Marc and Jay talk about the signing of Wesley Saunders and Darion Atkins, talk to Sir Insider, talk to JR about his contract negotiations, and answer listener questions
Marc and Jay talk about the newest additions to the team, Bargnani joining the Nets, the first summer league game, and more
Dear Knick Faithful,
I have been concerned with the overwhelming positive fan reaction regarding the Knicks’ offseason this summer, so in response, I am reverentially writing this letter to inform you: we are unequivocally the most delusional fan base in the National Basketball Association. I assume you must be pondering: “Who the are you to say something like that?”
Please allow me to overture this by saying, we generally are the most obsessive fans in the league; it is admirable how we consistently fill the World’s Most Famous Arena, whether the team stinks or not. Unfortunately, in regards to our Knickerbockers, while we excel in loyalty, we are severely lacking in intelligence. It is baffling the amount of praise we are giving Phil Jackson for this offseason. Let us not forget Jackson’s draft debacle. Despite what NBA draft experts claim, we were justified in booing Kristaps Porzingis. We decorously assumed the pick was catastrophic. Jackson drafted a player, who will probably make little to no impact, thus effectively wasting another year of Melo’s prime. Don’t be shocked if Melo eventually waives his no trade clause, and decides he wants out of New York. A month later, we’re praising Jackson for taking the long-term approach in rebuilding this team back to prominence, instead of taking the “quick fix” approach, an approach that has bedeviled us for almost two decades. Of course, no one raised the question: how exactly does one rebuild with a 31-year-old star in Melo, who delayed knee surgery, just so he can impersonate John Starks, in an all star game?
In addition, let us also not forget, when Phil Jackson was hired on March 18th, 2014, he stated, he planned to make a big splash in this free agency class. He reiterated this statement in March, as the Knicks were in the middle of the worst season in franchise history, stating, “We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us, but we also know we’re going to build our team with free agents.”
Jackson, whose $12 million a year salary exceeds league MVP Stephen Curry’s1, failed to make a big splash in free agency, in fact, he failed to even make a ripple. When did our standards become so low, as to where Robin Lopez, a decent center, but certainly not a game changer, Aaron Affalo, a pro who is basically on a one year deal, but is slightly overrated, especially on defense and Derrick Williams, an athletic four, but has been a bust since being drafted number two overall four years ago, warrants a successful offseason? 2, A few months ago, if someone had told you the Knicks would land Robin Lopez, Aaron Affalo, Kyle O’Quinn, and Derrick Williams this offseason, would you have been satisfied? I’ve heard fans claim this was the plan all along; Jackson wanted use cap space, to find role players, who fit his outdated system (The Triangle), instead of max guys like LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol. Let’s be honest with ourselves, given the chance, do we really think Jackson wouldn’t have signed Aldridge or Gasol? I’ve even heard fans claim players will perform at a higher level in a structured system. For example, Demarre Carroll was a journeyman his first few years in the league, before blossoming into an excellent ‘three and D’ player in Mike Budenholzer’s system in Atlanta and just became the highest paid player on the Raptors. Do we really think Derek Fisher, who arguably was the worst coach in the NBA last season, can pull the same feat?
New York Knicks fans in attendance at the recent 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn reacted with disappointment upon the announcement of the Knicks’ much anticipated first-round selection.
While the fan faithful anticipated their club picking a familiar name like Justise Winslow of the Duke Blue Devils or Willie Cauley-Stein from the Kentucky Wildcats, many were surprised when the Knicks took relative unknown Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 overall selection.
The 7′ 1” Latvian spent the past three seasons with Seville of the Spanish Liga ACB, where he was heavily scouted by a number of NBA clubs that discovered a versatile and physical big man who can consistently hit from three-point territory.
The 19 year-old is expected to have an immediate impact on the Knicks fortunes next season and joins a fellow Knick prospect on the NBA player props betting odds as an intriguing 25/1 bet to earn NBA Rookie of the Year honors next season.
Jerian Grant took a much less direct route to a Knicks uniform on Draft Night.
The 22 year-old point guard, who earned Consensus first-team All-American honors last season while leading the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the ACC Tournament title, was taken by the Knicks with the No. 19 selection after New York acquired the pick as part of a three-way deal that saw Tim Hardaway leave the Big Apple for the Atlanta Hawks, and No. 15 pick Kelly Oubre go to the nation’s capital.
The announcement of the acquisition of Grant was met with a roar by Knicks fans in attendance and puts two New York players in the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year mix.
Indeed, the older and more experienced Grant holds the edge over Porzingis in NBA online props betting, with 22/1 odds.
Jahlil Okafor leads the way in early NBA rookie betting, pegged as a 15/4 favorite.
Selected third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, the 6′ 11” center was named ACC Player of the Year last season before leading the Blue Devils to a national championship at this year’s March Madness.
Okafor is closely trailed by second overall pick D’Angelo Russell. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard was a standout for the Ohio State Buckeyes a year ago and is a strong 4/1 bet to be the top rookie in the NBA next season.
First overal pick Karl-Anthony Towns rounds out the front of the betting pack with 11/2 odds at the online sportsbook.
Taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Towns played a key role in Kentucky’s undefeated regular season, earning SEC Freshman of the Year honors.
The Denver Nuggets’ Emmanuel Mudiay, who played last season with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association sits at a strong 7/1, followed by Winslow, who was eventually taken by the Miami Heat, at 9/1.
Marc and Jay take a look at all the free agency moves, give grades for the Knicks offseason so far, and talk about what else needs to be done
Marc and Jay get more in depth with their reaction to the draft and address all of their listener questions and concerns. And there are a lot of them.
Written by Ian Ellis (email@example.com)
Hey guys, I’m baaaaack to help explain what happened last night. The Knicks got three players: Kristaps Porzingis (4th Pick), Jerian Grant (19th Pick) and Guillermo Hernangomez (35th Pick). So everybody calm down, and let’s begin!
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Latvia
The Knicks made a huge splash in the draft by taking the big man from Latvia with the 4th pick. To be completely honest, I booed this pick for the first minute after the pick, just like most of the Barclays Center, but after that I reminded myself why I and all other Knicks fans should be excited with the pick. Let’s look more into Porzingis.
Physical Tools: Porzingis is very long at around 7’3″. May I repeat, 7′ freaking 3″. That’s huge for a player projected to be a PF in the league. Size is not the only thing going for Porzingis, as he is also very athletic. In addition to all of this, he is very smooth and quick like a guard in his movements, he is not just a huge and clunky bigman (*cough* Bargs *cough*)
Shooting: Porzingis has a silky smooth stroke and might be the best shooter in the entire draft class. This, with his superb size, gives him an unblockable shot and allows him to space the floor. In addition he has a very good touch around the basket.
Level of Competition: It should be noted that he played in the ACB last year, probably the best basketball league besides the NBA. Granted, there still is a huge dropoff in play, but it’s good to note that Porzingis probably played against better competition than players like Karl Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor in the NCAA.
Defensive Potential: While Porzingis struggles with defensive concepts (like most young big) and will struggle defending post players due to his lack of strength, he has the tools to become an outstanding shot blocker and pick & roll defender.
Attitude: The problem with a lot of these Euro busts it seems like is that they don’t love the game. For example, when you watch Bargs play, he never seems to really care. From what’s he’s told us, he really cares. He has amazing English, which shows that he wants to learn the game here with language not being a barrier. He’s already said how he doesn’t want to be the next Bargs or Darko or Weis. He’s shown a fire and desire for the game, which I think is important.
Cons: Continue reading
Jay was in class and has no idea what happened and Marc watched live, so Jay tries to guess the top 10 picks.
Written by Guillem @goodoldliam
For the last 2 months or so, I’ve spent quite an amount of time reading and watching videos about the best players in Thursday’s draft. Now it’s the time of truth, and I’ve come to this conclusion to which players I’d draft if I was making the decisions. This order doesn’t mean that I would draft them all at #4, but how high I regard each player. If a player doesn’t have the value, then I’d trade down. Now, let’s go to the big board:
1 Karl-Anthony Towns
The comparison I like the most is a bigger Al Horford. That’s a center that does everything well, including shooting from distance. With the extra size, he could be a better defender and a rim protector too. That’s why he’s considered the best prospect. And that’s why the Knicks won’t get him. We needed to win those final games.
2 D’Angelo Russell
Russell is the first player the Knicks could potentially draft if he falls to 4. I like his shooting, creativity and vision. Would be a great fit in the triangle, and Phil reminded us that the triangle offense is still the plan. With not a lot of quality guards available through free agency this summer or next (Dragic and Rondo in 2015; Conley and Lillard (RFA) in 2016), this draft may be the only way to get one, and potentially a great one. He has a very high bust potential though, read more here [http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/projecting-the-top-50-players-in-the-2015-nba-draft-class/]: he has the highest % of bust potential in the top 25 college players, and also the highest % to become a star from all of them.
3 Kristaps Porzingis
I can imagine a lot of people not wanting Porzingis here. But let me explain. Porzingis has elite size and length, and great athleticism and skill. His major weakness is his strength. Which is why he may need a couple of seasons to develop physically. But I would take the risk of not physically developed yet over players that can’t shoot, have issues off the court, don’t have size or have injury concerns. Because players can add enough muscle easily, like Durant, Pau Gasol or Noah did. In addition to that, Porzingis’ parents and older brother all played professional basketball, so he has good influences around him. If and when he develops, he could very well be the best player in the draft: a big man that can protect the rim and space the floor to an elite level, something that would complement to perfection a player like Greg Monroe, our most likely free agent signing. Continue reading
Written by Ian Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In our last draft preview, we look at one of the most talked options with the pick, trading it. Whether it be trading the pick for a superstar or to trade down, a lot of talk has been about trading the pick. So, I decided to create 12 mock trades that the Knicks could do. Here are some notes before you read this:
1) Some of these trade include the Knicks acquiring players owed more money than them the cap allows, so some of them would have to be done once free agency starts, but they can be agreed on draft day.
2) WARNING: Some of these trades are really crazy…
3) …But no, you can’t do Lebron/KD/Anthony Davis for the pick, nice try. Trades have to make sense for all teams involved.
4) Teams trading for the pick are probably targeting Kristaps Porzingis, the big man from Latvia producing tons of draft buzz, or Emmanuel Mudiay, the athletically gifted PG that played in China last year.
5) Knicks have a ton of trade exceptions that expire on draft night. A trade exception is essentially a cap filler in a trade. To keep things simple, I won’t include them in these trades.
Alright, now that we’ve got that down, let’s look at the trades!
Trade #1: NY Deals with MJ
|NYK Gets:||CHA Gets:|
|SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||4th Pick|
Why this Trade goes down:
The Knicks are doing this because MKG is very very good. While people may say that he’s a bust for going 2nd overall, that’s because they are only looking at his two weaknesses: his jump shot (that’s actually improved) and his 1 on 1 game. If you look at any other aspect at the game, he’s very good at it. MKG is athletic, an amazing defender, passable ball handler and playmaker, is a good slasher and good rebounder. Him next to Melo at the 3 or 4 is a great combo. With the 9th pick the Knicks could possibly take Cameron Payne, Frank Kaminsky or Stanley Johnson, or they could trade down this pick again to get a pick more around 14 & 15 to get even another asset. The second round pick is also nice. The Hornets are doing this because their roster is a mess and they need a franchise player, which they could get in Mudiay or Porzingis at 4. Also while giving up MKG stings, he is a restricted free agent next summer and I’m not sure if Charlotte wants to give a ton of money for him as while he’s very good, he’s not a franchise player.
Trade #2: Undoing the Bargtastrophy Continue reading