Tag: Quentin Richardson

Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler

ProBasketballTalk 2013-14 Preview: The New York Knicks


Last season: If you’ll recall, New York’s offseason leading up to last year was widely regarded as a joke. Jeremy Lin was let go, Raymond Felton was brought in, and then the Knicks seemed to sign all the oldest players available in free agency. But with the benefit of hindsight, the Knicks did about as well as you could hope for given their lack of flexibility thanks to Amar’e Stoudemire’s albatross of a contract.

Maybe it’s because a championship was never a realistic goal, but the New York’s season felt like a resounding success. Winning 54 games, battling a very, very good Indiana Pacers team in the second round of the playoffs, and developing a style of play to set the table for future teams turned what should have been a wasted season into a building block going forward.

Signature highlight from last season: Do we really have to pick just one from the KnicksTape? Well, alright.

Key player changes:

IN: Metta World Peace, Beno Udrih, Andrea Bargnani, Tim Hardaway, Jr.

OUT: Chris Copeland (signed with IND), Jason Kidd (retired), Marcus Camby (traded to TOR), Steve Novak (traded to TOR), Quentin Richardson (traded to TOR), Kurt Thomas (retired), Rasheed Wallace (retired), James White (released)

The Knicks certainly added some players with name recognition, and replaced a lot of end of the bench filler with some pretty solid depth. Buying way, way low on Andrea Bargnani is a risk worth taking (if it wasn’t for that rascally draft pick surrendered), and Udrih and MWP can still produce, even if their games are in the shadows of their names at this point.

The biggest mistake may have been letting go of Chris Copeland. He was under-utilized last year under head coach Mike Woodson, and his ability to stretch the floor and score might be missed. Seeing him go to a conference rival had to sting.

Keys to the Knicks’ season:

1. Can the 3-point barrage continue?

No team in NBA history attempted or made more 3-pointers than the Knicks did last season. The decision to fire up an unheard of amount of 3-pointers certainly paid off, as the Knicks pieced together the 3rd best offensive efficiency in the league last year. The Knicks are on to something on the offensive side of the ball, but can they keep it up with all the personnel changes?

Jason Kidd’s shooting ability with his feet set and his masterful extra passes on the perimeter helped father New York’s perimeter ball sharing that led to a lot of really high quality looks. He’ll be missed along with matchup nightmare Chris Copeland, and it will be interesting to see if Udrih and Bargnani curtail their usual mid-range based attacks and opt to take more 3-pointers. Will old habits die hard?

2. Can Tyson Chandler hold the defense together?

Thanks to a little duct tape, WD-40 and the presence of Tyson Chandler in the middle, the Knicks were able to muster out the 18th best defensive efficiency mark in the league. Now, that might not sound great, but given the injuries, age, and minus defenders on the roster, it probably should have been much worse.

There is good news on the horizon though. Iman Shumpert is fully recovered from his ACL injury, Pablo Prigioni is a known entity now, and Metta World Peace and Tim Hardaway, Jr. should provide some muscle and speed on the perimeter. Ultimately, however, everything defensively for the Knicks boils down to the big man in the middle. If Tyson Chandler gets hurt for an extended period of time, this thing could ugly fast. Having Kenyon Martin a full season will help, but the Knicks will be playing defensive sieves like Bargnani and Stoudemire real minutes. Chandler has to be healthy, and he has to erase a ton of mistakes his frontcourt partners are bound to make.

Something to keep in mind: Over the last decade, no team with a defensive efficiency worse than 15th in the league has made an NBA Finals. Only 20% of those below-average defensive teams have made the playoffs.

3. Can all the personalities co-exist?

The Knicks are two-deep at every position. Everyone won’t be healthy at the same time, but it isn’t hard to imagine there being junctures where playing time becomes a big issue in the locker room. Adding Metta World Peace to this eclectic group of characters may seem like it would push this thing over the top, but in reality the Knicks played some of the most unselfish ball in the league last year. So long as Carmelo is getting his, J.R. is allowed to be J.R., and the big dog in the paint gets fed every now and then, the Knicks just might make it. But if they don’t, it will sure be entertaining.

Why you should watch the Knicks: When Carmelo Anthony catches fire, there isn’t much quite like it in the NBA. The Knicks are a little goofy, but a lot of fun to watch offensively when the ball is really swinging around the horn. Also, J.R. Smith is a national treasure.

Prediction: 51-31. For all the hand-wringing over the Bargnani deal, the Knicks didn’t seem to do an awful lot to swing the needle either way this offseason. There might be some early stumbles as the new additions acclimate to their roles, but so long as Carmelo Anthony is on the floor and the threes keep flying, the Knicks have enough firepower to be finish safely in the 50 win area. That said, this preview will self-destruct if Chandler misses a significant amount of time.

Raptors invite recent AfroBasket MVP to training camp

1 Comment

Carlos Morais is not a household name in North America, but he is a large part of the reason Angola has become one of the best teams in Africa. Morais, a point guard, led Angola to the AfroBasket championship this summer and was named tournament MVP averaging 15.9 points per game.

Now he’s going to get a look at life in the NBA.

The Toronto Raptors have invited Morais to their training camp, reports the Toronto Sun. This is a non-guaranteed contract.

It’s a longshot but he could potentially make the roster as Toronto cut loose veteran Quentin Richardson. Morais, Julyan Stone and Chris Wright will try to prove they deserve that spot.

Report: Toronto Raptors waive Quentin Richardson

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks

New York igned and traded Quentin Richardson with a three-year deal as part of the Andrea Bargnani deal, however Toronto wasn’t interested in him as a player. He and his salary were needed to make the trade work out, that was it.

The Raptors have a glut of players on the wing and planned to trade him or waive him… the answer is the latter.

Toronto waived Quentin Richardson on Friday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Richardson, 33, was owed the veteran league minimum of $1.4 million this season but the second and third years of deal were not guaranteed, according to Sham Sports. That means Richardson still counts against the Raptors cap this year but not in future years.

Last season a young Magic team didn’t play Richardson and eventually swallowed his $5 million salary to waive him. The Knicks signed him for the playoffs but he played a total of 14 minutes in five games in the postseason for New York.

At his age and with his game declining, it’s going to be hard for him to catch back on with a team.

Thursday And-1 Links: Dion Waiters party angers neighbors

Dion Waiters

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• Dion Waters was part of the attraction at an evening pool party outside Philadelphia that was supposed to have 100 people and be dry (not the pool part), but ended up with more like 700 people, loud music, a lot of drinking and more. You can imagine how well this went over with the neighbors.

Nicole Richie wanted to learn more about basketball. Who would you ask to learn about the game? Timberwolves forward Lazar Hayward of course? What, you had a better option?

• Corey Maggette continues to study up on landing a front office role when he is done playing.

• Dorell Wright sees himself as a point forward who thinks he could end up playing every position but the five for the Trail Blazers this season.

• From that same story, his 5-year-old son’s name is Devin Quentin Dwyane Wright. The to-be father got to choose the middle names and wanted to honor Quentin Richardson and Dwyane Wade.

• Jason Quick of the Oregonian is leaving the Trail Blazers beat, and that is a loss for all of us who follow the game. He was one of the best beat writers out there. Quick talked with Blazers Edge about why he wanted out.

• Interesting interview where BBallBreakdown’s Coach Nick talks to advanced analytics guy Ben Alamar about the impact of the new breed of stats on the game.

• Leandro Barbosa is back doing on-court workouts following his ACL surgery. He’s still looking for an NBA contract.

• I love how the Ed O’Bannon case has the NCAA clearly scared. Now the NCAA is asking for a 15-month delay in the trial.

• Heidi Ueberroth, President of NBA International, is stepping down at the end of the year. Don’t expect that to change the league’s drive to grow internationally, David Stern is making that his focus when he steps down as commissioner in February. Ueberroth is staying on in a consulting role.

• Finally, Matt Barnes and Snoop Dogg hosted a charity flag football game in Los Angeles last weekend. Here are some highlights.

Magic let $17 million trade exception received in the Dwight Howard deal expire

Dwight Howard

When Orlando traded Dwight Howard to the Lakers last summer, the team did so with a long-term vision of entering a full-fledged rebuild in mind.

Made simpler, it meant that unless something truly incredible came across the desk of Magic GM Rob Hennigan, that it was fairly likely that the $17.8 million traded player exception the team received in the deal for Howard would go unused.

That’s exactly what ended up happening, as the exception expired at midnight on Sunday.

Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld explains in a little more detail the reasons behind the Magic’s decision not to use it:

The problem with the Magic doing anything meaningful with the TPE is Orlando is still on the hook for the final $22.346 million year of Gilbert Arena’s contract, a contract that was waived using the amnesty provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It removed that figure from the Magic’s salary cap, but still remains a bill the Magic have to pay.

The Magic also cut Quentin Richardson last year ($2.808 million this year) and Al Harrington this summer ($3.574 million this year and $3.804 million next year), leaving the Magic with more than $28.72 million payable to players no longer on the roster in addition to the $52.122 million owed to guys that will play this year.

Using the $17.816 million TPE would have only added to those numbers and there simply wasn’t anything worth doing that could justify spending more than the already committed $80.84 million.

Essentially, there are too many dollars already being paid to guys who aren’t playing in order for the team to take on any more salary to pay guys who will.

The only way to justify adding to the already astronomical payroll figure would be by adding a top-five NBA player to the roster. Since that level of talent is rarely available (and it wasn’t this past offseason, unless you count Howard), it’s no surprise that the Magic sat tight, content to rebuild through the draft at the team’s own pace.