Knicks morning news (2018.05.17) knickerblogger.net gas knife lamb

CHICAGO — Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo was the red-headed hero of the NCAA Championship game last month, but he believes his teammate Mikal Bridges can become the hero of New York. That is, if Bridges drops to No. 9. “I think he’s top five, personally — as a character person and what he brings to…

CHICAGO — David Fizdale may retain at least one of Jeff Hornacek’s assistants — Howard Eisley. Eisley is part of the Knicks’ contingent in Chicago at the draft combine. Eisley also was on the list of top African-American assistant coaches that Fizdale compiled for The Undefeated. Eisley was a teammate of Hornacek’s with the Jazz….

Mike Budenholzer, a candidate for the Knicks’ head-coaching job before it went to David Fizdale, has agreed to become the next coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, multiple reports said Wednesday. ESPN had reported on Tuesday that Budenholzer, the front-runner for the Bucks job, and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, the other finalist, were meeting…

Kristaps Porzingis has not been doing most of his ACL rehab in Latvia as previously thought, but secretly working in Spain with Real Madrid, according to multiple sources. Porzingis has conducted much of his offseason rehab in Madrid at its training facility that houses its superpower basketball and soccer clubs. Real Madrid’s basketball team is…

American AAU players aren’t going to take the risk that the best European basketball talent would consider. Luka Doncic is a big deal and gets paid to play in one of the world’s best cities. There’s no chance that if he enters the draft he’ll get past the Sacramento Kings, and he’d be stuck there or Phoenix for 9 years of his life unless he takes a QO.

Next year, the Knicks, Nets, Mavericks, and Bulls could all have top 5 picks. That’s way more appealing than what’s going on in this year’s draft. KP didn’t commit in 2014 and the top teams that year were Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philly, Orlando, and Utah. In 2015 the Lakers and Knicks held top 5 picks, and Porzingis is now lionized in New York City.

If the Knicks were picking 2nd overall, I bet we wouldn’t be hearing about Doncic having cold feet. This isn’t something a one and done kid from Duke would do, but in Europe the top guys play cities in Athens, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Moscow, and London. I can see why Doncic isn’t excited about Phoenix or Sacramento. It’s precisely why I hope MPJr refuses to work out for Cleveland.

This third-year performance evaluation to me is a little bit misguided, or at least becoming blurrier as the demographics and dynamics of player entry into the league change. I’m not as bullish on Mudiay as Hoolahoop but I’m not as bearish as most everyone else around the league.

My thinking here is that using milestone dates to check player performance benchmarks is based on the overall development history of young players in the league. But for most of the league’s history, very few players were coming to the NBA immediately after high school or, in the one-and-done era, after only one year of school. The league has never had the amount of mediocre prospects and players trying to get drafted after playing only one year of college. Previously, only the top high school or one-and-done prospects would come out, but that’s totally changed with marginal prospects leaving school after one year and getting drafted in the second round or playing in the G-league or whatever. So, using “third year in the league” is not necessarily an appropriate benchmark for player development anymore, when so many third year players are younger and have fewer developed skills than was true on average in the past.

There’s a flip side to this dynamic, though, and that involves paying players after their rookie contracts. Because rookie contracts are capped at a certain length, the younger a player is when you draft him the younger he will be when you have to negotiate a second deal. This dynamic can both positively and negatively affect teams (Wiggins demonstrates the negative here).

I think there’s going to be something of a market inefficiency that teams can exploit by grabbing 22-year-old “busts” for reasonable second contracts. Many players don’t seem to “get it” until 23, 24, or 25 years old. Those players probably won’t develop into transcendent superstars like LeBron, but they will be valuable to building roster depth and asset diversity.

There’s a flip side to this dynamic, though, and that involves paying players after their rookie contracts. Because rookie contracts are capped at a certain length, the younger a player is when you draft him the younger he will be when you have to negotiate a second deal. This dynamic can both positively and negatively affect teams (Wiggins demonstrates the negative here).

Yes, this is an issue we’ve talked about at length. My draft strategy would be to tank hard to acquire picks, and not just at the top of the draft. With late 1RPs and 2RPs you can draft older players who, if they turn out to be actual stars, may not be shoo-ins for max contracts (due to perceived value being lower for older rookies), and also will be locked up through age ~30 on their first extension. This is a twofold win for a franchise, as most players will not be Simmons- or even Mitchell-level productive at age 21, yet they’re already up for RFA/QO discussions, which is a terrible negotiating place for a franchise.

Wiggins is the cautionary tale of a team likely having to pay a young player based entirely on upside rather than actual production. If you draft a stud NCAA senior who isn’t productive by age 25, you can cut him loose. Jordan Bell is the model for drafting an older player, especially since his productivity peak will match up with GSW’s stars’ decline periods. They should continue to draft BPA, even if that means drafting a 23-year-old rookie. Or especially if–

Hubert – your stats on winners are hard to argue with and you make a good overall argument. I guess the issue for me is I’m a small-market fan in football and I know now with reasonable certainty that my team won’t do better than scraping into the top half of the table for the next few decades.

There’s loads that’s wrong with the NBA and i’m not glorifying the idea of competitive balance that isn’t really there. But if you draft well and manage cap space you can go from bottom feeder to contender in the NBA in a way that – to me at least – simply allows for more hope than now exists in football. Both my football team (Crystal Palace) and my basketball team – and for that matter my American football team – are currently bad. But only one of those three situations is structurally irreparable. The cap, revenue sharing, the tax and the draft distributes opportunity and time limits dominance in at least somewhat more effective a way than oligarchs, individual team level TV deals and uncapped salaries.