Tagged: wilson chandler

Knicks Fan’s EPIC Poll

We’ve gotten a lot of demand to bring back our defunct confidence rating. We’ve wanted to, but we also wanted to do something different. Well here is what we’ve decided to do.

We are going to have many polls designed to gauge the fans pulse about various and specific Knicks topics. Rather than just a confidence rating (which we’ll still have), we are going to assess and track your thoughts on the following categories:

  • Overall direction of the team
  • Backcourt
  • Frontcourt
  • Starters
  • Depth
  • PG
  • SG
  • SF
  • PF
  • C
  • Specific players
  • Coaching
  • Management
  • Media coverage

We’ll update the polls once per week and track them graphically. You have until Friday of each week to vote on the previous week.

If you ever need to find the poll page, you can click the “POLLS” in the page links above or the new “Knicks Fan’s EPIC Poll” link on the sidebar.

Let us know in the comments if there is anything else you’d like to see measured.

We’re kicking off this ambitious project right…now!

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Monta Might Make Some Sense (or Take Monta Home Tonight)

I think Dan framed the Monta Ellis situation very well earlier with respect to the impact an Ellis acquisition would have on the 2010 cap and the Knicks’ cache of tradable assets. And I agree with Dan that, despite the $1-2 million extra it would cost to bring Ellis into the fold, it might be worth it simply to add another player to the roster that other teams might value in the future.

In addition to all that, I’d just like to propose the following:

Let’s assume for a moment that the Knicks are only able to add one max free agent this summer for whatever reason (two or all of the big 3  sign with other teams; remaining players out there don’t warrant the max or don’t want to sign with the Knicks etc.).

1. If Monta Ellis were a free agent in the 2010 market, would you be happy if the Knicks got him for 4 years, $44 million?

2. If Monta Ellis were a free agent after this season, would you prefer to see the Knicks  give him 4 years, $44 million, or would you prefer to see the Knicks give Rudy Gay, say, 5 years, $60 million?

3. If Monta Ellis were a free agent after this season, would you prefer to see the Knicks pay his deal or give David Lee a 5 year deal for $45-50 million?

I think these are the types of questions the Knicks should be asking  in weighing the virtue of an Ellis trade. I remain guardedly optimistic that the Knicks will get a crack at Lebron, but I have my doubts that they’ll be able to create enough cap space to sign two max free agents this summer. It’s more likely that the team will add one max guy and a second player of lesser caliber.

As things stand at the moment, the Knicks can afford to add a max player and then another player with a first year salary of $7-8 million.  This means that, to acquire a second player making even Ellis’ salary, the Knicks will have to find a taker for Jeffries or Curry and in that deal clear at least $6 million more in salary.

Now take a look at this list:  Of the players on this list that the Knicks could realistically acquire and won’t command the max, do you see any that would be better to add than Ellis? Possibly Rudy Gay, but since he’s restricted the Grizzlies could potentially match. Plus  Gay will cost more money over a longer deal and Ellis might be the better player anyway. That’s really it.

I want to stress that I’m not necessarily advocating for the Knicks to trade for Monta. If Donnie truly believes he can trade Jeffries or Curry for cap space before free agency starts this summer, I think he should definitely go that route and try to get a Lebron-Bosh combination.  But if he knows he can’t trade those guys for expirings, I think the Knicks could do much worse than swapping Jeffries, Duhon and Chandler for Ellis and Speedy Claxton. It would still leave the team with enough space to add a max player this summer (plus a $5-6 million guy) and another max player in 2011 when Curry’s deal comes off the books.

Getting two max guys this summer has to be Plan A, but if Plan A proves unrealistic, that’s a pretty damn good Plan B.

Is Monta The Answer?

Word out of the Bay Area is that the next Warrior to be shipped out of town will be Monta Ellis. Ellis, who has 3 years and $33 million remaining on his contract after this year (and a fourth year player option, thanks @thisistraps) and thus would obviously represent a departure from the 2010 plan if Walsh acquired him without shedding equivalent cap space.

Tommy Dee, for example, suggests a Ellis/Turiaf/Claxton for Curry/Chandler/Mobley swap. This would add about $1.6 million to next year’s cap number, and I’d be surprised if Donnie were willing to do this because so far he hasn’t shown a willingness to add a single dollar to the 2010 payroll. D’Antoni reiterated that sentiment today, saying, “Whatever it takes to make us competitive and to win right now, I think we’ll do as an organization but we’re not going to mess up 2010. We’ve come too far to mess that up.”

Also, let’s be honest, it is going to be damn near impossible for Donnie to trade Eddie Curry before other teams see what he can do.

There are other combination that would work in a trade but none without adding salary. For example a Duhon/Chandler/Jeffries for Ellis/George deal works. It eats into the 2010 cap room by about $2 million.

What the Knicks would have instead of that $2 million though is an eminently more useful player than they have had in a while and one that, when in place, could convince a free agent or two to join a core of Ellis, Gallinari, Douglas, and Hill. But it wouldn’t be two max free agents.

Under this scenario the Knicks will have $29 million committed next year. Add to that their second round draft picks that number should go to around $31 million. A doom and gloom cap of $50 million would be enough to land a max free agent. If the cap stays where it is at $57 million Donnie still couldn’t add a second max free agent. Even if you scrap the Ellis deal subtract that extra $2 million that his salary adds, it’s still probably not enough for two max guys.

Realistically you probably need over $30 million, probably a little more, to add two max free agents, and the only way to do that is to trade Jeffries and/or Curry in deals that would lower the 2010 salary commitment. It is possible, but unlikely to happen in an Ellis swap.

One final note to consider though. Taking advantage of the Warriors desperation to move Ellis could work out for the Knicks because Ellis is much more tradeable than Curry or Jeffries, meaning that the Knicks could flip him in the beginning of the summer for, I don’t know, someone who wants out of their current situation in a place like New Orleans.

Eddy’s Money

I never thought I’d be able to say this but…Eddy Curry isn’t fat. Judging from the video over at TKB.tv, Eddy looks like he did in his Chicago days, and it’s likely that he will be able to contribute to this squad very shortly.

But what will that contribution look like? Everyone remembers Eddy’s “all-star” year, where the Knicks forced the ball into the post, stood around, and let Eddy do his thing. Isiah wanted to play that way. D’Antoni doesn’t. Many have rightfully argued that Eddy does not fit into this system, which is predicated on ball movement and sharp cuts that lead to good looks.

But honestly, D’Antoni has adjusted his style a bit. The team has run a lot of halfcourt sets lately, and there has been a lot of standing around watching Al Harrington or Larry Hughes or Wilson Chandler trying to score.

I think this is mainly because the Knicks have no basketball IQ, are flat out unwilling to move without the ball, are a bunch of known chuckers, and most importantly, because they do not have a point guard capable of slicing up defenses and exploiting their weaknesses in order to get teammates good looks.

Well if every possession is going to be an isolation or a 20 footer I think I’d rather put the ball in Curry’s hands and let him score in his highly efficient way. If my choices don’t include a quality look owing to a proper SSOL possession, but instead are limited to an Al Harrington/Larry Hughes contested layup or an Al Harrington/Larry Hughes 20 footer with 20 seconds on the shot clock, I think I’d rather go with an Eddy Curry dunk or layup attempt.

Let’s not forget Curry is a career 55% FG shooter, led the league in True Shooting % in 2002-03, and was near the top in these categories many other times. In other words, the Knicks will potentially be getting something they lack, a very high efficiency scorer (Stallion tell me if I’m missing something here).

So, does Curry have his faults? Obviously (rebounding, blocks). Will he help? I think he’ll be the best scoring option the Knicks have if he is able to regain his old form. If he does, it will be safe to say that Eddy’s money. Do I hope he’s good enough to allow Donnie to trade him, and get the Knicks off the hook from paying Eddy’s money? Hell yes!

The Knicks Don’t Fancy Themselves As Scrubs

How is it that a team like the Houston Rockets that boasts a rotation of role players and nobodies, is 4-2, and has competed in every game this season? These are the players in Rick Adelman’s rotation:

  • Trevor Ariza
  • Carl Landry
  • Shane Battier
  • Aaron Brooks
  • Luis Scola
  • Chuck Hayes
  • Chase Budinger
  • Kyle Lowery

Is that a rotation that so clearly outshines what the Knicks put out on the floor, so much so that they can take teams to overtime (LA Lakers) that would surely build a 20-30 point lead on the Knicks in the first quarter?

What is the difference between these two squads? Why can’t the Knicks play like the 1999-2000 Orlando Magic, which had no bonafide stars, and players who knew they wouldn’t stick around after that season, yet still managed to win 41 games?

My theory is that the Houston Rockets realize that they suck. They realize that they are outmatched on the talent flank in most games and they know that they have to make up for it with heart and effort. The current Knicks, by contrast, are a collection of players with an overinflated sense of their value.

Larry Hughes makes $14 million this year. It is possible that he thinks he’s already proven himself a successful player in this league, otherwise, he couldn’t have earned that contract. He earned that money taking any old shot he liked.

Al Harrington makes $10 million and he did it playing his game. Why should he buy-in to the system whole-heartedly when he’s already proven his value and worth around the league, doing what he has always done (being a complete ball stopper)?

Wilson Chandler is the future, right? The next Matrix. Why shouldn’t he run up and down the court firing indiscriminately.

Jarred Jeffries? Man did he put in work over the summer. Now he’s a marksman. He doesn’t have the same limitations he previously had, and he’s going to pull the trigger more than he used to. Nevermind that everyone but him seems to notice that these shots aren’t falling.

David Lee? Same story. He put in work on that jumper, and yes it has improved, but I am pretty confident that any team will feel comfortable letting David Lee try to trade baskets with a legitimate scorer on the other side. It is pretty infuriating watching the team concede that the best look they are going to get on a possession is a David Lee 18 footer.

Nate Robinson? Nobody can stop him. His shot is deadly. Any shot he takes is a good shot, even if there are 22 seconds left on the shot clock and the D is back, and there’s nobody to corral the board, because it’s going to go in.

None of these guys realize their limitations. They play with an inflated sense of their skills. They don’t make the effort on the defense because they are convinced that they outscore the other team. Nevermind that none of them move without the ball. Nevermind that in reality, they have the 4th worst FG% in the league and have already lost to the teams that are last (Bobcats) and third to last (Bucks) in FG%.

The Rockets’ players on the other hand are a hodge-podge group of blue collar workers, none of whom (yet) have settled into the complacency afforded many of the Knicks by virtue of a monstrous contract. They know that they are basically scrubs, and if they want to win they have to work, get dirty, mix it up, move without the ball, fight. They aren’t so heartless that they give up offensive rebounds off of missed free-throws multiple times a game.

If the Knicks are going to lose, why do it on the backs of heartless veterans that don’t realize their limitations. Instead, Coach D’Antoni should start to play guys who want to do what it takes to win, even if they can’t make it happen because they aren’t good enough, yet. At least they’ll try. So I think Coach D’Antoni should play Toney Douglas and bench Chris Duhon. I think he should play Jordan Hill and bench Jarred Jeffries and take minutes away from Al Harrington. Hell, play Marcus Landry and tell Wilson Chandler to take a seat. If he’s anything like his brother, he’ll earn more minutes if given the chance.

If it isn’t clear to the Knicks, it is clear to everyone else. They are scrubs, and they better start playing like it.

Knicks 108 Celtics 103

The Knicks looked really good tonight. Particularly impressive to me were Nate, Gallinari, Harrington and Lee.

Nate played great D, coming away with 5 steals. Coach D’Antoni always said he could lead the league in steals.

Lee was at his hard-working best putting up the type of numbers we probably take for granted with 19 and 16.

Harrington had questionable shot selection but at least his shot was on for the most part and he hit the boards.

Gallinari was his old confident self and had his best game as a Knick, though it was a preseason game. If Gallo is consistently on like this the Knicks can make some noise. And nobody question his D. This kid is no slouch and is not intimidated by stars or scared to mix things up physically.

What most impressed me about this game though was the Knicks effort. They didn’t let up, from Chandler and Nate diving for loose balls, Chandler sprinting back on D to stuff Kendrick Perkins in spectacular fashion, to Lee and Harrington fighting for boards, the Knicks did not lay down. I want to see this effort continue, even if chemistry is tested by consecutive losses.

***

Other notes:

-Jeffries had an OK game, but let’s not get too excited. I’m still convinced that when Jeffries has a game that is not atrocious, some in the media have a tendency to react as if he’s a world beater and the difference between making the playoffs or not. The fact is that those who defend him are probably viewing his contributions in the context of his past awful performance, when he failed to so much as catch passes cleanly, when he shot predominantly horrendous bricks, and when he dribbled it off his foot more often than not when he put it on the floor. And make no mistake, this year’s version of Jeffries does plenty of those things, but is slightly improved. The fact that he can now hit a jumper a bit more frequently does not make him a valuable player, though I certainly hope that other teams think so around the deadline.

And this is plain to see to anyone who is really watching. I don’t care who signed Jeffries, e.g., that he is a relic of the troublesome Isiah era that causes Knicks fans to cringe. What I see on the court today is a barely mediocre to bad basketball player who damages the continuity of the team’s offense with his poor hands, handles, and still below average shot.

Answer me this: In each of the last 2 games, Jeffries has taken 10 shots when some of those could have gone to Nate, Harrington, Gallinari, Duhon or Chandler. Are you comfortable with that? Keep in mind that two games ago he hit 2 of them and that tonight he hit 4.

There are about 8 or 9 more valuable Knicks, and in fact, during games (not during practice) an empty chair on the bench is arguably more valuable. Some people don’t see that, but I’ll let them continue to make the case that the career 5 point, 4 rebound forward is the key to the Knicks’ season.

-Duhon made some really bad decisions with the ball in the 3rd quarter, both sloppy passing and bad shots.

-For all of the “sky is falling” coverage the Knicks were getting in some circles when they were 1-2 this preseason, I somehow doubt that we’ll see something more “fair and balanced” from News Corp. now that the team is 4-2.

As The Warriors’ World Turns, Potential Opportunity Arises For Knicks

As things get uglier in Golden State between the Warriors and Stephen Jackson, you have to believe that the team’s desperation to move him grows. Adrian Wojnarowski notes that the last time the Warriors had to trade a malcontent, the best they got for him was an old John Starks.

So, opportunity presents itself. And while Alan Hahn reminded fans yesterday what The Knicks FanBlog first informed you of in August (that kind of stuff gets lost in the offseason), namely, that any Jackson trade is highly unlikely, if I was Donnie Walsh I’d definitely consider something like this:

It is good for both teams and restores balance to the universe by netting the Knicks and Warriors the players they were supposed to come away with after the draft.

It won’t happen though. It seems that Donnie loves what he sees in Hill, the Knicks seem to be valuing stability and continuity this year, the press and coaches for some reason love Jeffries and his newfound chucking and oldfound turnovers and clumsiness, and the chances of Donnie adding any payroll are nil (while this trade is just about cap neutral for the next 2 years, it may hamper the Knicks’ ability to shell out max dough in 2011).

Starting, for YOUR…NEW…YORK…KNICKS!

Courtesy of Tommy Dee, the starting 5 for the first preseason game, tomorrow (!) is:

PG- Chris Duhon
SG- Larry Hughes
SF- Al Harrington
PF- David Lee
C- Jared Jeffries

My initial reaction is (A) this might not be the lineup that starts the regular season (Hahn tweets that D’Antoni said not to read into it), and (B) that youth is not being served.

However, 4 out of these 5 have been on winners in their careers, and they know what effort is required (plus nobody questions Lee’s effort) to win. It is going to be up to this group to set the tone for the youthful second unit, which, by the way, is going to be dynamic between  Douglas, Nate, Chandler, Gallinari, Darko (is there room for Curry here?). These starters will have to lead by example and avoid falling into big holes to start out games.

Other than that, I think the majority of the scoring load is going to fall on Harrington and then Hughes. They will both have to prove that they can keep the ball moving, something neither has done much of in his career.

In addition, it appears that Jeffries has earned a starting spot with some great play in camp. Like I’ve previously said, I’ll believe he’s transformed into, at a minimum, a consistently useful player when I see it. Nothing would make me happier. Otherwise, even if he starts, I don’t see him getting more than 20-25 minutes.

Knicks To Go After Sessions

With Donnie Walsh back in town from Vegas, it seems the action might finally be heating up in Knicks land, with Milwaukee’s restricted free agent point guard, Ramon Sessions being the main target. Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times in Milwaukee tweets that the Knicks “love Sessions” and are prepared to engage the Bucks in sign-and-trade talks. If the talks don’t go anywhere, the Knicks will use their Mid-Level Exception to attempt to sign Sessions.

What would it take to get Sessions off the Bucks? Not sure. Duhon and Skiles had an up and down relationship in Chicago. Would he be included? What about Mobley for Kurt Thomas and Sessions if the Bucks just want a salary dump? Would they ask for Chandler. Should the Knicks trade Chandler for Sessions? Lee/Nate in a sign and trade of some sort?

Speaking of Lee, it appears Donnie Walsh expects his situation to be resolved within a week. “It probably will be next week, the way [Lee’s agent] Mark [Bartelstein] talks”. Walsh told the New York Post.

Is it just me or does anyone else find Walsh’s way of talking about things very oblique?

Knicks Talking Trade With Thunder for 3rd Pick?

[via @ AlanHahn]

According to The Racine Journal Time’s Gery Woelfel, the same source who broke a possible promise from the Warriors to Stephen Curry (a scenario Hahn acknowledged the Warriors are “salivating” over), the Knicks are in trade discussions with the Thunder for the 3rd overall pick. They’ll have to compete with Minnesota, which is offering up the either the 5 or 6, coupled with 18 for the 3, according to Chad Ford.

What could the Thunder possibly want from the Knicks if not the 8th pick and Chandler? Another option is a later swap of the 8th pick and Nate or Lee, but both of these restricted free agents would have to agree to go from New York City to Oklahoma City for such a deal to work.