NY Post: Julius Randle carries Knicks to significant win over Pistons

From Marc Berman:

Julius Randle became an All-Star last week. He became a winner Sunday in Detroit.

After six previous seasons being part of losing teams, Randle has spearheaded the Knicks to a winning record — achieved Sunday with a 109-90 rout of the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.

The Knicks moved to 18-17 and hold fourth place in the bunched-up Eastern Conference. It’s the latest they’ve been over .500 in a season since the 54-win campaign of 2012-13.

“The reaction to the winning record, honestly in our locker room it’s expected,’’ said Randle, who racked up his usual gemstone numbers of 25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals. “I said all year, we feel like every time we go out we have a chance to win the game. I’m not really surprised where we’re at as a team. We have a certain level of focus on a night-to-night basis that gives us a shot every night.’’

The Knicks led by 11 at halftime before Randle punched the Pistons’ lights out with a brilliant 12-point third quarter. Randle finished 10 of 17 shooting as his bustout season roared on one night after dominating All-Star Domantas Sabonis of the Pacers.

Beating up in the shitty teams is what you absolutely need to do to stand out in the league. A winning record after 35 games is certainly a sight for sore eyes!

Did the starters play too many minutes on the second night of a back-to-back? Sure, but whatever, it’s such a significant win that it is still a lot of fun to see, so you can’t get too upset about it.

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347 thoughts to “NY Post: Julius Randle carries Knicks to significant win over Pistons”

  1. Best I’ve felt about this team in a long time.

    4th place!!

    Winning record!!

    Surplus of draft picks!!

    It’s good to be a Knicks fan in this moment.

  2. I hope I’ll find an hour to write the recap (when will I ever be able to write a .500 recap in March again? oh wait, maybe friday :D), but anyway I’d like to say a few things about the Thibs debate:

    – I’m not a Thibs fan and never will be. I don’t like many of his traits, just as most of you.
    – That said, I have the utmost respect for the overall job he and the coaching staff are doing this year. You don’t get to be 18-17 with this roster unless you have a way more than competent coaching staff (in terms of game planning and player instructions)
    – I agree with the fact that pretty much everything about the early days of Rose-Thibs regimen looks short sighted. But at some point you have to accept that, as long as there’s no coherent building plan from the top (and you won’t ever convince me that with Dolan as the owner that’s likely to happen), trying to win when you can is better than nothing, especially when your draft night resume is bad (Knox, Toppin, Frank). In the end, RJ’s getting some development. Mitch was too. Quickley’s minutes scream “crime against humanity” but I won’t be getting in coach’s grill until IQ expresses malcontent – and it’s way too early for him to do that.
    – Thibs is a fucking psycho on one thing, anyway: why in the hell you put your starters back into the game with Detroit down 20 and 5 minutes to play? That’s terrible management. Even Nba Live 98 automatic substitution patterns were smarter than Thibs.

  3. Despite a maddening decision over garbage time (self-irony alert), let’s rejoice and let happiness flow free…
    There’s always time to finish in the lottery, the second half schedule is tough but as of now we’re a winning team in march, that’s really something.
    Kudos to the coaching staff and the players (yes, even you Elfrid).

    Beating on bad teams is what good ones do, so it’s another step in the right direction, we’re 5 wins away from the over on Vegas (10 from my own prediction).

    Re: Chris Paul
    I don’t know if he’ll opt out, he’s the God of PGs but he’s in a great situation in Phoenix and I’m still not sold on spending 40M on a 86 year old (actually he’s only a year older than my birthday-sharer Kyle Lowry, who’s 85).

    Re: Lonzo Ball
    An upgrade over Payton and D-Rose? Yes. An intriguing backcourt partner for IQ? Yes. But still I’ll not go over an offer sheet of 4Yrs/64M (and that’s more than I thought 2 months ago)

    But please Knicks’ FO, could we wait and see what the Draft bring us before making a move for next year?

    I stand to my previous take, despite traits that makes me mad, if things continue to go this way Thibs’ll be a COTY candidate, both trophies.
    KBloggers are not voters, media (narrative based) and coaches (reputation based) are.
    Our higher prediction from the official pundits was 23 wins and Thibs’s still well regarded in the coaching community, so he’s in the running for them.
    Main competitors until now: Quinn Snyder, Monty Williams, Doc Rivers.
    Dark horses: Pop, Terry Stotts, Taylor Jenkins, Steve Nash (media).
    Everyone’s entitled to an opinion so feel free to (politely) disagree. :-)

  4. Starters finishing this blowout b2b was Iconic.
    A hommage to Salvador Dali.
    Loved it!

  5. Re: Lonzo Ball
    An upgrade over Payton and D-Rose? Yes. An intriguing backcourt partner for IQ? Yes. But still I’ll not go over an offer sheet of 4Yrs/64M (and that’s more than I thought 2 months ago)

    If Lonzo is our best PG option for next year — which is a big if, and one I’m not sure I believe — then waiting for him to become an RFA brings risk. Not only do we have to make him an offer that NOLA won’t match — and I’m not sure 4/64 would seem too onerous to them, give or take their tax situation — but there’s also the risk of another team swooping in and outbidding us. Trading for him this season guarantees our ability to have him on the team next season, but it also means we could wind up paying not only in assets, but in a contract nobody here is comfortable with.

    That’s why I’ve been leaning towards a balloon payment approach for someone like Lowry, but scuttlebutt seems to be that he either wants to stay in Toronto or go home to Philly. I have to imagine someone will shake loose. But with Randle’s newfound point forward skills and Quickley’s ability to at least plausibly impersonate a point guard, I’m starting to wonder if our best approach wouldn’t be to focus on a significant upgrade over Bullock. The problem there is that the wing depth in free agency this summer isn’t much better than the PG depth, and a lot of the guys available aren’t reliable deep threats. (Here’s Spotrac’s list of the top SGs and SFs available.) Do we want to take a third trip on the TH3 merry go-round? Doug McBuckets 2.0? DeRozan, just to make Jowles’ head explode?

    So it’s feeling like, no matter what, we’re going to have to make a trade or two, in addition to dabbling in free agency.

  6. Alan: If Lonzo is our best PG option for next year — which is a big if, and one I’m not sure I believe — then waiting for him to become an RFA brings risk. Not only do we have to make him an offer that NOLA won’t match — and I’m not sure 4/64 would seem too onerous to them, give or take their tax situation — but there’s also the risk of another team swooping in and outbidding us. Trading for him this season guarantees our ability to have him on the team next season, but it also means we could wind up paying not only in assets, but in a contract nobody here is comfortable with.

    That’s why I’ve been leaning towards a balloon payment approach for someone like Lowry, but scuttlebutt seems to be that he either wants to stay in Toronto or go home to Philly. I have to imagine someone will shake loose. But with Randle’s newfound point forward skills and Quickley’s ability to at least plausibly impersonate a point guard, I’m starting to wonder if our best approach wouldn’t be to focus on a significant upgrade over Bullock. The problem there is that the wing depth in free agency this summer isn’t much better than the PG depth, and a lot of the guys available aren’t reliable deep threats. (Here’s Spotrac’s list of the top SGs and SFs available.) Do we want to take a third trip on the TH3 merry go-round?Doug McBuckets 2.0? DeRozan, just to make Jowles’ head explode?

    I agree on Lonzo, my low-ball (pun intended) offer sheet simulation shows my skepticism.

    I’ve always had a crush for McBuckets, so I’d like to have him instead of Bullock… and he (barely) survived Thibs’ rookies shock treatment!

  7. Conley is potentially a FA too, don’t know why he’d leave UT from a win perspective, but maybe he likes drinking on Sundays

    DeRozan has played really well since moving to SA. He’s upped his AST #s this year too, he may slot as a PG facsimile with the others

  8. The problem there is that the wing depth in free agency this summer isn’t much better than the PG depth, and a lot of the guys available aren’t reliable deep threats.

    If Philly wins the championship, then I don’t think we can afford to pass on the one man three-peat, Danny Green. Throw the max at him.

  9. With regard to garbage time, is it etiquette for the losing team to sub first? Detroit starters finished the game.

  10. Great season so far. Knicks are deep. BKLYN, LAL, MIL are great but too reliant on a big three, big 2 big 1. Someone goes down, and they will, there’s no next man up. K’s remind me of last years’ MIA or BKLYN. The offense, which is throwback-ish, is strangely effective. Lots of midrange from PG’s and Julius. It’s like, we lost the race but are winning the battle by going against the trends, both in player acquisition and style of play. Noel, Burks, Bullock, Payton, Rose etc. We’re getting value at low $. The problem might be keeping all the guys we have…

    There’s a lot of teams struggling right now and NYK is actually ascendent! We may put some space between us and .500

  11. The problem might be keeping all the guys we have…

    That’s not the problem. Slow down Speed Racer

  12. Conley is potentially a FA too, don’t know why he’d leave UT from a win perspective, but maybe he likes drinking on Sundays

    Someone (David Aldridge, I think) interviewed Conley only a few days ago about being a black man playing in Salt Lake City, and that city/organization’s fraught racial history. And Conley was talking about how much he liked being in Utah and wanted to stay for a while. So we’d have to give him the full max or close to it for him to even consider leaving a better team and a city he claims to like.

  13. Fun win last night, if only because it’s so odd to have a game where you never seriously thought the Knicks would lose.

    Jonathan Macri brought it up on his podcast, and obviously this is cherrypicking, but in the last 2 full months (1/1 through 2/28), RJB’s numbers:

    MPG: 32.8 – not bad!
    FG% 45.2
    2P% 46.6
    3P% 40
    FTT 71.8
    TS 52.9
    USG 23.1
    Net Rating +4.2
    per-36 18 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists

    Honestly, if you had presented me these numbers at the start of the year, I would’ve signed up for it in a second. All of us would have. Still not clear on what the ceiling is (and whether the shooting is real), but he is right on schedule I think…

    Here’s another question, player A v player B, which would you rather have:
    (all counting stats per-36)

    Player A: 24.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, TS 61.5, USG 27.3, DRPM +0.13, Salary $29MM

    Player B: 22.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.8 stl, 0.2 Blk, TS 58.9, USG 27.7, DRPM +2.3, Salary $19MM

    It’s not that easy a choice – player B is of course Randle, and player A is KAT.
    The major difference is the blocks, but I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Randle has been the better defensive player this year.

    (and of course, the question is what the next Randle contract will be)

    Other random thoughts:

    Noel was amazing last night. His hands on defense are unreal.

    Detroit is awful. On a related note, it’ll be nice to have the #31 or #32 pick. Saddiq Bey is nice, but is there anyone on the team that looks like any better than the 4th best player on a good team (ie. Jerami Grant).

    And re: the PG we sign in FA, I still don’t think it’s out of the question that we’re looking at CP3, 2/$65MM.
    He said that he would’ve wanted to play in the Garden except there were no fans this year. Now he gets to play for Rose on a team that’s semi-good? And re: whether he is still good – “off year” = 16p/9a/4.7r on 48.8/38.6/96.2 TS 59 in 32 min.

  14. Look, if Paul declines that ginormous player option to take less money to come to the Garden for a couple of years, you can sign me up right freaking now. That would solve so many problems, even at his age.

    Noel was amazing last night. His hands on defense are unreal.

    How can his hands be so good on defense and so awful on offense? I’ve never seen anything like it.

  15. It’s great to see RJ shooting better, but I am concerned about his big drop in free throw rate, which was a major calling card last season and in college.

    Is it that Randle — then Quickley and then Rose — have taken more driving opportunities this year and have stolen a lot of his whistles? Or is he really trying to morph into a 3&D guard/forward at Thibs’ behest?

    Either way, it’s probably better to ease him into playmaking duties over the coming years (not months), and it’s nice to recognize a positive future in his game.

  16. Didn’t mention it in my previous post, but RJ’s defense really has been good. Might be his best skill right now honestly.

    Alan: Look, if Paul declines that ginormous player option to take less money to come to the Garden for a couple of years, you can sign me up right freaking now. That would solve so many problems, even at his age.

    well he’s due $44M in 2021-22, but is certain to take a paycut if he wants to play in 2022-23. Maybe it’d have to be 2 for $70MM. Hard to imagine he’d get $25MM+ at age 38 or whatever? I guess it depends a little on how PHX does the rest of the season. If they go down in a noncompetitive 1st round series then maybe more likely he leaves. PHX is good though.

  17. Why does anyone think that Chris Paul is going to opt out of $40M to come play here? If he’s opting out of that contract it’s to sign with a contender to try and win a ring before he retires, not to sign here to try and get to the 2nd round of the playoffs.

  18. Frank: Maybe it’d have to be 2 for $70MM. Hard to imagine he’d get $25MM+ at age 38 or whatever? I guess it depends a little on how PHX does the rest of the season. If they go down in a noncompetitive 1st round series then maybe more likely he leaves. PHX is good though

    Not to belabour the point, but whatever window there may have been for CP3 has got to be firmly shut. He sort of chose Phoenix and they gave up a 1RP for him. They are well outperforming the Vegas win total, they are a team on the rise, and he seems like a high character guy. Regardless of what happens to them the rest of the way and in the playoffs, giving up on them for more $, and being on your 4th team in 4 years just doesn’t compute.

  19. I’m only thinking out loud about CP3 — he’s super close with Leon Rose, and literally said that he would’ve wanted to play in the Garden this year except there are no fans. It’s not ridiculous. Less than 50/50? sure. but not less than 25% IMHO unless PHX looks like a true contender come playoff time. And re: PHX giving up a 1RP for him – that’s not his fault.

    And he wouldn’t be opting out of $44MM – he’d still be getting paid probably 65-75MM guaranteed if he signed a 2 year deal. He’d be opting out of $44MM to guarantee himself another 30.

    by the way looking at the defensive numbers – we’re now basically 50% of way through season and we are still in ~top 5 of FG% in every zone except for mid-rangers where we are middle of pack. I guess it’s still luck?

  20. Frank:
    I’m only thinking out loud about CP3 — he’s super close with Leon Rose, and literally said that he would’ve wanted to play in the Garden this year except there are no fans.It’s not ridiculous.Less than 50/50? sure. but not less than 25% IMHO unless PHX looks like a true contender come playoff time. And re: PHX giving up a 1RP for him – that’s not his fault.

    And he wouldn’t be opting out of $44MM – he’d still be getting paid probably 65-75MM guaranteed if he signed a 2 year deal. He’d be opting out of $44MM to guarantee himself another 30.

    by the way looking at the defensive numbers – we’re now basically 50% of way through season and we are still in ~top 5 of FG% in every zone except for mid-rangers where we are middle of pack. I guess it’s still luck?

    This doesn’t make any sense. Phoenix has the 4th best record in the league and 3rd best MOV, Net RTG, and SRS but if they don’t look like title contenders in the playoffs CP3 will opt out to sign with a team that definitely isn’t a title contender?

  21. “That’s not the problem. Slow down Speed Racer”

    OK, Sure, no one has any chance of earning a job. Let’s get Chris Paul. Maybe Carmelo will come back as a FA.

  22. we’re up to 492 possessions with IQ+Randle on, Payton off – figure roughly 2 possessions/min, so 250 minutes-ish. It’s not that small a sample anymore.

    ORtg 119.3, DRtg 103.5, NetRtg +15.8

    Do the reverse – Elf+Randle on, Quickley off

    ORtg 107.6, DRtg 110.6, NetRtg -3

    Yes sure Elf is playing against the starters, but a lot of the Quickley+Randle minutes are 4th quarter or end of 1st quarter minutes where the other team has a fair # of starters out there.

  23. My favorite games, without a doubt, is when my team takes an early and slowly pulls away. Typically I say this about Yankee games but it felt like it last night. The Knicks seemed to toy with the Pistons at times.

    I tend to disagree with most everyone here. Some of my thoughts…
    1) Thibs is well on his way towards winning coach of the year. You may not like his personality. You may not like how he pushes players far beyond their limit and how he ices players that aren’t ready, but if you listened to Noel’s postgame interview, one thing is clear, the players LOVE him. I’m ready to watch the Knicks run through walls for us.
    2) I was all for making big moves before the season. I wanted a point guard – any point guard. Leon found one in IQ and another in Rose. It didn’t happen when I wanted it to, but I’m happy with the outcome. I wanted a two backup centers because I thought Mitch would foul out/get hurt too often. Getting a defensive stud like Noel was ideal, backing him up with Taj was good too.
    3) My hope was that one of Knox, Frank, DSJr or RJ would take a step forward. RJ did.
    4) I never imagined that Randle would elevate his game this much either.
    5) The improvements in this team are terrific for the long-term health of the Knicks. They have a core to build off of and attract free agents and they have the cap space to do so. They have draft capitol and tradable assets. And they are going to do so with a winning team.

    The Knicks are still rebuilding, but the construction project is well under way.

  24. Paul would have cost us Quickley at least and probably the Dallas pick. The cap space we could have sorted out but we would obviously have had a lot less. And he is a major injury risk. That’s a major reason I didn’t want to do it.

    I did say at the time he’d be the best player in the orange and blue since Walt.

    Also, none of us knew Julius Randle was going to be shooting 42% from three halfway through the season. 42%!

    I still don’t think getting Paul would have been the right direction to go. But there is no doubt if we did have him we’d be talking about contending.

    It’s a strange year too though. It’s entertaining but this will go down as a real odd duck of a season.

  25. This doesn’t make any sense. Phoenix has the 4th best record in the league and 3rd best MOV, Net RTG, and SRS but if they don’t look like title contenders in the playoffs CP3 will opt out to sign with a team that definitely isn’t a title contender?

    Look I don’t want to make this out to be more than it is, which is probably a relatively long-shot, but last year pre-CP3 PHX was 34-39 with a 0.3 net rating. They added CP3 and now they’re a possible dark horse contender. This year we are 18-17 with a 1 net rating, with the only truly obvious weakness being at PG. It’s not a ridiculous thought to say – if we add you to the mix, we will be right in the same place as PHX, except you get to play for your best bud Leon Rose in the World’s Most Famous Arena™. This was the entire point of not tanking this season – that stars could look at the Knicks and say, hey, maybe if I were on that team, it could really be something. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Knicks will try for this.

  26. I agree with what you say Frank, just not the odds. I mentioned the 1RP only in the context that Phoenix has invested in him, so why wouldn’t they match.

    If the odds were indeed 25%, I would be factoring that into any other moves that might be made. If we do make a move before the trade deadline, it will invariably blow up the KB board…but I doubt a strong counter argument against the move is that we blew our chance to get CP3!

  27. It’s not that easy a choice – player B is of course Randle, and player A is KAT.
    The major difference is the blocks, but I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Randle has been the better defensive player this year.

    i recalculated randle’s 2020-21 bpm keeping everything the same but reverting all of his 10 ft+ shooting percentages to last year’s numbers.* anyone wanna guess the outcome?

    *yeah i know this is kinda dumb in a thousand ways, it’s not an argument i was just curious

  28. 1. CP3 is too old and expensive. Even a guy like me that thinks the right way to build is to try to get better every year through every means possible as long as the contracts are reasonable.

    2. Like I suggested before yesterday’s game, Noel may be playing himself out of NY. We are 6-2 since he took over the starting spot. He defends the paint really well, gets steals, and plays with a lot of energy. He also seems to have matured a bit in terms of fouling. He’s never going to be an “option” on offense, but as long as he’s efficient on the occasional lob and can put up an occasional 5 footer without making you cringe, that’s fine.

    3. Frank was cringe worthy on a couple of shots last night. He took one really bad one (not sure but maybe it was late in the clock) and on another used his handle to get to a good spot but was well short. Not that he has taken a lot of shots this year, but he seems to be using his handle to get to good spots better. But then he’s missing in true Frank style.

    4. RJ was very good last night. He’s not where he has to be to be a consistent 2nd option on a very good team, but he’s making progress.

  29. Frank: Look I don’t want to make this out to be more than it is, which is probably a relatively long-shot, but last year pre-CP3 PHX was 34-39 with a0.3 net rating.They added CP3 and now they’re a possible dark horse contender.This year we are 18-17 with a 1 net rating, with the only truly obvious weakness being at PG.It’s not a ridiculous thought to say – if we add you to the mix, we will be right in the same place as PHX, except you get to play for your best bud Leon Rose in the World’s Most Famous Arena™.This was the entire point of not tanking this season – that stars could look at the Knicks and say, hey, maybe if I were on that team, it could really be something.I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Knicks will try for this.

    I can’t imagine that there’s even a 25% chance that CP3 would sign here. The most likely outcome is that he stays in Phoenix for the last year of his contract; if he doesn’t do that I would guess that he’d sign with a team that is already good like LAL, LAC, PHI, or MIL to try and win a title instead of coming here.

  30. vincoug: I can’t imagine that there’s even a 25% chance that CP3 would sign here.The most likely outcome is that he stays in Phoenix for the last year of his contract; if he doesn’t do that I would guess that he’d sign with a team that is already good likeLAL, LAC, PHI, or MIL to try and win a title instead of coming here.

    You mean all these teams that have no cap space to sign a player? Or any trade assets aside from their stars? I would never put anything past Morey, but all 4 of those teams have already shot their shot so to speak.

    OTOH, if you mean that CP3 would sign there for an exception — there’s definitely a much smaller than 25% chance that CP3 signs somewhere for an exception (a taxpayer one at that!) barring significant injury. Like maybe 25% less than 25% chance.

  31. Owen: The cap space we could have sorted out but we would obviously have had a lot less.

    The cap space actually would be pretty difficult to sort out. We’d need to either (1) cut Burks & Noel plus Payton or Rivers or (2) trade Randle to make the numbers work. We’d likely have traded Randle.

    Even if we go with option (1) we’re dead in the water right now with Mitch out and Taj Gibson manning the C position. Our defense would definitely not be #2. We’d also miss Burks more than people think.

    Under either scenario we’re not significantly better than we are now and quite possibly worse. If we give up IQ in the deal too, then we’re unquestionably worse off in the long & short term.

  32. One of my best friends is a Bulls fan. He’s very happy this season because they also might make the playoffs and are rebuilding around some young players.

    But let me tell you…he misses Thibs so much and still hates that the Bulls fired him. Of course he loves the Jordan era but the thibs led teams with Noah and Rose…he still waxes poetic about them and he is now rooting for The Knicks as one of his secondary teams bc Thibs is coaching our team.

    I guess my point is this. People who ring their hands about Thibs playing veterans too much or playing players too many minutes or worrying that we’re now no longer going to get at top pick in this draft. Maybe just try to enjoy this moment.

    Nothing in life is guaranteed. And no one can predict the future (even with analytics and win shares and win curve projection models). The fact is our best player is 26. Our second, third and fourth best players are all 20 and 21 years old. The team has all its first round picks going forward and an extra first round pick this summer and the summer of 2023. We have cap space and no real bad contracts weighing us down. And we’re currently above 500 and are the 4th seed in the east with one of the best defenses in the NBA.

    I get wanting to think about the final goal of a championship. But any time a team starts to get better, the path narrows a bit in certain ways (lower draft picks, have to pay players more to keep them, etc). But we are on a path now where we can reasonably think about the playoffs going forward for at least the next couple of seasons.

    Enjoy it. We deserve it.

  33. ptmilo:
    It’s not that easy a choice – player B is of course Randle, and player A is KAT.
    The major difference is the blocks, but I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Randle has been the better defensive player this year.

    i recalculated randle’s 2020-21 bpm keeping everything the same but reverting all of his 10 ft+ shooting percentages to last year’s numbers.*anyone wanna guess the outcome?

    *yeah i know this is kinda dumb in a thousand ways, it’s not an argument i was just curious

    I really don’t think I want to know, but now my curiosity has me. I’ll guess -0.1

  34. Frank: You mean all these teams that have no cap space to sign a player? Or any trade assets aside from their stars? I would never put anything past Morey, but all 4 of those teams have already shot their shot so to speak.

    OTOH, if you mean that CP3 would sign there for an exception — there’s definitely a much smaller than 25% chance that CP3 signs somewhere for an exception (a taxpayer one at that!) barring significant injury. Like maybe 25% less than 25% chance.

    Yes, I think it’s more likely that a 36 year old Chris Paul who’s opted out of a $40M contract would more likely sign with a title contender for the MLE than sign here. He’ll make more money by staying with a better team in Phoenix than he would here. If he’s leaving Phoenix it’s for one reason and that’s to try to win a title before he retires.

  35. It’s a strange year too though. It’s entertaining but this will go down as a real odd duck of a season.

    It’s not odd.

    I’ve been saying for as long as I’ve been posting on this forum the best way to win at basketball is to make defense the priority and to play in an unselfish way on offense where the ball and players move with purpose. That’s what we are doing.

    Naturally, how far you go is dependent on how much skill the players have, how good the coach is, and whether the players responds to that coach. But we are doing everything right for the first time since Chandler and Kidd played in NY and even that was only half right because we had Melo. We may have to go all the way back to Riley/Van Gundy.

    To be clear, we may be playing a little over our heads right now, but we also have some kids that could get better as the season goes along and grow into what we are doing now or even better.

  36. from TNFH:

    The other outcome (and I find this one more likely) is that you’re wrong, as in the current Knicks aging Chris Paul aren’t a playoff team.

    Yes, I, like everyone else on planet Earth, appear to have underestimated to a yet to be determined degree the winning potential of this team with Thibs at the helm. However if you read the rest of the very same post you’re quoting from, you’ll see my primary objection to acquiring Chris Paul was that winning more games this season largely due to a 35 year-old was not worth a first-round pick.

    My opinion on that has not changed one iota. I am happy we didn’t surrender a first rounder for Chris Paul (when you consider that Oubre turned into an asset for OKC the cost was higher than that FYI), and I still don’t want to surrender a first rounder for any player who won’t be here for the long-term.

  37. I wish one of the reporters in the post game press conference would ask Thibs about putting the starters in (or leaving them in) in blowouts.

    I really can’t imagine what kind of answer he’d give, but I sure am curious.

  38. I think we’d be doing our team a disservice to get CP3 at age 36 when we could probably add Lonzo Ball (age 24 in November) and Jared Vanderbilt (22 in April) for less money total than we would need to grab CP3. I want a point guard as bad as the next guy, and to see the Knicks host playoff series would be delightful, but I do believe the ship has sailed for us on Paul and Lowry. We’d probably be better off giving IQ his own version of Nerlens Noel to outplay in order to secure the starting job, which leads me down another road:

    I’m not sure Mitchell Robinson is the guy we should commit to on an 8 figure salary for the next 4-5 years, or at least not when Mo Bamba seems to be available on the cheap. He’s improved every season despite playing behind Nikola Vucevic, and his two-way ceiling at the center spot is as high as anybody not named Evan Mobley. Mitchell Robinson’s ceiling is so limited offensively, and the Knicks are probably in a position where you can start to think about if a guy is playable down the stretch of a playoff series. I’d try to engineer a Bamba/Knox swap (of course we’d have to add sweeteners) and whoever plays better in year four is who I’d give the contract to.

  39. Deeefense: It’s not odd.

    I’ve been saying for as long as I’ve been posting on this forum the best way to win at basketball is to make defense the priority and to play in an unselfish way on offense where the ball and players move with purpose.That’s what we are doing.

    Naturally, how far you go is dependent on how much skill the players have, how good the coach is, and whether the players responds to that coach. But we are doing everything right for the first time since Chandler and Kidd played in NY and even that was only half right because we had Melo.We may have to go all the way back to Riley/Van Gundy.

    To be clear, we may be playing a little over our heads right now, but we also have some kids that could get better as the season goes along and grow into what we are doing now or even better.

    How many wins has Thibs added to this team? 0? 5? 10? I’d say that it’s somewhere around 8 wins.

  40. You doubt Ball could be a volume 3 point shooting PG who would compliment Randle?

    Doubt is a strong word. I said I’m reluctant to trust his surge this season, but I also admitted I’ve been sleeping on him all year. I don’t have a strong opinion either way.

    I suppose what I don’t get is if he could be a volume shooting 3 pt PG who complements Randle and plays great D… why wouldn’t the Pelicans want to keep him?

    Something smells funny, but I’m open minded about it.

  41. thenoblefacehumper: My opinion on that has not changed one iota. I am happy we didn’t surrender a first rounder for Chris Paul (when you consider that Oubre turned into an asset for OKC the cost was higher than that FYI), and I still don’t want to surrender a first rounder for any player who won’t be here for the long-term.

    Agree across the board. As it pertains to CP3, the only way I would want him is if we straight out sign him in FA (ie. no assets other than $ going out).

  42. The Lonzo Ball question boils down to how much you trust Quickley’s ability to collapse and compromise defenses as a starter. Quickley, Ball, and Barrett make a lot of sense defensively and none of them are bad shooters if you believe the sample size this year. What you need is a guy who can handle ball pressure and who can consistently get past the first defender, and I think IQ is starting to show the ability. If his handles are legitimately improving, you can maybe convince yourself that next year you could build a top 15 offense around IQ, Ball, RJ, and Julius Randle.

  43. I don’t mean the Knicks season is odd. I mean the whole NBA season is odd.

    I don’t know what the cap looks like. If we start with Paul, Randle, Mitch, Noel, where would that have left us?

    I imagine we would have ditched Frank and DSjr posthaste.

    Quickley hasn’t played that many minutes but he’s been very effective. We’d miss having him. Toppin somehow is approaching average for the season per WS/48 but I have seen him play defense.

    I don’t know, not taking an L on that debate.

  44. vincoug: I can’t imagine that there’s even a 25% chance that CP3 would sign here. The most likely outcome is that he stays in Phoenix for the last year of his contract; if he doesn’t do that I would guess that he’d sign with a team that is already good like LAL, LAC, PHI, or MIL to try and win a title instead of coming here.

    If we maintain this level of play, I think there’s a 75% chance Paul is our PG next year. Rose will match his player option to come here and add another year. Then he’ll use our excess draft capital to add a wing player, like a LaVine or McCollum or something like that.

    The 25% chance against is just my own uncertainty about Leon Rose. I think he’s a win now PoBO who would rather add Paul and McCollum than add 2 first round picks in the teens and slow build, but it’s still early days with him and I can’t be too sure.

  45. NetsTown: How many wins has Thibs added to this team? 0? 5? 10? I’d say that it’s somewhere around 8 wins.

    Well we were a bottom 10 defense last year without him, so if a bottom 10 offense and defense is maybe around 10-12 wins instead of our 18? Yeah, you could argue his hire has been worth 6-8 wins this season.

  46. thenoblefacehumper: Yes, I, like everyone else on planet Earth, appear to have underestimated to a yet to be determined degree the winning potential of this team with Thibs at the helm. However if you read the rest of the very same post you’re quoting from, you’ll see my primary objection to acquiring Chris Paul was that winning more games this season largely due to a 35 year-old was not worth a first-round pick.

    My opinion on that has not changed one iota. I am happy we didn’t surrender a first rounder for Chris Paul (when you consider that Oubre turned into an asset for OKC the cost was higher than that FYI), and I still don’t want to surrender a first rounder for any player who won’t be here for the long-term.

    that’s all fine and dandy. I also agreed, once we saw the price Phoenix paid, that we shouldn’t have traded for him.

    that’s not the point, though.

    there was an argument about how good this team would be if we added Paul and Thibs. I said it would be good enough to be a second round team, others said we’d still be a bottom team
    in the east.

    And I only brought this up in the context of yesterday’s talk about expectations, as evidence that I wasn’t among
    the group that thought this was a bottom team in the NBA. (I actually wanted them to be, but I knew they wouldn’t be.)

  47. The baseline is Miller’s 32 win pace of last year. Then it’s how much do you credit Thibs for the improvements in RJ, Randle and the drafting/great play of IQ. If we say those things are half-exogenous, half-Thibs, Thibs gets credit for 5 wins in 82, or something like 2 over 35.

  48. I wish one of the reporters in the post game press conference would ask Thibs about putting the starters in (or leaving them in) in blowouts.

    Those post-game Zoom media availabilities are so terribly designed for the purposes of the beat writers. Each gets one question at most with each subject, so they’re all going to look for a quote relating to the main thing they each want to write about the game. Under those circumstances, nobody’s going to waste their question on Thibs keeping the starters in during a blowout, because no one’s story is going to lead with that.

    The pregame media sessions appear to be slightly more expansive, and in chatting with a few of the beat guys this morning, I would not be at all surprised if this comes up when they speak to Thibs again before the next game.

  49. Hubert: If we maintain this level of play, I think there’s a 75% chance Paul is our PG next year. Rose will match his player option to come here and add another year. Then he’ll use our excess draft capital to add a wing player, like a LaVine or McCollum or something like that.

    The 25% chance against is just my own uncertainty about Leon Rose. I think he’s a win now PoBO who would rather add Paul and McCollum than add 2 first round picks in the teens and slow build, but it’s still early days with him and I can’t be too sure.

    I’m sorry, but this is delusional. First of all, we can’t match Paul’s player option for next year, it’s over $40M which is more than the max we can give him. I’m not even sure we’d have enough cap space to off the max to him even if we renounce all our free agents (even Thib’s crush Derrick Rose). And everyone who thinks we can or will sign CP3 has yet to explain why a 36 year old would opt out of a $40M contract on the 4th best team in the league to sign here for less money.

    I have no idea why Portland would trade McCollum to us. Are they trying to piss off Damian Lillard for some reason? And how are we matching salaries? If we’re signing CP3 to a max deal we’re not going to be able to absorb those contracts into our cap space.

  50. I really don’t think I want to know, but now my curiosity has me. I’ll guess -0.1

    1.4

  51. Our defense is still probably lucky with opponent 3 point shooting, we have a fairly tough remaining schedule and we’re starting to run into injury trouble so I’m not sure we can just hand Thibs 10 wins yet.

  52. I’m sorry, but this is delusional. First of all, we can’t match Paul’s player option for next year, it’s over $40M which is more than the max we can give him. I’m not even sure we’d have enough cap space to off the max to him even if we renounce all our free agents (even Thib’s crush Derrick Rose). And everyone who thinks we can or will sign CP3 has yet to explain why a 36 year old would opt out of a $40M contract on the 4th best team in the league to sign here for less money.

    You seem to have a mental block in this argument: you’re acting as if the only way to get Chris Paul here is to offer him less money.

    The Knicks have about $70mm in cap space this summer and no one to spend it on. If Leon Rose wants Chris Paul, he can get Chris Paul **by offering him equal money and then some**

    Also, Phoenix is good, but they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the West as long as Paul is there. If we keep up this level of play, it’s a lateral move.

  53. ‘I wish one of the reporters in the post game press conference would ask Thibs about putting the starters in (or leaving them in) in blowouts.’

    Wally and the Sycophants (JD’s opening act) danced around it last night by trying to rationalize that losing the 20-pt lead in Minnesota made it necessary to keep the starters in to ensure the win. I look forward to seeing if Thibs uses that as his explanation when he’s asked about it.

  54. Hubert: You seem to have a mental block in this argument: you’re acting as if the only way to get Chris Paul here is to offer him less money.

    The Knicks have about $70mm in cap space this summer and no one to spend it on. If Leon Rose wants Chris Paul, he can get Chris Paul **by offering him equal money and then some**

    Also, Phoenix is good, but they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the West as long as Paul is there. If we keep up this level of play, it’s a lateral move.

    Where are you getting $70M from? According to Spotrac we have about $56M if we renounce all of our free agents. That’s not taking into account our draft picks this year or cap holds for open roster spots (about $900k per spot). And we can’t offer CP3 $40M; the max we can offer is less than that. And do you think CP3, or any NBA player, would consider it a lateral move to switch from the Suns to the Knicks?

  55. When it comes to the debate about how many wins Thibs added, we have to be mindful of how many wins Fizdale subtracted. Jesus, that guy was awful.

    Mike Miller took the same guys and immediately made them respectable. Thibs has got almost the same team and they look great.

    No wonder Steve Mills has Marc Berman writing hatchet jobs in the Post. It must be driving him
    insane that if he made a better coaching hire, he might still have a job.

  56. Hubert: When it comes to the debate about how many wins Thibs added, we have to be mindful of how many wins Fizdale subtracted. Jesus, that guy was awful.

    There’s something I totally agree with you on. I don’t think Fizdale will ever coach in the NBA again.

  57. Similar feel to 1987-88. Pitino came in and instituted a trapping system which turned the Knicks into a top 10 defense. Randle is not Ewing, but the Knicks had a young core with a revolving veteran mix. They made the playoffs and learned how to win. Thibs has a track record to pick apart that Pitino did not have, but the focus on defense changed the culture.

  58. vincoug: Where are you getting $70M from?According to Spotrac we have about $56M if we renounce all of our free agents.That’s not taking into account our draft picks this year or cap holds for open roster spots (about $900k per spot).And we can’t offer CP3 $40M; the max we can offer is less than that.And do you think CP3, or any NBA player, would consider it a lateral move to switch from the Suns to the Knicks?

    You have the right sources, you’re just interpreting the data incorrectly.

    You don’t think, for example, we’re carrying a $15mm cap hold for Frank Ntilikina, do you? Even the players we will want to bring back will be renounced.

    The Knicks are going to have over $72mm in cap space
    this summer, minus their 2 first round picks and some dead roster spots.

  59. Hubert: You have the right sources, you’re just interpreting the data incorrectly.

    You don’t think, for example, we’re carrying a $15mm cap hold for Frank Ntilikina, do you? Even the players we will want to bring back will be renounced.

    The Knicks are going to have over $72mm in cap space
    this summer, minus their 2 first round picks and some dead roster spots. There is more than enough room to do this, if they want to.

    Those cap holds are already all included in the table on the side. This summer we have:

    $49.4M Active Roster
    $6.4M Dead Cap (thanks Phil!)
    $59.7M Cap Holds (Including Ntilikina’s)

    That brings our total cap number to $115.6M and puts us over the cap by $3.2M. So even if you waive all the cap holds we still don’t have $70M, we have $56M (not taking into account the draft).

  60. Hubert:
    When it comes to the debate about how many wins Thibs added, we have to be mindful of how many wins Fizdale subtracted. Jesus, that guy was awful.

    Mike Miller took the same guys and immediately made them respectable. Thibs has got almost the same team and they look great.

    No wonder Steve Mills has Marc Berman writing hatchet jobs in the Post. It must be driving him
    insane that if he made a better coaching hire, he might still have a job.

    Loved the Mills/Perry spin: “Yeah, we hired David Fizdale and Leon hired Tom Thibodeau but that’s only because Leon got lucky and Tom Thibodeau was only available because of the Covid bubble.”

  61. I don’t want CP3 but the thing is, any star in the Western Conference has to be looking at the Eastern conference standings and seeing how tight it is after the top 3 (really top 2 with Bucks being only a few games better than the rest of the pack at 3).

    Surely they might be thinking damn the east could be a much easier path to a title. A decent team at least can be almost guaranteed to get out of the first round. Out west its MUCH tougher 1 through 8. Suns are having a great season and could be knocked out in the first round to a good team.

    That’s why making the playoffs would be so good for us. Where we are right now, we could not only make the playoffs but maybe even get into the second round. If we do that and say take The Nets or Philly or Bucks to 6 or 7 games…that’s gotta turn some heads. The fact that our best players are all pretty young too and we got multiple picks to keep building.

    I don’t know about CP3 but there are lots of other young players in the next 2 years to keep an eye on who maybe grow tired of their current situation. That is where being THE team for NYC, being in good shape, good coach, room to improve with young players…could all come into play for us.

  62. vincoug: So even if you waive all the cap holds we still don’t have $70M, we have $56M (not taking into account the draft).

    ok, so let’s say we have $56mm. why you acting like we need to offer Chris Paul the MLE?

    we can offer him the same money. period. end of story. this is a boring hypothetical, let’s move on.

  63. Hubert: ok, so let’s say we have $56mm. why you acting like we need to offer Chris Paul the MLE?

    we can offer him the same money. period. end of story. this is a boring hypothetical, let’s move on.

    I’m not talking about us offering the MLE. $40M is more than what we’re allowed to offer. The max we can offer a free agent is somewhere above $30M but below $40M, not sure what the exact amount is.

  64. Last year, 18% of all available minutes went to Frank, Knox and DSJ. This year, it’s under 6%. Thibs is definitely worth 18 wins so far this year. Players worth about 1, maybe 0.

  65. Hubert:
    When it comes to the debate about how many wins Thibs added, we have to be mindful of how many wins Fizdale subtracted. Jesus, that guy was awful.

    Mike Miller took the same guys and immediately made them respectable. Thibs has got almost the same team and they look great.

    No wonder Steve Mills has Marc Berman writing hatchet jobs in the Post. It must be driving him
    insane that if he made a better coaching hire, he might still have a job.

    Yeah, what crap Fiz was. It’s nice to have a competent coach running the team, even if he does leave the starters in too long in blowouts.

    Still, I keep expecting the clock to strike midnight for Randle. Maybe it won’t — maybe he’s arrived as a star player.

    First ST Mets game coming up!

  66. i thought this was super funny from the game thread:

    Clyde’s two pet peeves…(1) stepping out of bounds and (2) allowing cross court passes

    3) leaving your feet
    4) PGs picking up their dribble

    Clyde’s pet peeves (continued)
    3. Jumping to pass on offense;
    4. Jumping on defense before the offensive player does;
    5. Wearing a coat.

    The frontcourt foul to prevent a fast break is another thing Clyde is up in arms about lately…

    clyde alone has been worth the price of being a knicks fan…

  67. It is true we can offer less than PHX can offer, since they have his Bird Rights. If they want to extend him 3 years for $150MM then by all means they should do that and we shouldn’t/couldn’t get involved.

    However – if Paul decides to opt out of his player option, we could offer him more than $44MM total, just not all in the same year. Like let’s say we offered him 2 years $70MM. We could easily do that. we could (I’m not saying we should) offer him a full (non-Bird) max since we can start him off at 35% of the cap easily with the cap space we have.

    The reasons that CP may want to opt out:
    1) wants to play for Leon’s team
    2) wants to play in the Garden
    3) likes the Knicks well enough to think it’s a lateral move (PHX is the #4 team in the West in large part due to Paul, would prob be a 0.500 team like we are without Paul – so saying why would he leave the #4 team is not a good argument. they wouldn’t be that without him on the team whereas similarly the Knicks would probably be the #2 or #3 team in he East WITH him on the team).
    4) Robert Sarver is a cheap bastard and will never go into the luxury tax
    5) any number of other reasons. Like why did Lebron leave Cleveland to go to LA even though Cleveland had made the finals for 100 years in a row with him? Because he wanted to go to LA, and he knows that whatever team he’s on is probably the favorite or at least a serious contender.

    Question for the cap people — Paul is already making more than the 35% max due to the 8% increases from years ago. If he signs a new contract with PHX, does he have to restart at 35% of the max, or can he start with the # where he is now? I think it is the former but is he the first player on a Supermax to be up for a new contract?

  68. We would have to — and we can — offer Paul 2 years, $80mm to get him to leave. If Leon did, I’m personally very confident it would work. The Suns are not on a different competitive level than us.

    More important is would Leon do that. It’s all
    conjecture at this point. Everything we’ve seen since he’s taken over has been with a short term focus, but he has avoided overpaying and he has maintained flexibility.

    The availability of Paul and Beal will be the litmus test for Rose. Both would cost way too much, both would make us really good.

  69. are there any questions or doubt about rose being our starting point guard until we get someone better and younger?

    can’t tell if it’s true or wishful thinking – but, it really seems like he’s playing better defense, with a lot more effort than i can ever recall seeing before…

    he actually appears to be going over screens instead of automatically dropping back…his first stint here it seemed like he was terrified of bumping knees with another player out on the court…again: derrick rose is not really my cup of tea – but, he appears to be our best option for the moment…

  70. i think you would have to be nuts to not want cp3… of course the money and years matter… but we go on and on about targeting top flight players in free agency… and it doesn’t get more top flight than cp3…

    yes he’s old… but his steep decline went from a 8 bpm ws48 of .260 player… to a 4bpm /.190 ws48 and two all star seasons…. as long as his legs hold up …. and after two seasons of mostly injury free ball there’s no reason to think it can’t… he should be a very productive player probably until he’s 40…

    kyle lowry is in a similar position except he’s not an alltime great pg and he’s also in decline but the decline is still a half decent pg… he should be readily available though and come much much cheaper than cp3….

    the problem with lonzo is that he’s not even half the player that these guys are… and he’s going to be expensive…. probably more expensive than lowry and probably getting near cp3 money…. and yea he’s young but how much upside does he really have? to me he’s sort of like rubio.. who is a good player but has enough limitations to balk at paying for an ‘upside premium’….

    in any case…. i think going after a pg in the draft … like ayo dosunmo…. and riding out the next couple of years with a vet(that’s not derrick rose) while they develop is probably the ideal scenario….. at least in my books…. from a cap and talent perspective we need to take a step up on the win curve and going after a competent pg allows us to use our cap space efficiently before the big extensions (well basically rj’s)… kick in…

  71. I’m sorry, but this is delusional. First of all, we can’t match Paul’s player option for next year, it’s over $40M which is more than the max we can give him. I’m not even sure we’d have enough cap space to off the max to him even if we renounce all our free agents (even Thib’s crush Derrick Rose). And everyone who thinks we can or will sign CP3 has yet to explain why a 36 year old would opt out of a $40M contract on the 4th best team in the league to sign here for less money.

    cp3’s next contract is going to be his last…. and yes his option is pretty massive but if he wants a 3 or 4 year deal getting near max money he’s taking a gamble going another year… there’s no better time to get that than after two all star seasons and a 4 year deal after 2022 would go past age 41…

    he could opt in… that’s very possible.. but if he’s available then we should see how much it costs and if his market settles in the 3 year area that should be intriguing enough,…

  72. NetsTown

    I’m not smart enough to put an exact number on Thib’s contribution to wins, but there’s no question there’s been a fundamental change in our philosophy, effort, and ability to close out games. And even though I am a huge Thibs fan, the entire coaching staff deserves some credit for that. Rose also deserves credit with Thibs for bringing in the right assistants to get us moving in the right direction. No matter how this season finishes out, we are moving in the right direction at a faster pace and everyone should be thrilled to death about that.

  73. The big questions for me is just how good is Julius Randle, and how much does that change the calculus here?

    I’m beginning to think Julius is approaching the Jimmy Butler level, and that’s making me be a bit more open minded about dipping into the draft capital for Beal trade. I love me some draft picks, but if Randle is a stud 26 year old point forward and we can pair him with a stud 27 year old scoring wing to go along with Barrett, IQ, and Mitch on rookie deals, that’s a swing I have to think about.

    Maybe I’m delirious because we’re 18-17, but I think this team with Beal is a tough out in the East this year and would only get better.

  74. I give up. Yes, 36 year old Chris Paul is going to opt out of $40M, leave the 4th best team in the NBA, not sign with any one of title contenders that would love to have him so he can win a title before he retires, and he’ll sign with the Knicks for less money than he’s making in Phoenix because of Leon Rose and Thibodeau.

  75. Hubert,

    Maybe I’m delirious because we’re 18-17, but I think this team with Beal is a tough out in the East this year and would only get better.

    We often disagree, but we are on the same page with this one.

    I think we are unlikely to get an a serious impact player out of the draft unless we combine picks and move up (which I have no issue with). Even then it will probably take a few years for that player to start blossoming. But if we give up a couple of picks and get someone in their mid 20s now without gutting the youth, we’d suddenly have a very good team and still have a ton of upside. I agree that some of it depends on how sustainable Randle’s productivity is (my guess is that he’s improved on both sides but not a 40% 3 point shooter) and it also depends on who we have to give up besides picks. If it’s too much then fine. We shouldn’t gut the team like we did with Melo, but we should be open to adding a star player if the price is OK even if it costs a couple of 1st rounders.

  76. I don’t understand why we are re-litigating Chris Paul. Leon Rose wanted Paul. He made an offer to Presti for him, which was competitive. Presti asked Paul where he preferred to be traded and Paul chose Phoenix. He made up a benign reason as a political gesture. But the fact is, even if all the basketball things were equal (they are not) Chris Paul lives in Los Angeles. His kids go to school there. Phoenix is a 40 minute charter flight from LA. That’s why he chose Phoenix. If Paul opts out, it would be to join the Lakers for the mid-level and win a championship. There’s almost nothing to debate here, as it could not have happened then and it will not happen in the future.

  77. Let’s say Washington would accept Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and our first round picks in 2021, 2023, and 2025, and an unprotected swap in 2024 for Bradley Beal.

    What say the board?

    (Yes, I’m banking on Obi still having some lottery shine; Knox is just a flier that I expect has little value.)

  78. Hubert:
    Let’s say Washington would accept Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and our first round picks in 2021, 2023, and 2025 for Bradley Beal.

    What say the board?

    (Yes, I’m banking on Obi still having some lottery shine; Knox is just a flier that I expect has little value.)

    Trade Obi right after the dunk contest ends. That’s the play. Half joking.

  79. vincoug:
    I give up.Yes, 36 year old Chris Paul is going to opt out of $40M, leave the 4th best team in the NBA, not sign with any one of title contenders that would love to have him so he can win a title before he retires, and he’ll sign with the Knicks for less money than he’s making in Phoenix because of Leon Rose and Thibodeau.

    I’d like to refer to Mr. Paul with his full title: President Of The NBA Players Association Chris Paul

    :-)

    The title above put him in a delicate position about leaving money on the table and the likes.

    Also, Beal has said repeatedly that he didn’t want a trade, the Wizards are playing better, they’re confident in their core (Beal, Bryant, Hachimura, Bertans and Dani) and they will not trade him to us without one or even two of RJ, IQ and Mitch going the other way.

    But I’m the first to understand that today is a day to dream, we’re 18-17, so there’s no need to play devil’s advocate or trying to be rational.
    The sun is shining in KnicksLand.

  80. Hubert:
    Let’s say Washington would accept Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and our first round picks in 2021, 2023, and 2025, and an unprotected swap in 2024 for Bradley Beal.

    What say the board?

    (Yes, I’m banking on Obi still having some lottery shine; Knox is just a flier that I expect has little value.)

    That we could get arrested for stealing? :-)

  81. RJ reminds me of a smaller, developing version of Randle.

    Physically strong. Tremendous worker. Left handed. Scorer. Plays hard defense. Tends to dribble into traffic. Burgeoning three ball. Gets to the foul line. Can play 40 minutes a night.

    Yes, he’s not a power forward, but imagine having 2 impact players along those lines.

  82. I give up. Yes, 36 year old Chris Paul is going to opt out of $40M, leave the 4th best team in the NBA, not sign with any one of title contenders that would love to have him so he can win a title before he retires, and he’ll sign with the Knicks for less money than he’s making in Phoenix because of Leon Rose and Thibodeau.

    i don’t think anyone is talking about it like it’s inevitable… is it possible? yes it absolutely is… and it starts with cp3 opting out which isn’t like some impossibility… is it likely? probably not… but it’s not so impossible that it’s not even worth discussing… and the framework people are talking about it is ‘if he’s available’…

    and yes ‘if he’s available’… you should go hard after him…. that might also be controversial but that’s pretty reasonable right?

  83. Let’s say Washington would accept Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and our first round picks in 2021, 2023, and 2025, and an unprotected swap in 2024 for Bradley Beal.

    I think I’m holding out for a bigger superstar than Bradley Beal with that kind of Godfather offer. If I’m giving up 3 1RPs and other “assets” I want a true centerpiece of a championship team. Beal ain’t that.

  84. Noel has played so many minutes recently that by the end of last night’s game he thought that he was our point guard. Actually, I’m not certain that he would be any worse than Elfrid.

  85. Max: That we could get arrested for stealing?:-)

    I think three cracks at an unprotected Knicks pick from 2023-25 is pretty damn valuable.

    Our picks are not like Milwaukee picks or Lakers picks or Warriors picks. We’ve been in the lottery 19 out of the last 21 seasons.

  86. Hubert: I don’t know… I think three cracks at an unprotected Knicks pick from 2023-25 is pretty damn valuable.

    Our picks are not like Milwaukee picks or Lakers picks or Warriors picks. We’ve been in the lottery 19 out of the last 21 seasons.

    But we’re trading for Beal to jump to the contender level, or at least be a top-10 team,
    so at least the 2021 (assuming we trade for him before this year trading deadline) and 2023 picks will be in the 20s..

    Or I’m missing something? We’re trading for Beal to stay in the lottery again?

  87. I don’t think it’s insane that CP3 opts out. He has an agent, his agent knows the FA class this year is complete garbage. CP3 will get paid because there’s just nobody else to throw money at. That’s how Hayward got paid last year.

    Would you rather throw money at CP3, even at 40, or Otto Porter? Because CP3 is still having a better year than Porter ever has.

    But that’s from an agents & FO perspsective. Me, I think CP3 could fall off a cliff anytime. Not that he’d be a complete zero, but worth well short of $40M. Kidd never had the highs CP3 did, but he lasted with a pretty steady 4ish BPM until 36 before he declined.

    Ball is only 23, he’s improved every year in the league, and he’s taken a metric crap ton of 3s in the last 1.5 seasons. He can keep improving and his 3pt shooting is looks relatively legit. So, I think I might prefer throwing $30M max at the 23 year old with upside than $40M max at the 36 year old who is going to regress. Depends a bit on the cap math and how much Mitch & Noel command. I haven’t done said math with any accuracy, but I think we’ll appreciate the extra $10M.

  88. JK47: I think I’m holding out for a bigger superstar than Bradley Beal with that kind of Godfather offer. If I’m giving up 3 1RPs and other “assets” I want a true centerpiece of a championship team. Beal ain’t that.

      

    I’ve been thinking the same thing. It’s only Randle’s play that has me opening up my mind.

    If you believe in Julius Randle, I think there’s a few problems if you wait:

    1. You may well wait for nothing.

    2. The math changes dramatically on Barrett, Randle, and Robinson. If you make this trade now, then going into next season you’re going to have $30mm to play with to surround a core of Randle, Beal, Barrett, Mitch, and Quickley. So maybe you get a better star, but less chance to add good players around them.

    3. I’m anticipating a decline in the value of all those assets, so we’re selling high on them. Obi Toppin sucks and the lotto shine is gonna wear off of him fast. Even our future draft picks will be less attractive if we wait and make the playoffs two years in a row.

  89. the problem with lonzo is that he’s not even half the player that these guys are

    Look, I am not going to argue that Lonzo Ball is a better PG than Chris Paul or Kyle Lowry. But it’s a bit of hyperbole to say that he’s not half the player they are. It depends on the metric, but if you buy into real plus minus then it bears noting that he’s ranked as the 5th most productive player at the position in the league six spots ahead of Chris Paul and two spots behind Lowry. He’s seemingly made some significant improvements in his offensive game shooting the 3 and at the charity stripe and there’s a real possibility we could be buying while he’s on the up as a 23/24 year old figuring things out.

  90. What’s that? Ah – Playoffs? Don’t talk about – playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!

    one thought that came up last night after bullock hit a three in the second half, if we do get in to the playoffs – if we happen to hit our three point shots during a game, we are most likely going to win that game…

  91. I need all the way through the home Sixers game on March 21 to decide on that Beal idea. I’m not doing anything right now that isn’t either highway robbery or entirely future-based. The upcoming schedule is more of a legit test than what they’ve been playing recently.

  92. just noticed from yesterday’s game detroit had 31 free throw attempts and we had only 10…

    league wide we rank 25th in fouls given and 25th in steals…we’re near the top though in defensive rebounding and opponents shooting percentages…

    it’s not all just “hard work” and “buying in” from our players…our method for achieving success with the team’s defense appears to be intentional…maybe some of those analysts rose brought on board are helping thibs to figure things out…

  93. i think you would have a tough time convincing anyone that ball is better than chris paul right now… and a guy with a 10% ftr and near over 60% 3pr that they have any sort of upside…

    lonzo’s value is going to be tied to his 3p shooting.. which yes there’s some upside if he can consistently get over 40% but he’s only shooting 76% at the line right now… and a career 53% shooter there… maybe he has figured it out… but are you counting on him being an 80% shooter from here on out? and investing 30mm to find that out? i wouldn’t make that bet….

    unless he figures out a way to get to the basket.. he’s in all likelihood touching his upside now….

  94. Save the picks for drafting or for someone better than Beal. I do hope the FO is open to trading Toppin though. Wouldn’t mind flipping him for a mid-1st if that’s even possible at this point. He’s pretty pointless if we’re rolling with Randle from here on out.

  95. I’m marginally intrigued by kicking the tires on Porzingis, trying to buy low, and putting him into a role that fits him better than that weirdo role Dallas has him in.

  96. Randle’s improvement this year is just so unexpected.
    He’s shooting 7.5% better on ~30% higher volume, with 20% of his 3’s being unassisted.
    His shooting at the rim and 3-10 feet — those are basically career averages.
    His shooting from midrange and beyond? Here’s a good stat:

    2020-2021 Julius Randle from 10-16, 16-23, >23 –> 45.6%, 47.6%, 41.9%
    Steph Curry career from 10-16, 16-23, >23 –> 45.8%, 46.7%, 43.3%

    Prime Dirk was always around 50% from 10-23 feet, and he is basically the greatest mid-long range shooter of all-time when it comes to front court players. Did you know Dirk, in only ONE of his 21 seasons, shot better than Randle’s current 3P% of 41.9%?

    One could make the argument that Randle’s having one of the best shooting seasons of any big man (PF/C) in NBA history right now.

    So it seems it HAS to be a fluke, right? But man does it look easy for Randle right now.

  97. Do we trust Randle to come into camp in this great shape each of the next 5-6 years and play this way even without the motivation of getting paid?

    /keeps hand not raised.

    It’s an old-school reference, but this reminds me too much of Juwan Howard’s 1995-96, which I saw up close and personal. Juwan got drafted by the Bullets, held a grudge for two years for getting lowballed in his (then-fully negotiated) entry contract, played his ass off to “prove something” and get paid, got paid, and immediately reverted to meh. Similarly quirky games, too.

  98. Dink: I do hope the FO is open to trading Toppin though. Wouldn’t mind flipping him for a mid-1st if that’s even possible at this point.

    I don’t even know what his value is right now. Maybe the league found out. But I’m confident it’s only going down from here, so I would love to sell now.

    What a waste, man. Even if we hadn’t gotten Halli, I’d be happy with Devin Vassell right now, too.

  99. randle has been in phenomenal shape his entire pro career… and turned himself from an actual bad nba player into an actual really good one…. slowly but surely over the last 7 years….

    but of course you’ve moved on from stirring up fake randle controversies last year into now questioning his work ethic right?

  100. Yes, I’m calling into question his ability/desire to get into tip top shape every year and play this way when the motivation of getting paid disappears. That’s exactly what I’m doing, yes. If it wasn’t clear before, I’ll clarify.

    He wouldn’t be remotely the first player to fall into this category.

  101. E, a very simple and quick google search would tell you that Randle has never been lazy. He always works out like crazy and keeps himself in great shape. He’s also gotten better and better every season he’s been in the league. The one exception would be last year when he signed with us and was suddenly thrust into the first option role on a horribly constructed roster that didn’t have a starting PG at the beginning of the season and was led by an awful coach who had no game plan on offense or defense. It’s never been about Randle being in shape or not.

    Also, we have a team option on him next season and he would have to know if he’s playing amazing that we’re most likely going to exercise that before we offer him an extension. So its not like him playing this well this year automatically means he’s getting some pay raise this year.

    In other words, you are wrong. Its ok, though. Just admit it and you’ll be fine.

  102. Never remotely called the guy “lazy” or anything close. Juwan Howard wasn’t lazy, either.

    And I don’t know that “He was always in tip top shape except for that one year when he finally scored a multi-year deal” is exactly the argument Team Optimism wants to be making on this one.

  103. Except there is nothing in his history to suggest he’s one of those types of players. And we have an option on him too so we can bring him back at the same price for another season. So the hard work isn’t directly going to lead to him getting paid more right away.

    If he does it two seasons in a row is it still all about getting paid and then he’s gonna turn into Eddie Curry?

    And again, Randle has always been in fantastic shape as a player and has improved every season he’s been in the league. This isn’t so much an outlier as it is the culmination of him taking steps forward every year. I would argue even last year was a step forward in the sense that he had to be put in that position and struggle with it in order to know what to work on this offseason. And also, MF THIBS IS THE COACH.

  104. Comparing Randle to… a disgruntled Year 3 Juwan Howard is a stretch, even for anecdotal evidence. Randle is a 7-year-vet. Show me evidence that he sulks and dogs it on the court when things don’t go his way.

    Additionally, with team options, next year is his contract year. Unless a Penultimate Contract Year outlier season is a thing that I don’t know about.

  105. obviously the whole emphasis with “relationships” leading to winning basketball espoused by both ownership and our front office is pretty non effective when it comes to attracting top free agent talent – however, when it came to assembling thibs’ coaching staff – fucking A, seems like we hit a homerun (particularly with kenny payne)…

    here’s the nerlens’ post game interview from yesterday

  106. Owen:
    Still no interest in Beal at any suggested price.

    I know you’ve got your reasons and I won’t challenge them. I’ll ask you this, though, because it’s a question I’ve been asking myself:

    Let’s say Rose makes that trade against your wishes and we go into the playoffs with Rose, Beal, Barrett, Randle, Mitch; plus IQ, Burks, Bullock, Noel on the bench. How competitive is that team?

    I’m beginning to think that team would take out a Toronto or Boston in round 1. I also think it would be hard to beat in round 2, too. But I don’t know. I’m overcaffeinated on a Monday after back-to-back wins.

  107. My statements are getting totally distorted at this point and I don’t really feel like debating a caricature of them, but there is something in his “history” — his first year as a Knick after he got (kind of) paid. If people think that guy was in tip top shape, there’s really no point in further discussion on the matter. We will merely note that we’re in a bit of a Knicks bubble now; it will inevitably pop and rational discussion on the matter will again be possible. Let’s table it until then.

  108. aight E, what kind of shape you in man…

    and, why the hell ain’t you giddy like a little school girl with our recent success :P

    take this moment, and be happy…it could all go to hell tomorrow…

  109. I don’t think Ball is better than CP3 today, probably not next year either. But in the 2nd or 3rd year of those contracts? I’m betting on the 23 year old getting better and the 35 year old getting worse. I’m also counting on finding value with the additional $10M you get from signing Ball instead of CP3. Our team is also young enough that I’d like to find a longterm piece. CP3 is great short-term, but we likely struggle to find a replacement after he leaves because it’ll be after RJ signs his 2nd contract. If we look at the win curve, we should be aiming for a couple years beyond CP3’s usefulness.

    All that said, I definitely don’t think it’s a clear choice at all and I’d certainly feel queasy about giving Ball the max. I’d probably hope to sign him to a 2-3 year max to pry him from NOP, then re-sign him to a lower contract.

    If CP3 wants to come here, I doubt I say no (especially because Ball is a RFA).

  110. I don’t think they’re getting mischaracterized at all and I DO want to debate them because you’re wrong (seriously, its ok. Just admit your pessimism is unwarranted and this all goes away).

    Randle was not out of shape last year. Its an absurd statement. He was on a horribly constructed roster with no outside shooting, the starting PG was injured, there were like 5 other power forwards on the team and Fizdale had no idea what he was doing and had no game plan for the offense or defense. he wanted randle to be a point forward but he never told the other players where to go and what to do to make it easier for Randle to actually pass the ball to them for shots. And no one could shoot. Our shooting this year isn’t good either but it was worse last year.

    But he wasn’t out of shape.

    Wait, are you Steve Mills or David Fizdale?

  111. Geo, I’m in vintage working from home shape!! Probably makes me more pessimistic and less prone to exuberant excess. I need to get through around March 21, though. If they’re still the 4 or 5 or 6 seed after that stretch, I’ll be completely in and obviously will be completely in for the playoffs.

    I sense a major move coming before the trade deadline, that I will say for sure.

  112. Geo, I’m in vintage working from home shape!!

    dude, i’m still splitting home and office time…my work productivity at home has been steadily declining the last few months…i need to get my shit together badly…

    it’s funny, i keep thinking of that “magical” retirement time (years away still) as when i’ll really start watching my fitness, health and money – i need to stop thinking like that…

    edit: getting ready to go upstairs and play video games for a while before going to work…

    life is a funny thing…

  113. Hubert: I know you’ve got your reasons and I won’t challenge them.I’ll ask you this, though, because it’s a question I’ve been asking myself:

    Let’s say Rose makes that trade against your wishes and we go into the playoffs with Rose, Beal, Barrett, Randle, Mitch; plus IQ, Burks, Bullock, Noel on the bench. How competitive is that team?

    I’m beginning to think that team would take out a Toronto or Boston in round 1.I also think it would be hard to beat in round 2, too. But I don’t know. I’m overcaffeinated on a Monday after back-to-back wins.

    I won’t quite go so far as to agree with you, but I’d definitely get a giddy feeling inside thinking about adding Beal this year. Sometimes your body betrays you. As I think you pointed out yourself, we may very well feel differently if we lose the next 2 games and find ourselves back in 10th place instead of 4th. We’re all just riding the high of being able to say good things about our team we’ve only said a handful of times in the last 2 decades. Also, caffeine. I can’t remember if it’s my 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee that’s fading right now.

    Edit: Also, I’d hate to keep Rose in that starting lineup if we had Beal. He just shouldn’t be taking shots at that point and Beal Randle RJ could hopefully get the creating done without him.

  114. Hubert – Well, I don’t know what the proposed deal is here. But if it involves trading 3 or 4 first round picks, I just don’t want to do it. I don’t think Beal is good enough. I don’t think the reward of a year of relevance is worth it.

    I absolutely think making deals like that is a good idea but it requires some asset accumulation (so you aren’t stripped bare) and some patience. I have always hoped that we could do a deal for a guy like Harden, Giannis, AD, or Jokic. Still do. Beal isn’t in that tier for me.

  115. Bye bye, Lloyd Pierce. Expectations in the ATL were too high this year. Maybe John Collins gets put out there at a cheap price as an overreaction.

  116. Also, I’d hate to keep Rose in that starting lineup if we had Beal. He just shouldn’t be taking shots at that point and Beal Randle RJ could hopefully get the creating done without him.

    Give me an F, give me an R, give me an A-N-K ….

  117. ptmilo:
    I really don’t think I want to know, but now my curiosity has me. I’ll guess -0.1

    1.4

    Whoops, guess I went a little too far. But unless I’m completely misunderstanding BPM, his OBPM drops from an excellent 3.4 to a pretty meh 0.5 still.

    In hindsight, I overvalued efficiency when OBPM looks very favorably on USG% & ASTs and neither of those categories would drop at all. But of course, that gives the false impression I was even attempting some sort of mental math rather than spitting out a semi-random number.

  118. but he’s only shooting 76% at the line right now… and a career 53% shooter there… maybe he has figured it out… but are you counting on him being an 80% shooter from here on out?

    Look at the trends in his 3 year career:

    FT%
    2017-18: .451%
    2018-19: .417%
    2019-20: .566%
    2020-21: .763%

    3PT%
    2017-18: .305
    2018-19: .329
    2019-20: .375
    2020-21: .393

    eFG%
    2017-18: .420%
    2018-19: .488%
    2019-20: .511%
    2020-21: .553%

    TS%
    2017-18: .444%
    2018-19: .487%
    2019-20: .517%
    2020-21: .567%

    He’s shown a consistent rate of improvement as a shooter while increasing the rate and volume of his 3 point shooting.

    I don’t know if he’ll ever improve his shooting percentage from 0-3 ft from the basket or draw an even mediocre rate of fouls. But he’s certainly proving is value as a 3 point shooter in a 3 point shooting league. And I keep coming back to the main point of the Tjarks article the more I think about a possible tandem of Lonzo and IQ complimenting Randle’s role as the team “point-forward”. It’s worth repeating ad naseum because it raises an important question of what direction the future of this league, and hence this team, will move towards. New Orleans is currently 6th in NBA Offensive Efficiency rankings largely because of the way Zion and Lonzo play off each other in a similar capacity. A lineup of Randle, RJ, IQ, Lonzo would be a wonderful balance of skills.

  119. Do you guys think a good comp for Randle is prime LaMarcus Aldridge with a 3 point shot?

  120. We’ve been in the lottery 19 out of the last 21 seasons.

    No wonder I have anxiety issues. lol

  121. yea i mean i see the improvement… but we’re still talking a drop in the bucket relative to what he’s shown in his career and his 3p shooting is probably not sustainable at his current ft%…

    if he’s an 80% ft shooter… then 38% seems sustainable… but if he’s mid 70s then i would see that 3p shooting to drop… and in order for there to be upside you need him to shoot better because improvement in other areas is unlikely…

    and even if you give him 40% 3p shooting and 80% ft… that’s still just effectively jose calderon… there’s still not much scoring volume… there’s still not much assist volume either without dribble penetration…. calderon was good yes.. but not 30mm/year good….

  122. For every NBA player that gets out of shape and lazy after a big contract score, how many stay in shape because they love to play basketball and compete? I’d take the over that most NBA players for the most part are hyper competitive and believe fitness is a key contributor to their success. Randle? Look at him, I bet running into a telephone pole hurts less than bumping into him. I think he likes being fit.

  123. Hubert: We’ve been in the lottery 19 out of the last 21 seasons.

    17 of the last 21. We made the playoffs 4 times; the first three Melo seasons and the first Marbury season.

  124. Trading 3 first round picks for one season of Bradley Beal with the goal being to reach the conference finals would be a pretty poor use of assets.

  125. Why are people saying “one season” of Beal?

    The assumption is you don’t do that deal unless you are virtually certain he’s going to stay.

  126. DRed:
    Trading 3 first round picks for one season of Bradley Beal with the goal being to reach the conference finals would be a pretty poor use of assets.

    you don’t have to break the team up after this season.

  127. Owen: I absolutely think making deals like that is a good idea but it requires some asset accumulation (so you aren’t stripped bare) and some patience. I have always hoped that we could do a deal for a guy like Harden, Giannis, AD, or Jokic. Still do. Beal isn’t in that tier for me.

    I don’t think we have the assets for that kind of deal. A deal similar to the Harden trade would be something like Barrett, Mitch, three picks, and 4 swaps. What would be the point of going to war with Harden, Randle, Quickley, Rose, and Noel?

  128. At the core of the issue is this:

    do you believe in Randle enough to push some chips in?

    If you do, and you analayze a host of other features such as the rising cost of Randle and his supporting cast, the optimal time to go in is probably right now.

    If you don’t, you should probably just auction Randle off to acquire as many assets as possible and try to make a run later, because it’s going to be much harder to build around him later.

    I think either option is reasonable, but I think the worst thing you can do, IMO, is delay making a decision. Holding off got the perfect player is why the Celtics are deteriorating right now. Either shoot your shot with Randle soon, or decide he’s not worth it, cash in, and keep drafting.

  129. DRed:
    Trading 3 first round picks for one season of Bradley Beal with the goal being to reach the conference finals would be a pretty poor use of assets.

    Not for 1 season. You have to sign him and it’ll be a max deal. Then the question should focus on whether Beal’s worth a 5-year max.

  130. Although he’s not a good on-man defender, JJ Redick is on an expiring contract for a team that’s going into the lottery and might be obtained on the cheap.

  131. CP3 wouldn’t make us a title contender, so it’d be better to keep adding players that can grow with the team. Lonzo fits the bill, and would probably cost half the money.

  132. geo: here’s the nerlens’ post game interview from yesterday

    What a cool interview, loved the way Noel talked about Thibs, Julius and Mitch. Seems like we have a team, for a change, and not a collection of players like in years before.

  133. This is from the last thread, but i’m only checking the tail end of the game thread now.

    dtrickey: Would love us to take a look at Josh Giddey if we end up with a pick in the 20’s (wishful thinking). Only 19, but has incredible IQ and passing instincts for a 19 year old. Outside shot needs work, but can get to the bucket almost effortlessly.

    You’re australian, right? Do you watch his games, how is he doing? I saw a clip on Tankathon and the one hand passes (like a quarterback) impressed me a lot. And he’s so tall for a PG at 6’8, he can be our Ben Simmons.
    But i think it’d be a reach to draft him with our 1RPs, maybe he slips to the 2nd round and we’ll be there with the 1st or 2nd pick.

  134. I think we are a lot further than Bradley Beal or Chris Paul away from being a contender. Getting one of them might put us at the level of Indiana or Toronto or Miami but we would still be quite a bit short of Philly, Brooklyn, or Milwaukee.

    Right now we are overachieving and taking advantage of a very weird season but we are in all reality more in the class of Atlanta, a healthy Orlando, or Chicago, we are a fringe playoff team.

    I am not ready to push our chips in for another 2nd tier star, like Bradley Beal. Getting him would be fun and, if we didn’t have to part with any current pieces, we would probably become a consistent playoff team for the next couple of years topping out at a 4th or 5th seed. What wouldn’t be fun is having very few picks over the next four years as Washington owns both our picks this year and both our picks in 2023 and probably a handful of pick swaps. I think the minimum for Beal will be a very good young player, like Barrett and 2-3 1sts or 4+ 1st round picks if we wanted to keep all our pieces. Beal is going to get traded for a fortune and if we are not willing to move any of our young players then it will be many many picks.

    We need to be patient. I am on the fence about whether it is better to keep or trade Randle but I am totally cool with moving forward with him as our centerpiece, but if the choice is to go all in or fold I think we are much closer to folding than being ready to go all in. We cannot let a little excitement and a small bit of success cause us to lose our heads and start making hasty moves.

  135. geo:
    i thought this was super funny from the game thread:

    Clyde’s … pet peeves …

    clyde alone has been worth the price of being a knicks fan…

    There was one missing:
    – the easy 2pts on an inbound pass from behind the rim

    Clyde: HOW CAN THEY ALLOW THAT?? :D

  136. What a cool interview, loved the way Noel talked about Thibs, Julius and Mitch. Seems like we have a team, for a change, and not a collection of players like in years before.

    howdy soze…i think what is key though are the buffers/assistant coaches that leon put around thibs to help get his message accepted…

    mike woodson, kenny payne, daisuke yoshimoto, andy greer, and johnnie bryant all seem like pretty good people…leon (and world wide wes i guess) did well…those 2 guys’ “thing” seems to be “relationships” – it seems to working well in this area, and in the locker room…

  137. i asked a little bit upstream, but, i’ll ask again – should derrick rose be our starting point guard for now?

    seems like a pretty obvious yes to me…

  138. I think you’re moving the goal posts a bit, Ben R, by practically tripling the package I suggested we give up.

    I personally don’t see bradley beal fetching a package you suggested. That’s equal to james harden! Sure, if that’s the price, move along.

  139. geo:
    i asked a little bit upstream, but, i’ll ask again – should derrick rose be our starting point guard for now?

    seems like a pretty obvious yes to me…

    he should but he won’t…thibs will put elf back in there…we have to hope he slips on a wet floor or something and aggravates the hammy…

  140. he should but he won’t…thibs will put elf back in there…we have to hope he slips on a wet floor or something and aggravates the hammy…

    one of the things i’ve become acutely aware of while watching our team on the offensive end is “spacing” – after some years here it’s been driven in to my psyche like a rail spike…at least to begin the 1st and 3rd quarters there appears to be more “spacing” amongst our players…they can’t sag off of rose/ignore him completely…he doesn’t really like going to the rim anymore, but, if there’s two easy points for him there, he’s all in…

    i’m not sure the other team even notices elf is doing anything on offense…

    and, some else mentioned it earlier – elf’s defensive numbers this year (-1.1dbpm) aren’t all that great anyways…

    wow, actually – all of elf’s numbers really suck…i’m pretty sure we’re about to see rose’s 3rd act (bulls, minny, now)…

  141. i’m apt to give quik the benefit of the doubt, seeing how he’s far exceeded any expectations i may have had (and he’s got cool stats) – but, he doesn’t really play like a point guard…more like a scoring guard…that might be by design, but – all those floaters that don’t float, don’t also seem to be potential plays for others…

    maybe that’s his role: shoot til we pull ya…

  142. geo:
    i’m apt to give quik the benefit of the doubt, seeing how he’s far exceeded any expectations i may have had (and he’s got cool stats) – but, he doesn’t really play like a point guard…more like a scoring guard…that might be by design, but – all those floaters that don’t float, don’t also seem to be potential plays for others…

    maybe that’s his role: shoot til we pull ya…

    well he’s arguably the best pure shooter ont the team already…you could say bullock/burks are in that discussion but I see him as a combo guard…I notice that Thibs makes Burks the de facto offense initiator now when he has iq and frank out there…so he must think Burks is better equipped than iq to run the offense and/or he is thinking that it is easier to iq to get “his” when he doesn’t have to worry about setting up the offense..

  143. I think either option is reasonable, but I think the worst thing you can do, IMO, is delay making a decision. Holding off got the perfect player is why the Celtics are deteriorating right now.

    The Celtics won 51 games before they traded one pick and a busted player for an all offense no defense guard. We’re talking about trading 3 picks after we go around .500

  144. Hubert – It is what it took to trade for Harden but also what it took to get Jrue Holiday. I think right now that is the asking price for players like that. If we wanted to wade into the Beal sweepstakes I think we are looking at teams like Denver including 1-2 legit young prospects plus a couple picks. If we wanted to go, Toppin, + Barrett, + a couple picks then I think that is also possible but if we are keeping all our players then I think 4 picks is the beginning of the conversation.

    I really do not think we could get Beal for the package you posted. The minimum is probably Toppin + Frank/Knox + 4 picks including both our picks this year just to get them to pick up the phone. If we had a guaranteed lottery pick this year that might be different but the picks we are offering are potentially not that valuable. I think Denver, Golden State, Memphis, or even the Pelicans can probably outbid us if we tried to lowball them.

    Then after we clear out the cupboards we have to pay him a fortune after next year and we would be committed after giving up so much. I think Beal is a pass unless we can steal him away which seems unlikely.

    Ball on the other hand is starting to convince me he might be worth making a move for. If his shooting is real he would be a great pickup. Even if it cost us a pick or two, protected of course.

  145. DRed: The Celtics won 51 games before they traded one pick and a busted player for an all offense no defense guard.We’re talking about trading 3 picks after we go around .500

    I’m with you.

  146. geo: howdy soze…i think what is key though are the buffers/assistant coaches that leon put around thibs to help get his message accepted…
    mike woodson, kenny payne, daisuke yoshimoto, andy greer, and johnnie bryant all seem like pretty good people…leon (and world wide wes i guess) did well…those 2 guys’ “thing” seems to be “relationships” – it seems to working well in this area, and in the locker room…

    Howdy geo, totally agree with you, i think Leon did a great job hiring Thibs’ staff. And also in the front-office, with guys that i hope will help us draft well with our 2 picks in the teens.

  147. the celtics sat on a trove of assets waiting for the perfect trade until those assets lost all their value.

    selling high is an important part of asset management, too.

    Two of the assets I included in the trade (Obi Toppin and our 2021 pick) are highly likely to plummet in value over the next 12 months.

  148. Ben R: Hubert – It is what it took to trade for Harden but also what it took to get Jrue Holiday.

    I don’t think you can use Holliday as a benchmark. Him and the Paul George deals were special bc the Bucks and Clippers, respectively, we’re making the trades to acquire/retain Giannis/Kawhi.

    But look, if you’re right, and that’s the price, forget about it.

  149. Hubert:
    the celtics sat on a trove of assets waiting for the perfect trade until those assets lost all their value.

    selling high is an important part of asset management, too.

    Two of the assets I included in the trade (Obi Toppin and our 2021 pick) are highly likely to plummet in value over the next 12 months.

    To wit… for years, Memphis’ unprotected pick was one of the best trade chips in the league. Now it’s Aaron Nesmith.

    You guys want to wait, fine. There’s a good chance the player you want doesn’t come. And even if he does, chances are Obi Toppin and our 2021 pick are going to be as enticing as Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina.

  150. I think Toppin’s value is pretty low right now. Once he starts playing more regularly and shows what he can do his value will go up. I didn’t like the pick either but he is certainly not a bust, at least not yet. We need to be patient rather than just assume he was a bad pick. Thibs is misusing him about as much as any coach could and his stats still aren’t that bad.

    Also, our 2021 pick right now looks like it will be in the low 20s and if we got Beal it definitely would be but if we are patient it is just as likely to be mid-teens or even lottery once the season shakes out. Plus I hope we draft a good player whose value goes up rather than down. I don’t think and certainly hope not, that either asset is most likely going to lose its value over the next year. That’s a pretty pessimistic take, which is funny because it is paired with a super optimistic take on our season so far.

  151. Dedicated to you, Humper…

    Stefan Bondy: I don’t know if Minnesota would ever make Karl-Anthony Towns available. But as bad as things ended for Thibodeau in Minnesota, I’ve heard that he’d be open to Karl-Anthony Towns again because Thibodeau just wants to win and he thinks Karl-Anthony Towns will help him do that. And so I know that Karl-Anthony Towns is somebody that’s actually been reported before that the Knicks are monitoring as well.

  152. i think Leon did a great job hiring Thibs’ staff. And also in the front-office, with guys that i hope will help us draft well with our 2 picks in the teens.

    hopefully leon had some input on our medical staff also – just kidding, not really…

    i wonder how much of the team culture, front office wise, has changed with leon and wes “in charge”…

    i don’t know what it may have been like to work at caa…it would seem kind of cool though…and then, how do they counter balance that against team ownership…

    i’ll tell ya – first time i ever saw scott perry smiling, was sitting next to leon rose…who knows, maybe he’s one of those guys that can run a successful organization while still making it fun…

    i wonder if he has instituted a no musical performance fly rule for jimmie…

  153. Ben R: I don’t think and certainly hope not, that either asset is most likely going to lose its value over the next year. That’s a pretty pessimistic take, which is funny because it is paired with a super optimistic take on our season so far.

    it’s an historically accurate take.

    How many guys drafted 15-30 last year do you think could fetch a 1st round pick on the trade market right now? My guess is one, Quickley. And it’s like that every year.

    Draft picks usually have more value when they could be anyone.

  154. The Celtics have been to the eastern conference finals 3 times in the last 4 years, the Knicks haven’t finished above .500 in 8 years, you’re comparing wildly different teams. The Celtics certainly could have won the NBA finals last year if they had a slightly better team, the Knicks might not even be a playoff team this season. Yeah, we’re 4th right now, but we’re a game out of 8th. The Heat, the Celtics and the Raptors are probably all a good bet to finish better than the Knicks right now.

  155. You’re talking about win curve and I’m talking about holding onto assets too long.

  156. I mean do you think our 2023, 2024 and 2015 picks are rapidly depreciating because we’re 18-17? Aside from Obi there’s nothing we’re risking holding on to for too long by not trading for Bradley Beal now

  157. DRed:
    I mean do you think our 2023, 2024 and 2015 picks are rapidly depreciating because we’re 18-17?Aside from Obi there’s nothing we’re risking holding on to for too long by not trading for Bradley Beal now

    Come on, man. I said very clearly that two of the assets in the trade (and then I went on to name them: Toppin and our 2021 pick) are likely to be much less valuable if you believe in Julius Randle and the potential of this season.

    The 23 & 25 picks comprise 98% of the value in the trade. IMO, it’s a significant offer and a steep price, but potentially worth it *if* you believe in Randle and the young core.

  158. Watching him and Gobert stand right next to each other under the basket and seeing Gobert be helplessly moved aside as Zion gets position without seeming to even think about it and just grab the ball. It is a bit surreal. Just how strong is this guy? And how strong is he going to be six years from now?

  159. I think that Harden’s trade package was suppressed a bit by the fact that he was being very difficult and demanding a trade to only one destination. Which is, I suppose, what World Wide Wes is trying to do with Beal (seeing as Wes is actually employed by the Knicks, I gotta believe that’s a tampering violation if it happens, no?). Harden is worth more than Jrue, but the precedent for a general framework is there: lots of picks/pick swaps. Especially if Beal is content to stay, and/or other teams want him.

  160. I suppose I’m a bit skeptical of Randle, but I don’t want to trade a bunch of future assets now for a Beal caliber player because I’m fairly optimistic about the direction of the team. We move all that for Beal we’re still going to need a superstar and now we have a lot less to use to get one.

  161. djphan:
    yea i mean i see the improvement… but we’re still talking a drop in the bucket relative to what he’s shown in his career and his 3p shooting is probably not sustainable at his current ft%…

    if he’s an 80% ft shooter… then 38% seems sustainable… but if he’s mid 70s then i would see that 3p shooting to drop… and in order for there to be upside you need him to shoot better because improvement in other areas is unlikely…

    and even if you give him 40% 3p shooting and 80% ft… that’s still just effectively jose calderon… there’s still not much scoring volume… there’s still not much assist volume either without dribble penetration…. calderon was good yes.. but not 30mm/year good….

    Yeah, I don’t think he’s actually worth $30M. But I’m not just looking at Ball. I also look at 36yo PGs and mostly see cliffs to fall off. I don’t think CP3 is worth $40M this year (few players are worth it), I don’t think he’ll be worth $40M next year, and there’s a good chance he hits that cliff and is worth significantly less than $40M. Giving 36yo old PGs a max value contract is like handing Wile E. Coyote his stick of dynamite while he hovers midair above the grand canyon. Maybe he hangs there for a second or two, but you know he’s going to fall.

    Here’s 538’s projections. Look at the graphs of his comparables for Paul, it’s not pretty.

    As for Ball, I’m no expert on aging curves, but it strikes me as a little myopic to only look at his shooting to conclude he’s finished improving. He’s also cut down on turnovers and increased his usage fairly consistently since entering the league. He’s also shown he can rack up more assists than he’s doing this year. So yeah, I think there’s some room for improvement.

  162. Unreason:
    Just how strong is this guy? And how strong is he going to be six years from now?

    He tags in for Atlas in the offseason and plays angry birds with his off-hand.

  163. Hubert – I am with our future gm on this

    Derozan and Poeltl were a better return for Kawhi then I realized.

    What is the Nets record with and without their Big Three? I feel like they have done better with 2 than 3.

    Also, I love the new Beard

    Cade is on ESPN

  164. Hubert: To wit… for years, Memphis’ unprotected pick was one of the best trade chips in the league. Now it’s Aaron Nesmith.

    You guys want to wait, fine. There’s a good chance the player you want doesn’t come. And even if he does, chances are Obi Toppin and our 2021 pick are going to be as enticing as Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina.

    Just because the Celtics didn’t catch the big fish with their stock of picks doesn’t mean we’ll suffer the same fate. And as others stated, the C’s were already a good team (and it’s possible the narrative would’ve changed had Hayward not gotten hurt). We’re a game over .500 for the first time in a long time.

    Not that your warning doesn’t have any validity – just that the team isn’t even at the stage the Celts were when they traded for IT. As I’ve said before, this season isn’t the right time to think about consolidating our picks into a trade. Like others here, I feel the cost of a Beal trade (even though neither he nor Washington wants to move on publicly) is too high. Ditto for Zach Lavine.

    We need one more draft – preferably the lottery, although if they make the playoffs playing at or near .500 ball I definitely won’t be mad at all. That’s where Plan B comes in: working the mid-late 1st round like they did in the fall. At least see if they can draft a productive wing to replace Knox, and another guard (would love a PG but a SG with a nice stroke and some passing may suffice).

    Next season is the year of really big decisions, especially if the team continues their upward trajectory.

  165. DRed: We move all that for Beal we’re still going to need a superstar and now we have a lot less to use to get one.

    And I’m thinking with the lack of superstars available while Randle and these kids are on team friendly deals, maybe we give up the superstar dream for once and play a different hand.

    Randle and Beal provide a strong baseline, but steady improvement from RJ, Mitch, and Quick could be what propels the team forward.

    With about $30mm in cap space this summer, we could complement the team with 2-3 strong veteran signings.

    And it’s not like we’re emptying the cupboard. We’d still have a first and second round pick in every year except 2025.

    I think Thibs could turn all that into a team that looks like this Jazz team, or his old Bulls teams.

  166. Hubert: And I’m thinking with the lack of superstars available while Randle and these kids are on team friendly deals, maybe we give up the superstar dream for once and play a different hand.

    Randle and Beal provide a strong baseline, but steady improvement from RJ, Mitch, and Quick could be what propels the team forward.

    With about $30mm in cap space this summer, we could complement the team with 2-3 strong veteran signings.

    And it’s not like we’re emptying the cupboard. We’d still have a first and second round pick in every year except 2025.

    I think Thibs could turn all that into a team that looks like this Jazz team, or his old Bulls teams.

    Yeah, I think that’s the play. If we bring back Noel & Randle, then we have 4-5 years of run on this core before we need to reboot. That’s plenty of time for RJ, IQ, Obi, Mitch, & whoever else we draft to come into their own. If we can’t quite push the team over the edge, then we start looking at making the superstar move in year 3 or 4. That, or in the same year recycle Randle & Noel into picks and we’ll have 5+ years left with RJ, IQ, & the young guys. Obviously, a lot has to go right but we’re in absolutely no rush to trade for a star.

    Signing someone as a FA is a bit more pressing because our cap space will dry up when we start offering 2nd contracts. That’s why it sucks there’s no good FAs this year.

  167. Speaking of superstar watching, re-litigating old news and Jrue Holiday – is it safe to say the Bucks have pushed all of their chips in the middle with that trade? This is a team that, before the bubble, was thought to be a true title contender (or at least to come out of the East). Then they fell short. So I’m a little curious – even with his new deal, how committed can the Greek Freak stay if they fail to at least make it out of the East this season and next?

    99.99% pipe dream… but I do wonder just a little.

  168. #but steady improvement from RJ, Mitch, and Quick could be what propels the team forward#

    That’s the Truth.
    If the Young Core don’t improve significantly we don’t go far imo.

  169. Going 18-17 with our hard fighting scrubs and searching for stars to get here seems like getting our first wage in life and checking for available supermodels to date!

    Patience

  170. Yeah, I don’t think he’s actually worth $30M. But I’m not just looking at Ball. I also look at 36yo PGs and mostly see cliffs to fall off.

    yea i mean the risk is always there… it’s a gamble.. just like signing randle was a gamble…. signing ball is a gamble.. signing anyone to significant money is a gamble… the question is what is the right gamble to take?

    and yes cp3 could fall off a cliff.. that’s why he’s presumably available…. guys like cp3 don’t normally become available because if he was any younger he’d be too desirable to have a shot at with just free agent money…. he might not even be available and just make this all moot…. same argument applies to lowry too.. and guys like ball…. they’re imperfect players that you have to choose whether or not to invest money in…

    and for me i’d rather bet on an all time great pg doing all time great things for as long as his body holds up… and for 98% of his career cp3’s health has been a nonfactor and there’s no reason to believe that he just drops dead next year and puts up a big fat zero…

    nash put up 3 bpm seasons at age 36 and 37 and he had chronic back issues… and finally collapsed at 38 when he changed uniforms…. stockton put up 6 and 5 bpm seasons until age 40.. magic after missing 5 seasons and had freaking hiv put up a 5bpm year at age 36.. kidd averaged 3bpm from 36 to 39…

    god bless 538 and miller.. billups.. terry or hornacek but they aren’t in paul’s class… if you want to look at aging curves it’s more informative to look at how other alltime great pg’s have aged because cp3 is absolutely an all time great pg… we can all agree on that right? just like lebron shouldn’t age like gay or melo but more like jordan because he’s aging down from a stratosphere only jordan has reached..

    so yea i’d rather bet on cp3’s health than ball figuring out how to get to the rim… and even 20mm is a lot for a guy who can’t do that…

  171. It’s funny that the Knicks and the Mavericks are moving almost in sync with each other. Now they’re a game over .500, too.

  172. Something doesn’t smell right. If he’s good enough for us, why wouldn’t the Pelicans want him?

    Cheap-ish owners and they have other point guards (Eric Bledsoe and Kira Lewis). Lewis doesn’t even play because the team is so crowded. If you max out Ball, what do you do when Zion’s extension comes up? Are you going to max Ball, Ingram and Zion while also paying a pretty penny to Adams?

  173. And the Pellies just beat the Jazz, which makes it all the more strange. Like, what are the Pellies? Are they up and comers? Are they disappointments? I have no idea.

  174. OK then. We trade for Beal and sign Ball to an offer sheet this summer. I’m in.

    Unless we lose the next two games. Then I’m out.

  175. OMG, Chris Paul is not presumably available. The most likely scenario is that he opts in to his $40M dollar contract and continues to play on one of the top 4 teams in the league.

    Owen: Derozan and Poeltl were a better return for Kawhi then I realized.

    Kawhi’s trade value was massively suppressed because he was in the last year of his contract and everyone in the world new he wanted to play in LA. I’d also call that trade a warning to other franchises since it knocked SAS out of title contention for 4 seasons now and they don’t have a clear path to get back there.

  176. djphan: and for me i’d rather bet on an all time great pg doing all time great things for as long as his body holds up… and for 98% of his career cp3’s health has been a nonfactor and there’s no reason to believe that he just drops dead next year and puts up a big fat zero…

    Maybe… but I’ll take the statistical model over the nebulous grouping of all-time great PGs.

    Nash was unique, he peaked from 30-35.
    Magic also peaked later, 29-31 before being forced into retirement. Plus he was playing PF, not PG when he returned.
    Stockton had his best BPM at 32.
    Kidd was exactly 36 when the Mavs started shifting him to a SG. He was pretty consistent from 25-33.

    Paul’s best season? Age 23 (hi Lonzo!!) with an astounding 11 BPM, higher than every other player I just looked up. That probably means CP3 had the best season for a PG ever. But it also means Paul is aging in a much different way than the other guys.

    Even just looking at BPM leaders this season. CP3 is still really damn good, tied for 20th, but I’m not giving anyone in his range or immediately ahead of him $40M. DeRozan and Conley have the same BPM as Paul, and they’re both FAs. $40M for either of those guys?

  177. Maybe… but I’ll take the statistical model over the nebulous grouping of all-time great PGs.

    i mean it’s fine to rely on raptor.. signing chris paul isn’t some slam dunk… but i think it’s an interesting question and it’s interesting for the reasons i stated…

    but i don’t think it’s crazy to say that chris paul doesn’t belong amongst the all time great pg’s or that’s some nebulous group…. i mean if you wanted to take a look at top 5 pgs since 1990 that’s basically the list right? magic.. stockton… cp3… nash.. kidd… maybe replace payton with kidd? and how has the top 5 pg’s aged? how has the top 5 centers aged? sgs etc? when you’re in that stratosphere you don’t age like the rest of the peons of the nba unless you have some injury…. yes all those pg’s are all different and unique … when you’re really really good you usually do something unique to give you an advantage over everyone else to that degree… but when you’re also really really good that advantage you generate just doesn’t disappear overnight.. not without an injury…

    and cp3 has not only been really really good at age 35.. he’s been doing it for a really really long time… this isn’t russell westbrook we’re talking here… this is one of the smartest and most skilled players the game has seen…

    let’s put it this way… is there an age 36 player that you would ever sign on a 3 year deal? what about lebron at age 37? is there this same fear that lebron will just turn into a pumpkin next year or at age 39? i don’t think most people do… and cp3 isn’t in the same neighborhood as lebron or jordan.. but in the same stadium? he’s probably top 25 all-time right?

  178. Knew Your Nicks:
    Going 18-17 with our hard fighting scrubs and searching for stars to get here seems like getting our first wage in life and checking for available supermodels to date!

    Patience

    Wonderful analogy :-)

  179. I know everyone is getting all trigger-happy with a few unexpected wins under our belt, but this team is playing about as well as it can and is still a .500 team at best, and most likely not even that. I suppose it’s fine to say “If we are resigned to management being impatient and blowing our stash of assets on a premature trade, which route would be the least disastrous?” But that’s the danger with a pedal-to-the-metal coach, it gives you an illusion that you are better than you really are. Even if we do make the playoffs, other teams who were somewhat coasting all year have another level to go to and we will likely be quick first round exits, if we even survive the play-in tournament, getting a player or two at the expense of the cap and all of our assets might get us to the second round, but that’s about it. We are NOT getting to the finals, and probably not even to the conference finals with Beal.

    If CP3 is available for a 2-year inflated deal, it’s not a disastrous move if it only costs cap space. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. None of the PGs discussed were worth anywhere near that kind of money, but better CP3 at that price than Beal for our entire stash. It’s probably not going to happen…CP3 will surely have better options, and Rose seemed to hire guys to talk him out of these kind of cap-killing deals.

    I just think there will be bargain deals down the road a bit that we need to be positioned for. You don’t pay top-dollar for anyone at this stage. If we do, sure, we win a few more games and give the Nets the business a little while they coast to a finals trip or two unless the Bucks or Sixers knock them off. Why not wait until Durant ages a bit and see how our draft luck goes until at least next year?

  180. Yeah, we should just be thrilled that Randle has played so well, that RJ has improved and that Quickley looks like a player. Add to them and Mitch (and bring back Noel if he’s hurt getting a new contract by the glut of good centers out there) and just keep adding pieces and not worry too much about wins and losses this year. Enjoy the wins as they come, of course, but they definitely should not be the end all/be all. The future is bright with the young guys and all of those incoming picks.

  181. If

    djphan: signing chris paul isn’t some slam dunk… but i think it’s an interesting question and it’s interesting for the reasons i stated…

    I won’t dismiss it entirely, but I’d be wary of signing him for the max. 2 yrs I could live with, but 3 is really pushing it. If he came for $30M, I’d have much less of a problem with it. It’s not Paul, it’s not his age, it’s Paul at his current age and at a $40M pricetag. It’ll also depend on the other options we have available and who from the current roster returns. If we drop down to 10th & lose play-in game 1, then I don’t really see the point of Paul. If our defense locks everyone down, we finish 4th, & win a couple playoff rounds, then yeah let’s max CP3. But I don’t think we’re there yet. It’s all context.

    There’s plenty of older players I’d sign at 35, 36, whatever age, but I’m paying close attention to their trends.

    I’d give Lebron the max, because Lebron still plays like he deserves a $40M salary. A 7.3 BPM is quite a bit higher than Paul’s 4.2 BPM. Paul is still really good, but there’s a lot more players at that level than Lebron’s level. We can potentially sign those other players for cheaper than CP3.

    Yeah, Paul is an outlier compared to the players listed on Raptor, but I’d guess his aging trend is at least a little similar. His age curve is not that close to the other great PGs, so I’m not convinced he’ll age the same way or that 5 players is a robust sample. When I said nebulous, I meant the ties between the group as a cohesive sample for any predictions. They’re definitely a worthy list of GOAT PGs and CP3 belongs.

  182. FWIW, my spreadsheet has us @ $115M if we sign CP3 for $40M and Mitch & Noel for a combined $18M. The cap is projected around $112M. A lot of capology is finessing the moves in the right order so we can make it work with Mitch’s bird rights, add in another decent player (Mitch’s small cap hold plus being a RFA with Bird rights, gives us a lot of flexibility if he doesn’t run to sign a deal day 1), and fit in Rose or Bullock for the MLE.

    Anyways, a $30M player instead of $40M will potentially allow a much better 2nd player.

    I also assumed we pick where DAL & NYK currently stand (or did if Tankathon didn’t update yet)

  183. GHenman:
    Clyde Peeves: Not seeing the ball and seeing your man at the same time.

    LOL, this one is hilarious. I think Clyde might be more than half the reason Knicks didn’t lose that many fans during these last 2 decades of doom.

  184. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    Speaking of superstar watching, re-litigating old news and Jrue Holiday – is it safe to say the Bucks have pushed all of their chips in the middle with that trade?This is a team that, before the bubble, was thought to be a true title contender (or at least to come out of the East). Then they fell short. So I’m a little curious – even with his new deal, how committed can the Greek Freak stay if they fail to at least make it out of the East this season and next?

    99.99% pipe dream… but I do wonder just a little.

    If he hadn’t signed that extension the entire complexion of this season is totally different.

    Maybe he really wanted the financial security. From the ring-chasing perspective, though, it was a a terrible decision, IMO. This is as good as it’s gonna get for him, and it ain’t that good.

  185. I subscribe Z-Man and Brian’s words, to stay the course, but what do you guys think are the odds the Knicks stay put (with the shiny objects – Beal, Lavine – available) ?

  186. Over the years on this blog there have been many instances of hypotheticals being nothing short of delusional especially with the benefit of hindsight. Assuming we continue to play 500 ball, CP3 leaving Phoenix to come here started at 25% chance, someone’s got it at 75%, it’s described as not some slam dunk, etc. I get that its fun to do in a period of optimism but this take is like some “Barg’s game will change now that he is on the Knicks” delusion. Where is there a shred of evidence that he may be itching to bail on Phoenix (what he said about wanting to play for MSG does not count as that was before he chose Phoenix). It is pure conjecture. Perhaps based on logic but the logic still does not have him landing here. We can’t offer him the allure of chasing a chip and despite what some people think, we can’t pay him more than anyone else.

    Yes, there is a possibility and if it happened I would be thrilled, but I put the likelihood at just slightly north of landing Kawhi.

  187. I subscribe Z-Man and Brian’s words, to stay the course, but what do you guys think are the odds the Knicks stay put (with the shiny objects – Beal, Lavine – available) ?

    Is there any reason to think either of these guys are actually “available” as opposed to just lusted over? Every indication Beal has ever made has been that he wants to stay in Washington long-term and it doesn’t seem like they’re in a hurry to move him either – they’re an organization that’s perennially in chase the 8th seed mode. And by the way, despite their season being a total dumpster fire up to this point, they’re 1.5 games out of the play-in.

    Chicago is currently in the play-in. They have new management there and Karnisovas kind of seems like a big picture guy so maybe he would trade his best player even while in playoff position but that would be a pretty unusual move.

    A big question to me is how the expanded playoff field and increased parity in this wacky season is going to shape the trade market this season. There’s currently 4 teams in the entire league that are more than 3 games out of the play-in – the Pistons in the East, and the Kings, Rockets and Wolves in the West. Every other team in the league is a good week away from sitting in a nominal playoff position. There’s probably at least a few teams outside that group who are seeing a bigger picture and not chasing the play-in, but…not too many. I think it may end up being impossible to make a big splash in season even if management decided it was the right path (which it’s not).

  188. what do you guys think are the odds the Knicks stay put

    Very high. Washington probably isn’t trading Beal til this summer.

    The situation you want to watch for (and the one I am very afraid of) is Victor Oladipo in Houston.

  189. FWIW, my spreadsheet has us @ $115M if we sign CP3 for $40M and Mitch & Noel for a combined $18M.

    I assume you are talking about 2021-22? My guess is that if we are planning to swing big in FA that Mitch will not get an extension, and that he’ll still be playing for ~$2MM or something next year. IF they want to keep both Mitch and Noel, I don’t imagine noel getting more than something between taxpayer and non taxpayer MLE (say ~$8MM), so that still is only $10MM total.

    Re: our recent hot streak – very difficult to parse out a small sample playing against some bad teams, but since Rose’s arrival (first game 2/9), our ORtg is 112.3, very average (16th out of 30).

    Prior to Rose’s arrival (through games of 2/8), our ORtg was 107 (24th out of 30).

    Rose hasn’t been amazing by any means. Averaging 12.5p, 4.9a, 1.1 steals, TS of 52.3 on 24.8 USG, playing 24.6 min/game, resulting in a WS/48 of 0.098 (basically an average player) since coming to NY. Crazy how much just having average PG play has helped us.

    But again, it’s only a 10 game sample, playing a bunch of cream puffs. Only 2 of the 10 are currently 500+ (Miami, GSW). This next stretch will be very interesting.

  190. Re: what we do from here on out – I kinda don’t think a big trade is coming this season. Best thing would be to weaponize the remaining cap space to get some picks, maybe aiming for 2022 2nd round picks since we already have 3 picks this year. Mitch will be back in a few weeks presumably, Taj is only day to day, so the current urgency for big man help is just a transient thing. I’m not sure who else would be worth messing with the chemistry. Bullock/Burks are possibly tradeable, but I don’t think we are going to be sellers. The only deals I can see are agent good-will trades (Rivers, Payton) that probably are neutral in terms of asset (ie. maybe we get a mid-2nd round pick for them but have to take on extra salary to get that 2nd).

  191. Early Bird:
    FWIW, my spreadsheet has us @ $115M if we sign CP3 for $40M and Mitch & Noel for a combined $18M. The cap is projected around $112M. A lot of capology is finessing the moves in the right order so we can make it work with Mitch’s bird rights, add in another decent player (Mitch’s small cap hold plus being a RFA with Bird rights, gives us a lot of flexibility if he doesn’t run to sign a deal day 1), and fit in Rose or Bullock for the MLE.

    Anyways, a $30M player instead of $40M will potentially allow a much better 2nd player.

    I also assumed we pick where DAL & NYK currently stand (or did if Tankathon didn’t update yet)

    Also, this isn’t me arguing for $30M player (okay, maybe a little) but just to give everyone an idea of where we would be if we signed CP3.

    The roster might be:
    CP3/IQ
    [MLE](BulLOCK?)/[Space](Rose?)
    RJ/Knox/Iggy
    Randle/Obi
    Mitch/Noel

    1st Rd Picks x2
    2nd Rd Pick x1

    Note the space before Mitch signs equals ~$12M – Noel’s Salary – 2nd Rd Pick salary.

    Last year’s 31st pick was Terry ~$1.3M
    Noel I’d guess $8M(?)
    Open spot ~$3.5M ($13.5M if we go for $30M player)

    I will say our roster is starting to get crowded, so cashing a few picks in isn’t an awful idea.

  192. Frank: I assume you are talking about 2021-22? My guess is that if we are planning to swing big in FA that Mitch will not get an extension, and that he’ll still be playing for ~$2MM or something next year. IF they want to keep both Mitch and Noel, I don’t imagine noel getting more than something between taxpayer and non taxpayer MLE (say ~$8MM), so that still is only $10MM total.

    Yeah 2021-22 FA, I included all the info except the year, lol!!

    Mitch is an UFA next year, so we have reason to sign him this year. Full Bird Rights, RFA, and his cap hold is only $3,161,336. As long as he doesn’t sign an offer sheet too soon, then we can sign him to whatever deal we want while only taking up an additional $1.3M of cap space over his club option.

  193. Early Bird: Also, this isn’t me arguing for $30M player (okay, maybe a little) but just to give everyone an idea of where we would be if we signed CP3.

    The roster might be:
    CP3/IQ
    [MLE](BulLOCK?)/[Space](Rose?)
    RJ/Knox/Iggy
    Randle/Obi
    Mitch/Noel

    1st Rd Picks x2
    2nd Rd Pick x1

    Note the space before Mitch signs equals ~$12M – Noel’s Salary – 2nd Rd Pick salary.

    Last year’s 31st pick was Terry ~$1.3M
    Noel I’d guess $8M(?)
    Open spot ~$3.5M ($13.5M if we go for $30M player)

    I will say our roster is starting to get crowded, so cashing a few picks in isn’t an awful idea.

    The MLE counts against the cap so we’d have to waive it in order to have max cap space.

  194. Maybe I’m wrong about Nerlens Noel looking for a bigger long term contract and leaving NY. From recent comments it sure sounds like he loves playing for Thibs and with Randle.

  195. Brian Cronin:
    And the Pellies just beat the Jazz, which makes it all the more strange. Like, what are the Pellies? Are they up and comers? Are they disappointments? I have no idea.

    When you have Zion and Ingram, you are an up and comer. I’m less sure they are going to build a good defense around them, make sure Zion has the space to operate, or that Stan Van Gundy has a clue about anything.

  196. vincoug: The MLE counts against the cap so we’d have to waive it in order to have max cap space.

    I believe we can use the Room MLE to sign a player and go over the cap. But that’s a good catch because the MLE is significantly more than the Room MLE. The Room should be enough to bring back Bullock at a slight increase in salary if he accepts it, he may not since he took a pay cut to come here in the first place.

  197. Deeefense:   

    I’d like to keep him and if we offer him multiple years at $8M, I think he says yes. We can go up to ~$11.5M if we do the above, but forego the extra player.

    If he keeps playing shutdown D while Mitch is sitting, then honestly some other team may want to go even higher.

  198. “The situation you want to watch for (and the one I am very afraid of) is Victor Oladipo in Houston.”

    I’m not too worried about this. Oladipo doesn’t have much name recognition (a la Westbrook) so if you’re concerned about a Dolan star fuck, this isn’t the guy. He’s been awful for 2 years running and has had exactly one very good year in the NBA.

    There’s no scenario where we give up a single asset to get this guy IMO.

  199. @Early Bird and the other cap guys out there – does being below the cap also take away non-Bird exceptions (ie. resign your own player for up to 20% raise from current contract)? Because guys like Noel, Bullock, Burks could theoretically be brought back using those if it still applies.

    My guess is that Rose/Aller could figure out a way to stay as an “over-the-cap” team in order to make this work, even if it means we send out a small asset in S&T so we never go below the cap. That would give us access to the non taxpayer MLE and other exceptions, although would hard cap us.

  200. One thing not getting enough consideration about pushing all our chips in on a star is that it’s not just about whether it makes you an instant contender. It also depends on whether you retain a lot of upside even if you know you are not there yet. Just as a hypothetical, if the Knicks had Beal, that would certainly not be enough now. I think everyone knows that. But if you retain most of Mitch, RJ, Quick, Obi, Frank, Knox and mostly sacrifice picks, you still have a ton of upside.

    Would we be a contender next year if we have added Beal to Randle, RJ is doing all of what he’s doing now plus more and with a TS% of 56, Quick is starting, making plays and finishing at the rim better, Mitch has expanded his offense a bit, etc…

    What don’t what it’s going to take to bring one of those stars in, but if you retain a lot of upside and trade flexibility it’s OK if you are not a contender immediately. This team has players on it that are going to get better and better for the next 5 years.

  201. I think DRed said it best. Right now we’re a relatively intriguing team that needs a superstar(s). If we trade the motherlode for Beal, we’re a more intriguing team that still needs a superstar(s). I understand the pitfalls of waiting for the perfect opportunity, but I don’t think I need to convince anyone that historically the more common pitfall, for both the Knicks and everyone else, has been impatience.

    I also agree with everyone pointing out this is pretty much an academic discussion anyway. Washington is within two games of us in the loss column, it’s not like we’re two teams in radically different places on the win curve.

    A lot of capology is finessing the moves in the right order so we can make it work with Mitch’s bird rights, add in another decent player (Mitch’s small cap hold plus being a RFA with Bird rights, gives us a lot of flexibility if he doesn’t run to sign a deal day 1), and fit in Rose or Bullock for the MLE.

    It might make more sense to re-sign Mitch in the summer of 2022. His cap hold will still be minimal, and while he would be a UFA we’d still have full Bird Rights as long as we didn’t renounce it. This would give us an extra offseason to stuff salaries under the cap before re-signing him, and the free agent class of 2022 seems stronger than 2021.

    We’d run the risk of him getting frustrated with the dilly dallying and signing somewhere else, with us having no ability to match. For this to work we’d have to rather unsubtly convey to him that he’ll be taken care of when the time comes.

  202. There’s no scenario where we give up a single asset to get this guy IMO.

    oh my sweet summer child

  203. I was going to write something long-winded about team-building, but I’ll just offer up one rule instead:

    The Knicks should not deviate from what they’re doing UNTIL a (legit) star demands a trade.

  204. Early Bird: In that article he was shooting 28% from 3 and now he’s shooting 39% from 3. Variance!

    That article was a month ago when Lonzo was coming off some injuries. Since then in the month of of February his FG% is .455, 3P% .459, FT% is .846 and TS% is. 625 with a ORtg to DRtg ratio of 127 to 122. And if you look at his season as a whole, he’s gotten better as each month has progressed. What’s especially interesting is how his FTr picked up in February where he shot 26 FTs in 15 games. Nothing major but keep in mind he attempted just 12 in December and January’s 15 combined games. That uptick in FT% and FT attempted once he was healthy is really something to continue to keep track of.

  205. Taj didn’t travel with the team to Texas, and Elf is still listed as doubtful for tonight. Noel’s gonna be an iron man again, I guess?

  206. Frank:
    @Early Bird and the other cap guys out there – does being below the cap also take away non-Bird exceptions (ie. resign your own player for up to 20% raise from current contract)? Because guys like Noel, Bullock, Burks could theoretically be brought back using those if it still applies.

    My guess is that Rose/Aller could figure out a way to stay as an “over-the-cap” team in order to make this work, even if it means we send out a small asset in S&T so we never go below the cap. That would give us access to the non taxpayer MLE and other exceptions, although would hard cap us.

    They don’t go away, they count against the cap. As it stands right now and depending on what exactly the salary cap is next year we either have no cap space or could have a very small amount of cap space if the cap goes up. In order to have cap space to sign FA we need to waive the Non/Early/Bird exceptions for our free agents.

    Personally, keeping this team together and adding an MLE caliber free agent seems like a pretty poor use of resources.

  207. ***It might make more sense to re-sign Mitch in the summer of 2022. His cap hold will still be minimal, and while he would be a UFA we’d still have full Bird Rights as long as we didn’t renounce it. This would give us an extra offseason to stuff salaries under the cap before re-signing him, and the free agent class of 2022 seems stronger than 2021.***

    Shouldn’t the Knicks think about trading Robinson instead? He seems pretty easily replaceable.

  208. Right now we’re a relatively intriguing team that needs a superstar(s).

    That’s debatable, and I think now is the time for the organization to have that debate.

    For one thing… again: all the superstars just got locked up. Read the marketplace. If there is no superstar imminently available, why run your team as if there is? Why not pivot to the Utah Jazz model, or the one Thibs used in Chicago?

    Why not be Miami, and pay for a non superstar while surrounding him with good players? (Incidently, 100% of the same people who wouldn’t trade for Beal wouldn’t have traded for Butler for the same reasons).

    I know it feels comforting to have all these picks but also know your coach. Thibs will play some kids, but he ain’t playing ’em all. We’ll end up like the Pelicans watching Alexander-Walker, Jaxson Hayes, and Kira Lewis rack up DNP-CD’s every night behind Willy Hernangomez and Eric Bledsoe. That’s not good asset management, either.

  209. Frank: @Early Bird and the other cap guys out there – does being below the cap also take away non-Bird exceptions (ie. resign your own player for up to 20% raise from current contract)? Because guys like Noel, Bullock, Burks could theoretically be brought back using those if it still applies.

    My guess is that Rose/Aller could figure out a way to stay as an “over-the-cap” team in order to make this work, even if it means we send out a small asset in S&T so we never go below the cap. That would give us access to the non taxpayer MLE and other exceptions, although would hard cap us.

    So we actually start out as an over the cap team thanks to all the cap holds (Frank’s cap hold is $15M!!). There might be a way to make it work to preserve the over-the-cap status, but I think we’d have to renounce players to make room to absorb CP3 (losing our over-the-cap status) or match salaries somehow. If we made a draft day trade, then it might work because we don’t lose exceptions for being under until later.

    thenoblefacehumper: It might make more sense to re-sign Mitch in the summer of 2022. His cap hold will still be minimal, and while he would be a UFA we’d still have full Bird Rights as long as we didn’t renounce it. This would give us an extra offseason to stuff salaries under the cap before re-signing him, and the free agent class of 2022 seems stronger than 2021.

    Yeah, we could definitely do it. Above I’m mostly talking about the CP3 scenario, which probably caps us out for the foreseeable future. If we really wanted the extra $1.3M this season, under that scenario, then we could still chance it.

    I’m not sure where we stand for 2022 right now, but it’s definitely an important factor in what we do this offseason. Randle’s cap hold is the only big salary…

  210. Ntilakilla: That article was a month ago when Lonzo was coming off some injuries. Since then in the month of of February his FG% is .455, 3P% .459, FT% is .846 and TS% is. 625 with a ORtg to DRtg ratio of 127 to 122. And if you look at his season as a whole, he’s gotten better as each month has progressed. What’s especially interesting is how his FTr picked up in February where he shot 26 FTs in 15 games. Nothing major but keep in mind he attempted just 12 in December and January’s 15 combined games. That uptick in FT% and FT attempted once he was healthy is really something to continue to keep track of.

    I’m skeptical but open minded on this. Tell me what you think it would cost to pry him? Or are you waiting for him to be an RFA to make an offer sheet? I personally hate that last route, as more often than not you end up with a really, really bad deal on your books.

  211. Why not be Miami, and pay for a non superstar while surrounding him with good players? (Incidently, 100% of the same people who wouldn’t trade for Beal wouldn’t have traded for Butler for the same reasons).

    I suppose everyone has a different definition of “superstar,” but Jimmy Butler absolutely fits the bill for me and I said so years ago when others were saying they wouldn’t want to sign him in the event that the KD/Kyrie plan failed.

    He is working on his 4th season with a BPM above Beal’s career high, and has gotten as high as 7.3 in the past (would be top-6 this year). I don’t need to be lectured by the usual suspect about the flaws of all-in-one metrics, but in Butler’s case I would say if anything they underrate him because (eye-test alert) he’s a standout defender when he needs to be.

    If a player like him became available my opinion might be different. Beal, in my opinion, is not a player like him.

  212. The Lonzo discussion is worth having but at the end of the day I think we’d be paying all-star price for starter level production. It’s also worth noting it’s doubtful NOP would truly let him walk for nothing, so they’d seek a sign-and-trade in the event they don’t want to match an offer. Paying him ~$25M AAV AND surrendering trade assets is a nonstarter IMO.

    If we got him for the money alone I might not be despondent (there are certainly worse ways to spend money than on a 23 year old pure point guard who looks to have plugged some of the holes in his game), but I still think we’d be much better off trying to find someone who could approximate his production in the draft. We’re not talking about a can’t miss talent here, though I admit he’s one of the sub-star level players I most enjoy watching.

  213. Hubert: I’m skeptical but open minded on this. Tell me what you think it would cost to pry him? Or are you waiting for him to be an RFA to make an offer sheet? I personally hate that last route, as more often than not you end up with a really, really bad deal on your books.

    I don’t think you can get Lonzo Ball away from the Pelicans for less than a VanVleet level deal, and that wouldn’t be worth the headache. To acquire him at the deadline, you’re giving up a 1st round pick. He’s their starting point guard and the best shooter in their starting five.

  214. One thing to think about is the fact that while we might get a worse pick now that we won’t be drafting in the lottery (most likely), we do have a much clearer idea of what we specifically need to improve our roster. A team that is in the playoffs with a 26 year old all-star and several super young core players can draft for need, especially later in the first round (where we tend to do ok anyways).

    We know we need an upgrade at starting PG. We know we need a wing who can shoot the 3. We have 2 first round picks and we can address those specific needs in the draft if we want. We will also have cap space to address those needs.

    We could also potentially package the two first rounders and second rounder to move up. Maybe that doesn’t get us in the top 5 but maybe it gets us in the top 10? I would prefer to just let them fall where they may and pick the two picks but moving up is a possible option too.

    People bring up all the potential pitfalls now that we’re competitive but the fact is, we’re competitive and pretty young and have 5 first rounders in the next 3 drafts. We’re in a very good spot. Pitfalls are a natural result of actually being good enough to have potential pitfalls.

    I also don’t think the Boston situation is comparable at all. They actually did kind of go all in with Haywood and Irving it just didn’t work out for them. But they still have 2 core pieces that are young and good and this iteration of the Celtics has had more success than we have (so far), so we are not at a place I think where we push the chips in on a mega trade. Not yet at least.

  215. He is working on his 4th season with a BPM above Beal’s career high, and has gotten as high as 7.3 in the past (would be top-6 this year). I don’t need to be lectured by the usual suspect about the flaws of all-in-one metrics, but in Butler’s case I would say if anything they underrate him because (eye-test alert) he’s a standout defender when he needs to be.

    Apples to apples, my friend. You’re comparing Butler’s age 27-31 seasons to Beal’s 22-26.

    Butler began dropping monster BPM numbers in his age 27 season. Beal is in his age 27 season right now and it’s blowing away Butler’s best year. Beal has a 5.2 BPM in 30 games! His age 27 season is on pace to crush Butler’s age 27 season (7.3, which was his career high).

    Bradely Beal isn’t a superstar, but Bradley Beal is really fucking good and is entering his peak seasons.

    And now I’m sitting here thinking Julius Randle might just have arrived at close to the same level at 26.

  216. The Glass Half Rebuilt: I don’t think you can get Lonzo Ball away from the Pelicans for less than a VanVleet level deal, and that wouldn’t be worth the headache.

    Speaking of FVV, thank god I asked ptmilo for odds on that bet. FVV would be killing it here and I’d have $5k sitting in an eschrow account waiting to be handed over.

  217. The big reason why I’m pro Lonzo is I see him as the ideal back court mate for Immanuel Quickley. He can shoot, pass, defend, and run the offense without needing to dominate the ball which works well on a team that employs Barrett, Quickley, and Randle. Going from Payton and Bullock to Lonzo and Quickley would make us a lot more dangerous on offense, but I’m not sure the price of admission (trading a real asset or overpaying in RFA) would be worth the show. There’s always a chance of a draft day trade a la what Detroit did with Luke Kennard, and I’m starting to believe that’s the best way forward.

    Another thing is Lonzo could take our defense to another level. I’d love to see what Lonzo could do in a Thibs defense.

  218. thenoblefacehumper: The Lonzo discussion is worth having but at the end of the day I think we’d be paying all-star price for starter level production. It’s also worth noting it’s doubtful NOP would truly let him walk for nothing, so they’d seek a sign-and-trade in the event they don’t want to match an offer. Paying him ~$25M AAV AND surrendering trade assets is a nonstarter IMO.

    If Lonzo signs an offer sheet, then NOP really has to either match it or let him go. Matching it puts some restrictions on NOP – they can’t trade him for a year without his consent, and can’t trade him at all to the team that he signed the offer sheet with. They also can’t sign and trade him after he’s signed an offer sheet.

    The fact that by all reports they’re open to trading him now pretty much telegraphs they don’t want to pay him what his market value will be. They have a bunch of backcourt guys that need to play (Kira Lewis, Alexander) and so the Knicks might not need to break the bank in any offer sheet. Or maybe just wishful thinking. Quickley/Ball/Barrett/Randle/Mitch would be pretty fun.

  219. Butler began dropping monster BPM numbers in his age 27 season. Beal is in his age 27 season right now and it’s blowing away Butler’s best year. Beal has a 5.2 BPM in 30 games! His age 27 season is on pace to crush Butler’s age 27 season (7.3, which was his career high).

    BPM is a rate stat. You’re confusing it with VORP.

  220. Hubert: I’m skeptical but open minded on this. Tell me what you think it would cost to pry him? Or are you waiting for him to be an RFA to make an offer sheet? I personally hate that last route, as more often than not you end up with a really, really bad deal on your books.

    I might be talking myself into believing this but my assumption is that both Lonzo and New Orleans don’t see a long term partnership. I think the pressure is on the Pelicans to make a deal before he leaves. He’s leaving sooner or later. And I don’t have an issue giving away a 2nd rounder, maybe even a condition non-lottery first to get him here based on how he continues to play. Guy would instantaneously make this starting lineup a very lethal offense with IQ in the backcourt during Randle’s prime seasons.

  221. If you ask me, NOP should keep Lonzo – he’s a great glue guy, good perimeter defender, and if his shooting is real, seems like a guy that could be a major contributor on a really good team. I don’t really see how he is what is keeping them from being a good team.

  222. He’s their starting point guard and the best shooter in their starting five.

    A 23 year old starting PG and best shooter on a top 6 NBA offense should be worth something, no?

  223. If Lonzo signs an offer sheet, then NOP really has to either match it or let him go. Matching it puts some restrictions on NOP – they can’t trade him for a year without his consent, and can’t trade him at all to the team that he signed the offer sheet with. They also can’t sign and trade him after he’s signed an offer sheet.

    Yeah, but they have some leverage over Lonzo in that they can pay him more than any other team. So even if he wants to leave, it’d be in his best interests to work with them on a sign-and-trade. If they don’t trade him at the deadline, you have to assume they’re either matching any offer or making sure they sign-and-trade him in restricted free agency. David Griffin doesn’t seem like the “light assets on fire” type.

  224. Frank:
    If you ask me, NOP should keep Lonzo – he’s a great glue guy, good perimeter defender, and if his shooting is real, seems like a guy that could be a major contributor on a really good team.I don’t really see how he is what is keeping them from being a good team.

    He’s not. In fact, his improvement has positively correlated with the team’s improvement in February.

  225. Frank: Quickley/Ball/Barrett/Randle/Mitch would be pretty fun.

    Call me crazy, but I think Quickley, Ball, Barrett, Randle, and Bamba would be even more fun. Mo Bamba is currently rotting behind Nikola Vucevic in Orlando but the kid’s stats check out, he can shoot it from all three levels, he’s not far off defensively from Robinson, and he’s probably a better passer. He’s a very interesting buy-low candidate who could elevate the floor of our offense over Robinson by simply being a legit floor spacer at the five. You just don’t get 7′ guys with a 7’10” wingspan in the bargain bin, and there’s the added plus of him being from Harlem.

  226. I do like Ball, but thinking about it more 2022 seems like a much better option as TNFH pointed out. For some reason I thought we had to re-sign someone before that (maybe I was thinking Mitch).

    If we wait we could just sign LaVine (who is looking good right now), Beal (for ~$5M under his max), retain Randle, & then maybe CP3 & Butler come here for the championship at the minimum, lol.

    There’s also Kawhi, potentially all the Nets superstars, Curry, and some other people who are better than the low bar of 2021 set by Otto Porter & a restricted Ball.

    This definitely seems like the play

    If I had to I could probably live with:

    CP3/IQ
    Beal/1st Rd Pick
    Lavine/RJ
    Randle/Toppin
    Mitch/1st Rd Pick

  227. NOP and Lonzo seem headed for a break up because of their big money commitment to Brandon Ingram, and the big money commitment they have to make to Zion in Fall 2022. Paying $90-100M in salary to those three seems less than ideal for a small market team. There’s a chance NOP is sitting on 3 top 25 players, but in the West you don’t really have the luxury to wait it out.

    They also gave Steven Adams an extension, so paying Lonzo, Ingram, Zion, Bledsoe, and Adams could make them a luxury tax team. That’s pretty much all you need to know about why they’re punting on Ball.

  228. I’m not into sitting around til 2022 thinking “this time will be different.”

    Besides, once we get there, the same people won’t want to sign any of the free agents bc “we’ll be paying for their decline years.”

    Right now we have Randle, Barrett, Mitch, IQ making less than $33mm combined and a coach who ain’t gonna play all your kids. Play the hand you’ve been dealt.

  229. Yeah I’m VERY intrigued by Lonzo for those exact reasons and his age. Being so young, he still has ample time to improve and he would be on the same timeline with our other young players. He is not a star but maybe he could be? I don’t know. He seems like he could be a really good option for us. Defense, passing, improved outside shooting. Could mesh well with RJ, Quickley and Randle.

    Would be an overpay probably but this is the kind of move I would make bc it would be an upgrade but also still give us upside to grow internally with our young players and we could still have our picks to add more young players every year.

    I just wonder what the price would be for him. But if we signed him outright this year then we could renew Mitch and Julius next year right?

  230. Lonzo would be nice, but isn’t this just wild speculation?

    Oladipo had a terrific season before he got hurt and might be available for next to nothing. If he’s healthy again, he might be worth acquiring

  231. I’m out on Beal because the cost you’d have to pay for that guy is what you’d pay for a true franchise centerpiece, and in a league where maybe 7 of those players exist at a time, you’d be putting a ceiling on your success. However, Beal AND Randle together, make a centerpiece. If you told me we could be starting IQ, Beal, Barrett, Randle, and Robinson (I’d still move him for an asset and try to steal Bamba) with my best chance for a title being the development of Barrett, Quickley, and Robinson, that’s something I could live with. IQ, Beal, Barrett, Randle, and Robinson is a really balanced lineup that I’d wager could beat any of the Tatum-led Boston teams. I just don’t see how you trade for Bradley Beal and keep all of IQ, Barrett, Randle, and Robinson.

  232. Alan:
    Taj didn’t travel with the team to Texas, and Elf is still listed as doubtful for tonight. Noel’s gonna be an iron man again, I guess?

    Why don’t we waive someone, maybe the cheerleader (Pinson), and call up Simi Shittu?

  233. Why are we talking about working over the cap? Do we already have Lebron+AD and are only trying to make improvements around the edges?

  234. I both envy the Pels for having Pace and Space Barkley and also do not envy having to build a team that will peak in ~3 years while recognizing that he’s getting the All-NBA max in three years which will effectively end their ability to add anyone aside from minimums. Lonzo gets paid and they’re basically set in stone for half a decade, zero flexibility aside from 4-team megatrades and emptying the cupboard of all picks for “the last piece.” That’s a lot of pressure for a small-market team.

  235. Hubert:
    I’m not into sitting around til 2022 thinking “this time will be different.”

    Besides, once we get there, the same people won’t want to sign any of the free agents bc “we’ll be paying for their decline years.”

    Right now we have Randle, Barrett, Mitch, IQ making less than $33mm combined and a coach who ain’t gonna play all your kids. Play the hand you’ve been dealt.

    The hope is RJ, IQ, & Mitch improve. We go into FA as a playoff team that can add at least 1 max FA and potentially figure out a way for a 2nd, or sign a really good player for ~$20M. Then we just slot Beal or LaVine or whomever we sign:

    Ball/IQ
    Beal/1st
    RJ/1st/2nd
    Randle/Obi
    Mitch/1st/2nd

    We don’t give up any assets getting here, we have 3 1st rd picks, plus 2 after that season to make a trade for a 3rd superstar. If FA doesn’t workout, then we still have a crap ton of picks and young players.

  236. cybersoze: Why don’t we waive someone, maybe the cheerleader (Pinson), and call up Simi Shittu?

    I assume something like this is going on, but players need to pass Covid procedures so it takes awhile. They probably want to hold off announcing anything.

    If nothing else, that means we get to see more Obi. Maybe some emergency Center Knox.

  237. I don’t see the rush to trade major assets for Beal or whoever this season. I think the smarter play would be to wait until next year and see which all stars get put on the trade block. If recent history is any guide than there should be a few guys at Beal’s level or better available in a trade. It would also give the FO more time to evaluate the current pieces and adjust who to target in the future. Worst case scenario: the Knicks can’t pull off a trade next year and still have a bunch of draft picks + young players. I could live with that outcome.

  238. Speaking of draft picks and Celtics, there’s a very odd piece in the Ringer on that exact topic. I don’t usually read Ringer pieces on the Celtics as they’re almost always puff extraordinaire, but this one makes some interesting observations. One is that since 2010, the Knicks are actually very upper/middle of the pack (12th) in terms of how they calculate draft value vs. expectation. Their whole premise is suspect, but it’s an interesting take nonetheless.

  239. who are these free agents in 2022 we should patiently wait for? I see 34 year old Steph Curry, 33 year old Jimmy Butler… maybe you’re holding out hope we can get someone from BK to defect.

    You know who’s going to be the jewel of the 2022 free agent class? Julius Randle.

    And half, if not all, those assets you wanted to hold onto are *still* going to be glued to the bench behind Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson

  240. Raven:
    Speaking of draft picks and Celtics, there’s a very odd piece in the Ringer on that exact topic. I don’t usually read Ringer pieces on the Celtics as they’re almost always puff extraordinaire, but this one makes some interesting observations. One is that since 2010, the Knicks are actually very upper/middle of the pack (12th) in terms of how they calculatedraft value vs. expectation. Their whole premise is suspect, but it’s an interesting take nonetheless.

    That Ringer piece also listed Landry Fields as our pick of the last decade who most exceeded the expected value of his draft position, and Knox as the the pick who must underperformed relative to expected value.

  241. Why don’t we waive someone, maybe the cheerleader (Pinson), and call up Simi Shittu?

    I feel like we would have heard some scuttlebutt about that from one of the beat writers if the team was thinking about it. Instead, several of them commented on yesterday’s signing of Festus flipping Ezeli to Westchester as a sign that he could be the guy we call up if our big man corps remains so injured.

  242. It’s time to realize that Thibs isn’t going to play the draft picks. There’s no realistic medium term future that includes them as significant pieces with him as the coach.

  243. cybersoze: Why don’t we waive someone, maybe the cheerleader (Pinson), and call up Simi Shittu?

    Honestly, Iggy isn’t any good. I’d move on from him.

  244. Alan: That Ringer piece also listed Landry Fields as our pick of the last decade who most exceeded the expected value of his draft position, and Knox as the the pick who must underperformed relative to expected value.

    Yes, hence “odd” and “suspect.” I don’t know how their math got Fields over Mitch, would love to see the numbers.

    Even if it’s only partially screwy, it does highlight how damn hard it is to get anything right in the draft. And/or that striking out (or at best, walking) is a lot more common than hitting a double, triple, or home run.

  245. E, all merc’d out:
    It’s time to realize that Thibs isn’t going to play the draft picks.There’s no realistic medium term future that includes them as significant pieces with him as the coach.

    that’s not entirely fair, and I’m being hyperbolic.

    he will definitely play some of them. He’s playing Barrett, Mitch, and IQ, after all.

    But there’s a limit. He’s not going to have 6 picks in the rotation.

  246. something i ran because i was curious.

    ytd 3p% of teams we have played: 36.7%
    ytd 3pt % of opponent players who have shot 3s, weighted by actual attempts against us: 36.6%

  247. Jokic is currently at #8 in all-time single-season BPM. Only names ahead of him: LeBron, MJ, Curry, David Robinson. Insane. A second-rounder!

  248. A lineup with Beal and Lavine in it will be a sieve on defense that will negate a lot of the offensive value they bring.

  249. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Jokic is currently at #8 in all-time single-season BPM. Only names ahead of him: LeBron, MJ, Curry, David Robinson. Insane. A second-rounder!

    He must be at the top of that Ringer’s list of picks who most exceeded the expected value of his draft position.

  250. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Jokic is currently at #8 in all-time single-season BPM. Only names ahead of him: LeBron, MJ, Curry, David Robinson. Insane. A second-rounder!

    If we play our cards right, ie not trade them all for Beal, we could be in position to land him if/when he decides the situation in Denver is keeping him from being a global superstar. Denver and Jokic will be on the clock very soon.

  251. Exactly.

    People act like there won’t be another star at some point available for us to grab when the reality is that EVERY season and off season there are stars available. The playoffs also always changes things too. If a team underperforms and it looks like they can’t add to the team or that star has been there for awhile, they get antsy.

    That is why I don’t feel the rush. We’re playing with house money right now. Let’s keep developing and drafting. Maybe we move up in this draft by combining our picks OR maybe we get lucky with the Dallas pick ending up in the lottery. The team is exceeding all expectations by a mile right now. Going all in for Lavine or BEal would be dumb. Lonzo is the only one I would consider cause of his age and him being a real upgrade from Elf as our starting PG but its probably not likely.

  252. The possibility of getting a disgruntled KAT is really intriguing to me, but a lot of it depends on if he still has a grudge against Thibs. I’d pick KAT over Thibs any day, but our front office would probably not approach it that way unless Rose is a lot more cutthroat than we think.

    Also, put me on Team “Don’t make a big move this year unless it’s an absolute slam dunk, which almost certainly won’t happen so let’s just chill with what we have for now.” The name may need to be workshopped a bit.

  253. The Knicks have whiffed badly on every premium free agent that has become available since the summer of 2010. Twice (2010, 2019), they’ve cleared the decks entirely and twice they’ve whiffed badly. STAT was ok, but they only got him because they vastly overpaid him. They haven’t been in the same galaxy as any premium free agent who was clearly getting max money. It’s just a pointless exercise to keep waiting and waiting and whiffing and whiffing. The current front office/team is no better than the one that was sold in 2010; in fact, it’s probably worse.

    This doesn’t mean whiffing is inevitable, but it does mean the pipe dreams have to end. There’s no need to plan anything around Jokic and no need to wait to do anything with Jokic in mind; if somehow he makes it known he wants to come here — highly unlikely — you clear salary last minute to make it happen.

  254. I can’t wait for Nikola Jokic to become available in 2023 and we put together the package of assets we saved.

    Here, Denver, I’ll start the bidding with 25 year old Obi Toppin. Remember him? He won the dunk contest in 2021.

    Next I will throw in our 2023 first round pick. It’s 20th overall this year bc we’ve eschewed tanking to pursue respectability.

    And finally, the piece de resistance, the two guys we took 18th and 20th in the 2021 draft. One of them is currently our 8th man, the other one has great reviews from his G League coach.

    That should get it done, right? That’s how asset management works?

  255. Even if we whiff the point is to collect assets and make smart trades/FA acquisitions in the eventuality someone worth having is available. Right now, the best thing this team can do is to continue winning and developing its young players so the Knicks can be seen as an attractive franchise worth playing on. The problem is always that ownership pressures management to go all in the moment the product on the floor gains a modicum of credability. It leads to these bunggled attempts at title contention building like we saw when Dolan forced the Melo trade or when Phil went all in on D-Rose and Noah.

  256. Windhorst said in a podcast today he expects the Knicks to trade for a superstar by next season’s trade deadline. He made it seem though that it would mean trading Randle, shouldn’t the goal be to add a superstar along with Randle? Like who can realistically become available where trading Randle and assets would actually improve the team?

  257. E – you’re forgetting Tyson Chandler.

    Also, once we signed STAT and traded for Melo, we didn’t relaly have the ability to sign a free agent during that era and after taht we were so bad we weren’t going to attract anyone.

    But we know you hate Thibs and thinks he’s ruining the franchise so there’s no way we can attract a premier free agent now, right?

  258. Pick KAT, the loser who can’t play bball on a winning team but puts up great counting stats over the coach who’s actually made us respectable. Jesus, people on this blog sometimes.

    Maybe KAT has matured and would be fine reuniting with Thibs cause he realizes how good he had it under him now that he’s been gone.

  259. swiftandabundant:
    Pick KAT, the loser who can’t play bball on a winning team but puts up great counting stats over the coach who’s actually made us respectable. Jesus, people on this blog sometimes.

    Maybe KAT has matured and would be fine reuniting with Thibs cause he realizes how good he had it under him now that he’s been gone.

    Getting a 25 year old star player is pretty much always going to be better than having a good coach if the two options are mutually exclusive. The difference between a star player and a mediocre player is much larger than between a good coach and a mediocre coach. It’s not a knock on Thibs that’d I pick having KAT over him if they couldn’t settle their differences.

    Also, this KAT = loser narrative is pretty ridiculous. How many championships has Thibs won as a head coach? It’s about the same as KAT, right?

  260. I’m looking for more than just being “respectable.” If it’s KAT or Thibs, start preparing the “We appreciate Tom’s professionalism and hard work and wish him the best in the future” press releases. My guess, though, is that they could work together.

  261. This might just be me being dumb but splitting the 96 front court minutes three ways between Randle, Mitch and KAT would be a pretty potent frontcourt. Randle and KAT together would destroy on offense while Mitch can play alongside either one of them to stiffen the D, since both are excellent three point shooters. Probably not ideal from a team-building approach, though, and you’d probably have some ego issues.

  262. RPM

    KAT 1.76
    RANDLE 2.48

    The main difference is in their defensive values right now.

  263. Thibs record – 370 263 – .586 winning percentage. ECF appearance, second round appearance twice, 6 years making the playoffs (out of 8 full seasons, this year TBD)

    KAT record as a player – well, I wanted to look this up but its hard to google win/loss records for a player. But let me give you a hint. It ain’t good unless Thibs was the coach. Losing record every season except one season when Thibs was the coach and one playoff appearance that same season.

    I mean…sounds like a loser to me.

    I’m not trying to say he sucks. But its just hard for me to get behind the idea that “star” players are always better than a good coach.

    Again, I think they would work together cause both have learned maybe and KAT maybe has realized he had it pretty good. But its a gamble to get rid of the first good coach we’ve had in years in order to get a star who has never won anything.

  264. Reminds me of that poll: would you rather have Brad Stevens or any player in the NBA?

  265. E – you gotta crawl before you walk and I see this mentality a lot where people get more worried about the end goal of winning a chip before the team has ever even experience some success. Why is that?

    the process is a huge part of it. And nothing is really guaranteed even for a stacked team. Getting to a place where you’re “respectable” – making the playoffs year after year – doing that puts us at a great spot bc NYC should be a premier destination for stars if the team is good.

  266. swiftandabundant:
    Thibs record – 370 263 – .586 winning percentage. ECF appearance, second round appearance twice, 6 years making the playoffs (out of 8 full seasons, this year TBD)

    KAT record as a player – well, I wanted to look this up but its hard to google win/loss records for a player. But let me give you a hint. It ain’t good unless Thibs was the coach. Losing record every season except one season when Thibs was the coach and one playoff appearance that same season.

    I mean…sounds like a loser to me.

    I’m not trying to say he sucks. But its just hard for me to get behind the idea that “star” players are always better than a good coach.

    Again, I think they would work together cause both have learned maybe and KAT maybe has realized he had it pretty good. But its a gamble to get rid of the first good coach we’ve had in years in order to get a star who has never won anything.

    Thibs couldn’t win in Minnesota as GM/coach, but he’s not a loser because you like him. KAT, a player with far less control over the team around him, can’t win in Minnesota and he’s a loser because he seemingly doesn’t like Thibs, who you like. Is that about the size of it?

    Do you think there’s anything inherent in KAT’s game that dooms him as a Trumpian “loser” that will never achieve anything, or do you think it’s more likely he’s been an excellent young player on largely shitty teams, some of which were coached by Thibs?

  267. Since Bobby Shmurda was released from jail the Knicks haven’t lost a game. Coincidence? Don’t think so. Can’t wait for this Spurs game to force me to come back down to Earth and start figuring out who we’ll be versing in the play-in.

  268. Mike – his defense, for one thing. Its been pretty apparent for awhile now that KAT dogs it on D. Its the driving force behind why him and Thibs clashed. Butler would agree.

    YEah, I like Thibs but dude…I’m a huge UK fan and loved KAT in college. I don’t hate him at all and think he’s super talented. But I think its pretty fair to say that if he was a real star, he would at least be able to carry the Twolves to NO levels of respectability when they had AD and he hasn’t been able to do that yet. Again, he has the talent and could turn it around but if he’s not good on defense he’s just another Melo.

  269. And Thibs DID win in Minny. At least compared to what the franchise/KAT has done before and after he left. First playoff appearance in like a decade when he was coach.

  270. swiftandabundant:
    And Thibs DID win in Minny. At least compared to what the franchise/KAT has done before and after he left. First playoff appearance in like a decade when he was coach.

    If by winning you mean going to the post-season once in three years before being fired, sure I guess. I would hope we aspire to do more than that. Also, doesn’t KAT also get credit for that “winning”? Wasn’t he an integral part of those teams? Why is he a loser and Thibs isn’t?

    I also am not claiming that KAT is AD or that Thibs is worthless, merely that KAT is an excellent young player and if I were forced to choose between him and Thibs I would choose KAT. I don’t think that’s a particularly controversial take.

  271. We don’t have to specifically go for Beal or LaVine, we’d just been discussing Beal and LaVine has a lower max, plus he’s been much better this year. They’re just placeholder names for several options that summer if we choose to go that route.

    They do in fact both suck at D. I knew Beal did, wasn’t sure about LaVine. I checked 3yr DRAPM, wow they really suck.

  272. I’m a huge Thibs fan and even I would choose a superstar over a coach any day. Question is if KAT is worth it especially if it means losing Randle in the process?

  273. It’s going to be fun to see the tears when this whole prospective “win-now” strategy blows right the fuck up in Rose’s face. Bookmark the thread, boys.

  274. Hey I want to win now as much as anyone but I don’t see a trade for a superstar as the way to go. I’m all for using our draft picks and signing the right free agents over trading the farm for 1 player or 2.

  275. KAT is insanely good and there’s not a coach in NBA history it’d be worth prioritizing over him. That’s of course a different question than whether or not trading Randle + an undetermined asset chest for him would be a good idea, but the narrow KAT vs Thibs question is below us.

  276. It’s always about the trade. We can make a good trade for Beal. Or make a good trade for KAT. Whatever. Just don’t do one of those stupid trades where the other team goes: “here’s what I want” and you go, “uh, ok” (i.e. the Melo trade).

    I thought the whole point of Leon Rose and WWW anyway was for them to do that big market magic that makes a guy go “I’m only re-signing if I go to NY, so don’t bother trading for me.”

  277. I would trade thibs for kat and fizdale, but i would not trade randle for kat straight up. The trade is lateral at best and does not move the needle much.

  278. KAT’s defense is bad. So bad. Like embarassingly outlierish bad.

    Last year he was dead last among 270 NBA centers, power-fowards and small-forwards combined in terms of DRPM. Dude was a – 3.68 points per minute on that end of court, beating out Kevin Knox’s second worse -3.58 DRPM.

    Only players worse were shooting guards Jordan McRae, Anfernee Simmons, JJ Redick, (LOL) Bradley Beal, and point guards Jeff Teague, Isaiah Thomas, Trae Young.

    Imagine if some people’s dreams were fully realized and we posted a lineup with Beal and KAT in it?

  279. While it’s a very silly argument, I’ll join in for a moment — I don’t you’re only trading Randle and Thibs for KAT. You’re also throwing in the entire team’s defensive intensity. If you’re replacing Thibs with a mini-Thibs defense-whisperer (or shouter), then sure; but I’m not convinced that a huge offensive talent with zero defense adequately replaces a good offensive talent with good defense AND the rest of the team’s good defense.

    And no, I don’t think a ‘normal’ coach get this defensive intensity out of these (mostly) scrubs. I don’t much like Thibs, but I’ll grant him that.

  280. ytd 3pt % of opponent players who have shot 3s, weighted by actual attempts against us: 36.6%

    brian all the replies to this r stuck in moderation

  281. brian all the replies to this r stuck in moderation

    hahahahahahahaha…

    good, but – does not equal ras’ all time 3rd or 4th quarter game thread post from a few years ago: where the fuck did everybody go???

    okay gus – i’ll be your huckleberry, what does it all mean…league average for 3 point % is around 32 to 35 percent usually…

    not sure, but, i’d guess that percentage has been rising steadily the last few years or so…

    thibs don’t look like a “lucky” guy, or even someone whom would ever rely on luck – so what does it mean…how is our defense rated so high with that number there for opponents 3 point percentage that high…

  282. weighted by actual attempts

    i’m guessing the answer is in there – seeing as i have no idea what that even means…yeah, maybe best to not even bother engaging me…chances are good – i won’t get it anyways…

    no doubt, someone smarter will answer soon…i’m here for you though milo :P

  283. ptmilo: something i ran because i was curious.

    ytd 3p% of teams we have played: 36.7%
    ytd 3pt % of opponent players who have shot 3s, weighted by actual attempts against us: 36.6%

    How did you weight the attempts? My brain is not working well today.

    edit: I should have read geo’s post so I didn’t have to offer up my dumbness

  284. He’s saying our defense really sucks, we’ve just gotten insanely lucky on 3pa. Or at least, we haven’t been forcing shots to come from bad shooters, they just appear to be missing their shots. Expect our defense to be not so great.

    We’ve been insanely unlucky the last few years, so this is a very quick regression.

    Idk, maybe our defenders are good at closing out despite what the eye test clearly says. But prepare to finish 10th.

  285. doesn’t it mean that that our luck has gone away and our opponents are hitting 3’s at the exact rate you would expect them to?

    enlighten us, pt. especially the bit about how you isolated the attempts against us.

  286. oh yes geo thank u for swiping right u won’t regret it i hope you like cosplay and habaneros on ur pizza.

    so we have this awesome 3pt % against, leading the league by a mile. if you make us league avg at 3pt% allowed then our defense drops from 2nd best to about average.

    so conventional wisdom in analytic/betting circles has been that 3pt% against is mostly luck. it is very volatile, even over 40 game samples. many ppl have run tests where they compare 41 random games of a team’s 3p% allowed to the other 41. the results typically show incredibly miniscule autocorrelations, very close to zero. this is something you’d never see with, e.g. rim defense or 3p offense or rebounding or almost anything. seth partnow just did a worse version of this test for 2019-20 in the athletic. but of course that’s not dispositive.

    so what might make a team good at 3pt % allowed? well they might give up harder 3s: farther out, more tightly defended, less catch and shoot more pull-up, less time on the shot clock, etc. but nerdsites are already quite good and taking these kinds of variables into account. and second spectrum’s 3pt shot quality allowed metric for the knicks is actually below average ytd, and that takes all the mentioned factors into account plus a few more.

    so a common response here and elsewhere is: maybe we give up normal 3s but intentionally leave the right ppl open, ie the worst shooters. so with a little help i pulled all 1291 of our 3pa against by player and weighted their ytd 3pt pct by their attempts against us (ie. if a 40% guy shot 5 3pa and a 30% guy shot 10 the result is .333). the result is roughly the same as the average of the teams we have played. ie, it doesn’t support the argument that we are succeeding by forcing 3s from worse shooters.

    not saying this proves it’s just luck. there are other interesting data pts, too. thibs bulls had consistently elite 3p% against as did his celtics (but wolves and rockets…

  287. not saying this proves it’s just luck.

    wait, so are you saying that mathematically you can isolate and identify “luck”…

    i think the crappy shooting by opponents could also have something to do with the “uncomfortable” pace that we impose on our opponents…

  288. …and you have the fact that we’ve also had very good success at mid-range % allowed, a sort of stratified sample win for the skill claim. and of course you have the eye-test. our effort on defense seems palpable…obvious even. and sometimes the eye-test is right, capturing things (for example, maybe we are good at creating some combination between shooter and situation that isn’t captured well by these coarse, isolated tests) the data hasn’t. but it’s also the coincidences of eye-test and luck that leave people most wrong-footed with overconfidence, and those coincidences are bound to happen sometimes. so it’s worth it to interrogate them.

  289. Wouldn’t you also have to adjust for open vs. contested threes? If we’re contesting the 40% shooters and leaving the 33% shooters open that would make some difference no? Not enough to be sure but maybe a little? Just enough so I don’t have to constantly worry that everything is about to fall apart maybe?

  290. Ptmilo, I don’t really understand your argument. If opposing players are shooting just what would be expected for the particular players who took the shots and the overall result is that our opponents are shooting badly, then we must be defending in a way that lets the opponents’ lousy shooters take the shots. But that seems to be the opposite of what you are concluding.

  291. we are dead last in pace (96.77) – who the heck can get in any kind of rhythm with the game moving that slow…we foul more than just about every team in the league…

    i don’t think it’s all that surprising that teams have trouble hitting shots against us…

    35 games in with a new coaching staff…seems like there’s decent probability our defense is sustainable…

  292. If you watch carefully you’ll notice our defenders giving a contemptous glance and let bad opponent shooters wide open at times.
    It’s clear on their body language also. They don’t even raise a hand…
    At times they turn their backs also!!!
    #By Design#

  293. The Knicks choosing today of all days to release a statement thanking Cuomo for opening up NY is very lolknicks. Do they even read the news?

    Steve Stoute needs to start earning that check.

  294. eFG% allowed is by far the most important defensive stat, and 3PT% allowed is such a big part of that. If it’s the case that it’s all just noise, then defensive stats in general are all just noise. Which cannot be true.

    I know nobody is saying it’s “all” just noise. Here’s the thing though, here’s where we rank in FG% allowed from all distances:

    3pt: 1st
    16′ to 3pt: 17th
    10′ to 16′: 7th
    3′ to 10′: 2nd
    0′ to 3′: 4th

    We’re doing very well against all shot types except long twos, and we’re not even horrible at that, we’re roughly league average. Maybe we’re just a good defensive team. We’re 1st in the league in defensive eFG%, and 2nd in the league in defensive rating. I simply refuse to believe that is mostly luck and we’re really just an average defensive team.

  295. Luck is part of the game.
    Part of almost all games.
    Knowing the odds and selecting the best ones is not luck. It’s strategy.
    Our strategy is working so far.

  296. As I suspected, the beat writers asked Thibs about playing the starters late into a blowout the other night. The answer is… not inspiring:

    @MikeVorkunov
    Tom Thibodeau had Knicks starters playing in Detroit to the end of a 19-pt win on 2nd night of a B2B.

    Thibs: “It’s just a read on the game. What’s going on. The way people can make up ground with 3s there’s no lead that’s safe.”

    He added: “Those are just coaching decisions.”

  297. ptmilo:
    …and you have the fact that we’ve also had very good success at mid-range % allowed, a sort of stratified sample win for the skill claim.and of course you have the eye-test.our effort on defense seems palpable…obvious even.and sometimes the eye-test is right, capturing things (for example, maybe we are good at creating some combination between shooter and situation that isn’t captured well by these coarse, isolated tests) the data hasn’t.but it’s also the coincidences of eye-test and luck that leave people most wrong-footed with overconfidence, and those coincidences are bound to happen sometimes.so it’s worth it to interrogate them.

    Thanks for sharing this. Hadn’t read that Partnow piece before – that was pretty interesting and the DEN comparison was damning. Though I do think JK47’s point is interesting – I wonder whether opponent FG% from 2 correlates with opponent FG% from 3

  298. Thibs: “It’s just a read on the game. What’s going on. The way people can make up ground with 3s there’s no lead that’s safe.”

    He added: “Those are just coaching decisions.”

    you know who’s really been impressing me lately in their interviews – zion, he doesn’t give shit away…hard to tell at all what he’s really thinking…

    who knows what thibs is really thinking – hopefully it wasn’t that detroit was about to possibly go on some crazy scoring run…

  299. Wouldn’t you also have to adjust for open vs. contested threes? If we’re contesting the 40% shooters and leaving the 33% shooters open that would make some difference no? Not enough to be sure but maybe a little?

    so according to second spectrum we’re not on average forcing more tightly contested 3s. and you’re saying well maybe the mix matters. but note we do not seem to be forcing 3s from worse shooters overall. so is it better to tightly defend good shooters while leaving bad shooters wide open? i think this is only true if it helps overall mix (more shots from bad shooters). bc afaik bad and good shooters see pretty similar bumps from contested to open.

    If opposing players are shooting just what would be expected for the particular players who took the shots and the overall result is that our opponents are shooting badly,

    no you’re misunderstanding. i am giving the total ytd 3pt pct against all opponents for the players who shot against us, not how they shot against us (we know this is actually just our 3pt% allowed, which is of course much lower).

  300. If the players are fine to play during garbage time it could also mean that Thibs “rewards” them by giving them minutes to upgrade their stats and try for better contracts.

  301. there’s room to believe that thibs has made a difference and that we are also the benefactor of a lot of luck on opponent 3p attempts… we are clearly better than last year on defense and just going from 23rd to league average should provide a noticeable jump.. enough to trigger the eye test crowd….

    but to get from 23rd to top 5 defense in the league… requires something special… especially when about 70% of the roster is the same…. and it’s also a tough pill to swallow to say that it’s all some coaching job when that same coach couldn’t work that same juju at his previous stop…

    so luck does fit in quite nicely along with a modicum of a defensive boost.. especially when we’ve had our poorest games when the other team is not shooting 3s like ass….

  302. Our opponents are expected to shoot x% based on their shooting avg

    They’re actually shooting x-5%.

    There doesn’t appear to be an explanation for the -5% except random variance in all 3p%.

    So over a large sample, you’d expect our 3pt defense to be average & our defense overall.

  303. Ptmilo i hardly understood you so far but this 3p% research of yours burned my head (and others’ heads as i see) completely!

  304. djphan: but to get from 23rd to top 5 defense in the league… requires something special…

    I always say this, but… do not underestimate how bad David Fizdale was!! His ineptitude fucks up all our baselines.

  305. Knew Your Nicks:
    If the players are fine to play during garbage time it could also mean that Thibs “rewards” them by giving them minutes to upgrade their stats and try for better contracts.

    If you have exactly one healthy center (and your alternative is an 86-yr-old short guy who couldn’t jump when he was in his 40s) and exactly one engine driving the majority of your scoring, it behooves you to use the precautionary principle in applying playing time, at least to those two.

  306. Assume Rose will be out on Thursday too since he is in health and safety protocal.

  307. rose for “health and safety protocols”…

    let’s go quik…

    frank needs to be on it tonight (which only means he’ll have another game like the one against detroit)…

    although – i’m pretty sure frank’s point guard days are behind him…julius and burks seem to be are offensive initiators now…

    still, nothing makes me happier than to see frank out there hitting shots and occasionally going to the rim…except for winning of course…

  308. #If you have exactly one healthy center (and your alternative is an 86-yr-old short guy who couldn’t jump when he was in his 40s) and exactly one engine driving the majority of your scoring, it behooves you to use the precautionary principle in applying playing time, at least to those two.#

    Makes perfect sense but i can’t think of anything less negative to rationalize this surreal ending!

  309. how weird, the spurs play in the west and our 4 games over .500, and they’re playing at home, but – the knicks are favored by 2.5…that makes no sense at all…

    edit: looks like the line is actually for 1.5…

  310. how weird, the spurs play in the west and our 4 games over .500, and they’re playing at home, but – the knicks are favored by 2.5…that makes no sense at all…

    They are on a back to back after an OT game and they aren’t a young team. I’m not saying the line is correct, but that almost certainly moved it.

  311. OMG Frank is starting.

    I have 2 choices.

    1. Hide under my bed for the next few hours.

    2. Double dose of Xanax before the game

  312. Deeefense: They are on a back to back after an OT game and they aren’t a young team. I’m not saying the line is correct, but that almost certainly moved it.

    Bettors are scared of Frank

  313. I guess Frank will guard DeRozan? I can see that Thibs might prefer that to Quickley guarding him.

  314. Go Frank. Prove the doubters (me) wrong!

    Seriously here’s hoping the kid has a great game.

  315. I think this sort of proves that Thibs thinks Quickley is needed in the 2nd unit for scoring and to make it go. Not that I necessarily agree, but that seems to be the thinking or Quick would have started.

  316. The Spurs must be a team that we’re shopping Frank to. It’s the only sensible explanation I can muster.

  317. Deeefense:
    I think this sort of proves that Thibs thinks Quickley is needed in the 2nd unit for scoring and to make it go.Not that I necessarily agree, but that seems to be the thinking or Quick would have started.

    You think it can’t be that Thibs is doing it for defensive purposes?

  318. Thibs playing Frank over Austin Rivers gives him an advantage for COTY award!

  319. You think it can’t be that Thibs is doing it for defensive purposes?

    I guess it’s possible, but it feels more like he really likes Quick in that 2nd unit.

  320. kawhi out last minute pushes the clippers line by 6pts, rose out pushes knicks line by zero but does knock the o/u down a bit

  321. I think if we add milo’s analysis of our allowed 3P% to JK’s numbers that says we are “worst” at long 2’s, we can conclude that Thibs is applying the strategy to leave open guys on long 2’s, kind of daring them to take the worst shot of the game. And that can be the reason why they always close the 3PAs in a hurry.

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