Thoughts on Knicks 2007-8 season
In this 2007-8 Knick Season :gony:
The BEST team to compare the Knicks with is there across the River rivals the Nets, whom beat the Knicks (Terrible) twice in the Preseason with just their Bench Players.
Looking at the Nets roster and than the Knicks roster you will see all the Knicks weakest positions. You can start with looking and grading at the starting PG and his PG-backup:
Jason Kidd = A+, Armstrong = B
Marbury = C+, Nate = B+
The above PG difference is a Major factor of concern on the confidence of the rest of the players on the roster. Especially when you look at the PG's prime partner in the backcourt his SG.
Carter = A-, Wright = C+
Crawford = C-, Jones = C- too.
That is why they call the Nets "The BIG-3" (PG, SG, SF),
and now the chemistry that is taken place on the Boston Cetics will also be called the "BIG-3" too (SG, SF, PF).
The Knicks dont have a BIG-3 in their Starting lineup, the closest the Knicks could come to a BIG-3 line-up is in their Bench-Players in PF-Lee, SF-Balkman, and Combo Nate Robinson.
SG-D-Nichols would have become a great scorer inside that Bench lineup, especially wid the addition of PF-Zach Randolph.
The Knicks been very WEAK at SG position since the days of "Ward, Houston, and Van Horn (or Sprewell)".
The Knicks best SG since then has been Combo-Guard Nate.
That is why I was so happy wid 6.8 Rookie SG-D-Nichols, with Crawford still imature decision making and poor FG percentage, Q.Rich slowness from back injury, and Fred Jones past against NBA competition, that Rookie SG-Demetris Nichols would have eased his way into the SG-Rotation with his Peremeter shooting when we needed it the most (the unknown Rookie).
I think its time for me to stay away from the Knicks after they Cut D-Nichols. Isiah Thomas have to get FIRED! this 15 man lineup is not going anywhere without a healthy Lee, Balkman, Nate, and Collins for 82 games.
D-Nichols was suppose to be the Scorer on the Bench-Crew.
But Isiah Thomas want all the scoring in his "Play-Book" to just go to "Marbury, Crawford, Q.Rich, Zach, and Curry".
I'm FINISHED with Isiah Thomas FAKE Plan for this Knick-Team, it has'nt Worked for him in "Four-Seasons" (with 5 Coaches), and it started to look like it was going to workout well for him in the offseason with the addition of Two pure Peremeter Shooters "Zach Randolph & Demetris Nichols", but Isiah goes and CUT D-Nich.
Meaning us Knick-Fans has to depend on inconsistent Crawford & Fred Jones at the SG position for points this season.
The Knicks BEST "Three-Guard-Offense" consist of Marbury, Nate, and D-Nich, or Nate, Collins, and Jones.
Seeee ya!!!!! :afro::afro::afro:
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One of the Best on Real GM
This guy knows what he's talking about just about every damn time he posts.
It's a long read but it's very worthwhile I think.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by kosmovitelli
I already talked about Nichols and Jordan being cut in another thread but I have a few more thoughts to share.
As they say, if you don't learn from your past mistakes you're doomed to repeat them.
Let's rewind the tape and go one year back : end of october 2006.
The season is about to start, same as usual, rosters have to be set and you cannot have more than 15 players.
Q : What's the situation with the Knicks ?
Early september, the team has 16 guaranteed contracts on the roster.
So we buy out Maurice Taylor to trim the roster to 15. Then we add 4 players (Paul Miller, Elton Brown, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Milone Clark) for training camp and pre-season. As often none of them is good enough to be kept and they're all cut. So there is no immediate need to buy out Jalen Rose (and his $14M contract). Still Dolan accepts.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Stephon Marbury ............. $17,184,375
Steve Francis ............... $15,070,000
Jalen Rose .................. $14,601,500 [released 10/30/06]
Eddy Curry .................. $8,171,103
Quentin Richardson .......... $7,525,500
Malik Rose .................. $7,525,397
Jamal Crawford .............. $7,200,000
Jerome James ................ $5,400,000
Jared Jeffries .............. $5,215,000
Channing Frye ............... $2,325,000
Renaldo Balkman ............. $1,191,240
Nate Robinson ............... $1,185,480
Kelvin Cato ................. $1,071,225 [minimum, counts $744,551]
David Lee ................... $926,040
Mardy Collins ............... $899,880
Paul Miller ................. $100,000 [released 10/25/06]
Elton Brown ................. $100,000 [released 10/25/06]
Nikoloz Tskitishvili ................. $100,000 [released 10/25/06]
Milone Clark ................. $100,000 [released 10/25/06]
Maurice Taylor .............. $7,500,000 [released 9/29/06] </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Basically the situation already happened last year and we had to cut Maurice Taylor in september to trim the roster to 15.
Keep in mind, Dolan already had to pay Larry Brown $18M one month before training camp (this year MSG is due to pay $11M to Anucha unless they appeal).
Buying out Jalen Rose was a good idea since it prevented Isiah Thomas from trading him later for a longer contract.
And the added bonus of trimming the roster to 14 : having the flexibility to sign Randolph Morris just before the end of the season. Isiah Thomas saw potential in that dude and immediatly snatched him while he could.
Basically Isiah Thomas turned Jalen Rose into Randolph Morris. If Jalen had not been cut we wouldn't have Morris.
One could say we bought Randolph Morris for $14M (the price of waving Rose). Anyway that's another indication why flexibility is important.
So coming to the june draft, we had 15 players under contract (14 from the roster that ended the season with 33 wins + Randolph Morris).
Before the draft, we already had 15 guaranteed contracts, it should have raised red signals upstairs in the organization.
How will the front office sort this situation out : making a 2 for 3 trade !
Trading Channing Frye and Steve Francis for Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau and Fred Jones.
Now, after the trade, you have 16 guaranteed contracts. We can all understand Isiah's infatuation with Zach Randolph and the "small" price he had to pay (Frye and Francis). No problem with that. Even if I was against that trade, adding Randolph to the team is a strategy you can somehow comprehend. I can understand if Isiah had to take all three contracts to make the trade. No problem.
But here we are, Frye and Francis are gone, we have 13 contracts. Obviously we'll keep Zack so it's 14. Isiah coached Fred Jones in Indiana, some even said at the time he was the one who convinced Donnie Walsh to select him (Walsh was rumored to have another player in mind). Isiah knows he's likely to keep Jones. Obviously he knows Fred Jones and doesn't need to review his skills during training camp and pre-season to decide if he's going to be retained or not. It makes 15 guaranteed contracts already. As Zach Randolph and Fred Jones will be kept, Dan Dickau is the only contract we can unload.
Knowing all that, what's next for Isiah ?
He trades a 2008 second round pick for the rights to Demetrius Nichols.
So we have 16 guaranteed contracts + a young prospect who (with Isiah's eye for talent) may be good enough to be kept. And, indeed, during summer games, we can see the kid has potential.
After summer league, Isiah has a problem : Demetrius Nichols fires his agent and refuses (that's his right) to go to Europe (Italy). Nichols claims he never accepted to go to Italy and it was a trick by his agent to get paid (obviously an agent is paid more if his player is drafted, even late in the 2d round).
As John Hollinger stated in his article today, this is typical mismanagement. For starters it's pretty rare for american players to go to Europe when they know they can make it to the NBA now (Nichols is coveted by a few teams and knows he has a shot in the NBA) and it's unlikely Nichols promised going to Italy. He was drafted at #53, very late in the second round when there's absolutely no guarantee to make the roster of your team. Basically it's better to be undrafted than being drafted so late in the 2nd round because if you're undrafted you can showcase yourself during summer league games with any team and after that you can sign with any team. You're not tied with a team. Undrafted players and second round picks make the same kind of money ($100,000 or $200,000). It's a he said/she said case but I really doubt Nichols accepted going to Europe while he perfectly knew if he went undrafted he had all summer to find an NBA team willing to give him a shot for this season. I believe it was the doing of his agent. It probably went like this : Isiah sees Nichols stock dropping fast and available late in the second round, he calls his agent and ask him if Nichols would accept going to Europe, the agent says "sure he will" without caring to ask Nichols first (not to screw him up but he probably thought it wouldn't be a problem for him). After the draft his agent tells him he ain't good enough to play in the NBA now and he'd better go to Italy for one year (his agent already found him a team there). Nichols is unhapy but he accepts his fate. Then comes summer leagues, Nichols find out he's good enough to play in the NBA this year and probably thinks if he goes to Europe and the Knicks still have 15 guaranteed contracts next year what happens ? There's the draft and we have our pick so it makes another guaranteed contract to add. Will there be room for Nichols next year ? Hmm ?
Obviously any sane mind would rather play in the US if given the chance than play in Europe. Some claim Nichols screwed Isiah Thomas but Isiah Thomas could very well screw Nichols next year by asking him to remain in Europe another year. There was no guarantee Nichols would make the roster next year. So it was pretty foolish to make that trade based on the asumption Nichols would go to Europe.
The situation this year :
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Stephon Marbury
Walker Russell Jr
Allan Houston </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Before training camp, we had 15 guaranteed contracts and 4 unguaranteed (Nichols, Jordan, Houston and Russel).
Last season we had two players in the last year of their contract (Jalen Rose and Mo taylor). Same situation this year with Dickau and Jones.
So, here we are, september 2007, a few days before training camp and still 16 guaranteed contracts and one prospect (Demetrius Nichols).
Almost three months have passed since the NBA draft but Isiah Thomas was unable to swing a trade to trim the roster. What is he waiting for ?
But wait, now here comes a trade !! To trim the roster ?
No ! To expand it ! Two days before training camp, Isiah Thomas trades a future second round pick and cash ($3 million) to the Clippers for the rights to Jared Jordan.
Isiah couldn't make room for Nichols but what the hell, he's creating more headaches by adding another prospect we will likely not be able to keep.
A few days after the trade, Isiah Thomas released Dan Dickau ($3M) and he joined the Clippers.
Basically the Clips got Dan Dickau for free (paid with Knicks cash considerations) + a swap of 2n round picks (Jared Jordan for a future second round pick). Now that Jordan is released they can even sign him back!
Now, the Knicks waived one guaranteed contract (Dickau) but it doesn't open a roster spot. We went from 16 to 15 guaranteed contracts.
You have to wonder why the front office felt the need to trade a 2nd rounder and waste $3M while we already had problems finding room for Nichols.
One important thing to notice is Fred Jones contract is worth $3M. Basically the money was there to buy out Fred Jones. Instead of using it to give the Clips $3M (to pay Dickau's contract), Isiah Thomas could have used that cash to buy out Fred Jones.
He didn't do it. You may ask why ?
Simply because, as I said earlier, he had no intention of buying out Fred Jones. He already knew very well the player, he surely didn't need 4 months, training camp and pre-season to decide if he was going to keep Fed Jones. He knew it from the start.
Basically Isiah Thomas wasted two future second rounders (the ones he traded to Portland and LA Clippers) for nothing. He knew from the start it would be difficult to keep those prospects but he still did it. Maybe he thought Dolan would accept another buy out of an albatross contract (Jerome James).
At least you can understand Nichols (it happened 4 months ago) but Jared Jordan ???? It happened after we knew James wasn't going to be bought out and it happened after Anucha's fiasco in court (MSG paying $11M).
So it was pretty stupid to waste another second round pick and $3M for Jared Jordan.
Should we fire Isiah Thomas over this ? Of course not.
As Hollinger stated in his article, these two blunders would probably rank #20 or #21 in Isiah's long list of mistakes. But it's a perfect example of what's going wrong in the organization : mismanaging assets and ressources, not defining a real direction for the team (are we rebuilding ? retooling ? chasing the playoffs ? what are we doing exactly?).
I won't lie and pretend Nichols and Jordan will be All Stars. Can't say they are going to be scrubs either. I don't know.
But I do know mismanaging assets is a trademark of this organization.
I do know this happened because the front office doesn't care about cap flexibility, the front office signed players for max MLE contracts like they were essential and we couldn't pass on them (James and Jeffries). I do this happened because we are handcuffed by several albatross contracts on our roster (and it was the same 4 years ago when Layden waived a guaranteed contract, Travis Knight, and a young prospect, Matt Carroll to trim the roster to 15).
Thanks to our roster flexibility last year (and thanks to Jalen Rose's buy out), we were able to sign Randolph Morris late in the season. The funny thing is Randolph Morris costed $14M and Isiah's fans were happy and claimed Morris would have been a 1st rounder, Isiah was a genius.
Now that Nichols is waived, the same people pretend Fred Jones or Jerome James are more valuable than Nichols ! LOL
Obviously if the situation was reversed, Isiah released Fred Jones and kept Nichols, the same people would sing a different tume and praise Nichols to death.
Guess what ? If you go that route and claim we missed the playoffs because of injuries last year, Jalen Rose would have been valuable to replace Jamal Crawford after his season ending injury in february. Morris didn't play last season. So obviously Jalen Rose would have been more valuable than Morris. Would you rather have veteran Jalen Rose for one year (and a shot at the playoffs) or Randolph Morris (a small price gamble that may payoff big dividends, building for the future) ? Would you rather have Fred Jones for one year (and a shot at the playoffs) or Demetrius Nichols (same as Morris) ?
It leads to an interesting question : why did we keep Fred Jones over Nichols or Jordan ?
Obviously Fred Jones is the better player now and will help more this season (just like Jalen would have helped more than Morris last season)and thats the reason Isiah kept Jones.
My point here is this is a perfect example of our situation : we're not rebuilding, we're trying to make the playoffs at all cost, the front office doesn't care about our situation in 3 or 4 years. They only care about the current season and the playoffs.
For the future of the team, it may have been best to keep Nichols and waive Fred Jones.
What we saw today isn't really a big deal, it's not a massive blunder but it's another clear indication there is no plan, no direction at the top. The front office is clueless when it comes to our future. We have some young players, some assets but also some overpaid garbage and veterans.
Last year, Isiah drafted a promising young forward in Balkman, yet he still signed Jared Jeffries to that awful contract like he was absolutely needed on the team.
Last year, David Lee proved to be a promising young power forfard (Rookie All Star MVP) and Isiah trades for another PF in Zach Randolph. Zero chance for Lee to be a starter.
Isiah claimed we were building around Eddy Curry then he adds a redundant playe next to him in the paint (he's not giving Curry the best situation to succeed).
This year, we could add another promising G/F (Nichols) and look for the future but we keep the veteran Jones instead (a one year rental, he's an expiring contract), chasing an elusive trip to the playoffs (and save Isiah's job).
We have 15 guaranteed contracts. Fred Jones won't be retained at the end of the season (we'll have to make room to our 2008 1st round pick).
It's a sad day, by cutting Nichols and Jordan, not only we waived two players with potential but we wasted two future second round picks (the ones we traded to get the rights to those guys) and $3M. Money which could have been used to buy out Fred Jones and build for the future instead of going all in and chasing the playoffs at all costs.
I'm not crying over Nichols or Jordan but really this is a sad day for the Knicks. Another year of mismanaging assets, being handcuffed by the bloated contracts on our roster and having little flexibility to improve (only from within). It's like groundhog day, we're living the same season over and over again.
The sad thing is as long as the front office doesn't choose between rebuilding and making the playoffs, it will be that way.
To end this, I will say that this thread isn't meant to bash Isiah Thomas or to rehash old stuff but to single out our past mistakes and how we should change things in order not to make the same mistakes again in the future. Since 2001, we've been stucked in the middle of nowhere (not bad enough to be rewarded by a top lottery pick but not good enough to make the playoffs). We refused to accept being mediocre and chased constantly the playoffs each season. And it leads us to our present : so little flexibility we had to waive two second rounders we traded for.
We're a mess simply because this organization has no plan, no direction to begin with.
Frankly I'm fine with the GM making mistakes but its getting tired to see the same mistakes being made over and over again.
We cannot change the terrible trades and signings Scott Layden and Isiah Thomas made but we can surely change our future..
Nichols and Jordan have been cut, we have to get over it but we should learn our lesson and make flexibility a top priority for the team. We're not doomed to suck forever. Things can change if we start being more fiscally responsible, if we stop overpaying, if we stop wasting draft picks and if we stop trading short contracts for longer contracts.
Maybe the organization should read this :
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">A major reason a lot of people don't go after their dreams is they spend too much of their valuable time dwelling on what has happened in the past. They use up their precious, present moments mulling over the things they can't do anything about.
It doesn't matter whether the events that took place in your past were good or bad, favorable or unfavorable, there's absolutely nothing you can do to change them now.
The most productive thing you can do with past events is to accept each one as a learning experience, and use the lessons to help you make better decisions and take better actions toward your goals and aspirations.
If you don't learn from your past mistakes and experiences, you'll likely end up committing them again.
One of the most harmful things you can do is to repeat a past mistake because you didn't learn from it the first time.
It's fine to make mistakes. That's how we, as human beings, learn and grow.
Remember, it took Thomas Edison more than 10,000 tries before he invented the incandescent lamp (light bulb). This great inventor knew it was OK to make mistakes, as long he learned from each one.
Can you imagine where we would be today if he hadn't learned from his past errors and kept repeating them 10,000 times?
We might still be using candles. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
It was a bit long but thanks for your time if you read till the end.
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