Sunday, July 27, 2008
NYK, the rest of the worst, woohoowoohoo
The rest of the players:
Jerome James: One of many horribly inflated contracts on our team, Isiah Thomas felt after Jerome James plays out of his mind in one playoff series for the Sonics a couple years ago that he deserves a monster multi-year deal. He will be making 6 mill this year with a player option for 6 mill next year, which he will obviously pickup. We have tried to get him to retire this off season which would give us a small bit of flexibility but it does not appear that he will. He has no trade value, and so we will not be able to get rid of him. He sucks very badly, and he will not see any significant minutes, if any at all, over the next two years. Thankfully, his contract expires before 2010, and we will have to sit tight and wait for that glorious moment.
Jared Jeffries: Right on cue, another disastrous move by Thomas. He was for no good reason infatuated with Jeffries a couple years ago and gave him a huge contract to pry him away from the Wizards. Along with Curry and Randolph, he is the third one of our guys who will be grossly overpaid for the 2010-2011 season. He has two more years at 6 and 6.5 mill with a player option for the 2010 season at 6.8 which he will undoubtedly pickup. Knick fans have seen Jeffries play wayyy too many minutes over the past couple seasons as Thomas tried to eek out whatever value he could out of him, with no admirable results. He is simply horrible, worthless, and should die. Along with Curry and Randolph, Walsh will be trying desperately to give Jeffries away to anyone who will take on his contract. His deal will be just as tough to move as Curry's simply because he has absolutely no worth on the court. Curry can at least score and do some things, Jeffries is just an asshole. Pray to lucky stars he is not on this team in 2010 and Walsh can use like slight of hand or some type of trickery. Or hire an assassin.
David Lee: Lee is one of the toughest players to evaluate on our team. First of all, he is a fan favorite, so parting with him when there are so already so few likable players on the team will be a tough sell. We will be eligible to make him a qualifying offer next season at 2.6 million so we can lock him up for the '09 season, but we must make a decision before that in terms of what place, if any, he has on our team in the long term. His name has been popping up quite a bit this off season as he is without question our most valuable trading asset, but despite this, has yet to be moved. He has also made it abundantly known that he loves New York and he would love nothing more than to sign an extension with the Knicks, effectively putting the ball in Walsh's hands. However, is signing him to a long term and lucrative deal in the Knicks best interest? This year is absolutely tremendous for Lee in terms of his future with the Knicks. I believe that the only thing that will save him from being sent out of town is if his mid-range game, which he has reportedly been working on all off season, proves to make him a legitimate offensive threat this year. He is currently just a rebounder, albeit a very good one. He scores seemingly 100% of his buckets right around the basket on put backs or such things like this and really has no offensive game. A rebounder who happens to score 10-12 points by being active on the offensive end is not worth a big fat multi-year deal -one in which I envision Lee being able to find in the open market- in my opinion. However, if he is able to knock down a 14-17 footer consistently, then we are looking at a player who will see his 10ish ppg jump to 15ish ppg. Lee must show this type of increased ability on the offensive end in order for me to be happy with the Knicks offering him a lucrative long term deal. He is also, underratedly so, not a very good defender. While he has proven he is a great rebounder on both ends of the floor, at a listed 6'9", he is just an average interior defender who often struggls and gets into foul trouble when defending the premier power forwards in the game. He will also never average over a steal or block in his career. I cannot see Lee ever being a starting power forward on a team with title aspirations but instead used much how he has been over the past two seasons by putting in 25-30 minutes of work off the bench. I do like Lee a lot, but I am not willing to throw a ton of money at him to keep him here after the qualifying offer just yet. It is far, far too early to try and envision what types of scenarios will be present for Walsh after this season is through when it is likely we will make our decision with Lee. I do think he will have another solid year and I do think that he will have an easy time playing in D'Antoni's system as he is smart and active. That said, he still has the most trade value on our team, and Walsh's #1 goal above all else is moving Curry, Randolph, and Jeffries. I find it unlikely that he will be able to do this without packaging Lee in a deal. To me, Lee as collateral damage, I'm fine with that.
Stephon Marbury: I will not spend very much time on this mockery. We have +1 guaranteed contract on our books after the recent signing of Roberson and I can only hope that Marbury will finally be bought out. He is a cancer on this team, and I absolutely hate him. His game may not have deteriorated as his stats last year indicate, but I don't care. He has no future on this team and there is no reason to keep him around this year. He is a distraction and he needs to be handed his walking papers.
Zach Randolph: While Zach's facial expressions amuse me to no end, I cannot wait to see him gone. He is like a power forward version of Crawford; inept on defense and shoots every time he touches the ball. I hold him in virtually the exact same light as Crawford; he is a drain on our team play/cohesion on both ends of the court. He can stuff a stat sheet with the best of 'em, but he is a poor team player who does not defend. He has no place on our team in the future and with his deal running to 2011, Walsh will be working hard to move him. After initial reports indicating that LAC was willing to take Randolph for a 2nd round pick only to be quashed by Walsh, I was very disappointed he didn't bite. But as more facts came out surrounding this supposed deal the asking price was far steeper; we would have had to send a future pick and take Brevin Knight's contract. It then is more than logical that Walsh turned the Clippers down. Any deal where we give up any future pick cannot be listened to or even considered at this point. This report also served useful as it further showed the true market value for Randolph to the public, and it is not very high. D'Antoni and Walsh seem to think that Randolph will have a big year in this new system, and so do I. Unless if he is too fat to log the 30-35 minutes expected of him, he should easily put up 20 and 10 this year. I think that we will be able to unload him following this season without too much difficulty and he should far and away easier to move than Curry and Jeffries.
Quentin Richardson: I really like Q this year. I liked him when we signed him, and I find it unfortunate to see how much he has struggled for us. While a certain amount of blame has to put on him for getting fat, I prefer to blame Curry. I really believed when we signed him that he could be a productive starting small forward for us, but he has had difficulty in the wake of our constant coaching flux to get settled and establish a role. Now reunited with D'Antoni, I am very much expecting Q to revisit the line he put up when last with D'Antoni in '04-'05 of 15 and 6. He is capable of at least that, as he regressed horribly since leaving Phoenix after that season in order to address his bank account. He has reportedly lost about 15 pounds this off season already knowing that under D'Antoni, if he is not fit, he will not play many minutes. He seems to have regained his focus on basketball and I am truly expecting Q to have a great year. He will be given free reign to shoot the three with no repercussions and I think this will take some pressure off and allow him to be more loose out there. He has an underratedly solid mid-range game with the ability to attack the rim when he wants to. He is quite strong, a great guy to be running on the wing of a fast break, and a very good finisher around the rim. The biggest trick, with Q, is to get him into the game. When he is into the game, something that has been very rare during his tenure with the Knicks, he has a certain swagger about him that you love to see. D'Antoni apparently was able to bring this out of him when he last coached him and I really think Q will be the greatest beneficiary of all Knicks under D'Antoni. Under Thomas, if Q wasn't hitting shots and in an offensive rhythm, he would simply ride the pine. Under D'Antoni, I think that he will get more consistent minutes regardless of his offensive output on a given night, he gave him 35 minutes per game in '04. This will enable him to not press so much while on the floor and play looser. He is a solid wing defender and as he has reportedly slimmed down back to where he should be, he has good lateral quickness and length. He is a capable defender who proved he could do it under D'Antoni's system back in '04. Look out for Q this year. I was enamored with his game after his breakout '04 campaign and I remember being wayy happy with his signing; I think he will make us remember why we committed so much money to him. Contractually, he has a player option for next season at 9 million which he will pick up and become a free agent in the 2010 season. I am really expecting him to play very well for us this year and next, but I am skeptical as to what he will be demanding once he hits free agency in 2010. I think his value will be significantly higher than it is now and he will be 30 when he his contract expires. Whether or not we keep him, I believe, will correlate directly on how good Gallinari is. So we'll see where we are in 2010. But Q will be with us for the next two years and I think fans will, for the first time since he's been with us, like what he is capable of bringing to the floor.
Anthony Roberson: After a good summer league showing we offered Roberson a deal. He is an Eddie House type. He is a guard who can score in bunches and not do much else. He will play very little and if he has a hot hand, he will play a little bit more on a given game. Nothing to get excited about here, and hopefully he will be remembered as the player that caused the Marbury buy out.
Nate Robinson: I find Robinson to serve no utility. He is small, can't play point, can't play shooting guard, and can't defend anybody. He can, however, win the dunk contest, jump high, and bring the Garden to its feet. He is also a fan favorite, but not of mine. Baby Nate makes 2 mill this year and has a qualifying offer for next year at roughly the same price. He will not be in a Knick uni in 2010, and hopefully we can package him with Curry or Jeffries out of town. We'll see what Walsh is able to do with him.
Malik Rose: Rose has the sole expiring contract on our team (Marbury not included) where he will be earning 7 million this year. Unfortunately we are in no position to leverage his expiring contract to other teams a we have been doing every year under Thomas as we are actually trying to get under the cap. As such, I fully expect Rose to serve out his final year under contract with us. He is a solid veteran who D'Antoni can rely on to put in 10 productive and active minutes. He is a great locker room presence and a true asset for any team, but not at 7 million, but whatever. We're fine.
Ok, so that does it. I hope that D'Antoni settles in on a tight 8 man rotation as he did with the Suns. We'll see. The Knicks will suck this year, but will be fun to watch. The future, however, is by my estimation brigh. Hopefully Walsh will continue to move us in the right direction as we gear up for the summer of Lebron.