The Skinny

Lawdy, I almost feel like a real-live, honest-to-goodness journalist. The clip below is your humble correspondent with Matthew Modine, acclaimed star of stage and screen. Y’all may not know this, but when I’m not pounding nails into the floor w/my forehead watching the Nix I’m a hired shill for the theah-tuh. If you’d like to see more of Bob the mouthpiece (and who wouldn’t?), you can go to: Anyhoo, so I’m “interviewing” Modine and I thought I’d lighten up the convo by discussing our favorite cagers and the prospects of acquiring a certain cat from Akron. Here’s his response…

So there you have it. Joker from Full Metal Jacket says it ain’t going to happen. Game over, man. Game over.

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Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

32 thoughts to “The Skinny”

  1. While I’m not a big fan of his work (granted, Joker in Full Metal jacket was a great role, but mostly as a wise-ass), the man does have a point. LeBron seems to love Ohio. All of the Knick flirtation makes him look all the more loyal when he announces in July that he’s a home town guy.

    I’d be delighted to get one or two of the other top free agents this summer and then go shopping for Mello or CP3 in 2011. Either of those guys would be even better than Eddy Curry!

  2. From Isola’s blog:

    “The Knicks don’t really deserve their fans. Not yet anyway.

    On Tuesday, the Garden was alive and kicking as Danilo Gallinari and Carmelo Anthony went back-and-forth in the third quarter of the Knicks thrilling win over the Nuggets. The quality of play and sound of the crowd made it seem like May.

    The Knicks will likely lose 50 games for the second consecutive year and their fans act as is they are a championship contender. It just goes to show you how desperate the supporters of the orange and blue are for a winning team.

    “That’s why it’s New York, it’s the best,” Mike D’Antoni said. “Every game is a show.”

    – So I was at the game last night and I have to say, it was one of the best atmospheres I’ve seen in the Garden in the last 10 years. I think there really is HOPE around the corner and that the Garden is responding. I loved the way Gallinari played last night – not backing down from ‘Melo. Not sure if they showed it on TV but he also was interacting with the fans, gave the front row a hug after the game. I feel like we are watching him grow into his role as a future leader of this team.

    Anyway, just wanted to put those 2 cents in — really starting to feel good about what this team will do in the next few years. Between Chandler, Gallinari, and Douglas, there is a solid core here. Now show me Lebron, Camby/Haywood, and a re-signed Lee, and we’ve really got something.

    Meanwhile – what a crossover by JR Giddens on Carmelo. Kid’s got some game although needs lots of seasoning.

  3. Robert –

    Are there any knowledgeable celebrity Knick fans??

    Every time I hear Woody speak it’s about the Knicks in the 60’s and 70’s or Michael Jordan. You wonder if he’s been staring into space for every single game between ’76 to the present except for when the Bulls were in town in the 90’s.

    Spike seems like a jerk.

    Does Fat Joe know who leads the team in TS%? Can Bobby from “The Sopranos” talk about Derek Harper or Johnny Newman knowledgeably? Turtle from “Entourage”? John McEnroe?

    If not, they can be excused for their ignorance as they have stuck it out through the bad times. Jack Nicholson hopped off the Knicks bandwagon as soon as the Lakers signed Shaq.

  4. From true hoop: “For Carmelo Anthony, this lone New York trip per season always has gravity — he played college ball upstate at Syracuse, a lot of his family still lives in the New York area and, basically, this is the big stage. Melo scored a game-high 36 points, but after the game he was clearly affected by the loss — he kept the New York media waiting nearly 40 minutes while he meticulously showered and dressed in the training room, digesting the reality of what happened. When Anthony came out, he talked about the gall of Gallinari, who was trash-talking with the all-star. And he also discussed the not-so-ambiguous comments Knicks president Donnie Walsh made to the New York Post, suggesting that even though the Knicks have money to spend this summer, they are looking at rebuilding over the next couple years — and Melo could be available after 2011. ‘I really don’t know what’s going to happen the next year,’ Anthony said. ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I don’t see why anybody wouldn’t want to play here in New York.’ “

  5. I’m shocked that ‘Melo said that. SHOCKED. I think it means he’s definitely coming to NY; if he wasn’t certain he was coming to NY he wouldn’t have said things like “I don’t know what’s going to happen…” or that most players would love to play in a city like NY.

    He would have said something like, “I am re-signing with Denver, no matter what. I’m not listening to any other offers. The Nuggets can make any offer and I’ll agree to it, no questions asked. NY is not even a fun city. And I don’t believe in keeping my options open nor making teams bid against each other so that I get more money. That’s just not me.”

  6. This just in to the Knickerblogger tabloid “journalism” desk.

    Stephon Marbury is named MVP of the CBA All-Star game. That is one Chinese product I don’t want to see shipped to America.

    Joe Johnson has already signed a deal to join the Knicks after being ahem reached out to ahem by a local group of concerned, legitimate, “family” businessmen. To quote Mr. Johnson: “It wasn’t easy signing the deal while being held out the 65th floor window by my ankles. Luckily, Vito here let me borrow his pen.” Vito: “It’s not just a pen, it’s a Mazzuoli MOKA.”

    The same group of business men that organized the Johnson deal, are in buyout negotiations with Eddy Curry. According to confirmed reports, the head of a horse was left in bed with Mr. Curry. The symbolism was apparently lost on Eddy as his only response was to ask his wife to “Cook me some grits to go with this horse head.”

    In medical news, embattled point guard Chris Duhon met with the Knicks medical staff following an injury against the visiting Nuggets. Duhon informed Dr. Lisa Callahan of an injury to his “non-shooting hand.” To which Dr. Callahan responded, “So, you hurt both your hands?”

    With Knickerblogger tabloid journalism, I’m Thomas B., reporting.

  7. On a completely irrelevant side note, Modine is a lot bigger/taller than one might guess. The guy’s pushing 6’3″ at least and that Brad Pitt-esque scraggly goatee just amplifies his length.

  8. Good stuff, Robert!

    I’m going to Sondheim on Sondheim tomorrow night, think it will be any good?

  9. Thanks Bri – it should definitely be interesting. And I think this marks the last theatrical conversation that’ll ever show up on Knickerblogger.

  10. Thomas B.,

    “reached out” for “Johnson”, eh?

    I hope next year we can hear all about the Cock and Johnson double-teaming people. On defense.

    If we could somehow get Head, Harden and Gay, on the team next year, that would make for some fantastic comedy.

  11. Hypothetical: Would you trade Toney Douglas straight up for Ty Lawson? Brandon Jennings? Any of the PGs taken after #8?

    I will say that Billups just toyed with Douglas in the first half. Breen made the point that Billups is 1) hugely underrated and 2) getting better with age. Hard to disagree. Wonder if TD can follow in his footsteps…

  12. Great job, Robert!

    “Hypothetical: Would you trade Toney Douglas straight up for Ty Lawson?”


    “Brandon Jennings?”


    “Any of the PGs taken after #8?”

    Yes! Jrue Holliday, Darren Collison, Roddy Beaubois… maybe Teague, probably not. It was a great year for PGs! (sorry, Jordan). I might not trade Douglas for Jonny Flynn, though…

  13. “I might not trade Douglas for Jonny Flynn, though…”

    did you just call Jeff Teague, Jrue Holiday, and Beaubois better than Flynn?

  14. I dunno about Teague, but I’d take Holiday and Beaubois over Flynn definitely. I like Flynn, but Holiday and Beaubois both look really good (Holiday mostly because of his age – if he had this same year at 21, I’d be less enthused).

  15. well I think right now, that Douglas is better than Holiday. Of course Holiday’s age and skills make him the better long term pick. Beaubois is playing great, although he has basically been playing at a pro level before this. The Lawson pick is debateable because of injury history and defense. Lawson is clearly better on offense though. Jennings has cooled off considerably. Not as good a shooter as the rest. You could argue that Douglas is the best fit next to Lebron out of that group. Considering the free agent route we’re going, Douglas makes sense. I don’t think anyone taken after Hill is a definitive better pick yet than Douglas. I just think we couldve gotten more value out of that 8 pick. Trade down for Blair and cassipi for instance. Oh and Collisin looks great, but wanting him now is total hindsight. Are any of these pgs better defenders than Toney though?

  16. OK, so while we’re playing the hindsight game, I can’t believe we didn’t draft Ginobili, Tony Parker, Arenas, and Boozer. I think sometimes people on this board just absolutely fixate on a player and JUST CAN’T LET GO. Yes, Lawson is a good player. But really — he’s not even playing over Anthony Carter — ANTHONY CARTER — right now. He’s injured, again. He’s not a great defender. He’s also already 22 so may not get so much better. For all the talk about how great he is at taking care of the ball, Douglas’s A/TO ratio is actually better.

    Fact: Toney Douglas’s TS% is 60 and he is averaging 19/4/4 per 36 with a sample size that is reasonably large.

    Fact: The Knicks are 5-4 in the last 9 games since Douglas started playing more. That comes against 7 teams with winning records, 5 of which are strong playoff teams. They are 3-2 against said playoff teams (L’s vs Spurs and Celtics, W’s vs. Hawks, Mavs, Nuggets). They are 4-2 with him as starter. They were 3-15 in the 18 games played prior to TD’s increased playing time.

    Fact: Brandon Jennings’s idol growing up was Allen Iverson. He’s shown that he can play like AI – TS 47.5 with a usage rate of 25.7. (He is on a team that is 15-3 in their last 18 games though – amazing).

    Fact: Jeff Teague sucks. I can’t even believe he was brought up in this thread. What in the world would make someone even pretend to want him over Douglas?

    Fact: No one on this board wanted us to draft Holiday.

    So maybe Hill wasn’t a great pick. But like ess-dog said above, who AFTER Hill would you have taken that has clearly been better than Douglas (nebulous future potential aside), especially in the setting of this summer’s FA bonanza? I highly doubt ANY of the FA royalty wants to play with a chucker like Jennings — neither would we want a player like Jennings when Lebron is around. Holiday is ok but inconsistent. Collison looks really good but this board would have undergone spontaneous combustion if we had picked him at #8, so clearly that is the pinnacle of hindsight. Beaubois — looks good but is the same as Collison in that respect, and also is not clearly better than Douglas (their stats are essentially identical). So, please, let’s just enjoy our $33 million in cap space and what looks like a promising core going forward (Gallo/Chandler/Douglas).

  17. No one is saying we should have picked most of those guys at #8 – there were some really obvious choices, i.e. Ty Lawson.

    Just saying they are better long-term prospects than Toney Douglas.

    Holliday, for example – not a better player NOW – but he is FIVE years younger and already decent so if you think about where he will be in five years it’s a no-brainer. Jennings is four years younger. Etc.

    Jeff Teague has barely played but he’s also young (4 years younger than Douglas) and had great #s in college, so he’s still an unknown in my book.

    Anyway, I like TD, he’s good to great value for a #29 and IF he keeps up the level of the last 8-10 games he deserves to be in the All-Star game if not the Hall of Fame. I’m just saying that in all likelihood he will come back to earth a little bit.

    Also, last year’s draft was just an amazingly strong group of point guards. This year, outside Wall & Bledsoe, not sure anyone is a better prospect than Douglas.

  18. “(nebulous future potential aside)”

    Isn’t that the main point of the draft? To figure out which “nebulous potential” will turn into a great player?

    As far as Ty Lawson goes…
    “He’s not a great defender. He’s also already 22 so may not get so much better. For all the talk about how great he is at taking care of the ball, Douglas’s A/TO ratio is actually better.”

    Ty Lawson average 6.1 assists per 40 with a 2.6/1 A/TO ratio.. Douglas is 4.0 with a 1.6/1. Lawson also has a higher rate of stealsa, although I wouldn’t argue that he’s a better defender.

    Look – Douglas isn’t a playmaking point guard. He looks like a guy who can shoot, score and defend. If he can keep up a 60 TS% for a season – WOW! He will be better than Chauncey Billups. If he ends up around 54, 55, the picture is a little different…

  19. Caleb –

    The x-factor in Toney Douglas is his defense.

    Lawson – Much better playmaker, better college pedigree, worse defense – advantage Lawson

    Holiday – Much younger, better playmaker, much less efficient scorer, much less prolific scorer, worse defense – Tie, potential might make him better but right now much worse

    Beaubois – A little younger, slightly better scorer, worse defender – advantage Douglas

    Jennings – Younger, much less efficient scorer, much better playmaker, worse defender – advantage Douglas, higher potential but has bust written all over him.

    Collison – Much better playmaker, turnover prone, very average scorer, worse defender – advantage Douglas

    The only point guard taken after Hill that I would definitively put ahead of Douglas is Lawson, and alot of that is based on my own expectations. Douglas seems to be the real deal. His scoring and defense potentially makes him a very good combo guard off the bench or starter next to a great passing wing even if his playmaking never fully develops. If it does develop and he becomes a legitimate point guard he could be a very good starting point guard.

  20. Ben, you could make a decent case for thoserankings if we are talking about what these players can do RIGHT NOW (although Douglas’ sample size and some of the others are still tiny)…

    … but if the question is, “who would you rather have?” I take it as sort of a draft question – in what order would you pick them? That has a lot to do with future potential, and it’s a totally different story, with Douglas being 2-3 years older than most of these guys (5 years older than Holliday) Holliday is going to be a defensive specialist and a playmaker; right now he’s just not strong enough.

    It wouldn’t be totally shocking for TD to end up better than Collison, Beaubois and maybe one of the others, but at 24 he is probably a lot closer to his ceiling than most of that group. I’m not complaining, if his first 700 minutes is any indication, TD is pretty good.

  21. Caleb – Douglas is not as old as you make him out to be. He is only a year and a half older than Collison and Lawson, two years older than Beaubois and Teague, three and a half years older than Jennings and four years older than Holiday.

    I think the age difference is signifigant in regards to Holiday and Jennings, I really don’t care much for Jennings but I do think Holiday has a really good chance to become a better player than Douglas but it is hardly a sure thing.

    As for the age difference for Beaubois he has been playing pro ball for a long time so I think he is just as far along in his development as Douglas, as for Teague he has shown absolutely nothing so far this year.

    Lawson is a little younger and overall already a better player, but Collison was also a senior and I don’t think the developmental arc is that much different for a 22 year old senior as opposed to a 23 year old senior.

    They are all, except Beaubois better playmakers, but only Beaubois and Lawson have shown the efficiency of Douglas and only Holiday has the potential to be as good on defense.

    I would say that based on potential and current production I would put Douglas 3rd behind Lawson and Holiday, and like you said if these first 700 minutes are any indication he is going to be pretty good.

  22. Teague has been awful and he’s older than I thought – he came out as a soph but was already 21, I guess. He was a terrific scorer and shooter at Wake Forest (44% on 3s, great TS%) so I’m a little surprised he has looked so bad.

    We’ll see what happens. I like TD – I am not going to get tooooo carried away because he played like an All-Star in 10 games of garbage time, but he definitely looks like part of the puzzle.

  23. Frank,

    I completely agree that people are going way too far about 2010 Knicks draft. I think it was a solid haul. However, you also can’t go too far in the other direction. Holiday would not have been a ridiculous pick by the Knicks at all. He was someone I think had to be on their board at that time given his ability and age. He slipped in the draft, but he was top 10 in plenty of mocks leading up to it. I wasn’t that upset they passed on him since he stunk at UCLA, but I certainly hope they took a long, hard look. There were rumors that Walsh was thinking about taking Lawson at #8, and I think those same rumors were coupled with his scouts preferring Holiday to Lawson.

    “Fact: Jeff Teague sucks.”

    So far. I think he’ll break out, though. He’s got a lot of talent.


    Why are you still on this age thing so hard?

    You cannot assume that because someone is younger they will get way better in a few years. It’s certainly reasonable to assume Holiday’ll get better and be a good NBA player, but how much better is not certain (there’s also a chance he never does improve much, though I agree the expectation is that he will). As far as whether to have drafted him or not, while it was obvious he had a ton of potential as a prospect, it was not obvious that he’d shoot 41% from 3 as a rookie… he hit 31% on college 3s. (I like the Holiday family, by the way. Love Justin’s play for UW recently. I hope he takes a step up in his senior season once Pondexter’s gone. Either way I’d love to see him on the Knicks Summer League squad after next season. Could be a defender/spot-up shooting Bowen/Bell type if he busts his ass and probably goes to Europe for a few years.)

    “If he can keep up a 60 TS% for a season – WOW! He will be better than Chauncey Billups.”

    Am I missing the sarcasm? After this season Billups will have finished four seasons above 60%. He’s at 58% on his career. I think it’s possible for Douglas to become better than Billups, but I also think it will take more than maintaining his scoring efficiency.

    “It wouldn’t be totally shocking for TD to end up better than Collison, Beaubois and maybe one of the others, but at 24 he is probably a lot closer to his ceiling than most of that group.”

    I don’t get your take on Douglas. He’s good already, but because he’s in his 23 year old season (I repeat 23 year old season, he just turned 24) he’s going to get worse while anyone under 23 will get way better???
    You’re falling into the same trap NBA decision makers did when they made every talented young guy over 6-10 a top 3 pick for years.
    Just because someone has talent doesn’t mean they will reach it. If Douglas were not playing well this season I would agree with you, but since he is I think it’s silly to say that because he’s two years older than someone they will necessarily pass him by. He’s a definite candidate to improve himself, as he’s switching positions from last season to this season. That makes his room for growth as a playmaker quite high.

    Ben R,

    I have to disagree a bit on Beaubois. He’s an athlete who is still learning the game. He certainly has the potential to be as good as Douglas on D. His wing-span is massive and he’s a great athlete. He was considered quite raw in Europe, and France (although it has turned out some NBA talent) is the mid-major of Europe. I didn’t expect him to be this good this early, and he’s got a lot of room to grow. I don’t know if he’ll reach that potential, but like I said didn’t expect this much from his this early so I’m ready to be surprised by him.

  24. “I don’t get your take on Douglas. He’s good already, but because he’s in his 23 year old season (I repeat 23 year old season, he just turned 24) he’s going to get worse while anyone under 23 will get way better???”

    That’s not what I said, even in the quote you just quoted.. “closer to his ceiling” means that on average, he will improve LESS than someone further from their ceiling. Improve less, not get worse.

    Obviously, this is not a big problem if the player is already pretty good – which Douglas seems to be.

    “Am I missing the sarcasm? After this season Billups will have finished four seasons above 60%. He’s at 58% on his career. I think it’s possible for Douglas to become better than Billups, but I also think it will take more than maintaining his scoring efficiency.”

    I AM laughing a little bit that people are making serious comparisons to Chauncey Billups for a guy who has played fewer than 800 minutes in his entire career. I think it unlikely that Douglas will maintain a 60% TS in starter minutes, much less for years to come. I don’t know if I’d call it sarcasm, because if he DID maintain that level, combined with his defense, he WOULD be a fantastic, All-Star player.

    Note! I agree that per-minute statistics are a great indicator — I’m NOT saying Douglas will get worse because he’ll be “playing against starters,” or whatever. I’m saying a small sample size has a lot of random variation. He’s proven he’s not an inefficient scorer. He hasn’t proven that he’s great. He has a long track record – 4 years of ACC ball, 2/3 of the season as a reserve – and while he seemed to be a useful player, there was nothing to suggest he’d an NBA superstar. He’ll have to play like one for more than 10 games before I take those comps seriously.

    As a bottom line I think it’s very hard to argue that Douglas is a more valuable prospect than Lawson or Holliday. I don’t think there are 3 NBA teams who would pick him first. You could put him ahead of Collison and Beaubois, and I’d disagree, with a shrug. Whatever, I’m glad he’s on our side.

    One thing… he seems like a good defender… but not a huge impact guy, not yet..

    “You’re falling into the same trap NBA decision makers did when they made every talented young guy over 6-10 a top 3 pick for years.”

    it’s not remotely the same thing – you are talking about picking guys because they look like basketball players, whether or not they actually do something on the court. Age/upside is only relevant in relationship to performance.

    As in, compare him to other players his age. As an LSU freshman, Anthony Randolph was worse than most 1st-round draftees, but if you compared him to other freshmen he was not so bad. And he entered college at 17. Compared to other 17-year-olds — mostly high school seniors and juniors – he was close to the best. Not surprisingly, most people would agree now that he deserved to be a top-5 or 6 pick.

    Why are you still on this age thing so hard?”

    I guess I need to write that post.

    Until then – this is the last time I will explain — of course there is variation, for individual players, yada yada – but there is almost no trend as strong as age – when it comes to predicting development. Yes, some young guys will NOT improve but if you have a 23 year old and a 20 year old who are now equal — the 20-year-old is far more valuable.

    Moving on…

  25. I certainly think there’s a trend with age. I just think that there’s enough variation to make that trend have little value in looking at one player. For every Anthony Randolph there’s a Kwame Brown (not that we know how Randolph’s career will go yet… his team is rumored to want to trade him and his coach is hesitant to play him, which is one big reason he slipped in the draft). A 19 year old vs. a 23 year old is also a lot different than a 21 or 22 year old vs. a 23 year old.

    I think you are ignoring another overwhelming trend: rookies struggle. Most of the guys who have come into the league for the first time at a late age and made it big have struggled as rookies relative to their second season and beyond: Cassell, Calderon, Kukoc, Ginobili, Rodman, Nocioni. None of their rookie seasons reconcile with your point about older rookies being closer to their ceilings.

    Anyway, Douglas is only in his 23 year old season. He’s getting 16.6 pts and 3.6 assists per 36. He just has to get to 18-20 and 5-7 to be a solid starter, and anything more than that and he probably is a multiple time All-Star you can at least compare to Billups. Other 23 year old rooks who improved: Ewing, McHale, Dominique, John Lucas, Alex English, Lenny Wilkens, Micheal Ray Richardson, Vinnie Johnson, Josh Howard, Kenyon Martin, Dan Majerle, David West, Tim Hardaway, Avery Johnson, Cliff Robinson, David Wesley, Will Bynum, Derrick Coleman (who faded fast), Muggsy Bogues (who faded even faster)… Some guys improved dramatically, while others started out very good and made more modest improvements that would still leave Douglas as a good starter or borderline All-Star (those guys are mostly the first ones listed… for example 19 pts/36 is pretty good for a rookie, but Dominique put in 25 on his career and also improved his career ast/36 47% over his rookie total). As a group they probably improved way less than 19 year olds, but probably in line with the NBA experience bell curve of 22 year old or 21 year old rookies. (I looked for guys whose per minute production increased, but in some cases it was more a matter of efficiency–Cliff Robinson especially.)

    Like Ben R, I think you are making too big a deal of small age differences. If Douglas were born a month later he’d still be 23, and at a year older than Lawson’s current age you wouldn’t make nearly as big a deal about the difference. All because of one month.
    -Holiday is 4 years younger than Douglas and barely removed from high school. He has WAY more room to grow, that’s fair. He has to grow a lot, because 12 pts/36 and 5.3 ast/36 don’t scream out “All-Star PG.” It’s hard to say he and Douglas are currently equal: Douglas has a decided edge. If they were currently equal I would agree with you, but they’re not.
    -Jennings is 20 and maybe you can say he’s equal given the trade-offs between the two. PER and Win Shares per minute put Douglas ahead, though.
    -Collison is a year and five months younger and was a four year starter at UCLA. His numbers don’t scream out “amazing” to me, though he’s clearly more of a playmaker and less of a scorer than Douglas at this time. At best they’re equal, Douglas is probably better.
    -Lawson is a year and eight months younger and he was a 3 year starter at UNC. He is solidly better than Douglas, but since it’s only one season and their rookie seasons at that I think Douglas is within striking distance:
    -Beaubois is 21 and has ridiculous scoring numbers, which give him an edge over Douglas right now. Like Douglas, you have to question whether he can do it for a whole season. He has the same six foot combo guard dilemma as Douglas right now, though, with very similar assist numbers.
    -Douglas himself is making a position switch, which might make him more likely to improve in the area that he most needs to: playmaking. His eFG% is freakishly high, but so are Beaubois and Lawson’s.

    Few guys under 20 make it to the NBA because it takes a very special athlete to do so. That I agree with. Still, even with these guys as time went on more and more pretenders passed the smell test and the NBA had to institute a rule to get an extra year to look at them against better competition.
    Even for Jrue Holiday–who I agree has more room to grow… more “potential”–look where he falls among 19 year old rookies in terms of Win Shares:
    I don’t think it’s obvious how he’ll develop at all. Outside of the top 5 player development is all over the place.

    My point is not that Douglas will improve by leaps and bounds so much as it is that I doubt every other PG drafted last season will get a million times better. I disagree with looking at a 22 year old next to a 23 year old and saying one has WAY more room to develop. Maybe it was a freakishly good PG draft, and all those guys become HOFers. However, I think a lot of those guys are close to their ceilings, too. It’s the rare player who actually improves significantly.
    I am also pointing out that there is enough evidence of guys in their mid-20s going from decent rookie seasons to All-Star and even HOF careers to believe Douglas can do so. The level of variation in the results is so high that it makes it pretty meaningless to me to say “Toney Douglas’s career arc projects to be x.”

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