Eastern Notes: Varejao, Bobcats, ‘Melo

February 8 at 8:20pm CDT By Cray Allred

Sixers coach Brett Brown tells Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times that he is confident the team’s struggles this season will pay off with a valuable draft pick. Brown admits that the bottoming out process isn’t fun, “At times, when you’re sitting on a sideline and your team isn’t guarding and your team is losing by a significant margin, you feel like you don’t really want, at times, to go through this.” But Brown is looking forward to brighter days ahead: “I know that if we can ever pull this off, then the city’s going to come right along with us and be proud to grow with us. That’s always been the vision and the plan.” Here’s more from around the East:

  • Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders sees Anderson Varejao as the Cavs’ most movable asset, and speculates that Cleveland might become a seller and look toward the draft after the firing of GM Chris Grant. Greene thinks the Suns, Rockets, and Lakers are all teams that could be good trade partners with Cleveland for the veteran center.
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer thinks the Bobcats will be active at the trade deadline, but doesn’t think a blockbuster deal is likely. Bonnell notes that while Ben Gordon‘s expiring contract is a nice trade asset, losing the flexibility that comes with his contract could pose problems for the team as it attempts to retain Kemba Walker as his 2015 restricted free agency approaches.
  • Howard Beck of Bleacher Report adds to the anniversary analysis of the blockbuster trade between the Nuggets and Knicks that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York. Beck quotes a rival executive that blames Anthony for pushing the trade rather than simply joining the Knicks as a free agent that summer, because financial considerations were Anthony’s top priority. Melo reportedly wanted to secure his maximum contract extension before the new labor deal–and its potential earnings reductions–would be negotiated. That meant that the Knicks had to give up a wealth of player and draft assets to pry the star from Denver, rather than a more moderate sacrifice had he joined as a free agent. Beck traces most of New York’s woes back to Anthony’s “original sin,” which diminished the team’s roster and crippled their ability to bolster it, leading to desperate moves that have not panned out.
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