Tag:Donnie Walsh
Posted on: August 17, 2010 5:20 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 10:21 pm
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Carmelo actually plausible for Knicks?

In a time when they have few real options for upgrades, Carmelo Anthony presents a unique opportunity for the Knicks, and one they need to cash in on immediately.
Posted by Matt Moore


The best and worst thing about the New York Knicks (beyond intangible things like history and their fans) is James Dolan. For all his gaffes, his petulant silence , and most damning, for his continued association with Isiah Thomas, the harbinger of New York Basketball Doom, Dolan brings the checkbook. And that's relevant. You don't have to be a big spender in a big market. Look at Donald Sterling. Or Jerry Reinsdorf. You can pull a profit, enjoy the perks, and not push the bill. But Dolan, for better or worse, spends money to try and make the Knicks a contender.

The problem? He's been willing to make deals and put his name on the marker for decisions that it wouldn't have taken much to refute. Say, calling a few friends to ask if they were good ideas. Or opening a window. Asking a taxi driver. Using the internet . Any of these options would have given him some level of insight that hey, you know what I shouldn't do? Anything Isiah Thomas tells me.

The result is that the Knicks are a team you can 100% count on to spend money to improve their team. Dolan will dive into the luxury tax like it's a nice warm pool. He's also had to do that in order for Donnie Walsh to clean up the mess at Madison Square Garden. It hasn't just taken money, but draft picks and roster compromises, though, and that's why they're seldom considered "on the rise" despite their summer overhaul.

The worst move of Donnie Walsh's time in New York was his concession of picks in the Tracy McGrady deal. The plan was simple. Get cap space to bring in two max free agents, regardless of what it takes. But in doing so, they agreed to swap with the Rockets next season (unless the Knicks get the top overall pick, in which case Walsh has bigger issues), and surrender their 2012 first rounder. This is after having to give the Jazz their 2010 pick in the last of the Isiah Thomas collateral damage.

For a team trying to go young, rebuild, and refigure, those draft picks are gold. Or more accurately, perhaps, they're timber. Imagine you're playing one of those civilization video games. You can harvest tons of crops, and train lots of soldiers. But if you don't have timber, you're not building any structures for them to live in. That's what draft picks are. And if the Knicks were going to try and aim for a top player in the league to team with Amar'e Stoudemire, fresh of the free agency gravy train, they needed those picks. It's why a deal with New Orleans was highly unlikely for New York, regardless of Chris Paul's wedding toast.

Quite simply, the reason most NBA fans and media don't think their team will trade with the Knicks is that they simply don't have anything to give back.

Which is why the Carmelo Anthony situation presents such a unique opportunity for the New York.

With Ken Berger's multiple reports that Anthony is angling his way out of Denver and recent word that the Nuggets have started to deal with that reality , even as they try and lock in a new GM, the Knicks are most talked-about as a destination. But Nuggets fans of course don't think the Knicks can return enough assets or, as I said, picks, to make the deal. But if you're looking at the big black barrel of losing Melo in free agency, the Knicks actually have a package that could be enough for Denver, if Denver doesn't take a hard line and if New York doesn't attach itself to outdated ideas.

First, you need money to make up for Melo's contract. That means Eddy Curry. And while taking on Curry may seem a bitter pill for Nuggets fans ("Trading Carmelo Anthony for Eddy Curry?! This is madness!" No, this is the NBA post-Miami Triad), his expiring contract will put them in a position to start rebuilding, which is what happens after you lose a star of Melo's magnitude. Next, they would acquire Wilson Chandler, which again, isn't a sterling asset, but is at least a capable scorer with a reasonable contract and would fill some of the gap. The big talent target, though, would be Danillo Galinari. The Rooster gives the Nuggets a pure scorer with as sweet a stroke as you'll find the league, young, versatile, and capable of playing at Melo's position. Throw in some 2014-2020 picks, and the package isn't toxic. It's not good, but it's more than what the Cavs got from Miami absconding with LeBron James.

There are other options, like recently acquired Anthony Randolph or tantalizing combo-guard Toney Douglas. But the point is the same. The Knicks can't offer a lot of teams what they would want for a star, and can't offer what the Nuggets would want in fair return for Carmelo Anthony. But that's honestly impossible to begin with. Either you're willing to trade Melo for less than he's worth, or you're not willing to trade him. Otherwise you're just standing there, saying "Multipass!" and not understanding why the strange man keeps looking at you longingly. And with the current NBA economic situation, with the CBA future in doubt, the Knicks provide an ideal partner, surprisingly.

Any deal for Anthony will be contingent on an extend-and-trade, where Melo gets the three-year, $65 million extension the Nuggets are offering and gets the new team. The trade partner has to not only be able to swallow his current contract, but willing to take on that kind of deal with the looming possibility of a greatly reduced and possibly hardened salary cap coming about from the CBA talks next summer. To handle that contingency, you need someone with deep pockets. A little down the road, whoever does take Carmelo and his extension, even if it's the Nuggets going forward, their ownership will likely resist any adjustment that eliminates their flexibility. Count Miami and Los Angeles in on supporting that paradigm.

Dolan's checkbook can speak volumes, for better or worse. And if the new CBA restructures the NBA to a hard cap, it'll be for the worse. But just as it's been in the past, Dolan and his wallet will cross that bridge when they get there.
Posted on: August 10, 2010 9:15 am
Edited on: August 10, 2010 11:45 am
 

Shootaround 8.10.10: LeBron goes on rides

Posted by Matt Moore
  • In a fitting retrospective of their careers , Michael Jordan will introduce Scottie Pippen at Friday's Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  Hopefully Jordan won't stop to make time to list off the remainders on his personal hitlist like last year. Pippen's speech is expected to be more of the traditional Hall of Fame speech, filled with gratitude toward teammates and humility. Though from what we know of Scottie, anything's possible.
  • Steve Nash has entered into business with a new firm merging venture capital and brand management. It's yet another indication that Nash's influence likely won't stop when his playing days are through. Nash has diversified his interests into business, charities, media, the works.
  • The NBA's overseas expansion continues, as the Raptors and Nets will play two regular season games in London next season. It's a fine effort for the league to try and grab some headlines with and to expand its global presence, but it's a back to back with an overseas flight bookending the games. That's going to wreak havoc on those team's schedules. Even with the low expectations for those two teams this year, that's a rough turn.
  • Donnie Walsh's contract must be extended by March 11th, 2011 . The Knicks will decide on whether to extend Walsh for that fourth year by then. Keep that in mind with all this talk of Isiah Thomas returning to the fold.
  • Eric Musselman has been tabbed as the Reno Bighorns' newest coach in the NBA D-League. Musselman was a D-League commentator last year for Versus.
Posted on: July 14, 2010 12:48 am
Edited on: July 14, 2010 1:03 am
 

Five GMs that could be the next to get the axe

Posted by Royce Young

Being in charge of a roster in any sport isn't as easy as us fans like to think it is. We have the ever-helpful tool of hindsight and we definitely use it every available opportunity.

And while GMs are often given time to develop their roster "vision" and plan, that doesn't mean they get forever, especially if the team stinks. Even if the plan is perfect, if the on-field or on-court results don't yield positivity, the chances of receiving a letter with the black spot on it increase exponentially. Ken Berger illustrates the ripple effect of firing a GM quite well in reference to the most recent dismissal, the Hornets' Jeff Bower.

So with four NBA general managers already being relieved of their duty this offseason, the obvious question is, who could be next? Who's on the hot seat and just how warm is it? Let's look at five captains that currently have warm backsides.

David Kahn, Minnesota Timberwolves

For whatever reason, I just feel like Kahn has some sort of trick up his sleeve. Surely these moves aren't really this nonsensical. Surely he has some sort of coherent plan, some kind of method to this madness. However, nothing indicates such a thing thus far.

With Tuesday's trade of former franchise man Al Jefferson to Utah for some draft picks and the rumored signing of a fourth point guard, Kahn's current reputation is nothing more than poster boy for clueless general managers. When writers are wondering if an avocado might make a better GM than you , that could be a warning that your seat is about to light on fire.

Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks

The pressure in New York is always higher. And plus when you campaign for a job behind the promise of luring LeBron James and then don't come through on that, things can tend to get a little dicey. But Walsh appears to have a quality plan. He's secured some cap space that will come in handy over the next few seasons when players like Carmelo Anthony become available.

However with the large signing of Amare Stoudemire and the overall deconstruction of the roster in order to build a winner through big signings, if Mike D'Antoni and crew don't deliver, Walsh may be putting his resume on CareerBuilder or actual might be retiring.

Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons
Dumars was once considered one of the best and brighest in the GMs in the game. And then Allen Iverson happened. A trade that sent fan favorite and champion Chauncey Billups to Denver for a washing-but-not-quite-washed-up AI is what sent Dumars' into a tailspin. It was a bold move which I can definitely respect in a league where bold moves often don't happen, but simply put, it crashed and burned. Dumars then gave Richard Hamilton a curiously large extension, inked Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva for too much money and hired and fired a coach within a calendar year.

This year is big for Dumars. The Pistons landed a potentially excellent big man in Greg Monroe in the draft, plus have some promising young players like Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey. But Detroit isn't the type of town that handles being in the lottery multiple years very well. Sure Dumars brought home the big trophy in 2004, but in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, Dumars' teams haven't done a lot lately.

Ernie Grunfeld, Washington Wizards
Yep, Grunfeld was gifted John Wall. And yep, Wall could potentially save a lot of people's jobs because he's really, really good. But the thing is, when you land a talent of Wall's caliber, the pressure immediately shifts to the GM. He's got to supply his new, shiny toy complementing pieces to make sure he succeeds. And so far, the jury's out as to if Grunfeld is doing that.

He's obviously trying to move Gilbert Arenas and his albatross of a contract to better make room for Wall. He brought in Kirk Hinrich who could be an excellent player next to Wall. He also grabbed Yi Jianlian from New Jersey. But the team doesn't figure to be a whole lot better this upcoming season and with some expectation in Wall, if he doesn't develop, it could the end for Grunfeld.

Ed Stefanski, Philadelphia 76ers
Why Stefanski? Elton Brand. Elton Brand says it all. When you ink a player to a huge deal and then one year later are publically shopping that player to unload what everyone agrees is a "bad contract" that means you probably screwed the pooch. And when that contract will likely haunt the franchise for multiple years, then you really know it was bad. And of course the hiring of Eddie Jordan only to fire him months later definitely doesn't look great. Strike one and two.

The 76ers haven't been a truly relevant contender since 2003. And it's not like the 76ers don't have talent. There's just no cohesion to the roster in general. Andre Iguodala is a quality player, but he's clearly not a leading man. You can't fault Stefanski for trying though. He drastically overpaid for Brand, but that's because he thought he was a piece away. Though there's certainly honor in that, that stuff doesn't matter to a frustrated fanbase. Landing the second overall pick and Evan Turner could be huge for Stefanski but if Turner and the team comes along slowly, that could be strike three.


Posted on: July 2, 2010 1:06 am
Edited on: July 2, 2010 1:29 am
 

Inside the Knicks' presentation to LeBron

Getty Images Forbes Magazine hits us with a pretty stunning scoop : the PowerPoint presentation the Knicks gave LeBron James Thursday morning, provided by a New York marketing firm, Interbrand.

The cliff notes? LeBron can make a billion dollars in New York, for sure. He might be able to in Chicago. He can't in Cleveland or Miami. So naturally, he should come to New York! He has the highest potential earnings through the entirety of the contract by nearly $300 million more than the runner-up, Cleveland. The core of the message is this: It's not just about a bigger market. It's about New York's market specifically, and that's where the money is .

Okay, that's the short story. Here's the full monty. We're going to walk you through the slides step by step to point out some relevant factors. I'd definitely take a long read through that Forbes article and the accompanying PowerPoint:

Slide 1: Don't know if that picture of LeBron is the best you could have used. He doesn't look majestic; he looks like he's scared of some monster chasing him from behind. But a smart move pulling a picture of him from Team USA. No brand attachment to Cleveland and it prompts the memories of how Kobe Bryant was a bigger deal in China in 2008 because of the championships.

Slide 2: Some backside kissing of James and the work he's put in, and then the exposition of the study's intent. This is our first big revelation of the study. Interbrand examined four teams for the study, based on estimated market impact: the Knicks, the Bulls, the Heat, and the Cavs. Notice who's missing there? The Nets. There is no mention of the Nets throughout the entire presentation, despite the very frontal attack the Nets have laid on the Knicks as the key to the New York market. With all of the extraneous business opportunities the Nets are offering James through their move to Brooklyn in 2012, this could be a huge mistake. James and company had just gotten through listening to the Nets pitch when the Knicks came in and completely ignored the team that had been in the building twenty seconds before, and whose minority owner is a close friend and mentor to LeBron. Comparing New York to the other markets is a great idea. Ignoring an attempt to differentiate between the Knicks and Nets was a mistake that easily could have been rectified.

Slide 3: Provides a background to Interbrand and what they were attempting to focus on with this study. "Lifetime earnings" is a key factor. This entire study is built upon the concept that James' next stop is his last.

Slide 4: Methodology of what Interbrand looked at and how they modeled it. It's a conceptually strong slide, even if it doesn't actually provide examples of how it quantifies factors (like the post-retirement economic models of players like Wilt Chamberlain and Reggie Miller, especially when outside of Michael Jordan, those players considered really can't be compared to LeBron's theoretical revenue stream). Then again, I sincerely doubt James is going to be looking for them to provide their formulas and double checking with his own advanced statistics team.

Slide 5: A nifty graphic that illustrates the data movement that helps Interbrand quantify brand strength. Interesting stuff. If you're a marketing executive in New York with an emphasis on sports. Literally dozens of people are captivated.

Slide 6: A look at revenue streams analyzed for the presentation. Interestingly, it starts with International "partnerships' which are differentiated from sponsorships. Only local endorsements are considered. Which is particularly odd since it doesn't at all go after the "in the Internet age, anyone can build an empire from anywhere" argument. The entire presentation is built on busting that concept, and the study deftly avoids it. It's hard to say if that's a strength or weakness of the presentation.

Slide 7: Interbrand's assumptions for the study: A. James will play till he's 38 (unlikely, and given the exponential year over year balance is a significant factor, kind of an important one, B. James is finishing his career with the next team he signs with (yes, because the one thing in the NBA is that things always work out as both teams think they will when they sign) and C. the model is built on the current CBA model. This makes sense given the impossibility of predicting the next CBA and that NBA salary represents such a small amount of impact on the results of the study.

Slide 8: Four factors considered in the analysis. The key take away here are on the final two points. Championships are most important, but winning a championship matters more in certain markets than others. And secondly, and this is an odd one, the longer a franchise goes without a championship, the greater the impact on the player that gets them there. This fails to consider the historic impact of previous championships. It also seems like a pretty custom tailored argument for New York (more so than the rest of the presentation). "Sure, we haven't been relevant in thirty years, but that's a good thing!"

Slide 9: A numbers breakdown. Clearly, New York outperforms the others. An interesting note, among interesting notes, is how high Cleveland ranks on these measures, despite market size, which is a key element of the rest of the study. Also, the franchise impact of the Knicks is over four times as great as Chicago . This despite Chicago having had the greatest player of all time inside of 15 years, having a massively popular merchandising brand, and operating in a major market. That the Knicks are more powerful is no shock. That they are that much more powerful is kind of stunning for a team best known in recent history for Jeff Van Gundy holding a guy's leg and John Starks getting worked by Reggie Miller.

Slide 10-13: Team by team breakdowns of the four factors and relevant takeaways. Cleveland is relevant based on the "hometown hero" concept. The study clearly is aimed not at trashing Cleveland (and offending LeBron), but taking out the rest of the competitors and looking better than Cleveland overall. Chicago and Miami bear the brunt, as Chicago is considered too volatile thanks to Jordan's shadow, and Miami is basically tossed aside as irrelevant.

Slide 14: Conclusion: "Knicks rule!" Basically, if James wins a championship and he's in New York, that's the optimum situation for him to make the most money and expand his brand the most. It's not a particularly stirring conclusion considering the Knicks both requisitioned and presented the study, but it doesn't exactly come off as the most in-depth, objective analysis. Then again, when Mike D'Antoni's also telling you he can help you average a triple double, it probably sounds pretty good.

Slide 15: No, thank you , Interbrand.

All in all, the Knicks did a good job of finding data that attacked its competitors while not coming off as tyrannical or arrogant. It simplifies the argument while providing evidence to support the common sense argument. "New York is better." The Knicks needed to prove to James that concept was sound while pitching him on the basketball side with D'Antoni. It's a fascinating insight into how this free-agency period is being played by the teams who are brokering with this monstrous class of players.

-Matt Moore




Posted on: July 1, 2010 2:54 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2010 9:46 pm
 

Free-agency layup line: Knicks, Nets feuding

All of the little free agency stories that flow through. We'll have several of these throughout the day, updated regularly.

Okay, a lot is going on with LeBron today. Try and keep up.

First off, the gigantic 225-by-95 foot mural of Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov that the Nets installed outside of Madison Square Garden has irritated MSG chairman James Dolan so much that he called minority owner Jay-Z to complain that it was "intimidating his employees." This is a pretty baffling statement until you consider the Knicks defense, in which case you understand why anything big and tall would overpower them. (Yahoo! Sports)

The games began in earnest today when LeBron James' contingent started meeting with teams at a "secret" location . Of course, Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer knew where it was because he knows anything and everything about LeBron. The meeting was held at the LRMR (James' marketing company) headquarters at the IMG building in Cleveland. The neighbors across the street must have known. They had a message for the King . The Nets gave their presentation and were on their way. Except for Jay-Z, who stuck around for a few minutes for whatever reason (speculation: private meeting between mentor and mentee). I also found it funny that the Nets seemed to one-up the Knicks in everything, including the size of the private jet . The Knicks were next up . (Brian Windhorst' Twitter)

The schedule is for LeBron to meet Knicks and Nets today, Heat and Clippers tomorrow, and Bulls and Cavs on Saturday, according to Chad Ford of ESPN . The Bulls and Cavs being last is probably significant as Ford writes, but the Knicks and Nets have spared no expense in trying to make a good first impression. I'd give nearly anything to be in the room for the Clippers presentation, which I'm pretty sure is just going to be a Los Angeles Tourism Center brochure and a cake with Blake Griffin's face on it (and not his knee).  (ESPN)

For complete details of today's visit, check out this report which outlines the whole shebang. (CBS)

In lesser known free-agency news:

Heat center Joel Anthony has gotten a slew of offers according to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy . Anthony is a young big with good efficiency numbers and solid upside that could be gotten at good value. Then again, if ten teams are vying for him, he may wind up with more than he's worth. Mostly because this is the NBA and that's how it works (everyone wave at Darko). (Alex Kennedy's Twitter)

Kennedy also spoke with Matt Barnes who said that if Dwight Howard wants something, "it probably will happen" which will only fuel speculation earlier in the week about Chris Paul and Carlos Boozer. (Hoopsworld.com)

Seven teams have contacted free agent Raymond Felton, and the Bobcats are not one of them. Which is a little insane considering the Bobcats essentially have no point guards beyond D.J. Augustin and Felton is the best agent in class at his position. The Bobcats didn't have a draft pick last week, and their only option may be Jordan Farmar. Who's being courted by Indiana pretty hard right now. (CBS, PBT)

-Matt Moore




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com