Knicks Morning News (2019.07.14)

  • [YahooSports] GAME RECAP: Knicks 103, Wizards 87
    (Sunday, July 14, 2019 12:44:51 AM)

    RJ Barrett notches 21 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists as New York defeats Washington.

  • [SNY Knicks] Why Summer League was ‘different’ for Knicks’ Kevin Knox
    (Saturday, July 13, 2019 11:43:13 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks Summer League Takeaways from Saturday’s 103-87 win over Wizards, including five Knicks scoring in double digits
    (Saturday, July 13, 2019 7:57:02 PM)

    The Knicks ended their Vegas Summer League schedule with a 103-87 win over the Wizards in Saturday’s consolation game.

  • [NYPost] RJ Barrett ends summer league just as Knicks hoped
    (Saturday, July 13, 2019 5:33:33 PM)

    Rookie shooting guard RJ Barrett wanted to play the final summer league game, a consolation finale Saturday against Washington. Knicks brass was leaning toward shutting him down after four games to avoid an injury, but Barrett felt there was more to gain. Barrett is glad he played, finishing with a near triple-double in his most…

  • [NYPost] What Knicks’ ongoing silence really means
    (Saturday, July 13, 2019 12:17:37 PM)

    There was no song and dance in Las Vegas from Knicks coach David Fizdale. Nor were there any remarks from Knicks president Steve Mills or general manager Scott Perry. None of the trio was made available to the media during the NBA Summer League, which will end with a consolation game Saturday night versus the…

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

    83 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.07.14)”

    1. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      I’m OK with the way Barrett looked over the last few games. We are getting what was advertised. He’s an above average rebounder/playmaker for a SG that can score inside but needs work on his outside shot and probably his defense at the next level. We’ll find out in time what he can become. The wish he was a little faster/quicker.

    2. It’s hard to envision RJ as a superstar, but he’s way, way better as a prospect than everyone not named Mitch that we trotted in the last four SL.

      Iggy might be more effective (and I think he deserves 10mpg from the first real game) but Barrett has a lot of tools. His shot, though, is total shit. Right now he looks like a much slower, slightly taller Westbrook.

    3. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      One negative going into next season is that Dotson won’t be able to work on his game all summer due to surgery. He’s reasonably close to being a pretty good two way player off the bench. It would have been nice if he came back a notch better.

    4. I like what I’ve seen from Barrette. Everything against the Wizards was going to the basket, and he seems like a smart passer with an overall high basketball IQ. If he can become that 17/7/7 guy (like bockadoo predicted in yesterday’s thread) with reasonable TS he’s a player. Zero blocks and steels last night, so we’ll have to see about these.

      If Barrette and Mitch make good on their promise in the next couple of years, and you get any progress at all from the other young guys, you have a nice core to show off to Giannis in 2021. I can’t believe I’m saying it but there is a path for a contender here.

    5. I’m really interested in what this year’s Knicks team will look like. I’m starting to believe that we have a real chance at being a 6-8 seed in the East depending on how bad RJ Barrett’s shooting efficiency will be. Smith Jr should come into the season in shape and be a good initiator for our half court offense, which means we should expect a healthy amount of P&Rs with Mitchell Robinson. Barrett is a smart kid and should be a net positive from game 10ish down once he adjusts. The rebounding and passing is for real, and he’s doing more on defense as a Knick than he did at Duke. Between Randle and Morris, I feel great about our minutes at power forward (both are productive basketball players) and think that they will be driving forces most nights in terms of energy and attitude. Making the playoffs will not be easy considering that Boston, Philly, Toronto, Milwaukee, Miami, Brooklyn, Orlando, Detroit, and Indiana should be favored ahead of us, but I think Mitchell Robinson is better than any player on Orlando, Detroit, Indiana, or Miami and Julius Randle might be a better offensive talent than any player on all of those teams as well. We have a chance this year that I didn’t think we had before we added a real two way player in Marcus Morris to complement the spread P&R system we need to be running with Smith Jr and Mitchell Robinson.

      A starting five of Smith Jr, RJ Barrett, Knox, Morris, and Robinson would be ideal to me. Put Julius Randle in the Lamar Odom role, and let RJ Barrett develop with the ball in his hands because this is his team for the next 15 years, and I think we’ll be cooking with gas.

    6. A starting five of Smith Jr, RJ Barrett, Knox, Morris, and Robinson would be ideal to me. Put Julius Randle in the Lamar Odom role, and let RJ Barrett develop with the ball in his hands because this is his team for the next 15 years, and I think we’ll be cooking with gas.

      Watching the summer league games Iggy Stardust seems a better prospect than Knox today after spending 38 seconds in the NBA.

      He made a few really excellent passes yesterday and displayed a pretty interesting all around offensive game as well as having a real sense of how to play, unlike Knox.

    7. Can someone explain to me why in this draft the Kings would pick Braz at 47 and then trade down with NYKs at 55 for Kyle Guy? Why not just draft Guy at 47? They didn’t get another pick or player, just 55 and cash for 47.

    8. I think Mitchell Robinson is better than any player on Orlando, Detroit, Indiana, or Miami and Julius Randle might be a better offensive talent than any player on all of those teams as well.

      I’m as Pollyanna as they come around here, and even I don’t think this is true. Jimmy Butler is better than Mitch, for instance, even if Mitch has a better contract. Blake Griffin is better offensively than Randle. Oladipo. Etc.

    9. karl puts it to Me7o in his book

      Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him. He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight, and very unhappy when he had to share it.

      Wait. There’s more.

      He really lit my fuse with his low demand of himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy. My ideal—probably every coach’s ideal—is when your best player is also your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to. Coaching him meant working around his defense and compensating for his attitude. I’d have to try to figure him out, too. How could I get more from him?

      Carmelo grew up poor in West Baltimore. Single-parent home; his father died when he was two. With the drugs and violence in his neighborhood, it must have been like a combat zone. But like Kenyon, he found a safe place under a hoop on the playground. Hard work, skill, talent, and lucky DNA got Carmelo into a private high school and onto an AAU team.

      He put himself on the map when he averaged 25 a game at the AAU’s Adidas Big Time Tournament in Vegas. Syracuse won the competition for his services, and he played one year in college, as mentioned, and won an NCAA championship. His deal with the Nuggets as a nineteen-year-old rookie was for five years and $80 million.

      He was such a talented kid. If he’d decided to lead the league in rebounding, or to become the best defender at his position in the NBA, he could have done either one.

      But Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens: all that money, and no father to show them how to act like a man. As you’ve read, I grew up in a safe suburban neighborhood, with both my parents. I had a second father in my college coach, the most moral, decent man I ever knew. And I never made enough money as a player to get confused about who…

    10. I know we’re in the age of positionless basketball so maybe it really doesn’t matter but RJ seems more like a small forward than a shooting guard to me. He’s a little slow for a shooting guard.

      He has a pretty nice ability to put the ball on the floor, eat up some real estate, get close to the basket and dish to the appropriate teammate when the defense collapses on him. He did this a bunch yesterday. I’ve mentioned it before that his game looks clunky and lacking finesse, but when he makes those sorts of plays he looks like a much more polished product. Some of those plays were even aesthetically satisfying.

      Clearly he’s not as godawful as he looked in the first couple of games. He can do some useful things.

    11. Looking around the league, here are the teams I was able to come up with who might be interested in trading for Morris et al. at the deadline and have enough short-term, useless money lying around to do so:

      -Portland (Bazmore)
      -Utah (Exum, Bradley, Niang, Mudiay lol)
      -Miami (Dragic, Leonard
      -Dallas (you know and and love them: THJ and The Great Courtney Lee Contract)
      -Milwaukee (a little difficult but they could roll up Illyasova + lackluster rookie deal/minimum guys)
      -Detroit (Snell, Maker)

      I’m leaving off a few whose contracts go past 2 years or likely wouldn’t want to gut their team for Marcus Morris/Bobby Portis.

      Anyone I’m missing?

    12. It kinda sucks that Morris was signed as trade bait because he’s a great fit at PF for us if only we hadn’t already signed Gibson and Portis…but I get it. We are in talent acquisition mode, so we need every shot we can get to build our war chest. In the meantime, he will serve as a floor spacer, vet leader, and quality defender.

    13. A few times in the last few summer league games, RJ finished with his right hand in traffic, which was really nice to see.

      I know he’s not the quickest guy in the world, but he seems to have a pretty good understanding of the game. I mean, Paul Pierce did everything slowly and deliberately and is a lock HOF’er, so you don’t have to be Speedy Gonzalez to be a scoring threat.

      Also, RJ and Mitch have established a good connection; he knows when to get the ball to him in the right spots.

    14. Yeah Paul Pierce is not a bad comp for Barrett. It’s not an exact comp because those rarely are, and he’s probably not going to be as good as Pierce, but there are some similarities.

    15. This Wimbledon Finals is bonkers. Two breaks in the fifth set.

      Is there anyone who looks cooler than fed when they’re out there competing – nope…dude is so amazing, joker’s not far behind either…

    16. Is there anyone who looks cooler than fed when they’re out there competing – nope…dude is so amazing, joker’s not far behind either…

      MLB: Jeter
      NBA: Jokic
      NFL: Rodgers
      NHL: no one, they’re all lunatics

    17. I honestly can’t remember what Pierce looked like in motion as a younger player. I just see him as old Pierce, something like a rich man’s Kyle Anderson with Carmelo brain.

    18. The saddest thing in life is wasted talent. Which seems crazy to say about a HOFer, but he could have been an all time great if he just gave a shit.

      The coolest NBA player ever was Dr J. Clyde and Gervin are also on the team.

      NHL = Brodeur or Roy

    19. This season really depends on how fast Barrett develops and into what. In order to become a superstar he needs to develop into an elite defender. I see him struggling to be a good defender. He doesn’t have the foot-speed and didn’t demonstrate determination or instinct in the summer. He’ll get stronger over time but never faster; he may develop ferocity and gain acumen. He will hit the rookie wall.

      Dotson looks like an obvious candidate to be stuck on the bench. With a potential 10-man rotation, it’ll be difficult.

      I have the following:
      Starters: Peyton, Barrett, Randle, Morris, Robinson
      Rotation: Smith, Gibson, Portis, Knox, Brazdekis
      Garbage time: Trier, Ellington, Ntilikina,
      Won’t dress: Dotson, Bullock (Inj)

    20. I think the Ben Simmons comp seems decent. He’s a great defender though. Westbrook is way too good an athlete.

      I am glad RJ turned it around but I still prefer shooting guards who can shoot and dribble with both hands.

      He might prove the skeptics wrong, excited to be on the wrong side of this trade.

      Federer loss agonizing. Haven’t rooted for anything that hard in a while.

    21. The best hope for Barrett on defense is probably that he becomes an adequate, non-garbage defender. That he at least plays some decent team defense.

    22. Federer loss agonizing. Haven’t rooted for anything that hard in a while.

      Double championship point on serve and he coughed it up. After that, I felt like he didn’t deserve to win, even though that’s what I wanted.

    23. Starters: Peyton, Barrett, Randle, Morris, Robinson
      Rotation: Smith, Gibson, Portis, Knox, Brazdekis
      Garbage time: Trier, Ellington, Ntilikina,
      Won’t dress: Dotson, Bullock (Inj)

      Ellington started 38 of 52 games last season. I doubt he’s going to be a garbage time guy. If I were him, I’d be pissed off if I essentially got a 1-year deal and my team were making me ride the pine, deflating my value before my last real chance to get a longer-term contract. I imagine that their negotiations did not exclude a discussion about playing time.

      Portis is also a potential starter over Mitch. We still need to account for the fact that Robinson played in the damned Summer League. This implies an inexplicable attitude toward his NBA-readiness by the FO.

      Another possibility is that Randle is going to start at C, with Morris at PF and Barrett playing SF.

      Payton
      Ellington
      Barrett
      Morris
      Randle

    24. Or Barrett could go to the bench and Portis or Gibson could start, moving Morris to the 3.

      I think 3-5 of our new signings start and all six are heavily in the rotation. Barrett, DSJ, Robinson, and Knox play and Trier, Frank, Dotson, and Iggy don’t play at all. If we sign Bullock then one of Robinson, DSJ, or Knox, probably Knox, fall out of the rotation. It’s going to be a rough year.

    25. This implies an inexplicable attitude toward his NBA-readiness by the FO.

      Or that the understand that, great as Mitch already is, he still has a LOT of things he still needs to work on, especially on defensive end.

    26. I would bet money Trier isn’t in the rotation day one. I don’t think they’re willing to bench Knox completely and it would be a travesty if they benched Robinson and one of those two is who would have to sit for Trier to play.

    27. You are assuming that Trier isn’t better than the other options. He actually is.

    28. Or that the understand that, great as Mitch already is, he still has a LOT of things he still needs to work on, especially on defensive end.

      Sure, but we must agree that he’s a better defender than Randle and Portis, right? Both have poor reputations on that end. I wonder if Gibson was signed to be, in part, a teacher for Mitch.

      Every defensive stat I’ve seen has Robinson among the league’s best defenders. Improving is not out of the question, especially fouling less and least often having to rely on athleticism to recover after mistakes, but he’s still the best defender the Knicks have had since prime Chandler. Maybe better.

    29. Trier not being in the rotation would be malpractice. I’m not a huge fan of his game but he’s already fairly close to being a 58-60% TS guy on high usage. That’s a valuable player as long as you’re able to keep his game price tag under control, which is purely a choice.

      This is one of the many reasons our offseason was extremely mediocre. We’re talking about benching Trier, arguably our 3rd most intriguing player, for some retreads. That would be very stupid and yet seems very possible. It wouldn’t be as stupid as benching our most intriguing player, though, and that also seems possible so yay!

      And how exactly can we work in Brazdeikis after signing every mediocre PF on the market? Knox also profiles as a PF (to the extent he “profiles” at all).

      Even if for whatever stupid reason salary dumps were off the table, we still could’ve put together a far more intriguing and coherent team. If we just signed Randle, Payton, and offered every interesting UDFA a little more than they got elsewhere we’d barely be any worse and we’d be a lot more fun and better positioned for the future.

      I’ll eat my words if we’re able to flip these guys for assets but I don’t see that coming. Oh well, maybe one of these years we’ll land the free agent saviors.

    30. Trier not being in the rotation is terrible, I’m not condoning it I’m merely predicting it.

      All six of our new signings will be in the rotation day one even if Trier is twice as good as Ellington in training camp. We need a backup PG so that means DSJ or Frank are in and Barrett is too high of a draft pick to be out of the rotation so fast. That leaves two spots for all the rest of our young guys. My prediction is Robinson and Knox. Trier could edge one of them out, though if it’s Robinson I am so done with this team, but edging out Knox wouldn’t shock me, but I’m still saying it’s a less than 50/50 chance that Trier is in the rotation.

    31. I don’t think anyone is going to play or not play based on his contract or his development needs. Fiz is just going to sees who is best in training camp and play them. My impression of Perry is that he is a basketball lifer who hates losing. As far as he is concerned, if some young guy can’t beat out decent but mostly ordinary NBA players, he has to get better before he gets playing time. And their is something to be said for that philosophy. I’m interested in how it turns out on the basketball floor.

    32. Sure, but we must agree that he’s a better defender than Randle and Portis, right?

      Of course he is. He’s great. But a lot of his greatness right now is dependent on talent and not technique. He can still look clueless about basic positioning, in addition to other issues like the fouling. And he’s a second year player, so it’s socially acceptable to have him play in Vegas. (Reportedly, Judd was going to rest Knox and Mitch for the consolation game and both asked to play to get more time with RJ and Iggy.) All I’m saying is that other than the injury risk, I have zero issues with them playing Mitch in Vegas, nor do I view it as any sign of what they think of him.

    33. Dr. Obvious here, but it is ridiculously stupid not to play Mitch, Knox, Trier, Iggy, and DSJ heavy minutes to find out if they’ve improved and what they hell they can do.

      I like Payton and Randle, the other signings playing heavy minutes ( which seems likely) at the expense of the young guys is just straight asinine. Yeah sign me up to watch has been/cast offs Ellington, Portis, Morris, and Bullock – sounds great for building the future.

      The idea that they signed Morris so they can flip him for a first rounder at the deadline sounds ludicrous to me. Why would a team part with a first rounder rather than just signing him as a FA over the summer if they liked him so much? Not very likely, another case of Knick fans overvaluing our assets.

    34. Starters: Peyton, Barrett, Randle, Morris, Robinson
      Rotation: Smith, Gibson, Portis, Knox, Brazdekis
      Garbage time: Trier, Ellington, Ntilikina,
      Won’t dress: Dotson, Bullock (Inj)

      I think the rotation will be:

      PG: Payton, DSJ
      SG:Barrett, Trier, Ellington
      SF: Morris, Brazdeikis
      PF: Randle, Knox
      C: Robinson, Portis

      Braz might only get a few minutes though. Barrett will play at the 2 and 3, while Morris/Knox could each play some 3 and 4. Portis could also play some 4. Lots of flexibility.

    35. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      Double championship point on serve and he coughed it up. After that, I felt like he didn’t deserve to win, even though that’s what I wanted.

      I share your pain. I think it was over either way on that serve.

    36. Why would a team part with a first rounder rather than just signing him as a FA over the summer if they liked him so much? Not very likely, another case of Knick fans overvaluing our assets.

      I don’t view it as likely either, but it’s worth noting there are capped out teams who could use him but couldn’t sign him. There’s also the fact that injuries happen in-season and teams have new needs. I think it’s somewhat likely interest will exist, but the reason I don’t view an actual trade as likely is because we seem dead set on winning 35-40 games for some reason.

    37. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      It’s going to be difficult for Fiz to figure out the rotations because we have a lot of players with similar overall value even if their skillsets are different.

      We are going to be deeper than a lot of teams that are better than us.

      Maybe he should try what George Karl used to do in Denver with his very deep team when Gallo was out there. He’d run like crazy with the young guys and keep bringing in fresh waves of players off the bench. He basically tried to steal games with inferior starters by being deeper and tiring the opponent out or getting into their inferior bench sooner and more often.

    38. Some guys will eventually get hurt. So that will open up minutes.

      I’m prepared for a long season of frustrating minutes allocations.

    39. Funny I was just thinking of hiring Paul Westhead and doing something like that.

    40. Yeah, injuries and suckitude will probably solve the problem organically.

    41. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      PG: Payton, DSJ, Ntilikina
      SG: Barrett, Trier, Dotson, Ellington, Ntilikina
      SF: Morris, Knox, Dotson, Ntilikina, Brazdeikis
      PF: Randle, Knox, Portis
      C: Robinson, Portis, Randle, Gibson

      Take Ntilikina out if he’s traded or released pending what happens in France.

      Move Dotson down in rank if he’s less than 100% after surgery.

      Keep Knox at SF most of the time for another year even though he’s a bit stronger.

      A lot of the guys at PF and C other than Robinson are interchangeable and shouldn’t really be ranked. They should have be thought off as pairs that either do or do not make sense together.

      Brazdeikis could move up in rank as the season progresses.

    42. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      The “dreaded” dungeon. smh

    43. Strat: So we agree on the starting 5.
      I think Dotson moves down because of that shoulder.
      Aside from that, it’s a crap shoot. Who knows how it shakes out. I wish there was room for Wooten.

    44. You can’t play Payton and Barrett together. Neither guy can shoot and they are both pretty useless without the ball.

    45. Also…any news on this weird Bullock situation? Based on his original contract it sure seems like he’s gonna factor heavily into the plans if he does wind up here.

    46. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      I wish there was room for Wooten.

      Hopefully we’ll hold on to him somehow. I’d rather have him than some of these veterans long term.

      You can’t play Payton and Barrett together. Neither guy can shoot and they are both pretty useless without the ball.

      DSJ can’t shoot either and he also wants the ball.

      One of our PGs is going to have to step up.

    47. Gibson played 1700 minutes last year and started 57 games.
      Ellington played 1300 minutes and started 38 games.

      We are paying them $18 million dollars next year. Does anyone really think they are going to be completely out of the rotation and play 0 minutes next year?

      I agree that most of our young players should be in the rotation but it just doesn’t look likely.

    48. Do we still have anyone on two way contracts? Because we should definitely be able to keep Wooten on a two way, like the one Trier had last season. I liked him, I like those super active pogo stick type of guys.

    49. Kadeem Allen and Kris Wilkes (UDFA from UCLA) are the two way guys. Wooten will likely be a training camp body and a Westchester Knick.

    50. @39 It all depends on how they win the 35-40 games.

      I don’t think they’ll get there, but like I said in a previous thread, being “Atlanta Hawks-bad” (more competitive and punchy with a good deal of green talent) and hitting 30 wins is what I’d like to see. And I believe the way the team will do that – in large part – is if you see significant development from the Barrett/MitchRob/Knox/DSJ group.

    51. I think the Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson, and Wayne Ellington signings mean we’ll be better than what people are projecting. They’re all mildly productive two way guys (is Wayne Ellington a defensive guy?) and they’ll be complementing Robinson and Randle. That’s 5 for sure productive players, with Dennis Smith Jr and Elfrid Payton as solid bets to be positive contributors next season as long as they stay healthy.

      Smith Jr, Payton
      Barrett, Trier
      Knox, Ellington
      Morris, Randle
      Robinson, Gibson

      Our playoff chances are really falling on how close Barrett and Knox are to positive contributors. If they don’t completely sabotage our chances, we have enough decent players to make a push down the stretch. We could also do something like add D’Angelo Russell (who will probably be seeing a huge jump in production without much difference in his counting stats) for our useful depth. Gibson, Morris, and Ellington make a lot more sense next to Curry, Thompson, and Green.

    52. I definitely have Ellington & Morris starting. Taj off the bench. Knox is backup 3, RJ or Trier backup 2.

    53. Our young guys suck, they should not be playing starter’s minutes. Except for Mitch.

    54. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      Tommy Beer
      @TommyBeer
      Brandon Clarke with the game-winning, double-pump dunk.

      He finished with:
      23 points,
      11 rebounds,
      2 assists,
      While shooting 7-of-10 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the FT line

      Man, he already looks like a legit pro.

      Still have no idea how he slipped to No. 21 in the draft.

      I did not and still wouldn’t advocate drafting him at #3 or even trading down because we needed to find a #1 and #2 option, but I did advocate using those Dallas picks to get at least one more solid pick in this draft and had him mind.

    55. I am in two minds about the vets on this team. Contract numbers aside, is this the year we see Fiz start to walk the talk and hold younger guys to account and “earn” minutes? My preferred situation would be to have not signed half these guys and just roll with as many minutes for Mitch. RJ, Knox, DSJ et al, but if there is actually some competition for minutes that could (emphasis on the “could” part, given we have discussed at length the value of “veteran presence” etc.) be a positive. Taking into account the vets on the team will likely get minutes, I wouldn’t hate a scenario where Mitch, DSJ and RJ start with a sprinkling of Taj, Ellington and Morris. I don’t think a starting 5 of Mitch, Randle, Morris, DSJ and RJ gets you to the playoffs, but I wouldn’t hate improving to 30 wins if 3 (4 pending how you view Randle) of our starting 5 guys are part of the young core and are contributing to wins a la Atlanta last season.

    56. Jarrett Allen tearing apart summer league. What the hell is he doing playing there?

      I agree RJ looks like a small forward. Don’t know why I have been referring to him as a shooting guard. Especially since he can’t shoot.

    57. Also, Naz Reid? I feel like he might be a guy. I get this Montrezl feel about him.

      I also am surprised Thiago Splitter is a coach already. I bet he’s got more game than Taj Gibson.

      Allen fell on his hip and got taken out of the game.

    58. I do think Barrett is eventually going to be better suited playing the 3. He’s got good size and is a plus rebounder, and doesn’t seem to be quick enough to guard smaller quicker guys at the 2.

      I think it’s possible that he becomes a guy sorta like young Andre Iguodala, a point forward who can’t shoot from long range, but rebounds decently well, is a good passer and initiator and gets to the line 5-6 times a game. I don’t think he’ll ever be close to Iguodala’s impact on defense unfortunately, but that’s still a good player even if he’s only decent defensively.

    59. So who is the odds on favorite this year?

      Lakers? LBJ/Davis/Green/Cousins is a strong but maybe odd mix – and who’s the fifth starter? Maybe Caldwell-Pope is the best option…

      Clips? Their bigs are a question mark. Are Harrell and Zubac enough? What about depth?

      Rockets? Tucker and Clark can maybe hold down the pf spot, but Gordon just doesn’t seem good enough.

    60. I think both LA teams, the Bucks and maybe the Sixers are the teams I expect to be in the finals. The Sixers lost in a crazy buzzer beater to the Raptors who beat the Bucks eventually, and both the Sixers and Bucks made lateral moves this offseason, depending on how much the Bucks miss Brogdon and how well Horford and Richardson replace Butler and Redick. I definitely wouldn’t count them out.

    61. Barrett should be a SF not a guard, he’s not quick enough.

      Payton/DSJ
      Ellington/Trier/ Bullock?/ Dotson/ Frank?
      Morris/Knox/Barrett/Iggy/Frank?
      Randle/Morris/Gibson/Knox/Portis
      Mitch/Portis

      I probably left someone out.It’s gonna be a crowd for adequate playing time until one or more get injured or put in Fizdale’s dungeon.

    62. There is no odds-on favorite. The Lakers will always have two of the top 3 players on court so that should give them an advantage over pretty much everybody, but their depth pieces have to come to play. In the end, it’s going to be hard to bet against LeBron when the playing field is even. I like the Lakers to win the championship this year, and after them I think the Clippers have the best team in basketball. Golden State can’t be counted out just yet because Klay is coming back this season and we don’t know what GSW will get back for D’Angelo Russell. I’d say it’s a toss up between LAL, LAC, GSW, Denver, Houston, Philly, and Utah. Milwaukee got worse so I don’t give them a chance to win a championship, and Boston is headed for a 2nd round playoff exit.

    63. I’d have the Bucks as the favorite, as they should be the clear favorite in the east and they’d have a real chance against any team that gets out of the west. The west is a logjam.

    64. I did not and still wouldn’t advocate drafting him at #3 or even trading down because we needed to find a #1 and #2 option

      Lmao

    65. It’s hard to go against LeBron, but the Clips feel like the better built team. I would bet on them.

    66. As hard as it is to bet against Lebron, I think Kawhi showed this past season that it is really damn hard to bet against him too. George is a really great player too, I don’t know if he’s not on Davis’ level, he might be.

    67. LeBron may be superhuman but he’s still going to be 35, I mean sure he led the league in VORP at the age of 33 but idk

      fun fact: LeBron had more VORP in 2017-18 than any Knicks draftee has had in their career since Gallo, drafted in 2008

      I know it’s a counting stat but still

    68. 33 year old Lebron leading the league in minutes played then leading the league in playoff minutes played, playoff PER, playoff WS, and playoff BPM for a squad of bums that barely beat the Celtics is the kind of shit the count the rings people miss but are part why Lebron is the best basketball player of all time. That’s the end of a 12 year stretch where he lead the league in playoff VORP 10 times.

    69. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      Lmao

      You are not going to build a championship team around players like Clarke. The priority is the highly skilled high usage scorers that can become efficient over time. Those are the tough players to find. When you have a couple of guys like that, then you try to add role players like Clarke. The higher the quality the better. Of course you can try to do it the other way around, but you don’t tank for a high pick and then toss away the #3 to get Clarke when you can find good role players in every draft and every free agency period. The only exception would be if you were close to certain you were getting a stiff at #3. That’s simply not the case with Barrett. He’s as advertised. He’s a good outside shot away from being a very good offensive player eventually between scoring and passing. I’m more worried about defense. Now if you like a guy like Clarke also (as I did) you should use draft picks to get him when you can. We should have used our excess picks to make another move and Clarke would have been fine by me. Most likely our management didn’t like him because they know he’s going to be more of a defensive energy role player and they don’t value those guys much at all.

    70. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      The Clippers defense is going to be other worldly good when they are healthy. Kawhi, Beverley, and George is a ridiculous combination and they aren’t going to have trouble scoring either with Lou Williams in the mix.

    71. Clarke is going to have a lot of teams that passed over him (including us) crying soon, just like other “role players” like Leonard, Siakam and Butler. Oh, and Mitch.

    72. Lakers? LBJ/Davis/Green/Cousins is a strong but maybe odd mix – and who’s the fifth starter? Maybe Caldwell-Pope is the best option…

      They have some guy name Kuzma…

    73. Only Randle is a guaranteed piece going forward. The players who signed 1+1 deals are all journeymen who have been bouncing around, either lately or their entire careers:

      Ellington: 9 teams in 11 years
      Gibson: 4 teams in last 4 years
      Portis: 4 teams in 5 years
      Morris: 5 teams in 9 years
      Payton: 4 teams in 6 years
      Bullock: 5 teams in 7 years

      If any of them think that they are locks for rotation minutes, they are delusional. They sold their souls by signing overpay deals that were essentially expiring contracts the moment they were signed. Every one of them should see that they are expendable, and should know that a 17 win team is going to commit to their younger players. So Fiz (and Perry and Mills) shouldn’t give a fuck if they fall out of the rotation, and should trade or cut whoever complains about playing time.

      OTOH, if they decide to go with vets and any of the young guys complain, they should be sent to the G-League to work on their games until they are worthy of displacing the players in front of them. Having them out of the rotation is not as good for their development as playing.

      My guess (or hope) is that half of the new guys are gone either before or just after the deadline. And they will like it because they got a nice payday and will hook up with a contender at the minimum.

    74. Stratomatic: Management consists of talent evaluation, fitting pieces together coherently, & contract/valuation level decisions. The Knicks are bad at all three. says:

      dude please….

      Giannis is among the best offensive players in the league.

      Draymond is among the best passing big men and may be the best defensive player in the league.

      Leonard is the best two way player in the league.

      Butler is among the best two-way players in the league.

      Siakam seems on his way to becoming one of the best two way players in the league.

      If you are pretty sure Clarke has that potential given his age and current skillset, you should be a scout for all the teams that passed on him including the Spurs. More likely he’s going to be a lower usage scorer around the basket and a good defender. Those are great players to have on your team, but they are nowhere near as valuable as the players on your list that score on high usage or at least make plays at a very high level and also defend at a high level.

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