Greetings! As you can imagine, Chris has been all over the Donnie Walsh news. So we've had to move his chat to 3 p.m. eastern. Huge apologies for the inconvenience!
Good afternoon (or is it?) from New York. Donnie Walsh is out. Major loss for the Knicks. Walsh said he wasn't sure he had the energy to do this for two more years, but I'm only buying that as a cover story. Questions? Comments?
Hi Chris,Do you see any more big changes to follow the Walsh news in NY this summer or does it all depend on the lockout?
I think this decision really moves D'Antoni onto the bubble, though Donnie sounded as though he expects Mike D. to be back. One of the big factors that Walsh kept alluding to was the "uncertainty" over the upcoming season in regards to whether there will be a lockout. And in truth, that is really going to drive the timetable on a lot of things.
Do you think that Donnie Walsh's experience dealing with James Dolan and the continuous Isiah Thomas rumors surrounding the franchise will potentially hinder big name guys from wanting a front office position with the team in the future?
I think the question of autonomy will loom larger, and if they go outside of the organization and seek a big name (someone like Jerry Colangelo), you can bet a guy like that would want to have complete control -- and would pick Donnie's brain on whether it is possible to do that when working for Dolan.
Hey Chris, as Knicks fans, should we assume that Isiah Thomas has some sort of role going forward? (Ugh...)
As long as Jim Dolan remain friends and talk on the phone, Isiah is going to remain a factor in what the Knicks' owner is thinking. What do you think they talk about when they are on the phone? Music?
Who's in charge of the draft with Walsh out?
That was left unclear today in the conference call. But since Grunwald is only the interim and Walsh is still the boss until June 30, I would have to postulate that it will be Walsh.
Who do you see being the next KNICKS GM from this list (Pritchard, Warkentien, Stefanski, Houston, Thomas, Gabriel, Grunweld and Calipari) with 1 being the highest chance and 8 being the lowest chance.
I think the bigger question is who is going to be the next team president. But to answer your GM question, I rank Allan Houston and Glen Grunwald highest of those candidates to be holding the position on opening night next season.
Donnie missed out on the Lebron sweepstakes, which will hurt this team for years, he made the awful D'Antoni hire, he gave a 100 million dollar contract to someone who won't have any knees in a couple years, and then he went out and traded half the team for a player who could've come in free agency and plays zero defense. Remind me why everyone is unhappy that he's leaving?
Because the consolation prize of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony gives the team two major building blocks for the next four years. Now it is a matter of filling in the pieces around them, and Walsh is the guy most Knicks fans wanted to see filling in those pieces.
Because of this team's front office dysfunction and lack of defensive accountability/effort, I am going to root for the Nets once they move to Brooklyn. And I won't be alone.
Mikhail Prokhorov thanks you.
Do you see Landry coming off the bench next year? People complain that he shouldn't be a starter, but I don't think he would be a good guy coming off the bench as far as providing offense, or any kind of spark.
That'll depend on what kind of a player they draft at No. 17, and if it is a wing player whether that guy is able to beat out Landry in training camp. If they draft Klay Thompson, for instance, he brings the same height as Fields and has a sweeter outside shot. If they draft Jimmer, would they want to expose themselves that much defensively at the 2 spot early in games? If they draft a PG or a C, I'd imagine the job is Fields' again.
Do you think former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard is a good candidate to replace Donnie?
Yes and no. He is a sharp guy and a smooth guy, but he's also the guy who missed on Kevin Durant, and I do not know that he is team president material. Again, that is the open position that is of the most significance here.
Do teams have to clear their GM hires with the league office ahead of time? In other words, if Dolan is stubborn enough to want to hire Thomas to be the GM again, could/would Stern step in and prevent him from doing so?
If Dolan wants to hire Isiah, he is free to do so. It is his team. As as Stern would be the first to tell you, Stern works for Dolan and the other 29 owners.
Some quick Finals thoughts, please?
Awesome game last night. Anyone who turned it off when the lead hit 15 in the 4th is kicking themselves. Still like my Dallas in 7 prediction. Kidd is going to be a huge key the rest of the way, especially in G7.
why does everyone hate on toney douglas? he is a very good 3pt shooter and plays defense.
Not everyone hates on him, but they wonder about why he is so streaky. To which I reply: Those are the types of growing pains point guards go through. It takes 4-5 years to learn how to be an NBA point guard. Just ask all the teams who traded Chauncey Billups in his first 5 years before he hit his peak with the Pistons. The question you have to ask with Toney is whether he will evolve into another Chauncey or another Charlie Ward.
any word on jerome jordan working being able to work out?
He is recovering from appendicitis, and it doesn't look like he'll be in any shape to show the Knicks much. They are still expecting him to come in and meet with them in a couple of weeks. Like a lot of marginal guys, he is being held hostage by the lockout. And if there is a work stoppage, a lot of marginal guys are going to jump at guaranteed dollars in Europe rather than wait out the NBA, where guys would not miss their first paychecks until Nov. 15.
Can you take a few sentences to give us your honest opinion on this debacle? Just shoot straight from the hip re: donnie leaving and the long term prospects of this. It just seems like we are more disfunctional than the 70's and 80's Steinbrenner Yankees?
George, I want to get a better handle on why he really left before I start ranting. Like I said in my opening, I think the "I've run out of energy" thing was just a cover story.
Chris, could you quickly explain the job requirements of a GM and President for an NBA franchise?
The president runs the whole sheebang and has the final say on trades, draft picks, etc (with varying degrees of input from ownership). The GM does the legwork in putting deals together. By the way, Donnie insisted today that the price they paid for 'Melo was HIS call, not Dolan's, and that Dolan came to him and insisted that Walsh make the final call.
Do you see the Knicks buying some picks in the late first or early second rounds like they did with Toney Douglas?
They will buy at least one pick in the second round, probably two.
Why would D'antoni want to come back under such a lame duck situation? And what new president wouldn't want to name his own coach?
That's why he moves onto the bubble, and if Dolan forcs him to come back as a lame-duck he stays on that bubble unless/until they go 20 games over .500.
Why would the Knicks even entertain the idea of rehiring Isiah Thomas after what he did the first time?
Of course they would. Dolan likes him, and he tried to hire him last year before the league said it was illegal. If Dolan wants to do something, he really does not care what anyone else thinks. I cannot emphasize that enough.
And with the 17th pick in the 2011 draft, the NY Knicks select???
I need another week or two to give you a decent educated guess on that one, Bob. So I'll give you a semi-wild guess three weeks out: Klay Thompson.
Pardon the dog/mailman emergency break. ...
Chris, as a Knick fan I look at this as a major blow. You agree or disagree and what hire would you see as a win for the team?
I agree with you, Jonathan. This is a major blow. Two weeks ago, I would have suggested Jerry West. Now, the guy who comes to mind is Jerry Colangelo.
Do you feel that the organization genuinely wants to keep Chauncey or do you think they picked up the option largely with the intention of using the big contract as part of a big trade?
I think they will be able to have it both ways. If they can get Chris Paul in a Chauncey trade, they have to make it. If not, Chauncey is not a bad guy to have leading your team in the playoffs (see J.Kidd-Dallas), and then you still have his cap space in the summer of '12. What they ultimately decide to do will rest on two important factors: What kind of a year Chauncey is having; and whether any of the big-name free agents will try to force a trade the way Melo did.
Now that Walsh is out of the equation it is obvious the Knicks will bring in someone to completely demolish the cap space they opened up. As Center is a need position I see them trading for Brendan Haywood's contract .... what do you see for them this offseason?
Appreciate the comic relief, Joey. Some would argue that Dalembert is Haywood 2.0. At least the new guy, whoever he is, will not have the means to get Dalembert because the Knicks have no cap space this summer.
What's your feeling on Fredette? Some have suggested the Knicks pass on him (assuming he is there at 17) given his poor defensive ability. But he sure would fit the D'Antoni profile...would they consider trading up to get him?
The kid scored a ton of points at BYU, I'll give him that. But I think the would go for a more rounded player, a Marshon Brooks or a Klay Thompson if either is available. And if you buy a second-round pick and snap up Charles Jenkins (Hofstra), you have just drafted the poor man's Jimmer.
Chris, isn't there SOMETHING Knick fans can do? Burn Dolan in effigy? Poison pen letters, something? anything? I feel like I've been punched in the gut.
Go to one of his concerts and heckle him? Not sure on that one, Gutpunchee.
So why even give Walsh 'an advisory role" if they dont want him involved?
So that he doesn't sign elsewhere for next season. I asked him on the conference call if he was ruling out taking a similar job elsewhere, and he very, very quickly shot that notion down and said he may very well wake up one day soon and feel 25 again.
Are drafts these days getting deeper with talent or does it just seem that way with recent 2nd round treasures like Landry, Millsap, and I believe Scola was as well. Can the knicks grab yet another 2nd rounder ready to produce quality minutes this year?
Two words: Charles Jenkins.
Can you explain why, exactly, Dolan likes Thomas? What is it that makes him ignore Thomas' performance with the organization and the whole sexual harassment thing?
He likes him on a human level. The two spent a lot of years working together, and they developed a bond. That's between them, quite frankly. I think Dolan recognizes that Thomas didn't do a good job team-building during his reign, but Dolan will go to his grave believing that the Anucha Browne Sanders case was a monumental miscarriage of justice.
You're around the Knicks players all the time during the season. What were their thoughts on Walsh prior to this decision?
They spoke of him as a class act, but they didn't interact with him all that much from what I could see at practices. Walsh usually sat on the side and watched, and his interactions were mainly with the coaching staff and his assistants.
I can noit believe that people are seriously entertaining the idea of Jimmer as a possible pick. Don't we have enough offensive players who don't play defense?! At some point you have to start putting players around these guys that can defend, play help defense and get physical. Unbeliveable
Fredette is the EXACT same player Curry was in college. Why was Curry given so much more benefit of the doubt in a stronger draft?
Kevin and Anthony have their own little Jimmer debate going. Nice.
Assuming D'Antoni doesn't come back under the new regime, who are the best available coaches out there given the Knicks' roster?
If D'Antoni lasts through next year but they flame out in the playoffs, Phil Jackson is the natural No. 1 candidate unless/until he removes himself from the discussion.
That is a wrap, folks. Busy day still to come. Check back on the ESPNNewYork site later today and over the weekend for takes from Ian O'Connor and Johnette Howard, plus a look as possible presidential candidates which I will post in the Knicks blog.