Marc and Jay talk about the latest Knicks signing of N’Dour, who they should get for the last spot, Derrick Rose calling the Knicks a super team, rotations, possible surprises in the roster, and much more
Written by Kevin Meng
Yesterday we broke down the first half of the Knicks offseason. Now on to the rest of the moves the Knicks made so far this summer.
Signing Courtney Lee to a 4 year, $48 million dollar deal
Not quite sure why Lee chose to play here, but I ain’t mad. In a starting 5 with a scoring forward, a defensive-minded center, the best Latvian big man since Kaspars Kambala, and a penetrating guard with a shaky shot, the one thing this team was lacking was a consistent three ball shooter and wing defender.
Lee has been a positive on the defensive end his whole career, playing bigger than his 6’5, 200lb frame might suggest. He also averaged 39% from bomb territory on 3 attempts per game last season. He was the one of the best shooters on a team that hoisted up the 4th most attempts in the league. With all of the attention on Mr. Anthony, KP, and Rose, he should thrive.
Seeing the deals thrown around for similar players like Kent Bazemore, and the premium put on 3nD wings, signing him for 12 per on average is a great deal. One marker of a good contract is the backend of the deal. A player might be worth their salary in the first two years and grossly overpaid the final two(Luol Deng to the Lakers??), but looking at Lee’s deal, he might even be underpaid in year 3 considering the new cap.
Finding the perfect compliment to the surrounding talent, and doing so on a fair contract? Here’s a big fat A for you, Mr. Jackson.
Signing Joakim Noah to a 4 year, $72 million dollar deal
Not sure if PMFJ still thinks he’s on his hippy retreat in Montana or not, but we have a sinking suspicion that he was on some serious mind altering substances when he signed this deal. When healthy, Noah is a still a very effective defender, good finisher around the rim, and great passer. Add to that his chemistry to Rose and the fact that we didn’t have a center, and the reasons for signing him are obvious. But 4/72 for a guy who can’t stay healthy and is on the downside of his career with a skillset that doesn’t age well? Yeesh.
In this market, players are going to get overpaid. There weren’t many C’s left on the market to get, and even fewer that fit what we needed, but this deal seems more like Phil panicked, realized he needed a C that could pass and be mobile on the court, and blew away the first one he could find with an offer he couldn’t refuse. Noah is still a good player, but he seemed angry at how Chicago did him dirty. Expect a big bounce back from him, but don’t expect him to earn the deal he signed. At least he isn’t Eddy Curry.
Re-signing Lance Thomas to a 4 year, $27.5 million dollar deal
Is Basketball Back at MSG? Grading the Knicks Offseason.
Written by Kevin Meng
* These grades are based on the situation at hand, including available players, the current market, the Knick’s cap space at time of signing, and whether or not the player was named Sasha Vujacic or Jose Calderon. It isn’t an evaluation of how awesome the player is*
2015-2016 was supposed to be a rebuilding year where the Knicks added assets, built a winning culture, grew together and attracted a big name to join up with them. There was reason for hope: a young rookie with boatloads of potential, another rookie who had just quarterbacked a solid NCAA squad to a good tournament showing, actual NBA-level talent in Robin Lopez and Aaron Afflalo, and a hungry Carmelo Anthony.
Hopes were relatively high for the Mecca. Could this team make the playoffs? Could they make noise if they got there? Could Kristaps GOATzingis really be this good? The season blasted off into space faster than anyone could have imagined, with the team playing .500 ball 40 games in and playing some top-level squads down to the wire (San Antonio and current ring-bearers, Cleveland come to mind).
Welp, we all know how that ended. The rocket burst in mid-air, with wicked, whipping flames that engulfed any and all things good in the souls of the Tri-State Area. Partly because of lack of talent, partly because of injuries, partly because of Sasha Vujacic, and partly because of coaching.
When the 2016 offseason started, nobody had any clue what was going to happen. PMFJ (Phil M***** F****** Jackson) had a king’s ransom in cap space but precious few assets, an aging star, and raw rookie to build around. Hardly cause for hope.
Yet here we are, not far removed from the mayhem that was 2016 free agency with a….wait….what is this?….an NBA-level basketball team? This must be some cruel joke. Is basketball back at MSG? This team may pose more questions than answers, and it may be a few twisted knees away from mediocrity, but at least the rotation has 7 guys that most people have heard of, and Jose Calderon isn’t playing the point..
* acquisitions like signing our 2nd round pick last season or acquiring some random Euro guy to warm the bench have been excluded for length’s sake. We know our reader’s have short attention spans*
Coaching change: signing Jeff Hornacek
Coaching salaries don’t really matter. Who cares about spending James Dolan’s money? What does matter is their experience, knowledge, ability to motivate, and ability to get respect from the players. When you haven’t proven yourself in the league or in the coaching ranks, then players rarely respect you(David Blatt or Kurt Rambis, anyone?). Continue reading
Marc and Jay talk about the recent signings of Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Guillermo Hernangomez. The possible return of Sasha Vujacic, the Jared Sullinger rumor, and possible players to take the last couple of roster spots. We spend some time talking about a few other signings around the league including Wade leaving Miami.
Marc and Jay talk about all the new Knicks signings and what they do and do not like about them, who else is available and who would be a good fit, Kevin Durant jumping ship, and all the other significant free agency moves
Marc and Jay give their thoughts on the Derrick Rose trade, talk to Rose, man on the street, what’s next for the Knicks, and more
The New York Knicks moved heaven and earth to trade for Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. They did the same when they convinced him to sign a long-term contract in 2014, and it worked. For the most part he’s been a spectacular player for the Knicks. However, the 32-year-old wants to win, and he wants it now. The Knicks, although improving, aren’t there yet. In fact they won’t get there before Carmelo’s skills have largely decreased. For that reason, it’s a win-win to trade the All-Star now. Trade him for players, picks and cap room, and he’ll have a shot at his coveted ring, and the Knicks can improve with an arsenal of tools to help them in doing so. One option is a trade for Kevin Love.
Carmelo’s abilities will decrease rapidly as he continues in to his thirties, yet teams would still trade their arm and a leg to get him. The Knicks can call all the shots here, and indeed they should.
Carmelo wants to win, but seems to have accepted the fact that he might remain in New York.
Phil Jackson insisted “In our meeting at the end of the season, Carmelo said, ‘Really, it’s not that bad. I think we have the best frontline guys in the game in the Eastern Conference in Robin [Lopez], myself and Kristaps [Porzingis],’”.
Will he stay, however?
Jackson explained “I have to agree with him: Yes, those are three real potent figures, but we still have guard roles to have to play. So we’ve got some positions to fill, but not a lot. Not that many.”
However, every team in the NBA would offer a crazy package to get him, and Jackson is a smart man. He must realize this is the smart thing to do.
One option is to trade him to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’d be willing to off-load Love. Although he’s not on Carmelo’s level, he’s younger, and would provide an excellent cornerstone to rebuild the franchise upon.
Should the Knicks keep Carmelo, they must target Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan or any other all-star help to ensure Carmelo can win now. It won’t be easy. Any of these additions would help the Knicks change their Betway.com’s odds. Can they win a championship for Carmelo?
However, if they want the easier, long-term approach that Jackson has previously spoken of, then trading him makes sense. He deserves a chance to win it all, at least, and with his value to decrease, the Knicks won’t want to lose him for little in a few years time.
By cashing in now they can get anything they have their eyes on. A few years later, after still- likely- failing to win, they might lose Anthony for next to nothing.
It’s going to be a hard decision to make, but trading him- whether for Kevin Love or not- might just be the right thing to do for Phil Jackson’s Knicks.
Marc and Jay talk about the finals and Knicks rumors with Derrick Rose, JR Smith, Sir Insider, man on the street, Adam Silver, and more
Written by Kevin Meng
Yesterday was part 1 of the free agent targets. And now here are the free agents that the Knicks should target in 2016. In order of importance.
#1) Hassan Whiteside
Projected average salary: 22 million per
Hassan Whiteside is the on the cusp of becoming the first player in league history to multiply his salary by 20 from one season to the next. Count Blockula went from being an obscure NBA misfit playing out contracts in Lebanon to a bonafide NBA star. He averaged 14 points, 12 boards, and nearly 4 blocks per game, all in under 30 minutes of playing time per contest. His rim protection is really what makes him so valuable, though. Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan will have nightmares of him for years to come. Had he not gone down, I’d have expect both of them to turn into raging alcoholics suffering from PTSD.
He gets lost on defense at times, lacks focus every now and then, and is still developing his offensive game, but scoring comes easy when you’re in the top .01% of humans in history in terms of size. Hassan get ball. Hassan dunk. His contract will be for less than the max for Batum or Conley, and the thought of KP AND Whiteside patrolling the paint together in their primes is so exciting that right-wing political groups would consider it scandalous, and it still isn’t legal in Mississippi. Despite our deficiencies at guard(which could be rectified through trades, especially if RoLo becomes redundant), this guy is priority #1. He isn’t so much a 2-t free agent as he is just a foundational franchise piece. He does happen to fit the age bracket we need.
#2) Kent Bazemore
Projected average salary: 15 million per
Bazemore isn’t going to blow anyone away or leave anyone’s jaw hanging low for too long, but what he will do is give the Knicks a reliable 12ish points every night, and, more importantly, the consistent three point shooting and stingy perimeter defense that this team so sorely lacked. He was only 36% from 3 this season overall (still solid), but he was a killer from the corners (a shot he will get plenty of), and he even shot well around the rim (60% from 0-3 feet). He was a net positive in every defensive metric this season for ATL, including being a +3.8 in defensive winshares, and at 6-5 he is lanky enough to guard multiple positions.
With Melo, KP, and hopefully an improved Grant at point guard, the Knicks won’t need someone to create offense, they’ll need someone to hit 3’s, get to the rim off of fakes, and play defense. He has improved every year, and at 26, he might still have a little more room to grow. He definitely isn’t the second most talented player on this list, but he is priority number 2 because of A) how he fits and B) how realistic of a target he is. The average NBA starter is going to get 15 per in this inflated market, so expect the bidding on him to start in that range. Giving him 15/16 per season would eat up only about half of our space, and leave us plenty flexible for 17’. Imagine KB at the 2 instead of he who shall not be named (that’s Sasha Vujacic, by the way).
#3) Evan Fournier Continue reading
Marc and Jay talk about the finals, things to look for with our new coach, overall strategy going forward, free agents, and more