Eastern Notes: Stern, ‘Melo, Rondo, Embiid

January 19 at 12:08pm CDT By Jonathan Nehring

An end of an era is drawing near when NBA commissioner David Stern will turn the keys over to Adam Silver at the end of this month. Mark Heisler of Sheridan Hoops reminisces on his memories of Stern and the great impact he had on the NBA. Heisler sums up his memories with the following statement. “Whether you loved him, hated him, respected him or lived in fear of angering him, if you played, worked in or followed the NBA, you have him to thank. For people like me, you have him to remember and to miss.”

For those of us who will still be following the NBA beyond Stern’s retirement, here are a few notes around the Eastern Conference.

  • According to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, the primary job for the Knicks‘ front office until February 20th is to figure out if Carmelo Anthony wants to stay in New York and what it will take to keep him there. Iannazzone thinks the Knicks should use every effort they can over the next month to get whomever Carmelo wants to play with or they won’t likely have Anthony’s services next season. If they can’t get who Carmelo wants for teammates, Iannazzone urges the Knicks to trade Anthony before the deadline. If not, they risk a very likely chance they lose Carmelo this summer while getting nothing in return.
  • One of Carmelo’s desired teammates is rumored to be Rajon Rondo. Reports of Rondo being traded have resurfaced of late and Matt Moore of CBS Sports breaks down why trading Rondo makes sense for the Celtics. Moore believes if the Celtics can get a first-round pick for him they should trade Rondo right away. With Rondo entering a contract year next year Moore reasons the Celtics (as typical of most teams under the current CBA) are unlikely to extend Rondo during the season and wait until the following summer. Moore believes that will be too late for Boston because Rondo won’t wait around for the Celtics current rebuilding project. In addition, according to Moore “the number one rule for any rebuild is you move your best player on a big contract. It gets you the most assets back.”
  • While not currently in the NBA, a look at our reverse standings indicates Joel Embiid will very likely join a team from the Eastern Conference next summer. After Embiid’s performance yesterday Jeff Goodman of ESPN (Insider piece), Josh Newman of Zagsblog, and Gary Parrish of CBS Sports all think Embiid has moved into at least the top three of next summer’s draft and potentially the number one pick overall.
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