Instant Trade Analysis: Metta World Peace to the New York Knicks

New York Knicks get: SF Metta World Peace (two years, $3 million)
(The following was a MAMBINO e-mail chain started off by renegade blogger, friend of the blog and all-around degenerate Jimbo Shingles. What followed was an Instant Trade Analysis of Metta World Peace signing with the New York Knickerbockers)
Jimbo Shingles: What do we think about this?
Where are are the Knicks missing depth? What can they do to win the whole thing?
The CDP: Regarding Metta, he fell off the second half of the year a bit, but he was on fire and reinvigorated entering the year. He was in great shape, and an absolute bull dog on defense. His speed has been leaving him for years (he’s 33!), so he can’t guard the fastest guys in the league anymore, but he still has incredibly quick, strong hands and he has great instincts on the ball. Plus, he uses his size well to body up bigs and not give an inch.

Offensively he’s not the same beast–Metta has always needed a lot of volume to be even remotely efficient–but he’s definitely serviceable enough in the right positions (open threes, in the post) to keep defenses honest. 
He’s certainly not the Ron Artest of old, but he’s got enough left in the tank to be a real contributor, especially in a limited role. Seeing as he still averaged a combined 2 steals and blocks a game last year and off the bench he can even run the offense for spells. A solid signing for the Bockers.

KOBEshigawa: Totally agree with Craig. With so many players out for so long last year, Metta actually spent a lot of time as the second option. He’s actually a bizarrely efficient player in the post, with super unorthodox moves that look like they have no chance in hell of going in, but somehow either makes them or gets fouled. I don’t have access to Synergy, but I’d be really fascinated to how many points per possession he generated in post ups than Houston’s new center.

As a defender, I’d say he’s really fallen off, even further than CDP is suggesting. As noted, he’s still super strong and his hands are as great as ever, so if he’s matched up with a less mobile scorer (say a guy like Joe Johnson), he can really bully him around. However, his lateral foot speed just isn’t there anymore. A lot of guys can take advantage of that and just blow right by him. Most importantly, he’s 33 years old–he simply can’t be a great defensive presence night to night anymore energy-wise.

BUT for that money and considering he’s coming off the bench, it’s a really great deal. Coming off the bench will really help World Peace as his performance really suffered once he was playing 40 minutes a night with Kobe hobbled and every other Laker beat up in one way or another. In crunch time, a Felton-Shumpert-Metta perimeter defense could be terrifying.

One important note: over the years, MWP has strangely turned into a leader of men, a calming veteran presence that won’t shake when the pressure is greatest. As much as I’m sure the NY media is making of Ronnie being “another crazy guy in an already crazy Knicks locker room”, he’s actually not “another crazy guy anymore”…I think. No, he’s not backing down from a fight, but he’s not at all a divisive locker room element. if anything, he’ll get some of these boneheads in orange and blue to start playing within themselves.

El Miz: With both the Artest signing and the Bargnani trade, I think this means Melo will be the “hider” on defense and take the easy assignment. No more banging in the post with David West, as coach Mike Woodson will let RONALD and Bargnani (a decent 1-on-1 post defender) deal with it. Offensively, I still see Melo getting down in the post, as he was just too effective last year not do keep on pounding inside. But where i think this saves him is on D, and will result in him playing some spot minutes at small forward. Last year they often went with 3 guards (Ray Felton, Pablo Prigioni, and Iman Shumpert /JR Smith at SF), with Melo at PF, so that’s an option as well.

Jimbo ShinglesGood analysis Miz. Following up, who do we fear this coming year in the Eastern Conference? The upstart Pacers who played their butts off last year? The 3-peat Heat? The Bulls with D-Rose returning? The BK Nets? Does anyone else pose a threat in the East?

Also, will the Knicks be happy with anything lower than a 3 seed? Can they take the East with this lineup? Will health issues arise? Can we manage to free up cap space for the future?

Sip Rogers: When Bargnani and Melo are on the floor at the same time, Andrea will essentially be playing the small forward spot on offense and Melo on the block at the 4. That will work a lot better anyway than Amar’e and Melo on the floor together.

In regards to holes, I hope they sign Bassy Telfair or the Abuser (if we are signing NY lunatics might as well go all in, especially with JR basically a NY lunatic from Jerz City). This of cousre should make for some great instagram photos in nightclubs, hungover performances on Sunday day games and a couple of funny suspensions. Does anyone want to put up some money with me and re-open “The Tunnel”?

The East is really strong now. The Knicks should be prepared to for a 4-seed and be happy if they get it. Miami is of course better. The Pacers will be a year older with a nice ego boost having pushed the champs to 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Of course this Nets squad should be much improved, as BK was the 4 last year and now they’ve added KG, Pierce and Terry without any substractions of real note (sidenote: super excited for the NYK-BKN games. Last year they were fun, even as it was very much a forced rivalry. With the cast of characters on each team now including Kidd coaching, this will be great stuff). Finally, we’ll have a Bulls team which brings back a former MVP. Thibodeau’s boys got a 5 seed last season AND won a playoff round without Derrick Rose, and with him in 2011 and 2012, they had the best record in the East.

In no particular order, these I think are the likely playoff teams in the East: Miami, New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, Indiana, Washington, Cleveland, Detroit. The Knicks will be in for a fight for home court advantage, even with Metta.

El Miz: As of now, I’d say the Knicks need a third point guard and another big (probably re-signing KMART). I have a feeling CJ Leslie from NC State will make the team as a forward to stash at the end of the bench, as could Jeremy Tyler (the high school center who went to Europe to play pro instead of going to college and then sort of washed out). Both are playing pretty well on the Knicks Sumer League team right now and very well could make the squad i the fall. Here’s the presumtive depth chart as of now:

PG – Felton, Priggy Smalls
SG – Shump Shump, JR, Tim Hardaway Junior
SF – MWP, CJ Leslie (?)
PF – Melo, Amar’e, Bargnani
C – Chandler, KMART (?), Tyler (?)

The Knicks can only offer guys the veteran’s minimum and are out of money otherwise. Not entirely sure who they could get as a third PG, though Summer League addition Toure Murry has looked decent , they have been talking to Nate Robinson (though those talks may go nowhere–Nasty Nate wants more than the veteran’s min ), Aaron Brooks (I’d prefer a pass-first guy to another chucker), and Bassy Telfair (we have one NYC knucklehead already as Sip said–let’s go all in). Personally, I want them to sign MEL MEL THE ABUSER a.k.a. Jamal Tinsley, but given that he’s pretty similar to Prigioni (an old, pass-first PG), they’ll probably go in a different direction.

PUMPED FOR THE BOCKERS. For the price they paid, Artest is a great signing. As KOBEsh alluded, even though he has a reputation of being a lunatic (which is probably fair), teammates love playing with him and he’ll be a really good locker room guy. On the court, even if he’s lost a step on D, the fact that he’ll be working on the defensive end should be good enough to motivate some other guys who occasionally “forget” to play D (MELO) to put their arms up and run above 1/2 speed.


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