About Taylor Armosino

Taylor Armosino is a Business major at the University of Arizona. He loves the Knicks, Raiders and A's, but mostly the Knicks. He also writes at KnicksNow.com, Saving the Skyhook, and Charged.fm. Email him taylorarmosino@yahoo.com. Follow him @tarmosino

Posts by Taylor Armosino:

JR Smith Re-Signs With the Knicks

According to Ian Begley of ESPN NY, the Knicks have re-signed shooting guard JR Smith for $2.8 million next season with a $2.8 million player option for a second season. From a talent standpoint, this is an absolute steal for the Knicks. With all the horrible contracts that have been handed out this off-season (for example, Jeff Green 4 years $36 million, Landry Fields 3 years $20 million), it’s nice to see the Knicks not completely overpay for Smith. They got him at a very good deal relative to his talent level. However, talent has never been the issue with JR Smith. When you think about this man, you don’t think about his great athleticism or outside shooting ability. You think of all the other things.

When the name JR Smith comes up in conversation, I tend to think about everything negative. I think of the contested step back jumpers that never ever go in. I think of the ball hogging, the inability to make the correct swing pass around the perimeter and all the times that he took ill advised shots that threw the offense out of wack. As I watched the NBA finals, I thought about JR. I thought about how neither the Heat nor the Thunder had a player like JR on their roster. They didn’t have a role player coming off the bench to chuck 15 shots per game, most of them contested step backs. More

Knicks Acquire Marcus Camby and Retain Novak

The Camby man is coming back to New York. In a sign and trade deal with the Houston Rockets, the Knicks have acquired veteran center Marcus Camby in exchange for Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan and second round picks in 2014 and 2015. Camby’s contract is worth $13.2 million over three seasons. Today, the Knicks also retained sharpshooter Steve Novak on a $15 million contract spanning four seasons in length.

First, lets discuss Camby. I think Marcus Camby is an excellent fit with this Knicks team as currently constructed. If he was 5 years younger, he is 38 years old currently, I think Camby would have been a perfect fit. Even at this advanced stage of his career, Camby is an excellent defender and rebounder. A technician on defense, Camby uses his veteran experience and grit to make up for deficiencies he may have due to his age and decreased athleticism. He’s not Tyson Chandler, but he’s a rock solid defender in the low post area. Offensively, he’s a great fit next to Amar’e Stoudemire. Not only can Camby help Stoudemire on the defensive end, but he can help open up the offense for the Knick power forward. Unlike Chandler, Camby has the ability to step out and hit an 18 foot jump shot. Last season he posted very solid shooting stats from the floor. According to Hoopdata, Camby shot 42.9% from shots 10-15 feet and 44% from shots 16-23 feet. Barring injury to Chandler (knock on wood), Camby will be coming off the bench which likely means he’ll be playing many minutes next to Stoudemire. I think that is a front court duo that can work. With Camby’s offensive spacing, Stoudemire will have a better opportunity to return to superstar form; which is bigger than any free agent signing the Knicks can make.  More

Jason Kidd to Join the Knicks

In a shocking development, Jason Kidd has decided to leave the Dallas Mavericks and join the New York Knicks. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Kidd had decided to stay in Dallas. Kidd’s reported deal will be 3 years and approximately $9 million. Whether the Knicks are using the mini mid-level exception or a sign and trade to acquire Kidd is unknown.

I’m not a huge fan of this signing, as I believe Kidd’s best days are far behind him. You can make the argument that he’s got the intangibles and he can mentor Lin. I won’t dispute that Kidd is a player with strong intangibles. He can be a good mentor and he is a good locker room guy. However, they hire coaches to mentor players and the players in the locker room are supposed to be guys who can contribute positively on the court. I’m not so sure Jason Kidd can do that anymore. More

Steve Nash’s Gutless Decision Shocks the NBA World

He chose the Lakers. Really? Of all teams, he chose the god damn Lakers. I can understand not wanting to go to the Raptors or the Knicks, but the Lakers? Dating back to the 1970′s, the Suns and Lakers have been bitter rivals. From Wilt Chamberlain and Connie Hawkins to Kobe and Raja Bell, the two franchises have always hated each other. More recently, the Kobe-era Lakers and Nash-era Suns have had their share of playoff grudge matches over the past decade. Suns-Lakers will go down as one of the great rivalries of the 2000′s, rivaling Spurs-Lakers, Celtics-Lakers and Nuggets-Lakers. Notice how all those rivalries feature the gold and purple uniformed squad that calls the Staples Center “home”. The Los Angeles Lakers are the New York Yankees of pro basketball. Nobody goes “the Lakers are okay. I don’t really care about them one way or the either.” You either love them or you despise them; there’s no in-between.

I loathe the Los Angeles Lakers. Their dirty play, bandwagon fair-weathered fans and sheer arrogance make them the most hatable team in pro basketball. They are the crux of all that is evil within the NBA universe. You would think Steve Nash would feel the same way, since you know… he went to combat against them in the playoffs time and time again. But no, it seems that Steve Nash isn’t the guy that we thought he was. Nash is not the loyal, old-school man that we thought he was. In leaving Phoenix for the hated Lakers, Nash thrusted a dagger through the hearts of a passionate Suns fan-base. The same fan base that embraced him after Dallas exiled him is now reeling after Nash’s stunning Wednesday decision.  More

Video: Carmelo Anthony Scares Civilians at his Wax Figure Revealing

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmMAORSBZVk]

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Knicks Make Smart Selection in Papanikolaou

In Thursday’s 2012 NBA Draft, the Knicks did not have a pick until the 48th selection. With that selection, they passed on the opportunity to add depth to the team now and opted to build for the future. The Knicks selected Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou with their 2nd round selection. While many good things have been said by smart people regarding Papanikolaou, you won’t see him in Knicks orange and blue anytime soon. The earliest he can play in the NBA, pending a Knicks buyout, would be during the 2013-2014 season. If the Knicks opt not to buy out Papanikolaou’s contract, the earliest he can play in the league would be the 2014-2015 season. So who is Kostas Papanikolaou? More

Mock Draft 1.01

1. New Orleans: Anthony Davis F, Kentucky: No explanation needed. NBA star in the making. Defensive game like Camby, offensive game similar to Garnett.

2. Charlotte: Brad Beal G, Florida: I think this pick goes to the Cavs for picks #4 and #24. They pair Beal up with Kyrie Irving and make the playoffs for years to come.

3. Washington: Harrison Barnes F, North Carolina. The third best player in the draft is Michael Kidd Gilchrist, but Washington needs some offense and I think they take Barnes, who is a more developed offensive threat than the aforementioned Gilchrist.

4. Cleveland: Thomas Robinson F, Kansas. This is really Charlotte’s selection, I think they take Robinson to give them some toughness down low.

5. Sacramento: Andre Drummond C, Connecticut. Drummond is pretty raw offensively, but they don’t make a lot of guys this size. Drummond has the potential to be an elite defensive center. If he panned out to be a stud, he’d be a perfect fit next to power forward DeMarcus Cousins.

6. Portland: Damian Lillard G, Weber State. Portland needs a point guard. Lillard is a good one. With Drummond off the board, I think it’s an easy pick for Portland

7. Golden State: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist F, Kentucky. I think the Warriors get an absolute steal here. Gilchrist slides because of lack of need in picks 1-6. Warriors get a great defensive wing who would be a near-perfect fit.

8. Toronto: Dion Waiters G, Syracuse. I’m not all that sure why people are huge on Waiters. He’s quick and can get to the rim, but I never thought he was really all that great.

9. Detroit: John Henson F, North Carolina. All signs point to a big man and Henson would be the best big man on the board at this point. I don’t know how well he meshes with Greg Monroe, but I think Detroit takes him anyways.

10. New Orleans: Austin Rivers G, Duke. I think there’s a good chance Boston moves up to this pick to take Rivers, but lets assume they don’t. New Orleans likes Rivers, they think he can play point guard next to Eric Gordon. I don’t agree and I don’t like Rivers as a prospect.

Dammit, I ran out of time… Quick I’ll talk about the Knicks!!

At 48, I’d love to see the Knicks get Darius Johnson-Odom out of Marquette. Johnson-Odom is a tough, gritty defender and really can shoot the ball well. If he’s not there, I think small forwards Khris Middleton from Texas A&M and Jae Crowder from Marquette will be in the mix, as well as sharp shooters Kim English from Missouri and Doron Lamb from Kentucky.

The Knicks need shooting guards who can actually shoot the ball (sorry, Landry). I think that has to be their priority in this draft. They also need help at backup point guard, and backup small forward. A developmental center behind Tyson Chandler wouldn’t hurt either.

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Pablo Prigioni Highlights (Video)

The Knicks are in talks to sign 35 year old Argentinian point guard Pablo Prigioni. New York has been trying for quite a while to bring in Prigioni, due to his success as arguably the Euro League’s best point guard.

Admittedly I don’t know a ton about Prigioni. I know that he’s got good size for a point guard (6’3) and is great in the pick and roll. Who knows how he’ll fit into Woodson’s iso-centric offense, were he to sign with the Knicks. His nickname is Europe is “The Maestro” and he has a propensity to hit clutch shots. That’s always good to have.

I took to youtube to find some highlights from other games I liked what he saw. I think he would have been a better fit under D’Antoni, but I still like the way he plays. Enjoy

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUcOCna1wHU] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_DgKDPW7nY]

Follow Taylor on Twitter @tarmosino

Knicks Should Pass on Derek Fisher

Rumors have surfaced over the past week that the Knicks will be interested in signing current Oklahoma City backup point guard Derek Fisher when he hits free agency after the NBA Finals. Yes, this is the same Derek Fisher that was traded mid-season for a first round pick and a bag of poop, also known as Jordan Hill (remember him, Knicks fans?). Yes, this is the same Derek Fisher that was drafted in 1996. The same Fisher who is 37 years old, shot 32% from outside the arc and who got absolutely toasted by Jeremy Lin at Madison Square Garden earlier this season. Folks, Derek Fisher is beyond washed up. More

Don’t Expect Wednesday Union Victory

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjc3FoRf_9g]

 

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 13th of June, the Knicks will know whether or not Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak will be granted with Early Bird rights. If so, the Knicks would be able to re-sign each player without using a cap exception, such as the Mid-Level Exception or the Bi-Annual Exception. The NBA Players Union has challenged the league’s stance that Bird Rights, as well as Early Bird Rights, are lost when a player is waived. This court ruling also will affect other teams in the league, such as the Clippers (with Chauncey Billups) and the Portland Trail Blazers (with JJ Hickson). Here is how Howard Beck of the New York Times explained the Union’s stance:

In the union’s view, Bird rights should expire only when a player clears waivers, because he is a free agent at that point who can choose a new team and sign a new contract.

The union contends that the entire rationale for allowing Bird rights to transfer was to protect players who changed teams against their will, a principle that could apply to both trades and waiver claims. (The section of the uniform player contract that deals with waiver claims, in fact, cross references the rules governing trades.)

I do not believe that the Union is going to win this claim. More