Carmelo Anthony

Boeheim Says ‘Melo Unlikely To Win Title

Carmelo Anthony made the playoffs in each of the first 10 seasons of his NBA career, but he has sat out the past three postseasons as a member of the Knicks. The merits of Anthony as a player have been much debated throughout his career, with many doubting that he has the ability to lead a team to the promised land that is an NBA title. The forward’s college coach, Jim Boeheim weighed in on his former player’s title chances, and noted they’re not good, Ian Begley of ESPN.com writes.

He’s unlikely to win an NBA title,” Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard. “He’s never been on a team that even had a remote chance of winning an NBA title. As a player, all you can do is try to make your team better and every team he’s been on he’s made them a lot better. Denver hadn’t done anything prior to him getting there and he took them into the playoffs. They weren’t going to beat the Lakers or the Spurs. In those years, they won the championship most of the time.

He wants to win in New York,” Boeheim continued. “I know the general opinion is if [new additions] Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose are healthy then they’ll be a better team. It’s just a question of if they will be healthy. They’ve been off and on the last two years. They’ve both been hurt. I think if both those guys are healthy, it certainly would make a big difference and Kristaps Porzingis continuing to progress. If those things happen, they can be better.

‘Melo took some heat earlier this month after he told ESPN’s Marc Stein that he’d still consider his career a success if he failed to win a championship. “I would be very happy walking away from the game knowing that I’ve given the game everything I have, knowing I played on a high level at every level: high school, college, won [a championship at Syracuse] in college and possibly three gold medals,” Anthony said.

Is Boehim correct? Will Anthony’s career end without him hoisting a championship banner? What are your feelings about Boeheim’s candor regarding his former player’s title chances? Sound off in the comments section below.

Olympics Notes: Anthony, Popovich, Jokic

After capturing his third gold medal, the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony confirmed that his international career is complete, relays Sam Amick of USA Today. Anthony played on the 2004 team that settled for bronze before being part of the last three gold medal winners. He holds Team USA career records for games played and points scored, and today moved into the lead in total rebounds. “As much as I’m going to miss it, it’s time to pass it on to some of the guys who were on the team this year, and also the younger guys [not on the team],” he said after today’s win over Serbia in the gold medal contest. Anthony said he and his teammates “locked in” after some close games early in the competition.

There’s more news out of Rio on the final day of the Summer Olympics:

  • Anthony was the only basketball player nominated to be named Male Athlete of the Games for the United States, tweets Chris Washburn of The Boston Globe. The other nominees were swimmer Michael Phelps, cyclist Connor Fields, wrestler Kyle Snyder and runner Matthew Centrowitz Jr.
  • Gregg Popovich will take over as the next coach of Team USA, but he might have had the job years ago if not for the disappointing performance of the 2004 Olympic team, writes Jackie MacMullen of ESPN.com. Popovich was an assistant to Larry Brown on that team, which brought home a bronze medal from Athens. “We didn’t have a chance to build a team,” Brown says. “We threw those kids into a terrible situation. Pop and I talk about it all the time. I say to him, ‘What could I have done better?’ What I hate most about it is I think it cost Pop his chance at the job.” In the wake of that outing, Jerry Colangelo, head of USA Basketball, picked Duke’s Mike Krzyzewksi to be the new national team coach and started a rift with Popovich that lasted until he was offered the job last spring.
  • Serbia’s Nikola Jokic cemented his reputation as a rising star with his Olympic performance, according to Jonathan Huang of NBA.com. The 21-year-old Nuggets center had a memorable Olympics, including 25 points in an early matchup with Team USA, as he helped his nation reach the gold medal game.

And-Ones: Salary Record, LeBron, CBA, D-League

The NBA’s record $24MM television deal is playing out just as predicted, writes Mitch Lawrence of Forbes. With LeBron James signing a three-year, $100MM deal with the Cavaliers, a record 17 teams now have the highest-paid players in franchise history on their current rosters. However, most of them are players who re-signed with their current teams or agreed to contract extensions. The only players who earned that distinction by changing teams this summer are Atlanta’s Dwight Howard, Boston’s Al Horford and Golden State’s Kevin Durant.

There’s more NBA-related news this afternoon:

  • Because James has a player option for the third season of his new contract, he can become a free agent in July of 2018, along with Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, tweets Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders. In March, James made headlines by speculating on the possibility of the four close friends one day joining forces.
  • A “super max” contract is among several changes the NBA and the players union should consider in a new collective bargaining agreement, suggests Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. That provision would allow for a contract that is 40% of the salary cap, but would only count as a normal maximum deal against the cap. It would be available only to a player who remains with his current team and it would not be tradeable. Kyler also would like to see a third round added to the draft to help teams stock their D-League affiliates, a two-way contract with different salaries when players are in the NBA and D-League, and minimum qualifications that players would have to meet before being eligible for maximum contracts.
  • The D-League will holds its national tryouts Sunday in Manhattan, tweets Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Among the players who received invitations are Sterling Gibbs of Connecticut, Jonathan Holton of West Virginia, Chris Obekpa of St John’s and Markus Kennedy of SMU (Twitter link).

Eastern Rumors: Noel, Celtics, Pistons, Horford

Jahlil Okafor has been the Sixers big man who has been the subject of the most trade rumors and speculation this offseason, but he hasn’t been the only frontcourt player in Philadelphia mentioned in those rumors. Teammate Nerlens Noel has also been considered a trade candidate, with the 76ers needing to clear a logjam up front and add a little more talent in their backcourt.

According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Noel hasn’t asked to be traded and nothing tangible is in the works at this point. However, multiple sources tell Blakely that the former Kentucky Wildcat would be “very open” to being dealt if the Sixers choose to go in that direction. One league source also informed Blakely that the Celtics continue to have interest in Noel.

The Sixers will be faced with a decision soon on Noel — they’ll essentially have to determine this offseason or next summer whether he’ll be a part of their long-term future. The 22-year-old is extension-eligible this year for the first time, and will reach restricted free agency in 2017 if he and the Sixers don’t come to an agreement on a new deal. Odds are that Noel probably isn’t going anywhere before the 2016/17 begins, but it’s still a situation worth keeping an eye on.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Although the Pistons‘ free agent moves the summer – with the exception of Andre Drummond‘s new deal – mostly involved adding complementary players, the team did have its sights set on one of the premier stars available. As Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details, Detroit was one of a handful of clubs to land a meeting with Al Horford. Stan Van Gundy explains that the Pistons could have fit in Horford and still added a backup point guard, but the team was ultimately happy to end up with Jon Leuer and Boban Marjanovic after Horford went to Boston. “It’s like a power hitter being able to take a swing at the home run and let it all go, but end up not striking out,” Van Gundy said.
  • In an interview with ESPN’s Marc Stein, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony suggested that if his professional basketball career ends without an NBA championship, he’ll still consider it a success if he walks away with three Olympic gold medals and an NCAA title. “I would be very happy walking away from the game knowing that I’ve given the game everything I have, knowing I played on a high level at every level: high school, college, won [a championship at Syracuse] in college and possibly three gold medals,” Anthony said.
  • Paul George tells Sean Highkin of ProBasketballTalk that he’s excited about the Pacers‘ new direction, including the addition of veteran point guard Jeff Teague. “[Pacers president] Larry [Bird] has put it on display that he wants to get us back to the Eastern Conference [playoffs], see where we can take it from there,” George said.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Nets, Bentil

Like many around the NBA, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was taken by surprise that Dwyane Wade left the Heat to join the Bulls this offfseason, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com writes. “I was shocked,” Anthony said. “I was shocked more from a standpoint it was just hard to see. It’s hard to see some players in different uniforms and he’s one of those guys who I never thought I would see in a different uniform other than Miami. But it happened, and I got a chance to talk to him and sit down with him and really dig deep about his feelings and what happened. He’s at peace now. And when he’s at peace, I’m at peace with it.”

Melo also took the time to express his happiness at the Knicks’ new-look roster, Friedell adds. “We love them,” Anthony said. “We love those additions. And we’re looking forward to getting the season going. And I think everybody is excited, the excitement is back. Right now there’s an adjustment on paper, but of course we have some work to do putting it all together, making it work. But we’re going to ride the wave of this excitement right now.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics have a crowded roster with 18 players currently under contract, and as a result, will have some difficult decisions to make during the preseason. Logan Mullen of 93.7FM’s Green Street broke down who he thinks will make the regular season roster and who is ticketed for Boston’s D-League affiliate in Maine.
  • The Nets are stressing patience as the team rebuilds, which is a marked change from how the team has operated under owner Mikhail Prokhorov in the past, notes David Aldridge of NBA.com. “This goes from ownership all the way down,” GM Sean Marks said. “When Mikhail wrote his letter 9to season ticket holders), the lessons he learned, that sort of stood out. It stood out for me, that a guy of his stature realized, we’re going to go in a different direction this time. Now it’s up to us to put a product on the floor that’s going to be sustainable, and not just for a fleeting moment. I understand there could be some trying times here for the organization. We’re not going to win 50 games next year. We get that. But if we can put a product on the floor that we can be proud of, that fans can appreciate, if fans know that we’ll compete every night, that’ll speak volumes. Especially the Brooklyn-New York fan base will appreciate that.”
  • Ben Bentil‘s three-year contract with the Celtics includes a partial guarantee of $250K for the first season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Unrestricted free agent Shane Larkin, who appeared in 78 games for the Nets in 2015/16, has switched agents and is now represented by Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports, Liz Mullen of The Sports Business Journal tweets.
  • The Celtics have officially renounced their rights to Gigi Datome, Pincus relays (on Twitter). The 27-year-old last appeared in the league during the 2014/15 campaign.

Heat Notes: Green, James, Wade, Riley

The addition of James Johnson, Derrick Williams and Wayne Ellington left no room in Miami for Gerald Green, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Green, who agreed to terms with the Celtics this morning, spent one season in Miami and saw his playing time decline steadily as the year wore on. He appeared in 69 games, starting 14, and averaged 8.9 points per night. Green had expressed a desire to return to Miami, Winderman writes, and the Heat could have offered the same $1.4MM deal he received from Boston. Miami made it clear that the 30-year-old swingman wasn’t in its plans by signing Johnson, Williams and Ellington to be part of an already crowded rotation that includes Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Tyler JohnsonAmar’e Stoudemire and Dorell Wright are now the only remaining unsigned free agents from the 2015/16 roster.

There’s more news out of Miami:  

  • As players become more powerful, the idea of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul on the same team becomes more likely, Winderman writes in another piece. During the season, James speculated on the possibility of the four friends someday joining forces.
  • Team president Pat Riley recently offered some insight on teaming up James, Wade and Chris Bosh in 2010, Winderman relates in the same article. All three were slated to get max deals of $16.5MM per season, but they wanted to add Mike Miller and re-sign Udonis Haslem. Eventually, Wade volunteered to take less money, and James and Bosh agreed to sign-and trades. “The interesting part is on July 9th, they all agreed to come in on five-year deals, room only, so I didn’t have to give up any assets,” Riley said. “Then, at the 11th hour, they all wanted the sixth year. You know what that cost me and Andy [Elisburg, the Heat’s general manager]? That cost us four picks. I just said to them, ‘If you want the sixth year because I know you’re going to opt out after the fourth anyhow, but if you want the sixth year, I don’t want any of you to walk into my office and say, ‘Hey, can we get any young guys around here? Can we get some draft picks around here?’ Because they were gone.”
  • Riley’s decision to add more physical players this offseason was likely a matter of taking what was available on the market, rather than a strategy, Winderman writes in a separate piece. Winderman’s comment came in response to a reader’s question on whether acquiring Johnson, Williams, Luke Babbitt and Willie Reed would make the Heat more like the roster Riley had with the Knicks.

Eastern Notes: Anthony, Wade, Meeks, Reed

Carmelo Anthony believes bad timing is all that prevented Dwyane Wade from joining him on the Knicks, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Wade sent shock waves throughout the NBA earlier this month when he agreed to leave the Heat and sign with the Bulls. Anthony says if Wade’s situation had become apparent earlier, the Knicks could have freed up the cap room to fit him on the roster. “There was a chance, definitely a chance,’’ Anthony said. “We would’ve had to pull a rabbit out of a hat in the 25th hour though. There was a chance. If it was two days earlier, we probably would’ve had Dwyane Wade.”

After signing free agent center Joakim Noah for $72MM over four years, New York had just enough cap room left to offer Wade the contract he wanted. However, it would have meant not signing Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings and renouncing the rights to Lance Thomas. Looking ahead, Anthony thinks the Knicks have the pieces in place to be major players in the 2017 free agent market.

There’s more tonight from the Eastern Conference:

  • Newly acquired Magic shooting guard Jodie Meeks is out indefinitely after undergoing foot surgery Tuesday, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Meeks needed the procedure to stabilize the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, which he fractured early last season. Doctors offered little clue as to when Meeks might be able to play again. Orlando acquired him in a June 29th trade, sending a second-round pick to the Pistons in return.
  • Former Magic guard Devyn Marble is getting interest from teams in Europe and China, according to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Marble, who spent two years in Orlando, was traded to the Clippers last week and subsequently waived in a cost-cutting move.
  • After passing up better offers and signing with the Heat, Willie Reed believes he’s in a perfect situation, writes Shandel Richardson of The Sun-Sentinel. After going undrafted and playing in Spain and the D-League, Reed’s future now appears secure after joining Miami on a two-year veteran’s minimum deal. He is expected to back up newly re-signed center Hassan Whiteside. After two seasons on the Heat’s summer league team, Reed knew he wanted to play for Miami. “I wanted to be able to come to the Heat [this offseason],” Reed said. “I told my agent that if I was able to get a minimum deal with the Heat, I’d take it just because what they did for me.”

USA Basketball Finalizes 2016 Olympic Roster

USA Basketball has finalized its 12-man roster for this summer’s Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press details. Team USA will head into the 2016 Olympics looking to win its third straight Gold medal in basketball. Barring any injuries or other unforeseen circumstances, the following 12 players will be representing America in Brazil this summer:

While Team USA’s roster features a bevy of All-Stars, former Olympians, and an MVP winner, many notable players declined invitations to play in Rio this summer. LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden are among those who withdrew from consideration.

And-Ones: Olympics, Griffin, Messina, Vesely

Kyrie Irving and Harrison Barnes will fill the last two spots on the U.S. Olympic basketball team, writes Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. The roster will be formally announced Monday in New York. Ten players committed earlier, but Mahoney reports that openings were left for Irving and LeBron James, who both asked for more time to decide after playing in the NBA Finals, which ended Sunday. James opted not to make the trip to Rio de Janeiro.

Barnes joins Warriors teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the roster, along with Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler and DeAndre Jordan.

There’s more news tonight from around the basketball world:

  • The State of Florida has dropped first-degree attempted murder charges against former D-League All-Star Eric Griffin, according to D-League Digest. Griffin last played in the D-League in 2014/15, when he was a third-team all-league selection and a second-team all-defensive choice. He played in Dubai this season and may be ready for a shot at the NBA now that his legal case has been resolved.
  • Despite rumors, Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina won’t be leaving to take a job in Spain, tweets international journalist David Pick. “I have no contact with Barcelona,” Messina said. “I’m a happy Spur.”
  • Several NBA teams are interested in former lottery pick Jan Vesely, according to Sportando. The Mavericks, Nets and Pelicans are the teams listed as suitors for Vesely, who was selected sixth overall by the Wizards in the 2011 draft. Vesely played for Fenerbahce in Turkey this season and is a free agent. He is expected to get offers in the range of $30MM over three years.
  • Greek star Giannis Bourousis is ready to take a shot at the NBA, reports Aris Barkas of Eurohoops“I would go to any NBA team,” said the 32-year-old seven-footer. “I just want to be there, after 14 years in Euroleague.”

Northwest Notes: Durant, Westbrook, Dixon

Free agency won’t be the only item on Kevin Durant‘s summer schedule, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The former MVP plans to be part of the U.S. Olympic team and may be the biggest name on a roster that has already lost Stephen Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Stein reports that Durant is considered a sure thing for the team, along with Klay Thompson and Paul George. They will join DeMarcus Cousins, whose participation was first reported by Marc Spears of The Undefeated. Kyrie Irving is considered almost certain to join the team, while officials are waiting to hear from LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The full 12-man roster is expected to be announced soon.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Westbrook is making a smart decision to skip the Summer Games, contends Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. With Rio de Janeiro beset by a financial crisis, reports of drug-resistant super bacteria on the beaches and possibly the Zika virus present, Tramel believes that presents too many risks for NBA players.
  • At age 38, Nazr Mohammed has probably played his last NBA game, according to Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. Mohammed signed with the Thunder in March, but appeared in just five games and served mostly as a mentor to younger players, in particular giving defensive tips to Enes Kanter. Mohammed said he won’t try to play again next season and would like to someday become a GM. “That’s my five-year, 10-year plan,” he said. “To one day run my own organization.”
  • Mike Dixon Jr. has received a passport from the nation of Georgia and will participate in the Blazers‘ free agent camp Monday, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Dixon was a senior at Memphis in 2014 and played in the Czech Republic this season.
  • The Nuggets are facing an unpredictable draft with three picks in the first round, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Dempsey lists shooting, shot blocking and toughness as Denver’s top needs and speculates that a significant roster shakeup could happen by draft night.

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