The Athletic: Knicks Planning on Packaging Their Two First Rounders to Move Up in the Draft

From his latest mock draft, Zach Harper noted, ” It sounds like the Knicks will try to package their two first-rounders together to move up, but I don’t know how likely that is.”

Hmmm…sounds like a poll idea for our all-poll content (we all know the real reason for the Knicks’ shocking turnaround last year was our move to all-poll content, right?)!

By the way, put me down for, “Why are you trying to package picks to move up in one of the deepest drafts in years? Just keep the dang picks!”

Will a team be willing to trade a top ten pick for the #19 and #21 picks?

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Should the Knicks trade the #19 and #21 picks for a pick in the #13-15 range?

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405 thoughts to “The Athletic: Knicks Planning on Packaging Their Two First Rounders to Move Up in the Draft”

  1. I’m with you, Brian, in hoping that Leon keeps the picks. But also i voted yes, as i think some smart team like the Spurs will know that in a draft as deep as this one, and with no clear tiers beyond the first 5 or 6 players, that it’s better to have 2 picks for just a trade down of 7 spots.

  2. breaking down the quote…

    If the knicks are trying to move up from 19 & 21 to, say, 14… I would imagine it’s very likely another team would take that trade.

    He’s saying it’s unlikely anyone will take their offer, though, so it probably means they’re trying to trade up to the top 8 or something.

  3. Well, if you trade for the Spurs pick, you probably can get Bouknight, so it’s got some sense to it. And i think the Spurs would do it, because Spurs and “falling in love with a prospect” doesn’t seem like it’s something i have ever read. LOL

  4. From the last thread:

    Ben R: I would sign Shane Larkin. I banged the drum for him last year and I still think he would be a great pickup.

    I’m with you on this, Ben. I think Larkin would be a great get for the Knicks. Then we bring back DRose and use #19 on a PG prospect (my preference is Springer, i hope he’ll be there).
    Quick and Vildoza at SG, and again using #21 for the 3rd stringer (Moody probably won’t be there, so maybe Josh Christopher).

  5. You might be able to get up to like 14 with those two, 13 if you get lucky. Probably better at that point to just take two swings. I’ve read “mid-lottery” but there’s no way just those two picks get you up to 7 or 8.

  6. “Why are you trying to package picks to move up in one of the deepest drafts in years? Just keep the dang picks!”

    I’ll try to answer this question.

    The Knicks clearly need all star caliber players and not more young role players. If they can get in the lower lottery there may be someone there they feel more certain has all star potential than having two scratch offs at 19 and 21 where they may see solid role players. It’s a gamble either way because no one really knows, but if there’s someone you really like up there, you move up.

  7. The Knicks clearly need all star caliber players not more young role players. If they can get in the lower lottery there may be someone there they feel more certain has all star potential than having two scratch offs at 19 and 21 where they may see role players.

    Lower lottery like the top ten? #19/21 won’t get you there. Lower lottery like #13-14? I just don’t see the talent gap being that wide in this particular draft between #14 and #19, not enough to give up the chance at #21, as well.

  8. I like Moody, Bouknight, Wagner, Jalen Johnson if he falls a bit, Butler pending medical, Kispert, & Giddey.

    Everyone else seems pretty suspect to me, and I’d be okay trading up for one of the above. Of course I’m no draft expert, but that’s where I’m at. Take 1 good prospect rather than 2 crap shoots.

    I don’t like Duarte, older players rarely seem to translate as smoothly as people think, e.g., Obi.

    Cooper I’d be okay with, but not thrilled. Shooting I’d too important and he doesn’t defend.

  9. I’ve read “mid-lottery” too but I can’t figure how 19 & 21 can convince a team to give up the 7-9 pick…

    They must have someone in mind right?

    (Bouknight? Moody? Kispert? Giddey? Sengun? Others? Who can it be?).

  10. The only player outside of the “consensus” top 6 guys I’d be happy with the Knicks moving up for is Moses Moody. Other than that, I’d wait for whoever falls to 19/21 and pick the best guys.

  11. Yeah, fair enough, if Moody is available in a trade up, I’d do it. But then, if Moody is available where I’m picking, why am I trading him for the #19 and #21 picks?

  12. Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, fair enough, if Moody is available in a trade up, I’d do it. But then, if Moody is available where I’m picking, why am I trading him for the #19 and #21 picks?

    Good question :-)

  13. Everything I read about this draft suggests that it’s deep and without consensus after the first few picks. Of course, if we can trade for number 5 or 6 we do it. But I read the poll as likely just some lottery pick like 14 or 15, so why do it. I voted no. Maybe there is some player they (Knicks management) are really hot for, but they apparently really wanted Toppin too, and the results so far aren’t impressive.

  14. Brian Cronin: Okay, I’ve scrapped the original poll and put up two new ones. :)

    LOL! Yeah, half the people wasn’t reading the question right. :P

  15. My new answers are: Yes, there’ll be a team willing to trade down (SPURS); No, please don’t do it Leon, unless you’re 100% sure you’ll be getting a future all-star;

  16. Brian Cronin: Okay, I’ve scrapped the original poll and put up two new ones. :)

    Brian, that’s some visionary stuff, because like with the picks, it’s better to have two polls than just one. ;)

  17. People keep saying its a deep draft, but I find they’re rarely right about those things.

    I then read the descriptions of players like: Duarte, he’s 104 years old and you’ll get about 2 solid years before retirement. He’s an okay stopgap 3&D player but not actually that great at defense. Projected draft position: 17

  18. Knicks fans spend a decade bitching that they’re always drafting in the low lottery, have one good year, and want to trade up into the low lottery

  19. This draft has like 4-5 really good prospects at the top and then I don’t see a lot of difference between the guys being mocked at 8-10 and the guys being mocked around the 20 range.

    I’ll take the two darts please.

  20. I’m guessing they have their eye on Bouknight, maybe Mitchell or Giddey…

    And maybe they’re willing to include a player in that trade (Mitch?) to get into the top 7. Who the hell knows.

  21. Feels like teams will save us from ourselves by not taking 19 and 21 for any pick 14 or below.

  22. it seems like the same 10-12 names keeps getting bounced around on this board and if the knicks just stay put and just remove the names brandon boston… usman garuba.. and isaiah jackson entirely off their board… they have a good chance at coming out of this draft with near unanimous praise… even if they move up for someone like bouknight i think everyone.. including me… would like that move…

    that would be the easy way of doing things.. and yet it seems like it’s the most difficult thing to do for some apparent reason…

  23. ***I’m with you on this, Ben. I think Larkin would be a great get for the Knicks. Then we bring back…***

    …Ellington, Dalembert, Calderon, and the #34 and #51 picks in the 2014 draft.

  24. I’d be inclined to stay put myself. That said, I feel like I’ve lost track of the number of times in the last dozen or more years where, pre-draft, Berman et al wrote about our interest in a prospect who would be picked out of our draft range — Klay and Kawhi are two that come to mind (and Kawhi wound up falling painfully close to us) — and that we ultimately chose not to trade up for. Plus, that John Wallace/Walter McCarty/Dontay Jones trifecta from this draft range 25 years ago still haunts me, especially when pretty much everyone taken immediately before Wallace was a good-to-great player for a long time.

    I understand the value of more dart throws. But I also feel like if Walt Perrin and company feel strongly enough about a player to trade up for him, I’d at least want Leon to listen to their argument.

  25. Lower lottery like the top ten? #19/21 won’t get you there. Lower lottery like #13-14? I just don’t see the talent gap being that wide in this particular draft between #14 and #19, not enough to give up the chance at #21, as well.

    I don ‘t have an opinion on any of the players. I haven’t seen any of them play enough. I am going to assume the Knicks scouted all the top prospects thoroughly and have a few they are interested in that worked out for them. If the reports are correct, there’s somebody they want that they know will above 19/21. If he drops enough and a trade can be pulled off, they should do it. Otherwise, they shouldn’t.

    If there’s someone you really want, you aren’t thinking about long term stats for 19 and 21 vs some other pick. You are thinking about that player vs. the 2 alternatives in your own eyes. But I still think trading up is plan B. Plan A is trading for an established PG or wing. Plan C is drafting 2 players.

  26. But what if they can take the two picks, move up to like 13 or 14 and then take the two second round picks and maybe throw in a second from 2023 and move up to the mid 20’s? So you’re doing like 14 and 25 instead of 19 and 21?

  27. Feels like teams will save us from ourselves by not taking 19 and 21 for any pick 14 or below.

    That’s the impression I’m getting, yes.

  28. ***that John Wallace/Walter McCarty/Dontay Jones trifecta from this draft range 25 years ago still haunts me, especially when pretty much everyone taken immediately before Wallace was a good-to-great player for a long time.***

    Knowing the Knicks, they would have traded #18 + #19 + #21 to move up to #12 and taken Todd Fuller.

  29. 2 things:
    1. RE: Sexton trade..one last thought. I’m not saying DON’T trade for Sexton or never trade Obi..I’m saying don’t trade Obi and his potential for him. Of course he doesn’t have a clear path to realizing his potential as a Knick, but don’t you think the other 29 teams value what he can do once he gets the opportunity? I’m saying be shrewd with a possible Obi trade knowing you have a kid on your roster who can be an Amare at worst if he reaches his potential. He’s the guy you use in a trade for an all star, not a guy you hope can be an all star. You include him in something like a Dame trade to sweeten the pot..not a Sexton trade lol

    2. Who would be the target if we trade 19 & 21 to move up? I don’t think we can get far enough up to draft a real difference maker. I like Moody and Bouknight..but they don’t make enough of a difference in year one. Now..if we get a really good PG in free agency, that trade up looks good in hindsight. So hypothetically, let’s say we trade up and nab Moody or Bouknight. Adding Lowry looks really good and does 2 things- stabilize a starting lineup that will probably have a rookie SG and gives extra tutelage to prepare Quickley. Also- cap permitting- in that scenario I would love to bring back Noel, Taj, Rose, and Burks. I think Bullock prices himself out as opposed to Burks, coming off a good 3 & D season.

  30. I get Thibs isn’t going to play a bunch of rookies, but this team is still relatively bereft of talent. I think accumulating as many assets as possible for future trades is the way to go. I’d rather have two 19/21 rated players than one 12 rated player.

  31. Alan: I understand the value of more dart throws. But I also feel like if Walt Perrin and company feel strongly enough about a player to trade up for him, I’d at least want Leon to listen to their argument.

    Exactly. It’s all about player evaluation. Get the right scouts in, do your homework, examinestats-based models, pore over synergy-based metrics and game film. don’t leave any stone unturned, trust your gut, etc. and if a guy grades out higher than others, and you need to move up a few spots to nab him, go for it.

    Problem is, the Knicks seem to have erratic voices having too much of a say. Anyone with eyes could see that Obi’s defensive problems have a congenital component. Anyone who studied the draft thoroughly should have known that Haliburton’s b-ball IQ, length and shooting/passing made him a much better candidate once he droped to us. OTOH, IQ was exactly the kind of player that graded out better by synergy/measurables/intangible/coachspeak than by purely box score stats-based models. So somewhere between the two is the sweet spot. The Team of Rivals approach is fine, but someone like Perrin shoold be making the final call without being pressured by CAA/Kentucky ties and whatnot.

  32. I’m warming a bit to the idea of going after Lonzo Ball as a RFA. I could see a scenario in which that crazy family decides that it wants to pair Lonzo and LaMelo in the Knicks backcourt. I’m still not sure what LaMelo’s ceiling is…he’s such a flake. I also don’t know whether I’d want to root for the Big Baller Brand show. But that is not the most far-fetched outcome.

    The question is: Is LaMelo a NBA championship-caliber player, or is he a fraud head-case?

  33. Elaborating further, what I can see in the Lonzo scenario is a further commitment to youth. He’s really more of a 3-and-D player who can pass, dribble and rebound than a ball-dominant PG. If you think of him more in the Danny Green role, or even like a George Hill, he’s more palatable in the $20-25 mill AAV range. I don’t know how much competition there will be for him, but even his you have to overpay a bit, he’s got the whole package except for finishing in the paint.

  34. For the record, I’d rather have Ball and all of our assets than trade for Sexton pre-draft.

  35. But I also feel like if Walt Perrin and company feel strongly enough about a player to trade up for him, I’d at least want Leon to listen to their argument.

    Based on the draft room expose, it didn’t seem like Walt Perrin was really driving the bus. If they trade up for a guy, it could be bc WWW loves him.

    The last guy they wanted to trade up for was Obi Toppin, so it’s not like they’ve built enough capital to earn blind trust here.

  36. NBA finals note: I’m rather stunned that at the apex moment of his career, Chris Paul has been content to live and die with Devin Booker taking all the shots. As a basketball fan, I’d like tonight to be the chris paul game, not another Devin Booker game.

  37. Hubert: Based on the draft room expose, it didn’t seem like Walt Perrin was really driving the bus. If they trade up for a guy, it could be bc WWW loves him.

    The last guy they wanted to trade up for was Obi Toppin, so it’s not like they’ve built enough capital to earn blind trust here.

    This is fair, although as has been pointed out, there was zero confirmation that they were committed to trade up for Obi. Even so, just the fact that they selected Obi over Hali raises red flags. And this isn’t to say that Obi was a reach or anything, he was mocked in the top 5 all over the place. He’s just not the product of shrewd talent analysis. If all of us at KB are in agreement on something, that’s a red flag in and of itself. Literally no one here wanted Obi, although as Brian pointed out, he wasn’t much of a topic of conversation since he was widely expected to be unavailable at #8. And there is still some upside to him, so even though he’s older, he has been a late bloomer at every step and was definitely hurt by the lack of PnR, having Julius in front of him, and a defense-first coach. But just about everyone here would have picked either Hali, Deni or Vassel over him.

  38. Hubert:
    NBA finals note: I’m rather stunned that at the apex moment of his career, Chris Paul has been content to live and die with Devin Booker taking all the shots. As a basketball fan, I’d like tonight to be the chris paul game, not another Devin Booker game.

    Agree. The Bucks have 3 players stepping up and are getting good contributions from role players here or there. The Suns need CP3, Booker, and Ayton to all play aggressively and shoot well. Whoever is getting the best looks should take more of them, but they all have to be aggressive. As good as Booker is, he’s not going to beat the Bucks by himself. You can’t ask him to carry the entire load every night. He’s not a Kevin Durant caliber player that can do that for you more often.

  39. Z-man:
    For the record, I’d rather have Ball and all of our assets than trade for Sexton pre-draft.

    I’m not sure I want either alone, but if we could get both (or some other combination that would make me happy), I’d feel pretty good. We’d be adding a solid scorer, much better overall playmaking, better shooting, youth and upside, and Ball could take the rougher defensive assignments. I could live with Ball, Sexton, RJ, Randle, and Robinson or Noel. That’s a pretty good team with a TON of upside. I’d be willing to give up a good stash of our picks for that.

  40. I don’t know, its really hard for me to criticize the FO for picking Obi when literally every person wanted to trade Randle before the season started. And if you wanted to trade Randle, that leaves a huge hole at PF, which Obi in theory would fill. And he absolutely was a top 5 prospect that fell to us.

    So when you add those 2 together – top 5 mocked prospect who fell to us, position that would be his once Randle was traded….Obi seems almost like a no brainer. But then Randle went nuts and turned himself into a second team all NBA player.

    And yes, CP3 should absolutely take over the game tonight. This might be his only shot at a championship and if he loses, the narrative will be that he’s choker. He needs to take his fate into his own hands and play like the all time legend that he is. I want to see CP3 put up 30 plus tonight with 15 dimes.

  41. I think tonight and game 7 if there is one will both be CP3 games. I don’t think they can be champions without it that way.

  42. Yeah, I mean this is definitely CP3’s moment right now. He has to take it. Besides CP3 and Crowder, the Suns are pretty young and inexperienced and they definitely got a little lucky getting to the Finals. The Bucks have way more veteran experience and it’s showing in these last 3 games. But this is CP3’s moment right now.

  43. I wanted to keep Randle and so did Strat I believe.

    I do see the need for a PF replacement, but we needed a good draft pick at every position that wasn’t RJ & Mitch. And while Obi was mocked top-5, lots of people disagreed with that assessment or would have after finding out most his efficient scoring came off post-ups, an area that favors seniors who have added muscle, especially in Dayton’s conference.

    I think the best argument for Obi came from Alan, that we wouldn’t have drafted IQ if we had drafted another guard at 8.

    If I’m drawing any lines between Obi & IQ (aside from nepotism), I’d guess the Knicks value NBA-readiness, high-character, and strong work ethic. Whoever displays that is who I’d guess we target.

  44. I’m going to be the guy who stumps for Obi for a minute:

    First I would echo what swift said about not blaming the FO because we all thought Julius was a goner. Additionally, Obi was a consensus top-5 pick, and his upside was probably underrated (although his NBA-readiness was probably overrated).

    But also, this FO seems really intent on sniffing out guys who may have injury histories, and despite his good qualities, Haliburton really could be an injury risk for the rest of his career. In other words, I think it’s still early to say that passing on Hali was definitively the wrong move.

    All that being said, since Obi is now stuck behind an all-NBA forward, it might be best for us to move him as part of a deal for a quality backcourt starter.

  45. One question for me is, how do you identify a guy like Saddiq Bey as a target? Someone like him would be a great get at #19.

  46. swiftandabundant:
    I don’t know, its really hard for me to criticize the FO for picking Obi when literally every person wanted to trade Randle before the season started. And if you wanted to trade Randle, that leaves a huge hole at PF, which Obi in theory would fill. And he absolutely was a top 5 prospect that fell to us.

    So when you add those 2 together – top 5 mocked prospect who fell to us, position that would be his once Randle was traded….Obi seems almost like a no brainer. But then Randle went nuts and turned himself into a second team all NBA player.

    And yes, CP3 should absolutely take over the game tonight. This might be his only shot at a championship and if he loses, the narrative will be that he’s choker. He needs to take his fate into his own hands and play like the all time legend that he is. I want to see CP3 put up 30 plus tonight with 15 dimes.

    So even though we were a terrible team when we drafted Toppin if was justified because because we were drafting for need rather than best player available?

    And I can imagine a team with no Randle last year and playing Obi instead and it’s a terrible team.

  47. Early Bird: I think the best argument for Obi came from Alan, that we wouldn’t have drafted IQ if we had drafted another guard at 8.

    I jut looked back at the post-draft threads. Some of the anti-FO takes are hysterical in hindsight. Nothing like a 41-31 season with a derided #25 pick playing a key role and getting a bit of ROY buzz to put things in perspective. And what has more value now in a potential trade for, say, Collin Sexton, that 2023 2nd rounder or Devon Dotson?

    Hopefully folks will be a bit more humble this time around…

  48. And what has more value now in a potential trade for, say, Collin Sexton, that 2023 2nd rounder or Devon Dotson?

    The 2023 second rounder, but it has less value than Saben Lee, who was selected with the pick we traded away and would be a nice fit for our current roster, and Paul Reed, who was picked after and clamored for by many here.

    https://www.si.com/nba/2021/07/20/nba-mock-draft-cade-cunningham-evan-mobley-jalen-green

    Blech. Count me out on Trey Murphy. I’m sure he can stick in the NBA with his shooting but his upside seems painfully low for a first-rounder considering he brings literally nothing else to the table. We’ve discussed Jackson before–he’s a fine center prospect but I’d rather just…keep Mitchell Robinson.

    McBride at #32 would be a nice get, but I doubt we’re making 3 picks anyway (even though we should).

  49. Knicks fan NJ…did you miss the part where I said Obi was mocked to go higher than he did and fell to us?

    Obi would have fit a position of need AND was the consensus best prospect left on the board. Lets not act like Halliburton didn’t have a ton of question marks about his game going into the draft. His funky shot, his inability to get to the rim, his skinny frame, etc. Hindsight is 20/20. Haliburton has proven to be a good player although we should see how much he improves before we declare him a great player. Obi was projected to be top 5 and fell to us and was in theory going to take over for Randle once we traded him. It just didn’t work out that way because no GM or FO can predict the future. I’m sure if they knew Randle was going to turn into a 2nd team All NBA player they probably wouldn’t have drafted Obi.

  50. There was a lot of FO frustration on the draft thread, and it isn’t entirely unjustified:

    (1) The board appears right about Hali over Obi
    (2) IQ may still have been available at 33
    (3) Plenty of decent looking players went after 33: Saben Lee, Tillman, Maledon (maybe)
    (4) Devon Dotson didn’t play many minutes but his numbers in those minutes look good

    Also, Devon Dotson went undrafted. That’s not the relevant comparison.

  51. Yeah, I think Obi definitely still has value especially after a few of those playoff highlights. I would definitely look to see if he can show out at summer league/preseason…maybe get in some good bench minutes once the season starts and see if we can trade him for something. I think he would definitely have value. I also think trading him AND a pick for Sexton is way too high. Obi alone should be able to get us Sexton. Its not like Sexton was amazing his rookie year and the Cavs could use a player like Obi for his position. Cost controlled for 3 more years, top 8 pick, showed improvement in his rookie year. Played at Dayton in Ohio in college.

  52. 2) IQ may still have been available at 33

    But then again, he may not have been. We don’t know. A good 3 point shooting guard from the top college basketball program in the country. Easily could have gone between 26 and 32.

    I get not reaching when you have a pick in the top 15 or so. But I think its really nitpicky to criticize a FO for picking their guy at #25. I mean, how much value you are you really squeezing out of these picks by waiting to draft later than 25?

  53. I forgot that we wound up at 33, not 38. Maledon definitely has more value than a 2023 DET 2nd, and Tillman likely does as well.

    I suppose we have to wait until 2023 to make a final ruling on that trade out, but it’s not looking good right now.

  54. thenoblefacehumper: The 2023 second rounder, but it has less value than Saben Lee, who was selected with the pick we traded away and would be a nice fit for our current roster, and Paul Reed, who was picked after and clamored for by many here.

    https://www.si.com/nba/2021/07/20/nba-mock-draft-cade-cunningham-evan-mobley-jalen-green

    Blech. Count me out on Trey Murphy. I’m sure he can stick in the NBA with his shooting but his upside seems painfully low for a first-rounder considering he brings literally nothing else to the table. We’ve discussed Jackson before–he’s a fine center prospect but I’d rather just…keep Mitchell Robinson.

    McBride at #32 would be a nice get, but I doubt we’re making 3 picks anyway (even though we should).

    Outcomes like this are why I want to trade up or make a move for Sexton.

  55. I wanted Halliburton over Obi, but definitely wanted Obi over Vassell or Deni. I still want Obi over Vassell or Deni.

  56. End of the day, Obi & IQ are a pretty damn good outcome so far. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t have done better.

    Obi has upside, but it’s difficult to build value playing 10min a night. And I doubt any front office puts value on Summer League.

  57. thenoblefacehumper: The 2023 second rounder, but it has less value than Saben Lee, who was selected with the pick we traded away and would be a nice fit for our current roster, and Paul Reed, who was picked after and clamored for by many here.

    But Devon Dotson was the guy you would have taken, so you can’t just cherry pick out of the vat and say that we would have picked one of the 3 or 4 guys drafted at #33 or later who would have had more value. You certainly wouldn’t have picked him over Dotson, who was #14 on your board. You would have 100% squandered that pick on a guy who went undrafted and who has zero trade value right now. And that’s the whole point. The value of the 2023 will certainly not depreciate very much, whereas the pick you take at #33 has a better than 50% chance of depreciating to near zero value after 2 months, and then another 20% chance of not getting enough minutes to evaluate. Take Paul Reed , who played a whopping 177 minutes this year at PF…do you think he would have seen the floor ahead of Julius and Obi?

    The point is that making any kind of a big deal out of that choice was ridiculous at the time. There was ample logic on both sides of the decision, which is crystal clear in hindsight. To be clear, I’m not arguing that exercising the pick would have been a bad choice or even that it was a worse choice than kicking the can down the road. I’m only saying that it was a 50-50ish proposition tha should not have received the harsh criticism that it got at the time. If we can throw that pick into a Sexton deal instead of this year’s #32, that’s a pretty big deal.

  58. thenoblefacehumper:
    I forgot that we wound up at 33, not 38. Maledon definitely has more value than a 2023 DET 2nd, and Tillman likely does as well.

    I suppose we have to wait until 2023 to make a final ruling on that trade out, but it’s not looking good right now.

    Again, you really can’t do that after the fact when you would have blown that pick. The outcome right now is 100% better than what you would have ended up with. Why can’t you admit that?

    I mean, if we include the 2023 pick for Sexton and in 2023 Cleveland picks Jokic 2.0 with that pick, does it mean that we were stupid for including it? I mean, why is it so hard for you to admit that we probably would have taken a guy with similar to less value with that pick based on strict probability?

  59. 2nd rd picks don’t have much trade value, the upside to a 2nd rd pick is immensely more valuable than the downside. And picking 33rd in a draft that appears to have significant 2nd rd talent is a better proposition than kicking the pick down the road.

  60. swiftandabundant:
    Knicks fan NJ…did you miss the part where I said Obi was mocked to go higher than he did and fell to us?

    Obi would have fit a position of need AND was the consensus best prospect left on the board. Lets not act like Halliburton didn’t have a ton of question marks about his game going into the draft. His funky shot, his inability to get to the rim, his skinny frame, etc.Hindsight is 20/20. Haliburton has proven to be a good player although we should see how much he improves before we declare him a great player. Obi was projected to be top 5 and fell to us and was in theory going to take over for Randle once we traded him. It just didn’t work out that way because no GM or FO can predict the future. I’m sure if they knew Randle was going to turn into a 2nd team All NBA player they probably wouldn’t have drafted Obi.

    I didn’t miss that part, but you did start off explaining that we really needed a power forward. I focused on that. If you’re saying he was a good pick who didn’t work out, or maybe hasn’t worked out yet, you can certainly make a case for that. But citing all the draft pundits doesn’t convince me. I think the pundits saw nice stats and athleticism, but the teams that passed on him correctly saw that circumstances like his age and the type of competition he had was making him look better than he actually was. Our front office didn’t see that. Of course it’s not a done deal yet. He could get a lot better. But I don’t expect it.

    I feel an unexpected kind of role reversal here. I am usually kind of optimistic and expect good things. I thought Ntilikina would do better than he did and argued for patience. But with Obi, I’m the naysayer here and happy to get anything reasonable for him. I hope I’m wrong.

  61. The anti-FO takes on draft night were accurate then and are accurate today. Going 41-31 doesn’t mean they aced the draft.

    Obi Toppin was a blunder, no matter what the mock draft reporter consensus was. Getting negative value for the 33rd pick was a disaster. IQ outperforming expectations is the only thing that saved it from being one of the worst drafts in team history. And it’s not like IQ is a future all star.

    They made up for a bad draft with some nice moves in free agency.

  62. I feel like if you end up drafting players that you can reasonably say will be serviceable NBA players with both of your picks, the draft was a success. Obi looked rough to start the season but I also think a dude like IQ is much more plug and play in today’s NBA than a player like Obi. No summer league or training camp playing for a coach who has a short leash for young players behind a guy having an ALL NBA season and its remarkable Obi kept his head up and improved. I feel like we walked away with 2 players that will have NBA careers, possibly even “good” ones. That’s something. Yeah you’d love to hit #8 out of the park but #8 is also notoriously where FO’s can swing and miss (as we all are well aware of). So I don’t know. We got a big and a guard who both look to have futures in this league. We hit a single and a double. Would have been nice to hit a double or triple or home run with pick #8 but we still got on base and I think IQ was a double considering where he was drafted.

  63. Another argument made at the time was that our roster was so bereft of talent that you needed to scratch off as many lottery tickets as possible to fill out virtually every position. Instad, management decided to keep the lottery tickets for a rainy day and fill out the roster by scouring the league and finding 1-year guys on value contracts. I don’t know how anyone can fairly look back and criticize that particular tactic, given the overall strategic approach. It’s more fair to say as Hubert did at the time that they did not get commensurate value for the pick, it was worth more than a single 2nd three years out, but that’s a different criticism. And even that one was muted somewhat by the fact that they only had the #33 pick in the first place due to some brilliant wheeling and dealing so at worst it was kind of a wash.

    As to the larger strategic approach (trying to thread the win-now and rebuild needle) that’s certainly fair game. There is certainly the danger of topping out as a non-finals team when going that route. But trading out of this particular pick really says zero about the success or failure of this chosen strategy. Zero.

  64. Early Bird:
    2nd rd picks don’t have much trade value, the upside to a 2nd rd pick is immensely more valuable than the downside. And picking 33rd in a draft that appears to have significant 2nd rd talent is a better proposition than kicking the pick down the road.

    Both statements are totally false, but you keep right on believing!

  65. There seems to be this idea that bc the Knicks went 41-31 in a weird, fluky kind of year (during which they got a completely unexpected All NBA 2nd team performance), that it vindicates everything about Leon Rose and Tom Thibodeau. That is not logically sound.

    Winning the 4 seed was really fun. We all had a blast this year. But becoming the 4 seed via a three way tiebreaker is really not that big a deal. We became the Gilbert Arenas Wizards.

    Rose and Thibs have miles of road ahead of them.

  66. And there also seems to be this idea that we should still be highly skeptical of a FO that has so far made all the right moves for hte most part. I mean, seriously. People doubted hiring Rose. They doubted hiring Thibs. They doubted our draft picks and free agent signings. They doubted trading for Rose. And every single one of those steps was taken successfully. Were they all homeruns? Of course not. But being a good FO and building a contender isn’t always about hitting homeruns. Sometimes its about what you don’t do or making moves that maybe aren’t perfect but don’t set you back either. Leon Rose has earned my trust. After 20 years on ineptitude, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and will defend him from all the skeptics.

    Plus dude…I’m Team Optimist. Did you expect anything else from me? :)

  67. Hubert: The anti-FO takes on draft night were accurate then and are accurate today. Going 41-31 doesn’t mean they aced the draft.

    Straw man alert: No one, at the time or now, said that they “aced” the draft. Nearly everyone, including me, bristled at the Obi pick, there was nearly universal agreement on that. However, there were lots of more controversial takes about the FO on draft night, and your’s turned out to be particularly bad in hindsight when compared to everyone elses. For example:

    Hubert: Getting negative value for the 33rd pick was a disaster.

    A disaster? Really?? How hyperbolic can you get? And I like how you conveniently omit the dealing that turned lower picks into higher picks without costing a single asset….was that a portent of horrible draft nights to come?

    Hubert: IQ outperforming expectations is the only thing that saved it from being one of the worst drafts in team history. And it’s not like IQ is a future all star.

    So hitting at least a triple with an outside chance of a home run at #25 is dumb luck because he outperformed YOUR expectations? THEIR expectations don’t count?

    The likelihood is that whoever you would have drafted at #25 would have made this draft worse, not better. And if Obi has enough value to be the centerpiece of a deal for Sexton, I don’t know how anyone without a massive hardon for killing this management team could even hyperbolically suggest that it would be one of the worst draft in team history.

  68. I can’t think of any trade where a 2nd round pick made a decisive difference. I won’t go as far as saying they don’t exist, but up until recently teams would regularly sell 2nd rd picks for cash.

    I like Obi enough, but he’s 23, can’t rebound or play defense, and his 3pt shooting didn’t exactly impress last year. He has NBA role player potential, but I’m not betting on him being an impact player.

    Maybe he can be John Collins without the rebounding, but only if he becomes a much better shooter. If Obi can’t shoot 3s, then he’s not an NBA player.

  69. Hubert:
    A friendly reminder:

    in 2019, the Pacers had the 32nd pick in the draft and traded it to the Heat for *three* second round picks.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nba/miami-heat/article231755078.html

    That’s the value for the pick we traded. And our FO gave it away for one pick, a pick that (even with Detroit being terrible right now), is most likely not going to be as high as 33.

    It was a very dumb trade.

    Dude, that trade was made a month after the draft pick was already exercised. The Knicks probably could have gotten more, but again, you neglected to mention that a) they only had that pick in the first place because they made some brilliant moves and b) they were on the clock and had minutes to either use it or lose it. I agree that they could have picked someone that some team coveted and then worked out a trade, but again, it’s a very tiny opportunity cost and one mitigated by the deals they made to even be in the position to do it.

  70. Early Bird:
    I can’t think of any trade where a 2nd round pick made a decisive difference. I won’t go as far as saying they don’t exist, but up until recently teams would regularly sell 2nd rd picks for cash.

    True, but aren’t those generally late 2nd round picks, not early ones, that get sold for cash?

    I think the Knicks sold a bit low on that pick, but it’s not a huge mistake.

  71. You also like to bang the drum about how they were on the verge of trading up for Obi. Well, that never happened. Why didn’t they pre-emptively trade up? Does that suggest restraint? Or perhaps that they never were planning to trade up in the first place? Nah, that would require looking at things in a positive light.

  72. The Heat Pacers trade I referenced was made in real time on draft night.

    Even without the clear benchmark, you don’t trade a nickel today for a nickel in three years. You trade a nickel today for a dime in three years. We traded a dime today for something most likely less than a dime in three years.

    It was a rookie mistake and we were right to call it out. To his credit, Leon made up for his mistake elsewhere.

  73. People doubted hiring Rose. They doubted hiring Thibs. They doubted our draft picks and free agent signings.

    Yeah, and you know what? They could all still be right.

    Plenty of NBA teams have reached the glorious height of “three-way-tie-for-fourth-in-the-east” and not gone on to greater things.

  74. If anything the Heat-Pacers trade, assuming the trade was made a month later, supports the idea we should have made a pick.

    The only explanation is we wanted Vernon Carey and panicked after he was taken just ahead of us

  75. They could still be right.

    Well, yeah, sure. And Zion could still turn out to be a bust. Are you really going to ding the FO based on something that COULD happen in the future?

    And really…Thibs is an established winning coach but people acted like we hired Fiz 2.0 or something. Give me a break!

  76. I’m not dinging the front office I’m just hitting pause on your plan to build their statues.

  77. 2023 IS THE DOUBLE DRAFT. 2nd round picks in that draft are potentially going to be worth more and also more likely to yield a good NBA player. Kicking the pick down the road a few seasons could be a good thing!

  78. the 2023 draft is not double anything as of yet and if nothing happens to draft eligibility within the next 180 days it will just be a regular draft… it was always an assumption and it’s not looking too great now as there’s zero momentum to change the process…

  79. Hubert, be real. You absolutely slammed the FO on draft night and have continued to do so ever since. No one is in “building statues” mode. Stop misrepresenting your positions, which have been consistently negative since Thibs was hired, and maybe even from when Rose was hired.

    Your current status is: I’ve been wrong about pretty much everything since 2019, but if everything goes wrong I could still eventually be right.

    Except the PHX bet…you were spot on there! Credit where it is due.

  80. It’s pretty frustrating watching multiple iterations of the FO pass on the Knickerblogger Hive Mind Pick, only to watch the Hive Mind Pick turn out to be a really good player. We’d be in real nice shape if we had Tyrese Haliburton in the PG mix instead of the redundant low-ceiling Obi Toppin.

    The 2020 draft worked out kinda okay because IQ panned out and Obi showed some signs of life at the end of the season. I’d give that draft a B. Problem is we really needed an A.

  81. And there also seems to be this idea that we should still be highly skeptical of a FO that has so far made all the right moves for hte most part. I mean, seriously. People doubted hiring Rose.

    every meaningful player that is actually under contract this year (rj, mitch.. and randle) were accrued under a different regime… every extra picks we got were accrued under a different regime…

    the jury is very much still out…. and it continues this offseason….

  82. Looks like the 2nd time it was me that wasn’t reading the questions right… i didn’t pay attention to the “top ten” in the first question, but i’d still vote yes because the Pelicans need players (as an insurance in case Lonzo and Josh Hart get a contract offer they don’t want to match) and so maybe they’re open to trade #10 for #19 and #21.

  83. Yes, I slammed the front office on draft night. And I stand by it today. Draft night was a bad night for Leon Rose & co., Immanuel Quickley notwithstanding.

  84. every meaningful player that is actually under contract this year (rj, mitch.. and randle) were accrued under a different regime… every extra picks we got were accrued under a different regime…

    the jury is very much still out…. and it continues this offseason….

    bingo

  85. Donnie Walsh:
    ***I’m with you on this, Ben. I think Larkin would be a great get for the Knicks. Then we bring back…***
    …Ellington, Dalembert, Calderon, and the #34 and #51 picks in the 2014 draft.

    Yeah, OAKAAK ! ;)

  86. didn’t the nypost expose basically vindicate the whole bad process talk? unless world wide wes desperately trying to finagle the analytics staff to make shit up to justify the quickley pick is some sort of good process… a guy who was no where on anyone’s radar as a first rd pick…

    this is settled isn’t it? why is it being brought up again?

  87. why is it being brought up again?

    bc Z-Troll was bored and we stupidly took the bait.

  88. Sign me up for the CP3 game(s). I’m rooting for that to happen. Giannis will have more chances to be a NBA Champion, and maybe this is the last one for CP3.

  89. Hubert: Draft night was a bad night for Leon Rose & co., Immanuel Quickley notwithstanding.

    This continues to be a dumb position, where “non-optimal” = “bad”. That’s a pretty bleak world to live in.

  90. When the good process calls for passing on IQ and even LaMelo for the likes of Devon Dotson, sign me up for the bad process.

  91. Hubert: bc Z-Troll was bored and we stupidly took the bait.

    I agree with the word stupidly…there, we have common ground!

  92. Devon Dotson had a 32.7 on/off this season

    in 50 minutes but still CHECKMATE

    the upside to a 2nd rd pick is immensely more valuable than the downside

    This is 100% true. The 31st pick will cost, what, about $6M over four? This is insane value if you have team options in years 3 and 4 and the player is replacement level or better.

  93. I think Obi was a bad pick, because there were better players available, but Quick makes up for it. He was All-Rookie 2nd team, so he played like a Top10 pick. And Obi played like a late first round pick. It was an OK draft.
    Same with 2018, Knox was a wasted pick, but Mitch also made the All-Rookie 2nd team and made up for the blunder.
    We can’t go check past drafts and label it as a bad draft if we didn’t pick the guy we now know was the best available, or else in 2014 every team except the Nuggets had a bad draft because Jokic was available to all of them.

  94. So when a team has 2 first round picks in a draft and absolutely hits one of those picks out of the park, its a “bad” night? Dude, you wouldn’t last one second as GM if that is your attitude!

    Most draft picks don’t work out. At least not in the sense that they live up to their expectations. If you get a starter level player from the #8 pick, that is actually a good outcome. And Obi could very much end up being that level player eventually. You act like he’s Shawn Bradley.

    And somehow the process of picking IQ was bad even though we ended up with an insanely good pick at #25? So having inside information from a former coach/college connection is somehow views as a negative thing with this FO? Why? Like people do get that UK is THE top college basketball program in the country right? They almost always get a few of the top 10 high school prospects every year and people act like UK being a pipeline to the Knicks is somehow a negative thing?

  95. Hubert:
    The Heat Pacers trade I referenced was made in real time on draft night.

    Even without the clear benchmark, you don’t trade a nickel today for a nickel in three years. You trade a nickel today for a dime in three years. We traded a dime today for something most likely less than a dime in three years.

    It was a rookie mistake and we were right to call it out. To his credit, Leon made up for his mistake elsewhere.

    This is a fair position, and I said as much in my conversation above with tnfh. It suggests that their target player (Vernon Carey?) was off the board and they didn’t have a potential deal in place for that pick with other teams. Yes, that suggests a rookie mistake. However, it wasn’t a “disastrous blunder” as you have tried to characterize it. That 2nd round pick probably has more value that whoever we would have selected, but it is likely that they could have gotten a bit (but not much) more for it. But it’s also possible that nothing was offered in that span between when Carey was picked and when the window for trading it closed. At the end of the day, it is so inconsequential that it is ridiculous for you to mischaracterize it as something more than it was.

    As JK47 put it, in retrospect, draft night was middling…not great, not terrible…and for a rookie FO, that’s a good outcome. There were rookie mistakes and brilliant moves all on the same night. Obi was rated in the top 12 even by the box score guys, so you can’t have him rated that high and then call it a disaster, especially when guys like Okoro, Hayes, Smith, etc. haven’t done much either to justify their rankings in draft models. Wes was balls-on accurate on IQ. One thing is for sure, especially in your case…no matter how wrong you and others are, you will continue to speak with the same confidence in your convictions. Humility is just not a thing in…

  96. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Devon Dotson had a 32.7 on/off this season

    in 50 minutes but still CHECKMATE

    Touche. You think he will be first ballot or second?

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    This is 100% true. The 31st pick will cost, what, about $6M over four? This is insane value if you have team options in years 3 and 4 and the player is replacement level or better.

    Doesn’t everyone know this by now?

    The real question is: what is the usual outcome for the 31st pick? In other words, is the value or a 31st pick likely to be greatest before you make the selection or after you make it?

  97. Hubert:
    There seems to be this idea that bc the Knicks went 41-31 in a weird, fluky kind of year (during which they got a completely unexpected All NBA 2nd team performance), that it vindicates everything about Leon Rose and Tom Thibodeau. That is not logically sound.

    Winning the 4 seed was really fun. We all had a blast this year. But becoming the 4 seed via a three way tiebreaker is really not that big a deal. We became the Gilbert Arenas Wizards.

    Rose and Thibs have miles of road ahead of them.

    Pretty much exactly this. People are way, way, way too quick to favorably judge this regime, mostly understandably so because of PKSD. But it’s nowhere close to confirmed that this FO has the right stuff. The absolute most optimistic take on them shouldn’t be blind trust; it should be “trust, but verify.” Leon Rose hasn’t remotely “earned our trust.” To me, the jury is almost completely still out. Last year has fluke written all over it.

    Thibs is certainly more “proven,” with a much longer track record, but his thing is typically you get dessert first and then you have to eat your vegetables — and that very easily could happen yet again here.

  98. I wouldn’t evaluate the 31st pick by who was taken there, in part because the #31 is chosen by the team with the worst record in the league, and is therefore often bad at talent evaluation, but rather who was taken in the 2nd round altogether. I mean, here’s a partial history of the last twenty years of #2 overall picks:

    Thabeet
    Darko
    Derrick Williams
    Stromile Swift
    Mike Beasley
    Kidd-Gilchrist
    Evan Turner
    Marvin Williams
    Fuckboi Russell
    Vic Oladipo
    Jabari Parker

    I wouldn’t call Oladipo a bust — he’s overrated as hell, but I’m willing to chalk it up to bad injury luck, just as I wouldn’t call Jay Williams a bust at #2 despite his literal-crash-and-figurative-burn career — but I would certainly call the rest of them that. That’s half the list, with the disappointing Jabari, Turner and Russell as the best of the busts. Does the #2 overall pick suck? Or could each of those picks have been used on a HOFer instead?

  99. E, all merc’d out: E, all merc’d out
    July 20, 2021 at 3:28 pm
    Hubert:
    There seems to be this idea that bc the Knicks went 41-31 in a weird, fluky kind of year (during which they got a completely unexpected All NBA 2nd team performance), that it vindicates everything about Leon Rose and Tom Thibodeau. That is not logically sound.

    Winning the 4 seed was really fun. We all had a blast this year. But becoming the 4 seed via a three way tiebreaker is really not that big a deal. We became the Gilbert Arenas Wizards.

    Rose and Thibs have miles of road ahead of them.

    Pretty much exactly this. People are way, way, way too quick to favorably judge this regime, mostly understandably so because of PKSD. But it’s nowhere close to confirmed that this FO has the right stuff. The absolute most optimistic take on them shouldn’t be blind trust; it should be “trust, but verify.” Leon Rose hasn’t remotely “earned our trust.” To me, the jury is almost completely still out. Last year has fluke written all over it.

    Thibs is certainly more “proven,” with a much longer track record, but his thing is typically you get dessert first and then you have to eat your vegetables — and that very easily could happen yet again here.

    And only a couple of outlier posters like KYN are disputing any of this. But this is also a far cry from what either of you two were spouting early on. The consensus here is EXACTLY trust but verify, and heavier on the verify than trust. Virtually everyone knows that Hali should have been the pick, Thibs has warts especially on the offensive end, the big tests of management are ahead of us, not behind us, and there will be plenty of gargantuan pitfalls to avoid. It’s guys like you two that keep moving the goalposts from “this is a disaster” to “it’s a fluke, let’s cool it on the positives.”

  100. Berman wrote today an article talking about Quentin Grimes as someone the Knicks are high on although he is a borderline 1st rd pick.

  101. #And only a couple of outlier posters like KYN are disputing any of this.#

    My answer was ready before i read this! ;-)

    Winning the 4 seed was just a proof for the bandwagon fans and the clueless ones.
    Team turned the page and got in the road of Seriousness and Respectability even without much talent.
    Get ready to Get Better!

  102. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I wouldn’t evaluate the 31st pick by who was taken there, in part because the #31 is chosen by the team with the worst record in the league, and is therefore often bad at talent evaluation, but rather who was taken in the 2nd round altogether. I mean, here’s a partial history of the last twenty years of #2 overall picks:

    Thabeet
    Darko
    Derrick Williams
    Stromile Swift
    Mike Beasley
    Kidd-Gilchrist
    Evan Turner
    Marvin Williams
    Fuckboi Russell
    Vic Oladipo
    Jabari Parker

    I wouldn’t call Oladipo a bust — he’s overrated as hell, but I’m willing to chalk it up to bad injury luck, just as I wouldn’t call Jay Williams a bust at #2 despite his literal-crash-and-figurative-burn career — but I would certainly call the rest of them that. That’s half the list, with the disappointing Jabari, Turner and Russell as the best of the busts. Does the #2 overall pick suck? Or could each of those picks have been used on a HOFer instead?

    This is all true, I thought it was implied that I wasn’t talking about a specific number as much as a general location. You can use picks 28-32 if you will, or picks 30-35 but only when a team with a good record made the pick as a result of a trade to eliminate the “bad management” argument. My guess is that the probability that the pick becomes a productive rotation player over many years is still well south of 50% but I’d certainly like to see the stats before passing judgment.

  103. What if the trade up isn’t what we think it is, meaning #19 and #21, but it’s only one of those and #32 to go up some spots?

  104. The 2023 DET 2nd really has negligible value. They’re about to make the #1 overall pick and should have the financial flexibility to throw together a decent team soon. Thinking about it more, I think it’s far from certain that pick has more value than even Devon Dotson, who had a pretty good G-League stint and held his own in his limited NBA minutes (faint praise, sure, but that’s how little value that 2023 DET 2nd has).

    This is of course putting aside the fact that it’s questionable to say the pick can only be compared fairly to Dotson, who thenoblefacehumper on knickerblogger would’ve taken, as opposed to the range of options available to the highly compensated group of people in charge of running the most valuable franchise in the NBA.

    Even on draft night, no one argued it was a catastrophic mistake in terms of outcomes. I think Hubert’s “disastrous blunder” characterization is 100% accurate in terms of process though because it’s really not hard to figure out that the 33rd pick is overwhelmingly more likely to be a better pick than a vague future 2nd.

  105. As JK47 put it, in retrospect, draft night was middling

    And as I put it, turning in a middling performance on an occasion where you needed to excel is a bad night.

  106. I think we can somewhat safely say:

    1) this front office is better than the garbage we’re used to i.e. Isiah/Phil/Mills, and

    2) we still don’t know much about where they stand relative to other front offices

    Little things like the Ed Davis trade and the Vildoza deal are sadly enough on their own to get us to 1. As for 2, they’ve basically avoided big mistakes (though I think I’m being a bit generous to Obi Toppin here) but haven’t made much in the way of affirmatively great moves.

    This draft should tell us a lot.

  107. The expected value of the 33rd pick is, with very small error bars, the actual value of, say, the 33rd pick in drafts since 1980. That true expected value is … not high … and the armchair internet GMing thing of scouring through the handful of really good players taken there or below over like the last 15 years, is not really statistically valid in any serious way. “How can you trade 33, Nikola Jokic was taken 45??!?!??!?!” … no, that’s not really a thing.

    (The expected value of 19 and 21 isn’t very high either, but here’s hoping the Knicks beat the odds. They did with IQ.)

  108. Hubert: And as I put it, turning in a middling performance on an occasion where you needed to excel is a bad night.

    This is such an inane statement it defies logic. Every team needs to excel on draft night. The Knicks are one of 30 teams trying to max out their picks. They didn’t have a bad night, just not a great one, which is true for nearly every team in the draft. You don’t think GS or Minny or PHX would want a do-over?

  109. I think we can somewhat safely say:

    1) this front office is better than the garbage we’re used to i.e. Isiah/Phil/Mills, and

    2) we still don’t know much about where they stand relative to other front offices

    Little things like the Ed Davis trade and the Vildoza deal are sadly enough on their own to get us to 1. As for 2, they’ve basically avoided big mistakes (though I think I’m being a bit generous to Obi Toppin here) but haven’t made much in the way of affirmatively great moves.

    This draft should tell us a lot.

    agreed, except I’m less generous about Obi and the 33rd pick.

  110. Mills had no business being in that position and never would have been anywhere else, so he barely counts. Phil had his weaknesses, but if he’d been allowed to trade KP for the Celts package or Booker, his tenure looks completely different as that was both a smart idea and a ballsy one. Isiah was seen as coach/GM material since he was a player and was made a coach almost right away, but did a poor job.

    “They’re better than Mills/Phil/Isiah” is a worm-low bar, not really indicative of anything. That gap between that and “he’s earned the fans’ trust” is basically the Grand Canyon.

    Leon Rose is an ex-agent, with no personnel experience. William Wesley has no business in that high a position, other than to try to star fuck. Scott Perry is meh. If Aller and Walt are the voices who Rose listens to, while he just kind of nods at WWW and Perry, then it could work.. Otherwise, I’m not remotely convinced. Rooting for them, but also realistic. Off to a pretty good start.

  111. swiftandabundant:
    2023 IS THE DOUBLE DRAFT. 2nd round picks in that draft are potentially going to be worth more and also more likely to yield a good NBA player. Kicking the pick down the road a few seasons could be a good thing!

    I may not make it to that draft so let’s do this year’s picks please.

  112. thenoblefacehumper:
    The 2023 DET 2nd really has negligible value. They’re about to make the #1 overall pick and should have the financial flexibility to throw together a decent team soon. Thinking about it more, I think it’s far from certain that pick has more value than even Devon Dotson, who had a pretty good G-League stint and held his own in his limited NBA minutes (faint praise, sure, but that’s how little value that 2023 DET 2nd has).

    This is of course putting aside the fact that it’s questionable to say the pick can only be compared fairly to Dotson, who thenoblefacehumper on knickerblogger would’ve taken, as opposed to the range of options available to the highly compensated group of people in charge of running the most valuable franchise in the NBA.

    Even on draft night, no one argued it was a catastrophic mistake in terms of outcomes. I think Hubert’s “disastrous blunder” characterization is 100% accurate in terms of process though because it’s really not hard to figure out that the 33rd pick is overwhelmingly more likely to be a better pick than a vague future 2nd.

    This is total BS. Devon Dotson couldn’t get playing time on a lottery team, he has zero value in a trade. He’s a D-league caliber player. You play the modesty card as tnfh the kb poster (god forbid someone appeals to authority) but are still critical of the “process” that led to the IQ pick. A bad pick (almost all are) at #33 today is not worth more than a still unmade pick in 2023.

  113. I feel that whining about the 33rd pick is like complaining about the perfection of shot mechanics of a midcourt desperation shot but maybe I’m just FO biased

  114. No one had brought up 33rd pick in like 7 months but Z-Troll decided to log in today and make the brilliant argument that since the guy TNFH would have drafted sucks, Leon Rose didn’t make a mistake.

  115. *and who is picked with the “vague” 2023 pick is irrelevant. It’s the uncertainty that gives it value in a future trade. What would you rather have, the #8-9 picks after they were used on Knox and Ntilikina or a future #15 pick?

    Second rounders are used to facilitate trades all the time. They don’t take up cap room or take up roster spots. A future second rounder was used to facilitate the Melo trade, and that one turned into Mitch. They can be used to trade up in a particular draft, and 2023 might be a good draft in which to trade up. You keep harping on the players that you can draft at those spots and ignore the flexibility that they represent in making multi-asset moves. And the double-draft in 2023 may be overstated in reality, but you can be sure that the perception of it right now is a thing among GMs. I believe we now have 4 or 5 picks in that draft. We will likely be capped out and will only be able to find value in the draft, so having as many assets as possible at that time is preferable to having some D-League scrub.

    And I am pretty confident that if you offered that 2023 2nd rounder to the Bulls for Dotson, they would jump at the opportunity.

  116. Isn’t it funny tho to talk about a second round draft pick since it’s possible to buy one from another team just for cash?

  117. Hubert:
    No one had brought up 33rd pick in like 7 months but Z-Troll decided to log in today and make the brilliant argument that since the guy TNFH would have drafted sucks, Leon Rose didn’t make a mistake.

    Can you even read? I actually brought up your criticism to tnfh as a valid one in terms of what we got in return for the pick. And yes, if you would have done something even worse than what was done, you shouldn’t have too much to say about what was done. And you certainly shouldn’t criticize a process that led to a better pick than the one you would have made.

    And you yourself offer the vapid disclaimer that “well, they made up for some of the draft day “disaster” it by doing a couple of other good things…” while continuing to bang the “disaster is lurking around the corner” drum at every opportunity. And when you are refuted, you paint the other side as Rose/Thibs fanbois.

    The truth is that they had a mixed day on draft day…some brilliant maneuvering with some head-scratchers…then they made a series of one excellent roster move after another, from the Ed Davis moves to the Vildoza signing….then they overachieved even the most optimistic prognostications…and let’s not forget how you felt that we had a better team than the Hawks and it was Thibs’ fault that we lost…how’s that look in retrospect?

    Be fair. Have humility when you’re dead wrong. Very simple principles.

  118. Knew Your Nicks:
    Isn’t it funny tho to talk about a second round draft pick since it’s possible to buy one from another team just for cash?

    This is less true than you suggest, and it doesn’t really address the issues being discussed.

  119. #This is less true than you suggest, and it doesn’t really address the issues being discussed.#

    You’re probably right but i truly don’t consider 2nd round picks as much valuable.
    That’s the reason i don’t praise the FO for their last draft’s 2nd round manoeuvres.
    It’s definitely great! to get something out of nothing but let’s not make it triumphant.
    And that’s the same reason i don’t care much about the 33rd also

  120. I love when Z-Troll tells me what I believe, especially when it’s contrary to everything I’ve ever said. I hang on every sentence. I hope he nails the ending.

    But yes, I was dead wrong. Obi Toppin was a great pick, and we got fair value for the 33rd pick in the draft. After all, the only player we could have taken was Devon Dotson. Someone bring me my humble pie.

  121. Greek Freak brings Larry O’B to Parthenon in 7hrs!
    Going to sleep/See ya later!

  122. Hubert:
    I love when Z-Troll tells me what I believe, especially when it’s contrary to everything I’ve ever said. I hang on every sentence. I hope he nails the ending.

    You mean like when you said at draft time that we should dump Randle for nothing? I wonder how that would have went with Hubert if he put up a similar season somewhere else…let me guess: “You see, it was being on the Knicks with their stupid coaches that was holding him back…he would have sucked under Thibs and Rose and the toxic MSG environment.” Seriously, how fucking predictable is that?

  123. Loving the Statler and Waldorf routine. It’s funny every time.

    So out of boredom I did wander around what the picks were at 33 over the years, and it’s not good — Jalen Brunson and Joe Harris and Hassan Whiteside, but most of the rest were garbage I’d never even heard of. Just for fun I glanced at 25 for no good reason, and I was surprised by what really looks like a significant difference — Capela and Bullock and Batum and Tony Allen and Gerald Wallace and, god forbid, Al Harrington, to name a few. Mostly bench fodder or worse, but some definite hits.

    Doesn’t really mean much of anything, but (surprise, Jowles!) it looks like one would rather have 25 than 33, all things otherwise being equal…

    And now to crawl back under my obviousness rock.

  124. You mean like when you said at draft time that we should dump Randle for nothing?

    Yes! Like that! That was a good one. Tell me more. Troll, baby, troll.

  125. Z-man: This is less true than you suggest, and it doesn’t really address the issues being discussed.

    Not only can they be sold for cash, they’re routinely sold for cash each and eveyr year as in like consistently all the time sold for cash. Their actual value in the real world is orders of magnitude less than their value in the internet armchair GM world, wherein they’re now against all odds being denominated a possible maker or breaker of deals for superstars. IAGM world overvalues all unmade draft picks; that’s just the nature of the beast. The 19th and 21st pick don’t really even have that much value as we see in the fact that the 16th pick had the market value of “give away to get a bad salary off the books.”

    The expected value of 19 and 21 is probably “sub-consistent rotation player.” Throwing 21 in with 19 will move you up maybe five spots and probably more like three. Again, all of us want the Knicks to beat those odds — but those are the odds. If the Knicks get one decent three-year starter out of the two picks, they will have beat the house.

  126. Here are the 19th picks since 1982. (Bey last year, a good pick.

    2019 Luka Samanic, KK Olimpija (Slovenia) – San Antonio Spurs
    2018 Kevin Huerter, University of Maryland – Atlanta Hawks
    2017 John Collins, Wake Forest – Atlanta Hawks
    2016 Malik Beasley, Florida State – Denver Nuggets
    2015 Jerian Grant, Notre Dame – Washington Wizards
    2014 Gary Harris, Michigan St – Denver Nuggets
    2013 Sergey Karasey, Russia – Cleveland Cavaliers
    2012 Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure – Orlando Magic
    2011 Tobias Harris, Tennessee – Charlotte Bobcats
    2010 Avery Bradley, Texas – Boston Celtics

    2000’s

    2009 Jeff Teague, Wake Forest – Atlanta Hawks
    2008 J.J. Hickson, NC State – Cleveland Cavaliers
    2007 Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech – L.A. Lakers
    2006 Quincy Douby, Rutgers – Sacramento Kings
    2005 Hakim Warrick, Syracuse – Memphis Grizzlies
    2004 Dorell Wright, South Kent Prep H.S. (CT) – Miami HEAT
    2003 Aleksandar Pavlovic, Serbia & Montenegro – Utah Jazz
    2002 Ryan Humphrey, Notre Dame – Utah Jazz
    2001 Zach Randolph, Michigan State – Portland Trail Blazers
    2000 Jamaal Magloire, Kentucky – Charlotte Hornets

    1990’s

    1999 Quincy Lewis, Minnesota – Utah Jazz
    1998 Pat Garrity, Notre Dame – Milwaukee Bucks
    1997 Scot Pollard, Kansas – Detroit Pistons
    1996 Walter McCarty, Kentucky – New York Knicks
    1995 Randolph Childress, Wake Forest – Detroit Pistons
    1994 Tony Dumas, Missouri-Kansas City – Dallas Mavericks
    1993 Acie Earl, Iowa – Boston Celtics
    1992 Don MacLean, UCLA – Detroit Pistons
    1991 LaBradford Smith, Louisville – Washington Bullets
    1990 Dee Brown, Jacksonville – Boston Celtics

    1980’s

    1989 Kenny Payne, Louisville – Philadelphia 76ers
    1988 Rod Strickland, DePaul – New York Knicks
    1987 Ken Norman, Illinois – L.A. Clippers
    1986 Billy Thompson, Louisville – Atlanta Hawks
    1985 Steve Harris, Tulsa – Houston Rockets
    1984 Bernard Thompson, Fresno State – Portland Trail Blazers
    1983 John Paxson, Notre Dame – San Antonio Spurs
    1982 Rob…

  127. There is way too much time and energy wasted here discussing 2nd rd picks when 95% of them suck.

    Also trying to make this draft as important in evaluating this front office is a bit tough because 19 and 21 arent exactly great picks. People here underestimate how truly bad the majority of players drafted outside of the Top 5 wind up being. That’s why I’m actually fine with them trading up because if they stay at 19 and 21 I’m not so sure how much playing time both picks can realistically get, if they trade up that means they have their eyes set on a specific player they really like and therefore will be willing to give playing time and opportunity to that player.

  128. Btw Hubert, I said this earlier in this thread:

    It’s more fair to say as Hubert did at the time that they did not get commensurate value for the pick, it was worth more than a single 2nd three years out, but that’s a different criticism. And even that one was muted somewhat by the fact that they only had the #33 pick in the first place due to some brilliant wheeling and dealing so at worst it was kind of a wash.

    Clearly I’m not dismissing everything you say out of hand. But I guess that your go to when you are challenged is to play the trolling card. Look at what you said here:

    But yes, I was dead wrong. Obi Toppin was a great pick[NO ONE SAID THAT] , and we got fair value for the 33rd pick in the draft [NO ONE SAID THAT< SEE ABOVE]. After all, the only player we could have taken was Devon Dotson [NO ONE SAID THAT}. Someone bring me my humble pie. [IT'S NOT ABOUT GLOATING OR HUMBLE PIE, JUST PERSPECTIVE AND FAIRNESS IN EVALUATING THE FO UP TO THIS POINT IN TIME]

  129. **https://nypost.com/2021/07/20/knicks-wowed-by-quentin-grimes-trey-murphy-iii-climbs-board/

    “According to a source, the Knicks like Grimes’ size, shooting and toughness on defense. He was one of three NCAA players this season to hit 100 3-pointers – and he shot 40.3 percent from 3, averaging 17.9 points.“**

    Grimes seems like a good pick, but I’m worried he’s rising a bit too much on the back of 2 exhibition games. I’d love him at 32, but doubt he’s still available.

    Maybe Grimes can be this years IQ. I definitely want a solid 3&D SG. I’d much rather Grimes than Murphy. Grimes might be the best 3&D player available if we stick with 19 & 21.

  130. Instead of chasing someone like Lowry or Ball what if we traded for Bledsoe? New Orleans wants to dump him so he will come with an asset and he could be a decent stop-gap while Vildoza, Quickley, and whoever we draft get good enough to start. I don’t know if New Orleans would be willing to attach the #10 pick outright but if not maybe something like #21 for Bledsoe and #10+#40. That gets us into the low lottery and gives us a starter at PG if Vildoza or Quickley or whoever we draft are not ready to start, but also a benchable player if any of them are ready.

  131. Knew Your Nicks:
    Isn’t it funny tho to talk about a second round draft pick since it’s possible to buy one from another team just for cash?

    With the depth of this draft, I’d actually like to see us buy an extra pick or two.

  132. When evaluating a front office I think you have to separate their performance in the draft (which is to some extent is throwing darts at a board) and their performance in trades and free agency, In the later two, the skills and productivity of the players are more known. You can also make very educated guesses about whether player are likely to fit together beforehand. You also know the salaries and can make an informed judgement the cost. It’s on the basis of their free agent signings, the team they created, and how Thibs got them to fit together and play hard each night that I am giving this front office very positive reviews. Sure, I think they kind of blew the Obi pick when a LOT of people here and in the consensus like Haliburton and also thought he’d be a good fit, but that story is not finished yet. The Quick pick was obviously terrific.

  133. Not only can they be sold for cash, they’re routinely sold for cash each and eveyr year as in like consistently all the time sold for cash.

    This hasn’t been the case for years now. The 2017 draft had 5 transactions where a 2nd rounder was acquired for cash only. Since then, exactly 3 draft picks have been traded for cash with none being traded during the 2020 draft.

    Tells me that FO’s are valuing these picks more now than they were in the past.

  134. Grimes atrocious 2 point percentage and age are red flags, but he shot well enough inside the arc last season, so I’m at least intrigued.

  135. He had an atrocious two point percentage but shot well inside the arc, how is that even possible?

  136. Dred means 2019-20 Grimes was good inside the arc, the other 2 seasons he sucked. Also his 3pt & ft shooting was terrible in his first two years.

    He’s 3 years younger than Duarte who I’ve seen mocked before we pick, given 2 more years I’d bet Grimes puts up much better #s than Duarte.

    It’s betting on Grimes defense and his most recent season. It’s a risk, but so is everything at 19 & 21. Like I said, he looks great at 32, but he may not last that long anymore. He’s shown a bit of passing and rebounding too.

  137. I’d wager Randle said no to team USA and they’re covering for him. Randle stands to lose a lot of money with an injury in Tokyo with his next contract (or even an extension) pending.

  138. Early Bird:
    I’d wager Randle said no to team USA and they’re covering for him. Randle stands to lose a lot of money with an injury in Tokyo with his next contract (or even an extension) pending.

    Randle also has an incredible offseason training regimen that he probably doesn’t want to disrupt.

  139. I want to thank Giannis,
    it’s 3:20 AM here and the little naps I can take between his free throws are really useful…

  140. We really need Giannis to score 50. I cannot stand the thought of Chris Moltisanti taking all of Hubert’s money.

  141. Giannis is putting up 32, 13, 5.6, 1.4 stl, and 1.2 blk shooting 61FG%, 63TS%, 62eFG%. Do people here actually think Middleton can possibly win MVP just because he’s shooting 36% from 3?

  142. Suns need Ayton to make shots and the team as a whole to start hitting some 3s before Giannis buries them

  143. Never been a big Ayton fan, coming up small again

    And just as you would expect, Bobby Portis and Cam Payne are the best 2 players in the game

  144. I would feel really bad for all those people outside Fiserv if the Bucks don’t pull this out.

  145. I wonder if Silver put Scott Foster in there to spite CP3 for his incessant bitching…

  146. I am sure someone does but it’s hard to believe anyone has ever shot midrange jumpers better than Chris Paul.

    The Bucks should have four more points between the goaltending that should have been called and the one that shouldn’t.

  147. Owen: Owen
    July 20, 2021 at 10:12 pm
    I am sure someone does but it’s hard to believe anyone has ever shot midrange jumpers better than Chris Paul.

    Some guy in the 90’s was pretty good at them, I think his name was something like Jichael Mordan…

  148. Seriously, watching CP3’s game should be instructive to anyone who wasn’t around for the pre-3pt era. The Big O, Jerry West, Walter Davis, Hondo, our very own Clyde, Dave Bing, and so many others were brilliant at the same shots that CP3 takes inside the arc.

  149. Owen:
    I am sure someone does but it’s hard to believe anyone has ever shot midrange jumpers better than Chris Paul.

    John Schuhmann earlier this postseason tweeted out the highest FG% with 2000+ mid range FGA in the last 20 years. The Top 10 were:

    Nash 47.4%
    Dirk 46.9%
    Chris Paul 46.9%
    Allan Houston 46.4%
    Jason Terry 46.2%
    CJ McCollum 46.1%
    Steph Curry 46.1%
    Kyrie Irving 45.9%
    Sam Cassell 45.5%
    Serge Ibaka 45.5%

    Those names certainly pass the eye test although Ibaka was somewhat surprising.

  150. Holiday played that possession like it was a ten-point lead at the end of the first quarter in a preseason game.

  151. I really can’t tell what is a foul and isn’t anymore. It seems like every replay contradicts the foul that was called or one that wasn’t earlier.

  152. Brian Cronin: Imagine if that dude had played in the modern NBA!

    Houston in the 1999-2000 season shot 48/43/84 with the toughest shot selection imaginable while playing in all 82 games and averaging 39 mins per game. He was labeled as a soft player but that dude was tough as hell.

  153. bidiong the not so great:
    I really can’t tell what is a foul and isn’t anymore. It seems like every replay contradicts the foul that was called or one that wasn’t earlier.

    You just need to ask who’s the star, and that usually answers the question

  154. I probably would have loved Bobby Portis if he made $3mm instead of $15mm

    Especially on a good team for $3 million.

  155. If Portis played for the Knicks the way he plays for the Bucks, he’d have been worth the $15M

  156. Bobby Portis is, you know, not winning a Mensa award for that

    Can’t believe these fts from Giannis

  157. It’s funny how refs and league officials continue to say every year that there’s no change in officiating between regular season and playoffs despite clear evidence of the contrary…

  158. Shouldn’t they just feature Giannis on every position? Why is Middleton hero-balling?

  159. Booker going with the hero ball and gets rewarded with an offensive foul.

  160. I don’t care at all who wins this series (I like both teams) and I’m stressed right now

  161. CP3 needs to show up in the last few minutes. Booker isn’t a good bet to pull this out in my book.

  162. DRed:
    I don’t care at all who wins this series (I like both teams) and I’m stressed right now

    I’m leaning strongly towards Milwaukee but would be fine with PHX winning it. It’s a very hard fought series with lots of great plays which is fine by me. Just so glad not to see the Celts, Nets or Lakers here.

  163. Crowder may have just saved the Suns season with that offensive rebound.

  164. Giannis with an herculean effort, a performance for the ages.

    Good hedge with him Hubert!

  165. it’s a great game but these insanely long commercial breaks are gonna put me to sleep.

  166. Haha Bobby Portis just sixth-manned a championship team in the NBA

  167. Nice series,
    hat tip to the Suns for their great season but I’m very happy for the Bucks.

    I like to see Giannis rewarded for his decision to stay and put together “his” team instead of hunting for other stars to give him shelter (yes, I’m talking to you Kevin Durant).

    It reminds me of Duncan and Dirk and it’s so refreshing to see in this NBA…

  168. Paul should run it back. There’s nowhere for them to go but up. Just hopefully for their sake they’re up enough to deal with healthier teams on the very difficult West road to the Finals.

  169. Yeah, this was a freaking legacy game for Giannis. Just supreme effort the whole game, really happy to see him succeed.

  170. Really incredible Giannis won the Bucks a title by dominating from the free throw line

  171. Is Budz getting fired now???

    Happy for the Bucks but not half as happy as my wife is for Giannis.

  172. Giannis is the first to score 50 in a Finals closeout game since Bob Pettit,
    it’s like watching the Halley’s comet….

  173. Going 17-19 from the FT line in the biggest game of his life after all the shit he’s taken is the epitome of redemption. Bravo Giannis, that was a performance for the ages.

  174. and now the giannis spin cycle goes into the pantheon of moves with other champions …. just wonderfully captures his technical skill.. athletic ability.. and sheer length…. that along with the best block i’ve ever seen is what this finals and year should be remembered for.. i guess the KD foot on the line shot will be a footnote along with all the injuries which were a shame…

    and the draft is in a week… wow…

  175. The East doesn’t seem weaker than the West this year, at least in terms of top teams. The Bucks took out the Suns in six even though the Suns were the best team in the Western conference playoffs and Brooklyn is an inch behind the Bucks and would probably have beaten the Suns too

  176. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a coach going into the locker room of the opposing team after being eliminated to congratulate them and thank them for making him a better coach and his team a better team due to the experience. Fascinating stuff.

  177. Brian Cronin:
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a coach going into the locker room of the opposing team after being eliminated to congratulate them and thank them for making him a better coach and his team a better team due to the experience. Fascinating stuff.

    Touching, classy move, that’s how sport should be.

    Monty is renowned as a great guy, beloved everywhere he’s been and by all the Association, he showed again how a gentleman he is.

    I wish him the best, they’re a good young team (CP3 aside) and can be a contender for years to come.

  178. Giannis looked LA Shaq scary the past couple of games- especially last night. Sheesh. Sad for CP3, but happy to see the way Giannis put the team on his back when it mattered the absolute most. Salute to him

  179. “I could go to a super team and just do my part and win a championship, but this is the hard way to do it, and this is the way to do it, and we did it. We f*cking did it…”

    from Giannis on super teams

  180. Knew Your Nicks:
    “I could go to a super team and just do my part and win a championship, but this is the hard way to do it, and this is the way to do it, and we did it. We f*cking did it…”

    from Giannis on super teams

    Way to go Giannis,
    somewhere Kevin Durant’s, James Harden’s and Anthony Davis’ ears are bleeding…

  181. It’s pretty remarkable how Giannis had such a Jordanesque closeout performance. This is a guy who has had rough edges on his game his whole career, hasn’t ever been quite perfect for a lot of people. But last night and the whole series it seemed like his play was scripted to Stephen A. Smith’s heroball specifications. And it worked!

    Couldn’t be happier for him and the Bucks.

  182. Giannis was incredible last night (and I’m still shocked that anyone could think Giannis wasn’t winning MVP if Milwaukee won) just a truly incredible performance and we’re lucky to have been able to watch it. I am disappointed because I was rooting hard for Chris Paul to win a ring. I hope he gets another chance.

  183. Vincoug, we were all joking about it last night because Hubert hedged his Suns bet with a Giannis MVP bet.

    Bobby Portis did come up huge though….

  184. Congrats to the Bucks, congrats to all greek nation, specially KYN and Owen’s wife, but most and all congrats to Giannis!
    He’s really a very nice guy, that video talking about past (ego), future (pride) and present (humility) is one that should be taught in schools to help build character on the younger generations. He deserves this and much more.

  185. Now CP3 is a lock to try again with this crew, right? And probably opting out and getting a 3 year contract with the Suns, which will be the last of his career.
    Or does any of you think he’ll sign with another team (eg, Knicks)?

  186. Remarkable game by Giannis – he really was everywhere on both sides of the floor. Very happy for him.

    Just one short week until the draft and FA. Crazy how fast everything moves.

    I’m expecting the Knicks to package 2 of the picks to move up. I just have no idea who it’d be for. If we end up making both picks, I’d love to see a combo of 1 “home run” pick and 1 “safe” pick – ie. something like Duarte and Springer.

    What do I know, but I have no interest in Sharife Cooper. Trae Young without the shooting and with even worse defense –> that is not Trae Young since everything starts with his ability to shoot from anywhere. And Cooper looks like a little kid out there. I just have trouble believing that (Assuming Thibs has any say at all) that he will sign off on a guy that plays literally no defense and needs to be hidden all the time.

  187. cybersoze:
    Now CP3 is a lock to try again with this crew, right? And probably opting out and getting a 3 year contract with the Suns, which will be the last of his career.
    Or does any of you think he’ll sign with another team (eg, Knicks)?

    There’s no way he’s leaving the Suns after coming this close. No way.

  188. I wanted CP3 to win a ring but that was an absolute baller performance by Giannis to close out the series. Very happy for him and for The Bucks. It’s nice to see a new team win a title and as others have said, its also awesome that Giannis stuck with The Bucks and let them build a team around him instead of jumping ship to join a super team. The Bucks feel like a real team that is led by a superstar but balanced all around. Its not some super team Lebron or Durant has engineered and its nice that its a small market too.

    I wouldn’t say they’re dead lock favorites to win it again but that is also cool that they aren’t some super team that is going to make the Finals a foregone conclusion.

    As for CP3, I would imagine he stays and this loss is probably good for us as far as us not signing CP3 to some big deal at the very end of his career. They’re super young, so if they can run it back and CP3 stay healthy, they have a reasonable shot to be back there next year and punch through.

  189. #congrats to all greek nation, specially KYN and Owen’s wife, but most and all congrats to Giannis!#

    Thanks man!
    Greece is Extremely Proud right now.
    Not only because of Giannis’ incredible sport achievements but also for his unbelievable journey to the Top and especially for his heart transcending High Character.
    I just wish i were a bucks fan right now. They should be flying pretty high ecstatically!

  190. Absolutely legendary performance by Giannis – truly one of thee great Finals performances. I didn’t think there was any chance he was playing again this year after seeing his knee bend the way it did and he completely shrugged it off. Superman stuff. If you take out game 1 where he was still clearly feeling his way around the knee he averaged 38, 12 and 5 plus 2 blocks and a steal over the last 5 games. Not bad.

    Next year is going to be fascinating. Giannis taking shots at super teams is all well and good – it’s his night and he should talk his shit, but we shouldn’t forget they were getting worked over pretty good by Brooklyn even minus Harden until Kyrie also got hurt. I hope we get a healthy rematch next year – the champs would go in as pretty significant underdogs in my opinion.

  191. I agree, namestam, but I always root for the underdog in these situations!

    Also, this championship could be the experience that brings this Bucks team to the next level. Like this whole season and post season was about them learning to play together and win and get confidence and now that they did it, I could see them coming back next year and dominating. If Giannis has truly improve the FT shooting, it is a game changer for him.

  192. One thing this finals performance by the Greek Freak proved that a young Wilt Chamberlain, who was clearly taller, stronger, longer, faster, more agile, and more skilled than Giannis, would have been just as dominant today as he was in the 1960’s, if not more so. Not sure whether he could have gone 15-17 from the FT line though!

  193. Chamberlain did make 28 of 32 free throws the night he scored 100 points against the Knicks.

  194. swiftandabundant:
    I agree, namestam, but I always root for the underdog in these situations!

    Also, this championship could be the experience that brings this Bucks team to the next level. Like this whole season and post season was about them learning to play together and win and get confidence and now that they did it, I could see them coming back next year and dominating. If Giannis has truly improve the FT shooting, it is a game changer for him.

    Yeah, I agree completely. The FT thing for Giannis has clearly been significantly mental – he was actually a pretty good FT shooter earlier in his career (back to back seasons of 76 and 77%) and I think there’s a compelling case that his struggles from the line all date to the ECF collapse against Toronto where he was 18-24 combined in the first 2 games (both Ws) and then 17-36 with some big misses in the last 4 (all Ls). He has really struggled since then and been way worse in the playoff crucible than the regular season. Having the kind of success he did last night in that situation could go a long way to exorcising those demons.

  195. Isn’t it crazy that Giannis had this type of a series and he still hasn’t even touched his ceiling?

  196. Remember Nick Anderson? I watched the 30 for 30 about the 90’s Magic teams and that dude turned into a bad FT shooter after he missed those 4 free throws. He was a pretty good player until that happened. The mental aspect of the game is highly underrated. Its why I like RJ so much as a prospect!

  197. ***One thing this finals performance by the Greek Freak proved that a young Wilt Chamberlain, who was clearly taller, stronger, longer, faster, more agile, and more skilled than Giannis, would have been just as dominant today as he was in the 1960’s, if not more so.***

    I’m not a lawyer, but I have the feeling that this “proof” wouldn’t hold up to the reasonable doubt standard.

  198. E, all merc’d out:
    No way Chamberlain was “more skilled” than Giannis.

    Donnie Walsh:
    ***One thing this finals performance by the Greek Freak proved that a young Wilt Chamberlain, who was clearly taller, stronger, longer, faster, more agile, and more skilled than Giannis, would have been just as dominant today as he was in the 1960’s, if not more so.***

    I’m not a lawyer, but I have the feeling that this “proof” wouldn’t hold up to the reasonable doubt standard.

    How much research have you done on Wilt’s athleticism and skill?

  199. giannis reminds me more of hakeem than wilt…although, i never saw wilt play, so who knows…

  200. Wilt ran track and field at Kansas ( sub 11 seconds 100 yd.) 56 foot shot put and reportedly had a 48 inch vertical leap. Was also an excellent volleyball player. I once watched him practice for the Maurice Stokes game in the Catskills and he had ( per eye test) a pretty good handle , which perhaps he honed during his stint with the Globetrotters. He did this during an era with inferior nutrition and training and while purportedly bedding 20K women. One can only speculate had he applied himself with the rigor of the Freak that he might have been his equal.

  201. New Wasserman mock: Trey Murphy at 19 (Wasserman says he’s trending up, and, “I’ve heard Mikal Bridges used as a comparison from a team that sees a valuable three-and-D role player”), Isaiah Jackson at 21 (Butler, Springer, Sharife, Mann, and others still on the board), Josh Christopher at 32 (which I know would make some here very happy), and McKinley Wright IV again at 58.

  202. I know some of this is because the season started later and ended a little later, so the draft, free agency, etc..is sooner than in normal years. But when I woke up today and realized the draft and free agency was so soon, I got excited and then I realized that the wait wasn’t so long because the Knicks were ACTUALLY enjoyable to watch this year and even made the playoffs. Even with the first round exit, we had meaningful basketball through May.

    Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge how NICE this is? I mean, sure, its gotten a little contentious these past few weeks debating about trading for Sexton or grading Leon Rose, but imagine how testy these conversations would be if had to start them in February because the Knicks were al ready 10 games below 500 and tanking again?

    This is why, whatever the FO does, I hope they don’t blow their load this offseason for a mini window to compete. For my own sanity I need watchable Knicks basketball and I would pick that for a decade over a 2 year window where everything has to break right in order to MAYBE compete for a title.

    I also think going the slow and steady route just puts way less pressure on the FO to make a panic move. I think a huge reason why past regimes failed so miserably was the “doubling down” mentality that GM’s took once they went all in on win now moves. Like shit we traded the farm for Melo and came up short, lets trade for Bargs and give up a first round pick. Its so much easier to make mistakes and do stupid shit when the pressure is on you cause you’re behind the 8ball.

  203. That game from Giannis is absolutely one of the best I’ve ever seen. If anything, it makes it more impressive that he was able to do it without a jump shot. I don’t remember ever seeing someone basically score at will like that without a jumper (I only caught the tail end of Shaq’s prime).

    All of the injuries in the playoffs sucked, but at the end of the day I can’t complain about the finals. We got a good series between two mostly healthy, excellent teams.

    It’ll be fascinating to see where the Suns go from here. They definitely have a strong young core, but Chris Paul being so essential to their success is a bit of a curveball. Running it back makes sense if Sarver can stomach the bill. Otherwise it wouldn’t shock me to see them take an intentional step back of sorts.

    Onto the draft! I’m a little worried about the late Trey Murphy hype. I see very little there in terms of upside, even by the standards of late first-round picks. There are plenty of guys who should be available in the second round that are hard to distinguish from him IMO. Unlike Quickley, he hasn’t shown the ability to shoot threes off the dribble and he really doesn’t appear to bring much to the table besides spot up shooting in general. Would be a very unexciting pick even at 21.

  204. Knick fan not in NJ: So even though we were a terrible team when we drafted Toppin if was justified because because we were drafting for need rather than best player available?

    And I can imagine a team with no Randle last year and playing Obi instead and it’s a terrible team.

    TBF it wasn’t just need. Obi was thought as a bit of plug-n-play and definitely the eventual replacement to Randle. I’ve echoed what swift, cyber and ess said about Obi’s selection throughout the year in that regard: the reasoning behind the pick was sound enough, and while he did struggle most of the year, his late-season progress and postseason play really encourages me to see how he starts the next season.

    Some folks worry that Randle’s emergence will block Obi’s path… let’s see Obi first progress to the point where that becomes an “issue” – I say issue bc I believe it will be a good problem for the team to have, the type of problem where a team can deal from a position of strength.

  205. Trey Murphy would make a good Kevin Knox replacement as a guy who looks like a basketball player, but isn’t

  206. I’ll just note here what I believe to be the right way to do these cross-era comparisons and that’s projecting the older generation guys fully into today’s nutrition, training, video analysis, and targeted skills (*) and trying to project. It’s a tough thing to do, which is why the conversation typically devolves to barely above corner barstool. Giannis is a tremendously skilled modern basketball player; Wilt was a tremendous physical specimen and all-around athlete as well as obviously a fantastic basketball player in an era that trained and targeted different skillsets. Not much more to say or conclude beyond that.

    (*) What I’m getting at here is, for example, that you can’t zap a 1990 guy for a lower TS% that results from him not shooting 3s, because that era didn’t really target 3s. You have to project him to the skills 2021 trains and targets.

  207. It’ll be fascinating to see where the Suns go from here. They definitely have a strong young core, but Chris Paul being so essential to their success is a bit of a curveball. Running it back makes sense if Sarver can stomach the bill. Otherwise it wouldn’t shock me to see them take an intentional step back of sorts.

    I think there’s a temptation for them to feel like they’re ahead of schedule but I kind of feel like the time is now for them. CP3 is old and they’re only a couple of years away from Bridges & Ayton getting really expensive. I’m not sure a Booker/Bridges/Ayton core is really that hot once CP3 ages out (btw future Knick Colin Sexton had a better BPM than Devin Booker this season). I kind of think they need to get aggressive and see if they can find a move to get them over the top next season.

  208. Wilt was hamstrung by the limitations of the game in his era. Big men were limited to playing with their back to the basket and were not permitted to handle the ball the way that Giannis is. They certainly weren’t allowed to shoot 3’s (there were none!) or start a dribble from 25 feet out and attack the basket.

    Giannis is an average post-up player as all-time great big men go. He mainly faces up and attacks the rim. He doesn’t have a go-to move from beyond 10 feet, and doesn’t need one in today’s game. He has the luxury of defenses being unable to sag in on him with 3-pt threats spreading out the defense.

    Imagine if there were no 3pt line today…what would defenses do to Giannis? They would double and triple team him and force him to pass to guys for long 2’s all day long. Wilt didn’t have that luxury, and was still able to AVERAGE more ppg for an entire season than Giannis had last night.

    Can you imagine what Wilt, a great passer, might have done if he could pass out for corner 3’s to guys like Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Jerry West, etc. every time a double team came? There was no one hanging out in the corner in most of Chamberlain’s day. Can you imagine DeAndre Ayton and Frank Kaminsky handling Wilt one on one because the help had to guard Middleton or Connaughton or Tucker or Portis for the corner 3?

  209. Giannis debuted in the Garden and I was there in the baseline seats. First game Bargnani played as a Knick and he played like crap and I was kind of ripping him to my buddy and the guy behind me said “You really don’t like Bargnani do you?” and I said, “No, he sucks,” which while entirely factorial, is like totally out of my public character.

  210. E, all merc’d out:
    I’ll just note here what I believe to be the right way to do these cross-era comparisons and that’s projecting the older generation guys fully into today’s nutrition, training, video analysis, and targeted skills (*) and trying to project.It’s a tough thing to do, which is why the conversation typically devolves to barely above corner barstool.Giannis is a tremendously skilled modern basketball player; Wilt was a tremendous physical specimen and all-around athlete as well as obviously a fantastic basketball player in an era that trained and targeted different skillsets.Not much more to say or conclude beyond that.

    (*) What I’m getting at here is, for example, that you can’t zap a 1990 guy for a lower TS% that results from him not shooting 3s, because that era didn’t really target 3s.You have to project him to the skills 2021 trains and targets.

    That’s the thing, though, Most perceptions about Wilt in the minds of younger folks are that he was a big lumbering dunker without ball skills. If you actually study him, and there is extensive film to study, you’d learn that Wilt actually did possess Giannis’ entire skillset, and also had skills that Giannis didn’t have. And that’s without growing up with the benefit of emulating Dr J, Magic, Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, Dirk, Hakeem, etc. He built his game on what was known at the time and still had a skillset that would hold up today. Creative freedom was totally absent from the game back then…positions were closely defined and coaches and owners were tyrants. Giannis back then wouldn’t be Giannis. He’d be Bill Russell or something like that, a post player who rarely handled the ball or initiated the offense facing the basket.

  211. I’m too young to really have a Wilt take but I’ll say I thought Ben Taylor’s backpicks series piece on him was pretty interesting. He made a compelling case that Wilt’s scoring didn’t really lift his team’s offense as much as you’d expect. Worth a read/watch.

  212. thenamestsam:
    I’m too young to really have a Wilt take but I’ll say I thought Ben Taylor’s backpicks series piece on him was pretty interesting. He made a compelling case that Wilt’s scoring didn’t really lift his team’s offense as much as you’d expect. Worth a read/watch.

    The NBA game was very clunky in a multitude of ways at that time. Offenses in general were primitive, and defenses obviously followed suit. And no doubt, Wilt was a head case in some ways, and Bill Russell/Red Auerbach were able to use that against him until Wilt finally had a better team and a decent coach. So you could certainly make the argument that Wilt was not as good as others (there’s a long list) at making his teammates better during his peak years…by the time he “got it” he was compromised by leg-knee injuries (most people don’t realize that he missed most of the 1969-70 season with a torn patellar tendon, which is a career-threatening injury even today, much less in 1970. The fact that he came back for the playoffs and finals is pretty remarkable. He underperformed in big games on a number of occasions, unlike what Giannis did in game 6. But hey, before this year, Giannis had his critics too, including Scalabrini who constantly called him a low-IQ player.

  213. As a huge fan of Chris Paul, it felt kind of sad watching him to defer to Devin Booker over the final 3 games. Last night, with the game still winnable in the final two minutes, I was hoping to see Paul grab the game by its throat. Instead it was mostly Booker hero ball with Paul off to the side.

  214. CP3 is a great all around player, but he’s not a dominant offensive player. He can’t take a game over consistently. I think we saw why he can’t be the best player on your team and win a championship. He’s got to be your 2nd or 3rd option helping facilitate a great player or two ahead of him in the pecking order. I like Booker, but he’s not that player yet.

  215. Giannis is undoubtedly a elite great player. You aren’t going to stop him. But he can be slowed down. Just because the Suns didn’t have the players and/or strategy that could do it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It has been done. I still rank him a notch below guys like Leonard and Durant. Durant is literally unstoppable by anyone. He’s the greatest scorer ever with plenty of other skills to go along with it.

  216. Hubert:
    As a huge fan of Chris Paul, it felt kind of sad watching him to defer to Devin Booker over the final 3 games. Last night, with the game still winnable in the final two minutes, I was hoping to see Paul grab the game by its throat. Instead it was mostly Booker hero ball with Paul off to the side.

    I think Paul got a bit worn out and frustrated by the grueling nature of the games and Milwaukee’s defensive tactics, especially after having to carry the team on his back to get past the Clippers. I don’t think he can do that game in and game out any more even with the rest between games. Once the Bucks got the Suns’ number it became a war of attrition and with the effort guys were expending on both ends, guys looked gassed at the end, and not just CP3…Booker, Cam, Middleton, and Connaughton all looked like they were running on fumes. That’s probably why Frank was able to give the Suns such a lift, fresh legs.

    The Bucks seemed to figure out how to wind up with Giannis defending Paul more often than not, and they kind of dared Paul to beat them from 3’s off the dribble behind screens. Paul had to work really hard for midrange shots against Giannis and once the legs started going he started missing. Even some of the ones he made in the 2nd half hit the front rim and rolled in. He also had no legs on a FT iirc.

    The guy gave a HOF effort, but at the end of the day, the Bucks were just too physically superior and ground them down to the nub on both ends. Sad indeed, but he was pretty fortunate just to get to the finals so he shouldn’t cry too much about getting steamrolled by a clearly superior team.

  217. Forget playing today, I would love to see Wilt play in the early to mid 90’s having to go up against Ewing, Hakeem, David Robinson, Shaq, Alonzo Mourning, Mutombo and even guys like Brad Daugherty, Divac, and Rik Smits.

  218. I understand that Trey Murphy is kind of limited, but so was/is Mikal Bridges. Are they very different?

  219. I understand that Trey Murphy is kind of limited, but so was/is Mikal Bridges. Are they very different?

    Fair question for sure but there are important differences.

    While Bridges was never a high-volume 2PA guy, by his junior year he was averaging 7.3 2PA/40 and maintaining his strong 2PT%. Murphy was still at a minuscule 3.8 2PA/40 as a junior. Relatedly, Bridges was a high-volume scorer in general for Villanova by the time he was a junior while Murphy was still relegated to more of a 3-and-D role (those guys are valuable in the NBA obviously, but the successful ones tended to take on higher usage in college).

    Bridges also nearly doubled Murphy’s steal and block numbers, which for whatever reason have proven to be good indicators of NBA translation. His numbers in other areas were consistently a few ticks higher too.

  220. Deeefense:
    Giannis is undoubtedly a elite great player. You aren’t going to stop him.But he can be slowed down.Just because the Suns didn’t have the players and/or strategy that could do it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.It has been done.I still rank him a notch below guys like Leonard and Durant.Durant is literally unstoppable by anyone. He’s the greatest scorer ever with plenty of other skills to go along with it.

    I’d take Giannis over Kawhi. Leonard isn’t the same defender from the SA days- he’s still very good but he doesn’t make the kind of impact Giannis just did on a consistent basis anymore (if he ever did- Giannis played as good a defensive series as I’ve ever seen). Durant is good enough defensively that his other-worldly offense gives him the nod over Giannis. I definitely don’t see this as the beginning of the “Giannis Era” but probably the end of LBJ era though L.A. will be right back in the mix next year if Davis can get healthy.

    And on Wilt- are people really arguing that he wouldn’t be a dominant player in today’s game? The guy’s made every top ten list I’ve ever seen- usually top 5.

  221. In fairness to CP3, there haven’t been many guys in the history of the league who have been capable of carrying a big offensive load at a championship level at his age. Once you combine the 36 years with the 6′ stature, I agree with Z-man that the physicality of the games (and man were they letting them play down the stretch last night) looked really hard for him. He made some tough shots last night, and even the “easy” shots he was getting were like run a PnR to get a switch, run a 2nd PnR to get open into a midrange jumper; that’s far from an easy possession. It’s incredibly rare to dominate based on tough shots alone and that was really the story for not just Paul but the whole Suns team the last 4 games. The Bucks took away the easy 3s and the rim and forced them to try to win it with just contested jumper after contested jumper and they didn’t have quite enough.

  222. Hearty recommendation for “Summer Of Soul,” instantly one of the greatest music documentaries of all time.

  223. JK47:
    Hearty recommendation for “Summer Of Soul,” instantly one of the greatest music documentaries of all time.

    Mahalia Jackson: The Wilt Chamberlain of singers- huge voice but would where would she fit in today’s musical landscape???

  224. I am a small person so I kind of enjoyed watching Devin Booker come up small last night. Apparently Jrue was guarding him more last night than the other games in the series, where he was focused on Paul.

    Ayton was also pretty invisible. Bucks did a really good job on him.

    Shout outs to Pat Connaughton who was a -21 last night and Jeff Teague (would love to see his total for the series) who managed to be a -5 in 1:43.

  225. Also, the idea that Wilt wouldn’t be dominant in the NBA right now seems nutter butter to me.

  226. Wilt was good at sports, period. He had insane agility and coordination for a man his size. Would have been great in any era.

    This seems like a dumb thing to even be discussing.

  227. bassey is one of my favorites this year…. bigs with this kind of upside used to never in a million years sniff the second rd yet here we are… the physicality kind of jumps out at you once you see him and it’s backed by the #s.. he was downright dominant against admittedly inferior comp but it’s not easy to post the #s he did against any kind of comp…

    if he’s the guy at 32.. it would secure at least a very decent night….

  228. wow big day for knicks workouts… prospects who worked out today:

    charles bassey
    isaiah jackson
    tre mann
    ayo dosunmu (!)
    trey murphy

    very promising list altho not a fan of murphy…… notably absent so far from the workouts and also seems like it hasn’t even been scheduled.. is sharife cooper…. i’d have to think that he will eventually come in but we’re running out of days for it…

  229. CP3 played pretty well this series, he had 2 bad games (only one of which was awful) and 4 games somewhere between okay and very good. He certainly wasn’t great, but he was arguably the Suns best player and he’s 35 or whatever. Sucks his team didn’t win, but Giannis put in an all time great finals performance and guy enough from the rest of the guys on his team.

  230. Are there any good websites or at least twitter people to follow for draft analysis anymore? I think everyone I used to read, even guys I didn’t really like, got hired by an NBA team.

  231. I saw a rumor that Lakers have discussed trading Kuzma, Horton-Tucker and Schroeder for Russell Westbrook. Has anyone else seen that?

    I actually like that deal for Washington although I’m sure Laker fans would be all in for Westbrook.

  232. djphan:
    wow big day for knicks workouts… prospects who worked out today:

    charles bassey
    isaiah jackson
    tre mann
    ayo dosunmu (!)
    trey murphy

    very promising list altho not a fan of murphy…… notably absent so far from the workouts and also seems like it hasn’t even been scheduled.. is sharife cooper…. i’d have to think that he will eventually come in but we’re running out of days for it…

    Sharife is the great unknown for us. He’s a dynamic game changer but seems to have fatal flaws too. He doesn’t seem to be a Thibs kind of point guard because of his size and defense, in addition to questionable shooting. I would love to see us take a chance on him, though.

  233. If the Knicks lose Bullock, they’d be more likely to attempt to match a modest offer to guard Frank Ntilikina, a restricted free agent. According to a league source, the Knicks haven’t ruled out bringing back their 2017 lottery pick selected by Phil Jackson, even if Thibodeau barely played him last season.

    hon hon hon

  234. Are there any good websites or at least twitter people to follow for draft analysis anymore?

    draft coverage really sucks these days.. there isn’t much of anyone who does good draft coverage year round.. jeremy woo and jonathan wasserman are basically it? i’m not a big fan of wasserman but jeremy woo’s work is underrated but he’s mostly useful for previewing the next year’s draft as he does a lot of ground work at the high school level… there’s also the dxpress guys.. jonathan givony who’s long been an insider… and then mike schmitz who mostly just does tv stuff and scoutspeaks you to death… their boards are not updated frequently so it’s basically useless cause they’re just talkingheads now..

    theringer i think is the most popular… and kevin o’connor of course does other stuff but i find that his takes on the draft are at least interesting and original.. theathletic folks like sam vecenie i hear good things about… and i think you at least get some original insight out of it.. at least i hope if you’re paying for it… john hollinger’s views on the draft are always worth a look… chad ford is also apparently back in the game but probably not worth a look…

    everyone else i find woefully derivative of each other… the good content is really scattered and you mostly have to seek it out in the draft community on reddit.. twitter.. fansites.. in order to see anything meaningful…

  235. I just read the first posted over/under win totals for next season and the Knicks are listed at 37.5 wins. Take the over before the number goes up!

  236. I read it as 37.5 wins which is a 0.457 winning percentage. The team will probably improve over the summer so that should be very doable.

  237. Jowles, you’re prescient

    You should remember that when I talk about Collin Sexton.

  238. I know people are heavily into the draft now, but the Knicks stand to lose Bullock, Burks, and Noel. That’s a lot of production to replace, especially if Randle takes a small step back shooting 3s. if Robinson is healthy and they bring Gibson back they’ll be fine at C, but they obviously won’t be as deep if there are injuries. The story today was that they want to bring Bullock back, but if it gets too expensive they may bring Frank back. I’d be fine with that. But losing Burks is going to hurt and I’m not sure we can count on Mitch being healthy. Free agency may be more critical than the draft.

  239. Supposedly Wilt used to scrimmage with elite NBA players long after his retirement and more than hold his own. I saw him play at the tail end of his career but I didn’t really know enough to have a strong opinion now. I’d have to think he was such a freak of nature as an athlete he almost certainly would be an all time great in any era.

  240. I can live with losing Noel because someone makes him a great offer. We have Mitch and Pelle isn’t so bad. Add Gibson or some other free agent or maybe a draft pick as the third center and that is probably enough. But if we lose both Bullock and Burke, I don’t see how we’ll replace them.

  241. ***How much research have you done on Wilt’s athleticism and skill?***

    Haha, sorry Ted Nelson. Didn’t realize you were back.

    Admittedly, not much. But it doesn’t matter because the burden of proof is obviously on you. (and Giannis winning a title does nothing to support your odd, unsolicited, non sequitur of a conclusion).

  242. I agree that free agency is important. Even if we don’t get a big star we still need a team of competent players and many competent players from last year aren’t under contract for next year yet.

  243. We’re not fucking talking about Wilt Chamberlain, guys. The draft is, like, tomorrow.

  244. I hope we are not big players in free agency, it is a trap and only worth it if you are signing a star or your team is already very good and looking to shore up some weaknesses. There are no stars available and we are not good enough to worry about plugging holes with mediocre veterans. We need to draft at least two and hopefully, three players that will be in the rotation next year. Add those two or three rookies to Robinson, Randle, Toppin, Barrett, Quickley, and Vildoza and we are only one or two players away from a full rotation.

    My hope is a wing and a guard in the 1st round and a backup center in the 2nd. Maybe even buy another mid 2nd round pick and get some depth. We need to forget all our success from last year and keep building for the long term and staying hungry. We might have gotten the 4th seed but am not sure if we are even a top 8 team right now. We still have a long way to go.

    We have lots of cap space so let’s absorb a bad contract and get another pick. I am hoping for Bledsoe, he will come with a sweetener and has the bonus of probably being useful next year.

    Ball would be an okay swing for around 20 million but other than that any player we sign should be either a bargain or a short contract. Bullock and Burks for 12 million each over the next 4 years would be devastating. And please no Rose, I really don’t want to have to spend another minute rooting for that guy.

  245. I’m not taking the over on 37. Even if we run it back, I don’t trust everyone to shoot over 40% from 3 again AND to have great opp 3p% luck.

    Plus, Rose & Randle both got very lucky from the midrange.

    PLUS, we avoided major injuries.

    We got every break imaginable and I suspect our roster will downgrade slightly this off-season. I’d at least want to see the roster before laying out money.

  246. **We’re not fucking talking about Wilt Chamberlain, guys. The draft is, like, tomorrow.**

    Also, this.

    @djphan, I’m gonna need you to make about a billion more posts between now and the draft

  247. I thought Giannis is the closest thing to Wilt I’ve ever seen in terms of his athleticism compared to the rest of the league and some aspects of their games, hence the comparison. And as a soon to be retired educator, I love the history of the game as I’ve lived through most of it, unlike many here. So I will continue to make references to Wilt and other greats from the eras that most here haven’t lived through. Feel free to skip over those posts, as I skip over posts about indie music and obscure miniseries.

  248. Donnie Walsh: Donnie Walsh
    July 22, 2021 at 1:00 am
    ***How much research have you done on Wilt’s athleticism and skill?***

    Haha, sorry Ted Nelson. Didn’t realize you were back.

    Admittedly, not much. But it doesn’t matter because the burden of proof is obviously on you. (and Giannis winning a title does nothing to support your odd, unsolicited, non sequitur of a conclusion).

    My stock quote to my students for 30 years: I can’t teach you anything, I can only help you learn what you want to learn. If the desire isn’t there, no problem, there’s no shame in being massively unknowledgeable about the history of the NBA and its all-time greatest players. Strikes me as an odd choice for an intelligent chap who frequents a basketball blog on a regular basis.

  249. **Atlanta has new motivation to resign John Collins. Okongwu is out six months after a torn labrum.**

    Rough career start for Okongwu who I was really looking forward to seeing play. His team is loaded with frontcourt talent and now this.

    Collins had such a good year that it’s hard to see them letting him go anyways, unless they can work out a sign & trade.

    Kind of want the Knicks to sign Collins just because idk what else they do with their money this year

  250. When i voted Bucks in six right at the start of game 5 i felt like a troll or at least like an avant garde artist since i was alone!
    Predicting Frank 3yrs 18M is like robbing a church! Easy Money Prediction!
    ;-p

  251. Yesterday at The Athletic Sam Vecenie released his yearly 140-pages Guide To The Draft.

    While it’s not mandatory to agree on every player (for instance his views and the Top-70 list made by Hollinger are full of disagreement) it’s a great read for anyone interested.

  252. Are there any particular players you noticed that they were particularly far apart on?

  253. Z-man:
    And as a soon to be retired educator,

    Congrats, Z-Man. As someone, who spent 14 years as a teacher in the DOE, I know from close proximity the difficulty of being a principal.

  254. Agree on Bassey – it’s not clear to me why he is so low on draft boards. Seemingly has great feet, great second jump. Shot 30.5% on 3’s and 76% from the line, form looks ok, so might have some untapped upside as something other than a pure rim runner. Low steal rate seems a little bit of a red flag, but hey, you can’t have everything.

    Wonder if it is something on background – presumably Leon/Wes/Kline etc know the deal. At 32 it seems a no-brainer especially if Noel is going to sign elsewhere.

  255. Knick fan not in NJ:
    Are there any particular players you noticed that they were particularly far apart on?

    Hollinger has Barnes 3rd (Veceniee 6th) Sengun 4th (Vecenie 8th) Wagner 7th (Vecenie 14th) Kuminga 8th (Vecenie 5th) Bouknight 13th (Vecenie 9th) and so on.

    For players somewhat linked to the Knicks:

    Butler 11th for Hollinger 17th for Vecenie
    Springer 20th for both
    Cooper 29th for Hollinger 24th for Vecenie
    Murphy 35th for Hollinger 16th for Vecenie (!!!)
    Jackson 28th for Hollinger 26th for Vecenie
    Mann 40th for Hollinger 33rd for Vecenie
    Keon Johnson 18 for Hollinger 21st for Vecenie
    Mc Bride 17th for Hollinger 22nd for Vecenie

  256. **Yesterday at The Athletic Sam Vecenie released his yearly 140-pages Guide To The Draft.

    While it’s not mandatory to agree on every player (for instance his views and the Top-70 list made by Hollinger are full of disagreement) it’s a great read for anyone interested.**

    Thanks for posting. It’s good to have some more comprehensive coverage. Also another opinion next to Hollinger.

    I just perused it and they were far off on Jalen Johnson, Bassey (V has him near 60), Queta (H has him really high). I’m sure there’s more, but those stuck out.

  257. Vecenie divides his rank by tiers based on “upside” (Superstars, All-Stars, High-Leverage Starters, Potential Starters, Rotation Players and so on).

    In his projections:

    Cade is the only Superstar.
    Suggs/Mobley/Green are All-Stars.
    Kuminga and Barnes are High Potential Starters.
    Players 7 to 22 are Potential Starters.
    Players 23 to 44 are Rotation Players.

  258. Early Bird:

    I just perused it and they were far off on Jalen Johnson, Bassey (V has him near 60), Queta (H has him really high). I’m sure there’s more,but those stuck out.

    Yeah, I skipped Jalen Johnson (9th for Hollinger 25th for Vecenie, from mid lottery to low first).

    Both Hollinger and Vecenie explain their choice well, I find the different views from “Front-Office POV” and “Scout POV” fascinating.

  259. The whole Vecenie thing is worth a read, but since a lot of reporters are linking us to Trey Murphy of late, here’s the summary at the end of Vecenie’s scouting report:

    I’m a believer in Murphy. He’s an elite shooter who is a good bet to shoot 40 percent from 3 and be a plus defender. It’s a very similar size and skill set combination to Trevor Ariza, who has made nine figures in his career and has played over 1,200 games. Murphy is much more of a pure shooter and is going to be absolutely lethal spotting up from the corners. The impact that Cameron Johnson has made early in his career for Phoenix is a good barometer for how the early portion of Murphy’s career could go, except again, Murphy is a better athlete and better defender than Johnson was coming in. The counting numbers aren’t incredible here or anything with Murphy but he’s a perfect skill fit for where the NBA is going. He does all his best work off the ball, doesn’t need it in his hands to make an impact and knows how to play on both ends.

    I certainly don’t mind taking the kind of player Murphy projects to be, though I have no idea whether he’s the better version of that than others who should also be available in our range. But if we’re taking a high-floor, low-ceiling dude like this, I’d really love to keep our other first to take a gamble on Cooper or someone like that.

  260. From what I understand, The Knicks still have cap space left over from this season that just ended and that can be used in some way up until the draft? Can anyone explain what that means and how we could potentially use that?

  261. **From what I understand, The Knicks still have cap space left over from this season that just ended and that can be used in some way up until the draft? Can anyone explain what that means and how we could potentially use that?**

    We can use it the way we did with Vildoza (he coming to the playoffs, Alan?). Sign a player for an extra year so he gets more overall money and doesn’t count against the cap as much in subsequent years. You’d need to find someone currently not on a roster though

  262. I think we can also make trades and accept a player into cap space. I can see us doing something like that in order to move up in the draft.

  263. Early Bird:
    **From what I understand, The Knicks still have cap space left over from this season that just ended and that can be used in some way up until the draft? Can anyone explain what that means and how we could potentially use that?**

    We can use it the way we did with Vildoza (he coming to the playoffs, Alan?). Sign a player for an extra year so he gets more overall money and doesn’t count against the cap as much in subsequent years. You’d need to find someone currently not on a roster though

    We can still make unbalanced trades with teams based on this year’s contracts too. I haven’t looked at the luxury tax teams, but I assume if teams make trades to get out of the tax before end of league year, it still is beneficial to them?

  264. Wow – according to spotrac, GSW will pay $120MM in lux tax (for a lottery team!), Brooklyn $68MM, Clippers $24MM, Bucks $20MM (well worth it).

    So 26 nontax teams will split about $230MM – not bad.

  265. The Clippers are just $12MM into the tax – if Ballmer wasn’t richer than just about anyone not named Bezos/Musk, you might think we could take Luke Kennard or Pat Beverley into our space for a juicy 1st rounder and save them $36MM (plus whatever disbursement a non-tax team would get).

  266. I think the under/over is only 37.5 because Vegas is building in the possibility we may lose some talent in free agency, Randle may not duplicate his production from last year, and we got a few breaks last season we may not get next season.

    On the flip side, who’s to say we can’t come out of this with a significant upgrade at PG over Payton (which is really not that difficult given how terrible he was last year), development from RJ, Quick, and Mitch, and a couple of other surprises out of FA, trades or the draft.

    That 37.5 may be correct given what we know now, but I think it’s assuming all the downsides without considering possible upsides that could happen. It would not shock me if that number rises a few games before the season starts, but it does depend on our off season,

  267. Vildoza (he coming to the playoffs, Alan?)

    As luck would have it, I have compiled footage of all of you repeatedly asking if Vildoza would play for the team in the playoffs, despite all available evidence to the contrary.

  268. There is definitely a lot of regression to the mean potential with this team, not to mention all the variables regarding which free agents we bring back, what new players we add, etc. I expect we’ll make the over, even though I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re a much lower playoff seed next year, assuming better health/luck for other teams.

  269. Meanwhile, here’s the troubling last tweet in a thread by Tom Piccolo (a Knicks Film School type) after breaking down Murphy’s game film against Syracuse:

    Overall, it’s difficult (foolish) to judge a player on one game, esp. versus a zone-playing team like SU. But I try to focus on overall mindset & style of play. Trey has upside as a 3&D floor spacer but I worry about his passive tendencies that, at times, remind of me Kevin Knox.

  270. Oof, the dreaded Knox comp.

    I have a soft spot for Colllins and I love it when the Knicks are a trainwreck so yes, definitely, we should pair Randle and Collins in the frontcourt.

    Thanks for the draft cheatsheets. The combination of reduced data and a higher draft pick makes this year feel like the most uncertain in memory from the Knicks perspective.

  271. We’re definitely making the over. Our record will be similar, if not better, than last year.

    I get we leaned a lot of vets but our two best players who played the most minutes were Randle and RJ. Randle is 26 and RJ is 20. Everyone expects Randle to regress but what if he stays the same or even slightly improves? And RJ will most likely improve again this season. If Randle stays the same and RJ improves, that means our 1 and 2 options are better, not worse. We also will most likely resign Derrick Rose, which means a full season of him as the back up/spot starter at PG and we will most likely upgrade from Elf at the starting PG position in some way.

    We also will hopefully have a full season of a healthy Mitch. IQ should be better or even if he’s the same, he’ll probably play more minutes in year two than he did in year one. And we have cap space to bring back some of Bullock, Noel, Taj, etc…or upgrade a bit at some of those positions. So while it is possible we could regress, I actually think its more likely we improve a bit from last year. There will also be continuity between the seasons with the coaching staff and our core players. Something we have not had in a long time. Oh, and Obi will play more minutes too and be better. Giving Randle more of a break to stay fresh all season.

    I’m really liking the idea of a trade for Bledsoe in order to move up to 10. Something like our 19 or 21 and Knox for Bledsoe and #10. His contract isn’t THAT bad or too long and he would be an improvement over Elf. Not a huge upgrade but he’d be better and if we got the #10 pick out of it? That would be nice if they wanted to do that.

  272. New Orleans needs to start making improvements to appease Zion. Using the 10th pick to salary dump Bledsoe, as opposed to using it to acquire a vet who can help them win now, does not accomplish this. Doubt anything like it happens.

    And Collins makes little sense on a team that has Julius Randle on it. You can argue whether you’d rather have Collins at the salary he’s about to get from Atlanta, or Randle at the salary he could get from us if he waits til next summer to sign something, but they’re duplicative enough that you just can’t tie up so much of your cap in having both of them.

  273. I’d say the odds of the Knicks actually drafting at 19, 21, and 32 are close to zero. The unexpected 41-31 season and 4th in the East will push Leon to avoid falling behind the Hawks, Celtics, and Heat in 2022. Look for a trade to acquire a veteran with picks being used.

  274. I’m thinking on the Knicks end they don’t want dead money on the salary sheet with a chance at nabbing big FAs in 2022. Maybe they make a mid-season play for Bledsoe if Beal & LaVine re-up or get traded

  275. Quality draft coverage has definitely badly dried up over the last few years. Hollinger still does good stuff at The Athletic and Wasserman at least tries to combine his scout speak with some numbers. Almost everyone else…I read them due to the vacuum and that’s about it.

    Some exceptions off the top of my head:

    Whoever runs this site: https://hardwoodblues.wordpress.com/

    He has a statistical model that he occasionally supplements with some good observations.

    Dean is full of himself but is better than most: https://deanondraft.com/

    This site has a lot of numbers I can’t find anywhere else: https://www.barttorvik.com/

  276. I’d hate to take Bassey at 32 if Vrenz, Wieskamp, McBride, Christopher or Grimes are still on the board. We might be able to get a good big man prospect at 58…someone like Jericho Sims or sign a Richaun Holmes.

  277. Trying to figure out how good next year’s team will be at this point seems like a total fool’s errand – we barely have a roster. In terms of minutes played from last year we currently have under contract #1, #2, #7, #10, and #11. That’s it for guys who played real roles; you might notice some numbers missing there. Forced to pick I’d take the over because I think the front office and Thibs will do everything they can to make sure we don’t take a big step back but who can possibly know at this point.

  278. by the way – if Reggie’s market is the MLE, I think that is a reasonable contract to dole out. He’s good defensively, obviously fits the team concept and culture, and you do need some continuity. Maybe could get a small hometown discount, perhaps 3/27 or something like that. Definitely tradeable if necessary, and is the right contract size to be packaged in a bigger deal. That Berman article definitely feels like a trial balloon floated out there by Reggie’s agent (ie. who else would know about illegal tampering?)

  279. I like Reggie and he had chemistry with Randle. We should try to keep him.

  280. Yeah, I would love to keep Reggie. He’s the type of plug and play guy that every team can use. Good defender, good 3 point shooter, high character guy. Not too old. 3 years at that price would be fine by me.

    If we could somehow keep Rose, Noel and Bullock at reasonable deals and then have enough cap space left over for a PG upgrade (Lowry, Conley, Ball, Brunson, etc)…I would consider that a successful off season. If we get Mitch to extend now and Randle too, that would be even better. Bring the gang back! They deserve another run with the same crew with some upgrades around the edges. Internal improvement and drafting plus a key free agent signing. This shouldn’t be difficult for us to do.

  281. The Knicks are at 37.5 in Vegas because the smart money understands what a fluke last year was. Not just ISM, but also COVID TS%s and lack of home court advantage and load managements and all the rest. Once the crowds came back and the playoffs hit, they reverted more to true form and the prediction is that the normalcy of next year will continue the reversion. It’s a sensible line. I’d probably go a bit over, but if the line was 41, I’d probably take the under. Right now, I’m kind of at “it’s like 50/50 them finishing above .500.” Still a lot of uncertainty about the roster, so I wouldn’t make any bet.

  282. Crowds returned to MSG during the win streak of the regular season, no? They weren’t full capacity but there were crowds there. Lets not act like the full capacity playoff crowd at MSG is why they lost to The Hawks. That played a factor in maybe the first half of game one. The crowd definitely helped them win game 2. They lost to Atlanta bc Atlanta is the better team than us.

  283. I would take the over largely because I don’t think the front office will allow for a setback of that magnitude, even if preventing it involves doing objectively stupid stuff.

  284. The “crowds” between fully empty time and playoff time weren’t crowds; they were small gatherings. And in any event, they didn’t just lose to the Hawks, they got obliterated by the Hawks.

    I forget now, I think it was SI who a few days ago did a story on the warped COVID empty arenas numbers versus normal. It’s the stuff that flukes are make of, for sure.

  285. E, all merc’d out
    July 22, 2021 at 12:32 pm
    Hardest of passes on 3/27 for Bullock.

    Agreed. Look for the Knicks to preserve cap space for the 2022 FA class and opt for more play it and prove it one year deals. They need the big fish.

  286. I always agree with E, so yeah i’d give Reggie the 3/$27M. Then i read that Cam Payne will command 10M to 12M AAV, so let’s say we give him 3 or 4 years, even if it’s a 12M AAV, that means 21M in salary beyond 2022. Still room for a max. The other salaries will have to be one year deals.
    Starting five – Cam Payne, Reggie, RJ, Julius, Mitch;

  287. If Reggie puts up another year like this past season, a 3/27 contract (or probably 2 for 18 contract at that point) will be an asset that would probably bring a draft pick if we traded him. At the very least it’d be a neutral asset that could be traded if we needed the cap space. He’s a 3 position defender who is a career 39.5% 3 point shooter on moderate-high volume, can shoot off screens or off the catch.

    Assuming we will have more cap space than we know what to do with, I’d offer him:
    2021-22 $10MM
    2022-23 $9.2MM
    2023-24 $7.8MM
    (= 3 for 27)
    but for trading purposes after this season it’d be 2 for 17. That’s a bargain for what he brings.

    I mean, Davis Bertans got 5 years 80MM from the Wizards. Duncan Robinson is going to get $20MM AAV minimum. Joe Harris is making $17MM/year or something like that. They’re all better shooters than Reggie, but Reggie is much better on defense, and would come at <50% the cost if getting a 3/27 contract. That's an asset IMHO.

  288. I’m starting to believe the trade up is just a few spots, probably one of #19 and #21 with #32 or Knox, to target a player that is projected to give you the same as Joe Harris on a rookie contract. Not a bad idea, i’d say. The player is Corey Kispert, if he’s there in the 13-15 range, they’ll probably try the trade up to get him.
    Didn’t read it anywhere, was just a hunch i had, because Burks is going to be expensive and if they have Kispert there’s no need to pay Burks, so we can use the money elsewhere.
    What do you guys think?

  289. The 2020-2021 Knicks were mostly good because they were a really good defensive team. They were 3rd in the NBA in defensive rating, 23rd in offensive rating.

    If they’re going to decline it’s likely going to be because their DEFENSE got worse. If they’re a top 5 defense again, they should be able to win 40+ games. I think the defensive improvements seem sustainable, depending on who returns and who is picked up. Thibs can coach defense, I’m pretty convinced of that.

  290. JK47
    July 22, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    “If they’re going to decline it’s likely going to be because their DEFENSE got worse. If they’re a top 5 defense again, they should be able to win 40 games.”

    Every team in the top 10 defensively last year was above .500. So it’s probably a sure thing!

  291. Z-man: So I will continue to make references to Wilt and other greats from the eras that most here haven’t lived through.

    Please do, i like to read those bits to try and fill the gaps i still have in my NBA knowledge. ;)

    Z-man: Feel free to skip over those posts, as I skip over posts about indie music and obscure miniseries.

    But guys, please keep the indie music and obscure miniseries, because i like to read those bits also. :)

  292. If they’re going to decline it’s likely going to be because their DEFENSE got worse. If they’re a top 5 defense again, they should be able to win 40+ games. I think the defensive improvements seem sustainable, depending on who returns and who is picked up. Thibs can coach defense, I’m pretty convinced of that.

    our defense… and for that matter a number of other things… could very easily backslide to merely a top 10 defense or just slight above average… our defense was buoyed by a pretty low opp 3pt% and it’s pretty established how little defense has any sort of meaningful impact on that year to year…. so it could be that our luck neutral defense is merely top 10…. or maybe even above average…. which probably sounds about right… a top 5 defense is very hard to replicate even for actual top defenses….

    and if our defense is merely top 10 then that will impact our record…. and maybe even pretty significantly…

  293. But our offense has to be better overall this year, right? I mean, they know what they need to do to improve it. Rose will most likely be back for an entire season, RJ’s offensive game should improve, IQ’s, etc. So I have to believe even if our defense isn’t top 5, we could move up our offensive rating some to offset that. Unless Randle REALLY backslides offensively.

  294. In a very dumb manner of doing it (just replacing our opp3% with league average), our point differential drops from 2.3 to -0.8.

    Obviously some number of points scored off OReb will be wiped out. Based on our rebounding, this would result in about 49 fewer offensive boards for opponents. An offensive board is worth 1.10pts according to Google. So the defense saves about 54pts this way. This results in a point differential of only about -0.14.

    In other words, we should be about .500 team with an average opp3%. We’re still above 37.5 wins, but you can apply the same logic to the 4 shooters on our roster who set career highs in 3p%. RJ is young, but was never considered a great shooter. Randle, Rose, and Burks are longtime vets and only Burks broke 40% previously in his career and he only did it once. If they all shoot an above average 37% we could have lots of improvement elsewhere and we’d still be worse off on offense.

    Maybe Thibs & and our training staff are geniuses and have actual improvements, but I’d wager the Knicks will get hit very hard by regression to the mean this year. Or at least I wouldn’t wager against it.

  295. swiftandabundant: But our offense has to be better overall this year, right?

    I’d appreciate a reality check if this take is way off base, but it sure felt like our functional offense had enormous support from Bullock and Burks sitting in above the line and threatening from the three, giving RJ and JR and others room to play. If we lose them both — or really just one or the other — we’re going to need to find another equivalent sharpshooter or two to plug and play or our offense really could backslide.

  296. I’ll wait to bet when the team will have more than eight players under contract (including Vildoza and Pelle).
    Right now over/under (or any other prediction) doesn’t make sense.
    Let’s wait three weeks…

  297. There’s always games you lost that you should have won and vice versa, but I think last year we fell on the side of having more wins that should have been losses. Still, we were clearly a better than .500 team and our defense was very strong, even without Mitch. As was said above, our roster (and those of many other teams) is still very much in flux, so it’s way too early to care very much about what Vegas thinks unless you are betting. I would take the over because, as tnfh said, I expect some moves, possibly dumb ones, to improve the roster.

    On that note, maybe Portland thinks that the only way to keep Lillard is to trade CJ…we probably don’t have anyone that they need or covet other than RJ and Randle, who we shouldnt give up, but if there’s a 3-way deal out there, he’d be a pretty good get, no?

  298. It’s WAY TOO EARLY to predict W/L but if Thibs can go 41-31 on his first season with a mostly new to him motley crew Why Not get easier to a 50% record on his second more controlled season?

  299. I think most draft resources are now on YouTube, I just can’t tell if anyone on there actually knows what they’re talking about.

    Mike Schmitz at ESPN going over film with the players is the one I look for, but there aren’t many this year compared to last year. He did just release one with Jared Butler: Butler Film Session

  300. Yup. Begley adds a little to the Shams report:

    @IanBegley
    The extension for Knicks GM Scott Perry is for multiple seasons, per SNY sources. Perry was under contract through the end of this season. Perry’s extension with the Knicks was first reported by The Athletic.

    The good with this:
    * There are some things Perry seems good at, like contract structure, extracting solid value in trades, dealing with other execs around the league, and some of the detail work that Rose et al are not as experienced with
    * By all accounts, Perry’s role has been made very specific and relatively small in the new regime. He’s one of many voices, but it doesn’t sound like he particularly has Leon’s ear when it comes to players to target.

    The worrying with this:
    * With Perry in place for a while, it makes it easier for another team to poach Aller or any of our other and more promising execs.
    * Perry remains mediocre at best overall, and if circumstances change to give him more player personnel input again, that’s not ideal.

  301. As for next year, we don’t have enough guys under contract to make any predictions

  302. The thing is, you could make the argument that Perry has been fantastic. He was hampered with having to work with Steve Mills.

    Fizdale is his biggest black eye. Knox is the second big mistake. He took flyers on one year dudes like Mudiay and Hezonja that didn’t work out and he seems to love Elf but I wouldn’t call those moves damaging really.

    Melo trade – had to happen and he got that 2nd round pick out of it, which he then used to pick Mitch

    Draft Mitch

    Drafted RJ (which was a no brainer)

    KP trade – people say we should have gotten more but getting out of that potential onerous contract and getting something out of it was ultimately smart.

    Signing Randle – got a lot of shit for it when Randle sucked. Now its a great move.

    Signed Morris – traded for a pick that turned into IQ

    Signed Bullock – good player for us.

    So there are a lot of good moves that he made that definitely laid some foundation for this season’s success and gave us room to maneuver in the future.

  303. That is true, Raven, but our offense also improved considerably once Rose was traded to us and if he does come back for a full season, that’s a lot more minutes of competent PG play right there. I gotta think Bullocks or Burks will be back but not both but we’ll find a replacement for the other. Plus IQ playing more minutes, no Elf (hopefully).

    I get that we don’t know what the roster will be yet fully. But Randle, RJ and IQ all played big roles to some degree (Mitch too) and the odds of RJ and IQ being better are high because they’re both still so young.

    Randle COULD regress but he could also not regress. And I don’t think it’s presumptous to think that some of the Rose, Bullocks, Noel, Burks, Taj crew will be back. And we know we have enough cap space to bring some of that crew back and probably upgrade fairly significantly at PG in some manner either via a trade with picks/players or an outright free agency signing.

    I guess I just think you’d have to take a pessimistic view on an overall regression from the returning players and us not bringing any of the vets back who helped us win and also striking out on whatever free agency signings, trades and draft picks we make in order to believe we’ll be much worse record wise. I think the core of this team with Thibs can beat most shitty teams on most regular season nights.

  304. I like Perry. He has some good sense and I maintain the real flaw last year was DSJr getting his basketball skills stolen by the Monstars.

    We had a not terrible team once Elfrid solidified the PG position.

    Also hiring Keith Smart is by far and away his biggest blemish.

  305. I don’t think it would be that difficult to construct a team around the guys we currently have that could win more than 38 games, but we just haven’t done it yet and it seems like a dumb thing to bet on.

  306. Perry also signed Portis, who apparently is a good rotation player when put in the right situation.

  307. Yeah I think it’s fair to say that the devil is in the details with the 2021-2022 Knicks. We got good value out of cheap role players last year and might not find that kind of lightning in a bottle again.

    I do think Thibs has the magic touch to turn bad defenders into competent defenders (like Obi) and to turn “Meh” defenders into good defenders (see Randle and RJ.) He did have strong defensive teams throughout his run in Chicago. We don’t have the kind of personnel that those Bulls teams had, but I think in general his shit works.

  308. The thing that I’m betting again this season ain’t that we’re going to get the best players available or the super talents of the universe but that Thibs will get the best out of every one of them.
    In other words…
    In Thibs we bet!

  309. Booker has long been derided here for being a terrible defender but I thought he was excellent on Middleton in game 6 and pretty good overall. Scheme and coaching is clearly very important and it seems that anyone with smarts desire and reasonable athleticism can become at least an adequate defender.

  310. As to Thibs, he definitely helped Obi, and definitely couldn’t do much with Knox. That’s why I’d like to see Obi get another whirl before dumping him in a trade. He’s capable of improving and there isn’t a better vertical athlete in the league.

  311. I don’t think over on 37.5 is a bad bet for the Knicks. I think if all out averages regress we’re right there, but yes we should be slightly improved over that.

    I would worry if we don’t have a Noel level backup C or use a rookie for 2000 min

  312. I understand that talents make the world of nba go round but we need to realise that the Thibs Knicks (at least in this phase) are a coachLed team and not your usual starled nba team.

    Right Now the only untouchable in this team seems to be the Coach!
    (And should also be RJ imo)

  313. Z-man:
    As to Thibs, he definitely helped Obi, and definitely couldn’t do much with Knox. That’s why I’d like to see Obi get another whirl before dumping him in a trade. He’s capable of improving and there isn’t a better vertical athlete in the league.

    He helped Frank too :)

  314. blockquote cite=”comment-758444″>

    DRed:
    As for next year, we don’t have enough guys under contract to make any predictions

    Pretty much agree with this, but just noting that it didn’t stop ESPN from ranking us 14th for next year (having finished tied for 11th in won/lost this past year). They did call it “Way Too Early Power Rankings”…

  315. I think we can be in good shape, Thibs and his staff can do a great job, but for the Knicks as for every team this last season has absolutely zero meaning as a predictive tool.

    I took a look at how many games to significant players the teams lost to injuries and Covid Protocols and many teams have been ravaged as never before (and remember, this was a 72-games season).

    Plus there was a short training camp, a reduced preseason, a crammed schedule (with the return of the dreaded 4 games in 5 nights), no fans in the stands and a team played all his home games in a neutral site.

    Everything will hopefully be different in the world next season and literally every roster will be totally different in less than a month.

    Making predictions today based on the 41-31 record as if it was “really real”, while discounting those peculiar circumstances and with over 200 free agents plus 60 picks to be signed is totally useless and very strange for a site so proud of his smartness and analytics.

  316. that it didn’t stop ESPN from ranking us 14th for next year (having finished tied for 11th in won/lost this past year). They did call it “Way Too Early Power Rankings”…

    Zach Harper did the same at The Athletic and many other sites did it.
    They need to write something between the end of the Finals and the Draft/Free Agency.

    It’s called click-baiting.

    :-)

  317. Shouldn’t we be talking about what draft strategy, and what specific players, we think the Knicks should go for?

  318. cybersoze:
    Shouldn’t we be talking about what draft strategy, and what specific players, we think the Knicks should go for?

    Yes, yippie!!! Thanks Cyber :-)

  319. Question for all the The Athletic subscribers,
    who do you hope will take the place of the great Mike Vorkunov on the Knicks’ beat?

    When he was on paternity leave Vardon subbed him and it was a disaster, any hint on who could be next?

  320. Talking about the draft is way harder when your team is picking 20th as opposed to 8th. The number of players who are reasonable potential picks increases exponentially, and the number of trade possibilities for the Knicks this year with the extra pick only makes it crazier. Last year there were maybe 5-7 guys who had any shot of being the pick at 8; There’s probably 20+ players who have both a reasonable shot to still be on the board in the 19-21 range and would be reasonable picks. Getting even the slightest feel for most of those guys is probably beyond most of us. And that’s without even talking about the possibilities of trading up, or trading for a veteran, both of which seem to be very much in play, and which are always hard to talk about in advance because we just have no idea what might be available.

  321. Draft makes me happy (no order):
    Wagner
    Kispert
    Moody
    Bouknight

    Happy but more risk:
    Jalen Johnson
    Giddey

    Average:
    Butler

    Meh:
    Springer
    Mann
    Cooper

    Angry:
    Any C
    Trey Murphy
    Ziaire Williams
    Duarte
    Keon Johnson
    Cam Thomas

    Throw remote thru TV:
    BJ Boston in 1st

    Anyways, wanting the first 4 is why I want to trade up. Maybe one of them falls or Jalen falls, but I doubt they make it to 19.

    **Disclaimer** I’m absolutely not a draft expert

  322. If we grab Dosunmu or Grimes at 32, I’d be okay reaching for a C at 19 or 21. I’ll be nervous as hell for 11 picks though.

  323. Max: Yes, yippie!!! Thanks Cyber :-)

    Let’s go then… ;)
    We have two routes – use all three selections or combine two for a trade up and only use two selections.
    I’m ignoring pick 58 because that one only serves to guarantee a guy for a 2-way deal.
    Now about our routes:
    If we select 3 times, i’d take Jaden Springer and Jared Butler in the first round, and Queta with pick 32 (no need to re-sign Noel then).
    If we trade up, i think we can’t go very far, as we all have discussed, so i hope it’s for Bouknight or Kispert (players most likely to produce right away). And then Springer again, with the other first round pick.

  324. Early Bird: If we grab Dosunmu or Grimes at 32, I’d be okay reaching for a C at 19 or 21. I’ll be nervous as hell for 11 picks though.

    But who? Isaiah Jackson? Unless you think he’s a future all-star, we’d be much better selecting Queta at #32, he was one of the four finalists for defensive player of the year, he’s 22, he can play right away and give us great defense (that’s just about what Noel gave us). And then he has potential on offense, he even is a very good distributor, meaning Thibs can use him like he used Noah, which he couldn’t do this season with Mitch and Noel being our centers.

  325. Shouldn’t we be talking about what draft strategy, and what specific players, we think the Knicks should go for?

    I think our draft strategy is pretty clear and almost straightforward even… we should be aiming for a 10-man rotation…. we really only have 5 guys returning that are definitely part of it… and we want to keep a max slot free for next year…. right now it looks like:

    PG: open / maybe IQ maybe Vildoza
    SG: Barrett / IQ if he’s not playing pg
    SF: open / open
    PF: Randle / Toppin
    C: Robinson / open

    Given that we have three picks…. it’s pretty easy to visualize how those three picks slot in to the rotation:

    1) backup pg – in actuality this guy will be competing with vildoza and IQ and in the event this guy can’t break through the rotation.. or someone else rises to the occasion… then you have the gleague to put him on ice .. maybe we go big for a pg this summer and just forego one… but it’s going to be a long term need as anyone we sign will have enough risk attached to it that we would not be able to afford to go into the season with only one actual pg… the cupboard is also bare for a pg next summer as well so we should shoot our shot this year….

    options: yes i stan hard for ayo dosunmu… sharife cooper is also an option…. there’s also josh giddey on a trade up… and i believe that’s it… some of these ‘maybe pgs’… like butler.. springer… hyland are basically redundant with what we already have… vildoza and IQ are also basically ‘maybe pgs’ and it would be awkward to shoe horn another with that profile… that’s why i think if we draft one.. it’s going to be one who’s actually played the position and doesn’t have too many questions about filling that role at the next level…

  326. 2) scoring/shooting/3 and D wing – i’m cheating a bit since these are really two different types of players but essentially going to fill the roles of burks and bullock respectively… besides the massive hole at pg… bullock and burks necessitate someone to replace them also as they are unlikely to come back.. even if one of them does we will need their backup… that backup could come in as a FA on a one-year deal but it’s more optimal to gamble on upside to fill that role… there’s nothing stopping us from doing both in any case… as you always have the gleague to punt your pick to if you just want to rely on a one year vet….

    options: Jaden Springer fills the scoring.. shooting.. and defense… and may even be able to play some pg…. he would be a solid pick based on fit and role and he’s a pretty good player at a young age also…. other strong picks in this category would be Tre Mann… a lot of creativity with the ball.. strong midrange game… Chris Duarte… great allaround shooter and solid defense with size to play the 3… Josh Christopher I also think is seriously underrated and has a ton of scoring ability…. James Bouknight is a great tradeup target but seems unlikely we can get up that high… Some lesser talked about names include Aaron Henry.. Terrence Shannon.. Kessler Edwards… all fit the 3 and D mold…

    3)Backup C – i’m not positive that the knicks think this is necessary.. but thibs does value the C position… and we saw how nice it was having a defensive presence on the court at all times.. it’s really great in the regular season at least… we could just bring Taj back cheap so this could just be another 3 and D wing so it’s debatable we’ll spend a pick on one…

    options: Charles Bassey.. i made my feelings known earlier.. i have a mid first grade for him so he would be a steal at 32… Neemias Queta has got a lot of skills.. little on the slow side but i have little doubt he can stick in the league…

  327. **But who? Isaiah Jackson?**
    I would not be happy with a C, but if we could get a valuable SG at 32 I wouldn’t be horribly upset. Sadly, it’s not up to me or DRed who actually gets picked.

    Honestly I prefer Queta & Bassey to a lot of Cs looking like rd 1 guys. If Garuba fell to us I’d strongly consider gambling on him learning to shoot.

    I’m looking more at roster construction and want 1 strong wing and a backup C. I’m not thrilled with the wings or guards at 19 & 21 if we keep the picks. So if there’s enough solid wings in rd 2 I could live with it.

  328. So altogether we could go:

    1)PG/SF/C
    2)PG/SG/SF
    3)SG/SF/SF
    4)SG/SF/C

    and if we assume that a tradeup is unlikely and that some players are out of reach… there are a lot of possibilities but maybe a smaller universe than you would think… we’re looking at (in no particular order):

    1)Jaden Springer
    2)Ayo Dosunmu
    3)Jared Butler
    4)Tre Mann
    5)Chris Duarte
    6)Chris Bassey
    7)Neemias Queta
    8)Isaiah Jackson
    9)Sharife Cooper
    10)Trey Murphy
    11)Usman Garuba
    12)Nah’shon Hyland
    13)Cam Thomas
    14)Josh Christopher
    15)Miles McBride
    16)Quentin Grimes

    After this we’re looking at the 58 pick most likely…. and that could be anyone… I’m probably forgetting someone but I think this is probably 95% of our board at the moment and it’s just a matter of how you order them….

  329. Early Bird: Honestly I prefer Queta & Bassey to a lot of Cs looking like rd 1 guys. If Garuba fell to us I’d strongly consider gambling on him learning to shoot.

    Now we’re talking. ;) I like Bassey a lot too, and think he can be productive. Garuba i wouldn’t take because he’s such a raw project, i don’t think a player needing 2 or 3 years of development would be a good choice for this win now approach of Leon/Thibs.

  330. So a few days ago I said no way to Sharife Cooper, but it is crazy how long his highlight film is considering he only played 12 games or whatever. I still worry about his defense and shooting, but man… he would be so so so so fun to watch with Obi and Mitch. I don’t know how he works with Julius either. But his ability to get into the lane is so great — who knows if it’ll work in the NBA, but the dude doesn’t need a screen at all – he just goes by you and the millisecond the help even thinks about coming, it’s lob city.

    There was that day where he was listed at 6’4″ and now it’s not listed at all. I honestly wonder if the dude is even 5’10”. He looks like a kid playing out there even on a college court.

  331. Less than a week away…

    1. Jalen Suggs
    2. Jalen Green
    3. Cade Cunningham
    4. Evan Mobley
    5. Scottie Barnes
    6. Josh Giddey
    7. Jalen Johnson
    8. Alperen Sengun
    9. Franz Wagner
    10. James Bouknight
    11. Moses Moody
    12. Jaden Springer
    13. Jared Butler
    14. Jonathan Kuminga
    15. Sharife Cooper
    16. Keon Johnson
    17. Josh Christopher
    18. Ayo Dosunmu
    19. Chris Duarte
    20. Cam Thomas
    21. Miles McBride
    22. Nah’Shon Hyland
    23. Tre Mann
    24. Usman Garuba
    25. Davion Mitchell
    26. Charles Bassey
    27. Neemias Queta
    28. Jason Preston
    29. Isaiah Jackson
    30. Trey Murphy III
    31. Mckinley Wright
    32. Justin Champagnie
    33. Corey Kispert
    34. Joel Ayayi
    35. JT Thor
    36. Aaron Henry
    37. Day’ron Sharpe
    38. Isaiah Todd
    39. DJ Steward
    40. David Johnson
    41. Matthew Hurt
    42. Kai Jones
    43. Kessler Edwards
    44. Jose Alvarado
    45. Daishen Nix
    46. Greg Brown
    47. Ziaire Williams
    48. Scottie Lewis
    49. Joe Wieskamp
    50. Jay Huff
    51. Isaiah Livers
    52. Santi Aldama
    53. Juhann Begarin
    54. Luka Garza
    55. Trendon Watford
    56. Joshua Primo
    57. Gabriele Procida
    58. Quentin Grimes
    59. DJ Carton
    60. BJ Boston

  332. I still worry about his defense and shooting, but man… he would be so so so so fun to watch with Obi and Mitch. I don’t know how he works with Julius either. But his ability to get into the lane is so great — who knows if it’ll work in the NBA, but the dude doesn’t need a screen at all – he just goes by you and the millisecond the help even thinks about coming, it’s lob city.

    In the range we’ll be picking (barring a trade up, which Wasserman confirmed on Macri’s pod this morning is still a strong possibility…blech), there might be no more bankable NBA skill than Cooper’s playmaking. I simply see no way it doesn’t translate to the NBA–the man is going to have a career as a change-of-pace guard at the minimum and perhaps something a lot more than that.

    Everything else is a bit of a Rorschach test. Do you look at his 3PT% or FT%? The frequency with which he got to the rim, or his meager conversion rate when actually there?

    Some notable numbers:

    -His finishing rate at the rim was an unsightly 49.5%…but this was with a cartoonishly low 8.7% of his shots there assisted.

    -He took 93 shots at the rim in 12 games. For reference, Immanuel Quickley took 50 shots at the rim in 30 games his last season at Kentucky.

    -He hit 38% of his non-rim 2PT shots, which actually isn’t a bad figure. Especially considering that literally zero of them were assisted!

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