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P&T Round(ball)table: Roster moves

We are really bored, and, unfortunately, can’t sim to the end of the season

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at New York Knicks Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

Hey folks! Are you bored of this season already? Anyone tired of watching players who aren’t killing keep playing? Is Mulder ever going to learn The Truth from the Smoking Man?

Well, here at Posting and Toasting — maybe I should be responsible and speak for myself (Drew), but I like recklessly speculating — we are all ready looking towards the NBA draft lottery and want this year to end already. Because of this reality, I decided to throw random roster-related questions to the my bestest Knicks friends in the multiverse, because Ashwin and I can only talk about who’s to blame for Frank Ntilikina for so many hours, especially when we disagree at the smallest marginal difference possible.

Here are the questions I decided to throw out to the group:

1. Would you trade Porzingis and the 1st pick for Anthony Davis?

2. Follow up to Question 1: What deal(s) would you do for Anthony Davis?

3. If the Knicks don’t win the lottery, what do you do with that pick?

4. The Bird Rights that the Knicks have on Noah Vonleh (Non-Bird Rights) make re-signing him difficult; they effectively have to use cap space. Because of this, do you trade Vonleh for an asset?

5. Do you trade Mudiay for anything?

I know what you guys are thinking: “Wow, Drew, these questions are so fresh and inspirational. You would make an amazing editor.” Awww, thanks everyone. This means a lot to me and my self-confidence.

Enough about me and enough of this introduction. Let’s get to those answers so ya’ll can tell us how wrong we are in the comments.

Prof. Miranda

  1. Yes. Davis is a sure-thing franchise player. He’ll be just 26 years old next year. I know he’s had some injury problems, but not only is he a top-three talent in this league, he’s the kind of player other elite players would die to play alongside. This year’s first-round pick, whether it’s Zion Williamson or anybody else, is a question mark. Porzingis I have loved. But he’s also a question mark, not only as far as recovery and durability going forward, but whether he’s capable of being the lead player on a great team.
  2. I would trade just about anything for Anthony Davis. If the Knicks getting Davis meant me having to give up my spot at P&T, y’all could choke on my archives and Twitter posts. I’d do it.
  3. Pray for someone closer to Kevin Knox or Danilo Gallinari than Jordan Hill or Frank Ntili... No. No. Not ready to say it yet.
  4. No. I’m sick and fucking tired of punting away today for tomorrow. Vonleh isn’t some 27-year-old joke. He’s 23 and does several things nicely: rebounding; defense; dribbling the Knicks from defense to offense; hitting threes as a fourth/fifth option. I’m not about losing out on that so we can once again pretend free agents are coming here who aren’t.
  5. Depends. What would it cost to bring him back? If the years and dollars aren’t exorbitant and you’re handing over backup PG duties to Mudiay, I’m happy to have him return. What’s the point of trading him for a second rounder? Especially a second-round pick that isn’t between 31 and 40? If you drafted a 22-year-old college senior whose upside was what Mudiay’s shown this year, you’d be cool with it. I’d like to see some roster continuity. So unless a “duh” trade comes along, which seems unlikely, I’m cool with Mudiay staying on a fair deal.

Jonathan “Stingy” Schulman

  1. No. Porzingis for Davis is not parallel but it is in some way a lateral move. Davis is a fantastic player. Just let me have my Kristaps and leave me be.
  2. I would sign Davis as a free agent. Or trade Hardaway, Lee, and this year’s first rounder (unless it’s number one).
  3. I would trade down for multiple whacks at the lottery or future first rounders. Or package the pick they get and whatever players the Cavs want (aside from Porzingis) to get the 1st pick.
  4. I would prefer the Knicks sign Vonleh but I can see them being interested in kicking things down the line. He fits into the current timeline and should be counted as part of the Knicks young core.
  5. Had the chance to trade him when he had about three weeks of good production. Now he’s just a somewhat likable rotation player. Let him get paid somewhere else. It was a good ride.

Ashwin “ShwinnyPooh” Ramnath

  1. No.
  2. I would trade KP or the 1st pick. If they wanted us to add one of Knox, Frank, or next year’s 1st (with some protection) I’d maybe accept that.
  3. Likely keep the pick, but I’d be willing to deal it in certain scenarios.
  4. Keep Vonleh. The reason why he’s tough to re-sign is why he’s not going to return that valuable of an asset anyways.
  5. We’re not going to get anything of substance for him, so there is no point.

Dillon Dente

  1. I would not trade KP and a pick for Davis.
  2. I would trade virtually everything else, but if we trade KP to get Davis, is our roster as good as his current help in New Orleans? Is anyone on our team as good as Jrue Holiday? Is Knox even better than Mirotic within the next year or so?
  3. You no doubt keep that pick.
  4. I keep Vonleh, even using cap space if it’s not a major detriment.
  5. And I’d 100 percent get rid of Mudiay while he has stock, like NOW.

James Marceda

  1. No, because I need Zion’s BEEF in my life, but if he didn’t exist, I’d consider the shit out of it. I love Krispy more than you do, but that injury history is scary and first overall picks are like a 50/50 shot, so yeah. That’s the right answer. Re-read it if you’re not sure.
  2. I’d do every deal right up until the point where the deal no longer works in my favor. At that point and beyond that point, I’d no longer be interested in doing a deal and I wouldn’t do a deal.
  3. I stick it in my pee hole and see what hatches.
  4. Obviously. You can sign him back next year. And if you can’t, that’s fine, too. Nothing matters. I have apocalyptic dreams almost every night. Sometimes they involve a bomb detonating in the distance. Presumably it’s the bomb that ends my life, either instantly or in a matter of agonizing moments.
  5. Not for anything, but yes for a lot of things. The Knicks shouldn’t be prioritizing him in any way. Shouts to Mudiay for not quitting on his career, or whatever, but he’s a bench guy, and I hope Fizzy and the Gang don’t chase his white whale tale up a creek without a paddle, if you know what I’m saying. He ain’t it, and we should move on expeditiously.

Alex Wolfe

  1. Nah, this ain’t it, chief.
  2. I’d give SERIOUS thought to trading Porzingis straight up for Davis, but only with an extension in hand from AD. AD’s transcendent, but trading anything of too much value for him without that commitment just seems foolish to me. If the Knicks ended up with, say, the third pick this year though... I’d shoot that to the Pels even without a guaranteed extension. I’m probably being overly stingy here, but the market for stars on expiring contracts has been really favorable to the team trading for the star lately.
  3. Depends on how low the pick drops, and who/what is available to the Knicks in a potential trade. First off, unless there’s guaranteed reporting that Zion is going first overall, wait it out until at least draft night and make sure some idiot team doesn’t talk themselves into RJ Barrett or something. Not to say RJ’s bad, but Zion is the best. At least give the Suns or Cavs a chance to shoot themselves in the foot (as they both have, repeatedly, in the draft). If the Knicks could get a young star of some sort with the pick (not even necessarily just AD — maybe Bradley Beal or someone like that?), then that’s probably a good move. Maybe also attach THJ and/or Lee to help preserve some precious cap space. Otherwise, just draft BPA. Nothing wrong with Ja Morant or RJ Barrett, necessarily. (Alternatively, I’d also look at trading down and getting another first in the future, a la the Mavs-Hawks trade last year that landed Doncic in Dallas and Trae Young in Atlanta.)
  4. This IS it, chief. As long as the other team lets Vonleh play out the season for them and doesn’t waive him (they would), the Knicks can re-sign him in the summer. The non-Bird rights mean basically nothing — it means the Knicks can sign Vonleh to 120 percent more than a minimum contract. He’ll for sure get more than that in free agency this year. May as well get an asset from a contender for him now while his value is sky high (or attach him to someone like Lee to shed salary). Scott Perry and Steve Mills should just make sure to give him a little wink-wink and a “we’ll see you soon” when they tell him he’s traded.
  5. I’m certainly not making Mudiay untouchable or anything. The longer the year goes on and the longer he continues to play pretty well, the less inclined I am to part with him. But that said, if some team offers you a first rounder or similar, get him outta here. Mudiay’s good, but I don’t think he’s transcendent enough to not trade for an asset just for the privilege of handing him his second contract this offseason (possibly at the expense of bigger, better free agents both now and in the future).

Drew Steele

  1. New Orleans is probably going to ask for this, but both Porzingis and the first pick, presuming it’s Zion, is too steep of an asking price. Davis is the fully realized ceiling of what Knicks fans think Porzingis can be, but if Porzingis is going to come back healthy and Zion does live up to the hype, you could make the case that those two add more value to winning than Anthony Davis.
  2. If Jaylen Brown continues to regress and Brandon Ingram continues to not fulfill his potential coming out of the draft, New York has the best offer to get Anthony Davis IF they win the lottery. The Knicks can offer the Pelicans either the first pick or Kristaps Porzingis plus salary filler for Davis. Even if they don’t win the lottery, Porzingis is arguably the best player New Orleans can get. The Knicks should strongly consider getting into the Davis trade discussion, and I would absolutely do one of these either/or deals for him.
  3. I’m no draft expert and I don’t pretend to be. That’s why I rely on smarter people at this scouting stuff like Stingy and my pal Spencer. Let’s say the Knicks get the second or third pick in the draft and Bradley Beal wasn’t traded at the deadline. I’d offer Washington Hardaway Jr. and that second/third overall pick for Beal and see if the Wizards bite on a combination of salary cap relief, a lesser (probably much lesser, but you get the point) version of Beal, and a young cost-controlled prospect. Personally, I don’t like anyone in this draft outside of Zion, and from what I’ve gathered, no one really has the guaranteed upside to become a Bradley Beal-type player. That’s the kind of trade I’d look to do: use that pick to upgrade Tim Hardaway Jr., because it makes the roster better and more attractive to guys like Durant, Kemba, and Kyrie.
  4. I specifically worded the question like this to discuss Vonleh’s contract situation. Non-Bird rights allow teams to sign their own free agent over the cap at 120 percent of the player’s previous salary, league minimum, or the amount to tender a qualifying offer — whichever value is greater. Even not knowing the exact values for the 2019–20 veteran’s minimum contract, Vonleh is absolutely going to get paid well over what he’s currently making ($1.65 million) and whatever the vet minimum will be for him (probably around $2.1 million). New York will have to use its cap space to bring him back, and if Kevin Durant is an actual reality, well, goodbye Vonleh. Because every team wanting to sign or re-sign Vonleh will need to do so with their cap space, I would trade Vonleh to a team needing depth for a playoff run for a draft pick only if through back channels it’s been told to the Knicks that Durant is signing with them this summer. Otherwise, keep Vonleh.
  5. Mudiay has been regressing hard (stay tuned for an article on that) and even at his peak earlier in the year, he’s best suited as a back up point guard on a good, not elite team. And let’s be honest, even if you’re of the belief that the Knicks missed their window to trade Mudiay earlier in the year when his value was at its highest its ever been, was New York actually gonna get something of value for him? Were the Suns or Magic gonna give up a future first-round with protections for him? This isn’t NBA 2K, so the answer is no. At this point, just keep Mudiay around for the rest of the year and hope he re-signs on the cheap with the Knicks and improves. Otherwise, let him walk.

China “Chiniqua” Beth

  1. Yup. I love KP and all but Davis is basically what we hope Kristaps can become someday, right? (Look how hard I tried not to use the word ceiling.) But this is a moot question since we’re not going to get the No. 1 pick (this is the Knicks we’re talking about, folks! The Knicks!) so it’s not like we’d be trading KP and Zion, we’d be trading KP and, like, the fifth pick. Our first rounder is more likely to be Bol Bol than Zion. Some kind of protection would make the trade a sure thing — like maybe top three. Can we do that, guys? What are the rules for this roundtable thingy? Although that said, if we do trade our pick unprotected, guarantee it will turn out to be No. 1.
  2. How ’bout KP and Timmy? Think of all the scoring! But furreal, I’d let go of anyone save maybe Kevin Knox (he’s only 19!). Which hurts. But AD is really, really good.
  3. Tankathon tells me we get Cam Reddish each time. I am wary of gentlemen from Duke. Hell, I’m even a little wary of young Mr. Williamson. So if there were a good trade to be made with our inevitable No. 5 pick, I’d go for it, in many ways because I think the team is so young now that some kind of experience would be good. Can’t develop forever. You do have to start trying to win some day.
  4. I like Vonleh — he looks kind of like a little mini Chris Bosh, and he pops up and does all sorts of fun, useful things. He’s sort of a cypher. I’ve been a little unclear all year whether he signed as one of those “I’ll showcase my talent and then get a better contract somewhere else” jammies, or whether he was looking to make a home at the Garden. So if he wants to move on, that’s cool. He did his thing. If he’d like to stay and we can make it work? He’s still young and pretty good and not so $$. He goes in the bucket of “would like him to be around but if it means other things can’t happen, oh well.”
  5. He’s maybe not so very good? Not sure how many can-score-but maybe-makes-the-team-worse-doesn’t-defend players one team needs. I appreciate him as a person and wish him well and applaud the advances he has made but don’t really need him to be on the Knicks. Ooh! I know! Let’s trade him for DSJ. Discuss!