Looks like we might be getting close -- starting to think about the season
Big day today fellas. HUGE... Hopefully cool heads prevail and something satisfactory for both sides can get ironed out, however long it takes. If so, there's speculation that the entire 82-game schedule can still be salvaged, which would be a great thing for everyone involved -- the players, their agents, the owners, all the various arena workers around the league, etc.. We'll see what happens. :crossfingers:
I'm sick of all this lockout talk to be honest. I'm ready to start talking about basketball again -- personnel decisions, training camp, free agents, signing our 3 picks (including Jerome Jordan) and esp. coming up with a complete 15-man roster. Above anything else, for us to get started on the right foot, esp. if they decide to play all 82-games where players will be expected to play multiple back-to-backs and even 3 games in 3 nights in order to make up games, roster depth will be essential. Right now according to Hoopshype, we have 9 players under contract for the season not counting Derrick Brown who I think if iffy at best to make this roster (he's just not that skilled imho -- I think we can come up with better options at better salaries, certainly better than Jared Jeffries who I pray to God won't be asked back as well :td:):
STAT, Melo, Chauncey, Ronny, Ro Balkman (who I'd try to give away for nothing, if only to open up that roster spot), TD, Billy Walker, Rautins and Fields. As of right now, this moment, that's it. 9 guys. Something I wanna start discussing -- how do we put the finishing touches on this roster to start the season?
First, it's a forgone conclusion that Shump, Jerome Jordan and Jorts will all be signed. That makes 12. Still 3 spots left... You gotta figure Shawne Williams will be back off the productive year. Assuming he is (and hopefully last year wasn't some fluke with him), now we're at 13...So where do we go to fill the extra 2 spots? I'm looking for players here, not filler. Guys like Balkman, Rautins, maybe Jorts -- those guys might be the filler guys that get IRed every night. We need a couple of more rotation guys -- guys that can give us solid minutes. I'm not sure what positions need to be filled more but here's my list of guys (by positions) that I'd consider (assuming that those that are currently under contracts with Euro teams can get out of those contracts to return to the NBA or have wrapped up their Euro seasons and are just waiting):
I'm not sold on Turiaf, Jorts and J. Jordan being enough at the 5. Turiaf breaks down all the time and is only an average NBA player at best anyway; Jorts may not be NBA material; same for Jordan. Provided we do nothing here, Turiaf will be the starter, followed by either Jordan or Jorts.
I wanna see them pursue Marcus Cousin if he's cut by Houston. 6'11"+ in shoes, 250 lbs. and skilled. Bottom line, we should've snatched this guy up from the D-League last year when he was available. On talent alone, he's got more game than anyone we have at the position now, even Jordan. He'd be a worthy addition and a nice frontline compliment to STAT & Melo. This dude PROVED in the DL last year that he can run the floor, rebound, block a shot and score the ball. He's Houston's property right now but I think they wind up cutting him. Hopefully the Knicks know about him and are prepared to scoop him up if and when that happens. I'm ready to give Jorts and Jordan a serious look but I'm not that comfortable with either guy to shut it down completely and say we're done looking for help at the 5. Cousin's the best option if he's let go by the Rockets. The dude would fit PERFECTLY here. To me he's got a lot of Al Horford and Jordan Hill in him -- a guy that can both body up and play physical along with showcasing a real nice finesse game complete with a deadly mid-range jumper.
6'11" Courtney Sims is another option. Nothing left to prove in th DL (he's a DL standout year after year), he's not the best athlete in the world and no track star in terms of running the court but I think at 6'11" he can provide enough of a rebounding/scoring threat at the 5 to keep teams honest. Another guy that's actually better than anything we have at the position right now skill-wise.
PF Jeff Adrien. We need help on the glass and this guy was a monster on the glass last year in the DL, despite being slightly undersized at only 6'7" or so. If they're looking for rebounding help (and they should be -- our wings can't possibly be our best rebounders -- it's gotta come from our bigs inside as well), they should consider this guy. Toughness and rebounding -- that's Jeff Adrien.
Two hybrid forwards that I continue to really like for us are DeShawn Sims and Joe Alexander. We're not talking the bruiser Adrien is but both are more skilled overall. Just different players...Comparing Sims to Alexander, Sims has more range on the jumper and maybe a better post-up game; Alexander might be the better rebounder and athlete. Both guys can score the ball. Either guy would be a quality skilled backup forward to fill in for either STAT or Melo where we would still have the opportunity to always keep a skill forward (and adequate scoring threat) on the floor at all times. The last thing we want to do is wear out STAT and Melo, esp. with a more gruling schedule where there will probably be games made up throughout the season.
6'10" former Net Sean Williams is another possibility. Dude looked much improved last year in the DL to me, esp. scoring/shooting the ball. We already knew he could rebound a little and block a shot. Now it looks like he's upgraded his offensive game as well. He's ready for the NBA again.
6'11" former LSU Tiger Chris Johnson could work out here as well. Called up by a couple of teams last year (Celtics & Trailblazers) and played well when called upon. He's a little thin but he rebounds, scores it and blocks shots.
Shawne Williams most likely returns and locks this spot down behind Melo. But if by some chance he demands too much money, a guy I really like for this role is Arizona's Jamelle Horne. 6'7" and skilled. Compared to Shawne, he's just a little shorter (but still more than enough size to play NBA 3) but I believe he might be even more skilled. Just as good an outside shooter and he looks much more comfortable putting it on the floor. Pretty good offensive rebounder too. For some reason his role regressed some at Arizona last year under coach Sean Miller but it has nothing to do with ability if you ask me. He's athletic and he can play. If anything, I'd lean more toward knocking Miller outright for not getting the most out of him more than anything Horne didn't show on the court. If given a chance, I think this guy will be a better pro than college player. Some team just needs to take a chance on him...The athleticism & talent is definitely there. Supoosedly the Lakers were interested before the lockout begain. He's since signed in Europe somewhere..Like all the players that signed in Europe, it's only temporary.
I also like 6'5" 220 lb. Marqus Blakely too. He's got a huge wingspan which makes up for the lack of height and is a very good athlete/rebounder/defensive player. Like Cousin, he's currently Houston Rocket property but may not stick on that roster. He's intriguing for us if Houston lets him go.Could be a real shutdown defender-type that can guard multiple positions and do a lot of dirty work.
We're probably set here with Fields, backed up by Walker with Rautins around for additional depth. However, if we're still looking for a quality 2-guard for whatever reason, I like former Gonzaga SG Matt Bouldin. He makes a lot of sense for us --- 6'5", strong/physical, good shooter, can put it on the floor and really handle/pass the ball well. In fact, it's his superb ballhandling/court vision that allows him to slide over and play some point in addition to 2G. This guy's definitely a D'Antoni player. He's already the player they wish Andy Rautins was but isn't.
Othyus Jeffers - called up and played 17 games with the Wizards last year where he showed he belonged. Similar to Marqus Blakely in size (a thick, muscular 6'5" wing, somewhere over 210 lbs.) only this guy offers slightly less defense/athleticism (not by much -- Jeffers has plenty of athleticism himself and he's a more-than capable defender) only a lot more scoring. Like Blakely, he's also a good rebounder for a wing..Very tough, mature player..Dude plays a hardnosed style. Watching him play, you'd swear he was a veteran not some undrafted rookie trying to make an NBA club..Interesting to see what Washington does with him with Nick Young and presumably Jordan Crawford ahead of him on that roster.
We're probably OK with Billups backed up by TD and Shumpert (and here's hoping Shumpert's good enough to assume a big backup role here). Better than OK actually, as long as Billups remains healthy). For extra depth I like the following guys: Curtis Stinson - DL lifer thusfar but that doesn't mean he can't play in the NBA. Just hasn't gotten his opportunity yet. I think he's very similar to Anthony Carter; better if you ask me. Last year he had an excellent year in the DL, making the all-star team and taking his team to the DL Finals where his team won it all and he walked away with league MVP and Finals MVP honors. 6'2" sturdy/strong point who can run an offense, get guys involved as well as knock down mid-range jumpers and take the ball inside when the situation presents itself. He'd come much cheaper than what AC would want to return and he's a lot younger too.
Curtis Jerrells - Go look at all available video along with the college, DL and Euro numbers of this former Baylor standout and tell me he doesn't remind you of Brandon Jennings. Just as much talent as Jennings imo.
Ben Hansbrough -A lot of people call him 'Jimmer Fredette lite' but in actuality, I think he's flat out more talented than Jimmer. I can't believe he went undrafted. He's the guy I wanted in the 2nd round -- instead, we landed Jorts Harrellson..Hansbrough should be in the NBA. Right after the draft he went to go play in Germany somewhere. If we're indeed looking for an extra point and he's available, I think D'Antoni would like him.
Just a few inexpensive options I've been thinking about that I feel would make nice fits around our core. Please chime in and add some more names that might make some sense for us.
Oct 28, 2011, 12:51
KO members start talking about basketball issues again is a very good sign, props for opening this thread!
Harrelson could be very productive at #5, he's 6'10 and weighs much more than other players able to start at center + he was the best rebounder in the conference, which means he's a perfect match for our needs. Besides, he was considered by Aldridge as the 3rd best center in the 2011 draft, which might be true. I believe in this guy, he can do much good for the Knicks.
But, there is a problem at #2, we have Fields, who looked pretty weak in the playoffs, so I think we could try more of Rautins at shooting guard. He deserves a chance from Mike.
And we have also Shumpert... this kid is our future, reminds me a bit of Derrick Rose, won't be surprised if one day we start him instead of Billups.
Oct 28, 2011, 15:00
Thanks for responding Dz...You offer up some very good perspective.
I honestly don't know how to feel about Harrellson though --- I know he had a pretty productive year for coach Cal for a real good program and held his own against some very good individual competition, namely Jared Sulinger. He deserves credit for a job well done last year. Still, I question whether or not he's a real NBA big man and if there's enough overall skill there for him to thrive. NBA's a whole 'nother ballgame than college, even though he did come from a top program..Will we be playing 4 on 5 offensively with this guy on the court?? I mean we're already doing that with Turiaf. Now Jorts comes in and we're still at that same 4 on 5 disadvantage offensively? I dunno man..Hey, maybe not. Maybe he will hold his own..Hopefully he'll at least be the no-nonsense enforcer he was in college and offer us some interior defense, toughness and rebounding..Anything else might be straight-up gravy though I fear..I remember reading that he supposedly has a little bit of a jumper that Calipari forbade him to use...Then again, maybe he's severally overmatched in the NBA from an athletic, size & skill standpoint and we're looking at nothing more than a Pat Burke/5 fouls and out-type, maybe not even that good (unlike Jorts, Burke went a legit 6'11" if memory serves). Like him or not, and I respect that you do, you have to concede the possibility that even with max faith in the guy off his surprisingly decent senior year out of nowhere (thank God for him Kanter was deemed ineligible otherwise he would've never played---funny how things work out), he's no lock to ever be an NBA rotation player. Unless we can come up with something better I'd say he's gotta be looked at as the 3rd C option going into the season, behind Turiaf then Jordan (who I'm not sold on either but if I had to guess, they might think a tad more highly of over Jorts). Too bad we didn't have a Vegas Summer League to take a good look at Jorts like we normally would've been able to. That's really a shame.
I'm telling you guys, Marcus Cousin's my guy if Houston cuts him loose. We're idiots for not taking a flyer on him last year when he was available and we needed a big at the waiver deadline..He would've been a MUCH, MUCH better option over bringing back the useless Jared Jeffries..What a waste that was..So would a few other guys for that matter (Earl Barron was out there and he thrived here before under our coach, Troy Murphy was available, etc..). I'm sold on Cousin's game 100% and I'm not only going off youtube clips -- I saw this guy play a good 5 times or so in the D-League, including games in the DL Showcase early on in the season and in the DL all-star game. NBA body, legit NBA C size, athleticism isn't an issue and he's surprisingly very skilled--too skilled to be floundering around in the DL and Europe imho. I think he's starting NBA C material; that's how highly I think of him..
Out of all the guys I mentioned who might be available at a good price if I had to take 2 to finalize the roster I'd take C Marcus Cousin and either Jeff Adrien OR one of the following two: DeShawn Sims or Joe Alexander. We need an answer at the 5 and some more rebounding. We need guys who have Amar'e's back and can cover for him and his lack of rebounding. If I couldn't get my hands on Adrien, either Sims or Alexander could help out in this area as well while also providing some additional scoring/skill. If Shawne Williams isn't brought back, I wouldn't mind taking a chance on Jamelle Horne to fill his exact role (outside shooter/Melo backup) or Othyus Jeffers as another wing that has enough strength and overall game to play some 2 & 3. The Wizards would have to not tender Jeffers his QO and let him walk otherwise any idea of adding him is moot. Tell you what, Jeffers actually may stick there; he played well for Washington last year after they acquired him and gave him a chance to play. We'll have to see...Hopefully the Knicks are monitoring all possibilities, even guys technically on other teams' rosters for the time being..
Oct 28, 2011, 22:21
Damn nice thread, threads like this are going to be the only things we're going to get for a while to feed our bball fixes.
Oct 29, 2011, 12:17
I think getting a decent center and PF have to be the priorities. I definately think we need someone to give STAT a break during games and depth at C. Assuming Shawne Williams signs up again we are pretty well set at PG, SG and SF.
PG - Billups, Shumpert, Douglas, Rautins
SG - Fields, Shumpert, Rautins, Douglas (at a push)
SF - Melo, Fields, Williams, at a stretch Shumpert
Oct 30, 2011, 10:45
The Knicks were suppose to grab C/F-Sean Williams and combo guard-
Terrence Williams at the first oportunity the Nets made them available.
Both of these players outstanding performance on the defensive-end of
the court is what the Knicks been looking for the past 6 seasons.
Sean Williams would be the perfect (24 mpg) athletic-bigman off the
bench to add in the rotation with Amare, Melo, and Billups. Plus Sean's
low post quickness in practice would be perfect for "Jordan & Jorts" to
prepare their body and talent at the NBA level for playingtime.
The Knicks biggest problem at the 5 spot has been having a clueless BUM
headcoach Dantoni, and his clown brother Dannyboy leading the coaching-staff.
Shawn Williams performance was not impressive to be a 18 minute backup
for Melo. Turiaf performance was not impressive to be a 18 minute backup
for Amare. Balkman is that tough rebounder u play in the 2nd or 3rd quarter.
TD & Fields multi-positional performance prove to be a dynamic 24 minute
player off the bench.....thats just my opinion.
Oct 30, 2011, 17:08
There is also another issue, a new general manager... Grunwald is supposed to be an interim GM and if I remember correctly the team was supposed to find a new candidate somwhere during the summer.
Oct 31, 2011, 04:24
Great input and feedback from you guys...Sorry for jumping the gun a little with this thread the other day..LOL. I just know I can't talk about this friggin' lockout anymore. Can't wait to get back to talking straight-up hoops with you guys again and nothing else. Here's hoping I get my wish sooner than later. Despite the breakdown the other day on BRI, I gotta believe this whole thing is still close & within reach. Looking forward to these guys getting back in the room together and banging something out. :crossfingers:
Chris -- I'm with ya brother. A legit center and another 4-man to give STAT a break during games would be my top priority as well. Well said..I realize there are higher-priced/higher-profile guys out there they may be looking at that fit the bill -- the Dalemberts, the DeAndre Jordans, Marc Gasol, Chris Kaman etc. -- and if they land one of these guys, I wouldn't complain believe me --- I just think given the money we're talking about with some of these guys plus the fact that I don't see their current clubs letting them go so easily, I just don't see them as viable options..That's why I always turn my attention to the bargin-bin guys all the time. I honestly think if we added a Marcus Cousin (provided Houston cuts him) and a Jeff Adrien for toughness and rebounding, we'd accomplish our goal of filling some of our frontcourt needs without going overboard adding salary. My fear is we never seem to be thinking this way though --- these were two glaring needs last year and both Cousin and Adrien along with countless other similar cost-effective players were available and we never showed interest (not trying to knock Donnie btw -- I'm a big Walsh guy and think he did a fine job overall)...Grunwald's in charge now for the moment -- interested to see how he goes about addressing these needs....I agree there's depth at PG, 2 and 3 provided Shawne Williams is brought back (and don't forget about Billy Walker too) --- capable backups at the 4 & 5 (size, rebounding, toughness, hopefully adding some more skill, etc.) should be higher priority. And like I mentioned earlier, I view Cousin as starting center material all the way in the NBA (esp. flanked by two all-stars in STAT & Melo)...He's a better talent than anything we currently have at the position now imho -- Turiaf, J Jordan or Jorts...I don't care what Houston and their fans think of him (surprisingly, most Rocket fans couldn't care less about the guy and look at him as nothing more than trade filler at best. I personally think that's a mistake -- he's a much better player than the overpriced/overhyped Hasheem Thabeet imo...Hopefully Rocket GM Daryl Morey feels the same way his fans do and he cuts Cousin loose at some point before the season starts. One man's trash could be our treasure..Speaking of Houston, Goran Dragic is another one of their players I'm very interested in if they ever decide to make him available eventually.. Unlike Cousin, most Rocket fans I've talked to on various message boards like Dragic---they seem to view him as the primary backup point behind Lowry, ahead of Jonny Flynn. As of right now, that seems about right. I think he's better player than Flynn and Flynn has talent. Who knows, Dragic might actually prove to be a better player than Kyle Lowry eventually. Dragic's definitely another guy the Knicks should be monitoring from afar. If things don't work out for Dragic there and he doesn't wind up getting the PT he's looking for (ultimately it'll be up to new head coach Kevin McHale), I'd pick up the phone and see if he could be had in deal. Dragic is definitely a D'Antoni-type guard. My bet is he's a keeper there and re-ups to stay in Houston. You never know though..
Kiy - I'm with you on Sean Williams. Like Cousin, I watched him on the NBA channel and Versus quite a bit last year in D-League action, including the DL all-star game over all-star weekend.. He looked much improved. Big and long, tough, athletic, always a premier shot-blocker and his offensive game looks greatly improved. I saw this guy hit mid-range jumpers and put it on the floor a little bit last year - things I didn't even know he could do...It appears he's put whatever little maturity issues he may have had coming outta BC behind him as well. Looks like he's really dedicated himself to becoming a better player...He'll be back in the NBA, it's just a question of where he lands..NY would be a nice spot for him..The fit's there and the price should be right..He definitely should be someone on our radar, no question..I think we'll be OK behind Melo with Shawne Williams, Walker and maybe even some Fields swinging over to 3 if need be..Walker's back on board (I think he had a player option that was picked up sometime before the lockout). Now we just need to see if Williams is willing to come back at reasonable money. If not, I think Jamelle Horne could give us everything Williams can and then some, and most likely at a much better price..Just some food for thought...Just reading up on Othyus Jeffers the other day -- apparently he suffered an ACL injury over the summer, I think in July. That's a shame -- dude was trying to make it in the NBA and was well on his way. He was awesome in the DL last year and showed he belonged in the NBA with his 3 cups of coffee in Utah, SA and Washington..He played real well for the Wizards late last year..He's rehabbing and the extra layoff on account of the lockout should only help him..ACL tears/ruptures are serious injuries though and this guy's always been a real max effort-type.. I love Jeffers' game. Hopefully he can get back to where he was pre-injury and this knee problem won't be too much of a setback for him...I'd be a real shame if he couldn't get back to that level. He was really opening some eyes last year. I'll be rooting for him..