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Rick Senger
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Posted: 04 August 2015 at 7:14pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Those articles (written by a former assistant coach of his who has since written 18 sports-related books) are indeed interesting and candid windows into Jackson's thinking.  I don't think he got good deals in dealing Shumpert and Smith but his explanation is at least understandable.   What's remarkable to me is that Jackson pulls no punches and even though we're only reading his POVs many months after he voiced them, the people he denigrates are still going to know what he said "back then."  He has to really trust the writer not to leak anything early and that trust seems to have been justified. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 04 August 2015 at 9:20pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

It made sense to get rid of those two.  JR Smith was inconsistent and Shumpert's scoring was never the same after the ACL injury.

Jackson said Shumpert was loud in the locker room.  How bad could it have been that it was one of the reasons to trade him?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 04 August 2015 at 11:33pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Smith started for Cleve but is hit or miss and admittedly a bit of a space case.  No problem letting his $6.4 mill go since NY is trying to dump salary.  However, I think Shumpert (also a starter) is quite a talented defender with occasional offensive value who should have garnered more, injured or not.  They got Kirk, who was immediately waived.  They got Amundsen who is a bad shooting (46% ft), mediocre rebounding PF/C who has been traded 13 times in 9 years.  Considering they then added young PF Kyle O'Quinn and C Kevin Seraphin as well as C Brook Lopez and C Porzingis, Amundsen seems like the odd big man out.  They got Lance Thomas, who will back up Carmelo but might be third on the SF depth chart.  A second round pick in 2019 hardly sweetens the pot.

I do think the Knicks are better next year, but not enough to justify Jackson's salary to most fans.  Still, he came in with a lot of work to do and if Porzingis pans out, they could be on the mend.


Edited by Rick Senger on 05 August 2015 at 10:15am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 07 August 2015 at 9:14am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Tough break for Utah... Dante Exum's torn ACL doesn't really impact their offense but from what I saw, his insertion in the starting lineup last year definitely improved their defense.  Hopefully The Stifle Tower (Gobert... love that nickname) can stay healthy and Trey Burke can step up.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 10 August 2015 at 11:29am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

What did you think of Part 7 of the Phil Jackson Files, Wilson?  He's more candid than ever in his final player evaluations and it can't be a coincidence how Phil just slams players like Andrea Bargnani , Tim Hardaway Jr., and Shane Larkin and all of them are gone.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 10 August 2015 at 5:05pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I honestly think it's ridiculous that he's doing these Phil Files things.  Total farce.  Time to retire and fade away if this is the best you can do.  The Knicks have a lot to worry about and don't need this sort of stuff from their front office.  Sorry, I love Phil but this is a joke.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 11 August 2015 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

As a fan, I found Phil's comments entertaining.  If I were these players, I would take his criticisms to heart and use them as motivation to prove him wrong next season.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 11 August 2015 at 11:15am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The Knicks have a lot to worry about and don't need this sort of stuff from their front office.
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As far as I can recall, this kind of blanket and candid specificity on player evaluations is basically unprecedented from the top management of an NBA team.  He not only gives away is views of strengths and weaknesses of players, he gives away some of his strategy.  I don't think Phil cares what anyone thinks and has decided he's going to do things "his way," but I wonder if he's thought this out.  

As the "zen-master" who has handed out "The Art of War" to many  players during his coaching days, it would seem that openly insulting all of these pros is a bad tactic as it focuses your enemies' attention on you.  Perhaps he thinks their anger will distract them, but situations change and there are many times when a once-traded player becomes suddenly valuable again and teams sometimes bring players back.  I don't see that happening with most players from this year based on Phil's insulting comments and I'm not sure how the comments benefit the Knicks or Phil other than adding to his "Maverick" status.

use them as motivation to prove him wrong next season.
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I'm highly confident that they will! 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 11 August 2015 at 3:52pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Tristan Thompson may sign the $6.9 mill qualifying offer for one year, and his agent says if he does, he will leave after next year.  That could be tragic for Cleve. as he is their most durable player (3 straight seasons without missing a game), best and most energetic rebounder and a solid defender who is 24 and only getting better.

However, Brian Windhorst points out "if they were to sign Thompson to a deal that started at $15 million, it would add more than $35 million to their tax bill this season alone... However, if Thompson were to sign his qualifying offer...the tax hit drops to around $13 million... The Cavs would retain Thompson's Bird Rights and still be able to sign him to the largest possible contract next year when the cap jump would also pull up the luxury tax line and likely make it far less costly."

Sounds fiscally logical, but it's also a dangerous game of chicken.  If Thompson has a similar breakthrough year next year as an unrestricted free agent, the huge cap increase means most teams will have some space and there will be a feeding frenzy that could mean his exit, particularly given his agent's threat.  The Cavs will need to re-sign Mosgov next year (among others including LBJ) and those contracts are going to be astronomical to start.   I say, better to bite the bullet this year and maybe overpay for a year but get a good deal over the term of a five year contract.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 11 August 2015 at 5:30pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I figured all along the plan was to get him to stay for one year so that next year they can choose between Thompson or Mozgov.  
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 11 August 2015 at 6:04pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

next year they can choose between Thompson or Mozgov. 
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I like Mosgov, who exceeded my expectations.   The difference between the two for me is that Mosgov is not the rebounder Thompson is, has durability questions (just had knee surgery) and is 5 years older so he's unlikely to last as long banging at his physical position regardless.  Given that Love is locked into a long contract but is also recovering from a significant injury (as is Irving) and has not proven to be a good fit yet, I think TT's stability and energy is important.  I hope they find a way to re-sign him.


Edited by Rick Senger on 11 August 2015 at 6:37pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 18 August 2015 at 9:20am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Addendum to the Thompson signing.  While everyone knows LBJ wants Thompson to stay with the team (he's said TT should be a "Cav for life") we also know LBJ also isn't going anywhere until Cleveland wins a title, so theoretically Thompson's status won't impact LBJ's status.  However... what if Cleveland wins the title next year and Thompson bolts for more money elsewhere assuming he signs the qualifying offer this year?  

LBJ has only said he came to Cleve to win a title, not that he'd be a Cav for life.  Sure it sounds remote: who leaves a team when they just won a title?  But if Thompson is a big contributor to the Cavs next year then leaves, LBJ is free to also leave and has shown twice in the past he's not afraid of pulling the trigger should greener pastures beckon.  It's a longshot, I admit, but not impossible. 
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