Knicks Morning News (2019.07.18)

  • [ESPN] Bullock has back surgery day after Knicks signing
    (Wednesday, July 17, 2019 4:40:32 PM)

    The Knicks say they will provide an update on Reggie Bullock’s rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

  • [SNY Knicks] New St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson knows Knicks fans will love Bobby Portis
    (Wednesday, July 17, 2019 5:09:00 PM)

    New head coach Mike Anderson considers himself a Knicks fan now, and you can thank Bobby Portis for that.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks announce diagnosis of Reggie Bullock’s mystery medical issue
    (Wednesday, July 17, 2019 4:18:20 PM)

    New Knicks free-agent signee Reggie Bullock underwent surgery on Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery for a cervical disc herniation, the team said.

  • [NYPost] Enes Kanter trolls Kyrie Irving over taking Celtics number
    (Wednesday, July 17, 2019 1:19:59 PM)

    Enes Kanter just couldn’t help himself. The former Knick fan favorite, who signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Boston Celtics, trolled former Celtics guard and new Nets star Kyrie Irving during a press conference while describing why he’s wearing Irving’s old No. 11 Celtics number. “It was my old jersey number, by the…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ Reggie Bullock won’t be ready for season after back surgery
    (Wednesday, July 17, 2019 12:29:43 PM)

    New Knicks shooting guard Reggie Bullock underwent cervical disc herniation surgery Wednesday one day after he officially signed his new two-year contract, the team announced. The team said it will provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp. A source told The Post he is not expected to be…

  • [NYPost] Why Mike Anderson thinks Bobby Portis is a great fit for Knicks
    (Wednesday, July 17, 2019 9:08:34 AM)

    Mike Anderson has a message for the Knicks and their fans. You’re going to love Bobby Portis. “He’ll be the first one in the gym and the last one [to leave]. Fans of the Knicks will really have a great appreciation for how hard he works,” the new St. John’s coach told The Post this…

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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).

    78 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.07.18)”

    1. I think Bullock will be fine with back surgery because he doesn’t rely on athleticism as much. But there is the fear that it Quentin Richardsons him. This signing has gone from noble gesture to straight up stupid really quickly. I mean..how much goodwill can you expect to build up with a Reggie Bullock signing? There’s been a good move or 2 this offseason, but it REALLY feels collectively like a knee jerk reaction

    2. Yes. Way, way, WAAAAAYYY over the top. Can we just enjoy the Knicks getting potentially a very good player in the 2nd round without comparing a guy who didn’t even start all season for a team that won just 17 games to Wilt and Russell?

      If we were talking about Damyean Dotson, I’d agree. But none of them posted the highest WS48 for a 21 yo rookie in the history of the game. Higher than Jordan, for example, If you include all rookies that played at least 1000 minutes, the list above him contains Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, Walt Bellamy, Arvydas Sabonis, and Clifford Ray.

      He set the all-time rookie rookie record for blocks/36 and for TS%.

      As to non-rookies, only Manute Bol and Alonzo Mourning had a higher Block% higher than him in any season. The record is 10.8; Mitch as a 20yo rookie had 10.0. As to blocks per 36, only Eaton, Mutombo, Rollins, Ibaka, Mourning, Whiteside, Robinson and Olajuwan ever had more than Mitch, and none of them was younger than 23. If there was an adjustment for blocking 3-pt shots (since you are potentially preventing 3 points instead of 2) he would have just had the greatest shot-blocking season in history by far.

      It is undeniable that Mitch is already among the all-time greats as a shot-blocker. He accomplished that after never playing at all the year before, and while at the same time putting up a TS% that would rank him with the all-time greats in that area. And there was nothing flukey about it. He is only going to get better.

    3. Signing Bullock, especially after back surgery, makes zero sense.
      Again, the Knicks bidding against themselves for a player not in demand by other teams.

    4. Agree on Bullock in a vacuum, but as a low-risk good will gesture for a franchise suffering from poor public relations with players, it’s okay by me. Nowhere near as dumb as when Cuban didn’t back out of his agreement with Wesley Matthews on a huge 4-year deal after he blew out his achilles.

    5. We obviously don’t have a Big 3, but with Mitch and Randle, we have a pretty decent Big 2 on the down-low. Will a 3rd guy step up? In order of most likely:

      Payton (5 consecutive triple-doubles is not easy to do)
      Morris (if he plays the 3, can he handle that defensively? can he up his scoring metrics to star level?)
      Trier (his offense is very impressive, will the D catch up?)
      DSjr: (is this the year he figures it out?)
      Dotson: (is he ready to step up?)
      RJ: nah
      Knox: nah

      Dark horse: Iggy (most skilled offensive player on the team?)

    6. Another fun fact about Mitch: after the all-star break, he actually doubled his RPG from 4.7 to 9.4. He raised his FT% from .515 to .681. His TS% went up to .708.

    7. Dark horse: Iggy (most skilled offensive player on the team?)

      This is likely a true statement. I watch very little college hoops but I am befuddled he lasted til the 40’s. This guy is a very skilled player and the funny thing it was right there for anyone to see. Excellent statistical profile in a big college program especially as a freshman. Terrific long range shooter with a drive game and he threw a couple of actually dazzling passes (to MR) the last few games. It is clear he “sees” the game as an experienced basketball player,

      It is clear his athleticism doesn’t jump off the screen but there have been plenty of poor athletes (and he isn’t one of those) that made terrific careers from being excellent “basketball players” and not other worldly athletes from Bailey Howell to Andre Miller.

      Besides the Extra Terrestrial Mitch he may have the best future on the roster…..

    8. Bullock is about as Knicksy as it gets. We just need him to sexually harass a nurse in the recovery room.

      I think Mitch is something very special and unique. The comparisons will take care of themselves this year but I think Tyson Chandler is the easy comp. His hardware really is unbelievable. His ability to get off the floor so quickly and so high is astonishing when paired with his length. The offensive software isn’t terrible either. He’s got great instincts when it comes to getting open for a lob and he can shoot free throws.

      I expect to be a little disappointed with his sophomore season because for him to improve on his debut is going to be pretty hard. Still, he’s the most exciting thing to happen to the Knicks since Ewing.

    9. It’s going to be hard for him to improve on his block rate because the league knows who he is now and won’t challenge him as much.

    10. @9

      He’s actually by all accounts a very nice guy, has done some very cool work with the trans community since his sister was murdered, so at least we don’t have to root for another Derrick Rose in that sense.

      I agree with Z-Man that the improvement Mitch made during season is so impressive. It’s so rare to see such a young rookie making strides during a regular season, but he really seems to be a very fast learner, which makes me a lot more confident that he will still improve more. I don’t know if we’ll see much improvement now because as Owen said, his rookie numbers were fantastic already, but it’s fine if he plateaus for a while before figuring other stuff out.

    11. I agree with Z-Man that the improvement Mitch made during season is so impressive. It’s so rare to see such a young rookie making strides during a regular season, but he really seems to be a very fast learner, which makes me a lot more confident that he will still improve more.

      And, in theory, this is a reason for optimism with the coaching staff — especially now that Miller has joined it. It might be that Mitch is just so talented and self-motivated that he was going to improve over the course of a year with no coaching at all. But he’s someone who clearly got better as the season went along. (So, for that matter, did Knox, though he was starting from such an abysmally low point that even clear improvement left him a negative player.)

    12. Actually, a lot of players got better on the Knicks last year; Robinson, Mudiay, Knox and Kornet did, even though they didn’t all suddenly become good.

    13. Yeah, it’s hard to gauge with others like Knox and Mudiay because they were so abysmal that some progression was to be expected anyway. Well, I guess we’ll see this year what happens in terms of development.

    14. but I think Tyson Chandler is the easy comp.

      It’s kinda mind-boggling to think that prime Chandler might actually be his floor! After the all-star break he averaged something like 12 and 12 per 36 with 4 blocks, fewer fouls and a .704 TS%. Here’s a comparison of Chandler’s DPOY season with Mitch’s rookie season.

      I expect Mitch’s block % to go down a bit due to fouling less and players becoming more wary of him, but I also expect that he will foul less, rebound more, and score more at a very high efficiency. I also think that he will be looked for more by our passers, and will learn to pass out of inevitable double-teams. He may extend his range and try a few 3-pointers, but that will be largely irrelevant. His radius of destruction down low will make him an assist magnet if the guys surrounding him can get him the ball in good spots. Iggy seemed to figure that out really quickly, and hopefully RJ will too.

      I never agreed with those who said that Chandler was the best player on the championship Mavs team, but to think that we have stumbled and bumbled our way onto a better version of whoever that player was is cause for unbridled optimism.

    15. RJ did figure out about passing (particularly to Mitch), and did so fairly quickly.

    16. There is sort of a weird win-win kind of thing going on with this year’s team. If they play well, and contend for the 8th seed? Uh, okay! That might be somewhat interesting, and it would mean some of the veterans and some of the young guys played better than expected. If they stink, and have the worst record in the NBA? Fine! Top 5 pick coming our way, maybe higher! 2020 looks like a pretty nice draft.

      Worst case, they finish somewhere in between and finish like 11th in the conference. That’s the Dolan’s Razor outcome.

      This is so Dolan’s Razor-y: the Knicks are going for the “try to have a solid 35 win season” plan before the summer where there are no mega free agents available.

      Then after we pick 10th in 2020 we’ll probably end up being horrible for the year before Giannis’ free agency.

    17. 20 year old Mitchell was much better than 20 year old Tyson. I don’t know how much you can really read from that, other than Mitch was terrific last season. Some bigs come into the league young and are great from the jump. I thought Andre Drummond was going to be a real superstar after he was so good his first year but he never got significantly better (he actually got worse before improving).

    18. Drummond has limitations away from the basket, like many old-school bigs do (or would have if they played today.) He also is a huge liability at the line.

      What makes Mitch so intriguing is that he surely can defend away from the basket vs. any lineup configuration because of his menacing length and quickness in all directions. When he is in a defensive stance on the perimeter, his radius of coverage is enormous. His ability to defend the likes of Harden on the perimeter pretty much blows up the high PnR. He can lay off just enough to stay with him if he drives, and doesn’t have to buy the fakes to contest the shot. His run-outs are other worldly. What’s also happening more and more is that he’s blocking 3-pointers and immediately running out, beating everyone down the floor.

      He is essentially small lineup-proof. There aren’t many 7’1″ guys you can say that about.

    19. Signing Bullock, especially after back surgery, makes zero sense.
      Again, the Knicks bidding against themselves for a player not in demand by other teams.

      They paid for the good will and PR. Not sure it was worth it.

    20. Mitch’s finger roll was the highlight of SL for me. He showed footwork and touch on offense from 10 feet from the basket that I didn’t know he had. Knox might have broken a limb if he tried that move. The sky(net) is the limit.

    21. They paid for the good will and PR. Not sure it was worth it.

      It’s not quite the level of dumbness as the Ron Baker deal, but close. Dumb but largely inconsequential. Still has that “bidding against ourselves” feel to it. As do the Gibson and Portis deals. Randle, Payton, and Morris are all reasonable. Ellington probably is too.

    22. Mitch’s finger roll was the highlight of SL for me. He showed footwork and touch on offense from 10 feet from the basket that I didn’t know he had.

      He’s made enough “adjust to the defense” shots to convince me that his offensive game is likely to develop further. He’s got a great combination of length, situational awareness, agility and footwork, and touch around the basket. On a few plays when he wound up too deep under the basket, he did some pretty nifty things to freeze the defense and convert simple bank shots, often drawing fouls in the process.

    23. I’ve stopped coming by so much lately because so much of the posting seems to be of the lolknicks variety.

      Of course, as a community we’d prefer Perry signing some young undrafted types with upside and the freedom to keep long term on good contracts, eschewing the veteran types like Courtney Lee that may bring this team to replacement level enough to ruin any tanking.

      But, that’s not ALL you can talk about. I mean, bringing in guys that give too many fucks about winning – like Morris, Portis, Taj Gibson (Maybe: Peyton, Randle- both seem like high quality personalities) – and drafting guys that give too many fucks as well – RJ and Brazdeikis – might finally fuck with the stupid adolescent group we have that can’t get shit done sometimes. None of these guys are Courtney Lees. They’re young, have talent and upside, and most are at least decent defensively.

      I mean, I get what they’re trying to do. Also, the team options, the short term deals, and not giving in to a Kemba/Klay type is HUGE.

      It’s like we obsess that the Knicks are going to OBVIOUSLY fuck up by doing X, while saying we want them to to A. They do a weird third option, and we scream.

      Enough. Just go with the flow. I’m going to be waiting with bated breath to see Mitch, RJ, Ignas, and Trier play. Intrigued with what Knox can do, but don’t care. Hope Dotson and Frank can contribute. Watch and see how Fiz mixes in Portis, Randle, and Morris who are LEGITIMATE young players.

      Go with the flow and breath bruh

      /rant

    24. The PR value of giving a contract to the broken back version of Reggie Bullock cannot be very high. Some things are just dumb, we don’t need to spin every ridiculously dumb thing this front office does into something that makes sense.

      “Hmm, I don’t really know where to sign… the Knicks did a solid for Reggie Bullock though, they seem like nice guys over there” is not something anybody is ever going to say.

    25. @25 while dumb, the truth is that Bullock is a decent player, probably worth the revised money on a 1-year deal if he makes a full recovery a month or 2 into the season. (but never worth the original amount.) It’s not merely a “good will/PR move, like signing Lance Thomas or even Ron Baker who were never good and unlikely to be (despite my initial love for Ron’s scrappy game).

    26. Just curious. What are the other “ridiculously dumb” things this FO has done. Remember, you used the word ridiculously. And its just this FO (Perry)…don’t start reaching back to Phil or Isiah!

    27. @24 how do you plan on seeing Iggy, Knox, Trier, Dotson and frank develop when they signed 7 veterans who will be in the rotation?

    28. Just curious. What are the other “ridiculously dumb” things this FO has done.

      Drafting Kevin Knox

      Signing seven mediocre veterans and acquiring zero assets with $70M of cap space when many cap rental deals were available

      But yeah maybe “ridiculously” dumb was an overstatement, that should probably be reserved for things like giving a player option to Ron Baker. This front office is just regular, garden variety dumb, not “how’s it goink” level dumb.

    29. What are the other “ridiculously dumb” things this FO has done.

      Let us never forget that this FO stretch-waived Joakim Noah months before free agency. For cap space that eventually netted them Bobby friggin’ Portis.

      Instead of the contract expiring at the end of this season, the Knicks will have Noah on the cap until 2022. For the “prize” of 1-2 years of Bobby Portis (or Gibson + Ellington, etc.) That’s beyond ‘ridiculously dumb’. It’s insanity.

    30. The current front office hasn’t done anything ridiculously bad, not even drafting Knox. Knox can shoot threes and is looking like he can rebound too. He’s likely to improve more. I don’t know how good he will be, but that’s probably a fair return from a ninth pick even though we always want and expect more.

      Their current strategy isn’t one anyone here advocated or even anticipated. I can’t recall anyone bringing a large batch of free agents like this and rolling over cap space by this mechanism. But it’s not a disaster for sure, and it means the Knicks zigged while other teams zagged, which might be a good thing. I am interested in seeing how this year works out.

    31. The current front office includes Steve Mills who signed those famous Ron Baker and Tim Hardaway Jr contracts.

    32. I think the current NBA player market is entirely driven (or at least largely driven) by the preference of players for a city and organization. If Noah was unhappy and unwilling to take a pay cut (he was struggling with some serious issues), I think it’s best to make him happy. It may not make financial sense, but it does make business sense.

    33. Julius Randle is an asset. And the contract they signed him to is also an asset. So they used 30% of the cap space to attain an asset.

      Not everyone thinks they should have rented the cap space for more picks. As I said yesterday they are fairly rich in draft capital.

      They obviously think putting the young players in a more competitive environment is going to be better for their growth and also the ability to evaluate them. That philosophy in and of itself is not wrong. The execution of it was mediocre with Randle, Morris, Peyton and maybe Gibson being relative positives while the rest of the signings were poor.

      Nothing “dumb” about it.

    34. @31 It wasn’t ridiculously dumb to stretch Noah. For a long time it looked like they would be successful in landing 2 free agents, and that was not possible without freeing up cap space. It was also connected with the KP trade that freed up cap space. Just because things panned out differently than hoped, it wasn’t dumb to create the conditions when there was a decent probability of success.

    35. I think the current NBA player market is entirely driven (or at least largely driven) by the preference of players for a city and organization. If Noah was unhappy and unwilling to take a pay cut (he was struggling with some serious issues), I think it’s best to make him happy. It may not make financial sense, but it does make business sense.

      Why oh why should the Knicks care about the happiness of a player who admitted he partied too much while with the team and got suspended for taking PEDs? The Knicks have a history of these dumbass ‘favors’ they do for players (Noah, signing Chris Smith, letting CAA call shots during Melo’s tenure, lance + baker contracts) and what has it gotten them? Definitely not any star fee agents.

      The Knicks should’ve parked Noah’s butt on the couch and waived him this offseason (not stretched) after they struck out on the top guys. The Cavs did just that with JR Smith this past year and it wasn’t a big deal at all.

    36. I mean I hope all this works out. Before this offseason I said we’d get some significant data points about Scott Perry as a GM. The data points were not super encouraging.

      We did sort of a deluxe version of the Afflalo/Derrick Williams offseason, with team options instead of player options. The plan is, I suppose, to try to go for a big free agent again in 2020, in a weak FA class? Or maybe again in 2021, when we delude ourselves into the Giannis fantasy?

      I’m not trying to be a curmudgeon here, I just legitimately do not like the strategy. They’re never gonna give us the true rebuild, they’re just gonna do a bunch of half measures and hope they get a miracle down the road.

      Just because it’s not the worst possible plan doesn’t mean it’s a good plan. This plan is gonna lead to a whole lot of treading of water.

    37. It wasn’t ridiculously dumb to stretch Noah. For a long time it looked like they would be successful in landing 2 free agents, and that was not possible without freeing up cap space. It was also connected with the KP trade that freed up cap space. Just because things panned out differently than hoped, it wasn’t dumb to create the conditions when there was a decent probability of success

      If the Knicks needed that cap space to sign top guys then they could’ve just stretch-waived Noah right before they signed them. They didn’t need to do it in the middle of the season before confirming that they were getting any of these star players. Stretch-waiving him during the season always had the potential to bite them in the ass, and guess what, it did! Were the Knicks really that scared of a frowning Noah bitching to the press about not playing? Cause that would be the only downside to waiting to waive him until the offseason.

      On the books till 2022!

      Anybody know if the Knicks can offload that dead cap space onto another team in a trade?

    38. What Perry is doing is not the optimal plan. Renting out cap space for assets was obviously better. This is a weird third way. It could easily end up neither warp nor woof. I hope it works out. I feel there’s a strong chance we end up Pistons East. I’m excited for Mitch’s sophomore season, and interested in how RJ does. Trying to accept this all non-dualistically.

      If it doesn’t work out, at least I have the Yankees.

    39. Seriously? Stretching Noah was ridiculously dumb? If you had a 30% chance at signing Durant and Kyrie, you stretch Noah to make room just in case. It’s a much better bet than tanking.

      And no, I don’t know how much I will see Iggy, Knox, Trier, Dotson and Frank, but the latter 3 are not affected by any free agents other than Peyton and maybe Bullock, and I see RJ taking some SG minutes. And I don’t have the feeling Knox will be crying for minutes. Iggy likely has to work hard to play, and it seems like he’s willing; it’s only Morris that I’m worried about taking his minutes.

    40. I understand people are tired, despondent, afraid of dying before the knicks become a competitive team… but the moment that KD went down and the lottery gods smiled on NO is the moment that this sad franchise needed to commit to the tank / development of young guys for another two years. through FO design or incompetence we seem to be doing just that and i’m thankful.

      this is not optimism. this is not hope. this is not wishful thinking. this is the best foundational groundwork the knicks have had since the 90s. Youth, picks, anticipated cap space, and market. What else do you want? Yes playoffs are nice but that gratification will be forgotten come next year’s draft. mad about bullock? Why? He’s just flexible fodder. If the Knicks aren’t going to win they can at least help rehab the young man! For all the libertarian hate — some of you are sure acting heartless with this signing. Nobody is going to move the needle on this team.

      Yes, there are fair criticisms of the knicks for sure. Any #3 trade down or other means of asset accumulation would have been great, but ladies and gentlemen, the knicks aren’t an A+ organization. They are at best a C- one.

      It’s fun to have high standards, to play GM and point out the best moves possible. Keep doing so! Knickerblogger dreams of masai. We have james dolan and a legion of sycophants. That will never change. The currents, however, are starting to resemble an actual path towards winning basketball.

      Knicks get 21 wins next year! Mavericks are in the lottery! Let’s go!

      relevant jotd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qTin1WsUKc

    41. Julius Randle is an asset. And the contract they signed him to is also an asset. So they used 30% of the cap space to attain an asset.

      This isn’t quite false by definition for non-max free agents because of course not every player takes the most they’re offered, and the NBA free agency market isn’t quite a free market. There’s lots of complications. But still I think it’s fair to say that if the league as a whole thought Julius Randle was any kind of significant asset on the deal he just inked, then in all likelihood he would have inked a bigger deal than that.

      I get that a lot of people here like Randle, and I see the potential as well. He may very well play himself into being a nice asset on that deal. But I don’t think the league sees him that way. I think the league sees a scoring big who can’t protect the rim enough to be a C but can’t shoot enough to play PF (and can’t guard PFs either). It’s possible the league is wrong about him, but I don’t think it’s accurate to say they used that cap space to add an asset.

    42. Seriously? Stretching Noah was ridiculously dumb? If you had a 30% chance at signing Durant and Kyrie, you stretch Noah to make room just in case. It’s a much better bet than tanking.

      Stretch-waiving him when they did IS ridiculously dumb. There was no rush. They should’ve only stretched him after they confirmed they would be getting KD + Kyrie or whoever. And if they didn’t get those guys they could’ve just waived him when FA began. But I guess they would’ve lost out on Portis in that case. Quelle horreur!

    43. Yeah, we will see with Randle. I’m hoping with his passing (and hopefully some outside shooting) that he pairs nicely with Mitch.

      I’m still very concerned about RJ’s overall inefficiency. A lot of that could be eased by limiting him to 2 threes per game, but I really hope he doesn’t just start chucking away because he really could become an excellent passer.

      I’m hoping that RJ/Randle/Mitch will eventually become a nice core to add two legit stars to at the right time… we’ll see I guess. I don’t regret the KP move, though, because he’ll never become a complete player and will always be an injury risk. Good riddance.

    44. Randle is a very good player in some aspects of the game, but I don’t think he has a market for trading. It’s really hard to think of a good team that would totally want him in their roster, a lot of teams would take him (like probably Utah, Boston, Toronto, even the Clippers / Lakers / Nets) and could all play him good minutes, but not enough to part with good assets for him.

      The best case scenario with Randle for me is that he improves and plays really well with Mitch, and gets re-signed at the end of his contract for what should be his prime (26-30 years old) for a value contract. I don’t think he will ever have too much trade value as teams are simply not looking for the type of player he is as a star. However, if he does become a star, we can use that to keep him with us on a good contract. He’s still 24, there’s still room for improvement in his game. Then we still have money to get another max star to pair with him, Mitch, and whoever develops from RJ, Knox, etc.

    45. Well, we have Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, and two more picks in the top 40 of next year’s draft. We could absolutely have used the cap space better, but we have a pretty good set of assets going forward. I don’t mind the cap space punt and I don’t think we did anything too harmful to the development of the young guys. If Dotson/Ntilikina can’t outplay Wayne Ellington in year 3 they don’t deserve playing time. The team has one true center (Mitchell Robinson), so he’ll play too.

      The difference between 2015 and this year is we had no assets in 2015. Now we’re probably 5th in the league behind Atlanta, Sacramento, Memphis, and New Orleans in terms of youth movements. I don’t mind the veteran movement at all.

    46. someone like randle is gonna be underrated… they normally are… he’s in that shareef abdur rahim and zach randolph mold… but not quite in the blake griffin or kevin love category…. at least yet….

      you can win with those guys…. but being poor defensively at a key defensive position requires a build around effect without being so good that it might be worth rejiggering your roster to do that…. he could absolutely get there given his high efficiency and offensive talents….

      and if you don’t have a star or have mega prospects on your team it behooves you to take chances on these guys… the rest of the league is trying to replicate other team’s success without having that kind of personnel… what teams should be looking for is maximizing the talent they obtain and already have….

      that leads to guys like randle being a bit underrated…. and probably perpetually so… but it also results in an opportunity for teams willing to take the risk… and it just so happens we are in that exact position to find out….

    47. lost a friend today…we worked together for many years…one of those few work friends wherein it’s cool to spend time hanging out outside of work…it’s funny, he looked like this big ol’ scary biker dude – but, he had a really gentle and kind heart…him and my mom (two die-hard democrats) would talk politics on the phone every once in a while…i miss him already…

      ben liked to smoke, drink and read a lot…no doubt he’s doing so now…

      always listened to me when i had shit to say, and, as you all know – there’s a bunch of times when i got shit to say…always willing to listen to me and my issues…taking time to listen to someone else may not seem like such a big deal to some, but, it sure meant a lot to me…i tried my best to make sure to do the same for him…

      life ain’t always sunshine and joy, it’s good to have someone to share some of the tougher challenges with, help carry a little bit of that weight…when folks wonder about the whole meaning/purpose of life – no doubt some of that is to help and share with others along the journey…

      it was his heart, which had given him some trouble in the past, that gave out on him…wasn’t even 40 yet…a young man…he touched a bunch of folks here at work…i’ll keep ben with me the remainder of my days…

      had a chance to speak with his family, he was at peace before he passed…actually asked his uncle to make sure to call in to work to let us know he wouldn’t be coming in today…

    48. geo – sorry to hear about your friend – hang in there.

      Re: Bullock – so cervical disc herniation is in the neck, not the back. Presumably he had neurological symptoms that they picked up during his physical which led him to the operating room. Did some poking around and it seems that about 3/4 returned to play the following season with an average return-to-play time of about 7 months. Most of the athletes in that review were football/rugby/wrestling and so one might think that basketball might be more favorable than those.

      I’m fine with the signing. If he had no chance of coming back this season then obviously it’s not a great signing, but if he comes back in, say January, then you have a good player at a well-below-market contract (guessing $4MM/year with a non guaranteed 2nd year). That is an asset as a player and as a contract. He would also be insurance against Dotson leaving next summer (much more so than someone like Ellington who is more limited as a player than Bullock and Dotson).

    49. It is undeniable that Mitch is already among the all-time greats as a shot-blocker.

      Not to belabor the point but it is very, very, VERY deniable that a guy whose NBA career consists of 66 games and less than 21 minutes a game for the worst team in the league that had one of the worst defenses in the league is “already among the all-time greats as a shot-blocker.”

      Stop watching highlights. Everybody looks good in highlights. That’s why they are called “highlights.”

      Mike

    50. Sorry to hear that geo – to die at less than 40 years old, that is a bad deal.
      Another reminder not to take the time we have for granted.

      I’ve lost a few friends and my mom in the past several months, You don’t think about it until it happens..

      Re: Bullock hopefully that $8,000,000 buys some serious “goodwill” as the theory goes

    51. Good fun read if you have an extra time.
      Scouting report BEFORE the draft through the years.
      http://www.ibiblio.org/craig/draft

      And some scout said-
      Skill-wise, _____ may be the best player in the draft. He is not the athlete James and Anthony are, but he is a good shooter whose game is more suited to the NBA than to the European leagues. He would be deadly in the NBA pick-and-rolls, and he is athletic enough to create off of isolations, which are not common in European basketball. He aslo can run the floor and finish fast breaks.
      Milicic has the inclination to play.

      Lol. DARKO!

    52. Sorry to hear geo. It’s been a tough few years for me too, lost a sibling, an ex, and one of my inner circle best friends from high school, all at young ages.

    53. JB, geo and JK, truly sorry for your losses. geo, that’s a really bum deal. Hopefully a resurgence by our boys in blue and orange in the fall will make the year end on a better note!

    54. Despite the bumbling, it’s a better time to be a Knicks fan than it has been for a while. We seem to be done with albatross contract syndrome, at least for the time being. We have a handful of young, hungry players on rookie deals to dream big things about.

      Since I’m stuck at my kid’s volleyball practice with nothing else to do, I might as well make a lucky 7 predictions:

      1) there will be at least 60 games where we either win or are competitive well into the 4th quarter.
      2) we will win over 30 games
      3) Mitch, Randle and Morris will form a terrifying front line that matches up with any in the league on both ends
      4) Payton will have a nice season with a handful of triple-doubles
      5) Iggy pops!
      6) Knox breaks the .000 WS48 barrier and averages 20 pts/36 and 6rebs/36 on a TS of .530
      7) Trier is mentioned for 6MOY

    55. @44

      The Knicks strech-waived Noah because they were honestly tired of dealing with his bullshit as well as the laughably predictable media hysteria from peeps like Asola.

      Cuz sometimes you just gotta ghost your ex that keeps calling even when you’ve made it clear that it’s over.

    56. looks like i wasn’t so dumb to reach out and try to be a little more social a few years ago when i joined this community…ya’ll a good group of people…i appreciate you all…feel fortunate to be able to discuss and share shit with…

      quite a bit of life experience gathered up here, and, even a little bit of basketball wisdom on occasion :)

      yeah, it’s fucking me up some…from 5pm to 6pm there’s usually only a few of us still here in the office, ben being one of those…i miss his words…keep looking out my office and picturing him standing there…

      been real fortunate in life not to lose too many folks whom i was close to…really only my dad, but, he was in constant pain, so, i was genuinely happy for him to find some peace…still rattled my world a bit…

      i don’t feel bad for ben, i truly believe he’s at peace…felt bad for his mom, best i could just tried to celebrate his life with her when i spoke with her earlier…can’t imagine there’s many tougher situations to deal with in life than to lose a child…

      another friend at work lost their child recently to suicide…pure tragedy…had a conversation with them afterwards, and, they were really lost and having a very difficult time to anchor themselves…

      not that long ago watched this clip with keanu talking with colbert…colbert asked him what he thought happened after we die…just shared that the only thing he knew for certain was that the folks who cared about us while we lived, would miss us when we’re gone…miss you ben…

    57. My deepest condolences guys, these are always tough times. 2019 has been a very rough year so far, but I’m confident we all can make it through, let’s hope the Knicks can help us with the process.

    58. JB, i didn’t mean to leave you out, but our posts crossed. My condolences to you too

    59. Let us never forget that this FO stretch-waived Joakim Noah months before free agency. For cap space that eventually netted them Bobby friggin’ Portis.

      Yeah, to reiterate, there was NO financial advantage to waiving Noah before the season. It freed up zero extra cap room versus stretching him after the season. All it did was open up a roster spot for a back of the roster player.

      They could have just kept him from the team like a number of other teams have done with a number of other players.

    60. @69 My understanding it that is generally frowned upon by the union to prevent a player from playing by not waiving him. (Can you think of a player who was healthy enough to play but told to stay away yet kept on the roster indefinitely? ) So the only actual alternatives were to waive him with or without stretching him. And my understanding is that the decision has to be made at the time of the waiving.

    61. No, as long as the player is paid, they don’t care. It literally just happened this year with the Cavs and JR. Their only objection is when teams try to dock pay (like some team did with Marbury. I think it was a team after he was with the Knicks. Yes, Marbury was somehow banished by multiple teams). Essentially, if you pay them, you have the right to do whatever you want with them.

    62. What if it’s possible that by December 15, the team is interested in trading Ntilikina, Portis, and Ellington (Knox too, if they want him) to OKC for Chris Paul and a pick? I don’t see how either team says no to that considering how badly OKC wants to get from under CP3’s contract. I’ll gladly take an aging Paul if he comes with a pick or 2 attached. He’d be invaluable to guys like Trier,Dot, Mitch, Randle, Barrett, and DSJ

    63. I don’t believe Presti is interested in using picks to get rid of Paul. I think he’ll either wait for value for him or just hold on to him.

    64. Yeah, Presti has a million picks from other teams. And while this configuration of the Thunder won’t contend for a title, they’re at least going to be competitive. Plus, no big free agent is coming there until those draft picks start paying off — and maybe not ever — so Paul’s contract isn’t that onerous compared to how it might be in another market. If he can get value for Paul, he’ll do it. Otherwise, might as well let him play.

    65. And yeah, yikes, guys, sorry that a few of you’ve been through some rough times recently. I feel for you!

    66. I wonder if presti felt relief when he got the call from the clips…

      I thought russ would go to the heat…it’ll be interesting watching him and harden play together…

      I’m not sure I remember any one else acquiring that many picks – definitely not in that short a span of time…it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out for them…

      not sure either on that jerami grant trade…probably should have held on to him…

    67. Sorry to hear about your losses, my friends Geo, Jack, and JK. I wish you all better times.

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