Tagged: larry brown

No. 8 Just Too High for Ty Lawson

Look, I have nothing against the guy and I think it’s undeniable that he had a stellar junior year at UNC, but I think that those who would consider Ty Lawson a viable option for the Knicks at 8 are seriously overrating his ability. When I watch Lawson play, I see a PG very well suited to Roy Williams’ system at UNC, but I don’t see a lottery pick.

Lawson has some terrific attributes that will probably help him carve out a nice NBA career, particularly his speed with the ball and his ability to distribute in transition. But he’s also undersized, injury prone and limited in half-court sets. In the past I’ve compared Lawson to Jacques Vaughn–and I only think that’s a little unfair (Lawson is a more talented scorer. But think about Jacques Vaughn when he played for Roy Williams at Kansas and you get the idea.). Consequently, tonight’s report from DraftExpress that Lawson seems to be sliding a bit comes as no surprise in these quarters. Here’s what Jonathan Givony is hearing:

One player who really doesn’t seem to have very much positive buzz these days is Ty Lawson. “Injury prone” one assistant GM calls him. “A backup point guard…he’s 100% behind Jonny Flynn” another NBA representative says. “He’s a product of North Carolina’s system” a third told us. Lawson seems to be outside of the lottery at the moment, but still has a good chance to be picked by two teams looking for point guards in the late teens, Philadelphia (#17) and Atlanta (#19). He’ll have to keep Eric Maynor at bay, though.

To me, that sounds about right and, in fact, we projected Lawson to be selected by the 76ers in our first mock that we posted after the lottery. I know Lawson has a workout scheduled with the Knicks, but unless Donnie Walsh trades down from the 8th spot, he’s not going to be the pick.

On a related note, DraftExpress also had this to say about the Stephen Curry, Larry Brown, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Knicks:

Larry Brown is reportedly extremely high on Stephen Curry, and may be willing to trade up in order to get him. Apparently he views him as being able to play either guard position, even alongside Charlotte’s current group of point guards, Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin.

Curry is getting love from teams as high up as Washington and also has a chance to be drafted 6th (Minnesota) or 7th (Golden State). While the Knicks clearly like him, he isn’t the only player they will consider—the other top candidates on their board currently appear to be Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday.

Money Talks. Period.

I don’t have sources. I don’t know one NBA player. I know one guy who knows RJ, but that’s about it. And maybe I’m naive, but I really don’t think you need sources to draw the conclusion that in the NBA, money talks. The notion that free agents are going to be too turned off by James Dolan to come play for the Knicks just doesn’t jive with me. I can’t prove it from a player’s perspective, since the Knicks haven’t had cap space to sign free agents this decade, but just look at what’s happened with Knicks coaches over the last 8 years.

Van Gundy gets in to a fight with management and quits. Don Chaney gets the job. Don Chaney gets fired and escorted out of the Garden like a criminal. That didn’t stop Lenny Wilkens, a hall of fame coach, from taking the job. Wilkens gets fired, his feelings hurt terribly in the process, because he couldn’t relate to Marbury (who could?). What happens after the usual Herb Williams interlude? The Knicks, after flirting with Phil Jackson, sign Larry Brown, fresh off back-to-back finals appearances, by throwing buckets of money at him (5 years, $50 million). Brown lasts a year and the divorce is painful and messy. Knicks management tried to exert undue control over Brown, mistreating him and throwing him under the bus in the process. In an attempt to finally instill some credibility into the franchise, Dolan makes Isiah Thomas coach the team. Thomas lasts two years as coach and leaves as embarassed or more embarassed than any of the previous coaches this decade.

Ok, so after those 8 lost years, with coach after coach after coach battered and publicly embarassed, who would take this job? Would you believe that there was a list of coaches waiting for it? Mark Jackson wanted it, but Mike D’Antoni was convinced to take it. How? Knicks management offered him 4 years and $21 million dollars. That’s how.

Coaching is a fraternity, but all the mistreatment and embarassment that previous, hall of fame coaches suffered, didn’t keep other highly regarded coaches from seeking out the Knicks job. I suspect the same dynamic plays out with players. I just don’t see a player saying to himself, “Hmmm…the Knicks offered me a $100 million contract and all the City has to offer. That’s tempting, but they hurt Marbury’s feelings, so I’ll stay in Cleveland/Toronto/Atlanta.”

In the NBA, money talks. Everything else is just nonsense.