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
Written by Kevin Meng
The Lakers had barely recovered from the hangover induced by winning game 7 against Pierce, Garnett & Sons, a bloodbath more reminiscent of World War One trench warfare than the finale of the National Basketball Association’s 64th season.
Kobe Bryant was still bitter that he hadn’t been able to shoot his team out of their 16th championship, try his damnedest though he did. The NBA was still abuzz about the draft that had just taken place. Was John Wall really better than Evan Turner? (yes, that was bandied about). Would Demarcus Cousins ever put it together? Who’s this skinny guy from Fresno State that Indiana just drafted? (better known as Paul George these days). And how the hell do you pronounce Hamady N’Diaye, the 56th pick from Senegal?
All the while, Knicks fans around the world glimmered with ignorant optimism about the future. THIS WAS THE SUMMER OF 2010! We had been swimming in a pool of stale water for years, polluted by the now defunct, non-eco- friendly conglomerate known as Isiah Thomas Co. We wanted the biggest names in the game: Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh. Actually, we wanted two of the biggest names in the game. Little did we know that they had been in cahoots with Riley in South Beach the whole time, and never wanted to play under the bright lights of MSG.
We wanted James and Wade; we got Stoudemire and Felton. The Big Three won not 1, not 2, not…well, actually they only won 2 titles. Better than the Knicks, though. Amar’e is now struggling for minutes in a league not friendly to old men with knee problems, and Felton is the rare NBA breed that has more gun charges on his record than NBA accolades.
What this long-winded rant about 2010 is meant to demonstrate is that the Knicks in the offseason of 2016, armed with enough cap space to throw at big names (which there are none of, by the way. KD doesn’t count), need to remember their lessons from 2010.
The New York Knicks simply don’t land big name free agents. 6 months of MVP Amar’e followed by 4 years of knee surgeries doesn’t count. What 2010 should also teach them is that just because you have money to spend, doesn’t mean to you have to spend it. When the Knicks struck out on the marquee names, they panicked and overpaid an aging and injury-riddled star to make up for it (respect to Amar’e for how well he played, though, and for always fighting to get healthy. He gave New York his all).
So here we find ourselves:
Summer 2016 Continue reading
Fantasy basketball season that is. Marc and Jay talk about the last 4 games, the new starting lineup with 100% more Sasha, Rambis coaching, free agents, word on the street, joey knicknuts, listener questions and more
Marc and Jay talk about the last 4 games, talk to Joey Knicknuts and Sir Insider, 10 day contracts, free agents, top 5 ways to fix the Nets, the next 5 games, and much more
Nothing has actually happened in the offseason so far, but there are tons of rumors floating around. Since we don’t have much else to do other than watch the last few highly predictable games of the conference finals I figured I’d briefly mention a few of the current items of note.
Carmelo Anthony said he would embrace playing for Mark Jackson. No duh. From what I saw of Jackson in Golden State it looks like plays are not his strong suit. Which means plenty of opportunity for iso-Melo. The fact that Melo would be happy to play for a coach that lets him monopolize the ball is no shocker. You should probably go to the top sportsbooks and wager it all on Melo being happy with any coach that gives him enough leeway as Woodson did.
Written by Nicholas McGowan
The Melo Situation
The countdown of when we as Knicks fans and the world for that matter, will know the future of Carmelo Anthony has started. Melo has the option to opt in for another year in New York and then make up his mind next summer or he can opt out, choose a new team, or opt out in order to solidly a max contract with the Knicks. We as fans hope that if he does opt out, that it is because he will sign the max deal. Yet with the sudden shoulder injury this might further Melo’s thinking in one way or the other, it may make him lean towards locking up a max contract or it might drive him in the opposite direction. He may try now to win as soon as possible knowing that he will still get tens of millions of dollars guaranteed even though it may be 30 million less than what the Knicks can offer. Melo might have also learned that he needs another superstar, someone who can carry the load so that he does not take such a toll on his body for another season. Both of those seem to be the better option than a max deal, and while it depends on Melo’s priorities, (30 million or a legitimate chance at one or more titles), most would choose the titles. Not saying that I would pass up 30 million but if you were Melo and have already made as much as he has, winning would be the one knock against me. Let’s take a look at the possible championship scenarios for Melo.
Beginning with the Knicks, there is a real possibility that they can compete for championship, not next year but in two years. In two years the Knicks have cap space and a first round draft pick that will probability end up be a lottery pick. Going into the 2015-2016 season we would only have J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Hardaway Jr, Shumpert, and Pablo Prigioni on our roster. Now lets say Melo decides to resign, add Melo to that roster, add another superstar player or two to that mix. Then add on top of that a top 14 draft pick, this would make us a frontrunner for the title, we would be able to come close to beating the Heat (assuming their current roster does not change drastically) or perhaps even beat them if we add the right free agents. In the already weak Eastern Conference, we would be the second best team. I would put us ahead of both Indiana and Chicago because we have the superior superstar talent. The Nets at this point would have lost Garnett and Pierce and would not be the team they are today. By looking the 2015 free agents there are tons of options that would make us better than the Heat. Those free agents include:
There has been a ton of talk about the chances of the Knicks acquiring Chris Paul. So every week we’ll be answering questions about Chris Paul coming to the Knicks. Todays burning question:
Q: Will Chris Paul be coming to the Knicks?
Marc is on the players side so Jay has locked him out of the show. Martin joins the show today. We obviously talk about the lockout. We go over the free agent signings and trades that happened before the lockout. Greg Odens big contract. The Knicks are looking at Kurt Thomas. The Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Download Episode 76
Center Earl Barron became a free agent when he was not re-signed by Milwaukee yesterday, but Walsh said he would pass for now despite the Knicks’ center woes. According to a source, Walsh likes Barron, but doesn’t want to sign him because D’Antoni won’t play him over Jared Jeffries or Ronny Turiaf.