NY Post: Frank Ntilikina still searching for role at key Knicks juncture

From Marc Berman:

On Dec. 21, the Knicks will face the deadline to give Ntilikina a rookie-contract extension and there’s no evidence they will do so.

Expected to be a restricted free agent in 2021, Ntilikina stands a chance of being dealt at the trade deadline in March.

Regarding his contract, Ntilikina said, “The business part is going to take care of itself. I’m here to get better every day, to get this team better.’’

Knicks president Leon Rose is his former agent, but Ntilikina dumped Rose for French rep Bouna Ndiaye. Rose, who took over on March 1, missed out on seeing whether Ntilikina would continue to rise.

“It was really disappointing,’’ Ntilikina said of the season’s abrupt finish. “The end of last season really motivated me a lot. I saw improvements. When you work really hard every day just to improve, it’s really motivating when you see those improvements, when you feel that on the court. It just gave me so much energy for the future.”

Now the 6-foot-5 Ntilikina faces a hodgepodge battle for the starting point-guard job. Elfrid Payton was re-signed, Austin Rivers was brought in and Dennis Smith Jr. still is here.

Most likely, because of his defensive gifts, defensive-minded coach Tom Thibodeau will find a niche for Ntilikina off the bench, perhaps off the ball.

“It’s part of the game,’’ Ntilikina said of the playing-time battle. “We have a lot of guards on this team, a lot of competitors, which is going to bring the best out of the team. We’re going to compete hard for minutes and the coach is going to decide what he wants to do. We have trust in him. He knows what he’s doing. He knows his job. So he’s going to put the best players together on the court.’’

There were rumors on social media this summer about Ntilikina being traded after he had taken his Knicks bio off his accounts.

“I heard about it. It’s been a while — a really long time,’’ Ntilikina said. “I don’t know. I’m here. I’m happy to be a Knick. I’m working every day to represent this team the best I can. And I’m really happy to be here.”

Berman really creates a false dilemma here with his “The Knicks have until December 21 to sign Ntilikina to an extension.” I mean, come on, even the most supportive fans of Frank don’t think that the Knicks are going to sign him to an extension. That’s basically just trolling.

Still, it was an otherwise interesting article about Frank.

As part of our all-polls, all the time content here…

Who do you think SHOULD be the Knicks starting point guard?

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556 thoughts to “NY Post: Frank Ntilikina still searching for role at key Knicks juncture”

  1. Fun trivia question. For this upcoming season, there are four pairs of teammates who were both #1 overall picks in the NBA Draft. Can you name the four pairs?

  2. Brian Cronin:
    Fun trivia question. For this upcoming season, there are four pairs of teammates who were both #1 overall picks in the NBA Draft. Can you name the four pairs?

    Towns/Edwards-TWolves
    Lebron/AD-Lakers
    Rose/Griffin-Pistons
    Howard/Simmons-Sixers

  3. This reminds me now that 76ers will replace the Lakers as the team with 3 #1 picks, counting Elton Brand… Maybe 2021 is their year?

  4. geo:
    thank you for putting me out of my misery build around mitch, I could only think of the twolves…

    I got to the Pistons, not bad. Somehow Howard had those awful seasons and i forgot he was a number 1 pick, wouldn’t have guessed it at all.

  5. I more or less agree with the consensus in the media that it’s going to be hard to justify Frank’s qualifying offer and cap hold unless he brings more to the table on offense this year. But to me, that’s a shame. It’s one of the downsides of drafting very young payers and projects I always talk about. By definition a project is going to take several years to even start looking like a real NBA player – all while you are overpaying him. And because they are so young to start, you often still have to make a decision to extend before you know what you have. The thing is, he’s not going to be easy to trade. I guarantee you there are a lot of very smart basketball people that would love to have him. But they don’t want to pay him 8 million or whatever the cap hold is based on what he’s shown so far. They want him on the cheap because they see the defense and other qualities and understand what he might become with any development on offense at all. They want to laugh at the Knicks later. It’s a tough problem. Frank has to show enough THIS YEAR to justify keeping him even though his peak is probably still 3-4 years away.

    (I voted for Payton to start at PG)

  6. I voted Payton, i know he doesn’t have a shiny style of play, but being #6 in the whole league in AST% and STL% sounds like the one to start. Which is important is to give all those guys a chance, so nothing like the 36min Thibs plays his starters, it’s got to be around 24 for the starter and 14/10 for the backups. Then let’s see who grabs the chance and goes up in the rotation order.

  7. The Frank of two games ago (the 20 and 10 in DC) is without question the best PG on the team. The one the next night in ATL in the Knicks’ last game is … not. That’s where he is right now. Not enough Good Frank to get overly excited about, but a lot of us root for Good Frank and rightly so.

    I detest the idea that Scott Perry has any say in this and detest the idea that Frank has had to grow and develop under people like Steve Mills and Scott Perry and David Fizdale.

  8. For this upcoming season, there are four pairs of teammates who were both #1 overall picks in the NBA Draft. Can you name the four pairs?

    Towns (20..15?) and Edwards (2020)
    AD (2012) and LeBron (2003, wow)

    I cannot figure out the other two. Trying to think of the remaining #1 overalls with their top-drafted teammates. Do I even watch the games?

    Wall (2010) and Harden (3)
    Wiggins (2014, lol) and Wiseman (2)
    Fultz (2017) and whoever else is on the Magic (who cares) — he didn’t change teams, did he?
    Kyrie (2011) and Durant (2)
    Ayton (2018) and Paul (3)
    Zion (2019) and Ingram (2)

    So we’ve got Bennett (2013, out of league) and…

    Okay, got it. Howard (2005) and Simmons (2016). So that leaves one more pair. Oden was 2007, and I’m pretty sure he’s done. Who was the 2008 #1 pick? And which of the above players is he teamed up with? Goddamn you, Brian!

    Edit: ROSE AND GRIFFIN? Okay, let’s get the fuck out, okay? No one watches the Pistons.

  9. I mean, come on, even the most supportive fans of Frank don’t think that the Knicks are going to sign him to an extension. That’s basically just trolling.

    brian.. i know you’re in the kb bubble but i don’t think you know what these ppl are capable of…..

  10. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Edit: ROSE AND GRIFFIN? Okay, let’s get the fuck out, okay? No one watches the Pistons.

    I’ve definitely seen both their names on the same roster in the last week or so. It still would not have occurred to me they were both #1 picks on the same team.

    DET is that forgettable. It’s probably the saddest pairing of #1 picks since the Cavs were last allowed to draft #1 picks.

  11. If you have Frank rightly pegged as Strat and I do, as an 8th man who can play shutdown defense in playoff games, you have to sign him to an extension. If you want him on your team he kind of has to be … you know … under contract. If he continues to show improvement this year, and more closely resembles 20/10 DC guy more frequently, it’s a no-brainer to extend him.

  12. I want to reiterate that many polished, skilled, in-control PGs come into the league and fail miserably. Spending a lottery pick to develop an abnormally-long-and-tall guy who can’t shoot or dribble is batshit insane.

  13. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Wall (2010) and Harden (3)
    Wiggins (2014, lol) and Wiseman (2)
    Fultz (2017) and whoever else is on the Magic (who cares) — he didn’t change teams, did he?
    Kyrie (2011) and Durant (2)
    Ayton (2018) and Paul (3)
    Zion (2019) and Ingram (2)

    Wiggins and Wiseman is hilarious as there’s (at least) 3 players better than them on the team. From the rest of the list, another funny thing is that no number1* is the best player on the team. What about that?

    * – Maybe Zion will do it this year.

  14. Fultz (2017) and whoever else is on the Magic (who cares)

    that’s too funny, that’s exactly how i think of the orlando magic – who cares :)

  15. Early Bird: I’ve definitely seen both their names on the same roster in the last week or so. It still would not have occurred to me they were both #1 picks on the same team.

    And back-to-back #1s. Weird.

    Here’s a question:

    Out of the #1 overall picks of the lottery era, Kyrie Irving has the best career FT% at 87.7. At 83.3%, who is #2?

    LeBron and AD are neck and neck as best player on the Lakers, although LeBron’s due to drop off considerably any day now. Any day now…

    And Ben Simmons seems like he’s been in the league forever. Might just be the way he plays.

  16. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I want to reiterate that many polished, skilled, in-control PGs come into the league and fail miserably. Spending a lottery pick to develop an abnormally-long-and-tall guy who can’t shoot or dribble is batshit insane.

    Sunk cost at this point.

  17. detest the idea that Frank has had to grow and develop under people like

    Sure, but also there’s no development coach who can turn a scrub into a legit NBA player. Scores of talented guards come into the league and get flushed down the drain. Frank is not a talented guard. Frank is a guy who can play solid defense and occasionally pass the ball, so long as he doesn’t have to dribble it. His failures are those of basic basketball skills, not the subtleties and nuances that turn a good player great. That ain’t all on the shit Knicks’ staff.

  18. We haven’t talked about Frank for at least a day or two; glad to see Berman saw fit to toss some red meat our way to gnaw on until preseason starts

  19. No interest in arguing about Frank for the billionth time, we’ll find out what we need to know soon enough. I’m skeptical enough that you can have 3 awful years to start a career and go on to be successful, but I think 4 basically forecloses the possibility regardless of whether or not a player is a “project.”

    Despite what some of you think, I would be very happy if the Knicks had the RFA rights of a good player and thus would be delighted to see a Frank explosion this year. I hope all of the latent powers are unleashed. I’m just not holding my breath.

    Payton should start barring an insane training camp/preseason from DSJ.

  20. Ugh, yeah, I don’t know why I did that. I think I double posted too soooooo

  21. Sure, but also there’s no development coach who can turn a scrub into a legit NBA player. Scores of talented guards come into the league and get flushed down the drain. Frank is not a talented guard. Frank is a guy who can play solid defense and occasionally pass the ball, so long as he doesn’t have to dribble it. His failures are those of basic basketball skills, not the subtleties and nuances that turn a good player great. That ain’t all on the shit Knicks’ staff.

    In other words, we’re never going to see the counterfactual in which a player like Frank develops with a good organization because good organizations do not draft players like Frank.

  22. Rather than wade into The Frank Discourse again, some sound bytes from practice:

    @JCMacriNBA
    Thibs regarding Mitchell Robinson: Spoke a lot about his limitless upside, and notes at the end that “if he’s willing to work to make the commitment, there’s no telling what he can do.”

    @JCMacriNBA
    Knicks can put any players they want in front of the camera for media availability, and only do two per day. First player today? Mitchell Robinson.

    Given all the chatter, I’d say this is notable.

    @NYPost_Berman
    Thibodeau says Kevin Knox has had two very good practices so far. Good sign.

    @NYPost_Berman
    Thibodeau also said Austin Rivers has had a minor groin pull and has practiced only limitedly.

  23. We haven’t talked about Frank for at least a day or two; glad to see Berman saw fit to toss some red meat our way to gnaw on until preseason starts

    what’s interesting about frank is that his appeal goes beyond basketball, kind of like jeremy lin and ron baker…both of whom are no longer in the nba…

  24. Barring some significant improvement in the offseason from DSJ or Frank anyone voting for someone besides Payton needs their head examined. He’s not that good but he’s miles better than any of our other options.

  25. I’m among our more shameless Frank-o-philes, and I voted for Payton. Though I’d be happy for Frank to be the primary backup PG to start the season.

  26. I’m not sure where you friend lives. East of Portland pretty much puts you in the Atlantic unless you go up a ways. Maybe he’s near Merrymeeting bay which is quite lakeish and not too far north. Last time we went kayaking there we saw tons of bald eagles and kestrels and a bunch of giant leaping sturgeon. Pretty fun.

    howdy unreason…i got my left and right and east and west all mixed up :)

    i think they’re over by either the big or little sebago lake area…i just chatted with them briefly, the company has an office space in portland and i needed to ship some freight to someone whom works there…

    i remember the first time i looked in to shipping to that area years ago being surprised just how expensive the cost was, once i looked at the map i understood, it’s pretty remote…

    but, when i was checking it out on the map it looked like a really nice place to visit or live…i imagine the air being really clean there…

    not a big fan of the cold though…shoot, been out here in cali so long that 50 degrees feels like the onset of an ice age…

  27. @JCMacriNBA
    I asked Mitch how Tom Thibodeau’s practices differ from past coaches he’s had: “More of a defensive style coach, not much offense.”

    Says Thibs focuses on how stops/turnovers can turn into buckets & focus has been squarely on that end of the court. Echoes Thibs words yesterday.

    This tracks with what a couple of the other beat writers have said: Thibs for the moment is focusing almost entirely on defensive schemes. This makes some sense, since the majority of the guys in camp are fundamentally bad defenders, and there’s only so much the new coaching staff can install in such an abbreviated offseason. Plus, most of the players we added in the draft and free agency are shooters and/or guys who can create their own offense. But in terms of developing RJ and some of our other young players, I hope there’s eventually more of an offensive design than asking for Payton or DSJ to do their best young DRose impression.

  28. I want to reiterate that many polished, skilled, in-control PGs come into the league and fail miserably. Spending a lottery pick to develop an abnormally-long-and-tall guy who can’t shoot or dribble is batshit insane.

    It was foolish because the rules require you to overpay that player to start and make a decision on whether to keep him long before he’s anywhere near close to his peak.

    It’s not foolish to see a kid that’s a plus defender at age 18 (when most can’t even spell defense) that also understands how to play winning basketball at that age and make a bet that his high basketball IQ and work ethic will eventually turn him into a very useful plus player.

    They are two different things. You can sometimes outsmart yourself.

    It’s kind of like buying stock options on some company that’s losing a fortune now because you see a very bright future, but the options you bought will expire worthless before you are eventually proven correct. So someone else will make all the money even though they weren’t smart enough to the see the future as well as you did .

  29. as Strat and I do, as an 8th man who can play shutdown defense in playoff games, you have to sign him to an extension.

    Problem is he also plays shutdown offense

  30. The guy’s one of the best defensive coaches on planet Earth, so this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. After dealing with Fizdale’s bullshit for so long, a bunch of the players’ heads must be spinning and hopefully they’re realizing Thibs is the actual coach and Fizdale the clown — and not the other way around.

  31. E:
    If you have Frank rightly pegged as Strat and I do, as an 8th man who can play shutdown defense in playoff games, you have to sign him to an extension.If you want him on your team he kind of has to be … you know … under contract.If he continues to show improvement this year, and more closely resembles 20/10 DC guy more frequently, it’s a no-brainer to extend him.

    Think of what they paid for some of the trash they signed under Mills/Perry. Most were guys that were a negative on both sides of the ball with almost no chance of developing one side, let alone both. lol

  32. I voted for Payton. He’s very flawed, but he’s the best the Knicks have right now. They’ve got to try to help RJ, Mitch, and the Jedi develop, and he’s the best hope for that right now.

    I really wish the Knicks would just move Frank to 2/3, put him in the rotation (off the bench), and see how he fares focusing on spotting up to shoot rather than trying to be a playmaker. Sure, give DSJ one more look, too.

  33. if CAA were Frank’s agents they should have a good idea what sort of interest there is in him around the league.

  34. @NYPost_Berman
    Thibodeau says Kevin Knox has had two very good practices so far. Good sign.

    Ok, I’ll make the obvious crack:

    I’m assuming lots of 3 on 3’s?

  35. According to Bondy, Thibs also said that when Knox takes good shots, they go in. Make of it what you will.

  36. A Frank extension seems pretty hopeless. It’s very rare to see guys sign extensions at the kind of low # we’d have to be talking about. I think in part players would rather bet on themselves than lock-in an extension at a paltry figure. I also think there’s just a psychological aspect where being asked to take a pay cut from your current employer feels worse than getting a new deal from a new team even at that same reduced salary. From the team side I think there’s certainly some number at which it would be worth it, but it’s very hard to see those negotiations being fertile.

    Payton should obviously be the starting PG since he’s the only guy with anywhere near that kind of established level, but of course if one of the young guys pops Payton wouldn’t stand in their way. Still have to actually see the pop first.

  37. I’m assuming lots of 3 on 3’s?

    And now I’m sobbing. Though possibly while also laughing. Thanks, D-Mar!

    According to Bondy, Thibs also said that when Knox takes good shots, they go in. Make of it what you will.

    It’s the thing we’ve all kind of said at one point or another. Knox has absolutely perfect form and rotation on his shots… sometimes. Finding more consistency on that doesn’t solve the many other problems our resident giraffe on roller skates has with the game of basketball, but it turns him from absolute joke into a playable member of the rotation.

  38. It’s kind of like buying stock options on some company that’s losing a fortune now because you see a very bright future, but the options you bought will expire worthless before you are eventually proven correct. So someone else will make all the money even though they weren’t smart enough to the see the future as well as you did .

    Stock gambling, horse gambling, Frank gambling. “Only I can see the future.” Three sides to the same coin.

    You can sometimes outsmart yourself.

    And also outdumb yourself.

    He’s not better than DC Frank.

    I like how he’s appeared in 178 contests, playing >30 minutes in 42 of them, and he’s only scored 20 points once. So of course, we point to that game and say, “This is the real Frank.”

  39. I also think there’s just a psychological aspect where being asked to take a pay cut from your current employer feels worse than getting a new deal from a new team even at that same reduced salary. From the team side I think there’s certainly some number at which it would be worth it, but it’s very hard to see those negotiations being fertile.

    Yeah I’ve made this point before but the only type of extension offer that would make sense would come across as insulting. You just can’t really offer someone a 4/$8M extension.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I like how he’s appeared in 178 contests, playing >30 minutes in 42 of them, and he’s only scored 20 points once. So of course, we point to that game and say, “This is the real Frank.”

    Actually, I’ve said the opposite as a fair perusal of my comment on the matter would indicate. I’ll reiterate that we don’t see DC Frank enough and ultimately that’s on Frank. This comment in particular was merely addressed to the point that Payton is not better than DC Frank, and he in fact is not.

    I’m not sure what the minutes data point is bringing to the table. He’s been shittily coached and managed and hasn’t been played as much as he should have been. You can check yourself into a hospital, not so much an NBA basketball game.

  41. Alan: I hope there’s eventually more of an offensive design than asking for Payton or DSJ to do their best young DRose impression.

    This my fear about the chatter that DSJ will be the starter. Although noone believed in it, the 2010-11 Bulls offense worked because DRose was outstanding, chances that DSJ can replicate that?

  42. Yeah I’ve made this point before but the only type of extension offer that would make sense would come across as insulting. You just can’t really offer someone a 4/$8M extension.

    Heck, look at how Austin Rivers left a good Houston team where he was a rotation player for a $600,000 raise with a bad Knicks team! Yeah, players are weird about money and ego.

  43. I definitely thought DSJr would have a breakout year last year. Clearly, I was wrong.

    So I it wouldn’t surprise me to see him put up a TS% you can live with this year (not a good TS% but ~.530 you can live with for a still young-ish work in progress PG). The problem is losing a year of development means you have to re-sign him before he’s shown he can sustain NBA-level play.

    Despite being among the most pro-Payton posters here, I’d absolutely bench Payton if DSJr shows he can even be semi-competent. At that point, I wouldn’t play Payton at all and still run Frank as backup PG.

  44. Anybody else having trouble with The Athletic today?

    After it taking several tries to get their site to actually authorize my payment and sub, all went well for a few days. However, now I can’t read anything all the way through. I’m still getting email alerts to articles, but I’m getting the box trying to get me to sub, again. I’ve logged in several times, but still not getting full articles.

    My sub started on 11/27, so not even a full month has gone by, yet. I got an email confirmation, PayPal payment receipt, etc.

  45. DSJ was far from good in years 1-2, but if you wanted to be an optimist you could argue he was following a fairly conventional successful path. A lot of point guards enter the league young, show flashes as rookies but are overall wildly unproductive, make some strides in year 2 while still being generally bad, and then proceed to become good players. John Wall, Derrick Rose, De’Aaron Fox, Lonzo Ball, and plenty of others all fit this mold to some degree.

    The problem, of course, is DSJ’s year 3 imploded in such dramatic fashion I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it. It’s a historical anomaly of sorts. For that reason I’m inclined to believe our best data points as to his potential come from his first two years, which would indicate he has some talent but will need a lot of things to go right to put it all together.

    Having said that, it wouldn’t be intellectually honest to just entirely write off his 3rd year as a datapoint. It sure seems like he was both injured and not in a good headspace for most of the year, but I can’t say I know enough about either of those situations to say they’re definitively what tanked him (and even if they are, I also can’t say I know enough to say that should render his 3rd year useless as a datapoint).

    The good news is we’ve put together a roster that, um, facilitates experimentation at the point guard spot, to put it gently. So we should get a chance to see what the (hopefully) healthy version of DSJ can do.

  46. TheClashFan: Anybody else having trouble with The Athletic today?

    Here it’s working fine, did a logoff/login to check it out, and all went well.

  47. jazzfunk:
    Why not Quickley?He was recruited as a point guard.He has the shooting touch and offensive instincts that Frank does not have.As for his defense –


    If he gets fouled – we know he can make Free throws.DSjr…really?Frank….again for the 3rd time?Payton?

    I hope they find a way to get Quickley some minutes in what looks like a crowded backup situation but rookies are bad, and rookies drafted late in the first round are not likely to be doing anything other than throwing games if put out there as starters in year 1. The same script plays out every year with later draft picks where people start reading up on them (and usually summer league plays a role) and go from “never heard of this guy” to “seems interesting” to “we have to get this guy minutes” in the blink of an eye. Quickley could be in the 90th+ percentile of players drafted in the mid-20s and still be extremely unproductive this season.

  48. I don’t think it is terribly helpful to look at one game last year as any sort of evidence that Frank has turned a corner. But, if you look at both how he was finishing the season and his overall improvement last year there is room to be hopeful. Frank has struggled a lot with injuries over his first two seasons and every time he seemed to be showing any kind of improvement he missed a chunk of games and then was back at square one, but last year he finally seemed to be taking a step forward.

    His 2pt%, eFG%, and TS% all improved dramatically last year as did his FTr and if they can make a similar improvement this year he will start to finally be a legitimately productive player rather than a player you have to squint to see good things. This is Frank’s last chance to show us something and if he regresses at all he might be a lost cause. His greatest potential for improvement is from 3, that was his strength in Europe, and his good ft% hints at potential as a shooter.

    It all comes down to whether his gains last year were a mirage or the beginnings of real improvement. If he increases his 3pt% to the high 30’s or if he continues to improve his 2pt% and FTr he could be a useful player.

  49. I’d rather see DSJ than Payton, though as I’ve said, I don’t have much hope for a breakthrough. Last year, he affirmatively damaged the other players on the court and the lineups generally. That can’t happen.

  50. thenoblefacehumper: The problem, of course, is DSJ’s year 3 imploded in such dramatic fashion I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it. It’s a historical anomaly of sorts.

    The things that people could squint about with pure numbers in Years 1 and 2 weren’t really there (and could be seen as not there with a good eye test) and that’s why Year 3 stunk. (Not that anyone could necessarily project that Year 3 would stink THAT bad, but it wasn’t a surprise to anyone paying attention that he wasn’t going to be very good last year. He’s … not very good.)

    This is why we have the eye test and it’s a good rejoinder to the numbers overstaters. There was nothing there, looked at properly holistically, that looked a whole lot like young Rose or young Wall. Those guys got way better as they got older and more “domesticated,” DSJ resented any effort to domesticate him and probably can’t even be domesticated. That isn’t just attitude; it’s also game. Plus his shooting form is almost sui generis atrocious — again, eye test.

  51. The thing about the eye test is that most of the laypeople on here who think they’re qualified to make eye test judgments aren’t really qualified. So what they’ll claim is eye test is really just personal bias.

    You would-be NBA scouts are not actually NBA scouts, you’re fans. You many get some things “right” from time to time but we all know the parable of the blind squirrel and the nut.

  52. I voted Quickly. Why? Because why not? I mean, he’s a 1st round pick, right? And we went into the draft looking for what? A PG! And he can shoot. The other day I said Frank, and that Quickly should come off the bench. Either would work for me and so would DSJr. I don’t want Rivers or Payton. I want to see what we have in the others.

  53. JK47:
    The thing about the eye test is that most of the laypeople on here who think they’re qualified to make eye test judgments aren’t really qualified. So what they’ll claim is eye test is really just personal bias.

    You would-be NBA scouts are not actually NBA scouts, you’re fans. You many get some things “right” from time to time but we all know the parable of the blind squirrel and the nut.

    Fair. That said, the default regression from not being able to execute the eye test isn’t “look only at the numbers or you’re a basketball idiot you hate science do you deny climate change too,” which is the template we typically see. It’s a false one.

    Hopefully everyone here can recognize shitty shooting form when they see it. Perhaps that’s assuming too much; I don’t really know.

  54. E: The things that people could squint about with pure numbers in Years 1 and 2 weren’t really there (and could be seen as not there with a good eye test) and that’s why Year 3 stunk.(Not that anyone could necessarily project that Year 3 would stink THAT bad, but it wasn’t a surprise to anyone paying attention that he wasn’t going to be very good last year.He’s … not very good.)

    This is why we have the eye test and it’s a good rejoinder to the numbers overstaters.There was nothing there, looked at properly holistically, that looked a whole lot like young Rose or young Wall.Those guys got way better as they got older and more “domesticated,” DSJ resented any effort to domesticate him and probably can’t even be domesticated.That isn’t just attitude; it’s also game.Plus his shooting form is almost sui generis atrocious — again, eye test.

    In other words, “The numbers were bad, but you actually need the eyetest to see that.” Uh, no.

    No one thought DSJr was good based on the numbers he put up in years 1 & 2. However, there was a clear progression from year 1 & 2.

    He upped his 2p fg%, 3pfg% (at least on DAL), stls/36. Again, no one thought that DSJr was a good player in years 1 &2. But if he continued increasing his efficiency, then you could end up with an NBA PG by the time he’s 24 or 25.

  55. We should also distinguish between the “actually serious scouting eye test” — “Dennis Smith Jr. has shitty shooting form” — and the “I’m a basketball fan and a fan of human beings and so I have preference observation” — “I really don’t want to see Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton be an engine of the Knicks again.

  56. The things that people could squint about with pure numbers in Years 1 and 2 weren’t really there

    See thing about this is, as a factual matter, Dennis Smith Jr.’s 2PT% went from .435 in his first year to .477 in his second year, which primarily fueled his TS% going from .473 to .502 during the same time span.

    That is, in fact, a real thing that occurred. In other words, it was “there.” If you believe in the eye-test, you necessarily have to believe that one who studiously watched every one of Dennis Smith Jr.’s games would have noticed him making more 2PT shots. If you’re saying one wouldn’t have noticed that, well, that’s kind of an implicit admission that the eye-test doesn’t work very well, because it happened!

  57. Early Bird: In other words, “The numbers were bad, but you actually need the eyetest to see that.” Uh, no.

    No one thought DSJr was good based on the numbers he put up in years 1 & 2. However, there was a clear progression from year 1 & 2.

    He upped his 2p fg%, 3pfg% (at least on DAL), stls/36. Again, no one thought that DSJr was a good player in years 1 &2. But if he continued increasing his efficiency, then you could end up with an NBA PG by the time he’s 24 or 25.

    There was nothing about the guy that would lead you to think he’d have the hoped-for “progression,” or “increased efficiency,” (*) either on the court or attitudinally. Which is why Dallas cut bait on him real early (upon which he demonstrated exactly why by pouting and essentially quitting.)

    I have no issue with one hopeful last flyer, but I wouldn’t expect it to succeed. Maybe I’ll be wrong.

    (*) Eye test stuff leads “efficiency,” not the other way around.

  58. thenoblefacehumper: See thing about this is, as a factual matter, Dennis Smith Jr.’s 2PT% went from .435 in his first year to .477 in his second year, which primarily fueled his TS% going from .473 to .502 during the same time span.

    That is, in fact, a real thing that occurred. In other words, it was “there.” If you believe in the eye-test, you necessarily have to believe that one who studiously watched every one of Dennis Smith Jr.’s games would have noticed him making more 2PT shots. If you’re saying one wouldn’t have noticed that, well, that’s kind of an implicit admission that the eye-test doesn’t work very well, because it happened!

    I’m talking about the things leading to the so-called “progression” to something good being there. He wasn’t good in Year 2 either in numbers or by eye test. He sucked, actually. Thus, as I said, no matter what one would see by squinting at the numbers all day isn’t really “there” in any meaningful sense. It’s entirely illusory, swallowed up and more by the things squinting doesn’t pick up.

    He made a few more shots in Year 2 than Year 1. Big f/in deal. He still sucked.

    And to kind of channel strat, head cases like DSJ typically also make stupid plays that don’t show up in the box score. Not everything stupid a player does, does show up. Bingo on that one, too. Guy’s dumb af, often plays like a sixth grader. No way you want that anything close to leading an NBA team, as Dallas quickly found out when about 15 months or so in, they stopped squinting.

  59. There was nothing about the guy that would lead you to think he’d have the hoped-for “progression,” or “increased efficiency,” (*) either on the court or attitudinally.

    What about the empirical progression that occurred, via increased efficiency?

  60. Ben R: His greatest potential for improvement is from 3, that was his strength in Europe, and his good ft% hints at potential as a shooter.

    Frank ended up with a good 3p% in France at ~.400, but he only took 67 attempts in total (FIBA was post NBA).

    He also shot unbelievably well in the U-18 tournament before being drafted, but that still isn’t too many attempts and I question how well shooting over 6′ tall international PGs translates to the NBA.

    In short, Ntilikina really was a defensive specialist with little else. There was potential for becoming a good 3pt shooter, but I wouldn’t say he was particularly good in France.

    Of course, this is in hindsight because I know more about 3pt shooting and how it translates. I also had high hopes for his shooting at the time and his ability to play offball. But looking at it now, he didn’t really project as a great shooter either (I suspected he wasn’t a PG at the time).

  61. John Wall, Derrick Rose, De’Aaron Fox, Lonzo Ball, and plenty of others all fit this mold to some degree.

    point guards in particular tend to struggle early on and it’s not just these guys… the universe is much bigger… it’s guys like lowry…kemba.. chauncey… dragic… nash…. bledsoe… i mean you name every pg in the nba not named chris paul and the whole point guards struggling early is basically the norm…

    and the reason for that is that is because they have to make the most adjustment…. getting to the hoop is quite possibly the starkest difference any player will face when moving up from hs to college to the pros… and tightening your handle to get past nba level guards and then finishing over a tandem of 7 footers is almost as difficult as hitting a 100mph fastball.. you need superhuman ability to do that…. and part of this developed much earlier but to get to a level of efficiency where you’re GOOD at it.. that takes some time…

    and when you’re the shortest guy on the court it stands to reason it takes a little while to find ways to be successful when everyone else is 6 -12 inches taller than you…

    it’s a close analog to the rj discussion… pedigree also matters because if you were dominant at the college level you probably just need some time to figure things out at the next level… because it’s certainly not going to be the guys who couldn’t do it against 6ft 7 300lb centers….. the guys that tend to eventually figure it out already SHOWED it vs weaker competition at a younger age….

    it’s not a GUARANTEE tho…. but this is what you’re starting to see with brandon ingram… who i’ve argued about… and also with markelle fultz… people gave up on him a long time ago and it looks like he’s working himself back to something of a career…. and that’s sort of why you shouldn’t bury dsj… there’s hope…

  62. thenoblefacehumper: What about the empirical progression that occurred, via increased efficiency?

    Was never going to lead to a “standard” Year 3 for the reasons I’ve described. These are human beings, not random number generators, and a bunch of the numbers basketball generates are either incomplete or hide things anyway.

  63. E: Was never going to lead to a “standard” Year 3 for the reasons I’ve described.

    You can get better at hitting shots even with a bad form. You can get better at finishing at the rim. You can get to the rim more. You can take fewer stupid shots.

    The above are all methods to increase efficiency that the eyetest will miss or at least the layperson eyetest you describe will miss. As a matter of empirical fact, he did take a higher percentage of shots at the rim in year 2 than in year 1. He also went from atrocious midrange shooting to a normal player’s bad midrange shooting.

    I see no reason he couldn’t continue to maintain league averagish midrange shooting while taking a higher percent of shots at the rim.

    He could also revamp his shooting form, which by your prognosis will lead to increased efficiency. You know, what he actually attempted to do.

  64. He also shot unbelievably well in the U-18 tournament

    i said this a lot at the time but u-18s does not mean much… its’ like being a high school senior or a college senior… you are expected to dominate and frank did not dominate… he didn’t even put up a 50% 2p fg in that environment…. he was an inefficient volume scorer….

    that he turned around and then morphed into a low usage inefficient scorer against older competition in france was the most concerning part…. the only hope was that his french coach didn’t know what he was doing but we now know that he didn’t have anything to do with that….

  65. ptmilo:
    here’s a thread where we talked about dsj during his 2nd year, before the trade and the burden of seeing too much.

    https://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2018-12-29/

    I went to his first game as a Knick, sat about four rows behind Dolan. He got lit up by Conley badly and I (and the other well-schooled fans in the vicinity) were … underwhelmed. That was pretty much his Year 2 and by preseason Year 3 I’d probably started commenting here and I’d never really budged much from being underwhelmed. Then last year he would have had to improve like 300% just to reach underwhelming. Being like almost -13 on/off on a team that shitty is some piece of work, indeed.

    I do remember distinctly the Boston game at the Garden when he kinda sorta looked ok and then did a bunch of stupid shit in the fourth and got lit up a few times and I do remember commenting then. That was probably his best game of the season.

  66. ptmilo:
    here’s a thread where we talked about dsj during his 2nd year, before the trade and the burden of seeing too much.

    https://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2018-12-29/

    It is worth pointing out that his DAL/NYK splits are kinda weird. In NY, his FT% dropped from .695 to .568. His TS% dropped back to year 1 levels (his 3p% was terrible in NY). His ASTs went up and TOVs dropped. Not sure how much of that was role versus random noise versus team, but he looked different in NY than in DAL. Just worth noting based on when that thread took place compared to where he ended that season/what we saw in NY.

  67. If RJ ups his TS% into the .510-.530ish range this year by some non-flukish shooting/scoring then I’d feel a lot better about him moving forward.

  68. Boston game December 1, 17 points , 7 assists, minus-5 in 38 minutes and then the next game Fizdale made him a starter and gave Frank 0 minutes and Smith proceeded to go 1-7, minus-28 in 25 minutes in a 40 point blowout to the Bucks. Comical. If you want to know why some of us sometimes wonder about how Frank’s been treated and developed look no further than that absurdity and Fizdale looking longingly at Emmanuel Mudiay in his intro press conference and solemnly intoning, “We’re going to get you better.”

  69. E:
    Boston game December 1, 17 points , 7 assists, minus-5 in 38 minutes and then the next game Fizdale made him a starter and gave Frank 0 minutes and Smith proceeded to go 1-7, minus-28 in 25 minutes in a 40 point blowout to the Bucks.Comical.If you want to know why some of us sometimes wonder about how Frank’s been treated and developed look no further than that absurdity and Fizdale looking longingly at Emmanuel Mudiay in his intro press conference and solemnly intoning, “We’re going to get you better.”

    If you want to discuss how good DSJr is or isn’t, then I’m more than happy to do so. I’m not terribly interested in discussing whether Frank is better than ‘x’ for the billionth time. DSJr’s potential has no bearing on Frank’s potential.

  70. @espn_macmahon
    Stephen Silas on James Harden: “He’s not here, and he has a reason, but that’s on him to tell whoever what the reason is.”

    All is still well!

  71. There is no question that there are DS Jr detractors here. This much is for sure. No matter who Thibs starts at PG, there’s a strong argument against that choice. There isn’t even a decent choice.

  72. Ha!

    @RohanNadkarni
    Some news: A person familiar with James Harden’s thinking described the Rockets’ culture as toxic and called them the “Knicks of the South.”

  73. Gotta be honest, I think this player empowerment stuff has gone a way too far. If I’m the Rockets and Harden 12 months ago forced me to trade Chris Paul and all my draft picks for Westbrook then just forced me to trade Westbrook for broken John Wall, I would basically not let him force me to do anything going forward.

    He’s under contract for 2 more years — basically the most prime of his prime years. The Rockets would actually be best off trading him for nothing but picks, and even better than nothing but picks is to make sure they end up in the top 4 this year when there’s a generational draft class and they only keep their pick if it’s in the top 4. If Harden plays, the Rockets win games, which is not what they want. So Harden can go to strip clubs all year as far as I’m concerned. I’d just fine him and get his $35MM salary back or whatever.

    he can show up and try to be a malcontent, but he’s not Jimmy Butler – he doesn’t have the personality for that. And if he’s REALLY malcontent, then the Rockets can only get worse, which only helps their draft position. And meanwhile, his prime is drip dripping away.

    The best thing for the Rockets is that they win (not games) if he stays away. It’s not like teams will change their trade offers based on whether he plays or not. If he really wants to put pressure on the Rockets, he’ll play and play well, and force them to trade him just so they don’t win games.

  74. Yeah, but players have been doing this since Pearl told the Bullets he didn’t want to play for them and wound up a Knick. It’s the association, always has been. But of course the Rockets shouldn’t just give him away, or any such thing.

  75. Frank:
    Gotta be honest, I think this player empowerment stuff has gone a way too far.If I’m the Rockets and Harden 12 months ago forced me to trade Chris Paul and all my draft picks for Westbrook then just forced me to trade Westbrook for broken John Wall, I would basically not let him force me to do anything going forward.

    He’s under contract for 2 more years — basically the most prime of his prime years.The Rockets would actually be best off trading him for nothing but picks, and even better than nothing but picks is to make sure they end up in the top 4 this year when there’s a generational draft class and they only keep their pick if it’s in the top 4.If Harden plays, the Rockets win games, which is not what they want.So Harden can go to strip clubs all year as far as I’m concerned. I’d just fine him and get his $35MM salary back or whatever.

    he can show up and try to be a malcontent, but he’s not Jimmy Butler – he doesn’t have the personality for that.And if he’s REALLY malcontent, then the Rockets can only get worse, which only helps their draft position. And meanwhile, his prime is drip dripping away.

    My understanding is the owner has more say in what’s going on than he should. So if Harden is involved in shipping out CP3, it was only with the owner’s blessing. IDK, someone here probably knows more than I do.

    I think it’s pretty telling that Morey & D’Antoni both left a fairly successful franchise.

    If making the conference finals every year and being a perennial championship threat is Knicks South, then I suggest we move the Knicks further south.

  76. Harden was probably already the #1 player in the league that fans outside of his home market most loved to hate; if he’s really prepared to burn down all his bridges in Houston he’s definitely going to set some kind of “least beloved” record. Not going to help if he ends up in Brooklyn playing for the team without a fanbase either. I get why he wants out at this point as they’re clearly transitioning into a bit of a rebuilding phase and he’s too old at this point to spend two years on a team aspiring for the 8 seed, but I’m not sure going full holdout is really worth it.

  77. Gotta be honest, I think this player empowerment stuff has gone a way too far. If I’m the Rockets and Harden 12 months ago forced me to trade Chris Paul and all my draft picks for Westbrook then just forced me to trade Westbrook for broken John Wall, I would basically not let him force me to do anything going forward.

    The thing is, the movement towards “player empowerment” has not been the result of the benevolence of owners and front offices. It’s actually been fueled by owners and front offices recognizing their own interests.

    Harden can’t “force” the Rockets to do anything. What he can do is make it clear he won’t re-sign in 2 years and possibly not play at full capacity during that time. With that information the Rockets are free to do whatever they want, but their interests are aligned with Harden’s at that point: the rational motivation for both parties is to get Harden traded to another team.

    They can also try to ignore any list of desired destinations he may have, but that’s much easier said than done because teams not on that list won’t be ponying up for him knowing he very well may be gone in two years. Again, everyone is just acting in their own interests here. If a team not on Harden’s list offers them the best package, they’ll take it in a heartbeat. See Leonard, Kawhi.

    If Harden refuses to show up to games while fully healthy, there are remedies the Rockets can pursue under the CBA. It’s a better outcome for the Rockets to trade him for a lot of assets than it is for them to go down that road, though.

    I dunno, a lot of hay is made about the player empowerment movement but I really just see a bunch of rational actors doing a bunch of rational things.

  78. The thing about the eye test is that most of the laypeople on here who think they’re qualified to make eye test judgments aren’t really qualified.

    ouch, reality bytes…

  79. If Harden refuses to show up to games while fully healthy, there are remedies the Rockets can pursue under the CBA. It’s a better outcome for the Rockets to trade him for a lot of assets than it is for them to go down that road, though.

    This is the part i was talking about. It really takes a lot of gumption to force the trade of two certain HoFers (CP3 and Westbrook) plus all the collateral damage of draft picks, then when you look around at all the wreckage, say yeah I’m outta here, and then do a holdout.

    Training camp is part of a player’s responsibility. If he doesn’t want to fulfill his contract, then the Rockets should fine him for every day he misses. What is the downside of that? That Harden will be even more upset? Certainly will not change his trade value one iota. I would hate it Fertita owned my team, but I would totally support that strategy. This isn’t even a Lebron situation – sure he forced a bunch of win-now moves, but none of them were as injurious as the ones Harden forced. And Lebron actually won a championship for cleveland, and gave himself maximum flexibility with the 1-and-1s.

    It’s so distasteful.

  80. I dunno, a lot of hay is made about the player empowerment movement but I really just see a bunch of rational actors doing a bunch of rational things.

    Agree except for the fact that there has to be some guardrails.

    I might need money and it is “rational” for me to go rob a bank. It doesn’t mean that I’m a rational actor. In this case, Harden has 2 more years on his contract. if he wants to “hold out”, then fine, hold out. But don’t expect to get paid your contract while you actively are breaking your contract.

  81. Yal..
    I keep seein and hearing Buddy Hield’s name in Knickery. There was allegedly talks of Randle and Ntilikina goin to Sacramento for him? Would you make that trade? I’m leaning towards no because if that rumor is true, that would mean Thibs & co has faith in DSJ, and is willing to sacrifice our best perimeter defender for the promise of DSJ & Quickley. Don’t get me wrong, I’d LOVE to see Quickley develop into our starting PG. But that’s not likely to happen in year one. I guess we’d hafta clear the PG glut, but I’d rather offer up Randle and Bullock. Like him or not, Hield actually makes this team better. His presence not only opens the floor for Mitch, Obi, and RJ- but it also moves RJ to his best position full time. I’d have no issue with trading for him if he’s still available, I’m just not sure I’d give up Ntilikina in the deal.

    But..there are whispers about Ntilikina not wanting to play off the ball..so..I dunno

  82. today seems like a good day to burn a bridge or two, the one with old wood creaking that would burn right away on cue, i try to be not like that, but some people really suck, some people need to get the axing, chalk it up to bad luck…

    Some news: A person familiar with James Harden’s thinking described the Rockets’ culture as toxic and called them the “Knicks of the South.”

    now i’m really pulling for him and kyrie to hook up, KD can be the collateral damage from having those two on the court at the same time…

    i’ve been having a hard time finding motivation to root against other basketball teams…i mean, what difference does it make if they fail – won’t really help our team any…

    it’s already gonna be fun to root against the nets/kyrie (a little bit of KD too), adding james would just be icing on the cake…

  83. It’s not really even a “movement” anyway. NBA stars have always been able to get out of situations they didn’t want to be in. The NBA is a players league, always has been, always will be. Zero sleep lost. I mean, yeah, Harden was a dick for getting other guys shipped out but the Rockets FO should have just told him no.

  84. Deeefense: It’s not foolish to see a kid that’s a plus defender at age 18 (when most can’t even spell defense) that also understands how to play winning basketball at that age and make a bet that his high basketball IQ and work ethic will eventually turn him into a very useful plus player.

    I posted this on the last thread not realizing it was dead: Can someone explain Frank’s high basketball IQ to me? He’s really good man defender who’s invisible off of the ball. Other than jumping the occasional screen he’s shown nothing in the way of sniffing out plays before they happen. And I guess his refusal to shoot is smart given how poorly he does it but that’s about the only sign of offensive intelligence.He’s excruciatingly passive- not a sign of a guy who knows exactly what he should be doing. Frank seems like a bright kid but basketball IQ is a lot different than standard IQ. Jeremy Lin went to Harvard and I’d say his basketball IQ was definitely on the low side.

  85. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats: keep seein and hearing Buddy Hield’s name in Knickery. There was allegedly talks of Randle and Ntilikina goin to Sacramento for him? Would you make that trade? I’m leaning towards no because if that rumor is true, that would mean Thibs & co has faith in DSJ, and is willing to sacrifice our best perimeter defender for the promise of DSJ & Quickley.

    This is precisely the question I raised yesterday and got raked over the coals about :/

    What I heard about it was it didn’t happen (yet) because Sacramento wanted extra draft compensation.

  86. Training camp is part of a player’s responsibility. If he doesn’t want to fulfill his contract, then the Rockets should fine him for every day he misses. What is the downside of that? That Harden will be even more upset? Certainly will not change his trade value one iota. I would hate it Fertita owned my team, but I would totally support that strategy. This isn’t even a Lebron situation – sure he forced a bunch of win-now moves, but none of them were as injurious as the ones Harden forced. And Lebron actually won a championship for cleveland, and gave himself maximum flexibility with the 1-and-1s.

    Harden’s contract, that the Rockets negotiated with him, outlines his responsibilities. If he isn’t abiding by it, the Rockets have options. They can decide for themselves whether or not it’s in their interests to pursue those options. I don’t see anything unusual here. Employers in much more precarious economic positions than the Houston Rockets make these kinds of calculations every day.

    I might need money and it is “rational” for me to go rob a bank. It doesn’t mean that I’m a rational actor. In this case, Harden has 2 more years on his contract. if he wants to “hold out”, then fine, hold out. But don’t expect to get paid your contract while you actively are breaking your contract.

    Well, no, it’s not rational unless you’re pretty certain you can get away with it because the risk is very high. That isn’t true of what Harden is doing. The risk is that the Rockets pursue the options they have under the CBA in response to what he’s doing. Clearly he’s fine with that.

  87. Tillman Fertita is absolutely the new James Dolan. I don’t think Harden can force his way to Brooklyn precisely because of that Knicks South mentality, and simply because they can’t offer the best package. If I had to bet on any non-Nets team to land Harden, it’s a toss up between Morey’s 76ers and Golden State.

    I also wouldn’t be shocked if the “James Harden thinks the Rockets are Knicks South” rhetoric came because somebody knew if they put “James Harden” and “Knicks” in the same tweet they’d get a ton of impressions.

  88. Seriously, I said yesterday in a conversation with Bruno that the best thing about right now is that we are not being talked about as a laughingstock franchise, except in the context of the Rockets taking that mantle from us. I can’t imagine anything that anyone below Dolan has done (outside of Stoute wearing Bulls shorts at a golf outing) that would be brought up in an opposing board room, as in “Hey, did you hear about the stupid shit the Knicks did today?”

  89. We can’t make a successful trade proposal for Harden, so no need to worry about this, right?

  90. I’m a known Frankbitch but voted for Elf.
    Seems like the safest choice until our young PGs (PuppyGuards) mature enough to inspire trust.

  91. @CassidyHubbarth
    Steve Kerr said James Wiseman and Draymond Green did not practice today.

    When asked about James Wiseman’s absence: “I will not comment on that any further. You can make your own deductions.”

    All is well everywhere!

  92. Maybe the balance of the NBA is like this: if the Knicks are a mess everybody else is fine, if the Knicks are fine everybody else is a mess.

  93. @JCMacriNBA
    I asked Mitch how Tom Thibodeau’s practices differ from past coaches he’s had: “More of a defensive style coach, not much offense.”

    Says Thibs focuses on how stops/turnovers can turn into buckets & focus has been squarely on that end of the court. Echoes Thibs words yesterday.

    The various comments and rumors coming out of camp have a certain consistent logic to them. The Knicks do not have enough offensive talent to be even an average offensive team; but, as Thibs was quoted as saying, they have youth and athleticism. It makes sense he’s trying to teach them to turn defense into offense; that’s probably going to be one of their better ways to score. If you are going to run a lot, and DSJ has gotten over his horrible third year, then he might be better at that then our other point guards.

  94. I think Draymond and Wiseman either tested positive for or were exposed to COVID and Kerr is just abiding by confidentiality stuff. That’s obviously a major cause for concern in its own right, but doesn’t sound like anything unusual is going on (sadly, in this context).

  95. thenoblefacehumper:
    I think Draymond and Wiseman either tested positive for or were exposed to COVID and Kerr is just abiding by confidentiality stuff. That’s obviously a major cause for concern in its own right, but doesn’t sound like anything unusual is going on (sadly, in this context).

    I think the NBA (and likely the NHL too) were thinking that most of the Covid stuff would be on the downward trend by now…given where its at…I can’t see them pulling this off outside of a bubble…I guess you can point to the NFL ….but that is one game a week…playing several games a week in different cities and seeing what the NCAA is dealing with…I can see this whole thing blowing up and they are lucky to get half of the games in…

  96. The CAAntucky Knicks, ladies and gentlemen.

    At least Kentucky is the best basketball program in the NCAA and CAA reps the best players, right? All these moves around the margin have been harmless so far.

  97. I really do hope to God that Cade Cunningham signs with CAA in a few months.

  98. I really do hope to God that Cade Cunningham signs with CAA in a few months.

    Ha! Too true.

  99. Unfortunately for us UNC is the best basketball program in the NCAA, not UK

  100. Pretty sure all the best Kentucky players are locked up for the next 4+ years anyways. So it’s not like this will somehow turn into us signing a Kentucky superstar anytime soon.

  101. Skal is worth a look I guess, he has been decently productive in small samples. I don’t remember James Young but he shot really well in Israel

  102. geo: howdy unreason…i got my left and right and east and west all mixed up :)

    i think they’re over by either the big or little sebago lake area…i just chatted with them briefly, the company has an office space in portland and i needed to ship some freight to someone whom works there…

    i remember the first time i looked in to shipping to that area years ago being surprised just how expensive the cost was, once i looked at the map i understood, it’s pretty remote…

    but, when i was checking it out on the map it looked like a really nice place to visit or live…i imagine the air being really clean there…

    not a big fan of the cold though…shoot, been out here in cali so long that 50 degrees feels like the onset of an ice age…

    Sebego area is very pretty. Big ass lake with habitable island in the middle. Scoot west a few minutes and you’re up in the white Mountains with all kinds of fun. You can paddle from Sebago, with a short port or two, all the way down through Portland to the ocean.

    Tell ya what. Try livin’ in Honolulu for 19 yrs. See what that does to your cold tolerance. Didn’t do much to mine, actually, but it hammered my wife’s – Korea born, NYC raised. She still pines daily for the tropics: sippin’ cocktails in the surf with her pals. Can’t blame her. Lovely Cali will soften you up just as bad, I imagine.

  103. If I’m Houston I offer Harden, Wall, and Gordon for Simmons, Harris, and Green plus the LA/Mil suite of 1sts and swaps.

    That mostly solves Houston’s cap problem gives them picks and a fun team of Simmons, McLemore, House, Harris, and Wood. That’s a really good shooting lineup around Simmons.

    It hurts Philly’s long term cap but Harris was already doing that and Gordon is better than Green, even if his contract is much worse, and they pair Harden with Embiid.

  104. If the Clippers didn’t get wrecked in the Paul George trade, I could actually see Houston and LAC coming to an agreement on a Paul George/Luke Kennard for James Harden swap with picks and going back to Houston. Alas, LAC has no picks.

  105. Spent the last few years summering near St. Joe’s on Lake Sebago. If we ever get to travel again, I recommend it to everyone. It’s gorgeous. And close enough to Portland to make it a day trip.

    But yeah, that’s a summer vacation. The lake warms up enough for swimming come July.

  106. I don’t know who will get Harden, but I think Sacramento is a dark horse in this race. For them, making the playoffs would be heaven, and Garden would give them a good chance to do that.

  107. Try livin’ in Honolulu for 19 yrs.

    ooooooohhhhhhh, i would like to try that soooooo bad…

    i’ve only been to Hawaii once, i’ll never forget – as soon as i returned from going there all i could think about for a while was what the heck was wrong with me for not living there…

  108. Raven:
    Spent the last few years summering near St. Joe’s on Lake Sebago. If we ever get to travel again, I recommend it to everyone. It’s gorgeous. And close enough to Portland to make it a day trip.

    But yeah, that’s a summer vacation. The lake warms up enough for swimming come July.

    So many beautiful lakes on the App trail in Maine…Rangeley, Mooselookmeguntic, Flagstaff, Rainbow…brings back great memories.

  109. Hey all Sebago lake is gorgeous. Also if you have never been to Acadia national park believe me its worth a trip. It even has its own sandy beach if you go in the summer you can enjoy swimming. I have gone every year with the wife since we moved here and love it each time we go. Hmm the singing of skal maybe competion for omare but i think if omare can shoot at all would be great. I have to admit i know nothing of james young. Keep up the good work all and stay safe Chris

  110. I have family up in Maine near Portland. I’m pretty fond of the city.

    They used to have a place near Sebago, which definitely made the drive up there worth it.

  111. They used to have a place near Sebago, which definitely made the drive up there worth it.

    that’s too funny, i love the family and all – but, i really like that spot they’re at…

  112. It’s interesting that we have 4 preseason games against two equally rebuilding-level teams. Either it will be very entertaining or just terrible basketball.

  113. Frank and Randle for Buddy would be brilliant. It solves two, arguably three problems at once.

  114. Z Man – I spent a week every summer of my childhood on Mooselookmeguntic. Never even met anyone else besides the family friends that live up whose heard of it. It’s an absolutely special slice of this great country and Maine in particular. Wonderful place and highly recommended. Just don’t spread the word!

  115. If the Clippers didn’t get wrecked in the Paul George trade, I could actually see Houston and LAC coming to an agreement on a Paul George/Luke Kennard for James Harden swap with picks and going back to Houston. Alas, LAC has no picks.

    Now, bearing in mind that almost any trade that gets Kawhi to commit to you is a good trade, I guess, it’s fascinating to wonder if the Clippers would have been in better overall shape had they just added Kawhi to their team as it was and maybe traded Gallo and picks for multiple pieces rather than just George. Especially since Paul George was way out of his element as a shooting guard.

  116. cgreene, blast from the past, nice to see your handle! I could tell you tons of boring stories about my 1988 app trail hike from Pawling NY to Katahdin…suffice it to say that the Mooselookmeguntic stretch was ultra-special. I hiked off the trail 5 miles into Rangeley (halfway between equator and North Pole) to get supplies and on the way back was picked up by an 80+yo retired businessman named Winston Robbins who had build a spectacular replica of an authentic Swiss chalet up in the mountains overlooking the lake as a retirement project. He insisted I spend the night with him and his lady friend and regaled me with pearls of wisdom I carry with me to this day. for example:
    Z-man: “What’s the secret to being a successful in business?
    WR: “Find a market and fill it.”
    Z-man: “What’s the key to being a good leader?
    WR: “Never ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.”
    I went back to visit him the next year and he told me I got fat! But i never forgot his kindness and wisdom. Amazing how a chance encounter can leave such an indelible mark. Had many of those on that hike.

  117. too many of you have actually lived out my fantasies…always dreamed of hiking along the appalachian trail…

    hopefully you can toss in a few more stories from time to time z-man…

  118. So we can get to laugh on other team’s owner for a change? I remember this post on RealGM from before the bubble:

    https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1939179

    Yeah, it sounds bad, no wonder everyone has run away. Harden is too big that he will probably pull it even if he still has contract for 2 years, Adam Silver will intervene at some point and force Houston to rebuild because this looks bad on the entire league.

  119. Guys, this is how much The Frank Discourse has burrowed its way into my brain: the last dream I had before waking up this morning was of the Knicks’ opening game for this season. On the very first play, Frank stole the ball from Kyrie, went coast to coast for a layup, then smiled broadly and pointed at Jonathan Macri on press row as he ran back on defense.

    This is not healthy.

  120. I mean, now Harden has been seen on video partying in strip clubs in Vegas, birthday parties in Atlanta, etc all mask-less and surrounded by a bunch of other maskless people. This is ridiculous just from a breach of contract perspective, not to mention there is a freaking pandemic going on. I think the league needs to step in here and help the Rockets out — suspend the player for conduct detrimental to the league (per the new health and safety guidelines). One of the faces of the league can’t be out there absolutely blowing off covid protocols and not showing up to team activities that are mandated by the player contracts.

  121. Re: Obi Toppin – I get the comparisons with John Collins (and honestly, it would be such a major win if he even turns out to be 90% the scorer that Collins is), but Obi is a much better passer than Collins is and probably will ever be. In college, Collins had an assist percentage of 3.5 and 4.5 — that is like Yinka Dare passing (I am dating myself here!). Obi’s was ~15% both years at Dayton, and you see lots of examples of quick-processing passing.

    John Collins with better passing is an amazing player, even if the defense never really comes around.

  122. Real question:

    The highly stat oriented posters (THCJ in particular) have been EXTREMELY pro Harden for years on this blog. Would the consensus here be NO to the following?

    Harden to the Knicks

    Knicks send:
    2021 1st top 3 protected
    Dal 2023 1st
    RJ, Knox, Frank, Randle

  123. I’m not one of the highly stat oriented posters, cgreene, but I’d have to say a very hard no to that. Harden’s 31, and while RJ’s the only player we’re sending out who would likely be missed, the rest of our roster plus the Beard would likely top out as a 5th or 6th seed in the east until his decline begins. Plus, he’s no fun at all to watch.

  124. I posted this on the last thread not realizing it was dead: Can someone explain Frank’s high basketball IQ to me?

    On a very high level there only one correct way to play this game, The players will have different skills, the teams will have different strengths, the systems used can be different, but you either play the right way or you are going to have a much tougher time winning a championship.

    It’s a team game. It requires unselfish team oriented thinking and sustained effort.

    You have to take smart shots.

    You have to know when and where to move the ball towards a better shot even if you already have a good one.

    You have to be wiling to keep yourself in motion and know where to go on the floor.

    You have know when to help or switch if your teammate gets beat, always know where to be on defense, and be wiling to make the extra effort.

    You have to know when you can get away with little things the refs may not see.

    You have to makes all the extra effort plays to lead to extra possessions.

    Everything you think about and do has to be geared towards making the TEAM better and not about your own shots, rebounds, stats, and body.

    Melo had tremendous offensive skill, but imo he had a very low basketball IQ and didn’t make a consistent effort

    Harden has tremendous skills, but imo he has a low basketball IQ and doesn’t make a consistent effort.

    Frank does not have a lot of skill on offense, but he does almost everything right if the goal is to win games at the highest level. You want 15 Franks on your team, but you want some of them to be a lot more skilled and able to score. :-)

  125. Harden is a great player, but he’s a loser. If you can’t get along with CP3 and agree about how you should play together, YOU are the moron. I want nothing to do with him in NY.

  126. Strat, I don’t get your logic at all. If you want to say that Melo and Harden are not suited to be #1 players on a championship team, sure. But to compare them in any way to what has been a garden variety scrub requires mental gymnastics and squinting of the highest order.

    PS Harden is not Melo. He is arguably the offensive GOAT or close to it. You can hate the aesthetics of his game but that’s simply a fact.

  127. As to wanting him in NY, sure, I get that folks don’t want a petulant Kardashian groupie ball-hog iso-to-the-nth-degree player mucking up their fandom. But he would add 20 wins per season by himself if you put any kind of a team around him. So you’d be saying that you prefer losing to watching and rooting for him. Which is fine. Just don’t say that the team is better without him in terms of wins and losses. That’s beyond dumb.

  128. There is no doubt that if we got James Harden we would instantly be a playoff team and could probably get to the second round for a few seasons.

    But so what?

    I want to build a team that has an extended playoff run. A team that can consistently win a minimum of 45 games for the next decade. Yes, I would like that to eventually lead to a championship but more than that, I’m just sick of The Knicks being a joke and Harden would only temporarily relieve that. I want us to be like Dallas with Dirk. A team that you knew was always going to be good and eventually broke through. If we can build a foundation where we’re penciled in for the 1 through 5 seed year after year and are consistently making it to the second round, we will have no problem attracting free agents. Stars will want to play with us. Good vets who sign with teams for cheap will want to play with us.

    I did really enjoy the 54 win team but I remember even then thinking “we gotta win it all this year.” When we lost to The Pacers, I thought well maybe we can be as good as we were again next season if this and this goes right. But we weren’t and that was it. Three seasons of the playoffs with only one season where we were legitimately good. And yes, Harden is way better than Melo but he’s also older than Melo when we got Melo and he will cost us a fortune. Hard pass. Plus, I hate his game so much.

    I’m not against trading some of our youth and picks for the right young star on the rise or in his prime. But I would like the next good Knicks team to have some homegrown talent on it. Its just a much more satisfying experience as fan to watch a team grow and get better year after year and see a young player go from promising to good. Besides winning a championship, watching a young team grow and get better I think is one of the most rewarding experiences as a fan.

  129. cgreene:

    Harden to the Knicks

    Knicks send:
    2021 1st top 3 protected
    Dal 2023 1st
    RJ, Knox, Frank, Randle

    I think this is a very paltry return for the Rockets and thus not realistic at all, and the fact that it still doesn’t look like an obvious win for the Knicks highlights why trying to trade for Harden in our situation doesn’t make any sense. After this deal you’d be in halfway decent shape to chase the 8th seed this year and with good cap flexibility and draft assets moving forward but with a really limited timetable to turn that into a legit contender before Harden hits free agency (and even if he re-signs his next contract has really scary potential). In all likelihood to really pull off a Harden deal you’d have to push in a whole bunch more draft capital on top of what you’ve listed which only reduces the logic from the Knicks side.

    Also as much fun as it is to dream up fun Harden scenarios, he’s making it very obvious right now that he’s willing to be a massive prick to get what he wants. Any team that’s thinking about making a move better be very, very sure that he’s going to be happy to be there for at least a couple years before they throw their best assets into the pot. Without any way of knowing for sure I have to assume the situation we’d be offering here isn’t what he’s looking for in his next team.

  130. swiftandabundant: I want to build a team that has an extended playoff run. A team that can consistently win a minimum of 45 games for the next decade. Yes, I would like that to eventually lead to a championship but more than that, I’m just sick of The Knicks being a joke and Harden would only temporarily relieve that. I want us to be like Dallas with Dirk. A team that you knew was always going to be good and eventually broke through. If we can build a foundation where we’re penciled in for the 1 through 5 seed year after year and are consistently making it to the second round, we will have no problem attracting free agents. Stars will want to play with us. Good vets who sign with teams for cheap will want to play with us.

    Agreed. I want no part of a Harden trade.

  131. Harden to the Knicks

    Knicks send:
    2021 1st top 3 protected
    Dal 2023 1st
    RJ, Knox, Frank, Randle

    I think it would have to at least be two unprotected Knicks picks, RJ, and one of Mitch/Toppin as a starting point. I wouldn’t do it, but I could see the FO doing it to help them get into the Giannis sweepstakes next year.

  132. ess-dog: I think it would have to at least be two unprotected Knicks picks, RJ, and one of Mitch/Toppin as a starting point. I wouldn’t do it, but I could see the FO doing it to help them get into the Giannis sweepstakes next year.

    I can’t see the FO doing it at all. They have shown zero signs of itching to trade the farm for the extremely unlikely chance that Giannis would want to play with a declining primadonna. Not to mention that Harden has expressed zero interest in the Knicks.

  133. Z-man:
    Strat, I don’t get your logic at all. If you want to say that Melo and Harden are not suited to be #1 players on a championship team, sure. But to compare them in any way to what has been a garden variety scrub requires mental gymnastics and squinting of the highest order.

    PS Harden is not Melo. He is arguably the offensive GOAT or close to it. You can hate the aesthetics of his game but that’s simply a fact.

    You can be a great player and play the game poorly strategically.

    Harden is a great player and obviously way better than Melo ever was, but they are similar in that they try to do WAY too much on their own, don’t play in a way that maximizes the “team’s” results, and don’t give consistent effort on defense. It’s really tough to win at the championship level playing the way he plays. IMO. he would be better and his team would be better if he did less, piled up fewer offensive stats, and simply moved the ball.

    He absolutely DOES have the basketball skills to be a great #1 option, but he’d need a completely different mindset. I see no evidence at age 31 he gets it. He’s a better version of Melo that’s not going to win a title unless he changes or gets carried to one after he gets older and has his role reduced.

  134. Here is my latest opening day lineup theory: Thibs will start Frank at point guard on Friday.

    1. Thibs has been pushing a “defense-first” approach in practice, which obviously benefits Frank.

    2. Thibs will want to square Frank up against Killian as both a motivation test and a game advantage. Frank knows Killian’s game better than anyone in the NBA. And as a competitor, Frank is surely dying to show up the new French guard on the block. This is the matchup Frank needs to prove that he’s still worth something in this league.

  135. Harden’s almost the quintessential guy who’s a 1 option on a team destined to always peak out at the conference finals or semi-finals.

    But I want to get a little bit into his so-called transcendent skill and the claim that he might be the offensive GOAT. As we’ve gotten into the analytics age and teams are willing to go all-in extreme analytic, even at the expense of aesthetics, players have built their so-called skills around the things that make them “efficient.” So Harden is pretty good at shooting 3s, and excellent if not superlative at “drawing fouls” (*) So what looks like skill and efficiency is really just players gaming the system and the rules a bit and more importantly being given the encouragement and leeway to do so.

    In its most simple form, we should dissent from the idea that someone who stands a foot in front of the three-point line and makes 55% of their shots is somehow less basketball “skilled’ than a guy who stands a foot back and hits 38%. That isn’t really what “skill” means, properly understood. (And is why we’re seeing the decoupling of very high level TS% people and actual skill as discussed in the other thread.)

    (*) Which then all the analytics devotees then denominate a “skill.”

  136. cgreene:
    Real question:

    The highly stat oriented posters (THCJ in particular) have been EXTREMELY pro Harden for years on this blog. Would the consensus here be NO to the following?

    Harden to the Knicks

    Knicks send:
    2021 1st top 3 protected
    Dal 2023 1st
    RJ, Knox, Frank, Randle

    Interesting to see the responses. I purposefully left the trade more in the Knicks favor to see the opinions. I generally agree. However, we have rebuilt so poorly because of bad talent evaluation and team building strategy that I get hesitant not to just have that number 1 option in the bag for a couple of years and see what can get built quickly around him. Championship teams get constructed on the fly almost every year in the NBA now. See: Clippers, Heat in 2020. I’m sure Hardin has a Robin to his Batman out there who’s his boy and wants to join him wherever he lands.

  137. Harden is DEFINITELY worth that haul. Don’t see Rockets saying yes to anything less than 3 1st rounders. Harden needs to be surrounded by an exceptional defensive center and good shooters to clear the paint. Mitch’s ceiling would be great with Harden, and if only we had ANY shooters…

  138. Optimizing your performance under the rules as written is, if not a skill, highly related to a player’s usefulness. I would absolutely value a player making 38% of their threes more than a player making 55% of their long twos, because 1) 55% is unsustainable from that range for most players, whereas 38% from 3 is fairly normal for good shooters and 2) if he can hit 55% of his long twos he should be shooting from a foot back to make his shots more valuable. If he is obtusely refusing to step a foot back for his shot, he is either an idiot or too stubborn to coach.

  139. Pass on Harden. We are not ready to win anything in the next 2 years with or without him, after which we would need to either extend him at age 33-34 or get 50c on the dollar trading him at the trade deadline or letting him walk for nothing. Plus I honestly think I’d rather watch Jason Smith, Lou Amundson, and Ricky Ledo run the triangle than watch Harden-ball.

  140. cgreene: I’m sure Hardin has a Robin to his Batman out there who’s his boy and wants to join him wherever he lands.

      

    I’d need to know who that was before I’d even start making proposals.

  141. Mike Honcho: I would absolutely value a player making 38% of their threes more than a player making 55% of their long twos,

    Value and skill aren’t the same thing; that’s pretty much the point for me. Any kind of serious cross-era analysis has to keep this in mind.

  142. Rivers/Payton
    Harden/Burks
    Bullock/Burks
    Obi/Spellman
    Mitch/Noel

    Is a strong team that competes with basically any team in the east because Harden is so much better than everyone in the conference not named Giannis.

    We’d have max cap space plus some in the coming offseason with Giannis, Kawhi, Gobert, Paul George and others potentially available.

    Sign any of them and you’ve gone from worst team in the league to East favorites. Then you sign all the championship chasers for low cost contracts.

    You may not like Harden but that’s a pretty damn good shot at a championship.

  143. I’d have to be able to keep at least one of Obi and RJ and I’d have to never have a year with no first round pick. If it could be fit into those parameters, I’m not full-scale against the idea.

    But there’s no hint of any kind that Harden has a hint of interest of any kind in playing for the Knicks.

  144. E: Value and skill aren’t the same thing; that’s pretty much the point for me. Any kind of serious cross-era analysis has to keep this in mind.

    I think everyone knows this is true but also it’s kind of an empty point. Frankly the most “skilled” guy is probably a 5’6″ guy who plays for the Globetrotters, but I don’t hear a lot of people making his case as the GOAT. Being “skilled” at manipulating an orange leather ball is pretty meaningless outside of ways that it translates into value in the popular game of basketball.

  145. Pass on Harden. We are not ready to win anything in the next 2 years with or without him, after which we would need to either extend him at age 33-34 or get 50c on the dollar trading him at the trade deadline or letting him walk for nothing. Plus I honestly think I’d rather watch Jason Smith, Lou Amundson, and Ricky Ledo run the triangle than watch Harden-ball.

    “win anything?” If a guy makes you and instant ECF top-3, and one signing away from championship contender with any of Early Bird’s guys … Can you imagine Harden with Giannis? Kawhi? Even Gobert may cover for his defensive flaws enough to get to the next step. I wish there was a shot at pairing him with AD.

  146. Knicks send:
    2021 1st top 3 protected
    Dal 2023 1st
    RJ, Knox, Frank, Randle

    RJ: all upside, no production
    Knox: should be playing in Europe, and not Euroleague
    Frank: ibid
    Randle: a virtually inconsequential player who will have racked up a ton of MP and made some money in this league, basically the Arron Afflalo of contemporary PFs

    The picks are only as good as the players the Knicks’ scouting team selects. So… uh, haha.

    Harden: top 25 player of all-time, still good

    It would be akin to the Pau Gasol heist if the Knicks got Harden, even at his age, for that dumpster fire of a player package. The Rockets would instantly become cellar dwellers and the Knicks would become a 50-win team.

  147. I wouldn’t love it, due to Harden’s timetable, but I’m not going to bellyache over becoming a contender in the East with potential to improve thanks to having a flexible roster. If that trade is available, you take it and instantly become a significant playoff team.

  148. If Harden hadn’t choked a few times during bigtime games in the playoffs and hadn’t been a dick nowacoviddays I’d definitely say Yes.
    I love his game.
    But now I’m kind of afraid that Harden may fuck the culture, the future and the Extremely rare for the knicks: patient approach of the FO.

    (Plus) The Rockets should be desperate to accept our miserable package

  149. The Honorable Cock Jowles: RJ: all upside, no production
    Knox: should be playing in Europe, and not Euroleague
    Frank: ibid
    Randle: a virtually inconsequential player who will have racked up a ton of MP and made some money in this league, basically the Arron Afflalo of contemporary PFs

    The picks are only as good as the players the Knicks’ scouting team selects. So… uh, haha.

    Harden: top 25 player of all-time, still good

    It would be akin to the Pau Gasol heist if the Knicks got Harden, even at his age, for that dumpster fire of a player package. The Rockets would instantly become cellar dwellers and the Knicks would become a 50-win team.

    I knew THCJ was in on this. So if we upped the ante to include Obi would you still do it? Obi and another 1st? Obi and another 1st plus swaps? I’m pretty sure you’d have Houston’s attention at this point and you sell Harden on year 1 figure out how to play with Mitch, Noel, Bullock, Burks, Rivers ans year 2 go get one of those FAs and we are a contender. If they contend in Year 2 they’ve changed the color of the franchise forever.

    PS: would be a bummer to lose Obi too. I think he and Mitch plus Frank for D would be a great fit.

  150. Fertitta’s idiocy might force them into an unfavorable deal, since Harden is probably pissing him off and he seems to be addicted to unloading salary.

  151. The only way it’s even worth thinking about is if Harden is cool with coming to the Knicks. There’s no indication he is.

    Worst of the Dallas/NYK in 2021, the Dallas 2023, RJ or Obi, Knox, and Randle, I’d do. But it’s way, way premature. Any kind of Kawhi/Jrue pick package is a non-starter absent an ironclad promise from Giannis.

  152. This is entirely from a production perspective. His COVID bullshit and desire to play for an instant contender makes it a no from me. The Knicks ain’t it for James Harden. (Frankly, neither would be the Nets. And that’s why I want it to happen.)

  153. Purely hypothetical. Didn’t Harden just call Houston the “Knicks of the South” in, like, a bad way?

  154. Will i embrace a Harden trade?

    Definitely! I’ll order a Knicks Harden jersey right away and cross my fingers for the best!
    But deep down inside me I’ll know that It’s pretty possible to go one more Stat/Melo ride…

  155. Again, Harden instantly makes you a title contender. Even year 1 you have a legitimate shot at winning the championship. Even if you never sign another star player, Harden gives you a championship contender for the next few years. Maybe not the favorite, but a legitimate shot.

    The main question with Harden is whether anyone wants to play with him. If not, his value drops considerably because you go from say 20% chance to win a championship to maybe 5% each year. (IDK, the numbers are made up but you know what I mean).

    Also, fuck James Harden for partying right now.

  156. Again, Harden instantly makes you a title contender. Even year 1 you have a legitimate shot at winning the championship. Even if you never sign another star player, Harden gives you a championship contender for the next few years. Maybe not the favorite, but a legitimate shot.

    You think that a starting lineup of Elfrid Payton, James Harden, Alec Burks, Obi Toppin, and Mitch Robinson has a legitimate shot to win the title?

  157. If Harden had more years left and Harden was cool with it,
    or he would sign an extension,
    and the perception about him by other players coming to join him was positive,
    Yes.

    But, none of the criteria I listed are likely, so
    No.

  158. I agree that ignoring the most basic Covid protocols makes Harden a big no for me. He comes off as clueless at best, but more likely just another self-absorbed dickhead who is helping to make this epidemic much worse than it could have been.

    With Kyrie and Harden, Brooklyn would instantly become the league’s most hated team, no?

  159. thenamestsam: You think that a starting lineup of Elfrid Payton, James Harden, Alec Burks, Obi Toppin, and Mitch Robinson has a legitimate shot to win the title?

    Literally any team with James Harden has a shot at winning the title, with the sole exception of Harden plus the 4 players we traded him for in this hypothetical.

    And when I say shot I don’t mean some remote possibility, I mean he instantly makes the Knicks maybe the 2nd best team in the East.

    If you don’t agree, you’re probably underrating James Harden.

    By RAPTOR Harden put up 16.7 WAR in the regular season. Giannis 12. Third best in the East? Tatum at 9.2. Butler 8.8, almost half Harden’s value. Embiid & Simmons combine for only 11 total.

    By BPM Giannis is ahead but Harden is second at 9.6. Third in the East is Butler at 5.4.

    Is this the exact right way to think about these numbers? No, probably not. But the gulf between Harden and your run of the mill superstar is gargantuan.

  160. One more rumor i just read…

    New York Knicks Receive: LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan

    San Antonio Spurs Receive: Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox II, 2021 2nd Round Pick (via DET), 2021 2nd Round Pick (via CHA)

  161. If you don’t agree, you’re probably underrating James Harden.

    I’m generally in the Harden defender category but I think A. you’re overrating him somewhat and B. you’re maybe underrating how bad the rest of the roster would be. Harden is really, really good, but they came close to making the finals once in his tenure in Houston (albeit in the harder conference) and most years they had rosters much better than what we would be putting around him. It looks like a low 50s win roster to me even in a pretty optimistic case, and that’s not a legitimate title contender.

  162. Why would we do that? We get nothing out of it other than two starters in their thirties and some cap space for next year we mostly already have. Those guys were an integral part of the lackluster Spurs team of last year, so idk what we think we’d get with them and an even worse supporting cast.

  163. Also, fuck James Harden for partying right now.

    I saw of meme of Harden partying with a bunch of women and the caption was, “the Rockets may have to test Harden for more than just Covid when he finally reports”.

  164. Knew Your Nicks:
    One more rumor i just read…

    New York Knicks Receive: LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan

    San Antonio Spurs Receive: Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox II, 2021 2nd Round Pick (via DET), 2021 2nd Round Pick (via CHA)

    Seems weird to dump Randle just to take on Aldridge who would eat Toppin’s minutes also.

    Both Aldridge & DeRozan are FAs after this year. So you really have to bet 1 stays or that making the playoffs this year turns around perceptions of the Knicks (I mean, maybe).

    OTOH, you’re really only giving up 2 seconds and a bunch of garbage.

    thenamestsam: I’m generally in the Harden defender category but I think A. you’re overrating him somewhat and B. you’re maybe underrating how bad the rest of the roster would be. Harden is really, really good, but they came close to making the finals once in his tenure in Houston (albeit in the harder conference) and most years they had rosters much better than what we would be putting around him. It looks like a low 50s win roster to me even in a pretty optimistic case, and that’s not a legitimate title contender.

    If the significantly worse Butler can drag the Heat to the finals, I don’t see why Harden can’t. Butler has Bam, but the two together still don’t produce the value Harden does. Also, Mitch adds a significant amount by almost every metric. Everyone else on the team is an NBA level starter with the possible exception of Obi, and even he appears likely to play reasonably well.

    The reason many of our players appear so bad is because they play on a team with exactly the players we’re dumping and who took well over 20% of our team’s minutes. You’re effectively adding a 2nd Harden just by dumping last year’s version of RJ & Knox.

  165. The Privilege of having Cap Space, draft picks and promising(???) young players!
    All Rumours include you.

  166. It’s interesting that some people are even mildly considering a trade for Harden. Setting side my personal opinion on his game, I’m usually the one most open in bringing in players in the 30ish range as part of a rebuild process. But typically, I’m open to it as a free agent signing where you don’t give anything up and are just trying to accelerate the win curve, get playoff experience for the young players, trying to add players that could be traded or rolled up into another star later etc.. I don’t think I’ve even been in favor of trading picks and young players for a 30ish player unless maybe he was the missing piece to put you over the top (which is clearly not the case with Harden). To me, giving up a lot of our future for Harden is a very strong NO.

  167. There’s no way that that Spurs rumor is legit. So it’s not even worth discussing.

    The Spurs rumor sounds like someone is trolling the Knicks. :-)

  168. “There’s no way that that Spurs rumor is legit. So it’s not even worth discussing.”

    The writer is Greg Patuto
    Maybe a writer’s proposal ? Idk

  169. If Harden wanted to come here, he’s one of the few players in the NBA who can change a team’s entire win curve just by himself. So sure, that offer would be fine. It’s less than the Knicks gave up for Melo and 31 year old Harden is better than 26 (basically 27) year old Melo (and Harden’s game is clearly one that will age well) and the cap sheet is in much better shape, so that they could add any number of stars next year. Gobert, Beal, etc. It doesn’t have to be Giannis. There’s a lot of good players out there.

    That said, Harden doesn’t want to come here, so it’s a moot point.

  170. Woj is reporting that the 76ers do not want to trade either of Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid to Houston for Harden.

    So we know Harden won’t go to Brooklyn because Fertitta will not send Harden to his first choice, and we know Darryl Morey won’t send Simmons/Embiid to Houston (probably as a big “F*** You” to Fertitta). Does Miami have the salary and picks to build a trade package around Tyler Herro?

  171. Honestly, the only basketball reason you don’t do that Harden trade is because he’s 31 years old and doesn’t take care of himself at all so he could fall off a cliff at any time. Of course, I doubt Houston would accept that trade. At a minimum I’d think we’d have to include at least 2 of Mitch, RJ, Obi.

  172. Harden is an amazing player, but he’s already 31 and without the conditioning level other top stars are known for. Yes, his game should age relatively well, but it still gives you a pretty small window to build a decent team around him.

    It would be interesting to see how far Harden, Toppin, and three good defenders could go in the east, though.

    Edit: great minds, vincoug

  173. i kind of hope the harden things drags on just for the spectacle of it. i’m pretty ambivalent amid the player-vs-owner/league spectrum on situations like these with contracted superstars. i don’t fully agree with tnfh that incentives are aligned when the trade request is made public and that contracts work well as adjudicators. the standard nba contract has language requiring wittegnstein level humor like “loyalty” and “best services” from players, which in reality is just not likely to work well in a litigation/arbitration context, and if it came to that regularly the rules would surely be rewritten toward clarity. what’s more, a player who makes it clear they want out two years in advance doesn’t just inform, they also radically change the nature of the product for those two years. it’s a lot harder for fans to maintain the tribal illusion when their guru is openly trying to ghost them.

    you might argue that’s fine and the best solution is for players to go where they want, but of course there is a league equilibrium where that might not work (i.e. 5 teams of superstars and 25 knicks). or maybe you could argue the problems of players half assing it (“best services” violation) or openly wanting out are offset by the general unfairness of elite talents (of course with zero skill) being cba’d and effective monopoly’d into unreasonable constraints on freedom. maybe so, but i still think there is a dangerous point at which player’s soft power could really hurt the league. i am not sure about this.

  174. How certain are we that his game will age well?

    Sure, he will always be a good 3 point shooter. But the other aspect of his game that is so lethal is his ability to get to the bucket and draw fouls. Is that something he will continue to do as he approaches his mid 30’s?

    Cause if that aspect of his game declines, you’re now left with a really expensive 3 point shooter.

  175. Does Miami have the salary and picks to build a trade package around Tyler Herro?

    miami could offer herro, nunn, achiuwa, low value pick swaps in 2022 and 2024, and a 2025 or 26 1st. they would have to throw in olynyk and iggy to make the salary work and wait 30 days from achiuwa’s signing.

  176. Knew Your Nicks:
    “There’s no way that that Spurs rumor is legit. So it’s not even worth discussing.”

    The writer is Greg Patuto
    Maybe a writer’s proposal ? Idk

    you must get the same click bait i get…for “NBA analysis network”….i think every 24 hours they produce some trade “rumor” bs ….just keep scrollin’ when you see that pop up in your google suggestions…

  177. Deeefense: It’s interesting that some people are even mildly considering a trade for Harden. Setting side my personal opinion on his game, I’m usually the one most open in bringing in players in the 30ish range as part of a rebuild process. But typically, I’m open to it as a free agent signing where you don’t give anything up and are just trying to accelerate the win curve, get playoff experience for the young players, trying to add players that could be traded or rolled up into another star later etc.. I don’t think I’ve even been in favor of trading picks and young players for a 30ish player unless maybe he was the missing piece to put you over the top (which is clearly not the case with Harden). To me, giving up a lot of our future for Harden is a very strong NO.

    Harden is the win curve. Harden plus a max player next offseason is about as peak win curve as you can get. After that we still have a surplus of picks to deal for a third player or better role players.

    Alternatively, when Harden calls it quits we still have Mitch & Toppin in their primes plus every one of our own picks except 2021. Plus every single 2023 2nd round pick.

    Harden is not adding the mediocre vets that we disagree with you on. Harden is the best or second best player in the league.

  178. How certain are we that his game will age well?

    Sure, he will always be a good 3 point shooter. But the other aspect of his game that is so lethal is his ability to get to the bucket and draw fouls. Is that something he will continue to do as he approaches his mid 30’s?

    Cause if that aspect of his game declines, you’re now left with a really expensive 3 point shooter.

    His game doesn’t rely primarily on speed. Pretty much any star whose game doesn’t primarily rely on speed ages well.

  179. But yes, the important thing is that Harden doesn’t want to come here. That’s a pretty key point.

  180. I don’t see why old Harden would be much worse at tricking people into fouling him. That part of his game is probably immortal.

  181. every time i see james harden i’m immediately reminded of just how much my face itches if i don’t shave for a week…

    yeah, i’ve never really got all the hair on the face stuff…

  182. Also as a bigger guy a neatly trimmed beard goes a long way to covering the chin(s) in a reasonable way.

  183. Harden making it clear that he will go to Philadelphia and Philly making it clear that they won’t trade Embiid or Simmons…shit, the Knicks might actually end up as an actual possibility. I still doubt it, but Barrett is probably the shiniest guy the Rockets could get for Harden at this point.

  184. #you must get the same click bait i get…for “NBA analysis network”….i think every 24 hours they produce some trade “rumor” bs ….just keep scrollin’ when you see that pop up in your google suggestions…#

    Yeah
    That’s the one
    Some of these “rumours” are… almost reasonable
    But others are almost sciencefictionesque

  185. Early Bird: If the significantly worse Butler can drag the Heat to the finals, I don’t see why Harden can’t.

    I would not describe what happened as Butler dragging the Heat anywhere. Bam was awesome in the bubble and they had solidly 9 guys giving them productive playoff-team rotation caliber minutes. The # of guys on the Knicks roster who I’m confident can do that is not enough to fill up a starting lineup.

    There’s an extremely limited history of non-Lebron one man band teams having significant playoff success and if I was betting on someone to extend that history it would not be playoff Harden. I just don’t know how you can look at his history and conclude that this guy plus Mitch plus a bunch of minimums is a championship team. It doesn’t square with anything other than his high RAPTOR rating.

  186. Also as a bigger guy a neatly trimmed beard goes a long way to covering the chin(s) in a reasonable way.

    the one reason i would grow a beard :)

    but, after two weeks i’d be insanely itching…hmmmmm, beard versus dieting and exercising…now that is a truly tough choice…

    not that i’m mister twiggy now, but i’d probably just have to learn to love my round self better…

  187. yes of course our team would be better with Harden but man I would hate rooting for a team with James Harden. A) his game sucks to watch, and B) he seems like a total douchebag. No thanks, feels like a deal with the devil, only made worse that we would be trading the super wholesome wondertwins of Frank and RJ.

    Not to mention we would still be a first-round out AND dudes can’t stand playing with Harden, so there’s no guarantee that max player X would come in Summer 2021.

  188. I still doubt it, but Barrett is probably the shiniest guy the Rockets could get for Harden at this point.

    i dunno, i think wiseman is shinier (back to our would u trade rj for the #1 thread). gsw could do something like wiseman, wiggins, looney, chriss, twolves 21 first and one of their own far out future firsts for harden and tucker.

  189. legendary players tend to.. almost always actually… age well barring injury….

    harden is def in that class so i wouldn’t put it out of reach that he will be a useful player until he’s 40…. he shoots well and his dribble penetration relies on changing directions and speeds and reflexes rather than pure burst….

    he has great spatial recognition ability and that comes from your eyes and brain and that’s really what separates a lot of these elite athletes from others… or at least that’s a theory being discussed in academia… and that spatial recognition ability allows players to adapt and be useful even as the rest of their abilities deteroriate….

    so him being 31 is actually more like 26 for other players so you shouldn’t be afraid of his age especially when he’s basically been injury free his entire career….

  190. Harden isn’t coming here so I am not even going to think about it but no GM in her right mind turns that deal down.

    He’s absolutely the kind of talent I’d like to watch on the Knicks before I die but I’d prefer we drafted that kind of player.

  191. Pretty crazy that Harden, who has led the league in FTA in each year but one since he joined Houston, still falls nearly 100 FTA short of Jordan’s all-time single-season high of 972 (1986-87). That’s as many as Shaq had in 2001, a lofty summit he reached for obvious reasons. If KB existed during that Jordan season, I wonder how many of us would call him a win-nothing stats-padder.

  192. A lot will depend on exactly how afraid teams outside of Harden’s “preferred list” are going to be to get in on the bidding. If you can get two years of James Harden trying his hardest there’s lots of teams that should go for it like the Raps did with Kawhi. Even if he doesn’t re-sign that might be a bonus honestly and flags fly forever after all, but you have to be worried about him holding out or half-assing it.

    Among that group there’s lots who it would make way more sense for them to push in significant chips than the Knicks though: Boston, Denver, New Orleans, Miami. I just don’t see how the Knicks can ever make sense. If we’re not the worst team in the league we’re close to it, which always means it’s going to make more sense for basically every other team to make this kind of win-now move than it does for us.

  193. i dunno, i think wiseman is shinier (back to our would u trade rj for the #1 thread). gsw could do something like wiseman, wiggins, looney, chriss, twolves 21 first and one of their own far out future firsts for harden and tucker.

    I agree that Wiseman is shinier, but the difference is that Houston would have to take back Wiggins in a deal with Golden State. RJ wouldn’t require the Rockets to take anyone but young, cheap players. So it’s RJ, picks and a clean cap versus Wiseman and Wiggins’ awful contract. I don’t think Wiseman’s shine outshines RJ in that context.

  194. harden is def in that class so i wouldn’t put it out of reach that he will be a useful player until he’s 40…. he shoots well and his dribble penetration relies on changing directions and speeds and reflexes rather than pure burst….

    he has great spatial recognition ability and that comes from your eyes and brain and that’s really what separates a lot of these elite athletes from others… or at least that’s a theory being discussed in academia… and that spatial recognition ability allows players to adapt and be useful even as the rest of their abilities deteroriate….

    this is why i’m convinced that a 39 fat harden would be a gift from heaven and more fun to watch than a 31 year old world beating harden. he would play like a 6’5″ jokic and bully every wing that tried to guard him in the post while slow motion shape shifting every big. you’d see more no look over the head passes from the elbow in his 17 mins per game than bird had in his entire career. on defense, well, you might have to just foul their worst ft shooter.

  195. Well, before Jordan won a title plenty of people said that stuff about him. Then he won 6 titles and no one said anything.

    The thing is, people don’t really quibble about the stats once someone wins a title or two. The results are ultimately what matter. There are plenty of great players who put up great numbers who are not in the convo for greatest because they don’t have rings. Its just the reality of sports, no matter the game.

  196. There’s the rub.

    That’s the rub for every single player ever, to the point where it really isn’t the rub for this particular guy. If a guy doesn’t have an injury history, worrying about future injuries seems to be a stretch.

  197. I’m not sure the world is ready for the Beard to become the Beer Belly and exclusively use old-man-at-the-rec-league tricks on goddamn NBA players. I am, though. I’m very ready.

  198. A lot will depend on exactly how afraid teams outside of Harden’s “preferred list” are going to be to get in on the bidding.

    Oh, totally. This whole thing hinges on how important “what Harden wants” is to the deal.

  199. I agree that Wiseman is shinier, but the difference is that Houston would have to take back Wiggins in a deal with Golden State. RJ wouldn’t require the Rockets to take anyone but young, cheap players. So it’s RJ, picks and a clean cap versus Wiseman and Wiggins’ awful contract. I don’t think Wiseman’s shine outshines RJ in that context.

    i am not actually sure that paying wiggins $30m for three years would be a bug to fertitta. he is going to have a shitty team that’s near the salary floor no matter what and wiggins will look like a dude scoring 22 a game or whatever that makes it seem like you got something in addition to wiseman. of course the optimal move would be to have extra cap space to trade for future assets and not wiggins but we are talking about a guy who pretended to pay for a second round pick to earn some fake spendthrift cred. i think there’s a decent chance he’d think wiggins was a feature.

  200. If Fertita got mad enough to go for that trade Holy Shit that’d be a huge win for the Knicks. Harden plus more than max space plus Mitch and we only give up one pick and our shitty kids? Amazing. Sign me right the fuck up.

    Hell, sign me up even if he says he won’t play here. We can flip him for me picks than we sent out and never have to have another Frank* argument again.

    EB, I lol’d at the new city jerseys.

    *Not today, Satan!**

    **That’s more steals than Frank will have in his first week this year.

  201. i am not actually sure that paying wiggins $30m for three years would be a bug to fertitta. he is going to have a shitty team that’s near the salary floor no matter what and wiggins will look like a dude scoring 22 a game or whatever that makes it seem like you got something in addition to wiseman. of course the optimal move would be to have extra cap space to trade for future assets and not wiggins but we are talking about a guy who pretended to pay for a second round pick to earn some fake spendthrift cred. i think there’s a decent chance he’d think wiggins was a feature.

    Yeah, fair enough that I don’t know how to adequately factor in the “Feritta factor.”

    By the way, that bit where he says how his team didn’t want to do the Westbrook trade but he insisted? The best thing for Daryl Morey’s legacy is Fertitta’s big mouth.

  202. I can’t wait until we talk about Frank as much as we do Langston Galloway

  203. I went to go search for someone on Twitter and I realized that I still follow Langton Galloway on Twitter. Twitter was a lot odder back then. Robin Lopez followed me and we were going to do something about comic books before he got traded.

  204. The team that needs to get in on a Harden trade is Denver. Harden and Jokic together gives you a better chance of Murray and Jokic, and if Harden leaves he may have won you a title. A team like Denver will never attract a star like Harden so they would be wise to pull a Ujiri depending on how much it costs. If you can get it done for Murray, Porter Jr and a single 1st then I think you have to pull the trigger.

  205. The team that needs to get in on a Harden trade is Denver. Harden and Jokic together gives you a better chance of Murray and Jokic, and if Harden leaves he may have won you a title. A team like Denver will never attract a star like Harden so they would be wise to pull a Ujiri depending on how much it costs. If you can get it done for Murray, Porter Jr and a single 1st then I think you have to pull the trigger.

    That’s the killer thing about these deals. That would be a great deal for Houston. They’d still be playoff contenders with that trade. But it comes down to whether Harden would be willing to go to Denver. I doubt he would. Does that matter? I have no idea.

  206. pepper: you must get the same click bait i get…for “NBA analysis network”….i think every 24 hours they produce some trade “rumor” bs ….just keep scrollin’ when you see that pop up in your google suggestions…

    NBA Analysis Network is hilariously awful. Not long ago I posted a Knicks “rumor” from there, one with the Knicks trading for John Wall.

    I love reading that crap, though, just to see some of the awful serious proposals that a living, breathing human being can come up with.

  207. I kinda miss Galloway. And KOQ, who I always thought was super fun.

    I’m shocked that Galloway had to accept a vet minimum deal on a team where he’s behind multiple guys. He’s still a useful player.

  208. Mike Honcho:
    I’m not sure the world is ready for the Beard to become the Beer Belly and exclusively use old-man-at-the-rec-league tricks on goddamn NBA players. I am, though. I’m very ready.

    Beer Belly Beard has all that alliteration working for it…can’t go wrong with the poetry…

  209. Brian Cronin: That’s the killer thing about these deals. That would be a great deal for Houston. They’d still be playoff contenders with that trade. But it comes down to whether Harden would be willing to go to Denver. I doubt he would. Does that matter? I have no idea.

    I’m sure Kawhi wasn’t willing to go to Toronto, either, and he ultimately left after one season. I do question, though, how much value this year’s championship will be worth to a city if there are no fans in the stands and no parade afterwards. Maybe it won’t be worth the risk, even if you have a guy like Jokic who you need to keep happy and in town on an eventual 3rd contract.

  210. There is no chance we could trade for Harden without giving up at least one of Obi and Mitch. For our offer to be anywhere near competitive it’s very likely we’d have to trade RJ, Obi, and Mitch. So I’m a no on a trade that could actually occur.

    I would probably do the one proposed upthread because in all likelihood it increases our chances of winning a championship in the next 5-10 years when you consider the free agent and/or trade possibilities that would remain. Also I guess I’m just weird because I really enjoy watching James Harden play basketball, flops and all.

    Anyway, back to the real world, whether or not to trade Simmons for Harden from Morey’s perspective is one of the more interesting questions a GM has faced in a while.

    The team around Simmons/Embiid suddenly looks a lot more coherent than last year’s, so Morey might insist on getting a look at it at least until the deadline. He can tell the Rockets to have fun with Caris LeVert if they want a trade done more urgently than that.

  211. I’m not sure the world is ready for the Beard to become the Beer Belly and exclusively use old-man-at-the-rec-league tricks on goddamn NBA players. I am, though. I’m very ready.

    was at the pool this weekend with one of the boys when they started kidding me about my not so svelte figure – took the opportunity to mention that a few hundred years ago I would have been the epitome of health and success…

    I don’t think they really bought it, but, at least it confused them enough so we could move to another topic of discussion…

  212. Well, there’s one thing that puts the Knicks over the other bidding teams… cap space. The Rockets roster right now is costing Fertitta 146M (roster is 138M, plus 8M of luxury tax). So if we tweak cgreene’s trade idea a little, switching Randle for DSJ, and probably sending three 1RP (only 2 picks wouldn’t seal the deal), the Rockets would avoid the luxury tax and come down to 121.5M saving Fertitta 24.5M. He could save up to 6M more if one of Frank, DSJ and Knox is removed from the trade, getting to 30.5M in savings. I think this could be the shinniest thing to Fertitta. The only other team that can do this is OKC.

  213. If OKC made a godfather offer for Harden with their arsenal of picks, that’d be an interesting outcome. They’d still have a surplus of picks going forward.

  214. thenamestsam: It doesn’t square with anything other than his high RAPTOR rating.

      

    I think that’s fair, but that’s how I view the game. I l’ll take the numbers and live or die with them being wrong or mismeasuring value. At least from a team building perspective.

    And if you look at almost any metric Harden is worth more than Bam and Butler combined. Mitch is worth nearly as much as Bam by those same metrics. Other Heat players stepped it up in the bubble but were pedestrian during the regular season. We might need Bullock or Burks to catch fire but that’s not impossible.

    I mean the Knicks were basically an East playoff team last year if any of the following 3 things are true: (1) Payton was healthy all year; (2) we don’t play Knox or RJ 2800 combined minutes; or (3) DSJr functions as his normal bottom 20th percentile self rather than a live-action Bargnani GIF.

    I’m not saying the Knicks do win with that squad but your chances aren’t much worse than any individual East team except the Bucks who have been uniquely inept in the postseason.

  215. Beerd Belly

    As the NY Post would argue, the sound is more important than the look. “Beard Belly” works.

  216. Grocer: EB, I lol’d at the new city jerseys.

    I’m glad someone enjoyed it. I apologize to everyone else as I’ve been really bored the last few days.

  217. ptmilo:
    i am not actually sure that paying wiggins $30m for three years would be a bug to fertitta.he is going to have a shitty team that’s near the salary floor no matter what…

    How can the Rockets be near the salary floor making the trade with the Warriors (that have no cap space) ?

  218. At this point, with Harden holding out, and him specifying where he can go, cap space constraints and all that, the Rockets are motivated sellers. That means his cost will go down. Are the Knicks even an option? If he said that the Rockets are the “Knicks of the south”, I bet the Knicks aren’t in any running. Don’t get me wrong, he’s great. I just think this is the most remote thing for the Knicks. Perhaps that’s why it’ll happen?

  219. Early Bird: I mean the Knicks were basically an East playoff team last year if any of the following 3 things are true: (1) Payton was healthy all year; (2) we don’t play Knox or RJ 2800 combined minutes; or (3) DSJr functions as his normal bottom 20th percentile self rather than a live-action Bargnani GIF.

    If my grandma had wheels….

  220. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: If my grandma had wheels….

    Sure but I don’t actually care about them making the playoffs last year, the point is there’s a decent collection of NBA talent on the Knicks if you add James Harden and subtract literally the people the hypothetical subtracts.

  221. i don’t fully agree with tnfh that incentives are aligned when the trade request is made public and that contracts work well as adjudicators. the standard nba contract has language requiring wittegnstein level humor like “loyalty” and “best services” from players, which in reality is just not likely to work well in a litigation/arbitration context, and if it came to that regularly the rules would surely be rewritten toward clarity.

    To be clear, I think Harden is acting like a reckless asshole re: COVID protocols and you won’t see me crying for him if this stunt doesn’t result in him being traded to a destination of his choosing.

    However to the extent players have given teams more than they’ve explicitly bargained for in the past, that’s been a favor. If teams expect more they need to negotiate it into contracts in the way you described.

    I still don’t see why the preferable scenario for the Rockets is Harden being a fake good soldier and then leaving them empty handed two years from now. What people call the “player empowerment movement” boils down to players and agents wising up to what team interests are and using them to their advantage within the framework of the CBA.

  222. The actual quote was that

    A person familiar with James Harden’s thinking described the Rockets’ culture as toxic and called them the ‘Knicks of the South,’

    In other words, Harden thinks that the Rockets suck and his buddy called them the “Knicks of the South.” That’s not to say that Harden feels that way about the Knicks.

  223. I want them to win a lot more but not at the cost of wanting to watch them a lot less.
    Not interested in Harden.

  224. How can the Rockets be near the salary floor making the trade with the Warriors (that have no cap space) ?

    not from that deal and not this yr. i am just assuming fertitta is going to do whatever the fuck he can to pay someone picks to eventually ditch wall or gordon to reduce salary if harden is gone. in a hypothetical gsw deal he could just use the delta from the trade and flip looney to get under the tax this year, which has got to be more important to him than just about anything save the joe’s crab shack food sourcing nda language right about now.

  225. The thing about Harden is I think he understand Fertitta is (1) broke; and (2) a piece of shit, and he wants out. Tillman’s done nothing to make the Rockets better since buying the team, he’s always trying to save money. He got rich on restaurants and hotels, he’s personally guaranteed the debt he used to buy the Rockets and keep his business empire afloat, he’s going to strip the team of expenses and then eventually sell it if the government doesn’t bail out his businesses.

  226. i like the token idea and the wording – on the jersey, the blend of black, orange and blue isn’t working for me though…

  227. However to the extent players have given teams more than they’ve explicitly bargained for in the past, that’s been a favor. If teams expect more they need to negotiate it into contracts in the way you described.

    i don’t think the players have given more than they bargained for, so to speak. i think the teams and the league more or less have the contractual levers to push back against public trade demands and refusals to report or play hard but players have incrementally realized that teams will be reluctant to strongly assert those levers for orthogonal reasons; ie it would be a probative and reputational shit show for both sides for the spurs to claim a best services breach when kawhi sat by trotting out a bevy of warring doctors, inner circle snitches, and magnum pi gifs.

    you can (wrongly) call that an implicit part of the negotiation if you want but the real question isn’t about the last bargain but the next one. if the league thinks it’s a bad equilibrium for players to find the point of their maximum de facto leverage allowed by the old cba the impasse will be what matters. and i am saying i can at least imagine a case where the league could be right about how maximum autonomy available under current trends could be a shitty equilibrium for the sport.

  228. If we had done things differently in the last few years we could be in a place where adding Harden would be a great idea. Seems like a buy low in some ways.

    Mostly though I am just reeling from the fact that there seems to be an NBA owner decidedly worse than Dolan.

  229. Yeah, it’s rare to see a guy brag about pushing his team into making a bad trade. Fertitta is certainly something unusual.

  230. Giving up a couple of kids and picks I like like in order to watch Harden lose in the playoffs or to watch him eventually alienate any good player stupid enough to come to NY to join him and wash out in the playoffs every year might be worse than watching Melo. I’ve already suffered enough with a guy that doesn’t know how to win. I don’t need to suffer with a much better version of same loser personality.

    The very fact that he’s out partying during a global pandemic tells you something about his personality that is not conducive to winning. You don’t even have to watch him play.

  231. Harden to Golden State would be a great deal for us. Curry might get so pissed off he’ll ask out next year and then would could take a shot at him. lol

  232. this is a good read on fertitta’s financial situation in relation to the rockets

    https://spacecityscoop.com/2020/03/30/tilman-fertitta-ready-purchase-houston-rockets/

    a)he’s adamant about being sole owner of the rockets for whatever reason…
    b)he needed to borrow money from alexander to even buy the rockets
    c)he’s cash poor

    obviously a lot of his other ventures are doing really really bad also but at any point if he was really desperate he could have sold a minority stake in the rockets.. like 50% for a billion dollars.. but he hasn’t done that… at least yet… possibly because he wants to flip it at some point and doesn’t want to sell at depressed prices.. but possibly for pride reasons who knows…

  233. might be worse than watching Melo. I’ve already suffered enough with a guy that doesn’t know how to win.

    I know being a loser is simply a binary, but I thought I’d flesh those binaries out a bit:

    Carmelo Anthony: 17 seasons played, 12 playoffs played, 77 career playoff games (25-52 overall), 2949 MP

    James Harden: 11 seasons played, 11 playoffs played, 128 career playoff games (66-62 overall), 4522 MP

    There’s a lot more to it than that, and I’m not going to cite the fake stats thoroughly debunked by Alan Dershowitz on his Twitter page, but yeah, uh, Harden would lose quite a bit less than Carmelo, all things equal.

    And I don’t even want Harden. But let’s get a little closer to reality here.

  234. I don’t have any antipathy towards Harden’s game, really. He’s not my cup of tea, and not worth what we would have to give up for him, but I think criticisms of his game are a bit much. It’s not like Patrick Ewing or Bernard King were swinging the ball out there.

  235. Giving up a couple of kids and picks I like like in order to watch Harden lose in the playoffs or to watch him eventually alienate any good player stupid enough to come to NY to join him and wash out in the playoffs every year might be worse than watching Melo. I’ve already suffered enough with a guy that doesn’t know how to win. I don’t need to suffer with a much better version of same loser personality.

    With you philosophically, but Harden’s way better than Melo was.

  236. E: With you philosophically, but Harden’s way better than Melo was.

    We agree, but you aren’t going to win a title with him totally dominating the ball and trying to do everything. It simply doesn’t work as well in the playoffs as it does in the regular season when a lot of the teams are mediocre or trash and teams aren’t adjusting and focused on whatever is hurting them like they are in the playoffs.

  237. Early Birdthe point is there’s a decent collection of NBA talent on the Knicks

    Yeah, I cannot, in any way, agree with this. Aside from the absolute rookies we have, I struggle to identify tier-3, legit and full-time starters. Who on this roster should be guaranteed a starting job on a normal NBA team? For example, who would crack the Nets starting lineup?

  238. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I know being a loser is simply a binary, but I thought I’d flesh those binaries out a bit:

    Carmelo Anthony: 17 seasons played, 12 playoffs played, 77 career playoff games (25-52 overall), 2949 MP

    James Harden: 11 seasons played, 11 playoffs played, 128 career playoff games (66-62 overall), 4522 MP

    And I don’t even want Harden. But let’s get a little closer to reality here.

    Harden is an elite version of Melo. They think alike.

    You win titles with consistently great defense and team oriented ball/player movement on offense.

    I don’t care how great you are as an individual player (and he is obviously great), you aren’t going to win a title with one guy as the center of the universe holding the ball, dribbling out the shot clock, and trying to do something extremely difficult under extreme playoff pressure with other great players locked in on slowing you down.

    His best chance to win a title was with CP3 because CP3 could at least influence him in the right direction, but he couldn’t even get along with CP3. He says he want to win, but what he really wants is to pile up stats, win MVPS, win accolades for his numbers, and try to be the superhero. It’s very unlikely to work and I see no sign of him changing yet. He’s an elite version of Melo.

  239. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Yeah, I cannot, in any way, agree with this. Aside from the absolute rookies we have, I struggle to identify tier-3, legit and full-time starters. Who on this roster should be guaranteed a starting job on a normal NBA team?For example, who would crack the Nets starting lineup?

    Mitch, Bullock and then it depends on if KD plays the 3 or 4. But the Nets don’t seem to have great options at whichever position KD doesn’t play, so maybe Toppin or Burks. Obviously they’re not starting over Kyrie or KD.

    I don’t pay much attention to the Nets, so I’m not too familiar with their lineup.

  240. Lebron has a higher career playoff usage than Harden. Say Harden isn’t good enough to play that way if you want to say that, but arguing that you flatly can’t win a title with a ball dominant star controlling the offense and you have to have some kind of equal opportunity offense doesn’t make any sense.

  241. His best chance to win a title was with CP3 because CP3 could at least influence him in the right direction

    Oh also this is complete nonsense. Harden had the 2nd highest playoff usage of his career that season and that team was famously iso-heavy. You can just say you don’t like him, which is totally normal because he’s extremely unlikable, you don’t need to make things up.

  242. I’ve never felt Dolan was the worst owner in the league. For sure I’d rather have him than Jordan or whoever it is that owns the Kings. I think you could also make an argument that Detroit’s ownership isn’t any better than Dolan. For all his warts, he has always been willing to spend money to make the team better, he can be a very charitable person, and he has actually stopped meddling in recent years and seems to just want competent management for the team.

  243. @Early Bird –
    That’s my point. It’s tough to find those legit starters. And (IMO) Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris & Jarrett Allen all start over every other Knick. So hold on to that a moment…

    I’m rehashing my complaints about how we handled free agency. Let’s say that they had signed better free agents? Maybe overpaid a bit. Instead of signing the crap we did sign, what if they had signed someone in the $15-25M range? Imagine instead of Burks, Peyton and Rivers they signed one of Gallinari, Bertans, Mook, Augustine, Dragic, VanVleet, etc. They would still have the assets to trade and now adding Harden makes some sense, especially if it was a complimentary player. BTW, I loved the Noel signing because a player like him is not competing with the likes of a superstar like Harden for the ball but contributes in other ways. Low-balling complimentary positions (glue guys, rebounders, rim defenders) makes sense. Low-balling primary scoring and playmaking is a tactical mistake.

    I’ll say this, while I wouldn’t make a deal for Harden and I don’t think he’ll come here anyway, I wouldn’t be crazy upset with that. It could flip things for the Knicks next offseason. They could shed the crap next offseason and add winning pieces. But the contract expiration after 2021/22 and all the other garbage around Harden – like ball dominance and visiting COVID super-spreader clubs, really has me down on him.

  244. The Rockets came closer than anyone to beating the best basketball team since Jordan’s bulls. Golden State walked through every other team they played with a healthy KD, Curry, Klay and Draymond. The Rockets beat that team as many times as every other team they played in the playoffs over two years combined. I guess that proves you can’t win with James harden as your best player.

  245. DRed:
    The Rockets came closer than anyone to beating the best basketball team since Jordan’s bulls.Golden State walked through every other team they played with a healthy KD, Curry, Klay and Draymond.The Rockets beat that team as many times as every other team they played in the playoffs over two years combined.I guess that proves you can’t win with James harden as your best player.

    I believe that Harden and 4 average or better NBA starters can win a championship.

  246. Let’s not fool ourselves.
    We’re not in place right now to sign an impactful big dog.
    Not even with different signings on the off-season or anything else.
    If we continue the same strategy and the youngsters become actual players we’ll probably be in a great position to attract a FA who could make us contenders after 1 or 2 years.
    Idk if that’s what’s called win curve or something similar but it makes no sense for a big dog to come to us right now and we have no assets to make a trade for one yet and still remain competitive after the trade…
    Bye bye harden…

    Unless the Rockets are stupid, desperate or Harden is in love with a new york stripper!

  247. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Maybe overpaid a bit. Instead of signing the crap we did sign, what if they had signed someone in the $15-25M range? Imagine instead of Burks, Peyton and Rivers they signed one of Gallinari, Bertans, Mook, Augustine, Dragic, VanVleet, etc.

    That’s great for this year but now you can’t sign a max free agent next year. I’m not going to do the math because there’s no way Harden gets traded for those pieces, but if you offer the money needed to snag Gallo or FVV then several of the 2021 FAs listed above can get more money elsewhere.

    So if you think FVV & Harden for 2 years gives you a better shot than Harden PG or Gobert or Kawhi, then go for it. But I’m guessing it doesn’t.

  248. thenamestsam:
    Lebron has a higher career playoff usage than Harden. Say Harden isn’t good enough to play that way if you want to say that, but arguing that you flatly can’t win a title with a ball dominant star controlling the offense and you have to have some kind of equal opportunity offense doesn’t make any sense.

    Lebron controls the offense like a PG and scores a lot because he’s a great offensive player, but he’s always playing in a very team oriented way. He moves the ball when appropriate, looks for open teammates with better shots, and is trying (and succeeding) at making his teammates better.

    He doesn’t stand outside dribbling through his legs, running out the shot clock, and tossing up garbage from time to time time. If anything he has occasionally been criticized for being too unselfish. To compare these two players stylistically is an indictment of the stats. They are polar opposites.

  249. “I guess that proves you can’t win with James harden as your best player.”

    Steve Nash got as close to a title as Harden ever has.

    We just saw supposedly one of the best GMs in the league move heaven and earth to try and win with Harden as the best player on his team. How did that work out?

    Mike

  250. thenamestsam: Oh also this is complete nonsense. Harden had the 2nd highest playoff usage of his career that season and that team was famously iso-heavy. You can just say you don’t like him, which is totally normal because he’s extremely unlikable, you don’t need to make things up.

    The reason they did not get along and CP3 got traded was because CP3 was failing to get Harden to play the right way. That’s where the friction came from.

  251. Early Bird: So if you think FVV & Harden for 2 years gives you a better shot than Harden PG or Gobert or Kawhi, then go for it. But I’m guessing it doesn’t.

    One of my reasons for not wanting to trade for Harden is the contract expiration. I don’t want him for 2 years. That is close to useless.

  252. We just saw supposedly one of the best GMs in the league move heaven and earth to try and win with Harden as the best player on his team. How did that work out?

    They made the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons, making 3 WCSF and 2 WCF appearances. Next you’re going to tell me Jerry Sloan was a shit coach because he had Malone and Stockton and couldn’t win a ring.

  253. Don’t talk about Harden and Melo like that unless you want to summon Ruruland from his very honorable retirement.

    The “Harden is not a winner” narrative is so bogus but the NBA is a cruel league that way.

    It’s fo funny to think about guy’s like KG and Dirk and Kidd without their titles being losers. Or Steve Nash being a loser.

  254. “The reason they did not get along and CP3 got traded was because CP3 was failing to get Harden to play the right way. That’s where the friction came from.”

    Despite considering CP3 one of the Top PGs ever i wouldn’t call him a very successful playoff player tho…

  255. I love Steph Curry’s rhetoric about remaining a Dub for the rest of his career. Like, duh, man. They can give you a nostalgic contract of $215M that expires after you turn 38, and no other team will offer you anything close.

    Despite considering CP3 one of the Top PGs ever i wouldn’t call him a very successful playoff player tho…

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/paulch01.html#playoffs_advanced::none

    That’s a pretty wild claim to make about this player.

    I think we’ve gone over this before, but the 2015 Clipper played Matt Barnes, Austin Rivers, Glen Davis and Jamal Crawford like 1250 minutes over 14 games. How the hell could someone pin that on Chris Paul?

  256. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: One of my reasons for not wanting to trade for Harden is the contract expiration. I don’t want him for 2 years. That is close to useless.

    It is useless if you pair him with FVV, it’s not useless if you pair him with GIannis, Kawhi, etc. Plus, in a world where Harden isn’t a horrible person, he re-signs or uses his player option for a 3rd year.

    But from a cap perspective, that’s exactly why you don’t sign an aging Gallinari for $22M/yr and why you do prefer signing short term contracts. Because Harden & Paul George or Kawhi is better than Harden & Gallinari or FVV.

  257. Owen:
    Don’t talk about Harden and Melo like that unless you want to summon Ruruland from his very honorable retirement.

    The “Harden is not a winner” narrative is so bogus but the NBA is a cruel league that way.

    It’s fo funny to think about guy’s like KG and Dirk and Kidd without their titles being losers. Or Steve Nash being a loser.

    No one that knows the game well thinks of Ewing, Nash, Malone or Stockton etc… as losers because they never won a ring.

    No one that knows the game well would think of KG, Dirk or Kidd as losers if they didn’t get theirs.

    Their teams weren’t good enough.

    Those “ring” debates are about whether a player was good enough to be the alpha of a team that won a title.

    I am talking about something entirely different.

    I am talking having an unselfish attitude and playing style that creates a “team” of players that works so well together, they can exceed the productivity of teams with more talent and skill that plays more selfishly.

    We don’t need to debate Melo vs. Harden because I was never comparing them as basketball players skill wise. I was saying they are similar in their selfishness and lack of consistent effort on defense. Their style is a “loser” style because you almost inevitably run into a team with similar talent that plays together as a team really well. Until you put team first, you are are a huge disadvantage against other great players that do.

  258. Deeefense: Those “ring” debates are about whether a player was good enough to be the alpha of a team that won a title.

    I am talking about something entirely different.

    This is equivalent to the statement “Sure the player won you a ring, but that’s not what I’m talking about. He just has a loser mentality.”

    I don’t care about his mentality. I’ll take the ring.

  259. Early Bird: This is equivalent to the statement “Sure the player won you a ring, but that’s not what I’m talking about.He just has a loser mentality.”

    I don’t care about his mentality. I’ll take the ring.

    LMAO

    It’s hard for the alpha to get a ring if he’s selfish.

    That’s the whole point.

  260. Deeefense: LMAO

    It’s hard for the alpha to get a ring being selfish. That’s the whole point.

    Look, your argument either reduces down to the question of whether Harden is good enough to be an alpha (which you deny) or your argument is that rings don’t matter only winner mentality matters (else this only matters insofar as it leads to rings and is really the first question). The third option is that you just don’t want to be wrong so you’ve put forth two inconsistent statements. Logical entailment is a bitch.

  261. Like it or not the nba playoffs are the essence of professional basketball.
    MVP awards, scoring titles, triple doubles and all time assists, rebounds, blocks, steals and % leaderships are definitely fun but the most important aspect of the game is the team title.
    It all comes down to it.
    And the ability and desire of the players to get the championship.

    Or at least get close to it…

  262. Strat, I don’t have anything personal against you but that’s some crazy mental gymnastics.

  263. We’re not getting Harden, and I’m fine moving forward with what we have, but I’ll tell you what, our own Mitch Robinson would have a freaking field day playing with James Harden.

    The only downside would be that Mitch’s arms might get so tired from throwing down so many Harden alley oops that he’d have to be put on load maintenance.

  264. Look, your argument either reduces down to the question of whether Harden is good enough to be an alpha (which you deny) or your argument is that rings don’t matter only winner mentality matters (else this only matters insofar as it leads to rings). The third option is that you just don’t want to be wrong so you’ve put forth two inconsistent statements. Logical entailment is a bitch.

    Strat, I don’t have anything personal against you but that’s some crazy mental gymnastics.

    It couldn’t possibly be any simpler.

    My argument is that Harden has the intrinsic physical talent and basketball skill to be the alpha of a team that wins a championship, but he plays in a selfish style that will prevent him from doing so. I am calling him a “loser” not because he hasn’t won a title yet, but because his “attitude” dooms him to losing.

    I am differentiating between “he played the right way but lost to a better team” and “he’s the better player on the more talented team but lost to a team with less talent because he’s plays like a moron”.

  265. And the ability and desire of the players to get the championship.

    Dwyane Wade played a torrid 23 games in 2005-06 on his way to a ring. Did he suddenly lose ability and desire when he — still partnered up with Shaq — got swept by the Luol Deng-led Bulls the next year? And what about the following year, in which he played 51 games and his team lost 67 in total? Yet again, back to the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, losing in the first round. Did he get the yips? Did he lose the heart of the eye of the tiger of the champion?

    Or maybe it’s just dumb to call a player a loser when there are four other guys on the court with him, whose ability and play he is in no way directly responsible for. Did Blake Griffin make Austin Rivers butterfinger that ball out of bounds?

  266. I’ve never felt Dolan was the worst owner in the league. For sure I’d rather have him than Jordan or whoever it is that owns the Kings. I think you could also make an argument that Detroit’s ownership isn’t any better than Dolan. For all his warts, he has always been willing to spend money to make the team better, he can be a very charitable person, and he has actually stopped meddling in recent years and seems to just want competent management for the team.

    yes, james lawrence dolan is mostly certainly the devil you do know…plasma donating and a few other acts of humanity aside…

  267. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Dwyane Wade played a torrid 23 games in 2005-06 on his way to a ring. Did he suddenly lose ability and desire when he — still partnered up with Shaq — got swept by the Luol Deng-led Bulls the next year? And what about the following year, in which he played 51 games and his team lost 67 in total (they were over .500 in the games he did not play in)? Yet again, back to the playoffs in 2009 and 2010, losing in the first round. Did he get the yips? Did he lose the heart of the eye of the tiger of the champion?

    Or maybe it’s just dumb to call a player a loser when there are four other guys on the court with him, whose ability and play he is in no way directly responsible for. Did Blake Griffin make Austin Rivers butterfinger that ball out of bounds?

    At his best Wade was an all time great player that played a good brand of basketball whether he had the best team in the league or a terrible team.

  268. #Or maybe it’s just dumb to call a player a loser when there are four other guys on the court with him#

    Is it then also dumb to call a player MVP or GOAT or Winner due to the same condition? (4 other guys w him)

  269. Luck is part of the game.
    Health also.
    Team you choose to play also.
    Teammates also.
    We’re talking about professional basketball here not Rucker park.
    If you consider yourself one of the best to ever played PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL and haven’t seen the Finals logo once you may overrate yourself…

  270. You all should’ve known Strat was not worth indulging on this one when he began by saying “James Harden’s problem is that he’s not more like Frank Ntilikina”

  271. Entailment? We talkin’ about entailment?

    It appears we are. Going to go read the definition again.

    D-Mar – The fact Mitch would get dunker’s elbow is a great point. I’d enjoy the hell out of that.

    Strat – I love Wade but I don’t think he was a better player than Harden. Certainly not on offense.

  272. Knew Your Nicks:
    #Or maybe it’s just dumb to call a player a loser when there are four other guys on the court with him#

    Is it then also dumb to call a player MVP or GOAT or Winner due to the same condition? (4 other guys w him)

    It’s a team game, but when one guy is controlling the action and he’s selfish the team still won’t get as good a result as a similarly talented team that plays in a more unselfish way. It’s hard to win a championship when your best player is playing a bad brand of basketball. I’m not sure why this is so tough to understand other than I’m equating it to having a “loser attitude” and people may object to me calling him a loser instead of an idiot. lol

  273. thenoblefacehumper:
    You all should’ve known Strat was not worth indulging on this one when he began by saying “James Harden’s problem is that he’s not more like Frank Ntilikina”

    If Harden had Frank’s attitude towards basketball he’d probably already have a ring and if Frank had Harden’s talent and skill we’d have stopped arguing about tanking 3 years ago and be on our way to our own.

    Instead, Harden is going to keep averaging triple doubles and not winning a ring and we’ll still be arguing about Frank’s net value when you consider his plus defense.

    Have a good night all.

  274. strat the thing i don’t understand is why you toiled for all those long decades shedding humanity’s morass of cognitive biases only to retire in flatland

  275. #It’s a team game, but when one guy is controlling the action and he’s selfish the team still won’t get as good a result as a similarly talented team that plays in a more unselfish way. It’s hard to win a championship when your best player is playing a bad brand of basketball. I’m not sure why this is so tough to understand other than I’m equating it to having a “loser attitude” and people may object to me calling him a loser instead of an idiot. lol#

    I wouldn’t call Harden’s game exactly selfish or dumb since his team manages to go pretty well each year in a tough conference but i wouldn’t call it ideal also.
    Definitely needs adjustments for the next step forward.

  276. FYI they were not over .500 in those games, I confused seasons — point stands

  277. Deeefense: My argument is that Harden has the intrinsic physical talent and basketball skill to be the alpha of a team that wins a championship, but he plays in a selfish style that will prevent him from doing so. I am calling him a “loser” not because he hasn’t won a title yet, but because his “attitude” dooms him to losing.

    Ok, so what you’re saying really amounts to the fact Harden could be an alpha but isn’t due to the style of basketball he plays.

    Presumably, you’re claiming Harden can never win playing the style of basketball he plays. However, if Harden plays more like Lebron James or Nash or other winning attitude players he will win.

    You then claim he will lose to worse teams despite his teams having more talent because the other teams play the right way and he doesn’t.

    So in response, I’ll just say there’s no real empirical evidence for any of the above because he’s never lost to a team with less talent than his own team. I’m sure we’ve litigated this before, but the Kawhi Spurs, 2 years of KD GSWs, and the AD/LBJ Lakers were all better than Harden’s teams when they beat him. There’s zero evidence to support your claim. It’s complete speculation that Harden will never win with superior talent on his team.

  278. “It’s complete speculation that Harden will never win with superior talent on his team.”

    Yep

    I didn’t realize James Harden has led the league in Win Shares 5 out of the last 6 years and four in row. That’s pretty amazing. Has that happened before? (Edit: Lebron did it five years in a row. Kareem only did it four times in a row but nine times overall. Insane)

  279. Deeefense: On a very high level there only one correct way to play this game, The players will have different skills,the teams will have different strengths, the systems used can be different, but you either play the right way or you are going to have a much tougher time winning a championship.

    It’s a team game. It requires unselfish team oriented thinking and sustained effort.

    You have to know when and where to move the ball towards a better shot even if you already have a good one.

    You have know when to help or switch if your teammate gets beat, always know where to be on defense, and be wiling to make the extra effort.
    You have to know when you can get away with little things the refs may not see.
    Harden has tremendous skills, but imo he has a low basketball IQ and doesn’t make a consistent effort.
    Frank does not have a lot of skill on offense, but he does almost everything right if the goal is to win games at the highest level.You want 15 Franks on your team, but you want some of them to be a lot more skilled and able to score. :-)

    Frank is unselfish but that doesn’t necessarily equal high basketball IQ. I see a guy who never, and I mean never veers out of his lane- he sticks to his guy on defense but rarely makes a good read off of the ball. He’s not selfish on offense but he might be the most risk-averse player I’ve ever seen. In three years he’s made very modest improvement in ball-handling and shooting. No change in assist %, turnovers flat the last two years, and he actually fouled more last year than the previous 2 years. High IQ basketball players make adjustments- both in game and over the course of a career. Other than slightly improving his skill set (the lowest possible bar) Frank’s the exact same guy he was three years ago.

  280. Early Bird: Deeefense: My argument is that Harden has the intrinsic physical talent and basketball skill to be the alpha of a team that wins a championship, but he plays in a selfish style that will prevent him from doing so. I am calling him a “loser” not because he hasn’t won a title yet, but because his “attitude” dooms him to losing.

    Ok, so what you’re saying really amounts to the fact Harden could be an alpha but isn’t due to the style of basketball he plays.

    Agree whole-heartedly. He needs a very specific mix of complimentary players.
    BTW, does Harden/Westbrook, or Harden/Chris Paul seem like less talent?

  281. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Ok, so what you’re saying really amounts to the fact Harden could be an alpha but isn’t due to the style of basketball he plays.

    Westbrook was awful this year, so yes.

    CP3 + Harden is not as good as KD, Curry, Draymond, Klay, AI, etc.

  282. Not a big fan of strat, but if the point is that Harden can’t win a championship as the “heart and soul” or “brain” of the team, I agree. He’s a terrible leader, worse than Melo even. He can win as the most talented player, the high scorer, the highest usage player, etc., but not the leader. I agree with strat that there is a chemistry element to championship basketball. I agree that CP3 + Harden was a good combo because Harden didn’t have to be the leader. Once he got hurt, and then frustrated with Harden, that was it. And Harden is not even an average defender, which shouldn’t be ignored.

    Kyrie is similar in that way. Maybe Dirk too, does he win anything without Kidd’s old ass being the brain of that team?

    If part of strat’s point is that defensive commitment and making others better are a a big part of being a #1 player, that’s not such a radical point. Unlike, say, Kobe, when Harden isn’t having a great scoring game, he’s usually a detriment to the team.

  283. You all should’ve known Strat was not worth indulging on this one when he began by saying “James Harden’s problem is that he’s not more like Frank Ntilikina”

    lol

  284. Z-man: He can win as the most talented player, the high scorer, the highest usage player, etc., but not the leader.

    My take away is that Harden can win. I honestly couldn’t care less who the leader is on the team if Harden’s talent can win a championship.

  285. Early Bird: Westbrook was awful this year, so yes.

    It’s arguable that playing with Harden was detrimental to Westbrook. That actually supports the argument, which I agree with, that “Harden can’t win a championship as the “heart and soul” or “brain” of the team”. It doesn’t mean he can’t win, but he has to have the right teammates.

  286. Worth noting that Harden has spent the last four years playing under D’A. He’s been running the system, not selfishly breaking plays. Can D’A’s system win a championship is probably a more germane question. Not that that hasn’t been asked a million times already.

  287. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: It’s arguable that playing with Harden was detrimental to Westbrook. That actually supports the argument, which I agree with, that “Harden can’t win a championship as the “heart and soul” or “brain” of the team”. It doesn’t mean he can’t win, but he has to have the right teammates.

    Not sure how Harden causes Westbrook to shoot 53% from the FT line in the playoffs or put up a Knox-like .460 TS% in the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row.

    But I’m sure there’s a reason.

  288. Early Bird: My take away is that Harden can win. I honestly couldn’t care less who the leader is on the team if Harden’s talent can win a championship.

    Anyone can win. Brian Scalabrine has a ring. If strat is arguing that he *can’t* win, that’s just stupid. But you have to build a team around him that counterbalances his weaknesses, quirks, and total lack of leadership ability. I think in that sense, the Melo comparisons are valid. He’s had ample opportunity to carry a team on his back to the finals and never got there. His personality has something to do with that.

    He’s worth every penny of a max contract, there’s no disputing that. He’s a great piece to build around. The leaders you put around him don’t have to be anywhere near on his level. They just have to free him up from the burden of leadership and let him do what he does best, which he does better than nearly everyone in history.

    Lots of people think that D’Antoni was a good match for him, and in some ways he was. But when they went totally small, there was no way they could get past a team like the Lakers which had size, talent and the greatest floor general of his era. Trading away Capela and CP3 doomed them, and Harden had a lot to do with CP3 being traded, along with a king’s ransom, for Russell Westbrook of all people. Harden and Russ was a terrible match…and even they might have been able to win with a balanced supporting cast and a less rigid “system” coach.

    BTW MVP-level Russ certainly could be the best player on a championship team. He’s got the same issue…zero leadership ability. He and Harden were so poorly matched and most of us knew it right away. But Harden had something to do with making that happen.

    Maybe he forces his way onto a team that complements him better…but the clock is ticking. His recent instagrams don’t suggest that he’s focused on winning.

  289. Early Bird: Not sure how Harden causes Westbrook to shoot 53% from the FT line in the playoffs or put up a Knox-like .460 TS% in the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row.

    But I’m sure there’s a reason.

    Well why was Russ there in the first place? Did Harden have anything to do with it? My recollection is that he was all for it.

  290. Deeefense: Lebron controls the offense like a PG and scores a lot because he’s a great offensive player, but he’s always playing in a very team oriented way. He moves the ball when appropriate, looks for open teammates with better shots, and is trying (and succeeding) at making his teammates better.

    Lebron James career Ast %: 36.5%.
    James Harden Ast % since joining Houston: 36.7%

    Deeefense: The reason they did not get along and CP3 got traded was because CP3 was failing to get Harden to play the right way. That’s where the friction came from.

    First it was they only got close to winning a title because CP3 had him playing the right way and now it’s that they had to trade him because CP3 failed to get him playing the right way. Those don’t seem like totally compatible positions.

  291. His recent instagrams don’t suggest that he’s focused on winning.

    that just may be a variation of the twolves’ butler approach towards “facilitating” a trade…

    let’s see, be a total dick to everyone in the building – or – kick it with some freaks and friends, and friends who are freaks…

    i like james’ approach better…

  292. thenamestsam: First it was they only got close to winning a title because CP3 had him playing the right way and now it’s that they had to trade him because CP3 failed to get him playing the right way. Those don’t seem like totally compatible positions.

    I think they actually are compatible. They traded CP3 because there were irreconcilable differences between them. If I recall correctly, it was about who was on and who was off the ball. So the question is, why did two players equally hungry for a championship and roughly equal as historically great players find it impossible to work out their differences? Isn’t that part of being a winner? A leader? Meanwhile CP3 became beloved in OKC and is now in a much better situation in PHX. Harden?

    If you were Harden, would you have a problem playing with CP3? Would you be okay with the team trading away assets that could have been used to improve the team to actually downgrade from CP3 to Westbrook?

  293. In a way, the conversation about Harden makes me think back to the things that were being said about Wilt back in his day. There definitely are some commonalities. But Wilt did radically transform his approach to the game before winning his 2 championships, and probably should have won 1 or 2 more and was just unlucky.

  294. i just got a notice from comcast saying that they were automatically renewing my league pass subscription for $199…no mention of why i didn’t have the option of saying no thanks (i guess they are counting on my laziness to figure out how to do it online so i don’t have to spend a few hours on the phone talking to somebody in India in order to cancel the order) and also conveniently ignoring the fact that there a less regular season games but it is the same price as last year….cable companies are the scum of the earth..

  295. Switching topics a little bit here, but Cade Cunningham. I’ve been keeping tabs on him and while he’s played nobody, he’s essentially steering a team with future high school teachers, accountants, and small business owners to an undefeated record so far. He has a turnover problem but when you watch this guy play he’s on the short list for best prospects ever. The guy is a 6’7” top tier athlete playing point guard….and he’s a real threat to turn in a 50-40-90 season….and there is nobody else on that roster worthy of making a Big 12 scouting report.

    Say what you want, but Cade Cunningham may actually be the best player to come out since Anthony Davis, and yes I know Zion Williamson and Luka Doncic were drafted in that timeframe. With Luka you could look and say “yeah but the shooting stats don’t add up, and can he defend at the next level?” and with Zion you could say “yeah but how long can he sustain his style of play at his weight?” Cade Cunningham doesn’t have those questions yet (of course other than the turnovers). You don’t see 6’7” super athletes that can shoot and pass every day. Oklahoma State has Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Baylor, and Kansas in their division so those games will be pretty informative on just how good Cunningham is, but right now he’s on pace to grade out higher than everybody since Anthony Davis carried Kentucky to the championship.

    If 2021 is the year my Jets get Trevor Lawrence and the Knicks land Cade Cunningham I think I’d be okay with that. I really do.

  296. as a jet fan…i am already accepting that the patriots will lay down in the final game if they are out of the playoffs…the jets will win and fall into the 2nd slot and trevor never wears a jet uni…

  297. cade has been good to very good.. but he’s pretty shy of anthony davis or zion or that level of prospect right now.. he’s just better than jayson tatum… which is still pretty amazing but in terms of can’t miss A++ level of guy he’s not that … at least yet….

    the main problem is his forays to the hoop…. he has issues getting to the rim… and a lot of folks are noticing his lack of burst… a guy with this physical profile should not have to rely on floaters and hook shots vs oral roberts… his 2p% is still above 50% but it’s very possible it tanks when facing actual tough defenses…. if he holds up against them then he will be the consensus #1 pick…. if it doesn’t it complicates things….

    and part of the reason why he’s not consensus #1 right now even with an impressive showing is because of how good the rest of these guys are…. it’s a pretty strong class…. jalen suggs… evan mobley… jalen johnson are all in the conversation and that’s not even counting jalen green and jonathan kuminga…. cade is the odds on favorite to hang on but he still has more to prove and he has a ton of tough competition….

  298. pepper:
    as a jet fan…i am already accepting that the patriots will lay down in the final game if they are out of the playoffs…the jets will win and fall into the 2nd slot and trevor never wears a jet uni…

    Something like this came up on JetNation before the last game vs. NE, RE would Belichick try to screw the Jets out of the #1 pick.

    I can’t see any way that Bill Belichick would lay down for any team, much less the NYJ. I think he actively hates having to cross the sideline at the end of a game and shake the hand of any coach who beats him. And, that coach being Adam Gase of the 0-15 NYJ would be unthinkable for him.

    I hope…
    :-)

  299. pepper:
    as a jet fan…i am already accepting that the patriots will lay down in the final game if they are out of the playoffs…the jets will win and fall into the 2nd slot and trevor never wears a jet uni…

    I think every Jets fan has their eyes on Jacksonville vs Chicago. If Jacksonville gets one more win then we’re home free and we can go back to rooting for the Jets to get a single win. But if we’re being honest, there is no chance Sam Darnold will play well enough against Bill Bellichick to actually win a game.

  300. I can barely imagine the joy I would feel to watch a genuine star prospect play for the Knicks. The day I don’t feel the need to squint and hem and haw about theoretical upside to justify our latest waste of a first round pick will be a happy day indeed.

  301. Like, I’m 27. I started following the Knicks in 2010. What’s the best prospect we’ve had in that time – KP? That turned to ash pretty quickly. Having a genuine top-tier prospect that doesn’t have glaring red flags would be such a joy.

  302. Well why was Russ there in the first place? Did Harden have anything to do with it?

    Fertita claims Morey was refusing to make that trade so he got on the phone and made it himself. This is apparently a big part of why Harden wants to be traded.

    But the REAL story is that Harden is a hipster who hates the burbs which pisses off people like Chris Paul. Chris Paul appreciates the joys of mowing a lawn. Understanding the satisfaction of bending nature to your will, i. e. quietly maintaing a perfect expanse of sweet green grass like CP3 has in those commercials, well if you don’t understand how that’s a big part of the right way to play the game then just run back to your math textbooks. Nerds.

  303. Agree with Z-Man, i think Strat is talking about a player that wins by himself, like Lebron and Jordan, but those guys are so rare. Anthony Davis is a looser also, he only won with an actual leader (Lebron), same with Kawhi only with Duncan/Parker and Lowry. So to call a looser to a player that only wins with the appropriate surroundings is kind of a push. So you just have to surround the guy with the right kind of teammates, and having in those other guys a leader is mandatory. He had it twice, in OKC reached the NBA Finals and in Houston reached the WCF and lost to arguably the best team in many years if not ever. Man, i think i would like to have that kind of looser (although in Harden’s case i don’t like his style of play at all).

  304. djphan: and part of the reason why he’s not consensus #1 right now even with an impressive showing is because of how good the rest of these guys are…. it’s a pretty strong class…. jalen suggs… evan mobley… jalen johnson are all in the conversation and that’s not even counting jalen green and jonathan kuminga…. cade is the odds on favorite to hang on but he still has more to prove and he has a ton of tough competition….

    What makes me don’t want the Knicks to go after Harden is this (not counting his style of play). We’re almost there in the young movement, just needing one more quality prospect, and this draft seems to be a lock to have several, so if there’s a year to tank this is the one.

  305. and also conveniently ignoring the fact that there a less regular season games but it is the same price as last year….cable companies are the scum of the earth.

    nba sets this price

  306. CZ, The difference is that Kawhi and AD are dominant players on both ends. Harden is about as 1-way of a player as the league has ever seen. CP3 is an exceptional defensive PG. Ewing, Barkley, Malone, and many of the “winners” like Kobe, Shaq, LeBron, Wade, etc. were 2-way players. And some of the less physically gifted guys like Bird, Isiah, Stockton, etc. were excellent situational/team defenders who were 3 steps ahead of everyone else.

    I would put Harden at the top of the class of great one-way players…Melo, Amare, Nash, Iverson, Gervin, Dirk, etc. who were much more dependent on team dynamics and always at a disadvantage against a great 2-way player. He is also in the group of more petulant players who shot themselves in the foot like Melo, Iverson, Pippen, Paul George/Ewing, etc. who didn’t fully understand what sacrificing ego/$$$/stats/touches/lifestyle/personal rivalry or whatever detracted from winning for the good of the team. Great winners are involved in and strategic about team building. Some are such great 2-way players that it doesn’t matter. Shaq, Hakeem, Kawhi are good examples of that.

    This is just my own personal take, not meant to be definitive. To some degree it aligns with strat’s thinking, but where we disagree is that I think Harden is a winning player under the right conditions. He seems to imply that he is detrimental to winning, which it total nonsense.

  307. djphan: the main problem is his forays to the hoop…. he has issues getting to the rim… and a lot of folks are noticing his lack of burst… a guy with this physical profile should not have to rely on floaters and hook shots vs oral roberts… his 2p% is still above 50% but it’s very possible it tanks when facing actual tough defenses…. if he holds up against them then he will be the consensus #1 pick…. if it doesn’t it complicates things….

    Yeah he doesn’t appear to be the overwhelming athlete that takes two steps in the half court and rises above everybody, but that type of athleticism should get you a high 2PT% and a high free throw rate, right? He’s doing pretty well in both regards through five games. He does have the length, strength, and athleticism to finish around the basket so I’m not worried about his finishing long term. When he gets into conference play we’ll see what’s real but the guy is legit. He looks to have the talent to make a team a playoff contender by himself.

  308. Even Lebron never did it “all by himself.”

    He’s gotten to the Finals all by himself but he had to win with Wade and Bosh, Love and Irving, and now AD.

    Jordan had to win it with Pippen and Rodman/Grant.

    The only people I can think who did it all by themselves in my lifetime were Olajuwon and Dirk but in both of those cases while there wasn’t a clear #2 and #3 star on their team to support them, their supporting cast was made up of a bunch of really really good just below all-star level players (Cassell, Horry, etc…Kidd, Marion, Chandler, etc).

    But I think its worth asking why Harden hasn’t had more success in the playoffs as talented as he is. I mean, he’s only been to the conference finals once, right? Houston that year could have won it all if CP3 didn’t get hurt and they lost to an all-time great team. But outside of that year, he’s usually lost in the second round. And if other star players consistently want out or don’t want to go there to play with him, that to me says something about his attitude/character, etc…that keeps him from winning. Even the people who knock Lebron for always orchestrating a situation where he can team up with other stars to win it all are ignoring the fact that he is smart enough to do that and likeable/driven enough to have those players want to join him.

  309. What do people think of this definition?
    Net benefit of intentional tank in a given year = (prob that 1 or more potential franchise cornerstone player is eligible for draft X prob that said player(s) declares for draft X prob that cornerstone is properly valued by FO early enough in season to successfully tank X prob that non-cornerstone prospects in draft are properly valued below real cornerstone(s) by FO in May X prob team record qualifies for high pick X prob of ping pong ball that is favorable enough to select real cornerstone X prob that cornerstone stays healthy and realizes potential with franchise) – damage done to league, organization, players, fanbase by intentionally loosing a lot.

  310. Z-man: I think they actually are compatible. They traded CP3 because there were irreconcilable differences between them. If I recall correctly, it was about who was on and who was off the ball. So the question is, why did two players equally hungry for a championship and roughly equal as historically great players find it impossible to work out their differences? Isn’t that part of being a winner? A leader? Meanwhile CP3 became beloved in OKC and is now in a much better situation in PHX. Harden?

    If you were Harden, would you have a problem playing with CP3? Would you be okay with the team trading away assets that could have been used to improve the team to actually downgrade from CP3 to Westbrook?

    All of this squares with the idea that they got rid of CP3 because they couldn’t agree on “playing the game the right way”, which, sure. I think it had just as much to do with CP3’s inability to stay on the court for long stretches of time, but the differences over how to play is clearly part of it.

    But the idea that CP3 molded Harden to playing “his way” and that’s why that team was so good is the part I have issues with. The 2017-18 Rockets that came closest to winning it all was the team that largely went away from the PnR heavy offense that had defined earlier D’Antoni teams; they led the league in isolations that season. The idea that they almost won because Harden stopped playing his way is just false; they almost won because CP3 is also an amazing player and two amazing players is typically the baseline for what it takes to win an NBA championship.

  311. ptmilo:
    and also conveniently ignoring the fact that there a less regular season games but it is the same price as last year….cable companies are the scum of the earth.

    nba sets this price

    ok…than throw adam silver under that bus as well….

  312. swiftandabundant: Even Lebron never did it “all by himself.”

    More important than any teammate is a great POBO for a guy who isn’t drafted to New York or Los Angeles. Jerry Krause’s 1987 draft was the foundation that won Michael Jordan his first three championships. Harden is absolutely right to want to leave a jackass like Tillman Fertitta in the wind for interfering with the work Morey was doing.

    Harden isn’t a Jordan/LeBron level player, but neither is Stephen Curry but nobody would dare call that guy a loser. The difference between Harden and Curry is Curry played for a team that drafted him, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, had the sense to flip Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut, make excellent free agency signings like David Lee and Andre Iguodala, and replace Mark Jackson with Steve Kerr. It comes down to what Krause said and got roasted for, and it’s that organizations win championships. Not [just] players.

  313. swiftandabundant:
    Sign me up for a draft pick that is better than Jason Tatum.

    The funny thing is that if I had to make a “pro comparison” for Cunningham, I’d say he’s Jayson Tatum’s smarter little brother.

  314. I think Wade is in that bucket of guys who you could plausibly claim they “won it themselves.” He did have Shaq but Shaq was only on half steam and the rest of the team stunk. And yes, to say they did it themselves is silly. Dirk had Kidd and Terry and Chandler and Marion. Just in the sense of being the primary mover on a team without two true stars.

    I like Cade. Looks like he can shoot. While he doesn’t look like an ultra elite guy to me (Lebron, AD, Zion) or really anywhere close, I’d be pretty excited to have him on the squad. I like prospects who can already shoot.

    You know what I can’t believe I didn’t know? Magic went first in the draft and joined a 45 win team with late late prime Kareem. I never knew they picked up a first round pick in a trade which landed at #1. Pretty unreal that that kind of talent joined a winning team right off the bat. How many titles does he win if he is drafted first by New Orleans?

  315. Wade’s 2006 was an incredible feat. Not as crazy as LeBron carrying CLE against the best team in 20 years, but truly an incredible thing. He could have retired in 2007 and the Heat should have hung his jersey from the rafters for their fan to admire.

  316. Yeah he doesn’t appear to be the overwhelming athlete that takes two steps in the half court and rises above everybody, but that type of athleticism should get you a high 2PT% and a high free throw rate, right? He’s doing pretty well in both regards through five games.

    i mean the concern is that he’s slow twitch and below average burst… it’s slightly concerning because a fair portion of his 2pt% have been inflated cause of his post up game… which is nice he can do that but he can’t really bully his way to the hoop all the time in the pro’s…. bully ball is one way you can hack into a high 2pt% and high ft% and therefore a high ts% which can make you look better than you probably would be in the pro’s…. just look at luka garza….

    all that said i don’t think it’s that he’s slow twitch… really poor coaching and poor teammates can make anyone look worse than they are….. this is shade of ben simmons and markelle fultz…. he’s trying to penetrate with a set defender and no picks every single time which is gonna be tough for anyone…. a few times a game you can see that he can put on the afterburners… and he does actually look like grant hill when he does… it’s just that he seems like he sleepwalks to 20 pts every night… which is both amazing and mildly concerning at the same time…

    i think he’s fine… the eye test could be deceiving and it’s early in a very weird season so you kind of have to give more time for these guys to marinate in this environment…. i would just keep an open mind on things….

  317. What makes me don’t want the Knicks to go after Harden is this (not counting his style of play). We’re almost there in the young movement, just needing one more quality prospect, and this draft seems to be a lock to have several, so if there’s a year to tank this is the one.

    this draft looks to be both really good at the top and pretty deep as well…. i’m pretty sure there will be a really good player available with the dallas pick… someone who might’ve had lottery potential if he was in this year’s draft by comparison and probably 10x the player that quickley is….

    and if luck is on our side… we could be grabbing two very good starters that could set us up well into the next decade… this year is our shot and we cannot fuck it up…..

  318. I mean, he’s only been to the conference finals once, right?

    He also made it to the NBA Finals with OKC.

  319. You know what I can’t believe I didn’t know? Magic went first in the draft and joined a 45 win team with late late prime Kareem. I never knew they picked up a first round pick in a trade which landed at #1. Pretty unreal that that kind of talent joined a winning team right off the bat. How many titles does he win if he is drafted first by New Orleans?

    They got the Magic pick as part of the NBA’s silly free agent compensation formula from those days, because the Jazz signed Gail Goodrich. And then they had the #1 overall pick again three years later, when they took James Worthy! From the LA Times:

    The Lakers ended up with the first overall pick in the 1982 NBA Draft as the result of a trade with Cleveland midway through the 1979-80 season, when the Lakers had sent Don Ford and a 1980 first-round pick (eventually Chad Kinch) to the Cavaliers for Butch Lee and their 1982 selection. Cleveland finished with the league’s worst record in 1981-82, giving the Lakers the top pick, which they used to select forward James Worthy, who had just led North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA title.

  320. Yeah, that’s just bonkers to get two #1 picks like that and to have obvious all time greats waiting to be picked makes it even more unfair. Screw the Lakers. Although I guess they made a good deal with the Cavs.

    Watched clips of Evan Mobley. He has a very strange body. Something about his leg/torso ratio is unusual but he looks like a baller too.

  321. I’m always suspicious of that mid 2000’s era of basketball because I think the league definitely did not want The Pistons back in the finals after the 2005 finals, which were the lowest rated finals ever even though it went to 7 games and was a pretty entertaining finals. But those pistons teams had no “stars” (in the marketing sense) and The Spurs were also “boring” to watch back then but they were too good to deny trips to the finals. So they blew the whistles in favor of Lebron and Wade so that they beat The Pistons and the NBA got their young stars in the finals instead of a Pistons Spurs rematch or a Pistons Mavs finals.

    This is just my tin foil hat conspiracy but I kind of have a soft spot for those Pistons teams because of the whole team first mentality they had.

  322. Watching the Cade highlights does gives me the impression that he’d struggle against longer, more athletic defenders. But interested to see what happens. He reminds me a bit of KD, just calmly shooting over nearby defenders.

  323. djphan: it’s just that he seems like he sleepwalks to 20 pts every night… which is both amazing and mildly concerning at the same time…

    I see all the same things you do, but I’m looking at it differently. I see a guy who knows he has to put out 30+ minutes of high level basketball every night for his team to have a chance to win and because of that he’s not going for the poster dunk-laden triple double every night. I feel like he goes for the winning play more often than he goes for the impressive play, but I will agree that the lack of first step burst is concerning. Even so, he pulled off a half spin drive to the basket last night where he showed that burst that made me believe he has the juice, he’s just letting the game come to him. We’ll see how legit he is against teams like Baylor and Kansas in the next 30 days or so, but I definitely think he’s going to be one of the highest graded prospects we’ve seen in a while.

    How do you feel about Ayo Dosunmu? He has Illinois off to a great start and feels like a guy who could be available with that Mavs pick.

  324. Yeah, that’s just bonkers to get two #1 picks like that and to have obvious all time greats waiting to be picked makes it even more unfair. Screw the Lakers. Although I guess they made a good deal with the Cavs.

    Yeah, the Goodrich thing was beyond their control, but at least the Worthy thing was the result of an actual trade. As opposed to something like the Orlando Magic winning the lottery in back to back years when Shaq and Webber/Penny were available.

    (If I can digress, my favorite thing about the 1993 draft was that, by all accounts, the Warriors, with the third pick, really wanted Shawn Bradley, and would have done a Penny-for-Bradley deal similar to the Penny-for-Webber trade they ultimately made, assuming Philadelphia would of course take Weber with the number two pick. But the Sixers really wanted Bradley, to the point where they allegedly reached out to Orlando and GSW management and threatened to blow up the whole thing by taking Hardaway second. At which point Don Nelson made peace with getting the draft’s other top big man. So the Sixers could have gotten Webber or Penny, but instead screwed themselves into by far the worst player of the three.)

  325. Something about his leg/torso ratio is unusual but he looks like a baller too.

    I think it’s because of his short shorts. Just watched these highlights.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJdwb_TxfUw

    I’m not investing a ton of energy on this comp, but he looks like baby Durant with interior strength/back to the basket moves. Not sure if the handle/dribble penetration moves are quite as otherworldly. That turnaround baseline jumper was sick, 100% Durant, including the wide leg spread. No idea if his jumper is as good as the form looks, but that guy is a top-3 pick in 2021 if he stays healthy. Not worried about the slow-ish release since he’s so damn tall. An obvious future NBA starter if I’ve seen one.

  326. Shawn Bradley is actually the kind of build Mobley has, although he is way shorter of course.

    There should definitely be a podcast that’s just NBA alternate histories. That’s a wormhole I would totally go down. Maybe name it Ball in the High Castle.

  327. God, the Knicks alone would have so many episodes of Ball in the High Castle. Weis over Artest, Frank over Mitchell, waiting until the 2011 offseason to sign Melo, letting Ewing’s contract just run out, etc.

  328. Z-man:
    CZ, The difference is that Kawhi and AD are dominant players on both ends. Harden is about as 1-way of a player as the league has ever seen.

    I would put Harden at the top of the class of great one-way players…Melo, Amare, Nash, Iverson, Gervin, Dirk, etc. who were much more dependent on team dynamics and always at a disadvantage against a great 2-way player…

    Oh, totally agree with you. I was talking about leadership, which i don’t think AD and Kawhi has it in them. So they will always need a leader on the team, and now we found 2 glaring holes in Harden’s game, he’s only a 1-way player and he’s no leader. But still, i would sign him if he was available at a reasonable price, and then would try to find another superstar and a leader.

    By the way, of your list of 1-way players, Nash is my favorite and i think he’s a leader so he’s ahead of Harden, and also being a 1-way playmaker is the best option of a 1-way player because he makes everybody else around him better. Definetly my choice. And then Amare, he was 1-way for sure, but a leader also… i always think about the “what if” the knicks didn’t trade for Melo and let that team grow!

  329. I think comparing Steph to Harden is fair, and kudos to GSW front office for building a team around mid-lottery and later picks and crafty management decisions. But Morey was no slouch despite Fertitta. And the failed Harden/CP3 dynamic is most responsible for the Westbrook debacle…those two guys were under contract and there were assets with which to build around them, and although it is not settled in terms of who is most to blame, my opinion is that the blame rests more with Harden than with Paul, Fertittta or Morey. He had lots of leverage in that situation and didn’t seem interested in patching things up with Paul. That may have brought out Fertitta’s worst instincts. I also feel that a guy like Morey could have threatened to resign rather than be forced into having any part of the CP3 for Westbrook swap. And Harden could have vetoed the move, as anyone with any sense could see that it was a terrible idea.

  330. Anybody else remember when folks would talk shit about LeBron because he couldn’t win it all? 2011 was a damning indictment against a guy who didn’t play the right way.

  331. Cade would be amazing for the Knicks. He’s got that LaMelo court vision but without the terrible shot selection. Great size, touch and outside stroke, and he seems like a great kid.

    I’ve gotta say though, Evan Mobley looks ridiculous so far, not that we need another front court guy. But he could be Mitch with ball handling and a jump shot — aka Anthony Davis.

  332. I am sure that Cade Cunningham is the greatest, but man does Jalen Suggs look awesome. The body control and pace with which he plays is just awesome. I would be more than ecstatic if he ends up on our team. Measurements aren’t great but I’m sure he will figure it out.

    we need to figure out how to get another pick in this draft.

  333. Frank:
    I am sure that Cade Cunningham is the greatest, but man does Jalen Suggs look awesome. The body control and pace with which he plays is just awesome. I would be more than ecstatic if he ends up on our team. Measurements aren’t great but I’m sure he will figure it out.

    we need to figure out how to get another pick in this draft.

    Suggs is a fun prospect but he’s squarely 3rd on my board, and in the 2nd tier of prospects, right now behind Cunningham and Mobley. His smarts, size, athleticism, and passing make him a great open court player and his tenacity on defense gives him a ton of potential to really lead a team in transition. My beef with him is he hasn’t shown any ability to create off the dribble one-on-one and that’s a huge part of being a successful NBA point guard. As of right now, Suggs is more Lonzo Ball than Ja Morant and that’s a big difference. He’s also shooting 67% from the line and 33% from deep, and that’s not something you can sweep under the rug. It’s really Mobley and Cunningham fighting for 1st place and then you have everybody else.

  334. ess-dog: Cade would be amazing for the Knicks. He’s got that LaMelo court vision but without the terrible shot selection. Great size, touch and outside stroke, and he seems like a great kid.

    This is pretty much it right here except LaMelo already has ankle-breaking ball handling skills and I don’t think Cade is there. But yeah, if you gave LaMelo Ball his man body and leadership intangibles you’d have Cade Cunningham.

  335. Also the Melo and Harden comparison is valid in the sense that Melo extracted top dollar regardless of the effect on team construction…especially in pushing for a trade rather than waiting until free agency (granted there was CBA uncertainty at that time, but if your primary goal is to win a ring, you roll the dice. Ewing also insisted on top-dollar regardless of how it affected team flexibility, although I hold him far less culpable than the bungling FO.

  336. How do you feel about Ayo Dosunmu? He has Illinois off to a great start and feels like a guy who could be available with that Mavs pick.

    i’ve tracked him since he was a freshman but haven’t seen him play this year .. he’s really good driving to the basket… i’m not sure if he’s a pg… but looks like he’s off to a good shooting start and may have picked up some pg ability…. i’ll have to tune back in …..

    there’s a lot of decent upper classman that’s pretty good just like him… jared butler… james bouknight… keyontae johnson…. jeremiah robinson-earl… all these guys are really solid upper classmen that would normally be in that mikal bridges late lottery area but probably wind up in the mid to late first rd this year…

  337. I am sure that Cade Cunningham is the greatest, but man does Jalen Suggs look awesome.

    yes suggs has looked the most impressive out of everyone …. yes even cade…. the knock on him was that he isn’t a pure pg but he’s looked the part in a pro style offense at gonzaga…. he’s not quite like derrick rose but how he’s looked off the jump kind of reminds me of rose’s debut…..

    it’s really tough to justify a pg over someone like cade if cade is the real deal but he’s making it interesting in the early going…..

  338. Frank:
    I am sure that Cade Cunningham is the greatest, but man does Jalen Suggs look awesome. The body control and pace with which he plays is just awesome. I would be more than ecstatic if he ends up on our team. Measurements aren’t great but I’m sure he will figure it out.

    we need to figure out how to get another pick in this draft.

    I watched Cunningham’s first game this season and he wasn’t great, but that doesn’t mean anything when it’s your very first college game being touted as the next hyper-star. My understanding is that this is a top-heavy deep draft. There are supposed to be several tier-1 and tier-2 players. With games going on and the universal COVID question about an NCAA tournament this year, it’s not too early to pay attention.

    I also heard a suggestion that the Knicks could trade a 2nd and the Dallas pick to move up and get two players in the lottery.

  339. In today’s HoopsRumors.com article “Longest-Tenured Players By NBA Team”, i found out that the Knicks longest tenured player is… (drum roll) …FRANK NTILIKINA! What about that?

  340. That’s rather depressing but it checks out. We have not had what you would call a stable roster the last few years.

  341. cybersoze:
    In today’s HoopsRumors.com article “Longest-Tenured Players By NBA Team”, i found out that the Knicks longest tenured player is… (drum roll) …FRANK NTILIKINA! What about that?

    Well on the bright side, the odds of the string of players on rookie deals not being extended is looking like it is in jeopardy…

  342. Seems likely that at least one of our young bucks (probably Mitch) will get an extension in the next couple years or so.

  343. Technically Mitch was not on a rookie deal. I have a hunch that Frank will be extended. He’s Thibs’ kind of player. I’m bullish on him showing lots of overall improvement this year…probably as a backup PG/situational defensive 2 guard. I’m expecting his 3-pt shooting to get into the 36%ish range, his FTr to inch up to .200, and his BPM to approach 0.0 (.1.0 OBPM vs. 1.0 DBPM). The combination of better coaching/player development and natural development of a hard-working kid with maturity, focus and physical tools will finally translate this year. Nothing crazy, just to NBA rotation-worthy level.

  344. I’m not the biggest Ben Simmons fan in the world, but I don’t think I’d make him the key piece for Harden. Simmons is still young enough to improve his shot and become a more complete player that will give you many more years. Even if he doesn’t, he’s still a very good albeit flawed player.

    The Jrue Holiday trade kind of set the bar for what Harden is worth (A LOT) and I’m not sure there are any teams that have what it will take to get that done that will be willing to pull the trigger.

    If he forces his way to the Nets somehow and the Rockets get screwed, we may have to rethink the kinds of “contracts” owners should give out. Maybe teams should stop giving out any long term contracts. It’s makes no sense if they are forced to pay it if the guy sucks or gets hurt but the player can force himself out of it if he doesn’t like the team.

  345. I heard that Nerlen’s Noel looks so good in practice so far he may not only win the starting job, it may open the Knicks up to considering moving Robinson in a trade that nets them a star player and then simply go forward with Noel as the C long term.

  346. Deeefense:
    I’m not the biggest Ben Simmons fan in the world, but I don’t think I’d make him the key piece for Harden.Simmons is still young enough to improve his shot and become a more complete player that will give you many more years. Even if he doesn’t, he’s still a very good albeit flawed player.

    The Jrue Holiday trade kind of set the bar for what Harden is worth (A LOT) and I’m not sure there are any teams that have what it will take to get that done that will be willing to pull the trigger.

    If he forces his way to the Nets somehow and the Rockets get screwed, we may have to rethink the kinds of “contracts” owners should give out.Maybe teams should stop giving out any long term contracts. It’s makes no sense if they are forced to pay it if the guy sucks or gets hurt but the player can force himself out of it if he doesn’t like the team.

    The Jrue Holiday trade was dumb, but Milwaukee probably felt it had no choice but to do something to appease Giannis. I don’t think it set any bar…Harden is toxic in HOU and Jrue was not at all in NOP.

  347. Deeefense: If he forces his way to the Nets somehow and the Rockets get screwed, we may have to rethink the kinds of “contracts” owners should give out. Maybe teams should stop giving out any long term contracts. It’s makes no sense if they are forced to pay it if the guy sucks or gets hurt but the player can force himself out of it if he doesn’t like the team.

    What you’re missing in this analysis is that every year Harden plays for the Rockets, even at his max, he’s contributing massively above and beyond his salary. So yes, the team is forced to accept some downside risk, but there’s also a huge amount of upside. Even if the Rockets get left completely high and dry here it’s important to remember how hugely beneficial Harden has been to them: 8 seasons, 8 playoff appearances, 5 times into the 2nd round, twice into the conference finals. That was all him. If they could go back in time they would 1000% do the Harden trade all over again.

    The alternative to not signing star players is never winning anything. Star players drive winning in the NBA. Yes, you give up some control to get them and sure they may screw you. But there’s no other option. Some other team will gladly pay Harden his max because taking that chance is the only way to erven have a chance at winning it all.

  348. Deeefense: If he forces his way to the Nets somehow and the Rockets get screwed, we may have to rethink the kinds of “contracts” owners should give out. Maybe teams should stop giving out any long term contracts. It’s makes no sense if they are forced to pay it if the guy sucks or gets hurt but the player can force himself out of it if he doesn’t like the team.

    The shorter the contract, the more ‘screwed’ are teams over players forcing their way out. Most players are only able to force a trade in the last year of the contract, because teams fear to lose them for nothing. Harden is such a big star, and the Houston situation is so peculiar, that he might achieve it with two years reamaining in his contract (and we will have to see if it happens).

    Short contracts made the teams screwed in terms of retaining their stars. But of course, it also put the players in more financial risk in case of injury/etc. instead of the teams.

  349. Agree with Z-Man, i think Strat is talking about a player that wins by himself, like Lebron and Jordan, but those guys are so rare.

    I’m not sure why what I was saying was even mildly confusing when guys like Kobe, McGrady, Wade and others have said the same exact things about Haden. I’m sure plenty of other great players feel the same way.

    1. There’s a difference between what your talent/skill level is and how you choose to use it.

    2. Harden has super elite talent/skill on the offensive end, but he uses it poorly relatively to its potential.

    3. Whether that’s the result of a conscious decision, a personality flaw, a low basketball IQ, flawed priorities (like wanting to win the scoring title, MVP, and get lots of triple doubles more than winning a title) he plays in a self centered way and doesn’t at least give maximum effort on defense.

    4. That style doesn’t work well in the playoffs. It typically takes a more cohesive team effort on both sides to win a title even though there though there will still be an alpha on the team.

    5. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about one of the best players in the NBA or a 10 year old CYO kid from Queens, there are selfish players and there are players that think in terms of the team. Team play that involves ball and player movement, willing sacrifice, sustained effort on defense etc… is superior to holding the ball, dribbling, chucking up tough shots and trying to maximize your own boxscore stats.

    6. When I compared him to Melo, I wasn’t comparing them in terms of talent and skill. I was saying Melo has the same personality/basketball IQ etc.. flaws.

    I think what threw everyone off was my use of the word “loser”.

    I did mean it as you are a “loser” just because someone beat you. I meant it as you are “loser” for being a self centered fool instead of playing the superior way & giving yourself a much better chance to win.

  350. So, even without us taking on Harden, odds are decent Fertitta might dump the other overpayed veterans, no? There might be a chance for us to take on an asset for renting out capspace, especially if we wait until they get the Harden haul.

  351. iserp: The shorter the contract, the more ‘screwed’ are teams over players forcing their way out. Most players are only able to force a trade in the last year of the contract, because teams fear to lose them for nothing. Harden is such a big star, and the Houston situation is so peculiar, that he might achieve it with two years reamaining in his contract (and we will have to see if it happens).

    Short contracts made the teams screwed in terms of retaining their stars. But of course, it also put the players in more financial risk in case of injury/etc. instead of the teams.

    What you are saying is true. That’s why I’m reacting to it when it comes to Harden. If he can force himself out with this much time left on the contract, you’d have to be crazy to give out a long contract to a big star. It’s a lose-lose scenario. If he plays poorly or gets hurt I’m stuck paying, but if he’s unhappy he’ll force his way out early. I might as well give him 1 or 2 years and try to keep him happy so he’ll resign. If he’s happy he’ll come back. If he’s sucks or he gets hurt I only have to pay for 1-2 years instead of 4-5. If he’s unhappy he was going to force himself out either way.

  352. Nerlens Noel is playing so well that he has made Mitch expendable?

    Can I get a source? Was that a joke?

  353. If he can force himself out with this much time left on the contract, you’d have to be crazy to give out a long contract to a big star. It’s a lose-lose scenario. If he plays poorly or gets hurt I’m stuck paying, but if he’s unhappy he’ll force his way out early. I might as well give him 1 or 2 years and try to keep him happy so he’ll resign.

    If I were a team owner not only would I give my stars 1 year deals, but instead of paying them the maximum I would simply pay them the minimum instead, and thus have a lot more money left to spend on other players. Surprising no owners have thought of this before.

  354. Oh right. I always forget about that OKC run to the finals.

    So it’s actually four visits to the Conference Finals for Harden, two with OKC and two with Houston (they also faced the Warriors in the Warriors’ first run to the title back in 2015).

  355. Thenamestam has cracked the code – front offices everywhere are reeling as this revolutionary new model sweeps the league. Steve Mills, however, remains skeptical, claiming that spending big money on bad players is the traditional move for a reason.

  356. What you are saying is true. That’s why I’m reacting to it when it comes to Harden. If he can force himself out with this much time left on the contract, you’d have to be crazy to give out a long contract to a big star. It’s a lose-lose scenario. If he plays poorly or gets hurt I’m stuck paying, but if he’s unhappy he’ll force his way out early. I might as well give him 1 or 2 years and try to keep him happy so he’ll resign. If he’s happy he’ll come back. If he’s sucks or he gets hurt I only have to pay for 1-2 years instead of 4-5. If he’s unhappy he was going to force himself out either way.

    I don’t mean to be patronizing but have you considered the possibility that 29 other teams might be willing to give the guy 4-5 years?

  357. Evans waived. I know everyone here was holding their breath on this one.

    The real nail biter, relatively speaking, is which of Spellman or Iggy gets cut if the team insists on keeping MKG. Does anyone have a preference? Neither is likely to play much, if at all, barring injury.

  358. That was what the Twitter cartoon was about. My bet would be on Iggy going and I think my preference too.

    Never been able to get excited by him. Hard to draw a hard distinction with Spellman but he can play center a bit.

  359. “I might as well give him 1 or 2 years and try to keep him happy so he’ll resign.”

    The problem with that is teams then have to be so focused on keeping stars happy that they can’t do anything for the future. You can’t draft or sign any player as a project who might develop with time. You can’t make any trades you don’t win in the short term. Everything has to be NOW, NOW, NOW! That’s partly why Cleveland was such a disaster after both times LeBron left. It’s why Houston is so massively screwed right now.

    Mike

  360. The cartoon gave me a good chuckle.

    I think we have to keep Spellman. He’s on the shorter side but can play C, which we’ll need if Mitch or Noel gets injured. Or if they just both foul out.

    I used to think Spellman would get burn at PF once we trade Randle, but sounds like Knox might get it instead.

    Still, just from the roster balance perspective Iggy would be the choice.

    Edit: The Knicks choice. I’d just cut MKG.

  361. Shame about Evans, I would have preferred him on the team to DSj. I was hoping for a trade to open up some roster spots. I still hope it is DSj that gets cut. I think Iggy has potential and MKG could actually be a useful piece.

    I think Spellman is safe. We only have three players that can play the 5, it seems unlikely we will cut one unless Spellman really comes in out of shape or stinks up the joint.

  362. Between Iggy and MKG, I pick Iggy every time. He might not amount to much but MKG is a known quantity, and that known quantity is a castoff due for the isle of misfit toys/overrated oneway players.

  363. I’m skeptical, since MKG’s a homeless man’s Andre Roberson and the good version of him struggles to get playing time in the playoffs as is. If another team wanted him though, I’d be surprised. I could maybe believe he has marginal value in the specific situation where Covid decimates rosters and a playoff team just needs a cromulent wing who can play yeomanlike defense without tripping over himself.

  364. Iggy’s problem is Knox. They’re more or less the same player but Knox was obviously picked way higher and is still 6 months younger than Iggy though I’m not sure how that impacts their thinking. It does seem like the Knicks genuinely value Knox- we know about the 3 on 3 but he still must look good in practice when guys aren’t leaning on him.

  365. I think it’s important to note with Iggy that it’s pretty normal when a new front office regime comes in that there’s a reduced focus on the guys picked by the previous regime. They’re less invested in the success of the player emotionally and in terms of it making them look good and on top of that it’s just generally less likely that the new front office likes the player as much as the old one (who, after all, picked the player from among all the available players). When you’re talking about a 2nd round pick made by a previous regime…we may have to accept that they see Iggy as pretty disposable, and I say that as somebody who generally likes him.

    I’m really hoping he makes the team this year, and if he does he might actually get a chance to show what he can do because I think Covid may give everybody on every roster a shot this year. I’m not holding my breath though.

  366. thenamestsam: I think Covid may give everybody on every roster a shot this year. I’m not holding my breath though.

    I suspect this is why ATL went out and signed every player available during free agency.

  367. Early Bird: I suspect this is why ATL went out and signed every player available during free agency.

    Yeah it’s interesting that there’s been so little covid talk in the run up to the season. Maybe it’s because the bubble was such a success, or maybe it’s because the hectic pace of the offseason has drawn all the focus onto actual basketball stuff, but I’m expecting this to be a serious mess. This isn’t like football with one game a week or even baseball where at least you play the same team for a few days. Teams are playing 3 or 4 games a week in different cities against different opposition. Once you trace the web of contacts out a few levels you’re going to be ruling out a ton of players on every positive test.

  368. I had posted this a few days back but nobody took the bait…but I think Covid is going to derail this season…Coach K mentioned in his press conf last night that they probably should stop playing hoops right now ….but the NCAA is just plowing through it…greed is a powerful thing…

    I also saw on ESPN this morning…on the headline scroll at the bottom a few tidbits about the NBA policy…something like 12 days quarantine once you get a positive plus there is not a definitive rule on Postponing games..something like there are various factors that will go into the decision including how or why the person got infected…does that mean that if they deem a team did not adhere to protocols that they will just forfeit games and give the other team a W? I wonder what the minimum amount of guys is necessary to allow you to play…if you have 5 healthy dudes..than all systems go?

  369. I don’t care about getting rid of Iggy that much per se, but it is a bad sign if the team decides to keep MKG, because he is at best just a guy with very little upside. If you think Iggy sucks cut him and try another project.

  370. pepper:
    I had posted this a few days back but nobody took the bait…but I think Covid is going to derail this season…Coach K mentioned in his press conf last night that they probably should stop playing hoops right now ….but the NCAA is just plowing through it…greed is a powerful thing…

    I also saw on ESPN this morning…on the headline scroll at the bottom a few tidbits about the NBA policy…something like 12 days quarantine once you get a positive plus there is not a definitive rule on Postponing games..something like there are various factors that will go into the decision including how or why the person got infected…does that mean that if they deem a team did not adhere to protocols that they will just forfeit games and give the other team a W?I wonder what the minimum amount of guys is necessary to allow you to play…if you have 5 healthy dudes..than all systems go?

    I agree with you. But they’re going to play at this point. My guess is when there’s enough vaccine available they spend a buttload on it for their players.

  371. MKG is kind of a scheme guy. His shot is broken but when healthy he’s a legit rotation player. But if they really wanted him they would have signed him to a vets min deal, no?

  372. I’ve heard basically nothing about MKG or Iggy at this point. Someone asked Thibs about MKG and he gave a non-answer. I really don’t know what to expect. If MKG was going to make the rotation you’d think we’d hear more about him. I honestly have no idea what they’re planning for either one.

  373. Oh i had such magnificent plans for Jacob Evans! LOL, just kiddin! ;)

    Well, the easiest way would be to waive one of the 2-ways (Pinson, please), then waive Brazdeikis (his money is guaranteed so he’ll receive his 1.5M no matter what) and sign him to a 2-way contract for 2 years. At the end of the 2 years i think he would be an RFA, so the team keeps in control in case he has a breakout season.

    This year because of the covid situation, a player on a 2-way contract can be active on 50 of the 72 games.

  374. Vorkunov:

    High praise for Knicks rookie Immauel Quickley from Tom Thibodeau:

    “He’s got a great skill already. He can shoot the ball as well as anyone in the league. He’s a great shooter.”

  375. Teams with luxury tax penalty 10M+:
    1. GSW- $147M
    2. BKN- $59M
    3. PHI- $24M

    147M !? Isn’t that insane? For the pleasure to have Andrew Wiggins…

  376. I suspect this is why ATL went out and signed every player available during free agency.

    Yes, but also this is the team that passed on Luka Doncic and picked Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter when they could have had Brandon Clarke. So let’s not accuse ATL of playing 5D chess quite yet. ; )

    1. GSW- $147M

    I think that if they come out showing a team that wins <50 games over a full 82 season, you see a major firesale. We're talking "a pair of future 2nds for Klay Thompson" kinda thing. Ain't no way Draymond is getting that max extension.

    Keep in mind that they have $175M earmarked this year and $165M next year. $115M without Curry in 2022. There is no relief in sight.

  377. Just listened to a couple of LaMelo interviews. He’s definitely his own guy. He’s cool. You feel me?

  378. I heard that Nerlen’s Noel looks so good in practice so far he may not only win the starting job, it may open the Knicks up to considering moving Robinson in a trade that nets them a star player and then simply go forward with Noel as the C long term.

    High praise for Knicks rookie Immauel Quickley from Tom Thibodeau:

    “He’s got a great skill already. He can shoot the ball as well as anyone in the league. He’s a great shooter.”

    It’s starting to sound like our front office made some good decisions this off season, even when surprising people with their selections.

  379. Dennis Smith Jr. is also in the best shape of his life.

    In other words, relying on stuff like “Player X looks good” or “Player Y’s shot looks good” as anything but puffery at this point is, well, inadvisable.

  380. ***Magic went first in the draft and joined a 45 win team with late late prime Kareem.***

    Kareem is still in his prime. He’s written another excellent essay about the structural flaws facing society. His impact outside of basketball grows by the day.

  381. Brian Cronin:
    Dennis Smith Jr. is also in the best shape of his life.

    In other words, relying on stuff like “Player X looks good” or “Player Y’s shot looks good” as anything but puffery at this point is, well, inadvisable.

    Yup. Same for summer league performance. The first reliable info comes from preseason games, and even that can be misleading. This year, with short training camps, I expect that the preseason games will be somewhat more telling. There’s not much time to figure out rotations so I would think the coaches are going to play things closer to the vest than normal. This is even more true for us, because we are playing teams with similar issues. I would guess that the guys who aren’t in at all in the first and third quarters are probably on the outside of the rotation looking in, and that will become even more the case in games 2, 3, and 4. I mean opening day is in 2 weeks! Most of these guys are just getting acquainted!

  382. nicos:
    Thibs actually seemed genuine when he praised Smith today, basically saying so far, so good.

    Right, but what does that mean? I mean, is he going to say “Well, he hasn’t improved much since last year, so we don’t have much hope for him and are just going through the motions to try to build his trade value so we can get something back for his $5 million cap hit””?

  383. Right, but what does that mean? I mean, is he going to say “Well, he hasn’t improved much since last year, so we don’t have much hope for him and are just going through the motions to try to build his trade value so we can get something back for his $5 million cap hit””?

    Precisely. None of this is bad to hear, of course. Hopefully Smith is better. Hopefully Quickley is a great pick. Noel probably is good since he was good last year, but you know what I mean, you can’t make any sort of judgment either way based on coach’s saying nice things about their players. After all, Fizdale raved about Knox back in the day (among many other examples, but that’s just one that stood out to me when thinking of examples). Imagine saying, “Sounds like we did a great job in drafting Knox” at the time.

  384. “but the NCAA is just plowing through it…greed is a powerful thing”

    I’m loath to defend the NCAA but there would/will be some significant real world consequences if the season isn’t played. Coach K doesn’t need to worry but non-revenue sports, maybe even at Duke, would be in some serious trouble.

    Mike

  385. only in NY knick land does a journeyman center become Bill Russell and the rookie guard become the Microwave after two intrasquad scrimmages ….all is good now…

  386. MBunge:
    “but the NCAA is just plowing through it…greed is a powerful thing”

    I’m loath to defend the NCAA but there would/will be some significant real world consequences if the season isn’t played.Coach K doesn’t need to worry but non-revenue sports, maybe even at Duke, would be in some serious trouble.

    Mike

    well..i guess that one could argue the same if the season is played…ie., some real world consequences…something called death?

  387. only in NY knick land does a journeyman center become Bill Russell and the rookie guard become the Microwave after two intrasquad scrimmages ….all is good now…

  388. When I said “sounds like”, I meant literally that. I’m referring to what people say, and that doesn’t mean they are going to be proven right. Of course, coaches rarely speak badly of their players, and Fizdale in particular seemed to not be realistic in his comments. But Thibs clearly knows how to respond to questions without really answering, he’s not given to hyperbole, and he didn’t have to say Quickley shoots at an NBA level. So when he says it I believe him. Of course there are many other things that go into being a successful player than shooting, but just getting shooting at that position in the draft is a good result.

  389. ***Anyone can win. Brian Scalabrine has a ring. ***

    Eddy Curry has a ring!

    He just has a winner mentality’

    Not like that selfish loser, Michael Jordan.

  390. “well..i guess that one could argue the same if the season is played…ie., some real world consequences…something called death?”

    I don’t know how to break this to you…but people are going to die no matter what. I hate to open up this can of worms but do you know how many Americans COVID-19 would have killed if Hillary Clinton had been elected President? Pretty much the same number that were killed while Donald Trump was President.

    How do I know that’s true? Because according to Johns Hopkins University,,,

    https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/health/coronavirus-maps-and-cases/

    …the U.S. COVID death rate per 100,000 people is 88. France’s death rate is 84 per 100,000. The United Kingdom’s death rate is 94 per 100,000. The death rates in Italy and Spain are both over 100 per 100,000. Was Donald Trump also the President of France, the UK, Italy, and Spain for the past year?

    Maybe President Hillary would have done slightly better but we’d almost certainly still have well over 200,000 COVID deaths in the U.S. right now. And to achieve that slightly lower number of COVID deaths, President Hillary would probably have taken actions that led to more destroyed businesses, ruined futures, and lives lost to suicide, drug abuse, and long term mental and physical health problems. How many people do you think are ultimately going to die because they’ve avoided going to the doctor the last nine months? How many cancers and other diseases could have been caught earlier and cured?

    Adults have to balance things. Like balancing the extremely small number of healthy young athletes who might suffer serious consequences from COVID against the massively larger number of people who might suffer serious consequences (like not being able to go to college at all) if the college basketball season were cancelled.

    Mike

  391. Z-man: Right, but what does that mean? I mean, is he going to say “Well, he hasn’t improved much since last year, so we don’t have much hope for him and are just going through the motions to try to build his trade value so we can get something back for his $5 million cap hit””?

    All I took out of it was that Thibs honestly seemed mildly encouraged by Smith’s play so far. He was also clear that him shooting “pretty well right now” meant nothing until he did it in games. But he was pretty specific about how he’s played thus far- aggressive, shot pretty well and made plays- it wasn’t just general “he’s working hard, we love his athleticism, etc… Not that that means all that much but it didn’t seem like simple puffery.

  392. Maybe President Hillary would have done slightly better but we’d almost certainly still have well over 200,000 COVID deaths in the U.S. right now. And to achieve that slightly lower number of COVID deaths, President Hillary would probably have taken actions that led to more destroyed businesses, ruined futures, and lives lost to suicide, drug abuse, and long term mental and physical health problems. How many people do you think are ultimately going to die because they’ve avoided going to the doctor the last nine months? How many cancers and other diseases could have been caught earlier and cured?

    those countries are also a lot older than the US and for some had earlier outbreaks…. that we are worse off than them even with inherent demographic advantages… not even acccounting that we are the richest and supposedly the most advanced country in the world… is reflective of our poor response at the onset and our continued bungling…..

    you could absolutely argue that there are significant lives that could have been saved…. and the only reason that it’s not worse is because of our governors in the most populous states…..

    let’s not try to rewrite history… we can look at this a number of ways and none of it makes the us look good at all…..

  393. but just getting shooting at that position in the draft is a good result.

    Historically, it’s relatively early for “just getting shooting.” Kyle Korver, one of the most famous shooters of the past decade, went #55. Steve Novak was #32. Lots of guys who “just shoot” don’t even get drafted. There are lots of dudes in college who can “just shoot” (only two of the top ten three point shooters in Division 1 this past year were drafted, and one of them was taken with the last pick of the first round). Quickley might be a good NBA player, but his shooting by itself doesn’t mean much either way.

  394. …the U.S. COVID death rate per 100,000 people is 88. France’s death rate is 84 per 100,000. The United Kingdom’s death rate is 94 per 100,000. The death rates in Italy and Spain are both over 100 per 100,000. Was Donald Trump also the President of France, the UK, Italy, and Spain for the past year?

    Now do deaths as a percentage of population. CFR is a near meaningless statistic in a comparison context–when you have more spread in general more young people will get the disease, populations of countries are of varying ages, countries have different medical resources, etc.

    I mean seriously dude, if a country the same size as the US limited its case count to 100,000, and 88 of those people died, would you say the US and that country were equally successful?

    This CFR shtick is so tired and dumb. Letting the virus run absolutely rampant and cause a crazy total number of deaths, independent of CFR, is the massive failure here.

  395. djphan: How many people do you think are ultimately going to die because they’ve avoided going to the doctor the last nine months? How many cancers and other diseases could have been caught earlier and cured?

    Yeah but they’re not avoiding the hospitals because of draconian government lockdowns, they’re avoiding them because there’s a raging f-ing pandemic going on and the hospital happens to be the easiest place to catch it. Opening everything up means even more people avoiding the hospital- not fewer.

    And you might want to compare population density in Europe vs. the U.S. Kind of makes transmission a bit easier. Given that, our freedom loving North Dakotans managing to be 6th in deaths per million in the States deserves special recognition.

  396. Brian Cronin: Historically, it’s relatively early for “just getting shooting.” Kyle Korver, one of the most famous shooters of the past decade, went #55. Steve Novak was #32. Lots of guys who “just shoot” don’t even get drafted. There are lots of dudes in college who can “just shoot” (only two of the top ten shooters in Division 1 this past year were drafted, and one of them was taken with the last pick of the first round). Quickley might be a good NBA player, but his shooting by itself doesn’t mean much either way.

    Well, it’s also the case that less than half of players selected #20-30 make a significant mark in the NBA. According to a study I looked at, the average games played is something in low-mid 200’s, something like 3 seasons. So I would say that you aim for a player that is worthy of sticking around, and being able to shoot the lights out is maybe the best quality to have in that regard. But clearly Quickley has qualities to be more than that, starting with decent defensive aptitude for his size.

  397. U.S. Breaks Daily Record for Virus Deaths 2 Weeks in a Row

    More than 3,000 new fatalities were reported on Wednesday as a brutal surge gathered across the country.

    Last week’s record — 2,760 deaths reported in a single day — was the first time since April that so many deaths had been reported.

    Damn that reckless, feckless President Hillary. What was she thinking.

  398. By using death rate you might think Japan, Korea, and China are worse than the U.S. in dealing with COVID. It’s just like using Per 36 without minute restrictions. Jamal Crawford has a 30 points 18 assist per 36, must be doing something right!

  399. MBunge, the US has one of the highest Covid infection rate in the world, by the link you cited. The countries that also have high infection rates are more densely populated than the US. If you want to see the the effect of population density look at a map of Covid incidence by county such as the one published in the NY Times. Upstate NY counties have much less Covid than downstate despite the same state government, which shows the difference population density makes. Then if you look at Western states like the Dakotas where state government refused to fight the pandemic and insisted that people should do business as usual, the numbers are much worse despite similar population densities to upstate NY. You can claim that this would have happened anyway without Trump, but I believe that a different attitude towards masks would have made a big difference in those areas.

  400. Well, it’s also the case that less than half of players selected #20-30 make a significant mark in the NBA. According to a study I looked at, the average games played is something in low-mid 200’s, something like 3 seasons. So I would say that you aim for a player that is worthy of sticking around, and being able to shoot the lights out is maybe the best quality to have in that regard. But clearly Quickley has qualities to be more than that, starting with decent defensive aptitude for his size.

    There’s definitely a big drop-off around #20. Just like there’s a big drop-off after #5 (which is why top five is often the goal losing teams should shoot for in most drafts). And it’s also fair to note that getting good shooters is important. I know I sure as heck wanted the Knicks to take a good-shooting prospect this year with their lottery pick. It’s just also true that “can shoot well from three” is not something that gives any sort of support to the idea that a player was chosen well at the #25 spot if they have that ability. As you note, he may have other skills and if so, that’s great. That’s a lot different than “just getting shooting at that position in the draft is a good result.”

  401. I know I sure as heck wanted the Knicks to take a good-shooting prospect this year with their lottery pick.

    we did get that with obi though right?

  402. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the words “just getting shooting at that position in the draft is a good result.” I know you need other skills besides that, like getting open against NBA defense, having somewhat passable defense or whatever. I’m assuming he can at least get open, or Thibs wouldn’t have said what he did. I don’t know how he is at other stuff. But I still think getting an ZnBA ready skill at number 25 is a decent result since most picks there don’t go anywhere. Novak and Kornet aren’t counter examples because they were great pickups for where they were drafted. They would have been good pickups at number 25 too.

  403. Adults have to balance things. Like balancing the extremely small number of healthy young athletes who might suffer serious consequences from COVID against the massively larger number of people who might suffer serious consequences (like not being able to go to college at all) if the college basketball season were cancelled.

    not that i really want to get into this political discussion but what does this even mean? if they canceled the college basketball season that would cause kids to not be able to go to college?

  404. All right fine, I will do it.

    re: your death rate per 100K thing — this statistic will be greatly skewed by the timing of the pandemic in that particular country. Those countries that were hit hard in the first 4-5 months of 2020 (before anyone had any idea how it was spread, how early to intubate, whether to anticoagulate, how to mitigate spread with masks and other strategies etc) are disproportionately going to have a much worse “per-100K” number if you look at the pandemic in its entirety. The most damning thing about the US is if you look at what happened in the mid-point — basically June until November when we understood the virus much better, the weather was good, and you had the ability to get that number way down. Go search for “death rate coronavirus by country” and you’ll see that in Italy, for nearly 4 months they had ~20 or fewer deaths per day. France had more but still in double digits for most of that time. Italy and France both have around 60-70 million population so the US has 5x their population. However, between June and November, our daily death rate was still about 1000/day ie. roughly 5-10x the death rate of Italy/France. And deaths in Dec/Jan/Feb are going to be absolutely horrific despite the vaccine being available hopefully soon to the highest risk people, since deaths lag cases by 4-6 weeks as it filters from dumbos that have no civic responsibility to their parents and grandparents. We are easily going to be at 3000-5000 deaths PER DAY until February. It’s unthinkable. And that’s even with better understanding of therapies.

    I don’t really blame Trump that much for the first wave – Jan->May/June – the response was incompetent but you could make the argument that everything was happening too fast and it’s a hard decision to shut the country down preemptively. Everything from then until now is on his head, as well as his sycophants in the republican party and Fox News/Newsmax/OANN.

  405. James Harden is open to being traded to Milwaukee and Miami now, according to Shams. The Heat should be able to make that happen considering how highly thought of a guy like Tyler Herro is.

  406. Just to elaborate on Novak, he topped out at 1600 minutes in a season and had two others where he barely cracked 1000 minutes. If you divide his 5657 total minutes by 36, you get 157 games. So he would have been a below-average player for a #25 pick.

    I know we loved us some Novakaine, but he was as much of a one-trick pony as the league has ever seen. So yeah, just shooting is not enough at that spot. But if Quickley’s shooting translates, he will be a much better player than Novak, likely a sure perennial NBA rotation player based on his other qualities.

  407. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    James Harden is open to being traded to Milwaukee and Miami now, according to Shams. The Heat should be able to make that happen considering how highly thought of a guy like Tyler Herro is.

    That would be a great trade for Miami, as they don’t really have a ball-dominant player and Butler and Riley would probably scare him into playing team ball and defense, OTOH, they don’t really need shooting…they need someone in the front court to complement Bam. Maybe they should stay focused on landing Giannis after the Bucks flame out again.

  408. DS:
    JJ Barea waived.Sadly, at 36, I think he would be more ready than any of the Knicks’ current options to be starting point guard (granted: I am biased because he and I were at Northeastern at the same time).As much as I think development is the top priority, he could help add 20 minutes per game of more coherent basketball.
    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bareajo01.html

    I’ve always had a soft spot for JJ but this is a classic case of the idea that you have to assume his current team knows him better than anyone else. Carlisle is basically the JJ Barea whisperer as far as I’m concerned; he always had a knack for getting the most of him. If the Mavs think he’s done he’s probably done.

  409. A Miami trade for Harden is a fascinating one. It’s hard to come up with a bigger clash on paper between a team culture and a superstar player’s attributes. Riley is never afraid to push in his chips, and a Butler-Harden-Bam big 3 would be a formidable accumulation of talent even if Harden doesn’t seem exactly like their type.

    I also think it might be clever to sell high on Herro right now; he definitely has promise but the hype train got a little out of control for him I think. Even his play in the bubble was more good than great overall – he actually had a very slightly negative BPM for the playoffs despite all the rave reviews. Now obviously performing like an average NBA player as a 20-year old on a team making a run to the finals is extremely impressive, I don’t want to undersell it. But he still would need another big leap to get to “young all-star” which is where it seems like he’s already being placed by general consensus. If Houston is prepared to value him like that I would be pretty happy as Miami.

  410. This is just my opinion About the virus and the US. If we have 300K dead, Trump is responsible for more than half those deaths. He is a mass murderer and his fate should be the same as the fate of Saddam Hussein. Trump is far worse. Saddam grew up in poverty and ignorant. I’m a centrist who typically votes for a candidate not a party. This is not a point you can argue with me on. I lose all respect for anyone that supports him. Keep politics out of here because it is infuriating. I come here to get away from all that. Talk hoops, guitars, existentialism, anything else.

  411. C’mon Frank… those people were going to die no matter what.

    People can’t stop death! That’s as crazy as saying humans can change the weather… Or that a few select parts of the Bible shouldn’t be taken very literally!

  412. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Yes, but also this is the team that passed on Luka Doncic and picked Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter when they could have had Brandon Clarke. So let’s not accuse ATL of playing 5D chess quite yet. ; )

    I think that if they come out showing a team that wins <50 games over a full 82 season, you see a major firesale. We’re talking “a pair of future 2nds for Klay Thompson” kinda thing. Ain’t no way Draymond is getting that max extension.

    Keep in mind that they have $175M earmarked this year and $165M next year. $115M without Curry in 2022. There is no relief in sight.

    Honest question, who the hell would trade anything for Klay Thompson after he just missed 2 full seasons to a torn ACL and a torn Achilles? And his contract has 3 more seasons at $40M/year after this one?

  413. vincoug: Honest question, who the hell would trade anything for Klay Thompson after he just missed 2 full seasons to a torn ACL and a torn Achilles? And his contract has 3 more seasons at $40M/year after this one?

    Didn’t something that just happen with John Wall?

  414. vincoug: Honest question, who the hell would trade anything for Klay Thompson after he just missed 2 full seasons to a torn ACL and a torn Achilles? And his contract has 3 more seasons at $40M/year after this one?

    The Milwaukee Bucks, if Giannis re-signs, and the Houston Rockets (depending on what John Wall looks like) would probably bite. I do get the feeling that:

    1) People are vastly underrating how good Stephen Curry is, and the narrative is setting itself up for Steph Curry to win league MVP honors.

    2) The Warriors may just value letting the Splash Brothers retire together in the way LAL, San Antonio, and Dallas did with their first ballot hall of fame talent.

    I don’t think the Golden State Warriors break up the Splash Brothers. That would be crazy.

  415. Brian Cronin: Historically, it’s relatively early for “just getting shooting.” Kyle Korver, one of the most famous shooters of the past decade, went #55. Steve Novak was #32. Lots of guys who “just shoot” don’t even get drafted. There are lots of dudes in college who can “just shoot” (only two of the top ten three point shooters in Division 1 this past year were drafted, and one of them was taken with the last pick of the first round). Quickley might be a good NBA player, but his shooting by itself doesn’t mean much either way.

    I don’t think I get your point. If you redrafted the 2003 draft with what we know now is there any way Korver doesn’t go top 10? And doesn’t he have an argument for top 5?

  416. thenamestsam: I also think it might be clever to sell high on Herro right now; he definitely has promise but the hype train got a little out of control for him I think.

    The crazy thing is that it seems Fertitta is an ogre who will not move off of receiving an All Star plus the Jrue Holiday pick package. If Miami wants James Harden they’ll likely have to give up Bam, Herro, and two firsts. In other words, until that situation in Houston gets desperate we will not see any serious discussions for James Harden. The Rockets can tell James Harden they’re working towards a trade for him, but if you’re telling Brooklyn you want Kyrie Irving, Philly you want Ben Simmons, and Miami you want Bam then you’re not actually trying to trade the guy.

  417. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Didn’t something that just happen with John Wall?

    Supposedly at the behest of Harden in exchange for Westbrook who’s contract is nearly as bad and Houston got 1st. I can’t think of any scenario where GSW gets anything in return for Klay until he can prove he’s still able to play basketball. If GSW tries to trade him this season they’re attaching an asset.

  418. This debate on the dealth/100k rate really points to a whole other issue: alternate realities. Different segments of the population just have different sets of facts. You watch OAN/FOXNews and you hear, “99.8% of people do FINE after COVID,” or you hear CNN say “Trump mismanaged COVID AGAIN today and people are DYING” and most people do not know what to believe and go with their immediate community’s beliefs. Twitter/Facebook and their echo chambering is mostly to blame, I think, far more than cable news. Either way, MBunge, just read what Frank and KFINJ wrote, they speak far better than me, but suffice it to say, things should have been handled a lot better, and it’s pretty obvious that it affected people’s lives. Or else, what does it matter how things are handled at all, then? (It didn’t help the Dems that they gave a free pass to protests and themselves, I mean how hard is it to just say “We’re with you in protest, but please distance and mask” without doing much different- this really, really hurt their credibility with the uneducated)

  419. Honestly Golden State’s best big picture move from a pure basketball perspective might be dealing Steph; at this point it’s hard to see their route back to being a legit title contender in what’s left of his prime. From a business perspective though I can’t see them going that way. They’ve got a new stadium with premium suites to fill and I think as long as they can throw Steph out there with a semi-respectable squad that’s their golden goose. How much draft equity would you want to swap Klay for Julius Randle?

  420. I’ve never seen Quickley play, but I’ve been reading everything about his work ethic, improvement at Kentucky, his play making being better than it looks statistically and the success he had there after not even starting at the beginning of the season. Now we are getting high praise from Thibs. Most people were upset we moved up to get him when he might have still been there later. I’m wondering why he didn’t go a lot higher. We may have stolen a very good player.

    The only thing I saw I didn’t like was that his shot starts kind of low near his waste area and I’m wondering if that will be an issue at the NBA level, but that’s something a scout would be more likely to answer.

  421. Deeefense: I’ve never seen Quickley play, but I’ve been reading everything about his work ethic, improvement at Kentucky, his play making being better than it looks statistically and the success he had there after not even starting at the beginning of the season. Now we are getting high praise from Thibs. Most people were upset we moved up to get him when he might have still been there later. I’m wondering why he didn’t go a lot higher. We may have stolen a very good player.

    This is all BS until he shows it in a game with some level of consistency. Someone asked about Quickley specifically. Thibs is not going to say he’s a great shooter but actually he can’t get open at all.

  422. I mean the CFR thing is just so incredibly stupid I can’t believe MAGA world has latched onto it though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    People aren’t criticizing Trump by saying he let too many people who caught COVID die. Now, to the extent Trump affected the death rate at all there is reason to believe he made it worse by slangin’ hydroxychloroquine and other garbage. It should be noted even our death rate is pitiful compared to the rest of the world, but I digress.

    The obvious and accurate criticism is he let too many people catch COVID, period, and because 88/100K is a high death rate in general, far more people died than necessary. We’d have an awful deaths as a percentage of population figure even if our death rate was much lower! Argh you people and your fantasy worlds are infuriating.

  423. This debate on the dealth/100k rate really points to a whole other issue: alternate realities.

    You won’t find reality on the news. The networks and newspapers are generally way too corrupt and politically motivated. You won’t find it with epidemiologists or doctors that are hired guns for networks with political agendas.

    You’ll find it by looking at the actual data yourself. I don’t trust the honestly or competence of the CDC, but even their data says that if you are under 65 you are at very low risk of dying. If you are under 60 and generally healthy you are at extremely low risk. If you are very young and healthy you probably have a better chance of being killed in some car accident, drive by shooting, lightning strike, or some other disease this year than if you get Covid. The risk doesn’t rise much until you are in your 60s and that’s only because way more people that age are very sick or have compromised immunity. Then after 80 it starts getting very risky.

    The death rates are partly a function of the demographics of the country and how it was handled. Older countries got hit harder. Countries where obesity, heart disease etc.. are more common got hit harder. Countries (and states like NY) that did not protect the elderly and sent people sick with Covid back to nursing homes, assisted living, and even hospice care had way higher death rates than those that focused on protecting the vulnerable as a priority.

    There are also stats differences.

    You can die “OF” Covid or die of something else while being COVID positive without significant symptoms of Covid. Some will record the latter as a Covid death and others will not.

    I try to avoid people with a cold. This is an illness that can kill you. No matter how remote the possibility, you should do whatever you can to avoid it. But generally, the risks are WILDLY exaggerated unless you are old and/or very sick. That’s why those people should be…

  424. Sigh. Another covid argument.

    Deefense, I disagree that you can’t trust mainstream media at all. They have bias and yes, there is an “agenda” but it doesn’t mean everything they report is a lie or false. There is a huge difference between presenting the news with a possible bias or slant and just reporting lies.

    One thing that I think we don’t think about when it comes to how many people have caught covid and how many people have died from it in the US is how many more people would have caught it and died if we had done nothing. This is what I don’t get about the anti-mask/anti-restriction crowd. Think about how many hundreds of thousands of people more would have died if all the people who do believe in masks, social distancing, support shutdowns and restrictions…if none of those people did anything. So saying well in the grand scheme of things the amount of people who have died isn’t that bad, it ignores how we could be starting at like a million dead right now if no city had a mask mandate or closed bars. All of those liberal democrat sheeple who are being lied to by the mainstream media and are afraid so they wear a mask…if none of them did that we’d be facing something a thousand times worse.

    Covid is going to be like the third cause of death this year. That’s insane.

    And saying its no big deal if you’re under 65 ignores the long term health consequences. Do you want 15 percent diminished breathing capacity for the rest of your life? Cause I don’t. Even something like permanently losing your sense or smell or taste would suck. It can have really bad long term health effects for people who survive it.

  425. Honest question, who the hell would trade anything for Klay Thompson after he just missed 2 full seasons to a torn ACL and a torn Achilles? And his contract has 3 more seasons at $40M/year after this one?

    I agree, but this league is full of easily-duped executives who want to “make a splash” to keep their jobs for another year or two, especially when they seem to have no clear path to contention. Then they go from the “hope” stage to the “win now” stage, and the heat gets cranked up. Maybe you get another year of cushion out of that, and then blame Klay’s inevitable underperformance on the injuries as though you couldn’t see it coming.

    As much as I think development is the top priority, he could help add 20 minutes per game of more coherent basketball.

    You want to add another guy to the list of recent players who received their final contracts from the Knicks? Haven’t we had enough of this? Also, seriously? You want to add a 5’10” guy who’s 36 and has played 1200 minutes over the last two seasons, and played shitty during them?

    Hard pass. Find a UDFA and roll the dice. Barea is fucking washed.

  426. I mean the CFR thing is just so incredibly stupid I can’t believe MAGA world has latched onto it though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    CFR is without question a critical piece of information for determining how dangerous a disease is.

    But you have to have the both the numerator and denominator correct. With Covid, there are a LOT of asymptomatic cases, very mild cases, and cases with symptoms that go undiagnosed and unrecorded. For a long time we didn’t have the testing capacity to know if people had Covid (which back in the first phase was probably millions of people in the northeast). Fortunately competent people can use screening and other techniques to estimate the true infection rate in the population. For example, I live in Queens NY. It is estimated that in NYC, Long island, and Westchester around 30% of the people have already been infected. Millions of them simply don’t know it because they never had symptoms, the symptoms were so mild they thought they had a common cold, or they and their doctor suspected they had it but they were never tested because they were saving the limited testing for more serious cases. Then they recovered and never knew.

    NY has a high death rate because of how we handled nursing homes, assisted living, and hospice patients and because we got hit early on before the doctors started figuring out how to treat it better.

    Plus this the US. It’s the land of the fast food junkie and sugar addict. We have no shortage of obese people with diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health issues.

  427. There is no point in arguing with a person who believes he’s among the smartest, least-biased people on earth. He’s a fucking moron, full stop, and he’ll go to the grave believing the exact opposite.

  428. swiftandabundant: Do you want 15 percent diminished breathing capacity for the rest of your life? Cause I don’t.

    I’m surprised this isn’t talked about more, especially in the context of sports. We’ll probably hear stories throughout the next decade on how Covid ruined players careers because the NFL/NBA/NCAA was reckless.

    As someone who has had respiratory issues the last few years, breathing affects absolutely everything you do: thinking, exercise, sleep, etc. It all gets fucked up when you can’t breathe.

  429. The long term effects are pretty frightening.

    Every part of the right’s COVID rhetoric is equal parts infuriating and stupid, so it’s impossible to decide the worst part of it.

    Having said that, the binary way they view COVID outcomes (i.e. you either die or you are completely and utterly fine) is wildly inaccurate and has led a lot of people my age to completely disregard the risk (which is already an abhorrently selfish thing to do even if you will be fine) only to find themselves battling a debilitating illness for months with no end in sight.

    But hey, I’m sure they’ll feel a lot better when Strat tells them “at least you’re not dead.”

  430. Deefense, I disagree that you can’t trust mainstream media at all.

    I can’t trust anyone I know is politically motivated or significantly biased (aware of it or not). I don’t want to try to figure out what is true and what is not and what is spun and what is not. When I wanted to know how risky the disease was I went to to the smartest math/disease guys I could find and the CDC site and looked at the data myself. When they were from all over the political spectrum and agreeing, I was fairly confident I had the right answers.

  431. I can’t trust anyone I know is politically motivated or significantly biased (aware of it or not).

    *Does the Jim from the Office Look at the Camera*

  432. I have “stupid fatigue” at this point. I can’t argue with stupid anymore, I can’t do battle with the willfully ignorant. The most I can do is tell them that they’re fucking idiots, then move on with my day.

    The amount of idiotic shit I see so many people say on a daily basis is completely soul-crushing. All the mediocre dumbshits I went to high school with think Trump totes won the election, that there is clear evidence of massive voter fraud, that Covid is a hoax, that everything should be fully open and that anything that makes Donald Trump look bad is part of a giant global conspiracy.

    This isn’t a few wingnuts I’m talking about, this is mainstream opinion among a lot of people who were fairly “normal” conservatives just a few years ago. I can’t deal anymore. Fuck these people. I don’t engage with them anymore on any level other than to let them know I think they’re dumber than shit and that I look down on them with complete contempt.

  433. But hey, I’m sure they’ll feel a lot better when Strat tells them “at least you’re not dead.”

    Of course there are other long term impacts, but the same is true of other diseases. We are accumulating data on those long term impacts as we move along. And again they are wildly overstated. The media is finding the worst cases and outcomes and making it seem like those are a high probability outcome, but they are not.

    They are doing the same thing with re-infection rates. There are a handful of cases world wide that legitimately look like someone was infected, recovered and then was infected again. But they are so statistically insignificant there are a million other things more troubling than that about this disease and others. You monitor it, study, try to figure out why, get the percentages right and go from there. But it’s so insignificant now there’s nothing to worry about yet. You’d never know that by reading the news. You’d think loads of people were getting infected again and any immunity we gain from exposure is probably worthless. The opposite seems true so far.

  434. you either die or you are completely and utterly fine

    This is the biggest rubbish of the entire right’s view on COVID. If this was the flu, where more young people died, and less older people died, and that was the entire story, fine. But the sheer amount of various degrees of multiorgan damage is astounding. I’ve had people in my specialty, which usually has nothing to do with respiratory disease, end up with severe and debilitating permanent loss of function in their 30s. Not so many, but enough to write a case series report in May in a big journal that I have no right publishing at in general. COVID is scary to people because it should be. Trump and the right’s media outlets have been not only contributing to spread by downplaying spread, and death, but also morbidity; and I think, if people really knew the amount of vascular and hypercoagulability related disease related to COVID, they’d shit their pants right before putting on an N95.

  435. But it’s so insignificant now there’s nothing to worry about yet. You’d never know that by reading the news. You’d think loads of people were getting infected again and any immunity we gain from exposure is probably worthless. The opposite seems true so far.

    I’ve had two patients who would retort, but can’t because they died. (the public doesn’t realize many doctors do not report the things they should, and so going by volume data underrepresents reality in many cases)

  436. 2) The Warriors may just value letting the Splash Brothers retire together in the way LAL, San Antonio, and Dallas did with their first ballot hall of fame talent.

    I think the major difference is that Manu and Duncan were making pennies in their final season (Manu got a big frontloaded contract in 2017, and made only $2.5M in his final two years) and Steph and Klay will have huge contracts until they’re geriatric.

    What kind of discount do we expect Curry to take in his final years? Right now, he’s on the cusp of age 33, making:

    2020-21 $43M
    2021-22 $45.7M

    An extension signed before Dec. 21 would be ages 35-37 at:

    $48M
    $52M
    $55.8M

    If he waits until next summer, he can go for four years and $220M for an AAV of $55M. For comparison, Duncan made $55M in his final five seasons combined (excluding his stretched final $5M). Manu made less than that over his final seven seasons.

    It’s certainly possible that GSW will hand out the nostalgic contracts to them, but paying $90-100M for a pair of guards in their late 30s is a recipe for a Garnett/Pierce Nets situation. Needless to say it would not go well to pay $200M in salary and tax for a team that wins 35 games.

  437. Of course there are other long term impacts, but the same is true of other diseases. We are accumulating data on those long term impacts as we move along. And again they are wildly overstated. The media is finding the worst cases and outcomes and making it seem like those are a high probability outcome, but they are not.

    They are doing the same thing with re-infection rates. There are a handful of cases world wide that legitimately look like someone was infected, recovered and then was infected again. But they are so statistically insignificant there are a million other things more troubling than that about this disease and others. You monitor it, study, try to figure out why, get the percentages right and go from there. But it’s so insignificant now there’s nothing to worry about yet. You’d never know that by reading the news. You’d think loads of people were getting infected again and any immunity we gain from exposure is probably worthless. The opposite seems true so far.

    Any basis for the claim that the long-term effects are “wildly overstated?” I actually appreciate being informed of the possibility. It’s not like media outlets are saying “X% of people will have long-term consequences,” they are just trying to let people know that the right’s “if you’re not old, you’ll be fine” stance is utter garbage.

    As for reinfection, well, I read in the New York Times that it’s possible but very rare. Sounds like exactly the kind of thing you insist the “mainstream media” won’t tell you.

  438. This is the biggest rubbish of the entire right’s view on COVID. If this was the flu, where more young people died, and less older people died, and that was the entire story, fine. But the sheer amount of various degrees of multiorgan damage is astounding. I’ve had people in my specialty, which usually has nothing to do with respiratory disease, end up with severe and debilitating permanent loss of function in their 30s. Not so many, but enough to write a case series report in May in a big journal that I have no right publishing at in general. COVID is scary to people because it should be. Trump and the right’s media outlets have been not only contributing to spread by downplaying spread, and death, but also morbidity; and I think, if people really knew the amount of vascular and hypercoagulability related disease related to COVID, they’d shit their pants right before putting on an N95.

    Thank you for this post.

  439. There is no point in arguing with a person who believes he’s among the smartest, least-biased people on earth. He’s a fucking moron, full stop, and he’ll go to the grave believing the exact opposite.

    I don’t think I am the smartest or least biased. I think I make every effort possible to be informed and not be biased. Most people that listen to the mainstream news on one side of the aisle or the other. They accept the politically motivated, incompetent trash they hear on TV or read in the newspapers and call everyone that disagrees an idiot without actually researching the subject carefully themselves.

    I kept spreadsheets on this stuff on a daily basis for months so I would know what was actually going on.

  440. The amount of idiotic shit I see so many people say on a daily basis is completely soul-crushing. All the mediocre dumbshits I went to high school with think Trump totes won the election, that there is clear evidence of massive voter fraud, that Covid is a hoax, that everything should be fully open and that anything that makes Donald Trump look bad is part of a giant global conspiracy.

    I will pay you $20 to delete your Facebook account

  441. Deeefense: I think I make every effort possible to be informed and not be biased.

    You think Immanuel Quickley is a good draft pick because Thibs & Calipari say so.

  442. It’s not like media outlets are saying “X% of people will have long-term consequences,” they are just trying to let people know that the right’s “if you’re not old, you’ll be fine” stance is utter garbage.

    It is fine to inform people that some victims are experiencing longer term loss of smell and taste (so far) and others that recovered from serious cases have suffered lung or heart damage. That’s not the same same as making it seem like it’s a high percentage of cases. It’s not. A small percentage wind up in the hospital and those are typically the old and sick people we should be prioritizing much more. Obviously there are exceptions. I lost a young friend to flu a couple of years ago. TB is still floating around doing all sorts of damage. If you are going to report something, give me accurate data on how many and what percentage or people just freak out.

  443. Early Bird: You think Immanuel Quickley is a good draft pick because Thibs & Calipari say so.

    I think he might be a good draft pick because he started off the season on the bench, eventually won the starting job, his shooting stats are excellent, and he eventually won an outstanding player award despite not starting at the beginning of the season. That’s all screaming this kid may be better than he looks based on the seasonal stats and the role he had on that team. Thibs calling him a great shooter was icing on the cake.

  444. I have “stupid fatigue” at this point. I can’t argue with stupid anymore, I can’t do battle with the willfully ignorant. The most I can do is tell them that they’re fucking idiots, then move on with my day.

    Post of the year.

  445. Man, the Mets are linked to just about every big name free agent. Seems like they’re going to pass on Realmuto and sign James McCann, and that they’re seriously interested in Springer, Trevor Bauer and Liam Hendricks.

    They might not sign every one of those guys but they seem serious about winning. I’ve always believed that their core of young guys is very strong and that they’re in position to make a win-now push.

    Cohen is rich enough that the Mets could make a mistake or two in free agency and just eat the sunk cost. Man is this awesome.

  446. That’s not the same same as making it seem like it’s a high percentage of cases. It’s not.

    You have no clue how many people are suffering from long-term infection because there’s no good way to measure it. The responsible thing to do is let people know it’s possible without weighing in on the likelihood. That’s exactly what I’ve seen media outlets do, and you should link a counterexample if that’s wrong.

    No response to the NYT saying exactly what you said the “mainstream media” won’t tell you re: reinfection, huh?

  447. The most disgraceful thing about strat is he comes here and assumes that everyone gets all of their info from the news and accepts it on face value w/o a modicum of skepticism or scholarly pursuit. It’s insulting enough when it comes from the OAN crowd…but strat is smart and educated enough to know that this crowd is way past that.

  448. Z-man, that’s just the brain damage talking. Remember, you and I and every person in the country other than strat have mainstream-media-induced brain damage.

  449. Everyone is politically biased. EVERYONE. Even people who say they’re not “political” that statement IS a political statement. The idea that you can have 100 percent non biased reporting from anyone is foolish. All people are shaped by their background, experience, education, gender, race, country of origin, etc. And that shapes your politics. Even if its just as simple as what someone choses to say or not say when reporting something, that is a bias.

    So to say you can’t trust anyone with a political bias means you can’t trust anyone. Just because someone has a political bias doesn’t mean everything they say is shaped by that bias or that something they report that is biased still doesn’t have truth embedded in it. This is the whole fallacy of the “fake news” argument. It allows people to dismiss everything reported by a news outlet bc they don’t like the op-ed section of that newspaper.

  450. Left turn, here: Am I the only one here who thinks that The Queen’s Gambit is hokey, maudlin garbage? I’m through episode 4 and trying to figure out how the hell this show has become enough of a cultural phenomenon that a dozen people have recommended it to me. And it’s not just the very, very silly chess scenes. It’s the whole enchilada — the threadbare script, the horrific casting, the overwrought set design and cinematography, the inexplicable blocking decisions, the throw-shit-at-the-wall themes of sexism and racism — save Anja Taylor-Joy doing her best to hold the thing together. I can’t count how many times I cringed during the Mexico City episode.

  451. And that shapes your politics. Even if its just as simple as what someone choses to say or not say when reporting something, that is a bias.

    There was a periodical editor on the Preet Bharara podcast (I can’t remember her name) whose central argument was that certain biases are good to have in journalism, and as members of a democracy: those of objectivity, truthfulness, diligence and fairness.

  452. @wojespn
    All-Star forward Paul George has signed a maximum contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers that’ll guarantee him as much as $226 million over the next five years, his agent Aaron Mintz of @CAA_Basketball tells ESPN.

    Clippers basically had no choice on this, given how much they gave up to acquire George and Kawhi. Now I wonder if Kawhi is also about to extend, or if he’s going to maintain his leverage.

    Either way, the whole “2021 free agency” plan may be less exciting than anticipated.

  453. It is fine to inform people that some victims are experiencing longer term loss of smell and taste (so far) and others that recovered from serious cases have suffered lung or heart damage.

    Sure, that’s all they suffer from. Right.

  454. I don’t think I get your point. If you redrafted the 2003 draft with what we know now is there any way Korver doesn’t go top 10? And doesn’t he have an argument for top 5

    Draymond Green’s success hasn’t changed the draft outlook for undersized big men. For every Korver, there’s at least two guys who never even made it into the NBA (or an Andy Rautins, who got a cup of coffee). That’s why guys known for just three point shooting still get drafted well into the second round. Sometimes they pay off, but often, they do not. That’s why Duncan Robinson wasn’t even drafted, more than a decade after Korver established himself.

    For instance, looking at last year’s top ten in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage, you can see it at work:

    1. George Hill • MIL .460 (26)
    2. J.J. Redick • NOP .453 (11)
    3. Seth Curry • DAL .452 (undrafted)
    4. Duncan Robinson • MIA .446 (undrafted)
    5. Doug McDermott • IND .435 (11)
    6. Davis Bertans • WAS .424 (42)
    7. Joe Harris • BRK .424 (33)
    8. Nemanja Bjelica • SAC .419 (35)
    9. Gary Trent • POR .418 (37)
    10. Kyle Korver • MIL .418 (51)

    If you stretch it to the top 20, you add about half second rounders, half lottery picks (including a #1 pick) and another undrafted guy (Justin Holiday).

  455. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Left turn, here: Am I the only one here who thinks that The Queen’s Gambit is hokey, maudlin garbage? I’m through episode 4 and trying to figure out how the hell this show has become enough of a cultural phenomenon that a dozen people have recommended it to me. And it’s not just the very, very silly chess scenes. It’s the whole enchilada — the threadbare script, the horrific casting, the overwrought set design and cinematography, the inexplicable blocking decisions, the throw-shit-at-the-wall themes of sexism and racism — save Anja Taylor-Joy doing her best to hold the thing together. I can’t count how many times I cringed during the Mexico City episode.

    It’s popular and entertaining during a time when there’s not much going on. There’s stuff I didn’t like but overall I enjoyed it. It’s not fantastic, but Anya Taylor-Joy is charismatic enough to overlook everything else.

    She’s also in the indie, off-the-wall movie Thoroughbreds that came out a few years ago. I don’t remember much about the movie, but I really enjoyed it. Definitely not for everyone though.

  456. JK47:
    Man, the Mets are linked to just about every big name free agent. Seems like they’re going to pass on Realmuto and sign James McCann, and that they’re seriously interested in Springer, Trevor Bauer and Liam Hendricks.

    They might not sign every one of those guys but they seem serious about winning. I’ve always believed that their core of young guys is very strong and that they’re in position to make a win-now push.

    Cohen is rich enough that the Mets could make a mistake or two in free agency and just eat the sunk cost. Man is this awesome.

    I’m hoping that Cohen supposedly saying that he will be disappointed if the Mets do not win the WS in “three to five years” shows that he is willing to be at least a bit patient. As Alderson has noted, the Mets are very thin at the AA and AAA levels in prospects at this time (thanks, BVW), so need to rebuild the farm system.

    I think if the Mets were going to go “all in” that they’d be harder for Realmuto, since he checks so many boxes. With Cano’s 2021 salary to play, with, I’d think they could heavily frontload a deal for Realmuto. Of course, maybe they have determined that he just doesn’t want to come to NY.

    McCann seems more like a “hold the fort” guy. I think the Mets are trying to compete, but also recognize that the Braves and Dodgers are going to be very to surpass in the next couple of years.

  457. She’s also in Peaky Blinders, though IMO that show hasn’t been very good since like, season 2.

  458. The Mets’ top prospect is a catcher, and he’s still somewhat far away but would probably be ready by the time McCann’s contract ends. So that’s why I think they’re out on Realmuto.

  459. I don’t think I get your point. If you redrafted the 2003 draft with what we know now is there any way Korver doesn’t go top 10?

    i have no idea how to do that link trick with quoting…. but responding to vincoug way up the thread:

    kyle korver is a special case… he was treated as a 3pt specialist by teams when he was a lot more than that… the college numbers show that he had a wide array of skills who just so happened to be deadly from 3… nba teams collectively whiffed on him…..

    but it’s also true if you do redrafts of other drafts that say someone like steve novak getting a second draft would also be picked significantly higher based on the fact that he’s played nba minutes…. a lot of players don’t make it for a variety of reasons and many don’t even see the court….

    that is why hindsight is not always the best choice to judge a decision…. or at least being results oriented…. from a risk-based perspective getting a player that can shoot 3s is a dime a dozen… and while steve novak making it makes him more valuable than say… archie goodwin for example… steve novak could have easily been andy rautins… or jimmer fredette… or chris loften … he just happened to be on a team that let him hit enough 3pt’ers to get another contract….

    because the list of exclusive 3pt shooters having long careers is exceedingly short….. these guys are essentially field goal kickers…. and yes using a high pick on a field goal kicker is pretty bad….

  460. Jowles, I was really mixed on Queen’s Gambit. I think she’s great, and I enjoyed all the self-indulgent cinematography and set design choices, but there just isn’t enough story there for seven episodes, especially since for the most part there’s no real conflict for Beth after the first couple of hours. It’s a long story about people slowly realizing how awesome (and/or hot) she is.

  461. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Left turn, here: Am I the only one here who thinks that The Queen’s Gambit is hokey, maudlin garbage? I’m through episode 4 and trying to figure out how the hell this show has become enough of a cultural phenomenon that a dozen people have recommended it to me. And it’s not just the very, very silly chess scenes. It’s the whole enchilada — the threadbare script, the horrific casting, the overwrought set design and cinematography, the inexplicable blocking decisions, the throw-shit-at-the-wall themes of sexism and racism — save Anja Taylor-Joy doing her best to hold the thing together. I can’t count how many times I cringed during the Mexico City episode.

    My wife and I just finished episode 3 yesterday and while I can’t say I’m disliking it as much as it sounds like you are, we were just saying that it feels pretty hollow by the standards of “peak TV”. It comes across to me like they started off with a traditional kids movie about an orphan who’s amazing at Chess, but then tacked on a bunch of “serious” trappings to try to make it into an “important” show. The main appeal so far seems to be pumping your fist every time she beats another meany and drops a little dig at them.

  462. The other thing I’ll say about Queen’s Gambit is that the people I’ve seen post about it on social media are mostly women and some of them seem more interested in chess now. One woman I know is currently reading one of Pandolfini’s beginner books and she had never previously played or been interested in chess. In general, online chess has seen a pretty big boost too.

    I’m in support of literally anything that gets more women involved in chess, so if nothing else I support Queen’s Gambit on those grounds.

    What I really mourn is the second season that certainly shouldn’t be made, but almost inevitably will be made. Hopefully, Netflix learned their lesson with The End of the F***ing World, because they tried to shoehorn in a second season and ruined a perfect 1st season. I watched 30 seconds of season 2 before turning it off. I will NEVER watch season 2 of that show.

  463. I don’t trust the honestly or competence of the CDC, but even their data says that if you are under 65 you are at very low risk of dying. If you are under 60 and generally healthy you are at extremely low risk. If you are very young and healthy you probably have a better chance of being killed in some car accident, drive by shooting, lightning strike, or some other disease this year than if you get Covid. The risk doesn’t rise much until you are in your 60s and that’s only because way more people that age are very sick or have compromised immunity. Then after 80 it starts getting very risky.

    This is literally the dumbest trying to be smart post in this 500+ post thread. This is the pinnacle of the Fox News (and worse) world – a bunch of words that look like sentences but are either unbelievably bad faith (ie. on purpose) or just the writings of someone might be well-meaning but can’t look beyond himself.

    The other day I took my son to a baseball lesson in an indoor facility. His mask was on, his coach’s mask was on – great. In an adjoining area, there was a coach who didn’t have a mask on, and the two kids he was coaching didn’t have masks on. These kids’ dad and grandfather were watching proudly, wearing masks. Now would anyone be surprised if the asymptomatic coach yelling instructions at kids in a poorly ventilated indoor facility gave COVID to the kids who then would be asymptomatic and then spread it to their grandfather at home (where no one wears masks) 4 days later and then poor grandpa was on a ventilator 3 weeks later? I wouldn’t be surprised. No one would be surprised because that’s how this thing works.

    Do you still think spouting about mortality by age group really tells the whole story?

    It really is too much to explain the simplest things to people over and over again.

  464. Any basis for the claim that the long-term effects are “wildly overstated?”

    I have not seen that data. I would love to see it myself. If you find it, please post it. What I know is that I’ve seen news shows and read articles that were clearly designed to scare the shit out of people. That’s what I object to.

    I think we can safely assume the serious long term effect cases (lung, heart and other damaged organs) are primarily from among those that were hospitalized. I have seen the real true Case Hospitalization Rate somewhere but I don’t remember the number. It wasn’t big percentage. It’s probably available at the CDC.

    I would start with that true case hospitalization rate. From there we know “x%” die. We also know many come out fine. My friend’s mother who is 95 just got out of the hospital this week. She’s fine. Her entire bridge club got sick (all in their 80s and 90s) and they are all fine. They were nuts to get together like that, but that’s another story. I know quite a few people that suffered from loss of smell and taste that lasted a month or so, but all eventually got it back.

    So I’d suspect a small percentage of hospitalization cases have temporary or permanent damage, but I have no idea what it is. I just know it’s not a huge number. That’s where IMO we’ve been wildly inadequate in protecting people. We know where the highest risks are.

  465. Mike Honcho:
    She’s also in Peaky Blinders, though IMO that show hasn’t been very good since like, season 2.

    Absolutely agree. Though those two seasons were really great. Both wife and I couldn’t get through two eps of the Gambit..

  466. Deeefense: I have not seen thatdata. I would love to see it myself.If you find it,please post it.What I know is that I’ve seen news shows and read articles that were clearly designed to scare the shit out of people.That’s what I object to.

    I think we can safely assume the serious long term effect cases (lung, heart and other damaged organs) are primarily from among those that were hospitalized.I have seen the real true Case Hospitalization Rate somewhere but I don’t remember the number. It wasn’t big percentage. It’s probably available at the CDC.

    I would start with that true case hospitalization rate.From there we know “x%” die.We also know many come out fine.My friend’s mother who is 95 just got out of the hospital this week.She’s fine. Her entire bridge club got sick (all in their 80s and 90s) and they are all fine. They were nuts to get together like that, but that’s another story. I know quite a few people that suffered from loss of smell and taste that lasted a month or so, but all eventually got it back.

    So I’d suspect a small percentage of hospitalization cases have temporary or permanent damage, but I have no idea what it is.I just know it’s not a huge number.That’s where IMO we’ve been wildly inadequate in protecting people.We know where the highest risks are.

    I think the other piece you’re missing is that the base infection rate for Covid is quite high. Even if the death rate for young people is really low, by the end of the year the absolute numbers of deaths for people 25-45 will end up being quite high.

  467. Frank: his is literally the dumbest trying to be smart post in this 500+ post thread. This is the pinnacle of the Fox News (and worse) world – a bunch of words that look like sentences but are either unbelievably bad faith (ie. on purpose) or just the writings of someone might be well-meaning but can’t look beyond himself.

    It really is too much to explain the simplest things to people over and over agai

    This post totally mischaracterizes my position (not to mention misunderstanding the risk of transmission among children).

    9-10 months ago I was the among the most frightened people on this forum. I had to medicate myself and come here hoping people would talk me down and prevent a full blown panic attack over my elderly mother and brother (thank you to everyone for that) . I still never leave the house without a mask, never eat at indoor restaurants, wash my hands and keys when I get home, clean doorknobs, wash down all boxes of deliveries, let mail sit a few days before opening it and so on. I’m as extreme as you can be.

    I hate Fox News every bit as much as I hate CNN and MSNBC.

    However, the data is the data and it should be understood the best we can understand it. I am discussing the data. I am discussing how people should behave. IMO, they should be wearing masks, distancing, avoiding churches, indoor dining, large gatherings, etc… but the data is still the data.

  468. Early Bird: I think the other piece you’re missing is that the base infection rate for Covid is quite high. Even if the death rate for young people is really low, by the end of the year the absolute numbers of deaths for people 25-45 will end up being quite high.

    I agree its a deadly disease that it’s going to kill a lot of people including many that are young. Many other infectious and non infectious diseases kill a lot of young people. The “rates” are a way of keeping it in perspective relative to other risks and identifying where the risks are highest so we eventually put our energy into the right places.

  469. Yeah my wife said she thought The Queen’s Gambit was a bit overrated and was just getting buzz because we’re in a year when everyone is watching way more tv than usual and its a new netflix show. She said she liked it but didn’t think it was great.

    Then again, a few days after that she was playing chess on her iphone so….

  470. As an aside, are all these shows getting filmed during COVID or was there some explosion of streaming show production last year, because this year the sheer volume of watchable TV is crazy.. If during COVID, I wonder how they’re doing production- testing and bubble?

  471. Deeefense: I agree its a deadly disease that it’s going to kill a lot of people including many that are young. Many other infectious and non infectious diseases kill a lot of young people. The “rates” are a way of keeping it in perspective relative to other risks and identifying where the risks are highest so we eventually put our energy into the right places.

    So, what are the rates of other diseases and where does covid rank? According to this and this, covid is the 3rd most common cause of death in the US behind only heart disease and cancer.

  472. because the list of exclusive 3pt shooters having long careers is exceedingly short….. these guys are essentially field goal kickers…. and yes using a high pick on a field goal kicker is pretty bad….

    That’s a great comparison.

  473. @wetbandit I think Peaky Blinders fell into the trap of trying to escalate the stakes every season, which got really nonsensical with the secret cabal that apparently never did anything before or after the season they were in and the international Russian conspiracy that again only seems to exist in the season where they’re the bad guys. The real core of the show was always the family dynamics, and they lost a grip on that after season 2. Now the bad guy is a British super-Nazi, which just doesn’t quite work for me. Tommy and co were always villain protagonists; they don’t really need a worse bad guy to make them sympathetic. Also, the revolving door of Tommy’s love interests is ridiculous at this point.

  474. Deeefense: I agree its a deadly disease that it’s going to kill a lot of people including many that are young. Many other infectious and non infectious diseases kill a lot of young people. The “rates” are a way of keeping it in perspective relative to other risks and identifying where the risks are highest so we eventually put our energy into the right places.

    And my point is that we’re seeing death totals for young people who have Covid-19 in numbers significantly higher than other diseases, even for young people.

  475. wetbandit: Sure, that’s all they suffer from. Right.

    I’m not trying to minimize anything, but being overly panicked about it is not the answer either unless you want to be on meds like me.

    There have been articles pointing out lung issues like that in some college football players and other athletes that got it. They eventually recovered in the same way most that lose taste and smell recover from it. My girfriend’s brother, his wife, children, and their boyfriends all gave it to each other about 2 months ago. They had mild fevers, felt like they had a bad cold, but they also lost all sense of taste and smell. They recovered, but the lack of taste and smell lingered for weeks after they were fully recovered from the infection itself. Then all of a sudden they all got it back. Some of these effects being reported last longer than the infection but eventually also go away. Like I said, it would be nice to have exact data for “permanent organ damage”, but I don’t have that.

  476. Early Bird: And my point is that we’re seeing death totals for young people who have Covid-19 in numbers significantly higher than other diseases, even for young people.

    I understand. It’s an infectious disease that spreads easily.

    Just because I am trying to tone down the fear doesn’t mean I am advocating we all go to MSG without masks and yell and scream in each other’s faces about how Frank sucks. :-) I am simply saying the data is not nearly as bad as the early perceptions. The epidemiologists that were getting killed by the media and majority of healthcare professionals at the start of the pandemic for playing down CFR are turning out to have been right. That’s not the same as saying everyone go out and party!

  477. Mike Honcho: Yeah, you got it on the nose. There’s no reason to raise the stakes ad nauseum, because then you change the formula. It would have been fine with street-level stuff, or a feud with Alfie Solomons (who was as fantastic an additional character as you can get in Hardy). I’d have continued with adding depth to the family dynamics without expanding the focus.

  478. Anyways, in Knicks related news Thibs says he hasn’t settled on a starting lineup or rotation for tomorrow.

    Unsurprising, but still. Says he doesn’t plan on settling on a rotation until a few games into regular season. Says some guys are still behind in conditioning.

  479. One last point. I’ll be 62 next month and have some risk factors. I may be among the highest risk people on the forum since most of you are much younger. I’m not downplaying it because I’m personally not at risk. I’m downplaying it because the worst fears overstate the reality, maybe not for me, but for most of you.

  480. Thibs says that Quickley, Obi, Randle, & Knox are the ones who came into camp in the best shape.

  481. Strat, I think you are trying to figure out a complex issue in a noisy environment made more difficult by heated polarizing rhetoric. I say that with respect not condescension. This is my area. I set up and use advanced analytic tools and data resources for the national covid cohort collaborative (N3C) and help lead the international Observational Health Data Science and Informatics (OHDSI) community and similar efforts. These are large open science communities dedicated to transparently applying best analytic practices to huge amounts of EHR data for health research. In short, I do a lot of covid research.

    I think you are right to express uncertainty about the exact nature and prevalence of the long term consequences of covid. It’s an active area of research and the data for assessing it are only recently coming together.

    I think you’re very overconfident to feel sure that it’s not high. Initial evidence suggests that it is prevalent and severe enough that it would be irresponsible for media sources not to write stories about it.

    It is not a safe assumption that government health agencies and mainstream news are promulgating biased facts about covid. Many mainstream media organs are biased against Trump. It’s a bias I share. And that has understandably exacerbated mistrust in them as neutral information sources especially on issues with a political valance related to Trump.

    I don’t think that’s true with covid facts. Judgment calls about policy wisdom, sure, but not numbers.

    This is legitimately big and we face it best when we resist the temptation to blame or second guess one another’s intentions. It’s almost as if Mars attacked and instead of uniting we continued to bicker. Less heat, noise, and paranoia will be very helpful for this and many other issues that need effective collective action.

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