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Tag:2011 Trade Deadline Rumors
Posted on: February 22, 2011 10:05 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 12:42 am
 

Mavs in talks to bring back Harris

Harris being talked about for deals to Portland, Dallas. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Devin Harris has been on the block for months, and now things are staring to get serious with the deadline two days away. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports  further details on the possible Devin Harris  swaps with the Dallas Mavericks  and New Jersey Nets . "Nets considering sending Devin Harris to Portland forAndre Miller  or Dallas for Caron Butler 's expiring contract, Dominique Jones  and 1st." ESPN reports that deal has been rejected, because the Mavericks only want to send Butler. 


The Dallas Morning News throws  some unsourced cold water on the Devin Harris talk. "Normally, the Mavericks look for bargains when it comes to the trade deadline. This year, bargains won’t do. Steals are what they are seeking. If it’s not along the lines of something great for something close to nothing, they don’t seem interested. Speculation about a reunion with Devin Harris seems farfetched, at best. And the Mavericks are in the enviable position of liking their situation and not needing (or wanting) to take on any long-term money in any deal." 


Yahoo! Sports is also reporting  that the Blazers are also in the talks. 


The Harris deal for Portland's Andre Miller if it winds up straight up. Miller is older, and even with a non-guaranteed contract, that only helps if you land an improvement over the summer. The Nets would essentially be downgrading while giving away their best trade asset. I don't care how well Andre Miller throws the lob, that's insane. 

The Dallas Morning News  reports that the Dallas end of the talks is "far-fetched." Butler himself says on Twitter he's not gonig anywhere .  But based on what we know of Cuban, and his soft spot for Harris, we'll have to keep an eye on it. Adding Harris makes their guard depth considerable.with Harris, Kidd, Jason Terry, Dominique Jones, Rodrigue Beaubois, and Jose Juan Barea. It basically removes any players just taking up roster spots in the backcourt. Dallas almost always makes a move or looks to, and this season should be no exception, despite all the calming noise coming out of Dallas. 
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:03 am
 

NBA Trade Deadline: Ten Most Wanted

With the NBA trade deadline approaching, we take a look at the league's ten most wanted players for acquisition before Thursday afternoon.
Posted by Matt Moore

The NBA trade deadline is just three days away (Thursday, February 24th at 3 p.m. EST). The Melo trade has held up a lot of movement but there's a lot of talk bubbling beneath it. With it expected to be resolved in the next 24 to 48 hours (like we've said about ten times, but bear with us), it's going to be a fast and furious final trade season under the current CBA agreement.  Many are predicting a toned down deadline due to the CBA, but there are enough buyers (Houston, Boston, Chicago, New Jersey) and enough sellers (Portland, Indiana, Charlotte) to make for some interesting developments as we head down the stretch. But who are the players that everyone's clamoring for? And why are they worth that much?

Saddle up, partner. Here's the true grit behind our NBA Trade Deadline 10 Most Wanted. 

1. Carmelo Anthony: Melo, naturally, is the most wanted. It's not just the vast history of all this nonsense; it's how it's come down to the wire. Two teams, both of which will be located in New York in 2012, with rich, eccentric owners, throwing out asset after asset to try and acquire the All-Star. Anthony's worth it. Even with his defensive issues and relative inefficiency compared to his fellow elite players, Anthony can score anytime, anywhere, anyway. He's a clutch performer who can take over a ballgame and having a 1-2 punch between him and either Amar'e Stoudemire or Brook Lopez would significantly boost the Knicks' or Nets' hopes for the future. His agents have kept the pressure on since July, and Denver has been slowly losing their resolve to keep him. The odds are heavily favored that Anthony will be moved sometime this week and it will kick off a series of deals with the other front offices around the league. And then the New York/New Jersey circus will really kick off. 

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports Monday that that the Nets may actually be trying to get two of the assets the Nuggets would get in a deal with the Knicks for two first rounders. If that works out, the Knicks and Nets will combine to give Denver two starters and three picks. It's not the loaded deal the Nets were offering for Anthony, but it's still an insane wagon-full of assets. If they wind up with Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and three first-round picks in exchange for just Melo and Billups, they've still lost because they lost an All-Star. But they also will have successfully set the team up to immediately turn around and compete right off the bat. They'll still be able to move J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and have Ty Lawson and Aaron Afflalo to build around along with Nene. This is the dream scenario for the Nugget if they have to trade with New York. 

2. Andre Iguodala: Iggy has been on the market for literally years. He's the consummate supporting player, able to pass, rebound, and score. He's never played alongside a top-flight point guard (sorry Philly fans, Jrue Holiday's not there yet), and has had to play the part of the primary offensive option, which he's ill-suited for. The Sixers have recently made quite a bit of noise about him not going anywhere, which frankly, baffles us. They have Evan Turner who has shown significant signs of progress as the season has progressed, and his value on the market trumps his value to the team as it tries to build a new core. But he has $44 million left on his contract, which is a big price tag to swallow for a guy who should probably be no more than third option on offense. That's not a knock on Iguodala, as we've come to understand the things he does defensively and in support for the system are nearly invaluable, and that's before we factor in his locker room leadership. If a team decides it wants to make a big move and has young assets to spend, Iguodala is a prime target for a late push.

The real answer to whether Iguodala will be moved is whether Rod Thorn and coach Doug Collins think that he's able to co-exist with Evan Turner, and if they think Iguodala can continue to be the face of the franchise with so much young talent around him. Jrue Holiday, Turner, an improved season from Thaddeus Young, and even with Elton Brand performing better than expected. At the same time, the Sixers are right in the playoff hunt, in an underwhelming middle of the Eastern Conference, and a great shot at making a run this season. However, the Sixers would be foolish to commit to Iguodala, turning down a good offer for him just to make the playoffs and get run out of the building in the first round. Part of putting your team in a position to win championships isn't just figuring out what will work, but what won't. Iguodala will continue to elicit calls right up until the deadline, big contract or no.

3. Andre Miller:  Old man game in the house!  Miller is an aging, veteran point guard who has proven he can still drop 40 every once in a while. You know exactly what you're getting with Miller. He is a consistent, reliable scorer who lacks upside and athleticism, but always manages to find a way to get it done. He's a relative steal at $3.6 million (prorated) for this season and $7.8 million non-guaranteed for next season. That means two different types of teams can vie for him: those seeking a veteran point guard upgrade to push them over the top, and those looking to dump salary next year while giving their team a reliable fill in for the remainder of the year. The Blazers have been so-so on Miller since he arrived as a free agent in 2009, clashing with Nate McMillan. But those problems were resolved quickly and he's grown to be a strong force in the locker room, the steady hand on a ship filled to the brim with the injured. Yet, he's 34 and the Blazers look to go younger. Miller has repeatedly been listed as a target in a potential Devin Harris trade, among others.  The Blazers may look to keep him order to push for the playoff income, especially given his ability to connect with LaMarcus Aldridge, but if Rich Cho elects for a full-scale revamp for the long-term, Miller will be one of the first assets put on the block, and one of the first to attract multiple offers. 

Miller's attitude may be a huge factor. He doesn't want to leave the Blazers, but is also tired of being discussed under trade talk. Moving to a rebuilding project, however, would be extremely difficult for him at this point in his career and could create an ugly situation with any team that trades for him who isn't on the up and up. On the flip side, he's a perfect option for a contending team looking to acquire a capable back-up point guard to get them over the top. While there's been little noise about this, Orlando would be one team you'd think might be giving Portland a call to inquire about Miller, should the Nets not immediately move Harris for Miller in the next few days, either through Denver or independently.

4. Marcus Camby: Speaking of the Blazers, they've got another aged, talented, productive player starting for them, and he too could be on the move. Camby has a little less than $17 million (prorated) left on his contract. He's a versatile, talented defensive center who can impact a game at both ends, is reliable and capable. He's a seasoned veteran who does his job, has an expiring contract after 2012, and can push a contender over the top. The only problem? He doesn't want to leave. Sources have said he would "contemplate retirement" if he was traded to a rebuilding situation, and his agent has talked strongly about how much he wants to stay in Portland, where he's moved his family. We've seen this before, as older players really love the atmosphere and lifestyle of raising their families in Portland, on a team with a loving fanbase that always tries to contend. Still, Camby can't control what happens, and if presented with an opportunity to win a ring, he would likely welcome the opportunity wholeheartedly. 

The same problem exists for Rich Cho with Camby as it does with Miller. They're both huge reasons why the Blazers are still in the playoff hunt and moving them would almost certainly result in a drop to the lottery. The Blazers are likely aiming to get a deal that frees them up long-term while still taking on players of a solid caliber. They know it will be difficult to improve with a trade for Camby, but they may be able to move his conract while still adding talent to keep them in the same place. Houston has been mentioned by CBSSports.com's Ken Berger as a possible destination for Camby.

5. O.J. Mayo:  Talk about a bad year. In Summer League, the Grizzlies pressed O.J. Mayo to play point guard, resulting in some terrible, turnover-filled performances after which he was yanked following a handful of performances. He was cut from Team USA despite their need for perimeter shooting. In preseason, Lionel Hollins questioned him publicly. He started the year in a shooting slump, so significant that Hollins decided to move him to the bench, in order to improve their bench scoring, the first time Mayo has come off the bench in organized ball in his life, mostly likely. His name started to appear in trade rumors. He watched as Mike Conley got a $40 million extension, with Lionel Hollins backing him for two years despite his struggles, while Mayo was yanked to the bench at the first sign of a slump. He got into a fight with Tony Allen on a team flight over a gambling dispute and got his lights knocked out. And then he got busted for a performance-enhancing drug, earning him a ten-game suspension. 

So why then is Mayo then such a popular trade prospect? Because he's very good. In his first two years in the league he was a high-level perimeter threat, able to score both in spot-up situations and off the dribble. He has a ways to go on defense, particularly against larger two guards where he's almost always undersized, but he shows great quickness and anticipation. He's still on his rookie contract and will be an RFA under the newly modified CBA next summer, meaning he's not a risk to depart a team that acquires him. And he's one of the few players who is truly capable of dropping 30 on a given night when he's hot. He's everything you want in a trade prospect. Unwanted by his team, available for affordable extension, talented, still with upside, and with low trade value due to off-the-court issues and team decisions which don't signify long-term problems. The Grizzlies have consistently said publicly that they plan to re-sign Mayo and not trade him. But there have been suggestions across the league that teams have inquired about him and received positive feedback that he can be had for the right price, though that's expected to possibly be too high. Mayo is teetering on the very edge of a move. If a GM gets itchy to acquire a player of that ilk, he's likely to go. 

6. Aaron Brooks: Seems like only yesterday he was carving up the Lakers in the 2009 playoffs, prompting L.A. fans abroad to ask "Who IS this guy?!" Now he's an upcoming free agent without an extension, disgruntled and unhappy as the Rockets have done what they usually do. Get the most out of a player's ability without ever over-committing to a contract they would regret later. They did the same thing with Carl Landry, eventually signing him on the cheap, then trading him to Sacramento for Kevin Martin. Now they face a similar situation with Brooks, only he represents an expiring contract, increasing his trade value. 

Brooks' value on the open market isn't sky high. He's an undersized point guard who's not particularly efficient. He doesn't have insane athleticism, nor does he possession tremendous vision .He's just a good, solid, young point guard who can be had for a reasonable price. And even with the depth of the point guard position, those are still valuable. Brooks has incredible speed and is a tremendous finisher at the basket. He's had some trouble with Adelman but this season has been the first where he's struggled with team issues. What's more, the Rockets won't horde him, trying to get the most value out of him. Instead, he can be had in a combination package with some of the rest of the Rockets' young talent. But Brooks can be used as the centerpiece in the deal. A team looking for a backup point guard to provide scoring will likely look to Brooks first when they go to market. 

7. Andrei Kirilenko: It's baffling that in the midst of what seems more and more like a disastrous season for the Utah Jazz, Andrei Kirilenko's name hasn't started foaming from sources' mouths like the sources have Russian Freak Wing Rabies. Kirilenko is 29 with several good years still left in him, averages 13, 6, and 3, with 1 steal and 1 block in 32 minutes per game. But biggest of all? He has a $17.8 million expiring contract. Close to $18 million coming off the books. There's been a lot of talk that expiring contracts won't hold as much value this year with the CBA coming up, which doesn't make a lot of sense. For starters, the new CBA likely won't affect luxury tax payments for this season. Next, even if the cap is decreased significantly, and even if it is made into a hard cap, space under that cap will still be valuable. Especially for teams looking to park contracts like Kirilenko's to get rid of their players and change things up. Kirilenko isn't the star the Jazz hoped he would be when they signed him to his last contract. But he's still a tall, strong, veteran player who can contribute to a contending team, or help a rebuilding franchise transition. Kirilenko will likely start popping up in rumors as the deadline draws nearer. 

The problem is that even by paying for a rental with Kirilenko, you don't know what you're going to get. His time with Utah has been described with significant high points and low points. He's been a big reason for the Jazz' continued success, but has also never taken the next step that management thought he would when the signed him to the extension. Teams trading for him have little way to tell how he would react in another locker room, and that's a big gamble for the remainder of his $17.8 million contract. 


8. Devin Harris: Harris was thought to be the building block of the Nets' rebuilding project when they traded Jason Kidd for him. But he's only been above average, never great, especially after that first season. When the Nets were in the lead for the John Wall sweepstakes last year, which of course they lost, there was rampant talk that the Nets would trade Harris once assured of the No.1 pick. We never got to find out the answer to that as the Nets wound up with Derrick Favors, instead. Harris isn't as young as some folks think, turning 28 three days after the deadline. But he's in his prime, and still able to run an offense, has little injury history, good explosiveness, nice scoring ability and good vision. Which is why he's been a part of the Nets' talks for Melo since the beginning, and why should a deal fall through for Anthony, he's likely on his way out anyway. 

Harris has suffered with poor teammates but the thoughts from several front office officials is that he could produce were he on a contending team. It's difficult to go from a playoff team like Dallas to a rebuilding project, especially when his second season in New Jersey was historically bad. Throw in the weight of trade rumors hovering overhead and there's enough to cloud the issue of Harris' performance. But the Nets will have to capitalize while that value is still in effect or they'll wind up with nothing for him. Portland has expressed interest several times, including the aforementioned deal for Andre Miller, and Dallas has shown similar interest. 

9. Stephen Jackson / Gerald Wallace: One of them will probably go. Not both, most likely, but one. The Bobcats need to cut salary. They're looking at an uphill climb to the playoffs, and even then the odds of any progress there are nonexistent. They need to get rid of some of the older players on large, sizeable contracts, and these two represent their biggest sale items for such a move. Jackson has been involved in more talks. He's a veteran scorer who can drop 30 regularly, has played on a championship team (Spurs 2003), has led the most unlikely upset in NBA playoff history with the Warriors, and is respected across the league as a fierce competitor and locker-room leader. 

Sure, he's a little nuts, but who isn't? Jackson's off the court issues have vanished with age, and now his biggest liability is his contract. Golden State surrendered a massive extension to him that leaves over $20 million still left on his contract over the next two and a half years, all guaranteed. Jackson will be 35 when his contract expires. That's a pretty old player with a less-than-elite ceiling to be paying over $10 million to. But considering the possibility of CBA rollbacks on current contracts, and the chance for Jackson to contribute to a winner, he's likely going to be high on the list. The Mavericks have been most prominently discussed as a viable buyer, with Caron Butler's expiring as bait.

Wallace on the other hand was an All-Star last season, is only 28, and is a high-price addition. He's got $21 million left on his deal over three-years, and a player option for the third year. But Wallace could contribute immediately to a contender. He's a wing that can rebound, provide assists and scoring, and is an elite defender. He's reliable and has no discernibly blatant weaknesses in his game, despite a low ceiling for performance. Wallace isn't going to drop 40 on you, but he is going to stuff the stat sheet every night. Jackson has received more attention, but it's Wallace who may wind up getting stronger offers he can't refuse as the deadline nears.

10. Ramon Sessions: Sessions was drafted in the second round, spent time in the D-League, then showed up with the Bucks and  immediately showed promise. But he was then buried by Scott Skiles, and wound up signing an offer sheet with Minnesota, who of course, mishandled him, then traded him to Cleveland. Sessions has played for most of the season as the starting point guard for the team who lost the most consecutive games in history (with Mo Williams missing significant time due to injury). So why are so many teams interested in him?

Because he's talented, consistent, and efficient. Sessions has a strong ability to attack the basket, good handle, and is cheap. He's got just $10 million left on his deal over three years with a player option in the third year. He has a 19 PER and has proven to be coachable, talented, and has considerable growth potential. He's simply been passed from one bad team to the next. On a good team he could wind up as a serious addition off the bench. Which is why the Knicks and Hawks have both made inquiries about him. Sessions is the kind of player who deserves a fresh start. Maybe he'll get one to get off this disaster of a Cavs team. Either way, expect a lot of talk about him before Thursday afternoon.

(All salary info courtesy of ShamSports .)

Posted on: February 19, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Trade Deadline Rumor Round-Up: Non-Melo Edition

Trade rumors abound about people other than Carmelo Anthony, including Anthony Parker, Ramon Sessions, and Nene. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Believe it or not, there are trade deadline rumors that don't involve Carmelo Anthony. I know, we're amazed, too. Here's a round-up of what's going on outside of the... ugh... I'm sorry. I can't call it Melodrama anymore. I just can't do it without getting physically ill. Anyway, trade rumors!

Celtics, Bulls vying for Anthony Parker

ESPN reports that both the Celtics and Bulls are vying for Anthony Parker, the wingman for the Cavs. Parker's not having a great season (I know, a Cavalier having a bad season, who would have thought?), but he is shooting 40% from the arc. The best thing about Parker currently is that he's a bargain deal. The Bulls or Celtics can reportedly get him for either a young big man or a draft pick. The Celtics have Semih Erden and the Bulls have Omar Asik. With the playoffs coming up, rotations are shortened and Erden and Asik are unlikely to get time (provided Joakim Noah and/or the Celtics twin O'Neals stay healthy), so they're expendable. Parker provides help where both teams need it. 

The Bulls need a longer perimeter wing to go behind Luol Deng while the Celtics are struggling with Marquis Daniels out for several weeks. Parker is a fit in both places as an athletic veteran. This is the kind of bargain deal that good teams pursue while other teams are knocking themselves out chasing after big names. 

Everybody loves Ramon

Earlier this week Ken Berger reported that the Hawks were interested in Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions. That interest is spreading like a disease, now, with Portland and the Knicks also reportedly having interest

But the Akron Beacon Journal reports that the interest is one-sided, with the Cavs not showing particular enthusiasm for moving him.  Because the one thing you know is that when you lose 25 games in a row, you don't want to switch things up. 

We've already argued that the Cavs need a total and complete firesale, and Sessions shouldn't be exempted. If they can get someone to take on another deal with him, so be it. Yes, he's a young talent, and yes, he's arguably their best player. But the Cavs' problems are so severe as to warrant whatever changes they can make without taking on long-term money. Portland is an attractive situation with veterans on expiring contracts and younger players, while the Knicks? Well, the Knicksdon't need Eddy Curry if the Melo deal falls through so they can afford to take some of the Cavs' flotsam in order to take on Sessions. But the Cavs have to reach that level first. 

Speights to the Party

Speaking of the Blazers, Berger said they'd be active, and they're in just about every rumor we've got. Including this one, which has them interested in sending young Dante Cunningham to Philadelphia for Marreese Speights. Speights is just 23, and his per-minute numbers continue to climb even as he gets fewer minutes and a smaller role in the offense now that Elton Brand has put in a better season. Perhaps most important, Speights' rebounding figures are starting to catch up with his scoring ability, while he's gotten his FG% over 50%. 

Cunningham by comparison has done a lot for the Blazers as their lone remaining healthy center (knock on wood, you knock on wood right now).  But he doesn't have the versatility Speights has and Speights' upside is still formidable. He's got a solid mid-range J, crazy athleticism, and has never had resources devoted to his development. 

But it looks like Philly is doing the most aggrivating thing teams can do, keeping a talented young player buried while also not listening to trade offers. 

Nene not looking to relocate, regardless of Melo

There's been talk of Nene possibly looking to get out of Denver should Melo walk. But Yahoo! Sports reports that family issues may keep Nene there long-term. His wife's pregnant and from Colorado. Often overlooked in players' desire to win or chase big markets or money is the impact of family. Nene may wind up being the building block the Nuggets will need him to be going forward regardless of how the Melo situation works out after all. 

Diaw the Fix-It-All (Okay, not really, but it rhymed, kind of)

Boris Diaw has an expring contract, an oversized midsection, and a versatile game, still. Yahoo! also reports that the Bobcats are looking to move Diaw (to "change their team a bit").  Diaw is undersized as a five and a four, oversized as a three, has good handle, can shoot, attack off the drive, play the post and work as a passer in the pinch-post. He just can't do any of those things exceptionally well. With a $9 million expiring, he'll be a target for teams. 
Posted on: February 18, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 12:00 am
 

Melo: 'I'm ready for this whole thing to be over'

Carmelo Anthony speaks at All-Star media availability, and affirms no meetings scheduled with Nets or Knicks. Melo says he's "ready for this whole thing to be over."
Posted by Matt Moore

In front of one of the largest media assemblies at All-Star Media availability, Carmelo Anthony faced the throng to speak about his current situation, while rumors fly as heavy as any in recent memory. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com was there to capture Melo's quotes in our live feed

As he played the verbal tango with the media, Anthony made one thing clear: he's tired of all this. ""There's some things that I'm still thinking about in the back of my head. I'm ready for this whole thing to be over with," Melo said, as he reasserted that he had not scheduled meetings with either the Nets' or Knicks' representatives. His frustration with the situation was evident behind his usual (this season, anyway) cool, collected demeanor. "I'm mindboggled right now about this whole situation," he said. "I just want to get this thing over with right now. I wish there was just something, a legit offer on the table and the Nuggets can say, 'Let’s get it done.'"

He did say however that an extension with the Nets, the matter which is reportedly holding a nine-player deal in pending , is not off the table. ""That's something I'm going to have to think about," but he noted "there are a lot of things that come into play when dealing with that. The superstar was very clear that he wasn't going to get boxed into any decision, and that staying in Denver is still a possibility.

"I've told you guys this since day one, that's still an option," Melo said in regards to the possibility that he would re-sign with Denver. He reasserted that he's said that continuously since the summer, while of course omitting that he's also turned down the opportunity to sign that extension since July. However, he did say he hadn't talked with Denver in months about that possiblity. "I haven't had that conversation since November or December, it doesn't surprise me. It just tells me what they’re trying to do, obviously they're trying to get younger and save money over there. At the end of the day, it’s a business so they’ve got to make a business decision. And I've got to look at it as my career and as a business decision."
"I can't really sit here and say I want to go here or I want to go there," Melo said on his preference between New York and New Jersey, remaining coy while admitting that he was "pretty sure" the Nuggets were negotiating with N.J., giving a little weight to the reports of the past day while still feigning ignorance. Melo did say he was examining the possibility of being traded without an extension. "It’s a lot of situations that I look at. If the Nuggets came to me and said, 'This is a deal that we have, this is another deal that we have', I would have to look into that if my option is not to sign."

But the idea of being a "rental" as Melo referred to it, should he be traded without an extension, does not appeal to him. "Unless they’re trying to get car services and want to rent a car. I really don’t want to have to be a rental. I don’t feel like I'm a rental player. I don’t want to go somewhere and be a rental for two months and then have to deal with this all over again. I dont want to go there."

For all the talk that Melo is the one who can control his destiny, he says that Denver has just as much control over where he ends up. While he can tell the Nuggets where he wants to go, Anthony says it's still their job to figure out what's best for them. "They have to do what’s best for them and their organization, too. So at the end of the day, they can say, forget it, we have to take care of our organization, Melo. He did what he had to do here for eight years, but we have to do what we have to do, too."

Anthony said that the Knicks have a different situation from the Nuggets, because in Melo's mind, the Nuggets are looking to rebuild, while the Knicks are already ready to win. "Far as building, which the Nuggets are trying to obviously do in their near future they’re trying to start all over and build up – and don’t try to flip it on me – but New York already has something there. I think the city is looking forward to briging back great basketball and they’re looking forward to that. So if that’s my destination then that’s something that I can bring to that city."


So if Melo's so big on New York, what would he be looking for in a meeting with Knicks' owner James Dolan? "Just something that I want to look in Mr. Dolan’s eyes and see if he’s really interested in me coming to New York or see if Mr. Prokhorov is interested in me coming to Jersey. Whoever I deal with I want to have a sitdoown with. That’s just proper etiquitte."

Anthony made clear that New York and New Jersey aren't the only options, however. "I don’t think they're the only two teams that I can sit here and say, "Yo, I definitely want to be on those teams or nobody else." The Nuggets have to weigh their options. If it’s a deal with somebody else that’s legit then we all have to sit down and hash that out and talk about it. But time is ticking, man, and time is money."

The most revealing quote from Anthony was that he wanted to see a "legit" offer by the end of the weekend. He's through sitting back and being accepting of what has been happening. "Before I leave here I would love to have something on the table. I would love to have an offer, a legit offer on the table where they can sit down with me and say, 'Melo, this is what we have. Let’s try to figure it out.' But as of late there’s been a lot of things that have been going on in the media, deals in the media that haven't been legit."

"I would love to have something happen this weekend. I would love to have a legit offer to sit down and figure it out."

After six months, this thing may finally be coming to an end. At least Anthony understands the media and fans are tired of it as well.

"This has been  a long process for me, for my family, just for everybody, I'm pretty sure it’s been a long process for you guys too, to have to wake up in the morning and deal with the Melodrama."

Maybe this weekend is the breaking point for all this nonsense to end. 
Posted on: February 18, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Melo: "No meeting at all" scheduled with NJ, NY

Carmelo Anthony denies that any meeting is scheduled with Mikhail Prokhorov and that any such meeting is news to him.
Posted by Matt Moore

UPDATE 3:30 p.m. EST: The AP also reports that Anthony denied any meeting with James Dolan, just as Berger had reported


There are also reports that Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan wants to meet with Anthony this weekend. Anthony said there was no meeting scheduled with him, either, but seems to see the value in talking with a team that's interested in him. "Whether it's Prokhorov or Dolan or (Lakers owner Jerry) Buss, the third team that just came out last week, whoever it is, you would want to sit down and have eye contact with him and get a feeling for him," Anthony said.

If there are talks ongoing, it's being done without bringing Melo in, yet. Which, you know, is unlikely. If Melo's not being honest here, it's a continuation of his strategy of "playing dumb' throughout this process. If he's being honest, he's also not actively pursuing such meetings. Melo continues to play this very cool. 

Refuting reports from multiple sources, Carmelo Anthony told the AP today that "no meeting at all" was scheduled with Mikhail Prokhorov or the Nets organization. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported Thursday night no meeting had been scheduled with Anthony and the Nets, or the Knicks

Granted, considering it seems that absolutely no one is telling the truth in this situation, Melo could in fact have already met with Prokhorov, or have scheduled a meeting, or be on his way to a meeting.  But if he's being honest, then that means that a lot of the noise coming out of the Nets camp may not be as reliable, which calls into queston how close the Nets really are to getting him to agree to the extension that would push the trade through. 

Newsday reports that it's not just Prokhorov who the Nets are trying to get Melo to meet with, but minority owner Jay-Z.  The report also states that Jay-Z is trying to get a deal done Friday, as Saturday he has his annual dinner with close friend LeBron James. Such a busy guy, that H.O.V.A..

The takeaway here is that the Nets deal is probably not nearly as close as some outlets are trying to let on. Our own Ken Berger will keep you updated on the latest, just as he has since this whole Melodrama Melocatastrophe started. . You can follow him on Twitter here
Posted on: February 18, 2011 12:49 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Report: If Melo agrees, Nets deal in place

Report says a tentative Nets-Melo deal is in place, but as always, Melo still has to agree to extension which he has resisted for six months. 
Posted by Matt Moore

The Bergen Record is reporting a tentative deal is in place for Carmelo Anthony to become a Net, pending Anthony's agreement to an extension -- a piece of paper that has become the most ballyhooed document outside of Congress. 

The deal is the same Ken Berger reported on Thursday evening and we discussed Thursday afternoon , reported now by the Record , ESPN , and Yahoo!. It features the Nuggets getting Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and Ben Uzoh, with a third team taking on Troy Murphy. No one's figured out a third team to take Murphy, so either the deal isn't as tentatively "done" as the Record  is reporting or the teams are agreeing to a deal that assumes something they can't really count on. Again, no surprises there, considering how botched this process has been from the beginning. 

So again, the ball is in Melo's court.

Berger reported early Thursday that no talks have been scheduled between Melo and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov nor with Knicks owner James Dolan. That could change between now and Thursday's media availability, for which we'll have full coverage. 

For Prokhorov to take this meeting is in and of itself revealing of his attitudes as an owner. Apparently enough was not enough. Despite Masai Ujiri playing with the Nets for up to six weeks, agreeing to deals then backtracking and wanting more, the Russian mogul is about to get in bed with Denver again, only this time he's giving up the largest collection of assets yet. It may be the best thing for his business, but you have to wonder how he'd feel about it were he to step back and realize how badly he's been jerked around so far, assuming these reports are accurate. 

Anthony, however, isn't running into this arrangement with open arms. He's having to be convinced to meet with the owner of a National Basketball Association team in a major market that's looking to build a championship around him. If he's convinced, it won't be his whole self that is convinced -- it'll simply be an understanding that this is a compromise that features two of his goals: to play in a bigger market and to get the extension before the CBA is renegotiated. 

And what will be left to help him after the Nets trade away nearly a third of their team? Billups, Vujacic, Humphries and Lopez, with Morrow, Farmar, Outlaw and Stephen Graham off the bench. GET EXCITED, NEW JERSEY. For the remaining year you have before the team bolts to Brooklyn. 

This situation is as perplexing as ever, and should it fall through, Donnie Walsh may need oxygen because he'll be laughing so hard. 



Posted on: February 17, 2011 8:29 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 8:34 pm
 

Report: Nets in advanced talks for Melo... again.

Conflicting reports surface regarding possible revived Nets-Nuggets talks for Carmelo Anthony.
Posted by Matt Moore

I could have swore we were just here. Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the New Jersey Nets are in "advanced talks" in a huge nine-player, four-pick deal that would shake out as the following: 

New Jersey Nets receive: 

Carmelo Anthony
Chauncey Billups
Renaldo Balkman
Melvin Ely
Shelden Williams.

Denver Nuggets receive:

Derrick Favors
Devin Harris
Troy Murphy
Ben Uzoh
And... four first-round picks.

That is an absurd lump of assets for one player, and if true, shows just how desperate the Nets are to contend immediately. They're giving up Derrick Favors and Harris, along with the expiring contract of Troy Murphy, basically to get Melo and Billups. And that's before you factor in giving up 4 first-rounders. Those picks are likely spread out over the 2011 through 2014 draft (the Nets own the Warriors 2011 pick, lottery protected, as well as their 2012, and the Rockets' 2012 picks), but that's a massive amount of first-rounders to surrender, even for an All-Star, before we look at the value of Harris and Favors. 

However, a spokesperson for Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov Thursday reasserted to the AP that the owner "has not changed his mind" since cutting off talks with the Nuggets over the last deal when the Nets were asking for three first-rounders.  ESPN reported Thursday that the Nets had entered into talks again, and that it was Prokhorov's insistence that the Nets be the ones to open the dialogue again. 

So either Prokhorov's spokesperson is lying or not up to speed, and Prokhorov decided it was fine to deal with Denver if they opened talks, even if it meant talking about an even higher price tag than the last one Prokhorov walked away from, or the Nuggets are trying to apply pressure on New York by fabricating talks with the New Jersey Nets. 

So this is fun. 

Expect things to continue on this track through the weekend and possibly all the way to the deadline. The Melo story has just hit a whole other gear of crazy. 
Posted on: February 17, 2011 8:33 am
 

Trade Deadline: Devin Harris to Blazers?

Report indicates Nets and Blazers discussing swap involving Andre Miller and Devin Harris among other pieces. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Devin Harris has been talked about in trade rumors which would ship him to Portland for months. He was part of one of the first Nets-Melo deals back in September. He was discussed in the second deal as well, with the idea being Denver would then ship him to Portland for Nicolas Batum. So the Blazers obviously have some level of interest in him, and the word's been out for a while that they would like to move Andre Miller. Which means that the latest report out of the Bergen Record has some immediate weight, as it suggests there have been talks already between Portland and New Jersey recently for just such a swap. From the Record:

The Nets and Blazers have exchanged trade proposals and still are discussing a deal. Harris and veteran point guard Andre Miller are the main pieces, but more players are involved, multiple NBA sources said. 
It’s doubtful the Nets will trade Harris, who turns 28 in two weeks, straight up for Miller, who turns 35 next month. 
The Nets want to expand the trade and are trying to include disappointing free-agent signing Travis Outlaw, who began his career in Portland. The Blazers are interested in shooting guard Anthony Morrow.
via Nets, Blazers talking about Devin Harris deal - NorthJersey.com.

The report goes on to suggest that the Nets have also brought up Rudy Fernandez and Joel Przybilla in the talks. Harris has struggled since his first season with New Jersey, which showed a lot of promise. Harris is still considered a "young" point guard despite turning 28 this month and has more athleticism than Miller (because he has any athleticism at all at this point).  Harris is the biggest value chip that the Nets have, and the Blazers have multiple assets they could be looking to move, so this one makes a lot of sense. The Nets could easily move Harris and pull in Przybilla to finish out his expring season, and then swap out Troy Murphy or buy him out to create even more space. 

And yet. 

Miller has been a huge part of LaMarcus Aldridge's explosion into stardom this season, lobbing to him several times a game. Miller's also been vital for their overall success and is a key component to their playoff run. Harris is likely the better player, but the old "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" axiom is in play here. If the Blazers want that playoff money, keeping Miller is a safe bet. Similarly, Rudy Fernandez after complaining for months about wanting to leave the country all together, has played fairly brilliantly for the Blazers. Will the situation be the same if he goes to a losing squad? 

Adding Morrow would be a great get for the Blazers, as he would provide balance with Aldridge and perimeter scoring by the handful. This is the kind of move for the Blazers that could upgrade their talent and clear their books, without having to take a step backwards towards rebuilding, which the franchise is hesitant to do, still. 

But where does Morrow fit in with Wesley Matthews and Brandon Roy? And for the Nets, why take on Miller knowing you'll just be left trying to find another point guard next year (assuming they drop Miller's last year which is non-guaranteed)? There are questions in this deal to be sure. But it's clear that Portland's interested in Harris, and the Nets want to deal.  There may be some fire to this smoke. 

Or, you know, it's yet another trade rumor. It's that time of the year, really.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com