The Low Down on the Trade Down

For the past several months the majority of Knick-related discussion has centered around the draft, and who Phil Jackson should target with the franchise’s first top-five pick since 1986. With an unusually deep draft in the forecast for later this June, there has been talk that the Knicks should perhaps trade down in the draft in order to acquire future/multiple picks while still drafting one of the many promising prospects projected to go in the top fourteen spots. It is a reasonable idea in theory, given the dearth of talent on the current roster and the plethora of owed picks due to be shipped out over the next few years. However, at the same time, for a team that hasn’t had the opportunity to select a top-five prospect in almost thirty years, it seems crazy to even consider opting out of the position. But without a clear consensus on the best prospect between 4-14, trading down is an option the Knicks need to at least consider. Which leads Knick management, and their nerve-wracked fans, to ask: does precedent dictate that trading down typically works out in favor of the team dropping down, or does high draft position trump all else?

Here is the list of trade-downs involving lottery picks over the past 15 years:

2000: Chicago trades #7 (Chris Mihm) for #8 (Jamal Crawford) + cash

2000: Houston trades #9 (Joel Przybilla) for #15 (Jason Collier) + future 1st rounder (#22 pick in 2001 draft (Jeryl Sasser selected))

2001: New Jersey trades #7 (Eddie Griffin) for # 13 (Richard Jefferson) + Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong

2003: Memphis trades #13 (Marcus Banks) + 27 (Kendrick Perkins) for #16 (Troy Bell) + #20 (Dahntay Jones)

2005: Portland trades #3 (Deron Williams) for #6 (Martell Webster) + #27 (Linus Kleiza) + 2006 1st round pick (#30 Joel Freeland)

2006: Chicago trades #2 (LaMarcus Aldridge) for #4 (Ty Thomas) + Viktor Khryapa

2006: Minnesota trades #6 (Brandon Roy) for #7 (Randy Foye)

2006: Philadelphia trades #13 (Thabo Sefolosha) for #16 (Rodney Carney) + 2007 2nd rounder (Kyrylo Fesenko selected) + cash

2008: Minnesota trades #3 (OJ Mayo) + Jaric, Walker, and Buckner for #5 (Kevin Love) + Mike Miller, Jason Collins, and Brian Cardinal

2008: Indiana trades #11 (Jerryd Bayless) + Ike Diogu for #13 (Brandon Rush) + J Jack and J McRoberts

2010: New Orleans trades #11 Cole Aldrich + Morris Peterson for #21 (Craig Brackins) and #26 (Quincy Pondexter)

2011: In a 3 way trade, Sacramento trades #7 (Bismack Biyombo) for #10 (Jimmer Fredette) + John Salmons; Milwaukee trades #10 (Jimmer Fredette) for #19 (Tobias Harris) + Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, and Shaun Livingston

2013: Minnesota trades #9 (Trey Burke) for #14 (Shabazz Muhammad) and #21 (Gorgui Dieng)

2013: Dallas trades #13 (Kelly Olynyk) for #16 (Lukas Nogueira) + 2 future 2nd rounders

2014: Philadelphia trades #10 (Elfrid Payton) for #12 (Dario Saric) + 2nd rounder + future 1st rounder

2014: Denver trades #11 (Doug McDermott) for #16 (Jusuf Nurkic) + #19 (Gary Harris) + future 2nd rounder

Of these 16 examples, there are two clear winners: Minnesota with the Kevin Love trade and the Nets with the Richard Jefferson trade. But at the same time, there are only two that turned out to be one-sidedly bad: Portland letting multiple All Star Deron Williams go and Chicago mis-valuing Ty Thomas over LaMarcus Aldridge.

All the other trade-downs on the list amount to lateral moves for the most part, with a few examples of teams coming out slightly richer (trading down from Jimmer Fredette to Tobias Harris and a few productive veterans was certainly a prudent move for Milwaukee in 2011, until they proceeded to ship Harris to Orlando to rent JJ Reddick). And time may still prove some of the recent trade-downs to be brilliant maneuvers by teams like Philadelphia and Denver.

But, for now, the data on trade-downs is, for the most part, inconclusive. All else being equal, it’s probably best to just draft the best player available. But in Knickland, “all else” is never equal to going all in with any given hand. They are, as usual, in a unique position of both rebuilding and trying to win a championship in the next few years, leaving it unclear how, exactly, a 19 year old fits into the team’s plans. And there are fringe advantages to be had in a salary-restricted league to save a few dollars here and there, which trading down accomplishes, or for accruing a diversity of young, cost-controlled players to round out a roster, which trading down also allows (assuming Jackson is still able to draft the player he likes best in this draft).

But there is also the risk of getting too fancy, as Minnesota apparently did in 2006 when they, supposedly had a deal in place to swap Brandon Roy with Houston, which Portland thwarted by drafting the player Minnesota wanted in the hopes of getting Roy for themselves. Minnesota was left getting nothing else in return for Brandon Roy, who went on to become rookie of the year and earn three consecutive All Star selections, leaving the Timberwolves looking unnecessarily foolish.

In the NBA, the best laid plans can go awry, as they more often than not do for the New York Knicks. And they more often than not do for the Minnesota Timberwolves too, which bears on ominous warning, for they are the franchise that attempts the Trade Down more than any other. As they now prepare to add the 3rd #1 pick in a row to their roster as custodians of the league’s worst record, that alone may be reason for Phil Jackson to steer clear of the Trade Down, and take the more conventional path of selecting the best player available and keeping him.

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115 thoughts to “The Low Down on the Trade Down”

  1. Z tries to get out but keeps getting pulled back in….

    I am all for a clever trade down but I don’t see anyone assigning enough of a premium to our pick, given the talent available, to make a knockout offer. And I certainly don’t trust anyone in the Knicks front office to do anything clever.

  2. If they trade down, hopefully it is not too far down and they can pick up an additional pick(s) or young player(s) with upside. I really think/hope that PJ covets his cap space so much that he wants to have as much as possible come free agency.

    There seems to be increasing buzz that the Sixers will take Porzingis, handing Russell to the Knicks. Given his shooting prowess, maybe there is something to those rumors. However, if they really do covet him, why not trade down a couple of picks or so, get another asset, and then take him? He seems like a reach at #3 but should be readily available at #4-6.

  3. However, if they really do covet him, why not trade down a couple of picks or so, get another asset, and then take him? He seems like a reach at #3 but should be readily available at #4-6.

    I’d say the draft is more fluid than we make it out to be, and there are teams that give very little information about their plans. If you think X player is above anyone else, then trading down for him can be risky.

  4. OTOH, if you think the talent at #4 is the same than at #8, you can trade down with a team that sees something special in a player of that group, or perhaps wants to draft for a particular need.

  5. BRReport has an interesting Knicks and Nuggest draft night trade. If I’m reading it correctly,

    Knicks get Ty Lawson, the #7 pick, and a 2016 #1 pick.
    Nuggets get #4 pick, Jose Calderon, Timmy Hardaway, and a throw-in (to make cap space work, the article mentions Acy).

    Too good to be true? I think that’s too much for the Nuggest to give up. Don’t forget that the Celtics supposedly covet Lawson, so the Knicks could maybe then flip him to them for some of their picks (they pick 16, 28, 33, and 45, I think). I still think that a 3-way between those teams could work.

  6. This whole trade down strategy seems fraught with peril to me unless you have several players rated exactly evenly and are sure one of them will be there when you select. Suppose for example we really really want WCS, but we are trying to trade down so we can get him plus another pick or role player. We talk to Denver who wants Mudiay (let’s assume we don’t like him) and work out a deal. We draft Mudiay instead of WCS, but then WCS is drafted before Denver picks. Now we have Mudiay (who we don’t want) and can’t get WCS because the other team coveted him also. You need some kind of contingency plan where if WCS is drafted before Denver picks, Denver can give us something else or somebody else we really want.

  7. BTW, The article also throws out potential deals with Sacramento (the #4 and Calderon for the #6, Collison and Stauskas), and Detroit (#4 and Calderon for the #8, #38, and Jennings). I don’t like the Detroit one.

  8. RE #8. If the Knicks really really want WCS, they should just take him, then. But, the Knicks need lots of help. Lots. And, if they could unload Calderon in such a deal, wow. Once July 1 rolls around, Calderon should be a lot harder to move.

  9. If we want to be competitive next year and want to contend the following year, we need a defensive big. I like Monroe, but I don’t like Monroe at C and Melo at PF. So whatever we do, we better have a plan for filling front court with the required defense.

  10. @8 Yeah, that seems to be what happened to Minnesota with the Brandon Roy trade. The strategy backfired on them. Of course, at that point they could have just kept Roy and come out for the better (way better), instead of still pursuing Randy Foye.

  11. I won’t claim to know all the ins and outs of this specific draft class, but in general a trade down scenario seems to work best for Team A when:

    1. The draft class has a skewed distribution of talent, featuring a steep drop off AFTER team A selects.
    2. a) Team A is willing to live with less talent from the draft, OR
    2. b) Teams A & B have radically different evaluations of talent. (This tends to be more common in the NFL draft than the NBA draft.)

    This SEEMS like a draft that does not comport with the first point. The talent distribution is skewed. But, the drop off occurs BEFORE the Knicks pick at #4. No one seems to be in love with any of the prospects outside the top three. Short of some sucker falling in love with a prospect outside the top 3 during workouts, it’s not clear why anyone in the top 10 would covet NY’s #4 pick.

    As for the second point, I don’t see any reason the Knicks should forgo the most talented player they can find at whatever position. They’ll eventually be shopping at Filene’s basement to fill out the roster with vets. They shouldn’t also bargain hunt in the draft, only to raise the risk of ending up with a player they don’t love.

  12. The talent distribution is skewed. But, the drop off occurs BEFORE the Knicks pick at #4. No one seems to be in love with any of the prospects outside the top three.

    That’s still to be seen. Mudiay (and now maybe Porzingis) is getting plenty of buzz, so if a team values him highly, then it may make sense to trade down.

  13. Trading down makes sense to me if you are trading down within a tier of talent. If you’re drafting 4th, and you think there are six players available with the 4th pick who have similar chances of becoming an all star, you should be willing to pick up an asset to move up to six spots down-the player you take will be cheaper and you will have something else of value. If you’re looking to trade down with the thought that you’ll take a specific player (WCS, for example), then you probably should just draft him and remove the uncertainty. If you think he’s good enough to take 4th, than just take him 4th and don’t try to get cute. But if you think WCS, Turner, Winslow, Johnson, the Zinger are all roughly the same, and you can get another pick or a decent player to move down a few spots, then you should probably do it.

  14. i think if something happens it’s going to look a lot like either of the aldridge or deron williams trades… the return for moving down is most likely going to disappoint which is why i don’t think anything is going to happen… since a)this is a deep draft b)draft picks are valued more highly now…

    i would argue this draft is a top 4-5… with mudiay being the mystery on making this a top 5… moving down from our spot just seems very tenuous to me because of that….going from a 19yo winslow or mudiay… to a 22 yo stein or 23 yo kaminsky is a noticeable drop off in upside that this team can ill afford to make seeing as how we won’t be picking this high for another few years(optimistically)…

  15. Yeah i just dont see how you dont pick Mudiay or Winslow here. They are 19 and have room for improvement. Winlsow has also shown the ability to rise to the occasion which is why i think he lept ahead of Johnson. Mudiay has great PG and SG size and driving ability. We have only had like 40 games of a drive and kick guard here in the last 10 years.

  16. stating the obvious, but you can’t execute a trade down now; you have to make it contingent on who goes 1-3.

  17. stating the obvious, but you can’t execute a trade down now; you have to make it contingent on who goes 1-3.

    They’re not even allowed to trade the pick now. They have to wait to trade the player they select. On draft night, if they pick Mudiay then we very well may see a trade, but if they pick anyone else, they are probably keeping them.

  18. They’re not even allowed to trade the pick now.

    Technically, they can do that Lawson trade now, or any other one where a pick in this years draft comes back to them. They just can’t trade the pick for a veteran straight up until 1 second after they make their selection. (What is the over/under on seconds?)

  19. Technically, they can do that Lawson trade now, or any other one where a pick in this years draft comes back to them.

    These rules confuse me. I thought you couldn’t trade your own pick for consecutive years, but you can as long as you have another first round pick, or get one back, one of those years?

  20. Fellas…. this really isn’t rocket science. It is all about accumulating assets.

    The knicks should be open to almost anything…. but the most important thing is properly evaluating the assets available. Once the final grades are in on all the available prospects, then the wheeling and dealing (or not) can begin.

    They have to identify the talents they think can become special players, starters, or role players and value them accordingly. But it is a talent driven league. Take the best player that’s talent is commensurate with the #4 if there is such a player. If not, move down if you like multiple players a bit lower. I don’t want a pick in next year’s draft because there are just too many variables moving forward.

    If someone covets a player available @ #4 that we aren’t crazy about, a 3 way deal might become viable.

    But in the end it is about accumulating assets that have value. Lots of them! It is up to management/coach to make the parts work or tweak the mix with a trade later.

    But there is no sense speculating about trades/trading down until a proper evaluation of the players is done…….

  21. I’ve been looking for expected outcomes for draft position. Here’s the best one I could find:
    Nate Silver on draft picks
    According to the chart (which confusingly says wins produced even though they’re using win shares). There does appear to be a drop off between the 2-5 picks and the 6-10 picks. Based on this I’d prefer keeping our pick unless we get an over the top deal.

  22. I agree that if we take Mudiay, it will probably be for another team… perhaps with Zinger too, although I’d like to keep Zinger.

    I like WCS’s game, but I just don’t see Jax taking him.

    That said, I’m a proponent of just taking the guy you want at the spot you’re drafting at, so maybe Winslow’s the pick, or Porzingis. I can see them going with Kaminsky too.

  23. I’m mostly just praying Russel, Oak, or Towns falls. I think everyone else is too risky. I could probably talk myself into Mudiay.

  24. I like that the Knicks don’t know who they’re drafting. It beats the hell out of putting up a giant billboard saying “Someone else draft Stephen Curry!!!!”

  25. I’m mostly just praying Russel, Oak, or Towns falls. I think everyone else is too risky. I could probably talk myself into Mudiay

    It is funny that Chad Ford commented that based on some analytical model (that nobody can see at the moment) based on RPM (who nobody can see either), Russel has the most probability to be a superstar… and to be a bust. Curious.

  26. There does appear to be a drop off between the 2-5 picks and the 6-10 picks. Based on this I’d prefer keeping our pick unless we get an over the top deal.

    This has some merit, but it assumes this is an average draft in terms of depth of talent. It might not be (I actually think it’s not, but given the risk involved I wouldn’t say it with much confidence). History also suggests that one or two of the guys in the 4-10 range are going to be an all-star caliber player. If our FO thinks it has identified one of those guys, I am fine just taking him at the 4th spot. If not, they should seriously think about trading down 4 or 5 spots for whatever they can get, because the cupboard is really fucking bare.

  27. It comes down to if you can get your guy at 6-9 and pick up another 1st in the process. If they can do that, I’m fine with it. Whoever they want they’re going to take if available, so if they can do it and get a pick I’m all for it because we need lots of help for this team. I’m also perfectly okay with picking at 4 and sticking to it.

  28. Of course any draft may vary from the average draft, however, I trust the historical averages over anyone’s subjective assessment of the talent pool.

  29. @18 –

    We have only had like 40 games of a drive and kick guard here in the last 10 years.

    Is it any wonder we’ve sucked the whole time? And I would say it’s been 40 years, but who’s counting?

    Today’s NBA is a PG driven league. It’s like the QB in football.

  30. Today’s NBA is a PG driven league. It’s like the QB in football.

    No way-there are plenty of mediocre teams in the NBA with a good/very good PG. Phoenix had 2 or maybe even 3 good PGs this year-they were mediocre. Ty Lawson is really good, and Denver sucked. OKC and Westbrook were mediocre at best. Of the good teams, how many would you say were PG driven? The Clips and GS were, at least on offense. Washington was, but I’d put them more on the good side of mediocre. In the NFL it’s extremely difficult to challenge for a title without a very good QB. You can do it, but it’s much more of the exception.

  31. Off this current topic, but what is the general feeling about Monroe again? I seem to think people here have been against signing him.

    I’m not 100% against it if the idea is to play Melo at the 4 and try to mix and match a defense with those two in the front court. Monroe’s #s as the lone in-paint big are beastly. In 14-15 in 1082 minutes without Drummond on the floor, he had a TS 58.2, 1.14 PPP, 13.1 ORB%, 28.6 DRB%, free throw rate of 0.46. Those rebounding percentages would be roughly top 10 in both categories.

    The defense could be rough but honestly – both finals teams are playing much of the game without a “rim protector” right now. Draymond Green and Tristan Thompson are not your usual definition and the defense has still been really good.

  32. @33

    No way-there are plenty of mediocre teams in the NBA with a good/very good PG.

    Yeah, how many teams without a good+ PG go deep into the playoffs? We can disagree on this but this notion is what drives a lot of my opinion about the draft.

  33. Monroe as a C seems like he’d be terrific on offense in a triangular system. He can score pretty efficiently, he rebounds well, and he’s an excellent passer for a big man. A Melo/Monroe front court sounds like a disaster on defense though. I suppose with the right perimeter guys you could cobble a decent defense out of that, but it’s not goink to be easy.

  34. Yeah, how many teams without a good+ PG go deep into the playoffs? We can disagree on this but this notion is what drives a lot of my opinion about the draft.

    In no order, here are a bunch of good PGs: Dragic, Teague, Thomas, Wall, Irvin, Paul, Curry, Westbrook, Lowry, Conley, Evans, Lillard, Lawson, Bledsoe, Collison, Hill. I’ve probably missed one or two, and you might quibble, but I think that’s a pretty non-controversial list. It’s really useful to have a good PG, but there are a lot of them. We should, at least in theory, be able to get one in free agency this year or next year.

  35. In defense of Phil — this series really reminds me of the college football national championship game, in which Ohio State won over the analytically explosively talented Oregon team by physically dominating the lines of scrimmage, beat up the Ducks, and had one player the Ducks just couldn’t stop (Ezekiel Elliott= Lebron).

  36. i was against it at first but now after reconsidering who is available i do think monroe is the 2nd best option.. behind gasol of course… and probably should be the first option if you factor in attainability…

    i’m of the opinion that we don’t need to be winning championships.. just get the best young players we can find and hope they develop… to me that’s the most exciting and fun part in the whole fandom cycle… right when you start becoming a solid team and on the cusp of putting things together…

    monroe’s a bit flawed.. but his resume looks a lot better than you would think… and we would be getting all his prime years… we haven’t been able to say that since… houston? monroe would be better than that…

  37. If the Knicks are targeting Monroe in free agency, then they might very well pick WCS to add defense to the front line. Build the team inside out.

  38. Clashfan,

    I think it’s a fair deal. In fact I suggested something like it in May, except that I proposed JR Smith instead of the Hardaway and someone like Acy (I think we still had JR then). The draft lottery hadn’t been held yet, so I assumed Denver had pick #9. That doesn’t mean we should do the trade. As other posters have said, doing such a deal assumes that you don’t have strong feelings about wanting someone in particular. I think what might happen is Denver and NY agree conditionally on a trade if the NY gets a player Denver really wants at #4 and Denver can pick someone NY likes at #7. But then NY has to make sure the player picked at #4 is someone they can live with if Denver can’t pick someone NY wants.

    From May 22:

    Lawson makes $12M a year, is signed for the next two years and is reportedly unhappy with the Nuggets. I think that would be a steep price for him and might mess up the Knicks salary cap strategy. If we really wanted to do this, maybe we could say “we’ll do the deal if Kaminsky is available at #9, and you take Calderon and Smith back”. Then our salary structure doesn’t go up, we get a big and a reasonable point guard.

  39. Has anyone heard anything about Andrew Bynum? I wonder if he is having any bearing on Phil’s decisions…

  40. @34 I’m worried about a Monroe/Melo front court. Maybe I haven’t seen enough of Monroe’s defense, but people whose opinion I respect don’t think it will work defensively.

  41. If Andrew Bynum is having any bearing on Phil’s decisions we should probably all just become Sixers fans or something.

  42. If Andrew Bynum is having any bearing on Phil’s decisions we should probably all just become Sixers fans or something.

    *purchases sixerblogger.net*

  43. Big move by Milwaukee to clear cap space by dealing Ersan Ilyasova to Detroit for Caron Butler and Extra E. Butler and Extra E will both just be cut, freeing up a lot of cap space so that they can keep Middleton and upgrade center.

  44. Detroit just picked up Ersan Ilyasova from Milwaukee. Well it looks like Monroe is gone and Middleton is staying. I guess SVG found his Rashard Lewis to go with his new Howard(Drummond)

  45. I’ll take NBA Players for $800, Alex

    A: Caron Butler and Extra E

    Q: Who are two guys I didn’t realize were still in the NBA

    Nice move for Milwaukee. I guess we can scratch Middleton off the wish list.

  46. I think that move by Detroit means Monroe is leaving. Highly likely he’s going to be a Knick. Unfortunately it also means Middleton is out. Tobias Harris?

  47. A cool part of doing the deal now is for Extra E. By doing it before July 1st, the Pistons can now re-sign Extra E, while they would not have been able to do so had the deal happened after free agency began (and, of course, they would not have been able to waive Butler or Extra E had they acquired them after July 1st).

    The rule is that a team has to wait a year or until July 1st to re-sign a player who was traded and then waived by the acquiring team.

    I think SVG liked him well enough that he wouldn’t mind bringing him back. I am far too invested in Extra E’s career. I like that dude.

  48. Something about ostentatious displays of wealth while singing the National Anthem bother me.

  49. Maybe it bothers you because it’s happening in Ohio. Golden State, despite being precisely in Oakland, is much more appropriate for such a display.

  50. @53- Thomas B- I think trading down 11 spots is unprecedented. On the list above, which is all the examples of the past 15 years, the most anybody dropped was 10 spots (Cole Aldrich trade), and New Orleans got two 1st rounders AND shed Morris Petersen’s $6.5 million contract. So I think Phil would (rightfully) get shredded for dropping 11 spots for a few 2nd rounders.

  51. @53- Thomas B- I think trading down 11 spots is unprecedented. On the list above, which is all the examples of the past 15 years, the most anybody dropped was 10 spots (Cole Aldrich trade), and New Orleans got two 1st rounders AND shed Morris Petersen’s $6.5 million contract. So I think Phil would (rightfully) get shredded for dropping 11 spots for a few 2nd rounders.

    Yeah, but what if we got Cole Aldrich 2.0? That’s the lottery I really want to win.

  52. Cavs look like the Knicks right now. Melo kicks out of the double for a brick from 3

  53. @33 – I will be happy with a point guard that can be top-5 or better. Why can’t we ever end up with the best player in the draft? The last time was Ewing.

    LeBron went down and is hurt! His head crashes into the camera. I hope he’s OK :(

  54. Seriously, MOZ is the best. That add on to the trade really killed me. A 7’1″ guy that looks like Ian Curtis. What’s not to like?

  55. Mozgov is good. How did we trade away a cheap, young, agile, 7’1″ kid like that?

  56. Man, can we stop pretending that Mozgov is the next Cole Aldrich already? I mean, he’s a solid starting center and all, but he’s not some all-time great here. It’s not as if we would have been a playoff team last year if only we hadn’t traded him for some scrub from Denver all those years ago.

  57. DRed’s hot take:

    Mozgov has more 20 point games in the NBA finals than Carmelo Anthony

  58. Calm down about Mozgov, he’s going up against a very small lineup most of the time, and is making dunks and layups after LeBron draws defenders.

    There’s plenty of centers in the NBA who would be doing the exact same thing.

  59. Lebron is still having a good game, but yeah, his inefficient scoring has got to be at least brought up by the announcers.

  60. Maybe the Dubs should put their #1 overall pick out there to stop Mozg-YOU CANT STOP TIMOFEY MOZGOV

  61. Calm down about Mozgov, he’s going up against a very small lineup most of the time, and is making dunks and layups after LeBron draws defenders.

    There’s plenty of centers in the NBA who would be doing the exact same thing.

    Nope. His positioning is great. He has great hands. His footwork is fantastic. He can shoot free throws. Give him credit.

  62. Mozgov is not a superstar, but he’s a good player. That we gave away for no reason at all. Because Knicks

  63. I think Melo could have a more efficient shooting game tonight than LeBron. He just wouldn’t have the assists. He’d have the rebounds though.

  64. So why did Karl start plug is over Moz.

    Also, can the Knicks trade their 2018 1st for Faried.

  65. I like Cauley-Stein, Melo, two quality FA wings, and Calderon.

    I’m OK with Monroe, Melo, one quality two way FA wing, Winslow, and Calderon.

    I don’t like Cauley-Stein, Monroe, Melo, quality FA wing, Calderon because Melo is better at PF. Monroe is better at C. I worry about spacing issues with Monroe and WCS.

  66. I think it’s a combo of tired Cavs plus GS adjustments. But I don’t know if Cle can make adjustments because they have nobody on the bench. Joe Harris time? Can he be worse than JR?

  67. We’re going Porzingis. I think the 2016 starting lineup will look like:

    cheap pg X, D. Green, Melo, Zinger, Monroe

  68. I think Melo could have a more efficient shooting game tonight than LeBron. He just wouldn’t have the assists. He’d have the rebounds though.

    That’s what I been saying. Then I have to hear about Melos career playoff TS%

  69. If Kristaps is the real deal he would be a great compliment to Monroe but his bust potential maybe huge.

  70. @94 no one said otherwise. But the dude is shooting sub 40%. That’s all I’m saying

    If that was actually all you were saying, then that’d be fine. Like I said earlier tonight, it’s certainly a fair point to criticize how inefficient his scoring has been. But you specifically brought Melo into it by saying during Game 3 “But he’s basically playing like Melo but just less efficiently” with the qualifier of “But he is dominating the glass and assisting” (leaving off “also dominating on defense”) which is what makes the Melo thing stand out so much = “He isn’t doing anything like Melo except the type of scoring he is doing.” So why bring Melo into it at all? You’re specifically drawing in a Melo/Lebron comparison!

  71. Does Phil get an Nobel Prize for getting anything greater than the proverbial “warm bucket of piss” for Shumpert and JR? plus he got JR’s $$$ off the books… WOW

  72. @99 I brought Melo into to it for 2 reasons.

    1) the Cavs are seriously devoid of offensive talent outside of LBJ, similar to th Knicks for the last few years.

    2) when this is the case the best player usually has an out of whack shot distribution. Lebron was shooting 34 times a game in the first 3 games

    Now looking at the shooting percentages of Lebron I was making the case that Melo would shoot better than that. Lebron is shooting like dogshit. As has been said here over and over Lebron is better player, yes I know

  73. I loved Shump when he was here but it is so clear now how limited a player he is on offense. Acceptable when he has his feet set on spot-up 3’s. Anything else is a disaster. GS is just begging him to put the ball on the floor when they close out on him. His finals so far: 35.3 minutes/game, 5.3 points on 7 FGA/game, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 2.5 steals. And he’s hurt again.

    re: Lebron – we’ve all said it here but his finals so far: TS 47.4, USG% 39.6. He’s doing “everything” but you wonder whether there is a better way for them to play than this. Maybe there isn’t, considering their talent deficit.

    The Cavs defense had been great up until last night, but a lot of it was predicated on GS players missing the shots the Cavs “wanted” them to take: mostly Draymond Green / Iguodala/ Barnes open 3 pointers. Trouble is — when left wide open from 3, Iguodala shoots ~36%, Green is a 40% , and Barnes is a 41% shooter. Those are winning numbers.

  74. I’d be shocked beyond belief if the Knicks selected Porzingas. I give it about a 1% chance. He’s the biggest long term project of all the possible candidates and perhaps even more likely than Mudiay to turn out to be a disappointment.

  75. Amundson is a likeable player and a decent backup who we are probably going to bring back on a very cheap contract.

    We got a future 2nd round draft pick.

    We got rid of JR Smith’s contract (and thankfully JR Smith).

    We will use the JR cap space towards “some FA ” next year.

    Shumpert is showing that he’s really not that much better than Amundson. He can defend really well, but he’s very limited on offense. Plus, he would have been way more expensive than Amundson.

    Suddenly, that deal looks OK. You can argue we could have gotten more for Shumpert the previous year (which I have, but it was before Phil) or traded Shump alone, got a better pick, and just suffered another year of JR, but I’m comfortable with that trade now.

  76. You can’t really count Amundson in that deal, though, since they waived him as soon as they got him. He was available to any NBA team at that point. So he doesn’t really count as a return in the deal.

    Anyhow…

    You can argue we could have gotten more for Shumpert the previous year (which I have, but it was before Phil) or traded Shump alone, got a better pick, and just suffered another year of JR, but I’m comfortable with that trade now.

    Yes, that was the argument then, as well. Nothing that has happened now or earlier in the season (post-trade) should change the evaluation of the trade at the time. That’s the only way you can judge deals, as things stood at the time of the deal.

  77. >You can’t really count Amundson in that deal, though, since they waived him as soon as they got him. <

    I understand the point you are making, but I can't fully agree with it. We got Amundson. If we didn't resign him, then we would have filled the roster spot with someone Phil thought was better. When you move players, sometimes you get cap space, roster slots etc…

    At this stage, it's clearer that even with Lebron and a system more suited to his skills, Shumpert is very limited. Let's give Phil a little credit. He may have already known that.

  78. It’s not just that Shump is limited — it’s that he literally hasn’t improved at all since his rookie season.

    rookie year per 36 #s – 11.9 points, 3.9 rebs, 3.6 assists, 2.1 steals, TS 48.4 (3PA/FGA = 29.4%), USG 18
    this year per 36#s – 11.6 points, 5.2 rebs, 3.1 assists, 1.9 steals, TS 49.7 (3PA/FGA = 41.6%), USG 17.4

    Considering how many more 3’s he’s taking, his overall efficiency is actually probably worse. His FT% has gotten worse each year – 80–>77–>75–>67. That seems pretty uncommon to me, and makes me really wonder how hard he works on his craft.

    And he’s hurt again.

    We should’ve traded him last year.

  79. It’s fascinating how the narrative on Shumpert has changed. The conventional wisdom is that playing with LeBron has made him a much better player and the Knicks in general — and Melo in particular — were not able to maximize his talents. Yet, his numbers with the Cavaliers this year were actually a little worse than they were with the Knicks and his playoff numbers have been brutal. Commentators keep saying that Shumpert has been “playing well,” yet he’s shooting something like 36% in 18 playoff games. He also shot well below 40% for the last 20 games of the regular season. He is still what he always has been — a good (but not great) defender, a very good rebounder for a guard, and a really bad offensive player. How about this stat — for his career, on shots between 3 and 10 feet from the basket, Shumpert has shot 27%. 27%! That is positively awful. By the way, it appears that, last night, Matthew Dellavadova remembered that he is Matthew Dellavadova — a guy who, in two years in the league, has shot 36% from the field.

  80. P.S. I have always been a LeBron critic (not on merit, but because I’m bitter that he spurned the Knicks) but I have to admit this — the fact that he has dragged the pile of drek that is the current Cavaliers roster to 2 wins in the NBA finals is absolutely amazing. He is winning games with JR, Shumpert, Dellavadova, Mosgov and Tristan Thompson as his entire supporting cast. That is truly unbelievable. Without him, those five guys would have a hard time winning 2 games in an entire season.

  81. Yeah Johnno lebron is a great floor general. All time great. It just doent look good right now with his supporting cast shooting like this.

  82. Shumpert is very limited. Let’s give Phil a little credit. He may have already known that.

    He may have, but he went out of his way to say this on record shortly before dumping him:

    “Even though Iman Shumpert was in Mike Woodson’s dog house for much of last season, he’s one of my favorites because he’s simply our best on-ball defender at the 2 position and also against the bigger 1s. Once he learns the intricacies of the offense, Iman will be able to create scoring opportunities for his teammates and, unlike last season, he’ll know where his own shots will come from. Iman is an excellent driver” -Phil Jackson, 2014

  83. @113

    I have yet to ever hear a coach say bad things about a player he was intending to trade.

  84. I have yet to ever hear a coach say bad things about a player he was intending to trade

    Aha, but Phil went on to say this about Shump in the same breath:

    “Iman is an excellent driver but his shooting mechanics are very inconsistent. Sometimes he jumps too high to release his shot and sometimes he doesn’t jump high enough. As a result, he never shoots the same shot twice.”

    (He also said this about JR Smith that day: “J.R. has to learn the difference between a good shot and a bad shot. He has to trust that the triangle will create good shots and to avoid searching for his own shot. His defense also needs work because he tends to be a ball-watcher, and he’s late in chasing his man around screens when he should be tailgating him. Defense is the key to any winning team, so Smith has to really work hard on his deficiencies in training camp.”)

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