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Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason?

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Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#1 » by Knicksfan1992 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:53 pm

Before I get berated for having too long of a message, please be warned this message is long and if you don’t feel like reading a wall of text, then simply don’t read. Also I’m typing this at the end of the work day with no real motivation to edit or double check my post lol. So if you see some grammatical errors or typos please ignore…

Ok, so basically as the title of this thread suggests, I wanted to see if there was a method to the Knicks madness on signing “a bunch of power forwards” as a lot of the much maligned national media likes to put it.
Was there some sort of mastermind plan behind this offseason or was this a panic situation where the Knicks just tried to sign youngish guys around Randle, their marquee signing, and give big 1 year money to whoever would take it? As usual, I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

I think the Knicks did put some thought into who they signed and how they’d fit with the rest of the roster. However, I think there was a sense that the front office was somewhat embarrassed by last season/what they heard back from guys in FA and just wanted to get some talent in, regardless of fit within the whole team construct, as it could not get much worse than last year as far as pure results go…

Most of the criticism thrown at the Knicks FO has been based on the potential defensive ineptitude/position overlap Scott Perry and Steve Mills created with their latest incarnation of the New York Knicks. I decided to go back and analyze some defensive rating numbers from the PFs the Knicks signed and tried to find some trends and some reasoning for the signings/pathway to success on the Knicks. As most posters here know, I tend to be more optimistic as a fan, but I try to be as fair as possible with my analysis so please take that into account before simply bashing me as a homer. I am fully aware of my homerism :lol: . Let’s start with the Knicks main signing..…

Julius Randle

Randle has been an interesting talking point for Knicks fans, blog boys, and trolls alike… Essentially, the red headed step child of the Knicks FA plan (no offense to red heads out there). While he may not have been everyone’s first choice in FA, he’s still someone who we should care about and love like our own. Stupid and possibly offensive analogies aside… Randle has had a unique and weird career as a high lottery choice. Spent his first year injured and the rest of his Lakers career as a constant franchise afterthought to the point where the Lakers reportedly did not even offer him a contract at the end of a relatively productive first contract stint. He then signed a 1 year “prove it” deal with a projected playoff team to rehab his damaged image as a non-winning player. Everything that could have went wrong did in NO and Randle ended up shining as a big stats bad team guy yet again as a Pelican. However, there were some encouraging signs, specifically as a defender, that he may fit in the Knicks team construct on that end. Let’s start with the basics…

CleaningtheGlass states that with Randle on the floor the Pellies were in the 28th percentile defensively. This is below average straight up. Combined with the reputation Randle has on that end, that number definitely encourages some pessimism with Randle as a 2 way guy. However, taking a deeper look into some of the numbers and you can make a reasonable claim that this might not be all Randle’s fault or he may be able to be “covered up” with the right personnel. Specifically, my hypothesis is that Randle is simply just a 4 and should be treated as such.
Right now if you polled Knicks fans I think the majority would say that Mitch is probably our most impactful defender drawing some comparisons to Anthony Davis on that end with his ability to guard in space and also defend the rim. Well luckily Randle has plenty of sample of playing with Anthony Davis and the numbers are way more encouraging. With both Randle and Davis on the floor, the Pellies were in the 49th percentile defensively which is average. As you may have heard the Knicks also signed Elfrid Payton. When you combine Payton, Randle, and Davis on the floor for the Pellies, they were in the 61st percentile defensively which is actually above average and those lineups had a net rating of +7.8 which was in the 90th percentile! If Mitch can do his best AD impression on the floor defensively, then I think the Knicks could possibly trot out some pretty good defensive lineups around Randle and Mitch at the 4 and 5 at least compared to last year where the Knicks were one of the most defensively inept teams in the league.

Bobby Portis

I’ll admit I was not a big fan of the Portis signing. I did and still somewhat don’t see the upside of committing big money to 2 younger power forwards. Part of me feels like no matter what occurs one will be marginalized. However, from a strictly Knicks on-court perspective and looking at it as a non-asset play, then Portis is a pretty big luxury as a strictly back up 4 for 20-25 minutes a night. One of the biggest weaknesses of Portis’s game has been defense. Like Randle, however, there are again some encouraging signs that as strictly a 4 next to a decent defensive center that you can possibly have a playable defense with him and obviously with Portis and Randle being both offensive plusses to this point we can expect the offense to look good with them on the floor…
Looking at Cleaningtheglass the Wizards were in the 16th percentile defensively when Portis played without Thomas Bryant next to him. With Bryant on the floor with Portis, however, the Wizards had a 50th percentile defense and a net rating of +7.0. For a subpar Wizards team, this is extremely encouraging that Portis can be useful in the right role. This trend also showed up with his Bulls days when you look at his numbers with and without Robin Lopez. Again, if you view the Knicks center rotation as Mitch/some of Gibson/some of Randle then I think you can be way more optimistic about Portis, defensively, as strictly a backup 4 with a decent center next to him.

Marcus Morris

Probably the most under the radar free agent addition the Knicks made may also be the best one the Knicks made. Morris is a tested and proven veteran presence on both ends… However with the long wirte ups I did on Portis and Randle as strictly 4’s there is seemingly a log jam at Morris’s preferred position. This does not even factor in Kevin Knox who some see as a 4 and a crucial development piece for the Knicks future. So I decided that most signs point to Morris at least starting as a 3 with the Knicks. Oddly enough Morris was almost strictly a 4 last year not registering enough defensive possessions to have a defensive rating as a 3 on CleaningtheGlass. However, if you go back to the 17-18 season Morris spent a decent amount of time at the 3 with the Celtics and it was extremely encouraging. The Celtics were in the 91st percentile defensively with Morris at the 3 that season with most lineups featuring traditional bigs as the 4 and 5 next to him. Now the Knicks probably don’t have a Jaylen Brown or Al Horford defensively, but at least there is a definitive sample of success with Morris as a 3 on a modern defense.

With all of this being said, there is definitely some room for pessimism defensively with these signings. The Knicks were one of the worst teams, in the league, defensively last year and do not have much of an infrastructure on that end of the floor. Past results do not guarantee future gains and I definitely glossed over some variables that led to some noise within the samples I pulled... Just because Randle, Portis and Morris were all playable and had some success in the past, on different teams, does not mean that they will thrive or even just not completely suck as defenders in their new roles with the Knicks. But I do think there is a pathway to them all being part of some decent defensive units while also elevating the Knicks offense which was also mostly terrible last year. Will it all come together? We’ll have to wait until October to find out but I do think there was some method to what Scott Perry and Steve Mills this offseason even if on the surface it does not totally seem to jive with what the consensus opinion of where basketball is headed.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#2 » by jvsimonetti0514 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:15 pm

Good post and thanks for the research. Portis would probably not be here if Morris didn't decide to sign with the Spurs first and I don't think Perry wanted to turn down a much better player when he changed his mind. I think it was K-dot that had a good post on some line ups that Smith Jr was apart with that we highly rated defensively as well. I think we'll be much improved on that end this year.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#3 » by melo4three » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:22 pm

Knicks had 50 guards and 1 big man before the offseason, what position did you expect them to go after?
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#4 » by K-DOT » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:31 pm

I mean, the method is clear. Get decent guys who push the kids to play hard and only keep the books open for 2021

We didn't sign a single bad player this offseason, and we didn't give out a single bad contract

My issues mostly come from the fact that guys like Morris and Portis are just here to use us to stat pad their way into long term deals after this year. Also, not a big fan of the Randle signing

Like, you're right that you can hide him, but you're missing the key component. Jrue Holiday. With Jrue, Randle was a +4, without he was a -9. Pretty stark difference. Then if you isolate Randle with Jrue, AD, and Payton individually, he's a +4 with both of Jrue or AD, and a -4 with Payton. AD and Jrue are both massive positives, and Randle and Payton spent a lot of time with them. All the stats to me point to, if you have good enough players around Randle, he won't hold you back. But we don't. He's really kind of like the PF version of Kanter. And really, Knox should be playing PF, by signing multiple decent PFs, you relegate him to purely SF, which I don't think he should be

To me, Portis, Morris, Ellington, and Bullock are no different than last year having Mudiay, Vonleh, DJ, and Mario. I don't think any of them will be here next year. Randle I can't see being here after 2021 unless we strike out again (which is extremely possible). I actually really liked the Gibson signing, he's the type of guy I want, someone who's just gonna come in for a few minutes a game, be a good role model for the kids and push them in practice, plus old enough to where he doesn't think he's gonna get big money after this year so he isn't upset that the kids get more minutes than him

I don't really have huge complaints, even though I disagree with who we brought in, they're all on short term deals. I just question if Perry can actually build a competitive team in 2, 3 years based off the moves he made this offseason.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#5 » by irish2u2 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:40 pm

Good post BUT Portis was signed as a center more than PF. At 6'11 he has the length to guard that position especially if coached to do so. His offense is superlative and a rotation of Robinson, Portis, Randle and Gibson as your bigs is better than good. My questions about Portis had nothing to do with ability, cost or where he would play. It was all about character but after a little research into the Mirotic altercation it is my conclusion Nikola got what he was asking for and Portis teammates all backed him up.

I concur on Randle and in fact he was my first choice for the Knicks this summer. I like his efficiency and I like the fact that he is a hard worker always looking to expand his game. The big complaint in LA was he wasn't in condition which I believe is true. Look at him now! He's forged steel and if he stays mostly as a PF, his natural position, he has a better than average shot at being an elite 20/10 player. In no way do I consider Julius Randle a Batman and actually I am hoping he isn't Robin either but he's not Alfred. 8-) He could make the All-Star team and if he's the Knicks THIRD best scoring option in a couple of years I am a happy guy.

I got a chance to watch a lot of Elfrid Payton. He's not an All-Star type PG but he is a very good two way playmaker who should make a nice tandem with Dennis Smith, Jr. Gibson's signing was a stroke of genius by the Knicks. The team needed a veteran presence and while Lance Thomas filled that role Gibson still has some game and will be in the regular rotation.

The Knicks finished last in 3 point shooting last season so signing Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington strengthens considerably what was once a glaring weakness. Looking at what the Knicks did this summer I find these facts to be true. The team got more talented at every position. The team stays young but also added edge. We have some guys who can get after it on defense. Mostly the Knicks management kept all their options open by making sure there were early team options in every free agent contract signed this past summer. I think after they realized Durant was not an option they pivoted brilliantly to a well executed Plan 1B.
It's going to get better, right?
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#6 » by BLACKFEET 2010 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:41 pm

Yeah and the whole 50 power forwards thing is kinda overblown. Its more about the skill sets and versatility.

Vonleh was our best big. Think about what we thought about him when we signed him. He was what, a 6 ppg guy before us? Just kinda a rebounding body til Fiz allowed him to do more. These guys are already that ‘more’. All established. No project players or players in theory. They’re all built to match up well in the east against all the prime time front court guys.

Our ‘mysteries’ or projected projects are our young kids who we won’t be forced to lean too much like last year on unless things go really left or they’re just that good and integral to our success (hey RJ).

The plan was what we did once we were outta the KD stuff....give or take Terry Rozier:
Toughness and actual NBA talent, particularly up front.
Real competition at every spot.
Built to play in THIS New York.
Built to rub off on all our important long term guys.
Flexibility.

Nobody’s gonna disrespect us.


Where there was Vonleh there’s Randle. Where there was Lance now there’s Mook. And so on...
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#7 » by Knicksfan1992 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:55 pm

K-DOT wrote:I mean, the method is clear. Get decent guys who push the kids to play hard and only keep the books open for 2021

We didn't sign a single bad player this offseason, and we didn't give out a single bad contract

My issues mostly come from the fact that guys like Morris and Portis are just here to use us to stat pad their way into long term deals after this year. Also, not a big fan of the Randle signing

Like, you're right that you can hide him, but you're missing the key component. Jrue Holiday. With Jrue, Randle was a +4, without he was a -9. Pretty stark difference. Then if you isolate Randle with Jrue, AD, and Payton individually, he's a +4 with both of Jrue or AD, and a -4 with Payton. AD and Jrue are both massive positives, and Randle and Payton spent a lot of time with them. All the stats to me point to, if you have good enough players around Randle, he won't hold you back. But we don't. He's really kind of like the PF version of Kanter. And really, Knox should be playing PF, by signing multiple decent PFs, you relegate him to purely SF, which I don't think he should be

To me, Portis, Morris, Ellington, and Bullock are no different than last year having Mudiay, Vonleh, DJ, and Mario. I don't think any of them will be here next year. Randle I can't see being here after 2021 unless we strike out again (which is extremely possible). I actually really liked the Gibson signing, he's the type of guy I want, someone who's just gonna come in for a few minutes a game, be a good role model for the kids and push them in practice, plus old enough to where he doesn't think he's gonna get big money after this year so he isn't upset that the kids get more minutes than him

I don't really have huge complaints, even though I disagree with who we brought in, they're all on short term deals. I just question if Perry can actually build a competitive team in 2, 3 years based off the moves he made this offseason.


I disagree on some points. I think the group of players this year are just better than the group from last year and when you factor in possible internal development of our younger guys the team will look much better. Mudiay Vonleh and Hezonja all were non established NBA guys and had 1 foot out of the league going into last year... Portis, Morris, Ellington and Bullock all have established NBA resumes. I don't think they'll be stat padding nearly as much as you presume. Portis has already talked about coming off the bench. That doesn't seem to portend itself to somebody who plans on just stat padding their way to another contract. Ellington and Bullock have always been low end rotation guys. I dont think either would have realistic illusions of using the Knicks to try and get a big deal somewhere else like a Mudiay or Hezonja would for example.

I disagree on Randle as well. It seems like you're treating him as a finished project. I dont think he's quite there yet and he has some interesting tools on both ends that can be utilized more effectively as he gains more experience and comfort with his situation. Not once in his career has he been a part of a stable situation where the team he played for was truly heavily invested in him long term. Reading between the lines i do think it was pretty telling that the Knicks only gave Randle a long term deal out of everyone. This lends me to believe that they do see him as a long term piece but they wanted to be able to fit in his bird rights with whomever else they want to bring in for 2021. Also it probably benefits Randle to get into FA a little bit earlier as the cap continues to go up as he hits his prime. I don't think its fair to assume that the Knicks don't view him as a long term piece. Negotiations are always a 2 way street.

I do agree like i mentioned that there were some important variables that i didn't go deep into when analyzing past situations. Jrue being an example of that for sure. The Knicks don't have a wing or guard with the defensive acumen that Jrue has for sure. Not even close truthfully. Maybe Frank is close but he's been unplayable offensively. A lot of the optimism that was in my tone relies on the Knicks wings and guards playing better defensively and Mitch progressing into a legit anchor with Taj spelling him as another solid presence defensively. We'll see
.. mainly my point is that a lot of people are seemingly slotting the Knicks in as a bottom 5 defensive team and i do think theres a scenario where they are better than people think on that end.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#8 » by Thugger HBC » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:00 pm

Even though I don't expect the team to hit .500, I don't think they'll be a joke out there. There is some good components the team added, primarily some decent depth that can actually play if needed, and not just be a mentor.

The one guy imo who will really be tested is Knox. he's got legit comp in every position he can play now.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#9 » by Knicksfan1992 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:01 pm

melo4three wrote:Knicks had 50 guards and 1 big man before the offseason, what position did you expect them to go after?


I wasnt criticizing them but i think you could make the argument that they could have gone after a wing instead of Portis especially if they had ideas of signing Marcus the whole time.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#10 » by K-DOT » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:16 pm

Knicksfan1992 wrote:
K-DOT wrote:I mean, the method is clear. Get decent guys who push the kids to play hard and only keep the books open for 2021

We didn't sign a single bad player this offseason, and we didn't give out a single bad contract

My issues mostly come from the fact that guys like Morris and Portis are just here to use us to stat pad their way into long term deals after this year. Also, not a big fan of the Randle signing

Like, you're right that you can hide him, but you're missing the key component. Jrue Holiday. With Jrue, Randle was a +4, without he was a -9. Pretty stark difference. Then if you isolate Randle with Jrue, AD, and Payton individually, he's a +4 with both of Jrue or AD, and a -4 with Payton. AD and Jrue are both massive positives, and Randle and Payton spent a lot of time with them. All the stats to me point to, if you have good enough players around Randle, he won't hold you back. But we don't. He's really kind of like the PF version of Kanter. And really, Knox should be playing PF, by signing multiple decent PFs, you relegate him to purely SF, which I don't think he should be

To me, Portis, Morris, Ellington, and Bullock are no different than last year having Mudiay, Vonleh, DJ, and Mario. I don't think any of them will be here next year. Randle I can't see being here after 2021 unless we strike out again (which is extremely possible). I actually really liked the Gibson signing, he's the type of guy I want, someone who's just gonna come in for a few minutes a game, be a good role model for the kids and push them in practice, plus old enough to where he doesn't think he's gonna get big money after this year so he isn't upset that the kids get more minutes than him

I don't really have huge complaints, even though I disagree with who we brought in, they're all on short term deals. I just question if Perry can actually build a competitive team in 2, 3 years based off the moves he made this offseason.


I disagree on some points. I think the group of players this year are just better than the group from last year and when you factor in possible internal development of our younger guys the team will look much better. Mudiay Vonleh and Hezonja all were non established NBA guys and had 1 foot out of the league going into last year... Portis, Morris, Ellington and Bullock all have established NBA resumes. I don't think they'll be stat padding nearly as much as you presume. Portis has already talked about coming off the bench. That doesn't seem to portend itself to somebody who plans on just stat padding their way to another contract. Ellington and Bullock have always been low end rotation guys. I dont think either would have realistic illusions of using the Knicks to try and get a big deal somewhere else like a Mudiay or Hezonja would for example.

I disagree on Randle as well. It seems like you're treating him as a finished project. I dont think he's quite there yet and he has some interesting tools on both ends that can be utilized more effectively as he gains more experience and comfort with his situation. Not once in his career has he been a part of a stable situation where the team he played for was truly heavily invested in him long term. Reading between the lines i do think it was pretty telling that the Knicks only gave Randle a long term deal out of everyone. This lends me to believe that they do see him as a long term piece but they wanted to be able to fit in his bird rights with whomever else they want to bring in for 2021. Also it probably benefits Randle to get into FA a little bit earlier as the cap continues to go up as he hits his prime. I don't think its fair to assume that the Knicks don't view him as a long term piece. Negotiations are always a 2 way street.

I do agree like i mentioned that there were some important variables that i didn't go deep into when analyzing past situations. Jrue being an example of that for sure. The Knicks don't have a wing or guard with the defensive acumen that Jrue has for sure. Not even close truthfully. Maybe Frank is close but he's been unplayable offensively. A lot of the optimism that was in my tone relies on the Knicks wings and guards playing better defensively and Mitch progressing into a legit anchor with Taj spelling him as another solid presence defensively. We'll see
.. mainly my point is that a lot of people are seemingly slotting the Knicks in as a bottom 5 defensive team and i do think theres a scenario where they are better than people think on that end.

I mean, just talking about defense, it looks pretty bad for us

Mitch is great obviously, but he's not elite yet, still needs seasoning. DSJ is our 2nd best defensive starter, which doesn't inspire a lot of confidence but I'll get back to him. Randle's defensive metrics are pretty terrible across the board, you could very easily make the case that Knox was the worst defensive player in the league last year (and will now be playing out of position defensively which probably doesn't help), and RJ is a teenage rookie who wasn't known for defense in college, that is to say, a complete unknown but probably at best a small negative.

So for the guys we have track records for, we have two complete sieves, one really good player, and DSJ. I actually think DSJ's defense is really underrated. Just from the eye test, he looked solid to me last year, and his numbers aren't terrible, but they don't look great. Now here's my statistical argument. I've talked about it before, but I just realized I wasn't including all his games with us, and it's actually even worse (or better, depending on how you look at it) than before. In 21 games (small sample size, I know) with us last year, his DRTG was 108, which is, in a word, eh. In the time he spent on court with Knox, his DRTG was 111.6, so, bad but not terrible so where am I going with this? In the time he spent on court without Knox, his DRTG was 96.8. Which is incredible. His ORTG also went up from 95.3 to 106.7 without Knox, for a total of -16.3 to +9.9. We were 26 points per 100 possessions better with DSJ and no Knox out there. This isn't to sh*t on Knox, but the guy was a statistical black hole last year, same with THJ who had a similar (but not nearly so pronounced) effect on Frank's DRTG.

Seeing as we're likely starting Knox, that doesn't really give me much hope for our defense to be good. I mean, he probably isn't as bad as last year, cause he literally can't be worse, but you don't go from being that bad to even being decent overnight, it's gonna take a while

If we're running out a lineup of DSJ/RJ/Knox/Randle/Mitch, bottom 5 isn't super unlikely. I don't think we break out of the bottom 10 with that lineup regardless. I'd say, you want defense, go with DSJ/Dot/Frank/Morris/Mitch, which could win maybe 3 or 4 more games for you over the course of a season. But the goal is not to win games, it should be to develop our guys. To me, that doesn't mean give the kids absolute freedom, but they should be the focus this year, not trying to break the 30 win mark. We're definitely an improved squad and like I said, I don't think we signed a single bad player, but we're not gonna even sniff the playoffs, so we should be focusing on developing the guys who will be here after next year, when we want to show out for potential FAs like the Nets did this past year.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#11 » by 2010 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:33 pm

irish2u2 wrote:Good post BUT Portis was signed as a center more than PF. At 6'11 he has the length to guard that position especially if coached to do so. His offense is superlative and a rotation of Robinson, Portis, Randle and Gibson as your bigs is better than good. My questions about Portis had nothing to do with ability, cost or where he would play. It was all about character but after a little research into the Mirotic altercation it is my conclusion Nikola got what he was asking for and Portis teammates all backed him up.

I concur on Randle and in fact he was my first choice for the Knicks this summer. I like his efficiency and I like the fact that he is a hard worker always looking to expand his game. The big complaint in LA was he wasn't in condition which I believe is true. Look at him now! He's forged steel and if he stays mostly as a PF, his natural position, he has a better than average shot at being an elite 20/10 player. In no way do I consider Julius Randle a Batman and actually I am hoping he isn't Robin either but he's not Alfred. 8-) He could make the All-Star team and if he's the Knicks THIRD best scoring option in a couple of years I am a happy guy.

I got a chance to watch a lot of Elfrid Payton. He's not an All-Star type PG but he is a very good two way playmaker who should make a nice tandem with Dennis Smith, Jr. Gibson's signing was a stroke of genius by the Knicks. The team needed a veteran presence and while Lance Thomas filled that role Gibson still has some game and will be in the regular rotation.

The Knicks finished last in 3 point shooting last season so signing Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington strengthens considerably what was once a glaring weakness. Looking at what the Knicks did this summer I find these facts to be true. The team got more talented at every position. The team stays young but also added edge. We have some guys who can get after it on defense. Mostly the Knicks management kept all their options open by making sure there were early team options in every free agent contract signed this past summer. I think after they realized Durant was not an option they pivoted brilliantly to a well executed Plan 1B.


Portis is not a C. He is a stretch 4. Gibson will be the backup C. Portis is the backup 4 behind Randle.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#12 » by melo4three » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:55 am

Knicksfan1992 wrote:
melo4three wrote:Knicks had 50 guards and 1 big man before the offseason, what position did you expect them to go after?


I wasnt criticizing them but i think you could make the argument that they could have gone after a wing instead of Portis especially if they had ideas of signing Marcus the whole time.

There weren’t any other wings out there with the ability and upside that portis has.


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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#13 » by melo4three » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:57 am

2010 wrote:
irish2u2 wrote:Good post BUT Portis was signed as a center more than PF. At 6'11 he has the length to guard that position especially if coached to do so. His offense is superlative and a rotation of Robinson, Portis, Randle and Gibson as your bigs is better than good. My questions about Portis had nothing to do with ability, cost or where he would play. It was all about character but after a little research into the Mirotic altercation it is my conclusion Nikola got what he was asking for and Portis teammates all backed him up.

I concur on Randle and in fact he was my first choice for the Knicks this summer. I like his efficiency and I like the fact that he is a hard worker always looking to expand his game. The big complaint in LA was he wasn't in condition which I believe is true. Look at him now! He's forged steel and if he stays mostly as a PF, his natural position, he has a better than average shot at being an elite 20/10 player. In no way do I consider Julius Randle a Batman and actually I am hoping he isn't Robin either but he's not Alfred. 8-) He could make the All-Star team and if he's the Knicks THIRD best scoring option in a couple of years I am a happy guy.

I got a chance to watch a lot of Elfrid Payton. He's not an All-Star type PG but he is a very good two way playmaker who should make a nice tandem with Dennis Smith, Jr. Gibson's signing was a stroke of genius by the Knicks. The team needed a veteran presence and while Lance Thomas filled that role Gibson still has some game and will be in the regular rotation.

The Knicks finished last in 3 point shooting last season so signing Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington strengthens considerably what was once a glaring weakness. Looking at what the Knicks did this summer I find these facts to be true. The team got more talented at every position. The team stays young but also added edge. We have some guys who can get after it on defense. Mostly the Knicks management kept all their options open by making sure there were early team options in every free agent contract signed this past summer. I think after they realized Durant was not an option they pivoted brilliantly to a well executed Plan 1B.


Portis is not a C. He is a stretch 4. Gibson will be the backup C. Portis is the backup 4 behind Randle.

I think it is really interchangeable, with portis getting about 25 mins and Gibson getting 10 mins. Positions don’t matter too much


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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#14 » by aq_ua » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:04 am

To the OP’s point, I do agree there was SOME method to the madness. In a lot of ways, the first half of last year felt like a lost half year - as not only was it difficult to understand the minutes allocations, but it didn’t seem that the young guys that were meant to be the future of the Knicks were really developing.

It wasn’t until after the KP trade that Mitchell in particular started coming around. Some of that was clearly conditioning and experience, but you have to attribute a meaningful part of that to DJ and having a really good veteran to provide advice and guidance. So much of the NBA game is about the nuances and techniques that it’s important for young guys to get that sort of one on one mentoring in order to really advance quickly.

From that perspective, I think bringing in veterans like Morris and Gibson, even Ellington - who has survived the Miami school of conditioning - are guys that can show our young guys how to develop not only through words but through practicing against them every day and showing them how it’s done on a daily basis.

I think it’s fair to say that most of these short term contract guys will be gone after this season, and the roster wasn’t really built with playoff contention as the primary objective. I think the primary objective was to improve the environment within which our young talent will be exposed to, and also improve the perception around the league of what it’s like to play for the Knicks - a hopefully positive message the veterans will carry as they travel around the league and speak to peers.

That is the primary difference and objective of the signings IMO, but hopefully it will also translate into more wins and help our youth understand what it really takes to win.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#15 » by Kampuchea » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:06 am

Nice, I’ll get through that OP a bit each day until the season starts. Should help hold me over, thanks mate
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#16 » by KNIXFAN_83 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:32 am

The method was everything they been saying!

1. Not gonna skip steps in process. (Cap flex kept every asset)

2. Build through draft ( iggy RJ Trier Robinson Knox)

3. Sign free agents who “want to be here” on cap friendly contracts

4. Develop youth

5. Put a team out that can compete

So far the organization has not lied. They have been honest even about having a plan bcdefg in free agency. I’m excited for the season.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#17 » by Adelheid » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:02 am

Portis can play C, not only just pf
Morris sf/pf
RJ looks like he can play both sg/sf
Taj can go pf/c
Knox is sf -- doesnt look like he can hold up in strenth against pf despite having the height of a pf.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#18 » by Knicksfan1992 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:22 am

Adelheid wrote:Portis can play C, not only just pf
Morris sf/pf
RJ looks like he can play both sg/sf
Taj can go pf/c
Knox is sf -- doesnt look like he can hold up in strenth against pf despite having the height of a pf.


I agree on the last point. I think the Knicks made it clear they view Knox as a wing this year. Cant say i blame them. Kid is still very skinny and him and Mitch would get feasted on the boards by grown men.

The only thing i want to see from Knox is consistent shooting and improved decision making. Make me believe you're an NBA player. If he can show those 2 things this year then we can start worrying about what position he fits best. if he doesnt shoot and still makes too many bad decisions it wont be long before Knox is out of the Knicks plans
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#19 » by Chanel Bomber » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:17 am

K-DOT wrote:
Knicksfan1992 wrote:
K-DOT wrote:I mean, the method is clear. Get decent guys who push the kids to play hard and only keep the books open for 2021

We didn't sign a single bad player this offseason, and we didn't give out a single bad contract

My issues mostly come from the fact that guys like Morris and Portis are just here to use us to stat pad their way into long term deals after this year. Also, not a big fan of the Randle signing

Like, you're right that you can hide him, but you're missing the key component. Jrue Holiday. With Jrue, Randle was a +4, without he was a -9. Pretty stark difference. Then if you isolate Randle with Jrue, AD, and Payton individually, he's a +4 with both of Jrue or AD, and a -4 with Payton. AD and Jrue are both massive positives, and Randle and Payton spent a lot of time with them. All the stats to me point to, if you have good enough players around Randle, he won't hold you back. But we don't. He's really kind of like the PF version of Kanter. And really, Knox should be playing PF, by signing multiple decent PFs, you relegate him to purely SF, which I don't think he should be

To me, Portis, Morris, Ellington, and Bullock are no different than last year having Mudiay, Vonleh, DJ, and Mario. I don't think any of them will be here next year. Randle I can't see being here after 2021 unless we strike out again (which is extremely possible). I actually really liked the Gibson signing, he's the type of guy I want, someone who's just gonna come in for a few minutes a game, be a good role model for the kids and push them in practice, plus old enough to where he doesn't think he's gonna get big money after this year so he isn't upset that the kids get more minutes than him

I don't really have huge complaints, even though I disagree with who we brought in, they're all on short term deals. I just question if Perry can actually build a competitive team in 2, 3 years based off the moves he made this offseason.


I disagree on some points. I think the group of players this year are just better than the group from last year and when you factor in possible internal development of our younger guys the team will look much better. Mudiay Vonleh and Hezonja all were non established NBA guys and had 1 foot out of the league going into last year... Portis, Morris, Ellington and Bullock all have established NBA resumes. I don't think they'll be stat padding nearly as much as you presume. Portis has already talked about coming off the bench. That doesn't seem to portend itself to somebody who plans on just stat padding their way to another contract. Ellington and Bullock have always been low end rotation guys. I dont think either would have realistic illusions of using the Knicks to try and get a big deal somewhere else like a Mudiay or Hezonja would for example.

I disagree on Randle as well. It seems like you're treating him as a finished project. I dont think he's quite there yet and he has some interesting tools on both ends that can be utilized more effectively as he gains more experience and comfort with his situation. Not once in his career has he been a part of a stable situation where the team he played for was truly heavily invested in him long term. Reading between the lines i do think it was pretty telling that the Knicks only gave Randle a long term deal out of everyone. This lends me to believe that they do see him as a long term piece but they wanted to be able to fit in his bird rights with whomever else they want to bring in for 2021. Also it probably benefits Randle to get into FA a little bit earlier as the cap continues to go up as he hits his prime. I don't think its fair to assume that the Knicks don't view him as a long term piece. Negotiations are always a 2 way street.

I do agree like i mentioned that there were some important variables that i didn't go deep into when analyzing past situations. Jrue being an example of that for sure. The Knicks don't have a wing or guard with the defensive acumen that Jrue has for sure. Not even close truthfully. Maybe Frank is close but he's been unplayable offensively. A lot of the optimism that was in my tone relies on the Knicks wings and guards playing better defensively and Mitch progressing into a legit anchor with Taj spelling him as another solid presence defensively. We'll see
.. mainly my point is that a lot of people are seemingly slotting the Knicks in as a bottom 5 defensive team and i do think theres a scenario where they are better than people think on that end.

I mean, just talking about defense, it looks pretty bad for us

Mitch is great obviously, but he's not elite yet, still needs seasoning. DSJ is our 2nd best defensive starter, which doesn't inspire a lot of confidence but I'll get back to him. Randle's defensive metrics are pretty terrible across the board, you could very easily make the case that Knox was the worst defensive player in the league last year (and will now be playing out of position defensively which probably doesn't help), and RJ is a teenage rookie who wasn't known for defense in college, that is to say, a complete unknown but probably at best a small negative.

So for the guys we have track records for, we have two complete sieves, one really good player, and DSJ. I actually think DSJ's defense is really underrated. Just from the eye test, he looked solid to me last year, and his numbers aren't terrible, but they don't look great. Now here's my statistical argument. I've talked about it before, but I just realized I wasn't including all his games with us, and it's actually even worse (or better, depending on how you look at it) than before. In 21 games (small sample size, I know) with us last year, his DRTG was 108, which is, in a word, eh. In the time he spent on court with Knox, his DRTG was 111.6, so, bad but not terrible so where am I going with this? In the time he spent on court without Knox, his DRTG was 96.8. Which is incredible. His ORTG also went up from 95.3 to 106.7 without Knox, for a total of -16.3 to +9.9. We were 26 points per 100 possessions better with DSJ and no Knox out there. This isn't to sh*t on Knox, but the guy was a statistical black hole last year, same with THJ who had a similar (but not nearly so pronounced) effect on Frank's DRTG.

Seeing as we're likely starting Knox, that doesn't really give me much hope for our defense to be good. I mean, he probably isn't as bad as last year, cause he literally can't be worse, but you don't go from being that bad to even being decent overnight, it's gonna take a while

If we're running out a lineup of DSJ/RJ/Knox/Randle/Mitch, bottom 5 isn't super unlikely. I don't think we break out of the bottom 10 with that lineup regardless. I'd say, you want defense, go with DSJ/Dot/Frank/Morris/Mitch, which could win maybe 3 or 4 more games for you over the course of a season. But the goal is not to win games, it should be to develop our guys. To me, that doesn't mean give the kids absolute freedom, but they should be the focus this year, not trying to break the 30 win mark. We're definitely an improved squad and like I said, I don't think we signed a single bad player, but we're not gonna even sniff the playoffs, so we should be focusing on developing the guys who will be here after next year, when we want to show out for potential FAs like the Nets did this past year.

Which is why Knox should get the Frank treatment if he doesn’t start playing a little defense and sharing the rock on offense. He held the team back every time he was on the floor last season. If he doesn’t improve, it’ll be hard to justify giving him significant playing time now that we have some competent - however mediocre - NBA players on the roster, especially 4s who can legitimately fight for playing time (the FO’s decision, not mine). The DSJ stats with and without Knox are staggering.
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Re: Was there a method to the Knicks madness this offseason? 

Post#20 » by melo4three » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:27 am

K-DOT wrote:
Knicksfan1992 wrote:
K-DOT wrote:I mean, the method is clear. Get decent guys who push the kids to play hard and only keep the books open for 2021

We didn't sign a single bad player this offseason, and we didn't give out a single bad contract

My issues mostly come from the fact that guys like Morris and Portis are just here to use us to stat pad their way into long term deals after this year. Also, not a big fan of the Randle signing

Like, you're right that you can hide him, but you're missing the key component. Jrue Holiday. With Jrue, Randle was a +4, without he was a -9. Pretty stark difference. Then if you isolate Randle with Jrue, AD, and Payton individually, he's a +4 with both of Jrue or AD, and a -4 with Payton. AD and Jrue are both massive positives, and Randle and Payton spent a lot of time with them. All the stats to me point to, if you have good enough players around Randle, he won't hold you back. But we don't. He's really kind of like the PF version of Kanter. And really, Knox should be playing PF, by signing multiple decent PFs, you relegate him to purely SF, which I don't think he should be

To me, Portis, Morris, Ellington, and Bullock are no different than last year having Mudiay, Vonleh, DJ, and Mario. I don't think any of them will be here next year. Randle I can't see being here after 2021 unless we strike out again (which is extremely possible). I actually really liked the Gibson signing, he's the type of guy I want, someone who's just gonna come in for a few minutes a game, be a good role model for the kids and push them in practice, plus old enough to where he doesn't think he's gonna get big money after this year so he isn't upset that the kids get more minutes than him

I don't really have huge complaints, even though I disagree with who we brought in, they're all on short term deals. I just question if Perry can actually build a competitive team in 2, 3 years based off the moves he made this offseason.


I disagree on some points. I think the group of players this year are just better than the group from last year and when you factor in possible internal development of our younger guys the team will look much better. Mudiay Vonleh and Hezonja all were non established NBA guys and had 1 foot out of the league going into last year... Portis, Morris, Ellington and Bullock all have established NBA resumes. I don't think they'll be stat padding nearly as much as you presume. Portis has already talked about coming off the bench. That doesn't seem to portend itself to somebody who plans on just stat padding their way to another contract. Ellington and Bullock have always been low end rotation guys. I dont think either would have realistic illusions of using the Knicks to try and get a big deal somewhere else like a Mudiay or Hezonja would for example.

I disagree on Randle as well. It seems like you're treating him as a finished project. I dont think he's quite there yet and he has some interesting tools on both ends that can be utilized more effectively as he gains more experience and comfort with his situation. Not once in his career has he been a part of a stable situation where the team he played for was truly heavily invested in him long term. Reading between the lines i do think it was pretty telling that the Knicks only gave Randle a long term deal out of everyone. This lends me to believe that they do see him as a long term piece but they wanted to be able to fit in his bird rights with whomever else they want to bring in for 2021. Also it probably benefits Randle to get into FA a little bit earlier as the cap continues to go up as he hits his prime. I don't think its fair to assume that the Knicks don't view him as a long term piece. Negotiations are always a 2 way street.

I do agree like i mentioned that there were some important variables that i didn't go deep into when analyzing past situations. Jrue being an example of that for sure. The Knicks don't have a wing or guard with the defensive acumen that Jrue has for sure. Not even close truthfully. Maybe Frank is close but he's been unplayable offensively. A lot of the optimism that was in my tone relies on the Knicks wings and guards playing better defensively and Mitch progressing into a legit anchor with Taj spelling him as another solid presence defensively. We'll see
.. mainly my point is that a lot of people are seemingly slotting the Knicks in as a bottom 5 defensive team and i do think theres a scenario where they are better than people think on that end.

I mean, just talking about defense, it looks pretty bad for us

Mitch is great obviously, but he's not elite yet, still needs seasoning. DSJ is our 2nd best defensive starter, which doesn't inspire a lot of confidence but I'll get back to him. Randle's defensive metrics are pretty terrible across the board, you could very easily make the case that Knox was the worst defensive player in the league last year (and will now be playing out of position defensively which probably doesn't help), and RJ is a teenage rookie who wasn't known for defense in college, that is to say, a complete unknown but probably at best a small negative.

So for the guys we have track records for, we have two complete sieves, one really good player, and DSJ. I actually think DSJ's defense is really underrated. Just from the eye test, he looked solid to me last year, and his numbers aren't terrible, but they don't look great. Now here's my statistical argument. I've talked about it before, but I just realized I wasn't including all his games with us, and it's actually even worse (or better, depending on how you look at it) than before. In 21 games (small sample size, I know) with us last year, his DRTG was 108, which is, in a word, eh. In the time he spent on court with Knox, his DRTG was 111.6, so, bad but not terrible so where am I going with this? In the time he spent on court without Knox, his DRTG was 96.8. Which is incredible. His ORTG also went up from 95.3 to 106.7 without Knox, for a total of -16.3 to +9.9. We were 26 points per 100 possessions better with DSJ and no Knox out there. This isn't to sh*t on Knox, but the guy was a statistical black hole last year, same with THJ who had a similar (but not nearly so pronounced) effect on Frank's DRTG.

Seeing as we're likely starting Knox, that doesn't really give me much hope for our defense to be good. I mean, he probably isn't as bad as last year, cause he literally can't be worse, but you don't go from being that bad to even being decent overnight, it's gonna take a while

If we're running out a lineup of DSJ/RJ/Knox/Randle/Mitch, bottom 5 isn't super unlikely. I don't think we break out of the bottom 10 with that lineup regardless. I'd say, you want defense, go with DSJ/Dot/Frank/Morris/Mitch, which could win maybe 3 or 4 more games for you over the course of a season. But the goal is not to win games, it should be to develop our guys. To me, that doesn't mean give the kids absolute freedom, but they should be the focus this year, not trying to break the 30 win mark. We're definitely an improved squad and like I said, I don't think we signed a single bad player, but we're not gonna even sniff the playoffs, so we should be focusing on developing the guys who will be here after next year, when we want to show out for potential FAs like the Nets did this past year.


Knicks just have to be a 20ish ranked defense since I have no doubt they will have a top 10 offense.

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