Knicks Sign Derrick Williams; My Kid Found A Penny

According to the twitter:

Williams is an exciting pickup for the Knicks if they develop a time machine that goes back to Thursday, June 23, 2011, where he was picked second overall in the draft. More thoughts on Monday.

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Mike Kurylo

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

30 thoughts to “Knicks Sign Derrick Williams; My Kid Found A Penny”

  1. Knicks Sign Derrick Williams; My Kid Found A Penny
    … a 6-8 Forward with a functioning nervous system.

    ROFL. That’s the headline/tagline combo of the year as far as I’m concerned!

    The epitome of very high risk. Here’s a guy that needs a fire lit under his feet every night.

  2. I can definitively say that the most exciting thing about the Derrick Williams and Arron Afflalo signings is that they aren’t JR Smith or Bargs. I’m not sold on them not being THJr yet.

  3. Well, the good news, I guess, is that the Knicks found someone willing to take their $30,000,000. Sure, it wasn’t any of their first ten choices, but hey, at least they weren’t spurned by Robin Lopez, Batman Afflalo, or Alfred the Butler Williams.

  4. There are still a few minor pieces to be added, but for the most part it seems like we know what the Knicks are going to look like. Quite frankly it is a team that does not look all that great on either end of the ball.

    Offensively, the guards lack scoring punch. Calderon and Afflalo project as the starting PG and SG, and that is a weak backcourt. If Alexy Shved comes back that will help a little bit. Galloway is not a good offensive player and Jerian Grant is still a question mark. At the small forward you have Derrick Williams, who finally made it to “meh” as an offensive player last season but who does not have an impressive body of work in the NBA, and behind him are two atrocious offensive players, Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetowhatever. The best offensive players on the team figure to be the PF and C, Melo and Robin Lopez, but Lopez is not really a second option on offense. Porzingis is an enigma and probably at least a year away from being a good offensive player in the NBA. Melo will have to carry a lot of the load of the offense. If he does not play well this offense is going to majorly suck.

    Defensively, the projected starting lineup has only one plus defender in Robin Lopez. Galloway provides good defense off the bench and maybe Grant will amount to something on defense. Maybe Thanasis sticks as a defensive specialist. Overall it’s hard to see this defense ranking above #20 or so… Defensive rebounding will be atrocious and the starting Calderon/Afflalo backcourt will struggle to contain penetration.

    It’s not gonna be a good team.

  5. I like the team. There are a bunch of young scrappy guys. Zinger of course is the X factor.

    Melo Calderon and Lopez are the cornerstone vets. We shall see

  6. There are still a few minor pieces to be added, but for the most part it seems like we know what the Knicks are going to look like.

    While you’re basically correct, the room exception is still a legit factor.

  7. The option on Derrick Williams is not bad really. What would he have to do to be able to opt out and command, let’s say a 8m/yr, 5 yr contract? … And what are the chances that he does that on the first year on the team? Slim I bet. Worst case he sucks major and he opts in at 5 million. With the cap at about 80 that’s nothing. Best case he outperforms and you have a useful player. I like the contract, it gives the player some leverage, but not in the form of extra years or extra money.

    Now the Affalo one can turn bad. I can see him scoring 15 ppg on this team this year, opting out and coercing them out of 12 million for 5 years. Is it going to happen? I don’t know. I would bet that IF Derrick can outperform his, HE would prove valuable given his age and current money on the deal.

    They played it well by not going that route with Lopez, since he’s the safest bet to earn his money over the next few years.

    C grade for free agency?

  8. The room exemption and the 4.5 million in cap space we should have left. That means we should be able to add two rotation players (hopefully both more promising than Williams).

    My math may be off but assuming 4.5% raises then:
    Lopez’s contract should start around 12.65 million
    Williams’s contract should start around 4.775 million
    Afflalo’s contract should start around 7.64 million

    Added up that’s just under 25.1 million

    According to Brian’s salary cap primer we should have a little over 29.6 million in cap space if we sign 4 players, that leaves about 4.5 million in cap space.

  9. Datome’s wikipedia page says we signed him on July 2nd for two years 5.7 million. I have not heard about that anywhere else.

  10. As currently constructed (and really who else are they going to add that’s going to add 5 wins to the season) I can see them, realistically, but thru rose colored glasses, at .500 ball.

    But there are some interesting things potentially:

    – Porzingis development
    – In a team like this with a bunch of about average players there’s surely one or two that are going to produce at an unexpected rate. Who will it be? Any Chris Copeland/Jeremy Lin types that come out of nowhere? Then people will debate whether Melo had anything to do with it.
    – The Holy Triangle
    – Derek Fisher
    – Carmelo’s reaction to the fact that the Knicks are still at least, optimistically, two years away from contending?
    – Is Phil freestyling or are we going to start see some traction? Will the season position the Knicks to become real players next off-season?

  11. While I believe Phil has done a good job overall, considering the hand he was dealt, this William’s signing is terrible. This was not the kind of creativity I was hoping for from Phil. We needed 3 pt shooting, rebounding and defense at this point to help round out the team. D. Williams brings none of that and quite frankly I am having a hard time understanding what he can offer. He was 31% for three’s last year and only averaged 5.0 rebounds per 36 minutes. That is pretty much in Barganani territory. Add to this his sub par defense and passing and I think they could have spent $5 million much more wisely, and that is putting it the nicest way possible. I would have much rather taken on salary for draft picks with this money, since we are obviously in rebuilding mode now. Also, we still need to round out the roster. If this was the best Phil could do then I would have simply signed Shved (another offensive threat, ableit minor) and Cole/Admunson for rebounding. Overall, I understand this is not an easy task for Phil, but this move rates an F.

  12. @9 — nice catch, you should be a reporter. What about Datome’s stats indicate he is anything but a min salary guy?

  13. I’ve been feeling good about Phil’s moves thus far, but absolutely hate this one. I would rather have split the money between Shved and Cole, even if they would play for the minimum. That’s my first impression. I’m open to changing my mind if someone could convince me that his contract has some subtle trade value, or something like that.

  14. Giving Derrick freakin’ Williams a player option for year two is beyond absurd. That’s just awful negotiating right there. If you can only get Derrick Williams by giving him a player option for year two, you don’t get Derrick Williams.

    Player options are what you give star players who you need to give a ton of concessions to to get them to sign with you (the Mavericks with Jordan, the Bucks with Monroe). They’re not what you give the dregs of the NBA.

  15. The idea of signing Williams isn’t terrible on his face, but he sure seems like the kind of guy you either sign to an even cheaper deal so he can prove himself and do better in the next free agency class, or you pay a bit more but get some team options in the event the light turns on. You don’t pay him more than his play so far has justified and give him all the power on whether the contract continues.

  16. Derrick Williams is not a good player and maybe never will be.

    But what are we expecting to get for 5 million? At least they are betting on a young player.

    Agree on the player option nonsense.

    Phil looks like a terrible negotiator. Always willing to give up small things that turn out to be a big deal like Melo’s NTC.

  17. @14 agree 100% that the player option makes no sense. It should instead have been a team option.
    I know they are not comparable position players, but the money the Nets paid to Shane Larkin was what seems about right for Williams, which was 2 yrs @ $3 million, with no player option for year 2 or maybe a bit more, but $10 million just seems way too high.

  18. @16 I hear you on the “young player” aspect of the deal, but aren’t there many other young players with better upside still out there for less money? Maybe the Zen Master sees him clicking in the triangle and reviving his career. Obviously Phil knows more about sizing up prospects than the rest of us, but the money again seems way too high for someone that has this resume.

  19. I don’t care about the player option that much, and see it as a 2-yr deal @$5 mill. If he outperforms the contract and gets more money, good for him. No matter how good he plays, I wouldn’t be upset to lose him. I doubt that we would have gotten him to agree to a 1-year deal, or a team option.

    I would have been against anything beyond the vet’s minimum so whatever.

  20. The likelihood though is that he is going to underperform the contract and use up $5 million of space in 2016, when we are again chasing free agents.

  21. Without the player option this would be a mediocre signing. With the option it’s downright awful. The only upside to signing Williams is the chance that the light snaps on and you get the player he looked like he had the potential to be coming out of college. Only if that does happen, we’ve locked ourselves out of reaping our share of the rewards.

    If he’s terrible this year he’s using valuable cap space next summer. If he’s somehow good he’ll be getting a massive raise as the whole league has cap space. This is not a smart signing.

    Oh and we haven’t mentioned that he’s not smart enough or a good enough passer to be a real fit in the triangle. And he’s a bad defender. Other than that two thumbs up.

  22. I can understand that take. The likelihood is that he performs somewhere near his contract, not a vet’s minimum guy nor a $10 mill guy.

    Worst case: he totally sucks, but with the cap going up in his second year, $5 mill is not a big amount, and he can be stretched over 3 years for $1.7 per year if necessary.

    Best case: He plays better than a $5 mill player and we package him with Calderon in a trade for a good player/salary dump. Or, he gives us good production and likes it here, and a reasonable extension is worked out. Or he plays great and we lose him in FA like Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields. At least we got one good year out of him, and the chances of him ever being an asset we cry over losing are pretty slim.

    I would rather that we gave the $5 million to charity, but it’s not a crippling move, just a dumb one.

  23. Anyone else here think Bismack is worth a better-than-minimum deal? Could he be a Dennis Rodman-type defensive demon?

  24. I’m in Dan Devine’s camp.
    Robin Lopez is a great pick up. He’s a character guy. He is very smart. He shapes his ambition into what the team needs from him. You look at his scoring last year. He played with LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, and Nick Batum. He didn’t need to be a scorer. He had to be a defender, a leader, glue.
    He is a twin. He has moves. I have a suspicion that, if needed, he can put up scoring numbers that rival his brother’s.
    Melo will continue to be our dominant man with the ball, but Lopez’s will provide more offense on this team until Porzingis, Affalo, and even the new guard, provide more. I think Porzingis will be a more prominent player more quickly. I’m not as freaked about his body than others. We are seeing players, like Durant and Curry, who are not beasts, who tended toward a more slight build, doing just fine. Basketball is changing. Beasting isn’t what it was. You need more finesse. From what I have watched of Porzingis, he has a great handle for a 7 footer, and remarkable touch and he plays above the rim with above average hops for a man of his size.
    It will take time for these guys to gel. The first few months may be tough, but we are likely to see a competent team. Not a great team, but certainly not among the worst in basketball.
    Affalo is an upgrade at the 2. Lopez is a big upgrade at the 5. Porzingis is going to be a significant upgrade at the 4 when Melo isn’t playing that spot.
    For those who argue Melo should be at the 4, I think it’s a mistake. His injuries to his shoulder resulted from banging on bigger people, IMHO. His body takes a beating at that spot. He is a natural three. He should play that position. He will always be a liability on D. He didn’t guard PFs well and he won’t be quick enough to guard SFs well. But he can own SFs on the offensive side.

    I like these first steps. We didn’t make any stupid moves, and some of these selections seem really quite thoughtful.

  25. I’m intrigued with the Derrick Williams signing. He averaged 1.04 PTS/Poss and 0.97 PTS/play. Those aren’t elite, but very good. He also drew fouls on 16.2% of his possessions and only turned the ball over on 10.2%. I suspect Phil wanted him because of his ability to get to the line, his high 2pt% (.511) and ability to hit the corner 3 (19-49 38.77), all important traights in the triangle. He’s also only 24 and has never played in a disciplined system before. He is a non factor on defense and should only be playing PF, but there is so much potential efficiency on offense here that I feel it’s exactly the kind of risk they should be taking. I’m excited. Phil is making some smart moves.

  26. Anyone else here think Bismack is worth a better-than-minimum deal? Could he be a Dennis Rodman-type defensive demon?

    I would have preferred to give Biyombo the deal we just gave Williams.

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