Tagged: Rebuilding

2010: Consolation Prizes Pretty Good

I’ll be the first to admit that perhaps the Knicks will not land Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, or Amare Stoudamire. That doesn’t mean they can’t put together a sweet team of lesser stars. If you can’t sign any of the four mentioned above, then with the savings, maybe you can sign 3 1/2 players instead of 2 1/2. (Remember that after filling up all their cap space, the Knicks can still sign someone to the full mid-level).

Lets revisit the list of free agents.

  • Joe Johnson
  • Ray Allen
  • Josh Howard
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Kenyon Martin
  • Tracy McGrady
  • Yao Ming
  • Marcus Camby
  • Rudy Gay
  • Richard Jefferson
  • Randy Foye
  • Mike Miller
  • Tyson Chandler
  • Steve Nash
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Brandon Roy

Would anyone be upset if the Knicks came away from the summer of 2010 with a combination of Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Tyson Chandler, and Mike Miller, added to a core of Wilson Chandler, Gallinari, and lets say, Ricky Rubio?

What about a combination of Richard Jefferson, Randy Foye, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Wilson Chandler, Gallinari, and Rubio or Brandon Jennings or Jrue Holiday or Stephen Curry?

Or Joe Johnson, Josh Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby with Wilson Chandler, Gallinari and a draft pick.

Yao Ming, Josh Howard, Mike Miller, Randy Foye, Chandler, Gallinari, Blake Griffin?

Even without catching the big fishes, the Knicks can still field a great team if they stick to the plan.

I’d like to hear some proposals for combinations from our readers…

Chad Ford thinks Jerry Sloan would love David Lee.

 

 

Fresh idea for a trade proposal, courtesy of Chad Ford’s chat today:

Brad (SLC): What about Boozer to the Knicks for David Lee and Malik Rose’s expiring deal?

SportsNation Chad Ford: While I’m sure David Lee would be a Jerry Sloan favorite, not sure why the Knicks would do that. Boozer would eat up a bunch of their cap space on a new deal and remember, he’s the guy who screwed the Cavs and LeBron to bolt to Utah. Not sure how LeBron feels about that. 

This sounds like a winner to me. Sure, at first blush you might say, “Wait, that eats into our 2010 cap space”. But if you treat Boozer as one of the marquee free agents you would have picked up in 2010, then it does no such thing. In essence its just spending some of the money early. Boozer is a double double machine, plays D, has an outside J, is an Olympian, and has been an all-star in the West where he’s had to compete with the likes of Duncan, Stoudamire, and Nowitzki for a spot. David Lee can lay claim to one of these things (double doubles), so Boozer is certainly an improvement.

The downside is that he is very injury prone, or as some on this blog might say “damaged goods”, “missing knee”, or “no knee”. This combined with the take of at least one Jazz fan, expressed in the same chat today (below), might make one leery:

andy (vegas): I feel like in 10 years we will look back and laugh that we ever thought softish, jump shooting, injury prone Boozer was more valuable then tough as nails, scrappy, and savvy Milsap…

I also dispute Chad’s idea that Sloan would love Lee. Sloan loves D. Lee doesn’t love D. Potential for conflict.

So what do you say? Is Boozer good value in a trade for Lee, the MVP of the 14-22 Knicks?

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

50 Losses Might Be the Only Way to Be Truly Great

We all know that the Post is a muck-raking rag. That comes from its muck-raking management issuing edicts to its muck-raking journalists and editors. Marc Berman will stop at nothing to manufacture a story. According to Steve Adamek, Berman tried to I believe that it was Berman who tried to box Mike D’Antoni into a bad situation by asking him if he’s willing to lose 50 games for the sake of the long term plan.

I don’t recall anyone asking Isiah if he was willing to lose 50 games, though teams under his reign almost always did. My point with that is, at least there is a plan here.

D’Antoni told reporters:

“I think that’s one area, plus there’s no guarantee we wouldn’t be on the same pace if we didn’t make the trades. When made the trades, everybody knows the reasons, keeping the team competitive and we have longer-term goals and plans and objectives.
“Really, that doesn’t enter into the discussion. We’re just going to continue on with what we want to do to get the Knicks at the championship level that they deserve to be. We’re not going to waver from that. It’s not going to be like, in the short term we’ll worry about this. We’re not going to waver from what we said at the very beginning and I’m really comfortable with that.”

Basically, Mike D’Antoni took a roundabout path to yes. He said the Knicks have a long-term plan to be special. Not a short term ambition to be OK.

Let me be clearer than Mike D’Antoni: YES! IF STICKING TO THE PLAN MEANS THAT THE KNICKS WILL LOSE 50 GAMES THIS YEAR, THEN THE KNICKS SHOULD BE WILLING TO LOSE 50 GAMES.

Of course, I hope the Knicks don’t lose 50 games, but look at any contender and how they got to be that way. The Celtics for example won 24 games the year before they picked up KG and Ray Allen. The 24 win season followed several other mediocre years, during which they stocked up on guys like Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West, and Sebastian Telfair.

The Spurs had to be bad before they got Duncan in 96-97, winning just 20 games before winning the lottery.

The Cavs history is just one big losing season with dashes of mediocrity and first round exits.

Somebody tell me what the Knicks were up to prior to Walt Frazier and also prior to Patrick Ewing…

The list goes on. Almost every good team went through a rebuilding phase to become a contender. The Lakers are the only exception, remarkably having missed the playoffs just five times in their history.

In the NBA you are rewarded for being good with championships and you are rewarded for being bad with draft picks. Still, you can mess it all up with bad management. For instance, you could already be bad or mediocre, then add salary to the point of being capped out, and give away draft picks in exchange for limited, losing players.

The only way to come back from a scenario like that is to completely reset. The Knicks embarked on the above described scenario for 8 years. They are fortunate that it will probably only take them 2 years (one and two-thirds now) to reset.

Update: Jon informed, me, and he’s right, that Steve Adamek never said that it was Berman that asked the question. I just assumed that, figuring, who else could it have been. So I can’t tell you whether it was Berman or not, and if it wasn’t, I apologize.

We Feel Your Pain

We received this comment from JLS125  in response to Dan’s game recap last night. I’ve decided to post it here because I think its emblematic of how a lot of Knicks fans feel about things now that we’re in January and the team is struggling to hit it’s stride:

This is a travesty that the Knicks management is purposely sabotaging this team this year. I’ve thought about it and understand why this gets under my skin. D&D (D’Antoni and Donnie) said that this team was built to reach the playoffs while trying to get under the cap in 2010. I bought the NBA League Pass for the first time to see a more improved Knick team.

They were showing signs of improvement and competing for a playoff spot and you could see the team responding to the new offense. Then, they blew up the squad by trading J. Crawford (their #1 scorer and go to guy) and Randolph (their #2 leading scorer and top rebounder) for 2 lesser talents in Thomas and Harrington. Since then, it should be no coincidence that this team’s winning momentum suddenly stalled. I don’t see this situation getting better particularly when I see them losing to teams that they should be beating such as MIN and IND.

It is ridiculous to me that D&D think that you can be successful and reach the playoffs by running your PG for 40+ minutes a game! That makes no sense to me and reeks of sabotaging a season. And how in the world can you trade your 2 best scorers and not get anything in return other than cap relief in another year?!!! What are you telling the fans who are paying their money to support this team night in and night out?

I’m tired of seeing this team underachieve because they don’t have the resources. You can’t get mad at the players when they have no backups to get them a breather. We’re not fresh and it shows on the basketball court. Now this team not only doesn’t have a superstar talent or a leader, but they don’t even have enough players to field a decent team. This is a slap in the face to all Knick fans and Knicks Management needs to start taking this a little more seriously.

Get some more bodies that can play backup PG and SG and get at least 1 DEFENSIVE player. We’re the shortest team in the league!!! What? Is height not a priority to this team?!!!

I think JLS makes some great points from a pure, here and now basketball perspective.

However, in my opinion, “D&D’s” real mistake was giving fans the impression that they could make the playoffs when they knew they were going to tearing the team down brick by brick all season. That’s not to say that they can’t ever compete this season. Once all the dust settles I could see this team making a late run as Donnie acquires more depth and the players continue to gel. But right now, as JLS says, the team is just too thin and the players are too exhausted to build on success they enjoyed earlier in the season.

One item on which JLS and I disagree: While the Zach Randolph trade has hurt the Knicks badly on the court (as JLS has noted, the lack of inside scoring and size up front is costly almost every night), unlike JLS, I think that Al Harrington is an upgrade over Jamal Crawford in the present. He’s a much better rebounder and defender than Jamal (a Cigar Store Indian could defend better than Jamal) and the scoring is very similar. Harrington is an ideal fit in this system as a long, versatile forward with shooting skills even though, on a good team, he might be your 4th best scorer. Believe me, if the Knicks had traded Zach but kept Jamal, they’d might even be in worse shape than they’re in right now.

At any rate, as you all already know, Dan and I think competing in 2008 is far less important than rebuilding and setting the team up for a sustained run as a title contender beginning in 2010. I won’t rehash here all the reasons why we think the Knicks are on the right track, but there’s no magic bullet. Becoming a title contender requires patience and enough will power to suffer through rebuilding.

Don’t lump D&D in with the clowns that used to run this team. They have a long-term plan and they’re executing it. In those immortal words from Swingers, “You’ve got to let go of the past Mikey, and when you do, the future is beautiful…” Patience, baby, patience.