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I really liked some of the questions and wanted to share some thoughts:
1. Jose Calderon should (and will) be traded this season. I think you set a pretty decent benchmark for what he is worth but I can't help but speculate as to which teams actually NEED him. I've narrowed the list down to Utah. Every other team in the NBA doesn't actually benefit from adding Calderon either because they would still suck, they can't afford him (don't have assets), or they have another PG that they are invested in. As such, wouldn't it be interesting to see some sort of trade like: Al Jefferson/Mo Williams for Jose Calderon/Bargnani/Draft Pick. This trade would be one of the most fascinating trades to ever happen for me. It solves the Bargnani/big man issues in Toronto by not putting too much pressure on Valunciunas. It gives Utah the first solid PG they've had since Deron left and allows them to play Favors more while using Bargs as a stretch four option and it gives them a presumptive good draft pick. The only problem is Bargs is on a terrible contract and the Jazz would be stuck with him for the next two years (assuming he is movable in his final year).
2. The Orlando Magic lost the trade outright. They got some pretty mediocre draft picks and several mediocre players for their star (Al Harrington isn't even expiring). No matter how you look at it Houston's offer of Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, draft picks, and getting rid of Hedo's contract would have been better.
3. The idea that the Bulls somehow got better this season or made moves that were legitimately cost effective is false. Kirk Hinrich is not only old, but he is outright worse than Jerryd Bayless (who was solid last year and can improve) and they are paying him more. Nate Robinson has been mediocre for most of his career save two seasons on uptempo teams. He doesn't improve the team but he is an ok add for 1 million. Likewise, Bellinelli is basically Kyle Korver light. What the Bulls did was find the cheapest tolerable bench guys they could. They overpaid for Hinrich but I suppose that's ok. The main issue for me is: Why let Brewer go? He was a perfect fit for the system and could've been gotten for very cheap. Also, why wouldn't they target Camby as a cheap back-up option. I don't truly consider the Bulls any sort of contender moving forward. They are basically a four seed when Rose gets back and should strongly consider moving Boozer. If they can move Boozer and maintain Gibson at the PF spot while acquiring some draft picks or maybe an expiring contract they would be well served. Perhaps this is what management is attempting to do. Maybe they wanna free up some cap space for later to acquire a guy like James Harden.....
4. Wholeheartedly agree with KC. Jeff Green's contract is an abomination. It's one of the most illogical contracts of this offseason. It's not even movable. No team looks at Jeff Green as good. Even in the case of Brook Lopez's deal you can somewhat consider it tolerable through the lens that some teams think he is very good (and he was very good at one point in his career) and could want that contract moving forward.
2 years, 3 months ago on Hardwood Paroxysm Presents: Your Stupid Questions, A Mailbag Disaster
@Jared Dubin I get where you are coming from. I suppose there are some Knicks fans that have championship-now aspirations (though I know none of these people) and you feel like you have to represent the "realist" viewpoint. I think my expectations and the bar I set for the Knicks are a bit lower than yours. Even being a top 5 team for the next 3 or 4 years is great progress for me (certainly better than those Isiah Thomas years). I don't have any championship or bust sentiments. I'm happy with the Knicks being a 4 seed in the New York market with ownership that puts them in position to maintain success and attract stars/beneficial trades than being a lottery team. The Lakers are the only substantive model I can look at to compare to the Knicks. They've been able to parlay middling rosters and 4-8 seed playoff success into championship teams through intelligent trades/signings. Many people foolishly assess off-season success based on what teams should have done (or basically what they wanted them to do) instead of looking at what they did and whether it was good on the whole or bad. For instance, I've seen people say "The Sixers off-season was an A+ because they got Bynum and that's all that matters." Essentially, that viewpoint is "They got what I wanted them to get so I can ignore terrible Nick Young/Kwame Brown signings and the fact that they threw away Brand while still having to pay him." I look at the Knicks off-season through the prism of "What did they gain and what did they lose?" That is to say, what is the aggregate sum of all their offseason moves. I'm less concerned with what they could have done because that's pie in the sky. They could have done many things that could have been great but the reality is they didn't. It's kind of like getting a B on a test and thinking to yourself "I could have done better." Once you think that, the reality of the B diminishes and it becomes more like a C or F in your eyes because you aren't seeing the grade for what it is, you are seeing it for what it could have been. This is sort of like the issue people have with the Bucks offseason. The Bucks as far as I know did just about everything they could correctly, they added a reliable Center in Dalembert, drafted a defensive big man with a soft touch, re-signed arguably their best player in Ilyasova, and retain a moderately deep and somewhat youthful bench. Yet still, no one would say their off-season was a success because they didn't make a "power move" they didn't make the slight upgrade from Bynum to Howard. Going from mediocre to decent is just as much progress as going from really good to great. With regards to the Knicks, all I know is that the product has improved by a bit over 10%. (there are 240 minutes of playing time between 5 positions and I'd say they've added anywhere from 24-35 more minutes of quality basketball). That's more than the Miami Heat have done and if not for the Lakers, Wolves, Nets or Nuggets it would be the most positive change in the league.
Don't take this post as an indictment. I'm not castigating you, I never intend to misconstrue what you are saying. I'm not even really arguing with you at this point. I'm just arguing with the general way that people look at basketball and some of the intrinsic faults in their logic.
2 years, 3 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More
@Jared Dubin The Oklahoma City Thunder have a great bench too. Don't harangue me about forgetting them!
@Jared Dubin Also, there aren't PLENTY of deep teams in the league. This is a fallacy. Being deep doesn't mean you have 10 guys in warm ups. Being deep means you have 10 or more people that are ready, willing, and able to produce when given minutes. There are only 4 or so teams in the league that can confidently say that. Namely, the Knicks, Spurs, Nuggets, and Timberwolves, Having Jeff Green, Antawn Jamison, Al Harrington, Kirk Hinrich, or CJ Watson coming off your bench doesn't make you deep it makes you stupid for overpaying them for inefficient play that doesn't help you win games. There is this issue of perceived depth that irritates me. People talk about overpaid players like Jamal Crawford as great bench guys that make you deep when all they provide is oft-inefficient volume shooting that can ruin offensive flow while concurrently diminishing defensive success.
Here is an article on the use of depth in the regular season. It's Wages of Wins related but the concept is overarching:
@Jared Dubin WS/48 still had Kidd at >.100. (this is better than the avg back-up PG making 3.24 mil). I'm not sure whether you are arguing for the sake of it or actually considering what I'm saying. Quibbles over whether PER or WP48 tell us more about skill/talent are asinine at this point. Continue to overvalue USG if you please. Let me address some of the stranger remarks in your response:
1. I never explicitly said Felton would be a spot up shooter. I simply listed him as either a spot up shooter OR ball handler, he is of course the latter. Furthermore, even if Kidd is playing off the ball as a SG I'm pretty happy with him taking a three pointer. He's not bad in those situations. Also, as a basketball fan you may have noticed the amount of analytics teams have gotten into as of late. I recently viewed Lebron James 2012 shot chart and saw that he completely changed his game/shot selection from how he played from 2006-2011 . Most likely, a more conscious Heat team told Lebron what to focus on and he followed through. More recently, I noticed that the Knicks have done a lot of improvement with regards to offensive analysis and some interesting truths come to light (http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/08/30/knicks-carmelo-anthony-amare-stoudemire/). I wouldn't be surprised to see more spot up threes from Melo and more penetration in iso from the left elbow. Kidd will be just fine in terms of having weapons to pass to. Both Amare and Melo are also great in pick and roll situations which helps him as well. As far as defense goes, your statement is cute but false. Kidd's defensive rating is very favorable compared to all the back-up PG's in the league. Hell, his defensive rating is better than most starting PGs. Don't get me wrong, Kidd can't keep up with Westbrook, Rose, Lawson, or any of those speed demons.... but it doesn't really matter. As long as he can slow them enough to allow the help defender to come and assist he has done his job (Tyson and Kidd reunited and it feels so good). It also doesn't hurt that he was 2nd amongst PGs in Def Rebounds either. Furthermore, iirc Kidd was a very solid pick and roll defender in their 2011 championship run. Bottom line is, Kidd is an above average bench piece for below market price. You have an irrational hatred for him...That's fine.
2. "Depth alone doesn't guarantee you a top 4 seed' - I never said that. The Knicks starting five is nothing to sneeze at either. I'm just calling to attention the fact that they have an incredibly sturdy roster. Amare/Melo are highly likely to perform better than they did last season and at the very least the Knicks won't have 30+ games of complete ineptitude at the Guard position. Again, theoretically NOTHING is guaranteed, but betting on the Knicks making the top 4 is a solid bet. I've looked at a lot of projections and have been studying it for myself. The Knicks as an individual team have better chances to make the top four than any of the six or so teams you mentioned. Again, it's cute to think the Wizards will improve and Wall will become efficient and Beal will look like Ray Allen....but that's the thing...it's just cute. It's not founded in any reality or anything we can tangibly quantify. Likewise, it's nice to think Dion Waiters will pan out and Varejao will be back to being great but it remains to be seen. With the Knicks we KNOW the product we are getting. We know what they can do well and we know what they should limit. Also, the "old" argument is becoming a bit overdone. The Knicks aren't so old as to only have ONE year of being competitive. The ironic thing is that the teams that are older (Celts, Heat, formerly Spurs) tend to actually do BETTER than the younger teams with the peak avg age being between 27 and 30.
3. Novak's contract. Tbh, I really don't care about your argument here. You are saying that they should not pay him what he is worth because they lose out on Possibly Maybe just PERHAPS landing three max contracts. 4m for Novak relative to what he produces is fine. There are better questions to ponder....Why overpay Amare for his mediocre prime and max him out past his prime? Why Offer Carmelo such a large extension when you KNOW for fact he wants to be in NY? ....My answer is: Who knows and who cares. There are two types of players. Players worth their contracts and players who are not worth their contracts. Novak, Camby, Brewer, Smith, Chandler, and Kidd are worth their contracts. At the moment Amare is not and Melo remains to be seen. Not every owner is trying to scheme acquiring free agents at the detriment of the ability to win NOW like Daryl Morey (granted I actually like what Morey has done).
I hope it doesn't appear as though I'm being harsh to you. I'm just trying to state the facts. Everything I've said has been rooted in logic and derived from FACTS (I haven't explicitly noted all the sources of my information but trust me I'm not talking out of my ass) . I haven't tried to delve into anything unrealistic or intangible. My assessment of you after engaging in this debate is that you are a cynical Knicks fan much like myself. I presume that years of mediocrity and Dolan-inspired mistakes have made you a bit jaded to the extent that you don't fully see when the Knicks make tangible improvement.
@Jared Dubin The ironic thing is I argue with WP48 enthusiasts. No single statistical marker can tell you all you need to know about a particular player, but they can elucidate certain facets of their game. My point with Kidd is this:
Kidd knows what he does well and tends to stick to it. He shoots threes above 33% and KNOWS he isn't efficient from anywhere else. As such, he only takes 1.1 non-threes a game. You note that his turnover rate was high, yet it made marginal impact on games b/c he wasn't ball hogging and overdribbling. Your other argument notes that Kidd was only good because of Dirk...but how does that effect his usefulness on the Knicks. If anything the Knicks offense makes life easier for Kidd because of the number of spot-up shooters and ball handlers they possess (Felton, Melo, Novak, JR). I'm not arguing whether Kidd had his worst season or not. I'm arguing that he is a great back up option. The avg back-up PG was paid ~3.2m last season while avging <.100 WS/48 and I'll be darned if JKidd isn't worth the price of admission (especially if you are expecting to resign Lin like the Knicks were).
As far as top 4 seeding goes....we could theoretically say NOTHING is guaranteed. There is no guarantee the Heat will win the East...there is no guarantee the Thunder/Lakers are the top teams in the West. My point is....it's a facile guess to say the Knicks will be a top 4 team for the next few years. I've already stated my reasoning for why the Knicks should likely be a top four team. You haven't earnestly refuted it.
I don't dispute that they may have given Novak a contract that is a year too long, but it's mostly irrelevant to me. He's talented and he helps you win games. There have been much more abominable contracts given within the last couple of years. If you told me at the beginning of the offseason that the Knicks would downgrade at starting PG but upgrade at 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th man I would say it's a solid offseason. Think about it carefully, you are replacing (on avg) about 33 or so minutes of above par Lin play for 33 minutes of slightly below average Felton play. However, you are replacing approximately 60 minutes of mediocre if not BAD back up G and PF/C play (Douglas, Bibby, Harrellson, Jeffies, Fields) for 60 minutes of good bench play (Brewer, Camby, Kidd, and more Smith/Novak). The Knicks have been maligned justly for screwing up the Lin/Felton scenarios, but they've gotten no credit for actually having gotten better.
PER is a pretty mediocre model on the whole. I would personally take WP48 which has much more correlation to actual success. With that being said, I'd rather value players who aren't turning the ball and attempting too many field goals than not.
@Jared Dubin This is tayottt again. It's been an arduous journey trying to get my response to show on HP, but I hope this works:
Kidd's WP48 still was over .200. That is to say...he still produced well on a per minute basis. He only shot 40% from 2-pt range but that doesn't matter because he barely took any two pointers. Rather he shot a solid 35%+ from three and took a lot of those. As such, he was actually AVG in terms of TS% for a guard. On the Knicks he isn't expected to do much but find passing lanes and play serviceable defense. Last time I checked, he is still an above average passer and an above average thief. In addition, he doesn't foul much and STILL rebounds more than the average PG. Don't get me wrong.... he isn't the GOD he used to be. But as a bench option? pretty damn good. Your turnover statement is outright FALSE. He turned the ball over 3.2 times per 48 minutes compared to Lin's 6.4 per 48 minutes. As for the Dirk statement....it's a little strange to me considering Dirk had one of the worst seasons of his career last year...so I'm not really sure whether the argument holds. I'd rather have Kidd than virtually any other back up PG in the league (Watson? Robinson? Dooling? Harris?).
Me picking the Knicks as a top four pick seems pretty provocative but it isn't if you take a moment to examine their team. Last year, their performance was a perfect storm of some of the worst possible situations (Amare/Melo injuries and career lows in addition to lack of any bench depth behind Chandler or Lin). In the regular season, the value of the bench is Much higher than it is in the post season. A team's 6th 7th and 8th man mean more during the course of a long season and the Knicks are solid up until their tenth man. We saw Chicago overcome Rose/Hamilton injuries due to the strong bench mob they built (btw Brewer was one of those guys). It's not too strange to presume that the Knicks with a better starting unit (I'm assuming gains for Melo coming off the Olympics and an average year for Amare/Felton) and a significantly better bench should place in the top four. Again, it can't be stressed enough...the Knicks can suffer any injury this season with relative ease. Let's examine the teams you put ahead of the Knicks: Indiana- Fair enough, nothing is impeding them from being a top four team
Boston: Much has been said about how good their offseason has been but I think the hype is a bit much. Terry isn't an improvement over Ray Allen and while Sullinger should be good eventually ...probably not anytime soon (that goes quadruple for Fab Melo). Jeff Green was a terrible re-signing and they lost a solid big in Stiemsma. The Celtics are a Rondo or Garnett injury away from definitely missing the top four.
Chicago: NO! No model projects them to be a top four team. They blew up their great bench, filled up with mediocre if not bad players (Nate Robinson? Hinrich?), and still won't have Rose till mid-season. They should still make the playoffs...but top four seems like a reach.
Philly: Interesting. This is just plain interesting... I can't definitively say they won't make the top four. It's plausible, but they need to figure some things out (Dorell Wright, Spencer Hawes, Thad Young, Nick Young, Richardson, and Lavoy Allen). Depending on minute distribution and the growth of Evan Turner, they could be top four within the next three years (obviously if Bynum gets injured they won't make the top four).
Nets: Better playoff team than regular season. Their starting unit is pretty solid but their bench is suspect. Brooks, Telotovic (dunno how to spell), Watson, and Evans aren't that great of a back up unit. There are also a lot of synergy questions even within the starting line up. Will Lopez return to form (specifically his rookie season form)? Will Deron Williams return to elite status? Will Brooks improve? How will spacing work? More questions than I would like. Thus, I don't bet on them.
I give the Knicks a B because I'm nice and because people forget they made some great moves. I'm not really sure why you dislike Novak, he was one of the most efficient three point shooters last season and posted an insane 68 TS%. Paying a slight premium for a premium scorer? Why not?129 O rating and .180 WS/48. I'll gladly take that for a paltry 4m (Landry Fields makes more).
Lemme make a separate point. The Knicks definitely went ALL IN. But in the grand scheme, it doesn't matter. They will be competitive for the next three or so years and people will perceive the Knicks like they used to perceive Denver. A solid team with good depth and good talent. The difference is: They are in NY. That kind of perception in a market like NY is extremely advantageous in terms of signing FA's in three/four years time (for w/e reason Knicks are better at FA acquisition than Trades). Most likely Melo will be resigned at a cheaper rate (maybe Chandler too), Amare will be excised, and the team will be geared for another (probably better) reboot. The Knicks/Lakers will always be appealing to FA's BUT they get really appealing when they win 48+ games a year. The Nets are following a similar model. Next time they want a Lebron or a Kenneth Faried (I'm assuming he will be superstar in 4 years) or Harden they just might get him.