Why the New York Knicks Made a Mistake not Keeping Maurice Ndour

I’ve been quite vocal about the New York Knicks decision to not keep undrafted rookie Maurice Ndour in the fold.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Ndour received a three-year contract from the Dallas Mavericks, year one fully guaranteed, second year partial and third year not guaranteed. President of basketball operations Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills decided it was too rich for them.

I disagree with this sentiment as I see the 23-year-old out of Ohio University as someone with the attributes and baseline skills worth a potential low risk/high reward minimal investment.

Before the Knicks signed Ndour to their Las Vegas Summer League team I had never heard of him. When news of the signing broke I headed to his page at draftexpress.com, and learned at the Portsmouth predraft camp he measured at 6’8’ without shoes, plus had a 7’4’ wingspan and 9’1’ standing reach.

According to sport-reference.com, Ndour’s senior season with the Bobcats was only one of four since 1996-1997 to average over one steal, two blocks, shoot over 40% from three and 75% at the free throw line.

The other three?

Shane Battier twice and Danny Granger once.

This was the first video I watched of Ndour playing.

You never want to take much form a highlight video, but between the physical attributes, stats and a tiny bit of YouTube viewing Ndour became someone I wanted to watch a little closer when New York entered summer league action.

It’s important to note how I go about watching these type of exhibition games. The way I analyze summer league goes against my typical process of coming to conclusions regarding basketball. In this setting I ignore all statistics. I couldn’t tell you any team or individual stat from the New York’s time in Las Vegas. I simply look for skills I think can be transferable to successful NBA careers understanding the context of the competition.

Within seconds of Ndour stepping on the court for his first action in the Knicks opening game against the Spurs he created a positive impression.

A simple alley-oop dunk, filling the lane on a delayed fast break might not seem like anything to get excited about, but let me remind you the Knicks averaged the least amount of fast break points per game last season at 8.8 (per 100 possessions) and had the fifth least total dunks as a team (213).

Athleticism with the ability to get easy baskets is a trait New York’s roster desperately needs, yet more exciting was Ndour showing off a more polished offensive game than I expected in the half court.

He was able to knock down mid range jumpers off the catch.

Couple of important points here:

  • Note the arc and touch on the jumper.
  • Wingspan is often thought off when it comes to defense (getting to that later), but it’s also a factor on offense. This was a highly contested shot and it doesn’t matter because of Ndour’s release point and massively long arms.

Based on the college free throw and three-point shooting to see him shoot well from 12 to 18 feet wasn’t much of a surprise. What caught me off guard was the creating/shooting off the dribble, body control when attacking the rim and the passing.

Step-Back Jumper

This is another contested shot he is able to get off for the reasons listed above. As with most of the offensive production in the Philadelphia game some it has to be taken with a grain of salt because it’s getting accomplished versus slow-footed defenders Ndour wouldn’t deal with in a regular season NBA game. The fact he’s able to flash this type of ability in this setting is still a positive for his long-term prospects.

What A Dreamy Shake!

Being able to beat Furkan Aldemir off the dribble isn’t any sort of special accomplishment — Ndour attacking the rim with his left (off-hand) and having the patience, plus foot work to pull off that type of high-level move still does stand out.

Finishing As The Dive Man In Pick and Roll

As much as Ndour worked as the pick man and diving in PnR during these games he didn’t get much of a chance to showcase his finishing ability in these situations. Jerian Grant, Langston Galloway, Cleanthony Early and Ricky Ledo didn’t do a great job seeking out Ndour for many opportunities running PnR.

Once again you see a sense of patience he has in a crowded area that I wouldn’t expect from someone in Ndour’s position. He catches, gathers, uses a slight hesitation move to get Larry Nance Jr. off the ground and finishes around Julius Randle.

Ndour flashed the ability to score buckets in a variety of ways and then he also did a tremendous job setting up his teammates. I’d say this was the most shocking attribute considering his 1.6 to 2.9 AST/TO ratio during his senior season at Ohio.

What jumps out in this specific play and most of Ndour’s passing is the decisiveness. He isn’t holding onto the ball for long, it’s quick decision making leading to positive plays. For this example, it’s a solid read out of PnR, while up next you see him do a great job on a prototypical triangle action.

Another perfect, fundamental read without having the ball in his hands for even a full second. These plays are getting made with limited practice time to get comfortable working with teammates he’s never stepped foot on a court with before.

All of this offensive skill is a nice bonus, but where Ndour can derive his real value in the NBA is on the defensive end. He is not only fluid navigating the court offensively, he moves well laterally and is cognizant of team defensive concepts.

Ndour’s foot speed and length brings the potential for the rare combination of being able to defend wings, bigs and provide rim protection.

During the Spurs game, Kyle Anderson gave Ndour the business a little bit and he had some trouble with James McAdoo and Kevon Looney in the Warriors matchup, but there are many tools to work with here.

That’s not some summer league scrub Ndour ate up and spit out, mind you. That was a former lottery pick in Kentucky’s Julius Randle. Ndour was able to push him towards the baseline and when Randle tried to overpower him to get a better angle at the rim he failed miserably. You know what’s good about having 9’1’ standing reach? Sometimes jumping isn’t necessary and you can still tell your opponent to get the hell out of here.

Randle wasn’t the only lottery pick to find himself in a bad position against Ndour.

Yup, that was Jahlil Okafor, the number-three overall pick in the 2015 draft. Ndour almost swatted him with his wrist.

And yes, you’d be well within your rights to scoff and mutter something to the effect of, “Randle and Okafor aren’t that athletic from a vertical jumping stand point so I’m not all that impressed.” Fair enough, but…

1)

2)

3)

There aren’t many 6’8’ players with the ability to protect the rim from the weak side and then shut down entire possessions using different skills like this:

It starts with Ndour cutting off the possibility of dribble penetration out of the PnR by Jordan Clarkson and a quick recovery to Nance Jr. Even with a foot on the foul line, he’s able to use his length to deflect the ball out of Nance’s hands despite him having both of his feet outside the top of the key. Once Nance finally gets the ball back he tries to create a shot for himself and isn’t able to get a clean look due to Ndour beating him to his spots with lateral quickness. He also closes out the possession getting the rebound.

Ndour’s work on the boards is solid at both ends. He’s not afraid to mix it up boxing out and does a good job trying to grab the ball at its peak. I’d like to see him improve corralling boards on the offensive glass where he seemed to get his hands on a lot chances, but wasn’t able to finish off the play.

His length also allows him room for error when he makes mistakes.

On this possession Ndour gets overaggressive and a little jumpy. This is a pattern and a flaw that needs some work. Because of Ndour’s wingspan he’s able to get away with it as he uses his length to deflect the ball away from Nance trying to dribble into the paint.

Another place where Ndour’s foot speed and length comes in handy is defending the pick and roll, especially with how the Knicks like to “ice” them.

His size and speed allows him to cover and cut off space many don’t have the ability too. Ndour makes this look extremely easy, but it really isn’t. Part of the issue is poor spacing by the Golden State, but Ndour’s positioning put a stop to any possibility of a dribble attack. Even against more in-sync offense he’s going to be able to limit passing angles as he leverages his arms in smart ways. Ndour immediately locks back in on his man after Grant recovers almost causing a turnover with his anticipation before a foul was called.

Ndour’s play on both ends made him the best player on the Knicks summer league team. He showed more upside and well-rounded skills than Cleanthony Early, Travis Wear and Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Ndour expanded and took his game to a point outside the bubble he’s going to be asked to operate on an actual NBA roster. Situations arise in a game based around a 24-second shot clock where you’re forced into pushing past what your role is specified to be. Ndour constructing the ability to handle more than shooting open jump shots on offense gives hope three or four years down the line he might have a little bit more in him.

On the defensive end he needs to keep fine tuning and learning how to use his physical gifts. Ndour can get caught ball watching and can try to do too much. This is more preferable to a player who is oblivious to what’s going on around him — Ndour has the right intent and in time can grasp a better understanding of the balance necessary to perform within a defensive scheme.

Finding high-level talent in the second-round or undrafted can fundamentally change the way you’re able to build a team. We saw it happen with the Houston Rockets and Chandler Parsons, and this is why the Philadelphia 76ers operate like they do now with second round picks.

For years the Knicks have spent stupidly and irresponsibly. It’s without question a positive that Jackson and Mills are showing more restraint. They’ve also shown a weird penchant for being cheap in an unnecessary way around the margins. Dealing a future second-round pick instead of buying out Travis Outlaw was a strange move. Yes, you can buy another second round pick with ease, but there’s no limit to how many of them you can have — the more the better.

With roster spots open and roster spots filled by players clearly less talented than Ndour, to lose him over what probably amounts to under 1% of what the 2016-2017 salary cap is a ridiculous decision.

At best you found an under the radar steal with the defensive ability that fits perfectly next to your star in Carmelo Anthony.

At worst you buy him out for pennies and could add a player on a veteran minimum salary for more than you’re paying to waive Ndour.

This was a chance worth taking for the New York Knicks and they blew it.

Liked it? Take a second to support bgibberman on Patreon!

bgibberman

Representing all Knicks fans of Arizona. This is unfortunate for all of them. Unabashed lover of J.R. Smith.

168 thoughts to “Why the New York Knicks Made a Mistake not Keeping Maurice Ndour”

  1. You know I’m with you there, Bryan. Is a $275,000 cap hit next season as the worst case scenario really enough to turn down the chance to lock down a young player for three seasons who looks good and performed well in college? I don’t believe so.

  2. Or maybe the Knicks scouted Darion Atkins extensively and decided that he is a better prospect (which might actually be true since, for all of the defensive ability that Ndour brings to the table, Atkins was the guy who was named national defensive player of the year, while playing against better competition in college than Ndour).

  3. The two players really aren’t duplicative at all, so I don’t know why signing one would preclude the other. Ndour shot over 43% from three last year, while Atkins took a single three his entire college career. I liked the Atkins signing, but it doesn’t make passing on Ndour a good idea.

  4. The write-up suggests to me that Ndour should have been picked in the first round…but yet he was undrafted. I know GMs wiff all the time, but to lambast Phil and the crew for not giving this dude a guaranteed contract after 4 games in SL, is almost laughable.

    You said it best when you said you never heard of Ndour until you saw his name on the Knicks SL team. this alone makes me LOL, after reading the rest of your article.

  5. I like the analysis, but I don’t think you’ve really shown it was a mistake.

    You’ve shown he has potential at the NBA level and can play at the SL level. That’s great, and I think signing him is totally justifiable. Thing is, every “real” NBA player can play in the SL and so can a lot of non-NBA players.

    To really show this was a mistake, I think you have to do more to compare Ndour to other players (and to other strategies besides potential, potential, potential). You might well reach the same conclusion. I just think it would be a more compelling argument than “I liked some things I saw in SL, the Knicks made a mistake.” The latter reads like a bit of a biased analysis where you’re looking for evidence to support your conclusion rather than looking at all the evidence to reach a conclusion. And I think one could make a similar argument for a lot of SL players (or that caliber of low-salary FA) every offseason.

  6. “The two players really aren’t duplicative at all, so I don’t know why signing one would preclude the other. ”
    Because there are only 15 roster spots and a team can only sign so many raw 6’8″ forwards who they hope have upside and who might not be ready to contribute right away and they need to balance the roster so they have enough centers, forwards and guards so they have to pick and choose whom they sign.

  7. I know GMs wiff all the time, but to lambast Phil and the crew for not giving this dude a guaranteed contract after 4 games in SL, is almost laughable.

    I would argue against this, but you pretty much made my point for me.

    Can we stop pretending that NBA front offices/coaches are the basketball equivalent of the Pope? They’re not infallible. In fact, they often make stupid mistakes that let’s say an above average roto GM wouldn’t do. Some of them are smart, but others are idiots and bureaucrats that have Peter Principled their way to the position. Some of them are decades behind the times and ignore science completely. Actually come to think of it, maybe they are like the basketball equivalent of the Pope.

    If NBA GMs aren’t to be questioned, then this blog wouldn’t exist. Instead, they give us plenty of foibles to analyze and criticize.

  8. A partially guaranteed contract with no risk. It’s not offering him millions of dollars. Literally it would be for .005% of the salary cap next year if it’s $500,000. I also watched each game multiple times to study what I was looking at and brought up context of performances based on talent he was facing in the story.

  9. The write-up suggests to me that Ndour should have been picked in the first round…but yet he was undrafted. I know GMs wiff all the time, but to lambast Phil and the crew for not giving this dude a guaranteed contract after 4 games in SL, is almost laughable.

    Well, once I discovered I like a sandwich with tomatoes, eggplants and goat cheese, but since nobody told me before I made it that it would have tasted great, I ditched it immediately and never tried another one.

  10. Mike my main point was that I didn’t think that Phil and crew deserved to be lambasted because they “blew” it. This opinion is based on the writer being totally in love with what he saw in a few game sample size. You can’t go from total indifference for Ndour, to being so emphatic on signing him up with guaranteed money right away.

    Otherwise I agree with you GMs generally suck and the draft is more of a crapshoot that most admit.

  11. I don’t think you can tell much from a few summer league games. I would have been perfectly content if we brought Ndour on board. I’m also not confident that he’s going to be a useful pro. But at the same time, if you think Ndour is worth bringing on board for a year then you’re making a mistake to not sign him because you aren’t willing to partially guarantee a second year. Most rookies aren’t that good. So signing a young player, almost any young player, should be a longer term investment. All young dudes are, to some extent, a gamble. But they’re bets that pay out in the longer term, not next season. If Ndour sucks the Mavs lose a small bit of cap space next season, but if he’s a decent NBA player they have him on a great contract for 3 years.

  12. Because there are only 15 roster spots and a team can only sign so many raw 6’8? forwards who they hope have upside and who might not be ready to contribute right away and they need to balance the roster so they have enough centers, forwards and guards so they have to pick and choose whom they sign.

    Well, you know one spot that I think should be available. ;) But even with that, the Knicks have room on the roster for both Atkins and Ndour.

    Melo
    RoLo
    Afflalo
    Calderon
    Grant
    Galloway
    Williams
    O’Quinn
    Thomas
    Amundson
    Early
    Zinger

    That leaves them three spots, room for Ndour and then two of Thanasis, Saunders and Atkins (or whoever else they sign).

    And again, they’re completely different players – one is a wing who could be a stretch four and the other is a post player who is a four and a small ball five. Very different roster contributions.

    But yes, a more important point is the one DRed brought up, which is that it is not even a case of the Knicks not being interested in Ndour, but not wanting to give him a partial guarantee in the second year. If they wanted him enough to give him the first guaranteed year, the partially guaranteed second year is a weak “deal-breaker,” particularly because it gives them a third year at the minimum as part of the deal.

  13. Well, once I discovered I like a sandwich with tomatoes, eggplants and goat cheese, but since nobody told me before I made it that it would have tasted great, I ditched it immediately and never tried another one.

    Good call, because that is an objectively disgusting sandwich.

  14. It’s not just being in love with what I saw in a few games…it’s also having the physical characteristics I look for in basketball players that I want on my roster. Long wingspan, good steal/block numbers in college, foot speed, how he’s moving around the court. I’m thinking deeper than just watching the summer league games. It’s about traits and seeing something that can potentially develop into more.

  15. Good call, because that is an objectively disgusting sandwich.

    Well, I thought as much before eating it. You’d be surprised.

  16. johnno, agreed. A lot of fans on here are in favor of building a roster of almost all raw players with some sort of upside. It’s not a wrong approach. It’s just one of multiple approaches. Almost no team is going to go to the extreme that some fans would like. They’re going to hedge their bets on these raw/medium upside guys with some developed/low upside guys.

    Mike, I think you’re creating a strawman. Saying that all 30 GMs (or close) are generally right isn’t the same thing as saying that they’re infallible or shouldn’t be questioned. The comment you responded to was unnecessarily rude, but the commenter literally said that he/she is aware NBA GMs whiff all the time (the opposite of your Pope comment). It is valid to say that if a player goes undrafted then he is very unlikely to become a decent NBA player. That doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with individual decisions. It does mean you should probably be humble in doing so. Not just assume that by watching 4 SL games you know more than the whole group of NBA GMs (rather, that you have a hypothesis and need to do the analysis to back it up). No GM is going to be perfect, but there is generally wisdom in crowds… in markets.

    bgibberman, I’m not saying you didn’t do a good job of scouting Ndour. In fact, I said I enjoyed the analysis. I’m saying that a lot of players have talent. Showing that a guy has talent =/= showing that signing him was the right decision. Take my comment for what it’s worth. To prove that this decision was a mistake, I would just go about the analysis in a different way. I would want to put some context around what doing Ndour’s level of well in SL means for his NBA value vs. the alternatives. To prove that Ndour showed promise in SL, I think this was a fine way to go about it.

  17. I think the end of bench spots are some of the hardest spots to fill on an NBA team. As fans, if we see someone that impresses us, we want him right away. But as a GM, you want to be able to see as much of a player as possible before hiring him. Ideally, you see him play in college, invite him to summer league, then invite him to training camp and make the decision to give him a roster spot or not after that. If you think the players coming to training camp have potential to be one of the final fifteen, then you want to have at least one spot open during training camp. If Phil signed N’Dour now, he loses a roster spot he may want to leave open, so to do that he would have to believe that N’Dour was clearly better than other he could invite to training camp. In this case those particular guys are Darion Atkins and Wesley Saunders. It’s true he could sign players and waive them, but he seems to frugal for that, and particularly so for anything representing a commitment beyond this season.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Phil wanted N’Dour to come to training camp, but the market for talent made that impossible. I assume that Phil thinks Atkins has similar potential for the money. but I have to say that so far, Phil’s choices for end of bench or role type players haven’t impressed me, with the exception of Galloway. I don’t know if that’s him or if such players that actually have good NBA potential are intrinsically hard to come by.

  18. I really liked Ndour and am in complete agreement with the article. Like Porzingis, he demonstrated a lot of different ways to score and defend, and has freaky length. Not sure what the reluctance was. Oh, well…

  19. DRed, Do we have any evidence that the Knicks wanted Ndour but didn’t want the second year? My understanding is that’s a narrative some fans have made up. Fisher said right after the SL that the Knicks might not have room on their roster for Ndour, which would not suggest to me that they really wanted to sign the guy.

    Brian,
    1. I don’t think you’re really addressing the point that an NBA roster needs some sort of balance by listing out players and expressing your opinion that there was room for both as a fact. I also don’t think Ndour and Atkins are nearly as different as you’re suggesting. Their games aren’t the exact same, but they’d fill a similar role and be similarly unlikely to contribute early.
    2. What evidence do you have that the Knicks wanted to sign Ndour but didn’t want to guarantee a second year?

    bgibberman, “I’m thinking deeper than just watching the summer league games. It’s about traits and seeing something that can potentially develop into more.” A lot of players have those traits. You may have done the work elsewhere, but Ndour having these traits doesn’t really tell us if he has these traits more than other players do or even if those traits will transfer to the NBA level.

  20. My guess is that we’ll quickly erase Ndour from our memory banks as he sits on the end of the bench in Dallas and piles up garbage time minutes.

    But in all fairness, he should definitelybe inducted into the Vegas Summer League Hall of Fame, alongside Glen Rice, Jr. and Josh Selby.

  21. All I know is the last scrap heap guy that KB was huffy over letting slip through their hand was Cheik Samb. And before that it was Earl Barron. And before that it was Von Wafer…

  22. DRed, Do we have any evidence that the Knicks wanted Ndour but didn’t want the second year? My understanding is that’s a narrative some fans have made up. Fisher said right after the SL that the Knicks might not have room on their roster for Ndour, which would not suggest to me that they really wanted to sign the guy

    Tim Bontempts: Sources said there was mutual interest with the Knicks, but that the Mavericks had a better offer that was too attractive to pass up.

    Ian Begley: Maurice NDour has agreed to a deal with Dallas, per league sources. Sources say Mavs offered more guaranteed money than #Knicks.

    “The Knicks were trying to get me, and the Mavericks just got in the game at the last minute, and it was just a better option for me and a better deal,” Ndour said.

  23. It was reported at the time that the Mavs offered more guaranteed money to Ndour than the Knicks did. That implies that the Knicks offered him some money. Perhaps the sources were lying or mistaken, but the fans did not make up the narrative. The truth is out there.

  24. Ted- The beginning of the story shows that not many players do have these traits. We’re talking bout a pretty unique skill set here with ability to shoot at a reasonable clip, protect the rim and guard on the perimeter. And then the skills needed for those numbers continued to translate in LVSL. Next up we see if that pattern continues at a higher level.

  25. The Knicks did bring him to summer league, saw him work out and saw fit to give him a lot of minutes, so it’s not like they were being complete idiots. I thought Ndour showed a lot of potential and I would have loved to have him on the Knicks. But I can understand why the Knicks wouldn’t want to sign the guy based off of summer league. Maybe the Knicks wanted to get him a spot, but wanted to wait until a training camp, or they told him he would spend some time in the d-league first. Maybe Ndour thought his quality of life would be better without having to pay income tax. Maybe he doesn’t like Derrick Williams hair. Seems like a good guy and I will root for him, but I don’t think him signing in Dallas speaks to some underlying trouble in the franchise or anything.

  26. At the very least, Dallas obviously wanted him and invested something in him. This means he may actually get to play there, and prove BG either right or wrong. Dallas is a good organization with a good coach. If he’s a good player, we’ll get to see it. Then we can bemoan letting him slip away, while at the same time patting ourselves on the back for discovering him first:)

  27. I respect all the work you put into this analysis, and I agree Maurice was a nice surprise. But, man, I don’t know. Why didn’t the guy get drafted? Plenty of smaller schools had guys get picked (Bowling Green, William and Mary, Mass, etc) so I highly doubt he was missed.

    I’m trying to think back to undrafted guys that came out of college as Juniors or Seniors and had solid careers, but I’m not thinking of many (Chris Anderson, Raja Bell, Bo Outlaw, Wes Matthews, Udonis Haslem; I’m not mentioning Ben Wallace, this guys is not Ben Wallace). A handful in the last 15 years, at best? the odds are soooo slim. I wonder if us having some of the best finds ever (like Lin and Starks) just makes us optimistic?

    So, I would have taken a chance on the guy (and I agree I’d prefer him over Early), but it’s not a crushing blow. The real test is who we use that space on.

    And nobody has mentioned his hair filling the void left by Shump

  28. ptmilo, Thanks for the quotes.

    DRed, I had not seen the quotes. I do think fans are jumping on the evidence that the Knicks were interested to feed their pre-constructed narrative that the Knicks made a mistake (long before they didn’t sign Ndour, there were numerous comments on here implying the Knicks had already blown it). It’s not that the sources were lying or mistaken, but rather that wanting to sign a guy doesn’t mean you wanted him badly enough to go the extra mile. If the Knicks think Ndour is a better prospect than Atkins, for example, the extra 1/2 year (essentially) probably shouldn’t be the deal breaker (though I would want to do some further analysis of the situation before reaching that conclusion). If they’re fairly indifferent between the two and several other end-of-bench candidates, though, then locking in more money for one guy might be a mistake. It’s the absolutism of many comments that I have an issue with (they are dumb, they made a mistake).

    (Your framework that the Mavs stand to lose half a season or gain two seasons needs some sort of probability applied to the various outcomes. Not just they keep him or he stinks… but about what does he contribute. If there’s a 98% chance they eat half a season, that’s a different situation than if there’s a 70% than if there’s a 50% than if there’s a 30%… and if the odds of not only keeping him but getting whatever you want to define as a good NBA player are, say, 30% then that’s a lot different than if the odds are 5%.)

  29. bgibberman, You showed that his college production in three particular categories was unique. That’s not really what I’m talking about. I read your article. I feel pretty confident that I internatized the basic points. I appreciate that you want to defend what you wrote. However, in doing so by simply pointing me back to passages of the article that I already read before I commented… I feel like you’re missing the opportunity to internalize and think through my points. Take my comments for what they’re worth. It’s another way to think about the subject.

  30. I gotta say that an awful lot of virtual ink is being spilled on a player that did well against scrubs in a scrub summer league. He looked promising but I’m not getting my panties in a bunch about a guy that figured to average 3 minutes a game.

  31. Nice write up. Totally agree that we should have given him a small guaranteed deal; it’s virtually risk free. I would have preferred Ndour over Amundson, Lance Thomas, or Derrick Williams. And is Ledo still on the team? Because I’d cut him also.

  32. Ledo is on non-guaranteed contract. $100,000 of his contract becomes guaranteed if he is still on the team in four days. $200,000 becomes guaranteed if he makes the opening day roster. They also still have the rights to Thanasis and Louis Labeyrie, but neither guy is under contract yet.

  33. Have you ever seen Mark Cuban negotiate on Shark Tank? He might have demanded an immediate answer from Ndour and he got it.

  34. I think it was probably a mistake to not compete a bit with the Mavs to get Ndour. The cost is low, the potential high, the fit decent. I assume that is one of the main points of the summer league – see if someone shows you enough to justify taking a chance on him. He showed about as much 2-way potential as a largely unknown undrafted guy could reasonably be expected to. It probably won’t end up being a big deal. There’s lots of uncertainty about whether he’ll amount to anything. Just seems like the kind of low-cost opportunity you hope to come across at SL. Why not spend a little to seize it?

  35. By the way, I think Paul George is already a bit of a stretch as a stretch 4 (pardon the pun), but now Kobe Bryant?!? Keep on being you, Bryan Byron Scott! Keep on being you.

  36. Who knows how Ndour will turn out, but how is that contract from the Mavs not SOP for the Knicks front office by now for players like him? Doesn’t actual NBA General Manager Steve Mills recall the recent losses of Lin and Copeland? Are they counting on players to be loyal to the team who gave them a shot in the post-Decision NBA?

  37. Bryan Scott

    The heat of the summer really doesn’t suit your name-calling that well, huh? :-P

  38. My crackpot theory is that Phil thought Ndour showed a little money greed. The Knicks were the only team that gave him the terms he was looking in a SL invite. So, they expected some reciprocity. If you turn around you can say that he was foolish for turning down the team that gave him a chance for an extra 0.5 guaranteed year. Maybe shows he’s not thinking big enough.

    Also Fish’s comments immediately after SL showed that they weren’t impressed in the first place. Maybe they should have been. Idk, I hope they are right.

  39. I read somewhere on Twitter that the knicks were showing interest in Carlos Boozer. Has anyone else heard/read anything like this?

  40. I think it was probably a mistake to not compete a bit with the Mavs to get Ndour. The cost is low, the potential high, the fit decent.

    Exactly. I think this is the point most people are missing. Finding cheap talent in the NBA isn’t easy. If teams we could just wait 3-5 years, they’d know exactly who to pick up today. However without that knowledge they have to guess.

    Hence you can’t hold the same standard of proof to a veteran NBA player that you would to an unproven one. So it’s easy to say that every unproven prospect isn’t likely to pull through, and laugh at those who seek after them. That’s true since most of them will fail. You’ll never fail to make the crowd laugh by poking fun at innovation.

    Most people were upset at Chris Copeland, but he didn’t play (much or well) in Indy. But hoping the Knicks will keep him at the time, based on the evidence at hand isn’t folly, unless you think very highly of Quincy Acy getting 1200+ minutes.

    I think it’s a smarter strategy to go for the less proven than someone who has played let’s say 6000+ NBA minutes with mediocre stats. Sure maybe that strategy isn’t great for every team (Warriors, Cavs), but for a team without a first round pick next year, gambling a small amount of guaranteed money seems to be a good way to try to make up that talent gap.

    I don’t think anybody saying Ndour is destined for NBA greatness. What I’m saying is that he’s has potential to better than whatever NBA cliff hangers are left out there to fill a roster.

    [For the record Von Wafer has a higher career NBA PER than Robeson, and I said Cheikh Samb “projects well for a backup center.” ]

  41. The heat of the summer really doesn’t suit your name-calling that well, huh? :-P

    Oops! :) I was wondering why that sounded weird to me as I wrote it. :) Thanks, I fixed it!

  42. Speaking of mistakes (or possible ones), what do y’all think of this snippet from Zach Lowe today?

    In the days before the draft, Charlotte peddled that no. 9 pick and Vonleh to some of the teams ahead of it — an attempt to vault into star range.

    I’m high on Porzingis, but wouldn’t Vonleh + Winslow be better for a team as barren as us? Of course we couldn’t have known Winslow would be there, but there was always going to be someone good at 9. If it wasn’t Winslow, it would have been Mario, WCS, Mudiay that fell.

  43. I’m high on Porzingis, but wouldn’t Vonleh + Winslow be better for a team as barren as us? Of course we couldn’t have known Winslow would be there, but there was always going to be someone good at 9. If it wasn’t Winslow, it would have been Mario, WCS, Mudiay that fell.

    I guess it depends on how much you like Vonleh. I’m not a big fan, so I would pass. But yeah, if you knew Winslow would be there, that’d be a very tempting offer.

  44. The Knicks didn’t sign N’Dour, but they did offer guaranteed contracts to two similar longshot type players in Atkins and Saunders. You can’t really get upset at a team that decides on the 135th and 150th best prospects and passes on the 130th best prospect. In reality that’s the kind of decision the Knicks made. N’Dour was fun in summer league and all that but the difference in long-term potential between N’Dour and Atkins/Saunders is small enough to be immeasurable.

  45. It doesn’t matter for your point, but just noting that they actually didn’t offer guaranteed contracts to either Atkins or Saunders. They both got partial guarantees. Odds are that the guaranteed money is very, very little. It’s more just to secure their services for training camp. Enough to make sure that they don’t go somewhere else but not enough to factor into any roster decision. Typically under $100,000. Ndour, on the other hand, they were reported to offer a full guaranteed first year.

    As for your point, I disagree that the differences are that close. I think that if the draft was redone today, a team would spend a second rounder on Ndour, while they wouldn’t on either Atkins nor Saunders (there is no doubt that Atkins was the most well-regarded prospect between the three before Summer League, but none of them were ever going to be drafted). Clearly, Ndour’s biggest drawback was that he played for a tiny school and no one had any idea how he would do against other NBA-level players. So no one was ever going to dream about spending a draft pick on him under those circumstances. After Summer League, those worries would have been alleviated.

    EDTIED TO ADD: By the way, I just saw that Ndour attended Monroe College in New Rochelle, my hometown. Neat. I think he still actually lives in New Rochelle.

  46. I guess it depends on how much you like Vonleh. I’m not a big fan, so I would pass.

    Then Batum + Winslow?

    I don’t know. It’s not a no-brainer. I really like Zinger. But that was intriguing.

  47. Oh sure, it’s definitely very intriguing. I’ve said before that if the Knicks had taken Winslow fourth, I would have been fine with it, so it is really just about adding Vonleh, right? I think Zinger has shown enough in Summer League, though, that I would just rather see what he could do instead, but yes, it’s a very tempting offer.

  48. In the days before the draft, Charlotte peddled that no. 9 pick and Vonleh to some of the teams ahead of it — an attempt to vault into star range.

    I’m high on Porzingis, but wouldn’t Vonleh + Winslow be better for a team as barren as us? Of course we couldn’t have known Winslow would be there, but there was always going to be someone good at 9. If it wasn’t Winslow, it would have been Mario, WCS, Mudiay that fell.

    Wow, I called that pkg before the draft. I would have taken Turner at number 9. I wonder if the knicks would have drafted Grant at 19 still? Would the knicks have wanted Willy H in the second round or would they have targeted a wing?

  49. I think it was probably a mistake to not compete a bit with the Mavs to get Ndour. The cost is low, the potential high, the fit decent.

    Exactly. I think this is the point most people are missing. Finding cheap talent in the NBA isn’t easy.

    I’m not sure anyone is missing that point. I think the point you and many others are missing is that Ndour’s potential is not necessarily any higher than many other players… finding cheap players is easy, deciding which ones have talent that will create value in the NBA is hard.

    Ndour happens to be “our” potential diamond in the rough and human beings have a tendency to value loss greater than gain (same factor plays into the discussions on Lin and my old bud Copeland). If Ndour had been on the Spurs SL team and Atkins on the Knicks’ entry, I have to wonder what the banter would be about.

    A lot of people have decided that Ndour’s the guy to bet on for 3 years down the road. It’s not that I think he’s a bad guy to bet on, it’s just that I haven’t seen much analysis on here actually comparing Ndour to other options (largely my point to bgibberman).

  50. vonleh and the #9… i probably wouldn’t taken that before the draft but knowing that winslow was there at 9 i definitely would’ve done that…

    although knowing that porzingis is 7ft 3 now did change some projections but i think knowing what we all know now i would still have done that deal…

  51. Clearly, Ndour’s biggest drawback was that he played for a tiny school and no one had any idea how he would do against other NBA-level players.

    I think this is a pretty huge assumption on your part (stated as a fact for whatever reason). Not only do small school and somewhat obscure country players regularly go high in the draft… but he spent two years at Ohio University… a school with 40,000 students in the MAC that had a lottery pick F in Gary Trent 20 years ago, a 2nd round F in Brandon Hunter 10 years ago, and made the Sweet 16 in 2012. Why did no one have any idea how Ndour would do, but Mudiay and Payne went in the lottery (just as 2015 examples)? It could be that he was underscouted or written off due to silly reasons… but couldn’t it also be that NBA people had roughly as much idea how Ndour would do as many players, but just didn’t think he’d do well? (That’s not to say that they were right.)

  52. vonleh and the #9… i probably wouldn’t taken that before the draft but knowing that winslow was there at 9 i definitely would’ve done that…

    although knowing that porzingis is 7ft 3 now did change some projections but i think knowing what we all know now i would still have done that deal…

    You don’t think Zinger showed enough in Summer League to think that maybe he might be something very special? I agree that Vonleh and Winslow would be quite a haul, but I wouldn’t take that for any of the top three picks and I think I would now extend it to Zinger, as well.

  53. By the way, I just saw that Ndour attended Monroe College in New Rochelle, my hometown. Neat. I think he still actually lives in New Rochelle

    Actually, Monroe College has both a New Rochelle and Bronx campus. I park by the one in the Bronx when I go to Yankee games. It’s on the corner of Fordham Rd. and Jerome Ave. It would be neat to have had him here.

  54. Actually, Monroe College has both a New Rochelle and Bronx campus. I park by the one in the Bronx when I go to Yankee games. It’s on the corner of Fordham Rd. and Jerome Ave. It would be neat to have had him here.

    Oh yeah, you’re right. I totally forgot about their Bronx campus. I know exactly what you’re talking about with the parking there, too. But since he lives in New Rochelle, it’s probably more likely he went to the New Rochelle one though, no?

  55. and i was slightly miffed about ndour but feel a lot better once we decided to bring on saunders and atkins… both have as decent a shot as ndour did…

    probably more annoyed at how we target older prospects… guys like wood, livingston, alexander would’ve had a lot more upside but it’s pretty clear we’re not really interested in younger prospects…

  56. I do like them bringing those guys in, as well. I wish they had more open roster spots for young guys, though. I presume this recent Boozer talk is just talk, right? Sort like how the Yankees are linked to every available player, so, too, are the Knicks linked to all available free agents.

  57. It was reported at the time that the Mavs offered more guaranteed money to Ndour than the Knicks did. That implies that the Knicks offered him some money. Perhaps the sources were lying or mistaken, but the fans did not make up the narrative. The truth is out there.

    Ummmm, No it doesn’t imply anything…if the Knicks offered him zero guaranteed money and just an invite to camp, the Mavs offered him “more guaranteed money” by definition. A year and a half guaranteed money is clearly more than zero.

    So… the report quoting an unnamed source tells us precisely nothing about the “negotiation”.

  58. By the way, I don’t like how it’s always “Boozer lied to the blind owner of the Cavs” (that story is being brought up a lot on social media since the reports of the Knicks’ interest in him were published). Gordon Gund was blind since soon after he graduated college. He created his fortune while blind. It just seems so dismissive to make it out like his disability means anything. It was bad that Boozer lied to the Cavs, but Gund being blind has nothing to do with it. “Oh my goodness, he lied to a blind man!” “No, not a blind man!”

  59. i liked how zinger looked and i’m off the ledge on him but there’s still a few things that give me pause and that’s the reaction timing/awareness and the rebounding…

    with winslow i’m almost certain that he’ll be very good and i still would’ve taken him over zinger….

  60. I think Winslow will be a good pro, no doubt about it. If he was taken #4, that would have been fine. I just think Zinger has shown a little separation from the rest of that group (Zinger, Mudiay, Winslow and WCS) since Summer League. I might actually put Johnson and Turner into that group now, with Zinger slightly ahead of that group, they’re all sort of bunched together (in a very good way – some really nice talent there) and I don’t think Vonleh is enough to make up for that separation.

  61. he spent two years at Ohio University… a school with 40,000 students in the MAC that had a lottery pick F in Gary Trent 20 years ago, a 2nd round F in Brandon Hunter 10 years ago, and made the Sweet 16 in 2012.

    Gary “The Shaq of the MAC” Trent being drafted 20 years ago?? That does more to prove Brian’s point than refute it. Ohio is an overlooked school in an overlooked conference. The MAC didn’t have a single player drafted into the NBA from 2003-2015. I think Brian’s statement could have been allowed to stand, sans argument.

  62. it’s probably more likely he went to the New Rochelle one though, no?

    Yep. I’m sure of it. He may have taken courses in the Bronx but I suspect he spent the bulk of his time in Westchester.

    It was bad that Boozer lied to the Cavs, but Gund being blind has nothing to do with it.

    That’s media putting a spin on things. It’s one of the reasons I distrust most news sources. They have a talent for twisting things out of proportion.

  63. Can we stop pretending that NBA front offices/coaches are the basketball equivalent of the Pope? They’re not infallible.

    Can certain bloggers stop using the terms “made a mistake” and “stupid” in their analyses with such metaphysical certitude? You fellas aren’t infallible , either. Or don’t you realize that yet?

    Look…. everybody gets it…. there is a group here that thinks because Phil doesn’t want to run 90% Pnr’s and have the other 3 guys standing behind the arc, he’s some sort of Luddite. So everything he does is stupid by definition. Everybody gets the notion that certain guys look to find ridiculous fault in the smallest things.

    The notion that not signing Ndour to a 1.5 yr guarantee is some sort of crime against humanity is just nuts. Personally I would have liked to see him in camp, but Phil decided he wasn’t worth ~1.3M. He may be wrong, but it is nonsensical to call it a “mistake”before the fact. The guy might have a chronic case of suck fever on the NBA level. He must like the Div I defensive player of the year and Harvard fella better…. but some of you fellas display extreme hubris in the way you write…. either that or you are vying for Marc Berman’s job…..

  64. Does anyone else see a problem of pointing out (the lack of) Ndour’s value because he went undrafted? Of that we’re evaluating him only based on 4 SL games? If NBA GMs are the litmus test of a player’s value, and Ndour failed because he went undrafted — But then 2 teams (that we know of) offered him an NBA contract. And he received one that’s 1+ years guaranteed.

    So right now, if we’re using NBA GMs as our only standard, he’s more valuable than let’s say “real” NBA players like Ledo, Wear, or Galloway, who have lesser contracts.

    Why is it that when multiple NBA GMs decide a player is worthy of an NBA contract after 4 SL games, it’s legit, but when someone else here does it’s “laughable?”

  65. Why the New York Knicks Made a Mistake not Keeping Maurice Ndour

    The notion that not signing Ndour to a 1.5 yr guarantee is some sort of crime against humanity is just nuts.

    Strawman away!

    Can certain bloggers stop using the terms “made a mistake” and “stupid” in their analyses with such metaphysical certitude?

    Bob – here is the quote from the article where the word “stupid” is used:
    For years the Knicks have spent stupidly and irresponsibly.

    Feel free to prove that the Knicks have not spent stupidly over the last 15 years.

    I don’t think that’s an overstatement. Actually it’s pretty spot on.

  66. Again what is laughable, is the extent of how much of a no-brainer people believe it is, and how much the Knicks blew it, by not getting this guy signed, after 4 SL games.

  67. Gary “The Shaq of the MAC” Trent being drafted 20 years ago?? That does more to prove Brian’s point than refute it. Ohio is an overlooked school in an overlooked conference. The MAC didn’t have a single player drafted into the NBA from 2003-2015. I think Brian’s statement could have been allowed to stand, sans argument.

    You cherry-picked one of like seven pieces of evidence I offered. Bravo.

    Again, why was Ndour overlooked when every year several players from unheralded schools, countries, and conferences get drafted? You don’t think that’s worth asking? Well, I do.

  68. Where does the story or anyone say it’s a “no-brainer?”

    The point was this was a minimal risk move for a player I believed was worth taking a shot on.

  69. It’s an implied no brainier. Hence you wrote a post to make your points. If it was someone you could go either way on, you wouldn’t bother

  70. Some people use hyperbole or make reasonable claims that could be interpreted as being unreasonable. Some people like to call people out every time this happens. Some people will continue to defend what they said as reasonable. Sometimes this quickly devolves into name calling. Welcome to the Internets.

  71. I have a feeling that there will be quite a bit of Ndour watching this season on this blog…
    :-)

  72. Mike,

    You seem to have a lot of anger and frustration. Most of the comments I’ve seen you make are either ripping the Knicks (and NBA GMs in general) to shreds or strawmaning commenters’ arguments.

    NBA GMs sign a bunch of back of the bench guys to $500K (or whatever) contracts every season. That doesn’t mean they think those guys have a ton of value. In fact, if there were any consensus among NBA GMs that Ndour is a great value… his price probably would have been bid up (it was bid up marginally by the Mavs, but unless he is risk averse/ his agent is incompetent he probably finds a team to give him more annually if he’s generally seen as a good prospect around the league).

    The idea of a market (or a crowd) is not that every single participant makes amazing decisions, but that on the whole there’s enough wisdom in the market to generally allocate things well. It’s not that every GM is right, but that any one of them could bid up the price for one of these guys… so when a guy goes for the min or whatever, chances are not many teams were that high on him (relatively). The idea is also not that no player will fall through the cracks, but that the odds are much better for a player who doesn’t fall through the cracks than for one who does.

    Why is every NBA GM’s collective opinion something I’ll generally take over a single commenter here? Presumably the 30 of them are personally putting in 40-80+ hours a week analyzing/discussing/researching these sorts of things, plus they each have staffs of dozens of others doing the same. That’s not to say that every NBA GM is even better at picking NBA players than some on here (I remember Layden and Isiah) or that they’ll always be right even if they’re better overall. It’s just that they have way more resources. Just like box score stats stand in as a shortcut for actual analysis with many here, so too are collective GM decisions a proxy for actually scouting a player.

  73. Look…. everybody gets it…. there is a group here that thinks because Phil doesn’t want to run 90% Pnr’s and have the other 3 guys standing behind the arc, he’s some sort of Luddite. So everything he does is stupid by definition. Everybody gets the notion that certain guys look to find ridiculous fault in the smallest things.

    I really don’t think anyone is inclined to think everything Phil Jackson does is “stupid by definition”. When Phil Jackson does things that people perceive to be smart, such as signing Robin Lopez, no one thinks they were actually stupid by virtue of Phil Jackson doing them. When he does dumb things, such as signing Derrick Williams, no one thinks they’re dumb just because Phil Jackson did them. They’re just dumb. To put it simply, I think Phil Jackson being involved has very little bearing on what people think of the Knicks’ moves. That’s the case for me, at least.

    The notion that not signing Ndour to a 1.5 yr guarantee is some sort of crime against humanity is just nuts. Personally I would have liked to see him in camp, but Phil decided he wasn’t worth ~1.3M. He may be wrong, but it is nonsensical to call it a “mistake”before the fact.

    So we shouldn’t form our opinions of moves until after they pan out/don’t pan out? That just doesn’t seem very productive…

    The guy might have a chronic case of suck fever on the NBA level. He must like the Div I defensive player of the year and Harvard fella better…. but some of you fellas display extreme hubris in the way you write…. either that or you are vying for Marc Berman’s job…..

    Could’ve easily had Ndour and those two guys. Worst case scenario is they all suck, just like Lance Thomas and/or Ledo (almost assuredly) will, but are cheaper.

  74. You cherry-picked one of like seven pieces of evidence I offered. Bravo.

    No, man. You offered two players in the past 20 years drafted out of Ohio. I pointed out that there was nobody drafted out of the MAC at all for 15 of those years. Your argument was absurd.

    Again, why was Ndour overlooked when every year several players from unheralded schools, countries, and conferences get drafted? You don’t think that’s worth asking? Well, I do.

    It’s worth asking, I guess, but I think the answer is pretty obvious. There are 351 division I schools. That is over 4,000 players playing in 10,000 total D-I games a year. Only 60 players get drafted by NBA teams. I don’t think it’s much wonder that some good college players slip through the cracks. Undrafted players have gone on to get max contracts, and play in all star games, and become starters, and make meaningful contributions to winning teams.

    A better question to ask, I think, is: Why do good players get overlooked by nba scouts and GMs? I think it’s because they are typically less offensive and more defensively skilled– a trait that gets overlooked by the NBA too often. Bruce Bowen, Ben Wallace, John Starks, Raja Bell, Udonis Haslem, etc…

  75. No, man. You offered two players in the past 20 years drafted out of Ohio. I pointed out that there was nobody drafted out of the MAC at all for 15 of those years. Your argument was absurd.

    My argument that players can get noticed at Ohio (and much less known places) was absurd? Clearly, they can. Trent was one guy I mentioned. I don’t think this is an Ohio U thing, though, and I mentioned others not only drafted but taken in the lottery from similar types of schools. How did a guy from Murray State in the OVC get himself drafted in the lottery this year? A Louisiana-Lafayette player in 2014? A Lehigh kid in 2013?

    I also think Cronin was talking about the school he was at before Ohio, anyway… because again Ohio

    I don’t think it’s much wonder that some good college players slip through the cracks.

    I did not say they don’t. I asked why Cronin assumed that Ndour went undrafted due to level of competition when other players from low level competition get drafted… How he knows that Ndour went undrafted due to level of competition and not because NBA teams saw the guy and just didn’t love what they saw… Some good players fall through the cracks. Is Ndour one of those players?

    Why do good players get overlooked by nba scouts and GMs? I think it’s because they are typically less offensive and more defensively skilled– a trait that gets overlooked by the NBA too often. Bruce Bowen, Ben Wallace, John Starks, Raja Bell, Udonis Haslem, etc…

    I can’t bring up a guy from the same school in 95 as evidence that guys from that school can get noticed, but you can bring up a guy from a major school in 88 and not a single guy entering the league since 03 as evidence that this guy went unnoticed because of his school? This discussion was about school. You’ve moved the goal posts.

  76. Why does everyone assume that every young/cheap FA WANTS to sign with the Knicks — as in “We could have signed” or “We should have signed” this guy or that guy? As we learned with the first and second tier guys, loads of guys want to play elsewhere. Maybe Ndour thinks that the Mavs are a better opportunity for him regardless of whether the Knicks matched their offer.
    In other news, the Knicks are supposedly interested in Kevin Seraphin.

  77. Why does everyone assume that every young/cheap FA WANTS to sign with the Knicks — as in “We could have signed” or “We should have signed” this guy or that guy? As we learned with the first and second tier guys, loads of guys want to play elsewhere. Maybe Ndour thinks that the Mavs are a better opportunity for him regardless of whether the Knicks matched their offer.

    I could be wrong but I think Ndour said specifically that he wanted to play on the Knicks. Obviously undrafted free agents are in no position to give discounts to anyone.

    In other news, the Knicks are supposedly interested in Kevin Seraphin.

    That’s too bad.

  78. I think Charlie needs to do a Phil Files on the N’Dour saga to put it to bed.

    From reports it did look like the Knicks tried to sign him, so it seems they were of the same mind as most people here, it’s just that Dallas in their post Jordan heartbreak splurging pounced on him and obviously offered him a better deal. I mean logistically it may not have been a stretch to match it, but I hardly think it’s a dire mistake given N’Dour’s preferences and own decision making process are a pretty significant factor, which I feel is an aspect that sometimes gets overlooked when we debate why the FO made a ‘mistake’ in not signing X player. I take some comfort in knowing we at least tried to get him on board. If we had have just completely ignored the option, then it would have been a mistake in not at least exploring signing him

  79. How did a guy from Murray State in the OVC get himself drafted in the lottery this year?

    Murray State has won it’s conference for 6 straight years. They were 29-6 last year, and are 158-43 since 2010. They’ve played nationally broadcast games and won them. Their coach was just hired to replace Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State.

    Ohio, on the other hand, was 10-20 last year.

    But I think that comparison is ultimately moot because arguing that if one guy can get drafted out of a small conference then anybody can isn’t really much of an argument, not when there are 4,000 players and only 60 draft selections.

    I can’t bring up a guy from the same school in 95 as evidence that guys from that school can get noticed, but you can bring up a guy from a major school in 88 and not a single guy entering the league since 03 as evidence that this guy went unnoticed because of his school? This discussion was about school. You’ve moved the goal posts

    You can argue whatever you want, I guess, but you’re not going to convince people that because Gary Trent, who was from Athens, OH, btw, and was offered spots at Duke, Kansas, MSU, and Florida State but opted to stay in his home town to play college ball, was able to get himself drafted out of Ohio U, that Maurice Ndour, a Senegalese dude recruited by nobody else, is not worth rolling the dice on.

  80. Obviously it’s not really related to the main thrust of this discussion, but I really liked the depth of this breakdown, and would love to see some similar analysis of guys who are going to be Knicks next year. Nice work!

  81. This, coming from a guy who had Kenneth Faried and Kyle Anderson inducted in Springfield before they got to training camp…

    Are you actually criticizing my love of Faried? Really?

    http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/players/521-kenneth-faried

    This dude? This dude who was the #22 pick in the draft? This is who you’re aiming at? And Kyle Anderson? The #30 pick? The #30 pick who played about as many minutes in Summer League as he did all last season?

    C’mon, bro. This counterargument is a no-brainer.

  82. Mike,

    You seem to have a lot of anger and frustration.

    You’re wrong. When I wrote these comments I was pretty happy and satisfied.

    However not all my comments today have been written in that mood. There’s still an unresolved matter on a previous thread that is waiting for your attention. You may want to deal with that before making another comment.

  83. why are we talking about Summer League MVP Kyle Anderson?

    Ndour was a very good shot blocker, good rebounder, and terrible ball handler in college. He played for a small conference school, and he’s a bit old. But he also shows intriguing shooting skills for a man with his size.

    Atkins put up (slightly) better defensive stats for a better team in a better conference, is significantly bigger, is also kinda old, but was largely a zero on offense. So I dunno-I think they’re both worth a look, but I could make an argument for either one of them. They both have significant flaws, but were very good at doing things that translate well to the NBA and seem to have the necessary athleticism to compete in the league. Ndour has more upside because of his shooting ability. Atkins was an atrocious player on offense at Virginia. Philosophically, I think the Knicks should make more of an effort to find young scrap heap dudes and give the ones they do like longer more team friendly deals. I suppose that means I think the Knicks are the stupidest and that Phil Jackson is the dumbest GM in the NBA? We’ll have to wait until we leave camp-if Travis Wear, Ricky Ledo and Carlos Boozer are on the team, then Phil is the Dumbest.

  84. Donnie, first you called my argument ridiculous then you agreed with it now you are strawmanning it. My actual argument: Brian’s assertion that Ndour’s main factor working against him (or however he worded it) was his small school is an assumption, not “clear” as he said. As evidence, I referred to many players from small schools who get drafted and named a few specifically. You picked one of those names to focus on for whatever reason, but that one name wasn’t my whole argument. You literally agreed that his school isn’t the main reason he wasn’t drafted when you said that his skillset is the main reason.

    In ABSOLUTELY NO WAY was my argument ever that because Trent got drafted Ndour isn’t worth a shot. I said nothing that came close to even resembling that. Sorry that you misunderstood what I was saying. You have stated you agree with what I was actually saying.
    And guys from Senegal get drafted in the lottery… so him being from Senegal is also probably not the reason he wasn’t drafted.
    Maybe ask someone what they mean instead of attacking them over what you think they might mean.

    Mike, Again… your comments come across as being angry and frustrated. Not in this thread. In general. I’m not sure I’ve seen you make a comment that isn’t primarily meant to belittle either the Knicks or another commenter on your site since I’ve been back.

    I have resolved that issue in my mind, by pointing out how you have repeatedly lied. You are wrong that you didn’t lie. You did.

  85. Per the Zach Lowe piece on the hornets today, Charlotte’s decision making inner circle is Michael Jordan, two experienced front office guys, Michael Jordan’s financial advisor, and (I shit you not) Michael Jordan’s brother Larry.

    Teams I would always want to be involved in trades with:

    Sacramento
    The Lakers
    Charlotte

  86. 1. I liked what I saw from Ndour in summer league. I was hoping he got a camp invite.

    2. I know from my own stat work you often can’t tell much from 40 games at the NBA level let alone 4-5 games at the summer league level.

    3. NBA managements make mistakes, but IMO a lot of what we classify as mistakes are actually statistically correct moves that don’t work out well. There are a handful of managements that are clearly excellent or poor, but most are probably in between. IMO, many of the patterns we think we see are random distributions of good and bad luck.

    4. We only have a couple of spots left. From what I gather the priority is still another C and PG. If we signed Ndour, we’d probably have to let someone else go. Would we rather have Ndour or Thanasis? We couldn’t just bring Ndour to camp to get a better look at both. We had to make the decision now after just a few games. Personally, I think I like Ndour over Thanasis, but I can’t say with any confidence that I am right off of such a limited sample.

    5. A lot of teams consider age when they calculate potential. I think Ndour’s age worked against him in the draft (as did his competition).

  87. Adds Rich Cho, the team’s GM: “If it was such a no-brainer for us, why would another team want to do it?”

    Polk argues drafting extra players might have cramped Charlotte’s roster space. “We didn’t have enough spots after picking up Spencer Hawes, Jeremy Lamb, and Batum,” Polk [Polk is Jordan’s financial guy-apparently Larry didn’t get interviewed] says. “Even if someone wants to give me first-round picks, what am I going to do with them?”

    I mean, look at this shit-this is a real NBA front office. These are the people you think are persuasive authorities? Here’s more:

    Charlotte faced almost the exact same draft-night dilemma a year earlier, when Vonleh unexpectedly fell to no. 9 and another team bugged the Hornets about moving up. The Hornets started that night hoping for Doug McDermott, Cho’s pet choice, and they rejected Chicago’s offer of nos. 16 and 19 for that ninth pick — the same deal Denver ultimately received in exchange for the no. 11 pick, where the Bulls picked McDermott. The Hornets had interest in Rodney Hood, sources say, and could have nabbed him with one of Chicago’s picks.

    That’s two real NBA front offices wanting to take Doug McDermott in the top 10 of the NBA draft.

  88. Would we rather have Ndour or Thanasis?

    They don’t have to sign Thanasis this year. They’ll still own his rights.

  89. They don’t have to sign Thanasis this year. They’ll still own his rights.

    Is that true if Thansis goes to Europe?

    He has already stated he won’t go back to the D league for another year when there are better offers in Europe. He gave up an offer like that and a lot of money last year to stay with NY and earn 25k (or whatever) in the Westchester. I can’t blame him if he leaves.

  90. Ted,

    Would you mind typing your comments in caps lock from now on? That way your font could match your tone.

    Thanks a lot,

    Everyone

  91. Is that true if Thansis goes to Europe?

    Yes. And oh yeah, I wouldn’t blame him either for going to Europe. Just noting that they wouldn’t lose his draft rights, so if he ever wanted to return to the NBA, he’d have to go through the Knicks.

  92. Yes. And oh yeah, I wouldn’t blame him either for going to Europe. Just noting that they wouldn’t lose his draft rights, so if he ever wanted to return to the NBA, he’d have to go through the Knicks.

    Then it’s a little harder to make the case against offering Ndour enough to keep him around given that they must have brought him in because they saw something they liked before these SL games.

  93. Well, I mean, apparently they at least realized their mistake and tried to get him to renege on his Dallas deal! That’s something!

  94. Phil’s biggest failure as a GM so far is squeezing extra value from situations. The best GM’s always seem to get deals; second round picks thrown in, a final year contract as a team option, a promising free agent on a three year minimum deal, Phil has yet to do that. He seems to approach GMing like a coach. He thinks about fit over talent, rewards subpar players (Lou, Lance) with above minimum deals to reward their attitude and hard work rather than trying to squeeze a little more value out of our remaining cap space, flinches when it’s time to sign a player he reportedly wanted because he didn’t want to guarantee a second year, gives a player an option on his second year, etc.

    He is a basketball mind first and his larger decisions (Lopez, Pozingis, Grant, O’Quinn) seem to be pretty good. What he is not is a business man and he doesn’t seem to have the mind for the details. I could be wrong but that’s what I see. When compared to the Morey’s and Nelson’s of the world the difference is staggering. They might not always make the right big decisions but they are always getting little edges that help their team for no cost. Over the last four years Morey has signed Parsons, Beverley and now Christian Wood to three year minimum deals. Nelson managed to get Aminu, Jenkins, Evans, and now Ndour all on minimum deals. These are the kind of things that a talent staved team like NY really needs and never seems to get.

  95. I find the entire you can’t judge off summer league because of a small sample size idea funny. That’s not how these things work…you have to do your best and project off of small sample sizes. This is exactly what the Mavericks did. He wasn’t even on their radar and then they watched him in summer league and decided he was a worthwhile investment. Why am I now allowed to do the same?

  96. Well, I do think it’s fair to say if it was only a few good Summer League games, then this would probably be a reach. But the guy had great numbers in college and was a much sought after Summer League player, so the scouts obviously saw something in him, as well. And then he had a great Summer League. It’s the combination of all three –

    1. strong performance in college (albeit for a small program against lesser competition),
    2. scouts liked him enough that he had multiple teams trying to get him to play for their Summer League team (the Knicks got the nod because they didn’t force him to commit to playing in the D-League next season if they signed him, as he didn’t want to turn down Europe in favor of the D-League and, I presume, although it wasn’t cited, the fact that he lives in New York had to play a role) and then, most importantly,
    3. he played very well in the Summer League against NBA-level peers

    that makes him such a worthwhile signing. Something the Knicks even ultimately agreed on, as well, apparently, as they tried to get him to renege on his deal with Dallas to sign with them.

  97. I think it’s really obvious that the Knicks should’ve signed ndour by adding guaranteed money. There was pretty much no reason for his not signing besides our front offices complacency or penny pinching. It doesn’t mean Phil is a bad GM, but I definitely agree that he’s not an angle player/as detail oriented which is one aspect of an ideal GM.

  98. I don’t even think it necessarily says anything about the Knicks or Phil beyond “they probably should have guaranteed Ndour money to get him to sign with them.” Something that apparently they even concede, since they tried to get him to renege on his Dallas contract to sign with them.

  99. @99 what exactly has morey done to give you such a high impression of him? it’s not like the rockets have ever set the league on fire/are ever consider a true contender, they haven’t won anything since way before money was there. I don’t get it. they usually get bounced in 1st or 2nd rd in relatively embarrassing fashion. They frequently miss out on various big free agents they covet and then there was the summer where they traded or lost Kyle lowery and dragic only to bring in Lin for big bucks and then they had to attach a draft pick to jettison him…you could also look at the parsons debacle…

  100. They went to the Western Conference Finals just this year. I think your standard for “true contender” might be too high. The Kyle Lowry trade, by the way, was also the integral part of them acquiring James Harden, so I don’t think they regret that deal.

  101. @82, Awww, it’s so cute when you pull out that dust-covered WoW shit. But yeah, Faried is great, keep thinking that. Can’t shoot a jumper or FT, or pass, or defend, but sure, he’s worth $13 million per.

    Anderson? True, he’s a #30 pick. The point I was making is that you mock us for doing the same thing you have done in previous years. Yet this year, you haven’t weighed in at all, except to poke fun.

  102. So there are several problems with the argument that we should sign Ndour for guaranteed money.

    First of all, I have seen almost nobody make any attempt to falsify their argument that we should sign Ndour. Instead of praising Ndour for what we can see him do we really ought to compare him against the other available players. If he is significantly better than these other players or part of a small elite group of prospects, then he’d be worth guaranteed money.

    Second, no one should base the value off of 4 summer league games. Truth be told I don’t think Summer league provides any information at all to us, however, I don’t have to hold that for this argument. 4 games is too small a sample and shouldn’t move the needle enough from his larger sample of college games. Bayes theorem says we should update our beliefs when presented with new evidence. The evidence teams had prior to Summer League suggested that he wasn’t worth a 2nd round pick. Perhaps he was close to being drafted and moved the needle enough to be considered equivalent to a 2nd round pick However, I can hardly consider not signing any 2nd round pick a “mistake”. Any given 2nd rounder is no more likely to succeed than another.

    TLDR: No one has done any work whatsoever to show that Ndour was a mistake.

  103. To all the sophists on the board:
    Ted is this board’s Socrates and he is being similarly persecuted.

  104. Phil’s biggest failure as a GM so far is squeezing extra value from situations. The best GM’s always seem to get deals; second round picks thrown in, a final year contract as a team option, a promising free agent on a three year minimum deal, Phil has yet to do that.

    Langston Galloway, Thanasis Antetekuompo, Louis Labeyrie, and Cleanthony Early would seem to be strong counterexamples.

  105. Well, Thanks to MJ the knicks got Grant. I am not sure the knicks get Grant if the Bos/Cha deal happens since the Hornets and the Hawks had a prearranged deal in place.

    So thanks Micheal

  106. Langston Galloway, Thanasis Antetekuompo, Louis Labeyrie, and Cleanthony Early would seem to be strong counterexamples.

    signing players like jeremy evans, patrick beverly etc to early 3 year deals with 1.5 years of guaranteed money is smart. buying 2nd round draft picks and picking someone isn’t equivalent to giving out shrewdly constructed contracts to proven players at the d-league or NBA level. these “counterexamples” you brought up aren’t similar at all except for galloway, and galloway is only gonna be considered a “smart” pickup if he improves this season. I think it’s pretty obvious if you look at our past trades that Phil isn’t the kind of build small advantages type like Morey or Hinkie and is more worried about cultivating a new culture (something he repeatedly stresses in his interviews) than getting back assets like late 2nd round picks or cost controlled players that don’t fit his vision. That may or may not be good, but he’s certainly no min-maxing efficiency nerd.

    Ted is this board’s Socrates and he is being similarly persecuted.

    …you can’t be serious right?
    …no?

    no.

  107. @105
    Ok so that brings his grand total of playoff series won to a whopping 3 in 7 years! That’s only two more than the Knicks in this time period. That is why I wouldn’t regard them as a true contender. Let’s not forget They were also on the verge of losing to the clips down 3-1 before an inexplicable meltdown occurred and they didn’t exactly challenge gs in the next round..the Royce young pick was disastrous…

    He seems to miss out on a big time free agent every summer even though they have a pretty solid core and no state tax.

    Look I don’t think he’s a total Jamoke but I’m just wondering why he is lauded as the gold standard in gming by some people? Is it Because he has a background in statistics?

  108. I think Galloway counts. The thing isn’t to praise Morey, Hinkie, etc. just for their hits, but their overall approach of making minimal risk/high reward contracts with their young players. Galloway fits into that mold, as the Knicks locked him in for this season on a partially guaranteed deal. That was a good signing. So I think Galloway counts.

    The other ones, yeah, they’re just normal second round draft picks who were either signed to typical second round draft pick contracts (Early) or weren’t signed at all yet (Thanasis, Labeyrie).

  109. Bob – here is the quote from the article where the word “stupid” is used:
    For years the Knicks have spent stupidly and irresponsibly.

    Feel free to prove that the Knicks have not spent stupidly over the last 15 years.

    I don’t think that’s an overstatement. Actually it’s pretty spot on.

    Mike,

    This was not what I was referring to when I objected to you bloggers on this site speaking as your opinions are facts ordained with metaphysical certitude.

    I was referring to Brian’s statement the other day:

    By the way, I wish to note that it’s not even like the N’dour/Thomas/Admunson stuff really makes me angry or whatever. It’s not a huge deal. It’s just stupid, any way you slice it.

    Clearly, just because some of the Phil haters believe not signing N’dour is stupid or a mistake, does not make it so. It just sounds silly coming from supposedly knowledgeable writers.

    My objection isn’t that you guys have an opinion…. but rather you state your opinion as it is somehow a fact not in dispute. N’dour’s value as an NBA player is most certainly in dispute, hence, not signing him cannot be stupid or a mistake at this point.

  110. @105
    Ok so that brings his grand total of playoff series won to a whopping 3 in 7 years! That’s only two more than the Knicks in this time period. That is why I wouldn’t regard them as a true contender. Let’s not forget They were also on the verge of losing to the clips down 3-1 before an inexplicable meltdown occurred and they didn’t exactly challenge gs in the next round..the Royce young pick was disastrous…

    They went to the Western Conference Finals this year. What does their past have to do with their current status as a true contender? The Cavaliers hadn’t made the playoffs since 2010 before last year, but obviously they’re a true contender now because their current team is really good. Same with the Rockets. They’ve improved their win total each of the last four seasons (true, that counts the lockout-shortened season for the first year, but even if you go by winning percentage instead of wins, they’ve improved each of the last four seasons).

    He seems to miss out on a big time free agent every summer even though they have a pretty solid core and no state tax.

    He signed the biggest free agent on the market just two year ago.

    Look I don’t think he’s a total Jamoke but I’m just wondering why he is lauded as the gold standard in gming by some people? Is it Because he has a background in statistics?

    I wouldn’t say he’s the gold standard, just that he’s a very good GM who has made a number of innovative moves. For one, the idea of using your leverage against second-round picks to force them to sign wildly team-friendly deals. That’s been one of those game-changing moves that other GMs have only slowly begun to catch up to him on).

    But sure, he surely is not some perfect GM by any stretch of the imagination. Just this past offseason, he let Chandler Parsons become a free agent specifically to re-sign him, either with Chris Bosh or without and then ended up not re-signing him after losing out on Bosh. That same Chris Bosh deal that ultimately fell through caused him to be held over a barrel by the Lakers to clear cap space to sign Bosh (in a surprisingly astute piece of GMing by the Lakers, they told the Rockets, “Yeah, we’ll clear Lin’s salary off of your cap for a first rounder, but only if you do the deal tonight,” which was before Morey could get a confirmation from Bosh – the Lakers, of course, knew if he didn’t get Bosh he wouldn’t have traded Lin, so they smartly made their deadline before Bosh made a decision). So those were both bad beats.

    However, even there, he rebounded by using trade exceptions to add Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer, who ended up giving them a different dynamic at the three than Parsons, but one that might have been better for the team overall, as it added a strong defensive platoon to the small forward position, which ended up helping them improve their overall defense. He didn’t know that would happen when he made the decision with Parsons, though. He made a mistake, just one he did a good job of making up for.

  111. The other ones, yeah, they’re just normal second round draft picks who were either signed to typical second round draft pick contracts (Early) or weren’t signed at all yet (Thanasis, Labeyrie).

    buying 2nd round draft picks and picking someone isn’t equivalent to giving out shrewdly constructed contracts to proven players at the d-league or NBA level.

    I’ll re-quote that since people seemed to have skimmed the first time I quoted the comment I was responding to.

    The best GM’s always seem to get deals; second round picks thrown in

    Thanasis, Cleanthony, and Labeyrie were all second round picks acquired via trade. They are quite clearly counterexamples.

    Regardless, Galloway is also a counterexample. Whether or not Galloway pans out can’t be held against Jackson for the decision that was made at the time it was made.

  112. As someone else noted earlier tonight, the Knicks have traded away as many second rounders as they’ve taken in, so those guys don’t go to that point. He’s complimenting GMs who always seem to collect multiple second-rounders.. The Knicks haven’t, since they’ve traded away as many as they’ve acquired. I’m certainly not saying that collecting second-rounders is some end all be all of GMing, just that it isn’t what the Knicks have done.

    Galloway counts, though, to be sure. That is definitely an example of a Morey-esque signing.

  113. Ted is this board’s Socrates and he is being similarly persecuted.

    …you can’t be serious right?
    …no?

    no.

    Convincing argument.
    Allow me to elaborate.

    1. Ted is skeptical of people’s claims, just as Socrates was.
    2. Ted makes few claims of his own, just as Socrates did.
    3. Ted is accused of making claims that he never did, just as Socrates was.
    4. Ted is being threatened with banishment, just as Socrates was.
    5. Ted annoys people, just as Socrates did.

    My 2nd & 3rd claim has been contested, however, I have read the majority of the posts myself and have found 2 & 3 to be true. I can certainly understand where the confusion stems from as Ted uses a number of subtleties in his language that others don’t seem to pick up on.

    Even if we dismiss my 2nd & 3rd claim, I don’t think anyone can contest the 1st, 4th, or 5th claim. Please let me know which you disagree with.

  114. As someone else noted earlier tonight, the Knicks have traded away as many second rounders as they’ve taken in, so those guys don’t go to that point. He’s complimenting GMs who always seem to collect multiple second-rounders.. The Knicks haven’t, since they’ve traded away as many as they’ve acquired. I’m not even saying that collecting second-rounders is some end all be all of GMing, just that it isn’t what the Knicks have done.

    That’s a fair point. However, I would argue that we have gotten value back for those picks. Whether or not the value we got was worth it I have no opinion on. I simply want to point out that it’s a mischaracterization of Phil to say that he doesn’t acquire 2nd round picks. Perhaps he’s not careful enough in holding on to them.

  115. 1. Ted is skeptical of people’s claims, just as Socrates was.
    2. Ted makes few claims of his own, just as Socrates did.
    3. Ted is accused of making claims that he never did, just as Socrates was.
    4. Ted is being threatened with banishment, just as Socrates was.
    5. Ted annoys people, just as Socrates did.

    Is there hemlock in Ted’s future?????

  116. @115

    The cavs are a very different scenario. Not sure why they were brought up.

    The past is the evidence to judge how successful morey is as a gm. He has been there for 7 years and has won 3 playoff series. Would you say Phil is successful if we do that in the next 7 years? Yes they got to the conference finals last year by beating a clippers team with an injured cp3 and inexplicably had a meltdown. Rockets proceeded to get dominated by gs next round…they looked more like a broken faucet going from hot to cold last year more than a team on the verge on being the best in the league

    I just do not see any tangible evidence to suggest morey is an elite gm or is even definitively better at team building than Phil Jackson..and hinkie has a lot of picks but has yet to show he has developed an actual core that can win. Also don’t see any proof that he is better than Phil Jackson

  117. Ok I get your point but largely those somewhat menial assets have not amounted to much playoff success for hou or philly. I would have liked to give ndour another patial guarantee or whatever it took but Chances are with undrafted/2nd rd guys like an ndour he won’t be better than a guy like acy which doesn’t exactly move the needle..

  118. I just do not see any tangible evidence to suggest morey is an elite gm or is even definitively better at team building than Phil Jackson..and hinkie has a lot of picks but has yet to show he has developed an actual core that can win. Also don’t see any proof that he is better than Phil Jackson

    Morey’s been there 8 seasons. They have never had a losing record and their winning percentage in those 8 seasons is .597, and that was while transitioning from the Yao Ming/T-Mac teams to the Harden/Howard teams without ever having a losing season (so no high draft picks). That’s an impressive tenure.

    If Phil Jackson has a .597 winning percentage in his first 8 seasons as Knick President, I’d be quite pleased (especially since that means Years 2-8 must have been really good ;) ).

    Ok I get your point but largely those somewhat menial assets have not amounted to much playoff success for hou or philly.

    Well, Hinkie is running a different game than Morey. Morey was specifically trying to be competitive while rebuilding. Hinkie is about taking a few years off and just collecting assets. Hinkie hasn’t tried to be competitive yet. When he does and they still suck, then sure, that will be a bad sign for him and he’ll likely be fired and never get another GM job again. It’s sort of a grand experiment he’s betting his career on.

  119. People love Morey because of his avant-garde position in the analytics scene. I also think we should point out that for 4 years the Rockets were held back by the constant injuries to Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. I think it’s difficult to fault Morey for that.

  120. Please stop comparing Knicks signees Wesley Saunders & Darion Atkins to Maurice Ndour. They have virtually no chance of making the roster. They were guaranteed money because they’re ticketed to play for the Westchester Knicks not the New York Knicks. Do your homework, it’s how NBA teams are now doing business as it relates to inviting players to NBA training camp. Each NBA team can secure 4 players for their D-League team by inviting them to camp & keeping them for a certain number of days.

  121. It is true that both of those guys are most likely going to be just D-Leaguers for the Knicks, but I think that there is a sliiiight chance that Atkins makes the team (I agree that Saunders has next to zero chance). But yes, it is fair to say that they are in a much different position than Ndour. I mentioned that earlier today, no?

    It doesn’t matter for your point, but just noting that they actually didn’t offer guaranteed contracts to either Atkins or Saunders. They both got partial guarantees. Odds are that the guaranteed money is very, very little. It’s more just to secure their services for training camp. Enough to make sure that they don’t go somewhere else but not enough to factor into any roster decision. Typically under $100,000.

  122. Well would you offer the same forgiveness to the Knicks with the injuries to stat and Tyson almost every year? I would say there have been a lot of cores that routinely win 50+ reg season games but are not built to win in the playoffs (which is the ultimate goal). The Mike woodsons Hawks would be good example of this. I never thought of them as true contenders either yet they always made the playoffs and won around 50 games..

    I enjoy a statistical based approach in team building to some degree but I’m skeptical as to its superiority vs a culture based approach. I may be sort of generalizing here as I imagine team building is not this black and white. But the constant praise of morey seems a tad unwarranted

  123. He had a .597 winning percentage overall for those the eight years with the injuries taken into consideration. The Knicks have had one single season with a .597 winning percentage or better in the past fifteen seasons. I’d gladly take a team that routinely wins 50+ games. There are very, very few teams that routinely win 50+ games. I’d be thrilled if the Knicks were one of them. And yes, I’d count that 2012-13 team as a true contending team. One that wasn’t built to last, but that one season was great! I loved that season!

  124. One sad thing about Galloway is that even though he fits into the category of finding low value it could possibly be only for one year. The knicks didn’t sign him to a long term deal his contract is up this year. If he explodes and his shooting touch from college comes back to go along with his defense he could cost a pretty penny in a weak FA market. The knicks has his EB rights so I doubt he leaves even if he does have a great year but they could have locked him up for longer.

  125. Yeah, at the time, I was hoping that they would guarantee the second year so that they could possibly get a third year, because the chances of them not bringing him back for this season were so slight that there didn’t seem to be much of point to them haggling over the guarantee for the second year. That said, while I hoped that they could get a third year, it is important to note that Galloway had absolutely no interest in giving the Knicks a third year on the deal. It was hard enough to get him to agree to the partially guaranteed second year. Remember, he knew what his market could be if he performed well just as much as anyone, so he was not going to give the Knicks a cheap third year. So we can’t blame the Knicks for not getting that third year. By the time Galloway was ready to sign, he had already impressed everybody so he had a lot more leverage than a typical undrafted player.

  126. We are discussing why lebron opted to go to miami and we settled for amare
    now, we are talking about Ndour opted to go to dallas as we opted for lou and lance.
    regardless of the choice i think what happened is not a franchise changer and will not affect our team.

  127. Ted is this board’s Socrates

    I knew this board was lacking something, I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

  128. Little request on my behalf to Ted.

    Could you please make your posts a little less verbose?

    I don’t mind the never-ending probing you do to push people to back their claims with some substance, but I honestly can’t bring myself to read anything you write because that aforementioned verboseness puts (for me, at least) every single post of yours in a bland place between boring and annoying.

    Ted is this board’s Socrates

    And here I thought we already had a philosopher on this board, as in Jowles as Nietzsche.

  129. I wasn’t actually saying that Morey or Nelson or Hinkie were necessarily better than Phil. There isn’t enough evidence yet. I was simply praising their ability to maximize every opportunity. Something that I don’t think Phil has the mindset for. He isn’t that type of person and I think that is a real shame and it will hold him back as a GM. If most of his big moves are home runs then missing out on small advantages won’t matter as much but it gives him less room to screw up. Dallas and Houston are able to stay relevant despite some bad luck and bad choices. The maximizing of every asset is part of the reason why. They find hidden gems and small opportunities to improve even when they are capped out or miss on their initial plans or are ravaged with injuries. The fact that Houston was able to get the second seed in the west while dealing with all their injuries is a real testament to Morey getting the end of his bench right.

  130. My two unsolicited cents on the Ted Nelson situation: I don’t know if I would have banned him (not that my opinion would matter), but I do know that this is a blog where people come to read basketball related things and some casual jokes to lighten up their days. So I think we should all refrain from addressing people in unpolite ways just to prove a point (or, at the very least, we should apologize when we lose our temper). It makes the damn thing much less readable and, in general, results in a much poorer experience.

    That said:

    1) Let’s get ready for a Captain Ted Luke Nelson revenge act
    2) Let’s give Karl Marx his due
    3) Let’s all buy some bleach for the day somebody will invite us to drink it.

  131. Eb,

    You realize that making a string of five observations that don’t logically follow from one another isn’t making an argument, it’s just making a string of five observations and an unproven assertion, right? You haven’t made an argument yet, just a variety of observations. Also, your assertion “Ted is the Socrates of this board” is a metaphor, and metaphors probably dont have quantifiable truth conditions, so you should probably recast your metaphor as a simile, as similes do have truth conditions. So far, there’s nothing approaching an argument being made.

    But let’s say there was, and let’s say you were making it. And let’s say the propositions went as such
    1. X is like Socrates if and only if x possesses enough similar characteristics to Socrates
    2. Ted Nelson is (your five observations)
    3. Ted Nelson is like Socrates

    There’s some problems here. First off, your four of five observations apply equally as well to Donald trump as they do to Ted Nelson (is skeptical of others claims, doesn’t forward many claims of his own, annoys people, is threatened with banishment from the Republican Party) that’s four out of five characteristics, and I fail to see how the difference from four to five allows for trump to not be Socrates but for Ted to be Socrates. Furthermore none of these characteristics of yours pick out Socrates specifically; they’re just general observations commonly associated with Socrates. And the circumstances and charges grounding teds “banishment” are totally incomparable.

    Perhaps you need more criterion: Ted is like Socrates because Ted is more right than us, and we are sophists. First, that’s insulting; second, it’s wrong. But even if it were correct, that still wouldn’t be enough to make him Socrates, it would just be enough to prove to yourself that he was like Socrates, which is tragic to think, in my estimation, but you do you.

    This is my last post about Ted now that he’s with dogrufus and capt Luke in…

  132. I thought the Hernangomez trade was a pretty astute little move.

    I think it was one of the most astute moves of his tenure myself. I’m not trying to say that Phil isn’t astute, but more that he’s not of the “take advantage of every market inefficiency no matter how small” type like Morey et al.

    Personally I think Phils doing a decent enough job so far, it’s just frustrating to see the little moves not work out as well as the larger moves to someone who’s anal and neurotic like myself. Every little advantage helps but if Porzingis turns into a superstar in four years (unlikely but hey) then the little moves probably won’t matter unless we’re in the running for a chip (yeah right) in which case they do.

  133. I think for now Phil’s tenure could be described with a C+. Not what we could have expected, but just seeing the wheels not falling off is already more than enough. And I like much more than I anticipated the Zinger pick.

  134. Mike, I understand that Ted is a difficult poster many times, but I disagree with the decision to ban Ted. Couldn’t you ban particular posts of his instead?

  135. Mike, you didn’t ban Ted, he banned himself. I could forgive him for his nitpicking rants, but not for his complete lack of either a sense of humor, self-deprecation, or courtesy. He wouldn’t give even a centimeter in his dispute with you. You gave him every chance to put out the fire, and he responded with gasoline.

  136. . . . Knicks signees Wesley Saunders & Darion Atkins to Maurice Ndour. They have virtually no chance of making the roster.

    Having read some about both of these, I disagree when it comes to Saunders. I think he has a real chance to make the team. We need another point guard and the market for such a player is difficult. For example, Shved and Larkin both got more money than we wanted to pay. Also, the write up and quotes about Saunders from his college coach really impressed me.

  137. When it comes to statistics we often forget that the definition of small sample size is variable. Whether something is a statistically significant difference depends not only on the sample size, but also on the size of the difference. If the difference is big, then you need a smaller sample size to make a judgement. To make a trivial example, put me on the court in summer league and I would be so much worse than the other players, you’d need less than a game to be sure I was lousy. For N’dour, I think he performed well enough relative to the rest of summer league that four games were enough to conclude that he definitely wasn’t worse than other prospects and might be much better. So I would have loved to see him in camp.

    From the Post article, the Knicks recognized this. They offered him a $200,000 guarantee, which I think is three times the guarantee to Saunders or Atkins, and isn’t an unreasonable offer. But the Mavs then offered him more than the minimum possible guaranteed rookie money and some guaranteed second year money. That was an outstanding offer. I think the Mavs had to do something like this because all things being equal, N’dour would probably have wanted to stay with the Knicks. So they made an offer he couldn’t refuse. I’m not surprised he took it right away.

    I’m not sure what the Knicks could have done about this, but if it’s a mistake, it was a mistake in estimating the market for young players, not a mistake in talent evaluation. The lesson going forward is that since the cap rose without the price of young players rising, young players are very underpriced and we have to be prepared for offers like Dallas’s in the future and consider them business as usual.

  138. IMHO, Morey is an often brilliant tactician with some glaring flaws. He is an irreverent churner who overthinks situations (like he did with Parsons and Lin) and he cares nothing about team chemistry. He had guys like Lowry, Dragic and Parsons under wraps but churned himself into a corner. He made some good recovery deals, like Ariza might have been a better choice in the short run than Parsons.

    I still think his use of Lin’s number to recruit Melo was despicable. And why was he pursuing Melo and Bosh in the first place? Those guys hardly seem to be analytics-freindly max players. Melo may have put that team over the top, but I guess we’ll never know.

    All in all, though, he’s been a very, very good GM. I’d rather have Buford or Ujiri (love that guy!) but Morey’s a top-notch GM by any measure other than championships.

  139. Mike was in a tough situation with Ted and he gave him plenty of rope to hang himself with, which he did. I think he was pretty fair. The only thing I would say is maybe give him a cooldown period with the Jon Abbey ultimatum. Probably wouldn’t work but maybe worth a shot. Either way, life goes on! Back to basketball and my own terrible analysis! I liked N’Dour but he’s likely a flash. Maybe the other guys were picked up will be better in the long run. We’ll have to wait and see. If the Mavs gave him a really good deal and we had gone above it a lot of us probably would have been saying it was an overpay.

  140. All I will say is thank god. You did the right thing Mike. He made the board unreadable at times.

  141. All – I’ve banned Ted Nelson.

    I apologize to anyone who disagrees with the decision.

    Your site, your rules. But I disagree. And I believe Ted wanted (even if he was doing it in bad style) to talk about basketball, and make the comment section a place where we talk about the game. Instead of that, in the last two years it is more about poking fun at the Knicks players and brass, and give way to sensationalist points of view. Truth that the last two years have been forgettable, and humor has always been part of this blog. But that has make room for posters that behave systematically as snarky trolls and act aggresively against people that dont share their thoughts (right or wrong), and has driven away more thoughtful posts.

    Perhaps offseason wasnt a good moment for him to come back

  142. I generally don’t like it when people get banned. I’ve been banned unjustifiably a couple of times when I disagreed with the forum host “too well” and it pissed me off. I tried to help Ted over the weekend, but I don’t think he quite grasps the difference between expressing your own opinions and making demands on the opinions of others. After awhile it gets to the point where you don’t want to post because Ted might spend a few hours examining every word you said looking for ways to disagree and drag you into a conversation you don’t want to have and don’t have time for. If you feel obligated to respond to clarify, that in turn gets you into an endless loop of nonsense with Ted. In this case I think a ban is going to make for an improved forum.

  143. Prior to Ted’s (re)arrival I read pretty much every comment on every thread. After he came back, let’s just say that was far from the case. Seems like a lot of people were with me in that regard, which I think is as good a reason to ban someone as any.

  144. Wes Saunders is not a point guard. It’s a D-League deal. Is it possible he makes the team? Yes, but highly doubtful; however, Travis Wear made the team with a similar deal last year. You never know, but don’t count on it. NBA teams value maturity – they only want so many rookies on a team. Future signings will give all a clue of the possibilities that partially guarantee players have in making the team. D-League wages are so low that you have to guarantee quality players money thru the parent club to get them to forego higher wages overseas. The Knicks can invite 20 players to training camp, a maximum of 15 can make the club, but the Knicks are only obligated to keep 13. We’ll see, but the last 2 signees face daunting odds in making the team. They were signed to stock the Westchester Knicks. Expect to see 1 or 2 more of these types of deals.

  145. As of now, the Knicks have five guards under contract, and six if you think Early can play the 2. Ledo’s not a lock to make the final roster, nor is Thanassis (who is, like Early, probably more of a 3). So we have not only openings for guards, but arguably a need for depth at the position. If healthy, Calderon, Afflalo, Galloway and Grant make for a decent backcourt rotation, but if they get hurt, we’re going to need some bodies who can pass and/or shoot.

  146. I’m not criticizing your decision, Mike, but I’m sorry to see Ted banned. I hope he gets a chance to return and that he adjusts his commenting style if he does come back.

    EB since you brought it up, I think the Socrates in Plato’s dialogs is a useful model of discussion board commenting style in some ways.
    1) Socrates was really really fun at parties! because he knew how to combine good reasoning with a good sense of humor.
    2) Socrates gracefully led people to examine their assumptions rather than ridiculing them for the faults he exposed in the arguments. He knew that attacks just make people defensive, harden positions and bog down the flow of ideas.
    3) Socrates seemed humble and more interested in discovering the truth than in proving his superior rhetorical skill.
    4) As a mouthpiece for Plato’s ideas he made points about things he believed to be true rather than contenting himself with criticizing others.

    So Socratic style, to me, isn’t just about questioning assumptions and asking for evidence. It’s about doing so in ways that move conversations forward efficiently and enjoyably. I’m as arrogant and likely to indulge in petty point scoring as the next guy. So even if Ted’s style wasn’t terribly Socratic in anything but the most trivial sense, the ideal you suggest he represented is a useful reminder to me of what makes for good conversation.

  147. Eb,

    You realize that making a string of five observations that don’t logically follow from one another isn’t making an argument, it’s just making a string of five observations and an unproven assertion, right? You haven’t made an argument yet, just a variety of observations. Also, your assertion “Ted is the Socrates of this board” is a metaphor, and metaphors probably dont have quantifiable truth conditions, so you should probably recast your metaphor as a simile, as similes do have truth conditions. So far, there’s nothing approaching an argument being made.

    Alecto,

    I wasn’t making an argument I was explicating the comparison.

    four of five observations apply equally as well to Donald trump as they do to Ted Nelson (is skeptical of others claims, doesn’t forward many claims of his own, annoys people, is threatened with banishment from the Republican Party) that’s four out of five characteristics, and I fail to see how the difference from four to five allows for trump to not be Socrates but for Ted to be Socrates.

    There’s a difference between intellectual skepticism and criticism that seems to be lost to people on this board. Then in an entirely different category are Donald Trump’s racist remarks.

    Ted asked people to justify their arguments and people seldomly did.

  148. 1) Socrates was really really fun at parties! because he knew how to combine good reasoning with a good sense of humor.

    Socrates was never considered fun at parties. He referred to himself as a gadfly, not at all a pleasant comparison.

    2) Socrates gracefully led people to examine their assumptions rather than ridiculing them for the faults he exposed in the arguments. He knew that attacks just make people defensive, harden positions and bog down the flow of ideas.

    Many professionals interpret Socrates’ dialogue as him being passive aggressive or being annoying, e.g., the first book of the Republic.

    3) Socrates seemed humble and more interested in discovering the truth than in proving his superior rhetorical skill.

    This is where I disagree with the majority of the posters here. I believe Ted talks about basketball and asks for justifications of commenter’s positions.

    4) As a mouthpiece for Plato’s ideas he made points about things he believed to be true rather than contenting himself with criticizing others.

    That’s true. I suppose I’m making the comparison more to Socrates as he’s considered historically and when he’s not acting as Plato’s mouthpiece.

  149. I stand corrected on Saunders being a point guard. But I still think he has a significant shot at making the team. A link to his statistics is below. His three point shooting is good, he’s known for defense and he has size for a guard. He also gets a reasonable number of assists. Compare him to John Jenkins who just got a contract from Dallas. He has a chance to be better than Jenkins.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Wesley-Saunders-41313/stats/

  150. As someone who reads this blog everyday but doesn’t comment that often, I’m not sad to see Ted go. I do think people piled on him sometimes and he did bring up good basketball related points. So I wouldn’t say he was a troll. But he was so confrontational with people and refused to ever let stuff go that it got really annoying reading this blog. I stopped reading whenever I saw that he was in a tiff with yet another poster and it made me not want to read this blog. I think that’s good enough reason to ban someone.

  151. I believe Ted talks about basketball and asks for justifications of commenter’s positions.

    Yes. You’re right. He did. But he’s also doing the equivalent of going to a town library’s book club, listening to other members’ opinions, and then vociferously badgering them to provide specific textual evidence for those opinions.

    Maybe in his place of business it’s acceptable to respond to conjecture with a request for evidence, but this is not his place of business nor is it a forum that insists its members produce independent research.

    Worst of all was his tone. I have asked people on this board to review their assumptions about basketball, and I have sometimes done so in a crude way. Ted’s posts were virtually universal in their seething, petulant arrogance. His ban is justified for the tone alone. I’m sure he could have contributed a lot to the board were he not so insistent on beginning every sentence as if he would open-handedly slap every poster he responded to.

  152. I have always enjoyed Ted’s basketball commentary but his inability to play well with others was really making the board difficult to read.

    I would add that I think this board isn’t that much less analytical. Clearly, things have gotten a little more loose but I think most posters here are still just as interested in the numbers. They just are a little less militant about it.

  153. @156.
    I disagree. Several of the dialogs are situated at parties or something very similar and include Socrates poking fun at himself and others and deflecting praise that others try to heap on him. And at least in the profession I’m in, the defining feature of “Socratic style” is the skill of getting people to come to their own conclusions through genuine dialog without making them feel defensive. That style is contrasted with the tendency most of us have to want to show others that they are wrong in a way that is combative and makes us feel good because we won an argument.

    Anyhow, if you think asking people to support what they say isn’t done enough on the board or that discussions get more interesting when someone takes on that role, I respectfully disagree about that too. I think many regular KB posters have a good sense of when statements need to be backed with statistics, careful reasoning, etc. and tactfully call each other on it when those things absent, admit it when they didn’t provide it, etc. Demanding it for trivial assertions or on topics where it’s obviously impossible to have solid statistical evidence is tantamount to saying that a huge number of topics shouldn’t be discussed at all. Or that they any discussion must be preceded with caveats: “I have no evidence to support this intuition about team chemistry but…” It’s obvious that there’s no hard evidence for such things. Why get bogged down over and over in discussions about whether it’s OK to speculate on them if people find them interesting? Aggressively pointing to the lack of evidence on those kinds of things isn’t championing rigorous thinking. It’s making easy points about positions no one was taking to begin with. It’s the opposite of skillful dialog in my opinion and betrays a sophists’ concern with scoring tactical points over the actual substance of a debate.

  154. Ted asked people to justify their arguments and people seldomly did.

    Not true. When I engaged with him a few weeks ago over a throwaway comment that the DeAndre thing was actionable, but it was extremely unlikely that any action would be taken, he went after me repeatedly as someone who didn’t know what he was talking about. I justified my position a variety of ways, including with 1) a link to an outside story describing what legal action could be taken by whom, 2) the statement that anything, really, is actionable (even if you aren’t likely to win), and 3) finally, when he told me I was an idiot who didn’t know anything he was talking about, information about myself that was germane to the conversation – that I understand the situation from a specific, informed position, even if I weren’t a litigator myself. He then mocked me for being full of myself, after six years of lurking and occasionally posting, but never having shared any real personal information in the past.

    Did I care whether it was really actionable or not? No. It’s not even the Knicks we were talking about. Did I say that it was a slam-dunk case? No. I simply said that the bad choices of an NBA player I didn’t particular care about seemed actionable. Then I was forced to defend this mild statement, and was finally derided when I revealed enough personal information to show that actually, I did have a clue what I was saying.

    My bad for being stupid enough to engage with him; I did eventually stop reading him, because it wasn’t fun or informative. But I won’t miss his absolute refusal ever to LET GO or concede that maybe someone else had a point.

    I do kind of miss Abbey. His Shump-love was sort of endearing.

  155. rama described the problem well.

    People come here to read and express opinions on basketball (specifically the Knicks). They don’t come here to feel like they are being cross examined by the DA.

    I do a lot of stats work during the season because I occasionally gamble on the games. That doesn’t mean I want to have a 20 post exchange using that data to try to prove my point to someone that’s going to attack everything he disagrees with.

    You got the feeling that he read every single post looking for anything he could possibly question or attack no matter how trivial and it almost always degenerated. I even explained the problem to him and kept going.

  156. Man, these threads lately have gone to some weird places. All I can say is that, to the best of my knowledge, Socrates never called anybody an asshole, a jerkoff, or a douchebag.

  157. All I can say is that, to the best of my knowledge, Socrates never called anybody an asshole, a jerkoff, or a douchebag.

    Can you back that up? Where are you getting that information? I’ve never seen Socrates tweet about it one way or the other. Do you have some kind of inside source the rest of us don’t? I’d really like to know how you justify your baseless opinion about what Socrates may or may not have said, since it seems to me you can’t possibly have known everything he ever said to everyone he knew.

  158. All I can say is that, to the best of my knowledge, Socrates never called anybody an asshole, a jerkoff, or a douchebag.

    Can you back that up? Where are you getting that information? I’ve never seen Socrates tweet about it one way or the other. Do you have some kind of inside source the rest of us don’t? I’d really like to know how you justify your baseless opinion about what Socrates may or may not have said, since it seems to me you can’t possibly have known everything he ever said to everyone he knew.

    Now, really, this was the kind of comments that Ted Nelson fought back. They do not bring nothing to the conversation, the poster feels entitled to say what Socrates said or didnt say, and besides of all that, they belittle someone (in this case a poster here). Isnt it better not to say this kind of things?

  159. Now, really, this was the kind of comments that Ted Nelson fought back.

    I can’t tell if you understand that I was joking – in fact, by copying Ted’s exact tone and approach.

Comments are closed.