting KD and Kyrie. But it feels like we just lit money on fire with Portis, who will also steal minutes from players far more likely to be part of our long-term future.

    14. Randle has played better at C so I don’t know what we’re going to do with lineups-I guess the smart thing to do would be to stagger Randle & Mitch as much as possible. It’s going to be an awkward team.

    15. I don’t see Mitch suddenly learning how to not foul. I just want them to give him every available minute at C until he gets DQed.

    16. Will the Friday matchup between the Knicks and Pelicans be the most over hyped summer league game in history?

      No matter what happens, just keep repeating “it’s only summer league, it’s only summer league” and remember Kevin Knox

    17. I could see a scenario vs. bigger lineups where Mitch defends stretch bigs and Randle defends bigger, more traditional 5’s like, say, Kanter, Jonas, Adams. Fiz played a 2-big lineup a lot last year, so it will probably depend on matchups.

      Hopefully Mitch will develop some kind of moves to punish smaller defenders switches beyond diving in the pnr, dump-offs and OREBs.

    18. i don’t think knox is really all that athletic… his vertical is about avg for an nba’er… it’s not like he was ever zion level at anything….

      what ppl got attracted to with knox as a prospect was his size and shooting ability…. and they see kevin durant… but you can’t survive in this league on size and shooting ability alone…

      what knox lacks is any kind of quick twitch.. burst ability… and that’s evident in his handle and how he reacts to bodies around him and how he handles himself in the paint… i mean durant is a couple inches taller but he’s not really all that more athletic than knox… but what separates durant from knox is that he does everything faster… explodes faster… dribbles faster… he reacts faster… knox is slow by nba standards…. and it’s ok to be slow but you need to be really clever and smart to make up for it and he’s just not those things either…

      that’s why knox’s problem is likely not gonna be fixed and why there’s such a huge disconnect on his upside… ppl think he’s athletic but he’s not athletic enough in the way you need to be in the nba…. on the basketball court you not only need to shoot but you also need to dribble and you need to defend… and every microsecond the context of the situation changes where you need to adjust….

      that’s where most elite players gain their advantages… james harden has the fastest eye movements in the league.. this is a common trait amongst elite athletes…. this is why chris paul at 6ft was one of the best pgs of all time… the best players leverage advantages in both space and time…

      and it’s very evident that knox just doesn’t have it…

    19. ESPN/Tim Bontemps article on the Knicks:
      https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/27106207/sliding-doors-how-knicks-did-did-not-botch-free-agency

      From late in the article, if you don’t want to read through the whole thing:

      Despite already having six first-round picks over the next four drafts, this team needs as many assets as it can possibly get. More first-round picks are more bites at the apple, more chips to throw into potential deals down the road. The Knicks could have gotten involved in the trades that sent Maurice Harkless to the LA Clippers (as part of the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade to the Miami Heat) and Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies (as part of the D’Angelo Russell sign-and-trade to the Golden State Warriors). Both the Clippers and Grizzlies landed future first-round picks for their trouble. The Nets made similar moves — and drafted key pieces such as Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, among others, as a result.

      Perhaps these picks will wind up having low value. But facilitating these bigger trades were shrewd moves by the Clippers and Grizzlies, acquiring useful players on expiring deals with room that wasn’t going to be better spent elsewhere.

      So yeah, as many of us say, it could’ve been better, could have been worse.

      After watching some video of all the talking heads in the sports media, I wonder if the Knicks are hoping that maybe AD in LA does not work out and they have a chance at him next year. There are guys in the media far more thoughtful than SAS who argue that the Knicks were wise not to spend big, even on KD.

    20. that’s where most elite players gain their advantages… james harden has the fastest eye movements in the league.. this is a common trait amongst elite athletes…. this is why chris paul at 6ft was one of the best pgs of all time… the best players leverage advantages in both space and time…

      100%. This is why Zion Williamson projects to be an MVP candidate — he’s not only the most explosive athlete on the court at any given time, but he has the spatial intuition that makes him jump or cut for a rebound in traffic before anyone else does. This happens almost instantaneously. I cannot imagine it being taught.

      If Knox has that, he sure as hell hasn’t shown it yet. I would trade him for a lottery pick right now, but I’m willing to be wrong about him. If he continues to be a 1st percentile scorer for another full season, he needs to go.

    21. I wonder if the Knicks are hoping that maybe AD in LA does not work out and they have a chance at him next year.

      I posted yesterday that I think that’s their plan with all the 1+1s. It could very easily not work out for the Lakers and AD will want out.

    22. @22

      I agree. One of the things that allow Simmons to leverage his athleticism is that he has absolute elite court vision and is always in control of his body. You never see him and think of a giraffe on rollerskates like we see with Knox, where he makes the first move and then it’s clear he has no idea what to do next.

      I have no idea if this sort of stuff can be developed or not, but well, I hope Knox shows improvement in this aspect of the game.

    23. I don’t think Randle’s best position is at the 5. His lack of shot blocking is a problem at the 5. His best attribute as a defender is he has good lateral quickness so playing on smaller players shouldn’t be a huge problem. He was best playing the 4 next to Davis last year so Playing next to Robinson shouldn’t be a huge problem.

    24. I’m hoping RJ makes Knox expendable as our star wing of the future. Best case scenario you get a guy like Rashard Lewis but I just really dislike him as a prospect.

    25. Hey Djphan, you make some interesting points so i decided to do everyone’s favorite verification method here…… the Eye Test!!

      These are Giannis’s rookie highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6LRt2pU76g

      These are all Kevin Knox’s dunks from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMI4u2ni3pQ

      First of i forgot how much a twig Giannis was, he is all arms and legs….. that’s the real lesson of this exercise, knox can still transform his body

      Anyway from watching the video you can tell that Giannis really increased his vertical with his muscle growth, as a rookie though he looks a lot faster than knox… The main concern with Knox is he only had 18 dunks apparently, we need to be a team that runs every possession… I want us to play like the kings and just run…

      The other thing i noticed was that the bucks had Luke ridnour as their pg who was medicore but he was a pass first guy who rarely looked to shoot. In a lot of those highlights he was getting the ball to giannis in great spots unlike dsj and mudiay who were gunning for themselves. i know payton sucks but i hope having him run some at point will help Mitch and Knox

    26. We currently only have Taj, Mitch, Portis, and Randle under contract for next year. Portis isn’t taking minutes away from anyone. Knox isn’t a 4 yet (or a NBA player), he should play the wing or in the g league with Frank.

      Ellington is the question mark to me. He plays a position we already have decent players at. I like Dotson and Trier at the 2 more than Knox at any position. Add in Bullock and RJ and Ellington is the most superfluous.

    27. @25
      There’s even rumblings that Kawhi will agree to a 1+1 with whoever he signs with, so might be FA, too. However, the word is he’d do that so that he could resign with that team next year for a 5 year supermax deal, though.

      If the Knicks are hoping for AD, they’d have to work him in with Randle and Mitch. Or, S&T for AD, sending Randle back to the Lakers could be a possibility next year. I guess maybe we should be rooting for Kawhi to spurn the Lakers to increase the odds of AD leaving after one year. Obviously all that is a long shot.

      To give the FO credit, maintaining flexibility was very smart, but they could continue to end up empty-handed year after year. I just wish they had facilitated one trade with the Portis space. Horrible signing, and it’ll be nothing more than dumb luck if they end up getting anything useful out of him.

    28. I Look at this off-season in totality and I think they added two long term pieces in R.J. and Randle. They brought in competent if not spectacular veteran help in the form Gibson, Bullock, Ellington, and Portis. They brought in Elfrid to push Dennis and form a pg duo with some upside.

      They are clearly not tanking and a more naive me, perhaps when I was 40 and a cockeyed optimist in love, would say, maybe win 41 games, lose a tough series to the Raptors in the first round and snatch AD off a bad year with the Lakers.

      Problem is an NBA game is hard to win. Will us being incrementally better than last year mean we’ll actually win more of them? Say we’re playing Indiana at home. Are we favored to win? To be a .500 team you need to be the favorite at home on a nightly basis. I’ll believe that when I see it.

      I like that we can get out a lot of deals in as soon as a year, though as many have said it would have been nice to get an extra pick if we anticipate having to do that. The bigger problem is that AD isn’t coming if we stink again.

      Remember that scene in Rounders where the guy says, “You don’t want to take four cards, you want to fold.”?

    29. I just wish they had facilitated one trade with the Portis space.

      I know, just one! One stinking cap space move for a pick! Just one! But no, gotta have that fourth 4.

    30. My guess is we win between 32-35 games next year but our team has a lot of variance so I think it could easily be 10 wins better or worse than that. I wouldn’t be shocked if we won 25 games and I would be shocked if we won 42.

      I look at the Eastern conference after the top 5 and no one is good. I could see any of Miami, Brooklyn, Detroit, Atlanta, or Orlando missing the playoffs and if Mitch is a star and RJ is productive I could see us being as good as any of those teams. Most likely we won’t be but if Mitch is for real it’s possible. He was truly a superstar last year in limited minutes.

      On the flip side if Mitch struggles and we don’t mesh, being in the bottom 3 wouldn’t surprise me.

    31. and we don’t mesh

      Fizdale is the most important piece this coming season. A real coach would make something of this semi-misbegotten lineup. It has to be a prove-it year for him.

    32. Interesting factoids on foot speed for Simmons. What’s the number on the eye blinks for Harden? Never heard of that before.

      Any super young player deserves and will get the benefit of the doubt. Knox really is too young to write off. I agree that his jumper sometimes seems totally pure (except when it isn’t). He’s good in transition. But I just don’t see a high basketball iq operating. He seems like an AAU guy who can’t quite figure things out. I hope he does.

      Also, re Cousins, looks like there isn’t a market for him. At least we didn’t sign him.

    33. I dunno, the roster seems balanced if lacking in talent. We have a vet point guard and a young point guard, one is more pass-first and the other is more scoring oriented. We have some good shooting wings and we have at least one wing (Barrett) who will attack the basket. We also have a defensive specialist wing, the French guy. All the forwards/centers are good rebounders. Well, except Knox. We have two forwards who are true stretch types (Knox and Portis) and some other forwards who are defense-oriented. We have lots of different KINDS of players. Problem is many of them are not GOOD players.

    34. How long till Noah’s stretch provision is the longest tenured Knick? Can we name it team captain?

      The Madison Square Garden Company

      For immediate release: July 1, 2022

      “History has taught us of the insidiousness of Gotham’s myriad siren songs and the perils their ubiquitous tendrils may obtrude upon those young men newly initiated into the ranks of the lucreferous. No more than a short float back upon the magic carpet of reminiscence is required to reveal manifold instances of erstwhile men of high estate cut low by prolonged dalliance on the well-trodden primrose paths of our fair metropolis. Our own ‘Stretch’ Noah was one such man. Notwithstanding the nearly four year absence of his physical manifestation from these premises, the haunting penumbra of his fiscal essence has consistently delivered the veteran counsel we have recently come to prize within our organizational bosom. The tireless guidance conferred by ‘Stretch’ played an incalculable role in dissuading our young charges from succumbing to the temptations of the alehouses, fleshpots, and other dens of iniquity to which he once sadly fell prey. Today, after his years of long and meritorious service, ‘Stretch’ will finally be departing our ranks. He will be grievously missed but never forgotten. In honor of his much appreciated – and longstanding – contribution to the Petri dish of our once culturally deficient franchise, we shall henceforth dangle his number – $6,400,000 – from yon hallowed rafters alongside those of 10, 12, 15, 15, 19, 22, 24, 33, and 613. Congratulations, “Stretch” and Godspeed.”

    35. The roster they put together is well constructed, they have most of the roles set and there are options for different play styles at every position. It seems like their bet is that last years team was too much of a mess and it didn’t help the young players development, so they’re bringing a lot of structure and decent role players everywhere to help that.

      I don’t love it because I don’t put too much importance in that sort of stuff, but at least there are no more excuses for Fizdale and the young guys. There is a passing oriented PG, there are shooters and rebounders and even some guys who can play some defense, plus some depth so they aren’t forced to play guys who are totally overmatched. It’s just that there’s not a lot of talent in this group, which should keep them from reaching more than 32-33 wins.

    36. Thanks, geo! My musical highlight was at one of our school’s fundraising event. Due to our proximity to Broadway, I took the stage with my guitar just after Natalie Toro (Les Miz)) and just before Roosevelt Credit (Showboat) and performed The Hollies “He ain’t heavy…” backed up by one of the best young trumpeters in the country. Aside from that, I’ve known on the campfire circuit for going three songs and three drinks too many!

    37. Any super young player deserves and will get the benefit of the doubt. Knox really is too young to write off. I agree that his jumper sometimes seems totally pure (except when it isn’t). He’s good in transition. But I just don’t see a high basketball iq operating. He seems like an AAU guy who can’t quite figure things out. I hope he does.

      Yeah Knox’s brain just doesn’t seem to process very fast. He gets backdoor-cut on defense multiple times per game, and every offensive move he does seems predetermined. Compare that to Draymond whose brain seems to be 3 steps ahead of everyone else’s.

      I just don’t think that kind of stuff can be taught. My guess is that Knox’s median-75th percentile outcome is Jeff Green or Jonas Jerebko. But definitely too early to give up on him.

      All these “worst rookie in history” stuff is really not fair to him — and what I mean is that every previous rookie who was as body-wise and skill-wise unprepared to play in NBA games as Knox was would never have gotten an endless green light and 35 minutes/game — he would’ve gotten spot minutes in garbage time and/or have been in the g-league, then at age 21-22 would’ve started playing heavy minutes.

    38. The best hope for this season is that they gel into a “little engine that could” team, sort of like the team that Amare took on a tear before the Melo trade fucked everything up, or like the Celts of 5 years ago, or last year’s Nets. I can squint and see that happening. The Celts are a mess, Toronto isn’t all that if w/o Kawhi, and most of the other EC teams are in flux, so it’s possible that other than Milwaukee and Philly, there aren’t any sure losses in the East. But anything over 32 wins is going to require more that is currently on paper.

    39. Whenever I’ve been asked in a job interview, “What is your greatest accomplishment?” I have to lie. The truth: I’ve never played “Wonderwall” in tacit exchange for sex

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

      Randle has played better at C so I don’t know what we’re going to do with lineups-I guess the smart thing to do would be to stagger Randle & Mitch as much as possible. It’s going to be an awkward team.

      I agree.

      It will be tough to create good lineups because the additions we made were mostly incoherent.

      We mostly have scorers that can’t defend, defenders than can’t score, and players that don’t necessarily fit together well because they do similar things. There will be ways to put together solid offensive lineups that can’t defend a lick and solid defensive lineups that can’t score a lick, but it will be almost impossible to create good balance because our management doesn’t understand basketball at an even basic level.

      At least they are getting better. Now, the dumb things they do are less damaging because the contracts are shorter and we still have all our picks. So if we accidentally get someone in charge someday that does understand basketball, he’ll be able to turn it around fairly quickly.

      I’m not sure what the under/over on the Nets is going to be, but I’ll consider the “under” if the hype takes the number too high. They lost some very solid defensive role players to add Durant, Kyrie, and Jordan. Durant will not play. Kyrie is overrated. Jordan has lost a step and Jarret Allen (who may turn out to be quite good in time) will lose minutes to him.

      It would not shock me in the least if they aren’t much better than last year. It might not totally shock me if they miss the playoffs or barely make them.

    41. On that last point, I wonder whether RJ will have the same green light that Knox had, or whether they think they mismanaged that whole thing?

    42. re: Knox, for now it’s all about hard work and incremental improvement. I’ve watch a lot of analytical film on him, and he does really good things at times, but is horrifically inconsistent. But there isn’t really anything essential that he seems physically or mentally incapable of doing. He just seems like a painfully slow learner to me. I expect him to get better and better, but it will be a process that requires a lot of patience. He may top out at a fringe rotation player, but imho he still has a very high ceiling compared with, say, either Bridges. He’s a very likable kid and he’s ours so I’m really rooting hard for him.

    43. on the eye movement thing… i was actually at some karaoke bar for a friend’s bday awhile back and we were having a conversation with some owner of a performance tracking company… think something like what p3 does…

      and one of the things they do is time and track eye movements… not like blinks… but how fast their eye tracks a fast moving object or multiple objects… horizontal/vertical/angular… and then react … this skill is obvious in something like baseball where hitting is basically all about this… but it’s very relevant in all sports… football… hockey… soccer… boxing… etc… his theory was that high eye movement speed is a trait shared among all elite athletes in their sports… and there’s applications outside of it also…

      i’m probably explaining it wrong since that whole night was hazy but it makes some sense….

    44. I think people have gone a bit overboard with the small ball thing in the NBA. It is a good way to win but not the only way. When people look at Randle, Portis, and Gibson and think center I think they are looking wrong. I am more worried none of them can really play center long term than they can’t fit next to Mitch. I see Mitch+Randle as something similar to Griffin+Jordan/Drummond or Randolph+Gasol. You can be effective playing a traditional PF, it doesn’t have to be all large wing stretch 4s.

      More of my worry is how do both Portis and Gibson get enough minutes and which one can effectively protect the basket when Robinson sits. I would have really liked us to get another rim protector over 2 backup ground-bound 4s behind Randle and Robinson.

    45. Yeah, that’s the most awkward thing about the roster, the fact that there’s only one rim protector on the roster. I’d feel almost excited about this team if we had signed Noel instead of Gibson, because you could then have a monster defensive C on the floor at all times.

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

      I thought the Ringer article was pretty much spot on, but incomplete. It could have gotten more specific about some of the recent poor decisions that lead to subsequent events, that in turn lead to rejection this year. But the media gives some people a pass and blames others for everything.

    47. I agree. Replace Gibson or Portis with Bell or Noel and I think the roster looks a lot better and more balanced.

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

      On that last point, I wonder whether RJ will have the same green light that Knox had, or whether they think they mismanaged that whole thing?

      I’m going to guess “no”.

      Last year it felt like they were pushing each of the young players to do things they weren’t ready to do just to get the experience and try to develop the skill. This year I think they are going to try harder to win games. So I expect each player’s role to be more closely aligned to what he’s actually capable of doing competently at this stage of his development. Unless RJ comes out rocking (which to be honest would not totally shock me), I expect a tighter leash.

    49. Whenever I’ve been asked in a job interview, “What is your greatest accomplishment?” I have to lie. The truth: I’ve never played “Wonderwall” in tacit exchange for sex

      fuck, that is funny…and, yes you did…

      Thanks, geo! My musical highlight was at one of our school’s fundraising event. Due to our proximity to Broadway, I took the stage with my guitar just after Natalie Toro (Les Miz)) and just before Roosevelt Credit (Showboat) and performed The Hollies “He ain’t heavy…” backed up by one of the best young trumpeters in the country.

      :)

      i don’t wanna side track too far, but, definitely a bit curious about the speaking stuff you do…i might try to pry a bit on that sometime in the future…

      it’s taken me years to match these forum monikers to “real” people…understandably, by and large folks don’t want to put too much of their lives out there for public consumption, particularly when the focus is on a different subject (the knicks) altogether…

      slowly i’m matching names to locations, hobbies, careers…yeah, nothing basketball related…

      as always farfa put it perfectly, things can get pretty surreal here at times…

      i still wonder at that random exchange between jowles and jk which really helped to kick off the great music vibe that’s creeped in to the site: “hey by any chance you’re not familiar with this band i absolutely love” – oh, yeah – “i play with them”…

      #seriousserendipity…

    50. One of the major points of the Ringer article was that the Knicks approach seems to be to roll over cap space and try for big name free agents again in a year or two and why should the Knicks expect it to work this time when it hasn’t worked in the past. I think this is partially true but not the whole story. This year the Knicks had money to spend but lots of others did too. In one or two years, many fewer teams will have money to burn. That makes the strategy more likely to succeed.

      The article also thinks the Knicks should have taken on bad contracts for assets, rather than just taking on short term players. But the writers can’t have it both ways. If the short term contracts don’t work out, then the Knicks are tanking again and getting more good picks. Or, if some of the short term contracts work out, then the Knicks probably did acquire young talent (by acquiring whichever player it was that outperformed his contract). Either way the Knicks get more young guys, which is what the writer claims they aren’t doing enough of. You can argue that you think getting an asset by taking on a bad contract is more likely to get you a good player than the chance of one of the recent signings, but I think there’s not a strong case for that.

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

      @57

      I don’t think there is one “way, light and truth”, but this year, when they failed (quite predictable given that we sucked last year), the idea should have been to weigh the price and quality of the young players on short contracts that are available to you vs. the length and size of the bad contracts you could possibly take on relative to the pick you are getting. Then you take what you consider to be the best value and fit.

      I think it’s pretty easy to argue that they should have shown more patience. They might have found better values.

      How is Vonleh at 2m for 1 year not on the team?

      He was one of the best players on the team last year for stretches. He’s still young, can defend, handle the ball, switch, pass/make plays, and rebound. He’ll never be a two-way star because he’ll never be a stud scorer, but he’s a consistent 3 pointer away from being a good player and he improved at that last year.

    52. Nice tunes, Jowles! I love the bedroom chillwave vibe. I’ve covered “Thirteen” myself and the third Big Star album is one of my favorite records of all time.

    53. By the way, it looks like we won’t get to see Ntilikina play until the FIBA tournament and probably in preseason after that.

    54. @58, I agree about Vonleh. It would have been better to have him instead of Gibson. Gibson doesn’t fit either the Knicks stated strategy or the Ringer’s one. But my major point was that the Knick’s strategy wasn’t as insane as the Ringer article implied. Of course, implementing it has lots of practical difficulties. You can’t negotiate with everyone in the compressed mad house of the initial free agency period, there just isn’t enough time and competitive pressures force some decisions to be quick. And not all your targets will be interested in the sort of deal you want. I thought they did okay, all things considered.

    55. That cover is a reminder that there’s only one basketball…
      :-)

      As Ric Bucher said, the “Nets won the press conference.” Let’s see what happens when the games start.

    56. @58 – I agree about Vonleh. I’m curious as to why didn’t the Knicks want him back. Same goes for Kornet. Both were good, young guys that filled a need.

      According to a NY Post article, Fizdale loves Portis’s attitude.

      @62 – Thanks for that reminder. I hope their moves this year end up with the same result.

    57. it would be nice if some of that ferocious attitude found its way into the backcourt. the guy is 6 11 with a 7 2 wingspan and had a lower block % last year than kyrie. 1 charge drawn in 5000 nba minutes.

    58. SHill 12,8M
      MPlumlee 12,5M
      CParsons 25,1M
      Where this world is going to ?…

      And we were blaming Scott&Stevie for giving away a few 10s ???
      Shame on us !

    59. Omg..I didn’t realize TJ McConnell was a FA!
      I would have much rather signed him than Payton.

    60. #1 Record: a great table wine that’s always pleasant to sip

      Radio City: a bold wine that punches you in the face with familiar flavors

      Third/Sister Lovers: a funky, wild-fermented wine that at first you don’t get, but changes your life immeasurably

      T/SL is in my top 5 all-time — “Kangaroo” is perhaps my favorite song from the 70s and the only song I find skippable is “For You”

    61. @65
      The last line of this article in reference:

      Knicks coach David Fizdale, who is close with Wade, is said to love Portis’ passion.

      I never said I agreed. Portis does need to player better defense. OTOH, the article does point to his insane work ethic. It just doesn’t translate. I can’t see how Portis is better than Vonleh. I want to know why they didn’t resign him. Maybe HE didn’t want to return?

    62. Since we made it musical…
      Any Psych/Prog/Space/Krautrock fan out there ?
      Cd/vinyl junkies ?

    63. I like that trade for Memphis. Melton is solid and Jackson is a good player to take a flyer on. Those good at everything but shoring types are good gambles.

    64. A week ago i posted that the Suns didn’t want Jackson and wanted someone to take him. Apparently, $7M was too much for us.

    65. Josh Jackson is really bad and might be a headache, but it’s a fine gamble for Memphis as they got him for nothing, Korver would probably want a buy out to join the Lakers anyway. Melton and Carter are pretty similar players, and the second rounders Memphis got are nice.

    66. Fave Krautrock albums:

      Can – Tago Mago
      Can – Ege Bamyasi
      Can – Future Days
      Faust IV
      Neu! – s/t
      Neu! – 2
      And then like every Kraftwerk album

    67. The 7million I referred to is his salary. I made it clear they would give him away or pay to get rid of him.

    68. @75
      I knew i weren’t the only ‘cuckoo’ in here !
      Classic Standards ! Well Done jk47 !
      Check out Gila and Amon Duul 2 if you feel adventurous !

    69. Didn’t Josh Jackson get his infant a contact high? Hard pass

    70. Josh Jackson is about as good at basketball at Frank Ntilikina. Which is to say not very.

    71. All you cool kids playing/having played in bands n having musical talents.

      And here I am, just an employee of the ol’ gub-ment (though I once was an upcoming radio personality).

    72. Regardless of whether you think Jackson is any good, Memphis also got Melton and a 2nd rounder from a team that is sure to be bad. Again, another salary dump I would have liked to be in on.

      Oh well, at least we have Taj Gibson’s upside to look forward to.

    73. Melton and Carter switch is a little surprising, they’re considered solid picks in last year draft.

      Phoenix is a rudderless ship, nobody understand what they’re doing… They make our FO looks like Nobel prizes.

    74. While we’re on the subject of hobbies and whatnot, any other tabletop wargamers out here? I’ve always wondered, what with us being a stat nerd website and all.

    75. @86 I play a lot of wargames but I started in the 90’s on PC games (Talonsoft Napo and ACW series, Age of Rifles and so on), not tabletop.

    76. Prog is really not my cup of tea but I do love the great King Crimson trio records from the 70’s, then the early 80’s records with Belew and Tony Levin.

      Brian Eno is probably my #1 musical hero, so anything Eno-adjacent is of interest to me.

    77. And some of those early Yes albums are legit great, I’ll say that even if it causes my punk rock credentials to get revoked

    78. hell cdiggy, if i could stay sober for longer than a few hours – shit, i wouldn’t mind having a gig with uncle sam…

      one of these days they’ll change that schedule 1 classification…of course, i may be retired by then, but, one of these days…

    79. I was a fan of Trio, the German minimalist New Wave band.

      Mike, I am a big time tabletop gamer. I also was a main playtester for Talonsoft’s computer games (my name is in many of the Battleground manuals and East Front, etc.). I also have designed a few games.

    80. I’ve tried Genesis and all that, but it never clicked for me. I like Neu and Can and all that, but mostly as an omnivore of nearly every genre’s finest cuts (corporate country doesn’t even count as a genre; it’s more a variety of frozen dinner entree IMO).

      Closest I’ve nerded out to tabletop war games is Civ 3-6. Does that count?

    81. And some of those early Yes albums are legit great,

      damn near everyday i gotta play and listen to starship trooper…heck, i just put it on now…

      actually spent a good bit of time today mixing some jowles, dan and AP in to my musical listening repertoire…

    82. Since we’re bragging and/or outing ourselves, Lin-Manuel Miranda is reading one of my books right now.

      oh wow didn’t know you were you. have enjoyed gobs of your writing.

      memphis move was smart. i haven’t given up on you de’Anthony! (i do think carter is one of these guys that sticks around as a backup longer than it seems like he should for defense and grit).

    83. Cosigned on all those krautrock records and Amon duul. Faust IV is my favorite.

      Didn’t play wargames really, but did play Warhammer and dnd tabletop.

      And alsep, I love your work! Keep it up.

    84. The Kawhi Leonard saga’s becoming more and more ludicrous:

      “Day four of the Kawhi Leonard Watch took an unusual turn today, as word leaked out that the private plane belonging to MLSE – the group that owns the Raptors – was bound for Toronto from Los Angeles.

      While there was no official confirmation that Leonard himself was on board, Canadian news network CP24 captured video of the plane touching down in Toronto, with its occupants piling into a pair of SUVs and driving downtown to a hotel where president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri had reportedly been spotted earlier in the day — and where a crowd of Torontonians gathered hoping to catch a glimpse of the Finals MVP”

      High end espionage!

    85. Since we’re bragging and/or outing ourselves, Lin-Manuel Miranda is reading one of my books right now.

      whoa…that is most definitely pretty amazing…

      holy cow, i just saw you’re a critic, and a writer…now that i’m thinking about it though – i think you’ve let the critic stuff slip out before…i was thinking though like some local blogging stuff – not national/global…holy shit – that’s pretty fucking cool :)

    86. Alsep, next time you’ll meet him could you please punch Simmons in the face for me?
      I’ll send you a check…
      (I listened your B.S. podcasts… And years ago I loved his book so much)

    87. A week ago i posted that the Suns didn’t want Jackson and wanted someone to take him. Apparently, $7M was too much for us.

      Yeah, ooph, that one was a tough one to see them show no interest in. Two second round picks from a shitty team! Just to have Josh Jackson on your roster for a year!

    88. Since we’re bragging and/or outing ourselves, Lin-Manuel Miranda is reading one of my books right now.

      Well, add me to the list of your readers. The Revolution Was Televised is a fantastic read. Can you convince Lady Jowles that Breaking Bad is not all acid-dissolved human remains falling through floors? (I don’t have the heart to tell her that it gets much worse, emotionally, but she pumped the brakes after that gory moment.)

    89. Yes and Genesis and King Crimson are considered among the best prog bands ever rightfully so, but their writing most of times is too complex and quite elitistic and hard to relate to sentimentally. Their musicianship are TOP in Rock music tho.
      Camel, Pink Floyd and VanDerGraafGenerator are my cup of uk prog tea mostly due to their writing !

      Eno is a BEAST !

    90. No on Josh Jackson but Melton would have fit perfectly with our stockpile of guards who can’t shoot.

      I played some warhammer a long, long time ago back when I was a nerd.

    91. I like Melton quite a bit. I didn’t know about the off the court stuff with Jackson, I’d steer clear of him knowing that.

      I like Neu and Can as well, I enjoy Krautrock much more than most prog, but my favorite for that kind of stuff is This Heat, their second album Deceit is brilliant. It’s more experimental than anything else but there is a pretty strong Krautrock influence.

      I’ve never done much wargaming but I do like board games a lot. I could never get into the time it took to wargame. I like shorter strategic experiences.

    92. Can you convince Lady Jowles that Breaking Bad is not all acid-dissolved human remains falling through floors?

      My wife has only ever seen one episode, Jowles: “Ozymandias,” and that was only because I had nearly died earlier that day from a ruptured appendix and she wouldn’t leave my hospital room. She was rightly appalled by the whole thing. I’ve recognized that some of the darker stuff I write about is just not for her. (She’s also never seen The Wire or Deadwood.)

      And thanks for the kind words, guys. This is my favorite place to procrastinate when I should be writing or watching something mediocre.

    93. By the way, it looks like we won’t get to see Ntilikina play until the FIBA tournament and probably in preseason after that.

      What happened now?

    94. Holy shit @91. I love your work and have read a couple of your books. I knew you were a Knicks fan but love to know you are on the board.

    95. What happened now?

      He’s not on the summer league roster — probably because he’s prepping to play with the French team. A Berman article after the draft and before free agency suggested the Knicks will be watching how he plays in the tournament before deciding whether to pick up his option for next season.

    96. Must check ‘this heat’ sooner than later.
      I love Magma also +1000 more groups and artists from all kinds of music genres. I declare being a music junkie.

      Remember myself when i was under 10yo playing a game back in the early 80s in my cousin’s Pc which was called “the ancient art of war”. It was pretty addictive tbh but after that +a few more games on amiga, amstrad & other prehistoric pcs i didn’t chase gaming …chose music instead

    97. Since we’re bragging and/or outing ourselves, Lin-Manuel Miranda is reading one of my books right now.

      Holy crap! Loved your Sopranos recaps in the Star Ledger and your The Revolution was Televised was great.

      Wow. How did Scott Perry not end up with Josh Jackson? That’s his type of player.

      https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/254721/Grizzlies-Trade-Kyle-Korver-To-Suns-For-Josh-Jackson-DeAnthony-Melton

      I’m assuming this was a salary dump and Phoenix didn’t actually trade for Korver. Would have loved to get in on this trade. Josh Jackson is obviously a POS but Melton is a guy I really like. Would have absolutely done this deal instead of Ellington and Portis signings.

    98. The 538 CARMELO projection for Frank is fucking drunk:

      Wins above replacement projection
      CATEGORY: UP-AND-COMER
      5-YR MARKET VALUE: $43.3M

      It’s got his #1 comp as Jamal Crawford

    99. If you’re in the City, NY has very nice psych scene going on. I’ve found myself going to more of those shows nowadays than the loud sweaty five band basement punk shows. Maybe I’m just getting old but that’s def where I’ve been at these past few years.

    100. And Trio kicks ass!

      If ur looking for some more newish weirdo/psych jam stuff check out: Garcia Peoples, Elkhorn, Wet Tuna, Ryley Walker.

      Big Deadhead here too if that’s anyone’s cup of tea. Can’t hang with Phish.

    101. Berman:

      As it played out, when Kevin Durant turned up his nose at the Knicks, the club realized any chance of nabbing Leonard without KD was a long shot.

      According to a source, Leonard agreed to meet with the Knicks, but not until Wednesday after finishing with the Clippers and Lakers.

      That plan was scratched by Knicks’ brass over logistics.

      The Knicks had spent almost all of their $70 million cap space in the first 20 hours of free agency, knowing if they waited until the Leonard meeting Wednesday, the players they did sign could be off the market. It was too big a risk, knowing they likely would finish fourth behind the Raptors, Lakers and Clippers.

      Also:

      As of Wednesday, the Knicks still held $4 million of cap space and then a $4.8 room exception. They had only one spot left, though, on their 15-man roster. Lance Thomas is the favorite, as The Post reported, to fill the final spot. Vince Carter has also been mentioned. The Knicks could sign two players and cut one after a training camp battle.

      According to a source, the Knicks still plan to exercise the $1.5 million team option by the July 15 deadline on 2017 draft pick Damyean Dotson despite signing shooting guards Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington and point guard Elfrid Payton.

    102. Surely Phoenix has taken the torch from the Knicks? I don’t mind that for the Grizzlies. Plus also dumping Parson’s contract on Atlanta for two far more moveable pieces. They are low key having a good off-season despite trading their franchise star.

      Also, saw someone call out for psych rock. Couple of bands to check out King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. Both Aus. bands that have some pretty intriguing stuff. King Gizz produce albums at a phenomenal rate and really transcend genere’s. PPC are a bit more in the traditional psych rock vein….if there is such a thing.

    103. I don’t think we were getting Kawhi but I’m laughing at being unable to run the risk of someone else signing Bobby Portis et al

    104. @117@118 Sometimes i wish i were in the city but im 5000 miles away !
      The problem with music is that is endless while time ain’t…
      Thanks for the recommendations

    105. i can’t wait till next may when we finish 29-53 and put out a press release announcing we have decided to remove ourselves from playoff consideration

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

      Interesting that Clarence Gaines like both the Randle and Portis signings and is most disappointed that the Knicks didn’t bring Kornet back. I guess that latter makes sense because Kornet was a Phil/Gaines attempt at a two way stretch bargain big man.

    107. My wife has only ever seen one episode, Jowles: “Ozymandias,” and that was only because I had nearly died earlier that day from a ruptured appendix and she wouldn’t leave my hospital room. She was rightly appalled by the whole thing. I’ve recognized that some of the darker stuff I write about is just not for her.

      Out of all the gnarly stuff in The Sopranos, and the real-life pain of The Wire, and the deep existential dread of Mad Men, and the wild shit from GoT (I did not see any of the early plot twists coming), “Ozymandias” is the only episode of TV that’s put a palpable knot in my stomach. I want to share that (cathartic) hurt with others.

    108. Dang . . . another relatively famous Knickerblogger gets outed. It’s crazy how well connected this blog is considering the number of regulars we have.

      To answer my own question about tabletop wargaming, I’ve been playing warhammer off and on for years but am probably done with it outside of casual games – the pricing is just getting ridiculous, and the balance is still pretty bad. At least I’ll always have Mordheim, which is an insanely fun gonzo tabletop skirmish game set in the Warhammer fantasy setting (for those who haven’t heard of it).

      One game I really want to get into is the ASOIAF miniature game – it’s got a really cool setup that combines traditional wargame fighting with behind the scenes plotting in a really interesting way. It also goes more after the book descriptions than how stuff looked in GOT, for those who care about that like me. They’re just about to release the Baratheons, which look pretty awesome.

      @Jowles – I would say Civ counts haha. It’s certainly complex enough (to say nothing of the time required to finish one game of Civ.

    109. Thank god we snatched up Portis, Taj, et al before anyone else did. If we had waited for Kawhi to make his decision, we would have lost the chance to pay those guys $43 million for leading us to the 11th seed!

    110. @95

      I also have designed a few games.

      That’s super cool! What was that like? I’ve been batting around the idea of self-publishing a tabletop game for a while, so I’m really curious what it’s like to be behind the curtain on that.

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

      There’s a video floating around on Twitter where Randle supposedly hit 25 3s in a row moving around the court in a recent workout. The version I saw was abbreviated to about 10 from different spots, but if it really was 25, Randle with a consistent 3 point shot is a damn good offensive player and a way better fit than without that range. At that point, he’s good enough offensively that you live with any defensive liabilities and figure out how to make it work.

    112. What was that like?

      Two wizards, a Maverick, the arbiter, two warriors, a corporal, and a ledgerman. Now, the ledgerman just keeps score, and he wears this hat. Now, the object is to accumulate cones. Four cones wins, but in order to get a cone, you have to build a civilization. The other amazing thing is the challenge play. Actually, let me tell you more about the trivia cards cause you’re gonna need to know about roadblocks first.

      Nah, never mind. The thing about the challenge play is that it’s basically the game…

      in reverse.

      Then you roll three dice to see how many dice you roll with. Oh, 16? Perfect, lots of choices.

      Okay, each turn goes: Roll, buy, action. I mean, obviously, this would be much taller in the real game. But the corporal can veto. This should be green too. How did this happen? Are the cones a metaphor? Well, yes and no. Oh, my God, the Maverick should be able to trade lumber for agriculture credits.

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

      How does Portis’ butt look in the pinch post?

      I can’t tell you you much about his butt, but I have no fear using my line from the day before. Gaines has already forgotten more about basketball than anyone here knows. If he likes Portis’s skill set, that means he’s watched a ton of game film and a very smart man thinks he has the potential to be a very good basketball player.

      I agree with him.

      It’s the price that’s the problem. Mills paid for the potential for him to keep improving his 3 point shot and defense when neither is assured. That’s exactly what MIlls did with Hardaway. He paid for potential even though the player already had a few years in the league.

      Sooner or later he’ll get one of these right by accident. Maybe Portis is the guy.

    114. Big King Crimson fan. I just turned my son (who fancies himself a fledgling songwriter) on to the original 21st century schizoid man.

      alsep, that’s so cool!

    115. @130
      Mike, a bit of a long story there, but self pub on personal internet site and/or Boardgamegeek.com. I’m getting close to putting three games up on the Geek. Earlier versions are already up for free PDF downloads on my site, along with samples/teasers of some of my fiction. I’ll probably set up a “Game Company” place on Consimworld.com, too.

      I guess a question for everyone: I have a personal web site up with lots of my projects, including game designs, fiction, non-fiction, etc. I also have a relatively new Youtube channel with a video of an alternative rock band I was in back in 1985-6 (I was the drummer). I’m about to upload a second video of a music/slideshow of our 5 song studio demo.

      Is it appropriate to post such links here? Like Jowles, I’m a bit uncomfortable about self-promotion/spam on a forum like this. I don’t see any way here on the site to send personal messages, or I’d just offer these links to Mike or anyone else who’d want to PM me.

      Should I post an email address here for anyone interested?

    116. I agree with Knicks management that it would have been dumb to wait to take a meeting with Kawhi. There was zero chance of him coming here once the KD/Kyrie shoe dropped.

    117. @136
      I used to play Magic with my wife some years ago, but not recently. I’m more of an old-school rpg and board wargamer guy. Computer games, too.

    118. I used to play MTG. Still love it tho.

      Always fascinated by warhammer, but could never convince my friends to play. In short, I never learned it.

      Big into video games still.

      @alsep,

      That’s awesome in so many ways. My brother has been trying to become a critic, little does he know I’ve been writing where you do this whole time.

    119. It’s the price that’s the problem. Mills paid for the potential for him to keep improving his 3 point shot and defense when neither is assured. That’s exactly what MIlls did with Hardaway. He paid for potential even though the player already had a few years in the league.

      If you genuinely believe Portis was a good target (I don’t), the cost should barely register with you. He either has a one year deal, or a two-year deal if he plays well (I don’t think he will because he hasn’t in the past).

      Gaines has good opinions on non-basketball issues which is always good to see but he comes across as a bit of a grifter when it comes to basketball. I’ve never heard him say anything particularly insightful, mostly just praise for guys he was involved with in some capacity.

    120. Knicks should’ve signed Randle and then taken the meeting with Kawhi on wednesday, even if there is only 1% shot. You’ll probaly learn some stuff anyway.

      And then afterwards you can still sign a bunch of 1+1’s

    121. Big King Crimson fan. I just turned my son (who fancies himself a fledgling songwriter) on to the original 21st century schizoid man.

      Saw King Crimson at Lehigh University in 1970-1…. I think Lee Michaels opened for them…. quite a night :-) Jesus that was a long time ago…..

    122. alsep = Alan Sepinwall holy crapppp

      I’ve enjoyed your writing for years. And to think you’ve been with us all this time!

    123. Since we’re outing KB posters, you guys should know that Early Bird is actually Cleanthony Early, Z-Man is Zac Efron, and Stratomatic is George W. Bush.

    124. It’s the price that’s the problem. Mills paid for the potential for him to keep improving his 3 point shot and defense when neither is assured.

      I have no opinion on Portis as I haven’t watched him play much but his 3 ball shooting has improved a steady 3% a year from 30 to 33 to 36 to 39. I’m not sure how much higher it can go, but it argues he works at his craft which would be a breath of fresh air around here….. His FT% has also improved to 79.4%

    125. This blog is really the best. We deserve better than this shitty ass basketball team. I hope one day we win some games.

    126. @132
      You’re a smart guy. You’ve clearly picked up some flashy tricks, but you made one crucial mistake. You forgot about the essence of the game. . .

      It’s about the cones.

    127. @137 Thanks for the tips! I’ll look into that once I have a functional ruleset that’s intelligible to anyone other than me.

      I do play some MtG every once in a while, though the current state of Modern kind of makes me not want to. At least Arena is colorful and pseudo-free.

    128. Vonleh was a decent player last year and he does have youth on his side. But his last two years were -3,1 BPM and 0.0 BPM. These are his best seasons to date. Yes, he might have improved and continue to improve, but considering his past performance he could just as likely regress. Taj Gibson was 1.1 BPM and 1.0. I’m not saying isn’t a better deal per dollar, but if you’re looking for which player will produce next year it is unquestionably Gibson. You could say Vonleh gives you the upside of having control of him if he continues to improve. The sad fact of the NBA is that Vonleh types or even the ceiling version of Vonleh are available for relatively cheap contracts. Despite these guys being very productive and doing things that help you win basketball games, thesy have been and seem to continue to be available for lowball contracts, especially to teams that have all the other pieces to make a championship run. These are not the guys you have to have already on board or have early bird rights for when you make your sales pitch and devote your cap space to max+ worthy stars. This is even more so the case for guys like Noel who is objectively great but can’t seem to get paid. Yes he is great value, but he is value that you would expect to be available in the future. It is possible for the communal NBA front offices to re-evaluate what they value and will pay for, but that does not seem likely. So if we assume that need could be easily addressed when the team is better positioned to need it, and our best player already largely fills that role, how do you maximize your odds of finding complementary players to Mitch? Especially ones who could potentially be assets to the team that would otherwise be difficult to attain once your cap space is spent on stars. Efficient volume scorers (all scorers for better or worse) get paid in this league and we don’t know if any of these signings fit that bill but we are in a position to take advantage if one does.

    129. I tried finding pictures of Portis’s ass but pickings, like his body, were slim. He’s no Kyle Lowry, that’s for sure.

    130. Since we’re outing KB posters, you guys should know that Early Bird is actually Cleanthony Early, Z-Man is Zac Efron, and Stratomatic is George W. Bush.

      Ziggy Stardust (the real one)

    131. @147 JK, if we ever win a chip, can we count on you for musical entertainment at the KB bash? Wherever it is, if I’m still alive, I’m in!

    132. When it comes to self-awareness, Kevin Knox is in the right organization.

      Kevin Knox said he used All-Rookie snub as motivation this summer and that will continue through next season: “Yeah, of course I deserved to make it.”

    133. When it comes to self-awareness, Kevin Knox is in the right organization.

      Kevin Knox said he used All-Rookie snub as motivation this summer and that will continue through next season: “Yeah, of course I deserved to make it.”

      Does he realize that he was ranked 120 out of 120 qualifying players in the entire NBA in FG%?

    134. Also very cool to have Alan sepinwall here and other interesting and cool people sharing more about themselves. Anyone else want to out themselves as not being a white male. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      If you are looking for a show to watch with your wife I’d recommend Please Like Me, it also gets dark as hell at times but balances it out with earnestness and charm in a way that you don’t see much on TV, or anywhere really. An easier jump from breaking bad would be better call Saul, as far as I can tell it stands on its own from BB and does more work to build and respect the relationships of the characters, TBH I saw all of breaking bad first though. If you are in NYC you have 10 days to see Burn This on Broadway. Adam Driver as Pale is well worth the cost of admission ($49, $39 if you win the lottery which I did back on opening night). There is plenty of great live performance happening all the time but there is very little that is just blatantly going for it and succeeding. Also hopefully Keri Russel is doing better than when I saw her.

    135. But pointzzz…

      I used to play MTG a lot, like semi-pro level going pro. I used to play a bit with a guy here in Brazil who ended up winning the MTG world championship in 2002. But then the prices for new cards really spiked up a lot when the Brazilian real got devalued related to the dollar and I gave up on going pro because of it, and well, also how much time it took and how much dedication was necessary. I still love the game but I mostly keep away from it in fear of getting dragged in once again.

    136. @153 I want to physically be in New York if and when the Knicks finally win it all. I want to cry and exude unreasonable, intergalactic joy and watch the join in as whole city goes crazy.

      No one here in LA would ever understand that level of joy, because they don’t engage in, or understand the concept of, collective sports misery.

      When I lived in Syracuse, I didn’t do tabletop but i did play some RPGs. D&D yes, also Palladium/Rifts. Even Deadlands once or twice.
      When I was in undergrad, I heard rumors that dudes were losing their academic scholarships over becoming Civ addicts.

    137. @137…howdy clash, please do share…

      it’s not about self promotion or anything of that nature…it’s literally about sharing…

      I for one would be very interested…

      shoot, I’m super grateful for jk’s musical links (hell, I feel instantly cooler just watching/listening to some of that stuff), bruno’s world views, a peek in to dan’s life, farfa’s beautiful writing and voice, gambling 101 with strat, z-man pounding the pavement mile after mile, i probably already have, but, can’t wait to read some of al’s work…and on and on and on…

      we all share this passion for a particular sports franchise, but, we’re a community too…

      the knicks are always the lead here, but, it’s just not thoughts, words, opinions we share, when it’s really good – it’s a bit of ourselves also…

    138. @153 I want to physically be in New York if and when the Knicks finally win it all. I want to cry and exude unreasonable, intergalactic joy and watch the join in as whole city goes crazy.

      As one of the few serious Knicks fans in Melbourne (outside of a sea of Lakers, Warriors and Heat fans), I can confirm I will be on the first flight to LAX then on to NYC when we win it all.

    139. I happened to be in New York when the Giants won in 2008 and I’ll always remember being at the parade, it was really a great moment. And I care much, much less about football then I do about basketball.

    140. As one of the few serious Knicks fans in Melbourne (outside of a sea of Lakers, Warriors and Heat fans), I can confirm I will be on the first flight to LAX then on to NYC when we win it all.

      Melbourne is a great city. I love it there, could live there happily.

    141. Is it appropriate to post such links here? Like Jowles, I’m a bit uncomfortable about self-promotion/spam on a forum like this. I don’t see any way here on the site to send personal messages, or I’d just offer these links to Mike or anyone else who’d want to PM me.

      Should I post an email address here for anyone interested?

      Go right ahead.

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