Odds & Ends: LeBron/Melo, J.R. Smith, Deng

January 9 at 9:16pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Both Al Iannazzone of Newsday and Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News passed along some of LeBron James‘ comments on Carmelo Anthony with regards to free agency:

“You got to do whatever makes you happy…When you’re happy, the game of basketball is going to be fun for you. Strive to be great every day and live with whatever else happens. So we’ll see.”

Asked further if he’d recommend Anthony leave some money on the table when he signs his next contract, LeBron had this to say:

“I recommend it to me…It doesn’t work for everybody. The way I live my life don’t work for everybody. All I care about is winning. I came to Miami to win. Money didn’t make me happy. Winning made me happy, and it still does. That’s what matters to me.”

We’ve got more links to pass along out of the Association tonight, and you can find them below:

  • Not surprisingly, George Karl deplored J.R. Smith‘s recent behavior, telling Michael Kay on 98.7 ESPN radio in New York that his former player is going to wake up one day and realize how much he’s wasted great opportunities because of this “mockery he brings to the game.” In spite of that, Karl added that Smith still has a “skill that championship teams need” and suggested that a team like the Heat or Spurs may be able to corral the erratic shooting guard: “There’s that possibility…I think right now that’s the position if I was J.R.’s agent [I would take]. I would be looking at a culture where there would be more peer pressure…I know San Antonio has always liked (J.R.) and I know they’ve thought about bringing him in…San Antonio doesn’t make a lot of mistakes” (Ian Begley of ESPN New York).   
  • Although Luol Deng‘s agent Herb Rudoy didn’t expand upon how far apart the numbers were with the Bulls regarding contract extension discussions, he mentioned Andre Iguodala‘s contract with the Warriors (four years, $48MM) as one that would be commensurate with Deng’s ability, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago.
  • When asked about a potential return to Chicago for his client in the near future, Rudoy responded: “Never discussed…I have no idea. We didn’t talk about it.” 
  • Tom Haberstroh of ESPN explores the topic of whether or not Andrew Bynum would be a good fit with the Heat (Insiders only).
  • Ian Begley and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York, Robert Silverman of Knickerblogger, Ethan Sherwood Strauss of TrueHoop, and Brian Windhorst of ESPN have a roundtable discussion on the Knicks and Nets‘ chances of making the playoffs, winning the Atlantic Division, getting to the second round of the playoffs, and which has the brighter future.
  • K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune goes in-depth about how the Deng trade presents an enormous opportunity for Bulls rookie Tony Snell (Subscribers only).
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