A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Raymond Felton

NBA Franchise Power Rankings: #23 – Portland Trailblazers

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LaMarcus Aldridge playing with the Portland Tr...

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Previous rankings:

#30 - Charlotte Bobcats (+ introduction)
#29 - Phoenix Suns
#28 - Denver Nuggets
#27 - Detroit Pistons
#26 - Milwaukee Bucks
#25 - Philadelphia 76ers
#24 - Houston Rockets

#23 – Portland Trailblazers

Total Trade Value Ranking: #23 (Feb. 2011 ranking: #18)

Managerial Grade: C

Financial Grade: C

Best assets: PF/C LaMarcus Aldridge (legitimate all-star), SG Wesley Matthews (legitimate starter), SF Gerald Wallace (older legitimate starter), SF Nic Batum (borderline starter), , 2012 1st, PG Raymond Felton (expiring legitimate starter), RFA C Greg Oden (Mr. Glass), SF Luke Babbit (young, looked like a bust last year), C Marcus Camby (expiring legitimate starter), SG Elliot Williams (young, borderline NBAer), PG Patrick Mills (young, borderline NBAer), PG Armon Johnson (young, borderline NBAer)

Bad contracts: SG Brandon Roy (4 years, 61.7 mil guaranteed)

Draft picks indebted: 2013 1st to Charlotte (top 12 protected through 2015, unprotected in 2016)

Overall synopsis: If this list was done just in mid 2009, after Greg Oden’s rookie season where the team had a marvellous 54 W campaign and Brandon Roy‘s best, borderline MVP candidate season – the Blazers would’ve legitimately been ranked in the top 3 or 5 on the ladder. Perhaps even #1. It takes some seriously spooky forces to drop a team this heavily down from that point. Greg Oden and Brandon Roy’s careers all but being ended by injury, the latter just after a maximum contract had been given out, is that spooky force. What’s left is LaMarcus Aldridge realizing the star potential as a post player he may have always had – But not a ton else. Read the rest of this entry »

Grading the Carmelo Anthony trade: Missed opportunity and opportunity cost

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The day we waded through months of painstaking trade rumors for finaly came. Carmelo Anthony is a Knick and will get his 65 million extension. For Carmelo and Chauncey Billups, the Knicks traded Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danillo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, a 2014 1st and two Golden State 2nds to Denver as well as Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph to Minnesota for cap reasons. With the history of stars who want out getting traded for pennies, the Nuggets have to happy with their return. Not only due to the valuable talent coming back, but they also saved about 23 million by cutting enough salary to get under the luxury tax.

What about the Knicks? Despite the apparant leverage of Carmelo wanting to play there, they ended up mortgaging the entire farm. The threat of Carmelo going to the Nets apparantley pushed them towards it. Rumors of James Dolan and Isiah Thomas taking the negotiations from Donnie Walsh are in the air.

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7 Thoughts on the Melo Maneuver

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Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets

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Thank God, it *finally* happened. I say that both with the emotional inflection you think I’m using, and whatever the opposite is. Any big trade brings with it some fantastic new information to analyze which I love. At the same time Carmelo Anthony being traded means I don’t have to hear any more about the rumors and drama in Denver. Good times ahead. My initial thoughts on the trade:

1. Never been a huge Melo fan (as was clear in my Carmelo Conundrum piece). I remain steadfast in my opinion that however many tools are in his arsenal, he never came close to a consistent run at superstar levels. Now possibly that’s George Karl‘s fault. I doubt it, but I never say never. We’ll learn a lot more in the near future.

2. My thought for the Knicks about whether acquiring Melo was a good idea was always a mild yes, depending on the specific terms. I am however more positive about it with inclusion of Chauncey Billups. Seems to me what Mike D’Antoni really needs to make his scheme pop is a great point guard, and despite the fact that we keep seeing hype indicating that’s he’s turned another scrub point guard into a star, he’s actually been discarding point guards left and right in New York. Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson, Chris Duhon, and now Ray Felton, all gone. Clearly they didn’t have everything he wanted. Now we get to see how Billups does. This will be the closest thing D’Antoni’s had to Nash, so we’ll have to see if that finally does the trick. Read the rest of this entry »

Why New York should think twice about getting Melo

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Y’all are probably tired of just hearing from me, so please enjoy a post from Julien Rodger.  Julien has been a commenter on ASFW from the beginning, and is also part of the rogue’s gallery over at RealGM.  I’m looking forward to hearing more of his thoughts on this forum. ~MJ

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I’m not just a contrarian by opposing this. On the surface it’s hard to deny getting a star like Carmelo Anthony for next to nothing

But look, just because someone offers you free candy doesn’t mean you should take it. I see a number of hazards coming with the Knicks acquiring Carmelo Anthony

Amare, Melo and Felton will cost 43 and 47 million the next two years, if Felton is extended that number will go even higher the years after. With a 57 mil or so salary cap, bringing in supporting depth and badly needed interior defense after this will be difficult and take years. Unlike the Heat, I don’t see the Knicks being more than a 2nd round team without this. Spending on Melo also means no chance at Paul, Deron, or Dwight’s free agencies. Melo, Amare and minimum player cap holds will take them to 48 million payroll alone in 2012 free agency, giving them no chance at a 3rd maximum player even if the new CBA doesn’t prevent such star groupings.

Carmelo and Amare are worth max money as high volume, 25ppg scorers. But on the same team this contribution will overlap. The marginal utility of a 2nd high volume scorer is nowhere near as high as the 1st. Amare and Carmelo don’t contribute much else to the game but scoring, fortunately Felton fits well as their playmaker, but again I question whether paying Melo maximum money for a dominant scorer you already have is worth giving up any interior defense or bench. They will be great offensively, but the Knicks already are with Felton and Amare alone. Melo’s production is not a direct need.

Perhaps most importantly is the question of winning foundation and culture. Can you go to war with Carmelo and Amare like you can players like Kevin Garnett? I don’t think so. Carmelo looked like he was making a leap as a winning player after the Billups trade, but his quitting on Denver and pandering to New York is reminding me increasingly of Vince Carter. He wants to go to New York not to win more games, but because it’s New York. The best place for him to win a title would be Orlando or Dallas (or my ‘no chance in hell’ choice, the Milwaukee Bucks. Seriously Melo and Bogut would be perfect), but it’s the lights of New York and not the Finals that attracts him, which worries me.

Speaking of Vince. I can’t help but think of December 2004 when after making the finals in 2002 and 2003 and an underrated 2004 war with the champion Pistons, the Nets were offered Carter in a similar free candy situation and took it. Pre Vince they were a dominant defensive team with depth and toughness. Post Vince, they had no frontcourt or depth after the Kidd, Carter, and Jefferson salaries and were a soft 2nd round knockout. In retrospect perhaps the right move was going forward with Kidd, Jefferson and a troupe of good role players instead of biting on Carter. The Bulls did this by saying no to Melo for Noah and it looks brilliant right now. The Knicks could regret a Melo acquisition for the same reasons.

I am also reminded of Iverson and Melo’s pairing in Denver. Like Melo and Amare, both players contributed as scorers only and the marginal utility of adding Iverson was not high because of what Melo already gave them. Defense and culture wise that Nuggets team was also nowhere close to what you want to go far in the playoffs. Iverson and Melo prove you can’t just match 2 offensive stars together and expect a contender, let alone more than a 1st round knockout as a guarantee.

The Knicks have been waiting a long time to win games again. With Felton, Melo and Amare they will be a shoo in for 45 win+ seasons and 2nd round appearances for the immediate future. It’s better than the Isiah era. It’s not a strikeout. But everyone knows the real drought for Knicks fans isn’t the 10 years since they’ve have been pretty good, but the 37 years since their last title. If the Knicks are serious about winning a title anytime soon they should do a double take on trading for or signing Melo, because I have a hard time seeing a Melo and Amare led team seriously competing for the NBA championship.

Written by jr.

December 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm