April 19, 2014 Edition
End of one year, start of a New Year thoughts and ponderings…
For starters, major congratulations to Carmelo Anthony; hidden inside of a very frustrating season, Melo delivered a career year. Melo delivered a true workhorse effort leading the league in minutes played as well as appearing in 93% of regular season.
Melo also finished 5th in the league in efficiency rating with a Efficiency Score of 24.09 (his career high). Only Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Chris Paul had higher scores than Melo. Melo’s previous high, ironically, was last year when he finished 7th overall with a score of 23.47.
I have no idea whether Melo opts and stays or opts and goes. I do believe really wants to be a Knick; and Phil being in charge will be huge. I did read where he is now saying he is not totally against opting in for next season.
One very valid reason why Melo opts out for a 4 or 5 year contract; recurring if not chronic ankle and shoulder problems that may only get worse in time.
Also, congratulations to Iman Shumpert for winning the lotto… or in other words not being traded pre-Phil. Iman will be for NY’s Triangle what Ron Harper did for Chicago and LA… only younger and with better knees (we hope). In other words, an ideal fit for what Iman can do on the court… if he can stay healthy.
If it wasn’t the Lakers, and it wasn’t the Knicks, and it wasn’t Phil Jackson, I would not be surprised if there was a draft night trade to send Pau Gasol to NY (since teams over the luxury tax cannot use the Sign & Trade to bring in a free agent with the current CBA. However since it is the Lakers, and it is the Knicks, and it is Phil Jackson; I just don’t see Jr. Buss having the appetite to sign off on such a deal.
I do look for other former PhiLakers (yes… I just coined that term) to join NY; even Derek Fisher. The PhiLakers won’t bring value on the court as much as helping institute the correct mindset for the team.
Did Amare demonstrate enough to negotiate an opt and re-sign with NY. Short of stupid-money owners, Amare’s value when he returns to the market will be closer to the MLE range. Would Amare be willing to opt out and re-sign for a fair 4yr $32mm-ish contract thus helping kick start the Age of Phil? I think Phil would have to consider this option. Amare for top dollar… Never again!!! Amare for a reasonable health-safe rate… yeah, I’d consider that.
Is Tyson the one realistic trade chip for NY this offseason? And will he be used as much to help rid NY’s problems (to get Tyson ya gotta take Felton with him… or… you want Tyson, well buy an extra plane ticket because JR is coming with him…) as help re-build the team?
Another possibly lucky recipient of Phil’s arrival may be Bargs and his barrel of root beer. It would not surprise me to see Phil give Bargs a 1year audition and see if he could develop into a Pau-lite big in the Triangle. Again, other than elbows, between the ears, and inside the rib cage, the rest of the tools are there to be a strong fit.
There was a small and enthusiastic minority strongly voicing and supporting the Knicks to make a draft night deal last season and draft Nate Wolters in the second round. With Phil running the show, just how good wood Wolters look playing in the Triangle next season… very good I do believe.
Speaking of Wolters, he demonstrated his rookie year to be a legitimate NBA rotation player; and possibly a very good rotation player on the right team. Could the "New Owners in Town" be talked into trading Wolters this offseason… nah, probably not.
Lastly, congratulations to this year’s entries into the (not NBA) Basketball Hall of Fame. Again, the Hall disappoints in not selecting Spencer Haywood. Removing Haywood’s NBA career, and misdeeds, his accomplishments in the 1968 Olympics and his season in the ABA were of epic-Roy Hobbs mythology.
In the eyes of the NBA, Haywood’s true crime keeping him out of the Hall was not the landmark ruling granting underclassman the right to play in the NBA… the Spencer Haywood rule that the NBA refuses to call it; it was who Haywood beat in the process. A member of the losing side representing the NBA was a young lawyer named David Stern. I guess similar to Pop from the Longest Yard, Haywood punched the prison guard who eventually became warden.