SNY: Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau says adding a star player is ‘critical’

From Alex Smith:

The Knicks have gone into the last few NBA offseasons with their hopes set on bringing a big-name to Star to New York.

Unfortunately, though, bringing that big star to the Big Apple just hasn’t yet materialized.

Still, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Tuesday that he knows the importance of having star-power in the NBA, and he believes there are a few different ways teams can add a star, including through player development, as Thibodeau himself saw a player taken 30th overall in the draft evolve into a game-changing talent.

“I think it’s critical,” Thibodeau said. “When you look at every team in the league, particularly the playoff teams, and there’s a lot of different paths to getting stars.

“Sometimes it’s the development phase that, I think when you look at Jimmy Butler when he came in he hardly played as a rookie, played more each year, and he’s become a top-10 player in the league. So, it’s a testament to his work ethic and how he approached things.”

The Knicks, of course, have a crop of young players that the team is hopeful can eventually grow into that elite level, including RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Mitchell Robinson, among some other younger players.

Developing a star can take time, though, and Knicks fans aren’t typically the most patient group, given the team’s struggles over the last two decades. On the other side of that coin, the Knicks have been giving themselves a lot of cap flexibility via short-term deals, paving the way for one or two potential superstars to eventually sign with the Knicks in the long term.

There are different ways to acquire stars in the NBA, but Thibodeau knows that teams can’t just sit around and wait when opportunities arise.

“Some guys continue to get better year after year. Sometimes you have to do it through trades, sometimes it’s free agency, but I think you have to be very aggressive in seeking out those opportunities,” Thibodeau said. “They just don’t happen by accident. You have to make them happen.”

It’s basically meaningless, but hey, it’s a new thread.

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82 thoughts to “SNY: Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau says adding a star player is ‘critical’”

  1. Literally every executive, coach, player, fan, and media member attached to the NBA would agree with Thibs. Teams like Dallas, Denver, Portland, LAL, and Houston would be lottery teams without their primary star player, but with them they are playoff teams in the Western Conference.

    Hopefully Thibs gives RJ Barrett every chance to prove he’s a star player in this league. I don’t know anymore if he’ll be a true apex predator because the handle and jumper aren’t where they need to be, but he deserves a chance to prove he’s an all star.

  2. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see anyone on the roster as becoming a “star” player. RJB, Mitch, and Toppin have the chance to be good, but probably with significant limitations to their games. By all means play those guys lots of minutes and see if one or more emerges.

    Knox and DSJ look to be near total washouts, and Frank is not far behind. I’m still clinging to the hope that one of those three can become a decent rotation player off the bench. Frank plays good D, but he can’t seem to stay healthy nor shoot well. Again, they’re all still young, so I hope they can still get decent backup minutes to try and take a step forward.

  3. I think the word “star” is what makes me cringe the most…

    it makes me think of all the past their prime “star” players we’ve brought in over the last 2 decades…

    even if you bring in or develop a young “star”, if the rest of your roster is made up of less than average talent – you’ll still be a bad team…

    thibs is right though, we do need to increase the talent on our roster…

  4. Well..considering that Thibs allegedly REALLY wanted Westbrook, I think we finally can breathe easy and be patient with this FO. Rose & Co showed incredible restraint in not doing whatever it may have taken to add Russ if it’s true that Thibs pounded the table for him. I believe it to be true especially with Thibs’ faith in DSJ. Can’t get Russ? Make a similar player out of the closest comp on the roster. I mean..he was a lottery pick, so he HAS to be good, right? RIGHT?? lol all jokes aside, I’m even more anxious to see how the FO and the coaching staff builds this roster. Should be fun to watch it grow

  5. Jowles, since we’re clearly at an impasse, I’ll respectfully withdraw from further conversation on the issue.

  6. So this kind of got buried in the last thread, but what’s the hivemind’s thoughts on the FO pursueing Beal this offseason? Beal clearly can’t carry a team to the playoffs on his own, but he is coming off a 30/4/6 season on reasonably efficiency and is still 27. Obviously it would be better to get one of the big dogs if we’re going starhunting, but I doubt we actually have the cachet to pull that off and I don’t think it would be the worst outcome if we ended up with a core of this years pick (Cunningham maybe?) + Beal + Barrett + Obi + Mitch. Throw in Noel so our centers can collectively average ten fouls a game and baby, you’ve got a stew going.

    (I’m not sure if I actually want to advocate for this, just throwing it out there as a hypothetical.)

  7. Mike, Beal solves one of this roster’s two biggest problems, in that he’s a great freaking shooter who would open up the floor for RJ, Obi, Mitch, et al. We’d still need a point guard, though that in theory is what our inevitable lottery pick is for. I can’t imagine Beal coming here, given his options and all the teams that will have cap space, but give his age and skills, he seems a safe bet on a FA max deal.

  8. That’s what I was thinking Alan – I just tend to secondguess myself here since there are some very smart dudes swimming in these waters. I don’t think it likely he would either, but he would solve our offense problems and if he did I think we’d still have cap space to bring in other guys before having to commit extensions to the young guys.

  9. I think the best way is to tank this year, because there are 3 potential all-stars and if we manage to at least be the 5th worst, we’ll have 31.6% to be in the top3 of the draft (finish in the last 3 would give us 40.1%) and then pray! ;)

    Rose changed the staff completely, and we agreed the guys he brought in are good for the development of the kids, so let’s be patient and let them work their magic. We’ll probably don’t see much improvement until the 2nd half of the season. What i don’t want to see is what you guys said on the last thread and everybody noticed it – our draft picks are almost the same as they were in year 1. And that’s not acceptable. But for now, we have to let them work, you can’t change a player in 2 weeks (it is, right? they started camp December 1, i think).

  10. TheClashFan: I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see anyone on the roster as becoming a “star” player. RJB, Mitch, and Toppin have the chance to be good, but probably with significant limitations to their games. By all means play those guys lots of minutes and see if one or more emerges.

    I’m out on Mitch being Gobert and Toppin being anything more than an athletic stretch four, but I don’t see any reason why the #1 recruit in the nation who beat Team USA’s U19 team (he was the only NBA prospect for Canada vs I think 6 or 7 guys who are currently NBA players) for a gold medal as a 17 year old junior, went undefeated as a high school senior, won both major high school player of the year awards (something that hadn’t been done since LeBron James did it in 2003) was a consensus all American in college and consensus 3rd overall pick behind two generational athletes in an era where Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, and LaMelo Ball got picked 3rd overall can’t eventually approximate Jimmy Butler’s value. It’s a lot to ask of anybody to become Jimmy Butler but the kid has the pedigree to do it. RJ Barrett may never be a top dozen player in the NBA but I fully expect a Hall of Fame career from the kid. Maybe I’m crazy but maybe I’m right, too.

  11. geo: even if you bring in or develop a young “star”, if the rest of your roster is made up of less than average talent – you’ll still be a bad team…

    I don’t agree.

    Ideally you need to draft a star. Actually, 2 or 3 would be goo. If your draft picks become stars soon enough, you can sign other stars and good players to join him with your cap space. Then you can exceed your cap space to resign your picks. Now you’re set. That’s where the Knicks have failed.

    Each pick is a chance. Toppin and Quickly are next up.

  12. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Dotson raped a woman with two teammates and got away with it

    And it didn’t change your actual actions or conduct with respect to anything, anywhere one solitary iota. Indeed, you continued to patronize and pay close attention and root for and comment upon the organization that employed the gang rapist as a very prominent, public-facing employee — one of only 15 employees in that role.

    If you really had the power of your so-called convictions, there’s no chance your behavior and would not have been changed. (And no, passively-aggressively hectoring and bullying people on the utterly ethereal internet is not “behavior.” And passionate convictions that find their only outlet in hectoring and bullying people on the internet are themselves ethereal. Gossamer.)

  13. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    Literally every executive, coach, player, fan, and media member attached to the NBA would agree with Thibs. Teams like Dallas, Denver, Portland, LAL, and Houston would be lottery teams without their primary star player, but with them they are playoff teams in the Western Conference.

    Hopefully Thibs gives RJ Barrett every chance to prove he’s a star player in this league. I don’t know anymore if he’ll be a true apex predator because the handle and jumper aren’t where they need to be, but he deserves a chance to prove he’s an all star.

    That’s exactly what he needs to do, and it’s entirely inconsistent with turning the offense over to Elfrid Payton and Julius F Randle.

  14. Jesus, guys. It’s a new thread. No one is going to convince anyone here. This is like some of the worst garbage we endured from bobneptune, and it’s about a guy who is no longer even on the team. Please, either let it go — even if you are 1000% sure that you are on the side of the angels in this debate — or continue arguing in the comments to the previous post.

  15. I’m fine with Beal and have been since his name first came up last year. He’d fit well with Barrett (and Toppin if he gets to that point.)

  16. Alan:
    Jesus, guys. It’s a new thread. No one is going to convince anyone here. This is like some of the worst garbage we endured from bobneptune, and it’s about a guy who is no longer even on the team. Please, either let it go — even if you are 1000% sure that you are on the side of the angels in this debate — or continue arguing in the comments to the previous post.

    Someone tried to peacefully end it, and got a shiv in the back for his efforts.

  17. Yeah, what Alan said. Leave it on the last thread.

    And E, that’s a cheap shot to this board. Dotson didn’t do a single good thing as a Knick without someone noting how uncomfortable his history made them. It’s not like we haven’t been discussing this for years.

  18. RJ is the only player on this team right now that has any chance of being the kind of star that we’re talking about. Obi might be fine or even great, but at the end of the day, he’s a dependent player – the roller, the popper, but never the engine of the offense. Same with Mitch, who in his most optimistic outcome might be a defensive stopper. But RJ is the only guy on the roster that might be a “Create your own shot” AND “create shots for others” type of player. That’s why letting him rot in the same lineup as Payton and Randle feels like malpractice to me. Give RJ the ball and let him show you (Even if it’s just flashes) that he can be that guy. It’s not like he’ll shrink from this — it’s what he’s been doing his whole life.

    And if you don’t even see real flashes and it is a disaster, then at least you know. The only reason to hide him behind Payton/Randle is if you’re afraid he will fail and will lower his trade value. I don’t know RJ at all of course, but from what has been written about him, I highly doubt that failing will break him — if anything it would be the opposite – that he’d work 200% as hard to make sure that the failing doesn’t happen again. So that should not be the reason to hide him.

  19. Beal signed an extension; he’s under contract for 21-22 and has a player option the year after that. He’s not an upcoming free agent.

  20. Owen:
    Yeah, what Alan said. Leave it on the last thread.

    And E, that’s a cheap shot to this board. Dotson didn’t do a single good thing as a Knick without someone noting how uncomfortable his history made them. It’s not like we haven’t been discussing this for years.

    I certainly get that it comes off as a cheap shot and there’s a whole lot more to be said about the sociology of sports and whatnot that is boring and less interesting than basketball itself and I’d much rather talk about basketball. But it must be said that bringing Dotson up in such a hectoring, bullying way as a means to then accuse people of “not caring about rape” enough when they reject the hectoring and the bullying and the unsophisticated reductionism, is equally a cheap shot. And that’s exactly what’s going on.

    I told myself this morning I wasn’t going to get back into this, but my self-discipline in that area is still a work in progress. But this will indeed be my last comment on the topic.

  21. Frank: But RJ is the only guy on the roster that might be a “Create your own shot” AND “create shots for others” type of player. That’s why letting him rot in the same lineup as Payton and Randle feels like malpractice to me.

    It feels like malpractice because it IS malpractice.

  22. Folks, your 2021 unrestricted free agent point guards: Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Patrick Mills, Dante Exum, Derrick Rose, Ishmael Smith, Elfrid Payton, T.J. McConnell, Alex Caruso, Jeff Teague, Reggie Jackson, Brad Wanamaker, Matthew Dellavedova, Raul Neto, Quinn Cook, Shaquille Harrison, Naz Mitrou-Long, Cameron Payne.

    Where’s the help coming from?

  23. E: It feels like malpractice because it IS malpractice.

    I really want to see Toppin and RJ on the floor together. It’s important that they find chemistry and I think their games compliment each other.

  24. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Folks, your 2021 unrestricted free agent point guards: Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Patrick Mills, Dante Exum, Derrick Rose, Ishmael Smith, Elfrid Payton, T.J. McConnell, Alex Caruso, Jeff Teague, Reggie Jackson, Brad Wanamaker, Matthew Dellavedova, Raul Neto, Quinn Cook, Shaquille Harrison, Naz Mitrou-Long, Cameron Payne.

    We should give that Elfrid Payton kid a shot

  25. Ideally you need to draft a star. Actually, 2 or 3 would be goo.

    shoot, if we did half as good a job of drafting as the celts, heat, grizz, nuggets, etc. – i just might need to keep a full box of tissue next to the chair while watching games…

    when i think of “star” player – my hope is that we can somehow catch one prior to their emergence rather than chasing them afterwards…

    a lot of “star” players are generally viewed as offensive stars and limited basketball players…

    would we have been a better squad with russ on our bench, sure – but, just having a single “star” won’t do anything but keep us locked in at bottom of the league – like the wiz, bobcats, pistons (blake’s a star right), cavs, etc…

    i actually liked the move to bring in elf and randle last year…it didn’t really work out, but, i thought it was a good attempt to add some young talent at least…

    if anything it simply underscored the fact that adding talent through free agency is a real challenge…for us drafting and trading well is essential…

    rj and mitch aside, the draft has not helped us add the talent needed to compete…i can’t even remember who the last good ball player was that we added through a trade (???)…

    like most other folks, i’m glad we sat out the high priced free agents this off-season…i’m just disappointed we didn’t use our cap, draft assets and current player roster salaries to acquire an actual nba point guard this off-season…

  26. Last offseason I thought it was pretty clear that the organization had no idea what they were doing in terms of building a coherent roster. This offseason I think it looked like they knew what they wanted to do but it’s hard to build the roster you want without committing significant future resources. We all praised them for preserving their draft capital and maintaining flexibility on the cap going forward, but it’s not easy to do those things and also build a roster with perfect balance.

    Julius Randle stinks and he’s a bad fit with RJ. But he was already on the team and being paid $20M. You want to get rid of him? It’s going to cost a 1st round pick. Elfrid Payton mostly stinks and he’s a bad fit with RJ. But he was available on a budget 1-year deal. You want a better PG? You better be prepared to pony up assets for CP3 or 4/100 for Fred VanVleet.

  27. Ooooh boy. Couldn’t resist dipping my toes in. I still check in on this board periodically because the conversations at times can be very interesting.

    I actually stopped watching Knicks games and Jets games in large part because I felt that neither organization placed any significant weight on issues of “player violence against women”. I grew up a die-hard fan of both organizations. So this was a difficult decision. But at some point, you have to decide where to devote your consumer dollars and attention. And I actually think it’s a worthwhile discussion for this board to have.

    I definitely consider myself a social just warrior and part of the “woke” generation. And I think posters who espouse similar viewpoints would struggle to properly justify their continued devotion to this organization.

    I am not saying anyone is “damned” for continuing to follow this team, but I do think there is serious moral ambiguity.

  28. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Folks, your 2021 unrestricted free agent point guards: Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Patrick Mills, Dante Exum, Derrick Rose, Ishmael Smith, Elfrid Payton, T.J. McConnell, Alex Caruso, Jeff Teague, Reggie Jackson, Brad Wanamaker, Matthew Dellavedova, Raul Neto, Quinn Cook, Shaquille Harrison, Naz Mitrou-Long, Cameron Payne.

    Where’s the help coming from?

    But actually I’d probably overpay someone like Mike Conley for a year or 2 (he still probably won’t come) to pair with a draft pick next year.

    That’s my other frustration with the Quickley pick. We desperately need a PG, despite having DSJr & Frank, and we could have grabbed Tyrell Terry who I liked or Malachi Flynn at that spot.

    I’ll feel the same way about Toppin if/when Haliburton becomes a star.

    PG is essential in today’s game and worth significantly more than a PF or a 3&D wing. If Quickley becomes a PG, I’ll gladly eat crow. That said, 2.3 ast/40 to 1.9TO/40 isn’t inspiring even from the 2.

  29. geo: ike most other folks, i’m glad we sat out the high priced free agents this off-season…i’m just disappointed we didn’t use our cap, draft assets and current player roster salaries to acquire an actual nba point guard this off-season…

    This is where we disagree. The high priced free agent would have been a point guard. Market value was $20-25M and we balked. The Knicks had a chance to draft one or sign one and did neither. That was unacceptable.

  30. Which point guard was that? Isn’t Van Vleet basically confirmed to have never considered coming here?

  31. You need 2-3 star players depending on the quality of the #1 and #2, a couple of solid starting role players, a high level scorer off the bench, and some other depth to contend.

    1. I still think RJ has a pretty good shot at becoming at least a good #2 option, but he’s so darn young anything is still possible. I think we’ll know a LOT more by the 2nd half of this year. I’m expecting a LOT of players to get off to a slower start than usual this year because of the shortened camps, longer layoffs etc..

    2. I’m filing Mitch away as a role player. If he can’t beat Nerlens Noel out for the starting job in year 3, that means he’s still not making much progress either because he’s not working hard enough, he’s a flake, or he lacks the basketball IQ to understand some of the subtleties of what he’s supposed to be doing on the court on both sides. Nerlens must be outplaying him. It’s isn’t because Thibs is wrong.

    3. It’s obviously way too soon to know what Obi is going to become, but he’s the oldest of the young players and was drafted to become our stretch PF. If his game doesn’t stretch out to he NBA 3 point line, I think we have another role player. As of now, he’s a negative defender, not an especially good rebounder, and NBA defenses are going to take away some of what he did so well leaking out and overpowering young college players.

    We have the space and assets to make a trade for an all star caliber player. The problem right now is that there’s not much on the market. When someone does become available there are going to be some smart and better teams like the Heat (who is 1 player away from serious contention) competing for that player. So he probably won’t come cheaply. The most likely candidate might be Olidipo, but only if he comes back 100% this year and is unhappy with the Pacers.

  32. FVV is getting paid ~$21.5M per year to play for a contender in a city and for an organization that players seem to like (except Kawhi).

    I really wonder how much we’d have to pay FVV to convince him to join the Rockets of the North.

    I’m honestly not sure an additional $4M/yr gets it done. $10M/yr almost certainly, but that’s absolutely an overpay.

    There’s really 2 ways to get a star on any team (1) draft them and (2) be an attractive destination.

    For (2) the best way in recent years is to convince multiple stars to team up for you. Paying FVV or any non-star significant amounts of money makes (2) very difficult.

  33. and the unsophisticated reductionism

    Yet another Strat among us, just with a different set of empty words and baseless claims.

    I particularly enjoyed you calling my basketball analysis reductionist, and then saying that if R.J. Barrett shot as well as Dwyane Wade did 15 or so years ago, he’d be an All-Star, as if that meant anything useful. The temerity to claim reductionism– brilliant. Just brilliant.

    You make us all smarter with your empty rhetoric. Thank you much.

  34. Nerlens must be outplaying him. It’s isn’t because Thibs is wrong.

    Thibs has been wrong a lot throughout his career and could in fact be wrong again

  35. I suspect Mitch is better than Nerlens Noel. Noel likely plays more fundamentally sound defense than Mitch, but Mitch is such a threat on the lob and offensive boards that it makes up for it.

    I doubt the stats bear that out, but that just circles back to discussions about Frank and the Knicks offense. Or maybe I’ll change my mind after watching more Noel.

  36. I am not saying anyone is “damned” for continuing to follow this team, but I do think there is serious moral ambiguity.

    There is moral ambiguity in being a fan of any professional sport these days with all the wife beaters, accused rapists, illegal gun toters, drunken clubbers, and other assorted riff raff in every sport.

    Hell, the NBA is afraid to speak up about a regime that essentially has slave labor, concentration camps (or what they are called these days re-education camps), engages in ethnic cleansing, suppresses freedom of religion and kills religious leaders, suppresses and censors “incorrect” free speech (well that’s less hard to criticize because even we do that here now) threatens to take over countries that want to and should be independent. The Chinese are great people, but keeping your mouth shut about their government so you can do business with them, well, there’s plenty of moral ambiguity in that. That goes double for Hollywood, many in our government, and every other business in the US. Hell, if you’ve ever driven a Ford or owned or worked on an IMB computer, they did business with the Nazis.

  37. thenoblefacehumper: Thibs has been wrong a lot throughout his career and could in fact be wrong again

    Yeah, still early but not impressed at all with Thibs. And he’s already chafing at the job ahead of him and rhetorically stepping way out of his lane vis-a-vis the other parts of Knick management. I think he’ll last the year, but not sure he gets through next year, barring some kind of shocking star acquisition or similar stroke of personnel luck before then. Bitching out loud about the roster two exhibition games in isn’t the greatest of looks.

    The game fundamentally changed in that Hawk 60 win ECF/first GSW championship year and I’m not remotely convinced he changed with it.

    Hopefully he’ll make this early kneejerk analysis look ridiculous 18 months from now, but I doubt it.

  38. Mitch is exactly the kind of player that in my opinion tends to be underrated by coaches. He does a lot of good things and a lot of bad things. I think coaches (understandably) get frustrated by mistakes and have a tendency towards players who make fewer of them even at the expense of an overall better player. But either way it’s kind of besides the main point. Regardless of whether you think Mitch is edging out Noel or vice-versa his progress towards stardom isn’t going as well as we had hoped.

  39. i kind of was hoping to see mitch shoot the ball a bit this preseason…all those vids of him hitting shots in the gym and dribbling the ball around a bit had me optimistic…

    in regards to thibs and his coaching – i’m going to judge him a bunch on how both elf and randle play this year…elf reaches in way too much when guarding on the perimeter, and – someone has to get randle to stop turning the ball over so much…

    really like what i see so far from alec burks…

  40. Early Bird:
    I suspect Mitch is better than Nerlens Noel. Noel likely plays more fundamentally sound defense than Mitch, but Mitch is such a threat on the lob and offensive boards that it makes up for it.

    Everyone, including Thibs knows that Mitch has WAY MORE potential on both sides, but it’s one thing to make highlight plays and impress people looking at broken stats models and another to be in the right place at the right time, make the appropriate switch, help when you are supposed to etc..

    Unless you are at practice, know all the plays and assignments, and watch game film all day, you probably aren’t going to know why Thibs has been playing Nerlens over him so far. It could be as simple as sending him a message to get him to work harder, but there’s a good reason for it. It’s on Mitch to take that job.

  41. E: Someone tried to peacefully end it, and got a shiv in the back for his efforts.

    the Z-man’s grizzled hide is impervious to shivs…especially from milquetoast faux-chef/musician/athlete whippersnappers

    although it is cute that you stood up for this timid soul…first scotch at the next kb get-together’s on me

  42. Needless to say, I like Thibs a LOT. I think he’s the best coach we’ve had since Jeff Van Gundy. I include D’Antoni (who I liked a lot) and even Larry Brown in that. Once we have a good defensive team, I’ll start worrying a little more about whether he’s using everyone properly on offense. He was given a mismatched crap team to work with. One step at a time.

  43. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:

    E:

    Frank:
    But RJ is the only guy on the roster that might be a “Create your own shot” AND “create shots for others” type of player. That’s why letting him rot in the same lineup as Payton and Randle feels like malpractice to me.

    It feels like malpractice because it IS malpractice.

    I really want to see Toppin and RJ on the floor together. It’s important that they find chemistry and I think their games compliment each other.

    Not starting Mitch is also malpractice.

  44. i got one for you z-man, i know you do school admin stuff now, but – is there a subject which you specialized in teaching earlier in your academic career?

  45. Folks, your 2021 unrestricted free agent point guards: Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Patrick Mills, Dante Exum, Derrick Rose, Ishmael Smith, Elfrid Payton, T.J. McConnell, Alex Caruso, Jeff Teague, Reggie Jackson, Brad Wanamaker, Matthew Dellavedova, Raul Neto, Quinn Cook, Shaquille Harrison, Naz Mitrou-Long, Cameron Payne.

    let’s entertain this hypothetical/fantasy….

    1)RJ … like ingram and fox… rebounds from a poor shooting rookie year… gets his 2p fg% to 47% puts up a TS of 53% which results in a ws48 of .085…. his trajectory is a solid starter with a couple of allstar appearances in his career…
    2)Mitch learns to foul slightly less… manages to average close to 28 mpg… gets extended for 4 yr 53mm…. and earns the starting nod before the year ends….
    3)Knox.. Frank and DSJ are who we thought they were… all are not resigned…
    4)Randle and Elfrid recover some of their expected promise and there’s real debate on whether to bring them back….
    5)We get the #2 pick in the draft and take Evan Mobley … with the dallas pick at #18 we take Keon Johnson….

    Our roster at that point is made up of RJ, Mitch, Obi, Mobley and Johnson… we then also have questions on noel.. bullock.. burks… elf and randle…

    There is a giant hole at pg in that scenario and we have tons of cap space with even more picks coming down the pipeline…. why wouldn’t we throw a ton of money at someone like kyle lowry? in a vacuum that doesn’t sound so smart but given we have a ton of young guys who could use a real pg isn’t that a worthy investment? and lowry has been pretty good and there’s no indication he is aging … at least yet… we probably also bring back elf or someone similar to fill the backup role…

    we can also punt on mobley and take suggs.. not sure how smart that is in general but getting a pg isn’t the problem.. we should concentrate on just getting talent first….

  46. The Rockets have waived Jerian Grant, Trevelin Queen and Kenny Wooten, the team announced. That brings the roster to 17.

    Wooten’s available again if we want him back!

    Also, remember when it seemed so brilliant that we flipped Hardaway for a first round pick? And then how disappointing Jerian Grant turned out to be?

  47. my first choice would be to try to pry away bledsoe or lewis jr from the pels…if that doesn’t work, go for conley with the jazz…

    after that, maybe go after murray or white with the spurs…

  48. geo: really like what i see so far from alec burks…

    I’m with you. I think he’s a good player and his 3P% is much needed. He’ll play even better when he knows how the other guys play.

  49. Also, remember when it seemed so brilliant that we flipped Hardaway for a first round pick? And then how disappointing Jerian Grant turned out to be?

    and the guy picked right after was …. delon wright….

  50. Markelle Fultz would be a free agent and would only be 24. I know he’s had a rocky start to his NBA career but if he continues to look better this year, he might be someone worth targeting?

  51. geo:
    i got one for you z-man, i know you do school admin stuff now, but – is there a subject which you specialized in teaching earlier in your academic career?

    Thanks for asking, geo. The best answer is, not really. I was an econ major in college but more of a pre-med student gone rogue. After a decade of floundering around on Wall St culminating in the aforementioned app trail adventure, I felt a career in education aligned best with my personality/vocational profile, and the path of least resistance was getting certified as a biology/genl science teacher. Found work at my current school as a middle school social studies teacher of all things (certification rules were more lax back then). Moved into science and math, and enjoyed them equally. Then when I became principal 16 years ago, I taught all “seniors” a catch-all 1x a week class called current events. I learned far more from teaching that class than the kids learned by being in it. Just recently gave that up….

  52. Mike Honcho: Which point guard was that? Isn’t Van Vleet basically confirmed to have never considered coming here?

    He signed for $21M avg salary. Could the Knicks have gone $25? Yeah, I know, “He’s not worth it”. And yet here we are. Rajon Rondo ($7.5M) and Goran Drajic ($18M) were also there and would be short-term solutions, mentors for the kids. And as for the draft, there’s a long list of players we passed on. I know he’s a 2-guard but I’m hoping that we found a diamond in the rough with Quickly as a PG.

  53. I taught all “seniors” a catch-all 1x a week class called current events.

    that does sound like a lot of fun…good for you for finding so much purpose in your employment…

  54. I think you’re misunderstanding me. Van Vleet did not want to come here, so it seems the money was largely irrelevant. Offering him $5 million more a year was not going to change his mind.

  55. I don’t think $25 mill would have done it….we would have just bidded up the price for Toronto. Maybe closer to $30…and that’s a ridiculous overpay (although I’d rather pay him that than Hayward!)

  56. I think you’re misunderstanding me. Van Vleet did not want to come here, so it seems the money was largely irrelevant. Offering him $5 million more a year was not going to change his mind.

    I believe you are correct. That was what Berman was reporting.

  57. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: I know he’s a 2-guard but I’m hoping that we found a diamond in the rough with Quickly as a PG.

    me too…if we stay away from labels like “pg” to someone who can get the ball up the court without picking up their dribble after they get past half court, get the team into an offensive set/initiate the offense and be able to hit an open shot or penetrate when needed…then perhaps quickely can be that guy…i know it was limited minutes this weekend but he seemed comfortable bringing it up and penetrating or driving if it is there…

    payton can’t shoot/frank can’t dribble or run an offense/dsj can’t run an offense or shoot…soooo…may as well try somebody else…

  58. Yeah one thing to think about with paying free agents is that agents get 10 percent. Then if they have a manager or a publicist, they get 10 percent. Then you have taxes. So the difference between 20 million and 25 million after all of that isn’t THAT much. OF course, when you’re talking about a lower paid player, the difference of a few million can make a big difference. But once you get up into the 20 million or higher range, a few million isn’t going to sway them if all things equal they want to stay at their current situation.

  59. Bobby Marks:

    The likely scenario for Houston to create flexibility and open up a roster spot is to trade the injured Chris Clemons to either a team that has cap space or trade exception.

    Although his $1.5M (plus $200K toward the tax) is non-guaranteed, Houston is responsible for his salary.

    The Rockets have already used their allotted amount of cash ($5.6M) but do have their own second in 2021 and a second from GSW in 2024.

    Because Clemons signed a three-year contract, only teams with cap space or a trade exception can acquire him.

    By gawd, is that Brock Aller’s music? Though we’d have to cut somebody, even temporarily, to take on Clemons.

  60. Alan:
    Bobby Marks:

    By gawd, is that Brock Aller’s music? Though we’d have to cut somebody, even temporarily, to take on Clemons.

    Anyone know if we need to cut an actual player or if we can just cut people from the 20-man roster? Based on Ed Davis trade #2, I assume it’s the 20 man but not feeling up for verifying.

  61. Also, not sure random 2nd round picks are enough for us to take on. I mean, they’re not even 2023 picks.

  62. Thinking of Quickley…

    I’d really like to see this 5 man unit

    Quickley
    RJ
    Burkes
    Toppin
    Mitch

    We need to see RJ, Toppin and Mitch together. They’re our 3 best young players and the future of this franchise, for now at least, depends on them developing and learning to play together. And while Quickley may not be a PG (for now at least), if he can at least sort of be a PG, RJ can have playmaking duties in this lineup as well. It puts at least two 3 point shooters on the floor around RJ plus Toppin. We need to see this line up.

  63. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a star player or a pretty good pg?
    Sure!
    Would these 2 be enough to turn this team into a competent one or a great one easily and instantly?
    I don’t think so…
    Many teams had stars and good pgs and were mediocre or even bad.
    We’re all disappointed and mad for not having a pg or a star but the truth is that we just had a bad to ugly preseason game. And most of our players look pretty bad so far.
    We choked by zone D. Our 3pshots were brutal. Didn’t play D like we did in the first game. Didn’t move well wo the ball. Haven’t been in normal shape yet.
    I’ll wait a bit before getting my “rifle”

  64. Anyone know if we need to cut an actual player or if we can just cut people from the 20-man roster? Based on Ed Davis trade #2, I assume it’s the 20 man but not feeling up for verifying.

    I forgot that we have a 20-man roster to play with at the moment, and an open spot now that Skal et al have been cut and given their Exhibit 10 deals to play with the G-League team. So we could do it now pretty painlessly. And I would say $1.5 mil in cap space is a pretty fair price to get a 2nd round pick, even if it’s a few years down the road.

  65. The Athletic did an article with the highest-profile candidates for a rookie extension, and one player caught my eye – Lauri Markkanen.

    «Art?ras Karnišovas could see Markkanen as the power forward of the future, but that is less certain now than it was previously, especially if fourth overall pick Patrick Williams looks more like a power forward than a small forward down the line.»

    If the Bulls don’t see him as a piece for the future, maybe he can be had now? We have Obi, but i think it’d be worth a try.

  66. A Letter to Tom

    Toppin and Randle should Only play in the low post and post up close to the basket or shoot 3s.
    You should not allow them to do matador spin drives and dribbling in the midrange.
    3 or Post.
    Fuck dribbling and spinning away from the basket.

    Yours Truly
    An Eyetest Peeping Tom

  67. While I’d much prefer seeing the kids play, there’s something not nauseating about our current vets. And Knox and Smith are so hard to watch. I think this will look better once things congeal a bit…so many new players and a new coach will take some time to stabilize.

  68. We shot 22,95% on 3s in these 2 preseason games.
    I went for 3p shootaround after Ages and had 20% on 3s.
    I think that a more patient approach to the team/season wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  69. Mike Honcho:
    I think you’re misunderstanding me. Van Vleet did not want to come here, so it seems the money was largely irrelevant. Offering him $5 million more a year was not going to change his mind.

    We’ll never know, will we?

  70. swiftandabundant:
    Thinking of Quickley…

    I’d really like to see this 5 man unit

    Quickley
    RJ
    Burkes
    Toppin
    Mitch

    We need to see RJ, Toppin and Mitch together. They’re our 3 best young players and the future of this franchise, for now at least, depends on them developing and learning to play together. And while Quickley may not be a PG (for now at least), if he can at least sort of be a PG, RJ can have playmaking duties in this lineup as well. It puts at least two 3 point shooters on the floor around RJ plus Toppin. We need to see this line up.

    Agree.

  71. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: We’ll never know, will we?

    “The Knicks had intel he wanted to stay in Toronto where he is close with backcourt mate Kyle Lowry. A source close to VanVleet said he wasn’t much interested in becoming the Knicks savior and preferred to stay put.”

    https://nypost.com/2020/11/21/potential-knicks-target-fred-vanvleet-stays-with-raptors/

    This article is from a month ago. You can dream about the alternate reality where he signs with us if you want, but it seems really clear that Van Vleet did not want to come here.

  72. Burks is out tonight too, for personal reasons the team knew about even before training camp started. Really hoping this means Iggy gets some minutes, but assuming it means more of The Kevin Knox Show.

    Mitch is starting at center (which Thibs told the beat writers he planned to do even if Noel was healthy, just to see Mitch play with the starters), and Bullock at shooting guard.

  73. I’m waiting for a starting lineup for a game thread. It is a bit later than the first two games. Maybe Thibs is trying to think of ways not to start Mitch.

  74. We don’t need you FVV!
    Frank will become the Most Improved Frenchman this season and solve our Pg/3p issues

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