Nate the Great….

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     Ex Knickerbocker Nate Robinson was arrested early Friday morning for urinating in public outside a New York Barnes and Noble in White Plains. He was released on $100 bail and will have to pay a $50 dollar fine. I’ve always liked Nate, he brings energy and he’s always a fan favorite but he’s always been prone to some dumb moves. Nate’s shenanigans are no new thing to Knicks fans. It was just last season when he fell out of favor with D’Antoni for shooting a shot after the buzzer into our own basket and was then fined 25,000 for having his agent publicly request a trade. He was traded to Boston shortly after and now plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Bonzi Wells and Javaris Crittenton Work Out for the Knicks Thursday

     On Thursday, Bonzi Wells and Javaris Crittenton worked out for the Knicks. I actually think both these guys are intriguing for next years Knicks team. Wells hasn’t played in the NBA since 2008 and Crittenton played in the D-League after being released by Charlotte. Wells was notorious for all his off court problems and his “bad boy” reputation. He’s 35 years old, that’s old but it’s not too old to play in the league. If Wells somehow made the club, I feel like he’d be in there for like 6 minutes a game, picking up some hard fouls and playing defense. He wasn’t known as a great defensive player but I do like the “bad boy” reputation he has. Javaris Crittenton, a former first round pick, is interesting in that he’s immensely talented but hasn’t been able to put it together. He’s most notorious for pulling a gun on former teammate Gilbert Arenas in the Wizards locker room. Interestingly enough, his best game came when he was with Memphis and scored 23 points in a win over the Knicks in ’08. He’s 6’5 and is a good defensive player. Depending on how the draft plays out, I could definitely see Crittenton having a spot on the Knicks bench.

     Also, it’s interesting to point out that Amare did wonders to help Shawne Williams. Williams was plagued with off court issues and this year he was a model citizen. A lot of that has to do with Amare and his leadership capabilities. I believe the Knicks feel more comfortable with taking risks with these kind of players because of Amare’s leadership. He keeps everybody focused on basketball and he keeps everyone honest and on check. His impact to the Knicks is irreplaceable because he’s the leader that was sorely missed during the dreaded Isiah Thomas days. If one or both of these players catch on with New York, it’s safe to say that Amare will be on their asses getting them working hard and doing the right things to become respectable citizens.

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Shumpert Stands Out At Today’s Knick Workout

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     According to multiple Knicks sources, Georgia Tech point guard Iman Shumpert was the best player in today’s 5 player workout at the MSG training center. Reportedly Shumpert hit 18/25 3 pointers at the workout today. His biggest questions are his 3 point shooting and his jump shot. If he made the Knicks believe in his shooting then they could very well acquire his rights in the 2nd round. I really like this kid. The fact that he’s 6’6 and is notoriously a good defender makes him very appealing to the Knicks coming off their bench. I’d be in support of getting this kid in the 2nd/ late 1st if we have to.

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Knicks Create Partnership With a D-League Team

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     On Wednesday the Knicks came to an agreement with the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA D-League giving them full control over the team. Allan Houston will be the general manager of the Bayhawks. I like the move in that Houston gets some good experience as I believe he should be our general manager one day. He’s incredibly bright and I think he’d do a great job. I really hope that this isn’t a move to keep him away from the team which it might be. I’m trying to be positive and believe that Dolan’s actually trying to help Houston rather than keep him away. This is significant because it gives the Knicks the closest thing there is to a minor league system in the NBA. It gives us flexibility with players like Jerome Jordan so we can keep them under team control and have them get minutes in another league. Each team is allowed 2 players to send from the NBA to the D league to get minutes without risk of losing them to another club. I believe this is crucial to the team because we need to find some hidden gems to play with the big 2, hopefully big 3.

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David Stern: Owners and Player “very far apart” on a New Labor Deal.

     Today NBA commissioner David Stern made it very clear that the owners and players are nowhere close to reaching a new labor deal. The key issues being discussed are the length of player contracts, the amount of guaranteed money they are being paid and a hard salary cap. Unlike the NFL lockout where the owners are relentless in their pursuit of money, I believe the NBA owners are correct in this argument. While the current system of luxury taxes is not totally bad, I believe the hard salary cap is the way to go. If this luxury tax system remains there will be like 5 super teams in the league and everyone else will be mediocre. In this era of agents and players deciding to join together and form super teams, the league needs to be evened out. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely hate parity but a big 5 super league with 25 other non super teams would be a terrible game. Clearly teams do not care about paying the luxury tax as long as they can sign the players they want. At the start of last season, 12 teams were above the 69 million dollar cap with 7 of them being at least 10 million into the luxury tax. The cap is the greatest conflict between the clubs and players because it affects everything else. If the salary cap is lowered / a hard cap is implemented, the contracts of the players will be shorter and they will be paid less money. Of course in the money first NBA, the players do not want this to happen. I believe it has to happen. Some of these contracts today are insane and it’s worse that teams must be held at gunpoint by agents and players to overpay for their services. Reluctantly, I use Amare Stoudemire as an example. Last year, he would have stayed in Phoenix if they’d offered him a 5 year max deal rather then the 4 year max deal. Then after he turned Phoenix down, his agent Happy Walters comes out and says they’ll only take a 5 year 100 million dollar deal. Lets face it, if Phoenix offers him that 5 year deal worth 119 million then he’s not in New York. I’m glad as hell that he is but I’m just saying, the decision making of these guys is all money driven and it’s not the way it should be. I mean there has to be a line drawn at some point. There should be no way that players leverage their way and hold these teams to gunpoint because they want more money. I understand with a hard cap some of these things would still occur in smaller magnitude, but the hard cap would 1. reduce the length and size of the deals and 2. stop players from leveraging teams for egregious contracts. While the owners are mostly slimy and greedy themselves, they own and run these teams. The owners should have the power and leverage in making deals, not the players.

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5 Players to Workout For Knicks on Thursday

As reported by Tommy Dee, on Thursday the Knicks will workout 5 prospects 

Keith Benson, 6-11, 230, Oakland, senior

Mike Davis, F, 6-9, 225, Illinois, senior

Charles Jenkins, F, 6-3, 220, Hofstra, senior

Iman Shumpert, G, 6-5, 212, Georgia Tech, junior

Chris Singleton, F, 6-9, 225, Florida State, junior

     Keith Benson is an intriguing prospect, he’s got a 7-4 wingspan and is a very good athlete. He’s a good shooter and good rebounder. The problem is that he’s not a great defender which is bad for the Knicks. If you can improve his defense, I think he could be a very good NBA player. He will be a 2nd round selection. Mike Davis is a power forward but he’s too finesse for my taste. He is a bit soft inside and he’s not a shot blocker. He plays hard and he’s a good rebounder and he can shoot but overall he needs work. He’s got late second round value.  Charles Jenkins is a really interesting prospect. Tommy Dee has him listed as a forward but I think that’s a typo. Jenkins is a point guard and a very good one. I like him more at the 2 actually as he isn’t a great passer. He wasn’t asked to pass much at Hofstra but if you’re gonna play point for the Knicks, you gotta be able to deliver the rock to the big 2. He’s a great scorer and has a really nice jump shot. He’s not an elite athlete and needs to improve his passing but overall he’s a solid player, should be a first round pick. Iman Shumpert is another intriguing prospect. He’s got great size for a point guard at 6’6 and he’s real long. He may not be a pure point, maybe a shooting guard but he’s a great defender and he’s a great finisher at the rim. His 3 point shooting could use some work and he isn’t a great jump shooter but overall I think he’d be a great 2nd round purchase for the Knicks. Chris Singleton is going to be a lottery selection. He’s an unbelievable defender and he’s can shoot the hell out of the ball from 3. He’s incredibly athletic and finishes nicely at the rim. He’d be a great fit for the Knicks coming off the bench, he’s got versatility to guard the 3 and 4 on defense. I like him alot but I don’t know if he’s gonna be there at 17 for the Knicks to pick.

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DeShawn Stevenson Would Be a Nice Fit In New York

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     The more finals games I watch, the more I think that DeShawn Stevenson would fit very well with the Knicks next year. His contract is up with Dallas after this season and I’d love to have him in New York. He’d provide some of that defensive toughness and veteran leadership that we need off the bench. He’s more then held his own defending against LeBron James and Dwyane wade. In game 4, he even showed that he can hit his 3′s when his number is called, but that’s gravy. I think Stevenson would be a great fit because of his defensive versatility, being able to guard the 2 and 3 and probably the 1 if needed, and because of his toughness. I’d much rather have him playing significant minutes over Mr “Offensive Foul” Bill Walker. I don’t know why D’Antoni loves Walker. He’s athletic and had some good games but for the most part I think he sucks and he’s not a great defender. Right now look at the roster, there’s talent but there are no blue collar defensive stoppers. Stevenson’s only 30 so I don’t know if he’d accept the veteran minimum or maybe a small mid level exemption, the circumstances under which he’d have to come to New York, but if we could get him I think he’d be a very valuable bench piece to have on next years Knick team.

Photo Via ESPN

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Matt Howard Among 6 Players to Work Out For the Knicks Wednesday

Butler star Matt Howard is among 6 players to work out for the Knicks on Wednesday. The other five are College of Charleston long range stud Andrew Goudelock, Georgia forward Trey Thompkins, Villanova guard Corey Fisher, Rhode Island forward Delroy James and and Notre Dame forward Carleton Scott. Matt Howard is the most publicized player in this group. He’s got a late 2nd round grade. He’s a typical players coach, but the coach would probably be in college. Although he can shoot long range, he doesn’t have the body, athleticism or strength to play forward in the NBA. He’s a great basketball mind and he’s got a good motor but I don’t think he’ll be a good NBA player. Trey Thompkins is a 6-10 forward with a 7-1 wingspan. He’s got a solid offensive game. He’s got a great offensive game, he can shoot mid range, he can shoot 3′s and he’s got a solid post game. He’s not the greatest athlete in the world and he’s had conditioning issues in the past but he’s a solid player. Corey Fisher is a 5’11 point guard. He’s a late 2nd round pick to undrafted. He’s not a great shooter and doesn’t have good size. Just an okay player, I don’t like him that much. Delroy James is another late 2nd round guy. He’s a 6-8 small forward that is athletic but he needs to refine his offensive game. He has to improve his jumper if he’s gonna play small forward in the NBA, only shot 25% from 3 last season. Carleton Scott is a 6-8 small forward who is a very good defender and is a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions. He doesn’t give you much on the defensive end as he is very raw. If you’ve never seen Andrew Goudelock, then you’ve been missing out. It should be Goudelock range not Jimmer range. He’s a 6-3 shooting guard with a 6-5 wingspan. He’s not a great athlete but his shooting is incredible. Just check out the video below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1smyOfRXIxM] thanks to Javon27isback for the video

There is speculation that the Knicks will look to purchase at least 1 second round selection and they have done nothing to dispel that speculation. They’ve been working out a ton of guys with 2nd round grades lately and I fully expect them to spend a bit of money to buy a couple. [twitter-follow screen_name='tarmosino' show_screen_name='no']

Ex-Knick Mark Jackson Gets the Warriors Coaching Job

Congratulations to ex-New York Knick point guard Mark Jackson on getting the Golden State Warriors head coaching vacancy. On Monday night Jackson, 46, agreed to a 3 year 6 million dollar contract. Few remember Jackson was actually a rumored as a candidate to fill the Knicks vacancy in 2008 before Mike D’Antoni was hired. Jackson has some talented pieces with Golden State including a few players with ties to the Knicks. Steph Curry would have been our point guard if we had gotten the 6th pick rather than the 7th (which we used to select Jordan Hill) and we traded David Lee to Golden State last off-season. The interesting thing about Jackson is that he’s never been an assistant coach before much less a head coach so personally, I question his resume for the job. While he is very basketball knowledgeable, it will be interesting how he handles adversity when it rears its ugly head. The one thing he has going for him is that he’s going to be a players coach. He was a player, he gets players, they’ll respect him. That is very important in today’s NBA. While some are questioning the decision to hire Jackson, I believe he will do at least a decent job but I have a feeling that he’s going to be successful in Golden State. Either way, the team by the bay just got much more interesting. They have holes a plenty on that team and there’s been a lot of talk about splitting up Monta Ellis and Steph Curry, two undersized guards who both struggle on the defensive end of the floor. I just have a feeling that Jackson is going to be a success at Golden State but only time will tell. For the meantime, I say congrats Mark Jackson and I’m interested to see his personel moves going forward this offseason.

Update: Hornets assistant Mike Malone is expected to become top assistant with the Warriors. He will be offered an “extremely lucrative” deal to join GSW instead of Mike Brown’s Lakers staff.

Update 2: Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Malone has now agreed to join Mark Jackson’s staff with the Warriors as Jackson’s top aide.

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Knicks to Work Out 6 Players Tuesday

According to Tommy Dee the Knicks will be working out the following players on Tuesday June 7.

Norris Cole, G, 6-2, 170, Cleveland State, senior

Gary Flowers, F, 6-8, 214, Southern Mississippi, senior

Josh Harrellson, F, 6-10, 275, Kentucky, senior

Demetri McCamey, G, 6-3, 205, Illinois, senior

Malcolm Thomas, F, 6-9, 220, San Diego State, senior

Nikola Vucevic, F, 6-10, 240, Southern California, junior

Cole is a point guard from Cleveland State that quietly averaged 21 points a game last season. I like this guy in that he’s not overly athletic but he’s got a good basketball IQ and he’s a good shooter. I think he could be a steal in the early 2nd round. I don’t like Gary Flowers. He’s a tweener, he has to add size and he’s had off court issues. I don’t think he’ll be drafted but you never know. I really like Josh Harrellson, he reminds me of Josh McRoberts from Indiana. I would definitely condone the Knicks purchasing his rights in the 2nd round. He’s a good rebounder and a great energy guy. He’s the kind of Nick Collison type player that I think every team needs. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes. Demetri McCamey is a big point guard that is somewhat raw but he’s got the frame to at least be an excellent defender if not a good point guard in the NBA. He has a lot of range on his jump shot but he’s not a great athlete. He’ll probably be a 2nd round pick, I assume around the 45-50th selection. I like Malcolm Thomas a lot. While he’s undersized at 6-9, he’s got a 7’1 wingspan and a really good motor. He’s almost tailor made for what the Knicks need. He’s a great defender, a great athlete, and a very solid rebounder. His scoring is decent although he has a weak jump shot. He’d be another great player for the Knicks to acquire in the 2nd round if the price is right.

If I was picking for New York with the 17th selection, I would take a long hard look at Nikola Vucevic from USC. ESPN has him listed as a 7 footer with a 7’5 wingspan. He reminds me a lot of Andrea Bargnani except that he’s also a good rebounder and defender as well. He really came into his own last season averaging 17 ppg and 10 boards. I think he’d be a real nice fit either coming off the bench or next to Stoudemire in the starting lineup. At 260 pounds, I believe he has the size to play center and his toughness in the post will come with time.
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