This Is Why The Knicks Have No Hope

As I said previously, I have little faith that this Knicks team will be good in the future. You might come to this conclusion from a number of indicators. You could look at their 14-53 record this season, tied for worst in the league. You could look at Phil Jackson’s tenure and there’s plenty of red flags there. The botching of the Steve Kerr hiring. The questionable hiring of Derek Fisher. The weird statements/tweets. The paltry returns on traded players. You could look at their eschewing of advanced statistics, as ESPN rated them 121 out of 122 professional franchises in using any reasonable numerical evidence to help assist with making decisions in a billion dollar field.

But if this report is true, it would indicate that there is no hope that this Knicks front office has any clue on how to build a winning NBA team.

[Andrea Bargnani’s] two injury-filled, unproductive seasons with the Knicks will end next month but there is already a sense that team president Phil Jackson, encouraged by Bargnani’s play over the past 20 games, will strongly consider re-signing the free agent forward… for the right price, of course.

And folks that is the canary in the coal mine.

Remember for the Knicks to have any hope the likeliest scenario is for them to pick the best pro in the NBA draft, AND grab a top notch free agent this summer, AND make sure that the draft pick, the free agent and Carmelo Anthony complement each other on the court, AND pick up the right complementary players to fill out the rest of the roster. This is the corner they’ve painted themselves into by re-signing Anthony to a huge contract, giving him a no-trade clause, and giving away future first round picks.

And for the above scenario to come true, the Knicks need someone at the helm that understands how to evaluate NBA talent. If Phil Jackson resigns Andrea Bargnani to do anything more than shoot tshirts out of a cannon, he proves that he is not qualified to run this team.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

30 thoughts to “This Is Why The Knicks Have No Hope”

  1. When my opinions concur with Mike K.’s, my heart skips a beat.

    #mikekforteamprez

  2. I’m inclined to agree. Every move so far is at least defendable in some way, but whether or not Bargs is back will serve as a pretty accurate litmus test for the triangular regime.

  3. All of this means nothing. Its very rare for a team to flat out say they aren’t going to resign a player next season while he is still playing for that team. Also, can’t the Knicks do a sign a trade with Bargs like they did with David Lee that got them Turiaf, AR and that other dude who never played? Wouldn’t the Knicks be smart to say they are happy with Bargs, might resign him and play him out for the rest of the season because there might be other teams who would be willing to do a sign a trade with us for Bargs (bc as we’ve all noted, GMs will sign guys like Bargs despite the evidence). If we signed him for the minimum or a bit more and then did a sign and trade for say some second rounders or some D-League stashes, wouldn’t that be a wise move?

  4. “The food is terrible here– and such small portions!”
    -some Borscht belt comedian

    Bargs sucks and he’s hurt all the time. He’s probably my least favorite player in the history of the NBA, and I’m not even kidding.

  5. A sign and trade doesn’t make any sense with a player signed for the minimum.

    Why would any GM trade picks for someone if they can just sign him directly for this kind of money?

  6. It’s hard for me to get outraged at paying Bargs $1.5 million after the $124 million Melo debacle, giving away one of the best centers in the league, and building a roster specifically for a system that may be unsuitable, leaving this team in shambles for the next decade. I’ve been calling each of his deals horrendous in real time.
    Me (as JD): Phil, thanks for coming to my office. Don’t bother sitting down.
    You got 12 months, maybe 18. Have a nice day.

  7. What it sounds like is that Leon Rose has taken advantage of the small little blip of less than horrific play from Bargnani to try and drum up some interest in his client. These are all “NBA sources” not even a “source close to the team” or “with knowledge of the situation”. The Knicks are going to renounce Bargs to clear the cap hold and then maybe sign him to a veteran min contract at the end of free agency. Bargs history of playing basketball tells us he will revert back to his terrible form and we won’t have anything to worry about. Remember, there were times this year when we thought that Shumpert’s offense had been fixed as well.

  8. Well, I bet dollars too, I think he sees Bill Wennington in Bargnani (welp?).

    a) Wennington was better than Bargnani, especially rebounding and defense.

    b) Wennington wasn’t a minimum or near-minimum player for the Bulls. In 1993 he got paid as much as Charles Oakley got from the Knicks.

    c) the only thing Wennington and Bargnani really have in common is that they are both familiar with the Italian league.

  9. Word has come from Oz? What part of that rumor was validated/created by Jax or the Nix?

    Also, who here is advocating for the signing of Bargnani? The most favorable comment I’ve seen is that it wouldn’t be an unmitigated disaster at the minimum. I think everyone agrees it would be a bad move even at the minimum, but I suppose we could debate “unmitigated disaster even at the minimum” if you think that’s exciting.

  10. pick the best pro in the NBA draft, AND grab a top notch free agent this summer, AND make sure that the draft pick, the free agent and Carmelo Anthony complement each other on the court, AND pick up the right complementary players to fill out the rest of the roster.

    Some of this is going to be luck dependent, not Phil Jackson dependent. It doesn’t matter what GM you have, history has shown that the draft is a big crapshoot. So we definitely need luck there. Assuming we get reasonable luck in that regard, it shouldn’t be that hard to get one reasonably competent free agent. That leaves getting a roster of complementary players. If you consider our present starters to be next year’s bench and possible role players, we’re not that far away. That’s where the non high profile free agents come into play. So we could have a reasonable team with a lot of young players. Unlike what I sense from most posters, I’d be pretty happy having a competitive team for several year running, even if it didn’t make the finals and wasn’t a contender to win it all.

    The fly in the ointment is that I don’t think this team should have been as bad as it was at the beginning of the year. I simply don’t understand why they were as bad as they were. If whatever it was that caused that isn’t fixed, and there’s no way to tell if it was with the current team, then I think we have no chance to be good, no matter what players we acquire.

  11. Does everyone think Phil didn’t have some input putting together the supporting casts that won all those championships in Chicago and LA? I’d bet anything he had a LOT of input. All coaches do. So while he wasn’t in the same position of power he is now, there is some incremental evidence of team building to go by.

    Phil is building a roster that suits his vision of how the game should be played while simultaneously creating cap space for next year. That has sometimes meant getting rid of players that were better than the ones that replaced them in order to take a longer term view. That’s what we’ve been crying for since back in the Isiah years! Longer term thinking! Do I think he’s been perfect at it? No. I would have done a few things differently, but I don’t think he’s been terrible.

    Does anyone think Phil made a good deal to get two 2nd rounders and Shved for Prigion?

    What about picking up Galloway for the D league and then bringing him up to get some experience?

    Anyone still think it’s at least possible that Thanasis or Early (who has been injured all year) have upside?

    It’s a mixed bag. The REAL (and imo ONLY) concern is that he put all his eggs in the free agent basket. Given that a few of the better ones have already moved, gone down with injuries, or hinted strongly they will be remaining with the same team, it’s possible the Knicks have all their eggs in the wrong basket. That’s the REAL worry. Phil can recognize talent and build a team.

  12. he fly in the ointment is that I don’t think this team should have been as bad as it was at the beginning of the year. I simply don’t understand why they were as bad as they were.

    It was a combination of a lot of new players playing together for the first time, injuries, learning a completely new system, and Fisher learning how to coach from scratch.

  13. It was a combination of a lot of new players playing together for the first time, injuries, learning a completely new system, and Fisher learning how to coach from scratch.

    I hope so. In particular, I really hope that Fisher learned a lot about coaching and will be good next year.

  14. Hoola and capt luke would be vindicated (but undoubtedly for reasons unrelated to their “arguments”) if this were true, but all we have right now is anonymous “nba sources” from hack journalist frank isola. Let’s wait til this is official to sound the alarm.

    Furthermore, no ones arguing that pj has been a good gm thus far, it’s more that we’re arguing that we as a collective should suspend judgment until the off-season is over or a catastrophically bad non-MMM decision is made. Whichever comes first.

  15. Furthermore, no ones arguing that pj has been a good gm thus far, it’s more that we’re arguing that we as a collective should suspend judgment until the off-season is over or a catastrophically bad non-MMM decision is made. Whichever comes first. The notion of a “fanboy club” surrounding pj or certain posters on this board is a delusion.

    Exactly. While it is entirely possible that Phil screws up, to fire someone as high profile, respected, and experienced as Phil before he makes a seriously poor decision (except one that 90% of other GMs would have made as well, like the MMM to Melo) is extremely poor business in itself. Players and agents do not like instability (unless it helps them get significantly overpaid or they have no other options). They like stability. They like knowing there is a system in place. They like knowing the criteria on which they will be judged. So even if the criteria are stupid, it’s better to have something stable than constant turnover and uncertainty.

    Phil may blunder badly. He may make brilliant moves. Either way, constantly calling for him to be fired now – especially with no fantastic alternative available – is foolish.

  16. There goes my ncaa brackets, I had Iowa St. in my final 4!

    Same :-( Only half way through the first day and my bracket is dead.

    Man these days I feel like I need to read some Fyodor Dostoyevsky after scrolling through KB these days just to cheer myself up ha ha.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people to have doubts about this teams direction (even though it gets raised every freaking day at nauseam), but it feels odd that we are all complaining that sky is falling when we all knew there would be growing pains with a rookie coach, rookie GM and a rebuild. So far the franchise is staring to do what we have all wanted for a while now (emphasis on playing and developing young guys). I think it’s also pretty dubious to rely on “sources” re: the AB re-signing. C’mon fellas, surely we all know better by now? ha ha

    I am not willing at this stage to castrate a coach for a bad record when his best player by a long shot has been out, and he is having to run a starting 5 of guys who would be end of the bench on most other teams. I feel at this stage there are a lot of people that would call for Phil’s head if he sneezed. I like to think that most guys on here are pretty switched on, so it surprises me that more aren’t willing to wait to judge the current front office on the upcoming off-season as opposed to a season where we threw in the towel in December. Each to their own I guess.

  17. Lottery type players so far in the NCAA Tourney:

    Stanley Johnson looked pretty beastly in that first round game for ‘Zona. 22 pts on 11 FGA with 5 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block against 2 turnovers and 1 personal foul.
    Stock: Up

    Myles Turner was a major goat for Texas in their loss to Butler. 1-5 from the floor with 4 turnovers.
    Stock: Down

  18. Take a snapshot of the current draft boards, because once a few “athletic”/”high ceiling” players get to the Final Four, they’re going to shoot right up.

    The best think to hope for is Kentucky to get knocked out as early as possible. Then, you trade the #1 pick down for a few more future picks and pick up Towns at #8. If they win the championship and he scores over 20 points, he’ll be the consensus #1 pick.

    I might be exaggerating a bit, but there are plenty of players who are about to turn 250 minutes into a lottery rookie salary.

  19. There goes my ncaa brackets, I had Iowa St. in my final 4!

    Me, too. Oh well, now I at least don’t have to worry about my bracket from here on out. :)

    Now I can concentrate on a Kentucky upset somewhere in the tournament. Not because I dislike Kentucky, but because, come on, how amazing would an upset of Kentucky be?

  20. The biggest threat to the Knicks future is the highly mediocre available free agent crop coupled with having no #1 in 2016. 80% of GMs would make a big mistake this offseason in the Knicks situation, likely with one of the no-defense bigs at max/near max like Monroe, Brooke Lopez, Al Jefferson or Kanter. It’s not gonna be enough for Phil to be merely smart enough to avoid guys like Bargnani. He has to be really sharp, or get really lucky and have a better player like Love/LMA/or I guess Deandre Jordan willing to sign. It doesn’t feel auspicious.

  21. I’m on the side of those who think he is not fit for the job and would like him fired because I fear there is a very good chance he will further damage the Knicks if given the opportunity.

    I think the two sides you delineate are pretty much the same thing, given the fact that there is nobody (outside of a certain Isiah Thomas) that has any chance of not just being stooge for Dolan and his meddling ways. So firing Phil would accomplish absolutely nothing, because if he’s fired it just means Steve Mills goes back to running the team. And that is just counter-productive to our cause.

    Phil is here and Phil isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. But his incompetence has actually helped the team more than anyone could have imagined, so it’s hard to say he’s hurt the team more than he’s helped it thus far. The Knicks are the worst team and own their draft pick, so he’s already got the team on the road to recovery. How he’s able to fuck it up going forward is the big question.

    (In general I don’t think firing managers one year into the job is a good idea. Especially a team that has been mired in such disarray for as long as the Knicks have been. He’s been worse than advertised (by his 13 rings), but he hasn’t been so bad that his boss should eat the $50,000,000 left on his contract just to make him disappear. And I don’t think you really believe that either.)

  22. “2. People who fear he is not the man for the job based on the number of poor decisions and outright blunders he has committed in his short stint as Knicks President”

    Again, the jury is out on whether his moves were “poor decisions” and “outright blunders”

    Re: Chandler, he was coming off a season of injury and disinterest, after a post-season when he earned the knickname “Hibbert’s Bitch.” If we keep him and he goes down again in game 3 with a broken leg, we would have gotten zero for him. I agree that he should have refused to take back Calderon in the deal, or insisted on a 1st rounder, but beyond that, I’m OK with it. And if either Thanasis or Early (or even Shane Larkin) turn into a rotation player in 2 years, it becomes a good trade, given the uncertainty about Chandler’s health.

    Re: Fisher, I really don’t have any problem thus far with his coaching. I think Pop had it right the other night…he’s done well under the circumstances. Does anyone really think that Kerr would have done much better?

    Re: Shump/Smith, Shump was to be a huge cap hold and Smith is a time bomb. Probably could have done a bit better, but not much. I don’t blame him for wanting to see what Shump had before making a decision. Maybe Phil should have held out for more or just lived with those guys, but certainly not an “outright blunder” in my book.

    Re: MMM w/ NTC, again, the jury is out on this one. Bottom line: no definite max UFA is out there that is guaranteed to sign here for less money than they can get from his current team. In 2 years, Melo will be getting paid millions less than what 10+ year max players will command. If he breaks down like Allan Houston did, its a godawful deal. If he returns to last year’s form and stays there for 2 years folowed by a Paul Pierce-like decline, he might be the perfect #2 guy on a really good team.

    So I disagree with your limiting the conversation to 2 scenarios.

  23. I feel like any possible max signing for us comes with major question marks both in terms of production per dollar and in fit, even love. Unless you max jordan or draymond or something but Phil doesn’t seem like the gm to max jordan and draymond ain’t comin. I’d much prefer going after value/high upside signings like joseph.

  24. I’d much prefer going after value/high upside signings like joseph.

    Yeah but it’s probably too much too hope for. If you assume that they are going to be going after bigger fish, which you should unless you enjoy being let down, you just have to pray they get a guy who is likely to be an asset and not a liability at his contract amount. Optimal team construction is a rich people problem.

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