Lakers


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Last Thursday night in Miami the Knicks played a complete game from start to finish, without star and 27.5 PPG contributor Carmelo Anthony, and blew out defending Champion Miami Heat at United Airlines Arena 112-92, in what may have been their best regular season performance in the new millennium.  Since then, the Knickerbockers went toe to toe with the Bulls in Chicago and lost, and posted wins over Denver and NJ…um, “Brooklyn” that is, 2 games that have been labeled by some as a Carmelo revival tour of sorts.  Tuesday’s victory over New Jersey, as must a win as there can be in mid December, was made possible by Anthony’s 45 pts, and was delivered by a 3 pointer by new team leader Jason Kidd (shown above) in the final minute which was also the game’s final tally.

Prior to the South Beach business trip, the Knicks played a mostly lackluster game in Charlotte, looking ahead to the Heat, in all likelihood.  While Anthony put up 20 in the 1st half, he had zero field goals in the 2nd.  But his low output did not hinder his effort.  With only a few minutes to play, Anthony followed a loose ball into the Knicks’ bench, lacerating his finger, and causing him to miss the next two games.

Without Anthony on the floor for the final minutes in Charlotte, the Knicks capped the impressive comeback (8 down with 6 minutes to play) win with a 5 man unit consisting of Chandler, Novak, Smith, Felton, and Kidd.  Felton and Smith teamed for a huge steal in the final minute and swarming team D led to a 5 second violation for another key turnover, in part aided by a mental error by city product and NCAA champ Kemba Walker.  The pride of UConn failed to present himself on the inbounds pass, as he was the likely option on the throw in.  Felton scored with approximately a minute to go on a sweet drive, which gave the Knicks a 98-98 tie, and then JR Smith, after failing to go hard to the rim for a layup that would’ve won the ball game, instead called a TO and then promptly won it with a fall away from behind the elbow as time expired.

The Knicks performance last week, marked by strong defense and execution, have been hallmarks of the team this year–especially 2nd half defense–traits notably absent during Mike D’Antoni’s failed tenure, but traits once again associated with the Knicks under Mike Woodson, now 35-12 as HC of the NYK.  Another refreshing quality the Knicks now have in spades, which was noticeably absent during the D’Antoni era is effort, which, to a man, has improved under coach Woodson.

It couldn’t have hurt to have added so many serious veterans with winning predigees, like Rasheed Wallace and “rookie” Pablo Prigioni, who, in 13 minutes against the Heat, recorded 7 pts and 6 boards.  Prigioni has a serious nose for the ball via the steal and the long rebound, a perfect reserve on a club that shoots so many 3s (last night the Knicks made 14-28 3PFGAS).  Kidd has also shown a knack for loose balls and long rebounds, but to be honest, what hasn’t he shown a knack for since coming to NY’s real team?

Walt “Clyde” Frazier, who truly puts the color in color commentary, recently discussed Kidd’s impact on the Knicks this year.  In doing so, Clyde recalled Kidd led NJ teams that went to the finals, along with players like Richard Jefferson and Kenyon Martin, who ‘have been practically nothing without him.’  It’s easy to understand why Kidd’s departure so enraged Dallas owner Mark Cuban.  In fact, we were even apoplectic that Kidd was out for the 1st game the Knicks played against the Nets in Brooklyn.  Something tells us the Knicks finish that business off with Kidd on the floor to steady and martial the troops.  We’re pretty certain that Knicks point guard Ray Felton would be the first guy to cite Kidd’s impact, as Felton is enjoying a career season with Kidd as his 2.

In that game against Miami, Felton made 6 3s, led the team with 27 points, and turned it over only 3 times, and only once through 3 quarters.  Felton’s play against Miami prompted one local beat man (props to Steve Popper) to Tweet, “Feltonsanity.”  Too bad Jeremy Lin didn’t stick around, as he would have greatly benefitted from Kidd’s tutelage, as opposed to Houston, where he shares the ball handling duties with, wait for it…Toney Douglass.  Oh, the hand of fate!

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/jeremy-lin-duplicitous-twerp-scumbag-liar/

Even if Kidd is not showing up on the score sheet, his contributions are great. In Miami, Kidd was a staggering +31 in his minutes.  Kidd has taken charge of most huddles and is perfectly suited to, for what player on the Knicks or in the league anywhere, for that matter, would not defer to Kidd’s wisdom in a crunch situation?  When JR Smith failed to go in for that layup to beat the Bobcats, Kidd was visibly irate with Smith, but then appeared to instruct Smith to shake off the play.  So Smith went out and made the buzzer beater, all net, no rim, splash.

Having 2 point guards on the floor, one being Kidd, has manifested itself in another winning attribute: TO ratio.  This year the Knicks have a +5.5 TO margin, which, at the moment is not only tops in the league but is also on pace for an NBA team record.

Back to the +/- stat for a moment, a stat which is also distinguishing the Knicks as an elite regular season team.  The Knicks 5 man unit of Chandler, Novak, Smith, Felton, and Kidd is the top +/- group in the NBA. The 4 man unit of Chandler, Felton, Novak, Kidd is the top foursome in the league, and the 3 man unit of Novak, Felton, and Kidd is the top 3 man unit, at a staggering +19 avg.

Novak has been worth every penny of his 20+M/4 yr deal so far.  Even last night, when he recorded zero points, he was a +12 in his minutes, which indicates that he plays sound ball regardless of his stroke and scoring numbers.

As presently constituted, the Knicks sit atop the Atlantic at 16-5.  They should be wired on Thursday when they play the Lakers, a struggling team, now coached by Knicks’ castoff Mike D’Antoni, a questionable hire, especially considering that Phil Jackson was set to return to LA when D’Antoni agreed to take his woe is me act to SoCal.  Only time will tell as to D’Antoni’s success in LA, though not only aren’t we counting on it, but we’re actively rooting against it.  The Knicks would be wise to jump all over LA at MSG, where Kobe usually puts up immense numbers.

The Knicks should be further buoyed by the imminent return of Amar’e Stoudemire, who looks to be in great shape right now, and who is expected back around Christmas.  And when Iman Shumpert returns, hopefully in January, the Knicks will have the defensive presence to throw at quick guards like Rondo and Deron Williams, which should further boost the play of Raymond Felton, an absolute bargain at 3M per, and taken with Kidd’s approximate 3M salary, the winning pair come in at the same approximate salary as former Knicks’ savior Jeremy Lin.

KNICKERBOCKERS!!!!

Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

2011 Rome Masters Champion, Maria Sharapova (above).

We thought Caesar’s was rough on the men, and they were, if you aren’t Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal–the only men given a shadow of a chance to win at Roland Garros.  Wait until you see the odds for the ladies chamionship:

French Open Ladies Champion Odds

Agnieszka Radwanska:  + 5000 (wager 100 units to win 5000, plus initial wager)

Alexandra Dulgheru:  + 10000

Alisa Kleybanova:  + 10000

Ana Ivanovic:  + 2500

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova:  + 4000

Andrea Petkovic:  + 3000

Aravane Rezai:  + 10000

Caroline Wozniacki:  + 500

Daniela Hantuchova:  + 10000

Flavia Pennetta:  + 8000

Francesca Schiavone (defending champion):  + 1500

Jarmila Groth:  + 10000

Jelena Jankovic:  + 1500

Kaia Kanepi:  + 10000

Kim Clijsters:  + 1000

Maria Sharapova:  + 800

Marion Bartoli:  + 6000

Na Li:  + 2500

Nadia Petrova:  + 12500

Petra Kvitova:  + 1000

Samantha Stosur:  + 800

Svetlana Kuznetsova:  + 1500

Vera Zvonareva:  + 1000

Victoria Azarenka:  + 450

Yanina Wickmayer:  + 5000

Yaroslava Shvedova:  + 12500

Field (Any Other Player):  + 800

Comments:

Right off the bat, we find it very interesting that only 4 players have odds better than or equal to any other player in the field.  That’s a huge indicator that this field is wide open, and that the odds makers do not have a lot of confidence in anyone.  By the way, did we miss the newsflash about Petra Kvitova?  She’s been given good odds despite having reached the 4th round at Roland Garros only once, and having only a 3-2 lifetime record there.  She has had a good year, and won Madrid, but considering the depleted field, we can’t even call it impressive fashion.

Kim Clijsters, fresh off of a long layoff due to an ankle injury suffered at her cousin’s wedding, is strapping up for Roland Garros, knowing the window for this major is closing for her.  We usually like her after long layoffs, but not when she’s hurt.  She’s a + 1000, and normally, you’d have to jump all over that, except, how many people win the Frech with serious ankle injuries?

We like Zvonareva a bit at + 1000, who has an 18-7 record at Roland Garros, a quarter-final appearance in 2003, and 2 round of 16 appearances, though only one “recently” (2008).  Zvonareva is a smart player and we like her style.  She may be able to navigate such a downtrodden field.  As for Stosur and Sharapova, we like neither, and Stosur especially, has shown us nothing in the big spot.  Stosur has definitely been the better clay courter here recently, and yet Masha destroyed her Sunday in Rome, and is 8-0 lifetime in the matchup.  We aren’t rushing to put anything down on any of these ladies though.

There’s lots of respect for the favorite, Victoria Azarenka, and she is the favorite with good reason.  She has power and mobility, and keeps the ball in play, unlike world #1, Caroline Wozniacki, who has no power.  Now would be a great time for either of these ladies to step up and grab their first real hardware, but neither look that good to us.  Azarenka recently came up lame and retired in the 2nd set against Sharapova last week, and Maria simply took Wozniacki to school.

Gun to our head, we’d probably lay the money on Sharapova, the most tested and true champion in the field, who also happens to be playing a lot, and playing well.  The weaknesses in her game on real tennis courts, like her inability to move forward, volley, and hit over-heads will affect her less on clay, where she will be content to play everything from the baseline.  And, she may get a little extra motivation from her man, Sasha Vujacic, who has been travelling with her since the Lakers got swept.  Otherwise, we’d be all over Clijsters, but a bad wheel at Roland Garros is very bad news.

With this diluted field, maybe even a young American can catch a break.  If Sloane Stephens can take out Anastasia Pivarova in the final round of qualifying, then Sloane is into the main draw, along with the diminutive Irina Falconi, who won the USTA’s French Open wildcard competition, and not our girl Lauren Davis, much to our chagrin.  World #124 Jamie Hampton, an Alabama product, is also one win away from qualifying for the main draw.  It’s also nice to see Pennsylvania’s Alison Riske is in to the main draw, and will be playing in her first French Ope.  And here’s to the field getting healthy for Wimbledon.  We can live with a piss poor champion in the mud, but not on the royal lawns.

Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpresss.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/knickerbockers-continue-to-surprise-suns-friday-night/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/thin-knicks-to-host-spurs-tonight-without-gallinari-spurs-ny-730-pm-est/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/stoudemire-head-knick-in-charge/

Sasha Vujacic (L., above).

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/sharapova-comeback-derailed-in-madrid-bikini-shots/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/it-must-be-love-masha-n-sasha-pics/

Sasha Vujacic has had his last meaningful fist bump with the great Kobe Bryant unless the two re-unite in free agency.  Unfortunately for Masha’s man, the versatile guard was shipped to the Nets in a complicated three team trade this evening in which the Nets were able to dump the chronically late Terrence Williams on Houston in exchange for Joe Smith, with 2 first rounders coming back to New Jersey.

Under the deal, the Nets  acquire a 2011 pick from the Lakers and a 2012 pick from the Rockets and Williams goes to Houston. The Nets also send veteran Joe Smith to the Lakers, who give up Vujacic and his expiring contract. There could be other parts to the deal, including an exchange of cash.

Although the deal has been agreed upon by all parties, it cannot be announced until Wednesday, when Smith becomes trade-eligible. Free agents acquired over the summer cannot be traded until Wednesday. Williams confirmed his departure in a tweet Tuesday night: “To all my Jersey fans and people, it’s been real. I love y’all and thanks. To Houston, what up. Go Rockets.”

While also getting valuable rebuilding pieces, the Nets are ridding themselves of a player who clashed with coach Avery Johnson and appeared stifled under the team’s system.

The 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft, who was touted as a premier talent by then-Nets GM Rod Thorn, Williams was deactivated before Tuesday night’s game against the 76ers. He was not at the arena. The last time that happened, Williams had been repeatedly late to team gatherings, including games and practices.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/2010/12/14/2010-12-14_terrence_williams_traded_to_houston_rockets_nets_get_sasha_vujacic_and_two_first.html

Williams, who shows tremendous promise from a standpoint of talent, was recently demoted to the d-league for his inability to conform to team rules.  Former Knick and current Celtic fireplug Nate Robinson, a close friend of Williams, had blasted the Nets in the press for their failure to make sure that Williams had the support he needed to make meetings and practices, and implied that Nets’ new coach Avery Johnson, is not much of a people person.  The little big man wouldn’t be the first to put that knock on Johnson, who has always been inflexible, to a fault.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/2010/11/25/2010-11-25_while_nets_guard_terrence_williams_awaits_fate_former_knick_nate_robinson_says_t.html

Though the move seems to bode well for the Nets’ chances at acquiring Melo, chiefly because the oh so cheap Nuggets are intent on scoring a bushel of 1st rounders for their disgruntled star, it in no way means that Anthony would be happy in Newark for the next 2 seasons playing Johnson’s version of down tempo basketball, while hearing his annoying scratchy bark all the time.  It also doesn’t mean that Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov is willing to ante up the big dollars for Melo.  Last week, Dallas owner Mark Cuban suggeted that Prokhorov was cheap and lacked the balls to make big acquisitions, even calling the Nets’ billionaire owner a “pussy.”

Vujacic’s nearly $5M salary slot will opne up for the Nets at season’s end, meaning the Nets will have additional money to lavish on questionable talent like the Troy Murphy’s of the world.  But even though the Nets seemed poised to deal for Melo and seem best matched to meet Denver’s demands, Anthony must be unimpressed with NJ’s set up and lack of talent, and the fact that they are 2 years away from Brooklyn bodes poorly.  In fact, we can not see Anthony signing any extension this year, despite the uncertainty over the next labor agreement. 

It’s possible that Anthony, under a new agreement, may max out well below the 3 yrs/$65M that is on the table.  Still, with all the pomp and ceremony surrounding the top free agents last summer, and with Anthony being, far and away, the top free agent prize this sumer, one would think that he would cherish the opportunity to be wooed and coveted the way Bosh, Wade, and James were.  Though commissioner Stern drives a hard bargain, let’s face it: the league is not exactly in the poor house.  Anthony would rate the absolute max under whatever agreement the league and players come to, and something about playing with Dwight Howard in Orlando, or Amar’e Stoudemire for that matter, in his home town where his wife has lobbied for him to land, has got to appeal to Anthony, especially considering the Knicks’ resurgence and their surprising success this season.

And if the Nets can land 2 #1’s for old man Joe Smith and late man Williams, Donnie Walsh should be in good shape when he does the inevitable and officially places Anthony Randolph on the block.  Right now, word out of Denver is that the Nuggets feel the Knicks don’t have the picks to offer in a deal that they’d be looking for, but it’s only December, and this thing isn’t going to play ou for a couple of months yet.  We’re also hearing the Nuggets are smitten with Knicks’ rookie Landry Fields, who has shocked us with his cool play and machine like rebounding at the two guard position.

Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

ESPN’s Chris Sheridan reported yesterday that Donnie Walsh has a deal on the table to acquire a first round pick in the 2011 draft.  Though he didn’t mention for what, I would speculate that Wilson Chandler (above) could be involved.  He was whispered to be on the outs with Knicks over the summer, and nearly every Knicks’ rumor of late has seemed to involve Chandler.  Chandler, Isiah Thomas’ last first round selection, has developed into a nice scorer.  And for a Knick, he’s a fairly dependable shooter from the outside.  But at his lofty height, 6’8/6’9–he’s probably best suited to play forward, because he matches up better with forwards than guards on defense.  The Knicks are also extremely high on this year’s 2nd round pick, Landry Fields of Stanford, who seems to have similar talents and is close in size to Wilson Chandler, perhaps making Chandler all the more expendable.

http://blogs.bettor.com/Knicks-To-Sign-Russian-Giant,-Explore-Trade-Possibilities-For-Wilson-Chandler-a16089

Chandler’s stats:

Career Averages Rebounds  
YR TM G GS MIN FG FG% 3P 3P% FT FT% STL BLK TO PF OFF DEF TOT AST PTS
07-08 NYK 35 16 19.6 3.0-6.9 .438 0.3-0.9 .300 1.0-1.5 .630 0.40 0.50 0.8 2.4 1.1 2.5 3.6 0.9 7.3
08-09 NYK 82 70 33.4 5.5-12.9 .432 1.3-3.8 .328 2.1-2.6 .795 0.90 0.90 1.7 3.0 1.1 4.3 5.4 2.1 14.4
09-10 NYK 65 64 35.7 6.3-13.2 .479 0.6-2.3 .267 2.0-2.5 .806 0.70 0.80 1.7 2.8 1.4 3.9 5.3 2.1 15.3
      G GS MIN FG FG% 3P 3P% FT FT% STL BLK TO PF OFF DEF TOT AST PTS
Totals   182 150 31.5 5.3-11.8 .451 0.8-2.7 .308 1.8-2.4 .779 0.7 0.8 1.5 2.8 1.2 3.8 5.1 1.9 13.4
Career Totals Rebounds  
YR TM G MIN FG FG% 3P 3P% FT FT% STL BLK TO OFF DEF TOT AST PTS
07-08 NYK 35 685 106-242 .438 9-30 .300 34-54 .630 15 16 27 38 89 127 33 255
08-09 NYK 82 2735 455-1054 .432 103-314 .328 171-215 .795 71 75 139 91 354 445 170 1184
09-10 NYK 65 2320 412-860 .479 40-150 .267 129-160 .806 46 49 108 93 255 348 138 993
    G MIN FG FG% 3P 3P% FT FT% STL BLK TO OFF DEF TOT AST PTS
Totals   182 5740 973-2156 .451 152-494 .308 334-429 .779 132 140 274 222 698 920 341 2432

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/stats?playerId=3194

Chandler shot a very respectable 48 % from the floor last year, improving on his shooting percentage considerably from the 08-09 season to the 09-10 season by cutting down on bad three point shot attempts.  Call us crazy, but we see that as some nice development from the 4th year Knick.  The Knicks obviously haven’t seen it that way.  When pursuing Lakers backup Shannon Brown this summer, the Knicks were believed to have all but assured Brown that he’d see starter’s minutes.  If that was to be the case, then Chandler would obviously be looking at a demotion, or being traded.

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/knicks-news-chicago-police-after-curry-knicks-offer-contract-to-lakers-g-shannon-brown/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/brown-to-neg-knicks-as-they-plan-for-melo/

While the Knicks might be wise to keep Chandler, and would definitely be wise to acquire a first round pick in the draft next year, especially if they could do so without trading Chandler away, a lot of NY media types are going wild in a foolish attempt to connect the dots between Denver’s Carmelo Anthony and New York.  Knicks’ president Walsh said last week on a conference call with reporters that he was in the market for a first rounder, and when the Nets fell out of the Anthony sweepstakes this week and the news of the Knicks having an offer on the table that would net them a # 1, people are automatically assuming that this draft pick acquisition would be the precursor to a trade for Anthony.

Why would that necessarily be the case?  Keep in mind that the Knicks and Denver have little common ground for such a deal.  While Denver would like to receive a 1st round pick as part of a deal for Anthony, Walsh told WFAN’s Mike Francesa recently that talks with Denver have not gotten off the ground because Denver sees little of value in terms of players the Knicks have to offer.  Just about anyone can get them a draft pick, but who can get the Nuggets the types of players they are seeking in a trade?

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/carmelo-anthony-to-nets-pipedream-crushed/

Also, it has been rumored that Nuggets’ management will not trade Anthony to the Knicks because they feel that Amar’e Stoudemire’s public comments about Anthony wanting to play for the Knicks essentially amount to tampering–the new tampering that is–when players follow the Dwayne Wade blueprint for recruiting, as players on different teams are allowed to have contact.  While a rule in regard to that type of player contact maay be coming down the road, if logistically possible, we hear the Nuggets are incensed with Stoudemire, and would trade Anthony elsewhere to spite the Knicks.

I don’t think a Knicks’ trade for Anthony is happening.  New York’s best chance to snag Anthony will come after July 1st, if Anthony makes it to free agency.  Trading away their roster to acquire Anthony would leave the Knicks barren yet again, aside from a nucleus of Anthony and Stoudemire.  As long as the Knicks maintain cap flexibility, they will be in the running for top tier free agents for the foreseeable future.  Having just put together a team, finally, after 2 full seasons in limbo, it would be foolish for Walsh to blow it up so soon.

In other Knicks’ news, former St. John’s star, dream teamer, and Golden State general manager Chris Mullin, has accompanied the Knicks to Europe for exhibitons in Milan and Paris.  We have seen Mullin’s inclusion on the trip portrayed a couple ways.  Mullin is close to Walsh, and may be in line to become the Knicks general manager and heir apparent to Walsh as team president.  Why else would an unemployed personnel guy be hanging around the team?  We’d be happy if this were indeed the case.  Mullin, a college teammate of Mark Jackson, might be inclined to hire his old chum–a move we endorse wholeheartedly because we feel that Jackson is a great communicator who would have the ear of all of the Knicks players, and the attention of the league.

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/is-a-knicks-coaching-change-in-the-wind/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/before-they-can-worry-about-free-agents-knicks-need-a-coach/

Other reports have stated that Knicks’ owner Jim Dolan has no intention of approving such a hire, citing his ties to Isiah Thomas and because Dolan feels it would be redundant for the Knicks to hire a 3rd personnel executive at this time.

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/knicks-isiah-hiring-endangers-franchise/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/nba-isiah-officially-out-in-ny/

Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

The Knicks’ latest addition, shooting guard Roger Mason Jr. (above).

Career Season Averages
Year Team G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
02-03 CHI 17 0 6.7 0.355 0.333 1.000 0.1 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.2 0.0 0.29 1.18 1.8
03-04 TOR 23 3 12.3 0.356 0.364 0.864 0.0 1.2 1.2 1.0 0.4 0.3 0.78 1.35 4.0
03-04 CHI 3 0 14.3 0.091 0.167 0.000 0.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.3 0.0 0.67 1.67 1.0
06-07 WAS 62 0 7.9 0.330 0.324 0.875 0.1 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.31 1.06 2.7
07-08 WAS 80 9 21.4 0.443 0.398 0.873 0.2 1.4 1.6 1.7 0.5 0.2 0.86 1.75 9.1
08-09 SAS 82 71 30.4 0.425 0.421 0.890 0.2 2.9 3.1 2.1 0.5 0.2 1.22 1.95 11.8
09-10 SAS 48 2 19.3 0.429 0.380 0.727 0.2 2.0 2.2 1.8 0.4 0.2 0.85 1.23 7.2
Career 315 85 19.3 0.417 0.393 0.869 0.2 1.7 1.8 1.5 0.4 0.2 0.81 1.53 7.4

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/roger_mason/career_stats.html

While the Knicks’ pursuit of Lakers guard Shannon Brown, whom New York envisioned a big role for, and who some in Knicks’ circles were excited about the possibility that Brown would win significant playing time from incumbent Wilson Chandler, ended with Brown taking a multi-year deal to stay in Los Angeles–a no brainer for the player–the Knicks perhaps found a better fit for their roster when they signed veteran journeyman and former Spur, Roger Mason Jr.

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/brown-to-neg-knicks-as-they-plan-for-melo/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/knick-caught-with-weed-in-queens/

Mason Jr. signed a one year deal for $ 1.4 M, which was a little more than half of what the Knicks offered Brown.  At the time of Brown’s decision to resign with LA, we thought it a blessing because that $ 2.7 M to be alotted to Brown occupies the rest of the Knicks remaining cap room, and we thought that the Knicks might be better served by spending that $ 2.7 M on two players, considering the Knicks still thin roster.

Though we aren’t sure if the Knicks will use the rest of their cap space on a veteran center, or at all, we have learned of some interesting trade rumors involving troubled Knicks’ center Eddy Curry.  Curry was rumored to Denver in a phantastical trade proposal in which Curry would be the centerpiece in a trade to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, currently the talk of the town.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/carmelo_could_force_trade_to_knicks_KuuvyH2kRDMAZWxccFM8PN

The Daily News reported earlier this month that the Knicks had also discussed sending Curry to the Rockets for former Knick, Jared Jeffries.

Yahoo!Sports is reporting that the Knicks are talking to the Rockets about a possible deal for Jared Jeffries that would include Eddy Curry heading to Houston. Jeffries enjoyed two solid seasons under Mike D’Antoni and according to sources would even entertain a buy-out in order to return to New York.

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/knicks/2010/08/knicks-expected-to-sign-roger.html

We’re not really sure how such a deal would work.  Because Curry is $ a 12 M salary slot going into next year’s free agent derby for Carmelo Anthony, he is a hot commodity, if not for his on the court presence or considerable baggage.  Jeffries would come back to the Knicks, and could probably replace David Lee in some of the grunt work areas where Lee was so good, but would come back, be bought out of his contract, and then would sign for the league veteran minimum.  What other assets could Houston offer for us to move a prime salary chip?

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/lebron-knicks-center-eddy-curry-to-work-out-together/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/david-lee-thanks-for-the-memories/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/with-various-reports-linking-lebron-to-miami-knicks-rumored-to-have-agreed-to-trade-david-lee-to-golden-state/

If a move of this nature came off, the Knicks would need to get back expiring contracts, as welll as perhaps a draft pick and maybe a young player.  we’d hope that guy would be former Knick first round pick Jordan Hill, who we were loathe to part with in the Tracy McGrady trade last year. 

As for Anthony, the Knicks’ best chance to acquire the Nuggets’ star is through free agency, as it would be very foolish for the Nuggets to trade him before the season starts, and if they do trade him, they likely will not trade him to New York because common sense dictates that several teams will put together better trade packages than NY.  Isiah Thomas has once again made headlines this week, by telling sources that Anthony told him he intends to be a Knick next year.

http://www.sbnation.com/2010/8/18/1629995/carmelo-anthony-new-york-knicks-isiah-thomas-sign-trade

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/nba-isiah-officially-out-in-ny/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/nba-to-nix-isiah-consultantship/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/knicks-isiah-hiring-endangers-franchise/

Anthony’s best chance to end up in New York will be to announce he is signing with the Knicks when free agency begins next summer for a max 5 yr deal.  At that point, Denver will have no choice, if they wish to see some kind of return on Anthony, they will have to send him here in a sign and trade, giving Anthony the 6th year at $ 30 M, following the blueprint established this offseason by Chris Bosh and Lebron James.

As for Mason Jr. fitting in with the Knicks this year, he seems like an ideal role player who should play very hard since he is on a 1 year contract, and will be auditioning for employment and job security.  The move seems like the quality edition of a role player for the Knicks.  Unfortunately, the Knicks seem unable to make a move for Rudy Fernandez, who we see as an ideal point guard behind Raymond Felton.  Fernandez seems poised, for now, to sit out, rather than return to Portland.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindblazersbeat/2010/08/disgruntled_rudy_fernandez_pre.html

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/knicks-to-land-rudy-fernandez/

–Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we learned from both New York Papers that Knicks’ Team President Donnie Walsh nearly tendered his resignation over the hiring of Isiah Thomas (above) by Knicks’ and Rangers’ owner James Dolan (above), who will come in and work as a basketball consultant, and who, apparently, has remained very close with the owner with the deepest pockets and the shortest memory in the league.  It was only recently that Dolan was ordered to pay $ 11.5 M in a settlement to Anucha Browne Sanders, who Thomas sexually harrassed.  And Thomas got to keep the remaining money on his $ 21.5 M contract when Dolan finally fired him the first time, and deservedly so.  Thomas’ moves as GM put the Knicks in this woeful position where they had to totally strip the roster down to zero and build from scatch–a position that cost them points with the free agents that matter, who were all looking for other good players to play along.

A federal jury decided Madison Square Garden and its chairman must pay $11.6 million in damages to former New York Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders in her sexual harassment lawsuit.

A verdict earlier Tuesday found that Knicks coach Isiah Thomas subjected Browne Sanders to unwanted advances and a barrage of verbal insults, but that he did not have to pay punitive damages.

The jury did find, however, that Madison Square Garden committed harassment against the woman and decided she was entitled to punitive damages.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/02/sports/main3318386.shtml

Thomas was hired, despite already having a job, as the coach of the Florida International University basketball team, which he is retaining.  Somehow.  Because this seems like a glaring conflict of interest, the fact that Thomas is coaching against potential future Knicks, or coaching potential future Knicks.  Hopefully, the NCAAs and the NBA will figure out the rules that this breaks, and enforce them to the max.  Thomas is back less than a week and has already almost caused the resignation of Donnie Walsh, who, say what you want about him, will be running a fairly competitive team this year with a potentially great future ahead.

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/brown-to-neg-knicks-as-they-plan-for-melo/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/knicks-news-chicago-police-after-curry-knicks-offer-contract-to-lakers-g-shannon-brown/ 

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/knicks-newest-fantasy-sell-chris-paul/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/knicks-to-land-rudy-fernandez/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/knicks-sign-point-guard-raymond-felton/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/knicks-lavish-10-m-on-unknown-russian-center/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/knicks-protect-investment-block-stoudemire-from-playing-at-world-championships/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/knicks-sign-point-guard-raymond-felton/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/knicks-mull-lee-sign-and-trades-as-fallback-options-to-lebron-and-wade/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/david-lee-thanks-for-the-memories/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/with-various-reports-linking-lebron-to-miami-knicks-rumored-to-have-agreed-to-trade-david-lee-to-golden-state/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/with-various-reports-linking-lebron-to-miami-knicks-rumored-to-have-agreed-to-trade-david-lee-to-golden-state/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/knick-caught-with-weed-in-queens/

Walsh, when consulted by Dolan on the possibility of hiring back Thomas, completely disapproved of the move.  And Amar’e Stoudemire told a reporter that Walsh was “livid” over it.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh is livid that Isiah Thomas is back in the organization and feels his standing with the franchise could be compromised by owner James Dolan’s decision to rehire Thomas, The Post has learned.

According to a Knicks source, Walsh told Thomas in a face-to-face meeting two weeks ago he did not want him working for the organization. Dolan and Thomas had agreed that Thomas could fill the team’s general manager vacancy if Walsh was OK with it.

When Walsh told Thomas he objected, Thomas went back to Dolan, who still has a love affair with the Hall of Famer and seemingly is on a mission to rehab Thomas’ image.

Without Walsh’s knowledge, Dolan and Thomas hatched a scheme in which Thomas could become a part-time consultant while remaining the coach at Florida International. (The NBA is reviewing whether the arrangement violates NBA rules on scouting procedures.)

Walsh, who had thought the Isiah issue was dead, was not debriefed until after the hiring was agreed upon, and he reluctantly put his name on a joint statement with Dolan. It was only recently that Walsh found out Thomas had been in Dolan’s ear for months, offering free advice.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/walsh_your_back_AgooDKBkBqzS3vtJDZu7VP

So Isiah has apparently hit home with Dolan on a few points that have resonated.  Definitely on the recruiting angle, though Thomas never would have had the space to acquire even one difference making free agent, the way he extended the Knicks’ salary cap, so that should be moot.  Here’s his other big argument: D’antoni sucks.  For Thomas, that’s a great angle because Dolan does not like D’antoni.  Remember the game the Knicks were up 15 in the 4th with 7 minutes to play against Sacramento at home and lost?

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2010/02/09/2010-02-09_knicks_slip_as_as_kings_soar.html

Apparently, Dolan was very unimpressed with the coaching and he let Walsh know about it for a reported 15 minutes.  But having Isiah back here to make any type of decision related to basketball, whether it be on a coach–recall he hired Lenny Wilkens over Mike Fratello–or a player or a contract is very questionable.  What free agent wants to come to a disharmonious franchise?  From that standpoint alone, Thomas hurts the team.

The other thing at play here is that Walsh, love him or hate him, has made some important relationships in the league.  When he steps aside, he will be able to usher in a very reputable guy here to run the team.  But what reputable guy is going to come in, as is, with Isiah whispering in Dolan’s ear over any mistakes or criticisms?

Dolan is a loyal guy.  He is sticking by Glen Sather through this ten plus years of mediocrity on the hockey side.  But if he doesn’t like you, you are gone.  D’antoni could be that guy who is gone, in those terms.  But where does Isiah fit in, in a positive sense?  It’s a universally unpopular move, and as such, would probably be frowned upon by potential additions to the team.

And let’s not forget he sexually harrassed that woman.

–Crack (http://crackbillionair.wwordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

I love it how the New York Knicks can have a free agent offer out there to guy from the Lakers, and you don’t hear a word about it in New York.  I wasn’t trying every second, but I did try a number of times to check the Knicks’ beat writers blogs, and I do read the papers every day, so I probably should have learned before today what the probable terms of the offer the Knicks made to Brown was, so I will thank The Post’s Marc Berman for finally enlightening us.  Once again, very unimpressed by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News’s coverage of the Knicks, as I was all throughout the weeks leading up to and directly preceding free agency.

Berman reported that the Knicks likely offered Brown only a 1 year deal for $ 2.7 M–which is the only money they have remaining under the cap. 

The Knicks, according to a source, offered Brown a one-year contract as they moved to protect their 2011 salary cap for a run at Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks offered Brown the full $2.7 million that they are under the cap. The Lakers have offered the fourth-year guard less per season, but multiple years.

“The Knicks did a great job selling Shannon on everything and their vision for him,” Bartelstein said. “They did a great job but the chance to go back and win a third championship for the Lakers is a tough thing to pass up. He’ll make a final decision (Thursday).”

The Knicks were leaning toward making the super-athletic Brown their starting shooting guard, but also saw him as a solid sixth man

Brown averaged 8.1 points in 20 minutes for the Lakers off the bench. The Knicks have been impressed by Wilson Chandler’s summer recovery from ankle and hernia surgery and is the favorite to start at shooting guard, even though he is on the trading block.

The Knicks’ decision to offer Brown just a one-year deal stems from their belief in Anthony passing up a Nuggets’ contract extension. Denver’s front-office shakeup in which popular GM Mark Warkentien was dismissed could make Anthony pause on wanting to remain in Denver.

Warkentien would be a candidate to join the Knicks’ front office, but Donnie Walsh reiterated he is not focusing on adding a GM as of now. Warkentien interviewed last summer for the Knicks’ vacant GM job that still has not been filled.

http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/knicksblog/knicks_target_brown_likely_staying_kd2zx71UnixSAcR2NuZC8M

Now Brown really has no decision to be made here, with the world champions offering him a multi-year contract and the Knicks offering him 1 year.  It’s a fantasy that Brown would come, win the starting job, and then hit a home run in free agency next year.  While there are whispers that Chandler could go in a trade, and I’d be shocked if he’s not involved in the next big move the Knicks make, his departure is not imminent.  It could take the Knicks until the trade deadline or longer to make their next big splash, and until then, Chandler should see a lot of minutes.

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/knicks-news-chicago-police-after-curry-knicks-offer-contract-to-lakers-g-shannon-brown/ 

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/knicks-newest-fantasy-sell-chris-paul/

Very interesting stuff with regard to the offer being only 1 year because the Knicks are already preening for free agency next year, and they think Carmelo Anthony turned down that $ 65 M extension because he has the Knicks in mind.  In the NBA–all sports, probably–players and teams who are prohibited from having contact with each other often do anyway.  I would say that Anthony is a pipedream, but the Knicks should be looking very attractive by next year, and the guy is going to free agency despite being on a very good teamm who is offering him $ 21 M plus per year.  He’s out of there.

The Knicks already keeping their cap clear for Anthony could be the result of Anthony’s people telling them to.  And though Allan Houston has been rumored to be in line for the GM post, the Denver GM is a way better candidate.  Should he have any sway with Anthony, all the better. 

I’m glad the Knicks lost out on Brown, assuming it will go down as reasoned, and as his agent suggests.  The Knicks have $ 2.7 M remaining to spend, and they have a very thin team with a few roster spots open.  They need to try and get 2 players for that money instead of one.

–Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Lakers backup shooting guard Shannon Brown (above).

The Knicks, who seem to be in the mix to acquire the services of Portland point guard Rudy Fernandez, may also be attempting to improve their off guard position t0night as well, as several sources have reported that New York has made an offer to two time NBA Champion and Lakers backup guard, Shannon Brown.

Reports are surfacing the New York Knicks have made an offer to Lakers free agent shooting guard Shannon Brown.

The terms of the deal are still unknown.

At this point, Brown has two options: Take the offer from the Knicks, or wait and see if the Lakers can trade Sasha Vujacic so that he can resign with the two time defending champions. 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/426929-knicks-go-after-lakers-shannon-brown

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/knicks-to-land-rudy-fernandez/

Brown, a first round pick in 2006 by the Cleveland Cavaliers (25th overall), played 3 years collegiately at Michigan State.  Here’s a look at Brown’s professional regular season statistics:

Career Season Averages
Year Team G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
06-07 CLE 23 5 8.8 0.378 0.280 0.714 0.3 0.7 0.9 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.61 1.04 3.2
07-08 CHI 6 0 3.7 0.200 0.000 0.500 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.83 0.33 1.5
07-08 CLE 15 4 14.5 0.369 0.310 0.609 0.3 0.9 1.2 1.1 0.7 0.1 1.27 1.80 7.0
08-09 LAL 18 0 7.6 0.524 0.667 0.889 0.2 0.9 1.1 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.50 0.50 3.2
08-09 CHA 30 0 11.4 0.455 0.286 0.800 0.3 0.5 0.8 0.9 0.6 0.2 0.97 1.10 4.8
09-10 LAL 82 7 20.7 0.427 0.328 0.818 0.4 1.9 2.2 1.3 0.7 0.4 0.82 1.57 8.1
Career 174 16 15.0 0.421 0.327 0.778 0.3 1.2 1.5 1.0 0.6 0.2 0.82 1.29 6.1

Brown’s playoff stats:

Year Team G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
06-07 CLE 1 0 0.0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.00 0.0
08-09 LAL 21 0 13.1 0.434 0.480 0.792 0.4 0.8 1.2 0.6 0.5 0.1 0.48 1.29 4.9
09-10 LAL 23 0 14.1 0.393 0.281 0.714 0.3 1.0 1.3 0.9 0.4 0.3 0.57 1.61 4.9
Career 45 0 13.3 0.411 0.368 0.750 0.3 0.9 1.2 0.7 0.4 0.2 0.51 1.42 4.8

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/shannon_brown/career_stats.html

Shannon Brown is not an unrestricted free agent.  As a restricted free agent, the Lakers have 7 days to match any offer the Knicks made to their bench player, who some think fits well as a shooter in Mike D’antoni’s system.  Brown is a 42 % 3 point shooter in his career. 

This summer Brown has tried to get a deal done with the Lakers, with his asking price being the NBA’s average salary, which is about $ 3.5 M.  Brown made $ 2.388 M last season.  Though the terms of the offer are not yet known, one could imagine the Knicks using a portion of their mid level exception on Brown, likely in the neighborhood of 2 years/$ 8 M.

It would be insane for the Knicks to commit more years than that to Brown (but the Knicks have done stranger things), who most likely, would like to see this offer matched and remain a Laker, but who could not pass up on the pay raise.

Also, an arrest warrant was issued in Illinois for Knicks’ center Eddy Curry earlier.

A Cook County judge ordered an arrest warrant for Curry after learning that the Knicks bust “failed to sign an agreement to pay the balance of a $660,000 legal settlement reached after he was sued for allegedly having sex with an underage girl,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The case goes back to 2001 when Curry, then 18, reportedly had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

Last month, another arrest warrant was filed and later quashed when Curry and a woman agreed on a payment schedule for the $100,000 the oft-injured center owed her.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/report_another_arrest_warrant_issued_fPX5TkEGzf1xkE90NtzqDL

“Knicks’ bust” Eddy Curry…gotta love the label.  Curry did not show up to the Knicks’ summer league in Las Vegas despite having his best opportunity in light years to win a significant role on a basketball team.

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/lebron-knicks-center-eddy-curry-to-work-out-together/ 

–Crack (http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

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