Knicks Interested in Jonny Flynn

     Frank Isola of the Daily News reports that the Knicks have begun preliminary talks with Minnesota for point guard Jonny Flynn. Toney Douglas and cash are what I’m hearing that the Knicks will include in the deal. As much potential as Flynn has, being the 6th overall pick of the 2009 draft, I don’t like this trade for New York. Flynn has been anything but dependable during his time with Minnesota. He’s been inconsistent and injured as he is currently coming off of hip surgery. Douglas is coming off of major shoulder surgery which may be a reason New York is trying to deal him but I believe he’s much better than Flynn at this point of his career. Douglas is a notoriously good defensive player and hard worker as well as a knock down 3 point shooter. He had points of this season where he was unstoppable Flynn hasn’t had much of an impact at all. While he’s a prototypical backup point in terms of size and skill, he’s yet to put it all together. Interestingly Flynn’s agent is Leon Rose, the same agent who represents Hornets point guard Chris Paul. It’s been speculated that this trade might be a favor for Rose to get Flynn out of Minnesota and that would increase the Knicks chances of landing Paul. Either way, the NBA wasteland is filled with guys who never fit their potential and Flynn has a chance to be one of those guys. There’s no doubt he’s got skill and could immensely help the Knicks if his potential pans out but that’s a big risk that I am not sure the Knicks should take right now.

Image via Syracuse.com

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Amar’e Selected as 2011 “Father of the Year”

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     Today Amar’e Stoudemire was one of five men who accepted their 2011 “Father of the Year” award from the National Father’s Day Council. The other four men awarded were Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim, CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone Geoffrey Canada, President of Lord and Taylor’s Brendan Hoffman and AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson. All five men accepted their awards today at the Sheridan Hotel on 811 Seventh Avenue at 52nd street. Congrats to Amar’e who has thrived both on and off the court in New York City. He continues to prove his worth as a contributing member of society as a great and articulate man as well as a leader and role model for youth everywhere.

Image via AmareStoudemire.com
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Lawrence Frank May Still Be In Running For Knicks Assistant Coach Job

     Today Marc Stein of ESPN reported that Mavs assistant Dwane Casey is now the favorite for the Toronto Raptors head coaching job. How is this relevant to the Knicks? The former favorite for the Toronto job, Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, has been rumored with the Knicks. Frank has been a great defensive coach in this league and spent some time around the Knicks last offseason before being hired in Boston. He would be a perfect fit for a team transitioning away from their fast paced game. Nobody draws up a better half court defense than Lawrence Frank. Frank has spoken with Detroit who also has a head coaching vacancy but my fingers are crossed that he’s still available after all the head spots have been filled. In the Knicks search for a defensive coordinator, no man is more perfect for the job than Lawrence Frank and I am holding out lots of hope that we get him. As Dallas has shown, defense wins championship and few are better at coaching defense than Lawrence Frank.

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Rumor: Knicks in Play For Biyombo

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     There have been many rumors about the Knicks wanting to move up in the draft, reportedly for Jimmer Fredette, but now the Knicks have been rumored to be in the mix for a falling lottery pick. Bismack Biyombo is an 18 year old power forward from the Congo. He’s 6’9 but he has a 7’6 wingspan and is insanely athletic. At the Adidas Eurocamp Biyombo fell flat on his face. He decided to skip the game and drills and did the one on none workout. According to Chad Ford of ESPN,

…these sort of workouts aren’t ideal for him. Biyombo looked understandably nervous and it seemed to affect his game. Much of the workout focused on his perimeter skills — a major weakness of Biyombo. He missed roughly 75 to 80 percent of the shots he took in this portion of the workout.

     Biyombo’s poor workout is a god send for the Knicks who are in the market for athletic big men. The last thing we need from this guy is outside shooting and clearly he’s not a great perimeter player. There is no doubt about his raw speed, power and leaping ability, not to mention he is incredibly long (7’6 wingspan). He’s a great fit for the Knicks at center and he’s definitely the best fit for us of all the players in the draft. Golden State sits at 11 and would also be a good fit for Biyombo. I hope we are not snake bitten again just like with Steph Curry in 2009. It’ll be interesting to see if we can give up the pieces to trade up and select Biyombo as he’d be a great addition to our club.

Image via Fuen La Freak

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The Kenneth Faried Arguement

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     With the 17th pick in this years draft also being their only pick in the next 2 drafts, the Knicks need to hit a home run with that selection. Kenneth Faried has been widely rumored to have impressed Knicks management and a lot of mock drafts have him being the selection at 17. If I was picking, I’d give a good hard look at Faried. Obviously it would be relative to who’s on the board but I believe Faried is one of the top players in this draft. Obviously it’s hard to make a comparison to an NBA hall of famer but I think Faried could be the next Rodman. Rodman was 6’8 to Faried’s 6’6 but in today’s NBA filled with lazy rebounding and defense, I think Faried has the potential to be a great impact player off the bench. He’s the consummate effort and rebounding power forward with his only downside being his size. I’ve heard multiple people say that if he was 6’10, he’d be the first pick in the draft. While he’s only 6’6 he’s got a 7’0 wingspan and great jumping ability. He scored 17 points a game and averaged 14 rebounds last year at Morehead St. His NCAA tournament game against Louisville was awesome as he blocked Louisville’s last second shot to win the game. This play showed me his fire and passion that he plays the game with. I love this kid. I think he’s got the potential to be one of the great rebounding forwards in this league. One of the knocks on Faried is that his family lives in New Jersey and he may be a distraction to him. I think with Amare Stoudemire tutoring him, they both play power forward, I think Faried’s focus would be on the job at hand and I think that Amare would provide a great role model for Faried to take after. Overall I would say that Faried would be a great pick at 17, I am not confident that the Knicks will pick him or even that he’ll be there at 17 but if he were to be there, I would love to see Kenneth Faried in blue and orange.

Image via NBA.com

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Knicks Will Work Out 4 Players Wednesday

     On Wednesday the Knicks will work out 4 college seniors, Mustapha Farrakhan from Virginia, Corey Stokes from Villanova, Vlad Moldoveanu from American and Jared Mintz from Lafayette. Corey Stokes is by far the most notable of these players. He’s a big 6’4 guard who’s a knockdown shooter but struggles on defense and is not a great scorer, passer or rebounder. I think he’s similar to Andy Rautins, our second round pick in last seasons draft. Farrakhan is also 6’4 and plays guard. He was a 2 guard at Virginia averaging 13 points a game and 1.8 assists. He was a 36% 3 point shooter last season. He showed his potential when he had 31 points against Howard while going 8 for 9 from beyond the arc. Vlad Moldoveanu is a 6’9 small forward who transferred from George Mason to become a great scorer at American. He averaged 18 and 20 points per game in his junior and senior years respectively. Last year he was a 83% free throw shooter and a 36% 3 point shooter. He’s got skills but he’s not overly athletic or prominent in defense and rebounding. Jared Mintz is a 6’9 power forward from Lafayette. He averaged 15 points a game and 5 rebounds. He’s a good scorer but he’s small and struggles on defense and on the boards. This workout continues the Knicks trend of working out many second round selections to find potential fits for our team. All 4 of these players are projected to be selected in the second round or not at all.

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Should Knicks Ditch 3 Star Plan?

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     Today, Marc Berman of the NY Post wrote an article about how Dallas has shown that the Knicks should change their 3 star plan. The 3 stars being Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and hypothetically, now New Orleans point guard, Chris Paul. I’m not sure that Miami’s collapse suggests that the Knicks need to scratch the 3 star plan because I think the 2 situations are completely different. Having a big 3 with a Chris Paul versus Chris Bosh is completely different. One of the great positives of Chris Paul is that he makes everybody better on offense and he’s a great defender. Bosh adds a 3rd scorer to LeBron and Wade but he doesn’t pass to make people better and he’s not a great defender (see Dirk at the end of game 2 of the finals). Depending on the new CBA the Knicks may be able to afford Paul or they may not be able to. Depending on the new salary cap figure / whether or not it is a hard cap, the Knicks could be able to get Paul cheaper and maybe add a decent piece or two. Miami did well in that they had the big 3 signed to less then max deals and they were able to sign Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller. Amare and Carmelo are both signed on max deals and the NBA doesn’t allow, or doesn’t allow under this CBA, the ability to take a pay cut while in contract. I am a big proponent of team depth. We have enough firepower with Amare and Carmelo and I would not be opposed to bypassing CP3 and signing a veteran point, a center and some bench pieces. Right now, with all the CBA uncertainty, I think it’s a bit of a waste to discuss this. While it is interesting to discuss, nobody knows what the terms of the next CBA are. Depending on the cap number, CP3 may not even be a possibility and then the 3 star plan will have to be scratched. I think there are pros and cons to both plans but this cannot be seriously discussed until we know the terms of the next CBA.

Image via NY Daily News

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James Dolan Should Re-hire Walsh for NOT Getting LeBron James

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     Tonight, Dallas knocked off the Miami Heat 105-95 to win the series in 6 games. In the series, LeBron James was widely criticized in the series for coming up short in games 4 and 5 and he didn’t disappoint in game 6. Yes he had 21 points on an efficient 9-15 night but he wasn’t his dominant self, his body language was horrible and he wasn’t good on defense. He was a -24 in plus/minus margin and he had 6 turnovers. As Dallas knocked off the “Big Three”, “Heatles” whatever you wanna call them, I could not help but think to myself “I’m happy we don’t have LeBron”. Is he widely considered the best player in the NBA? Yes. I do not know what everyone sees. Yes he is athletically superior and a great defender but his offense is inconsistent and he’s given up on his teams in the past. As documented in Adrian Wojnarowski’s great article today, LeBron gave up on the Olympic national team in 2008 and last year on his Cleveland team in the eastern conference finals. His body language and effort suffers greatly when things do not go well, as documented in game 6. If I had to pick a player to build a team around, I would much rather have Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade or Chris Paul. Or I’d love to have Amare and Carmelo Anthony. While Donnie Walsh didn’t get LeBron last summer, which had more to do with Wade recruiting the big 3 not Walsh’s skills, I think he created a better nucleus then the one that Miami has. Does Miami arguably have 2 of the top 5 players in the league? Yes but the Knicks are not far behind and we have room to improve either by acquiring another star or 2-3 good solid role players. Even though LeBron was the Knicks number 1 goal, I think Walsh should be applauded for coming up with a backup plan that may pay bigger dividends then LeBron ever would. Carmelo and Amare have always been known as being thick skinned players. For example, take this years playoffs. Yea we lost 4-0, but much of that had to do with injuries. Amare played at 50% because he cared about the team, he wanted to win. Carmelo rebounded from a terrible game 1 to post a 42 point 17 rebound game 2. We have guys that want to win and they have no history of ever giving up on a team, much less 2 of them. You have to be mentally tough to play in New York. LeBron’s shown that he’s a mental midget. He gets criticized for poor performance and then plays worse. As my Uncle and I discussed tonight, what if this had been Knicks vs Mavs? The Miami media is nowhere close to the New York media in terms of opinionated criticism. I told my Uncle “if this had been New York, LeBron would have jumped off the Hudson Bridge tonight” and my Uncle responded “Too scared, he’d be hiding under the bridge with (chris) Bosh”

Adrian Wojnarowski Article: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-wojnarowski_lebron_james_dwyane_wade_nba_finals_game6_061111

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Joe Alexander Also Works Out for Knicks

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     Alan Hahn reported via twitter that Joe Alexander, former Bucks lottery pick, impressed along with Javaris Crittenton at the Knicks free agent camp. Alexander was the 8th overall pick by the Bucks in 2008 but has been a major disappointment. He was traded to Chicago after his second season and then later traded to New Orleans. He was a D-League All-Star for the Texas Legends. He is a super athletic small forward who has good scoring range. He looked lost when he was last in the NBA and maybe his D-League success will translate to quality NBA minutes moving forward. He would be a nice piece on our bench if he could give us quality minutes as he can score as well as play defense with his long, athletic frame.

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Should the Knicks Draft Jimmer Fredette?

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     With the 17th pick in this months NBA draft, it’s been widely rumored that the Knicks are in love with BYU scoring phenomenon and Glens Falls native Jimmer Fredette. There’s no question that he’s a lights out shooter but is he the right fit for the Knicks? I do not believe so. With 1 draft selection (17 in the first round) in this years draft and 0 selections in next years draft, I believe the Knicks need to hit a grand slam with this pick. With Miami in their way in the eastern conference, the Knicks do not have time to wait around for a project guard who may be better suited as a 2 guard. If we had no holes and were picking based on best available talent then I could accept a Fredette selection at number 17 but that is not the situation we are in. The Knicks lack serious bench depth, a backup point guard and a defensive minded center. While Fredette could help add to our bench, I believe he’s better suited as a 2 guard as he’s not a great passer. While typically Mike D’Antoni’s “seven seconds or less offense” would fit nicely with Fredette’s style of play, the Knicks offense right now is in transition to a slower pace with isolation monsters Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire and veteran point guard Chauncey Billups. Our point guard needs to be able to play off the ball and create shots when open from all spots on the court. While Fredette has the ability to make shots, we all know he has a great jumper, I am not sure how he will adjust to a change where he’s at best the 4th option. He’s not going to have any games like at BYU where he took 30 shots. He will be a 5-12 shot a game guy and he needs to be able to efficiently score. He was a volume scorer at BYU and obviously he’s not going to have the same freedoms in New York. My main problem with Jimmer is that if his offense doesn’t pan out, he has no defensive game to fall back on. He was an atrocious defender at BYU and that was with a lot of zone defense being played. He has reportedly been working hard to improve his defense in the offseason but you never know how much one can improve with one offseason. With the current roster that we have, I do not believe we need another high volume scorer who’s deficient on defense. While Jimmer has a lot of potential and could pay miraculous dividends, he also comes with a lot of bust potential. It’s not that I do not believe Jimmer can be a good player but with the roster and cap situation that we currently have, we just don’t have the time to wait on him to see if he’ll pan out. We need a player that can start impacting games from game 1. There’s no doubting while there is optimism in New York there is also a great amount of desperation. We have not won a playoff game since 2000 and the fans want results. We cannot afford to swing and miss with this draft pick and if we miss with Fredette, his lack of defensive effectiveness could be catastrophic to the team.

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