Good afternoon from New York, where it is not snowing (unlike Cleveland). As I tweeted earlier today, the Ohio weather and the airline gods have conspired to keep me away from the game in Cleveland tonight. But that's OK, because we still haven't had a chance to chat since the Carmelo Anthony trade went down, and this chat wasn't going to happen if my flight(s) hadn't been canceled. So, off we go ...
Congrats on being right about Carmelo all along Chris. How far do you think the Knicks can go this year and how long do you think it will take them to jell together?
I think they can get out of the first round if they face Chicago, but it still would be a tough, tough task. I don't see them getting past Boston, Miami or Orlando -- but I also don't have nearly the confidence in the Celtics as I did 25 hours ago. As for how long it takes them to start playing crisply, I say give it 3-4 weeks. There's a whole lot of getting used to one another still to come, and the size factor is going to be a major weakness for them along the way.
Chris, I nearly threw up when you predicted due to cap issues Toney Douglas would be the Knicks starting PG in 2012. I'm on the ledge please tell me CP3 or D-Will is on the way to talk me out of it.
Here's the thing, Rob: There's just so much uncertainty regarding what the cap structure will look like in the summer of 2012 that it is impossible to say whether they'll have enough space for a third max. As for Douglas, he shot 10-for-12 the other night against the Bucks, and he plays a position that it takes four years to learn in the NBA. Just ask Chauncey Billups. His first four years were marked by every team he played for giving up on him.
Asked you this back in January. Very curious for your thoughts as of now. Hindsight being 20/20, what could Carmelo Anthony have done different to avoid such a drawn out trade drama nightmare? NBA stars learned from Lebron's "Decision." What should they now learn from the Melo Drama??
I think he played it about as well as he could have. He didn't duck questions (although he wasn't entirely forthcoming), he never explicitly demanded a trade (which would have gotten him fined), and he got exactly what he wanted (except for having two centers as teammates). Yes, it was the story that never went away, but 'Melo fed into that by speaking on the subject regularly and allowing it to continue to have legs.
Hey Chris. How would you gauge the Knicks interest in the following buyout candidates: Jared Jeffries, Troy Murphy, Earl Barron, TJ Ford, Leon Powe? Thanks...and mad props for sticking to your guns through the melodrama...very respectful.
They liked the Barron of Broadway a lot when he came in at the end of last year, and he has been sitting idle since the Suns cut him a couple months ago. They would use Jeffries at 5, too, if they had to, but that ain't going to get it done in the playoffs against the likes of Dwight Howard, Shaq, et al. It certainly seems Boston has something in place to get Murphy, but Troy has a place near NYU and it wouldn't surprise me if the Knicks get into that mix. By the end of the season I imagine they'll turn over two roster spots, and I'd reckon R.Mason and C.Brewer would be cut candidates A and B.
I feel that what is lost in the Knicks' deal is the addition of Chauncey Billups. He's the veteran presence with winning experience that this team needs. Am I right or wrong here?
You are right in that a lot of people are overlooking him, but my big question is whether he'll be able to play at the speed the Knicks prefer. Felton had grown very adept at that. But that being said, Chauncey was running the point for the NBA's highest scoring team, and now he's doing it for the second-highest scoring team. And also don't forget that Felton got schooled by Jameer Nelson in the postseason a year ago, so he was no sure thing.
If knicks sent andy rautins to the D-league would he still take up a roster spot?
Yes, but they have shown zero inclination to send Andy there (for reasons that remain unexplained).
Shouldn't the Raps have been able convert the expiring contract of rebounding machine Reggie Evans into a draft pick or something useful? He'd be useful to some contenders.
The Raptors tried, but Reggie still hasn't played since breaking his foot, and that scared teams off. He still could be a buyout candidate.
Chris, the Knicks are obviosly undersized so what seems to be the next move? I keep hearing Jeffries may be coming back as well as Earl Barron. Are there any other guys thus far that they are interested in? Also, how will their next signing affect their monetary issues as the new CBA is looming?
Jeffries and Barron are the two names that are out there most prominently, but Donnie Walsh was unusually coy yesterday in going over the Knicks options, including the overseas option.
On the euro front, my man Eduardo Schell from Marca in Spain suggested Knicks may pursue Nenad Sinanovic, but the Trail Blazers still hold his NBA rights.
Chris, From a scale of 1-10 What are the chances the Knicks make The Finals?
Are you sure the Knicks can beat Chicago? Tough to judge considering the Bulls aren't a finished product either.
No, didn't say I was sure. But of the top four teams in the East, I think they'd stand a better chance against Bulls than they would against the others (and I am throwing out their 2-0 record vs. Bulls in saying that. They did that with an entirely different team).
I think Shelden Williams can give them some good minutes off the bench as a big body, what say you?
For now, he's all they have at the 4-5 spot unless you count Balkman (or Shawne Williams, who defended A.Bogut the other night).
Hey Chris do you think the new CBA will be comparible to the present? If not do you think CP3 would be willing to take a pay cut to play with his buddies and win it all?
Yes, I think they'll eventually work off the current model, with some tweaks, and I expect the players to give the owners some sort of a cost credit (as NFL players do) that will be factored into computing BRI (Basketball Related Income) or what it might be called next, BRIME (Basketball Related Income Minus Expenses). Also, to repeat something I've said before, I expect both sids to emerge from talks on July 3 holding their noses and saying they have a deal. There is too much to be lost through a work stoppage at a time when so many superstars are in the prime of their careers and the NBA's Q rating is arcing upward. As for CP3, it is too hard to predict his future until we know what will happen with the ownership of the Hornets. I can't see N.O. trading him at the deadline next year (a la Melo) if the league office is still the primary owner.
Knicks ticket prices soared to close to $200 for upper level seats once the 'Melo deal was announced. Nets ticket prices also went up significantly as they nearly doubled from $4 to $7.50 once the Williams deal was announced. Which fans are more hyped about their new players right now, Knicks or Nets? Ticket price numbers say its very close..
Post of the day comes from Stewie. And a challenge to my readers/chatters/NY-area tweeps: Go to StubHub or Craigslist Monday and try to pick up a couple Nets tickets for less than Stewie's price range. Earlier this season tickets could be had for 11 cents. (As Ty Lawson said when I told that story to the Nuggets: "A dime and a penny?")
Hey ChrisI am a die hard NJ Nets fan, my question is do you see the Nets making the play-offs with the addition of Deron Williams?
No, I do not.
Honestly, I don't think getting CP3 or D-Will is the right thing for the Knicks. I would say keep a veteran guy like Mr. Big Shot who won't command the ball and put your money towards upgrading at the center position. What are your thoughts?
Well, if you can flip Chauncey and something for CP3 at the deadline next year, you have to do it. As for the center spot, they found a way last summer by getting Mozgov. And their European scout, Kevin Wilson, is extremely adept at identifying diamonds in the rough. He may have his sights on Mozgov 2.0 already.
On Legend's Night, Walt Clyde Frazier wore a sports jacket made out of Tiger. Is he the most awesomely bad dresser in basketball history?
You've got to be kidding me. Clyde looked sharp in that jacket. Clyde always looks sharp. If you want to get on a basketball announcer/sideline reporter for dressing weird, there are others who can be called out (I am not providing any names, but this one should not be too difficult to figure out). Clyde has never had a bad clothes day. (Nor has Charles Oakley, who once wore an all-orange suit, complete with matching shoes, to a game when he was playing for the Knicks, and managed to pull it off.)
Off topic, and I love Reggie Miller, both as a player and announcer, but was anything better than him criticizing someone for using the World B. Free Kickout? Word B. Free may have invented it, but Reggie perfected it.
I noticed that, too, last night. Couldn't believe his broadcasting colleagues let that one slide.
Is there a deadline for players to be bought out? Secondly, is there a deadline for signings of those players as well?
Players must be waived by March 1 in order to be playoff-eligible for another team. Players who have not been in the NBA this season, e.g. Rasheed Wallace, can be signed right up until the day after the seasons ends and still be postseason-eligible.
Do u see Kelenna Azubuikie making any contribution this year, or is he still recovering and a long ways away?
Coach D'Antoni keeps saying he's getting better and better, but isn't quite there yet to play at NBA speed. He was saying the same thing back in November, so that is a bit of a mystery. Kelenna feels he is ready to go.
Were the knicks trying to do anything before the deadline yesterday and if so what?
Donnie Walsh said the Knicks were in the mix for 2-3 of the players who ended up getting traded, but their teams liked other offers better.
Melo vs Deron...In hindsight, did the Knicks make the right trade?
Yes they did. And the Nets completely overpaid. I am still trying to figure out the last time a team definitely headed for the lottery traded their lottery pick at the deadline.
Chris, with Boston getting rid of Perkins their center and Miami without a dominant center, is the Knicks lack of a big man an overblown topic?
Shaq and/or Dampier will get Turiaf in foul trouble. Heck, Turiaf gets himself in foul trouble. It is not an overblown topic. It is their most glaring weakness.
Take a chance to look away from Knicks - haven't heard your thoughts on Perk - Green trade. As a basketball purist (who believes that chemistry > statistics), I am very sad to see Perk go. But still, Go Knicks!!!
I thought it was a brilliant move by OKC, a needless risk by the Celtics (who were always quick to remind people that they were undefeated in the postseason when they had their old starting five together).
Executive of the year? Presti? Walsh? Riley?
Pat Riley got LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris (1-for-18) Bosh, and go them all to take substantially less than the max. If you don't get Exec of the Year for doing that (remember, they got rid of every single player on the roster except Mario Chalmers to create that cap space), they shouldn't even give out the award.
Hey Chris, Just give it to us straight..who's the biggest winner and the biggest loser at the deadline
OKC biggest winner. Rip Hamilton biggest loser.
That's a wrap, folks. We'll be back here chatting Knicks again next Friday after they've tested themselves against the Heat, Magic and Hornets. Enjoy the weekend, all. Over and out.