Knicks Morning News (2021.10.18)

  • Big on Consistency: Previewing the 2021?22 Knicks Frontcourt – The Knicks Wall
    [theknickswall.com] — Monday, October 18, 2021 6:49:56 AM

    Big on Consistency: Previewing the 2021?22 Knicks Frontcourt  The Knicks Wall

  • The NBA’s Most Valuable Teams 2021-22: New York Knicks Lead A Trio Now Worth Over $5 Billion Each – Forbes
    [www.forbes.com] — Monday, October 18, 2021 6:30:00 AM

    The NBA’s Most Valuable Teams 2021-22: New York Knicks Lead A Trio Now Worth Over $5 Billion Each  Forbes

  • The NBA at 75: From a very modest beginning, to a behemoth – iFIBER One News
    [www.ifiberone.com] — Monday, October 18, 2021 2:24:01 AM

    The NBA at 75: From a very modest beginning, to a behemoth  iFIBER One News

  • ‘New York Would Be The Place’ if Damian Lillard is Traded – Heavy.com
    [heavy.com] — Sunday, October 17, 2021 9:30:00 PM

    ‘New York Would Be The Place’ if Damian Lillard is Traded  Heavy.com

  • Taj Gibson likely to see expanded Knicks role with uncertainties at center – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Sunday, October 17, 2021 7:33:00 PM

    Taj Gibson likely to see expanded Knicks role with uncertainties at center  New York Post

  • Evan Fournier on fitting in with Knicks so far, looking forward to season start vs Boston | Knicks News Conference – Yahoo Sports
    [sports.yahoo.com] — Sunday, October 17, 2021 5:45:07 PM

    Evan Fournier on fitting in with Knicks so far, looking forward to season start vs Boston | Knicks News Conference  Yahoo Sports

  • NBA Opinion: Former Duke Star? Nets? Knicks?Former Number One Recruit Should Be Signed By One Of These Three Teams – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Sunday, October 17, 2021 4:49:13 PM

    NBA Opinion: Former Duke Star? Nets? Knicks?Former Number One Recruit Should Be Signed By One Of These Three Teams  Sports Illustrated

  • The Definitive New York Knicks Roster Breakdown: The Backcourt – Daily Knicks
    [dailyknicks.com] — Sunday, October 17, 2021 2:00:00 PM

    The Definitive New York Knicks Roster Breakdown: The Backcourt  Daily Knicks

  • Knicks News: Mitchell Robinson says first action was ‘bad’, a few surprise players make 15-man roster – Empire Sports Media
    [empiresportsmedia.com] — Sunday, October 17, 2021 11:22:30 AM

    Knicks News: Mitchell Robinson says first action was ‘bad’, a few surprise players make 15-man roster  Empire Sports Media

  • NBA Preview: A player-by-player look at Knicks roster – New York Daily News
    [www.nydailynews.com] — Sunday, October 17, 2021 8:30:00 AM

    NBA Preview: A player-by-player look at Knicks roster  New York Daily News

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    72 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2021.10.18)”

    1. Yeah, I hear this guy is a bit of an Alan-come-lately to the Succession beat.

      I am too. Couldn’t get my wife to watch it. Squid game not happening either.

    2. Re: baseball from the last thread,
      The most interesting live baseball I’ve seen over the last decade is a local 1800s-style throwback game (no gloves, old rules, suspenders, and newsies), which I think says a lot.

      As for our last roster spot, I hope we can find a swiss-army-type defender because I think this team will be a bit lacking defensively… maybe a young combo guard with great length and sick Eurostyle threads. Can anyone think of a player like that?

    3. Sounds like the novelty of bruised palms might have been part of the appeal?

      Adjusting the mound height in the Sixties worked out well. I think adding replay was good once they shaved down the opportunities to use it. I’d be a fan of a robot strike zone. If we are going to have all the data immediately available to show the ump missed the call, then why have the ump? It’s kind of like Hawkeye at major tennis tourneys. People were against that for years and then they did it and everyone was like, hey, this is way better.

      I enjoy the game but more by reading about it on Fangraphs than watching it. If I sit down and commit to watching a game I enjoy it but it’s a hard commitment to budget 3-4 hours for these days.

      I also think all this nonsense about bat flips and celebrations being policed with fastballs to the head has to go. Should be harshly policed. It’s a good thing if players are allowed to show they enjoy playing.

      It’s a golden age of player talent in the majors. It’s pretty rare to have players like Soto, Acuna (if he recovers), Tatis, and Wander all coming up together at the same time. All HOF talents. And you have Trout and Ohtani, two of the most remarkable players in the history of the game.

      If you can’t enjoy anything about baseball right, I think you may be missing some things.

      Also, fuck the Yankees (except for Aaron Judge who is a critical cog in one of my fantasy teams.)

    4. I think baseball has aesthetically suffered from fealty to analytics far more than basketball has. There are certain aspects of analytics-friendly NBA play that aren’t fun to watch, particularly the foul-baiting antics of Harden, Trae, etc. But most of what the math says is smart play is also entertaining to watch. I agree with others in that I miss varied styles of play, post-ups, etc, but the peak Warriors were awesome to watch, you know?

      Between the rise in use of defensive shifts, the explosion in relief pitchers who can throw high 90s heat, and the emphasis on launch angle, baseball has devolved almost entirely into a Three True Outcomes sport, where most at-bats result in a strikeout, a walk, or a home run. That the ball is not being put in play very often is a huge problem, because it renders the game dull to watch. And I’m not sure what the solution is.

    5. Please no spoilers on Succession S3 yet : )

      But most of what the math says is smart play is also entertaining to watch.

      The pace-and-space era means tons of room and imbalances for amazing highlights. There’s nothing boring about a driving dunk that’s contested at the rim, and we get so much of that these days.

    6. As for our last roster spot, I hope we can find a swiss-army-type defender because I think this team will be a bit lacking defensively

      I have faith in Thibs to get the most out these guys defensively, but Kemba is going to be a problem and Fournier is also a downgrade on defense. I’d prefer to have a very strong defensive team that needs an upgrade on offense to a team that looks second tier on both sides. A great defensive team can at least keep you in most games. Last year we won some games on defensive grit down the stretch alone. This year that may be a little tougher unless we want to bench Kemba and Fournier down the the stretch like we did in the Washington game. Thibs is going to have to work some magic to get Kemba to defend well or at least cover for him well. (Grimes looks like he could be a very good player in time)

    7. One of the biggest problems with baseball is the amount of time between pitches. The few times I’ve stayed with a baseball game is when a pitcher is working fast and there’s a flow to the game. OTOH, the really slow pitchers make it almost unwatchable.

      I kind of got into watching the Little League World Series this year because the pitchers worked really fast and the batters didn’t do all the adjusting the batting gloves, stepping out of the box bullshit.

    8. I loved the Knicks in the 90’s like so many of us but let’s be honest, it was a brutal basketball watching experience. I thought that at the time.

      If your team is good I don’t think the aesthetics matter that much.

      And totally agree d-mar. They have made some marginal improvements on the batters but they should push the pitchers too to play more quickly.

    9. I’d prefer to have a very strong defensive team that needs an upgrade on offense to a team that looks second tier on both sides.

      If you’re projecting that’s one thing, but saying we “look” second tier on offense is a bit weird when we went 4-0 in the preseason with the 2nd best pace adjusted offensive rating in the league. Hard to view the preseason as anything other than an early indication the offensive upgrades we made will more than offset the defensive drop off.

    10. I agree baseball has some aesthetic issues and agree that time between pitches is a bigger issue than TTO tendencies. The trend towards TTO admittedly makes for a different viewing experience, but whether or not it’s worse is just a matter of preference. I can see the argument for it and it’s been made, but the flip side is you’re way more likely to see a physics-defying pitch or absolutely smoked dong than you were back in the day. I personally think that tradeoff is fine, and think more people would feel the way if they dealt with pitchers taking forever,

    11. Owen: I loved the Knicks in the 90’s like so many of us but let’s be honest, it was a brutal basketball watching experience. I thought that at the time.

      When these days they say “the teams are trading baskets”, in the 90s it’d be “the teams are trading STOPs”. A lot of times there was 5 ou 6 possessions without a single basket. But i loved that decade, the Knicks were great from start to finish.

    12. @wojespn
      Memphis Grizzlies F Jaren Jackson Jr., has agreed to a four-year, $105 million rookie contract extension, his agent Austin Brown of @CAA_Basketball tells ESPN. Another massive deal to secure one of league’s best young big men ahead of 6 PM ET deadline.

      There had been some rumblings Memphis might not want to extend JJJ given his injury history. Now he’s locked in.

    13. The Athletic ranks us 13th in their power rankings

      @FredKatz
      The Knicks come in at No. 13 to begin the season.

    14. Re: the baseball problem — hits of all kinds are exciting, base running is exciting, and people making close plays is exciting. So singles are exciting, homers are exciting, but doubles and triples are way more exciting. When the # of hits goes way down because of shifts, swinging for fences on every pitch, more strikeouts, then baseball is more boring. When doubles and triples are down, and stolen bases are down, then baseball is more boring. Even bunts are exciting! And definitely very long periods of no-action (ie. between pitches, mound visits, pitching changes, etc) = very boring.

      Not sure how many people here have Athletic subs, but there’s a great article by Jayson Stark about a 15 second pitch clock being tested in the minors:
      https://theathletic.com/2829518/2021/09/17/can-this-minor-league-pitch-clock-solve-all-of-mlbs-problems/

      For those who it’s tl;dr or don’t have sub, basically there’s a 15 second clock without baserunners and a 17 second clock when there are baserunners, or else it’s a penalty ball or a strike depending on who’s delaying. Since they implemented it, games are shorter by 21 minutes (3:02 to 2:41) even though there are more hits/runs and fewer strikeouts and walks.

    15. Right, baseball was incredibly stupid for 100 years before “everybody” figured it out.

      Yes, I hate to break it to you, but orthodox baseball strategy was often very dumb for large periods of time, because baseball is the old fartiest, tradition-heavy sport there is, and most people who managed baseball teams ran with the “It was good enough for Leo Durocher so it’s good enough for me” mindset rather than stopping to think whether it was a good idea to give an out away in a 0-0 game in the third inning. There were certain low-run environment eras in baseball where bunting possibly made sense but throughout most of baseball history the bunt was a bad play, except in certain situations.

      It took decades for people to realize having a guy with a high on-base percentage at the top of the order was a better idea than just letting your second baseman lead off no matter what, and it took decades for managers to correctly understand relief pitcher leverage. The Dodgers in the 1960’s thought it was a good idea to have Sandy Koufax pitch 300 innings and strike out almost 400 batters than it was to give him some occasional rest and limit his pitch counts.

      Change in baseball was glacially slow until it wasn’t, and the game looks different than it used to, and baseball is this august thing that we did with our dads or whatever, so it’s easy to lament the loss of watching Chris Speier lay down a bunt in the fourth inning of a 1-1 game but really that’s not a big loss as far as I’m concerned.

      I would be down for some rule tweaks that permit the most extreme shifts, like you can’t have more than two infielders on one side of the diamond or whatever. It is a little annoying seeing line drive singles get turned into routine 4-3 groundouts. That seems easily fixable.

    16. Yeah, what JK47 said.

      Football is interesting because it is way behind the available math of 4th down and 2 point conversion numbers. And that makes the sport less exciting I would say actually. Punts are not exciting.

      Not to be pedantic about it but what has happened in sports has happened everywhere else too. People are optimizing using data and machine learning and a lot of neutrals feel that something big is lost in the process. Which is well and good to a point but isn’t a great argument for bunting either.

      I think a pitch clock, strictly enforced would be a great idea, along with a robot ump.

    17. thenoblefacehumper: If you’re projecting that’s one thing, but saying we “look” second tier on offense is a bit weird when we went 4-0 in the preseason with the 2nd best pace adjusted offensive rating in the league. Hard to view the preseason as anything other than an early indication the offensive upgrades we made will more than offset the defensive drop off.

      I’m projecting based on the talent we have on the team. I think we may not be top 10 on either side.

      I’m not in the “pre season means nothing” camp, but imo our record and ranking means less given Thibs gives a lot of minutes to our starters to get them in game shape and to improve the chemistry with the new players. Most teams are taking a more balanced approach between game shape, working out the kinks, and looking at who deserves to be on the roster.

    18. I’ve found that Baseball is boring if you’re not deeply invested in a certain team or players. I feel that basketball is much more casual fan friendly, in that it’s fast paced, generally easy to understand, and the players are giant and recognizable and wear no padding so there is an intimacy to it that is appealing.

      But, even in my current causal fandom, I have to say I was pretty much checked out on basketball not long ago, partly because the Knicks weren’t worth my time, and partly because the whole Donaghy scandal shined a light on the imperfections of the game. But then Steph Curry came along and made the game beautiful and exciting and, in my mind, saved it from itself. I love the modern run and shoot game, and would never want to return to the 90s styles of Riley and Fratello. Ever.

      The thing that I think analytics is hurting in basketball is the clock control at the end of the game. Fouling with the lead is lame and boring and I hope it’s just a fad and doesn’t last.

    19. I haven’t watched much baseball in 20 years, but I’d be willing to bet there are still things being done wrong strategically. Some things are tough to analyze because high level data can say one thing is correct, but within it you can find smaller groups that say something else. Sometimes the exception is the complete opposite of what the high level data says. Those things can be tough to find and even tougher to trust because they are small samples. Despite all the data they have now, I expect some strategic changes to occur over time where people are going to say, “WTF were we thinking? There are all these exceptions”.

    20. I haven’t watched much baseball in 20 years, but I’d be willing to bet there are still things being done wrong strategically.

      I mean, sure. I would think hitters who can hit to all fields might make a comeback. There are always corrections to the corrections.

      I don’t think people are gonna be bunting much in low leverage situations anymore though, or letting starting pitchers throw 150 pitches in a game.

    21. Our offense was #2 in the preseason despite the fact Kemba & Fournier were both pretty underwhelming shooting the ball. Sure RJ will probably cool off, but the early indications are that we’ll run a very good offense.

      We also played the entire preseason without Noel & Mitch (not counting 30min of wheezing). Mitch was an immense defensive upgrade over Taj even being out of shape.

    22. As for efficiency in basketball, I miss post-ups. I don’t miss Eddy Curry’s inefficient post-ups or Melo iso/post into a missed midrange jumper 40x a game.

    23. @wojespn
      ESPN Sources: Suns talks with Deandre Ayton on rookie extension have ended — without a deal. Ayton expected max contract and owner Robert Sarver hasn’t offered it. More coming on consequences for failing to reach deal with 2018 No. 1 overall pick. NBA Today debut, ESPN2. Now.

      Ruh-roh.

    24. Yeah, how good our defense will be, how much and how well we shoot the three, and how healthy our guards stay would appear to be three of the most important factors in our success this year. Stating the obvious.

    25. @wojespn
      Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has agreed to an additional two-year, $45 million extension – guaranteeing him $89.3 million over the next four years, his agent Austin Brown of CAA Sports tells ESPN.

      Brogdon also can’t be traded this season as a result of signing the extension.

    26. The Suns were in a difficult situation, they choose to pay the cheaper 3-And D guy and risk loosing their max demanding center (but they can match potential offer sheet, right?)

      Interesting.

    27. Alan: Brogdon also can’t be traded this season as a result of signing the extension.

      The Pacers are obsessed with chasing the 8-seed, eh?

    28. Suns decision is interesting. Real bet on the continuing devaluation of the center.

      Pacers ah, have to sign any good player who wants to be in Indiana?

    29. At the tail end of a Hollinger notebook column that also has thoughts on Mitch (Hollinger is worried he packed on too much muscle) and Obi (Hollinger thinks Obi/Randle frontcourt creates by far our best offensive lineup, even if there are defensive issues), he wrote about Rokas:

      At this point, European teams have already played several games, so we’re already getting an impression of who is off to a great start and who isn’t. The most notable outlier from the previous year’s performance might be Jokubaitis, who has exploded in the early going in his first season in Spain. Most notably, he’s been able to convert both frequently and efficiently inside the arc despite moving up to a more difficult league, hitting 20 of his 31 2-point attempts while drawing fouls at roughly double the rate of a year ago.

      Some athletic limitations will always be there for Jokubaitis — he’s stuck on zero blocks for the season and has a grand total of nine in his six seasons of international basketball. But as a savvy midrange and paint scorer whose 3-pointer should be good enough, he looks like a really interesting rotation guard for next year and beyond. We’re still working in small-sample territory — he’s played 12 games — but his start is really encouraging sign for Knicks fans.

    30. Memphis really gambling JJJ is going to reach his potential. That is a lot of money for a kid who hasn’t been healthy or particularly good on his rookie deal (he’s been pretty solid when he’s been able to play, but not at the level you’d hope from a high lottery pick)

    31. @wojespn
      Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet has agreed to a four-year, $43 million rookie contract extension, his agent @GeorgeLangberg
      tells ESPN.

      I’m sure Ayton will like this news

    32. @wojespn
      Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter has agreed on a four-year, $65 million rookie contract extension, @PrioritySports agents Mark Bartelstein and Andy Shiffman tell ESPN.

    33. It will be interesting to see if Thibs trusts the Obi/Randle frontcourt this year. In the preseason, Obi looked much better defensively. I’m obviously hopeful that Mitch makes another leap and becomes a two-way force inside, but Obi/Randle would at least give us a different 5-out look.

      Kemba’s D is a bigger concern tbh. Regardless of who starts, Rose might end up playing most of the PG minutes if Kemba can’t at least play passable defense. And with Quickley’s crappy play this preseason, the position is again a worry. I don’t think we can count on Deuce yet either, but hopefully, it will all be fine.

    34. I don’t think this is the time to try the Obi + Julius frontcourt, first we should try to evaluate what we lost on defense with Kemba and Fournier. To try both changes at the same time is probably a recipe for disaster.

    35. Grimes breaking into the rotation would help our perimeter defense a lot. Hes a rookie but from what I’ve seen is advanced for his age on that side of the ball.

    36. More Mitch and… more Alan. We gotta work fast on Alan’s extension, we can’t risk losing him for nothing! LOL

      Tommy Beer:
      correction on previous tweet: because Micthell Robinson is a second-round pick, the Oct. 18 deadline does not apply to him.
      He and the Knicks can continue to discuss a possible contract extension into the season.
      Which is the same for Mavs PG Jalen Brunson (h/t @sepinwall)
      https://twitter.com/TommyBeer/status/1450107292213555200

    37. For all of the eye test people here I dunno how the hell you couldve watched the Knicks during pre-season and not notice what a huge difference Kemba and Fournier make on the offense. Even without shooting it well the way they penetrate and pass the ball it was night and day compared to having Elf and Bullock. The fact the stats during pre-season confirmed it is even more proof at what a huge upgrade the new backcourt is.

    38. Suns giving that deal to Shamet but not maxing Ayton is certainly a decision. Some decent offers getting chucked around. I like JJJ as a player, but considering his injury history, his deal makes Randle’s look like an even bigger steal.

      Ingmarrrr
      October 18, 2021 at 9:43 am
      Is Squid Game any good? You guys are like my preferred curation squad for TV.

      It’s worth a look for sure. Would recommend not watching the English dub though. My partner insisted we watch the dub instead of subtitles, but for me it kind of made it feel a bit too comedic. The violence probably isn’t as high impact as it was made out, but it’s an interesting plot and social commentary piece.

    39. Donnie I want you to stop being a jerkoff and watch Breaking Bad so you can eat all the crow about it. Then watch whatever trendy zeitgeist fodder that Netflix is pushing today. (Queen’s Gambit sucked, just like the chess opening.)

      Dubbed versions of anything are for comedy only. I don’t mean the genre — I mean it’s impossible to do a dubbed version of anything and not have it come out as unintentionally funny.

    40. As for the way baseball is played now I have no issues with the product on the field whatsoever, the problem now is the amount of pitchers and pitching changes every game. Players still make incredible plays on defense and you still see some great baserunning and slides into bases. The athleticism is off the charts, the biggest issue is the way pitching staffs are being used.

      It’s unfortunately the best way to use them so it’s not a criticism of the strategy but when you have a team like Tampa win 100 games and not have 1 pitcher throw enough innings to qualify for the ERA title thats a bit of an issue to me.

      Football on the other hand has become unwatchable for me.

    41. Eye test wise Fournier has been ok to good on defense it feels a little unfair to group him with Kemba whos a complete liability at times.

    42. Unless we make a trade to generate cap space or sign Rokas to a minimum deal (unlikely given he almost certainly has a buyout), Rokas isn’t coming over this year.

      Next year we can use our midlevel to bring Rokas over. If Mitch stays put next year and we keep both draft picks, then we’ll need to cut Taj or one of the 2-way players to make enough roster space.

    43. Yeah, watching Keith Hernandez or Don Mattingly defend against a bunt in a critical situation sure was boring. I’d much rather see batters totally ignore a lone defender on one side of the infield and strike out or hit a feeble grounder while trying to yank one with two strikes, or better yet, smoke a line drive into the shifted second baseman’s glove way out in right field.

    44. BigBlueAL: Football on the other hand has become unwatchable for me.

      Wait,,, don’t tell me… let me guess…

      …you must be a fan of the NY Football Giants!

      This 2021 edition of that franchise is far and away the most unwatchable version I’ve had the displeasure of witnessing in my lifetime. And I’m old enough to have watched every one of those putrid mid ’60s to late ’70s teams that culminated with the Pisarcik Fumble.

      I have not watched a single snap of any Giants game in three weeks now. And seeing as how the Giants were pretty much the only football I have bothered to watch over the past several years, that means I’m pretty much done with the NFL for now and into the foreseeable future. One more set of eyeballs lost by the NFL that may never be coming back.

    45. I’m pretty enthused by the extensions handed out today. Some people have talked about RJ Barrett like we’re destined to extend him at max money even if he doesn’t make another leap, but these signings show that teams are not defaulting to the max as much as before.

    46. the worst thing about baseball to me is not the efficiency of the teams. It’s that they turned October into March fucking Madness. Makes 162 games rather meaningless when 1/3 of the league makes the postseason and the first round is a best of 5. We’re on pace for the 4th best team in the AL to face the 5th best team in the NL for the world series.

    47. I like RJ but don’t want to max him either. As I have said numerous times.

      I think the wild card format adds interest but having teams who combined to win 211 games play each other in the first round was pretty dumb

    48. ***Donnie I want you to stop being a jerkoff and watch Breaking Bad so you can eat all the crow about it. ***

      I met Aaron Paul yesterday, which actually made me consider revisiting Breaking Bad. And, for the record, I never said Breaking Bad wasn’t good. I just said that the first 90 minutes didn’t hook me, and that I think that’s a pretty fair amount of time to give to something, considering it’s the elapsed time of a typical full length film or play. I have no doubt it’s good. Plenty of people who’s opinions I respect have told me that it is. The subject matter just isn’t appealing to me. And, though Succession’s subject matter isn’t appealing to me either, it will likely be on in my room at some point this week and I will watch it, and probably find it good, even though it took way more than 90 minutes to grab me (it took right up until the last episode of season one). So, I don’t know, maybe Breaking Bad will have it’s day too, but it won’t be until I’m an empty nester, I predict, which means I will be very old and probably senile.

    49. And, in keeping with my TV posting this early morning, let me be the first to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALAN!

      And happy birthday to Knew Your Nicks, too!

      (May your birthdays be not-incinerated this year :)

    50. dtrickey:
      It’s worth a look for sure. Would recommend not watching the English dub though. My partner insisted we watch the dub instead of subtitles, but for me it kind of made it feel a bit too comedic. The violence probably isn’t as high impact as it was made out, but it’s an interesting plot and social commentary piece.

      Thanks.

    51. Ayton at the max seems like an overpay. He’s a nice player but not a max player in today’s NBA, not yet, anyway, and I don’t see a path to get there. I could see a near-max contract that isn’t linked to percentage to cap and that doesn’t have “real” incentives because of the projected cap expansion.

      And RJ is a similar case, but at least we get to see how this year plays out. His defense is a big part of his value, so let’s see if this talk about defending the opposing team’s best scorer (obviously in his size range) is for real.

    52. I find the Huerter contract pretty interesting as it pertains to Fournier.
      They are really very similar players – stat-wise they seem to be nearly identical (comparing Huerter’s 3rd year vs Fournier’s career stats): https://stathead.com/tiny/zCQXS

      The big difference is that Huerter’s shot profile is almost certainly much more optimal than Fournier’s since he has been basically the 4th option for ATL and a usage of 17.9 as opposed Fournier, who has generally been option 1 or 2 for his team (usage 23-26 for Orlando). 4 for 65 all guaranteed for Huerter vs. 4 for 80 and a 4th year team option…. pretty close.

    53. Re: RJ – if he were extend-able now (which he is not), I think the Mikal contract would be a very good comp for him. He theoretically can do more than Mikal, but right now is just not nearly as good as Mikal at most things.

      Will be interesting to see what happens next year assuming expected incremental improvement. I can’t imagine >$25MM/year for RJ based on what we’ve seen so far.

    54. You guys are being super optimistic, here’s what happened with TOP3 picks in the last 5 extension eligible years:
      (2014)
      #1 Andrew Wiggins – MAX (although didn’t deserve it);
      #2 Jabari Parker – UNDERACHIEVER (wanted a max!?);
      #3 Joel Embiid – SUPER MAX;
      (2015)
      #1 Karl-Anthony Towns – MAX;
      #2 D’Angelo Russell – FAILED AGREEMENT (got 4y MAX in a S&T in the summer);
      #3 Jahlil Okafor – UNDERACHIEVER;
      [side note: the #4 also received a MAX although not being worth it – our very own KP]
      (2016)
      #1 Ben Simmons – SUPER MAX;
      #2 Brandon Ingram – MAX;
      #3 Jaylen Brown – MAX (4y version, not 5y!?);
      (2017)
      #1 Markelle Fultz – UNDERACHIEVER (got 3/50M extension);
      #2 Lonzo Ball – FAILED AGREEMENT (don’t remember if he demanded a MAX, got 4/85M in the summer);
      #3 Jayson Tatum – SUPER MAX;
      (2018)
      #1 DeAndre Ayton – FAILED AGREEMENT (wanted a MAX);
      #2 Marvin Bagley – UNDERACHIEVER;
      #3 Luka Doncic – SUPER MAX;

      So, unless the player is an underachiever, which RJ is not, he won’t agree to an extension unless it’s the max. Hell, one of the underachievers also wanted the max.

      Unless we want drama, i think he’ll be extended for the max and that’s OK. If we don’t offer it, then there’s 2 scenarios, in one he follows Julius’ steps and takes less gladly, i hope it’s that one, or else we’ll wait until the summer and the NY media will feast on it. Then some team offers him the max and we have to match it, so why bother? I predict he gets the max, and i’m in on it.

    55. Mikal is like Porzingis, both started strong, leaving the fans dreaming for a star, but from there they don’t develop and that’s just who they are. Clearly not worthy of a max, players like these.
      RJ is the exact opposite, he started really bad, but he is improving by a lot season after season.

    56. IMHO RJ is much closer to Lonzo Ball in terms of production than to guys that got the max or super max.
      The other thing of note is that most teams are not prioritizing cap space anymore since hardly anyone good ever gets to FA. And so the # of potential suitors is down, increasing the team leverage of restricted FA. Is RJ really going to accept an offer sheet from OKC and risk getting stuck playing in OKC if the Knicks don’t match?

      I think as long as the Knicks don’t insult him with an offer then he is coming back on a reasonable deal.

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