Some Offseason Questions

1. What will happen with Darko now that Orlando has announced they are signing Rashard Lewis? I would imagine that Orlando is sorta bluffing, hoping that they can get Seattle to do a sign and trade so that they can keep Darko (figuring Seattle will go for something rather than nothing), but if Seattle doesn’t go for it, then that will force Orlando to renounce Darko. If that happens, Darko will instantly become a very interesting free agent. On the right team, he could be veeeery interesting. But who has the cap-room to go after him? Heck, maybe SEATTLE would be interested in him – they’ve got to have some cap-room, right?

2. Did Toronto overpay for Jason Kapono? The fellow is coming off his first good season in the NBA and he got a LOT of money.

3. It appears as though Minnesota WILL try to move Garnett this offseason (which is a lot different from previous years, where the chance of them moving him seemed remote) – what team do you think he will end up on?

4. Who will get Gerald Wallace? He’s way too good to not have a team making a move on him right now, right?

5. Why the hell did Miami Vice add Sheena Easton to the cast? She’s terrible and they never even USED her on the show really! That was beyond absurd.

6. Cleveland can’t afford to let Anderson Varejao go, right?

7. Now that Toronto signed Kapono, that means Mickael Pietrus isn’t going there. Wouldn’t he be a great fit for the Knicks?

8. Will DeShawn Stevenson ever make $9 million in the rest of his NBA career (that’s the total he turned down from Orlando for three years before signing with Washington for the league minimum)?

9. How much do you think Ruben Patterson will get? Isn’t it interesting that he had his best season in YEARS, and yet there’s no way he’ll make as much money as he did this year (almost seven MILLION!) – sports economics is fun!

10. Is there a bigger luxury out there than Jerry Stackhouse for Dallas? I presume they’ll resign him, but man, Stackhouse is lucky that he was the only Maverick to show up in the playoffs, because otherwise, I don’t see any other team banging down the door of an aging shooting guard who just last year reached his highest TS in the past five years, and it was a whopping 53.7%! Still, he seems to have found a nice niche in Dallas, so I wish him the best.

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114 thoughts to “Some Offseason Questions”

  1. “How much do you think Ruben Patterson will get?”

    The Knicks could give him their full mid-level. It’s a logical follow up to the Randolph deal… (to take the pressure off Zach and Eddy co-existing)

  2. “2. Did Toronto overpay for Jason Kapono? The fellow is coming off his first good season in the NBA and he got a LOT of money.”

    Uh, definitely yes. Not even a question. However, I guess it officially signals the end of the Mo Pete era in T-dot. Fare thee well, Mo, we hardly knew ye.

    In all seriousness, Peterson quietly vaulted himself to near or at the top of the all-time leaderboard for the Raptors in several categories. #2 in career points (boo Vince Carter….hooray Red Stripe!), #1 in minutes, #2 in FG made and attempted, #1 in 3P made and attempted, #4 in FT made and attempted, #4 in OR and total rebounds, #3 in DR, and #2 in steals.

  3. “8. Will DeShawn Stevenson ever make $9 million in the rest of his NBA career (that?s the total he turned down from Orlando for three years before signing with Washington for the league minimum)?”

    Watching approximately 40 Wizards game a year here in DC, I like DeShawn. He was a great as a cheap replacement to Jared “Lights Out” Jeffries. I seriously doubt that Grunfield will overpay for his talents, but $3 mil per year is the starting price being negotiated right now. I think Wiz sign him to a 4 year, 14 million dollar deal with an option on the last year. Antonio Daniels and the rookie from USC can fill in for DeShawn should he bolt.

  4. Z – that’s a joke right?

    #1 What will happen with Darko…
    – Do the Nets have cap space? That would be an interesting destination.

    #2 Did Toronto overpay for Jason Kapono?
    – Maybe, but maybe not. Personally I’m of the belief that shooters are going to become more important in this league with the increasing popularity of zone defenses. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

    #3 KG?
    – You know if Garnett were smart he would want to go East to get out of the horribly competitive West. If Atlanta drafted Conley, I would think that would have been the perfect fit.

    #4 Who will get Gerald Wallace?
    – Any GM that plays fantasy basketball.

    #5 Why the hell did Miami Vice add Sheena Easton to the cast?
    – At least it wasn’t Ted McGinley

    #6 Cleveland can?t afford to let Anderson Varejao go, right?
    – No. They can’t. But they have to get LeBron some more offensive help. If any team could use Matt Carroll…

    #7 Wouldn?t [Pietrus] be a great fit for the Knicks?
    – We have a fit now?

    #8 Will DeShawn Stevenson ever make $9 million in the rest of his NBA career?
    – Yes. In lire.

    #9 How much do you think Ruben Patterson will get?
    – the MLE.

    #10 Is there a bigger luxury out there than Jerry Stackhouse for Dallas?
    – At some point they hired a scientist to work with the crowd on visually hindering the opposing team on free throws. I think he lasted 3 games or so…

  5. 11. why keep David Lee on the team? he has the most trade value since he is our best player and we just traded for Zach which eliminates all of his minutes…way to go Isiah, I thought we had just turned a corner!

  6. #1 Nets would be great, but no cap space. I say he sucks it up and re-signs. Plan B: Golden State.

    #2 Yes.

    #3 Minnesota or Chicago

    #4 Tough call. Would Dallas trade Damp? Would Charlotte take him back?

    #5 Have you seen Don Johnson lately?

    #6 Why not? He is or should be Gooden’s backup. If he gets greedy why not trade him for Matt Carroll?

    #7 Renaldo. Balkman.

    #8 Yes.

    #9 3-5. In Marion.

    #10 A basketball team in New Orleans.

  7. It was great to hear Isaiah say that Lee was off-limits in a Rashard Lewis offer. As long as he doesn’t get traded over the summer (and regains his health) he’ll make it impossible to take him out of the lineup. Even with the new guy there’s no way DL gets less than 30mpg (it if were up to me it’d be more like 40).

  8. #1- The Nets have no cap room, and wouldn’t sign Darko anyway. They stay away from lazy guys. That’s why they didn’t sign Stromile Swift a couple of years ago, even though he seemed like a perfect fit for the team, and why Marc Jackson and Jeff McInnis got run out of town.

    And no. I do not plan on writing any articles for, or what not.

    Let’s go Knicks!

  9. “Z – that?s a joke right?”


    Well, at least I think it is, but knowing Isiah, maybe not.

  10. mase,

    DLee will still get his minutes. I’m thinking somewhere in the 30s.
    Who cares who starts the game ?
    only the daily news and post care about that crap.

  11. how does lee get 30 mins when Zach will get 35 mins a night, they play the same position?

  12. 1. What will happen with Darko…?

    :: This may be the offseason’s most interesting “B” plot.

    2. Did Toronto overpay for Jason Kapono?

    :: Relative to what he may have otherwise fetched on the market? I’m not sure. But, Kapono’s value is probably higher in Toronto than anywhere else. Now that’s no reason to overpay but I can see why they’d be hot and heavy for him. His “floor” in Toronto is probably higher than on any other team. He fits what they do to a tee. I’ll be interested to see what happens with Mo-Pete, a guy I always thought was a pretty useful specialist.

    3. …what team do you think [KG] will end up on?

    :: Not sure. This is a couple that knows it’s over but is still being nice for the sake of the children. Dark days are coming though. KG’s virtual no-trade clause means that McHale isn’t going to get back building blocks in all likelihood.

    4. Who will get Gerald Wallace?

    :: I say he winds up back in Charlotte. To me, he’s the biggest “buyer beware” on the free agent market. His game is still almost totally dependent on athleticism and hustle, which fade quickly. Here’s a question. Would a sign-and-trade for Maggette make sense for both sides?

    5. Why the hell did Miami Vice add Sheena Easton to the cast?

    :: Probably because she was cheaper than other alternatives they may have been considering.

    6. Cleveland can?t afford to let Anderson Varejao go, right?

    :: If I were Danny Ferry I’d be trying to flip Pavolovic into a useful player and a pick.

    7. Wouldn?t [Pietrus] be a great fit for the Knicks?

    :: Depends on the cost.

    8. Will DeShawn Stevenson ever make $9 million in the rest of his NBA career?

    :: Classic case of a guy who overestimated his market value but who may have stumbled into the right environment and system, in the process saving a career that looked to be fizzling out before it ever started.

    9. How much do you think Ruben Patterson will get?

    :: Half the mid-level, perhaps from Miami?

    10. Is there a bigger luxury out there than Jerry Stackhouse for Dallas?

    :: Umm… maybe Eduardo Najera?

  13. mase,
    our 3-man rotation at C & PF will average 32 minutes apiece. DLee might get a few minutes at SF, with the right matchup i.e. a big slow guy.

    This will mean Randolph or Lee playing some minutes as an undersized center, but that’s no different from what we did this past year, and defensively they won’t do worse guarding the middle than Curry does.

  14. Just because he is a PF doesnt mean he will ONLY get minutes at the 4 spot.

    Big men get rotated to all the bigmen spots.

  15. i keep hearing Zach is going to take minutes away from Lee–i must be missing something… didn’t we trade Frye for Randolph? Wasn’t Frye taking minutes from Lee just the same? (minutes, not rebounds) It’s not Randolphs fault he can rebound… I can see him take some bounds away from Lee, but not minutes.

  16. I think we (mostly) all agree that he SHOULDN’T take DLee’s minutes… but are worried that he WILL. Unspoken, is that Curry’e minutes should probably go down a bit.

    Randolph, Lee, Balkman and Richardson on the floor at the same time will be an awesome rebounding combo.

  17. Great point about Randolph taking Frye’s minutes, not Lee’s. I guess a lot of us were stuck in the thinking that Lee should be starting over Frye, and forgot that Randolph is, as much as we like our man, a better player.

    Also, I agree with the observation that the Lee-Curry-Randolph rotation is more flexible than we think, and that Lee or Randolph can’t be worse defensively at center than Curry is.

    Not sure if that’s a good thing though.

  18. 1. What will happen with Darko….

    He’s pretty good. He’ll get a job. Maybe San Antonio. Is he really lazy, or did he just have the misfortune of getting drafted before three allstars?

    2. Did Toronto overpay for Jason Kapono?

    Yes, but they are gonna just kill us.

    3. It appears as though Minnesota WILL try to move Garnett this ….

    He’s coming to NYK for Jerome James and a 2nd rounder.
    What about to Memphis for Gasol and Rudy Gay?

    4. Who will get Gerald Wallace? He?s way too good to not have a team making a move on him right now, right?

    What’s wrong with him? Why won’t he go back to Charlotte?

    5. Why the hell did Miami Vice add Sheena Easton to the cast?

    You have to look at her career at the time. She was coming off the “my baby takes the morning train” thing. Future couldn’t have looked brighter. She was like Juwan Howard.

    6. Cleveland can?t afford to let Anderson Varejao go, right?

    You mean “side show Bob”? I’m tired of guys that can’t shoot, and, he just looks ridiculous with that hair (and I’m a hippy). Seriously, somebody throw me a stat where he’s good or something.

    7. Now that Toronto signed Kapono, that means Mickael Pietrus isn?t going there. Wouldn?t he be a great fit for the Knicks?

    We may have a problem if Q can’t go. I would like to see Zeke address this but I’m more interested in someone who can spread the floor. Pietrus is more of a slasher, no?

    9. How much do you think Ruben Patterson will get?

    Why did Z-Bo punch this dude? What’s his reputation like.

    10. Is there a bigger luxury out there than Jerry Stackhouse for Dallas?

    MJ traded Rip for him, wow! I think Zeke needs to give MJ a call.

  19. who cares who starts? first quarter means little to the final outcome of the game…

  20. wow, thanks for the link.. more info than i care to read, but from the little i read, i find the “passed out or fell asleep” right after a performance hard to believe… then extorting for 10k… sounds like alot of halftruths…. from a prostitute.

  21. It has nothing to do with starting Lee!
    Frye’s mins. were dwindling down and Lee was taking over the PF spot…we should play without a center like many teams are doing and trade Curry, that would be ideal!

  22. mase, i agree with you but we all know isaiah will never admit defeat on this one.

  23. Sunil, where did you find this…? You should be a journalist. Compelling reading, but was this case settled out of court or were the charged dismissed?

  24. I love Lee. I wasn’t a fan of the Randolph trade primarily because I thought Lee should start.
    But now that Randolph is here, Lee’s value is diminished for the Knicks. And at the same time, his value on the open market is at its apex right now.
    Let’s face it, Balkman can do a lot of what Lee does, and Randolph clearly can do on the boards what Lee can do.
    What the Knicks need is a successful perimeter shooter.
    So, it’s really very simply: build a trade around Lee and bring in a shooter. Doesn’t even have to be a starter. Could be a small forward or a two.
    You also could package Lee with Crawford and Robinson to get a very good shooter and another role player.

    Then you would have:
    C, Curry/Morris/Fat ass Jerome
    PF, Randolph/Balkman/Jefferies
    SF, Jefferies/Q/Balkman
    SG, Q/Crawford/
    PG, Marbury/Jones or Dickau (prefer Dickau, because he’s a pure point guard)

    Lee, Crawford and Robinson might be very attractive for some teams.
    Am I being outrageous?

  25. You know how the internet is. Once you start clicking you don’t know where it’ll lead you.

  26. I like Lee alot. I knew about his since he was a HS senior. I thought then he’d be a top 5 pick because he had a cerebral presence and great athleticism. I was psyched to have drafted him and was surprised how poorly LB used him…. i just didn’t get it….
    He’s my favorite knick, but nevertheless, if we can get good trade value for him (i can imagine atleast a handful of teams overpaying to trade for him), we gotta do it, in large part because of Balkman, a less so b/c of Randolph.
    I don’t think his minutes will diminish, or “eliminated” as mentioned earlier, if he remains a knick. Front office knows exactly how many jerseys he sells. We’re not going to dump him for a role player, and I maintain that his minutes will equate to his contribution–if he’s healthy, he will get his mins.
    If we can get a superstar like Kobe, in a multi team trade, i certainly wouldn’t shed any tears losing Lee, my favorite knick in YEARS.
    “In Isiah we trust” lol.

  27. You guys are emphasising Rebounding alittle too much.
    The knicks were a great rebounding team last year.
    And i think Eddy Curry’s 300lb frame and propensity to be double teamed had a lot to do with that.

  28. Lee is my favorite player mase.
    What’s emblematic of lee’s play was his reaction to that game winning tip vs mj’s bobcats last christmas. that was a play that would have had just about every non-superstar player go on an ego-inflating i’m the man tip, ala nate robinson…
    to answer the question, curry’s size and relative agility is more coveted, but the chemistry lee brings to the table make him more special, and thus, i’d rather see curry go in an equal talent/trade situation, by far. we’d need a center in return, and i don’t see us getting much for curry in any trade.

  29. I think it was Hollinger yesterday who said Curry’s heart issue makes his contract radioactive for a lot of teams.
    I thought after last year, that the heart thing was no longer an issue, but I have to believe Hollinger is hearing something.
    That’s the only reason I would suggest Lee rather than Curry.
    If all things were equal, I think Randolph’s acquisition makes Curry trade-bait. I think we could limp by with a Morris/James/Lee center rotation, if it could bring in an A-list shooter.
    But because it doesn’t appear people want to pay Curry and his heart $8 million annually, Lee’s $1.1 million vis a vis his production is much more attractive.
    But it would have to be a very good shooter to lose Lee. And his drive is such that we can expect his D and shooting to improve in time. In fact, I’d bet money that he worked the off season on his shot.

  30. Well said Frank O.
    We’re not going to get much in return for Curry, for the reasons listed.
    Lee has great upside, with no baggage. There is unfortunately questions about his ankle, but that’s nothing an MRI and a 30 min workout wouldn’t clear.
    NYK fans would be up in arms if he were dumped, and i’m quite sure the front office knows that.
    Right now, i’d only want to see Lee traded in a package for Kobe.

  31. You would have to trade Randolph to get Artest.
    Those two should never be side by side on the court.

  32. yeah Frank, i’d want atleast bonified allstar for Lee. he’s just too marketable, with great upside, a guy that’s proud to be a knick, with the wherewithall to know what that means.
    he communicates on D, has great athletisim and
    even better work ethic. he’s gotta be close to untouchable.

  33. I’d lobby for an Artest trade – you wouldn’t need Randolph or anything like it; Sacramento would probably give him away, i.e. the Jones & Dickau contracts. Maybe throw in Wilson Chandler. Or we could always beg them to take Jared Jeffries, instead. It’s a risky move, but not so much at those prices, and the payoff is big if ronron doesn’t go nuts.

    re: Lee – I don’t know if I’d set the bar as high as Kobe, but no, I wouldn’t swap him except for another big-time prospect, or an established star under-30.
    In category A, I’d think hard about Josh Smith, who is a good defender at age 21 and is going to be awesome. (given all the Hawks PFs, that would probably have to be a 3-way trade).
    In category B, I’d consider swapping DLee and contracts for Jermaine O’Neal, who is older with health issues, but would provide an awesome defensive anchor. Finding minutes would be tough -either Eddie would be down in the 25-30 range, or Randolph would spend a few minutes trying to guard a 3.
    I’d see if he were tradeable for a great young point guard, but I don’t think Williams, Paul or Conley would be available.

    re: Noah – the shoulder and shot are old news. The official predraft camp measurements are here:
    You need a subscription to see the whole thing, but in shoes, Noah measured out at 7’0 – same as Greg Oden. Hawes was 7’0 3/4… Horford 6’9 3/4.

  34. re: Artest – sacramento may be dying to dump him, and probably to the east, but i’d imagine other teams would outbid that offer Caleb. He’s an allstar defensively , but offensively inconsistent and off court, well, you gotta wonder. I don’t know if he can handle NY. he was a dissappointment with St. Johns… he’s not cheap either.
    re: insider – I’ve been a member at espn since the 90’s and have insider, but i try to avoid chad ford as much as possible. he does post some good stuff tho, like the link you provided.
    re Noah – I love noah’s competitive spirit and drive (who doesn’t?), but the bulls are overloaded with his type. a very questionable pick considering they could have had Hawes, a near perfect fit for them, plus, Noah has that shoulder problem with no shot or post moves. Defensive force and rebounder? maybe.. maybe not… His shot is unworkable, unlike nearly any lottery pick, and needs a good team to complement his game. Maybe he’s trade bait for a Kobe deal… i HATE that team with a passion, so i’m very partial.

  35. re: insider link – Spencer Hawes – looking at those numbers, no wonder paxson passed on him… i didn’t realize his vertical was that poor. damn bulls.

  36. re: cford’s insider link Caleb posted – Wow, Hawes numbers are much worse than i thought. Terrible vertical and marginally taller than Noah. No wonder pax went with Yannick’s son. I despise the Bulls. this info hurts.

  37. I have to agree with some of the previous posts. With Zbo here, we should definitely trade one of our big guys. I dont think Zeke has the guts to put Artest and Zbo in the same lineup, but we could go after larry hughes for our perimeter defense. Cleveland doenst look like its going to resign Varejeo, so why not send Jared, Dickau and Q-rich for Hughes. Cleveland begged for some outside shooting and a decent passing PG during the playoffs, dickau and q-rich could fill that void. Although Jared sucked in nyc, we would be a better backup than Varejeo.

    The knicks could look like:

    With crawford being the 6th man. Maybe, just maybe, crawford will be gone too lol

  38. How about JJeffries & Dickau to SACTOWN for RonRon

    Then Send
    Jamal C, David Lee, Malik Rose, Nate Rob and Fred Jones to the Lakers for Kobe

    ZBo and Curry out on opening nite tipoff

    Keep Balk & Qrich BigSnacks, Marty and the two rooks on the bench..Morris too.

    Do it Zeke

  39. Oh man,now we’re getting into fan-tasy.
    Lakers won’t trade. Period.
    Too many other teams are way more to offer. Remember if our guys were so enticing, we wouldn’t be looking to trade them. For the same reason we might like to see Crawford,Robinson, Jones and Rose gone are because they’re not efficient or terribly productive…
    There is no way the Lakers let Kobe go – the best pllayer in the league – for anything less than an A++ level player like KG, or a bunch of very good young guys.
    Anything else is a pipe dream

  40. I think a SF we should perhaps set our sights on is Atlanta’s Josh Childress. The Hawks have one too many swingmen and I’m sure they want Marvin Williams to play this season.

  41. yeah, I think a 3 for 1 deal for Artest might make sense both ways at this point. the Kings could choose from Crawford, Q and Jeffries, plus Nate and Randolph Morris, that seems fair both ways. if that doesn’t work, I agree with the above poster that Hughes might also make sense both ways. both are guys their teams are itching to unload, much like Randolph, so it could work out.

    either deal would put us back down to 15 contracts without buying anyone out, and still keeping Dickau and Jones’ expiring deals.

  42. Hughes is an interesting idea. The contract is radioactive, but we’re so far over the cap, for so long, it doesn’t really matter (just stick it on Jimmy’s tab). He is a good defender, which obviously fills a need. On the other hand, we’ve constructed an offense which begs for outside shooting and he is a union bricklayer.

    I think I’d pass – his defense is probably overrated anyway; I’ve seen him gamble a lot, which bumps up his steal #s, but sometimes puts him out of position.

    I live in ATL now so I see the Hawks a lot; Childress is underrated – he can really shoot, and rebounds well for a skinny guy. He’s probably a similar value to Balkman – but somehow I don’t think Atlanta would go for that. Who would you offer in a trade?

    As I posted a little while ago, Josh Smith is awesome. Not as good as David Lee right now, but younger, with more room to grow. I’d say the value is similar, and it might be reasonable to trade our PF for a guy who plays the 3. He would offer a major shot-blocking threat, as all Knicks fans probably know. He’s not untouchable either; he makes ATL nervous because he gets in fights with the coaches, and they’re not 100 percent sold on giving him a max extension.

    On the other hand, unless Atlanta wants to play Horford at center, they’d need to bring in a 3rd team. It might work – if you were Phoenix, selling your draft picks and your mother for cash, would you trade Stoudemire for Horford and Josh Childress? But in reality, those 3-team deals with star players pretty much never happen.

  43. Since what is done has been done, and Isiah is looking to assemble the best possible team for a run at the playoffs this year (as if the world is ending in the summer of ’08) I suppose we may as well bring in Artest. He certainly addresses our defensive woes, and we are already a combustable team with severe integrity issues (three main elements of the team facing sexual harassment suits (thanks Sanil– good stuff).

    I feel Sac will send him east cheap. He’s damaged goods. Malik Rose and Artest have the same contract. Malik is the antithesis of Artest personality wise, which may be music to Sac’s ears. Throw in a young guy and I think if we really want Artest, he’s ours.

  44. Caleb,

    I have liked the ‘fro since his days at Stanford. He’s turned himself into a pretty decent player who probably hasn’t maxed out his growth.

    The key to any deal with Atlanta seems to be keeping the accountants happy and ownership out of it. A deal that allows ATL to thin out its glut at forward and save some money without having to commit to a returning player may be a deal Billy Knight can do without getting clearance from upstairs.

    Atlanta has to split minutes at the 2/3, between Joe Johnson & Childress, minutes at the 3/4 with Josh Smith & Marvin Williams, and now minutes at the 4/5 with Shelden Williams, Pachulia, and Horford.

    Of those, Childress is probably the easiest to move if ATL can find a team to take another bad contract back and get some cap relief/roster flexibility.

    Here’s the deal I’d propose:

    * NY gets – Childress and Lorenzen Wright

    (program the phone to hang up should the words “Speedy” and “Claxton” be uttered.)

    * ATL gets – Dickau, Jones and Randolph Morris

    Dickau and Jones gives ATL cap and roster flexibility; Morris a younger, cheaper backup center.

  45. Artest is just a bad idea. Artest is bona fide crazy. Even he doesn’t know when (or why) the meltdown is coming.

    There’s a difference between moralizing about “character” when it involves a guy like Randolph, who has a taste for weed and strippers, versus a probable personality disorder in Artest. A big difference.

    This is one where I hope the rumors that Isiah wouldn’t touch Artest with a 10-foot pole are true.

  46. Dave – I completely agree with what you said about Artest and Childress. I have been pushing for Childress since the beginning of last season. I think he would be a great fit.

    I do not think that trade would get it done though. I think if we want to keep Lee and Balkman we would have no choice but to take Claxton back. We are hopelessly over the cap (his contract still expires before Randolph) and Claxton could be a seviceable backup after both Marbury and Collins. I would try: Jones, Dickau, Robinson and Morris for Childress and Claxton. It is a good colsolidation trade for us. After this year we either resign Childress and move either Crawford, Q or both or we swing a sign and trade and get value back.

    About Artest I actually feel bad for the guy because I really think he wants to be a good person and a good teammate but he is unbalanced. I believe it is truly out of his control. Also I heard a rumor that Isiah did not get along with Artest when he was coach of the Pacers. If there is anyone who knows the damage Artest can do to a young team it’s Isiah because he witnessed it happen his last year in Indiana.

  47. I’m just curious to know why everyone wants to throw in Ranolph Morris. Doesn’t anyone want to see this guy through a summer league before giving him up for a headcase (who by the way could send ZBo off the deep end as well). How many infections can you throw on a unit and expect that unit to operate at peak performance. Why don’t we resign Vin Baker and Shawn Kemp while we’re at it.

  48. I want to take it a step further — why don’t’ we invite Master P to be on the practice squad. And hire Suge Knight as the Knicks security manager.

  49. If it costs the Knicks David Lee to get Ron Artest, sad to say, DOLAN HAS TO LET ISIAH DO IT. I can imagine the Dolan putting the reigns on a move because Lee is so popular and a good guy, and I too love his energy, but if it takes a package like Jeffries and Lee for Artest; it simply must be done. For if it is, this capped out Knick team will have some how become a contender, yes, certainly for the East. If they were puttig out a lineup of Marbury, Richardson/Crawford, Artest, Randolph, Curry – I mean that’s a damn fine NBA lineup….

  50. Giving up Lee for Artest would be a terrible move.

    Let’s put aside all of Artest’s problems and just look at the situation. Artest will be a free agent next year and has said numerous times he will sign with NY for the mle. Not many teams are looking to get him and the Kings want him gone.

    We are a young team what’s the hurry. Why not just wait and see if the Kings flinch. If it takes till the deadline or even next season why not wait. We will only get better with time we are not like the Suns or Heat there is no rush.

    Lee is too valuable of a player to give up to try to win now. It is only worth giving up Lee to get a superstar we could not otherwise get, or an equally talented young player at a position of need.

    Plus Artest could singlehandedly torpedo our team if his head does not stay straight. It is a risk I would embrace only if it cost us next to nothing, and even then it would make me nervous.

  51. back in the real world, Lee isn’t going to be traded for Artest. my educated guess is that he’d only go in a Garnett trade at this point, since Kobe isn’t going anywhere.

  52. Artest can say whatever he wants about signing a MLE with the Knicks, but it’s not going to happen. A few years ago he was bitching that he wasn’t allowed to take enough shots and put up the numbers he thought he could. And that limitation was the reason he wasn’t earning enough compared to the stars of the league. When he opts out next season, he might mention signing with us dirt cheap, but will most likely sign with another east team for 12mil+ a year. If he really wants to be here it’s going to be in a sign and trade. The guy is 27, no way he’ll take a financial hit so early in his career.

    He would be an awesome addition to the team though.
    SAC gets – Lee, robinson, dickau(was it just me or did this guy look incredibly depressed during his knick introduction), and jerome james

    NYK get: Artest and D.Watkins(Athletic center from Syracuse that average 3.4 blks a game. Not drafted, only invited to SAC summer league but can be signed for minimum)

    Then with the D.Fisher situation in Utah, he has stated that he would love to play in NYC because of the medical care for his daughter. Sign the veteran PG with leadership experience to the veterans minimum. Then we will have to waive F.Jones because who the hell needs a 6-3 SG that has no range?!?

    In all, our team would be:


  53. According to realgm.COM, Knicks roster for Vegas:

    Renaldo Balkman
    Wilson Chandler
    Mardy Collins
    Randolph Morris
    Demetrius Nichols

  54. I think Artest would be great for the Knicks from a basketball standpoint but I don’t think Isiah wants to be anywhere near that guy. He didn’t even make half an effort to trade for him 2 years ago when he was on sale for 50c on the dollar. There were a whole bunch of articles out back then that indicated the Isiah just can’t stand him. So I don’t think it’s happening unless he and Isiah sit down and kiss and make up. Isiah does like to kiss players (and maybe female VPs?)…

    On the other hand, I do think Artest would come here for the MLE — remember, he is a diehard Knicks fan and has wanted to play here forever. I really felt bad for the guy when we picked sucky Frederic Weis instead of the obvious pick, which was Artest. I don’t make anywhere near the amount of $ these guys make but what really is the difference between making $6M and $8M per year? No one’s going to give Artest $10M/year because of his unbalanced head. It’s still a ridiculous amount of money and I think Ron Ron is just strange enough a guy that he probably wouldn’t even care about the $2M difference to play for his hometown team.

    And re: David Lee — I love him as much as all you guys, but his trade value is very high right now. If you can get a real star for him and some expiring contracts I think you have to do it. He’s a great player but very limited — can’t shoot, can’t defend — he’s a fantastic role player/6th man that you have to give up regardless of his PER or WOW or whatever stat in order to get a real playmaker. Sunil is totally right in that some credit for his rebounding has to go to the fact that he doesn’t get boxed out much when Curry is in the game because of all the double teaming going on. We already have similar players on the roster esp Balkman that aren’t quite as good but can pick up most of that scrappy slack.

    Marbury, Q, Artest, ZBo, and Curry — that lineup can match up with anyone in the league. Stephon, Q, and Artest are all good perimeter defenders and should help hide our interior defense. And that group can score with anyone especially with Crawford, Nate, etc. coming off the bench.

    Until Artest goes crazy and gets kicked out of the league that is…

  55. Frank – I agree Lee’s trade value is very high, probably higher than his actual value but if it really is as high as it seems then we should not waste him on trade for a player that could be gotten cheaper.

    I would trade Lee in a second for a issue free superstar or a very good young talent. But Artest’s value is so low. He is totally radioactive to probably 25+ teams right now. In fact why are we even interested. We are young and have lots of talent lets see how we do before we get desperate.

  56. “he?s a fantastic role player/6th man that you have to give up regardless of his PER or WOW or whatever stat in order to get a real playmaker.”

    Frank – Cut it out. The combination of you and the watching the Nathans hot dog contest is making me extremely nauseous. Honestly, the mere thought of Lee not being on the Knicks is bad in every way for my health.

    What do you mean David Lee can’t shoot? His True Shooting % last year was second in the league behind Steve Nash. And he managed to score 14.4 points per 40 minutes, 3.2 less than Stephon Marbury, which is a pretty decent rate considering he didn’t have a play run for him the entire season.

    Honestly, I can’t understand why anyone would want to let go of David Lee, never mind for Ron Artest, who Balkman is perfectly good and much cheaper facsimile of.

    Lee is clearly the best player on our team. Better than Randolph, much much better than Curry. He was emerging as one of the best players in the entire league before his injury.

    That may sound like an exaggeration to you, but the numbers don’t lie. Lee was the second most efficient scorer in the league last year and was tied for the best rebound rate in the league. He only committed 2.1 turnover per forty while averaging 2.5 assists. Those are certified all-star numbers.

    And his performance had very little to do with Curry and his getting double-teamed, as has been discussed at great length on this board. Lee does much more for Curry than the other way around. His performance over All-Star weekend was indicative of what he is capable of without Curry.

    It’s not clear if Lee can continue to play as extraordinarily well as he did last year. But if he does or even comes close , Lee will easily be one of the 15 most valuable players in the league.

    And leaving the stats aside, he is also an utter joy to watch play. He is all effort, and all about the team. Last year, he also was by far the most popular player at the Garden. And he still has two years left on a rookie contract. Furthermore, he loves being a Knick and would love to stay here. He knows he won’t be dating Anne V down in Charlotte.

    He really is by far the best thing about the Knicks. So please, I beg you, stop talking about trading him.

  57. There is no question Lee has more hustle than anyone else on this team. But “all-star numbers”? You’re stretching it a bit much.

    On offense:
    Almost all of his points came on put-backs and dunks. He can’t create his own shot. How about a 15ft jumper? A consistent 10footer? eh, maybe with alot of practice.

    He simply does not look comfortable with the ball in his hands. Balkman has some slashing skills, but Lee seems to get stiff if he’s more than a few feet from the basket.

    On defense:
    He’s not fast enough to guard an elite SF(Lebron), can’t guard a good sf (deng/artest), probably can’t even guard an above average sf (r.jefferson/granger)

    Not strong enough or fast enough to guard PFs. Anyone from Garnett to Milicic would light up the scoreboard if Lee guarded them for 40 mins. He as great rebounding instincts and techniques, but a few more pounds of muscle would take away doubt we may have about his abilities in the low post.

    Given enough minutes he could probably lead the league in rebounds, but its not like he’s going to win any defensive POY awards anytime soon.

    I love Lee but with zach here for the next few years, he has to be flipped while the demand is hot.

  58. Lee is the first homegrown talent the Knicks have had that the fans have fallen in love with since the 80’s. He improved more between his rookie and sophomore year than anyone thought possible. Even his freethrow shooting, without any indication, shot up.

    It is unlikely that Lee reached his potential last year, but even if he did, he should beable to sustain it for the next 8-10 years.

    I don’t love Lee quite the way Owen does, and for Kobe or another A+er I’d certainly accept his departure.

    But, c’mon– Artest does not qualify as such an A+er.

  59. “I want to take it a step further ? why don?t? we invite Master P to be on the practice squad. And hire Suge Knight as the Knicks security manager.”

    No reason for the buck to stop there with so much talent availible on the market – how about PacMan Jones as the new MSG concierge and Tank Johnson as team chauffer????

  60. And Tanya Harding as a knick dancer.
    zeke wouldn’t give up Lee in a Lewis trade so
    why would he even think about moving him for damaged goods in Artest.

  61. OK- and again I want to emphasize I love watching David Lee and I think he’s a great player…


    He is a complementary player and nothing else at this point. Put PER and WOW and whatever aside and he’s a guy who CANNOT CREATE OFFENSE but lives off the offense that other people create. I like PER like the next guy but does anyone really think he is 8 spots better player than Jason Kidd? Or that he’s more valuable than reigning defensive player of the year Marcus Camby (11 spots back)? For Pete’s sake #38 is Joe Johnson, #39 is Jason Kidd, #40 is SEAN MAY, #41 is JOSE CALDERON, THEN Marcus Camby?

    And Santana is totally right — any real SF or PF that he guards will eat him alive. Since he came off the bench most of the time this year, much of his playing time was against 2nd teamers. But you put Al Jefferson on David Lee, AJ is coming out with 25+ pts. Rasheed Wallace? Forget it, they’d be going to Rasheed all night long until they started double-teaming. Chris Bosh? That’d be ugly. Jermaine O’Neal? And that’s just the eastern conference. We’re not even talking Garnett, Nowitzki, Duncan, Boozer, Brand, Gasol, etc etc etc.

    And can you imagine him trying to guard SFs 1 on 1? Carmelo? LeBron? Paul Pierce? Even Richard Jefferson?

    So again– I love David Lee — but to put him in an “untouchable” class is a bit ridiculous. I know the fans love him but he’s just not in that class yet.

    Now about Artest — he’s not an A+er (ie. in Kobe/Garnett/Nash/LeBron class) but let’s be serious — he’s good. He’s up for defensive player of the year every year and guards the best offensive player on the other team every time down the court. All the analysts want to drop down on their knees every time Bruce Bowen walks by and Bowen is a completely 1-dimensional offensive player. Artest can drive, is a good passer, can hit the 3, and can make his own shot up against the clock. If his head was screwed on straight everyone would be in love with his game.

    So in summary:
    – Love David Lee
    – He’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread despite what Hollinger says.
    – Definitely would rather have Artest than him from a pure basketball point of view.
    – Probably wouldn’t trade Lee + expiring players for Artest straight up. Maybe I would, I don’t know. But in a second I’d sign Artest for the MLE. And I’d welcome him in a heartbeat on the Knicks.

  62. “He is a complementary player and nothing else at this point.” -Frank

    It seems to me that this is exactly the kind of player the Knicks need. They have a roster full of stars who need the ball– highly paid guys who are paid to score. The results have been piss poor for a team that looks good on paper.

    Complimentry players win basketball games. Lee is as good as they come.

    I know this is an off-season thread and Lee’s grade will come in a few weeks, but since there is a possibility he won’t be here in a few weeks (a la Francis this week) we may as well make the pitch to keep him or deal him now.

    Lee rebounds and scores with great efficiency, and his improvement has been exponential since he was drafted. I think the most impressive part of his game, and why I feel safe keeping him and playing him over other guys, is the fact that he finishes with either hand with equal effectiveness. His ambidexterity makes him very difficult to defend around the basket, and only the most astute defenders can account for it. That, coupled with his hustle, his basketball sense, and his enthusiastic personality make him a guy I’d like to root for AS A KNICK for a long time.

  63. “Marbury, Q, Artest, ZBo, and Curry ? that lineup can match up with anyone in the league.”

    Unfortunately basketball is not baseball. You actually have to play as a team. You can’t just run isolation plays, as Team USA has learned the hard way a couple of times. A guy like David Lee might not be a “franchise player” in the Tim Duncan mold (he definitely isn’t), but his ability to rebound, space the floor, and play intelligent team basketball are what wins games (isn’t there some team in San Antonio that plays that way?). I think that “creating your own offense” is as overrated as anything in basketball. It’s important as kind of an icing on the cake thing, but basketball is a team sport: the majority of the time the offense should create the shot, ball movement should create it. Jamal Crawford is great at creating fade away 3s with a hand in his face, but they only go in 32% of the time.

    On defense, almost everyone in the league could get light up by the guys that were mentioned above if there teammates were not helping them out: defense is also a team pursuit.

  64. That’s funny T-Mart. Liked that line you had way back.

    “Confucius: man who trade David Lee, end season with 33 wins on knees in front of Dolan for make ?evidentiary progress?”

    That was from the great Free David Lee thread in January. If you doubters and deniers of Lee’s greatness :-) check it out, I think you will see how people feel about Lee on this board.

    Ken “El Animal” Bannister had a great find there too.

    “This is from David Thorpe via ESPN

    ?Harry (El Segundo, CA): Can you name a few good players who would become great players..or a few great players who could become legend?if only they?d start on a Karl Malone type workout regimen.

    David Thorpe: If David Lee had a jumper and a little tighter body, he?d be a game changing hall of famer. That?s how talented he is.?

    I think that assesment is right, whoever David Thorpe is. I think Kobe is a great player. He is no Jordan though. Kobe’s best years so far dont begin to compare to Jordan’s or Magic Johnson’s. And I dont want him on the Knicks. The many people who say he is the best player in the NBA are just wrong. Best scorer yes, but not best player. Those two things are not the same. Duncan, Garnett, Kidd, Nash, Marion, were all much better than him last year. Kobe actually, despite his reputation, was a second tier star. Given all the factors in play, salary, age, etc, NBA odometer, I don’t see a good reason to trade Lee for him.

    Frankly, a lineup of Kobe, Randolph, Curry, Marbury, and Q wouldn’t be any better than a team with Kobe, Odom, Farmar, Brown and Walton. Odom is a better player than Randolph, who has yet to play for a winning team in his NBA career.

    Lee is really really good. Value for money in the sixty games he played, he was clearly the best player in the league. It isn’t even close. There is no player on a rookie contract better than him. And we will hopefully have the chance to resign him to an extension after next year for a fairly reasonable salary down the road. Long term, that may be Zach Randolph’s most beneficial impact.

    Also, Lee is a PF, not a SF. And his on the ball defense is really not all that bad. He isn’t a “terrible” defender. And what weaknesses he may have in that dept. he more than compensates for with his rebounding. In basketball, great rebounding often is great defending. When you can effectively deny your opponents second chance points, that’s a very valid form of defense. The Knicks allowed 111.3 points per 100 when Curry was on the floor. They allowed 108.3 when DLee was out there. (And while i am on this point, let me point out that Balkman’s number was a ridiculous 103. Am I reading that right? The Knicks allowed only 103 points when Balkman was out there, and 112 when he wasn’t? That seems incredible.)

    He may not be able to defend KG or Duncan. So what? Honestly, who the hell can? Those guys have been tearing this league up for ten years. Zach Randolph can’t gaurd them. No one can stop them.

    And Mlicic? Please Santana. I would rather smoke crack through my ass than mention the human victory cigar and Lee in the same breath. Darko made some strides this year but he is still a below average player.

    Offensively, this is a guy who averaged 14.5 points per 40 without trying. So what if he isn’t a “playmaker.” Do you really think he couldnt sacrifice 5-9% off his 65% ts% in order to average 18-19 points per games? There is no player in the league with greater potential to be a 20-13 kind of guy who isn’t already there. He is only entering his third year in the league.

    David Lee should be the cornerstone of this franchise for the next eight years. Trading him ought to be out of the question.

  65. Owen– you make a case that is hard to argue against, so I won’t. But if Kobe is available, you can bet the Knicks are trading him. Just hope the same isn’t true for a less seductive player.

  66. “He is a complementary player and nothing else at this point. Put PER and WOW and whatever aside and he?s a guy who CANNOT CREATE OFFENSE but lives off the offense that other people create.”

    This reminds me of what people have been saying about Shawn Marion since the day he declared for the draft. It’s just as BS when applied to Lee.

  67. Again — and sorry again for the disclaimer — I think David Lee is great. And I think Z is right– as the team is constructed right now, David Lee is a good fit.


    If you’re talking “cornerstone” of a franchise, what kind of players fall under that classification? Here are a few examples in my mind:


    Is David Lee a “cornerstone”? I think he’s more of a guy you handcuff to a cornerstone. Which is why I don’t think he’s really going anywhere.

    And I thnk “Creating your own offense” is actually quite important. I have no figures on this but what percentage of possessions end up with one guy trying to make a shot off a broken/ineffective play? How much of a dagger does it put to the heart of the other team when someone makes that shot? Jordan was so great because no matter how well you defended him, he could still hit that shot. If all offensive possessions could be a beautiful Nash–> Stoudemire pick and roll, that’d be great. But I wager that at least 10-20% of possessions end up with one guy trying to make something happen. And the guy you having trying make those shots greatly affects the outcome of NBA games where 1 or 2 possessions often determine the winner. Jamal (who I love despite his PER etc.) may shoot 32% from 3pt range with a hand in his face, but who wouldn’t rather have Jamal shooting that shot than David Lee? And guys like Jamal create offense for other players off their driving and dishing. I’d wager Lee would score

  68. hmmm.

    don’t know what happened to the rest of my post. Trust me, it was groundbreaking and would have won a Pulitzer.

    in a nutshell:

    Lee would score

  69. looks like I get cut off every time I write Lee would score. strange. i give up.

  70. ?He is a complementary player and nothing else at this point. Put PER and WOW and whatever aside and he?s a guy who CANNOT CREATE OFFENSE but lives off the offense that other people create.?

    So were kerr, paxson, rodman and horry, this is a team sport gotta have role players that can finish, grab the big rebounds and hit open shots.
    I would take kobe on this team but not if we end up looking the Lakers after the trade.

    Message to chris russo/wfan, nobody cares about your opinion about the Zbo trade, your a baffoon when it comes to b-ball knowledge and nobody has to convince a jackass who’s made up his mind about the trade and the knicks. Let me hear you talk about the Curry trade now. Noah, Tyrus and Thabo for Curry, Balkman and Wilson. Big mouth=empty head

  71. Lee is a stud, and his energy is contagious. I would never trade him for Artest. However, I don’t think Artest will fetch such a high value. Sac wants to get rid of him, and many teams are afraid to add a potential PR nightmare. The Knicks have demonstrated in the past that they do not shy away from headcases (See, Vin, ZeBo, Spree). The Knicks should try offering a package of Nate, Jeffries, and Fred Jones for Artest. The salaries would work, and Sac would get two guards in the event that Bibby exercises his option.

    Then, the Knicks should create space on the roster for Derek Fisher (I read that he wants to play in NY). Fish is a great locker room guy to help offset the other strong personalities. Another great backup point would be Brevin Knight. He just got cut by the Cats this week.

    Speaking of the Cats, someone mentioned that the Cavs should get Matt Carroll. He just re-upped with Charlotte.

  72. I think that the ability to create (and much more importantly HIT) his own shot was icing on the cake for Jordan. I don’t know if this is a great example because there is only one MJ and you could just as easily point to almost any part of Jordan’s game, besides say his low-post scoring, and say that it killed other teams.
    The fact that he could hit any shot anytime made him MJ, but if he hadn’t been so amazing at every other aspect of the game he would have been I don’t know maybe Ben Gordon not Michael Jordan. Now, if he didn’t have all those other elements of his game and he ran around taking and missing all of those fade aways, you’d have Jamal Crawford.

    Not only does Jamal Crawford jack up 3s on broken plays, he also runs down the court and jacks up 3s in transition, he also dribbles around for 10 seconds and jacks up 3s. No matter how poorly you defend Jamal he’ll still miss 60% of his shots.

    I’m not sure what you were going to say after …would score… but yes. The guards are supposed to be the ones who primarily handle the ball and create scoring opportunities for others. There are a lot of guards who do so without shooting 40% from the field on a team leading 15 shots/game.
    I’m not the one arguing that Lee is a cornerstone. I’m not so worried about Lee “creating his own shot.” Maybe I’m old school, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world when your PF doesn’t handle the ball like Jason Williams and shoot it like Jason Kapono. This, in my opinion, is why you put a PG and 3 other guys on the floor with your PF and employ some specialization of labor by letting them all do what they’re good at. Then, on offense, they all run around and pass the ball to each other in order to create as high percentage a scoring opportunity as possible. On defense they all collectively do everything they can to get the ball back w/o the other guys scoring ASAP, compensating for the fact that one of them might not be able to guard a great scorer.
    I do agree that if we’re ever going to talk about Lee as a cornerstone he should be able to post a guy up and hit at least a midrange J. As long as he’s playing next to Curry, though, why would you feature him offensively? If Curry develops into a passable player in other respects, I think it would be best to let him worry about scoring in the low post, and Lee do his low usage/high efficiency thing.

  73. Owen. Please explain more how Kobe is a second tier player. Is it because he is a sg? That is a guess based on you only listing PG and PF as “top tier players” I would love to know how you come to that conclusion on Kobe. He was second in the league in win shares last year (top 10 every year since 1999 and usually usually top 5). He is a multiple time all defensive team member. And as to your Kobe is no Jordan comment… Jordan’s first eight seasons are all most similar to a Kobe Bryant season. And Kobe’s season last year is most similar to Jordan’s 97-98 season. You may dislike Kobe but second tier player is completely baseless. It is more likely he is the best player not named Tim Duncan.

  74. OK one more try.
    The end result of what I was saying is that no matter how much we love Lee, his trade value is so high now that I think we HAVE to put him on the trading block to see what bites (this does not mean we give him up for free). The idea that there are bona fide superstars available like Kobe, KG, and even Jermaine O’Neal or Artest all in the same offseason is to me unprecedented — and I think you HAVE to try and get one of them even if it means giving up a guy that is a crowd favorite, has great energy, and is fantastic at playing off the weaknesses of the players around him.

    My guess is that nothing of any major import happens between now and the season. All of the pieces that other people want are Isiah’s pet projects that he has too much personal loyalty towards (Balkman, Lee in particular). I still think we’re looking ok with Curry becoming more mature and taking the weaknesses in his game seriously. With a lot of work he’ll become a “passable passer”. He’ll probably never average 10 rebounds/game or more than 1 block per game but that’s ok with Lee and Randolph around him.

    And TDM — if we could get Artest and Fisher on this team without giving up Lee — that’s a wet dream. Would be great though. Fisher is perfect as a 15 min/game guy on this team.

  75. I don’t think it’s completely baseless to say that Kobe is not a top-tier player. What has he accomplished without Shaq around? He’s led the League in scoring and…………

    That’s a pretty short list.

    He’a arguably the most talented player in the NBA, but I think his results leave much to be desired.

  76. Yeah, Lee’s special. It’d be nice to see Ron come home, though. Maybe for someone else. I think winning cures alot of personality issues. Maybe not personality disorders, though.

  77. As per usual, I agree 100% with Ted Nelson. Someone get this guy a blog.

    Jamal Crawford shot 40.5 in clutch shooting situations, as defined by 82games. David Lee was at 53%. Obviously though, Craw took and made a lot more.

    My gut is that if I had to choose one player on the Knicks to have out there in crunch time it would still be Lee, because his ability to convert a missed shot is so outstanding. There are a bunch of players on the knicks who can shoot 40.5. I also feel like I remember hearing that David Lee was a leader in last second shots at some point last year. Anyone have data on this. He had two tip ins I can remember.

    Frank – Lee is not a “pet project.” And I dont think Fisher is very good. It’s very possible his backup, Brewer, will be better next year than he was this year.

    SM – I don’t understand Win Shares. Kubatko sent me the link to the explanation, and honestly I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Justin is a stud though, and his site is incredible.

    Full disclaimer: I am a wages of wins fans. And Bryant, Shaq, Garnett, Iverson and Jordan are easily the players Dave Berri has written the most about.

    I think Kobe is a really excellent player. But I don’t think last season was his best. The comparison you made to Jordan is very apt actually, since that 97-98 season was easily Jordan’s worst full season as a Bull. (i.e. taking out his injury season early in his career and the season he returned and they lost in the playoffs.)

    Bryant has never achieved the kind of productivity Jordan did in his prime. For instance, Bryant has never sniffed Jordan’s 88-89 season, which was nothing short of remarkable. So, I will stand by that statement.

    Kobe gets more credit I think than he deserves because he is so much fun to watch, such an electric scorer and because he won three championships with Shaq. Great player, no doubt though.

    If you asked me to list all the players who I thought had better seasons than Bryant last year I would say Nash, Duncan, Kidd, Marion, Boozer, James, Dwight Howard, Camby, Nowitzi, Stoudemire, Ginobili, and James. Not exactly in that order actually but that is the list. D Wade is a better player right now than Bryant also. And if Lee had played the full season he would have been in there I think as well.

  78. A couple other things about Lee which really need to be emphasized are his superior basketball IQ and passing skills. This is of even more importance on a Knicks team which seems to have a mean basketball IQ somewhere between K-9 and dolphin. However, are the knicks players really that dumb, or do we just have a lot of selfish players making selfish decisions (insert your preferred obnoxious Jamal Crawford 3-pointer with 23 seconds on the shot-clock, Jerome James 10-footer, any time Malik Rose touches the ball, any time Nate Robinson’s sneeze residue reaches the wax on the court etc etc etc play here) that we just file away as poor basketball IQ???? Which bring me back to D Lee, have you noticed the highest common denominator effect he has on team basketball IQ when he is on the floor no matter who is out there???? I heard a rumour that Walt Frazier was spotted in Walden Books looking at new Thesaurus’s because he was running out new adjectives to describe the team passing when D Lee was in the game last season.

    Oh yeah, David Lee has been taking 1000 jump shots every single day this off season

  79. I don’t think the Knicks have any shot at KG or Kobe, not matter who on their roster they offer. JO also seems out of reach, although I’m not sure I would give up Lee for another guy that I would hardly call a cornerstone, but who’s paid like one nontheless. Don’t get me wrong, JO’s a step up (in some cases several steps) from the Knick’s other big contract guys.

    Ron Artest has had a decent amount to do with ruining the last two teams he played on (it’s hard to say that given all the other factors involved, but like with Marbury there just seems to be a pattern). The guy doesn’t seem like he can play with anyone, last time I heard JO and Bibby were two of the better liked guys in the NBA and Artest has clashed with both. He’s constantly doing weird things like asking for time off in the middle of the season or publically contemplating retirement at the end of the season. Unless they were literally giving him away I just don’t think it’s worth it. If he can’t get enough shots in Sacto or Indy how is he going to get enough shots with Crawford, Randolph, and Curry on the floor? The Knicks are already an unstable bunch, but at least right now they seem optimistic and cohesive. It’s already going to be a chore to convince a bunch of players who have never shown any inclination toward or understanding of team basketball to play as a team rather than stand around and watch one guy go one on one as they have for the last couple years. If Ron can’t get enough shots in Sacto or Indy how is he going to get enough shots with Crawford, Randolph, and Curry on the floor? Thinking ZBo can become a valuable member of society and a basketball team is wishful, but RonRon?

  80. T – Mart – Ken reported that about the 1000 jumpshots a while back. I get all tingly thinking about it.

    Ted Nelson – You have my nomination for poster of the year.

    You’re right. JO, at least with how he played last year, isn’t enough for Lee. We discussed that a while back. But he would be an upgrade over Randolph and of course over Curry. Actually, if we could swap JO for Randolph we would be in a much better spot than we are now. We would have a serious interior defender and legit minutes for Lee at the PF spot.

  81. I agree with everyone re: Ted Nelson — you are well thought out. But Ted and Owen, are you guys seriously saying that you wouldn’t trade Lee straight up for Jermaine O’Neal (aside from contract considerations and the fact that Curry, O’Neal, and ZBO would be similarly too many people in the frontcourt)? That guy’s a monster and changes the game defensively with his blocks AND is a good rebounder to boot.

    I agree that Randolph for JO would be an excellent trade (which Indiana would never do). I think either JO or someone like Rasheed Wallace would be perfect for the Knicks. But I REALLY think we’re getting carried away about David Lee now.

  82. I disagree about getting carried away about David Lee. He is good enough, young enough and cheap enough to be considered one of the most valuable players in the game at this point.

  83. So ignore the giant contract?

    It depends what kind of numbers you think he will put up going forward. Well, it doesn’t. I would want Lee in almost any case. But if JO continues playing like he did last year, there is no way you woold want him over Lee. His TS% was at 50%, 15% less than Lee. Pretty much all of his numbers were worse than Lee’s actually, other than blocks (by a lot) and assists by a bit. Lee had him by 3 rebounds per 40 and a turnover. So that’s a difference of four possessions.

    Obviously, his defense is better. But how much. The Pacers were 4 points better than average with him out there. The knicks were 3 points better than there’s with Lee.

    JO kind of checked out the second half of the season. I think he is a much better player than he showed overall last year.

    But I also think it may be true that O’neal is exiting his prime just as Lee is entering his, still on his rookie contract. I know Jo is only just a bit short of 30, but he has ten years and a lot of games on his odometer.

    So no, I wouldn’t want JO rather than Lee. Jo rather than Curry or Randolph, absolutely.

  84. Z sounding off here– I also would NOT trade Lee for JO straight up, for all the reasons already said by everyone not named Frank. I would trade Randolph for JO straight up (as the Knicks), and I would trade pawns for Artest. I’d trade anyone for Kobe or KG.

  85. I don’t know if I’m saying this strong enough. But anyone that says David Lee’s rebounds are a product of Eddy Curry’s size should be banned from any NBA arena and have any NBA game blacked out on their tv.

    Not that this ban would affect them, since they’ve probably never watched an NBA game in their life.

    The only effect Curry has on Lee’s rebounds is that Lee might get more rebounds due to Curry’s piss pour boxing out and lack of aggressiveness on the defensive glass.

  86. Even though Lee and Randolph are excellent players individually (I vote with the majority that Lee is better) – their value to the Knicks is diminished by their playing the same position. (The best solution is to play them together, Randolph at center, but don’t count on that happening). Because of the duplication, either PF would be would be more valuable to most other teams than they are for us.

    I wouldn’t be in a hurry to trade either — especially Lee, bc of the cheap contract. But you wouldn’t have to receive talent/potential that’s quite equal, in order for the Knicks to benefit. The idea is to trade one PF for a player who does something we don’t have. We lack a top defender anywhere. Our backcourt has no shooting and no defense; either spot could use a big upgrade (I think the over-30 Marbury would do better as a combo guard, than trying to chase around young fast guys).

    The problem is when you talk specifics, because there probably aren’t more than 15-30 players in the league with as much talent/potential as Lee, or even Randolph.

    But I would definitely put out feelers for guys like Devin Harris, Josh Smith or Mike Conley. Maybe even Chris Paul – who knows what will happen to that franchise? You could make a straight-up trade using Lee, or send Randolph and take back mediocre or bad contracts.

    As for Artest – talent and sanity aside, it’s ridiculous to offer DLee when Ron will either be traded this summer for 10 cents on the dollar, or be a free agent next year. The Berman story was obviously planted by Ron’s agent; not even Isaiah drives THAT soft a bargain.

    p.s. Here’s a thought experiment: would Miami trade Shaquille O’Neal for a combo of Randolph, Curry, the two expiring contracts, Randolph Morris and another contract (Jeffries/Q/Rose/Crawford)? Would we want that trade? Would Shaq accept it?

  87. Owen and Frank,

    Thanks guys


    I think JO-DLee would be a tough call. The Knicks could really use some interior D, and JO is only 5 years older than Lee. He would be elated to come play for Isiah in NY, which could lead to a career year(s). O’Neal’s defense and leadership probably get us into the playoffs. So I wouldn’t be upset.

    On the other hand, JO’s a 46% shooter on his career. I just don’t think he’s an elite offensive player, which might explain (along with Ron Artest’s meltdown and Larry Bird replacing Donnie Walsh) why the Pacers have fallen off so badly on the offensive end since Reggie Miller’s retirement (they were 30th out of 30 last year in offensive efficiency after being 9th in the last pre-brawl year).

    His offensive career stats are really similar to Zach Randolph’s:
    (JO / ZBo)
    FG% .461 / .466
    eFG% .461 / .469
    TS% .512/ .519
    AsR 8.2 / 8.0
    ToR 11.1 / 11.0
    Usg 23.6 /25.8
    PER 19 / 19.5
    RebR 15.9 / 16

    So, as people have been pointing out, his defense probably makes him preferable to ZBo (and Curry and Crawford).

    As for being more valuable than Lee, I just don?t think I could get too excited about any deal to bring in another $20 million 30 yr old who is supposed to help us contend today. I think JO?s addition might bump the current Knicks? roster up from 25th defensively and 17th offensively to about 16th, 17th, 18th and maybe 11th, 12th, 13th. That leaves us about where the Nets are (15th on both sides). Maybe we could get homecourt or ever win the Least if JO has a career year, Curry rounds out his game, Crawford limits himself to 8-10 smart shots/game, and Marbury is allowed to play to his strengths rather than whatever it is he?s been doing/asked to do the last two years.
    So maybe if you?re Isiah and you?ve tied your future to Jamal, Eddy, Steph, ZBo, and co and that deal?s on the table you have to make it hoping for the best case. Then you?re Danny Ainge and you?ve given your best player (Lee is this case and the chance to draft your best player at #5 in Boston?s) for a pipedream.

    If you?re interested in the Knicks? long-term future I think you have to keep the exciting, talented, athletic, smart, and defensively sound young guys on the team. If Jamal and Curry don?t start playing the right way (or someway other than the complete wrong way) you have to move them for some good defenders who may not ?create their own shots? but play intelligent team offense. Then you start building a basketball team the right way rather than collecting and trading basketball cards.

  88. the one thing that gets me excited about next season is watching randolph and lee play together, especially in an nba that’s getting quicker and smaller. their games really seem to complement each other.

    in fact, the only thing that spoils it for me is that curry is involved in the mix. then again, the only time i dig it when curry is in the mix is when i’m in an indian restaurant.

    can’t we talk about trading him instead? shouldn’t kevin mchale be interested?

  89. Brian, on the merits you are totally right, but I doubt we’ll have the opportunity. Even if Isaiah were willing to let go of his pet project, teams aren’t scared off by turnovers and a lack of defense and rebounding will be scared off by an uninsurable heart condition. At $10 million a year.

    On the other hand, there IS McHale…

  90. I literally could not watch the Marbury video.
    He seems incapable of complete sentences and he’s constantly losing his train of thought, such as it is.
    I mean, who ever heard of a good point guard that seems utterly unable to communicate?
    I believe Isiah is incapable of the long view and, as a result, saw Curry as the franchise player in the moment. There is no way he’s the franchise player anymore.
    Another thing, the fact that Isiah had no long view probably made him a great guard because he simply forgets the past, ignores the future, and lives for now.
    From that standpoint, I think Curry is as vulnerable to a trade as anyone else.
    But we can’t trade simply to trade.
    The more I think about Lee, the less I think we should trade him.
    If there is one guy I think we simply must lose, it’s Crawford. He simply cannot take 15 shots or more a game anymore. A SG shooting 15 to 20 times and making only 40 percent will just kill the Knicks.

  91. yeah, listening to Marbury talk just brings up one of the fundamental problems on our team that people don’t seem to mention much (it’s a sensitive topic to broach). it’s not just that our team has dreadful collective basketball IQ, Marbury and Crawford quite possibly have the highest ratio of skills to actual intelligence for a starting guard tandem in league history. this is where a lot of the poor decision making comes from, they just get out-thought out there.

    Artest is a smart guy, he’s just a lunatic. given an idiot or a lunatic, I think in this case, I’ll go with the latter. Jamal and Morris for Artest…

  92. Curry is a one-dimensional player and to think that a one-dimensional player is untradable is ludicrous. If Zeke really believes that, then he is the one who needs to go.

    Wonder what would have happened if we drafted Artest over Fred Weiss to begin with…

  93. Well– re: the Lee for JO trade, my point was not that we should trade a $2M contract for a $20M contract, just that in a hypothetical world where you would trade player for player, I still think anyone would be crazy not to trade for Jermaine O’Neal. And I think we can just agree to disagree on that one. I understand the points you guys are making regarding Lee.

    And regarding Curry — this really is a Curry-bashing-heavy forum. I still have high hopes for the guy. In year 1 of being given the mantle of “franchise guy” by a coach that doesn’t hate him (ie. Isiah vs. Skiles), I thought he improved quite a bit over the season. Again, I’m not a super-stat guy but just watching the games I got the distinct feeling that he was understanding the offense better, passing out of doubles better, and even occasionally grabbing a rebound. I think it’s tough to judge his progress because no one will do well and everyone will turn the ball over a bunch and have no assists if you’re double/triple-teamed on every possession and anyone you throw the ball out to bricks a wide-open 15 foot jumpshot (read: Mardy Collins, Jefferies, Balkman).

    And regarding his weaknesses — passing, rebounding, help defense (amongst others, I know)– a lot of this can be taught. But being unstoppable in the post and commanding double-teams on most possessions is not that easily taught. Now if 2 years from now he’s still the same player… I’ll join all you Curry-haters out there. But give the guy a break — he was stuck on a team with a coach that couldn’t stand him, which likely stunted his growth badly over those years. Look at a guy like Jermaine O’Neal – it took until his 7th year and 2nd team that his potential actually came out. And this will be Eddy’s 7th year and second team.

    OK, bring the flamethrowers and their PERs out now…

  94. We are really hard on Eddy Curry, it’s well deserved but maybe we go a little overboard. If he were on a team that covered his passing and defensive weaknesses he could actually be ok. Unfortunately the Knicks neither move the ball well nor move well without the ball, and they obviously don’t play D.

    All these points have been discussed at length on this board before, but I thought I’d check em out again to make sure we haven’t been unfair (We haven’t really been).

    The main thing, as has been said a million times, is that Curry is incredibly one dimensional. He’s so good at scoring in the low post (although his TOs offset it to some extent) and so incredibly bad at basically everything else. He’s one of the worst centers, and in some cases players, in the league at rebounding, shotblocking, passing, TOs, and defense.

    While he gets bashed a lot for passing like Yinka Dare and turning it over so damn much, Amare is actually almost as bad a passer and turns it over only slightly less than Curry. Of course, Amare is also a far better rebounder and defender than Curry:
    Curry= 12.2 career rebound rate 11.9 last year, Amare= 15 career and 17 last year. defensively the 25th ranked Knicks–who replaced Curry with guys like Frye, JJ, and Malik–were 5.3 points per 100 possessions worse with Curry on the court while the 13th ranked Suns–I would guess defensive stalwart Kurt Thomas was his primary replacement– were 3.8 pp100 worse with Amare out there.

    A big difference between Amare and Curry in my eyes is that Amare is the primary of several options for Steve Nash and the Suns’ other playmakers like Leandrinho and Diaw, while the Knicks run their offense through Curry. Amare gets open and converts high percentage shots quickly w/in a fluid offense, while Curry goes one on one (or 2 or 3) while the other Knicks stand around: the result is that if Curry doesn’t convert his high % shot and instead chucks it out to someone on the perimeter the Knicks are in bad shape and have to rely on JC “creating his own shot.”
    Curry’s role reminds me a lot of a limited versions of Ewing’s role in the early and mid 90s. The Knicks were an equally mediocre offensive team at that time–maybe because Ewing was not nearly as efficient as Curry and wasn?t surrounded by the dynamic scorers Curry is–and Ewing wasn’t a great passer either–although he was twice as good as Curry and turned is over far, far less. The big differences were that those Knicks had the NBA’s #1 defense, and Ewing was surrounded by very good passers at every position (Oakley was the worst passer in the top 7 besides Ewing and his assist rate was still 16.7, in last year’s top 7 only Marbury (23.7) and Crawford (18.2) topped 16.7).

    Your point about potential and development is not particularly well received. He only played under Skiles for about 1 3/4 seasons. If you look at per minute or rate stats Curry has shown very little improvement. He has not improved his passing or rebounding in 6 seasons (his rebounding was up under Larry Brown actually, but that year his passing was Yinka Dare level), so while maybe these things can be taught Curry hasn’t learned them.
    JO’s numbers his second year in Indy aren’t much different than his first, or his third (this will be Curry’s 3rd year in NY). His true shooting % and TO rate did improve every year, although the TO rate was far better than Curry’s to start with. His rebound rate actually declined from year 1 to 2 and 2 to 3.

    Curry (’05-’06 / ’06-’07)
    TO rate 17.7 / 17.7
    TO/40 3.8 / 4.1
    Assist rate 1.9 / 4.1
    eFG% .563 / .576
    TS% .604 / .603
    FT% .632 / .615
    reb rate 14.1 / 11.9
    BLK/40 1.2 / 0.6
    STL/40 0.6 / 0.5
    Fouls/40 5.1 / 3.7
    PT/40 21 / 22.1

  95. “I think it?s tough to judge his progress because no one will do well and everyone will turn the ball over a bunch and have no assists if you?re double/triple-teamed on every possession and anyone you throw the ball out to bricks a wide-open 15 foot jumpshot (read: Mardy Collins, Jefferies, Balkman).”

    But is this really true? If you look at Curry’s top 5-man units, there are plenty of guys that can hit a jump shot. In fact in the top 9 there are no lineups with more than one player who can’t hit a jumper (most common are Lee and Jeffries). So he’s not often paired with 2 guys that can’t shoot, and apparently rarely teamed with 2 of the 3 guys you mentioned above.

    So that excuse really doesn’t fly from a statistical perspective. From what I’ve seen on the court that doesn’t seem to be true either. Curry gets double teamed more and more often, because it works. Even when he passes out of the double team it’s rarely to the open player. He usually pops it back out to the player that fed him. Curry doesn’t have few assist because he’s finding the open guy who misses an easy jumper. It’s that he’s not finding the open guy.

    You can say this is a “Curry-bashing-heavy” blog (not forum), but in all honesty (speaking for myself) I’m more interested in the truth than having an agenda. So I’ll ask, am I bashing Curry by pointing out that his passing woes aren’t from playing with guys that can’t hit jump shots?

    And where was all this discussion during Curry’s report card?

  96. I am not going to say you are guilty of bashing Curry I just do not think you are looking at the statistics fairly. I have heard many people on this forum state that Curry’s per 40 min stats have not really improved but that does not mean he hasn’t improved.

    In 05-06 Curry put up his very efficient offensive numbers while not the primary focus of the offense and while not facing constant double teams.

    In 06-07 Curry was able to play more minutes and maintain his high level of efficientcy while facing double and triple teams. If it was easy to simply play more and maintain efficientcy we would all be impressed by Sweetney’s all-star nomination.

    On top of that going from a 1.9 assist rate to a 4.1 is a pretty signifigant increase and while his turnovers went up his turnovers per assist actually went down. If he can maintain this rate of improvment next year he will end up an okay passer.

    Also Curry’s rebound rate most likely went down because he played alot more minutes next to Lee, and we were a good rebounding team for most of the season so I think we do a pretty good job of covering for this weakness.

    I totally agree that Curry’s off ball defense is absolutely horrible but I think his positives out weigh this one very large negative. Also team defense is something that historically can be taught, while he will never be a shot blocker he might one day be at least passable on team defense.

    The thing that Curry does do is change the game by just being on the court. There are not very many players in the league that have this kind of an effect on the game maybe 8-9 but probably not even that many. His presence makes the game easier for everyone else on the Knicks because of all the attention he demands.

    Unfortunatly the Knicks do not have the optimal players to take advantage of this ability but it is nevertheless very real and very valuable.

    Slightly off-topic but I am really starting to get worried about this whole Artest thing.

    The newspapers and now ESPN won’t let this thing die. I am starting to think Isiah might actually include Balkman or even worse Lee.

    At first getting Artest did not seem so bad but now I am starting to think I would not even want him for free. The risk is too high and his presense, even if he stays sane, might not even be much of an upgrade over Balkman because Artest is a chucker and freelances on offense as much as Crawford. Also looking at the stats Balkman was dominant defensively last year, I want to see if the numbers were real or a fluke.

  97. If the Kings are talking Turkoglu for Artest, they have no right to demand more than Balkman. Turkoglu has decent talent but he’s one of those guys who has proven over and over that he is uncomfortable in the spotlight. Look at his game log last season and note how many long streaks of poor shooting games he had. And keep in mind, most of his shots came off double teams of Howard, who was generally blitzed in the paint because no one on the Magic could make a perimeter shot (admittedly, part of that blitzing came as a result of his poor passing skills).

    As far as Curry goes, he can be lazy, but some people have to learn how to focus, and I htink Curry is young enough, motivated enough, and will be given the ball enough to learn what it takes to be a star in this league. If Curry improves his focus, he will be on the all-star team next year.

  98. If Isiah deals David Lee for Artest im going to lock myself in my room and go on a hunger strike or something.

  99. Point well taken regarding Curry and his relative lack of improvement. However, I’m going to stick by my non-statistical guns and say that visually he was much better at passing by the end of the season than he was at the beginning. He also drove many more times into double/triple team situations at the end of the season because he was on the court with Mardy, Balkman, and Jefferies, none of whom can actually be a primary or even secondary offensive option.

    But I have high hopes for him — I really think he is motivated to become a bona fide star. I can’t possibly put myself in his very large shoes, but I imagine that after playing for Skiles for 2 years and then Larry Brown who couldn’t stand him either, he needed someone like Isiah who will stick by him through the good and bad to grow as a player– I wouldn’t be surprised if he came back with a 10-12 foot jumper this year and had 2 assists per game. I think that’s about all you can ask of him.

    Re: Artest — as you can tell from my previous posts I love the guy’s game — but I’d never trade one of our young assets (meaning Lee/Balkman) if he’s going to come back for the MLE next year anyway for nothing other than $$ and cap space. The Knicks aren’t winning any championships next year with or without him so why give up our prospects? I’d give ’em Jefferies and Collins or Jefferies and Nate and say final offer.

  100. I say at let marberry/nate share point. Same with Q/Crawford. In beginning of season look 2 c who produses more and trade Q or Crawford(1 who produces less) put balkman at SF and randolph and Curry in paint. If the 2 bigs dont work out trade whichever gets best offer and produces less on court. Off bench you get D. Lee as 6th man and Morris and chandler (need 2 develop more) 2 spell the big men and Nichols 4 some offense. Look to trade Jared Jeffries and Jerome James befor the season starts. I say play the young guys. the more they play, the better they get. Any comments on my thinking?

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