Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:48 am
Knicks knocking at the Melo door again, Childress knocked out with a bad digit, and Evan Turner slapped in the face, all in today's shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
We'll have more this morning on a report from ESPN NY's Chris Sheridan that the Knicks are back in the Melo chase . One thought off the bat. They can trade for a player the Nuggets want more, but unless they land a draft pick they're still toast. The McGrady trade keeps stubbing Donnie Walsh's toe.
Knickerblogger is concerned that Raymond Felton may not be much of an improvement over Chris Duhon. Last night was a particularly strong showing from Felton, and he looked very much like the kind of point guard the Knicks have needed for years.
A breakdown of the postions in Rick Adelman's system. The focus on the big in the pinch post is going to be why Brad Miller will be so comfy there.
Lots of coaches with health concerns this week. Doc Rivers had a test come back negative for cancer , which is great news. Doug Collins missed last night's Sixers game while dealing with lingering effects of a concussion .
Josh Childress fractured a finger last night and out at least a week but it won't be too long. It's ridiculous that these guys play at this level with broken fingers.
Ted Leonsis thinks Josh Howard is a respected leader . There's lots of mockery this morning about that, but people forget that despite his off-court issues, he's thought of well by teammates, and that guys like Stephen Jackson are perennial captains for their teams.
Jerry West thinks maybe he should have drafted Amar'e Stoudemire instead of Drew Gooden. In other news, I should have had oatmeal this morning instead of eating rusty nuts and bolts from a '75 Chevy.
Al Harrington says he'll be ready for opening night . No word on whether his defense is making a similar commitment.
Marcus Thornton's in a slump, which shouldn't surprise people . Shootres in their second year take a step back sometimes, and the fact that he's got a new coach and a new offensive system probably complicates things as well.
And here's Evan Turner getting slapped with baby powder. So that happened.
Tags: Al Harrington, Andre Iguodala, Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets, Doc Rivers, Doug Collins, Evan Turner, Hornets, injuries, Josh Childress, Josh Howard, Knicks, Marcus Thornton, Melodrama, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Raymond Felton, Shootaround, Sixers, Suns, trades, Washington Wizards, Wizards
Posted on: October 15, 2010 11:59 am
Melo still looking for trade, but not to Clippers, because they are the Clippers.
Posted by Matt Moore
Hidden beneath the glossy veneer of Carmelo Anthony's 30-point, 14 rebound performance last night is the fact that the situation regarding Carmelo's trade request still looms over the team. And recent reports suggest the problem is getting worse, not better, despite Melo dropping bombs on the floor.
The Denver Post today reports of a source confirming much of what KB let us in on last week : Melo still wants out, still wants the Knicks (which isn't happening), won't take a trade to the Sixers, and the Bulls deal won't be happening if the Bulls won't give up Joakim Noah (which they won't).
The interesting takeaway from the Post is that Melo won't agree to a trade to the Clippers.
Just to put this in perspective, the superstar who is specifically looking for a trade to a major market to expand his brand refuses to be traded to the NBA's second biggest market, to play alongside Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, and Baron Davis. There are a lot of reasons, but the biggest rhymes with Stonald Derling.
So while the Clippers are off the table along with the Sixers, Kings, Wolves, and pretty much every other small market team, the Nets keep hanging around, dangling Derrick Favors in all his glorious "might take five years to drag something productive out of him" glory. For whatever reason, the Post's source thinks the Nuggets want Favors. Seems kind of risky to hinge trading your superstar on that kid, but hey. He's supposed to be the next Tim Duncan, or whatever.
Meanwhile, the situation continues to drag on, as Denver tries to figure out what it wants that Melo will agree to. Melo's still dropping huge numbers, so there's not much pressure on them. The question is just who will cave first to the other's requirements.
Posted on: September 27, 2010 12:26 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 5:07 pm
As the Carmelo Anthony situation continues to unfold (or not, depending on your view), we'll keep you up to date on the developments with our MeloDrama Updates. Buckle up, kids. The Hello-Melo Train is leaving the station.
Posted by Matt Moore
Here's the latest around the web as what is considered D-Day for the Nuggets approaches.
Posted on: September 9, 2010 1:56 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2010 2:22 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Fresh off the report that the Bulls are on the top of Carmelo Anthony's list, a story from ESPN Chicago is out including a player the Bulls are discussing trading to get the Denver star.
Brace yourself Bulls fans, because you might be a little torn. But according to the report, in order to get Anthony, Joakim Noah could possibly be included as part of that package. The Nuggets are also reportedly hesitant to take back Luol Deng as part of the deal because of his long-term contract.
For the Bulls, it comes down to how bad do you want Carmelo? If it's that bad, then you deal Noah, no question. You aren't going to get Anthony for peanuts and this is precisely the kind of trade package that would be enticing enough for the Nuggets to pull the trigger on. But at the same time, what Bulls fan wasn't pumped at the twin tower combo of Noah and Carlos Boozer? I don't care about the Bulls one bit and that duo had me excited. Plus, without Noah, Boozer's defensive deficiencies become highlighted, especially if Anthony is playing small forward in that lineup.
Noah has emerged as one of the East's best big men, averaging a double-double last season while also finishing in the top 10 in rebounding. He's a high energy player that blocked 1.6 shots a game last season.
Now the Bulls are just discussing including Noah internally. No offer has been made (that we know of). If Denver is hesitant to take back Deng, Chicago will be forced to up the ante. A deal sending James Johnson and Taj Gibson isn't going to get it done. But adding Noah into some kind of package is something that Masai Ujiri will have to stop and think about.
The issue is though, working out the numbers. The Nuggets would pretty much be forced to take back Deng in order to line up the salary exchange. A deal sending Noah, Johnson and Gibson isn't near enough salary to match Anthony's $17 million. But adding Deng plus Noah plus Johnson or Noah works.
Noah only has one year left on his current contract, so who knows if the Nuggets want a player they aren't guaranteed to keep. So in order to alleviate some of Denver's concerns about Deng's contract, Noah might be added as the trump card. At least, that's what the Bulls are discussing amongst themselves right now.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:41 am
Cavs not making any trades now, but if team struggles before deadline, we may see a firesale.
Posted by Matt Moore
Things fall apart. The center does not hold. And in the Cavs case, the center up and leaves on national television to join his buddies on the beach, sipping pina coladas while they freeze their tales off in a Midwestern winter.
And it turns out the rest of the Cavs are likely to fall apart in the next year or so. The Cavaliers haven't thrown the rest of the belongings on the lawn and put out the yard sale sign yet. After all, they still feature a lineup with Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao, and young asset J.J. Hickson. But signs are pointing towards the rest of LeBron James' former dancing partners being sent to the four corners of the league.
Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports via Twitter that if the Cavs are sub-.500 in February before the trade deadline, Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker, and Jamario Moon will all be on the block. That's three starters and a backup wing. You may be wondering who they would be getting back. Get ready for a whole lot of Erie Bayhawks if that happens, Cavs fans.
Windhorst goes on to say that he puts the odds of Jamison being moved before the deadline at 60/40. The question will be who's in the market for an aging forward with $28.4 million left on his contract (prorated, naturally). It would have to be a team similar to where the Cavs were last year, except they've already seen how that worked out. The other option is a team in the middle of a detonation, looking to clear space next year and hoping to acquire a 2012 expiring.
It's possible the Cavs could be competitive. The East is improved, no doubt, but still vulnerable and winning as many games as you're losing with a pretty good coach and a pretty good roster isn't out of range at all. But I wouldn't be snatching up any jerseys of those guys either. They may not be wearing them much longer.
Posted on: August 17, 2010 3:37 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 8:14 pm
As Ken Berger reports on the latest developments in Carmelo Anthony's exit strategy, a familiar pattern is forming, one that we saw played out over the past year in Cleveland.
Posted by Matt Moore
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger brought news last week that Carmelo Anthony was angling for a move to New York, that the situation was (according to a close source to him), "perfect for him." Now ESPN's Ric Bucher has echoed that report, stating that Carmelo is "likely" to go , and that it is a question of when, not if, Anthony will depart the Nuggets. Denver fans are holding themselves to the same mantra we heard from Raptors fans last summer and Cleveland fans as recently as June, that no reports can be trusted and that their star player can't find a better situation than the one he's in now.
But the situation is gaining steam , not dying down. The Denver Post reports today that the Nuggets are starting to evaluate options in parting ways with Melo and getting some level of return. And it would appear those avenues are starting to open and become more varied as well.
Today KB reports the following to the F&R Blog via email in the evolving Melo-camp discussions:
Anthony's hesitation to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nuggets goes beyond his desire to enjoy the major-market exposure and pressure that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade turned down this summer. Melo would accept other destinations as well, and the Magic are believed to be at the top of his list along with the Knicks, according to a person familiar with his strategy.
The short-and-long? Melo wants out of Denver, and onto a title contender, and wants it now. Not in free agency. Now. And any questions as to whether that's the case don't need to be answered by off-record sources. The evidence and a little deductive logic speaks for itself.
The most prominent response from skeptics as to if this is really Melo's desire is "Why hasn't he just said so?" And the answer is pretty simple. He already has. Just because he hasn't publicly demanded a trade, costing himself fine money and damaging his image, doesn't mean the evidence isn't right there. There's a three-year, $65 million offer from the Nuggets just waiting for him to sign it. The lack of Carmelo's signature on the dotted line isn't in and of itself a declaration that the Nuggets are off the table. But if they were what he wanted, why not just sign it? The money's there. He's been there, has friends there. It's hard to believe the Nuggets are actually holding out in offering Anthony something he wants. Whatever he's looking for, they'll oblige.
So what's he waiting for?
It's the same question I asked myself last year as Cleveland fans repeatedly told me that James had no interest in leaving. That he loved Cleveland and there was no way he would depart, would abandon them. I always walked away from these exchanges with the same question.
"Okay, then, so why hasn't he? What's he waiting for?"
A simple public statement "I look forward to finishing my career in Cleveland." Or, "We'll sit down with Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry and get to work on the deal . It may take some time, but it'll get done." He could have still entered free agency to maintain leverage to make sure he wasn't short-changed in any regard (who's going to short-change LeBron James?). All he had to do was make those kinds of public commitments and the media wouldn't have embarked on the 100-ring circus we set up. Don't put the goat in the exhibit and expect the T-Rex will stay out of sight.
And just as James never provided those kinds of assurances, always dancing around the subject, saying "We're going to go through the process" and "I love the fans in Cleveland," Anthony's embarked upon the same careful footwork. "There is no timeline" is the new "Cleveland has the edge." And the parallels don't stop there. The Cavaliers panicked when it looked like James was unhappy with Cavs management over their ability to build a roster around him, and fired head coach Mike Brown and came to a separation with Danny Ferry. Sound familiar? Denver dropped both Mark Warkentian and Rex Chapman, both of whom were held in high regard in NBA circles.
Oh, and who is Anthony's agent again?
Oh, that's right. Leon Rose. LeBron's agent and representative for CAA, which also employs William Wesley. If we were in the Matrix, the cat would have walked by twice by now and asked for the Nuggets to fly to New York to pitch Anthony using PowerPoint.
I'm not the first to say there's smoke in regards to this here fire. Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post laid out the remaining circumstantial evidence , including Anthony's sale of a Colorado estate and his East Coast upbringing (though Anthony was raised in Baltimore, he was born in New York; you're going to be hearing that fact about seven hundred zillion more times in the foreseeable future). But there's one more factor that seems to tie this whole mess of speculation and prediction together.
The discussion has been hard and heavy that Anthony's torn between the allure of a new team in free agency and wanting the financial security provided under this (presumably more player-favorable) CBA agreement. The idea was simple. Anthony wants the money, first and foremost, and for that he needs to stay in Denver. But that's only if he enters free agency. If Anthony were to be traded to a new team, that team could then extend him under the current CBA. And that feeds into the last connection between Anthony and the Miami Triad. The allure of getting everything you want, how you want it. With a trade, Anthony can find himself in a new location in title contention, and get the extension he wants. It's the best of all worlds.
The age of players having to simply accept their respective situations may be ending. If Carmelo Anthony can find a way to escape to a major market, joining a top team to contend and get the financial security of the current CBA, we'll have seen the latest manifest of the players' power in the modern NBA.
It's Denver's move. And how the next six months play out could speak volumes as to the fate of their franchise. It will also reaffirm the impact of what went on this summer in free agency, and how the landscape has changed.
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Posted on: August 12, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 9:16 pm
A look around the web at reactions to the 4-way trade between the Hornets, Rockets, Nets, and Pacers.
Posted by Matt Moore
Indiana PacersPacers blog Indy Cornrows is breathing a heavy sigh of relief as the team has finally begun to construct a roster for the future, after years of band-aids on bullet holes:
"The second major area of relief addressed was adding a point guard who isn't just a one-season rental or a stop-gap point guard until someone better surface. Darren Collison is a young and vibrant point guard who instantly energizes the backcourt and fits in well with the other young core pieces the Pacers have assembled.
Teams trying to acquire a legitimate point guard never get this lucky. You either have to overpay in assets or money, and often both. For the Pacers to have acquired a player with neither limitation nor cost, that's quite a coup. 8 Points 9 seconds touches base on how it's relevant that Collison brings the right attitude to "running the team."
"Celebrate, Pacers fans. This is a good, good, good day. The team has a point guard. I never thought this day would come. Best part? Darren is just the perfect combination of youth, talent, mentality (he wants to show the world he belongs among the better PGs on this league) and drive to run this team at a very high level immediately. I’m sure he enjoyed picking up a thing or two from Chris Paul, but he must be ecstatic to have “his” team. And with only Granger and Hibbert as established team cornerstones for the future, he can immediately put his mark on the ball club."
And that aspect is why it's important the Jim O'Brien makes it clear the team is headed for a youth movement and not allow the same kind of veteran preference overshadow the need to put the youth on the floor. The Paces also feature a solid four-man rotation in the backcourt with Collison, Brandon Rush, Lance Stephenson, and A.J. Price. Also, there's no word on if the celebration in Indiana will feature a hoe-down. (I'm not mocking. I'm from Arkansas. I respect a good hoe-down.)
"While some may argue that Trevor Ariza is the better player than Lee, that's not really my concern. Rather, I'm focused on how Lee fits with the roster, because that's what ultimately matters most. He's perfect for the free-flowing offense that Rick Adelman will likely employ with the second unit, much in the way that Shane Battier was a terrible fit for such a unit. Lee's presence frees up Battier to start once again, where he is much more comfortable. Make no mistake: Battier starting again is a good thing. He may have suffered through an ankle injury last season, but his style of play is not such that it will be affected by his aging. He is an intangibles player, much in the way Lee is. If anything, I'm excited that Lee will be able to learn from Battier"
Lee is often criticized for having limited upside. I'd argue that his upside manifests itself not in terms of increased points and assists, but in the kind of things The Dream Shake hints at, the defense and savvy attributes that Battier represents.
New Jersey NetsSebastian Pruiti of Nets Are Scorching thinks the best thing about the Nets' acquisition of Troy Murphy is his expiring contract, which gives them not only flexibility next summer, but the ability to "flip" Murphy before the deadline if a marquee upgrade becomes available to teams with cap space.
""At the start of next season, the Nets are going to have both Murphy and Humphries coming off the books, plus they are saving what Courtney Lee would be making next year ($2,225,093). This means that they are going to have somewhere in the area of $15 to $16 million worth of cap space to work with next year, when a certain indecisive forward in Denver becomes a free agent. Even if the Nets don’t make a run at Carmelo, they have a lot of money to continue adding pieces to their roster. In addition to the cap space next year, Murphy’s contract is going to be very attractive to teams at the trade deadline, and if Favors is playing well enough, I can see the Nets flipping Murphy for some young talent/trade exceptions/draft picks."
It's strange to see Murphy headed to the Nets in such a salary-shifter role, considering he was one of the more sought-after offensive weapons at last year's deadline. In the interim, he should be able to provide some help, most notably taking pressure off of Derrick Favors to come in as gangbusters, which is a really good thing considering how raw Favors is:
"From a roster standpoint, the Nets now have a power forward who can come in right away and be “the guy” at the spot. Murphy, the New Jersey native, is going to be the opening day starter, no question about it. So what does that do to the rest of the front court? It makes Derrick Favors the back-up, and this is probably the best scenario for him in terms of development. "
New Orleans HornetsHornets 247 reports on an underrated element of this trade , that head coach Monty Williams has done terrific work with similarly long versatile small forwards in Portland, which could spell good things for Ariza in New Orleans.
"It also has to be noted that this is the exact kind of small forward that new coach Monty Williams will love to work with. By all accounts he did wonders with Nicolas Batum and Travis Outlaw while he was in Portland and Ariza is further along in his game than either of those players were when Monty started working with them. Once Peja is moved, the Hornets will have two defensive minded small forwards in Pondexter and Ariza that will be able to hound players on the defensive end, fill lanes and finish in transition, and knock down the wide open threes that CP3 will be able to provide."
At The Hive, on the other hand, isn't nearly as impressed with the trade, being frustrated with not getting more for what they consider a future star in Darren Collison.
"At the end of the day, I simply expected more for Darren Collison. I thought his value was higher and that Trevor Ariza's, after an underwhelming first year in Houston, was lower. The fact that Houston received nothing more than Courtney Lee in the transaction is pretty telling."
Posted on: August 10, 2010 10:37 am
Edited on: August 10, 2010 11:57 am
Posted by Matt Moore
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Pistons have signed Tracy McGrady to a one-year deal worth the veteran's minimum of $1.3 million. McGrady signs after a long, arduous process of trying to find someone willing to take a chance on him despite consistent injury issues and a body that no longer hold the athleticism that made him an All-Star. In Detroit, he'll provide bench scoring, and may make a decision to trade Tayshaun Prince easier for Joe Dumars as he attempts to swing a significant deal to improve the Pistons who struggled last year not only due to injury but significant chemistry problems.
McGrady showed flashes with the Knicks last season of being able to produce points like he used to, but would then follow-up those flashes with crashes back to reality, needing to sit out halves and entire games to recuperate. He has played 65 games over the past two seasons, dealing with ailing knees, shoulders, backs, and a bruised ego. He famously told reporters he would be undergoing surgery before alerting his team, and tried to find a spot on the Heat, Bulls, and Clippers before the Pistons elected to take a chance on him.
Prince has an $11 million expiring contract and is still a productive player when healthy, the kind of asset that can yield big results in a trade to a team looking to dump salary or a major player. If the Pistons decide to go for a cap-clearing move, McGrady provides a reasonable part-time option on the wing, and if the Pistons elect to move Prince for a significant upgrade at another position, it's possible they could take on a similar low-cost, low-minute wing to provide balance to McGrady's inconsistency. Either way, McGrady should help to some small degree with putting butts in seats this season for a team whose attendance has plummetted as they have left title contention.
The significant question is not what McGrady brings to the Pistons, but if his arrival signals the departure of Prince.