Knicks Morning News (2022.07.31)

  • Ira Winderman: Do 76ers, Knicks get Heat tampering treatment? Or selective NBA enforcement? – Finger Lakes Times
    [www.fltimes.com] — Sunday, July 31, 2022 5:30:00 AM

    Ira Winderman: Do 76ers, Knicks get Heat tampering treatment? Or selective NBA enforcement?  Finger Lakes Times

  • Lakers’ new All-Star target to pair with LeBron James – ClutchPoints
    [clutchpoints.com] — Saturday, July 30, 2022 10:30:02 PM

    Lakers’ new All-Star target to pair with LeBron James  ClutchPoints

  • Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson highlights major flaw on Twitter – Daily Knicks
    [dailyknicks.com] — Saturday, July 30, 2022 5:00:00 PM

    Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson highlights major flaw on Twitter  Daily KnicksJalen Brunson can be the guard the Knicks have always needed  SB NationKnicks Ex Mark Jackson Praises ‘Winner’ Jalen Brunson  Sports IllustratedSteady Jalen Brunson will bring ‘everyday’ type energy to Knicks  New York Post Knicks Notes: Tampering, Brunson, Wright, Fournier, Rose, Mitchell  hoopsrumors.comView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Knicks News: Who Experts Expect Team to Select with No. 11 Pick – Bleacher Report
    [bleacherreport.com] — Saturday, July 30, 2022 4:27:41 PM

    Knicks News: Who Experts Expect Team to Select with No. 11 Pick  Bleacher Report

  • 4 Teams That Should Sign This 10x NBA All-Star – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Saturday, July 30, 2022 3:34:13 PM

    4 Teams That Should Sign This 10x NBA All-Star  Sports Illustrated

  • Former Knicks player Cleanthony Early signed ? – Hoops Hype
    [hoopshype.com] — Saturday, July 30, 2022 2:42:07 PM

    Former Knicks player Cleanthony Early signed ?  Hoops Hype

  • Former Warriors Coach Claims Knicks Could’ve Tarnished Michael Jordan’s Legacy if It Weren’t for This Hawks Legend: “If We Stayed Together We Could Have” – EssentiallySports
    [www.essentiallysports.com] — Saturday, July 30, 2022 1:30:00 PM

    Former Warriors Coach Claims Knicks Could’ve Tarnished Michael Jordan’s Legacy if It Weren’t for This Hawks Legend: “If We Stayed Together We Could Have”  EssentiallySports

  • Knicks, Jazz haven’t spoken in two weeks about Donovan Mitchell as trade talks stall – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Saturday, July 30, 2022 12:47:00 PM

    Knicks, Jazz haven’t spoken in two weeks about Donovan Mitchell as trade talks stall  New York Post

  • A look back at the best of Knicks legend Steve Novak – Daily Knicks
    [dailyknicks.com] — Saturday, July 30, 2022 8:00:00 AM

    A look back at the best of Knicks legend Steve Novak  Daily Knicks

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    30 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2022.07.31)”

    1. “GHenman
      July 30, 2022 at 7:17 pm
      RJ Barrett is 24th in BPM and 39th in VORP in his draft class! He is nowhere near a max extension player.”

      This is a bit misleading. He was handed an outsized role and pretty much been given cart blanche to make mistakes. He is #1 in minutes played (by a wide margin!) and total rebounds, #2 in total points scored, and #5 in total assists. He’s also the 3rd youngest player in that draft, behind only Zion and Doumbaya. He’s being force-fed stuff in a way that doesn’t play out well efficiency-wise.

      If you are maxing him based on what he’s done, it’s obviously a bad move. If you are maxing him on what you project him to be, then it’s more murky. I don’t think betting on a 22yo to become more efficient in his same role (36mpg starting high-usage wing) is a bad bet.

      Waiting is clearly the safest way to go, and probably the best way. I’m just suggesting that if they DO decide to max him, I’d be fine with the decision on the assumption that it was carefully considered by a smart group of people.

    2. If there is one person on the team where intangibles/drive really matters, it is RJ. And those things can’t be assessed from afar. Agree with the take that if a max happens, the “smart group of people” who also see him up close, made an informed decision.

    3. I don’t think Z-Man is wrong that the AIO box score metrics run into some flaws when trying to predict the future performance of someone like RJ. A lot of high usage players grade poorly to start their careers only to start lapping their low-usage peers once they develop more e.g. Devin Booker. Most young players struggle, and those metrics naturally come down harder on the players who try to do more. More struggling is worse than less struggling.

      At the same time, not hitting much of a developmental stride three seasons in is pretty worrying. We’ve gone through the precedents on that front–most (not all) successful high-usage guys had made their teams perfectly comfortable with a max by this point.

      When you weigh all these factors I continue to see letting him hit restricted free agency as by far the best option. We simply need another season of data, and if RJ becomes so good that we have to worry this approached pissed him off that’s a huge win. I kind of doubt it would anyway–we can frame it as giving him an opportunity to earn the max that we can’t justify giving him right now.

    4. The thing that’s so fascinating about this team (sort of in a car wreck way) is the almost incalculable number of unanswerable questions across the roster. Few other teams are this unknowable. Sure all teams have questions, but theirs are more like the few semi-knowns on the Knicks – e.g., will Mitch start to develop a game outside of dunking? Can Fournier not be so blindingly terrible on D? But for the rest:

      Is RJ a near-future all-star or one of the very worst players in the NBA?

      Is Randle a lunatic head-case turnover machine or an all-star?

      Is IQ a 20/7 per 36 point guard, a skinny Vinnie, or just a streaky shooter with a great name?

      Is Obi abjectly terrible or a late blooming James Worthy?

      Is Grimes a (slightly) shorter Klay 2.0 assassin or a (too-short) 3&D bench guy?

      Is Sims a physical monster who will harness his powers or just a big guy who can jump?

      Is Deuce an NBA player or just a nice guy who fights hard on D?

      Sure some of these questions are because a lot are kids and not yet fully formed, but even the players some years into their careers are total mysteries. Even Derrick Rose – is he a short-minutes all-star or broken and too old now?

      It makes for fun wish-casting and a certain enthusiasm for the season to discover a few answers, but I’ll admit I’m clueless at the moment.

    5. Also, Marc Stein is continuing with the Randle/Lakers stuff:

      Marc Stein:“A very plugged-in person in the league told me… If Donovan Mitchell we’re to end up with the Knicks, there could be talks between the Knicks and the Lakers involving Julius [Randle].”(via @TheSteinLine, @FredKatz, https://t.co/jkyVnziK63) pic.twitter.com/7xK0ZtlGKO— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 31, 2022

      I’m definitely not a “get the deal done at all costs” guy, but if it’s a necessary prerequisite to a Randle trade…

    6. Noble, that would imply that Obi isn’t going to Utah. Which I’d be happy with. A team minus Randle and plus Spida would be a lot of fun to watch. Just so long as Ainge doesn’t own all of our firstborn draft picks in the process.

    7. “I’m definitely not a “get the deal done at all costs” guy, but if it’s a necessary prerequisite to a Randle trade…”

      The underlying logic that Randle and Mitchell are more incompatible than not is certainly interesting. And in this trade, you would have to assume that the Lakers’ 2027 first is coming back, even if that means another asset (Cam?) going out. I would do a trade like that in a heartbeat if we traded for Mitchell. In fact, I would try to stagger it so that we could include our own 2027 pick unprotected to get Mitchell and then only after that trade is made, get the Lakers 2027 unprotected back. That way we could possibly keep 2 of the protected picks we currently own plus have picks in every year from 2026 on. There are definitely 3-way possibilities as well that could make this happen in effect.

    8. Re: RJ, one thing that works in favor of not worrying about the “slap in the face” part of waiting to extend him is that he seems to genuinly love being on the Knicks. He could probably be sold on the “patience” plan if handled delicately. But he also has a sense of entitlement. He whined about things like not being all-rookie or getting invited to participate in the rising stars game. So he’ll probably be at least internally miffed that his “peers” got offered max deals even though they missed lots of time with injuries while he’s been a bit of an iron man.

    9. Raven, it’s not just those questions, it’s the questions about who will actually be on the roster. As was posted recently, Only Brunson, Mitch, Hart, Sims and RJ ar virtual locks to be here on opening day. If the Mitchell deal eventually goes down (and the odds are that it eventually will) then many of the questions you pose will become moot except in the future when we argue about why it was dumb to include player X or draft pick Y in that transaction. And if both the Mitchell and Randle deals happen, we’d have several roster spots, including rotation spots, to fill in the aftermath.

      I suppose the uncertainty makes for good converstation but it is incredibly unsettling. Thank goodness we have the Mets and Yanks, and soon, the Jets and Giants, to distract us.

      (on a personal note, my daughter’s college volleyball season starts on Labor Day weekend and I am the ultimate fanbois dad, even more so now that I am retiring. I plan to be at every game, 6 hour drives each way be damned! That’s my main bridge over these NBA dog days.)

    10. What’s remarkable about RJ is his ability to get to the rim and his complete inability to finish there.

      Most young scorers struggle because they take dumb midrange shots. RJ doesn’t.

      Is RJ going to take fewer point blank layups or fewer wide open 3s to increase his efficiency?

      He could pull back on drives more or go less than full steam, but he’s so bad at finishing its hard to fathom a large enough improvement.

    11. This is funny! :D

      Shaun From TKW @iHateShaun:
      A Shams report about the Knicks and Jazz not speaking for two weeks coming out 2 weeks after a Shams report that they’ve started speaking is funny

    12. “The most important measure of how good a game I’d played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.”

      RIP Bill Russell

    13. RIP Bill Russell, the finest leader we’ve seen in this league

    14. @Z-man He has never shown anything that remotely says future star to me, here or at Duke. He can’t shoot. He’s not an elite athlete. His upside to me is solid rotation player. He’s a nice player to have at Keldon Johnson money, but not much more. What am I missing?

    15. Here I am shedding a tear over a Celtic–what is the world coming to?! But there wasn’t any finer standard-bearer for the league. RIP Bill.

    16. ‘Nichols’s role as one of television’s first Black characters to be more than just a stereotype and one of the first women in a position of authority (she was fourth in command of the Enterprise) inspired thousands of [NASA] applications from women and minorities.’

      RIP, Uhura.

    17. Man, rough day – two people I really admired. Russell’s 11 may never be equaled, and Nichelle was one of my first crushes. Loved the vision of the original Star Trek even if half the episodes are appallingly bad.

    18. What does RJ do well? He gets to the line a lot and has shown potential as a secondary playmaker and that’s about it. He did shoot threes well 2 years ago but his career shooting numbers are dismal pretty much everywhere on the court so that seems like an outlier. On defense he’s a mediocre rebounder and his steal/block/deflection numbers are abysmal. Seriously, Randle seemingly spent half of last year’s defensive possessions in the back court arguing with referees and still managed more deflections.
      My bigger problem is I think he wants to be a star more than win games- he was proud that he scored 20 a game even if his combination of usage and inefficiency was horrible. Defensively I think he tries to get after it when he’s iso’d against a good player (not so much against lesser guys) but his overall activity level isn’t anywhere near where you’d expect from a guy who “plays hard.” I think he plays hard when the spotlight’s on but doesn’t do the little things- impeding movement off of the ball, settings screens, etc… that guys who actually play hard do.
      That said he’s 22 and getting to the line a lot and showing some decent passing chops are pretty good building blocks- if he can make just small improvements across the board this year he’ll probably be worth a max given the rising cap. But another year of poor spot-up shooting and struggles to finish in the paint and it might be best to let him be somebody else’s problem. He ain’t gonna stop shooting and a high usage/low efficiency scorer playing 35 minutes a night is a ticket to mediocrity.

    19. I think Nicos captures the dilemma perfectly. With other struggling young players there’s often something you can point to as a standout skill you can bank on. De’Aaron Fox was brutal as a rookie, but there was no doubt he’d be a great playmaker from the get go.

      You really have to squint to see a skill like that with RJ. I’m not sure “getting to, but not finishing at, the rim” qualifies. I guess he’s a pretty solid rebounder for a guard/wing but that’s not exactly hard to find.

      What you’re hoping for is him becoming a decent enough scorer (i.e. tidying up some loose ends at the rim, at the line, and from 3) that he doesn’t actively hurt you from a scoring efficiency perspective, and him giving you above average contributions in other areas.

      Obviously, what I just described doesn’t sound like a “star” at least in the conventional sense. I continue to think he’s best served trying to emulate someone like Iguodala, as opposed to Kobe. To the extent he has a standout skill, it’s that besides scoring he’s not really actively bad at anything.

      Realistically the chances that someone convinces him to be some kind of jack of all trades are slim to none, so we’re stuck hoping against home the high usage scorer thing works out.

    20. To backup Nicos’s point:

      I looked at EPM’s site and filtered by SG, sorting by DREB% he’s around 10th in the league in DReb% at 15%… but tied with 3 guys: Tyler Herro, Gary Payton II, and Bones Hyland. 10th-13th isn’t bad, but not a difference maker either. Lots of players 13% & 14%.

      By AST% he’s 16th, excluding a lot of PG-types like Brunson or Cade or Harden. Also excluded those below 1,000 min. There were a lot over 900 who’d be ahead of him.

      It’s about the same for SFs.

      He’s, at best, average to a negligible amount above average as a passer and rebounder. I wouldn’t even call him good at either.

      I’m not going to look at other numbers but hes awful by most other percntiles.

      Only talent is usage in the 97%tile.

    21. All this “we really don’t know who will be on the team” both here and in journalism (the Athletic’s recent incomplete is an example) frustrates me. You have the team you have until you have some other team. Did Charlotte have a good off season? It’s not an incomplete even though no one knows what will happen with Bridges. Clearly having a good player on your team threatened with substantial jail time and becoming untradeable too is a bad thing. It was a bad off-season. Did the Knicks have a good off season? They signed two free agents both of whom are good players who will help the team. They sacrificed some draft assists of debatable value to be able to do this, so maybe it’s not an A off season, but they are still almost certainly better than last season. Is Raven’s post of interesting questions about the Knicks irrelevant? No, he is discussing the team we have. That’s what we have to do.

    22. Reasons why Russell seems immune from the usual Fuck Boston attitude:

      1)His success as both player and coach is undeniable. If anything, he may be underrated as a player because blocks weren’t recorded as a stat until after he was retired.

      2)Despite #1, he has never acted aloof or reactionary in the way that so many Mt. Rushmore type players in various sports do. He never went around arguing that things were better back in his day. A class act all the way.

      3)He was a Black player in a city with a pretty awful racial history, he endured racist treatment in that city despite being far and away the best player on the most successful Celtics team ever, and he has had an ambivalent relationship for much of his life with Boston.

    23. Really enjoyed NYC Point Gods on Showtime. Definitely recommend it, especially if you grew up in the area.

    24. Bill Russell might be the most underrated player ever. Beyond his playing and stats, he was the GOAT in elevating the play of his teammates and the coaching of his coaches.

      He is the greatest team player and leader ever in all team sports combined.

      There will never be another Bill Russell.

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