Tag:Trade Rumors
Posted on: February 16, 2011 1:10 am
Edited on: February 16, 2011 1:15 am

Report: Mavs could stand between Melo and Knicks?

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly an "amenable" destination to Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony. Posted by Ben Golliver. carmelo-anthony

On Monday, we noted that Nuggets All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony could be traded in a "rental" scenario, should Denver be unable to convince him to sign an extension or agree to an extend-and-trade. We noted that Anthony didn't seem particularly keen on the Houston Rockets but that the Dallas Mavericks often get mentioned as potential rental suitors as well.

Newsday reports on Tuesday that there may be mutual interest between Anthony and the Mavericks.
"A source with knowledge of the situation said the biggest -- and perhaps last -- remaining threat to the Knicks could be the Dallas Mavericks.   Though Mark Cuban hinted recently that he would be willing to trade for a superstar without an extension, the source said Anthony would be amenable to signing an extension with the Mavs, who are already a championship contender and yet have a huge hole at small forward after the injury to Caron Butler.     
"The only way Melo doesn't come to New York is if [Mark] Cuban makes a play," that source said. The main issue, however, is that Dallas has even less to offer the Nuggets than the Knicks. The Mavs are searching for a third team to help them, with Roddy Beaubois, who has just returned from injury, as bait. But a source with knowledge of the Mavericks' thinking said he'd "be shocked if [Carmelo] came" to Dallas, but did say Cuban is unpredictable. But Beaubois, the source said, has been deemed untouchable. 
Back in December, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger noted that the Mavericks were considering a push for Anthony. 

Obtaining Anthony would be a dream scenario for the Mavericks, as he would plug their biggest hole to complete what would become the best frontline in the Western Conference. But how often do dream scenarios ever come true in the NBA?

Newsday also notes that talks between Denver and New York will continue over the All-Star weekend and that the two sides have "set parameters" on a potential deal.

In other recent Anthony news, the Knicks reportedly turned down one Nuggets trade proposal and a rival GM said Tuesday night that the Anthony talks have impacted other ongoing trade discussions by dragging on for so long.
Posted on: February 15, 2011 2:59 pm

Trade Deadline: CLee is concerned, confident

Courtney Lee is concerned about the trade deadline but knows it's out of his hands. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Courtney Lee would do well to write a book about his first three years in the league. He's gone through a good sampling of the emotional highs and lows for an average NBA player during the course of his career, in a very short amount of time. Drafted by Orlando and not expected to provide much, Lee wound up being a huge part of the Magic's run to the Finals. He was athletic, he was versatile, he hit big shots. He looked like a huge building block for the Magic. Then the Finals, particularly, Game 2. He was this close to winning Game 2 for the Magic on an improbably alley-oop. He couldn't convert what was a near-impossible play. But everything changed for Lee after that.

He was traded to New Jersey in the Vince Carter deal, and only narrowly avoided being a part of one of the worst teams in NBA history. Then this season he was traded to Houston, where he's become a solid role player. He's shooting 42% from the arc and averaging 15 points and 4 rebounds per 36 minutes.  Still, with Houston expected to be active at the deadline in looking for deals, he could be on the move again. No rocket is immovable right now. And that's something that concerns him. From the Houston Chronicle
Rockets guard Courtney Lee, who had been traded after each of his first two NBA seasons, said he is concerned with the trade deadline next week, but will be fine either way. "I'm happy," Lee said. "I've been traded twice so that doesn't faze me at all. Wherever I'm at, I enjoy. I'm going to be a professional and work hard. If that leads me to be somewhere else, I'll do the same."
via Rockets notes: Lee concerned before trade deadline | NBA Basketball | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle.

Lee's saying all the right things, but he was unhappy when he was traded to the Nets, and having been traded twice now, he's got to be getting sick of it. It's not like he's a bust. Just for reference, Hasheem Thabeet can't seem to get out of town, but Courtney Lee gets swapped like a pog. This whole thing makes little sense sometimes. 

The biggest knocks on Lee are a limited set of athleticism and the fact that he's a third year player and 25-years-old. Basically, his ceiling is low. But at the same time, he's shown a remarkable ability to step up and make big plays. Defensively, time in a stable system could push him along considerably. The Magic didn't think he was worth enough to keep, but then, the Magic also thought Vince Carter would be the thing to put them over the top. So obviously things don't always work out how they think. 
Lee's going to be sweating through the trade deadline, hoping for some stability in his career. Too much movement can kill your ability to get comfortable, stay confident, and play through it. It's getting used to new coworkers every six months and having to figure out what a new boss wants from you, without any leverage. It's a rough way to work, even if it is getting paid millions to play basketball. 
Posted on: February 15, 2011 1:22 pm

Trade Deadline: Anyone want Thabeet?

Grizzlies "aggressively" shopping Hasheem Thabeet
Posted by Matt Moore

The fact that Hasheem Thabeet is still on the market is amazing. I mean, when you have a chance to add a player being paid as a number two overall pick avergaing 1.1 points, with 1.6 rebounds and .3 blocks while shooting 42% from the field with a PER of 4.8, how do you not jump at that opportunity? And yet the Memphis Grizzlies continue to struggle with finding a team willing to take on Thabeet. Because he is terrible. 

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Second-year center Hasheem Thabeet remains the only piece Griz management is including in aggressive trade talks.
via Mayo returns tonight, but Griz bench has thrived in his absence » The Commercial Appeal.

The longer this goes on, the more it's going to become a problem for Memphis. It's not just about getting rid of a drain on the payroll and rotation. Thabeet's presence is a reminder of one of the worst blunders in recent team history (and it's a pretty extensive list to begin with). The team could have had Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, even Jordan Hill would have been a better pick in 2009. So getting rid of him means they won't have to deal with his restricted free agency and can at least decrease the number of times that mistake is mentioned. Owner Michael Heisley has openly said that drafting Thabeet was his call (which should forever more be used as evidence as to why he should never be involved in basketball decisions), so the ignominy is that much worse. 

Thabeet seems isolated in the locker room most times, and Lionel Hollins has elected not to use him in most games this season, even when there's a clear size advantage to be had. Thabeet's not without any redeeming qualities. He is tall, and there's a lot of upside there if he could find a coaching system that had the time, resources, and inclination to develop him. Lionel Hollins is not that coach. 

The most likely scenario for how this situation ends? Thabeet is included in a deal for O.J. Mayo as the price for acquiring Mayo. 
Posted on: February 9, 2011 4:40 pm

Melo Update No. 10,560: Still looking at Denver

Carmelo Anthony swears he'll seriously consider re-signing with Denver if he isn't traded before the deadline. We roll our eyes. 
Posted by Matt Moore

You have to give them this: If the Denver Nuggets really are just manipulating media stories to get more out of the New York Knicks' trade offer for Carmelo Anthony, they're being very thorough about it. One day after reports surfaced of what would be a relatively ludicrous deal involving the Los Angeles Lakers, today word is coming out very strongly, from Anthony himself, that he may not leave Denver at all. 

Yahoo! Sports reports that after practice, Anthony said that he would "take a real hard look" at signing the extension with Denver which would end all of this speculation, keeping him in Denver for the foreseeable future. This is on the heels of a Denver Post report saying the Nuggets may consider keeping Melo the rest of the season and seeing how the playoffs go.

Of course, this is the same extension that's been on the table since July. The Nuggets weren't exaclty subtle early on with their intention to lock up Melo quickly with a max offer. He's gotten it. The deal's not going to sweeten itself. It is the most it can be, and if he were really interested in it, you'd think he might have realized at some point it was what he wanted. 

Anthony also says he hadn't heard of the Lakers rumor until today, which is about as ridiculous as it gets. There's simply no way his agent didn't inform him of said talks immediately. Anthony's just playing his part in all this, acting ignorant of all the rumors while being the sole reason for all the distraction. For whatever reason, he's reasserting himself as possibly staying in Denver, when he could have made that decision this whole time.  This reeks of CAA trying to apply pressure to a calm, cool, and collected Donnie Walsh who knows that he won't have to surrender the farm to get Carmelo Anthony, and that there's no reason to do so just to accomodate Anthony's wish earlier. 

Maybe Anthony really is having second thoughts. Maybe he is that spooked about a possible CBA lockdown on salaries and wants to assure himself his future now. Or maybe this is yet another ploy in a series of ploys to manipulate the situation into just what he wants. Anthony would be reversing everything that's been indicated before now. It would be settling for a second-tier team in a non-major market just because of loyalty. And those are great reasons to stay somewhere. But that hasn't exactly been Melo's M.O. When the subject of LeBron James' 2010 free agency first arose nearly three years ago, most people said it was overblown, that nothing big would happen, that he'd stay in Cleveland. Now look where we are. Melo is committed to doing the best thing for himself and his brand. It's hard to see him electing to stay in Denver as part of that plan.
Posted on: February 8, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 1:34 pm

Report: Lakers step into Melo talks

Are the Lakers in pursuit of a Carmelo Anthony trade?
Posted by Matt Moore

You knew it was only really a matter of time, really. The Los Angeles Lakers don't let opportunities to obtain star players go by unnoticed. That's not what they do. 

ESPN reports: 
The Denver Nuggets have had preliminary discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers on a Carmelo Anthony trade, league sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard on Tuesday.

The Lakers' package would be built around center Andrew Bynum. Denver has no interest in Ron Artest and isn't particularly interested in Lamar Odom either, sources said. A straight-up deal of Bynum for Anthony works financially, but there could be other players involved since Denver would look to shed more salary if possible.
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets have initial Carmelo Anthony talks - ESPN Los Angeles .

Before you ingest this information and get all excited, I'd like to give you this: it's a 12-foot-by-12-foot piece of salt. 

For the Lakers to do this deal would mean surrendering their true biggest advantage, their overwhelming size. Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom make up a 20'10'' rotating frontcourt. It's the reason they're able to disrupt so many passes, because passing between them is like floating a frisbee through a forest of sequoias. Taking on Anthony removes that element, as Pau Gasol would shift to center, and Odom to power forward. There's no big, physical force down low to guard the beasts or deter drives. Pau Gasol's an able defender, but he's not the same intimidating force Bynum is, even considering his injury issues. 

Furthermore, bringing Carmelo Anthony on would mean a largely decreased role for Kobe Bryant, and the rest of the Lakers. Are Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, and Ron Artest willing to take fewer shots? Because that's what it would mean. Otherwise you're talking about bringing on a largely offensive player and asking him not to shoot as much. And Jim Buss, who is heavily involved from the organization's perspective, is notoriously pro-Bynum. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News  reports that Buss shot down such an offer recently .

And that's just from the Lakers' perspective. What about the fact that in this deal, the Nuggets would pick up no pick? The Lakers traded their 2011 first-rounder to the Nets (who ironically had included it in their initial bid for Anthony).  So the Nugggets would not be able to acquire a first-round pick this season in the deal. They would go from the Nets deal (Harris, Favors, three first-rounders) to Andrew Bynum and no pick. That's the bottom of the barrel. Bynum's a fine player, when healthy, and can be a monster as he gets older (when healthy), but I'm not sure he's worth even the proposed Knicks deal (when healthy). Are you getting a pattern yet? 

But on the other hand, the Lakers always have a way of getting their man, and as Masai Ujiri continues to frustrate GMs with his insistence on "more, more, more." By continuing that play, he may set himself up to get less than what he wants.  Adding Anthony would add a fourth All-Star level player to the Lakers, making them not just the most talented team in the league, which they already are, but one of the most talented teams in NBA history. 

There's one more element to consider here. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak almost never does deals in public. The Pau Gasol trade came out of nowhere. Each deal he does is done very close to the ground and the Lakers' organization is notoriously leak-proof. So if the Lakers aren't the ones leaking this trade, who is?  It may be an effort from the Nuggets to exert more leverage (lost in the Nets breakdown) on their dealings with New York, or it could be Melo's representatives putting pressure on New York to step up. 

The tangled web gets even more tangled. These are the days of our Melo.
Posted on: February 6, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: February 6, 2011 2:02 am

Wolves involved in latest N.Y. Melo talks

Knicks moving in closer on Carmelo Anthony. Again. Yes, it's different this time. We think.
Posted by Matt Moore

On Friday in his Post-Ups, Ken Berger shared the following update to the Knicks' pursuit of Carmelo Anthony: 

While the Nuggets realize they will have to seriously engage the Knicks in trade talks for Anthony before the Feb. 24 deadline, a third team already has stepped into the on-deck circle as a potential facilitator if talks between Denver and New York ever gain traction. That team, sources say, is the Timberwolves, who are willing to absorb Eddy Curry's $11.3 million expiring contract in a three-team scenario that would send Anthony Randolph to Minnesota and Anthony to New York. In this scenario, which one executive involved deemed "unlikely," the Wolves would simply waive Curry after the trade. Depending on the timing, Curry would likely have only five paychecks remaining for a total of $4.7 million. So taking on Curry would involve little or no cost to Minnesota; if the Wolves could negotiate a $3 million buyout covering the remainder of Curry's salary, that tab would be fully picked up by the Knicks, who could send as much as $3 million cash to Minnesota in the trade. But Curry's $11.3 million cap number would help make the complicated trade math work in a three-team deal.
via Only time will tell if Mavs have what it takes to win out West - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

Saturday night, Chris Broussard confirmed the report and added a few more specific names to the deal being discussed: 

In the proposed trade, New York would send Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota and the Timberwolves would send Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to Denver. Denver would also receive Wilson Chandler from New York. The deal is not expected to happen until the middle of next week at the earliest, and one source said it could drag out until the trade deadline. Denver, which has been exchanging proposals with the Knicks for the past couple weeks, is weighing other options.

via Sources: New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves discuss Carmelo deal - ESPN New York.

Ken Berger reports Saturday night that the deal has not progressed further since his report Friday afternoon. 

This deal isn't a disaster. In a way, everyone gets what they want: 

  • The Knicks get Melo.
  • The Timberwolves get Anthony Randolph who they inexplicably want. 
  • The Nuggets get a viable veteran wing to fill-in for Melo in the hopes of keeping them in the playoff race. They also get Corey Brewer who's a capable wing defender and still young.  The first round pick is a nice asset as well. 

But there is some context here. The Knicks get away free here, turning Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph into Carmelo Anthony, which they've been after since the summer. The Wolves, though? Despite continuing issues between Brewer and his agent and Wolves' management, giving up on Brewer and a first rounder just to get Anthony Randolph and a little bit of cap space is a pretty steep deal. But the worst of this comes for Denver. 

Should Denver accept this deal or be forced to accept this deal to avoid losing Melo for nothing, they go from the Nets' offer of Devin Harris, three first rounders and Derrick Favors for Melo and Chauncey Billups to Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer, and one first rounder. That's a terrible downgrade in return. It would represent a tremendous loss of leverage if the Nuggets are cornered into this deal. The Nuggets had reportedly held the Knicks at arms-length based on their lack of assets. Thanks to the Wolves and Mikhail Prokhorov's cutting off talks, Donnie Walsh may have found a way to get Melo at the right price after all. 

Kahn worked under Walsh with the Indiana Pacers from 1995 until 2004. 
Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 2:31 pm

It's time for a Cleveland fire sale

With the Cavaliers on the edge of historic failure, it's time for Cleveland to cut ties with everything and start completely over. 

Posted by Matt Moore

We're past panic. We're past desperation. We're past even cold, hard, resignation. The Cleveland Cavaliers have to execute the most prolific fire sale in history over the next 19 days. No "or... ." No "or else." They simply have to. Everything must go. The Cavs tied the record for longest consecutive losing streak in a single season Friday night and are set to break it against the Portland Trailblazers Saturday. Should they win, it'll be a sigh of relief to avoid disastrous history. Then they'll go back to losing nine out of every 10 games. The time has long since come for General Manager Chris Grant to get desperate.

No more "waiting for the best offer," or "trying to get marginal value." You have one of the worst teams in history that is only slightly kept above the waters of all time futility by an emotional start that soon gave way to injury, discord, and failure. It's not these players' fault, really. The amount of negative energy created by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Referenced's departure was enough to sink the most positive of teams. Throw in significant injuries and a severe lack of talent and you've got this mess on Cleveland's doorstep. 

But that's okay. I'm not advocating a fire sale because Cleveland fans deserve better than this dreck (though they do). It's not a punishment, and it's not some pathetic gesture from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert after his foolish promise about Cleveland winning a title. It's just business. You have bottomed out. The stock has hit an all-time low. Liquidate this thing, take your remaining assets, and start over. 
(All salary data courtesy of Sham Sports.)

And it starts with Antawn Jamison. "Toine Spelled Tawn" has $13.3 for this season, or roughly $7.5 left this year, and then $15 million in expiring next season. With the CBA in place, you're going to have to dump him somewhere that actually needs him, and somewhere that doesn't mind paying for him. No one really needs him as he's shooting a career low 42% and is posting a career-low 16.4 PER.  But Jamison can be a solid back-up power forward. The trick is to find a big market team with room to spare that isn't worried about long-term flexibility and has expirings to trash. You have to take back terrible value for Jamison, along with the rest of the Cavs. You're not going to get value for the contract or even really the production. Any offer that can reasonably work under the CBA should be taken, provided the resulting players do not have long-term contracts. Difficult, I admit, but as the deadline ratchets up, there has to be someone on the horizon willing to take a 16.4 PER back-up power-forward who may be amiable to a buyout next season. Again, the objective is not to get good value here. It's simply to get any value that clears space. 

From there, it's Mo Williams. There are teams that need point guards. They're all over. Williams is pricey, with $17 million left over two years on the books after this season, but again, we're talking peanuts in return. The trick here should probably be to pick up a series of contracts that can be moved on draft day or bought out before the start of next season. Williams is still a serviceable point guard, and he does have an ETO in the last year of his contract. This should be easier, particularly if the team can weasel its way into a three-way trade conversation. There simply cannot be a value too low in return for Williams, despite his consistency.  This contract and Williams' may be easier said to move than moved, but as long as Grant is active until the last second of the deadline, he should be able to find someone in need of a move. Teams do make moves for the sake of movement, and these are starting-caliber players. Kind of. 

Anderson Varejao's injury is simply devastating. He has close to $36 million left on his contract after this year, is a viable center who can bolster a contender's defense, and would fetch a good price on the market. That he likely cannot be moved due to injury is yet another terrible swing against the Cavs. A trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as was discussed, would have been perfect. Grant should focus all his energies once Varejao is medically cleared to moving Varejao. There will be takers, and their offers should be garnered in bulk. 

Daniel Gibson is cheap, ($4 million this season, $4.5 next) and his 2013 salary is non-guaranteed. He shoots 44% from the arc, turns 25 this month, and is mid-quality backup point guard. There's no reason he can't be thrown into another trade to sweeten a deal or moved to a GM known to love point guards. Veteran, reasonably young, and a crack shooter. He's still Daniel Gibson. But for a set of minimum contracts or used to acquire a useless expiring, Gibson could be a cherry on top. 

Ramon Sessions makes a high amount of mistakes in judgment, turns 25 years old this spring, and has $8 million over two years left after his $3.9 million due this year. He's also, arguably, the Cavs' most valuable contract. A 17.5 PER, while shooting a not-great 44% from the field, he averages 16 points and 7 assists per 36 minutes.  On the one hand, holding onto Sessions might be a good idea. He's young, can play the position, and produces. On the other hand, he's locked in through 2013. He's gotta go. Especially when you consider he actually has value. He needs to be used as bait to take on the other contracts of the Cavs, even if no one's climbing the Cleveland walls to get him. Point guards have value in this league. Move him.

From there, things get easier. Ryan Hollins is a big and he has a player option for next season. J.J. Hickson is a valuable asset in that he's a big man that could flourish in a lesser role under a different coach. Christian Eyenga, you keep. He's the one asset worth holding onto. Everything else is either non-guaranteed or expiring. 

So what are you left with? Almost nothing. And that's fine. The trick should be to capitalize on second round draft picks as throw-aways in any moves you make, then try and swing into the first round using teams that don't want to pay their late first round picks. And there are always those teams. Every year an owner is willing to pay the guys he's got, but not a late first rounder who may turn out to be a steal. It boggles the mind, but that's how it is. Even in a depleted draft like this one, you just need bodies. Bring in D-Leaguers to fill in the gaps, try and find a diamond in the rough, and tank out the rest of the season. Secure a top three pick, pray the Lotto Gods are merciful, and be on your way towards another losing campaign next season, but with a player to build around. It's a painful process, and you'll look like a moron for all the value you'll waste in the next 19 days. But the next two years don't matter. That's how bad things are right now, that's how badly James hurt the franchise. It can't just be blown up. The foundation has to be torn out, the ground smoothed over, and some time spent letting the earth settle. Then you focus on what you can get in the draft and start anew. 

There's no other option. Everything's gotta go in Cleveland. The fans will forget about the team. Maybe by the time the Cavs are ready to compete again, some of the wounds will have healed. 
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:42 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 1:02 pm

Cuban wouldn't need extension to move for Melo

Mark Cuban says publicly he'd take a chance on adding Carmelo Anthony without an extension, with the hopes of convincing him to re-sign. 
Posted by Matt Moore

As our own Ken Berger has reported in the past, Mark Cuban is willing to take a shot at convincing Carmelo Anthony to stay and is therefore open to trading for the Denver star without an extension in place. Without discussing Melo specifically (which would violate tampering rules), Cuban had this to say to the New York Post about acquiring an All-Star without an extension: 

"Yeah, in a heartbeat. Because then its up to me to try to convince them to stay," Cuban said. "If everybody wants to give off a great player, were always going to try to be opportunistic. But those calls typically aren't made. Those happen once every five years or so."
via Mavericks willing to rent Anthony - NYPOST.com.

Cuban is the kind of bold owner who would take it upon himself to convince the star to stick around. And with the Mavericks very much in need of a wing now that Caron Butler is out for the season, and with several expiring contracts to dangle, the Mavs could find themselves in position to make a run at Melo before the deadline.

Melo wouldn't fit perfectly on the Mavs, not with both he and Dirk mid-range players who work best shooting elbow jumpers. But Anthony could help with rebounding from the 3 spot, and it removes the need for as much depth. If they were to find a special combination, it could lead to a deep playoff run, something Anthony obviously wants. And while Dallas isn't New York by any stretch, it is a major metropolitan area with that kind of environment, and is a very East-Coast-feeling city, or as much of one as you can get in Texas. 

Cuban shook things up in Dallas last year over All-Star Weekend, trading for Butler and Brendan Haywood. Is this the year he goes for the big maneuver? 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com