Fun Friday: Let's Play GM

So you are Phil Jackson and you’ve got the eighth pick in yesterday’s NBA Draft. 

You want a guard who can be a franchise player for the Knicks.

You can take Malik Monk, Dennis Smith Jr, or Frank Ntilikina.

Who do you pick?

I don’t know much about Frank Ntilikina. I sure hope he lives up to whatever Phil Jackson saw in him. 

But I fell in love with Malik Monk’s game in the NCAA tournament. He’d have been my pick.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Anaafi Okraku

    Fred, I am not sure who I would have drafted, as as a born and raised Toronto fan, but I sure hope the Knicks don’t trade Portzingis or for unproven draft night picks.That would be disasterous for the Knicks.On a side note, Carmelo deserves better than constant friction with Jackson and should welcome a trade to leave NY.

    1. JamesHRH

      Raps got a break picking up OG. Wing defenders are vital.Hopefully, Masai can trick someone into taking JV off his hands.

      1. Anaafi Okraku

        One analyst was saying OG could be the next Dramond Green.I heard the Raps were trying to packaging JV and the 23rd pick. The Raps have to get better to get past Cleveland. Heck they have to get better to close the gap with the war chest Celtics have been building.Curious question James, what are your issues with JV?

        1. JamesHRH

          Love him as a human – hard worker, improves every year.But not mobile enough to be a Steven Adams ( set screens, roll to rim, D the pick&roll, hit the boards) and he can’t shoot the 3.Adams makes $20M; JV gets $16M – bad contract.His post game is solid, but the Spurs are unloadig Aldridge b/c solid post play is not as efficient as solid spread pick & roll Drive & Drilll 3s play.He’s an anachronism.

    2. creative group

      Anaafi Okraku:Camelo Anthony should just wait out Phil Jackson. They both only have two yearsremaining on their contracts.

  2. Tom Labus

    Knicks are a mess and may be like that for awhile . But, there’s a glimmer of hope in Brooklyn.

  3. Salt Shaker

    The team’s GM publicly derides and alienates his two best players (Melo & KP), plus is wed to a system that no one wants to play for (The Triangle), just to maintain a legacy that increasingly is linked to the good fortune of having the two best players to ever play the game (Michael & Kobe). Phil is the Travis Kalinick of the NBA, a candidate for a board uprising, except there’s no board to step in, only a born on third base owner who defines the word clueless. It frankly doesn’t really matter too much who they draft as long as Corporate America continues to fill seats and fund MSG’s coffers, though I too would have chosen Monk over Frank N. (Remember the last “great” Frenchman the Knicks picked was Frederic Weis. Hopefully this pick turns out a bit better.)

    1. JamesHRH

      Bang on.Phil is worst of leaders – cares mostly about the past, with his remaining caring dedicated to ‘keep cashing dem checks.’Present and future of no interest.Its weird but true, at its heart, NYC is a hoops town.

      1. Jeremy Robinson

        What’s so weird- Basketball is largely an Black urban neighborhood- Ghetto game. and we have Rucker playground and a zillion other places.

    2. creative group

      Salt Shaker:We concur. This is painful to watch. James Dolan doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Charles Dolan built Cablevision which his son inherited. James Dolan wants to be a blues artist. Please sell MSG group. He was playing with his band yesterday and admitted he wasn’t even paying attention to the draft. Just awful.

    3. LE

      True even I know who Dolan is. Sure he was born on third base but does that automatically mean that someone who earned their way to owning a team somehow is better qualified to own one (in terms of decision making, specifically a team and not a business?)Corporate America continues to fill seats and fund MSG’s coffersHow is it that corporate america is filling seats? Don’t they spend their money where the fans go? In that case isn’t it the fans that are to blame for continued patronage if you want to call it that? And of course they will patronize the team and it’s games. Partly limited sports supply and part intermittent reinforcement. Maybe part continuing to have interest in train wrecks.Phil is the Travis Kalinick of the NBAkalinick created a great deal of value though.

      1. Salt Shaker

        NYC corps buy season seats at MSG as an entertainment expense. There’s a larger pool of companies in the NY/metro market that can afford the outrageous pricing vs. other markets. A big rev advantage, plus team ownership also has a controlling interest in MSG Network, the cable network. MSG was dated as a venue in a number of areas, including the number of corporate suites. Renovation of the arena a few years ago created a state-of-the-art-venue (kudos for Dolan for that, it’s beautiful) but most fans can’t afford to attend. Yes, fans are partially responsible for purchasing an inferior product, but a good chunk of continued patronage and seasonal sales falls on biz who treat as a write-off, so winning/losing is a bit less relevant than to a fan who is out of pocket.Virtually all teams owners are self made men w/ a track record of enormous personal success. Good team owners, w/ either earned or inherited wealth, hire and defer to a staff of professionals. Dolan meddles (e.g., acquiring Carmelo Anthony). No prob if team is successful, but the Knicks have been a disaster w/ both player and coaching personnel. George Steinbrenner (Yanks) and Jerry Jones (Cowboys) were/are also notorious meddlers but the diff is their teams consistently won.

        1. LE

          Can’t dispute your point about self made men hiring professionals (although I now of cases where that is not the case but still I am sure you are probably right on that).NYC corps buy season seats at MSG as an entertainment expense. True (and yes NY Metro is unique) however they wouldn’t be paying that money if the people who they comped (employees, customers, vendors) didn’t value the experience or reinforce the behavior. So it still comes down in the end to the people. And I don’t think it’s because they are getting tickets at no cost either.I guess the conclusion is it’s not all about winning but the experience of attending a game.The funny thing is this. I have no interest at all in sports. Zip. But I’d still love to own a team for some reason.

          1. Salt Shaker

            To your last point, w/ over 300K shareholders the Green Bay Packers are the only community-owned franchise in U.S. professional sports. I’m amazed this model hasn’t been replicated, even on a small equity or micro share basis w/ other pro teams. Shares can be passed along generationally creating loyalty and a badge of honor that comes w/ ownership, even if it’s minute. League by laws may be restrictive, w/ the Packers grandfathered in.

          2. creative group

            LE: “I have no interest at all in sports” ?How did your no sports interest develop?You couldn’t play sports?Not promoted in your household?

          3. LE

            A) couldn’t play sports and B) not promoted in our household. (My dad was an immigrant who had no childhood where he grew up essentially). I like the business of sports (and will typically read WSJ articles on this) but like anything else it’s a bit like art, music or film. You have to acquire a taste for and an understanding to enjoy. There are of course downsides to not enjoying sports. But the upside is you have an incredible amount of free time to spend on other things that are probably equally entertaining.

          4. creative group

            LE:Thanks for the insight. We enjoy both perspectives on sports.

        2. PhilipSugar

          Agreed.Wait till the Raiders move to Vegas. Hey High Roller from MN, want a ticket to that game? Buy this package.As a Texan who loved Tex Schramm and Tom Landry with a born distrust of Arkansas Oil Men (My Dad was an East Texan one), I think Jerry finally figured out that the reason why he won in the beginning was because of Jimmy Johnson, and took decades to figure out that he needed to give up control.Proof? Cowboys built their O-Line first.

      2. Jeremy Robinson

        What a great/sad/unfortunate characterization of Jackson comparing him to deposed CEO of Uber. As Tom Cruise’s commanding officer said to him in “Top Gun” “Your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.” Phil was a great, great coach. As a Basketball President and GM, he is one of the worst to have ever held that position in the history of the NBA. Right now, he’s just making decisions to show his defiance of others. The 18-year French kid will never become a factor on the Knicks. Monk, however, would have provided immediate scoring punch. Jackson is an idiot as a Knicks President. Amazing he’s even worse than many other horrible GMs before him but he is.

        1. creative group

          Jeremy Robinson:We embrace major New York sports teams being: NY Giants, NY Yankees, NY Knicks, NY Rangers (Playoffs only).Hard not to argue your point regarding Phil Jackson but Isaiah Thomas put Phil Jackson in second place. Under Isaiah the Knicks just finished paying off the contracts of Allan Houston and Marbury a few years ago. Former GM Donny Walsh of Indiana Pacers fame got the Knicks back to respectability and they fired him. (Horrible) Just ridiculous!

          1. Jeremy Robinson

            Good point. Jackson is horrible but Thomas even more horrible [horrible-er]. How do we conjugate most horrible? A bad contest to be in- especially for the long-suffering NY Knick fan.

    4. creative group

      Salt Shaker:the NBA scouts are comparing Frank Ntilikina to point guard Emmanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets.

  4. JamesHRH

    Well, first, doesn’t Mailk Monk just sound like a Knick?Nitty is a project – you won’t hear or see much about him while he will be stashed in Europe for a couple of years.I would have taken Monk too.

  5. TeddyBeingTeddy

    My theory is that Jackson hates the Knicks deep down and wants to sink the ship. Akin to what that GS exec did when he took over Merrill Lynch.

  6. pointsnfigures

    Maybe package Melo and the pick to trade down, get picks next year and pick Monk. I don’t know much about the Bulls pick but the short video I saw shows he has a classic stroke on his jumper. I like trading Butler because the Bulls needed to retool anyway. Would be good for them to move Wade as well, and then play the kids.

  7. Frank W. Miller

    As someone who waited for Anthony to win for years in Denver, I’d say the first thing is to dump him. Just fire him and take the loss. He’s that bad.

    1. JamesHRH

      He is one of the all time unstoppable 1on1 scorers.Its just a skill with no value now.And he never committed to D.

  8. Dan Ramsden

    Phil hasn’t underachieved in talent assessment so far, so hopefully these picks will work out in terms of talent. Where Phil has done poorly has been in chemistry building, which was actually supposed to be a strength, and not only in terms of personal chemistry but on-court chemistry. Two principal missteps: (1) coaching selections… to combine a rookie GM with a rookie coach in the first case, and a rookie triangle guy in the second case, while asking veteran players to change their games in both cases, is probably not ideal… and (2) the Chicago trade, as he should have known that Rose would not fit well in a motion system (the Bulls played a very different game), while giving up one of the most valuable system pieces we had, Lopez. All of these are chemistry blunders, not talent judgment… the talent of the coaches and Rose are not in question.Along the same lines, as much as KP and Melo may appreciate each other, there is a chemistry situation there as well because both essentially play the same position. Carmelo is no longer a natural 3, does much better at 4, and KP isn’t a natural 5. (And besides, Hernangomez and O’Quinn do well enough in the post and probably shouldn’t move away from there.) The situation is mildly reminiscent of the Latrell/Houston SG clog in the 2000 era. Some argued then that Spree should have played point, which was tried for about 4 minutes with a big-backcourt experiment to no avail. In the current case, the system is less position-reliant on offense, so that’s good… but defense still requires the wing guy to guard fast opposition, which neither Carmelo nor KP are likely to do very well at SF. And neither of these two should go to the bench… so the pieces just don’t fit. Unfortunately, I think Phil is probably right to seek a trade for one of them… Depending on who comes back, it could be a good chemistry move.As far as the picks, I don’t think it matters all that much right now, I think we’re just stockpiling assets there at point guard, probably to open up trade options. Depending on who stays and who goes, and who we get in return, that will determine the chemistry value of last night’s draft.

    1. JaredMermey

      Phil has only made two truly horrible mistake: the Noah contract and giving Melo and no-trade clause (I think he was there by the time they made this second mistake).The Rose deal was worth the risk as the downside only is letting him go this summer. They were able to get out of the Lopez contract. Though he has turned into a decent play for CHI, he did not fit into the Knicks’ system, rebuild arc, or salary cap.Not trading Melo when he had value was an mistake, but not horrible. It probably pushed back a rebuild by 1-2 years but it did not make a rebuild impossible. What it does do is make both this year’s and next year’s picks incredibly important. Frank and [2018 first rounder] will team with KP, Kuzminksas (sneaky old) and Willie to form the new nucleus. The quality of this nucleus will affect if:1) KP Re-signs: perhaps he has successfully bluffed but he does not appear to be so inclined to auto-resign for his second contract to get the extra money like most young stars do2) Ability to recruit FA: The sad part of Phil’s handling of the team is NY is no longer a destination that FAs take seriously. The bright lights and Madison Ave money mean less than ever, as players begin to favor well run organizations (GS, BOS, SA, MIA). A good young core will help turn this around.The best thing the Knicks can do is trade everyone not on a rookie contract for literally whatever they can get. Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, Kyle O’Quinn and Melo all have value to someone. Get whatever they can and let the rebuild begin. It will be slow, but at least it will happen. Much better than NBA purgatory that is the late lottery/early playoff exit.

      1. Dan Ramsden

        Well, Jared, I respectfully disagree. I think in basketball the success of personnel decisions is much more determined by fit than by individual achievement. That’s one of the things that makes the game so interesting and yet so difficult. Regardless, to be a Knicks fan is to suffer… I think we can agree on that.

        1. JaredMermey

          Yes – thank goodness not a Jets fan as well

    2. creative group

      Dan Ramsden:”while giving up one of the most valuable system pieces we had, Lopez. All of these are chemistry blunders, not talent judgment… the talent of the coaches and Rose are not in question”————–We will not question your understanding of the nuance of chemistry verse talent evaluation. When you acquire the right talent you assess if they will blend withthe current chemistry. They go hand in hand.Latrell Sprewell may have not been a great example when he just didn’t get along with anyone including himself. The same Latrell Sprewell out of the University of Alabama (Robert Horry was his teammate) who was selected with the 24th pick by the Golden State Warriors in the 1992 draft put the benched injured Patrick Ewing and company on his back and played in the 1999 NBA finals. (Real Knick supporters, fans, etc. will always be grateful for that accomplishment and the dropping 49 points on the hated Celtics in 2000)Captain Obvious….

      1. Dan Ramsden

        We are in categorical agreement, all of us, and passionately on Latrell, who was our collective favorite. He got along very well with LJ by the way, our other favorite.

  9. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Casual fans be damned!Fred:We view the point guards who were drafted after Frank Ntilikina would have been great selections. Frank Ntilikina with his International play makes him NBA ready but still unproven.Franks shot percentage requires work. But based upon need and the Knicks needs at both guard positions and Power Forward and Center and Frank Ntilikina willingness in interviews to play in the triangle system made Phil Jackson choose him. (Phil Jackson isn’t the best shopper of groceries, *Clarence Gaines, Jr. VP of Player Personnel earns the credit for the KP and Ntilikina draft selection) Phil Jackson has shown he is petty and not fit to be a GM based upon his unprofessional rhetoric and divisive diatribes. The worst owner in modern pro sports hands down is James “Silver spoon up the” Dolan.Malik Monk has the ability to play point guard but the position he played was shooting guard next to explosive point guard Fox at Kentucky.Rant for the week. We apologize in advance.

  10. Will Luttrell

    Kentucky alum and lifelong UK fan.Monk is going to be an All-Star in the NBA. He’s a better shooter than Devin Booker was, and that’s saying a lot.

    1. Jeremy Robinson

      Not sure Monk is that good but I agree he’s going to have a solid career and would have provided immediate positive impact on the Knicks scoring punch.

    2. PhilipSugar

      As a Kentucky Colonel I agree.

  11. george

    Maybe Phil’s a contrarian investor; the high percentage players haven’t always worked out that well for the Knicks. Can’t blame him, if the business model isn’t working, change it.