What If… With the 4th Pick The Knicks Draft: Mario Hezonja

With the order of the draft being settled, the writers of KnickerBlogger thought we’d go over the possible outcomes. But since we were whipping out the ol’ Crystal Ball, we decided to go a little past June & see what fate possibly has to offer…

2015 Draft Order
1 MIN Karl-Anthony Towns
2 LAL Emmanual Mudiay
3 PHI D’Angelo Russell
4 NYK Mario Hezonja

Whatif-Hezonja

What happened on Draft Day 2015

Leading up to the draft the buzz that the Lakers were looking hard at picking a swing man, rather than a big, was getting louder and louder. On draft day, all the rumors proved true when they passed on the offensively dominate big, Okafor, and selected the young guard Mudiay, who they felt was oozing with potential at a more critical position. Philly stayed the course selecting Russell, the guard they had valued the highest, passing once again on the absurdly skilled big man from Duke. The Knicks were on the clock, and Knicks fans everywhere began celebrating, hardly believing the good fortunes of having perhaps the best player in the draft fall to them at #4, something unthinkable for such a cursed franchise. Then the universe quickly corrected itself, however. With the 4th Pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, the Knicks select: Mario Hezonja, Gaurd, Croatia.

What will be written on draft day in 2018

In his first NBA season Mario spent most of his time playing guard, where he was abused by smaller, faster players. When playing SF, he was abused by larger, stronger players posting him up. It didn’t help that he seemed completely disinterested at times on the defensive end. Where Mario did make an impact was through his offense. He showed glimpses of being a versatile scorer, using his height to shoot over smaller players, and quickness to blow by big men. By the 2017-18 season, Mario was picking up the scoring slack from a disintegrating Carmelo Anthony, who could only give around 25 effective minutes a game that season. Still, Mario was a polarizing figure to the fan base. His defenders pointed to the fact that he led the team in scoring, at 24 points per game, while the statistical analysis nerds pointed out that he had below average scoring efficiency and added nothing else to the box score, other than an atrocious turnover rate. Before the 2018 draft, new GM Allan Houston vowed to build an experienced, veteran team around Mario Hezonja. This of course meant trading the 2018 draft pick (8th overall) for Brook Lopez, who Team President Isiah Thomas called the best center in the game. Despite this declaration, it was Jahlil Okafor who many considered the best center in the game, as in his third year he has emerged as the most dominate low post player since Shaq was in his prime.

Note: I apologize for this worst case scenario. At least there is a very small possibility of it happening. Just remember, whatever happens draft day, it could be worse!

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85 thoughts to “What If… With the 4th Pick The Knicks Draft: Mario Hezonja”

  1. Kevin Udwary,
    Are you trying to ruin my day and weekend with this post? GM Alan Houston? President Isiah Thomas?

  2. Just trying to give the worst case scenario, so we can all smile when it doesn’t happen. I do think Phil will be gone by 2018, though.

  3. Based on his stats and the videos I’ve seen, this guy looks like a worse version of Hardaway, only with a really bad attitude — but he does shoot the 3 slightly better — 38% versus 35%. He turns the ball over like crazy, doesn’t play defense, doesn’t pass well, NEVER gets to the foul line, never drives to the basket, doesn’t handle the ball real well but, other than that, he looks like a great prospect.

  4. I think he’s a safer pick than the other European guy. He can definitely shoot the 3, and seems pretty smooth and athletic. The criticisms of his defense are kind of scary, though. And he supposedly has an attitude problem. Who knows.

  5. So let’s talk about this player. Who is he?
    He’s a very good jump shooter, loves the 3pt shot, can slash and finish above the rim. He’s also a good wing defender. I see him as a decent 6th man. His approach reminds me a lot of JR Smith. He doesn’t seem to fit the Phil Jackson triangle mold.

  6. One or both of these euros might turn out to be good, but I wouldn’t touch either of them with the 4th pick. This dude can’t stop turning it over.

  7. I don’t like the combination of “bad attitude” and “lacks focus on defense.” No more one-way players!

    This guy is Knicksy. And that is not a compliment.

  8. Some one on the radio said they heard from a scout that this guy could be the next Drazen Petrovic.

    Based on that reliable information and that alone, I think the Knicks should draft him.

  9. After watching some highlights, I think there’s a very good chance this guy is going to be able to score some serious POINTZ in the NBA. He can shoot it, he can get out in transition and finish above the rim, and I think he will develop into a decent scorer in the PNR given a couple years. I think a reasonable comp on for his offensive game might be somebody like Bradley Beal?

    The real question is those secondary skills. He threw some beautiful passes in the DraftExpress video…but also clearly has a turnover problem, and a shot selection problem. Add that to some overconfidence and attitude issues, and I’m with JK47 on this one, we’re starting to get to a very Knicksy place in the worst possible way.

    With the 10th pick I’d be all in on him, because I really do think he has pretty much every tool in the toolbox for an NBA wing physically, and the skills are good developmentally for his age. With the right coaching and a little luck I think he could be the best player in this draft. I just think he’s still a little risky for #4. Better prospect than the Zinger in my opinion though.

  10. #4 is just too soon for this guy. If the Knicks trade down to, say, #7 with Denver, then he can be in play.

    Last night I had dinner with a friend of mine who is a real NBA freak. He doesn’t have a favorite team but just loves basketball, etc. He says the Knicks should take Porzingis…that he’s going to be another Dirk Nowitski, etc. He also does NOT like Cauley-Stein at all…thinks he’ll never have any NBA offensive game, etc. FWIW.

    CBS Sports is reporting that Kevin Love will test free agency. I’d guess if so then the rumors will be that the Lakers and Knicks will be hot after him.

  11. @11 I guess it’s inevitable that all tall European players will be compared to Dirk (or on the negative side, to Bargs) Let’s keep in mind that Dirk’s fall away jumper is almost like Kareem’s sky hook in terms of being indefensible. If you take that away from him, he would be a good but not great player.

    My point being that a tall Euro player who can simply make outside shots does nothing for me unless he can either defend or rebound like a demon, which doesn’t seem to be the case with any of these guys.

    Oh, and no thanks to Love.

  12. Just remember, whatever happens draft day, it could be worse!

    What the hell damn guy! How! How could it be worse than that?! Now I’ve got to go about my day chock full of unnecessary anger!

  13. I liked my scenario where the Knicks eventually cave and trade their 2018 first rounder for Lowry, but not until Lowry’s washed up first.

  14. @12 My point being that a tall Euro player who can simply make outside shots does nothing for me unless he can either defend or rebound like a demon, which doesn’t seem to be the case with any of these guys.

    I’m 100% with you on this. Nobody would draft Matt Bullard 4th overall just cause he can shoot and a stretch 4 has become the end all be all. Gotta bring something else to the table. Plus, let’s not forget, people like Mirotic were good players because the rest of the team was good. The Knicks ain’t good.

  15. Yeah, that is interesting. If we were to somehow land Love, he would be awesome in the triangle, but we would pretty much have to draft WCS first.

  16. I could talk myself into frank the tank as a rich man’s version of Luke Walton. Not with the 4th pick, but in certain trade scenarios.

  17. Kevin Love getting a ring this year would be so hilarious that I think it will happen, despite the Warriors’ superiority.

  18. Would Kevin Love being a proven ring bearing champion counter the indisputable fact that he has never won a playoff series?

  19. “I think a reasonable comp on for his offensive game might be somebody like Bradley Beal?”
    That probably is a pretty good comp. Unfortunately, through three years, Beal’s numbers are not nearly as good as his reputation. He’s actually been pretty mediocre. One similarity between them — Beal doesn’t get to the line much, and Hezonja doesn’t get there at all.
    “I guess it’s inevitable that all tall European players will be compared to Dirk (or on the negative side, to Bargs) Let’s keep in mind that Dirk’s fall away jumper is almost like Kareem’s sky hook in terms of being indefensible”
    You are probably right that Porzingas is not going to be Dirk. A better comp might be Kirilenko who, in his prime, was a very good player. If the Zinger can become Kirilenko, I would sign up for that in this draft.

  20. That probably is a pretty good comp. Unfortunately, through three years, Beal’s numbers are not nearly as good as his reputation. He’s actually been pretty mediocre. One similarity between them — Beal doesn’t get to the line much, and Hezonja doesn’t get there at all.

    Yeah I didn’t mean it in a wholly complimentary way. Like what I saw from Hezonja’s clips, Beal shows pretty much all of the skills you would want (at least in flashes), but he hasn’t quite figured out how to use all of them in the correct proportions to actually make him into a really good offensive player on a consistent basis.

  21. You are probably right that Porzingas is not going to be Dirk. A better comp might be Kirilenko who, in his prime, was a very good player. If the Zinger can become Kirilenko, I would sign up for that in this draft.

    IMO the best comp is Amare:
    – Best in PnR (Pop and Dive)
    – Mostly face-up, some post game
    – Nice outside shot, able to shoot off motion
    – Able to attack closeouts
    – Decent rebounder
    – weak-side shot blocker
    – lousy passer (court vision issues)

    One hopes that Zinger would not be completely lost as a PnR and help defender as Amare. But hard to believe he’d be as strong on offense.

  22. Did Jared Dudley forget that he’s still playing in the NBA? First, he says Melo is the most overrated player in the league, and then he says no one wants to play with Kobe. He may be right, but kind of weird for an active player to be mouthing off like that.

  23. I don’t even think Caremlo is the most overrated player in the NBA anymore. I’d probably go with Boogie. Still funny to hear an active player saying that sort of stuff. Just wish he wasn’t validating that ambulatory piece of shit Colin Cowherd.

  24. A lot of negative commentary about Thibs on the blog the other day. I find that strange.
    True he burned players down in Chicago.
    But he also kept a team that was hammered by bad luck competitive to elite.
    Thibs didn’t cause Rose’s knee problems, or Noah’s plantar issues. but he helped turn Butler and Noah into elite level players and he got a hell of a lot out of his bench.

    Did he run down his team? Sure.
    But his coaching job was amazing when considering how the team performed overall.

    One last point: I suspect he has learned about burning players down. I also suspect that the Knicks could use the kind of fire and accountability that Thibs would provide.
    I would drop Fisher in a heartbeat for Thibs. If there is a guy who through force of will can change a culture, he’s the guy.

  25. Shit. I would say Dwight is more overrated than Boogie. Boogie suffers from having a…never mind. He suffers from playing for the Kings. They’re awful. Just dreadful. But Dwight is a vet who still can’t figure out this whole post scoring thing. And if Kevin Durant hates you, that’s an ill wind.

  26. @28 Years ago I got crushed for saying we should drop D’antoni (partially cause I called him D’anphony cause I have no respect for him as a coach) and hire a defensive minded coach because I believe that hardcore, smash your face defense is what the Knicks are all about. Thibs got his guys to play hard for him even though their best player was on the dl. I would love to see him as our coach.

  27. If you’d like a somewhat competitive team that has a pretty good regular season, Thibs is your man. If you’re looking for anything more than that though, you’re likely to be disappointed. Running your team down so they’re limping into the playoffs year after year is kind of a big deal.

  28. Thibs didn’t cause Rose’s knee problems, or Noah’s plantar issues. but he helped turn Butler and Noah into elite level players and he got a hell of a lot out of his bench.

    I think it’s entirely possible that Thibs’s inability to think long term (and rest players more, practice less, etc.) was responsible for the yearly rash of injuries that always seemed to lead to “bad luck” in the playoffs.

  29. Would be nice if Thibs would except an ast. coach gig. I believe he’d still get to collect his money from the Bulls.

  30. Would be nice if Thibs would except an ast. coach gig. I believe he’d still get to collect his money from the Bulls.

    I’d be down for this iff he wasn’t the lead assistant and wasn’t in position to take over when/if Fish gets fired.

  31. If you’d like a somewhat competitive team that has a pretty good regular season, Thibs is your man.

    C’mon, talent wins, not coaches. Good coaches get less talented teams to over perform on the margins. That’s what Thibs has done. Sure, that style wears people down over time, but it doesn’t cause people to suddenly break down in the 83rd game of the season. It’s not just the Bulls that have faced injuries. Everybody on every team is breaking down in the playoffs. There is no correlation between maximum effort and injury (in fact Pat Riley used to preach that giving maximum effort specifically avoided injury).

    (And I think Thibs will be a head coach again. Wasn’t Orlando talking about hiring a Scott Skiles? Isn’t Thibs a rich-man’s version?)

  32. All of Thib’s negatives have been explained in great detail. These things are known. I would think/hope that he has some ability for retrospection. Thibs next year ( or whenever he coaches again ) probably wouldn’t do things the same way, in regards to running his players into the ground. And since Chicago was his first coaching gig, we don’t really have a long track record with which we use to project future trends.

  33. Thibs doesn’t strike me as the retrospective type. He won’t change his approach, even if it gets him fired again.

    As for talent>coaching: I agree, you’ll get no argument from me there. Which is why it’s even more important to make sure that that talent is as rested and ready to go come playoffs as they can be. Thibs would risk blowing out his MVP’s knee for a meaningless game in late April after the seedings had already been determined.

    Maximum effort when it matters? Yes please. But that maximum effort turns into maximum risk when it doesn’t matter.

  34. Thibs seems pretty similar to a guy like Doug Collins in some respects. Clearly a gifted coach in a number of ways, but also the kind of guy who burns through a team in a few years. The players in Chicago always played hard for him, but it also sounds like they were more than ready to see him go.

    I think he’s a really good coach, but probably a short term solution. That’s not a great fit for the Knicks. For a team like New Orleans though that wants to make a move towards real contention in the next few years I think he’d be a pretty smart hire. In terms of coaches who could take them from 47 wins to 53 or 54 I don’t think there are too many better.

  35. Thibs doesn’t strike me as the retrospective type. He won’t change his approach, even if it gets him fired again.

    Hahahaha! I’m sure people never took Aaron Hernandez as the murdering type, but here we are. Who knows? I doubt Fish is gonna get fired anytime soon so it really doesn’t matter. Besides, I’m a fan of stability, at least when it comes to this rebuilding project.

  36. well FWIW – if you look at the most recent ESPN Insider mock draft, they’re projecting Mudiay to the Sixers and Russell to the Knicks — looks like 3 out of the 5 NBA execs they asked thought Philly would take Mudiay over Russell.

  37. well FWIW – if you look at the most recent ESPN Insider mock draft, they’re projecting Mudiay to the Sixers and Russell to the Knicks — looks like 3 out of the 5 NBA execs they asked thought Philly would take Mudiay over Russell.

    @40 – That would be terrific! I much prefer Russell over Mudiay after studying film on the two. In fact, I might take him #1 overall. BTW, same conversations are going on about Mudiay to LA.

    Oh, and no thanks to Love.

    @12 – I don’t get it. He’s a perfect compliment to Melo.

  38. Would the Cavs trade for Wade? They are probably the only team that would give him big money. Could GM James get Wade to the cavs by using shump and Haywood’s empty $10.5m contract?

    It would be bad business for Riley to pay Wade big money but It would be a nice gesture to facilitate him getting paid.

  39. He’s a perfect compliment to Melo.

    Love may be the perfect complement to Melo (I have no idea what that means), but I think the perfect compliment to Melo is, “You shoot better than almost anyone from 18 feet, and the portraits of you in your NYC penthouse are soooo cool!”

  40. Hahahaha! I’m sure people never took Aaron Hernandez as the murdering type, but here we are. Who knows?

    People definitely took Aaron Hernandez as the murdering type.

    A high school picture has since surfaced of Hernandez purportedly flashing the sign of the Bloods street gang while dressed in red, the gang’s color. Jail officials say an evaluation of his possible gang affiliation was inconclusive.

    But his behavioral changes triggered alarms. Bristol school officials have declined interviews since his arrest, but his high school football coach, Doug Pina, told the Hartford Courant in 2010, “Personally, I’ve always had concerns.’’

    Citing Hernandez’s youth — he was 17 when he entered college and 20 when he joined the Patriots — Pina said, “He’s still finding himself. With the right people around, [if] he keeps his head straight, he’ll do very well.’’

    It was no secret Hernandez began running with some unsavory characters after his father died and continued some of those associations after he left Bristol.

    “A lot of guys come into the NFL haunted by the past,’’ said Tully Banta-Cain, Hernandez’s Patriots teammate in 2010. “Some guys overcome it and some continue to be haunted throughout their careers if they’re not able to disassociate themselves from certain people or certain atmospheres. Aaron may have fallen victim to that.’’

    Nowhere was the criminal element in Hernandez’s life more evident than at a powder-blue Cape house at 114 Lake Ave. in Bristol, across from a field where he once played football. The home is owned by Hernandez’s uncle.

  41. I don’t get it. He’s a perfect compliment to Melo.

    I really couldn’t disagree with this more strongly. On the defensive end, they’re both weak defenders who are best at guarding PFs. You really need a very strong rim protector to compliment a frontcourt with both of them, and that’s going to lead you with a really plodding team, none of those guys is any speedster.

    Offensively, they both have well rounded enough games to mesh with anyone, but Love has already shown that he’s not going to be happy being the second fiddle. If you believe the reports, he’s considering leaving a finals team to come to the Lakers or Knicks simply because he isn’t getting his numbers. And no way is Melo going to want to be second fiddle to Love. So the meshing is going to be awkward. They both like to play in a lot of the same areas too. I really don’t see it.

  42. @44 – I see your points. My thinking is that Love would be a second offensive option. But I think he would work well in the system, coming off screens and crashing the boards. Yet your points are well taken.

  43. Love seemed absolutely fine with being second fiddle. He just didn’t like being at best third fiddle and often just no fiddle at all. I still don’t get why they traded the #1 pick for a guy without checking to see if the coach had an idea of how to use him. Love was fine in the role he played, but Ryan Anderson could have played the same role and wouldn’t have cost the #1 overall pick, the #1 overall pick the previous year (which, admittedly, was not a lot of value) and the Miami Heat’s top-10 protected 2015 #1 pick.

  44. By the way, it is slightly frustrating looking at possible free agent options out there and realize, “Oh yeah, we can’t get them because they don’t fit into the Triangle.”

  45. I just like that Love’s a double-double machine. I would take David Lee to fill that role too. (Note: I saw that idea suggested elsewhere. GS barely has use for him and might want to shed some salary).

    But yes, Love’s defense is an issue.

  46. With thibs you cant forget that his player rotations often dont make any sense–he has a hard-on for veterans that leads to absurd outcomes like massive minutes loads for Kirk Hinrich while Mirotic (the proper ROY and a fantastic player in general)is sitting on the bench getting 5 mpg for one month stretches. This, compounded with his other issues, leads me to pass on Thibs.

    I could see love working if and only if we had a rim protecting big like wcs or r Lopez. Im not too worried about pace because the Knicks are gonna play slow no matter what given that they use the triangle.

  47. With the crazy rumors about the Lakers or Philly taking Mudiay, is it fair to say that if that actually happens, picking at #4 would have yielded much the same result as picking #2? I mean, for a while now, most here have been saying that Towns is the consensus #1, and that Russell and Okafor were essentially a toss-up, depending on whether you wanted to go big or small. Is it fair to say that if either Russell or Okafor falls to #4, the pick becomes a no-brainer? (assuming there’s absolutely no way that Towns goes lower than #2)

  48. With the crazy rumors about the Lakers or Philly taking Mudiay, is it fair to say that if that actually happens, picking at #4 would have yielded much the same result as picking #2? I mean, for a while now, most here have been saying that Towns is the consensus #1, and that Russell and Okafor were essentially a toss-up, depending on whether you wanted to go big or small. Is it fair to say that if either Russell or Okafor falls to #4, the pick becomes a no-brainer? (assuming there’s absolutely no way that Towns goes lower than #2)

    Yes, if by some miracle Okafor or Russell somehow fall to us at 4 it’s a no-brainer to pick them.

  49. if by some miracle Okafor or Russell somehow fall to us at 4 it’s a no-brainer to pick them.

    Agreed. I would run up to the stage with the card in hand.

  50. Definitely. The Knicks should take about five seconds out of the five minutes given to them to pick whichever one of them is still on the board. I don’t buy either of them being there, but boy would it be great.

    As to whether it would be as good as having #2, if it is Okafor, yes. If it is Russell, no, but wow, would it still be amazing to get Russell.

  51. @44 People definitely took Aaron Hernandez as the murdering type.
    Guilt by association and assumption don’t generally mean you’re going to be a murderer. I can hang out with cabbies all day. Doesn’t mean I’m going to be overcharging tourists in the future.

    If Okafor drops to us at 4 I’m going to have my first heart attack.

  52. Yes, if by some miracle Okafor or Russell somehow fall to us at 4 it’s a no-brainer to pick them.

    It seems like there is a real possibility of this happening, but really, it won’t happen. This is the Knicks. When was the last time good fortune smiled on this team?

  53. i have doubts about okafor .. even at 4… russell and winslow though would be my picks…

  54. @56, an even more Knicksey scenario: Okafor drops to #4, we take him, he breaks his foot on the way to an Oden-like career, while Porzingis and Mudiay go on to become the players of the ’20’s.

  55. No the knicks way would be to pick Stein or Winslow over Russell/Okafor if they fell.

  56. Meanwhile, did anyone see this quote from Big Pussy aka Dwight Howard:

    “It’s tough, but I won’t stop fighting,” Howard said after the Rockets’ 104-90 loss Wednesday. “I’m going to continue to push myself to the limit and remember that, no matter how the season ends, I’m still a champion. And I won’t let anyone tell me anything different.”

    Hey Dwight, you’re not a champion.

  57. @62 – The plan is to add both Curry and Marbury. Remember Isiah’s back.

  58. My number 1 plan would be to trade down to potentially pick up an additional #1 but no later than 7 or 8.

    My only target in this draft since Towns and Okafor are gone is Frank Kaminsky(since we talked about Porzinigs)

    My other targets would be Danilo Fuzaro Jordan Mickey and Pat Connughton down lower in rd 1 early 2.

  59. Love seemed absolutely fine with being second fiddle. He just didn’t like being at best third fiddle and often just no fiddle at all.

    His shot attempts per 36 went down from 18 per 36 to 14 per 36. That’s a big decrease but I wouldn’t exactly call 14 FGA/36 “no fiddle at all”. I also don’t see how you could possibly extrapolate that he “seemed absolutely fine” with being second fiddle. At best you could say that he clearly chafed badly at being third fiddle, but maybe would be okay with being the #2 option.

    My general feeling is if a player is feeling like he’s not getting enough touches and shots as a secondary option on Lebron’s team it’s hard for me to conclude that he’s going to like being the secondary option on Melo’s team. Just a hunch.

  60. Big Pussy aka Dwight Howard

    Can we please refrain from using comparisons to women as insults?

  61. My only target in this draft since Towns and Okafor are gone is Frank Kaminsky(since we talked about Porzinigs)

    If Phil is looking for the most NBA-ready player who best fits the Triangle and a Melo/Monroe front-court, he’ll choose Kaminsky. He was the most efficient post-up player this season according to Synergy. His outside shooting all the way beyond the 3 will provide the required spacing for Monroe to operate. You don’t need a whole lot of athleticism in the Triangle. This would be the right type pick if NYK wants to trade down.

  62. So, if Okafor is available at 4, do you trade down to 8 or 9?
    David Lee for Calderon. Who says no?

  63. So, if Okafor is available at 4, do you trade down to 8 or 9?
    David Lee for Calderon. Who says no?

    Maybe if you trade down for Kaminsky you unload Calderon as part of the deal. You then go all in on signing Joseph (8m) and Danny Green (12m). That would provide an excellent defensive backcourt and two players who would take to the Triangle having already played in a heavy player movement offense. Joseph/Green/Melo/Monroe/Kaminsky would be a nice lineup given Phil’s priorities.

  64. With all due respect #%^!*^! Phil’s priorities wrt the Triangle.

    Phil’s priorities (and I actually believe this) with the pick and FAs will be to find 2 way players who are good basketball players all around. These players will be compatible with the Triangle or whatever system some subsequent coach wants to run.

    I am hopeful that Love ends up in LA and Melo wants to go there with Love and Kobe and Randle and the Knicks can end up with the #2 and draft a big and a guard and sign 2 , 2 way FAs and have the foundation that a true max player will want to play with in 2016.

  65. If the Lakers trade Randle and the #2 for Melo, this franchise is back in business!

    If Lakers sign Love can they absorb Melo as well or do they need fat contracts to match up with Melo’s $22 mil? Can they afford to add a PG (Rondo?) as well? Maybe Love, Kobe, Melo as a “big 3” is almost enticing enough sounding to the Lakers to make them do something really foolish, like rescue the Knicks from oblivion?

  66. @67 I think that was a Sopranos reference

    It was a name from The Sopranos, but the comparison had nothing to do with the character and everything to do with the disparaging connotation of the word “pussy.” (How is Dwight Howard anything like Big Pussy? Is he — spoiler alert — working for the feds? Is he — spoilers ahead — convinced that he has a future in law enforcement?)

    I’m with thenamestsam. Calling Dwight Howard “catastrophically unfunny” would probably be more a blow than comparing him to a vagina, anyway.

  67. It was a name from The Sopranos, but the comparison had nothing to do with the character and everything to do with the disparaging connotation of the word “pussy.” (How is Dwight Howard anything like Big Pussy? Is he — spoiler alert — working for the feds? Is he — spoilers ahead — convinced that he has a future in law enforcement?)

    I’m with thenamestsam. Calling Dwight Howard “catastrophically unfunny” would probably be more a blow than comparing him to a vagina, anyway.

    I don’t know about a vag, but Howard is definitely a fish:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo6cNQwN6LQ

  68. I also don’t see how you could possibly extrapolate that he “seemed absolutely fine” with being second fiddle.

    Before they acquired him, Cleveland checked with him to see if he actually wanted the deal. If he didn’t, they wouldn’t have bothered. He told them he was pumped about the trade, hence them going through with it. Do you think he said yes thinking he was going to be first fiddle over Lebron?

  69. You can’t really knock what the Cavs were doing with Love post JR/Shump/Mozgov deals because it was working like a charm. But having him just shoot 3s is, as Brian says, an enormous waste of money. What makes Love so good on offense is his versatility. He’s good inside, he’s good outside, and he’s a great passer. Now, look, Cole Aldrich is a fantastically skilled basketball player. I think we all understand that. But he probably shouldn’t be averaging more assists on a rate basis than Kevin Love. If you could combine the 2, and surround them with Melo and two shooters/cutters-now you got an offense going on.

  70. I also love Orlando hiring 80%Thibodeau the day after the genuine article came on the market.

  71. #LoveAldrichSummer2015

    Getting Kevin Love this off season would be a home run. If the Cavs win the championship this season, I think they shouldn’t re-sign Love because their core group around LeBron is young enough that they will keep improving. I think all of Irving, Shumpert, and Thompson are 25 or younger. Each player is already very good at what they do and stand to improve a tier or two in their own rights. If everything plays out the way I expect it to, the Lakers will be going forward with Okafor and Randle as their new look front court and Love would come to New York to play with Melo, Mudiay, and possibly Danny Green or DeMarre Carroll. If we went into 2016 with a starting five of Mudiay, Carroll, Melo, Love, and Aldrich, I’d feel really good about Phil Jackson’s off-season. The only thing that continuously pisses me off is the whole possibility of passing on good players because they don’t fit the triangle when the triangle hasn’t been successful in the NBA when it isn’t operated by two HOFers. You take good basketball players and you make them fit. I hope PJ understands that and doesn’t try to outsmart the league with more triangle magic.

  72. NBA game 7s are great, but man, hockey is just brutally tense. Whole different level.

  73. haha, true. Pretty wild that in the almost 30 years they’ve been handing out the President’s trophy the holder has gone on to win the Stanley cup only 8 times.

  74. I have to think the Knicks will plan to go with an older rookie who can contribute right away. That would mean Cauley-Stein or Kaminsky. You have to figure at least one of the next five teams will give up a player or a draft pick to move up and get Mudiay/Russell/Okafor. Maybe the Nuggs will give Lawson and take back Calderon with their pick? Maybe the Pacers will give us George Hill in a pick swap? Lots of options out there. I also think you have to come out of this draft with 2 serious players since next year’s draft is a wash. I’m actually not sold on anyone as a cornerstone besides Towns, so why not trade down?

  75. I hate the idea of having to draft a rookie who can contribute right away. . .but that being said, I would be fine with taking WCS or even Kaminsky, as long as we get more picks. Ty Lawson is a fine player, but he’s not exactly cheap. With Melo signed to that k we need to find guys that overproduce for what they’re paid, and I don’t know if Ty really fits the bill.

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