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Knicks’ Depth Chart: Where Do We Go From Here?

PG Chris Duhon Toney Douglas
SG Larry Hughes Nate Robinson
SF Wilson Chandler Danilo  Gallinari Al Harrington
PF David Lee Jared Hill Darko Milicic
C Jared Jeffries Chris Wilcox Eddie Curry

Above is the New York Knicks’ current depth chart. Unlike much of the speculative press, I will assume that Walsh wants to sign both David Lee and Nate Robinson for the upcoming season. It makes a little sense to sign the homegrown talent to give the product stability until you figure out what your new talent can do. It may also make a little sense to work the year with 13-14 contracts instead of 15 to help insure that the team remains significantly below the cap by the following year.

Nevertheless, the roster still looks like a mess. Unless a point is signed, Toney Douglas may be the pleasant surprise of the year. The other major story lines so far are about players rehabbing physically (Danilo) and emotionally (ECity). We ask can Chandler develop while playing with placeholders such as Hughes and Harrington?

This is not looking too good much better than last season so far. Tomorrow creeps at its petty pace from day to day. 2010 where are you?

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June 29, 2009 - Posted by | Al Harrington, Chris Wilcox, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Larry Hughes | , , , , , ,

13 Comments »

  1. The Knicks offered the Timberwolves the eighth pick and forward Wilson Chandler for the fifth selection in last week’s NBA Draft.

    Minnesota declined, and used the fifth overall pick on Ricky Rubio.

    Reports indicate that New York would have used the selection on Rubio, not Stephen Curry.

    Comment by Paul | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. Lives:
    I respectfully disagree. With Darko and Hill instead of Jerome James; without Q-brick (addition by subtraction) and with Douglas instead of Robeson, Knicks must be considered substantially better than last year’s outfit, even if Walsh does nothing else. The moves made on draft night (Hill, Douglas, Darko) clearly made things better.

    Thus, I have some reason to feel optimistic as we approach the 2009 – 2010 season. Walsh is in a position use the Mobley 80% contract-saving option and the Balkman exception to facilitate other trades; he can also dangle Wilcox and Hughes (both have expiring contracts) as potential offerings in trade scenarios; then there is always the term “cash considerations” — never quite explained by Stern or spelled out in the collective bargaing agreement. I believe that Walsh will try to lock up both N8 and Lee for reasonable contracts or else trade one or both, hopefully, for some real value; he will then look to dump Eddy and his hloated contract by the mid-season trade deadline if not sooner. I must also count the Stern-Walsh long-term realtionship as another hidden asset to ultimately benefit the Knicks. Clearly Stern owes our fans.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. Live Chat Excerpts from Coach D’Antoni on Friday:

    Q: Do you see Douglas as a PG or more of a 2?
    A: I see Douglas as a player. i don’t know his game as a point guard yet. We will see and move forward, but the good thing is he can guard ones and twos and is really strong defensively. So that will be discovered in September and October and it will be fun watching him grow as a player.

    Q: coach how can u use all the bigs on the team since last season you had one of the smallest teams?
    A: I don’t know if we can use all the bigs, but we are going to use the best bigs. Getting bigger is a priority for us because we were too small last year. That led to us not being very good defensively. Hopefully these areas will improve and we will be a much better team.

    Q: Coach, you’ve stressed defense twice in this chat session, but that contradicts the narrative that you don’t care about defense. What gives?
    A: Don’t believe everything you read on KF, kid. =)

    Comment by Paul | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  4. Prince,

    We’ll soon see, but until we upgrade the point guard position, which is the engine that motors D’Antoni’s system, I don’t think we are better off. I issued this same warning when Duhon was first drafted and before it “appeared” that he was doing a fine job and before observers started to suggest he was not the right PG for the job.

    If Douglas, who is a tweener, is a surprise at point, then we may have some improvement.But Douglas will not be able to run the D’Antoni offense right away and he will need to develop the right conditioning to run the offense the way it needs to be run.

    D’Antoni has too many bigs and is unsure where Curry will fit. He will need to spend part of his summer and training camp showcasing Curry’s talent. (It is unlikely Curry will play in the summer league, but he should). Hill should be a pleasant surprise but he is raw. How much of a surprise can he be? He has a mid-range jumper, he can rebound and he can block shots. Can he shoot and will he be able to defend the likes of Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter.

    Finally, for now, the bottom line about improvement is how have we progressed relative to our divisional rivals? Are we ready to beat Cleveland, Boston and the Hawks. Is Chicago on the decline? Can we play the Magic and win? And what about Washington, Miami and Detroit? That’s eight teams. Are we better than them? Or do we end up in the lottery again? This time without the pick.

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | June 29, 2009 | Reply

    • A note to Prince here – unfortunately, Milwaukee has extended a qualifying offer to Ramon Sessions, but are letting Charlie Villanueva walk away as an unrestricted free agent. They’ll get nothing for him now, his time in Milwaukee is over.

      They wouldn’t have done that had they not intended to keep Sessions no matter the cost. With Kidd mulling signing a one year deal with Cleveland’s full mid-level exemption, our targets are starting to slim. Any love for Luke Ridnour in his final year? Or Brevin Knight? i think the Mike Bibbys and Andre Millers of the world can command more than just a one year rental on a non contending team.

      Or should we maybe consider just giving the keys to Nate and seeing if he can grow into the role?

      What’s the backup plan if everyone plays hard with Donnie this summer and won’t give anything but lowball offers and no thank-yous?

      Comment by Paul | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  5. Lives:

    I agree we so desperately need an upgrade at point guard. My point is that we are better today than yesterday and that Walsh has some assets and options to exercise to improve team. Let’s see what happens in the free-agent draft period. Keep up the flow of solid material. Missed you at the LBE during draft night. Love this blog. LGK

    Comment by Post-up Prince | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  6. Washington is the disturbing one, Lives, as they majorly solidified their squad with that Minny deal. Not homecourt first round good, but they’ll be better than us. The question is, do they have enough “glue” there? Will they make the extra pass, or play any defense, or will it be “me first” ball? Was that why they were sniffing around Jeffries? I think there’s some potential there to move Jared.

    It was unfair to ask Jordan Hill if he can defend Vince Carter. Vinsanity’s a wing, Hill’s a big.

    Douglas is not a tweener, he’s just a short 2.

    Yao’s entire career looks like it’s in jeopardy. Hopefully he can get that healed up, he has been an honorable player and a fine representative of the sport.

    Great stuff from Brandon Jennings and Joe Budden, courtesy of http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Baseline/entry/view/26042/social_media_biting_back_at_brandon_jennings

    On next season in Milwaukee …

    Budden: You better worry about Ramon Sessions, diggin’ in your a**, pause.
    Jennings: He’s not going to be here. [inaudible] That money is going to Charlie.
    Budden: N****, Ramon Sessions is gonna be there.
    Jennings: I doubt it.
    Budden: They ain’t go no other guards.
    Jennings: Ridnour.
    Budden: N****, get that bum-a** n**** outta here.
    Jennings: He’s going to be a backup.
    Budden: To who?
    Jennings: To who? Who else n****?

    On what happened on draft night …

    Budden: Who was hatin’ on you?
    Jennings: Jay Bilas.
    Budden: What happened? You ran in the draft late or some dumb s*** like a loser?
    Jennings: No, I was at the hotel. This is what happened right. My agent is like “Well, we ain’t hear nothing .We ain’t have no guarantee.” So we makin’ phone calls and s*** and n***** is saying like “The workouts is great and everything and he’s the best point guard but we don’t know yet, we just don’t know.”
    Budden: They didn’t say that about Rick Rubio, number one, and number two they didn’t say you the best point guard. They said your jump shot is shaky, you got some potential, but your work ethic is bull****. You averaged 3 points.
    Jennings: You’re a liar. I know you’re lying now.
    Budden: I’m just telling you what they said.
    Jennings: That ain’t nothing but a college person.
    Budden: Just tell me what happened. You end up running in the draft? I tunred it off after that.
    Jennings: No, n****, I came out there and made my appearance n**** and I had the best appearance out of all them n******. And I was the best dressed, they said, by the way. I was the best dressed.

    On whether he’ll start next season …

    Budden: You think you gonna start for real though?
    Jennings: I don’t know, actually, I really don’t know.
    Budden: I heard that n**** Scott Skiles is an a**h***.
    Jennings: That n**** tough, that n**** tough though. There must be a reason he liked me. There must be a reason.

    On Ricky Rubio and the Knicks …

    Budden: Let me know when Minnesota get there. So I can watch Rubio light your f****** a** up. I never seen a n**** hate on Rubio so much.
    Jennings: [inaudible]
    Budden: You know what’s funny? You’re the only guard in the draft talking s*** about Rubio.
    Jennings: The other n***** are scared.
    Budden: What are you going to do when Rubio comes to the Knicks?
    Jennings: Rubio is not coming, they are not giving up Rubio. You got Jordan Hill, you happy with that?
    Budden: I don’t really know enough about Jordan Hill to be happy … I’m happy with Toney Douglas.
    Jennings: I know they were booing this n****.
    Budden: What does that mean? They boo everybody n****.
    Jennings: If it was Stpehen Curry, them n***** would’ve went crazy in there.
    Budden: Shut the f*** up, you don’t even know nothing about New York basketball.
    Jennings: F*** the Knicks, them n***** skipped out on me.
    Budden: Oh man, you feel to the Knicks like I do about Jay-Z? [Laughs] Yo, the Knicks is your Jay-Z?
    Jennings: F*** the Knicks, them n***** is always going to be weak.
    Budden: This is where I f****** hang up on your f****** ass for talking stupid.
    Jennings: Duhon ain’t gonna get it done.

    And finally, DWade’s Twitter screenshot with QRich

    Comment by Paul | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  7. Great comments guys. I’ll respond in full later tonight, but I had to jot off two things right quick before picking up Little Alpha Girl.

    Paul, I have no idea why I just had to approve your comment. I’ll have to read it more thoroughly to see what bad words you used. (LOL).

    Second, ROFLMAO at “Douglas is not a tweener, he’s just a short 2.” HeHeHeHe

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  8. Prince,

    Thanks for the props, but you guys make this place pop. I like doing the decorating and to get things cookin’ though, especially since my wife makes me spend our quality time watching HGTV and the “America’s Next Kick Ass Chef” show. Gets my creative juices flowing.

    Seriously, I said it once or twice, but anyone that checks this blog out will understand the quality if they check out the draft LBE. You guys were off the chain and still rollin’. I’m sorry that you couldn’t include my tweets on the show.

    ______________________________________________

    Paul,

    Thank you for that piece on Jennings and Budden. That shyte is hilarious. Jennings can’t help himself. He has stars on his mirror right where his eyes are supposed to be. As I said in my tweet, BJ will make more money for the MSM than a Terill Owens-Mike Tyson combo set. Raw and funny. Soon they will all figure out they need to keep their azzes off Twitter and YoustupidTube if they want to maintain their fake images.

    ________________________________________

    Major props to Statesman for taking up the challenge of predicting the careers of first year pros. No shame in his game, even when he ends up wrong. I love it.

    ________________________________________

    I want to do a piece on Michael Jackson but the time limitations (I got tings to do) are killing me.

    ________________________________________

    The media is so stupid. That move by Kahn to nab Rubio and Flynn was as cold a chess move as we’ve seen in the NBA since Auerbach drafted Bird and San Antonio drafted The Admiral. Cold because he creates a lot of options for the future of his team. . . . Nice. We should have fun watching Flynn this year.

    ________________________________________

    Dag, I coulda done a post with all this writing. LMAO. Enjoy your day folks. Let us know how you’re doin’.

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  9. Oh snap. I see that Thrill Will’s Twitter account is no longer public (check out our sidebar before I take it down). It took those guys long enough. Their agents must have been on it after the Dwade debacle and Brandon Jennings did his little thing.

    O&B and Statesman, I apologize. I was wrong. BJ is already impacting the NBA. We shoulda brought his azz to New York so we could watch him implode.

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  10. Knicks meeting with Jason; you’re kidding right?

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  11. Paul:

    I still say Knicks should move to outbid Milwaukee for Sessions. He is the best point guard among the free agents available and better than most of the hyped p.g.’s in the draft–who are all 2-3 years away from having an impact. Even if he costs 7-8 million per year, the Knicks can save salary cap space by moving another player’s contract (E. Curry, J. Jeffries) at some point in the season. Knicks are under cap now and can afford to offer Sessions more than Bucks. I want to watch a competitive team this season. With no pick in 2010, we need to get out the lottery now and provide poot-season experience for the current roster.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | June 30, 2009 | Reply

    • I co sign with your sentiments to see a Knicks team make a charge towards the playoffs.

      Haven’t seen Sessions enought to make an assessment on how acquiring him would impact the Knicks but do see that he has good height for a 1, and also puts up solid numbers across the board- about 12 ppg, 3/1 ator, 1 stlprgm etc.

      Perhaps the Bucks drafting of Jennings tips that organizations hand as to how far they’ll be willing to go in resigning the restricted free agent.

      Comment by orangeandblue1 | June 30, 2009 | Reply


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