Tag:Kelenna Azubuike
Posted on: February 7, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 7:11 pm
 

New names in Nuggets / Knicks / Wolves proposal?

More names have surfaced in a Carmelo Anthony trade proposal involving the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves. Postedcarmelo-anthony by Ben Golliver.

The latest round of Carmelo Anthony trade proposal rumors have involved the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have tons of cap space to act a potentieal facilitator of a deal between the Denver Nuggets, who must trade their All-Star forward or risk losing him for nothing this summer, and the New York Knicks, who want Anthony but are trying to appeaer coy about the whole thing.

Last week, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger first reported the talks. Over the weekend, we noted one trade proposal that involved Knicks center Eddy Curry and forward Anthony Randolph going to Minnesota along with cash, Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer, a pick, and Knicks forward Wilson Chandler going to Denver, and Anthony going to New York. 

The New York Post reports on Monday that the talks are in "advanced discussions" and that a few other Knicks may be involved as well.
Rookie guard Andy Rautins and Kelenna Azubuike's expiring contract have been discussed as parts of the Carmelo Anthony three-team package, The Post has learned. The Knicks have to add more pieces to the reported three-team trade proposal for Anthony to make it work from a talent and financial perspective for the Nuggets, according to NBA sources.
The Knicks, Nuggets and Timberwolves have had advanced discussions on a three-team trade, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.The Knicks would also give up Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph (to Minnesota) and Eddy Curry's expiring contract.
Here's what it would look like in the trade machine, if you're interested. It can't go down exactly as constructed because Denver would exceed the league's 15-player roster maximum, so either Denver would need to shed some other pieces or the incoming package wouldn't include all four of the names that have been floated out there.

For Denver, all that's missing is talent! But, seriously, this is a huge discount on the New Jersey Nets offer that was discussed for the last few months. Financially, the Nuggets take on no future obligations -- acquiring three expiring contracts -- except Rautins, who is on a second-round pick's rookie deal. The picks would be nice, too, but still not nearly as attractive as the prospect of Derrick Favors. It is better than nothing, however, and we are entering the stage of negotiatons where "better than nothing" is starting to look better and better.

For New York, this is the dream scenario: upgrade from Chandler to Anthony without sacrificing a single core piece in the process. It allows New York to become a legit title contender in the East. Nothing more needs to be said.

Remarkably, Minnesota might come up even shorter than Denver here. The Wolves are one of only two teams, along with the Sacramento Kings, to have legit cap space, and that's proven to be a powerful trade deadline asset. To turn that space into Anthony Randolph, still a project, and enough cash to cover the difference between the remaining money owed to Curry and Brewer doesn't seem like a very good return on that asset. Surely there are better offers out there, either now or as we get closer to the deadline.

Any time two of the three teams are coming up short, that's probably a good sign this deal isn't going down as reported. But this triad of teams is worth keeping an eye on, purely for financial reasons. The Knicks have money to burn and a desire to get a deal done; given their respective ownership groups, both Denver and Minnesota are always in the market for financially beneficial moves and, in this case, Minnesota is in a perfect position to help make that kind of deal happen.

There's no reason to believe that these three sides shouldn't continue talking in an effort to craft a more even proposal that benefits all of the involved parties. But this iteration is lacking some needed clarity.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:34 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 9:30 pm
 

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question..

Will the Knicks make the playoffs?

The Knicks are brand new. Fresh out the oven, piping hot, clean waxed, new car smell, brand spankin' new. And that's certainly a good thing as all but the last remnants of the epic failboat that was built there over the last decade have been cleansed and a new team stand in its place, faster, younger, and better built to contend. The Knicks have a bonafide star in Amar'e Stoudemire, a solid point guard in Raymond Felton, a tantalizing wing in Danilo Gallinari, a workhorse in Ronny Turiaf, a floor-spreader in Kelenna Azubuike, and whatever you would call Anthony Randolph.

The questions are, first, is this team good enough to make the playoffs, and two, is there room in the playoffs for them? Let's work backwards.

If we're looking at potential playoff teams, the traditional approach is to take last year's crew, throw out anyone that isn't going to make the cut, then add the new entrants based on likelihood. Well, I think we can go ahead and toss the Cavs out of the "definite" category and into the "maybe" pack down there with the Knicks. Celtics are a lock, Magic are a lock, the Hawks are a near-lock with only a chemistry-based nuclear meltdown as the variable in question. The Bulls are a lock with their additions in place. It's hard to say that the Bucks will take a step back, we'll put them in "near-lock" with the Hawks. The Bobcats haven't lost anyone beside Felton outside of Tyson Chandler, who rarely played for them anyway due to injury. Felton's loss is significant, but counting out Larry Brown before the season gets started is something that's gone on a lot the last few years and worked out badly each time. And you know, I think Miami just might be a lock too, you know, if things go well and all.

So that leaves only one open playoff spot with a bunch of middle teams vying for the chance to be swept off the planet. Still, making the playoffs is a big deal. And there's an opportunity in play.

The second question is if the Knicks will be good enough. From that standpoint, there are positive, but liquid, signs. The Knicks won 29 games last season, leaving them 11 out of the playoffs. Think about that. A team with Chris Duhon, Al Harrington, and Wilson Chandler as the big contributors won 29 games. You can put almost any lineup on the floor in the NBA regular season and win close to 20 games. That's what made the Nets so remarkable.

Amar'e Stoudemire should make a huge difference. Surrounding a single star player with even semi-competent role players is usually enough for 20-25 wins. Don't believe me? The Clippers made the playoffs with Elton Brand, flanked by Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley. Or, just take a look at the Miami Heat over the past two seasons. From there, you're looking at 17-22 wins the rest of the new Knicks are going to have to generate.

This team is much better developed to run Mike D'Antoni's system, with Azubuike and Gallinari spreading the floor from the perimeter, Randolph running the floor and filling gaps, Felton running the pick and roll, and Amar'e finishing with a flourish. Throw in Chandler, who in a backup role is much more appealing, Ronny Turiaf as a capable rebounding center, and Toney Douglas as a combo guard with athleticism. That's a solid D'Antoni built team. The floor for this team is likely still a six game improvement over last season, but its ceiling is probably high enough to make the seventh seed.

There are still questions galore about this team. Can they defend, at all? Can they rebound? Will they stay healthy enough? Can Amar'e really thrive without Steve Nash? Is Felton enough of an upgrade at point to have the system function? What role will Eddy Curry play? Okay, I'm kidding on that last one. No one asks that. But there are doubts as to whether the Knicks will be anything more than the best lottery team next season. But taking a look over the East, it's hard to say they won't be right there for the playoffs if things go according to plan.
Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:26 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 5:35 pm
 

Offseason Reviews: Atlantic Division

Posted by Matt Moore

With only a handful of free agents left on the market and with summer league over, we thought we'd take a look at how teams in the Central Division did over the summer in negotiating their moves.


 

Boston Celtics

Added: Ray Allen (re-signed), Paul Pierce (re-signed), Marquis Daniels (re-signed), Jermaine O'Neal (free agency), Nate Robinson (re-signed), Von Wafer (free agency), Avery Bradley (draft), Luke Harangody (draft)
Lost: Tony Allen (free agency), Shelden Williams (free agency)

Philosophy: "Ain't broke. Ain't fixing."

We thought they were too old to win last year, and they pushed the Lakers to seven games, and had a lead deep in the second half. Shows what we know. So the Celtics have rolled the dice with the same core again, another year older, another year slower, another year wiser, and for all intents and purposes, have changed almost nothing about their approach in a year.

Sure, adding Jermaine O'Neal gives them a fourth big to slot in, and will give Kendrick Perkins the time he needs to recover from surgery. But after dancing with the idea of trading Ray Allen, the Celtics re-signed the sharpshooter, gave Paul Pierce a new contract and for better or worse, have decided this is the ship they're going to sea with. It's had a ton of success, and obviously they feel that if they were able to go as deep as they did this year, there's no reason to believe they can't do the same this year.

The critics will add that Chicago, New York, and most especially Miami improved, but the Celtics will respond by saying those teams haven't proven anything. There's only one team that matters to Boston, and that team has the ring. Until then, they will consider the rest of the East nothing but pretenders. As long as they stay healthy, they have that right.

Grade: B

New Jersey Nets

Added: Derrick Favors (draft), Damion James (draft), Anthony Morrow (free agency), Jordan Farmar (free agency), Travis Outlaw (free agency), Johan Petro (free agency)
Lost: Tony Battie (free agency), Keyon Dooling (free agency)

Philosophy: "In search of the meaning of Plan B'"

Man, what a letdown. They thought they had a shot at it all. Drafting John Wall. Signing his good friend, LeBron James. Building an empire in Brooklyn. Capitalizing on new owner Mikhail Prokhorov's wealth and power, minority owner Jay-Z's fame, and LeBron's game. It was all set up perfectly. And then one series of disasters after another occurred, and the Nets fell flat. Didn't even walk out with Carlos Boozer. Whiffed on every single one of the top flank free agents.

Don't get me wrong, Anthony Morrow is the steal of the summer. Great shooter, has upside, physical tools to be a better defender than he was in Golden State (like every Warrior). But Jordan Farmar means almost nothing to them. Derrick Favors is so raw he comes with a side of wasabi and ginger, and Johan Petro is... Johan Petro. Even with Travis Outlaw it's hard to see a plan in place, much less the execution of that plan. This team won't be as bad as it was last year, because it's almost impossible for them to. But it's hard to see them being much better.

Grade: F

New York Knicks


Added: Amar'e Stoudemire (sign-and-trade), Raymond Felton (free agency), Kelenna Azubuike (trade), Anthony Randolph (trade, Ronny Turiaf (trade), Timofey Mozgov (free agency), Andy Rautins (draft), Landry Fields (draft), Jerome Jordan (draft)
Lost: Chris Duhon (free agency), Al Harrington (free agency), Eddie House (free agency), Sergio Rodriguez (free agency), David Lee (sign-and-trade)

Philosophy: "Express yourself."

Stylin' and profilin', the Knicks are coming to town. This isn't the super-team Knicks fans hoped for, not even the contending team many expected given their cap space and market availability. In the end, the damage done by Isiah Thomas was just too severe (and sending him as your final LeBron pitcher? What's up with that?) But the Knicks' failures to land one of the Big 3 did mean they were able to concoct this roster, which is inconsistent, underdeveloped, and absolutely 100% interesting.

The idea of an Anthony Randolph-Amar'e Stoudemire pick and roll set is enough to send nouveau basketball philosophers into some sort of apoplectic shock. Meanwhile, Kelenna Azubuike gives D'Antoni the shooter he's been missing, and Turiaf brings some punch. This roster isn't perfect, far from it, but it's stocked with interesting, fun players, who can get up and down in D'Antoni's system. New York basketball may not be contending again, but it's going to be interesting. And that's enough to give Knicks fans what they want, to be relevant again. The real rebuilding starts here, and it's all around Amar'e Stoudemire. We're finally going to learn just how good Stoudemire is without Steve Nash.

Grade: B

Philadelphia 76ers


Added: Evan Turner (draft), Tony Battie (free agency), Spencer Hawes (trade), Andres Nocioni (trade)

Lost:
Samuel Dalembert (trade)

Philosophy:
"Making fusion with carwrecks."

If Evan Turner isn't a Top-5 player in the NBA in five years, this year looks way worse. Switching coaches, the Sixers still held back from a complete blow-up, not moving Andre Iguodala or Elton Brand over the offseason. Brand's value is non-existent, but he's going to have to go if the team wants to completely start over. Meanwhile, Ed Stefanski changed coaches to Doug Collins, who's been broadcasting for quite a while, and traded Samuel Dalembert for Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni, or "the Big White Cap Blanket." The Sixers may have hit a home run when they lucked into the No.2 overall pick in Turner, but if the lack of explosiveness he showed in summer league is more than just a lack of offseason conditioning, things could get worse before they get better in Philly.

Grade: C

Toronto Raptors


Added:   Ed Davis (draft), Solomon Alabi (draft), Linas Kleiza (free-agency), Amir Johnson (re-signed), Leandro Barbosa (trade), Dwayne Jones (draft)
Lost:   Chris Bosh (sign-and-trade), Antoine Wright (free agency), Hedo Turkoglu (trade)

Philosophy:
"No way out."

The temptation will be to grade Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors organization for the mistakes of last summer, which came to hurt them last season and this summer. But that's not our goal here. Losing Bosh was a foregone conclusion, but they still have to take a hit for failing to convince him to stay, no matter how hard that would have been. But after that, Colangelo at least made the move that you have to make when faced with the destruction of everything you've worked for: set fire to the remains and collect the insurance. They traded Hedo Turkoglu and his massive new contract for short term contracts, and managed to get long-term assets in draft picks and trade exceptions from Miami for Bosh. They are committed to starting over, and though the money handed out to Kleiza and Johnson is not chump change, there's still a plan in place.

Expect for the rest of the Raptors to be moved to whatever degree they can be, while the team sees if it can rebuild around DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems, who seem to hold a lot of potential under the radar. Colangelo did not take on massive contracts of a subpar free agent outside of Kleiza's swallowable deal, and the Raptors have flexibility to make the most of their future.

The only question is if Bryan Colangelo will be around to be a part of that future.




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com