Tag:Devin Harris
Posted on: February 23, 2011 12:29 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Jazz trade Deron Williams, but why right now?

Posted by Royce Young



It took four excruciating months of hemming and hawing for Carmelo Anthony to get traded to the Knicks. It took a little less than 30 minutes for Deron Williams to go to the Nets.

In a stunning blockbuster, New Jersey acquire Williams, Utah gets Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round picks. A third team was used as the Warriors get Troy Murphy for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright.

The Nets chased Anthony for four months, trying to schedule meetings, trying to convince him to sign an extension. And after it all fell apart, that's when they got to work. Instead of bringing in Melo, the Nets one-upped the Knicks and got a cheaper and better player in Williams. Mikhail Prokhorov said he didn't care about the Melo situation in Los Angeles. Well, I guess we know why now. Because their Plan B was way better than Plan A.

Everyone is going to talk about the Nets and what an insanely slick move this is. They just nabbed one of the top players in the league and arguably the best point guard for less than they were going to give up for Melo. It's a terrific deal for New Jersey. Like, it couldn't be better.

But on the other end, people in Salt Lake City haven't moved for the last hour. A couple hundred thousand jaws dropped in unison. Deron Williams is gone. Their franchise player, gone. Just like that. And only a couple weeks after Jerry Sloan resigned after 23 years at the helm in Utah. At this point I think you could relocate the franchise and it would be less of a stomach punch than this.

So why? Why was Williams moved now? Why so soon after Sloan's resignation? Are the two things related? So, so many questions.

Williams was already being brought up in talks that he wanted to go to New York in 2012 when he could opt out of his contract, as reported by Ken Berger. So really, the Jazz had the rest of this year and then one more guaranteed season with Williams. And we know what was coming in 2012. Deron Williams would most definitely be the new Carmelo Anthony. Questions every day about his future, rumors flying constantly out of Salt Lake -- it was going to happen.

And the Jazz played their trump card early. They nipped it in the bud. Instead of spending half a season dragging themselves down with trade and extension talks, the Jazz just got rid of the problem before it started.

Utah wasn't going anywhere this season. The offseason move of acquiring Al Jefferson wasn't working out and the team had been slipping since December. Really, this year was kind of a lost cause. Utah could look forward to next year, but again, it would be a year of Derondrama, and that wanted to be avoided. So a deal was made.

Clearly, general manager Kevin O'Conner wasn't confident in Utah's chances of re-signing Williams. I don't need to say that because it's pretty obvious with the deal. But the Jazz aren't a franchise that gets played. They've been successful for a quarter of a century with only a few minor hiccups here and there. They absolutely did not get back equal value for Williams, but they did get a solid package. They'll have to rebuild, which is something they aren't scared of doing.

Because now, Williams is New Jersey's problem. There's no guarantee (that we know of yet) of him signing an extension with the Nets. I'm sure Prokhorov and Billy King figure that will happen, otherwise they don't make this deal, but we don't know for sure. By the sound of it, Williams wasn't really asked. Jazz radio man David Locke tweeted that it wasn't Williams' choice to move and that he was stunned by it. So are we, Deron.

On top of it all, Williams was a bit of a problem child. He had major dust-ups with Sloan, didn't always get along with management and ownership and while he completely embraced the Jazz and Utah, he had some attitude. And the Jazz aren't an organization that routinely works through those type of things. So when you start to pile all of this on top of each other, it starts making more and more sense.

There's potential this works out for Utah. They loved Favors before the draft, got a quality point guard in Devin Harris and two first-round picks that will likely be high. They foundation of Utah has been shaken if not destroyed over the past month, but there's a clear effort to rebuild. And I guess it had to start with getting rid of the team's best player. Williams helped nudge Jerry Sloan out the door and just a few weeks later, he was packing too.

But here's the good news Utah: You've just got a lot better chance at getting Jimmer Fredette now.
Posted on: February 23, 2011 11:12 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 11:22 am
 

Trade Deadline: Deron Williams traded to Nets

Deron Williams traded to Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first-round picks.
Posted by Matt Moore

Breaking news this morning as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms a Bergen Record and Yahoo! Sports report that Deron Williams has been traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and two first round picks. It's a three way trade in which Troy Murphy is also being traded to the Golden State Warriors for Brendan Wright and Dan Gadzuric

It's a stunning development coming just days after Berger reported that Williams told associates last summer that he looked to play in New York with Amar'e Stoudemire. It's clear now Williams has been seeking a bigger market. He just got one. And the Nets now have their superstar. More coming shortly on this breaking story. 
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 22, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Report: Nets cancel practice amid Harris rumors

Posted by Royce Young

Despite missing on Melo, trade rumors are still swirling on the southern side of the Hudson River. Ken Berger tweeted yesterday about the potential of the Nets moving point guard Devin Harris to the Trail Blazers from Andre Miller and Joel Przybilla.

And amid all that speculation, the Nets have decided to cancel practice, according to SB Nation. The Nets don't play until Friday, but according to the report, New Jersey wants to keep its players away frmo the media hounds until the Harris stuff settles one way or the other.

A wise move, but one that only accelerates rumors though. The Nets have gone through a bunch of crap during this Melodrama, and now it's all going to start over again. Then again, most everyone knows that during the trade deadline players are on the block. But you don't see everyone running out and canceling practice because of it.

Harris is one of the top chips on the market and despite being somewhat of a disappointment this season, he's still a young point guard with talent. And the Nets appear to be a team ready to roll the roster over a bit more. Their offseason acquisitions have turned out to be mostly a disaster and the team has limped to a 17-40 record.

General manager Billy King is going to be active around the deadline so he's just clearing the air so he can work a bit. If you take this as a sign a Harris deal is imminent, I wouldn't blame you.
Posted on: February 21, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 2:36 am
 

Nets contemplating Plan B if Melo falls through

Nets talking deal with Portland to swap Harris, Miller, Murphy, Przybilla. 
Posted by Matt Moore
UPDATE 2:33 a.m. EST: Well, obviously the Nets did not get Melo, so now they're going to have to come up with an alternate plan. Harris is going to be extremely prevalent in trade rumors from now through the deadline as the Nets know they have to move him now while he has value. The Blazers are clearly looking to move Andre Miller and have had interest in Harris for months. This could be the next domino now that Melo is gone. We'll have more on what the Anthony trade means for Denver on the Eye on Basketball blog. 

The New Jersey Nets are making a move one way or another. If they get Carmelo Anthony, great, awesome, good for them. If they don't, it looks like they have a plan they're formulating, except, it doesn't necessarily reflect a clear plan of action.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Nets are in discussions with the Portland Trail Blazers for an advanced framework of the previously discussed deal for the two teams to swap point guards, with Andre Miller going to New Jersey and Devin Harris to Portland. Berger also reports that the deal includes Joely Przybilla going to New Jersey and Troy Muprhy. The Blazers would also get a pick.

The deal as constructed does not work under current terms financially, so there has to be another element in play. What's odd is that instead of Portland cutting costs, this saves New Jersey money if it goes through, $17.8 million worth, before the third element to make the deal work. But more confusing is why New Jersey is sending a pick, their best player, and their largest expiring for a set of expiring contracts? Bear in mind that the Oregonian reports that should Przybilla be traded, he'll immediately seek a buyout. This is a whole lot of money the Russian is looking to dump in the event Melo does not go through for the Nets.

Meanwhile, the Blazers would think use Murphy to swap with Golden State, according to the Record. 

Speaking of which, this does not mean that they've given up on the Melo deal, nor does it mean this is their only option. It's clear that one way or another, the New Jersey Nets' roster will not be the same Thursday night as it is right now, if Billy King has anything to say about it.  
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 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 8:33 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.
 
 
 
 
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