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Tag:Melodrama
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Carmelo Anthony trade chat 1 p.m. EST

Join us live at 1 p.m. EST to chat about the Carmelo Anthony trade. We want to get your thoughts and answer your questions about the biggest trade of the season. 



More coverage of the Carmelo Anthony trade to the New York Knicks
For more on our coverage of the Carmelo Anthony trade to New York, check out: 

Ken Berger's report on the breaking deal .  

Matt Moore on whether this is good or bad for Carmelo Anthony.  

Royce Young discusses the impact the deal has on the Knicks.

Ben Golliver discusses the trade and hands out grades
Posted on: February 22, 2011 3:47 am
 

George Karl: "It's time to move on, reinvent."

George Karl comments on his new team moments after finding his star Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks
Posted by Matt Moore

George Karl has beaten cancer twice. He's a Hall of Fame head coach, a loving father, and by all accounts a simply stand-up guy. But his patience was tested this year with the constant shadow of the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors. With Anthony traded to New York late Monday night, Karl spoke with reporters and reflected on the bittersweet transition of his team from a playoff contender to a rebuilding project. 




Karl is clearly not happy about the developments. He's been through this before, but it doesn't make it any easier. He's now in charge of a team that is both rebuilding and trying to make the playoffs. But Karl knows that without a superstar, the Nuggets have a concrete ceiling above the first round.  He carefully dodges the question of what he thinks of the players he's getting, but it would have been easier for him to throw out general, positive terms. He elects for "exciting" which is never something a coach wants. A coach wants experienced. A coach wants talented. But exciting? George Karl has J.R. Smith, he doesn't need exciting. 

Perhaps most interesting, though, is Karl's reluctance to answer regarding the developing trend of NBA players dictating their own destinies with no regard for the teams who drafted them or the players around them. Karl's wise to want to ponder that one carefully before answering. 

But most frustrating for Karl? Half of these players he just acquired may not be around in three days. It's a lot of change for a guy who's been in Denver for quite some time to deal with. Of all the people who have been jerked around by the Melo situation, Karl was the one no one wanted to see suffer because of the nonsense. 

Karl uses the phrase "reinvent" several times, which may be the best word for what the Nuggets are trying to do. Maintain competitive basketball while looking to the future. But inventing a superstar? That's going to take more tricks than Karl or Masai Ujiir can provide. 
Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:50 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:59 am
 

Melo trade: No one man should have all that power

Carmelo Anthony is a New York Knick, and it's clear that he's been the one running the show from the beginning. But is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Posted by Matt Moore

It's over. It's finally over. Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks along with Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, and Anthony Carter for Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov, along with the Knicks' 2014 first round pick according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.  

And for Melo? He wins. Beyond everything else, beyond the Nuggets' posturing and threats, beyong New York's cool stance which evaporated into dust, and beyond the desperate attempts by the Nets, including an embarassing crawl back into talks over All-Star Weekend, Carmelo Anthony won.  He got what he wanted, to go to a major market and play next to a star in Amar'e Stoudemire. He got it how he wanted it, under an extension to provide him with financial security under a max deal. And he got it when he wanted it, before the new CBA could be put in place, improving chances that he'll get to hold on to as much money as possible. 

It's day 236 of the Melodrama, and that's the last time we're going to use that phrase. Anthony has pulled off one of the most stunning coups by a player in recent history, and managed to only need eight months to get it done. So, good work there, Melo. Next time, throw us a bone and pull it off a little faster? Actually, we take that back. Don't ever do this to us again. Ever. Please. We're literally begging you. 

This trade represents the extension of what started this summer with "The Decision" and LeBron James and Chris Bosh being wined and dined by executives with proposals, plans, and fan initiatives. We're in a new era, and the players are running the shots. Perhaps that more than anything signifies the key clash involved in this summer's CBA talks. Anthony was able to not only demand a trade from a playoff team, but designate where he wanted to go, and have it done the season he wanted to go. 

We'll never know for sure if Anthony was willing to leave the money on the table to go to New York had he not been traded, nor will we know if he would have accepted a trade to the Nets had the Knicks not gave in and essentially offered up everything but their own children in this deal. What we know is that Melo now joins Amar'e Stoudemire, and that in and of itself is exciting, and weird. 

Carmelo Anthony has a usage rate of 32.5% of all possessions, while Amar'e has a usage of 31.7%. Those are obscene numbers for taking up possessions.  The two are going to have to now work alongside the biggest stars they have ever played with. Melo wanted to be a big star on the big stage, but let's be clear. Amar'e Stoudemire did not go to New York to be a sidekick. We'll have to see how they work alongside together and how Melo adapts to the high pace of Mike D'Antoni's system which also emphasises ball movement. This isn't going to be seamless. Yes, Melo was acquired and yes, he is the star jewel they wanted to add (one of three, it would seem). But there is a degree of concern here and all that's before we look at New York as a team

But all that's for another day. This is a big day of victory for Melo, for CAA, for Leon Rose, and the ever-expanding power of the William Wesley power base, who have just extricated an All-Star from his team and moved him to the team they wanted to move him to. You have to appreciate how Melo's handled all this, even if he started to crack at the end. He's managed not to get fined through this entire process. Think about that. All these questions, all this pressure, all this nonsense, and he managed not to get fined once for his comments. He also managed not to alienate the Nuggets into trading him somewhere he didn't want to go, and managed to secure meetings with Knicks ownership to make him feel good about the future. 

Is this a good thing? We've got Chris Paul in New Orleans, Dwight Howard in Orlando, and Deron Williams in Utah. They're all capable of being free agents in 2012. And a pattern has been set. Sure, it was annoying for Melo for a few months, and hard on his team. But in the end, Anthony got what he wanted, and gets to reap the rewards of playing in a major market and all the endorsements that go along with it. The parties, the glamor, all of it. Of course, he may have set back his ability to win a title because of what was required to get him, but he won't be blamed for that. He'll get to enjoy it, as will his wife La La Vasquez, who has wanted this for a while. 

Behind every man with an inflated sense of self worth is an ambitious woman seeking another television deal.

This is the ultimate empowerment of the athlete, to the degree of forcing teams into decisions they didn't necessarily want to make, and doing so on their terms. A dangerous precedent has been set for NBA players, where the way to win? Team up, even if it means forcing your team to walk the plank. That Denver managed to get out of this with a favorable set of assets is their good fortune, especially after the way they bungled this for six months.  But it doesn't change the fact that Denver's now rebuilding, because Anthony wanted to leave. That's it. No complicated set of initiatives, no overwrought ideas of clashing philosophies, the Nuggets weren't looking to move in a different direction. Melo got what he wanted, when he wanted it, how he wanted it. Welcome to the new NBA landscape of player power plays. 

Now we'll have to see if he's worth even a fraction of the drama (see, we told you we weren't saying it again) he's created for us. 

Welcome to New York, Carmelo. Hope you're ready, because the pressure does not end now. 

For more on our coverage of the Carmelo Anthony trade to New York, check out:

Ken Berger's report on the breaking deal

Royce Young discusses the impact the deal has on the Knicks. 

Ben Golliver hands out trade grades and winners & losers.
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 20, 2011 3:10 pm
 

Knicks release statement for Melo damage control

Knicks release statement assuring they are in "constant communication" and that no outside individuals are involved in Carmelo Anthony trade talks. World raises eyebrow, says "Uh-huh."
Posted by Matt Moore

The New York Knicks released a statement Sunday affirming that they are all on the same page regarding the Carmelo Anthony discussions, are working together, and that no outside influence is involved in the ongoing talks. The release actually never specifically mentions who they're talking about, as is typical of this bizarre circus that has enveloped All-Star Weekend. From the release: 


“We want to make it abundantly clear that we have been in constant communication throughout this process and the three of us are in complete agreement with everything that we are currently working on. Together, we will do what is best for the long-term success of the franchise. In addition, we want to make it clear that no one from outside our organization has been involved in this process in any way. We will have no further comment at this time.”

The release comes hours after Ken Berger of CBSSports.com among others reported that Isiah Thomas has been brought back into the fold on the Melo negotiations, and has in fact undercut Donnie Walsh's attempts to maintain leverage in the negotiations. The phrase "amateur hour" was used by one source to Berger in regards to how Knicks owner James Dolan has taken Walsh's legs out as Thomas appears to have more and more influence in the conversations. This release will do nothing to stem that tide of opinion. Why?

Because who puts out a release to say it's not so?

The interesting cut of the release is the second to last line, stating "no one from outside the organization has been involved in this process in any way." The curious question there is exactly whether or not Thomas is "outside the organization." The league denied a request from the Knicks to allow Thomas to serve as an advisor while head coach of Florida International University. But Dolan has maintained that he has and will continue to seek counsel from Thomas as a trusted advisor. 

Dolan's continued reliance on arguably the worst executive in the history of professional sports management is boggling.  Even for an owner who hasn't shown himself to be the most patient, the most rational, the most deliberate owner out there, keeping Thomas after he nearly single-handedly brought the Garden to ruins is beyond comprehension.  There's no explaining it, not after it took Walsh nearly two and a half years to bring the Knicks back to a point where they could look to the playoffs again.  This is the kind of whim that can bring an organization back to rubble after just getting its foundation up, and that's evident by Berger's report that Walsh is reconsidering his long-term place with the Knicks should the pattern continue. 

Even if the situation is overstated and the release is on point, it's a damaging development. The Knicks have had to release a public statement to confirm that their president of basketball operations and head coach are still in charge of basketball decisions and that there's no rift. How are the Knicks going to maintain leverage in the fiercest trade negotiation we've ever seen if they're constantly having to cover their flank from talk of subversion by their former executive?

Forget Carmelo Anthony, forget revenue sharing, a change in BRI, 2012 free agency or any of that. What the Knicks organization really needs is a swift slap to the back of the head. 
Posted on: February 20, 2011 12:26 am
Edited on: February 20, 2011 3:16 am
 

Melo, Nets meet with no resolution

Carmelo Anthony and agent meets with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z in Los Angeles to discuss prospective trade for Nets to acquire All-Star. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed an AP report that Carmelo Anthony and Nets majority and minority owners Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z met earlier Saturday night to discuss the Nets' interest in acquiring the All-Star small forward.  The meeting occurred just hours after Prokhorov released a statement through his spokesperson stating no meeting had taken place or was planned, and that they would have no further comment on the matter. The meeting also coincided with a renewed interest from the Knicks as owner James Dolan has become more involved in the talks, Berger reports. 

ESPN reports that the Nets meeting lasted 40 minutes and included Anthony's agent Leon Rose and advisor Bay Frazier, as well as Nets CEO Brett Yormark and GM Billy King. Melo was reportedly "noncomittal" following the meeting, and Yahoo! Sports reports that the Nets "didn't come away very confident." 

So the Nets got their meeting, and failed to hit the home run. But they're not out of it yet. Their biggest problem? James Dolan, who has become involved in the negotiations on the Knicks' side, and is offering up more and more assets to get the second superstar, threatening to damage the leverage Donnie Walsh has very carefully maintained throughout these negotiations. The Nets' biggest advantage? Their remaining ability to threaten Melo by not trading him, then taking his extension offer off the table, leaving him high and dry for the extra money entering a new CBA. 

The Nets have now offered three picks, Devin Harris and Derrick Favors for Melo in a three-way, walked away and said they were through, come back, offered the same deal plus an extra pick, said they weren't meeting with Melo, reaffirmed they weren't meeting with Melo, then met with Melo, and now they still don't have a deal. 

You've got to give it to the Russian, though. 

He's a persistent dude. 


Posted on: February 19, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 8:21 pm
 

Nets' Melo talks are contradicting as always

Nets owner releases statement he will not meet with Carmelo Anthony as report surfaces Anthony has yet again informed those close to him he will not sign an extension to play for New Jersey. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Update 8:10 p.m.: The New York Daily News is reporting that Melo will meet with Prokhorov tonight. Of course they are. Yahoo! confirms the report. Of course they do. Melo and Prokhorov have been lying through their teeth about these meetings all weekend, so this doesn't come as a shock. But Melo's consistently been reported to be very reticent about joining the Nets. If Prokhorov has his audience, he's got one shot to salvage this thing. 


It certainly looks like the Russian got played. Again. Significant developments occurred Saturday to indicate that the Nets' revived efforts to trade for Carmelo Anthony are either dead, or dying.  Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov released a statement through his spokesperson Saturday afternoon saying: 
Mikhail has not met with and has no plans to meet with Carmelo Anthony. He is looking forward to enjoying All Star Weekend. We will have nothing else to add on this.
via The Bergen Record: In the 'Zzone.

Anthony confirmed to NBA FanHouse that he had no plans to meet with Prokhorov, either. 


This is then followed by a report from the New York Times that Anthony has, once again, reasserted that he will not sign an extension in the event of a trade to the New Jersey Nets, effectively eliminating them from the race, if accurate. This has been Anthony's position for a while as CBSSports.com's Ken Berger has reported. And by "fora while", I mean "since September." Throughout multiple efforts by the Nets to acquire Anthony, each time he has backed away from the idea of signing the extension with the Nets. And each time the Nets have come crawling back through the door, even after Prokhorov said he was done the first time. 

So the Times reports Anthony won't sign the extension, and in the same time frame Prokhorov releases a statement saying he has not met and will not meet with Anthony.  That's the sound of damage control.  

Honestly, Prokhorov should never have OK'd anyone from the Nets to get involved again. From the beginning there was talk that the Nuggets were using the Nets to apply pressure on the Knicks to beef up their offer,  a plan which seems to have worked. The Nets swallowed their pride in the hopes of getting the superstar they've covete, and instead have wound up as nothing more than a pawn for the Nuggets to extract more assets from the Knicks, when the Knicks know they maintain leverage.  The Nets now look weak from multiple angles, as a franchise free agents don't want to play for, as a front office easily manipulated, and a team desperate to gut its roster for a star who at the very least is signficantly reticent to join them. Having secret meetings while denying any involvement doesn't really work if everyone and the world knows that Jay-Z is in town and looking to meet with Prokhorov and Anthony. Even if the Nets do land Melo, it's been a bungled approach from the start, and that's before you consider they've essentially offered all the tea in China for him to the Nuggets. And even that hasn't achieved their goal. 

Then again, every report that comes out contradicts the one before it, so Anthony could be a Net by sundown and I wouldn't be surprised. The Knicks' latest offer includes Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and a first round draft pick via Minnesota (in exchange for Anthony Randolph). 


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. 



 
 
 
 
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