Stefan Bondy and Marc Berman played Dueling Barkleys this week. Both reported that the famous funnyman and one-time beefy baller Charles Barkley has weighed in on the New York Knicks while promoting some upcoming golf event (I’m allergic).
Here are some cherry-picked words of wisdom from the Hall-of-Fame power forward who split his career between Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Houston.
“They’re not close at all. They probably only got about two-to-three guys who are actually NBA starters, so the number one thing they got to do is get some talent. They got a lack of talent right now.”
“It’s really unfortunate because we need the Knicks to be competitive. And right now, they’re not competitive.”
“They got a bunch of J.A.G.s as I call them. Just A Guy. They’re not better than guys on Atlanta, Orlando.”
Evidently, the brilliant bald one thinks the Knicks should gut the team in a trade for Donovan Mitchell, “Because you don’t have a lot in the cupboard right now.”
Hot takes! Now, even Ian Begley has chimed in on the Chuckster’s comments. This story has legs, folks.
“They’re not close. They’re not close at all. They only got about two to three guys who are NBA starters. The No. 1 thing they got to do is get talent.”— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 9, 2022
Turner analyst Charles Barkley talks Knicks ahead of next month’s American Century Championship: https://t.co/ZwQBpSzgLV
Open challenge: Please, someone Photoshop our man Obi Toppin dunking on The Round Mound of Rebound and share it in the comments below.
Over at the Athletics, John Hollinger speculated about the fates of free agents. He values New York Knick Mitchell Robinson at $18,862,212, which is a wowza amount, IMO. Quoth Hollinger:
Robinson supported the idea of paying him like a starting five by staying in the lineup for 72 games last season; the 7-footer also is in the rare position of being an unrestricted free agent at just 24 years old. His athleticism is such that he shoots 72.2 percent for his career and has blocked 7.7 percent of opponent shots in that time, making him an ideal candidate for the shot-blocker/rim-runner role.
So what’s the hold-up? There’s some concern that Robinson has bulked up too much (playing last year at 270 pounds) and that it’s taken away some of the bounciness that had been his best attribute. Additionally, with no skill level or shooting range to speak of, Robinson can be a very limited option offensively, with last season’s 11.4 percent usage rate serving as a prime example.
He concluded, “I do think he settles into a deal not too far below this amount annually.” I should say so, Johnny. The question is: Will New York be the highest bidder?
Also at the Athletic, Fred Katz and Andrew Schlecht asked two front-office officials about the Knicks’ draft targets. Prospects discussed included:
- Ochai Agbaji, 6’5” wing, Kansas: “I don’t think it’s a guarantee that he’s an elite shooter”
- Malaki Branham, 6’5” wing, Ohio State: “I think there’s versatility with his scoring there, so in that sense, I’m comfortable with him.”
- Dyson Daniels, 6’7” guard/wing G League Ignite: “I do think he’d be a nice player to have if you have some wings who are going be your main creators.”
- Johnny Davis, 6-foot-5 wing, Wisconsin: “He’s not a great athlete. He’s got some quickness but nothing outstanding, so it’s gonna have to be on skills mostly. So yeah, if his shot doesn’t go in, he needs to find different ways to make it work.”
- Ousmane Dieng, 6-foot-9 forward, New Zealand Breakers: “If he’s more than a secondary ballhandler, then he’s probably a stud, right? He’s a guy who initiates your offense at 6-9. That’s unique.”
- Jalen Duren, 6-foot-11 center, Memphis: “I think he’s a guy that’s going to base his game a lot on athleticism, vertical spacing and being active around the rim.”
- Tari Eason, 6-foot-8 forward, LSU: “Defensively, he’s very active and instinctual, but he’s not very disciplined, and I know that at both places he played in college (Eason transferred from Cincinnati to LSU), they felt like he had a hard time understanding and adhering to defensive and offensive schemes.”
…and mucho mas!
I’ve already profiled a few of these cats, and who you gonna believe, Uncle Russell or a couple of professionals currently employed by NBA clubs? Go and read for yourself. Peace til next time.